All Articles Tagged "Ethiopia"
Happy Black Girl News! Yatyish Aynaw Becomes First Black Miss Israel And She’s Dining With President Obama Next Week
21-year-old Yatyish Aynaw has a pretty major accmoplishment under her belt, as she is the first Ethiopian-born Israeli to be awarded the title of Miss Israel in the annual Miss Israel pageant, reports the Jerusalem Post.
“It’s important that a member of the Ethiopian community win the competition for the first time. “It’s important that a member of the Ethiopian community win the competition for the first time,” she told judges during the pageant.
Aynaw also told judges during the competition that the late Martin Luther King Jr. is one of her all-time heros.
“He fought for justice and equality, and that’s one of the reasons I’m here: I want to show that my community has many beautiful qualities that aren’t always represented in the media,” the pageant queen expressed.
Following her recent win, Aynaw was presented with an invitation to meet and have dinner with United States President Barack Obama, along with Israeli President Shimon Peres when he visits the country next week. When asked by the Jerusalem Post why she believed that she had received such an honorable invitation, she responded:
“the first Black Miss Israel to be chosen and [Obama] is the first Black American president. These go together.”
She also expressed that she was “very excited” to meet President Obama.
Both Aynaw’s mother and father died in Ethiopia. She relocated to Israel at the age of 12 to live with her grandmother. She revealed that adjusting to life in Israel was rather difficult at first, but with the much appreciated assistance of a friend, she was able to learn the language.
Aynaw refers to America’s first Black President as “someone who accomplished things by dint of his hard work.” The pageant winner shared that she was in shock when she received the personal invitation from “President Shimon Peres himself,” earlier this week and that she “never thought that such a thing could happen.”
“It’s Not Just A Dance, It’s A Lifestyle” Real Harlemites Are Not Feeling The “New” Harlem Shake Dance Craze
If you’re internet savvy, chances are you’ve stumbled across the “Harlem Shake” by now. And I’m not talking about the original Harlem Shake black folks have been doing since the ’80′s, popularized in 2001 by G Dep, Diddy and ‘nem in his “Let’s Get It” video.
I’m talking about the viral videos that feature groups of people jumping about, dry humping the air in masks and outrageous costumes dancing to a type of dance/techno song made by Brooklyn producer, Baauer. The song, which is over three minutes long, only features a single sentence of intelligible, English lyrics: “Do the Harlem Shake.” Perhaps the makers of the first “Harlem Shake” video that went viral didn’t take the time to actually research the original Harlem Shake. Instead, they just proceeded to gyrate about in Power Ranger costumes. And for whatever reason, the meme and subsequent videos spread like wildfire. If you haven’t seem them, this is the new interpretation of the Harlem Shake. (In an attempt to promote our brother site’s efforts, I’m embedding Bossip’s Corporate Office edition below. But if you want to see how the white folks, who are the majority of the meme’s participants are doing it, check out some more here. The underwater version is my favorite.)
Filmmaker, Chris McGuire, had just made a Harlem Shake dance meme video himself; but luckily, he didn’t stop there. He decided to do some research about the true origins of the dance. Here’s what he had to say about his discoveries:
Then I began researching it a little bit and discovered that the Harlem Shake was a whole other thing. I learned that it was a long-standing tradition in Harlem and that what people were doing had nothing to do with it. I wanted to add to the conversation.
I felt like someone who had sinned, and saw the error of his ways. As such, I decided to let the people of Harlem tell the world what they thought.
Given that the name ‘Harlem’ was part of this huge trend, and their dance the ‘Harlem Shake’ was their dance, I wanted to see what their perspective was.
It was pretty universal. They thought it was crap and had nothing to do with the dance or culture that they so proudly identified with.”
Check out McGuire’s video of real Harlemites responding to the dance meme.
There were a lot of opinions but not one of them was favorable. Did you hear homeboy say it was a way of life?! I don’t know about all of that since I haven’t seen anbodybreak that out in the club since 2006; but there’s no way that anyone could argue that the dance is not culturally significant. In fact, after a quick Wikipedia search, I learned that it was deeper than I’d originally imagined. In 2003, Inside Hoops interviewed Al B, the man credited with bringing the dance to Rucker Park and later Harlem around 1981. The dance was originally named after him: “albee,” and later changed. Al B described the dance as a “drunken shake,” that originated in ancient Egypt. “Yes. It was a drunken dance, you know, from the mummies, in the tombs. That’s what the mummies used to do. They was all wrapped up and taped up. So they couldn’t really move, all they could do was shake.” Other sources say it derived from an Ethiopian dance called “Eskista.” Judging by the videos, the Eskista theory seems more plausible to me.
So now the question remains, does the new Harlem Shake meme disrespect the origins and cultural significance of the original dance? Or is this just another case of white folks grabbing a hold of something started in the black community and making it more popular?
Hiyaw Gebreyohannes makes a living making food. The 31-year-old is the owner and founder of Taste of Ethiopia, a company that makes prepared food that is sold in places like Whole Foods and Fairway in New York City.
His culinary roots go back to his mother’s restaurant chain, which spanned across Michigan and Canada. Born in Djibouti, he says his goal is to be “authentic.”
Black Enterprise has added its profile of Gebreyohannes to its Cool Jobs series, showcasing the way he has taken the obvious love that his mother’s customers had for her food to a broader audience.
“I adopt a ‘small-batch philosophy,’” he tells the site. “There is a danger when you beef up production. You don’t want to get to a point where you have to water down the quality of your product.”
To learn more about how Gebreyohannes mixes his passion for food with his passion for business, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
Bethelehem Tilahun Alemu looked around Zenebework, her small, rural impoverished community in Ethiopia and vowed to make a difference not only in her life, but for those around her. Forbes reports that her commitment and drive to impact her community inspired her to create one of Africa’s premier footwear brands.
The lack of jobs available in Zenebework did not equate to lack of skill. Alemu observed the wealth of unused artistic talent so many in her community possessed. With the financial backing of her husband and immediate family, she brought together a group of talented artisans and founded SoleRebels in 2004. Nike, Reebok and Adidas can’t compare to this company. The name pays homage to the Ethiopian rebel fighters who wore the classic Selate and Barabasso shoe during their successful campaign to overcome western colonization.
These shoes are in essence the modern version of the Selate and Barabasso sole shoe. Handcrafted by members of her community, the shoes are made from various locally grown natural plants and weather-beaten tires using Ethiopian traditional techniques and materials. Alemu’s dream is now known internationally as a unique, quality African-based footwear manufacturer. Her company was one of the top 5 finalists for the 2011 Legatum Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship and is currently a top footwear exporter to the US. Although Alemu won’t release the net worth of her company, finalists for this award must earn an annual revenue of $1 million to $15 million. Alemu estimates that by 2016, her company will hit the $10 million mark.
SoleRebels is sold in over 30 countries and through online retailers including Amazon. Styles range from comfortable and colorful slips-ons, lace ups and sandals, and carry a price tag of $20 to $100.
In addition to the Legatum Africa Award, last year Alemu won the “Most Outstanding Businesswoman” award from the African Business Magazine and was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. In her entrepreneurial pursuits she has not only succeeded in creating an internationally recognizable company, but in providing jobs for her fellow countrymen.
(Businessweek) — The mouthful of coffee makes a high-pitched ting as Stephen Vick spits into a metal urn. “Ethiopian coffees are really special,” says Vick, quality control manager for Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. At the company’s “cupping” lab in Chicago, he samples delicately flavored batches from the birthplace of coffee before deciding what to ship to Intelligentsia’s six cafes and 1,000 retailers. The Ethiopia taste tests occur far less often than before, says Vick. “We don’t want to buy anonymous coffee,” says Geoff Watts, an Intelligentsia vice-president. The no-name beans he is referring to trade on the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, an effort to improve farm markets that also poses a serious problem for U.S. coffee dealers who seek out coffee the way Manhattan wine merchants track down the best Bordeaux.
(Network Journal) — The government of Israel announced earlier this month that it will bring 8,000 more Ethiopian black Jews, known commonly as Falashas, from Ethiopia to Israel. Those awaiting the airlift are currently living in the Ethiopian city of Gondar. There, they receive aid services from the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry and health services from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. According to Israel, the Ethiopians will be brought at the rate of about 200 per month over four years.
(NY Times) — In that modest two-room office off East 125th Street, the Abyssinian Fund, the only nongovernmental organization in Ethiopia formed by an African-American church, the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, finally has a home. Mr. Richards, 26, an assistant minister at Abyssinian under the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, is the president of the recently formed Aby Fund, as he calls it, an international aid and development arm of the church. It will soon be joining forces with a co-op of 700 coffee farmers in the ancient Ethiopian city of Harrar, with a mission to improve the quality of the farmers’ lives by helping them improve the quality of their coffee beans.
(NYT) — From a 542-square-foot office above a bustling intersection in Harlem, the Rev. Nicholas S. Richards is building what he hopes will be a 7,000-mile bridge to the eastern highlands of Ethiopia. It is a bridge more than 200 years in the making.
In that modest two-room office off East 125th Street, the Abyssinian Fund, the only nongovernmental organization in Ethiopia formed by an African-American church, theAbyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, finally has a home.