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Archive for November, 2009

The World’s Changing — The Media Isn’t

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 28, 2009

What do Ethiopia, Israel and Christianity have in common? The answer is: the three are permanently ridiculed and bashed by the self-hating world liberal media,

What do negative media images, conveyed by mainstream Western Media about Ethiopia communicate? What darkness prevails in the mind of the producer(s)? What gains for whom derive from journalistic bombast and unmitigated stereotype of the whole Ethiopian nation?

Nouns and adjectives like famine, drought, hunger, disease, AIDS, tribe, tribalism, underdeveloped, third world, dictatorship, corruption, over population, war, civil war, etc., are yet pervasive when Ethiopia is the story.

Ethiopia’s image in the Western Media is not a self-portrait. It is not a what you see is what you get. Because media conditioning shapes, molds, and monopolizes those images, references to Ethiopia are received sometimes with disdain and contempt. Even some Ethiopian descendants, who have virtually no cultural and moral competence, actually contribute to how Ethiopia is projected globally. Ashamed of their recent “heritage and socioeconomic development” some popular Ethiopian news-makers and blogs side with media characterizations projected through stories, datelines, specials, documentaries and nightline episodes. This attitude, while supremely disturbing, also abets the media-as if they need assistance-in defaming Ethiopia.

Of course, I don’t dare to blame for Ethiopia’s woes solely on the Western medias. They have been sufficiently aided and abetted by inept, corrupt and short-sighted political leadership and intellectuals who in my opinion must take most of the blame. Political figures and leading personalities who sold their souls to the Devil are the first who are exposing their people to all sorts of ignorance and exploitation

Yet, this permanent portrayals of Ethiopia in a bad light can only spread and prolong ignorance in a world much closer in proximity than ever before a media industry that thrives on the negative.

Ethiopia’s negative and contrived image, promoted in the Mainstream Media, pervades the psyche, pre-empts behaviors, infers worthlessness, and devalues the mind, while it attenuates human spirituality and connectivity: key ingredients in equitable planetary wealth sharing.

I wonder why the likes of the BBC have devoted a great deal of their resources and energy toward painting Ethiopia in a negative light for such a long time.

Those so affected by this practice must not only instigate its demise, but also they must independently try to research, investigate and study why these media-outlets are meanwhile famous to report in a meanspirited manner about our country.

Ethiopians attack BBC’s doom-laden coverage

I was expecting to see Ethiopian blogs post this particular news. None of them did, what a shame!

Ethiopian tour operators, in London for this month’s World Travel Market, have addressed a furious open letter to the BBC’s Director General, concerning the Corporation’s recent coverage of the drought in Ethiopia. The letter, signed by some 25 companies, accuses the BBC of casually dramatizing its broadcasts with footage from the infamous 1984 famine.

“Ethiopia,” they wrote, “has changed beyond all recognition since 1984, yet the BBC insists on showing images from that time. They are very intrusive and are deeply upsetting to many millions of Ethiopians.”

But beyond the matter of stung pride, the tour operators insist that the “doom-laden scenario” implied by the BBC’s use of old newsreel damages the national image, deterring foreign investment and scaring off tourists. “Investment, trade and tourism are key to Ethiopia’s development,” they claim “more so than aid.”

Which is true. The tourism industry currently accounts for approximately five per cent of Ethiopia’s GDP and tourism is a “featured component” of the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. With about 400,000 tourists a year, the country is still not exactly a hotspot, but adroit marketing of events like the 2007 ‘millennium’ and the annual Addis ‘Marathon’ (10km) have seen visitor numbers increase steadily over the last five years (visitors, incidentally, who invariably comment on green the country is).

Continue reading…


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November 25, 523 – Crucial Day in History

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 7, 2009


The amazing story below is about the massacre of Christians on the Arabian peninsula back in 500’s A.D.

It happened in what is present day Yemen, on November 25 – on the same day as the start to the Christian holy season prior to the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus – Lidet (Christmas) of Tsome Neviyat (the fast of the Prophets known as Sebket / Advent – 15 November to 28 December Ethiopian Calendar )

The massacre of Christians on November 25, 523 has changed the entire world history in a very mysterious fashion.

In the sixth century, the nation of Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) dominated the kingdoms of Himyar and Yemen on the southern Arabian peninsula. There were flourishing Christian churches in the area (also known as Homerites) which looked to Christian Abyssinia for protection.

It happened that a Himyarite Jew, Yusuf As’ar (better known by nicknames referring to his braids or ponytail: Dhu Nuwas, Dzu Nuwas, Dounaas, or Masruq), seized the throne from his king and revolted against Abyssinia, seeking to throw the Ethiopians out of the country. He captured an Ethiopian garrison at Zafar and burned the church there and burned other Christian churches.

Christians were strongest at the North Yemen city called Najran (sometimes spelled Nagran or Nadjran). Dhu Nuwas attacked it. The Christians held the town with desperate valor. Dhu Nuwas found he could not capture it. And so he resorted to treachery. He swore that he would grant the Christians of Najran full amnesty if they would surrender. The Christians, knowing they could not hold out forever, yielded against the advice of their leader Arethas (Aretas or Harith).

What happened next was so appalling that Bishop Simeon of Beth Arsham (a Syrian) traveled to the site to interview eyewitnesses and write a report… “The Jews amassed all the martyr’s bones and brought them into the church where they heaped them up. They then brought in the priests, deacons, sub-deacons, readers, and sons and daughters of the covenant…they filled the church from wall to wall, some 2,000 persons according to the men who came from Najran; then they piled wood all round the outside of the church and set light to it, thus burning the church with everyone inside it.”

In the ensuing week, hundreds more Christians were martyred, among them many godly women, who were killed with the most horrible tortures when they refused to renounce Christ. According to Simeon, many were told “Deny Christ and the cross and become Jewish like us; then you shall live.”

Versions differ as to date, but one says that it was on this day, November 25, 523, Dhu Nuwas took his vengeance on Arethas and 340 followers, killing them. These men were quickly included in martyr lists in the Greek, Latin and Russian churches. A song was even written about them by one Johannes Psaltes, although it reports only about 200 deaths.

Other accounts written within a century add that deep pits were dug, filled with combustible material, and set afire. Christians who refused to change faiths were hurled into the flame, thousands dying in this painful martyrdom. Some think that this is the event that the Koran refers to when it says, “Cursed be the diggers of the trench, who lighted the consuming fire and sat around it to watch the faithful being put to the torture!” although Muslim commentators deny this.

A wealthy lady named Ruhm was compelled to watch her virgin daughter and granddaughter executed and to taste their blood before she was killed herself. Asked how the blood tasted, she answered, “Like a pure, spotless offering.”

When word reached Constantinople, the Roman Emperor encouraged the Ethiopian king Ellesbaas (Ella Atsbeha or Kaleb) to intervene, as did the Patriarch of Alexandra. Ellesbaas was only too willing to do so, since his garrisons had been massacred and fellow Christians killed. He destroyed Dhu Nuwas and established a Christian kingdom. An Ethiopian-Jewish writing known as the Kebra Nagast regarded the downfall of Dhu Nuwas to be the final catastrophe for the Kingdom of Judah. Another Ethiopian book told the story of the massacre under the title The Book of the Himyarites.


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Ethiopia’s Cultural Cornucopia

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 7, 2009

omo-river-basin-jewelleryThe Omo is oddly reminiscent of the American west in the 19th century. Life revolves around cattle, gunplay and getting the girl.”

Exactly! I even “SEE” a striking similarity between some tribes of the OMO and the original Nordic tribes of Northern Europe.

UNTIL recent years the tribes of the Omo River Basin in the remote southwest of Ethiopia had not even heard of the nation of which they were a part. For all they knew of it, Addis Ababa might have been the dark side of the moon.Theirs is a traditional world.

The men count their wealth in cattle, their wives in goats and their status by the number of enemies they have murdered. They paint their bodies for war and celebration, and drink cow’s blood to revive their spirits. The women, among the most beautiful in Africa, scar their torsos in elaborate patterns for erotic effect, and in preparation for marriage insert plates the size of Frisbees in their lower lips. “This is what one dreamed about as a child,” a seasoned Africa traveller told me once. “An Africa untouched by our own culture.”

Continue reading…

Ethiopian tribes – picture galleries


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