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Monday, February 19, 2018

Guess what the Movie "The Black Panther" is not based on a mythical or fictional land, but it is based on Ethiopia.

Guess what the Movie "The Black Panther" is not based on a mythical or fictional land,  but  it is based on Ethiopia.


After hearing, watching and reading about The Black Panther 's reaction from people yesterday I decided to go to the movie theater to watch it,unfortunately the 7:00PM show was sold out and they told me I had to return to the 9:15 PM show. Since I did not have that time to stay till 9PM and I decided to watch it  for some other day and left . Then,  I returned to my office and soon I got a news feed from BBC about The Black Panther , the news was a video clip from BBC Africa an  interview given by one of the cast  member Lupita Nyong'o about the movie's premiere in South Africa .

During the interview Lupita said The Black Panther is based on a "fictional" African country which is  never been colonized and has been independent  and she said her character NAKIA   is a warrior  and queen who is defending her land from invaders.

Daaa! That country  is Ethiopia and her character is an Ethiopian Queen, who is  the greatest queen of the world called   MAKIDA or  aka QUEEN OF SHEBA or some call it SHIBA.  Also I was watching in the internet some pictures from The Black Panther how the costume is influenced by African culture and some of the narratives are  African real lives. 


So the movie  "The Black Panther" is not based on a fictional or mythical land but  it is based on real country and real people.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

U.S. Embassy Statement on the Ethiopian Government’s Declared State of Emergency

We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency that includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression.
We recognize and share concerns expressed by the government about incidents of violence and loss of life, but firmly believe that the answer is greater freedom, not less.
The challenges facing Ethiopia, whether to democratic reform, economic growth, or lasting stability, are best addressed through inclusive discourse and political processes, rather than through the imposition of restrictions.
The declaration of a state of emergency undermines recent positive steps toward creating a more inclusive political space, including the release of thousands of prisoners. Restrictions on the ability of the Ethiopian people to express themselves peacefully sends a message that they are not being heard.
We strongly urge the government to rethink this approach and identify other means to protect lives and property while preserving, and indeed expanding, the space for meaningful dialogue and political participation that can pave the way to a lasting democracy.

###
SOURCE

Ethiopia's New State of Emergency detail released

Ethiopia's New State of Emergency  detail released

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg's Valentine's Day photo got spammed after Facebook blocked an Ethiopian activist

Mark Zuckerberg's Valentine's Day photo got spammed after Facebook blocked an Ethiopian activist

  • Mark Zuckerberg posted a Valentine's Day picture of himself and his older daughter sharing pizza on the roof of Facebook's headquarters.
  • The post was quickly swarmed with dozens of comments calling on the company to unblock the account of an Ethiopian activist.
  • Facebook late Wednesday apologized and reversed course by unblocking the account.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Location:  Nationwide
Event:  Following this afternoon’s resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Embassy Addis Ababa is closely monitoring Ethiopia’s reaction.  While we are not currently aware of any impact on the security environment, this significant political development may lead to unpredictable security issues.
At this time, all travel for embassy personnel outside of Addis Ababa must have advance Embassy approval.
Actions to Take:
  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Employ sound security practices.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings, including local events.
  • Remember that the security environment in Ethiopia is fluid and can deteriorate without warning.
Assistance:
  • S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
+251-111-306-000
+251-111-306-911 or 011-130-6000 (after hours)
addisacs@state.gov
[https://et.usembassy.gov/]
  • State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Ethiopia prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigns

Hailemariam Desalegn says he has submitted his resignation as both Ethiopia's prime minister and chairman of the country's ruling coalition.
Hailemariam Desalegn says he has submitted his resignation as both Ethiopia's prime minister and chairman of the country's ruling coalition.
Hailemariam's announcement comes amid a political crisis and lingering unrest in the Horn of Africa country, which has been releasing thousands of political prisoners to ease tensions.
"Unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many," Hailemariam said in a televised address on Thursday.
"I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy," he said.

Hailemariam added, however, that he will stay on as prime minister in a caretaker capacity, until the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the country's parliament accept his resignation and name a new premier.
Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow, reporting from Doha, said parliament will meet on Friday to choose Hailemariam successor and noted that Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu is considered to be a leading candidate for the position.
"If they choose a candidate from either of the two main groups who have been protesting for most of the past three years, the Oroma and the Amhara, then it will be interesting to see how they are going to appease the other group that they leave out of this coalition," he said.
Hundreds of people have died in a wave of violence across Ethiopia, initially sparked by an urban development plan in the capital, Addis Ababa, in 2015.
The unrest spread as demonstrations against political restrictions and human rights abuses broke out.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Trump wants to deport immigrants who use public benefits

Rachel Leah02.09.20189:18 AM
The Trump administration, known for its crusade against illegal immigration, is now moving to restrict legal immigration, too.
The Department of Homeland Security is considering a process that would take into account whether legal immigrants or their American-born children rely on certain public benefits. DHS has already drafted new rules, according to Reuters, "that would allow immigration officers to scrutinize a potential immigrant’s use of certain taxpayer-funded public benefits to determine if they could become a public burden." Under the proposed new rules, legal immigrants could be ordered deported for using a wide variety of benefits. Some of these benefits outlined in the new rules are government pre-school programs like Head Start, food assistance programs, or subsidies for health insurance premiums or utility bills.
Since 1999, authorities were barred from weighing non-cash benefits when determining an immigrant's eligibility to come to the United States or stay here, but the proposed rules seek to abandon those measures. And while immigration law already requires the exclusion of someone from permanent residence in the U.S. if they are likely to become a "public charge," since 1999 a "public charge" is attributed to someone "primarily dependent on the government for subsistence." This means direct cash assistance or long-term government-funded care, not non-cash benefits like public education.
"Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations," the document states."An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States."
Under the new draft rules, if a person depends on "any government assistance in the form of cash, checks or other forms of money transfers, or instrument and non-cash government assistance in the form of aid, services, or other relief," the document says, they could be treated as a "public charge."
Health insurance subsidiaries outlined in the Affordable Care Act, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), WIC, the food program for pregnant women, nursing women and their children, vouchers for transportation and housing, Head Start, the early education program for low-income children, and subsidies to assist poor people with paying their heating bills are some of the benefits highlighted for consideration in the new draft rules, according to Reuters.
Permanent residents applying for citizenship would not be affected, but the rules would apply to family members of U.S. citizens, people who were recruited to work by U.S. companies and in general, the vast population of migrants living and working in the U.S.
The potential move from the Trump administration comes as President Donald Trump has expanded his target from illegal immigration to immigration more generally. He's already encouraged the end to a visa lottery program and chain migration, which is a process that can help keep families together.
The difference here, is for many of Trump's fiery and harsh-lined tweets that he promises to turn into policy, to do so the proposals need congressional support. But with DHS's draft rules, "several immigrant advocates and current and former U.S. officials said the proposed rules could advance the administration’s goals without changing U.S. law, by effectively barring lower- and middle-income people from immigrating," Reuters reported.
This could have devastating effects for immigrants in need of these services (that they are entitled to) for fear of repercussions. Charles Wheeler, director of training and legal support at Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., told Reuters, "It’s going to scare a lot of people into yanking their children off of needed healthcare, school programs, child nutrition programs, basic sorts of subsistence-level programs that have kept the population healthy and employable."

Exclusive: Trump administration may target immigrants who use food aid, other benefits (WASHINGTON (Reuters) )

http://ethiopianpowerofattorney.com/
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is considering making it harder for foreigners living in the United States to get permanent residency if they or their American-born children use public benefits such as food assistance, in a move that could sharply restrict legal immigration.

The Department of Homeland Security has drafted rules seen by Reuters that would allow immigration officers to scrutinize a potential immigrant’s use of certain taxpayer-funded public benefits to determine if they could become a public burden.

For example, U.S. officials could look at whether the applicant has enrolled a child in government pre-school programs or received subsidies for utility bills or health insurance premiums.

The draft rules are a sharp departure from current guidelines, which have been in place since 1999 and specifically bar authorities from considering such non-cash benefits in deciding a person’s eligibility to immigrate to the United States or stay in the country.

“Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations,” the document states. “An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States.”
http://ethiopianpowerofattorney.com/
Receiving such benefits could weigh against an applicant, even if they were for an immigrant’s U.S. citizen children, according to the document.

“The administration is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer,” said Tyler Houlton, a DHS spokesman. “Any potential changes to the rule would be in keeping with the letter and spirit of the law – as well as the reasonable expectations of the American people for the government to be good stewards of taxpayer funds.”

In 2016, nearly 383,000 people who would be subject to the new standards obtained permanent residence while already in the United States, according to DHS statistics. The rules would not apply to permanent residents applying for citizenship, but would apply to a wide range of people living or working in the United States, including close family members of U.S. citizens and workers employed by U.S. companies.

In addition, nearly 620,000 other immigrants living abroad obtained U.S. permanent residence through the State Department in 2016. If DHS publishes a new rule, the State Department will decide then whether to change its guidance, said Ashley Garrigus, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

U.S. immigration law has long required officials to exclude a person likely to become a “public charge” from permanent residence. But current U.S. guidelines, in place since 1999, narrowly define “public charge” to be a person “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence,” either through direct cash assistance or government-funded long-term care.

Current guidance instructs immigration officers to look at a narrow range of public benefits in trying to determine whether someone is likely to become a burden, specifically directing officers not to consider most non-cash benefits, such as government food assistance programs or preschool programs.

The new rules, if adopted in their current form, would significantly change these guidelines. Under the draft rules, a person would be considered a “public charge” if they depend on “any government assistance in the form of cash, checks or other forms of money transfers, or instrument and non-cash government assistance in the form of aid, services, or other relief,” according to the document seen by Reuters.
IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS

Trump, who took a hard line on illegal immigration during the 2016 presidential campaign, has in recent months also taken aim at legal immigrants. He has advocated ending a visa lottery program and some kinds of family-based immigration. But many of the administration’s proposals would require congressional action.

Several immigrant advocates and current and former U.S. officials said the proposed rules could advance the administration’s goals without changing U.S. law, by effectively barring lower- and middle-income people from immigrating.

“The big picture here is the administration is trying to accomplish by regulation the substantive changes to immigration law that it has proposed be enacted by statute,” said Barbara Strack, a career DHS official who retired in January and helped draft the 1999 rules.

The experts and officials said they were also worried that the proposed changes would dissuade immigrants from using services to which they are entitled.

“It’s going to scare a lot of people into yanking their children off of needed healthcare, school programs, child nutrition programs, basic sorts of subsistence-level programs that have kept the population healthy and employable,” said Charles Wheeler, director of training and legal support at Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

A 2017 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that 5.5 percent of immigrant households with children received cash assistance, compared to 6.3 percent of native households. Four percent of immigrant households used housing assistance, compared to five percent of native households. And about 46 percent of immigrant households used Medicaid, compared to 34 percent of native households.

Conservatives have long expressed concerns about non-citizens’ access to public benefits, saying it is a drain on resources that should go to U.S. citizens.

“Efforts to limit immigrant access to these programs mostly have not been very successful,” said Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors stricter immigration policies.

Among the benefits singled out in the draft rule for consideration are: health insurance subsidies such as those provided by the Affordable Care Act; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); WIC, a federal program that feeds poor pregnant or nursing women and their children; transportation and housing vouchers; programs that help the poor pay their heating bills; and programs such as Head Start, which provides early education to low-income children.

Some benefits would not be considered in making the “public charge” determination under the draft regulations, including emergency or disaster relief, public health assistance for immunizations, attending public school, receiving free or reduced-price school lunches, and earned benefits such as disability insurance, Medicare and unemployment payments.

Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Sue Horton and Ross Colvin
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Donald Trump's Decision to Stop Visa Lottery Will End Green Card Backlog: White House

Washington: US President Donald Trump's immigration framework will end the diversity lottery visa to help reduce green card backlog of high-skilled workers, the White House said today amid growing demands by Indian H-1B visa holders to remove the per country-limit on its allotment.

Indian-Americans, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the US mainly on H-1B work visas are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a seven percent per country quota on allotment of green cards or permanent legal residency.


As a result, the current wait period for Indian skilled immigrants for the green card can be as long as 70 years. Over the last one week, many Indian skilled immigrants gathered in Washington DC from various parts of the US to ask the Trump Administration and Congress to remove this major anomaly in the immigration system.
"President Trump's framework would end the visa lottery programme and reallocate some of the visas to help reduce the backlog of high-skilled, employment-based immigrant cases," the White House said in a fact sheet titled 'ending the economic harm caused by our immigration system'.

Later in the evening, Trump called for ending the visa lottery system. "Time to end the visa lottery. Congress must secure the immigration system and protect Americans," he tweeted.

The White House said Trump favoured a merit-based immigration system, which attracts the best and the brightest from across the world.

"I think the president wants to see legal immigration reform. He wants to see us move from a process that currently exists in law of extended family chain migration toward merit-based immigration reforms," White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters during his first ever White House press conference.

እውነት ይሆን? ትራምፕ የመኖሪያ ፍቃድ ኖሯቸው ግን በመንግስ ድጎማ የሚኖሩትን ግለሰቦች ለማባረር እቅድ አለው እየተባለ ነው።

ማሳሰቢያ ! ይህንን  ዜና  በጥንቃቄ አንብቡት።  Just ወሬ  ብቻ  ሊሆን  ወይም  እውነት ሊሆን  ይችላል።  ዜናውን  የምታነቡ  ሁሉ GOOGLE ላይ መፈለግ  ስለምትችሉ  ይህንን  ዜና  ብቸኛ  መረጃ  አድርጋችሁ  መውሰድ የለባችሁም ። በተቻላችሁ  መጠን ለሌላ  ሰው  ከመንገረችሁ  በፊት  ወሬውን አጣሩ

UPDATE:

Exclusive: Trump administration may target immigrants who use food aid, other benefits (WASHINGTON (Reuters) )



http://ethiopianpowerofattorney.com/
እውነት ይሆን?  ትራምፕ  የመኖሪያ  ፍቃድ ኖሯቸው  ግን  በመንግስ ድጎማ  የሚኖሩትን  ግለሰቦች ለማባረር እቅድ አለው?
እረጋ  ብላችሁ  ይህንን  ዜና  አንብቡት  እና  እራሳችሁ  ፍረዱ።  ግን  ይህ ዜና  እውነት  ይሆን? አደራ  ለሌላ  ሰው ከማካፈላችሁ  በፊት  በጥሞና  አንብቡት

Trump Could Try to Deport Legal Immigrants Who Get Federal Benefits

ምንጭ 

 





The administration doesn’t just want to restrict legal and illegal immigration — it wants to make more immigrants illegal and thus deportable.

The first big move in this direction was the president’s recent immigration proposal to Congress, which offered a path to citizenship for Dreamers in exchange for, among other things, major changes in the number and type of people who are allowed to enter the country legally.

Now comes a very different kind of initiative that Trump may try to implement by executive order: new rules that can make use of a broad variety of public benefit programs grounds for not granting citizenship or actually being deported, even for people who follow all of the rules of legal immigration.
http://ethiopianpowerofattorney.com/


The lever the administration plans to apply, according to a draft executive order, is an old and not-very-frequently-applied principle whereby prospective immigrants judged to be a “public charge” — i.e., people completely dependent on the government — can be excluded from the country, even if they are otherwise eligible to come in. Under the proposed new rule, any use of nonemergency and unearned government benefits could become grounds for exclusion or deportation, even if the person involved is contributing (or will soon contribute) significantly to the workforce and to the U.S. Treasury. Here’s what that could mean in a practical manner, according to an immigration think tank:

Under current interpretation, green-card holders may become deportable as public charges only if they use cash welfare or are institutionalized in long-term care funded by the government. (Under the welfare law, they can only be deported as public charges within their first five years of U.S. residency.) If implemented as written in the leaked executive order, legal immigrants could be ordered deported for using a wide variety of benefits, potentially including food and nutrition assistance, federally subsidized health insurance through Medicaid or the ACA, and education benefits.


http://ethiopianpowerofattorney.com/


And it gets worse. Sponsors for legal immigrants could soon get payment-overdue notices from the Feds for any benefits the people they sponsor receive:


The draft order also instructs federal agencies to request reimbursement for benefits used by legal immigrants. (The welfare law currently allows agencies to collect benefits used by LPRs who have not become citizens or who have not worked for at least ten years.) The government would need to determine the cost of benefits used by each immigrant, locate his or her sponsor, send a notice requesting payment, and ultimately pursue the sponsor legally or hire a collection agency.

The crucial sleight of hand in this draft order is to treat anyone receiving public benefits, however small or appropriate or justified on humanitarian grounds, as a deadbeat. That’s made plain in the leaked document:

“Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations,” the document states. “An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States.”
http://ethiopianpowerofattorney.com/


And there’s your supposed nexus to “securing the borders” and the fight against illegal immigration: If we let legal immigrants get benefits of any kind, it will be a “magnet” for the undocumented.

Except that it doesn’t really make sense to think that people are going to cross the border illegally in order to get relatively small and random federal benefits — particularly since the biggest potential benefit, access to public schools, is excluded from the order because the courts have deemed it a right. And in any event, treating beneficiaries of programs like Medicaid as presumptively deadbeat (when arguably the public benefits significantly from their better health) is a concept that can easily be applied to citizens as to noncitizens. It’s indeed a slippery slope when you start treating poor or needy people as scum.




According to an analysis from Reuters, the proposed new rule would mostly come into play for legal immigrants applying for the permanent-resident status that puts them on the road to citizenship.

The rules would not apply to permanent residents applying for citizenship, but would apply to a wide range of people living or working in the United States, including close family members of U.S. citizens and workers employed by U.S. companies.

It’s unclear how close the administration is to promulgating the order or something very much like it. But if it is released, there will be legal challenges and political blowback. A big part of the rationale for the infamous Proposition 187 that California voters approved in 1994 denying state benefits to undocumented immigrants was the supposed burden they placed on taxpayers. It wound up offending legal immigrants so much that it damaged GOP prospects in California for a very long time. This latest gambit isn’t even squarely aimed at the undocumented. It’s not going to go over well with those who have played by the rules and are still being stigmatized.


www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Americas
Feb 1, 2017 - President Trump and his administration are reportedly considering a plan to deny would-be immigrants and deport legal immigrants living in the country ... Yet households headed by aliens are much more likely than those headed by citizens to use Federal means-tested public benefits,” the first draft reads, ...
www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Americas
Feb 1, 2017 - Donald Trump's administration is considering a plan to deport immigrants who rely on welfare programmes like food stamps, according to a leaked draft ... headed by aliens (legal and illegal) are much more likely than households headed by native-born citizens to use federal means-tested public benefits.
https://www.salon.com/.../trump-wants-to-deport-immigrants-who-use-public-benefits/...
3 days ago - The Department of Homeland Security is considering a process that would take into account whether legal immigrants or their American-born children rely on certain public benefits. DHS has already drafted new rules, according to Reuters, "that would allow immigration officers to scrutinize a potential ...
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/us/politics/dhs-immigration-trump.html
Feb 21, 2017 - The rules authorize expelling undocumented immigrants who have committed even minor offenses, and they make it easier to immediately deport people. ... is the new front line: A group of lawyers scramble to get their clients into the country, while preparing a legal challenge to Trump's immigration ban.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/us/trump-immigration-deportation.html
Jan 26, 2017 - It offers an expansive definition of who is considered a criminal — a category of people Mr. Trump has said he would target for deportation. ... have suggested that Mr. Trump will try to push for expedited removals, which could speed the process, and give immigrants less time to find legal representation.
www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-deportations-20170204-story.html
Feb 4, 2017 - Some 6 million to 8 million people in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation under President Trump's executive order. ... Arizona's "papers, please" law that was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012 on the grounds that the state was trying to enforce federal immigration laws.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/.../how-trumps-new-plan-affects-the-11-million-undocume...
Feb 22, 2017 - The Trump administration on Tuesday released an aggressive plan to stop illegal immigration, warning that all of the estimated 11 million ... work with the victims of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants, and an expansion of the number of unauthorized immigrants who can be deported through an ...
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/trump-immigrants/515310/
Feb 1, 2017 - Among other things, they call for the deportation of poor legal immigrants who take any government welfare, an extraordinarily broad group that could ... Undocumented workers are barred from public benefits, and most immigrants cannot receive federal benefits like SNAP for their first five years in the U.S. ...
https://www.factcheck.org/2017/06/twisting-facts-draft-executive-order/
Jun 28, 2017 - That would presumably be in addition to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which President Bill Clinton signed in 1996. It blocks many legal immigrants from receiving a range of federal benefits for five years. Trump's proposed FY 2018 budget, which was released in May, ...
https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/politics/trump-immigrants-welfare-5.../index.html
Jun 25, 2017 - President Donald Trump proposed Wednesday night reforming the welfare system by putting into law a statute that has been the law of the land since 1996.

 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Breaking News: Ethiopia may release Eskinder Nega and other poetical prisoners


እስክንድር ነጋና አንዱዓለም አራጌን ጨምሮ  ታራሚዎችና ጉዳያቸው በክስ ሂደት የነበሩ 746 ግለሰቦች በይቅርታና ክሳቸው ተቋርጦ እንዲለቀቁ መወሰኑን ጠቅላይ አቃቤ ህግ ገለፀ  በተለያዩ ወንጀሎች ፍርደኛ  የነበሩ  417 ታራሚዎች ይቅርታ እንዲደረግላቸው በይቅርታ ቦርድ ተወሰነኗል። የፌዴራል ጠቅላይ አቃቤ ሕግ ዛሬ እ

Ethiopia may release Eskinder Nega and other poetical prisoners  
አቶ ሉሉ መሰለ፣ መርዲኪዮስ ሽብሩ፣ ሉሉ መሰለ



, በጋሻው ዱንጋ፣ ጌታሁን ቃጾ እና ካሣሁን ሌሊሳ ይገኙበታል።

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Addis Ababa: 10 best things to do in Ethiopia's capital

Addis Ababa: 10 best things to do in Ethiopia's capital


(CNN) — Rambunctious, manic, beguiling, exciting -- it's hard to accurately describe Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia's capital, which translates as "New Flower" in the country's Amharic language, shows little sign of losing its youthful, lusty edge and is the pulsing heart of this eclectic nation's resurgence as one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
"Addis," as it's often simply known, is the world's third-highest capital city at 2,400 meters, and has worn its heart on its sleeve since it was founded by Ethiopian Emperor Menelik about 1892.
Life is lived very much outdoors on its bustling streets thanks to comfortable temperate weather boosted by months of nonstop sunshine.
"Perhaps the highest praise one can direct at this chaotic, contradictory and compelling city is this: Addis Ababa does feel exactly as the Ethiopia capital should feel -- singularly and unmistakably Ethiopian," says travel writer Philip Briggs.
Here's 10 of the best things to check out when you travel to Addis. 1. Black gold
Addis Ababa best things coffee Tomoco Ethiopia is famous for its coffee and Tomoca is one of the oldest joints in town.
James Jeffrey
It's impossible to separate Ethiopian culture -- that unparalleled Ethiopian-ness -- from coffee.
This is the land of the finest Arabica coffee -- as legend would have it, discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd boy and his goats sometime around the sixth century.
And Addis is the city of cafés, traditional coffee stalls in bars and restaurants, and women walking the streets with thermos flasks -- all dispensing potent high-quality coffee.
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All modes of coffee distribution are worth trying, though you may struggle to sleep for some time afterward.
One of the city's first roasters and deserving of legendary status is the original Tomoca Coffee shop off Churchill Avenue (Tomoca, Wawel St, Addis Ababa; +251 91 122 1412).
Alem Bunna off Bole Road is another traditional favourite, while Kaldi's Coffee chain offers a more modern, Starbucks-esque experience, popular with hip and trendy young things. (Kaldi's Coffee, Sarbet Adams Pavillion Building, Roosevelt St, Addis Ababa; +251 11 371 4258)
Extra tip: The delicious Ethiopian version of a macchiato is worth a try -- many foreigners confess to being unable to start their days without two of them. Or you could ask for a spriss, which is half coffee and half tea.
2, Local art and fashion
Addis Ababa best things art
Addis Ababa's arts scene is thriving. Makush Art Gallery is a popular draw.
James Jeffrey
Ethiopia's expanding art scene is aptly demonstrated by the 600-plus painting collection at Makush Art Gallery off Bole Road.
Another good spot is Asni Gallery and Café in Kebena. Many hotels, such as the Hilton and Radisson Blu, do a good job of displaying impressive works by local artists.
When it comes to fashion, Ethiopian designers like to combine the old with the new as illustrated by the Mafi label of Mahlet Afework, one of the best known and most daring designers.
Yefikir Design specializes in Ethiopia's traditional style of white cotton with strips of intricate colourful patterns along edges. (Yefikir Design, Africa Ave, Addis Ababa; +251 93 003 5109)
Extra tip: When it comes to shopping, the Mercato market -- one of Africa's largest --- occupies a swathe of the city easily missed by tourists. It's an eyeful to say the least, in which anything appears to be available, though it's best go with an Ethiopian guide, and with a watchful eye on your pockets.
3. Dancing
Ethiopians are superb dancers. Regardless of age, all Ethiopians appear to relish the chance to hit the dance floor (or turn any location into a dance floor). And they love it when a foreigner joins in, or at least tries to.
At night -- especially at the weekend -- the city's old central Piazza neighborhood becomes a hedonistic warren of tight alleys throbbing with neon lit bars emitting booming music styles from across the country. Ask for Jambo House or Arada if you want to see locals letting their hair down in style (the latter being particularly popular with boisterous, energetic student-types)
You can't beat finding a so-called "azmari bet" for live music and to witness the wild, eye-popping traditional iskista dance of the Amhara people.
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The city's evolving music scene will keep you guessing with its variety, ranging from Ethio-Jazz -- the African Jazz Village bar at the Ghion Hotel close to Meskal Square offers one of the best examples of this Ethiopian speciality -- to Amharic rap pumping out of bars and nightclubs. (Ghion Hotel, Ras Desta Damtew Av. Addis Ababa; +251 115 513 222)
Extra tip: The easy-to-miss Fendika asmari bet near the Radisson Blu is a long-time favorite, where you can also try a glass of Ethiopia's fabled tej honey wine. (Fendika, Zweditu Street, Addis Ababa; +251 91 154 7577)
4. Ethiopian history
Ethiopians take their history very seriously, and they have good reason: Ethiopia has one of the world's oldest Christian traditions. It was one of only two African countries not colonized, plus it's widely accepted that the first humans came from the Rift Valley running through Ethiopia.
Hence, in the National Museum of Ethiopia, you'll find the legendary Lucy, the oldest and most complete hominid skeleton ever discovered, which was found in the northeastern Danakil desert (an amazing travel experience itself). (National Museum of Ethiopia, King George VI St., Addis Abab; +251 11 111 7150).
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Then there's the treasure trove of the Ethnological Museum, on the Addis Ababa University main campus (Algeria Street, Addis Ababa; +251 92 074 7162), showing the full sweep of Ethiopia's cultural and social history across two floors filled with all sorts of ancient artifacts, Ethiopian art and religious icons.
Extra tip: Addis Ababa serves as the hub of Ethiopian Airlines, which provides an excellent domestic service to visit the historic marvels around the country such as Lalibela's rock-hewn churches and Harar's ancient walled city.
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5. Local food
Addis Ababa best things injera
Injera is Ethiopia's national dish -- a grey, spongy bread with vegetables and sauce toppings.
James Jeffery
It's a rite of passage to try local staple injera -- a spongy pancake-like bread piled with various meats, vegetables and delicious hot sauces.
Addis has a number of well-known traditional restaurant options, which typically also put on traditional dancing displays while you eat.
The 2000 Habesha Cultural Restaurant is a longstanding favorite (Namibia Street, Addis Ababa; +251 11 618 2253).
Farther from the city center is Totot Restaurant (+251 11 646 0718) in Mebrat Hail, specializing in kitfo, a spicy minced beef dish often praised by Ethiopian supermodels for its nutritional powers.
Extra tip: It's well worth diving into any of the thousands of local eateries serving traditional Ethiopian fare -- it's relatively safe to go truly local as food is well prepared. You shouldn't be deterred by windows full of carcasses that accompany most local restaurants: meat doesn't come fresher, served straight from the fire.
6. Food that's not injera
If you end up feeling the need for some more familiar sustenance, there are plenty of Western-styled restaurant options in Addis because of the city's role as a diplomatic hub with a large expat community working for international organizations.
Ristorante Castelli (Mahatma Gandhi St, Addis Ababa; +251 11 157 1757) is one of the most famous, an Italian restaurant in the old Piazza area that has fed royalty, film stars and ex-US presidents.
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Other restaurants frequently recommended by Addis residents include Italian restaurant Grani di Pepe (28th Roundabout Abuare, Addis Ababa; +251 93 370 6647) and Belgium-themed Le Grand Rêve (+251 94 670 7892).
At Sky Steak House on the 8th floor of Dreamliner Hotel you can enjoy a good steak while watching airplanes taking off and landing at Bole International airport. Sichuan Restaurant (Oda Bldg. 3rd Floor; Kassanchis; +251 91 160 3926) is recommended for quality Chinese food.
Extra tip: If you're simply after a good old-fashioned burger then most say you can't beat Sishu Restaurant (+251 92 006 1063) on Alexander Pushkin Street.
7. Sports
Addis Ababa best things sport
Cycling, running and soccer are the favorite sports in Addis.
James Jeffrey
Most weekends there's usually a cycle race somewhere in Addis, drawing enthusiastic crowds and a festive atmosphere as people sit outside bars and cafes drinking beers under the sun.
The soccer stadium at Meskal Square is a raucous experience -- Ethiopians are soccer mad. Any weekend bars across the city are full of impassioned Ethiopians watching the English Premiership soccer league, clasping their heads in horror or cheering the goals.
And of course there's running -- the Great Ethiopian Run is an annual 10-kilometer road-running event growing in reputation and popularity that takes place in late November.
Extra tip: Ethiopian sport is getting more diverse all the time -- rally car driving is taking off, with a number of events held throughout the year.
8. Decent accommodation
For those after sheer luxury, Sheraton Hotel (Taitu Street, Addis Ababa; +251 11 517171), built by Ethiopian billionaire Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi, remains an expensive treat, occupying a parallel dimension in central Addis. Even if not staying, it's worth wandering round the palatial grounds.
There's longstanding favorite the Hilton (Menelik II Ave., Addis Ababa: +251 11 517 0000), where the journalists who camped out during former days of tumult and revolution are now replaced by business folk gathering at the poolside bar and restaurant to thrash out deals.
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If you're after cheaper and more traditional, then the Itegue Taitu hotel (+251 11 1 560787), the city's oldest, deep in the boisterous warren that is the Piazza, still offers great deals. The hospitable Ghion Hotel close to Meskal Square is a time warp back to the 1960s with its décor and old fashioned manners. (Ghion Hotel, Ras Desta Damtew Ave., Addis Ababa; +251 11 551 3222)
Extra tip: Ras Hotel (Gambia St, Addis Ababa; +251 11 551 7060) occupies a superb central location on Churchill Avenue. Its patio bar and restaurant is a long established popular rendezvous spot for locals, and a good central spot for a pit stop when exploring the city.
9. Attractions off the beaten track
There's bound to be a few surprises in a city of about five million people that's capital of a country with a cultural, historical and linguistic identity quite distinct from the rest of Africa.
You can watch the sun rise from a rocky outcrop atop Yeka hill overlooking the area of Megananya to the east of the city before visiting the nearby 700-year-old rock-hewn church of Washa Michael.
Or there's the Horn of Africa's first space observatory high in the Entoto hills encircling the northern reaches of the city. As well as offering great panoramic views over Addis, it's an indication of how far Ethiopian development wants to go.
Extra tip: At street level, another local custom is the tiny juice bars dotted all over the city serving delicious mixes of freshly squeezed juices.

10. Amharic language
addis Ababa best things people
Learning a few words of Amharic will go a long way with the locals.
Ian Swithinbank/Flickr
Similar to dancing, Ethiopians, young and old, love it when foreigners try to speak their language. Just one word is usually a great way to break the ice. It can be a mind-bogglingly diverse country for linguists with more than 80 dialects, but in Addis Ababa, Amharic is the most applicable.
Here are five essential phrases:
Selam: Hello
Ameseginalew: Thank you
Yirkirta: Excuse me or sorry
Konjo! Beautiful (a good word to use in reply to the many Ethiopians who will ask you how things are or how you are finding Ethiopia)
Yeut no? Where is ...?
James Jeffrey is a freelance journalist based in Addis Ababa, from where he writes about Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa for various international media. Twitter: @jamesinaddis.