Ethiopian Christmas Jan 7, 2014 | Melkam Gena!

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 20:00 p.m. DST, 04 January 2014

Christianity in PalestineADDIS ABBA, Ethiopia - Towards the end of each year, Jews, Muslims, and Christians begin to prepare for their holiday seasons.

During the last week of November until the beginning of the New Year on the Gregorian calendar, Christian families across the world prepare for cultural, regional, and national holidays that honor the best ideals of who we seek to be as humans.

In America, the end of the year is consumed with activities focused on preparing for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and finally New Year’s Eve, which concludes the annual calendar of major festivals.

Throughout the calendar year, running sometimes in synch, and at other times not close, are the major Muslim and Jewish holidays which are celebrated in accordance with the lunar calendar.

The Ethiopian calendar, also called the Ge'ez calendar, is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical calendar for Christians in Eritrea and Ethiopia belonging to the Orthodox Tewahedo churches, Eastern Catholic Church and Lutheran Orthodox Church.

It is a sidereal calendar based on the older Alexandrian or Coptic calendar, which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar. A seven- to eight-year gap is created by the difference between the calendars results in an alternate calculation of the date of the Annunciation of Jesus. (Source: Wikipedia)

Thus, this year, the Ethiopian Christmas will be celebrated on January 7, 2014 on the Gregorian calendar. The Ethiopian holiday is not known as Christmas, but Lidet. Other names include Gena and Qiddus Bale Wold. As part of the tradition of celebrating the birth of Jesus, Ethiopian tradition holds that one of the Wise Men who visited Jesus came from Ethiopia.

Christmas Eve features prominently in Ethiopian celebration, just as it does with all followers of Jesus. One difference is that Ethiopians fast on the day before Christmas, and then at dawn on the morning of Gena, the Ethiopian name for the holiday; people arise and dress in white.

Women wear dresses called Habesha Gemis, while the men complete their attire with a type of shawl called Netela, worn by both men and women. Then the entire family attends the early morning mass that starts at 4.00 a.m and officially commences the days events.

Following the mass, families go home to celebrate the holiday and participate in traditional festivities to break the fast. Similar to the American holiday, the Ethiopian Christmas is filled with happiness, the presence of family, food, and songs. But most of all, it is a time to reflect and thank God for all that He has done for us and will through His beneficent kindness, continue to do for us throughout the coming year.

Melkam Gena!

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Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor: @ayannanahmias

Israel Plans to Deport African Migrants to Third Country

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Alex Hamasaki, Student InternLast Modified: 01:10 a.m. DST, 26 June 2013

Israel-Egypt border near Netafim, Photo by Vad LevinJERUSALEM, Israel - The Israeli plan to send its over 60,000 African migrants to an unidentified third country has received elicit criticism for the potential harm to the migrants.

Over the past eight years, thousands of African migrants, mostly from Eritrea or Sudan, have entered Israel through Egypt. Some of these migrants were fleeing repressive regimes or seeking job opportunities.

Israel has attempted to stop the influx of migrants by building a fence on the Israeli-Egyptian border. Additionally, since last summer, Israel has been imprisoning new arrivals in order to determine if they meet the criteria for refugee status. Israel also offered cash to migrants if they would leave the country voluntarily.

The Washington Post and the Associated Press allude that many Israelis feel some sort of “natural responsibility” toward the migrants from Africa because of the Holocaust. However, other Israelis worry that Israel’s Jewish character will be threatened with the arrival of the migrants.

Fears for the migrants safety from mistreatment in the third country sparked criticism toward Israel’s plan.

Israel has yet to announce the details of the plan and the country they plan to send the migrants to. According to the Washington Post, court documents show that Israel has an agreement with one country to take on some migrants, and is currently in talks with two others. It is not known what these countries would receive in return.

Under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, states cannot send refugees to countries where they will face physical or political danger reports the Associated Press. It is unclear if Israel will be monitoring the well being of the migrants when in another country.

Follow Alex Hamasaki on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Student Intern: @aghamasaki

People traffickers stalk Eritreans in Sudan desert

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In the Nahmias Cipher Report we write a lot about Ethiopia in general, and the abhorrent practice of modern day slavery around the world. This post caught our eye and we felt it was worthy of reposting. "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" ~ Edmund Burke

Eritrean Beauties

Eritrean Beauties

Eritrea (pronounced /ˌɛrɨˈtreɪ.ə/ or /ˌɛrɨˈtriːə/;[6] Ge'ez: ኤርትራ ʾErtrā, Arabic: إرتريا Iritriya), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea. Its size is just under 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 5 million. The capital is Asmara." Photos of Eritrean Women by Dawit Rezenè.

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