belated Happy New Year to our Ethiopian readers! As
Dr. Ayele Bekerie's timely essay on the fascinating
history of the Ethiopian calendar reminds us, Ethiopians
celebrated their New Year on September 12. We hope
many of you had a chance to enjoy the festivities
and to gather with family and friends.
on the New Year, we are also mindful of the past and
revisit history in several articles. This year marks
the 100th anniversary of U.S.-Ethiopia diplomatic
relations. Liben Eabisa and Awetu Simesso reflect
on the continuing significance of the forging of these
relations. As part of our goal to promote the heritage
of Ethiopia, we have also included the first part
of an essay on Ethiopia's link to the Pan-African
movement. Scholar Lindsey Herbert outlines the history
of the Shashamane Rastafarians, tracing the origins
of their beliefs to Ethiopia, the keystone of Rastafarianism.
its inception, Tadias has worked to bridge the growing
Ethiopian communities in the United States (and abroad)
by foregrounding issues that are relevant to all of
us. We honor Drs. Reginald and Catherine Hamlin for
a lifetime of work to eradicate fistula, a problem
common in many developing countries where prenatal
care is limited or simply unavailable. The story of
the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the inspiring
accomplishments of a small but dedicated medical team
is the subject of Tseday Alehegn's essay. In her contribution
to increasing awareness of women's struggles and achievements,
Tasnim Fidali presents the pioneering work of Meaza
Ashenafi, the founder and executive director of the
Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), and reports
on some of the more prominent cases tackled by the
organization. Tadias is also pleased to review a film
on the impact of HIV/AIDS on Ethiopian women. This
compelling documentary, from Academy Award-nominee
Dorothy Fadiman and producer Amy L. Hill, discusses
the social implications of stigmatization as well
as approaches to combat the AIDS pandemic.
success story of Tesemma Gabriele Tesfa Guma, famed
guitarist and modern dancer, is sure to resonate with
many of our readers. Tesemma, who came to the United
States as a teenager, was a member of Philadanco for
several years before founding his band, Tangible Truth.
With their innovative sounds and infectious dynamism,
the band has won over fans and garnered much acclaim.
Ellias Fullmore introduces us to the Burntface movement,
a group of highly lyrical and conceptual artists blazing
the trail in African hip hop music. For the Burntface
artists, hip hop is more than just music; it is a
philosophy that embodies the ideas of unity in diversity
and social activism.
this vein, we at Tadias venture to inspire and educate.
We hope you find something of value in our fifth issue
and we hope the passionate stories presented in this
issue challenge you to embrace the world with open
arms. And, of course, to give back with open hearts.
please join us in welcoming Rekik Alehegn Mekonnen,
the new Editor-in-chief of Tadias Magazine.
|Dr. Catherine Hamlin & AFFCI: Inside the Fistula Project
"It is the oldest medical cause in the world. There is currency dug out of pyramids containing images of fistula, yet in the 21st century it is the most neglected cause," Dr. Catherine Hamlin tells us. While the last American hospital for fistula patients closed its doors in 1895, the first one of its kind opened almost 8 decades later in Ethiopia. Since its inception in 1974, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital founded by Dr. Reginald and Catherine Hamlin has treated over 25,000 women, the majority of whom have been cured and have returned to their villages to live healthy, normal lives. continued...
Hellina's Runway Designs
Hellina Mesfen, a Washington D.C.-based designer,
has made her mark by mixing fabric and non-traditional
fashion items. Hellina was born and raised in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia. This luminous lady started knitting
and doing simple patterns at the age of 10. While
her interest in fashion started at a young age, her
dream of designing clothes for herself and others
did not become reality until she came to the United
just wanted to send a quick note to tell you how
much I appreciate Tadias Magazine. In appreciation
and due to the Ethiopian New Year 1996, I herewith
send you the card I made. Please keep up the good
work and thanks for giving us a great magazine.
Via the Internet
I've greatly enjoyed each of your first four issues, and have made Tadias my guidebook to understanding Ethiopian culture. Jewish Family Service of Silicon Valley is working with a group of recent arrivals from Ethiopia, helping them to get settled in their new life. We offer many services, including English as a Second Language and Job Readiness classes. However, our clients still need your help! Anyone who would like to e-mail us advice about acculturating to life in the United States, or share with us your own success story, or send the contact information of local employers who might be helpful in placing our clients, can write to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will share these e-mails with our students. Thank you in advance for your support.
Jennie Brook, Career Counselor
San Jose, California
My response is to a letter in the August/September 2003 issue from Jessica Teshome regarding her relationship with her husband. Jessica, do you know that the population of Ethiopia is over sixty million? And the behavior of your husband represents only himself, not the entire Ethiopian society? You are wrong in comparing your view of the Ethiopian culture with your husband's behavior. Like every nation, Ethiopia also has people with both good and bad behavior and each and every one of us is responsible for our actions. You cannot hold an entire culture/nation accountable for the actions of individuals.
Samson A. Yetayew
Union City, California
Cover: Dr. Bogaletch Gebre
I read your cover story on Dr. Bogaletch and I was
impressed with this extraordinary woman. Thank you
for sharing with us her inspiring story in such
a compassionate way. I must say that your magazine
is making a leap forward with each issue. Keep up
the good work.
New York City, New York
warm thanks to Abdi and Senait of Sainte Claire Newsstand
in San Jose, California, for providing us with the
original copy of the 1917 Chicago Defender newspaper,
which was the subject of our history article in the