[ Los Angeles, CA ]

Selam, All!

I am happy to announce the glory of Adwa will be observed on Saturday March 9th in Los Angeles. It is going to be an entire day's affair complete with a symposium and an accompanying exhibition of cultural and historical artifacts in the early part of the day. A cultural show is also planned whrein the "Nile Ensemble", from D.C. will be featured, later on in the evening and into the night.

The event is organized by "United Young Ethiopians", a youthful and amazingly focused collection of Ethiopians. They had help from the various resident groups here only in an advisory capacity, although one group, at least, has also provided significant financial assistance. I am happy to say we have so far been spared the dog- fights, and in all likelihood , the event will have come and gone peacefully.

So fellow netters who might be passing through, or some of you with a degree of sentimental attachment to those of us here, join us in this proud occasion, wont you?

Happy Adwa to All!

Selam, All!

As promised, the following is my interpretation of the Adwa centenary in L.A. that took place this past weekend.

Adwa was remembered in a grand style here in L.A. The event was very well organized and relatively trouble free. I was impressed by the efficiency, seriousness and sincerity of the members of UYELA. Even if their efforts were supplemented by the various political, and otherwise, institutions here, UYELA's leadership was crucial and indispensable. In fact, as Ethiopian political events go, the centennial celebration of Adwa in L.A. was one that none before it could match, both in scale and coordination.

The response from the Ethiopian community was impressive, as the turnout was heavy. People filled halls and sat through long speeches, solemn and enthusiastic throughout the event. The symposium, ordinarily expected to attract smaller crowds, was attended by a large number of Ethiopians. The traffic was rather fluid, and it might be a little difficult to put forward a precise figure. But I would guess somewhere between 500 to 700 people attended the symposium either in part or whole. It was, of course, a two-day affair. The cultural night turned out to be also quite a success beyond anyone's expectations. The hall at the hotel was filled to capacity -500- and more.

As for the speeches themselves, I did not have the opportunity to listen to all of them. Dr. Maulana Karenga, I hear, was wonderful. Those that I have heard, however, I found them very enlightening. Drs. Getachew Haile and Negussie Ayele were among those that kept me glued to my seat from beginning to end. Hopefully, most of the papers will in the future be available for reference. Video records of the event were also made, and that is certainly something to look forward to.

Some who observed the ethnic make-up of the crowd were impressed by its rich diversity although, I was more inclined to appreciate the sheer number of it. My expectations as far as ethnic representation were that any Ethiopian event could be nothing but diverse. I was mildly surprised to see some woyanne people hanging around, however, if only for a short while. Undoubtedly, they came to check us out. Perhaps because I felt they did not belong there at our event, their presence struck me as the only low point of the occasion. But there were no confrontations, the little wonbedes left as inconspicuously as they came.

Tesfaye Simma, and his dramatic breath-taking performance "Abune Petros" was, without exaggeration, the highlight of the entire Adwa event here. I considered it a privilege to have seen him perform. The group, "The Nile Ensemble", was outstanding. They played and danced to Tigrigna songs, and their talent somehow made it palatable. I envy those of you residing in D.C. who can have them at your convenience.

Members of UYELA ought to be proud!


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