Author Archive for Tadias

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
www.wegene.org

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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 www.manaleinternational.com.

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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)

HRW

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 »


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

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

(Photos: International Association of Athletics Federations)

IAAF

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 »


Related:
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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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.

Read more »


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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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U.S. Senators Inhofe & Enzi Visit Ethiopia

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

CNBCAfrica

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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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)

AFP

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.

Read more »


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

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After a Young Couple Was Killed, Alleged Gunman Fled to Ethiopia. He May Never Face Trial. (The Washington Post)

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

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.

Read more »


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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.

Read more »


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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.

Read more »


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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)

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.

Read more »


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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: abellaeke.com)

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.’

Read more »

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 »


Related:
“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)

LetsRun.com

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.

Read more »


Related:
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.


Related:
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)

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.

Read more »


Related:
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)

Newsweek

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.

Read more »


Related:
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.


Related:
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 http://www.deboband.com/shows

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 »

Related
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.

Read more »


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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.”


Related:
2017 WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – WOMEN’S NOMINEES

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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.

Read more »

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.”

Read more »


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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:

1. ADAMA PARIS – SENEGAL
2. ANYANGO MPINGA – KENYA
3. ARNOLD MURITHI – KENYA
4. AYNI’S DESIGN – ETHIOPIA
5. EDEN ASBEHA – ETHIOPIA
6. EJIG TIBEB – ETHIOPIA
7. FETEL DESIGN – ETHIOPIA
8. LALI – ETHIOPIA
9. MAFI – ETHIOPIA
10. MUSTAFA HANSANNIL – TANZANIA
11. PALESA MOKUBUNG – SOUTH AFRICA
12. RATATOUILLE – ETHIOPIA
13. REPUBLIC OF LEATHER – ETHIOPIA
14. ROOI – NIGERIA
15. RUSSEL SOLOMON – NIGERIA
16. SAMRA WORLD CLASS LUXURY LEATHER – ETHIOPIA
17. TG’SH – ETHIOPIA
18. YE’FIKER – ETHIOPIA
19. YOHANNES SISTERS COUTURE – ETHIOPIA
20. YORDI – ETHIOPIA
21. ZAAF – ETHIOPIA

PARTICIPATING DESIGNERS PRESENTATION

1. AACHERA – KENYA
2. AIDICHO – ETHIOPIA
3. ENZI – ETHIOPIA
4. EYERUSALEM ABERRA – ETHIOPIA
5. FALONE RUSAMAZA – RWANDA
6. KOMATRE DESIGN – ETHIOPIA
7. MENABE JEWLERY – ETHIOPIA
8. NEEMA – KENYA
9. NIGISTI – ETHIOPIA
10. PARSHYGIAN JEWLERY – ETHIOPIA
11. ROOTS IN STYLE – ETHIOPIA
12. TIYAA – ETHIOPIA
13. YE’TSEDEY – ETHIOPIA
14. ZIM TIBEB – ETHIOPIA


If You Go:
More info at www.hubfashionweekafrica.com.

Related:
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
www.lambadinamovie.com

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.”


Related:
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
www.moma.org

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.”


Related:
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)

Metroweekly

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 Metroweekly.com »


Related:
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.

Read more »


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.

Read more »


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.)


Related:
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.

AFP

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 »


Related:
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.
www.EthiopianCommunityDC.org


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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.”


Related:
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 »


Related:
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)


Related:
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: Wikimedia.org)

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 »


Related:
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
www.bikilaaward.org

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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:
CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING FOR BENEFIT CORPORATION FOR AFRICA INITIATIVE
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

Excerpts

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
IN THE GRAY BUY TICKETS

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 www.telecharge.com. 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

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

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US Africa Policy Braintrust is Back

U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass of California is organizer of Africa Braintrust 2017.

Press release

Rep. Karen Bass

Africa Braintrust 2017: Renewing our Commitment and Engagement with Africa

U.S. policy toward Africa is at a crossroads. An Assistant Secretary for African Affairs has yet to be appointed and the budget put forward by the White House has called for deep cuts to the Department of State and USAID. Many across Africa are asking if this signals a shift away from Africa. Given the long history of US-Africa relations, this is a good time to illustrate our continuing commitment to engaging with African nations.

The Seventh Annual Africa Braintrust will explore the various ways the United States can renew our commitment and engagement across Africa via panels, issue-specific discussions and featured speakers by noted African and Diaspora academics, members of civil society, and members of the private sector who are each experts in their respective fields.

Issue Focuses:

  • Security and Insecurity
  • Encouraging prosperity across Africa
  • Ways to partner with African nations
  • Keynote Speakers and Panelists to follow.


    If You Go:
    Fri, September 22, 2017
    9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EDT
    Walter E. Washington Convention Center
    801 Mount Vernon Place Northwest
    Room 207 B
    Washington, DC 20001
    Click here to RSVP

    Related:
    United States to Give Ethiopia $91 Million in Drought Aid for Food & Medicine (The Washington Post)

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  • US Gives Ethiopia $91M in Drought Aid

    Women carry water back to their homes in drought-hit Aydora, Ethiopia. The country is facing its third straight year of drought. (Photo: Aida Muluneh for The Washington Post)

    The Washington Post

    United States to Give Ethiopia $91 Million in Drought Aid for Food and Medicine

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The United States will provide an additional $91 million in humanitarian aid for Ethiopia to cope with a third straight year of drought, the top U.S. official in charge of assistance said Thursday.

    The extra funding brings U.S. aid for food and medical care in Ethiopia to $454 million this year, said Mark Green, the new administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. An extra $210 million in U.S. aid has gone to development projects.

    Green announced the additional aid after he met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. In a statement that he read to reporters, Green said he had also urged the Ethiopian leader to take “concrete steps to create political space for all voices to be heard and to uphold constitutional and guaranteed rights.”

    In August, Ethi­o­pia lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after deadly clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters who were alleging human rights abuses and political cronyism.

    “What I said to him is, ‘We look at what countries need around the world to strengthen their ability to deliver for their people,’ ” Green told reporters later.

    “Responsive governance, and a place for people to come together from different points of view and to share ideas openly and publicly, history shows is vitally important,” he said. “Our view is the government should continue to foster that, and do more and more.”

    According to USAID spokesman Clayton McCleskey, Green told Desalegn he was concerned that conditions were deteriorating for people affected by the drought and encouraged the government to “show greater leadership and invest more resources to combat a worsening humanitarian crisis.”

    Green, on his first trip abroad since starting the job three weeks ago, is in Ethiopia to highlight U.S. efforts to help impoverished countries emerge from crises such as drought and famine, and to be better prepared to weather future setbacks.

    Read more »


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    In LA, Little Ethiopia Fest to Honor ‘Dir Biyaber’ Mutual Assistance Association

    The 2017 Little Ethiopia Cultural Street Festival in Los Angeles will be held on Sunday, September 10th. (Tadias)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: September 2nd, 2017

    Los Angeles (TADIAS) – Since 2002 when the city of Los Angeles officially designated the neighborhood on Fairfax Avenue between Olympic and Pico Boulevard to be recognized as “Little Ethiopia” — making it the first street in the United States to be named after an African nation — the Ethiopian American community has been hosting a popular outdoor festival every second Sunday of each September to celebrate Enkutatash.

    This year the festival will honor the local Edir named Dir Biyaber Mutual Assistance Association, which has a membership of 2,000 families and representing over 10,000 individuals.

    “This organization has done a great service in our community,” says Nikki Legesse of the Little Ethiopia Cultural and Resource Center, adding: “they are going to be the keynote speakers and they will be recognized by various dignitaries at the festival.”


    The Little Ethiopia neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. (Photograph: Little Ethiopia Business Association)


    (Photos: TADIAS)

    According to the 2017 festival announcement: “Dir Biyaber Edir Mutual Assistance Association, was established on September 1, 2014 for the purpose of providing monetary assistance for funeral expenses. The association acts like a low-cost funeral insurance service for its members here in the U.S. The members pool their money to cover the high cost of burying loved ones. Members pay a one-time membership fee and a minimum affordable monthly amount, so that the emotional struggle of losing a family member is not compounded by financial difficulties. Continuing the Ethiopian cultural tradition of Edir, the association encourages its members to attend services to comfort and support the families in times of emergencies.”

    The Little Ethiopia Street Festival and Enkutatash celebration takes place on Sunday, September 10th and as always features live music, food, vendors, and a cultural dance performance. Invited guests include city officials and other dignitaries.


    If You Go:
    The 2017 Annual Little Ethiopia Street Festival
    Sunday, September 10th, 2017
    Fairfax Avenue (Between Olympic & Whitworth)
    Los Angeles, California
    For more info call: 323.360.4431 or 310.877.3530
    www.littleethio.com

    Related:
    Mayor of San Jose to Attend Enkutatash
    Ethiopia Fest Chicago 2017 Ready for Enkutatash Celebration

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    Tariku Shiferaw’s First International Solo Exhibition at Addis Fine Art London

    Tariku Shiferaw. (Photo via Anthony Philip Fine Art)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    August 28th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Tariku Shiferaw will hold his first international solo exhibition at Addis Fine Art’s London project space from September 14th to October 8th, 2017. The exhibition entitled Erase Me is also the gallery’s inaugural show at their London location.

    Tariku’s latest body of work “interrogates the concept of mark-making both physically and metaphysically,” states Addis Fine Art’s announcement. “Using titles of songs from Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz, Blues, and Reggae music, these paintings embody both the experiences and struggles expressed through music by Black artists…In appropriating song titles as painting titles, the work automatically inherits the references, identities, and the history portrayed through the songs.

    Tadias profiled the Ethiopian-born, LA-raised and New York-based emerging artist last year focusing on his collection of paintings that he described as featuring “contradictions, glitches, interruptions, and disagreements in a system.” In addition, this past Spring Tariku’s work was part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial, an influential annual exhibition held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City that’s considered the leading contemporary art show in the world.

    Addis Fine Art gallery shares that in Tariku’s upcoming display “every song used to title paintings tells a story that refers to a certain reality. The work becomes a reference of a reference, much like a signifier to another symbol. This creates repetitive patterns both aesthetically and conceptually. Subtle, yet intricate works that overtake a space with authority, these paintings are placeholders for Black bodies, creating a literal way of being “seen” in a society that does not often see the “other.”

    ABOUT TARIKU SHIFERAW


    Tariku Shiferaw. (Instagram)

    Tariku Shiferaw (b.1983) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work deals with mark-making in ways that addresses both the physical and the metaphysical spaces of painting and societal structures. At the age of nine, he moved to Nairobi, Kenya with his family and shortly after immigrated to the U.S. He spent the latter part of his childhood in Los Angeles, California. He studied for his bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA) at the University of Southern California (USC) in 2007 and later attained his MFA at Parsons The New School for Design in 2015. Shiferaw has exhibited throughout New York and Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include The 2017 Whitney Biennial as part of Occupy Museums’ Debtfair project (New York, 2017); Hard Cry, Lubov (New York, 2017); Life Sized, Anthony Philip Fine Art (Brooklyn, 2016); Introduction 2016, Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn, 2016); The LA Art Show, Werd Gallery (Los Angeles, 2016); ATAVAST, Roomservice/Standard Practice (Brooklyn, 2015); New Work New York, 1st MFA Biennial Presented by St. Nicks Alliance & Arts@Renaissance (Brooklyn, 2015).


    If You Go:
    Addis Fine Art Project Space
    Tafeta, 47 – 50 Margaret Street
    London, W1W 8SB, UK
    Tel: +44 7931557544
    hello@addisfineart.com

    Exhibition Hours:
    14 Sept: Opening Reception (6-8pm)
    16 Sept: Artists Talk with Sharon Obuobi (2-4pm)
    17 Sept – 8 Oct: Mon to Sat 11am-6pm
    Admission: Free
    www.addisfineart.com

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    Ethiopia: What Obama’s Record Breaking Mandela Tweet Tells Us About the World

    Twitter has announced that Obama's tweet quoting Mandela after Charlottesville is "the most-liked ever." (Photos: Twitter)

    The Conversation

    What is it about former US President Barack Obama’s record-setting tweet – it has already surpassed 1.6 million retweets and 4.5 million “likes” – that has captured the imagination of the world?

    In the tweet Obama quoted Nelson Mandela:

    No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion … People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love … For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

    Judging by the replies and comments, the tweet seems to have offered some respite to the rapid depletion in social morale in the US after the recent Charlottesville violence. White supremacists gathered in the Virginia town for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 to protest against plans to remove the statue of the Confederacy general, Robert E Lee. The violent extremists chanted racist and pro-Nazi slogans.

    One of them, James Fields (20), allegedly rammed a car into anti-fascist demonstrators, killing activist, Heather Heyer (32).

    Then came the current US President Donald Trump’s press statement that effectively legitimised the racism as perpetuated by the rightwingers.

    Why did the Mandela words resonate now?

    Obama’s stroke of genius

    Amid incredulous scenes of flagrant neo-Nazism – incredulous, that is, in an era of progressive human rights – and the inevitable and necessary protest against the rally, the words of Nelson Mandela resounded with a gentle wisdom and a kindly warning.

    It was not so much a case of Obama simply not being able to find the correct words to respond to such a loathsome occurrence. After all it’s not uncommon to use someone else’s words or sentiment to make a statement on social media. I too have done this on occasion.

    In this instance, however, the use of Mandela’s words was calculated. Strategically speaking, it was a stroke of genius.

    Articulating the poignant message as a “direct quote” tweet enabled Obama to pass on a discreet message saturated with meaning because of its content and because it was attributed to its originator.

    But, as we have seen on Obama’s timeline, the direct-quote tweet was given added meaning because of who had sent it, and its timing.

    The Nelson Mandela Foundation sent out the same quote as a tweet on 29 July. But it enjoyed just over 1,100 “likes”, 18 replies and 737 retweets. While this is obviously related to the number of followers, the point is that the overwhelming global resonance with the quote via Obama’s twitter timeline, is not simply because of its content, as profound as it is.


    NelsonMandela ✔ @NelsonMandela

    In this case, Obama may have chosen these words precisely because they offered some distance from the political space in America. Had he tweeted a strong and powerful message in his own name or using his own words – which he is clearly skilled at doing – the message may have been regarded as merely playing the opposition card, or indeed, more likely, the race card. Either of these two imaginary readings would inevitably have been shut down either by political loyalists or increasingly courageous racists.

    By using Mandela’s quote as a response to Charlottesville, Obama maintained a sophisticated balancing act, while offering a few poignant messages of his own:

  • America is at risk of legitimising racial hatred in much the same way as South Africa did during apartheid;
  • Far-right conservative politics erodes the natural inclination of the human condition towards compassion;
  • Trump’s views represent irresponsible leadership, and are a veritable seedbed for social hostility.

    Perhaps that is why the echoed words of Mandela caused such an outpouring of support and resonance among twitterati. It said what progressively-minded individuals wanted to say, but simply couldn’t find the words.

    Moral authority

    I think the tweet raises another interesting sociological point about moral authority. In a context in which there is such a deflation of morale – such as the violence in Charlottesville and the blatantly irresponsible responses from Trump – any sound-minded progressive individual might hope, or even pray, for some kind of voice of reason.

    Under normal circumstances, and especially in a predominantly Christian society such as the US, this voice of reason may be found in the Bible. But the right wing rally-goers had traded its life force for a narrative of exclusion that supported their bigotry. Invoking the words of the venerated icon Mandela, then, offered the necessary kind of gravitas or moral weight.

    I can’t help but consider how Mandela’s legacy continues to offer respite to the world, though sometimes in quite different ways. In one case, it is Obama’s political wisdom that prompts him to use the words of Mandela to balance out rising social discontent, and to challenge racial hatred.

    In another case, just under our noses, the African National Congress (ANC) with its increasingly dishonourable political leadership, invokes Mandela’s legacy to balance out rising social discontent about its own moral bankruptcy. Perhaps Mandela too, is, tragically, a man for all seasons.


    The author Caryn Abrahams is Senior lecturer at the School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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  • Mayor of San Jose to Attend Enkutatash

    Mayor Sam Liccardo posed for a photo with Ethiopian American youth group in 2015. (Courtesy of EAC)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    August 25th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — The Mayor of San Jose, California, Sam Liccardo, will join the Ethiopian community for Enkutatash celebration on Saturday Sep 9th.

    Hosted by the Ethiopian American Council the New Year’s party will follow the annual Ethiopian heritage flag raising ceremony at the New City Hall of San José a day earlier supported by the City Council. According to the announcement this event will honor the Ethiopian Nurses Association of California — a non-profit organization that provides health education and awareness to the Ethiopian Community in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. The press release added: “The association will be honored for its many years of service by working with community-based organizations, corporations, and other entities to sponsor health fairs and health education and outreach for the Ethiopian-American community.”


    (The event poster: Courtesy of EAC)

    Organizers say tickets for Enkutatash party with Mayor Liccardo are limited and can be purchased at two locations: Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant (1261 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95126) and Kategna (1663 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95128).

    In addition, the Ethiopian Community Services (ECS) will hold its 13th annual outdoor Enkutatash festival on Sunday, September 10th from 1:00 PM. -7:30 PM at Guadalupe River Park (Arena Green West). ECS says city officials and other dignitaries will also be in attendance along with thousands of Ethiopians & Ethiopian Americans.


    If You Go:
    San Jose New Year’s party (Enkutatash)
    On Saturday Sep 9th, 2017
    Time: 08:30pm
    2500 Masonic Dr San Jose

    Saturday Sep 10th, 2017
    Ethiopian Community Services (ECS) Enkutatash Festival
    Guadalupe River Park (Arena Green West)
    San Jose, CA
    Info@ecssanjose.org or 408-482-6497

    Related
    Ethiopia Fest Chicago 2017 Ready for Enkutatash Celebration

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    Spotlight: New “Deseta Emojis” App on iTunes Celebrate Everything Ethiopian

    (Courtesy of Deseta Design)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    August 25th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — For your next text message you may now include Deseta Emojis to express yourself with Ethiopian humor.

    The digital icons often used to communicate ideas and emotions comes courtesy of Deseta Design. Announcing that its keyboard app contains over 200 small emojis Deseta Design says that the current collection is available for download on the App Store (Android version coming soon). Deseta emojis include icons of injera, buna, jebena and goursha.

    The images “celebrate everything ethiopian in all of its glory,” says Maro Haile, owner of Deseta Design, an NYC-based online creative venture, whom we featured here three years ago highlighting her Ethiopia inspired holiday cards.


    (Image: Courtesy of Deseta Design)

    So how does this cool looking app work?

    According to Deseta Design the emojis work in several ways including “a sticker pack that you can use while you are in iMessages and a keyboard that you can use in multiple messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Viber, and Facebook.

    Deseta Design states: “As messaging apps keep evolving and new platforms keep getting introduced – such as Snapchat, Fitbit – we will continue to release new versions that will work with them as well.”


    Click here to download Deseta Emojis on iTunes.

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    Teddy Afro Concert Cancelled for 3rd Time

    Teddy Afro has been denied a permit for his New Year’s Eve concert in Addis Ababa. (Music in Africa)

    Music in Africa

    Ethiopia Teddy Afro concert cancelled for a third time

    The concert, which was to take place on 10 September at the Addis Ababa’s Millennium Hall, was expected to draw more than 10 000 people. The artist was reportedly to receive $76 980 (1.8 million birr) from organisers of the event Joy Events and Promotion PLC, which sent an application for the concert at the start of July.

    According to the Mayor’s Office, the decision was taken to give space to a different music event said to be affiliated to the ruling party. The Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemarim Desalegn is set to attend this replacement concert.

    The cancellation is third time unlucky for Teddy Afro who was denied a permit for same event in 2015 and again last year. An interview with the artist on state television was abruptly cancelled earlier this year, after which the interviewer resigned. The streak of cancellations has been attributed to some of his politically vocal songs.

    Read more »


    Related:
    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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    Wayna Ethiopian New Year Concert at Joe’s Pub NYC to Honor Bezunesh Bekele

    Joe's Pub in partnership with Tadias Magazine presents a celebration of Ethiopian New Year with Grammy-nominated songstress Wayna and the music of Bezunesh Bekele (Tadias)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    August 21st, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — For the upcoming Ethiopian New Year Wayna will perform at a special midnight concert at Joe’s Pub in New York City, honoring Ethiopian music legend Bezunesh Bekele.

    Wayna who spent a better part of the year performing with Stevie Wonder as a soloist and supporting vocalist, has previously performed at the Kennedy Center, the White House, Lincoln Center, and the Blue Note along with a 3-month performance residency in Ethiopia in 2016. The Ethiopian American Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter started her one-of-a-kind tribute to Bezunesh this summer with a show at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club in Maryland held this past June.

    The late Bezunesh Bekele — who was once dubbed the “First Lady of Addis” and the “Aretha Franklin of Ethiopia” in the 1960′s and 70s — was a popular and one of the most iconic Ethiopian female singers of her generation.

    Below is a Tadias exclusive video from Wayna’s first show paying tribute to Bezunesh Bekele:


    If You Go:
    Wayna at Joe’s Pub
    Friday, September 8 at 12 AM
    Joe’s Pub at The Public
    425 Lafayette St
    New York, New York 10003
    Click here to buy tickets

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    Helen Show Brings Empower the Community Event to DC

    Helen Mesfin of the Helen show on EBS TV. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    August 19th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Helen Mesfin from the popular Helen Show on EBS TV is launching a trailblazing annual event entitled “Empower the Community” in Washington, D.C., combining her broadcast experience with her professional work in the hospitality industry, and creating a space for community members to participate in panel discussions as well as provide resources and information for families. The event is scheduled to be held at the DC Convention Center on Saturday, August 26th, 2017.

    Panel discussion topics include “The Power of Civic Engagement” featuring Menna Demissie, who is Vice President of Policy Analysis & Research at the Congressional Black Caucus; Henock Dory, former White House Policy Advisor for the Obama Administration’s Office of Public Engagement & Intergovernmental Affairs; and Yodit Tewolde, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and legal analyst. Additional speakers include Dr. Senait Fisseha, MD, JD Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Director of International Programs at the Susan T. Buffett Foundation; and Dr. Debrework Zewdie, Distinguished Scholar at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

    “Empower the Community Weekend is a groundbreaking new event that will bring together the largest East African community in the Washington D.C. Metro Area,” Helen says. “The event provides panel discussions, entertainment, empowering information on education, career, arts, finance, health & wellness, giveaways and much more.” She adds: It’s focused on providing resources and family centered activities. We will have various pavilion and activities engaging families with information they need to live productive lives and thrive.”

    Helen says the program will also include kids corner with activities such as “reading time, games, fun exercises, art and a booth by D.C. United Soccer Clinic.


    Empower the Community Weekend will be launched Saturday August 26th, 2017 by the producers of Helen Show on EBS TV. (Courtesy photos)

    Here is a summary of parts of the program on August 26th from 11am-7pm at the Washington Convention Center

    Empower Youth: follow your passion. Actress Azie Tesfay; Director/Producer Messay Getahun; Author Michael Asmerom, and Graphic Designer Heli Amare.

    Business Leaders Panel: Getting To The Top: Strategies for breaking through the glass ceiling with successful Ethiopian American business leaders. Tefere Gebre, Executive VP AFLCIO, Meskerem Tadesse Director of Center for Minority and Business and Professor of Business Administration and 2 more to be announced next week.

    Health & Fitness Pavilion:
    Free health screenings provided by Kaiser Permanente, American Kindy Fund, Silver Spring Smiles & Pearl Smiles Dental – BMI, blood pressure, blood glucose, dental screening, fitness consultants, zumba, resources for families with special needs, giveaways and much more. Partner organizations and sponsors are Kaiser Permanente, American Kidney Fund, Ethiopian American Nurses Association, Silver Spring Smiles & Pearl Smiles as well as Ethiopian American doctors.

    Career Pavilion:
    Hear high energy career motivational speakers. Learn career advancement tips. Participate in informational interviews. Receive mini career coaching. Assess your career aptitudes. Partner organizations include 21st Century Community, YEP – Your Ethiopian Professionals, Alexandria Workforce Development and MBC.

    Finance Pavilion:
    Topics covered include raising money savvy kids, financial responsibility, creating generational wealth, dealing with college debt, getting your credit right, securing your family’s financial future, and home buying 101. Partner organization are Primerica, CLRA group and Your DMV Team.

    Immigration and Legal Issues with Attorney Yemmi Getachew & Hellina Hailu
    Fear NOT, Know Your Rights as Immigrants – 11am
    Surviving the Stop – How to Engage with Law Enforcement 1:00pm
    Teaching Kids & Young Men What to Expect and Know

    Warrior Moms – Special Needs Parenting
    Leah Tesfa, Birollei Debela and Salem Hagos

    Entertainment
    Wayna, Ras Nebiyou, Ethiopian Traditional Band, Abel Dureyew, Comedian Gergish and more.

    Vendors at the event will also be selling various artisan merchandise

    If You Go:
    Saturday August 26
    11am -7pm
    Walter E Washington Convention Center
    801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW
    Washington DC 20001
    www.empowercw.com

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    Spotlight: Indrias Kassaye’s Ethiopia Film ‘Breathe in the Roots’ Screens in DC

    Still shot from the new film 'Breathe in the Roots' by Indrias G. Kassaye. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    August 18th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — This weekend in Washington D.C. Director and Producer Indrias G. Kassaye’s new film Breathe in the Roots will be screened at the Anacostia Arts Center on Saturday, August 19th starting at 4 pm. The documentary features a young Brooklyn-based African American teacher’s journey of discovery to Ethiopia.

    According to the media release, “the ‘work in progress’ screening presents Ty Christen Joseph’s (Chris) quest to discover more about his African ancestral heritage. The film tracks Chris’ journey from Addis Ababa to Lalibela, one of Ethiopia’s holiest pilgrimage sites, on horseback – documenting his once-in-a-lifetime experiences and showcasing a side of Ethiopia that mainstream media rarely covers.”

    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.”

    “Indrias is the author of ‘Beyond the Throne: The Enduring Legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie I’ (Shama, 2001). He has worked with UNICEF in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. He has also worked on media projects in South Sudan, Uganda, Egypt, and South Africa.”


    Breathe in the Roots is about a regular guy engaging with regular people on a journey of discovery that few have attempted before. (Courtesy photo)

    “The film delves into what it means to grow up without knowing where your ancestors came from, and offers one man’s unique path to reclaiming a lost heritage.”


    (Courtesy photo)

    The Anacostia Art Center screening will be the first of a series of screenings, photo exhibitions and discussions sessions across the DMV area.


    If You Go:
    Click here to learn more and RSVP your seat for the DC screening.

    Watch: Breathe in the Roots 3 min sampler (A film Directed & Produced by Indrias G. Kassaye)

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    Ethiopia Fest Chicago 2017 Ready for Enkutatash Celebration

    (Image courtesy: The Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    August 17th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Enkutatash is around the corner and so is the fourth annual Ethiopia Fest Chicago, a colorful September festival in the “Windy City” marking the Ethiopian New Year.

    The Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC), host of the weekend celebration scheduled for September 9th, announced that their holiday gathering this year features live music, food, fashion show, cultural performance and a gursha contest.

    “We are really excited to see Ethiopia Fest continue to grow bigger and better each year,” said Dibora Berhanu, Events Director of the ECAC’s Auxiliary Board. “This year we have all five hours packed with great entertainment and an array of vendors.” She added: “It will be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon [celebrating] the beautiful Ethiopian culture.” The program also includes traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony and poetry reading by up-and-coming artist, Tigist Dadi.

    The non profit organization said it’s expecting up to a thousand people to attend. “This Festival is a wonderful opportunity for Ethiopians in Chicago and other members in the community to engage in festivities to celebrate the New Year,” the press release stated. “The attendees include the Greater Chicago Ethiopian community, adoptive communities, the African and African Diaspora communities, as well as many people who travel from all over the Midwest.”

    The press release notes that the festival organizers have partnered with Ethiopian Airlines and offering a raffle of a round-trip ticket to any Ethiopian Airlines destination in Africa. “We also have many local sponsors including The Wild Hare, New City Moving, The African Life, The Meeting Point, Safari Lounge & Ethiopian Cuisine, Ian Sherwin Gallery, and Selam Ethiopian Kitchen” states the press release.


    If You Go:
    Admission is only $5 and free for children under 5. You can purchase your tickets online or with cash at the door. For more information on Ethiopia Fest Chicago, please visit ethiopiafestchicago.com.

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    Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School Names Yohannes Abraham 2017 Fellow

    Yohannes Abraham served as Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs under President Obama and as Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council. (Courtesy Photo).

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    August 15th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Yohannes Abraham will be a 2017 Fellow at the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School. The prestigious institution announced that Yohannes “will guide students through discussions on how White House staff develop and advocate for policy priorities, advance nominations, and manage crises.”

    “I can’t think of a more important time to invest in the next generation of public servants,” Yohannes shared in a statement. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to join this community as a Fall Fellow.”

    “Yohannes Abraham has not only had a front row seat, but was an active participant in the complex process of shaping national and international policy,” said Cong. Bill Delahunt, Acting Director of the Institute of Politics. “His willingness to share his White House experience with students will provide them a rare first-hand perspective on the challenges of governing.”

    Yohannes served as Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Public Engagement & Intergovernmental Affairs and Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council during the Obama administration. He is currently Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation.

    The press release states Yohannes’ White House experience put him “in the middle of many of the highest profile confirmation, legislative, and communications battles of President Obama’s second term.”

    The announcement notes that “Abraham first began working for then-Senator Obama during his Iowa Caucus campaign in 2007. He went on to serve as Senator Obama’s Virginia Field Director in the 2008 general election, helping turn Virginia blue for the first time in 44 years. During President Obama’s first term, Abraham served in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs during the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and other key pieces of the President’s agenda.”

    The Institute of Politics at Harvard University was established in 1966 in honor John F. Kennedy, America’s youngest president to be elected. According to its website: “Since its founding half a century ago, the Institute has used its programming and activities to ignite passion, appreciation and respect for politics and public service.”

    Yohannes added: ““If there is a subset of students that leave my study group more likely to pursue a career in public service, I will consider my time as a Fellow a success.”

    —-
    Related:
    Yohannes Abraham Named Senior Adviser to the Obama Foundation
    Tadias Interview with Yohannes Abraham

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    Harlem’s Hubert (Black Eagle) Julian Soared to Glory in Ethiopia

    Col. Hubert Julian beside a plane in Le Bourget. (New York Daily News)

    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    From Italy’s standpoint, it was true, Italy had been fairly royally chiseled out of any substantive World War spoils. The Allies had promised the sun and moon and then left Italy with crumbs, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland, nothing but barren desert. Some Roman Empire that was. Well, Italy had Albania, too, but of course Albania was worthless. So it was that Benito Mussolini cast Italian eyes again on the ancient cradle of the Kingdom of Abyssinia. Abyssinia was nothing but barren desert either, so far as that went, but at least there was more of it.

    Italy was still relatively new to the world stage in the 1930s. Until 1870 Italy had been a medieval collection of poor duchies and poorer principalities, and its early attempts to expand across the Mediterranean into Tunis were contemptuously blocked by the older powers. The Italian armies were not particularly sophisticated, in any case: When in 1896 the dictator Francesco Crispi resolved to make a protectorate of Abyssinia, 8,000 Italian soldiers were slaughtered at Adowa by Abyssinians armed with sticks and spears. Great was this sting. Italy had been just mortified ever since.

    Now, in 1935, Mussolini was determined both to avenge the old [Adwa] humiliation and to stake an emperor’s claim at last to Italy’s rightful colonial place in the sun. Now the Roman legions were mechanized, bristling with tanks and warplanes, and all the world knew that Italy would storm defenseless Ethiopia the day the September rains stopped. The great powers did not approve, but the slightest diplomatic misstep could easily mean another world war; now Haile Selassie, Ras Tafari, the Lion of Judah, came before the League of Nations to plead for deliverance, and the great powers all went deaf.

    On Tuesday, the 1st of October, as Europe watched silently, Caproni bombers blasted [Adwa] into rubble and columns of troops poured across the border and destroyed the pathetic war-dancing spearmen who rose up to meet them. The sun had not set before the Italo-Ethiopian War came as well to the hundreds of thousands of Italians and the hundreds of thousands of blacks who sought to live together in the City of New York…

    At this very moment, Col. Hubert Julian, the Black Eagle of Harlem, was in Addis Ababa, and it would have been his most glorious hour if he’d only had an airplane. Trinidad-born Hubert Fauntleroy Julian had been one of Harlem’s most flamboyant figures for years. One of the pioneer black fliers..and he frequently mesmerized citizens by parachuting, crimson-clad, onto 125th St.

    Read the full article at nydailynews.com »


    Related:
    Prevail: New Film in the Making About Ethiopia’s Resistance Against Fascism (TADIAS)

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    Photos: Denver Taste of Ethiopia Festival

    Youth from the Colorado Ethiopian Cultural Dance Group perform traditional Ethiopian dances at the Taste of Ethiopia festival in Denver at Parkfield Lane Park on Aug. 5, 2017. (The Denver Post)

    The Denver Post

    Taste of Ethiopia brings together food, culture and role models in the immigrant community

    Denver isn’t in the dark about Ethiopian food.

    In some cities, Ethiopian cuisines are a niche market for adventurous foodies. But Colorado has become a hub for African-inspired restaurants serving the country’s famous spicy-sour mix of injera bread and stews.

    That why for the last five years, thousands of locals have flocked to the annual Taste of Ethiopia…

    The food isn’t the only thing that draws people to the festival and keeps them coming back. The rich culture does as well.

    “We’re bringing the community and culture to those who have left Ethiopia and it’s our way of passing our heritage to the next generation of kids who are born here in American society,” said. Neb Asfaw. “We want to preserve our heritage and also bring it to the local community.”

    Most important to the festival and the Ethiopian community was to take the time to honor model citizens who are involved with and supporting the immigrant community.

    Investment manager and business owner Mel Tewahade said he moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia 35 years ago with little more than $20 in his pocket.

    “I help people in the community to get acclimated to American way of life and adjusting to cultural differences,” Tewahade said. “Making life easier for newcomers. How should they dress themselves and cut their nails and present themselves to have opportunity in labor market.

    Tewhade said he sees a lack of role models in the black community and is trying to fill that void.

    Read the full article at The Denver Post »


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    Prevail: New Film in the Making About Ethiopia’s Resistance Against Fascism

    The amazing story of Ethiopia's resistance against Fascist Italy's invasion. It's an epic tale of courage, betrayal, faith, love and a proud nation that refused to back down. (Photo from the book Prevail)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: August 14th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — The recent publication entitled Prevail — focusing on rarely told personal stories from Ethiopia’s victory over fascist Italy during World War II — is now being converted into a documentary film. Written by Toronto-based journalist and author, Jeff Pearce, Prevail features profiles of heroes including Jagama Kello, Ambassador Imru Zelleke, Lekelash Bayan, Lorenzo Taezaz, African-American pilot John Robinson and Emperor Haile Selassie.

    “This is our story and unless we tell it no one else is going to do it for us,” says Bereket Kelile of Sacramento, California who is helping to fundraise for the film project. “It was above-the-fold front page news in the New York Times and other big newspapers at the time, but today it’s not a very well known event. The really urgent part is that there are still people alive from that era, so we are kind of racing against the clock to get them on tape. Unfortunately, we have already lost valuable people in recent years such as Jagama Kello and historian Richard Pankhurst.”

    Bereket, who was born and raised in the U.S., first learned about the book after reading the Tadias interview with Jeff Pearce three years ago. He later purchased the book and wrote his own review for the website Medium that led to an introduction and friendship with Pearce.

    “Jeff has done his homework,” Bereket says. “It’s a well-researched book. In addition to narrating the story from the Ethiopian point of view what I like about what Jeff says is that from the non-Ethiopian perspective it’s a story that’s very much relevant even here,” Bereket explains. “It had an impact in this country as well. African-Americans were concerned about it and there were thousands of people in Harlem, for example, lined up to volunteer to fight for Ethiopia.”

    The online fundraising page for the Prevail film project (www.gofundme.com/ethiopiawins) notes some of the few astonishing facts about the war including that “everyone from Gandhi to Trotsky, from Josephine Baker and Langston Hughes to Bertrand Russell and George Bernard Shaw, had an opinion about it; a Broadway play was shut down over it; Marconi, a Fascist, was trying to build a microwave weapon to fight the British because of Ethiopia; about 20,000 Black Americans marched on one day alone over it on August 3, 1935, and there were other massive protests in America and around the world; It inspired a 17-year-old Nelson Mandela.”

    The war was full of atrocities including the massacre of “tens of thousands of Ethiopians over a three-day period, and thousands more taken to concentration camps, where about half of them died.” And finally “it ended with an astonishing rescue against overwhelming odds. A true tale of underdog victory.”

    Bereket shares that their initial goal is to raise $50,000 to cover the interviews that will be conducted in Ethiopia, England and the United States as well as to pay for archival footage.


    Click here to learn more and contribute towards the making of Ethiopia Prevails (a film).

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    Almaz Ayana: Queen of 10,000 Metres

    Almaz Ayana celebrates winning the World Athletics Championships Women's 10000 Metres final in London, August 5, 2017. (Reuters)

    Reuters

    Olympic champion Almaz Ayana Destroys Field to Win 10,000 Metres at World Championships

    Ethiopian Almaz Ayana destroyed the field to win the 10,000 metres at the World Championships on Saturday, finishing around 300 metres clear of her rivals in her first race of an injury-plagued season.

    The Olympic champion began pulling away from the field after 10 laps, sweeping past back markers who were made to look sluggish in comparison.

    She finished in 30:16.32 seconds, well outside the world record she set when she won in Rio last year but still enough to win by an astonishing 46.37 seconds, by far the biggest margin in championship history.

    Ayana’s compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, the former world and Olympic champion, added to her impressive collection of medals when he took the silver with Kenya’s Agnes Tirop in third.

    “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,” Ayana told reporters.

    A repeat of her world record-breaking performance in Rio was never on the cards after a slow, tactical start to the race in which the field crawled around the first lap in 81 seconds.

    But the last two thirds of the race was reminiscent of Ayana’s extraordinary run last year where she also blew away the field.


    Almaz Ayana and Tirunesh Dibaba celebrate after winning gold and silver medals at World Athletics Championships – women’s 10000 metres final – London Stadium, London, Britain – August 5, 2017. (Reuters)

    Read more at Reuters.com »


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    Kelela’s New Song on NY Times Playlist

    Kelela (photo courtesy: Alice Chiche/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

    The New York Times

    By JON PARELES, JON CARAMANICA and GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

    The Playlist: Kelela Wants Answers

    Every Friday, pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and videos — and anything else that strikes them as intriguing. You can listen to this Playlist on Spotify.

    Kelela sings about a potential one-night stand in “LMK,” the single preceding her official debut album, “Take Me Apart,” due Oct. 6, after four years of sporadic releases. “LMK” isn’t a flirtation — it’s a negotiation, close to an ultimatum. Her potential partner can’t expect romance, can’t say the wrong thing and has to “let me know” fast: “I ain’t gonna wait if you hesitate,” she announces. The encounter takes place in the subterranean ambience of a production by Jam City with wavery bass tones, chattery percussion and countless layers of Kelela’s nonchalant voice ricocheting through the haze. “It ain’t that deep,” she shrugs, but it’s not exactly casual, either. JON PARELES

    Read more at NYTimes.com »


    Related:
    Kelela Previews New Album With Potent Hook-Up Anthem ‘LMK’

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    Julie Mehretu’s New Towering Project

    Julie Mehretu was recently inducted in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. ((Photo: NYT)

    The New York Times

    Julie Mehretu, a MacArthur Foundation “genius,” is executing a monumental new commission for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

    Harlem, New York — The artist Julie Mehretu has been flying awfully close to the sun.
    Soaring midair on a mobile platform inside an unused Harlem church, she has been working and reworking two towering paintings taking shape on opposite walls, a monumental commission for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

    For the last 14 months the vaulted neo-Gothic nave has served as Ms. Mehretu’s temporary studio as she executes the most physically demanding, politically charged and collaborative work of her career. Later this month, her paintings will be installed in the museum’s atrium, where they will remain on view for more than three years.

    “These are my most American paintings,” said Ms. Mehretu, 46, running her hand through her crop of dark curls as she contemplated the two radiant and complex canvases, each stretching 27 feet by 32 feet.

    Ms. Mehretu made her first marks on the canvases in the days right after the November election. It was her shock that moved her to rapid action and she said the current “miasma” informed her improvisational language of roiling calligraphic brush strokes and erasures. She is interested in what “gestural abstraction” — her intuitive and personal expression — ”can conjure in this political moment,” she said, adding that the works “are trying to make sense of where we are in our country right now.”

    Read the full article at NYTimes.com »


    Related:
    Julie Mehretu: The Addis Show at Modern Art Museum Gabre Kristos Desta Center

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    Obama Nudging Deval Patrick to Run

    The former governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, would have powerful supporters if he chooses to run for the White House in 2020 including former President Barack Obama and many of his associates. (Politico)

    Politico Magazine

    The former Massachusetts governor would have powerful allies in 2020

    BOSTON — Barack Obama is nudging him to run. His inner circle is actively encouraging it. Obama world’s clear and away 2020 favorite is sitting right here, on the 38th floor of the John Hancock Building, in a nicely decorated office at Bain Capital.

    And Deval Patrick has many thoughts on what he says is Donald Trump’s governing by fear and a dishonest pitch for economic nostalgia, while encouraging a rise in casual racism and ditching any real commitment to civil rights.

    Obama strategist David Axelrod has had several conversations with Patrick about running, and eagerly rattles off the early primary map logic: small-town campaign experience from his 2006 gubernatorial run that will jibe perfectly with Iowa, neighbor-state advantage in New Hampshire and the immediate bloc of votes he’d have as an African-American heading into South Carolina.

    Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close adviser and friend, says that a President Patrick is what “my heart desires.”

    David Simas, Obama’s political director in the White House and now the CEO of his foundation, used to be Patrick’s deputy chief of staff and remains perhaps his biggest fan on the planet.

    Obama himself—who is personally close to Patrick, and counts him among the very small group of people whom he thinks has actual political talent—has privately encouraged him to think about it, among others.

    Obama veterans light up at the mention of Patrick’s name. In self-assurance, style and politics, they see the former Massachusetts governor as a perfect match, the natural continuation of Obama’s legacy.

    “If you were to poll 100 notable Obama alumni, the only two people who would win that 2020 straw poll right now are [Joe] Biden and Patrick,” said one former senior White House aide.

    Among operatives, “the center of gravity would really shift in his direction in Obama world if he were to decide to run,” said another former top Obama White House official.

    Click here to listen to the interview with Deval Patrick on POLITICO’s Off Message podcast »


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    Aminé: Joyful Rapper With Eye on Politics

    Aminé’s parents moved to the United States from Ethiopia in the early 1990s, settling in Portland; his mother works for the post office, and his father has been a teacher and translator. (The New York Times)

    The New York Times

    Meet Aminé, a Joyful Rapper With an Eye on Politics

    PORTLAND, ORE. — There is a door at Portland State University that doesn’t quite lock, and one afternoon in early April, the rapper Aminé walked up to it and gave it a hopeful tug. It popped open with an easy exhale, and he smiled. A couple of years ago, when he was still a student here studying marketing but plotting a music career, he would sneak into this building, make his way to a nondescript beige room on the second floor, and, in the quiet of night, accompanied by no one, work on his songs.

    Striving to be a rapper in this city better known for indie rock, roots music and “Portlandia”-level whiteness was “super depressing,” he said. The scene was dead. No one replied to his entreaties to collaborate. He couldn’t afford to pay for a real studio.

    But there was this unassuming room, where, in the fall of 2015, Aminé recorded onto his laptop the vocals for “Caroline,” the goofy flirtation — “great scenes might be great, but I love your bloopers/and perfect’s for the urgent/Baby, I want forever” — that became a surprise breakout hit last year, and took Aminé from frustrated college student to ascendant hip-hop star signed to a major label, Republic Records…


    Aminé with family members in Portland, Ore. (Photo: The New York Times)

    It was one of pop culture’s first powerful responses to the election, and it marked Aminé as someone unwilling to be pigeonholed. “I had people that didn’t even congratulate me for the success of ‘Caroline’ saying, ‘Thank you for doing that.’” he said. “Trump as the president doesn’t make sense to me. Someone talking about the country and the people who live in it that way when this country is made up of immigrants, I don’t get how that can even resonate with people.”

    Read the full article at NYTimes.com »


    Related:
    Rolling Stone: Ethiopian American Aminé Among 10 New Artists You Need to Know

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    Spotlight: Mahlet Mesfin New Deputy Director at Center for Science Diplomacy

    Mahlet Mesfin, the new Deputy Director at Center for Science Diplomacy, previously worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). (Photo via AAAS)

    AAAS

    New Deputy Director at Center for Science Diplomacy brings experience from academia, White House

    About halfway through her PhD program in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Mahlet Mesfin started thinking about connections outside the micro world of proteins to the macro world of science-society issues. Several years later – and with stints as a AAAS Science and Technology (S&T) Policy Fellow at the Department of Defense and working at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) – Mesfin has come full circle from the academic and governmental spheres, joining the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy as its Deputy Director in May.

    For Mesfin, the intersections of science, policy, and society stretch back to her time as a graduate student at Penn studying traumatic brain injury. For example, her PhD adviser had advised in safety standards for football helmet design, demonstrating the role that science can play in addressing societal problems – and, as importantly, proposing solutions.

    “While doing my PhD, I started thinking about how S&T can help answer bigger questions, such as how it can be used in capacity building in low and middle income countries,” she said. “I also got more involved in my university community and advocating for the needs of underrepresented student groups, such as African-American students and women in science and engineering, which gave me my first experiences in policy.”

    Her interest in policy led her to spending six months at the U.S. National Academies for Science (NAS) where she worked on projects related to advancing women in STEM in academia and girls in engineering. Her policy interests have been focused on the intersection of S&T and global issues. Mesfin was able to formally enter the science and diplomacy fields at the United States government level, beginning at the Department of Defense, which at the time was seeking to increase its coordination of international S&T efforts among each of its services. In this role, she interfaced with OSTP, which plays a key role in coordinating international S&T activities across the U.S. government. During Mesfin’s second year as a AAAS S&T Policy Fellow, she came on board at OSTP as a detail, and then stayed on to eventually become the Assistant Director for International Science and Technology.

    During her time at OSTP she gained greater appreciation for how science, technology, and innovation (STI) make an impact in the world. “Other countries look to the U.S. STI ecosystem to try and model it to meet their national goals. In the current U.S. political environment, with potential cuts to S&T funding and disinterest in soft power, it is unclear how U.S. government leadership on these topics will change over time.”


    PRESIDENTIAL SCIENCE ADVISOR JOHN HOLDREN AND MAHLET MESFIN LEARN ABOUT ANCIENT POLYNESIAN VOYAGING TRADITIONS ABOARD THE HŌKŪLEʻA AS PART OF THE U.S. DELEGATION TO THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES HELD IN 2014 IN SAMOA | CREDIT: U.S. EMBASSY NEW ZEALAND

    However, Mesfin is confident that the role of STI and its role in diplomacy doesn’t have to be led from a governmental level.

    “AAAS is in an excellent position to advance the conversation,” she said. “It is a well-respected organization with a convening power able to bring a number of governmental and non-governmental voices together.”

    Mesfin sees a part of her role at the Center for Science Diplomacy as helping to continue to define science diplomacy in the context of current events. “It is paramount that scientists have a seat at the table in relevant matters of foreign policy. I am excited to be a part of a team that is focused on these types of conversations.”


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    Meet The 2017 Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows

    From top left: Maceda Alemu, Saba Alemnew, Eden Mekonen and Meron Begashaw. (Courtesy Photos)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 24th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — The Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship (EDF) has announced its 2017 class of Fellows. Every year Ethiopian American youth are selected to participate in this leadership and creative storytelling program, and EDF, which runs the program, said that its third cohort of fellows will spend half a year in Ethiopia working at St. Paul Millennium Medical College, East Africa Gate, Selamta Family Project and International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia.

    “EDF is an organization that connects young Ethiopian diaspora professionals with organizations in Ethiopia for 6-month impact focused fellowship opportunities,” the press release stated. “Fellows are trained on the program pillars of leadership, service, and storytelling throughout the fellowship.” EDF added: “Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship aims to identify and empower the next generation of young Ethiopian professionals.”

    Congratulations to the Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows of 2017:

    SABA ALEMNEW

    Saba has provided revenue cycle review services for some of the largest health systems in the United States at Triage Consulting Group. Prior to that, Saba worked at the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center creating programs that highlighted key issues within the African Diaspora Community on-campus. Her programs led to institutional change including a mentorship program aimed at the retention of the African Diaspora Community on-campus. In addition, she is committed to public service as she has helped numerous refugees resettle in Northern California while working at Opening Doors Inc. Saba holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in Communications from the University of California, Davis. She is excited to become an Ethiopian Diaspora Fellow and leverage her experiences to address economic development challenges in Ethiopia at East Africa Gate.

    Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saba-alemnew-2a610939

    MERON BEGASHAW

    Meron held a number of health-related positions, including program assistant at The California Wellness Foundation working in women’s health and diversity in the health professions and an intern at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. She is deeply engaged in her Ethiopian community and serves in the young adult ministry at her local Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church. She is also an integral part of Habesha LA, a social media and events company highlighting Ethiopian and Eritrean creatives. She recently completed her Master of Public Health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She is excited to learn from and share with a country that has given her so much as the Human Resource Strategies Fellow at St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College.

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meron-begashaw/

    EDEN MEKONEN

    Eden pursued a year of service with Public Allies Los Angeles where she served as the community engagement coordinator with the youth photography nonprofit, Las Fotos Project. Prior to this, Eden graduated from Occidental College where she majored in Critical Theory and Social Justice and minored in Interdisciplinary Writing. While at Occidental, Eden became passionate about equitable, multicultural education and diverse representations of underrepresented groups, through community-based learning classes where she applied identity-based theoretical frameworks to community social issues. Eden studied abroad in Durban, South Africa where she conducted oral histories with Ethiopian (im)migrant women and conducted community-based research on the political and gendered significance of Little Ethiopia to the diasporic community. Eden is excited to join the 2017 EDF cohort and contribute to Selamta Family Project’s knowledge and long-term capacity.

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eden-mekonen-959714117/

    MACEDA AFEWORK ALEMU

    Maceda joined John Snow, Inc. as Program Officer with the firm’s International Division. As a Program Officer, she provided financial, administrative, and operations support to multi-million dollar public health projects in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through this role, Maceda refined her skills in program management, strategic partnership development, financial analysis, and donor communication. Prior to this she was Program Coordinator with the Center for Health Equity at the Geisel School of Medicine and an intern in the Resource Mobilization Division at UN Women. She graduated from Dartmouth College majoring in Geography with a focus on International Development, minored in International Relations and completed a certificate in Global Health Studies. She is excited to serve as an Ethiopian Diaspora Fellow and looks forward to collaborating with others in building the human capacity of Ethiopians and promoting positive social development throughout the country at St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College.

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/macedaalemu


    You can learn more about the program at www.ethiopiandiasporafellowship.org.

    Related:
    EDF Announces 2016 Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows
    EDF’s 2015 Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows
    Highlighting Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship

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    Harar Celebrates 1,010th Anniversary

    As the UNESCO-recognized Ethiopian city of Harar marks its 1,010th anniversary, the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza explores its unique heritage.(Getty Images)

    BBC News

    Harar – a long history:

  • 7th Century: Part of Coptic Christian Kingdom of Axum, area adopted Islam
  • 1007: Harar city founded
  • 16th Century: Capital of Harari Kingdom, major centre of regional trade and Islamic learning
  • Said by some to be Islam’s fourth holiest site, after Mecca, Jerusalem and Medina
  • 1887: Becomes part of Ethiopia
  • 2006: Named UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Full Ethiopian Timeline

    One of Africa’s best kept secrets – its history

    The city’s fortified walls, built between the 13th and 16th Centuries, even have small holes in them to allow the hyenas to enter the city at night.

    The daily hyena feeding spectacle is just one example of this city’s unique heritage.

    “This is one of the world’s ancient civilisations,” local historian Abdulswamad Idris tells me.
    “Some of the mosques you see here were built in the 10th Century.”

    Early convert to Islam

    Harar is a city that goes by many names, from the city of saints to a living museum, while some consider it to be Islam’s fourth holiest city after Mecca, Jerusalem and Medina.

    It has even been called the city of peace, a name I spot on one huge neon sign as I enter the town.

    Read the full article at BBC.com »


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    Climate Change Threatens an Ancient Way of Life in Ethiopia

    Two seasons of failed rains have left millions in Ethiopia's Somali region dependent on food aid, calling into question how viable traditional forms of life still are in an era of changing climate. (The Washington Post)

    The Washington Post

    Zeinab Taher once roamed through Ethiopia’s arid Somali region tending a vast herd of 350 sheep, goats and cattle with her nine children.

    Then the autumn rains failed and the grass that fed her animals didn’t grow. No rain came this spring, either, and the livestock began to die. Now, wrapped in her orange shawl, the 60-year-old huddles in a makeshift, windblown camp along with several thousand others, depending on food and water from international agencies.

    Another drought has seized the Horn of Africa, devastating the livestock herders in these already dry lands. Even as the government and aid agencies struggle to help them, there is a growing realization that with climate change, certain ways of life in certain parts of the world are becoming much more difficult to sustain.

    In Ethiopia, which unlike neighboring Somalia or South Sudan has a strong, functioning government, the emergency effort has kept people alive. Authorities and aid agencies are trying to get beyond the immediate humanitarian response and encourage a shift to livelihoods less vulnerable to drought and climate shocks.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Ethiopia Warns Emergency Drought Aid to Run Out Next Month (AP)

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    Trump Fails to Repeal Obamacare

    In this March 23, 2010 file photo President Barack Obama signs the health care bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo)

    The New York Times

    Trump Finds That Demolishing Obama’s Legacy Is Not So Simple

    WASHINGTON — President Trump’s demolition project just got shut down, at least for now.

    Determined to dismantle his predecessor’s legacy, Mr. Trump in the space of a couple of hours Monday night reluctantly agreed to preserve President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and failed in his effort to repeal Mr. Obama’s health care program.

    The back-to-back events underscored the challenge for a career developer whose main goal since taking office six months ago has been to raze what he sees as the poorly constructed edifices he inherited. Mr. Trump has gone a long way toward that objective through executive action, but as Tuesday dawned, he faced the reality that Mr. Obama’s most prominent domestic and international accomplishments both remained intact.

    In neither case has Mr. Trump given up. He instructed his national security team to keep rethinking the approach to Iran with a view toward either revising or scrapping the nuclear agreement. And he publicly called on Congress to simply repeal Mr. Obama’s health care program without trying to immediately pass a replacement.

    “We will return!” Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday morning about the collapse of his health care effort.

    Yet there is little appetite among America’s partners to revisit the Iran deal, nor is there much eagerness among lawmakers to cancel the existing health care program without a new system to install in its stead.

    Read more »


    Related:
    ‘How Trump and Republicans failed on their health-care bill (Washington Post)

    Trump’s Weird Obsession With Obama

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia as Case Study: Africa Talk With NYT’s Jeffrey Gettleman Moderated by Hiwot Nega

    Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Jeffrey Gettleman of The New York Times. (Photo via The New School)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 17th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — A well-timed discussion entitled How Should We Care About Africa will take place at The New School in New York City on July 27th featuring the award-winning New York Times journalist Jeffrey Gettleman. The event will be moderated by Hiwot Nega, founder and CEO of the NYC-based professional network company, Clewed, and will cover Ethiopia as a case study while highlighting the experience of The Times’s East Africa Bureau Chief.

    Jeffrey Gettleman, a long-standing Africa correspondent for The New York Times, is the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and author of the new book Love, Africa. The upcoming event discussion is described in the announcement as focusing on his work as a journalist and changing the conversation about Africa.

    In addition to The New York Times Gettleman’s work has appeared in National Geographic, GQ, Foreign Policy and The New York Review of Books. “He studied philosophy at Cornell University before winning a Marshall Scholarship to study at Oxford.” Gettleman is currently based in Kenya.


    If You Go:
    How Should We Care About Africa: A Talk with Jeffrey Gettleman
    Thu, July 27, 2017
    6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT
    The New School
    63 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY 10003
    Click here to RSVP

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Wondwossen Dikran’s New Comedy ‘SNAP!’ Playing on YouTube Red

    Producer Wondwossen Dikran on the set of the new comedy special, SNAP!, from All Def Digital and Dormtainment currently showing on the online film platform YouTube Red. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 17th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian-American filmmaker Wondwossen Dikran is the producer of SNAP!, a new comedy special released last week by Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital (ADD) and Dormtainment. The latter is one of the first sketch comedy groups to launch their video content on YouTube. Wondwossen was previously featured as director of the independent film Journey to Lasta released in 2004.

    Speaking about his new venture, Wondwossen tell Tadias: “The Co-founder of Dormtainment, Amanuel Richards, is my first cousin and this brought back a lot of the JTL crew. Russell Simmons and All Def Digital are the Executive Producers.” SNAP! is directed by Olumide Odebunmi, Wondwossen’s business & creative partner.

    According to Dormtainment, the short comedy SNAP! is “about the hottest Atlanta Snap Rap Group of 2006 aka Stacks-4-Daze. Now the band members are all broke working dead-end-jobs in LA, but when they accidentally go viral on Worldstar they get a second chance at fame. Can they bring the stacks back?”

    Describing his cousin Amanuel of Dormtainment Wondwossen shares, “He is much younger than I am, and I have been kind of encouraging him to come out to this side of the coast.” Amanuel — who was born in the U.S. to parents hailing from Ethiopia and the Virgin Islands — is also the co-director and lead actor in SNAP!.

    “Once Amanuel came to LA several years ago Dormtainment began to get a lot of buzz. They had a show on Comedy Central, and they were doing a lot of work for LOL network,” says Wondwossen. “So when the opportunity came and they were approached by the multi-channel network, All Def Digital, they asked me to develop and produce this half hour pilot.”

    All Def’s Chief Executive, Sanjay Sharma, states: “We are thrilled to have partnered with Dormtainment, one of our earliest partners on the YouTube platform, to produce this unique, hilarious special. They have such a loyal fanbase, and their ability to create highly engaging short form content, long form premium content, and even sell-out, live stage experiences is truly special. We are excited to get this project out for our fans and theirs, and for the broader world to see, as we continue to expand and work with some of the brightest up-and-coming talent in the industry.”


    Wondwossen Dikran and Olumide Odebunmi working on set of ‘SNAP!’ (Courtesy photo)

    For Wondwossen the main focus has been developing and producing content for the digital space. “We have found opportunity because the business is shifting from traditional models to various digital platforms,” he says. “We’ve been working with several agencies in developing talent for feature films, music videos, as well as high-end commercials and other branded content.”

    In order to become a regular series the success of this pilot “basically depends on how much people respond to it based on the numbers and algorithms”, Wondwossen explains. “We encourage people to watch the pilot and give us your feedback, a like, a review, or whatever you think about it.” He added: “We would love as much eyeball as we can get.”


    Click here to watch SNAP! on YouTube Red (if you don’t have an account you can sign up for their 3-month free trial)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia at This Year’s SummerStage: Mulatu Astatke + DJ Sirak

    Mulatu Astatke will perform at SummerStage in New York for the first time on August 20th, 2017. (Time Out)

    Time Out New York

    In the mid-’60s, Mulatu Astatke began bending the rules of American jazz to fit the traditional music of his native Ethiopia and ended up launching an entire genre known as Ethio-jazz—a profoundly deep and funky style that hasn’t lost a shred of its cool over its 50-year run. The revered composer and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with Duke Ellington and been sampled by Kanye West, and you certainly shouldn’t miss him when he hits SummerStage for the first time.


    If You Go:
    Mulatu Astatke at SummerStage
    Sunday, August 20th, 2017 at 6:00 pm
    Central Park, SummerStage
    Rumsey Playfield (enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St)
    New York
    FreeEvent
    More info at http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage


    Related:
    Spotlight: Mulatu Astatke’s Landmark Album ‘Mulatu of Ethiopia’ Gets a Reissue

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    P2P Announces 2017 Ethiopian Health Care & Medical Education Conference

    (Photo: Courtesy of People to People -P2P)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 6th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — The U.S.-based non-profit organization for Ethiopian health care professionals in the Diaspora, People to People (P2P), announced that it will be hosting its 9th annual Health Care and Medical Education conference on September 23rd, 2017 at the Residence Inn, Pentagon City, just outside of Washington, D.C.

    “The central theme for this year will be ‘Cancer and Cancer Care,’ a topic you will agree, is gaining increasing importance in Ethiopia and beyond,” said Dr. Enawgaw Mehari, Founder and President of P2P in a statement.

    The conference will address the current status of cancer care in Ethiopia and participants will “brainstorm on ways to support clinical care, education and research in this field,” Dr. Enawgaw shared in his letter. “To this end, we have assembled an impressive roster of speakers with wide experience in academia, and building and supporting fellowship programs in Hematology and Oncology.”

    Dr. Enawgaw added: “P2P has been promoting the concept of triangular partnership since its inception in 2009. This model recognizes the pivotal role Diaspora Health Professionals can play in fostering partnerships between US and Ethiopian institutions of higher learning. The conference this September will provide further opportunity to network and meet Ethiopian and US institutions of higher learning who share the same mission and vision.”


    If You Go:
    P2P 9th annual Health Care and Medical Education conference
    September 23rd 2017
    The Residence Inn, Pentagon City
    Arlington, Virginia
    www.p2pbridge.org

    Related:
    Watch: 2015 People to People (P2P) Conference Award Ceremony

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Economist on Addis Movie Bootleggers

    Ethiopia’s ingenious video pirates: Not even a slow internet can stop the bootleggers of Addis Ababa.

    The Economist

    DOWNLOADING a movie, legally or not, is prohibitively slow in Ethiopia, thanks to glacial internet speeds. Bootleg DVDs are everywhere, but even so it can be hard to find a reasonable-quality version of the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Only one cinema in Addis Ababa, the capital, screens foreign hits. Resourceful pirates spy an opportunity.

    Last year yellow ATM-style kiosks began to spring up around Addis Ababa. The brainchild of three Ethiopian science graduates and their software company, Swift Media, the Chinese-built kiosks allow customers to transfer any of 6,000 pirated foreign movies or 500 music albums onto a USB stick they insert for as little as 10 cents per file. The kiosks are located in large malls in full view of authorities, who show no interest in shutting them down.

    This is just one manifestation of a general disregard for foreign intellectual-property (IP) rights in Ethiopia. Swift Media is breaking no local laws by selling plundered foreign films. Ethiopia is not a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Indeed, it is the largest country that has not yet signed any of the big international treaties governing IP, according to Seble Baraki, a local lawyer. Foreign trademarks are infringed with impunity. Kaldi’s, the country’s biggest coffee chain, has a logo suspiciously similar to that of Starbucks. Intercontinental Hotels Group, a British-owned hotel company, is suing a large hotel in central Addis Ababa with the same name. In-N-Out Burger, an American fast-food franchise, has a popular equivalent in Ethiopia that the American firm only learned about when tourists complained to it about poor standards.

    Read more »


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    Ethiopia’s World Heritage Site in Photos

    The World Heritage site draws visitors and pilgrims with its monolithic churches carved into the ground. (Photo: AlJazeera)

    AlJazeera

    The 11 medieval churches hewn from solid, volcanic rock in the heart of Ethiopia were built on the orders of King Lalibela in the 12th century. Lalibela set out to construct a “New Jerusalem” in Africa after Muslims conquests halted Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

    Legend has it that the design and layout of the churches mimic those observed by the king in Jerusalem, which he had visited as a youth. Many place names across the town are also said to originate from the king’s memories of the Biblical city.

    The churches were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.

    The blocks were chiselled down, forming doors, windows, columns, various floors, trenches and ceremonial passages – some with openings to hermit caves and catacombs. Seven of the churches are organically embedded in the rock, while four are self-standing. The sacred site is a place of pilgrimage for those in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It is said the churches were built in only 24 years.


    (Photo: AlJazeera)


    (Photo: AlJazeera)

    Read more and view the rest of the photos at Aljazeera.com »


    Related:
    On the Roof of Africa in Ethiopia, Amazing Portraits of a Christian Community

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    A Bone Marrow Drive Underway at Ethiopian Soccer Tournament

    (Photo: ESFNA Instagram)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 5th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — A timely bone marrow donor drive is being hosted by the Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) at this year’s annual Ethiopian soccer tournament and cultural festival that’s taking place this week in the Seattle suburb of Renton, Washington.

    ESFNA announced that the bone marrow registry will be held in the vendor area of the tournament and festival in coordination with Be The Match organization, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program.

    “Our hope is to offer a cure for the thousands of people diagnosed with life-threatening cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma each year,” ESFNA said. “Many of these people are of Ethiopian descent.”

    Last month we featured Elsa, an Ethiopian-Canadian mother of two children, who is currently in urgent need of life-saving marrow transplant, and who has not yet found a match in the current International Registry of 29 million individuals.

    “We encourage all interested parties to please visit the Bone Marrow Registry at Renton Memorial Stadium,” ESFNA added. “Through your donations, lives can be saved.”

    Related:
    Elsa Nega, Mother of 2 in Canada Needs Life-Saving Marrow Transplant

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    Have Women Shattered the Glass Ceiling in Tech? Betty Abera on Fargo INC

    Bethlehem Abera Gronneberg on the cover of the July 2017 issue of Fargo INC magazine. (Fargo INC)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 3rd, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — The last time we featured Software Engineer turned Social Entrepreneur Bethlehem Abera Gronneberg she had just won the prestigious Bush Fellowship for her non-profit organization, uCodeGirl, whose mission is to encourage young girls to aim for careers in the high-tech industry.

    This month Betty, who works and lives in North Dakota, made the cover of her local business magazine, Fargo INC, as one of five women invited to discuss female representation in the technology sector.

    “It’s the question no one can seem to answer definitively: Why aren’t more girls going into high-tech fields?” asks Fargo INC introducing its July 2017 edition. “We assembled a panel of five FM-area women working in tech to try and figure out why.”


    (Photo: Fargo INC July 2017 issue)

    A mother of three boys, Betty is also the author of a children’s book entitled The Alphabet Takes a Journey…Destination Ethiopia. She was born and raised in Ethiopia and attended Addis Ababa University, later working at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) before immigrating to the United States.

    Regarding her non-profit, uCodeGirl, which strives to democratize “the technology sandbox with diverse voices as a result of increased participation of women,” Betty told Tadias that it was “inspired by the question — How can I see more people like me in the technology workforce?” She added: “I am engaging my vision and passion to create and foster an enrichment program that will inspire and empower young girls to be the driving force, the innovators of the technology they consume.”

    Click here to read the latest issue of Fargo INC »


    Related:
    Tadias Interview with Ethiopian Children’s Book Author Bethlehem Abera Gronneberg

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    On the Roof of Africa in Ethiopia, Amazing Portraits of a Christian Community

    (Photo by Sebastião Salgado)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 2nd, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — The following amazing photographs were taken by the legendary Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist Sebastião Salgado and appear in the July 2017 issue of The Smithsonian Magazine.

    The photographer was on “a 500-mile, 55-day hike through some of the most inaccessible passages in the Ethiopian highlands, a region known as the roof of Africa, where the elevations range from a few thousand feet to almost 15,000,” notes the Smithsonian Institution publication. “For him, the villages bespeak a continuity over millennia, and the landscape — with its blazing shafts of sunlight and a river-carved canyon deeper, at points, than the Grand Canyon — inspires a connection to eons past.”

    The magazine adds: “That river, the Tekezé, ultimately nourished the Blue Nile Delta, hundreds of miles away. All that fertile land energy came from there, eroded from there,” Salgado says, “and boy, me walking there, seeing this, doing my task inside the beginning of our history, was something amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing.”


    The Simien Mountains. (Photo by Sebastião Salgado)


    The patch to the Yemerehana Kristos church. (Photo by Sebastião Salgado)


    (Photo by Sebastião Salgado)

    Read the full article and view the rest of the photos at smithsonianmag.com »


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    Trump’s Weird Obsession With Obama

    Trump’s strange obsession with Obama explained. (Photo: NYT)

    The New York Times

    Trump’s Obama Obsession

    Donald Trump has a thing about Barack Obama. Trump is obsessed with Obama. Obama haunts Trump’s dreams. One of Trump’s primary motivators is the absolute erasure of Obama — were it possible — not only from the political landscape but also from the history books.

    Trump is president because of Obama, or more precisely, because of his hostility to Obama. Trump came onto the political scene by attacking Obama.

    Trump has questioned not only Obama’s birthplace but also his academic and literary pedigree. He was head cheerleader of the racial “birther” lie and also cast doubt on whether Obama attended the schools he attended or even whether he wrote his acclaimed books.

    Trump has lied often about Obama: saying his inauguration crowd size exceeded Obama’s, saying that Obama tapped his phones and, just this week, saying that Obama colluded with the Russians.

    It’s like a 71-year-old male version of Jan from what I would call the Bratty Bunch: Obama, Obama, Obama.

    Trump wants to be Obama — held in high esteem. But, alas, Trump is Trump, and that is now and has always been trashy. Trump accrued financial wealth, but he never accrued cultural capital, at least not among the people from whom he most wanted it.

    Therefore, Trump is constantly whining about not being sufficiently applauded, commended, thanked, liked. His emotional injury is measured in his mind against Obama. How could Obama have been so celebrated while he is so reviled?

    The whole world seemed to love Obama — and by extension, held America in high regard — but the world loathes Trump. A Pew Research Center report issued this week found:

    Obama was a phenomenon. He was elegant and cerebral. He was devoid of personal scandal and drenched in personal erudition. He was a walking, talking rebuttal to white supremacy and the myths of black pathology and inferiority. He was the personification of the possible — a possible future in which legacy power and advantages are redistributed more broadly to all with the gift of talent and the discipline to excel.

    Read more »


    Related:
    U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump’s Leadership

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    In Australia, Grandson Marks 50th Anniversary of Haile Selassie’s State Visit

    Pictures of HIM Haile Selassie taken in Canberra & Melbourne during his State visit to Australia in 1968. (Photos: Pinterest)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 28th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Former Emperor Haile Selassie’s grandson, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie, began a major commemorative tour of Australia on June 16, 2017 to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s State Visit to Australia. The International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), where Prince Ermias is a Senior Fellow, is a major sponsor of the tour.

    Prince Ermias, who works with ISSA in conflict resolution issues around the world, is the co-Patron of the ISSA Zahedi Center for the Study of Monarchy, Traditional Governance, and Sovereignty. The association states that in Australia, Prince Ermias “was being accompanied on the visit by ISSA Pres. Gregory Copley and ISSA Executive Director Pamela von Gruber, and a number of ISSA Senior Fellows would participate in the visit in various parts of the trip.”

    “Prince Ermias’ Commemorative Tour embraces Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth, and will include similar activities to those undertaken by the Emperor in 1968,” said the announcement from the Washington, D.C.-based NGO. “Although the visit is a private one, Prince Ermias has been asked to address a significant number of groups in each city, including several black tie dinners.” The press release added that “a ministerial reception was scheduled for the Australian Parliament in Canberra, and a luncheon was to be held for him in the New South Wales Parliament. He will lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, accompanied by the Memorial’s Director (and former Australian Defense Minister) Dr Brendan Nelson. Former Head-of-State Michael Jeffery will also host a dinner for him in Canberra.”


    Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie was quoted by the Financial Review Australia publication as stating: “People identify with Ethiopia – its resistance to colonialism, its long history, its sense of pride, sense of tolerance and the living together of all these different religions in peace.”

    According to The International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) “In Melbourne, Prince Ermias will plant a tree at the Royal Botanic Gardens, near the one planted by the Emperor in 1968. He will also meet with a number of Ethiopian-Australian community leaders.”

    Watch: HAILE SELASSIE IN AUSTRALIA (AP Video)

    Watch: Haile Selassie visits the Australian War Memorial – 14 May 1968 — No Sound


    Related:
    Ethiopia’s Prince Selassie. The exiled prince from the world’s oldest monarchy (FRA)
    Family of Ethiopia’s Late Emperor Gives $700k to Haile Selassie School in Jamaica
    Tadias Interview With Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie
    In Pictures: 50th Anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s Historic Visit to Jamaica
    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 (TADIAS)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Marcus Samuelsson Brings Red Rooster to London

    Chef Marcus Samuelsson at the new Red Rooster in London (Photo: Bloomberg)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 27th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Chef Marcus Samuelsson has expanded his popular Harlem restaurant business across the pond, opening a new Red Rooster in London late last month. The restaurant, which is housed inside the elegant Curtain Hotel in the East London neighborhood of Shoreditch, is the first Red Rooster location outside of New York City.

    As Bloomberg News points out: “Red Rooster became a hit in Harlem thanks to chef Marcus Samuelsson’s take on Southern comfort food — and became internationally famous because former President Barack Obama was a huge fan. He even held a fundraiser there. The first foreign outpost of Red Rooster opens at the new Curtain Hotel in London’s hip Shoreditch neighborhood. About half the menu will be the same as the New York location: There will still be chicken ’n waffles for £10 ($13), fried yard bird (£19) and the Obama short ribs (£33), a recipe fit for a president. But he’s using some local ingredients and adding dishes to reflect his background, such as Uncle T’s herring (£8). Plus, there will be a taqueria called Tienda Roosteria.”

    Why London?

    The Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised celebrity chef and author says that like New York he is attracted to London for it’s multiculturalism. “New York is a world city, and so is London, but London has a different kind of diversity than New York and I thrive off that,” Marcus told The Globe and Mail. “We wanted to find a neighbourhood that matched the excitement of Harlem, and felt that Shoreditch and London, as a town, really matches New York.” He added: “It has incredible mystique, funk and coolness. I’ve been asked to open a new Red Rooster every week for the past four and a half years, and I always say no. When you walk into the restaurant, the first thing you’ll see is a taqueria inspired by the barrio. We have a huge Latin community in east Harlem.”

    “Samuelsson, 46, became a star early in his career more than two decades ago, as he earned a three-star review from The New York Times as the chef at Aquavit. Now his brand and marketing empire has expanded to restaurants in Bermuda, Sweden, and Norway, and he’s a regular on shows such as Chopped and Iron Chef America.”

    —-
    Related:
    5 Things to Know About Marcus Samuelsson’s London Red Rooster

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    In Pictures: Beteseb Painting Session at Smithsonian in DC

    Beteseb Painting Session at the Smithsonian African Art Museum in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 2017. (Photo by Victor Mayeya Odori)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 26th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Last week the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. hosted an evening of painting and Ethiopian Jazz “under the summer skies” with Beteseb Center and Feedel Band.

    We featured the Beteseb art program when it was first launched two years ago as a weekly Saturday painting session for amateur artists in a rental space on 18th street in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.

    Beteseb founders Solomon Asfaw and Aleme Tadesse envisioned providing a creative outlet for individuals as well as groups not only to create art, but to also jumpstart a movement for youth to spend their time in more rewarding ways. Indeed the movement is underway and growing. The most recent event at Smithsonian on June 17th was “attended by 529 people while 189 people painted,” Beteseb shared adding “Thanks for Feedel Band making the evening super nice.”

    Below are photos from the event:

    Beteseb announced that it will host its next event in August and September, closer to the Ethiopian New Year. They will also “be opening up more weekly paint sessions in Virginia in addition to the current one every Saturday in Adams Morgan.”


    More information can be found at facebook.com/BetesebCenter.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    BBC: Ambassador Imru Zelleke on Italy’s Shame The Massacre in Ethiopia

    Yekatit 12 is a date in the Ethiopian calendar which is commonly used to refer to the indiscriminate massacre and imprisonment of Ethiopians by fascist Italian occupation forces following an attempted assassination of Rodolfo Graziani (The butcher of Ethiopia) on February 19, 1937. (Getty images)

    BBC

    Italy’s Shame: The Massacre in Ethiopia

    In 1937 Italian forces occupying the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa began a three day campaign of killings which left thousands of Ethiopian civilians dead. Alex Last has been speaking to Ambassador Imru Zelleke, who witnessed the massacre as a child. The violence began after a grenade attack wounded Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, the man appointed by Mussolini to govern Ethiopia. Italian forces had invaded the country in 1935 as Mussolini tried to expand Italian colonial territories in East Africa. Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia, then called Abyssinia, was forced into exile. Ethiopia was a member of the League of Nations, but despite appeals, Western powers refused to intervene to stop the Italian invasion.

    The massacre is known in Ethiopia by it’s date in the Ethiopian calender,Yekatit 12.

    Listen to the program on BBC »


    Related:
    Ethiopian Hero Gen. Jagama Kello Who Fought Fascism Dies at 96
    Book Review: ‘Prevail’: Personal Stories From Mussolini’s Invasion of Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia’s Exiled Prince Selassie of the World’s Oldest Monarchy — FR Australia

    Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie says "People identify with Ethiopia – its resistance to colonialism, its long history, its sense of pride, sense of tolerance and the living together of all these different religions in peace." (FRA)

    Financial Review Australia

    Ethiopia’s Prince Selassie. The exiled prince from the world’s oldest monarchy

    On the face of it, Australia and Ethiopia have little in common. A poor country of 100 million people on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is scarred by coups, civil wars and famine.

    But links range from Australian mining investments to eucalyptus trees ringing the capital Addis Ababa; from Australian “Whaler” horses providing mounts for the ceremonial guard, to both countries’ soldiers fighting alongside in the Korean War. And then there is the Australian-founded, funded and run obstetric fistula hospital, the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.

    Promoting the ties, Prince Ermias, President of the Crown Council and putative successor to the oldest throne in the world, believes both are “gateway” countries – Australia to Asia, and Ethiopia to Africa.

    Australia is “a gateway to Asia and because of that to the world.” he says. Ethiopia is the oldest state in Africa with the oldest continuous Judeo-Christian bloodlines. It hosts the African Union, and ranks, after Brussels, as a major diplomatic capital, making it “the gateway for Africa”.

    Warming to his theme, Prince Ermias views Australia as “a microcosm of what the world may look like in the future because you have all types of people in this supposedly isolated and remote place”.

    Arriving in Sydney, “what struck me the most was the multicultural nature of Australia. I found it more visually stunning than New York.” The Big Apple “is supposed to be a melting pot of the world but when I came to Sydney Airport and I was watching all those faces I just could not believe the interaction of people.”

    Read more @FinancialReview »


    Related:
    Family of Ethiopia’s Late Emperor Gives $700k to Haile Selassie School in Jamaica
    Tadias Interview With Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie
    In Pictures: 50th Anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s Historic Visit to Jamaica
    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 (TADIAS)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Face2face Africa Honors Mimi Alemayehou

    Ethiopian-born Mimi Alemayehou, Managing Director at Black Rhino Group, was Executive Vice president of the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC) under the Obama administration. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 21st, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Face2Face Africa has officially announced the honorees for the 2017 annual FACE List Award — a prestigious celebration of pan-African achievement in the U.S. — and this year the list includes Ethiopian American Mimi Alemayehou who is the Managing Director at Black Rhino Group, an investment firm focused on the development and acquisitions of energy and infrastructure projects across Africa.

    “Ethiopian-born Mimi Alemayehou is one of the most influential and sought-after experts in African Business,” Face2face Africa said in a press release. She is Managing Director at Black Rhino Group, and also serves as an Executive Advisor and Chair of Blackstone Africa Infrastructure LP. Previously, she was Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), under the Obama administration, and was one of the architects of the Power Africa initiative to increase energy access across the continent.”

    Prior Ethiopian recipients of the Face2Face Africa award include Chef and Entrepreneur Marcus Samuelsson and Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Founder and CEO of soleRebels.

    Mimi is being honored along with Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network; Beverly Bond, Founder of Black Girls Rock!; and Tuma Basa, Global Programming Head of Hip-Hop at Spotify.

    “We are very proud of our 2017 honorees for their distinguished careers and achievements,” Face2Face Africa added in their media release. “Their impact and legacy will shape and influence the pan-African community for generations to come.”


    If You Go:
    2017 Pan-African Weekend
    New York City
    Thu, July 13 – Sun, July 16
    More info at face2faceafrica.com.

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    Elsa Nega, Mother of 2 in Canada Needs Life-Saving Marrow Transplant

    Because Elsa Nega is an Ethiopian, her chances of finding a donor on the international registry is slim and so her family is appealing to Ethiopians worldwide to help save her life by joining the registry at Match4Elsa.com

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 21st, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Elsa (Elizabeth) Nega is an Ethiopian-Canadian mother of two children who is currently in urgent need of life-saving marrow transplant. Her family is searching worldwide to find a match for Elsa. “Her brother and sister in Ethiopia were her best hope but are not matches,” states a recent press release. “Of the 29 million people in the International Registry, no matches have been found.”

    According to her family Elsa was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia after she suddenly fell ill earlier this year. A statement from the family said she walked into her local ER on February 8 and was rushed into an intensive care unit. The following day she was diagnosed with the acute form of leukemia (or cancer of the white blood cells). “She started on chemo immediately,” the statement said. “Unlike 90% of patients who go into remission after the first round of chemo, Elsa did not. Now, after 3 rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant is her only hope of recovery.”


    Elsa Nega. (Courtesy photo)

    Because Elsa is Ethiopian, her chances of finding a donor on the registry are slim, and so her family is appealing to Ethiopians worldwide to join the registry to help save Elsa and so many others like her. “Specifically, there is a great need for young adults, ages 18-35, of African descent. The younger a person is, the healthier their marrow is, which means more possible matches for patients like Elsa.”


    You can learn more and join the match registry as potential marrow donors at Match4Elsa.com.

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    Tech Crunch: Interview with Yonas Beshawred, Founder & CEO of Stackshare

    Yonas Beshawred — an Ethiopian-American from Maryland -- is the founder and CEO of Stackshare, a developer-only community of engineers, CTOs, VPEs, and developers from some of the world's top startups and companies. (Photo: Techcrunch.com)

    Tech Crunch

    Why Stackshare is quietly becoming a secret weapon for developers and Silicon Valley CTOs

    On Stackshare, Airbnb lists over 50 services in its “stack,” Slack lists 24, and Spotify lists more than 31; these stacks are collections of different pieces of software that each company is using to run their operations, and range from infrastructure tools to communications tools to container tools to email services.

    Why are companies beginning to share the specific mix of apps that’s enabling their businesses to grow? Because they know it’s the missing piece of the puzzle for developers, many of whom struggle to learn which tools certain companies use and why, says Stackshare founder and CEO Yonas Beshawred.

    In fact, Stackshare is quietly becoming a go-to platform for numerous players in the startup ecosystem for a few reasons, Beshawred argues.

    The benefits are clearest for developers. “If you’re trying to build a new on-demand service,” he notes, “you can come to Stackshare and see all the tools that Instacart uses.” Stackshare also benefits companies; when big or small startups volunteer what tools they’re using, they have a better shot at attracting developers who are well-versed in those very same technologies.

    Meanwhile, Stackshare is attracting the attention of SaaS vendors, a small but growing number of which are beginning to sponsor sections of the platform and that now have a new place for their communities to evangelize their products.

    Certainly, something seems to be clicking. Stackshare, founded in San Francisco in 2014, currently features the “verified” tech stacks of 7,000 companies. More, it claims that more than 150,000 developers are now using the service, where they not only see which companies are using what but they’re also invited to (and do) comment on the tools, helping their peers understand what they should be using and avoiding.

    Investors like it, too. At least, today, Stackshare is announcing that it had raised $1.5 million in seed funding late last year, led by Cervin Ventures. Other participants include Precursor Ventures, Square exec Gokul Rajaman, and former VMWare and Facebook exec turned VC Jocelyn Goldfein. The round follows $300,000 in earlier seed funding from 500 Startups; MicroVentures; Airbnb’s first employee, Nick Grandy; Heroku’s former engineering manager Glenn Gillen, and others.

    Read more »


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    Meklit Releases New Ethio-Jazz Album, Set to Perform in DC and New York

    Meklit Hadero's album cover "When the People Move, the Music Moves Too" (courtesy image).

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 19th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian American singer and composer Meklit Hadero will be performing in Washington DC on June 20th and in New York City on June 21st as Six Degrees Records releases her latest album entitled When the People Move, the Music Moves Too. This past May we shared her video single “I Want to Sing For Them All” as featured on Vibe Magazine.

    Meklit’s new album was composed after a chance meeting in Addis Ababa with Mulatu Astatke, the legendary Ethio-Jazz musician, composer and vibraphonist. “He was very pointed with me, saying several times ‘You keep innovating!’” she recalls. “He took me to task and.. it took me a while to digest that. It’s a big thing to have someone like that say that to you. I sat with it for a couple of years.”

    Having first launched her music career in the mid-2000s, Meklit has since released five records, been named a TED Global Fellow and was an artist-in-residence at De Young Museum, Red Poppy Art House and New York University. She is the Co-Founder of the popular international group, Nile Project, which brings together musicians from 11 countries in the Nile Basin to tour and perform. She is also Founder of the Arba Minch Collective composed of Diaspora-based Ethiopian artists looking to collaborate with colleagues residing in their native homeland. Meklit performed at the concert inaugurating the UN Campaign for Gender Equality in Africa, and currently sits on the Board of the San Francisco Chapter of The Recording Academy, the organization that puts together the annual Grammy awards ceremony.

    Meklit’s upcoming album, produced by Grammy-winner Dan Wilson, is also accompanied by the Ethiopian-born pianist Kibrom Birhane who is based in Los Angeles.

    “I am an immigrant, so I guess you could say this is immigrant music,” Meklit says, speaking of her new work. “But I would not be who I am without Jazz, and Blues and Hip-Hop and Soul. This music is Ethio-American, just like me. I find joy in the bigness of that space.”


    If You Go:
    Album Release Concert (When the People Move, the Music Moves Too)
    June 20th, 2017
    Washington DC
    Tropicalia (click here for tickets)
    2001 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

    June 21st, 2017
    New York City
    Nublu (click here for tickets)
    62 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009

    Watch: Meklit Pays Homage To Ethio-Jazz


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Art in NYC This Week: Julie Mehretu ‘Uptown’ at the Wallach Art Gallery

    (Courtesy Image: The Wallach Art Gallery and Culture Mag)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 14th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Last month Ethiopian-American artist Julie Mehretu was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Academy, which is chartered by the U.S. Congress, was established in 1898 “as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers.” According to the organization’s website: “The Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.”

    This week Julie Mehretu and Jessica Rankin’s art works are also featured at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery. The exhibition, aptly titled “Uptown,” inaugurates the gallery’s new space in Harlem at 125th Street and Broadway.

    “Uptown showcases established and mid-career artists alongside emerging talent from Harlem, El Barrio, Washington Heights and all neighborhoods in between,” the gallery announced. “With this initiative, the Wallach Art Gallery joins northern Manhattan’s vibrant art scene. Uptown celebrates these neighborhoods long at the vanguard in nurturing vital, internationally recognized art.”


    If You Go:
    SPECIAL EVENTS AT THE WALLACH ART GALLERY
    615 W. 129th St
    (Enter on W. 125th street, just west of Broadway)

    Uptown exhibit is open from June 2 – August 20, 2017

    All programs are free and open to the public.

    More info at columbia.edu.


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    Forbes: 5 Ethiopian Multi-Millionaires You Should Know

    Tewodros Ashenafi, co-owner of Ambo Mineral Water (top left), Akiko Seyoum Ambaye, founder of Orchid Business Group (pictured center), Buzuayehu T. Bizenu, chairman of East African Holding (top right), Belayneh Kindie, Import And Export BKIEA (bottom left), and Ketema Kebede, founder of KK PLC. (Forbes)

    Forbes Magazine

    A few Ethiopians have built multi-million and billion dollar empires in industries as diverse as agriculture, food, construction, energy and distribution and earned multi-million dollar fortunes to boot. Their names don’t ring with the African public, and you’ve probably never heard about them before, but they are very successful — and very wealthy. Meet 5 Ethiopian entrepreneurs, who own businesses with annual revenues of $50 million or more.

    See the list at Forbes.com »


    Related:
    Inside The Weeknd’s $92 Million Year–And The New Streaming Economy Behind It (Forbes)

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    Inside The Weeknd’s $92 Million Year–And The New Streaming Economy Behind It

    This story about The Weeknd (Abel Makkonen Tesfaye) an Ethiopian-Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer appears in the June 29, 2017 issue of Forbes Magazine. (Photo: Jamel Toppin)

    Forbes Magazine

    Inside The Weeknd’s $92 Million Year–And The New Streaming Economy Behind It

    Five years ago, Spotify was a fledgling music-streaming service only months removed from its U.S. launch and YouTube had just started its push into original programming; Netflix was a year away from doing the same, starting with House of Cards. For the members of the Celebrity 100–our annual accounting of the top-earning entertainers on the planet–meaningful streaming income was a distant dream.

    But sometimes profound change happens quickly. Streaming is now the dominant platform for music consumption, and it’s growing rapidly–up 76% year-over-year, according to Nielsen. YouTube has birthed a whole new breed of celebrity: the YouTube star. And Netflix plans to spend hundreds of millions annually on original content.

    “It’s not just about music–it’s about every form of entertainment,” Nielsen’s David Bakula says. “You don’t really have to own anything anymore, because for $10 a month you can do this: You can have everything.”

    Full List: The World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities

    The indirect spoils of streaming can be even greater. Abel “the Weeknd” Tesfaye parlayed his play count–5.5 billion streams in the past two years–into an estimated $75 million touring advance. To him it’s all part of the model he’s been following throughout his rapid rise, one that applies to all sorts of businesses: Create an excellent product, make it widely available and flip the monetization switch when the timing is right.

    “I really wanted people who had no idea who I was to hear my project,” he says. “You don’t do that by asking for money.”

    Steve Jobs would have been the logical choice to headline the launch of Apple’s eponymous streaming service, but by the time the tech giant rolled out Apple Music two years ago, he was busy putting dents into faraway universes. In his place was a pair of young musicians who walk the line between hip-hop, pop and R&B: Drake and the Weeknd. The latter stunned the crowd with the first-ever live performance of his new single “I Can’t Feel My Face,” which premiered on Apple Music and has generated more than 1.5 billion spins across all streaming platforms.

    The Weeknd knows as well as anyone that streaming isn’t the future of music–it’s the present. As digital downloads and physical sales plummet, streaming is increasing overall music consumption–since their Apple appearances, Drake (No. 4 on our list at $94 million) and The Weeknd (No. 6, $92 million) have clocked a combined 17.5 billion streams–and that creates other kinds of monetization, including touring revenue.

    “We live in a world where artists don’t really make the money off the music like we did in the Golden Age,” says the Weeknd, 27. “It’s not really coming in until you hit the stage.


    Ready for the Weeknd: Boosted by the ubiquity of his music, he’s now grossing north of
    $1.1 million per stop on his Starboy: Legend of the Fall World Tour. (Forbes)

    Read more »


    Related:
    Teddy Afro ‘Grateful for the Love’ After New CD Ethiopia Ranks No. 1 on Billboard
    Watch: Meklit Pays Homage To Ethio-Jazz
    Spotlight: Mulatu Astatke’s Landmark Album ‘Mulatu of Ethiopia’ Gets a Reissue

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia Warns Emergency Drought Aid to Run Out Next Month

    (AP photo by Elias Meseret)

    Associated Press

    By Elias Meseret

    WARDER, Ethiopia — Ethiopia’s government is warning it will run out of emergency food aid starting next month as the number of drought victims in the East African country has reached 7.8 million.

    An international delegation visited one of the worst-affected areas Friday near the border with Somalia, which suffers from widespread drought as well. Several hundred people lined the dusty road to meet the officials at the remote airstrip, while rail-thin camels and goats roamed in the bushes. Animal carcasses littered the ground.

    “I came to this area after losing nearly all my goats and camels due to lack of rain,” 75-year-old Ader Ali Yusuf said quietly, wiping her cheek with her headscarf as she sat with other women observing the delegation from afar. The mother of 12 is just one of thousands of Ethiopians who have walked up to three days on foot to displacement camps for aid.

    Ethiopia’s disaster relief chief Mitiku Kassa told The Associated Press that the country needs more than $1 billion for emergency food assistance. Seasonal rains have been critically small and local cattle are dying. The number of drought victims has risen by two million people in the past four months.

    The risk of an acute food and nutritional disaster is “very high,” the disaster relief chief said.

    The International Organization for Migration said hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, with the problem compounded as people pour into Ethiopia from Somalia. — (AP)

    A United Nations humanitarian envoy said donor fatigue and similar crises elsewhere have hurt aid efforts. Both Somalia and neighboring South Sudan are among four countries recently singled out by the United Nations in a $4.4 billion aid appeal to avert catastrophic hunger and famine. Already, famine has been declared for two counties in South Sudan.

    Read more »


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    Ethiopia’s Civil Society Getting Squeezed

    People walk past the Federal High Court building in Addis Ababa. Observers say Ethiopian courts frequently use the country's anti-terrorism laws to restrict activities of government critics. (AP file photo)

    VOA News

    WASHINGTON — From an internet shutdown to convictions of journalists and opposition members, Ethiopia’s civil society has felt like it’s under attack in recent weeks.

    On May 24, Getachew Shiferaw, editor of the news website Negere Ethiopia, was convicted of “inciting violence” because of a private Facebook conversation. The Ethiopian Federal Court initially charged Shiferaw under the country’s anti-terrorism law, but later charged him under the criminal code and sentenced him to time served since his arrest in 2015.

    On May 25, a court sentenced Ethiopian opposition spokesman Yonatan Tesfaye to six-and-a-half years in prison on charges that he encouraged terrorism with comments on Facebook. Yeshiwas Assefa, newly elected president of the Semayawi (Blue) Party, called the verdict “disappointing and embarrassing.”

    “Yonatan is sentenced to six years and six months just because of what he wrote on Facebook as something that encourages terrorism. He was expressing his thoughts freely. This is what we fear would bring people to protest in our country,” he told VOA.

    The following day, May 26, two men, Tufa Melka and Kedir Bedasso, were charged with terrorism for their role in a stampede that occurred in October 2016 at a cultural festival in the Oromia region. The men are accused of yelling things into the microphone that led to chaos and the death of 55 people.

    Gemeda Wariyo, a protester who grabbed the microphone and admitted to chanting “down, down Woyane” is in exile now and wasn’t mentioned in the court documents. “Woyane” is a colloquial term used to describe the ruling party in Ethiopia.

    “I took the microphone in a peaceful protest,” he told VOA Amharic. “I was the one who protested and I don’t know the men blamed for grabbing the microphone.”


    FILE – Ethiopian men read newspapers and drink coffee at a cafe in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Oct. 10, 2016. The Ethiopian government temporarily cut off internet access nationwide in early June, saying it was necessary to prevent students from cheating on final exams.

    And in early June, the government cut off internet access nationwide, stating that the measure was needed to prevent high school students from cheating on final exams by sharing answers on social media.

    In a press conference, Communications Minister Negeri Lencho denied the move was to control free communication.

    “The only reason is to help our students to concentrate on the exams because we know we are fighting poverty,” he said.

    As of June 8, internet access including social media sites was restored, according to published reports.

    ‘Under assault’

    In a new report, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an international think tank, concluded that the targeting of civil society and restrictions on free speech fit a pattern in Ethiopia. Over the past two decades the space for political opposition has been steadily constricted and civil liberties taken away, the report said.

    Two laws in particular, the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-terrorism Proclamation, both passed in 2009, have given the government wide latitude to imprison opposition members and journalists and shut down groups advocating for human rights, Carnegie found.

    Saskia Brechenmacher, an associate fellow at the Carnegie Endowment who worked on the report, said anti-terrorism laws have been used across Africa to stifle dissent.

    “Those laws have become very effective tools, especially in moments of crisis as we are seeing right now,” she said. “Ahead of elections or during moments of sustained protests, [they are used] to target selectively, particularly activists and journalists that are seen as particularly threatening.”


    FILE – Security personnel take action against protesters in Bishoftu town in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, Oct. 2, 2016. Critics say that ahead of elections or during moments of sustained protests the Ethiopian government has been known to resort to a self-serving interpretation of the country’s anti-terrorism laws to stifle dissent, selectively targeting activists and journalists.

    Brechenmacher said Ethiopia also cracks down on civil society groups through a provision in the charities law, which prevents organizations from receiving more than 10 percent of their funding from abroad.

    “Many organizations had to switch their mandate and activities and turn more toward developmental and civil liberties because they couldn’t carry out the kind of work they had been doing before,” she said.

    Brechenmacher said these restrictions represent an abrupt reversal for a country that was becoming more open prior to the crackdowns that followed the 2005 elections.

    “Ethiopia showcases what a dramatic effect this could have on independent civil society and the amount of information that is available in a country,” she said. “And also it really testifies the extent to which this does not really address the grievances that citizens have vis-a-vis the government and therefore those grievances will find another outlet.”


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Congrats to Ezra Yoseph High School Student Offered $6 Million in Scholarships

    Ethiopian American high school student Ezra Yoseph of Las Vegas, Nevada was accepted to 24 of the top and prestigious universities in the United States this month with an offer of $6 Million in scholarships. (8 News)

    8 News LAS VEGAS

    LAS VEGAS – Later this month, thousands of local high school students will graduate and move on to college, including one spectacularly successful student who’s been offered more than $6 million in scholarships.

    [His] name is Ezra Yoseph and attends Clark High School with an impressive academic story.

    Ezra was accepted to 24 of the top and prestigious universities in the United States. He started thinking about what to write in his application essay when he was a freshman in a high school.

    “It’s amazing to watch him grow into such a fine young man,” says Mrs. Lonie Lim, Clark High School Counselor.

    “So, I wrote about a lot of things in my essay but mostly I wrote about something I’m really passionate about [which is] social liberation in Africa, and specifically I talked about literacy rates among Ethiopian women where my family came from; I spoke about basketball, I tied so many things I like and enjoy and passionate about,” says Ezra Yoseph.

    He is the first person in his immediate family to go to college and has a 4.73 GPA. Choosing the right school wasn’t easy and he visited several of them after narrowing it down to an impressive final four of Stanford, Yale, Princeton and Columbia Universities. Ezra finally felt more comfortable with Stanford University and plans to attend in the fall of 2017.

    Ezara Yoseph, who grew up in a single parent household, has his sights set on becoming a clinical neurosurgeon. He says, “I want to focus on studying Parkinson’s disease that really stems from my grandmother who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease six years ago.”

    “He is a remarkable kid and I’m telling you, in four years when he graduates, he’s going to do even bigger and better things.”


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Wayna Pays Tribute to Legendary Ethiopian Musician Bezunesh Bekele

    Grammy-nominated singer Wayna will perform a tribute to legendary Bezunesh Bekele at Bethesda Blues & Jazz club on June 9th. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 8th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Following her performance with the Stevie Wonder as a soloist and supporting vocalist, Ethiopian American singer Wayna is starting this summer with a one-of-a-kind tribute to Ethiopian music legend Bezunesh Bekele. Wayna’s upcoming concert is scheduled to be held at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club in Maryland on Friday, June 9th.

    As a Grammy-nominated musician Wayna has previously performed at the Kennedy Center, the White House, Lincoln Center, and the Blue Note along with a 3-month performance residency in Ethiopia in 2016. Wayna also recently released a music video this past March in honor of Women’s History Month entitled You’re Not Alone, which featured images of Ethiopian women by photographer Aida Muluneh as well as photos of women that she encountered at the historic Women’s March on Washington in January 2017.


    If You Go:
    Friday, June 9th, 2017
    Door open at 6pm
    Show at 7:00PM
    Tickets $25 (click here to reserve seats)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Comey Accuses White House of ‘Lies’ and Says Trump Tried to Derail Inquiry

    “Those were lies, plain and simple,” James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, Jun. 08, 2017 discussing White House explanations for his firing. (New York Times)

    The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — James B. Comey, the recently fired F.B.I. director, said Thursday in an extraordinary Senate hearing that he believed that President Trump had clearly tried to derail an F.B.I. investigation into his former national security adviser and that the president had lied and defamed him.

    Mr. Comey, no longer constrained by the formalities of a government job, offered a blunt, plain-spoken assessment of a president whose conversations unnerved him from the day they met, weeks before Mr. Trump took office. His testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee provided an unflattering back story to his abrupt dismissal and squarely raised the question of whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice.

    Answering that falls to the Justice Department special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Comey revealed that he gave all of the memos he wrote on his interactions with the president to Mr. Mueller’s investigators, the first suggestion that prosecutors would investigate Mr. Comey’s firing last month.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Comey says he was fired over Russia probe, blasts ‘lies’ (AP)
    Special Prosecutor Appointed to Investigate the Trump-Russia Case (AP)

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