Dr. Elias shared his opinion that in general alumni and their potential resources are not effectively utilized in Ethiopia, and it was with this in mind that the University of Gondar Alumni Steering Committee in the US was established. “In close collaboration with the University of Gondar senior leadership, and with its president Professor Mengesha Admassu in particular, the Gondar Alumni Steering Committee worked hard in various areas to set an example so that other Ethiopian Universities will give the necessary attention to alumni activities and strengthen their alumni offices with appropriate manpower and resources” he said. Dr. Yared likewise added that based on the feedback received so far, the effort of the steering committee has paid off and the University of Gondar is being seen in Ethiopia as a “pioneer” in effectively collaborating with its alumni. Both Dr. Elias and Dr. Yared also thanked the leadership of the University of Gondar for believing in the power of alumni and for supporting all the activities of the steering committee.
The jury started deliberating this past Thursday after the seven-week trial of Larry and Carri Williams, whose parenting practices were called into question after Hana Williams died in May 2011 after collapsing in the family’s backyard home in the Sedro-Woolley area.
An autopsy showed she died of hypothermia hastened by malnutrition and a stomach condition.
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The Mayor added: “With such a large Ethiopian community right here in the District, the signing of this Sister City Agreement presents an unprecedented opportunity for the District and Addis Ababa to work and grow together, and I am very excited about the prospects of our bright future. These important agreements help to foster the international ties that strengthen civil society and goodwill between nations. I look forward to our fruitful collaboration and thank Mayor Kuma for visiting our great city for this truly special occasion.”
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The research methodology included the collection of statements that either went against or were in support of an issue. Analysis of the data focused not on whether statements were made “agreeing or disagreeing, but about the tendency to take a viewpoint seriously and engage with it, or, on the contrary, to dismiss it and directly attack a person for his/her affiliation with a specific group…Speakers uttering statements that go against generally use non-insulting language, and they do not suggest, imply or call the audience to physical or nonphysical violence. Nonetheless, there are instances in which speakers use insulting/derogatory terms or metaphors.”
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Gagliardone added: “One example is the detention and trial of six members of the Zone 9 collective. Despite the case attracted criticism around the status of freedom of expression in Ethiopia, both at national and international level, almost none of the analyzed statements about the Zone 9 bloggers were antagonistic. Almost at the opposite extreme, in terms of the level of political antagonism that they triggered, were debates bringing back tensions between the current government and long-standing political opponents. Berhanu Nega’s arrival in Eritrea in July 2015, for example, attracted much attention and encouraged a heated debate on Facebook. More than 40% of statements referring to the issue were categorized as going against. As an indication of how polarizing this issue was, and how it did not simply lead to focusing on a particular target, antagonistic statements were equally distributed between those attacking the government and those attacking Ginbot 7.”
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The Beteseb evening program has become popular among local college students. When Tadias stopped by at last Saturday’s session the room was filled with University of Maryland Students including the current president of the Ethiopian Student Association at UM and her predecessor. Beteseb has likewise conducted more outreach and offered painting sessions at the annual Ethiopian soccer tournament. In the summer Beteseb offers two sessions from 11am to 2pm.
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In an interview with Tadias Magazine researcher Matti Pohjonen noted that “the collaboration with Addis Ababa University had begun in 2012 when we joined forces to understand what impact Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) were actually having in Eastern Africa, beyond the hype that had characterized the campaigns to reduce the digital divide and use ICTs for development.” Pohjonen added: This effort also included other universities in the region, from Kenya to Uganda to Somalia. Mechachal emerged from the many conversations we had as part of that forum and we do hope that our efforts in Ethiopia could be scaled up in the region. We could learn a lot from comparatively analyzing online conversations in those countries.”