Spotlight: Ethiopian Beejhy Barhany at Women of the World Fest at Apollo

Beejhy Barhany. (Photo: Routes-mag)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 17th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian American entrepreneur Beejhy Barhany is featured as one of the presenters at the 2019 Women of the World (WOW) Festival, which is taking place at the legendary Apollo Theater this weekend on Sunday, March 17th as part of Women’s History Month celebrations.

In a statement the curator of the 2019 WOW Festival, Isisara Bey noted: “We join WOW Festivals taking place in more than 54 cities on five continents to speak with one voice about our many challenges and obstacles, triumphs and achievements. We are rooted locally with hands outstretched around the planet to tell our own stories with truth and grace, passion and power.”

“The Wow Festival features workshops, activities, programming, and performances with artists, community leaders, writers, thinkers, activists, and leaders exploring a variety of issues across cultural, civic, and social boundaries with a focus on empowerment and activism,” Apollo Theater announced. “Participants include educator and activist Angela Davis; musician Alice Smith; finance expert Suze Orman; White House correspondent April Ryan; Poet Nikki Giovanni and more.”

Beejhy, who is the owner of Tsion Cafe, joins other respected harlem-local female restaurateurs (@safariharlem @chaiwaliharlem) at the WOW festival “as they bring together three cultures, all under the theme of “Bake Bread. Build Bridges,” stated the press release. “These women will be sharing their immigration stories, why they decided to bring these recipes to the Harlem community and the power of entrepreneurship.”

Beejhy who was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Israel has been a New York City resident for past 19 years. She is also the founder of BINA (Beta Israel of North America) organization as well as the annual Sheba Film festival.

“It is important for me to highlight Ethiopian culture and its rich heritage, and paying homage to my Jewish background,” Beejhy told Tadias in an interview when she opened Tsion four years ago. “I moved to New York in 2000, and after living and working here for a few years, I founded BINA as a way to create a platform to raise greater awareness about Ethiopian Jews.” She added: I started organizing events, film screenings, showcasing cuisine, stories, and music…but I always wanted a venue. And I always wanted something in Harlem; it’s historical, it has some connection to Ethiopia. I wanted to honor writers, artists, have readings and performances, and this place simply worked.”

“The legendary Apollo Theater — the soul of American culture — plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends,” note the organizers of the WOW Festival. “Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.”


If You Go:
Apollo Theatre – WOW Festival

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