Art & Culture

  • She Met Her Prince (for Real!) at a D.C. Nightclub

    Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen were married on Sept. 9 in a lavish ceremony in Temple Hills, Md. Mr. Makonnen is the great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. Credit Jared Soares for The New York Times

    Few love stories resemble a fairy tale as much as the courtship and marriage of Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen. Of course, it helped that the groom is an actual prince and the bride has a prominent lineage of her own.

    Mr. Makonnen, known as Prince Yoel, is the 35-year-old great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. And Ms. Austin, 33, is of African-American and Guyanese descent; her maternal grandfather was a lord mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.

    As the couple noted on their wedding website, their union happened when “Old World aristocracy met New World charm.” The old and new combined on Sept. 9, in a marathon day of events that lasted from 11 a.m. until late in the evening, and took place within two states.

    The festivities began with a ceremony at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Md. In an incense-filled sanctuary, guests in stockinged feet watched as at least 13 priests and clergymen helped officiate the Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony between Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin, who just days before had converted to the religion. Hours after the ceremony, the pair celebrated with a formal reception at Foxchase Manor in Manassas, Va., with 307 guests, amid gold sequins, platters of Ethiopian food and preboxed slices of Guyanese black cake for people to take home.

    Their marriage had been more than a decade in the making. In the nearly 12 years since they first met on a dance floor at the Washington nightclub Pearl, in December 2005, Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin have pursued degrees, jobs and, at times, each other. Eventually, planning a wedding just became the next item on this ambitious couple’s to-do list.

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  • The world loves Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro. His own government doesn’t

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Monday marked the first day of the new Ethiopian year, but it hasn’t been much of a holiday for Teddy Afro, the country’s biggest pop star.

    First, the government informed him that his New Year’s concert was canceled. Then, on Sept. 3, police broke up the launch party for his successful new album, “Ethiopia,” in the middle of the sound check at the Hilton Hotel, claiming Teddy hadn’t received permission to hold the event. 

    “Asking for a permission to organize an album launch is like asking a permit for a wedding or birthday party,” Teddy wrote on his Facebook page. “This is unprecedented and has never been done before because it is unconstitutional.”

    But government disapproval certainly isn’t anything new for Teddy: This year was his third straight aborted New Year’s concert. And even as “Ethiopia,” which briefly hit No. 1 on Billboard’s world music chart, could be purchased or heard on virtually every street corner in the capital, Addis Ababa, after its May release, Teddy’s songs were nowhere to be found on state radio and TV. An interview with a public TV network was even canceled at the last minute, prompting the resignation of the journalist involved.

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  • The nudist-friendly space in the Bois de Vincennes is open until October

    A section of a public park in Paris, the Bois de Vincennes, has been set aside by officials as a clothing-optional zone.

    The 7,300 square metre area, located in a clearing by the park’s bird reserve, will form the site of this temporary experiment.

    Those taking advantage of the trial space must show "good behaviour", as exhibitionism and voyeurism are strictly prohibited.

    The space will be open from 8am to 7.30pm every day until 15 October, with signs showing which areas are suitable for stripping off.

    According to Penelope Komites, a deputy mayor in charge of the city’s parks, the nudist zone "is part of our open-minded vision for the use of Parisian public spaces."

    A spokesperson from the French Embassy said: “Naturists and nudists are welcome all over our country! There are over 80 centres and 180 clubs throughout the country ready to welcome them, which makes France the country most visited by naturists (over 1.5 million every year) and the best-equipped to meet their needs.”

    Local nudists have welcomed the trial. Julien Claude-Penegry, a member of the Paris Naturists Association, predicted that thousands of people could flock to the new zone.

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  • A man who killed a 4 years old daughter executes, kills by AK 47


    The mother of a four-year-old girl who was raped and murdered today told of their joy at the execution by machine gun of their daughter's killer.

    Safaa al-Matari's parents said justice had been done as the little girl's father spoke of his 'happiness' that the murderer had been punished in 'spectacular way'.

    Hussein al-Saket, 25, was shot five times before his body was strung up from a crane in front of a large crowd in the Yemeni capital Sanaa's Tahrir Square for Saffa's abduction, rape and murder.

    Speaking exclusively to MailOnline the girl's mother Amal al-Matari said: 'I am very happy that the killer has been executed.

    'I felt so relieved even after it had taken all this time – one year and eight months ago.

    'I am more than happy and content now that justice has been done.

    'I know my innocent daughter Safaa will now rest in peace and in heaven.'

    Her father Muhamad Taher al-Matari said: 'I am so happy the killer of my daughter has finally been punished in such a spectacular and deterrent way so that he would set an example for all to see.

    He added: 'My tribe, family and I tahnk all those have have sympathized with us in Yemen whether they are Muslims, Christians or any other religion because attacking innocent children is forbidden by God and all religions.'

    Safaa's mother revealed how heartless al-Saket snatched her 'beautiful' daughter while she was giving birth to her youngest brother in November 2015.

    Amal al-Matari told MailOnline: 'I was giving birth to my youngest son, Saleh, who is now 20 months old when Safaa who was playing outside our house disappeared.

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  • 63 percent of Ethiopian Women Believes Husbands Can Beat a Wife: Survey





    The result of the latest study is somewhat surprising. Sixty-three percent of women Ethiopia believes that a husband punch is right if necessary, a survey pointed out.

    “Wife’s failure to take care of children, offers argument with her husband, refuses to have sex with husband, and going anywhere without husband’s knowledge are some of the reason that makes a husband’s beating Valid,” the survey indicated.

    Twelve thousand sixth hundred and eighty-eight females and fifteen thousand six hundred eight three male interviewees from 15-49 ages have included in the study, which has conducted for six months.

    From the male sides, 28 percent of the respondents opined that “if the above reasons are there, a beating is acceptable.”

    The study finally recommends that the government and other pertaining organs should design and implement a strategy to reduce such harmful traditional outlooks and practices.

    Violence against Women and Girls is a global pandemic that has or will affect 1 in 3 women in their lifetime. Violence is not only a personal struggle for the victims but also has severe consequences on social and economic outcomes.

    The World Bank is uniquely positioned to address violence against women and girls around the world and currently supports 128 million USD in development projects aimed at resolving the issue.

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  • A 107-year-old Ethiopian man marries woman in her 30s


    An Ethiopian man who claims himself to be 107 years old with 108 children and grandchildren has married a 33 years old woman.

    Hajji Abdulkadir Dekema, wed his bride Furo Guyo in a wedding ceremony during the weekend in Shashemenie area of central Ethiopia, 250 km south of capital city Addis Ababa, state affiliated media outlet Radio Fana reported on Tuesday.

    Dekema says despite his fathering 108 children and grandchildren and advanced age, he plans to have more children from his latest wife. He already has two wives.

    Polygamy is common among the rural areas of the Muslim dominated central and eastern areas of Ethiopia despite recent moves by the Ethiopian government to discourage the practice.

    Ethiopia has a population composed of two thirds Christian and the rest being mainly Muslims, while a tiny minority located in parts of southern and western Ethiopia still profess traditional religions.

    The population of Ethiopia is growing and close to reaching the 100 million mark.

    With lower mortality rates than a few years ago, the number is bound to increase in the country. This coupled with the age-old culture of bearing a lot of children, usually more than two, has led the country to grapple with overpopulation.

    Overpopulation can be a breeding ground for conflict, when resources, especially in African countries become strained. Conflicts over issues such as water become a source of contention between countries, which could result in the outbreak of wars. It causes diseases to spread and makes them harder to control. Starvation will also be a plaguing issue for the government to deal with. Poverty will be extensive, this is the downfall of a country facing overpopulation.

    All of this will only become worse if solutions are not sought out for the factors affecting our population. We can no longer prevent it, but there are ways to control it from having a pro fund effect on the economy. 



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