Search Results for 'tessema'

Interview with Juniority TV Show Producer Philmona Tessema

Philmona Tessema, Creator/Producer of Juniority - a TV show project in Los Angeles. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
Art Talk

Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Wouldn’t it be fun to have the news interpreted by children as opposed to gray-haired pundits? That’s what Philmona Tessema, producer of the TV pilot Juniority, wants to do if she succeeds in raising enough funds for her upcoming youth-led show.

The plan is to feature a weekly guest panel of youngsters who would offer “no-spin commentary” on current affairs ranging from politics, YouTube videos, celebrity gossip and other topics hosted by comedian Brian Moote. In the long term the show will include correspondents from overseas reporting events in other countries.

“As adults, I think we condition ourselves to speak and think a certain way, but deep down inside, we all want to see the straight picture, plain and simple,” Philmona said in an interview with TADIAS. “I wanted to make a show where people can get a fresh take on the issues our world faces today, regardless of race, creed, or religion. Kids, to me, were the answer.” She added: “Not only are they not afraid to speak about what’s on their mind, but they are funny too!”


A Film & Video project in Los Angeles, California by Philmona Tessema.

Will kids also be involved in developing the content for Juniority? “Yes, Philmona answers. “Our host, comedian Brian Moote, guides the discussions, and makes sure things never get too serious, but the show is largely unscripted and kids are presented a variety of topics and are allowed to say whatever they want,” she adds. “We’ve heard some pretty interesting responses from kids, some funny, some cute, and some that are actually quite eye-opening and inspiring.”

Philmona, who holds a double-degree in Cinema & Television Arts and Theater from California State University, Northridge, was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before moving to the States in 2005. “My greatest role model is my mother who is a very hardworking woman,” she said. “In Ethiopia, she was well-known for the successful sewing school she ran on Bole Road in Addis called MOMECU. She started it on her own, turning part of our home into a classroom where my siblings and I saw first-hand the fruits of her labor.”

Regarding the show, “We’re planning on holding more auditions very soon so anyone interested can contact us to audition,” she said. “We’re looking for anyone who has an opinion and isn’t afraid to speak up.” She added: “We currently have yet to cast an Ethiopian, but would love to get them involved.”
—-
You can learn more about Juniority at Kickstarter.com.

Skoto Gallery exhibits Tesfaye Tessema December 9th – January 22nd

Above: New work by Tesfaye Tessema. (Symphony in Colors
I, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 42×30 inches) – Skoto Gallery, NY.

Tadias Magazine
Events News
Source: Skoto Gallery

Updated: Thursday, December 9, 2010

New York – Skoto Gallery is pleased to present Symphony in Colors, an exhibition of recent paintings by the Ethiopian-born artist Tesfaye Tessema. This will be his third solo show at the gallery. Reception is on Thursday, December 9th, 6-8pm, the artist will be present.

Tesfaye Tessema’s recent paintings exploits strategies that combine the physicality of paint, whether thin or thick, with an awareness of the role abstraction play as a means of expressing universal human emotions. He employs expressive gestures, deep sensitivity to texture and a mastery of tonality and color that gives his pictures a kind of interior glow where sight, memory and emotion fuse into a texture of vibrations and pulsations that allows the viewer a freedom of imagination, interpretation and emotional response. The question of where the inside and outside worlds meet, the ambiguity of space and surface tension are formally resolved in his pictures by an emphasis on concept and process over end-product while maintaining rigorous affirmative critical propositions about discrete cultural and historical realities.

In Tesfaye Tessema’s pictures, the filter of personal experience of doing, of painting and making art, away from his Ethiopian homeland for over three decades is not just essential to the substance of his creative process, but also bears witness to his ability to embrace a continuum of cultural precedents and influences, creativity with an open-ended improvisational sensibility and an awareness of the crucial links between culture, politics and social agency. The selection in this exhibition evokes the expansive possibilities of life and art in a world of changing realities and ceaseless change, and for an artist who has found a way to look forward, to engage the future and to challenge the present Tesfaye Tessema’s work is a testament to the ability of art to express big ideas about humanity.

Symphony in Colors I, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 42x30 inches

Tesfaye Tessema was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he studied at the School of Fine Arts before leaving for the United States in the early 1970s. He obtained an MFA in Fine Art at Howard University, Washington DC, where he was exposed to the richness and diversity of the art of Africa, especially the classical art of West Africa where myth, metaphors and legend abound. His extensive travels in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Mexico over the years have further broadened his perspectives on the commonality in socio-religious forms among various cultures. He has been included in numerous international survey including “Project Rolywholyobei – Circus from the Museum by John Cage”, 1994, Guggeinheim Museum, New York and Radford University Art Museum, Radford, Va, 2008. His work is in several public and private collections.

If You Go:
Symphony in Colors
Tesfaye Tessema, Recent Paintings
December 9th, 2010 – January 22nd, 2011
SKOTO GALLERY 529 West 20th Street, 5FL.
New York, NY 10011 212-352 8058
info@skotogallery.com www.skotogallery.com

Ethiopian Ceramicists: Mamo Tessema & Sofia T. Gobena

Above: “Porcelain bowl,” teapot, and vase, ceramic.
By Tessema, Mamo (Photo credit – National Archives,
Contemporary African Art from the Harmon Foundation, select
list number 236).

By Lydia Gobena
lydia_author.jpg

Conversations Between Generations

Updated: August 14th, 2008

New York (Tadias) – Pottery has traditionally played a functional role in Ethiopian society, and ceramists have generally been seen in a less than favorable light. In fact, in certain areas, ceramics was even associated with witchcraft. Ato Mamo Tessema impacted Ethiopians’ perceptions of ceramics and ceramicist. His work became seen and continues to be seen as an art form rather than a product with a utilitarian function. Ato Mamo’s artwork and career as the founder and curator of the National Museum of Ethiopia has also had a lasting legacy on Ethiopian artists, including Sofia Temesgien Gobena.

This article will discuss Ato Mamo’s influence on changing the perception of ceramists and ceramic art in Ethiopia, as well as his influence on the career of his cousin Sofia T. Gobena, who passed away in 2003. This article will further discuss how Sofia’s family is seeking to promote the notion of ceramics as an art form in Ethiopia.

Mamo Tessema
mamo.jpg
Mamo Tessema. Photo by Harold Dorwin

Mamo Tessema was born on August 24, 1935 in Nekemet, Wollega, Ethiopia. He graduated from Teacher’s Training School at His Imperial Majesty’s Handicraft School in Addis Ababa. After studying in Ethiopia, he went to the U.S., where he attended the Alfred University, and the New York College of Ceramics. He received his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and Masters of Fine Arts from Alfred. At Alfred, Ato Mamo’s studies were not limited to ceramic design, he also studied wood carving, painting, sculpture, welding, graphics, lithography, photography, furniture design, and history of art, among other things. Thus, Ato Mamo’s studies provided him with a well-rounded background in art, which is reflected by his artwork.

239a.jpg 240a.jpg
Above Left: “Warrior,” welded steel sculpture by Mamo Tessema (Photo credit –
National Archives, Contemporary African Art from the Harmon Foundation, select list
number 239).

Above Right: “Welded Bird,” welded steel sculpture by Mamo Tessema
(Photo credit – National Archives,Contemporary African Art from the Harmon
Foundation, select list number 240).

Ato Mamo’s work has been exhibited in a number of locations including at the: Alfred Guild at the State College of Ceramics; 1961 UNESCO exhibit; Temple Emanu-El in Yonkers, New York; Washington Heights branch of the New York Public Library; Hampton Institute and Commercial Museum in Philadelphia. The latter five exhibitions were done through the assistance and/or sponsorship of Harmon Foundation, which during its existence from 1922 to 1967, played an instrumental role in promoting the awareness of African art in the U.S. Ato Mamo has also exhibited his work in other countries, including in Ethiopia.

237-lg_inside.jpg
“The Capture,” woodcut. By Tessema, Mamo (Photo credit – National
Archives,
Contemporary African Art from the Harmon Foundation, select
list number 237.

After returning from studying in the U.S., Ato Mamo became well-known as a ceramist. This resulted in Ethiopians beginning to appreciate ceramics as an art form. To this day, when Ethiopians think of ceramics as an art form, Ato Mamo immediately comes to mind.

Ato Mamo also taught at the Handicraft School after his return to Ethiopia. Ato Mamo further embarked on the ambitious and worthy project of establishing the Ethiopian National Museum, the first museum in the country. Among the purposes of the Museum were to demonstrate the illustrious art and culture of Ethiopia to visitors, and to educate Ethiopian children about their rich history. As the founder and curator of the museum, Ato Mamo traveled throughout the globe, presenting Ethiopian artifacts to the world.

It can be said that his influence is felt by many now, when one travels through the bustling art scene in Ethiopia. There seems to be a greater appreciation of artwork as new private galleries are opened. Ato Mamo saw the importance of Ethiopian art and history, and the need to archive it. For this Ethiopians should be grateful.

Sofia T. Gobena
sofia-gobena.jpg
Sofia at her Masters of Arts Show

Sofia Temesgien Gobena was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on August 18, 1964. She came to the United States of America in July 1972 with her parents, Abebetch B. and Temesgien Gobena. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Antioch College in Ohio, and a Master of Arts in ceramics and glass from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She also completed her work for her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin. Sofia unexpectedly passed away at the age of 38, though in her short life she was a prolific creator. Here are but few samples of her work.

ceramics_by_gobena_3.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_4.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_1.jpg

ceramics_by_gobena_6.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_2.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_5.jpg
Photos: The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation for Promotion of Education in Ceramics and Fine
Arts

To learn about ceramics in Ethiopia, Sofia visited one of the traditional ceramics producing stations. Sofia’s art professors and colleagues described her artistic abilities as transcendent and the kind of talent that comes around perhaps once a decade.

sofia-14.jpg
During Sofia’s visit to a traditional ceramics station
in Ethiopia.

Although Sofia’s life was brief, she was a prodigious artist, leaving behind numerous paintings, sculptures, glasswork, and ceramic pieces that are testaments to the beauty of her creative spirit. While some of this work had previously been seen during her Master of Arts show that was held in Madison, Wisconsin, her artwork received greater exposure at an art show that was held on June 18-20, 2004, in Washington, D.C. at the WorldSpace Corporation. The art show was put together by her family, with the assistance of Mamo Tessema.

ceramics_by_gobena_8.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_11.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_10.jpg
More samples of Sofia’s work (Photos: The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation)

Sofia’s influences in ceramics were the well-known U.S. ceramicists Peter Voulkos and Daniel Rhodes. Mamo Tessema was also an important influence in Sofia’s art. The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation was established in Sofia’s memory. The purpose of the foundation is to distribute funds to educational institutions in the United States and abroad that support and encourage the promotion of ceramic arts. Contributions have already been made to the Addis Ababa University Art Department to develop a ceramics department.

In sum, Mamo Tessema’s art work and legacy as the founder of the Ethiopian National Museum has had a significant influence on Ethiopia and artists. One such artist was Sofi a T. Gobena, in whose name a foundation was established to promote the ceramic arts.


About the Author:
Lydia Gobena, sister of Sofia T. Gobena and a cousin to Ato Mamo Tessema, is a trademark attorney and partner at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, one of the top intellectual property law firms in the world. She is also a jewelry artist based in New York City.

The Lives of Two Ethiopian Ceramicists: Mamo Tessema & Sofia T. Gobena

Above: “Porcelain bowl,” teapot, and vase, ceramic.
By Tessema, Mamo (Photo credit – National Archives,
Contemporary African Art from the Harmon Foundation, select
list number 236).

By Lydia Gobena
lydia_author.jpg

Conversations Between Generations

Updated: August 14th, 2008

New York (Tadias) – Pottery has traditionally played a functional role in Ethiopian society, and ceramists have generally been seen in a less than favorable light. In fact, in certain areas, ceramics was even associated with witchcraft. Ato Mamo Tessema impacted Ethiopians’ perceptions of ceramics and ceramicist. His work became seen and continues to be seen as an art form rather than a product with a utilitarian function. Ato Mamo’s artwork and career as the founder and curator of the National Museum of Ethiopia has also had a lasting legacy on Ethiopian artists, including Sofia Temesgien Gobena.

This article will discuss Ato Mamo’s influence on changing the perception of ceramists and ceramic art in Ethiopia, as well as his influence on the career of his cousin Sofia T. Gobena, who passed away in 2003. This article will further discuss how Sofia’s family is seeking to promote the notion of ceramics as an art form in Ethiopia.

Mamo Tessema
mamo.jpg
Mamo Tessema. Photo by Harold Dorwin

Mamo Tessema was born on August 24, 1935 in Nekemet, Wollega, Ethiopia. He graduated from Teacher’s Training School at His Imperial Majesty’s Handicraft School in Addis Ababa. After studying in Ethiopia, he went to the U.S., where he attended the Alfred University, and the New York College of Ceramics. He received his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and Masters of Fine Arts from Alfred. At Alfred, Ato Mamo’s studies were not limited to ceramic design, he also studied wood carving, painting, sculpture, welding, graphics, lithography, photography, furniture design, and history of art, among other things. Thus, Ato Mamo’s studies provided him with a well-rounded background in art, which is reflected by his artwork.

239a.jpg 240a.jpg
Above Left: “Warrior,” welded steel sculpture by Mamo Tessema (Photo credit –
National Archives, Contemporary African Art from the Harmon Foundation, select list
number 239).

Above Right: “Welded Bird,” welded steel sculpture by Mamo Tessema
(Photo credit – National Archives,Contemporary African Art from the Harmon
Foundation, select list number 240).

Ato Mamo’s work has been exhibited in a number of locations including at the: Alfred Guild at the State College of Ceramics; 1961 UNESCO exhibit; Temple Emanu-El in Yonkers, New York; Washington Heights branch of the New York Public Library; Hampton Institute and Commercial Museum in Philadelphia. The latter five exhibitions were done through the assistance and/or sponsorship of Harmon Foundation, which during its existence from 1922 to 1967, played an instrumental role in promoting the awareness of African art in the U.S. Ato Mamo has also exhibited his work in other countries, including in Ethiopia.

237-lg_inside.jpg
“The Capture,” woodcut. By Tessema, Mamo (Photo credit – National
Archives,
Contemporary African Art from the Harmon Foundation, select
list number 237.

After returning from studying in the U.S., Ato Mamo became well-known as a ceramist. This resulted in Ethiopians beginning to appreciate ceramics as an art form. To this day, when Ethiopians think of ceramics as an art form, Ato Mamo immediately comes to mind.

Ato Mamo also taught at the Handicraft School after his return to Ethiopia. Ato Mamo further embarked on the ambitious and worthy project of establishing the Ethiopian National Museum, the first museum in the country. Among the purposes of the Museum were to demonstrate the illustrious art and culture of Ethiopia to visitors, and to educate Ethiopian children about their rich history. As the founder and curator of the museum, Ato Mamo traveled throughout the globe, presenting Ethiopian artifacts to the world.

It can be said that his influence is felt by many now, when one travels through the bustling art scene in Ethiopia. There seems to be a greater appreciation of artwork as new private galleries are opened. Ato Mamo saw the importance of Ethiopian art and history, and the need to archive it. For this Ethiopians should be grateful.

Sofia T. Gobena
sofia-gobena.jpg
Sofia at her Masters of Arts Show

Sofia Temesgien Gobena was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on August 18, 1964. She came to the United States of America in July 1972 with her parents, Abebetch B. and Temesgien Gobena. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Antioch College in Ohio, and a Master of Arts in ceramics and glass from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She also completed her work for her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin. Sofia unexpectedly passed away at the age of 38, though in her short life she was a prolific creator. Here are but few samples of her work.

ceramics_by_gobena_3.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_4.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_1.jpg

ceramics_by_gobena_6.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_2.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_5.jpg
Photos: The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation for Promotion of Education in Ceramics and Fine
Arts

To learn about ceramics in Ethiopia, Sofia visited one of the traditional ceramics producing stations. Sofia’s art professors and colleagues described her artistic abilities as transcendent and the kind of talent that comes around perhaps once a decade.

sofia-14.jpg
During Sofia’s visit to a traditional ceramics station
in Ethiopia.

Although Sofia’s life was brief, she was a prodigious artist, leaving behind numerous paintings, sculptures, glasswork, and ceramic pieces that are testaments to the beauty of her creative spirit. While some of this work had previously been seen during her Master of Arts show that was held in Madison, Wisconsin, her artwork received greater exposure at an art show that was held on June 18-20, 2004, in Washington, D.C. at the WorldSpace Corporation. The art show was put together by her family, with the assistance of Mamo Tessema.

ceramics_by_gobena_8.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_11.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_10.jpg
More samples of Sofia’s work (Photos: The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation)

Sofia’s influences in ceramics were the well-known U.S. ceramicists Peter Voulkos and Daniel Rhodes. Mamo Tessema was also an important influence in Sofia’s art. The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation was established in Sofia’s memory. The purpose of the foundation is to distribute funds to educational institutions in the United States and abroad that support and encourage the promotion of ceramic arts. Contributions have already been made to the Addis Ababa University Art Department to develop a ceramics department.

In sum, Mamo Tessema’s art work and legacy as the founder of the Ethiopian National Museum has had a significant influence on Ethiopia and artists. One such artist was Sofi a T. Gobena, in whose name a foundation was established to promote the ceramic arts.


About the Author:
Lydia Gobena, sister of Sofia T. Gobena and a cousin to Ato Mamo Tessema, is a trademark attorney and partner at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, one of the top intellectual property law firms in the world. She is also a jewelry artist based in New York City.

Bridging Cultures Through Art: A Harlem Moment with Tesfaye Tessema

Above: Tseday Alehegn during her walks through Harlem with Tesfaye Tessema

By Tseday Alehegn

Before arriving at Artist Tesfaye’s studio in Harlem, his home of twenty years, we took a tour of historic areas where Ethiopian and African-American ties runs deep and undisturbed. We traversed slowly and observantly across Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, named after the fiery pastor of Harlem’s legendary Abyssinian Baptist Church, and walked through African Square, lined with colorful West African vendors and stores. Continuing our promenade towards Lenox Avenue, we spotted an Ethiopian-owned cafe called Settepani, a popular hangout for Harlem’s young elite. As we strolled by Jackie Robinson’s Park, a young African American man, recognizing our Ethiopian ancestry, smiled and greeted us with a hearty Tenayistelegn!
robinson_new.JPG arbaminch.JPG
harlem_new.JPG abysinai_new.JPG
125street_new.JPG brownstone_new.JPG
Above: Top left, Jackie Robinson’s Park; Middle Right, Harlem’s legendary Abyssinian Baptist Church. Photos by Tseday Alehegn

Walking through Harlem with Tess (as he is known in Harlem), two things become quickly evident: The first being that this neighborhood has, as the artist tells us, “a feeling of home.” And the latter, that his love for this community fuels his art.
art_talk.JPG
Above: Tesfaye Tessema in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Liben Eabisa

One of his recent exhibitions at Skoto Gallery in New York (one of the first galleries to specialize in contemporary African Art in the United States), was entitled Addis Improvisations: Art from Harlem. This series is an afrocentric, jazzy-expression of joint heritage.
tes1.jpg tesnew2.jpg
Above: Left, Addis Improvisation III, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 72×54 inches. Right, Addis Improvisation I, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 72″x39″. Photos courtesy of Skoto Gallery.

Tesfaye’s journey to Harlem can be traced back to his early high school days, when he was a student at Menelik High School in Addis Ababa. On one particular day, his class was excused and students were asked to attend a special gathering at the National Theatre. “We were told that an important person from Harlem had arrived, and we saw several men dressed in fancy suits setting up their musical instruments on stage. Their leader was called Duke Ellington,” he recalls. The young Tesfaye was mesmerized as the concert began with Ellington’s famous “A-Train” composition. This extraordinary opportunity to listen to Ellington play jazz remained etched in Tesfaye’s mind, his first introduction to jazz and to Harlem.

Many years later, after arriving in Washington, D.C. to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts at
Howard University, he developed lasting friendships within the African-American community, and rekindled his passion for Harlem. After completing his art studies, Tesfaye moved to Harlem. He now lives in the same building where Duke Ellington once resided. “I feel at home here,” he says. “I tell my African-American friends that, just as they look for their roots, I search for my branches. Together we form a tree.”

Harlem, and jazz in particular, have profoundly impacted Tesfaye’s art. Speaking about his career as an artist, he says, “My art lately is an improvisation. I consider myself a jazz painter. I play jazz with my brush.”
tes3.jpg tesnew4.jpg
Above: Left, 155th/Amsterdam Avenue II, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 24″x16″. Right, Addis Improvisation V, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 72″x54″. Photos courtesy of Skoto Gallery.

Art itself had also been an integral part of Tesfaye’s childhood experience. “I’ve known art since I knew myself,” he says. “While other children played together, I grew up in a household with no other children, so art became my game. I played art. I drew on walls with charcoal, and I looked around for natural objects to create color – green from leaves and yellow from mustard,” he shares. “Whenever I accompanied my mother to church, I used to stare at the paintings on the walls during prayers. To me, this art was able to express spiritual concepts that are not as easily expressed through words.” After attending Menelik school, Tesfaye longed to enter the National Fine Arts School — conveniently located right next door. He was accepted and commenced formal studies in art there before going on to pursue graduate studies at Howard.

Tesfaye Tessema is not only a master painter but also a master print maker and a muralist. He also uses etching, lithography, and mixed media. His art has been collected by prestigious institutions, such as the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the United Nations in New York City. Alongside the works of famous African-American artists such as Romare Bearden, Tesfaye Tessema’s paintings are prominently featured in the Schomburg Center’s publication Black New York Artists of the 20th Century. The United Nations transformed one of his paintings into a stamp that raised over $300,000 for famine relief in Ethiopia. He was also commissioned to paint a mural by the Museum of African Arts (the Smithsonian) on Capitol Hill. Tesfaye stands as one of the only contemporary Ethiopian artists to display his artwork at established institutions like the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His art has been exhibited at various universities throughout the U.S. as well as internationally in France,Germany, England, Japan, and many other countries.
tes6.jpg
Above: Addis Improvisation IV, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 56″x54″. Photo courtesy of Skoto Gallery.

Throughout his career, Tesfaye has emphasized his appreciation for public art. “I think people have the right to claim my art,” he says, seeing art as his service to individuals and contribution to the public in general. He uses the sights and sounds of his two communities, Ethiopian and African-American, to make art that positively reinforces their harmony.

“I would really like the world to know that all of us are artists,” he says. “There are no special people made to be artists. What comes out on the canvas is what we’ve all taken in from our environment, expressed through our own personal interpretation.”

A Harlem moment with Tesfaye teaches us to appreciate not only the art but also the artist.

———————–
About the Author:
tseday_author.JPG
Tseday Alehegn is the Editor-in-Chief of Tadias Magazine. Tseday is a graduate of Stanford University (both B.A. & M.A.). In addition to her responsibilities at Tadias, she is also a Doctoral student at Columbia University.

Media Panel Shares Recommendations at Capitol Hill During US-Africa Summit

Panelists for media task force at African Civil Society Conference at Capitol Hill during US-Africa Summit on August 6th, 2014. (photo: Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine

by Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Washington, DC (TADIAS)  — The African Civil Society Conference, organized by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its partners, brought together African civil society leaders, journalists and members of US Congress at Capitol Hill as part of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday, August 6th. The conference theme entitled ‘Towards an Action Program for Democracy’ comprised of 6 panels addressing Human Rights, Good Governance & Accountability, Elections, Media, Conflict & Security, and Civil Society Challenges. Martin Frost, NED Board Chair, Hon. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Hon. Chris Smith (R-NJ) gave welcoming remarks.

Each panel presented recommendations forwarded by their respective task force, which met earlier in the week. Spokesperson for the media panel, Henry Maina, Director of East & Horn of Africa for Article 19, stated the media task force recommendations.  Members of the Media Task Force included journalists and activists from Mali, Tunisia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Morocco, Malawi, Kenya, and Nigeria. Several Ethiopian civil society leaders participated in the conference including scholar & political activist Birtukan Mideksa (Human Rights task force) Dr. Merera Gudina, Professor at University of Addis Ababa (Elections task force), and civil society advocates Teklu Tessema Gudeto and Debebe Hailegebriel (Civil Society Challenges task force).

Spokesperson Henry Maina highlighted media repression in several African countries and cited the current plight of Ethiopia’s Zone 9 bloggers who he described as “just using mobile phones and websites.” He added: “They have done nothing wrong.”

Maina also emphasized that media must be seen as a central topic to be addressed when discussing post 2015 development goals. Recommendations by the media task force included encouraging international media organizations to have more comprehensive coverage of news in Africa and to “move away from the narrative of Africa as the hopeless continent.” The task force would also like African governments and leaders “to establish independent media regulation mechanisms as well as clear and transparent criteria” so that media organizations are not stifled.

“Media is a mirror where leaders can perceive themselves,” one panelist stated, without which “journalists find themselves in situations of self-censorship and leaders may be going the wrong way.”

The media task force addressed the need for organizations such as USAID to support media by including programs in its portfolio that addresses the needs of African media organizations. Panelist John Gatluak from South Sudan shared the necessity for funding for the media sector to help develop professional media training programs. Likewise, the task force recommended that UN agencies and the African Development Bank lead the way to promoting access to information.

Addressing the African commission on human and peoples rights, the media task force stated that it must show leadership in encouraging Africa’s 53 countries to meet their obligations under international law, especially in regards to media law. Maina also shared the task force’s recommendations for media professionals stressing the need to form solidarity networks to support each other “whenever they find themselves in distress.” Addressing the private sector Maina asked for more efforts in allowing ICT and knowledge transfer so that Africa need not go through the slow progress of development and instead leapfrog to the digital economy.

A member of Facebook’s policy team also announced their recent collaboration with Airtel to provide free internet access along with healthcare and job information via their new initiative, Internet.org, in Zambia. Facebook reiterated that key issues in media include access and affordability of Internet as well as freedom of information as outlined by the media task force.

Panelist Kumba Gborie from SKYY Radio in Sierra Leone brought forth the issue of the under-representation of women in media in African countries and called for greater efforts to increase access to formal education for girls so that they may have better opportunities in the future to join media organizations. She likewise called for greater representation of women in the area of politics and leadership as well.

Several panelists stressed the need for the U.S. government to engage with African leaders to enhance and ensure the safety of media professionals. They also recommended that media workers in African countries consider forming trade unions for greater security.

During the Q&A session an audience member from South Sudan raised the question of hate speech on social media, which oftentimes exacerbates conflicts on the ground. Media panelist Mandala Mambulasa from Malawi acknowledged the need to address this critical issue while noting that there are no laws that address hate speech.

Organizers of the conference have noted that recommendations presented by the various panels during the African Civil Society Conference “will be incorporated into an Action Program, addressed to African governments, civil society, and citizens, as well as the international community, on the occasion of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit.”

U.S. House Democratic Whip, Congressman Steny Hoyer gave the closing remarks and noted that “this gathering is so critical because it highlights the role of civil society in Africa’s development.” He added: “I see and hope you see as well a continent of opportunity. Activists are building democratic institutions.”


Related:
Obama Announces $33B Commitment at Africa Forum
African & U.S. Scientists Hold Technology & Innovation Symposium at US-Africa Summit
Civil Society Forum Kicks Off at Historic US-Africa Summit in DC
US-Africa Summit Events Under Way in Washington
First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks on Girls’ Education at YALI Presidential Summit
Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg at Africa Summit
Meet the Mandela Washington Fellows From Ethiopia
Obama Renames Africa Young Leaders Program For Nelson Mandela
U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT 2014: Preview
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

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New Book by Ethiopian Author: How Obama Won the 2012 Election

Dereje Tessema, author of How this Happened—Election 2012. (Courtesy photograph/Gashe Publishing)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — During the 2012 presidential election, President Obama was supposed to be headed for a sure defeat on election day given that most polls had shown him trailing his opponent by a significant number, which was trumpeted by many pundits across the country, including by several in the Ethiopian American community. But how did they get it so wrong? “As one prominent pollster put it they were drinking the ‘Republican Kool-Aid’,” said Dereje Befekadu Tessema, author of the new book How this Happened—Election 2012: Perfecting the Science of Presidential Campaigning, pointing out that most of the major polling agencies missed predicting that election accurately because they were ‘out to lunch’ when it came to understanding “new ways of collecting data” from young people and minority communities that he argues the Obama campaign perfected. “The only person who got it right is Nate Silver, the statistician and author of the FiveThirtyEight blog then published in The New York Times.”

In its review of Dereje’s book (Gashe Publishing) ForeWord Clarion Reviews noted: “A meticulously constructed, frank examination of the 2012 US presidential election drawing from a plethora of sources, How This Happened follows up on Dereje B. Tessema’s earlier project of the same title, which covered the 2008 election. This exploration of how Barack Obama secured his second term expounds upon other Monday-morning analyses. Though few pollsters and pundits predicted a strong win, the Obama administration ended up being re-elected by a strong margin, and the author makes a case that the victory was well-earned. ‘The signature of the Obama campaign,’ Tessema asserts, ‘was its ability to maximize positive events and turn challenges [in]to opportunities.’”

Dereje, who teaches at Virginia International University in Fairfax, Virginia, told Tadias that he is in the process of organizing a “semi-professional” panel discussion at a university location in Washington, D.C. area to explore “the lessons learned from the past” as we approach another election season that he hopes will include a record participation by Ethiopian American voters.

“Both in the 2008 and 2012 elections Alexanderia, Virginia [home to a sizable number of Ethiopians] was the tipping point,” said Dereje in a recent interview with Tadias Magazine, emphasizing that the large turnout by Ethiopian American voters was crucial in the swing state.

Dereje said he was a volunteer with the Obama campaign in both elections. “How This Happened is a cleverly constructed, well contextualized insider’s history of the 2012 presidential campaign, one which will imbue supporters with a sense of pride, and which may prompt fruitful conversations with detractors,” Michelle Anne Schingler concluded in the Clarion Reviews. “It is a sure treat for those fascinated by the political process.”

You can learn more and purchase the book at: www.amazon.com.

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The Significance of the 1896 Battle of Adwa

March 1st, 2013 marked the 117th year anniversary of the Battle of Adwa and historian Ayele Bekerie shares an essay on the historic victory. (Photo: Mountains of Adwa/File)

Tadias Magazine
By Ayele Bekerie, PhD

ayele_author.jpg

Published: Friday, March 1st, 2013

Mekelle, Ethiopia (TADIAS) – In 1896, eleven years after the Berlin Conference, the Ethiopian army decisively defeated the Italian military at the Battle of Adwa. It was a resounding victory because it aborted Italia’s ambition to establish a colonial foothold in Ethiopia. On March 2, 1896, The New York Times reported with a headline: “Abyssinians Defeat Italians; Both Wings of [General] Baratieri’s Army Enveloped in an Energetic Attack.” On March 4, 1896, The New York Times featured another story about “Italy’s Terrible Defeat.” NYT also stated “three thousand men killed, sixty guns and all provisions lost.” It further indicated how high the defeat’s impact has reached by referring to the Pope who “is greatly disturbed by the news.” “The terrible defeat” sent shock waves throughout Europe and the colonized world. It was the first time that a non-white people had defeated a European power. According to Teshale Tibebu, the victory the Ethiopians had achieved over Italy was different than other battles won by African forces. This was permanent.

While Europeans saw the defeat as a real threat to their vast colonial empires in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean, the colonized subjects in these territories understood the event as the beginning of the end of colonialism. Adwa as Davidson aptly puts it has become a prelude to decolonization in Africa. Clearly the victory at the Battle of Adwa lends itself to multiple meanings and interpretations, depending upon perspectives and stances in relation to colonialism. The purpose of this piece is to look into the interpretations of the event from the perspectives of the colonized and how the victory brought about the idea of global Ethiopia. It can be argued that the Battle has further enhanced the symbolic significance of Ethiopia in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean. Ethiopia has become a symbol of the anti-colonial movements throughout the world. The Battle may have also given geographical and historical certitude to Ethiopia. The Battle of Adwa is another significant symbol in the imaginary of the idea of Ethiopia. This paper looks into the symbolic importance of Adwa in the conception and development of pan-African solidarity and identity.

Ethiopia at the time of the Battle was a highly traditional empire-state where kings and nobilities ruled over a predominantly agrarian people. Modes of rules were not only dictated by customs and personal whims, they were also exploitative. Adwa then ushered a new paradigm to alter or reform the tradition, to replace it with a modern system of centralized and unified government. While the symbolic significance of the Battle successfully echoed the call for freedom and independence and an end to colonial domination abroad, the full meanings of Adwa have yet to be fully realized within Ethiopia. Adwa suggests the power of indigenous multiple voices voluntarily cooperating to defeat and challenge the European colonial order.

Virtually all the regions, religions, linguistic groups, aristocrats and peasants pulled their resources together to formulate and execute a strategy of victory. By their actions the Ethiopians were not only affirming the power and immense possibilities of unity in diversity, but they were placing issues of freedom and internal reform at the top of the national agenda. Adwa necessitates a new set of directions interspersed with broader definition and application of freedom so that all those who participated in the Battle would be able to participate in the affairs of their country. As Maimre puts it, “from the perspectives of the thousands who participated in the campaign of Adwa, the resistance to the Italian invasion embodies the aspiration for freedom, equality and unity as well as the rejection of colonialism.”

Adwa reminds the Shoan nobility to let freedom ring from northern highlands to the rift valleys, the river basins, the plain lush fields of Arussi and the salty Danakil depressions. Adwa presents a unique opportunity to reconfigure the empire-state. Unfortunately, absolutism and imperial glory overshadowed and undermined the emancipatory route suggested by the historic event of Adwa. Adwa presses on the monarchy to modernize and to let the people involve in the political process through constitutional means. Unfortunately, the leaders resisted internal reform or introduced ineffective and nominal elements of modernity. Absolute monarchy, imitative and nominal modernization and detached and non-transformative tradition were pursued and, to this date, insist on clinging to the status quo. The status quo is the cause of immense poverty and disenfranchisement for the vast majority of the people in the country.

Adwa’s magnificent victory is a model in as far as people of various cultures, religions and languages willingness to assemble for a purpose. 100,000 Ethiopian troops took positions on the fields and mountains of Adwa to encircle and defeat the enemy. The multi-cultural army paid the ultimate sacrifice when about nine thousand of its soldiers died at the Battle. With their sacrifice, they set the stage for the birth of a new Ethiopia where the reach of freedom, politically and economically, would be more egalitarian. The model, unfortunately, was not pursued in post-Adwa Ethiopia. The model of voluntary cooperation and coexistence has yet to be implemented in the twenty first century Ethiopia. The model has yet to break the cycle of poverty and endless violent conflicts in the Horn of Africa.

While the victory is certainly a major milestone in Ethiopian history, Menelik and his successors failed to fully appreciate and adopt the new reality that emerged (locally and internationally) as a consequence of the victory. The meaning and reach of freedom hampered by intolerance to internal criticism and resistance to reform the monarchy. Internationally, most historians agree that Adwa opened the way for the ultimate demise of colonialism in Africa and elsewhere.

Adwa is significant because it disturbed the colonial order in the world. Colonial subjects interpreted Adwa as a call to resist and defeat colonialism and racial oppressions through out the world. With Adwa, they have a permanent symbol and a constant reminder that colonialism was wrong and it ought to be defeated. No system is just in as long as it treats human beings as objects and fodders to exploitative and profitable economic systems. Citizen subject is a right that cannot be denied and that should be exercised if at all freedom is a universal right of peoples and communities. Adwa, to most historians, is an African victory. The 1884-85 Berlin Conference was convened to divide up the entire continent of Africa and assign colonial territories to European powers. The Europeans allocated the Horn of Africa to Italy. Italy’s unsuccessful military push in Ethiopia was a part of the European colonial order in Africa.

In preparation for this essay, I conducted field and library research in Ethiopia and abroad. I visited the town of Adwa in September 2006 and March 2012. Adwa is only 25 miles west of the ancient city of Aksum. I made the journey to Adwa in search of memorial markings, to participate in the 116th Battle of Adwa Anniversary, to pay tribute to the war heroes and heroines, to converse with residents and to visit relevant institutions and museums. The Battle of Adwa is known locally as 1886, the Ethiopian calendar year for 1896.

I also had a chance to examine archival documents in the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University and the National Archive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The National Archive has, among other books, manuscripts and papers written in local languages and scripts, a rich collection of documents encompassing the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries of the Common Era in Ethiopian history. I particularly read and copied relevant documents from the archival collections of Belata Mersea Hazen Wolde Qirqos, Doctor Dejazemach Zewde Gebre Selassie, Dejazemach Kebede Tessema, and Aleqa Taye Gebre Mariam. Recent publications of memoirs in Amharic by former palace officials or associates, such as Fitawrari Tekle Hawariat Tekle Mariam and Dejazemach Zewde Retta, have also helped a great deal to elucidate historic events. Tsehafe Tezaz Gebre Selassie’s Tarike Zemen Ze Dagmawi Menelik Neguse Negest Ze Ethiopia (Historical Period of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia) is a useful source of the Battle. Gebre Selassie served as a personal chronicler of the Emperor.

The collection donated to the National Archive by Belata Merse Hazen Wolde Qirqos includes a critical essay entitled Atse Menelikena Ethiopia (Emperor Menelik and Ethiopia) written by a great Ethiopian scholar, Gebre Hiwot Baykedagn. His essay criticizes Ethiopian historians for failing to engage in critical interpretations of the past. He also points out the achievements and failures of Emperor Menelik II. Another scholar who was trained in Europe, Afeworq Gebreyesus wrote the biography of Emperor Menelik. The work is regarded as serious and fruitful. Gebre Hiwot Baykedagn criticizes the book for lack of balance in the appraisal of the leadership of Emperor Yohannes II in comparison to Emperor Menelik. In addition, almost ten years ago, I participated in a book project to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Battle of Adwa. The book, One House: The Battle of Adwa 1896-100 Years, edited by Pamela S, Brown and Fasil Yirgu, has contributors, such as the Late Laureate Tsegaye Gebre Medhin, Richard Pankhurst, and Teshale Tibebu. My contribution is entitled “How Africa Defeated Europe.”

Menelik’s (Abba Dagnew) success at the Battle of Adwa may be attributed to the following factors: One, he surrounded himself with great advisors, such as Empress Taitu Bitul, Fitawarari Habte Giorgis Dinegde (Abba Mechal) and Ras Mekonnen, a nephew and father of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Menelik was a popular leader, skillful diplomat, and good listener. Menelik believed in reconciliation. Those who revolted against him once defeated they were immediately pardoned and allowed, unfortunately, to retain their original privileged position. Menelik was keenly aware of the colonial expansionist ambition of the French, British and Italians in the region. As a result, he actively sought and acquired modern weapons from Europe. He even bought a large quantity of weapons from the Italians. He also fully exploited the rivalries among the three colonizers. More importantly, out of a long war experience, together with his ministers, regional kings, he developed a winning war plan.

Menelik’s war declaration was widely heeded and welcomed throughout the country, a clear affirmation of his popularity. Menelik’s declaration is an important literary document in the context of preparation, the will to fight and become victorious at the Battle of Adwa. Menelik appealed to love of family, religion and country. He reminded Ethiopians that the intention of the enemy is to take away the core values and traditions cherished by the people. Menelik declared (translation mine):

“Up until now, through the grace of God, who permitted me to live by destroying my enemies and expanding the territorial boundaries of our country. It is also through the grace of God that I am ruling. Therefore, I have no fear of death. More importantly, God has never let me down and I am confident that he will let me be victorious again.”

“At this time, another enemy has entered our territory by crossing our God given sea. His objective is to destroy the country and to change the religion. As a result of a major cattle disease that devastated a large number of our livestock and brought great sufferings to our farmers and pastoralists in the last few years, I remained quiet and patient to numerous hostile provocations. And yet the enemy continued to dig dipper in the ground like a hog.”

“Now God willing or with God’s help, I will not surrender my country. My fellow country folks, I do not believe that I disappointed you in the past. You have not also disappointed me. If you are strong, then help me with your strength to fight the enemy. If you are not strong, I seek your moral support for the sake of your children, wife and religion. If, on the other hand, you seek lame excuse not to join the national campaign against our enemy, I will be upset and I will not have mercy on you, I will punish you. My campaign begins in October, and I expect volunteers from Shoa to gather in Woreilu by mid October.”

This article is well-referenced and those who seek the references should contact Professor Ayele Bekerie directly at: abekerie@gmail.com.

About the Author:
Ayele Bekerie is an Associate Professor at the Department of History and Cultural Studies at Mekelle University.

Related:
The 1896 Battle of Adwa: Empress Taitu Bitul, The Visionary Co-Leader
Call for the Registry of Adwa as UNESCO World Heritage Site (Tadias)


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Skoto Gallery’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition

Ethiopian-born artist Etiyé Dimma Poulsen, who lives and works in Belgium, is one of the artists whose work is featured at Skoto Gallery's 20th Anniversary Exhibition in New York scheduled from January 26th to February 25, 2012 (Photo: Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
Art Talk

Updated: Monday, January 23, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – In the heart of Chelsea, one of the centers of the New York art world, lays a gem for African art lovers. Skoto Gallery that opened in 1992 is one of the first contemporary African art galleries in the United States focusing on a mix of artists from the continent and the Diaspora.

Since its inaugural exhibition two decades ago – curated by jazz icon Ornet Coleman and held at its previous location in SoHo – the gallery has mounted memorable shows highlighting artists hailing from several African countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Cameroon, and Senegal.

In a recent press release Skoto Gallery announced that it is preparing to host its 20th Anniversary Exhibition this week featuring works by at least seventeen contemporary artists including Ethiopians Etiye Dimma Poulsen, Wosene Kosrof, and Tesfaye Tessema.

(Photo: Inaugural exhibition at Skoto Gallery, 1992)

“It is tempting to talk about Skoto Gallery as a secret treasure of the New York art scene; but doing so brings up a lot of contradictory data,” wrote poet and critic Geoffrey Jacques. “For instance, how does a “secret” survive two decades in a historically tough scene made even tougher by the cultural and economic head winds that have buffeted art, the New York art world, and the world in general in the last few years?” He added: “To say the quality of the work shown at Skoto Gallery during these last twenty years is responsible for its success would be one obvious truth. There is, however, more to it than that. Skoto Gallery performs a vital intervention into the very idea of contemporary art.”

In an interview with Tadias Magazine a few years ago, gallery owner Skoto Aghahowa stressed the importance of having a greater understanding of the creative process, the environment in which artists operate, as well as marketing and communication skills within the African artist community. “A piece of art work retains its value when one strikes a balance between scholarly work and commercial success,” Skoto said. “The most important work of an art dealer is to be familiar with the work of world artists, not just African artists, and to help create a context in which the work can be understood and appreciated.”

Geoffrey Jacques noted: “I remember being so moved by a 1995 exhibition of works by two sculptors that I had to write about them. The pairing was, at first glance, audacious: Tom Otterness, from Kansas, who lived in New York; and Bright Bimpong, from Ghana, who was, at the time, studying in New Jersey. It was the kind of beautiful exhibition we’re now used to seeing at Skoto Gallery.”

If You Go:
Skoto Gallery
20th Anniversary Exhibition
January 26th – February 25 , 2012
Reception: Thursday, January 26th, 6-8pm
529 West 20th Street, 5thFL
New York, NY 10011
www.skotogallery.com

Interview with Rev. Richards, President of the Abyssinian Fund

The Abyssinian Fund is the only non-governmental organization operating in Ethiopia founded by an African-American church. (Photo courtesy of the The Abyssinian Fund)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Saturday, January 21, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – As part of their bicentennial celebration, Harlem-based Abyssinian Baptist Church organized a historic first trip to Ethiopia in 2007 with more than 150 members. Their visit coincided with celebrations for the Ethiopian Millennium. Upon return, the church created a non-profit organization called The Abyssinian Fund (TAF) that is dedicated to sustainable development projects in Africa.

Today TAF is a partner with a co-op of 900 farmers in Ethiopia, assisting them with production of premium coffee for export. “We work with the farmers by helping them grow higher quality coffee beans so they can reinvest in their communities,” Reverend Nicholas S. Richards, President of the Abyssinian Fund, said in a recent interview with Tadias Magazine. “The farmers work with our field director Zerihun Tessema Fanta and field coordinator Demeke Hailu, who are based in Chaffee Jenette.” He added: “Together, our staff has over 40 years of expert coffee experience and agronomy training. We hire experts who introduce farmers to modern equipment, coffee nurseries and innovative techniques to produce better coffee.”

TAF is the only non-governmental organization operating in Ethiopia founded by an African-American church. And according to Rev. Richards, the NGO is making an impact not only in Ethiopia but also here in Harlem. “The Abyssinian Fund was born after a life-changing trip to Africa,” he said. “I became convinced that black people in America had to reconnect culturally and economically with Africa.”

Rev. Richards has made several trips to Ethiopia in the last couple of years. “Ethiopia means so much to me,” he said. “While I love how cosmopolitan and hip Addis has become, I continue to enjoy the rural experience of Harrar. I enjoy driving for long stretches in Harrar, where the scenery is filled with green plains and cattle grazing in small ponds.” He added: “It’s a great way to clear my head of all the stresses of living in New York.”

(Rev. Nicholas Stuart Richards – courtesy photo)

Reflecting on memorable moments that he spent in Ethiopia, Rev. Richards said: “On my first trip to a village I camped on the floor of the local school so we could conduct a research study. I’m an adventurous eater but village cooking is something else. I had to purchase two goats and oversee the slaughter for a week’s worth of tibs. Good times! Television depicts Africa as a place of poverty with desperate and warring people. This is not true. One visit to Ethiopia proves that.”

Rev. Richards pointed out that TAF has rekindled a long but dormant relationship between Ethiopia and the African-American church. “The Church was founded by a group of Ethiopian sea merchants and African Americans more than 200 years ago,” he said. “During this time, when church seating was segregated, the group decided to take a stand and start their own church.” He added: “The name, Abyssinian, is a sign of respect for those pioneering founders. The members officially organized to become The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York, the oldest African-American Baptist church in New York State.”

How can the Ethiopian-American community get involved with the fund’s projects? “The Abyssinian Fund needs your partnership,” Rev. Richards said. “Ethiopian culture is so vibrant and there is a huge presence here in America. It would only make sense for all of us to get together and have a discussion about the needs of Ethiopia and how we can address them. Who better to speak on Ethiopia than those who have a personal connection with the country.”

As TAF continues to grow and expand it is also paying tribute to the diverse cultures in Harlem and finding ways to give back to a neighborhood that continually supports the church’s movement. TAF has created partnerships with approximately 17 local businesses in New York and 10% of every purchase goes to supporting the mission of The Abyssinian Fund.

Slideshow of photos courtesy of the The Abyssinian Fund:

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You can learn more about The Abyssinian Fund at www.abyfund.org.

Top 10 Most Viewed Stories of 2010

Above: Images from the most popular stories of 2010 posted
on Tadias.com b/n January 1, 2010 and December 15, 2010.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, December 16, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Some of the top stories featured on Tadias.com this year include, among others, the tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, a violent arrest inside an Ethiopian church in Texas (caught on tape), the appointment of Captain Amsale Gualu as the first female captain at Ethiopian Airlines, as well as our exclusive interviews with rising music star Meklit Hadero, international model Maya Gate Haile and Ethiopian legend Teshome Mitiku.

The stories are displayed in the order in which they were ranked by Google Analytics. We have included links to each article as well as videos when available.

Here’s a look at the 10 most-read stories of the year.

1. Names of Passengers Aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409

Above: Ethiopian women mourn the death of a relative killed aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, which crashed into the Mediterranean sea minutes after taking off from Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport in the early hours of Monday, January 25, 2010. The 90 passengers and crew that perished hail from nine countries: Ethiopia, Lebanon, Britain, Canada, Russia, France, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. (Photo: Getty Images).

 

2. Tadias TV Interview with Meklit Hadero

Above: We caught up with rising music star Meklit Hadero during her summer concert at Le Poisson Rouge in New York on June 1st. The Manhattan appearance was a homecoming of sorts for Hadero, who spent part of her childhood in Brooklyn. She graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Political Science before settling in San Francisco where she launched her music career in 2004. Her debut album, On A Day Like This, has garnered national attention with repeated highlights on NPR. Reviewers have compared her sound to that of Music legends Nina Simone and Joni Mitchell. Watch the video below.

 

3. Exclusive Interview With Model Maya Haile

Above: Earlier this year we also highlighted international model Maya Gate Haile. The Ethiopian-born model grew up in Holland before relocating to New York where her fashion modeling career has flourished. She is represented by the world’s top modeling agencies including IMG, Elite and Ford. Maya also works closely with UNICEF’s New Generation program. Her husband, Chef Entrepreneur and Author Marcus Samuelsson, introduced her to UNICEF and currently serves as Ambassador for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Here is Tigist Selam’s conversation with Model Maya Haile at home in Harlem.

4. Violent Arrest Inside Ethiopian Church Caught on Tape

Above: The incident happened at the Dallas Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Garland, Texas, on Sunday, May 2nd when a female congregate, Yeshi Zerihun, interrupted morning announcements to ask questions about church business, including about the presence of the unusually large number of police officers outside the church that day. She was told her questions were out of order, but other worshipers began shouting for answers. An amateur video shows the cops entering the church following a man in a suit and hysteria breaking out. Watch here the local news report.

5. Ethiopia Election Marred by Charges of Voter Intimidation

Above: Ethiopia's 2010 national election was marred by charges of fraud and voter Intimidation. The country's two largest opposition parties were crushed in parliamentary elections held on May 23, 2010. The nation's 31.9 million registered voters went to the polls to select 547 members of parliament and representatives to regional councils. The results showed the ruling party sweeping 99 percent of announced seats. Opposition leaders contested the results through the court system which they eventually lost. The election process was roundly criticized by international observers. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi dismissed outside criticism as foreign interference – violating the sovereignty of Ethiopia. (Photo credit: AP)

6. Ethiopian Airlines Appoints First Female Captain

Above: She may not be the first Ethiopian woman pilot, but Captain Amsale Gualu Endegnanew (right) is just as pioneering. She is the first female to become captain in the history of Ethiopian Airlines. “Captain Amsale proudly took off her first flight from the left hand seat of the flight deck of a Q-400 aircraft from Addis Ababa to Gondar then to Axum and finally returned back to Addis Ababa after a total of 3.6 flight hours,” the airline said following her historic flight on October 14, 2010. We don't have a video of Captain Amsale, but take a look below for a tour inside Ethiopian Airlines' latest Boeing jet. (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines via Nazret.com.)

7. Ethiopian Community Mourns 5 Dead in Seattle Fire

Above: Nisreen Shamam (left), Yaseen Shamam (C) and Joseph Gebregiorgis (R). They were among those killed in an apartment fire in Seattle on Saturday, June 12, 2010. Thousands attended a public memorial service held on Saturday, June 19 at Seattle Center’s KeyArena. The service included an emotional visual tribute: One by one, the lives lost were celebrated on screen, a series of snapshots taken in happier times. The boy who dreamed of playing point guard for the Boston Celtics. The siblings who adored their older brother. The girl who liked to jump rope. And the young woman who could win any argument she set her mind to. Killed in the swift-moving fire at Helen Gebregiorgis’ apartment were three of her children — Joseph Gebregiorgis, 13, Nisreen Shamam, 6, and Yaseen Shamam, 5; her sister, Eyerusalem Gebregiorgis, 22; and a niece, 7-year-old Nyella Smith, daughter of a third sister, Yordanos Gebregiorgis. (Seattle Times)

8. Simon Bahta Arrested in New York City

Above: New York City police arrested Simon Bahta Asfeha, the man wanted for the Virginia killings of his girlfriend – 27-year old Seble Tessema – and their 3-year-old daughter. Investigators in Alexandria had initially thought that Asfeha “may have sought refuge in the large Washington, D.C., area Ethiopian community or in a homeless shelter, ” according to America’s Most Wanted TV show. But he apparently had run away to New York City, where a witness alerted authorities on his location. He was captured without incident on Thursday, April 29 2010 in a coordinated effort between NYPD, the U.S. marshals, and Alexandria police. Watch below local media report of the crime.

9. The Nun Pianist: Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru

Above: Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru after performing for the first time in 35 years in Washington, D.C. on July 12, 2008 (File photo by Makeda Amha). The 85-year-old classical pianist and composer, whose music has been popularized in recent years by the Ethiopiques CD series, is attracting younger audiences. “Every time I have put this on at least three new conversions occur, where the listeners go on to permanently install this woman’s music on their stereo,” Meara O’Reilly notes in a recent highlight on Boing Boing. “My neighbor even stalked me once just so she could listen to it more, until I just gave her my extra copy.” Listen to the music here.

10. Exclusive Interview With Ethiopian Legend Teshome Mitiku

Above: Teshome Mitiku (second from right) has not returned to Ethiopia since his abrupt departure in 1970. In a recent exclusive interview with Tadias Magazine, the legendary artist who made a historic appearance accompanying the Either/Orchestra at the prestigious Chicago Jazz Festival in September, talked about his extensive music career, his memories of Ethiopia and his famous daughter, the Swedish pop star Emilia. Teshome burst into Ethiopia’s music scene during a period in the 1960′s known as the “Golden Era.” He was the leader of Soul Ekos Band, the first independent musical ensemble to be recorded in the country. The group is credited for popularizing Amharic classics such as Gara Sir New Betesh, Yezemed Yebada, Mot Adeladlogn and Hasabe – all of which were written by the artist. Prior to settling in the United States in the early 1990′s, Teshome spent over 20 years in Sweden, where he continued to hone his music skills, earn a graduate degree in Sociology, and witness his daughter grow up to become a Swedish ballad and pop music singer. We spoke with Teshome Mitiku over coffee on U street in Washington, D.C. The following sound features one of the artist's favorite songs, Gara Sir New Betesh.

Swedish pop singer Emilia (Teshome Mitiku’s daughter)

Innocent Man Mistakenly Taken Down By Nashville Police

Above: Yonatan Tessema is a driver for ABC Express. He was
at Centennial Medical Center waiting on a client when police
mistook him for someone else. —- (Credit: News Channel 5)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Friday, June 25, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Police officers in Nashville were staking out a building for a man with dreadlocks who had a run in with the law earlier this week when they spotted cabbie Yonatan Tessema – an immigrant from Ethiopia who also wears dreadlocks – and mistakenly took him down. “It took a broken car window, along with some bumps and bruises before police realized they had the wrong man,” News Channel 5 reports.

Tessema was at Centennial Medical Center waiting on a client who was at a doctor’s appointment at around 2 p.m. Tuesday when he received a call alerting him that his customer was ready to go home. “I was running from the hospital to my car because I didn’t want to keep my client waiting outside,” Tessema said. “That’s when they started flashing their lights, saying get the “F” out of the car, cursing.”

“Out the corner of my eye I could see a policeman running and he just knocked out my window,” Tessema said. “And then they pulled the door open. Somebody grabbed me from the side. Somebody grabbed my legs and they just pushed me down to the ground.”

Tessema said officers apologized profusely to him after learning they had the wrong person. “They just kept apologizing and the police officer who busted my window said get an estimate, get your window tinted and call me tomorrow and give me the estimate,” he explained.

Police said there will be an internal review to make sure the officers involved followed department policy during this incident. “Everyone was acting in good faith. The officers were trying to take a bad guy off the streets. A really bad guy,” according to Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron.

Watch: Innocent Man Mistakenly Taken Down By Nashville Police

Video: Via Nazret.com.

Simon Bahta Arrested in New York City

Above: The man wanted for the Virginia killings of 27-year
old Seble Tessema and their 3-year-old daughter has been
arrested in NYC.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, May 1, 2010

New York (Tadias) – New York City police have arrested Simon Bahta Asfeha, the man accused of murdering his girlfriend – 27-year old Seble Tessema – and their 3-year-old daughter, ABC 7 News reports.

Police were responding to reports of domestic disturbance on April 11, 2010 at a high-rise complex in Alexandria’s West End neighborhood in the 300 block of S. Reynolds Street when they found the bodies of the mother and her child, both of whom had been stabbed to death.

Per ABC 7 News: “The U.S. Marshals fugitive task force, which had been hunting Asfeha, described him as a “monster” to the Washington Examiner, saying he had slashed his own daughter’s throat.”

Investigators in Alexandria had initially thought that Asfeha, who had previously been charged with assaulting Tessema, “may have sought refuge in the large Washington, D.C., area Ethiopian community or in a homeless shelter, ” according to America’s Most Wanted TV show.

But Asfeha apparently had run away to New York City, where a witness alerted authorities on his location. He was captured without incident on Thursday night in a coordinated effort between NYPD, the U.S. marshals, and Alexandria police.

Reports say “Asfeha will go through New York’s court system before he ends up back in Alexandria. If he waives his extradition rights, he’ll be back in the commonwealth sooner, authorities said Friday.”

“Everybody’s excited to have him in custody,” said Jody Donaldson, of the Alexandria Police Department. “This was a horrific crime. He’s been on the loose for a couple of weeks now. The [Alexandria police] chief was so grateful for all the work that went into this, with the Marshals Service and NYPD working with our department to make this arrest.”


Related:
Simon Bahta On America’s Most Wanted

Watch this video report from Fox DC (April 12, 2010)

Click here to make a comment on this topic.

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Simon Bahta On America’s Most Wanted

Above: Simon Bahta Asfeha (R) has been added to America’s
Most Wanted list, intensifying the search to find him for the
killings of Seble Tessema (left) and their 3-year-old daughter.

Update: Simon Bahta Arrested in New York City

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Sunday, April 18, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Police in Alexandria, Virginia, have turned to America’s Most Wanted TV show in an effort to locate Simon Bahta Asfeha, the prime suspect in the grisly murder of his girlfriend – 27-year old Seble Tessema – and their 3-year-old daughter.

According to the suspect’s profile on the crime show’s fugitives list, Asfeha, who has been known to use the name Simon Bahta, “may have sought refuge in the large Washington, D.C., area Ethiopian community or in a homeless shelter.”

Police were respondeding to reports of domestic disturbance on April 11, 2010 at a high-rise complex in Alexandria’s West End neighborhood when they discovered the mother and her child dead, with their throats slashed, according to media reports. “They found two victims deceased on an apartment on the 14th floor. We’re investigating the case as a suspicious death right now,” said Deputy Chief of Alexandria Police Blaine Corle.

Watch this video report from Fox DC:

Read the case on America’s Most Wanted Web site.

Simon Bahta may be driving a 1999 silver Acura with Virginia tags XKS-1522. Anyone with information is asked to call the Hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV. The show’s website notes that callers can remain anonymous.

Related – Tadias Magazine’s editorial published on Wednesday, March 31, 2010:
Re: The Recent String of High-Profile Violent Crimes Involving Ethiopian Immigrants (Video)

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Names of Passengers Aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409

Ethiopian women mourn the death of a relative killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. The plane reportedly veered off course before crashing in flames. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, January 25, 2010

New York (Tadias) – The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star has published the names of passengers aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, which crashed into the Mediterranean sea minutes after taking off from Beirut in stormy weather on Monday.

The 90 passengers and crew that perished hail from nine countries: Ethiopia, Lebanon, Britain, Canada, Russia, France, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

According to the newspaper, the list was released by the The National News Agency of Lebanon.

Here are the names of passengers aboard flight 409:

1) Addis Abera Demise (Ethiopia)

2) Bahrnesh Megersa (Ethiopia)

3) Kidist Wolde Mariam (Ethiopia)

4) Elisabeth Tilhum Habtermariam (Ethiopia)

5) Rahel Tadese (Ethiopia)

6) Etenesh Admasie (Ethiopia)

7) Woinshet Meugistu Melaku (Ethiopia)

8 Azeb Betre Kebede (Ethiopia)

9) Tigist Shikur Hajana (Ethiopia)

10) Hani Gebre Gembezo (Ethiopia)

11) Alunesh Tkele (Ethiopia)

12) Shitu Nuri (Ethiopia)

13) Selam Zigdaya (Ethiopia)

14) Yikma Mohamed (Ethiopia)

15) Seble Agezc (Ethiopia)

16) Aynalem Tessema (Ethiopia)

17) Eyerus Alem Desta (Ethiopia)

18) Mekiya Sirur (Ethiopia)

19) Lakesh Zeleke (Ethiopia)

20) Tigist Anura (Ethiopia)

21) Askalesh Soboka (Ethiopia)

22) Meselu Beshah (Ethiopia)

23) Kevin Graingur (UK)

24) Marla Sanchez Pietton (France)

25) Akram Jassem Mohammad (Iraq)

26) Mohammad Abdel-Rahman Saii (Syria)

Names of Lebanese nationals:

1) Hanna Nakhoul Kreidy, born on 26/6/1987

2) Haidar Hassan Marji, born on 7/11/1976

3) Ali Youssef Jaber, born on 2/4/1967

4) Ali Ahmad Jaber, born on 5/8/1969

5) Abbas Mohammad Jaber, born on 13/7/1977

6) Mohammad Mustapha Badawi, born on 5/9/1970

7) Khalil Ibrahim Salah, born on 5/9/1961

8 Hassan Adnan Kreik, born on 25/1/1984

9) Saeed Abdel-Hassan Zahr, born on 5/10/1984

10) Hussein Ali Farhat, born on 25/1/1966

11) Mohammad Hassan Kreik, born on 14/10/2006

12) Ali Souheil Yaghi, born on 28/6/1973

13) Rawan Hassan Wazni, born on 27/6/1990

14) Bassem Qassem Khazaal, born on 10/3/1974

15) Haifa Ahmad Wazni, born on 25/10/1967

16) Ali Ahmad Tajeddine, born on 3/4/1979

17) Tanal Abdallah Fardoun, born on 1/2/1952

18) Mustapha Haitham Arnaout, born on 16/9/1986

19) Fouad Mahmoud Lakiss, born on 25/8/1946

20) Mohammad Kamal Akkoush, born on 23/12/1983

21) Toni Elias Zakhem, born on 18/6/1976

22) Hamzah Ali Jaafar, born on 31/5/1985

23) Hassan Mohammad Issaoui, born on 22/11/1951

24) Hassan Kamal Ibrahim, born on 13/12/1973

25) Ghassan Ibrahim Katerji, born on 15/12/1964

26) Haifa Ibrahim Farran, born on 25/9/1965

27) Hussein Youssef Hajj Ali, born on 26/7/1968

28) Fares Rashid Zebian, born on 28/9/1955

29) Farid Saad Moussa, born on 3/6/1966

30) Mohammad Ali Khatibi, born on 27/12/1989

31) Yasser Youssef Mahdi, born on 25/8/1985

32) Anis Mustapha Safa, born in 1941

33) Hussein Moussa Barakat, born on 16/12/1983

34) Antoine Toufic Hayek, born on 30/5/1965

35) Elias Antonios Rafih, born on 29/5/1959

36) Tarek George Barakat, born on 21/10/1971

37) Khalil Naji Khazen, born on 20/6/1967

38) Rana Youssef Harakeh, born on 1/2/1980

39) Mohammad Abdel-Hussein Hajj, born on 24/1/1957

40) Julia Mohammad Hajj, born on 2/8/2007

41) Hussein Kamal Hayek, born on 15/11/1977

42) Assaad Massoud Feghali, born on 22/4/1965

43) Ziad Naeem Ksaifi, born on 5/10/1974

44) Reda Ali Mastoukirdi, born on 31/3/1968

45) Albert Jerji Assal, born on 4/11/1959

46) Imad Ahmad Hather, born on 13/5/1980

47) Fouad Mohammad Jaber, born on 6/5/1957

48) Khalil Mohammad Madani, born on 1/12/1968

49) Hasan Mohammad Abdel- Hassan Tajeddine, born on 15/8/1960

50) Yasser Abedel-Hussein Ismail, born on 1/4/1973

51) Jamal Ali Khatoun, born on 5/11/1973

52) Afif Krisht (Lebanese British), born on 29/4/1954

53) Abbas Hawili (Lebanese Canadian), born on 2/11/1945

54) Anna Mohammad Abbs (Lebanese Russian), born on 23/1/1973

Video: 90 perish in Ethiopian jetliner crash (ntvkenya)

Video: Ethiopian Airlines Crashes into the Mediterranean (CBS)

Video: Ethiopian Plane Crashes Off Lebanon (AP)

Raw Video: Lebanon Plane Crashes After Takeoff (AP)

Ethiopian Airliner Crashes Near Beirut

Video: History of Ethiopian Airlines crashes

Raw Video From The Ethiopian Airlines Crash Site Off Beirut:

ET-409 Update: Thursday, February 18, 2010
(Watch Videos Below The Headlines)

Second aircraft involved in Lebanon ET409 crash (Airlines/Airport Examiner)

Crashed Ethiopian plane cockpit recorder recovered (AP)

Ethiopian Air Says Too Soon to Rule Out Sabotage in Crash Prob (BusinessWeek)

Lebanese minister rules out bomb on Ethiopian jet (AP)

Lebanon confirms 45 bodies retrieved from Ethiopian jet crash (Earth Times)

Ethiopian jet’s 2nd black box retrieved from sea (The Associated Press)

Ethiopian plane ‘exploded’ after take-off: Lebanon minister (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE)


Lebanese airport safety employees near the crash
site. Credit: REUTERS

Ethiopian Airliner’s flight recorders sent to France (Daily Star – Lebanon)

Ethiopian Jetliner’s Recorders Found ( Reuters)

Main parts of crashed Ethiopian jet found off Lebanon (Reuters)

Ethiopian air crash shines light on lives of migrant workers (LATimes)

Lebanon gets relatives’ DNA in Ethiopian jet crash (AP)

Wreckage from Ethiopian plane found in Syrian waters (Earth Times)

Sub to help search for crashed Ethiopian jet (AP)

Salvage crews hunt for Ethiopian airliner black boxes (AFP)

Racism in Lebanon? Commenters Respond to Ethiopian Airline 409 Tragedy

British investigators say Ethiopian Airlines plane crash ‘similar’ to earlier disaster

Ethiopian Airlines plane makes emergency landing (AFP)

Navy sends second ship to aid Ethiopian flight salvage
(By Stars and Stripes, daily newspaper published for the U.S. military)

Ethiopian crash jet flight recorders found off Lebanon (BBC)

Army says black boxes located from Ethiopian crash (The Associated Press)

The Latest Press Release from Ethiopian Airlines

Terrorism cannot be ruled out in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 (Canada Free Press)

Ethiopian plane black box found, toll reaches 32 (Indo Asian News Service)

Flight ET409 Exposes Lebanon’s Racist Underbelly (Huffington Post)

Ethiopian Air #409 Crashes near Beirut — The Coverage So Far

Boats scour ocean for Beirut crash black boxes (AP)

Was The Doomed Ethiopian Plane Formerly Owned by Ryanair?

The United States Extends Its Deepest Sympathies

Ethiopian Airlines plane veered off course before sea crash

Ethiopian Airlines CEO on search for plane’s black box

Search widened for victims of Ethiopian jet crash

Names of Passengers Aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409

White House saddened by deaths in Lebanon crash

Storms or sabotage? The mystery of Flight 409

Conversations Between Generations: The Lives of Two Ethiopian Ceramicists

"Porcelain bowl," teapot, and vase, ceramic by Mamo Tessema. (Photograph courtesy of National Archives)

Tadias Magazine
By Lydia Gobena

lydia_author.jpg

Updated: June 1, 2009

New York (TADIAS) – Pottery has traditionally played a functional role in Ethiopian society, and ceramists have generally been seen in a less than favorable light. In fact, in certain areas, ceramics was even associated with witchcraft. Ato Mamo Tessema impacted Ethiopians’ perceptions of ceramics and ceramicist. His work became seen and continues to be seen as an art form rather than a product with a utilitarian function. Ato Mamo’s artwork and career as the founder and curator of the National Museum of Ethiopia has also had a lasting legacy on Ethiopian artists, including Sofia Temesgien Gobena.

This article will discuss Ato Mamo’s influence on changing the perception of ceramists and ceramic art in Ethiopia, as well as his influence on the career of his cousin Sofia T. Gobena, who passed away in 2003. This article will further discuss how Sofia’s family is seeking to promote the notion of ceramics as an art form in Ethiopia.

Mamo Tessema
mamo.jpg
Mamo Tessema. Photo by Harold Dorwin

Mamo Tessema was born on August 24, 1935 in Nekemet, Wollega, Ethiopia. He graduated from Teacher’s Training School at His Imperial Majesty’s Handicraft School in Addis Ababa. After studying in Ethiopia, he went to the U.S., where he attended the Alfred University, and the New York College of Ceramics. He received his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and Masters of Fine Arts from Alfred. At Alfred, Ato Mamo’s studies were not limited to ceramic design, he also studied wood carving, painting, sculpture, welding, graphics, lithography, photography, furniture design, and history of art, among other things. Thus, Ato Mamo’s studies provided him with a well-rounded background in art, which is reflected by his artwork.

239a.jpg 240a.jpg
Above Left: “Warrior,” welded steel sculpture by Mamo Tessema (Photo credit –
National Archives, Contemporary African Art from the Harmon Foundation, select list
number 239).

Above Right: “Welded Bird,” welded steel sculpture by Mamo Tessema
(Photo credit – National Archives,Contemporary African Art from the Harmon
Foundation, select list number 240).

Ato Mamo’s work has been exhibited in a number of locations including at the: Alfred Guild at the State College of Ceramics; 1961 UNESCO exhibit; Temple Emanu-El in Yonkers, New York; Washington Heights branch of the New York Public Library; Hampton Institute and Commercial Museum in Philadelphia. The latter five exhibitions were done through the assistance and/or sponsorship of Harmon Foundation, which during its existence from 1922 to 1967, played an instrumental role in promoting the awareness of African art in the U.S. Ato Mamo has also exhibited his work in other countries, including in Ethiopia.

237-lg_inside.jpg
“The Capture,” woodcut. By Tessema, Mamo (Photo credit – National
Archives,
Contemporary African Art from the Harmon Foundation, select
list number 237.

After returning from studying in the U.S., Ato Mamo became well-known as a ceramist. This resulted in Ethiopians beginning to appreciate ceramics as an art form. To this day, when Ethiopians think of ceramics as an art form, Ato Mamo immediately comes to mind.

Ato Mamo also taught at the Handicraft School after his return to Ethiopia. Ato Mamo further embarked on the ambitious and worthy project of establishing the Ethiopian National Museum, the first museum in the country. Among the purposes of the Museum were to demonstrate the illustrious art and culture of Ethiopia to visitors, and to educate Ethiopian children about their rich history. As the founder and curator of the museum, Ato Mamo traveled throughout the globe, presenting Ethiopian artifacts to the world.

It can be said that his influence is felt by many now, when one travels through the bustling art scene in Ethiopia. There seems to be a greater appreciation of artwork as new private galleries are opened. Ato Mamo saw the importance of Ethiopian art and history, and the need to archive it. For this Ethiopians should be grateful.

Sofia T. Gobena
sofia-gobena.jpg
Sofia at her Masters of Arts Show

Sofia Temesgien Gobena was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on August 18, 1964. She came to the United States of America in July 1972 with her parents, Abebetch B. and Temesgien Gobena. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Antioch College in Ohio, and a Master of Arts in ceramics and glass from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She also completed her work for her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin. Sofia unexpectedly passed away at the age of 38, though in her short life she was a prolific creator. Here are but few samples of her work.

ceramics_by_gobena_3.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_4.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_1.jpg

ceramics_by_gobena_6.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_2.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_5.jpg
Photos: The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation for Promotion of Education in Ceramics and Fine
Arts

To learn about ceramics in Ethiopia, Sofia visited one of the traditional ceramics producing stations. Sofia’s art professors and colleagues described her artistic abilities as transcendent and the kind of talent that comes around perhaps once a decade.

sofia-14.jpg
During Sofia’s visit to a traditional ceramics station
in Ethiopia.

Although Sofia’s life was brief, she was a prodigious artist, leaving behind numerous paintings, sculptures, glasswork, and ceramic pieces that are testaments to the beauty of her creative spirit. While some of this work had previously been seen during her Master of Arts show that was held in Madison, Wisconsin, her artwork received greater exposure at an art show that was held on June 18-20, 2004, in Washington, D.C. at the WorldSpace Corporation. The art show was put together by her family, with the assistance of Mamo Tessema.

ceramics_by_gobena_8.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_11.jpg ceramics_by_gobena_10.jpg
More samples of Sofia’s work (Photos: The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation)

Sofia’s influences in ceramics were the well-known U.S. ceramicists Peter Voulkos and Daniel Rhodes. Mamo Tessema was also an important influence in Sofia’s art. The Sofia T. Gobena Foundation was established in Sofia’s memory. The purpose of the foundation is to distribute funds to educational institutions in the United States and abroad that support and encourage the promotion of ceramic arts. Contributions have already been made to the Addis Ababa University Art Department to develop a ceramics department.

In sum, Mamo Tessema’s art work and legacy as the founder of the Ethiopian National Museum has had a significant influence on Ethiopia and artists. One such artist was Sofi a T. Gobena, in whose name a foundation was established to promote the ceramic arts.


About the Author:
Lydia Gobena, sister of Sofia T. Gobena and a cousin to Ato Mamo Tessema, is a trademark attorney and partner at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, one of the top intellectual property law firms in the world. She is also a jewelry artist based in New York City.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethio Jazz in Addis Attracts Diverse Audience

Addis Fortune

A Thursday night at Club Alize represents Addis Abeba’s successful, prosperous side. Classy and civilized, with lights dimmed and maroon drapes floating overhead, the atmosphere is completed, rather than created, by the elegant live music.

A long L-shaped bar takes up one side of the room with booths on the opposite side, two of them featuring large murals by noted Ethiopian artist, Daniel Taye. Art is a theme at Alize, with paintings by other well-known artists Tibebe Terffa, Behailu Bezabih and Dawit Abebe serving as further decoration.

But the attractive interior is not why the club is standing room only most Thursday nights. Instead, the seven strong group playing the fusion of pop, jazz and folk music is very much the focus of the well-heeled audience’s attention.

The Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group is led by Girum Mezmur on guitar and is made up of Henock Temesgen on double bass; Natnael Tessema on drums; Ayele Mamo playing the Mandolin, as he has done for the last 50 years; Shaleka Melaku Tegegn on accordion; clarinet player Dawit Ferew; and another percussionist, Mesale Legesse.

The group’s reinventions of Ethiopian songs from the fifties and sixties by artists such as Buzenesh Bekele are short and melodious, with the different components complementing each other and never competing for centre song. A rustic, folksy edge is added to the performance by the presence of the clarinet and accordion, producing a lilting sound and a mood that is uplifting and never mournful.

The set lacks the self indulgence of jazz, but does contain that genre’s dedication to serious musicianship. Clearly, the performers enjoy themselves, but their pleasure comes from playing as an intense, technically accomplished unit to an appreciative crowd, not through showmanship, or audience interaction.

While the Renaissance Group may not turn Club Alize into the writhing mass of bodies that can be found at other nightspots around town, each of their innovative instrumental interpretations receives an enthusiastic response from the audience – although for the members of Addis’ foreign community present, the most familiar adaptation was possibly of the ‘Happy Birthday’ tune.

Girzum, 34, has been around a while on the Addis music scene and started off one of the first jazz clubs in the city ten years ago at the Coffee House in Siddist Kilo. The jam session has been going strong ever since, although for the last few months it has not taken place as the venue is being renovated.

The musician used this opportunity to create the Renaissance Group, which in its first couple of months of performances at Alize has been similarly successful.

The organizer explained the concept behind the group: “The mandolin, accordion and clarinet were much more extensively used back in the 50s and 60s. A big part of pop music recorded then had that sound.”

Read the whole story here.

Harlem Ethiopian Art Exhibition September 5

Source: Helina Metaferia

Published: Monday, August 25, 2008

New York – Coinciding with the 200th year celebration of The Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, comes a group show called “Celebrating Abyssinia to Harlem and Back,” hosted by Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery in Harlem.

The show is curated by Helina Metaferia and Averlyn Archer, who is the Gallery Director at Canvas Paper and Stone, featuring Ezra Wube, Meseret Desta, Mekbib Gebertsadik, Tesfaye Tessema and Helina Metaferia along with Ray Llanos. “Celebrating Abyssinia to Harlem and Back,” is a modern art group show appreciating the special relationship between Ethiopia and Harlem.

The Opening Reception will be held on Friday, September 5, from 6 until 9 PM. The exhibition will run from September 3 through September 27, 2008 in the Gallery at 2611 Frederick Douglass Blvd., Studio 2N in Harlem, New York 10030. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from Noon until six and by appointment.

There is also a gallery talk scheduled for the end of the exhibition, featuring Dr. Getachew Metaferia, a professor of Political Science and International Relations at Morgan State University. He has written The Battle of Adwa- Reflections on Ethiopia’s Historic Victory Against European Colonialism and will speak to the topic of Ethiopian-United States ties across the Atlantic.

ethiopianshowimage1.jpg

The relationship between Ethiopians and Harlemites began in 1808 when Ethiopian merchants and African Americans co-founded The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York, and has continued to the present, as Harlem is the home to thousands of Ethiopians. Their initial shared effort with The Abyssinian Baptist Church was in response to racially segregated seating in the churches. In the 1930′s, when Garveyism and the Italian-Ethiopian War were on the rise, African-Americans in Harlem took interest in Ethiopia’s independence. Pan-Africanist struggles and the religious-political notion of Ethioipianism bound Harlem residents to Ethiopia, and many African-Americans began to extend their support as Ethiopia struggled against fascist tyranny.

Contemporary Ethiopian art reflects the history of the nation, using bold colors, rich strokes, rhythmic symbols and patterns to express subjects ranging from the homeland and culture to prominent societal struggles. All of these traits are exhibited in the upcoming show, where each artist has his or her own special connection to Ethiopia, whether it be their descent or sense of nationalism. It is this connection to Ethiopia and the USA that unite the very diverse
artists, creating a fluid group show.

This show features five artists and a photographer. Ezra Wube was born and raised in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. He came to the United States at the age of 18. Currently, Ezra resides in Brooklyn, New York, working on his MFA at Hunter College. Ezra explores color and form composition, in examining the figure and themes.

International, award-winning artists Meseret Desta and Mekbib Gebertsadik find inspiration in the cultural richness of Ethiopia, their native homeland. Meseret spotlights women’s portraits while emphasizing the struggle and hardship of women of the world in antithesis to the vivid images of beautifully colored and textured open markets of Ethiopia. Mekbib focuses on “Africanism,” a style described by the artist as “contemporary African paintings reflecting
the core of the African life and culture.”

Tesfaye Tessema can claim many exhibits and private collectors. His work is wide ranging, from paintings, to prints, to computer manipulated photos. The commonality across all these media is
spirituality which is evident in his titles and in his work.

Helina Metaferia is a visual artist, healing artist, and community artist. Her paintings have been shown in galleries and museums such as The James E. Lewis Museum and Pheonix Gallery. She is the illustrator for the Children’s book We Dance the Earth’s Dance. Helina currently facilitate workshops in visual arts and meditation in community based programs.

Ray Llanos is a photographer, who accompanied The Abyssinian Baptist Church to Ethiopia, and captured their trip on film. His work has sent him across the United States and all around the world, to places including Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Mostly specializing in Carnival festivals, Llanos has seen celebrations all over the world, capturing the energy of the moment while enabling his audience to feel those same emotions.

Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery is excited to present these artists to a community that has its own connections with Ethiopia and African Americans alike. The vibrant colors and beautiful textures reflect Ethiopia, its rich culture and landscape, as well as its relationship with Harlem. The Gallery is a contemporary fine art venue which focuses on emerging and established artists in all visual media. Among its objectives is informing and educating its client base, buyers, and collectors about contemporary visual art. It continues to lead the way in Harlem’s cultural arts renaissance by producing world-class art exhibitions. Past exhibits include work by TAFA, Deborah Willis, Ray Llanos, Eric Henderson, Diane Waller, Dianne Smith, Mary Heller, Francks Deceus, Charly Palmer and Aleathia Brown.

Learn more at canvaspaperandstone.com

Olympic Moment in History: “And what’s this Ethiopian called?”

Above: Legendary Abebe Bikila returns home with Africa’s first
Olympic Gold Medal. Bikila returned to Ethiopia as a hero.
Emperor Haile Selassie promoted him to the rank of corporal
position in the Imperial Bodyguard, where he served, and
awarded him the Star of Ethiopia. (tessemas.net)

Abebe Bikila: Barefoot in Rome (Time)
bikila_0818.jpg
FOOT SOLDIER: Running without shoes, Bikila, an
Imperial Guardsman in Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie’s court,
pulls ahead in the 1960 Rome marathon (Popperfoto/Getty)

By SIMON ROBINSON

Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2008

A few of the other runners sniggered when they saw Abebe Bikila turn up at the start of the Olympic marathon with no shoes. As a television camera scanned the scrum of athletes readying themselves for the starter’s gun, a commentator asked: “And what’s this Ethiopian called?” It was 1960, Rome. Africa was just shrugging off the weight of colonial rule and some sporting officials still doubted Africans were ready for the big time. A little over 2 hr. 15 min. later that myth lay shattered by the slight man wearing number 11, a member of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie’s Imperial Guard and a proud African whose gliding, barefoot run through Rome’s cobblestone streets announced his continent’s emergence as a running powerhouse. Read More.

Olympic Hero Abebe Bikila

Above: After a tragic accident in 1969 left former
marathon runner and winner of two Olympic gold medals Abebe
Bikila paraplegic, he took up archery as a sport. He is pictured
here practising archery from his wheelchair in preparation for
the International Paraplegic Games being held at the Stoke
Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire on 20th July
1970. He suffered a severe spinal injury which ended his running
career. (Photo by Roger Jackson/Central Press/Getty Images)

BOOK
The glory trail (The Guardian)
It was the Rome Olympics of 1960 and an unknown produced the biggest surprise. Abebe Bikila, who’d begun running as a shepherd boy in the hills of Ethiopia, strode barefoot to victory in the marathon. He was the first black African to win Olympic gold. Tim Judah tells his story. Read More.

Abebe Bikila: an athlete par excellence (The Hindu)

V. V. Subrahmanyam

In 13 editions since its debut in Olympics, Ethiopia has scripted some of the most famous feats in track events — winning 14 gold, five silver and 12 bronze medals. But, not many of its athletes can match the aura and greatness of Abebe Bikila — the first black African athlete to win an Olympic gold medal (1960 Rome Games) and the first athlete to win the Olympic marathon gold twice.

It was a unique marathon in Rome — neither did it start nor finish in the main Olympic Stadium. And, the later part of the event was run in the dark, the route lit by the Roman soldiers holding torches. Inspirational sight enough for this Ethiopian to conquer Rome!
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1960 SUMMER OLYMPICS TRACK FIELD MEN’S MARATHON: ETH BAREFOOTED RUNNER ABEBE
BIKILA IN ACTION APPROACHING THE ARCH OF CONSTANTINE, ON HIS WAY TO WINNING RACE
HELD AT NIGHT DUE TO SWELTERING SUMMER HEAT DURING THE DAY. BIKILA SET A NEW
WORLD REORD AT 2:15:16.2.(Sportsillustrated)

A legend
“I wanted the world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism.” (Abebe Bikila responding to a question after he won the Olympic gold at the 1960 Rome Games on why he ran barefoot.)
image.jpg
Barefoot: Bikila won Olympic gold at the 1960 Rome Games (Britannica.com)

Born to a shepherd, Abebe Bikila was a legend in his own way.

When he could not find shoes which fit comfortably, Bikila decided to run the marathon barefoot, exactly the way he trained. A decision which stunned the fellow competitors but did not affect his grit and determination.

And, the rest is history. Bikila and his nearest challenger Rhadi had created a gap from the rest of the pack.

They stayed together until the last 500m when the Ethiopian changed gears to set a World record time of 2:15:16.2.

rome2.bmp
Rome: 10 September 1960, Rome, Italy. Abebe Bikila (Contrasto.it)

“I wanted the world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism,” was his reply to a query on why he ran barefoot.

the-new-challenge-2_inside.jpg
Legendary Abebe Bikila returns home with Africa’s first Olympic
Gold Medal. Bikila returned to Ethiopia as a hero. Emperor Haile
Selassie promoted him to the rank of corporal position in the
Imperial Bodyguard, where he served, and awarded him the
Star of Ethiopia. (tessemas.net)

Fate struck a tragic blow when Bikila met with a serious accident in 1969 which left him a paraplegic. He died in 1973 aged 41 due to cerebral haemorrhage. Read the story at Hindu.com

Watch this video about Abebe Bikila

Related: Olympic Moment in History: “And what’s this Ethiopian called?”

3rd Annual Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour

Dream, by Jennifer Wade, participating artist at the Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour. Wade is an artist and an art therapist based in New York City.

New York – Here is a show you won’t want to miss this weekend: The 3rd Annual Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 6, and Sunday October 7, 2007.

The event features two notable Ethiopian-Americans: Harlem resident artist Tesfaye Tessema (62 West 120th Street) and newly arrived and emerging artist Helina Metaferia.

Tessema (Tess as he is known in Harlem), whose work is also on display at the Schomburg (Black Art: Treasures from the Schomburg, May 12, 2007 through December 31, 2007 Latimer/Edison Gallery), stands as the only contemporary Ethiopian artists to display his artwork at established institutions like the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His art has been exhibited at various universities throughout the U.S. as well as internationally in France, Germany, England, Japan, and many other countries.

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Above: By Tesfaye Tessema. Harlem Ber, mixed media.

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In her article entitled “Bridging Cultures Through Art: A Harlem Moment with Tesfaye Tessema”, Tseday Alehegn, editor-in-chief of Tadias Magazine, wrote: “Walking through Harlem with Tess two things become quickly evident: The first being that this neighborhood has, as the artist tells us, “a feeling of home.” And the latter, that his love for this community fuels his art.” Photo by Liben Eabisa

The other artist, Helina Metaferia, a new Harlem resident and an emerging artist from Washington D.C, whose work is also part of an exibit honoring the Ethiopian Millennium in the United States Congress ( Hosted by Rep. Mike Honda, October 10, 2007 5-7pm at 1300 Longworth HOB), was the featured guest artist at the Addis Heights Millennium Arts Exhibition Series in Harlem last spring.

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Above: Helina Metaferia. Photo by Matthew E.
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Above: Free Womban, acrylic, pastel and charcoal on paper, 18” x 24”

Open studio events have become a staple of many artistic communities, allowing hundreds of neighborhood residents and visitors to see where and how contemporary works of art are conceived. Art lovers have a chance to meet the artist in a relaxed atmosphere and learn about the creative process directly from its source. By bringing visitors directly into artists’ studios, the event creates an awareness of the culture of modern Harlem.

Learn More at: artHARLEM.COM

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Tadias TV – Fun video tour of Harlem

Bre’s Walking Tour of Harlem (Fordmodels.tv via You Tube.)
Take a fun tour of Harlem with Model Bre of Ford Models.

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Related Links and Tadias Stories:

Bridging Cultures Through Art: A Harlem Moment with Tesfaye Tessema (Tadias)
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African American & Ethiopian Relations (Tadias)
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TAAMRAT EMMANUEL “DISCOVERS” HARLEM, 1931 (Tadias)
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The Case of Melaku E. Bayen & John Robinson (Tadias)
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I was in Zanzibar, and It Felt Like Being in Paradise: Marcus Samuelsson

Above: Marcus Samuelsson at his home in Harlem. Photo by Tesfaye Tessema for Tadias Magazine

Publisher’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Marcus Samuelsson’s book: Soul of A New Cuisine.

By Marcus Samuelsson
Photos by Gideon Kifle

I WAS VISITING THE BAHAMA SPICE farm, a small, private farm where the faint, musky smell of cloves and cardamom danced on the breeze. Before me stretched a riotous tangle of greenery, sprouting spices I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to see growing—much less all in one place. As a chef, seeing how the spices I use daily are cultivated was like being in my own personal garden of Eden. It was an awe-inspiring afternoon I will never forget.

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A guide walked me through the farm, challenging me to recognize the different spices that grew before us. Handing me a leaf from a large tree, he urged me to smell it to see if I could recognize the aroma. I sniffed and ventured a guess—“Cinnamon?”— and he smiled, happy to have stumped me. “No, it’s nutmeg,” he said, cracking open the mottled yellow fruit to reveal the tough brown kernel of nutmeg at its center.

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And so it went on our journey along the rambling path that ran through the spice patches. Before me, vanilla beans, ginger, cardamom, cloves, lemongrass, cocoa, cinnamon—all the magical flavors that inspire me every day—sprang from the ground, seemingly at random: a nutmeg tree here, a vanilla bean vine there, a cinnamon tree in the distance. We pulled ginger roots and lemongrass stalks from the ground, and watched our guide climb the branches of a tree to pluck a blossom that yielded tender, plump pink cloves, which would later be dried until they were shriveled and brown.

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At the end of the tour, one of the boys accompanying us twisted a length of rope into a
a figure 8, hooked his feet into it, and used it to help him shimmy up the trunk of a tall, graceful coconut tree, disappearing into the sky to send a storm of coconuts raining down on us. Back on the ground, he cracked open a coconut and handed it to me. As I sipped the fresh, warm juice, I remembered hearing that long-ago sailors passing Zanzibar used to claim they could smell the scent of cloves drifting from the island far out to sea.

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Today, Zanzibari farmers still eke out a living growing spices on small plots of land, but there was a time when spice plantations brought great riches to Zanzibar, a time whose legacy can still be seen in Stone Town, the faded but opulent heart of this vibrant island. Stone Town is one of the most magical cities I’ve ever visited. It’s a city of surprises—twisting narrow streets that seem to lead to nowhere, grand Arab palaces, Persian baths, mosques, temples, churches, hotels, restaurants, and shops, and sudden glimpses of the Indian Ocean framed between the crumbling stone buildings.

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This magical, mysterious town is the place where the African, Arab, and Indian worlds meet. Hundreds of years ago, African fishermen, Arab and Persian traders, and Indian merchants all settled on the island. The Portuguese occupied Zanzibar beginning in 1503, but were forced out by the Omani Arabs in the late 1600s. Their defeat was followed by more than two hundred years of rule by Arab sultans.

The sultans transformed Zanzibar, introducing cloves from Madagascar and building the first spice plantations. Thanks to the spice trade, the island quickly grew rich and the newly wealthy townspeople began rebuilding their mud homes with stone. The traditional Islamic modesty of these homes was accented with beautifully carved and studded doors, which are now one of the hallmarks of Stone Town. I was told these doors served a dual purpose—their ornate carving was a way for wealthy homeowners to show off their riches, while the studs were a symbol of protection for the inhabitants.

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But, as in many of the places I visited in Africa, you can’t ignore history. All this grandeur has a dark side: at the height of the slave trade, as many as sixty thousand slaves a year were transported from the mainland to Zanzibar and sold to owners in Arabia, India, and French Indian Ocean possessions. I visited one of the prisons where the slaves were held—a cramped, dark, stark contrast to the stunning palaces built by the sultans who grew rich from the sale of slaves and spices.

During my brief visit, I drank in the sights, smells, and sounds of Zanzibar: fishermen sailing off in elegant dhows as the sun set over the Indian Ocean, the scent of grilled fish wafting from Stone Town’s nightly waterfront market at Forodhani Gardens, and the calling of the muezzin—the crier who summons the Muslim faithful to prayer five times a day from the mosque near our hotel. It’s a place of magic and mystique, whose very name conjures up a sense of enchantment and the smell of spices.

Recipe compliments of Marcus Samuelsson

C H I C K P E A – E G G P L A N T D I P
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Hummus is now so ubiquitous that it’s hard to remember it was once an “exotic” food. It
was the first Moroccan food I ever had, and since that first bite I’ve grown to love the simplicity of Morocco’s many dips because they’re so easy to enjoy. You can serve this hummus-style dip on its own with warm pita wedges, as a spread on sandwiches, or as a distinctive accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.

2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 8 hours
and drained
1 carrot, peeled and cut in half
1 medium Spanish onion, cut in half
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 eggplants, cut lengthwise in half
4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bird’s-eye chilies, cut in half, seeds and ribs removed
1 teaspoon Harissa (page 30)
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine the chickpeas, carrot, and onion in a medium saucepan, add 4 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chickpeas are very tender, about 11⁄2 hours. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300oF. Toss the garlic and eggplant with 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil and arrange on a roasting pan, eggplant cut side down. Roast for 40 minutes. Add the chilies to the roasting pan, cut side down, and roast for another 10 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Scoop the flesh from the eggplant and transfer to a blender. Add the roasted garlic and chilies, chickpeas, harissa, cumin, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid. Puree, adding more of the cooking liquid 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time as necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve at room temperature with warm Pita Bread (page 151).

MAKES 3 CUPS

You can purchase Marcus Samuelsson’s new book: Soul of A New Cuisine at Amazon.com

This Week’s Hot Shots by Photographer Ray Grist

Above: From left- Stephanie Fontenoy Tesfaye Tessema, Etiye
Dimma Poulsen, Etiye’s husband – back right, and Liben Eabisa.

Photos by Ray Grist
Event Name: Book launch & Reception for Publisher Reynold Kerr
Date: Sunday, May 6, 2007
City: Harlem, New York
Venue: Museum of Art and Origins
Address: 430 West 162 St
Phone: 212 740 8888
Host: Dr. George Preston
Note: Read Review of the book on Tadias Magazine

Send your hot shots to hotshots@tadias.com

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Above: From left – Publisher Reynold Kerr, Helen Demoz, Liben Eabisa, and Rahel

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Above: Japanese-born Ceramics artist Ayano

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Above: Etiye Dimma Poulsen and Tesfaye Tessema

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Above: Stephanie Fontenoy and Dr. George Preston

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Above: Stephanie Fontenoy, George Preston and Liben Eabisa

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Above: Liben Eabisa and Stephanie Fontenoy

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Above: Etiye Dimma Poulsen and Liben Eabisa

View more hot shots here

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