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  • U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa response to Ethiopians Visa Quota to USA

    "We have seen questions on Facebook about a quota system for Ethiopian visa applicants.

    Last week, the President of the United States initiated a review of national security procedures which applies to visitors and potential immigrants from seven countries.

    Ethiopia is not among those seven countries and Ethiopian citizens are not addressed nor affected by the President’s executive order.

    The U.S. Government remains committed to facilitating legitimate travel for international visitors. In fact, in 2016, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa issued more than 18,000 non-immigrant visas, with the majority to Ethiopian applicants.

    For more information on the recent Executive Order or on the application process for U.S. visas:

    https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html"

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  • University of Toronto launches class on ancient Ethiopian language( Ge’ez) with a donation from The Weeknd

    The university is now one of the only places in the world where students can learn Ge’ez.

    Tens of thousands of ancient Ethiopian manuscripts – maybe more – have collected dust for over a century because they are written in what is now a rarely studied language, Ge’ez. 

    But a new course at the University of Toronto is teaching a new generation of students to understand the ancient Semitic language so that one day they can access this long-lost trove of knowledge. 

    This week, Professor Robert Holmstedt of the department of Near and Middle Eastern civilizations welcomed 25 students and members of Toronto’s Ethiopian community to the first day of an introductory course on Ge’ez, which like Latin, is only used in religious services, in this case for the Ethiopian Orthodox and Catholic churches.

    With this course, U of T becomes one of the only places in the world where students can learn the fundamentals of Ge'ez. The program came about through several significant donations, including from The Weeknd, the Ethiopian community and the Faculty of Arts & Science.

    Department chair Professor Tim Harrison has said that he hopes, with continued support, U of T will eventually add more courses and be positioned to launch the first Ethiopian studies program in North America.

    Since the subject is so rarely taught, Holmstedt had to invent course materials and revise one of the only Ge’ez textbooks in English, the 40-year-old Introduction to Classical Ethiopic: Ge'ez by Thomas O. Lambdin. Ge’ez is a window into an ancient culture and offers insights into other Semitic languages, he said.

    “I like giving students access to things that 99.5 per cent of the world doesn’t have access to,” he said. “It’s part of advancing our knowledge and the pursuit of truth. This is the very nature of the university. We can’t leave this behind.” 

    Michael Gervers, a history professor at U of T Scarborough, helped launch the course with a $50,000 donation and a call to Toronto's Ethiopian community to contribute.

    The call was answered and the donation matched by none other than Toronto native and Grammy-award winning artist Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd.

    The campaign for the language course has a $200,000 goal and has received support from the Faculty of Arts & Science and the Bikila Awards organization, a local Ethiopian community group named after Olympic marathoner Adebe Bikila. 

    Read more at: www.utoronto.ca

     

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  • House approves second national human rights action plan

     The House of People's Representatives (HPR) on Tuesday (December 27) approved the second national human rights action plan. Tabled to the House by the Legal, Justice and Administrative Affairs Standing Committee, the amendment made its focus on civil, political, socio-economic, cultural, environmental and developmental rights. According to the Chairman of the Committee, Petros Woldesillasie, the newly included and amended human rights laws are believed to ensure the human and democratic rights of the people. 

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  • "Yifter the Shifter" passes away

    Miruts Yifter, one of the greatest long distance runners of all time, has died at the age of 72 in Toronto, Canada on Thursday, December 22, 2016.

    The Ethiopian was a double gold medallist at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, winning both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters in the Russian capital. Often referred to as “Yifter the Shifter”, he died from respiratory problems in Toronto.

    He first came to international prominence at the Munich Olympics of 1972 when he won bronze medal in the 10,000 meters race.

    Miruts would have been one of the favorites for gold four years later – in both 5,000 and 10,000 – had his country not been one of 29 nations to boycott the Montreal Games in protest at the IOC's refusal to ban New Zealand.

    Many countries, mainly African countries, were unhappy that New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team had toured apartheid South Africa in 1976.

    Despite this setback, Miruts continued to be a dominant force in athletics, enjoying victories over both his main distances at the World Cup meetings of 1977 and 1979.

    He inspired a generation of African runners, including the great Haile Gebreselassie, who admitted: "Miruts has been everything to me and my athletics career.

    "When I started running, I just wanted to be like him. He is the reason for who I'm now and for what I have achieved.

    "For me, he is the best athlete Ethiopia ever had, after the great Abebe Bikila."

    Miruts is a double Olympic gold medalist, an Ethiopian national icon and one of the finest athletes to grace the running track. The effects of having suffered a collapsed lung, compounded by his old age led to his death.

    Miruts had been hospitalized for nearly a year, but was recently said to have been making progress in his recovery effort. But after having fought admirably, exhibiting the same resistance and endurance that made him a household name in international sports back in the seventies and eighties, Miruts has succumbed to illness.

     

    His numerous accolades, unforgivable punishing running style and longevity, his ability to maintain world class fitness for so long has earned him recognition as one of the greatest athletes to have graced the Olympic track venue.

    In Ethiopia, he was idolized, a hero of the people. His heroics inspired a generation of runners to follow in his footsteps. He contributed the lion’s share to establishing the Ethiopian long distance running dynasty that has made athletes from the country among the most feared competitors in the world. The likes of Haile and Derartu Tulu have previously named Miruts Yifter as their inspiration and guiding light.

    At Coamo Puerto Rico on February 6, 1977, Miruts ran a World Best for the half-marathon of 1:02:57.

    At the Moscow Olympics, part of the mystery surrounding Miruts was the question of his age, which was reported to be between 33 and 42. Miruts refused to give a definitive answer, telling reporters:

    "Men may steal my chickens; men may steal my sheep. But no man can steal my age."

    Due to his abrupt change in speed when executing his kick to the finish, Miruts acquired the nickname “Yifter the Shifter.”

    In more recent years he had been a team coach at major events but moved to Canada, where he spent his last days.

    Miruts is survived by his wife and seven children.

    Source:Ethiopian Reporter

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