Ethiopia is coffee’s birthplace, it is said and Ethiopians take their coffee seriously. From the elaborate “coffee ceremony” in towns and villages up and down the country, to the sipping a macchiato with the Sunday papers in one of the capital’s many cafes, coffee is ever present. Many of Addis residents have favorite haunts – most of them small cafes, which are located around the corner from their apartment or workplace, where coffee is prepared in a jebena or long-necked pot, usually conducted by one young woman, dressed in the traditional Ethiopian costume of a white dress, – and nothing will make you feel local like finding one of your own. But in the meantime, here’s a selection of notable spots that place a particular emphasis on the ambiance and the quality of the coffee. Read more…
This photo by Gali Tibbon, an Israeli photojournalist and documentary photographer, showing an infertile Ethiopian woman baptized by priests in Lalibela just before Christmas day has won the prestigious World Photography Awards 2013 in the professional travel category. According to faith the water has fertility powers that will allow her to conceive.
The second image by the same photographer shows a ray of light penetrating into the church from a cross shaped window as a pilgrim walks by.
For more Lalibela photos of Gali Tibbon, check here.
A saline lake in Ethiopia that’s baffled scientists by its 15-fold growth threatens to spill into the nation’s longest river and damage the country’s plans to become a commodities powerhouse, Bloomberg news agency reported on April 24.
Lake Beseka in the Rift Valley has grown to its largest size ever amid irrigation runoff and seismic shifts in past years. Should salt waters contaminate the Awash River, they would risk Ethiopia’s oldest state-owned sugar estate and an India-funded project downstream that’s key to the government’s $5 billion plan to turn the country into a top sugar exporter, according to Bloomberg.
“The fear is for the river,” Water and Energy Ministry groundwater chief Tesfaye Tadesse said. “If it discharges by itself without any control, the river is going to be contaminated forever.”
Bloomebrg said that river basins including the Blue Nile and rugged highlands bless Ethiopia with plentiful hydropower and the continent’s second-largest water resources. The government is counting on Indian financing, a Saudi billionaire and Chinese loans to grow sugar, rice, bananas and oranges for export to expand the fastest-growing African economy without oil reserves.
Find the full story here.
Lela Art Gallery will present a retrospective of the work of Zerihun Yetmegeta in a new exhibition opening Saturday, April 20. “Yekelebet Menged” (Ring Road) will run through May 12th at LeLa Contemporary art Gallery in Addis Ababa. Zerihun is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential artists in contemporary Ethiopian art, in a career that spans almost five decades.
“Zerihun explores for the past 50 years the visualization of space by creating an illusion of depth and engages the viewer in the game of seeking recognizable imagery and inventing his own visual chronicle,” an associate curator, Leo Lefort said.
The exhibition will feature black and white paintings, prints, drawings which according to the curator “allude to the textural quality of sculpture -equating Paul Klee or Pierre Soulages- suggesting a third dimension where there is only the flat surface of the canvas.”
As Leo noted, “Like a distant mirage, the viewer is drawn into the works of Zerihun, wanting to explore the multiple layers of information: referring to symbols, gods and Saints, motifs inherited from magic scrolls, Akan akua’ba figure from Ghana or King Ezana.”
The exhibition will explore dominant themes throughout Zerihun’s career, including mythology and fiction, anthropology and truth, illusion, duality, myth, and fairy tale. “The irradiation of color and the absence of a precise narrative,” will be the main feature of the show, according to the curator.
For more, go to LeLa Art Gallery website.
Ruth Woldeselasie is fast becoming one of Ethiopia’s hottest designers. Her designs, which are simple, straightforward and locally inspired pieces, are getting recognitions from different corners. She draws inspiration from country and urban folks in order to produce wearable and long-lasting clothes. In her ‘Urban Roots Couture’ label, the Addis-born designer is trying to mix fashion with street culture – pushing the boundaries to the maximum. Since its inception, Urban Roots Couture has received press coverage from major local newspapers such as the Capital, the Reporter. Ruth has recently styled the likes of Jano Band, the recent Miss Ethiopia pageants and Miss Universe Ethiopia. She has showcased her work at numerous places in Addis such as a solo show at Radisson Blu Hotel, and another one at Sheraton Addis to mark Rotarian’s 50th celebration. Last November, at Velvet Restaurant and Pastry, she collaborated with twenty enterprises that specialize in using recycled and organic-based textiles materials to create outfits. In the Hub of Africa 2012, she partnered with Sole Rebels, an artisan who manufactures eco-friendly footwear, to showcase her works in African Union Conference center. She also participated in African Mosaique’s group show, “Biennial Fashion and Cultural Gala” at Sheraton Addis on January 4, 2013. On December 15, 2012, she has staged an “Eco Friendly Fashion Show” at Alliance Ethio-Française. Read more…
Baher Dar is an interesting town to visit in the northern Ethiopia route. Much of the city’s popularity is thanks to its palm-lined avenues, pretty lakeside vistas, and colorful market. The focal point of the town is Lake Tana, and its island monasteries dotted around the lake.
Kuriftu Resort, one of the establishments designed around the lake, has majestic setting. Opened in 2009 and set on a 10,000 msq of land, the lodge is cozy, chic and relaxed with 28 guest rooms with private views and individual bungalows that open onto the lake and sunlit garden filled with roses and citrus trees. The ultra-modern lodge is product of a bamboo, thatch and stone and with furnishings that include antiques and traditional motifs. It’s not the first eco-lodge in the Baher Dar but it is the swankiest, and the only one with a giant swimming pool. While it will take a little time for the new stone facades, linking walkways and patio to settle and age, the overall design is attractive, with leather seating, low tables and pleasant table and chair arrangements in the dining room. Read more…
The Ethiopian poet and playwright Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin’s biography hit bookstores last week, according to Tsehai Publishers.
The new book, called “Soaring on Winged Verse,” was based on interviews that author Fasil Yitbarek has held with Tsegaye, family members, friends, colleagues, the publishing company said in a press statement.
The 244-page book, priced $24.95, chronicles the life of one of Ethiopia’s most remarkable authors, tracing Tsegaye’s days from his Boda village to his rise as luminary figure.
“This book gives readers the most complete look into the life and prolific career of Tsegaye, a playwright and author of influential poetry in both Amharic and English,” the press statement reads.
“Beyond providing a biographical account of the events that shaped the poet’s life, Soaring on Winged Verse serves as an intimate window into the writer’s world and provides readers a glimpse into his creative musings and to his remarkable journey as a writer, traveler, and advocate for his home country.”
The biographer, currently professor of English at Qatar University in Doha, has published an English novel, The Texture of Dreams in 2005. “In Soaring on Winged Verse, readers will encounter a story that goes beyond mere facts to encompass the inspiration of Tsegaye’s remarkable and dynamic life,” the publisher said.