A Celebration of Ethiopian Achievements

On Art… "Debre Hayq Ethiopian Gallery"

We at SELEDA have made it a very ye-adebabay misTir that we will not rule out employing underhanded and dastardly tactics to lure the designer of this exquisite page to our iqif. Many a times, when the pressure of life burdens out qossasa shoulders, we have retreated to Debre Hayq to get salvation and rejuvenation.

Not only is Debre Hayq by far the best designed web page our beady, blood shot SELEDA eyes have ever seen, but it is also the most interesting content provider this side of 100 Easy Recipes dot com. Written in both Amharic and English text, the page provides exhaustive information not only on Ethiopian art and artists, but it also meticulously chronicles the evolvement of art in Ethiopian society, 1887 to the present.

An extensive and well-organized biography of Ethiopian artists allows us to be privy to the people behind the art we've admired. An invaluable "Articles" section delves more into particular works of art including Aleka Gebre Selassie Adil's painting "Mother Ethiopia". Also featured are in-depth profiles of prominent artists such as Mulugeta Tafesse and Kenfe Michael Bethe Selassie.

Debre Hayq is an elixir to missing home and country. Though a series of mesmeric art galleries of well known and obscure artists, it takes us back to Ethiopia, and plops us right in the middle of a field of memories and nostalgia, so delicately yet so potently. Debre Hayq almost makes missing home bearable.

On Language… "AddisPro"

Now that you've come full circle and have downloaded Ethiopic fonts to write your fiqregna sweetly versed Amharic letters, how about taking it one step further and emailing your syrupy love murmurs in Ethiopic? From the people who brought you AddisWord, comes AddisPro, an Amharic email program designed to work on any operating system. The relative user friendliness of it astounded even the most techno-phobe SELEDAite amongst us. Open, write, click, send… AddisPro is as revolutionary as it is ingenious.


On Cyberspace… "ethioGuide"

There is a new player in the Ethiopian cyber-adebabay/portal scene… a sleek, polished, lucid player. ethioGuide is a one-stop Ethiopian information powerhouse. If it mentions Ethiopia, it's linked to ethioGuide. It is updated frequently from stories and articles compiled from wire services, the Internet, various magazines, radio and television, and newspapers.

The page is easy to navigate, and the ethioGuide forum is where Ethiopians gather to exchange ideas and thoughts on various topics such as why the SELEDA people are so erratic-like. ethioGuide could well take the cyber Ethiopian village to the next level, and with the addition of original content, it could very well pick up where the rest have stopped.

On Products… "Ethiopia Today"

Yes, there are a million Ethiopian cyber information stalls and suk bederetays. But we have been in love with this one ever since we stumbled on it quite by accident, and suffice it to say we have not been the same since. Ethiopia Today is… is… interminably, unapologetically cool! The best thing about it is its Arada Posta Bet, where Ethio-centric e-cards include titles such as, "Ye-hiywote Abeba" and "Sira Beztobign New". (SELEDA would like to petition for titles geared more to the circles we frequent: "Ante/Anchi Balegay!", "Endesu Maletay Alneberem", and a colorful "Bicha koi!". It is a wonderful idea, tapping into more than the traditional Ethiopian Holiday greeting card market.

Ethiopia Today has also one of the coolest chat pages, at least stylistically. We at SELEDA would never think about hiding under a nic and unleashing literary guerrilla warfare on unsuspecting souls. Nonetheless, this is the new place for sage Ethiopian chat.

On Giving Back… "PAHA-Ethiopia"

It is about the people (mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, relatives...each one with a story) who are infected, and who continue to be without a voice.

It is about the orphans whose numbers keep mounting. It is about the teenagers who are at tremendous risk of being infected and who find themselves suddenly as heads of households.

It is about stretching to the limit and in some cases the disintegration  of some of the social institutions and fabrics in Ethiopia such as the edirs who have gone bankrupt after burying so many of their members.

It is about the exposure of our hidden sexual culture and its manifestations, and coming-face-to-face with our cultural piety.

It is about the threat to Ethiopia's present and future in all spheres. With life expectancy heading towards 37 in 2010, we are on the verge of a social, spiritual and moral crisis.

Mostly, it is about us, the more fortunate. Some have said that our response to this epidemic will say a lot about what we, as a society, are all about.

Join the discussion.

Partners Against HIV/AIDS (PAHA)-Ethiopia.

On Film…… "Adwa: An African Victory"

At the turn of the 19th century, our foreparents dealt a stunning blow to Italian colonizers at the historic battle of Adwa. Most of us grew up listening to stories about our grandparents who perished in that war.

Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima , whose body of work includes the groundbreaking Sankofa and the powerful "Imperfect Journey", takes on the august task of telling the world about Adwa. "Adwa: An African Victory" premiered to rave reviews at the Venice International Film Festival, and is headed to a grand US premiere in November in Washington DC.

With Hollywood's proclivity to either overly and unnecessarily exotisize African history to fit mainstream sensibilities (note the nymphomaniac wench Cleopatra ended up being on the CBS mini series last season), or to wholly ignore the subject matter, it is indeed a delight to have an Ethiopian tell our story. It is up to us in the Diaspora to support our filmmakers and artists, who chronicle our past for future generations.

SELEDA deeply salutes "Adwa: An African Victory".

U.S. Benefit Premiere:

November 20, 1999 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln Theater, 1215 U Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

Co-Chairs of the Honorary Host Committee: Danny Glover, Ambassador Andrew Young, Mrs. Alison Brisco, former wife of the late Congressman Mickey Leland.

Tickets available through Ticket Master, 202-432-SEAT, all Ticket Master outlets, The Lincoln Theater (not phone sales) and Sankofa Video and Books, 202-234-4755

Patron** - $100, Supporter** - $50, General - $25

**Patron and Supporter Tickets include reception prior to film and special listing in souvenir Program Book.

For more information contact Blene Aklilu Betemariam at