The Battle of Adwa was fought on 1 March 1896 between the Ethiopian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia, in Tigray. This climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian War, was a decisive defeat for Italy and secured Ethiopian sovereignty. As the 20th century approached, Africa had been carved up among the European powers at the Berlin Conference of 1884–85. The two independent exceptions were the Republic of Liberia on the west coast, which had begun as a settlement of repatriated American slaves. These slaves were sent by the American Colonization Society, who believed blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the United States. The second independent nation being Ethiopia, or then still commonly known as Abyssinia. Italy was a relative latecomer to the imperialist scramble for Africa. Italy’s only possessions were African territories: Eritrea and Italian Somalia. Both were near Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa and both were impoverished. Italy sought to improve its position in Africa by conquering Ethiopia and joining it with its two territories. Read on……..
Today 28th January 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the ‘Voice of Ethiopia’. On this day in 1937 Dr Malaku E Bayen the special emissary to America of Emperor Haile Selassie, and his African American wife Dorothy, created a newspaper called ‘Voice of Ethiopia’ to simultaneously denounce Jim Crow in America, and the fascist invasion in Ethiopia. The ‘Voice of Ethiopia’, was to become known as the official media organ of the Ethiopian World Federation Incorporated. It was pro African newspaper that urged the millions of sons and daughters of Ethiopia scattered throughout the world, to join hands with Ethiopia to save the country from the wolves of Europe. Its first anniversary was marked by a special cable via Western Union from Emperor Haile Selassie, who at that time resided in exile at Fairfield House in Bath.
The cable read ” It is with great pleasure that i have just noted that the ‘Voice of Ethiopia’ has just completed its first year of struggle for the cause of Ethiopia and i send my congratulations. I sincerely hope that it will continue to receive the support of all who love justice”. Emperor Haile Selassie.
An extract from the ‘Voice of Ethiopia’, describes the first birthday celebration. Read on…..
Timket is the Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of Epiphany. Timket celebrates the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. This festival is best known for its ritual reenactment of baptism During the ceremonies of Timkat, the Tabot, a model of the Ark of the Covenant, is reverently wrapped in rich cloth and borne in procession and carried through the crowd in every city on the head of a priest. The Tabot/s are carried only by the most senior priests of the community and completely covered because they are too sacred for anyone to gaze at them. Even the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox church is forbidden to see it; only its guardians can look at it. The actual Ark of the Covenant is said to be in the city of Aksum, guarded by monks who have vowed not to leave the chapel grounds until death. Continue reading……………….
While the Gregorian calendar celebrates Christmas on the 25th of December, Ethiopia still retains the ancient Julian calendar in which Christmas falls on January 7th (of the Gregorian calendar.) The Ethiopian name given to Christmas is Ledet or Genna which, according to elders, comes from the word Gennana, meaning “imminent” to express the coming of Christ and the freeing of mankind from sin. It is a public holiday, and the day is a time of reflection, inner thoughts and healing Continue reading……………………………………….
Haile Selassie I is Ethiopia’s 225th and last emperor, serving from 1930 until his overthrow by the Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1974. The longtime ruler traced his line back to Menelik I, who was credited with being the child of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
Emperor Haile Selassie I was born on July 23, 1892, as Lij Taffari Makonnen at Enjersa Goro, just outside the city of Harrar Ethiopia. His parents were Ras Makonnen Wolde Michael, the governor of Harrar, and his wife, Woizero Yeshimebet Ali AbaJiffar. At the age of thirteen, Lij Taffari Makonnen was appointed a Dejazmatch by his father (“Commander or General of the Gate”) a military title meaning commander of the central body of a traditional Ethiopian armed force. Ras Makonnen also summoned all his officers and informed them that it was his wish that his son Dejazmatch Taffari succeed him as governor of Harrar although ultimate decisions as to the succession of the Harrar governorate belonged to his cousin Emperor Menelik II.
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