Featured Section

Ethiopian Entrepreneur Alexander Assefa Wins Nevada Election

Small business owner and Ethiopian refugee Alexander Assefa will become an Assemblyman in the Nevada state legislature next year, after he defeated two primary challengers on Tuesday. (Photo: Alexander Assefa's campaign)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: June 16th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian-American entrepreneur Alexander Assefa has won a primary election on his way to become a state legislator representing Nevada’s 42nd assembly district.

“Thank you everyone who came out to celebrate my election with us,” Alexander said via Facebook. “It’s been quite a road.” He added: “Now it’s time to get to work and build a community that is inclusive and one that capitalizes on the richness of our diversity. Stay with me, fight with me & help me. Let’s do this TOGETHER, as one people.”

Alexander is set to replace Democratic Representative Irene Bustamante Adams after the 2018 November elections. Members of the Nevada State Assembly serve two-year terms.

According to the Nevada Independent “the small business owner and Ethiopian refugee who defeated two primary challengers was endorsed by the Assembly Democratic caucus, and received 55.3 percent of the vote. Assefa is the only candidate who will appear on the November ballot since no Republicans or third-party candidates filed to run for the seat.”

Below is Alexander Assefa’s bio courtesy of his campaign website:

ABOUT ALEXANDER ASSEFA

Alexander Assefa is a Democrat running for the Nevada State Assembly from the 42nd district. Alex was born and grew up in Ethiopia. While still a teenager, he was subject to life as a refugee in Kenya. In Nairobi, he had the opportunity to root himself in the Christian faith while he lived where refugees are not necessarily welcomed, often faced persecution and intolerance. Harbored in his church family, he avidly studied the bible. He then went on to serve his fellow refugees in various roles in the church, including in the choir and as a bible study leader at several locations in Nairobi.

In the year 2000, Alex immigrated to the United States and was resettled in Alexandria, VA. He learned English as his 3rd language and attended TC Williams High School. He then moved to Columbus, OH, where he graduated from high school. Alex attended flight school at Averett University in Danville, VA and became a pilot. He continued his education to earn a Political Science degree.

Alex moved and permanently settled in Las Vegas in 2006, where he met his wife Zenash. He is a small business owner, who has created jobs for many working families in the Las Vegas area. He is actively involved in his community, serves in his church and is a strong participant in the Clark County Democratic Party. Alex is a member of the Las Vegas Urban Chamber of Commerce.

Alexander Assefa is the founder and Chairman of the Clark County Democratic Party, Transport and Tourism Workers Caucus. In his role as a leader, he tirelessly advocates for working families and relentlessly fights for those who are marginalized and left voiceless in the political system. His participation in politics took root while he was in college, where he founded the college’s first Democratic Club. Alex also served as a Treasurer and Senator in the Student Government Association. He went on to serve as a volunteer during every presidential election since 2004 and various other local campaigns.

Alexander Assefa currently serves on the Board of Advisors at the ECDC African Community Center, in the organization’s mission to impact lives by resettling refugees from every part of the world. Prior to joining the Board of Advisors, Alex volunteered in this important organization by helping with job placement of newly arriving refugees in Southern Nevada. He is also community organizer in the East African community of southern Nevada, advocating for greater participation in the electoral system and active engagement in the affairs of his community.


You can learn more about Alexander Assefa at http://www.assefa4thepeople.com/assefa.html.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopian Hip-Hop Sensation Teddy Yo to Perform in NYC Saturday, June 16th

Teddy Yo's blends of traditional Ethiopian folk music and dance with hip-hop has gained him wide popularity (photo credit: Alegntaye Official Music Video).

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, June 14th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian hip-hop artist Teddy Yo is performing for the first time in New York City this weekend.

Teddy Yo is being hosted by the music & entertainment company Africology in collaboration with Bunna Cafe in Brooklyn on Saturday, June 16th, 2018.

The evening includes music by DJ Sirak and Sierra Leonean beats from Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew.

Teddy Yo is one of the first artists in Ethiopia who successfully gained widespread popularity for his fusion of hip-hop and Ethiopian folk music. The blending is not just in the sounds but mixing traditional dance movements with hip-hop as well.

Around 2009 Teddy Yo made a name for himself by creating a new sound no one had tried before,” states the Africology Facebook site. “He had created a local Hip-Hop genre called Guraggetone, a Hip-Hop style of music that embodied a Gurage (an Ethnic group in Southern Ethiopia) style beat with witty Amharic rhymes and modern dance moves. Today, he has reached new levels of popularity in the Horn, and has helped spawn a budding hip hop movement in the country.”

In 2016, Africology produced and released Teddy Yo’s music video entitled Alegntaye, which continues to garner the artist wide acclaim.

Teddy Yo released his second album, Arada, Vol.2 earlier this year.


IF YOU GO:

Date: Saturday, June 16th, 2018
Time: 11pm to 4am
Location: Bunna Cafe, 1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Purchase tickets here


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

DC: Smithsonian & Beteseb Center Host Africa Beteseb (Family) Portrait Day

Beteseb Painting event at the Smithsonian African Art Museum in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

June 13th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — There’s no better way to spend a summer evening outdoors than to paint or learn how to paint while listening to great music. Last year we featured such as an event at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. hosted by Beteseb Center and Feedel Band.

For a second year in a row Beteseb Center is once again collaborating with the Smithsonian African Art Museum to organize an “evening of painting and Malian music under the summer skies” on Saturday, June 16th. The theme for this year’s gathering is “Africa Beteseb (Family) Portrait Day.”

The Beteseb art program was launched by two Ethiopian artists in DC three years ago as an alternative venue for young people in the area to create art while spending quality time and a night out with friends and family.

“Start by getting inspired during a guided tour of World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean,” the Smithsonian announced. “This exhibition particularly highlights the personal, including home architecture and gorgeous articles of adornment. A wide range of fun studio photography demonstrates the cross-cultural influences in Swahili cultures and the incredible diversity of the Indian Ocean region. Then, head out to the Enid A. Haupt Garden to make your very own portrait! Use your portrait to consider questions of identities, nationalities, and how we represent ourselves to the world.”


If You Go:
Africa Beteseb (Family) Portrait Day
Sat, June 16, 2018
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, DC 20560
Click here to RSVP


Related:
In Pictures: Beteseb Painting Session at Smithsonian in DC — June 2017

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

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopian Airlines Begins Flight to Chicago

(Photo: Ethiopian Airlines Facebook)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

June 11th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian Airlines launched a new flight from Addis Ababa to Chicago this past weekend on June 9th. The three-times-per-week flight aboard a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner departs Chicago on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, while the flights out of Addis Ababa en route to Chicago make a stop in Dublin, Ireland.

Chicago is Ethiopian Airlines’ fourth destination in the United States after Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, California and Newark, New Jersey.


US Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor attended the innaguration ceremony. (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines Facebook)

“Day by day we are witnessing new successes at Ethiopian Airlines. Two days back, we celebrated the 100th aircraft milestone of Ethiopian Airlines and today we are inaugurating flights to Chicago,” said Michael Raynor, Ambassador of the United States to Ethiopia. “The US Government and the American Embassy in Addis Ababa will continue to support the growth of the airline.”

Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam added: “Chicago is the main hub of our Star Alliance partner, United Airlines and the flight will be operated together with United to avail the best product for travelers from all over the US connecting to 58 destinations in Africa. The flight will further boost the growing economic and people-to-people relations between the US and Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular by enabling greater flow of trade, investment and tourism.”

Ethiopian Airlines is the largest Aviation Holding Company in Africa and a SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Photos: Remembering Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Ethiopia

The host of CNN's travel and food show "Parts Unknown" Chef Anthony Bourdain (L) enjoys tej at a restaurant in Addis Ababa, where he traveled in 2015 with Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Maya Haile. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

June 9th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — CNN’s internationally renowned TV host Anthony Bourdain had visited Ethiopia three years ago as host of the acclaimed television program, Parts Unknown.

“Ethiopia is a big, diverse place,” he wrote at the time while traveling and exploring Ethiopia’s rich culture and cuisine. “I learned a lot about a beautiful country while making this episode, and enjoyed doing it.”

CNN announced yesterday that Bourdain had died on Friday, June 8th with the cause attributed to suicide. He was 61. The company said Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode when his friend discovered him unresponsive in his hotel room.

“On his award-winning series, Parts Unknown, Bourdain brought the world home to CNN viewers,” the network said. “Through the simple act of sharing meals, he showcased both the extraordinary diversity of cultures and cuisines, yet how much we all have in common.”

During his 2015 visit to Ethiopia Bourdain was accompanied by his friends Ethiopian-born chef, restaurateur and author Marcus Samuelsson and his model wife Maya Gate Haile.

“It’s always good to have a friend with a close association and personal history in a country, so we’re going to take a very personal look at that place,” Bourdain had said. “Marcus and Maya come from two very different, distinct regions: different topography, different cuisine, different languages. They both left Ethiopia at different times in their lives — and under very different circumstances. So, watching the two of them experience Ethiopia in their own ways, and yet also together, was fascinating.”

On twitter Marcus Samuelsson said: “Maya and I are so sad to hear the news of our dear friend today. You will be missed terribly.”

Below are photos from Anthony Bourdain’s visit to Ethiopia courtesy of Maya Haile:


CNN’s Anthony Bourdain in Addis Ababa with Marcus Samuelsson and Maya Haile. (Courtesy photo)


Image from the Bourdain’s Ethiopia episode showing food preparation. (Courtesy photo)


Anthony Bourdain also highlighted the burgeoning skateboarding scene in Addis as part of his Ethiopia segment. (Courtesy of Maya Haile)

Worldwide outpouring of sympathy

Bourdain’s tragic death generated a worldwide outpouring of sympathy on social media. Former President Barack Obama shared a photo via Twitter with Bourdain in Vietnam while Obama was on a trip through Asia in 2016. According to CNN the encounter was “captured in a Parts Unknown episode that year.”


“He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.” — Barack Obama. (Photo by Pete Souza)

Journalist Christiane Amanpour tweeted: “My heart breaks for Tony Bourdain. May he rest in peace now. He was a friend, a collaborator, and family. A huge personality, a giant talent, a unique voice, and deeply, deeply human. My heart goes out to his daughter and family, and his longtime partners and friends at ZPZ.”

CNN added: “The news of Bourdain’s death was met by profound sadness within CNN, where Parts Unknown has aired for the past five years. In an email to employees, the network’s president, Jeff Zucker, remembered him as an “exceptional talent.”

“Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it,” Zucker wrote.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Reformer-in-chief: Abiy Ahmed Has Made an Impressive Start

Ethiopia’s new prime minister wants peace and privatisation. (Getty Images)

The Economist

THE speed of events caught Ethiopians off guard. When Abiy Ahmed took office as prime minister on April 2nd he did so as the head of a deeply divided ruling coalition. The inexperienced 42-year-old, who came from the Oromo wing of the ethnically based coalition, was viewed with deep suspicion by many of his establishment colleagues. He was taking charge of a country under a state of emergency after more than three years of anti-government protests and ethnic unrest. Few expected him to achieve much soon.

The past few weeks have pleasantly surprised. After an inaugural address in which he called for unity and apologised for the government’s killing of protesters, the former army officer toured the country to muster support. At mass rallies and town-hall meetings he adopted a strikingly different tone from that of his two most recent predecessors. Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned in February, was timid and aloof. Meles Zenawi, who ruled as a strongman from 1995 to 2012, was stern and cerebral. Mr Abiy, by contrast, presents himself as a friend of the country’s young protesters. “We want to work hand-in-hand with you,” he told cheering crowds in Oromia, the centre of unrest.

Exiled opponents have been invited home. Representatives of dissident media outlets based abroad have been encouraged to set up shop in Addis Ababa, the capital. Terrorism charges against dozens of activists have been dropped, including against a British citizen, Andargachew Tsige, who had been on death row.

Mr Abiy says he plans to amend the constitution and introduce term limits for his position. On June 2nd his cabinet said the state of emergency would be lifted two months earlier than planned. Then, on June 5th, the politburo of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), said it would at last implement a peace agreement, signed in 2000, that would hand over disputed territories to Eritrea and put a formal end to the war the two countries fought (and Ethiopia won) from 1998 to 2000. That could pave the way for reconciliation and, perhaps, give Ethiopia renewed access to Eritrea’s ports.

Read more »


Related:
Dr. Abiy Making Ethiopia Optimistic Again

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopia Offers Eritrea Chance to End Africa’s Longest War

Ethiopia says it will withdraw its troops from the Badme region, as Eritrea has long demanded. (Getty Images)

BBC

Ethiopia’s surprise announcement that it will abide by a 2002 border ruling raises the prospect of a final end to what was Africa’s deadliest border war and peace with its long-time rival, Eritrea.

Tens of thousands of people were killed in the two-year conflict and Eritrea remains on a war footing, demanding that Ethiopia withdraws from the “occupied territory”.

How genuine is this peace offer?

It seems pretty genuine.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signalled in his inauguration speech in April that a major policy shift could be in the offing – he called on Eritrea to resolve their differences, saying the two neighbours were “not only intertwined in interests but also in blood”.

Now, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has announced it will fully accept and implement the peace deal that ended the war.

Mr Abiy said soldiers deployed to the contested town of Badme had experienced “psychological effects”, according to the state-linked Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

“We should end this suffering, and fully return to peace,” the prime minister is quoted as saying.

Ethiopia’s previous leaders always said they accepted the 2002 ruling but they never actually implemented it.

Mr Abiy’s announcement is especially significant as it comes after the release of thousands of jailed politicians, activists and protesters, including British citizen Andargachew Tsege who was being held on death row, and the promise of wider reforms.

What does Eritrea say?

Eritrea has not commented on Ethiopia’s announcement but Information Minister Yemane Gebre Meskel had previously told the BBC that relations could not be resolved until Ethiopia withdrew “from the occupied territories”.

“The ball is now in Eritrea’s court,” Tesfalem Araia from the BBC’s Tigrinya service says.

“Eritrea has been on a war footing and the justification for forced conscription into the army has been the conflict with Ethiopia,” he adds.

That forced conscription is the reason given by most of the thousands of Eritreans who flee the country, making the perilous journey to Europe.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopia Lifts State of Emergency

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. (Reuters Photo/Tiksa Negeri)

Reuters

Updated: JUNE 5, 2018

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s parliament approved on Tuesday the government’s decision to lift a six-month state of emergency two months earlier than planned, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting reported.

The government imposed emergency rule in February to clamp down on unrest sparked by a planned development scheme for the capital Addis Ababa which some fear will lead to land seizures in the nearby Oromiya region. The matter led to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to step down.

On Saturday, Ethiopia’s cabinet had met to assess the security situation and “noted that law and order has been restored”, setting the stage for Tuesday’s vote in parliament.

Abiy Ahmed, a former army officer who replaced Hailemariam as premier, has travelled around Ethiopia, promising to address grievances strengthen a range of political and civil rights.

Authorities have pledged to push through a raft of reforms that have included the release of thousands of prisoners.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

The Aslan Project Fundraiser Hosting Red Rooster Harlem on June 4th

photo credit: The Aslan Project

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, June 1st, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — The Aslan Project – an organization that focuses primarily on providing access to treatment for pediatric cancer patients in Ethiopia — will be holding their annual fundraiser this year in New York City at Red Rooster Harlem on June 4th, 2018.

A few years ago two children from Ethiopia, Temesgen Gamacho and Eyoel Fanta, were pediatric cancer patients at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. when the unthinkable happened for their parents and loved ones. Both children did not survive their illness. Eyoel had been diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia, which was one of the most curable pediatric cancers. The loss of these two children drove their physician, Dr. Aziza Shad, who was Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Georgetown Hospital at the time, to launch The Aslan Project in Ethiopia in 2012 and jumpstart a large-scale commitment to set up a world-class cancer treatment program for children in Ethiopia.

Today the Aslan Project has built an innovative and large international network of volunteer pediatric cancer specialists in collaboration with parents of pediatric patients to support Ethiopia’s pediatric hematology/oncology programs at Tikur Anbessa (Black Lion) Hospital in Addis Ababa as well as at Jimma University Hospital. The program in Addis Ababa is now being managed by Dr. Daniel Hailu Kefeni, one of the first graduates of the pediatric cancer fellowship set up by The Aslan Project five years ago at Tikur Anbessa Hospital.

In a 2016 interview with Tadias from Washington, D.C. Julie Broas, Executive Director of The Aslan Project, shared that “in addition to giving children a chance to survive a curable cancer the organization’s mission was to provide equitable access for families in low-resource settings to high standard local treatment.” Broas added: “What we chose to do in Ethiopia is to focus on medical education and training of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, because that’s how you would build a comprehensive program that’s locally supported and sustainable.”


(Photo: Courtesy of the Aslan Project)

Dr. Tenagne Haile-Mariam, who works in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University Hospital as well as a board member of the The Aslan Project, reiterated that “the key is to create a whole system that’s linked to locally existing initiatives, not a situation where you can just send a doctor and say ‘go at it’ because they will fail,” she said. “This is why The Aslan Project is a catalytic program, because in order to implement it you have to put into place not just the right people, but you have to put them in a system where they can work in order to ensure sustainability.”


You can learn more and supprt the The Aslan Project at www.aslanproject.org.

If You Go:
The Aslan Project Fundraiser
Date: Monday, June 4th, 2018
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Red Rooster Harlem
310 Lenox Ave, NY, NY 10027

To purchase tickets or an event sponsorship visit The Aslan Project site.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

‘Jember’: Ethiopia’s First Superhero Comic Series Entertains & Empowers Fans with African History

Jember Series written and created by Beserat Debebe tells the story about a recent college graduate on a job search in Addis Ababa who comes across extraordinary powers. (photo credit: Etan Comics Facebook)

Atlanta Black Star

ATLANTA — The first Ethiopian superhero comic is fusing the various parts of African history and culture into one contemporary and relatable story. “Jember” from Etan Comics was written and created by Beserat Debebe and tells the story about a recent college graduate on a job search in Addis Ababa who comes across extraordinary powers. Amanuel Tilahun is transformed into Jember and readers can grab issue #1 to discover who the hero really is, where the powers came from and how they’ll transform Tilahun’s life.

“Amanuel’s story shows that a hero is not defined by where he/she comes from, or what he/she has accomplished, or his/her (super) abilities, Debebe told OkayAfrica Tuesday, May 15. “Heroes are defined by the choices they make, their will and desire to do what is right, despite the difficulty of circumstances and irrespective of the recognition they might get.”

Setting the plot apart, Debebe used African history, culture and mythology to tell Jember’s story. The Kingdom of Punt, an ancient East African civilization, plays a major role in the book’s creation.

“Our mission with Etan Comics is to entertain, empower, and educate our fans. We hope to entertain our audiences with fresh fantasy stories based on African history and mythology, and set in present-day African countries,” Debebe explained. “We want to empower the current and future generation of Africans and challenge them to expand their imagination by showing them we strive to portray superheroes that rise from African cities and stand as the symbol for justice, peace, equality, hope and love for their community and the world. We aim to broaden our readers’ perspectives about Africa by depicting a narrative that encourages everyone to learn more about the continents rich history, culture, and innovative day to day life.”

The first issue of “Jember” is on sale now and is available in English and Amharic.

Read more about the new comic series»


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopia: Abiy Indicates Visa Free Entry by All Africans Sparking Lively Tweets

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. (Photo: EPA)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

May 28th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — PM Abiy’s recent indication of a visa free entry to Ethiopia by all Africans has sparked a lively online conversation on the topic.

The PM made the comment while hosting the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, in Addis Ababa this past weekend.

Rwanda is the first country in Africa to implement such a program.

“The President invited all Africans to travel to Rwanda without visas, we will follow you very soon,” Abyi said during a state banquet in honor of Kagame on Friday.

The website This is Africa pointed out: “While Prime Minister Abiy did not give specific details of the plan to allow all Africans to travel to Ethiopia without visas, the proposal is a laudable step to open Africa’s borders. The policy will open up the east African country to African visitors, and it will undoubtedly ease the free movement of African nationals and boost tourism.”

“The issuance of visa-on-arrival for all countries was widely celebrated by many across the continent, and on social media,” the website enthused. “The announcement by Prime Minister Abiy is indeed laudable and demonstrates that African countries are beginning to act on the implementation of the African Union’s (AU) 2063 Agenda for “a continent with seamless borders” to help facilitate the free movement of African citizens.”

Africa News added: “For a country that is widely seen as not open in respect of visa acquisition, the disclosure by the PM has been received with different reaction…Whiles most people expressed joy at the idea, others also had concerns with respect to security and for one commenter, the state of the capital Addis Ababa – stressing the incidence of street dwelling and lack of basic amenities.”


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Etenesh Wassié’ Gives Europe Ethio Blues

Etenesh Wassié, Mathieu Sourisseau and Sébastien Bacquias perform on RFI's Musiques du Monde. (RFI/Laurence Aloir)

RFI

Ethiopian vocalist Etenesh Wassié began her career in Addis aged just 15 singing in traditional music venues known as Azmari Bet. She’s now building a successful career in Europe singing azmari songs and working, notably, with French musicians. Her second album Yene Alem is out in June.

Wassié was introduced to European audiences thanks to Francis Falceto, producer of the influential Ethiopiques compilations of Ethiopian music.

“I met her in the 90s after the end of the revolution when the curfew was cancelled and nightlife was passable again,” says Falceto. “She was one of my favourite singers then and she still is very active. And mostly abroad, because she’s musical enough and talented enough to deal with musicians from all over the world and especially with French musicians.”

She began working with French band Le Tigre des Platanes about a decade ago.

“I was dreading the rehearsals,” she told RFI’s Musiques du Monde programme “but after four or five concerts it got easier.”

She now seems perfectly at ease performing live with bass player Mathieu Sourisseau – with whom she’s recorded Yene Alem – and cellist Sébastien Bacquias.

“She’s an incredibly talented vocalist,” says Falceto. “Her voice, her sense of fun, on stage she’s a hurricaine but she can also be an incredible blueswoman. For me she has a brilliant future if she goes ahead properly she can fly very high.”

Etenesh Wassié performs at Les Nuits de Fourvière festival in Lyon on 22 July with Mahmoud Ahmed and Girma Beyené.

Yene Alem is out on 8 June.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Amnesty International USA Hosts Conference on Human Rights in Ethiopia

Soliyana Shimeles, Bekele Gerba, Andualem Aragie and Eskinder Nega are among the Ethiopian speakers at the upcoming Amnesty International USA conference regarding human rights in Ethiopia and its regional implications. (Photos via CPJ, NPR, YouTube and by Befekadu Hailu)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

May 26th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is hosting a conference next month in New York City focusing on the state of human rights in Ethiopia. Among the main speakers are recently released former prisoners of conscience including journalist Eskinder Nega, opposition party leaders Bekele Gerba and Andualem Aragie as well as Zone 9 blogger Soliyana Shimeles and other civil society leaders.

The conference, which is set to take place on June 8th at the New York Ethical Society in Manhattan is organized by the Bronx chapter of Amnesty International USA in collaboration with a coalition of US-based Africa Diaspora associations.

“The conference will focus on the closing political space, human rights defenders in the region and building links among different Diaspora groups,” AIUSA said in a press release. “We have invited some of the leading voices of civil society working on these issues in the region as well as activists here in the United States who have been supporting efforts in the region to protect and expand political space, establish accountable governments and ensure respect for human rights.”

AIUSA has announced their invited speakers list as follows:

1. ESKINDER NEGA, recently released former prisoner of conscience and journalist.

2. Dr. BEKELE GERBA, recently released former prisoner of conscience, one of the leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress, English Professor at Addis Ababa University.

3 ANDUALEM ARAGIE, recently released former prisoner of conscience, Vice President and Press Secretary for the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJP).

4. Dr. AWOL ALLO, lecturer at Keele University in the UK. He also taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Dr. Awol has published many academic articles in reputable journals. He has been a frequent guest analyst on the mainstream media like the BBC and Al-Jazeera on issues related to Ethiopia and Horn of Africa.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Eskinder Nega Makes Surprise Appearance at 2018 PEN America Literary Gala in NYC

Journalist Eskinder Nega was released on February 14, 2018, after serving nearly seven years in prison. (Photo: Befekadu Hailu)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

May 23rd, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — Six years ago this month when PEN America honored Eskinder Nega with the prestigious “Freedom to Write” award, the Ethiopian journalist was in prison serving an 18-year sentence for criticizing the government.

But on Tuesday evening Eskinder made a surprise appearance at the 2018 PEN Literary Gala in New York City to personally thank the organization for the accolade that was bestowed on him in 2012.

Eskinder was released in February after spending nearly seven years behind bars.

“We live in an age of paradox,” Eskinder told the crowd that had gathered at the American Museum of Natural History. “On the one hand, we have countries, amongst them the U.S., home of the First Amendment, where freedom of expression has come to be taken for granted, and on the other, Ethiopia, my country, where the freedom to express oneself without restraint, without reprisal, is still an elusive ideal, still distant as the stars.”

Eskinder added: “And in this world of two realities, I ask whether those who are free have an obligation towards those of us who are unfree. I say they do…In the prize I received from PEN America, I see the solidarity of the free to the unfree. I see the triumph of our common humanity over our differences. I see our common destiny, which is that of freedom for all humanity.”

Among the eminent writers who attended the event included Ethiopian American novelist Dinaw Mengestu.

Watch: Eskinder Nega speaking at 2018 PEN America Literary Gala:

In a press release the organization said: “PEN America welcomed a broad cross-section of New York luminaries to the American Museum of Natural History Tuesday night for the at once celebratory and urgent 2018 PEN Literary Gala, held at a time when open discourse and press freedom—liberties that the organization has defended worldwide for nearly a century—are under threat in the U.S. as well as abroad. Provocative speeches from literary and activist leaders rallied the nearly 950 guests to redouble their efforts in defense of truth, facts, the role of the media, and open dialogue as foundations of democracy. In the dramatic setting of the Museum’s Millstein Hall of Ocean Life, under its famed, 94-foot-long blue whale, the literary community came together in a remarkable display of solidarity to advance the mission of PEN America, led by its recently elected President, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan.”


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopia to Make Emperor Menelik’s Palace a Tourist Site

(Photo via Face2Face Africa)

Face2Face Africa

The palace of Minilik was built 100 years ago by King Menelik II and this year, Ethiopian government will make it a tourist site.

The Menelik Palace contains several residences, halls, chapels, and working buildings.

The palace’s mastermind, King Menelik II, reined from 1889 to his death in 1913.

He is known for his territorial expansion and creation of modern Ethiopia. Most notably, he is remembered for leading Ethiopian troops in a decisive victory at the Battle of Adwa against forces of fascist Italy in the First Italo-Ethiopian War.

Emperor Haile Selassie also used the compound to preside over judicial issues. Mengistu Haile Mariam, whose party took over after Selassie was overthrown, used the palace grounds as a prison to house many notables of the imperial government including Selassie himself. Mengistu, who is now in exile, built his office within the compound.

The palace now serves as the seat of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

Abiy Ahmed, the country’s recently installed Prime Minister, believes that opening the site will help to highlight Ethiopia’s history.

Read more »


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Spotlight: Ethiopian-American Engineer Berhane Tadese Receives IEEE Award for Managerial Excellence

Electrical Engineer Berhane Tadese at IEEE award ceremony earlier this month (Courtesy Photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

May 19th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) — which is also known as “the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity” — has honored Electrical Engineer Berhane Tadese for Managerial Excellence in an Engineering Organization at a ceremony held earlier this month on May 5 at the Midtown New York Hilton Hotel. The IEEE award cites Mr. Berhane’s “outstanding leadership and contributions to electrical engineering management in the design and construction of vital railroad signaling projects and teaching the next generation of signal engineers for the MTA New York City Transit.” 

Mr. Berhane was awarded as a Region 1 recipient representing IEEE members from the northeastern region of the United States, which includes professionals from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. IEEE currently has approximately 400,000 members and award recipients include scientists, professional engineers and engineering students. 

Mr. Berhane has over 33 years of engineering experience in the design and construction of railroad signaling capital projects for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit, which is “the largest public transit authority in the United States..carrying over 11 million passengers on an average weekday systemwide” according to Wikipedia. 

Currently serving as Program Manager, Mr. Berhane is primarily responsible for “replacing outdated signaling with state-of-the-art communications-based train control systems on the Queens Line corridor in New York City, and manages a team of signal engineers working on the design, test and commissioning of railroad signal systems.” In addition to his managerial work, Mr. Berhane has also been teaching fundamental and advanced signal design courses to young engineers who are starting their careers at the MTA-NYC Transit, and encouraging them to join professional development organizations such as the IEEE. 

“The award reflects not only my personal achievements, it also reflects my family’s and colleagues’ support,” Mr. Berhane told Tadias. “Nothing can be achieved without support from the communities and people around the individual. It also meant a lot to my home country, Ethiopia as I am her product and it taught me the value of hard work.”

Mr. Berhane earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and his Master’s degree in the same field from City University of New York’s School of Engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of New York and is currently a member of America Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) as well as Senior Member of the IEEE. Outside of his professional interests, Mr. Berhane is actively involved with the Ethiopian EDIR Mutual Assistance Association of New York (EEMAA) serving as its first Secretary as well as the Chairperson of the Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for the past 4 years. 

We congratulate Mr. Berhane on his IEEE award!


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan Agree to Study Filling of Nile Dam (AP)

Ethiopia's multi-billion dollar self-funded Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is currently under construction on the Blue Nile river in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed, as well as one of the top 10 largest in the world. (Photo via Twitter)

AP

By ELIAS MESERET

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Officials from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan early Wednesday announced progress in talks on what will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam.

The foreign ministers of Egypt and Ethiopia and Sudan’s water resources minister said they will set up a scientific study group to consult on the filling of Ethiopia’s $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River. They also confirmed that leaders from the three nations will meet every six months for consultations.

The latest talks came after a round of negotiations last week in Cairo failed. More high-level talks are set for July 3 in Cairo.

Egypt fears too much of the Nile’s waters could be retained each year, affecting its agriculture. Ethiopia maintains that the dam’s construction will not reduce Egypt’s share of the water and that it will help Ethiopia’s development, pointing out that 60 million of its citizens don’t have access to electricity.

“We have charted a road map that, if successful, will be able to break difficulties that we have been facing,” Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters after the marathon talks.

“One step forward to Ethiopia,” the country’s foreign affairs spokesman, Meles Alem, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The mega-dam is now more than 63 percent complete. Once complete it will generate about 6,400 megawatts, more than doubling Ethiopia’s current production of 4,000 megawatts.

According to a document obtained by the AP, the scientific group will discuss and develop “various scenarios related to the filling and operation rules in accordance with the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of shared water resources while taking all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm.”


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopian Airlines Adds Second U.K. Stop

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in DC, August 2012. (Photo by Gediyon Kifle for Tadias)

Bloomberg

Ethiopian Air to Add Manchester in Extension of Brussels Flights

Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise will start serving Manchester in northern England from December, adding a second U.K. destination months before Britain is due to quit the European Union and 45 years after the carrier began flying to London Heathrow.

The service from Addis Ababa will operate four times weekly using a Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner jet in a two-class layout, initially as an extension of the carrier’s existing Brussels route, Ethiopian Air said in a statement Monday.

Ethiopian, Africa’s largest airline by passenger traffic, has developed a network that links 67 major global cities with almost 60 African destinations via its hub in the capital. About 400,000 people living within a two-hour drive of Manchester currently travel to Africa each year, according to the airport.

Tewolde GebreMariam, the airline’s chief executive officer, said in an interview that the initial flights are being tacked on to the Brussels route in order to test the market and that direct services should begin some time next year.

The route will boost trade, investment and tourism in both directions, according to the CEO, who added that he has no concerns that Brexit will affect demand.

Read more »


Africa in the news: Ethiopian Airlines scale up expansion plans (Brookings)


In Pictures: Ethiopian airlines 787 Dreamliner. (Photos by Gediyon Kifle for Tadias)

This week, Ethiopian Airlines announced that it would scale up its expansion plans and will increase its fleet to 150 aircrafts by 2025 from the earlier target of 120. The airline also confirmed an order for 10 Bombardier Q400 aircraft last week and intends to place orders for 13 additional Boeing 787s and 6 Airbus A350s soon. Ethiopian Airlines currently has 100 planes in its fleet and is the largest African carrier by revenue and profit. In the last few years, the airline has grown rapidly, tripling the number of passengers it flew between 2008 and 2017.

Ethiopian airlines has also invested in other African carriers as part of its growth strategy, buying a minority stake in Malawi Airlines in 2013 and announcing a deal with the Zambian government to relaunch Zambia Airways in January. According to its CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, the airline is negotiating with governments in Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea to set up new national carriers through joint ventures.


Related:
Ethiopian Airlines Launches Direct Flight From Addis Ababa to Chicago

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Abaynesh Asrat Honored by UN Women’s Metropolitan New York Chapter

Abaynesh Asrat. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

May 9th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — Abaynesh Asrat, Founder & CEO of Nation to Nation Networking has been named one of the Champions of Change in 2018 and will be formally honored at an awards ceremony on Friday, May 18th by UN Women’s Metropolitan New York chapter.

The last time that we featured Abaynesh — whose prior achievements included working to eradicate fistula, promoting youth ambassadors for health, and providing diversity leadership training programs — she was in Ethiopia hosting a workshop in collaboration with Addis Ababa University on solar energy as an alternative to women’s backbreaking daily task of fetching firewood and coal for fuel in remote and rural parts of the country.

The 2018 Champions of Change celebration honors women who worked in various areas including economic empowerment, peace & security, political participation, eliminating violence against women, media and advocacy.

“We are proud to recognize these women and men who make significant contributions to women’s empowerment and gender equality in their professional and personal lives” states the formal announcement for the event. “These diverse champions have made an impact on a wide range of issues including women’s economic and political empowerment, gender-based violence, peace and security, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

Born in Ethiopia, Abaynesh lives in New York holds a B.A. from Bennett College in North Carolina as well as an M.A. in Social Science from East Michigan University. Her non-profit, Nation to Nation Networking launched in 2004, bridges health, education and economic development programs for young children and their families in urban Ethiopia. The organization facilitates short term access to yearly eye examinations as well as financial support for uniforms, food, and school building rent, while visionary long-term aims include addressing early marriage issues, which affects adolescents’ access to full-time schooling. Nation to Nation Networking develops and implements results-oriented projects aimed at promoting culture and understanding to serve under-privileged communities, without fragmenting those cultures, through empowerment and enrichment.


(Courtesy photo)

As a former clinician and administrator at New York Medical College, Abaynesh also developed a program that trains medical students to see beyond the stethoscope and observe how social and economic issues affect their patients. She implemented interventions for families to end the cycle of violence while trained staff provided peaceful living awareness and conflict prevention training. Her contributions led to establishing an infant and toddler rehabilitation school, within a hospital setting, where early development challenges and parental behavior are addressed and corrected on-site.

Abaynesh describes her work as encompassing and “creating a world with equal access to resources and open conversation on topics that promote change at a global level.” She highlights that her passion and commitment to social change comes from a “devotion to empower women, families and underserved communities,” and she therefore diligently and successfully envisions and executes programs and conversations committed to justice and human rights. She has been a strong advocate for the empowerment of women and families, and in particular against organ trafficking affecting migrant domestic workers as well as disseminating key awareness training and workshops via speaking engagements and conferences hosted by Nation to Nation networking in African countries and beyond on various projects including use of solar power energy for households, maternal health & fistula education, and prevention of infant mortality. Abaynesh’s philanthropy and activism work has also been presented at UN NGO CSW parallel events, and her innovative programs have changed the way communities think and work, and helped open conversations that pioneer forward-thinking, thoughtful action.

As an activist Abaynesh has worked with international lawyers on issues such as “bill of rights of child marriage” and “child labor” with a goal towards incorporating legislation within the UN charters of protections. Abaynesh has been recognized and awarded for her work by organizations including the New York Metropolitan Museum, MLK Jr. Center for Non-Violence, the Association of Black Educators of New York, Africa Chamber of Commerce, the Fistula Foundation, National Council of Women of U.S., the New York Women’s Agenda (Galaxy Woman), and NBS radio talk host and W.F. Ambassador of Peace.

“If we have understanding, we can build peace” Abaynesh says.

Abaynesh is currently a Board member of UN Women’s National Committee, United States Metropolitan New York Chapter, and a member of the Planning Committee of UN NGO CSW, NY, CEDAW Task Force. In the past she served as a Board member for the Museum of Art and Design and New York Women’s Agenda as well as the Fistula Foundation, where she was also National Fundraising Chair for the foundation’s initiative to build a specialty hospital in Harar in 2002. Abaynesh continues to remain involved with Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia and their established Midwifery College, and has conducted speaking engagements with UNIFEM, UNICEF and the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) planning committee. She also previously served for two terms as President & CEO of the Coalition of Ethiopian Women in New York with the goal of aiding individuals in adjusting to a new adopted country and culture as well as providing resources for violence prevention against women.

We congratulate Abaynesh on her selection as a UN Women 2018 Champion of Change for Gender Equality!


IF YOU GO:
Champions of Change for Gender Equality
Friday, May 18, 2018
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street New York, NY, 10011United States
Purchase tickets at this link:
6pm Reception
7pm Awards Ceremony

Emcee Laura Brounstein from Cosmopolitan and Seventeen Magazines. Entertainment by Batalá New York, TrevMoMatic, and Emmy® Award-winner Mickela Mallozzi of PBS’s Bare Feetwith Mickela Mallozzi.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Dr. Abiy Making Ethiopia Optimistic Again

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (right) with daughters. (Photo via Twitter)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: May 7th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — Dr. Abiy Ahmed is making Ethiopians feeling optimistic again.

Just this past week the new PM led successful negotiations with neighboring countries that allowed his land-locked country of 100 million people to take a stake in the Port of Djibouti and Port of Sudan.

Now there is even talk of possible peace with Eritrea. Who knows, but if there is success in rekindling formal Ethiopia-Eritrea dialogue it may also lead to Ethiopia’s potential use of Assab Port through a lease or similar business arrangement with Eritrea. Certainly, such a development would also allow the latter to jump-start its economy and reestablish relations with its one-time biggest trading partner that’s now ranked as Africa’s fastest growing economy.

In February when Ethiopia’s former Prime Minister announced his surprise resignation “there was little reason to think his successor would be an improvement,” notes The Washington Post in an article published on Sunday titled “After years of Unrest, Ethiopians are Riding an Unlikely Wave of Hope. Will it Last?

The newspaper adds:”The country was under a state of emergency that followed a years-long state crackdown on opposition political activity. Thousands of activists and dissident journalists had been detained, and hundreds had died in demonstrations crushed by government forces. Then came Abiy Ahmed, who at 42 is one of the youngest leaders on the continent. In his first month as Ethi­o­pia’s premier, he has ushered in an unlikely wave of hope and even optimism in this close U.S. ally that serves as something of a linchpin to the stability of East Africa.”

Furthermore, it is worth repeating that since taking office barely five weeks ago Ethiopia’s charismatic new PM has made an unprecedented outreach to opposition parties and rival leaders calling on them to prepare for peaceful dialogue and negotiations, has conducted well-received visits to cities that were the epicenter of years of anti-government protests, and restored Internet services for the entire country.

In addition, Dr. Abiy is keeping his promise to eliminate “favoritism” toward security forces by undertaking a review of past business contracts awarded to military-industrial conglomerates.

Above all, last month Abiy undertook a much needed national peace tour across the country to foster unity and calm ethnic tensions. Likewise, all indications are that Dr. Abiy will also move soon to lift the unpopular current State of Emergency imposed by his predecessor.

In the end the credit goes to all Ethiopians, both in the homeland and abroad, who have finally put their country on the right path to democracy through courageous demonstrations and years of persistent calls for accountable leaders.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Book Review: Nafkote Tamirat’s Debut Novel ‘The Parking Lot Attendant’

The following is a New York Times review of Ethiopian American writer Nafkote Tamirat’s new novel 'The Parking Lot Attendant.' (Image via NYT)

The New York Times

The Mysterious ‘Parking Lot Attendant’ at the Center of a Web of Intrigue

At the start of Nafkote Tamirat’s debut novel, “The Parking Lot Attendant,” the narrator — a 17-year-old girl who is never named — has recently arrived with her father on the remote subtropical island of B—, where they’ve found uneasy refuge in a commune. They’ve fled some unspecified trouble in Boston, but the trouble seems to have followed them. The girl is more or less a pariah. She’s miserable and ill at ease, which seems reasonable under the circumstances. The commune’s managerial arrangements can only be described as sinister.

The colonists, as they call themselves, live by rigid rules set out by a group of anonymous leaders. The only book allowed is the Bible, in Amharic. (Fortunately, the narrator is fluent; although she was born in the United States, her parents emigrated from Ethiopia.) The commune on B— is by no means a permanent settlement; the colonists are preparing for a move to a promised land in Africa. They live in limbo and in a state of ever-increasing tension.

From here, Tamirat takes us back to the narrator’s life in Boston. If the girl had friends before she met Ayale, the titular parking lot attendant, they’re not mentioned. Although she dabbled in theater, her focus on school was otherwise absolute. She was raised by her parents, but never both at the same time: Her father walked out while her mother was pregnant, and didn’t return for six years. When he reappeared, her mother promptly abandoned her, and after that the narrator grew up in her father’s basement apartment.

Her father is pensive by nature and uncomfortable around other people, and while there’s good will on both sides, his rapport with his daughter is far from effortless. Still, he tries. After an awkward encounter with an irritating new monk at their church, he starts skipping services in favor of a weekly brunch with his daughter, and their conversations over eggs and pancakes take on a deep importance to her: “Only at brunch could I see him as someone who would stay. At all other times, I prepared myself for his inevitable departure, after which there would be no more parents: I would be alone.”

Read more »


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopia Takes Stake in Djibouti Port

(Getty Images)

Bloomberg

Updated: May 2, 2018

Ethiopia and Djibouti agreed to swap stakes in strategic public enterprises including airlines, ports and telecommunications companies, as the Horn of Africa neighbors pursue deeper economic integration.

The deal would include exchanges of shares in Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise, Africa’s biggest carrier by revenue, Djiboutian Finance Minister Ilyas Dawaleh said in an interview. Shareholdings in companies such as Djibouti’s Horizon Oil Terminal and the Doraleh Container Terminal, Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp. and Djibouti Telecom SA will also be swapped, he said.

While the deal has been politically “endorsed,” the two countries will form a committee to work out the details, Dawaleh said by phone April 30. Ethiopian Information Minister Ahmed Shide confirmed the agreement in a text message.

The pact came as Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, made his first foreign visit at the weekend to Djibouti, the tiny state located where the Indian Ocean meets the Red Sea and that’s become a strategic hub for the U.S. and China. Landlocked Ethiopia — which the International Monetary Fund ranks as the fastest-growing economy on the continent — is trying to boost its export-oriented manufacturing, making it reliant on neighboring nations with ports.

Read more »


Ethiopia to take stake in Port of Djibouti, its trade gateway -state media


Sunset over the port of Djibouti. (Stock Image)

Reuters

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia will take a stake in the Port of Djibouti, its main gateway for trade, under a deal reached between the two countries, state media outlets said on Tuesday.

Djibouti had been seeking investors for its port since it terminated Dubai’s state-owned DP World’s concession to run the port two months ago, citing a failure to resolve a six-year contractual dispute.

The port is a key asset for Djibouti, a tiny state along the Red Sea whose location is of strategic value to countries such as the United States, China, Japan and former colonial power France, all of whom have military bases there.

The size of Addis Ababa’s stake was unclear.

State-owned Ethiopian News Agency said the agreement, reached at the weekend during a visit by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Djibouti, involved the joint development of facilities. In return, Djibouti would have the option of taking stakes in state-owned Ethiopian firms.

“A joint committee of ministers would meet to thrash out details,” Ethiopian New Agency said.

The government had previously said that the port would remain “in the hands of our country” until it found new investors.

Djibouti handles roughly 95 percent of all inbound trade for landlocked Ethiopia, Africa’s second most-populous nation and an economic power in East Africa.

The deal with Djibouti follows Ethiopia’s agreement to acquire a 19 percent stake in the Port of Berbera in the breakaway Somali region of Somaliland. DP World retains a 51 percent stake there, while the government holds the rest.

Ethiopian state companies that Djibouti may look to invest in following the bilateral agreement could include Ethiopian Electric Power and Ethio Telecom – one of Africa’s last remaining telecoms monopolies.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Teddy Afro Returns to DC for Live Concert on May 5th

Courtesy photo

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: May 1st, 2018

New York (TADIAS) – Teddy Afro is back in the U.S. and set to perform live in Washington D.C. on May 5th.

This is the singer’s first U.S. concert tour since his latest album, Ethiopia, made the number one spot on Billboard’s World Albums chart last year.

In addition to his album Ethiopia, the 41-year-old pop star’s previous hit records include Abugida (2001), Yasteseryal(2005), and Tikur Sew (2012).

Teddy Afro is known for his socially conscious lyrics emphasizing reconciliation, unity, history, justice, and equality. Last May he was honored with an award by the Society of Ethiopians Established in Diaspora (SEED) “in appreciation of his tireless efforts to preserve our history and culture through his thoughtful and meaningful musical composition and lyrics that make us feel proud as Ethiopians and inspire the new generation of Ethiopians around the world.”


If You Go:
TEDDY AFRO
Sat, May 5, 2018 Doors: 6:00 pm
Show: 8:00 pm
THE ANTHEM
Washington, DC
Click here for more info and to buy tickets.

Related:
Ethiopia’s star singer Teddy Afro makes plea for openness (AP)

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

Photos: Teddy Afro at SummerStage 2014 Festival in New York

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

North & South Korea Agree to End the Korean War in Historic Accord

In a historic accord the two Koreas have agreed to formally end the Korean War and possibly reunite their countries. (Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

April 27th, 2018

After more than six decades of hostilities leaders of the two Koreas have agreed to officially end the Korean War.

The historic joint announcement was made on Friday after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Un, signed the “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula.”

Ethiopian soldiers in Korea

When the two countries went to war in the 1950s, Ethiopia sent 3,158 troops from the Kagnew Battalions as part of the United Nations forces in the Korean War. Per wiki: “Even after the armistice, a token Ethiopian force remained in the country until 1965.”


The Ethiopian Kagnew (ቃኘው) Battalions were three successive battalions sent by Ethiopia between June 1951 and April 1954 as part of the UN forces in the Korean War. (Photos: Wikimedia)

According to CNN the declaration also included: ​

  • Quadrilateral meetings to be held with the Koreas, the US and China “with a view to declaring and end to the War.”
  • All hostile acts will be ceased, and the demilitarization zone will be turned into a “peace zone.”
  • A commitment to reunite families separated by the war with family reunion programs to resume on August 15 this year.
  • The establishment of a joint liaison office in Kaeseong, a shared economic zone near the border.
  • Closer diplomatic relations between the two countries, at all levels of government.
  • Joint teams to be sent to international events, starting with the 2018 Asian Games.

    CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL DECLARATION


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • The Battle Over Ethiopia’s Meqdela Treasures Heats Up

    One of several processional crosses that were among the items looted during the British campaign in Ethiopia in 1868. (Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    April 22nd, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the U.K., Hailemichael Aberra Afework, is renewing his country’s call for the unconditional return of cultural and religious treasures that were looted by British troops at the Battle of Meqdelā in 1868.

    More than a decade ago Ethiopia had officially asked for restitution of the country’s looted treasures, that are being held at various locations in England. Unfortunately the request was rejected.

    According to Thomas Ofcansky and David Shinn’s book entitled Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, the British army had employed approximately 15 elephants and 200 mules to transport the bounty seized from the treasury of Emperor Tewodros II and several Ethiopian Orthodox Christian churches.

    Speaking on how attitudes about the looted treasures have changed, Ambassador Hailemichael told The Art Newspaper in a recent podcast interview that “many people in Britain — the public at large, media, higher education, [those] interested in culture — are all sympathetic to Ethiopia’s demand for the return of these objects” and further hoped that individuals “would understand, the government would understand, the institutions will understand and accept this demand for the objects to be returned to Ethiopia.”

    This month the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in the U.K. helped to reignite a public dialogue on the topic of the Mekdela treasures when it made an offer to loan Ethiopia the items on a long term contract. V&A’s Director Tristram Hunt was quoted as saying: “They would be sent to Ethiopia on long-term loan, so ownership would remain with the museum.”

    “My answer is a quick no,” replied the Ethiopian Ambassador, emphasizing that Ethiopia is the rightful owner of the items. “My government is not interested in loans, it is interested in having those objects returned.”

    The gesture from V&A was made on the eve of the museum’s current exhibition that opened on April 5th showcasing its Meqdela collection on the 150th anniversary of the battle.

    According to The Art Newspaper, among the nearly two dozen objects featured at the V&A show include “a priestly gold crown, a gold chalice (both 1735-40), several processional crosses and imperial jewelry” that were forcefully removed from Ethiopia.

    Hailemichael, who attended the opening, indicated that he appreciated the public awareness value of the V&A exhibition. “When you have something that was hidden away and locked in the room displayed, that in itself is something that we appreciate,” said the Ethiopian diplomat.

    The Battle of Meqdelā took place in April 1868 between the British army led by General Robert Napier while Emperor Tewodros II led the Ethiopian warriors. The primary goal of the British invasion, which has been called “history’s most expensive hostage rescue operation,” was to free a group of European missionaries who were being held by Emperor Tewodros. The Ethiopian king had become upset after he failed to receive a reply to a letter that he had sent to Queen Victoria proposing to establish diplomatic and military alliance with his European counterpart. In the end, Emperor Tewodros took his own life and avoided being captured alive as the British closed in on him at his mountain fortress in Meḳdelā.

    The British rescue operation is estimated to have cost the British military some $9 million sterling, which converts to billion of dollars today.

    Given that the issue is bigger than one museum, would Ethiopia bring up the matter with U.K.’s Foreign Office?

    The Ethiopian Ambassador did not rule out the possibility. “I hope that the two governments will, down the road, begin to talk about these things,” he stated. “Not only government to government, but institution to institution…so there is quite a lot of understanding among the British public.”

    Ambassador Hailemichael also dismissed the long-held myth that Ethiopia does not have the capability to properly store the objects should they be permanently returned. He mentioned the national museum in Addis Ababa along with other modern museums such as the ones in Lalibela, Axum, Gondar, and Harar as well as universities with active programs on cultural heritage management.

    “The whole of Ethiopia is a museum of its cultural heritage,” Hailemichael said at one point during the interview.

    “The Ethiopian churches have been custodians of such religious objects for centuries,” Hailemichael added. “And therefore the will is there, the capacity is there, the capability is also there, and it should not be an argument at all for not responding positively to the demand of the people of Ethiopia because we can take care of it.”


    Photos: Although Tewodros turned the gun on himself in order to avoid being captured alive, the British soldiers took his young son, Prince Alemayehu Tewodros (who died as a teenager while in exile in Britain).


    Related:
    Ethiopians Urge Britain to Return Remains of Prince Alemayehu After 150 Years
    150 Years After His Death Ethiopia Commemorates Life of Tewodros II
    UK Museum Wants to Loan Ethiopia Looted Ethiopian Treasures. Why Not Return It?
    A Photo Journal Retracing the Last March of Emperor Tewodros to Meqdela

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    PM Abiy Visits Gondar & Bahir Dar as Part of National Tour

    Since taking office earlier this month PM Abiy, pictured above in the historic city of Gondar on Friday, has embarked on a national tour across Ethiopia to promote unity. So far he has travelled to Jijiga, Ambo, Mekelle and Gondar. He is expected in Bahir Dar on Saturday. (Photo via Africa News)

    Africa News

    Updated: April 20th, 2018

    Ethiopia Premier Abiy Ahmed on Friday morning arrived in the city of Gondar in the northern Amhara region. The trip forms part of his nationwide tour that started two weeks ago.

    The state-affiliated FANA Broadcasting corporate (FBC) reported that Abiy was received by head of the region, Gedu Andargachew and other top officials of the state.

    As part of his itinerary, he is expected to address residents at the Gondar stadium. “Today’s meeting is parts of his plan to send messages of unity to the public across the country,” the FBC report added.

    He will also deliver an address during the TANA Forum gathering to be held in Bahir Dar on Saturday.

    Read more »


    Related:
    PM Abiy Names Cabinet (Reuters)
    Ethiopia: Prime Minister Sidelines Military On Development Project (Stratfor)
    No Quick Fix to Ethiopia’s Hard Currency Crisis, Says PM
    Ethiopia Beats Ghana as Fastest-Growing Africa Economy for IMF (Bloomberg)
    Ethiopia Ends Web Blackout, Raising Hopes of Reforms Under New PM (Reuters)
    Ethiopia’s New Leader Makes Rare Outreach to Opposition (AP)
    In Ambo, Ethiopia PM Asks for Patience as He Seeks Change (AFP)
    Ethiopia’s new PM visits town that was center of anti-government protests (Reuters)
    Ethiopia PM gets huge welcome in Ambo (Africa News)
    US House Approves Ethiopia Resolution H. Res. 128 Amid Objection on Timing
    In Ethiopia Internet Returns, Maekelawi Closed, PM Visits Jijiga on Peace Mission
    Ethiopia Frees Re-Arrested Journalists (AP)
    A Charismatic Young Leader Tries to Calm Ethnic Tension in Ethiopia
    Herculean Task Awaits Abiy Ahmed on Human Rights in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Delivers Hopeful Inauguration Speech (Video)
    Ethiopia Swears in New Prime Minister (AP)
    Ethiopia Seeks Calm With a New Leader (The New York Times)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopian Student in NYC Awarded Prestigious Gates-Cambridge Scholarship

    2018 Gates Cambridge Scholar Samuel Kebede. (Photo credit: Adam Sahilu)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    April 17th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Samuel Kebede, a third year medical student in New York City has been awarded the highly regarded Gates-Cambridge Scholarship, which is the most prestigious scholarship program for international postgraduate students from the University of Cambridge.

    “I am proud to be representing my country Ethiopia,” Samuel told Tadias. He is currently enrolled at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

    According to Gates-Cambridge: “Funded through a $210 million donation by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, the largest ever single donation to a UK university, around 90 scholars are selected each year from a pool of the most academically outstanding applicants to the University. The Scholarship also places an emphasis on selecting those with a proven interest in improving the lives of others by helping address the numerous challenges we face locally, regionally and globally.”

    Professor Stephen Toope, Chair of the Trustees of Gates Cambridge and Vice-Chancellor of the University, explained in a statement that: “The Gates Cambridge scholarships are a perfect fit with the mission of the University – to make a real and significant contribution to society. They attract some of the best students from all over the world and from the most diverse backgrounds, and sustain a global network of leaders who will integrate the university’s values into everything they do. The class of 2018, including bright scholars from 28 nationalities, is a perfect example of the commitment to excellence and to leadership in the service of society that Gates Cambridge scholars exemplify.”

    In his biography posted on the Gates Cambridge website Samuel shared:

    I am originally from Ethiopia but also grew up in Zimbabwe and the Congo. Through my experience living in these different settings, the role of diseases, health disparities and environment made a lasting impact. This realization influenced my decision to gain the knowledge and research skills to prevent and control public health challenges in Africa. I came to the U.S. in 10th grade attending Mercersburg Academy before completing my BA in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. As an undergraduate, I devoted much of my time to service in the Baltimore community and was involved in infectious disease projects in Ethiopia, Congo and Baltimore. As a current third-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, I’ve continued to learn more about HIV through a research project in Ethiopia. My time living in the U.S. also peaked my interest in preventable illnesses related to chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease). Delving deeper, I learned more about the growing burden of chronic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, especially as they relate to the double burden of infectious and chronic diseases on the continent. I hope to be part of efforts for continued policy, practice and research development related to chronic diseases in Africa as a public health physician. I will study the MPhil in Public Health at Cambridge and am excited to be part of the diverse and passionate Gates Cambridge community!”

    Congratulations Samuel! We wish you all the best in your studies as a Gates-Cambridge scholar!

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Special Tribute to Legacy of Amsale Aberra, Spring 2019 Runway Show

    A special tribute to the legacy of Amsale Aberra, spring 2019 Bridal Runway Show, was held at The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City on Friday, April 14th, 2018. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    April 14th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — The Amsale Spring 2019 Runway Show was held on Friday, April 13 at The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City as a special tribute to the legacy of Amsale Aberra.

    The acclaimed Ethiopian-American fashion designer passed away on April 1st surrounded by close friends and family at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital where she was being treated for uterine cancer.

    The deeply moving tribute on Friday, which was held on the terrace of Gramercy Park Hotel, featured a new launch of the Nouvelle Amsale collection and closed with a beautiful Ethiopian model wearing Amsale’s first bridal fashion design eliciting a standing ovation from the crowd.

    Amsale, who was born in Addis Ababa in 1954, moved to the U.S. in the 1970s, was the Founder and Creative Director of the fashion design house, AMSALE, one of the industry’s leading brands in the United States.

    “For over 30 years, Amsale has been an icon for designs that are powerful in their simplicity. Drama, she believed, emerges when a single, striking detail is offset by a clean silhouette,” the company said in a statement.

    Photos: Special Tribute to the Legacy of Amsale Aberra, Spring 2019 Bridal Runway Show

    Regarding the Nouvelle Amsale Spring 2019 Collection the company added: “Designed for the modern and effortless bride who understands fashion but stays true to her personal style, the Spring 2019 NOUVELLE AMSALE collection reflects Amsale’s sense of timeless simplicity and understated glamour. Mikado and crepe fabrics highlight Amsale’s signature tailoring and clean lines. With her remarkable style comes a softer attitude shown in delicate layers of tulle and embroidered lace. Balancing chic and statement-making, the Spring 2019 collection also features dramatic taffeta ball gowns with low backs and ample volume.”

    Amsale Spring 2019 Collection

    “Inspired by cathedral elegance, this collection is expressed through dresses that are grand yet modern, designed for each individual bride in mind. Femininity is translated in form-fitting silhouettes, open backs and gently scooped necklines. Texture is shown with non-traditional lace and layered fabrication. AMSALE BLUE LABEL makes a statement with upscale ball gowns, pearl and crystal beading and draped bows. Unmistakably AMSALE, the Spring 2019 collection has stunning details, accentuating individuality with effortless elegance.”

    A look back at the Tadias interview with Amsale Aberra

    We featured a profile of Amsale Aberra on the first print version of Tadias Magazine in 2003. Sharing how she built her fashion house, Amsale reminisced about her days growing up as a teenager in Ethiopia and her love of making clothes. “Trying to make something by hand is always something that I liked…At the time I didn’t know there was such a profession as designer” she told Tadias. Amsale had initially studied commercial art and pursued a degree in political science after she arrived in the United States in the early 70s before she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York.

    “When I attended FIT that’s when I truly felt like this is what I wanted to do. That’s how I ended up being a designer,” Amsale told Tadias in an interview on July 2011 shortly after her launch of the Amsale Girls Reality TV show.

    In 1996 Amsale opened her flagship salon on Madison Avenue in New York and has since launched several lines including the elaborate Kenneth Pool Label (2003) and Nouvelle Amsale (2015).

    Speaking about her work as Creative Director Amsale told Tadias that when she “started with AMSALE, which is about simplicity, it just needed to be very clean, and simple and modern. But all brides are not like that. Some brides may want something a little more elaborate.” So she designed and launched the Kenneth Pool collection that she described as having “more shimmer, embroidery, it’s very bold, very dramatic but yet it’s still very sophisticated.”

    Watch: Tadias Magazine’s Interview With Bridal-Fashion Designer Amsale Aberra

    Numerous celebrities have dressed in AMSALE gowns for the red carpet including Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Angela Bassett, and Salma Hayek. Her bridal and evening wear has been worn by actors in films such as Something Borrowed, When in Rome, and Runaway Bride as well as on TV including in Grey’s Anatomy, Oprah Winfrey Show and The View.

    Amsale was a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), a Trustee and alum of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and served on the international advisory board of the Ethiopian Children’s Fund. Amsale is “survived by her husband and partner, Clarence O’Neill Brown, known as “Neil”, her daughter Rachel Amsale Brown, her father Aberra Moltot and her half-sister Aster Yilma. Amsale was 64 years old.”

    In a statement Neill Brown said: “Amsale was not only an inspiration to the company, but someone who inspired and impacted everyone around her with her strength, kindness, and humility. Working side by side we spent 360 degrees of our life together, and I know only too well both her creative genius and her infinite goodness. Words cannot express the personal loss that we feel, but we are comforted by the avalanche of support we’ve received and the commitment of our team to carry on Amsale’s legacy.”

    Watch: Tadias TV Exclusive – Inside Amsale Aberra’s Luxury Manhattan Boutique


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    US House Approves Ethiopia Resolution H. Res. 128 Amid Objection on Timing

    Rep. Mike Coffman and Rep. Chris Smith along with Ethiopian American activists hold a press conference on H. Res. 128 on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018. (Photo: Twitter @RepMikeCoffman)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: April 10th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 128 on Tuesday condemning Ethiopia’s human rights and governance record.

    The New York-based organization Human Rights Watch welcomed the approval of H. Res. 128 stating that “The non-binding resolution, combined with recent statements from the U.S. Embassy in Addis, sends a strong signal to Ethiopia’s new prime minister that the U.S. expects significant reforms ahead.”

    However, some U.S. lawmakers had expressed objection regarding the timing of the vote given that Ethiopia has just inaugurated a new prime minister who has made a commitment to the public to implement democratic reforms.

    In an opinion article published on Tuesday in The Hill newspaper the senior Senator from Oklahoma, Republican James Inhofe, wrote: ‘Just one week ago, Dr. Abiy Ahmed was sworn in as Ethiopia’s new prime minister on a mandate to improve these exact issues… We should give Prime Minister Abiy the opportunity to prove himself as a national leader before having the full weight of the United States House of Representatives tossed against him. A heavy-handed, strongly-worded resolution condemning his government, so soon after being sworn in, will severely curtail Abiy’s ability to enact needed reforms.”

    The resolution calls on the U.S. government to base its future partnership with Ethiopia on the nation’s “demonstrated commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.” The resolution also calls on the U.S. State Department, in coordination with the Department of the Treasury, “to apply appropriate sanctions on foreign persons or entities responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against any nationals in Ethiopia as provided for in the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.”

    The Global Magnitsky Act allows the U.S. “to impose visa bans and targeted sanctions on individuals anywhere in the world responsible for committing human rights violations or acts of significant corruption.”

    Tuesday’s vote marked the first time in over 100 years of U.S.-Ethiopia relations that U.S. lawmakers had agreed to take up such a bill regarding Ethiopia.

    HRW pointed out: “Resolution 128 was passed in large part because of Ethiopian-American voters concerned with the Ethiopian government’s rights record, who worked together to make themselves an important constituency. Their persistent efforts despite the efforts of the Ethiopian embassy and their Washington lobbyists led to an impressive 108 Congressional representatives from 32 states co-sponsoring this resolution. Hopefully they can build on this success and advocate for binding legislation on Ethiopia.”


    Related:
    Herculean Task Awaits Abiy Ahmed on Human Rights in Ethiopia
    In Ethiopia Internet Returns, Maekelawi Closed, PM Visits Jijiga on Peace Mission
    Ethiopia Frees Re-Arrested Journalists (AP)
    A Charismatic Young Leader Tries to Calm Ethnic Tension in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Delivers Hopeful Inauguration Speech (Video)

    Ethiopia Swears in New Prime Minister (AP)
    Ethiopia Seeks Calm With a New Leader (The New York Times)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    150 Years After His Death Ethiopia Commemorates Life of Tewodros II

    Emperor Tewodros II who died during the battle of Meqdela in April 1868 [150 years ago this month], was born in 1818, marking his 200th birthday this year. (Image: Mereja.com)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    April 9th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — This month Ethiopia will commemorate the 200th Birthday of Emperor Tewodros II with planned events in Gondar, Debre Tabor and Addis Ababa.

    The government affiliated Fana Broadcasting cited Culture and Tourism Minister Hirut Woldemariam as stating that the program, which is set to take place from April 10th to 16th, will include panel discussions and exhibitions.

    Emperor Tewodros has been making international news lately as the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in the UK made an offer last week to loan Ethiopia the treasures that were looted by British troops following the battle of Meqdela in 1868.

    The British campaign was waged 150 years ago this month to free a group of missionaries who were being held by Emperor Tewodros at his Meḳdela fortress after he failed to receive a reply for his diplomatic overtures and a letter that he had sent to Queen Victoria requesting military assistance and British experts.

    Although Tewodros took his own life in order to avoid being captured alive, the British took his young son, Prince Alemayehu Tewodros (who died as a teenager while in exile in Britain). They also left with a large loot of irreplaceable Ethiopian treasures that are currently housed at various locations in England.

    Ethiopia officially asked for restitution of the country’s looted treasures more than ten years ago, but unfortunately the request was rejected.

    In 2007 Ethiopia’s president sent Queen Elizabeth II a formal request for the remains of Prince Alemayehu. As the BBC noted at the time: “The young prince was not the only thing the British took from [Meqdela] – they reportedly needed 15 elephants and nearly 200 mules to carry away the treasures that Tewodros had accumulated. Many of them are still in Britain and the Queen has some of them – notably six of the very finest illuminated manuscripts, which are part of the royal collection in Windsor Castle.”

    Some of the loot is currently on display at the V&A museum in London including “a priestly gold crown, a gold chalice (both 1735-40), several processional crosses and imperial jewelry,” The Art Newspaper noted quoting V&A’s director Tristram Hunt who said: “They would be sent to Ethiopia on long-term loan, so ownership would remain with the museum.”

    According to Fana Broadcasting the Ethiopian government has rejected claims that it is negotiating with the Victoria and Albert Museum of the UK to bring the Meqdela treasures, looted 150 years ago, on long-term loan to the country. “On the contrary we have intensified our efforts for the restitution of all our treasures taken after the battle of Maqdala,” Culture and Tourism Minister Hirut Woldemariam said. Fana adds: “The minister insisted that Ethiopia will further strengthen its demands for the return of treasures from museums and libraries and individuals. There were no discussions about the treasure coming through loan as Ethiopia is the rightful owner of the treasures.”

    Regarding the commemoration of the 200th Birthday of Emperor Tewodros Hirut said: “Emperor Tewodros has played significant role in trying to unite the country and modernizing the country as well as establishing and organizing libraries.”


    Related:
    Ethiopians Urge Britain to Return Remains of Prince Alemayehu After 150 Years
    UK Museum Wants to Loan Ethiopia Looted Ethiopian Treasures. Why Not Return It?
    A Photo Journal Retracing the Last March of Emperor Tewodros to Meqdela

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    How Ethiopic Script Was Introduced to Modern Computers: Interview with Fesseha Atlaw

    Ethiopian-American Engineer Fesseha Atlaw, founder of the first Ethiopic software company, Dashen Engineering, and an early pioneer of digitized Ethiopian script. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    April 6th , 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Just a couple of decades ago it was unthinkable to see Amharic and other Ethiopian languages on our phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Today, however, Ethiopic script is ubiquitous and is used in many applications including in our communication via text messages and on social media.

    We were curious to find out when and how Ethiopic Script was introduced to modern computers, so we reached out to Ethiopian-American Engineer Fesseha Atlaw, founder of the first Ethiopic software company, Dashen Engineering, and an early pioneer of digitized Ethiopian script.

    Fesseha was among those profiled here some 25 years ago in an article titled “Legends of Ethiopic Computing” for his role as the producer of the first usable Ethiopic word processor. The article noted: “Ato Fesseha is best known in the field of Ethiopic computing for providing the genesis for the concept of computerizing the Ethiopian alphabet.”

    “The Ethiopian script has come a long way since it was first applied to a computer program in the early 1980s,” Fesseha says. “We have made a lot of progress in the last three and a half decades, and I get emotional when I think of how far we have come in just 30 years.”

    While working with the Unicode Technical Consortium in the early 90s (where he was the only African participant for 30 years) Fesseha was also responsible for proposing and pushing Ethiopic script to be the computer name instead of Geez or Amharic. “This I did consulting with Ethiopian linguists,” Fesseha explains. “The implication for this name selection was huge. It not only permanently codifies the computer reference to the language to be associated with Ethiopia but also correctly credits that the alphabet origination or development belongs to all Ethiopians.”

    “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

    For Fesseha it was his passion for writing in Amharic rather than his profession in the tech industry that initially inspired him to design the first known Ethiopic Script Software. “I loved writing in Amharic as far back as I remember,” recalls Fesseha in an interview with Tadias.

    In fact he was barely 15 years old when a high school play that he wrote got the attention of the late Poet Laureate of Ethiopia Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin and was staged at the National Theater garnering him a “thumbs up” review in the Ethiopian Herald and a full page interview on Ethiopia Dimts (የኢትዮጵያ ድምፅ).

    Years later, after Fesseha moved to the United States and became an engineer working for Hewlett-Packard (HP) in the heart of Silicon Valley, he still wanted to continue his writing and had contacted people in Ethiopia to send him an Amharic typewriter. But there was one huge problem.

    “I discovered that it was a capital crime to smuggle an Amharic typewriter out of Ethiopia,” Fesseha says. “It was a political punishment to discourage free expression and dissemination of pamphlets and other material by opponents of the military government of Mengistu Hailemariam. As the saying goes ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ so they did not want anybody to have this writing machine.” He adds: “I even contacted Olivetti in Italy that manufactured Amharic typewriters for the Ethiopian market. They told me that they had a contractual obligation with the Ethiopian government not to sell the typewriters outside of Ethiopia.”

    “Necessity is the mother of invention” Fesseha says, explaining that he decided instead to develop a software using the Ethiopic alphabet. Of course there was no such thing as Windows Operating System at the time and personal computers were at very early development stages — home computers were not even in the radar — and buying one was an expensive endeavor. Fesseha rented the cheapest IBM computer (8086 Micro processor) and a “noisy” DOT Matrix printer for $380 per month.

    “It was very crude process,” he recalls. “I had to design screen font and printer font separately for each letter pixel by pixel and grid by grid.”

    Fesseha held his first major demonstration at Stanford University in the mid-1980s. “It was a well attended event,” Fesseha shares. “Many people came including the touring Ethiopian delegation to the U.S.” Shortly thereafter in 1986/87 Fesseha gave his first interview to Voice of America’s Amharic service.

    The touring Ethiopian delegation eventually extended an invitation to him to do a similar demonstration in Ethiopia, which ended up with him hosting a workshop at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa. “It was a dramatic day because Mengistu showed up unannounced,” Fesseha chuckles remembering the moment. “All of a sudden they cleared out the room and a whole bunch of military people with machine guns came in. I kind of sensed that it might be Mengistu and he was not my favorite guy. I had demonstrated against him, I used to write articles in U.S. newspapers about the atrocities and killings at that time, so I was a bit nervous to meet him face-to-face.”

    Just as Fesseha guessed, after a few hours of waiting, Mengistu strolled right into the room with his entourage heading straight to the demo table to meet Fesseha. “So I quickly wrote on the screen his favorite slogan: “Hulum Neger Wede Tor Ginbar,” (“ሁሉም ነገር ወደ ጦር ግንባር”), Fesseha says. “To my relief Mengistu found it humorous and smiled from afar.” Although Mengistu was impressed and asked a lot of questions there “was not much productive follow-up afterwards,” Fesseha notes. He returned to California and continued on improving on it and making it available to the public “without any help from the Ethiopian government.”


    Fesseha Atlaw hosting the first Ethiopic software workshop at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa in the mid 1980s. (Courtesy photos)

    What were the most significant milestones in digitizing Ethiopic Script?

    “The most important development in the history of Ethiopic software came in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Voice of America (VOA) international service gave Xerox a contract to develop multilingual computers and one of the languages they requested was Amharic,” Fesseha says. “Collaborating with Joe Becker from Xerox I pushed for “Ethiopic” to be the unicode name in the Unicode list of languages,” Fesseha emphasizes. “I am proud of that struggle and I consider it to be my biggest contribution. Now the computer knows our alphabet as ‘Ethiopic’ and even a brand new computer will be able to display and allow you to write Ethiopic characters without having to download or install fonts or programs.”

    What is Unicode?

    “Unicode is an international encoding standard for use with different languages and scripts, by which each letter, digit, or symbol is assigned a unique numeric value that applies across different computer platforms and software programs. Ethiopic was included in the Unicode standard in 1990. I feel honored to have had a part in the inclusion of Ethiopic in the Unicode standard working with the founder of the Unicode Consortium himself, Dr. Joe Becker of Xerox Corporation. I have been working with Dr. Becker and others in proposing improvements and additions to the set of Ethiopic characters. Members come from high tech companies including IBM, Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. While I was at Hewlett Packard and Dashen Engineering I participated representing the two companies, now I am an individual member since I no longer work at HP. I am still the only member from Africa.”

    What is the state of Ethiopic in 2018?

    “The state of Ethiopic is thriving as never before,” says Fisseha enthusiastically. “Now almost all, I would say 90%, of software applications can easily be done in Ethiopic.” Some of these include Amharic Translation such as in Google browser, as well as Amharic OCR and Amharic Natural Language Processing.

    “Regarding the Amharic OCR (Optical Character Recognition), it’s a relatively new technology even for English language users,” Fesseha explains. “The way it works is, the computer takes a picture of a character and matches it with a UNICODE equivalent. The implication is huge. We can now search for a sentence or a word in old scanned books or Amharic documents that were written long time ago before the advent of Ethiopic Software. It also means you can now edit old books and scans as the OCR engine converts any written Ethiopic into editable format after it has been scanned as PDF.”

    As for Amharic Natural Language Processing, “this is where a computer can actually read a book for you (in a synthesized voice) and one can also give instructions to the computer via natural spoken language,” Fesseha adds. “Again the implication is immense. You can speak to the computer or mobile device in Amharic and it will start writing your words. You can do this within an application or cut and paste the written words into any application like Facebook or Twitter or Excel etc. This natural Language processing AI is also allowing us to have our own robot that takes instructions and provides an answer in Amharic (Much the same way as Alexa of Amazon and Siri of Apple). One young developer has called his robot “Meron.” An actual sample conversation looks like this:

    ጤና ይስጥልኝ
    ጤና ይስጥልኝ ስሞትን ማን ልበል?
    ፍሥሓ እባላለሁ
    ሰላም ፍሥሓ እባላለሁ ፣ ሜሮን እባላለሁ
    አማርኛ ትችያለሽ ?
    አዎ
    ጎበዝ

    Fesseha points out that modern graphics design and animation can likewise easily be done in Amharic and cites examples such as TV program graphics, neon signs and animated words and phrases.

    “The sky is the limit,” Fisseha enthuses. “The basis for all this was the foundation that was set some 30 years ago to include Ethiopic in the globalized world language ranks.” Now many young Ethiopians such as MetaAppz, Ethiocloud, Agerigna and many many more have taken it to the next level and are developing applications at a very fast rate.”

    There have been some recent discussions and debates about whether or not Ethiopic should be used to write Afaan Oromo, and Fesseha who also advises the Oromo community in helping to standardize Qube writing system, adds that he does not believe in imposing Ethiopic on anyone.

    “That’s a political issue that Oromos must decide on their own as to the value of using Ethiopic script for Afan Oromo” he says. “As you know Oromiffa has several dialects so Qube is not standardized yet and there are some related technical issues that we are working to resolve at the moment.”

    “Some 40 years ago, Oromo intellectuals felt that Ethiopic/Geez script was too cumbersome to computerize and developed the Qube system,” shares Fesseha. “Now in 2018, Ethiopic can do everything a Latin script can do and in my humble opinion, if Afaan Oromo started using Ethiopic, it would be easier to have Google translate and other technological advances include Afaan Oromo and the rich Oromo language can benefit from the technology sooner than later. I will continue to do my best to help in this regard. I call on Oromo scholars to consider using Ethiopic to write Afaan Oromo not for political reason but for simple technical reasons. Ethiopic script belongs to all Ethiopians like Adwa belongs to all of us.”


    Cover of an old Afaan Oromo Bible መጫፈ ቁልቁሉ reprinted from the 1800′s version.

    Ethiopic Unicode has had characters that represent unique Afaan Oromo sounds such as “በዻኔ” “ዻባ” “ዼሬሳ” … These are not new developments but have been incorporated in the Unicode some 30 years ago as shown in this chart.

    Fesseha emphasizes that the development of Ethiopic Script incorporated the participation of many individuals over the years in helping to fine-tune the process. He notes: “From the beginning it was a community-based effort and the credit goes to lots of people and especially the young engineers who are continuously refining the use of Ethiopic in various technology platforms.”


    You can learn more about the history of Ethiopic Software and contact Fesseha Atlaw at fesseha@optmax.com or through www.ethiopicsoftware.org.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    A Charismatic Young Leader Tries to Calm Ethnic Tension in Ethiopia

    In his inaugural speech PM Abiy Ahmed called for unity and talks with opposition groups. And he promised to make peace with Eritrea. “He sounded like Obama,” gushes Asrat Abera, a resident of the capital. (EPA)

    The Economist

    IN ITS three decades of existence, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has gone through only two leaders. Neither came to power through a competitive vote. So it was with a sense of novelty that Ethiopians awaited the outcome of a secret ballot held on March 27th to determine the new chairman of the coalition and, by extension, the country’s prime minister.

    The result was also historic. Abiy Ahmed (pictured) won the backing of 108 party bigwigs, while 59 went for Shiferaw Shigute, his closest rival. On April 2nd Mr Abiy was sworn in as prime minister, making the 42-year-old Africa’s youngest leader. He will also be the first in modern Ethiopian history to identify as Oromo—from the largest, and lately the most rebellious, of the country’s ethnic groups…

    He takes office on a wave of goodwill. Taxis across Oromia are emblazoned with his photo. Activists abroad tweeted their support. Even in Addis Ababa, the capital, where locals are wary of his ethnic nationalism, there is optimism. In his inaugural speech Mr Abiy apologised for the government’s killing of protesters. He called for unity and talks with opposition groups. And he promised to make peace with Eritrea, Ethiopia’s long-standing enemy. “He sounded like Obama,” gushes Asrat Abera, a resident of the capital.

    Read more »


    Related:
    In Ethiopia Internet Returns, Maekelawi Closed, PM Visits Jijiga on Peace Mission
    Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Delivers Hopeful Inauguration Speech (Video)

    Herculean Task Awaits Abiy Ahmed on Human Rights in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia Swears in New Prime Minister (AP)
    Ethiopia Seeks Calm With a New Leader (The New York Times)
    Ethiopia chooses new leader from protest-hit region (The Washington Post)
    Ethiopia faces new prime minister in bid to calm protests (AP)
    Ethiopia’s ruling coalition approves Abiye Ahmed as prime minister (Reuters)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    UK Museum Wants to Loan Ethiopia Looted Ethiopian Treasures. Why Not Return It?

    One of several processional crosses that were among the items looted during the British campaign in Ethiopia in 1868. (Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    April 4th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in the UK is offering to loan Ethiopia its own treasures that were looted by British troops at the battle of Meqdelā in 1868.

    Ethiopia officially asked for restitution of the country’s looted treasures that are being held at various locations in England more than ten years ago, but unfortunately the request was rejected.

    It’s also worth noting that the latest noncommittal gesture from V&A comes on the eve of the Museum’s exhibition due to open on April 5th showcasing its Meqdelā collection on the 150th anniversary of the battle.

    “On show will be 20 items, including a priestly gold crown, a gold chalice (both 1735-40), several processional crosses and imperial jewellery,” The Art Newspaper noted. “The formal opening will be attended by Ethiopia’s minister of culture and tourism, Hirut Woldemariam, and the ambassador to the UK, Hailemichael Aberra Afework.”

    “They would be sent to Ethiopia on long-term loan, so ownership would remain with the museum,” the publication stated quoting V&A’s director Tristram Hunt. “This offer is likely to put pressure on other UK institutions that hold seized Ethiopian material, including the British Museum and the British Library.”

    In a related story The Guardian argued: “The offer is significant given the pledge by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, that the return of African artefacts would be a “top priority” for his administration.”

    The Battle of Meqdelā took place in April 1868 between British soldiers led by Robert Napier and Ethiopians led by Emperor Tewodros II. Per Wiki: “In March 1866 a British envoy had been dispatched to secure the release of a group of missionaries who had first been seized when a letter Tewodros II had sent to Queen Victoria requesting munitions and military experts from the British, delivered by an envoy, Captain Cameron, had gone unanswered. They were released; however Tewodros II changed his mind and sent a force after them and they were returned to the fortress and imprisoned again, along with Captain Cameron.” In the end, Tewodros took his own life in order to avoid being captured alive as the British closed in on him at his mountain fortress in Meḳdelā.

    The Guardian added: “The loan proposal has been welcomed by the Ethiopian state and campaigners, but Hunt said it was a complex debate and it was important not to extrapolate a “blanket policy”. He told the Guardian: “You have to take it item by item and you have to take it history by history. Once you unpick the histories of the collections it becomes a great deal more complicated and challenging.”

    We’re not exactly sure why returning looted property to its rightful owners is complicated and challenging, but you can read both articles at the following links:

    V&A opens dialogue on looted Ethiopian treasures (The Art Newspaper)

    Looted Ethiopian treasures in UK could be returned on loan (The Guardian)


    Related:
    Ethiopians Urge Britain to Return Remains of Prince Alemayehu After 150 Years
    150 Years After His Death Ethiopia Commemorates Life of Tewodros II
    A Photo Journal Retracing the Last March of Emperor Tewodros to Meqdela

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopian American Fashion Designer Amsale Aberra Passes Away

    Acclaimed Ethiopian American wedding fashion designer Amsale Aberra has passed away at the age of 64. Born in Addis Ababa in 1954, Amsale who moved to the U.S. in the 1970s, was the founder and creative director of the bridal label Amsale, one of the industry's leading brands in the United States. (Photo: WE tv)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    April 2nd, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — We are deeply saddened to report that Amsale Aberra, Ethiopian-American Founder and Creative Director of the bridal and fashion design house, AMSALE, passed away yesterday (April 1st). A statement from the company shares that Amsale “was surrounded by close friends and family at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital” where she was being treated for uterine cancer.

    We featured a profile of Amsale Aberra on the first print version of Tadias Magazine in 2003. Sharing how she built her fashion house, Amsale reminisced about her days growing up as a teenager in Ethiopia and her love of making clothes. “Trying to make something by hand is always something that I liked…At the time I didn’t know there was such a profession as designer” she told Tadias. Amsale had initially studied commercial art and pursued a degree in political science after she arrived in the United States in the early 70s before she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York.

    “When I attended FIT that’s when I truly felt like this is what I wanted to do. That’s how I ended up being a designer,” Amsale told Tadias in an interview on July 2011 shortly after her launch of the Amsale Girls Reality TV show.

    In 1996 Amsale opened her flagship salon on Madison Avenue in New York and has since launched several lines including the elaborate Kenneth Pool Label (2003) and Nouvelle Amsale (2015).

    Speaking about her work as Creative Director Amsale told Tadias that when she “started with AMSALE, which is about simplicity, it just needed to be very clean, and simple and modern. But all brides are not like that. Some brides may want something a little more elaborate.” So she designed and launched the Kenneth Pool collection that she described as having “more shimmer, embroidery, it’s very bold, very dramatic but yet it’s still very sophisticated.”

    Numerous celebrities have dressed in AMSALE gowns for the red carpet including Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Angela Bassett, and Salma Hayek. Her bridal and evening wear has been worn by actors in films such as Something Borrowed, When in Rome, and Runaway Bride as well as on TV including in Grey’s Anatomy, Oprah Winfrey Show and The View.

    Amsale had shared the design process that her team undertakes as incorporating inspiration and keeping in mind that everyone won’t fit the same style.

    “I really am very practical,” Amsale had said when speaking about her bridal designs. “I mean does it work? Is it something not just only beautiful but is it functional? Brides will look beautiful if they are comfortable. The point of the whole day is for the bride to have fun after she looks amazingly beautiful.”

    Amsale, who was born in Addis Ababa in 1954, also shared her enthusiasm and admiration for the current generation of youth who are pursuing their dreams as designers, and offered a few words of wisdom for them: “What I really want to say to anyone is basically believe in yourself and don’t ever think it’s easy. It is hard and you have to keep that passion. You have to find a way to show it without quitting. Eventually things will happen. And that’s what I would say to all designers.”

    Amsale was a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), a Trustee and alum of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and served on the international advisory board of the Ethiopian Children’s Fund. Amsale is “survived by her husband and partner, Clarence O’Neill Brown, known as “Neil”, her daughter Rachel Amsale Brown, her father Aberra Moltot and her half-sister Aster Yilma. Amsale was 64 years old.”

    In a statement Neill Brown said: “Amsale was not only an inspiration to the company, but someone who inspired and impacted everyone around her with her strength, kindness, and humility. Working side by side we spent 360 degrees of our life together, and I know only too well both her creative genius and her infinite goodness. Words cannot express the personal loss that we feel, but we are comforted by the avalanche of support we’ve received and the commitment of our team to carry on Amsale’s legacy.”

    Watch: Tadias Magazine’s Interview With Bridal-Fashion Designer Amsale Aberra

    Watch: Tadias TV Exclusive – Inside Amsale Aberra’s Luxury Manhattan Boutique


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Model Gelila Bekele on OkayAfrica 100 List

    The OkayAfrica website features Ethiopian Model and activist Gelila Bekele on their 00 Women 2018 list—a project highlighting the impactful work done by African women across the globe. (Photo: OkayAfrica)

    OkayAfrica

    100 Women: Gelila Bekele Is the Ethiopian Activist Building Solutions to Help Her Community Thrive

    The Ethiopian model and activist wants to make sure that “Africa isn’t a dumping ground for foreign aid”—here’s how she’s doing it.

    Gelila Bekele, is an Ethiopian model, activist, filmmaker and self-proclaimed “village girl” who is fiercely advocating for the people of her community.

    Bekele is dedicated to fostering growth and long-term sustainability in Ethiopia’s rural areas—places where she proudly calls home. For her, it’s all about supporting her local community and addressing the barriers that young people face to receiving education, clean water and more. “It all starts from your home,” says Bekele.”

    When it comes to seeing her community thrive, Bekele believes that It’s all about intention and follow through. One of her primary goals is to “make sure Africa isn’t a dumping ground for foreign aid, and really making sure that we are apart of the conversation in every level.”

    She emphasizes the need for Africans to be in control of our own destinies—this message is wholly reflected in the work she does.

    Learn more about Bekele and her work as a community builder in the video below.


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia Swears in New Prime Minister (AP)

    Abiy Ahmed, the newly elected chair of the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is sworn in as the country's Prime Minister, Monday, April 2, 2018. Ethiopia's legislature has elected young and outspoken Abiy Amhed as prime minister, amid hopes that he will be able to quell sustained anti-government protests in Africa's second most populous nation. (AP photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    Associated Press

    BY ELIAS MESERET

    Updated: Monday, April 2, 2018

    New prime minister takes office in Ethiopia amid hopes he can quell ongoing protests

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Young and outspoken Abiy Ahmed has been sworn in Monday as Ethiopia’s prime minister, amid hopes he will be able to quell the sustained anti-government protests that have rocked Africa’s second most populous nation.

    Abiy was elected by Ethiopia’s parliament, succeeding Hailemariam Desalegn who resigned in mid-February as a result of widespread protests that have taken the lives of several hundred people, mainly in the restive Oromia and Amhara regions.

    “This is a historic moment,” said Abiy in his inaugural address to Ethiopian lawmakers. “This is high time for us to learn from our past mistakes and make up for all the wrongs done in the past . we understand there are a lots of problems that need to be solved with great urgency.”

    Abiy apologized for the deaths of civilians in the violent protests. He said his administration will strive to solve grievances by discussion rather than by force, provide more space for opposition parties, fight corruption and focus on respect for rule of law.

    The new leader said he aims to open up a fresh dialogue with arch-foe Eritrea and called upon Ethiopia’s diaspora to more actively take part in the country’s affairs.

    Abiy is the first Oromo politician to become Ethiopia’s prime minister since the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front came to power in 1991. It is hoped he will be able to bring an end to the protests that have been raging since late 2015 to press for wider political freedoms and the release of opposition figures. The Oromo people, the largest ethnic group of Ethiopia’s 100 million people, have long felt marginalized both politically and economically.

    A former Lieutenant Colonel in the army and head of Ethiopia’s Science and Technology ministry, Abiy, 42, has a reputation as an effective orator and reformer.

    Many welcomed the new leader.

    “I think this is a very important step toward the overall democratization and stability of the country,” said Kiya Tsegaye, a lawyer and political analyst. “But he needs the support of the people around him, especially top party officials to implement his reform measures.”

    Prominent opposition leader Merara Gudina expressed cautious optimism over Abiy’s election, saying the future of Ethiopia’s peace and stability depends on the policies of the incoming leader and his party.

    “What he aims to achieve depends on what his party allows him to do,” Merara said, adding that Abiy was elected by Ethiopia’s ruling party and not directly by the population through a general election. “But still it goes without saying that a change in personalities within the leadership may bring changes in terms of bringing better ideas that may ultimately lead to national reconciliation.”

    Ethiopia’s Olympic gold medalist runner, Haile Gebrselassie, said the peaceful transfer of power is a win-win situation for all Ethiopians.

    “The new leader’s election has answered many Ethiopians’ questions,” Haile told The Associated Press, saying that Abiy should implement his pledges without delay. “His inaugural address today has the ability to bring together not only Ethiopians, but countries in the region as well.”

    Abiy will be Ethiopia’s third prime minister since the former military junta, the Derg, was overthrown in 1991.

    Ethiopia in February declared its second state of emergency in two years amid the ongoing protests that effectively crippled transportation networks and forced the closure of businesses. On Saturday, Ethiopian officials said that more than 1,000 people have been detained since the latest emergency rule was put in place.

    The U.S. Embassy in the capital, Addis Ababa, commended the peaceful transfer of power, saying it is the first time a living leader has handed over power in Ethiopia’s recent history.

    “We stand ready to support the government’s rapid implementation of democratic and economic reforms and look forward to the lifting of the state of emergency,” the U.S. embassy said in an email sent to The Associated Press.


    Related:
    Herculean Task Awaits Abiy Ahmed on Human Rights in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia Seeks Calm With a New Leader (The New York Times)
    Ethiopia chooses new leader from protest-hit region (The Washington Post)
    Ethiopia faces new prime minister in bid to calm protests (AP)
    Ethiopia’s ruling coalition approves Abiye Ahmed as prime minister (Reuters)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    11-year-old Naomi Wadler’s Eloquent Speech at Our Lives Rally in DC

    Naomi Wadler, an 11-year-old from Alexandria, Va. delivered a speech at the March for Our Lives rally in D.C. on March 24. Naomi was born in Ethiopia. (Reuters)

    The Washington Post

    The story behind 11-year-old Naomi Wadler and her March for Our Lives speech

    The youngest speaker at the March for Our Lives rally Saturday made one of the biggest splashes with an eloquent speech urging the nation not to forget black women, who are disproportionately represented among the victims of gun violence.

    Naomi Wadler, an Alexandria fifth-grader, became a hashtag, a meme shared around the world, praised by celebrities who included actress Lupita Nyong’o and comedian Eddie Griffin. The 11-year-old was heralded as future presidential material.

    But Wadler hasn’t seen any of that: She’s not on social media.

    “I have been accustomed to not Google myself, so I haven’t seen everything,” Wadler said Sunday in a phone interview during her spring break beach trip. “My speech might not have caused a giant impact on society, but I do hope all the black girls and women realize there’s a growing value for them.”

    That was the focus of her 3-minute, 30-second speech, which was repeatedly interrupted by roars of applause.

    “I am here to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news,” Wadler said. “I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.”

    Wadler was born in Ethi­o­pia and attends a school where nearly six in 10 students are white, a third are Hispanic and 6 percent are black. Her mom is white, and her dad, a recreational hunter, is black.

    Read the full article at washingtonpost.com »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopian Photographer Aida Muluneh Featured in W Magazine

    Photographer Aida Muluneh from Ethiopia is featured in the "Being: New Photography 2018" exhibition, which is the current edition of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)'s New Photography series in New York. The group show, which opened on March 18th, will be on display through August 19, 2018. (Photo: By Aida Muluneh, Local Understanding, 2016/Courtesy of the artist via W)

    W Magazine

    Ethiopian Photographer Aida Muluneh’s Body Painting Pictures Will Stop You In Your Tracks

    Aida Muluneh’s photographs are showstoppers—quite literally. Combining the shocks of color and crisp geometries of abstract painters like Frank Stella and the disturbing micro-thrills of Man Ray’s fashion pictures (see: the mysterious extra pair of hands in slide 2, or the unlikely angle and skin color of the model’s reflection in slide 4) with the body painting, materials, and traditions of her native Africa, Muluneh’s pictures are designed to short-circuit your eye. They always stand out in a crowd, even in a group exhibition like “Being: New Photography 2018,” MoMA’s current survey of the photographic landscape where Muluneh’s work is featured. Although she was born in Ethiopia in 1974, as a child Muluneh lived in Yemen, Cyprus, England, Canada, and the U.S.—and therefore, as she has said before, felt like an outsider everywhere. After working as a photojournalist with the Washington Post, she returned to Ethiopia to explore her heritage through her photography. Now, after founding the Addis Foto Fest in 2010, Muluneh creates African images that speak to the world.

    Read more and see the pictures at wmagazine.com »


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

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia Faces US Human Rights Bill Vote

    Rep. Mike Coffman (center) is one of the sponsors HR128. (Photo: Ethio-American Civic Council/Twitter)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    March 24th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Next month the U.S. Congress is scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning the continuing violations of constitutionally guaranteed human rights in Ethiopia.

    Among other issues the resolution denounces “excessive use of force by Ethiopian security forces; the arrest and detention of journalists, students, activists, and political leaders who exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and expression and the abuse of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to stifle political and civil dissent and journalistic freedoms.”

    The resolution entitled H. RES. 128 has gained momentum and urgency in recent days picking up nearly 100 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives as Ethiopia has devolved into another round of political turmoil and state of emergency.

    Ethio-American Civic Council, a community advocacy group based in Colorado, stated via social media that they “now have 98 co-sponsors in the House and 25 co-sponsors in the Senate.”

    “I’m happy to announce that after months of hard work (by all involved) #HRes128 is scheduled for a vote the week of April 9,” Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado, one of the main backers of the bill twitted this week. “The fight for respect of human rights & inclusive governance in #Ethiopia continues.”

    The resolution calls on the U.S. Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury, “to apply appropriate sanctions on foreign persons or entities responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against any nationals in Ethiopia as provided for in the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; and stand by the people of Ethiopia and support their peaceful efforts to increase democratic space and to exercise the rights guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution.”


    Related:
    Diaspora’s Role in Helping to Shape Better U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Mulatu Astatke Always in Motion

    Mulatu Astatke is revered for being the father of Ethio-jazz. (Music in Africa)

    Music in Africa

    Mulatu Astatke remains a musician in motion

    Ethiopian jazz master Mulatu Astatke will be taking a break from his extensive 2018 European concert tour to play at the 19th Cape Town International Jazz Festival in South Africa. This should come as no surprise given that he has been in global motion ever since his parents sent him to study aeronautical engineering in North Wales in 1956.

    But Mulatu soon began trumpet lessons instead – he enrolled in London’s Trinity School of Music. While in London he heard performances by Caribbean and West African musicians that evoked his memories of the big bands he had enjoyed back home in Ethiopia. These performances pushed him to consider new a direction.

    Mulatu was the first African student to enrol at what would soon become the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1958. There he traded in his trumpet for the vibraphone. In 1960 he lived in New York City, where he spent more than six years taking part in the world of American jazz, interacting with Latin musicians, making records and performing in concerts.

    By the time Mulatu returned to Ethiopia later that decade, he had developed the concept of Ethio-jazz and was actively experimenting with this hybrid musical style. Ethio-jazz draws on multiple trends from the American jazz scene, including bebop and modal jazz combined with melodies and harmonies in the Ethiopian modal system.

    Melding of sounds

    Mulatu’s innovations were anchored by his childhood memories of traditional Ethiopian secular and church music. It was further inflected by harmony classes at the Berklee School and welded by the experience of hearing and playing jazz in London, Boston and New York City.

    Mulatu’s pieces over the course of his career retain these early musical influences and a highly original mixture of sounds from places experienced on his lifelong itinerary.

    An example is Mulatu’s signature piece ‘Yekermo Sew’ (A Man of Experience and Wisdom) which was featured in the soundtrack of American independent filmmaker and screenwriter Jim Jarmusch‘s 2005 film Broken Flowers and then circulated across the world. Composed following Mulatu’s return to Ethiopia in the late 1960s, ‘Yekermo Sew’ takes its title from a traditional Ethiopian Christian New Year’s blessing in Amharic, the national Ethiopian language.

    Read more »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Spotlight: The Universal Language of Artist Fikru Gebre Mariam’s Ethiopia Paintings

    The graphic theme of Fikru Gebre Mariam's art, which he has totally embraced, is a genre of contemporary Ethiopian painting representing a motif of Ethiopian women engaged in daily tasks. (EDGIC)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    March 22th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — The first time that we featured Fikru Gebre Mariam in Tadias Magazine in 2009 he was an up-and-coming artist commuting between his studios in Paris and Addis Ababa. The Tadias profile, which was written by the late American sociologist and scholar of Ethiopian culture and history Donald Levine, described Fikru’s works as expressed in geometric abstraction. “They convey a blend of rich hues, emotional intensity, immediacy of impact, and a touch of austerity,” Levine wrote. “Even so, there is no mistaking the deeply Ethiopian flavor of these paintings. They display hints of Ethiopian miniatures and church paintings. They are imbued with African earth tones. They use the colored garments of Harari women. They capture the somber mood of much Ethiopian life.”

    Fast forward to 2018, Fikru Gebre who is now based in Ethiopia full time is an internationally acclaimed artist and sought after by art lovers from around the world.

    This week, the Arts Division of EDGIC Fine Art, Luxury & Media Corporation that caters to high-end global art collectors highlighted Fikru in a press release as their “STOP Times UP” feature saying: “The vision of selected Ethiopian EDGIC Artist Fikru Gebre Mariam saw the uprising of emotive influences that sought creation as “At the Red Light” original Art. He appreciates that the way of NOW is to subjugate oppression with the voice of what was once the voiceless through the veracity of experiences to power awareness in embracing unity for equality to be the order of the day.”

    EDGIC added: “To this end, Fikru Gebre Mariam brings forward the feminine consciousness to stand as a red light against the atrocities of misused male power. EDGIC Art Division recognizes the value that this great artist brings to the table of mankind and the current climate that has seen the upsurge of Times UP movement to accept that the art of this millennium defines people for peace to be the known reality of mankind. International acclaim has followed Fikru Gebre Mariam over the years, yet his humility is ever present as he acknowledges the power of preserving his art for generations of people to follow the integrity of standing tall in the very nature of their truth.”

    Fikru is a graduate of the Addis Ababa School of Fine Arts — founded by prominent artist Ale Felege Selam — where he was a protégé of instructor Tadesse Mesfin, who Levine said “not only taught him painterly skills but gave him a graphic theme which he would embrace, struggle with, and grow through, ever since.”


    You can learn more about Fikru Gebre Mariam and his work at http://fikrugebremariam.edgic.eu/ and you can view some of his paintings at https://www.pinterest.com/fikru-gebremariam-paintings/.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    NYC Students Help to Connect Young Ethiopian Professionals

    Michael Andeberhan, Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), model and filmmaker Gelila Bekele, fashion designer Tizita Balemlay and attorney Lydia Gobena are speakers at the "Network to Networth" event that will take place in New York City on March 28th, 2018. (Courtesy photos)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    March 20th, 2018

    NYC Students Create Network Event Platform for Young Ethiopian Professionals

    New York (TADIAS) — A student-led initiative in New York is helping to create a greater platform for young Ethiopian professionals to network with established business leaders and entrepreneurs in the Diaspora.

    This month an event called “Network to Networth” is scheduled in New York City for March 28th at Doux Supper Club in midtown Manhattan featuring panelists from Wall Street, as well as the legal, film and fashion industries.

    Noel Daniel, a finance major at Pace University in NYC who is organizing the event, told Tadias that the purpose is “to foster meaningful connections that could lead to mentorships, partnerships, internships and even leads for jobs and career opportunities.” Noel added that they aim to establish “a relaxed and entertaining” environment as an alternative to “clubbing and bar-hopping” that could actually result in “real opportunities and valuable information.” Noel’s team has already held similar gatherings in Washington, D.C. and Addis Ababa with success while highlighting managers of multinational corporations as well as owners of both small, medium and large private companies.

    Panelists at the New York event include attorney Lydia Gobena, Partner at the top intellectual property law firm Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu. Lydia is also owner and designer of the jewelry line, Birabiro. Additional panelists include Michael Andeberhan, Executive Director at MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) and a member of the Global Asset Owner and Consultant team; model and filmmaker Gelila Bekele who is featured in several beauty campaigns including those for Diesel, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Pantene and L’Oreal; as well as Tizita Balemlay, Founder & Creative Director of @pluggednycstore whose merchandise and designs have garnered support from stars like Rihanna, Jhene Aiko & Lil Yachty.

    “Our goal is to build efficient networking with long lasting benefits,” Noel shares, promising an inspiring evening for young professionals to network within their Diaspora community. Tadias is proud to be a media sponsor for the March 28th Q&A panel/mixer.


    If You Go:
    Network to Networth – NYC
    Wed, March 28, 2018
    5:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
    Doux Supper Club
    59 W 21st Street
    New York,
    Click here to RSVP and buy tickets

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Watch: The Talented Kiriku Brothers from Ethiopia on NBC’s “Little Big Shots”

    The Kiriku Brothers from Ethiopia on NBC's television show "Little Big Shots" on Sunday, March 18th, 2018. (Photo: Facebook)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    March 19th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — The talented Kiriku Brothers from Ethiopia were featured on NBC’s hit series “Little Big Shots” on Sunday, March 18th, with host Steve Harvey declaring: “This is the greatest act I’ve ever seen on Little Big Shots!”

    Little Big Shots is an American variety television show that highlights children demonstrating talents and participating in conversation with Harvey.

    “Steve Harvey couldn’t believe what was happening on the Little Big Shots stage when Ethiopian duo, The Kiriku Brothers, brought their high-flying act to the show,” Yahoo News enthused. “The kids, apparently, met at circus camp, as kids do, and practice their routine for four hours every day. Which is necessary if you’re going to be pulling off the crazy stunts these kids were performing.”

    The culture editor of the 2Paragraphs website added: “One of the most memorable and unique performances on Season 3 of Little Big Shots is delivered by the Kiriku Brothers. The foot juggling Kiriku Brothers have all kinds of tricks, including where one of the older ones uses his bare feet to juggle a younger brother with nothing else but his feet. (Note: the Kiriku Brothers aren’t all related.) The Kiriku Brothers troupe hails from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This isn’t the Kiriku Brothers first time on television. Two of the brothers were just on Spain’s Got Talent in February. Spanish singer/actress and Spain’s Got Talent judge Edurne Garcia hit her Golden Buzzer for the Kiriku Brothers.”

    Watch: Little Big Shots – The Kiriku Brothers (Episode Highlight)


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Ethiopia: Diaspora Reacts to Firing of Tillerson and What It Means for Africa

    The recently fired US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is greeted by Ethiopia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu as he arrives at Addis Ababa airport on March 7th, 2018. (Photo: EPA)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 18th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — It was supposed to be Rex Tillerson’s first trip to Africa as America’s top diplomat, but it turned out to be his last one.

    “So what was the point of it all?,” asked a poignant article published by the Washington Post following Trump’s unceremonious firing of Tillerson last week. “Couldn’t he have just stayed home and sent Africa an email?”

    From a public relations point of view, as Reuters points out: “Tillerson’s main aim appeared to be clearing up the mess left by President Donald Trump’s reported dismissal of some African nations as ‘shithole countries’ in addition to promising “$533 million in humanitarian aid and some pat remarks about security and not getting too cozy with China.”

    The Washington Post piece adds: “the administration no doubt needed to do something to soften the blow of President Trump’s “shithole countries” remarks (though Tillerson sidestepped the issue at news conferences)… Ultimately, many Africans in the countries he visited were unimpressed.”

    In a follow-up story featured on Sunday, March 18th titled “In Africa, Trump’s firing of Tillerson a New Sign of Neglect,” The Associated Press highlights the perspective of Africans as well as members of the African Diaspora including Ethiopian Americans.

    Befekadu Hailu, a prominent Ethiopian blogger, told The Associated Press that “Africans have nothing to take Trump seriously. He already proved himself ethno-centrist and exclusivist, no friend to Africa.”

    Regarding the removal of Tillerson while making his inaugural visit to the continent, Ted Alemayhu, an Ethiopian-born American who is running for Congress to represent California’s 39th District, told AP: “That, in my opinion, is adding insult to injury.”

    The Associated Press notes: “While in Africa, Tillerson tried to project a more positive image of the continent, saying its rapid economic growth and fast-growing populations mean its future is increasingly linked to America’s. He visited some of Africa’s most prominent economies in Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia and highlighted U.S. security issues with stops in Chad and Djibouti… Tillerson also sought to reassure African nations that aid would continue even as the Trump administration pursues deep cuts in foreign assistance.”

    AP states “unlike Trump, recent U.S. leaders engaged substantially with Africa. Bill Clinton created a signature trade program known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and George W. Bush launched an HIV treatment program, PEPFAR, that has boosted the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of AIDS patients across Africa. Barack Obama enjoyed goodwill throughout the continent, even though some in Africa felt he fell short of expectations as the son of a Kenyan man. Trump has not indicated any possible initiatives for Africa.”

    Read the full article at the washingtonpost.com »


    Related:
    Diaspora’s Role in Helping to Shape Better U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Ethiopia
    Trump Fires Tillerson (UPDATE)
    In the end, no one was more surprised that Tillerson was fired than Tillerson
    Tillerson in Ethiopia Media Round Up
    Tillerson Calls Ethiopia ‘A Young Democracy’
    A Look Back at Obama’s Visit to Ethiopia
    Ethiopia Pictures: Yirgacheffe Coffee for Tillerson, Ethiopic Script Tie for Lavrov
    Tillerson, in Africa, Dodges Questions on Vulgarity and Trolling (NYT)
    Tillerson and Lavrov Book Same Ethiopian Hotel—and Can’t Agree on a Meeting (Bloomberg)
    Africa should avoid forfeiting sovereignty to China over loans: Tillerson (Reuters)
    Trump’s comments on Africa cast pall over Tillerson’s long-awaited trip (The Washington Post)
    Tillerson’s Ethiopia visit to stress US interest-based diplomacy: analyst
    Strikes Spread in Restive Ethiopia Region Before Tillerson Visit (Bloomberg)
    Institution Building, Ethnic Conflict, Sudan Refugees on Tillerson Ethiopia Agenda
    Russia suggests Tillerson-Lavrov meeting in Ethiopia this week
    Tillerson Heads to Addis, Ethiopia Doubles Down on Emergency Law: Media Round up

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Scientist Sossina Haile Creates Another Groundbreaking Fuel Cell

    Ethiopian American Scientist Sossina Haile developed the first solid acid fuel cells. Her team's new discovery presents a significant step toward lower fuel cell costs and more sustainable energy, according to a study published last month in the journal Nature Energy. (Photo: (Northwestern University)

    Northwestern University

    New Fuel Cell has Exceptional Power Density and Stability

    A team of researchers led by Northwestern Engineering professor and fuel cell pioneer Sossina Haile has created a new fuel cell offering both exceptional power densities and long-term stability at optimal temperatures, a discovery that heightens the viability of incorporating fuel cells into a sustainable energy future.

    “For years, industry has told us that the holy grail is getting fuel cells to work at 500-degrees Celsius and with high power density, which means a longer life and less expensive components,” said Haile, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and professor of applied physics at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. “With this research, we can now envision a path to making cost-effective fuel cells and transforming the energy landscape.”

    The study, titled “Exceptional power density and stability at intermediate temperatures in protonic ceramic fuel cells,” was published February 12 in the journal Nature Energy. Sihyuk Choi, a postdoctoral fellow in Haile’s laboratory, served as the paper’s first author.

    Though recent research had demonstrated the potential of some protonic ceramic fuel cells to offer environmentally sustainable and cost-effective electric power generation, those cells’ high electrolyte conductivities failed to produce anticipated power outputs.

    “While it was known that some electrolytes have high conductivity at 500-degrees Celsius, somehow the electrodes were not working well in the complete fuel cell,” Haile said.

    “It’s exciting to think about where we are now and where we can go.”

    Read more »


    Related:
    Spotlight: Scientist Sossina Haile Honored With GE Grand Central Video Installation
    Outstanding Women in Science: Tadias Interview with Professor Sossina Haile

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Ethiopia on Capitol Hill’s New Hype Cafe

    Samuel Mengistu and Hanna Tesfamikael, owners of Hype Cafe on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Laura Hayes)

    Washington City Paper

    Ethiopian Traditions Come Alive at Capitol Hill’s New Hype Cafe

    The meaning behind the name Hype Cafe doesn’t make itself known until about an hour after you leave the welcoming spot on Capitol Hill that opened this month. That’s when the rush of caffeine from your cup of electrifying Ethiopian coffee practically smacks you.

    Hype Cafe is from engaged couple Samuel Mengistu, who is from Ethiopia, and Hanna Tesfamikael, who is from Eritrea but grew up in Ethiopia. “I came up with the name,” Tesfamikael says. “You drink coffee in order to get energy. You get hyper. Let’s just call it hype.”

    At their coffee shop in the former Il Capo di Capitol Hill space, the owners will bring traditions from home to D.C., including coffee ceremonies on Saturdays and Sundays.

    “Since we were kids, coffee is basically a part of life,” Mengistu says. “I tasted my first coffee when I was six. In Ethiopia there’s a way of doing coffee. There’s a first round, second round, and third round. The third round is very light. The grown-ups don’t drink it, they just taste it and the kids come in. As long as they put a lot of sugar, we can drink it.”

    If you’re judging, think about how much caffeine is in childhood elixir Mountain Dew.

    Beyond being strong, Ethiopian coffee is well known for its intense smell. Mengistu and Tesfamikael explain that coffee grown at high altitudes, as it is in Ethiopia, releases the best aroma. They exclusively brew Arkibuna coffees.

    Right now pastries are served along side coffee and espresso drinks but the couple will debut a menu of sandwiches and Ethiopian veggie sampler platters after the grand opening in early April. There are about 50 seats inside and once the weather warms up, they’ll add tables outside.

    For now Hype Cafe is open Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays through Sundays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. It may stay open later once it offers food. Tesfamikael points out that there aren’t too many places in the neighborhood that stay open late.

    Hype Cafe, 1129 Pennsylvania Ave. SE


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Trump Fires Tillerson (UPDATE)

    Trump has fired U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, replacing him with the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo. (Photo: Tillerson with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu in Addis Ababa last week/AP)

    Fired via Twitter: How Trump soured on Tillerson as his leading diplomat

    When White House Chief of Staff John Kelly warned Rex Tillerson to possibly expect a pejorative tweet from President Trump over the weekend, the secretary of state failed to fully understand that it was a gentle signal to him that he was about to be fired.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asleep in his Nairobi hotel room early Saturday morning fighting a stomach bug when White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly called to wake him around 2 a.m. to relay a terse message from President Trump: The boss was not happy.

    The president was so eager to fire Tillerson that he wanted to do so in a tweet on Friday, but Kelly persuaded Trump to wait until his secretary of state was back in the United States from Africa, two people familiar with the conversation said. It was Tillerson’s first trip there since Trump disparaged parts of the continent as “shithole countries.”

    But Kelly had also warned Tillerson to possibly expect a pejorative tweet from Trump over the weekend, a State Department official said. Tillerson failed to fully understand that the chief of staff was gently signaling to him that he was about to be fired.

    And so, just over four hours after Tillerson’s government plane touched down at Joint Base Andrews on Tuesday morning, the secretary of state learned of his dismissal from a tweet Trump issued just minutes after The Washington Post first reported the news.

    Read more »

    Reuters

    Trump ousts Secretary of State Tillerson, taps CIA director Pompeo

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had replaced U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, and had tapped Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.

    “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” Trump said on Twitter.


    Related:
    In the end, no one was more surprised that Tillerson was fired than Tillerson
    Tillerson in Ethiopia Media Round Up
    Tillerson Calls Ethiopia ‘A Young Democracy’
    A Look Back at Obama’s Visit to Ethiopia
    Ethiopia Pictures: Yirgacheffe Coffee for Tillerson, Ethiopic Script Tie for Lavrov
    Tillerson, in Africa, Dodges Questions on Vulgarity and Trolling (NYT)
    Tillerson and Lavrov Book Same Ethiopian Hotel—and Can’t Agree on a Meeting (Bloomberg)
    Africa should avoid forfeiting sovereignty to China over loans: Tillerson (Reuters)
    Trump’s comments on Africa cast pall over Tillerson’s long-awaited trip (The Washington Post)
    Tillerson’s Ethiopia visit to stress US interest-based diplomacy: analyst
    Strikes Spread in Restive Ethiopia Region Before Tillerson Visit (Bloomberg)
    Institution Building, Ethnic Conflict, Sudan Refugees on Tillerson Ethiopia Agenda
    Russia suggests Tillerson-Lavrov meeting in Ethiopia this week
    Tillerson Heads to Addis, Ethiopia Doubles Down on Emergency Law: Media Round up

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Ethiopian Lawyer Yetnebersh Nigussie Receives Prestigious Helen Keller Award

    Ethiopian lawyer Yetnebersh Nigussie is being honored with the Spirit of Helen Keller Award. It's named for an American who promoted the rights of women and people with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of Light for the World)

    VOA News

    By Salem Solomon

    Ethiopian Disability Rights Advocate Champions Opportunities for Women

    Yetnebersh Nigussie had opportunities other girls in rural Ethiopia can only dream of.

    Unlike her peers growing up in Wollo province, Nigussie wasn’t married off as a young girl or forced to work at home.

    Instead, she devoted herself to learning.

    Nigussie moved to the capital, Addis Ababa, and pursued an education, eventually earning a law degree and founding the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development, a group that advocates for the rights of disabled people in her home country.

    What makes Nigussie’s accomplishments especially noteworthy are the challenges she overcame.

    Nigussie lost her sight at age 5 after contracting meningitis. But where some see obstacles, Nigussie, now 36, sees potential.

    “I believe challenges are opportunities. So we human beings are created to change challenges into opportunities,” she told VOA’s Amharic Service in a phone interview last week. “That’s why I always tell [people] that, when I turned blind at the age of 5, that brought a new opportunity. I would have never been educated had I not been blind. All my siblings and the children in my area, in my age [group] — none of them have gotten educational opportunities.”

    Advocacy

    Nigussie has built her career on advocating for people with disabilities. In recognition of her accomplishments, she will receive the prestigious Spirit of Helen Keller Award, presented by the nongovernmental organization Helen Keller International, at a May 2 gala in New York.

    First presented in 1959, the award is named for an American activist who was deaf and blind. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Keller gained fame for her lectures, writings and advocacy work promoting the rights of women and the disabled.

    “Receiving the Spirit of Helen Keller Award is a great thing because Helen Keller has been my source of inspiration that I am living. We believe in the same thing: telling people not to focus on our disabilities, [but] rather on our abilities,” Nigussie said. “Helen was always saying that ‘I don’t know what darkness is, but I know there is a light.’ So it’s a great thing to be associated with such a fantastic hero who has been always my inspiration in life.”

    Recognizing contributions

    Now, Nigussie wants to honor women making an impact across the globe with a separate award: Her Abilities, which she will give out annually in partnership with Light for the World. Nigussie is an adviser to the Austria-based organization.

    The award will recognize women making an impact in the areas of health and education, rights, and sport and culture. It is open to women with disabilities worldwide.

    “The reason we decided to focus on women with disabilities is that we believe they face double, and sometimes triple, discrimination,” Nigussie said. “We need to spotlight their work and make sure that they are visible to the world. … So it’s very much in line with my personal motto: I have one disability and 99 abilities. So we’re not going to focus on the one disability. We’re going to talk about their 99 abilities — or more — and we’re going to celebrate their achievements, their greatness.”

    Nominations for the award will open July 2, and winners will be announced in December.

    Overcoming barriers

    An estimated 15 million people in Ethiopia live with disabilities, and they often lack access to resources and protections while facing stigmatization and a heightened risk of poverty and social isolation. According to the World Health Organization, Africans with disabilities face significant gaps in their access to welfare, education, vocational training and counseling services.

    Nigussie’s organization, the Ethiopian Center, has sought to address these barriers through job training and publications. For example, it offers an online guide to Ethiopian hotels, restaurants and offices that are accessible to people with disabilities.

    The activist also hopes to continue advocating for legal changes, including overturning a restriction that makes it illegal for deaf people in Ethiopia to drive.

    Nigussie said she is humbled by the recognition and motivated to do more.

    “I believe all these challenges would lead people with disabilities, in particular in Africa, to make sure that they overcome the challenge,” she said. “No challenges are coming to stop us. They are coming as a puzzle for us to solve.”


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Spotlight: Emahoy Tsegue Mariam Guebru’s New CD and Last Recordings

    (Photo courtesy of The Emahoy Tsege Mariam Music Foundation) )

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    March 11th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — The renowned classical pianist and composer Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru has released her last recordings, a CD of new compositions called The Visionary.

    The Ethiopian nun, who turns 95 years old this year, lives inside the Ethiopian monastery in Jerusalem. She gained international following after her solo compositions were published in the Ethiopiques 21 CD series by the French label Buda Musique ten years ago.

    The Emahoy Tsege Mariam Music Foundation announced that her latest album, which was issued in February, is self published in limited edition and only a few hundred copies are available via the foundation’s website.

    Born as Yewubdar Gebru in Addis Abeba on December 12, 1923 Emahoy Tsege Mariam fled communist Ethiopia in the 1980′s for a solitary life in Jerusalem playing piano everyday, seven days a week. Her greatest compositions include the “Homeless Wanderer,” a beautiful and pensive piece that is reflective of all her other works.

    Some of the tracks in her new CD, “The Visionary,” include: Have you seen Assayehegn?, Extract from Rainbow Sonata, Woigaye, don’t cry anymore, Farewell Eve, Famine Disaster 1974 , Homage to Ludwig Beethoven, Jerusalem, The Phantom, Reverie, Quo Vadis, Ave Maria and Quand la Mer Furieuse.

    Regarding her fascinating life story it is fair to say that Emahoy has seen it all when it comes to the ups and downs of the turbulent history of modern Ethiopia in the past nine decades. As a teenager in the late 1930′s her family “was taken as prisoners of war by the Italians and deported to the island of Asinara, north of Sardinia, and later to Mercogliano near Naples,” shares The Emahoy Tsege Mariam Music Foundation. “After the war, Yewubdar resumed her musical studies in Cairo, under a Polish violinist named Alexander Kontorowicz. Yewubdar returned to Ethiopia accompanied by Kontorowicz and she served as an administrative assistant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later in the Imperial Body Guard where Kontorowicz was appointed by Emperor Haile Selassie as music director of the band.”

    Later, young Yewubdar, who grew up in a privileged family (her father was Kentiba Gebru) and studied violin in Switzerland as a young girl, “secretly fled Addis Abeba at the age of 19 to enter the Guishen Mariam monastery in the Wello region where she had once before visited with her mother,” the foundation adds. “She served two years in the monastery and was ordained a nun at the age of 21. She took on the title Emahoy and her name was changed to Tsege Mariam.”

    Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam – The Homeless Wanderer from aloido on Vimeo.

    In the 1960s Emahoy had studied Saint Yared’s 6th-century music in Gondar. And barely a decade later she would survive the mayhem following the 1970′s communist revolution. Emahoy’s first record was released in 1967 in Germany through the assistance of Emperor Haile Selassie with subsequent piano compositions released in 1973, the proceeds of which were used to assist orphanages.

    At Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru’s request both her published and unpublished compositions have been donated to her foundation to continue to provide disadvantaged children with the opportunities to study classical and jazz musical genres.

    “Her life is full of teaching moments for young people, artists and students,” said her niece Hanna M. Kebbede, who resides in Falls Church, Virginia. “She has endured a lot. It is a uniquely Ethiopian story, but at the same time the lessons are universal.”


    You can learn more and buy the new CD at www.emahoymusicfoundation.org.

    Related:
    From Jerusalem with Love: The Ethiopian Nun Pianist

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    How Ethiopia Influenced British-Ethiopian Singer Izzy Bizu’s Music

    23-years-old, British-Ethiopian singer-songwriter Isobel Beardshaw, better known as Izzy Bizu, tells Okay Africa about the millions of plays on her debut album, A Moment of Madness, and how she's been influenced by her Ethiopian roots. (Image courtesy of RED Music)

    Okay Africa

    How Ethiopia Influenced Izzy Bizu’s Viral Pop Hits

    At just 23-years-old, British-Ethiopian singer-songwriter Isobel Beardshaw, better known as Izzy Bizu, has already shared the stage with music’s finest including Sam Smith and Coldplay.

    While her talents behind the mic seemingly fell on her lap, it was through her Ethiopian roots that she fully discovered her unique, acoustic sound. What started as a mere outlet to escape the struggles of boarding school has now become a dream come true.

    But music wasn’t always the goal. Izzy Bizu’s career goals first began with animals. Although she wanted to be a vet, she soon learned the difference between hobbies and passions. At the age of 15, she auditioned for a teenage girl-band, singing “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera. Just one week later, she was in the recording studio.

    Fast forward to 2018, Izzy’s debut album, A Moment of Madness, has clocked in over 225 million global streams and her hit single “Diamonds” sits at the #11 spot at Urban AC radio. If that’s not enough, she still manages to find time to travel back home and give back to the communities in Ethiopia.

    How would you describe your sound?

    Soulful, raw, rhythmical, reminiscent.

    Tell us about your Ethiopian background and how it plays into your music.

    My mum is Ethiopian, and we often spent holidays there when I was younger. The country is incredibly beautiful and spending time outside of the city allowed me to escape into another world. And I’m sure this played a part in my love of poetry and writing.

    Ethiopians also love to dance. There was always music everywhere, which also had an impact in my love and appreciation of music. I also feel because of my mixed heritage that I am a bit of a world traveler, and this also plays an important part in my lyrics and how I see the world.

    Who are your biggest musical influences?

    Read more »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Tillerson in Ethiopia Media Round Up

    Ethiopia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu (center R) gives a red carpet welcome to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (center L) at Addis Ababa Airport on March 7, 2018. (Reuters photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 8th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Unfortunately human rights was not center stage as many had hoped this week as U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson arrived in Ethiopia on Wednesday at the start of his first diplomatic trip to Africa that will also take him to Chad, Djibouti, Kenya and Nigeria.

    The major focus of the trip included counterterrorism, building security alliances, institutions, trade and investment, as well as the role of China on the African continent. Reuters noted: “Tillerson is using his first diplomatic trip to the continent to bolster security alliances on a continent increasingly turning to Beijing for aid and trade. The United States is the leading aid donor to Africa but China surpassed it as a trade partner in 2009. Beijing has pumped billions into infrastructure projects, though critics say the use of Chinese firms and labor undermines their value.”

    Regarding Ethiopia’s current political turmoil and state of emergency Tillerson reiterated the U.S. position articulated in the U.S. embassy press release last month stating that more freedom is the solution, not less. “We share and recognize concerns over incidents of violence,” he told a news conference in Addis Ababa after meeting Ethiopia’s foreign minister. “We do firmly believe that the answer is greater freedom.”

    In addition, Tillerson highlighted the historic relationship between Ethiopia and the United States, which formally began more than a century ago during Emperor Menelik’s time. Ethiopia is America’s oldest African ally. “This is a very, very longstanding relationship, more than 100 years,” Tillerson said. “Ethiopia is a large-population country, they are an important security partner in areas that I’ve already touched upon, and we also see Ethiopia’s journey towards democracy – I think 27 years now, which is a long time, but it’s a young democracy, and as I indicated, democracies are challenging.” He continued: “It’s not easy to take a country forward as a democracy. And so we’re here also to support Ethiopia’s journey towards a democratic society and institutions.”

    But Tillerson did not meet with opposition or rival political leaders “the kind of encounters past secretaries of state routinely undertook to emphasize the importance of pluralism, and to hedge against sudden changes in government,” wrote The New York Times.

    In Ethiopia Tillerson was dogged by Trump’s ‘shithole’ comment on his first day on the continent. “It didn’t take long for President Donald Trump’s derogatory comment about African nations to come up in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first visit to the continent as top U.S. diplomat,” Bloomberg reported. “At a press conference with African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, a journalist asked Faki and Tillerson whether the U.S. should apologize for the remark. The reporter said the comment, which Trump has denied, is something that Africa’s still digesting.” Eventually, as Bloomberg adds: Faki assured reporters that the incident was over and his brief discussion with Tillerson on Thursday morning had focused on areas of cooperation, such as the possibility of the U.S. providing financial support for an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia. “I believe that this incident is of the past,” Faki said. “This partnership has produced results. It is useful for both parties.”

    Yet another topic that is grabbing international headlines relating to Tilerson’s trip to Ethiopia is the fact that his Russian counterpart was also visiting Addis Ababa at the same time. In an article titled “US, Russia Trade Blame as Diplomats Fail to Meet in Africa” The Associated Press pointed out: “They could have run into each other sipping coffee in the lobby, perhaps at the bar at Ethiopia’s finest hotel. But U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov didn’t meet, and now both countries are trading accusations about who’s to blame.”

    AP added: “The top American and Russian diplomats warily circled each other in Africa, where both are paying official visits this week. As their two countries trade accusations over Syria, Ukraine and even the Oscars, their governments are trolling each other with barbs on social media. Russia said that both Tillerson and Lavrov were staying at the lush Sheraton Addis resort while in Ethiopia, where Tillerson met Thursday with the country’s outgoing prime minister and with the African Union Commission’s chairman. It was unclear how long the two overlapped in the Ethiopian capital.”


    Related:
    Tillerson Calls Ethiopia ‘A Young Democracy’
    Tillerson and Lavrov Book Same Ethiopian Hotel—and Can’t Agree on a Meeting (Bloomberg)
    Africa should avoid forfeiting sovereignty to China over loans: Tillerson (Reuters)
    Trump’s comments on Africa cast pall over Tillerson’s long-awaited trip (The Washington Post)
    Tillerson’s Ethiopia visit to stress US interest-based diplomacy: analyst
    Strikes Spread in Restive Ethiopia Region Before Tillerson Visit (Bloomberg)
    Institution Building, Ethnic Conflict, Sudan Refugees on Tillerson Ethiopia Agenda
    Russia suggests Tillerson-Lavrov meeting in Ethiopia this week
    Tillerson Heads to Addis, Ethiopia Doubles Down on Emergency Law: Media Round up

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    In Pictures: Black Tie Adwa Victory Dinner in DC Hosted by Prince Ermias

    Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie hosts the 2018 Victory of Adwa Commemorative Dinner in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Andrea)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    March 6th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Last week Ethiopians celebrated the 122nd anniversary of the Victory of Adwa. A black tie dinner was hosted by Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie, in Washington, D.C. on March 3rd in commemoration of the historic event.

    Below are photos from the event:


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Institution Building, Ethnic Conflict, Sudan Refugees on Tillerson Ethiopia Agenda

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (AP photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 6th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — On Monday senior officials at U.S. State Department held a private briefing for members of the African Diaspora regarding Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip to Africa this week.

    In Ethiopia Tillerson will meet with both the outgoing Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu. During his meetings Tillerson will encourage building and strengthening democratic institutions based on protection of human rights, civil rights as well as promoting tolerance.

    In addition, the U.S. is also very concerned about the recent ethnic fighting between Oromo and Somali ethnic groups that has displaced nearly one million people, and the subject is certain to come up during the meeting.

    Furthermore, the talks will include a discussion about the ongoing climate-induced drought in Ethiopia and possible solutions.

    U.S officials emphasized Ethiopia’s complex role in regional security among other areas of interest that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will discuss with Ethiopian officials this week. Ethiopia’s role in the region includes both being a major peacekeeping troop contributor and host of hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan as well as home of the African Union.

    The State Department says Tillerson’s mission is “to further our partnerships with the governments and people of Africa. In particular, to discuss ways we can work with our partners to counter terrorism, advance peace and security, promote good governance, and spur mutually beneficial trade and investment. During his trip, he will also meet with U.S. Embassy personnel and participate in events related to U.S. government-supported activities.”

    This U.S. diplomatic excursion follows the global firestorm sparked in January by President Trump’s reported “shithole” remarks in reference to the African continent and its people. Trump denies making the comment.


    Related:
    Strikes Spread in Restive Ethiopia Region Before Tillerson Visit (Bloomberg)
    Russia suggests Tillerson-Lavrov meeting in Ethiopia this week
    Tillerson Heads to Addis, Ethiopia Doubles Down on Emergency Law: Media Round up

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

    Spotlight: Influential Women of the Diaspora: YEP Women’s Power Hour

    (Photos courtesy of YEP)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    March 5th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — March is women’s history month in the United States and the Washington D.C.-based Ethiopian professional networking organization, YEP, is hosting an upcoming event titled “Women’s Power Hour” featuring influential women of the Diaspora.

    “Women are the backbone of our families and communities, and this Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating them in all their glory,” YEP said announcing the event that will be held at Marriott Marquis on Thursday, March 22nd. “Hear from influential women of the Diaspora as they share their unique stories and experiences of navigating life as women of color in America.” YEP adds: “Successful and inspiring leaders in media, tech, health, and more will delve into their struggles and wins in both their personal and professional journeys.”

    Panelists include Dr. Lekidelu Taddesse, Director of Hematology Lab and Surgical Pathology at Howard University; Helen Mesfin, Host of the Helen Show on EBS; Hawi Dibaba, Senior Developer at Booz Allen Hamilton; with film producer Mignotae Kebede as the panel moderator.

    “Walk away with tips and insight on self-care, becoming your best professional self, and ways to foster sisterhood,” the announcement says. The evening will begin with a panel discussion and move into a structured networking power hour.”


    If You Go:
    Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:
    Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM (EDT)
    Marriott Marquis
    901 Massachusetts Ave NW
    George Washington University Room
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    Click here to RSVP

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia Film at New African Film Festival

    Filmmaker Indrias G. Kassaye's new documentary 'Breathe in the Roots' is about a regular guy engaging with regular people on a journey of discovery that few have attempted before. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    March 4th, 2018

    Ethiopia Film ‘Breathe in the Roots’ Screens at New African Film Festival

    New York (TADIAS) — This month Ethiopian filmmaker Indrias G. Kassaye’s new movie Breathe in the Roots will be screened at the 2018 New African Film Festival that’s held annually at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

    The documentary features a young American teacher’s journey of discovery to Ethiopia. Per the announcement: “The film tracks Ty Christen Joseph’s (Chris) journey on horseback from Addis Ababa to Lalibela, one of Ethiopia’s holiest pilgrimage sites, documenting his once-in-a-lifetime experiences and showcasing a side of Ethiopia many rarely get to experience.”

    The 14th Annual New African Film Festival is set to take place from March 8th to March 18th, 2018. In a statement the organizers added: “The festival showcases the vibrancy of African filmmaking from all corners of the continent.”

    Breathe in the Roots is scheduled to be shown at the festival on Friday, March 9th and will include a Q&A with both the director Indrias G. Kassaye and subject Ty Christen Joseph.

    Indrias Kassaye is a producer, photographer, and writer “who believes in the importance of storytelling that champions the voices and experiences of local communities and everyday people.”

    Tadias caught up with Indrias, Chris and some audience members following the film’s Washington, D.C. screening at the Anacostia Arts Center last Summer. A video of the conversation is below:

    Watch Video:


    If You Go:
    ‘Breathe in the Roots’ (Ethiopia) at New African Film Festival
    Friday, March 9, 7:15
    Q&A with director Indrias G. Kassaye and subject Ty Christen Joseph
    AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center,
    8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910
    Click here for tickets.

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

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Watch: CNN African Voices Spotlights Former Ethiopian Model Anna Getaneh

    Anna Getaneh is an acclaimed former international model, a humanitarian and social entrepreneur. She is also the founder and Creative Director of African Mosaique, a clothing design, manufacturing and retail company that collaborates with established and emerging African designers. (Photos: Pinterest)

    CNN

    Anna Getaneh: A model for humanity

    Former Ethiopian model Anna Getaneh walked runways for Chanel. She now paves a path for poor children in her country.Source: CNN


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia: The Victory of Adwa, An Exemplary Triumph to the Rest of Africa

    Painting of Emperor Menelik II at Battle of Adwa in 1896. (Getty Images)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Ayele Bekerie, PhD

    March 1st, 2018

    This year marks the 122nd anniversary of Ethiopia’s historic victory of Adwa

    Ethiopia (TADIAS) — In 1896, March was a historic month in Ethiopia, which drew the attention of the whole world. It was significant because of Ethiopia’s spectacular victory over the invading European nation – Italy, at the Battle of Adwa. According to the writing of the historian and social researcher Donald Levine, the black African nation, Ethiopia, irreversibly beat a European power ever since the domination of Europe over Africa.

    When we think of and remember the Victory of Adwa, we should always recognize that the Ethiopian people, all together, were willing to sacrifice their lives in fighting against the foreign invader and maintain their national unity. Adwa is a common aim and a common future plan. We need to clearly understand the principle Adwa proved to us and express our ownership of the victory in practical terms. If Africa has to write and promote its own history, it will be obligatory to follow the Adwa principle. Adwa has been an icon for the anti-colonization struggle. Adwa has been an inspiration and hope for all the oppressed people.

    Zewdie G/Silassie states the importance of the Victory of Adwa as, “this [victory] that covered the European sky with clouds of sadness gave courage and hope of independence for people, in Asia or Africa, who were oppressed by the colonizers.”

    The renowned historian, researcher and pan-African scholar W.E.B. DuBois commented on the Victory of Adwa noting that, “other people who are under colonization have to continue to fight for independence by taking Adwa as an example. They need to be determined to fight harder and make clear to the whole world that they don’t have to compromise living in freedom.”

    The history of Adwa is a history that inspired African brothers and sisters who were deprived of their freedom by colonizers or racist regimes for a continued struggle. The victory served as a propelling factor for anti-colonial and pan-African movements that started in the 20th century and also helped them to establish institutions, such as the African Union.

    Colonization was a power-based racist ruling system. It was a system that was filled with violence, abuse, resource exploitation or looting and was derogatory. When it was initially established, it was meant to keep Europeans superior and Africans inferior at all times. However, this hypocritical goal was dismantled by the determined struggles of Africans for freedom, following the example of Adwa.

    The colonizers used to conceal their malevolent aim of coming to Africa by saying that they were coming to Africa to help Africans educate and develop.

    The imperialists’ colonization conference took place in 1884-85 in Berlin, Germany. This was a conference to negotiate the scrambling and partitioning of Africa without causing conflicts among the colonial powers themselves.

    Africans had struggled against European colonization since its beginning and their struggles have been documented in history. The Algerians had fought against the French colonizers for over 17 years. In their struggle, they had used Islamism as their unifying instrument. Other nations also had similar struggles. Nevertheless, it hadn’t been possible for Africans to overcome their colonizers who had been all equipped with modern weapons, medications, technologies and industrial power.

    The Sudan fighters in Omdurman had sacrificed a lot to defeat the British colonizers. In 1898, the Sudan lost 11,000 fighters while the Brits lost only 49 fighters. This was because the fighters of the colonizer led by General Kitchener were equipped with automatic machine guns.

    Samori Touré of Mali fought the French colonizers for about 16 years in Guinea and Mali, with 30,000 soldiers and horseback fighters using home-made and imported weapons. This African anti-colonial hero was captured and exiled to Gabon and died there in 1900.

    Furthermore, among the different people who resisted and fought against the colonial powers were the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe in 1896, the Asante people of Ghana in 1900, the Herero people of Namibia in 1904, and the Maji Maji anti-colonial forces of Tanzania in 1905-07.

    Among the anti-colonial struggles of the 20th century, the Kenyan land and freedom movement, Zimbabwe’s freedom war from 1965-79, the Mozambique struggle from 1961-74, as well as Angola, Guinea Bissau, and Cape Verde’s movements are worth mentioning.

    Yet, Ethiopia was the only nation that combated and overcame the colonial power. Ethiopia was able to protect its sovereignty as a result of the preparation for fighting at equal capacity and weapons: gun to gun, artillery to artillery, without being excelled by the technology the enemy had. Moreover, the people’s cooperation and ability to understand one another contributed a great deal towards the victory.

    Virginia Lee Jacobs has put the exemplariness of Adwa – hence Ethiopia, for Africans in three ways. Ethiopia was an example for other African nations in their fight for freedom and against colonization. Ethiopia firmly imprinted her pride as a giant immovable mountain by refusing and winning white racist supremacy and served as a light of freedom for others. Finally, Ethiopia is a visible, tangible, living African icon of freedom.

    When we also look at the colors of flags, several African countries, upon independence, chose to adopt the basic colors of the Ethiopian green, yellow and red flag as their symbol of freedom and identity, though arrangements vary.

    Even out of Africa, if we look at the colorful carnivals celebrated all over the world by Caribbean decedents in Brooklyn, New York; Toronto, Canada; London, England; Miami, Florida; Detroit, Michigan; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the colorfulness comes from the green, yellow and red flags.

    The well-known Reggae singers, including Bob Marley, had the three basic colors on their jackets, belts or drums. Thus, the choice of these colors to represent their freedom and identity including flags by about 30 African and Caribbean countries wasn’t accidental, but it was because they viewed Ethiopia as an icon of freedom and associated their historical fight for freedom with that of Ethiopia.

    African leaders who led the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggles and later who became leaders of their respective free nations witnessed the following about Ethiopia:

    Kwame Nkurmah, while he was in school in London, said, “As long as Ethiopia is free, we all believe that Africa will one day be free.”

    The first president of Guinea Ahmed Sékou Touré, on his part, said, “The Ethiopian people are great people. They are great Africans; they have bravely fought and preserved their freedom, and they showed the way to freedom to the whole Africa.”

    The great anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela also gave an unforgettable description of Ethiopia by saying that Ethiopia is the source of his African identity.

    Adwa is a reminder for the current proud generation to fight against any enemy for the sake of their identity, history, culture and religion. Ethiopians were victorious over the invading Italian force by having consciously gathered information, designed strategies, and being well prepared in advance. Further, they were united.

    The deep love and knowledge that Adwa instilled in black people had astonishingly re-erupted after 40 years when the enemy invaded Ethiopia again and massacred thousands. Black Harlemites wanted to join the resistance against the Fascist invaders.

    The outstanding victory of Adwa showed that African struggles could end colonization. The victory inspired people to fight for their freedom. Adwa is a timeless victory that enabled Africans all over the world to grow and prosper by maintaining their freedom and peace.


    About the author:
    Ayele Bekerie is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of PhD Program in Heritage Studies and Coordinator of International Affairs at Mekelle University’s Institute of Paleo-Environment and Heritage Conservation. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. Ayele Bekerie is a contributing author in the acclaimed book, “One House: The Battle of Adwa 1896 -100 Years.” He is also the author of the award-winning book “Ethiopic, An African Writing System: Its History and Principles” — among many other published works.

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

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Is Ethiopia the Inspiration Behind the Black Panther Movie?

    The new movie Black Panther is a big hit in Ethiopia as it is in the U.S. and around the globe. The Washington Post reports "Ethiopian audiences, in particular, have warmed to the movie," because of the similarities between the history of Ethiopia, which has never been colonized, and the film's fictional country of Wakanda, "a hidden mountain kingdom that was the only country in Africa not to be colonized." Ethiopia is Wakanda, “minus the techno-utopia,” says Tsedale Lemma, editor of Addis Standard. (The Washington Post by Paul Schemm)

    The Washington Post

    Africa’s real Wakanda and the struggle to stay uncolonized

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The Marvel Comics movie “Black Panther” has wowed audiences across the United States and around the world, including Africans who have cheered on the African superheroes and their fictional Kingdom of Wakanda.

    There is a little something for everyone in Wakanda for Africans. The show’s designers seem to have attempted to incorporate stylistic elements from all over the continent to create the film’s look, as this one impressive Twitter thread has documented.

    Ethiopian audiences, in particular, have warmed to the movie, and more than a few have cited their own country as the inspiration for Wakanda, a hidden mountain kingdom in the movie that was the only country in Africa not to be colonized.

    Indeed, Ethiopia itself has the distinction of being the sole country on the continent to resist the European scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, when the continent was divided up into colonial possessions.

    In fact, a bit like Wakanda, Ethiopia, or Abyssinia as it was once known, was also long shrouded in mystery for Europeans during the Middle Ages, a mythical Christian kingdom of great wealth, surrounded by hostile Muslim states, hidden in the mountains and home to the legendary Prester John.

    A number of Ethiopians have noted on social media the similarities between Wakanda and Ethiopia. Among them is Tsedale Lemma, editor of the Addis Standard, one of the few independent media outlets in the country, who took time out of reporting the country’s state of emergency to say that Ethiopia is Wakanda, “minus the techno-utopia.”

    How much the legend of Ethiopia influenced “Black Panther” creator Stan Lee is up for debate, but the character first appeared in 1966, three years after Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie visited the United States and President John F. Kennedy, treating the world to the spectacle of African royalty claiming centuries of lineage.

    Read more »


    Related:
    SEED Honors Ethiopia’s Universal Impact on the Pan-African World

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Addis Ababa Among 10 Coolest Cities in the World to Visit in 2018

    Addis Ababa. (Photo by Black Tomato via Forbes.com)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    February 27th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Forbes magazine has named Ethiopia’s sprawling capital Addis Ababa among its list of the 10 coolest cities around the world to visit in 2018.

    Forbes says Addis Ababa represents the very fabric of Ethiopia, which is “home to more than 80 nationalities, it’s a cultural epicenter and gateway to an ancient world.”

    The magazine adds: “The fascinating Ethnological Museum is one of Africa’s top museums, but the real hidden highlight of Addis is its late-night scene, which is hosted in atmospheric underground jazz clubs. Close an evening with Ethio-Jazz and discover a fusion of traditional music, Afro-funk and jazz.”

    Addis Ababa is one of three African cities highlighted by the business publication as the best international holiday destinations for this year. The 2018 list includes Nagasaki, Japan; Puebla, Mexico; Malacca, Malaysia; Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Arequipa, Peru; Cairo, Egypt; Brazzaville, Congo; Medellin, Colombia; and Leon, Nicaragua.

    See the full list at Forbes.com »


    Related:
    Harar: Ethiopia’s City of Saints the Best Place in the World to Visit in 2018

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia: Social Media, Diaspora & State of Emergency Press Roundup

    (Image from a study on social media use in Ethiopia and the Diaspora mapping frequency of hate and dangerous speech. Courtesy of the University of Oxford)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    February 25th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — The significantly polarized social media environment regarding politics among Ethiopians in the Diaspora is receiving renewed press attention, perhaps as a contributing factor in Ethiopia’s current state of heightened ethnic politics. In a recent article published by the Open Democracy website Rene Lefort points out “a symptom of this odious climate: on websites accessible in Ethiopia, especially in the comments sections, overtly racist interethnic attacks, which would be an offense anywhere else, are flourishing as never before.”

    “Social media users in America are stoking Ethiopia’s ethnic violence,” declared the title of another story by Public Radio International (PRI). “The Ethiopian Diaspora in the U.S. uses social media to great effect in shaping coverage of events back home, especially the protest movement that has pummeled Ethiopia for more than two years,” says freelance journalist James Jeffrey, author of the PRI piece. “During that time, social media has proved itself a double-edged sword in Ethiopia: It’s capable of filling a need for more information due to limited press freedom and frequent blanket shutdowns of mobile internet, but also of pushing the country toward even greater calamity.” Jeffrey adds: “Since 1995, Ethiopia has applied a distinct political model of ethnically based federalism to the country’s heterogeneous masses — about 100 million people who speak more than 80 dialects. In a country as diverse as Ethiopia, the cumulative effect of ethnic slander should not be underestimated, observers note, especially where historical grudges exist between main ethic groups.”

    Meanwhile Ethiopia is back under another State of Emergency and as The Economist notes that: “the declaration appears at odds with recent signs that the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was willing to allow more democracy. In August it lifted a ten-month-long state of emergency, imposed after protests in 2016. The new state of emergency appears to have been triggered by the resignation the day before of Hailemariam Desalegn, the prime minister. Hailemariam said he was bowing out to allow for “reforms”, but his departure has opened up a succession struggle within the EPRDF, which has governed Ethiopia since it first seized power as a band of rebels in 1991.”

    Last week the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia released a press statement that strongly objected to the decision to suspend normal constitutional procedures and urged its oldest Africa ally to instead focus on widening the democratic space by encouraging “greater freedom, not less.” The press release stated: “The challenges facing Ethiopia, whether to democratic reform, economic growth, or lasting stability, are best addressed through inclusive discourse and political processes, rather than through the imposition of restrictions…We strongly urge the government to rethink this approach and identify other means to protect lives and property while preserving, and indeed expanding, the space for meaningful dialogue and political participation that can pave the way to a lasting democracy.”

    The EU has also issued a communiqué saying “only a constructive dialogue among all stakeholders – authorities, opposition, media, civil society – will allow for a peaceful and durable resolution of the crisis.”


    Related:
    Study on Social Media Use in Ethiopia Maps Frequency of Hate and Dangerous Speech

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    A White Wedding During Red Terror (BBC)

    The digital photo archive, Vintage Addis Ababa, show how people carry on with life in exceptional circumstances. (Image: Genet and Aynalem exchanging vows in the presence of a priest and guests at her father’s house in 1978 during the height of the Red Terror/Vintage Addis Ababa)

    BBC News

    By Philipp Schütz & Wongel Abebe

    Love can often flourish in the most hopeless of situations.

    And so it was for Aynalem and Genet who married each other in 1978 during the height of Ethiopia’s brutal Red Terror.

    The bloodshed began a year earlier, when Marxist leader Mengistu Haile Mariam took control of Ethiopia and launched a lethal campaign against his enemies.

    Thousands of people died during his crackdown, with hundreds of thousands more forcibly resettled.

    But this didn’t stop Aynalem and Genet from exchanging their wedding vows in Sendafa, a small city just outside the capital, Addis Ababa.

    Photos from this day have been compiled by the digital archive, Vintage Addis Ababa, to show how people carry on with life in exceptional circumstances.

    A long courtship

    The couple met in 1973 when they lived in the same neighbourhood.

    A year later, the country’s imperial government was overthrown by the Derg communist regime, paving the way for Mengistu’s rule.

    The chaos that followed upended their lives in ways they could not have imagined.

    Aynalem had hoped to marry Genet early, as soon as she finished high school.

    But in 1978 she was arrested for taking part in an opposition protest and jailed for three months.

    “Living under the Derg regime was not easy,” Genet says. “The fear in the atmosphere hindered our joy from being complete.”

    Read more and see photos at BBC.com »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Update Regrading the Situation in Ethiopia

    Recently freed opposition leaders Merera Gudina and Bekele Gerba. (Photo: Twitter)

    Bloomberg

    Updated: February 27, 2018

    Ethiopia Authorities Order Security Forces to Quell Protests

    Ethiopian authorities ordered the country’s security forces to “take all the necessary measures” to deal with anti-government agents in the restive Oromia region.

    The so-called Command Post, which is administering a state of emergency declared on Feb. 16, must deal with “illegal forces” in Oromia if they “do not refrain from their destructive actions immediately,” according to a statement published Tuesday by the ruling-party funded Fana Broadcasting Corp.

    The government has been struggling for more than two years to end sporadic and often deadly anti-government protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions. The Oromo and Amhara communities together make up more than half of Ethiopia’s population, Africa’s largest after Nigeria. Activists from both groups claim that minority ethnic Tigrayans, who are about 6 percent of the population, dominate an authoritarian government.

    One person was killed this week and seven were wounded as protests continue in Nekemte, an Oromia market town about 242 kilometers (151 miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa, Oromia spokesman Addisu Arega said in a Facebook post Tuesday, citing reports received by the regional government.

    Government forces blocked leaders of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, including Chairman Merera Gudina and Secretary-General Bekele Gerba from entering Nekemte on Sunday, said Beyene Petros, who heads the Medrek coalition of opposition parties that includes the OFC. Merera was freed from prison in January and Bekele this month as part of a mass release of more than 7,000 detainees first announced by the government in January.

    Read more »


    Related:
    NEWS: STANDOFF AS SECURITY FORCES DETAIN RECENTLY RELEASED OPPOSITION POLITICIANS, INCLUDING DR. MERERA GUDINA AND BEKELE GERBA, NEAR NEKEMT IN WESTERN ETHIOPIA (Addis Standard)
    Ethiopia releases 1,500 prisoners (REUTERS)
    The Economist on Ethiopia’s Current Political Climate
    Diaspora: Why Should U.S. Solve Ethiopia’s Domestic Problem?
    Crisis in Ethiopia: elections, and fast! (Open Democracy)
    Ethiopia’s Great Rift (Foreign Policy Magazine)
    U.S. Urges Ethiopia to Reconsider State of Emergency
    Ethiopia Vows No Military Takeover Amid Latest Emergency (AP)
    UPDATE: Ethiopia Says State of Emergency Will Last Six Months
    Ethiopia: Seize the Moment (Editorial)
    PM Hailemariam Desalegn Resigns (Reuters)
    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Woubshet Taye Released From Prison
    Ethiopia drops charges against Zone 9 bloggers
    Bekele Gerba Freed Amid Protests
    Signs of Hopeful Debate Emerge Online as Ethiopia Grapples with Future
    Ethiopia’s Crisis of Ethnic Politics Taking Toll on Poor People
    Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
    Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
    Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Hailu Mergia: An African Funk Pioneer Gets a Second Chance on a Global Stage

    Hailu Mergia, an Ethiopian piano luminary, has been working as a Washington cabby, but now he’s releasing “Lala Belu,” his first collection of new music in two decades. (Photo: NYT)

    The New York Times

    FORT WASHINGTON, MD. — When Hailu Mergia releases his album “Lala Belu” on Friday, it will be this Ethiopian piano luminary’s first collection of new music in two decades. And it will be his first ever aimed largely at a worldwide audience.

    Until recently, Mr. Mergia, 71, was hardly known outside of his home country, where he is seen as a musical pioneer. For most of the past 20 years, he has lived in the Washington area and driven a taxi, picking up passengers at Dulles Airport and toting an electric keyboard in his trunk. He still drives the cab for extra cash. In idle moments, he hauls out the keyboard and sits alone in the back seat, his eyes closed, improvising.

    Mr. Mergia had long given up performing publicly when the 2013 reissue of “Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instrument,” a mostly forgotten gem from 1985, turned him into a cult celebrity among music obsessives across the globe, and set him off on tours of the United States and Europe. He has kept up a consistent schedule of international performances ever since.

    On a recent Saturday, Mr. Mergia sat in an easy chair at his home here, describing how he relates to the audience he’s garnered in the past few years. “The idea of ‘Lala Belu’ is, it’s a composition you can sing with everybody,” he said, referring to the new album’s title track. “It’s simple. No Amharic lyrics, no English lyrics. Just ‘lala.’ Whenever we have a show, we just play that song, and everybody’s singing with us.”


    In the 1960s and ’70s, Mr. Mergia, foreground, led the Walias Band, which gave Ethiopian music a more electrified sound. The group held a residency at the Hilton for approximately 10 years.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Vice Magazine Features Hailu Mergia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia: Hold Early General Elections

    In the wake of last week's bombshell departure announcement by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, there could be no doubt that the movement for political change in Ethiopia has reached the point of no return. But it remains to be seen if the protesters and the leaders (on all sides) will rise to the occasion and channel the popular anger into a more positive energy to bring about lasting peace and democracy through free and fair elections, as soon as possible. Building real democracy, however, also requires shading our culture of zero-sum politics and learning the art of give and take. The following is an excerpt from a thoughtful article on the subject by Rene Lefort published today by the Open Democracy website. (Photo: Xinhua)

    Open Democracy

    Crisis in Ethiopia: elections, and fast!

    Excerpt

    The crisis in Ethiopia has suddenly gained momentum and reached a tipping point. Things could go either way. The country could dig itself even deeper, with consequences that don’t bear thinking about. Or there could be a broad realisation that Ethiopia is “at the precipice”, bringing a surge of realism and pragmatism that would finally start a process of political rebuilding on solid, inclusive and lasting foundations.

    This will require compromise, an attitude that is, to say the least, somewhat unfamiliar in traditional Ethiopian culture. All the actors will have to find a balance between what they would like to get and what they can get, between the short-term and the long-term. But time is short, numbered in weeks, maybe days.

    Capsizing

    The system of government introduced in 1991…is irremediably dead. The snap resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on February 15 marked the serving of the official death certificate…Hailemariam probably did not want to be held responsible in the event that it should capsize. He may also have hoped that his departure would back the ruling coalition into a corner and leave it with no other alternative than to set a course out of the storm and form a new crew capable of following it…

    Ethnic clashes and nationalist hysteria

    “Ethnic clashes” are proliferating. In some cases the regional or local security forces do nothing to stop them. A symptom of this odious climate: on websites accessible in Ethiopia , especially in the comments sections, overtly racist interethnic attacks, which would be an offense anywhere else, are flourishing as never before.

    Early general elections

    First, they would clarify the political landscape. Each force would be required to present voters with its flagship measures for rebuilding the system of political, economic, military or security power. The goal would not simply be a change of regime. It would include the distribution of powers and resources within the federation, hence the famous “nationalities question” that lies at the heart of the current crisis and for almost two centuries has undermined the capacity of Ethiopians to live together.

    Click here to read the full article »


    Related:
    Ethiopia’s Great Rift (Foreign Policy Magazine)
    U.S. Urges Ethiopia to Reconsider State of Emergency
    Ethiopia Vows No Military Takeover Amid Latest Emergency (AP)
    UPDATE: Ethiopia Says State of Emergency Will Last Six Months
    Ethiopia: Seize the Moment (Editorial)
    PM Hailemariam Desalegn Resigns (Reuters)
    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Woubshet Taye Released From Prison
    Ethiopia drops charges against Zone 9 bloggers
    Bekele Gerba Freed Amid Protests
    Signs of Hopeful Debate Emerge Online as Ethiopia Grapples with Future
    Ethiopia’s Crisis of Ethnic Politics Taking Toll on Poor People
    Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
    Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
    Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    CREW Announces 2018 MSF Research Grant on Topics Affecting Ethiopian Women

    The academic fellowship is dedicated to Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw (right), the former President of Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women. (Photo by Matt Andrea: Dr. Maigenet Shifferaw speaking at a Tadias roundtable event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on December 14, 2013)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    February 19th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — The Maigenet Shifferraw Fellowship (MSF) announced that it’s now accepting research proposals from around the world on topics affecting Ethiopia women internationally.

    The annual academic fellowship, which is managed by the Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW), “provides short-term financial compensation for those conducting research on girls or women [as well as] community organizations striving to empower or improve the situation of Ethiopian girls and women in Ethiopia,” the announcement said.”

    The fellowship was established two years ago to honor the late Ethiopian researcher and activist Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw, who was the founding President of CREW. Describing its guiding principles, MSF’s media statement reads: “First, the experience of Ethiopian women and girls, like in other parts of the world, needs to be researched and documented so that we all can gain some knowledge and serve humanity better. Second, those who strive to protect women and girls’ rights and improve their situation need to be recognized and encouraged.”

    CREW states that it encourages applicants to submit their proposal by March 10, 2018.


    Learn more about the fellowship at centerforethiopianwomen.org.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    U.S. Urges Ethiopia to Reconsider State of Emergency

    People celebrating Bekele Gerba's release in Adama on February 14, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    February 17th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — The latest suspension of basic rights in Ethiopia came following Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s surprise resignation on Thursday following his decision to release thousands of opposition prisoners. Hailemariam had said: “I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy.”

    The United States is now urging its close ally Ethiopia to reconsider the newly imposed state of emergency, but Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa said on Saturday that the current state of emergency will last for six months and includes “a ban on protests and publications that incite violence.” The U.S. said the state of emergency erodes confidence in “recent positive steps toward creating a more inclusive political space, including the release of thousands of prisoners.”

    “We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency that includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression,” the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia said in a press statement. “We recognize and share concerns expressed by the government about incidents of violence and loss of life, but firmly believe that the answer is greater freedom, not less.”

    The press release added: “The challenges facing Ethiopia, whether to democratic reform, economic growth, or lasting stability, are best addressed through inclusive discourse and political processes, rather than through the imposition of restrictions…We strongly urge the government to rethink this approach and identify other means to protect lives and property while preserving, and indeed expanding, the space for meaningful dialogue and political participation that can pave the way to a lasting democracy.”


    Related:
    UPDATE: Ethiopia Says State of Emergency Will Last Six Months
    Ethiopia: Seize the Moment (Editorial)
    PM Hailemariam Desalegn Resigns (Reuters)
    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Woubshet Taye Released From Prison
    Ethiopia drops charges against Zone 9 bloggers
    Bekele Gerba Freed Amid Protests
    Signs of Hopeful Debate Emerge Online as Ethiopia Grapples with Future
    Ethiopia’s Crisis of Ethnic Politics Taking Toll on Poor People
    Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
    Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
    Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia Back Under State of Emergency

    Demonstrators celebrate the release of political prisoners in Adama. (Photo: Reuters)

    Reuters

    Updated: February 17, 2018

    Ethiopia says state of emergency will last six months

    ADDIS ABABA – A state of emergency imposed in Ethiopia a day after the prime minister resigned will last for six months, the defence minister said on Saturday, as authorities sought to tamp down unrest in Africa’s second most populous nation.

    Outbreaks of violence had continued in parts of the country and the government was banning protests, along with the preparation and dissemination of publications “that could incite and sow discord”, Siraj Fegessa told journalists.

    “The government has previously made several efforts to curtail violence, but lives have continued to be lost, many have been displaced and economic infrastructure has been damaged.”

    Further measures would be announced later in the day, he said.

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his surprise resignation in a televised speech on Thursday, the first time in modern Ethiopian history that a sitting prime minister had quit. He said he wanted to smooth the way for reforms.

    A day later, the government imposed the state of emergency. Parliament – where the four-party ruling coalition controls all 547 seats – is expected to ratify it within two weeks.

    Ethiopia is East Africa’s biggest and fastest-growing economy and a Western ally in the fight against Islamist militancy. But rights groups have often criticised the government for clamping down on political opponents and the media.

    Since January, Ethiopia has released more than 6,000 prisoners charged with taking part in mass protests and, in some cases, offences against the state. It has also closed down a jail where activists alleged torture took place.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Ethiopia: Seize the Moment (Editorial)
    PM Hailemariam Desalegn Resigns (Reuters)
    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Woubshet Taye Released From Prison
    Ethiopia drops charges against Zone 9 bloggers
    Bekele Gerba Freed Amid Protests
    Signs of Hopeful Debate Emerge Online as Ethiopia Grapples with Future
    Ethiopia’s Crisis of Ethnic Politics Taking Toll on Poor People
    Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
    Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
    Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    PM Resigns: Seize the Moment Ethiopia (Editorial)

    (Photo by Girma Berta/Instagram)

    Tadias Magazine
    Editorial

    Updated: February 16th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — On Thursday, February 15th, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation, following his recent promise to release political prisoners, which has set off a historic moment in Ethiopia for a peaceful social and political reform.

    In his televised speech Hailemariam said: “Unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many. I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy.”

    Now, the question is where does the country go from here?

    As Reuters reported: “Hundreds of people have died in violence sparked initially by an urban development plan for the capital Addis Ababa. The unrest spread in 2015 and 2016 as demonstrations against political restrictions and human rights abuses broke out.”

    While we welcome the release of thousands of prisoners who were unfairly incarcerated including journalists Eskinder Nega, Woubshet Taye, and the dropping of charges against Zone 9 bloggers and other prominent political opposition figures, we also caution that building a true democracy requires transparency, a responsible and free press, and the maturity to think about the common good, beyond our own selves and group interests, both at the grassroots and leadership levels.

    We hope the future of a new Ethiopia will also include a robust participation by existing (and or yet to be formed) political parties that are organized based on ideas and not necessarily by ethnic affiliation.

    For better or worse Ethiopia is at a crossroads and it is high time for this generation to seize the moment and assure the continuity of the country’s long history as well as our shared and sovereign culture.


    Related:
    PM Hailemariam Desalegn Resigns (Reuters)
    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Woubshet Taye Released From Prison
    Ethiopia drops charges against Zone 9 bloggers
    Bekele Gerba Freed Amid Protests
    Signs of Hopeful Debate Emerge Online as Ethiopia Grapples with Future
    Ethiopia’s Crisis of Ethnic Politics Taking Toll on Poor People
    Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
    Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
    Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    PM Hailemariam Desalegn Resigns

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced on Thursday that he is stepping down from his position as Ethiopia's chief executive in order to accelerate "political reform." (Photo: Reuters)

    Reuters

    Ethiopia’s PM offers resignation to help reforms after mass unrest

    ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Thursday he had submitted his resignation as both premier and the chairman of the ruling coalition in an effort to facilitate reforms following a period of mass unrest.

    Hundreds of people have died in violence sparked initially by an urban development plan for the capital Addis Ababa. The unrest spread in 2015 and 2016 as demonstrations against political restrictions and human rights abuses broke out.

    “Unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many,” Hailemariam said in a televised address to the nation.

    “… I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy,” he said.

    Hailemariam said he would stay on as prime minister in a caretaker capacity until the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the country’s parliament accepted his resignation and named a new premier.

    Click here for updated version of this story »


    Related:
    Ethiopia: Seize the Moment (Editorial)
    Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency After Premier Resigns (Bloomberg)
    Ethiopia PM Hailemariam Desalegn in surprise resignation (BBC)
    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Woubshet Taye Released From Prison
    Signs of Hopeful Debate Emerge Online as Ethiopia Grapples with Future
    Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
    Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
    Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Woubshet Taye Released From Prison

    Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega was released on February 14, 2018, after serving nearly seven years in prison. (Photo: Befekadu Hailu)

    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

    February 14, 2018

    New York — The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes news that Ethiopian journalists Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye are free from prison after each served nearly seven years.

    “We are pleased that Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye are finally free since their arrests and convictions were shameful miscarriages of justice,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal. “We now urge the Ethiopian government to drop charges against other journalists and to implement the reforms needed for a free press to flourish.”

    Woubshet and Eskinder were both arrested in 2011 and convicted in 2012 in unrelated cases. CPJ research shows that the terror-related charges the journalists faced were fabricated in retaliation for their critical reporting.

    Eskinder, a prominent columnist and editor of now-shuttered newspapers, and Woubshet, a former editor with Awramba Times, were among 746 prisoners that the Ethiopian government last week announced would be pardoned, according to news reports.


    Related:
    Signs of Hopeful Debate Emerge Online as Ethiopia Grapples with Future
    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Andualem Arage Decline to Sign Prison Release Forms
    Ethiopia to Release Eskinder Nega and Andualem Arage
    Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
    Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
    Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Exiled Athlete Demssew T. Abebe Reunites With Family in U.S. on Valentine’s Day

    Exiled Ethiopian marathoner Demssew Tsega Abebe, his wife Nigat Teferi Mulat, and their children, Dagmawi, 5, and Soliyana, 2. (Family photo)

    The Washington Post

    Elite runner who was tortured and fled Ethiopia reunites with his family in the U.S. — on Valentine’s Day

    Demssew Tsega Abebe was a famous marathon runner in Ethiopia and was expected to be on his country’s Olympic team. But his career was cut short when he was tortured for peacefully protesting his government’s policies. His heels and feet were so severely lashed he could not run for more than a year.

    He fled to the Washington area in 2016, and he has been trying to bring his wife and two children to the United States ever since, in part to get medical care for his 5-year-old son, Dagmawi, who cannot speak. Until today, Abebe had never met his 2-year-old daughter, Soliyana, as his wife was pregnant with her when he fled.

    Last week, Abebe learned that his family had won a humanitarian immigration petition to join him. Fittingly, they arrived early Valentine’s Day morning at Dulles International Airport. He held his daughter for the first time.

    “Exceptional feeling,” he said in a text from the airport. “So thrilled, so happy.”

    Yesterday, before they arrived, his voice broke with emotion as he thought about the moment he would see them. “I miss my family, my children. My son, he knows he waits a long time, but I am coming back to him.”

    He said Valentine’s Day isn’t much of a holiday in Ethiopia, but he said he is proud to be reuniting with his family on a day that celebrates love, in a nation where he is free to express himself.

    “I am so happy, I thank God,” said Abebe, 29, who lives in Silver Spring.

    Read more »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    This DC Taxi Driver Was a Superstar in Ethiopia: Vice Mag Features Hailu Mergia

    Left: Photo collage by a fan (unknown) at the Hilton Hotel, late 1960s. Right: Hailu Mergia today. (Vice)

    Vice

    This DC Taxi Driver Was a Superstar in Ethiopia

    As a young man living in Addis Ababa during the swinging 60s, Hailu Mergia was a superstar. The Ethiopian capital city was a bustling cosmopolis where art and culture flourished amid the country’s uneasy quest for independence.

    His jazz and funk band, the Walias, performed for the domestic and international elite at the then-prestigious Hilton Hotel’s music club, which granted residencies to Ethiopia’s hottest bands. Crowds of dignitaries and foreign diplomats, Hollywood movie stars, famous musicians like Duke Ellington and Alice Coltrane, and important African figures like Manu Dibango would flock to the hotel to dance and jam until sunrise.

    “When we played in the Hilton Hotel, the audience was full of people from around the world, so everybody had requests for different kinds of music. Sometimes we’d play Indian melodies, sometimes we’d play Arabic music. We’d pick up American soul, blues, and jazz melodies and then improvise on them in our own music,” Mergia remembers.

    Read more »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Helen Kassa’s Ethio-Australian Film ‘Found in a Dream’ Premieres at PAFF 2018 in LA

    'Found in a Dream' by independent filmmaker Helen Kassa will screen at the 26th Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California on February 15th and February 17th, 2018. (Facebook)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    February 10th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — This month the newly released film entitled Found in a Dream by Australia-based Ethiopian filmmaker Helen Kassa is set to premiere at the 2018 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.

    The feature was shot in Ethiopia and Australia and is “a story about community issues around young, migrant African men set in Melbourne, Australia,” explains Helen Kassa who wrote, directed and produced the film. “Namely, issues of feeling alone and a sense of not belonging that leads young immigrants to struggle with relationships, education and work.” It explores these themes through Abeselom, a hardened drug dealer. Luckily, Abeselom’s life takes a positive turn when he discovers true intimacy and deep affection after starting a relationship with a beautiful woman named Nesanet. The romantic drama “Found in a Dream is about love, culture, and ultimately, finding comfort within each other.”

    The movie’s Ethiopian cast include Netsanet Tefera (who plays Netsanet who works as nurse), Adiam Tefera (Abeselom’s mother), Aminadab Yoseph (young Abeselom) as well as Mekonen Laeake and Genet Nigatu.

    The 26th Pan African Film Festival kicked off in Los Angeles on February 8th and will run through February 19th. Found in a Dream is scheduled to be screened on Thursday, February 15th and Saturday, February 17th.


    If You Go:
    More information and tickets at www.paff.org.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Book: The Abba Garima Manuscripts of Ethiopia’s Ancient Christian Civilization

    The Abba Garima Ge'ez manuscripts are among the world's oldest illustrated Bible stories. (Photo: Monk holding Abba Garima II-III bound together in embossed silver covers, ca. 2000. Courtesy of Michael Gervers)

    Marginalia — Los Angeles Review of Books

    It’s not every day that scholars discover new Bible manuscripts from the ancient world. It’s even rarer to discover ones endowed with luxurious painted images. Yet this is precisely what has happened over the past decade thanks to groundbreaking research into three ancient codices from Ethiopia, the earliest surviving copies of the Gospels in Ethiopic.

    The manuscripts, which were produced and are still housed at the Monastery of Abba Garima in Ethiopia’s northern highlands, were not completely unknown to experts before, having been published for the first time in the 1960s. But recent work by Judith McKenzie and Francis Watson—published in a spectacular new book—has led to a radical reassessment of their dates and significance. Through radio-carbon testing and fresh analysis of their iconography and texts, we now know that the three Abba Garima Gospels were copied not in the tenth or eleventh centuries, as once thought, but between the fifth and seventh centuries at the zenith of Ethiopia’s ancient Christian civilization. For anyone interested in the history of the Bible, late antiquity, or Ethiopia itself, this is very big news.


    The Abba Garima manuscripts. (Photo courtesy of Michael Gervers)

    To put the discovery in perspective, the Abba Garima manuscripts are among the very oldest illustrated Gospels in the world. When it comes to firmly dated parallels, only the Syriac Rabbula Gospels, produced near Antioch in 586, is earlier. The Abba Garima Gospels are also older than several of the greatest monuments of Western manuscript illumination, including the Codex Amiatinus, the Lindisfarne Gospels, and the Book of Kells, all of which were copied in the British Isles between the eighth and ninth centuries. Then, as today, Ethiopia lay far, far away from Syria and Ireland. Despite this, the manuscripts show striking similarities to the art of other ancient Christian cultures outside of Africa. Indeed, they are a testament to the deep connections between Ethiopia and the wider late antique world.

    Read more »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Andualem Arage Decline to Sign Prison Release Forms

    Eskinder's wife, Serkalem Facil, told VOA that her husband declined to sign the letter of pardon because it states he was a member of Ginbot 7. Meanwhile the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the development saying it was an attempt to "compel Eskinder to sign a false confession before releasing him under a presidential pardon." (Photo: Andualem Arage and Eskinder Nega/VOA )

    VOA News

    BY Tsion Taddese

    Updated: February 9th, 2018

    Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega and two prominent opposition figures have refused to sign letters of pardon from the government, holding up their planned release from prison.

    Eskinder and opposition leaders Andualem Arage and Abebe Kesto — all critics of the government — are among 746 prisoners set for release following an announcement Thursday by Ethiopia’s attorney general.

    But Eskinder’s wife, Serkalem Facil, has told VOA’s Horn of Africa Service that her husband declined to sign the letter of pardon because it states he was a member of Ginbot 7, a political organization banned in Ethiopia.

    “Eskinder, Andualem and others were summoned by prison officers. They were asked to sign a form saying they are members of the Ginbot 7 movement as a precondition for their release,” Serkalem said. “Eskinder refused to sign the form, saying that he is not a member of the organization. So, I know there is no deal.”

    Fantu Aragie, the sister of Andualem Arage, said her brother and Abebe Kesto also refused to sign the pardon letter.

    “The three of them refused to ask the government for a pardon. In fact, they informed them that the government should ask them for a pardon,” she said.

    All three men remained in prison Friday.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Eskinder Nega & Andualem Arage to be Freed (AFP)


    Eskinder Nega and Andualem Arage. (Image: Amnesty International)

    AFP

    February 08, 2018

    ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Ethiopia’s attorney general ordered the release of hundreds of prisoners on Thursday, state media reported, including journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage whose jailings drew international condemnation.

    The pair are the latest high-profile detainees to be freed since Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced last month that Ethiopia would allow an unspecified number of detained “politicians” to leave jail.

    “The Federal Attorney General today pardoned a total of 746 suspects and prisoners, including Eskindr (sic) Naga and Andualem Arage,” state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate said.

    “About 417 of the pardoned inmates are federal prisoners jailed on terrorism, inciting violence, religious extremism and other related convictions,” Fana added.

    The prisoners will be released after undergoing “rehabilitation training” and receiving approval from Ethiopia’s president, the broadcaster reported.

    Eskinder had been jailed for 18 years and Andualem for life…

    Read more »


    Related:
    Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
    Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
    Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Interview: Jano Band Talks New Album

    Jano Band became the first Ethiopian band to feature on Coke Studio Africa last year when they collaborated with South African singer Shekhinah in Nairobi, Kenya. Jano band launched their second album on February 1st, 2018. (Photo: Jano Band)

    Music in Africa

    The band – which consists of two female vocalists, two male lead vocalists and six musicians who play bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, keyboards and a drum – was brought together by its former manager Addis Gessesse in 2011.

    Since the release of Ertale in 2012, the group has collaborated and worked with the industries finest including American producer Bill Laswell who helped the group sparkle in the international arena.

    In September last year, news broke that the band was on the verge of a break up. The band disputed the reports through its current manager Sammy Tefera who went on and announced that the band would be launching its second album early this year. Music In Africa caught up with one of the band’s lead vocalists Dibekulu Tafesse to talk about their 16 track album released on 1 February.

    MUSIC IN AFRICA: What was the inspiration behind the album title Lerasih New?

    DIBEKULU TAFESSE: We named the album Lerasih New because it is a commonly used word which translates to “For Yourself”. Our songs carry different themes that our fans relate to and in this album, we choose to urge our fans to be conscious of their actions. As human beings we ocassionally do things without thinking about the consequences. So in this album we are pushing for self awareness because no one should intentionally hurt themselves or ruin their lives simply because they made the wrong choice.

    Was the album produced in Ethiopia?

    The assembling of the music which is normally the first stage of recording was done in Ethiopia but the engineering process was done in Italy at the BluMusica Studio in Turin and the final mastering done at Lurseen Mastering Studio in Los Angeles, Califonia.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Watch: JANO Band performing at Howard Theatre in DC on July 4th, 2013 (TADIAS Interview)

    Watch: The Ethiopian Rock Band Jano – Interview with Producer Bill Laswell (TADIAS)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Debo Band’s Celebration of Ayalew Mesfin

    Ayalew Mesfin. (Courtesy photo)

    Press Release

    Vinyl Me, Please Magazine

    A Celebration of Ayalew Mesfin w/ Debo Band: Mourning, Protest & Hope

    UPDATE: Recently in the Ethiopian town of Waldiya (the hometown of Ayalew Mesfin) seven civilians were killed by government military (including a 9yr old child) and as many as 15 were injured while celebrating the second day of Epiphany. This tragedy is another gruesome chapter in what has been a violent period in Ethiopian history as demonstrators have been calling for political and economic reforms and an end to state corruption and human rights abuses. In total, 13 people have died and over 50 people have been injured in similar incidents over the past several weeks. It is customary in Ethiopia after a tragedy to abstain from singing or celebration as people mourn.

    Ayalew’s heart was broken by this recent news and he has struggled to find an appropriate response that honors his cultural traditions, but also highlights to the world what is going on in his home country. With this in mind he has chosen to limit his role in the upcoming performances [in Los Angeles, Berkeley and Denver] as he mourns with his countrymen & women. Ayalew will join Debo band to sing a song of mourning for his people, followed by a full set by Debo band who will celebrate the music of Ayalew in what promises to be an incredible cultural moment of both mourning, protest & hope for a better future for Ethiopia.

    Click here to learn more.


    Related:
    Ayaléw Mèsfin, a lost voice from Ethiopia’s Golden Age (Berkeleyside)
    Spotlight: The Revived Ethio-Groove Of Ayalew Mesfin and His U.S. Tour (TADIAS)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopian Airlines Launches Direct Flight From Addis Ababa to Chicago

    (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines Facebook)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    February 6th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian Airlines is launching a direct flight from Addis Ababa to Chicago later this year making America’s “Windy City” its fourth destination in the United States after Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, California and Newark, New Jersey.

    “West-bound, Passengers from the entire continent of Africa will connect to Chicago and beyond through our Addis Ababa hub in the late evenings; likewise, east-bound travelers from the USA will also connect to all over Africa in the morning through Addis,” the airline announced in a press release. “In both cases, the connectivity is designed in such a way that we are able to avail one of the shortest total travel times for our customers.”

    The airline said the flight from Addis Ababa to Chicago will commence effective as of June 9th, 2018.


    (Photo: Ethiopianairlines.com)

    Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebre-Mariam noted that Chicago, which is the third biggest city in the U.S., is “one of the most important global aviation hubs. We will be filling a critical air connectivity vacuum as our flights will be the only direct service between Chicago and Africa.”

    Tewolde added: “Chicago is the main hub of our Star Alliance partner, United Airlines and the flight will be operated together with United to avail the best product for travelers from all over the U.S. connecting to more than 55 destinations in Africa.”


    (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines Facebook)

    Ethiopian Airlines is the largest Aviation Holding Company in Africa and a SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline.


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    The Australian Features Dr. Catherine Hamlin, Honorary Citizen of Ethiopia

    Australian doctor Catherine Hamlin, who has lived in Ethiopia since 1959, is the founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. Ethiopia conferred an honorary citizenship on Dr. Hamlin in 2012. (Courtesy photo)

    The Australian Magazine

    Almost 60 years ago, two Australian doctors and their young son arrived in Ethiopia on a three-year contract to work as obstetrician-gynaecologists and establish a midwifery school. “The fistula patients will break your heart,” a colleague warned them, and he was right. Thousands of young women had suffered serious internal injuries during childbirth that left them incontinent and shunned by families and villagers.

    Little or no treatment was available, prompting Reg and Catherine Hamlin to refine a surgical technique to repair these women, giving them back their lives. In the face of civil war and famine, they went on to revolutionise maternal healthcare in Ethiopia, building hospitals, training doctors and repairing more than 50,000 women. At 94, Catherine is still going, having lost Reg to cancer 25 years ago. She tells journalist Sue Williams: “All I can do is to carry on with this work.’’ A more remarkable woman you will not meet.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Ethiopia Honors Dr. Catherine Hamlin with Honorary Citizenship

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Yekatit 12 Event in Harlem Remembers Fascist War Crimes in Ethiopia

    The Yekatit 12 monument in Addis Ababa. (Photo: Wikimedia)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    February 2nd, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — It was 81 years ago this month that the invading Fascist Italian troops went on a killing rampage in Ethiopia that claimed over a million lives including at least 30,000 within a 3-day period who were murdered in Addis Ababa. In addition many churches and homes were burned. The violent campaign was waged in retaliation for the attempted assassination of Rodolfo Graziani, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s top Ethiopia enforcer, by Abrham Deboch and Moges Asgedom.

    Ethiopians eventually won the war, but not before the war criminal Graziani left a permanent mark with his wanton brutality now remembered by Ethiopians as the Yekatit 12 massacre.

    “The Vatican blessed the Italian invasion as if it were a holy mission,” says the announcement from the Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA), which is co-sponsoring an upcoming event in New York marking the 81st anniversary of Yekatit 12th. “This historically forgotten genocide perpetrated against Ethiopians took place during 1935-41.”

    The event is scheduled to be held on February 18th at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem. ECMAA says the gathering will feature speakers including Professor Getatchew Haile and Dr. Habtamu Tegegne as well as selected Amharic poetry readings.

    ECMAA adds that its demanding: “The payment of adequate reparations by the Italian Government to Ethiopia; a Vatican apology to the Ethiopian people for its complicity with Fascist Italy; Restitution of looted Ethiopian properties by the Italian and Vatican Governments; Inclusion in the United Nations records of the Fascist war crimes in Ethiopia; and the dismantlement of the Graziani monument inaugurated at Affile in the presence of a Vatican representative.”


    If You Go:
    The 81st Anniversary of “Yekatit 12th”
    February 18, 2018
    from 3:00PM-7:00PM
    Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building
    163 West 125th Street, 2nd floor
    New York, New York 10027
    (Near 2,3,A,B,C,D subway lines)
    Co-sponsored by: Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Expansion of Ethiopia’s First Industrial Park Reopens Old Wounds

    Dukem, Ethiopia. (Photo: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Tom Gardner)

    Reuters

    DUKEM, Ethiopia – The scenic road from Addis Ababa to the small town of Dukem is peppered with signs of industry: warehouses and factories, garages and gas stations, newly-built rail tracks and a freshly paved highway.

    Dukem, just a short drive south of the capital, is home to Ethiopia’s first industrial park, the Chinese-owned Eastern Industrial Zone (EIZ), and some of the country’s most fertile land.

    For more than a decade, it has been on the frontline of a government-led push to turn the still overwhelmingly agricultural country into Africa’s manufacturing hub.

    Chinese companies are constructing five industrial zones, while the government plans to have 15 industrial parks nationwide by June 2018.

    Last year, the EIZ, which hosts companies ranging from shoe manufacturers and steelmakers to leather processors and car assemblers, embarked on a new expansion phase.

    The move, which means expropriating an additional 167 hectares of rural land around Dukem and the relocation of around 300 farmers, has sparked anger among locals and reopened old wounds.

    “We were the first,” Shewangizaw, a middle-aged farmer who lost his fields to an Ethiopian-owned factory back in 2006, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation bitterly.

    He and around 40 other farmers were relocated – without fair compensation, they argue – when some of the first factories arrived in the area a decade or so ago.

    “I don’t have any land now,” said his 72 year-old neighbor, Bashada, who lost nearly five hectares of farmland then and now rents one hectare from an older neighbor for 10,000 birr ($367) a year.

    The group is campaigning to have its case heard by the federal government.

    “It’s not fair,” said Shewangizaw. “Our families were just destroyed. At the time compensation paid to us was so, so cheap. And we don’t have any land to farm or live on now.”

    ANGRY ONCE MORE

    Muhammed Tilahun, vice-head of the Dukem Land Development and Management Office, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation the local government was now addressing the concerns of farmers.

    That includes 190 farmers and their children who lost their land back in 2007 and are now being given additional land to support them, he said.

    Yet the anger expressed by Shewangizaw and his fellow farmers is echoed across much of central Ethiopia, which has experienced rapid urbanization and fledgling industrialization over the past decade.

    Read more »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Grammys 2018: The Weeknd Wins Best Urban Contemporary Album

    The Weeknd. (WireImage)

    Pitchfork

    The Weeknd has won Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. His 2016 record Starboy took home the award over Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”, SZA’s Ctrl, Khalid’s American Teen, and 6LACK’s FREE 6LACK. Best Urban Contemporary Album was the Weeknd’s sole nomination at the 2018 Grammys. Recently, Abel Tesfaye announced that he and Marvel are developing a “Starboy” comic book series that’s planned for release this year.

    Read more »


    Related:
    The Weeknd: Abel Tesfaye A Rising Starboy (Video)
    Inside The Weeknd’s $92 Million Year–And The New Streaming Economy Behind It
    2016: The Weeknd Wins Two Grammys

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopian American Community Bank to Open in DC

    An Ethiopian American Community bank called Marathon International is in the process of opening in Washington, DC. (Photo: Shutterstock)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 27th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Plans are under way to open a bank in the Washington, D.C. area that will cater to the Ethiopian American community in the United States. Ethiopians are one of the largest, most educated and affluent African immigrant populations in America.

    According to American Banker, a resource for the U.S. banking and financial services industry, an application was recently submitted to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to establish a bank called Marathon International in Washington D.C.

    “While Marathon would offer loan and deposit products to a broad range of individuals, along with small and midsize businesses, it will have a particular emphasis on serving the banking needs of U.S. residents of Ethiopian origin,” states the news release by American Banker citing Marathon International’s application. The report also notes that Ethiopian-American banker Zekarias Tamrat, who previously worked at PNC and Bank of America, will serve as the bank’s first president.

    The American Banker also reports that “Several prominent Ethiopian-Americans are expected to serve on Marathon’s board, including Tekalign Gedamu, a retired economist and former managing director of the Development Bank of Ethiopia who is set to serve as chairman,” “The bank plans to raise $22 million to $25 million by selling common stock. It has already posted a job listing looking for people who are fluent in Amharic.”

    The announcement adds: “Organizers also plan to market to Ethiopian-Americans through targeted advertising, referrals, affinity relationships and sponsoring local Ethiopian-focused events, the application said. Marathon will also offer an education program that will target underbanked or underserved Ethiopians to bring them into the banking system.”

    “Marathon International Bank is an Ethiopian American Community bank with a wide shareholder base capable of guiding the bank’s operations, growth, and its long term trajectory,” Zekarias Tamrat describes the venture on his Linkedin page.


    Zekarias Tamrat, is set to be become President of Marathon International Bank. (Photo: Linkedin)

    “Our vision is to help transform the Ethiopian community into a far more economically engaged, creative and vibrant member of the wider and diverse US community,” Zekarias says. “To become a differentiated provider of financial services by leveraging our understanding of the unique financial needs of the Ethiopian American Community.”

    Steven Lanter, the lawyer who is handling the application for Marathon, told American Banker that “The organizers’ passion for this application and proposed bank is unmatched. For some of the organizers, to create an insured financial institution that caters to the Ethiopian-American community, and the broader market, will be a dream come true.”


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Spotlight: Addis Gezehagn’s Art Show ‘Floating Cities/Detached Perceptions’

    Artwork by Addis Gezehagn , Floating City IX, 2017. (Photo: Addis Fine Art)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 26th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Addis Gezahegn’s work “depict dreamlike deconstructed and layered renderings of urban landscapes rising above the ground,” states the announcement from Addis Fine Art Gallery where his most recent paintings will be displayed in a solo exhibition in Addis Ababa from January 30th through March 31st, 2018.

    “These compositions blend the boundaries of fantasy and reality of urban life, blurring the lines between the past, present and future.”

    Born in 1978 Addis Gezehagn graduated from Addis Ababa University’s Alle School of Fine Art in 2011.

    “A long-time artistic presence in Addis Ababa, [Addis Gezehagn] is known for portraying the multifaceted characteristics of the city’s residents by detailing the external facades of their homes,” Addis Fine Art notes. “Over the years, he has taken an increasingly reductive approach to his work, rendering entire cityscapes as a flat patchwork of colorful doors and gates…These works are a documentation of the increasingly changing landscape of Addis Ababa and the communities that reside in neighborhood such as Kasanchis, Piassa and Arat Kilo. These works urge us to think beyond homes as functional entities and offer commentary on the socio-economic context urban life.”


    If You Go:
    SOLO EXHIBITION BY ADDIS GEZEHAGN
    30 JANUARY – 31 MARCH 2018
    Addis Fine Art
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    www.addisfineart.com

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    In Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains, BBC Features Beekeepers of the Harenna Forest

    In Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains, beehives sit high atop the tree canopies – and reaching them can be a dangerous business. (BBC)

    BBC News

    The last beekeepers of Ethiopia’s Harenna Forest

    The sun was beginning its evening dip as I set off into the Harenna Forest. Strange tubular shapes glowed in the treetops, catching the pale golden light.

    Wedged between branches, they looked like elongated wine barrels or giant cocoons.

    I was en route to witness a unique honey harvest in the forest. Here, on the southern slopes of Bale Mountains National Park in south-east Ethiopia, hand-carved beehives are placed high in the tree canopies. Reaching them to retrieve the sweet, sticky nectar is arduous – and often dangerous.

    Local guide Ziyad and I followed beekeeper Said over a flower-strewn meadow before being swallowed into a tangle of trees.


    Residents of Ethiopia’s Harenna Forest practice an ancient form of beekeeping (Photo: Alamy)


    Using a rope, beekeeper Said scales the trees to harvest honey from hives 20m above the ground (Credit: Ella Buchan)

    Read more and see photos at BBC.com »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopian-American Startup Stackshare Raises 5.2 Million in Venture Capital

    Ethiopian-American Yonas Beshawred who is from Maryland is the founder and CEO of Stackshare, a developer-only community of engineers from some of the world's top startups and companies. Stackshare recently raised $5.2 million in first significant round of venture capital financing. (Photo: Techcrunch.com)

    Black Enterprise

    StackShare, a company that helps developers and engineers discover and compare software tools, recently closed $5.2 million in a Series A led by e.Ventures. Other investors included Cervin Ventures and angels Nick Rockwell, Aston Motes, Dave Johnson, and Bill Smith according to Tech Crunch.

    In the beginning, the platform was slow to grow but founder Yonas Beshawred saw an opportunity and specifically focused on data after StackShare ramped up its user base. “When we look at it, it is professionals finding and communicating with each other.”

    It’s in essence peer learning for technologists. Instead of creating their code from scratch, they are crowdsourcing it with other developers. “When your boss asks you for a new data pipeline, you don’t open a text editor, you do research,” Beshawred said in a statement.

    Read more »


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

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Book Review of ‘Struggle From Afar’: Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw Interviews Ethiopian Women Activists

    Cover of the new book 'Struggle From Afar' by Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw. (Courtesy of Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 22nd, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — In her newly published book Struggle From Afar the late educator and social justice activist Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw, who passed way two years ago, left behind a gem for future researchers by meticulously documenting the history of Ethiopian women grassroots activism in the Diaspora.

    In Struggle From Afar Dr. Maigenet also debunks the myth that Ethiopian female millennials are not as passionate about human rights issues as their parents’ generation or their male counterparts. “It would be unfair to say that, unlike our generation, all young Ethiopians are disinterested in social justice movements,” she writes, emphasizing that as one young Ethiopian woman told her that today they simply follow a “different platform.” Dr. Maigenet explains that a “different platform” meant “focus on the humanitarian component of social activism.”

    Women activists interviewed and featured in the book include former opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa as well as the acclaimed actress and playwright Alemtsehay Wedajo. In addition, Dr. Maigenet also highlights intimate conversations with several women across various fields including Abeba Fekade, Berhane Ras-Work, Fekerte Gebremariam, Lemlem Tsegaw, Mary Tadesse, Meqdes Mesfin, Meron Ahadu, Tsehai Berhane-Selassie and Wessenyelesh Debela.

    “When I interviewed the women activists for this book their political views was not my primary interest,” Dr. Maigenet states. “I was only interested in what motivated them to become activists to work on peace, democracy and human rights issues.” She adds: “I was also interested, for those who were political activists, what challenges they had in participating in the male-dominated arena of political activism.”

    Moreover, Dr. Maigenet cites American civil rights hero Rosa Parks as an international role model of the power of nonviolent noncooperation and resistance by individual citizens that changed the course of history in their own countries and beyond.

    Another remarkable person mentioned in the book is British suffragette leader Sylvia Pankurst (1882-1960), who became a lifelong advocate for Ethiopia because of her strong opposition to fascism during World War II. “She marched, spoke in conferences, and argued with members of the British Parliament against Italian fascism and the invasion of Ethiopia,” Dr. Maigenet points out. “She founded the New Times and Ethiopia News, which was published in London in the 1930′s. She later turned the paper into the Ethiopia Observer, published in Addis Ababa, after the end of the Italian occupation.” Sylvia Pankurst eventually moved to Ethiopia where she lived until her death on September 27th, 1960 and was buried in Addis Ababa with great honor. Dr. Maigenet noted: “This is an exemplary example of disciplined and sustained peaceful resistance.”

    Dr. Maigenet passed away at the age of 68 on February 24th 2016. She was an Associate Professor in adult education at the University of the District of Columbia for 20 years. She also worked as an education consultant at the World Bank and the U.S. Department of Education.

    The book Struggle From Afar is published by Fanos Books (a TSEHAI imprint) for the Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW), which Dr. Maigenet helped establish and served as its President at the time of her passing, and with a foreword by her husband Professor Getachew Metaferia.

    CREW will be hosting a book release event this coming weekend in Silver Spring, Maryland.


    If You Go:
    Book release: ‘Struggle From Afar’
    Saturday, January 27th, 2018
    Doors open at 4PM
    Silver Spring Civic Center
    Silver Spring, Maryland
    centerforethiopianwomen.org

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Spotlight: ‘Our Ethiopia’ Video Contest Promoting Tolerance Through Dialogue

    (Photo: Courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 20th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — A timely video contest is underway in Ethiopia giving young people a chance to imagine a more tolerant and peaceful future country.

    Open to all Ethiopians and sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa the short film competition entitled “Our Ethiopia” challenges both established and up-and-coming filmmakers to produce a video up to 3 minutes in length that “depicts the importance of respect for diversity, tolerance, and finding common understanding in Ethiopia.” The submission guideline states the “videos may describe the challenges to, solutions for, and benefits of tolerance and mutual respect.”

    In a press statement the Embassy said the contest is part of its “ongoing efforts to highlight the importance of tolerance and diversity through open and constructive communication.”

    “In a globalized world, tolerance is important for creating a society in which people feel valued and respected, and in which there is room for every person, each with their own ideas and dreams,” the press release added. “This video challenge is intended to promote these values.”

    The first place winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 80,000; the second place winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 50,000; and the third place winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 30,000.


    All videos must be done in Amharic with English sub-titles. The deadline for submission of videos is midnight on February 18th, 2018. Interested contestants can submit their video either by uploading to YouTube or sending to the U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Section (OurEthiopia Video Challenge), P.O. Box 1014 in a CD or DVD. The video submission can be uploaded in any format accepted by YouTube and after uploading the hashtagged video, send a link to your video submission to AddisVideochallenge@state.gov. You can find the details of the competition through the link: et.usembassy.gov/ourethiopia-video-challenge-guideline.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    SEED Honors Ethiopia’s Universal Impact on the Pan-African World

    Ethiopia has never been colonized & has been an inspiration for the Pan-African world. (Photos: Emperor Tewodros, Emperor Yohannes IV, Emperor Haile Selassie, Empress Zewditu and Emperor Menelik/ Graphic Design by Heli Amare)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 18th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that doesn’t have “Independence Day” on its calendar because it has never been colonized.

    The universal impact of Ethiopia’s ancient and independent history on the Pan-African world will be the subject of an upcoming event in Washington, D.C. hosted by The Society of Ethiopians Established in Diaspora (SEED).

    SEED announced that their 26th Annual Awards Dinner on Sunday, May 27, 2018 will posthumously honor the past five Emperors of Ethiopia including Emperor Tewodros II (1818 – 1868), Emperor Yohannes IV (1837 – 1889), Emperor Menelik II (1844 – 1913), Empress Zewditu (1876 – 1930), and Emperor Haile Selassie I (1892 – 1975).

    The press release also notes “a special feature program for the last emperor, H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, in an effort to uplift and recognize Ethiopia’s universal and unique impact in the Pan African movement, black freedom struggles around the world, the civil rights movement in the United States, and in Ethiopia.”

    “Ethiopian history is so rich and its role in the black liberation movement and around the world goes without saying,” said SEED Chairman, Dr. Melaku Lakew. “Nelson Mandela, Rep. Ron Dellums, and others have spoken about Ethiopia’s impact, but it is rare that we, as Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia, get the opportunity to create a platform to recognize not only the impact they made in Ethiopia, but the influence they had on the rest of the world as well.”


    If You Go:
    The event takes place on May 27, 2018 at College Park Marriott Hotel Conference Center 3501 University Boulevard E. Hyattsville, Maryland. More info at www.ethioseed.org.

    Related:
    African American and Ethiopian Relations
    The Case of Melaku E. Bayen and John Robinson: Ethiopia, U.S. and the Pan-African Movement

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Exhibit by Photographer Gediyon Kifle Honors Martin Luther King Jr

    The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Gediyon Kifle)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 15th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — This month an exhibition by Washington, DC-based Ethiopian American photographer Gediyon Kifle opens at East Tennessee State University’s Reece Museum honoring the legendary U.S. civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    The exhibition entitled Finite Disappointment/Infinite Hope is “composed of three elements – photography, sound and architectural installation – that Gediyon Kifle says are meant to inspire viewers by reflecting King’s principles of love, justice, democracy and hope,” states the announcement.

    The show’s title is derived from a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

    Gediyon, who is a graduate of East Tennessee State University (ETSU), is the official photographer of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

    We featured Gediyon’s photography work of Dr. King’s Memorial in Washington DC in an interview six years ago this month. By then Gediyon had worked on the project for more than a decade “photographing everything from the design competition to the dedication by President Obama,” he told Tadias.

    “I was initially hired to document the submitted design competitions — that’s how my relationship with the foundation started” Gediyon added. “It has been a great privilege to witness the process with my own eyes through three presidents including President Clinton and President Bush.”

    Gediyon who was born in Ethiopia came to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old. He grew up in Washington, D.C. and later attended ETSU where he earned his degree in Mass Communication with a minor in photography. The announcement notes that “while at ETSU, he was the first recipient of the university’s Student/Faculty Collaborative Research Grant and worked as a photographer in the Office of University Relations. A portfolio of his study on interracial relationships in the Tri-Cities is among the collections in the Archives of Appalachia in ETSU’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Services.”

    Gediyon says Finite Disappointment/Infinite Hope is “a journey through my eyes as a photographer.”

    Watch: Gediyon Kifle discusses his exhibition with WJHL News Channel 11

    —-
    If You Go:
    An opening reception and curator’s talk by Gediyon Kifle will be held Thursday, Jan. 18, from 5-7 p.m. at Reece Museum. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Regular Reece Museum hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The show will be on display through March 23, 2018. For more information, call the museum at 423-439-4392 or visit www.etsu.edu/reece.

    Related:
    Photographer Gediyon Kifle’s Tribute to Nelson Mandela
    Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali: Reflection by Photographer Gediyon Kifle

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Stanford Names Dr. Electron Kebebew Chief of General Surgery

    The Stanford University Department of Surgery has announced that Dr. Electron Kebebew will be the next chief of general surgery effective March 1, 2018. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 13th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — This coming Spring Ethiopian American Dr. Electron Kebebew will assume his new post as Chief of General Surgery at Stanford University’s Department of Surgery in Palo Alto, California.

    Stanford is one of the top universities in America and one of the world’s leading teaching and research institutions.

    In a statement the Chair of the University’s Department of Surgery Dr. Mary Hawn said: “I’m thrilled to have Dr. Kebebew join Stanford Surgery in this important leadership role as chief of general surgery. Dr. Kebebew is an internationally-renowned endocrine surgeon whose research has changed the way we treat patients with endocrine cancers. He is the consummate surgeon, scientist and leader and will bring our program to new heights.”

    The press release notes that “Kebebew received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in chemical engineering. He completed his medical training, surgical residency and NCI T32 surgical oncology basic science fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Since 2012, he has served as inaugural chief of newly-established endocrine oncology branch at the National Cancer Institute.”

    “This is a great opportunity to be part of a dynamic surgical department,” said Kebebew. “I am excited to make Stanford’s division a world leader in general surgery subspecialty care and research that impacts patient care.”

    According to Stanford: “Kebebew has published more than 300 articles, chapters and textbooks and has received awards from the American Cancer Society, American Association for Cancer Research, American Thyroid Association, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and International Association of Endocrine Surgeons. His current research focuses on the genetic/genomic changes associated with endocrine cancers with the ultimate goal of identifying therapeutic targets and novel anticancer agents for endocrine cancers, and diagnostic and prognostic markers for endocrine tumors.”

    Kebebew succeeds Dr. Jeffrey Norton, who has led the Division of General Surgery since 2006.

    “Dr. Kebebew is perfect fit for this position because of his prior experience as leader of a very successful branch at the [National Cancer Institute], his record of cutting-edge research in endocrine oncology and his plan for programmatic development in endocrine oncology in the Cancer Center here at Stanford,” said Norton. “He is an extremely bright, accomplished surgeon and a true leader in surgery.”


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    In Special Time Issue of ‘The Optimists’: The Future of Food by Marcus Samuelsson

    The following article by Marcus Samuelsson appears in the special Time magazine issue, “The Optimists,” (currently on newsstands) that's guest-edited by philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. (Getty)

    TIME

    I was born into improper nutrition in Ethiopia. For my first couple of years, I didn’t get what I needed. We were extremely poor. We didn’t have enough milk, enough food. At 2½ years old, I weighed just 22 lb. It affects you.

    After my sister and I moved to Sweden as children, I learned that my teeth were wrong. And no kid wants to grow up being different. I could not eat enough. You always feel like you’re catching up. It took me all the way to age 16 or 17 to do so.

    What I felt then and know deeply now–as a chef, an activist and a father of a young son–is that when it comes to food, we are always looking at one another, starting with peeking in each other’s lunch boxes. We are also learning from one another–and that that can make us healthier, our climate more secure and our meals more delicious.

    It’s not just the developing world looking to us, either. Just as we look to it for spiritual practices like yoga, we should and do–especially through the Internet–look to it for food. Take places such as Ethiopia, which traditionally has no sugar in its meals. Or Indian food, which is just delicious. There, we can find ways of getting nutrition through vegetables and proteins like chickpeas and lentils, instead of animal proteins that contribute to carbon emissions.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Time Profiles Ethiopian Scientist Segenet Kelemu, Director General of ICIPE
    Marcus Samuelsson to Host New PBS Show Celebrating Food, Art, Culture & Immigrants in America

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Spotlight: Hamelmal Abate in New York

    (Photo: Courtesy of Africology)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 10th, 2018

    Ethiopian Gold Series Featuring Hamelmal Abate in NYC Hosted by Africology

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian music star Hamelmal Abate, who won the best traditional music prize at the 2017 All African Music Awards this past November, will be performing live in New York City this week.

    Hamelmal is being hosted by Africology as part their Ethiopian Gold Series with the concert taking place at the new Yeresso lounge in Harlem on Friday, January 12th.


    Hamelmal Abate. (Photo: Facebook)

    “Fresh from winning The AFRIMA Awards in Nigeria, the Ethiopian musical icon Hamelmal joins us in Harlem, New York City to celebrate the holidays and pay homage to the local musical legends who paved the way,” the announcement says.

    “Hamelmal is currently working on her 9th studio album with Africology’s DJ Sirak.”


    If You Go:
    Ethiopian Gold Series Featuring: HAMELMAL ABATE
    Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 9:00 PM –
    Sat, Jan 13, 2018, 4:00 AM EST
    YERESSO LOUNGE
    2400 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard (7th Ave)
    (140th and 141st Streets)
    New York City, NY 10030
    Click here to buy tickets

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Revisiting the Works of Ethiopia’s 17th-Century Philosopher Zera Yacob

    Near Lalibela, the location of Zera Yacob’s cave. (Photo: Magnum)

    Aeon Media

    The African Enlightenment: The highest ideals of Locke, Hume and Kant were first proposed more than a century earlier by an Ethiopian in a cave

    The ideals of the Enlightenment are the basis of our democracies and universities in the 21st century: belief in reason, science, skepticism, secularism, and equality. In fact, no other era compares with the Age of Enlightenment. Classical Antiquity is inspiring, but a world away from our modern societies. The Middle Ages was more reasonable than its reputation, but still medieval. The Renaissance was glorious, but largely because of its result: the Enlightenment. The Romantic era was a reaction to the Age of Reason – but the ideals of today’s modern states are seldom expressed in terms of romanticism and emotion. Immanuel Kant’s argument in the essay ‘Perpetual Peace’ (1795) that ‘the human race’ should work for ‘a cosmopolitan constitution’ can be seen as a precursor for the United Nations.

    As the story usually goes, the Enlightenment began with René Descartes’s Discourse on the Method (1637), continuing on through John Locke, Isaac Newton, David Hume, Voltaire and Kant for around one and a half centuries, and ending with the French Revolution of 1789, or perhaps with the Reign of Terror in 1793. By the time that Thomas Paine published The Age of Reason in 1794, that era had reached its twilight. Napoleon was on the rise.

    But what if this story is wrong? What if the Enlightenment can be found in places and thinkers that we often overlook? Such questions have haunted me since I stumbled upon the work of the 17th-century Ethiopian philosopher Zera Yacob (1599-1692), also spelled Zära Yaqob.

    Yacob was born on 28 August 1599 into a rather poor family on a farm outside Axum, the legendary former capital in northern Ethiopia. At school he impressed his teachers, and was sent to a new school to learn rhetoric (siwasiw in Geéz, the local language), poetry and critical thinking (qiné) for four years. Then he went to another school to study the Bible for 10 years, learning the teachings of the Catholics and the Copts, as well as the country’s mainstream Orthodox tradition. (Ethiopia has been Christian since the early 4th century, rivalling Armenia as the world’s oldest Christian nation.)

    In the 1620s, a Portuguese Jesuit convinced King Susenyos to convert to Catholicism, which soon became Ethiopia’s official religion. Persecution of free thinkers followed suit, intensifying from 1630. Yacob, who was teaching in the Axum region, had declared that no religion was more right than any other, and his enemies brought charges against him to the king.

    Yacob fled at night, taking with him only some gold and the Psalms of David. He headed south to the region of Shewa, where he came upon the Tekezé River. There he found an uninhabited area with a ‘beautiful cave’ at the foot of a valley. Yacob built a fence of stones, and lived in the wilderness to ‘front only the essential facts of life’, as Henry David Thoreau was to describe a similar solitary life a couple of centuries later in Walden (1854).

    For two years, until the death of the king in September 1632, Yacob remained in the cave as a hermit, visiting only the nearby market to get food. In the cave, he developed his new, rationalist philosophy. He believed in the supremacy of reason, and that all humans – male and female – are created equal. He argued against slavery, critiqued all established religions and doctrines, and combined these views with a personal belief in a theistic Creator, reasoning that the world’s order makes that the most rational option.

    In short: many of the highest ideals of the later European Enlightenment had been conceived and summarised by one man, working in an Ethiopian cave from 1630 to 1632. Yacob’s reason-based philosophy is presented in his main work, Hatäta (meaning ‘the enquiry’). The book was written down in 1667 on the insistence of his student, Walda Heywat, who himself wrote a more practically oriented Hatäta. Today, 350 years later, it’s hard to find a copy of Yacob’s book. The only translation into English was done in 1976, by the Canadian professor and priest Claude Sumner. He published it as part of a five-volume work on Ethiopian philosophy, with the far-from-commercial Commercial Printing Press in Addis Ababa. The book has been translated into German, and last year into Norwegian, but an English version is still basically unavailable.

    Read more »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Time Profiles Ethiopian Scientist Segenet Kelemu

    Dr. Segenet Kelemu is the Director General of the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) Nairobi, Kenya. The Ethiopian native is the fourth Chief Executive Officer, and the first woman to lead icipe. (Image. Time.com)

    TIME

    This Ethiopian Scientist Is Saving Lives by Studying Insects

    Segenet Kelemu has always been a discoverer. As a scientist, she would achieve breakthroughs–“Crack the constraints,” as she puts it–and feel euphoric. But she came to a realization: “So you do research, you publish the paper–and then what?”

    Having constructed an international network of biotechnology laboratories in Africa and now serving as director general of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology–a research facility in Nairobi that solves problems posed by insects to public health–Kelemu ensures that research reaches people.

    Thanks to improved seed and farming technology, the ICIPE has been able to control grain pests and improve soil, now reaching at least 20,000 Ethiopian farmers.

    Read more at Time.com »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

    The news was a major triumph for youth protesters across Ethiopia who have been demanding political reform for the past couple of years. But the question remains: Will the ruling party follow through on its latest promise? (Reuters photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 6th, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — This week Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn stunned Ethiopians around the globe when he announced plans to free political prisoners at a press conference in Addis Ababa on Wednesday in order to facilitate political dialogue. Hailemariam also declared the shutting down of the country’s atrocious Ma’ekelawi detention center.

    The news was a major triumph for youth protesters across Ethiopia who have been demanding political reform for the past couple of years. But the question remains: Will the ruling party follow through on its latest promise?

    As Yacob Hailemariam, an attorney based in Addis Ababa who was a former senior prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, told the New York Times: “It was absolutely not clear what the Prime Minister was saying. The whole thing is filled with vague statements and vague promises. He was very equivocal, and we will have to wait to see what he really meant.”

    U.S.-based organization Human Rights Watch was also cautiously optimistic stating in a press release that “While the government did not say how and when this would occur, doing so would be an important step toward ending longstanding political repression and human rights abuse in the country.”

    HRW added: “Numerous questions remain regarding timelines for implementation, who qualifies as a “political prisoner,” and how many detainees will be freed. Will the release only include well-known figures like Bekele Gerba, an ethnic Oromo politician detained since December 2015? Or will the thousands of ordinary detainees held in military camps and police stations, often without charge, for peacefully protesting against government policies also be freed? What, if any, conditions will be placed on those released?”

    In regards to the closure of the Ma’ekelawi center, which has been used as torture chamber by successive Ethiopian regimes including the current one, former Zone9 blogger Soleyana Gebremichael who is now with the Ethiopia Human Rights Project says: “That’s very symbolic — whenever you think of torture, you think of Maekelawi. It might not mean torture is not going to happen in Ethiopia anymore, but it by itself is symbolic.”

    In its coverage The Washington Post quotes an apt editorial by Addis Standard from last year describing Ma’ekelawi, as “a time defying institution which has been around for more than half a century, and has been used (and abused) for the same purpose: to detain, without due legal process, people alleged to have committed grave crimes against the state, the people and the constitution.”

    Moreover, as Human Rights Watch points out: “Does the government’s announcement signal a new approach to dissent in Ethiopia? Will people be allowed to protest peacefully, without fear of arrest, intimidation, or politically motivated charges?”

    We hope the next steps will include allowing the formation of a truly multi-party federal system in Ethiopia.


    Related:
    Is 2018 the year Ethiopia’s great quest for peace pays off? (The London Economic)
    Ethiopia: Closure of “torture chamber” could signal new chapter for human rights (Amnesty)
    Ethiopia to release political prisoners, says prime minister (BBC)
    Ethiopia Says It Will Close Notorious Prison and Free Some Inmates (NYT)
    Ethiopia to Release Political Prisoners in Attempt to Ease Unrest (The Wall Street Journal)
    Ethiopia to Consider Pardoning Some Members of Opposition Parties (VOA)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia to Free Political Prisoners (BBC)

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. (Getty Images)

    BBC

    In a surprise move, Ethiopia’s prime minister has announced the release of political prisoners and the closure of a notorious detention centre, allegedly used as a torture chamber.

    Hailemariam Desalegn told a press conference the move was designed to allow political dialogue.

    But it is unclear exactly who will be released – or when it will take place.

    Ethiopia, a staunch ally of the West, is accused by rights groups of using mass arrests to stifle opposition.

    Amnesty International welcomed Mr Hailemariam’s announcement, saying it could signal “the end of an era of bloody repression in Ethiopia” – although warned the closure of Maekelawi detention centre should not be used to “whitewash” the “horrifying” events which took place under its roof.

    Rights groups have previously accused the government of using anti-terrorism laws to jail its critics.

    Who are the political prisoners?

    Those held in jails across the country include opposition activists from the Amhara and Oromia regions, which were at the centre of anti-government protests in 2015 and 2016, as well as the Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples Region, and journalists who have criticised the government, says BBC Ethiopia correspondent Emmanuel Igunza.

    The prisoners also include UK citizen Andargachew Tsege, who was seized in 2014 when changing planes in Yemen and forced to go to Ethiopia, where he had been sentenced to death in absentia for his political activities against the state.

    It is difficult to know exactly how many “political prisoners” there are, but our correspondent estimates there are about 1,000 held under the country’s anti-terrorism proclamation, including high profile leaders from the opposition.

    However, there are another 5,000 cases still pending, made up of those arrested after a state of emergency was declared in October 2016, he adds.

    Will they actually be released?

    The government has given no timeline on the release of the prisoners – including those still awaiting trial – or explained exactly who is considered “political” and who is not.

    Read more »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Abel Tilahun’s Exhibit ‘Vital Signs’ Curated by Meskerem Assegued Opens in DC

    Artist Abel Tilahun splits his time between his Addis Ababa studio and Washington, DC, where he has taught as an adjunct professor at American University and Marymount University. (Photo: Facebook)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    January 1st, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Abel Tilahun’s upcoming exhibition entitled Vital Signs will open at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C. on January 27th, 2018 featuring the artist’s multidisciplinary interest in sculptural installation, video art, drawing, and painting.

    The event’s press release notes “intellectually fresh and moving, Abel’s work represents an unwavering voice of his generation.” Abel, who currently divides his time between his Addis Ababa studio and Washington D.C., was one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Financial Times OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices award for visual art. The Vital Signs exhibit is curated by Ethiopian Anthropologist and Co-Founding Director of Zoma Contemporary Art Center (ZCAC), Meskerem Assegued.


    Abel Tilahun’s artwork. (Courtesy images)

    Abel’s new exhibit “explores universal human experience through the manifold meanings we associate with the human body, its parts, its sustenance, and its loftiest ambitions” the announcement adds. “At the heart of [Abel's] work are traces of both the cutting edge and the long arc of history. His art considers both the distant realms of an almost forsaken planet in ‘Solo,’ and the microscopic realm of the beating heart in ‘Heart of Gold.’ With this zooming in and out, however, there is no whiplash. The common thread is the way in which Abel’s work foregrounds the value of the human experience within widely divergent contexts.”


    Abel Tilahun, Whirlwind, 2014. Print on archival paper, 44” x 84.” (Courtesy of the artist)

    Abel has shown solo exhibitions Odyssey? (2017) at Alliance Ethio-Francaise (AEF) in Addis Ababa, Interface Effect (2014) at AEF, A Generation Projected (2010) at ASU’s Cloyde Snook Gallery, and Blueprint (2007) at AEF. Abel’s notable group shows include Curvature of Events, curated by Meskerem Assegued at the New Master’s Gallery of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in Germany (2014-2015), which traveled to the National Museum of Ethiopia in 2015. Abel has presented artist lectures at Independent Curators International in NYC, Zoma Contemporary Art Center in Addis Ababa, the National Museum of Ethiopia, AEF, ASU, and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, among others.”


    If You Go:
    VITAL SIGNS
    Artist: Abel Tilahun
    Curator: Meskerem Assegued
    January 27- March 11, 2018
    Jan 27: Gallery Talk 5–6 pm, Opening 6–9 pm
    American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
    4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20016
    (202) 885-1300
    www.american.edu/museum

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Harar: Ethiopia’s City of Saints the Best Place in the World to Visit in 2018

    In Ethiopia, Harar’s old town is a maze of alleys lined with colorful walls. (National Geographic)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: January 1st, 2018

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia’s beautiful ancient city of Harar has been selected by the editors of National Geographic magazine as among the best places in the world to visit in 2018.

    Harar — a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized in 2006 for its cultural heritage — is home to many mosques some of which date back to the 10th century as well as over a hundred shrines for saints. Harar’s historical architectures include the famous five gates of the city, the Medhane Alem Cathedral, Jami Mosque built in the 16th century, and the residence of Haile Selassie’s father, Ras Mekonnen who served as Governor.

    Ethiopia’s colorful and ancient city of Harar is also considered the fourth holiest city in Islam and known as the City of Saints. “From the late 16th century to the 19th century Harar was an important trade centre between the coast and the interior highlands and a location for Islamic learning” UNESCO states. The city’s “townhouses with their exceptional interior design constitute the most spectacular part of Harar’s cultural heritage. The impact of African and Islamic traditions on the development of the town’s building types and urban layout make for its particular character and uniqueness.”

    Along with the city of Harar, National Geographic recommended Sydney, Australia; Oaxaca, Mexico; Vienna, Austria; Hawaii, USA; Dublin, Ireland; Cleveland, Ohio, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania and San Antonio, Texas as top places to visit in 2018.

    “Tourists in northern Ethiopia rarely travel to the laid-back east, anchored by the enchantingly contradictory city of Harar,” the National Geographic notes. “The ‘City of Saints’ boasts 82 mosques, as well as Ethiopia’s best beer, strongest khat (an ubiquitous narcotic plant), and highest quality coffee.”

    Read the list at nationalgeographic.com »


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    The 10 Best Tadias Arts & Culture Stories of 2017 in Pictures

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

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: December 26th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — As we close 2017 and wish our readers a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year, we also look forward to celebrating our 15th anniversary in 2018 with you.

    The first issue of Tadias Magazine was launched in 2003 with the purpose of creating a platform that connects the Ethiopian American community and chronicling both the successes and challenges of the Ethiopian experience worldwide. Looking back we are happy to say that as documented in the rich archives of our publication Ethiopian Americans of all generations have risen to new heights in various fields and disciplines including in the sciences, arts, business, as well as serving as advisors to the President of the United States and as global cultural icons.

    Below are the ten most popular stories that we featured this past year:

    Beteseb Painting Session at Smithsonian in DC

    In June 2017, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. hosted an evening of painting and Ethiopian Jazz “under the summer skies” with Beteseb Center and Feedel Band. We featured the Beteseb art program when it was first launched two years ago as a weekly Saturday painting session for amateur artists in a rental space on 18th street in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. We are delighted to see the program is still going strong.

    Antu Yacob Performs “In the Gray” at United Solo Theatre Festival in New York

    Antu Yacob’s Ethio-American play “In the Gray” was featured at the 2017 United Solo Theatre festival in New York City this past September. Antu was the first Ethiopian American to have a play staged at the festival, which is the largest solo theatre festival in the world. The 75-minute storytelling and performance art narrates Antu’s personal experience while growing up in the United States as she forms and re-negotiates her Ethiopian-American identity first as a teenager and later an adult pursuing a career in the theatre and film industry. In the Gray features Antu playing several engaging characters including herself, her 8-year-old son, as well as her muslim and Oromo activist mother who lives in Minnesota.

    Four Ethiopians on 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 List


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

    In November Forbes Magazine released its influential annual list of 600 young trailblazers in 20 different industries. The 2018 list features four Ethiopian American professionals in their twenties working in finance, media, art & style as well as law & policy. The Ethiopian Americans highlighted in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list include Tsion Gurmu, Legal Fellow at African Services Committee in New York City; Saron Tesfalul, Vice President at Bain Capital in Boston; Lilly Workneh, Senior Editor, Black Voices, HuffPost in New York; and Awol Erizku, Artist, also from NYC.

    Scientist Sossina Haile Honored With GE Grand Central Video Installation


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

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

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


    Former White House advisor Yohannes Abraham. (Courtesy Photo).

    Yohannes Abraham was a 2017 Fellow at the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School this Fall. “Yohannes Abraham has not only had a front row seat, but was an active participant in the complex process of shaping national and international policy [under President Obama],” said Cong. Bill Delahunt, Acting Director of the prestigious institution. “His willingness to share his White House experience with students will provide them a rare first-hand perspective on the challenges of governing.” Yohannes served as Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Public Engagement & Intergovernmental Affairs and Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council during the Obama administration. He is currently Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation.

    New “Deseta Emojis” App on iTunes Celebrate Everything Ethiopian


    (Courtesy of Deseta Design)

    In your next text message you may now include Deseta Emojis to express yourself with Ethiopian humor. The digital icons often used to communicate ideas and emotions comes courtesy of Deseta Design. Announcing that its keyboard app contains over 200 small emojis Deseta Design says that the current collection is available for download on the App Store (Android version coming soon). Deseta emojis include icons of injera, buna, jebena and goursha. The images “celebrate everything Ethiopian in all of its glory,” says Maro Haile, owner of Deseta Design, an NYC-based online creative venture.

    Long Distance Runner Almaz Ayana: 2017 World Athlete of the Year Finalist


    Almaz Ayana. (AP photo)

    Our highlight of Olympic champion and world 10,000m titleholder Almaz Ayana’s second nomination for the World Athlete of the Year award last month was one of the most viewed stories of the year on the Tadias website. Almaz was the winner of last year’s Female World Athlete of the Year prize given by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). We wish Almaz Ayana continued success as she represents Ethiopia in future world events.

    In New Release Meklit Pays Homage To Ethio-Jazz

    This year musician Meklit Hadero released one of her best albums yet. The CD entitled When The People Move, The Music Moves Too includes a beautiful tribute to Meklit’s own musical role models hailing from Ethiopia and the United States in a song called I Want to Sing for Them All (watch the video above). As Vibe magazine points out: “I Want to Sing For Them All is her musical manifesto, and how she intertwines both of the music of American and Ethiopian heritages.” Meklit adds: “We came to this country when I was about two. I am an immigrant, so I guess you could say this is immigrant music. But I would not be who I am without Jazz, and Blues and Hip-Hop and Soul. This music is Ethio-American, just like me. I find joy in the bigness of that space.”

    Gebisa Ejeta Receives $5M Grant for Grain Research


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

    Per AP: “Gebisa Ejeta received the four-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Journal and Courier reported. “It is the second foundation that has donated to the cause. It’s very helpful a grant such as this for the kind of programs that they support in developing countries because it allows us to engage beyond the normal boundaries we operate,” Ejeta said. Ejeta developed a hybrid sorghum seed that’s drought-tolerant and resistant to striga, which strips food sources from its nutrients. Ejeta is credited with helping feed hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa with his work developments.”

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


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

    Next year Marcus Samuelsson is set to Host a New PBS show, tentatively titled No Passport Required that highlights food, art and culture from the vibrant Ethiopian restaurant scene in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area to Little Kabul in Fremont, California and the Vietnamese shrimpers in Louisiana. “No Passport Required will celebrate America’s diverse cultural mosaic as Samuelsson travels to under-explored parts of American cities to showcase the people, places and culinary flavors of immigrant communities,” PBS announced, noting that the series will premiere in 2018.


    Related:
    15 Arts & Culture Stories of 2016 in Photos
    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

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Archives

    Categories


    Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.