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QNA

Sheikh Tamim meets Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome

Qatar’s Emir kicked off a tour of three African nations this week with high-level meetings in Ethiopia.

This is Sheikh Tamim’s first official visit to sub-Saharan Africa, besides visiting Sudan, since he became Emir in 2013.

While in Addis Adaba yesterday, Sheikh Tamim and Dr. Mulatu Teshome discussed ways to collaborate on infrastructure, educational and economic issues, QNA reports.

Pixabay

Capetown, South Africa

Following his two-day visit there, the Emir will head to Kenya and then South Africa, which hosted the World Cup in 2010.

He is due back in Qatar this weekend to meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

What to discuss

All three African countries have relatively small representation inside of Qatar.

According to a 2017 population report, there are 22,000 Ethiopians living in Qatar, 14,000 Kenyans and only 6,000 South Africans.

CIAT/Wikicommons

Farm in Kenya for illustrative purposes only.

However, speaking to the Qatar Tribune, African diplomats said that there is much to gain by collaborating with the Gulf state.

The newspaper cited the Kenyan and Ethiopian ambassadors to Doha as saying issues such as counter-terrorism, scientific research and agriculture could all be advanced during high-level talks.

Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Chantelle D'mello

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

An Ethiopian woman who works as a cleaner at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) has been rewarded after turning in two diamond rings worth QR470,000 (US$129,000) that were left behind in a bathroom at the venue.

Andnet Zelekew, a 32-year-old woman who has been working at the QNCC since 2011, received a cash award from convention center management last week for her honesty.

In a statement, QNCC General Manager Ken Jamieson said:

“I applaud and thank Ms. Zelekew for her honesty and rectitude. QNCC believes in fostering a working environment that is loyal, secure and trusting. For this reason, we believe that our employees always display exceptional integrity.

By returning the diamond rings to their grateful owner, our valued employee has displayed the traits which we as an organization, hold in the highest regard.”

The rings were lost in February, during the Doha Jewelry and Watches Exhibition.

Andnet Zelekew receiving reward at QNCC

QNCC

Andnet Zelekew receiving reward at QNCC

In a statement to Doha News, Zelekew said that when she found the jewelry, the first thing she thought about “was the owner and how she would feel.”

She then called the assistant manager and turned in the rings immediately.

“Even for two minutes, I didn’t hold it in my hand, (because it still had) the price tag,” she said.

This isn’t the first time Zelekew, the first female member of custodial staff to join the QNCC, has faced such circumstances.

In her previous job at Al Mukhtar Cleaning company in Qatar, she said she found a “valuable diamond wedding ring” that the owner left in the bathroom that she also turned in.

“She was very pleased and appreciated me,” she said.  “I believe in my life that honesty is the best policy.”

A QNCC spokesperson declined to tell Doha News how the amount of cash Zelekew was awarded.

The spokesperson added that incidents like this have occurred before at QNCC, where the staff is “honest and loyal,” but that this incident stands out due to the high value of the jewelry that was found.

Ethiopian expats

Qatar’s relationship with Ethiopia has improved in the past couple years, after a diplomatic squabble in 2008 temporarily ceased communication between the nations.

Ethiopian Embassy in Doha

Ethiopia Embassy in Doha/Facebook

Ethiopian Embassy in Doha

According to local publication BQ Doha, more than 21,000 Ethiopian expats were living in Qatar in 2013.

However, last year, the country temporarily banned its female nationals from working as domestic helpers here and in other GCC states over human rights concerns.

An official at the Ethiopian Embassy here previously told Doha News that the government is working to develop minimum salary standards and set working hours for Ethiopian workers, in a bid to reduce incidences of “people trafficking.”

Thoughts?

"Lucy"

Chantelle D'mello

“Lucy”

In a bid to promote Ethiopian heritage and offer a glimpse into human history, a replica of one of mankind’s oldest fossils is on display in Qatar this week.

The original 3.2 million-year-old artifact, named “Lucy” after the popular Beatles song Lucy in the sky with diamonds, is tucked away in a sealed vault at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.

"Lucy"

Chantelle D'mello

“Lucy”

But a master cast of the fossil is being exhibited at the Qatar Fine Arts Society at Katara Cultural Village through March 5.

The bones are part of a new exhibition celebrating Ethiopian culture and tradition that was inaugurated over the weekend by Ethiopian Ambassador Mesganu Arga Moach, and is being held in conjunction with the Ethiopian Embassy and the Ministry of Culture.

Speaking to Doha News, Teshome Regassa, an education officer at the National Museum of Ethiopia, and a member of the 40-person traveling delegation from Ethiopia, said:

“It’s the first time that we’ve held something like this. It’s a project to celebrate Ethiopian culture here, and to bring a little bit of home to the Ethiopian community here as part of the first ever Ethiopian Cultural Day.”

Regassa added that the specimen on display at Katara was one of two high-quality gypsum “master” casts created after the fossil’s discovery in 1974 for use at exhibitions around the world.

“The original Lucy is in a secure temperature-and-humidity-controlled vault at the National Museum. We don’t take her out as the skeleton is vulnerable to damage upon moving,” he said.

Lucy’s background

Lucy, called “Dinkinesh” in Ethiopia, a name that means “you are marvelous” in Amharic, was discovered four decades ago at an archaeological site near the village Hadar by renowned American paleontologist Donald Johanson.

Cultural exhibition

Chantelle D'mello

Cultural exhibition

About 40 percent of Lucy’s skeleton has been found, and provides insight into the physical characteristics of the ancient early human species hominin.

Dubbed the “cradle of civilization,” Ethiopia is home to 12 of some 14 of the earliest human fossils.

The exhibition, which runs daily through Thursday, also features several art works by prominent Ethiopian artists including renowned Ethiopian female artist Desta Hagos, Birhane Mehari, and Agegnehu Engida, and pictures of other fossils and the country’s numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Thoughts?