Ethiopia: Turkish institute’s math museum draws crowds

             <p>By Addis Getachew and Tufan Aktas</p>  <p>ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – Turkey’s culture institute abroad on Thursday launched a pop-up math museum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.</p>  <p>Present at the museum opening at Addis Ababa University were Turkish Ambassador to Ethiopia Yaprak Alp and university officials, along with groups of eager students.</p>  <p>Alp spoke on efforts to establish the Yunus Emre Institute in Addis Ababa, as two teachers deployed by the institute are now providing free Turkish language courses, one at Addis Ababa University and another at Wollo University.</p>  <p>“Talks are ongoing between Ethiopian officials and Turkey to realize the plan,” she said.</p>  <p>The institute, she said, would serve as a vehicle to bring the peoples of Turkey and Ethiopia closer together.</p>  <p>Through the cultural and educational center, Ethiopians would be able to experience Turkish language, culture, cuisine, film, and arts, the ambassador said.</p>  <p>The Yunus Emre Institute launched the Mobile Museum Project under the framework of the Academic and Scientific Cooperation Project of Turkey, under the auspices of the Turkish Presidency.</p>  <p>Aiming to inculcate scientific skills among young people, the project has already visited 12 cities and 16 temporary shelter centers across Turkey. This is the second time the institute’s math project has come to the Ethiopian university.</p>  <p> “The museum traveled across Turkey, including to refugee centers, and got a lot of interest,” curator Servet Arat told Anadolu Agency.</p>  <p>“It reached more than 45,000 children” in such places as Hungary and Bosnia, he said. </p>  <p>Deyassa Roba, a geography and environmental student at the university, said the displays provided “enjoyable and creative” ways of seeing things, such as the mirrors arranged to provide the illusion that one’s legs are floating.</p>  

Ethiopian Jews: Israeli premier Netanyahu 'racist'

            By Seleshi Tessema </p>  <p>ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) - On a bright Sunday morning a solemn collective prayer for help from God reverberated through the small synagogue in Lamberet, a neighborhood adjacent the Israeli embassy in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.</p>  <p>&quot;God, be with us, lead us to the Promised Land,&quot; the rabbi said, arms stretched out to the sky at the end of the congregation. </p>  <p>Young and old women who were dressed in traditional white Ethiopian garb and men who wore the Jewish prayer shawl and hat loudly chanted: &quot;Amen!&quot;</p>  <p>Andualem Wugu, manager of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Addis Ababa told Anadolu Agency that members of the community had been regularly praying for God’s help to immigrate to Israel for over 2 decades.</p>  <p>&quot;In our beliefs, the more we beg God for help the more he listens and responds&quot; he noted, adding: &quot;We are sure, God will not sit idly by while the racist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps us languishing here.’’</p>  <p> </p>  <p>- An ancient community</p>  <p>By all appearances, the men and women attending the service were ordinary Ethiopians. Their physical appearance, attire, greeting modes, etiquette and the language they speak, Amharic, do nothing to reveal their faith. They do not even speak Hebrew.</p>  <p>Wugu said this was a natural outcome of the history of Ethiopian Jews stretching back two millennia who have lived in the Gander, Wollo and Tigray regions in the north of the country.</p>  <p>Wugu stressed that despite these similarities, the Jewish community had its own culture, religion and country.</p>  <p>&quot;Our religion is Judaism, and our country is Zion, Israel,&quot; he said.</p>  <p>Recounting various theories on the origins of the group, Wugu said it was widely believed it had descended from Jews who lived in the ancient Levantine Kingdom of Judah and were forced to retreat into Egypt following the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem which resulted in the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC.</p>  <p>&quot;From Egypt, our forefathers followed the Nile river and reached northern Ethiopia,&quot; Wugu added.</p>  <p>Over the course of history, Wugu claimed that Ethiopian Jews experienced forced assimilation, persecution and marginalization under successive Ethiopian states. </p>  <p>&quot;For instance, followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church had labelled us as immoral Christ killers, witch doctors and aliens,’’ he added.</p>  <p>Members of the community were only granted equal rights to practice their religion in 1991, Wugu noted.</p>  <p> </p>  <p>- Exclusion and racism </p>  <p>Over the past three decades, successive Israeli governments allowed Ethiopian Jews to settle in Israel with the consent of their Ethiopian counterparts and through covert operations by Israeli security services which airlifted thousands Ethiopian Jews from northern Ethiopia and refugee camps in Sudan.</p>  <p>Some 135,000 Ethiopian Jews currently live in Israel, while roughly 8,000 in Addis Ababa and Gander await permission from Tel Aviv to make the journey.</p>  <p>Over the past 20 years or so, some had been taken to Israel after prolonged screening procedures, often plagued by long indefinite freezes of entire process, said Melese Sidisto, who heads the Ethiopian Jewish community.</p>  <p>&quot;We remain separated from our families, and deliberately made to live in desperation, hopelessness and poverty,&quot; he said, asserting that Israeli authorities were not willing to &quot;absorb and embrace black Jews.&quot;</p>  <p>The Israeli government in 2015 had decided to allow all remaining 8,000 Ethiopian Jews which it classified as Falash Mura to immigrate to Israel. However, according to Israel’s religious legal codes, Falash Mura are dependents Ethiopian Jews who were converted to Christianity. Thus, Israel does not recognize them as Jewish.</p>  <p>Soon after the 2015 decision, Wugu had said the entire process had been put on hold due to lack of budget. </p>  <p>He said Netanyahu had been making Ethiopian Jews excuses and false promises for years, all the while looking to attract Jewish people from Europe to immigrate to Israel.</p>  <p>&quot;We have brothers, sisters, relatives who were proven to be Jewish and live in Israel. How come we are not Jewish?&quot; Wugu exclaimed, arguing that this represented a deliberate policy of exclusion of Ethiopian Jews.</p>    <p>&quot;It is racism and Netanyahu is a racist,&quot; he added</p>  <p>The 3,500-strong community is determined to &quot;fight for justice&quot; with a planned mass hunger strike, according to Sidisto. &quot;God willing, Netanyahu will go, in the upcoming elections,&quot; he said.

Ethiopia: 'Clear similarities' between Boeing crashes

By Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – Preliminary data retrieved from the flight recorder of an ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines plane shows similarities with an earlier Indonesia crash, an Ethiopian official said on Sunday.

Ethiopia's Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges said the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of the crashed ET-302 flight have been uploaded successfully.

"We have taken over the contents of the FDR and CVR recordings,” she said, adding that the international experts and the U.S. analysts confirmed the authenticity of the recordings.

All 157 people on board Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-302 were killed when it crashed shortly after departing Ethiopia’s capital last Sunday.

According to the minister, it has been confirmed that the circumstance of the ET-302 flight crash was "similar" to that of the Indonesia flight crash that involved the same type aircraft.

Boeing 737 Max 8 was also involved in an October crash outside of Jakarta. All 189 people on board Lion Air flight JT610 were killed. That crash also took place shortly after take-off.

“After further analysis of the recordings, the Ethiopian government will make the outcome public in a span of one month,” she added.

The FDR and VCR were discovered last Wednesday and taken to France for uploading and analysis.

After the fatal crash, countries all over the world grounded Boeing the 737 – Max 8 and 9 types.

Families of Ethiopian Air crash victims cope with grief

By Tufan Aktas and Minasse Wondimu

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (AA) – It has been a week since the fatal plane crash claimed 157 lives.

News of the ill-fated Boeing 737 Max 8 ET-302 Flight that crashed just six minutes after takeoff from the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport last Sunday took the whole world by storm.

The fact that the accident involved people from 35 countries — with Kenya being the worst hit — made the news circulate far and wide.

Africans, Europeans, Americans, and Asians met their tragic fate and the whole world mourned; but to the families of the victims the devastation cannot be expressed in words.

  • Grief goes universal

On a Friday morning at the site of the crash, people from numerous nations are heard wailing their hearts out.

A Chinese victim's parents are among the mourners weeping under a searing sun at a rural locality near the central town of Bushoftu, 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of the capital Addis Ababa.

“I believe now,” says Chu, ‘My boy is gone and gone forever.”

“May God take him in his hands,” he said.

The mother said: “All our way from China to Addis Ababa and on our ride here, my heart was racing. Now that I have seen it all with my own eyes, the beating of my heart just came to normal. God be with him.”

A whole week of excavating for bodies and experts combing for shreds of evidence did not yield much to bring identifiable human bodies. The plane crashed on the ground and exploded, according to eye witnesses, making the prospect of collecting remains a very difficult, if not an impossible, task.

Search teams pick up tiny parts of human bodies, which they stash in black plastic bags — a difficult reality that prompted the father of the pilot of the doomed plane to say he would rather see a monument erected for his son and all the other victims at the site of the accident, because he realized he would not receive a body to carry back home for burial.

It is a heart rending sight to see many members of the victims’ families scooping up handfuls of earth from the crash site to take back home.

Julius Gathumbi, who is the husband of professor Agnes Gathumbi who was on board the ill-fated flight, told Anadolu Agency: “I never expected this to be her destiny.”

“She was such a kind hearted woman,” he said.

– Cause unknown yet-

The cause of the accident, which the CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines, said was much similar to the Malaysia accident involving the same type of plane, is yet to be determined.

It led to an international ban – at least temporarily until the cause is known – on the Boeing 737 – Max 8 and 9 types causing the plane maker to lose heavily in the stock market.

The black box has been flown to France for expert analysis and the work has begun, according to Ethiopian Airlines.

Knowing the cause may have a significance in reducing future flight risks, but to the victims’ families and friends consolation can only come from God.

Alumni from Turkish universities meet in Ethiopia

By Tufan Aktas

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – Dozens of Ethiopian alumni from Turkish universities came together on Saturday for an event in capital Addis Ababa.

The 12th International Student Gathering by the Federation of International Student Associations (UDEF) was attended by Turkish representatives.

Speaking at the event, Fennan Muhammad, chairman of the Turkish Graduates Development and Charity Association, said: “The alumni who returned to their homeland after completing their graduate studies in various Turkish higher learning institutes have been active in bringing the people of Turkey and Ethiopia closer together.

“We serve as a bridge. We are telling Ethiopians about realities of our second home that is Turkey with a view to promoting ties between the two countries.”

Veysel Basar, a UDEF representative, said: “We are putting in effort to make the world liveable and foster peace and tranquility.”

Another UDEF representative, Mehmet Celik, said that they were learning many things from foreign students and these students have been promoting Turkish culture.

The graduates and Turkish representatives on the occasion exchanged views on how to enhance promotional as well as development and charity works in Ethiopia.

UDEF founded in 2012 by 11 associations of alumni of Turkey universities currently operates 56 offices in Turkey and more than a dozen abroad.

US refuses to ground Boeing 737 MAX after crash

            By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says there is “no basis” to ground Boeing 737 MAX planes after one such plane crashed over the weekend in Ethiopia, killing all 157 passengers on board.</p>  <p>While the aviation company has assured that the plane model is safe, India, China, Turkey and the UK have all grounded their Boeing 737 MAX planes to allow for an investigation, joining numerous nations following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. </p>  <p>&quot;The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX. Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,&quot; it said in a statement Tuesday.</p>  <p>&quot;Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action. In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action.&quot;</p>  <p>Amid mounting pressure, Boeing said it will be rolling out air control software enhancements to make the plane safer. However, it also noted that per the FAA's stance, they do not have any basis to offer any new guidance for operating the plane.</p>  <p>The Ethiopian Airlines crash marks the second time a Boeing 737 MAX plane has crashed in six months.</p>  <p>In addition to Sunday's tragedy, a 737 MAX was also involved in an October crash outside of Jakarta, Indonesia. All 189 people on board Lion Air flight JT610 were killed. </p>  <p>Both crashes took place shortly after takeoff.</p>  <p>Following the latest air crash, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to complain that modern aircraft &quot;are becoming far too complex to fly&quot; and suggested &quot;pilots are no longer needed&quot;. </p>  <p>Trump did not directly refer to the tragedy but said advances in aircraft technology have necessitated increased complexity, which he said &quot;creates danger&quot;.</p>  <p>&quot;I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot,&quot; he said Tuesday. &quot;I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!&quot;

Swiss media slammed for 'inaccurate' reporting

            BERLIN (AA) - Turkish social media users slammed Swiss media outlets Wednesday for misleadingly using photos of Turkish Airlines aircraft when reporting on the recent deadly Boeing crash in Ethiopia and its impact on aviation. </p>  <p>Newspapers 20 Minuten, Aargauer Zeitung and several other Swiss media outlets illustrated their stories with photos of Turkish Airlines planes, sparking an outcry on Turkish social media sites, with users accusing them of a smear campaign.</p>  <p>Sunday's deadly crash of a Boeing 737 MAX airplane in Ethiopia was the second fatal accident involving this type of aircraft in less than five months.</p>  <p>But Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines was not involved in either accident. </p>  <p>The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) suspended all flight operations of Boeing 737 MAX planes from European airspace Tuesday. </p>  <p>Turkey has also suspended Boeing 737 MAX flights and closed its airspace to this type of aircraft to ensure flight safety. 

More countries bar Boeing 737 MAX from flying

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – Hong Kong and Kazakhstan on Wednesday joined the growing list of nations barring Boeing 737 MAX from flying over their airspace with immediate effect in the wake of a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia last Sunday.

The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of Hong Kong — a semi-autonomous Chinese region — said that it has imposed a temporary suspension from 6 p.m. local time (1000GMT) on Wednesday until further notice on "operation of Boeing B737 MAX aircraft into, out of and over Hong Kong", Press Trust of India reported.

AKI Press News Agency said that Civil Aviation Committee of Kazakhstan also decided to suspend commercial operation of Boeing 737 Max plane.

However, it added that there was only one plane of this model in the country.

"The ban is solely a precautionary measure to ensure aviation safety and protect the public," a CAD spokesman said.

Soon after the crash of Boeing 737 MAX in Ethiopia, China blocked the Boeing from flying which was followed by the European Union, U.K., Mongolia, India and Turkey despite assurances given by the Boeing.

The results of the crash investigation are yet to come. The Boeing 737 Max 8 has been in commercial use since 2016.

Hong Kong officials further said that they are in contact with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and relevant organizations, including two airlines — India's SpiceJet and Globus Airlines of Russia — that have recently used the 737 MAX for flights to Hong Kong.

On Sunday, a Kenya-bound Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed just six minutes after taking off from an airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

All 157 people on board – 149 passengers and eight crew members – representing 35 countries were killed in the crash.

It was the second deadly crash of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months. On Oct. 29, the Indonesian Lion Air plane crashed into the sea killing 189 people.

French president's visit to Addis Ababa kicks off

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – French President Emanuel Macron said on Tuesday his country wanted to cooperate with Ethiopia in defense and security.

Macron kicked off an official two-day visit to Ethiopia upon the invitation of Ethiopian Premier Abiy Ahmed.

"We appreciate Ethiopia’s role in the Horn of Africa," Macron said during a joint press conference, adding that the country played an "indispensable role" in fighting terrorism and regional peace.

According to Macron, France will strengthen its military cooperation with Ethiopia, adding that military personnel would be dispatched to Ethiopia to train members of the Ethiopian armed forces – particularly the air force.

Meanwhile, the two leaders presided over the signature of four agreements between the two countries on cultural issues as well as defense cooperation and investment promotion.

During a visit to Paris last October, Abiy solicited support from Macron for the restoration of the world-famous Lalibela Rock Hewn Churches in northern Ethiopia.

Abiy said the agreements included financial and technical support for their restoration of the 12th century monolithic churches without giving details as to the extent of the financial support.

Macron added: "A new chapter has been turned in the economic relations between the two countries," referring to a grant amounting to 85 million euros for investment promotion and another 15 million euros in a package to support the county's ongoing reform efforts.