Search Results for 'esfna'

Tadias Interview: NYC Abay Team’s Success at 30th ESFNA Tournament

New York's Ethiopian Soccer Team celebrating in the stands at the 30th ESFNA anniversary tournament on Saturday, July 6th, 2013 at the Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland. (Photo: Courtesy NYC Abay)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – New York’s hometown Ethiopian soccer team, Abay, have returned back to NYC after a successful participation at the recently concluded 30th Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) tournament held at the University of Maryland, College Park last week. New York’s team advanced to first division during the annual soccer competition, along with Chicago, after finishing second place at the lower division final games held during the closing ceremonies on Saturday, July 6th.

“I think overall the tournament this year was quite a phenomenal event,” said Samuel Tesfaye, New York Abay’s team Secretary. A large and energized crowd had flocked to Comcast Center, College Park from across the country. “It was one of the best spirited tournaments I have seen in some time,” Sammy said in an interview with Tadias Magazine.

Sammy made the trip from New Jersey to D.C. with his children and noted the big crowed at the arena in Maryland, youthful vibe, the colorful vendors, the ubiquitous presence of the Walia uniform sported by all ages and genders. “For the most part,” Sammy said, he was “also impressed by how ‘smoothly’ things were run.”

Except on the day of the opening [Sunday, June 30th]: “We were informed by the Federation that our Tuesday game with Portland has been moved to Monday,” Sammy recalled laughing. “On Monday we showed up at the field at the apportioned time and there was no Portland.” He added: “Apparently, Portland’s flight was not arriving until the next day. Naturally we demanded to win by forfeit, but they said ‘no’ and rescheduled the game for Tuesday. What can you do?”

Abay was demoted to second division nine years ago after the team came near bottom at ESFNA’s 21st tournament held at Seahawk Stadium in Seattle, Washington in 2004. “We’ve been trying to climb up ever since,” Sammy enthused. “It feels good to be back in the big league.”

Below is a slideshow of images courtesy of Tadias staff, our readers, the Abay team and other promoters who attended the soccer tournament as well as highlights of various musical and cultural festivities that took place in D.C. and the surrounding areas last week.

Click here for our Washington, D.C. correspondent Tsedey Aragie’s exclusive video interview with the Ethiopian Rock band Jano, who played for the first time outside of Ethiopia on July 4th at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.



Related:
Mahmoud Ahmed and Teddy Afro Bring Echostage Home (The Washington Post)
Debo Band & Young Ethio Jazz Band at Yoshi’s in San Francisco – July 17th (TADIAS)
Highlights of Ethiopian Music During Soccer Tournament Week (The Washington City Paper)
Summer of Ethiopian Music: Jano to Fendika, Teddy Afro to Mahmoud Ahmed (TADIAS)
Hailu Mergia: A Beloved Ethiopian Musician of a Generation Ago (The Washington Post)
Reissues Songs From Hailu Mergia, Local Cab Driver (The Washington City Paper)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

Dallas 2012: Fresh Start for ESFNA, Hopes to Reunite After Dispute

ESFNA has announced that the 2012 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament will be held in Dallas, Texas. (Photo: Chicago 2009 / Tadias File)

Tadias Magazine
By Jason Jett

Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – After near dissolution, the 28 year-old non-profit, Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA), recently held elections for new leadership. The organization was steeped in disputes for the past 15 months prior to the current resolution.

On December 11th a newly elected board announced that the organization’s annual summer soccer tournament and cultural festival would be held in Dallas, and noted that the upcoming guest of honor will be a sports figure from Ethiopia.

ESFNA’s executive board decision to rescind an invitation to former Ethiopian Judge and opposition leader, Birtukan Mideksa, in October 2010 initiated the disputes. Judge Mideksa had been chosen by the ESFNA board as a guest of honor for its July 2011 event, but internal strife ensued over whether the invitation was appropriate or not. The controversy escalated as resignations followed amid public criticism, including accusations of corruption and malfeasance. Ultimately an invitation was extended to Judge Mideksa and the tournament went on as scheduled in Atlanta albeit under a cloud of threats of boycott by several groups as well as calls for new elections.

“As most that follow ESFNA know, 2011 was a difficult year for the organization because of some decisions that it took or did not take during and following its annual October meeting in 2010 regarding a guest-of-honor selection,” read an official statement from the organization. “All in attendance knew this was a special meeting where all differences were going to be placed on the table and discussed so that the organization could identify mistakes it committed, learn from its mistakes and place safeguards not to repeat it. It was understood that after the discussion we will be united, and go forward even stronger than before.”

The tournament, and the ESFNA itself, was salvaged during a three-day meeting of the organization’s board in Northern Virginia. The board elected Getachew Tesfaye of the St. Michael football club in Maryland as the new president of ESFNA, and likewise installed a new treasurer and business manager.

“There have been questions about our political views,” Tesfaye said when the tournament-site selection was announced after months of delay. “This is a soccer federation. We do not discriminate based on political party, religion or tribe. If you serve the interests of Ethiopia, you are welcome to our tournament.”

Dallas was selected as the 2012 host over Seattle, Las Vegas and Denver, which also submitted bids to host the event. The new president told Tadias Magazine that Denver’s hosting proposal was nearly as persuasive as the one selected, but a down economy influenced the decision to return to Dallas a fourth time.

“We have not held a tournament in Denver yet, and did not want to take a chance amid the current financial situation,” he explained. “All tournaments held in Dallas have been well-attended by the Ethiopian community. Also it is central, and many teams and people can drive to Dallas. We took all that into consideration.”

Also in acknowledgement of the weak economy, the 2012 venue — a stadium in Addison, a suburb of Dallas — is significantly smaller than the 2011 site, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Regarding the guest of honor, Tesfaye said two prominent sports figures are being considered and an announcement is expected early in the new year.

Yohannes Berhanu, the new Public Relations Officer of ESFNA, said there is hope that internal divisions are now laid to rest, and that the organization will be viewed as a sports and cultural entity moving forward.

“The ESFNA was never into politics,” he said, while acknowledging the appearance of influence by big money. “The problem is interest groups or sponsors give some tendencies that goes this way or that way — like the big donors, or when we rally against what happens in Ethiopia.”

“In Atlanta there was a tribute to people who had been massacred,” he said. “That was human rights, something any human would do. We were with the people, but not on any side. We are not political, we have to accommodate everyone.”

Addressing guest-of-honor selections, Berhanu added, ” It could be anybody who does something big, like donate $240,000 [Sheikh Al Amoudi, who has donated to ESFNA, was a 2002 tournament guest of honor] or Judge Birtukan Mideksa. We wanted to recognize her for standing up for herself.”

“We are all Ethiopians. We came here and started the federation with four teams, and now there are 29 teams. People with political ties want to bring their own identity and go forward with that. That has nothing to do with ESFNA.”

The sport federation was formed in 1984, and the first annual tournament was held that year in Houston. Berhanu likened the federation’s inclusiveness to that of community groups.

“When they started this thing, they never thought it was going to become this big,” Berhanu said. “But wherever Ethiopians are, they love the sport, culture and getting together.” He added: Like a church or a community organization, we open our doors to everybody. Everybody comes with their own agenda.”

Of the athletes, he noted some are former members of the Ethiopian national team and are well-known and highly regarded.

“They are known not only for what they do in the soccer field, but in bringing people’s spirits up,” he said. “They are like Haile Gebrselassie. The players do a lot for us. People feel homesick, and the players are getting them together and giving them sports. It keeps them going.”

“We should be all working for the same goal,” continued Berhanu. “We have a country that needs our help and a community which needs our support. Otherwise, we will not grow as quickly as other communities.”

Related:
The New York Abay Team: Soccer With an Empire State of Mind

New York Abay 1st Division Promotion Party

New York's Ethiopian Soccer Team celebrating in the stands at the 30th ESFNA anniversary tournament on Saturday, July 6th, 2013 at the Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland. (Photo: Courtesy NYC Abay)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Thursday, September 26th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) — New York’s Ethiopian soccer team, Abay, achieved a milestone at 2013 ESFNA soccer tournament in Maryland last July when they advanced to first division at the 30th annual competition.

The team announced they are holding a celebration party and fundraiser at Lalibela restaurant in Manhattan on Saturday, September 28th.

If You Go:
New York Abay 1st Division Promotion Party
Saturday, Sep. 28th at 10:00 PM
Lalibela Restaurant
37 E 29th St
New York, NY 10016
(646) 454-0913
Click here for more info.

Related:
Tadias Interview: NYC Abay Team’s Success at 30th ESFNA Tournament

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Yohannes Aramde’s Bona Fide Step

(Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Heran Abate

Updated: Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – Among Ethiopians the well-known Scotch Whisky brand Johnnie Walker is humorously nicknamed Yohannes Aramde. And recently a collection of t-shirts depicting the gabi-clad version of the Scotsman, complete with his own dula, has become a hit in the Ethiopian Diaspora and at home. On social media Yohannes Aramde’s Twitter handle says it all, “#walkdifferent, #becauseyoudeservebetter.” The series was unveiled this past July during the 2013 ESFNA Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in Maryland by a trio of young Ethiopian designers and entrepreneurs residing in the U.S. — Teffera G. Teffera, Zerabrook Minassie and Ambaye Michael Tesfay.

Unlike John “Johnnie” Walker who started to sell whisky in his grocery shop in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1820, the Ethiopian Yohannes Aramde is Teffera G. Teffera’s imagination that comes in the capacity of a merchant who, in departure from his Scotsman twin’s profession, barters in rich stories. These t-shirts come in colors equivalent to the whiskey’s different labels: red, black, green and blue. True to form, the standard and price is also set in ascending order of color, with blue selling the highest.

In a recent interview Teffera said the trio design and sell products that capture the bilingual vernacular of the Ethiopian-American community. He said the three are united by their shared experiences as young adults who grew up in Ethiopia and Washington, D.C. while they completed higher education.

As a basis for the design, Yohannes Aramde was nurtured by the distinct ways that the Ethiopian diaspora has weaved its traditions and mannerisms so thoroughly into the social fabric of Washington, D.C. For Teffera in particular, he felt strongly that the environment that inspired the concept is the same demographic that they are trying to reach. For a few months after graduating in May 2011, he toyed with designs that his friend Dagmawit Mekonnen visualized while Ambaye and Zerabrook advised every step of the way.

The result was Yohannes Aramde whose persona for Ethiopians provokes comical food for thought. Here, he sets down his dula, picks up his buna or perhaps tela, to re-situate historical icons and cultural symbols into a compelling perspective that reflects the modern Ethiopian experience in the Diaspora. Yohannes Aramde seems as much learned in the kine (literary tradition of wax and gold) of Ethiopia’s forefathers as he is in the social media explosion of the 21st century through its vivid presence via t-shirts, tweets and Instagram pictures.

In one design, a solemn Emperor Menelik charges an Uncle Sam’esque forefinger in a would-be war recruitment poster for the Battle of Adwa. In another, the colors of the Ethiopian flag converge onto the American flag’s layout, at once a startling and clever meditation of the dual experiences of its client-base.

Below are photos from the collection courtesy the designers. As a fun twist, the owners say there is a 5PM to 9PM weekday ‘happy-hour’ when you shop on their website — you will get a $5 discount.



Learn more at www.yohannesaramde.com. You can follow updates on Twitter and Instagram.

About the Author:
Heran Abate is a creative non-fiction writer. Born and raised in Ethiopia, she recently graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where she studied Sociology and Hispanic Cultures and Literatures.

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The History of Ethiopian Music: Book Event in Falls Church, Virginia

Tesfaye Lemma in Addis Ababa in 1967 & his book entitled 'Ye Itiyopia Muziqa Tarik'

Tadias Magazine
By Charlie Sutton

Updated: Monday, August 26th, 2013

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – The first-ever comprehensive history of Ethiopian music, Ye Itiyopia Muziqa Tarik by Tesfaye Lemma, has finally been published. It is a book well worth waiting for.

Ye Itiyopia Muziqa Tarik, which initially went on sale at the ESFNA Soccer Tournament at the beginning of July, will again be made available for purchase at a special event to be held at Meaza Ethiopian Restaurant, 5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA, on Tuesday August 27th, at 7pm.

Tesfaye Lemma, an iconic figure in Ethiopian music, died last February after enduring more than a decade of ill health. He devoted the last five years of his life to preparing this detailed and wonderful history, a distillation of the experience and wide-ranging knowledge he acquired during his long and distinguished career as a composer, lyricist, orchestra director, impresario, music presenter, and teacher.

Ato Tesfaye places Ethiopia’s unique musical heritage within the context of her ancient and distinctive culture while also drawing telling comparisons between Ethiopian and other musical traditions. In a writing style that is elegant at the same time as it is engagingly informal, he lovingly traces and illuminates the growth and development of Ethiopian music in all its amazing variety and richness, from its ancient roots right up to its flowering in the modern world, interspersing the saga with anecdotes drawn from his own personal and professional experience.

The fascinating story of Ethiopia’s music and musicians is enhanced by a wealth of beautiful illustrations — magnificent color photographs as well as evocative sketches drawn by a skilled artist under the supervision of the author — that appear on nearly every one of the book’s 340 pages. Chapters are devoted to important musical groups; insightful biographies of major individual musicians are also included.

These are just a few of many highlights. It is impossible adequately to describe in this short space a work of the magnitude and importance of Ye Itiyopiya Muziqa Tarik. Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase a copy of your own, and perhaps to buy some more as gifts for your music-loving friends, at Meaza Restaurant on the evening of August 27th.

This event promises to be great. The editor of Ye Itiyopia Muziqa Tarik, Alemayehu Gebrehiwot, and others close to Ato Tesfaye and who were involved in the making of the book, will share their experiences. The author’s famous protégé Shambel Belayneh will be among the musical performers. Mesenko player Charles Sutton will be on hand to reminisce about his lifelong friend Tesfaye, and perhaps to sing one of his songs.

For further information, please call Alemayehu Gebrehiwot (301) 681-1201; Mekuria Negia (202) 253-4414; Girma Zegaye (773) 746-9513, or Matt Andrea (202) 255-2909.


If You Go:
Tuesday, August 27 @ 7pm
Meaza Ethiopian Restaurant
5700 Columbia Pike
Falls Church, VA 22941
(703) 820-2870
www.meazaethiopiancuisine.com

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

Tadias Video Interview: Ethiopian Rock Band Jano Live in DC (UPDATED)

Jano band performing at Howard Theatre in Washington, DC on July 4th, 2013. (Photo credit: A. Kiiza)

Tadias Magazine
By Tsedey Aragie

Updated: Monday, July 15, 2013

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – The sound of Ethiopia’s new generation, the rock band Jano, delivered one of the most exciting and highly anticipated live musical performances scheduled during the 2013 Ethiopian soccer tournament festivities held in Washington, D.C. last week.

The following is Tadias Magazine’s exclusive and in-depth video interview with members of the band who played for the first time in the United States on July 4th at the historic Howard Theatre.

Watch: Color and sound updated — JANO Band July 4th – Howard Theatre (TADIAS Interview)


Related:
Tadias Video Interview: Grammy-nominated Singer and Songwriter, Wayna
CNN Features Ethiopian Rock Band Jano
Summer of Ethiopian Music Continues: Krar Collective in NYC, Young Ethio Jazz in D.C. (TADIAS)
Tadias Interview: NYC Abay Team’s Success at 30th ESFNA Tournament
Mahmoud Ahmed and Teddy Afro Bring Echostage Home (The Washington Post)
Debo Band & Young Ethio Jazz Band at Yoshi’s in San Francisco – July 17th (TADIAS)
Highlights of Ethiopian Music During Soccer Tournament Week (The Washington City Paper)
Summer of Ethiopian Music: Jano to Fendika, Teddy Afro to Mahmoud Ahmed (TADIAS)
Hailu Mergia: A Beloved Ethiopian Musician of a Generation Ago (The Washington Post)
Reissues Songs From Hailu Mergia, Local Cab Driver (The Washington City Paper)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

Washington Post: Mahmoud Ahmed and Teddy Afro Bring Echostage Home

Teddy Afro (Photo credit: Danny Studio)

The Washington Post

By Mark Jenkins

The two Ethiopian singers who performed early Saturday morning at Echostage, Mahmoud Ahmed and Teddy Afro, represent different styles and different generations. The 72-year-old Mahmoud sailed Semitic-style melodies over instrumental accompaniment that drew on 1950s jazz, while the 36-year-old Afro emphasized reggae, with some forays into funk-rock. Despite the stylistic differences, each drew a similarly ecstatic response from the crowd, which was heavily Ethiopian and Eritrean and large enough to pack the main floor of the 4,000-capacity club, Washington’s largest concert venue.

The concert was the biggest in a week of shows scheduled to complement this year’s Ethiopian Sports Tournament. The crowd was initially greeted by DJs who played a mix of Ethiopian pop and Jamaican dance-hall; video screens displayed pan-African symbols and the former Ethiopian flag, which has been redesigned several times since Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed in 1974 — an event that also interrupted Mahmoud’s career.

The live music didn’t begin until 12:35 a.m., when a sextet began to play dub-style reggae. The band was soon joined by Afro (born Tewodros Kassahun), who began with the first of several anthemic numbers about his native land and home continent. The audience sang along, often providing the rejoinder for the call-and-response choruses, as hundreds of arms pumped the air.

Read more at The Washington Post.

Related:
Tadias Interview: NYC’s AbayTeam Advances to 1st Division at 30th ESFNA Tournament in DC
Debo Band & Young Ethio Jazz Band at Yoshi’s in San Francisco – July 17th (TADIAS)
Highlights of Ethiopian Music During Soccer Tournament Week (The Washington City Paper)
Summer of Ethiopian Music: Jano to Fendika, Teddy Afro to Mahmoud Ahmed (TADIAS)
Hailu Mergia: A Beloved Ethiopian Musician of a Generation Ago (The Washington Post)
Reissues Songs From Hailu Mergia, Local Cab Driver (The Washington City Paper)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

Debo Band & Young Ethio Jazz Band at Yoshi’s in San Francisco – July 17th

The Bay Area-based 'Ethio Jazz Band' made up of young musicians, ranging in age from 10 to 15, performing at Rasela’s Jazz Club in San Francisco’s Fillmore district. (Photo: YouTube)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – When it comes to the groundbreaking Ethiopian and American fusion sound of the Boston-based band Debo, no one has described it better than Rolling Stone magazine: “Guitar solos, massed vocals, violin, and brass rush in like a Red Bulled marching band. Dance at your own risk.” Debo will perform at Yoshi’s San Francisco, one of the country’s premiere jazz clubs, on July 17th, and will be joined on stage by the rising local stars ‘Ethio Jazz Band.’

The Young Ethio Jazz Band comprises of members of Oakland’s Medhani Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and according to the event announcement “The students play Ethio-jazz, a style that blends American jazz and Latin rhythms with traditional Ethiopian sounds.” The band members include Jacob Sirak (Alto Sax), Yonathan Estifanos (Trumpet), Paulos Thomas (Trumpet), Addis Getahun (Tenor Sax), Christian Tesfaye (Drums), Robel Gizachew (Bass), Semon Yacob (Keyboard and vocal), and Yohannis Dawit (Keyboard).

The 11-member Debo is led by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen and fronted by charismatic vocalist Bruck Tesfaye. The bands recent and upcoming performances include the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Bumbershoot, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, The Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, South by Southwest, Joe’s Pub, and World Music Festival: Chicago. Their self-titled debut for Sub Pop / Next Ambiance was produced by Thomas “Tommy T” Gobena of Gogol Bordello and features album art by critically-renowned painter Julie Mehretu.

If You Go:
DEBO BAND plus Young Ethio Jazz Band
Wednesday, July 17
Yoshi’s San Francisco
1330 Fillmore Street
SF, CA 94115
Phone: 415.655.560
Tickets: 8pm $17 adv, $22 door
www.yoshis.com/sanfrancisco

Watch: DEBO BAND:

Video: YOUNG ETHIO JAZZ BAND:


Related:
Tadias Interview: NYC’s AbayTeam Advances to 1st Division at 30th ESFNA Tournament in DC
Summer of Ethiopian Music: Jano to Fendika, Teddy Afro to Mahmoud Ahmed (TADIAS)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

Washington City Paper: See Some Ethiopian Music This Week (There Will Be a Lot of It)

The following is a highlight by The Washington City Paper of the various Ethiopian music events taking place in D.C. this week during the soccer tournament. (Photo courtesy Massinko Entertainment)

Washington City Paper

By Steve Kiviat

The D.C. area is already home to the United States’ largest Ethiopian population, but this week brings a surge of Ethiopian culture thanks to the 30th Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) Tournament that runs through July 6. Take note, Horn of Africa fans: This is going to be one of the year’s best chances to see a lot of Ethiopian musicians who don’t play in town very often.

Read more at Washington City Paper.

Related:
Tadias Interview: NYC’s AbayTeam Advances to 1st Division at 30th ESFNA Tournament in DC
Summer of Ethiopian Music: Jano to Fendika, Teddy Afro to Mahmoud Ahmed (TADIAS)
Hailu Mergia: A Beloved Ethiopian Musician of a Generation Ago (The Washington Post)
Reissues Songs From Hailu Mergia, Local Cab Driver (Washington City Paper)

Watch: CNN’s Errol Barnett interviews Jano Band in Addis

Photos: Slideshow of flyers and artists’ photographs courtesy of the promoters (TADIAS)

Listen to Hailu Mergia and The Walias Band playing – Tche Belew



Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

Summer of Ethiopian Music: Jano to Fendika, Teddy Afro to Mahmoud Ahmed

(Photographs courtesy Massinko Entertainment, Lynne Williamson, La Beautiful Mess, and Munit Mesfin)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Updated: Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – It is poised to be an exciting summer for Ethiopian music on the East Coast with live concerts that include the highly anticipated U.S. debut of Jano band; the Addis Ababa-based duet, Munit and Jorg; the return of Fendika direct from Ethiopia; a joint performance by Teddy Afro and Mahmoud Ahmed; as well as the first American tour by The London-based trio, Krar Collective.

Jano, which leads the pack in publicity and expectation, was recently featured on CNN in preparation for their upcoming show at the historic Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. on July 4th.

The super-group Fendika that consists of six world class dancers and Azmari artists, once again bring its exhilarating mix of Ethiopian music and dance to audiences in the United States, highlighting the wealth of diversity of Ethiopia’s musical traditions. Fendika is currently in the Midwest, and is scheduled to perform on July 2nd at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington D.C., followed by a concert at the Lincoln Center Atrium, in NYC on July 4th, as well as in Boston at Hibernian Hall on July 7th.

Living legends Mahmoud Ahmed and Teddy Afro will share the stage on July 5th at Echostage in D.C.

Also in Washington, we are told, Ethiopian and German duet, Munit and Jorg, will launch their U.S. tour with a concert on July 1st at Tropicalia Dance Club. Organizers said the show will open with a performance by Feedel Band and will be hosted by the Seattle-based hip-hop musician Gabriel Teodros.

Below is a slideshow of flyers and photos courtesy of the promoters.



If You Go:
Jano in DC
Thursday, July 4th, 2013
The Howard Theatre
620 T Street, Northwest,
Washington, D.C.20001
Phone: (202) 803-2899
More info on the show: 201 220 3442
Thehowardtheatre.com

Legend & Superstar
Mahmoud Ahmed | Teddy Afro
Echo Stage in DC, July 5th
2135 QUEENS CHAPEL ROAD NE,
WASHINGTON, DC 20018
PHONE: 202.440.4301
FOR TABLES & GENERAL INFO:
www.echostage.com

Fendika Back in the U.S.
July 2: Smithsonian Museum of African Art, Washington DC
July 4: Lincoln Center Atrium, NYC
July 6: Lincoln Center Meet the Artist Saturdays
July 7: Hibernian Hall, Boston
July 10: Cedar Cultural Center workshop and concert, Minneapolis
July 12-14: Montana Folk Festival with Debo Band

Munit & Jorg in DC
w/ Feedel Band + Dj set by Tooth Pick
Hosted by Gabriel Teodros
Monday July 1st
Tropicalia (lower level)
2001 14th st NW
Washington, D.C.
Click here for ticket info.
Learn more about Munit and Jorg on their Facebook page.

Krar Collective, DJ Sirak in New York
July 21st, 2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park
More info and directions at www.cityparksfoundation.org

Watch: CNN’s Errol Barnett interviews Jano Band in Addis


Related:
Tadias Interview: NYC’s AbayTeam Advances to 1st Division at 30th ESFNA Tournament in DC

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

Dallas & D.C: Tale of Two Ethiopian Soccer Tournaments

The 29th Annual Ethiopian Soccer Tournament will take place in Dallas from July 1st to July 7th, 2012, while a new, separate tournament will be held the same week in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chicago 2009 / Tadias File)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Last winter, when the Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA), a 29-year old non-profit in charge of hosting the annual Ethiopian Soccer Tournament, elected new officers and sent out a press release announcing Dallas as the location of the 2012 Soccer Tournament, we reported that the much publicized disputes among the board members seemed to have been amicably resolved. Since then, however, things have dramatically changed.

“There is an ongoing lawsuit and because of our lawyer’s advice, I can not tell you the details of how our organization was formed,” Elias Dimberu, a public relations officer for the newly established AESAONE (All Ethiopian Sports Association ONE), told TADIAS in a recent response to our inquiry. AESAONE is aggressively promoting a rival tournament at the RFK stadium in Washington, D.C. scheduled from July 1st through 7th — the same time the ESFNA sponsored tournament takes place in Dallas.

“There is no court gag order so you can speak to me about whatever you need,” said Johnny G. Berhanu, the spokesperson for the older ESFNA. “The truth is that they are all former members of ESFNA, including the ex-president who lost an election, who have chosen to set up various entities basically disregarding not only the law but the bylaws of ESFNA as well.” He added: Our bylaws say no board member of ESFNA can use ‘proprietary data’ including business contacts for their own personal use for at least two years after they leave the organization. These guys stole our corporate identity, they took our sponsor accounts. They tried locking us out of our bank account and our website. Believe it or not, we were first alerted to the whole plot by a Verizon fraud department worker, who called to tell us that a couple of those guys were trying to take out two new cell phones using our name.”

The AESAONE PR Officer disagrees, while admitting that the group was forced to re-brand itself after facing a trademark infringement lawsuit in April for its previous name, ESFNAONE. “We’ve changed the name as required by law,” Elias responded.

“It took the judge less than fifteen minutes to approve a temporary restraining order against them, which has since been extended,” Johnny remarked regarding the lawsuit. “They can never, ever be able to use our name and confuse the public again.”

And the soccer teams? “There is no shortage of Ethiopian soccer players in the Diaspora,” answered Elias. “In fact, there are way too many.” He added: “People forget that there is more than one Ethiopian team in every major city. We already have 28 teams registered from the U.S., as well as one from Australia and one from England.” According to Elias, the D.C. tournament is sponsored by MIDROC, the company owned by Ethiopian-born Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi. “They are covering the entire tournament for three years, whatever the cost, no strings attached,” he said.

“The man has given them 2 million dollars and they are going around trying to buy players, offering them up to $10,000 in some cases,” Johnny charged. “I personally know someone in Canada who rejected their bribe.”

“That’s hearsay,” Elias objected. He points out that AESAONE was a sponsor and actively recruiting teams during the traditional Memorial Day weekend regional tournaments in the West coast, the Midwest and the South. “There were ten California teams participating in Sacramento, for example,” he said. “Nine in Atlanta and another ten quality ones in Minnesota.” He added: “For the first time, there will be teams coming from Florida, Arizona, South Dakota and the city of Cincinnati, Ohio.”

Elias continued: “In terms of money, we are covering transportation costs, including airfare, for 20 players of each team that are participating in our tournament. We are also providing each team with five hotel rooms. In addition, all teams receive one full jersey. And in case of emergency, each players gets up to $100,000 insurance coverage for injury which they can use throughout the year. Furthermore, for the first time we have arranged coach bus service, back and forth, between the stadium and the hotel.”

Addressing the ongoing lawsuit, Elias declined from sharing details except to state, “We are in settlement negotiations at the moment.”

But Johnny is willing to talk. “ESFNA is asking to recover court expenses and other damages from them,” Johnny said. “So far we have spent about $13,000 in lawyers fees and could go up to $20,000.” He continued: “There is business loss and related issues when they used the ESFNAONE name to promote their event causing serious confusion in the community. As part of the final settlement, we are asking that at a minimum they change their tournament date.”

“That’s logistically impossible,” Elias declared. “There is a reason why we chose the week of July 4th.” He continued: “Most of the players are students and the only major summer holiday where we can attract the players is the 4th of July. The next holiday is Labor Day weekend in September, which is too late.”

“Don’t you think they can do this in August and attract more people?” Johnny asked. “Ultimately, I want you to look for the motive.”

“Our motive is to create an organization that stands for one community, regardless of religion and politics,” Elias responded. “Sports being the pillar, to celebrate our culture.”

“Let me tell you something,” Johnny answered. “I am a volunteer and democratically elected member of ESFNA’s board. After two years if people don’t like what I am doing, they can vote me out.” He added: I am not going to go on a vendetta against the organization that I willingly serve. I am not saying they don’t have the right to start a business. This is the United States of America, they can do whatever they want. I am saying be lawful in your actions and be truthful to the public about your intentions.”

Johnny is using his three week vacation to travel from Canada to volunteer his time working on the Dallas soccer tournament logistics. Ironically, Elias who is working on the D.C. tournament resides in Texas. “Yep! I live right in the heart of Dallas,” he said.

Competition and choices are not bad for any community, but we hope the two sides can find a way to let vendors and the public enjoy both events without forcing them to take sides or choose one over another.


Related Links:
The 29th Annual Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in Dallas
Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in D.C.

Upcoming Ethiopian Summer Festivals Celebrating Culture, Family & Sports

The 2012 Ethiopian Festival in Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland will be held on July 22, while the Second Ethiopian Heritage Festival is schedule from July 27 to 29 at Georgetown University campus. (Photo: ethiopianfestival.org)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Friday, June 1, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – There are several upcoming Summer festivals for the Ethiopian community to enjoy. The Ethiopian Heritage Society is hosting its second Annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival in D.C. at Georgetown University campus from July 27th to July 29th.

Organizers of the annual Ethiopian Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland have also announced the launch of their new event website.

The 29th Annual Ethiopian Soccer Tournament organized by ESFNA will take place in Dallas this year from July 1st to July 7th, and another tournament in D.C. hosted by the newly formed AESAONE (All Ethiopian Sports Association ONE) is scheduled for the same week.
—-
If You Go:
The Second Ethiopian Festival at Downtown Silver Spring
Second Annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival in D.C.
The 29th Annual Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in Dallas
Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in D.C.

The New York Abay Team: Soccer With an Empire State of Mind

The New York Abay soccer team, which finished fourth at the 2011 Ethiopian soccer tournament in Atlanta, is hoping to beef up the team with new generation of New Yorkers and New Jersey residents. (Photo: Bemnet Tekleheimanot makes a sliding tackle during practice on the rain-soaked synthetic turf at the Van Cortland Park Stadium on Sunday, August 21, 2011. By Jason Jett for Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
By Jason Jett

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New York (TADIAS) – Perhaps it comes with the turf — given the city’s many success stories — that the New York Abay soccer team believes it should dominate the competition.

So a loss last month in the semifinals of the annual Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) soccer tournament, this year held in Atlanta, has leaders of the New York squad assessing how to better represent their world-capital city.

“We also finished in fourth-place in the Africa Cup last spring,” said Coach Binyam Tsehaye, referring to a March tournament in Macombs Dam Park at the New Yankee Stadium that fielded local teams representing 12 nations. “We seem to be always finishing fourth. We need to be finishing first. We want to represent our community better.”

Towards that goal the team has launched a recruitment drive focusing on New York and New Jersey youths unaware of the opportunity to continue participating at a highly competitive level in the sport they or their fathers grew up playing in Ethiopia.

New York Abay was formed in the late 1980s. Some of the original members now provide management and mentoring services, while the active players have participated for a decade or less.

Aman Tsehaye, like his brother Binyam a resident of West Orange, N.J., has lived in the area since 1989 but did not learn about the local Ethiopian soccer team until 2002. He joined immediately.

Aman Tsehaye noted the team has lost membership as older players started their own families and found they no longer had time for the sport. Several members were lost when their jobs were relocated to Virginia, he added.


Coach Binyam Tsehaye views the action, interjecting instruction, advice and reminders to be prepared for physical play during a New York Abay training at the Van Cortland Park Stadium on Sunday, August 21, 2011. (Photo by Jason Jett for Tadias Magazine)

In addition to the new youth movement the Tsehayes stressed that New York Abay, named for the Blue Nile River originating at Lake Tana near the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia, seeks veteran, experienced players.

“There are a lot of former stars in Ethiopia now living in the New York area,” said Binyam Tsehaye. “We see them occasionally, at restaurants or events. It would be good to have them on the team. They don’t have to play every game, just two or three times a year.

“With all the pros in the area we should have one of the best teams,” he added “But you have to understand the pressure they are under to support family here and back home.”

Of course some of those same pressures are felt by current team members, several who work odd jobs or attend school and find it taxing to participate in the team’s Sunday- morning practices at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

Samuel Tesfaye, a defenseman who resides in Manhattan, noted New York City itself is a challenge for a soccer squad.

“Competition is a way of life in New York,” he said. “It is not easy to play soccer in city parks, every place is so crowded. It’s difficult to find a spot you don’t have to pay to use, so we end up having to go to the Bronx. Other teams have an easier time in their communities, but in New York you have to apply and pay a lot of money to get a good field.”

And it can get less hospitable when the team leaves the city for a competition.

Tesfaye said New York Abay typically finds itself in an hostile environment while playing at so-called neutral sites.

When it lost 0-2 to Virginia in the July 6 ESFNA semifinal game at the Georgia Dome, most of the crowd was cheering for the opposition.

“You know how it is,” he said. “In other cities everyone loves to hate New York.”

Tesfaye and other team members said they suspect it was not only the fans in the stands who were against the New York team during the tourney in Atlanta.

“In the Virginia game the referee was a teenager, who had been a linesman in previous games,” said Tesfaye “At most he was 18 or 19 years old, and we thought that was an issue. The referee was very young, had no experience and was afraid to make tough calls.”

Tesfaye said the referee failed to whistle two hand-ball violations by the opposition, one as Virginia scored a goal on a header and the second after New York Abay moved the ball into the penalty box threatening to score a goal of its own.

“In Atlanta, unfortunately it did not turn out our way,” Binyam Tsehaye said. However, he is upbeat about the team’s chances in a regional soccer tournament to be held at Pier 40 in New York City on Sept. 4.


During a break in activity Fitsum Kahsay, one of the youngest members of the team, leaves practice early to accommodate his school schedule. (Photo: At the Van Cortland Park Stadium on Sunday, August 21, 2011. By Jason Jett for Tadias Magazine)

“We have a lot of young kids who have been playing together for a few years now and are jelling,” he said. “I think we can do well in this tournament. We are going to go out there and do our best. We want to represent our community better.”

Coincidentally, Sept. 4th is the final day of the World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, with Ethiopian legends Kenenisa Bekele, Sileshi Sihine, Imane Merga, Gebregziabher Gebremariam and Sofia Assefa expected to compete that morning.

Binyam Tsehaye and Tesfaye do not see soccer, or football as it is known universally and among Ethiopian fans who crowd in living rooms and taverns for every broadcast of the national team or the English Premier League, taking a backseat to running.

“Football is the No. 1 sport in Ethiopia,” said Tsehaye. “Runners are more famous, but we all say that football is our national sport. We just are better at running compared to the rest of the world.”

“This is a team sport,” he said of football. “There is always more satisfaction winning as a team than as an individual.”

For New York Abay members the rewards are chiefly measured in personal satisfaction and camaraderie.

“It’s about bragging rights,” said Tesfaye. ” There is some money. The winner of the tournaments gets a monetary prize and trophy.”

Teams members did not hesitate to say they see no reason why they should not be the ones claiming the awards at the end of the upcoming Pier 40 tournament.

Prospective members are welcome to attend a team practice 11 a.m. Sundays at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y. The sessions are held in the Van Cortlandt Park Stadium at Broadway and West 240th Street, or in soccer fields north of the stadium.

More photos of the New York Abay team on our new Facebook Page. (Click Here)
Learn more about the Sept. 4th games hosted by Downtown United Soccer Club.

Related:
Arsenal takes look at Gedion Zelalem, a 14-year-old Ethiopian-German living in DC – The Washington Post

Soccer Tournament Underway in Atlanta, Ethiopian Heritage Festival Concludes in D.C.

Above: The Ethiopian soccer tournament opened in Atlanta
on July 3rd. (Photo 2010 by Kal Kassa/Tadias Magazine file)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Updated: Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New York (Tadias) – The 28th edition of the Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in North America, which runs through July 9th, is underway in Atlanta, while the First Annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival in Washington, D.C., concluded on July 3rd.

The 2011 soccer tournament marks its fourth return to Atlanta. The city’s Ethiopian soccer team is also four time champion of the national competition, bringing the trophy home in 1994 and 1997 while winning the cup at home games in 1998 and 2005. Atlanta hosted the ESFNA soccer tournament & festivities in 1986, 1998, and 2005.

The D.C. festival also featured sports competition among other entertainment programs, including cultural performances, poetry readings, author’s circle, art exhibition, children’s games, coffee ceremony, food and more.

The Atlanta event goes far beyond sports entertainment, allowing families and friends in North America’s Ethiopian immigrant community to come together in celebration of sports and their cultural heritage. The tournament week is a popular time for networking, alumni gatherings, small business catering, music performances, and reunion parties. Hosting also offers a variety of benefits to the community, including local economic impact stemming from hotel, transportation, food and other-related purchases.

Stay tuned for more coverage of these events.

You can learn more about the Atlanta soccer tournament at www.esfna.net. More information about the D.C. festival can be found at www.ethiopianheritagesociety.org.

Cover Image: At the 2010 San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament by Kal Kassa.

Related from Tadias archives:
Photo Journal: San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2010

Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2009 (Tadias)

Atlanta to Host The 2011 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament

Above: Atlanta edges out Toronto to host the next Ethiopian
Soccer Tournament. (Photo by Kal Kassa/Tadias Magazine file)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New York (Tadias) – The Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America has announced that Atlanta will be hosting the organization’s soccer tournament for 2011. The tournament site was selected by the group’s nine-member Executive Committee.

The federation’s spokesperson Fassil Abebe confirmed the decision: “Yes, Atlanta has been selected as the 2011 Tournament/Festival site after carefully considering the bids from Toronto and Atlanta,” Fassil told Tadias Magazine.

The 2011 tournament will mark its fourth return to Atlanta. The city’s Ethiopian soccer team is also four time champion of the national competition, bringing the trophy home in 1994 and 1997 while winning the cup at home games in 1998 and 2005. Atlanta hosted the ESFNA soccer tournament & festivities in 1986, 1998, and 2005.

The announcement dashes the hopes of the runner-up Ethio Star, Toronto’s Ethiopian soccer team, who put up a spirited bid to host the upcoming event.

“After thoroughly examining the proposals from both Atlanta and Toronto, the Executive Committee (EC) has selected Atlanta as the 2011 Tournament site,” ESFNA said in a brief statement posted on its website. “The EC and Board of Directors of ESFNA will hold their Winter meeting in Atlanta October 16 and 17, 2010.”

The annual gathering, which next year celebrates its 28th anniversary, goes far beyond sports entertainment, allowing families and friends in North America’s Ethiopian immigrant community to come together in celebration of sports and their cultural heritage. The tournament week is a popular time for networking, alumni gatherings, small business catering, music performances, and reunion parties. Hosting also offers a variety of benefits to the community, including local economic impact stemming from hotel, transportation, food and other-related purchases.


Cover Image: At the 2010 San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament by Kal Kassa.

Related from Tadias archives:
Photo Journal: San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2010

Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2009 (Tadias)

Ethiopian Torontonians Gearing Up For 12th Ethiopian Day Celebration

Above: 12th annual Ethiopian Day Celebration, hosted by the
Ethiopian Association in the GTA- scheduled for this weekend.

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Ethiopian Torontonians are gearing up for their city’s 12th annual Ethiopian-Canadian Day Celebration, scheduled to take place this coming weekend at Christie Pits Park in Toronto.

The day long event features a variety of booths, arts, crafts, food and live entertainment – including Ethiopian music, reggae and other African grooves, organizers announced.

The yearly festivities, which also serve as a celebration of enqutatash (New Year) for the estimated 50,000 Ethiopians in the Greater Toronto Area, is organized by The Ethiopian Association in the GTA and Surrounding Regions. “It is with sense of obligation to preserve and promote our heritage that the Ethiopian Community in Toronto has taken over the task of organizing such an event,” the organization noted on its website following last year’s activities. “As in the past, our Association took charge of planning, budgeting and coordination of tasks.”

According to Yeamrot Taddese, Tadias Magazine’s contributing reporter from Toronto, the upcoming event is a high-spirited affair for Ethiopians in Canada.

“In no other festivity do local Ethiopians’ spirit, talent and culinary skills shine as they do on the annual day-long Ethiopian New Year’s celebration,” Yeamrot wrote in her recent series of articles about the city’s Ethiopian soccer team Ethio Star’s pending bid to host the 2011 tournament managed by the Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA).

“The event, also dubbed ‘Ethiopian Day,’ is the most anticipated gathering in the community that features live music, rising Ethiopian entrepreneurs, social justice advocates and lots of injera.”

If You Go:
12th annual Ethiopian-Canadian Day Celebration
Saturday, September 11, 2010
10am to 11pm
at Christie Pits Park
Learn more at Ethiocommun.org

Cover Image: Photos from the event flyer.

Note: Is your city hosting Ethiopian New Year’s celebration? Send us the details at info@tadias.com.

Voting Begins For 2010 Top Ethiopian Websites of The Year

Above: The 2010 listing will include Alexa’s global ranking as
well as voters choices of the most popular internet resources.

Tadias Magazine and BrownCondor.com
By Teddy Fikre

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BrownCondor.com’s BC Radio in collaboration with Tadias Magazine will conduct a four-month online-poll for the 3rd annual listing of the “Best Ethiopian Websites of the Year.”

Encouraged by readers’ feedback, the 2010 categories will include Alexa’s global ranking as well as voters choices of the most popular internet resources pertaining to Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Diaspora.

Poll-takers will vote under three categories: News & Opinion, Entertainment News & Views (including music sites, videos, blogs, etc), and non-profit organizations.

In order to ensure the integrity of the poll the two sponsoring blogs will be excluded from “Readers’ Favorite Picks,” and the winners will be announced at the end of December both on Tadias.com and BC radio. Voters’ top choices from the non-profit category will receive a certificate of recognition along with feature stories on Tadias Magazine and BC Radio.

The voting process will end on 17th December 2010. If you do not see your favorite website on the drop-down menu, please do not be alarmed. Send the name to info@tadias.com. We will update the list on a regular basis.

Good luck.

Readers’ Pick: The Official 2010 Voting Platform Sponsored by Tadias Magazine & Browncondor
Vote for Your Favorite Ethiopian News and Opinion Website (A – E)






View Results

Readers’ Pick: The Official 2010 Voting Platform Sponsored by Tadias Magazine & Browncondor
Vote for Your Favorite Ethiopian News and Opinion Website (E – Z)






View Results

Readers’ Pick: The Official 2010 Voting Platform Sponsored by Tadias Magazine & Browncondor
Vote for Your Favorite Ethiopian Entertainment, News & Views Website (Art, Sports, Events, Music, Videos, Radio, TV, Blogs, etc)






View Results

Readers’ Pick: The Official 2010 Voting Platform Sponsored by Tadias Magazine and Browncondor
Vote for Your Favorite Nonprofit Organization Geared Toward Ethiopia & The Diaspora






View Results

About the Author:
Teddy Fikre is the founder of BrownCondor.com and host of BC Radio.

Note: If you do not see your favorite website on the drop-down menu, please send an email to info@tadias.com. We will update the list on a regular basis.

Ethiopian Soccer Tournament: Delay to announce host city has Toronto organizers fed up

Above: The most recent tournament was held in San Jose, CA
Toronto and Atlanta are the front runners for 2011. (File photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Yeamrot Taddese

Published: Friday, August 13, 2010

Toronto, Canada (Tadias) – The Ethiopian Soccer Federation in North America (ESFNA) was supposed to announce the next soccer tournament host city on July 4 but bidding cities are still waiting for a decision.

Tournament organizers in Toronto said if the delay continues, their city will lose a rate offer from the Royal York Hotel, one of the hotels where discounted reservation has been made to accommodate visitors. “A decision will need to be made very soon to be able to hold the space for [the tournament],” wrote Shelley Crawford, the Account Director of Sports from Tourism Toronto to the organizing committee. “Royal York’s offer will expire late August.”

Samuel Getachew, the communications director of Toronto’s Ethiopian soccer team, Ethio Star, has also been working to complete ESFNA’s criteria of a host city. “It has been six weeks and I am now questioning my confidence in working with the federation,” he said. He added that he personally believes ESFNA is having a hard time choosing between Toronto and its competition Atlanta. “But leadership is about making decisions.”

Getachew, who is running for city councillor in Toronto, said he and his team are still making sure they provide everything ESFNA asks for. If the games don’t come to Ontario’s capital next year, Getachew said he will resign his post as a member of the organizing committee of tournament.

The organizing team and other Torontonian Ethiopians told Tadias in June that it is about time their city hosted the soccer games. ESFNA must include Canada to live up to its name as a North American sports federation, they had said.

This week, the Ethiopian community in Ontario’s capital succeeded in having September officially recognized as Ethiopian Heritage Month by the City of Toronto.

ESFNA spokesperson Fassil Abebe said the delay is a result of some “unfinished business.” He said the federation is still seeking supporting documents from Toronto and Atlanta. He added that decision will be made by August 15. The organizing committee in Toronto has not been made aware of this date.

The last time Toronto hosted the games was in 2000 and Atlanta in 2005.

Support of the community to the sports, availability of a large stadium, closing venue and a member team are some of the criteria ESFNA is looking at. Abebe said he will not say what each city currently lacks.

Abebe also said the criticism that ESFNA excludes Canada despite its name does not hold. “There are cities [in the United States] that have never hosted the games,” he said. “Yes, it has been 10 years but Toronto has at least hosted the tournament twice.” He added that Calgary was one of the four non-member teams which competed to become a member in San Jose this year.

Endale Tufer, Atlanta’s tournament organizer said it is not the first time a delay is happening but he said he could not comment about the implications of the hold-up on Atlanta’s preparations.


Cover Image: At the 2010 San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament by Kal Kassa.

About the Author:
Yeamrot Taddese is a journalism student at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is also a contributing reporter for Tadias Magazine.

Related from Tadias:
Photo Journal: San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2010

Toronto Says It Has What It Takes to Host the Tournament

Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2009 (Tadias)

Photo Journal: San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2010

Thousands of people across the country descended on San Jose last week for the annual Ethiopia soccer tournament.

Tadias Magazine
Events News – Photos by Kal Kassa

Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010

San Jose, CA (Tadias) – The recently concluded Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in San Jose, California was attended by thousands of Ethiopian-Americans and their families.

The annual event, designed to promote goodwill among the various Ethiopian communities in the United States and Canada, is organized by the Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA), a non-profit organization founded in 1984 to help popularize amateur soccer while celebrating commonly shared traditions.

The week-long gathering, which this year celebrated its 27th anniversary, goes far beyond sports entertainment, allowing families and friends to come together in celebration of their cultural heritage. The festival week is a popular time for networking, alumni gatherings, small business catering, music performances, and reunion parties.

The colorful 2010 tournament at Spartan Stadium showcased 27 teams – along with food vendors, artists, artisans and entrepreneurs, offering items ranging from injera to T-shirts and everything in between.

ESFNA has yet to announce the host city for next year’s tournament. Meanwhile, here are few photos from San Jose.

Related from Tadias Magazine:
Toronto Says It Has What It Takes to Host the Ethio Soccer Tour

Toronto Says It Has What It Takes to Host the Ethiopian Soccer Tournament

Ethiopian community leaders in Toronto say after 10 years of waiting, it is time for Canada to host the annual Ethio Soccer Tournament ------ -- (Photograph by Yohannes Ayalew)

Tadias Magazine
By Yeamrot Taddese

Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Toronto (TADIAS) – Toronto is a member of the Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA), but most Ethiopian Torontonians have a fading recollection of the last time their city hosted the soccer tournament. Many others had not yet arrived here when the games came to Toronto in 1992 and later in 2000.

The Ethiopian community, in one of biggest and most diverse cities in North America, says it has what it takes to accommodate the games for the first time in a decade.

“The community has grown ten folds since the last time tournament was hosted here,” said Dr. Retta Alemayehu, the Director of the Ethiopian Association in the GTA during a meeting with ESFNA President Demmissie Mekonnen. “The preparation for the games will reflect this change.”

Samuel Getachew, the communications director of Toronto’s Ethiopian soccer team, Ethio Star, says the games are long overdue. “If we call this organization a North American sports federation, different cities should get an opportunity to host the tournament instead of repeating venues,” he said. He added that the local government and Tourism Toronto have agreed to make financial contribution to host the tournament.

Getachew is running for Toronto City Council representing ward 43. One of the goals on his platform is to officially label a section of the famous Danforth Avenue between Greenwood and Monarch Park as “Little Ethiopia” on the city map. The area is alive with several Ethiopian restaurants, cafes, clubs and other businesses.

Rendezvous restaurant and bar is located in the aspiring Little Ethiopia. Its owner, Banchi Kinde, says the Ethiopian community in Toronto is more prepared than ever to host the soccer tournament. “In ten years, I have witnessed an unbelievable amount of growth in populace and businesses. We have now more than enough restaurants to accommodate everyone,” she said. Kinde also noted that economic booms in cities like Calgary will surely draw people from other parts of Canada.

The Bloor Street and Ossington Avenue area, also located near the downtown core, is known for its Ethiopian cuisine.

Tameru Tesfaye, a member of the organizing committee of Ethio Star, said if Toronto wins the bid this week, the event venue will be set up in downtown Toronto, making it convenient for guests to access attractions and Ethiopian community areas through the city transit system.

Toronto annually attracts visitors to thrill-evoking events such as the Luminato arts festival and Caribana. In March 2010, the Ethiopian Students Association International (ESAi) chose Toronto to host its 10th annual summit and anniversary celebration. Young professionals from several parts of the U.S, Canada and even Ethiopia flocked to Toronto for the ESAi’s first ever summit outside the United States. Ellal Aklilu was one of the attendees of the event from Pennsylvania. After his first visit to Canada’s biggest city, Aklilu says he would come back any day. “I was awed to see such a well-established Ethiopian community in Toronto. The city’s atmosphere was very diverse and welcoming,” he said.

In no other festivity do local Ethiopians’ spirit, talent and culinary skills shine as they do on the annual day-long Ethiopian New Year’s celebration. The event, which is also dubbed “Ethiopian Day,” is the most anticipated gathering in the community that features live music, rising Ethiopian entrepreneurs, social justice advocates and lots of injera. With the kind of fervor Toronto has for hosting the next soccer tournament, the New Year’s extravaganza just might happen twice next year.

About the Author:
Yeamrot Taddese is a journalism student at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is also a contributing reporter for Tadias Magazine.

Related News:
Big dreams for ‘Little Ethiopia’ dashed (The Globe and Mail)
Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2010 Opens in San Jose (Tadias)
Ethiopians gather in San Jose for soccer, festival and food (San Jose Mercury News)
Ethiopian American organizations assist ESFNA earn recognition in California (EthioMedia.com)
Team Abay, Built New York Tough! (Tsehai.NY.com)
ArifQuas – iPhone Application For The 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament (Tadias)
Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2009 (Tadias)

Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2010: Spotlight on New York Team Abay

Above: Team Abay has been described “Built New York Tough”
The group is one of 27 teams taking part at 27th annual Ethio
Soccer Tournament in San Jose, California. (Photo: TsehaiNY)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Updated: Monday, June 28, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Ethiopians from across the U.S. are gathering in the Bay Area this week for the 2010 Soccer tournament – an event which also doubles as an annual cultural festival for the community.

The California festivities, which opened at San Jose State University’s Spartan Stadium on Sunday, features over 27 teams from various cities in the U.S. and Canada.

The annual gathering – which this year celebrates its 27th anniversary – goes far beyond sports entertainment, allowing families and friends in North America’s Ethiopian immigrant community to come together in celebration of both sports and their cultural heritage. The tournament week is a popular time for networking, alumni gatherings, small business catering, music performances, and reunion parties.

Stay tuned for our usual “Hot Shots” and other events coverage from San Jose.

Related:
Toronto Says It Has What It Takes to Host the Ethiopian Soccer Tournament (Tadias)
Ethiopians gather in San Jose for soccer, festival and food (San Jose Mercury News)
Ethiopian American organizations assist ESFNA earn recognition in California (EthioMedia.com)
Team Abay, Built New York Tough! (Tsehai.NY.com)
ArifQuas – iPhone Application For The 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament (Tadias)
Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2009 (Tadias)

ArifQuas – iPhone Application For The 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament

Above: MIT graduates Bef Ayenew (left) and Ephraim Tekle,
have launched a new Iphone application for the 2010 Ethio
Soccer Tournament — scheduled from June 27 to July 3rd.

Tadias Magazine
By Liben Eabisa

Published: Monday, June 21, 2010

New York (Tadias) – The 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament is scheduled to be held in San Jose, California later this month, and two young, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have launched a new I-phone application aptly named ArifQuas to provide soccer enthusiasts with real-time scores and events information. The app includes info such has hotels for stay, parties and other cultural festivals during the tournament. It also features GPS technology, offers listings of most Bay Area Ethiopian restaurants, and is integrated with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. ArifQuas users can receive real-time info on weather and traffic updates, as well as listings of local attractions including California’s scenic beaches and Napa Valley’s historical wine country.

The following is our recent interview with Bef Ayenew and Ephraim Tekle, developers of the ArifQuas mobile app. Both are graduates of MIT and founders of the company ArifSoft.

Tadias: Could you tell us a bit about your company ArifSoft? What do you guys do?

ArifSoft is a software company that specializes in Ethiopian mobile apps. We’re seeing a clear trend that has more and more desktop apps getting ported to mobile platforms, and ArifSoft is our joint effort to continue that trend within our community. ArifSoft has been around unofficially since last year, but it was formally introduced as the entity behind ArifQuas and ArifZefen only recently.

Tadias: You have a cool name. How do you define “Arif”?

Arif is actually a name that was lifted from our first joint project, ArifZefen. AddisZefen was already taken so we figured we would simply call ours ArifZefen. Since then, we’ve gone into an Arif frenzy and started naming everything after Arif. Our definition of Arif covers anything that can capture your imagination and generate excitement. Arif is Amharic slang for cool and our goal is to build cool apps that will add value while providing people with a superior user experience.

Tadias: Tell us about ArifQuas, your new Iphone application for the 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in California. How does it work?

ArifQuas is an event app for the upcoming soccer tournament in San Jose. We’ve been at the tournament in the past and we are all too familiar with how chaotic things can be, especially for the out-of-towners. ArifQuas is designed to help people manage the chaos a little better and try to get the most they can out of the tournament. ArifQuas will contain live listings of parties, concerts and any other events happening during the week of the tournament. It will also provide users with listings of all the local Ethiopian restaurants and Shisha lounges in the area so people don’t have to scour the web or other aggregation websites looking for options. For both the events and the restaurants, ArifQuas has GPS support and can tell users how far they are and how to get there on a map. ArifQuas is also going to provide users with updates on the tournament scores, information on the local attractions and the local weather.

Tadias: How are you gathering your information? Are you working with ESFNA or the other event promoters?

ArifQuas is fed the listings from a web service that’s hosted at arifquas.com. A lot of the listings are actually entered by the restaurant owners or the event promoters who want to promote on ArifQuas. There is an approval process before listings go live but aside from that, the entire process is fully automated and requires little involvement from us. We contacted ESFNA well before the app was even approved by Apple so they have been aware of it for some time and the response we have received from them has been very positive. We have asked ESFNA to provide the live score updates for the games and we’re in the process of working out the final details.

Tadias: Do you plan to come out with an Android version or something compatible for other mobile users?

Unfortunately, we’re out of time to do an Android app for this tournament but we do have another project in the pipeline and an Android version of this next app is a definite possibility.

Tadias: Is ArifQuas integrated with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter?

We do have a facebook presence and in a short two weeks we have reached some 600 people and we can also be found on Twitter.

Interview continues below…

Tadias: The application is free, how are you sustaining your business?

The application is free because we want every Ethiopian with an iphone to get it without any financial considerations. So far we have been trying to cover some of our expenses by charging a fee to the people who are trying to list and advertise their events and restaurants.

Tadias: Please tell us briefly about the two of you? How did you become interested in software development? Where did you guys meet? Where did you grow up , school, work, etc?

Bef Ayenew: Both of us grew up in Addis but we didn’t meet until our sophomore year at MIT. We’ve been very close every since and we’ve worked on a number of software related projects together. I’m a software developer/architect in the valley so you could say working on an iphone app is not really a big departure from what I do during business hours. Ephraim, on the other hand, is a research scientist at a national lab so he has found a convenient outlet for channeling his inner engineer.

Tadias: Tell us about ArifZefen, the other ArifSoft application.

ArifZefen is our first joint project as ArifSoft, and it started out as a website that was supposed to serve as a sharing site for Ethiopian music. Unlike our predecessors, we weren’t interested in being responsible for managing the music content so we built a site where people can upload and manage their songs like they do in youtube. We also wanted people to be able to browse and search the collection and create/manage their own playlists. And of course, we couldn’t let you download the music once it was uploaded because that would amount to piracy so we had to develop a custom segment streaming MP3 player in flash. Later, we skinned the entire website and turned it into something that could be deployed on a new URL within minutes. More recently, we have created an iphone app called ArifZefen that provides access to all these features on the go, and we hope to make that app available to users as soon as we have resolved some of the issues around music copyrights. If you really want to test ride this app, it’s available on a limited basis.

Tadias: Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?

Working on ArifQuas has been a lot of fun and we are very encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response we have received from everyone. We’ve had even people not going to the tournament download it and tell us how much they enjoyed it. We are really excited about exploring other opportunities within our community and we are already back working hard on our next project, which we hope will be completed well before the end of the year. If anyone else out there is interested in developing iphone apps, our advice is to grab a mac and start today. There have been many instances of non-developers building iphone apps that went on to become very successful so we want to encourage anyone out there to take a crack at it if they think they have a good idea and the time to work on it.

Tadias: Thank you guys and good luck!

Thank you.

ArifQuas can be downloaded for free at iTunes app store. You can learn more at www.arifquas.com. Also, for more information on the 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in San Jose, California, please visit ESFNA.net.

About the Author:
Liben Eabisa is Co-Founder & Publisher of Tadias Magazine.

Cover Image: Courtesy of ArifQuas.

Related stories from Tadias Archives:
Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2009

Chicago to Host 2009 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

Above: Last year’s event was held at RFK stadium in
Washington D.C. (Photo/Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, June 18, 2009

New York (Tadias) – For the first time in the event’s 26-year history, the annual Ethiopian Soccer Tournament will be hosted by the city of Chicago this year, organizers announced. The 2009 event will take place at Lane Tech Stadium from June 28th to July 4th.

The annual gathering goes beyond sports entertainment, allowing families and friends in North America’s Ethiopian immigrant community to come together in celebration of both sports and their cultural heritage. The tournament weekend is a popular time for networking, alumni gatherings, small business catering, music performances, and reunion parties.

Organizers says that fans this year will have a chance not only to revel in the celebratory atmosphere of the tournament, but also take delight in the national significance of the host city.

“This year’s celebration is special because the city of Chicago is the first Mid-Western city to host ESFNA’s annual event,” Mekonnen Demisiew, ESFNA’s newly elected President said in a statement. “Chicago is also the home of the great leader who has brought so much excitement and hope to the world, the 44th president of the United States of America.”

The breadth of events and services provide an economic boon to local businesses, and being selected as a host city for the annual event is both a privilege and a competitive endeavor.

“ESFNA’s Chicago-09 preparation is going very well. We are excited about the possibilities this great Mid-Western city has to offer our guests,” Mr. Demisiew said. “This year’s celebrations will indeed be memorable by virtue of the presence of our highly esteemed Guests of Honor, Ethiopian jazz musician Ato Mulatu Astatke and former national team player, coach and Olympic sprinter Ato Basha Hailu.”

For more info, please visit:Esfna.net

Related:
Hot Shots from the 2008 D.C. Soccer Tournament
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Above: Ababa Tesafye attended the event as guest of honor. He celebrated his
birthday on July 4th. The announcer did not mention the beloved children’s television
entertainer’s age. People familiar with Ababa Tesfaye say he does not know the year
he was born.

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At the Ethiopians for Obama booth. We even spotted a vendor selling Obama Juice.
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At the international Ethiopian Women Association booth.
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Top 10 Events of 2008 Covered by Tadias

Year in Review by The Tadias Team

Published: Thursday, December 25, 2008

New York: (Tadias) – The following are our top ten favorite Ethiopian-American related events that we attended and/or featured in 2008. We wish all our readers “Happy Holidays!” We look forward to the New Year, and to continue highlighting events and personalities that make ours one of the most vibrant immigrant communities in the country. Happy New Year from all of us at Tadias.com!

Counting down: Top 10 Events of 2008 Covered by Tadias

10). The seventh annual anniversary of Little Ethiopia in L.A.

The seventh annual anniversary of Little Ethiopia took place in Los Angeles on September 14, 2008. The celebration was organized by the Little Ethiopia Business Association, which is chaired by Woizero Negest Legesse. Among the most active organizers of the event were: Mesob Restaurant, Rosalind Restaurant, Rahel Vegan Cuisine, Nyala Restaurant, Ferede Child Care Center, Selam Travel, and the Ethiopian Airlines. The office of the Mayor of Los Angeles and City Councils also provided assistance for the event. Read more about this event.

9). The Annual Ethiopian Soccer Tournament (D.C. 2008).

North America’s largest African soccer tournament, hosted by the Ethiopian Sport Federation of North America (ESFNA), was held in the nation’s capital this year. The Washington D.C. Metropolitan area is home to one of the largest Ethiopian population in the country, and tens of thousands of Ethiopian immigrants attended the event this year on July 4th weekend. Read More.

8). Historic Ethiopian out of doors Concert in New York

On the evening of Wednesday, August 20, 2008, Damrosch’s Park in New York was packed with Ethiopians and curious New Yorkers who were treated to an astonishing concert of fusion rock, jazz and Ethiopian music. The historic event at the Lincoln Center’s out of doors concert series, one of the longest-running free summer festivals in the U.S., featured Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayehu Eshete accompanied by the Either Orchestra, and the legendary saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya in collaboration with Dutch band the Ex. The trio performed for the first time at Damrosch’s Park. Read more and see hot shots from the event.

7). Ethiopia 2000 @ the Schomburg Center

The final event of the Ethiopian Millennium Celebration Series hosted by the BINA foundation included a panel discussion entitled “Ethiopia: The Three Faiths” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which attracted a diverse and large audience on Saturday, June 21, 2008. Read more about this event.

6). Sojourner Truth Awards Celebration

Abaynesh Asrat: Distinguished Women Awardee
Ethiopian-born Abaynesh Asrat, Founder & CEO of Nation to Nation Networking (NNN), was recognized with “The Sojourner Truth Award,” which is given each year by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. Abaynesh is a member of Harlem’s legendary Abyssinian Baptist Church delegation to Ethiopia in 2007, which took place as part of the church’s bicentennial celebration and in honor of the Ethiopian Millennium. Other awardees, that were honored at the 80th Annual Founder’s Day of the New York Club of Women’s Clubs, include: Robert T. Johnson (The District Attorney of Bronx County since January 1, 1989), Debra Wallace (Ebony Magazine), Kim M. Williamson (Director of Prime Time Programing for Food Networks in New York City), Joyce Johnson (CEO of the Black Equity Alliance), among others. The event took place on Sunday, April 27, 2008, at the Eastwood Manor in Bronx, NY. Read more about Abaynesh’s work at NNN.

5). Obama & McCain at Columbia University Forum

Presidential nominees Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain participated in a discussion regarding the importance of engaging in service and civic responsibilities on the seventh anniversary of 9/11 in New York at Columbia University. The Presidential Forum was part of a two-day summit which included speeches by Al Gore, Governor Patterson, Columbia President Bollinger and Barnard Provost Elizabeth Boylan. The forum was moderated by Judy Woodruff of PBS’ “NewsHour” and Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine. Read more and view photos of this event.

4). Ted Alemayuhu’s Keynote at Columbia University

The third Annual Health Disparities Conference at Columbia University was held on Friday, March 7th and Saturday, March 8th, 2008. Ethiopian-born Ted Alemayuhu, Founder & Chairman of U.S. Doctors for Africa, was one of the featured keynote speakers. View photos from this event.

3). Sheba Highlight at Choice Eats 2008

The Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant in New York was featured at the first Annual Choice Eats tasting event organized by The Village Voice, the nation’s first and largest alternative newsweekly. The event took place on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at the historic Puck Building in Manhattan. Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant was one of thirty-three favorite restaurants of Voice food critic Robert Sietsema, author of Secret New York. Sietsema has reviewed more than 2,000 restaurants in the last 14 years and this year’s Choice Eats covered samples from all corners of the world. Read more about this event.

2). CNN Hero in New York

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, 59, was recognized by CNN for his remarkable efforts to bring free public libraries and literacy programs to thousands of children in Ethiopia, including the country’s first Donkey Mobile Library. One of the Top Ten CNN Heroes of 2008, spoke at Cafe Addis in Harlem, New York on Saturday, December 13, 2008. Tadias TV was there to record the event.

1). The day Barack Obama was elected President

Nothing this year tops the spontaneous celebrations that broke out around the world on November 4th 2008, the day Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. Memorable photos from this historic day was captured in Harlem by Tadias Magazine’s contributing photographer Jeffrey Phipps. View photos from election night 2008.

Hot Blog & Hot Shots: D.C. Soccer Tournament

Hot Shots: D.C. Soccer Tournament

By Tadias Staff
Photos by TF & Tadias

(Updated Monday, July 7, 2008)

Washington, DC (Tadias) – North America’s largest African soccer tournament, hosted by the Ethiopian Sport Federation of North America (ESFNA) was held in the nation’s capital this year. The Washington D.C. Metropolitan area is home to the second largest Ethiopian population outside of Ethiopia, and tens of thousands of Ethiopian immigrants attended the event on July 4th weekend.

This year’s vendors were particularly enthusiastic about Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Products sold in booths at the tournament site ranged from Obama t-shirts, a photo booth with Obama wearing a traditional Ethiopian shawl, and even Obama juice.

Other vendors used their booth to host traditional coffee ceremonies, sell children’s books, and food while music blasted simultaneously from competing vendor booths. A large tent had been set up at the center of the vendors area where people would flock to take cover from occasional rain.

Friday nights line-up of music artists at RKF stadium included Tilahoun Gesesse, Mahmoud Ahmed, Kuku Sebsibe, Gossaye, and Mike-E.

Here are hot shots.

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Above: Ababa Tesafye attended the event as guest of honor. He celebrated his
birthday on July 4th. The announcer did not mention the beloved children’s television
entertainer’s age. People familiar with Ababa Tesfaye say he does not know the year
he was born.

soccer_inside5.jpg
At the Ethiopians for Obama booth. We even spotted a vendor selling Obama Juice.
soccer_inside10.jpg
soccer_inside6.jpg
soccer_inside9.jpg
soccer_inside7.jpg
soccer_inside8.jpg
At the international Ethiopian Women Association booth.
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From Left: Meron, Asse, Tseday (Tadias), Liben (Tadias)
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Related: D.C. Soccer Tournament to Offer Family Friendly Celebration

D.C. Soccer Tournament to Offer Family Friendly Celebration

Above: The crowd at the 2007 tournament in Dallas.
Photo by Dagnu/ESFNA

By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, June 13, 2008

Washington, DC (Tadias) – North America’s largest African soccer tournament, hosted by the Ethiopian Sport Federation of North America (ESFNA) is being held in the nation’s capital this year. The Washington D.C. Metropolitan area is home to the second largest Ethiopian population outside of Ethiopia, and tens of thousands of Ethiopian immigrants are expected to attend the D.C. event on July 4th weekend.

The tournament, which usually attracts youth and adults is adding special participatory events for children and families this year.

“In the past, we’ve done our best to accommodate children,” ESFNA PR Officer Fassil Abebe said, “This year, we’ve asked the local organizing committee to keep kids in mind and have some activities for them.” As for kids also being able to participate in sports including soccer, Abebe notes “we have it every year and this year is no exception. In fact there will be an all girls match.” In preparation for the tournament, ESFNA’s press release announced that soccer teams are conducting trial runs to select the 27 final teams that will compete at RFK Stadium between June 29 and July 5.

ESFNA’s annual soccer tournament goes beyond sports entertainment, allowing families and friends in North America’s Ethiopian immigrant population to come together in celebration of both sports and their cultural heritage. The tournament weekend is a popular time for networking, alumni gatherings, small business catering, music performances, and reunion parties. Local D.J. skills are displayed alongside traditional Ethiopian dances, which this year will also be part of a children’s talent show.

“Our entertainment line up is still being worked on as we speak” Abebe says, but it’s “safe to say that we will have famous cultural and contemporary artists accompanied by top notch musicians both at RFK on July 4th and the DC Armory on July 5th.”

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The crowd at the 2007 tournament in Dallas. Photo by Dagnu/ESFNA

The breadth of events and services provide an economic boon to local business, and being selected as a host city for the annual event is both a priviledge and a competitive endeavor. The general economic downturn, however, is one topic that the tournament’s organizers have also reflected on.

“We’ve talked about the economy affecting our turn out. But, we’ve confidence in Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia residing in or near D.C. to still come out strong and participate in the tournament.” With a wisp of optimism Abebe adds, “The fact that our event has become a yearly pilgrimage, if you will, for lots of Ethiopian families will also help.”

ESFNA has also announced that this year’s tournament schedule will include a voter registration drive on July 4th as part of the strong Ethiopian-American grassroots campaigning for the November presidential elections. Battleground States such as Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, and Minnesota have large Ethiopian immigrant populations.

Abebe points to ESFNA’s collaboration with Democratic support group Ethiopians for Obama. “We’ve been communicating about logistics for some time now. we’ve also assigned a contact person from our side to facilitate whatever Ethiopians for Obama might need during our tournament such as booth space, tables and chairs.”

“In return,” Abebe says, “Ethiopians for Obama are working very hard to have the Senator make an appearance if at all possible. Keep your fingers crossed.”

The Washington D.C. metropolitan area is home to the nation’s largest African immigrant population and the tournament’s focus on both a children-friendly environment and voter registration drives is sure to add more positive experiences for loyal pilgrims.

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Related: Hot Shots: D.C. Soccer Tournament
Learn more about the D.C. Soccer Tournament at ESFNA.ORG