Ambassador hosts reception to mark Ethiopia’s New Year, National Unity Day

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After 75 years, Pakistan finally establishes bilateral relations with Ethiopia

Zubair Qureshi

Barely one and a half months since he arrived in Islamabad and opened his country’s mission, High Commissioner of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Jemal Beker Abdula has become quite a popular figure among his diplomatic colleagues, particularly those hailing from the African countries.

High Commissioner Jemal Beker Abdula on Saturday hosted a reception on the eve of the Ethiopian New Year and National Unity Day at the newly opened high commission of his country.

On September 10, every year Ethiopians gather to celebrate the New Year as well as the National Unity Day and according to Ambassador Jemal Beker Abdula on this day his countrymen reaffirm their faith in love, forgiveness, unity and harmony which they consider as defining values of their nation. This is also a sign of the country’s diversity which he called the Ehiopian’s wealth and strength.

About the New Year of Ethiopia, he said Ethiopia had its own alphabetic-Geez, a unique calendar system that has 13 months—12 months of 30 days and a 13th month having 5-days that counts 6 every four years to make up for a leap year. “This public holiday in Ethiopia is celebrated on September 11 unless it is a leap year in the Ethiopian calendar, in which case it is celebrated on September 12.

“A gap of seven to eight years between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from an alternative calculation in determining the date of the Annunciation,” the ambassador tried to explain to an amused audience.

Festivities to celebrate Ethiopian New year include family gatherings to enjoy a traditional Enkutatash meal and celebrate together by giving children gifts.

Ambassador of Yemen Mohammed Motahar Alashabi, High Commissioner of South Africa Mthuthuzeli Madikiza, Deputy Head of Mission (DHM) Kenya Margaret Mwachanya, DHM Tunisia Dorsaf Maaroufi, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan Abdullah A Fadil, UAE’s Head of Citizen Services Hussain Abdullah AlBaloshi, World Bank Pakistan’s Practice Leader Lire Ersado and Director of Africa Desk, Foreign Office of Pakistan Dr Arshad Abbasi were among the prominent figures who attended the reception and congratulated him on this auspicious day as well as welcomed his family and the staff the Ethiopian mission in Pakistan.

The Ethiopian ambassador said “For his people National Unity Day was not only a beautiful metaphor but also the basis for the existence of our multi-ethnic, religions, ideas, gender, peace, cohesion, and harmony among the citizens of Ethiopia and of all nations, nationalities, political and religious views.”

It is because of this unity we are able to perform a miracle and lead Ethiopia to anchor peace and prosperity, he said.

National Unity Day is celebrated in Ethiopia in honor of the National Defence Forces, which are the epitome of unity, and the preservation of Ethiopia sovereignty and territorial integrity as a unified state. The motto of this day is: “Our Diversity is our wealth and strength.”

About establishing diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Ethiopia, he said what should have been done 75 years ago is accomplished now but he hoped the bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Pakistan would grow steadily as both the countries shared similar culture, sights and many other things.

Half of the mountains in entire Africa are located in Ethiopia, he said and invited the Pakistani tourists, traders and people to visit this beautiful country and experience their hospitality.

Ethiopia he said was the land of Origin, the Lucy the human fossil that is believed to be the first human, the Land of Coffee where coffee gets its name from the place called Keffa, and the source of the Nile, the longest river in the world. Another reason Ethiopia is famous around the world is running. The country has produced some of the best athletes in the world, the ambassador said. Moreover, he said Ethiopia is a land of wonder, archeological, nature and contrast of nature.

The ambassador said since he arrived in Pakistan he was highly moved by the hospitality, generosity and sincerity of the people of Pakistan. This is something that gives us a feeling that we are living in our second home. The people of Ethiopia too are equally warm, welcoming and friendly, he said.

On behalf of his government and the people, the Ethiopian ambassador conveyed his heart-felt condolences to the people and the government of Pakistan on the catastrophic floods that played havoc with lives and properties, roads and infrastructure. Pakistan though contributed little to the climate crisis but is suffering much, he said and said the people of Ethiopia as well as the government always stood by their brotherly country.

 

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