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  • Ethiopians celebrate end of Lent, welcome back meat

     Like millions of Christians around the world, Ethiopians celebrate the Easter holiday with a sense of spiritual uplifting as the occasion marks the end of the Lent – the main fasting season.

    But unlike other Christians, Lent here is not observed for 40 days, the period that Jesus Christ fasted in the wilderness at the start of his ministry.

    The followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox (Tewahdo) church traditionally start fasting 15 days ahead of other Christians.

    "During the added days we remain fasting not for our souls, but for the souls of others who could not observe Lent because of old age, illnesses, travels or many other compelling reasons," Alem Kassa, 69, told Anadolu Agency.

    "In this way, we try our best to give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered great suffering to wash the sin of our hands," added the housewife.

    Deacon Belay Mekuria, who is in his mid-40s, has another reason for the prolonged fasting.

    "We pay homage [this way] also to the saints, kings and patrons of our land."

    On Easter, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, who had refrained from eating meat for almost two months, seem eager to make up for the meatless days.

    Meat is served in all forms of cuisine.

    The most unique cuisine is meat served raw and gorged raw. In fact Ethiopians are known for their custom of eating meat raw.

    A kilo of raw meat sells for up to 170 Birr at butchery houses. This is affordable only for the haves which constitute in fact a small portion of society.

    The have-nots eat meat only occasionally because of the ever increasing cost of meat that is making life more difficult considering the fondness Ethiopians show for meat.

    Spirit of Sharing

    As the first rays of the new day crept across the streets of the sprawling capital, Ethiopian Christians flock to the slaughterhouses to have their share of meat from sacrificial lambs and bulls.

    Butchers have already worked all night long from the dusk of Saturday to the dawn of Sunday to slaughter, skin and dissect sacrificial animals to hand over the piles of meat to their owners.

    Traditionally, people form groups, contribute equal shares of money and buy bulls, which meat is equally divided among them.

    Generous families, meanwhile, sacrifice additional lambs to give away in a traditional communal practice called "Qircha," which roughly means sharing.

    "Qircha gives us the opportunity to come together, create to us a sense of togetherness in celebration of the holiday," Taye Habtemichael, who came to lend a hand at an area where a bull was being slaughtered, told AA.

    "When we buy meat at the butcheries, we do not get all parts of the bull. But here we get a chunk of all the organs," he said happily as he walked away with his share of the bull meat.

    source: By Seleshi Tessema (aa.com)

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  • Eritrea accuses Ethiopia of contemplating full-scale war

     
    Ethiopia is contemplating full-scale war against Eritrea, an Eritrean official told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday, as he defended his country against allegations of crimes against humanity.

    Last week, Eritrea's Foreign Ministry blamed the United States for playing a role, referring to "Washington's instigation" of the attack by Ethiopian forces. Eritrea also said at least 200 Ethiopian troops were killed.

    "As we speak, Ethiopia is making preparations for a bigger military offensive and contemplating a full-scale war," Yemane Ghebreab, an Eritrean presidential advisor, told the U.N. council on Tuesday.

    "Ethiopia reckons that the gross accusations against Eritrea afford it with the perfect pretext, and that it may be now or never. It reckons that those who are only too eager to blame Eritrea will as usual look the other way and fail to act as Ethiopia commits what are truly crimes against humanity against its people and unleashes another war."

    Asked what prompted Eritrea's warning about Ethiopia's military preparedness, he told Reuters: "They've been saying that for a long time, but we also see the reinforcements they are making on the ground. There are massive reinforcements coming to the border."

    He said it was a large build-up of troops and Eritrea was prepared to defend itself.

    Read more at Reuters.com

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  • American researcher killed by protesters in Ethiopia


    Sharon Gray, a UC Davis postdoctoral researcher in the university's plant biology department, was killed Tuesday in Ethiopia when the vehicle she was riding in was stoned by protesters, university official said. Brady Lab, Department of Plant Biology and Genome Center, University of California Davis.

    Sharon Gray, 30, was in the East African nation to attend a meeting related to her research, according to the university.

    Andy Fell, a university spokesman, confirmed that Gray was the American woman who was reported killed when stones were hurled at her vehicle on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Tuesday.

    The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia issued a statement saying a passenger van was hit by rocks late Tuesday afternoon and that “one of the passengers, a U.S. citizen, was struck by a rock and subsequently died from her injury,” several overseas media outlets reported.

    Crowds have attacked other vehicles since a stampede at a weekend protest killed at least 55 people, according to news reports. The protests have centered on land and political rights in Ethiopia.

    Another member of the plant biology department who was traveling with Gray was not injured and is headed home, university officials said.

    Siobhan Brady, an associate professor of plant biology at UC Davis and head of the Brady Lab, where Gray worked as a postdoctoral fellow, said by email Wednesday night that she was in transit from Addis Ababa to San Francisco. She was unavailable for comment.

    University officials said Gray was attending a meeting in Ethiopia to discuss the next steps in a project she was involved in with the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and other charitable organizations.

    She had been at UC Davis since 2013, Fell said. He said Gray’s husband is also a university employee.

    “Even in tragedy, we hope that we all can find some comfort in the wonderful work Sharon was engaged in that will better the lives of so many around the world,” Ken Burtis, the university’s acting provost, said in a statement posted on the UC Davis Graduate Studies’ Facebook page.

    The university’s plant biology department posted a memorial page on its website with dozens of photographs of Gray at www.plb.ucdavis.edu/sharongray.

    Gray received her doctorate in plant biology in 2013 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which she also attended as an undergraduate. Her research focused on studying the effects of a buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on crops such as soybeans and tomatoes.

    The U.S. State Department is assisting in returning Gray’s body to her family.

    Source: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article106319327.html

    ead more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article106319327.html#storylink=cpy

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article106319327.html#storylink=cpy

     

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  • Eritrean ISIS fighter Killed in Syria

    Al-Habashi, who also goes by the name of Abu Abdullah Al-Britani, was brought up in north London in a Christian Eritrean family (In Ethiopia before 1995 Eritrean separation). He converted to Islam when he was 16.

    Al-Habashi has made appearances in at least two ISIS propaganda videos posted online by the extremist group. Al Habashi reportedly told the BBC in August that he was at the “forefront” of fighting and said that he is one of the few jihadists from Britain who had the ‘honour’ of fighting for ISIS both in Iraq and Syria.

    His family also reportedly had tried to convince him to return home, but he told them that “He had to stay back to fight for Allah.”

    Earlier last month, Al-Habashi made headlines after he featured in an ISIS propaganda video alongside a German and a French jihadi fighters in Syria.

    The video titled ‘Wait. We are also waiting,’ had given out some strong threats to the West. “We are waiting for you in Dabiq. We are waiting for you in Iraq. So bring your coalition of unbelievers because unbelievers will not help you. We will take their weaponry as booty and these people will die.”

    He then went on to add: “We will chop off the heads of the Americans. We will chop off the heads of the French, chop of the heads of whoever you may bring.” He even promised that the black flag of the Islamic State will eventually be on the White House.”

    Source: geeskaafrika.com

    l-Habashi, who also goes by the name of name of Abu Abdullah Al-Britani, was brought up in in north London in a Christian Eritrean family (In Ethiopia before 1995 Eritrean separation). He converted to Islam when he was 16.

    Al-Habashi has made appearances in at least two ISIS propaganda videos posted online by the extremist group. Al Habashi reportedly told the BBC in August that he was at the “forefront” of fighting and said that he one of the few jihadists from Britain who had the ‘honour’ of fighting for ISIS both in Iraq and Syria.

    His family also reportedly had tried to convince him to return home, but he told them off saying that “He had to stay back to fight for Allah.”

    Earlier last month, Al-Habashi made headlines after he featured in an ISIS propaganda video alongside a German and a French jihadi fighters in Syria.

    - See more at: http://www.geeskaafrika.com/eritrean-isis-fighter-abdullah-al-habashi-killed-in-syria/6643/#sthash.1qtgMdhA.dpuf
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  • Supermodel Liya Kebede Connects Traditional Ethiopian Weavers To New York's Hottest Boutiques

    Liya Kebede isn’t out to build a fashion empire. "As much as I want it to be humongous," says the Ethiopian super model, "there’s a limit to how big it can get." That's because Lemlem shirts, scarves, and dresses are designed in New York, but made from handwoven materials crafted by traditional weavers in Kebede's home country. That said, "humongous" may be a relative term: Lemlem’s products are already available at boutiques around the world from Manama, Bahrain to Jackson, Mississippi, and at large retailers like Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale's.

    The clothing line provides employment for practitioners of a centuries-old tradition that was facing extinction. "I visited an area of these incredible weavers that we’ve always had in Ethiopia who make incredible work but don’t really have the space to sell their clothes anymore," Kebede says in this week's episode of Innovation Agents. "It’s one thing to donate money. It’s a whole other thing to give an opportunity for someone to make his own money." And that's how Lemlem--which means "to bloom" in Amharic--was founded five years ago.

    Source: fastcompany

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