Tadias! As a popular casual greeting the word invokes a sense of close relationship. With this in mind, we greet you to the first issue of our magazine. Tadias was envisioned in a spirit of collaboration and with the hope of creating a truly close relationship with our readers. Our purpose is to offer an outlet for our growing Ethiopian community to exchange ideas and learn from each other. It is our vision to recognize and showcase the talents of our people and our strong connection to a country vastly rich in culture.

Tadias is about the important events and issues that affect the lives of Ethiopians in America. It is about our work, businesses, careers, and children's future. The magazine will also reflect our history and tradition that has shaped our lives as Ethiopians and continues to influence new generations of Ethiopian-Americans. It will feature commentaries from academics, professionals, artists, students, scholars, leaders, and more. We will honor people that are making a difference in our community. The talented, the successful, innovative, and yes, even the ordinary will be showcased. We are intensely proud of our heritage, and are aware that Ethiopian-Americans are not merely a distinct immigrant group, but also vibrant members of modern-day America. This should, and will, be reflected in the magazine.

We warmly welcome submissions of articles, creative writings and artworks, from all readers of our magazine. We especially, encourage contributions by female writers and younger members of the Ethiopian-American community. Articles need not solely be concerned with the history and heritage of Ethiopia – We are sure that there is a wide range of untapped aspects of Ethiopian life just waiting to be explored in future issues of Tadias. We will gladly receive and research your recommendations of individuals to profile. Your suggestions and criticisms are always appreciated. Yes, criticize us if you must, and criticize us you should. This is the only way to assure our dream of building a high-quality publication, dedicated to the facets and various interest of the Ethiopian-American Community.

We hope that you find the inaugural issue of our magazine to your liking. It features a variety of articles, including Tasnim Fidali’s in-depth cover story interview with Amsale Aberra, Hollywood’s most sought after fashion designer. We hope the remarkable success story of this Ethiopian-born role model inspires others to follow in her footstep. The opinion piece by Steven Ivory, the Los Angeles-based African-American journalist, is intended to spark a healthy debate on the issue. We look forward to your participation on topics raised in our discussion forum.

The Editors

Cover story: Hollywood's most sought after fashion designer

Once a wedding gown is completed to perfection, Amsale Aberra experiences the thrill as well as jitters of getting married all over again. She tries on every gown and says, “If I were getting married next week, this would be the one.” Amsale is well known for her simple, elegant, and timeless creations.

Every bride on her wedding day, dreams to be flawless, beaming, and graceful in her dress. Amsale aspires her bride to be the star and not the gown. She emphasizes that, “It is such an important day, you want the dress to fit perfectly and be comfortable enough so you feel like you’re floating.” Amsale wedding gowns are exceptional for their rich fabrics, intricate handcrafted beading with crystal and lace accents, without being flashy. continued...


Liya Kebede: Rise of an Ethiopian Supermodel
23-year-old Liya Kebede, was not discovered by a modeling agency purely by chance. In her own words, she actively pursued her dream to make it a reality. Her willpower paid off as she was recently among the three nominees for model of the year award at the 2002 "VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards" and her face has graced the July cover of Vogue magazine. This talented young woman was born in Addis Ababa and briefly moved to France after completing her studies in the United States. She currently resides in New York City and has been featured in Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Allure, as well as participated in shows for designers Ralph Lauren, BCBG, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga. ta

Cats to Correlli: A San Francisco Christmas
This newly released CD by Composer JJ Hollingsworth reflects the cosmopolitan diversity of San Francisco and its music. Cats to Correlli brings together work by several composers ranging from Correlli's baroque style and jazzy arrangements of Christmas traditionals to freshly composed social commentary of "Christmas Cookies According to Martha Stewart's Cat." continued...

Book Review: The Ethiopians
Richard Pankhurst, Ethiopianist and Professor at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa, has published yet another descriptive historical work spanning Ethiopia's history from the Aksumite Kingdom to World War II invasion by Italy. He expertly maps out the introduction of Christianity, the Zagwe Dynasty, Solomonic descent of leaders, Islamic influence, the middle ages, and modernization under Emperor Menelik. Although much has been written about ancient Ethiopia, this book stands out as one that tries to cover a continuous historical account of ancient and modern history of Ethiopia. A must read for any Ethiopianist. ta

New Children's Book: When the World Began
Contrary to popular belief there is no shortage of children's storybooks on Ethiopian folktales. The recently published children's book, When the World Began, by Elizabeth Laird gathers stories told orally from one generation of Ethiopians to another. The folktales show the lives of Ethiopians from every walk of life - merchants, warriors, farmers along with stories of animals similar to those in Aesop's fables. Elizabeth Laird is a winner of the Reader's Choice award as well as the Children's book award, and has traveled extensively in Ethiopia. ta


Negotiating My Ethiopian Identity
When I was younger, my feelings about being Ethiopian were unambiguous. If I had to introduce myself back then, it would have been very simple and very straightforward: I was an “Abesha”. I felt that way because we ate “injera” every day, observed all the traditional and national holidays, upheld the same moral values as many Ethiopians, and acted according to the social decorum that our parents instilled in us. I was born to Ethiopian parents, and except for infancy spent in Belgrade, I lived in Addis Ababa until just before I turned 18... continued...

  My Own Kind
But when that day finally came, it reminded me of the scene in the movie "48 Hours," where Eddie Murphy ventures into a bar that happens to be a white country & western joint. My arrival was not nearly as spectacular, but I did elicit my share of curious glances. A bartender can set the mood for a patron, and the man pouring my drink was pleasant. However, our good-natured chat about the weather and the day's headlines wasn't enough to take the chill off this room. I casually looked around the place and couldn't find one face that appeared to hold much love for a newcomer. continued...

Ethiopic, An African Writing System
The purpose of the book is to discuss the origin, history, philosophy, and principles of the Ethiopic writing system. The work closely examines the role of the system in the literary and cultural traditions of Ethiopia.

The Ethiopic writing system is a system created and progressively upgraded in a highly diversified ecological and human environment. The exact date of its first creation is not yet known. The fabrication of the South Arabian or external paradigm in the 19th century further undermined the effort to accurately determine the historical origin of the system. continued...

Deir Sultan, Ethiopia and the Black World
Unknown by much of the world, monks and nuns of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, have for centuries quietly maintained the only presence by black people in one of Christianity's holiest sites-the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Through the vagaries and vicissitudes of millennial history and landlord changes in Jerusalem and the Middle East region, Ethiopian monks have retained their monastic convent in what has come to be known as Deir Sultan or the Monastery of the Sultan for more than a thousand years. continued...

Raising a Bilingual Child
Most Ethiopian parents struggle with the question of how to teach their toddlers their native language and English at the same time. While some parents choose to immerse their children only in their native tongue at home hoping that they will learn English at school, others opt for English only fearing that the children will be confused when they start school. continued...