Author Archive for Tadias

Secret Service Director Resigns Over Safety Concerns for Obama and Family

Embattled United States Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday following embarrassing missteps that placed President Obama and the first family at risk. (Photo: Getty Images)

The New York Times


October 1st, 2014

WASHINGTON — Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, is resigning in the wake of several security breaches.

The resignation came less than a day after lawmakers from both parties assailed Ms. Pierson’s leadership and said they feared for the lives of the president and others in the protection of the agency.

On Wednesday morning, Ms. Pierson met with Jeh C. Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, the department that oversees the Secret Service. In a statement, Mr. Johnson said that he had accepted Ms. Pierson’s resignation, and that he had appointed Joseph Clancy, a former agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, to become the agency’s acting director.

Mr. Johnson also said that he was directing his deputy at the Department of Homeland Security to oversee an internal review of the Sept. 19 incident in which an intruder jumped over the fence around the White House and penetrated deep inside the mansion.

Read more at The New York Times »

Video: Threats to Obama last straw, Julia Pierson out (MSNBC)

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Republican Lawmaker ‘Outraged’ Over Threats to President Obama, Family

House Oversight Committee member Congressman Jason Chaffetz (Republican from Utah) leads the questioning of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, (AP Photo)

Utah The Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Hours after a House committee grilled the Secret Service director about a major security lapse at the White House on Sept. 19, whistleblowers revealed Tuesday that an armed security contractor with prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during his visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Sept. 16.

“You have a convicted felon within an arm’s reach of the president, and they never did a background check,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told The Washington Post on Tuesday evening.

“Words aren’t strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the President and his family.”

Obama was at the CDC to discuss the nation’s response to the Ebola virus crisis. The security contractor was allowed to ride in an elevator with the president but was questioned by government agents after he refused to comply with their request to stop filming Obama with his cellphone.

Agents then questioned the guard and checked a database, which revealed his criminal history, The Washington Post reported.

“His life was in danger. This country would be a different world today if he had pulled out his gun,” Chaffetz is quoted by The Washington Post.

Read more »

Secret Service Under Fire, Congressman Calls Testimony ‘Shocking’ (Video)

Watch: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on Secret Service breach: ‘Heads need to roll’ (MSNBC Video)

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First US Case of Ebola Diagnosed in Dallas

The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Sept. 30, 2014. (AP Photo)

VOA News

By Greg Flakus

HOUSTON — Doctors in Dallas, Texas say they have diagnosed the first case of Ebola in the United States. The patient, whose identity has not been revealed, arrived on a flight from Liberia earlier this month, but showed no signs of illness until a few days later.

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thomas Frieden, says the patient infected with the Ebola virus was healthy when he or she left Liberia and while on the flight to the United States.

“This individual left Liberia on the 19th of September, arrived in the U.S. on the 20th of September, had no symptoms when departing Liberia or entering this country, but four or five days later, around the 24th of September, began to develop symptoms,” said Frieden.

Frieden stressed that until the symptoms appeared, the person posed no threat of infection to anyone else. He said authorities are now trying to identify anyone who may have had contact with the infected person during the period when the symptoms first appeared to the time the patient went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas for treatment.

Those people will be closely monitored for a few weeks to make sure they did not contract the disease. A hospital spokesperson says the infected patient is in intensive care, but would not reveal any further information out of concern for the individual’s privacy.

Doctors working on this case say Ebola can be easily contained through good public health practices, immediate quarantine of anyone showing symptoms and monitoring of people with whom that person came into contact. Frieden says the virus cannot be transmitted through the air, but only through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person manifesting symptoms.

“While we do not currently know how this individual became infected, they undoubtedly had contact with someone who was sick with Ebola or who died from it,” he said.

Early symptoms of Ebola include fever, sore throat and muscle aches. As the disease progresses, it produces hemorrhagic fever, which can cause bleeding and organ failure.

Although American health workers who were diagnosed in Africa were flown back to the U.S. for treatment, the Texas man is the first patient to be diagnosed inside the United States.

Ebola has killed nearly 3,100 people and infected more than 6,500 in West Africa. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are the most affected countries.

The virus causes uncontrollable bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. It is spread by direct contact with the body fluids of infected patients.

There is no specific treatment, but an American doctor diagnosed with the virus was found to be Ebola-free after taking an experimental drug last month.

President Barack Obama has called Ebola a national security priority for the United States. He has called on the rest of the world to also regard it as a threat.

The Pentagon said Tuesday it is sending 700 U.S. soldiers to Liberia to help that country handle the outbreak. Seven hundred Army engineers also will help build treatment centers. No U.S. military personnel will provide direct care to Ebola patients.

Elsewhere in West Africa, the CDC said Tuesday it looks like the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria has been contained. Officials said there have been no new cases since August 31, and the 21-day monitoring period of those who came in contact with those infected ends Thursday. There were 19 confirmed Ebola cases in Nigeria.

The CDC also says Senegal avoided an Ebola epidemic when authorities there isolated that country’s only Ebola case in August.

Twelve other people in the U.S. have been tested for Ebola since July 27. The CDC said all those tests came back negative.

The White House says President Barack Obama discussed the CDC’s stringent isolation procedures with Frieden, who noted that the CDC was prepared for an Ebola case in the U.S.

The data health officials have seen in the past few decades since Ebola was discovered indicate that it is not spread through casual contact or through the air. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated.

The illness has an average 8-10 day incubation period (although it ranges from 2 to 21 days); CDC recommends monitoring exposed people for symptoms a complete 21 days. People are not contagious after exposure unless they develop symptoms.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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In Ethiopia, Paleontologists Are Pushing Back the Clock on Humanity’s Origins

Paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged beside his discovery, a 3.3 million year old child, an early species in humankind’s lineage. (Image by Amy Maxmen. Ethiopia, 2014.)



Two hammers, two shovels, four rifles. They carried their own tools. Zeresenay Alemseged, a young and driven Ethiopian fossil hunter, joined by four armed soldiers and a government official, was on a mission to the Afar Depression, a region shaped like a tornado in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley. The Afar is bone-dry, scorching hot, and riddled with scorpions and vipers. It is regularly shaken by earthquakes and sinking deeper into the Earth as the converging tectonic plates beneath it pull apart, and molten magma bubbles up through the cracks. When the magma cools, it forms sharp, basaltic blocks.

Along the road, the boulders blocked Alemseged’s path. He had to stop the car, lift the boulders, drive further, repeat. Dry riverbeds were smoother, but frequently the tires sank in the fine sand, and the men, sweating in the afternoon sun, pushed the jeep onward.

Alemseged was headed to the most dangerous spot within the Afar, which even Indiana Jones-types avoided because of constant conflicts between local tribes. The armed soldiers were his security. Alemseged had no salaried scientific position, and refused to accompany teams led by accomplished researchers going to safer areas with fat grants. If he struck out on his own, he felt sure he could discover academic gold: ancient traces of humankind’s past. This meant funding the expedition out of pocket. “I was the driver, so I didn’t need to pay a driver; I was the cook, so I didn’t need to pay a cook; and I was the only scientist,” Alemseged said.

His aim was to explore an area called Dikika, across from a bank on the Awash River where an American paleontologist, Donald Johansen, had discovered Lucy in 1974. Her ancient skeleton’s partially human, partially chimpanzee features were a clear indication of our descent from the apes. Dikika was the logical next place to look for more fossils, but no one had done so because of the risk presented by battles waged over water and land between the Afar and the Issa, pastoral tribes who inhabit Dikika. But Alemseged, who goes by Zeray (pronounced Zeh-rye), was not deterred.

Alemseged’s bare-bones team reached a vast plain of sand and volcanic ashes. He knew this sediment yielded the type of fossils he was after. In December of 2000, one of the men spotted the top of a skull the size of a small orange in the dirt. Slowly, over a period of years, he and his colleagues carefully unearthed a petite skeleton of a child who had likely died in a flood and been buried in soft sand, 3.3 million years ago. She was a member of Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis, from a period about halfway between today and the time when our lineage went one way and that containing chimpanzees went the other. In 2006, Alemseged and his colleagues published their findings in Nature.

The child was named Selam—a word for peace in several Ethiopian languages, a wish to end the fighting in Dikika. Selam’s gorilla-ish shoulder blades and long fingers betrayed a penchant for swinging on braches. But bones at the base of her head showed that she held it upright and therefore walked on two legs. The size of her skull suggested her brain developed slowly through early childhood, a distinct characteristic of humans from long before modern humans evolved.

“It’s the earliest child in the history of humanity,” Alemseged said, enunciating each word slowly. “That discovery was 100 percent Ethiopian. It was by Ethiopians, on Ethiopian land, led by an Ethiopian scientist.”

Read the full story at Nautilus »

Tadias Interview with Zeresenay Alemseged (2009)

Watch: Dr. Zeray explains the discovery of Selam

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New Walya Coach Worried About Injuries, Lack of Federation Support

“I have not got important support like getting video tapes for Mali so I have been depending on friends," says Ethiopia coach Mariano Barreto, speaking about the team's upcoming Afcon 2015 match with Mali.

Super Sport

By Collins Okinyo

Ethiopia coach Mariano Barreto is concerned with the number of injuries that have cropped up in the team ahead of their clash against Mali ahead in the Afcon 2015 qualifiers.

Barreto also rued missing out on a friendly match to prepare the team ahead of the clash as he noted that he was not happy with the training at the artificial Abebe Bikila stadium because the national stadium was not prepared in time.

“I had talked to the federation about the need of a friendly match but the game was not effected on time meaning we will go to the match against Mali without any match preparation,” Barreto told

Read more at »

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Secret Service Under Fire, Congressman Calls Testimony ‘Shocking’ (Video)

United States Secret Service Director Julia Pierson takes her seat to testify at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 30, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

VOA News

By Cindy Saine

Updated: September 30, 2014 12:12 PM

CAPITOL HILL — U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson came under sharp criticism from members of Congress, who pressed her to explain how an intruder was able to evade security and enter the main floor of the White House 10 days ago.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers expressed concern about the safety of President Barack Obama and his family while they are at home.

Democrats and Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee often argue bitterly with each other. On Tuesday, though, they turned their anger and frustration on Secret Service Director Pierson.

Bi-partisan outrage

Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz was outraged that Pierson praised what she said was the “tremendous restraint” Secret Service agents showed after the incident on September 19 when a man with a knife was able to run all the way into the East Room of the presidential mansion before he was apprehended.

“Tremendous restraint is not the goal and the objective. It sends a very mixed message. The message should be overwhelming force,” said Chaffetz.

Pierson promised a comprehensive investigation into the failures that allowed the intruder to jump a fence, cross the grounds and enter the White House, and said she would take action if needed.

“It is clear that our security plan was not properly executed. This is unacceptable, and I take full responsibility, and I will make sure that it does not happen again,” she stated.

Questions of leadership

Her response was not good enough for many of the lawmakers on the panel, including Democrat Stephen Lynch. “And I wish to God you protected the White House like you are protecting your reputation here today,” he said. “I wish you spent that time and that effort to protect the American president.”

Lynch said he has serious questions about Pierson’s leadership and that he fears for the safety of the president and the first family within the confines of the White House.

Washington, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton pointed out that as the first African-American U.S. president, Obama faces even more danger.

“According to threat assessments, this president has had three times as many threats as his predecessors,” said Norton.

Mixed signals alleged

Pierson was also asked about another incident in 2011 when a man fired into the White House and it took several days for the Secret Service to realize that the building had been hit.

Several lawmakers blamed Pierson for sending mixed signals about whether agents could use lethal force if they felt the president is in danger.

Some said the height of the White House fence is not the problem, but that several layers of security failed to stop the fence-jumper until he had crossed the lawn, opened the door, and run through the main floor of the White House.

The president and his daughters had left the building just minutes before the intruder came in.

Watch: Congressman Elijah Cummings on Secret Service: ‘My trust is eroding’ (MSNBC Video)

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U.S. Secret Service Investigating Shooting at Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC

The U.S. Secret Service detained a man who officers believe fired a gun near the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC on Monday. Witnesses said the gunfire took place inside the embassy compound. (AP)

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) – Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said in an e-mailed statement that Secret Service officers received a report of shots fired near the embassy around 12:15 p.m. Monday. When they arrived, officers detained a man believed to be the shooter.

The Secret Service said there were no reported injuries as a result of the incident.

The embassy is at 3506 International Drive in Northwest Washington. There was no immediate answer at a main embassy telephone number Monday afternoon.

A protest was apparently taking place outside the embassy when the gunshots were fired. A video of the incident was posted to YouTube by Ethiopian Satellite TV [ESAT].

Watch: Man Waves Gun Outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Shots Fired

A Gunman Opens Fire During Ethiopian Embassy Protest in Washington (Reuters)

A gunman opened fire during a protest on the Ethiopian Embassy grounds on Monday, according to a video of the incident, but no injuries were reported.

A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service said it had detained a possible shooter after a report at about 12:15 p.m. EDT that shots were fired near the embassy in northwest Washington, D.C.

Witnesses said the gunfire took place inside the embassy compound during a protest against the Horn of Africa nation’s government.

“About half a block from the embassy, I heard at least four shots, and I thought there were people killed,” demonstrator Tesfa Simagne told Reuters Television.

A video taken inside the embassy gates and carried by the website of Ethiopian Satellite Television shows a man wearing a dark suit and brandishing a silver handgun.

He points the weapon at others who argue with him and fires a single shot. Still waving the gun and arguing with protesters, the man backs up to an embassy door and goes inside.

A separate video made by a protester and provided to Reuters showed a bullet hole in the windshield of a car protesters said was outside the embassy gates.

A State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that no one was hurt. The person believed to have fired the shots turned himself in to authorities, and no arrests were made because he has diplomatic immunity, the official said.

Repeated phone calls to the embassy went unanswered.

Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)

By Maureen Umeh

WASHINGTON – Shots were fired outside the Embassy of Ethiopia in D.C. on Monday afternoon.

It happened around 12:15 p.m., according to the U.S. Secret Service.

Officers responded immediately after hearing reports of shots being fired, and they detained and questioned an Ethiopian guard who works at the embassy. He is believed to have fired the shots.

An Ethiopian television network caught the shooting on camera while they were covering a protest at the embassy. FOX 5′s Maureen Umeh has been told similar anti-government protests happen frequently here and are usually peaceful. However, some protesters went onto embassy grounds on Monday and taunted the guard. He responded by firing warning shots, one of which struck a woman’s car and shattering her front window.

No injuries were reported.

The Embassy of Ethiopia is located at 3506 InternationalDrive, NW.

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Video: Man Brandishes Gun at Ethiopian Embassy in DC

Secret Service agents detained an Ethiopian Embassy staff who brandished and appeared to fire a gun outside the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 29th, 2014. (Images: ESAT)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

September 29th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) The following video footage captured by ESAT shows the gunman brandishing his weapon outside the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Monday before shots were fired. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Reuters reported that U.S. Secret Service agents briefly detained the person, but no arrests were made because he has diplomatic immunity. Reuters added: “A separate video made by a protester and provided to Reuters showed a bullet hole in the windshield of a car protesters said was outside the embassy gates”

Watch: Man Waves Gun Outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Shots Fired

A Gunman Opens Fire During Ethiopian Embassy Protest in Washington (Reuters)

A gunman opened fire during a protest on the Ethiopian Embassy grounds on Monday, according to a video of the incident, but no injuries were reported.

A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service said it had detained a possible shooter after a report at about 12:15 p.m. EDT that shots were fired near the embassy in northwest Washington, D.C.

Witnesses said the gunfire took place inside the embassy compound during a protest against the Horn of Africa nation’s government.

“About half a block from the embassy, I heard at least four shots, and I thought there were people killed,” demonstrator Tesfa Simagne told Reuters Television.

A video taken inside the embassy gates and carried by the website of Ethiopian Satellite Television shows a man wearing a dark suit and brandishing a silver handgun.

He points the weapon at others who argue with him and fires a single shot. Still waving the gun and arguing with protesters, the man backs up to an embassy door and goes inside.

A separate video made by a protester and provided to Reuters showed a bullet hole in the windshield of a car protesters said was outside the embassy gates.

A State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that no one was hurt. The person believed to have fired the shots turned himself in to authorities, and no arrests were made because he has diplomatic immunity, the official said.

Repeated phone calls to the embassy went unanswered.

Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)

By Maureen Umeh

WASHINGTON – Shots were fired outside the Embassy of Ethiopia in D.C. on Monday afternoon.

It happened around 12:15 p.m., according to the U.S. Secret Service.

Officers responded immediately after hearing reports of shots being fired, and they detained and questioned an Ethiopian guard who works at the embassy. He is believed to have fired the shots.

An Ethiopian television network caught the shooting on camera while they were covering a protest at the embassy. FOX 5′s Maureen Umeh has been told similar anti-government protests happen frequently here and are usually peaceful. However, some protesters went onto embassy grounds on Monday and taunted the guard. He responded by firing warning shots, one of which struck a woman’s car and shattering her front window.

No injuries were reported.

The Embassy of Ethiopia is located at 3506 International Drive, NW.

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A Gunman Opens Fire During Ethiopian Embassy Protest in Washington (Video)

United States Secret Service police stand in front of the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington September 29, 2014. (Photo: DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG)


A gunman opened fire during a protest on the Ethiopian Embassy grounds on Monday, according to a video of the incident, but no injuries were reported.

A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service said it had detained a possible shooter after a report at about 12:15 p.m. EDT that shots were fired near the embassy in northwest Washington, D.C.

Witnesses said the gunfire took place inside the embassy compound during a protest against the Horn of Africa nation’s government.

“About half a block from the embassy, I heard at least four shots, and I thought there were people killed,” demonstrator Tesfa Simagne told Reuters Television.

A video taken inside the embassy gates and carried by the website of Ethiopian Satellite Television shows a man wearing a dark suit and brandishing a silver handgun.

He points the weapon at others who argue with him and fires a single shot. Still waving the gun and arguing with protesters, the man backs up to an embassy door and goes inside.

A separate video made by a protester and provided to Reuters showed a bullet hole in the windshield of a car protesters said was outside the embassy gates.

A State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that no one was hurt. The person believed to have fired the shots turned himself in to authorities, and no arrests were made because he has diplomatic immunity, the official said.

Repeated phone calls to the embassy went unanswered.

Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)

By Maureen Umeh

WASHINGTON – Shots were fired outside the Embassy of Ethiopia in D.C. on Monday afternoon.

It happened around 12:15 p.m., according to the U.S. Secret Service.

Officers responded immediately after hearing reports of shots being fired, and they detained and questioned an Ethiopian guard who works at the embassy. He is believed to have fired the shots.

An Ethiopian television network caught the shooting on camera while they were covering a protest at the embassy. FOX 5′s Maureen Umeh has been told similar anti-government protests happen frequently here and are usually peaceful. However, some protesters went onto embassy grounds on Monday and taunted the guard. He responded by firing warning shots, one of which struck a woman’s car and shattering her front window.

No injuries were reported.

The Embassy of Ethiopia is located at 3506 InternationalDrive, NW.

Video: Man brandishes gun near Ethiopian embassy, shots fired (ESAT video via Reuters)

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A Video-Art Exhibition in Germany by Ethiopian Curator Meskerem Assegued

Curated by Meskerem Assegued the show at the Dresden State Art Collections museum in Dresden, Germany (October 17, 2014 to January 4, 2015) also features work by Ethiopian artist Abel Tilahun.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, September 29th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – A video-art exhibition by Ethiopian anthropologist and curator Meskerem Assegued, Founder and Director of Zoma Contemporary Art Center in Addis Ababa, opens next month at Germany’s Dresden State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) — one of the oldest museum and cultural institutions in the world. The show entitled “Curvature of Events” is an analysis of European art history as interpreted by contemporary video artists, including Ethiopian-born animator Abel Tilahun who teaches at American University in Washington D.C.

“The exhibition is a window into the way Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic artists depicted their society and how artists of our time interpret that perception relating it to the present,” the museum announced. “The curator’s selection and interpretation of the pieces is influenced by a different cultural background than the artists who created them. The curator invited three video artists to look at the selected works and to choose those that interested them most. The video artists used modern media to create a contemporary reaction to art from an earlier time.”

In addition to Abel Tilahun the other artists featured in the exhibition include Gunter Deller of Germany and Barbara Lubich from Italy. The museum notes that Meskerem came up with the idea for “Curvature of Events” during a visit to Dresden (sponsored in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Sub-Sahara Africa) to do research and to develop a concept for an exhibition there. The video display is based on pieces she selected from the permanent collections at the Old Masters Gallery and the Albertinum dating from the mid-1500s to the early 1900s but excluding the last 100 years from 1914 to 2014.

Meskerem has worked with several prestigious art festivals including Venice Biennale (2007), Dak-Art Biennale (2004), as well as organizations such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Santa Monica Museum of Art. “Meskerem Assegued’s curatorial career goes back over twenty years,” states the press release. “During the last sixteen years she has curated several exhibitions in Europe, Africa and North America. She is interested in contemporary artistic expressions that deal with historical and socio-cultural contexts. She believes all social issues are relevant everywhere regardless of socio-political, socio-economic and geographical differences.”

If You Go:
“Curvature of Events”
Baroque. Romanticism. Video
October 17, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Opening event: October 16th, 2014 at 7pm
Galerie Neue Meister, Albertinum
Dresden, Germany

Cover image: Courtesy of Meskerem Assegued

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2014 Berlin Marathon Women Results

Tirfi Tsegaye and Feyse Tadese of Ethiopia were the top two finishers in the women's race at the 2014 Berlin Marathon on Sunday, September 28th. (Photo: Wikimedia commons)


Results from the Berlin Marathon Women on Sunday, September 28, 2014

1. Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene (Ethiopia) 2:20:18
2. Feyse Tadese (Ethiopia) 2:20:27
3. Shalane Flanagan (U.S.) 2:21:14
4. Tadelech Bekele (Ethiopia) 2:23:02
5. Abebech Afework (Ethiopia) 2:25:02
6. Kayoko Fukushi (Japan) 2:26:25
7. Anna Hahner (Germany) 2:26:44
8. Ines Melchor (Peru) 2:26:48
9. Rene Kalmer (South Africa) 2:29:27
10. Adriana da Silva (Brazil) 2:38:05

2014 Berlin Marathon: Men’s Race – Universal Sports Video

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From Gondar to Ben-Gurion University

Ethiopians celebrating in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


Ethiopian medical students study at Ben-Gurion University as part of exchange program.

Naomi Teshome, 23, graduated doctor in Ethiopia, ever saw a cardiac catheterization during her years in medical school. In her two months as a visiting student at Ben-Gurion University’s School for International Health in Beersheba, she observed dozens of such procedures.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a good medical system and it gives me so much pain to see people who can’t afford treatment,” Teshome told The Media Line. “It makes me really sad. When I see it here, it makes me want more for my country.

This experience has given me more enthusiasm and commitment to work harder to see a better development of medicine in my country.”

Teshome was one of three Ethiopian students hosted by the School for International Health just before they graduated.

Their teacher, Nebiyu Mesfin, an assistant professor of medicine from the University of Gondar, said the young doctors will join a profession that is suffering from a shortage of doctors.

“Until recently we had just 2,000 doctors for the whole country,” he told The Media Line. “Our population is approaching 90 million and there was a real shortage.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post »

Rachel Nega: Ethiopian Doctor in Israel Breaking Barriers

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Ethiopian American Council Endorses Congressman Mike Honda for Re-Election

Congressman Mike Honda represents California's 17th Congressional district in Silicon Valley. (AP photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, September 28th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Few politicians in America could claim as close a relationship with the Ethiopian community in their district and beyond as U.S. Congressman Mike Honda of California. Mr. Honda, who is the Founder of the Ethiopian American Congressional Caucus, was also one of the keynote speakers at the recent Ethiopian soccer tournament held in San Jose. Tadias Magazine has learned that Congressman Honda, who is up for re-election in November, will be endorsed by the Ethiopian American Council (EAC) in his bid to retain his seat, which he first assumed in 2001.

In a letter sent to Mr. Honda’s office this week, and shared with Tadias, EAC informed the Congressman that given his “long years of service” to the community the Ethiopian American organization is prepared to back his campaign both in fundraising and voter drive efforts.

“The Ethiopian-American Council of North America wishes to thank you for your past service, and your record holds vast evidence that you are concerned with the rights and general welfare of all Americans – with a keen eye on immigrant and ethnic communities,” stated the letter. “We will endorse you and we will lend as much financial and social support as we deem appropriate to ensure that Ethiopian-American voters, and any other citizens we are able to encourage, will go to the polls for you.”

The letter mentions Honda’s commitment to provide “a meaningful path to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants” and his heritage as a third generation Japanese American and his experience in an internment camp in Colorado where his family was sent when he was only one year old. “With people such as yourself in office, hope remains that such an egregiously wrong action will never happen again to any ethnic or immigrant community in the United States of America,” wrote EAC.

In a statement posted on his website Congressman Honda, who is now 73-years-old, explains his early life as follows: “Though I was born in Walnut Grove, California, I spent my early childhood in a Japanese American internment camp in Colorado. It was there that I experienced first-hand the injustices that many minorities face in the United States. Even though my family and I were law-abiding citizens of this country, we were treated like enemies of the public solely because we were of Japanese descent. When I returned to California in 1953, I attended Andrew P. Hill High School and eventually graduated from San José High Academy. While attending college at San José State, I heard President Kennedy’s call for young Americans, like myself, to serve their country, and I joined the Peace Corps. As a volunteer in El Salvador, I spent two years building schools, constructing bridges and roads, and providing vaccinations to children. My Peace Corps experience sparked my lifelong passion for teaching and education. After completing my B.S. in Biological Sciences and Spanish and my Masters in Education, I became a science teacher, working my way up to becoming the principal of two schools and conducting research at Stanford University.”

California’s 17th congressional district, which Mr. Honda represents, is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and companies such as Apple, Intel, Yahoo, and eBay are all members of the district’s constituency. The area comprises North San Jose, the cities of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Fremont, Newark, and Milpitas.

In the upcoming election Congressman Honda faces fellow Democrat and Indian American attorney, Ro Khanna, who is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Commerce.

EAC added that it will issue a press release in the coming days to announce its endorsement.

You can learn more about Congressman Mike Honda at

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Photo of Prince Alemayehu Among Astonishing Portraits Unseen for 120 Years

The above portrait of Prince Alemayehu Tewodros of Ethiopia (left) is part of a new exhibition in England called Black Chronicles II that spotlights the first black people ever photographed in Britain. (Getty)

The Guardian

By Sean O’Hagan

More haunting is the portrait of Dejazmatch Alamayou Tewodros, an Ethiopian prince who was orphaned at the age of seven, when his father died rather than surrender to the British troops that had surrounded his castle in what was then Abyssinia. Alamayou was brought to England by Sir Robert Napier and adopted by the intriguingly named explorer Captain Tristram Speedy. Alamayou died in England of pleurisy in 1879.

“There is a certain melancholy to many of these images, particularly the portraits of children, that speaks of exile and estrangement,” says Renée Mussai [co-curator the show at London’s Rivington Place]. “That is certainly the case with Alamayou.

Read more and see the photos at The Guardian »

Interview with Selam Bekele: Oakland’s Home Away from Home Art Project

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Ethiopian Artist Melaku Belay’s Quest to Save Fendika

Melaku Belay (right), leader of the traditional Ethiopian dance artists Fendika. (Photo by Nacho Gonzalez)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, September 26th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — If Ethiopia is to have a cultural dance ambassador, Melaku Belay will likely be a front runner. The New York Times described the leader of the Fendika dance troupe as “a happily superlative artist” following his live show here three years ago at the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors concert stating “The rhythmic virtuosity of Mr. Melaku was often astounding.” Raving about his Guraginya performance, the newspaper added: “Sometimes the feet alternated, sometimes he hopped, and on one occasion, while hopping brilliantly, he mimed strumming on the other leg, which he kept stretched out like a guitar…At the climax of one amazing dance cadenza, his own body became a trill — initiated, it seemed, from somewhere around the diaphragm and midspine, but with the whole body shaken into a blur — and then he began to turn in a traveling diagonal across the stage.”

Since then, of course, Melaku who also runs the Fendika cultural dance club in Addis Ababa, has returned to the United States for several sold-out events including in Washington, D.C., Boston and Philadelphia.

Currently, however, the renown Ethiopian performing artist says he is busy raising funds to purchase his club property (Fendika Azmari Bet) in his hometown of Addis, where “the land where the club sits is due to be sold imminently.”

In a press release the artist’s friends announced the launch of a crowd-sourcing campaign via Indiegogo entitled “Save the FENDIKA cultural club in Addis Ababa.” In addition, organizers indicated there will be a benefit concert at Jazzamba nightclub in Taitu Hotel on Sunday September 28th beginning at 6 PM.

“Located in the Kazanchis neighborhood of Addis, the vibe and smell and feel of Fendika could not be more authentic,” the press release added. “It is a place of feeling, of heart, of connection, creativity, the jokes of the azmaris and their clever lyrics, [as well as] Melaku’s group Ethiocolor’s inspired and traditional dance, you will not experience a more vibrant, living and breathing venue anywhere in the world.”

Fendika’s trademark vibrancy was certainly on display during their 2011 appearance in New York. As NYT recorded “They regularly returned, individually or together, to the stage. The singer Selamnesh Zemene always enriched the spell; Asrat Ayalew’s playing of kebero (traditional drums) had complexity and brilliance; and Mr. Melaku and Zinash Tsegaye, the two dancers, provided most of the program’s most remarkable highlights.”

What sets Fendika apart from being merely a house of traditional music, Melaku’s friends point out, is its open-door policy for global music. “Melaku welcomes visiting musicians, dancers, poets, singers, artists who join in to share their creativity in the warm embrace of the club,” the press release states. “He believes that this is his mission together with all artists – to exchange culture and promote peace through music and art. If he is successful in buying Fendika from its present owner, Melaku plans to add to the building, keeping Fendika exactly as it is but adding some income-generating aspect to the upper floors, most probably a small hotel where visiting artists and musicians can stay.”

save the FENDIKA – an extract from “Jamming Addis” from Dirk van den Berg on Vimeo.

You can support the fundraising campaign at

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Obama, PM Hailemariam Hold Meeting in New York (Video & Text of Remarks)

President Barack Obama during a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday, September 25, 2014 in New York. Right: National Security Adviser Susan Rice. (Getty Images)

The Washington Times

By Dave Boyer

President Obama called on world leaders Thursday to help stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, saying the epidemic is still raging out of control.

“This is more than a health crisis,” Mr. Obama said, wrapping up three days of diplomacy surrounding the United Nations General Assembly gathering. “The Ebola virus is spreading at alarming speed. This is a growing threat to regional and global security.”

Read more at the Washington Times »

Video: Remarks by Obama, Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Before Their Meeting (See text below)

25 September 2014
Office of the Press Secretary
New York City, New York
September 25, 2014


United Nations Building
New York City, New York
9:57 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I want to extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Desalegn and his delegation. When I spoke previously at the Africa Summit about some of the bright spots and progress that we’re seeing in Africa, I think there’s no better example than what has been happening in Ethiopia — one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

We have seen enormous progress in a country that once had great difficulty feeding itself. It’s now not only leading the pack in terms of agricultural production in the region, but will soon be an exporter potentially not just of agriculture, but also power because of the development that’s been taking place there.

We’re strong trading partners. And most recently, Boeing has done a deal with Ethiopia, which will result in jobs here in the United States. And in discussions with Ban Ki-moon yesterday, we discussed how critical it is for us to improve our effectiveness when it comes to peacekeeping and conflict resolution. And it turns out that Ethiopia may be one of the best in the world — one of the largest contributors of peacekeeping; one of the most effective fighting forces when it comes to being placed in some very difficult situations and helping to resolve conflicts.

So Ethiopia has been not only a leader economically in the continent, but also when it comes to security and trying to resolve some of the longstanding conflicts there. We are very appreciative of those efforts, and we look forward to partnering with them. This will give us an opportunity to talk about how we can enhance our strategic dialogue around a whole range of issues, from health, the economy, agriculture, but also some hotspot areas like South Sudan, where Ethiopia has been working very hard trying to bring the parties together, but recognizes that this is a challenge that we’re all going to have to work together on as part of an international community.

So I want to extend my thanks to the Prime Minister for his good work. And we look forward to not only an excellent discussion, but a very productive relationship going forward.

Mr. Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER DESALEGN: Thank you very much, Mr. President. First of all, I would like to thank you very much for receiving us during this very busy time. We value very much the relationship between the United States and Ethiopia. And as you mentioned, my country is moving, transforming the economy of the nation. But needless to say that the support of the United States in our endeavor to move forward has been remarkable.

I think the most important thing is to have the human capability to develop ourselves. And the United States has supported us in the various programs that helped us move forward in having healthy human beings that can produce. And as you mentioned, agriculture is the main source of our economic growth, and that has been the case because we do have our farmers which are devoid of malaria, which is the main debilitating disease while producing. So I think that has helped us a lot.

And we value also the support the United States has offered to us in terms of engaging the private sector, especially your initiative of the Power Africa program, which is taking shape. I think it’s remarkable and a modern kind of approach. And in that sense, we are obliged to thank you very much for this program and to deepen this Power Africa initiative.

Beyond that, you know that through your initiative and the leaders of the United States, we have the Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which is the most important program, where the private-public partnership is the initiative. We have a number of U.S. investors now engaged in agricultural production, helping the smallholder farmers, which is the basis for our agricultural growth that’s taking place now in Ethiopia.

Besides, peace and security is very essential for any kind of development to take place. In that sense, our cooperation in peace and security and pacifying the region, the continent, as well as our Horn of Africa — I think this has helped us a lot to bring peace and tranquility in the region. And we’ve feel that we have strong cooperation. We have to deepen it. We have to extend now our efforts to pacify the region and the continent. Of course, also, we have to cooperate globally, not only in Africa, and that relationship has to continue.

So, Mr. President, thank you very much for receiving us. We value this relationship, which is excellent, and we want to deepen it and continue.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Two last points I want to make. Obviously we’ve been talking a lot about terrorism and the focus has been on ISIL, but in Somalia, we’ve seen al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al Qaeda, wreak havoc throughout that country. That’s an area where the cooperation and leadership on the part of Ethiopia is making a difference as we speak. And we want to thank them for that.

So our counterterrorism cooperation and the partnerships that we have formed with countries like Ethiopia are going to be critical to our overall efforts to defeat terrorism.

And also, the Prime Minister and the government is going to be organizing elections in Ethiopia this year. I know something about that. We’ve got some midterms coming up. And so we’ll have an opportunity to talk about civil society and governance and how we can make sure that Ethiopia’s progress and example can extend to civil society as well, and making sure that throughout the continent of Africa we continue to widen and broaden our efforts at democracy, all of which isn’t just good for politics but ends up being good for economics as well — as we discussed at the Africa Summit.

So, thank you very much, everybody.

END 10:04 A.M. EDT

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President Obama at the United Nations: Ebola Threat to ‘Regional, Global Security’

President Barack Obama addresses special meeting on the Ebola outbreak, United Nations, New York, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo)

VOA News

September 25, 2014

Continuing White House efforts to combat the outbreak of Ebola in Africa, U.S. President Barack Obama warned a summit of world leaders in New York on Thursday that the disease is becoming “a growing threat to regional and global security.”

Addressing the special United Nations meeting on the outbreak, Obama called efforts to stop the virus from spreading “in the interests of the entire world.”

“In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, public health systems are near collapse. Economic growth is slowing dramatically,” he said. “If this epidemic is not stopped, this disease could cause a humanitarian catastrophe across the region.”

Citing recent U.N. commitments to fight the virus, Obama acknowledged some progress but said “it’s not enough.”

“There’s a significant gap between where we are and where we need to be,” he said, calling on international organizations, member states, foundations and businesses to mobilize resources and offer support.

“And more citizens — of all nations — can educate themselves on this crisis, contribute to relief efforts and call on their leaders to act,” he said. “Everyone can do something.”

He then called on UN member states to heed calls from the “front lines” for increased medical supplies and aid.

“Right now, patients are being left to die in the streets because there’s nowhere to put them and no one to help them,” he said. “One health worker in Sierra Leone compared fighting this outbreak to ‘fighting a forest fire with spray bottles.’ With our help, they can put out the blaze.”

His comments come on the heels of a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report Tuesday that between 550,000 and 1.4 million people in West Africa could be infected with the Ebola virus by January 20, 2015.

Based on the assumption that the actual number of Ebola cases has been underreported, the CDC said in a statement that “extensive, immediate actions — such as those already started — can bring the epidemic to a tipping point to start a rapid decline in cases.”

The agency’s best-case model projects that by getting 70 percent of patients into facilities where the risk for transmission is reduced and burying the dead safely, the epidemic would be “almost ended” by January 20.

“Stopping Ebola is a priority for the United States,” Obama said. “We will continue to lead and do our part. But this must also be a priority for the world.”

The president then announced a Friday meeting of 44 nations in Washington aimed at advancing global health security. “And we will work with any country that shares that commitment,” he said.

$1B plan

The president announced last week a $1 billion-plus U.S. plan to help West African nations contain Ebola. “We need a broader effort to stop a disease that could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize economies, and move rapidly across borders,” Obama said during his speech to the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday.

“It’s easy to see this as a distant problem — until it is not. And that is why we will continue to mobilize other countries to join us in making concrete commitments, significant commitments to fight this outbreak, and enhance our system of global health security for the long term,” the president added.

The U.S. has deployed doctors, scientists and military personnel to help “contain the outbreak and pursue new treatments,” Obama said.

According to the World Health Organization, the exponential spread of the Ebola has now killed almost 3,000 people in West Africa.

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will also take part through teleconference.

According to news reports by The Associated Press, Sierra Leone on Thursday sealed off an area that is home to more than 1 million people as part of efforts to keep the virus from spreading.

“The newly declared quarantine areas mean that about one-third of the country’s 6 million people are now living in areas where their movements are heavily restricted,” the report said.

Also Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the appointment of Ambassador Nancy Powell to lead the Ebola Coordination Unit at the Department of State.

According to statement by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, Powell, who most recently served as U.S. Ambassador to India, “served as the State Department’s Senior Coordinator for Avian Influenza.”

“Ambassador Powell will lead the State Department’s outreach to international partners, including foreign governments, to ensure a speedy and truly global response to this crisis,” Psaki said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting Thursday’s gathering of world leaders aimed at rallying efforts to contain the outbreak, prevent future ones and treat those who are infected.

Some information for this report comes from AP.

Ethiopian American Doctors Release Communiqué on Ebola Outbreak

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Lincoln Center Presents Wayna & Akua Naru – October 23rd

Grammy–nominated Ethiopian-American singer/songwriter Wayna and American lyricist and poet Akua Naru will perform live at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in NYC on October 23rd, 2014.

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Lincoln Center Press Release

New York – Grammy–nominated Ethiopian-American singer/songwriter Wayna has received accolades from popular music’s highest echelons: Stevie Wonder calls her “incredible.” Essence magazine deemed her “one to watch,” and Billboard declared her a “stand-out on the indie front.” The singer’s unique blend African and reggae-inspired soul with classic and alternative rock—aptly named “world soul”—earned her two chart-topping singles (from her sophomore LP Higher Ground) and a coveted Grammy nomination for Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

Wayna’s newest album, The Expats, represents a departure from her previous work. Named as an homage to its Toronto-based backing band and internationally born production team—contributors hail from Ethiopia, Japan, Israel, Germany, Jamaica, and India—the album draws from diverse influences to create an alternative environment where Sade and The Police meet Lauryn Hill and Radiohead. Wayna’s lyrics continue to push the envelope, addressing thought-provoking subject matter including racial and economic inequality, love, individuality, and life choices.

Wordsmith Akua Naru travels the world recording her experiences and fusing musical genres, solidifying herself as a model of what women can be in the hip-hop world. Her debut album . . . The Journey Aflame (2011) reached number one on the US college radio charts.

With classic boom bap hip-hop sounds, a profound mastery of lyricism, socially conscious rhymes, and astonishing musicianship, Akua has garnered critical attention and accumulated rave reviews. Her associations with the 90s hip-hop era and acts including Lauryn Hill and The Roots have earned her appreciation within and beyond hip-hop circles. Accompanied by her band DIGFLO, a six-piece ensemble including drums, keys, saxophone, flute, bass, guitar, and turntables, Akua has a reputation for captivating audiences, hyping crowds, inspiring many, and forcing some to encounter and dispel the myths they’ve been taught about women and hip-hop. Her music and performances are a testament to the legacy of soul music and the powerful trailblazing female artistic tradition on which it builds.

If You Go:
Wayna & Akua Naru
When: Oct. 23 at 7:30
Entrance: FREE (Sponsored by Target)
David Rubenstein Atrium Lincoln Center
New York City

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Gash Wondimu: Excerpt From Short Story by Agazit Abate

LA-based Agazit Abate is the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants. "Gash Wondimu" is inspired by the men and women who raised her, the country they left behind and the lives they built with their memories.

Warscapes Magazine

By Agazit Abate

The resting place of the dead is respected here. Straight lines, manicured grass, clean concrete and untouched graves. Everything has its place. There is an order to things here. People die and are buried after careful planning. Death lays neat, it doesn’t pile up here.

You know, I hear that they even keep bodies in walls. I can’t imagine that. Bodies should go back into the soil, but what do I know.

You remember when Seifu told us that they were removing bodies from Yosef to build roads in Addis. His family had to collect the bones of his mother, father, and two brothers. The dead are overwhelming the new city there.


You always did have bad timing. Looking back on things, I think we both did. Maybe our whole generation had bad timing, maybe that was our problem.

You slipped into this earth the same way you slipped out, unexpected and displaced. I remember when you told me that your mother didn’t know she was pregnant with you until you began kicking. According to her calculations, you were supposed to arrive during the bright yellow blooms of adey abeba. She believed that you were a boy and that you would be born on new years’ day. She was only half right. You came early, during the rains. She was in a neighbors’ house across town and had to rush home to have you.

It was 1940. Your mother believed that even though the Italians occupied Ethiopia, her home was free. She wanted to make sure that you were born on your grandfathers’ land, that your umbilical cord would be buried on that piece of earth. She didn’t make it home, but she kept the umbilical cord and buried it where she believed you belong. She said that the soil was soft, that she didn’t have to dig, and that the earth swallowed it. She knew that the land accepted you, that the resistance would succeed, and that the Italians would be leaving Ethiopia.

We spent decades talking, and you die six months before things start getting interesting. Before protests and revolutions, before leaders fled, were overthrown, and killed. You died before our own two months of silence. Before change took place on our land and before everything stayed the same.

I had to have conversations without you, sometimes with other people and sometimes with myself, sometimes at this spot, wondering what you would say.

It’s cyclical. Now is the time for fire. It will burn out and we will deal only with what is left behind. Nothing is new.

There was so much that we could have spoken about. The world was anxious for a time and you missed it.


I’m an old man now. I’m older than I was when you died four years ago. You know what I mean by that. It feels like yesterday, but somehow my body remembers it differently.

Walking up this hill to see you is getting harder and harder each time I come here. The landscape is crisp and unrelenting and you are resting at the top of what might as well be Entoto. This is a place for young people to come visit old people who have died. Thank God, Tsion decided to give you an upright tomb. Some of them lay flat in the ground. If yours was like that, where would I rest my back? There is no tree to give you shade, no base to give my body comfort. I would have to bring a chair up here. Imagine, carrying a chair all the way up here.

I look older too. I get senior citizen discounts without even asking. I went on the bus last week and paid the full fare. The bus driver looked at me and said, “You know you only have to pay fifty cents.” I didn’t understand until I sat down and a man whose body has been lived in longer than the emperor, looked at me and nodded his head as if to say, welcome.

But, I don’t mind getting old. I like it when people call me Gash Wondimu.

Read more at Warscapes Magazine »

About the Author:
Agazit Abate received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Development Studies and Masters Degree in African Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She works on projects related to cultural production and environmental sustainability.

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Five Questions for Prof. Lemma Senbet

Professor Lemma Senbet is the Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) in Nairobi. He is currently on sabbatical from the University of Maryland, College Park. (Courtesy photo)

The UB Alumni

As a freshman at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, Lemma Senbet clearly remembers his first day on campus standing in line to register for his engineering classes. Noticing a large number of students filing up for another subject, he asked what the line was for. When he learned that students were enrolling in for the university’s newly established business school, he decided to switch majors.

Unbeknownst to Senbet, that moment would lead to a successful career in economics and a position as William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland.

Senbet earned a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Addis Ababa University and an MBA in finance from the University of California in Los Angeles. After graduation, Senbet planned to return to Ethiopia. However, civil unrest in the country forced him to wait out the war in a doctorate program in the United States. After searching for universities in New York, he chose UB over Columbia University for the personal attention and family-like atmosphere the university’s doctoral program offered.

Senbet’s first academic appointment was as an assistant professor of finance at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He progressed rapidly along the tenure track, earning the rank of full professor after seven years, and later, the Charles Albright Chaired Professorship! However, the chance to help build a finance program led him to the University of Maryland.

Currently, Senbet is on sabbatical from Maryland, working as the head of the African Economic Research Consortium, a Kenya-based non-profit organization that conducts research on the management of economies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Five Questions with Lemma:

If you could create another national holiday, what would it be called?
Holiday for Immigrants. The United States is a country of immigrants and that doesn’t receive much attention. The holiday would celebrate the energy and vibrancy that led to the creation of U.S. And it would honor both current immigrants and historic immigrants, and the opportunities created for them to make it in a different environment.

Read the rest of the Q & A at »

Tadias Interview with Professor Lemma Senbet: New Head of AERC

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Rachel Nega: Ethiopian Doctor in Israel Breaking Barriers

In her work as a doctor, Rachel Nega says she hopes to bridge some of "the huge gaps between different communities" in Israel. (The Jewish Week)

The Jewish Week

By Hannah Dreyfus

Staff Writer

Wearing a white coat, name badge and stethoscope, Dr. Rachel Nega strides through the halls of Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital. To patients and visitors, she looks like any other doctor on duty — slightly preoccupied, with a deliberate air to her step. Yet her dark skin and almond eyes hint at her unique background.

Nega, 29, is the first Israeli-Ethiopian doctor to intern at Mount Sinai, an opportunity that came through the joint efforts of an Israeli nonprofit and an Israeli-American philanthropist. During the summer internship, she worked under the guidance of Dr. Martin Goldman, a leading cardiologist who heads the echocardiography lab at Mount Sinai.

“This experience will shape my future,” says Nega over coffee in the Mount Sinai lobby.

Nega, who is in her third year of medical school at Tel Aviv University, hopes to practice medicine in Israel’s “peripheries,” the parts of the country where specialized medical professionals are sparse. Her goal is to work with immigrants and those from impoverished backgrounds.

Though Nega didn’t enter the internship knowing what medical specialty she wanted to pursue, she now is seriously considering cardiology. “The potential for innovation is huge,” she said.

Nega’s story is just one of many demonstrating how the Israeli-Ethiopian community has overcome significant hurdles in the past few decades. A first-generation Israeli, Nega’s parents emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel in November 1984 during Operation Moses, the mass migration of Ethiopian Jews out of Sudan.

Read more at The Jewish Week »

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Room for Debate: Cooking for the Family is a Promise Kept – By Blaine Sergew

The following article by Blaine Sergew, a program director for the Nature Conservancy, was published on Monday, September 22, 2014 in the 'Room for Debate' section of the New York Times' Opinion pages.

The New York Times

By Blaine Sergew


When my husband and I got married, we made two promises to each other: We would never watch reality shows and we would always eat at least one meal a day together.

Let’s just say we fared better with the second promise.

My husband and I have worked out arguments over meal preparations, laughed through botched recipes. And when we sit down for a meal we stay connected.

We both grew up in Ethiopia and are from large families. Mealtimes were often beautifully choreographed chaos. But there was never any question about everyone eating together, primarily because we Ethiopians live under the vague threat that “he who eats alone, dies alone.”

That adage was so ingrained in me from an early age that I still remember the first dinner I had by myself when I came to the United States. In my aunt’s apartment in the Bronx, I ate a plate of re-heated doro wet – chicken stew –as the exhausted rumbling of the No. 1 train kept me distracted from the possibility of dying before I saw the Empire State Building.

Culturally, food has never been just about nutrition. It’s been about community and connection. Some of my fondest childhood memories center around family feasts prepared by a small army of bustling women who would work out hazy passive-aggressive impulses in the confines of a sweltering kitchen. It was where a delicate hierarchy of women had total control of their environment.

Read more at The New York Times »

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Queen of Sheba, Bati, Massawa Among Top Ten African Restaurants In New York

Forbes Magazine has named Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant, Bati Kitchen, and Massawa (Eritrean) among the top ten African restaurants in New York based on taste, service, ambiance and consistency.

Forbes Magazine

By Farai Gundan

“I am an African. I am an African foodie. I am an African foodie in New York,” my remixed version of Sting’s classic song “Englishman in New York”.

It is the best of both worlds. Or is it three worlds? African. Foodie. New York City. Life cannot get any sweeter than this! And September magnifies the beauty of these worlds even more. Three global events take place in New York City in this month alone – New York Fashion Week, The Clinton Global Initiative and the United Nations General Assembly. And the world it seems, descends upon this cosmopolitan mega-city in unprecedented numbers. There are restaurants galore in New York City – to suit every palate, craving and gustatory fetish.

For most visitors and even New Yorkers themselves, the sheer number of restaurants in New York City can be daunting and overwhelming. So I teamed up with Akin Akinsanya, a fellow African foodie and founder and CEO of New York African Restaurant Week and his team to pick the top 10 African restaurants the Big Apple has to offer its residents and visitors – the adventurous and /or those seeking to satisfy their craving for African food.

The criteria we used for picking the best African restaurants in New York City was taste, service, ambiance and consistency.

Here are the top 10 African restaurants in New York City (in no particular order):

See the list at »

Photo credit: Queen of Sheba/Timeout

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Ethiopian Community of Greater Philadelphia Celebrates 30th Anniversary

(Image courtesy: The Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia - ECAGP)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Philadelphia (TADIAS) – September 27th is officially designated as “Ethiopia Day” in Philadelphia by the city council. And this year the day also marks the 30th anniversary of the Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia, which is the oldest African community organization in Pennsylvania. The association announced that the outdoor festivities this coming weekend will include a street fair, music, children’s games and keynote addresses by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and Ethiopian filmmaker Professor Haile Gerima.

The event will take place on 44th and Chestnut Street, which organizers say will be blocked off for the occasion. The entertainment line-up features live performances by Asfaw Jeb Jeb, Abinet Girma (Tinishu Tilahun) and Daniel Gebril on keyboards.

If You Go:
Ethiopian Day in Philadelphia
When: September 27th, 2014
Time: 11 am – 5:00 pm
Where: 44th and Chestnut Streets
Ethiopian Community Assoc.
4400 Chestnut St. – 1st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19105
TEL: 215.222.8917

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‘Difret’ Nominated for Best Directorial Debut Award at London Film Festival

(Image courtesy: Haile-Addis Pictures and Truth Aid Media)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, September 22nd, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — The producers of the award-wining Ethiopian film Difret have told Tadias Magazine that they have amicably resolved the claim that halted the premiere screening in Addis Ababa earlier this month and its subsequent release in theaters there. The filmmakers told Tadias that they expect Difret to premiere in Ethiopia shortly, although they did not give exact dates for the screenings.

Meanwhile, the film’s Director and Writer Zeresenay Berhane Mehari has been nominated for Best Directorial Debut Award at the upcoming London Film Festival that will be held from October 8-19, 2014. “I am thrilled that Zeresenay has been nominated for the First Feature award,” Co-producer and Academy Award Nominee Leelai Demoz said in an email to Tadias. “Zeresenay Berhane Mehari is a great new talent. He asked me to produce his film and as soon as I read the first 10 pages of his script I called him and said yes.” Leelai added: “I had been looking for something to produce in Ethiopia for many years and I knew that this was the project.”

Difret, which won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, is currently showing at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain and at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It was also featured at the recently concluded Urbanworld Film Festival in New York.

The feature drama recounts the true story of Aberash Bekele’s traumatic experience as a teenager in the late 1990s when she was arrested and charged for the murder of a 29-year-old farmer who had kidnapped her with the intention to marry her. At the time, the man was engaged in a widespread cultural practice in rural Ethiopia known as Telefa. The victim was successfully defended by attorney Meaza Ashenafi, who made international headlines when her client was acquitted on the grounds of self defense, heralding a historic legal achievement for women and girls’ rights in Ethiopia.

Difret has since been screened in various U.S. cities including New York and Silver Spring as well as worldwide including at Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland; Durban International Film Festival in South Africa; Jerusalem International Film Festival in Israel, and Sydney International Film Festival in Australia.

A Huffington Post article entitled “Difret: Building a Culture of Courage” was published on September 4th by producer Dr. Mehret Mandefro stating “Difret can be more than a film: we hope it will stimulate a global social action campaign that empowers people to build a culture of courage that supports and protects women and girls.”

The film’s other producers include Executive Producers Angelina Jolie, Julie Mehretu, Jessica Rankin, Francesca Zampi and Lacey Schwartz.

Tadias Interview with Zeresenay Mehari & Mehret Mandefro
‘Difret’ Wins Panorama at Berlin Film Festival
Ethiopian film confronts marriage by abduction (BBC)
‘Difret’ Wins World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance Festival
Tadias Interview with Filmmaker Yidnekachew Shumete

Video: ‘Difret’: Audience Reaction at 2014 New African Films Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland

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Al-Amoudi to Invest $500 Million in Ethiopian Coffee, Oranges

Mohammed Al Amoudi. (Photo:

Bloomberg News

By William Davison

Horizon Plantations Ethiopia Plc, majority-owned by Saudi billionaire Mohamed al-Amoudi, plans to almost double annual revenue within three years by investing at least $500 million in coffee and orange projects.

The agriculture company will train workers, improve roads and replace washing units at the Limmu and Bebeka coffee plantations, which together have over 18,000 hectares (44,479 acres) under coffee, General Operations Director Kemal Mohammed said in a Sept. 17 interview in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. The development is part of a five-year program to invest in projects that also include Upper Awash Agro-Industry Enterprise, the country’s largest orange grower with 1,200 hectares of citrus, he said.

“We are sure because of the initiatives we have now, because of the inputs and techniques we’re applying, the productivity will increase to the maximum at the end of the five years,” Kemal said.

Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest coffee producer, may see earnings from shipments of Arabica coffee rise 25 percent to about $900 million in 2014-2015 as prices rise because of shortage caused by a drought in Brazil, an exporters’ association said last month. Horizon bought the two coffee farms for 1.6 billion birr ($80 million) last year from the Ethiopian government, which is seeking investment in projects that process agricultural products.

Horizon has a sales target of 500 million Ethiopian birr by 2017, Kemal said.

Bebeka, in southwest Ethiopia, is the world’s biggest unfragmented coffee estate with 10,030 hectares under plantation, according to the company’s website. Limmu, 350 kilometers (218 miles) southwest of Addis Ababa in the Oromia region, has 8,000 hectares under coffee and produces 5,000 tons a year of the beans.

Read more at Bloomberg News »

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Ebola Update: Tons of Supplies on the Way

(Getty Images)

Bloomberg News

By Caroline Chen

Aid organization Direct Relief had 100 tons of gloves, masks, medicines and gowns stockpiled in a California warehouse. Doctors fighting Ebola were calling from West Africa desperate for supplies.

Getting it there was the challenge. With airlines halting flights and borders closing to stop the disease from spreading, the nonprofit took matters into its own hands, chartering a Boeing 747 that left New York yesterday for Sierra Leone and Liberia. It’ll figure out how to pay the $500,000 bill later.

“Sometimes we need to do the work, then hope the financial support follows,” Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tighe said.

The shipment, the 11th one Direct Relief has sent to West African nations, is part of newly urgent efforts by agencies and governments to accelerate aid as estimates of the potential spread of the Ebola epidemic grow exponentially.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s model for a worst-case scenario, presuming no additional aid beyond current resources, shows 550,000 infected people by the end of January. Sierra Leone ordered residents to stay home under a three-day curfew while 28,500 volunteers go door-to-door in an education campaign.

Since the start of the outbreak, the virus has infected 5,357 people, killing 2,630, according to a Sept. 18 World Health Organization report. The disease has spread through five countries, accelerating in cities, including Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

Read more at Bloomberg News »

Ethiopian American Doctors Release Communiqué on Ebola Outbreak

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Migrants Caught in No-Man’s Land (Video)

In the last 20 years more than 20,000 migrants have perished in the sea trying to reach Europe from Africa. This week alone some 800 migrants were reported drowned in the water between Libya and Italy.

VOA News

By Lisa Bryant

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren’t over.

Lisa Bryant of VOA has the story:

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Ethiopian American Doctors Release Communiqué on Ebola Outbreak

U.S.-based NGO, People to People (P2P), is a global network of Ethiopian health care professionals. (Courtesy Photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, September 19, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – So far East Africa has been spared from the Ebola outbreak that’s ravaging western parts of the continent. But that’s no comfort says an association of Ethiopian doctors in the Diaspora, People to People (P2P), which issued a communiqué on Friday expressing its solidarity with fellow medical workers in West Africa. “We, as health care professionals of African descent, stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in those countries and ask for immediate action to alleviate and control this epidemic,” the U.S.-based NGO announced. P2P members are gathered in Washington, D.C. this weekend for the organization’s 6th annual conference on health care and medical education.

“[Let's] pause for a moment and ask why we got here in the first place,” P2P stated. “This epidemic, as deadly as it is, should not have come to such a proportion if the world community acted swiftly and with an urgency that it deserves.” The communiqué adds: “We want to emphasize that this is an opportunity to galvanize the momentum created to envision a center of excellence in infectious diseases in Africa. The creation and funding of African Centers for Disease Control must be given priority and be set in motion as soon as possible. From those not affected by this epidemic, we ask due attention to health care infrastructure and manpower development before emergency strikes. From the African Union, UN, major donors and the world at large we ask for an immediate financial, manpower and equipment assistance to those countries who are heavily affected by the epidemic.”

The P2P statement comes on the heels of a U.S. Congressional hearing on the crisis held this week (Wednesday, September 17th) by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, featuring testimony from Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at National Institutes of Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services); Ted Alemayhu, Founder & Executive Chairman of US Doctors for Africa; and Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, Director of the Secretariat at the Diaspora Liberian Emergency Response Task Force on the Ebola Crisis.

In his testimony Ted Alemayhu told members of Congress that in addition to a severe shortage of healthcare professionals in Ebola affected countries — in some cases averaging “one doctor for 50,000 people” — protective medical gear such as masks, gloves, and gowns, are badly needed. “Local healthcare workers have threatened to quit their services if their safety is not insured with delivery of these items,” he said. “And who could blame them.”

Video: U.S. House Hearing: Global Efforts to Fight Ebola

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

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Azarias Reda: The Republican Party’s New Chief Data Officer

Azarias Reda, the RNC's new chief data officer, is leading an internal incubator to change the way the party uses technology for campaigns—and taking a page from the Obama campaign's playbook. (RNC)

The Wall Street Journal


No evidence exists that Francis Bacon made it to Ethiopia, but in a back room of the Republican National Committee building there is a lot of evidence that Azarias Reda absorbed one of the English philosopher’s more famous observations: scientia potentia est. The 28-year-old data evangelist is helping lead the effort to transform the GOP’s knowledge of voters into the power to win elections.

Republicans got thumped in the 2012 elections in no small part because of a voter-data failure. The Obama team crushed the Romney campaign and the RNC: on turnout, on targeting and in social media. Democrats are betting heavily that their operation will once again save the day—turning out enough voters in key states to save their Senate majority in November.

Mr. Reda, Ethiopian by birth, American by choice, was recruited by the RNC in November as its chief data officer. He and the nearly 50 data scientists and engineers he has recruited to an in-house tech incubator—Para Bellum Labs—are a mind-blowing sight at RNC headquarters. Hipsters in T-shirts and jeans wade through besuited politicians toward a digital room that sports rows of computers and dry-erase walls.

This room is where I met Mr. Reda last week and pointed out that Democrats are already ridiculing the Republicans’ big-data effort, claiming that there’s no way the GOP can catch the Obama turnout machine.

The comment causes the otherwise serious young engineer to break out in a mischievous grin. “I don’t want to catch up to a presidential campaign from 2012,” he says, making 2012 sound like so last century. “What we’re doing here is what a tech startup would do in 2014. Data science has traveled a lot in just the past few years.”

The RNC line is that it intends to leapfrog Democrats in the technology of turnout, and a lot is riding on the claim. Twenty years ago the GOP created the first voter “file” on millions of Americans. Democrats spent years catching up, only to get outpaced again in 2004 by the Republican innovation of microtargeting, which allowed campaigns to contact and turn out subgroups of voters.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal »

The GOP arms itself for the next “war” in the analytics arms race

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Yegna: Meet the Spice Girls of Ethiopia

Women’s rights activists Yegna have established themselves as the Spice Girls of the Horn of Africa. (Photo courtesy of Yegna)

Mail & Guardian


“Women are sisters, women are mothers, women are wives. Let’s respect them. Tell that guy to respect girls and we will respect him.”

So go the lyrics of the song This House, sung by Yegna (pronounced Yen-ya, meaning “ours” in Amharic), an all-girl Ethiopian acting and pop group created in April 2013 by the internationally funded nongovernmental organisation Girl Hub.

The organisation’s country director for Ethiopia, Jillian Popkins, says that “52% of women aged 18 to 49 in the Amhara region are married by the age of 15. Once they marry it’s quite likely they will never have contact with their peer group or their family.”

The five-member band follows a tradition of media as a way for development across the continent. Their aim is to reach out to empower the young women of Ethiopia in ways that are accessible and relevant.

Each member of the group has a different stage persona and nickname. Melat (Teref Kassahun), the “city-girl princess”, dreams of becoming a singer, but her wealthy family has no time for her ambitions. Mimi (Lemlem Haile Michael) is the “tough, swaggering streetwise girl” who left the husband she was forced to marry at 13. “Steady maternal” Lemlem (Rahel Getu) is the only girl in her family, who takes care of her ill mother. Emuye (Zebiba Girma) is the “vivacious music-lover” whose father is a physically abusive alcoholic. Sara (Eyerusalem Kelemework), the “quiet, studious one”, comes from a well-educated family.

Yegna performs a biweekly radio drama and talk show broadcasting on Sheger FM in Addis Ababa, with a reach of 20-million listeners.

More than 500 girls were brought in as Yegna ambassadors with a mandate to organise listening parties, at which young people come together to listen to the drama and talk about what they’ve heard.

Their music is an upbeat mix of traditional Ethiopian music with pop and rock music references that appeal to Ethiopia’s youth.

Read more »

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Ethiopia’s Agriculture Hotline Provides Growing Opportunities for Farmers

An Ethiopian farmer using a mobile phone. The country’s government relies on support in rural areas. (Photograph: Eric Lafforgue/Alamy)

The Guardian

By William Davison

Addis Ababa – Ethiopia’s farmers are flocking to a hotline that provides free agricultural advice about planting crops, using fertiliser and preparing land as part of a government initiative to turn subsistence farmers into surplus sellers.

The automated hotline has received nearly 1.5m calls from more than 300,000 farmers since it launched 12 weeks ago, according to Khalid Bomba, CEO of the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), an internationally backed government initiative. The 90 lines are now taking an average of 35,000 calls a day.

Other African countries have used similar methods to get information to farmers, but Ethiopia’s initial success is unparalleled, Khalid said. “The numbers speak for themselves,” he said. “It’s working and the farmers are finding it useful.”

The advice line is just one of 82 targets on the three-year-old agency’s agenda, which include devising “value chain” strategies for each key crop, increasing the use of higher-yielding seed and making credit more widely available for the nation’s approximately 70 million smallholder farmers. One of its most high-profile projects has been a soil-mapping exercise to understand which areas of the ecologically diverse country are suitable for particular crops and fertilisers.

Read more at The Guardian »

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Scotland Rejects Independence From Britain in a Close Vote

Ballots tumble at an Aberdeen counting center in Scotland. The outcome headed off the political, economic and military imponderables that would have accompanied a divorce from the UK. (NYT)

The New York Times


EDINBURGH — Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up a 307-year union, according to projections by the BBC and Sky early Friday.

The outcome was a deep disappointment to the vocal, enthusiastic pro-independence movement led by the Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, who had seen an opportunity to turn a centuries-old nationalist dream into reality, and forced the three main British parties into panicked promises to grant substantial new power to the Scottish Parliament.

The decision spared Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain a shattering defeat that would have raised questions about his ability to continue in office and diminished his nation’s standing in the world.

Continue reading at The New York Times »

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Hamlin Fistula USA Hosts 90th Birthday Celebration for Dr. Catherine Hamlin

A celebration honoring Dr. Catherine Hamlin will be held in DC on Sept. 27th, 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, September 18th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Last January in Addis Ababa friends and supporters of Dr. Catherine Hamlin held a celebration marking her 90th birthday and 55 years of service in Ethiopia in the presence of invited guests from around the world and dignitaries including Ethiopian First Lady Roman Tesfaye. When it was her turn to take the microphone Dr. Hamlin joked: “Only Ethiopians can throw a party like this.”

Dr. Hamlin is about to receive another birthday bash, this time from the Diaspora, on Saturday, September 27th at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. Organizers announced that the program “will consist of a special message from Dr. Hamlin and several notable guests, all gathered to support Dr. Hamlin’s call to eradicate childbirth injuries.”

In his speech at the January celebration Martin Andrews, CEO of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, noted that the Australian native and a gynecologist has treated over 40,000 fistula patients in her adopted country over the past five decades. “Through her love and her compassion for these patients, she has ensured that we have restored the dignity of those patients, and given them their lives back, which is far more than their medical treatment,” Andrews said. “We all know that Dr. Hamlin’s passion is to eradicate fistula in Ethiopia and she has started to fulfill that dream by establishing the midwifery college.”

Dr. Hamlin, who is the founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital (along with her late husband Dr. Reginald Hamlin) has lived in Ethiopia since 1959 and has since built five additional regional Hamlin Fistula centers. In an interview with Tadias Magazine several years ago she described her first day in Ethiopia as love at first sight. “When we first arrived we were rather taken with the country because we saw our eucalyptus trees,” recalled Dr. Hamlin. She had a three-year government contract to establish a midwifery school at the Princess Tsehay Hospital. “I felt very much at home straight away because the scenery seemed very familiar to us,” she said. “We got a really warm welcome so we didn’t really have culture shock.”

But what shocked her was the lack of medical care for young mothers, especially in rural areas, that suffer from obstetric fistula – a preventable childbirth injury as old as humanity itself. “There is currency dug out of pyramids containing images of fistula,” Dr. Hamlin told us. “Yet in the 21st century it is the most neglected cause.” Fistula affects one out of every 12 women in Africa. In remote areas where access to hospitals are difficult to find, young women suffer from obstructive labor which can otherwise be successfully alleviated with adequate medical support, such as Caesarean section.

In an article published in The New York Times last February, marking her 90th birthday, Nicolas Kristof called Dr. Hamlin: “the 21st-century Mother Teresa.” And more recently Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom nominated her for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

If You Go:
Saturday, September 27, 2014
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
The Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C.
1150 22nd Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
$100 contribution per guest

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Gold for Genzebe Dibaba & Almaz Ayana at 2014 IAAF Continental Cup in Morocco

Genzebe Dibaba won the women’s 3000m at the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco this past weekend, while her fellow countrywoman Almaz Ayana was victorious in the 5000m race. (Getty)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Published: Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian athletes Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana won their respective races in the women’s competition at the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco on Sunday.

“This weekend’s most dominant performance on the track came in the penultimate individual race courtesy of Almaz Ayana in the women’s 5000m,” reported Bob Ramsak for the IAAF. “Returning to the track where she claimed the African 5000m title last month, the 22-year-old Ethiopian won by nearly 25 seconds in a race she controlled from the midway point forward. ‘This is a lucky stadium for me,’” said Ayana, who reached the finish in 15:33.32.

Per IAAF: Genzebe Dibaba, who finished first in the 3000m, “took the lead with exactly two laps to go and held it firmly en route to her 8:57.53 victory – her first over the distance outdoors this year.”

“I expected to win and defend African colours,” said Dibaba, the fourth consecutive African winner of this title, “but the race was too slow for me. I don’t feel comfortable using such tactics, so that’s why I couldn’t wait for the last lap to make my final kick, and instead started to push 800 metres before the finish.”

Read more at »

Sum, Dibaba, Fredericks and Souleiman win for Africa – Day 1 IAAF Continental Cup

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CNN on King of Ethio-Jazz Mulatu Astatke

Ethio-jazz master Mulatu Astatke. (CNN)


By Teo Kermeliotis

Wed September 17, 2014

Mulatu Astatke: Spreading Ethio-Jazz to the World

You’d expect a conversation with Mulatu Astake to be about music. He is, after all, the father of a musical genre: Ethio-jazz. But when he talks about the art form, he tends to focus on its scientific merits.

“When you start talking about jazz, they’re usually telling us that Africans contributed to the rhythm parts of jazz music, but it’s not only the rhythms. We have contributed to the science of jazz as well,” he says.

While innovators like Charlie Parker may get credit for the creation of modern jazz music by using diminished scales (as done in classical music by composers like Claude Debussy), Astake offers an alternative view:

“In southern Ethiopia, there are tribes called the Derashe — I call them the scientists of music. By cutting different size bamboos, [they] have been playing this diminished scale [for centuries]. So who first created it? Debussy, Charlie Parker, or the Derashe tribes?”

Unsurprisingly, I’m not the only one who’s been presented with such questions by Astatke, whose passion about Africa’s contribution to music extends back to the 1960s when he went on to fuse the traditional Ethiopian five-tone scales with western 12-note harmonies to give life to a whole new music genre: the hypnotizing and eerily seductive soundscape of ethio-jazz.

Read more at CNN »

Mulatu Astatke: The Man Who Created ‘Ethio jazz’

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Interview with Selam Bekele: Oakland’s Home Away from Home Art Project

Selam Bekele giving artist talk at the 'Home Away from Home' festival in Oakland, California last week. (Photo: Jon Teklai)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – In a short, experimental film entitled Prince of Nowhere Ethiopian-born filmmaker Selam Bekele reflects on the exiled life and death of Prince Alemayehu Tewodros, the son of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia. Alemayehu was taken prisoner by the British army in 1868 after his father committed suicide following the infamous Battle of Magdala. The child was initially accompanied by his mother, Empress Tiruwork Wube, but she died halfway through the trip. In England, the orphaned Ethiopian prince received some education under various caretakers and even briefly attended officers’ training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He died of lung problems at the age of 18 on November 14th, 1879 and was buried outside Windsor Castle. Queen Victoria is quoted to have written in her diary noting the passing of Prince Alemayehu as “too sad.” Wiki adds: “She also mentioned how very unhappy the prince had been, and how conscious he was of people staring at him because of his colour.”

In her movie Selam holds an imaginary interview with Alemayehu before he dies in which she asks the prince about his feelings of being away from his family and country. “It’s mostly a conversation about displacement and how we continue to survive when we are away from home,” said Selam in an interview with Tadias Magazine. The aspiring filmmaker, who herself left Ethiopia at the age four in 1995, recently graduated in Communication & Film Studies from the University of California, Davis. “I was in London for the first half of this summer as part of my research and study abroad program and it was during this time that I rediscovered the amazing story of Prince Alemayehu,” she said. “I realized just how much I can relate to him as a person that left Ethiopia at a young age and kind of had to adopt to a new world. I kind of wanted to connect his story with the similarity of stories from the Diaspora today in regards to migration, relocation and adapting to a new society while maintaining our ties to our culture and history.”

Left: Prince Alamayou as a child – photo by Julia Margaret Cameron. Right: Alamayou in his teens in England – photo from Brotherton Library, University of Leeds.

Prince of Nowhere was screened last week in Oakland, California at the Home [away from] Home visual arts and music festival held in celebration of Enkutatash and featuring the works of several up-and-coming East African artists in Northern California including Ethiopian-born singer and songwriter Meklit Hadero, Eritrean American filmmaker Sephora Woldu, Ethiopian American musician Ellias Fullmore as well as Ethiopian painter Wosene Kosrof. The centerpiece of the week-long festivities in Oakland was a pop-up art installation in the form of a Gojo that was built by the artists and set-up on Lake Merrit. “You walk inside and you see the commissioned arts on display. It had an entrance door and the exit door is your way to the festival,” Selam said. “It was something that basically took the whole summer to organize. She added: “We found taxi cab stories from Ethiopian and Eritrean cab drivers. Basically we interviewed them and got them to tell us a bit of their stories. Then, we sent the stories to the artists to help them find some sort of inspiration based on the kinds of things the taxi drivers had shared and we made art out of it and each artist had their own interpretation.”

The outdoor event was attended by a diverse crowd of 300 to 400 people. “We attracted kids, elders, Ethiopians, Eritreans and members of the larger Oakland community,” she said.

As to her own film project, Selam notes that as part of her research she visited Alemayehu’s burial site at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and the major museums in London housing any information on Alemayehu, Tewodoros, and the 1868 British expedition to Ethiopia. “I got to see some incredible photographs of Alemayehu that were taken of him both alone and with his caretaker,” Selam said. “I use some of those images in my film.” Selam continued: “I found out that Prince Alemayehu was extremely homesick. They could not figure out what was really wrong with him, he had breathing problems that caused him to die at such a young age. I believe that his sadness contributed to his death,” Selam stated. “I was thinking that sadness, that feeling of emptiness, is easily relatable by those of us living in the Diaspora.” She added: “And his name Alemayehu is kind of ironic too, if you break it down Alem ayehu it means “I saw the world,” but in his case when you are forced or taken away without choice and not exactly for the best reasons, it has that ironic undertone. So I wanted to capture that in a modern, bright, experimental and artistic way, but at the same time save a piece of history.”

The film project came out of Selam’s study abroad experience: “I felt that we were not discussing enough when it came to some of the greater effects of the British Empire has had on the rest of the world and that conversation was kind of being left out. And that’s why I started to dig a little bit into what exactly was the historical relationship between Britain and Ethiopia?”

In addition to carrying off Prince Alemayehu, the British army employed elephants and hundreds of mules to transport royal loot of priceless Ethiopian treasures that to date remain unreturned. In an article published in 2007, BBC reported that “Many of them are still in Britain and the Queen has some of them – notably six of the very finest illuminated manuscripts, which are part of the royal collection in Windsor Castle.” The same article adds that “Ethiopia’s president has sent Queen Elizabeth II a formal request for the remains of a prince who died in Britain more than a century ago. The royal household at Windsor Castle, where Prince Alemayehu was buried, is said to be considering the request.”

That was seven years ago, but today Selam said she will be bringing her 18-minutes film to the East Coast this Fall “to keep the story alive” and hopes to screen in DC in late October and in New York sometime in November.

Below are photos from Oakland’s Home Away from Home Arts & Culture Festival:

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NPR Highlights The Nile Music Project

The Nile Project started in a bar in Oakland. Egyptian-American Mina Girgis and his friend, Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero, were talking about the musical connections between their two countries.



Listen to the program:

In a quiet park in Kampala, Uganda, 14 musicians from seven East African countries sit together under a tree. They’re working on an idea from Ugandan musician Lawrence Okello.

“This is what I would suggest for this piece: That we have a conflict,” Okello says to the group. “And then all of us will keep on adding flavors from different cultures, but maintaining the water that flows.”

The musicians speak many languages, which means ideas and instructions have to get translated multiple times. They use different rhythms, even different tonal systems. And they play many instruments: Sudanese harps, Kenyan kettle drums, Ethiopian violins, Burundian thumb pianos, Egyptian flutes.

But under this tree, they’re listening for what’s shared: conflict that resolves into harmony.

This is the Nile Project — an education and development initiative that uses music to help find new ways to share an ancient resource.

“When we divert and go to your culture, give us that authentic touch of it,” Okello continues. “Ah, that is Egypt. Mm, that is Rwanda. And then we go back to the Nile, and continue. We have a journey to make.”

Read more at NPR »

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2015 Africa Cup of Nations: Ethiopia Yet to Get Off the Mark

So far the Ethiopian national team has lost the first two qualifying games against Algeria and Malawi for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations which will be held in Morocco early next year. (Getty Images)

BBC Sport

Nations Cup 2015 – Group B

Top ranked African nation Algeria left it late to beat visitors Mali 1-0.

The Eagles played the last 22 minutes with 10 men after Mahamadou Ndiaye was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

With just nine minutes left to play, a free-kick from Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez found Carl Medjani whose header earned his side all three points.

Atusaye Nayondo scored twice to help Malawi to a 3-2 home win against Ethiopia.

Nyondo struck the first goal of the game on 18 minutes but Malawi were pegged back by an equaliser from Getaneh Kebede.

However, a second-half effort from Frank Banda restored the hosts’ lead and Nyondo’s second goal rendered meaningless a stoppage strike from the visitors’ Yussuf Saleh.

Malawi Football Association president Walter Nyamilandu wrote on his Twitter page: “Three vital points in the bag. A deserved victory that keeps our dreams alive though earned the hard way.”

Algeria move to the top of the pool with a maximum six points while Mali and Malawi are on three and Ethiopia yet to get off the mark.

Read more at BBC News »

Malawi knock Ethiopia further back

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Colorado’s Ethiopian Community Celebrates New Year in Aurora

(Image credit: Video still/The Denver Post)

The Denver Post

By Jesse Paul

AURORA — Mulugeta Hailu moved from Ethiopia to Denver over two decades ago seeking an escape from political persecution.

The move meant leaving his homeland and rich culture behind as he left for greener pastures. But now, after all those years, he’s a part of a growing Ethiopian community in Colorado of more than 27,000 whose size and closeness was clear here Sunday at a festival celebrating the Ethiopian New Year.

In a way, a bit of the African nation moved to Colorado with Hailu.

“We’re trying to teach our kids,” said Hailu, who has three young children. “Some of them don’t even speak our language.”

Organizers expected about 1,000 people to attend the celebration at Del Mar Park where red, yellow and green Ethiopian flags hung from the trees. There was music, food and the happy shouts of playing children who danced around their parents, gathered in the shade and shielding themselves from the summer sun’s last rays.

“This is very important because this is not just a holiday for a specific church or mosque,” said Shifferan Hajito, who runs the Ethiopian Community of Colorado, which organized the event. “This is regardless of religion, regardless of color.”

Read more and watch video at The Denver Post »

Ethiopia Welcomes Year 2007
At Global Fest 2014 Aurora, Colorado Welcomes Adama (Nazret) as Sister City

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In Pictures: Ethiopia’s Thriving Art Market

Business and art are becoming increasingly entwined in the Ethiopian capital, but journalist James Jeffrey asks if this has come at a cost to creativity and true artistic experimentation. (BBC Africa)

BBC News

By James Jeffrey

Until recently the buying and selling of modern and contemporary art in Ethiopia was all but non-existent. The entrance to Makush Art Gallery & Restaurant in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, attests to how things have changed thanks to a burgeoning new art scene. Makush has about 70 artists on its books and a collection of more than 650 paintings from which customers can choose.

“Progress is just a miracle,” says Makush owner Tesfaye Hiwet, who began visiting his homeland after the 1991 revolution that brought down the Derg, Ethiopia’s communist-inspired military dictatorship. Mr Tesfaye remembers the sorry state of Ethiopia’s economy following 17 years of botched socialist economic policies: “After the Derg fell, there was not even toilet paper.” While living in the US, he opened a restaurant and nightclub in Washington DC, decorated with Ethiopian art sourced during his visits to Addis Ababa. After noticing the lack of galleries, he moved back 12 years ago.

Makush owner Tesfaye Hiwet. (BBC News)

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Ethiopia’s Emerging Art Scene Pits Creativity Against Profits

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The World Yawns as Ebola Takes Hold in West Africa

(Getty Images)

The Washington Post

By Richard E. Besser (Chief health editor at ABC News)

In Monrovia, the blue steel gates guarding JFK Medical Center’s Ebola ward separate two worlds, each hopeless. On one side, three Liberians lie huddled on the ground under a UNICEF shelter, waiting to get in. On the other side, a flatbed truck loaded with 10 bodies in white plastic bags waits to drive out.

The truck belongs to one of four burial teams who pluck the dead from treatment wards — or worse, from homes where terrified families huddle around loved ones, desperate for one last touch. For many Liberians, giving a body to the burial team for cremation is unthinkable. Yet those last touches — part of Liberian funeral practices — are the very things that spread Ebola.

I follow the burial team to a home said to hold five bodies, all Ebola victims. As rain falls and a crowd gathers, the team members from the truck put on white suits and masks and set out down a narrow alley to the home. In 10 minutes, they are back. There were only two dead in the home, and the family told them to leave. “It isn’t Ebola,” they said. No time to find out if they were right — there are many more bodies to collect.

Read more at The Washington Post »

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The DC Mayor’s Office Announces 2015 African Community Grant

Mayor Vincent Gray with OAA Director Ngozi Nmezi, top right. (Photo: Matt Andrea/Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – For fiscal year 2015 the DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs (OAA) will be awarding 8 grants up to $25,000 for organizations based in the District and involved in economic and workforce development, health and human services, youth engagement and education, promotion of arts, culture and the humanities.

“The grant is intended to fund programs that provide targeted services and resources to the District’s African residents and/or business owners in areas of need in the community,” OAA’s announced. “For FY15, OAA’s African Community Grant will fund culturally and linguistically appropriate programs with demonstrated tie in to the Mayor’s priority areas and community needs.”

In an interview with Tadias Magazine last month the Director of the DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, Ngozi Nmezi, noted that Washington D.C. is home to immigrants from over 50 African countries. Ngozi also pointed out that four out of ten foreign-born Africans in DC are from Ethiopia. “In fact, the Ethiopian community makes up 39% of the foreign-born African community here in District of Columbia,” Ngozi stated. “That’s followed by Nigeria (16%), Cameroon, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Morocco, and Ghana.”

In order to qualify for the African Community Grant organizations seeking to apply must have a 501(c)(3) status, serve the District’s African residents or business owners and be located in the District of Columbia.

Requests for Applications (RFA) will be posted on September 19th at OAA’s website and on the District’s Grant Clearinghouse website.

Grant Orientation is scheduled for October 7th, 2014 (10am – 12pm) at the Franklin D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs (2000 14th Street, NW 2nd Floor, Edna Cromwell Community Room Washington, DC 20009).

You can learn more about the FY15 African Community Grant at

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PM Hailemariam Desalegn Seeks Win-Win Relations With Egypt

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is committed to relations between Egypt and Ethiopia. (World Bulletin)

World Bulletin/Turkey

News Desk

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Ethiopia is seeking a “win-win” relation with Egypt, saying that his country was seeking good relations with Cairo.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Desalegn said that Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is committed to relations between Egypt and Ethiopia.

The Prime Minister also praised “excellent” relations between Ethiopia and Turkey, saying that relations between the two countries have been gathering momentum.

The Ethiopian Premier also addressed several issues during the interview, including the activities of the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab and South Sudan’s peace talks.

Read the interview at »

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Ethiopia Welcomes Year 2007

Addis Ababa. (Credit:

Daily Sabah

Published : 12.09.201

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia marked the arrival of 2007 on Thursday according to a unique calendar that reflects a blend of religious and seasonal/natural phenomena. “The Ethiopian calendar is ancient [and] takes its logic from lunar, solar and astrological considerations,”

Henok Yared, author of “Bahre Hasab,” a book which gives accounts of the origins of the Ethiopian calendar, told Anadolu Agency. “The four seasons also make up the basis for the composition of the Ethiopian calendar,” he said.

The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months, including twelve of 30 days each.

The 13th month consists of five days – although every fourth year it lasts for six days.

The Ethiopian New Year falls as the sun begins to make itself felt after three months of rain in most parts of the country.

The streets were packed with people shopping for live lambs, roosters, butter and eggs, among other things.

Lambs and roosters are traditionally slaughtered at home.

Some families pool their money to purchase bulls, sharing the meat between them.

Alazar Samuel, a renowned Ethiopian artist, sees the Ethiopian New Year as both real life and drama. “The real life is that it is one day added to the river of life, and [it's] drama due to all the rituals-slaughters, get-togethers, bonfires and all,” he told AA.

Emebet Tesfaye, a statistician, plans to welcome the New Year with joy and a sense of rejuvenation. “Our New Year is very expensive, though,” she told AA, noting that it coincided with the start of the new school year. “Costs have gone up by the day,” she added.

Read more »

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The Rastafarians’ Flawed African ‘Promised Land’ – BBC

(BBC News Magazine)

BBC News

By Chris Summers

Forty years ago Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was overthrown. It was a blow for all Rastafarians, who revere him as a god – and for those Rastafarians who had emigrated to Ethiopia, life suddenly got more difficult.

In 1948 Emperor Haile Selassie gave 500 acres (200 hectares) of land at Shashamene, 150 miles (225km) south of Addis Ababa, to black people from the West who had supported him in his struggles with Mussolini’s Italy.

The first settlers to arrive were African-American Jews, but they soon moved on to Liberia or Israel. After them, in 1963, came a dozen Rastafarians, and the numbers swelled after Selassie made an emotional visit to Jamaica three years later.

The Rastafarians’ adoration of Selassie stems from the words of black consciousness leader Marcus Garvey, who said in 1920, “Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand”. When Selassie was crowned emperor, 10 years later, many thought Garvey’s words had come true.

Another belief widely held by Rastafarians is that they will eventually return to Africa – the continent their ancestors left in slave ships long ago. And quite often, according to Erin MacLeod – author of Visions of Zion: Ethiopians and Rastafari in the Search for the Promised Land – “back to Africa” is treated as synonymous with “back to Ethiopia”.

Today there are up to 800 Rastafarians at Melka Oda, near Shashamene, as well as a few in the capital, Addis Ababa, and in the city of Bahir Dar. But how has life turned out for them in Ethiopia – and what do Ethiopians make of their Rastafarian neighbours?

Read more at BBC News »

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CIA: As Many as 31,000 Islamic State (IS) Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, north Syria, earlier this year. (AP photo)

VOA News

U.S. intelligence says the Islamic State militant group has between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

A Central Intelligence Agency spokesman said Thursday this is much higher than the previous estimate of 10,000.

He says the new estimate reflects stronger recruitment by the Islamic State since June following success on the battlefield and the declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Earlier Thursday, ministers from 10 Gulf and Arab nations said Thursday they are committed to joining the United States in a “coordinated military campaign” against Islamic State fighters who have seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

After talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with Saudi officials and U.S Secretary of State John Kerry, officials from the Gulf Cooperation Council, along with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, said they are united against the threat from all terrorists, including Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The GCC countries represented in the Red Sea port city, the Saudi government’s summer home, included Saudi Arabia and its rival Qatar, along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman.

Non-Arab Sunni Turkey also attended the talks. But two other powerful regional powers, Shi’ite-ruled Iran and Syria, were excluded, a sign of how strong the Middle East’s sectarian divide remains.

The Arab states agreed in a written communique to take many of the steps U.S. President Barack Obama spelled out Wednesday in his newly articulated strategy for wiping out the militants – stopping the flow of foreign fighters, cutting off funds for Islamic State, providing humanitarian aid to those terrorized by the militants and rejecting what the ministers call their “hateful ideology.”

The ministers hailed the new Iraqi government and its pledge to advance the interests of all Iraqis, regardless of religion, nationality or sect.

Kerry and Obama have called the new unity government in Iraq a key to destroying IS.

Audio: VOA Correspondent Scott Stearns interviewed John Kerry Thursday in Saudi Arabia

Saudi clout

The Saudis, who are hosting a series of meetings with regional leaders, are key to the new coalition because of their country’s size, location and economic importance, “but also because of their religious significance with Sunnis,” according to a senior State Department official at the talks.

Saudi Arabia’s primary role in the Sunni world is a major element in the U.S. plan to create a broad coalition against the militant group.

U.S. officials also look to the Saudi kingdom to help bridge the Sunni-Shia divide, which is complicating efforts to confront Islamic State militants, specifically in Iraq.

Saudi Arabia has come to understand the Islamic State group is a serious threat to their country as well – that it isn’t a mainstream Sunni movement.

One element of Obama’s IS plan seeks to undermine the ideological and religious claims that the Islamic State militants make to Islam.

The administration hopes Riyadh will use its influence among Islamic religious leaders.

The coalition may need enhanced military basing and overflight rights for airstrikes against the Islamic State, the State Department official said. Saudi Arabia already has agreed to allow camps for training vetted moderate rebels to fight the IS insurgents.

The official said Kerry was asking Arab leaders to use nationally-owned media – including Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya – as well as their religious establishments to speak out against Islamic State extremism in hopes of undermining its appeal to young recruits.

In that push, Kerry echoed Obama’s denunciation of the IS (ISIL) group as not “Islamic” because no religion condones the killing of innocents.

“ISIL claims to be fighting on behalf of Islam, but the fact is that its hateful ideology has nothing to do with Islam,” Kerry said.

“ISIL is a manifestation of evil, a vicious terrorist organization, and it is a organization that achieves its goals only through violence, repression and destruction, fed by illicit funding and a stream of foreign fighters,” he added. “It has seized territory and terrorized the people who live there regardless of their sect or ethnicity.”

Diplomatic push continues

The top U.S. diplomat will continue his coalition-building efforts Friday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, in meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Kerry will also stop in Egypt as part of the effort to line up international support against the Islamic State militants.

The Mideast diplomatic push comes ahead of a conference set for Monday in Paris on how to stabilize Iraq. That meeting will include officials from the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China, and possibly other nations, even including Iran.

VOA’s Scott Stearns discusses his interview with John Kerry

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Silicon Valley: Here Come Ethiopia’s SoleRebels

SoleRebels will open a new store in San Jose, California on October 1st, 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, September 11th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – What better location in the U.S. than California’s famed Silicon Valley to sell comfortable and fashionable footwear that are made from recycled materials with the added value of being 100 percent vegan? That’s what the Addis Ababa-based environmental-friendly shoe brand SoleRebels is promising to bring to its newest international store in San Jose scheduled to open on October 1st.

SoleRebels’ footwear are produced using indigenous practices such as hand-spun organic cotton, artisan hand-loomed fabric and recycled tires for soles.

The San Jose location will be the Ethiopian brand’s first retail space in the United States. In a statement the company’s Founder & CEO Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu described the Bay Area as the “perfect place” adding that it “epitomized the creativity, innovation, craziness, disruption and the overall ‘Walk Naked’ ethos that SoleRebels is all about.”

“I am totally vibed to open our first US SoleRebels store in Silicon Valley,” she added. “Silicon Valley is the epicenter of all these things and so it’s the perfect place to launch our US retail store business and I imagine there are quite a few folks in and around Silicon Valley who can’t wait to be able to ‘walk naked.’”

The 1270 square foot store will be located at San Jose’s Westfield Valley Fair mall on the 2nd floor near the Men’s Macy’s department.

You can learn more about SoleRebels at

People of Our Time Who Are Changing the World

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Turkey Outdoes China in Terms of Ethiopia Investment

While Turkish investors had arrived later, they had since poured some $1.2 billion worth of investment into Ethiopia, senior Ethiopian Investment Agency official Debela Habte said. (World Bulletin)

World Bulletin Turkey

News Desk

Despite China’s outstanding record of development assistance to Ethiopia, the Asian giant’s investments in the African state lack volume, a senior Ethiopian Investment Agency official has said.

China has invested $836 million in Ethiopia over the past ten years, Debela Habte, a senior public relations expert at the agency told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

He added that, while Turkish investors had arrived later, they had since poured some $1.2 billion worth of investment into Ethiopia.

“Turks invest their money in large-scale projects, while the Chinese are more involved in both small- and large-scale projects,” Habte said

He said Turkish investors were largely engaged in the textile industry, which, he said, required significant capital.

This, Habte added, could explain why Turkey’s investment capital in Ethiopia had surpassed that of China.

Read more »

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Panel Discussion: Land Grabbing – Raising Awareness With Multimedia

(Images courtesy: Photoville)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – An upcoming panel discussion at Photoville in Brooklyn hopes to raise awareness about “land grabbing” as a complex international and environmental phenomenon. According to organizers the experts will address the subject “using land grabbing as a case study, photographer Alfredo Bini and media executive Greg Moyer meet with non-profit organizations and researchers to discuss the potential for issue-based multimedia storytelling.”

Presented by Blue Chalk Media & The University of Virginia, with the participation of Human Rights Watch, Grassroots International, and Why Hunger, the panel discussion scheduled for Sunday, September 21st, also features Iain Levine, program director at Human Rights Watch, Paolo D’Odorico, Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and Saulo Araujo, Director of the Global Movements Program at WhyHunger.

“Lately there have often been shortcomings in providing in depth coverage for stories like this because, due to space restrictions on the traditional media outlets, even more often the articles have focused only on specific aspects rather than the phenomenon as a whole,” states the announcement. “In spite of these limits, how can photography and multimedia be used as a tool for raising awareness? Conveying in-depth information and analysis about controversial issues requires time and long-term research in an age when the public’s attention level is dwindling and increasingly focused on breaking news and sound bytes.”

This presentation will take place in the Photoville Talk Area – located at the storefront of One Brooklyn Bridge Park at corner of Joralemon Street & Furman Street.

If You Go:
Land Grabbing: Raising Awareness with Multimedia
When: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EDT)
Where: Photoville
One Brooklyn Bridge Park
Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park

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VOA Interview with Miss Africa USA Meron Wudneh (Video)

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

VOA News

By Yeheyes Wuhib

September 10, 2014

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

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

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

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

She wanted to build children’s futures

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

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

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

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

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

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

She founded her own NGO

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

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

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

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

Ethiopian Meron Wudneh Crowned Miss Africa USA 2014

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People of Our Time Who Are Changing the World

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, shoe manufacturer. (BMW Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — “These people are driven by their passion. They are changing the world, each in their own way. They are People of our Time.”

The above quote opens the latest edition of BMW Magazine, a biannual lifestyle publication introducing international heroes of this generation, including Ethiopian shoe manufacturer Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, who rose from humble beginnings in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Addis Ababa to become Founder & CEO of one of the fastest growing footwear companies in the world. SoleRebels has earned Bethlehem the respect and admiration of many individuals and organizations globally.

“The best remedy for poverty? Creating world-class products,” Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, a mother of three, says. “SoleRebels is like hip-hop, something that started really small and today can be found in every country on the planet.”

“One thing Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is not lacking in is self-confidence,” notes BMW Magazine. “Is this overconfidence? Perhaps, but the last few years have given Alemu every reason to be bold and optimistic.”

The magazine adds: “Having grown up in a poor suburb of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, she soon realised that there was only one way to defeat poverty – with products that could compete in the global marketplace. Footwear, for example. Shoes are traditionally made in Ethiopia in a very special way: from indigenous jutes, recycled coffee sacks, organically tanned leather and the treads of car tyres for the soles. Alemu started off with five shoemakers. Today 70,000 pairs of shoes leave her factory in her native town every year. Forbes magazine voted the founder one of “Africa’s most successful women”. The colourful shoes are popular in the west, too, especially among a young, fashion-conscious, urban clientele where buzzwords like sustainability have the desired effect. For years now soleRebels has been expanding and today exports to no fewer than 45 countries. A small global brand – and the only one with its flagship store in Addis Ababa.”

Earlier this summer Bethlehem was also honored by The Oprah Magazine (South Africa) on its fourth annual O Power List featuring 21 inspiring female leaders from the African continent, as well as by pan-African media company Face2Face Africa, which bestowed on her the “Entrepreneur Award” during a ceremony held here in New York on July 26th for her pioneering work as a head of SoleRebels. More recently former President George W. Bush named her Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Ambassador for Ethiopia to serve as an advocate for a global health partnership founded by the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. Government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

In addition to Bethlehem, BMW Magazine highlighted other modern heroes including German-Taiwanese race driver Vivianne Mainusch and Greek fashion designer Mary Katrantzou.

Read their profiles at BMW Magazine.

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Family, Friends Mourn Ethiopian Taxi Driver Killed in Atlanta Suburb (Video)

An Ethiopian taxi driver was shot to death in Atlanta on Sunday morning while trying to break up a fight between a customer (an Ethiopian woman, right) and her boyfriend Henok Basore, left. (Police photo)

11 Alive Atlanta

11Alive Staff

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A taxi driver was shot to death in a condominium complex in Lilburn Sunday morning while trying to break up a fight between a customer and her boyfriend.

It happened at around 6:15 a.m. in the Springs Condominiums at 1300 Branch Drive near South Norcross Tucker Road.

Monday morning, investigators identified the victim as 53-year-old Aidarous Abdella of Lilburn. Abdella has been driving a cab for eight years according to a friend. “He’s a nice guy, a family man, he supported his family,” said Khalid Yonis.

Yonis said he has known Abdella for 15 years. Yonis talked to 11Alive News in front of his friends house where he was consoling family members. He said Abdella supported a sister who is handicapped and a son who recently moved to his home from Ethiopia.

“He’s 22 years old, he came from Ethiopia like a year ago,” Yonis said. “He’s a full-time student so we don’t have anyone supporting his family.”

Police said Abdella drove 29-year-old Elizabeth McKonnen to the location to meet her boyfriend, 34-year-old Henok Basore. When they arrived, the boyfriend began arguing with McKonnen.

Abdella tried to intervene, but Basore pulled out a gun and shot the victim, then ran. He was arrested several hours later and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

Police said Basore pulled out a gun and Abdella tried to diffuse the situation. “I just heard a gunshot,” said neighbor Jermico Price. “I heard a lot of screaming and commotion.”

Abdella was shot in the head and died. Basore is charged with Murder and Aggravated Assault. MeKonnen is charged with Obstruction and False Statements.

Police said Abdella just wanted to make peace. “We think he was simply acting as a good Samaritan in this struggle between the other two,” said Cpl. Jake Smith.

Video: Family, Friends Mourn Ethiopian Taxi Cabbie Killed Breaking Up a Fight

Video: Cops: Taxi driver killed trying to stop man from shooting woman

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Dawit Seyoum, 29, Charged With Murdering D.C. Corrections Official

Dawit Seyoum, 29, has been arrested in connection with the Alexandria murder of a D.C. correctional office employee. (Photo: City of Alexandria PD)

By The Associated Press, ABC 7 News

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man was arraigned Monday on charges of killing a high-ranking District of Columbia corrections official.

Dawit Seyoum, 29, appeared in court on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of 64-year-old Carolyn Cross, the deputy director of operations for the Department of Corrections.

Alexandria Police spokeswoman Ashley Hildebrandt said investigators do not believe Cross’ slaying was related to her work as a corrections official, or that Seyoum and Cross knew each other.

Police said they were called shortly after 8 a,m. Sunday to an apartment complex in the 4800 block of Kenmore Avenue, where they found Cross dead.

An autopsy was being conducted to determine the exact cause of death, authorities said.

During Seyoum’s arraignment, he was appointed a public defender and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for October.

Police said this was the fourth homicide in Alexandria in 2014.

Read more at WJLATV »

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Israel’s Ethiopian Immigrants Lose Connection With Folklore

Passport pictures for Ethiopians, who are awaiting immigration to Israel, lie on a table in Gondar, March 8, 2007. (photo by REUTERS/Eliana Aponte)


By Yuval Avivi

One Ethiopian folktale goes as follows: “A long time ago, Abba Gabra Hanna went to visit the village of Lalibla. Along the way, he met a jolly group. Someone in the group pointed at Abba Gabra Hanna’s large belly and said to his friends, ‘We have to thank this man for bringing with him a large, full bag of seeds. Our empty fields are waiting to be sown.’ The people in the group burst out laughing. Abba Gabra Hanna was insulted, but immediately had a thought. He pointed at the large, shiny bald head of the man and said, ‘I’m not sure if the amount of seeds I brought will be enough for this large, empty field.’ The people in the group burst out laughing. They knew that they had just met Abba Gabra Hanna, the famous joker.”

“For Ethiopian immigrants, Abba Gabra Hanna is the Ethiopian Hershele [a Hasidic joker in Ashkenazi folktales],” said Penina Tamanu-Shata, deputy chair of the Knesset and chair of the lobby for Ethiopians in Israel who came to Israel from Ethiopia when she was 3. “There’s a sense that Ethiopian culture is anemic, because our parents weren’t always literate, but the truth is that the literature of Ethiopian Jewry is developed — full of parables and complex and beautiful expressions. It’s simply a different kind of literature that is transmitted orally.”

While Israeli culture is based on reading books aloud to children, Ethiopian culture is based on telling folktales in Amharic. Abba Gabra Hanna is the hero of many of them, as seen in the collection of Ethiopian folktales, “A Web of Stories,” published in Israel in 2000.

As has happened many times in Israeli society when the collective has trampled on the unique character of immigrant communities, a large part of the cultural identity of Ethiopian Jewry has simply been erased. A 2013 study found that nearly half of Ethiopian households speak Hebrew only. The richness of Ethiopian folktales has thus been lost to them.

Read more at »

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Ethiopia: Measuring Women’s Rights and Roles

Konga, Ethiopia: Data on gender equality can highlight gaps and help monitor progress. (© Panos/A.)

Insights Magazine

By Sarah McMullan

What inequalities do women face in Ethiopia?

In rural Ethiopia, people say farming is a man’s job. In reality, women play a large role in agriculture from farm to table. Take a drive through the countryside, and you will see women planting, weeding, tending to gardens, and harvesting, among other farm activities. The markets are bustling with women selling produce and small livestock in addition to spices, honey, and shea butter.

Why, given their many contributions to agriculture, are women so often marginalized? To help shed more light on gender inequalities, researchers from IFPRI’s gender team and Research for Ethiopia’s Agriculture Policy (REAP) Program are analyzing national data to compare differences between male- and female-headed agricultural households, reviewing the literature on gender gaps in agriculture, and offering training on collecting sex-disaggregated data. Moving forward, the team will shift from comparing male- and female-headed households to showing other indicators that can lead to deeper analysis and understanding of women’s role in agriculture.

This work, says Seblewongel Deneke, director of the Gender Program at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), will generate evidence to help design and implement agricultural policies and programs. “Gender equality,” she says, “is recognized as a critical development issue in Ethiopia.”

Slow Progress

Over the past two decades, the Ethiopian government has started to chip away at gender inequality. An overhaul to family law provided stronger rights for women in terms of land ownership, inheritance, and marriage. The government introduced a requirement that land certificates include the name and picture of both the husband and wife. According to Cheryl Doss of Yale University, who serves as the gender team leader of the IFPRI-led research program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets, “When men and women have secure property rights, they experience lower vulnerability and are better able to cope with shocks.”

Girls’ access to education has also improved. In 2000, Ethiopian schools enrolled 71 girls for every 100 boys; by 2007, the number of girls enrolled for every 100 boys had risen to 87. A recent World Bank study found that when women have access to education, the entire household experiences better health, nutrition, and education.

Read more »

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Ethiopian Immigrant to UK Reveals How She Overcame ‘Hostility’ and Stigma

(Image: flickr_lcars)

Mancunian Matters

By Heather McComb & April Curtin

08 Sep 2014

Jalene* is a young migrant from Ethiopia who, when offered a visitor visa to the UK, jumped at the chance to gain a good education in a Western country that would welcome her with open arms.

Or so she thought.

Four years on, Jalene has decided to reveal all to MM about her struggles, as she worked to achieve a dream and battle against the ultimate enemy: the British immigration system.

Set with an ambition to better herself and achieve a higher education at Manchester University, it was this aim which proved to be the first of many obstacles that she faced.

“Pursuing education was severely tough, the main reasons being that I have not been allowed to work and I’m not entitled to any state support except for a few months at the initial stage,” she told MM.

“A partial tuition fee waiver scholarship from the University of Manchester and the incredible support by some charity organisations and friends let me survive and finish my study – I graduated a couple of days ago in a master’s degree.”

In spite of her outstanding achievement, Jalene believes other people in her situation are not so lucky.

“My experience shows that such cases [as hers] are extremely rare, principally due to severe challenges and barriers,” she said.

However, Jalene also said that despite the challenges and stress, being in education helped her ‘to keep optimistic and positive’.

Read more »

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How Ethiopia Solved Its Abortion Problem

Zebiba waits for her abortion to be completed. (Photo: Heather Horn/GlobalPost

Global Post

By Heather Horn

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Zebiba, 28, sits in her purple headscarf in the small clinic room, the cramping already beginning. She took the tablets early this morning. She is three months pregnant.

By 2 p.m., her abortion should be complete. She will return to her two children, now at school. She is divorcing their father, who has taken a second wife.

Thus far, she has refused pain medications. Her relief at the ease of this termination is palpable. “She was nervous coming here,” says the nurse.

A generation ago, botched abortions were the single biggest contributor to Ethiopia’s sky-high maternal mortality rate. Doctors in the largest public hospital in Addis Ababa, where Zebiba lives, still remember the time when three-quarters of the beds in the maternal ward were reserved purely for complications from such procedures.

Then, in 2005, the country liberalized its abortion law.

Today, it’s hard to find a health provider who’s seen more than one abortion-related death in the past five years. Although access to safe procedures and high quality care could still be expanded, doctors say that, increasingly, those who need an abortion can get one safely.

But this success story has a catch: abortion is still illegal. Only under very limited circumstances is it allowed, and Zebiba’s case does not fall into one of the specified categories.

Many of the women whose lives doctors and NGOs have saved in the past few years have been ushered through a legal loophole — and it’s possible that’s what the government intended all along.

Read more at »

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African Union Meets in Ethiopia For Ebola Crisis Talks

African Union commission Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (Credit: Standard Media)

Standard Media

Updated Monday, September 8th 2014

African Union chiefs held an emergency meeting Monday to hammer out a continent-wide strategy to deal with the Ebola epidemic, which has killed over 2,000 people in west Africa.

“Fighting Ebola must be done in a manner that doesn’t fuel isolation or lead to the stigmatisation of victims, communities and countries,” AU commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, speaking at the opening of the meeting.

Dlamini-Zuma told the executive council of the 54-member body, meeting at the bloc’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, of the urgent need to “craft a united, comprehensive and collective African response” to the outbreak.

The meeting came as hopes rose of a potential vaccine to provide temporary shield against Ebola.

A novel vaccine tested so far only on monkeys provided “completely short-term and partial long-term protection” from the deadly virus, researchers reported in the journal Nature Medicine.

The study endorsed approval for tests on humans, which would begin in early September, with first results by year’s end.

Read more »

Ebola’s Economic Toll on Africa Starts to Emerge (The Wall Street Journal)

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Meet Yirgalem Hadish: Miss World Ethiopia

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

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, September 7th, 2014

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

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

Below are photos of Miss World Ethiopia 2014 Yirgalem Hadish:

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Bay Area Art Installation & Festival Featuring Ethiopian and Eritrean Artists

(Image courtesy:

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Press Release

Home [away from] Home is an experimental art installation featuring artists in the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities of the Bay Area, culminating in a weekend-long festival of visual arts, music, dance, poetry, & food, around next year’s Eritrean and Ethiopian Ge’ez New Year (Sept 11, 2014) wrapping up with the grand finale festival taking place on Lake Merrit Sunday 9/14/2014.

The mission of this project serves as a metaphor for African immigrants in the diaspora trying to build a home in America while maintaining and sharing their cultural identity in the USA. With a respect for the unique histories of the Ethiopian and Eritrean peoples, we intend to highlight the art, music, and culture that brings immigrants from these two communities together while exploring the theme of “Home (Away From) Home”.

Home [away from] Home is the brain child of Ethiopian American singer Meklit Hadero, Eritrean American filmmaker Sephora Woldu, and Ethiopian American musician Ellias Fullmore. The project is supported by YBCA In Community, a new initiative created by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA).

YBCA , an arts and culture organization recognized locally, nationally, and globally for its dedication to artistic innovation, has a committed long-term vision to place contemporary art at the heart of community life around the world, making them a natural and powerful ally for such a project.

YBCA In Community is also made possible through the generous support of The James Irvine Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Abundance Foundation.

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In Pictures: Teddy Afro at Echo Stage in DC

Teddy Afro at Echo Stage in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, August 31st, 2014. (Photograph: Matt Andrea)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – From SummerStage to Echo Stage this has been a busy year for Teddy Afro who also recently released a new single (Be 70 Dereja), and last Sunday the Ethiopian star performed in Washington, DC.

“Labor Day weekend concert in Washington DC was an incredible show,” Teddy Afro said in a statement. “Thanks for all our fans in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland areas for your support and making the show interesting night.”

Below are photos from the event:

Audio: Teddy Afro New Song Be 70 Dereja (በ70 ደረጃ)

Video: Teddy Afro Rocks New York’s SummerStage, B.B. King Blues Club
Photos: Teddy Afro at SummerStage 2014 Festival in New York

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In Pictures: Only 10 Percent of Homes in Ethiopia Have Running Water (Aljazeera)

While 52 percent of Ethiopia's people have access to improved water, only 10 percent have water piped into their homes. (Photo: Aljazeera)


The World Health Organisation/Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) estimates that 51 percent of improved water access is piped onto premises in urban areas, but the situation on the ground in the crowded slums on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, the capital, looks different.

Thirty years after Ethiopia’s devastating famine, water is still as inaccessible as it is precious. While 52 percent of the people have access to improved water, only 10 percent have water piped into their homes. And in rural areas, this figure is as low as 1 percent. Only 24 percent have adequate sanitation.

The implications are extremely broad. In an agriculture-based country, water shortages largely affect not only the country’s economy, but also the basic life of people whose subsistence depends on each season’s crops. Often poor countries like Ethiopia, with high population growth, are the most vulnerable to water stress.

Not to mention that on a continent currently affected by major diseases, controlling outbreaks is also a question of access to water and sanitation.

There are a lot of factors contributing to the lack of access to water and sanitation, ranging from environmental degradation due to desertification and deforestation, natural disasters such as extreme drought and climate change resulting from global warming. Other factors include pollution, caused by massive congestions in urban areas. This has led to a vicious cycle: people are leaving rural areas due to poverty hoping to find better opportunities in the cities only to contribute to the depreciation of living conditions where they arrive by overpopulating the towns’ slums.

The government has expanded its social service delivery programmes; NGOs projects are improving life in some communities, but it is a long process and on the larger scale, the infrastructure handling Ethiopia’s water supply is still inadequate and the need for improved water and sanitation is still severe.

View the slideshow at »

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In Celebration of Ethiopian New Year, Metro Los Angeles Presents Ethio-Jazz

Ethio Cali, a California based Ethio-jazz band, will perform at Union Station in Los Angeles on Friday, September 12th, 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, September 5th, 2014

Los Angeles (TADIAS) – In celebration of Ethiopian New Year, Metro Los Angeles is presenting an evening of Ethio-jazz on Friday, September 12th at the historic Union Station featuring the multicultural Ethio Cali band.

“We’re excited to present Ethio Cali, a Los Angeles based Ethio-Jazz ensemble, led by trumpeter, arranger, and composer Todd Simon,” Metro Los Angeles announced. “The ensemble’s sublime sound is inspired by the golden age of Ethiopian music of the 1960s and 70s, filtered through a lens that is uniquely Los Angeles. Acknowledging the diverse musical foundations of Ethio-Jazz, the ensemble also draws inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures of Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, and Colombia.”

The major operator of bus and rail service in L.A. County, California features a variety of free arts and cultural programs at Union Station — “one of the county’s busiest and most beautiful transit hubs.”

The Ethiopian New Year concert in the Fred Harvey Room also highlights DJ Jeremy Sole (KCRW / theLIFT) who will be spinning before and in between sets.

If You Go:
Metro Presents: Ethio Cali
Friday, September 12
7:45pm Doors open
8:15pm Ethio Cali – first set
9:15pm Ethio Cali – second set
LA Union Station, Fred Harvey Room
800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

New Year’s Eve in Addis: Orit Entertainment Presents Jacky Gosee & Teddy Taddesse
Celebrate Ethiopian New Year at Historic Riverside Church in NYC on September 13th

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Miss Africa USA: Meron Wudneh Thanks Her Supporters

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

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Friday, September 5th, 2014

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

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

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

Ethiopian Meron Wudneh Crowned Miss Africa USA 2014

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Mulatu Astatke: The Man Who Created ‘Ethio jazz’

Mulatu Astatke at 70: Ethiopian tuning, Latin rhythms, the wah-wah pedal – ahead of a festival of African culture, Richard Williams hails a composer who likes to mix it up. (The Guardian)

The Guardian

Richard Williams

Friday 5 September 2014

Everybody knows that Ethiopian jazz is the only kind worth listening to these days,” a bored Roman socialite remarks during one of the many party scenes in Paolo Sorrentino’s film The Great Beauty. It sounds like an epitaph. How could something so special, so original, survive the embrace of people so devoted to superficiality, so quick to move on to the next sensation?

As a fashionable novelty, Ethiopian jazz may indeed have had its moment in the spotlight. As an evolving form, however, it demonstrates greater resilience. Its roots lie deep within the musical culture of a country that, with the exception of a brief period under Italian occupation between 1936 and 1941, has enjoyed 3,000 years of independence. The first to realise that its distinctive indigenous modes and textures could be blended with those of American jazz was Mulatu Astatke, the composer and bandleader whose early recordings began to attract a cult following 15 years ago, after being unearthed and reissued by an enthusiastic Frenchman.

Astatke, whose appearance in London on 13 September will be a highlight of the Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia festival, was supposed to devote his life to aeronautical engineering. Instead, he invented a musical genre and became the central figure in an enormously successful series of anthologies that dug deep into the origins of a fascinating but long-hidden world.

The 16-year-old Astatke had arrived in Britain in 1959, sent from Addis Ababa to North Wales by his wealthy parents, first to Lindisfarne College and then to Bangor University. But music got in the way of those initial career plans, and his gifts took him to Trinity College of Music in London, where he studied piano, clarinet and harmony, and to the Eric Gilder School of Music in Twickenham, whose pupils included the Ghanaian saxophonist Teddy Osei – later to found Osibisa, the pioneering Afro-rock group – and Labi Siffre, the singer-guitarist. He began playing vibraphone and piano in the clubs of Soho with expatriate African and Caribbean jazz musicians, and in dance halls with the popular Edmundo Ros orchestra.

Leaving London in 1963, he enrolled as the first African student at the jazz-oriented Berklee College in Boston, whose alumni include the vibraphonist Gary Burton and the pianist Keith Jarrett. Moving to New York, he pursued his interests in jazz and Latin music.

Read more at The Guardian »

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Ethiopia Premiere of Award-Winning Film ‘Difret’ Interrupted by Court Order

(Image courtesy: Haile-Addis Pictures and Truth Aid Media)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, September 4th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The much anticipated Ethiopia premiere of the award-wining film Difret took a dramatic turn on Wednesday when police informed the director and producers of the film that the screening must be halted due to a court order. Prior to the interruption, a video of Executive Producer Angelina Jolie thanking the Difret team was played to the audience.

In a recording of the interruption Director & Writer Zeresenay Berhane Mehari announced to the audience that they had received news of a court order barring the screening. Regarding the premiere at the National Theater, Zeresenay told the audience: “The Ministry of Culture was aware of it, the government was aware of it,” and added that the organizers had not received any information of pending issues. Details of the court order have not yet been released.

Difret, which won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, is based on a true story and chronicles the ordeal of a teenager who was a victim of telefa — a traditional custom of marriage by abduction in Ethiopia — and her attorney Meaza Ashenafi’s success, against all odds, in helping to free her client on the grounds of self-defense, and subsequently outlaw abduction for marriage in Ethiopia.

The film has since been screened in various U.S. cities including New York and Silver Spring as well as worldwide including at Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland; Durban International Film Festival in South Africa; Jerusalem International Film Festival in Israel, and Sydney International Film Festival in Australia.

A Huffington Post article entitled “Difret: Building a Culture of Courage” was published today by producer Dr. Mehret Mandefro stating “Difret can be more than a film: we hope it will stimulate a global social action campaign that empowers people to build a culture of courage that supports and protects women and girls.”

The film’s other producers include Leelai Demoz, Executive Producers Angelina Jolie, Julie Mehretu, Jessica Rankin, Francesca Zampi and Lacey Schwartz.

Tadias Interview with Zeresenay Mehari & Mehret Mandefro
‘Difret’ Wins Panorama at Berlin Film Festival
Ethiopian film confronts marriage by abduction (BBC)
‘Difret’ Wins World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance Festival
Tadias Interview with Filmmaker Yidnekachew Shumete

Video: ‘Difret’: Audience Reaction at 2014 New African Films Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland

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University of Gondar Re-graduates 500 Alumni During 60th Anniversary

The University of Gondar 60th year Diamond Jubilee Celebrations was held from July 4- July 7th, 2014. During the event about 500 alumni from around the world were formally re-graduated. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – This past July the University of Gondar, which is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its founding this year, “re-graduated” about 500 alumni along with over 4000 students. The alumni had gathered for the three-day occasion (July 5-7th, 2014) from across Ethiopia as well as from other African nations, the United States, and Europe. The University’s Alumni Steering Committee in the U.S. estimates that there were about 100 former graduates in attendance from the Diaspora. The University of Gondar is the first public health institution in Ethiopia, and was established in 1954 as a Public Health College in response to a malaria epidemic to help train nurses, health officers, sanitarians, laboratory technicians and other professionals that would eventually form the backbone of the country’s modern public health structure. It was transformed into a medical college in 1978 and a full university in 2004.

Among the alumni residing in the U.S. who took part in the program include Dr. Elias Said Siraj, Professor of Medicine and Director of Endocrinology Fellowship Program and Clinical Endocrinology at Temple University in Philadelphia. “This was the first time in Ethiopia that alumni from a major university were organized in such a fashion and took an undertaking that others could emulate,” said Dr. Elias in an interview with Tadias Magazine. Dr. Elias graduated from Gondar College of Medical Sciences in 1988 and is one the founding members of the Alumni Steering Committee in the United States. “We also used the occasion to launch a publication, The Alumni Voice magazine, in conjunction with an ‘Alumni Clinical Symposium’ covering a range of subjects in medicine and highlighting expert presentations — including topics in surgery, women & children’s health, diabetes, kidney and heart diseases — that was attended by students, medical doctors, public health officials, and policymakers from Gondar and beyond.” Dr. Elias stated: “The feedback from students, teachers and others was very positive and encouraging. They were touched and delighted by the physical presence of the alumni, as well as by the contents of the magazine and the symposium.”

The Alumni Steering Committee in the U.S. includes six graduates of the historic Ethiopian institution: In addition to Dr. Elias, they are Dr. Anteneh Habte (1984), Founding Member, Clinical Assistant Professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine; Dr. Mulugeta Zerabruk Fissha (1998), Founding Member, Director of Cardiovascular Services at Newman Regional Health, Emporia, Kansas; Dr. Nuru Abseno Robi (1988), Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C.; Dr Yared Aytaged Gebreyesus (1988), Consultant in Internal Medicine at the Blue Nile Clinic in Alexandria, Viginia; and Dr Yared Wondimkun Endailalu (1986), Consultant in Internal Medicine at the Mary Washington Health Group in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Professor Yared Wondimkun, also former Dean of Gondar College of Medical Sciences and former President of the University of Gondar, notes in an interview with Tadias that the alumni-led symposium was designed not only as “an educational platform,” but also as a “networking opportunity for alumni, faculty, students and researchers to exchange ideas and learn about each other’s expertise as well as discuses way of strengthening the relationship between alumni members and the University of Gondar.”

Dr. Yared, who now lives in Northern Virginia, also received his MD degree from the Gondar College of Medical Sciences in 1986 before serving as the institution’s last Dean (2002-2004) and first President (2004-2007). He pointed out that the limited-edition of The Alumni Voice journal contains 26 important articles authored by alumni from the school’s various stages including graduates of the public health college, first graduates of the medical school, four previous Deans, and several alumni reflecting on the past and offering their perspectives for the future.” Dr. Yared adds that further contributions to the publication came from “key historical figures who played leading roles in the era of the Public Health College as well as the Gondar College of Medical Sciences.”

Dr. Elias shared his opinion that in general alumni and their potential resources are not effectively utilized in Ethiopia, and it was with this in mind that the University of Gondar Alumni Steering Committee in the US was established. “In close collaboration with the University of Gondar senior leadership, and with its president Professor Mengesha Admassu in particular, the Gondar Alumni Steering Committee worked hard in various areas to set an example so that other Ethiopian Universities will give the necessary attention to alumni activities and strengthen their alumni offices with appropriate manpower and resources” he said. Dr. Yared likewise added that based on the feedback received so far, the effort of the steering committee has paid off and the University of Gondar is being seen in Ethiopia as a “pioneer” in effectively collaborating with its alumni. Both Dr. Elias and Dr. Yared also thanked the leadership of the University of Gondar for believing in the power of alumni and for supporting all the activities of the steering committee.

The University of Gondar’s 60th year Diamond Jubilee was marked by year-long activities that culminated in early July not only with the “re-graduation’ of its alumni, but also the inauguration of a Comprehensive Outpatient Center at the University of Gondar Hospital “designed to provide an integrated program that will enhance patient-centered experience and increase the hospital’s capacity to accommodate an ever increasing number of patients.” The facility was built in partnership with the U.S. government that provided USD $9.1 million through the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with technical assistance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Patricia M. Haslach, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, said, “This newly constructed facility is part of the U.S. Government’s commitment to strengthening the national capacity of health facilities to provide comprehensive and integrated HIV/AIDS health care services throughout Ethiopia.”

Below are photos from the event courtesy of the University of Gondar Alumni Steering Committee in the USA:

For more coverage on Gondar University and its journey to its 60th anniversary, you may listen to People To People’s broadcast on More information on The Alumni Voice can be found at:

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Influx of African Immigrants Shifting National and New York Demographics

In Concourse Village in the Bronx, Sylvester Donkor, left, and Ataa Serwaa, immigrants from Ghana, waiting for a cab to church. (Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times)

The New York Times


Threatened with arrest in 2009, Lamin F. Bojang fled Gambia after publicly contradicting its president’s claims that he could cure AIDS. Now 31, Mr. Bojang lives in Concourse Village in the Bronx with his wife and 2-year-old son and works as a receptionist at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, while working toward a bachelor’s degree in political science at City College.

With educational and professional opportunities in Gambia scarce for his generation, “the rest will have to find ways of leaving,” he said, “and African migrants here, just as previous migrants, are likely not going to return to their countries of origin.”

Niat Amare, 28, graduated from law school in Ethiopia where she grew up, she recalled, “watching the media portray the U.S. as the land of opportunities.” She arrived here in 2010, lives in Harlem and said she felt welcome in New York. “Anyone would find one’s countryman here, which eases the strange feeling we all have the first time we leave home,” said Ms. Amare, a legal advocate for the African Services Committee, a nonprofit organization that assists new immigrants.

Read more at NYT »

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Lalibela Puts Ethiopia Back on Tourist Map

The rock church of St George at Lalibela, Ethiopia, one of 11 carved out of the hillside in the 13th century and among the first to be designated world heritage sites by Unesco in 1978. (Photograph: Alamy)

The Guardian

David Smith

Monday 1 September 2014

Lalibela – Kiya Gezahegne joined an unruly, jostling throng surrounding a priest who wielded a 12th-century gold and bronze cross, one of the most sacred artefacts in Ethiopia. A young man shut his eyes and trembled from head to toe as he was blessed. Finally, Gezahegne stepped forward and stooped so the priest could tap the cross all over her body. “I felt close to God,” she said.

Steeped in ancient ritual, this was the scene revealed by dawn’s first light in the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. The cool morning air was filled with the smell of incense and the drumbeat and chanting of hundreds of pilgrims swathed in white robes, some kissing the walls. A sprinkling of foreign visitors groped through narrow crevices and labyrinthine tunnels. Earlier this year they included George W Bush and family and Evgeny Lebedev, the newspaper proprietor.

Lalibela – described by Hilary Bradt, the travel guide author, as “the number one sight in Ethiopia and perhaps the most astonishing man-made site in sub-Saharan Africa” – is crucial to a drive by officials to banish images of famine and conflict, and turn the east African country into a fashionable destination. A “tourism master plan” is being finalised to boost visitor numbers, which are already growing by 10% a year.

Gezahegne, 22, an academic at Addis Ababa University, was making her first pilgrimage to Lalibela one recent Sunday and was in no doubt about its potential to attract Christians and non-believers alike. “Most people know about the famine but not the historic sites,” she said. “If the tourism bureau can advertise it, it can be a good source of income.”

Read more at The Guardian »

Lalibela One of The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime
Ethiopia’s Lalibela Among 19 Most Stunning Sacred Places in the World

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A Thriving Ethiopian Community in Texas: Spotlight on Birhan Mekonnen

Birhan “Mac” Mekonnen who owns 23 Domino’s Pizza franchise locations in Texas at his home in Heath, Texas which is modeled after the Fasilides' Castle from his hometown of Gondar in Ethiopia. (D Magazine)

D Magazine


Birhan “Mac” Mekonnen is standing on his balcony, surveying acres of land, reflecting on what he’s built. The balcony rests just below the most unique architectural feature of his home in Heath—a dome modeled after Fasil Castle in Gondar, Ethiopia. Gondar is Mekonnen’s hometown, the hometown he fled in 1977, three years after war erupted.

Along with his future wife, the 18-year-old walked for days, finding refuge in Sudan, where their first child would be born. The young family of three relocated to North Dakota 18 months later, where Mekonnen’s sponsors suggested he seek employment at a grocery store. He refused and went on to receive a degree in electrical engineering. And with that, the Mekonnens set out again, this time to Dallas, where a network of relatives and friends was rapidly developing. That was 28 years ago.

Today, an estimated 35,000 Ethiopians call North Texas home. One of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in Dallas, they’ve gravitated toward Rowlett, Wylie, and Garland, where the Ethiopian community association that Mekonnen heads hopes to build a community center.

“It was designed to bring Ethiopians together and keep the tradition and culture,” Mekonnen says of the association, “to teach our children, making sure they know their roots.”

Read more at »

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‘Difret’ Film to Premiere in Ethiopia on September 3rd

(Image courtesy: Haile-Addis Pictures and Truth Aid Media)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, August 30th, 2014

New York ( TADIAS) – The award-wining Ethiopian film ‘Difret’ will premiere at the National Theater in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, September 3rd. Directed by Zeresenay Mehari the film narrates the true story of a teenager who was a victim of telefa — a traditional custom of marriage by abduction in Ethiopia — who gained public attention when she was arrested and charged for the murder of her abductor. The girl’s subsequent acquittal on the grounds of self-defense was led by a courageous lawyer Meaza Ashenafi who also worked to outlaw the practice of abduction for marriage.

Difret won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. It has since been screened in various U.S. cities including New York and Silver Spring as well as worldwide including at Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland; Durban International Film Festival in South Africa; Jerusalem International Film Festival in Israel, and Sydney International Film Festival in Australia.

The upcoming screening in Ethiopia is the most exciting moment the director and producers have been waiting for. “We are thrilled to be premiering the film in Ethiopia and releasing it in theaters there next week,” producer Mehret Mandefro told Tadias Magazine. “Difret has been a 7-year labor of love for Zeresenay and a 5-year labor of love for me. So to finally be able to share the film in Ethiopia is truly a dream come true. We can’t wait,” she added.

The film’s other producers include Leelai Demoz, Executive Producers Angelina Jolie, Julie Mehretu, Jessica Rankin, Francesca Zampi and Lacey Schwartz.

If You Go:
The Ethiopia Premier of Difret
Wednesday, September 3rd
6:30: Screening
8:15: Presentation of cast and crew
9:00: Celebratory Dinner and party
National Theater
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Video: ‘Difret’: Audience Reaction at 2014 New African Films Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland

Tadias Interview with Zeresenay Mehari & Mehret Mandefro
‘Difret’ Wins Panorama at Berlin Film Festival
Ethiopian film confronts marriage by abduction (BBC)
‘Difret’ Wins World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance Festival
Tadias Interview with Filmmaker Yidnekachew Shumete

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New Year’s Eve: Orit Entertainment Presents Jacky Gosee & Teddy Taddesse

(Image courtesy: Orit Entertainment Group and Evangadi Production)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, August 28th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Jacky Gosee and Teddy Taddesse are scheduled to perform at this year’s Ethiopian New Year’s Eve celebration at Millenium Hall in Addis Ababa. The show is being organized by some of the best Ethiopian promoters in the business: Mickey Dread (Michael Gizaw), DJ Mengie NYC (Mengistu Melesse) and Delish Lemma who recently launched an international concert promotion and artist management company, Orit Entertainment Group, based in New York. The long-time friends and business partners have been behind almost all of the biggest Ethiopian concerts in the United States for the past two decades.

“Orit Entertainment Group, as the name suggests, is a pioneer company, a trend-setter bringing new experiences to its clients and audiences alike,” says the company statement. “While Orit Entertainment Group is headquartered in New York it serves a vast clientele list globally operating out of its offices in Europe, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and UAE.”

Mickey Dread, a resident of New York City, has worked as an events manager and concert promoter as well as producer and nightclub manager for over 20 years. He is also the proprietor of successful high-end entertainment venues in NYC frequented by celebrities such as Jay Z, P Diddy, Akon, Snoop Dog, Rev Run of Run DMC, and Paris Hilton. Mickey’s club and lounge is home not only to celebrities but industry locals and underground followers as well. “Mickey’s passion in the industry and his approachable demeanor has led him to produce some larger-than-life collaborations with entities such as MTV, VH1, Entertainment TV, Motorola, Sony, EA Sport, Sport Illustrated, NBA, NFL, GQ Magazine, NY Times, Google, Bravo TV, The 2008 Obama Campaign, and Mayor Bloomberg’s Office,” notes a statement from Orit Entertainment. “Mickey’s experience and knowledge of the entertainment industry is vast.” The statement adds: “His exciting endeavors include working with the world-renowned Reggae star Alpha Blondie as his stage manager, producing a series of concerts for Reggae icon Israel Vibration, and his long-standing involvement with the record label Tuff Gong (founded by Jamaican Superstar Bob Marley) in various capacities.”

DJ Mengie, founder of Massinko Entertainment, who is also a New Yorker has likewise been an organizer in the North American music and entertainment scene for over 20 years. From the annual North America Ethiopian Soccer Tournament to the most prestigious concert venues in America, if an Ethiopian star is performing (legend or up-and-coming), chances are DJ Mengie is involved. “While you often find him behind the turntables at many of the large concerts showcasing well-known Ethiopian artists from across the globe, his promotion skills and talent as a producer are evident by the scale of the events,” the statement from Orit noted. DJ Mengie was the lead promoter of the historic Howard Theater concert in Washington, D.C. showcasing Mahmoud Ahmed and Gosaye, as well as Central Park’s SummerStage in New York presenting Aster Aweke and Teddy Afro. But what is less known is his impressive resume as a music producer that includes four successful remix albums through his label Masenko Remix. His latest project is an upcoming album called Reggaetopia featuring remixes of traditional Ethiopian sounds with Dub Reggae and Dancehall beats all performed with traditional Ethiopian musical instruments. “The ideology behind Masenko Remix is to combine the deep soul of Ethiopia’s traditional music with the more contemporary Dub Reggae sound,” DJ Mengie says.

Orit’s third partner, Delish Lemma, similarly has an extensive promotion experience that started during his college years at Virginia Tech where he led monthly dance parties highlighting celebrity DJs such as DJ Supreme who tours with Lauryn Hill, DJ LS1 who works with Hip Hop Artist DMX, and DJ Trini of Washington DC area Radio Station 93.9, DJ 6 Senses. Orit Entertainment’s bio of Delish notes that “While at Virginia Tech, Delish was successful in organizing post-concert events for many live acts such as Busta Rhymes and Outkast, and joined the promotional team for the ‘Hard Knock Life’ Tour, on the Washington DC and Charlotte N.C. leg, which consisted of concerts by Eve, Jay-Z, Method Man, & Redman.” For several years Delish was a key promoter of ‘All Star Weekend’ events in several cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Delish, who is the founder of Delish Massinko Ent., has also worked with notable Ethiopian singers including Teddy Afro, Evangadi, Gosaye, Mahmoud Ahmed, and Aster Aweke. In addition he is credited for introducing the Ethiopian born singer Abby Lakew, who resides in the United States, and organized her concert at the Tropical Gardens in Addis Ababa. Delish also spent a few years in Ethiopia “shaping the entertainment industry.” His latest endeavor is “the production of the talented Jacky Gosee.”

If You Go:
New Year’s Eve: Jacky Gosee & Teddy Taddesse
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Millennium Hall
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Info: +251-911 031875
Presented by Orit Entertainment & Evangadi Production

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Ethiopia to Bid for 2017 African Cup

(Getty Images)

The Associated Press

August 28, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia will bid to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations after Libya pulled out citing security concerns, the president of the national football federation said, a tough task for a country with only basic sports infrastructure.

There is government backing for the bid, Ethiopia football federation president Junedin Basha said.

“We are both willing and able to host the games,” Junedin said, adding new facilities are being planned and built across the country. “We see no problem in hosting.”

Ethiopia will lodge its bid with the Confederation of African Football by the end of the week, Junedin said.

CAF is racing to find a new venue after Libya’s withdrawal and has given countries until the end of September to register bids. Countries normally have four years to prepare for the African Cup but the winning bid will have just over two to prepare for 2017.

Ghana and Kenya have also shown interest in bidding.

Read more »

Ethiopia, Kenya & Ghana Bid to Host 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (BBC News)

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Uneven Coverage of Suppressed Ethiopian Journalists

Serkalem Fasil accepts the 2012 PEN American's "Freedom to Write Award" for her husband Eskinder Nega, imprisoned Ethiopian writer, in New York, May 1, 2012. (AP Photo)

VOA News

By Marthe van der Wolf

August 28, 2014

ADDIS ABABA— This month, Ethiopian officials shut down five magazines — the latest in a series of shutdowns — but the move got little attention from outside the country. The East African country is well known for suppressing the media, but some cases seem to get celebrity status while others are ignored.

Twelve Ethiopian journalists and publishers left the country in August after the magazines they worked for were forced by the government to shut down. International media gave little attention to the self-chosen exile of these media practitioners.

In contrast, the cases of Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu and more recently the Zone9 bloggers have been covered by outlets such as al-Jazeera and the BBC, as well as VOA.

Tom Rhodes of the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, says it can be partly explained why some cases get more attention.

“In the case of the Zone9 bloggers and Eskinder, they were quite well known in the diaspora, the Ethiopian diaspora, and had a lot of international contacts and backers. While other cases unfortunately are not so well known. I think of Solomon Kebede for example who is still waiting for trial,” he said.

Forty-one human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and CPJ released a joint statement calling for the release of the Zone9 bloggers and journalists, who are charged with terrorism.

Amaha Mekonnen, lawyer for the Zone9 bloggers and journalists, said there was a small chance the international attention would have an impact.

“As we have the experience, there may be a chance to settle the matter out of court, in which case, this information, all deliberations and analysis the case of this bloggers and journalist may be used to speed up and finally get a successful results,” said Mekonnen.

Both Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu have been detained under Ethiopia’s controversial Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Human rights group said the 2009 law was overly vague and allowed authorities to arrest anyone who criticized or opposed the government.

Eskinder won the 2012 PEN American’s Freedom to Write Award while serving an 18-year prison sentence and Reeyot won the UNESCO World Press Freedom Award in 2013 while serving an ongoing five-year prison term.

Reeyot is not allowed to see anyone else besides her parents, for 20 minutes a day.

Her father Alemu Gobebo said the attention was good for the morale of his imprisoned daughter:

“The international media is also encouraging the family of Reeyot, and Reeyot herself. The international media coverage disclosing her strength on freedom of speech or freedom of press, and by that way she was awarded, I think, international prizes. In that case we are very delighted,” he said.

There was always a worry when giving exposure to a case, said Rhodes of CPJ. But he also believed that it was crucial to inform people about what was going on.

“I think it both has a positive and a negative affect,” he said. “Positive in the sense that we let the international community know what’s going on and we’re letting the Ethiopian press know what’s going on. But it’s also negative in the sense that some authorities simply do not like criticism whether its local or international. And may react badly to it.”

Ethiopia ranks 143 out of 180 countries on the most recent World Press Freedom index. A 2014 Human Rights Watch report says Ethiopia is one of the three top countries in the world in terms of the number of exiled journalists.

The trial of the Zone 9 bloggers and journalists will resume October 15.

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Celebrate Ethiopian New Year at Historic Riverside Church in NYC on September 13th


Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Enkutatash, one of the most festive days in the Ethiopian calendar is being celebrated this year on September 13th at the Manhattan-based Riverside Church. The church, which is on the list of the National Register of Historic Places and renowned for its decades-long history of social justice, was also the former home of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Medhanialem Church in New York.

According to the online magazine InCultureParentEnkutatash, the Ethiopian New Year, marks the end of the rainy reason and the beginning of the spring sunshine. While Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, the holiday falls on September 11th according to the Western or Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12th. Enkutatash, meaning “gift of jewels” in Amharic, originally derives from the story of the Queen of Sheba returning from visiting King Solomon in Jerusalem, according to popular legend. When the Queen arrived, she was greeted by her Ethiopian chiefs with enku, jewels. This joyful holiday has supposedly been celebrated since this time, marked by dancing and singing across the green countryside, budding with spring flowers.”

The family-friendly Ethiopian New Year program in New York features music, food, traditional coffee ceremony and live entertainment including the first time NYC appearance of musicians Yohannes (Jonny) Alemu and Eleni Tekeste.

If You Go:
Saturday, September 13th, 2014
Time: 6:00 pm – 12:30 am
Tickets: $50 in advance, $60 at the door
Students: $25 (with ID)
Dinner & Music included
Complimentary champagne and cake
The Riverside Church (Assembly Hall)
91 Claremont Avenue
New York, NY 10027

To purchase tickets in advance please contact Rahel at or call 646-515-6551.

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Ethiopia Considers Devaluing Currency

A Commercial Bank of Ethiopia building in Addis Ababa. (Wikimedia commons)


ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia says it’s considering the World Bank’s suggestion to devalue its currency, the Birr, but government says it want to minimise the impact on the wider economy.

In July, the World Bank released its third economic report on Ethiopia and advised the country to devalue its currency.

The global lender argues that Ethiopia’s Birr is overvalued and that the country would benefit from making the move, but it wouldn’t be the first time for Ethiopia.

In 2010, the government devalued the Birr by ten percent – and by 20 percent the year after; all in line with the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan.

But since then the Birr has strengthened in real terms, by more than 50 percent, currently standing at 19 to the US dollar.

Read more and watch video »

Ethiopia should consider currency devaluation, says World Bank (Reuters)

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Egypt, Sudan Agree to Six-Month Study of Ethiopia Hydropower Dam

Labourers work at the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Ethiopia. (Photograph: Reuters)

Bloomberg News

By William Davison

Aug 27, 2014

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan agreed to complete studies within six months on the impact of an Ethiopian hydropower dam on the main tributary of the Nile river after Egypt raised concern about water shortages.

A committee of four experts from each nation will investigate the hydrological, social and environmental effects of the $4.2 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry said on its website today. International consultants will implement the findings, it said. Foreign experts will help settle any disputes. The dam is scheduled to be finished in 2017.

Read more at Bloomberg News »

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The Face2Face Africa Awards Gold Carpet Presentation (Video)

At the 2014 Face2Face Africa Awards ceremony in New York on Saturday, July 26th. (Photograph: Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

August 27th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Below is a full video coverage of the FACE List Awards Gold Carpet presentation at the 2014 Face2Face Africa awards ceremony held in New York last month honoring six trailblazers from the African continent in business, fashion, entertainment, social innovation and democratic governance — including Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Alek Wek, Femi Kuti, Dr Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim, Masai Ujiri, and Dr. Boachie-Adjei.

The pan-African achievement awards were given out on Saturday, July 26th at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

Below are photos from the event:

Face2Face Africa Honors Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Alek Wek, Femi Kuti

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UPDATE: Center for Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) Fundraising Kickoff Event

(Photos courtesy: Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women - CREW)


Press Release

CREW held a successful fund raising kickoff event on August 2, 2014 at Howard University, Washington, DC. Friends and supporters of CREW attended the event that included dinner (sponsored by local Ethiopian businesses), live band, a fundraising game and speeches.

The program started with a welcoming address and a short video about CREW’s activities since its establishment in March 2012. Dinner was served while the live band was playing classical Ethiopian music. After dinner, the guest speakers spoke. They were: Maria G. Moreno, External Relations Liaison in IOM’s Washington, D.C. office and the Operations Officer at the U.S Association for International Migration (USAIM) and Ms Yalemzewd Bekele. Human rights activist and former human rights lawyer. Ms Mareno spoke about IOM’s role in supporting Ethiopian domestic worker deportees in Ethiopia and Ethiopians who are currently in the Yemen border. Ms Yalemzewd spoke on The impact of the Charities and Societies Law on the development of civil society organizations (CSO) in Ethiopia. Two Young activists, Mahlet Negatu and Soliyana Gebremicheal were given few minutes to speak about the candlelight vigil that was scheduled to be held later that evening in protest of the imprisonment of the Zone 9 bloggers by the Ethiopian government. Soliyana, one of the founding members of the Zone 9 group, explained to the audience how Zone 9 Bloggers started their group and how it was a non-partisan group comprised of young democracy activists who tried to promote dialogue and discussion regarding the development of democracy in their country. Guests participated at the discussions after the presentations.

Kumera Genet with his guitar and his friend playing the base and Kende with his keyboard played Ethiopian classical music. Assefu Debalke, a known Ethiopian singer, entertained the audience singing traditional Ethiopian songs. Ms Lucy Murphy, an activist and musician, sang a couple of progressive songs. A fundraising game played by the audience, raised hundreds of dollars for CREW. The program ended at 10:00 p.m.

Read the full press release at »

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Ethiopia, Kenya & Ghana Bid to Host 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

(Getty Images)

BBC News

26 August 2014

Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana have announced their interest in bidding to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations following Libya’s withdrawal as the host nation.

Libya pulled out last week because of ongoing fighting in the country that has delayed plans to build new stadiums for the 16-team tournament.

Ethiopia, who hosted the tournament in 1962, 1968 and 1976, say they will submit their proposal immediately.

Ethiopia Football Federation president Junedin Basha told BBC Sport: “We already have two ready venues, the Addis Ababa and the Bahir Dar stadiums, and the construction of the other venues has also reached to a good level.

“Our government is ready and interested to do everything it can to bring the tournament back to Ethiopia.”

Kenya said in a statement that they are also considering a joint bid with Tanzania or Uganda or Rwanda.

Read more at BBC News »

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African Water Ministers Meet to Discuss Studies of Ethiopian Dam – Bloomberg

Labourers work at the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Ethiopia. (Photograph: Reuters)

Bloomberg News

By William Davison

Aug 26, 2014

Water ministers from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan began discussing studies to determine what impact an Ethiopian hydropower dam being built on the main tributary of the Nile River will have on the two downstream countries.

A panel of experts from the three nations may be formed at the meeting in Sudan to oversee investigations into the hydrological, social and environmental effects of the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry said on its website yesterday, citing Water, Energy and Irrigation Minister Alemayehu Tegenu.

Read more at Bloomberg News »

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Slain Missouri Teen’s Funeral Draws Thousands

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

VOA News

August 25, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharpton said the movement for fair policing cannot be shortsighted.

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

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

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

Appeal for calm

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

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

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

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

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

No goodbyes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protests, arrests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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US Racial Tensions Story Ripples Abroad: Some Using Ferguson for Propaganda

A crowd of protesters inside a Ferguson, Missouri church last week. (Getty Images)

Voice of America

By Cecily Hilleary

The racial tensions story in Ferguson, Mo. is not only making international headlines. It’s being used by some foreign governments to spread an anti-American message.

For countries whose rights records Washington has criticized, Ferguson offers an opportunity to even the score.

Some governments and media are using some of the same language Washington has used against repressive police tactics in their countries.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it was closely monitoring events in Ferguson and called for “restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion.”

“USA used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a protest in Ferguson,” Alexei Pushkov, head of Russia’s State Duma Committee for International Affairs, tweeted August 15. “Is it not a sign of dictatorship and excessive use of force?”

“It is regrettable that countries which claim to [defend] human rights are pursuing such [racist] approaches,” Iran’s Press TV quoted Iranian deputy foreign minister Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi as saying.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also weighed in on Twitter: “Today the world is a world of tyranny and lies. The flag of #HumanRights is borne by enemies of human rights w/US leading them! #Ferguson.”

China’s Xinhua news agency suggests it is time for America to stop focusing on “human rights flaws” in other countries and clean its own house.

“In its annual human rights report issued in February, the United States assaulted almost 200 countries across the world for their so-called poor human rights records,” Xinhua said this week.

“However, the U.S. human rights flaws extend far beyond racial issues….What’s more, Uncle Sam has witnessed numerous shooting sprees on its own land and launched incessant drone attacks on foreign soil, resulting in heavy civilian casualties,” the news service said.

Europe weighs in

In countries where a more free press flourishes, Ferguson has served as a lens for viewing America’s complex social and economic tapestry.

In Europe, the media coverage has drawn questions about America’s racial divide.

“How can this be happening in an America that has elected a black president?” asks Tim Stanley, a British historian of the United States, in the Telegraph, who concludes that change isn’t likely to come from the White House, but at the street level.

France’s Le Monde calls Ferguson “a cruel metaphor for contemporary America, its tensions, its fractures and its old demons.”

Some coverage has focused on the militarization of U.S. police.

“…the police response to a series of protests over his [Michal Brown’s] death has been something more akin to the deployment of an army in a miniature war zone,” U.K.’s Guardian newspaper comments.

In a lengthy and scathing account of his arrest by Ferguson police, Die Welt reporter Ansgar Graw says he has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam and elsewhere.

“To be captured by police, yelled at and be treated rudely by police and to see the inside of a prison, I had to travel to Missouri in the United States of America,” he writes.

Among U.S. allies worldwide, there are critics.

“Australians tend to think the United States is too heavily armed, and that shootings of all kinds are symptomatic of the power and availability of heavy weaponry,” said David Smith, lecturer in American politics and foreign Policy at the University of Sydney.

He said that Australians believe that the U.S. criminal justice system discriminates against African Americans “at all levels.”

That said, Smith admits that Australia has struggled with its own racial divide.

“Like the United States, Australia has a problem with black deaths in custody, which has also caused race riots in relatively recent times. Around the world, white people everywhere deplore racism in the United States, but unfortunately I think this helps us turn a blind eye to our own structures of white supremacy,” Smith said.

Still, for some Americans – and the Obama administration – international criticism is a bitter pill to swallow.

The State Department Tuesday rejected Egypt’s criticism, as well as comparison of Ferguson to situations in Egypt, China or Zimbabwe.

“People are free to say whatever they want. That’s something we believe in very deeply here, is freedom of expression,” Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at Tuesday’s daily press briefing.

“We here in the United States will put our record for confronting our problems transparently and openly and honestly up against anyone else’s in the world…” she said, “and we would call on other countries to do the same.”

For others, like Michele Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Ferguson gives the U.S. an opportunity to demonstrate America’s ability to self-correct.

“Every country has human rights abuses,” Dunne tweeted to VOA Tuesday, “[especially] police brutality. Question is whether there is [accountability] & redress.”

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

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‘Made in China’ Now Being Made in Africa

The cost of labor in China is going up, so Chinese manufacturers are moving to Africa, and they’re playing all the angles. (Photo: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

The Daily Beast

By Brendon Hong

HONG KONG — Sun Qiaoming is a trader from Jiangsu. He operates his import-export business on the Eastern coast of China, where there is plenty of space for a man with his drive and skills to prosper. Already fairly successful, he recently set his sights beyond his country’s borders. “There’s been much talk about the Chinese Dream in the past few years, but I have an African Dream.” he said. “African gold will fill my next bucket of gold.”

He wasn’t referring to the natural resources that President Obama recently hinted as the reason for China’s presence on the African continent. After all, Sun is a private entrepreneur, and receives no direct support from the government in his business endeavors. His “gold” is the labor in Africa—cheap, trainable, abundant, and ready to work. They may not have the decades of know-how that the Chinese developed during their meteoric rise in global production, but Sun is confident that with time and proper training, they will be able to match the efficiency and productivity of workers in China…

In the early 2000s, an acquaintance told Sun about the possibility of doing business in Ethiopia. At the time, Ethiopians still relied on imports from Western Europe for many commodities, most of which were costlier than goods produced in China. As a test, Sun shipped over a container stuffed with apparel made in his home province. After it reached Ethiopia, the contents were distributed and sold out in under two weeks. That marked the beginning of a fruitful long-term relationship with his Ethiopian clients. By utilizing those existing connections, and partnering with another entrepreneur from his hometown, he is in the final stages of planning for a new textile factory near Addis Ababa, joining other Chinese industrialists who have made the move.

Read the full article at The Daily Beast »

Obama suggests US is better partner than China to African leaders (The Guardian)
Embracing Development and Security Means Embracing Free Expression (By Birtukan Mideksa)
Media Panel Shares Recommendations at Capitol Hill During US-Africa Leaders Summit
Photos & Video: President Barack Obama’s Historic U.S.- Africa Summit
Obama Announces $33B Commitment at Africa Forum
African & U.S. Scientists Hold Technology & Innovation Symposium at US-Africa Summit
Civil Society Forum Kicks Off at Historic US-Africa Summit in DC
US-Africa Summit Events Under Way in Washington
First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks on Girls’ Education at YALI Presidential Summit
Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg at Africa Summit
Meet the Mandela Washington Fellows From Ethiopia
Obama Renames Africa Young Leaders Program For Nelson Mandela
U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT 2014: Preview
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Video: President Obama Post U.S.-Africa Summit Press Conference

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At Global Fest 2014 Aurora, Colorado Welcomes Adama (Nazret) as Sister City

Officials from Aurora, Colorado and Adama, Ethiopia sign Sister Cities agreement at the Aurora Municipal Center in Aurora, Colorado on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014. (Photo: Aurora Sister Cities International)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, August 24th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – A delegation from Adama, Ethiopia (also known as Nazret) was festively welcomed to Aurora, Colorado on Saturday, August 23rd at the annual Global Fest celebration where representatives of the Ethiopian and American municipalities signed a Sister Cities agreement. According to the Denver Post, the Aurora-Denver border area is home to an Ethiopian population of approximately 30,000. The event featured music, dance, and food by Nile Ethiopian Restaurant, one of the several restaurants highlighted at this year’s Global Fest.

“It’s intentional,” Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan told the Denver Post. “Aurora is really the most international city in Colorado. Others may claim it, but we are, and it’s events like this that are making that happen, that celebrate that international flavor.” It’s hoped that the pact between Aurora and Adama will “open up trade between the cities, boost economic development and give citizens in both locations a better sense of who each other is.”

According to Wiki Adama city “is situated along the road that connects Addis Ababa with Dire Dawa. Additionally, the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad runs through Adama. The city name Adama may have been derived from the Oromo word adaamii, which means a cactus or a cactus-like tree. More specifically, adaamii means Euphorbia candelabrum, a tree of the spurge family, while hadaamii would mean Indian fig. Following World War II, Emperor Haile Selassie renamed the town after Biblical Nazareth, and this name was used for the remainder of the twentieth century. In 2000, the city officially reverted to its original Oromo language name, Adama, though “Nazareth” is still widely used.”

Below are photos from the event courtesy of Aurora Sister Cities International.

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In the Wake of Ferguson, Obama Orders Review of U.S. Role in Arming Police

President Barack Obama answers questions at a press conference after delivering a statement in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Aug. 18, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

The New York Times


WASHINGTON — Jolted by images of protesters clashing with heavily armed police officers in Missouri, President Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of the government’s decade-old strategy of outfitting local police departments with military-grade body armor, mine-resistant trucks, silencers and automatic rifles, senior officials say.

The White House-led review will consider whether the government should continue providing such equipment and, if so, whether local authorities have sufficient training to use it appropriately, said senior administration and law enforcement officials. The government will also consider whether it is keeping a close enough watch on equipment inventories, and how the weapons and other gear are used.

The review, coupled with proposed legislation and planned congressional hearings, opens the possibility for significant changes in Washington’s approach to arming local law enforcement agencies. Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the government regarded the police as the frontline forces in a new war. While that role for local law enforcement is expected to remain, changes may be ordered to the system under which federal grants and a military surplus program have sent gear and money to police departments, often with no strings attached, to prepare for a terrorist attack.

Read more at NYT »

Video: How to turn a moment into a movement (MSNBC)

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

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Kenenisa Bekele, Eliud Kipchoge to Team Up at Chicago Marathon

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya will target 2:03:45 course record at the 2014 Chicago Marathon on October 12th. (Image by PhotoRun)

Runners World

By Peter Gambaccini

If Kenenisa Bekele, arguably the best distance runner in track and cross country history, achieves his goal of breaking the Chicago Marathon course record of 2:03:45 on October 12, he’ll have an old rival and friend to thank for contributing to the effort.

Bekele, Ethiopia’s world record holder for 5000 and 10,000 meters and the winner in his marathon debut in Paris on April 6 in 2:05:04, will be joined in Chicago by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya. Kipchoge’s 2:04:05 in Berlin last fall made him the runner-up to Wilson Kipsang, who set the world record of 2:03:23 in that race.

“Kipchoge is an experienced athlete,” Bekele told Runner’s World Newswire by phone from Ethiopia. “For many long years, we raced together.”

At the 2003 World Championships, the then mostly unknown Kipchoge was the surprise winner of the 5000 meters over Bekele and 1500-meter world record holder Hicham el Guerrouj of Morocco. When Bekele won the 5000-meter gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, Kipchoge won the silver. “We know each other, we’ll help each other, we’ll fight together,” Bekele said about their race in Chicago on October 12.

Read more at Runners World »

Photos: Legendary long-distance runner Kenenisa Bekele

Kenenisa Bekele to Run Chicago Marathon

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UNDP Ethiopia Announces Goodwill Ambassador for Entrepreneurship

(Photo courtesy: United Nations Development Programme - UNDP)


Press Release

The United Nations Development Programme in Ethiopia announced the appointment of its Goodwill Ambassador for Entrepreneurship at a high profile event held in Addis Ababa drawing members of the government, private sector and development partners.

Ms. Bethlehem Tilahun, owner of the globally recognized and feted eco-friendly Sole Rebel shoe, was selected by UNDP Ethiopia in recognition of her inspirational role for budding entrepreneurs in the country.

UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors are at the top of their field and share a deep concern for the world’s poor and a commitment to making the planet a better place for all, ridding it of poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, ensuring environmental sustainability, protecting human rights, and empowering women. Goodwill Ambassadors use their fame to help amplify the urgent and universal message of human development. They also strongly articulate the UNDP development philosophy and programmes of self-reliant opportunities and motivate people to act in the interest of improving their own lives and those of their fellow citizens.

In a special message read at the event, Ethiopian First Lady Roman Tesfaye reflected that, “Empowering Ethiopians, especially women and girls, is an issue close to my heart. And there is no one who better to serve as a role model for them than Bethlehem.”

UNDP Ethiopia Resident Representative, Eugene Owusu, noted Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan sets a bold vision for Ethiopia to become a middle income country by 2025. Fundamental to achieving this vision, is the rapid growth of local industries, including micro and small businesses, and the promotion of the private sector as an engine of growth.

Speaking on the nomination of Bethlehem, Mr. Owusu said,”…she is not just helping to create jobs for members of her community; she is helping to place Ethiopia at the forefront of a growing export industry.”

The Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) was launched by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in February 2013 as a partnership between the UNDP and Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction. The EDP helps Ethiopia tap into the creative drive of the country’s entrepreneurs, particularly the youth and women to bring about transformational change. In 2014, the programme, through the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) partnered with the Office of the First Lady and the Centre for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) and Federal Micro and Small Enterprise Development Agency (FeMSEDA) to help connect 1,500 women to the export market.

Minister of the Urban Development, Housing and Constructions H.E. Mekuria Haile said, “It is my firm belief that in line with the strategic direction set in the Growth and Transformation Plan, the Entrepreneurship Development Programme will significantly contribute to the development of a private sector led manufacturing and service industries.”

“My mission is to encourage the amazing and wonderful entrepreneurial energies we have in Ethiopia, so we generate a new wave of entrepreneurs,” the new UNDP Ethiopia Goodwill Ambassador for Entrepreneurship Bethlehem Tilahun said upon recieving her letter of appointment.

The Entrepreneurship Development Programme is currently budgeted for 26 million USD and has recently brought on board a number of partners including Canada, Italy and Microsoft East Africa to target 200,000 Ethiopians who will receive training and access to business development services. A newly established Innovation Financing Facility will help address critical challenge of micro and small enterprises’ access to finance through facilitating the availability of soft loans, grants, private equity and venture capital.

President Bush Names Bethlehem Alemu Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Ambassador
Face2Face Africa Honors Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Alek Wek, Femi Kuti
Oprah Magazine Names Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu to Annual Power List

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Pictures of the Week: Ethiopia’s Little-known Churches

(Photo: BBC travel slideshow)


By Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll

With their sheer cliffs, surreal rock formations and vertical spires, northern Ethiopia’s Gheralta Mountains recall stretches of the southwestern United States’ red desert landscape. The primary difference: perched high and tucked away into these mountain cliffs are some of the country’s least visited rock-hewn Ethiopian Orthodox cave churches, some of which are more than 1,000 years old.

The Gheralta cluster, located in Tigray Province, includes more than 30 structures. Although local legend claims that these churches date to between the 4th and 6th Centuries, historians believe that they were more likely built from the 9th to 12th Centuries. That, and its location, makes the Gheralta cluster the geographic and artistic midpoint between the early Ethiopian Orthodox centres of Aksum, built from the 4th to 10th Centuries in the north, and Lalibela, from the 12th to 13th Centuries, further south. (Daniel Noll)

Read more and see the slideshow at »

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Timeline of a Tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri

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



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

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

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

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Ebola Travel: South Africa Bans Incomers From West Africa

(Photo: EPA)

BBC News

South Africa says non-citizens arriving from Ebola-affected areas of West Africa will not be allowed into the country, with borders closed to people from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

All non-essential outgoing travel to the affected countries has been banned.

Senegal also said it was suspending flights with Ebola-affected countries, and closing the border with Guinea.

Cameroon and the Ivory Coast earlier imposed travel bans, despite World Health Organization warnings not to.


South African nationals will be allowed to re-enter the country when returning from high-risk countries, but will undergo strict screening, the health ministry said on Thursday.

Usual screening procedures are in place for those who travel between Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia, which have been defined as medium-risk countries.

Read more at BBC News »

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Ethiopia Festival In Chicago – September 13

(Photos courtesy: Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago - ECAC)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Press release | By ECAC

CHICAGO – The Auxiliary Board of the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC) officially welcomes the entire greater Chicago area to participate in a celebration of rich culture in Edgewater’s Senn High School on Saturday, September 13, 2014. The event helps commemorate the ECAC’s 30th anniversary, and occurs the day after Ethiopian New Year (Enqutatash) celebrations.

“This festival is a continued celebration of the ECAC’s thirty years of service to Ethiopians in the Chicago community,” said Sergut Dejene, President of the ECAC Auxiliary Board and co-founder of the festival. “Our aim is to unite all generations of Ethiopians in the area for a day of cultural enrichment and family bonding, while showcasing our culture for the greater Chicago community.”

Local vendors will offer traditional Ethiopian food, arts and crafts, and more for purchase. The event will also feature music, live traditional dance performances, and interactive cultural displays. Kids will also enjoy many fun filled activities, so the entire family is invited.

For 30 years, the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC) has empowered over 20,000 refugees and immigrants from countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. The ECAC is a not-for-profit, non-political, tax-exempt organization committed to serving the educational, cultural, psychological, and socio-economic needs of Ethiopians in Chicago land and the surrounding areas.

If You Go:
For tickets please visit More information is also available at

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New Charges Against Ethiopian Publications Further Diminish Critical Voices – CPJ

Addis Guday magazine is among the publications charged. (Addis Guday)


By Tom Rhodes

Five independent magazines and a weekly newspaper have been charged by Ethiopia’s Justice Ministry, a move that may add to the long lists of shuttered publications and Ethiopian journalists in exile. In a press release issued August 4, the ministry accused the journals of publishing false information, inciting violence, and undermining public confidence in the government, news reports said.

The ministry said it pressed charges after running out of patience with the publications for “encouraging radicalism and terrorism.” The state broadcaster aired the ministry’s announcement, but none of the publications received the charge sheet, local journalists told me. The six independent publications are Afro Times, a weekly newspaper, and magazines Addis Guday, Enku, Fact, Jano, and Lomi. All are popular alternatives to the state-run press, which espouses an increasingly positive narrative. Local journalists and news reports said the charges could be a way for the ruling party to silence critics ahead of elections expected in May 2015.

Repeated calls to the Justice Ministry and a government spokesman went unanswered.

Read more at »

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Ethiopia’s Impressive Economic Growth

Ethiopia has made great strides to become one of Africa's fastest growing economies and continues to record impressive economic growth. (CNBC Africa)

CNBC Africa

By: Elayne Wangalwa

The country which is sub-Saharan Africa’s fifth biggest economy is at the focal point of emerging economies’ interest with various delegations of foreign investors seeking investment opportunities in the largest landlocked country in the continent.

“If you look at it [Ethiopia] from an economic stand point, I think Ethiopia is one of the countries that has become the quint essential embodiment of the Africa rising narrative,” Julians Amboko, research analyst at Stratlink Africa from CNBC Africa.

The country’s economic growth is principally attributed to intense government projects aimed at achieving its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the country aims at becoming a middle income status by 2025.

Read more at »

Video: Investment opportunities in Ethiopia

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Ethiopia Coffee Export Earnings May Rise 25% on World Supply – Bloomberg News

The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. (Credit: John Humphrey)


By William Davison

Aug 21, 2014

Ethiopia’s arabica coffee export earnings are forecast to climb 25 percent to about $900 million in 2014-15 because of higher prices after a drought damaged plants in the biggest grower of the bean, Brazil, an industry group said.

Arabica prices on the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange could average $2 a pound if supplies of the crop in the world market are tight, Ethiopian Coffee Exporters’ Association General Manager Alemseged Assefa said in the capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is Africa’s biggest producer of the crop and the origin of the arabica plant.

“Prices are favorable this year because of the Brazilian coffee drought,” Alemseged said in an interview on Aug. 18. “We presume that price will continue because of the drought.”

Arabica has surged 71 percent in New York since January after a drought hurt plantings in Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of the beans, fueling speculation that consumption may outstrip supply. The Brazilian woes come as plantings in Central America, Mexico and Peru struggle to recover from a crop disease called leaf rust that has cut yields across the region over the past two years.

Arabica coffee for December delivery rose 1.5 percent to $1.89 a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. yesterday, tumbling 12 percent from a two-year high in April.

Read more »

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Detained Ethiopian Journalists and Bloggers Denied Bail – Reporters Without Borders

The three journalists are Tesfalem Waldyes, Edom Kasaye and Asmamaw Hailegiorgis, and the six bloggers – all members of the Zone 9 collective – Atnaf, Mahlet, Befekadu, Abel, Natnail and Zelalem.

Reporters sans Frontières (Paris)

21 AUGUST 2014

Three journalists and six bloggers who have been held for the past five months were denied bail by a federal court in Addis Ababa yesterday after the prosecution argued that article 3 of the 2009 anti-terrorism law, under which they are detained, precludes release on bail.

The defence said article 3’s bail prohibition does not apply because none of them has been individually charged with a specific crime under the anti-terrorism law. The defence also argued that article 3 violates the constitutional guarantee of the right to release on bail.

The three journalists are Tesfalem Waldyes, Edom Kasaye and Asmamaw Hailegiorgis, and the six bloggers – all members of the Zone 9 collective – are Atnaf Berhane, Mahlet Fantahun, Befekadu Hailu, Abel Wabella, Natnail Feleke and Zelalem Kibret. One of the collective’s co-founders, Soliyana Shimelis, is being prosecuted in absentia.

“The Ethiopian government is clearly trying to gag the media,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire. “These three journalists and nine bloggers have been held for nearly five months without being given the least guarantee of due process. The prosecution still has not said what precisely they are supposed to have done to justify the charges. We call for their immediate release because they have no place being in prison.”

The prosecution accused them on 17 July of “organizing themselves into covert sub-groups to overthrow the government by contacting and receiving finance and training from two designated terrorist groups” – the US-based opposition group Ginbot 7 and the separatist Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). They are facing up to 15 years in prison under the anti-terrorism law.

Restrictions on freedom of information have grown in recent months in Ethiopia, where at least six journalists are currently detained in connection with their work. A state broadcaster fired 20 employees because of their political views on 25 June, and the justice ministry announced on 5 August that it intended to bring criminal charges against six news publications for “encouraging terrorism and endangering national security.”

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

The World Tweets for Zone 9 Bloggers
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As Ethiopia’s ‘Zone 9′ Bloggers Get Popular, They Get Charged With Terror
Zone 9 Bloggers Charged With Terrorism
Interview With the Lawyer of Illegally Detained Zone9 Bloggers
CPJ condemns closed court hearings for nine Ethiopian journalists
Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

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There’s a Brother Fighting in Gaza and a Sister Waiting in Ethiopia – Jerusalem Post

Aregawi Tesfa’s battle to reunite his family, which has been torn between Ethiopia and Israel for over 10 years, is far from ending. (Photo courtesy Uri Perednik)

The Jerusalem Post


During Operation Protective Edge, Aregawi Tesfa was not sure he would live to see the day after the war.

Tesfa fought on the front line in the most dangerous parts of the Gaza Strip, captured Hamas fighters and unfortunately also carried the bodies of young Israeli soldiers killed in the fighting.

But through it all, he knew that if he survived, his own battle was still far from over.

“All through the war I didn’t forget for one minute that when I’m done fighting Hamas, I will have to get back to the struggle to bring my sister to Israel.”

Tesfa’s battle to reunite his family, which has been torn between Ethiopia and Israel for over 10 years, is far from ending. A few days before the war, Tesfa presented his story to the Knesset internal affairs committee. The MKs of the committee were shocked to hear that all of Tesfa’s family lives in Israel while his sister was left behind.

Even though Tesfa’s sister received approval to make aliya from the previous interior minister, MK Eli Yishai, a senior ministry clerk named Mazal Cohen, together with the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, prohibited Tesfa’s sister from doing so.

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From an Ethiopian village to Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv

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Julie Mehretu Nominated for Smithsonian Contemporary Artist Prize

Julie Mehretu. (Photo: British Museum org)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Julie Mehretu has been nominated for the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize. The Ethiopian-born artist is one of 13 “leading figures and visionary talents” selected from a diverse range including painters, sculptors, photographers, and filmmakers. The nominees include Njideka Akunyili, Cory Arcangel, Trisha Baga, Paul Chan, Barnaby Furnas, Theaster Gates, KAWS (Brian Donnelly), Josiah McElheny, Dave McKenzie, Frances Stark, Swoon (Caledonia Curry) and Mickalene Thomas.

Previously known as the Lucelia Artist Award, the prize was launched in 2001 “to recognize an artist younger than 50 who consistently demonstrates exceptional creativity.” The announcement from the Smithsonian American Art Museum adds: “Recipients must…stand apart as leading figures and visionary talents. The $25,000 award is intended to encourage the artist’s future development and experimentation.”

According to the Smithsonian “Joanna Marsh, The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is coordinating the jury panel selection and the nomination and jurying process. Five distinguished jurors, each with a wide knowledge of contemporary American art, were selected from across the United States. The panel nominated the artists and will determine the award winner in a day of discussion and review, remaining anonymous until the winner is announced. Past jurors have included John Baldessari, Nicholas Baume, Lynne Cooke, Anne Ellegood, Richard Flood, Allan McCollum, John Ravenal, Jerry Saltz, Rochelle Steiner, Nancy Spector and Robert Storr, among others.”

The Smithsonian American Art Museum “celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. Its National Historic Landmark building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station.”

American Artist Lecture: Julie Mehretu at Tate Modern in London
Julie Mehretu on Africa’s Emerging Presence in Contemporary Art

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Electronic Frontier to Ethiopia: Illegal Wiretapping Is Illegal, Even for Governments

(Image credit: CDN)


EFF to Ethiopia: Illegal Wiretapping Is Illegal, Even for Governments

Earlier this week, EFF told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Ethiopia must be held accountable for its illegal wiretapping of an American citizen. Foreign governments simply do not have a get-out-of-court-free card when they commit serious felonies in America against Americans. This case is the centerpiece of our U.S. legal efforts to combat state sponsored malware.

In February 2014, EFF filed suit against the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on behalf of our client, Mr. Kidane, an Ethiopian by birth who has been a U.S. citizen over a decade. Mr. Kidane discovered traces of Gamma International’s FinSpy, a sophisticated spyware product which its maker claims is sold exclusively to governments and law enforcement, on his laptop at his home in suburban Maryland. A forensic examination of his computer showed that the Ethiopian government had been recording Mr. Kidane’s Skype calls, as well as monitoring his web and email usage. The monitoring, which violates both the federal Wiretap Act and Maryland state law, was accomplished using spyware that captured his activities and then reported them back to a command and control server in Ethiopia controlled by the government. The infection was active from October 2012, through March 2013, and was stopped just days after researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab released a report exposing Ethiopia’s use of FinSpy. The report specifically referenced the very IP address of the Ethiopian government server responsible for the command and control of the spyware on Mr. Kidane’s laptop.

The Ethiopian government responded to the suit with the troubling claim that it—and every other foreign government—should be completely immune from suit for wiretapping American citizens on American soil. Ethiopia’s filing rests on several logic-challenged premises. Ethiopia claims that the recording of Mr. Kidane’s Skype calls and Internet activity at his home in Maryland actually took place in Ethiopia, and is therefore beyond the reach of any U.S. court. Worse still, Ethiopia claims that it had the “discretion” to violate U.S. law, reducing the Wiretap Act to something more like a traffic violation than a serious felony. Interestingly, Ethiopia does not actually deny that it wiretapped Mr. Kidane.

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