Ethiopians at last ready to party like it’s 1999? – Give me a break! – August 20, 2007

August 20th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

“We could spend smarter,” said Fasile Abebe, a 34-year-old taxi driver, gesturing to a man begging beside a fast food restaurant recently renamed “Millennium Burger”. “He won’t be partying with Beyonce. I have no time for this Millennium.” (more…)

“We could spend smarter,” said Fasile Abebe, a 34-year-old taxi driver, gesturing to a man begging beside a fast food restaurant recently renamed “Millennium Burger”. “He won’t be partying with Beyonce. I have no time for this Millennium.”

It’s a disgrace that Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi spends multimillion dollar on world-class entertainers for the millennium whereas hungry children in the cities live in tunnels, sewers and drainage holes.

Read Reuters’ report below and Have Your Say about it.

ADDIS ABABA, Aug 19 (Reuters Life!) – More than seven years after most of the world marked the start of the 21st century, Ethiopia is putting the finishing touches to its own millennium bash.

Using the Julian calendar, an ancient system of measuring time abandoned by the West in the 16th century, Ethiopia enters its new millennium on Sept. 12 with a huge concert expected to draw hundreds of thousands of partygoers.

Organisers hope U.S. singer Beyonce will headline the New Year’s concert with popstar Janet Jackson and rapper 50 Cent also rumoured to appear in a 20,000 capacity venue being built on Addis Ababa’s priciest avenue.

President Girma Woldegirogis has billed the celebrations a time to focus on fighting poverty and advancing democracy in the Horn of Africa country of 81 million people.

But, reports that Saudi-Ethiopian tycoon Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi is paying $10 million to build the Millennium concert hall has angered some in Ethiopia, which ranks 170 out of 177 in the United Nation’s Human Development Index.

“We could spend smarter,” said Fasile Abebe, a 34-year-old taxi driver, gesturing to a man begging beside a fast food restaurant recently renamed “Millennium Burger”.

“He won’t be partying with Beyonce. I have no time for this Millennium.”

Boasting medieval cities, ruined castles and palaces, Ethiopia is often described as the cradle of humanity after the remains of a 3-million-year-old skeleton called “Lucy” was discovered in 1974.

But for all its rich heritage, Ethiopia has struggled in recent years to shake off the effects of cyclical famine, centuries of feudalism and nearly two decades of Marxist totalitarian rule under Mengistu Haile Mariam which spawned the “Red Terror” purges.


The millennium celebrations are likely to provide a welcome distraction for Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government whose troops are embroiled in a conflict in neighbouring Somalia where they were deployed in December to bolster the interim government.

Meles also faces armed opposition in the ethnically Somali Ogaden region where separatist rebels killed 74 people in an April attack on a Chinese-run oil exploration field, and worsening ties with Eritrea over their disputed border.

Despite the country’s troubles, many Ethiopians are optimistic the millennium may usher in a new period of reconciliation among its myriad ethnic groups.

The president pardoned 38 opposition leaders, activists and journalists last month who were convicted of trying to overthrow the government following disputed 2005 elections. It released another 31 detained opposition supporters on Saturday.

The vote, Ethiopia’s freest, provoked two bouts of violence in which 199 people were killed, 800 wounded and 30,000 arrested, according to a parliamentary inquiry.

“This rapprochement is indeed a result of the feel-good factor that the millennium has brought about,” said Mulugeta Aserate Kassa, public relations chief for the committee organising the celebrations.

“It’s time for the nation to undergo a renaissance. A renaissance in our way of doing things — and in our acceptance of a democratic society.”

Other events in a year-long festival include a 10 km Millennium Race led by legendary long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie, the unveiling of 11 new national monuments and opening of a coffee museum in Bongo, where the Arabica coffee variety originated.

Hiwot Binyam, a 27-year-old lawyer, cannot wait for the party to begin.

“It’s fantastic. We want to leave behind our image as a place of war and poverty,” she said.

“This gives us a chance to showcase our rich culture with over 80 ethnicities living together relatively peacefully. And we love to party.”

  1. haile
    | #1

    al amoudi has already spend millions of dollars for poor people in ethiopia for

    - rehabiliation

    - hospitals

    - schools

    - food centers

    - musuems

    - NGO donations

    - medical care for special cases, like defaced women

    - donations for local projects

    - donations for sport venue

    - donations for cultural events

    - free gift of sheraton to many people, employing hundreds of people

    - donations for continental/regional football organizations

    - donations for orphan care centers

    Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi has done all of this for ethiopia but he is only HALF Ethiopian!!! what have you done for ethiopia as a full ethiopian?? have shame when you accuse him for sponsoring an entertainment event for the millennium, a celebration for all ethiopians. are we not supposed to celebrate christmas, new year etc because we don’t like woyane??
    you are sick people!!

    the woyanes are not even doing all of this crazy celebrations for their political GINBOT 20 celebration just like Derg used to do.

    even if i don’t like some of woyane policy, it is completely different from DERG and blaming Al Amoudi is blaming the heart and love of all ethiopians!

    God bless al amoudi!!

    God bless Ethiopia!!

  2. kill zenawi
    | #2


    Are you one of those beneficiaries? if yes, then just shut up and suck up. It is very sad and pathetic that he brings world class entertainers in a country where poverty is so rampant that you see poor people sleeping on every door steps.

  3. kendie
    | #3

    Haile you said ” even if i don’t like some woyane policy” please tell us” which one?
    Haile for all informed and not “ hodamlaku” Ethiopians this millennium party celebration is like Benuto Mosoloni giving a party for his successful campaign to colonize Ethiopia and tha’s exactly what Melesse and his cronies are doing with the cover-up of this millennium.
    We don’t have anything for partying; all we have is millions of ours crying in every corner of Ethiopia for: food, clean water, shelter, basic health care, fundamental peace and freedom.
    Of course you have all the above and better, because of your affiliation to the ruler no matter what his identity, even when he selling your country in front of your eye, even when he tells you he stand 100% to protect and benefit another country to the detriment of the country you call mine. You recall the saying ” Enay kemotku sardo aybkel” who said that? is that sound familiar to you, striking similarity to yourself.
    Yes, Haile we must be prepared and organized to accept the upcoming millennium in Ethiopian calendar, with a new promise to fight with determination to protect our country’s integrity and until all 80 millions of ours are ready and have a meaning to celebrate.
    When we enter this millennium we Ethiopian wherever we are, the parting century is about wars, underdevelopment, man made starvation, by lake of leadership in the country, exposed mainly by hostile climatic condition that could been easily prevented if we were blessed by visionary truly popular democratic leaders.
    Wake up Haile, millions new born baby and small kids crying hungry and their moms don’t know what to do, they opts for their death, what reason do you have to celebrate, you in a such country.

  4. Mengesha
    | #4

    What is the conspiracy behind millinium by Woyane regime?
    True, Meles officially announced that Ethiopia has got hundred years of history and its flag is nothing but a piece of material. Then what altered his mind and intend to celibrate 2000 years history? A man who fragment the nation and still demeans the public officially has nothing to do with Ethiopian milinium. Rather he is excercising a hunt and hit project of intellectuals through silence murder, Poisning in take, and other means of killings up on arrival which is synonymous to most Ethiopian artists who lost their lives at home.

    I believe that the terrorist Meles regime is doing the same business of tilting Ethiopian map to village standard. The theater of Meles together with the exploiter is nothing more than implementing the long run pain to the nation and the world.

    I once again advise for real Ethiopian people living abroad, to think critically before being optimistic and drived instinctively and enter to woyane trap in Addis. You never know the attitude of devils and terrorists. They pay no attention to humanity as can be proved in most part of the world.

    For example let us read the comment above by Haile. It is quite facile to figure out who Haile looks like. He is among the wild, bellish and salvage of the devil woyane regime. Secondly, he lacks the caliber to predict what the Saudi guy plots against the suppressed Ethiopian population and integration of the nation.

    Although the investment for Ethio-millinium celibiration seems out of pocket cost from the guy, it is the needy Ethiopian people resource that had been exploited during the current terrorist regime of Meles Zenawi. Now Meles is hiding under this man’s mask not to be blaimed by world communities.

    Please let us be skeptic and anticipate the drama behind woyane millinium.

  5. zalalm
    | #5

    you now you ppl you dont now nothing about your home

  6. zalalm
    | #6

    al amoudi has already spend millions of dollars for poor people in ethiopia for

  7. zalalm
    | #7

    i think abudida this make you crizy beacuse you can not do what amoudi doning this is his money he can do what he want to do ok
    you just talking

  8. nahome
    | #8

    this is not males zinawe 2000 this ethiopian
    ok males is the pm

    God bless males !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    God bless al amoudi!!

    God bless Ethiopia!!

  9. Shumet Menywab
    | #9

    The problem should not be whether Ethiopia celebrates the Millennium, or any holiday, it is how the ‘Ethiopian Bill gates’ spending that much extra vegans money to show. If it is going to help the Ethiopian economy to feed its poor people, let God bless them for doing that but I have no clue what they are profiting by spending $10 million by Alamode alone for just building a celebration place. Is it just for Image creation purposes or the people who will be his guests will be worthy of profits?

    It is good Alamode is investing his money in Ethiopia but his choice to be in Ethiopia should not be mainly considered because of patriotically reasons, instead it is because of, #1, for his vast amount of money, Ethiopia is a good choice to invest with little computation, #2, his investment with less computation is also being supported and protected by a special privilege of his Ethiopia ness of being the only millionaire to start as a bully that of course gave him a status of hero boosts by his country men as well as the government of Meles.

    Therefore, he should not be seen as if he is in Ethiopia to help the people and the country as a fair well. His close relationship with the dictator regime of Meles is another privilege and protection of his wealth.

    Stretching for a World Class show by sweeping countless homeless and beggars of the streets of Addis will put them to the Amharic pro verb of saying as ‘ kitun gelbo, erasun tekenanbo’, literally meaning, as ‘ one covers only to his above waist to show his graceful shame’.

    A fair well millennium celebration to do for the homeless and the beggars would have been the right one for ‘Ethiopian Class’ with out showing a ‘World Class’.

  10. kasahun
    | #10

    what a shame is it they kiled a 1,000 of inocent popel and a 1,000 of for prisone and they are ready to dance with beyonce and janite jackson behaind that popel are sefeing with lack of medication and life instability and lack of woter and so on hey my brathoers and sisters are you ready to come to ethiopina to selebrate on the death of a million pepoel and for the sack of some reich opopel like melse zenaeww and his folowr come come dance dance and god will see you on a …………

  11. Peace
    | #11

    I don´t want to emphasize the demagogish explanation of some commentator regarding the Ethioian History and what the EPRDF Government thinking about it. But something is wrong. Alahmoudin and the Govr. officials are becoming reacher and the the Ethiopian People are becoming Poorer as they were. Why does a Bussiness Man invests so much money for Millenium Party where as the Peoples of Ethiopia all in all suffering. He works together hand in hand with dictator Government. I don´t think that this exaggrated Millenium Party is goin to solve our problems. We have better to deal with how to establish democratic rules, a primeminster who has no fear from his people, installing multi-party poltical system, justice, benefitng from economical progress not only for few but for everyone, etc.

    You might deceive the the western countries to show Ethiopia is democratic an peacefull, economically progressing, bla bla… but not the Ethiopian People.

  12. Hode Amlaku
    | #12

    Alamudin spent such a big amount of money which he embezzeled from Ethiopia.

  13. Africa
    | #13

    gosh don’t hate the man it’s his money he can do what ever with it..he’s not your God to save the whole country from poverty he’s a human being like you but he’s just richer then u..and don’t tell me that you can’t help the poor people in ethiopia go ahead sponsor some poor kids then talk!!and dmn you stupid M**F** were ever you go don’t always talk about politics don’t you people have life?? or do you people just enjoy hatred??

  14. | #14

    Nice post, bookmark it

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