Thursday, May 03, 2007

Millennial Challenge Series #35: Perspectives and Reflections on Ethiopia and Africa

Dear Patriotic Ethiopians and Friends of Ethiopia:

As we approach our Ethiopian/African Millennium, it is critical to reflect on what people have written about Ethiopia over time.

Here BT Costantinos of People To People shares some interesting insight about Ethiopia as recorded by visitors to Ethiopia and those Ethiopians who have been great leaders and thinkers of their time.

I would like to share this interesting reflections by giving credit to BT Costantinos of People to People as we try to navigate the present and future in these uncertain times.

As we go to print, the Terrorist in Ogaden have by and large being caught, the Chinese and Ethiopian victims of Gedef or Shabia generated terror have been free and there are stories that our troops in Somalia are at last succeeding with their counterparts the Transitional Government of Somalia in weeding out the insurgents and global jihadists creating havoc in the region. I felt it is critical to think what we could become and what we are not only interms of what local and international terrorists would like us to believe but what we and those with good will expect from us.

All the same, this is a very interesting compilation of statements by interesting people about Ethiopia and could inspire others to write more postive projections of our civilization.

With regards and best wishes and seeking alternative and creative ideas for the Millennium, I remain;


Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc
Partners for Peace and Prosperity
Imperial Solomonic Crown Without Border

Posted by:
"BT Costantinos" btcostantinos

Wed May 2, 2007 6:12 am (PST)
*Some great views about our motherland - Ethiopia*

…”Ethiopia has always held a special place in my own imagination and the
prospect of visiting [it] attracted me more strongly than a trip to France ,
England and America combined. “

….”I felt I would be visiting my own genesis,
unearthing the roosts of what made me an African. Meeting the emperor
himself would be like shaking hands with history.”

Nelson Mandela

…..”It has always been the wish of Bob Marley to return to Ethiopia and become a Rastafarian. .. and with the African Union, Addis Ababa is the capital of Africa and therefore a very symbolic place.”

Bob Marley's widow, Rita Marley

…”The origin of Ethiopia is largely the origin of us all.”

Javier Gozalbez

”For me the circle was closed at this point, and closed in an utterly
convincing manner. On the one hand, I had a country - Ethiopia - the only
country in the world claiming to possess the Arc of the Covenant and with a
living tradition of worship of the Arc of the Covenant. “

“On the other hand, a viable, understandable, sensible historical process that left legend and mysteries behind and gave historical explanation for how and when and why
the Arc of the Covenant had gone to Ethiopia. These two things mesh
together and close the circle fitting perfectly. I have no doubt at all that
the Arc of the Covenant is in the sanctuary chapel in Axum and I have no
doubt at all that I have established how it got there.”

Graham Hancock

….”I knew that the English regarded themselves as civilized, but it seemed to
me that in many ways Ethiopia was a far more civilized place. “

Dr. Catherine Hamlin

”Even a poor Ethiopian family with hardly enough to eat will graciously offer
a visitor coffee or fruit.”
Elizabeth Berg

”I traveled throughout Ethiopia , a heaven-blessed land of natural beauty and
potential abundance, meeting Ethiopians from all walks of life.
I encountered a fascinating culture and a handsome people whose intelligent
and courteous ways were beguiling.”


”It was home to the most ancient kingdom in Africa, one of the first
monarchies in the world. It is the sole African country to posses an
alphabet more than 2000 years old.

It is the only country on the continent to have maintained its independence in the face of European colonizers. This is Ethiopia .”

Javier Gozalbez

”Two words are key to understanding Ethiopian cuisine: hot and spicy.”

Steven Gish

”A persistent belief in Ethiopia that Ethiopians are the chosen people of God
stems from a long-held creation legend. According to this legend, God molded the first humans from clay.

He put the first batch in an oven to bake, but
left them there too long, and they emerged burned and black, so he threw
them away to the southern part of Africa . He took the second batch from the
oven too soon, and they were pasty and white, so he threw them northward,
where they became the Arab and European populations. The third and final
batch was just right, and God put them in Ethiopia.”

Dorinda Hafner

”If a strong Government finds that it can, with impunity, destroy a weak
people, then the hour has struck for that weak people to appeal to the
League of Nations to give its judgment in all freedom.

God in history will remember your judgment … I ask the great powers, who have promised the guarantee of collective security to small states, … what measures do you
intend to take?

Representatives of the world, I have come to Geneva to
discharge in your midst the most powerful of the duties of the head of a
state. What answer am I to take back to my people.”

Emperor Haile Selassie

Ethiopia confounds every expectation. You arrive expecting a vast
featureless desert and instead find yourself overwhelmed by majestic
landscapes and climatic abundance.

You expect a land which has been ravaged
to the point of ruin by years of civil war, and instead you find close to
the best civil amenities in Africa and almost no obvious signs that a war
ever took place.

“You arrive expecting to see human degradation and abject
poverty, and instead find yourself immersed in a culture besotted which
itself and its history, and marked by a sense of unforced pride that is
positively infectious.”

Philip Briggs

”Ethiopians take great pride in their beautiful churches. The churches of
Lalibela are not just sacred places of worship but historical museums that
preserve ancient Ethiopian culture. "

Elizabeth Berg

…with the new millennium beginning, the ancient land of Ethiopia could just
be in line for worldly rehabilitation.

Francis Falceto

Though poor materially, Ethiopia boasts extraordinary cultural, historical
and natural wealth. In historical terms, it has the longest archaeological
record of any country on Earth, in religious terms, it was the first country
in the West after Armenia to adopt Christianity, in natural terms, it boasts
an exceptional number of endemic species and more birds than any other
African country except South Africa .

Frances Linzee Gordon

This is my hometown, it is my land, and I don't think anything is better
than my country. The Netherlands is nice but it doesn't look like Ethiopia .
I want to stay here forever.

It doesn't matter that the people are poor.
When you love something, you have to love the thing when there are problems or no problems. I don't want to leave my country when it has problems.
Because this is also a kind of gift for Ethiopia . And I have to accept this

Haile Gebre-Selassie

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?

The Bible, Jeremiah ch. 13, v. 23

Contrary to western myth, the elevated central plateau which covers half of
Ethiopia 's surface area that supports the large majority population is
quite possibly the most extensive contiguous area of fertile land in the
eastern land of Africa .

Philip Briggs

Ethiopia's emperor may have been dethroned in the communist coup of 1974 but the poor African nation still has a king - Haile Gebreselassie, the
world-champion 10,000m runner and one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Roy Eccleston

The Ethiopians, despite their current difficulties, can look forward to the
future with confidence. There is every hope that their age-old country,
which maintained its independence throughout the era of the "Scramble for
Africa ", will be able to overcome the present-day problems of poverty and
economic under-development, and it will rank in the twenty-first century as
one of the greatest and most honored of African states.

Professor Richard Pankhurst

One generalization that can be made about Ethiopian society is that the
family is all important. It is the basic social and economic unit of the
nation, regardless of religion or ethnic group.

Steven Gish

One vivid impression of the capital, Addis Ababa , is people, dressed in
traditional white, homespun cotton, seemingly floating in the early morning
mists and into the churches.

Spectrum Guide to Ethiopia

Africa produces some amazing sights, but none more memorable for me than watching Ethiopian Olympic and world champion Haile Gebre-Selassie pounding away on the running machine at the Addis Ababa Hilton's gym. It wasn't that you could stand still and keep up with the fastest man on earth over 10km, or that the rest of the room was full of paunchy hotel guests, but that when you looked really hard, the great runner had barely any muscle on those skinny little legs. What a heart must beat inside that chest.

Roy Eccleston

It is not surprising that a country where travel by land is so difficult has
one of the most successful airlines in Africa. A big network of internal
flights can cover distance in two hours that take days by bus and weeks on

Angela Grunsell

Ethiopia is a true revelation. It is the most welcoming, enjoyable and
uplifting country I have ever visited.

Philip Briggs

On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson:

That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer
first-class and second class citizens of any nation;

That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to
race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship
and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion,
to be pursued but never attained;

And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will;

Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We
Africans will fight, if necessary and we know that we shall win, as we are
confident in the victory of good over evil.

Emperor Haile Selassie

…”Ethiopia 's ancient culture reflects Animist, Judaic, Byzantine, Christian
and Islamic heritages. One of its notable qualities is its calendar. Nita
BT Costantinos, PhD
Africa Avenue, PO Box 13309,
Tel. +251 (11) 551 1224, Facsimile +251 (11) 551 3851
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Our mission is to advance a rights-based human security and entrepreneurial

Intuition and concepts constitute.. . the elements of all our knowledge, so
that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to
them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge. Immanuel Kant

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