Search Results for 'MISS'

Spotlight: In Florida Mekdelawit Messay, Ph.D. Student, is on a Mission to Study Equitable Water Sharing on the Nile

“Like every kid in Ethiopia, I grew up hearing in songs, stories, folklore and school how the Nile — Abay is its name back home — is our greatest resource—the beauty, the grace of Ethiopia, but also how we have not been able to use it," says Mekdelawit Messay, a Ph.D. Student at Florida International University, who is studying "Equitable Water Sharing" on the Nile. "I feel like I have found my niche in life." (FIU)

FIU News

Ph.D. student is on a mission to study equitable water sharing on the Nile

FIU Ph.D. student Mekdelawit Messay Deribe grew up in Ethiopia hearing about the Nile River and how it is such a crucial yet underutilized water resource.

When life on the Nile was poised to forever change with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in 2011, it became the source of Deribe’s inspiration to immerse herself in the water issues surrounding the river.

“Like every kid in Ethiopia, I grew up hearing in songs, stories, folklore and school how the Nile — Abay is its name back home — is our greatest resource—the beauty, the grace of Ethiopia, but also how we have not been able to use it, how it does not have a home at its source,” Deribe says. “So, there was always this dichotomous feeling of love and adoration for the Nile, as well as anger at not using our resource.”

Six years after the construction of the GERD began, Deribe found herself seriously researching Nile water issues and transboundary water use. She completed her master’s thesis on the subject and searched for Ph.D. programs that aligned with her passion. This is when she discovered FIU Institute of Environment and Department of Earth and Environment professor Assefa Melesse’s work on the Nile. It was a perfect fit.

Today, Deribe studies the long-term, sustainable and equitable use of transboundary waters specifically focused on the Nile Basin.

The Nile Basin is expected to be one of the most water-scarce areas in the world in the near future, she explains, so it is especially important to study transboundary water sharing in this area. The current situation in the basin is complex. Deribe explains further that, although the Nile is shared by 11 countries, historical water-sharing arrangements between Sudan and Egypt completely allocate the Nile water between these two countries, complicating the issue even more.

“The way we deal with utilization of the Nile drastically needs to change in the basin if we are collectively to have a sustainable future,” Deribe says. “My research is focused on finding ways to ensure that collective better future for the Basin.”

Deribe has been instrumental in supporting monthly, virtual Nile Talk Forums hosted by the Institute of Environment. She recently spoke on a panel at one of these forums, where she discussed the importance of transboundary collaboration in order to identify solutions for the equitable utilization of the Nile. She also presented her research at the annual FIU graduate symposium, earning third place for Outstanding Oral Presentation by a doctoral student.

“I feel like I have found my niche area—my calling in life—with researching and working on the Nile,” she says. “The Nile Basin has a long way to go in terms of ensuring equitable, long term, sustainable and climate-proof use of the shared water for all the Nile Basin countries and citizens.

“I believe there is a lot to be done in that avenue and I hope to contribute to that cause through my academic research and social advocacy. I love teaching, so I also hope to teach and give back to my country and people in a small way,” Deribe adds.

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From Ethiopia to MIT: How Aspirations Become Actions for Mussie Demisse

From Ethiopia to community college to MIT, Mussie Demisse ’21 is on a mission to use his love of learning to solve big problems. Demisse grew up in Ethiopia, where he’d been involved in the Ethiopian Space Science Society, and when he arrived in Boston after high school, that childhood passion brought him to the MIT Astrophysics Colloquia. (MIT News)

MIT News

Minutes before finding out he’d been accepted to MIT, Mussie Demisse ’21 was shaking Governor Charlie Baker’s hand. Demisse was at an awards ceremony at the Massachusetts State House, being honored as one of the 2018 “29 Who Shine,” a select group of graduates from the Commonwealth’s higher education system who’d made an impact at their institution and in the community. For Demisse, Bunker Hill Community College, where he’d spent the previous two years studying computer science, represented both. “I really matured there,” he says, explaining that, at one point, he’d held three jobs at the college while also serving on student government and participating in various academic clubs.

Bunker Hill was also where Demisse got his first peek at the rigorous yet vibrant nature of an MIT classroom and began picturing himself in such an environment. In a linear algebra course, Demisse’s professor, Jie Frye, would regularly give out challenging quizzes that piqued his curiosity. “As kind of a motivator she would tell us this is the same quiz that MIT students take,” he recalls. “They’re learning the same material, so don’t beat yourself up, be proud of what you’re able to accomplish.” Demisse asked where his professor had gotten the MIT quizzes.

The answer wasn’t a secret connection, it turned out, but something called MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW). “She was one of my favorite professors at Bunker Hill,” Demisse says. “She emphasized that it’s possible for us to pursue our dreams — which isn’t as much of a thing, I think, in community college. There’s a lot of stigma, and I feel like that sometimes keeps people from applying to things. She was very intentional about making sure that we knew we could, and we should try.”

Demisse says OCW wasn’t the first time his interests had led him to MIT. But it was the final push he needed to apply to the school that he’d long set his heart on. Demisse grew up in Ethiopia, where he’d been involved in the Ethiopian Space Science Society, and when he arrived in Boston after high school, that childhood passion brought him to the MIT Astrophysics Colloquia. Learning that the colloquia welcomed members of the public to their weekly events, Demisse attended for a few months. Though he admits that he could understand only the first 10 minutes or so of every talk, he says, “I saw a part of MIT that was very much about advancing knowledge — done in such a supportive and cooperative way that I thought to myself, ‘Wow, it would be really cool if I could be a part of this community.’”

After the materials on OCW showed him he had not only the drive but the aptitude to turn this dream into a reality, Demisse began researching initiatives like MIT D-Lab, the lab dedicated to designing solutions for tackling poverty, and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). “That’s when I said, it must be MIT,” he recalls.

Demisse graduated from MIT this spring with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. But before coming to Bunker Hill and embarking on the path that would lead him to MIT, Demisse longed for opportunities to apply himself in the ways that his linear algebra professor described — to turn his aspirations into actions.

Growing up, Demisse had witnessed the devastating effects of global inequalities like poverty. But Ethiopia was also, he explains, where he’d learned that, when you recognize a problem, it falls upon you to do something about it. When it came time to choose his major at Bunker Hill, Demisse had no shortage of motivation. He knew it’d have to be something that would allow him to serve not only the Ethiopian community but underprivileged communities around the world that share similar challenges. Computer science struck Demisse as the perfect intersection of his goals, interests, and abilities. “It’s kind of a claim of responsibility for the issues that I’ve lived through or seen people that I care about go through,” he says.

Through OCW, Demisse found another outlet to channel this desire to help others. “I became somewhat of an evangelist for OCW,” he says, remembering reaching out to friends in Ethiopia who were also looking for resources to make a difference in their communities.

“I especially targeted the ones that felt like they wanted more, but couldn’t get it,” Demisse says. “And it really made me happy to do that because this is the same complaint I had when I was back home — you acknowledge the problems you know you want to invest yourself in, and you know you can build the discipline, but sometimes you feel like there’s nowhere to exert that discipline, that motivation. And I think OCW and similar platforms really allow you to build your capabilities to do what you can to solve the problem that you think is most important.”

Demisse also credits OCW with preparing him for life as an MIT student. “I think professors at MIT have this way of highlighting how hundreds of years of knowledge was built out — this focus on intuition — in order for students to project into the future, for students to be the next discoverers,” he observes. “And in OCW I saw this. I began to grasp the importance of knowing more than just the facts. Coming to MIT, this was fostered so much more.”

At MIT, Demisse joined the African Students Association, where he found another community to inspire him. He participated in UROP, completing a project with MIT D-Lab, the lab that Demisse had dreamed of joining years before. He’s taken an entrepreneurship class that has given him the tools to think about building social ventures in Ethiopia. Demisse also joined the MIT OpenCourseWare Faculty Advisory Committee as an undergraduate representative.

Bringing insights from his own experiences to the committee, Demisse advocates for more student involvement in the future of OCW. If the goal of OCW is to capture and share with the world as much of MIT as possible, he explains, then engaging the student community is paramount. Demisse also emphasizes the need for OCW, and MIT more broadly, to continue pioneering the open education resources movement. Now that he’s graduated he plans to continue working with OCW, focusing on increasing collaboration with community colleges and increasing access to universities in Africa.

Ultimately, Demisse sees open education resources as a way to bring people hope — the same hope he felt when he opened the email from MIT Admissions offstage at the State House and saw the word “congratulations.”

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Video: U.S. Mission to the AU in Ethiopia

Jessica Lapenn (left) is the U.S. Ambassador to the African Union in Addis Ababa. This week Ambassador Lapenn, who is also the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Economic Commission for Africa, spoke to African students at the 2021 African Leadership Academy Model African Union Conference (ALAMAU), which is inspired by the similar Model UN program. Watch the video below. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Mission to AU)

Press Release

U.S. Mission to the African Union

Ambassador Lapenn addressed an amazing group of young African students at the opening ceremony of the African Leadership Academy Model African Union Conference (ALAMAU). ALAMAU is an annual conference for young leaders around Africa and across the world, simulating the activities of the AU. ALAMAU was established in 2013 as a platform for young leaders to develop practicable solutions to African developmental challenges through diplomacy and international cooperation, in a Model UN inspired format. Amb. Lapenn’s remarks focused on the importance of pan-Africanism and the huge role young people will have in shaping the future of Africa.

Video: ALAMAU 2021 Opening Ceremony (ALA Model African Union)

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NASA Set to Launch a Space Mission Named After ‘Lucy’ (Dinkinesh)

Lucy is named for the famous two-million-year-old fossil found in Ethiopia in the 1970s that, as a relative of modern humans, helped illuminate the evolution of our species. It is hoped that the spacecraft Lucy will similarly elucidate our solar system's earliest days. (Photo: An artist's concept of NASA's Lucy mission, which will study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids/Image credit: Southwest Research Institute)

Space.com

Lucy mission: NASA’s visit to the Trojan asteroids

The Lucy mission is a NASA probe scheduled to launch in October 2021 that will explore a set of asteroids near Jupiter known as the Trojans. These ancient space rocks hold important clues to the creation of our solar system and, potentially, the origin of life on Earth.

Along with a mission called Psyche, Lucy was approved in January 2017 as part of NASA’s Discovery program, which supports focused and relatively cheap planetary missions whose development costs are capped at around $450 million. A year after approval, the mission was officially given a schedule and a set of eight asteroid targets.

Lucy is named for a famous female Australopithecus afarensis fossil found in Ethiopia that, as a relative of modern humans, helped illuminate the evolution of our species. It is hoped that the spacecraft Lucy will similarly elucidate our solar system’s earliest days.

LUCY SPACECRAFT SIZE AND INSTRUMENTS

Lucy spans more than 46 feet (14 meters) from tip to tip, larger than a 4-story building, though much of that width will be the enormous solar panels used to power the spacecraft, according to NASA. The spacecraft will carry an instrument that can measure the surface temperatures of its target asteroids, providing information about their composition, two high-resolution cameras, and a device that uses infrared light to inspect and identify ice, organic material, and different minerals in each asteroid.

NASA is scheduled to launch Lucy on its 12-year mission in October 2021 on an Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida, according to the agency. The total cost to launch the spacecraft is approximately $148.3 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs.


An artist’s depiction of the Lucy spacecraft with extended solar panels, studying asteroids. (Image credit: SwRI)

LUCY MISSION TARGETS: THE TROJAN ASTEROIDS

The probe’s main objects of study are the Trojan asteroids. These objects are thought to be remnants from the primordial disk that formed the sun and planets, which were captured by Jupiter’s gravity sometime near the beginning of the solar system.

Lucy will be the first mission to visit the Trojans, which are each named for famous figures from the Trojan war in Greek mythology.

According to NASA, the Trojans share Jupiter’s orbit around the sun in two loose groups, with one set slightly ahead of the gas giant and another behind it. “The Trojans are stabilized by the sun and its largest planet in a gravitational balancing act,” the agency wrote.

After being launched from Earth, the spacecraft will first make a quick flyby of a main belt asteroid in 2025. The small space rock is named 52246 Donaldjohanson after the paleontologist who discovered the fossil Lucy. Situated between Mars and Jupiter, the fly-by will serve primarily as a test for the spacecraft’s instruments, according to the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), which helps oversee the craft.


A diagram of Lucy’s itinerary among the Trojan asteroids that trail and lead Jupiter. (Image credit: Southwest Research Institute)

If all goes according to plan, between 2027 and 2033, Lucy will then fly past six Trojan asteroids, including three different asteroid subclasses and two objects that rotate around each other. NASA has said that “no other space mission in history has been launched to as many different destinations in independent orbits around our sun.”

The mission’s targets include C-type, D-type, and P-type asteroids, each of which will help scientists better understand the solar system’s genesis, according to SwRI.

WHAT ARE C-TYPE ASTEROIDS?

Lucy will fly by two C-type asteroids: the previously mentioned main asteroid belt object Donaldjohanson and a Trojan named Eurybates.

C-type asteroids are rich in carbon and are where most meteorites on Earth originated. The OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa 2 missions have previously collected samples from C-type asteroids to bring back to our planet for study.

WHAT ARE D-TYPE AND P-TYPE ASTEROIDS?

It will also inspect two D-type asteroids, which are named Leucus and Orus, and three P-type asteroids, one named Polymele and a binary asteroid pair orbiting one another called Patroclus and Menoetius.

D-type and P-type asteroids are much redder than C-type asteroids and are hypothesized to be rich in organic and volatile elements. No mission has ever flown past a D- or P-type asteroid before.

The asteroids are expected to provide a wealth of information, especially about the organic material that would have rained down on our planet in its earliest days and potentially helped trigger the creation of living organisms. Each target is also thought to contain water ice underneath its rocky surface.

The final encounter with Patroclus and Menoetius is considered particularly special because the pair spend most of their time orbiting high above the main ecliptic plane of the solar system and are therefore hard to reach. The elusive asteroid pair will be passing through a region that is accessible to Lucy in March of 2033, when the spacecraft is scheduled to reach them.

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Addisu Demissie Named University of Chicago Institute of Politics Fellow

Addisu Demissie recently served as Senior Advisor to U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden and was responsible for organizing the 2020 Democratic Convention last month. He has been named a University of Chicago Institute of Politics Pritzker Fellow. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: August 14th, 2020

New York (TADIAS) — Addisu Demissie — who recently served as Senior Advisor for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and was responsible for organizing the 2020 Democratic Convention — is headed to University of Chicago this month as the Institute of Politics (IOP) Fall 2020 Resident Pritzker Fellow. As part of this fellowship, Addisu will “interact with students and faculty, participate in speaker series events, and, along with guests, lead off-the-record students-only seminars on current political and public policy topics at the IOP.”

According to the University of Chicago, each academic quarter the IOP Fellows program brings a diverse group of professionals from the political world including public officials, policymakers, diplomats, activists and journalists to lead seminars as well as pursue their own individual projects.

As a Fall 2020 Resident Fellow Addisu joins four other individuals including James Bennet, former Editorial Page Editor for The New York Times; Jelani Cobb, Staff Writer at the New Yorker Magazine; Scott Jennings, CNN Political Contributor, Republican Strategist, and Founding Partner of RunSwitch Public Relations; and Samantha Vinograd, CNN National Security Analyst.


(Courtesy photos)

“Each Fellows class brings a variety of perspectives and experiences to our students, ranging across different ideologies, professional sectors, and geographic areas,” the University stated on its website. “The IOP Pritzker Fellows Program presents a unique opportunity for political professionals to learn and grow.”

In addition to managing the historic 2020 Democratic Convention Addisu is also a Principal & Co-Founder of 50+1 Strategies, a California-based consulting firm, where he managed several prominent campaigns including Cory Booker’s 2013 Senate campaign as well as his 2020 presidential campaign, Gavin Newsom’s 2018 campaign for California governor, and working as National Director of Voter Outreach for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Addisu’s first got involved in politics working with John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign while he was a Yale Law School student.

Below is Addisu’s bio courtesy of the University of Chicago:

Addisu Demissie

Fall 2020 Resident Fellow

Democratic Strategist And Founding Principal Of 50+1 Strategies

Addisu Demissie is a Founding Principal of 50+1 Strategies with nearly 20 years of professional experience in political advocacy and campaign strategy. He has led campaigns at the national, state, and local level for electoral, nonprofit, and corporate clients. Addisu currently serves as Senior Advisor to the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee and to More Than A Vote, a non-profit organization dedicated to Black political empowerment co-founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.

Addisu is an experienced campaign manager, having run successful campaigns for U.S. Senator Cory Booker in 2013 and California Governor Gavin Newsom in 2018 and, most recently, serving as the campaign manager for Booker’s run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. His first love is developing and implementing sophisticated community organizing programs, which he has done in three presidential campaigns for John Kerry in 2004, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008, and Clinton again in 2016.

Following President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, Addisu was selected as the first National Political Director for the President’s political organization Organizing for America. Later that year, the Washington Post named him one of the “Ten Young Black Aides To Watch” in the Obama Administration. At OFA, he played a key role in mobilizing and coordinating grassroots support for the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal student loan reform, and the Affordable Care Act. Addisu also served as Senior Advisor to California Assembly member David Chiu’s 2011 mayoral campaign and as the general consultant for several California municipal, initiative, and independent expenditure campaigns during the 2012 and 2014 campaign cycles.

Addisu is a 2001 graduate of Yale University, 2008 graduate of Yale Law School, and a member of the state Bar of California. In his spare time, he likes to run in the California sun and watch sports of any and every kind, especially his hometown Atlanta Braves and adopted hometown Golden State Warriors. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife Jill.

Related:

Interview With Addisu Demissie: Senior Adviser to Joe Biden

Biden Selects Yohannes Abraham as Member of Transition Team

Interview: Helen Amelga, California Senate Field Rep & Founder of Ethiopian Democratic Club of LA

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Interview With Addisu Demissie: Senior Adviser to Joe Biden

Addisu Demissie currently serves as Senior Advisor to U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, and is responsible for organizing the nominating convention for the Democratic Party that is scheduled to open on August 17th, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo: 50+1 Strategies)

Tadias Magazine

By Tseday Alehegn

Updated: August 10th, 2020

Interview With Addisu Demissie: Senior Adviser to Joe Biden

New York (TADIAS) — As the Democratic Party prepares to officially nominate Joe Biden as its candidate to become the next President of the United States, veteran campaign strategist Addisu Demissie is the person in charge of putting together the nominating convention that kicks off on August 17th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The convention — one of the most anticipated American political events during a presidential election season — promises to be nothing but traditional this year amid the growing Coronavirus pandemic, which makes Addisu’s role all the more challenging and historic.

“My job is essentially to produce the convention,” Addisu told Tadias in a recent interview. “I do everything from the program, to the budget management, to fundraising, to political relations with members of Congress or with Governors or what have you.” He added: “It’s kind of a little bit of everything. No one day is like any other, that’s for sure. We’re trying to produce a convention in the midst of a pandemic. It’s gonna be nothing like anything anyone has ever done before, but we have a mission – and that is to present Joe Biden to the country. He is somebody who has been in public life for 40 years, but still people need a better sense of who he is and what he’s fighting for.”

Addisu, who is also a Principal & Co-Founder of 50+1 Strategies, a California-based consulting firm, comes armed with years of campaign experience including managing Senator Cory Booker’s 2013 Senate campaign and more recently his presidential campaign, as well as Gavin Newsom’s 2018 campaign for California governor, and working as National Director of Voter Outreach for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Addisu’s first got involved in politics when he joined Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign prior to attending law school.

“I went back to school thinking I’d be leaving campaigns and go back to my original path, which was to be a civil rights lawyer, but I discovered that I missed the campaign,” Addisu said. “So all during law school I worked on campaigns. And then I graduated in 2008 and basically it was ‘do I go become a lawyer or do I go back into politics’ and I decided to go back to politics. Friends that I had worked with on campaigns starting in 2003 connected me and I ended up working on Obama presidential campaign’s as Get-Out-The-Vote Director in Ohio. That was really the fork in the road for me in terms of my career path.”

Below is our full interview with Addisu Demissie:

TADIAS: Please tell us a bit about yourself, where you grew up and were raised, your focus in school and college.

Addisu Demissie: I was born in Windsor in Ontario, Canada. My mother’s side is Black American and my grandmother is Black Canadian. My father’s side is Ethiopian. My dad came to Windsor to attend college and met my mother. I was raised in Toronto until the age of 11 and then became a U.S. citizen and moved to Atlanta, which became my first home in America. For high school I attended a boarding school in Massachusetts and then attended Yale for undergraduate studies. I grew up steeped in Ethiopian culture as well as American and Canadian. I’m Canadian by birth, American by choice and Ethiopian by ethnicity, history and tradition.

TADIAS: What were some early experiences that made you decide that you wanted to study political science in college, go to law school and then become active in state and national political campaigns?

Addisu: I actually started out as pre-med student in college. I was into math and sciences my whole schooling years, but I took a law class about civil rights during my sophomore year in college and I found myself liking it a lot more than I did my science classes. In my junior year I started asking myself “am I doing math and science because I’ve been doing it for 12 years or do I actually want to be a doctor or scientist?” I realized that I didn’t really want it anymore and basically took political science courses through my junior and senior years to get a political science degree. When I graduated from college I moved to Washington D.C. to work for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. That was my first job out of college and it started me on my path in politics.

I ended up in Washington because I had taken a class in the fall semester of my senior year with a Connecticut Supreme Court Justice named Flemming Norcott, who taught a civil rights law course about Blacks and the law, which was seminal in my life and I wanted to work for the NAACP legal defense fund. By spring semester of my senior year I found a job opening at LDF and while I didn’t get the job that I had applied for in New York I received an offer from the Executive Director to work in Washington D.C.

TADIAS: You’ve worked on several presidential campaigns as well as served as Political Director of the Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America project in 2009. What are some of the memorable highlights and lessons learned?

Addisu: I worked for the 2004 Kerry campaign before going to law school. I went back to school thinking I’d be leaving campaigns and go back to my original path, which was to be a civil rights lawyer, but I discovered that I missed campaign. So all during law school I worked on campaigns. And then I graduated in 2008 and basically it was ‘do I go become a lawyer or do I go back into politics’ and I decided to go back to politics. Friends that I had worked with on campaigns starting in 2003 connected me and I ended up becoming Obama campaign’s Get-Out-The-Vote Director in Ohio. That was really the fork in the road for me in terms of my career path.

TADIAS: As Principal of 50+1 Strategies you successfully led as Campaign Manager for Cory Booker and Gavin Newsom’s campaigns among other candidates. Can you share more about what motivated you to found your own organization?

Addisu: I started my own organization in 2011. I was getting married and my wife wanted to move to California, so I left Washington D.C. in 2010, and in the middle of 2011 I decided to start my own firm and figure out how I was going to continue working in politics and campaigns without having to keep flying to different places around the country to run campaigns. I started seeking out clients and doing it on my own. I currently have two big clients — one is the upcoming Democratic Convention and working for Biden’s campaign and the other is a new organization called More Than a Vote.

TADIAS: You are now Senior Advisor for presidential candidate Joe Biden and working on the 2020 Democratic Convention. Can you tell us more about your current work?

Addisu: My job is essentially to produce the convention, which starts on August 17th. I do everything from the program, to the budget management, to fundraising, to political relations with members of Congress or with Governors or what have you. It’s kind of a little bit of everything. No one day is like any other that’s for sure. We’re trying to produce a convention in the midst of a pandemic. It’s gonna be nothing like anything anyone has ever done before, but we have a mission – and that is to present Joe Biden to the country. He is somebody who has been in public life for 40 years, but still people need a better sense of who he is and what he’s fighting for. The job of the convention, every year, and especially this year, is to communicate that to the country and to the world. And I’m in charge of helping to make that happen.

TADIAS: You’ve also focused on fighting voter suppression with the organization More Than a Vote. Can you share more about their focus and how others can get more informed and involved?

Addisu: This is my other big client, and once the convention ends, it will be my main client as I want to put a lot of work into it for obvious reasons. I got connected through people I know who put me in touch with Maverick Carter who runs James LeBron’s organization as well as Adam Mendelsohn who is his Communications Advisor. And they had been talking about this idea with LeBron and others to have a coalition of athletes that can engage politically. They wanted someone to help lead the organization and I feel that I am the right person because you need someone who understands politics and understands campaigns and at the same time it’s as much a cultural movement as it is a political one. We’re trying to use culturally relevant figures to create politically relevant content that’s authentic, that’s grounded and real and raw. We got it off the ground in June, largely to be honest because of the murder of George Floyd and Breona Taylor and others, which galvanized athletes to action and wanted to put their voices together and lift it up, in this moment and beyond, on behalf of black people in America. So that is what we are doing. We’re building an organization just like any other, any union or political organization that exists out there to advocate for people – these are just people who have as big a platform as anyone and as loud a voice as anybody to make change. And they are ready to use it, and I’m ready to help them do it.

TADIAS: Who are the mentors who have inspired and encouraged you to blaze your trail?

Addisu: My dad obviously. He died five and half years ago. He was always supportive and proud of what I was doing. I would say he was initially confused when I switched my major from biochemistry to political science in college, and very confused when I decided to move to Iowa to work for John Kerry. I was gonna be a doctor, and then I scrapped that. And then I got a law degree and he was like “phew, he’s back on track.” Then I went back to politics and he was like “what the hell are you doing?” But I think once he saw me work for Obama and go to the White House and run Corey Booker’s campaign for Senate (the first one I ran) – he was like ‘okay I get that this is an actual career and actual profession and I appreciate it,’ and he was always great and definitely encouraging and supportive.

Professionally, Ben Jealous helped me get my first job on the Kerry campaign, and has been someone that I’ve stayed in touch with and has been helpful to me. I definitely look up to him as a justice warrior and he is a great guy. Terry McAulife, Former Governor of Virginia, who was my boss in 2004, taught me a lot about politics and about how to treat people and how to be a leader when he was the DNC Chair and I was his assistant. He has really been a great mentor to me. Corey Booker is certainly on that list too. He’s someone I look up to as a person of character. He’s a real mentor. I’ve ran his campaign for Senate and President, and he’s somebody who models good behavior as a public figure and somebody who has not compromised his values or his character to get to very high places in politics. There is this public image, and sometimes a private one as well, about the need to be a backstabbing, manipulative person to get ahead in politics and I actually don’t believe that. And Corey and Terry are proof of that. They’re just good people..people of high character, and good moral values who are in it for the right reasons. I’d like to think of myself as that and I’ve also tried to model myself after the way they conduct themselves and I definitely look up to both of them.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve had many people open doors for me like Elaine Jones when she was head of NAACP legal defense fund. My whole career wouldn’t have happened without her if she hadn’t spotted me and said, “you know what, you should go to Washington. You’ll be really good at this if you just get the opportunity.” I think I was 20 years old when I interviewed with her. Leslie Proll, who was also my boss at LDF, is someone that I still keep in touch with and who remains a big champion for me. To have people want to help you at a young age and see something in you, and want to lift you up, and put you in positions to succeed is a pretty cool thing. I’ve been lucky to have that at basically every stage of my career.

TADIAS: What do you like most about your work? What are the challenges?

Addisu: As I’ve gotten older what I really like about it is that every day I feel like I’m making a difference, which I know sounds trite, but every time I’ve tried to go into a profession or a job that doesn’t have a mission-driven basis then I fail. Money is not enough of a motivator for me, prestige is not a big enough motivator for me. I need mission. I need purpose in my professional work – what gets me up in the morning is doing mission-based work. I work 16 to17 hours a day right now because I got these two huge projects that I’m leading, but I don’t care because I love it. I feel like I’m changing the world. And when I see people like Corey introduce legislation or Gavin do something great here in California I’m like “you know what? I helped to put them there.” When Barack Obama got elected and passed the Affordable Care Act I may have had a very small piece in the broad scheme of things in doing it but I know that I did something that helped move the ball forward and that is what motivates me.

I think the challenge of this work is, first of all, there are very long and difficult hours and most of it is not glamourous. It’s very hard relational work that you put a lot of labor into, and so you’re really tired on a physical and emotional level if you do this work every day. It’s also slow, you don’t get everything that you want. You know, this moment even now that we’re in with George Floyd and the BLM movement gaining power, rightly so, it feels like I’ve seen this movie before and I’m thinking ‘is this gonna be the time where it has a different ending or not?’ I don’t know. But you gotta have hope that it is. Every once in a while you get your Affordable Care Acts, but more often than not you get nothing. And you gotta remember those wins, so that the losses that we had in 2016 or the one I had with Corey’s presidential campaign don’t land so hard, because you lose more often than you win or you get half wins. Pure victories are very rare. Election night 2008 was one of the greatest nights of my life, but I don’t think I’ve had that feeling in politics more than five times. That sort of ‘we did it’ pure, joy, bliss and feeling like we accomplished exactly what we set out to accomplish – it doesn’t happen very often. You’re reaching for that every day but in 20 years it has come five times – that’s few and far between. Oftentimes you have little wins that accumulate, and you gotta celebrate those, and ultimately something good happens at the end of the rainbow.

TADIAS: Your mission and work and the choices you made – your story is a brand new story for us. What advice would you give the young generation. What message would you share with them in terms of moving from being “interested in politics and political campaigns” to actually doing the footwork. Not just getting engaged themselves but getting communities mobilized?

Addisu: I think the key thing that I’ve learned in both doing it and now being in senior roles is how important ‘just doing it’ is. The people who stand out, and grow, and who succeed and ascend in this business, it’s a meritocracy. Hard work and throwing yourself into it and not looking for glory is what really pays off. And also, start your own thing. We’ve seen with the March for our Lives, the Women’s March that a lot of it is grassroots-driven. It’s just people saying “I’m sick of it, I’m doing it myself. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’ll figure it out while I go along.”

The entrepreneurial spirit in our community, and many others, is there when it comes to business, but it’s not there when it comes to politics. Both Yohannes [Abraham] and I, we both started at the bottom. We didn’t try to jump in at the middle, or get jobs that have fancy titles. We were field organizers, which is the lowest on the totem pole when it comes to campaigns, but you gotta start there. Everybody starts there, that’s how you learn. That’s how you meet people. That’s how you grow your network. That’s how you get into positions that we are in right now after years of toiling. And you can’t rush that process. It happens fast if you let it happen but if you force it, it doesn’t happen. Think about Yohannes he went from being a field organizer in Iowa in 2007 to running the transition in 2020. That’s not that long, and frankly four years ago he was running the biggest office in the White House. That’s what you can actually do in this business. But you gotta start somewhere and learn it.

Tseday Alehegn is Co-Founder & Editor of Tadias.

Related:

Biden Selects Yohannes Abraham as Member of Transition Team

Interview: Helen Amelga, California Senate Field Rep & Founder of Ethiopian Democratic Club of LA

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Ethiopia’s Missing Students: Families’ Pain and the Unsolved Mystery (BBC News)

Belaynesh has been missing since December. (BBC News, Amharic)

BBC News

By Firehiwot Kassa

Ethiopia’s Missing Students: Families’ Pain and the Unsolved Mystery

“We are grieving. I can’t stop thinking about her. The entire family can’t eat,” a visibly pained Mare Abebe told the BBC.

She is worried about Belaynesh Mekonnen, a first-year economics student at Ethiopia’s Dembi Dolo University, who was kidnapped last December, along with 17 of her colleagues.

As Belaynesh’s guardian, Ms Mare is distraught for the girl, whom she said she had raised despite many challenges.

“We are in pain. She is a good girl, so caring, but now we don’t know where she is. We don’t know whether she is alive.

“I never thought this could happen to her, even in my dreams,” she said, her voice cracking.

On 4 December last year, an unknown group of people blocked a bus and kidnapped students on board who were leaving for home from Dembi Dolo University in western Ethiopia.

The students, mostly ethnic Amharas, were fleeing ethnic violence and threats in the university that is located in Oromia region.

A total of 18 students – 14 women and four men – were ordered out of the vehicle at Sudi near Gambela city, about 100km (60 miles) from Dembi Dolo.

Belaynesh was among the 17 who had been reported missing, after one of the students, Asmira Shumiye, managed to escape.

Read more »


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Spotlight: Antu Yacob Promotes New Short Film ‘Love in Submission’

Actor and writer Antu Yacob is one of the producers of an upcoming short film entitled 'Love in Submission.' (Photo: Antu Yacob pictured here with producer Tara Gadomski/Facebook).

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

October 28th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — “I grew up watching television and film in a time when no one really looked like me on the screen,” says Antu Yacob who is one of the producers of an upcoming short film entitled Love in Submission. “That’s starting to change now, which is a wonderful thing. We are acknowledging that representation really does matter.”

Antu, who teaches Acting at Rutgers University and Baruch College, has been at the forefront of taking on characters both in film and theatre that highlight her immigrant roots as well as her upbringing in the United States. Her works include her memorable 2016 performance in her one person Ethio-American play In the Gray that was staged in New York City, as part of the Women in Theatre Festival. In the play Antu plays several engaging characters including herself, her son, as well as her Oromo Muslim mother who lives in Minnesota. Antu was also invited to perform the play at the 2017 United Solo, which is the world’s largest solo theatre festival held annually in New York City.

“I also feel that we need to expand the lens in which we present women of African descent as well as women who practice Islam,” Antu says in a video announcement regarding her latest movie project. “And that’s what our short film is tackling.” She adds: “The two main characters are strong female characters who practice the same faith, but they are very different from one another, they have nuances and they are multi-dimensional, which is very important to me as a storyteller, and important to our production team.”

The announcement states that Love in Submission “is an intimate and compelling short film following two Muslim women meeting each other for the first time.” (Screenplay by Munirah Bishop & Antu Yacob; Directed by Lande Yoosuf, Starring Kianne Muschett & Antu Yacob; Producers: Tara Gadomski, Cirenia Reyes, Adrian Luke Sinclair, Antu Yacob).


You can learn more and support the film at https://fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/love-in-submission.

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PM Abiy Commissions Artist Elias Sime for New Public Garden at National Palace

Elias Sime’s garden under construction. (COURTESY JAMES COHAN GALLERY)

ARTNEWS

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Commissions Artist Elias Sime for New Public Garden at Historically Off-Limits National Palace

Elias Sime, an Ethiopian artist well known at home and ascendant internationally for works involving intricately woven tangles of reclaimed electrical wires and other materials that come to look like paintings from afar, is building a large public garden for the Grand National Palace in Addis Ababa that once served as the home of emperor Haile Selassie. The project came to fruition after Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed visited Zoma, an ambitious complex of buildings and gardens in the city devoted to exhibitions of contemporary art and indigenous-architectural education as imagined by Sime and anthropologist Meskerem Assegued.

As James Cohan, whose New York–based gallery represents Sime, recalled of the prime minister, “Once he saw it, literally the next day he called Elias up and said, ‘You need to come to the grounds of the royal palace, which I’m going to open to the public for the first time since 1976. It will become our national pride, and you need to build a garden for us.’”

That visit some three months ago led to work that has continued around the clock on a 30,000-square-foot garden expected to be completed in six months. “They’re carving pieces of stone with wavelike rhythmic forms,” Cohan said, “and he’s carving stone for the walls.” More than 300 workers are involved, and “the prime minister visits on a daily basis and has brought numerous visiting international diplomats and dignitaries to see progress,” Cohan added.

In a written statement, Sime—who is working on the project with his partner in Zoma—told ARTnews, “Anyone can be commissioned to build, but being trusted by the Prime Minster, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, with love to build our dream in one of the most prestigious places is special. What Meskerem Assegued and I are building is meant to give love to anyone as much as we loved building it.”

Read more »


Related:

Elias Sime Set for Major U.S. Museum Shows in NY, Ohio and Kansas (TADIAS)

Noiseless: Elias Sime’s New Exhibition Opens in NYC

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Meet Daniel Bekele: The New Chief at Ethiopian Human Rights Commission

Daniel Bekele is the new Commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. Previously he served as a senior Advisor at Amnesty and as the Africa Director at Human Rights Watch in New York. (Photo: by Patricia Williams)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Published: July 3rd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Daniel Bekele, formerly a Senior Advisor at Amnesty International and the Africa Director at Human Rights Watch in New York, has been appointed as the new head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called Daniel a “seasoned human rights advocate and lawyer” congratulating him following his appointment by parliament on Tuesday. In a Twitter post Abiy also noted that “independent, credible and strong democratic institutions play a vital role in ensuring multiparty democracy and respect for human rights.” Daniel replaces the outgoing Commissioner Dr. Addisu Gebregziabher.

Prior to his experience at Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch “Daniel practiced law in Ethiopia as a partner at Abebe Worke & Associates,” according to his bio shared by HRW. “He served as the Legal Department Director as well as Secretary of the Board for United Insurance Co., and he managed Action Aid Ethiopia’s policy research and advocacy departments.”

HRW adds: “Daniel has extensively consulted with non-governmental organizations including Oxfam, ARTICLE 19, Freedom House, and PACT, as well as with USAID and the World Bank. He has worked in varying capacities with numerous civil society organizations, and led the national-level campaign for the Global Call to Action against Poverty. Daniel’s focus includes promoting African civil society organizations, human rights, and good governance. In the 2005 parliamentary elections in Ethiopia, Daniel was actively involved in promoting human rights, and independent election monitoring, as well as peace initiatives in the aftermath of the post-election crisis. However, he was arrested by the authorities and spent more than two years in prison. He was internationally recognized as a prisoner of conscience, and in 2009 received the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, and in 2010 was nominated for the Martin Ennals Human Rights Defenders Award and the Index Freedom of Expression Award. Daniel received a Bachelor’s in Law and a Master’s in Regional Development Studies from Addis Ababa University and a Master’s in Legal Studies from Oxford University, where he is completing a PhD in International Law.”


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What You May Have Missed: Ethiopian Scholars Discuss UN Peace Keeping

Left: Awol K. Allo is Lecturer in Law at Keele University in the UK. Right: Dr Mehari Taddele Maru is a Robert Schuman Fellow at the Migration Policy Centre in Italy. (Photos: LSE and MPC)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Published: June 7th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – In recognition of “International Day of UN Peacekeepers” last week Al Jazeera’s Inside Story TV program held a timely discussion highlighting how a budget crisis at the United Nations could undermine the missions carried out by the ‘Blue Helmets’ around the world including next door to Ethiopia in South Sudan and other neighboring countries.

Al Jazeera noted: “The UN Secretary-General says the peacekeeping budget is two billion dollars short because member states are not paying their share on time. The United States, the biggest contributor, owes more than one billion. Recent peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Africa have also been implicated in controversies. So, what can be done to improve the system of protecting the world’s most vulnerable?”

Among the guests invited to discuss this issue included Ethiopian scholars Awol K Allo, Lecturer in Law at Keele University in England, and Dr Mehari Taddele Maru, who is a Robert Schuman Fellow at the Migration Policy Centre in Italy. The program also included Mark Goldberg, the Editor of the UN and global affairs news website, UN Dispatch.

Watch: Who should pay for the world’s peacekeepers? | Inside Story


Related:

Ethiopian PM visits Sudan in bid to mediate crisis (AP)

Just in via Ethiopia Observer: An Ethiopian journalist who travelled to Canada for work disappeared

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We Miss President Obama: Reflection

Despite what the fork-tongued haters in our community may say (always mixing apples and oranges) in order to promote themselves most of us here in the Ethiopian Diaspora respect and admire President Obama and his place in American history as the first African American president of the United States. If it wasn't for African Americans and their past and present struggle none of us would be enjoying the freedoms that we take for granted today. Below is a great recent article titled 'Waiting for Obama' by the Atlantic magazine showing why the former U.S. president is loved and appreciated by many Americans. (Getty Images)

The Atlantic

Waiting for Obama

Barack Obama is literally more popular than Jesus among Democrats. Unfortunately, neither the former president nor any of the party’s 23 candidates currently seeking the 2020 nomination know quite what to do with that information.

Of course, before any serious endorsement conversation can commence, Obama has to finish his book (between rounds of golf and raising millions for his foundation). The writing has been going more slowly than he’d expected, and according to several people who have spoken with him, the 44th president is feeling competitive with his wife, whose own book, Becoming, was the biggest release of 2018 and is on track to be the best-selling memoir in history. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, like others in this story, these sources note he’ll occasionally say in conversation that he’s writing this book himself, while Michelle used a ghostwriter. He’s also trying to balance the historical and political needs of a project that will be up to his standards as a writer, and not 1,000 pages long. Obama’s research process has been intense and convoluted, and it’s still very much ongoing, from the legal pads he had shipped to Marlon Brando’s old island in French Polynesia, where he spent a month in March 2017, to the interviews that aides have been conducting with former members of his administration to jog and build out memories…

As with Becoming, this book will have more than a standard release. Aides expect Obama to go on tour, with a rush of interviews in which he’ll be expected to talk not just about what he’s written, but about Trump and whatever political news is unfolding that day. When that conversation has come up internally, according to people involved in the discussions, he often says simply, “I can handle it.”

Read more »


Related:
Photos: President Obama Becomes First Sitting U.S. President to Visit Ethiopia – July 2015

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Spotlight: Two Timely U.S. Conferences on Ethiopia That You May Have Missed

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. (Photo via @fanatelevision/Twitter)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: May 24th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Last month two timely conferences were held in Washington, D.C. reflecting on current Ethiopian affairs and the marathon political and economic reforms being undertaken under the new administration of PM Abiy Ahmed, which should have received more media attention.

The first conference titled “Ethiopia’s Democratic opening One Year Later: Looking Back and Looking Ahead” was organized by The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a private nonprofit foundation that has played a valuable role during the long years of struggle for democracy in Ethiopia including awarding fellowships to former opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa — who is now the head of Ethiopia’s Election Board — as well as academic scholar and former prisoner of conscience Dr. Merera Gudina, among others.

Participants of the recent NED gathering included Seife Ayalew, Executive Director of the African Civic Leadership Program, Ltd; Yoseph Badwaza, Senior Program Officer for Ethiopia at Freedom House; Kassahun Follo, Executive Director of the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU); and Obang Metho, Founder and Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia. The panel “examined the success, opportunities, and challenges of Ethiopia’s democratic transformation” in this past year.

Watch: Ethiopia’s Democratic Opening One Year Later: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

The second program titled “Building a Big Tent for Agricultural Transformation in Ethiopia” was held on April 24th and hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a bipartisan and nonprofit policy research organization exploring “current endeavors, and future challenges” of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA).

According to CSIS, the keynote delivered by ATA CEO Khalid Bomba was followed by a panel discussion that included Getachew Diriba, Independent Consultant on Agricultural Development; Beth Dunford, Assistant to the Administrator at USAID; and Sara Boettiger, Senior Advisor at Center for Agricultural Transformation, McKinsey & Company, which compared and contrasted “Ethiopia’s experience in agricultural transformation to that of other countries” and explored “the role that donors like the United States government can play to support such efforts for country-led development.”

Listen to Audio: Building a Big Tent for Agricultural Transformation in Ethiopia


Related:
In Pictures: DC Event on Ethiopia’s Digital Economy

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A CNN Hero, A Midwife, MeTooEthiopia: 3 Great News Stories You May Have Missed

(Photos: CNN Hero Freweini Mebrahtu, midwife Selamawit Lake and image from Shades of Injera Instagram)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: May 10th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – A CNN Hero from Ethiopia, an award-wining midwife, and the burgeoning #MeTooEthiopia movement that began as an Instagram post launched by an Ethiopian American activist in the Diaspora are among the timely human-interest stories that have received international coverage this week, but unfortunately has garnered very little media attention in our community.

Below are brief summaries and links to each story:

CNN Hero Freweini Mebrahtu

CNN celebrated Freweini Mebrahtu, a U.S.-educated chemical engineer and owner of the Mariam Seba Sanitary Products factory in Ethiopia — that produces its own patented reusable menstrual pad — as its 2019 CNN Hero for her efforts in creating public awareness about women’s health in the country and dispelling the traditionally negative perception surrounding menstruation.

“More than 80% of the pads she manufactures are sold to non-governmental organizations that distribute them for free,” CNN notes. “Mebrahtu, also worked for years to end the stigma around this issue by speaking to students at schools.”

As Freweini told CNN: “The whole goal was not only making the pads, but also attacking the cultural baggage to it.”

Read more »

Award-wining Midwife Selamawit Lake Fenta

NPR featured a Q&A session with Ethiopian Midwife Selamawit Lake Fenta who was named one of this year’s five champions by the International Confederation of Midwives.

According to NPR, “the group picked the five from nominations submitted by members from 122 countries. The goal was to honor midwives who’ve made an impact in their community. Fenta, 30, works at the Tibebe Ghion Hospital in Bahir Dar City in Ethiopia and is the department head and a lecturer of midwifery at Bahir Dar University.”

NPR also noted that eight year ago, when Selamawit was just 22-years-old, she led a crusade for higher pay for midwives in Ethiopia, where a majority of her colleagues earn about $56 to $84 a month. “We are not paid fairly,” Selamawit said.

Read more »

#MeTooEthiopia: ‘Assault is a crime, not a culture’

Public Radio International (PRI) recently highlighted the growing online campaign under the hashtag #MeTooEthiopia, which started out on the Instagram page called “Shades of Injera” in 2014 before it was transformed into a global platform for the rights of Ethiopian women a few months ago following the release of the explosive documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly.’

Describing efforts to promote #MeTooEthiopia PRI noted that: “on International Women’s Day this year the page featured the face of the country’s first female president photoshopped onto an image of Rosie the Riveter.”

PRI spoke with one of the Ethiopian Americans running the Instagram page who declined to share her real name — and goes by ‘S’ in the interview “because she wants to continue to post questions and speak freely about sensitive topics” and “has received threats over things she’s posted.”

PRI adds: “S. says the R. Kelly documentary made her ask, “Who are the men in their own Ethiopian community who prey on younger women?” Within days, hundreds of women and some men began sharing their own stories of sexual assault. “Everyone was saying, ‘I’ve actually never shared this before. This is my first time saying it,’” says S. “People were desperate to do something and, you know, get their story out.” The response was so overwhelming that they created a separate website called #MeTooEthiopia with the tagline, “assault is a crime, not a culture.”


Related:
Spotlight: #MeTooEthiopia “Assault is a Crime, not a Culture”

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Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Campaign

Addisu Demissie will run the 2020 US Presidential Campaign of Senator Cory Booker. (Photo: 50+1 Strategies)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 4th, 2019

Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign

New York (TADIAS) — U.S. Political Consultant Addisu Demissie has been hired to manage the 2020 presidential campaign of Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey who announced his candidacy for the White House on Friday, February 1st.

Addisu, an Ethiopian American, is a graduate of Yale University as well as the law school. This past November he managed California Governor Gavin Newsom’s winning campaign. In 2016 Addisu was the National Voter Outreach Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Prior to that he successfully led Cory Booker’s election in 2013 as he ran for Senator in New Jersey. Addisu started his campaign management and community mobilization career as the Ohio Get Out The Vote Director for Obama for America in 2008.

Addisu who currently lives in Oakland, California is also the Founding Principal of 50+1 Strategies, a national political consulting firm launched in 2012.

Below is Addisu’s bio courtesy of 50+1 Strategies:

“Addisu’s first love is developing and implementing sophisticated community organizing programs, which he has done during three presidential campaign cycles in 2004, 2008, and 2016. Following President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, Addisu was selected as the first National Political Director for the President’s political organization Organizing for America. Later that year, the Washington Post named him one of the “Ten Young Black Aides To Watch” in the Obama Administration. At OFA, Demissie played a key role in mobilizing and coordinating grassroots support for the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal student loan reform, and the Affordable Care Act. In the years since, Addisu served as Senior Advisor to California Assemblymember David Chiu’s 2011 mayoral campaign; as the general consultant for several California municipal, initiative, and independent expenditure campaigns during the 2012 campaign cycle, and as Campaign Manager for Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) successful special election campaign in 2013. Most recently, as the National Voter Outreach and Mobilization Director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Addisu oversaw the development of organizing programs for Democratic base communities and state operations for 37 states. Addisu is a 2001 graduate of Yale University, 2008 graduate of Yale Law School, and a member of the state Bar of California.”


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Miss Ethiopia Becomes Miss Africa

Miss Ethiopia won the maiden Africa Beauty Pageant held in Lagos, Nigeria last week. (Photo: LNN)

Leadership Nigeria Newspaper

Against all odds, tall and gorgeous Miss Ethiopia won the maiden Africa Beauty Pageant defeating Miss Mali, Miss Ghana and Miss Somalia in the Top 5 finalist contest.

The beauty queens are drawn from Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cape Verde, Burundi, Cameroun, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Somalia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Gambia and Mali. These 15 contestants are the finalists who emerged from the original 54, representing each of the African countries. Alas, Miss Nigeria did not even make it to the top 5.

The soft spoken queen, Zika (her abbreviated name), stated that she was overwhelmed on hearing her name at the event held at the Grand Ball Room of Oriental Hotel last Friday, March 30.

She noted that her greatest rivals were Miss Ghana and Miss Somalia. Speaking at media parley midweek, “Winning this crown has been the most defining moment for me. Winning the Africa Beauty Pageant is my greatest achievement coming from Ethiopia, a country not so known for pageants. It is not about me, it was about my country. I really enjoyed every moment of the two weeks we stayed in Nigeria including the jollof rice. Africa Beauty Pageant is not just about beauty but brains, intelligence as we were groomed on different things,” said the queen. She added that she would use the platform to voice out the plight of the girl child and speak against child abuse and violence against women.

According to the organisers, the winner takes home a brand new Kia Sportage, Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), a fully furnished apartment in Nigeria, because Nigeria is the operating base for this year’s event and cash prize of $5,000. Creative Director of the pageant, Mr. Chike Mordi, noted that the pageant was themed ‘Beauty, Peace and Unity’.

Read more »


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In Ethiopia Internet Returns, Maekelawi Closed, PM Visits Jijiga on Peace Mission

Mobile internet service has been restored in Ethiopia, adding to the list of positive news coming out of the country since the inauguration of the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on Monday, April 2nd. In addition The Associated Press reports that Ethiopia has now officially closed the notorious Maekelawi prison. And Reuters notes that on Saturday, Abiy arrived in Jijiga - the capital of the Somali region - in a bid to tackle the problems [that displaced nearly a million people]. Below are links to these and other related stories. (Photo: Reuters)

Xinhua

Joyous mood as mobile internet restored in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, April 6 (Xinhua) — Ethiopians residing outside the capital Addis Ababa woke up to find mobile internet back working as the service restored on Friday after five months of blackout.

The East African country on Friday restored mobile internet service after it was terminated across the country for the past five months, leaving majority of the country’s population to search rare wi-fi and broadband internet services.

Ashenafi Yenew, a young Ethiopian in Bahir Dar city, told Xinhua that the reopening of mobile internet service on Friday morning “was a great surprise” for him and residents of the city…

The block on mobile internet service was a major concern since the majority of Ethiopians use their mobile handsets to access the internet.

Ethiopia’s state-owned EthioTelecom recently announced that it has more than 57 million mobile subscribers, accounting to more than half of the country’s total population.

Maereg Sahlu, a tourist guide in Lalibe town, also told Xinhua that the block on mobile internet was a major inconvenience for many tourists.

“Tourists need mobile internet for various purposes mainly to check maps and also communicate with their relatives back home,” Sahlu said.

“Most of the time they were not happy when we tell them to use other options instead of mobile internet service,” Sahlu added.

According to Sahlu, the restoration of mobile internet service is “a great news for us and also tourists who come from different parts of the world.”

Read more »


Related:
Ethiopia closes notorious prison as internet service returns (AP)
Ethiopia’s PM seeks end to violence that displaced nearly a million (Reuters)
Ethiopia Closes Infamous Prison, But Activists Await Deeper Reforms (VOA)
A Charismatic Young Leader Tries to Calm Ethnic Tension in Ethiopia (The Economist)
Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Delivers Hopeful Inauguration Speech (Video)
Ethiopia Swears in New Prime Minister (AP)
Herculean Task Awaits Abiy Ahmed on Human Rights in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Seeks Calm With a New Leader (The New York Times)

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Meet Miss Universe Ethiopia 2017

Miss Universe Ethiopia 2017, Akinahom Zergaw, at the 66th Miss Universe national costume show in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, November 18th, 2017. (Photo: Global Beauties)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

November 24th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This year’s Miss Universe Ethiopia, Akinahom Zergaw, has arrived in the United States where she is set to participate in the 2017 contest taking place in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 26th.

The 22-year-old management and fashion design student from Addis Ababa has been taking part in the preliminary shows including in the national costume competition that was held on Saturday, November 18th at Planet Hollywood.

“Coming from a large family of over 10 brothers and sisters, [Akinahom] loves spending time with her siblings who are her close friends,” The Miss Universe Organization states. “Whenever Akinahome has the opportunity she takes the chance to travel to the outskirts of the city. She is on a mission to share the Ethiopian culture, tradition and customs with the world. Akinahom hopes to make Ethiopia proud and bring light to her country.”


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Ethiopia: US Top Diplomat Misses Annual Human Rights Presentation

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson skips annual U.S. human rights presentation, while possible budget cuts to foreign aid faces bipartisan opposition in Congress. (Photo: © Greg Nash/The Hill)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 4th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — The new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson failed to attend the State Department’s yearly release of its human rights report on Friday drawing condemnation from lawmakers and activists alike.

Regarding Ethiopia the U.S. “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” highlights that “security forces used excessive force against protesters throughout the year, killing hundreds and injuring many more. The protests were mainly in Oromia and Amhara regions. At year’s end more than 10,000 persons were believed still to be detained. This included persons detained under the government-declared state of emergency, effective October 8. Many were never brought before a court, provided access to legal counsel, or formally charged with a crime.” The report adds: “The most significant human rights problems were security forces’ use of excessive force and arbitrary arrest in response to the protests, politically motivated prosecutions, and continued restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs…Impunity was a problem. The government generally did not take steps to prosecute or otherwise punish officials who committed abuses other than corruption.”

For his absence the top U.S. Diplomat “drew fire from some members of Congress and advocates who said his decision not to personally unveil the report suggested the Trump administration places a low priority on advancing human rights,” The Washington Post reported. Human Rights Watch Washington Director, Sarah Margon, adds that Tillerson’s non-involvement “makes it much easier for other governments to ignore its findings.”

Meanwhile, in a related story, U.S. lawmakers from both parties say any proposal to cut funding for the State Department and foreign aid will not see the day of light in Congress. “It’s dead on arrival,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in an interview with NBC. “It’s not gonna happen. It would be a disaster.”

“If you take soft power off the table then you’re never going to win the war,” Graham continued in the NBC interview. “What’s most disturbing about the cut in the State Department’s budget is it shows a lack of understanding of what it takes to win the war.”

New York Senator and Minority Leader Charles Schumer added: “Democrats and Republicans are both going to run away,” from the Trump budget proposal. “His proposals are falling apart everywhere,” Schumer said.


Related:
Debating Pros & Cons of US Foreign Aid
Focus on Ethiopia: A Look at the New ‘America First’ Foreign Policy
Ethiopia: Looking Beyond Obama, Here is What Trump’s Team is Asking
U.S.-Africa Policy in 2017: What Trump Should Do
Ethiopia: US-Africa Relations in Trump Era

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YEP Presents Dr. Menna Demissie of CBC

Menna Demissie, VP of Policy and Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in DC. (Photo: YEP)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Feb. 1st, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Dr. Menna Demissie, who is Vice President of Policy Analysis & Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, is the featured presenter at this week’s YEP guest speakers series in DC hosted by Young Ethiopian Professionals.

Menna who also teaches at the University of California, Washington Center specializes in public policy issues relevant to African Americans. Before joining the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Menna was an assistant to Congresswoman Barbara Lee and worked on unemployment legislation, poverty, and foreign policy. Menna “holds a joint doctorate in Public Policy and Political Science as well as a Master of Arts in Political Science and Certificate in African American, African and Black Transnational Studies from the University of Michigan” notes the CBC Foundation website. “She also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Law and Society from Oberlin College. She has been interviewed on NPR and other media outlets and currently serves on the Alumni board for the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, on the advisory board of the Diaspora African Women’s Network (DAWN), and has served as National Youth Coordinator for the Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED) since 2000.”

At the upcoming YEP program Menna “will share her journey from leading the CBC foundation’s policy initiatives in the areas of education, economic opportunity, and healthcare as it affects the global black community to serving as an adjunct professor at the University of California Washington Center where she teaches courses on U.S.- Africa Foreign Policy, Race and Ethnic Politics, and American Government.”

If You Go:
YEP Presents Dr. Menna Demissie
“Career Opportunities in Government and Public Policy”
Thursday, February 2, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST)
Washington Marriott Marquis
George Washington University Room
901 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Click here to RSVP

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Model Titi Aynaw, First Ethiopian Miss Israel, Shares 5 Leadership Lessons

Titi Aynaw is an Ethiopian-born Israeli model who won the title of Miss Israel in 2013. (Photo: Tadias Mag)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — The last time we featured Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, the first Ethiopian Miss Israel, was three years ago when she visited New York City a few months after she was crowned the first black Miss Israel in 2013. The beauty queen who served as a lieutenant in the Israel Defense Force had arrived to fundraise for a project located in her hometown of Netanya where she said she was working to build an after school arts-based community center for children from low-income communities.

“I’ve taken the initiative to bring together these children in a community room and help them to learn what they show interest in, whether it’s dance or music. I am fundraising to create these opportunities for them” Titi explained.

This week the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School highlights Titi’s recent visit there to promote “her latest social enterprise, the Titi Project,” noting that the 25-year-old former Miss Israeli is also “a television personality and community activist with 52,000 Instagram followers. And those are only a few of her accomplishments.”


Crowned Titi Aynaw crowned as Miss Israel 2013 was born in the Gondar, Ethiopia. (KWHS)

Read more: 5 Leadership Lessons from Israeli Model Titi Aynaw

In related news also this week, the Times of Israel reported that Lt. Col. Dr. Avraham Yitzhak made history as the first Ethiopian-born Israeli who was named chief medical officer of the army’s Southern Command on November 21st, 2016 “putting him on the path to becoming the first Israeli of Ethiopian heritage to hold the rank of colonel in the Israel Defense Forces.”

Read more: Ethiopian Lt. Colonel makes IDF history

—-
Related
Tadias Interview with Miss Israel Titi Aynaw

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Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku Hosts NYC Fundraiser for Seeds of Africa Foundation

Atti Worku at Seeds of Africa Foundation fundraiser in New York, December 8th, 2015. (Photo: Sunny Norton)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, December 18th, 2015

New York (TADIAS) — Last week Seeds of Africa Foundation held another successful fundraiser in New York continuing Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku’s campaign to build a state-of-the-art education facility in her hometown of Adama/Nazret in Ethiopia.

To date the non-profit has raised over $1.3 million of its total $2.2 million goal to fund the creation of the educational institution. “It will meet the most rigorous international academic standards and prepare its students to succeed in high school, college and beyond,” Atti says.


Questlove and Atti Worku. (Photo credit: Sunny Norton)

“The event celebrated the organization’s mission to educate and nurture children and their families by providing quality education and community development programs in Adama, Ethiopia with The Dream School Campaign,” Seeds of Africa Foundation says in a statement. “Featured in WABC, NBC, Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal, D Magazine and more, Seeds of Africa is a leading organization offering a successful business model for assisting communities in Africa with the tools to accomplish educational and entrepreneurial development.”

“The Founder Atti Worku, Miss Ethiopia 2005 and a former fashion model, created the organization in 2006 after seeing a gap in access to quality education and community development programs for children, young adults and other communities in her home country of Ethiopia.”

During the NYC event, which was held on Tuesday, December 8th, entertainment was provided by Questlove — founding member of musical group The Roots and Musical Director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon — who performed a curated DJ set list including Prince, Michael Jackson, and Blondie.


You can learn more about Seeds of Africa at www.seedsofafrica.org.

Related:
Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku Receives Diaspora 2015 Youth Excellence Award
Atti Worku Raises $1.3 Million for School Initiative in Nazret
Former Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku’s Dream School Initiative in Nazret, Ethiopia
Interview with Atti Worku: Founder of Seeds of Africa Foundation

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Director Yared Zeleke’s Film ‘Lamb’ is Ethiopia’s Official Submission to Oscars

Actors Kidist Siyum and Rediat Amare with director Yared Zeleke at the premiere for Lamb at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 2015. (Photograph: AFP/Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, October 9th, 2015

New York (TADIAS) — Director Yared Zeleke’s film Lamb is Ethiopia’s official submission to this year’s Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Feature category. Lamb won the Best Feature Film award at the Milan Film Festival in September and has received enthusiastic international reviews.

In May 2015 Lamb became the first Ethiopian feature to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The feature tells the story of an Ethiopian boy, Ephraïm, who bonds with a sheep as he is sent away from home following the death of his mother. Ephraïm soon learns that the sheep he befriended may have to be sacrificed for a feast and plots a way both to save the lamb and find his way home again.

Tadias Magazine recently interviewed Director Yared Zeleke following the premiere of Lamb at Ethiopia’s National Theatre in Addis Ababa.

For the 88th Academy Awards “the total number of films submitted this year fell just shy of the record 83 films that were submitted in 2014,” notes the Hollywood Reporter. Other submissions from the African continent include Twilight of Shadows (Algeria), Run (Ivory Coast), Aida (Morocco), and The Two of Us (South Africa).

Prior Oscar submissions from Ethiopia include The Athlete directed by Rasselas Lakew & Davey Frankel for the 83rd Academy Awards, and Difret directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari for the 87th Academy Awards.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter »


Related:
Tadias Q&A with Yared Zeleke – Director of Ethiopian Film ‘Lamb’
Lamb Review: Sheer Brilliance Knits Together First Ethiopian Film at Cannes (The Guardian)
Watch: Ethiopia’s First-Ever Cannes “Official Selection” Drama ‘Lamb’ (Indiewire)
Lamb: Yared Zeleke’s Film at Cannes 2015 (TADIAS)
Cannes 2015: the complete festival line-up (The Telegraph)
Home work: Filmmaker Yared Zeleke’s Origin Stories (Manhattan Digest)

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Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku Receives Diaspora 2015 Youth Excellence Award

Atti worku after receiving the honorary Award from African Youth Excellence Inc. in Worcester, Massachusetts on Saturday August 8th, 2015. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

New York (TADIAS) — Former Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku, Founder of Seeds of Africa Foundation, has been honored with the 2015 African Youth Excellence Award. The prize, which is given annually by the U.S.-based research and youth advocacy organization AYE, celebrates “the achievements of a dynamic young African leader in the Diaspora.”

Atti, who graduated from Columbia University in 2014 focusing her studies on sustainable development, education and social movements, has raised over 1.3 million dollars so far to build a state-of-the-art education facility in her hometown of Nazret/Adama in Ethiopia.

In her keynote address during the AYE award ceremony held in Worcester, Massachusetts on August 8th Atti (Miss Ethiopia 2005) shared with the audience that her dream of building a school started years ago in her mom’s backyard. ”My dream was so big that it scared me but if I did not dream big, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Atti said in her speech. “You are your own biggest asset, and people will help and support you when you show them what you are willing to do yourself.”

Atti was born and raised in Adama as the youngest sibling in her family and attended St. Joseph’s school in Adama from kindergarten to twelfth grade. After graduating from high school she moved to Addis Ababa where she attended HiLCoE school of computer science and technology. After college she started a modeling career, traveling internationally, and ultimately moving to the U.S. “Take the first step” she says. “Do not fear failure because it is inevitable. Be open-minded because the world has more in store for you than what you can imagine. Finally, be kind to others — pay it forward — I know I wouldn’t be here today if several people did not take a chance on me.”

Below are more photos from the 2015 African Youth Excellence Award:


Atti Worku speaking at the African Youth Excellence Award in Worcester, Massachusetts on Saturday August 8th, 2015. (Photo: Courtesy of Seeds of Africa Foundation)


Atti Worku (Center) at the African Youth Excellence Award in Worcester, Massachusetts on Saturday August 8th, 2015. (Photo: Courtesy of Seeds of Africa Foundation)


At the 2015 African Youth Excellence Award. (Photo: Courtesy of Seeds of Africa Foundation)

Join Seeds of Africa Foundation in their #BackToSchool Campaign to cover students’ books, uniforms, food and medical expenses for the first month of the 2015/16 academic year.


Related:
Atti Worku Raises $1.3 Million for School Initiative in Nazret
Former Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku’s Dream School Initiative in Nazret, Ethiopia
Interview with Atti Worku: Founder of Seeds of Africa Foundation

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Mystery of Missing Ethiopian-Israeli

Agernsh Mengistu, left, and Ayalin Mengistu, the parents of Avera Mengistu, who disappeared about a year ago in Gaza. His condition and whereabouts remain mostly a mystery. (Credit Uriel Sinai for The Times)

The New York Times

ASHKELON, Israel — In the grainy security camera footage, Avera Mengistu walks along the beach on the Israeli side of the border, marked by a wall and netting. Then, suddenly, he appears on the other side, in Gaza.

“You don’t see how he got there,” said his mother, Agernsh, describing the video from the security services that she and other relatives saw, as tears rolled down her face. Filmed from a particular angle and possibly edited, the family said, the video left them with as many questions as answers.

Almost a year after the disappearance of Mr. Mengistu, a 29-year-old Israeli Jew of Ethiopian descent, his family remains mostly in the dark about his whereabouts or condition. The Israeli authorities say they believe he is alive and being held hostage by Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the Palestinian enclave.

Shifting gears, the family was planning its first public protest to be held Monday outside an Israeli prison where relatives of Palestinian prisoners were expected to visit. The demonstration would be one of a series of protest actions focusing on the humanitarian aspect of the case, according to representatives of the family.

Until now the family had called on the public to act with restraint and to give the Israeli authorities more time to work behind the scenes, fearing that a noisy public campaign may only raise the value of Mr. Mengistu in Hamas’s eyes, and increase the price for his return. Israel said last month that Mr. Mengistu had crossed the border into Gaza independently, lifting an official gag order on the case and touching off a flurry of media attention.

But a haze of official secrecy continues to hover over the episode. The Mengistu family says it has received no new information on the case for the past month. Hamas has spread ambiguous hints and contradictory messages about Mr. Mengistu, demanding a price for any firm information and intentionally adding to the uncertainty.

Read more at The New York Times »


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Missing Teen in Canada Back With Family

As friends and family gather outside their apartment, Bethelihem Zeleke Eliso (second from right) recently immigrated from Ethiopia with her mother to join her father, Zeleke Tuloro, in Winnipeg, Canada. (WFP)

Winnipeg Free Press

By: Carol Sanders

An Ethiopian girl who went missing on her first day of school in Canada Monday was found safe and sound Tuesday after she took shelter from the deadly cold overnight in a vacant house in Elmwood.

Police took 17-year-old Bethelihem Zeleke Eliso home to her distraught parents early Tuesday evening to whoops of joy from her family and church members, who’d been holding a vigil at the family’s apartment on Talbot Avenue since she was reported missing Monday.

“She’s lucky to be alive,” said her exhausted, emotional and relieved father, Zeleke Tuloro.

It was the second tearful reunion for the family in less than a month. In December, he was reunited with his wife and three children for the first time in 12 years after having fled Ethiopia in 2002.

Monday morning, Tuloro drove Bethelihem and her 15-year-old brother, Nathanael, to school from their home in the 200 block of Talbot Avenue. Bethelihem was last seen Monday around 11:45 a.m. leaving Elmwood High School alone, her dad said. Later, she was spotted on a surveillance camera walking along Union Avenue several blocks away, he said. The petite 5-5 teen was wearing a red coat.

“I think she went to go home, and she missed the way,” said Tuloro, who’d been up all night and was driving around the area looking for his daughter Tuesday.

At the time she went missing, Environment Canada reported it was -33 with the wind chill.

Police on Tuesday asked Elmwood-area residents and businesses to check outdoor storage sheds, garages, vehicles, behind buildings and along any fence lines and treed areas where she might have sought shelter. Her mother, Zenebach, and older sister, Kalkidan, 22, were distraught and in tears. Her father calmly said he had faith Bethelihem was OK — that she’d found shelter or someone had taken her in out of the bitter cold.

He was right.

She found a vacant home without any furniture and spent the night inside, her dad said. The homeowner showed up Tuesday and found the Ethiopian girl, who spoke little English.

“The owner of the house said ‘What are you doing here?’ ” said Tuloro, recalling what the police told him.

Read more »

Related:
Teen From Ethiopia Goes Missing During First Day of School In Winnipeg, Canada

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Teen From Ethiopia Goes Missing During First Day of School In Winnipeg, Canada

Bethelihem Zeleke Eliso. (Police Handout photo)

Sun News Network

By KRISTIN ANNABLE | QMI AGENCY

WINNIPEG – Police are looking for a 17-year-old girl, newly arrived to Canada from Ethiopia, who failed to return home from her first day at a new school.

Police say Bethelihem Zeleke Eliso moved to Winnipeg last month and was last seen leaving school for the lunch hour Monday.

Const. Eric Hofley said police are concerned for her well-being because she’s new to the city and doesn’t know many people.

Hofley said teen runaways often leave to be with friends or other family members.

But in this case, Eliso didn’t seem to have those options, he said.

“Sometimes it is just miscommunication, but in this case, with being so new to the country, that is less likely.”

Eliso is 5-foot-5, with a thin build and medium-length black hair.

She was wearing a pink jacket, red pants, and pink gloves.

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Model & Designer Hiwot Bekele Represents Ethiopia at 63rd Miss Universe Pageant

Hiwot Bekele Mamo, 24, is the current Miss Universe Ethiopia. (Photo: Miss Universe )

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, January 5th, 2015

New York (TADIAS) – 24-year-old Hiwot Bekele will represent Ethiopia at this year’s Miss Universe contest, which will be held on January 25th, 2015 at Florida International University (FIU) in Doral, Miami. Hiwot was crowned Miss Universe Ethiopia in November following a competition held at the Radisson Blu hotel in her hometown of Addis Ababa.

According to the Miss Universe Organization:

Hiwot Bekele was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At a very young age, she fell in love with pageants and fashion design. At 16, she started modeling and doing pageants. When she turned 17, she joined Next Fashion Designing Institute to develop her knowledge and her passion fashion designing. She is a hard worker. She graduated high school first from her department and joined Addis Ababa University School of Commerce. She had one of the best GPA’s at her university, and on top of school and modeling she started working for a production company as a marketer. After a few months she was promoted to Marketing Manager. After graduating from AAUSC, Hiwot started developing her own fashion line. She won several prizes over the years working as a model, designer and a pageant girl. She is now 24 years old, working as one of the top models in Ethiopia and running her own line as a fashion designer.


Left: Hiwot Bekele designing a dress. Right: celebrating her third birthday. (Credit: Miss Universe)

Per the the announcement the upcoming 63rd annual Miss Universe pageant in Florida features 88 participants from around the world and the crowning of the new queen by last year’s winner Gabriela Isler of Venezuela. Organizers add: “Thomas Roberts and Natalie Morales will host the event with live musical acts performing during the show.”

In the United States the competition will be televised live on NBC from the FIU Arena on Sunday, January 25th at 8/7c.



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Local Ethiopians Miss Out as Big Agriculture Firms Struggle in Gambella

Guards near Saudi Star’s farm in Gambella, which was attacked by gunmen two years ago. (Photograph: William Davison)

The Guardian

By William Davison

Gambella, Ethiopia — As dusk envelops the grasslands of Gambella in western Ethiopia, a weary Jakob Pouch sits on a jerry can, resting his chest against a wooden staff. The 45-year-old evangelical preacher from the Nuer community has just made the three-hour walk from the banks of the Baro river, where he tends to his large family’s small plot of corn. His daughters are preparing cabbage and cobs to be cooked on an open fire.

In the opposite direction, across the asphalt road that leads to South Sudan, lies the farm of BHO Bioproducts, an Anglo-Indian company growing rice and cotton on the 27,000 hectares (67,000 acres) it has leased.

Pouch says the company doesn’t care about the people of his village, Wath-Gach. Grazing land has been lost, and BHO has built a wooden cage around a water pump to prevent locals using it. “From the beginning we did not have a good relationship,” he says. “It was given without consultation. There has been lots of negative impact.” The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.


Jakob Pouch says his community in Gambella hasn’t benefited from a nearby commercial farm. (Photograph: William Davison)

Read more at theguardian.com »

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Miss World 2014 Underway in London: A Look at Miss Ethiopia Yirgalem Hadish

Yirgalem Hadish will represent Ethiopia at the 2014 Miss World contest on December 14th in London. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The current Miss World Ethiopia, Yirgalem Hadish, was recently asked by organizers of the international pageant what annoys her most about the world. “The presence of war and chaos,” she answered. The Ethiopian beauty queen who is expected in London this week to join the 2014 Miss World competition — already underway featuring contestants from 125 countries — won the Miss World Ethiopia title in August by a combination of points both by a panel of celebrity judges and online public voting. The 23-year-old who lives with her sister and two brothers in Addis Ababa says she “dreams of a career as an international model or a world class chef.” According to her public profile, she currently models in fashion shows and also works as a cook in a local restaurant.

Missworld.com asked another question: What item of makeup could you not live without? “I can live without makeup, because most of the time I don’t use make up,” Yirgalem responded.

And what is the best app she has used in the past year? “WhatsApp.”

Favorite foods? “Doro Wot, pizza and salad.”

In her spare time Yirgalem enjoys watching movies, playing traditional Ethiopian instruments, and visiting Ethiopia’s tourist attractions.

Below are photos of Miss World Ethiopia 2014 Yirgalem Hadish:



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Former Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku Raises $1.3 Million for School Initiative in Nazret

New Yorkers for Seeds fundraiser at the Schomburg Center in NYC, Monday, Dec., 8th, 2014. (Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – During the “New Yorkers for Seeds” fundraising gala at the Schomburg Center in Harlem yesterday evening former Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku, Founder of Seeds of Africa Foundation, announced that their Dream School Initiative has raised 1.3 million to date to build a state-of-the-art education facility in her hometown of Nazret/Adama in Ethiopia.

The Dream School Initiative was launched last month with a fundraising event in Dallas where 14 local chefs did a tasting menu that was inspired by Ethiopian cuisine. The New York event included a live performance by Grammy-nominated Ethiopian American singer Wayna and music by Dj Sirak, Co-Founder of Africology Media. The event was hosted by Tigist Selam, and volunteers from the Ethiopian Student Association at Columbia University, Atti’s alma mater, assisted with a silent auction.

“The Dream School Initiative is a continuation of the work we’ve being doing so far,” Atti says. “The initiative is to expand our program to accommodate more students (from Pre-K through 12th grade) and also to increase our community development program.”

Since its inception the Seeds of Africa school has incorporated community development programs including providing literacy and health education courses as well as access to funding for local small businesses.

Below are photos from the “New Yorkers for Seeds” Event on Monday, December 8th, 2014



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Former Miss Ethiopia Atti Worku’s Dream School Initiative in Nazret, Ethiopia

Atti Worku, Founder of Seeds of Africa. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Atti Worku, a former Miss Ethiopia (2005), started Seeds of Africa school in her hometown of Nazret, Ethiopia with 16 students and one volunteer teacher in her mother’s backyard six year ago. Atti had attended college in Addis before embarking on her modeling career and didn’t finish college until she went back to complete her education at Columbia University this year. Atti vowed to provide quality educational opportunities to children in her birth country, and today her non-profit organization provides scholarships to approximately 100 students from Pre-K through 2nd grade.

In an interview with Tadias Magazine Atti announced a milestone for Seeds of Africa Foundation: The Dream School Initiative to build a state-of-the-art education facility in Nazret, Ethiopia. “We believe that this facility will be one that will be comparable to international schools all over the world and will prepare students to compete in the global market” Atti told Tadias. Currently the school adds a grade level each year but only accepts Pre-K level students. “We decided that the most impact we can make is if we get to them at the youngest age,” she explained.

The Dream School Initiative was launched last month with a fundraising event in Dallas where 14 local chefs did a tasting menu that was inspired by Ethiopian cuisine. On December 8th, Seeds of Africa will hold their next fundraiser in New York City at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, and next year the foundation will hold similar events in Chicago, Washington DC, London and Paris. “A year from now, in Fall 2015, we’ll break ground in Nazret to build the new school, and construction is expected to go on for two to three years” Atti says.

“The Dream School Initiative is a continuation of the work we’ve being doing so far,” Ati adds. “We’ve been around for a little over 6 years. The initiative is to expand our program to accommodate more students (from Pre-K through 12th grade) and also to increase our community development program.” Since its inception the Seeds of Africa school has incorporated programs for mothers in the community including providing literacy and health education courses as well as access to funding for local small businesses.

“The community development program has always been a part of Seeds of Africa’s mission because we strongly believe that to really work with children that come from some of the poorest backgrounds you can’t succeed if you just single out a child. You have to really work with the family as a unit” Atti asserts. “Most of our students come from single mother homes, who either have small businesses or they want to open a small business.” Household income is a primary criteria for children selected to be enrolled at the Seeds of Africa school.

“We call our education program ‘seeding education,’ and we provide free tuition, meals at school, and we also provide some food subsidies that the children may take home for their dinners” Atti shares. “We cover the cost of uniforms and school supplies, and the children also have access to healthcare. Starting next year we’re also setting up an emergency health fund.”

In 2014 Seeds of Africa received 68 student applications but could only enroll 20 eligible students due to lack of space. “That’s why we have to build so we can provide educational access to more children” says Atti.

Seeds of Africa is based on the premise that a community needs more than just access to educational opportunities to thrive, so it jump-started community chats over biweekly bunna sessions among the mothers. “And the community development program really grew out of these sessions,” Atti notes. “Three main issues were addressed at the mothers’ bunna sessions: the need for literacy programs for adults, access to health education courses, and funding to start small businesses to sustain their families.” Seeds of Africa gave mothers opportunities to gain financial and literacy skills before providing access to credit. “Right now we have about 40 to 60 credits that have been provided to the children’s parents. Some have already paid back their original loans and are returning for a second round to expand their businesses,” says Atti. She beams when she shares some of the types of businesses opened up using these loans. “The small businesses include a cell-phone charging business and really cutting-edge stuff such as one mom setting up a prenatal food business. And it’s been a part of our goal to improve the household income of a family so that the child succeeds with the family together.”

The curriculum of the school is likewise innovative and is inspired by the Reggio Emilia program, which focuses on a holistic approach to education where the child is the center of the learning environment. “It’s really looking at each child as an individual that has different needs so you try to tailor the program to the needs of each student, which is why the classroom size has to be so small” emphasizes Atti.

Seeds of Africa looked at some of the best educational systems available including Montessori and designed an educational environment that embraces Ethiopian culture and allows students to engage in project-based learning from a young age with a hands-on approach to solving local problems.

“We look at how children can be leaders and creative problem solvers. I think that’s really important because you can’t get out of poverty if you’re solving other people’s problems, which is what usually happens in schools,” Atti says.

How did Atti get interested in building a school in Nazret? “I’m not an educator by training, but I do have co-workers who designed the curriculum who are trained educators” Atti says. “My thing came from having grown up in Nazret. I grew up in a neighborhood that was very poor. My parents were a middle class family and they sent me to the only private school in town, and there was a huge difference in the access to education that my brothers and I had compared to the kids in our neighborhood” Atti says. “It was really heartbreaking to see children that I grew up with that were unable to continue school; they were failing and dropping out of school, or the girls got pregnant at some point, or any of those socio-economic factors that hindered education. As an adult reflecting back I look at it as socio-economic issues linked to poverty that was happening to them, and it wasn’t happening to me or students in my school. That really kind of just stayed with me.”

“Our first high school students will graduate in 2024, and our goal is to place them into colleges in Ethiopia and abroad,” Atti says. “And I have no doubt that they will contribute back to their community.”

If You Go:
New Yorkers for Seeds
Monday, December 8th, 2014 7pm to 11pm
The Schomburg Center
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-yorkers-for-seeds-tickets-14046265759?ref=ebtnebtckt

Photos from the Dallas event:

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In US, Missouri on Alert as Grand Jury Verdict Nears in Michael Brown Case

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon at a press conference on Tuesday discussing the upcoming grand jury decision in the case of the unarmed black teenager who was killed by police in Ferguson last August. (Getty)

The Root

BY: DIANA OZEMEBHOYA EROMOSELE

Soon the nation will learn if a grand jury in Missouri has decided to bring charges against police Officer Darren Wilson, the cop who fatally shot the unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The state’s governor, Jay Nixon, thought it would be smart to place the state’s National Guard on standby just in case a verdict is rendered that does not jibe with public opinion, Al-Jazeera reports.

“The National Guard has been and will continue to be part of our contingency planning,” Nixon said on Tuesday during a news conference. “The guard will be available when we determine it is necessary to support local law enforcement.”

The way Ferguson, Mo.’s law enforcement handled the protests that occurred in the weeks after the fatal shooting was heavily scrutinized by community organizers, members of the media and even the White House.

Police officers have received extra hours of training to prepare to work with protesters who may want to demonstrate if Wilson is not brought up on any charges.

Read more at theroot.com »



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One Month Later, Almaz Gebremedhin Still Missing in Texas

Family members of Almaz Gebremedhin, mother of two, who's been missing since October 2nd, 2014.

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Published: Monday, November 3rd, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – A month has passed since Almaz Gebremedhin, 42, was first reported missing in Wylie, Texas (where she lived with her husband, Sisay Zelelew, a 10-year-old son, an 8-year-old daughter and her mother). Almaz was last seen leaving her home for work in the early hours of Thursday, October 2nd. A neighborhood security camera shows her car driving off at 5:30 a.m that morning. Her boss Judy Houston, a supervisor at the nearby Garnet Hill Rehabilitation and Skilled Care, told The Dallas Morning News that Almaz “never missed work, so when she didn’t show up, people immediately became concerned.”

The Dallas Morning News notes that Almaz is one of two women who have vanished without a trace in Collin County, Texas in the past couple of months. The second person is Christina Morris, 23, who has not been seen for 58 days. “Video surveillance shows the Fort Worth woman walking with a friend into a parking garage before they went their separate ways at The Shops at Legacy in Plano just before 4 a.m. Aug. 30. No one has seen her since,” the paper reported. “Her locked car was found in the garage four days later. Police have found no evidence of a crime in either case. Nor has there been any activity on either woman’s cell phone, credit cards or bank accounts. For now, they remain classified as missing persons.”

The newspaper adds: “Both women are listed online in the Texas Department of Public Safety Missing Persons Clearinghouse. They also appear in the National Crime Information Center, a database accessible to law enforcement nationwide, as well as a public database called the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. The latter, according to NamUs director of communications Todd Matthews, is often used to match unidentified remains with a missing persons case. And while some families believe a listing there could be considered a concession that the person is dead, Matthews said, missing people on the list have turned up alive.”

Meanwhile the Wylie Police Department spokesperson Detective Nuria Arroyo says that Almaz’s case has been difficult to work. “We don’t have a lot of information to go off of yet,” Detective Arroyo is quoted by The Dallas Morning News. “Detectives there have been tracking tips, she said, but so far, not many have come in.”

The report states: “Gebremedhin’s family and friends have searched on their own as well. They’ve checked the route she normally takes to work. They’ve handed out fliers. They recently hired a private investigation firm to help. Social media also plays a role in keeping her name and photo in the public eye.”

“It really has been tough,” said Feyera Milkessa, a friend of the family. Milkessa said he last saw Gebremedhin at a gathering about 10 days before she disappeared. She seemed happy, he said. “She’s a very, very sociable person,” Milkessa said. “She loves her family.”

Anyone with information should contact the Wylie Police Department at 972-442-8171.



Related:
Still No Sign of Missing Ethiopian Mom Almaz Gebremedhin in Wylie, Texas
Reward Increased to $15,000 for Tips on Missing Ethiopian Woman in Texas
Local Ethiopian Community Offers Reward for Clues on Missing Texas Woman
Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Nun Visiting NYC From Ethiopia Missing

30-year-old Ethiopian nun Tadelech Yohanis was last seen leaving Sacred Heart Convent Thursday afternoon on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. (New York CBS Local )

CBS New York

NEW YORK – A nun visiting the U.S. from Ethiopia is missing, the NYPD said.

Tadelech Yohanis, 30, was last seen at around 2 p.m. last Thursday. at Sacred Heart Convent on the Lower East Side.

Yohanis arrived in the U.S. Oct. 6 and was set to leave Sunday, Oct. 26.

On the 23rd, Yohanis left the convent with her passport and hasn’t returned, police said.

Yohanis is “in good mental condition” and is 5’9″ and about 150 pounds, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ website at or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are confidential.

Read more at CBS New York »

Related:
Still No Sign of Missing Ethiopian Mom Almaz Gebremedhin in Wylie, Texas

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Still No Sign of Missing Ethiopian Mom Almaz Gebremedhin in Wylie, Texas

Almaz Gebremedhin, a mother of two, hasn't been seen since October 2nd, 2014. (Family photograph)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Nearly two weeks after the disappearance of Almaz Gebremedhin in Wylie, Texas police say there is still no break in the case. Almaz, a 42-year-old mother of two who’s employed at a nearby nursing home, was last seen leaving her house headed for work at five a.m. on Thursday October 2nd.

The spokesperson for Wylie Police Department, Detective Nuria Arroyo, told Tadias Magazine the authorities are still investigating all clues that may lead to Almaz and her car — a silver 2004 Chevrolet Ventura van with the license plate CVZ-8041 — which also has not been located since the day Almaz went missing.

“Detectives continue to search for her, her vehicle, and are following up on any possible leads they may receive,” Detective Arroyo said.

Meanwhile the local Ethiopian American community is offering reward money of over $15,000 for information on the whereabouts of Almaz Gebremedhin who is originally from Ethiopia and is married to Sisay Zelelew, her husband of 16 years. They have two children, ages 8 and 10.

Wylie Police asks that anyone with information should contact the department at 972-442-8171.



Related:
Reward Increased to $15,000 for Tips on Missing Ethiopian Woman in Texas
Local Ethiopian Community Offers Reward for Clues on Missing Texas Woman
Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Reward Increased to $15,000 for Tips on Missing Ethiopian Woman in Texas

Almaz Gebremedhin hasn't been seen since Thursday, October 2nd, 2014. (Family photo: WFAA)

Dalla News

By Valerie Wigglesworth

A reward has been increased for $15,000 for information on the whereabouts of a Wylie woman missing since Oct. 2.

Wylie Police say Almaz Gebremedhin, 42, was last seen at 5 a.m. that day as she left her home in the 1500 block of Windward Lane to go to work at a nursing home. She is 5 feet tall, 150 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing scrubs when she disappeared.

Her vehicle — a silver 2004 Chevrolet Ventura van with the license plate CVZ-8041 — is also still missing, police say.

Gebremedhin has been married for 16 years to Sisay Zelelew. The couple have two children, ages 8 and 10.

Anyone with information should call Wylie Police at 972-442-8171.



Related:
Local Ethiopian Community Offers Reward for Clues on Missing Texas Woman
Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Local Ethiopian Community Offers Reward for Clues on Missing Texas Woman

42-year-old mother of two, Almaz Gebremedhin, who works as a nurse's assistant, hasn't been seen since she left her home in Wylie, Texas on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014. (Family photo: WFAA)

KXAS/NBC-5

By CATHERINE ROSS

Family members are still searching for any clues to the whereabouts of Almaz Gebremedhin, 42, a Collin County woman who has been missing since last week.

The local Ethiopian community is also rallying support and has raised money for a reward, which will be offered to anyone offering a significant tip to police that brings Gebremedhin home.

The Wylie Police Department said Gebremedhin has not been seen since Thursday at 5 a.m. as she left her home in the 1500 block of Windward Lane in Wylie to head to her job at a nursing home.

“Four days, no sign of her car — we are in the dark. I am in the dark,” Gebremedhin’s husband Sisay Zelelew said Monday.

The two have been married for 16 years and have two children, ages 10 and 8.

Zelelew says he’s known his wife since she was 16 when the two were living in their native Ethiopia.

“She’s a near perfect person,” he added.

Zelelew said he knew something was very wrong when his children’s school called him, informing him his wife had not picked up the children.

When he called the nursing home to see if she was busy at work, co-workers told him she’d never shown up for her shift.

She is 5 feet tall, 134 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing scrubs when she disappeared.

Her vehicle — a silver 2004 Chevrolet Ventura van with the license plate CVZ-8041 — is also still missing, according to Wylie police.

Anyone with information should call Wylie Police Department at 972-442-8171.



Related:
Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

Almaz Gebremedhin, 42, hasn't been seen since she left her home in Wylie, Texas on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014. (Family photo: WFAA)

WFAA

Jobin Panicker, WFAA

WYLIE — Almaz Gebremedhin has been missing now for five days. The 42-year-old mother of two of Ethiopian descent was last seen leaving for work last Thursday.

Sisay Zelelew is hoping for any news that points to where his wife is.

“Every minute, every second, every hour… it’s just like being in the dark,” Zelelew said.

Gebremedhin left for work Thursday morning, but her employer told Zelelew that she didn’t show up there. She also didn’t pick up her two kids from school later that day.

“I don’t how I’m going to handle it without her. I don’t know…I don’t know,” the forlorn father said, standing next to his two young children.

Gebremedhin is a nurse’s assistant, and she works three miles from her home. Zelelew and the Ethiopian community have looked everywhere along that route.

“We don’t get reports like this often,” said Wylie Police Department spokesperson Nuria Arroyo. The department was notified about the disappearance on Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve been looking for her or her vehicle everywhere we can think of, and we have not located either,” Arroyo said. Police are hoping for more tips from the public.

Read more »



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VOA Interview with Miss Africa USA Meron Wudneh (Video)

Meron Wudneh worked with boys and girls in Addis Ababa at the Mary Joy Foundation. (Courtesy photo)

VOA News

By Yeheyes Wuhib

September 10, 2014

When she was crowned Miss Africa USA at a national pageant on August 8 at the Music Center at Strathmore in the Washington area, the tall and striking model and youth recreation director Meron Wudneh paid tribute to the country where she was born.

“I am honored and delighted to represent Ethiopia,” she said. Wudneh described her homeland as “an ancient African country with amazing bio-diversity, people who take pride in preserving their diverse culture, its great warriors, kings and queens.”

Video: Voice of America Yeheyes Wuhib’s interview with Meron Wudneh

I love dancing our traditional dances Eskista, playing sports and bringing visibility to our culture through our fashion which inspired my greater love of modeling.” Wudneh currently works in New York as a model while she continues her career developing youth programs for Montgomery County in Maryland. She is represented by a Christian Ruart Fashion Group.

She wanted to build children’s futures

Wudneh was seven years old when her family emigrated to the United States. The family settled in the state of Maryland where she attended Wheaton High School. As she and her sister grew up, their parents wanted them to remember their African roots, so the girls had to always speak their native Amharic at home.

The six-foot tall student received an athletic scholarship to attend Bowie State University, where she played women’s basketball and earned a Bachelor’s degree with a major in biology.

Last year she spent six months in Ethiopia working with some non-government organizations supporting then needs of Ethiopian children. She volunteered with the Mary Joy Foundation in Addis Ababa serving destitute seniors, people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans and disadvantaged Ethiopians.​

She witnessed the plight of the children first-hand, an experience that has energized Wudneh to further her cause for Ethiopia’s children.

“I learned how one person can truly change a child’s future,” she says.

“Since I was a child growing up in Ethiopia I always had the desire to help people, especially kids.” In high school in Maryland, Wudneh spent more than a thousand hours working with children in community service projects (athletic programs, health programs?) in her Maryland neighborhood.

She founded her own NGO

Two years ago she founded Kids First Ethiopia, to send school supplies, clothes and shoes to Ethiopian children who lost one or both parents to death from HIV/AIDS or are homeless.

Ethiopia has one of the largest populations of orphans in the world: 13 per cent of children throughout a country of 96 million are missing one or both parents. This represents an estimated 4.6 million children – 800,000 of whom were orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

After winning the Miss Africa USA competition, Wudneh wants to strengthen her Kids First Ethiopia project to develop strategies and funding to help needy children in Ethiopia to continue in school, graduate and become successful. She also hopes to expand these services to other countries in Africa.

“The pageant is not only about beauty but goes way more than that,” she says. “As contestants and goodwill ambassadors, the organizers demand that we constantly work for the betterment of Africa.”

Related:
Ethiopian Meron Wudneh Crowned Miss Africa USA 2014

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Meet Yirgalem Hadish: Miss World Ethiopia

Yirgalem Hadish, Miss World Ethiopia 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, September 7th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Yirgalem Hadish will represent Ethiopia at the 64th edition of the Miss World pageant on December 14th in London, England. The 23-year-old, who lives in Addis Ababa, was named Miss World Ethiopia 2014 last month by a combination of points both by a panel of celebrity judges and online public voting. Organizers revealed the winner via Facebook on August 20th. Yirgalem’s other competitors included top three finalists Mahilet Berhanu and Hiwot Bekele.

In London Yirgalem will face 130 contestants from around the globe. Last year Miss Philippines (Megan Lynne Young) won the Miss World 2013 title in Bali, Indonesia. Megan, who is the first woman from the Philippines to win the international pageant, will pass on the crown to the new Miss World.

Below are photos of Miss World Ethiopia 2014 Yirgalem Hadish:



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Miss Africa USA: Meron Wudneh Thanks Her Supporters

Miss Africa USA 2014 Meron Wudneh. (Image courtesy: Miss Africa USA)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Friday, September 5th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – The reigning queen of the Miss Africa USA pageant, Meron Wudneh, will be hosting an event this weekend in Washington, D.C. to thank her supporters. The event to be held at Maraki Restaurant & Lounge (1930 9th Street NW) is free and open to the public.

Meron was crowned Miss Africa USA 2014 last month becoming the first Ethiopian to win the pageant since it was launched in 2005.



If You Go:
Maraki Restaurant & Loung
1930 9th Street NW
Washington, D.C.
www.marakidc.com

Related:
Ethiopian Meron Wudneh Crowned Miss Africa USA 2014

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Slain Missouri Teen’s Funeral Draws Thousands

Lesley McSpadden reacts at the casket of her son Michael Brown during the funeral services at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, Aug. 25, 2014. (Reuters)

VOA News

August 25, 2014

Mourners sang, clapped and danced on Monday at funeral services for Michael Brown, remembering the slain black teenager with words of goodwill and joy rather than the violence and outrage that followed his killing by a white police officer.

“The mood is festive inside the church as funeral goers celebrate the life of Michael Brown,” a VOA reporter at the scene said. “Brown’s parents said they feel blessed by the support of th ecommunity who have turned out at their son’s funeral. [There were] no demonstrations and calm prevails in Ferguson. ”

Unarmed Brown, 18, was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson in a confrontation on August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Brown’s body lay at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in a black and gold casket, topped with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap he was wearing when he was killed on Aug. 9.

Monday’s service was held under heavy police surveillance to guard against renewed violence. Ferguson has been mostly calm in recent days following nearly two weeks of unrest.

A number of national civil rights leaders, politicians and celebrities attended the service at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.

Reverend Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy, said Michael Brown legacy should not be about rioting, but that he should be remembered as the one who made America face how policing is conducted in the United States.

“This is about justice. This is about fairness,” Sharpton told the audience. “And America is going to have to come to terms, when there’s something wrong that we have money to give military equipment to police forces, but we don’t have money for training, and money for public education and money to train our children.”

Sharpton said the movement for fair policing cannot be shortsighted.

“We can’t have a fit, we’ve got to have a movement,” he said. “A fit you get mad and run out for a couple of nights. A movement means we’ve got to be here for the long haul. And turn our chance into change, our demonstration into legislation. We have got to stay on this, so we can stop this.”

In addition to Sharpton, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson was also on hand for the funeral.

Three White House officials were also in attendance, including Broderick Johnson, head of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, and Marlon Marshall and Heather Foster from the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Appeal for calm

Before the funeral, Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., appealed for calm – asking for protests to stop during the service.

“All I want is peace while my son is laid to rest. Please, please. I’d like a day of silence so we can lay our son to rest. Please. That’s all I ask. And, thank you,” Brown said.

Despite a heavy police presence, many demonstrators who have kept steady vigils in Ferguson, where the August 9 incident occurred, honored that request.

Brown, 18, was just days from starting college when he was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson.

Accounts of the incident differ. Police say Brown was the aggressor during a struggle with Wilson, but witnesses say the shooting was unprovoked and that Brown was trying to surrender.

No goodbyes

Before the funeral, as hundreds of people filed into the modern red-brick church on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis, Brown’s coffin was surrounded by photos of him as a child, graduating from school and smiling in his Cardinals cap.

“There are no goodbyes for us, wherever you are you will always be in our hearts,” read a sign accompanying one of the photos.

Gospel music filled the sanctuary as hundreds of people stood inside the church, many dancing, singing and clapping.

Outside, gatherers sang the civil rights hymn “We Shall Overcome,” in a scene markedly different from the violent protests that rocked the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson after Brown was shot to death on Aug. 9.

Among the hundreds of people waiting outside the church was Travis Jackson, a black, 25-year-old retail store employee who said he took the day off from work to pay his respects.

“I had to be here. After all the emotions and pain of the past two weeks, this is an important moment for this community,” he said. “Today I am focused on peace for Michael Brown. Tomorrow I can think about justice,” he added.

Protests, arrests

More than 150 people have been arrested in Ferguson since the protests began – most of them for failing to disperse at the request of police.

Many have complained that the police response to the protests has been heavy-handed, while the shooting itself has raised allegations of institutionalized racism and excessive use of force.

The incident has highlighted the racial divide in the mostly black town of Ferguson, where almost all police and local politicians are white.

A grand jury began hearing evidence on Wednesday, a process the county prosecutor said could take until mid-October.

Chris Simkins contributed to this report from Ferguson, Missouri, some information for this report provided by Reuters.



Related:
A Funeral in Ferguson (Opinion – NYT)
In the Wake of Ferguson, Obama Orders Review of U.S. Role in Arming Police (NYT)
Timeline of a Tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri (MSNBC)
Ferguson Sees First Signs of Normalcy Since Brown Shooting (MSNBC)
Attorney General Eric Holder’s Stop in Ferguson is Deeply Personal
‘Smoke and Mirrors’ Punditry in Ferguson Shooting
CPJ Condemns Ongoing Harassment, Arrests of Reporters in Ferguson
What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson
Ferguson on Edge: Protests Continue After National Guard Called (Video & Photos)
How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Timeline of a Tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri

Ferguson, Missouri resident John West (L) hands a rose to a police officer. (Getty Images)

MSNBC

THE ED SHOW

Ferguson gained the attention of the entire nation over the past two weeks, following the death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Watch: Ed Schultz helps to recap the past events (MSNBC Video)


Related:
Ferguson Sees First Signs of Normalcy Since Brown Shooting (MSNBC)
Attorney General Eric Holder’s Stop in Ferguson is Deeply Personal
‘Smoke and Mirrors’ Punditry in Ferguson Shooting
CPJ Condemns Ongoing Harassment, Arrests of Reporters in Ferguson
What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson
Ferguson on Edge: Protests Continue After National Guard Called (Video & Photos)
How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

CPJ Condemns Ongoing Harassment, Arrests of Reporters in Ferguson, Missouri

Getty Images photographer Scott Olson, who has been documenting the Ferguson, Mo., unrest since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a police officer, was arrested Monday. Olson has since been released. (Getty Images)

CPJ

Press Release

New York –The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the continued harassment and detentions of journalists covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked by the police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. At least 11 journalists have been detained and released without charge since Saturday, two of them on Wednesday, according to CNN. Some journalists reported being threatened by the police and hit with rubber bullets and tear gas, while other reporters have said they were intimidated by local residents, according to news reports.

“Ferguson is an international story and journalists are going to cover it. They have a right to do so without fearing for their safety or liberty,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “The harassment and detention of reporters must stop. From senior commanders on down, the word must go out to security forces to let journalists do their job.”

Read more at CPJ.org »

Video: Rachel Maddow – the flight ban over Ferguson prevents needed perspective (MSNBC)


Related:
What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson
Ferguson on Edge: Protests Continue After National Guard Called (Video & Photos)
How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Protesters March Again Following Missouri Teen Shooting (Video & Photos)

Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 19, 2014. (MSNBC)

VOA News

August 19, 2014

Protesters gathered again on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri late Tuesday to voice anger about the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

The marches appeared to be peaceful, following a night of violent protests during which police arrested 78 people, including several journalists.

Ferguson, a community populated mainly by blacks, has been hit by street protests punctuated by looting and clashes with police every night since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed on August 9.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promised the people of Ferguson a “full, fair and independent” investigation into the shooting of Brown. Holder will be in the St. Louis suburb Wednesday to meet with community leaders, FBI investigators and federal civil rights officials.

A grand jury is expected to begin hearing evidence in the case on Wednesday.

In a videotaped message Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said a “vigorous prosecution” must now be pursued. He called for justice for Brown’s family.

In a message published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper, Holder said the full resources of the Justice Department are committed to the investigation.

He said, however, the town must see an end to violence and that the riots and looting in reaction to the shooting undermine justice.

The mayor of a U.S. town where police and protesters have clashed for 10 days following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen by a white policeman says there “is not a racial divide in the city of Ferguson.”

Mayor James Knowles told U.S. TV channel MSNBC on Tuesday that the town of 22,000 people in the state of Missouri has been a “model for the region” as it changed from a majority white population to predominantly black.

The comments come after a third tumultuous night on the streets of Ferguson, which has seen ongoing protests since a police officer killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9.

Seventy-eight civilians – including protesters and members of the press – were arrested Monday night and Tuesday morning in Ferguson after a day of peaceful protests. Initial reports indicated 31 arrests had been made.

St. Louis shooting

Meanwhile, police in St. Louis, Missouri have shot dead a man armed with a knife near the site of violent protests against the police shooting death of an unarmed black teenager August 9.

Police say the suspect in Tuesday’s shooting allegedly stole merchandise from a food store.

He apparently challenged officers to shoot him and approached them with a knife. Police fired when he refused to drop it.

In Ferguson, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who represents the town in the Missouri legislature, told CNN on Tuesday that peaceful protests would continue until charges were filed against the shooter.

“The demonstrations are going to continue until there’s an arrest, until this officer is on leave without pay,” said the state senator.

Nearly all of those arrested in the last day are charged with failing to disperse when police requested a crowd of roughly 200 people leave.

Outside agitators blamed

Most are not Ferguson residents, but many are from the area. Officials repeatedly have blamed protesters from out of state for violent acts during nighttime demonstrations.

Brown’s death has sparked allegations of systemic discrimination against minorities and a nationwide debate on race in the U.S.

A poll conducted over the weekend and released Monday by the Washington-based Pew Research Center shows 80 percent of African-Americans believe Brown’s death raises important issues about race, compared to 37 percent of whites.

The survey also found that while 65 percent of black respondents believe the police went too far in responding to the shooting, that number plummets to 33 percent among the white population.

Police fired stun grenades and tear gas at crowds, as demonstrators lobbed firebombs and bottles at heavily armored police.

Officers say they came under heavy attack, but did not shoot their weapons. Two people were reported wounded by shots from within the crowd. Many people appeared to be defying orders from police to disperse.

National Guard troops that arrived earlier Monday to strengthen police forces could be seen on the fringes of the gathering.

President weighs in

Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the actions of a “small minority” of demonstrators engaging in violence on the town’s streets was heightening tensions.

He also said there was no justification for the use of excessive force by police, or any action that denies the rights of peaceful protesters.

An independent autopsy requested by Brown’s family showed he was shot at least six times, including two bullets to his head.

Attorneys for Brown’s family said the autopsy shows the unarmed black teen was “trying to surrender” when Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot him. Two other autopsies have been commissioned.

Wilson is on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

Video: Student protesters offer their perspective (MSNBC)


Related:
How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

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Voting Open for Miss World Ethiopia 2014

Genet Tsegay - Miss World Ethiopia 2013. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, August 17th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The final selection for Miss World Ethiopia 2014 will be made next week by a combination of voting both by a panel of international judges and online public voting. The winner will be revealed on the organizer’s Facebook page. The victor from Ethiopia will compete at this year’s Miss World competition in London on December 14th.

The 64th edition of the international pageant features over 130 contestants from around the globe. Miss Philippines will pass on the crown to the new Miss World.

The Miss World Ethiopia 2014 judges include Yordanos Teshager (International Top Model), Jason Gardener (CEO JG Models), Whitney Carter (Model and Beauty Queen), Matewos Yilma (Former Mister Ethiopia and Top Model), Genet Tsegay (Miss World Ethiopia 2013), Robert Anderson (VP Konjo International), Dr. Jennifer Hobson (International Fashion & Fine Arts Event Producer), and Meron Wudneh (Miss Africa USA 2014). Organizers note the the public vote will be equivalent to one vote by the judges.

You can learn more at www.facebook.com/MissWorldEthiopia.


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Ethiopian Meron Wudneh Crowned Miss Africa USA 2014

Meron Wudneh was crowned Miss Africa USA 2014 on Saturday, August 9th in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photograph courtesy: Miss Africa USA)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – Ethiopian-born beauty queen Meron Wudneh has been crowned Miss Africa USA 2014. Meron, who beat 20 other contestants, is the first Ethiopian to win the Miss Africa USA pageant since it was launched nine years ago. Meron received the sought-after tiara on Saturday evening during the Grand Finals held at the Strathmore Theater in North Bethesda, Maryland.

In her statement posted on the Pageant’s website Meron states: “I am honored and delighted to represent Ethiopia, an ancient African country with amazing biodiversity, people who take pride in preserving their diverse culture, it’s great warriors, Kings and Queens! I love dancing our traditional Eskista dances, playing sports and bringing visibility to our culture through fashion.” Meron is a resident of Montgomery County, Maryland and a graduate of Bowie State University where she studied Health Sciences.

Last year’s winner was Kathy Onmu of Nigeria.



Related:
Meron Wudneh at Miss Africa USA 2014

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UPDATE: Last of Four Missing Ethiopian Athletes Found Safe in Washington State

From left to right: Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, 17, Dureti Edao, 18, Meaza Kebede, 18, Zeyituna Mohammed, 18. All four were located safe days after being reported missing. (Oregon Daily Emerald)

Oregon Daily Emerald

By Victor Flores

Zeyituna Mohammed, the last of four Ethiopian track and field athletes reported missing from the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene this past weekend, was found safe in Federal Way, Washington by Federal Way Police Tuesday night, according to University of Oregon Police Department spokesman Kelly McIver.

Federal Way Police located Muhammed, 18, at an acquaintance’s residence. UOPD received information from someone in Federal Way that Mohammed was there and asked Federal Way Police to do a welfare check.

Two Ethiopian track and field coaches reported late Friday evening that Muhammed and three of her fellow Ethiopian athletes had not checked into their rooms in a UO residence hall. Muhammed’s teammates – Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, 17, Dureti Edao, 18, and Meaza Kebede, 18 — were found safe in Beaverton, Oregon by police Monday afternoon.

The missing persons case is now closed, and the UOPD and UO will no longer be involved with these athletes’ situation.

“Law enforcement’s only interest was in confirming the safety of the individuals reported missing,” McIver wrote in a press release.

Some have speculated that the four athletes sought asylum in the United States, but that has not been confirmed. Ethiopians were the third largest group of people to receive asylum in the U.S. in 2012, behind China and Egypt.

Read more at Oregon Daily Emeralds »

Related:
Four Ethiopian athletes missing from World Junior championships (Oregon Daily Emerald)
Ethiopians Sweep Gold-Silver in 5000m World Junior Championships in Oregon (IAAF)

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Missing Ethiopian Runners in Oregon

One athlete, Zeyituna Mohammed, is still missing. (Photo: Clockwise from top left: The four athletes are: Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, 17; Meaza Kebede, 18; Zeyituna Mohammed, 18. Dureti Edao, 18; (Oregon Live)

UPDATE: Last of Four Missing Ethiopian Athletes Found Safe in Washington State

Oregon Live

By Ian K. Kullgren

University of Oregon police are still searching for Zeyituna Mohammad, one of the Ethiopian runners who vanished from the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene this past weekend.

Mohammad, an 18-year-old who competed in the Women’s 800-meter run, was one of four athletes from the Ethiopian team who disappeared Saturday. Police found the other three — Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, a 17-year-old boy, and Dureti Edao and Meaza Kebede, two 18-year-old women — staying with an acquaintance in Beaverton on Monday. Mohammed was still missing as of Tuesday morning.

Although University of Oregon police believe she is safe, they would not confirm whether Mohammed or the other three athletes are seeking asylum in the U.S.

“We aren’t and won’t be making inquiries with them about their plans, where they’ve been, or anything not related to simply confirming that they are safe, and not missing,” Kelly McIver, a department spokesman, wrote in an email Tuesday.

Read more at the Oregon Live»

Related:
Four Ethiopian athletes missing from World Junior championships (Oregon Daily Emerald)
Ethiopians Sweep Gold-Silver in 5000m World Junior Championships in Oregon (IAAF)

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Four Ethiopian Athletes Missing in Oregon May be Staying With Friends

Four Ethiopian athletes are reported missing from World Junior track and field in Oregon. (Image: IAAF)

The Register-guard

By Jeff Wright

JULY 28, 2014

Four members of the Ethiopian track team taking part in the World Junior Champion­ships at Hayward Field have been missing since Saturday morning, University of Oregon spokeswoman Julie Brown said Sunday.

It’s possible that the four athletes — three women and a 17-year-old boy — are staying with friends and family elsewhere in the state, “but we have not been able to confirm that with them directly,” Brown said.

Despite speculation, it’s also not been confirmed that the four are seeking political asylum from their native country, Brown said.

The UO Police Department is leading a missing persons investigation with assistance from Eugene police, Portland police and the FBI, Brown said.

The 30-member Ethiopian team consists of 17 females and 13 males, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations website. Brown said she didn’t know the identities of the four athletes who are un­accounted for.

Essar Gabriel, IAAF general secretary, said late Sunday afternoon that association officials don’t know the athletes’ whereabouts.

The Register-guard »

Related:
Four Ethiopian athletes missing from World Junior championships (Oregon Daily Emerald)
Ethiopians Sweep Gold-Silver in 5000m World Junior Championships in Oregon

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Reporters Without Borders on the Dismissal of 20 State Journalists in Ethiopia

Press release from Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

RSF

Mon, 30 Jun 2014

Reporters Without Borders condemns last week’s politically-motivated dismissal of 20 journalists from Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO), the main state-owned broadcaster in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest regional State.

The 20 journalists were denied entry to ORTO headquarter on 25 June and were effectively dismissed without any explanations other than their alleged “narrow political views,” an assessment the management reached at the end of a workshop for journalists and regional government officials that included discussions on the controversial Master Plan of Addis that many activists believe is aimed at incorporating parts of Oromia into the federal city of Addis Ababa.

The journalists had reportedly expressed their disagreement with the violence used by the police in May to disperse student protests against the plan, resulting in many deaths.

It is not yet clear whether the journalists may also be subjected to other administrative or judicial proceedings.

“How can you fire journalists for their political views?” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “The government must provide proper reasons for such a dismissal. Does it mean that Ethiopia has officially criminalized political opinion?

“In our view, this development must be seen as an attempt by the authorities to marginalize and supress all potential critiques ahead of the national elections scheduled for 2015 in Ethiopia. These journalists must be allowed to return to work and must not be subjected to any threats or obstruction.”

Ethiopia is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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Meron Wudneh at Miss Africa USA 2014

Meron Wudneh. (Photos via Miss Africa USA Org)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) –The organizers of the annual Miss Africa USA Pageant have announced 20 contestants from 20 African nations who will be competing for this year’s Miss Africa USA title. The finalists include Meron Wudneh who is representing Ethiopia at the Grand Finals at the Strathmore Theater in North Bethesda, Maryland on August 9th, 2014.

“We invite you to check out their profiles, what they stand for and how they plan to impact nations and bring change to the world,” organizers said. “The future of Africa lies in its untapped potential, the potential of its women.”

Below is Meron’s message. You can vote for her at missafricausa.org.

Miss Africa USA 2014 Meron covernew
Meron Wudneh. (Photo by Cain Manigque and E.Z/Miss Africa USA Org)

“My name is Meron Wudneh. I am honored and delighted to represent Ethiopia, an ancient African country with amazing biodiversity, people who take pride in preserving their diverse culture, it’s great warriors, Kings and Queens! I love dancing our traditional Eskista dances, playing sports and bringing visibility to our culture through fashion, which inspired a greater love of modeling. I model in NY, and also work in MD for Montgomery County in the field of healthcare and recreation where we develop youth programs. I completed my studies with a full scholarship at Bowie State University and earned a Bachelors degree in Health & Sciences and played women’s basketball.

Since I was a child growing up in Ethiopia I always had the desire to help people, especially kids. When I graduated from high school I realized that I had served 1,000 hours of community service helping kids at my neighborhood community center. Almost two years ago, I founded my non-profit called Kids First Ethiopia. Kids First Ethiopia sends school supplies, clothes, shoes, and other miscellaneous items to kids that have suffered the loss of their parents to HIV/AIDS and/or are homelessness.

Last year, I stayed in Ethiopia for 6 months working alongside established NGOs, such as Mary Joy Foundation, to support the efforts of others who are passionate about supporting the needs of kids. I learned how one person can truly change a child’s future.

Please join me on my journey to continue this effort to serve more kids in our beautiful motherland!

Thank you all for your support!”

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Miss Africa Utah Steps Down, Miss Ethiopia Takes Her Place

Muluwerk Hale, Miss Ethiopia, in the Miss Africa Utah Pageant, March 8, 2014. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Sheena McFarland

Miss Africa Utah reigned in the Beehive State for only about two weeks.

Winnet Murahwa, who entered the March 8 competition as Miss Zimbabwe, beat out eight other contestants to win the African Chamber of Commerce’s beauty competition. However, she announced she was stepping down.

“After carefully contemplating on my responsibilities as the queen, I realized that I cannot fulfill all the responsibilities expected of me due to personal reasons,” Murahwa said in a statement.

Taking her place is second runner-up Miss Ethiopia, Muluwerk Hale. She was crowned because the first runner-up, Miss Sierra Leone, is moving to Britain.

Miss Africa Utah is expected to make media and public appearances and pursue her platform.

The crowning ceremony was Friday afternoon at One World Gifts in Salt Lake City.

Read more at The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Have UK Businesses Missed the Train in Ethiopia?

The railway will link Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa with Djibouti on the coast. (BBC)

BBC News

By James Jeffrey

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Across the Ethiopian countryside 2,000km (1,243 miles) of railway is being built, the first phase of an endeavour to create a new 5,000km network.

Currently no British companies are involved, despite Ethiopia approaching the UK for assistance at the start, and the project being constructed according to official UK railway industry standards.

The centrepiece of the new rail system is the planned line between Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, and the neighbouring country of Djibouti.

So far about a quarter of the preparation work has been completed on this key route, which will enable land-locked Ethiopia to access Djibouti City’s port on the Horn of Africa coast.

Meanwhile in Addis Ababa, construction of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) – similar to London’s Docklands Light Railway – will give the capital its first mass transit system, transforming mobility in a city where nearly 90% of the population travel on foot, or by squeezing in to buses and taxis.

Both projects began in early 2012 and are joint ventures between the Ethiopian government and Chinese companies that successfully bid for the $3.3bn (£2.2bn) Addis-Djibouti contract, and the $500m LRT project.

Read more at BBC.

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NYC Ethiopians Make Presence Felt at the Saudi Mission to the United Nations

Ethiopians protested at Saudi Mission to the U.N. in New York, Nov. 18th, 2013. (Photo: Kidane Mariam)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopians in New York made their presence felt outside the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations on Monday, November 18th.

The demonstration followed last week’s deadly immigration crackdown in Saudi Arabia that claimed the lives of several Ethiopian citizens.

The diverse crowd included members of the Caribbean and other African communities joining fellow Ethiopians around the world who are holding similar events this month to raise global awareness and to protest the recent killings and continuing mistreatment of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. There are still tens of thousands of undocumented Ethiopians in limbo facing danger without adequate legal protection in the region.

More protests are scheduled this week in front of Saudi embassies and missions including in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for updates.

Below are photos from New York:



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Ethiopian Domestic Help Abuse Headlines From the Middle East (TADIAS)
Changing Ethiopia’s Media Image: The Case of People-Trafficking (TADIAS)
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In Memory of Alem Dechassa: Reporting & Mapping Domestic Migrant Worker Abuse
Photos: Vigil for Alem Dechassa Outside Lebanon Embassy in D.C.
The Plight of Ethiopian Women in the Middle East: Q & A With Rahel Zegeye

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Photos & Fun Facts: Miss Universe Ethiopia Mhadere Tigabe in Moscow

Mhadere Tigabe, 19, will represent Ethiopia at 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow on November 9th. (Photos: Miss Universe)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Published: Monday, November 4th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) — 19-year-old Mhadere Tigabe, the recently crowned Miss Universe Ethiopia, is currently in Moscow, Russia participating in preliminary contests for this weekend’s 2013 Miss Universe competition.

The Ethiopian beauty queen, who hails from Addis Ababa, is a mechanical engineering student at Mekelle University. “I believe my father equipped me with all the life lessons that allowed me to become independent, powerful, self-confident and educated,” Mhadere notes on her profile page on the pageant’s website.

You can read more fun facts about her and see photos at www.missuniverse.com.

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Mhadere Tigabe Crowned Miss Universe Ethiopia 2013

Mhadere Tigabe wins the 2013 Miss Universe Ethiopia contest. (Photograph: By Yemane Gebremedin)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Published: Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – Mhadere Tigabe has been crowned Miss Universe Ethiopia 2013 after winning the final contest held on Friday evening at the Radisson Blu hotel in Addis Ababa.

Mhadere will represent Ethiopia at the upcoming Miss Universe competition in Moscow, Russia on November 9th, 2013.

Below are photos courtesy of the organizers.



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Miss Israel in America: Titi to Visit Little Ethiopia in Los Angeles

Miss Israel, Yityish Aynaw, will travel to California on September 28th, 2013. (Photo: Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Friday, September 20th, 2013

Los Angeles (TADIAS) — Miss Israel 2013, Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, is scheduled to visit L.A.’s famous Little Ethiopia next week. The Ethiopian Community Development group, a project of the Southern California-based non-profit ‘Community Partners,’ is set to host a “Meet and Greet Reception” on her behalf at the Little Ethiopia Cultural Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 28th.

Organizers said the reception will be followed by a buffet dinner (open to the public) at Rahel’s vegan Ethiopian restaurant, located a few doors down from the center on Fairfax Avenue.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming Miss Israel with warm Ethiopian hospitality,” said Negest Legesse, Director of the Little Ethiopia Cultural Center.

The Ethiopian-Israeli beauty queen will also attend Saturday morning service at a synagogue in Beverly Hills. “Then for the rest of the afternoon and early evening, she will be our guest,” Negest said.

Titi’s tour is co-sponsored by the African American, faith-based initiative: Juneteenth Education Technology Mobile Arts Center (J.E.T.M.A.C.). In a statement the organization said Miss Israel’s L.A. stop is part of a national campaign. “The mission of the tour is to lay the groundwork for a 2014 Juneteenth Israel Reconciliation Tour, July 7-17, 2014, to build closer relationships with Israel through the Jewish Ethiopian community,” the press release said. “Miss Aynaw’s message welcoming and celebrating ethnic diversity in Israel is compelling.”

Miss Israel’s trip to America includes Washington D.C., Virginia, Illinois, and California.

If You Go:
Little Ethiopia to Host Miss Miss Israel 2013
Meet and Greet Reception in L.A.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
3:00pm – 5:00p
Little Ethiopia Cultural Center
1034 1/2 Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA
R.S.V.P. by September 25th (seats are limited)
Phone: (323) 937-8402.
Dinner at Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
(Open to the public, there is cost for the buffet)
www.rahelvegancuisine.com

Photos: Miss Israel 2013, Yityish Aynaw, in New York, June 11th, 2013 (Tadias Magazine)

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Who Will Be Crowned Miss Universe Ethiopia 2013?

Miss Universe Ethiopia audition at Panorama Hotel in Addis Ababa on August 17th, 2013. (Photo: MUE)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, September 2nd, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – The countdown to announce the next Miss Universe Ethiopia is underway in Addis Ababa, where the final contest is scheduled to be held on September 20th at the Radisson Blu hotel. The finalist will represent Ethiopia at the global Miss Universe competition in Moscow, Russia on November 9th, 2013.

Organizers of the event in Ethiopia selected 15 participants who qualified at the initial audition process and runway exhibition held at Panorama Hotel last month. “We’ve tried hard to scout the best candidates through massive media campaigns that included advertisements in cinemas, outdoor screens, newspapers, radio, and social media,” Henok Yifru, head coordinator of Miss Universe Ethiopia, told Tadias Magazine. “We are proud to run the Miss Universe Ethiopia program for the second year in a row.”

Last year 22-year-old Helen Getachew represented the country at the 2012 Miss Universe competition held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, becoming the first beauty queen from Ethiopia to grace the stage in more than five years.

Henok said they are eyeing some improvements for the final ceremony in 2013 compared to the previous year that he says will include a fashion show and live entertainment, with judges and guests hailing from the diplomatic community, press, and fashion industries. “An extension might be a possibility due to the overwhelming request we have received,” Henok added, referring to preliminary tryouts staged at Panorama Hotel in August.

“Just like last year we will be hosting the final event on September 20th at the Radison Blu hotel with some changes in the formation,” Henok said, “which includes making the event semi-open for the public by allowing ticketed seating, coverage of the show internationally by using our partnership with DSTV, and also working with different artists to make the event more exciting.” He added: “We would like our audience to know that it is our highest priority to bring qualified local and international judges to help us select the finalist for the Ethiopian Miss Universe. This must be done in order to leverage all of our efforts to provide more opportunities for our contestants who work hard to participate in our program.”

Henok emphasized that the winner will also be tasked to advocate on behalf of topics that are of universal concerns in the region. Organizers hope that this year’s crown holder will focus on the problem of human trafficking. “Every year the winner of the Miss Universe Ethiopia pageant will be taking on a social cause to give back to the community and empower social change,” he noted. “Last year Miss Universe Ethiopia 2012, Helen Getachew, took on the challenge of promoting awareness about children and education, but we are still not happy with our efforts and we believe it’s an important area of improvement for us.” In 2013 “the winner of Miss Universe Ethiopia will be working in close partnership with NGOs to promote awareness on human trafficking and act as an ambassador,” Henok stated.

So far only four African countries have won the international title — South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Angola. The current Miss Universe is Miss USA Olivia Culpo, a 20-year-old beauty queen from Rhode Island and the first American to claim the coveted title since 1997. Olivia was crowned Miss Universe 2012 by Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola who passed on the crown last December in front of nearly one billion TV viewers from 190 countries worldwide.

You can follow updates at Miss Universe Ethiopia’s Facebook page. Below is slideshow of images from last year’s coverage and photos of Miss Universe Ethiopia 2012 & Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola.



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AU to Mark World Humanitarian Day in Addis Ababa: Call for Film Submissions

The African Union will commemorate World Humanitarian Day on August 19th, 2013 in Addis Ababa. (AU)

Tadias Magazine
By Tigist Selam

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – The African Union Commission is preparing to mark World Humanitarian Day on August 19th in Addis Ababa under the theme “Helping Hands.” In honor of the occasion, organizers have announced a challenge for journalists from the African Diaspora who have documented or featured stories on humanitarian related issues affecting the continent within the last year.

In a statement the AU Commission said it is currently accepting submissions until the end of August for short films (maximum 3-5 minutes), a visual photo map or an essay (max. 1000 words).

The top 26 selections receive continental recognition at the Africa Solidarity Launch on September 12th and 13th, 2013 and the top 6 will win a trip to New York to the General Assembly of the United Nations, organizers said.

World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is a United Nations General Assembly-designated day dedicated to the recognition of humanitarian personnel worldwide. It was started following the 19th of August, 2003 bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad that killed the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello, and twenty-one of his colleagues.

“Through the ‘Helping Hands’ Initiative, the African Union Commission and its partners seek to recognize the valiant efforts of African humanitarian heroes and heroines by providing a platform for illuminating their efforts,” the press release stated. “The campaign will recognize those who have made a difference in their local, national and regional communities.”

The AU statement pointed out that ‘Helping Hands’ speaks to the African tradition and humanist philosophy of Ubuntu — that one is because of others, and that responding to distress is not a duty but the natural reaction of human beings.

“Helping Hands will showcase stories and projects by Africans and the African Diaspora that have made great impact in their communities,” the statement noted. “It is an opportunity to give Africans the chance to tell their story – not only to raise awareness, but also to inspire future generations to emulate innovative and exciting approaches to making a difference.”

You can contact the organizers or send your submission via Facebook/African-Humanitarian-Hub.

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Tadias Interview with Miss Israel Titi Aynaw

Miss Israel 2013, Yityish Aynaw, in New York on Tuesday June 11th, 2013. (Photo: Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
By Tseday Alehegn

Updated: Thursday, June 13th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, Miss Israel 2013, was recently in New York where she stayed for a week. At a gathering open to the press on Tuesday, June 11th in Manhattan Titi spoke to the media, and Tadias briefly interviewed her in Amharic. Miss Israel shared that she came to New York City to fundraise for a project she is working on through the Netanya Foundation.

“I live in Netanya in Israel,” Titi said. “And some children who live there don’t have the financial resources to participate in after school activities. For example, if I want to learn music, and my parents have the resources they can send me to take music lessons.” But in Netanya, she noted that some children don’t have these opportunities.

“So I’ve taken the initiative to bring together these children in a community room and help them to learn what they show interest in, whether it’s dance or music. I am fundraising to create these opportunities for them” Titi explained.

We asked what she thought of her visit to New York and she replied “Nice..Betam des yilal. Titi added that only a week ago she was in Ethiopia. When we inquired if it was her first time returning to Ethiopia since she moved to Israel, she replied “No I have been to Ethiopia before, after I completed my military training.”

She noted the fast-paced changes in Addis and said: “Every time I go to Ethiopia I feel that it’s changing. There are always new buildings, more growth.” She added: “Arif bota nech Ethiopia” (Ethiopia is a great place).”

Below are photos from the evening’s event:


Tseday Alehegn is Co-Founder & Editor of Tadias.

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Miss Israel Meets President Obama: CNN Video & Interview

President Obama meets with Miss Israel 2013, Yityish Aynaw (theobamadiary.com)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Friday, March 22, 2013

Miss Israel 2013 met with President Barack Obama on Thursday at a gala dinner hosted by Israel’s president Shimon Peres. The 21-year-old former IDF officer, Yityish Aynaw, was crowned on February 27th becoming the first Ethiopian-born Israeli to win the pageant.

Yityish told CNN that she was excited because President Obama is her role model. “I did a research project about him when I was in High School,” she said. “I know that he is a very powerful man, charismatic and he achieved a lot on his own by the virtue of the fact that he believed in himself, and this stuck with me.”

Miss Israel attended the gala after the White House requested her presence.

Watch:


Related:
Yityish Aynaw: First black Miss Israel will go to the ball (BBC)
First Ever Ethiopian-Born Miss Israel to Meet With President Obama (ADW)
Miss Israel 2013 is Ethiopian Immigrant (The Times of Israel)

Helen Getachew: Miss Universe Ethiopia 2012

22-year-old Helen Getachew represented Ethiopia at the 2012 Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 . (Photo credit: Miss Universe)

Tadias Magazine
By Tigist Selam

Updated: Friday, December 21, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – The new Miss Universe is Miss USA Olivia Culpo, a 20-year-old beauty queen from Rhode Island and the first American to claim the coveted title since 1997. Olivia was crowned Miss Universe 2012 by Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola at the annual international event held on Wednesday night in Las Vegas and televised around the world. Over the next year Olivia will hit the road on behalf of her cause alliances, namely HIV/AIDS prevention as mentioned on her official pageant profile.

Women from over 80 countries participated in the 61st Miss Universe contest. After years of absence from the global competition, Ethiopia was also back on the stage this year represented by 22-year-old Helen Getachew.

A ‘welcome to NYC party’ is being organized for Helen this weekend when she arrives here for post-pageant activities. Organizers say the event at Lalibela Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday, December 22 will be a relaxing dinner affair that includes champagne, music and, of course, a chance to meet, chat and be photographed with Miss Universe Ethiopia 2012!

If You Go:
Date: Sat Dec 22nd
Time: 7pm
Lalibela Restaurant
37 East 29th St, Ny,Ny
Between Park & Madison Aves
$45 per person – Call to RSVP
Tel: 646.454.0913 or 646.454.1437

Related:
Meet Helen Getachew: Miss Universe 2012 Contestant From Ethiopia (TADIAS)
Photos: Miss Universe Ethiopia Fundraiser at Bati Restaurant in Brooklyn
Spark Communications Acquires License for Miss Universe Ethiopia

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Meet Helen Getachew: Miss Universe 2012 Contestant From Ethiopia

Helen Getachew of Ethiopia, 22, is a contestant at the 2012 Miss Universe pageant. (Photo credit: Miss Universe)

Tadias Magazine
By Tigist Selam

Updated: Saturday, December 8, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – 22-year-old Helen Getachew will represent Ethiopia at the 2012 Miss Universe competition, which is scheduled to take place on December 19th at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, where the welcome party for the candidates is already underway.

Helen arrived in the United States a week ago. And according to organizers she attended a reception thrown on her behalf in D.C. last weekend (her first overseas public event) and she is already off to Nevada where she is prepping for the big show.

Organizers said Helen was selected to participate in the international contest on October 12th following a runway exhibition held at Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa in front of a group of judges, representing both the local fashion industry and global modeling agencies. “The event was infused with a fashion show and live entertainment, with guests in attendance from the [diplomatic corps], media, and fashion industries,” the press release said, highlighting that Ethiopian Airlines is Helen’s official transport sponsor.

The statement added: “It’s very exciting to have Ethiopia back competing at this event since the country has not been represented for the past few years.”

Last year, more than one billion TV viewers from across 190 countries witnessed the crowning of Leila Lopes from Angola as Miss Universe 2011.

According to the pageant’s website, public voting has already begun for the 2012 competition at: www.missuniverse.com.

For latest updates, you can visit Miss Universe Ethiopia’s Facebook page.

Photos: Helen Getachew Represents Ethiopia at 2012 Miss Universe Contest in Las Vegas, NV

Helen Getachew in her own words: “I would enjoy working for a nonprofit organization, but my dream in life is to create one myself.” (Missuniverse.com)


Helen Getachew. (Courtesy photo)


22-year-old Helen Getachew will represent Ethiopia at the 2012 Miss Universe competition. (Courtesy photo)

Related:
Photos: Miss Universe Ethiopia Fundraiser at Bati Restaurant in Brooklyn
Spark Communications Acquires License for Miss Universe Ethiopia

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Mississippi to Ethiopia: Understanding ‘Brown Condor’

Col. John Charles Robinson poses for New York cameras on May 18, 1936, after his return from the Ethiopian War. The Gulfport, Mississippi native is wearing the insignia of the commander of the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force. (Photo: Courtesy Potomac Books/The Sidney Rushing Collection)

By KAT BERGERON — Special to the Sun Herald

One more thread to unravel the mystery of the “Brown Condor” is now on national bookshelves.

This forgotten Mississippi Coast hero, a daring aviator who survived a dog fight with the son of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, encouraged other blacks to fly when it was taboo in Jim Crow America.

He helped change a ragtag Ethiopian military into a force against fascism, itself a form of the racism the Brown Condor faced in his own country.

Before the latest biography, enough was known of Col. John C. Robinson, born in Gulfport’s Big Quarter in 1905, to pique the interest of Mississippi writers and researchers who produced a book and newspaper articles and conducted an academic symposium.

Yet, to most Americans, even those enthralled by military and black history, the Mississippian who was once the best known black pilot in the world is an unknown.

Phillip Thomas Tucker hopes his “Father of the Tuskegee Airmen: John C. Robinson” will bring more awareness. The 329-page biography was published earlier this year by Potomac Books.

“The catch-22 with the Robinson story is that nobody knows about it,” Tucker said in a recent phone interview. “You mention the name and it doesn’t ring any bells. This book was written to shed light on what really happened. The Brown Condor was an early aviation pioneer and a war hero.”

Click here to read more at sunherald.com.

Photos: Miss Universe Ethiopia Fundraiser at Bati Restaurant in Brooklyn

A fundraising and promotion event for Miss Universe Ethiopia 2012 was held at Bati Ethiopian restaurant in Brooklyn on September 15, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Spark Communications Worldwide)

Tadias Magazine
By Tigist Selam | Events News

Published: Saturday, September 22, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Organizers of Miss Universe Ethiopia held an intimate fundraiser last week at Bati Restaurant in Brooklyn attended by a diverse group of people who paid about $45 each for a fun afternoon that included yummy Ethiopian food, drink, and music accompanied by traditional dancing.

The event was hosted by Spark Communications Worldwide, a New York City based marketing and branding company that recently acquired the exclusive license for Miss Universe Ethiopia.

Miss Universe is an annual international contest which is run by the Miss Universe Organization – a joint venture between NBC Universal and Trump. Last year, more than one billion TV viewers from across 190 countries witnessed the crowning of Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, as Miss Universe 2011.

Organizers say the Ethiopia event will take place on October 12th, 2012 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa.

Here are photos from Brooklyn:

WordPress plugin


Editorial: New PM Should Seize Missed Opportunities of Past 20 Years

Ethiopia’s new prime minister was sworn into office on Friday, September 21, 2012. Hailemariam Desalegn is a former deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister under the late PM Meles Zenawi. (Photo credit: World Economic Forum on Africa )

Tadias Magazine
Editorial

Updated: Saturday, September 22, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – As Ethiopians welcome a new era of political leadership with the swearing in of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, 47, who took office on Friday, we urge opposition members, for the sake of the country, to show goodwill towards the new leader.

We also remind the new Prime Minister that the respect and trust of the public is for him to earn. Hailemariam comes into office at a precarious period for the country where the time requires for wise leadership and collective responsibility. The new PM may be the chair of the majority party, but as prime minister he is ultimately the leader of all Ethiopians. And, as such, should be open, from day one, to entertain not only the concerns of his supporters but also those of his critics.

Although Hailemariam must eventfully rise to the occasion, we are mindful that he is embarking on a job that was suddenly entrusted to him and he deserves time and benefit of the doubt to prove himself.

If the new Prime Minister is bold enough, he could possibly carve a legacy of his own worth remembering by future generations. There is a very short window of opportunity for him not only to continue and promote the historic economic achievements of his predecessor, but also to seize upon the missed opportunities of the past twenty years in advancing human rights, government transparency, free press, and other democratic principles that are the building blocks of a fair and open society.

Even though we are encouraged, for example, by the recent release of the two Swedish journalists, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, we remain disappointed that several of our Ethiopian journalist colleagues, including Eskinder Nega, remain in prison awaiting justice. And we hope it bothers the conscience of the new Prime Minister that Ethiopia is considered one of the biggest jailers of journalists in Africa.

Moving forward, positive measures of genuine national reconciliation could inspire confidence, both at home and abroad, in helping to build a nation that is governed communally with the consent of all Ethiopian citizens. The tasks are challenging and we encourage PM Hailemariam to lead Ethiopia into a new era of respect for human rights as we continue the country’s strong economic progress.

Related:
Hailemariam Desalegn Sworn in as PM (AP)

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Spark Acquires License for Miss Universe Ethiopia

Leila Lopes of Angola (left), winner of last year's Miss Universe pageant pictured with the current Miss Teen USA and Miss USA, is the fourth African to claim the title since it was started sixty years ago. (Courtesy photo )

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Since the beginning of the international beauty pageant Miss Universe in 1952, only four African countries have won the title: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Angola.

Henok Yifru – one of the founders of Spark Communications Worldwide, a New York City based marketing and branding company that recently acquired the exclusive license for Miss Universe Ethiopia, is hopeful that Ethiopia may be added to the roster of African winners in the next few years.

“We are looking for serious and career-driven applicants only,” Henok said in a recent interview with TADIAS, pointing out that with over 1 billion television viewers, the competition is one of the most watched annual media events worldwide.

The Miss Universe Organization is currently owned by Donald Trump in partnership with NBC Universal.

“Miss Universe Ethiopia will have the opportunity to represent the nation and act as an ambassador in this context,” Henok said. “The judges are capable of providing opportunities beyond Miss Universe itself. He added: “It’s a special position that has its responsibilities. It provides an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, the ability to take on cause-based projects, and the chance to promote Ethiopia globally.”

And what are the qualifications to participate?

“Contestants must be female, citizens of Ethiopia, and must have resided in Ethiopia as their permanent and primary residence for a period of at least six months immediately prior to Friday, October 12, 2012,” Henok answered, referring to the scheduled date for Miss Universe Ethiopia final at Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa. “They must be at least 18 years of age and under 27 as of February 01, 2012,” he said.

Spark Communications Worldwide, the official licensee, will manage the production and preliminary qualification process for the contest in Ethiopia.

“What makes this Miss Universe Ethiopia special is that there will be agents as judges from esteemed New York City modeling agencies and beauty relevant companies who will be traveling to Addis Ababa with our team to conduct the casting and selection of the talent,” Henok said.

Thus far, confirmed participating agencies include, Wilhelmina Models, Elite Model Management and Fusion Model Management.

Henok said in addition to these modeling agencies, L’Oreal, Revlon and MAC cosmetics casting agents have been approached to sit on the judging board. “This gives the contestants a double opportunity to succeed not just in Miss Universe but in the modeling world as well,” he argued. “Basically, we will do everything in our power to give the winner as much exposure and opportunity.”

Regarding Spark Communications Henok said, the company works on several projects in various industries, including media, entertainment, hospitality, and travel. “One initiative is the ‘Gateway Africa’ Project which is set up to promote destinations in Africa and build a more positive image for the continent,” he said. “We’re also close partners with Miss Universe Botswana.”

Henok added: “Our long term goal is to make the Miss Universe Ethiopia initiative a gateway to global opportunities for Ethiopia’s artistic and business talent, while simultaneously promoting Ethiopia as a tourist destination.”

According to organizers, the international final event for this year’s Miss Universe will be held either in the United States or the Dominican Republic on December 11, 2012. “Either way, it’s going to be exciting,” Henok said.

Click here to learn more about the pageant at Miss Universe Ethiopia.

Related Photos:


Alef Tadesse (left) and Henok Yifru represented Spark Communications Worldwide at the NBC Universal Miss Universe office in NYC, July 2012. (Courtesy photo)


Henok Yifru poses with Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola at the NBC Universal Miss Universe office in NYC, July 2012. (Courtesy photo)


The reigning Miss Universe Leila Lopes of Angola. (Courtesy photo)


Leila Lopes at the Rio Conventions of the UNCCD – United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. (Courtesy photo)

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Ethiopia’s Missing PM: What’s The Truth About Meles Zenawi’s Health?

Although Ethiopian officials claim that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is on "sick leave," receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital outside of Ethiopia, rumors continue to grow about his condition and who may replace him. (Photo: AFP)

Tadias Magazine
Editorial

Updated: Friday, July 27, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – The official secrecy shrouding the state of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s health, and whether or not he is able to resume work, is contributing to the frenzy of speculation not only about his medical condition, but also about the future direction of the country.

The endless stream of unconfirmed reports are the result of a failure by the office of the spokesperson of the Ethiopian government and lack of free press in the country. So far, the public has been vaguely informed that the Prime Minister is taking “sick leave” but will remain in power while he deals with an unspecified illness.

The question, however, is no longer about one person. It’s rather about the seat of power that he occupies. It is still not clear why it took Ethiopian authorities five days to hold a press conference on the PM’s unexplained absence, and that international news agencies broke the news before any official statements were made. Even after the press conference, the Ethiopian public learned very little about the actual cause of Meles’ disappearance nor how long he is to be away from office.

Where is PM Meles Zenawi? What is the nature of his illness? Who are his doctors? How long will he remain on sick leave? How do we know he is even alive?

In these uncertain times, the continuing dearth of accurate information is dangerous. Ethiopians can not afford to gamble the future of the country with rumors and counter rumors. It is high time for the ruling party to level with the Ethiopian people and be forthcoming about the exact status of the country’s leader.
—-
Related:
What Happens If Meles Zenawi Can No Longer Govern? (VOA)
Mystery of the sick and missing PM (AFP)
Ethiopian weekly blocked for reporting on Meles’ health (CPJ)
Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi ‘in hospital’ (BBC)
Fears are Growing for the Health of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (The Telegraph)
Ethiopia’s Deputy PM Says Prime Minister Meles Zenawi Is Ill (VOA News)
Ethiopia Says Meles Is Ill Amid African Union Summit Absence (Bloomberg)
Ethiopia Leader’s Absence Raises Health Questions (ABC News)

Olympic Torch Bearer From Ethiopia Goes Missing After His Leg of the Relay

Olympic torch bearer Natneal Yemane, 15, of Ethiopia has disappeared after completing his run. Police have launched a search. (Photo: PAGE ONE)

The Telegraph

By Richard Alleyne

Natneal Yemane, 15, an Ethiopian, carried the torch as part of the International Inspiration programme, a games sponsored initiative to encourage children at home and abroad to do more physical exercise.
But shortly after completing his section of the relay in Nottinghamshire, he has disappeared and police have launched a search.

It is not believed any foul play has taken place and officials believe he has family in London.
Officers said he left the hotel where he was staying, the Jurys Inn, Waterfront Plaza, Nottingham, at around 9.15pm yesterday and did not return.

Read more at The Telegraph.

Body of Missing Former KU Student Yelekal Alemu Found

The body of Yelekal Alemu, the missing 23-year-old former University of Kansas student, was found in rural Douglas County, southeast of Lawrence, near where his car was located the day he disappeared on May 12th. (Photo: KMBC)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Saturday, June 2, 2012

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Kan. – Police in Lawrence, Kansas confirm that a body found in rural Douglas County is that of Yelekal Alemu – the missing 23-year-old former University of Kansas student, who was last seen on the morning of Saturday, May 12.

“The 2007 graduate of Olathe South High School was in his fourth year at KU. He lived with his parents and commuted to Lawrence until this past August,” kSHB reports. “Since then, he lived in Lawrence with friends and came home almost every weekend.” According to the local TV station: “His mother reported him missing after he missed a family event, which she said was unlike him. His body was found in a wooded area on Thursday. An autopsy confirmed it was Alemu. Police say they do not suspect foul play.”

Watch:

MEMORIAL SERVICE

Saturday June 2, 2012
4:30 pm — 8:00 pm

Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church
14345 w 119th St
Olathe, KS 66062
913-271-1645
913-706-6043
_____________________________________

CHURCH SERVICE

Sunday June 3, 2012
10:00 am — 12:30 pm

Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church
14345 w 119th St
Olathe, KS 66062
913-271-1645
913-706-6043
_____________________________________

BURIAL SERVICE

Sunday June 3, 2012
1:00 pm — 2:00 pm

Olathe Memorial Cemetery (119th and Harold)
738 N. Chestnut St.
Olathe KS 66061
913.971.5226 or 913.971.8626


Related:
Kansas Police Seek Help Finding Missing Man (KBMC News)
Police locate missing 23-year-old’s car in rural Douglas County (KCTV5)

Ethiopia: What’s Missing in African Union’s New Building?

The new towering complex that opened in Addis Ababa on January 28, 2012 overlooks a vast conference centre where African heads of state will meet for years to come.

Tadias Magazine
History | Editorial

Updated: Saturday, February 11, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – The forecourt of the recently inaugurated African Union building in Addis Ababa – a $200m complex funded by China as a gift to the AU – features a beautiful statue of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, one of the founders of the OAU. It is fitting that Dr. Nkrumah is honored for the role he played in African liberation struggles and the Pan African movement. It is also equally deserving and historically accurate to extend the recognition to other leaders who were involved in the formation of the organization.

On May 25, 1963, less than 22 years after Ethiopia fought and retained her independence from military occupation and annexation into the colony of Italian East Africa, several Heads of State from 32 newly independent African countries gathered in Addis Ababa. The meeting brought together various factions from across the continent that held differing views on how to achieve union among the emerging, decolonized African countries – an issue that also preoccupied the continent’s press and academics at the time.

(Photograph: The statue of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in Addis Ababa. Photo credit: us-africarelations updates)

One such promiment group, “The Casablanca bloc,” led by President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, argued for the federation of all African states. A second group of countries called “The “Monrovian bloc”, led by Léopold Senghor of Senegal, preferred a more gradual economic cooperation. Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia offered a diplomatic solution and brokered the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now renamed the African Union (AU). The assembly settled its headquarters in Addis Ababa and entrusted Haile Selassie with the very first of its rotating chairmanships. Gamal Abdul Nassar of Egypt and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana served as subsequent OAU leaders.

Today, however, we should not only remember the founders of the AU, but also embrace our modern day heros like Nelson Mandela who continue to give us renewed hope that ‘African union’ can be more than a name on a brick tower. By acknowledging our past legacy and embracing current inspiring leaders we can begin to set our sights on a new morning in Africa.

Related:
A Chinese gift, an Ethiopian omission and a screaming Shame (The Africa Report)
Ethiopians give lacklustre welcome to Kwame Nkrumah statue (The Independent)
AU’s lavish new home hit by statue row (Reuters)
Ethiopia’s Conundrum : A statue for Nkrumah or Selassie? (The Africa Report)
African Union opens Chinese-funded HQ in Ethiopia (BBC)

Video: President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana Unveils Nkrumah’s Statue In Addis Ababa

2011 Kwanzaa-Genna Holiday Celebration: Special Appearance by Miss Africa USA

Miss Africa USA 2011, Ghyslaine Tchouaga of Cameroon (right), is the guest of honor at this year's Kawnaza-Genna holiday celebration on Monday, December 26, 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Miss Africa USA by DJ Photography)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Source: Little Ethiopia DC & African Heritage

December 24th, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Little Ethiopia DC and African Heritage is pleased to announce the 8th annual joint holiday celebration of Genna (Ethiopian X-mass) and Kwanzaa, a nonreligious holiday honoring the legacy of African American life, to be held on Monday, December 26th in Washington, D.C.

This year’s activities include a special appearance by the current Miss Africa USA, Ghyslaine Tchouaga of Cameroon, and traditional performances by the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers, as well as food, drinks, music and a candle lighting ceremony. Almaz Tilahun from Ethiopia will perform the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony while Thomas an African American trained dancer will perform the unique traditional Ethiopian shoulder dance “Iskista.”

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration with each day of the week dedicated to one of seven principles: Umoja (unity); Kujichagulia (self-determination); Ujima (collective work and responsibility); Ujamaa (cooperative economics); Nia (purpose); Kuumba (creativity); and Imani (faith). All are based on values prevalent in African cultures. “The objective of the event is to establish unity and a working relationship among two diverse communities – Ethiopian and African Americans – whose long relationship dates back to 1808 with the establishment of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York. Formal diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and America commenced in 1903.

When the fascist Italian military power occupied Ethiopia in 1935 during World War II, to avenge its defeat 40 years earlier in Adwa, the African American community in Washington DC, New York and other cities organized in large numbers to raise funds in defense of Ethiopia. In his 1954 visit to the United States, Emperor Haile Selassie expressed his gratitude for the support given by the Black community to the people of Ethiopia in their heroic battle against the Italian occupation.

The Emperor invited two Washingtonians, Duke Ellington, the jazz king who grew up in the Shaw/ U Street neighborhood and Professor Leo Hansberry who started the first African Studies department in Howard University. Hansberry collaborated with Dr. Melaku Beyan, the first Ethiopian to graduate from Howard University in creating the African Studies department. The Emperor gave both Ellington and Hansberry the Ethiopian Medal of Honor.

After Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by a military dictatorship the Congressional Black Caucus led by Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm strongly supported Ethiopians in America to be given Extended Voluntary Departure Status from 1977 up to 1982 until the situation in the homeland improved.

Our joint celebration is an effort to strengthen the value, unity and diversity among people. We can continue to build a relationship of respect and mutual inclusion in everything we do by working, praying, dancing, eating, singing, celebrating together.

If You Go:
Kwanzaa Celebration 2011
Monday, December 26th
1320 Good Hope Road
Washington D.C., SE
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Phone:202.255.1400

Related:
Photos: 2011 Kwanzaa-Genna Holiday Celebration

Ghyslaine Tchouaga of Cameroon Crowned Miss Africa USA 2011

Ghyslaine Tchouaga, 22, from Cameroon, has won the 6th Miss Africa USA Pageant. (Photo by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, November 13, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – Twenty-two-year-old Ghyslaine Tchouaga of Cameroon was crowned Miss Africa USA 2011 on Sunday after beating fifteen other finalists. Ms. Tchouaga was born and raised in the capital Yaoundé and migrated to the U.S. six years ago.

The scholarship and beauty pageant, which celebrated its 6th anniversary, was held at the Hilton in Silver Spring, Maryland. It also included cultural performances by the participants.

Tsige Hussein, a 29-year-old aspiring Nurse from Virginia who represented Ethiopia, finished in the top ten but did not qualify for the final rounds. She was named Miss Photogenic. “I gave it my best shot,” she said.

“Over all she did good, but her speech needed more work,” said Markos Huluka, who represented Tsige through his Konjo Models & Fashion Group. “Her cultural performance brought down the house.”

Tsedey Aragie, who covered the event for Tadias said: “It’s true that her song selection [from the South] was fantastic. But, had she also incorporated a monologue explaining elements of our culture and history, it may have worked out better.”

“Given that she had only two months to prepare, I think she did fine,” Markos said. “What I witnessed today was the beauty, grace, and the diversity of the African continent.” He added: The lesson for us is that we can easily win this thing.”

Markos said he is already looking forward to 2012. “We’re going to go out to over 22 states to find the winning candidate for next year,” he said. “We’re going to reach out to colleges and universities across the country.”

According to the organizers, the pageant is designed to empower young women in the United States as goodwill ambassadors to Africa. Past winners have gone on to join forces with Habitat for Humanity, Concern USA, as well as Russell Simmons’s Diamond Empowerment Fund, to help raise money for various causes benefiting communities in Africa and the United States. Last year’s winner, Fifi Soumah of Guinea, a student at Montgomery College in Maryland, established a foundation in her native country to help promote free education for disadvantaged young girls.

The competition this year included a series of interviews which required each candidate to present a social message. The winner said she wants to use her new role to “raise awareness about hunger in Africa.”

Below are photos from the event:


Tsige Hussein and Markos Huluka at the 2011 Miss Africa USA Pageant. Tsige, who represented Ethiopia, was named Miss Photogenic. (Photo by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias Magazine)


The judges at the 2011 Miss Africa USA Pageant. (Photo by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias Magazine)


Tsige Hussein. (Photo by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias Magazine)


At the 2011 Miss Africa USA Pageant. (Photo by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias Magazine)


(Photo by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias Magazine)


Ghyslaine Tchouaga after winning the crown. (Photo by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias Magazine)

The judges at the 2011 Miss Africa USA Pageant. (Photo by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias Magazine)

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Who Will Be Crowned Miss Africa USA?

Tsige Hussien of Virginia is one of the contestants at the 2011 Miss Africa USA Pageant. (Photo by Matt Andrea)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – The 6th annual Miss Africa USA pageant will be held in Silver Spring, Maryland this weekend, with dozens of finalists from across the country descending into the city to vie for the 2011 crown and scholarship prize.

Last year’s winner, Fifi Soumah of Guinea, a resident of Maryland, will be passing on the title to the new winner on Sunday, November 13th. According to organizers, the Hilton Hotel ceremony will be hosted by Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron.

This year’s contestants will accumulate points toward their final score starting at the Saturday evening red-carpet gala where they will be presenting their social message. “Pageant Delegates [will] introduce their platforms and humanitarian ventures,” the organization announced. “This special banquet introduces the contestants for the coveted crown of Miss Africa USA.”

29-year-old Nursing student, Tsige Hussein, from Northern Virginia Community College, is representing Ethiopia.

“We were impressed by Ms. Hussien’s platform,” said Lady Kate Njeuma, CEO and Founder of Miss Africa USA. “She wants to use the stage to promote HIV/AIDS awareness.”

Tsige’s agent Markos Huluka said that she is nervous but is very happy about the support from the community. “She already has sponsors covering her hotel expenses. Ethiopian businesses are also advertising in the Miss Africa USA magazine,” he said. And he describes Tsige’s efforts in preparation as akin to “studying for a big exam.”

“I know people that are affected by HIV/AIDS.” Tsige Hussien told Tadias last month. “That’s why I have decided to make it my platform. Based on my own experience, the problem with HIV/AIDS is lack of awareness on how to prevent it.”

Tsige has also been honing her public speaking skills, appearing last week as a guest speaker at Little Ethiopia DC’s “Ethio Mixer.”

Markos says he is already thinking beyond Sunday. “We will be working with promoters in over 22 states to choose the next Miss Ethiopia USA queen,” he said. “The national winner will automatically qualify for the 2012 Miss Africa USA Pageant.”

If You Go:

The 2011 Pageant is slated for Sunday November 13th from 5pm – 11pm. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. Tickets are selling via the website www.missafricaunitedstates.com. The African Banquet takes place on Sat Nov 12 and tickets are $100 each. Both events will take place at the Hilton Hotel 8272 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD. Free parking is available.

Miss Africa USA Picks Ethiopian Finalist
Miss America 2010 to Host Miss Africa USA Pageant

Miss America 2010 to Host Miss Africa USA Pageant

Miss America 2010, Caressa Cameron, will host the 2011 Miss Africa USA Pageant. (Photo by Jim Carpenter/ Fredericksburg.com)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Friday, October 28, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – As the countdown continues for the 2011 Miss Africa USA Pageant, organizers announced that Miss America 2010, Caressa Cameron, will host the event on November 13th in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Cameron, who was born and raised in Virginia, was crowned Miss America on January 30, 2010 after beating out 52 other contestants for the $50,000 scholarship. An aspiring singer and Miss America’s Talent Award winner in vocal pop, she has performed at noteworthy venues, including the historic Apollo Theatre in New York City as well as during the 2009 presidential inauguration festivities. She is the third Miss Virginia to win the national title.

This year’s contestant representing Ethiopia, 29-year-old Tsige Hussein, is also a Virginian. She is currently a nursing student at Northern Virginia Community College.

“Ms. Hussien was chosen out of several Ethiopian candidates,” Lady Kate Njeuma, CEO and Founder of Miss Africa USA, said in a recent interview with Tadias. “She stood out because of her confidence level and her passion for humanitarian work.”

Lady Kate added that each contestant was required to present a social cause that she intends to focus on if selected as a winner.

“We were impressed by Ms. Hussien’s platform,” Lady Kate said. “She wants to use the stage to promote HIV/AIDS awareness.”

“I know people that are affected by HIV/AIDS.” Tsige Hussien told Tadias. “That’s why I have decided to make it my platform.” She added: “Based on my own experience, the problem with HIV/AIDS is lack of awareness on how to prevent it.”

Tsige arrived in the United States from Ethiopia in 2002 after attending Bole High School in Addis Ababa, and graduated from a boarding school in West Virginia.

“When I was younger people used to tell me that I should be a model,” Tsige said. “I would reply ‘no’ I want to be a nurse. I am eager to show that beauty is more than a pretty face.”

“Yes, it’s true that we emphasize the essence of the women in this pageant,” Lady Kate admits. “But we still need a pretty face to represent Africa.”

Tsige was drawn to participate in Miss Africa USA pageant because “they focus on the woman as a whole and not only on physical appearance.”

As part of their pageant performance, the contestants must also present a musical celebration of their native country. “I am still searching for the right music,” Tsige said. “I have posted on Facebook asking people to helping me select the song.”

“I would like the music to reflect the diversity of Ethiopia,” she said. “Because I have a little bit of everything: Oromo, Gurage, Wolo, Tigre.” She adds: “My childhood memories of Ethiopia include the feeling of love. We spent a lot of time outdoors playing eqaqa (house), sēnyo/maksenyo ( hopscotch), soccer. I want the song to reflect that too.”

Photo of Tsige Hussein by Matt Andrea.

If You Go:
The 2011 Pageant is slated for Sunday November 13th from 5pm – 11pm. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. Tickets are selling via the website www.missafricaunitedstates.com. The African Banquet takes place on Sat Nov 12 and tickets are $100 each. Both events will take place at the Hilton Hotel 8272 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD. Free parking is available.

Related:
Miss Africa USA Picks Ethiopian Finalist

Miss Africa USA Picks Ethiopian Finalist

Tsige Hussien of Virginia is one of the contestants at the 2011 Miss Africa USA Pageant. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Monday, October 24, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – The organizers of the Miss Africa USA Pageant have named the finalist that will represent Ethiopia at their annual beauty contest next month. Tsige Hussien, a nursing student at Northern Virginia Community College, will compete for the 2011 crown on November 13th in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“Ms. Hussien was chosen out of several Ethiopian candidates,” Lady Kate Njeuma, CEO and Founder of Miss Africa USA, said. “She stood out because of her confidence level and her passion for humanitarian work.”

Lady Kate added that each contestant was required to present a social cause that she intends to focus on if selected as a winner.

“We were impressed by Ms. Hussien’s platform,” Lady Kate said. “She wants to use the stage to promote HIV/AIDS awareness.”

“I know people that are affected by HIV/AIDS.” Tsige Hussien told Tadias Magazine. “That’s why I have decided to make it my platform.” She added: “Based on my own experience, the problem with HIV/AIDS is lack of awareness on how to prevent it.”

Tsige said she has done volunteer work with the Mary Joy Foundation, an NGO based in Ethiopia that works in communities impacted by HIV/AIDS as well as to improve the health and living conditions of children and seniors. Last year she participated in a fashion show to help raise funds for the NGO. She said she learned about the Mary Joy Foundation through her work with Konjo Models.

“Tsige is one of our girls,” said Markos Huluka, Founder of Konjo Models & Fashion Group. ” We work with about 25 models and we service runway shows at various expos and events in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas.” Markos, who also goes by the name “Mark”, says he is Tsige’s agent. “She’s been working with us since we started a few years ago.”

At 29, Tsige is also one the of older participants in the upcoming pageant. “The requirements is that you have to be 18 to 30 years of age and unmarried, we have one 19 year-old, most are between 25 and 27, and we have two 29-year olds and Ms. Hussien is one of them,” says Lady Kate.

Tsige arrived in the United States from Ethiopia in 2002 after attending Bole High School in Addis Ababa, and graduated from a boarding school in West Virginia.

“When I was younger people used to tell me that I should be a model,” Tsige said. “I would reply ‘no’ I want to be a nurse. I am eager to show that beauty is more than a pretty face.”

“Yes, it’s true that we emphasize the essence of the women in this pageant,” Lady Kate admits. “But we still need a pretty face to represent Africa.”

Tsige was drawn to participate in Miss Africa USA pageant because “they focus on the woman as a whole and not only on physical appearance.”

As part of their pageant performance, the contestants must also present a musical celebration of their native country. “I am still searching for the right music,” Tsige said. “I have posted on Facebook asking people to helping me select the song.”

“I would like the music to reflect the diversity of Ethiopia,” she said. “Because I have a little bit of everything: Oromo, Gurage, Wolo, Tigre.” She adds: “My childhood memories of Ethiopia include the feeling of love. We spent a lot of time outdoors playing eqaqa (house), sēnyo/maksenyo ( hopscotch), soccer. I want the song to reflect that too.”


Tsige Hussien (Courtesy photo).

Click here to learn more about the Miss Africa USA pageant
Click here to learn more about Tsige Hussien
Click here to vote for Tsige Hussien

If You Go:
The 2011 Pageant is slated for Sunday November 13th from 5pm – 11pm. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. Tickets are selling via the website www.missafricaunitedstates.com. The African Banquet takes place on Sat Nov 12 and tickets are $100 each. Both events will take place at the Hilton Hotel 8272 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD. Free parking is available.

Watch: Miss Africa USA 2010 Introduction Dance (Video courtesy of Miss Africa USA)

Gemini Health Care Group Prepares for Medical Mission to Ethiopia

The Gemini Health Care Group (GHCG), is an Ethiopian-American organization based in Jacksonville Alabama, that focuses on providing medical services to children in Ethiopia. (Photos: by GHCG)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, October 21, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – Gemini Health Care Group (GHCG), the U.S.-based non-profit organization that provides pediatrics services and training in Ethiopia, said its next medical mission to Addis Ababa is scheduled from October 25th to November 5th, 2011. The upcoming trip is organized in collaboration with the Philadelphia chapter of Healing the Children, a volunteer association that works to provide access to medical treatment for children worldwide.

“We have assembled a 12-member medical team that will be going to work at Black Lion Hospital, Cure International Hospital and Mekanissa School for the Deaf,” says Dr. Ebba K. Ebba, GHCG Founder and President. “We wish the volunteer medical team safe travels and tremendous success.”

GHCG also held a succesful fundraiser last month at its annual gala held on September 24th in Arlington, Virginia. The full-house event included music, food, and auction of donated paintings, airline tickets, and other merchandise with an added excitement of a humorous, fast-talking L.A. auctioneer.

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Aziza Shad of Georgetown University, discussed the collaboration between Georgetown University Department of Pediatrics and INCTR (International Cancer Treatment and Research), a non-profit organization which provides cancer treatment and research for developing countries, to establish the pediatric cancer treatment, and training program by January 2012 at Black Lion hospital in Addis Ababa. The event also honored several individuals, including Dr. Aklilu Lemma (posthumously), who was the former Dean of the Faculty of Science and Director of the Institute of Pathobiology at Addis Ababa University. Dr. Lemma’s pioneering research produced cheap and locally available interventions that helped combat a parasitic disease called Schistosomiasis or Bilharzia. Other awardees included Dr. Ahmed Moen, Dr. Tsehaye Teferra and Ms. Mary Cohen.

“Just remember,” Dr. Ebba said speaking about the upcoming medical mission “we may not change the world, but we can save a child.”


Gemini Health Care Group held its 4th annual gala at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on Saturday, September 24, 2011. (Courtesy photo)


Dr. Aklilu Lemma’s sons accepted the award on their late father’s behalf from Dr. Ebba K. Ebba – left – at GHCG’s 4th annual gala on Saturday, September 24, 2011. (Courtesy photo).


Guests at GHCG’s 4th annual dinner held on Saturday, September 24, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. (Courtesy photo)


Volunteers at GHCG’s 4th annual gala on Saturday, September 24, 2011. (Courtesy photo)


Guests at the Gemini Health Care Group’s 4th annual gala at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on Saturday, September 24, 2011. (Courtesy photo)

You can learn more about Gemini Health Care Group at www.ghcg.org.

Miss Africa USA Making Progress in Its Search for Miss Ethiopia

Leila Lopes of Angola was crowned Miss Universe 2011 at the Pageant's 60th anniversary ceremony in Sao Paolo, Brazil, on Monday, September 12th. (fashiontrendsstore.com)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – In a recent interview with Tadias Magazine Lady Kate Njeuma, CEO and Founder of Miss Africa USA, said her organization is making progress in its search for Miss Ethiopia to particpate in the upcoming annual competition.

The Miss Africa USA Pageant had reached out to Tadias last month saying that Ethiopian-Americans remained unrepresented as the group prepares to crown the 2011 Queen in November.

Ms. Njeuma said that has now changed: “We have been overwhelmed with responses from the community,” she said. “We are now at the point of finalizing our search to endorse one candidate to represent Ethiopia this year. We hope that after the interviews and selection process, our choice will be a good representative for Ethiopia.”

Regarding her reflections on the 25-year-old Leila Lopes of Angola, winner of the coveted Miss Universe prize, Ms. Njeuma said: It is very encouraging indeed for an African woman to win the Miss Universe Pageant. The first African woman to win was Miss Botswana in 1999, so Leila is the second in the pageant’s 60 year history. I think Africa has got to the point where people are not only seeing the negative things but they are realizing that Africa is very gifted.”

Leila Lopes, was among contestants hailing from 89 nations at the 60th anniversary of the beauty contest held in São Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011. Lopes dazzled the judges with her sharp replies to their questions. Asked what she would change to improve her appearance, Leila replied, “Nothing, I’m satisfied with what God has given me,” adding that “I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family, and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.”

“Leila is such a beauty and she has the heart of an angel,” Ms. Njeuma said. “she has been involved in humanitarian work even before she won Miss Universe and has promised that with her crown she will do even more. She has made Africa proud and we are very proud of her too.”

Below is Lady Kate Njeuma’s recent interview with Voice of America on the same subject:

Watch: Voice of America’s Ndimyake Mwakalyelye spoke with Lady Kate Njeuma

Watch: Leila Lopes is crowned Miss Universe 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil – September 12th

Miss Africa USA Searching for Miss Ethiopia

Fifi Soumah of the Republic of Guinea was the winner of last year's Miss Africa USA crown. (H Greaves Photography)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – Organizers of the Miss Africa USA pageant say that Ethiopia remains unrepresented as they prepare to crown the 2011 Queen at their annual event in Silver Spring, Maryland in November.

“Right now we are still searching for a candidate to represent Ethiopia,” Constance Nkwantah, Communications Director of the pageant, told Tadias Magazine.

According to Ms. Nkwantah the scholarship pageant is open to delegates from all 54 countries. Past winners have gone on to join forces with Habitat for Humanity, Concern USA, as well as Russell Simmons’s Diamond Empowerment Fund, to help raise money for various causes benefiting communities in Africa and the United States.

Below is our recent interview with Constance Nkwantah:

Tadias: Please tell us a bit about the Miss Africa USA Pageant. When was it launched and what is the objective?

Constance Nkwantah: Miss Africa USA Pageant is a Scholarship and Beauty Pageant and our mission is to empower young girls as Goodwill Ambassadors promoting positive causes in their home countries and the world. It showcases African cultures and diversity, bringing together all African nations in a grand celebration.

Tadias: How many African countries are represented at the upcoming contest?

CN: Our closing date is Sept 30th and the competition is open to all 54 countries. We are looking at up to 25 countries for the 2011 Pageant.

Tadias: Is Ethiopia one of them?

CN: Right now we are still searching for a candidate to represent Ethiopia. Ethiopia has very beautiful and intelligent women and it will be great to have a representation. Last year Ethiopia was well represented and we hope this year will not be different. We encourage all ambitious and dynamic young women aged between 18 and 30 to participate. We are still accepting applicants up until Sept 30th.

Tadias: How do you select the girls? What is the criteria to participate?

CN: Our selection is done via an application process, then we audition the girls and carry out interviews for each country in order to make a final selection.

Tadias: How do you answer critics who say that beauty pageants are demeaning to women?

CN: Miss Africa USA Pageant has never received such a criticism because we focus on the substance of a woman rather than the physical appearance of a woman or her sexuality. The Miss Africa USA Pageant preserves the African culture and therefore we do not have bathing suits as a segment of the competition which is what draws criticism. Rather, we focus on leadership skills and talent. Our Queen has huge responsibilities.


Finalists at the 2010 Miss Africa USA Pageant. (Photo credit: H Greaves Photography)


Some of the contestants at the 2010 Miss Africa USA Pageant. (By H Greaves Photography)


Sofia Bushen (L) was a finalist representing Ethiopia at the 2010 Miss Africa USA contest, held July 24, 2010 in Silver Spring, MD. (Photo: H Greaves Photography)

Tadias: What are the challenges you face as a pageant organization?

CN: Over the last couple of years, it has been difficult to get new sponsorships so a lot of the financial commitments are met by personal sacrifice. We appeal each year for sponsors to keep the pageant going and will continue to do so. We are grateful to Western Union and our presenting sponsors who have been there over the years. We hope to win back MoneyGram this year and other corporate sponsors. The pageant is very costly to produce and we need the support of the community.

Tadias: Could you share with us some success stories of pass winners of Miss Africa USA Pageant or other participants?

CN: Our focus is on promoting goodwill. The current Queen Fifi Soumah from the Republic of Guinea is right now in Guinea to launch her Foundation called TEARS AWAY. She is focused on promoting education of young girls. The United Nations statistics show that 81% of girls in Guinea cannot read and write. Miss Africa USA Fifi Soumah has established a scholarship program to help these young girls go back to school and get an education. She herself is a student at Montgomery College in Maryland. And In 2008 Miss Mfonobong Essiet of Nigeria completed her medical project where she donated a 40ft container of medical equipment and supplies to five different hospitals in her country. It was a very successful project. She is currently a medical student studying to be a Cardiac Surgeon.

Tadias: What should people expect at 2011 MISS Africa USA Pageant?

CN: The 2011 pageant is full of excitement. On the 12th of November we are having the African Banquet at the Hilton Hotel in Silver Spring Maryland. We have invited members of the African Diplomatic Core, community leaders and our sponsors and VIPs to be our guests at the official opening of the pageant. Finalists will be presenting their platform projects. The following day at the same loaction, we will host the final competition and a coronation ceremony. It’s a red carpet affair showcasing the culture, beauty and diversity of Africa. The entire family can attend.

Tadias: Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?

CN: We are asking the community to come out and support the 2011 finalists who are representing Africa. We thank Tadias for the opportunity to reach out to the Ethiopian American community.

Tadias: One more thing, we understand that you’ve partnered with Nollywood Critics to present The 2011 NAFCA: “The African Oscar.” Can you tell us more about it?

CN: The awards is open to African Film Makers and the executive producer Dr. Victor Adeyemi is very open to collaborate with film makers from all over the continent. I would encouarage all film makers and actors who are interested in participating to contact us for more information.

Tadias: Thank you.

If You Go:
The 2011 Pageant is slated for Sunday November 13th from 5pm – 11pm. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. Tickets start selling on Friday, September 9th via the website www.missafricaunitedstates.com. The African Banquet takes place on Sat Nov 12 and tickets are $100 each. Both events will take place at the Hilton Hotel 8272 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD. Free parking is available.

Watch: Miss Africa USA 2010 Introduction Dance (Video courtesy of Miss Africa USA)

Interview: Yemane Demissie Talks About His Latest Film on Haile Selassie

Above: Episodes in the Life & Times of Emperor Haile Selassie was screened at the Schomburg on Thursday, May 26, 2011.

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Updated: Friday, May 27, 2011

New York (Tadias) – The 8th Annual Sheba Film Festival featured the New York premiere of Yemane Demissie’s film Twilight Revelations: Episodes in the Life & Times of Emperor Haile Selassie. The screening took place at the Schomburg Center on Thursday, May 26th.

The documentary, which features rare archival footage coupled with exclusive interviews and firsthand accounts, takes a fresh look at the mixed legacy of one of the most controversial African monarchs in modern history. Emperor Haile Selassie is widely admired abroad for his memorable appeal at the League of Nations in 1936 during the second Italian invasion of Ethiopia, as well as for his continental leadership role in the 1950′s and 1960′s during the decolonization of most African countries. History also remembers him for his administrative failures at home and for presiding over one of the most archaic land tenure systems in the world. Although credited for his commitment to establishing modern institutions and nurturing a new class of academics and professionals in Ethiopia, he is also criticized for his prolonged neglect of reform voices and the unsustainable poverty of the vast majority of his people – which would eventually bring about the abrupt and unceremonious end to his rule.

Below is our recent interview with Filmmaker Yemane Demissie who is also an Assistant Professor at the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at NYU.


Yemane Demissie. (Photo via NYU)

Tadias: It is clear that you’ve made a conscious effort to tell a balanced story. The film documents the highs and lows of the Emperor’s reign. Why do you think people remain fascinated by Haile Selassie almost four decades after he was deposed by a popular revolt?

YD: Apart from the five-year intermission during the Italo-Ethiopian War, the Emperor was in power from 1916 until 1974. That is long enough to make it possible for two generations of Ethiopians to be born and come of age during his reign. But in addition to the length of his sovereignty, his significant national and international contributions, his personality, and his leadership style contribute to the fascination. In the end, however, charisma is never the sum of the parts.

Tadias: The documentary also touches upon the more human side of the person. We hear from some of his family members about his role as a father, other interviewees discuss his daily routine, such as his regular early morning physical exercise, etc. You also incorporate some fascinating images that capture the Emperor in private moments. What do you most want people to take away from this film?

YD: That nearly six decades of leadership cannot be reduced to a triumph, [such as] the 1963 establishment of the OAU in Addis Ababa, or a fiasco, the 1973 famine. That a lot more research is wanting since there is so much we don’t know about the Emperor and his era. I also need not point out that it’s impossible to convey six decades of leadership in 58 minutes, the length of the documentary. That empathy is crucial if one wants to learn.

Tadias: One of the most dramatic moments in the film comes during the 1960 coup attempt against the emperor while he was traveling abroad. We know that you have dedicated a whole movie exploring this subject. Can you tell us a bit about the coup, its leaders, and why the revolt was a significant historical event?

YD: In December 1960, General Mengistu Neway, the head of the Imperial Bodyguard, his younger brother, Ato Girmame Neway, the intelligence tsar, Colonel Workeneh Gebeyehu, and a circle of their supporters attempted to overthrow the Emperor while he was on a state visit to Brazil. When the coup d’état failed, the leaders executed most of the government officials they had detained — including the acclaimed patriot leader, Ras Abebe Aregay — and fled. Ato Girmame Neway and Colonel Workeneh Gebeyehu died before they were captured and their corpses were hung publicly. General Mengistu Neway was taken captive. He was given a trial in which he expressed himself openly. A copy of the trial transcriptions can be found at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. At the end of the trial, he was found guilty and condemned to death.

For a number of years before the coup, a not insignificant number of the intelligentsia had began to express its discontent and frustration, albeit it discretely, with and about the imperial administration. These young people believed that the Emperor and his administration were, at best, dithering, or at worst, blocking the political, social, economic and cultural changes that they deemed were essential and overdue.

The coup was a significant event for many reasons. I can think of two at the moment: First, the lack of significant civic bodies or institutions, such as independent press, political parties, professional associations, labor unions, in which differing views and proposals could be discussed openly and seriously and then implemented or rejected, encouraged the belief in force as the only path to change. Second, for many of the educated young men and women who came of age immediately following the coup d’état the leaders of the putsch became champions of change.

Tadias: Even though the film consists of several interviews, we do not see the face of the interviewer, and except on two occasions we don’t hear the interviewers voice either. How would the film be different if the audience had heard the questions? How did most of the interviewed individuals react off-camera to the questions?

YD: I used “chapter headings” before each “episode” to make sure that the topic at hand was not confusing. The only time you heard the interviewer’s, my voice, was when its absence would have caused confusion. Had I included my voice, the chain-like flow of the narratives would have been shattered. Many of the responses were selections from much longer explanations and anecdotes. Part of my job as the editor was to distill and synthesize. This approach is not unusual in documentary filmmaking.

Tadias: In the last scene you actively interject and ask a follow-up question. What spurred this break in style?

YD: I decided to use that section because it was moving and powerful. Since Ato Mamo Haile, the interviewee, asked me a question directly, breaking the fourth wall, I had to reply. If I had technically muted my response the segment would not have worked. After experiencing a film in which the subjects addressed an invisible person off camera for about 56 minutes, the shift, with Ato Mamo addressing the camera directly, becomes noticeable and affective. By breaking the fourth wall, Ato Mamo poses a question not only to me but to the viewer. That was why I switched styles.

Tadias: Were there any rules you set for yourself about what you would or wouldn’t discuss on camera?

YD: I wouldn’t say rule but approach. There is vast amount of literature about the Emperor and his era written primarily by journalists or scholars who specialize in that time period. Since that information was readily available, I targeted primary sources or first hand accounts from individuals whose observations were not as readily available.

Tadias: What were some of the biggest challenges in making this film?

YD: One of many [challenges] was constructing a narrative when so many of the key participants were killed by the military junta or have died of old age or poor health without leaving any record of their work or observations.

Tadias: Why did you name the film “Twilight Revelations”?

YD: I hope the answer to that question becomes evident after a viewing of the film.

Tadias: Thank you Yemane and see you on Thursday at the Schomburg Center!

If You Go: (This event has passed)
The 8th Annual Sheba Film Festival
The New York premiere of “Twilight Revelations”
Episodes in the Life & Times of Emperor Haile Selassie
Thursday, May 26th, 2011 7PM (Admission: $12)
The Schomburg Center (515 Malcolm X Boulevard, 135th St)
Director Yemane Demissie will be present for the Q&A session following the screening.
Click here to watch the trailer.

GHCG Announces 4th Medical Mission to Ethiopia

The Ethio-American NGO Gemini Health Care Group says it's ready for its upcoming medical mission to Ethiopia.

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New York (Tadias) – Gemini Health Care Group (GHCG), a U.S.-based Ethiopian American NGO that focuses on pediatric training and assistance to medical professionals in Ethiopia, launched its 4th annual educational and medical mission in March 2011.

“Beginning on March 18th, the GHCC Board members as well as eighteen health care professionals will be in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to provide teaching and service,” says Dr. Ebba K. Ebba, the group’s Founder and President. “The pediatric sub-specialists in the areas of pediatric ENT, Ophthalmology, Audiology, Anesthesia, and Urology will be providing training and medical assistance at Black Lion Hospital, Cure Hospital and Mekanissa School for the Deaf. This portion of the medical mission is being organized in collaboration with Healing the Children, Greater Philadelphia Chapter.”

During the team’s last trip to Addis they treated young people including 8-year-old Zemen Toshome, whose story was highlighted by Opinion Columnist Harold Jackson in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Jackson wrote: “For more than six years, Zemen has lived at Tikur Anbesa (Black Lion) Hospital in Addis Ababa. He goes outside only briefly on the hospital grounds. He can’t shout because of his medical condition. Zemen has laryngeal papillomatosis, a disease in which tumors grow inside the larynx, vocal cords, or respiratory tract. The disease occurs when the human papillomavirus (HPV) is transferred from a mother to her child at birth. The tumors can grow quickly and cause difficulty in breathing, which if not corrected can lead to death.”

“The second part of our medical mission includes a one‐week educational mission to pediatric residents and medical students at the Black Lion Hospital as well as to other community pediatricians,” Dr. Ebba says. “We have recruited four pediatric specialists in the areas of pediatric Pulmonology, Endocrinology, Neurology and Emergency medicine to be participants at the First Annual Pediatrics by the Nile.”

The latter is a medical education conference to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference, which is being co‐sponsored by the Ethiopian Pediatric Society, is scheduled to take place on Thursday March 31, 2011 and Friday, April 1, 2011 at the Addis Ababa Hilton.

You can learn more about Gemini Health Care Group at: www.GHCG.org.

Cover photo courtesy of GHCG.

Video: Dr. Ebba K. Ebba, Founder of Gemini Health Care Group, on 50 in 52 interview (2009)

Missing Ethiopian Limo Driver Found Alive

Above: Negrero Debero, the missing Ethiopian limo driver in
DeKalb County, Georgia, has been found alive, sources say.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Friday, October 15, 2010

Atlanta (Tadias) – The 33-year-old Ethiopian limo driver from DeKalb County who had been missing since early Saturday has been found alive.

A family friend says Negrero Debero was found on Thursday and has been admitted to Gwinnett Medical Center for treatment.

Negrero disappeared after he was last seen Saturday morning at about 6 a.m. According to police, he was last seen driving a black Lincoln Town Car with the license plate number 355 REJ, which authorities located last week, smashed and abandoned on Interstate 85.

Per WSBTV.com: “Friends of Debero told Channel 2 Action News the circumstances of the disappearance seem very odd, and how he was located was more bizarre. ‘He was found in the bushes without his clothing. We’re hoping detectives on the case are still going to be working,’ said Surafel Asmamaw.”

“We still want answers to what happened that Saturday morning when he disappeared,” said Getachew Techill, Debero’s friend.

Earlier in the week, “Family and friends {who put up a $10,000 reward for information} told Channel 2 Action News reporter Kerry Kavanaugh that about 100 members of the Ethiopian community came together Tuesday night to distribute fliers and to ask for people to spread the word about the missing man.”

“We’ve gone to gas stations, apartments and streets…,” said searcher Yeshr Teklu.

Negrero has a fiancée and a 4-year-old daughter.

According to WSBTV.com, witnesses claim Debero was drinking at a bar the day he disappeared.

Related:
Watch: Missing Driver Found Wandering Without Clothes

Miss Mexico takes Miss Universe crown

Above: She beat out 82 other beauty queens hailing from six
continents. Ethiopia was not represented at the 2010 contest.

MSNBC

TODAY Staff and Wire

LAS VEGAS — Beauty queens from Albania to Zambia flew to Las Vegas to compete in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant. The winner turned out to have one of the shortest commutes.

Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete, 22, won the pageant after donning a flowing red gown and telling an audience that it’s important to teach kids family values.

Her one-strap gown flowed behind her as she held it out like a cape. Earlier she smiled in a violet bikini as she confidently strutted across the stage.

Asked by Olympic gold-medal figure skater Evan Lysacek how she felt about unsupervised Internet use, Navarrete said the Web is important but parents need to be careful and watch over their kids.

Navarrete beat out another North American competitor: Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps. Second runner-up was Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell. Read more.

Related stories:
The 2010 Miss Africa USA Crown Goes To Miss FiFi Souma of Guinea
Dispute Leaves Miss Ethiopia Without Prize

Group photo of Miss Ethiopia 2010 contestants -WorldShowBiz.

Dispute Leaves Miss Ethiopia Without Prize

Above: Contestants at the 2010 Miss Ethiopia Pageant in July
were promised that the winner will be awarded a brand new car.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New York (Tadias) – The winner of the 2010 Miss Ethiopia pageant was to receive a brand new ride, the Chinese made Lifan 320, except the car dealership Yangfan Motors in Addis Ababa, who is the announced sponsor of the event, says it never made a written agreement to deliver the prize.

According to Addis Fortune, “Ethiopian Village Adventure Playground (EVAP) is to wait until Thursday, August 12, 2010, to see whether Yangfan will award a Lifan 320 to the newest Miss Ethiopia. Failing to deliver the prize may result in being taken to court while Yangfan, in turn, threatened to sue EVAP for defamation.”


Melkam Michael, a sophomore at Addis Abeba University Law School, was named winner of the prize last month at a ceremony held at the Hilton Addis, featuring celebrity judges including Mulatu Astatke and Meseret Mebrate.

The pageant organizers, who had publicized the award in advance, accused Yangfan Motors of canceling its commitment at the last minute and stealing their copy of the written agreement. According to Murad Mohammed, director of EVAP, Yangfan Motors took his copy of the written document without his knowledge, and he has been unable to regain possession of it. “It is not the 18th or 19th century where people only agree on something orally,” he told Fortune.

Yangfan Motors’ local Marketing Manager William Wong rejected the claims, denying the existence of such a binding contract. “There was no agreement to cancel,” he said. “We did not agree to give them a car and because EVAP did not carry out its responsibilities, we are not going to give them any discount.”

The report, however, points to another document that indicates the existence of a prior understanding. “Yangfan Motors had sent EVAP a letter on April 23, 2010, complaining that they had failed to promote the company on public media and billboards. The company demanded that the problems be corrected within one week or it would be ‘forced to cancel our entitled agreement of cooperation,’ according to the letter. ”

Meanwhile, Melkam says although she is happy to be named Miss Ethiopia 2010, she would not mind to sit behind the wheel. “I would be happy if I get the promised car,” she said.


Cover image: Group photo of Miss Ethiopia 2010 contestants (WorldShowBiz.info)

THE WINNER IS: The 2010 Miss Africa USA Crown Goes To Miss FiFi Souma of Guinea

Miss Africa USA Management proudly welcomes Miss Nunu Wako, Ethiopian beauty, model and talk show host as Co-MC of the 5th Miss Africa USA finals. Missafricablogazine.

THE WINNER IS:
The Crown Goes To Miss FiFi Souma of Guinea

Faraitoday.com

Updated: Monday, July 26, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Miss Fifi Souma from the Republic of Guinea Conakry was crowned Miss Africa USA for 2010.

The event, which celebrated its 5th anniversary, took place on Saturday, July 24, in Silver Spring, Maryland.

According to the organizers, the annual contest highlighted 17 out of 54 African countries. Finalists from Cameroon, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Kenya dominated the contest this year. Sofia Bushen was Ethiopia’s sole representative.

Founded five years ago by Kate Njeuma of Cameroon, organizers say the scholarship pageant is open to delegates from all 54 countries. A description posted on the group’s website describes the vision as an opportunity “for African girls in America to shine the spotlight on Africa.” It helps the participants “tell their stories to the world and inspire one another, and build self esteem.”

According to the group, past winners of the competition have gone on to join forces with major charity organizations in the U.S. such as Habitat for Humanity, Concern USA, Russell Simmons’s Diamond Empowerment Fund, and to help raise money for charitable causes benefiting communities in Africa and the United States. Most notably, Miss Teizue Gayflor, Miss Africa USA 2006-2007 toured Liberia in 2007 on a mission to promote education for school children and conducted a series of radio and television interviews calling for peace and reconciliation.

Miss Africa USA Scholarship & Beauty Pageant 2008 (Black Herald Magazine)

Video: Miss Africa USA 08 Parade MISS ZIMBABWE, MISS LIBERIA AND MISS NIGERIA

If you go:
Miss Africa USA 2010 GRAND FINALS AND CORONATION CEREMONY
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Montgomery County Tacoma Park / Silver Spring Performing Arts Center
7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Show Time 6pm – 11pm
More info at www.missafricaunitedstates.com

Related from Tadias Magazine:
Sofia Bushen to Represent Ethiopia at the 2010 Miss Africa USA Pageant

Sofia Bushen to Represent Ethiopia at the 2010 Miss Africa USA Pageant

Sofia Bushen (R) is a finalist at the 2010 Miss Africa USA contest, scheduled for July 24, 2010 in Silver Spring, MD.

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Updated: Friday, June 25, 2010

New York (Tadias) – We recently received a call from one of our readers in Tennessee. “I have just learned that I have been selected as a finalist at the biggest pageant featuring African beauty queens in the United States,” the young woman said. “And as part of my micro project for the competition, I need to publicize the upcoming event within my community.”

23-year old Sofia Bushen will represent Ethiopia at the 2010 Miss Africa USA contest, scheduled for July 24, 2010 in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The pageant aims to foster confident African women leaders both at home and here in the U.S.

“The vision is for African girls in America to shine the spotlight on Africa,” organizers say through their website. It helps the participants “tell their stories to the world and inspire one another, and build self esteem.”

Past winners of the competition have gone on to join forces with major charity organizations in the U.S. such as Habitat for Humanity, Concern USA, Russell Simmons’s Diamond Empowerment Fund, to help raise money for charitable causes benefiting communities in Africa and the United States. Most notably, Miss Teizue Gayflor, Miss Africa USA 2006-2007 toured Liberia in 2007 on a mission to promote education for school children and conducted a series of radio and television interviews calling for peace and reconciliation.

Video: Meet Sofia Bushen, finalist at the 2010 Miss Africa USA contest, in her own words

Learn more about Miss Africa USA at www.missafricaunitedstates.com.

Video: Miss Africa USA 08 Parade MISS ZIMBABWE, MISS LIBERIA AND MISS NIGERIA

Cover photo provided courtesy of Sofia Bushen.

Former Miss National Teenager El Shaddai Gebreyes talks about poetry

Above: Former Miss National Teenager El Shaddai Gebreyes is
the author of a new poetry book called the “The Last Adam.”
(Courtesy Photo).

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, May 10, 2010

New York (Tadias) – You may remember El Shaddai Gebreyes as the first African-American to earn the Miss National Teenager title in 1997 – one of the longest running pageants and scholarship competitions for young women in the United States.

Since then El Shaddai has gone on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in Film Studies and a concentration in Anthropology. She was also part of the African-American National Biography Project, where she worked as the co-writer on the biography of artistic director Bill T. Jones. And most recently, she is the author of a new poetry book called the The Last Adam. Gebreyes is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Library Science at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

We recently interviewed El Shaddai Gebreyes about her new book.

Tadias: In “The Last Adam”, you mention that your poems are written through inspiration not perspiration. Can you explain?

Gebreyes: I don’t sweat the small stuff in my poetry. I try to look at the big picture. I just focus on the story of my life, which is interwoven with many others who inspire me, challenge me, and often remain distanced from me. When I capture a moment, like a photograph, and translate it into a poem, it brings that moment – and the people involved closer to me. It’s like an embrace. Poetry keeps me honest. It’s truth-telling. I’m learning to love the truth and not to embrace lies.

Tadias: In much of your work there seems to be recurring universal themes focusing on love, hope and spirituality. What is the primary message you seek to convey through your poems?

Gebreyes: Let your imagination go to work! Travel. Fall in love with strangers, but don’t go too far. Experience freedom on the blank page. Let love transform you. Not just romantic love, but love of history, heroism and glimpses of the eternal in the every day. Don’t be afraid to consult a dictionary even when you think you know the meaning of a word. Take advantage of your resources, like libraries, and be rooted in what you hold sacred.

Tadias: When did you know you wanted to be a poet?

Gebreyes: In high school, when I studied Latin I was influenced by Catullus and Ovid. I knew I wanted to be a poet when I realized the work of people who wrote centuries ago was being translated and studied as part of the cultural record. Poetry so often is a conversation with or about God or a lover…with oneself or something/someone more abstract. Often I’m deeply impacted by the most “chance” encounters and only when I’m removed from the situation through time, am I able to memorialize it. I’ve yet to figure out who my audience is, but I feel uplifted when I write poetry, like when things in your life are out of order and you need control or when everything seems fleeting and you want to sing of immortality. Poetry can be sung and I’ve yet to explore this possibility. But, I will, because music speaks to my heart and really whatever the Lord puts on my heart generally gets written and eventually becomes a poem. I find stillness in the written word and tried my hand at spoken word, but I prefer the printed page, bound and sold. However, I like to be in dialogue with people, so when I performed in my first poetry reading earlier this year and I connected with an audience, I knew I had made the right decision to share my life, my thoughts and emotions with people in this way through poetry. Poetry is an art and I have been criticized for not separating my art from my life. For me it is a thin veil.

Tadias: You graduated from Yale University with a degree in Film Studies and a concentration in Anthropology. How has your academic background influenced your writing?

Gebreyes: It has made my tastes more international and less contemporary. My academic background allows me to historicize, contextualize and enter into a discourse. My education has framed everything I see – culture, aesthetics – and the way I approach inquiry.

Tadias: You note in your book that your poems are “a film in verse”. What do you mean by that?

Gebreyes: Some people argue that in writing there could not be two forms more diametrically opposed than film and poetry. A film in verse for me creates a blending, a marriage of the two in form and content. The Last Adam takes the reader through a journey. It’s an adventure and the imagery comes alive in a cinematic form. I don’t write epic verse, instead I wrote a short story, a narrative, that not only contains elements of film like characters and dialogue, genre and pacing, but could easily be translated into a film. I’d like to do a filmic adaptation of my poetry in the future, so it will be easier to visualize.

Tadias: You were the first Ethiopian and the first African-American to be named America’s National Teenager. You write in the introduction to your book that you were conflicted about your identity at the time:

When I won a scholarship pageant in Tennessee in 1997, Miss National Teen-ager, my heart was divided. Was I Ethiopian, American (I dare not hyphenate!), Christian, Jew, Black, White or Asian? …What is worse when I won the pageant in Tennessee, Ethiopians put the news on the nightly news in Ethiopia. Who would claim me? Americans have brought me joy, but Ethiopians have brought me honor.”

Do you still struggle with this issue of cultural identity? If so, how has that affected your feelings on who you are as a poet?

Gebreyes: Well, I’ve tried to resolve the inner conflict by realizing I’ll never be who everyone needs me to be. I’m Ethiopian. I’m American. I hope to write more in Amharic as a poet. I’m not really an American poet. I’m more a religious poet. If you’re a monotheist, you’ll probably appreciate my metaphors. More and more…I write for clarity and understanding. If anyone else experiences a duality of always already both, yet not one or the other, they’ll hopefully be able to relate to me and my vision. My biggest concern is with language. I’m getting more comfortable with Amharic and the idea of competing with myself in the grander scheme. Just trying to be a better person tomorrow than I am today, better today than yesterday.

Tadias: U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins once said that poetry is the oldest form of travel writing, both imaginative travel as well as geographical. Do you agree?

Gebreyes: Yes, many poets are like cultural treasures who do not travel much but who get to know the character of a people in a place that resonates with their soul as home. One example is Anna Akhmatova. She wrote of her life in Russia and she has left a legacy without borders. Poets can define the times and often possess a stillness. But, I believe, there are some words you won’t know, until you know their opposite and other words that are more on the level of essence. Some things you have to compare, so why limit yourself to one location? If you think you know freedom, visit the oppressed. If your idea of essence is placating, maybe it’s time to experience a blessed unrest.

Tadias: One of the first poems in your book is written at a Chinese restaurant in Addis Ababa. Could you please describe the scene to our readers and what inspired you to pen that particular poetry?

Gebreyes: I chose to label the poem as a Chinese restaurant, because when I last visited Addis I craved Chinese food. This is unusual for me and reveals my curiosity. Are there Chinese restaurants in Ethiopia? The initial poem reveals that which is not far from what could have been and is somehow what was. Technically, I did not eat Chinese food in Ethiopia, but I had a nice cheeseburger at the Hilton. I am such a tourist!

Well, when I wrote the poem I was referring to my friend, Richard, who took me to a Vietnamese spot in Virginia. It was American life I was describing: black is night, the color of the noodle is the color of his skin. Both shined that night. The rest of the poem was like swimming in a sea of memories and it evokes many associations. I’d rather my reader embed him or herself into the story and identify with parts of it as a creation myth and other parts religious doctrine – reflecting on what faith allows and does not allow.

Tadias: How do you use poetry in daily life?

Gebreyes: Daily life influences my poetry – people, places, things. Right now I think I’m too heavily reliant on words. I think of myself as hidden in Christ. I let reality unfold and I co-create my art with others. Everyone who’s touched my life has inspired me.

Tadias: What other poetry-related projects are you working on at the moment?

Gebreyes: I’m taking a break from poetry to focus on graduate school. I’m studying Library Science. For one of my finals, I wrote a poem explaining changes in my professional life. It was intense performing that for my class and being supportive of my classmates with the same assignment yet different choices.

Tadias: Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?

Gebreyes: Don’t be afraid to open or close a book. Your story continues. I read a children’s book called A Magical Doll and the Doll Magical School by a young Ethiopian girl, named Berhan Nega Alemayehu. She skillfully told a story at the age of 11 and I admire her gift of prose. I hope that anyone who can relate to this need to tell stories and publish will take advantage of the opportunities today to become an author or an artist.

Tadias: Where can people buy your book?

Xlibris, which is where I self-published. The book is mainly available as print on demand through online stores, like Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. But, if 1 million people or so bought copies of my book after reading this interview, maybe then you would miraculously see my book on bookstore shelves. It’s not too late for me to reach the New York Times bestseller list, but I need your help. Act fast! The Reston Used Book Shop sells new copies but mostly my books are print on demand.

Tadias: Thank you El Shaddai and good luck!
——–

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New Commissioned Works by Julie Mehretu on View at the Guggenheim

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1970, Julie Mehretu was raised in Michigan. She received an MFA in painting and printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997.

Tadias Magazine
Events News
Source: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Published: Friday, April 30, 2010

NEW YORK, NY — An exhibition of six new large-scale paintings by American artist Julie Mehretu, is presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as part of the Deutsche Bank Series at the Guggenheim, May 14 to October 6, 2010.

Commissioned in 2007 by Deutsche Bank and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the suite of semiabstract works is inspired by a multitude of sources, including historical photographs, urban planning grids, modern art, and graffiti, and explores the intersections of power, history, dystopia, and the built environment, along with their impact on the formation of personal and communal identities.

Berlin plays a significant role in the investigation of memory and the urban experience in the Grey Area suite, first conceived during a residency by Mehretu at the American Academy in Berlin in 2007. During this residency, the artist was struck by the continuously shifting profile of Berlin, a historically charged city where vestiges of war coexist with new architectural development. For Mehretu, the visible evidence of destruction and recovery on the facades and streetscapes of Berlin also conjures the physical aftermath of war around the world, as in the paintings Believer’s Palace (2008–09), which references the partially destroyed palace that sat atop Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad bunker, and Atlantic Wall (2008–09), which renders the interiors of bunkers built by Germany along the Western European coastline during World War II.

Video: Interview with Julie Mehretu

About Julie Mehretu
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1970, Mehretu was raised in Michigan. She studied at Kalamazoo College in Michigan (BA, 1992) and at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar in Dakar, Senegal (1990–91). She received an MFA in painting and printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. Mehretu has participated in numerous international exhibitions and biennials and has received international recognition for her work, including, in 2005, the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the prestigious MacArthur Fellow award. She has had residencies at the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (1998–99), the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2003), and the American Academy in Berlin (2007). Mehretu currently lives and works in New York and Berlin.

Exhibition Catalogue
An illustrated 96-page catalogue titled Julie Mehretu: Grey Area accompanies the exhibition and includes essays by Joan Young and Brian Dillon. Designed by Tracey Shiffman, with Alex Kohnke and Summer Shiffman of Tracey Shiffman Design, Los Angeles, and in collaboration with Julie Mehretu, the catalogue features source materials selected by the artist, as well as a selection of photographs by Mark Hanauer tracing the development of the series in the artist’s Berlin studio. Priced at $45 and offered in a hardcover edition, the catalogue may be purchased online at the Guggenheim Store.

Curator’s Eye Guided Tours:
Free with museum admission
Guggenheim curator Joan Young leads tours of Julie Mehretu: Grey Area on Fridays, June 4 and August 13, 2 pm.

About The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns and operates the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, and also provides programming and management for two other museums in Europe that bear its name: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by architect Frank Gehry, is scheduled to open in 2013.

Visitor Information
Admission: Adults $18, students/seniors (65+) $15, members and children under 12 free. Admission includes an audio tour.

Museum Hours: Sun–Wed, 10 am–5:45 pm; Fri, 10 am–5:45 pm; Sat, 10 am–7:45 pm; closed Thurs. On Saturdays, beginning at 5:45 pm, the museum hosts Pay What You Wish. For general information, call 212 423 3500 or visit guggenheim.org.

—-
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A team of U.S. doctors and nurses discovers the unexpected on a mission to Ethiopia

Above: This mission was a joint venture between Healing the
Children and Gemini Health Care Group, founded by Dr. Ebba K.
Ebba of Alabama.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Harold Jackson
Opinion Columnist

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Eight-year-old boys, when they are not in school, should be outdoors with their friends, playing ball, finding treasure in what grown-ups throw away, shouting in glee because that’s what little boys do.

But not 8-year-old Zemen Toshome. For more than six years, Zemen has lived at Tikur Anbesa (Black Lion) Hospital in Addis Ababa. He goes outside only briefly on the hospital grounds. He can’t shout because of his medical condition.

Zemen has laryngeal papillomatosis, a disease in which tumors grow inside the larynx, vocal cords, or respiratory tract. The disease occurs when the human papillomavirus (HPV) is transferred from a mother to her child at birth. The tumors can grow quickly and cause difficulty in breathing, which if not corrected can lead to death. Read more.

Related:
Video: Interview With Dr. Ebba K. Ebba

Life-saving surgery gives professor mission

Above: Tsehay Demeke at the Debre Keranio Medhanialem
Church in Nashville. (Mandy Lunn/The Tennessean)

The Tennessean
By Juanita Cousins
January 11, 2010
A booming Ethiopian community in Nashville that almost lost its leader is leaning on its church and focusing on health care for a solid foundation in the transition to life in the United States.

Tsehay Demeke, a database engineer at Cumberland University who survived triple bypass surgery, credits his recovery to his faith and support from members of the Debre Keranio Medhanialem Eastern Orthodox Church, which celebrated its Christmas Jan. 7 in accordance with the Julian calendar.

The church is the anchor of Nashville’s Ethiopian community, said Demeke, who sits on the church’s advisory committee of elders. He also is the outgoing president of the Ethiopian Community Association, which he said has some 5,000 members in Nashville. Read more.

Doctor’s mission to save kids’ hearts

Above: Ethiopia – Doctors, nurses, family members and an
NBC cameraman fanned out across the hospital in an all-out
search for Aden.

Video: Medical surplus saves lives world away

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Video: Hospitals receive help from abroad

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Miss Ethiopia Web Interview for Miss Universe 2009

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New York (Tadias) – Melat Woldesenbet Yante, the reigning Miss Ethiopia, will represent her country at the 58th annual Miss Universe pageant at the Atlantis Paradise Island, in Nassau, Bahamas on August 23, 2009.

The glamorous annual event, a joint venture between Donald J. Trump and NBC Universal, features contestants from more than 80 countries and will be televised live on NBC and Telemundo.

Melat, 19, who attended the Italian School in Addis Ababa and speaks three languages – Amharic, Italian, English – is also the current Ethiopia’s Top Model.

The final Miss Universe pageant will take place on August 23, 2009.

Miss Ethiopia Web Interview for Miss Universe 2009
The rights of this video is owned by © Miss Universe L.P., LLLP

Video: Miss Universe 2009 Evening Gown Presentation
Evening Gown Segment showcasing the gowns of Miss Croatia, Miss Curacao,
Miss Cyprus, Miss Czech Republic, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Ecuador,
Miss Egypt, Miss El Salvador, Miss Estonia, Miss Ethiopia, Miss Finland, Miss
France, Miss Georgia, Miss Germany, Miss Ghana.

Miss Universe : Videos

Shared via AddThis

Melat Yante to Represent Ethiopia at Miss Universe 2009 Pageant

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New York (Tadias) – Melat Woldesenbet Yante, who was crowned last month “Ethiopia’s Top Model 2009″, will represent her country at the 58th annual Miss Universe pageant at the Atlantis Paradise Island, in Nassau, Bahamas on August 23, 2009.

The glamorous annual event, a joint venture between Donald J. Trump and NBC Universal, features contestants from more than 80 countries and will be televised live on NBC and Telemundo.

“The people of The Bahamas are very proud and excited at the opportunity to host some of the most beautiful people in the universe in some of the most beautiful islands in the universe,” said The Bahamas’ Minister of Tourism & Aviation, Senator Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace. “This feels like the perfect match. We look forward to showcasing the hospitality of our people, the clarity of our waters, the vibrancy of our music, dance, food and spirit.”


Melat Yante will represent Ethiopia at Miss Universe 2009

Melat, 19, who attends the Italian School in Addis Ababa and speaks three languages (Amharic, Italian, English), is also the reigning Miss Ethiopia Universe 2009.

During the closing ceremonies on August 23rd, the current Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, will hand the crown to the new winner, who will go on to serve as an ambassador on women’s health and reproductive issues.

We wish Ethiopia’s delegate in the Miss Universe 2009 Pageant all the best.

Merga victorious but misses World 10km record

Above: “Despite his best efforts the 28 year old Merga fell
short running a course record of 27:23.9 in an incredible
solo effort. He earned himself USUS$5,000 “gender bonus”
for closing down the four minute twelve seconds head start
given to the women elite racers as well as US$2,000 for a
new course record.” – IAAF (Photo -Victah Sailer).

IAAF
Ottawa, Canada – Could Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga break the World 10k record just a month after winning the 2009 Boston Marathon? “That’s the $100,000 question,” said his agent Hussein Makke referring to the bonus money on offer for beating Micah Kogo’s pending record time of 27:01 at the MDS Nordion 10km in Ottawa. Ottawa, Canada – Could Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga break the World 10k record just a month after winning the 2009 Boston Marathon? “That’s the $100,000 question,” said his agent Hussein Makke referring to the bonus money on offer for beating Micah Kogo’s pending record time of 27:01 at the MDS Nordion 10km in Ottawa. The event – an IAAF Silver Label Road Race – started at 6:30 p.m. with large crowds turning out in sunny 20 degree temperatures to learn the answer. Read more.

Related: Congratulations Deriba Merga from Ethiopian Airlines Journeys
Source: Ethiopian Airlines Journeys

Washington, D.C. – April 20, 2009 — Ethiopian Airlines Journeys would like to be the first to congratulate Deriba Merga on winning the Boston Marathon.

Ethiopian Olympian, Deriba Merga, won his first Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 42 seconds. The Ethiopian finished almost a minute ahead of Kenyan Daniel Rono.

Merga, who finished in 4th place in the Beijing Olympics, finished first among the more than 26,000 participants in Boston. Regarded as the third-fastest Ethiopian marathoner of all time, Merga now joins the famous list of Ethiopians that have won the Boston Marathon including Hailu Negussie and Abebe Mekonnen.

Merga was born in Nekemt and trains with the Ethiopian squad in Addis Ababa. Merga’s mentor is world record holder and beloved Ethiopian runner, Haile Gebrselassie.

Fellow native Ethiopian runner and former Boston Marathon champion, Dire Tune, finished second in the closest Women’s final ever. Her time of 2 hours, 32 minutes, and 17 seconds fell one second short of Kenyan, Salina Kosgei.

“Ethiopia takes great pride in their marathon runners,” said Marian Wargo, Director of Sales for Ethiopian Airlines Journeys and a native New Englander. “The athleticism and training commitment of these runners is truly amazing.”

Americans who wish to visit the fascinating homeland of these world-famous runners need look no further than Ethiopian Airlines Journeys. Whether it’s visiting the captivating history of the Northern route or experiencing the indigenous tribal cultures of the Southern route, Ethiopian Airlines Journeys crafts customized vacations to meet all needs. This month’s featured package is an Archaeological Adventure of Ethiopia with a chance to discover “The Ark of the Covenant.”

About Ethiopian Airlines Journeys
The finest vacation experiences in Ethiopia and East Africa begin with Ethiopian Airlines Journeys. Ethiopian Airlines Journeys is a single-source solution to plan and realize a truly authentic vacation in one of the most exciting and historical regions of Africa. The company provides the very best service, from friendly expert guides to comfortable accommodations to delightful meals to the most fascinating African experiences. This is all provided with total customization, built around each traveler’s preferences and interests. Call toll-free 1-866-599-3797 or visit www.seeyouinethiopia.com for more information.

About Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines is one of the largest airlines in Africa serving 53 destinations around the globe. As the winner of the 2007 African Business of the Year and Best African Airline Award for 2006, its service and quality are unparalleled among African airlines. Featuring five flights weekly from Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport, the airline offers both morning and evening departures, with the morning departure allowing seamless connections to 32 African destinations. The airline’s web site provides excellent information on additional flights, services and special web fares. For more information about Ethiopian Airlines, visit www.ethiopianairlines.com.

Maryland Names Ethiopian American to Commission on African Affairs

Above: “Gov. Martin O’Malley has created a new commission
to help business and community development interests of
African immigrants who have come to Maryland.” (AP)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, May 17, 2009

New York (Tadias) – An Ethiopian American has been appointed to serve on Maryland’s newly established commission to assist “the business and community development interests” of the state’s growing African immigrant population.

Governor Martin O’Malley signed an executive order establishing the Commission last week and swore in 21 members of the body, including Ethiopian American Yonnas K. Kefle, an adjunct professor of economics at Frederick Community College.

The primary objective of the commission is to increase Maryland’s outreach to its residents who have immigrated from African countries, similar to the state’s other commissions handling the affairs of Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern communities.

Since 1990, the African population has more than tripled in places such as greater Washington, including its Maryland suburbs. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics there are close to one million African immigrants in the United States, with the largest communities residing in U.S. urban cities including New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis, and in the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. More than half of the African-born population came to the United States between 1990 and 2000. According to the Brookings Institution, estimates of the African-born population has soared past 130,000 in each city, with recent census data showing forty three percent of Africans in the U.S. as having college degrees. Ethiopian Americans, as a segment of the new immigrant population, comprise the top three African populations in America.

Valentina Ukwuoma, the head of the Bureau of Solid Waste for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works, has been named chair of the commission.

Hot Blog: Miss Ethiopia 2009 hails from Gambella

Above: Winner of the title of Miss Ethiopia 2009 Chuna Okaka
(C) poses with the first runner-up Meron Getachew (L) and the
second runner-up Samrawit (R) during the Miss Ethiopia 2009
Beauty Pageant in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Jan. 18, 2009.
(Xinhua Photo)

Ethiopian News Agency

A 22-year-old university student from Gambella won the title of Miss Ethiopia beauty competition held here on Saturday.

The winner, Chuna Okok, a sophomore at the faculty of business and economics, Addis Ababa University, outranks all of her 20 competitors.

She won Miss Ethiopia 2009 contest and received an award of diamond ring worth 60,000 Birr, according to competition organizer Ethiopian Village Adventure Playground.

The 1963 Miss Ethiopia winner Ejigayehu Beyene has put the crown for this year’s Miss Ethiopia winner, Chuna Okok.


Winner of the title of Miss Ethiopia 2009 Chuna
Okaka (R) wears the cordon during the Miss Ethiopia
2009 Beauty Pageant in Addis Ababa, capital of
Ethiopia, Jan. 18, 2009.(Xinhua Photo)

After being named Miss Ethiopia of 2009, Chuna said that she was excited to win the title as it would leave a message that Ethiopia is a home for beautiful people in its all regions.


Girls attend the finals of the Miss Ethiopia 2009 Beauty Pageant in Addis
Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Jan. 18, 2009. Chuna Okaka won the title of Miss
Ethiopia 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

Chuna is to take part in Miss World Cultural Heritage of 2009 due to be held in Namibia this year, according to the organizer.

She would have great contribution in promoting her homeland Ethiopia, the organizer said.

Ethiopia Quits Somalia, Declares 2-Year ‘Mission Accomplished’

Photo: Ethiopian soldier in Mogadishu (BBC)

Boomberg
By Jason McLure

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — Ethiopia declared its two-year occupation of Somalia a success as its forces began the last stage of withdrawal, leaving behind one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises and a government close to collapse.

“Mission accomplished,” the Foreign Ministry said in an e-mailed statement today in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. “Our defense forces have carried out a successful mission to eliminate the clear and present danger that our country had faced two years ago.”

U.S.-backed Ethiopian soldiers invaded Somalia in December 2006, ousting the Islamic Courts Union, an Islamist alliance that had briefly controlled much of the country. Its attempt to reinstall the United Nations-backed transitional government in the capital, Mogadishu, was met with an Iraq-style insurgency by Islamist and clan-based militias.

More than 800,000 have been forced from their homes by the fighting, while an estimated 3.2 million people, more than 40 percent of the country’s population, are in need of humanitarian aid. The seas off Somalia have become the world’s most dangerous for commercial shippers as the anarchy has led to rapid growth of piracy and kidnappings.

As a result of the insurgency, the transitional government controls only parts of Mogadishu and the southern town of Baidoa, while Islamists from the al-Shabaab militia, a faction of the Islamic Courts Union, control much of southern Somalia. On Dec. 29, the president of the transitional government, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, resigned following a power struggle with Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein. Read More.
———————————-
Ethiopia Leaves Somalia With Many Questions Unanswered
VOA
By Joe DeCapua
Washington D.C
05 January 2009

Ethiopian soldiers in
Mogadishu, (file photo)

As Ethiopian troops withdraw from Somalia, the Ethiopian government has released a statement saying its mission in Somalia has been accomplished. It says Ethiopian forces, during their two year occupation, have eliminated a clear and present danger. However, Ethiopia leaves behind a country in turmoil and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.George Washington University Professor David Shinn, a former US ambassador to Ethiopia, spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about whether Ethiopia can declare “mission accomplished.”


David Shinn

Read more at VOA.
————————————-

Four Ethiopian Soldiers Killed in Somalia
By VOA News
04 January 2009

Witnesses in Somalia say at least four Ethiopian soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near Mogadishu.

The blast took place Saturday on a road west of the capital where troops were searching for explosive devices.

Several other soldiers were injured in the blast.

Ethiopia said Saturday that the withdrawal of its troops from Somalia will be completed “within days.”

A foreign ministry statement said military commanders are handing over their responsibilities to African Union peacekeepers and Somali transitional government troops.

A ministry spokesman, Wahde Belay told VOA that sufficient precautions have been made to prevent a power vacuum in Somalia after Ethiopian troops are gone.

About 3,200 soldiers from Burundi and Uganda make up the AU mission in the country. Burundi’s Defense Minister, General Germain Niyoyankana. said Sunday the two countries would consider withdrawing their forces unless more troops and supplies are sent to the country.

Islamist insurgents have taken control over many towns in recent weeks and moved to impose strict forms of sharia (Islamic) law.

Ethiopia sent troops to Somalia in late 2006 to help the government oust Islamists who had taken over Mogadishu and much of the country. The offensive was successful but sparked a bloody insurgency that has killed thousands of Somalis and displaced more than a million others.

Some information for this report was provided by AF and Reuters.
—————

Ethiopia to Complete Somalia Withdrawal ‘Within Days’

Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu.
(file photo)

VOA
By Peter Heinlein
Addis Ababa
03 January 2009

A spokesman says Ethiopian troops will complete their withdrawal from Somalia “within days,” and that sufficient precautions have been made to prevent a feared power vacuum when they are gone. Troop convoys have been seen pulling back to positions across the border in Ethiopia’s Somali region.

Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying military commanders have completed handing over their responsibilities in Somalia to African Union peacekeepers and soldiers of the country’s transitional government. Ministry spokesman Wahde Belay told VOA in a telephone interview all precautions have been taken to provide security for the AMISOM and TFG forces.

“We believe there will not be a vacuum. That is why we consulted with those forces, the AMISOM and TFG forces,” he said. “We made sure that we have not left a vacuum there. They are ready to take their responsibility in assuring calm in Somalia. This is all I can say for now.”

Wahde declined to elaborate on what measures have been taken, but the press statement noted that both Uganda and Burundi, the two troop contributors to AMISOM, had confirmed their willingness to boost the size of their forces. AMISOM currently has a strength of about 3,400 troops but they are ill-equipped and under-funded and have been unable to restore much stability in Somalia.

The TFG is also believed to have several thousand soldiers.

African Union officials are known to be actively trying to solicit more troops contributions.

Spokesman Wahde confirms that the Ethiopian withdrawal is well under way, and should be completed soon.

“We have specifically said it will take a few days in order to complete the withdrawal. I don’t want to comment on what will happen next,” he said.

Ethiopia had earlier said it would provide security for the AMISOM forces if they decided to join the pullout, but African Union officials have indicated they will continue their peacekeeping mission. African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping last month told reporters, “a withdrawal from Somalia is something we cannot accept, not only the AU but also the rest of the world.”

Several western diplomats, who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly, have expressed fear of a bloodbath unless the peacekeeping forces are substantially reinforced to replace the several thousand departing Ethiopian soldiers.

Reports from Somalia over the past few days have spoken of clashes between rival Islamist factions vying for control as Ethiopian convoys head back across the border. Both western and African analysts have voiced concern that extremist forces might overrun the AMISOM and TFG troops and capture the capital, Mogadishu.

Ethiopia sent troops to Somalia in December, 2006 to drive out an Islamic Courts Union that had imposed Sharia law over parts of the country. The Ethiopians installed a U.N.-backed but feeble transitional government, but were not able to provide stability in the lawless country that has been without an effective administration since 1991.
——————–
Somali police stations taken over

Ethiopian forces are leaving after two
years in Somalia

BBC
Sunday, 4 January 2009

Islamist militiamen have taken over a number of abandoned police stations in the Somali capital as Ethiopian troops continue to withdraw from the city.

The militiamen said they were moving in to prevent an explosion of violence.

They are thought to support a faction that has signed a peace deal with Somalia’s transitional government.

A more militant group, al-Shabab, is continuing the insurgency. Ethiopia has said it aims to ensure there is no security vacuum after it withdraws.

Separately, at least six people are reported to have died in fighting between rival Islamic factions further north.

Members of al-Shabab clashed with local supporters of a rival group – Ahlu Sunna Wal-jamaah – in Guriel, about 400km (250 miles) north of Mogadishu.

Ethiopian military forces began pulling out of Somalia on Friday after two years helping the transitional government fight insurgents.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s spokesman said the withdrawal would take several days.

About 3,400 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers from the African Union in Somalia are taking up positions vacated by the Ethiopians.

There are fears the withdrawal of the 3,000-strong Ethiopian force could lead to a power vacuum and that violence will continue despite a peace deal between Somalia’s transitional government and one of the main opposition factions.

However others say the pullout, together with the resignation of President Abdullahi Yusuf, could make it easier for a new government to be formed.
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Ethiopian Army Begins Leaving Mogadishu
NYT

By MOHAMED IBRAHIM and JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
Published: January 2, 2009

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Ethiopian Army trucks, packed with soldiers, tents, mattresses and other gear, began to pull out of Mogadishu, Somalia’s battle-zone of a capital, on Friday in the first signs of the expected Ethiopian withdrawal.

Many Somalis in their path immediately fled, predicting that the departing Ethiopian troops would be attacked by mines and insurgents. Almost as soon as they began to move, the Ethiopians hit a roadside bomb. At lease nine civilians were killed, and an unknown number of Ethiopian soldiers.

Thousands of Ethiopian troops stormed into Mogadishu two years ago in an attempt to shore up Somalia’s weak transitional government and to wipe out an Islamist administration that the Ethiopians considered a terrorist threat.

But the Ethiopian occupation mostly failed. The Somali government is as divided and weak as ever. Islamist insurgents, many of them quite radical and violent, have seized control of much of Somalia. Thousands of civilians have been killed in relentless combat between Islamist militants and the Ethiopians, with European Union officials accusing the Ethiopians of war crimes. And millions of Somalis are now on the brink of famine, the victims of war, displacement, drought and disease.

The Ethiopians were never popular in Somalia. But as people in Mogadishu watched the first convoy of 18 heavily loaded trucks chug down the bullet-pocked streets and head toward the Ethiopian border on Friday, many said they feared what would happen next.

“If the Ethiopians leave, there is a possibility of war among the Islamist fighters,” said Jamal Ali, a student at Mogadishu University.

It is not clear whether the Ethiopian troops are leaving Somalia entirely or simply redeploying from Mogadishu to other areas of the country. Western diplomats estimate there are still several thousand Ethiopian troops inside Somalia, and many Somalia analysts have predicted that the Ethiopians will linger for some time inside the country or along the border as a buffer against Islamist militants.

“We have already started to implement our withdrawal plan, “ said Bereket Simon, a high-ranking Ethiopian official, according to Agence France-Presse. “It is a process and it will take some time.”

Around 3,000 African Union peacekeepers are still in Somalia, trying to protect the few fortified enclaves that Somalia’s transitional government controls. On Thursday, a little-known Islamist group called the Ras Kamboni Rebels attacked peacekeepers in two locations, though it was not clear how many people, if any, were killed.

Mohamed Ibrahim reported from Mogadishu, Somalia, and Jeffrey Gettleman from Nairobi, Kenya.



Who Will be Crowned Miss Millennium?

New York – The Ethiopian Diaspora will be given an opportunity to select the beauty “queens of the new millennium”, organisers of the Ethiopian Millennium Pageant in Addis Ababa have announced.

The organizers of the pageant have put together a voting system where viewers can vote online.

“In the first of it is kind for an Ethiopia beauty pageant, over 3500 Ethiopians in the Diaspora will be emailed links to the web site”, said the press alert sent to Tadias Magazine.

According to the press release, the contestants will vie for five titles: Miss Millennium, Miss Millennium World, Miss Millennium Tourism, Miss Millennium International, and Miss Millennium Intercontinental.

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The jury panel will include “six VIP judges” from other African countries, according to Andy Abulime, president and CEO of The Ethiopian Life Foundation, the organization that owns all the major international pageant franchises for Ethiopia.

He told the The Daily Monitor on Wednesday that the VIPs will include Nakajima Jial, Miss Tourism Sudan, Diane Mizumi, Miss Tourism DR Congo, Misel Uku, Miss Tourism Nigeria, Sibeso Nailele, Miss Tourism Zambia, and Rachel Nyameyo, Miss Tourism Kenya.

Related news and links:
Interview with Miss World Ethiopia
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Brook Kassahun: This Issue’s Featured Model
brook_big.jpg

Interview with Dina Fekadu
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Message From the Tadias Team
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Dear Tadias Reader:

We are happy to share that it is finally here!! We would love to send you the Print issue of our pre-millennium issue. It is the biggest and the best designed issue we have produced since the magazine was conceived four years ago. We are also happy to announce that we will be traveling to Addis to producing a special Millennium issue from Ethiopia in September. Please subscribe to Tadias for an annual payment of only $19.99. Click Here

Best Regards,
The Tadias Team
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