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Why Ethiopia’s Lalibela is Among Africa’s Great Civilizations

The Church of Saint George hewn into the rocky hills of Lalibela. (Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr.)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Long before the invention of photography and other media tools international visitors to Ethiopia had difficulty describing to the outside world the spectacular beauty of the ancient Lalibela church architectures in the event that their words might be interpreted as an exaggeration. “I weary of writing more about these buildings, because it seems to me that I shall not be believed if I write more,” declared a member of the Portuguese Ambassador’s delegation to Ethiopia, Francisco Álvares, in the 1520s.

Nearly 500 hundred years later African-American scholar and Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr traveled to Lalibela with a documentary film crew at hand for a close look at the amazing 12 churches carved into and out of the historic town’s rocky highlands. The program will air on February 27th at 9/8c on PBS as Professor Gates takes “a voyage through 200,000 years of human civilization.”

Watch: Lalibela | Africa’s Great Civilizations (PBS Trailer)

Lalibela was built almost 1000 years ago and is said to symbolize a new Jerusalem. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Lalibela a World Heritage Site in 1978 stating “Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, still today a place of devotion.”

UNESCO adds: King Lalibela “set out to build a symbol of the holy land, when pilgrimages to it were rendered impossible by the historical situation. In the Church of Bete Golgotha, are replicas of the tomb of Christ, and of Adam, and the crib of the Nativity. The holy city of Lalibela became a substitute for the holy places of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and as such has had considerable influence on Ethiopian Christianity. The Jerusalem theme is important. The rock churches, although connected to one another by maze-like tunnels, are physically separated by a small river which the Ethiopians named the Jordan. Churches on one side of the Jordan represent the earthly Jerusalem; whereas those on the other side represent the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of jewels and golden sidewalks alluded to in the Bible.”

Watch: Africa’s Great Civilizations | Official Trailer

According to PBS: “In his six-hour series, Africa’s Great Civilizations, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.”


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In DC, Diaspora Ethiopians Receive Royal Medals at Adwa Celebration

(Photo: Courtesy of Negarit)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, February 20th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This coming weekend at the Army and Navy Club on Farragut Square in Washington, D.C., Ethiopian guests will gather for a black tie event hosted by Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie and head of The Crown Council of Ethiopia. The event is both a celebration of Ethiopia’s historic victory at Adwa as well as to give out honorary medals to selected individuals who have distinguished themselves through their dedicated contribution to Ethiopian society at large.

This year the most prestigious award the “Grand Officer of the Imperial Order of Emperor Menelik II,” which was founded in 1924 during the reign of Empress Zauditu, will be bestowed on Elias Wondimu, the Editorial Director & Founder of Tsehai Publishers in Los Angeles, California. In a statement Prince Ermias shared that Elias is being honored for preserving “the national identity of Ethiopians and Africans, and contributing to a greater understanding of Ethiopia and Africa by people outside the continent.”

In addition Denver, Colorado-based businessman Mel Tewahade, among others, will be given the “Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Honor” (GOSE) during the private ceremony to be held on February 25,2017 at the Annual Victory of Adwa Commemorative Dinner, according to Gregory Copley, a Strategic Advisor to the Crown Council of Ethiopia.

The newspaper Negarit — The Journal of The International Society for the Imperial Ethiopian Orders — notes that the annual event, now in its sixth year, commemorates the victory of Emperor Menelik II over invading Italian forces at the Battle of Adwa on March 1, 1896.

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Related:
Adwa: Genesis of Unscrambled Africa
Interview With Prince Ermias S. Selassie
In Pictures: 50th Anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s Historic Visit to Jamaica (TADIAS)

Haile Selassie’s visit was a momentous occasion (Jamaica Observer)
Under Pressure from Family Christie’s Skips Auction of Haile Selassie’s Watch
New Book on Triumph & Tragedy of Ethiopia’s Last Emperor Haile Selassie (TADIAS)

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Spotlight: SoleRebels Founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu’s New Coffee Brand

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu's new Garden of Coffee roastery and café in Addis Ababa. (Courtesy photo)

Daily Coffee News

Garden of Coffee Cultivating Ethiopian Coffee Experience for Global Growth

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu — the pioneering and enterprising creator of the SoleRebels footwear brand — believes the future of a truly sustainable specialty coffee market can be found in coffee’s birthplace, her native Ethiopia.

After more than a decade of building SoleRebels into a global footwear and leather goods brand that combines traditional Ethiopian craftsmanship and materials with fresh new designs while also paying top dollar throughout the supply chain, Alemu late last year launched an equally ambitious coffee venture called Garden of Coffee.

The company has just opened its first branded roastery café in the Bole area of Addis Ababa, occupying approximately 10,000 square feet that serve as something of an immersive shrine to Ethiopian coffee culture and craft. Alemu described the facility as far more than merely a new retail storefront; her company’s goal is to completely redefine the seed-to-cup coffee journey by promoting what she calls “Origin Trade.”


Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu. (Courtesy photo)

“It goes way beyond commodity pricing , Fair Trade or direct trade. It’s a total realignment of the value chain,” Alemu told Daily Coffee News. “If ever there was a category ripe for a radical realignment and, yes, disruption, the coffee market is it. Does it make sense for Ethiopia, the producer and in fact the originator of the finest, most legendary Arabicas on the planet, to ship our magical raw green beans thousands of miles for roasting when we can produce the absolute finest roasts right here using our own talented roasting artisans? We think everyone would agree it does not.”

Read more »


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Ethiopia: In Memory of Historian Richard Pankhurst

Richard Pankhurst, pictured above at his home in Addis Ababa, has died at age 89. The British Embassy in Ethiopia said Pankhurst had died on Thursday, February 16th, 2017. (Photo by Kristin Fellows)

Reuters

Historian Richard Pankhurst dies, Ethiopia mourns

Richard Pankhurst, the son of the British women’s rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst who became one of the world’s leading experts on Ethiopian history and culture, has died aged 89.

He first came into contact with Ethiopia through his mother, a ‘suffragette’ who also campaigned against the invasion of the Horn of Africa nation by Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italian troops in 1935.

He moved to Addis Ababa with her after World War Two and started teaching at Addis Ababa University, going on to write more than 20 books and thousands of articles.

He also inherited an activist streak from his mother and his grandmother, Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the suffragette movement, which helped secure the right for British women to vote.

Richard campaigned with his wife Rita for the return of piles of plunder taken from Ethiopia by invading British troops in 1868, and of a giant obelisk taken from the ancient city of Axum by Mussolini’s forces. Both were there in Axum to watch as Italy returned the obelisk in 2005.

Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry called him a “doyen of historians and scholars of Ethiopia”.

“Pankhurst was one of Ethiopia’s greatest friends during his long and productive life, and his scholarship and understanding for Ethiopia will be sorely missed,” it said in a statement.

Author and photographer Maaza Mengiste told BBC Africa: “I’ve discovered things about my country, just sometimes stumbling upon something that he’s written … a whole other window opens for me on how I understand my own history.”

One Ethiopian, Wondwosen Gelan, tweeted simply: “He was our history archive. We miss him so much.”

Related:
Tea with Richard and Rita Pankhurst


Richard Pankhurst (in the pink shirt) attending an event at ASNI in Addis Ababa. (Photo by Kristin Fellows)

The Red Moon Letters

I have my doubts as to whether or not I could ever make it as a journalist.

I love to interview people, listen to their stories, and ask them the questions that open them up their lives to me like unfolding origami or blooming flowers. I am genuinely interested in what they have to say, but I am often shy about intruding on people’s time for information or interviews.

One person I greatly admired and had wanted to meet with while in Addis was Richard Pankhurst, the eminent Ethiopian historian, the founding director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, a former professor at the University of Addis Ababa, and the son of Sylvia Pankhurst.

Read more »


Related:
Ethiopians call for state funeral as Richard Pankhurst, champion of Ethiopian culture, dies aged 89

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In Spain Genzebe Dibaba Breaks the World 2000m Record

Genzebe Dibaba celebrates her victory (Getty Images)

IAAF

World 1500m champion Genzebe Dibaba added to her growing list of record-breaking achievements by breaking the world 2000m record* at the Miting Internacional de Catalunya in the Spanish city of Sabadell on Tuesday (7).

The three-time world indoor champion overtook the pacemaker just before the half-way mark, which was reached in 2:42.65, and continued to extend her lead over her younger sister Anna and Morocco’s Siham Hilali.

She went on to stop the clock at 5:23.75, taking almost seven seconds off the world indoor best set by Gabriela Szabo in 1998. Although the 2000m isn’t an official world record event indoors, Dibaba’s performance – pending ratification – can be classed as an outright world record as it is faster than Sonia O’Sullivan’s outdoor mark of 5:25.36.

As well as the outdoor 1500m world record, Dibaba now owns the fastest ever recorded times indoors for the 1500m, mile, 2000m, 3000m, two miles and 5000m.

Elsewhere in Sabadell, European champion Adam Kszczot won the 800m in 1:46.31 with Spanish record-holder Kevin Lopez taking second place in 1:46.58.

European 5000m silver medallist Adel Mechaal was a convincing winner of the 3000m, clocking 7:48.39 to finish more than two seconds ahead of Italy’s Marouan Razine.


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Four Generations of Black Women Artists in California: Exhibition by Alitash Kebede

Kenturah-Davis. (Courtesy of The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — As part of the month-long nationwide celebration of Black History Month, Ethiopian American Alitash Kebede, owner of Alitash Kebede Arts, is the exhibition consultant for a show entitled “Enduring in Vision and Linked in Tradition: Selected Works by Four Generations of African American Women Artists,” which is being displayed at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA) at California State University, San Bernardino. The exhibition will run from Feb. 11th – April 8th, 2017 with an opening reception on Thursday, Feb. 9th, 7-9 p.m.

The show is “an intimate yet captivating exhibition featuring works by thirteen highly accomplished artists representing four generations of African-American women in the art world from the first half of the twentieth century to the present,” the museum said in a press release. “The exhibition features two renowned Los Angeles artists, the city’s native Betye Saar and New Orleans-born, Samella Lewis. Highly regarded, celebrated and influential, both artists still live and work in Los Angeles today; during the second half of the previous century both were major force in the city’s vibrant art scene.”


If You Go:
CSUSB Art Museum
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397
Phone: (909) 537-7373
E-mail: raffma@csusb.edu
http://raffma.csusb.edu.
The museum is open Monday – Wednesday and Saturday, 10am-5pm, Thursday 11am-7pm and is closed
Friday and Sunday.

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The Guardian on How Diaspora is Helping to Build Modern Ethiopia

Entrepreneurs educated overseas are returning home. (Photo: A family at a restaurant in Addis Ababa/Alamy)

The Guardian

From chefs to musicians, talented ‘re-pats’ come back to build a modern Ethiopia

His dream is to show the world the glories of Ethiopian cuisine, to preserve its rich traditions and to make even his poorest fellow citizens eat better. That Yohanis Gebreyesus Hailemariam’s ambition recalls the aims of a slightly better known chef is no coincidence.

“I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver. Many years back, my mum and I used to watch his shows,” he says. The 30-year-old is one of thousands of talented young Ethiopians who have chosen to return to their homeland after being educated or growing up overseas…Hailemariam grew up in Addis Ababa but spent years training with Paul Bocuse, an internationally renowned French chef, in Lyon before working at top restaurants in California. One of the highest profile Ethiopian re-pats, he has successfully tapped into a growing interest in cooking and gastronomy among an emerging urban middle class. His primetime TV show has an audience of millions, producers say. A key feature of every episode is a recipe specific to each region of the nation of 94 million.

One motive, he says, was to preserve traditions that are being lost as Ethiopia, the second most populous nation in Africa, develops. “I was working in California when I saw my chef using an Ethiopian spice. It struck me that as an Ethiopian I should know and use this product. I should know this … kind of craft, this art, that is being lost in an increasingly rapid and industrialised world,” he says.

“I wanted to come back to Ethiopia. I knew it would be a challenge to come from the diaspora and be seen as an Ethiopian chef. So I travelled all over the country looking to use knowledge that has a global appeal. And I noticed that Ethiopia has so much to offer. Because of globalisation, we are forgetting to look inside our own country.”


Yohanis Gebreyesus Hailemariam.

Read more at The Guardian »


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Boston Concert Honors Ethiopia-Armenia Connection

Nerses Nalbandian was an Ethiopian musician and educator of Armenian descent. He gained Ethiopian nationality in 1959. (Photo: MoA)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, February 3rd , 2017

New York (TADIAS) – One of the oldest immigrant communities in Ethiopia, Armenians, were welcomed to Ethiopia in the early 1900s after they escaped genocide carried out by the Ottoman empire. In addition to thriving as goldsmiths, carpenters, teachers and carpet makers, Armenian-Ethiopians have also greatly contributed to the emergence of modern music in Ethiopia. Kevork Nalbandian was an Armenian who composed the first national anthem for Ethiopia as well as served as the musical director of Arba Lijoch. His nephew Nerses Nalbandian was involved in the founding of the historic Yared Music School in Addis Ababa as well as led the Municipality Orchestra.

Nerses Nalbandian will be honored this month with a tribute concert entitled The Emperor, the Nalbandians and the Dawn of Western Music in Ethiopia, on Sunday, February 19, 2017 in Watertown, Massachusetts. The concert, which is organized by The Friends of Armenian Culture Society (FACS), features Boston’s world renowned and the Grammy-nominated Ethio jazz band the Either/Orchestra and multilingual cast of guest vocalists including Debo band’s Bruck Tesfaye.

“Born in 1915 in Aintab, Ottoman Empire, Nerses Nalbandian settled in Aleppo, Syria after his family escaped the genocide,” FACS said in a press release. “He worked as a music teacher and choir master at the Armenian Orthodox Church in Syria, before moving to Ethiopia in 1938 at the invitation of his uncle Kevork Nalbandian.”

The press release adds: “The program will include music Nalbandian composed and arranged during his tenure as Music Director of the Haile Selassie National Theater (1956-74). The event also celebrates the release of the E/O’s CD Ethiopiques 32: Nalbandian the Ethiopian, for which the E/O has reconstructed and interpreted Nalbandian’s music in live and studio recordings made in Ethiopia, the US and Canada. The E/O’s previous Ethiopiques release, Live in Addis (2005), was called “astonishing…monumental…the best live album of the year in any genre” by Paul Olsen, AllAboutJazz.com. Armenian scholar Dr. Boris Adjemian, the director of the AGBU Nubar Library in Paris, will deliver a short pre-concert talk.”


If You Go:
FACS presents:
A Tribute to Ethiopian Music Legend Nerses Nalbandian
Featuring Either/Orchestra; Russ Gershon, Music Director, & Bruck Tesfaye, vocalist.
Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 7:00 PM
The Mosesian Center for the Arts [map]
321 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA 02472
Click here for tickets

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YEP Presents Dr. Menna Demissie of CBC

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

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Feb. 1st, 2017

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

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

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

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

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Meet Lina Getachew Ayenew, Author of First Chinese-Amharic Language Guide

Lina Getachew Ayenew's inspiration for her guide, "Dalu: Introduction to Chinese for Amharic Speakers," came while teaching medical English in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in south-east China. (FT)

The Financial Times

The Ethiopian woman helping to bring Chinese to her homeland

Beijing’s skyline wowed Lina Getachew Ayenew when she arrived in the Chinese capital five years ago, but she was surprised to find the pedestrian bridges looked just like those in her native Addis Ababa.

It turns out the building materials used in Ethiopia’s capital were imported from China — one of many signs of the country’s impact on Africa’s developing economies. Ayenew has been building bridges herself, by creating the first Amharic-Mandarin language guide.

“I had this stereotype [of China] growing up, so this level of development is a part of China I discovered after I came here,” says 29-year old Ayenew, who was raised in Ethiopia, gained undergraduate and masters degrees at Yale University in the US, and moved to China in 2011 to teach medical English. “I don’t know how many Americans know the scale at which China has developed.”

Her fellow Ethiopians do, though. Hundreds of them now live in China, either on government scholarships or because their families pay for Chinese studies. A Chinese education is more attainable than going to the US and, for many, more useful.

Chinese investment in Africa has soared, reaching $26bn as of 2013, with another $60bn pledged in late 2015. Ethiopia’s educated workforce and leather industry have attracted Chinese manufacturing and textile investment.

At a welcoming party for 70 Ethiopian students in Beijing last year, Ayenew “noticed this collective thinking we need to bring knowledge back to our country. China has so much to teach us. There was a collective admiration of China that bounced from speaker to speaker.”

Read more »


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In DC Gerima & Higgins Talk Visuals to Build Constructive Africa-Diaspora Bridge

(Photo credit: Melketsadek)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, January 26th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This weekend in Washington, D.C. renown photographer Chester Higgins, Jr. (formerly with the New York Times) and acclaimed filmmaker and professor Haile Gerima will hold a timely public conversation on the need to produce images that positively impact the connection between continental Africans and those residing in the Diaspora. The event is part of an upcoming documentary film on the life and work of Chester Higgens, Jr. by one of Gerima’s former students, director Patrick Yussuf.

Parts of this conversation, which takes place on Saturday, January 28th at Sankofa Book Store & Cafe, will find its way into the film.

“The discussion is on how the use of conscious visuals of Continental Africans are important for building constructive bridges to Western-born African people,” Higgins told Tadias.

“Chester Higgins Jr. has traveled to Africa every year since 1971 as a way to meditate, disconnect and examine his life,” The New York Times wrote in a feature entitled “Chester Higgins’ Homage to Ethiopia,” which highlighted his work from Ethiopia that was on exhibit in 2015 at Skoto Gallery in New York City. “Through the experience of photographing new people and places, his art both shapes and reflects his narrative. And nowhere is that truer for him than in Ethiopia, a place that has long enchanted him.”


If You Go
Photographer Chester Higgins in Conversation with Filmmaker Haile Gerima
Saturday January 28th, 2017
From 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Sankofa Video & Books, 2714 Georgia Ave, NW
Washington D.C. 20001
Located across from Howard University
Contact: 202-234-4755 or sankofa@gmail.com
www.sankofa.com


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Focus on Ethiopia: A Look at the New ‘America First’ Foreign Policy

(Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, January 23rd, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — What does the new “America First” foreign policy mean vis-à-vis Ethiopia-U.S. diplomatic, military and economic ties? No one really knows, but according to Richard N. Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of A World in Disarray, this kind of approach to international relations comes with a double-edged sword: “A narrow America First posture will prompt other countries to pursue an equally narrow, independent foreign policy, which will diminish U.S. influence and detract from global prosperity.”

Mr. Haass shared his concerns in an interview with the New York Times following President Donald J. Trump’s inaugural speech last Friday in which he “cast America’s new role in the world as one of an aggrieved superpower, not a power intent on changing the globe. There was no condemnation of authoritarianism or fascism, no clarion call to defend human rights around the world — one of the commitments that John F. Kennedy made in his famed address, delivered 56 years ago to the day.”

But there is a silver lining of sorts for opponents of past American policy in a sense that the new U.S. government may not have the political appetite to continue taxpayer sponsored USAID “development projects,” which critics say helps more to prop-up non-transparent and corrupt regimes than bring actual change.

Instead, Trump may favor a more business approach primarily aimed at winning against China. “How does U.S. business compete with other nations in Africa? Are we losing out to the Chinese? asks one of the first questions in a four-page document containing Africa-related questions reportedly sent to the State Department and Pentagon officials last week.

In terms of promotion of civil society, human rights and good governance the Trump administration has indicated that it will not necessarily follow the long U.S. precedent articulated in “Kennedy’s most famous line: that America would ‘bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.’” As NYT points out: “The America that elected Mr. Trump had concluded that it was no longer willing to bear that burden — or even to make the spread of democracy the mission of the nation.”

“Mr. Trump views American democracy as a fine import for those who like it,” states the New York Times.


During his inaugural address, President Donald J. Trump laid out a vision for the
United States that focused on benefiting “American workers and American families.”
(Publish Date January 20, 2017/NYT)

“We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone,” Trump said in his inaugural address, “but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.”

The recently relaunched White House website further explains that “The Trump Administration is committed to a foreign policy focused on American interests and American national security.” The website adds: “Peace through strength will be at the center of that foreign policy. This principle will make possible a stable, more peaceful world with less conflict and more common ground.”

Regarding Africa, however, there is talk that one of the early collateral damages of the new era could be AGOA. “While its benefits have been uneven, the legislation has served as a key framework for U.S.-African relations,” says Witney Schneidman at the Brookings Institution’s. “It has led to trade and investment being at the forefront of U.S. policy in the region.” Schneidman adds: “AGOA has encouraged African women in trade and led to the creation of the African Trade Hubs (rebranded as Trade and Investment Hubs under Obama) to help African companies access AGOA. More recently, the Obama administration has been working to develop a new trade architecture based on reciprocity that would ultimately replace AGOA’s unilateral preference regime.”

And from the African perspective in an article entitled “It might not be the end of the world if Africa drops off Donald Trump’s map,” Qartz Africa notes the continent might just as well choose to turn off the U.S. and look inwards. “It’s worth remembering uncertainty isn’t all just about downside,” argues Yinka Adegoke, the Africa Editor for Quartz. “Less trade with the U.S. could force African countries to put more effort into developing stronger trade links with each other. And young Africans dissuaded from moving to the U.S. comes with one potential advantage: decades of brain drain can be stalled and Africa’s brightest can focus on problems at home.”


Related:
Ethiopia: Looking Beyond Obama, Here is What Trump’s Team is Asking
U.S.-Africa Policy in 2017: What Trump Should Do
Ethiopia: US-Africa Relations in Trump Era

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Pictures: Women’s March in DC & Beyond

The biggest US rally was in Washington, DC, which was attended by more than 500,000 people. (Photo: NYT)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, January 21st, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — On Saturday, January 21st, in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, millions of people in major cities around the world from New York to Nairobi staged a protest in support of American women.

Below are some photos and links:

Women’s Marches: Millions of protesters around the country vow to resist Donald Trump

Washington Post highlights that “millions of women gathered in Washington and cities around the country Saturday to mount a roaring rejoinder to the inauguration of Donald Trump one day earlier. The historic protests of a new president packed cities large and small — from Los Angeles to Boston to Park City, Utah, where celebrities from the Sundance Film Festival joined a march on the snowy streets. In Chicago, the demonstration was overwhelmed by its own size, forcing officials to curtail its planned march when the crowd threatened to swamp the planned route.”

Read more »

Pictures From Women’s Marches Around the World (The New York Times)


Protestors walk down 42nd Street near Grand Central Terminal during the Women’s March in New York City. (Photo: The New York Times)

Read more »

Lawmakers Show Solidarity With Women’s March On Washington (The Huffington Post)

Huffington Post notes: “Several lawmakers turned out for the Women’s March on Washington Saturday. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) showed up to support the estimated half a million women in the nation’s capital.”


Huffington Post adds: “Some members of Congress shared the personal reasons why they marched, including Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Co.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who marched with women from their districts. Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) marched with his sister, and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, the first Mexican-American congresswoman, said she marched for “all women..Others sent messages of solidarity to the marchers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).”

Read more »

Donald Trump protests attract millions across US and world (BBC News)

BBC writes: “Millions of protesters have taken to the streets of cities in the US and around the globe to rally against the new US President Donald Trump..Larger numbers of demonstrators than expected turned out for more than 600 rallies worldwide.The aim was principally to highlight women’s rights, which activists believe to be under threat from the new administration.”

Read more »


Related:
Trump Sworn in as US President
Ethiopia: Looking Beyond Obama, Here is What Trump’s Team is Asking
U.S.-Africa Policy in 2017: What Trump Should Do
Ethiopia: US-Africa Relations in Trump Era

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Ethiopia in Crisis: A Public Forum at Stanford Spotlights Problems & Solutions

Ethiopia In Crisis: A forum at Stanford University featuring scholars, human rights advocates, politicians, and media representatives is scheduled for January 21 – 22, 2017 in Stanford, California. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Thursday, January 19th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This weekend a public forum will be held at Stanford University in California highlighting some of the most pressing and unresolved issues fueling the ongoing political and economic crisis in Ethiopia while currently under State of Emergency including “land and agriculture policy, property rights, human rights, democracy, and rule of law.”

According to the Ethiopian American Council (EAC), the program organizer, the gathering of scholars and activists include Mulatu Wubneh, Ph.D., Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina whose talk is entitled “This Land Is My Land: the Ethio-Sudan Boundary and the Need to Rectify Arbitrary Colonial Boundaries.”

Other speakers are Mekonnen Firew Ayano, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for African Studies, who is scheduled to address “Ethiopia’s Property Rights, Land and Agriculture Policy” and Felix Horne, a Senior Horn of Africa Researcher at Human Rights Watch, is set to discuss “Human Rights Crisis in the Amhara and Oromia Regions of Ethiopia.”

The Executive Director of The Oakland Institute, Anuradha Mittal, is also scheduled to discuss “The Risk of Land Grabbing From Ethiopian Villagers and its Impact on Food Security.” Additional presentation topics include “access to food, democracy, human rights, and the ethnic federal system in Ethiopia.”

The keynote speakers at the forum are Professor Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, as well as Professor Richard A. Joseph from Northwestern University’s Political Science Department who is among the four inaugural Martin Luther King Visiting Professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


If You Go:
January 21 – 22, 2017
Stanford University
Jordan Hall, Building 01-420
450 Serra Mall,
Stanford, California
Sponsors: Center for African Studies, BSU, SASA, and SEESA
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Ethiopia: Looking Beyond Obama, Here is What Trump’s Team is Asking

Ethiopian workers at Huajian's shoe factory near Addis Ababa mark out leather for shoes. (Photograph: Guardian.com)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, January 16th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Members of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition team are reportedly asking Obama administration officials questions regarding Africa policy with emphasis on business and the booming Chinese commerce on the continent.

“How does U.S. business compete with other nations in Africa? Are we losing out to the Chinese? asks one of the first questions in the unclassified document,” according to The New York Times.

The Times states: “A four-page list of Africa-related questions from the transition staff has been making the rounds at the State Department and Pentagon, alarming longtime Africa specialists who say the framing and the tone of the questions suggest an American retreat from development and humanitarian goals, while at the same time trying to push forward business opportunities across the continent.”

In a related article published today The Washington Post indicates that “Peter Navarro, who will lead Trump’s National Trade Council, provided his own answers in his book Death by China.” Navarro points out that it’s “part of China’s strategy to boost its factories back home and undermine the U.S. manufacturing base.”

The Washington Post adds “Jobs that once migrated from the United States to China are now offshoring to Africa. With low-end manufacturing on the way out, what was ‘Made in China’ is now ‘Made in Africa.’ The Huajian Group, one of the largest shoe manufacturers in China, employing 25,000 workers, opened a factory in Ethiopia in 2012; the company will invest $2 billion over five years to build a “shoe city” in Addis Ababa. Supply chains now span the United States, China and Africa: Huajian produces for U.S. brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Guess and, ironically, Ivanka Trump’s eponymous shoe line.”

Below are links to both articles to read more:

Donald Trump’s team has questions about China in Africa. Here are answers. (The Washington Post)
Trump Team’s Queries About Africa Point to Skepticism About Aid (The New York Times)


Related:
U.S.-Africa Policy in 2017: What Trump Should Do
Ethiopia: US-Africa Relations in Trump Era

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Obama’s Farewell Address: ‘Yes, We Did’

Malia, Michelle and President Obama on Tuesday night after he delivered his farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, January 10, 2017. (Photo: NYT)

THE NEW YORK TIMES

UPDATED: JAN. 10, 2017

CHICAGO — President Obama delivered a nostalgic and hopeful farewell address to the nation on Tuesday evening, but warned both the divided country he led for eight years and his successor not to shrink from the challenges of economic inequality, racial strife, political isolation and voter apathy that still threaten its ideal of democracy.

Mr. Obama returned to the city that nurtured his political career and his improbable journey from Hyde Park to Pennsylvania Avenue, just 10 days before he will leave the White House to Donald J. Trump. In his final speech to the nation, the president expressed his belief that even the deepest ideological divides can be bridged by an active, engaged populace.

“After eight years as your president, I still believe that,” Mr. Obama told a large crowd at McCormick Place, the cavernous lakeside convention center where he thanked supporters after his re-election in 2012. “And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.”

Tearing up as he concluded the final speech of a remarkable political career, Mr. Obama thanked his wife, his daughters, his vice president (“the scrappy kid from Scranton”) and the army of supporters who helped sweep the first African-American into the White House.

Read more »

Watch: President Barack Obama’s farewell address (full speech)


President Obama to Give His Farewell Address to Americans From Hometown Chicago


President Obama will deliver a farewell address to the American people on the evening of January 10, 2017 in his hometown of Chicago, the president announced in an email to supporters on Monday. (Photo: WH)

The White House

Comments by President Obama

Washington – In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead.

On Tuesday, January 10, I’ll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can’t be there in person.

I’m just beginning to write my remarks. But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.

Since 2009, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger. That’s because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding — our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.

So I hope you’ll join me one last time.

Because, for me, it’s always been about you.

President Barack Obama

—-
Related
Tadias Interview with Yohannes Abraham: Reflections on Civic Engagement and the White House

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In Time for Ethiopian X-mas, Drom NYC Presents Legend Girma Beyene

Girma Beyene. (Photo: Multiflora Productions)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, January 1st, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — Just in time for Ethiopian christmas the annual Secret Planet World Music Showcase at DROM in Manhattan will present the legendary composer-arranger and vocalist Girma Beyene, who is scheduled to perform on Saturday, January 7th, 2017 accompanied by DC-based Feedel Band.

Girma who is one of the icons of Ethiopia’s “golden age” of jazz and swing has made a remarkable comeback recently after many years of absence from the music scene. His new album, which is entitled Mistakes on Purpose and recorded in collaboration with the French Ethio-jazz band Akale Wube, is set to be released on January 13th, 2017 as part of the 30th installment of the Ethiopiques CD series.

“This year’s Secret Planet’s lineup continues our tradition of showcasing new talent unlikely to remain secret for very long,” announced Barbès and Electric Cowbell Records, organizers of the NYC international concert.


The 2017 edition includes “artists playing their own version of music from Morocco, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Tuva, Venezuela, Brooklyn, Cuba and Toronto.”


(Photo: DROM NYC)

The announcement highlights that “Girma is also the composer of “Muziqawi Silt,” the most covered Ethiopian tune of all time. There has been a regain of interest for Girma Beyene in Europe and now in the US. He will be backed by Feedel Band, a Washington DC-based group made up of former members of some Addis Ababa’s greatest musicians including the legendary Walias band and Aster Aweke.”


If You Go:
Girma Beyene & Feedel Band at DROM NYC
Sat, January 7th
Doors 7PM
Show 7:30PM
Advance Price $10 GA / Free with APAP Badge
Door Price: Advanced online ticket sales stop at 5pm on day of show
If available, more tickets are available at door
www.dromnyc.com

Related:
New ‘Ethiopiques’ CD Celebrates Legend Girma Beyene

Watch: Girma Beyene live in Paris with French band Akale Wube — 2015

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Dr. Maigenet Fellowship: Call for Proposals for Ethiopian Women & Girls’ Studies

The Maigenet Shifferraw Fellowship is dedicated to promote scholarship on Ethiopian women as well as empower and/or advance women’s wellbeing in Ethiopia. (Photo: Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Monday, January 2nd, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — The newly established Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw Fellowship has announced calls for academic proposals on topics affecting Ethiopian girls or women worldwide. The U.S-based fellowship was set-up recently by Dr. Maigenet’s family in memory of the former president and one of the founders of CREW (Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women) who passed away in 2016.

As administrator of the fellowship CREW states that its upcoming scholarship will “provide a one-time financial assistance, up to US $2,000.00, to an organization in Ethiopia that promotes the well-being and empowerment of women and girls in Ethiopia.” The press release adds: “research proposals can be submitted from all over the world but the research must focus on Ethiopian girls and women. Organizations who work on empowering or improving the situation of girls or women in Ethiopia must operate in Ethiopia.”


(Courtesy Photo: Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women — CREW)

In addition, the guiding principles of the fellowship include documenting and researching the experiences of Ethiopian women and girls “so that we all can gain some knowledge and serve humanity better” as well as encouraging those individuals who “strive to protect women and girls’ rights and improve their situation.”

Selection results will be announced on March 11, 2017.


Learn more at http://centerforethiopianwomen.org.

Related:
The Maigenet Shifferraw Women’s Education Fellowship Launched
Tribute to Women’s Rights Advocate Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw

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Ethiopia: 2016 in Pictures

Feyisa Lilesa at a press conference during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil. (Photo: Eshetu Homa Keno)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — When 26-year-old marathoner, father of two and social activist Feyisa Lilesa approached the finish line with his hands crossed over his head to claim the silver medal during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil he brought global attention to Ethiopia’s long-brewing political demonstrations. In an instant his daring move made international headlines, creating awareness about the deadly civil unrest that has rocked Ethiopia from Bishoftu to Gonder for the past 13 months. Foreign Policy magazine has dubbed Feyisa as a challenger and one of the leading global thinkers of 2016, not only for “breaking the rules of the games” but likewise for his subsequent statement to the press emphasizing that he “wanted to be a voice for a story that wasn’t getting any coverage.” As Feyisa is now in exile in the United States, a government-imposed state of emergency has been instituted in Ethiopia and political tensions remain high.

As we hope for better times in the years to come, we never cease to be inspired by the numerous talented Ethiopians around the world, both young and old, that we continue to profile and highlight in this magazine, who drive us all to imagine that through perseverance, unity, and creative thinking, a brighter, bolder, and more peaceful and prosperous tomorrow is still possible.

This year the people we spotlighted on our website included the 2016 class of the Mandela Fellows from Ethiopia as well as the second cohort of Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows from the United States. We close the year with a recent interview with Yohannes Abraham, the first Ethiopian American working in a senior White House role.

Below are some photos from 2016:


Related:
15 Arts & Culture Stories of 2016
2015 in Pictures
2014 in Pictures
2013 in Pictures
Top 10 Stories of 2013
Ten Arts & Culture Stories of 2015
Ten Arts & Culture Stories of 2014
Ten Arts and Culture Stories of 2013

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15 Arts & Culture Stories of 2016 in Photos

Poet Lemn Sissay at Ginny’s in New York at a Tadias Salon Series event on August 9th, 2016. (Photo: Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, December 26th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — This has been a very productive and busy year for us beginning with the launch of Tadias Salon Series in Spring 2016 featuring the NYC release of the book Temsalet & Tsehai Publishers Presentation at the Schomburg Center in Harlem followed by a sold-out live show over the Summer with renowned British-born Ethiopian poet and author Lemn Sissay at Ginny’s Supper Club/Red Rooster Harlem. In Fall 2016 Tadias Magazine hosted Marcus Samuelsson at SEI in DC for a book signing and afterparty celebrating the release of his latest publication entitled The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem. In addition we were honored to attend the first Ethiopian American Policy Briefing held on June 8th, 2016 at the White House as well as being one of the emergng new media presenters at the 2016 Diasporas in Development conference held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on October 12th, 2016.

But, as always, the most exciting part of our job was covering some of the biggest Ethiopian Diaspora arts and culture stories including the recent historic appearance of legendary singer Mahmoud Ahmed at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City and classical pianist and composer Girma Yifrashewa’s phenomenal NYC show at Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem. Furthermore, Mulatu Astatke’s one-of-a-kind live performance at the Temple of Dendur at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) was held on September 9th, 2016, which was presented in collaboration with the World Music Institute.

Below are a few images of the top arts and culture stories of 2016 curated from the Tadias instagram Page:

Mahmoud Ahmed Brings Down the House at Carnegie Hall Debut Concert on October 23rd, 2016


(Photo by Kidane Mariam/Tadias Magazine)

Mahmoud Ahmed performed live at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Sunday, October 23rd, 2016, becoming the first major artist from Ethiopia to give a solo concert at the world-famous venue. The 75-year-old Ethiopian cultural icon, who is one of Ethiopia’s most eminent musicians, played at Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage and brought the audience to its feet for several songs. Read more and see photos »

Ruth-Negga: One of Top Movie Stars of 2016


(Photo: Instyle.co.uk)

34-year-old Ethiopian-born actress Ruth Negga has become the talk of Hollywood and Oscar mentions following her highly acclaimed performance in the new civil rights movie Loving, which depicts the 1967 historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage in a case called “Loving v. Virginia.” Ruth who was born in Addis Ababa grew-up in Limerick, Ireland and has resided in London for the past ten years. Asked by The Hollywood Reporter on how she became an actress, Negga replied: “You know when you’re a kid and you get to pick a movie every Friday? I watched everything. There’s no particular genre that was appealing. I just loved the idea that you could dress up and play.” This month Vogue magazine declared “the Irish-Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga has become a star for our time.” Read more and see photos »

Congratulations to artist and instagrammer Girma Berta who won the 2016 Getty Images Grant


(Photo by Girma Berta)

Photographer Girma Berta, an instagrammer and artist from Ethiopia, was the winner of the 2016 Getty Images Instagram Grant. “Berta uses his iPhone to photograph vibrant, gritty street life in Addis Ababa, crossing street photography with fine art by isolating his subjects against backdrops of rich color,” Getty Images said. The grant is for videographers and visual artists who feature local stories and document “underrepresented communities around the world.” Read more and see photos »

Mulatu Astatke Live at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 9th, 2016


(Photo: last.fm, museumhack.com)

Mulatu Astatke returned to New York City for a live show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 9th, 2016. The concert, which was part of the MetLiveArts program, was presented in collaboration with the World Music Institute. “Known as the father of Ethio-jazz, composer and multi-instrumentalist (vibraphone, piano, keyboard, organs, and percussion) Mulatu Astatke leaped to international fame in the ’70s and ’80s with his unique mix of Western traditional Ethiopian music and admirers like Duke Ellington and John Coltrane,” stated the announcement from The Met. “Known for his fearless experimentation, his music begins and ends with improvisation.”

Poet & Author Lemn Sissay Featured at Tadias Salon Series event in NYC on August 9th, 2016


Photos by Anastasia Kirtiklis for Tadias

Thank you again to everyone who joined us on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 for a sold out Tadias Salon Series show at Ginny’s Supper Club as Lemn Sissay shared his incredible life journey & poems from his new book Gold From the Stone, and Grammy-nominated Ethiopian American singer and songwriter Wayna (@waynamusic) gave a soul-shaking music performance, along with DJ Mengie. Special thanks to Marcus Samuelsson and Ethiopia Alfred as well as our sponsors for making it happen.

Composer & Pianist Girma Yifrashewa’s Phenomenal Show in Harlem


Ethiopian Pianist and Composer Girma Yifrashewa at Ginny’s Supper Club in New York on Sunday, November 27th, 2016. (Photo: Tadias)

This year the Thanksgiving weekend program at Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem, New York featured a special Ethiopia-inspired dinner menu prepared by Chef Marcus Samuelsson followed by a live performance by classical Ethiopian pianist and composer Girma Yifrashewa. Girma’s amazing concert on Sunday, November 27th, 2016 included his original compositions that evoke “Ethiopian melody making,” as he told the audience, “decorated” with sounds of the classical music tradition in combination with Ambassel, Bati, Anchihoye and Tizita based on Ethiopian music’s unique tone scale system. Read more and watch video »

LA’s Azla Vegan Family Ethiopian Restaurant Featured on U.S. National Food Network TV Show


(Photo: Owners of Azla Vegan Nesanet Teshager Abegaze and her mother Azla Mekonen at Coachella Festival in Los Angeles, California)

Los Angeles, California, which is home to the only official Little-Ethiopia neighborhood in America, is also headquarters for Azla Vegan, a family-owned Ethiopian restaurant — located near the University of Southern California (USC) — that we featured in 2013 in an interview with owner Nesanet Teshager Abegaze as it first opened. This year, Azla Vegan was featured on the Food Network‘s television episode of “Cosmopolitan Comfort: Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.” Read more and see photos »

Ethiopia-inspired furniture at 2016 International Dubai Design Week


(Photo: Jomo Design Furniture, Actuel Urban Living)

Ethiopia-inspired furniture by U.S.-based Jomo Tariku, Founder of Jomo Design Furniture and Hamere Demissie of Actuel Urban Living was featured at the 2016 international Dubai Design Week festival in October. Jomo and Hamere’s works were selected as submissions from design weeks around the world including Design Week Addis Ababa, highlighting “the modern-inspired minimalist spirit of traditional Ethiopian design made locally by skilled artisans.” Hamere Demissie’s Actuel Urban Living previewed “a collection of furniture, rugs and textiles with a refined organic feel, while Jomo Design Furniture will display a contemporary take on traditional African chairs crafted in hardwoods, inspired by African hand carvings, baskets and traditional woven textiles,” according to the media release from Dubai Design Week.

Ethiopian American Reporter Bofta Yimam Named Weekend Morning Anchor at Action News 4 Pittsburgh


Ethiopian American journalist Bofta Yimam was promoted as Weekend Morning Anchor at Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 Television in 2016.

Congratulations to Bofta Yimam who was promoted to Weekend Morning Anchor at Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 Television (WTAE) this year. Bofta received three Emmy nominations and won the Regional Emmy Award (Nashville/Mid-South Chapter) for excellence in the ‘Continuing Coverage’ category in 2013. “There are so many avenues of journalism that you have to put yourself out there, and have a kind of go-for-it type of mentality,” Bofta shared in a past interview with Tadias. “You gotta get the skill sets and be willing to hit the ground running.” Read more and watch video »

Ethiopia-Italy Film “If Only I Were That Warrior” Released on DVD


(Image courtesy of Awen Films)

The new documentary film If Only I Were That Warrior — which chronicles the reactions of the international Ethiopian and Italian community regarding the recent building of a memorial for the Fascist General, Rodolfo Graziani (“The Butcher of Ethiopia”) in his hometown of Affile, Italy — has finally been released on DVD and is also now available for streaming online. Read more »

Alegntaye: Ethiopian Hip-Hop Artist Teddy Yo Featured in New Africology Video


(Teddy Yo 2016 new music video ‘Alegntaye’ produced by Africology)

NYC-based music & entertainment company Africology this year released their first music video production entitled “Alegntaye” featuring popular Ethiopian hip-hop artist Teddy Yo and Joe Lox.

Julie Mehretu: The Addis Show at Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Center in Ethiopia


Julie Mehretu. (Photo by Joseph Maida)

Renowned Ethiopian American artist Julie Mehretu returned to Ethiopia this Summer for her inaugural show at The Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Center in Addis Ababa. The exhibition entitled Julie Mehretu: The Addis Show — which was jointly presented by the Gebre Kristos Desta Center and the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa — was opened on July 8, 2016 and remained on display through August 6, 2016.

Celebrity chef and Author Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster book Offers a Taste of Multicultural Harlem


‘The Red Rooster Cookbook’ (2016) by Marcus Samuelsson pays homage to modern Harlem. (Photo: Book cover)

“When chef Marcus Samuelsson opened Red Rooster on Harlem’s Lenox Avenue, he envisioned so much more than just a restaurant. He wanted to create a gathering place at the heart of his adopted neighborhood, where both the uptown and downtown sets could see and be seen, mingle and meet – and so he did, in a big way. Ever since the 1930s, Harlem has been a magnet for more than a million African Americans, a melting pot for Spanish, African, and Caribbean immigrants, and a mecca for artists. Named after a historic neighborhood speakeasy, the modern Rooster reflects all of that, from the local art showcased on its walls, to the live music blaring from its performance spaces, to the cross-cultural food on its patrons’ plates and the evocative cocktails in their hands.” Read The Times review at NYTimes.com »

Ethio-American Playwright Antu Yacob’s One Person Show ‘In the Gray’


Antu Yacob. (Courtesy photo)

What does it mean to be Ethiopian American? The answer depends on who you ask, but for Playwright Antu Yacob — whose parents immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia when she was barely five years old — the identity is not as clear-cut. In the Gray is the title of Antu’s latest one-person show, which explored precisely this question when it was staged in New York City as part of the Women in Theatre Festival by Project Y Theatre in Manhattan this past summer. “In the Gray” features Antu playing several engaging characters including herself, her 8-year-old son, as well as her muslim and Oromo activist mother who lives in Minnesota. “I knew that I wanted to write about my experience not only as an actor, but also as an Ethio-American professional in the entertainment industry,” Antu told Tadias in an interview following her show. As a playwright Antu says she tries “to experiment with social and political activism in an entertaining way” noting that “America is made up of so many different cultures, and there is room to honor that diversity without sacrificing the beauty of who we are as a people. As Ethiopian Americans we make up a part of the larger American experience.” Read more and see photos »

Ethiopia: Director Jessica Beshir’s ‘Hairat’ Selected for Sundance Film Festival 2017


The film ‘Hairat,” which documents one man’s nightly ritual near Ethiopia’s historic city of Harar, is directed by Jessica Beshir. (Courtesy photo)

Last but not least, a big thumbs-up to Director Jessica Beshir whose documentary short film Hairat from Ethiopia was selected this year to be featured at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. “This is a visual and lyrical exploration of the nightly ritual between a man in Eastern Ethiopia and his feral companions,” the Sundance Institute wrote describing Hairat in a press release. In the film Director Jessica Beshir, who was born in Mexico City and raised in Ethiopia, “returns to the city of her childhood to tell the story of one man’s extraordinary ritual that unfolds nightly in the outskirts of the walled city of Harar.” Jessica’s short film is one of 68 works from around the world that will be screened at Sundance from January 19th through 29th, 2017. Read more »


Related:
Ethiopia: 2016 in Pictures
Ten Arts & Culture Stories of 2015
Ten Arts & Culture Stories of 2014
Ten Arts and Culture Stories of 2013
Tadias Year in Review: 2015 in Pictures
Tadias Year in Review: 2014 in Pictures
Tadias Year in Review: 2013 in Pictures
Top 10 Stories of 2013

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Spotlight: Abraham Abebe’s Hopeful Art Draws From His Ethiopia and US Roots

Digital art work by Abraham Abebe. (Photo courtesy of Anbassa Design)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, December 23rd, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — “My design and artworks are a result of two cultures,” says Ethiopian-born artist Abraham Abebe who is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. Abraham’s upcoming solo exhibition entitled Guzo will be held there at the Leland Gallery, from January 9th to February 3rd, 2017.

“I am swimming in between Ethiopian tradition that I grew up with [and] American culture that I am experiencing right now,” Abebe explains in his artist statement. “My subject matters reflect the two cultures as well. It also gives me great opportunity to use different mediums to convey my deep passion. Beyond cultures, there is so much for me to learn; so many great artists to learn from, that I know only patience, persistence, practice and education will carry me to my goal.”

The title of Abraham Abebe’s new show Guzo, which means journey in Amharic makes use of “lottery tickets as a starting point then translates numbers from each ticket into visual forms using the metric system. The resulting visual data serves as the basis for the painting, mixed media, kinetic and screen-print that would define the four quadrants on the two-dimensional surface of the stretched canvases, papers and panels.”


Artwork Abraham Abebe. (Courtesy of the artist )

Abraham holds both an MFA degree in Studio Art and a BFA (Cum Laude) majoring in Graphic Design, Painting and Drawing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as well as an A.A. degree (with distinction) from Truckee Meadows Community College. He has held several solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows and is the author of Eggmel, a book of poetry written in his native language Amharic.


If You Go:
ጉዞ ፪ = Journey II by Abraham Abebe
curated by Professor Carlos Herrera
January 9 – February 3, 2017
Reception: January 26, from 5 – 7pm
Artist Talk: January 26 at 5:30pm
Leland Gallery
Ennis Hall
320 West Hancock Street
Milledgeville, GA 31061

You can learn more about Abraham Abebe’s work at www.anbassadesign.com.

Related:
From DC to Addis: Spotlight on Artist Abel Tilahun & His Ethiopia Show ‘Odyssey’

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Interview with Yohannes Abraham: Reflections on Public Service, Civic Engagement and the White House

Yohannes Abraham, Chief of Staff of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. (Courtesy Photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, December 19th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — As the first Ethiopian American in a senior White House role, Yohannes Abraham is a trailblazer in both our community and within the larger African Diaspora in America. Since 2009, he has worked diligently inside the White House, only steps away from the Oval Office, helping to shape the Obama legacy while serving as Chief of Staff to Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama.

Reflecting back on the past eight years and the personal journey that led him to serve in the historic presidency of Barack Obama, Yohannes credits his parents first and foremost for his interest in public service and civic engagement.

“It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact time when I became interested in public service, because serving our community and country was always part of the family dialogue,” Yohannes tells Tadias in a recent interview. “Both my parents are proud U.S. citizens, and they wanted us to be engaged citizens as well.” His mother and father immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia in the 60s and Yohannes was born in Alexandria, VA and raised in Springfield.

“I attended Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology and was a Political Science major at Yale, focusing on U.S. foreign policy” Yohannes adds, noting that his parents raised him and his sister with a strong sense of service to community and the importance of helping people.

What solidified Yohannes’ choice to work in government and politics was a desire to give back. “I am lucky to have always had an extremely supportive family,” Yohannes says. “My parents gave my sister and me a great foundation and made clear to us that it was incumbent upon us to give back, reminding us that not everyone had the same opportunities that we had.”

Shortly after graduating from Yale, Yohannes secured a job with Senator Obama’s campaign in Iowa in 2007 with the assistance of a fellow Ethiopian American.

Like many young people at the time in this country, Yohannes points out that the inspiring moment for him came following the 2004 election, where one of the high points was the election of Obama as a Senator. “At the time I was in college, and I was captivated by his 2004 convention speech,” Yohannes remembers. “When he won the Senate seat I followed him more closely and realized that his values were very much aligned with my own, and that from a vision and policy perspective he stood for things that I was passionate about.”

For Yohannes, there are many highlights from his job organizing 14 precincts in Iowa for the President’s first campaign. “There were many memorable parts of working on the campaign, and it was especially interesting to be there early on in Iowa. We were a relatively small team. None of us went to Iowa because we wanted to work in the White House one day – that wouldn’t have been a smart bet at the time. We were there because we believed, and we worked hard to build support for the Senator, block by block, voter by voter. We became a part of the communities we lived in, and we built a sense of family with our teammates. It was not glamorous stuff…we would work all week to get a couple hundred people to come see him,” Yohannes shares. “It was pretty incredible going from those smaller events of a couple hundred people to events with tens thousands of people over time.

And what was the most memorable moment of working for President Obama at the White House?

“The night that the House passed the Affordable Care Act,” Yohannes fires back. “It was a moment that I felt we did something good to improve people’s lives. That’s the good stuff. Of course, I’m hugely grateful to have had the opportunity to do some very cool things, and I treasure those memories as well – Air Force One, formal dinners, those sort of things are once in a lifetime. But the best memories are either when we moved the needle in a way that did some good in the world, or simple moments of camaraderie with teammates. In fact the best part of my job is the team that he put around him that I have had the chance to work with, and became friends with. It’s a group of really talented, committed people.”

“As my Chief of Staff, Yohannes has been one of my closest and most trusted advisors,” his boss Valerie Jarrett shares. “He’s smart, passionate, hardworking, and most importantly deeply committed to helping people. It’s been a great joy having him by my side over the past four years, and I’ve enjoyed watching him ‎grow into the talented leader that he is today. I have no doubt that he will continue to be a force for good in whatever he does in the future.”

Yohannes is also quick to point out that he is not alone in having served as an Ethiopian American in the current administration. “There are several Ethiopian Americans in the administration, some of them in very senior positions,” he shared. “If you speak with any of them and chart their path you’ll come up with a few common threads. You’ll see that there is a real commitment to education. I think you’ll also see that most of them followed their passion and raised their hand to be helpful. There’s no road map or secret memo that lays out the path to making a difference. If you see a cause or candidate that moves you, show up. Lend a hand. Don’t wait for a formal invitation.”

Among those making a difference is fellow Ethiopian American Henock Dory, a White House Staff Assistant and Policy Advisor, who reports to Yohannes.

“Working for Yohannes has been a truly invaluable experience,” Henock said in a statement sent to Tadias. “His dedication to serving both his country and the Ethiopian American community is driven by a passion and work ethic that knows no bounds. As a young Ethiopian American myself, I’ve been fortunate to find in him a role model and mentor that inspires me to emulate the integrity, intellect, and leadership he displays on a daily basis. I’m eager to see how the example he has set, the work he has executed, and his future accomplishments will carry our community forward.”

And what role did mentors have in Yohannes’ career trajectory? “First and foremost, it’s my parents who are my mentors,” Yohannes explains. “Over the course of my service for President Obama they were my constant rock, giving me wisdom and strength when I was frustrated or discouraged. Look, they came to the United States not knowing anyone, immigrating to a country where they barely spoke the language and had no family and little money. In the face of all that, they worked their way through college and graduate school and built successful professional careers. They did all that to build a better life for us here, and they are my inspiration. Now, in addition to my parents, I also have also had fantastic bosses who have helped me along the way. Over the course of these past years, Valerie Jarrett has been both a fantastic boss and friend; she is like a member of my family. She is a really strong and active force in my life. Another great mentor is Jeff Zientz, Director of the National Economic Council.

“Yohannes possesses a rare combination of intellect, drive, and leadership ability. He is one of the most effective individuals I have had the privilege to work with across my decades of experience in the private sector, and, more recently, in government,” says Jeff Zientz. “Most importantly, Yohannes is at his core a dedicated, high-integrity person. I look forward to seeing the good he will do for the world in the years to come.”

Of course, along with all the things Yohannes loves about his job come the challenges.

“Firstly, even when things are bad, even when things aren’t necessarily fun you never have to doubt that the work you are doing is important. What you do matters to people’s lives” Yohannes emphasizes. “It’s highly motivating to know that if you do a good job you help more people, and if you do a bad job you help less people. This is something that has kept me and the whole team energized. What I really enjoy about the job is being surrounded by people who are as committed to the work as you are, and are going the extra mile — it gives you the strength to do so yourself.”

“The challenges are varied,” Yohannes adds. “No two days, let alone two weeks are the same. Only a certain percentage of the day works out as you assumed, and the challenges range from dealing with a natural disaster to working in support of a priority item on the legislative docket; not having a template makes it exciting. There is also the challenge of losing time with family and friends. I definitely wish I had seen more of my family. Some of my younger cousins are now talking about driver’s permits — I blinked and now they are young adults.”

Asked to sum up his current motto in three words, Yohannes responds: “Try to Help.” He elaborates on this message a bit more to say: “this runs across both professional and personal life. It is a driving force in my life and it’s largely driven by my parents who stressed the importance of giving back. It’s part of my Christian faith. This is not to say that it’s unique just to the Christian faith, but I was raised to believe that it’s incumbent on me to help folks that might not be in a position to help themselves or go it alone.”

Yohannes encourages the broader Ethiopian community to remain engaged.

“I think it’s important for those of us who were born in this country to fully appreciate the sacrifices our parents made to forge better lives for us. That puts whatever challenges we face — however daunting they may be — into context. When I think about the scale of the obstacles my own parents faced as compared to my own, I’m both humbled by and deeply grateful for their incredible strength of character. I think an important way for my generation to honor our parents and the foundation they have created for us is to be active, engaged citizens here in America. Think about it. Our parents moved to a new country, in most cases knowing no one, having nothing, and speaking little English. They did so in the hopes of finding a better life for their families, and by and large they did. We are the beneficiaries of their choices, and we owe it to them to make the most of the opportunities they unlocked for us. We also owe it to our communities, and America writ large, to contribute to the diverse fabric of civic life. Doing so makes the country stronger, and it makes our community’s voice stronger within it.”

“In much the same vein, as a newer immigrant community, we owe it to those who fought for justice in the country before we ever got here — Latino farmworkers, civil rights organizers, foot soldiers in the women’s suffrage movement, and so on — to be good stewards of the duty of citizenship. If a civil rights organizer could risk their life for the right to vote, what excuse do we have to not be first in line at the polls? What excuse do we have to be unregistered or apathetic? What excuse do we have to ignore the plight of other communities that may find themselves in need of allies in the face of injustice? To my mind, none. That’s why I’ve been so happy to see a surge of civic engagement amongst younger Ethiopian Americans in the past few years. I hope it’s something that will continue.”

Last but not least, Tadias posed the question of a future run for Congress or Senate to Yohannes, and although he doesn’t yet know if he’ll run for office he certainly has “100% clarity” that he is going to stay involved in public service.

“I’ve seen firsthand many examples of how active civic participation can lead to change and I’m committed to being a part of that for the rest of my life,” Yohannes shares. “Big picture, I hope in the near future we have Ethiopian American Senators, Governors, and Mayors. That hope is not unique to politics — I also hope we have Ethiopian American Generals, Admirals, CEOs, union presidents, and news anchors. That’s what we should aspire to as a community. As for me personally, I’ve seen that there are a lot of ways to be of service without running for office, and so I plan to focus more on what I want to see get done than on where I want to be. That could lead me in a lot of different directions.”


Related:
Overview of White House Ethiopian American Policy Briefing
White House Ethiopian American Policy Briefing and Civic Engagement

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From DC to Addis: Spotlight on Artist Abel Tilahun & His Ethiopia Show ‘Odyssey’

Abel Tilahun is an Adjunct Professor of Digital Imaging at American University in D.C. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, December 19th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian American artist Abel Tilahun teaches Digital Imaging at American University in Washington D.C., and for the past few years his thought-provoking multidisciplinary work including video art and sculptural installations has captured the attention of acclaimed Ethiopian curator Meskerem Assegued, founder of Zoma Contemporary Art Center in Addis Ababa, who is helping to stage his upcoming show, Odyssey, in Ethiopia’s capital next month at Alliance Ethio-Française from January 3rd to 24th, 2017.

“ODYSSEY? captures the excitement and paradoxes of innovation, with a birds-eye view on the gravity of the contemporary moment as well as the continuity and patterns within human history,” the media release states. “At the heart of his work remains the intrinsic value of the human experience across time and space.”


Art work by Abel Tilahun Gebretsadik. (Courtesy photo)

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa will also host Abel Tilahun’s Artist Talk at the Alliance Ethio-Française Theatre January 5, 2017. “The event will showcase a retrospective of Abel Tilahun’s work in the video art medium over the past decade,” the announcement said. “The U.S. Embassy will host a follow-up with an Artist’s Roundtable inside the Alliance Alliance Ethio-Française Gallery on January 21, 2017.”

Abel Tilahun’s past shows in Ethiopia include Curvature of Events, which was featured in 2015 at the Ethiopian National Museum following its presentation a year earlier in Germany at the Dresden New Master’s Gallery. In 2013 Abel submitted a commercial for Dorritos ‘Crash the Superbowl’ contest and his exhibition entitled Interface Effect (2014) was highlighted at AEF.

Abel is a graduate of the School of Fine Art & Design at Addis Ababa University and obtained a Masters in Fine Arts from Adams State College in Colorado in 2010.


If You Go:
Exhibition by Abel Tilahun
Curator: Meskerem Assegued
Alliance Ethio-Française
Addis Ababa
January 3 – 24, 2017
Opening: January 3, 6 PM
Artist Talk (Retrospective): January 5, 6 PM
Roundtable (ODYSSEY?): January 21, 6 PM

Related:
Ethiopian Artist Abel Tilahun Speaks to Independent Curators Hub in NYC
Ethiopia Exhibition Featuring Multimedia Artist and Animator Abel Tilahun
Three Ethiopian Animators Vie For Doritos Superbowl AD Grand Prize

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Electoral College Confirms Trump’s Win

Protestors fill the rotunda of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan before the state electoral college met to approve the results of this year's presidential election on December 19th, 2016. (Getty Images)

The Washington Post

December 19, 2016

With electoral college vote, Trump’s win is official

In Florida, a crucial swing state where Trump defeated Clinton by about a percentage point, Trump won all 29 electoral votes. He also earned all 16 votes in Michigan, another state that flipped to Republicans for the first time since 1988.

On the streets of Washington, D.C., two dozen protesters assembled outside Trump’s hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, singing songs such as “We Shall Overcome.” Some held signs, including one that read, “Resist Putin’s Puppet.” The District’s three electors later gathered at city hall, just a block from Trump’s hotel.

In Albany, N.Y., former president Bill Clinton sat in the state Senate chamber as an elector and cast one of the Empire State’s 29 electoral votes for his wife.

“I’ve never cast a vote I was prouder of,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Despite the pleas of Trump opponents, most electors had said for weeks that they planned to cast votes reflecting the will of their home states.

Read more at The Washington Post »


Related:

In Theory US Electoral College is Not Rubber Stamp for Election Results


Washington state Presidential Electors Levi Guerra and Bret Chiafalo (right) speaking in front of the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington. (AP photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, December 18th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — On Monday, December 19th, the U.S. Electoral College will meet in various states to approve the results of the 2016 presidential election. In the past few weeks the electoral college system has gained international attention as people around the world curiously observe that only in America can a presidential candidate lose the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots and still win the general election. In addition, there is also the brewing high-tech spy scandal in which a foreign power, no less than America’s long adversary, Moscow, clearly messed with this year’s election in favor of the President-Elect, generating an intense public discussion in the United States as to the exact role of the Electoral College, which today is seen as a highly partisan process.

Although it’s unlikely to succeed “pressure on members of the electoral college to select someone other than Donald Trump has grown dramatically — and noisily — in recent weeks, causing some to waver but yielding little evidence that Trump will fall short when electors convene in most state capitals Monday to cast their votes,” the Washington Post reports.

The newspaper features a group known as the Hamilton Electors — whose members include Mark Hersch, a 60-year-old Chicago-based marketing strategist — “who have been organizing efforts to contact electors and change their minds. Rather than persuade an entire country, he and his allies must find 37 Republicans willing to vote for someone else, a tipping point at which the responsibility of picking the president would shift to the U.S. House of Representatives. No one knows for sure how many are considering alternate votes; estimates vary from one to 25.”

One of America’s renowned statesman and founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, once famously explained “The Mode of Electing the President” in the historic Federalist Papers published in 1788, stating that the purpose of the Electoral College is to make sure “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

Hamilton also argued that another important purpose of the Electoral College was to safeguard against foreign interference in the United States election system and “chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”

The Washington Post article also quotes a Republican operative and attorney from Massachusetts, R.J. Lyman, as emphasizing that the electoral college was “not intended to be a rubber stamp” and that otherwise “the Founding Fathers would have tasked the responsibility to a clerk or simply used the popular vote as a way of choosing a president.’”

“I’m reminding them of their duty to think about their choice in a way that’s consistent with their conscience and the Constitution,” Lyman told the Washington Post. “So far, Lyman said, he has identified 20 electors who might be willing to vote “other than their party pledge.” He couldn’t name more than one publicly but insisted that more were out there.”

Watch: How the US Electoral College works

According to Hamilton the electoral college was designed so that “we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.”


Related:
In last-shot bid, thousands urge electoral college to block Trump at Monday vote
The Federalist Papers : No. 68: The Mode of Electing the President

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Obama: Russia Will Pay for US Hacking

President Obama said in an interview with NPR on Dec. 15, that, "we need to take action and we will, at the time and place of our own choosing," against Russia for its cyberattacks during this year's election. (Reuters)

The Washington Post

December 16th, 2016

Obama says ‘we will’ retaliate against Russia for election hacking

President Obama said the United States will retaliate against Russia over its malicious cyber-activity during this year’s election, in an interview that aired Friday on NPR.

“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections . . . we need to take action,” the president said. “And we will — at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman responded by suggesting that the president and his aides were casting aspersions on Russia without offering any proof.

In a statement carried by Russian news agencies, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the U.S. government should “either stop talking about it or finally produce some evidence, otherwise it all begins to look unseemly.”

In the interview with “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep the president did not comment on last week’s Washington Post report, later confirmed by other outlets, that the CIA has concluded with high confidence that Russia intervened in the election specifically to help Donald Trump win the White House. Seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies publicly announced in October that they had concluded the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta was undertaken by hackers working for Russia.

Read more at The Washington Post »


Related:

A Times Investigation: How Moscow Aimed a Perfect Weapon at 2016 U.S. Election


A filing cabinet broken into in 1972 as part of the Watergate burglary sits beside a computer server that Russian hackers breached during the 2016 presidential campaign at DNC headquarters in Washington. (NYT)

The New York Times

The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

WASHINGTON — When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.

Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion. By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

“I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo, obtained by The New York Times, that detailed his contact with the F.B.I.

It was the cryptic first sign of a cyberespionage and information-warfare campaign devised to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, the first such attempt by a foreign power in American history. What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump.

Like another famous American election scandal, it started with a break-in at the D.N.C. The first time, 44 years ago at the committee’s old offices in the Watergate complex, the burglars planted listening devices and jimmied a filing cabinet. This time, the burglary was conducted from afar, directed by the Kremlin, with spear-phishing emails and zeros and ones.

Read more at NYTimes.com »


Related:

Did Moscow Install America’s Next President? US Launches Investigations


U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that Russia hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win. President Obama has ordered full review. (AP photo)

VOA News

Updated: December 13, 2016

US Launches Investigations into Russian Election Tampering

Intelligence committees in both houses of Congress launched investigations Monday into accusations that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election to boost the chances that President-elect Donald Trump would win.

President Barack Obama also ordered a full review by the intelligence community into the allegations.

“The reason that I’ve called for a review is to really just gather all of the threads of the investigations, the intelligence work that has been done over many months, so that the public and our elected representatives going forward can find ways to prevent this kind of interference from having an impact on the elections in the future.”

The probes amounted to an early rebuke of Trump, who over the weekend said the Central Intelligence Agency conclusion was “ridiculous” that Russia engaged in cyberattacks to help him win. He continued to assail the finding Monday.

Even before he assumes power next month, the Republican Trump’s mocking of the CIA conclusion about Russian interference on his behalf put him at odds with both of the top Republican lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. They endorsed bipartisan probes conducted by the intelligence committees in each chamber of Congress.

WATCH: McConnell on Russia hacking

“The Russians are not our friends,” McConnell said. He added that the investigation should be undertaken with the idea that “the Russians do not wish us well.” Ryan said the House probe “should not cast doubt” on Trump’s victory, but that foreign interference in a U.S. election was “entirely unacceptable” and Russian involvement “especially problematic.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the congressional review “is certainly warranted when you consider the stakes and the consequences.”

But Trump spokesman Jason Miller called the CIA conclusion about Russian interference “an attempt to delegitimize President-elect Trump’s win.”

Clinton camp responds

Trump’s election opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, has been silent about the Russian hacking allegations. But her campaign manager, John Podesta, on Monday demanded that the administration of President Barack Obama declassify and release all the information it has about Russia meddling in the election.

Clinton won the national popular vote against Trump but lost where it mattered, in the state-by-state contests that decide U.S. presidential elections. Podesta called for release of the intelligence data before electors in the Electoral College vote to formally ratify Trump’s victory on December 19.

In a pair of comments on Twitter, Trump questioned why information about the computer hacking was not widely known before the election.

He contended that if Clinton had won the election and Republicans “tried to play the Russia/CIA card, it would be called conspiracy theory.”

He added, “Unless you catch ‘hackers’ in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn’t this brought up before election?”

But U.S. officials did in fact publicly accuse Russia of trying to undermine the presidential election in early October, saying intelligence agencies were “confident” Russia directed hacks of the Democratic National Committee that resulted in controversial emails being leaked before the Democratic nominating convention.

Obama spokesman Earnest said, “This was all material that was known by Republican politicians in the Congress that endorsed the president-elect. And how they reconcile their political strategy and their patriotism is something they’ll have to explain.”

Trump: I don’t believe it

Trump’s latest remarks came after he told Fox News in an interview aired Sunday that the CIA conclusion about Russian cyberattacks to boost his chances of winning was “just another excuse” by Democrats to explain his stunning upset of Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state.

“I don’t believe it. If you take a look at what [the CIA] said, there’s great confusion,” Trump said Sunday. “Nobody really knows. They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace.”


President-elect Donald Trump is interviewed by Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” at Trump Tower in New York, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP photo)

Trump told Fox News that he does not oppose Obama’s order to review cyberattacks the CIA concluded came from Russia during the lengthy presidential campaign, but said, “You should not just say ‘Russia.’ You should say other countries also, and maybe other individuals.” The CIA said it had “high confidence” that Russia sought to help Trump win.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the final stretch of the presidential campaign to help Trump win the presidency, and not simply meddle in the U.S. electoral process as previously believed, according to senior Obama administration officials. The conclusion is based to some extent on a finding that Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems, in addition to those of Democratic organizations, but disclosed only embarrassing emails from the Democrats, via WikiLeaks.

Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee and Trump’s pick for White House chief of staff, told ABC News the party was not hacked.

“The entire report is based on unnamed sources who are perhaps doing something they shouldn’t be doing by speaking to reporters or someone talking out of line about something that is absolutely not true,” Priebus said Sunday.


Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP photo)

Trump’s rejection of the CIA conclusion came as Arizona Senator John McCain, the losing 2008 Republican presidential candidate, and three other senators called for the investigation into Moscow’s interference in the election, saying that it “should alarm every American.” McCain, along with Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrats Jack Reed and Chuck Schumer, said the United States needs to stop “the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.”


Related:
Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says (The New York Times)
Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House (The Washington Post)

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Spotlight: Sossina Haile’s Scientific Quest Brings World Closer to Liquid Sun Energy

Sossina M. Haile is a Professor of Materials Science & Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University. (Photograph by C. Jason Brown)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, December 11th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian American scientist Sossina M. Haile who is Professor of Materials Science & Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University was born in Addis Ababa and moved permanently to the US when she was ten years old. Today, Sossina is one the leading researchers in the United States whose work to find alternative sources of fuel has helped push the worldwide green energy revolution.

“If we are to use the sun as our primary energy source, then we definitely need to develop ways to store its energy for use on demand,” she told Tadias in a profile interview a few years ago when she was teaching at California Institute of Technology. “In my lab we have started to do this by converting the sunlight to heat, and then using the heat to drive reactions that create fuels like hydrogen and methane from water and carbon dioxide.”

In a recent highlight entitled Bottling the Sun: Sossina Haile’s Research Brings the World Closer to Liquid Energy Fueled by the Sun Northwestern University Mccormick School of Engineering’s magazine gives an update on her research explaining that “The solar reactor in Sossina Haile’s laboratory is respiring oxygen. And with its every breath, the world comes another step closer to bringing the vision of liquid solar fuels to life.”

“My lab does not have the total energy solution, but we do have a couple pieces of it,” Sossina told the publication. “I can give you two components that will help you get to the end.”

Click here to read the full article »


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American Jewish Historical Society Hosts ‘Sigd’ – An Ethiopian Celebration

(Photo by Joan Roth)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, December 9th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Next week the Ethiopian Jewish Holiday ‘Sigd’ will be celebrated at the American Jewish Historical Society in New York City (AJHS). Organized by AJHS in partnership with Chassida Shmella, the event includes “a special evening of music, artifacts, rituals and food on Sunday, Dec. 18th at 5pm in the Forchheimer Auditorium at AJHS (15 West 16th Street).”

“Sigd: An Ethiopian Jewish Celebration will feature a performance by Anbessa Orchestra, a display of items from the AJHS’ American Association for Ethiopian Jews collection, a ritual led by Ethiopian spiritual leaders and a feast of traditional Ethiopian foods” AJHS announced.

As a holiday celebrated by the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jewish) community, Sigd has been recognized as a state holiday in Israel since 2008. “Sigd commemorates the giving of the Torah and the ancient communal gatherings on Mount Sinai,” AJHS notes. In Ethiopia, “thousands of Jews traveled on foot every year from Gonder Province to the village of Ambober, where the joyous celebration included prayer and fasting. Each year, the Sigd celebration offers a unique experience.”


Anbessa Orchestra. (Photo: Joan Roth)


Abay Mengist will perform a song during the celebration. (Photo: Joan Roth)


If You Go:
WHAT: Sigd: An Ethiopian Celebration
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18 5 pm
WHERE: American Jewish Historical Society
15 West 16th Street – Forchheimer Auditorium
New York, NY
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for students, seniors and AJHS members, and $36 at the door.

—-
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Ruth Negga: One of Best Film Stars of 2016

Actress Ruth Nega. (Photograph by JACK DAVISON/The New York Times)

Vogue

Loving Star Ruth Negga on Biracial Politics: “I Get Very Territorial About My Identity”

With her mesmerizing performance in Jeff Nichols’s subtly groundbreaking film Loving, the Irish-Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga has become a star for our time.

“I’m a rag of a woman today,” Ruth Negga says in her faint Irish accent. She is pointing to her chipped green nail polish and apologizing for her eyebrows. She cut her hair herself, she says, before asking a professional to tidy it up. Earlier today she went to get her passport renewed. “Maybe . . . you could—blend?” the photographer said, gesturing around his face. She took a look and realized she had been quite slapdash with her bronzer and powder.

By lunchtime, there’s no trace of this—with her huge, doll-like eyes and closely cropped hair, she is as glamorous as a thirties aviator in Paige jeans and an olive bomber jacket—but it’s easy enough to imagine Negga dismissing vanity as a fool’s game. Her gift for self-mockery and her appetite for the craic—an Irish expression for fun or gossip or high jinks—are matched only by her levels of propulsion: Her neat, tiny frame always seems to move forward at great speed.

Read more at Vogue.com »

Watch: Great Performers | Ruth Negga NYT


Related:
The 10 Best Movies of 2016 — and 6 More
Oscar-Talk: Ethiopia-born Ruth Negga Hollywood’s Next Big Thing


Ruth Negga attends the premiere of Universal Pictures’ ‘Warcraft’ in Hollywood, California on June 6, 2016. (Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, August 29th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian-born actress Ruth Negga has become the talk of Hollywood and Oscar mentions following her highly acclaimed performance in the new civil rights movie Loving, which depicts the 1967 historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage in a case called “Loving v. Virginia.” The film Loving is scheduled to be featured on opening night at the Austin Film Festival on October 13, 2016.

New York magazine’s Vulture.com gives an Oscar shoutout to the Ethiopian-born star for Best Actress noting “first-timers with the likeliest shot at a nomination are Ruth Negga, the Ethiopian-Irish actress who slays a practically nonverbal role in Loving using her big, empathetic eyes.”

Ruth, who is 34-years-old, was born in Addis Ababa in 1982, to an Ethiopian father (a medical doctor) and an Irish mother (a nurse) and lived in Ethiopia until the age of four when she moved to Ireland with her parents. Ruth’s father died three years later in a car accident when she was only seven-years old. Ruth grew-up in Limerick, Ireland and has resided in London for the past ten years.

“Ruth Negga’s recent rise is one of those 10-year overnight success stories,” The Hollywood Reporter declared this past Spring featuring an interview with Negga. They asked: “Why has it taken Hollywood so long to really discover you?”

“I have not been aggressive in my pursuit of being a star,” Ruth responded. “I’ve never had a plan. Maybe I need to be more aggressive, because it’s quite tough!”


Ruth’s new film is set to be featured on opening night at the Austim Film Festival on October 13, 2016. (photo credit: Goss.ie)


Ruth-Negga. (The Hollywood Reporter)

And “Your parents are in medicine. How did you become an actress?, The Hollywood Reporter followed up. “You know when you’re a kid and you get to pick a movie every Friday? I watched everything. There’s no particular genre that was appealing. I just loved the idea that you could dress up and play,” Ruth answered.

And this month The Wrap highlights Ruth Negga among 15 Fall Movie Stars Poised to Break Out, From Ruth Negga to Riz Ahmed (Photos).


Related:
Ethiopian-born Actress Ruth Negga Gets Thumbs-up for Lead Role in ‘Loving’

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Ethiopia: Director Jessica Beshir’s ‘Hairat’ Selected for Sundance Film Festival 2017

The film 'Hairat," which documents one man's nightly ritual near Ethiopia's historic city of Harar, is directed by Jessica Beshir. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — The documentary short film Hairat from Ethiopia by Director Jessica Beshir has been selected to be featured at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

“This is a visual and lyrical exploration of the nightly ritual between a man in Eastern Ethiopia and his feral companions,” the Sundance Institute wrote describing Hairat in a press release.

In Hairat Director Jessica Beshir, who was born in Mexico City and raised in Ethiopia, “returns to the city of her childhood to tell the story of one man’s extraordinary ritual that unfolds nightly in the outskirts of the walled city of Harar.” Jessica’s short film is one of 68 works from around the world that will be screened at Sundance from January 19th through 29th, 2017.

“Each year we see more short films from around the country and from more regions around the world, which is exciting as we want to discover new voices to support,” Mike Plante, Sundance’s Senior Programmer, shares. “This year’s crop captures the full spectrum of what short films can be: emotional, hilarious, horrifying and touching — sometimes all at once.”

Jessica Beshir has a Bachelor’s degree in film studies and literature from UCLA, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She recently also released the short film entitled He Who Dances on Wood.

“An Imam in Harar spoke to me about the meaning of Hairat at length, but in short it means, ‘You are where you need to be,’” Jessica says.


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In Pictures: Almaz Ayana 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year

Almaz Ayana (Right) with Haile Gebreselassie after receiving the 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year award at the IAAF Athletics Awards ceremony in Monaco on December 2nd, 2016. (IAAF)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Updated: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana who set a new world record in the 10,000m race during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil was awarded this year’s “Female World Athlete of the Year” prize last Friday at a ceremony in Monaco.

The 25-year-old long distance runner was accompanied at the event by Haile Gebreselassie who also acted as her translator.

“After collecting her IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year award she was asked at what stage during her gold medal run in the 10,000m final at Rio 2016 she realised the world record was also in her grasp,” IAAF reported.

” ‘When I crossed the line,’ she quipped, through top translator Haile Gebrselassie.”

Below are photos:


Almaz Ayana and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt receive their awards from Prince Albert of Monaco (left) and IAAF president Lord Coe. (Getty Images)


After an incredible year for the sport of athletics, the world’s finest gathered in Monaco for a celebration of all that they gave us in a momentous Olympic year — IAAF. (Photo Usain Bolt and Almaz Ayana at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016/Getty Images)


Haile Gebrselassie sits alongside Genzebe Dibaba (centre) and Almaz Ayana on the eve of the IAAF Athlete of the Year awards in Monaco. (Photo: IAAF)

Almaz Ayana is the third Ethiopian woman to win “Female World Athlete of the Year” award following in the footsteps of Genzebe Dibaba (2015) and Meseret Defar (2007), according to IAAF.

“I don’t have words to explain my feelings right now, I’m so excited,” said Ayana whose award was presented by International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. “Really, I’m so pleased.”


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


Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia), Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) and Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland) earned their spots on the 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year short list in historic fashion, IAAF announced. (Photos IAAF)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Almaz Ayana who won Ethiopia’s only gold medal during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil this past summer has been named a candidate for this year’s Female World Athlete of the Year award.

The 25-year-old long distance runner is being considered for the prestigious award along with Jamaican track and field sprinter Elaine Thompson and Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk.

“Ayana opened the Rio Olympics with a bang. It was a sight to behold as the Ethiopian broke away early from the rest of the field with a decisive surge,” The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which gives the annual award, said highlighting her accomplishments. “There was no catching Ayana, who powered to a world record 29:17.45, knocking more than 14 seconds off a record that had stood for 23 years.”


Almaz Ayana with teammate Tirunesh Dibaba at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. (Getty Images)


(Image: IAAF)

IAAF adds: “With one Olympic medal already under her belt, Ayana lined up in pursuit of another just days later. She was again the athlete pushing the pace in the 5000m final, blowing the medal hunt wide open with a break at half way. But her world record effort from a week earlier showed in the end, as Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot and Hellen Obiri passed her in the final lap. Ayana finished in third with 14:33.54. It was the only race of 2016 in which she didn’t cross the line in first, and it still earned her an Olympic bronze.”


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New ‘Ethiopiques’ CD Celebrates Legend Girma Beyene

Girma Bèyènè on the cover of the new éthiopiques CD series Volume 30. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, December 4th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Here comes another historic addition to the Ethiopiques CD series with the upcoming release of its 30th volume next month featuring legendary Ethiopian singer and songwriter Girma Bèyènè.

“After 25 years of silence, the legend Girma Bèyènè is back alongside one of the greatest ethio groups, Akalé Wubé,” the announcement said. “Under the direction of Francis Falceto (director of the famous Ethiopiques series Buda Musique) Girma and Akalé Wubé came together and recorded this album in order to immortalize this renaissance.”

A digital release of Girma’s new album, which is entitled Mistakes on Purpose, is scheduled for January 13th, 2017 by the French world music record label, Buda Musique, while a vinyl release is set for February 3rd, 2017.

Since it was first published 19 years ago the Éthiopiques collection has preserved the works of several prominent singers and musicians including Alemayehu Eshete, Asnaketch Worku, Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu Astatke, Tilahun Gessesse, Ali Birra, Getatchew Mekurya, Emahoy Tsegue-Mariam Gebrou and Kassa Tessema. In addition, songs from Éthiopiques Volume 4 were featured in the 2005 Hollywood movie Broken Flowers written and directed by Jim Jarmusch.

“We are very proud and humbled to be featured side by side such great inspirations like Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu, Girma, Alemayehu and so many others,” the Paris-based band Akalé Wubé said on their website.

Watch: Girma Beyene live in Paris with French band Akale Wube — 2015

Girma used to live in Washington, D.C. for several years beginning in the early 1980′s long before the metro area around the U.S. capital became home to the largest Ethiopian population in America. As The Washington Post pointed out “The great Ethiopian singer, lyricist and arranger first found himself in the District way back in 1981 during a tour in the Walias Band, one of Ethiopia’s most revered jazz troupes. Beyene liked the District enough to stay — but not for good. After many years in the area, he eventually returned to Addis Ababa. It was there, during the 1960s and ’70s, where Beyene had been a major player in one of the planet’s most electrifying music scenes.”


(Ethiopiques Volume 30)


Related:
Ethiopia: Composer & Pianist Girma Yifrashewa’s Phenomenal Show in Harlem
Mahmoud Ahmed Brings Down the House at Carnegie Hall Debut Concert – Photos
How Ethiopian Music Went Global: Tadias Interview with Francis Falceto
Amha Eshete & Contribution of Amha Records to Modern Ethiopian Music

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NYC Holiday Benefit Supports Boys and Girls Town of Ethiopia

At the Boys' & Girls’ Towns of Ethiopia in Emdibir, Ethiopia. (Courtesy photos)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, December 2nd, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — The holiday season is officially here. And if you are inspired to make charitable giving this year a benefit event is scheduled next week in New York City “to celebrate and support the youth of Boys’ and Girls’ Towns of Ethiopia.”

The charity, which is similar in concept to the historic Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Italy, provides assistance to young people in Emdibir, Ethiopia.

“Throughout the night there will be live music, dancing and a short video screening featuring our program in Ethiopia,” the non-profit organization, A Chance in Life, announced. The event will be held on Monday, December 12th at Café Wha? in downtown Manhattan.

“Since the 1950s Café Wha? has been a favorite hot spot cornered in the heart of Greenwich Village,” the announcement said. “Café Wha? was the original stomping ground for artists like Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix.”

The Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Ethiopia — located in Emdibir of the Gurage Zone in Southwestern Ethiopia and supported by the New York-based non-profit organization, A Chance In Life — is modeled after the first Boys’ & Girls’ Town that was established 70 years ago by Irish priest Monsignor Carroll-Abbing following the end of World War II to assist orphaned children in Europe.


The Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Ethiopia’s program for youth with disabilities holding a picnic at Ghibe National Park, May 24th, 2016. (Courtesy photo)

Today, in Ethiopia “an estimated 4.6 million children” are growing up without parents, states the organization’s website. “Our towns are vibrant, democratic, self-governing communities run by the young people themselves. These children need the basic necessities to receive a chance in life.”

The towns are designed and organized to empower its members by providing them with basic necessities so they can be “active citizens and productive members of their communities,” explains ​Gabriele Delmonaco, President & Executive Director of A Chance In Life.

“After [World War II], orphaned and abandoned children all over Europe were shining shoes, panhandling and stealing to survive,” The New York Times noted when the founder of the Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Italy, Carroll-Abbing, died in 2001 at age 88. “His concept of giving troubled children love and his motto ‘a chance in life’ grew as he organized such shelters all over the country. All told, he was credited with feeding and clothing more than 180,000 children.”

The Boys’ and Girls’ Towns of Ethiopia was launched in 2015 while working closely with the Diocese of Emdibir and currently runs three main programs. The first focuses on resources for orphaned and vulnerable youth, providing academic supplies and financial support to attend school as well as giving medical assistance, food and clothing. The second assists young girls to continue their education and help them stay enrolled in school by providing homes for approximately 100 girls in proximity to their high schools. The girls also have opportunities to hold monthly community meetings and support each other in achieving their academic dreams. Last but not least, The Boys’ and Girls’ Town of Ethiopia also provides entrepreneurship and business development skills for individuals with disabilities who often face marginalization. Youth with disabilities also attend biweekly gatherings and share their aspirations and the challenges faced in an effort to develop a strong social network for greater self-reliance and broader participation in society. There are currently 100 youth participants in this program.

The founder of the Boys’ and Girls’ club once said: “Philanthropy means, very simply, an authentic love for humanity.” Monsignor Carroll-Abbing’s words still ring true today, and giving support to youth-led communities not only provides them with much-needed resources, but also encourages agency and transformation while remaining part of one’s home community.


If You Go:

Click here to buy tickets

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

Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia), Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) and Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland) earned their spots on the 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year short list in historic fashion, IAAF announced. (Photos IAAF)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Almaz Ayana who won Ethiopia’s only gold medal during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil this past summer has been named a candidate for this year’s Female World Athlete of the Year award.

The 25-year-old long distance runner is being considered for the prestigious award along with Jamaican track and field sprinter Elaine Thompson and Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk.

“Ayana opened the Rio Olympics with a bang. It was a sight to behold as the Ethiopian broke away early from the rest of the field with a decisive surge,” The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which gives the annual award, said highlighting her accomplishments. “There was no catching Ayana, who powered to a world record 29:17.45, knocking more than 14 seconds off a record that had stood for 23 years.”


Almaz Ayana with teammate Tirunesh Dibaba at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. (Getty Images)


(Image: IAAF)

IAAF adds: “With one Olympic medal already under her belt, Ayana lined up in pursuit of another just days later. She was again the athlete pushing the pace in the 5000m final, blowing the medal hunt wide open with a break at half way. But her world record effort from a week earlier showed in the end, as Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot and Hellen Obiri passed her in the final lap. Ayana finished in third with 14:33.54. It was the only race of 2016 in which she didn’t cross the line in first, and it still earned her an Olympic bronze.”


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Ethiopia: Composer & Pianist Girma Yifrashewa’s Phenomenal Show in Harlem

Ethiopian Pianist and Composer Girma Yifrashewa at Ginny's Supper Club in New York on Sunday, November 27th, 2016. (Photo: Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, November 28th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Last night in New York the Thanksgiving weekend program at Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem featured a special Ethiopia-inspired dinner menu prepared by Chef Marcus Samuelsson followed by a live performance by classical Ethiopian pianist and composer Girma Yifrashewa.

Girma’s amazing concert on Sunday evening included his original compositions that evoke “Ethiopian melody making,” as he told the audience, “decorated” with sounds of the classical music tradition in combination with Ambassel, Bati, Anchihoye and Tizita based on Ethiopian music’s unique tone scale system.

Watch: Marcus Samuelsson in conversation with Girma Yifrashewa before the show:

Having picked up the kirar as a young child and later discovering piano at the historic Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa during his teenage years, Girma went on to pursue his music and composition studies in Bulgaria at Sofia State Conservatory of Music.

Last night’s piano performance at Ginny’s featured classical pieces by Chopin and Debussy for the first session and his own original compositions fusing the Western classical tradition with Ethiopian sounds for the second part of the evening, which included his playful Chewata, the spiritual Sememen and the joyous Elilta.

Below are photos from Girma Yifrashewa’s Concert at Ginny’s Supper Club in NYC on November 27th, 2016:

Girma Yifrashewa “offers a rare and fascinating example of aesthetic adaptation and convergence,” the New York Times declared three years ago in its review of Girma’s first NYC concert in 2013 at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn. In an article entitled From Chopin to Ethiopia, and Partway Back Again, The Times added: “Since returning to Ethiopia in 1995, Mr. Yifrashewa has promoted awareness there of the standard classical repertory, while also writing new pieces that apply European techniques to Ethiopian musical and folkloric sources.”


Related:
Photos Ethiopian Pianist Girma Yifrashewa’s Stellar Performance in Bethesda, Maryland

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Fidel Castro Dead at 90: Left Mark on Horn of Africa

Cuba's Fidel Castro, pictured June 10, 1977. (AP photo)

VOA News

Updated: Sunday, November 27th, 2016

One place besides Miami where few tears will be shed over the death of Fidel Castro is Somalia, where his military involvement left a mark.

In the mid-1970s, Castro and former Soviet leaders were celebrating what looked like the emergence of another socialist leadership following the rise of the Derg regime in Ethiopia. Somalia had already been declared a socialist state and had hosted a large presence of Soviet and Cuban military advisers and trainers.

In early 1977, Castro brought together the leaders of Somalia, Ethiopia and southern Yemen to create greater socialist federal states in the region. General Mohamed Nur Galal was the former deputy defense minister of Somalia and the focal point of Somalia’s military contacts with Cuba at that time. He was present at the meeting in Aden in March 1977.

Castro’s vision

“He [Castro] was representing the Soviet Union, although he did not say that at the meeting. He said Somalia and Ethiopia should join up, and said that Yemen will join up, too,” Galal said.


Former Ethiopian Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam and Fidel Castro celebrating the 4th anniversary of the fall of the Ethiopian monarchy (Revolution Day) in Addis Ababa. Photo: (Flickr/Solomon Kibriye)


Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam (right): Thousands were killed under the dictator’s “Red Terror” in Ethiopia where he was the chairman of the Derg, the Communist military junta that governed Ethiopia, from 1977 to 1991. (Getty Images)

According to Galal, Castro told them that the merger would create a strategic alliance that would control the Red Sea, Suez Canal, the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Castro also explained to the leaders that setting up the new alliance would bring another benefit to the region: solving the conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia over the ethnic Somali Ogaden region.

“We told him that this is about the self-determination of people, and if this federation is going to unite ethnic Somalis, we are up for it,” Galal said.

The meeting ended without progress. At the time, Somalia was already in an advanced stage of a military buildup to take the Ogaden region, regarded by the Somali government as a territory “occupied” by Ethiopia.

Meeting with Barre

When Castro learned of Somalia’s plans, he flew to Mogadishu and met his counterpart, dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

After the meeting, Castro reportedly said that Barre showed him the territories that he considered part of “Greater Somalia,” including northeastern Kenya, Ogaden and Djibouti, which was still under French control.


Somalia’s Mohamed Said Barre speaks to the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Oct. 9, 1974. (AP photo)

Castro reportedly described Barre as a “chauvinist … and someone who thinks he is at the summit of wisdom.”

Two months after Castro’s visit to Mogadishu, Somali tanks were pounding Ethiopian military defense positions.

Somali troops took over Ogaden and moved deep into Ethiopia. The Soviet Union sent military advisers and provided technical assistance to Ethiopia.

Galal said Cuba had members of its Civil Defense System in Somalia and ordered them to go to Ethiopia. Castro also sent thousands of troops to Ethiopia.

Somalis beaten back

By March 1978, Somali troops had suffered heavy defeats and were driven back to where they started the offensive.

The following month, members of the demoralized Somali military officers made a coup attempt in Mogadishu. Barre held on, but the officers who survived the purge escaped to Ethiopia to set up the armed rebels who would overthrow him 13 years later, in January 1991. Somalia has never recovered from the following state collapse.

“I read a book Castro wrote, saying he brought Somalia to its knees. … He was a bad man who hated Somalis,” Galal said.


Related:
Fidel Castro, Who Defied US for 50 Years, Dies at 90 in Cuba


Fidel Castro, Cuba’s revolutionary leader and dictator who defied U.S. efforts to topple him for five decades, has died. He was 90. (Photo: MSNBC)

The Associated Press

HAVANA (AP) — Fidel Castro, who led his bearded rebels to victorious revolution in 1959, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half-century of rule in Cuba, has died at age 90.

With a shaking voice, President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died at 10:29 p.m. Friday. He ended the announcement by shouting the revolutionary slogan: “Toward victory, always!”

Castro’s reign over the island nation 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Florida was marked by the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Castro, who outlasted a crippling U.S. trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died 10 years after a life-threatening illness led him to turn over power to his brother.

Castro overcame imprisonment at the hands of dictator Fulgencio Batista, exile in Mexico and a disastrous start to his rebellion before triumphantly riding into Havana in January 1959 to become, at age 32, the youngest leader in Latin America. For decades he was a source of inspiration and support to revolutionaries from Latin America to Africa, even as Cubans who fled to exile loathed him with equal measure.

Read more »

Watch: Former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Dead at 90

Watch: World Reacts to Castro’s Death (VOA News)


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President Obama On Why a Million Miles of Travel Gives Him Hope for the Future

President Obama wrote the following article for the travel website Lonely Planet this week, reflecting on his international tour over the past 8 years that included becoming the 1st sitting US president to visit Ethiopia.

Lonely Planet

By BARACK OBAMA
President of the United States

US President Barack Obama reflects on why a million miles of travel gives him hope for the future

Editor’s Note: Lonely Planet believes responsible travel can be a force for good. It’s a belief shared by President Barack Obama, the first sitting US president to visit Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar and Laos. On his final foreign trip, he spoke to us about how the optimistic, tolerant and engaged young people he has met around the world give him hope for the future.

During my time as president, I have traveled well over a million miles to every corner of the world. These foreign trips have included international summits and bilateral visits that have been fundamental to the progress that we’ve made – strengthening alliances, engaging former adversaries, renewing the global economy, and forging agreements to fight climate change, stop the spread of nuclear weapons, expand commerce, and roll back poverty and disease.

I leave office more convinced than ever before that international cooperation is indispensable. Without regular consultations with foreign leaders, and institutional coordination between the US and our allies and partners, we cannot overcome challenges that recognize no borders. It took dozens of countries working together to stamp out Ebola. It took coordinated pressure and careful diplomacy to reach a peaceful agreement to roll back Iran’s nuclear program. Nearly 200 countries spent years in painstaking negotiations to achieve the Paris Agreement to protect our planet. Every single day, the US works seamlessly with other countries to share information to prevent terrorist attacks, stop human trafficking, break up drug cartels, or combat corruption.


The president takes a group photo with U.S. students at Dillingham Middle School in Alaska. (© Pete Souza / Official White House Photo)

But while this cooperation is essential, I have always believed that our engagements with other countries must not be limited to governments – we also have to engage people around the world. In particular, we must sustain our engagement with young people, who will determine the future long after those of us in positions of power leave the world stage.

Consider the demographics of our world. More than half of human beings are 30 years old or younger. This is even more pronounced in the developing world – that’s where 90 percent of the global population under 30 lives. These young people are living through revolutions in technology that are remaking life on our planet, allowing for unprecedented access to information and connectivity, while also causing enormous disruptions in the global economy. And while the world’s leaders discuss the pressing issues of the day, it is the world’s young people who will determine whether their voices direct the change that is sweeping our world towards greater justice, opportunity, tolerance, and mutual respect.


President Obama watching performers on the tarmac at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 2, 2013. (© Pete Souza / Official White House Photo)

Read the full article at lonelyplanet.com »


Related:
Ethiopia: US-Africa Relations in Trump Era
Watch: Obama Bids Farewell to World, Hails US Democracy in Landmark Speech


President Barack Obama talked about the United States election results and the
importance of democracy during his last international tour as president. (Reuters)

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Was 2016 U.S. Election Hacked? Hillary Clinton’s Team to Join Wisconsin Recount

Hillary Clinton's campaign lawyer said on Saturday that they're joining a growing call for a recount in 3 states after computer scientists warned that this year's U.S. presidential election might have been hacked. (AP)

The Washington Post

Clinton takes part in Wisconsin recount, with an eye on ‘outside interference,’ lawyer says

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been quietly exploring whether there was any “outside interference” in the election results and will participate in the election recount in Wisconsin initiated by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, a Clinton campaign lawyer revealed Saturday.

In a Medium post, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias said that the campaign had received “hundreds of messages, emails, and calls urging us to do something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton,” especially in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where the “combined margin of victory for Donald Trump was merely 107,000 votes.”

Elias said the campaign had “not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology.” But because of the margin of victory — and because of the degree of apparent foreign interference during the campaign — Elias said that Clinton officials had “quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states.”

[Trump calls recount efforts ‘sad,’ declares: ‘Nothing will change’]

He said that the Clinton campaign would participate in the Stein-initiated recount in Wisconsin by having representatives on the ground monitoring the count and having lawyers represent them in court if needed. And if Stein made good on efforts to prompt similar processes in Pennsylvania and Michigan, Elias said, the Clinton campaign would do so there, as well.

“The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities,” Elias said. “While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.”

Read more at The Washington Post »

Related:
Hillary Clinton’s Team to Join Wisconsin Recount (NYT)


Voters waited to cast their ballots in Milwaukee earlier this month. (Getty Images)

The New York Times

NOV. 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — Nearly three weeks after Election Day, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said on Saturday that it would participate in a recount process in Wisconsin incited by a third-party candidate and would join any potential recounts in two other closely contested states, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The Clinton campaign held out little hope of success in any of the three states, and said it had seen no “actionable evidence” of vote hacking that might taint the results or otherwise provide new grounds for challenging Donald J. Trump’s victory. But it suggested it was going along with the recount effort to assure supporters that it was doing everything possible to verify that hacking by Russia or other irregularities had not affected the results.

In a post on Medium, Marc Elias, the Clinton team’s general counsel, said the campaign would take part in the Wisconsin recount being set off by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, and would also participate if Ms. Stein made good on her plans to seek recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Mrs. Clinton lost those three states by a total of little more than 100,000 votes, sealing her Electoral College defeat by Mr. Trump.

The Clinton campaign had assailed Mr. Trump during the election for refusing to say he would abide by the results if he lost. On Saturday, Mr. Trump responded to the campaign’s decision to join the recount with a statement calling the effort “ridiculous” and “a scam by the Green Party.”

He suggested that most of the money raised would not be spent on the recount. “The results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing,” Mr. Trump said.

In Wisconsin, Mr. Trump leads by 22,177 votes. In Michigan, he has a lead of 10,704 votes, and in Pennsylvania, his advantage is 70,638 votes.

Mr. Elias suggested in his essay that the Clinton campaign was joining the recount effort with little expectation that it would change the result. But many of the campaign’s supporters, picking up on its frequent complaints of Russian interference in the election, have enthusiastically backed Ms. Stein’s efforts, putting pressure on the Clinton team to show that it is exploring all options.

Read more at NYTimes.com »


Related:

Hillary Clinton Supporters Call for Vote Recount in Battleground States (NYT)


Was this year’s U.S. presidential election “rigged” as Donald Trump claimed during the campaign? Well, now, Hillary Clinton’s supporters want to find out and are calling for vote recount in battleground states. (AP)

The New York Times

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote is growing. She is roughly 30,000 votes behind Donald J. Trump in the key swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin — a combined gap that is narrowing. Her impassioned supporters are now urging her to challenge the results in those two states and Pennsylvania, grasping at the last straws to reverse Mr. Trump’s decisive majority in the Electoral College.

In recent days, they have seized on a report by a respected computer scientist and other experts suggesting that Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the keys to Mr. Trump’s Electoral College victory, need to manually review paper ballots to assure the election was not hacked.

“Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack?” J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan who has studied the vulnerabilities of election systems at length, wrote on Medium on Wednesday as the calls based on his conclusions mounted. “Probably not.”

More likely, he wrote, pre-election polls were “systematically wrong.” But the only way to resolve the lingering questions would be to examine “paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states,” he wrote.

Tellingly, the pleas for recounts have gained no support from the Clinton campaign, which has concluded, along with outside experts, that it is highly unlikely the outcome would change even after an expensive and time-consuming review of ballots. But that has not quieted Mrs. Clinton’s supporters, who see the inequity of her growing lead in the national popular vote, which is now more than two million votes, or 1.5 percent of all ballots cast, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which regularly updates its count as states continue to tally and to certify votes.

Read more at NYTimes.com »


Related:
Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots say computer scientists (Medium)
Trump Won With Lowest Minority Vote in Decades, Fueling Divisions (Reuters)

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

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

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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

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

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


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

Read more: 5 Leadership Lessons from Israeli Model Titi Aynaw

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

Read more: Ethiopian Lt. Colonel makes IDF history

—-
Related
Tadias Interview with Miss Israel Titi Aynaw

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Ethiopia: US-Africa Relations in Trump Era

President-elect Donald Trump heads inside the clubhouse at Trump International Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Sunday, November 20th, 2016. (Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, November 21st, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — In an article entitled Trump’s Foreign Policy on Africa is Likely to be Non-existent, which was published by CNN this past weekend, Peter Vale, a Professor of Humanities and the Director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Johannesburg, argues that the African continent will be the least of the incoming administration’s concerns.

At this point it’s all speculation and nobody really knows what exactly the Donald Trump presidency would mean to the U.S. let alone the rest of the world. But it is worth thinking about what US-Africa relations might look like in the age of Trump.

The Brookings Institution’s Witney Schneidman, who advised Clinton on Africa, also penned an article last week entitled Donald Trump and Africa , and agrees that the continent will likely be at the bottom of Trump’s international agenda.

“In fact, there is every reason to expect that, under a Trump administration, the U.S. will be less engaged in Africa especially where it concerns the expenditure of taxpayer resources on economic development initiatives,” Schneidman writes in a blog post on Brookings website.

“AGOA could easily be the first casualty under Trump,” Schneidman states. “While its benefits have been uneven, the legislation has served as a key framework for U.S.-African relations. It has led to trade and investment being at the forefront of U.S. policy in the region. AGOA has encouraged African women in trade and led to the creation of the African Trade Hubs (rebranded as Trade and Investment Hubs under Obama) to help African companies access AGOA. More recently, the Obama administration has been working to develop a new trade architecture based on reciprocity that would ultimately replace AGOA’s unilateral preference regime.”

Professor Vale note that “Trump is also unlikely to have any tolerance for the idea that the African diaspora is part of the “sixth region” of Africa. In addition, I think that he is going to be intolerant and disinterested in issues around the domestic politics of African countries. That is unless — as he was very clear in his acceptance speech — they strongly impinge on American national interests. For example, I don’t think he is going to be very interested in what is happening in Somalia or Ethiopia or in other parts of Africa where there may be conflict. Trump hasn’t got a great capacity for detail, so at best he will live by macro assessments.”

Below are links to both articles:

CNN: Trump’s foreign policy on Africa is likely to be non-existent
Brookings: Donald Trump and Africa


Related:
Watch: Will Trump’s business impact foreign policy? (MSNBC LIVE WITH TAMRON HALL 11/21/16)


Many Americans are concerned that President-elect Donald Trump’s business interests will mix with his presidential duties when he takes office. MSNBC’s Tamron Hall discusses with Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer for President Bush. (MSNBC)

Watch: The knowns and unknowns of Trump’s foreign policy (MSNBC MORNING JOE 11/21/16)


Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations and Ian Brzezinski from the Atlantic Council discuss the possible avenues Donald Trump has for building his foreign policy. (MSNBC Video)

Ethiopian American Hip Hop Artist Aminé Slams Trump’s Immigration Stance on Tonight Show
Obama Bids Farewell to World, Hails US Democracy in Landmark Speech
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Rolling Stone: Ethiopian American Aminé Among 10 New Artists You Need to Know

Adam Aminé Daniel, professionally known as Aminé, is an Ethiopian American hip hop recording artist from Portland, Oregon. (Courtesy of Republic Records)

Rolling Stone

Why You Should Pay Attention: Adam Aminé Daniel has scored an unlikely hit with the wavy love rap “Caroline” – currently at 34 million YouTube views and counting. The Portland rapper is inspired by Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak and Outkast’s The Love Below, and taught himself to make beats with YouTube tutorials. He also studied business, advertising and marketing at Portland State University (he recently dropped out with 15 credits left towards his degree), and creates his own cover artwork.

Last year, he piqued interest among some influential blogs and websites with his 2015 mixtape Calling Brio, a diverse blend of house, bass drops, African pop and smooth-but-steady flows. When he posted “Caroline” to SoundCloud in June, he generated a fierce bidding war that resulted a deal with Republic Records. By September, Republic pushed the track onto streaming services, and it has soared into the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. He’s recorded over 60 songs for his next project, but he’s unsure if that will be an album or a mixtape. However, he knows that he wants to continue to make feel-good music that’s colorful and bright.

He Says: Aminé has no shortage of opinions on the anti-immigration policy that president-elect Donald Trump used in his recent campaign. “My parents are immigrants to this country,” says the Ethiopian-American artist. “They came to this country for a better opportunity just like everyone else. So if anyone else, whether they’re running for president or whatever they’re trying to do, if they’re bashing the people who are just working hard and just trying to make a better life for themselves by coming to America, I believe that’s completely wrong. To see someone like that do something like that and become president is just a testimony to where we are at culturally in America right now.”


Amine – “Caroline”

Read more at Rollingstone.com »


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A YOUNG RAPPER’S BOLD ANTI-TRUMP MESSAGE ON “THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON

Ethiopian American Hip Hop Artist Aminé Slams Trump on Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon

The New Yorker

Aminé: ‘You can never make America great again, all you ever did was make this country hate again’

Among this year’s uncommonly vibrant cohort of breakout rappers, Aminé, a wild-haired twenty-two-year-old from Portland, Oregon, stands out for his warm, restless energy. His single “Caroline”—which has been slowly gaining momentum since its release, in March—finds a sweet spot between theatre-geek sincerity and cool-kid braggadocio, between neo-soul and ringtone rap, between romance and vulgarity. Melodically simple and texturally adventurous, it’s a near-perfect dollop of populist rap joy—the kind of song that cuts across listening audiences, for better or worse. The song has racked up some hundred and fifty million streams in recent months and reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week.

So Aminé’s television début, on Tuesday night, on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” seemed like a straightforward proposition: a promising young artist performs his best single, and, if all goes according to plan, endears himself to a mainstream late-night viewing audience. What actually happened was slightly different. When Aminé took the stage, he initially played the part of the whimsical Portland rapper, tinkering on a piano adorned with bananas, one of his signature motifs. He then offered a stripped-down rendition of “Caroline,” accompanied by an orchestra and a row of backup singers. But when he arrived at the song’s final chorus the room shifted. The camera focussed on Aminé’s face, and he stood still in front of the microphone. The wands of light behind him turned from a dusty yellow to red, white, and blue, as over the beat of “Caroline” he delivered a piercing new verse:

9/11, a day that we never forgettin’
11/9, a day that we always regrettin’
If my President is Trump then it’s relevant enough
To talk ’bout it on TV and not give a fuck
I’m black and I’m proud
My skin is brown and I’m loud
Everybody love it when a rapper tells some lies
But that ain’t me, homie, I guess that’s a surprise
America want to act all happy and holy
But deep down inside they like Brad and Jolie
Caroline divine, and I won’t get specific
Club Banana, the illest and it’s too terrific
You can never make America great again
All you ever did was make this country hate again

Read more at Newyorker.com »


Related:
Rapper Aminé slams Donald Trump in moving Tonight Show debut

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Ethiopia: Pianist-Composer Girma Yifrashewa to Perform at Ginny’s in Harlem

Ethiopian Pianist and Composer Girma Yifrashewa. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — The acclaimed Ethiopian pianist and composer Girma Yifrashewa returns to New York City this month for a Thanksgiving weekend performance at Ginny’s Supper Club on Sunday, November 27th.

Girma, who was trained at Sofia State Conservatory of Music in Bulgaria, says he got started with his musical career at a very young age playing Kirar while growing up in Ethiopia’s capital city before being introduced to piano as a teenager when he was accepted to the Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa.

Girma Yifrashewa “offers a rare and fascinating example of aesthetic adaptation and convergence,” the New York Times declared three years ago in its review of Girma’s last concert here in 2013 at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn. In an article entitled From Chopin to Ethiopia, and Partway Back Again, The Times added: “Since returning to Ethiopia in 1995, Mr. Yifrashewa has promoted awareness there of the standard classical repertory, while also writing new pieces that apply European techniques to Ethiopian musical and folkloric sources. His recital here, one of two American concerts mounted with support from the independent record label Unseen Worlds, was split between canonical works and original music.”

Girma ’s original compositions include Chewata, “meant to evoke an Ethiopian custom of making merry even at times of sadness,” as well as Sememen, “a surging work employing a traditional mode associated with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church,” Elilta, “named for the cheery ululation with which Ethiopians greet joyful occasions and filled with tingling trills that imitated that sound.”


IF You Go:
Girma Yifrashewa: Special Dinner and Performance at Ginny’s Supper Club
Sunday Nov 27, 2016
Show: 6:00 PM
$85
Ginny’s Supper Club
310 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY
Click here to buy tickets

Related:
Photos Ethiopian Pianist Girma Yifrashewa’s Stellar Performance in Bethesda, Maryland

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DC Fears Setback to Cultural Renaissance as Obama Era Comes to an End

President Obama and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, purchased books at Politics and Prose in Washington. (Pool photo by Dennis Brack)

The New York Times

A Newly Vibrant Washington Fears That Trump Will Drain Its Culture

WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama has burned off her date-night meals at Washington’s new generation of acclaimed restaurants by pedaling at SoulCycle. President Obama has shopped for Jonathan Franzen novels with his daughters at local independent bookstores. Obama administration staff members, their barhopping chronicled in the gossip pages, have hit the 14th Street hot spots hard.

Decades ago, Washington was broke and run by a mayor best known for smoking crack with a prostitute on a surveillance tape. Neighborhoods had not fully recovered from the 1968 riots, and an aging Georgetown elite still set the tone. The administrations of two Bushes and a Clinton in between hardly had an effect on the city.

But Mr. Obama’s arrival in 2009 coincided with an urban renaissance…And the Obama family — African-American, youthful, attractive and urbane — were archetypes of a modern city on the upswing. What the effect on Washington will be when Donald J. Trump moves into the White House is hard to predict. But many Washingtonians fear the worst. Among them is Vincent Gray, the city’s mayor during much of the Obama administration.

Read the full article at NYTimes.com »


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Ethiopia-Italy Film “If Only I Were That Warrior” Released on DVD

The goal of the documentary includes addressing "revisionism, which is only possible because there is such great ignorance on the topic in Italy and even in Ethiopia," says Producer Isaak Liptzin. (Photo: Awen Films)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, November 14th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — “In 1935, Benito Mussolini wanted to make Italy great again, so he invaded Ethiopia,” The Daily Beast publication noted this summer. The new documentary film “If Only I Were That Warrior” — which chronicles the reactions of the international Ethiopian and Italian community regarding the recent building of a memorial for the Fascist General, Rodolfo Graziani (“The Butcher of Ethiopia”) in his hometown of Affile, Italy — has finally been released on DVD and is also now available for streaming online.

Per the film’s synopsis: “If Only I Were That Warrior is a feature documentary film focusing on the Italian occupation of Ethiopia in 1935. Following the recent construction of a monument dedicated to Fascist general Rodolfo Graziani, the film addresses the unpunished war crimes he and others committed in the name of Mussolini’s imperial ambitions. The stories of three characters, filmed in present day Ethiopia, Italy and the United States, take the audience on a journey through the living memories and the tangible remains of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia — a journey that crosses generations and continents to today, where this often overlooked legacy still ties the fates of two nations and their people.”

While public funding for Graziani’s memorial was suspended by a new administration in Affile in 2013 the monument still remains standing.

Among the Ethiopian activists featured in the film include Dallas resident Kidane Alemayehu who was leading the anti-monument protest through his organization, the Global Alliance for Justice: The Ethiopian Cause. Kidane had also written a letter to Italy’s Foreign Minister regarding the objection against the building of the Graziani memorial.


Kidane Alemayehu, above right, and Mulu, bottom, are some of the Ethiopian activists featured in the documentary.(Images: Awen Films)


Anti-fascist Italian-American activist Nicola DeMarco (Images: Awen Films)


Screenshot from the documentary film ‘If Only I Were That Warrior.’ (Courtesy of Awen Films)


Still image from the documentary “If Only I Were That Warrior.” (Awen Films)


Photo courtesy of Awen Films

Filmed in Amharic, English and Italian and shot on three continents the documentary also captures conversations with citizens and leaders of Affile, as well as Italian Americans and testimonies from Ethiopian elders who witnessed Graziani’s horrific war crimes in addition to the Ethiopian Diaspora’s mobilization against the memorial.

The goal of the documentary includes addressing “examples of revisionism like the monument itself” says Producer Isaak Liptzin, “which is only possible because there is such great ignorance on the topic in Italy, abroad and to a certain extent even in Ethiopia.” In an interview with Tadias this past May Liptzin added: “So the goal is really to bring this back into everybody’s mind and into the public discourse, not in a militant way but in a way that explains how this amnesia came to be.”


Related:
Tadias Interview with the Director & Producer of “If Only I Were That Warrior”

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Looking Beyond Trump Era: This Woman Could Become 1st Female U.S. President

Senator-elect Kamala Harris of California. (AP Photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, November 11th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — This week, here in America, we may have stunned the world and embarrassed ourselves by electing Donald Trump as our next President over Hillary Clinton, who was arguably the most qualified presidential candidate in the history of the United States. But there were other more hopeful election night victories on Tuesday, November 8th including that of Senator-elect Kamala Harris of California who is already being touted by the media as “the next best hope for shattering that glass ceiling.”

“She’s drawn many comparisons to President Barack Obama, who famously ran for president during his first term in the Senate,” The Huffington Post points out in an article published today entitled Meet Kamala Harris, Who Could Become The First Woman President. “Her background and her polished yet personable approach to politics embody what many think the Democratic Party should aim to look like going forward. And even before her Senate win, her name was floated for roles including California Governor, Supreme Court Justice and Vice President.”

Tadias first met Kamala Harris in 2003 at an event in San Francisco organized by the New America Media (NAM), then called the New California Media (NCM), where Harris had just stopped by to personally pass out fliers and introduce herself as a candidate for District Attorney of San Francisco. We were excited to see her win that election. After serving as DA of San Francisco for two terms she became California’s Attorney General in 2010.

With her recent win we can’t be happier that Harris will be heading to Washington DC as one of two Senators representing the country’s most populous state during the looming Trump era beginning in January 2017.

Here are some things you should know about the woman who could very well challenge Trump in 2020.

Read more »


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Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Obama, Trump Meet at White House (Video)

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP photo)

The Washington Post

Updated: Thursday, November 10, 2016

Donald Trump entered the White House through the South Lawn entrance, avoiding news cameras and the eyes of the president’s staff.

About 45 minutes after Trump’s arrival, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough was seen taking Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and other Trump aides, including Dan Scavino, across the edge of the Rose Garden.

Donald Trump Limits Traditional Press Access On First White House Visit (Huffington Post)

President-elect Donald Trump broke with tradition on Thursday by heading to Washington, D.C., without a “protective pool” of journalists to cover his movements for the larger press corps.

The White House Correspondents Association oversees a rotating pool system so that the president is always covered while traveling, especially in the event of historically significant or life-threatening moment.

Neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton’s campaign had a fully protective pool, as opposed to recent major-party nominees. However, the Democrat’s system was close to the standard used in the White House. Trump didn’t fly with reporters, and sometimes didn’t notify them when he was leaving for events and even mocked them for being late.

Last month, WHCA President Jeff Mason urged both presidential campaigns to agree to have a “protective pool” during the transitional period between the election and inauguration. Not doing so, he wrote, would be a “serious breach of historical precedent.”

Trump’s team hasn’t responded to the letter, Mason told The Huffington Post.

A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment.

Read more »


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Hillary Concedes, Obama Promises Smooth Transition to Trump Admin (Video)

Hillary Clinton addressed her staff and supporters in New York after she conceded the presidential contest to Donald Trump on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 (Photo via VOA)

The New York Times

Highlights of Hillary Clinton’s Concession Speech and President Obama’s Remarks

Hillary Clinton publicly conceded the election to Donald J. Trump on Wednesday, acknowledging the pain of the defeat in remarks in New York while calling on her supporters to accept that he would be president and give him a chance to lead with an open mind.

President Obama, speaking in Washington, also said that he would work to ensure a smooth transition to a Trump administration and that, despite their differences, we are “all rooting for his success.”

Speaker Paul D. Ryan proclaimed that Mr. Trump had achieved a political feat and earned a mandate by reaching new voters. Mr. Ryan said that he was certain that they would work well together on a conservative policy agenda.

Global markets swooned overnight but stabilized by midday on the East Coast. News of Mr. Trump’s election was met with a mix of shock, uncertainty and some congratulations around the world.

Clinton calls her loss ‘painful,’ but urges unity.

Read more »

___
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U.S. Election 2016: Trump Triumphs

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump greets supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, November 9, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS)

The Associated Press

Trump claims astounding victory as America’s 45th president

Updated: November 9th, 2016

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump claimed his place Wednesday as America’s 45th president, an astonishing victory for the celebrity businessman and political novice who capitalized on voters’ economic anxieties, took advantage of racial tensions and overcame a string of sexual assault allegations on his way to the White House.

His triumph over Hillary Clinton, not declared until well after midnight, will end eight years of Democratic dominance of the White House and threatens to undo major achievements of President Barack Obama. Trump has pledged to act quickly to repeal Obama’s landmark health care law, revoke America’s nuclear agreement with Iran and rewrite important trade deals with other countries, particularly Mexico and Canada.

As he claimed victory, Trump urged Americans to “come together as one united people” after a deeply divisive campaign.


Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump react as they watch the election results during Trump’s election night rally, in New York, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP photo)

He said he had spoken by phone with Clinton and they had exchanged congratulations on a hard-fought race. Trump, who spent much of the campaign urging his supporters on as they chanted “lock her up,” said the nation owed her “a major debt of gratitude” for her years of public service.

The Republican blasted through Democrats’ longstanding firewall, carrying Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that hadn’t voted for a GOP presidential candidate since the 1980s. He needed to win nearly all of the competitive battleground states, and he did just that, claiming Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and others.

Global stock markets and U.S. stock futures plunged, reflecting investor concern over what a Trump presidency might mean for the economy and trade.

A New York real estate developer who lives in a sparking Manhattan high-rise, Trump forged a striking connection with white, working class Americans who feel left behind in a changing economy and diversifying country. He cast immigration, both from Latin America and the Middle East, as the root of the problems plaguing many Americans and taped into fears of terrorism emanating at home and abroad.

Trump will take office with Congress expected to be fully under Republican control. GOP Senate candidates fended off Democratic challengers in key states and appeared poised to keep the majority. Republicans also maintained their grip on the House.

Senate control means Trump will have great leeway in appointing Supreme Court justices, which could mean a shift to the right that would last for decades.

Trump upended years of political convention on his way to the White House, leveling harshly personal insults on his rivals, deeming Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, and vowing to temporarily suspend Muslim immigration to the U.S. He never released his tax returns, breaking with decades of campaign tradition, and eschewed the kind of robust data and field efforts that helped Obama win two terms in the White House, relying instead on his large, free-wheeling rallies to energize supporters. His campaign was frequently in chaos, and he cycled through three campaign managers this year.

His final campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, touted the team’s accomplishments as the final results rolled in, writing on Twitter that “rally crowds matter” and “we expanded the map.”

Clinton spent months warning voters that Trump was unfit and unqualified to be president. But the former senator and secretary of state struggled to articulate a clear rationale for her own candidacy.

The mood at Clinton’s party grew bleak as the night wore out, with some supporters leaving, others crying and hugging each other. Top campaign aides stopped returning calls and texts, as Clinton and her family hunkered down in a luxury hotel watching the returns.

At 2 a.m., Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta told the crowd to head home for the night. “We’re still counting votes and every vote should count,” he said. But she later conceded.

Trump will inherit an anxious nation, deeply divided by economic and educational opportunities, race and culture.

Exit polls underscored the fractures: Women nationwide supported Clinton by a double-digit margin, while men were significantly more likely to back Trump. More than half of white voters backed the Republican, while nearly 9 in 10 blacks and two-thirds of Hispanics voted for the Democrat.

Doug Ratliff, a 67-year-old businessman from Richlands, Virginia, said Trump’s election was one of the happiest days of his life.

“This county has had no hope,” said Ratliff, who owns strip malls in an area badly beaten by the collapse of the coal industry. “Things will change. I know he’s not going to be perfect. But he’s got a heart. And he gives people hope.”

Trump has pledged to usher in a series of sweeping changes to U.S. domestic and foreign policy: repealing Obama’s signature health care law, though he has been vague on what he could replace it with; building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and suspending immigration from countries with terrorism ties. He’s also praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and spoken of building a better relationship with Moscow, worrying some in his own party who fear he’ll go easy on Putin’s provocations.

The Republican Party’s tortured relationship with its nominee was evident right up to the end. Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush declined to back Trump, instead selecting “none of the above” when they voted for president, according to spokesman Freddy Ford.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a reluctant Trump supporter, called the businessman earlier in the evening to congratulate him, according to a Ryan spokeswoman.

Democrats, as well as some Republicans, expected Trump’s unconventional candidacy would damage down-ballot races and even flip some reliably red states in the presidential race. But Trump held on to Republican territory, including in Georgia and Utah, where Clinton’s campaign confidently invested resources.

Clinton asked voters to keep the White House in her party’s hands for a third straight term. She cast herself as heir to President Obama’s legacy and pledged to make good on his unfinished agenda, including passing immigration legislation, tightening restrictions on guns and tweaking his health care law.

But she struggled throughout the race with persistent questions about her honesty and trustworthiness. Those troubles flared anew late in the race, when FBI Director James Comey announced a review of new emails from her tenure at the State Department. On Sunday, just two days before Election Day, Comey said there was nothing in the material to warrant criminal charges against Clinton.

___
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Clinton Hoping to Crack ‘Glass Ceiling’

Hillary Clinton. (Photo: MSNBC)

VOA News

November 06, 2016

Hillary Clinton Hoping to Crack the Ultimate ‘Glass Ceiling’ of Female President

Eight years ago, Hillary Clinton came agonizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination, garnering 18 million votes before losing to freshman Senator Barack Obama.

At her concession speech, Clinton cited her lifelong struggle to overcome barriers to women: “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it … and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”

This time, Clinton has secured the nomination and is hoping to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling and become president of the United States. But just days before the election, Clinton had failed to hold on to the respectable lead she once had in the polls.

National numbers released by ABC/Washington Post a week before the election put Clinton’s lead nationally at just 1 point — down from a 12-point lead the previous week. Other polls also showed a similar loss of advantage, bringing into question whether she will be able to shatter the glass ceiling she has aimed at for so long.

If she wins [on Tuesday], she will go from first lady to U.S. senator from New York, to U.S. secretary of state, to “Madam President.”

Watch Clinton leads nationally by four points: poll (MSNBC)

Opinion polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. She is one of the most famous people in the world. Those who know her personally say she is warm and has a great sense of humor in private. Yet, she is guarded about revealing too much of her personality in public.

Some perceive Clinton as untrustworthy; she has been investigated numerous times, most recently for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state in the Obama administration’s first term.

Cracks in the glass ceiling

Born in a middle-class Chicago suburb in 1947, Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote of a happy childhood in her 2003 autobiography. The daughter of a staunch Republican father, she says she got into politics because of her Democratic mother.

Her own mother, Dorothy Rodham, however, had a very different childhood.


U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton takes the stage at a campaign rally at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, Nov. 2, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

As Clinton has recounted in campaign ads, “She was abandoned by her parents at the age of 8, sent from Chicago to [Los Angeles] to live with grandparents who did not want her. But people showed her kindness, gave her a chance. Like the teacher who saw my mother had no money for food and started bringing her extra from home, whispering, ‘You know, Dorothy, I just brought too much food today.’ ”

As a teenager, Clinton became a young Republican. She attended Wellesley College and grew more active in politics, delivering the women’s school’s commencement speech in 1969.

She went on to Yale Law School, where she completed her transformation from Republican to a progressive Democrat, and met her future husband, Bill Clinton, in the library. She and Bill Clinton married in 1975, and she followed him back to his home state of Arkansas, where he was elected governor in 1978.

‘Smarter’ than Bill

The Clintons’ daughter, Chelsea, was born in Arkansas. And it was there that political journalist Ron Fournier first covered the Clintons. He had plenty of access to both of them in Little Rock and, later, at the White House.

Fournier said he thinks Hillary Clinton is even smarter and funnier than former President Bill Clinton. If he could pick one to have a drink with, it would be Hillary Clinton.

“Bill Clinton’s very good about relating a joke, telling a joke, but she’s really good about being funny in the moment. Self-deprecating humor, that laugh that drives a lot of people crazy, I actually find personally very engaging because it is very authentic, earthy. It’s very contagious in person,” Fournier said.


Vice President Joe Biden, right, swears in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department in Washington, accompanied by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea. (AP Photo)

Bob Weiner, former White House spokesman in the Clinton administration, told VOA that Hillary Clinton is smarter at understanding a problem and coming up with a solution than either her husband or President Barack Obama.

Weiner also said Clinton is aware she lacks something they both have: “She knows that she doesn’t have the charisma, and she does not have the charisma, but she’s got the smarts and the governing power, which is enormous.”

Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, joking that he offered “two presidents for the price of one.” Bucking traditional expectations, Hillary Clinton remained active politically as first lady, fighting hard but failing to push through universal health care coverage.

Sex scandals

In the White House, persistent stories of Bill Clinton’s infidelities caught up with him, and lying about the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal got him impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. He was acquitted by the Senate.

The months after the scandal were a painful time, close Clinton associate Weiner told VOA, but the marriage survived. The couple “try to deal with their marital failures privately, but they’ve gotten through them,” Weiner said. “That’s – I’ve been there, and I’ve seen them, and they love each other.”


In this July 14, 2016 photo Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks at a rally at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va. Clinton chose Kaine to be her running mate. (AP Photo)

But the public humiliation took a toll on Hillary Clinton, according to Fournier: “She’s changed because a lot of the stuff that’s come her way. She built up a lot of scar tissue because of the attacks that have come her way. Some of them are totally unfair.”

Watch: Hillary Clinton Hopes to Make More History as Female President

Fighting back

Hillary Clinton fought her way back, forging her own separate political career. New Yorkers elected her to the U.S. Senate in 2000, and she was re-elected in 2006. In 2008, Obama chose her as secretary of state.

She subsequently visited 112 countries, highlighting women’s rights and the power of diplomacy, dubbed “soft power.”

Both of the president and Michelle Obama are strong supporters of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. During her speech at the Democratic National Convention this past summer, first lady Michelle Obama praised Hillary Clinton’s record and character.

“And look, there were plenty of moments when Hillary could have decided that this work was too hard, that the price of public service was too high, that she was tired of being picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs,” Michelle Obama said. “But here’s the thing. What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.”

Hillary Clinton may need that toughness, as she finds herself, along with her running mate Senator Tim Kaine, in the political fight of her life, running against celebrity businessman Donald Trump. Like Clinton, he is a world famous, but polarizing figure.

Polls show the two are locked in a tight race. Hillary Clinton’s life story suggests she will fight as hard as she can all the way to Election Day on November 8.


Related:
In Photos: Hillary Clinton through the years

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In Pictures: Exhibition Spotlights Girl Runners in Bekoji, Ethiopia

A multimedia exhibition called "Bekoji" was presented by VSCO New York on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016. (Photo: Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, November 4th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — In the highland town of Bekoji, Ethiopia — where some of the country’s best known long-distance athletes and Olympic medalists come from — running is also a matter of survival especially for young girls who face a high prevalence of school interruption due to expected labor to help their rural families make a livelihood. This was the subject of a multimedia experiential storytelling exhibition at VSCO’s New York space in Manhattan on Thursday evening that included a photo journal, movie screening and a panel discussion moderated by writer, runner, and coach Knox Robinson and featuring a Q&A session on Bekoji with Kayla Nolan, Executive Director of Girls Gotta Run Foundation, the only charity operating in Ethiopia that provides academic and athletic scholarships for young women in the country.

Below are photos from the event:

In addition to the studio installation, which was curated by Robinson, a film by Joel Wolpert and a photography essay by Kent Andreasen was shown in large scale format “to consider the life of young women using the inspiration of world class running to escape the cycle of poverty in rural Ethiopia. The work explores running as a source of personal creativity for the young women; as a flashpoint for designing and realizing a self-empowered future — and as an avenue for reaffirming their human rights and redefining gender roles in the process.”


Related:
In Sodo & Bekoji, New GGRF Athletic Scholarship Keeps Girls in School

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2017 Design Week Addis Ababa Announces Open Call

(Photo: Design Week Addis/Instagram)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Since it was founded 130 years ago by Emperor Menelik II Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has endured many trials and tribulations in the country’s turbulent history while the city itself has gone through its own transformations over time to become the “diplomatic capital of Africa” and host the headquarters of the African Union (AU), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and several other international organizations.

Today Addis is also quickly becoming home to the highly acclaimed annual design event in East Africa: Design Week Addis Ababa (DWAA), which takes place each year in mid-January.

For their upcoming 2017 DWAA exhibition (January 14-21, 2017) organizers announced this week that they have launched “a one month Open Call for interested participants and programming partners” covering various fields including architecture, urban planning, industrial design, interiors, visual communication, food & gastronomy, art, multimedia, technology and fashion.

In September the London Design Festival presented Design Week Addis Ababa as a part of the British Council Arts’ Design Connections initiative. And last month two Ethiopia-inspired furniture by Jomo Design Furniture and Actuel Urban Living were selected as part of winning “design concepts” from Design Week Addis and featured at the 2016 international Dubai Design Week festival in October.


Design Week Addis featured during the 2016 international Dubai Design Week festival in October. (Courtesy photo)

“This multidisciplinary festival covers themes in alignment with UNESCO’s Creative Cities Initiative,” the media release said. “The Design Week Addis Ababa festival aims to further the creative industries in Ethiopia and foster the economic potential of designers, creators, and innovators by showcasing their projects and products directly to the end users and commercial partners.

Through the open call participants can propose an “exhibition, open gallery, studio, or workshop, product launch, pop-up shop or installation, competition, informative workshop, talk, or lecture, film screening, fashion show, concert or live performance, cooking demonstration, food/ beverage tasting, social event, or something totally different.”


You can learn more about the open call for the 2017 Design Week Addis Ababa at www.designweekaa.org

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Twitter Reacts Skeptically to Ethiopia Cabinet Reshuffle

Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs, is among those leaving their post. (Photo: Russell Watkins)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Twitter is reacting skeptically to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s announcement of a reshuffled cabinet in Ethiopia today, which apparently is designed to appease a growing and popular uprising calling for land and political reforms as well as an end to corruption at the highest levels of government. According to media reports “among top party officials leaving the government are Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Redman Hussein, Minister of Youth and Sports, and Getachew Reda, Minister of Government Communications.”

On social media people are already expressing their views:

“The question would remain to be can the new cabinet make a new #Ethiopia we want without having a parliament to represent us?,” Zone9 blogger BefeQadu Z. Hailu asked via Twitter.

Zone9 Blogger NYU Research Scholar Zelalem Kibret added: :Ethiopia’s ruling party will make its 4th major Cabinet reshuffle in six years time. That means one new cabinet for every one and half year.”

While BBC News Field Producer Hewete Haileselassie noted: “#Ethiopia cabinet – departure of @DrTedros was expected, as he is a candidate to head @WHO.’

“And #Ethiopia government needs to stop issuing regressive decrees and start negotiations with opposition if they want to avoid tragedies,” tweeted Herman J. Cohen, Former Ambassador, U.S. Asst. Secretary of State for African Affairs. Author, The Mind of the African Strongman.

Per VOA News “the appointees include a new minister of foreign affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu, who replaces Tedros Adhanom, a former health minister who has been one of Ethiopia’s most recognizable public figures in recent years. Adhanom is currently a candidate vying to be the next World Health Organization’s chief. Communications Minister and government spokesman Getachew Reda was ousted and replaced by Negeri Lencho, the head of the journalism and communications college at Addis Ababa University.”


Related:
Ethiopia: 21 New Ministers Appointed Amid State of Emergency (VOA)
In Ethiopia, Cabinet Reshuffle Amid Tensions (All Africa)

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HRW: Legal Analysis of Ethiopia’s State of Emergency

A woman cries during a prayer and candle ceremony for those who died in the town of Bishoftu during Ireecha, Addis Ababa, October 9, 2016. (Photo: © REUTERS)

Human Rights Watch

OCTOBER 31, 2016

Ethiopia: State of Emergency Directive Codifies Vague, Overbroad Restrictions

An Ethiopian government directive under a state of emergency contains overly broad and vague provisions that risk triggering a human rights crisis, Human Rights Watch said today in a legal analysis. The government should promptly repeal or revise all elements of the directive that are contrary to international law.

On October 9, 2016, the government announced a six-month state of emergency following the destruction of some government buildings and private property by demonstrators. Over the past year, security forces have killed hundreds of protesters and detained tens of thousands in two regions where there have been numerous protests over government policies.

“Ethiopia’s state of emergency bans nearly all speech that the government disagrees with anywhere in the country for at least six months,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The state of emergency hands the army new sweeping powers to crack down on demonstrators, further limiting the space for peaceful dissent.”

Under the new state of emergency, the army can be deployed country-wide for at least six months. The implementing directive prescribes draconian restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and assembly that go far beyond what is permissible under international law and signal an increased militarized response to the situation. The directive effectively codifies many of the security forces’ abusive tactics that Human Rights Watch has documented since the protests began.

The directive includes far-reaching restrictions on sharing information on social media, watching diaspora television stations, and closing businesses as a gesture of protest, as well as curtailing opposition parties’ ability to communicate with the media. It specifically bans writing or sharing material via any platform that “could create misunderstanding between people or unrest.”

It bans all protests without government permission and permits arrest without court order in “a place assigned by the command post until the end of the state of emergency.” It also permits “rehabilitation” – a euphemism for short-term detention often involving physical punishment. Many of these restrictions are country-wide and not limited to the two of Ethiopia’s nine regions where most of the unrest took place.

Under international law, during a state of emergency a government may only suspend certain rights to the extent permitted by the “exigencies of the situation.” Many of the measures, including the restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and association go far beyond what is permitted under international law.

The government reports that since the state of emergency began, 1,600 people have been arrested, including about 50 for closing their businesses. Human Rights Watch also has received unconfirmed reports of unlawful killings, mass arrests, and looting of houses and businesses by the security forces. There have been some armed clashes between security forces and unidentified groups. Mobile phone access to the internet has been blocked since October 5. Addis Standard, a monthly English language magazine and one of the few independent publications left in Ethiopia, announced on October 25 that it was halting publication of its print edition due to state-of-emergency restrictions.

Large-scale, and mainly peaceful anti-government protests have been sweeping through Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, since November 2015, and the Amhara region since July 2016. Ethiopian security forces have killed more than 500 people during protests over the last year. These protests occurred in a context of the near-total closure of political space.

Protesters have voiced a variety of concerns, including issues related to development, the lack of political space, the brutality of the security forces, and domination of economic and political affairs by people affiliated with the ruling party. The emergency measures send a strong and chilling message that rather than dealing with expressed grievances and ensuring accountability for violence by both government forces and protesters, the government will continue and probably escalate the militarized response.

On October 2, in Bishoftu, a town 40 kilometers southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa, tensions ignited at the annual Irreecha festival – an important Oromo cultural event that draws millions of people each year. Security forces confronted huge crowds with tear gas and fired shots and scores of people then died during a stampede. Since then, alleged demonstrators have damaged a number of government buildings and private businesses perceived to be close to the ruling party, setting some on fire.

The government has in part blamed human rights groups seeking to document violations of international law for the recent unrest. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called for an independent and credible investigation into the security force response to the protests and to the deaths in Bishoftu.

“Many of the abuses committed by security forces since November 2015 have now been codified under the state of emergency,” Horne said. “Trying to use the legal cover of a state of emergency as a pretext for the widespread suspension of rights not only violates the government’s international legal obligations, but will exacerbate tensions and long-term grievances, and risks plunging Ethiopia into a greater crisis.”

—-
Related:
Legal Analysis of Ethiopia’s State of Emergency (HRW)

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Tadias in Conversation with Marcus Samuelsson & DC Book Signing Pictures

Marcus Samuelsson at a book signing event at SEI restaurant in Washington, D.C. hosted by Tadias Magazine on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016. (Photo by Matt Andrea)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, October 28th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — As part of the Tadias Salon Series Tadias Magazine hosted Marcus Samuelsson at SEI in DC on Wednesday, October 26th for a book signing and afterparty celebrating the release of his latest publication entitled The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem.

Below are photos from the event:

“When chef Marcus Samuelsson opened Red Rooster on Harlem’s Lenox Avenue, he envisioned so much more than just a restaurant. He wanted to create a gathering place at the heart of his adopted neighborhood, where both the uptown and downtown sets could see and be seen, mingle and meet – and so he did, in a big way. Ever since the 1930s, Harlem has been a magnet for more than a million African Americans, a melting pot for Spanish, African, and Caribbean immigrants, and a mecca for artists. Named after a historic neighborhood speakeasy, the modern Rooster reflects all of that, from the local art showcased on its walls, to the live music blaring from its performance spaces, to the cross-cultural food on its patrons’ plates and the evocative cocktails in their hands. THE RED ROOSTER COOKBOOK is as lush and layered as its inheritance. Traditions converge in these pages, with dishes like Brown Butter Biscuits, Chicken and Waffles, Jerk Bacon and Baked Beans, Latino Pork and Plantains, Chinese Steamed Bass and Fiery Noodles, Ethiopian Spice-Crusted Lamb, and Rum Cake. Lyrical essays and intimate interviews – including a foreword by New Yorker critic Hilton Als and conversations with unsung neighborhood heroes – convey the flavor of the place. Stunning archival and contemporary photos document Harlem’s past, present, and future.”


Related:
Marcus Samuelsson Releases “The Red Rooster Cookbook” with National Tour

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Alegntaye: Ethiopian Hip-Hop Artist Teddy Yo in New Africology Video

Ethiopian Hip hop musician Teddy Yo. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, October 27th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) – NYC-based music & entertainment company Africology recently released their first music video production entitled “Alegntaye” featuring popular Ethiopian hip-hop artist Teddy Yo and Joe Lox.

This year Africology artists have also been nominated in four categories at the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) in Nigeria. Voting for the nominees closes at the end of this month. Africology’s nominations for 2016 AFRIMA include:

1. Best African Group / Duo or Band – Jano Band – “Darigne”
Link to share to public – http://afrima.org/index.php/voting/continental-categories-2016/continental-categories/best-african-group-duoban

2. Best African Group / Duo or Band [Rock} – Jano Band – “Darigne”
Link to share to public – http://afrima.org/index.php/voting/continental-categories-2016/continental-categories/best-african-rock

3. Most Promising Artist – Anteneh Minalu – “Wayo”
Link to share to public – http://afrima.org/index.php/voting/continental-categories-2016/continental-categories/most-promising-artiste-in

4. BEST AFRICAN ARTISTE /GROUP / DUO / BAND (in African Reggae, Ragga, Dancehall) – Anteneh Minalu – “Wayo”
Link to share to public – http://afrima.org/index.php/voting/continental-categories-2016/continental-categories/best-african-reggae-ragga


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DC Book Signing & Afterparty w/ Marcus Samuelsson: The Red Rooster Cookbook

Marcus Samuelsson book signing & afterparty at SEI lounge in DC on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016. (Photo: Book cover)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, October 24th, 2016

Marcus in conversation with Tadias about The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food & Hustle in Harlem

New York (TADIAS) — Join Tadias Magazine & Marcus Samuelsson at SEI lounge in DC on Wednesday, October 26th for a book signing and afterparty celebrating the release of his latest publication entitled The Red Rooster Cookbook:The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem.

“When chef Marcus Samuelsson opened Red Rooster on Harlem’s Lenox Avenue, he envisioned so much more than just a restaurant. He wanted to create a gathering place at the heart of his adopted neighborhood, where both the uptown and downtown sets could see and be seen, mingle and meet – and so he did, in a big way. Ever since the 1930s, Harlem has been a magnet for more than a million African Americans, a melting pot for Spanish, African, and Caribbean immigrants, and a mecca for artists. Named after a historic neighborhood speakeasy, the modern Rooster reflects all of that, from the local art showcased on its walls, to the live music blaring from its performance spaces, to the cross-cultural food on its patrons’ plates and the evocative cocktails in their hands. THE RED ROOSTER COOKBOOK is as lush and layered as its inheritance. Traditions converge in these pages, with dishes like Brown Butter Biscuits, Chicken and Waffles, Jerk Bacon and Baked Beans, Latino Pork and Plantains, Chinese Steamed Bass and Fiery Noodles, Ethiopian Spice-Crusted Lamb, and Rum Cake. Lyrical essays and intimate interviews – including a foreword by New Yorker critic Hilton Als and conversations with unsung neighborhood heroes – convey the flavor of the place. Stunning archival and contemporary photos document Harlem’s past, present, and future.”


If You Go:
DATE AND TIME
Wed, October 26, 2016
9:00 PM – 11:30 PM EDT
LOCATION
SEI
444 7th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004
Please RSVP at the following link:
www.eventbrite.com/e/book-signing-afterparty-w-marcus-samuelsson-the-red-rooster-cookbook-tickets

Related:
Marcus Samuelsson Releases “The Red Rooster Cookbook” with National Tour

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Mahmoud Ahmed Brings Down the House at Carnegie Hall Debut Concert – Photos

Mahmoud Ahmed performing at Carnegie Hall in New York on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016. (Photo: Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Mahmoud Ahmed performed live at Carnegie Hall in New York City last night, becoming the first major artist from Ethiopia to give a solo concert at the world-famous venue.

The 75-year-old Ethiopian cultural icon, who is still one of Ethiopia’s most eminent musicians, played at Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage.

Below are photos from Mahmoud’s historic appearance at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016:

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Carnegie Hall Presents Mahmoud Ahmed

Mahmoud Ahmed will perform for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York on October 22nd, 2016. (Photo: Instagram)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Tonight Ethiopian music legend Mahmoud Ahmed takes center stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City in his first solo performance at the world-famous venue.

Carnegie Hall notes that the Ethiopian cultural icon, who turned 75-years-old this year, “was at the forefront of Ethiopian music’s golden era in the 1960s and 1970s and is still one of the country’s most eminent musicians. His body of work—including landmark recordings like Almaz, Alemye, Ere Mela Mela, and Tezeta re-released on éthiopiques series—have become an essential benchmark of Ethiopia’s musical history and cultural heritage, earning him the prestigious BBC World Music Award in 2007.”


Mahmoud Ahmed. (Photo: by Damian Rafferty)

Carnegie also described Mahmoud Ahmed’s sound as a “yielding some of the most adventurous, passionate, and often surreal sounds heard in free jazz today.” Mahmoud’s historic performance in October is presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s “Around the Globe” program.


Mahmoud Ahmed on the cover of the award-winning Ethiopiques series album. (Allmusic.com)


If You Go:
Carnegie Hall Presents Mahmoud Ahmed
Saturday, October 22, 2016 | 8 PM
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Tickets from $12 to $70
Seating Chart (PDF)
BUY TICKETS

Related:
Girma Beyene: Titan of Ethiojazz & Ethiopiques in a Rare NYC Concert

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Girma Beyene in a Rare NYC Concert

Girma Béyéné's concert at CUNY Graduate Center takes place on Oct. 24th, 2016. (Photo: Horizon Ethiopia)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Girma Beyene: Titan of Ethiojazz & Ethiopiques in a Rare NYC Concert

New York (TADIAS) — The legendary Ethiopian singer, songwriter and arranger Girma Beyene will perform live for the first time in New York City next Monday (October 24th) at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. The concert is part of CUNY’s “A Global Music Series” and the singer will be accompanied by the DC-based Feedel Band

Girma, who used to live in Washington, D.C. for several years beginning in the early 1980′s — long before the D.C. metro area became home to the largest Ethiopian population in America — was also in the U.S. capital last week where he gave a live show at Atlas Performing Arts Center. As The Washington Post pointed out “The great Ethiopian singer, lyricist and arranger first found himself in the District way back in 1981 during a tour in the Walias Band, one of Ethiopia’s most revered jazz troupes. Beyene liked the District enough to stay — but not for good. After many years in the area, he eventually returned to Addis Ababa. It was there, during the 1960s and ’70s, where Beyene had been a major player in one of the planet’s most electrifying music scenes.”

“Girma Beyene is one of the most influential Ethiopian musicians from the ‘Golden Age’ of the 1960′s and 1970′s, which combined African rhythms with American R&B, soul, funk, and big band jazz,” states the announcement from CUNY. “Beyene made a handful of recordings as a vocalist, but it was as an arranger, pianist, and composer that he made his mark.”


Mulatu Astatke & Girma Beyene. (Photo: Horizon Ethiopia)

His best known hit song Enken Yelelebish/Ene Negne By Manesh, which has been redone many times by subsequent generations of artists, including Jano Band in 2013, tops Girma Beyene’s classics that have been preserved in the Éthiopiques CD collection.

According to The Washington Post, “After co-founding the Alem-Girma Band alongside the great vocalist Alemayehu Eshete, Beyene became a highly esteemed arranger, generating more than 65 songs during what many consider to be the golden years of Swinging Addis. (Among those tunes: the deeply beloved and consummately funky “Muziqawi Silt,” popularized by Hailu Mergia, another giant of Ethiopian song who still lives in the Washington area.)”


If You Go:
CUNY Presents Girma Beyene
October 24, 2016: 7:00 PM
The Graduate Center/CUNY
Elebash Recital Hall
365 Fifth Ave. (at 34th St.)
New York, NY 10016
ADMISSION: $25, $20 Members (free to CUNY)
Click here to get Tickets

Video: Girma Beyene live in Paris with French band Akale Wube — 2015

Related:
Mahmoud Ahmed Makes Carnegie Hall Debut — Oct. 22

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Debate: Trump Not Sure He’ll Accept Vote Results, Hillary Calls Him Putin’s ‘Puppet’

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at their third and final presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP photo)

Associated Press

Trump won’t say he’ll accept election result

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Threatening a fundamental pillar of American democracy, Donald Trump refused to say Wednesday night that he will accept the results of next month’s election if he loses to Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee declared Trump’s resistance “horrifying.”

Trump has spent the days leading up to third and final presidential debate warning voters that the election will be “rigged.” Asked whether he would accept the outcome if Clinton emerges victorious, he said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.”

That contradicted pledges by his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, as well as his daughter, Ivanka.

Wednesday’s contest quickly shifted from a calm, policy-focused faceoff into a bitter and deeply personal confrontation. Trump repeatedly called Clinton a “nasty woman,” while the Democrat panned him as “unfit” to be commander in chief.

Clinton, who began the debate with a lead in nearly all battleground states, forcefully accused Trump of favoring Russia’s leader over American military and intelligence experts after the Republican nominee pointedly refused to accept the U.S. government’s assertion that Moscow has sought to meddle in the U.S. election.

She charged that Russian President Vladimir Putin was backing Trump because “he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”

Trump denied any relationship with Putin and said he would condemn any foreign interference in the election. But he notably declined to back the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia was involved in the hacking of Democratic organizations. The Clinton campaign has said the FBI also is investigating Russia’s involvement in the hacking of a top adviser’s emails.

Watch: Trump on Accepting Election Results: ‘I’ll Look at it at the Time’

Watch Clinton: Putin Would ‘Rather Have a Puppet as President’

The 90-minute contest in Las Vegas came just under three weeks before Election Day and with early voting underway in more than 30 states. Trump has struggled to expand his support beyond his most loyal backers and must reshape the race in its closing days if he hopes to defeat Clinton.

The candidates clashed repeatedly over their drastically different visions for the nation’s future. Trump backed Supreme Court justices who would overturn the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling, while Clinton vowed to appoint justices that would uphold the decision legalizing abortion, saying, “We have come too far to have that turned back now.”

The businessman entered the final debate facing a string of sexual assault accusations from women who came forward after he denied in the previous contest that he had kissed or groped women without their consent. That Trump denial followed the release of a video of in which he’s heard bragging about exactly that.

Trump denied the accusations anew Wednesday night, saying the women coming forward “either want fame or her campaign did it.”

Clinton said Trump “thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth.” She avoided answering a question about her husband’s infidelities.

Trump pressed Clinton on immigration, accusing her of wanting an “open borders” policy, a characterization she vigorously disputes. The Republican, who has called for building a wall the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, said that under a Clinton presidency, “People are going to pour into our country.”

Clashing on trade, Trump said Clinton had misrepresented her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, noting that she had originally called it the “gold standard” of trade agreements. Clinton shot back that once the deal was finished, it didn’t meet her standards. “I’ll be against it when I’m president,” she said.

On foreign policy, Clinton reasserted her opposition to sending a large-scale U.S. troop presence to the Middle East to defeat the Islamic State. She’s backed a no-fly zone in Syria, which would mark an expansion of the current U.S. strategy.

For Trump, the debate marked one of his final chances to reshape a race that appears to be slipping away from him. Clinton’s campaign is confidently expanding into traditionally Republican states, while Trump’s narrow electoral path is shrinking.

Clinton has struggled throughout the campaign to overcome persistent questions about her honesty and trustworthiness. In the campaign’s closing weeks, she’s begun appealing to Americans to overcome the deep divisions that have been exacerbated by the heated campaign, saying on stage Wednesday that she intended to be a president for those who vote for her and those who do not.

Clinton faced debate questions for the first time about revelations in her top adviser’s hacked emails that show her striking a different tone in private than in public regarding Wall Street banks and trade. She quickly turned the discussion to Russia’s potential role in stealing the emails.

Underscoring the deep discord between Trump and Clinton, the candidates did not shake hands at the beginning or end of the debate.


Related:

Obama Tells Trump: Stop ‘Whining’ and Trying to Discredit the Election


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To First Lady Michelle Obama, With Love

Four thank-you notes to Michelle Obama, who has spent the past eight years quietly and confidently changing the course of American history. (Photo: Collier Schorr/The New York Times Style Magazine)

The New York Times Magazine

By Gloria Steinem:

Michelle Obama came into my life in stages. I knew that, like her husband, she was a Harvard-educated lawyer, but that unlike him, she had grown up on the South Side of Chicago, with parents who had not gone to college. When Barack Obama was a summer associate at her Chicago law firm, they met because she was his mentor. After his successful campaign for the U.S. Senate, I noticed that she chose not to go to Washington. Instead, he commuted to their home and two daughters in Chicago where Michelle had a big job as head of community affairs for a hospital.

But she really entered my imagination once she became first lady, a tall, strong, elegant and seriously smart woman who happened to live in the White House. She managed to convey dignity and humor at the same time, to be a mother of two daughters and insist on regular family dinners, and to take on health issues and a national food industry addicted to unhealthy profits. She did this despite an undertow of bias in this country that subtly questioned everything she did. Was she too strong, physically and intellectually, to be a proper first lady?

After a decade under a public microscope, she has managed what no other first lady — and few people in any public position — have succeeded in doing: She has lived a public life without sacrificing her privacy and authenticity. She made her husband both more human and effective as a president by being his interpreter and defender, but also someone we knew was capable of being his critic. Eventually, she spoke up about the pain of the racist assumptions directed at her, but she waited until her husband could no longer be politically punished for her honesty. And she has always been the best kind of mother, which means insisting that fathers be equal parents. All of this she has done with honesty, humor and, most important, kindness.

Read more at NYTimes.com »

Watch: Michelle Obama Redefines First Lady Surrogate Role


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Azmara Asefa’s Fashion Collection Supports Women’s Refugee Commission

Azmara Asefa collection (photo: coutureinthesuburbs.com)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, October 16th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) – Earlier this year we featured a profile and interview with Azmara Asefa, an Ethiopian American architect turned fashion designer, whose impressive technology-inspired clothing and accessories (Spring/Summer 2016 collection) were featured last year at Phoenix Fashion Week. Dubbed as one of 13 best emerging designers in the United States Azmara has launched a kickstarter campaign for her next set of designs which she calls “the apocalypse ready collection” blending “form and function in a collection that empowers women to take on whatever the day throws at them.”

Azmara, who was born in Ohio to immigrant parents from Ethiopia, and worked as an architect in London, Ohio, Atlanta, and Los Angeles before embarking in her new venture as a fashion designer says, “We all know that feeling. Those times in your life when it seems like the odds are stacked against you. For women who are bravely taking on apocalyptic obstacles big or small, whether you’re pitching in a difficult client meeting, or dealing with a boss who is being a total zombie all while fighting the sub zero chill of office AC, or losing a job or a loved one and making it on your own, the Apocalypse Ready collection of clothing and accessories melds modern form and function so you feel empowered strong and confident enough to take on the day.”


Azmara Asefa showcased her futuristic designs at Phoenix Fashion Week in 2015. (Photo: AZ Tech Beat)

The kickstarter campaign notes that “as the daughter of an Ethiopian refugee, Azmara is inspired by world cultures, resilient people, and the generosity of the human spirit, which is why 10% of the brand’s future sales will go to the Women’s Refugee Commission.”

View the campaign video below and support her upcoming collection:


You can learn more about Azmara Asefa’s design work at www.azmaraasefa.com and about the campaign at kickstarter.com.

Related:
When Technology-Inspired Fashion Meets Architecture: Azmara Asefa’s Runway Collection

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Latest Poll Show Hillary Clinton Heavily Favored to Win U.S. Election

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a fundraiser in Seattle, Washington, October 14, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS)

Reuters

NEW YORK — After a brutal week for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton maintained a substantial projected advantage in the race to win the Electoral College and claim the U.S. presidency, according to the latest results from the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project released on Saturday.

If the election were held this week, the project estimates that Clinton’s odds of securing the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency at more than 95 percent, and by a margin of 118 Electoral College votes. It is the second week in a row that the project has estimated her odds so high.

The results mirror other Electoral College projections, some of which estimate Clinton’s chance of winning at around 90 percent.

For the Trump campaign there are a handful of states the Republican candidate must win if he is to cobble together enough states to win the White House.

Among them is Florida, but numerous recent visits to the Sunshine State by Trump and his vice-presidential running mate Mike Pence did little to dent Clinton’s advantage in the contest for the state’s 29 Electoral College votes. She leads by 6 percentage points, about the same lead she enjoyed last week.

Still, the race tightened in Ohio, another important state for Trump. Both Ohio and Nevada were leaning toward Clinton last week but are now toss-ups.

However, Clinton’s support grew in North Carolina and Colorado, both of which moved from toss-ups to leaning Clinton.

In the last week, the Trump campaign struggled to respond to allegations from several women that Trump had groped them or made unwanted sexual advances over several decades. Trump said the reports were lies and part of a media conspiracy to defeat him.

All of the allegations came after The Washington Post disclosed a video from 2005 of Trump describing how he tried to seduce a married woman and bragged in vulgar terms how his celebrity allowed him to kiss and grope women without permission.

The accusations overshadowed what might otherwise have been a difficult week for Clinton. Her campaign manager’s email account was apparently hacked and thousands of his emails were released by Wikileaks. U.S. officials say the Russian government sanctioned the electronic break-in.

The emails have been trickling out for two weeks. Included in the hacked emails were undisputed comments that Clinton made to banks and big business in a 2014 speech. In those comments, Clinton said she supports open trade and open borders, and takes a conciliatory approach to Wall Street, both positions she later backed away from.

Since that release, waves of other emails have been released, among which were some that suggested Clinton had inappropriately received questions in advance of a debate with Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries.

Without Trump’s own woes, the Clinton emails may well have become the central issue in the campaign. Yet with just over three weeks to go until the Nov. 8 election, Trump does not have much time to turn the race around.

According to the project, Trump trails by double-digits among women and all minority groups. Among black voters he trails by nearly 70 points. To a large extent his support is almost entirely dependent on white voters. And while Trump’s support among white men is strong, among white women his lead is negligible.


Related:
Donald Trump vs. a Free Press

Watch: Pres. Obama ties Donald Trump to Republicans (MSNBC)


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Tadias Media Featured at DevTalk Conference at the Newseum in DC

Lunch break during the Diasporas in Development conference at the Newseum in D.C. on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016. (Photo: Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, October 13th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Tadias Magazine was one of the featured presenters at the 2016 Diasporas in Development conference held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, October 12th.

The program, which was organized by U.S. State Department, George Washington University, the International Organization for Migration and hosted by USAID, highlighted “practitioners with unique approaches to international development who shared their stories and Diaspora experiences in short, dynamic presentations.”

According to the Diaspora Global Innovation Exchange the numbers of people living outside their country of origin today has almost tripled worldwide — from 76 million to 232 million over the past four and half decades.

The Tadias presentation focused on three areas of our work. As a new media organization Tadias seeks to amplify voices from the Ethiopian American and Diaspora community by featuring successful individuals and role models for current and future generations. Tadias is also a platform used to encourage wider civic participation and engagement, whether it’s connecting together local and national groups working on getting out the vote for national elections or sharing highlights of community-based organizations and non-profits. Last but not least, Tadias aims to build networks with other communities in America and Diaspora to address similar issues we may face as a community and collaborate together to create greater awareness of social issues.

The event’s opening keynote was delivered by Kingsley Aikins, CEO and Founder of Diaspora Matters, a Dublin-based consultancy company that advises countries, cities, regions, companies, and organizations on how to develop strategies to connect with their Diasporas. Other topics covered included “case studies in successful business building; Diaspora engagement for economic and commercial impact as well as information on how to partner with Diasporas in the Washington, D.C. metro area.



Tadias Magazine presentation poster at the Diasporas in Development conference held at Newseum in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016.

Here is a video that was part of our presentation that included clips of interviews with Ethiopian American national newsmakers as well as the Tadias Magazine roundtable discussion at National Press Club spotlighting issues related to Ethiopian migrants workers.


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Ethiopia: Music Icon Mahmoud Ahmed Makes Carnegie Hall Debut — Oct. 22

Mahmoud Ahmed will perform for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York on October 22nd, 2016. (Photo: YouTube)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Next week on Saturday, October 22nd Ethiopian music legend Mahmoud Ahmed takes center stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City in his first solo performance at the world-famous venue.

Carnegie Hall notes that the Ethiopian cultural icon, who turned 75-years-old this year, “was at the forefront of Ethiopian music’s golden era in the 1960s and 1970s and is still one of the country’s most eminent musicians. His body of work—including landmark recordings like Almaz, Alemye, Ere Mela Mela, and Tezeta re-released on éthiopiques series—have become an essential benchmark of Ethiopia’s musical history and cultural heritage, earning him the prestigious BBC World Music Award in 2007.”


Mahmoud Ahmed. (Photo: by Damian Rafferty)

Carnegie also described Mahmoud Ahmed’s sound as a “yielding some of the most adventurous, passionate, and often surreal sounds heard in free jazz today.” Mahmoud’s historic performance in October is presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s “Around the Globe” program.


Mahmoud Ahmed on the cover of the award-winning Ethiopiques series album. (Allmusic.com)


If You Go:
Carnegie Hall Presents Mahmoud Ahmed
Saturday, October 22, 2016 | 8 PM
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Tickets from $12 to $70
Seating Chart (PDF)
BUY TICKETS

Related:
Mahmoud Ahmed First Artist from Ethiopia to Perform at Carnegie Hall
Girma Beyene Brings Golden Age of Ethiopian Music to City University of NY

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GGRF 5K Run in Harlem Supports Athletic Scholarships for Girls in Ethiopia

Today, 11th October, marks International Day of the Girl. (Photo: Courtesy of Girls Gotta Run Foundation)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — This week as part of the International Day of the Girl celebration, Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) is hosting a 5K run in New York in collaboration with groups throughout NYC as well as a fundraising dinner event on Tuesday at Marcus Samuelsson’s Street Bird Restaurant in Harlem.

The Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization — which allows young and vulnerable rural girls to stay in school while pursuing their dreams of becoming athletes — was established nine years ago, and has been supporting running teams in Ethiopia. Last year the organization rolled out a new program model in Sodo and Bekoji, Ethiopia based on a three-year athletic scholarship that includes “school tuition, participation on a running team, leadership & mentoring skills, entrepreneurship and extracurricular programming around building life skills.”

The event on Tuesday is hosted by Harlem Run, Black Roses NYC and Street Bird Restaurant. “We would like to invite the NYC Ethiopian community and NYC-based Ethiopian runners to join us in this event in Harlem,” GGRF announced.


If You Go:
Meet: 7pm, Tuesday October 11th at Street Bird
(Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant on 116th and 8th in Harlem, NYC)

Related:
In Sodo & Bekoji, New GGRF Athletic Scholarship Keeps Girls in School

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Ethiopia Put Under State of Emergency

The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency effective immediately amid anti-government violence that resulted in deaths and property damage across the country. (AP photo)

NPR

October 9, 2016

Govt Declares 6-month State of Emergency, Shuts Down Internet

A week after a deadly stampede brought anti-government protests and violence to a fever pitch, Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency Sunday. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn says the declaration is necessary for the government to protect both property and citizens’ lives.

The stampede struck at a religious festival that also had qualities of a demonstration that was held last Sunday, Oct. 2, in the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa. That’s where many in a massive crowd that had gathered to celebrate the annual Irreecha thanksgiving festival chanted slogans and crossed their fists over their heads, an increasingly familiar gesture that protests oppression and calls for more rights for the people of Oromia.

Video recordings from that day show that the crowd had been pressing toward an open-air stage when security forces opened fire and deployed tear gas, triggering a panic. Many people initially ran to a nearby treeline for cover, only to become trapped in a deep and steep-sided trench. Others were hemmed in by a nearby lake.

“The government says 55 people were killed — some fell into nearby gullies and drowned,” NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports. “The opposition says many, many more people lost their lives.”

In months of protests in the region, human rights groups say, hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands arrested.

Read more »


Related:
Ethiopia imposes state of emergency as unrest intensifies (Washington Post)

Ethiopia on Edge: Govt Declares State of Emergency (AP)
In Ethiopia Protesters Attack Factories, Eco Lodge and Flower Farms
American Killed in Ethiopia Identified as UC Davis Researcher Sharon Gray
U.S. citizen killed, foreign factories attacked in Ethiopia
US Says Female American Citizen Killed in Ethiopia Amid Protest
After Ethiopia Irrecha Tragedy, Renewed Calls on U.S to Take Stronger Measure

Ethiopia Protests Continue Over Fatal Bishoftu Stampede at Irrecha Festival

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Protesters in Ethiopia Attack Factories, Eco Lodge and Flower Farms

Factories and flower farms in Alem Gena town (left) and the Bishangari Lodge, on Lake Langano was looted and torched this week. (Photos: Addis Fortune and Bishangari Lodge website)

VOA News

ADDIS ABABA — Protesters in Ethiopia damaged almost a dozen mostly foreign-owned factories and flower farms and destroyed scores of vehicles this week, adding economic casualties to a rising death toll in a wave of unrest over land grabs and rights.

The violence has cast a shadow over a nation where a state-led industrial drive has created one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, but where the government has also faced rising international criticism and popular opposition to its authoritarian approach to development.

The flare-up followed the death of at least 55 people in a stampede Sunday when police fired tear gas and shot into the air to disperse demonstrators in the Oromiya region near the capital.


Protesters run from tear gas being fired by police during Irreecha festival in Bishoftu Oct. 2, 2016. (Photo Reuters)


Between 55 and several hundred people were killed when security forces used tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition on crowds, triggering a stampede during the annual Irreechaa festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)


Protesters in Bishoftu, October 2, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

It raises to more than 450 the number of people rights groups and opponents say have been killed in unrest since 2015.

A U.S. researcher was killed Tuesday when her car was attacked by stone-throwers near Addis Ababa.

The government says the toll cited by critics is inflated.

Fana Broadcasting, which is seen as close to the state, reported on its website that 11 companies ranging from textile firms to a plastics maker to flower farms had been damaged or destroyed, while more than 60 vehicles had been torched.

Dutch firm FV SeleQt said its 300-hectare vegetable farm and warehouse had been plundered. Another Dutch firm, Africa Juice, said its factory had been badly damaged.

The manager of one of the Turkish companies, textile firm Saygin Dima, told Reuters this week at least a third of his factory was burned down.

Fana’s website showed images of burned-out trucks on the roadside, blaming the damage on “perpetrators of violence,” echoing the line taken by the government, which accuses local rebel groups and dissidents based abroad for stoking the unrest.


Protest at Irreechaa holiday festival in Bishoftu on October 2nd, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)


Irreechaa holiday festival in Bishoftu on October 2nd, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Struggling for work

People from Oromiya, a region at the heart of the state’s industrialization efforts, accuse the state of seizing their land and offering tiny compensation, before selling it on to companies, often foreign investors, at inflated prices.

They also say they struggle to find work, even when a new factory is sited on property they or their families once owned.

“I went to apply for a job at a steel factory that was built on my family’s land but I was turned away when they discovered I was the son of the previous land owner,” said Mulugeta, who asked for only his first name to be used to avoid any state reprisals.

“Most factories give priority to employees from other regions for fear local people would one day stage strikes,” he said, speaking by telephone from Oromiya, where he now drives a truck for another company.

In Ethiopia, once ruled by Marxists whose draconian policies drove the nation into a devastating 1984 famine, all land still belongs to the state and owners are only deemed leaseholders, even if they have been living or farming there for generations.

For the opposition and those turfed out of farm plots where they grow food for their families, it shows how the government that has ruled for a quarter of a century tramples on their rights.

“It is time for the government to change tack,” said Merera Gudina, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress. “People are demanding change, but the problem is the only language the government knows is the use of excessive force.”

The government says police have clashed with what it calls “armed gangs” intent on destabilizing the nation. A regional Oromo official accused protesters of hindering efforts to reverse generations of poverty in Oromiya.

Pressure has been mounting from abroad, too. U.S. President Barack Obama told his Ethiopian hosts in Addis Ababa last year that greater political openness would “strengthen rather than inhibit” the development agenda. The government said it differed over the pace of any reforms demanded by Washington.

“Economic development has outpaced political change,” said former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia and academic David Shinn.

Noting “phenomenal” economic gains, he said: “It is less clear, however, whether the Ethiopian peasant farmer, who still constitutes about 80 percent of the population, has benefited significantly.”

Feeling the heat

Foreign investors are feeling the heat from protesters, not because they are foreigners but because they are among the biggest purchasers of the new land leases from the state.

Ethiopia’s budding tourist industry is also taking a hit.


Photo: The Bishangari Lodge

The Bishangari Lodge, on Lake Langano about 200 km south of Addis Ababa, was looted and torched this week.

Resort owner Omar Bagersh said, even before the attack, he had had 90 percent cancellations in the past two or three months. “It is very difficult to convince a tourist to travel to a country that has this kind of situation,” he said.

Investors have been attracted by cheap electricity from Ethiopia’s huge new hydroelectric dams being built, cheap labor, improving transport and tax incentives offered by a financially stretched government hungry for foreign exchange.

New industries have been focused in Oromiya and the nearby Amhara regions, which surround Addis Ababa, a city that now boasts Sub-Saharan Africa’s only light rail metro system and a rapidly rising skyline.

Protests in Oromiya province initially erupted in 2014 over a development plan for the capital that would have expanded its boundaries, a move seen as threatening farmland.

Clashes with police flared in 2015 and this year, although the government has shelved the boundary plan.

Protesters have increasingly focused on broader political issues, accusing the government of stifling opposition. The government, which won a parliamentary election in 2015 in which the opposition failed to secure a single seat, denies this.


Related:
American Killed in Ethiopia Identified as UC Davis Researcher Sharon Gray
U.S. citizen killed, foreign factories attacked in Ethiopia
US Says Female American Citizen Killed in Ethiopia Amid Protest
After Ethiopia Irrecha Tragedy, Renewed Calls on U.S to Take Stronger Measure
Ethiopia Protests Continue Over Fatal Bishoftu Stampede at Irrecha Festival

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopian Culture Showcase at Maryland’s World of Montgomery Festival 2016

(Photo by Bill Bronrott. Courtesy of World of Montgomery Festival)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, October 6th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopians are one of largest immigrant populations in Montgomery county, Maryland and officials say that will be reflected at the upcoming 8th annual World of Montgomery Festival this month honoring the international local heritage. Montgomery County also has a sister-city relationship with Ethiopia’s historic city of Gonder.

“The World of Montgomery Festival celebrates the many cultures of the DC area with multicultural music, food, dance, exhibits and hands-on activities at Montgomery College in Rockville on Sunday, October 16th, 2016″ the media release stated. “The festival promotes cross-cultural understanding by highlighting the cultural diversity of the DC area through immersive activities and performances.”

A spokesperson for the festival, Elizabeth Gallauresi, told Tadias that the Ethiopia section of the family-friendly event will be arranged by the Ethiopian Community Center in Maryland (ECCM), and will include “children’s game, weaving and an exhibition of a live performance by “The Great Ethiopian Cultural Band,” Gallauresi said.

“Ethiopia will be featured in the International Village, during the parade, and on the performance stages” the press release adds. “The free activities at the festival are designed to promote tolerance and appreciation towards the many wonderful cultures that surround us every day. The intention is to help our youth become successful global citizens by instilling multi-cultural appreciation at a young age through fun, educational, hands-on experiences.”


If You Go:

The event address is 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, MD 20850. Learn more at www.worldofmontgomery.com

Admission is free. Free parking is available nearby. Free shuttles will run throughout the event from pick-up points from Silver Spring, Wheaton, and Upper County and shuttle schedules are available on the website.

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UC Davis Researcher Killed in Ethiopia Remembered Fondly

Sharon Gray, a UC Davis postdoctoral researcher was killed Tuesday in Ethiopia when the vehicle she was riding in was stoned by protesters, university official said. (Photo: The Sacramento Bee)

The Sacramento Bee

The UC Davis postdoctoral researcher who was killed in Ethiopia on Tuesday was described by as a “bright light” who was a hard worker with an appetite for travel, according to a woman identifying herself on Facebook as the victim’s sister.

UC Davis officials said Wednesday that Sharon Gray, 30, died while riding in a vehicle that was stoned by protesters in the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Gray, who worked in the university’s plant biology department, was in the East African nation to attend a meeting related to her research, according to the university.

“My sister was the most exceptional human being anyone of us has ever known. She touched every life she encountered in a positive and beautiful way,” wrote Ruth Gray Wilke in a Facebook post. She added that Gray enjoyed camping and traveling. “My sister took in as much of this world as she could,” she wrote in the Facebook post.

Watch: UC Davis researcher killed in Ethiopia remembered fondly


American Killed in Ethiopia Identified as UC Davis Researcher Sharon Gray

The Sacramento Bee

UC Davis officials said Wednesday that a postdoctoral researcher in the university’s plant biology department was killed Tuesday in Ethiopia when the vehicle she was riding in was stoned by protesters.

Sharon Gray was in the East African nation to attend a meeting related to her research, according to the university.

A UC Davis news release said the circumstances of Gray’s death were unclear. But Andy Fell, a university spokesman, confirmed that Gray was the American woman who was reported killed when stones were hurled at her vehicle on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Tuesday.

According to news reports, crowds have attacked other vehicles since a stampede at a weekend protest killed at least 55 people. The protests have centered on land and political rights in Ethiopia.

Another member of the plant biology department who was traveling with Gray was not injured and is headed home, officials said.

University officials said Gray, 31, was attending a meeting to discuss the next steps in a project she was involved in with the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and other charitable organizations.

She had been at UC Davis since 2013, Fell said. He said Gray’s husband is also a university employee.

The U.S. State Department is assisting in returning Gray’s body to her family.

Read more »


Related:
Amid Civil Unrest, Ethiopian Immigration to Israel Resume After 3-year Freeze
U.S. citizen killed, foreign factories attacked in Ethiopia
US Says Female American Citizen Killed in Ethiopia Amid Protest
After Ethiopia Irrecha Tragedy, Renewed Calls on U.S to Take Stronger Measure
Ethiopia Protests Continue Over Fatal Bishoftu Stampede at Irrecha Festival

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Marcus Samuelsson Releases “The Red Rooster Cookbook” with National Tour

‘The Red Rooster Cookbook’ by Marcus Samuelsson pays homage to modern Harlem. (Photo: Book cover)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Marcus Samuelsson is bringing The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem to a city near you in October and November including San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Austin.

“When the Obamas visited Red Rooster Harlem in 2011 for a fund-raising dinner, the chef Marcus Samuelsson served them braised short ribs, lobster salad and his cornbread with honey butter,” The New York Times points out in its review of Marcus’ latest book. “And to the crowds who gathered outside to see the nation’s first African-American president, he passed out coffee and doughnuts. He fed the president, and he fed the neighborhood.”

The Times adds: “Mr. Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, but he has made Harlem his home, and it’s clear in The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem that he has found magic there. The restaurant, which opened in 2010, was a meditation on modern Harlem, an embrace of its past and a vision for its future — vibrantly diverse, effortlessly cool. The book follows suit, absorbing the neighborhood’s multiple influences.”


The dish that Chef Marcus Samuelsson made for President Obama when he visited the restaurant Red Rooster Harlem. (Photo: The New York Times)


Save the date on October 26th for a Tadias book signing event and party with Marcus Samuelsson in Washington, D.C. (Details to be announced shortly).

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Zenebech Restaurant: Sale of Ethiopian-owned Buildings Leaves a Void in D.C.

Zenebech Dessu prepares injera at her Zenebech Restaurant in D.C.(The Washington Post)

The Washington Post

It’s Saturday evening and the wait for a table at Zenebech Restaurant is 45 minutes. A crowd forms outside on one of the restaurant’s last weekends in business here as a waiter jots down the names of hungry patrons on a pad of paper.

Every seat is filled, crammed with middle-aged Ethiopian men speaking Amharic and 20-somethings dressed to hit the Shaw neighborhood’s trendy bars after dinner.

The authentically folksy family-owned restaurant navigated the tide of rapidly gentrifying Shaw, keeping its longtime Ethio­pian customers while introducing the neighborhood’s new, deep-pocketed residents to Ethiopian cuisine. Zenebech Dessu and her husband purchased the building and opened the restaurant in 1998, back when storefronts stood vacant and the city hadn’t yet invested in reopening the crumbling Howard Theatre nearby.

“When the area changed, it’s been good for us,” said Zenebech Dessu, 64, the restaurant’s owner and namesake. “Most of my customers are American now.”

In a neighborhood filled with residents who can pay more than $2,000 a month in rent, Dessu’s family turned down offer after offer from interested developers over the years. But this year they decided to sell, and the restaurant, which is scouting out new locations, plans to close this month. It’s a loss for the tight-knit Ethio­pian community and the restaurant’s newer patrons who flock there for a $3.50 beer and a cheap sit-down meal.


Zenebech Restaurant, left, is a popular Ethiopian eatery in the District’s Shaw neighborhood. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Read more at The Washington Post »


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Ethiopia Protests Continue Over Fatal Bishoftu Stampede at Irrecha Festival

Several dozen people were killed and injured in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 after security forces fired at protesters at an Irrecha festival, witnesses say. (Photo: Reuters)

Reuters

UPDATED: OCTOBER 4, 2016

Protests broke out in some areas of Ethiopia’s Oromiya region, a day after dozens of people were killed in a stampede at a religious festival sparked by a bid by police to quell demonstrations, witnesses said.

Opposition politicians and government officials gave contrasting tolls of casualties that took place during the annual Irreecha festival in the town of Bishoftu, some 40km south of the capital Addis Ababa, where police fired teargas and shots in the air to disperse protesters.

The manager of the town’s government-operated referral hospital said the death toll had risen to 55, with 100 injured, from 52 dead on Sunday.

An opposition leader told Reuters the number of dead stood at around 150.


Photo: Reuters


(Photo: Reuters)

On Monday, witnesses said crowds took to the streets in Oromiya’s Ambo, Guder, Bule Hora and other towns in response to the deaths.

“Shots are still being fired. Everything remains shut – Ambo has been brought to a standstill,” said Mesfin, a university student who did not want to give his full name out of fear of reprisal.

Two other residents of the other towns said scuffles took place between demonstrators and police.
The region’s assistant police chief told journalists that “widespread disturbances” had taken place in several parts of the region.


Experts say that after 25 years of control over the country’s public life, the ruling party is facing its biggest political challenge yet. (Reuters)

“Roads have been blocked, while government offices and vehicles have been burnt down. Police are trying to put an end to all this,” said Sorri Dinka, deputy commissioner of the Oromiya Police Commission.

The Horn of Africa country has declared three days of national mourning, with flags flying at half mast throughout the country to pay tribute to the victims.

Sporadic protests have erupted in Oromiya over the last two years, initially triggered by a land row but increasingly turning more broadly against the government.

Merera Gudina, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said Sunday’s death toll had climbed to 150 people and that some of the victims were shot dead by police, contrary to official claims.


Ethiopia: Deadly Stampede at Protest During Irrecha Festival in Bishoftu (AP)


Raw Video — Dozens Dead During Stampede in Ethiopia (AP)

The Associated Press

By Elias Meseret 

BISHOFTU, Ethiopia — Dozens of people were crushed to death Sunday in a stampede after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse an anti-government protest that grew out of a massive religious festival, witnesses said. The Oromia regional government confirmed the death toll at 52.

“I almost died in that place today,” said one shaken protester who gave his name only as Elias. Mud-covered and shoeless, he said he had been dragged out of a deep ditch that many people fell into as they tried to flee.

The first to fall in had suffocated, he said.

“Many people have managed to get out alive, but I’m sure many more others were down there,” he said. “It is really shocking.”

The stampede occurred in one of the East African country’s most politically sensitive regions, Oromia, which has seen months of sometimes deadly demonstrations demanding wider freedoms.

An estimated 2 million people were attending the annual Irrecha thanksgiving festival in the town of Bishoftu, southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa, when people began chanting slogans against the government, according to witnesses.

The chanting crowds pressed toward a stage where religious leaders were speaking, the witnesses said, and some threw rocks and plastic bottles.

Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, and people tried to flee. Some were crushed in nearby ditches, witnesses said.

In its statement, the Oromia regional government blamed “evil acts masterminded by forces who are irresponsible,” and it denied that the deaths were caused by any actions by security forces.

Mulatu Gemechu of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress told The Associated Press that his sources at hospitals said at least 52 people were dead as of Sunday evening, but he thought the figure would rise.

The protesters were peaceful and did not carry anything to harm police, he said.

Before the stampede, an AP reporter saw small groups of people walking in the crowd and holding up their crossed wrists in a popular gesture of protest.

The reporter also saw police firing tear gas and, later, several injured people.

Read more »


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Wayna Releases New Music Video ‘Amazing’ Filmed in Ethiopia

a still from Wayna's new music video in Addis Ababa (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — “I wanted to capture a day in the life of a young person thriving in Addis — where they might live or go to unwind, or how they might fall in love,” says Wayna regarding her latest music video entitled Amazing, which was filmed in Ethiopia’s capital earlier this year and released online last week.

The Ethiopian-born Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter who is based in Washington DC says: “We often see love stories told in the context of cities like New York or Paris; this is a testament to the beauty of Addis Ababa, which has its own unique personality.”


Wayna in Addis Ababa. (Courtesy photo)

Wayna shot the video while residing for three months and performing in Ethiopia this past year, with the song Amazing featuring the theme of new love in the streets of Addis Ababa. According to announcement “the reggae and hip hop-infused song is produced by DC-based beatmaker SlimKat78 and mixed by multi-Grammy award winning engineer Russell Elevado (D’Angelo, Angelique Kidjo).”

Wayna first worked as a writer in the Clinton White House before leaving to pursue music, and has since released three albums including Higher Ground that was nominated for the 2009 Grammy Awards in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance Category. In addition, the Ethiopian American R&B singer has performed at various prestigious venues “across the US and abroad including shows at the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Essence Fest, the White House, the Blue Note and Blues Alley,” states the artist’s website. “In 2015, she joined the iconic Stevie Wonder as a supporting vocalist and soloist in his live band, touring extensively with the Songs In the Key of Life Tour and in various performances throughout the US and Canada.”

Wayna’s music video Amazing was shot in Ethiopia by director Elias Wondemu (Mehari Brothers, Fikreaddis Nekatibeb).

Watch: “Amazing” by Wayna — Music Video ‘Amazing’ Filmed in Ethiopia


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Elias Siraj, Ethiopian American Doctor, to Lead EVMS’ Diabetes Program

Dr. Elias Siraj, a native of Ethiopia, is the new head of the diabetes program at Eastern Virginia Medical School. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, September 30th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — A nationally known diabetes and heart disease expert, Ethiopian American physician Dr. Elias Siraj, has been appointed by the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) to lead the university’s diabetes program.

“Elias Siraj, MD, brings an international perspective and a special interest in improving outcomes for patients who have both cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” EVMS announced. “Dr. Siraj comes to EVMS from Temple University in Philadelphia where he directed that school’s diabetes program and headed the endocrinology fellowship training program, among other responsibilities. A native of Ethiopia, he was previously on the endocrinology faculty at the Cleveland Clinic.”

The university said it had assistance from the commonwealth of Virginia in hiring Dr. Elias. “The school received the 2015 State Eminent Research Scholar Award, a highly competitive grant to assist in the year-long national search and recruitment process,” EVMS said in a press release. “In his capacity as Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorders at EVMS, he will oversee the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center. He also will lead the research programs at the EVMS Sentara Cardiovascular Diabetes Center, which helps coordinate long-term care of patients with diabetes and heart problems.”

Dr. Elias said he is excited about his new role. “I hope to elevate the stature and capability of the Division of Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders by growing our patient-care capabilities, enhancing our teaching programs and expanding our research activities,” he said.

In addition to his professional work Dr. Elias, who graduated from Ethiopia’s Gondar College of Medical Sciences in 1988, is one the founding members of the Gondar University’s Alumni Steering Committee in the United States as well as an active member of the Ethiopian Diaspora medical professionals association P2P.

According to EVMS, “Dr. Siraj received his medical degree with Great Distinction and a Gold Medal from Gondar College of Medical Sciences in Ethiopia before earning his Dr. Med. Magna Cum Laude from the University of Leipzig in Germany. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Leipzig and at the Cleveland Clinic and then did an endocrinology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Siraj is fluent in several languages.”

“Dr. Siraj is an outstanding academic physician,” Dr. Richard Homan, EVMS President and Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine said in a statement. “Dr. Siraj is a good fit for the EVMS role.” Dr. Homan added. “He has extensive experience in patient care, education and clinical research. His background has afforded him invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities he will face in his new role. His recruitment – in combination with the recent assessment of our diabetes experts as among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report – once again demonstrates the school’s commitment to make a difference in the lives of people with diabetes.”

The press release stated: “Dr. Siraj is involved in research and trials involving diabetes, complications of diabetes, prevention of type 1 diabetes and post-transplant diabetes as well other areas of endocrinology. He wants to attract new grants for clinical research and to collaborate with Virginia biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical companies to develop new and safer diabetes treatments. Dr. Siraj understands the critical impact that medical care can have on a community. For two decades, he has traveled regularly to his native Ethiopia, where he helped establish that nation’s first endocrinology fellowship training program. He has served in various leadership roles with People to People, a U.S.-based non-governmental organization established by Ethiopian Physicians to Support Ethiopian Healthcare and Medical Education.”

Dr. Elias received the Outstanding Service Award for the Promotion of Endocrine Health of an Underserved Population from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology in 2014, and has also served as President of the Philadelphia Endocrine Society as well as being a former member of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Endocrinology Subspecialty Board. The press release notes that: Dr Elias is also “on the editorial board or a reviewer for more than a dozen professional journals. He is well published in a variety of medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, and he has contributed chapters to medical text books.”


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Meet Markos Lemma, CEO of Iceaddis

Markos Lemma, Co-founder of iceaddis. (Photo by Abenezer Zenebe)

Tadias Magazine

By Feven Jembere

Published: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Markos Lemma, CEO of Iceaddis, Runs Ethiopia’s First Startup Incubator

Ethiopia (TADIAS) — A graduate of Australia’s RMIT University where he studied computer science, Markos Lemma, who is the co-founder of iceaddis — Ethiopia’s First Startup Incubator — is one of the leading tech entrepreneurs in Addis Ababa participating in the recent growth of smartphone and internet users as well as technology oriented startups in Ethiopia.

Markos describes himself as “a cofounder, slash-consultant, slash blogger, slash speaker,” attesting to being part of what the renown actor Idris Elba calls the “slash culture.”

Since its inception in 2013, iceaddis has incubated 19 local startups, including Karta, Mekina, 50Lomi and Besew, and has gained high traction in Ethiopia housing 15 entrepreneurs working on startups and winning international competitions in Kenya, Rwanda, Germany, Finland and Switzerland.

Markos shares that he launched his venture so that he can assist young people like himself with dreams of building a tech-related business in Ethiopia. “The driving force of innovation is the country’s educated youth,” Markos says, noting that there was few if any such support for youth of like-minded passion. He adds that he wanted to create a “home for grass-root innovation and to be a one-stop shop for tech startups to get open-space, support and networking opportunities to start their own venture and grow.”

There are many challenges to running a successful tech incubator and startup in Ethiopia including the dearth of financial support and reliable internet connection.

“It isn’t, per se, hi-tech that I was always interested in, but the possibility of developing technological tools which assist us to solve our daily challenges,” Markos says, emphasizing that there are many high potential startups in the pipeline that “will improve our lives, once they get into the market.” He names Stavimer, Flowius and Hulubet as a few examples.

As part of the icehubs network in the Middle East and Africa, iceaddis has received international media coverage including features on BBC, Disrupt Africa and VC4Africa.


Iceaddis. (Courtesy photo)

In addition, Iceaddis has a community of 5000+ individuals with different levels of membership, and organizes various events such as hackathons and pitching competitions throughout the year in collaboration with international organizations.

“Most people get their ideas from events not trainings, and they also have opportunities to find someone who will assist them on the ideas they seek to realize,” Markos says. “These events also help build an entrepreneurial mindset among the youth, enabling them to learn what’s happening and to cope with challenges while developing a harmonized direction.”

Markos partly attributes iceaddis’ success to his organization’s management style of “non-hierarchical and open environment” as well as their focus on “extreme collaborative methods.” He argues that “personal drive and the ability to build strong relationships” are key to his endeavors. Markos, who had previously co-founded various other startups such as SelamCompany — a venture working on primary education and literacy — says his company is expanding to launch events across Ethiopia in Jimma, Mekelle and Jijiga.

“There is something rewarding about being a pioneer and betting on the youth in a big country like Ethiopia,” Markos enthuses.


About the Author:
Feven Jembere is a recent high school graduate from ICS Addis now attending the University of Chicago. She is interested in topics related to entrepreneurship, health sciences, music and anthropology. “I enjoy playing soccer and reading books,” Feven shares. “Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson and Blindness by Jose Sarajevo are some of my favorite books.” (Feven Jembere’s profile photo by Danel Kidane)

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Ethiopians Celebrate Meskel Festival

A church choir performs during the Meskel Festival at the Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, September 26, 2016. (Photo REUTERS)

Reuters

ADDIS ABABA — Orthodox priests lit a bonfire in the heart of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Monday evening to mark the eve of Meskel, a festival to mark the finding of the cross of Jesus.

Tens of thousands of people, many holding up candles in the failing light as the sun set, crowded on terraces around the square where the ceremony was led by the head of Ethiopia’s Christian Orthodox church, Patriarch Abune Mathias.

Dressed in his golden ceremonial robes, the patriarch delivered blessings to mark what the church believes was the discovery in the fourth century of the cross of Jesus by Queen Helena, the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.

According to tradition, in 326 AD, Helena had prayed for guidance to find the cross on which Jesus was crucified and was directed by smoke from a burning fire to the location. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians believe she lit torches to celebrate.

The celebration, in which hundreds or orthodox priests and deacons take part dressed in white robes, starts in the afternoon and ends after sunset, bringing the capital to a halt around its biggest square, which is called Meskel, the word for cross in the liturgical Ge’ez language.


Meskel festival at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, September 26, 2016. (Photo REUTERS


Ethiopian Orthodox Priest holds a cross during the Meskel Festival at the Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, September 26, 2016. (Photo REUTERS)

The celebration has taken place in Addis Ababa since the city was founded more than 100 years ago.

Read more and see photos at Reuters.com »


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As Hillary Cheers, Donald Trump Digs in After Debate

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks with members of the media on board her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, Sept. 27, 2016. (AP photo)

The Associated Press

Updated: Sep. 27, 2016

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — A defensive Donald Trump gave Hillary Clinton plenty of fresh material for the next phase of her presidential campaign on Tuesday, choosing to publicly reopen and relitigate some her most damaging attacks.

The day after his first general election debate, Trump blamed the moderator, a bad microphone and anyone but himself for his performance. Next time, he threatened, he might get more personal and make a bigger political issue of former President Bill Clinton’s marital infidelities.

Things are already getting plenty personal. On Monday night, Trump brushed off Clinton’s debate claim that he’d once shamed a former Miss Universe winner for her weight. But then he dug deeper the next day — extending the controversy over what was one of his most negative debate night moments.

“She gained a massive amount of weight. It was a real problem. We had a real problem,” Trump told “Fox and Friends” about Alicia Machado, the 1996 winner of the pageant he once owned.

The comments were reminiscent of previous times when Trump has attacked private citizens in deeply personal terms. Earlier this month, he was interrupted by the pastor of a traditionally African-American church in Flint, Michigan, after breaking his agreement not to be political in his remarks. Though Trump abided by her wishes, he went after her the next morning on TV saying she was “a nervous mess” and that he thought “something was up.”

In July, Trump assailed the parents of Humayun Khan, a Muslim U.S. solider who was killed in Iraq in 2004, after the young man’s father spoke out against the Republican at the Democratic National Convention.

Trump’s latest comments about Machado were striking in that they came just as he was working to broaden his appeal among minority voters and women — key demographic groups he’s struggling to win.

Clinton aides on Tuesday that they’d laid a trap for Trump.

“He seemed unable to handle that big stage,” said Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. “By the end, with kind of snorting and the water gulping and leaning on the lectern that he just seemed really out of gas.”

Clinton interrupted a discussion of foreign policy in the final moments of the debate to remind viewers that Trump had called Machado “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” A video featuring Machado, a Clinton supporter, was released less than two hours after the debate finished.

Read more »

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Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, September 26th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — The first presidential debate of this election season between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is scheduled to take place at Hofstra University in New York on Monday night, with approximately 100 million viewers expected to be watching.

“For Clinton, a veteran debater, one of her biggest challenges will be both to provoke Trump and avoid being provoked by him, while delivering an earnest and candid performance. And for Trump, who had uneven and at times explosive debate performances during the Republican primary, his first one-on-one debate presents a serious test of his ability to stay on script and keep his cool” CNN notes.

The high-stakes face-off between the two candidates could set the tone for the rest of the election season, according to Matthew Dallek of George Washington University who points out that “the first of the three debates, traditionally the most watched, comes at a potentially game-changing moment.” Dallek told VOA news that “right now the election is closer than a lot of people anticipated, and so it matters a great deal for both of them.”

George Mason University Associate Professor of Government Jeremy Mayer notes: “In a normal year, the debates are one of the only ways to move the needles after the conventions. They are the moment where more people tune in and watch. What a debate can do is give a candidate a second chance to make a different impression or cement a negative impression.”

Per NBC: The Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump debate on Monday night won’t just be an argument over different policy visions. It will also be a contest about whether policy details are important at all. It will feature one super-wonky candidate who sounds like she could run the Federal Reserve and her opponent, who often speaks like a pundit analyzing the campaign instead of a man who could soon lead the world’s most influential nation.”

Watch: Clinton and Trump: Countdown to First One-On-One Showdown


Related:
5 things to watch at Monday night’s Clinton-Trump debate

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Meet Begena Palyer Temesgen Hussein

Temesgen Hussein of East Lansing, Michigan with his begena. (Photo: MICHIGAN RADIO)

Michigan Radio WUOM FM

As part of our Songs from Studio East series we’re exploring music that combines both contemporary and traditional music from around the globe.

Today we meet Temesgen Hussein of East Lansing. He was born and raised in Ethiopia. And he’s one of just a few outside that country who plays the begena.

It’s used mainly in religious festivities almost exclusively, but Temesgen is breaking with tradition and introducing the begena to contemporary music.

The buzzing sound is what makes this harp unique. Not only does the begena sound different, it looks really different.

Read more at Michiganradio.org »


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Reflecting on Ethiopia at Photoville 2016 Exhibition in Brooklyn

(Photos: Axum by Hilina Abebe and Harrar by Eyerusalem Adugna)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — There is much to reflect on Ethiopia at the moment, and a collection of thought-provoking images from Addis Ababa to Gambella, Lalibela and Harar captured by a new generation of Ethiopian photographers will be on display at the 2016 Photoville exhibition in Brooklyn this week (from September 21st to 25th).

Photoville and United Photo Industries have announced that the participating artists from Ethiopia include Eyerusalem Adugna, whose collection of portraits taken in Lalibela entitled Faithfully celebrates Ethiopia’s ancient city, as well as Addis Ababa-based self-taught photographer Hilina Abebe’s Humans-in-exile exhibit features camps in Gambella, Western Ethiopia populated by South Sudanese refugees. In addition, photos from Addis by Instagrammer and Getty Images grant winner Girma Berta are featured under the Getty Images Instagram Grant section.


‘Faithfully’ taken in Lalibela by Eyerusalem Adugna

“I took these pictures in one of the biggest markets in the city of Lalibela,” says Eyerusalem Adugna. “As a fashion designer and photographer, I found people that visually caught my attention.” She adds: “I wanted to show colorful and stylish people in different ages. Basically, I was looking for fashion inspiration in the area, because people wear their best clothes when they go to the market.”

Photoville notes that “Eyerusalem Adugna was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She pursued her high school education in Ethio-Parents’ School and continued studying C.A.D.D in the States. Eyerusalem is currently a fashion designer. She realized her interest in photography during the past three years and has been working on building her knowledge since then. Eyerusalem enjoys photography because she wants to document history and use it as a form of artistic communication and expression. She has participated in photo exhibitions and competitions and also works as a freelance photographer.”


‘Humans-in-exile’ taken at a refugee camp in Gambella by Hilina Abebe

With “a background in journalism and communications, and a keen interest in society,” photographer Hilina Abebe “hopes to combine the two with photography to spark people’s interests. Hilina is inspired by the infinite potential of visual art and creativity. She strives to use the camera to tell stories that have social significance.”

“When war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, hundreds of thousands of people fled to the unknown in neighboring countries,” Hilina Abebe says. “By April 2016, more than 280,000 people had taken shelter in refugee camps in Western Ethiopia. The majority are women and children.” Hilina recalls: “As I walked through one of the refugee camps in Gambella, the thing that struck me the most was how normal life seemed for everyone, how they carried themselves despite their status as “refugees” and their uncertain future. This work seeks to show the everyday life of those in exile — not as boxed-in refugees in a camp, but as human beings who thrive to live.”

Below are more photos by Hilina Abebe & Eyerusalem Adugna:


(Photos: Harrar by Eyerusalem Adugna)


Ankober town by Hilina Abebe


You can learn more about the exhibition at www.photoville.com

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Ethiopia: Girma Berta Instagrammer & Artist Wins Getty Images Grant

Kerra Streets in Addis. (Photo by instagrammer Girma Berta)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, September 19th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Girma Berta, an instagrammer and artist from Ethiopia, has won a $10,000 Getty Images Instagram Grant.

Getty Images in collaboration with Instagram announced today that “the $10,000 grant, expanded to include videographers and visual artists telling local stories, is given to photographers using Instagram to document stories from underrepresented communities around the world.”

“Berta uses his iPhone to photograph vibrant, gritty street life in Addis Ababa, crossing street photography with fine art by isolating his subjects against backdrops of rich color,” Getty Images said.


Moving shadows. (Photo by Girma Berta)

In addition to Girma Berta this year’s winners include Christian Rodriguez of Uruguay and Ronny Sen from India who “tell a range of diverse stories.”

“Every day, people around the globe capture and share poignant moments on Instagram, inspiring others to see things in a new way,” said Amanda Kelso, Director of Community at Instagram, in a statement. “We are honored to highlight the visual work of this year’s winners, who each offer a striking glimpse into rarely seen worlds.”


You can view more photos by Girma Berta on Instagram @gboxcreative.

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Wayna Performs at Rockwood Music Hall

Wayna. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Monday, September 19th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Wayna returns back to NYC this coming weekend to perform at the Rockwood Music Hall for a special live showcase of “An Acoustic Gold Evening” presented by NYCROPHONE.

The Grammy-nominated Ethiopian American singer and songwriter takes the stage on Saturday, September 24th along with musicians Nicholas Zorka and Sho Ishikura.


(Courtesy of Rockwood Music Hall)

“Wayna has performed across the US and abroad – including shows at the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Essence Fest, the White House, the Blue Note and Blues Alley,” the media release points out. “In 2015, she joined the iconic Stevie Wonder as a supporting vocalist and soloist in his live band, touring extensively with the Songs In the Key of Life Tour and in various performances throughout the US and Canada.”


(Photo: Instagram/waynamusic)

“2016 kicked off with a 3-month performance residency in her native Ethiopia, where she performed at the newly-built Marriot Executive Apartments in Addis Ababa with an all-star band,” the announcement adds. In the year ahead, she will continue to tour with Stevie Wonder, while writing and recording new music.”


If You Go:
Wayna at Rockwood Music Hall
Saturday, September 24th
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
185 Orchard St.
New York, NY, 10002
Click here to buy Tickets

Related:
Girma Beyene Brings Golden Age of Ethiopian Music to City University of NY
Mahmoud Ahmed First Artist from Ethiopia to Perform at Carnegie Hall

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Here is Why White House Must Continue to Speak Out on Ethiopia Crisis

Feyisa Lilesa in Washington, D.C. last week. (Photo: Reuters)

QUARTZ Africa

A life of discrimination and fear led an Ethiopian marathoner to protest on the world stage

At night, Feyisa Lilesa and his friends hid in the farms to evade the security forces who were arresting people across the country. As a 15-year-old growing up in Oromia region, Lilesa says he was always aware that many of his fellow citizens didn’t approve of the government’s treatment.

But the moment of awakening for him came in the days and weeks following the landmark May 2005 elections. Championed by the government as a genuine exercise in competitive elections, the vote involved multiple parties, not to mention the significantly enlarged space for political campaigning.

However, when the early outcome of the vote showed a huge lead from opposition groups, the government delayed finalizing the count and responded to protests with a heavy-handed approach. An independent study of the post-election violence by an Ethiopian judge showed the shooting, beating and strangling of almost 200 people, including 40 teenagers. The government also arbitrarily arrested protesters, with police records showing the detention of 20,000 people during the anti-government protests.

When Oromo citizens started demanding justice and demonstrating in Lilesa’s hometown in Jeldu district, the police came to arrest them en masse. Lilesa said that during the day they could be careful about their movements, but at night, under the cloak of the dark, they would go hiding among the unharvested crops.
“This all made an impression on me,” Lilesa told Quartz. “I realized no one was safe.”

On Aug. 21, on the last day of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Lilesa took the memory of those frightful teenage days on to the world stage. Inching closer towards the finish line, with his silver-medal win guaranteed and millions of people watching the televised 26.2 mile-race, Lilesa raised his arms and crossed them in an X, a gesture of solidarity with his people’s protest against Ethiopia’s government.


Feyisa Lilesa makes the crossed fists sign as he finishes in second place at the 2016 Rio Olympics on Aug. 21, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Read more »


Related:
U.S. Congressman Chris Smith Calls Out Ethiopia Rights Abuses
Olympic Hero Feyisa Lilesa Calls on US to Push for Human Rights in Ethiopia
Joint letter to UN Human Rights Council on Ethiopia
US Ambassador to UN on ‘Excessive Use of Force’ Against Ethiopia Protesters

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Becoming a U.S. Citizen During Constitution Week

The following OP-ED by the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) honors the anniversary of the signing of the American Constitution on September 17th, 1787. (Photo: NAM)

New America Media

The U.S. Constitution: it’s a legalistic document that takes about a half-hour to read. Yet it changed the course of history, by encoding the basic principles and values that have managed to sustain our nation as a beacon burning bright for the world for more than two centuries.

Which is why U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes special pride in naturalizing new citizens – good people drawn by that beacon — during Constitution Week. These ceremonies are an appreciation of the historic connection to the roughly 4,500 words that these brand-new Americans just swore an oath to support and defend.

That includes the 14th Amendment which made it possible for them to even become Americans. The same sentence that granted citizenship to former slaves also answered a larger question of who is a citizen: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. … ”

During Constitution Week, USCIS honors two events: the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and an observance that began in 1940 as “I Am an American Day” that we now call “Citizenship Day.”

At naturalization ceremonies across the country, new Americans will be reminded about the significance of our nation’s Constitution as they celebrate achieving their dreams of becoming United States citizens. Once they recite the Oath of Allegiance, they, too, will enjoy the rights and freedoms we share because of the strides our founders took to secure the “Blessings of Liberty” for all Americans. Our new fellow citizens will now become part of the journey as we continue to create a more perfect Union.

As we honor the importance of citizenship, we also celebrate the ideals enshrined in the Constitution. Those fundamental and enduring principles are as relevant today as they were more than 200 years ago, and have served to guide our nation as it has grown, prospered, and become a beacon of hope and opportunity for millions of people around the world.

Immigrants in the United States have always had a profound impact on our country and the world. They strengthen the fabric of our nation with their contributions to American society and prosperity.

Generations of immigrants have come to this country seeking a place where democracy is not just an ideal, but a reality; where opportunities are available for everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion or country of origin.

Deciding to become a U.S. citizen is a very important and deeply personal milestone in an immigrant’s life. Individuals must demonstrate a commitment to the unifying principles that bind us as Americans and, in return, will enjoy many of the rights and privileges that are fundamental to U.S. citizenship.

To help in that journey, we have launched new tools on our website, uscis.gov, to help our customers. Emma, our interactive virtual assistant, is ready to answer questions in English and Spanish. She will help customers navigate our website to ensure they find the information they need.

Our Citizenship Resource Center is a free, easy-to-use portal that helps users understand the naturalization process and gain the necessary skills to be successful during the naturalization interview and test. Learners, teachers and organizations can find information geared specifically to them, and the portal also provides information in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

I’m also excited to share the civics practice test videos we have put on our YouTube channel to help customers better prepare for their naturalization test.

Each year we naturalize noncitizens who chose to defend their adopted country by joining the U.S. military. Noncitizen members of the U.S. armed forces and their families can find resources at www.uscis.gov/military.

We are a country built on immigration and by immigrants, as famously noted in Emma Lazarus’ poem, “The New Colossus” at the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” As the director of USCIS, there is no greater honor than administering the Oath of Allegiance to new U.S. citizens. This week, let us remember and celebrate the importance of citizenship and the Constitution, which promotes “the general Welfare” and “Blessings of Liberty” to America and all of her people.


For free educational tools and information about citizenship preparation, please visit uscis.gov/citizenship.

Related:
Watch: This is What America Looks Like: Tefere Gebre Helps Immigrants to Vote

Tefere Gebre: Don’t tell me I’m not American – The True story of my journey from Ethiopia to the U.S.
What Will the Next US President Mean for Africa?

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Marian Goodman Gallery Presents Ethiopian American Painter Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu in her New York studio, with works included in her solo show at Marian Goodman Gallery September 22 - October 29, 2016. (Photo by Landon Nordeman via Cultured Mag)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, September 16th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — In a recent interview with Cultured Magazine Julie Mehretu said that “Art’s job is to complicate as much as possible. That’s what we want art for; that’s what we want poetry for -— to be full of contradictions, or to expose contradictions. That’s where radical possibility exists. Imagining other possibilities is how things change.”

Mehretu’s upcoming solo exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery in NYC (September 22 – October 29, 2016) entitled Hoodnyx, Voodoo and Stelae does exactly that: helps us imagine change, contradictions and complicated other possibilities.

“A series of new paintings will be on view, accompanied in the Third Floor Project space by a new series of drawings, and a large-scale editioned etching, Epigraph, Damascus, 2016,” the press release stated. In addition, “a monograph focusing on Julie Mehretu’s recent work, from 2012 to the present, will be published by Marian Goodman Gallery in the Fall 2016. It will feature a new essay by Glenn Ligon.”

Describing the new paintings that were developed this year the gallery noted how “bold and spirited mark-making merges with an ardent gestural cadence to introduce works at once epic and intimate. Steeped with references from classical mythology and Egyptology, to graffiti, abstraction, poetry and politics, Mehretu’s new paintings capture a gestural force unseen in her work before. Oscillating in viewpoint through their multiple layers of both valiant and minute marks, these paintings insinuate something of a survey of the annals and multiplicities of history, across both politics and art.”


Julie Mehretu. (Photo: By Teju Cole)

Julie Mehretu was born in 1970 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and raised in Michigan, USA. In 1997 she obtained an MFA in painting and printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design, and won the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2005. Her paintings are part of the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) permanent collection.

She has received international recognition for her work, including, in 2005, the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the prestigious MacArthur Fellows Award. Mehretu is currently working on large-scale painting for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), and recently exhibited her artwork in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Center in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in August 2016.


If You Go:
Marian Goodman Gallery presents solo exhibition by Julie Mehretu
Hoodnyx, Voodoo and Stelae
September 22 – October 29, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday, September 22nd, 6-8 pm
24 W 57th St #4, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 977-7160
www.mariangoodman.com

Related:
Insisting on Opacity: Julie Mehretu (Cultured Mag)

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Imperial Exile: New Book Shines Light on Haile Selassie’s Refugee Years

New book, Imperial Exile, chronicles the refugee years of former Emperor Haile Selassie in Bath, England during the Second World War. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, September 15th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Here comes a captivating publication shining a spotlight on the previously unexplored period of the public life of Ethiopia’s former Emperor Haile Selassie during his years as a refugee in Bath, England from 1936 to 1940. The book entitled Imperial Exile by Keith Bowers, a former executive producer for the BBC, will be released in the U.S. this month by Tsehai Publishers. “With the plight of refugees constantly in the news” this profile “is as timely as it is intriguing,” states the press release.

“Emperor Haile Selassie was forced to flee Ethiopia to escape the invading armies of the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini,” Tsehai Publishers notes. “Imperial Exile reveals the full depth of the debilitating struggles that all exiles face. It tells the story of how the emperor is nearly crushed by a myriad of financial, political and personal pressures before a sudden twist of good fortune intervenes. The book is packed with beguiling eyewitness anecdotes, supported by a range of rare and fascinating photographs of both Britain and Ethiopia.”

In his endorsement of the book historian Richard Pankhurst states: “The important period of the Emperor’s exile in Bath has not received much attention. This thoroughly researched book fills the gap.” Scholar Ian Campbell, author of The Plot to Kill Graziani, adds: “it is a must-read for anyone interested in the modern history of Ethiopia.” And British political commentator and writer Jonathan Dimbleby argues that the book “adds substantially to the story of this important and fascinating world figure.”

A book release is scheduled in Washington D.C. on September 22nd at the Library of Congress hosted by Tsehai Publishers with author Keith Bowers in attendance.

On his website Bowers shares: “I love both Bath and Ethiopia, places which are at the heart of Imperial Exile. I have lived in Bath since 2013 and enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies of the city on my bike as well as the exquisite surrounding countryside. My first trip to Ethiopia was in 2001 and I was instantly entranced by the country’s history, culture, music and cuisine. Before that I worked for the BBC for 20 years and started the Correspondent international TV programme.”

—-
If You Go:
Book release events for Imperial Exile

Date: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 (12 noon-1pm)
Venue: The African & Middle Eastern Reading Room at the Library of Congress
Address: 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540

Date: Saturday, September 24th (3:00pm)
Venue: The Arta Ale restaurant
Address: 2310 Price Avenue
Silver Spring, MD
240-221-3349
info@ertaaleethiopianrestaurant.com

You can learn more and purchase the book at tsehaipublishers.com.

Related:
New Book on Triumph & Tragedy of Ethiopia’s Last Emperor Haile Selassie (TADIAS)

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Catch LA’s Azla Ethiopian on Food Network

FIlming of Azla Mekonen and her daughter Nesanet Teshager Abegaze at Azla Vegan in Los Angeles for an episode on the Food Network. (Photo by Evan Drolet Cook)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Los Angeles, California, which is home to the only official Little-Ethiopia neighborhood in America, is also headquarters for Azla Vegan, a family-owned Ethiopian restaurant — located near the University of Southern California (USC) — that we first featured in 2013 in an interview with owner Nesanet Teshager Abegaze as it first opened. This week, Azla Vegan will be featured on the Food Network‘s television episode of “Cosmopolitan Comfort: Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.”


Azla Mekonen and her daughter Nesanet Teshager Abegaze with Guy Fieri of Food Network at their family owned business Azla Vegan in Los Angeles. (Courtesy photo)

According to the Food Network the segment on Azla Vegan will air on Friday, September 16th and Saturday September 17th hosted by the show’s star Guy Fieri.


Food by Azla Vegan. (Photo by Kayla Reefer)

“This trip, Guy Fieri’s grabbing all kinds of cosmopolitan comfort food,” the Food Network announced. “In Los Angeles, a mother-daughter team dishing out authentic Ethiopian specialties.”

“In the summer of 2013, head chef Azla joined forces with her youngest daughter, Nesanet to open the first Ethiopian restaurant in South Los Angeles,” shares the restaurant’s website. “Azla’s culinary expertise and commitment to traditional wisdom is complemented by Nesanet’s extensive studies and work in the education, wellness, and marketing industries. Nesanet’s training in Biological Sciences at Stanford University and UCLA, her studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and yoga instructor certification greatly inform ingredient choices and food preparation techniques at Azla. In addition to serving delicious, nutrient dense food, the Azla team is committed to building community through arts and cultural programming, all while providing space for a return to the ceremonious nature of breaking bread with friends and family.”


You can learn more about the show at www.foodnetwork.com and Azla Vegan at www.azlavegan.com. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Soundcloud handles are @azlavegan.

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Olympic Hero Feyisa Lilesa Calls on US to Push for Human Rights in Ethiopia

Rio Olympic marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia makes remarks in D.C., Sept. 13, 2016. (VOA)

VOA News

Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian silver medalist in the marathon at last month’s Rio Olympics, was in Washington this week, calling on the U.S. Congress to take action in solidarity with Ethiopians protesting their government.

“I know that Americans are peace-loving people. My people are also peace-loving people, but they have been denied peace for a very long time,” he said in his native Afaan Oromoo at a news conference Tuesday on Capitol Hill. “People are calling for the freedom, democracy that you have here. We want the same things, and I call on the U.S. government to urge the Ethiopian government to make sure that democracy prevails in Ethiopia.”

Lilesa gained worldwide attention when he crossed his wrists as a sign of protest as he approached the finish line during the Rio men’s marathon. He is Oromo and made the gesture in solidarity with Oromo protests that have occurred in Ethiopia since last November over issues including land rights and fair representation in the government.

U.S. Representatives Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican; Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat; and Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican, presented House Resolution 861, “Supporting Human Rights and Encouraging Inclusive Governance in Ethiopia,” during the news conference. The resolution calls on the government of Ethiopia to end the use of excessive force by security forces and investigate the killings and disturbances during protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions. It also urges the government to hold security forces accountable for wrongdoing through public proceedings.


Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia arrives at a news conference in Washington, DC, September 13, 2016. (Reuters)

Smith said he met with Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, in New York to discuss human rights issues in Ethiopia.

“He’s called for a major fact-finding effort where we could get to the bottom of people who are being killed, tortured, slaughtered in the streets, and then to hold the perpetrators of these crimes to account,” the lawmaker said.

Eleven civil society organizations have signed the resolution.

“It’s an effort to say to Ethiopia, ‘Yes, you’ve been friends and allies in the war on terror. You’ve got some very good things with regards to Somalia, but you are mistreating your own people and it’s time we spoke out,’ ” Smith said.

Since Lilesa made his gesture, other athletes have followed suit. Ebisa Ejigu crossed his arms in the Quebec City Marathon in Canada, and Tamiru Demisse, an Ethiopian paralympic runner, did the same as he won his silver medal in the men’s 1,500 meters for the visually impaired at the Paralympics in Rio.

Lilesa, in the U.S. on a temporary visa, said he was figuring out his future but was not seeking asylum in the U.S.

—-
Washington Post Interview With Feyisa Lilesa


Feyisa Lilesa said of his Olympic gesture: ‘It’s almost as if I opened the shutters and now people can know, people can hear.’ (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

The Washington Post

September 13th, 2016

Marathoner Feyisa Lilesa packed his bags and left his wife and two children last month, with plans to post a blazing fast time at the Summer Olympics, earn a spot on the medal podium, bring attention to the plight of his people — and most likely never be able to return home.

“It was very hard to say good-bye,” said the Ethiopian long-distance runner, “but I also knew that it’s not harder than what people are going through in my country.”

Lilesa indeed won silver at the Rio de Janeiro Games and made international headlines when he approached the finish line with his wrists crossed, flashing an “X” symbol that the world soon learned was a bold protest against the treatment of his people by Ethiopian government. He has lived in limbo since, convinced that if he returned to Ethiopia he would be imprisoned or possibly killed.

After nearly three weeks of uncertainty, living covertly in a Rio hotel room, the 26-year-old finally left Brazil and arrived in Washington last week, a temporary stop en route to a new life, one in which he’s indefinitely separated from his family, constantly worried for their safety and thrust onto a global stage as a visible lightning rod for political dissent back in his native country.

“I think what I did is good so far because the government has shut off the people’s voices and no one knows about the fight,” Lilesa said Monday in an interview with The Washington Post through an interpreter. “It’s almost as if I opened the shutters and now people can know, people can hear.”

Read more at The Washington Post »


Related:
VOA Interview: Feyisa Lilesa Says Olympic Protest Was Planned
From Rio to America: Olympian Feyisa Lilesa’s Washington Post Op-Ed
Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Arrives in the U.S.
In Seattle, African Athletics Org Renames 5k Race ‘Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run’
In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics
Over $100000 Raised For Ethiopian Olympian Runner
Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest
Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games
Ethiopia Says Protesting Marathoner to Be Welcomed as Hero, But Does He Want to Go?
Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign
Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games »
Ethiopia Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Protests Government With Marathon Medal
Ethiopian Marathoner’s Protest Puts Him at Odds With His Government
Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio
Rio 2016 Olympics: Genzebe Dibaba Takes Silver Medal in the Women’s 1,500 Meters
Rio 2016 Olympics: Etenesh Diro Advances to 3,000-Meter Steeplechase With 1 Shoe
Ethiopia’s First Gold at Rio Olympics: Almaz Ayana Smashes 10,000m Record
Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism
All Eyes on Brazil as 2016 Olympics Starts

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Girma Beyene Brings Golden Age of Ethiopian Music to City University of NY

Girma Beyene, Ethiopian vocalist, composer and pianist with Akale Wube band in Paris (photo: Ceints de Bakélite/Twitter)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, September 12th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Next month Girma Beyene — who is among the few remaining artists of Ethiopia’s legendary musical renaissance of Swinging Addis — will perform live at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.

Girma’s concert is part of CUNY’s “A Global Music Series” and will take place on October 24th accompanied by Feedel Band.

“Girma Beyene is one of the most influential Ethiopian musicians from the ‘Golden Age’ of the 1960′s and 1970′s, which combined African rhythms with American R&B, soul, funk, and big band jazz,” states the announcement from CUNY. “Beyene made a handful of recordings as a vocalist, but it was as an arranger, pianist, and composer that he made his mark.

His best known hit song Enken Yelelebish/Ene Negne By Manesh, which has been redone many times by subsequent generations of artists, including Jano Band in 2013, tops Girma Beyene’s classics that have been preserved in the Éthiopiques CD collection.


(Girma Beyene performs with European band Akale Wube in Paris last year)

If You Go:
CUNY Presents Girma Beyene
October 24, 2016: 7:00 PM
The Graduate Center/CUNY
Elebash Recital Hall
365 Fifth Ave. (at 34th St.)
New York, NY 10016
ADMISSION: $25, $20 Members (free to CUNY)
Click here to get Tickets

Video: Girma Beyene live in Paris with French band Akale Wube — 2015

Related:
Mahmoud Ahmed First Artist from Ethiopia to Perform at Carnegie Hall

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Ethiopia: New Year Sentiments

Description: Meskel flowers by Las Vegas-based artist Abraham Abebe. (Photo credit: Blue Nile Art )

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, September 10th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — In the new Ethiopian year we share our wish for peace, stability, freedom, progress and love for all our brothers and sisters. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and hope the brightness of Ethiopia’s stunning landscape covered in Meskel flowers in this season uplifts spirits and reunites hearts and minds!


Related:
17 Artists Cancel New Year Concerts Due to Protests
Unrest mars Ethiopia’s New Year, Eid parties

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopia-Inspired Furniture at Upcoming International Dubai Design Week

Hamere Demissie's Actuel Urban Living (top) and Jomo Tariku's Jomo Design Furniture. (Courtesy photos)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, September 9th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia-inspired furniture by U.S.-based Jomo Tariku, Founder of Jomo Design Furniture and Hamere Demissie of Actuel Urban Living will be featured at this year’s international Dubai Design Week festival in October.

According to the festival press release Jomo and Hamere’s works were selected as part of “design concepts from five international design weeks from across the globe, including Design Week Addis,” which brings to the event “the modern-inspired minimalist spirit of traditional Ethiopian design made locally by skilled artisans.”

Hamere Demissie’s Actuel Urban Living “will be previewing a collection of furniture, rugs and textiles with a refined organic feel, while Jomo Design Furniture will display a contemporary take on traditional African chairs crafted in hardwoods, inspired by African hand carvings, baskets and traditional woven textiles,” states the press release from Dubai Design Week.


Makeda armchair. Made of solid wood frame upholstered with the greatest care. (Photo: Actuel Urban Living)

The Founder of Design Week Addis Ababa, Metasebia Yoseph, adds: “As a newly created design week, we are looking forward to the exposure of being a part of Destination and joining the global conversation on design. The emerging design scene in Ethiopia is groundbreaking, and Dubai Design Week is the perfect platform to showcase the unique work coming out of the region to a design savvy global audience.”

Jomo’s products — which were highlighted in the Thames & Hudson publication entitled Contemporary Design Africa that was released in June 2015 — celebrate the traditional aesthetic of Ethiopian household items with modern design and artistic sensibilities. Jomo, who lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area, says his designs are available for licensing and could be manufactured for any potential large orders, adding that “the furniture pieces will look great inside one of the many lodges and hotels found all over Africa as well as any residences that want to have unique spaces.”


Ethiopian furniture by Jomo Design featured in the book “Contemporary Design Africa.” (Courtesy photo)


Dubai Design Week is scheduled to take place October 24th-29th, 2016. You can learn more about the festival at www.dubaidesignweek.ae.

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Joint Letter to UN Human Rights Council on Ethiopia

(Photo credit: Civicus.org)

HRW

Geneva, 8 September 2016

To Permanent Representatives of
Members and Observer States of the
UN Human Rights Council

RE: Addressing the escalating human rights crisis in Ethiopia

Your Excellency,

The undersigned civil society organisations write to draw your attention to grave violations of human rights in Ethiopia, including the recent crackdown on largely peaceful protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions.

As the UN Human Rights Council prepares to convene for its 33rd session between 13 – 30 September 2016, we urge your delegation to prioritise and address through joint and individual statements the escalating human rights crisis in Ethiopia.

An escalating human rights crisis in Oromia and Amhara Regions

The situation in Ethiopia has become increasingly unstable since security forces repeatedly fired upon protests in the Amhara and Oromia regions in August 2016. On 6 and 7 August alone, Amnesty International reported at least 100 killings and scores of arrests during protests that took place across multiple towns in both regions. Protesters had taken to the streets throughout the Amhara and Oromia regions to express discontent over the ruling party’s dominance in government affairs, the lack of rule of law, and grave human rights violations for which there has been no accountability.

Protests in the Amhara region began peacefully in Gondar a month ago and spread to other towns in the region. A protest in Bahir Dar, the region’s capital, on 7 August turned violent when security forces shot and killed at least 30 people. Recently, on 30 August, stay-at-home strikers took to the streets of Bahir Dar again and were violently dispersed by security forces. According to the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE), in the week of 29 August alone, security forces killed more than 70 protesters and injured many more in cities and towns across Northern Amhara region.

Since November 2015, Ethiopian security forces have routinely used excessive and unnecessary lethal force to disperse and suppress the largely peaceful protests in the Oromia region. The protesters, who originally advocated against the dispossession of land without adequate compensation under the government’s Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan, have been subjected to widespread rights violations. According to international and national human rights groups, at least 500 demonstrators have been killed and hundreds have suffered bullet wounds and beatings by police and military during the protests.

Authorities have also arbitrarily arrested thousands of people throughout Oromia and Amhara during and after protests, including journalists and human rights defenders. Many of those detained are being held without charge and without access to family members or legal representation. Many of those who have been released report torture in detention. The continued use of unlawful force to repress the movement has broadened the grievances of the protesters to human rights and rule of law issues.

The need for international, independent, thorough, impartial and transparent investigations

Following the attacks by security forces on protesters in Oromia earlier this year, five UN Special Procedures issued a joint statement noting that “the sheer number of people killed and arrested suggests that the Government of Ethiopia views the citizens as a hindrance, rather than a partner”, and underlining that “Impunity … only perpetuates distrust, violence and more oppression”.

In response to the recent crackdown, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has called for “access for independent observers to the country to assess the human rights situation”. Ethiopia’s government, however, has rejected the call, instead indicating it would launch its own investigation. On 2 September, in a public media statement, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights reiterated the UN High Commissioner’s call to allow a prompt and impartial investigation led by regional or international human rights bodies into the crackdown.

There are no effective avenues to pursue accountability for abuses given the lack of independence of the judiciary and legislative constraints. During the May 2015 general elections, the ruling EPRDF party won all 547 seats in the Ethiopian Parliament.

Ethiopia’s National Human Rights Commission, which has a mandate to investigate rights violations, has failed to make public its June report on the Oromia protests, while concluding in its oral report to Parliament that the lethal force used by security forces in Oromia was proportionate to the risk they faced from the protesters. The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions has rated the Ethiopian National Human Rights Commission as B, meaning the latter has failed to meet fully the Paris Principles.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, who met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at the margins of the European Development Days in June 2016, has called on all parties to refrain from the use of force and for a constructive dialogue and engagement to take place without delay. On 28 August, after the EPRDF party’s general assembly, Prime Minister Hailemariam reportedly ordered the country’s military to take any appropriate measures to quell the protests, which he described as illegal and aimed at destabilising the nation. Following a similar call regarding the Oromia protests, security forces intensified the use of excessive force against protesters.

A highly restrictive environment for dialogue

Numerous human rights activists, journalists, opposition political party leaders and supporters have been arbitrarily arrested and detained. Since August 2016, four members of one of Ethiopia’s most prominent human rights organisations, the Human Rights Council (HRCO), were arrested and detained in the Amhara and Oromia regions. HRCO believes these arrests are related to the members’ monitoring and documentation of the crackdown of on-going protests in these regions.

Among those arrested since the protests began and still in detention are Colonel Demeke Zewdu (Member, Wolkait Identity Committee (WIC)), Getachew Ademe (Chairperson, WIC), Atalay Zafe (Member, WIC), Mebratu Getahun (Member, WIC), Alene Shama (Member, WIC), Addisu Serebe (Member, WIC), Bekele Gerba (Deputy Chair, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC)), Dejene Tufa (Deputy General Secretary, OFC), Getachew Shiferaw (Editor-in-Chief of the online newspaper Negere Ethiopia), Yonathan Teressa (human rights defender) and Fikadu Mirkana (reporter with the state-owned Oromia Radio and TV). 


Prominent human rights experts and groups, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, have repeatedly condemned the highly restrictive legal framework in Ethiopia. The deliberate misuse of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation’s overbroad and vague provisions to target journalists and activists has increased as protests have intensified. The law permits up to four months of pre-trial detention and prescribes long prison sentences for a range of activities protected under international human rights law. Dozens of human rights defenders as well as journalists, bloggers, peaceful demonstrators and opposition party members have been subjected to harassment and politically motivated prosecution under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, making Ethiopia one of the leading jailers of journalists in the world.

In addition, domestic civil society organisations are severely hindered by one of the most restrictive NGO laws in the world. Specifically, under the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation, the vast majority of Ethiopian organisations have been forced to stop working on human rights and governance issues, a matter of great concern that has been repeatedly raised in international forums including at Ethiopia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

This restrictive and worsening environment underscores the limited avenues available for dialogue and accountability in the country. It is essential that the UN Human Rights Council take a strong position urging the Ethiopian government to immediately allow an international, thorough, independent, transparent and impartial investigation into alleged human rights abuses committed in the context of the government’s response to the largely peaceful protests.

As a member – and Vice-President – of the Human Rights Council, Ethiopia has an obligation to “uphold the highest standards” of human rights, and “fully cooperate” with the Council and its mechanisms (GA Resolution 60/251, OP 9). Yet for the past ten years, it has consistently failed to accept country visit requests by numerous Special Procedures.

During the upcoming 33rd session of the Human Rights Council, we urge your delegation to make joint and individual statements reinforcing and building upon the expressions of concern by the High Commissioner, UN Special Procedures, and others.

Specifically, the undersigned organisations request your delegation to urge Ethiopia to:

1. immediately cease the use of excessive and unnecessary lethal force by security forces against protesters in Oromia and Amhara regions and elsewhere in Ethiopia;

2. immediately and unconditionally release journalists, human rights defenders, political opposition leaders and members as well as protesters arbitrarily detained during and in the aftermath of the protests;

3. respond favourably to country visit requests by UN Special Procedures;

4. urgently allow access to an international, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into all of the deaths resulting from alleged excessive use of force by the security forces, and other violations of human rights in the context of the protests;

5. ensure that those responsible for human rights violations are prosecuted in proceedings which comply with international law and standards on fair trials and without resort to the death penalty;

6. and fully comply with its international legal obligations and commitments including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and its own Constitution.

Amnesty International
Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Civil Rights Defenders
DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
Ethiopian Human Rights Project
FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative
Freedom House
Front Line Defenders
Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect
Human Rights Watch
International Service for Human Rights
Reporters Without Borders
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)


Related:
17 Artists Cancel Ethiopian New Year Concerts Due to Protests
US Ambassador to UN on ‘Excessive Use of Force’ Against Ethiopia Protesters
Ethiopia’s Failing Ethnic-based Political System (Foreign Affairs Magazine)
Washington Post Editorial on Current Wave of Protests in Ethiopia
‘A Generation Is Protesting’ in Ethiopia, Long a U.S. Ally (The New York Times)


Protesters have been complaining about economic and political marginalization . (Photos: Reuters)

UPDATE: ‘Nearly 100 killed’ in Ethiopia Protests (BBC News)
Several dozen shot dead in weekend protests across Ethiopia (AP)

In Addis Ababa Security Forces Use Tear Gas to Disperse Protests (Reuters)
What is behind Ethiopia’s wave of protests? (BBC News)
Protests in Ethiopia’s Gonder City Signal Uncertain Future (VOA News)
Protest in North Ethiopian Region Signals Rising Discontent (Bloomberg)
Riots in Gonder Claim Casualties (DW Report — Jul 15, 2016)

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2016 U.S. Election Cartoonists’ Perspective

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. (Image: DonkeyHotey/ flickr.)

VOA News

Cartoonists are having a ball with this election.

Trump’s bombast and Clinton’s caution put both candidates at the center of nearly every satirist’s jokes.

Both Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are well-known to the public. Their campaigns are also fraught with scandal, secrets and vastly different ideas.


(Drawing by Politico Magazine Cartoonist Matt Wuerker)


“It’s easy to depict [Trump] as a 70-year-old balloon of bombast, topped by artificial-looking hair— colors that don’t exist in nature.” – Michael Cavna | Washington Post. (Drawing by Politico Magazine Cartoonist Matt Wuerker)


(Drawings by Ramses Morales Izquierdo | Cuba and Oleh Smal | Ukraine)

VOA spoke to Pulitzer Prize-winning POLITICO cartoonist Matt Wuerker and Washington Post’s “Comic Riffs” cartoonist Michael Cavna on how this cycle’s cartoons differ from previous elections.

Trump is no stranger to the limelight

His years in the real-estate business and reality TV made him a household name and the butt of many jokes.

Donald Trump’s signature phrases have evolved from his days on “The Apprentice” (“You’re fired!”) to the campaign trail (“It’s going to be huge!”). He is extremely recognizable with his orange-tinted skin and wispy blond hair.

VIDEO: Cavna on Trump’s unique hair and the art of the the comb-over

“It’s hard to satirize somebody who is already way out there. So Trump tests you that way.” – Matt Wuerker | POLITICO Cartoonist

Donald Trump presents a unique challenge for cartoonists. Since Trump already exaggerates the way he speaks and presents himself, cartoonists have to find original ways to portray him.

Cartoonists emphasize Trump’s physical appearance and portray him as attention-seeking, loud-mouthed bully.

Some international cartoonists have depicted Trump as Godzilla, a Ku Klux Klan member and even Adolf Hitler.

VIDEO: How cartoonists around the world see Trump

The Clinton Legacy

Hillary Clinton has been on cartoonists’ drawing boards for decades.

Before the campaign, she served as secretary of state, first lady and U.S. senator from New York.

Drawing ‘Two-Faced’ Hillary

Hillary Clinton’s years in the spotlight have helped damage her public image: her husband, former President Bill Clinton’s affair while in office; her failed presidential bid in 2008; a deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, during her time as secretary of state; and, most recently, a scandal over her use of a private email server while at State.

For some, Clinton has a reputation of being dishonest, inauthentic and willing to do anything to become president.

Cartoonists emphasize Clinton’s political correctness and portray her as robotic, dishonest and pandering to the electorate to win the presidency.

VIDEO: Cavna on capturing Clinton’s exaggerated ambition

“A lot of people don’t realize that political cartoonists… fancy ourselves just as serious as a political columnist.” -Matt Wuerker | POLITICO

Cartoonists have targeted both candidates’ high poll ratings for “unlikeability.” They share a belief that the presidential election will come down to which of the two is disliked, or even hated, less.


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NY Fashion Week Africa Features Designs by Ethiopia’s Fikirte Addis

Ethiopian Designer Fikirte-Addis' work to be featured at 2016 New York Fashion Week Africa. (Photos: AFW)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Recent works by Ethiopian designer Fikirte Addis, Founder & Creative Director of the Addis Ababa-based clothing line Yefikr Design, will be featured on September 10th during the New York Fashion Week Africa at Adiree Concept Store in downtown Manhattan.

Fikirte Addis, who is also a psychologist, “perfectly blends her love and passion for children and culture with creativity in her work,” Africa Fashion Week (AFW) notes. “Her label, Yefikir Design, celebrates urban Africa, featuring everyday wear in Ethiopia. Fikirte gets her inspiration from Ethiopian culture and the vibrant environment to reflect the everyday life of the people. She designs clothing from casual to wedding dresses mainly for women.”

Fikirte says she started designing in high school and launched her own company, Yefikir Design, in 2009. She states, “It is important for me not to lose the connection I have with my culture, just giving it a modern twist and bringing it to the international fashion arena.” Most of Fikirte’s fabrics are made from handspun cotton with design intended to provide comfort while maintaining top-tier style.


Photos: Fikirte Addis designs at Caribbean Fashion Week 2013. (Facebook)


Ethiopian Designer Fikirte Addis. (Courtesy photo/Facebook)

Africa Fashion Week adds: “Fikirte’s design aesthetic gently weaves between modern and traditional styles; using fabrics made by hand, assisted by a weaving machine, albeit producing clothing through century old techniques. Yefikr Design is mainly known for turning this fabric into tailor-made and fashionable designs without losing its cultural touch for the modern day woman..the Ethiopian designer is known for giving everyday cultural wear a modern twist.”


If You Go:
NYFWAfrica featuring Designer Fikirte Addis
Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 3:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)
Adiree Concept Store (SOHO)
104 Charlton St
between Hudson St and Greenwich St.
New York, NY 10014
Click here for Tickets
www.africafashionweekny.com

Related:
Video: Director of Africa Fashion Week in New York speaks to CNN:

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The Pankhurst Family Receives Lifetime Achievement Bikila Award

Sylvia Pankhurst, Dr. Richard Pankhurst, Rita Pankhurst and Dr. Alula Pankhurst will be honored with the 2016 Bikila Awards at a ceremony in Toronto, Canada on September 24th, 2016. (Courtesy photographs)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, September 5th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) –The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Bikila Award will be given to the Pankhurst Family for their timeless contribution to Ethiopian studies. The Canada-based Bikila Award organization announced that Sylvia Pankhurst, Dr. Richard Pankhurst, Rita Pankhurst and Dr. Alula Pankhurst will be honored with this year’s Bikila Award — named after Ethiopian marathon legend and Olympian Abebe Bikila — on September 24th at a dinner ceremony in Toronto.

The organization said it is bestowing the award on the British academic family for “their distinguished achievement and longstanding love of Ethiopia, and for their exceptional and enduring contributions as professionals and scholars to the study and preservation of Ethiopian history.”

The Pankhurst family’s involvement with Ethiopia dates back to World War II. According to Wikipedia, “Sylvia Pankhurst had been an active supporter of Ethiopian culture and independence since the Italian invasion in 1935, and Richard grew up knowing many Ethiopian refugees. Sylvia was a friend of Haile Selassie and published Ethiopia, a Cultural History in 1955. In 1956, she and Richard moved to Ethiopia. He began working at the University College of Addis Ababa, and in 1962 was the founding director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. He also edited the Journal of Ethiopian Studies and the Ethiopia Observer. Pankhurst led the campaign for the return of the Obelisk of Axum to Ethiopia. It was re-erected in Axum in 2008. In addition to his numerous books on Ethiopia, Pankhurst has written works on his mother, including Sylvia Pankhurst: Artist and Crusader and Sylvia Pankhurst: Counsel for Ethiopia.”


Photos from last year’s Bikila Award Ceremony and Dinner in Toronto, Canada. (Courtesy photographs)

Additional honorees at the 2016 Bikila Award event include acclaimed artist Alemtsehay Wedajo who will be recognized with the Professional Excellence Award “for her distinguished achievement as an actress, director, playwright, poet, leader, and mentor of the arts,” the Bikila Award organization said.

Honorary guest speakers at the 2016 program include Ethiopian American scientist Sossina M. Haile who is Professor of Materials Science & Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University, as well as Astrophysicist Dr. Brook Lakew, an Associate Director of Solar System Exploration Division at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. The keynote speaker is Author and Poet Lemn Sissay.

The 2016 Bikila Award ceremony & dinner will feature “cocktails, delicious food, and music by Fantahun & Ethio-Zema, as well as other entertainments and door prizes.”

Below is the complete list of the 2016 Award winners:

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners: Sylvia Pankhurst, Dr. Richard Pankhurst, Rita Pankhurst, Dr. Alula Pankhurst

Professional Excellence Award Winners: Dr. Fikre Germa, Dr. Girma Bitsuamlak, Alemtsehay Wedajo, Dr. Tegest Hailu, Dr. Gezahgn Wordofa

Academic Excellence & Scholarship Award Winners: Teddy Kassa, Nishan Zewge-Abubaker, Yohannes Melkie


If You Go:
The 2016 Bikila Award Celebration and Gala Dinner
September 24th, 2016
At Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street East
Toronto, Canada
www.bikilaaward.org

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Ethiopian Youth in Ohio Share Culture at New Americans Festival

Members of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services choir rehearse a dance in preparation for this year's New Americans International Festival in Columbus, Ohio. (PHOTO: JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEK)

ThisWeek Community News

The welcome mat is out.

When the New Americans Festival takes place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at the North YMCA, 1640 Sandalwood Place, it will be as much a chance for “old Americans” to meet and greet their new neighbors as it will be for members of the many refugee and immigrant populations in central Ohio to showcase their cultures and backgrounds.

“This is our focus this year, to really get the American-born population out and dispel some myths about immigrants and refugees,” said Laura Berger, director for development for Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, the host organization for the event.

“It’s through learning about your neighbor that we can come together and appreciate one another,” said Nadia Kasvin of US Together, a mutual-assistance agency she co-founded in 2003 that works to resettle immigrants.

“In our mission statement, the last two words are ‘for all,’ ” said Malik Wayne More, director of social responsibility for the YMCA of Central Ohio. “We know that if we’re not taking intentional efforts to welcome our newest Americans, then we’re probably not being ‘for all.’ ”

The New American Festival fills a cultural need for refugee and immigrant communities, according to the website of Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, a nonprofit that assists this population.

According to the organization, learning a new language and culture and establishing a new life in the United States puts pressure on immigrants to assimilate, which puts them at risk of losing the traditions and cultures of their homelands. The New Americans Festival offers an opportunity to share these cultures with others.


Video: Members rehearse dance Aug. 31 in Columbus, preparing to perform at this year’s New Americans International Festival

Read more at Thisweeknews.com »


Related:
This is What America Looks Like: Tefere Gebre, VP of AFL-CIO, Helps Immigrants to Vote

Tefere Gebre: Don’t tell me I’m not American – The True story of my journey from Ethiopia to the U.S.

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Mahmoud Ahmed First Artist from Ethiopia to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Mahmoud Ahmed. (Photo: by Damian Rafferty)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, September 1st, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian legend Mahmoud Ahmed, who celebrated his 75th birthday this year, will give a live concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City next month — becoming the first Ethiopian artist to perform at the world famous venue. Mahmoud is scheduled to perform at Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium on Saturday, October 22nd.

Mahmoud’s performance is part of Carnegie Hall’s “Around the Globe” program.

Carnegie Hall described Mahmoud Ahmed as an artist “who blends the traditional Amharic music of the African nation with pop and jazz for an ear-opening, ecstatic experience.”

Mahmoud Ahmed is one of Ethiopia’s legends and cultural icons. As Allmusic notes in their highlight of his biography: “His swooping vocals, complemented by the freewheeling jazziness of the Ibex Band (with whom he recorded his masterpiece, Ere Mela Mela), are very different from what normally is lumped into the broad expression Afro-pop.”


Mahmoud Ahmed on the cover of the award-winning Ethiopiques series album. (Allmusic.com)


If You Go:
Carnegie Hall Presents Mahmoud Ahmed
Saturday, October 22, 2016 | 8 PM
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Tickets from $12 to $70
Seating Chart (PDF)
BUY TICKETS

Related:
Mulatu Astatke to Perform at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

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Prince Ermias Receives 2016 People of Distinction Humanitarian Award

Prince Ermias Sahle Sellassie (center) with future astronauts at a NASA event in his honor, December 2015. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie of Ethiopia along with US Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia will be honored with the 2016 People of Distinction Humanitarian Award on September 13th. The founder of the annual award, Al Cole from CBS Radio, announced the ceremony will take place at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Prince Ermias, who is the grandson of Ethiopia’s former Emperor Haile Selassie, is being recognized with this year’s award for his prolific non-profit activities including his role as a cultural ambassador and “patron of the Haile Selassie Fund for Children in Need, which continues to sponsor student scholarships,” states the news release from The People of Distinction Humanitarian Foundation (PDHF).


Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie speaking at The American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) event in Houston, Texas, December 2015. (Courtesy photo)

“In August 2011, Prince Ermias established the Water Initiative for Africa, which is designed to bring drinking water to the People of Africa. This has resulted in the development of a unique series of water purification units, The Argonaut Series, which totally eliminates 100% of all biological contaminants in water.” The press release adds: It is now deployed in Ethiopia, with trials of this system in the U.S., Australia, Thailand, and Ethiopia. Prince Ermias is currently a Senior Fellow at the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), and is a Recipient of ISSA’s Silver Star Award for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress.”

Last winter The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) held a dinner event in Houston, Texas featuring a presentation on the earth observation and water initiative program launched by Prince Ermias whose work was also recognized with an AIAA award at the ceremony.

Per PDHF: “Prince Ermias received his education at Old Ride Preparatory School in England, and then at Haileybury College. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Studies (with an emphasis in Economics) from the University of California at Santa Barbara. From 1983 to 1985, he continued his education at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.”


If You Go:
2016 People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards (PDHA)
September 13, 2016 (5:30pm-8pm)
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Tickets: $50 click here to buy via PayPal
Email: Awards@PeopleOfDistinction.org / Office: 508-669-6987
www.peopleofdistinction.org

Related:
Interview With Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie (TADIAS)
In Pictures: 50th Anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s Historic Visit to Jamaica (TADIAS)

Under Pressure from Family Christie’s Skips Auction of Haile Selassie’s Watch
New Book on Triumph & Tragedy of Ethiopia’s Last Emperor Haile Selassie (TADIAS)

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This is What America Looks Like: Tefere Gebre Helps Immigrants to Vote

Tefere Gebre is the executive vice-president of AFL-CIO, the largest US federation of labor unions. Tefere moved to the US from Ethiopia as a child. He leads an effort to naturalize immigrants so they can vote.

The Guardian

Meet the refugee campaigning against Trump: ‘This is what America looks like’

New York — Few of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s policies have divided voters like his views on immigration. And as his promises to deport undocumented workers and build a wall with Mexico come under ever greater scrutiny, one US labor union is fighting back.

Starting on Tuesday, AFL-CIO, the largest US federation of labor unions, will start airing ads on social media starring executive vice-president Tefere Gebre, to back up a mail campaign in battleground states about what it means to be an American and an immigrant. It’s unlikely to win over Trump or his supporters, but that’s not who Gebre or AFL-CIO is looking to reach.

Gebre describes himself as a quadruple threat in Trump’s world. “I happen to be a black man, a refugee, an immigrant and a labor leader,” he said. The dynamic of this election gives some people a sense that some things are more “American” than others and Gebre wants to correct that. “My belief is that no one is more American than I am. I thought that people need to hear that,” he said.

After escaping Ethiopia as a child, Gebre came to the US. In his role at the AFL-CIO he has traveled across the country sharing his experience. In addition to discussing racial and economic justice, Gebre helped lead the union’s effort to naturalize immigrants across the nation so, come November, they can go out and vote for the America that welcomes everyone.

In 2013, there were about 8.8 million legal permanent residents who were eligible to apply for US citizenship. According to Pew Research Center, applications for naturalization increased 13% between October 2015 and January 2016 with a quarter of a million immigrants applying to become citizens.

“We are processing hundreds of thousands of people to become citizens and go to the ballot box and, one way or another, tell Donald Trump what they think in response of what he thinks of them,” said Gebre.

Read more at The Guardian »


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Tefere Gebre: Don’t tell me I’m not American – The True story of my journey from Ethiopia to the U.S.
Hillary Torches Trump: He is ‘Taking Hate Groups Mainstream’
How Can America Recover From Donald Trump’s Hatred and Paranoia?
What Will the Next US President Mean for Africa?
GOP Flight From Trump Continues

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Oscar-Talk: Ethiopia-born Ruth Negga Hollywood’s Next Big Thing

Ruth Negga attends the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Warcraft' in Hollywood, California on June 6, 2016. (Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, August 29th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian-born actress Ruth Negga has become the talk of Hollywood and Oscar mentions following her highly acclaimed performance in the new civil rights movie Loving, which depicts the 1967 historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage in a case called “Loving v. Virginia.” The film Loving is scheduled to be featured on opening night at the Austin Film Festival on October 13, 2016.

New York magazine’s Vulture.com gives an Oscar shoutout to the Ethiopian-born star for Best Actress noting “first-timers with the likeliest shot at a nomination are Ruth Negga, the Ethiopian-Irish actress who slays a practically nonverbal role in Loving using her big, empathetic eyes.”

Ruth, who is 34-years-old, was born in Addis Ababa in 1982, to an Ethiopian father (a medical doctor) and an Irish mother (a nurse) and lived in Ethiopia until the age of four when she moved to Ireland with her parents. Ruth’s father died three years later in a car accident when she was only seven-years old. Ruth grew-up in Limerick, Ireland and has resided in London for the past ten years.

“Ruth Negga’s recent rise is one of those 10-year overnight success stories,” The Hollywood Reporter declared this past Spring featuring an interview with Negga. They asked: “Why has it taken Hollywood so long to really discover you?”

“I have not been aggressive in my pursuit of being a star,” Ruth responded. “I’ve never had a plan. Maybe I need to be more aggressive, because it’s quite tough!”


Ruth’s new film is set to be featured on opening night at the Austim Film Festival on October 13, 2016. (photo credit: Goss.ie)


Ruth-Negga. (The Hollywood Reporter)

And “Your parents are in medicine. How did you become an actress?, The Hollywood Reporter followed up. “You know when you’re a kid and you get to pick a movie every Friday? I watched everything. There’s no particular genre that was appealing. I just loved the idea that you could dress up and play,” Ruth answered.

And this month The Wrap highlights Ruth Negga among 15 Fall Movie Stars Poised to Break Out, From Ruth Negga to Riz Ahmed (Photos).


Related:
Ethiopian-born Actress Ruth Negga Gets Thumbs-up for Lead Role in ‘Loving’

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In Seattle, African Athletics Org Renames 5k Race ‘Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run’

African Sports Federation (ASF) has renamed its annual 5k Race the 'Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run. (Photo: ASF Facebook)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, August 28th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — A Seattle-based African community athletics association has renamed its annual 5k Race the ‘Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run.’

The African Sports Federation (ASF) announced via social media on Saturday that the organization is dedicating its yearly competition to honor “the act of bravery by Feyisa Lilesa which took place in the Rio Olympics 2016.”

In a Facebook post ASF added: “As he was crossing the finish line of the Men’s Marathon, winning his silver medal he raised his arms over his head, wrists crossed in gesture of solidarity with protestors against the killings of the Oromo people in his home country of Ethiopia. Beyond that he explained he was protesting for people everywhere who have no freedom. That defining moment at the finish line will forever live on as a gesture that defended human dignity on one of the biggest stages in the world.”


Feyisa Lilesa held his arms over his head, wrists crossed, as he finished second at the Olympic marathon on Aug. 21st, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in a gesture of support for protesters in Ethiopia. (Photo: Reuters)

“ASF second annual 5k race will be named after Feyisa Lilesa, the Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run,” the Sports Federation said. “Not only do we want to display our gratitude to Lilesa but we also want to encourage other athletes to stand up for what they believe in…The Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Race will take place during the championship game of the 2016 Seattle African Cup presented by African Sports Federation,” the announcement said.

—-
Related:
In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics
Over $100000 Raised For Ethiopian Olympian Runner
Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest
Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games
Ethiopia Says Protesting Marathoner to Be Welcomed as Hero, But Does He Want to Go?
Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign
Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games »
Ethiopia Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Protests Government With Marathon Medal
Ethiopian Marathoner’s Protest Puts Him at Odds With His Government
Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio
Rio 2016 Olympics: Genzebe Dibaba Takes Silver Medal in the Women’s 1,500 Meters
Rio 2016 Olympics: Etenesh Diro Advances to 3,000-Meter Steeplechase With 1 Shoe
Ethiopia’s First Gold at Rio Olympics: Almaz Ayana Smashes 10,000m Record
Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism

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