The Concoction

An Ethiopian woman's musings on Africa, the world and everything in between

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        Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
        Wednesday, March 28, 2007
        Resume of a slave
        This is fascinating stuff.

        posted by Fikirte @ 6:51 PM   1 comments Digg!
        Friday, March 23, 2007
        If international aid is your thing… has a web page from where you can print a letter to the president/prime minister of the western country of your choice to urge them meet the goal of donating 0.7% of their national income to poor countries.

        Hats off to Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Denmark for already reaching their goal!
        posted by Fikirte @ 3:36 PM   1 comments Digg!
        Wednesday, March 21, 2007
        One for the road
        Take a book to Ethiopia every time you go there. A simply brilliant idea. This is one of those ideas that make you say, "Darn! How come nobody thought of it before?"

        We, Ethiopians, take a lot of stuff from and to Ethiopia when we travel in and out of the country. Dina at CoffeeChilliSun has a witty post about it for those who don't know the complex phenomena of shipping for free Ethiopian-style.

        Imagine if each of us take a book for charity! Well, now it is possible and there is no excuse. Here (in Amharic) is the detail.

        The main idea...

        Every year hundred of thousands of Ethiopians arrive at Bole Airport. If every person brings in a book, hundred of thousands books will be available in the country. Take a book for donation when you go to Ethiopia. If you are not travelling to Ethiopia in the near future, ask somebody you know to take your donated book. If possible, donate high school or collage books. If not, send novels. Starting on March 1, 2007 there will be a container at Bole Airport. After you drop the book in the container, then go greet your relatives (it really says that!) You can even donate the book to your old school. We just urge you to take a book for a student in Ethiopia.

        Help Ethiopia read!

        Related links

        Ethiopia Reads
        Lighthouse Mission
        Book Aid International
        posted by Fikirte @ 2:02 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Saturday, March 17, 2007
        A web conference on preventing violence against women
        Date: Thursday, March 29, 2007 2:00-3:30 pm EST (11:00 am – 12:30 pm PST)

        Presenters: Larry Cohen, Rachel Davis, Greta Tubbesing Prevention Institute.

        Host: David Lee, Prevention Connection

        Details & background

        Following recent school shootings in which girls were specifically targeted, the primary response was to call for school safety generally without attention to the gender of the victims or the implications. In the wake of announcements for OJ Simpson’s book on how he would have committed murder, there was an outcry and plans were scrapped. But did we miss an opportunity to bring attention to the need for prevention? Working from two background readings in reaction to these events, this web conference will examine how we can be better prepared to advance a prevention frame through the media in light of public events in violence against women and girls. We will share input and recommendations from the recent Prevention Connection web dialogue on this issue ("Where's the Prevention Frame?" held on January 23, 2007) and explore further what an effective prevention frame might look like and how we can advance it.

        Space will be limited to the first 450 registrants

        Registration: at

        Cost: Free

        For more information:

        David S. Lee, MPH, Prevention Connection Manager
        888-922-5227 x309; 916-446-8802 (TTY)

        What is a Web Conference?
        A web conference is an opportunity to attend an on-line workshop by calling on your phone and watching a presentation from your computer screen using only your regular internet connection. Web conferences feature opportunity to participate on-line answering polls and sending messages. If for some reason you are unable to join on your computer, you can print out slides of presentations and listen along on the phone. Contact Prevention Connection for more information about how to use this technology. At this time, the web conference services works only with WIndows based machines. Contact us at for information on how MacIntosh users can participate.

        What is a Web Dialogue?
        A Web Dialogue is a small interactive on-line workshop to explore principles of prevention. Each Web Dialogue is limited in size and to participants whom had attended a previous Prevention Connection session.

        Prevention Connection is a national project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault and is sponsored by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The views and information provided in the listserv and web conferences do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. government, CDC, or CALCASA.

        Real Time Captioning Available. Indicate in your registration if you be using real time captioning or any other assistive technology to access this web conference.

        posted by Fikirte @ 10:20 AM   0 comments Digg!
        Friday, March 09, 2007
        In my daughter's eyes
        Every year at International Women's Day, I feel a sting of guilt if I don't say something about the plight of women... being a woman and all. This year I convinced myself that other people are doing something concrete therefore I didn't have to give it lip (blog) service. That's until my 9 year old daughter asked me to edit her article on Famous Women.

        The article is about Mary Anning, a British fossil collector and paleontologist. My daughter picked her because, like Mary, my daughter "is going to be a paleontologists" and because she liked Mary's "guts to stand up for what she believed in." I was really touched. So, here is a dedication for my daughters wishing them all the strength in the world to stand up against the .... that society may throw at them for being girls.

        Here is the article in all it's glory...

        Have you ever thought of becoming a fossil hunter? Mary Anning did. She was born in 1799. She looked for fossils in Lyme Regis, England near a cliff. Mary's father taught her how to find and take out fossils. Mary Anning was known to be strange because in the 1800's most people thought girls shouldn't learn about fossils. They didn't think girls should learn about science at all.

        When Mary was eleven, her father was hurt. He fell down a cliff on the way to a near by town. He was already sick at that time. In October, he died. It was the biggest obstacle in the Annings life.

        After he died, the Annings needed money badly. They haven't found any large fossils for almost a year. In 1811, Joseph, Mary's brother, found a skull. It had a long snout like a crocodile and sharp teeth.

        About a year later, Mary found the rest of the fossil. She sold it to a group of men. It was a complete fossil that lived in the sea! The men donated it to a museum. In those days, the museum didn't give credit to the people that found the fossil. They gave credit to the people who gave it to the museum. The men were on the museums record, the Annings were not.

        When Mary was twenty four years old, she found another fossil that lived in the sea. It had a long snout with sharp teeth. Instead of legs, it had four flat paddles. It was called a plesiosaur.

        Soon, many people wanted to meet Mary Anning. She enjoyed teaching people about the fossils she loved. Scientists sent Mary Anning books about fossils. She compared what she read with the fossils she found.

        Mary Anning was never afraid to speak her mind. If a scientist put a dinosaur bone in the wrong place, she will speak up. She was never afraid to disagree if she knew she was right.

        Every day, Mary went out looking for fossils. In 1828, she found a belemnite. They lived in the sea. Like a squid, they could squirt clouds of ink. Later that year, she found another important fossil. It was called a pterosaur. Pterosaur was a reptile with wings. Mary found the first pterosaur in England. When people saw the dinosaur bone, they were amazed. Had it really been alive?

        One day on 1829, Mary was collecting fossils when a tide was coming in fast. She was so busy that she didn't notice it. Mary and her helper had to run to safety. They made it just in time. The danger was worth it. Mary had found another plesiosaur. It was even better than the first.

        On December of 1829, Mary found a strange fossil. It had teeth that were hooked. The body had flaps, like wings. The flaps reminded Mary of a sting ray. Scientists agreed with her. Others thought it was a reptile or a bird. A couple years later, they found out that it really was a fish. It was a chimaera.

        Mary died in 1847 from breast cancer. Mary Anning didn’t get much credit for the work she did. It is important to learn about her because her fossils helped people learn about life in the sea over two hundred years ago. She is also a good role model for girls and women today. She taught us that we have to speak up for our rights and what we believe in.

        Is that the best conclusion or what? I'm proud. I'm darn proud!!!!
        posted by Fikirte @ 11:46 AM   1 comments Digg!
        Wednesday, March 07, 2007
        Trip of a life time

        Really, how many people get a chance to celebrate a millennium twice? And better still make a road trip from Europe/USA to Ethiopia to celebrate a second millennium and bring a message of hope, peace…?

        Amen Ethiopia has organized a road trip for Ethiopians and those born abroad from Ethiopian parents. The main purpose of the trip is "to promote solidarity and unity amongst Ethiopians." The journey starts from the Peace Palace in The Hague and ends up in Addis Ababa via these exciting places. There is a lot of information on Amen Ethiopia's website. Good luck and happy Ethiopian Millennium!
        posted by Fikirte @ 1:25 PM   0 comments Digg!
        The face of VAW

        Kamilat - victim of acid burning The face of VAW - violence against women. It should and can be stopped with enough commitment. Helping one woman at a time is a start.
        Go to the blog
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