Author Archive for Tadias

Nigeria Back to Bole: Ethiopian Flight Makes Safe U-turn After Landing Issues

Ethiopian Airline unable to land in Enugu, Nigeria makes u-turn to Ethiopia. (Daily Trust)

Daily Trust Nigeria

An Ethiopian international flight which could not land at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on Sunday due to bad weather was forced to make a quick u-turn and flew back to Ethiopia.

The bad weather was occasioned by the harmattan season.

Daily Trust gathered that the passengers who expressed anxiety and concerns were said to have protested the development, although their protest could not change the situation, an official of the Akanu Ibiam airport who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent.

It was gathered that the Ethiopian international flight was scheduled to land at the Akanu Ibiam airport by 3pm but when it got there it was not safe and proper for landing, hence it made quick ‘u-turn’ and flew back to Ethiopia.

The passengers were said to have protested, but their safety and life meant more to the Airport authority and the Ethiopian Airline who later checked all the passengers into a hotel in Ethiopia, according to the airport official.

“There was protest but it was not much. The Airline checked them into a hotel in Ethiopia, and explained to them the risky condition, and I think they appreciated it,” the source said.

The source could not recall the exact number of the passengers on board the Ethiopian airline nor could he remember the registration number. “I know it’s a big Boeing aircraft. You know that international aircraft are usually big. The offices have closed now and the staff are gone, especially today being Sunday. But I know it’s a very big aircraft,” he said.

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Ethiopian-American Labor Leader Tefere Gebre Awarded Peace Prize

Tefere Gebre with Fr. Sean McManus. (Baltimore Post Examiner/ by Bill Hughes)

Baltimore Post Examiner

WASHINGTON – Tefere Gebre, a stalwart of the cause of organized labor, was given a “Roving Ambassador for Peace” award in a ceremony, near Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Gebre, a native of Ethiopia, is an Executive Vice-President of the AFL-CIO. According to the program notes, he became in 2013, the “first immigrant, political refugee, black man and local labor council leader elected as a national officer of the AFL-CIO.”

In 1975, at age 13, Gebre was forced to leave his native homeland. Ethiopia was being ripped apart by warring factions. He walked hundreds of miles across the desert to reach a safe haven in the Sudan. From there, Mr. Gebre was blessed by gaining “refugee status” and soon emigrated to America, and then to Los Angeles, California.

The award ceremony was held in the headquarters of the AFL-CIO, on the eighth floor, at 815 16th Street, NW, with a splendid view of the White House and Washington Monument. There was close to a capacity audience in attendance.

There are 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO. The national union is governed by its Executive Council with its long term President, Richard Trumka at the helm; along with his second in command, Liz Shuter. She holds the office of Secretary-Treasurer and is also a leader of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Mr. Gebre is now the third-ranking leader of the AFL-CIO.

Friends and family members of the honoree, Mr. Gebre, were in attendance. They were joined by officials of the AFL-CIO, staff members and office workers. Last year peace prize winner, Elizabeth “Liz” Powell, Secretary-Treasure of the American Postal Workers Union was there, as was Fred Mason, the President of the Maryland State and D.C., AFL-CIO. He is also a well-known social justice activist in Maryland, particularly, in Baltimore, Annapolis, and in the District of Columbia as well.

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Ethiopian-American Tefere Gebre Re-elected Executive VP of AFL-CIO

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New Study on Trump Administration’s Impact on U.S.-Africa Relations

The report highlighted by Council on Foreign Relations “contains in one place a great deal of information [including] cataloguing public statements about Africa made by the president (almost none), the secretary of state (also almost none), and Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. (a significant number). Photo: Reuters.

Council on Foreign Relations

Africa in Transition

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) has released a serious study by John Stremlau of the African response thus far to the presidency of Donald Trump. Stremlau, an American, is a SAIIA fellow and a visiting professor at the prestigious University of the Witswatersrand (“Wits”) in Johannesburg. He served for years as the vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center in Atlanta (a non-governmental organization established by former President Jimmy Carter). Though he now lives in Johannesburg, Stremlau is looking at the Trump presidency from the perspective of a ‘Democrat’ in the United States and of a ‘democrat’ in Africa, working for democracy and the rule of law. He is well placed to understand the political dynamics both in the United States and in Africa. That he has a clear perspective does not invalidate what he is saying. The study, more than forty pages in length, is as much about the U.S. president and his administration as it is about Africa. It is a thoughtful and devastating critique.

The report contains in one place a great deal of information, ranging from the impact of proposed budget cuts at the State Department on Africa to cataloguing public statements about Africa made by the president (almost none), the secretary of state (also almost none), and Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the UN (a significant number). He also shows how remarkably little interaction there has been between the president and the secretary of state and African leaders.

Drawing on polling data from the Pew Research Center, Stremlau charts the dramatic decline in African confidence in the U.S. president “doing the right thing,” country by country. For Africans, the president’s economic nationalism, hostility to multilateralism, rejection of the Paris accords on climate change, and what many Africans see as discomfort with democratic values, make him an unattractive, even hostile, figure. Stremlau also identifies characteristics of the Trump administration as seen by its critics that will give aid and comfort to the dwindling number of African “big men,” including “the political art of lying,” “opinion over fact,” and “crony capitalism.”

Stremlau also talks about the elephant in the living room: the racism of many of the president’s supporters, and the views of many Africans that the president himself is racist. The latter point is longstanding: it dates from the negative African reaction to the president’s view that former President Obama was born in Africa and therefore not qualified to be president of the United States. (Stremlau notes the enduring popularity of President George W. Bush and Barack Obama in Africa.) The study sees the Trump administration as having silver linings for African countries, including incentive to greater self-reliance and to building stronger relationships with non-African countries. He also considers that assaults can often strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law.

For those Americans concerned with advancing the U.S. relationship with Africa, Stremlau’s study shows where we are now and provides a benchmark for going forward. SAIIR has done a service by making the study available to a wide audience.


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Art: Aida Muluneh Brings ‘Photography in Ethiopia’ to Cairo, Egypt Today Reports

Screencap of Aida Muluneh giving a talk in an interview with Casa África, December 6, 2017 - Casa Africa/Youtube Channel

Egypt Today

Aida Muluneh to give ‘Photography in Ethiopia’ talk on Dec. 27

CAIRO – Ethiopian photographer Aida Muluneh will give a talk at Darb 1718 on Wednesday, December 27, about her career and her ultimate goal in helping to change the global view of Africa.

Born in Ethiopia in 1974, Muluneh spent much of her childhood between England and Yemen, settling first in Canada and eventually in the USA. She graduated in 2000 from the Washington D.C’s Howard University, majoring in film with a degree from the communication department. She would then go work at the Washington Post, honing her photography skills before she focused her efforts on artistic expression.

Muluneh’s work has been exhibited across numerous countries, such as South Africa, Egypt, Canada, the USA, England, China and much more. Some of her photography is also permanently exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Muluneh is the proud recipient of 2007′s European Union Prize for ‘Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie’ in Mali and the 2010 winner of the RAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy.

Spotlight: Aida Muluneh in MoMA’s Being: New Photography 2018 (TADIAS)
Video: TADIAS Interview with Aida Muluneh

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Ethiopia: The Economist Claims Mengistu Growing in Popularity Among the Youth

Ethnic politics is driving young people in Ethiopia to wish for Mengistu's pan-Ethiopian nationalism, The Economist reports. "Especially in towns and among those too young to remember the misery of his rule." (Photo: Alamy)

The Economist

Why Ethiopians are nostalgic for a murderous Marxist regime

IN AMBO, a town in central Ethiopia, a teenage boy pulls a tatty photo from his wallet. “I love him,” he says of the soldier glaring menacingly at the camera. “And I love socialism,” he adds. In the picture is a young Mengistu Haile Mariam, the dictator whose Marxist regime, the Derg, oversaw the “Red Terror” of the 1970s and the famine-inducing collapse of Ethiopia’s economy in the 1980s. Mr Mengistu was toppled by rebels in 1991 before fleeing to Zimbabwe, where he still lives. He was later sentenced to death, in absentia, for genocide.

But the octogenarian war criminal seems to be growing in popularity back home, especially in towns and among those too young to remember the misery of his rule. When Meles Zenawi, then prime minister, died in 2012, a social-media campaign called for Mr Mengistu to return. In the protests that have swept through towns like Ambo since 2014, chants of “Come, come Mengistu!” have been heard among the demonstrators.

Asked by Afrobarometer, a pollster, how democratic their country is, Ethiopians give it 7.4 out of 10. They give the Derg regime a 1. Yet even some of those old enough to remember life under Marxism are giving in to nostalgia, admits a middle-aged professor at Addis Ababa University. The coalition that ousted the Derg, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), introduced a system of ethnically based federalism in 1995 that critics say favours the Tigrayan minority. After bouts of ethnic violence, most alarmingly this year, many now look back fondly on Mr Mengistu’s pan-Ethiopian nationalism.

“The general perception is that whatever the Derg did was out of love for the country,” explains Befekadu Hailu, a human-rights activist, who is himself no fan. Mr Mengistu fought a victorious war against Somalia in the 1970s, and waged a homicidal campaign against secessionists in Eritrea, then a region of Ethiopia, for more than a decade. The EPRDF, in contrast, oversaw the loss of Eritrea and with it access to the sea when it allowed an independence referendum in 1993.

The Derg’s policies were ruinous: nationalising almost every firm; forcing peasants at gunpoint onto collective farms, where they starved. Mr Mengistu was also more brutal than any Ethiopian ruler before or after. But the EPRDF is struggling to win the hearts of ordinary Ethiopians. Its heavy-handed propaganda—which includes ideological “training” for students and civil servants, and an annual celebration of its victory over the Derg—are widely met with contempt.

“When you have no hope for the future you go back and try to find some light in the past,” says Hassen Hussein, an activist who now lives abroad. The country’s most popular musician is Teddy Afro, a 41-year-old whose songs celebrate Ethiopia’s former emperors and its feudal past. The ruling party has yet to come up with such a catchy tune.

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HRW on Ethiopia’s Out of Control Spyware

Human Rights Watch calls out Ethiopia's new spate of abusive surveillance directed at critics overseas and the need for regulation of the commercial spyware industry. (Stock image)


Ethiopian authorities have carried out a renewed campaign of malware attacks, abusing commercial spyware to monitor government critics abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should immediately cease digital attacks on activists and independent voices, while spyware companies should be far more closely regulated.

On December 6, 2017, independent researchers at the Toronto-based research center Citizen Lab published a technical analysis showing the renewed government malware campaign aimed at Ethiopian activists and political opponents. These attacks follow a long, documented history of similar government efforts to monitor critics, inside and outside of Ethiopia.

“The Ethiopian government has doubled down on its efforts to spy on its critics, no matter where they are in the world,” said Cynthia Wong, senior internet researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These attacks threaten freedom of expression and the privacy and the digital security of the people targeted.”

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Evidence That Ethiopia Is Spying on Journalists Shows Commercial Spyware Is Out of Control (Wired)
Ethiopian Dissidents Targeted with New Commercial Spyware (The Citizen Lab)

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DC: Inside the Secretive Nerve Center of the Mueller Investigation

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has already interviewed two dozen current and former Trump aides, according to people familiar with the investigation. (AP Photo)

The Washington Post

A white sedan whisked a man into the loading dock of a glass and concrete building in a drab office district in Southwest Washington. Security guards quickly waved the vehicle inside, then pushed a button that closed the garage door and shielded the guest’s arrival from public view.

With his stealth morning arrival Thursday, White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II became the latest in a string of high-level witnesses to enter the secretive nerve center of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Twenty hours later, Mueller and his team emerged into public view to rattle Washington with the dramatic announcement that former national security adviser Michael Flynn would plead guilty to lying to the FBI.

The ensnaring of Flynn, the second former aide to President Trump to cooperate with the inquiry, serves as the latest indication that Mueller’s operation is rapidly pursuing an expansive mission, drilling deeper into Trump’s inner circle.

In the past two months, Mueller and his deputies have received private debriefs from two dozen current and former Trump advisers, each of whom has made the trek to the special counsel’s secure office suite.

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In Ethiopia Workers Struggle to Make Ends Meet at $250m Industrial Zone

The government hopes its investment will lure foreign firms and boost the economy – but low wages and poor infrastructure may see it falter. (Photograph: William Davison)

The Guardian

Park life: workers struggle to make ends meet at Ethiopia’s $250m industrial zone

Concentrating intensely, Haimanot Ayele picks up three pins from a pile and places them into a hole on a wooden board. He repeats the exercise for 90 seconds – a test of his dexterity.

The 23-year-old has travelled 56 miles to the city of Hawassa, in southern Ethiopia, to try out for a job in the textile business at the Chinese-built industrial park – a facility that should eventually cover 300 hectares (741 acres) – which was opened by the government in July 2016 to boost the economy and help it break free from aid.

The site in Hawassa is one of a number of similar facilities the authorities are building across Ethiopia. Manufacturers at Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP), situated on the outskirts of a city flanked by a picturesque Rift Valley lake, are supported with cheap electricity, free water and on-site administration services. Tax breaks are generous and rents are low, set at about $25 (£18.50) per square metre a year by the government, which compares with an average of $245 per square metre at auctions in Hawassa in 2015.

‘We fear for our lives’: how rumours over sugar saw Ethiopian troops kill 10 people

As wages in Asia rise, the strategy is to lure manufacturers seeking lower costs to one of the world’s least developed countries, which is still dominated by subsistence agriculture. Ethiopia’s government wants to create jobs for a growing population and generate hard currency from exports to invest in upgrading the economy. The schemes are also part of European migration policy: donors have pledged to mobilise $500m for two other industrial parks, as long as Ethiopia ensures that a third of the 90,000 jobs expected to be created go to refugees.

So far, the approach seems to be working in Hawassa, at least in terms of job creation. Since opening, HIP’s 52 units have already been leased out by 18 firms, including PVH, the US owner of brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. PVH suppliers occupy about a third of the other sheds at HIP. As well as profiting from cheap overheads and labour costs, PVH – whose $8.2bn turnover last year was close to Ethiopia’s projected 2017-18 tax revenue ($8.5bn) – will also benefit from duty-free access to US and European markets under deals for poorer nations…

But there are challenges. Of most concern are wages.

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German Tourist Killed in Ethiopia (AP)

The German citizen was killed in an attack in northern Ethiopia in vicinity of the Erta Ale volcano in the Afar region. The continuously active volcano site, pictured above, is a favorite destination for tourists in Ethiopia. (Photo: Wikimedia)

The Associated Press

German Tourist Killed in Attack in Northern Ethiopia

By Elias Meseret 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The German Foreign Ministry confirms that a German national has been killed in an attack in northeastern Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s state-run news agency says Sunday’s attack occurred near a volcanic lake at Erta Ale in the Afar region. The tourist’s local guide was wounded.

“The two got separated from a group of tourists and were taking photos around when they were shot at by unknown armed men,” the news agency quotes a local official as saying. “We are trying to arrest the perpetrators.”

The German national was not identified.

Ethiopia’s government has blamed attacks on foreign tourists in the area in 2012 and 2007 on neighboring Eritrea, which denied the accusations. The 2012 attack killed two Germans, two Hungarians and an Austrian. The 2007 attack saw five Europeans and 13 Ethiopians kidnapped but released.

The Afar region is popular with researchers and tourists but rebels and bandits also roam the area.

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Spotlight: New Ethiopia Film ‘Yenegen Alwoldim’ Screens in NYC

The movie screening of 'Yenegen Alwoldim' at University Settlement Houston Street Center in New York city on December 10th, 2017 will include a Q&A session with the producer Fortuna Moges. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

December 4th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This month a new award-wining Amharic drama from Ethiopia entitled Yenegen Alwoldim by filmmaker Fortuna Moges will screen in New York City. Sponsored by ECMAA (Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association) the event is scheduled to be held on Sunday, December 10th and will also feature a Q&A with the filmmaker as well as remarks by Dr. Shimelis Bonsa from New York State University.

The film, which is based on a true story, takes place in 1978 in Addis Ababa and is a reflection on how young people coped and used sports to conceal their political activities during the height of the Red Terror period, an era memorialized for its brutal Bolshevik style elimination of real and perceived ideological opponents by Marxist cadres of the Derg regime.

Fortuna Moges says the movie is an adaptation of an Amharic book called EPRP and Sport. “Even though the setting is mainly in Addis Ababa in 1978, the story represents the youth of the period,” Fortuna explains in her artist’s statement. “The lead character, Adugna, is a coach of Abri Kokeb football club, financially supported by Mercato merchants. Adugna is married and lives with the love of his life Lensa, a beautiful young lady who has witnessed the tragic killings of her father and only brother by revolutionary guards and subsequently suffers a miscarriage. Lensa then becomes pregnant again and Adugna is excited to be a father.”

Sadly Adugna — who dreamt of building a successful club and had no interest in politics — ends up getting ensnared anyways in the toxic social environment simply because of his association with the players that he coaches, the majority of whom happen to be secret members of the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Party (EPRP), the main opponent of the ruling Derg. They “use football as their only cover to survive and overthrow Derg,” Fortuna says. “They left no stone unturned to realize their political vision.”

Fortuna who was born and raised in Ethiopia studied film and art at Addis Ababa University where she earned her undergraduate degree.

“We see the life of that generation through the ups and downs of Adugna,” She says speaking of her debut film Yenegen Alwoldim.

If You Go
ECMAA presents screening of ‘Yenegen Alwoldim’
December 10th, 2017 @ 3pm
University Settlement at the Houston Street Center
Address: 273 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Tickets and more info at

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‘Addis Has Run Out of Space’: Ethiopia’s Radical Redesign — The Guardian

As Addis Ababa creaks under the weight of a mushrooming populace, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest housing project is under way. But who benefits? (by Tom Gardner in Addis Ababa. Photographs by Charlie Rosser)

The Guardian

‘Addis Has Run Out of Space’: Ethiopia’s Radical Redesign

Wrapped in a white shawl and sporting a wide-brimmed cowboy hat, Haile stares out at his cattle as they graze in a rocky patch of grass. “My family and I have been here since I was a child,” he says, nodding at the small, rickety houses to his right. “But we will have to leave soon.” In the distance loom hulking grey towers, casting long shadows over his pasture. This is Koye Feche, a vast construction site on the edge of Addis Ababa that may soon be sub-Saharan Africa’s largest housing project.

Koye is the latest in a handful of miniature cities that are gobbling up land all around the Ethiopian capital. Since launching the integrated housing and development plan (IHDP) in 2006, the Ethiopian government has built condominium estates like these at a pace unrivalled anywhere in Africa. To date, more more than 250,000 subsidised flats have been transferred to their new owner-occupiers in Addis Ababa and smaller towns. Situated 25km south-east of the city centre and covering over 700 hectares of land, Koye will house more than 200,000 people in row upon row of muscular concrete high-rises.

Modelled on the modernist housing estates found across the postwar west, in particular east Germany, Addis Ababa’s condominiums symbolise the vaulting ambition of the Ethiopian government in its efforts to manage the country’s relentless urban growth. But whether they will ever solve its housing problems is uncertain. The population of the capital alone is expected to double to more than 8 million over the next decade. The number of houses needed to meet supply is estimated to be as many as half a million, but nearly a million people languish on the waiting list for a condominium. Nationwide, the urbanisation rate is estimated to be somewhere from 4-6% per year.

A slum in the old Piassa neighbourhood of Addis Ababa, slated for demolition. (The Guardian)

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Ethiopia: Diaspora Cyberbullies Dumbing Down Online Discourse?

Anti-intellectualism has a very unpleasant past in the not-so-distant and violent history of Ethiopia. But unfortunately even today, while hiding behind a computer screen, some fake news webmaster(s) in the Diaspora still foster this repugnant culture through their fictitious name characters that offer nothing of substance to the public, except to spew hate, personal attacks, juvenile name-calling, labeling and baseless misinformation propaganda against fellow Ethiopians. Are these cyberbullies dumbing down the online political discourse in our community? And how can we stand up to them without resorting to their failed and cynical "shooting the messenger" tactics? It starts with understanding the meaning of cyberbullying. (Photograph:

What Is Cyberbullying

[According to]

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

Special Concerns

With the prevalence of social media and digital forums, comments, photos, posts, and content shared by individuals can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. The content an individual shares online – both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This public record can be thought of as an online reputation, which may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future. Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved – not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it. Cyberbullying has unique concerns in that it can be:

Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.

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IAAF ‘Deeply Saddened’ By Untimely Death of Ethiopian Athlete Zenash Gezmu

Police said Zenash Gezmu, an Ethiopian runner who lived in France, was killed in her apartment by a man who has turned himself in. (Photo: Zenash Gezmu wins the 2016 Marathon de Senart/Courtesy of organizers)

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

The IAAF is deeply saddened to hear of the untimely death on Tuesday (28) of Ethiopian distance runner Zenash Gezmu.

The 27-year-old had been based in France for most of her international racing career and represented the Neuilly sur Marne athletics club on the outskirts of Paris.

A three-time winner of the Marathon de Senart, Gezmu set her lifetime best of 2:32:48 when finishing sixth at last year’s Amsterdam Marathon.

In addition to her triumphs in Senart, Gezmu had also won numerous 10km, half marathon and cross-country races in France in recent years.

Marathoner Who Fled Ethiopia Is Found Dead in Paris, Suspect in Custody (Runner’s World)

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Spotlight: Ethiopia’s Garden of Coffee

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (right). Photo by Aron Simeneh. Courtesy of Garden of Coffee.

Daily Coffee News

Ethiopia’s Garden of Coffee Blooms Again with New Addis Roastery

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia-based Garden of Coffee has relocated into a new headquarters, in what the roasting and retail company founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu describes as, “our love letter to Ethiopia and our amazing coffees and coffee cultures.”

A celebrated entrepreneur, founder of the soleRebels brand, and passionate advocate for inspiring positive economic change in her home country, Alemu launched the Garden of Coffee company last year. In addition to being a for-profit enterprise that provides dozens of jobs locally, the company aims to celebrate and promote Ethiopian coffee culture from seed to cup.

Photo by Aron Simeneh. Courtesy of Garden of Coffee.

“Garden of Coffee is about allowing coffee lovers to live coffee,” Alemu said in an announcement of the grand reopening, which took place this month on the ground floor of the JFK building in the Sar Bet neighborhood of Addis. “In Ethiopia we don’t just grow coffee. We live coffee each and everyday. It’s embedded in the DNA of our daily life. Coffee personifies Ethiopia and we in turn personify it. We want to showcase and share that magic with people everywhere on the planet and our café-roasteries are the perfect format to do this within.”

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu at the Nov. 8 grand reopening of Garden of Coffee in Addis. Photo by Aron Simeneh. Courtesy of Garden of Coffee.

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Reuters: U.S. allies fret as ‘guillotine’ hangs over Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson participates in a panel discussion after his remarks on U.S.-European Relations at the Wilson Center in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2017. Photo: (Reuters)


Updated: December 3rd, 2017

BRUSSELS/BERLIN – On the eve of his trip to Europe, Rex Tillerson gave a speech last week that European allies had waited months to hear: an “ironclad” promise of U.S. support to its oldest allies.

The relief in European capitals lasted barely a day as reports surfaced of a White House plan to oust the U.S. secretary of state, plunging America’s friends back into confusion over President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

The uncertainty is particularly acute given Washington’s leading role in crises in North Korea and Syria.

“Just as Tillerson comes to Brussels to give a public statement of support that the EU and NATO have wanted all along, it seems he has no mandate, that the guillotine is hanging over his head,” said an EU official involved in diplomacy with White House officials.

“It leaves Europe just as doubtful as before about Trump.”

U.S. officials said on Thursday the White House had a plan for CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson but Trump said on Friday he was not leaving and the secretary of state said on Saturday the reports were untrue.

European leaders yearn for stability in U.S. foreign policy. They are troubled by Trump’s “America first” rhetoric and inconsistent statements on NATO and the European Union.

In addition, Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord and his decision not to certify Iran’s compliance with a nuclear deal undermine European priorities.

“The chaos in the administration doesn’t help in the current geopolitical climate,” said a senior French diplomat.

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Rex Tillerson Brushes Off Reports That He is Being Shown the Door
White House Plan: Replace Tillerson With C.I.A. Chief (NYT)

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Saudis Expel More Than 1,300 Ethiopians

Saudi Arabia has once again started mass deportation of Ethiopian nationals who failed to register their intention to leave with the authorities. According to Human Rights Watch nearly half a million Ethiopian citizens reside in the kingdom. A similar Saudi crackdown in 2013 and 2014 led to the deportation of tens of thousands of Ethiopians, the majority of whom are female domestic workers. (Photo: Arab News)


Ethiopia Says Saudi Arabia Expels More Than 1,300 Citizens


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia says more than 1,300 citizens have been expelled from Saudi Arabia in “recent days” after a warning for undocumented migrants to voluntarily leave the Gulf nation expired.

The foreign ministry’s statement late Tuesday came after Saudi officials began a crackdown against undocumented migrants, including tens of thousands of Ethiopians.

“The government is working with Saudi Arabia to safely return our citizens home,” the ministry’s director general of diaspora affairs, Demeke Atinafu, told the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

Ethiopian officials have said more than 70,000 people have returned home since Saudi Arabia in March ordered all undocumented migrants to leave. The order was later extended until June but the majority of migrants remained. Those who don’t leave face forced deportation and a range of fines.

More than 400,000 Ethiopian migrants are estimated to live in Saudi Arabia, most working as domestic workers and farm workers.

Most Ethiopian migrant workers enter Saudi Arabia illegally through neighboring Yemen and send home money which, in many cases, is the only means for relatives to get by. Human Rights Watch has estimated that Ethiopian migrants globally sent home more than $4 billion in 2015.

“In many other countries, these Ethiopians could claim asylum and potentially be entitled to international protection,” the rights group said of the migrants in Saudi Arabia. “The problem is, Saudi has no refugee law and no asylum system.”

Tadias Roundtable on Ethiopian Migrants in the Middle East at National Press Club (2013)

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Marcus Samuelsson to Host New PBS Show Celebrating Food, Art, Culture & Immigrants in America

Marcus Samuelsson, pictured outside his Red Rooster Harlem, will travel across the United States from DC to the Bay Area in California to spotlight the cuisine in local immigrant communities. (Photo: by Matt Dutile)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: December 1st, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Next year Marcus Samuelsson is set to Host a New PBS show, tentatively titled No Passport Required that highlights food, art and culture from the vibrant Ethiopian restaurant scene in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area to Little Kabul in Fremont, California and the Vietnamese shrimpers in Louisiana.

No Passport Required will celebrate America’s diverse cultural mosaic as Samuelsson travels to under-explored parts of American cities to showcase the people, places and culinary flavors of immigrant communities,” PBS announced, noting that the series begins production this year and will premiere in 2018.

The press release adds: “Chef Samuelsson — co-owner of New York’s critically acclaimed Red Rooster Harlem — embodies America’s extraordinarily rich cultural diversity. Born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and a proud resident of Harlem, he’s inspired by this global background to infuse his culinary experiences with diverse elements of music, history, culture, and the arts. Today, he is a celebrated award-winning chef, restaurateur, author, philanthropist and food activist. Samuelsson’s accolades include earning five James Beard Awards, being named the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star review from The New York Times, and having the honor of cooking for the Obama administration’s first state dinner. He is an ambassador for UNICEF, co-founder of the Harlem EatUp! Festival, and the co-chair of the board of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).”

“Chasing flavors has been my lifelong passion,” shared Samuelsson. “To now be able to bring viewers on that journey with me to these amazing communities in cities across the U.S. is truly a dream come true. We get to go deep into the markets, pull up to the roadside stands, and be welcomed into homes — all the places where people share and celebrate food together.”

PBS and VOX Media Announce New Series Hosted by Chef Marcus Samuelsson

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2 Runners Die in Ethiopian Road Race

Two deaths overshadow this year's Great Ethiopian Run, an annual 10-kilometre road running event founded by Haile Gebrselassie and held in Addis Ababa since 2001. According to AP, two runners passed away during the race that took place on Sunday, November 26th, 2017 from what is said to be medical problems. (Photo: Facebook)

Associated Press

By Elias Meseret

2 runners die in Ethiopian road race

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Organizers say two competitors have died in the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) Great Ethiopian Run road race.

Organizers didn’t identify the two runners or give causes of death. Police said medical experts suspect heart problems could be the cause of both deaths.

On their Facebook page, organizers say: “The two runners collapsed and were taken to a hospital but they didn’t make it. We will provide more details in the coming days.”

Eyewitness Mikias Desalegn says one of the runners collapsed moments after finishing the race and was “rushed into an ambulance.”

Around 45,000 people competed in Sunday’s race, including Olympic 5,000 meter champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya and former world half-marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands.

The Great Ethiopian Run was started by the country’s distance-running great Haile Gebrselassie in 2001 and is the largest road race in Africa.

Great Ethiopian Run 2017 in Pictures:

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Meet Miss Universe Ethiopia 2017

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

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

November 24th, 2017

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

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

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

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GERD: Ethiopia Not Worried About Egypt

60 percent construction of Renaissance dam has been completed, says Ethiopian water minister. (Photo: A.A.)

Anadolu Agency

By Addis Getachew

Ethiopia to go ahead with multi-billion dollar Nile dam

ADDIS ADABA — Ethiopia said on Saturday no amount of misunderstanding would compel it to halt construction of the $4.8 billion mega hydro dam project on River Nile.

Seleshi Bekele, the Ethiopian minister of water, electricity and irrigation, said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has completed 63 percent of its construction and soon it will be generating electricity.

He was speaking at a news conference at his office in the capital Addis Ababa.

His remarks came amidst heightening tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt.

Last month, a meeting of water ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in Cairo ended, without reaching an agreement on the “inception report” put forth by the international consultants — BRL and Artelia — hired by the three countries to study the impact of the dam.

It has been six years since Ethiopia launched the GERD project, near the Ethiopia-Sudan border.

Ever since this latest unsuccessful meeting, there has been strong word coming from the Egyptian side.

Egypt fears the dam’s construction will negatively affect its historical share of Nile water, which — under a colonial-era water-sharing treaty — stands at 55.5 billion cubic meters of water per year.

Addis Ababa says electricity generated by the dam — which was initially slated for completion this year — will help eradicate poverty and contribute to the country’s development.

“Ethiopia cannot be bound by this treaty as it had not been a part of it,” Bekeli said.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia tensions over dam flare up again
Ethiopia says massive dam is ‘a matter of life and death’
Egypt warns Ethiopia Nile dam dispute ‘life or death’
Hydropolitics Between Ethiopia and Egypt: A Historical Timeline (TADIAS)
Maaza Mengiste Says “The Nile Belongs to Ethiopia Too” (The Guardian)
Tom Campbell: America Would Be Wrong to Favor Egypt in Water Rift (OC Register)
Egypt Should Welcome Ethiopia’s Nile Dam (Bloomberg Editorial)
Visualizing Nile Data – Access to Electricity vs Fresh Water (TADIAS)

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Why Ethiopians Are Freaking Out Over Al-Amoudi Arrest

Al-Amoudi has dominated the front pages of Ethiopia's top magazines since his arrest. News agencies have covered developments in his detention – including rumours on social media - as breaking news. "They are just freaking out left and right," said Henok Gabisa, a visiting academic fellow at Washington and Lee University in Virginia who researches Ethiopia. (Middle East Eye)

Middle East Eye

The Sheikh of Ethiopia: How Saudi purge could disrupt an African country

As news spread of the detention of Saudi princes and business moguls in Riyadh earlier this month, alarm bells were ringing in another capital more than 1,000km away: one of Ethiopia’s most important investors was under arrest.

It remains unclear why Saudi authorities arrested Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, an Ethiopian-born dual citizen who is reportedly the second richest Saudi, behind Prince al-Waleed bin Talal.

Yet while Talal – and his investments in everything from Citigroup to Twitter to the Savoy – may have gained the most media attention worldwide, Amoudi’s arrest is significant for its potential to disrupt the economy of an entire country.

Amoudi – or “the Sheikh”, as he is known – has invested in nearly every sector of the country’s economy, including hotels, farming and mining – so much so that American diplomats once questioned how “nearly every” privitisation in Ethiopia since 1994 had involved Amoudi’s companies.

“The Sheikh’s influence in the Ethiopian economy cannot be underestimated,” according to a diplomatic cable from 2008 released by Wikileaks.

Nearly 10 years later, it’s hard to put a dollar figure on Amoudi’s total investments in Ethiopia, one of the world’s poorest countries, yet one of the fastest growing in Africa.

His PR team does not comment on external figures and cautions against third party figures. One analyst put a $3.4bn value on his investments – or 4.7 percent of Ethiopia’s current GDP.

Another said his companies employ about 100,000 people which would account for 14 percent of Ethiopia’s small private sector, according to country’s latest Labor Force Survey conducted in 2013. However, World Bank analysts cautioned that these figures will have increased significantly over the past four years as the sector has grown.

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Al-Amoudi Detained in Saudi Corruption Probe

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Mugabe Gone, What’s Next For Zimbabwe?

Jubilant celebrations broke out on the streets of downtown Harare, Zimbabwe on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 following the announcement of Mugabe’s resignation as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years. (AP)


Heard on Morning Edition

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday. Rachel Martin talks with journalist Peter Godwin, who was born and raised in the country, about where the country is headed.

Listen· 5:04


Zimbabweans were on the streets of Harare yesterday celebrating the resignation of 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.


MARTIN: Mugabe’s fall from power all started last week, when the military took him into custody. Lawmakers from his own party expelled him over the weekend. And Mugabe stepped down yesterday in the midst of impeachment proceedings. The tumult of the past few days, though, is unlikely to stop with Mugabe’s resignation. The country faces the prospect of an extended military rule or the rise of an even more violent leader than Mugabe. Peter Godwin is a journalist and an author who grew up in Zimbabwe, and he joins us now from New York. Peter, thanks for being with us again.


MARTIN: Take us back to yesterday. This has been a slow burn in a lot of ways getting to this point when Mugabe actually resigned. What was going through your head when the news actually came down?

GODWIN: Well, it’s been a slow burn. It’s been an even slower burn insofar as it’s taken 37 years. That’s how long he’s been in power. And then, you know, a full week for this slow-motion military coup to play out. And I was, you know, I was on air at the time, you know, talking about Zimbabwe and trying to be sort of very kind of rational and analytical. And when he actually resigned – and I suddenly kind of – it kind of welled up inside me, and I broke down. And I realized that like a lot of Zimbabweans, we’ve waited so long for this and this.

And this man, Robert Mugabe, has cast this enormous shadow over so many of our lives for so long, that he’s had this kind of dead hand that’s been, you know, sitting on this country that prevented it from finding its full potential. Our initial reaction’s just one of enormous relief, just huge relief that whatever else follows, at least he is gone.

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Mugabe Resigns After 37 Years in Power

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In Colorado, Aurora’s Ethiopian Community May Be the Key to Mike Coffman’s Success

Ethiopian Americans in the Denver area currently make up a sizable portion of the crossover votes for U.S. congressman Mike Coffman who has been a friend of the community. "Ethiopians, now Colorado's second-largest minority group, constitute a significant (and growing) proportion of the vote in CO-6, which includes Aurora, where most of the state's Ethiopian community resides," reports Denver newspaper Westword. (Photo: Mike Coffman/Facebook)


NOVEMBER 20, 2017

In today’s highly partisan political landscape, crossover votes are becoming less and less common. But one Colorado congressman has successfully navigated political polarization and redistricting to successive victories, despite representing a district that typically favors a party different from his own at the presidential level.

Colorado is home to one of the only 35 congressional districts (out of 435) that voted for a congressman or woman of one party and voted for a different party at the presidential level in the 2016 election. That Colorado district is the 6th, where Republican Mike Coffman is serving his fifth term. He’s won re-election there three times since CO-6 shifted into a much more favorable environment for Democrats in 2011 after redistricting.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the district by almost 9 percentage points, but Coffman turned around and defeated Democrat Morgan Carroll here by over 31,000 votes, or by almost 8 percent. That means somewhere around 17 percent of the district’s voters, or nearly one in five, voted for both Clinton and Coffman.

Where are these voters coming from?

That question is hard to answer in a district with more than half a million registered voters, but Coffman’s outreach to immigrant communities has likely contributed greatly to his electoral success. Coffman is a regular at events from a variety of different cultures, frequently spending time with the local Korean and Vietnamese communities. His Latino community efforts include regular appearances on local Spanish television (speaking Spanish) and radio and owning a Spanish-only Twitter account.

But perhaps one group more than any other can offer a glimpse into CO-6′s high crossover votes for Coffman. Ethiopians, now Colorado’s second-largest minority group, constitute a significant (and growing) proportion of the vote in CO-6, which includes Aurora, where most of the state’s Ethiopian community resides. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but most estimates place the state’s Ethiopian community at around 30,000 to 40,000 strong, with the majority living in Aurora. Well-educated, entrepreneurial, diverse and increasingly politically active, Ethiopia’s Colorado community includes Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Courtesy of Rep. Mike Coffman

Coffman’s efforts since the 2011 redistricting have concentrated on the Ethiopian community, efforts that have been well received.

“On the issues that matter to us, Mike Coffman is standing with the Oromo people and the people of Ethiopia in general. He stands against injustice,” says Jamal Said, president of Ethiopia’s Oromo Community of Denver. “[Coffman] is very popular not just here, but wherever the Oromo community is in the United States. He is a household name.”

By all accounts, Coffman’s efforts in the Ethiopian community extend far beyond glad-handing for cameras. From offering citizenship-test classes at campaign offices to speaking out against the current Ethiopian government to even learning a few words of Amharic (“He butchers it,” laughs Coffman campaign spokesman Tyler Sandberg), Coffman has developed a strong bond with the Ethiopian community.

“Mike is the only person showing up, and the leaders are very appreciative,” Sandberg says. “He is so accessible out there in the community. For the Ethiopian and the Latin American community, he’s there. He’s showing up to Senegalese Independence Day [celebrations], he’s helping swear in new American citizens each month. Half the battle is just showing up, and he shows up.”

The first waves of Colorado’s Ethiopian community came to the States in the 1970s during the so-called Red Terror, when a Marxist military group known as the Derg killed an estimated 500,000 people in Ethiopia. The military group is widely blamed for exacerbating the effects of the Ethiopian famine of the mid-1980s that killed hundreds of thousands more.

As a result, Ethiopians are by and large averse to voting left of center because of their disdain for left-wing ideals like communism.

“A lot of Ethiopians are capitalists at heart,” says Yonas Ayalew-Mengistu, a local Ethiopian-American youth organizer who voted for Trump. “We had communists.”

While Ethiopians overall are unlikely to share most Republicans’ views on immigration, they are likely to support the party’s view on fiscal and social issues, such as health care.

“Typically, a lot of the folks that voted for [Coffman] are Democrats, but it’s a community that values relationships, and it’s also a community that has conservative values,” says Neb Asfaw, a community spokesman and co-founder of the Taste of Ethiopia festival. “There’s a perception that all minorities are Democrats, but that’s not the case, to my knowledge.”

Still, President Donald Trump is highly unpopular in the local Ethiopian community. Particularly upsetting to local Ethiopians is Trump’s recent call to end the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, under which many Ethiopians arrived in Colorado in the 2000s. Trump’s discontinuation of the DACA program hit home for others as well.

Read more »

Watch: Rep. Coffman of Colorado Speaks on Ethiopian Resolution (H.Res 128)
In Colorado, GOP Congressman Mike Coffman Enjoys Ethiopian Support (TADIAS)
Republican Congressman Mike Coffman Visits Four Ethiopian Churches in Colorado (TADIAS)

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Gebisa Ejeta Receives $5M Grant for Grain Research

Gebisa Ejeta is an Ethiopian American plant breeder, geneticist and Professor at Purdue University. In 2009, he won the World Food Prize for his major contributions in the production of sorghum. (Photo: Purdue)


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University professor has received a $5 million grant to help develop hybrid grain seeds that will resist parasite weeds.

Gebisa Ejeta received the four-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Journal and Courier reported. It is the second foundation that has donated to the cause.

“It’s very helpful a grant such as this for the kind of programs that they support in developing countries because it allows us to engage beyond the normal boundaries we operate,” Ejeta said.

Ejeta and his researchers are hoping to expand the knowledge between the parasite weed gene that attacks sorghum. He also hopes young entrepreneurs in developing countries will be mass producing the seeds at the end of the four years.

Ejeta grew up in a one-room thatched hut in Ethiopia and eventually became a professor at Purdue. He developed a hybrid sorghum seed that’s drought-tolerant and resistant to striga, which strips food sources from its nutrients.

Ejeta is credited with helping feed hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa with his work developments.

He also received the 2009 World Food Prize for his work after spending 15 years designing the hybrid seed. The prize is considered the top global honor for scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food.

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Ethiopia: In Comparison to Mengistu, Mugabe Ain’t Africa’s Worst

Mobotu Sese Seko, left, turned Zaire, now Congo, into a gangsters’ paradise; Mengistu Haile Mariam, centre, led Stalin-style purges in Ethiopia; and Idi Amin reportedly fed his opponents to crocodiles before being allowed to flee Uganda and live in exile. (AP photos)

The Times

A tyrant and a bungler but Robert Mugabe falls short of Africa’s worst

Among older Africans Robert Mugabe is still held in considerable, though dwindling respect.

Twenty years ago he was seen as the symbol of Africa’s liberation from colonialism, the man who fought a guerrilla war against white minority rule and won.

That respect lingered throughout his rule, making it hard for Britain or the European Union to persuade Zimbabwe’s neighbours or the African Union to support sanctions against him.

His overthrow has divided the continent. Some younger African leaders salute the end of a regime that has bankrupted Zimbabwe, but not a few autocrats see a dangerous precedent, and are underlining the African Union’s condemnation of any coup…

Despite recent excesses, economic misrule and the shameful massacre of 20,000 civilians in Matabeleland at the start of his rule, Mr Mugabe will not go down as the worst of African leaders.

Uganda was more swiftly and more comprehensively ruined by Idi Amin, who murdered 300,000 people and fed some opponents — including his foreign minister — to the crocodiles…Other tyrants included Francisco Macias Nguema, first president of Equatorial Guinea, who had a huge collection of human skulls in his mansion and replaced crucifixes in churches with his own image. He abolished all education in 1974, executed and maimed civil servants, and on his overthrow tried to flee with the entire paper currency of the country in a suitcase.

Equally brutal was [Mengistu Haile Mariam], a Russian-trained Marxist who overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia in 1974 and had him murdered and buried beneath a lavatory a year later. He executed thousands of political opponents and brought about mass starvation in 1983-85 with his Marxist economic policies.

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UPDATE: Mugabe Resigns After 37 Years in Power

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NYT: Spectacular Pictures From Lalibela

Bete Giyorgis, one of the churches in Lalibela carved out of the earth. (Photo: The New York Times)

The New York Times

A Trip Through the Stunning, Rock-Hewed Churches of Ethiopia

The man, carrying a basket dripping with blood and slick with fresh entrails, was yelling. The sun had set, and in the empty dirt lot north of the old town of Harar, Ethiopia, where a dozen or so people had gathered, the only light came from yellowish headlamps of an old SUV. The man repeated a high-pitched shriek that lasted a good four or five seconds, something between a mournful wail and a yodel. After a minute of silence, we heard light, quick footsteps. I saw a sullen, hunched-over silhouette, then a pair of glowing eyes. Then two pairs. Hyenas.

They were intimidating — bigger than I expected, with thick necks and huge jaws. And they were just one of the many compelling things I encountered during my continued exploration of Ethiopia. Having spent several days in the capital, Addis Ababa, I turned my attention to the cities of Lalibela, with its astounding group of rock-hewed churches dating to the reign of King Lalibela (around 1181 to 1221 A.D.), and Harar, east of Addis Ababa, the epicenter of Muslim culture in Ethiopia. These trips reinforced my opinion that Ethiopia is one of the more exciting places in the world to visit right now: an attractive mix of ancient tradition and rapid modernization. What’s more, it can all be seen fairly economically.

Preparing for an Ethiopian adventure requires planning and a certain amount of patience — and, in my case, the use of a handy loophole to deal with the sky-high airfares some visitors to Africa face. Flying to Africa from the United States isn’t cheap, and flying within Africa isn’t much cheaper. Visitors to Ethiopia who enter the country on Ethiopian Airlines, however, can take advantage of vastly discounted flights within the country.

The Monastery of Nakuta La’ab in Lalibela. (Photo: Andy Haslam for The New York Times)

Read more at »

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Woven: Film by Salome Mulugeta Makes NY Premiere at ADIFF 2017

Woven to screen at ADIFF 2017 on SAT, Nov. 25th at Teachers College, Columbia University. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

November 17th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — The 2016 released film Woven by Ethiopian-American filmmaker and actress Salome Mulugeta will make its New York premiere at this year’s African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) on November 25th that will be held at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Directors Salome Mulugeta and Nagwa Ibrahim share that: “Woven is a film intended to capture the visual beauty of Ethiopian culture and traditions, rarely depicted in American cinema while also highlighting the importance of the immigrant experience in the fabric of American culture, which we feel is particularly relevant at a time when xenophobia is on the rise.”

The film’s synopsis explains that: “Attempting to integrate her mother’s traditions with her own dreams, Ethiopian-born Elenie Tariku’s life is destroyed when a mysterious crime in New York takes the life of her only brother. As Elenie searches for the truth behind his death, her life intertwines with an intriguing man whose own personal turmoil brings them together for better or worse.”

There will be a Q&A with director Salome Mulugeta after the screening.

NY Premiere
SAT, Nov. 25 @ 8pm
Red carpet @ 7pm
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th St
COWIN CENTER – Entrance on Broadway between 120th and 121th
New York, NY 10027
Click here to buy tickets

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Spotlight: Four Ethiopians on 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 List

From top left: Tsion Gurmu, Legal Fellow at African Services Committee, Saron Tesfalul, Vice President, Bain Capital; Lilly Workneh, Senior editor, Black Voices, HuffPost; and Awol Erizku, Artist. (Photos: Forbes)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

November 17th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Forbes Magazine has released its influential annual list of 600 young trailblazers in 20 different industries. The 2018 list features four Ethiopian American professionals in their twenties working in finance, media, art & style as well as law & policy.

The Ethiopian Americans highlighted in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list include Tsion Gurmu, Legal Fellow at African Services Committee in New York City; Saron Tesfalul, Vice President at Bain Capital in Boston; Lilly Workneh, Senior editor, Black Voices, HuffPost in New York; and Awol Erizku, Artist, also from NYC.

Below are their bios:

Tsion Gurmu
Legal Fellow, African Services Committee

Inspired by her family’s experience as asylum seekers from Ethiopia, Tsion Gurmu launched an initiative at the African Services Committee to provide pro bono legal help and social support for black LGBT refugees fleeing anti-homosexuality legislation in their home countries. The NYU law grad especially focuses on refugees affected by HIV/AIDS.

Saron Tesfalul
Vice President, Bain Capital

Specializes in consumer retail area, working on big deals for Bain Capital’s $9.4 billion North America private equity fund. Had previously been a consultant with Bain & Co.

Lilly Workneh
Senior editor, Black Voices, HuffPost

An immigrant from Ethiopia, Workneh is the Senior Editor for Huffington Post’s Black Voices, an initiative that seeks to elevate marginalized voices on a mainstream media platform. She manages both its editorial and social content, tripling reach in her tenure. One of the best parts of running a leading website dedicated to black culture? Interviewing Oprah.

Awol Erizku

Born in Ethiopia and raised in the South Bronx, Erizku earned an MFA at Yale. Best-known for shooting the artful Instagram photo of Beyoncé announcing she was pregnant with twins in early 2017, he had already made a mark on the art world map in a series of exhibitions challenging the dominant white aesthetic. He produced one of his best-known pieces while he was an undergrad at Cooper-Union: “Girl With a Bamboo Earring,” a photo of his sister that recalls the classic portrait by Vermeer. Based in Los Angeles, he’s had solo shows in New York, London, Brussels, L.A. and Miami and his films and photos have screened at MoMA in New York.

Read the full list at »

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Ethiopia’s Contradiction: Ethnofederalism or Federalism?

Unlike Ethiopia's ethnofederalism where a state is defined according to ethnicity (see Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, Gambela, Somali, etc), a federal system in other diverse countries, such as the U.S., is simply a constitutional power-sharing arrangement between a central government and the population it serves regardless of group identity and with a purpose of promoting a common national and cultural tradition. (Image: GeoCurrents Maps of Ethiopia)

What is a Federal Government? – Definition, Powers & Benefits

A federal government is a system that divides up power between a strong national government and smaller local governments. We’ll take a look at how power plays out between the national and local government, and the benefits of a federal government.

Benefits of A Federal Government

Why does the United States have a federal government but not Great Britain? The answer has to do with size. Federal governments are best used in large countries where there exists a diverse group of people with diverse needs but a common culture that unites them together.

For example, think of the difference between Wyoming (the least densely populated state) and New Jersey (the most densely populated state). Clearly, the needs at the local level of each state will be different, so they should have different local governments to address those needs. Nonetheless, both states share a common culture and interest and, therefore, are united by the national government.

Federal governments help address the wide variety of needs of a geographically large country. It is no wonder, then, that federal governments exist in large countries, like the United States, Mexico, Germany, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and others.

Federal Government in the United States: Division of Power

In the United States, the Constitution created the federal system by limiting the activities of the national government to a few areas, such as collecting taxes, providing for defense, borrowing money on credit, regulating commerce, creating a currency, establishing post offices and post roads, granting patents, creating lower courts, and declaring war. The 10th amendment of the Constitution, on the other hand, gave all other powers to the states. As a result, any specific power not given to the Federal government is a power of the state government.

In theory, the United States federal system has a clear division between what states oversee and what the federal government oversees.

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Ethiopian Federal System – What Is in It? (

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UPDATE: Mugabe Resigns After 37 Years in Power

Jubilant celebrations broke out on the streets of downtown Harare, Zimbabwe on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 following the announcement Mugabe’s resignation as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years. (AP)

Associated Press

Updated: November 21st, 2017

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday, succumbing to a week of overwhelming pressure from the military that put him under house arrest, lawmakers from the ruling party and opposition who started impeachment proceedings and a population that surged into the streets to say 37 years in power was enough.

The capital, Harare, erupted in jubilation after news spread that the 93-year-old leader’s resignation letter was read out by the speaker of parliament, whose members had gathered to impeach Mugabe after he ignored escalating calls to quit since a military takeover. Cars honked and people danced and sang across the city in a spectacle of free expression that would have been impossible during his rule.

“Welcome to the new Zimbabwe,” people chanted outside a conference center where the lawmakers met.

“Change was overdue. … Maybe this change will bring jobs,” said 23-year-old Thomas Manase, an unemployed university graduate.

Mugabe, who was the world’s oldest head of state, said in his letter that legal procedures should be followed to install a new president “no later than tomorrow.”

“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire for a smooth, non-violent transfer of power,” Mugabe said in the message read out by parliamentary speaker Jacob Mudenda.

Recently fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa would take over as the country’s leader within 48 hours, said a ruling party official, Lovemore Matuke. Mnangagwa, who fled the country after his firing on Nov. 6, “is not far from here,” Matuke said.

Mugabe can participate in a formal handover of power “so that Mnangagwa moves with speed to work for the country,” Matuke said.

Mugabe’s resignation brought an end to impeachment proceedings brought by the ruling ZANU-PF party after its Central Committee voted to oust the president as party leader and replace him with Mnangagwa, a former ally of Mugabe who served for decades as his enforcer with a reputation for being astute and ruthless, more feared than popular.

Before the resignation, crowds rallied outside the parliament building, dancing and singing. Some people placed photos of Mugabe in the street so that cars would run over them. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party said the culture of the ruling party “must end” and everyone must put their heads together and work toward free and fair elections. His party had seconded the impeachment motion.

Earlier Tuesday, Mnangagwa said in a statement that Mugabe should acknowledge the nation’s “insatiable desire” for a leadership change and resign immediately.

Mnangagwa, a former justice and defense minister, added to the pressure on Mugabe to quit after a long rule during which he evolved from a champion of the fight against white minority rule into a figure blamed for a collapsing economy, government dysfunction and human rights violations.

“Never should the nation be held at ransom by one person ever again, whose desire is to die in office at whatever cost to the nation,” said Mnangagwa, who has a loyal support base in the military.

Zimbabwe’s polarizing first lady, Grace Mugabe, had been positioning herself to succeed her husband, leading a party faction that engineered Mnangagwa’s ouster. The prospect of a dynastic succession alarmed the military, which confined Mugabe to his home last week and targeted what it called “criminals” around him who allegedly were looting state resources — a reference to associates of the first lady.

Grace Mugabe has not been seen since the military stepped in.

Mnangagwa was targeted by U.S. sanctions in the early 2000s for undermining democratic development in Zimbabwe, according to the Atlantic Council, a U.S.-based policy institute. However, J. Peter Pham, an Africa expert at the council, noted that some Zimbabwean opposition figures have appeared willing to have dialogue with Mnangagwa in order to move the country forward and that the international community should consider doing the same.

“We’re not saying whitewash the past, but it is in the interests of everyone that Zimbabwe is engaged at this critical time,” Pham said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Zimbabweans simply enjoyed the moment.

“Today’s a good day,” said Eric Machona, a Harare resident. “People are very happy.”

Read more »

In Zimbabwe Army Takes Power, Detains Mugabe and His Wife

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Ethiopia: Retracing Haile Selassie’s State Visit to Canada 50 Years Ago

Haile Selassie during a state visit to Canada in 1967. This week his grandson, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, travels to Canada to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historical journey. (Photograph: Library and Archives Canada)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

November 14th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Fifty years ago this year before Haile Selassie departed from Palm Springs, California to begin a state visit to Canada — becoming the first foreign head of state to make the opening call in celebration of Canada’s 100th year anniversary — he spoke to a large crowd at UCLA in Los Angeles applauding the Golden State for its world class college & university programs. “The Emperor’s praise of the California system of higher education brought his audience of 4,000 to its feet for four standing ovations,” writes Professor Theodore Vestal of Oklahoma State University in his book The Lion of Judah in the New World, noting that UCLA conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree upon the Ethiopian leader. “UCLA was an appropriate place to honor Haile Selassie. Almost 1000 Peace Corps volunteers had trained there for service in Ethiopia and other countries, and its law school had a cooperative program with Haile Selassie I University. Haile Selassie presented the UCLA library with antique illuminated manuscripts written in Ge´ez on parchment.”

Following his UCLA tour Haile Selassie was off to Canada arriving in the country via Vancouver, British Columbia on April 26th, 1967. “Haile Selassie was the first of some 60 heads of state to visit Canada’s centennial celebration,” Vestal notes, with the trip including stops in Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.

May 2, 1967: Haile Selassie was the first dignitary to have been welcomed at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal, Canada. (Photo: Library and Archives Canada)

The one-week trip, however, was not without controversy. The sixties were a time when turmoil was brewing back home and the media was beginning to ask uncomfortable questions regarding political developments in Ethiopia. Vestal adds that “en route to Ontario [the Emperor] issued an announcement that all questions to his press conference had to be in writing and submitted in advance,” which did not at all impress the local journalists documenting the activities surrounding the state visit.

“The edict apparently was made in response to what the emperor thought had been rude treatment on the west coast by Canadian reporters who peppered him with embarrassing questions about what was happening in Ethiopia,” Vestal observes. “His pronouncement was anathema to the proud Canadian press. At the same time 14 Ethiopian students were demonstrating in front of the Ethiopian mission to the UN in New York City protesting the treatment of fellow students at Haile Selassie I University. The protestors were carrying signs saying “Down with Haile Selassie and his Clique.”..this was the first time Americans saw Ethiopians demonstrating against HIM. Times were changing in Ethiopia.”

Nonetheless the official trip itself was very successful in terms of advancing relations between Ethiopia and Canada. “In Ottawa, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson greeted the emperor and accompanied him to a guard of honor ceremony at Canada’s 100th birthday flame in front of the gothic parliament building,” Vestal says. “Haile Selassie received assurances from Pearson that Ethiopia would receive more foreign aid from Canada. The emperor announced that he soon would appoint an Ethiopian ambassador to Canada. In Addis Ababa, there was already a Canadian ambassador at work.”

Haile Selassie concluded his trip to Canada in Quebec City following a brief meeting with Prime Minister Pearson and short speech hailing “cultural diversity as enriching nations.”

Fifty years later the emperor’s grandson, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, will make a private, commemorative visit to Canada this week with planned events in Ottawa, Toronto, and Hamilton. According to the announcement “the purpose of the visit to Canada, from November 15th-19th, 2017, apart from invited engagements, is to commemorate the half-centenary of the State Visit to Canada of Emperor Haile Selassie I, in 1967. The 2017 private visit is designed to enhance fundamental Ethiopian-Canadian relations.”

Sponsored by the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) and the Zahedi Center the visit by Prince Ermias is being coordinated with the knowledge of the current government of Ethiopia, “but not at Government expense or in an official capacity,” the announcement states. “No official discussions will take place during the visit, nor will the visit touch on political issues relating to either country.”

Prince Ermias took similar trips to Australia earlier this year and Jamaica the previous year in honor of the 50th anniversary of Haile Selassie’s state visit to those countries as well.

In Ottawa Prince Ermias, who is 57 years old, will be recognized by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), which will induct him as an Honorary Fellow.

In addition organizers say the tour in Canada will include at least two events that are open to the public. On Saturday, November 18th at 1pm, Prince Ermias will give a presentation on youth violence and hope at All Nations Full Gospel Church and on Sunday, November 19th, along with wife Princess Saba Kebede, Prince Ermias will attend mass at Menbere Berhan Kidest Mariam (St. Mary) Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Toronto.

Family of Ethiopia’s Late Emperor Gives $700k to Haile Selassie School in Jamaica
Tadias Interview With Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie
Under Pressure from Family Christie’s Skips Auction of Haile Selassie’s Watch
New Book on Triumph & Tragedy of Ethiopia’s Last Emperor Haile Selassie

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Spotlight: African Culture and Design Festival Features Jomo Furniture

(Photo: Jomo Furniture)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

November 12th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Jomo Furniture, founded by Ethiopian American artist and industrial designer Jomo Tariku, continues to garner international attention. This week, the U.S.-based company — which was featured at the African Culture and Design Festival (ACDF) that took place from November 9-12 in Lagos, Nigeria — will also be showcased at African by Design’s Middle East launch of its exhibition in Dubai, UAE.

The African by Design exhibit included designers from seven Sub-Saharan nations this past March in Ghana, and according to the press release the upcoming event taking place from November 13-18, 2017 will “play host to Africa’s most diverse design exhibition in a prestigious celebration of the very best in African textiles, sculptors and installations.”

Jomo’s African themed furniture particularly celebrates ancient Ethiopia as well as Kenya while creating elegant household items such as stools, chairs, tables and other movable articles for use in residences, boutique hotels, and office lobby. “As a young boy growing up in Ethiopia, he was always drawn to the eclectic art, souvenirs, and furniture pieces his father collected during his travel throughout Africa and beyond,” Jomo Furniture notes on its website. “That combined with spending two summer breaks at a local furniture builder in Addis Ababa, catapulted his interest in furniture making and design.”

According to the media release the talented exhibitors at African by Design Exhibition include: “award winning Transformist, Ini Archibong, Nigeria; Ethiopia and Kenya-inspired Jomo Furniture; and Kofar Mata Dye Pit, whose dyeing technique is encapsulated by the history of the ancient city of Kano.”

In addition, the press release note that the work of African by Design participants “fall between three categories; Furniture/Product Design, Textile Design and Environmental Design and promises to be a multi-sensory experience-taking visitors on a journey through the beauty and complexity of diverse cultural influences. African by Design will also be the first exhibition of its kind to inspire a dialogue about the business of design; looking at its potential to contribute to local economies through manufacture and employment.”

You can learn more about Jomo Furniture at

Contemporary Design Africa Book Features Jomo Tariku’s Ethiopia Furniture

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Book Talk: History of Haile Selassie University & Higher Education in Ethiopia

Graduation Ceremony: Haile Selassie I University, 1971. (Photo:

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

November 10th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Next month the Tafari Makonnen School Alumni Association in North America and the Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association will host a book presentation and discussion at Columbia University featuring the new Amharic book by Dr. Aklilu Habte entitled History of the Haile Selassie I University: Development and Expansion of Higher Education in Ethiopia.
In his memoir Dr. Aklilu, who was born in Addis Ababa in 1929, brings forth an intimate knowledge of the evolution of higher education in Ethiopia that’s drawn from his personal experience not only as a graduate of the University College of Addis Ababa (that later become Haile Selassie I University and now Addis Ababa University), but also from his subsequent tenure as a lecturer in Education, Dean and President of the University from 1969 to 1974. Dr. Aklilu earned his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba (Canada) in 1955, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Education from Ohio State University in 1956 and 1958.



Dr. Aklilu also worked for three years as Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs in Ethiopia before joining the World Bank in 1977 where he served as Director of Education and Training for 10 years and then as Special Advisor on Human Resources Development to the Vice President of the Africa region for 3 years. He later worked for the United Nations as Chief of UNICEF’s Education Division and Special Advisor to the Executive Director for 3 years.

If You Go:
DATE: DECEMBER 03, 2017, 2:00–4:00 pm 
PLACE: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, 420 West 118th Street, New York,
Altschul Auditorium, 1st floor, SIPA, Room 417, 
(By subway: Take # 1 train to 116 Street Station on Broadway)
Organized by: Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) of NY, NJ & CT and
Tafari Makonnen School Alumni Association in North America (TMSAANA).

Audio: Dr. Aklilu Habte Reflects on the Development of Higher Education in Ethiopia

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US Election: Liberian-American Becomes First Black Mayor in Montana History

Liberian-American Wilmot Collins becomes first black mayor in Montana history. (NY Daily News)


A former refugee who came to Montana more than 20 years ago was elected to lead its capital city, Helena, becoming the first black person to become mayor in the state’s history.

Wilmot Collins ousted four-term Jim Smith in Tuesday night’s mayoral race, capping off a night of historic firsts throughout the country.

“After last night’s historic firsts for many leaders across the country, Wilmot is confident that the future of this country favors a union of people from all different walks of life,” a campaign spokesperson told the Daily News in a statement.

“Most importantly, Wilmot is honored to be granted the opportunity to go to work for the hardworking and inspiring citizens of Helena!”

The spokesperson confirmed he’ll be the first black candidate in Montana’s history to win a mayoral election.

Collins came to the U.S. 23 years ago, fleeing civil war in his native Liberia. He went on to become an American citizen and worked in the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, specializing in child protection.

But he wasn’t the lone newly elected official to make history Tuesday night.

Read more »

US Election: Trumpism Suffers Blow in Virginia, Sign of Things to Come in 2018
The shifts in Virginia voting that handed Trump an embarrassing defeat
A look at the winners and losers of the top US races (AP)

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US Election: Trumpism Suffers Blow in VA

Newly elected Virginia Lieutenant Governor, Justin Fairfax, greets the audience at his victory rally at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. (Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

The Washington Post

Trump thumped in Virginia — bigly

One year after President Trump rode a campaign of white nationalism into the White House, the American people struck back. Decisive Democratic wins for governor in New Jersey and Virginia, not to mention the Democratic victories for lieutenant governor and attorney general, are a clear sign of the electorate’s disquiet with Trump’s low-road Twitter presidency.

But three other signs come to mind in the afterglow of Election Day 2017. Here are my quick thoughts.

Borrowing pages from Trump’s white-nationalist playbook will hurt you.

Nothing was more disturbing and degrading of the presidency than Trump’s both-sides nonsense in response to the ugly white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, where Heather Heyer was allegedly killed by a racist who plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. That Ed Gillespie adopted Trump’s rhetoric on monuments to Confederate generals and tried to scare voters with loose talk of Latino gangs clearly was a bridge too far the people of the commonwealth. What’s even more pathetic is that a man with a stellar reputation and good name such as Gillespie threw it in the gutter to try to win on the backs of white grievance.

No, Democrats don’t need to have a progressive, Bernie-anointed candidate to win.

Tom Perriello lost the primary to now-Governor-elect Ralph Northam, a centrist anchored in the establishment. Perriello was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who ran for president in the Democratic Party in 2016 but doesn’t see fit to join the party. But Perriello didn’t disappear. He worked hard on Northam’s behalf and not grudgingly. I couldn’t look at Twitter in the run-up to the election without seeing tweets from Perriello out on the campaign trail. Thus proving that a vanquished primary opponent who works hard to help his victor during the general election is essential.

Read more »

The shifts in Virginia voting that handed Trump an embarrassing defeat
In Montana A Refugee From Liberia Elected Mayor of Capital City
A look at the winners and losers of the top US races (AP)

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Ethiopia: What Really Happened in Ambo?

The Guardian says rumors of a shipment of smuggled sugar last month caused the recent killings in Ambo. (Photo: The gates of Ambo University. Classes were suspended for a week after the unrest/ by Tom Gardner)

The Guardian

‘We fear for our lives’: how rumours over sugar saw Ethiopian troops kill 10 people

It began with a rumour. On 25 October, residents of Ambo, 120km west of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, heard word on social media that a shipment of smuggled sugar was due to pass through town.

“Sugar is so expensive now, the price has tripled,” explains 18-year-old Israel, a first-year undergraduate at Ambo University. “And they’re exporting it to other parts of the country but the people here don’t have any. It’s not fair.”

So Israel joined the large crowd of young men and women that erupted in protest as three trucks rolled down the high street later that day, seizing hold of the vehicles and setting up roadblocks. He threw stones in the ensuing confrontation with police and covered his face with a scarf to avoid the teargas launched in his direction. And he watched in fear as the national military entered the town that evening and, the next morning, began firing live bullets, killing 10 people and injuring more.

“They were shooting at us with silencers on,” he says. “One of the boys killed was only 15. They killed girls too – one was my friend. A lot of my friends have died.”

The sugar rumour and the tragic events it sparked exposed the bitter web of grievance felt by many in Ambo and the surrounding region of Oromia, home to Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group: anger at what is perceived to be an unequal distribution of the country’s wealth, a pervasive sense of ethnic marginalisation, frustration with the endemic corruption that facilitates crime and contraband, and, above all, a deep mistrust of the authoritarian federal government in Addis Ababa.

Read more »

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Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana Named Finalist for 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award

IAAF announced that Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana has made the short list for the 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award. (AP photo)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

November 7th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — For a second year in a row Ethiopia’s Olympic champion and world 10,000m titleholder Almaz Ayana has been named a finalist for the World Athlete of the Year award.

She was the winner of last year’s Female World Athlete of the Year prize.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Monday that the male and female World Athletes of the Year for 2017 will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017 in Monaco on Friday 24 November.

IAAF World Athlete of the Year 2017 finalists announced. (Getty Images)

The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Men -
Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT)
Mo Farah (GBR)
Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)

Women -
Almaz Ayana (ETH)
Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE)
Nafissatou Thiam (BEL)

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Al-Amoudi Detained in Saudi Probe

Mohammed Al-Amoudi, the Ethiopian and Saudi Arabian billionaire businessman, has been detained as part of a high profile anti-corruption probe in Saudi Arabia. (Photo: I-ARB Africa)


Factbox: Saudi Arabia detains princes, ministers in anti-corruption probe

DUBAI – Saudi Arabia detained 11 princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers in a probe by a new anti-corruption body headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported.

According to a senior Saudi official who declined to be identified under briefing rules, those detained include:

- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding

–Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, minister of the National Guard

- Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh province

- Khalid al-Tuwaijri, former chief of the Royal Court

- Adel Fakeih, Minister of Economy and Planning

- Ibrahim al-Assaf, former finance minister

- Abdullah al-Sultan, commander of the Saudi navy

- Bakr bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Binladin Group

- Mohammad al-Tobaishi, former head of protocol at the Royal Court

- Amr al-Dabbagh, former governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority

- Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner of television network MBC

- Khalid al-Mulheim, former director-general at Saudi Arabian Airlines

- Saoud al-Daweesh , former chief executive of Saudi Telecom 7010.SE

- Prince Turki bin Nasser, former head of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment

- Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Saud, former deputy defence minister

- Saleh Kamel, businessman

- Mohammad al-Amoudi, businessman

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How Ethiopia Became a Land of Prying Eyes (NY Times)

Takele Alene in his home in Fendika, Ethiopia. Besides being a farmer, Mr. Alene is a senior village official, serving as both an informant and an enforcer for the country’s governing party. (Photo: Tiksa Negeri for NYT)

The New York Times

‘We Are Everywhere’: How Ethiopia Became a Land of Prying Eyes

FENDIKA, Ethiopia — When he is away from his fields, Takele Alene, a farmer in northern Ethiopia, spends a lot of his time prying into the personal and political affairs of his neighbors.

He knows who pays taxes on time, who has debts and who is embroiled in a land dispute. He also keeps a sharp lookout for thieves, delinquents and indolent workers.

But he isn’t the village busybody, snooping of his own accord. Mr. Alene is a government official, whose job includes elements of both informant and enforcer. He is responsible for keeping the authorities briefed on potential rabble-rousers and cracking down on rule breakers.

Even in a far-flung hamlet like Fendika, few of whose 400 or so residents venture to the nearest city, let alone ever travel hundreds of miles away to the capital, Addis Ababa, the government is omnipresent.

In this case, its presence is felt in the form of Mr. Alene, a short, wiry man wearing a turquoise turban and plastic sandals. As a village leader, he said, his duties include serving as judge, tax collector, legal scribe for the illiterate and general keeper of the peace.

But one of his most important roles is to watch who among the villagers opposes the government and its policies, including a top-priority program encouraging farmers to use fertilizer. When a neighbor refused to buy some, Mr. Alene pointed a gun at him until he gave in. He has had others jailed for a similar offense.

Read more at »

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Spotlight: Wayna Nominated for Two All Africa Music Awards

Singer-songwriter Wayna is heading to Nigeria this month to compete as a nominee for two All Africa Music Awards. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

November 3rd, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Wayna has been nominated for the 2017 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) that’s set to take place in Lagos, Nigeria from November 9th to 12th.

The Ethiopian-born artist is named a candidate in two categories: Best Female Artist Inspirational Music and Best Female Artist East Africa.

Wayna received the nominations for her recent music video You are not alone, which she released on Facebook last March in honor of Women’s History Month.

“Wayna Wondwossen from Ethiopia used her AFRIMA nominated single You are not alone to advocate and fight against domestic violence and girl child right,” organizers announced in a press release. “The former Grammy awards nominee reach out to African women through this awesome single.”

The video features images of Ethiopian women by photographer Aida Muluneh as well as photos of women that the Ethiopian-American musician encountered at the Women’s March on Washington in January 2017. The song shows solidarity with “women and girls in my native Ethiopia, for reproductive rights, for equal pay, and to put an end to violence against women and girls everywhere” Wayna says. “I say to all my sisters, mothers and daughters: You are not alone.”

According to AFRIMA only “8 ladies are nominated this year but only one goes home with the trophy.”

You can help Wayna bring home the gold by voting here for Best Female Artist Inspirational Music and Best Female Artist East Africa.

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Ethiopia: Diaspora Politicos Got ODS?

Urban dictionary defines ODS or Obama Derangement Syndrome as a state of mind when people "stop thinking logically and stop using common sense" when it comes to the former American President. In our case, the politicos in the Diaspora are still peddling the same old fake news narrative that blames not themselves, but the ex-U.S. leader, for their own failure (to date) to meaningfully influence U.S. policy towards Ethiopia. Meanwhile, nothing seems to have changed in Ethiopia since last year. Below is the latest news from the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa. (Photo: Obama in Ethiopia, July 26th, 2015/Getty Images)

U.S. Embassy Ethiopia

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor at the arrival ceremony of Boeing 787-9 Aircraft at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa

Michael Raynor, the current U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, at Bole airport last week greeting a new Boeing 787-9 Aircraft with Ethiopian airlines CEO Tewolde Gebre Mariam.

(As prepared for delivery)

His Excellency Ahmed Shide, Minister of Transport
Tewolde GebreMariam, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines
Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s a tremendous pleasure and honor for me to be here this afternoon to celebrate the arrival of this newest addition to Ethiopian Airline’s fleet, which symbolizes both the extraordinary progress and growth of Ethiopian Airlines as well as the latest in American aviation engineering.

Having spent much of my career in Africa, I’ve had a front row seat for Ethiopian Airlines’ remarkable growth in becoming the premier carrier for the continent and an important global player in the industry.

And it’s been gratifying for me to witness the role that American technology and aviation know-how have played in supporting Ethiopian Airline’s progress along the way.

The arrival of this magnificent aircraft is only the latest chapter in the long and distinguished partnership between the United States and Ethiopia in the field of aviation.

It’s a history that dates back to 1935, when Colonel John C. Robinson, a pioneering African-American aviator, answered Emperor Haile Selassie’s call to help defend Ethiopia against Italian forces during World War II.

After significant contributions to Ethiopia’s air defenses during the War, Colonel Robinson returned in 1945 to help rebuild the Ethiopian Air Force and to establish an aviation training school.

1945 was also the year when the Government of Ethiopia signed an agreement with the U.S. carrier Trans World Airlines, or TWA, to help establish its national airline.

As a result, many of Ethiopian Airlines very first pilots, technicians, and administrators were American, and the airline has had American aircraft in its fleet throughout its history, starting with the Douglas C-47.

So the United States takes a small amount of pride in helping to launch this extraordinary enterprise.

But Ethiopian Airlines subsequent success is entirely Ethiopia’s to claim.

From those early beginnings, Ethiopian Airlines now offers flights to destinations around the world, including, I’m proud to say, to three great American cities: New York, Washington, and Los Angeles.

Ethiopian Airlines helps link the world, and it’s a vital bridge between our two nations as well, supporting growth in trade, investment, tourism, and educational and cultural exchanges, while helping to deepen the connections and enduring friendships between our peoples.

Ethiopian Airlines has also become one of the most significant sources of business cooperation between Ethiopia and the United States.

This relationship of course includes the airline’s significant investments in Boeing aircraft, but also its strong partnerships with other American companies like Sabre, GE, Honeywell, and AAR.

These companies are committed to partnering with Ethiopian Airlines to support its continued growth and success.

To say that these partnerships are mutually beneficial would perhaps be an understatement.

The benefits for the United States in terms of economic growth and job creation are clear.

As to the benefits for Ethiopia of having an increasingly global airline using state-of-the-art American technology, well, let’s just say the sky’s the limit.

From developing Addis Ababa as a regional and global transit hub, to expanding opportunities for tourism, to making Ethiopia more accessible for global trade and investment, the impact of Ethiopian Airlines’ success extends well beyond the airline itself.

Ethiopian Airlines’ success will expand economic opportunities across the breadth of Ethiopian society, and here, too, the United States is a committed partner to Ethiopia, promoting Ethiopian prosperity through our broad array of development, economic growth, humanitarian, and commercial engagement.

In the end, the success of Ethiopian Airlines is ultimately just one symbol – albeit an important and impressive one – of the value and potential of the U.S.-Ethiopian relationship.

If Colonel John Robinson could bridge the 70-plus years between 1945 and today, I expect he would be amazed by, and perhaps a little proud of, the success of Ethiopian Airlines.
And I can only imagine what still-greater successes will be celebrated 70 years from now – for Ethiopian Airlines, for Ethiopia, and for the U.S.-Ethiopian partnership.

Congratulations to you all on this milestone in Ethiopian Airline’s growth and success, and thank you for permitting me to be a part of this wonderful celebration.

Readout Of Meeting Between Ambassador Haley & PM Hailemariam

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Watch: Rep. Coffman of Colorado Speaks on Ethiopian Resolution (H.Res 128)

(Photo: Congressman Mike Coffman meeting with Ethiopian American constituents in Denver, Colorado on November 2nd, 2014/Courtesy photograph)

Press Release

Congressman Coffman

U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) urges his colleagues to vote on H.Res. 128 to address human rights abuses in Ethiopia on the House of Representatives floor 11/1/2017.

Video: Rep. Coffman on Ethiopian Resolution (H.Res 128) Nov 1, 2017

What Key 19-Year Timeline of U.S. Human Rights Reports on Ethiopia Show
US Congress: Support Respect for Human Rights in Ethiopia (HRW)
Letter on Why US Should Review Its Foreign Aid to Ethiopia

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Books by Ethiopian Writers That Travelers to Ethiopia May Read

Book covers for Maaza Mengiste's 'Beneath the Lion's Gaze,' Asfa-Wossen Asserate's 'The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie,' Nega Mezlekia's 'Notes Form the Hyena's Belly' and Abraham Verghese’s 'Cutting for Stone.' (Images:

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 30th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – In their travel section published today The New York Times highlights three books for first-time visitors to read before going to Ethiopia so they may acquaint themselves with the history and culture of the country.

We liked the choice of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Ethiopian-American author Dinaw Mengestu. As the Times notes “In his first novel, Mengestu evokes two cities: Washington, D.C., where the protagonist Sepha Stephanos currently lives in exile, and Addis Ababa, the city where he was born. His father had been murdered during Ethiopia’s Red Terror, and Sepha was trying to make a life in the United States. Seventeen years later, he still did not feel settled. Our reviewer wrote that Mengestu is particularly adept at capturing conversations between immigrants: “He gets, pitch perfect, the warmly abrasive wit of the violently displaced and their need to keep alive some textured memories — even memories that wound — amid America’s demanding amnesia.”

Here are additional books by Ethiopian writers that travelers to Ethiopia may also find educational:

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze

We recommend Maaza Mengiste’s debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze that depicts Ethiopia in the 1970s, when the country was undergoing a political revolution. The military had just deposed an archaic monarchy system with a promise of peaceful change. But what followed Emperor Haile Selassie’s removal was anything but peaceful. The country would soon plunge into unimaginable violence. (Tadias Q & A with Maaza Mengiste)

Notes Form the Hyena’s Belly

Also worth checking out is the highly acclaimed work by Ethiopian author Nega Mezlekia, Notes From the Hyena’s Belly, which is the winner of the Governor General’s Award and a Library Journal Best Book of 2001. “Part autobiography and part social history, Notes from the Hyena’s Belly offers an unforgettable portrait of Ethiopia, and of Africa, during the 1970s and ’80s, an era of civil war and widespread famine.”

Cutting for Stone

Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone is “an epic novel about a young man’s coming of age in Ethiopia and America. From fascinating social and political portraits of Ethiopia in upheaval, Cutting for Stone zooms into a territory where few have gone before: the drama of the operating theater and the mysteries inside the human body. There can be no doubt that this novel is the work of a seasoned writer who has led many lives in many places.” (Tadias review of Verghese’s ‘Cutting for Stone’ and Tadias Interview with Dr. Abraham Verghese)

King of Kings: The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia

Asfa-Wossen Asserate’s recent book provides an authoritative, insider’s perspective and a refreshingly balanced look at this fascinating international figure who was the global face of Ethiopia for most of the 20th century. It helps that the author is Haile Selassie’s grandnephew. (Tadias Review: New Book on Triumph & Tragedy of Ethiopia’s Last Emperor Haile Selassie).

There are many more wonderful books on Ethiopia at

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In Ethiopia Political Prisoner Bekele Gerba is Granted Bail After 2 Years (Reuters)

Bekele Gerba pictured at the NPR office in Washington, D.C., August 2015. (Photo: Mahafreen H. Mistry/NPR)


By Aaron Maasho

Detained Ethiopian opposition chief bailed two years after protests: party

ADDIS ABABA – An Ethiopian opposition leader was due to be released on bail almost two years after he was detained during mass protests over land rights, a member of his party said on Monday.

Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress, was arrested in December 2015 as activists stepped up demonstrations accusing the government of seizing their land and passing it on to firms and developers.

Violence went on to spread across the Oromiya province that surrounds the capital Addis Ababa and is home to many foreign-owned businesses, drawn in by the government’s industrialisation push.

Bekele would walk free late Monday or early Tuesday after the high court granted him 30,000 birr ($1,110) bail, the party’s current deputy leader, Mulatu Teshome, told Reuters.

Bekele, who denies all wrongdoing, was initially charged with involvement in terrorism and collusion with the secessionist Oromo Liberation Front, which the government has branded a terrorist group.

A court reduced those charges to inciting violence in August, but denied him bail…

Read more »

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Derg Official on Trial in The Hague (AP)

Presiding Judge Renckens, center, opens the court session in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in the case against a Dutch national of Ethiopian descent for alleged war crimes committed during the 1970’s regime in Ethiopia. (AP)

Associated Press

Ethiopian-born suspect goes on trial for 1970s war crimes

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A former Ethiopian soldier denied responsibility Monday for war crimes committed under a brutal Marxist regime in his home country in the 1970s, as he was questioned by judges at the start of his trial in a Dutch court.

“You have the wrong person,” the 63-year-old suspect, Eshetu Alemu, told a three-judge panel at The Hague District Court.

Goran Sluiter, a lawyer for victims, said the case sent an important message, that the Dutch commitment to prosecuting atrocities from the past, even if committed in another country, “means that suspects of these crimes are never safe.”

Alemu, a longtime resident and citizen of the Netherlands, is charged with war crimes including involvement in torturing prisoners to death under the brutal 1974-1991 regime of former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. He faces a maximum life sentence if convicted.

Read more »

Ethiopia: ‘Red Terror’ war crimes trial begins at The Hague (BBC)

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Interview: Why Samuel Gebru is Running for City Council in Cambridge, MA

Samuel Gebru is a candidate for a City Council seat in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 28th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – When we first featured Samuel Gebru in Tadias Magazine a few years ago as the Founder of the Ethiopian American Youth Initiative (EAYI) he was barely 19 years old. Today Samuel, who turns 26 next month, is running for a City Council seat in Cambridge, Massachusetts with elections to be held on Tuesday, November 7th.

“If elected I will be the second Ethiopian-American in Massachusetts to hold office,” Samuel tells Tadias in a recent interview. “The first one was the late Tsegaye Mekonnen also known as ‘Mike.’ Samuel was referring to the former Councilman for the city of Chelsea, Massachusetts who passed away in 2011. Samuel adds that he is following in Mekonnen’s footsteps: “Mike was a successful and respected City Councillor. He came to America in the 1960′s during Haileselassie’s time and was elected into office in the 1980′s, so if I am elected I am honoring his tradition.”

“My key platform and the reason why I am running for City Council is because I believe that economic inequality and affordable housing are the biggest issues in Cambridge,” Samuel says. “So I am committed to economic and social mobility, ensuring that every resident in our city has the resources, the access and the opportunities that they need to be successful. That’s why I am running.”

Samuel points out that Cambridge is a very well-resourced city and home to the globe’s most prestigious higher education institutions and biotechnology corporations. “We have Harvard, MIT, Kendall Square, and all the leading biotech companies in the world are headquartered here,” Samuel says. “The problem, however, is that because of our relative prosperity we tend to overlook the poverty that we have in the city.” Samuel adds: “Thirteen percent of Cambridge families with children live in poverty. Of our single mother households one third of those families live in poverty. And people are cost burdened. A lot of people struggle with their rent because rent has skyrocketed 43% in the last decade. So we have some real issues and I want to make sure that we are continuing to talk about these issues at the City Council level.”

Samuel explains that one of the qualities he loves about Cambridge is that it strives to be accommodating of everyone. “About one third of Cambridge’s population are immigrants,” he says. “We are also a very progressive city.” He adds: “We have been a sanctuary city for over 32 years. When you are talking about progressivism and making sure that everyone is included, this is the hub of that. And I am running because I want to ensure that this tradition continues.”

“As you know I have been politically active for over 13 years,” Samuel reminds us, highlighting that among his many past activities detailed in his campaign bio is that as a high school student he sat for three years as an executive committee member on the Family Policy Council for the city of Cambridge, an official board that’s chaired by the mayor of Cambridge. Samuel was recommending policies on children, youth and families to the City Council and the City Manager, and he was the only youth to ever have a seat on the executive committee.

“I was in monthly meetings with all the city’s department heads during that time,” he recalls. “So I have gotten a glimpse first-hand of city government, policy making and I want to be able to continue to have a seat at the table to make sure that no one in our city gets left behind.”

What’s his message to the Tadias readership?

“The message is simply that we must be involved,” Samuel says. “We Ethiopian Americans need to participate in the political process and we need to be registered to vote.” He emphasizes: “It’s not enough to be a citizen. If you are a citizen of this country and you are not a voter you do not matter in America. I want the Tadias audience across the U.S. to know what politicians know. For example, for me, if somebody requested to meet me you know what the first thing that I do? I check their voting history because I want to know that you vote. I want to know that you are an active voter because if you are not, then why are you meeting with me? And that’s what every politician in this country does. They want to know that you vote.”

Samuel says like many young people he is frustrated by the often divisive and rancorous tone of the conversation among Ethiopians in the Diaspora that oftentimes conflate out of context U.S. domestic politics with Ethiopian politics. “It’s okay to disagree or agree to disagree and have different perspectives,” Samuel says. “After all we are a diverse community and not homogeneous, but we also have to learn how to take a break from our differences to acknowledge and support each other as well as embrace our similarities even when we have opposite opinions because that’s how democracy works. At the end of the day our interests are the same, we just happen to have various methods and ways of expressing it. When one of us is succeeding, all of us are succeeding.”

Samuel adds that “this is not unique to Ethiopians only” rather a widely-felt growing pain symptom shared by many newly arrived immigrant communities. “When you are new you’re not only invested in the politics of your adopted homeland in the United States, but you are also heavily invested in the politics of your native homeland,” Samuel says. “However, what I have noticed with lots of us Ethiopians is that we are too preoccupied by what happens in Ethiopia that we tend to disengage from what happens here.”

“Of course, on the federal level we’ve been successfully involved before,” Samuel observes. “Ethiopians for Obama did a very good job of registering Ethiopians in Virginia and other states. We have done an amazing work on that level, but on the local level what we have to remember is that if you care about safe streets, clean water, early education, local economic growth, housing, zoning, development and other matters that affects our daily lives directly here in America these issues are handled at the city level and that’s why I am running.”

By running for City Council Samuel is blazing a trail for Ethiopian-American youth to be engaged at the local level, and raising important points that we should all be thinking about.

You can learn more about Samuel Gebru at

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Spotlight: Oasis Jimma Juice Bar Owner Opens Community Center in NYC

Abduselam (Abdi) Abajebal, owner of Oasis Jimma Juice Bar & Ethiopian Café in New York. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 27th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – Oasis Jimma Juice bar — named after owner Abdi Abujebel’s birth place in Ethiopia — is a popular spot in Harlem offering nutritious smoothies and food as well as gems of wisdom on better living.

“This is where it all begins,” Abdi tells us during a recent visit, gesturing towards a glass-case on the wall containing a large world map with a bold arrow pointing right at Jimma, Ethiopia. The map is plastered with currencies from across the globe, mirroring the eclectic composition of the city of New York and its people who hail from all corners of the world.

Abdi, who opened the health-conscious juice bar in the busy intersection of Broadway and 125 street five years ago has already expanded to a second location on 139th street, and is set to inaugurate a community center next door.

“It will be a gathering place for neighborhood generated activities including Ethiopian cultural dance class, poetry reading, yoga, marshall arts, and much more,” Abdi says. “It’s to encourage local residents to share their skills and give lesson to community members.” He emphasizes that he wants community members to feel welcome to receive and give courses.

Oasis Jimma Juice Bar and Ethiopian Café in NYC. (Courtesy photo)

Abdi’s moving personal story that brings him from Jimma to Kenya to New York was recently profiled in Bon Appétit magazine in an aptly titled piece: “The Refugee Juice Bar Owner Who’s Defied Pretty Much Every Odd There Is.”

Abdi recounts how he had to fend for himself after his father passed away, moving from place to place as a teenager and ending up in a refugee camp in Kenya before getting an opportunity to emigrate to New York in 2004. Not long after his arrival to the United States Abdi learned that his poor health condition was primarily a result of being a diabetic. Abdi had to make a personal choice. He could learn to eat healthier or he could continue to chow down on processed or junk food as he worked three jobs at Newark Airport. He pauses as he reflects on how his father had served as a holistic doctor for his village, the memory of which pushes him not only to heal himself through a healthier and more nutritious diet, but to make the same options available for the community in Harlem.

Customers young and old stroll in and are personally greeted by Abdi as he juggles the telling of his story with making sure each client is quickly and generously served at Oasis. Most are repeat customers who already have a favorite choice that he calls out as he sees them.

Abdi’s face beams as he gets to talk about his new community center venture opening this Sunday (October 29th) which he named the Oasis Power House. It has been a long journey from Jimma to New York via a Kenyan refugee camp, but Abdi is determined to keep growing his holistic health business, including the possibility of making Oasis Juice Bar a franchise and the Oasis Power House as a free resource center on every block. The vision is compassionate and grand and Abdi is building it one happy customer at a time, gladly encouraged by the Oasis motto: Drink Your Food!

If You Go:
Oasis Power House Inauguration
600 W. 139th Street
New York City
Phone: (646) 918-6729
All are welcome. Event is family friendly.
Program starts at 1pm

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Ethiopia’s Love Affair With Old Volkswagen

A Volkswagen Beetle car is parked in front of a grocery store in Addis Ababa, September 8, 2017. (Photograph: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)


Wider image: Life after death for the ‘Love Bug’ in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – At Kinfe Abera’s garage in Addis Ababa, cranky, 50-year-old Volkswagen Beetles enjoy a kind of life after death; their parts are never discarded but re-used to keep the city’s remaining Beetles on the road.

The Beetle was born in the 1930s out of dictator Adolf Hitler’s desire to produce a cheap “people’s car” for the German family. After World War Two it sold in the tens of millions around the globe and in the 1960s even starred in a Disney movie as Herbie the “Love Bug”.

Production of the original version of the curvy little vehicles ended in 2003, and authentic spare parts can be hard to come by. So Ethiopian mechanics have to “slaughter” some cars to keep others alive.

“If one is in a bad condition, we will cannibalize it and give its parts to other cars. That is how we extend their life,” said Kinfe, the 74-year-old garage-owner who has been working on Beetles for six decades.

“The Volkswagen Beetle is a servant car for lower income people. They never fail you – they take you anywhere and have excellent functionality,” he said.

A 1978 model Volkswagen Beetle is parked in front of the Ethiopian National Theatre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

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Ethiopian-American Tefere Gebre Re-elected Executive VP of AFL-CIO

Tefere Gebre (right), the executive vice-president of AFL-CIO, has been re-elected to a four-year term along with President Richard Trumka (center) and Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (Left) – Labor Tribune photo.

Labor Tribune

AFL-CIO elects top officers at 2017 Convention in St. Louis

Delegates to the AFL-CIO 28th Constitutional Convention in St. Louis have elected Richard Trumka (UMWA) as president, Liz Shuler (IBEW) as secretary-treasurer and Tefere Gebre (UFCW) as executive vice president. In addition, delegates elected 55 vice presidents, who will serve as the Executive Council for a four-year term.


Tefere Gebre begins his second term as executive vice president. In 2013, Gebre became the first immigrant, political refugee, black man and local labor council leader elected as a national officer of the AFL-CIO. Born in Gondar, Ethiopia, Gebre fled state-sanctioned violence and emigrated to Los Angeles as a teenager. A graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, Gebre has devoted his entire life to the values of democracy, justice and helping workers organize to achieve a voice at the workplace. Before coming to the AFL-CIO, Gebre led the Orange County Labor Federation. As executive vice president, Gebre has focused on building strong labor-community partnerships at the local level through the movement’s central labor councils and state federations.

“These are tough times for our country, our movement, and our communities,” Gebre said. “But in the face of these challenges, I have hope of a brighter day, a stronger tomorrow and an America with liberty and justice for all. As executive vice president I pledge to do my part, lead with my heart and never stop fighting.”

Click here to read the full article »

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Ethiopia: Readout Of Meeting Between Ambassador Haley & PM Hailemariam

This week Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted from Addis Ababa saying: "We met with PM Hailemariam to talk about Ethiopia, IGAD, S.Sudan & DRC. We discussed the importance of giving the youth a voice & human rights." (Photo: Twitter @nikkihaley)

US Embassy

Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn today [23 October, 2017] in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ambassador Haley thanked Prime Minister Hailemariam for his country’s leadership in continuing to host desperate people fleeing conflict in the region and for Ethiopia’s decades-long generosity hosting refugees from nearby countries.

Ambassador Haley and Prime Minister Hailemariam discussed peace and security in the region, particularly developments in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On South Sudan, Ambassador Haley and Prime Minister Hailemariam agreed on the importance of moving forward with the high-level revitalization forum to revive the 2015 South Sudan peace agreement as soon as possible. Both underscored that resolving the situation in South Sudan would require sustained engagement and attention from the African Union and others in the region. On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they agreed on the importance of holding elections as well as the need to address the root causes of conflict in the country.

They also discussed efforts to stimulate additional growth and sustain long-term peace and stability in Ethiopia by building strong institutions and fostering an open society.

What Key 19-Year Timeline of U.S. Human Rights Reports on Ethiopia Show (TADIAS)

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What Key 19-Year Timeline of U.S. Human Rights Reports on Ethiopia Show

Top: Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump. Bottom: Ethiopia's former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and current PM Hailemariam Desalegn. (Wikimedia)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 21st, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – The United States has been expressing grave concern about human rights in Ethiopia for a long time without much results. In a report published in 1998 during the Bill Clinton administration the U.S. noted:

Serious problems still remain in the Government’s human rights practices; although the Government made efforts to improve its record in a few areas, its record worsened significantly in others. Security forces sometimes beat or mistreated detainees, and arbitrarily arrested and detained citizens. These problems persisted despite government efforts to improve the security forces’ human rights practices through increased training. Prisons are seriously overcrowded, and prolonged pretrial detention remains a problem.”

Three years later in 2001 under George W. Bush the U.S. Department of State declared:

The Government’s human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained. Security forces committed a number of extrajudicial killings and at times beat and mistreated detainees. Prison conditions are poor. Arbitrary arrest and detention and prolonged pretrial detention remained problems.”

And in 2006, a year after the deadly and controversial 2005 elections in Ethiopia, the office of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced:

After the May elections, serious human rights abuses occurred, when the opposition parties refused to accept the announced results, and in November after the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) called for civil disobedience, which resulted in widespread riots and excessive use of force by the police and military. In the period leading up to the May national elections, campaigning was open and debates were televised. The Carter Center described this period as credible and commendable. However, in the period following the elections, authorities arbitrarily detained, beat, and killed opposition members, ethnic minorities, NGO workers, and members of the press. Authorities also imposed additional restrictions on civil liberties, including freedom of the press and freedom of assembly.”

Then in 2011 following another less than free and fair Ethiopia elections in 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the annual report on behalf of the Obama administration stating:

Human rights abuses reported during the year included unlawful killings, torture, beating, and abuse and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces, especially special police and local militias, which took aggressive or violent action with evident impunity in numerous instances; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly of suspected sympathizers or members of opposition or insurgent groups; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, including illegal searches; use of excessive force by security services in counterinsurgency operations; restrictions on freedom of speech and of the press; arrest, detention, and harassment of journalists; restrictions on freedom of assembly and association; restrictions on freedom of movement; ruling party intimidation, threats, and violence during the elections; police, administrative, and judicial corruption; harassment of those who worked for human rights organizations.”

Similarly, in 2015 the U.S. said:

The most significant human rights problems included harassment and intimidation of opposition members and supporters and journalists; alleged torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; and politically motivated trials. Other human rights problems included alleged arbitrary killings; harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; a weak, overburdened judiciary subject to political influence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, including illegal searches; restrictions on freedom of expression, including continued restrictions on print media and the internet, assembly, association, and movement; restrictions on academic freedom; interference in religious affairs.”

Just this year Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asserted that in 2016,

“Security forces used excessive force against protesters throughout the year, killing hundreds and injuring many more. The protests were mainly in Oromia and Amhara regions. At year’s end more than 10,000 persons were believed still to be detained. This included persons detained under the government-declared state of emergency. Many were never brought before a court, provided access to legal counsel, or formally charged with a crime.”

This is all to say that thus far for all intent and purposes the above official statements going back to almost two decades have been “all bark and no bite.” The irony is that since 1998 here in the States we have moved from Clinton to Bush to Obama and now Trump. In Ethiopia, however, the same individuals who wielded political and economic influence in the 1990s continue to do so at the present moment.

But in fairness the future of Ethiopia is up to Ethiopians not a foreign power, nor should it be. And as America’s oldest African ally, the Ethiopian government along with the people of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Diaspora can help shape a constructive dialogue — to facilitate and empower the political space being demanded by a new generation of leaders and pro-Ethiopia opposition voices — while still maintaining the longstanding friendship and the ongoing partnerships between USA and Ethiopia.

By doing so, perhaps, we may manage to accelerate the ever fading dream of witnessing (in our lifetime) a free, peaceful, independent, democratic and united Ethiopia with a prosperous economy that respects the natural human rights of all its citizens.

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Obama is Back: Reject ‘Politics of Fear’

In return to campaign trail former President Barack Obama (pictured on Thursday in Virginia) calls on Americans to reject 'Politics of Fear.' (AP Photo)


Obama calls on Americans to reject ‘politics of fear’ in return to campaign trail

Washington — Former President Barack Obama returned the campaign trail Thursday with a warning about the current state of politics in America.

“Some of the politics we see now, we thought we’d put that to bed. I mean, that’s folks looking 50 years back. It’s the 21st century, not the 19th century,” Obama said during a rally in New Jersey, where he was campaigning for Phil Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor there.

“We are rejecting a politics of division. We are rejecting a politics of fear,” Obama continued. “We are embracing a politics that says everybody counts, a politics that says everybody deserves a chance, a politics that says everybody has dignity and worth — a politics of hope.”

The 44th president did not mention his successor by name in his remarks, which were interrupted with chants of “four more years” from the crowd. President Donald Trump has actively taken steps to attack Obama’s legacy in recent weeks, including on Iran, immigration and health care.

Beyond his lament about the country’s political environment, Obama also stressed the importance of the US remaining a leader on the world stage.

“The world counts on America having its act together. The world is looking to us as an example,” Obama told the crowd. “The world asks what our values and ideals are, and are we living up to our creed.”

Read more »

‘Our democracy is at stake,’ Obama says on Virginia campaign trail

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Ethiopia: 2017 Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week in Pictures

Photo from the 2017 Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week. (courtesy of HAFW)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 20th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – The 2017 Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week recently wrapped up in Ethiopia’s capital displaying an eclectic collection of styles from twenty one designers representing seven African countries and models from five nations.

The featured designers included: Mafi (Ethiopia), Yordi (Ethiopia), Adama Paris (Senegal), Anayngo Mpinga (Kenya), Samra Luxury Leather Collection (Ethiopia), Ejig Tibeb (Ethiopia), Ratatouille (Ethiopia/Brazil), Russell Solomon (Nigeria), House of Eden (Ethiopia/USA), Ye’Fiker (Ethiopia), Ayni’s Design (Ethiopia), Mantsho (South Africa), Lali (Ethiopia), Mustafa Hassannil (Tanzania), Zaaf (Ethiopia), Arnold Murithi (Kenya), Tg’sh (Ethiopia), Fetel Design (Ethiopia), Yohannes Sisters Couture (Ethiopia).

The two-day runway show was held on Friday, October 6th and Saturday 7th, 2017.

Below are photos from the 2017 Hub of Africa Fashion Week:

Photos: Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week 2016
Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week 2015
In Pictures: Hub of Africa Fashion Week 2014

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A Night of Hope for Ethiopia at Wegene’s Annual Fundraising Event in VA

Photo: From past Wegene Foundation event. (By Tsedey Aragie/Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 17th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – The Wegene Ethiopian Foundation will host its annual fundraising event this weekend with the theme “A Night of Hope” that’s scheduled to be held on Saturday, October 21st at The Waterford in Springfield, Virginia.

Wegene is celebrating its 17th anniversary this year and was established by by a group of like-minded friends in D.C. metropolitan area as a way to give back and assist “less fortunate and disadvantaged children and their families in Ethiopia.” Wegene focuses on “overcoming three critical barriers in the seemingly unbreakable poverty cycle: little or no education, poor housing, and family instability.”

Tadias had featured an interview with the foundation’s inspiring Founder, Nini Legesse, as part of our “Women’s History Month” series in 2012. Nini was one of the fourteen community leaders from the East African Diaspora that was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change.” Nini said: I founded Wegene in 2000 with similarly inspired friends who like me had left their home country in their teenage years.”

Photos: 2015 Wegene Ethiopian Foundation Annual Fundraising Dinner (Tadias)

Nini added: “We felt morally obligated to give back. Even though my friends and I feel grateful for the security, opportunity, education and better life that we enjoy in our adoptive country, the United States, we wanted to assist those who have less opportunities in Ethiopia. The goal of Wegene is to enable hardworking, poor families to meet their daily needs and send their children to school in a sustainable way.”

The 2017 event will feature dinner, music and presentations.

If You Go:
A Night of Hope: Wegene’s 17th Annual Fundraising Gala
Saturday, October 21 at 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM EDT
The Waterford Springfield VA
Click here for Tickets

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Spotlight: Manale Dagnew’s New Designs Support Girls’ Education in Ethiopia

Ethiopian designer Manale Dagnew's new collection of accessories are produced with motifs and colors from Ethiopia's North and South and raises funds for Girls' Education. (Photo courtesy: Manale International)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 16th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian-born designer Manale Dagnew spent several years in New York and Paris successfully creating couture wedding gowns and evening wear prior to returning to Ethiopia and “rediscovering the beauty of her cultural heritage.” Soon thereafter she designed original accessories including scarves, wraps, neckties and pocket squares celebrating the diversity of her native country with a philanthropic purpose of giving 10 percent of all sales to educational initiatives for girls in Ethiopia.

“The collection’s designs are inspired by the practice of the North’s traditional weaving and the South’s intricate body painting,” says Manale. “More than just raising awareness of African art and culture from my homeland, I want to make a real difference and positively impact education for girls in rural regions of Ethiopia.”

“During the initial phases of this effort, Manale will work with established schools and learning centers to improve the lives of local children and their families,” the press release adds. “Once a revenue stream is more established, the goal is to start new schools for primary education and also training academies for graduates to learn job skills in the Belessa, Gayent, and Addis Zemen regions.”

Learn more about Manale Dagnew’s designs at

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Ethiopia: Almaz Ayana In Her Own Words

(Photos: International Association of Athletics Federations)


In Their Own Words: 2017 Female Athlete of the Year Nominees

The 10 nominees for the 2017 Female Athlete of the Year have been announced and the voting process is in full swing. We look at some of the words these superwomen used to describe their incredible accomplishments.

Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia)

After winning the 10,000m world title in a world-leading 30:16.32. She won silver over 5000m a few days later.

“I am very happy to win this title. Much more than when I won the Olympic gold, because I have been sick this year and didn’t expect it. In fact, this was my first race of 2017.”

Read more »

Ethiopia: Almaz Ayana Nominated for 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award

Almaz Ayana celebrates winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympics 2016. (AP photo)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

October 4th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Olympian and World 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana has been nominated for the 2017 World Athlete of the Year award.

The Ethiopian long distance runner, who was also the winner of last year’s Female World Athlete of the Year prize, won the 10,000 metre race at this year’s World Championships held in London this past summer.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced that “a three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The IAAF Council will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF’s social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook and Twitter later this week; a ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ will count as one vote.”

IAAF adds: “Voting closes on 16 October. At the conclusion of the voting process, three men and three women finalists will be announced by the IAAF. The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017.”

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Diaspora: Whatever Happened to Our So-Called Ethiopia Rights Advocates?

They used to be loud and vociferous insulting President Obama with more zeal than the Tea Party, but now they seem like shuffle-shuffle men, busy writing nonsensical letters to the White House. Meanwhile the Human Rights situation remains the same in Ethiopia. Below is the latest news release from HRW urging U.S. congress to support respect for Human Rights in Ethiopia. (Photo: Amnesty International USA blog)


US Congress: Support Respect for Human Rights in Ethiopia
Vote on H.Res 128

The Honorable Paul Ryan Speaker of the House H-232 The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Ryan,

We are writing to underscore the importance of House Resolution (H.Res.) 128 and the need to bring it to a vote as soon as possible. The resolution, which calls for respect for human rights and encourages inclusive governance in Ethiopia, has strong bipartisan support with 71 co-sponsors. It passed the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously on July 27, 2017 and was scheduled for a vote on October 2nd. However, on Thursday, September 28, the measure was removed from the calendar without explanation.

Last week, a Member of Congress publicly stated that H.Res.128 had been pulled due to threats by the Ethiopian government that if the House proceeded with a vote, Ethiopia would withdraw as a partner on regional counterterrorism efforts.

Ethiopia has long been an important security ally of the United States and continues to receive financial, intelligence and military assistance. However, its worsening human rights record, which includes a brutal crackdown on dissent since 2015 and near elimination of democratic space in the country, has introduced profound instability in the region. The US has long seen a stable and prosperous Ethiopia as crucial to the effectiveness of its counterterrorism efforts.

We believe H.Res.128 represents an important and long overdue response to Ethiopia’s heavyhanded tactics against largely peaceful protests that began in Oromia in 2015 and later spread to the Amhara region in 2016. Together these regions represent around 70 percent of the population of Ethiopia. They indicate a widespread grassroots desire for reform in the country.

A strong, unambiguous signal from the US demanding concrete reforms is required to avert crisis and to create a path toward sustainable regional stability. The passage of H.Res.128 represents an important first step in that direction and should not be derailed by last-minute bullying tactics. This would not be the first time the government of Ethiopia has made threats of this nature and it is worth noting they have never been carried through.

The resolution raises a number of important recommendations that could benefit both Ethiopia and the United States in their counterterrorism partnership while encouraging the government of Ethiopia to take steps to open up civic space, ensure accountability for human rights abuses, and promote inclusive governance.

Read more »

U.S. Congress Should Call Ethiopia’s Bluff (Freedom House)

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She Met Her Prince (for Real!) at a D.C. Nightclub

Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen were married on Sept. 9 in a lavish ceremony in Temple Hills, Md. Mr. Makonnen is the great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. (Photo: The New York Times)

The New York Times

Few love stories resemble a fairy tale as much as the courtship and marriage of Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen. Of course, it helped that the groom is an actual prince and the bride has a prominent lineage of her own.

Mr. Makonnen, known as Prince Yoel, is the 35-year-old great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. And Ms. Austin, 33, is of African-American and Guyanese descent; her maternal grandfather was a lord mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.

As the couple noted on their wedding website, their union happened when “Old World aristocracy met New World charm.” The old and new combined on Sept. 9, in a marathon day of events that lasted from 11 a.m. until late in the evening, and took place within two states.

Guests watched as at least 13 priests and clergymen helped officiate the Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony. (Photo: The New York Times)

The festivities began with a ceremony at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Md. In an incense-filled sanctuary, guests in stockinged feet watched as at least 13 priests and clergymen helped officiate the Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony between Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin, who just days before had converted to the religion. Hours after the ceremony, the pair celebrated with a formal reception at Foxchase Manor in Manassas, Va., with 307 guests, amid gold sequins, platters of Ethiopian food and preboxed slices of Guyanese black cake for people to take home.

Their marriage had been more than a decade in the making. In the nearly 12 years since they first met on a dance floor at the Washington nightclub Pearl, in December 2005, Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin have pursued degrees, jobs and, at times, each other. Eventually, planning a wedding just became the next item on this ambitious couple’s to-do list.

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U.S. Senators Inhofe & Enzi Visit Ethiopia

Republican Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Michael Enzi of Wyoming. (Photo: Twitter)


U.S. Senators James Inhofe and Michael Enzi visited Ethiopia on October 12 and 13 to discuss U.S.-Ethiopian relations. The Senators met with Prime Minister Hailemariam.

During the meeting the Senators highlighted the value the United States places on its bilateral relations with Ethiopia and the strong ties between our people. They reiterated the United States’ commitment to working in partnership with Ethiopia to take on challenges such as regional security and economic development. Senators Inhofe and Enzi expressed a sincere desire to provide whatever assistance would be helpful to address the ongoing tensions in Ethiopia, and reaffirmed the strong friendship between our two nations.

Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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TSEHAI Publishers Turns 20, Launches Book Under Harriet Tubman Press

From Left: Shonda Buchanan, Editor of the Harriet Tubman Press; TSEHAI Publishers Founder Elias Wondimu, Congressmember Karen Bass and CNN and NPR analyst Angela Rye at the launch event for 'Voices from Leimert Park Redux,' the debut book by Harriet Tubman Press, an imprint of TSEHAI Publishers, in Los Angeles, California on October 14th, 2017. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: October 15th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — TSEHAI Publishers celebrates its twentieth anniversary this month along with the launch of the first book under its new imprint, Harriet Tubman Press entitled Voices from Leimert Park Redux.

Founded by Ethiopian American publisher Elias Wondimu, TSEHAI Publishers — which is located at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles — is the only African or African-American owned press housed in a U.S. university (Howard University Press closed in 2011). “The launch of this historic imprint boldly reinforces the necessity and value of giving place for our voices in the national and global discourse on race, culture, the arts and so many more important facets of our collective humanity,” says Elias.

The book launch event was held in front of the Vision Theatre in Leimert Park on Saturday, October 14th sponsored by PEN Center USA and LA Review of Books. The program included live readings by the poets featured in the inaugural publication highlighting the “diverse voices of Los Angeles” and speeches by Congresswoman Karen Bass, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, CNN and NPR analyst Angela Rye, as well as Elias Wondimu and Shonda Buchanan, Editor of the Harriet Tubman Press and the press’ first book Voices from Leimert Park Redux.

“It is going to be a great continuation of LMU and TSEHAI’s Harriet Tubman Press’ engagement in the Leimert Park Community,” Elias added.

Click here for updates on Facebook.

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UPDATE: Ethiopia Parliament Speaker Says ‘Disrespect’ Made Him Quit

Abadula Gemeda, the former Speaker of the Ethiopian parliament, says he left his position last week because of "disrespect" of his Oromo ethnic group. (Photo: Reuters)


The speaker of Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament, who resigned last week, said Saturday that he quit because of “disrespect” of his ethnic group.

Abadula Gemeda, a member of the Oromos, the country’s largest ethnic group, announced last Sunday that he was stepping down after seven years as speaker of the House of People’s Representatives.

He is one of the highest-ranking government officials to resign since the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition took power in 1991.

A former army chief of staff, Abadula is also a founder of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) C, which represents the Oromos within the EPRDF.

Oromos led a wave of anti-government protests that began in late 2015 and were only quelled after more than 940 deaths and the imposition of a 10-month state of emergency, and distrust of the EPRDF still runs deep.

In comments carried by the state-affiliated Oromia Broadcasting Network, Abadula said he was dissatisfied with the EPRDF’s treatment of his people.

“I resigned because my peoples and party were disrespected,” he said. “However, I will struggle to bring the necessary respect and do the best I can for Oromo people to gain their rights.”

His resignation came at the start of a turbulent week in Ethiopia, which saw protesters return to the streets in several towns in Oromia, the largest of the country’s ethnically based regional states.

On Wednesday, three people were killed and more than 30 injured at a protest in the city of Shashamene, while another protest in the town of Boke left another three dead and three more injured, spokesman for the Oromia regional state Addisu Arega said in a post on Facebook.

His accounts could not be independently verified, and the cause of the deaths remained unclear.

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Speaker of Ethiopian Parliament Resigns
Ethiopia’s PM Protocol Chief Defects to America After United Nations Meeting

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After Killing Two, Gunman Fled to Ethiopia

Sileshi Simeneh, 54, left, the father of Kedest Simeneh, is pictured in his Springfield, Va., home with his youngest child, Christina Simeneh, 12. At right is a framed photo of Kedest Simeneh surrounded by candles. (The Washington Post)

The Washington Post

After a Young Couple Was Killed, Alleged Gunman Fled to Ethiopia. He May Never Face Trial.

The former college soccer player was gunned down in his own home, shell casings scattered around his body, police said. His girlfriend’s body was found a couple of miles away, slumped against a tree with a bullet through her head.

Authorities are confident they know who carried out the brutal double slaying in Northern Virginia last December. A witness places an aspiring rapper at the scenes of the killings. A Fairfax grand jury indicted him for murder. Detectives know where he lives.

Yet, nearly 10 months later, Yohannes Nessibu remains a free man. He was spotted strolling down a street in recent months. On Twitter, he still promotes a mixtape that features him rapping about shooting a woman.

Nessibu, 23, is out of reach because he boarded a flight to his native Ethi­o­pia, just before police closed in on him, the victims’ families say. The families say he’s now the subject of an international tug of war: The United States wants him returned to stand trial, but Ethi­o­pia refuses because it bars the extradition of its own citizens.

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New Ethiopian-American Radio in Colorado

Endale Getahun in KETO studio in Aurora, Colorado. The radio station, KETO 93.9, which was launched on Ethiopian New year last month, is the only Ethiopian FM radio station in the U.S. (Photo: Aurora Sentinel)

Aurora Sentinel

New Ethiopian-American Radio Aims to be Immigrant Voice in Aurora, Colorado

AURORA | Metro Aurora’s newest radio station has been broadcasting for less than a month. But the low power FM station’s presence on the air represents a 17-year journey for a radio station dedicated to the immigrant community of Colorado’s most diverse city.

When 93.9 KETO-FM launched on Sept. 11, the Ethiopian New Year, it represented almost two decades of work for Endale Getahun, an Ethiopian immigrant whose dream has been to provide immigrants from across the world who live in Aurora a voice of their own.

“Sept. 11 we were on air. We got our license on Aug. 30 and the transmitter arrived on Aug. 8, which was my birthday. It was an awesome birthday gift,” Getahun said. “And the (immigrant) community was surprised. Some of them didn’t know (we were going to be on.) They were just switching the dial and found us.”

While the radio station is in its infancy, it’s broadcasting music and other news programs. But in the coming months, it plans to do everything from provide a platform for law enforcement officials, including the FBI and Homeland Security, to reach out to the immigrant community to broadcasting Aurora City Council meetings in 11 languages.

“We want to be the ear and mouth of the community,” Getahun said. “We want to attract other speaking communities to fill the programming. After (we attract more programming) we will use radio animation to make sure certain programming airs at certain times. And we will have a week’s worth of programming saved online as well.”

Getahun said there’s still work to do to fully realize his dream of what KETO can be including gathering more equipment to allow for things like call in shows. But after 17 years of work to make the station a reality, everything after getting the station on the air is the easy part.

“Building a capacity is much easier than getting to hear. Getting it (on the air) was the hardest part,” Getahun said.

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Security Advise for US Citizens in Ethiopia

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Violent protests and road closures in and around Shashamane. (Photo: Addis Gazetta)

U.S. Embassy Ethiopia

US Advises Citizens of Security Risks Amid Continuing Protests in Ethiopia

The U.S. Embassy is aware of reports of violent protests and road closures in and around Shashamane, approximately 250 km south of Addis Ababa. There are reports of casualties. The Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travel to Shashamane at this time. As always, review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

6 dead as protests surge again in Ethiopia: Official (AP)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — An Ethiopian official says protests in the restive Oromia region left six people dead Wednesday as anti-government demonstrations return to some parts of the East African country.

Oromia regional official Abiy Ahmed says more than 30 people were injured in clashes in Shashamane town and an area called Boke. He did not say who was responsible for the killings.

Blogger and university lecturer Seyoum Teshome says more than 15,000 people rallied again Thursday in Wolisso town against the country’s ruling elite. He says it was mostly peaceful.

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Ethiopia Devalues Currency by 15 Percent

A woman counts birr notes, after selling a cabbage at Mercato in Addis Ababa. (Photo: Reuters)


Ethiopia devalues currency by 15 percent to boost exports

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s central bank devalued the Ethiopian birr ETB= by 15 percent on Tuesday, its first such move in seven years to boost lagging exports.

The birr was quoted by the National Bank of Ethiopia at a weighted average of 23.4177 against the dollar on Monday, compared to what will be 26.9215.

“The devaluation was made to prop up exports, which have stagnated the last five years owing to the birr’s strong value against major currencies,” Yohannes Ayalew, the bank’s vice governor, told a news conference in the capital Addis Ababa.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, have both repeatedly urged Ethiopia to consider devaluing its currency to boost exports as they are mostly unprocessed products and need to stay competitive on price.

Ethiopia has operated a managed floating exchange rate regime since 1992.

The Horn of Africa country is the continent’s biggest coffee exporter but its total export revenue has been falling short of targets for the last few years owing to weaker commodity prices.

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NYC: International Day of the Girl 5k Run & Panel for Ethiopia Hosted by GGRF

(Photo Courtesy: Girls Gotta Run Foundation)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: October 11th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — The Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF), which employs a successful method of combining athletics, education and others skills-training to empower young women in rural areas in Ethiopia, is hosting an “International Day of the Girl 5k Pop-Up Run & Panel” in New York City on Wednesday October 11th. The run and panel discussion is hosted in recognition of the International Day of the Girl.

For the past five years October 11th has been designated by the United Nations as the International Day of the Girl, honoring the world’s 1.1 billion girls who are “a source of power, energy, and creativity.”

According to the United Nations “the day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.”

The event announcement adds: “Girls Gotta Run is the only non-profit organization in Ethiopia that uses the national sport of running as an innovative approach to creating safe spaces, ending child marriage, and expanding access to secondary school for vulnerable girls. All proceeds generated by the 5k pop-up run and panel discussion will go towards providing GGRF Athletic Scholarships for girls in Ethiopia.”

Following the run, a panel discussion will take place at Shutterstock HQ at Empire State Building, with various “female changemakers and running ambassadors, exploring the creation of safe spaces through running and how sport can be a community empowerment [and] mobilization tool.” Panelists include Mekdes Mersha, Model & Clinical Researcher; Beatrice Frey, UN Women Communications Specialist and Sport Portfolio Coordinator; Alison Désir, Founder of Harlem Run & Run 4 All Women; Jessica Zapotechne, Founder of Girls Run NYC & Black Roses NYC; and Candice Huffine, Model & Founder of Project Start.

“The IDG GGR 5k pop-up fun run will start at 6 pm at Shutterstock HQ and run along the West Side Highway,” Organizers say. “All runners are welcome.”

If You Go:
Click here to RSVP

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In Colorado, Criminal Record Haunts Ethio-American Candidate for Local Office

Abel Laeke is running for City Council Seat in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo:

Aurora Sentinel

Abel Laeke pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in 2004 for indecent exposure, a misdemeanor, and sexual contact without consent, a felony, according to court documents. The case landed the at-large candidate on the Colorado sex offender registry, which marks him as having a felony conviction. It’s also one of the top Google search results for ‘Abel Laeke.’

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Denver CBS Local

Abel Laeke, 39, is vying for one of two open at-large seats.

A charge from 2004 landed Laeke on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s sex offender registry.

Laeke told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia on Saturday by phone that he could not comment on his criminal record due to pending litigation.

Court documents show that Laeke has been fighting to appeal the sex charge for years.

On Nov. 7, 2017, Aurora residents will elect two new city council members.

Laeke is on the city’s approved list of 8 candidates.

As a first generation Ethiopian American, Laeke grew up in Aurora and graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He runs his own start-up business consulting firm, serves as a non-profit organization mentor and teaches Sunday school at his Aurora church.

The CBI website shows a 2005 conviction of a sexual contact charge, a class 5 felony.

A background check reveals that Laeke pleaded “not guilty by reason of insanity.”

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Ethiopia: 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows Tell Their Stories

Abinet Tasew, a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow from Ethiopia (pictured above), is the author of the following article. (US Embassy Addis)

US Embassy Addis

By Abinet Tasew, 2017 Fellow

The fellowship is a game changer

The name of the program, “Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders,” itself was my inspiration to apply. I learned about the program two years ago from the radio; someone talked about “Young African Leaders,” then associated it with two great leaders I love the most – Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. I thought about two things: how prestigious the program will be and how great young African minds will come together. I looked back at my accomplishments and I told myself that I fulfill all the requirements. I was confident when I wrote my application; I was sure that I would be one of the 2015 fellows. I made it as a semi-finalist, proving me right, but I ended up being an alternate candidate. Guess what I told myself, “This is the result of quotas for the program, and it has nothing to do with me.” I pulled myself together and reapplied. This time, I made it as a finalist and I become a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow. The program is prestigious and I met great, young African minds and hearts.

The fellowship is a game changer. I never thought that a six-week experience could have this huge impact on my worldview.

Read more »

“Applying To MWF was one of the best decision I have ever made” — By Tigist Seife Haile
Former Mandela Washington Fellow Gersam Abera Shares Advice for 2018 Applicants
“The Mandela Washington Fellowship was a life changing experience” — By Azeb Gebresilassie Tesema
Four tips to apply for the Mandela Washington Fellowship program — By Helina Stiphanos, 2017 Fellow
What inspired you to apply? — By Melaku Girma Lemma, 2017 Fellow
Meet the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows from Ethiopia
Meet the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows from Ethiopia
Meet the 2014 Mandela Washington Fellows From Ethiopia

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Tirunesh Dibaba Wins Chicago Marathon

Tirunesh Dibaba won the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 with the second-fastest time ever recorded at the event. (Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, who during her illustrious career has won 12 global titles including three Olympic golds, added a new accomplishment to her CV today — she won her first marathon as she captured the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2:18:31 – the second-fastest time ever recorded in Chicago. Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei was second in a massive new pb of 2:20:22 (previous pb of 2:24:45).

Dibaba’s victory was much-deserved as well as she hammered from the gun. She ran her first 5k in 16:09 (that’s 2:16:09 pace) but five women were still with her at halfway. Shortly after that it became a two-person battle between Dibaba and Kosgei as Kosgei did her best to stay with Dibaba, who often was swerving from side to side to prevent Kosgei from drafting off of her. A 5:15 20th mile gave Dibaba a sizeable lead, which only grew to the finish.

With Dibaba’s victory assured, the only drama was how well everyone else would hold up until the finish as all of the five women in the lead pack at halfway ran a positive split.

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Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba dusts women’s field at Chicago Marathon (The Chicago Tribune)

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Friends Partner to Open 95-Seat Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant in Virginia

Longtime friends Philipos Mengistu and Daniel Solomon opened Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant on Van Dorn Street near the Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Virginia on Monday. (Photo: Alexandria Times)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 8th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Philipos Mengistu, owner of the popular NYC restaurant Queen of Sheba, has partnered with his childhood friend Daniel Solomon of Virginia to open Makeda — a new 95-seat Ethiopian restaurant and bar located in Alexandria.

Makeda, which is located at 516 S. Van Dorn St., “features traditional and authentic Ethiopian fare,” notes The Alexandria Times newspaper. “Chef Senait “Mimi” Tedla is running Makeda’s kitchen.” The new menu includes traditional fare alongside Makeda Tibs, Quanta Firfir, Assa Dullet, and Assa Goulash. Extra food options at Makeda include rice and pita bread as well as a kids meal section. “In addition, Makeda will offer gluten-free injera and is working to make sure its menu caters to health-conscious eaters,” says Philipos.

The food news site DC Eater adds: “The plan is to create a vibrant bar scene. The restaurant features a full lineup of beer, wine, and liquors, and plans to offer live music in the evenings.”

Philipos and Daniel have known each other for more than four decades going back to their growing up days in Ethiopia. Solomon has been a resident of Alexandria since the early 90s and looked forward to opening an Ethiopian restaurant with Philipos.

“We opened [Queen of Sheba] to introduce Ethiopian food to New Yorkers and to serve the international community. We’ve loved sharing with family and friends and now we’ve brought that experience to Alexandria,” Philipos tells The Alexandria Times as Makeda opened its doors last week.

Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant opens on Van Dorn Street (The Alexandria Times)
Manhattan Restaurateur Exports Latest Ethiopian Restaurant to Alexandria (DC Eater)

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Speaker of Ethiopian Parliament Resigns

Abadula Gemeda, Speaker of the Ethiopian parliament, submitted his resignation on Sunday. (Reuters)


ADDIS ABABA – The speaker of Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament submitted his resignation on Sunday, one of the highest-ranking officials to do so since the ruling EPRDF coalition came to power in 1991. Abadula Gemeda did not disclose reasons behind his decision, but said he would disclose the factors once his move was approved by parliament.

Analysts in the Horn of Africa country said Abadula, an ethnic Oromo, may have decided to step down owing to disapproval of the government’s response to unrest that roiled Ethiopia’s Oromiya region in 2015 and 2016.

The violence there forced the government to impose a nine-month state of emergency that was only lifted in August. “Given the existence of circumstances that do not enable me to continue in this position, I have submitted my resignation to my political party and the House of People’s Representatives,” he said in a short speech on national television. “I will disclose the reasons behind my decision once my request is reviewed by the House of People’s Representatives,” the former defense minister added.

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Ethiopia’s PM Protocol Chief Defects to America After United Nations Meeting

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Kelela Explains Why ‘Very Personal’ Debut Album Took So Long to Finish

Ethiopian-American singer Kelela performs at the Quebec City Summer Festival on July 15. (Getty Images)


If you’ve never listened to Kelela’s music, then you probably don’t know how long people have been waiting on her. You’ve probably never heard the complaints that she’s taken too long to release her first studio album. And you probably don’t know that although fickle, the grievances are warranted, given the success of her first two mixtapes, 2013’s seductive Cut for Me and 2015′s hypnotizing Hallucinogen.

She’s heard the gripes. But sharing vulnerabilities with the world isn’t easy. Doing so takes a certain level of thoughtfulness and respect. Kelela knows that too, which is why she took her time before finally releasing her first studio album, Take Me Apart, on Warp Records on Friday.

“I sort of had to have all of the experiences that I am speaking on throughout the album. And it’s part of the reason why it’s taken so long. It’s all very personal and sort of drawn from my actual experience,” she told Newsweek during a phone call Thursday.

“I sort of embarked on making some sort of project when I was working on the mixtapes,” she said. “It essentially meant that I was compartmentalizing on some level so that there could be a narrative, a story.”

The narrative the Washington, D.C. native tells on Take Me Apart is one of confusion, loss and clarity.

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Kelela’s New Song on NY Times Playlist
Kelela Previews New Album With Potent Hook-Up Anthem ‘LMK’

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Former Mandela Washington Fellow From Ethiopia Shares Advice for 2018 Applicants

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (YALI) is conducted annually as a merit-based open competition by U.S. Embassies across the African continent. (Photo: Former Mandela Washington Fellows from Ethiopia/US Embassy Addis Ababa)

US Embassy Addis

By Gersam Abera — Assistant Professor of Surgery at Jimma University

Jimma, Ethiopia — I learned about YALI program first from my wife who had joined the YALI group and invited me to join. I used to see email communications and Facebook posts of different African youth who had been impacted by the different programs. My interest was not high enough to actively participate in it until the 2016 MWF when I saw one of my students posting on Facebook about her experience in the US with President Barack Obama. It was then when I paid attention and understood its purpose and goals, which are to inspire and equip young and potential leaders of Africa to better be ready for tomorrow. To be equipped with richer experience and improve my leadership capacity were the two reasons why I applied the MWF 2017.

I stayed at Florida International University for 6 weeks and then in Washington DC for a 3 day summit. I would never trade the time I spent during my MWF experience for anything because it was a rich cross-cultural experience as well as enlightening leadership training course. I learned the vast potential Africa has hidden and unexploited yet in its culture, mineral resources, and untapped youth who are the majority. The networking moments helped me improve my self-confidence and explain about myself better in a limited time. I had fruitful connections from the networks as well. After my stay in US I was determined to come back to my country and get involved in leadership to ensure the limited resource available would be utilized in a more efficient and effective way to better make the service providers as well as the population to be served satisfied in the service.

Former Washington Mandela Fellow Gersam Abera Shares His Experience and Advice for 2018 Applicants.(Photo: US Embassy Addis)

My advice for the MWF 2018 applicants is to follow their passion and dream big because through good self-leadership anything is achievable. As I have explained earlier, my experience at FIU was unforgettable and I am benefiting from it even in my day to day work. So I would like to encourage anyone who is thinking about applying to do it immediately. My further advice for the application itself is to be yourself. The true you who has a big future dream should be expressed in the essays you write. Be bold and clear to show your achievements and aspirations. Write down your essay first time and re-read and re-correct it until you write it in a fewer words but telling all of your inner feelings with the limited word counts given. I would advise you to be serious about the application because there are a lot of youth who are competing for the few spots available. Choose your track wisely. If your future goal and current achievement is inclined to one track than the other, please choose this track which is more related to your current practice. I wish you all the best.

The 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship
“The fellowship is a game changer” – Abinet Tasew, 2017 Fellow
Meet the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows from Ethiopia
Meet the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows from Ethiopia
Meet the 2014 Mandela Washington Fellows From Ethiopia

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Spotlight: US Ethio-Jazz Band Debo Makes Debut in UK and EU

Debo band. (Photo by Joe Del Tufo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: October 6th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This month Debo Band will make their debut performance in the United Kingdom and European Union countries with concerts in the cities of London, Ljubljana, Vienna, and Munich.

Founded by Ethiopian-American Saxophonist Danny Mekonnen Debo Band focuses on original compositions drawing homage to the Ethio-Jazz sounds of the 60s and 70s. The band’s latest album, Ere Gobez, was released in 2016. Debo Band is currently working on their third LP and will go into the studio in 2018.

Since 2006 Debo Band has performed across the United States and Canada, as well as in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Brazil.

Debo Band members include “Bruck Tesfaye (vocals), Danny Mekonnen (tenor saxophone), Gabriel Birnbaum (tenor saxophone), Marié Abe (accordion), Kaethe Hostetter (violin), Harjinder Singh (guitar), Adam Clark (bass) and Danilo Henriquez (drums).”

If You Go:
Oct 15: The Water Rats––London, United Kingdom
Oct 17: Cankarjev––Ljubljana, Slovenia
Oct 18: Porgy & Bess––Vienna, Austria
Oct 19: Kösk––Munich, Germany
Details for the shows can be found at

Video: NPR – All Songs Considered – Field Recording Featuring Debo Band

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Unity v Diversity: Ethiopia’s Ethnic Federalism is Being Tested

Photo: Reuters

The Economist

Print edition

HARAR — FOR centuries the city of Harar, on the eastern fringes of the Ethiopian highlands, was a sanctuary, its people protected by a great wall that surrounded the entire city. But in the late 19th century it was finally annexed by the Ethiopian empire. Harar regained a bit of independence in 1995, when the area around it became the smallest of Ethiopia’s nine ethnically based, semi-autonomous regions. Today it is relatively peaceful and prosperous—and, since last month, a sanctuary once more.

In recent weeks thousands of Ethiopians have poured into areas around Harar, fleeing violence in neighbouring towns (see map). Nearly 70,000 people have sought shelter just east of the city. Several thousand more are huddling in a makeshift camp in the west. Most are Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group. Its members clashed with ethnic Somalis in February and March, resulting in the death of hundreds. The violence erupted again in September, when more than 30 people were killed in the town of Awaday. Revenge killings, often by local militias or police, have followed, pushing the death toll still higher. In response, the government has sent in the army.

Ethnic violence is common in Ethiopia, especially between Oromos and Somalis, whose vast regions share the country’s longest internal border. Since the introduction of ethnic federalism in 1995, both groups have tried to grab land and resources from each other, often with the backing of local politicians. A referendum in 2004 that was meant to define the border failed to settle the matter. A peace agreement signed by the two regional presidents in April was no more successful.

When the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) swept to power in 1991 after a bloody 15-year civil war, federalism was seen as a way to placate the ethnic liberation movements that helped it to power. The previous regime had been dominated by the Amhara, the second-largest ethnic group (the Eritreans broke away to form a new state). Eventually ethnic loyalties would wither as people grew richer, went the thinking of the Marxist-inspired EPRDF.

But the way federalism was implemented caused problems from the start. New identity cards forced people to choose an ethnicity, though many Ethiopians are of mixed heritage.

Read more »

Ethiopia is grappling with heightened risk of state collapse (Addis Standard Editorial)

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Ethiopia’s PM Protocol Chief Defects to US

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn addresses the UN General Assembly’s seventy-first session. His chief protocol officer, Baye Tadesse Teferi, is currently seeking political asylum in the United States. (UN Photo)

Africa News

An Ethiopian diplomat who was part of the government delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month has sought political asylum in the United States.

Baye Tadesse Teferi, the state’s chief protocol officer, quit his job in the United States after serving over two years with the government, he told VOA Amharic on Tuesday.

He added that his decision was due to fears of being persecuted for political reasons.

Teferi attended the summit with the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who has since returned.

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Ethiopia: Almaz Ayana Nominated for 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award

Almaz Ayana celebrates winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympics 2016. (AP photo)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

October 4th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Olympian and World 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana has been nominated for the 2017 World Athlete of the Year award.

The Ethiopian long distance runner, who was also the winner of last year’s Female World Athlete of the Year prize, won the 10,000 metre race at this year’s World Championships held in London this past summer.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced that “a three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The IAAF Council will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF’s social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook and Twitter later this week; a ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ will count as one vote.”

IAAF adds: “Voting closes on 16 October. At the conclusion of the voting process, three men and three women finalists will be announced by the IAAF. The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017.”


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Cyclist Tsgabu Grmay Sings With US Team

Cyclist Tsgabu Grmay, who is the current time trial champion in Ethiopia, has signed with the U.S. road racing team Trek–Segafredo for the 2018 season. (Getty Images)

News 24

Ethiopian climber Tsgabu Grmay has joined Trek for 2018, the American team announced on Monday.

The 26-year-old, the African time-trial champion two years ago, joins from Bahrain.

He has ridden five Grand Tours including the last two Tours de France.

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Tsgabu Grmay signs with Trek

Twenty-six-year-old Tsgabu Grmay is the current Ethiopian Time Trial champion and combines his TT-skills with a predilection for long climbing efforts. (Lampre Media)

Cycling News

Trek-Segafredo announced the addition of two riders to their 2018 roster on Monday, completing their line-up for the coming season. 26-year-old Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay and 20-year-old Italian trainee Nicola Conci will join the American WorldTour team next year.

Grmay, the reigning time trial champion in Ethiopia, got his start with MTN-Qhubeka in 2012 and spent three seasons with the team before jumping to the WorldTour with Lampre-Merida. After two years there, he joined Bahrain-Merida for 2017. A three-time time trial champion and two-time road race champion in Ethiopia, he finished fifth overall at February’s Tour of Oman.

“I’m very happy about this move. Trek-Segafredo really stood out for me because they offer a very professional guidance for their athletes. I am confident that within this team I can continue my development as a rider in the best circumstances,” Grmay said in a team press release.

“I really like stage races because they suit me better than one-day races. Of course, it would be a dream come true if one day I would be able to win a stage race. But let’s take it step by step. I want to keep learning and improving and will give it my all, and who knows, maybe one day, achieve that ultimate goal. In the meantime, I will honor my jersey, my team and my country. Being the first Ethiopian rider ever who turned pro, I feel the support of the whole country standing behind me and that gives me the strength to keep going until the bitter end.”

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Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week Preview

(Photo from previous Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week/courtesy of HAFW)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 2nd, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – The sixth edition of Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week (HAFW) — an international runway show featuring both established and up-and-coming designers from across the African continent — will be held in Addis Ababa from October 5th to 8th, 2017.

Supported by Vogue Italia/Talents the 2017 events will take place at the Addis Ababa Exhibition Centre. Organizers announced that this year’s program includes panel discussions, master classes, presentations and a pop-up shop at Sapphire Addis Hotel.

“HAFW is extremely proud with the line-up of close to 35 participating designers, international models, and fashion makers from across the African Continent,” the media release states. “Vogue Italia /Vogue Talents will be scouting for talents to take part at Milan Fashion Week 2018.”

The announcement adds:

“Since inception in 2010 HAFW has been able to assist in the transformation and development of the continental fashion industry. Fashion must be thought of in business terms and HAFW has endeavoured to connect emerging and established designers with, buyers, manufacturers, distributers and investors in order to grow the continental fashion industry to reach its potential.”

Participating designers are shown below:




If You Go:
More info at

Photos: Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week 2016
Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week 2015
In Pictures: Hub of Africa Fashion Week 2014

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Opinion: Can These Foreign Policy Minded Obama Era Officials Win Election in 2018?

Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tomasz Malinowski testifies on Capitol Hill on Feb. 3, 2015, in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/For The Washington Post)

The Washington Post

Can these Obama-era national security officials win in Congress?

In the first national election of the Trump era, more than a half-dozen Obama administration national security officials are running for Congress, which could result in the largest influx of foreign-policy-minded Democrats to Capitol Hill in years. But all of them face the challenge of moving from the world of policy to politics and translating their Washington résumés into arguments that appeal to locally focused voters.

Officials from President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, State Department and Defense Department have returned home to run for Congress in 2018. Each has a different story, constituency and task at hand. But they all have come to the conclusion that, after long careers in government bureaucracies, their best chance to serve meaningfully is to enter the political fray.

But can they convince voters that their foreign policy experience qualifies them to fight on behalf of local issues? That careers in Washington give them the credibility and skills to reform a broken system? And can they raise enough money to win?

Some of these Democratic aspirants are entering politics in reaction to what they see as a national crisis caused by the Trump presidency…

Tom Malinowski, who served as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor under Obama, told me he is running in New Jersey because he sees the United States’ role and identity as a force for good in the world being squandered by President Trump.

“The values that I’ve been fighting for around the world are the values that are being called into question here in the United States,” Malinowski said. “It can’t be fixed by writing policy papers. It can only be fixed through the political process.”

Read the full article at The Washington Post »

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In Harlem ECMAA Hosts Discussion on Adwa & Current Ethiopia-Italy Friendship

(Image courtesy of Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association of NY, NJ & CT.)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

October 1st, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – Although Ethiopia and Italy have strong diplomatic ties today they also share the common history of the Battle of Adwa in 1896, which is remembered as the first and decisive routing of a colonial power by an African army — a battle credited for launching a global movement to “unscramble” the continent from European domination.

An upcoming special presentation by Dr. Ayele Bekerie on the topic of Adwa and current Ethiopia-Italy friendship will be held in Harlem on Friday, October 6th hosted by the Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA).

Professor Ayele, who gave a lecture on the same subject last week at Central Connecticut State University, told Tadias that his talk in New York will likewise include the contemporary alliance between Ethiopia and Italy as well as plans to establish a Pan-African University in Ethiopia.

Dr. Ayele is an associate professor and coordinator of international affairs in the Department of Heritage Conservation, Institute of Paleo-Enviornment and Heritage Conservation at Mekelle University. He was an Assistant Professor at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. He is the author of the award-winning book Ethiopic, An African Writing System: Its History and Principles — among many other published works as well as a contributing author in the acclaimed book One House: The Battle of Adwa 1896 -100 Years.

Moreover, Dr. Ayele is a contributor to Tadias Magazine, and for the past several years has published a series of exclusive annual articles on this website emphasizing not only Adwa’s significance in modern African history, but also calling for the registry of the historical location as a UNESCO World Heritage Site:

Adwa: Genesis of Unscrambled Africa (2016)
119 Years Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Victory at the Battle of Adwa on March 1st, 1896 (2015)
Reflection on 118th Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Victory at Adwa (2014)
The Significance of the 1896 Battle of Adwa (2013)
Call for the Registry of Adwa as UNESCO World Heritage Site (2012)

If You Go:
Presentation by Dr. Ayele Bekerie: The Battle of Adwa
Date: Friday, October 6, 2017
Time: from 6:30 to 8:30pm
Place: 220 Manhattan Ave corner of 110th St. & Cathedral Parkway
Direction by subway: B, C, to Cathedral Pkwy (110 St)/Central Park West
Organized by Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association of NY, NJ & CT.

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Ethiopia Movie Lambadina Comes to DC

Lambadina is Messay Getahun's first feature film (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

September 30th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – The Ethiopian film Lambadina will make its Washington, D.C. premiere next week. Directed by Messay Getahun, Lambadina features 9-year-old Joseph, the abandoned son of Solomon, who finds refuge in another home and falls in love with the daughter (Ruth) in the new family. Showing resilience and overcoming several obstacles in life Joseph eventually emigrates to the United States taking a riveting journey from Addis Ababa to Los Angeles.

“The beginning part of the film has elements of true events” explained Messay Getahun in a Q&A with Tadias last year pointing out that parts of the narrative are autobiographical.

“It’s a story of a split that happens between a father and son during uncertain times in Ethiopia.” Messay shares. “That portion of the story is actually my personal story. My dad was involved in politics. I was about 6 years old and a new government was coming to power, so I based the story from some childhood memories I had of an era that I thought was important for the source of the film.”

Regarding the title Lambadina Messay tells Tadias that the word is “an Ethio-Italian word which means ‘lantern’ or ‘night light.’ The definition represented the theme of the film, which is about overcoming the obstacles that life throws at you. I also wanted a one-word title. Something foreign enough but yet easy enough to pronounce. We wanted to make a universal film. Something the older generation, the younger generation, Africans and non-Africans could watch,” Messay says. “Finding a good balance was essential.”

If You Go:
Lambadina Premieres in DC
October 12th & 13t
The Miracle Theatre
535 8th Street, SE
Washington DC 20003

Watch: ‘Lambadina’ official trailer [HD]:

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Just Follow the Roads in Ethiopia to Find Unequal Distribution of Infrastructure

(Map: World Bank visualization based on data from various UN agencies)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

September 28th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — For all of Ethiopia’s much talked about infrastructure building over the past three decades, such as highways and power supplies, to date only 22% of the country’s rural population has access to a properly paved road, which is a major hindrance to trade as well as social, political and economic development.

According to a World Bank study focusing on expansion of road density that was published online last week “changes in road density pointed to greater economic concentration towards the center of Ethiopia and the north of the country. These are also areas of greater population density. Between 2006 and 2016 the increase in road density was concentrated in certain regions, notably Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa, as well as Tigray in the north of the country and in Oromia in the center.” The World Bank adds that “remote and economically lagging regions, and Amhara Region, see lesser increases in road density. Taking the development of roads as a proxy for the development of infrastructure, this suggests that infrastructure development has not been homogeneous across all regions. It also shows that road connectivity for some regions is poor, both within those regions and with other regions, with consequences for labor mobility, the transportation of goods and services, and for agricultural productivity as the distance and travel times to markets are longer.”

Figure 2b: Rural Access Index (RAI) and major roads in 2016 (World Bank)

Despite the large infrastructure investments undertaken by the Ethiopian government in the past ten years, accessibility by road to rural areas remains low in Ethiopia; we can see its distribution across the country in Figure 2b. The Rural Access Index was 21.6 percent in 2016, signifying that only around 22 percent of the rural population had access within a 2km distance of them to a decent road.”

What Studies in Spatial Development Show in Ethiopia-Part I
What Studies in Spatial Development Show in Ethiopia-Part II

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Spotlight: Aida Muluneh in MoMA’s Being: New Photography 2018

(© Aida Muluneh)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

September 26th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Photographer Aida Muluneh from Ethiopia will be featured in the upcoming Being: New Photography 2018 exhibition, which is the current edition of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s New Photography series in New York.

MoMA announced that the show that will be on display next Spring (March 18 – August 19, 2018) “investigates charged and layered notions of personhood and subjectivity in recent photography and photo-based art, presenting works by 17 artists working in the U.S. and internationally.”

MoMA’s press release notes: Being: New Photography 2018 “is constituted primarily of works made since 2016, both by artists who are just starting out in their careers, some showing in New York for the first time, and by others with more established practices who, in some cases, have been supporting the field of photography through teaching or creating other platforms for production. For all the artists, this will be the first exhibition of their work at the Museum.”

“While personhood is something that we all share, also inherent in these representations is the recognition of difference, which is especially urgent in our current moment,” says organizer Lucy Gallun who is an Assistant Curator of the museum’s Department of Photography. “Universality in humanity does not mean sameness.”

Aida was born in Ethiopia in 1974, but left the country when she was five years old and spent an itinerant childhood between Yemen and England. After several years in a boarding school in Cyprus, she finally settled in Canada in 1985. In 2000, Aida graduated with a degree in Film from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She later worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Post exhibiting her work in-between throughout the United States. Aida returned to Ethiopia in 2007. Her images are part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, the Museum of Biblical Art, as well as various private galleries and collections in New York and across the country.

If You Go:
Being: New Photography 2018
March 18, 2018–August 19, 2018

Video: TADIAS Interview with Aida Muluneh

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From Dishwasher to Millionaire, Ethiopian Refugee Achieves American Dream

Tashitaa Tufaa drives one of his company's largest school buses, which seats 70 pupils, in Fridley, Minnesota, Aug. 9, 2017. Tufaa's company owns nearly 300 buses. (Photo: Abdi Mohamud for VOA)

VOA News

By Tigist Geme

MINNEAPOLIS — When Tashitaa Tufaa first arrived in Minneapolis from Ethiopia in 1992, he remembers craning his head skyward in disbelief. Looking up at the tallest skyscraper he had ever seen, he began counting the stories until he couldn’t count anymore. Eventually, he found out the building had 55 floors.

It was a long way from Negele Arsi district in the Oromia region of Ethiopia where he grew up. As a child, he worked alongside his 13 siblings on the family farm.

Now he’d have to do other types of work. He thought he had a fluent command of English that would open doors in the job market.

“But I found out that I didn’t after I came to Minneapolis,” he said.

Tashitaa Tufaa, owner, CEO and president of Metropolitan Transportation Network Inc., at the company’s headquarters, in Fridley, Minnesota, Aug. 9, 2017.

So he began as a dishwasher at the Hilton Hotel, earning $5.65 an hour. Eventually, he held as many as three jobs at once, including ones at manufacturing companies and another as a security guard.

The small paychecks of those days are long gone for Tufaa, who is now president of a successful bus company.

Each day, Metropolitan Transportation Network carries more than 15,000 children to schools, field trips and other destinations in Minneapolis and other Minnesota cities. The multimillion-dollar transportation company has more than 300 employees and recently moved to a new, larger operations center.

‘I do not believe in giving up’

The road to success hasn’t been easy, but Tufaa believes his experience shows that for those willing to work hard, anything is possible.

“I do not believe in giving up,” he told VOA.

Tufaa came to the U.S. as a refugee. He had been a school teacher in Ethiopia and was also active in politics. Following the fall of Ethiopia’s communist Derg regime in 1991, he helped campaign for the Oromo Liberation Front in his native Oromia region.

When his party withdrew from the transitional government after a fallout with the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, Tufaa no longer felt safe in the country and decided to leave.

“I was a political asylee. I didn’t like or agree with the Ethiopian government,” he said.

While working his menial jobs in the U.S. he also earned his master’s degree in political science and international relations from the University of Minnesota. After obtaining the degree, he worked for the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority.

A fleet of Metropolitan Transportation Network buses in a parking lot at the company’s headquarters in Fridley, Minnesota, Aug. 10, 2017.

Dishwashing and factory work were not enough to provide for his family, so he took an evening and weekend job as a shuttle driver, transporting senior citizens and people with disabilities to and from work.

“As a result I fell in love with transportation and I call myself an addicted driver,” he said with a chuckle.

He left his city job after a conflict with a supervisor and began driving taxis. But other drivers complained that he worked long hours and favored shorter trips to avoid long queues at the airport.

Eventually the taxi company fired him and, with no other options, he decided to strike out on his own.

“To do a business, you need to face a challenge. You can’t start business if there is luxury,” Tufaa said.

Starting with one van

After sketching out their idea for a transportation company in 2003, Tufaa and his brother began delivering handwritten letters to public school districts seeking contracts. He started with his wife’s single minivan transporting homeless children.

Tashitaa Tufaa chats with mechanics and drivers at Metropolitan Transportation Network’s maintenance shop in Fridley, Minnesota, Aug. 10, 2017.

Tufaa — who had once aspired to be a diplomat — says his negotiation and bargaining skills paid off. Their service was rated as excellent by public school districts and the business grew.

The business has steadily grown and now includes a fleet of nearly 300 buses and vans that take children to schools across the state. In 2012 Tufaa was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Metropolitan Economic Development Association in Minneapolis.

Since the beginning, Tufaa says, he prioritized the safety and punctuality of the children his company serves.

“I will not accept for my kids to arrive in school one minute late,” the father of five said. “I make sure that is the case for all the children we serve.”

Minnesota has long, snowy winters. Although buses typically drop off kids and leave, MTN pays its drivers to wait until the children get inside their homes or are met by an adult.

Employees marvel at his ability to grow the business without sacrificing his values.

“When I joined everything all I was hearing was, ‘We want to be more like a family,’” said Charles Marks, an assistant transportation manager at the company. “We kept that tradition and that makes the drivers come back every year. I always keep an empty chair next to my desk for anyone who wants to come and talk.”

Tufaa believes in building and empowering communities to be self-sufficient. He is active in the local Oromo community.

Estimated at 40,000 by the Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota is home to the largest Oromo population outside of Ethiopia in the U.S.

A Metropolitan Transportation Network bus picks up students for summer school in Minnesota, Aug. 8, 2017.

Tufaa advises and mentors employees interested in starting their own business. In fact, since 2012, three former employees have started their own successful transportation companies.

“The greatest gift I think you can give people like you is that it can be done and I feel like I’ve done that,” Tufaa said.

This, he says, is a lesson for all African immigrants pursuing their American dream.

“When a person is free, you can do anything,” he said. “So appreciate what you have, work so very hard, and get rid of the wrong pride we have back home that if you have a college degree you have to be in a professional line [of work] and you can’t dig the potatoes or do the dishes. Work is work and go out there and do what is available. Be proud of it.”

Ethiopian Restaurants Foster Community in Silver Spring (Associated Press)

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Fall Arts Preview 2017: Kelela’s New Album

Kelela Mizanekristos, known mononymously as Kelela, is a second-generation Ethiopian American singer and songwriter. (Getty Images)


After a busy and occasionally harrowing summer, 2017 looks set to wind down in style — musically, anyway…

Anyone who found themselves captivated by Kelela‘s mixtape and subsequent EP can look forward to the October 6 release of Take Me Apart, the second-generation Ethiopian-American artist’s first full studio album. It may have been a long time coming, but the single “LMK” promises a fierce, captivating work of otherworldly electro-R&B that will be well worth the wait.

Read more at »

Kelela’s New Song on NY Times Playlist
Kelela Previews New Album With Potent Hook-Up Anthem ‘LMK’

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UPDATE: Massive Protest at This Year’s Irreecha Festival But No Violence Reported

Thousands of Oromo people attend the "Irreecha" festival in Bishoftu on October 1, 2017. (Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu - Anadolu Agency)

Anadolu Agency

By Addis Getachew Tadesse

Updated: October 1st, 2017

BUSHOFTU, Ethiopia — An Ethiopian festival on Sunday turned into a massive anti-government protest for the second year in a row.

Over a million people gathered at Horra Harsede, a meeting place for Irreecha celebration in the central town of Bushoftu, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital, Addis Ababa.

Irreecha, a Thanksgiving holiday, is celebrated by Ethiopia’s largest ethnic Oromo group.

The celebration turned into a protest after the crowd took over the dais reserved for community elders and began chanting anti-government slogans.

Last year, more than 50 people were killed in a stampede caused by tear gas and bullets fired by security forces to disperse anti-government demonstrators during the celebration. The incident led to an imposition of martial law, which lasted for 10 months.

Last week, the government put a ban on the presence of army and armed forces at the site of the celebration.

“The agreement to keep the army and armed police at bay paid off this time around because it prevented confrontations and possible violence,” Lulu Alemu, Oromia Deputy Communications Office head, told Anadolu Agency.

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Ethiopia bans weapons at upcoming religious gathering

Associated Press

By Elias Meseret 

Updated: September 24th, 2017

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia has banned weapons at the upcoming Irrecha religious festival in order to avoid the violence that killed several dozen people last year. The statement from the restive Oromia region comes ahead of the October 1 thanksgiving gathering.

“The security situation in the region has improved immensely compared to last year so armed personnel will not be allowed to be at the center of the festival,” Lomi Beo, head of the Oromia Culture and Tourism Office, told the Associated Press on Sunday. “Armed police will be confined to the outskirts of the festival site as per the request of the religious leaders. We don’t expect last year’s tragedy to happen again.”

Up to 1.5 million people are expected to participate in this year’s celebration in the town of Bishoftu, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the capital Addis Ababa, she said.

Last year security forces at the Irrecha gathering dispersed anti-government protesters with tear gas and gunfire, triggering a deadly stampede that officials said killed at least 50 people. Activists said the death toll was much higher.

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Human Rights Watch to Ethiopia: Exercise Restraint at Upcoming Irreecha Festival (HRW)

Several dozen people were killed and injured in Bishoftu last year after security forces fired at protesters at an Irrecha cultural and religious festival. (Photo: Reuters)

Human Rights Watch

September 20th, 2017

Ethiopian government and security officials should act with restraint and take concrete steps to prevent injuries and deaths at this year’s Irreecha festival on October 1, 2017, Human Rights Watch said in a report and video released today. Many people, likely hundreds, died in a stampede at last year’s festival, triggered by security forces’ use of teargas and obstruction of exits.

The 33-page report, “‘Fuel on the Fire’: Security Force Response to the 2016 Irreecha Cultural Festival,” details the Ethiopian government’s use of force in response to restive crowds at 2016’s Irreecha. The festival, attended by massive crowds, is the most important cultural festival to Ethiopia’s 40 million ethnic Oromos, who gather to celebrate the end of the rains and welcome the harvest. Human Rights Watch found evidence that security force personnel not only triggered the stampede that caused many deaths but subsequently shot and killed some members of the crowd.

“The security forces’ disastrous and disproportionate use of force should not be repeated this year,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “With longstanding grievances still unanswered, this year’s Irreecha could be fraught with tensions. The government and the security forces should take all steps necessary before and during the festival to protect human life and de-escalate tensions.”

Read more »

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Spotlight: Scientist Sossina Haile Honored With GE Grand Central Video Installation

Ethiopian American Scientist Sossina Haile honored with a GE video installation on the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal in New York City on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: September 25th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Professor Sossina Haile, an expert in materials science and fuel cells research, was one of 12 female scientists who were honored last week with a spectacular video installation, projected on the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal in New York City, as part of a display called “Unseen Stars” recognizing “outstanding women in science.”

We featured Ethiopian American scientist, Sossina Haile, several times including in a profile interview in 2011 in which she told Tadias: “I delight in the discovery. When results make sense and we are able to explain something, I am thrilled. When that discovery has potential to solve critical societal problems, I am ecstatic.”

“Grand Central station is the epitome of New York — a place of connection,” Forbes magazine notes highlighting the GE sponsored show. “A myriad of train lines intersect and pass through the terminal, making it home to about 750,000 passengers daily. One of the most captivating aspects of Grand Central is the celestial ceiling, dating back to 1913. Today, Grand Central’s ceiling is being transformed, unveiling 12 portraits of female scientists, the hidden stars of science. This incredible light show is honoring women who have made significant breakthroughs in all fields of STEM and have shaped our society, whether we know it or not.”

The Grand Central installation was on display through Thursday, September 21st, and included “custom-designed animations, based on the iconic constellations, [that illuminated] the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal.” The faces of 12 female scientists and engineers appeared in an animated journey at the following times:

Tuesday, September 19 (7:30 p.m. – 11:59 p.m.)
Wednesday, September 20 (5:42 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.)
Thursday, September 21 (5:42 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.)

Outstanding Women in Science: Tadias Interview with Professor Sossina Haile

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US Calls for Ethiopia Ethnic Conflict Probe

Latest: Statement by U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa on Reports of Ethnic Violence on the Oromia-Somali Border.


US calls for probe into Ethiopia ethnic clashes

Addis Ababa – The United States on Tuesday urged Ethiopia to investigate deadly clashes between two of the country’s major ethnic groups that have caused tens of thousands to flee.

Fighting broke out in recent weeks along the border between the Oromia and Somali regions, which Oromia president Lemma Megersa said earlier this week led to “brutal killings” and the displacement of 50 000 people.

Details of what started the fighting remain unclear, but the US embassy in the capital Addis Ababa said it had received “troubling reports of ethnic violence and the large-scale displacement of people”.

“We urge the Ethiopian government to conduct a transparent investigation into all allegations of violence and to hold those responsible accountable,” the embassy said in a statement.

Read more »

Hundreds’ dead, thousands displaced in Ethiopia ethnic clashes (AFP)
Deadly Ethnic Clashes Hit Ethiopia (BBC)
55,000 people displaced amid ethnic clashes (AP)
Ethiopia sending troops to region of deadly ethnic clashes (AP)

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DC Ethiopian Community Center Hosts Citizenship Workshop

(Photo: Ethiopian Community Center, Inc. (ECC) in Washington, DC)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

September 18th, 2017

Washington, DC (TADIAS) — The Ethiopian Community Center in Washington, D.C. is hosting a timely event this coming weekend for qualified individuals to start their citizenship application process.

The organization announced that it will hold “a free citizenship workshop and application assistance for eligible permanent residents” on Saturday, September 23rd at Edna Cromwell-Frazier Community Room.

The workshop is being arranged in collaboration with the DC Affordable Law Firm, a non-profit “low bono” firm that provides affordable legal services to DC residents.

ECC also states that “immigration lawyers, paralegals and interpreters will be available to provide free services.”

If You Go:
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Edna Cromwell-Frazier Community Room
1400 14th Street, NW
(corner of 14th and U Streets, NW)
Washington DC
Please bring all your immigration documents and court papers.

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In Pictures: Antu Yacob Performs “In the Gray” at United Solo Theatre Festival

Antu Yacob performing her one-person show, In the Gray, at the United Solo Theatre festival in New York City on September 17th, 2017. (Photo: Kidane Mariam for Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: September 18th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Antu Yacob’s Ethio-American play “In the Gray” was featured at the 2017 United Solo Theatre festival in New York City this past Sunday. Antu was the first Ethiopian American to have a play staged at the festival, which is the largest solo theatre festival in the world.

The 75-minutes storytelling and performance art narrates Antu’s personal experience while growing up in the United States as she forms and re-negotiates her Ethiopian-American identity first as a teenager and later an adult pursuing a career in the theatre and film industry. In the Gray features Antu playing several engaging characters including herself, her 8-year-old son, as well as her muslim and Oromo activist mother who lives in Minnesota.

In the Gray is directed by Celestine Rae with lighting & set design by Matthew Fick, show image by Anthony Artis and executive produced by Tadias Magazine.

Below are photos taken during a tech rehearsal prior to the show as well as following the performance:

“It’s hard to put Antu into words. It’s even harder to put her in a box,” stated the show’s announcement. “Quirky, awkward, sometimes hot, sometimes lukewarm, this Ethiopian American woman, actor, daughter and mother explores her experience of being an outsider from deep within.”

Watch: Clips from Antu Yacob’s play “In the Gray” taped during tech rehearsal on 9/17/2017 (TADIAS)

Antu, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Rutgers University in New Jersey, grew up in San Francisco and Minnesota. Her acting career includes roles in NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and the recently released Netflix series Gypsy. She played lead roles in the films Eminent Domain (DeepFreeze Media) and Walking In Circles (NYU Film/Elegance Bratton) as well as supporting roles in Conjure (TerraLuke Media) and Fine Art (Shannon Ousley/Zoe Munlyn). Her play entitled Mourning Sun, set in Ethiopia and New York, was performed at the West End Theatre in Manhattan in 2015 and at the 2016 Kampala International Theatre Festival in Uganda last Winter.

The film Conjure, which she produced and acted in premiered at the 2017 Hip Hop Film Festival in August and won several awards including the Vanguard award (writer and director Adrian Luke Sinclair) and Best Supporting Actor award (Charles Richard Barboza). Likewise the Netflix series Gypsy in which Antu makes a guest star appearance as Sasha Knolls is currently playing.

Regarding In the Gray Antu says: “I knew that I wanted to write about my experience not only as an actor, but also as an Ethio-American professional in the entertainment industry. It’s a point of view that I don’t see reflected in mainstream media, but it is something that I live with.”

In the Gray: A One Person Ethio-American Show by Playwright Antu Yacob

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The World Loves Ethiopian Pop Star Teddy Afro. His Own Government Doesn’t.

Teddy Afro at his home in Addis Ababa. (Mulugeta Ayene/Associated Press)

The Washington Post

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Monday marked the first day of the new Ethiopian year, but it hasn’t been much of a holiday for Teddy Afro, the country’s biggest pop star.

First, the government informed him that his New Year’s concert was canceled. Then, on Sept. 3, police broke up the launch party for his successful new album, “Ethiopia,” in the middle of the sound check at the Hilton Hotel, claiming Teddy hadn’t received permission to hold the event.

“Asking for a permission to organize an album launch is like asking a permit for a wedding or birthday party,” Teddy wrote on his Facebook page. “This is unprecedented and has never been done before because it is unconstitutional.”

But government disapproval certainly isn’t anything new for Teddy: This year was his third straight aborted New Year’s concert. And even as “Ethiopia,” which briefly hit No. 1 on Billboard’s world music chart, could be purchased or heard on virtually every street corner in the capital of Addis Ababa after its May release, Teddy’s songs were nowhere to be found on state radio and TV. An interview with a public TV network was even canceled at the last minute, prompting the resignation of the journalist involved.

At first glance, there seems to be nothing controversial about Teddy Afro, born Tewodros Kassahun, and his traditionally influenced pop songs about love, unity and the glory of Ethiopia. His tunes have earned him a rapturous audience both at home and among the vast Ethiopian diaspora.

If anything, Teddy is quite the patriot. He’s just the wrong kind of patriot.

Teddy’s music has increasingly focused on extended history lessons glorifying Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, who was overthrown by a communist coup in 1974, as well as the great kings of the 19th century. The title track of his 2012 album, “Tikur Sew,” for example, celebrated Emperor Menelik II and his defeat of Italian troops invading Ethiopia in 1896 — complete with a music video that was practically a war movie.

Read more at The Washington Post »

Teddy Afro’s ‘Ethiopia’ Album Launch Blocked, Pop Star Says It’s ‘Ridiculous’
Ethiopia Teddy Afro New Year Concert Cancelled for 3rd Time (Music in Africa)
Teddy Afro ‘Grateful for the Love’ After New CD Ethiopia Ranks No. 1 on Billboard
Ethiopia’s star singer Teddy Afro makes plea for openness (AP)

Watch: Teddy Afro Rocks New York’s SummerStage and B.B. King Blues Club — 2014 (TADIAS Video)

Photos: Teddy Afro at SummerStage 2014 Festival in New York

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Ethiopia Film ‘Breathe in the Roots’ Director Interview

Tsedey Aragie interviewing filmmaker Indrias G. Kassaye. (Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

September 15th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Last month we featured the D.C. premiere of Breathe in the Roots, a new film by Director and Producer Indrias G. Kassaye that features a young Brooklyn-based African American teacher’s journey of discovery to Ethiopia.

Indrias Kassaye is a writer, photographer, and producer who “believes in the importance of storytelling that champions the voices and experiences of local communities and everyday people.” After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Indrias moved back to Ethiopia with dreams of contributing to the development of his country and the African renaissance in general.” In his latest film Indrias tracks Ty Christen Joseph’s (Chris) “journey from Addis Ababa to Lalibela, one of Ethiopia’s holiest pilgrimage sites, on horseback – documenting his once-in-a-lifetime experience and showcasing a side of Ethiopia that mainstream media rarely covers.”

Tadias caught up with Indrias, Chris and some audience members following the Washington, D.C. screening at the Anacostia Arts Center.

Watch Video:

The Anacostia Art Center screening was the first of a series of screenings, photo exhibitions and discussion sessions in the DMV area.

The next event entitled “Filmmaker Shop Talk” is scheduled for Saturday, September 16th at Gateway Media Art Center in Mount Rainier, Maryland, followed by a screeening at Busboys and Poets in Hysattsville, MD on October 17th.

In addition, Port Of Harlem magazine is organizing a showing of ‘Breathe in the Roots’ at Alexandria Black History Museum in Virginia on October 26th.

(Courtesy photos)

Watch: Breathe in the Roots trailer (A film Directed & Produced by Indrias G. Kassaye)

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Ethiopian Restaurants Foster Community in Silver Spring (Associated Press)

(Photo: Annual Ethiopian Festival in Silver Spring/Ethiopian Community Center in Maryland)

Associated Press

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Beginning in the mid-1970s, war and political turbulence led a large number of Ethiopians to flee their home country. Many of these emigrants came to the United States, with a particularly high number settling in the Washington region.

Thanks to a welcoming environment and local educational institutions, as well as legislation over the decades that eased immigrant entry into the United States, many Ethiopians were eager and able to stay in the area and put down roots.

“This area became a hub for Ethiopians,” Dr. Getachew Metaferia, an Ethiopian native and professor of political science at Morgan State University, told Capital News Service. “They contributed to the dynamics of multiculturalism.”

As this community has grown, it has infused within local neighborhoods vestiges of native Ethiopian culture, from music to language to art. Montgomery County even has a sister city in Ethiopia, the ancient former royal city of Gondar.

Perhaps the most prominent contribution of Ethiopian immigrants to the Washington area, though, has been food.

“A night out at an Ethiopian restaurant is as much a tradition here as an outing to a deep-dish pizzeria might be in Chicago,” Jessica Sidman wrote in Washingtonian magazine in January.

Today, Ethiopian communities – and thus, restaurants – have spread from their traditional neighborhoods within the District of Columbia (Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights and, more recently, Shaw) to several of Washington’s suburbs, most notably Silver Spring.

Read more »

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Deadly Ethnic Clashes Hit Ethiopia — BBC

Latest: 55,000 people displaced amid ethnic clashes -- AP. (Photo:

BBC News

Updated: 15 September 2017

What is behind clashes in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions?

Dozens of people are reported to have died in clashes across Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions in recent days.

According to Adisu Arega, Oromia government’s spokesperson, 18 people have been killed.

Twelve of those victims are ethnic Somalis, Mr Adisu told the BBC.

The figures are however disputed by the Somali regional government, which says that more than 30 ethnic Somalis have been killed in the Oromia town of Awaday.

The clashes have displaced at least 30,000 people, some of whom have taken refuge in makeshift camps at a stadium in the eastern city of Harar, whilst others are camping at police stations.

Local administrators have now asked aid agencies operating in the area to provide humanitarian assistance.

Read more »

Ethiopia sending troops to region of deadly ethnic clashes (AP)

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2017 Bikila Award Recipients Announced

The 4th annual Bikila Award ceremony takes place in Toronto, Canada on Sept. 23, 2017. (Bikila Award Org)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

September 11th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This year’s Bikila Award recipients include musician and composer Mulatu Astatke who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Miruts Yifter, one of the greatest middle distance runners of all-time who died last year at the age of 72, will be recognized posthumously with the Professional Excellence Award “for his distinguished and legendary achievement in long distance running and as a world class athlete, double Olympic Gold winner and Ethiopian hero.”

The annual award ceremony and dinner, which takes place every September in Toronto, Canada, is named for the iconic marathon Olympian Abebe Bikila who captured the world’s imagination on September 10th, 1960 when he stormed the Rome Olympics barefoot becoming the first African to win an Olympic gold and setting a world record.

Organizers note that the Bikila Award “is created mainly to empower young people to reach their highest potential and to celebrate their achievements with the 2017 Academic Excellence and Scholarship Award given to students Wudassie Tamrat, Yonas Nigussie, Sarah Edo and Dagmawit Aberham.

In addition, Bikila Award, Inc. states that it will honor Dr. Edemariam Tsega and Dr. Frances Lester Tsega with the Professional Excellence Award for their “distinguished achievement as compassionate and dedicated physicians, and for playing a key leadership role in advancing medical care and education in Ethiopia and Canada.” The 2017 event will also recognize Dr. Enawgaw Mehari with the Community Service Excellence Award “for his philanthropic contributions in founding People to People (P2P) as a dedicated practicing physician, and for improving healthcare awareness and education,” as well as Dr. Fitsum Tariku who will be given the Professional Excellence Award “for his distinguished achievement as a scholar and researcher in building engineering, whole-building performance analysis and hygrothermal modeling.”

Photos from past Bikila Award Ceremonies:

Previous winners of the Bikila award include Ethiopian-Canadian pop music superstar Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) as well as Dr. Taffara Deguefe and the Pankhurst Family who were honored last year with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. (Courtesy photographs)

The keynote address this year will be delivered by Ted Alemayhu, Founder and Executive Chairman of US Doctors for Africa (USDFA), while the honorary guest speaker is Professor Suzanne Akbari who is the Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Professor Akbari has played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Ethiopic studies program at the University of Toronto, the first of its kind in North America.

Entertainment will be provided by Barnes/Woldemichael Ethio Jazz Quartet.

If You Go:
The 2017 Bikila Award Celebration and Dinner
September 23rd, 2017
At Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street East
Toronto, Canada

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Spotlight: Yohannes Sisters From Ethiopia Showcase During NY Fashion Week

(Courtesy of The Yohannes Sister's Couture)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

September 8th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – It’s fashion week in New York City and the Yohannes Sisters are here from Ethiopia to showcase their emerging brand this weekend at PLITZS New York City Fashion Week that will be held at Hotel Pennsylvania on Saturday, September 9th.

With designs labeled as Lioness Arising and Enat the talented siblings, Lily and Zeze Yohannes, who are based in Addis Ababa combine traditional Ethiopian design and fabric with Western aesthetics to create their own original style. As the fashion website Style Cartel points out: “by threading love into every nook and cranny, their designs are nothing less than majestic, empowering, and personally yours.”

(Photo: PLITZS New York City Fashion Week)

The Yohannes Sisters in New York. (Photo: Instagram)

The Lioness Arising collection symbolizes the “Ethiopian woman that broke barriers and was confident to be herself,” Lily Yohannes told Style Cartel during the 2014 Hub of Africa Fashion Week. “And the second [collection] is called “Enat” which means “mother” in Amharic, and we were honoring moms. I know moms are special, but Ethiopian moms specifically have been through so much. So this was our way of honoring them. That’s why we were basically using traditional materials to represent the Ethiopian woman.”

If You Go:
PLITZS New York City Fashion Week
Hotel Venue – New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania
Sat, September 9, 2017
7:00 PM
401 Seventh Avenue & 33rd Street
18th Floor Grand Ballroom
New York, NY
Click here for more info

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Tebabu Assefa, Sara Mussie Brief Congress on Benefit Corp for Africa

Tebabu Assefa and Sara Mussie. (Photo: Maryland State Arts Council)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: September 10th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) – The husband and wife team of Tebabu Assefa and Sara Mussie who are owners of Blessed Coffee — one of America’s first Benefit Corporations — are scheduled to brief Congress this week on their Maryland-based socially responsible and grassroots business model that can be used to improve business-to-business and people-to-people relations with Africa.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8) and the founders of US-Africa Diaspora Business Council (US-ADBC) are hosting the Congressional Briefing, which is “organized to present the Benefit Corporation for Africa Initiative (BCAI) to policy makers, the African Diplomatic Group, international development organizations, U.S. & U.S.-African Diaspora business leaders and the media,” the press release said. “In 2010, Maryland became the first state to pass legislation enabling businesses to register as Benefit Corporations, a new class of corporation that is explicitly formed to create a positive material impact on society and the environment. Congressman Raskin, then the MD State Senator, authored the legislation. To date, more than 31 states, including New York and California, have enacted similar legislation.”

Tebabu and Sara’s venture, which we featured here exactly six years ago this month, was founded in 2011 and is the nation’s second Benefit Corporation. Blessed Coffee (BC) is “based on a farmer to your cup direct market link that is geared towards development in coffee growing regions in Ethiopia, as well as in communities in the U.S. where the coffee is sold. As such, BC offers investment and profit sharing partnership to 323,000 coffee farmers in Ethiopia (representing over 1.5 million families), organized under a small coffee famers cooperative union,” the briefing announcement said.

This past Spring Tebabu and Sara’s work were also praised by US Senator Ben Cardin during the US Senate Foreign Relation Committee Hearing on Private Sector Engagement in International Development held on May 7th, 2017. In a 2016 interview with Bethesda Magazine, Congressman Raskin noted, “Blessed Coffee embodies everything a Benefit Corporation strives to be…It is a totally locally rooted business with an international conscientiousness devoted to community, but also devoted to the excellence of its product.”

The upcoming Congressional briefing announcement adds: “Tebabu and Sara titled and branded their dynamic social business as Virtuous Exchange (VE) – better than Fair Trade. US-African immigrant communities have massive untapped human and financial resources to positively impact social and economic development in Africa. Tebabu & Sara’s core conviction is that VE can leverage the power of Benefit Corporations and social businesses to achieve economic, social and environmental development in Africa and the U.S.”

Tebabu and Sara have received several awards, including the 2012 “Champions of Change” honor from the Obama administration, several Congressional citations from members of the U.S. Congress, the 2017 Green Business Award from Bethesda Magazine and the 2014 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from StartUpAfrica.

If You Go:
12:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, Rayburn HOB, Room S 215, 45 Independence Ave, SW Washington DC

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On Facebook Obama Blasts Trump’s ‘Cruel’ Immigration Decision

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday blasted Trump's decision to end an immigration program that protected 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation as 'cruel' and 'self-defeating.' (Getty)

Barack Obama Facebook Page


Immigration can be a controversial topic. We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.

But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about. This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license…

To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love.

And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?

Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question.

It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.

Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.

Click here to read the full statement »

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Spotlight: Antu Yacob’s Ethio-American Play “In the Gray” in NYC

Antu Yacob will perform her one-person Ethiopian-American play "In the Gray" on September 17th, 2017 at the annual United Solo theatre festival in New York City. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

September 4th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This month Antu Yacob will become the first Ethiopian American to have a play staged at the United Solo Theatre festival in New York City when she performs her one-person show, In the Gray, on September 17th at the largest solo theatre festival in the world.

The 75-minutes storytelling and performance art narrates Antu’s personal experience while growing up in the United States as she forms and re-negotiates her Ethio-American identity first as a teenager and later an adult pursuing a career in the theatre and film industry. In the Gray features Antu playing several engaging characters including herself, her 8-year-old son, as well as her muslim and Oromo activist mother who lives in Minnesota.

“I constantly have this experience of being between two cultures,” Antu told Tadias. “That’s why I call it In The Gray, because a lot of things are not black and white for me.” Antu says she tries “to experiment with social and political activism in an entertaining way.”

In the Gray is directed by Celestine Rae with lighting & set design by Matthew Fick, show image by Anthony Artis and executive produced by Tadias Magazine.

Antu was invited as a guest speaker to play excerpts from an edited version of the show this Summer at the Ethiopian Heritage and Culture Camp in Harrisonburg, Virginia where she led a theatre workshop for the children. “I was very happy with the feedback,” shared the Ethiopia-born actress and playwright who immigrated to the U.S. when she was five years old. “It was well received both by the kids and their parents.” In addition, Antu was also one of the panelists at this year’s “Empowering the Community Weekend” event run by the Helen Show in D.C. on August 26th.

“It’s hard to put Antu into words. It’s even harder to put her in a box,” states the show’s announcement. “Quirky, awkward, sometimes hot, sometimes lukewarm, this Ethiopian American woman, actor, daughter and mother explores her experience of being an outsider from deep within.”

Watch: In The Gray by Antu Yacob Preview Video

Antu, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Rutgers University in New Jersey, grew up in San Francisco and Minnesota. Her acting career includes roles in NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and the recently released Netflix series Gypsy. She played lead roles in the films Eminent Domain (DeepFreeze Media) and Walking In Circles (NYU Film/Elegance Bratton) as well as supporting roles in Conjure (TerraLuke Media) and Fine Art (Shannon Ousley/Zoe Munlyn). Her play entitled Mourning Sun, set in Ethiopia and New York, was performed at the West End Theatre in Manhattan in 2015 and at the 2016 Kampala International Theatre Festival in Uganda last Winter.

The film Conjure, which she produced and acted in premiered at the 2017 Hip Hop Film Festival in August and won several awards including the Vanguard award (writer and director Adrian Luke Sinclair) and Best Supporting Actor award (Charles Richard Barboza). Likewise the Netflix series Gypsy in which Antu makes a guest star appearance as Sasha Knolls is released and currently on.

Regarding In the Gray Antu says: “I knew that I wanted to write about my experience not only as an actor, but also as an Ethio-American professional in the entertainment industry. It’s a point of view that I don’t see reflected in mainstream media, but it is something that I live with.”

If You Go

Performed by Antu Yacob, ETHIOPIA
Sun 9/17 2:00pm
drama, comedy, storytelling, movement, performance art, 75 min.

All shows are staged at Theatre Row: 410 West 42nd Street, New York City. TICKETS, with a price of $35 (plus a $2.25 Theatre Restoration Charge) are available at the Theatre Row Box Office and online through Telecharge at You may also call Telecharge at 212-239-6200. When placing your reservation, please provide: the FESTIVAL name (United Solo Theatre Festival), the name of THEATRE (Theatre Row – The Studio Theatre), and the specific DAY and TIME of SHOW you would like to see.

Click here to buy tickets

In the Gray: A One Person Ethio-American Show by Playwright Antu Yacob

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