February 26, 2011
February 12, 2011
A very important and interesting reflection on the relation between self and other in any travel situation, in this case Oman. The outsider/resident is caught between a desire to find community, and the social cost of tying oneself into those networks of obligatory social relationships. Community can be a comfort and a trap.
Us and Oman: Us?: "International travelers know that there exist many contradictions in how we engage with our host cultures."
February 11, 2011
Tsehai Publishers is proud to announce the launch of the Ethiopian Journal
of Religious Studies. The journal captures the rich heritage of religion
and faith in Ethiopia, bringing you the best in analysis and
interpretation. Featuring the highest quality of international
contributors, EJRS will uncover the past and present, illuminating complex
contemporary issues and debates. The religions of Ethiopia have an
astonishingly complex and intricate history. From being one of the first
countries in history to accept Christianity, to its preservation of Islam,
to the complex issues of the Ethiopian Jews, and the country's own rich
indigenous religious traditions, there is an untapped richness to be
The Ethiopian Journal of Religious Studies seeks book reviews from scholars
of Ethiopia, of Religious Studies and related fields: Sociology,
Anthropology, History, Philosophy, etc. A commitment to review the book
received is required.
Deadline for the next issue: April 1, 2011. Please contact Cynthia Carr,
firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
As of 2/8/11, books available include:
Christianity in Ethiopia:
Priests & Politicians: Protestant & Catholic Missions in Orthodox Ethiopia
(1830-1868) by Donald Crummey
Mission to Ethiopia: An American Lutheran Memoir (1957-2003)by Leonard
Flachman & Merlyn Seitz (Eds.)
The Missionary Strategies of the Jesuits in Ethiopia (1555-1632) by Leonardo
State and Church in Ethiopia (1270-1527) by Taddesse Tamrat
Islam in Ethiopia:
Islamic Finance: Law, Economics, and Practice by Mahmoud A. El-Gamal
The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan African by Timothy Insoll
Sharia: Theory, Practice and Transformations by Wael B. Hallaq
Judaism in Ethiopia:
The Evolution of Ethiopian Jews by James Quirin
Jews and Blacks in the Early Modern World by Jonathan Schorsch
Futuh Al-Habasa: The Conquest of Abyssinia by Paul Lester Stenhouse (Trans.)
Ethiopia: Judaism, Altars, and Saints by Stuart Munro-Hay
Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia: Islam, Christian, and Politics Entwined by Haggai
Islam & Christianity in the Horn of Africa: Somalia, Ethiopia & Sudan by
After 18 days of nonviolent protests, the beginnings of a democratic revolution. The determination of the Egyptian people to be an "exception to their ruler" has succeeded! Incredible, incredible, incredible! To quote, Ibrahim Yazeji via George Antonius: "Arise, ye Arabs and awake!" We await expectantly and prayerfully for more news from this popular triumph!
Triumph as Mubarak quits - Middle
East - Al Jazeera English
February 6, 2011
Globalization....is a hell of a thing!
Yoi, It's Super Bowl Sunday
February 5, 2011
February 2, 2011
We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), meeting at our 16th Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 30 to 31 January 2011, are mindful of the vital importance of this critical moment of Sudan’s national history.
1. We congratulate the people of Sudan on the successful achievement of the principal pillar of the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan. This success confirms the commitment of the Sudanese people and their leaders never to return to war, and hitherto to resolve any differences that may arise exclusively by peaceful means.
2. We hail the courage, vision and steadfastness of the Government of Sudan (GoS), under the leadership of President Omar Hassan al Bashir and First Vice President and President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) Salva Kiir Mayardit, which has made possible this momentous achievement. Our continent stands shoulder to shoulder, equally with these two national leaders, as they fulfill their historic responsibilities.
3. We commend the people of southern Sudan, whose choice has been clearly, freely and credibly expressed in the referendum. The African Union looks forward to solemnly accepting the outcome of the referendum as soon as it is formally proclaimed by the competent authorities, and calls upon all States to do so, and to extend such assistance and cooperation as may be required for South Sudan to achieve the development that its long-suffering people deserve.
4. We extend our solidarity and that of the entire continent to the people of northern Sudan, who have taken the unprecedented and generous step of accepting self-determination for their brethren. Africa legitimately looks forward to the complete normalization of relations between the international community and the Republic of Sudan, to ensure that all the peoples of Sudan can enjoy peace, dignity, democracy and development. In this respect, we call upon Sudan’s creditors around the world to expeditiously and comprehensively relieve the country’s external debt, ensuring that Sudan’s special circumstances receive special treatment.
5. In that spirit, and noting the personal and unwavering commitment of President Al Bashir to sustaining peace between northern and southern Sudan and do all he can for the early resolution of the crisis in Darfur, we, once again, call upon the United Nations Security Council immediately to invoke Article 16 of the Rome Statute and suspend any actions against President Al Bashir by the International Criminal Court. In responding to this call, the Security Council would be acting in accordance with its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security and would greatly facilitate the ongoing efforts by the AU to help the Sudanese parties achieve lasting peace, security, justice and reconciliation.
6. In its fifty five years as an independent nation, Sudan has faced exceptional challenges, inherited from its colonial past. Recognizing the unique nature of its national question, the Sudanese leaders resolved, in 2005, to grant the right of self-determination to the people of southern Sudan.
7. Drawing inspiration from Resolution 1514(XV) on the Declaration on the Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, whose 50th anniversary has just been celebrated by the international community, we value and uphold the right of self-determination of peoples under colonial rule, which was indeed duly exercised by our own nations to achieve independence, and which continue to be relevant to the peoples of the non-self-governing territories listed as such by the United Nations General Assembly.
8. We acknowledge that Sudan represents an exceptional case, which, in no way, calls into question the sacrosanct principle of respect of borders inherited at the accession of African countries to independence. We reaffirm our determination to ensure full respect of this principle and to forge ahead with our agenda of integration and greater unity among our countries, as foreseen by the founding fathers of the OAU and as enshrined in the AU Constitutive Act. We welcome and support the commitment made by the leaders of Sudan to respect the will of the people in Southern Sudan and, should the latter vote for separation, to establish two viable states, mutually supportive, at peace with one another, and cooperating in the fields of economics, security and international relations. We emphasize that, in such a case, northern and southern Sudan will be equally African nations. The separation of southern Sudan, in no way, dilutes the African identity of northern Sudan. Both entities will move forward in the Sudanese tradition of building strength from diversity.
9. Sudan has the utmost importance to the African continent. It spans the diversity of our continent, bringing our peoples together in a great melting pot. The achievement of peace, democracy and development in northern and southern Sudan promises to help lift the entire continent. Sudan’s ability to overcome the formidable obstacles in its path stands as a testament to Africa’s capacity to resolve its conflicts and achieve our common goals. Conversely, Africa cannot afford to see Sudan again plunge into turmoil.
10. In that spirit, we welcome and endorse the commitment of the Government of Sudan to resolve the conflict in Darfur, by supporting and participating in the Darfur Political Process, which will build on the outcome of the Doha peace process. The AU calls upon the Darfur armed movements to participate immediately in the Doha peace talks, so as to achieve a ceasefire and lay the foundations for an inclusive and holistic peace agreement for Darfur.
11. We call upon the Sudanese parties to resolve speedily the remaining issues in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including a settlement of the question of Abyei, the convening of Popular Consultations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, and the demarcation of the common border and resolution of the status of disputed areas. We urge the parties to proceed rapidly to agree on post-referendum issues, including citizenship, security, a soft border, and all questions relating to economics and natural resources.
12. We express Africa’s solidarity with the entire Sudanese people, and welcome equally North and South Sudan and the emerging post-referendum situation, as building blocks for the ongoing project of African integration. Having achieved peace, the Sudanese people are now able fully to participate as effective actors and beneficiaries in the common African endeavor of shared prosperity and continental unity.
Rami Abdoch is a blogger, writer and Anthropology/Sociology major at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. He has given me permission to repost this from his blog It's an excellent piece analyzing the current crisis in Egypt:
Here is an excerpt:
Tunisia’s revolt, dubbed by some as the “Jasmine Revolution,” was apparently sparked by a young man named Mohamed Bouazizi setting himself on fire, feeling hopeless at his potential in life. His fruit stand was seized because he did not have a permit, even though he had a university degree. It is difficult to imagine the ethos and proverbial lock felt in the heart and mind of a person that would lead him to do such a horrendous thing to himself. Afterward, some 3 or 4 individuals from both Egypt and Tunisia did the same to themselves, seemingly without knowledge of this initial incidence. A mere coincidence? These incidents spread via the internet, ballooning into the week long protests in Tunisia that caused president Ben Ali to be deposed. My sense is that the people of Egypt, filled with hope after seeing the Ben Ali ousted, took that hope and began mass-scale protests in Egypt. This spurred the Egyptian government to shutdown the Internet completely to slow the mobilization of its people and protests, as social media was the driving force behind Tunisia’s revolt, largely as a result of tech-savvy youth. The importance of social media cannot be underscored enough. Youth quickly got to work on posters, slogans, and organized rallies, primarily via Twitter and Facebook. The majority of Tunisia’s population is under 30, which is also the case in Egypt. The fervor of a young population in tandem with social media mobilization has enabled these movements to spread at tremendous speed. Also, both countries’ citizens have largely the same misgivings, primarily economic. Egyptians thought to themselves: “If Tunisians can do it, we can do it” Thus, the ripple effect of revolution. Carpe diem, Middle East style.
Check it out!