Perhaps, one of the most ambitious developmental plans in Ethiopia's History, the original Tana Beles project was launched in 1987. Salini Construction company and Studio Pietrangeli who had worked on projects such as the Legedadi dam and now Gilgel Gibe I, II and III were tasked to build an agro-industrial complex complete with a new airport, hospital, and residential units to as many as 45,000 settlers. The original project was abandoned when EPRP kidnapped some of the Italian engineers in 1987. Now re-launched as part of the Tana Beles dam project, the integrated project is planned to provide irrigation water for thousands of hectares of land. Which specific part of Ethiopia is this project located and what is the name of the indigenous people who inhabit this area? Answers to Spotlight.


Born in 1926 in Ankober-Shoa, he is, perhaps, among the most seasoned and consummate professionals in the Ethiopian civil service with most of his career spent in the banking sector. Imprisoned by the brutal Dergue between 1976-1981, he recently wrote two outstanding books; one a prison diary and the other a treatise on the tumultuous years of 20th century Ethiopia. An entry on his book "A Tripping Stone" reads "...I was allowed to see my family members at the office for a brief moment today, in the presence of the prison staff. Mother, my cousins Woinshet Habte Michael, and Assegedetch Mamo and Maaza came. For a moment we were speechless taking in our physical appearance to see how much we had all changed." Who is this extraordinary person, the country and its people are yet to honor with the distinction he and his family deserve? Answers to Spotlight.


These two battles of the late 80s between the Dergue and its opponents symbolize the largest and most devastating military defeats any Ethiopian government had experienced in its history. The first one occured shortly after Colonel Mengistu had the legendary General Tariku Ayene, the commander of the Nadew Command demoted and executed. The second one occured in Western Tigray where the 3rd revolutionary army was completely annihilated paving the way for the TPLF to capture the whole of Tigray and then the rest of the country. What are the names of these two battles? Answers to Spotlight.

This engineer who rose to become one of the most effective and beloved mayors of Addis Ababa was also the first Ethiopian engineer with a doctorate degree. His contribution to the country include his role in the construction of Koka dam, Gode airport, Assab Refinery, Gode bridge across Wabe Shebelle river, Awash Tendaho road, Jima-Agaro road, Bedele-Metu road, Legedadi dam, and tens of other projects. Imprisoned by the Fascist Dergue in 1974 for 8 years and later released, he is now survived by his equally dynamic and talented wife Sister Jember Teferra (now Dr. Jember). Who was this extraordinary unforgettable Ethiopian? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Dr. Hailegiorgis Workeneh

Rising almost 2400 meters (7800 ft) above the floor of the southern Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) - also known as the Great Rift Valley - this mountain chain provides a rich water catchment area. The runoff from this mountain chain eventually goes to the Arba Minch aquifers which feed the famous '40 springs' that have lent their name to the city of Arba Minch. What is the name of this mountain chain whose north side is inhabited by the Dorze people? Answers to Spotlight.



Answer: The imposing Guge Mountains.

One finds a good number of words of foreign origin in modern Amharic, Tigrigna and Oromignna languages. E-mail us the answers if you can guess the origin of the following words: Kofia, Coolie, Qemis (kemis), shemeez, nehas, gumruk, nefs, shanTa, feres, mehandis, qumar (kumar), Tirs (tooth), and dem (blood). Answers to Spotlight.

Perhaps the single most important event that had a dramatic effect on Ethiopia's history in the 2nd Millennium was the invasion of Ethiopia by the Jihadist Gragn Mohammed resulting in the pillage and destruction of the country's unique cultural and religious items. The emperor who finally defeated Gragn in 1543 was Emperor Gelawdeos. His father, the fateful Emperor shown above was, however, unfortunate as he lost a series of battles against Gragn and eventually died in Tigray. Who was this Emperor who was overwpowered by the cannons of Gragn? Importantly enough, the regent who groomed this emperor to power was one unforgettable Queen who hailed from the Hadiya people and later married Emperor Zara Yakob. Who was this Queen who had enormous influence in 16th century Ethiopia? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Emperor Libne Dengel was deafted by Gragn. Queen/Empress Elleni who hails from Hadiya.

As important as - or in some accounts more important than - the Gragn invasion of the 16th century, the great Oromo migration that followed in the 16th and 17th century is credited for transforming the ethnic and cultural fabric of Ethiopia of the 2nd Millennium. The ethnic balance of Ethiopia had changed so much so that in the reign of one Gondarian emperor, the court language was actually Oromignna. Who was sthis emperor who was half-Oromo? Answers to Spotlight.


Answer: Emperor Iyo'as. For more dtails, look at Richard Pankhurst's article:

Now in its unprecedented 8th edition, this book of the legendary Ethiopian author, Ato Bealu Girma, 'Ke-Admas Bashager' is considered one of his finest works. The beauty of his language and his imagination and attention to details of Ethiopian life and thoughts rarely caught by others make this writer unique. The above is a sample of his work. In this novel of 'Ke-Admas Bashager' one of the intriguing characters is referred to as the "Teym TaOt" - 'Olive-colored Idol'. What was here name? Answers to Spotlight

Answer: General

"Ethiopia, always has a special place in my imagination and the prospect of visiting Ethiopia attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England and America combined!!!" says Mandela in his auto-biography reminiscing about his military training days in Ethiopia in the 60s. One of the little known details of his stay in Ethiopia that time involves an interesting Ethiopian personality who was a colonel then. This colonel was a liason officer for the young Mandela and gave him a Russian pistol as a gift. The colonel finally rose to the rank of a General in service of the Ethiopian army under H/Selassie. Later, this General was imprisoned during the Emperor's time for starting the Macha-Tulama movement of the Oromo people (Note: The Emperor was, however, grateful for the General's decisive role in breaking the Mengisu Neway coup of 1960). He was later killed by the brutal Mengistu regime the same day as Meles Haile (the man whose name Meles Zenawi adopted). Who is this Ethiopian General considered among the founders of the OLF?

Answer: General Tadesse Birru.

This bridge across the Qebena river was built by German engineers in the late 19th century during Emperor Menelik's time. It was later called the 'Adwa Bridge' because the Ethiopian Army trekked across it on its way to the now famous Battle of Adwa. However, most people still call it by its old name. What is the old name of this oldest bridge in Addis Ababa?


The new bridge shown below is now part of the ring road as it passes through Qebena.

Answer: The German Bridge.

Rising almost 2400 meters (7800 ft) above the floor of the southern Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) - also known as the Great Rift Valley - this mountain chain provides a rich water catchment area. The runoff from this mountain chain eventually goes to the Arba Minch aquifers which feed the famous '40 springs' that have lent their name to the city of Arba Minch. What is the name of this mountain chain whose north side is inhabited by the Dorze people?

Answer: Genta Mountains .


There are at least three ways of getting to the beautiful and rich city of Jimma from Addis Ababa. The well-known and short road involves crossing the old Gilgel Gibe bridge which recently collapsed. The repair is not expected to be completed till November 07. The second and less-travelled road was built over the last 20 years and involves a trip through the Rift Valley. The third one is the one currently being used and follows a westerly direction only to branch at this city now famous for its great beer. Do you know which cities these two major road cross?

Answer: Bedele (through Wollega/Illubabor) and Sodo (through Rift Valley) and thenthrough the Sodo mountain range).


Numbering about 25,000, this intriguing ethnic group of Ethiopians living in the Chilga region of Gondar speak a Cushitic language that falls under the "Agaw" language family. Their religion is described as Pagan-Hebraic and is often confused with Judaism. Their traditional priest is referred to as "Wember". Their language is currently spoken by only a few thousand people and is believed to face extinction in the next 40-50 years. What is the name of this fascinating Ethiopians who consider Saturday as their Sabbath and carry out worship services under large trees?

Answer: Qmant (Kmant).

Two of the most decisive battles in the History of 19th century Ethiopia took place during the Ethiopian Orthodox Lent season. The first one took place in the early days of the fasting season in the closing years of the 19th century resulting in an unforgettable historical win for Ethiopia. The second such battle concluded with the fall of one of Ethiopia's bravest emperors on a Good Friday. What are the names of these two important battles? Answers to Spotlight.



Answer:Adwa and Meqdela.

Born from an Indian father and an Ethiopian mother in 1938 in Illubabor , this novelist rose to prominence and a place among the finest Ethiopian authors ever. For his outstanding and unforgettable works like Kadmas Bashager (Beyond the Horizon), Yehilina Dewel (The Bell of Consciousness), Yeqey Kokeb Tri (Call of the Red Star), and Derasiw, a large number of Ethiopians consider him to be perhaps the best author Ethiopia has ever produced. He may be remembered most for his last fateful novel that has few parallels in Ethiopian literature. Who was this magnificent soft-spoken Ethiopian author who fell victim to the Fascist Mengistu?


Answer: Ato Bealu Girma.

The photo on the left shows part of the 1960 Rome Olympics delegation from Ethiopia. Shown along with the legendary Abebe Bikila (circled) and Kibur Ato Yidnekachew Tessema(left) is the Swedish athletic trainer (right of picture) who is credited for encouraging Abebe to run barefoot. Later embroiled in an affair with a wife of a US diplomat in Addis, this Swede (born Finnish) served Ethiopia not only as a long distance trainer but also running the national board of physical education. Who is this Swede?


Answer: Onni Niskanen.

Considered as the largest construction activity in the country's history, the completion of the third stage of this hydroelectric power project is projected to add a staggering 2.5GWatts (2500 MW) of electrical energy to the country's electrical power supply. Long the dream of many Ethiopian water resources engineers since the 1960s, this project is now entering the final stages of phase 2 with final completion of phase 3 scheduled for 2011. The Italian construction company, Salini, shares the credit along with visionary Ethiopian engineers for this big promise of 'white gold' from the ancient land of the Gera, Gomma, Limmu-Ennarea, Gojeb, Konta, Kulo, and Gimira people among others. Where is this massive construction taking place? And more importantly, what is the name of the river that feeds its waters to these series of dams?

Answer: Gilgel Gibe river. After Gojeb joints it, it is called the Omo.

Exclusively due to the absolute monopolistic hold on telecom the government continues to exercise, Ethiopia holds the distinction of the worst Internet penetration rate anywhere in the world - far below even North Korea. What is the estimated number of Internet account holders in Ethiopia?


Answer: Less than 20,000.

Emperor Haile Selassie is shown presenting award to one of the early graduates of the Harar Military academy - a venerable Ethiopian military institution established in 1957. The academy was closed in 1977 but is remembered as training some of the finest officers in the country. Which country helped establish this academy that trained many fellow African officers as well between 1957-1977?



Answer: India. PM Nehru was asked by HIM H/Selassie to help establish a defense college in one of the Non-ALigned meetings. Nehru sent Indian officers to help establish and run the Military Academy.

Established by the Norwegians after the Italo-Ethiopian war, the Mosvold department store in Piazza in Addis Ababa was the sole trendy furniture store in the country. The 9-storey building housing this store was later bought by a wealthy and influential community. Which émigré group owned this building?



Answer: The Greek community.

This Ethiopian diplomat and civil servant has the distinction of serving his country as foreign minister, ambassador and as a very trusted aide of Emperor Haile Selassie. His finest hour was his representation of Ethiopia as a foreign minister in her darkest hours during the Italian invasion. His youthful appearance and unwavering loyalty to the Emperor and the country has left an enduring image of the ultimate civil servant. He died at the young age of 40 in Moscow where he was serving Ethiopia as an ambassador. Who was this Historical figure who symbolized professionalism in civil service?

Answer: Lorenzo Mebrehatu Taezaz.

The following two spiritual 'Qne' pieces are often sung in the traditional Tsome Digua during the Ethiopian Orthodox fasting season. What are the 'sem' and 'worq' for each of the Qne? How about the third secular qne?

Answer: 1) Telemagn Inatihi - Sem = Ab the father is more important than your mother St. Mary. Worq = St. Mary is our intermediary/intercession.

Self proclaimed as the 'Son of Thunder' (Wolde Neguwodgad), this artist shown on right is perhaps the best Ethiopian artist of all times. Among his less known works is the painting of the Patriot Ras Abebe Aregay shown on the left. Who is this "wolde Neguwodgad"?

Answer: Maitre Artist AFework Tekle.

Born in the beautiful city of Asmara, Melake Selam Dimetros G/Mariam was among the most influential and unforgettable Eritreans who fought hard for the unification of Eritrea with her motherland. He died at an old age pleased that the early days of unification were among the happy days of this difficult and ongoing relationship between Ethiopia and its sister people of Eritrea. What was the name of the organization that Melake Selam was a member of that pushed for the union of Eritrea and Ethiopia?


Answer: Mahbere ANdenet Ethiopia - Unity Party.

Arguably, the most popular beer in Ethiopia, St. George Beer factory located inside Addis Ababa itself was established in 1922. Few people know who started this enduring establishment that has lent its name and money to another famous Ethiopian institution - St. George football club. The Dergue accused Emperor Haile Selassie embezzling the brewery's money and nationalized it in 1974. The EPRDF sold the industry to a French business group called BGI. Who established St. George Beer Factory?



Answer: We are yet to find out ourselves!

The St. Gabriel church shown on left is among the largest modern church buildings in Ethiopia today rivaled only by Bole Medhane Alem in Addis. In today's Ethiopia, where religion still remains to be a private affair, all the major religions like Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, Protestantism, and Islam are expanding with Catholicism registering only a modest growth. Where is this St. Gabriel church located?

Answer: In the beautiful city of Awassa.


A trusted and very close advisor of Emperor Menelik, this Swiss engineer was instrumental in bringing numerous technological products to Ethiopia such as telephone service and the Djibouti-Addis Ababa railway. He was also the main architect of the churches of the city of Addis Ketema which Menelik wanted to be his new capital but later abandoned due to pressure from Empress Taytu - Ze-Birhane Ethiopia. Who was this Swiss engineer whom Menelik considered as his technology mentor, trusted friend and a fellow Ethiopia? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Alfred Ilg.

Among the most brilliant Ethiopian economists of the latter part of the 20th century, this intellectual wrote on numerous topics such as agriculture, industrial and social development issues affecting Ethiopia and Africa. He once wrote these unforgettable words that continue to beg for an answer, "....Now, in a rare instance of generosity, history has once again given us another chance to redeem our country and pull it out of the quagmire. The fundamental question, therefore, is: will we rise to the occasion and rehabilitate our Society and economy, or will we once again waste a historic opportunity, thereby perpetuating hell an earth, not only for this generation but also for generations to come? Two opportunities in less than a generation is a privilege seldom granted to a people; squandering both of them is a crime that will not be forgiven by posterity." Who was this leading Economist of Ethiopia? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Dr. Eshetu Chole

This Dejazmach led the Ethiopian resistance army in the Ogaden during the Italian invasion in 1935. He is credited for the monumental defense his troops put against the better equipped Italians who suffered tremendous loss. The battle of Korahe which most Ethiopians believe was won by this Dejazmach and his troops in November 1935 remains to be one of the most important battles in Ethiopian history. The Dejazmach was mortally wounded on November 5, 1935. The monument built for him in Jijiga at the end of the war was desecrated by Somali agents associated with Meles's EPRDF in 1991. Who was this Dejazmach known as the Lion of Qorahe in Ogaden? Answers to Spotlight.



Answer: Dejazmach Afework Wolde Semayat.


Recognized as one of the leading founders of the legendary Ethiopian Air Force, this Lieutenant General was considered progressive in nature and dedicated to modernizing the Air Force and later the coountry's army. He was among the 60 senior government officials brutally murdered by the Fascist Mengistu in 1975. Who was this charistmatic first Ethiopian commander of EtAF? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: L/t General Assefa Ayana


Few other places in Ethiopia carry as much historical importance as these two sites of major battles. The first is a plain near the present small town of Mojo where the Jihadist Ahmed Gragn & 200 Turkish gunners defeated Emperor Libne Dengel in 1529.

The second place is in the Lake Tana region between Debre Tabor and Woldiya where Emperor Gelawdeos decisively ended the Jihadist pillage by killing Ahmed Gragn in 1543. What are these two places? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Shibra Qure between Mojo and Mount Zuquala is where Emperor Libe Dengel was defeated. Gragn was defeated in Weyna Dega in Lake Tana area. Gragn was actually wounded by a Portuguese soldier in Weyna Dega but managed to run for another 30 or kilometers. The Portuguese soldier followed the wounded Gragn and finished him off in a relatively unknown area that came to be known as Gragn Ber.

This Ethiopian entrepreneur (1913 - 2000) is arguably the single most important personality to have left a long lasting positive effect on the tourist industry of southern Ethiopia from Mojo to Moyalle. He had started his business at the age of 12 just with less than 16 Maria Theresa dollars selling eggs and chicken in Harar. At the end of his long and fruitful life, his business empire was responsible for employing more than 500 people. Who was this visionary entrepreneur? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Ato Bekele Mola

General Orde Wingate shown on the right picture with Emperor Haile Selassie during the Italian war is well-known among many Ethiopians for his decisive part in the defeat of the Italian troops in 1941. A grateful Ethiopia later built a high-school named after him. However, the pilot shown on the left (1909- 1977) is yet to be honored by this country even though he is credited for helping establish the legendary Ethiopian Air Force. He spent many years training Ethiopian pilots. After many adventurous years spent in the Netherlands, Finland, Congo and Nigeria (during the Biafra War), he returned to Ethiopia to help with relief efforts following the 1974 drought. This brave Swede was killed by Somali terrorists in 1977 in the town of Gode while conducting relief flights. He was buried at the Gulele Cemetary in Addis Ababa. Who is this Swedish aviator? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Count Carl Gustaf von Rosen

The legendary Tilahun Gessesse is considered by the majority of Ethiopians to be the best Ethiopian male singer of all times. Arguably, the unforgettable artist shown on the left is perhaps the best female singer of all times. Who is this artist who will be remembered for ever for here hits like 'Yenat Weletawa', 'Sintun Ayehu Bante', 'Beber Ayegezam', and 'Ferenj Ager Satehed'? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Artist Bizunesh Bekele


Negadras Tessema Eshete (1877-1964), the legendary poet and Qne master has the distinction of being Ethiopia's first automobile chauffeur, mechanic, as well as recording artist. Among his most memorable 'qne' is the above. What is the meaning of the qne and the story behind it? Hint: 'Tea Room' building in Piassa. Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Negadras owned the Tea Room Building that was occupied by the Italians who turned part of it to a restaurant. Once, when he went to eat at the restaurant, the owner asked him to go to the back rooms assigned for the Ethiopians and leave the main room for the White Italians. The Qne says that in my own house, I have been forced to hide.

A man of many talents and unparalleled international recognition, he is particularly remembered for the 23 years he played for the legendary St. George football team wearing their cherry and yellow jersey. At 23, he was the founder of Ethiopians Sports Association. What his fans remember are not only his achievements in sports but also his eloquence in the Amharic language that many say he inherited from his equally successful and illustrious father. Who was this legendary Ethiopian? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Ato Yidnekachew Tessema

Debre Berhan Selassie church in the beautiful and historical Gondar (Ethiopia's Camelot as Westerners call it) was built in the 17th century by Emperor Iyassu the Great. What features distinguish this church making it one of the most important historical buildings in Gondar and Ethiopia as a whole? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Unlike most Ethiopian churches which are round in plan, Debre Berhan Selassie has a rectangular shape. Further, the art inside the church is supposed to be teh finest in Ethiopia.


Awassa and its lake are known by many Ethiopians. However, the small town right outside it on the way to Shashemene is barely known in the country. The only 15-minute fame that this small town ever enjoyed was its claim as the birth place of the talented but shy singer, Tamrat Tadesse. Do you know the name of this small town named after the river that flows through the city of Awassa?Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Tiqur Wuha.


Shown on the left is the title of one of his important works "Bible Reader". This artist was the founding director of the Addis Ababa Fine Arts school. Like his contemporary, the unforgettable Ato Agegnehu Engeda, this notable Ethiopian artist had painted master-pieces at Trinity Cathedral. Known for his landscape and portrait paintings, who is this painter? Answers to Spotlight.


Answer: Ato Alefelege Selam

Sitting by the side of his wife, W/o Atsede is the aristocrat, Dejach Nessibu Ze-Ammanuel. W/o Atsede who hails from a family that has contributed significantly to Ethiopia is the sister of Ethiopia's first pilot. Who is this family - particularly the brother? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: The Babitchef family - emigres from Czarist Russia. Mishka Babitchef is, of course, Ethiopia's first pilot.

A favorite daughter of Emperor Haile Selassie, she died at an early age due to child birth complications. Her name, however, is immortalized with the naming of one of Addis Ababa's hospitals after her. Who was this princess who was trained as a nurse? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Princess Tsehai


W/o Wolete Ammanuel Papatakis (shown far left) played a significant role as a patriot during the war against the Italians by sending food and clothing to the group led by the unforgettable W/o Shewareged Gedle. W/o Zewditu Gizaw (shown also here) was active in the Menz and Tegulet region and participated in many raids on Italian troops earning a respect among the patriots of Ras Abebe Aregay. Ato Tadesse Zewolde narrates the lives of these and many other patriots in a book he published in 1968. What is the name of this must read historical book? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Qerin Geremew

General FBGeneral ADThese two heroes of the Ethiopian Airforce were perhaps among the best generals the country has ever produced. Both of them were brutally killed by the Fascist Mengistu who considered staying in power more important than honoring true Ethiopian heroes. Born in 1934 in Gondar, the general shown in far left came to national recognition in 1977 for his brave role in saving the city of Dire Dawa from the Somali invaders. Armed with AK-47 and driving in a Jeep, he spent most of those fateful 48 hours in leading the war both on ground and in the air. The other general shown above carried out as many as five sorties a day to repel the Somali invaders. His memorable heroic deeds came in July 1977 with his successful elimination of convoys of Somali tanks in the Dire Dawa, Jire and Jijiga wars. Who are these modern day Ethiopian heroes? Send Answers to Spotlight. Photo courtesy of Assoc. of Former. EtAF members.

Answer: Major General Fanta Belay and General Amha Desta.

KMThe author of such books like "How Japan Progressed", "Teretna Missale", "Ye-Hilina Berhan", "ye-tinbit Qetero", "Hannibal", etc, this Ethiopian literary giant was awarded the Haile Selassie Prize in 1964. He was later awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Addis Ababa university. Right around the time he was awarded the H/Selassie prize, this beloved writer and the respected writer mentioned below were involved in a highly publicized heated exchanges in a series of articles published in the Addis Zemen newspaper. Who is this unforgettable Ethiopian author who composed - among many others - this short poem (courtesy of Moges WM)? Send Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Kibur Ato Kebede Mikael

Abby LakewAbby Lakew, an Ethiopian-American artist from the Houston area, releases a well received album entitled "Hello Ethiopia". The album has proved to be a surprise hit helping the young singer assume the position of the most successful Ethiopian artist of the year so far. In the mean time, Gigi's recent release fails to impress.



MWMWShown left is one of Ethiopia's most prolific writers with more than fifty book titles and eight plays to his name. In his autobiography published in 2004, this remarkable man of letters narrates that he first entered first grade at the age of 15! Unable to complete even high-school due to hardship, this man went on to head several newspapers in Addis ababa and Asmara such as 'Polis Ina Irmijaw', 'hibret', 'yezareytu Etyopia', etc. Who is this outspoken and energetic journalist/writer? Send Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Ato Mamo Wudneh

A new Ethiopian hero is born! Ato Muluneh Eyuel, secretary of the CUD (Kinijt) has emerged as the new face of resistance to the Fascist regime of Meles.   Currently in prison on fabricated charges, Ato Muluneh is protesting his solitary confinement through hunger strike. This brave Ethiopian joins W/o Birtukan Mideksa, Dr. Berhanu Nega, Professors Mesfin & Yakob, Drs. Befekadu & Hailu, and Ato Hailu Shawel as the enduring symbols of freedom and resistance against a Fascist and his foreign supporters.

An Ethiopian group in Jerusalem calls on Black Christians around the world to help save the last foothold of African Christianity in the compounds of the Holy Sepulcher  where Ethiopian monks have been relegated to live on a roof for many years. Article.

An online exhibition of Ethiopian art influenced by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th-17th century is organized by a Portuguese group. The Jesuit involvement in Ethiopia left some remarkable art and architectural heritages still standing in Gojam and Gondar. Article.

The Ethiopian gentlemen shown here represent two of the pilots who had a distinction of being first in aviation achievemnents in their generations. Shown on the left is the Captain who became the first Ethiopian and Black African jet pilot in December 1956. He is also author of a book (Hiwote Bemidir Ina Bayer) that narrates his humble begninnings in Babile, Harer to his rise to prominence in Ethiopian aviation. Shown on the right is the first Ethiopian pilot who was awarded his pilot license in the presence of Emperor Haile Selassie in October 1930. Asfaw Ali, Seyoum Kebede, Bahru Kaba, Demissie H/Yesus, Demeke T/Wold, W/o Mulumebet Imiru were among the batch-mates to start the first ever pilot training program in the country. Qn: Who are these distinguished pilots? Send Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Captain Alemayehu Abebe & Mishka Babitchef

Shown on left is W/o Assegedech Assefa who has the distinction of being Ethiopia's first female pilot. However, the first Ethiopian woman to enter pilot training was another lady. Any idea who that lady was? Shown on the right is the legendary Hubert Fountleroy Julian in front of his unforgettable airplane called "Abyssinia". Colonel Julian who was born in Trinidad and Tobago was a very colorful man who impressed Ethiopians with his flying skills and charisma. His parachute jumping in Jan Meda in June 4, 1930 was perhaps the first in the country and earned the Colonel 50 Birr from Abune Sawiros, 30 Birr from Dejach Mekonnen Demissew, gold from Ligaba Wedaje as an appreciation of his feats.  What was the favorite nick name of this colorful pilot? Answers to Spotlight.Source is Captain Mekonnen Beri's Book: Aviation in Ethiopia.

Answer: W/o Mulumebet Imirru

The son of the legendary Armachiho region of Gondar which is located in the Angereb river valley, this Fitawrari and his colleagues  led one of the bravest and most successful resistance against Fascist Italy. He earned the nick name "Amoraw' for his legendary ability to come to the rescue of his fellow patriots besieged by enemy troops. He is shown above as a young patriot and later in life as a very respected veteran. In some circles, this Fitawrari is referred to as "Ras" as well. Who was this hero and what are some of his legendary accomplishments? Send Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Amoraw Wubneh / Ras Wubneh

A rising star in the Ethiopian political scene, W/t Birtukan Mideksa is now the senior vice president of the leading popular party, Kinijt. W/t Birtukan who was trained as a lawyer was appointed as a high court judge in the early 2000s. She came to national spotlight in 2002 while presiding on PM Meles Vs Mr. Siye case where she set Meles' nemesis, Mr. Siye free shocking the Fascist dictator Meles. W/t Birtukan Mideksa's recent arrest by the Fascist government has only made her among the most admired opposition figures in the country. Where was this remarkable young leader born? Answers to Spotlight.


Answer: Addis Ababa


Tsehayu Inqo Selassie (later Dejazmach) and his brothers gained reputation as fierce resistance fighters during the Italian occupation. Among the brothers, one of them was killed during a battle against the Italian troops in 1937 in a place called Enewari. Who was this young man? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Lieutnant Sahle Inqo Selassie.




The leading Ethiopian Historian, Bahru Zewde, writes the following about this Ethiopian figure considered among the early 'pioneers of change'. "He was a member of the Leqa Nekempte aristrocracy, being a cousin of Dejach Kumsa (G/Egziabher) Morada. In the 1920s, he emerged  as perhaps the most prolific contributor to the weekly to the weekly forum of the educated elite, Berhanena Selam." Who was this intellectual? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Blata Deresse Amente




Negadras Tessema Eshete (1877-1964), the legendary Qne-master, is the author of this Qne that has relevance in today's Ethiopia. What are the 'sem' and 'worq' of this Qne? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: 'Masalef', Sem - you could not serve Tej; Worq - You could not adminsiter orimprove the life of your people.

Shown on the right in this picture taken on May 1941 celebrating victory over Fascist Italy is the memorable Dr. Alemework Beyene, the chairman of the Black Lion resistance movement. In the middle is the then 13 year old son of the legendary Ras Abebe Aregay who had followed his father in some of the operations. He later died at a very young age. His initials 'DA' still adore the fences of a large villa in the Mekanisa area of Addis Ababa. Who was this young man? Answers to Spotlight.

Answer: Dejazmach Daniel Abebe.

Onesimos Nasib (1856-1931) also known as Abba Gamachis carries a unique position in the written literature of the Oromo people of Ethiopia. He was born in the village of Hurumu in Illubabor in Western Ethiopia. Do you know some of his most important contributions to the Oromo people of Ethiopia? Send answers to E-mail Spotlight.

Answer: Translating the Bible to Afaan Oromo.



These two sons of Ethiopia's first medical doctor, Hakim (Azazh) Workeneh (shown left) were among the hundreds of the unforgettable Ethiopian patriots who fought the Fascist Italian presence in Ethiopia (1936-41). Yosef and Benyam Workeneh were later caught in the Gojeb area in Jimma and summarily executed along with many of the country's educated elite following the attempt on Marshall Graziani's life in Addis Ababa. Do you know the names of the other notable intellectuals executed by the Fascist Italians during this period? Source: Bahru Zewde "Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia". Send answers to Spotlight

Answer: Yosef and Benyam Workeneh

  Julie Mehretu, one of the most celebrated Ethiopian artists wins the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award' which carries a $500,000 cash award. Born in Addis Ababa in 1970, Julie's paintings address multicultural or global concerns, including the question of identity. The Macarthur Foundation noted one of her important works Transcending: The New International (2003), where Julie she renders in India ink the buildings and urban plans from all the capital cities of Africa onto one stratified topography.  
  The legendary Ethiopian music composer, Mulatu Astatke (shown on left), is among the most talented Ethiopian artists whose work is now finding audience among world music lovers. Mulatu's blend of Jazz and Ethiopian music forms a major part of the sound track of Jim Jarmusch's recent movie starring Bill Murray which won the Grand Prix in Cannes Film Festival.  Mulatu Astatke who traveled to the West in the 60's 'stands as the exceptional musical innovator of the Ethiopian groove', as one commentator put it. Strains of funk and reggae along with the influences of Miles Davis and John Coltrane are the trademarks of most of the work that Mulatu produced between 1968-1974.  
  Tilahun Gizaw who was the president of the University Students Union of Addis Ababa (USUAA) in the 60s was assasinated not far from the main campus of the then Haile Selassie I University on December 28, 1969. Along with Berhane Mesqel Reda and Mekonnen Walelign, Tilahun is remembered by Ethiopians as an outstanding student leader who paid the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of the ideals of good governance and progress for Ethiopia. The student movement he had led in the 60s still acts as inspiration for the new generation of Ethiopian students who continue to battle repressive governments. (Photo courtesy of  

While most political observers inside and outside Ethiopia seem to be surprised on the scale of success of the opposition parties in the May 15, 2005 election, those who had followed the story of these four men on the past several years could easily have predicted the outcome. Dr. Berhanu Nega - born in Debre Zeit in 1958 - returned to Ethiopia in 1994 from abroad and has established himself as one of the country's prominent economists. Humble but determined and brilliant in intellect, Dr. Berhanu is credited for effectively framing the intellectual argument against EPRDF. His exceptional performances at the TV debates may have contributed to the tide of public support in the cities to turn to CUD's favor. Professor Merera Gudina - born in 1956 in Ambo - is the chairman of the Oromo National Congress (ONC) and a trained political scientist with a reputation for bringing level-headedness in the questions of ethnic equality and fair governance. Ato Shawel Hailu - born in 1936 in Northern Shoa is the chairman of Kinijit and and has been credited for patiently building an effective and resilient national presence for his AEUP party and the coalition, Kinijit in just 4-5 years. His experience of numerous years as a civil servant.
Ras Alula Aba Nega (shown left) was perhaps one of the most successful and fearless Ethiopian commanders of the 19th century. His claim to fame include establishing the city of Asmara and winning no less than ten decisive battles against foreign invaders (examples include Gura in 1876 against the Egyptians, Dogali in 1887, Adwa in 1896). Despite his humble beginnings as a son of a farmer, he rose to become what one foreign historian called "the greatest leader that Ethiopia has produced since the death of Emperor Theodros in 1868". What was the name of the father of this memorable Ethiopian figure?

Shown on the left is an old photo of the area around the plateau of Amba Alage, the scene of the battle of December 7th, 1895 where the hero of the day Fitawrari Gebeyehu along with his 1200 troops attacked the Italian army that had camped there in preparation for a war against the army of Menelik. Fitawrari Gebeyehu's attack killed Major Pietro Toselli - the Italian commander and annihilated the 1500 strong Italian army stationed in this strategic location. Three months after his victory at Amba Alage, the Fitawrari participated bravely in the Adwa battle but was sadly killed during action. What was Fitawrari's Gebeyehu's father name?

Shown in the left is Dejazmach Beyene Merid, a fierce resistance fighter during the Italian war. On the right is another remarkable patriot/arbegna who is credited for liberating the cities of Addis Alem and Holeta in 1933 (EC) from the Italian occupiers at the age of only 20! One of the graceful surviving arbegnas in Ethiopia now, he narrates that the heroisms of his father Ato Kelo and his grandfather Ato Gero inspired him. What is his name? How has Ethiopia honored Dejach Beyene Merid (site some landmarks)?  E-mail Spotlight.
General Jagamaa Kello
  Blaten Geta Heruy Wolde Selassie who had an illustrious career in the Ethiopian government such as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1931-36) is most known for his literary talents and intellectual outlooks. Any idea what some of his most memorable writings are? E-mail Spotlight. Mahdere Berhan Hagere Japan, Desta ina Kibir, Be-idme Meqoyet Hulun Lemayet, Ye Ityopia Tarik, Ityopiana Metema, Wazema, Dagmawi Atse Menelik, Ye-hiwot tarik,
  Two important publications of his with titles, "Atse Menelik Ina Etyopia", and "Mengst-ina Ye-hizb Astedader" helped establish this Ethiopian gentleman from Adwa among the country's best known early 20-th century intellectuals. Any idea about his name?  E-mail Spotlight. Negadras G/Hiwot Baykedagne

Dejazmach Gebre Mariam, the hero of the southern Ethiopia front during the Italian invasion waged a successful war of resistance until his death in Yekatit 13, 1929 (EC) (shown here in a rare photo). He operated in Arbe-Gona, Hagere Mariam, Hagere Selam, Wadera, Bonde, Teferi Kela areas (see map below) with other renowned patriots like Ras Desta Damtew, Dejach Beyene Merid, and Shaka Bekele. While one of Addis' premier schools - Lycee Guebre Mariam- was named after him, only a handful of people know the full name of this remarkable arbegna. Any idea what the family/father name of Dejach G/Mariam is? Correct answer will earn you a MediaET T-shirt. We bet even graduates of Lycee G/Mariam wouldn't know the answer. E-mail answer  E-mail Spotlight. or at Mesqel Adebabay Message Board


The one and only Dejazmach Guebremariam Gari.

Dawit, Birbirsoo, Taye G/Wold, Melaku Teferra, Arega Tesfaye, Negasi and many more got the right answer. 

Standing well over 6 feet and known by his Horse Name - Aba Bora, this remarkable Ras led a guerilla army of as much as 52,000 men during the Italian occupation of 1928-1933. Among his notable achievements was his liberation of the town of Jimma in 1933 overseeing the surrender of more than 8000 Italians. Who was this unforgettable Ethiopian hero?




The unforgettable Ras Geresu Dukki.

Legesse Taye, Melaky Teferram and Askale, and many more got the answers.

[Courtesy Artist Fumio Mizuno]
Hibist Tiruneh - who stepped to the limelight with her rendering of Bizunesh Bekele's 'yemiyaslekis fiqir' a few years ago makes her debut to the forefront of Ethiopian pop music with her almost perfect recent CD release 'Yiqirta!".  "Qoy-bicha', 'Befetereh", and "akkam akkam" are some of the notable pieces in this well-received CD.
Gossaye Tesfaye and Alemayehu Hirpo continue to entertain Ethiopian music lovers with some of the freshest and most original Ethiopian music ever. With themes varying from the love for a Hamer girl from the lower Omo valley to memories of Ethiopian childhood, Gossaye and Alemayehu/Alex offer their fans a truly remarkable music that leaves us with the question: when is the next CD coming?
Skunder Boghossian, a veteran Ethiopian artist dies at the age of 65. Artist Skunder who was an associate professor of arts at Howard University had won numerous awards for his works.
Exhibition of contemporary Ethiopian art opens at National Museum of African art in Washington, DC on May 2, 2003. Julie Mehretu (shown above), Elisabeth Atnafu, Skunder Boghossian, Achamyeleh Debela, Wosene Kosrof,  Aida Muluneh, Etiy Dimma Poulsen, Mickael Bethe Selassie, Kebedech Tekleab and Elizabeth Habte Wold will present their work. Details here.
Zerihun Yetmgeta, an elite among Ethiopian artists is perhaps most admired for his unique assimilation of modern techniques with traditional Ethiopian themes. 
Fumio Mizuno, a Japanese artist who lived in Ethiopia for almost 25 years had a remarkable passion for Ethiopia. The majority of his acclaimed oil paintings were of Ethiopian women. He once said, "I am a man and can only see the beauty of women. I can not find words to express the beauty of Ethiopian women". Fumio lived in Harar and Dire Dawa, two towns he very much loved. More on this remarkable artist here.
A 62 year old establishment, this cafe in the old part of Addis Ababa brews perhaps the best coffee and macchiato in the capital - save perhaps its sister establishment Mokarar. Any idea where it is exactly located and what it is called? Tomca Cafe right on the intersection of Churchill Road and Weavil Street (Cathedral Street). 
Some of his memorable characters include Kamsur and Dandew. This Ethiopian literary giant has numerous plays and books to his credit. Who is he and what are his famous works? [Photo: Courtesy of Seleda] Ato Mengistu Lemma
Ato Mammo Wudneh, the current president of the Writer's Association of Ethiopia has established himself as one of Ethiopia's prolific writers and playwrights. Any idea what some of his memorable works are? degree yasabedew, khartoum hedo qere, hirut abatwa manew? Gilen-yekifle zemenu selay, miseate israel, yegna sew bedemasko, etc.

Perhaps among the most memorable moments in marathon history, Abebe Bikila's second triumph in this prestigious race was almost a miracle. Any idea about the place and year of this marathon race shown above that cemented the status of Ethiopia as a marathon powerhouse?
Abebe's victory in the Tokyo Olympics. 

Sometimes rising to a height of as much as 12 meters (40 feet) - as high as a 4-story building, the traditional houses shown above on the left last for 50-60 years. The stone and mud masonry houses shown above on the right are common in North Ethiopia. Any idea which people of Ethiopia build these two magnificent structures? [Photo Courtesy: Roberta R and Miguel Menzinsky].

house on left - from the Dorze Nation in SOuthern Ethiopia.


house on right - from the Tigre region in North Ethiopia.

Located in the eastern shores of Lake Langano in Ethiopia, the Bishangari Lodges are among the newer attractions of the Great Ethiopian Rift Valley. Any idea what the Oromigna word "Bishangari" means? Clue: Bishan Ambo translates to Ambo Wuha. 
Bishangari - Good Water. Bishan means water in Afaan Oromo. Gari of course means "good". 

Surrounded by the Jemma and Muger rivers in the south and southwest, the Robi river in the east, the country side around Debre Libanos in Merhabete is perhaps one of the few remaining forested areas in the country. Debre Libanos had an important role as the political seat of the Ethiopian Orthodox church. An unforgettable event in the late 30's changed Debre Libanos' prominence. What is that infamous event?
The massacre of almost 200 monks at Debre Libanos by Fascist Italians in retaliation to their suspected role in helping resistant fighters.  
Surrounded by the Awash river in the north and north-east and by the Gurage mountains in the East, the Gurage country is home to one of the most industrious people in Ethiopia. This is a fertile land with one of the highest population densities in Ethiopia. Weliso is the biggest town in the region. Any idea what Weliso is famous for? What was its other name? Any idea what the Gurage lady shown on the right is preparing?  Weliso is famous for its hot springs and the Weliso Maryam church where the sick and the afflicted flock with a hope for miracle and cure. The Gurage lady is preparing "Qotcho".

Visible from the main Addis Ababa - Nazreth road for many kilometers, the Zuqwala mountain and its crater lake are one of the most beautiful places in central Ethiopia. What establishment makes a trip to the top of Zuqwala mountain a spiritual journey? Any idea when this establishment was built? 

The Zuqwala Mariam Church and Monastry. It was founded in the 4th century by Abba Gebre Menfes Qudus. A great time to visit it is on Tikimt and Megabit Abbo (5th of the month). 

Few places in Ethiopia inspire music more than the beautiful towns of Dessie, Kombolcha, Bati, Werebabo, Were-ilu and Weldiya. While Were-Ilu is located in the Were-Ilu awraja and Dessie in Dessie Zuria, which awraja is Kombolcha located in? Talking about Kombolcha, there is another town by the same name. Any idea where it is located? Also, any idea what Kombolcha  means? [A reader reminded us there are actually 16 towns with the same name!]

Qallu Awraja. There are many towns with the name of Kombolcha. Examples are Wollega and Harrerge.

Located in the historical St. George Cathedral (Giorgis), this massive bell was a gift to the people of Ethiopia and their emperor from a monarch who later fell victim to a revolution. Who was this monarch and which country was he a king of?
It was a gift from Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia. 

Alexey Vorobyov, Tamrat Gebeyehu and Henock Assefa had the right answer. 

Located in the Kola-Dega Damot region of Gojam, Gishe Abay is a small village with a small church. However, it is also the humble beginning of a great Ethiopian national resource/treasure. Any idea what puts Gishe Abay on the map?

According to the purists, the river Abay (Blue Nile) starts from a small spring in Gish Abay. Called Gilgel Abay in its trip from Gish Abay to Lake Tana, Abay (Nile) later emerges from the shores of Lake Tana as Abay. From hydrological point of view, Tana is considered as Abay's source. 

Abiyu Berlie, Teshome, Tamrat Gebeyehu and Yene Belayneh had the right answer. 

This historical building which has served as one of Addis Ababa's well-known traditional restaurants for more than 42 years belonged to a Dejazmach who has incidentally lent his name to one of Addis' infamous red-light districts. Any idea what the name of the restaurant is and its location? Who was the Dejazmach who built it and used it as his "ilfign"?
Addis Ababa Restaurant

Dejazmach Wube was the original owner.

Abiyu, Henock, Teshome, Tamrat, Yene ha dteh right answer. 

This Dash-8 photographed at Bole forms one of the 3 aircrafts owned by the aviation wing of the country's largest private company that has investments in construction, pharmaceuticals, hotels, beverages, etc.  The company owns 2 Dash-8s and a B-757. What is the name of the company? [Photo by Raimund Stehmann].

MIDROC Aviation, a subsidiary of MIDROC Ethiopia. 

The Keffa-Jimma region is perhaps Ethiopia's most fertile and most untouched region. Most of the country's dwindling forests are located in this region that has given the world - its favorite beverage - coffee. Among the region's most valued resources are its 3 rivers; Omo being the more known. Can you name the other two important rivers where huge hydroelectric powers planned since the early 60's might see the light of day in few years?

Gilgel Gibe and Gojeb rivers. Gilgel Gibe's HEP station is set to be completed in 2003/2004. Gojeb's project is yet to start with MIDROC as the contractor and operator.  

Mishka Babitchef, shown above seated in the plane, was the first Ethiopian licensed pilot. Who was the other Ethiopian pilot who got his license the same time as Mishka? 

Asfaw Ali. Mishka had a Russian ancestry. 

From his capital city of Inderacha near Bonga, Tato Gaki Sherocho, shown above, ruled this southern kingdom until his defeat in 1897 after a huge loss of human lives. Which people was he the king of? 


The photo shows Aba Jiffar II who ruled a kingdom in Southern Ethiopia between 1875-1934. Who was he a ruler of?


Kawa Tona led what was one of the fiercest war against Menelik in 1894. The war that involved notable commanders like Ras Mikael of Wollo, Liqe Mekwas Abate Buwayalew, Dejach Balcha and Aba Jifar II of Jimma resulted in a large-scale loss of human life.  Which people living in Southern Ethiopia was Kawa Tona a king of?

Kawa Tona was the king of the Welaita people of Southern Ethiopia.

A new addition to the Bole area, this building is owned by Mr. Yichalal himself-Haile G/Selassie. Do you know after whom Haile named this latest addition to his real estate empire?

Alem Building - named after his wife, Alem.

More on a poem by Ato Getachew Admassu in memory of the legendary actor Wegayehu Negatu.

This Dejazmach better known for his "horse-name" of Aba-Nefso was among the top generals of the Adwa victory in 1896. He was also among the first of Menelik's loyalist to object to H/Selassie's ascend to power. He ruled the Sidama region for many years. Who is he?

Dejazmach Balcha Aba Nefso

Along with the legendary Belai Zeleke of the Gojam area, Ras Imiru, Abuna Petros, Blata Takele W/Hawariat and many others, this Ras was the most enduring symbol of the Ethiopian resistance during the Italian invasion. Who was he?

Ras Abebe Aregay

Captured and summarily executed by Fascist Italy in 1937, this commander of the southern front waged war of resistance against Graziani's troops. Some of his best units consisted of Eritreans who had joined hands with Ethiopian forces. Who is this dignified Ras? Clue: has a hospital in Addis Ababa named after him.

Ras Desta Damtew





Correct answers provided by: Gediyon H, Mekonnen W, Samuel M. Henock A, Samson K. 

The picture shows part of a building that dates back to the early  20-th century. Its hey-days were during the coronation of Haile Selassie when it welcomed dignitaries invited for the occasion. What building is it?

Legehar - Railway Station

Fekadu Belay, a mid-fielder from St. George (shown left) is very talented (10 goals in 2000-01) but is yet to reach the star status of the 18 year-old from EEPCO (Mebrat Hail), the league's leading scorer shown on the right. Who is this young fellow already acclaimed as one of Africa's rising stars? Clue: His younger brother Solomon Abay is also a rising star. 

Yordanos Abay

Tsegaye G/Medhin directed this unforgettable play - AtSim BeyegeTSu with Nersis Nalbandiyan as the composer and G/Kristos Desta, Tesfaye Gessesse and Haimanot Alemu as co-writers. Emperor Theodros was played by Haimanot Alemu. Can you identify who played the Itege? Also, who is the Itege by the way? Clue: Not Tewabech. Who is the character shown in the other picture played by Samuel Ferenj

correct answers provided by: Etsegenet, Samuel M. Tesfa L

The actor on the left is a legendary actor with memorable roles in "Hahu-Besidist wer", "teqotatatriw", etc.  Can you identify his name and the title of the play shown in the picture?

Wegayehu Negatu.

correct answers provided by: Etsegenet, Getachew, Wondwossen, Gediyon, Yigzaw, Eyerusalem, Tewodros, Gessessew, Alehubel, Fasil, Mebratu, and Dagnachew, Tsegay M.. 

Built in the 1930's, this timber and stone masonry building has a rather dubious distinction in Addis Ababa's history. Any idea where it is located and why we would rather forget the era of shouting from the balcony? Answers to:  E-mail Spotlight.

Located in "Atikilit Tera" area. Fascist Italian Officers used to call for a meeting on Fridays and deliver propaganda from the balcony.

Perhaps the cutest gas station in town, this gas station has been an Addis fixture for decades. But it is the popular business housed on the 2nd floor that has made this building very memorable for many. Send your guesses about the name of the gas station and the business housed on the 2nd floor to  E-mail Spotlight.

Ras Shell. Ras Kitfo

View from the newly completed segment of the Addis Ring Road near Gofa Sefer.


Addis Ababa's Historical buildings. Visit buildings that are as old as 100 years and more.


Send your answers, pictures and story to E-mail Spotlight. Copyright - MediaETHIOPIA 1996-2011 (Editor: Samuel Kinde Kassegne).