2007-2008 -- 2009-2010
Ethiopian & Rastafari
by Aster Sellassie, Millennium Ed.
GeoAlaska: Theatre & Film
(c)2004 HIM contents (summary of the HS web-biography) *
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QuestionsEthiopia Reconsidered : Rastarafi
2004 & After
Notes2004. The cyber dreams. Then, six years ago, I thought that it could be done. The whole world came together with the miracle of Internet, how difficult could be to raise money for such a fundation? I overestamated myself, the Net and the world. No, there is no fundation -- and I do not know if, when and how it could take place.
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Visions of the Ethiopian Diaspora: Out of Africa, In America
"Ethiopian Passages: Dialogues in the Diaspora"
The opening of the exhibit also coincides with a century of U.S.-Ethiopian diplomatic relations, and as such, is receiving enthusiastic support from the Embassy of Ethiopia and the U.S. State Department.
05 May 2003 *
Addis Ababa city administration
mediaethiopia.com: the most significant aspect of the election that will be remembered for years is the long-coming total and complete defeat of the EPRDF candidates for seats representing the city of Addis Ababa.
[ the election of May 15, 2005 ]
The name of Haile Sellassie will find its way back to the official Ethiopian history without me, but I want to be a part of this process.
Ethiopians need books - and they will have food. Ethiopia needs educated Ethiopians in Ethiopia....
["Washington Times" 1985 article about how the fund are used by the military regime in Addis Ababa -- see Press]
Ethiopians, good runners, are slow, therefore the divine liturgy asked them to dance. King David danced in front of the Convent. Jesus danced after the last Supper. They sing for God to hear and they dance for Lord to see. That's the only time when they let their bodies to pray. Judging by the way they dance, they are true believers.
There were thousands of starving people without reason to rush to life or death. Starvation, not hunger, takes away the body, leaving the soul alone, alien by its nature to space and gravity. In Lent the spirit feeds the soul. In starvation there is no spirit; the soul becomes airy, making blood pale and cold. After losing its form, the soul disperses into corners of the body, which feels light and transparent. It seems that the air goes through the skin and there is no need to breathe. No need at all. This is how peace and freedom come about. No, the Ethiopians have no special pride or dignity. The world simply never had a closer look at starving humans. Yes, death by starvation is noble. There is no agony, no struggle, no pain. Trees die this way. They stop breathing and fall asleep. Once the body surrenders its domineering powers, the soul wants to leave this world -- it is in another world already. Starving souls don't want to survive because they are saved. Others have to feed them and bring them back to our world. Starving is having no will to live; in heaven there is no will but peace.
Droughts were no stranger to Eritrea, Tigre, Wallo, Shoa, and the great famines that came with it. Ethiopian monks proud of their recorded history wrote down stories about hunger of the ninth century and ten major famines that occurred within the two centuries following the expulsion of Muslim invaders in 1540. They, "the burnt people," the Ethiopians, learned to survive. The great famine of the last century caused widespread death and devastation all over the country, but they lived through hunger, and then in 1916 came another drought, then again in 1927, then again before the Italian war in 1934... And with every famine, the people ran from the condemned land to the south toward the better watered highlands of central Shoa. Famines were a part of their history of surviving. Famines moved the black tribes down farther and farther south. The Great Menelik II completed this migration as a military conquest. His empire was born in the times of the scramble for Africa, and the Ethiopians were the only native African nation among the European colonial powers to rule other Africans. The great famine came to punish the victors. It came in 1957 to warn the last emperor, and in 1964, and most severely in 1972. They say Haile Sellassie suppressed news about the catastrophe in Wallo, refused to appeal for help, and even exported Ethiopian grain. The new red rulers learned about that old punishment in 1985. Ancient gods of Abyssinia struck the communist empire with all their might. Over a million lives were lost. Did you repent, burnt people? Did you cry and drop your new flags and idols? Did you pray?
It came from the North again. The force. All knew that it was coming. The breath of the desert. Even the scholars knew their Ethiopian Africa as Sub-Sahara, under the desert land. The mountains had surrendered to powers of sun. The sun was a giver, and who are we to blame the source of life? You pray for another gift of life -- rain.
They were here before the times of Solomon. They lived here when the mighty Egyptian civilization disappeared, when the Greek Wonder ended and the Roman Empire collapsed. They carried their kingdom through centuries of Christianity, Islam, and colonial wars. They never changed their ways and didn't want to be changed even under the brutal hands of communist gods. They survived because they never changed anything and now they were dying because they didn't know how to live in the changed world. Now it was their time to meet the world -- finally the Grand End of local times reached the forgotten mountainous empire. It was time to die. Everything was mortal in the old universe, and -- Ethiopia, like every other traditional nation, committed suicide, starving herself to death.
If it became dry, if it became very dry. People entered it for its three hundred market-places; The king Darsesa went out and settled down in it, The king Oqbate went out and settled down in it, The king Amerga went out and settled down in it; They put in it the bracelet of the king Amerga. O intestines, listen; sinews, listen! One has hit us with an iron stick, Our flesh has become garlic. It is because of your child, of your Arabo, It is because of your child, of your Buserya. He slaughtered you like a lamb, He tied your feet to kill you like a bull. Arabo! What have you not eaten in the house of the victim! Busere! What have you not eaten! You have eaten the haunch of a big ox, You have eaten the tail of a castrated animal; Anker-honey vanquished you so much have you eaten of it, Denker-honey vanquished you. Even though you were not a small calf He cut your throat. If there is a future life, You will enter early in the morning; May one seat you on the gano-toga, On the golden bed of the karar-house. [Old Gurage song]Drought: 1983
The Baltics -- the states of Estonia, Latvia and, perhaps,
Litvinia -- disappeared in 1985. Or was it Moldova? No, it was
Holland! Oh? In one year the whole population of Switzerland
died. Did you noticed? I'm sorry, it was the state of Maryland.
What am I saying -- it was Chicago which suddenly died out. You
know, things happen. In 1983 there was such a place "Chicago" --
and in 1985 they all vanished, gone...
American government, of course, didn't count the bodies, nobody did. Lets say -- half a million, or three millions? Another number. The Russians still don't know how many citizens of the USSR they lost in WW II -- twenty or twenty seven millions! Did you hear the news -- there's another million of unaccountable Jews were killed, according to the British secret archives! Dead. What to talk about.
Let dead burry the dead. Americans treat past accordingly --
dead. They. big and small, with all their wisdoms and weaknesses,
hopes and problems, are gone. Nothing could be done. We are
disposable like everything else. We keep the best, we record,
thank you very much. Frankly, it's good that time is mortal. why
should we keep all the garbage? We need to fporget in order to go
ahead. We got this lesson from the past!
The future of the future? It has none.
...We are the children...
I know what bothered me -- "the children." The children in Ethiopia with AK-47 were shooting each other. We are the world...
The postmodern world of rockers and miscellaneous celebrities was sending food to the prehistorical desert. Simulacra proved to be more powerful. Images of starvation generated emotions and the charity industry went into full swing. The food were received by the army, which was killing the people.
|Sellassie WWW Family||@ 1998, 1999 The Imperial House of Sellassie||HIM Cyber University||webmaster||Ethiop Village|
Contacts between Britain and Ethiopia flourished during the ensuing reign of Menilek’s daughter, Empress Zawditu. Ras Tafari Makonnen (son of the Ras Makonnen who had visited Britain in 1902) was by then Heir to the Throne, and the person primarily responsible for foreign relations. After securing Ethiopia’s entry into the League of Nations in the previous year, he visited London in 1924, as part of a European tour, and made a number of British contacts. He discussed with the British Government the question of Ethiopia’s access to the sea, and returned with Emperor Tewodros’ crown, which had been taken to England by the Napier expedition and was then officially returned by the British Government. The Zawditu-Tafari period also witnessed the establishment of British consulates at Harar and the remoter commercial centres of Goré, Megga, and Maji. Several British consuls later produced interesting works, among them C H Walker’s The Abyssinian at Home, in 1933, and R E Cheesman’s Lake Tana and the Blue Nile, in 1936. Ethiopia’s British, and British Indian, communities increased significantly in these years.
Ababa at this time included Arthur Gardiner, a barrister-at-law who developed a legal practice in the city, and Fan c Dunckley, author of Eight Years in Abyssinia, 1935, a charming account of expatriate life at the time, written from a housewife’s angle. Other British travellers of the period included a scholarly businessman, Charles Rey, who was later buried in the British Legation. He was the author of several books, among them Unconquered Abyssinia, published in 1923, and In the Country of the Blue Nile, in 1925. Another writer of the time was a woman traveller, Rosita Forbes, author of From Red sea to Blue Nile in 1925, who visited the country’s best known historic sites, and arranged for the making of a film on Ethiopia which, unfortunately, it seems, is no longer extant. Another development of this time was the initiation of Anglican Church ministrations, which began under the auspices of the British Legation in 1926. They were held for most of the pre-war period by the Rev A F Matthew in a building in the centre of the town adjacent to the present Taytu Hotel. (Today’s Anglican church, St Matthew’s, was completed in 1956.
Emperor Haile Sellassie’s Coronation
A high point in Anglo-Ethiopian diplomatic relations, on the formal side, was Emperor Haile Sellassie’s coronation in November 1930, at which Britain was represented by HRH the Duke of Gloucester. He arrived at the head of a large delegation and was warmly received as an honoured guest. Also attending the coronation were a number of British journalists, among them the young Evelyn Waugh, who as a result of his travels wrote Remote People in 1931 and, in satirical vein, Black Mischief and, later Scoop. The royal celebrations were also extensively reported in the Illustrated London News and other British publications of the day. The British Minister of this time, Sir Sidney Barton, was a significant figure in the history of the Legation. Haile Sellassie, like Menilek before him, relied on experts from many lands, including Britain. An Englishman, Frank de Halpert, was thus appointed as adviser on the abolition of slavery, which a Canadian, C S Collier, the governor of the state-owned Bank of Ethiopia (the successor of the private Bank of Abyssinia) served as chief financial adviser. The British community, though influential, at this time was little more than seventy-five strong. The 3,000 or so British Indians, by contrast, were one of the largest foreign communities. Their numbers were, however, greatly reduced during the subsequent Italian occupation. [ UK Embassy ]