December 27, 2006

Statement Published by the Global Islamic Media Front Inciting Muslims to Participate in Jihad in Somalia

By SITE Institute
December 26, 2006
Inciting Muslims to participate in jihad in Somalia, writing of doing such as a religious obligation incumbent upon them, the Global Islamic Media Front published and distributed a document among jihadist forums yesterday, Monday, December 25, 2006, titled: “Ride the Horses of Allah: Not a Single One of You Should Pray During the Feast Day Except in Addis Ababa”. Arguing that the road of jihad has been opened to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, the author uses a combination of Qur’anic verses, words from Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, cheerleading, and ridicule to motivate prospective Mujahideen to take up arms and travel to Somalia. The document states: “Come on you lion, get up roar and show the infidels the strength of the soldiers of the Merciful One. Come on my brother, aren’t you tired from sitting with the women? No, in the Name of Allah, even the women did not sit, but they got up and did jihad and terrorized the enemies, so where are you? What is your role?”

December 26, 2006

The War is Started! Finish Clean and Quick: We can not Afford to Lose!!!

Both public and opposition says are sharply divided on this Somalia war. It is clear that the government has no public rally behind its decision as it was during the recent war with Eritrea. It is better to finish this war clean and quick. Whatever our differences may be, whatever dictatorial this regime may be, although it has thrown elected MPs to jail, etc and etc ...still ... we can not afford (wish) to lose.
Cher Were Yaseman. Amen

December 25, 2006

Sanctifying Politics and Politicizing Religion

If there is an “imminent” danger posed in front of Ethiopia as a nation and society, religion would take the forefront. It is further fanned by reckless handling of the ruling party and the world political stand over. From the self proclaimed “defenders” of Christianity in the US to jihadists in the Middle East and East Africa, the issue has become a political maneuvering. Based on the Ethiopian government’s decision to indulge itself in this tricky business in confrontation with the fanatics in Mogadishu, Ethiopians have started to voice for or against this decision, and some are going far in politicizing religious issues and giving religious face to other susceptible political occurrences.
(Nemerra Waqeyo Tola: potsdamer2005@yahoo.de)
(Detail to come soon)

December 24, 2006

Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou


The Homeless Wanderer – Ethiopia to Europe to Jerusalem

TAGS: Artist: Ethiopiques Album: Ethiopia Song, piano solo Track: the homeless wanderer Other Tags: Ethiopiques Volume 21 Many of us have come to know and love the Ethiopiques series. And for folks that didn’t already know the amazing music, Jim Jarmusch’s last feature film, Broken Flowers introduced a few million new listeners to the sounds.

The rest of the post comes between the span A while back, (the lastest in the series) Ethiopiques Volume 21 was released, this was a departure for the usually upbeat, and often ensemble recordings of semi-danceable rhythms that appear on many of the Ethiopiques volumes. Volume 21 features a woman named Emahoy TseguÈ-Maryam GuÈbrou playing solo piano.

Emahoy was born into a prominent Ethiopian family in 1923, she was the daughter of the heralded Ethiopian writer and intellectual, Kentiba GuÈbrou. She spent a good deal of her youth and young adult years away from her native Ethiopia. She was sent as a child to Switzerland, where she studied violin and piano. She continued playing the piano when she returned to Ethiopia, and then continued her studies under a Polish teacher in Egypt.

At some point during her studies she was living in England and for some, most likely retarded patriarchal reason, she was prevented from continuing her music studies, so at that point she decided to become a nun.

The lifestyle must have afforded her the time to at least occasionally practice, compose and evolve as an artist because it shows in her beautiful work.
You can see the imprint of her European studies in Beethoven, Strauss and Chopin and it said that she was also at least vaguely aware of the happenings of early Ethiopian Pop artists like Tilahun Gessese, Hirut Bekele, Mahmud Ahmad and Bizunesh Bekele and was influenced by the religious music of the Ethiopian church as well.

I think she is still alive, living as a Christian nun in a Jerusalem monastery.

The tracks on this disc are culled from sessions ranging from 1963 when she was 40 years old up to some sessions in the early 90’s when she was in her early 70’s. It seems that she was mostly self-recorded.

Its not that the music is completely different from anything you’ve ever heard. That’s just it….her compositions pay homage to beautiful elements of European and Ethiopian styles, its smooth enough to play for your grandma and hip enough to impress the indie record store clerk. Meditative, adventurous and extremely pleasant.

The first track, ‘The Homeless Wanderer’ gets me everytime.

Check it out.

December 21, 2006

Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia: Islam, Christianity, and Politics Entwined New title

A NEW BOOK BY HAGGAI ERLICH
225 pages; ISBN: 1588264939
Synopsis
What is the significance of Islam's growing strength in Ethiopia? And what is the impetus for the Saudi financing of hundreds of new mosques and schools in the country, the establishment of welfare organizations, and the spread of the Arabic language? Haggai Erlich explores the interplay of religion and international politics as it has shaped the development of modern Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. Tracing Saudi-Ethiopian relations from the 1930s to the present, Erlich highlights the nexus of concrete politics and the conceptual messages of religion. His fresh approach encompasses discussions of the options and dilemmas facing Ethiopians, both Christians and Muslims, across multiple decades; the Saudis' nuanced conceptualization of their Islamic "self" in contrast to Christian and Islamic "others"; and the present confrontation between Ethiopia's apolitical Islam and Wahhabi fundamentalism. It also provides new perspectives on both the current dilemmas of the Wahhabi kingdom and the global implications of the evolving Saudi-Ethiopian relationship.

December 18, 2006

"Community Health Evangelism (CHE)": Is it good for them when we are devastated by HIV?

In an international conference staged in Europe some years back, a lady from Asia gave "God's miracles" when her earthquake stricken fellow country people "were converted to Christianity". I was disgusted to hear such "testimonies" from people who consider themselves as messengers of God. The same is true in our country as well. May be this piece of article might fall in this category. For "them", to evangelize us, it is good that we are devastated by HIV, or war or famine, or what else?
Cher weere yaseman, amen

December 17, 2006

European Commission Approves a 6.3mln € Construction Project for Churches in Lalibela


December 14, 2006
Posted to the web December 15, 2006
Addis Ababa
The European Commission (EC) said on Tuesday it has endorsed a works contract valued at -6.3 million Euro for the construction of four shelters for five churches in the UNESCO World heritage Site of Lalibela.
According to EC, the purpose of the shelters is to protect the churches before and during the restoration works.
The contract agreement scheduled to be completed in sixteen months was concluded between the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural heritage (ARCCH) and the Joint Venture of Endeco SPA & ICOM Engineering SPA, the Commission said.
The churches to be covered are: Biet Medhane-Alem, Biet maryam, Beit Masqal, Biet Amanuel and Biet Abba-Libanos.
"The endorsement of the works contract is an indication of the EC's strong commitment to the preservation and conservation of the unique cultural heritage of Ethiopia," the Commission said in a statement sent to The Daily Monitor on Thursday.
The European Commission will provide -5.5 million for the works from the European Development Fund.
According to the statement, the shelters have been designed by Teprin Architects winner of the international architectural Competition; "The skies of Lalibela", held in 2002.
The commission said judges for the competition were appointed by ARCCH, UNESCO, Ethiopian Association of Architects and the EC.
The Shelters have been designed as temporary installations capable of being removed after completion of the restoration works and of being otherwise reused.
The process was throughout supported by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
In his remarks on the conclusion of the works contract agreement, Head of the European Commission Delegation to Ethiopia, Ambassador Tim Clarke said in the statement : "I am extremely happy that this contract has been signed and that we can now move forward on the conservation work." Ambassador Tim Clarke added that, in recent months, there have been intensive consultations with UNESCO and all the parties involved so as to ensure the unique features of the Lalibela site are preserved during the works.
In parallel to the construction of the shelters, the Commission is considering mobilizing a further - 2 million for carrying out additional work to conserve Lalibela's wonderful paintings and other treasures, Tim Clark indicated in the statement.
(Pictures from Lalibela).

December 13, 2006

The International Ethiopian Orthodox Believers Conference Resolution


A conference (November 23-25, 2006) designated as the first international meeting of Ethiopian Orthodox laity has passed the following three pages resolution. Deje-Selam will deal with its pros and cons very recently. For the time being we leave you with the resolution.
Cher weere Yasema. Amen

December 12, 2006

Militant-Islam-Symptom in Ethiopia: The Taliban's "Don't Think, Speak, Listen, See" Syndrome

The militant Islam emerging in Ethiopia is showing its ugly face through its extremist approaches. Our young people are falling prey to this movement especially after the government handled the case very unwittingly. Take a look at this news article and a resolution they passed after their international conference.
Cheer weer Yaseman. Amen.

ኢትዮጵያውያን በሰላምና በአንድነት ተረዳድቶ የመኖር ባህላቸውን አጠናክረው መቀጠል እንዳለባቸው ተገለጸ

ኢትዮጵያውያን በሰላምና በአንድነት ተረዳድቶ የመኖር ባህላቸውን አጠናክረው መቀጠል እንዳለባቸው ተገለጸ
አዲስ አበባ ታህሣስ 2/1999/ ኢትዮጵያውያን ከቀደምት አባቶቻቸውና እናቶቻቸው የወረሱትን ሰላም፣ ተረዳድቶ በአንድነት የመኖር ባህላቸውን አጠናክረው መቀጠል እንዳለባቸው ብፁዕ ወቅዱስ አቡነ ጳውሎስ ፓትርያርክ ርዕሰ ሊቃነ ጳጳሳትና የዓለም አብያተ ክርስቲያናት ምክር ቤት ፕሬዚዳንት አስገነዘቡ።
የኢትዮጵያ የሃይማኖት መሪዎች ትናንት አዲስ አበባ ውስጥ ባካሄዱት የግማሽ ቀን የሰላም ጉባዔ ላይ ብፁዕ ወቅዱስ አቡነ ጳውሎስ እንደገለጹት፤ ኢትዮጵያውያን ክርስቲያኖችና ሙስሊሞች ከየሃይማኖታቸው ትውፊት በቀር ልዩነት የሌላቸው በመሆኑ አሁንም አብሮና ተባብሮ ለመኖር ይበልጥ ሊተጉ ይገባል። እግዚአብሄር የሰላምና የፍቅር አምላክ መሆኑን ሁሉም የሃይማኖት ቅዱሳት መጻሕፍት የሚያስተምሩ መሆኑን ጠቀመው፤ ሰላምን፣ ፍቅርንና አንድነትን በሰዎች መካከል ማስፈን፣ ሰዎችን ማቀራረብና አንድ ማድረግ በአጠቃላይም እግዚአብሔር የሚወደውን ሥራ ሁሉ መሥራት የእምነት ግዴታ መሆኑን ገልጸዋል። በተለይም የሕገወጦች እኩይ ተግባ በመካከላቸው ቅራኔንና ጥላቻን የሚያስከትል ሁኔታ እንዳይፈጥር ሁሉም ወገኖች በንቃትና በጥንቃቄ አንድነትንና ሰላምን አጽንተው መፈለግ እንደሚጠበቅባቸው አመልክተዋል። ባለንበት ዘመን በዓለም ዙሪያ የሚመላለሱ ሕገ ወጦች በአፍሪካ ቀንድ አካባቢ የእስልምናን እምነት ሽፋን በማድረግ እኩይ ዓላማቸውን ለማራመድ የሚያደርጉት እንቅስቃሴ አሳሳቢ ሆኖ መገኘቱን ገልጸዋል። በሀገር ወዳድ ሰላም ፈላጊዎች የኢትዮጵያውያን ወገኖች ኅብረት ዘላቂና አስተማማኝ ሰላም ጎልቶና ዳብሮ እንደኖረ ሁሉ አሁንም ሕገ ወጦችን በመከላከሉ ረገድ የሁሉንም የተባበረ ጥረት እንደሚጠይቅ አስታውቀዋል። የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዳክስ፣ የእስልምና፣ የካቶሊካዊትና የወንጌላዊት መካነ ኢየሱስ ቤተክርስትያን የሃይማኖት አባቶች ሰላምን አስመልክቶ ባወጡት የአቋም መግለጫ፤ ሰላም ለሁሉም መሠረት መሆኑን ሁሉም ወገን የፈጣሪን ቃል ከሰማና ትእዛዝ ከተቀበለ የሰላም ዋስትና የተረጋገጠ እንደሚሆን ገልጸዋል። ሰላም ለሰው ልጅ ከማናቸውም መሠረታዊ ፍላጎቶች በላይ ሊሟላ የሚገባው ተቀዳሚ ጉዳይ መሆኑንም አመልክተዋል። የአገር እድገት፣ ብልጽግናንና ልማትን ማምጣት የሚቻለው የተሟላ ሰላም በአገር በወገን መካከል መኖር ሲችል ብቻ እንደሆነም የሃይማኖት አባቶቹ በአቋም መግለጫቸው ገልጸዋል። ለሰዎች አለመግባባት መንስዔው የተለያዩ ምክንያቶች ቢሆኑም የመማር ማስተማርና የመረዳት ባጠቃላይም የእውቀት ከፍተኛው መለኪያ ሰላም ማምጣት በመሆኑ ሁሉም ኅብረተሰብ የሰላምን ጥያቄ ተቀዳሚ አጀንዳ ሊያደርግ እንደሚገባ አስታውቀዋል። ሰላም ማለት ፍትህን ማምጣትና ተባብሮና ተረዳድቶ መኖር፣ በታማኝነትና በቅንነት መሥራት ስለሆነ ማንኛውም የኅብረተሰብ ክፍል ሰላምን ለማምጣት ከሚጀያደርገው ጥረት አኳያ ለሰላምና እንቅፋት ሊሆኑ ከሚችሉ ሁኔታዎች ከመከሰታቸው በፊት አስቀድሞ መጠንቀቅ እንደሚኖርነትም አስገንዝበዋል። ባለፉት ወራት በደቡብ ምዕራብና በምዕራብ ኢትዮጵያ እኩይ አላማ ባላቸው ግለሰቦች ድርጊት የሰው ህይወት መጥፋቱንና የንብረት ውድመትና ዝርፊያ ማካሄዱን አመልክተዋል። ለዚህ ሁሉ ምክንያት የሆኑ ህገወጦች በፌደራልና በክልል መንግስታት ከትትል ህግ ፊት መቅረባቸወውን አመልከተው ተቻችሎና ተከባብሮ የኖረውን ህብረተሰብ አንድነት ለማናጋት የተቃጣው ሙከራ እጅግ እንዳሳዘናቸው ገልጸዋል። የሀይማኖት አባቶች በተለያዩ ወቅት በአገር ላይ በሚከሰቱ ችግሮች ዙሪያ ላ/የ ሰላምን ለማምጣት ከፍተኛ ጥረት ሲያደርጉ እንደነበርና አሁንም ይህንን ጥረታቸውን ይበልጥ አጠናክረው እንደሚቀጥሉ የሀይማኖት አባቶች በአቀቋም መግላጫቸው አስታውቀዋል። አዲስ ዘመንspan tags

December 11, 2006

ግልጽ ደብዳቤ ለብፁዕ ወቅዱስ አቡነ መርቆርዮስ

ግልጽ ደብዳቤ ለብፁዕ ወቅዱስ አቡነ መርቆርዮስ
በስመ አብ ወወልድ ወመንፈስ ቅዱስ አሐዱ አምላክ አሜን፡፡ ‹‹የቀድሞውን የድንበር ምልክት አታፍልስ›› (ምሳሌ 23፡10) ብፁዕ ወቅዱስ አባታችን ተደፋፍሬ ያለአቅሜና ችሎታዬ ይህንን ደብዳቤ ለመጻፍ በመነሣሣቴ አስቀድሜ ይቅርታዎን እጠይቃለሁ፡፡ ቡራኬዎ እንዲደርሰኝም ዝቅ ብዬ እለምናለሁ፡፡ ለቤተ ክርስቲያኔ ያለኝ ፍቅር ጥልቅ ባይሆንና አሁን ያለችበትም ሁናቴ እጅግ የሚያሳስብ ባይሆን ኖሮ ወደ ላይ ተንጠራርቼ ለቅዱስነትዎ ጦማር ለመላክ ባልተገዳደርኩ ነበር፡፡ ይሁን እንጂ እናት ቤተ ክርስቲያን ካለችበት ችግር አንጻር ምዕመናንም ባለን ድርሻ የሚታየንን ብንናገር ለክፋት አይሰጥም በሚል ከኅሊናዬ መክሬ ለመጻፍ ወሰንኩ፡፡

December 8, 2006

Negative Behaviours, "Our" Negative Behaviours

By Zena Markos
There are people who we believe they are as devil as the devil himself, but we have no other option than to accept them as "our" own "devils". There are also "bad" behaviours, which we know they are bad but we accept them our "beloved" bad ones. An article written (in Amharic) by ZENA MARQOS , posted on Ben's homepage, and which I found interestingly informative, shades light on some of these "bad" behaviours, and leaves the stage open for dialogue. Take a look at it.
Cher Weere Yaseman. Amen
Deje Selam

Remembering the Forgotten Victims: What do we Ethiopians know about the Sources that Led to the Abrupt Resignation of Aklilu Habte-Wold’s Cabinet?

By Maru Gubena
As shown by the historical records of the past three decades, the people’s power has not been effective in Ethiopia. It is therefore difficult to consider this power as a source of protection for political leaders who are ready to take risks. In practical terms, the people’s power in Africa, and in Ethiopia in particular, is radically different from the experience in Latin America, Asia and, as seen in recent political events, in many countries of the former East Block.
Looking at political events and developments in my country retrospectively, one sees that Ethiopians have never been to collectively share and enjoy the fruits of political events that have resulted from the people’s action, uprising and power. It is to be remembered that the people outright rejected the forceful imposition of power and rule by the undesired, uninvited military regime of Mengistu Hailemariam – yet he managed to rule my country with an iron hand for a long 17 years, with little or no effective, meaningful challenge from those being ruled. By using viciously crafted mechanisms of destruction to eliminate both intellectuals and the youth of Ethiopia – the future assets of the country – with the cooperation of our own families and relatives, the regime of the Dergue also managed to permanently divide and demoralize the people of Ethiopia, to the point of becoming unable either to rise up and challenge the Dergue itself, or to fight against external enemies such as the TPLF and EPLF. It is indeed depressing to painfully recall and admit that so many, perhaps millions, of Ethiopians were used by the cruel regime as tools to willingly expose their own friends, neighbours and colleagues, and hand them over to the killing machines of the Dergue. It was these actions of the Dergue regime that created permanent wounds and animosities among Ethiopians to the point that it seems difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile and cure. Perhaps because of this, we remain persistently reluctant to talk, write and debate about those painful histories and still fresh memories. Even worse and more painful, in addition to these unhealed wounds and unforgettable scars in our recent history, we also know so little about the sources and causes that contributed to the abrupt resignation of Prime Minster Aklilu Habte-Wold’s entire cabinet on the 26 or 27 (embarrassingly, no exact date of resignation is to be found anywhere) of February 1974. Although this became a fertile ground for the emergence of the people’s enemy, the Dergue, and the subsequent structural crisis within Ethiopian society, this has not been explored and written up. Except through verbal stories and jokes told in family get-togethers and around coffee tables, most, if not all, Ethiopians have had no factual account – for example, based on meeting reports or recorded videos showing when, at which date and time, or indeed the exact reasons that led to the resignation of the late Prime Minister Aklilu Habte-Wold’s cabinet. And who was or were precisely responsible for this resignation of then Prime Minister Aklilu Habte-Wold and his ministers? Many Ethiopians say it was the Dergue that forced the entire cabinet to resign. But surely there was no Dergue or military committee at that time of their resignation? There was not someone in Addis Ababa at that time by the name of Mengistu Hailemariam. I saw him with my own eyes in early March 1974, a simple army officer or an obscure major, together with another officer from the Dire Dewa anti-aircraft division, talking to my uncle and his wife at the Harar Military Hospital while we were visiting my uncle’s wife younger brother, a member of the Ethiopian Air Force who was stationed in Dire Dewa. The Provisional Military Administrative Council had not yet been founded. There was as yet nothing in the compound of the fourth army division which was, and perhaps is still, located in Meshwalekia, Addis Ababa. The political tensions and crises that existed from January to the very day of Aklilu Habte-Wold’s cabinet resignation were nothing compared to the persistent and quite explosive political challenges, combined with armed confrontations – often with deadly results – that have faced and tested the unelected leadership of the TPLF since its arrival in May 1991. In 1974, there were only three or four demonstrations. The last (and a major) one, probably held on 26 or 27 February, is said to have resulted in the culmination of Aklilu Habte-Wold’s cabinet by resignation: it was indeed supported by the various sections and divisions of the Ethiopian armed forces. Can such demonstrations alone be seen as the decisive source and cause of the resignation of Aklilu Habte-Wold’s cabinet? How then? How come measures were not taken by the Emperor himself, as well as by Aklilu’s cabinet, in an attempt to silence the uprising? And why did Emperor Haile Selassie return home from the OAU African Heads of States Summit held in Mogadishu in late June 1974, knowing that the political temperature was heating up so dangerously and irreversibly? Didn’t he have reasonably wise advisors at that time? Other Ethiopians argue that Aklilu Habte-Wold and his ministers were forced by Emperor Haile Selassie himself to give up their responsibilities. But how? Where are the documents, the written and recorded evidence? Does Ethiopia lack all historical records related to such resignations and the subsequent tragedies? What a huge embarrassment and deficiency for Ethiopia and its people! How is it possible that such extremely fascinating tragedies, such historically valuable and important events are not documented? How can they be so neglected, so that they are forgotten by entire generations, even that of my father? How in the world is it possible that the multiple, incalculable contributions to Ethiopia’s political development and political history, including the enormous achievements and respect my country gained from the international community through the hard, devoted work realized by those irreplaceable Ethiopian figures, can be so neglected and forgotten? Why is that? Where is the concern, the respect and the love Ethiopians generally have for the people and the history of Ethiopia, and towards those who played a crucial role in representing our country on the world political stage, who made history for our country? The story surrounding the tragic, untimely and sudden murder of ministers, together with their compatriot army generals and civil servants, by the power hungry and power intoxicated Dergue members under the leadership of the most inhumane, cruel, anti-social animal called Mengistu Hailemariam, has remained buried, in exactly the same way as the story of the resignation of Aklilu Habte-Wold’s cabinet. No books, no films or video recordings based on facts seem to have been produced. It is probably due to our resulting ignorance that most Ethiopians of my generation often feel uncomfortable, even embarrassed, to talk or engage in debates involving these two tragic events. Yes, since there are no written meeting reports or video records that might indicate why and how the members of the Dergue reached their extremely cruel conclusions and decided to murder their own compatriots, most of us know little or nothing about the precise facts behind the killing of those 60 Ethiopian citizens in just a few minutes on the 23rd of November 1974 - we only know that they never faced due process in a court of law for the crimes of which they were accused As time passes, later generations, including that of my daughter, will know even less. What is most remarkable of all is the lack of concern and the disinterest of Ethiopians in boldly confronting, exploring and writing about these painful events, the history of our own crises, which are also our own creations. Isn’t it tragic, even shameful, to realize that we Ethiopians still live without books, professionally produced films or video records of such important, fascinating but painful historical events? I would further be interested in understanding why the Ethiopian Diaspora, including the opposition political parties and the Diaspora media outlets and websites, are so reluctant to provide forums that would bring together individual Ethiopians who have information about those two important historical events, so that they can be widely discussed and more deeply explored? It is to be remembered that in recent times Chapters of Ethiopian political parties and the Ethiopian Diaspora in general have been engaged in exploring and explaining the origins of TPLF and its founding fathers, as well as the later historical developments. How is it then possible that the personalities and immense historical contributions of those 60 or more Dergue victims, the events themselves, the whys and hows of their resignations and murders, can be seen as irrelevant, or less important than the history of the TPLF and its founding figures? Why is that our interest and fascination are more profound with respect to the histories of our enemies than regarding the historical achievements, contributions and personalities of our own people? What kind of Ethiopianess is that?
--------------------- +++++ -----------
(Readers who wish to contact the author can reach him at info@pada.nl
Dr. Maru Gubena, from Ethiopia, is a political economist, writer and publisher.)

December 1, 2006

Remembering Wolf Leslau, the Ge'ez Scholar, 1906-2006


Wolf Leslau, surely the greatest Semiticist linguist of the post-war generation, whose work established Ethiopian linguistics as an essential part of Semitic studies, died on Nov. 18, at age 100 + four days. He is survived by two daughters, Elaine and Sylvia, and grandchildren.

Author of a body of work the size and breadth of which it is difficult to imagine anyone again matching, and the content of which it is difficult to imagine anyone again having the competence to match, his life was filled with love and energy for scholarly work. His publications date from 1933 including eleven articles before the appearance of the book Lexique soqotri in 1938, and continue uninterrupted almost to this year (The Verb in Mäsqan, 2004). Until recent months he was diligently working on another book, on the Ethiopian Semitic language Gogot. Characteristically, at 80 years old he discovered and mastered use of the Macintosh computer, recognizing its usefulness in composing work using phonetic and European-language fonts as well as Ethiopic and other Semitic writing systems. Born in Poland on Nov. 14, 1906, he moved to Vienna in 1926, where he met his wife Charlotte.

In 1931 he took up studies in Paris under Marcel Cohen, on Ethiopian languages. The war would interrupt his studies but not his writing: three articles appeared in 1939 and a book documenting Tigrigna, still perhaps the basic source on this important language, in 1941. Escaping nazi-occupied France in 1941, he and his wife reached New York in 1942, where he taught at the Asia Institute and the New School for Social Research. He moved to Brandeis in 1951. After the war he was able to return to Paris to submit two books and receive in 1953 the Doctorat-ès-Lettres from the Sorbonne. In 1955 Leslau accepted appointment at UCLA, where he founded the Department of Near Eastern and African Languages (now Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) and where he sponsored, taught, and mentored the first generation of Ethiopian modern linguists. In the sixties he directed UCLA Amharic-language programs for the U.S. Peace Corps, for which purpose he wrote his Amharic Textbook (675 pp., 1965, dedicated to the memory of President John Kennedy) and his Concise Amharic Dictionary (535 pp., 1976). A Guggenheim fellowship had first taken him to Ethiopia for field work in 1946 where, helped by an audience with Emperor Haile Sellassie I, he avoided payment of a prohibitive fee to import his heavy and bulky recording equipment, and proceeded to regions beyond Addis Ababa to gather the meticulously written and organized notes which he expanded on subsequent visits, and was continuing to draw from until this year. Traveling about by mule, he was the first to study in depth most of the South Ethiopian Semitic languages, including Gafat (Étude descriptive et comparative du Gafat, 1956), whose last aging speakers he sought out. He worked and published on Ethiopian Cushitic and Omotic languages too, and on other Semitic languages. His field notebooks and cards, gathered before the benefit of computers, were miraculously cross-referenced by his encyclopedic memory. Besides linguistics, he published folk-tales, recordings of music, and many articles of anthropological interest, and his grammars were often backed up by thoroughly annotated texts on cultural and social topics. He sponsored the publication of the first novel written in Chaha. Three hundred publications were listed in the bibliography of his writings in his 85th birthday festschrift, Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau, A. Kaye, ed. (1991) --with 137 contributors. An earlier festschrift, Ethiopian Studies Dedicated to Wolf Leslau, S. Segert and A. Bodrogligeti, eds. (1983), had honored his 75th birthday, and a later festschrift honored his 90th birthday: Essays on Gurage Language and Culture, G. Hudson, ed. (1996). It is impossible here to list even highlights of his honors and publications, but several monumental books finished after his retirement from UCLA may be mentioned as indicative of Leslau’s extraordinary energy and creativity: Etymological Dictionary of Gurage (Ethiopic), 3 vols., 2082 pp., in 1979; Comparative Dictionary of Ge‘ez, 813 pp., in 1987; Fifty Years of Research (37 selected articles), 503 pp., 1988; Reference Grammar of Amharic, 1044 pp., in 1995; Zway: Ethiopic Documents, Grammar and Dictionary, in 1999; and, with his student Thomas Kane, Amharic Cultural Reader, in 2001. Mentioned above was The Verb in Mäsqan, in 2004; he was then 98 years old! Volume 9 (2006) of the journal Aethiopica (Siegbert Uhlig, ed.) was dedicated to him, as “the grand maître of our field. By his lifework Wolf Leslau has set milestones for Ethiopian Studies in general, and Ethio-Semitic linguistics in particular. No scholar or student today can work in these fields without his dictionaries, grammar books and text editions. Leslau has served the academic world for many decades, having erected a lasting monument for himself by his everlasting energy and indefatigable dedication. His kind personality, engaging manners as well as the cooperative skills he revealed in his dealings with African colleagues have been his distinctive mark. The fundamental works his efforts have produced will stay with us for many decades to come.” Those of us who studied with him or knew him otherwise are fortunate to have known not just the scholar and his work but the informed citizen and gracious gentleman, recalled as a man of subtle humor, knowledgeable and serious on just about any subject, with understanding for the troubles of Ethiopia and Africa, with concern for the progress of Semitic and Ethiopian linguistics and for the preservation of vanishing languages and cultures.

Muslim Mob Kills Six Christians In Ethiopia

A Muslim mob has killed six Christians in an unprovoked attack on a congregation in Ethiopia, ICC has discovered.
by Maria Mackay
Posted: Friday, December 1, 2006, 8:44 (GMT)
The US-based human rights group International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned a mob of 300 Muslims killed six Christians in early October while 15 others were left seriously wounded by the attack during a midnight worship service in Beshasha, a town located in the Agaro province in Ethiopia.

On 14 October, a group of three hundred Muslims, carrying guns and knives approached the church where the Orthodox Christians were holding a midnight worship service. When the locked doors prevented the mob from entering the church they forced the congregation out of the church by pouring gasoline around the building.

The men of the church came out first and attempted to defend the men and women but because they had no real weapons in comparison to the guns and knives used against them they were attacked by the mob.

Fifteen individuals from the church suffered severe knife wounds and six people died as a result - two priests, two elderly women, and two men.

Two weeks later, the Ethiopian media announced that the police had arrested the leader of the massacre. But ICC warns that the violence against Christians continues to increase steadily despite the arrest.

It was only two weeks before the Beshasha massacre that another attack on Christians occurred in Jimma, Ethiopia because Muslims opposed Orthodox Christians celebrating the traditional Meskel holiday.

ICC warned that Muslims in the Horn of Africa are becoming increasingly radical and violent and are being urged to export that violence to surrounding countries.

This trend is almost certainly affecting Christians in Ethiopia, ICC said. The Union of Islamic Courts in Somalis recently called for Jihad against Ethiopia, appealing to Muslims of the Horn to rise up against anyone who would dare come against the religion of Allah.

ICC remains concerned as it warned that the tragic incident may only be a precursor of things to come as Muslims in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania are radicalised.


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የአቡነ ጳውሎስ "ሐውልተ ስምዕ"

ነጻ ፓትርያርክ ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ ማንን ይመርጡ ነበር? እንበልና ሁሉም ነገር ሥርዓቱን ጠብቆ የተከናወነ የእጩዎች ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ አሁን የምናነሣቸው ጉድለቶች ባይኖሩ ኖሮ፣ 6ኛው ፓትርያርክ እንዲሆን የምትመርጡት ማንን ነበር? (ማሳሰቢያ፦ አሁን ያለው ክፍፍል እና የመንግሥት ተጽዕኖ ባይኖር ኖሮ ተብሎ የሚመለስ ጥያቄ ነው። የምን “ባይኖር ኖሮ ነው” የሚል አስተያየት ካለዎትም እናከብራለን።)