Ethiopian dam to benefit Sudan: Official
ADDIS ABABA – A Sudanese governor has said that an Ethiopian dam project on the Nile River, which has been the source of tension with Egypt, will benefit Sudan.
"The dam will contribute share in efforts to extricate Ethiopia from poverty and will also benefit the people of Sudan," Hussein Yassin Hamad, the governor of the Blue Nile State, said at the opening of a joint border development commission meeting in Assosa, the capital of Ethiopia's Benshangul Gumuz region, according to a Sudanese diplomat.
"The people and administration of the Blue Nile State will provide the necessary support towards the completion of dam construction," he was quoted as saying by the diplomat.
Ethiopia is building a $6.4-billion dam on the Blue Nile, which represents Egypt's primary source of water.
The project has raised alarm bells in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, which fears a reduction of its historical share of Nile water.
Orthodox Church Stopped Anti-Gay Rally in Addis
A planned anti-gay rally in Ethiopia has been cancelled by the request from the Orthodox church according to a local newspaper Ethiopian Reporter.
Last week, plan by the legislature to add gay sex to a list of crimes ineligible for presidential pardons has been dropped, according to Redwan Hussein, an Ethiopian government spokesman.
Gay Ethiopians face severe penalties for living in the open. Same-sex acts are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a 25-year jail term is given to anyone convicted of infecting another person with HIV during same-sex acts.
The spirit of a pure Christianity: Exploring Ethiopia's stunning subterranean churches
I wake up and don't have a clue where I am. There is barely any light, hardly enough to pierce the curtains. But it's not the gloom or the early start that has left me confused. It's the ear-splitting chanting.
The noise is in no language I've ever heard. Yet the sound is familiar, even if the language is not. I have heard it in Istanbul, the Gulf, parts of Jerusalem. It sounds almost exactly like an imam calling the faithful to prayer.
Yet I am in Ethiopia, the cradle of an ancient form of Christianity, and the hotel at which I am staying is in Lalibela, one of the country's most Christian sites; there are no mosques nearby. So what is going on?
Stepping out on to my balcony, I see the hillside opposite covered with thousands of people dressed in white cotton robes. They are making their way up a series of dirt tracks, their feet throwing up a haze of red dust. The chanting seems to be coming from the hilltop. But there is no sign of a church or indeed any building up there. All that can be made out is the rough outline of part of a giant cross, seemingly carved into the ground.
My guide, Girtane, is waiting for me in the hotel lobby. Seeing my confusion, he breaks into a broad smile. "It's St George's Day," he says in explanation. St George, I learn, is the patron saint of Ethiopia. The damsel whom the knight saved from the dragon is, in local tradition, an Ethiopian princess called Beruktawit. And the chanting is not Arabic but Ge'ez , the holy language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Ge'ez has been spoken in Ethiopia since the time Rome was first founded. It has been the language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church's religious texts since Christianity originally spread to the country in the early fourth century, brought to this land by a Syrian Greek shipwrecked on the Eritrean coast.
Slaughter of animals: a culture in decline?
It was a busy week for Emebet Argaw, a civil servant and mother of two. Starting from Tuesday, she had been busy running around from one market place to another to do her holiday shopping. On top of that, Emebet's kitchen chores had been a bit more hectic than usual.
But still she does it all with a smile on her face and a deep sense of pride and fulfillment emanating from agelong traditions and spiritual happiness. The case is not that different with most Ethiopian female heads of households. “I have been preparing the whole week for the holiday season. As a responsible Ethiopia mother, I feel that these responsibilities are mine,” Emebet says.
Usually, the hustle and bustle around markets intensifies as major holidays like Easter draw near, and ultimately heats up on the eve of the holiday as shoppers scramble to squeeze in their last-minute holiday shopping. No matter what, holiday shopping tends to climax on the eve of celebrations. Although such a trend is better explained by culture than anything else, to some extent there seems to be a pretty good reason behind it. For some it is about finding the time to do their special holiday shopping apart from their regular routine while for others there seems to be a solid economic justification that is the considerable reduction in prices as the holiday draws nearer. In fact, there are a few who advocate these ideals of last-minute shopping. Naturally, holiday shopping in Ethiopia is not something that is taken lightly. It is not something that people would be willing to go without. It is not even acceptable to omit some items such as the live animals for the holiday slaughter, not to mention the time needed to prepare a successful holiday feast.
As Ethiopian Easter marks one of the few major holidays amongst Christians in Ethiopia, shopping is the most vital part of this religious and cultural celebration. Unlike other holidays, it features a massive slaughter of live animals. On the backdrop of coming to end the long Lenten season, Easter shopping tends to be more focused on meat and live animals. Oxen, sheep, goats and chickens are common sights on Easter market. The religious element, on its part, has played a greater role in establishing animal slaughter rituals as a central part of Easter celebration. In this, the famous Ethiopian dish ( doro wot chicken stew), is even more entrenched in Easter culture since it is the one meal that is serviced to herald the end of the lenten season, which usually takes place at three in the morning of Easter. Unlike the years before, Emebet says that this year’s market seems to be stabilizing. With the exception of onion and butter, prices appear to be more stable, she says. In major markets around the capital, the price of chickens looks to be not out of the ordinary. “For instance, I bought these two roosters (cocks) for 150 birr each,” she says.
or the second straight year, Dejen Gebremeskel set an event record in winning the Boston Athletic Association 5K on Saturday, crossing the finish line on Charles Street in 13 minutes, 26 seconds to improve on the 13:37 mark he set last year.
But this time, the 24-year-old Ethiopian and 2012 Olympic 5,000-meter silver medalist had to lean in to gain his victory. Ben True, 28, a native of North Yarmouth, Maine, and a two-time winner (2011 and 2012) of the race, matched Gebremeskel stride for stride down the final 100 meters and the two crossed the line almost as one. True also recorded a time of 13:26. Stephen Sambu of Kenya was a step back in 13:27.
In the women’s race, Molly Huddle, 29, of Providence worked her way from fifth to first over the last half-mile, then snuck around leader Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia with 100 meters to go and sprinted to victory in 15:12, tying the event record set by Werknesh Kidane of Ethiopia in 2012. It was Huddle’s first victory in the BAA 5K. Daska, 30, was second in 15:14.
The 5K is the first event in the BAA Distance Medley, which includes the 10K and the Half-Marathon.
“I’m really excited today because it’s the Boston Marathon season, there’s no doubt lots of people are coming,’’ said Gebremeskel. “I think the moment is really nice. At this moment, I win the race and I’m so glad.
Easter Should be celebrated in Good Deeds:
Ethiopian Religious Leaders Various Ethiopian religious leaders said that Ethiopian Christians should celebrate Eastern in good deeds.
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church’s patriarch Abune Matias said that while celebrating Easter Ethiopians need to promise to work hard to get their country out of poverty.
Ethiopian Catholic Church Patriarch Abune Birhane Iyesus in his part said that Easter should be the day Christians would care for the poor and needy.
The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus President Priest Dr. Wakeseyoum Edosa stated that for the country’s renaissance Ethiopians need to work together. President of the Evangelical Churches Fellowship Ethiopia, Alemu Sheta said that the Ethiopian youth has to struggle for his country’s growth.
He also calls for the a collaborative Ethiopians effort to finalize the Renaissance in time.
Girum Tebeje of DireTube from FBC
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