Israel Admits to Sterilizing Ethiopian Jews

Some people who read this post may believe that it is impossible for this to happen in 2010; however, I can attest to the veracity of one aspect of this story. Recently my mother attended a school sponsored event in Potomac, Maryland. Upon her arrival the hostess glanced at her and imperiously informed her that the kitchen was in the back. My mother with aplomb, informed the lady that she was attending the event on behalf of her grandson who was a student attending the school. Upon hearing this, the woman grudgingly accepted my mother's proffered hand before stepping aside to let her pass. As my mother entered, the woman wiped her hand on her dress.

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Ethiopian Christmas 2012 | Melkam Gena!

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 01:22 AM EDT, 6 January 2012

ETHIOPIA - At the end of 2011, Jews, Muslims and Christians celebrated major holidays commemorating the end of their religious calendars. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christians in the Diaspora celebrate Christmas on the traditional 25th of December. However, all Ethiopians celebrate the holiday on the 7thof January which is the 29th of December on the Ethiopian calendar.

Also known as Liddet, Gena and Qiddus Bale Wold, the holiday actually begins at sundown of the 6th of January with a night long church service. Like Muslims and Jews, the traditional Ethiopian Orthodox Liturgical day always begins at sunrise and ends at sunset of the evening before the calendar date. Lidet is significant from a religious perspective, but does not have the commercial overtones that the festival has in Western countries.

Christmas also signals the end of 40 days of fasting which began on Advent (Sibket, in Amharic) and ends on Christmas Eve with the Feast of Gena. Like Muslims who fast for one month without eating or drinking from sunrise to sundown, Ethiopians also fast, but are allowed to consume vegetarian meals such as lentils, ground split peas, grains, fruit, varieties of vegetable stew accompanied by injera and/or bread. Meat and diary products are only eaten on feasting days i.e. Christmas, Epiphany, Easter and at all other times. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christians, Jews and Muslims do not eat pork as it forbidden by their religious beliefs.

The morning of Christmas begins with a spectacular procession. After the mass service, people go home to break the fast by eating chicken, lamb or beef accompanied by Injera and served in beautifully decorated baskets. It is a very festive occasion filled with joy, family, great food and song.  Watch the video below and enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu83TJAjfoI]

Weyni Mengesha | Ethiopian Film Director

Weyni Mengesha | Ethiopian Film Director

Weyni Mengesha, is an award winning director who has produced and directed performances of her work all across Canada, as well as in New York and London. This young and dynamic Habesha Nesh has big dreams some of which have been realized and others that are even now materializing because of her inner confidence, courage and dedication to following her truth. Mengesha is one of the founding artists of Sound the Horn (STH). In addition to serving the local community the organization also chose to focus on raising awareness about the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. The devastating impact of HIV/AIDS has been most severe in sub-Saharan countries. "At the end of 2009, there were 9 countries in Africa where more than one tenth of the adult population aged 15-49 was infected with HIV.

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SAMVOD | The Vagaries of Temptation

WASHINGTON, DC - Today in the nations capital it is gray and overcast and people continue to examine and prevaricate about the death of Osama Bin Laden with the latest assertions that he hid behind the skirt of his wife in an effort to avoid being shot. A claim which has subsequently been proven false. In any case since I am going to focus on some serious topics in the next few posts, I thought I would lighten the mood with a video that provides a funny take on the vagaries of temptation.

Hope you enjoy it.

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Melkam Gena | Ethiopian Christmas 2011

Melkam Gena | Ethiopian Christmas 2011

The Ethiopian church places a heavier emphasis on Old Testament teachings than one might find in any of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant churches, and its followers adhere to certain practices that one finds in Orthodox or Conservative Judaism. Ethiopian Christians, like some other Eastern Christians, traditionally follow dietary rules that are similar to Jewish Kashrut, specifically with regard to how an animal is slaughtered. Similarly, pork is prohibited, though unlike Rabbinical Kashrut, Ethiopian cuisine does mix dairy products with meat. Women are prohibited from entering the church during menses; they are also expected to cover their hair with a large scarf (or shash) while in church, per 1 Cor. 11. As with Orthodox synagogues, men and women are seated separately in the Ethiopian church, with men on the left and women on the right (when facing the altar). (Women covering their heads and separation of the sexes in church houses officially is common to some Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Christians, as well as many conservative Protestant and Anabaptist traditions; it also is the rule in some non-Christian religions, Islam and Orthodox Judaism among them.) Ethiopian Orthodox worshipers remove their shoes when entering a church, in accordance with Exodus 3:5 (in which Moses, while viewing the burning bush, is commanded to remove his shoes while standing on holy ground). Christmas is a public holiday in Ethiopia, and on Christmas Eve's night (Christmas Eve is on January 6, Christmas on January 7), Christian priests carry a procession through town carrying umbrellas with fancy decorations. (Christmas is called Ganna in Ethiopia) Then the procession finally ends at local churches where Christmas mass is held. (Christmas mass can also be held on Christmas morning). Then on Christmas morning, the people open presents and then they play outdoor sports (that are native to Africa) to celebrate. Usually the wealthy shares a medium-sized feast with the poor and a large feast with their family and friends.

Dishes include Doro Wat and Injera. Most people usually put up decorations that symbolize something relating to Christmas, like a male infant to represent the birth of Christ, or a small Christmas tree to represent Christmas decorations. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Happy Ethiopian New Year | Melkam Addis Amet!

Happy Ethiopian New Year | Melkam Addis Amet!

Enkutatash is the Ethiopian New Year which will be celebrated by the Gregorian calendar on 11 September 2010. The current year according to the Ethiopian calendar is 2002, which began on September 11, 2009 of the Gregorian calendar. The year 2003 will begin on September 11, 2010. Melkam Addis Amet! Happy New Year to all!

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Eritrean Beauties

Eritrean Beauties

Eritrea (pronounced /ˌɛrɨˈtreɪ.ə/ or /ˌɛrɨˈtriːə/;[6] Ge'ez: ኤርትራ ʾErtrā, Arabic: إرتريا Iritriya), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea. Its size is just under 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 5 million. The capital is Asmara." Photos of Eritrean Women by Dawit Rezenè.

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