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Monday, April 7, 2014

At what level Hawasa Public Library is now?
Library user requesting the librarian keeping their turn

In a public library where almost more than 80 per cent of its first-string users are high school students who are marching to joining the higher education institutes, the inaccessibility of government prepared text books is simply an obstacle for their smooth academic journeys. As the text books are designed by scholars so as to feed higher educational institutes in the country with an enlightened generation that knows the economical, developmental, political, social and other directions of the nation, the government should be very much concerned about them. In spite of how relevant these text books are, high school students and users of the Hawasa Public Library are sternly complaining about the shortage of government text books. In fact, The Ethiopian Herald observed similar problems at Bahir Dar Public Library and dealt with hem a couple of months ago. With a population of over 300 thousand, the sole public library- Hawasa Public Library is in search of government text books very badly. In short, the text books are 'the most wanted' there.
Roles of library
Saying this and that about the roles of public libraries at this point seems to tell something cliche. But, it is also worth mentioning, according to the writer, to share the experience of the library hunters and others who are related to the library in one way or another. Asnakech Willa, Acting Manager of the Library said, “Libraries play significant role in supporting students education and public knowledge.” If it supports education, it, therefore, means that the library has its own contribution to the growth of nation. Libraries, by nature are comfortable places for students to read with concentration, she added. Reading, whatsoever material will help us gain something helpful and widen our scope of knowledge apart from improving our poor reading habit. Besides, Asnakech agreed on the protective role libraries play to the youth not to be trapped by drugs, alcohol, cigarette and other addictions. The library started giving service in 1995, after two years of its establishment and after the completion of its two floor building. According to Asnakech, the library is visited by 700-800 users daily especially during exam times. Serving in shifts, the library can accommodate around 300 users at a time where sometimes it is overflown and the rest have to return.
Mihret Genene, Culture, Tourism and Communication Affairs Department Head said that a library helps the society including students at different levels to build their capacity through reading the available materials from research to the fictions. She added that libraries also have a role of helping an individual attain complete personality.
Who is it serving?
Giving service Monday-Friday, Hawasa Public Library is open from 8am-6pm, including lunch hours. Asnakech said the library is not only for the high school students, it is also for university students be they are regular, evening or weekend program attendants. Masters program students of the university i.e. Hawasa University as well are frequent customers to the library, she added. Despite their less number compared to the university students, civil servants and dwellers in the city also read in the library quite often. She put her hypothesis saying that the number in this regard declined as a result of the unavailability of newspapers, magazines and similar publications for long. True to this, it was observed a year aged Addis Zemen - the daily Amharic newspaper- ironically a recent there. And a similarly old Reporter newspaper was on the desk while there was not any, nor recent nor old, magazines avail to the readers.
With the capacity of holding around 250 students at a time, as Asnakech indicated, the library also includes its own isolated classroom in its second floor for elementary students of grade 1-8. In this category, according to her, the number of users is not as many as the high school ones; she said that to the maximum 100 students visit the library’s children room on a daily basis.
The number of elementary students who are using the library and others also is expected to rise when the library opens on weekends which Asnnakech is hoping to be effected soon.
Books in the library
According to Asnakech, the library has got books of various disciplines ranging from medicine to reference materials, from literature to geography, from psychology to philosophy, from language to accounting, and the like. She mentioned that there are two ways where the library gets books. One is, she said, “We are donated by organizations such as Ethiopian Knowledge & Technology Transfer Society ( EKTTS) which donated us 10 thousand books including some 20 computers so as to provide the internet service to users.” Plus to this, she said the city culture bureau budgets to supply books to the library.
What do users say?
Senait Yakob, a 3rd year accounting student in one of the colleges in the town is among the regular users of the library and said that it benefited her a lot. She said, “It is in this library that I get books which I could not find in my college.” Adding to this, she said that reading in such library is safe as there is no suffocation problem as the rooms are spacious. “I am comfortable when I am here; so that, I am here at least three days a week,” she added. Senait said that the availability of various reference books in the library develops her knowledge on the subject matter she is studying. Moreover, she said that she visits the library even when she is not in a good mood so that she reads fictions and get refreshed.
However, Senait urged for the need of ventilators in the library so that students can read without feeling, being disturbed by, the hot weather. Besides, she said that the service would be more complete if there is internet service. Having said this, she extended her appreciation to the librarian and the rest of the staff for their commendable services. Appreciating their close follow up whether students are seriously reading or not, Senait said that the librarian recommend them what type of book to read and so on.
Making himself ready to take the national exam of his 12th grade this year, Dagim Fekadu said that he has been coming to library for the last three years. He said the library is so much helpful for it saves time to spend in a better place for a better purpose or they would be in other ruinous places. “The library has been contributing significantly to the concentration in what is being read and thereby we will understand the content of our reading better,” added Dagim. He further elucidated that there are a variety of books so that students are provided with opportunities to choose according to their needs.
Sharing Senait's compliment, Dagim told this writer that the service users are provided with by the staff library ranging from the guards to the librarian and the rest of the workers was laudable.
Nevertheless, according to Dagim, there are issues that need to be corrected. As the curriculum changes these time, the very old books, he expressed them saying, “Older than I am,” must be changed. “There are no new text books,” he condemned. “As final exams are usually drawn from these new text books in the national and regional level, students are most likely to face challenges during exams as there is a serious shortage of text books,” he was quoted saying. He also underlined on the importance of the internet service in particular students of higher education.
As the library is the only one in its kind and therefore flooded by people from different directions riding their own bicycles, there is no dependable security for those bicycles. There has to be a system that guarantees readers only read with total concentration than worrying about their bicycle outside, said Dagim. Suggesting to such problems, he said coupon would work somehow where owner of the bicycle takes one and guards take the other so that they would sort out problems related to this. “I remember once one of my friends lost his bicycle but fortunately he found it with the people he knew,” adding to this, Dagim continued, “had the bicycle been stolen by others that my friend did not know, he would have not gotten his cycle and as a result he would have hated coming to the library.” According to him, the problem, if not given solution, is serious as students, civil servants in Hawasa are known for using bike for transportation.
In addition to the aforementioned matter to be solved, Dagim stressed on the need to prolonging the time of the service of the library. He said the reading time must be extended to 6 pm. More importantly, he accentuated on the necessity of opening the library on Saturdays and Sundays. “For many of us, especially for those of us who attend schools for full day these two days are very essential to be used effectively if the library is open on those days,” he emphasized. If a student has to use its free time to read in the library, there is no more ample and exact time than the two days on weekends, he concluded.
Textbook shortage
As can be seen on the shelves of the library, a great deal of books varied in disciplines are made available. However, Asnakech emphasized that the library is rather not satisfying high school students that count the majority of its users as a result of a serious lack of text books.
Many complain about the shortage of the government text books especially for the high school students.
Besides, among the severe complains users had was absence of a rest room in the compound of the library which seems now on the verge of no more worth complaining. As was observed, there is rest room construction underway in the compound. Among the positive comments are users satisfaction over the service they are being provided with by the staff of the library. Mihret agreed that there is a gap as far as supplying text books in the library is concerned. She even said that there are fewer number of text books available in the library compared to the number of students who wish to use them. However, reminding that there had been efforts to provide the library with text books by her bureau, she said, last year and about 150 text books were provided to the library. Although not sufficient, she added that there was an effort from the bureau to provide the library at least with one or two government text materials of each grade.
In addition to this, Mihret said that her bureau is working on opening the library on weekends to satisfy the needs of students whose ample and right time to use the library is on weekends.( It was understood later this week that the library already began serving on Saturdays and Sundays. Well done!)
ምንጭ፦ http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/society/6563-at-what-level-hawasa-public-library-is-now
From bean to brew, there's more to the drink that has had a rich and mixed-blended history
A cup of Latte - what is your favourite coffee though?

A number of myths surround the origins of coffee and its first use but it is thought to have come from East Africa and cultivated by Arabs from the 14th century.
One legend suggests a goatherd named Kaldi discovered coffee in the Ethiopian highlands after noticing his goats, upon eating berries from a tree, became so spirited they did not want to sleep at night.
Kaldi reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery, who made a drink from the berries and discovered it kept him awake for long hours. The abbot shared the discovery with the other monks who used the energizing effects to stay awake during long hours of evening prayer.
Coffee beans are believed to have been exported from Ethiopia to Yemen in the middle of the 15th century with Sufi monks using the drink to drive away fatigue and lethargy during night-time devotions in the monasteries.
From Yemen, coffee moved northward to Mecca and Medina, then to larger cities of Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad and Constantinople.

By the 16th century, the vibrant trade between Venetian merchants and the Muslim world brought a large variety of goods, including coffee, to the European port. Coffee-drinking was initially introduced to the wealthy, charging them heavily for the beverage before spreading across Europe.
In 1511, Mecca banned coffee for its stimulating effect before overturning the sanction in 1524 on orders from the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Selim I while Pope Clement VIII had to intervene to allow Catholics to consume it in 1600.
The first coffeehouse opened in Constantinople in 1554 with the first European coffee house opening in Venice in 1645, thriving as places where social and business life could be conducted in comfortable surroundings.
The word "coffee" entered the English language in 1582 as both the drink and coffeehouses spread, largely through the efforts of the British East India Company and Dutch East India Company.
The first coffeehouse in England was opened in St. Michael's Alley in Cornhill by Pasqua Rosée, the servant of Daniel Edwards, a trader in Turkish goods. Edwards imported the coffee and assisted Rosée in setting up the establishment.
Charles II tried to ban coffee in 1675.
Charles II tried to ban coffee in 1675.
By 1675, there were more than 3,000 coffeehouses in England with many used as focal points between the 1660s and 1670's for deep discussion of beliefs on religious and political issues.
This period of enlightenment was feared by the establishment, so much so that Charles II made an attempt to ban coffee houses in 1675. 
For many decades in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Brazil was the biggest producer of coffee and monopolised the trade. However, a policy of maintaining high prices soon opened opportunities to other nations, such as Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The importance of coffee to the world economy cannot be overstated. It is one of the most valuable primary products in world trade, second only to oil as a source of foreign exchange to producing countries.
Its cultivation, processing, trading, transportation and marketing provide employment for hundreds of millions of people worldwide and is crucial to the economies and politics of many developing countries; exports of coffee accounting for more than 50 percent of their foreign exchange earnings.
Is there a North Wales coffee shop that stands out for you as well? If so, tell us via facebook , twitter , email Welshnews@dailypost.co.uk or by completing the form below.             
Source@ http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/national-coffee-week-2014-history-6922875
There’s a knock at your door. You open it, only to find several grave-looking police officers accusing you of a crime you didn’t commit. They pull out records of your most recent phone calls and tie you to your alleged co-conspirator, and now you’re screwed. This is Ethiopia.
According to a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, Ethiopian surveillance of phones and emails is rampant. Eskinder Nega, a journalist and dissident blogger, reports being shown emails, text messages, and phone recordings when approached by Ethiopian police who were investigating him. Nega’s newspaper,Ethiopis, was shut down for being critical of the Ethiopian government’s abuses in freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Nega was sentenced to 18 years in prison for allegedly conspiring against the government in July of 2012.
“Ethiopia certainly doesn’t have the resources or capacity to engage in surveillance on the scale of the NSA—very few governments do,” Cynthia Wong, a Senior Researcher at HRW, told me. “The biggest difference, however, is that Ethiopia is using surveillance to silence dissent and opposition parties. While we don’t know the full extent of who the NSA is monitoring, there is no evidence yet that suggests that the NSA is broadly targeting critics or political opposition groups, as we have found in Ethiopia.”
Ethiopia, despite a dreadful history of human rights abuses, is a key African ally of the United States. But even American citizens with relations to Ethiopia are not safe from the surveillance program. The report highlights a US citizen by the name of “Kidane,” who runs technical support for Ethiopian diaspora groups, who found that his computer had been infected with spyware that was recording his Skype calls, emails, and web searches.
Wong claims the surveillance is used during abusive investigations and that police and the government have “unfettered access to call records and intercepted phone calls.” She says even the citizen’s protections that exist on paper are systematically ignored, and that one of the justifications the Ethiopian government gives for operating at such a level is the ongoing war on terror.
It seems Ethiopia, as an ally of the United States, is taking notes from the American playbook. In order to fight against anyone who opposes it, the Ethiopian government is finding ways to silence them under the guise of “terrorism.” “Anything it does to go after terrorists in its state is largely supported by the United States,” Eva Galperin, Global Policy Analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told me. “When they start labeling journalist and political dissidents as terrorists, that’s really problematic, because it sort of makes us complicit in their human rights abuses.”
Essentially, the Ethiopian government has learned it can do whatever it wants in surveillance, as guided by the precedent set by the United States.
“They’ve learned that ‘terrorism’ is a very powerful word, both in domestic and foreign policy,” Galperin says. “If you can name your enemies ‘terrorists,’ and say that you are fighting terrorism by monitoring these Ethiopian dissidents, it’s possible for the government to come out of this looking really good as strong ‘war on terror’ allies in Africa.”
As a fighter of “terrorism” and an ally of the United States, Ethiopia is afforded certain opportunities in the international market. The country has been able to acquire server access and spyware technology from western countries. Hacking Team (Italy) and Gamma/FinFisher (UK/Germany) are two companies the HRW report identifies as being compliant in the country’s efforts. There is no specific evidence of US software or servers being used in the surveillance, but it certainly wouldn’t require a stretch of the imagination.
“Trade in surveillance equipment is currently unregulated at the international level,” Wong told me. She believes that the world community needs to instigate regulations on the trade and selling of surveillance equipment around the world, as to protect the investigation of human rights abuses. She thinks the EU needs to take control of where this equipment is going so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
“The U.S. really needs to reconsider Ethiopia as a strong African ally,” Galperin says. A country with such a tattered history of abusing its own citizens and turning a blind eye to censorship should not be a country we put support behind. The United States is obviously a country that should be concerned with terrorism. However, when the goal becomes getting away with whatever you can under the umbrella of fighting terrorism, it becomes a serious problem, Galperin adds.
Surveillance of phone calls, emails, and texts makes sense when you’re investigating a Taliban leader, but is it walking on thin ice when it’s a tech support guy? Possibly. Just not in Mexico.
Djibouti (HAN) April 6, 2014 – Opinion By Gorse Ismail – In 1984, Zaid Barre formed Ogaden National Liberation Front ( ONLF) after the military man massacred 80 commanders of West Somali Liberation Front (WSLF). Zaid had taken the move to set up ONLF to expand its hegemony in Horn of Africa; however, it has not only dashed Somali nationalism, but fomented lasting mistrust among Somalis in the republic of Somalia. This has been one of the reasons that Somalia would not have had a government in the last twenty years.
The eleven higher executive members of ONLF were not born in Ethiopia, but in Somalia. The chairman of ONLF, Admiral Mohamed Osman was the head of Marine in Somalia under the leadership of dictator regime of Zaid Barre. He does not have a clue about Ethiopian politics. On the contrary, the only one who was a native of Ethiopian Origin, Dr. Dolal was killed two years ago when he questioned genuinely ONLF to be the sole representative of all Somalis in Somali Region.
Dr. Dolal argued that we, Ogadeni, are one clan and we had seen what the clan politics had inherited to the Somalis nation; why do we ignore the majority of Somali people in Somali Region and pressed to reform ONLF to be morphed to WSLF. Ironically, he was captured in Somali Region while he was negotiating with WSLF. It was secretly the leaked information of ONLF to the current president of Somali Region that masterminded his killing which was against international law, to execute a captured leader of rebel without due process.
In 1977, WSLF had refused the regime of Mogadishu to intervene in their business where the front had liberated ninety percent of its lands from the soldiers of Mengestu Haile Mariam who were killing left and right the innocent Somalis in Somali Region. The current Ambassador of Ethiopia in Egypt, Mohamud Dirrer, was the highest member of WSLF at the time.
In the summer of June 1977, the tanks and airplanes of the regime of Zaid Barre had violated the territorial integrity of Ethiopia so that he could extrapolate its internal crisis and beating the drum of nationalism to elongate its power.
Additionally, the distorted rumor that EPRP had consented with WSLF to endorse the separation of Somali Region was fabricated by the two dictators that had been overthrown as result of demise of cold war. On the contrary, EPRP and WSLF had agreed how to build democratic republic of Ethiopia whereby all Ethiopian regardless of its origin will be treated on an equal footing without the secessionist and settlers ideologies that were hovering on the country.
Further, EPRDF/TPLF has championed that all nations and nationalities should be given the right place when the organization made a contract social in 1991 that culminated with the classical constitution of 1994 that introduced such as article 39 that allows any nation to organize along the line of its culture, linguistics, historic and other social factors and would go its own way in case it decides its future.
Many scholars of Horn of Africa puzzled that EPRDF took this bold and brave move that was historically one of its kind in Africa, but why on earth does it negotiating with ONLF that was formed by a junta and represents one clan, ogadeni and neglects the majority of Somali in Somali Region such as Issa, Issaq, Gurgure, Hawiye, Gadarbusi and the list will go on and on.
The simple answer is that EPRDF wants to stay in power without implementing the constitution genuinely and put the third largest population, Somalis in Ethiopia in “Aggar” category that is surrogated misnomer to undermine Somalis, Gambelas, Afar and Benshugal.
To put in historical and ideological perspective, EPRDF/TPLF should know that the clan makes up of Somali politic. In other word, one has to comprehend that Somali identity is traditionally rooted in paternal descent meticulously memorialized in genealogies that determine each individual’s exact place in society. At the apices of this structure are the “clan-families” with their quasi-mythic lineages harkening back to the family of the Prophet Muhammad.
In modern times, the advent of instantaneous mass communications has, ironically, rendered these traditional divisions an even more significant factor in Somali national politics, as it has enabled both geographically separated members of the same groups, including those in the far-flung diaspora, to interact with each other and organize themselves to pursue common political objectives. This is a result of the underlying power structures within Somali society.
The unity of the larger group, as well as the clans and sub-clans into which these relationships are divided, is founded not only on shared ancestry, but also a formal political contract, known as xeer, between its members. British anthropologist I.M. Lewis, arguably the foremost living authority on Somali history and culture, has observed that “the vital importance of this grouping, in an environment in which the pressure of population on sparse environmental resources are acute, and where fighting over access to water and pasture is common, can hardly be overemphasized” since it is upon his sub-group, and “potentially on wider circles of clansmen within his clan-family, that the individual ultimately depends for the security of his person and property.”
EPRDF should address the issues of Somali Region while she would ground in its historical, political, economic and social context if it wants a lasting peace, prosperity and sustainable development that have been booming in other regions of Ethiopia.
Ze-Habesha – The opinion of the author: By Gorse Ismail
Speaking Freely is an Geeska Afrika Online and Horn of Africa Newsline (HAN) feature that allows guest writers to have their say. if you are interested in contributing or sending News, Views and Comments. Please email at: han@geeskaafrika.com
HAN & Geeska Afrika Online (1985-2014), the oldest free independent Free Press in the region, brings together top journalists from across the Horn of Africa. Including Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Afar and Harari. Plus, we have daily translations from 150 major news organizations in the Middle East and East African regions. Contact at news@geeskaafrika.com
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