Addis Holiday Lunch For the Homeless

It is Easter. How do you want to spend your Sunday morning?

There are so many people who are homeless and live in the streets. Unlike other poorer countries (take Kenya as an example), Ethiopia is very safe. In most cases, street kids and beggars are not dangerous and never be a risk of organized crime. There is a tradition of supporting people with money and food that helps people to think that they are not forgotten. In the same time, giving money for beggars in this way only promote more beggars than solving the problem.

I live in this society. I am pretty sure the motive behind giving money to the beggars and street kids is out of religious outcomes. I don’t believe it is a right motive. People tend to help the poor to go to heaven and to get a good credit from God. In nut shell, it sounds great. But helping people should be out of the right motives. The right motive is having a strong compassion to help a fellow citizen. It doesn’t matter if this person begs in the name of Allah or Jesus. Helping people needs follow up. Tossing 10cents and expecting a miraculous change on someone’s life isn’t “helping”.

I have got the chance to know few kind people who think about the homeless. Unlike most of us, they were busy working on April 24, on Easter’s Sunday morning. From their mouth:

Holiday after holiday we start a journey with whatever left over resources we have from the previous holiday and enthusiastic volunteers and try to pull together a festive and successful holiday lunch program for the less fortunate homeless people we pass by every day. But we are always overwhelmed by the response, generosity and selflessness we see form the people that would like to be part of this event and the number of young people that come to volunteer on the day.

This acceptance from our community and has helped us in raising close to 13000 birr and had a good amount of clothes donated that we gave away. With this donation and over 70 volunteers we managed to serve 700 people on E[a]ster Sunday.

This kind of initiative is very promising. I hope next Easter they have fewer people than 700 and decreasing until they don’t have anyone to feed.

wordlessly,

For the homeless - The Team - copyright. taken from facebook group

An ad which makes us think

We say we help the poor, Do really we?

My Interview with Deutshe Welle

I haven’t done anything crazy. This is my third interview for the radio so far. But this time concerning my blog. yay!

Lidet, from Deutsche Welle interviewed Sara and me this afternoon for their Amharic program. One thing I couldn’t manage is talking in pure Amharic without mixing English words. I didn’t even know there is a word in Amhairc for blogger – ድረ ገጽ ዓምደኛ

Here are two of the questions (the shorter once):

When did I start blogging?

September 2009

Do I have a plan to blog in Amharic in the future?

In the matter of fact, people who have access to internet speak English. I also have readers who are non-Amharic speakers. When the internet penetration is getting better, and only Amharic speakers start to use internet, then I will have an Amharic version of my blog.

To listen to the full interview, it will be on air this Friday.

Homosexuals in Ethiopia – How I miss the biggest point?

I’m touching one of very sensitive issues in Ethiopia which people don’t dare to write or talk about it. Mean while, I believe most people are wrong in this regard and I want to make some remarks.

First off all, I choose the title of my blog post “Homosexuals in Ethiopia” on purpose. I am not here to write about homosexuality – which leads to many issues and explanations.

However, I happen to know few individuals online who openly told me about their sexual orientation and I reacted to it such harshly which I attacked them instead of the practice. And later on, I found out that I missed the biggest point – Love and respect for people regardless of what they believe and who they are.

You probably guess I am very careful in my choice of words that I don’t want to give people wrong assumption [In both side] but I want to make few points.

Freedom of belief: As a Christian whom I believe in Bible strongly, I believe that every practice outside Bible is wrong. Some people might think, I am old-fashioned, but I know whom I believe and how He will lead me to the eternal happiness. A person who doesn’t believe in Bible can easily disagree with me which I fully accept even if I believe he is wrong. In the same time, the same person can believe I am wrong, by no means; I try to attack him or support people who want to attack him no matter how much I hate his belief. The same is true with my other characteristic belief and values in life. Don’t get me wrong that I am correlating religion with homosexuality (which almost everyone does). But homosexuals have their own belief in their sexual orientation and they shouldn’t be attacked. Remember what Jesus said about the sinner woman, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”. No one at that time, or this time have qualify enough to stone a fellow citizen. So try to take this crazy idea out of your mind that someone is destroying your culture, norm and belief. It is yours. As much as you don’t want others to attack you because of your belief, you also shouldn’t others.

Acceptance of Minorities in the society: Either we believe it or not, we have people with disability, people living in the bush, atheists, refugees… etc. Homosexuals are also minorities in the society. Take it; it is impossible to avoid minorities. They are part of our family, friends or citizens who have the same passport as we have.

After all, what is important is to love and respect and accept the person as who he is. We have the right to assert our belief, and to change a person for whatever we believe is good. But we can’t kill. We can’t jail. We can’t murder. (99% of murderers we have in the society are straight people anyway)

This piece is fully my perspective. I am not influenced by anyone. The angle I see the subject can be simple and without considering many facts behind it – which I shouldn’t. This is my blog, after all.

What is your reaction?

10 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Blog in Ethiopia

It is not as lengthy as it seems. This blog post is the most interesting one from all I wrote so far. I don’t discriminate between my articles though. I just said that because I made it a bit long (intentionally). Ten points to go – just 10! Get ready for quite a ride.

  1. Independent perspective:  In the country where the media is highly influenced by political parties, the government, and foreign organizations, your personal perspective will remain unheard. Ethiopia needs very independent individual perspectives which can easily address the societies’ need very closely and impartially.
  2. Strong Perspectives:  Your blog is a place where you can constantly tell your audience what exactly you believe in. There is no page limit; you don’t have to wait until next edition to tell what is in your mind. The freedom of this medium makes your perspective very strong. You can easily assert by viable evidence for your conclusions. They sky is the limit. You can use pictures, videos, statistics, above all, personal feelings on the topic. It spices up your determination on the subject you are talking about. This is a strong perspective for me.
  3. Diversity of Ideas:  Listen to what they talk on the traditional media? All the news and perspectives are bounded and focused on very limited subjects. Everyone is talking about Millennium Dams and post-election unrests recently. But there are so many things in the media that haven’t got coverage. Blog is your media; you can express anything you want. There is no editorial censorship. It is a self-censored media.  You can easily diverse your topics. That will give the audience unlimited options to read on basis of their interest. There is nothing like finding what you look for. Use the chance to say things which are unsaid before.
  4. Limited numbers of blogs and websites available from the country:  It is sad, but there are less than 20 bloggers in total for nearly 90 million people in the country. Being one of the first bloggers is a great chance for you to be an ambassador for the country. Your chance of enormous “readers hit” is so high. My fellow bloggers achieve 800 hits and more just in a month or two. People are so into reading what interesting people reflect. The early you start your blog, the better you get the popularity. I am poking you!
  5. Internet penetration rising:  Slow, but there is undeniable progress on the internet connection in the country. It’s been sad that internet is considering a luxury material. But this era seems passing now. There are many internet cafes are opening, new bandwidth tariff has been introduced, it is my hope that Ethio telecom will improve the service more, and even better other ISPs (hopefully, local ISPs) might get license soon to function in the country. Trust me; people are tired of just reading about English premierleague and chatting on Facebook with totally stranger people whom God knows if they even exist. So get ready for quite a ride. It is time to get advantage of “universe-like” opportunities on the net.
  6. Facebook Experience:  Believe it or not, people acceptance of social media is very high. According to Google’s statics for 2010, Facebook was the highest visited website from Ethiopia. People love social media. Let me tell you a little secret, shhhh… Blog is a social medium! A better one though. On Facebook, you can post your pictures and updates your status. Have you realized that people usually do the same thing? They copied your status as their own? You can’t control what is happening on Facebook, but you can on your blog. After all, you are not limited to small status updates, but you can express your whole idea in a way which stays all the time readable and manageable. Ethiopians love social networks. Get your own!
  7. High population:  Ethiopian population growth is one of the highest in the world. It is not always a bad thing though (Usually it is, who wants to share the resources for 10 which can only meant to be for one). Either we support “producing babies” or not, they are coming quite a lot. It gives you great chances of reaching many readers. One day, your blog will be reading by millions of people. Nowhere, but from the country.  Enjoy the highest traffic for your blog.
  8. Market your idea, products and services:  Creating a blog (especially cooperate blogging) helps you to define your potential customers. You can tell them your findings, new features, new plans..Etc… your potential customers determine your business profit. So why don’t you talk to them personally? Why don’t you tell them that you like them?

    The traditional marketing strategy doesn’t work anymore. Take my word, it doesn’t. Great, but people still print out flyers that a 10 years toddler gives you away at the corner of the street. God knows who they are. – eweket

    Huge billboards and posters, which mess up the towns later on, don’t give more than the basic information you need. But Blog gives a lot. It is a place to tell your customers who you are; how you can help them; how your event will happen and what is your real intention is. Which movie director is writing a blog in the country? But a friend of mine was shooting a new movie, and there are so many interesting things happening out there. Sometimes, the process is more interesting than the final product. People will die to see your movie if you tell them some of the incidents while shooting. The same is true for your meat processing 😉 LOL

  9. Strong online society:  Mass movements are the new society composition. The nature of online society makes mass movements quite easier. There are so many reasons why you need to establish strong online society. Poverty reduction, Human Rights movements (In Freedom of speech, minorities, Norms, Spiritual awakens, Outreaching, Modern Ethics, Society orders, Homosexuality, freedom of travelling.  Exercising and expanding your belief and religion, and such), fighting epidemics, gender issue, consumers rights, even anti-government movements and much more. All need mass movements. All need full society support. And may be, not in a week, but soon enough, you can achieve what you fight for and convince enough people to get on your back.
  10. It is fun:  Last but not least, blogging is as fun as using Facebook. If you are a kind of person who hates facebook, I am telling you it is as fun as having great time with your friends or having your own horse. It is addictive too. Once you start writing, you will get immersed more in it. Truth to be told, no one might write about you when you die, so you better say what you feel now, while you are alive. If you make fun of some people, do it!, even better if you teach them. If you want to use the worst word in the language, say it. “Yewtaleh!”  Better to write in respectful tone though. But you know what I mean, it is a lot fun!

You see, ten points are not too much. If you need any help setting up your blog or needs any advise, please contact me or even better write your comments below. Feel free to share the information with your friends too. You can even repost it if you want. Making a strong online society is everyone’s reasonability, after all you are reading my blog online … OR?

Port 25 is Blocked – There is Nothing Wrong with Your E-Mail

It’s been a while since Ethio telecom blocked port 25 (which is a common SMTP port for sending emails). There have been lots of debate on port 25 globally I don’t know since when, but the funny part is Ethio telcom blocked the port without telling the customers. They haven’t sent email, nor post it in their website – Just blocked it!

For the usual reasons, I haven’t met anyone who is happy with Ethio telecom services. I understand the reason behind blocking port 25 (It is highly used by spammers), but being a solo service provider and shut down the whole country from using a standard port is unimaginable – without notice is even worse.

I am wondering how many people formatted their computer assuming that their email didn’t go out because of a problem with it.

Like It First – the Facebook Philosophy

According to facebook’s like feature, you can’t unlike something unless you like it before. It is an interesting philosophy though. It makes sense in real life too. How do you know that you don’t like something unless you liked it before? In the same time, liking is state of different emotions that you associate the thing or the person with your own standards. You don’t need to like something before and unlike it later on. You can just unlike it from the start.

Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.
-Leonardo Da Vinci

Da Vinci says, knowing comes first before like or unlike. Then, facebook needs “I know” button before “Like”, unless we take the post as a knowledge.

Is it possible to like something without knowing it?

No! But the degree of knowledge you have for the matter can be different. This doesn’t matter to determine to like something. It is possible to like something with very little knowledge about it; the same is true vice versa

I believe that this is the success behind the “Like” button on facebook. A lot of platforms usually have like and dislike buttons. (e.g YouTube) and usually people feel offended having dislike buttons. Rather, you can keep the like button solely because “less likes” means something by itself.

Your Reasoning Drove Me Crazy

I don’t like skinny girls, because they don’t look nice when I see them from the top of my apartment.

Some people are really crazy. You know what I mean. Right? They are not hospitalized crazy, but they are so manic in their words and actions.

You know guys like, who get drunk and hits his main gate with his car all the time. Oh man, you started to knock the door with your car now? These things are driving me nuts. You don’t have to say it or do it, unless you mean it.

I encountered this guy yesterday, for instance. I was bored like crazy at home and I went to a café to drink Fanta at 7:30 in the evening. That was crazy enough. Who wants to drink fanta to avoid boredom? People go to gym or walking in the forest (in Ethiopian case, this was happening 55 years ago, we don’t have forest anymore. We only have jungle men). Anyway, so this guy was peeing next to MY apartment. Okay, I am living in the 4th floor, so practically he isn’t directly peeing in my flat. But hey! It is directly at the bottom of my building. You never know, these houses they construct these days, they suck everything. Like those two tubes, the water and the shit tubes. The water tubes go up, and the shit tubes go down. You see, what this guy is trying to do, he wants to make the shit tube go up. Nevertheless, I am not sure if they have separate tubes for these liquids.

The craziest part, he was enjoying seeing his yellowish color urine converted to silver color standing on the reflection of the moon. So, I went and I stand next to him, really, and he stopped. And I asked him if he wanted to use my toilet. He said no that he’s leaving in the same building. Damn, I couldn’t even save 10% of his urine pouring into the bottom of HIS apartment.

Some people are really out of their mind, like this Egyptian politician who said Ethiopia doesn’t need to use Nile, because there is enough rainfall in the highlands. I don’t like rap music, but can you imagine singing this rap sounded?

A lot of people say something all the time, which is okay, but stop giving unreasonable reasons. That makes the listener go crazy.

Toilets are for shit, stop complaining

I seem not careful in my choice of words. Right? I think I don’t see myself in that way anyway. I heard friends always complaining how the toilets suck in here, and actually they do. Apparently, Ethiopians don’t know how to build clean toilets, most importantly how to use them properly.

Five things you don’t get/do in Ethiopian toilets:

    1.

    No Toilet papers (those papers, we use them when we have a flu)

    2. You can’t throw toilet papers into a sink. It explodes (literally)
    3. Half of the population don’t know how to flash after use (that’s the reason why they don’t fix the flashing)
    4. Toilets are not private (one third of the restaurants’/bars’ toilets in the country don’t have a proper door lockers)

    5.

    You always need to ask where the toilet is (it is awesomely amazing how toilets are placed from one house to the other)

So next time when you get into a toilet, remember this, it is a shit place. I mean literally.

Spring Romance

Yesterday was April the fool. The first of April people make jokes and try to make people foolish. But I am not in the mood of making jokes nor making anyone foolish. But I am in the mood of making jokes on the day itself that this time around it won’t be only 24 hours. I told the day that it will be 8056 hours. But like other April 1st jokes, it was just an effort for nothing. And now, I found fooling myself writing a blog post. After all, life is all about the moment. Here are my moments in the last 6 weeks.

Touching the waters


Golden shower


Blue Nile moment


Lewi the 4th son


Kissing the wind


Circle of life


I will see you in this side, or the other side