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NewsDiplomats corner: Ambassadors look ahead to the coming year

Diplomats corner: Ambassadors look ahead to the coming year

 

Al Busyra Basnur is a distinguished diplomat and former journalist, currently serving as the Indonesian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti, and the African Union (AU). He has gained a reputation for his extensive travels throughout Ethiopia following his appointment.

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Which Ethiopian dish do you enjoy the most?

Ethiopian cuisine holds a significant place within Ethiopian culture, boasting a remarkable richness of flavors and a diverse range of options that never fail to captivate me. As the Indonesian Ambassador residing in Ethiopia, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in Ethiopian culinary wonders.

Injera with doro wot, shiro, and tibs are among the delicacies that have won me over with their irresistible flavors. I also love traditional Ethiopian coffee.

If you were to compete against an Ethiopian athlete, who would be your choice?

Ethiopia has gained worldwide recognition for its athletes who have triumphed in numerous global athletic competitions. Challenging an Ethiopian athlete may indeed prove to be a formidable task. However, I am personally drawn to the idea of engaging in a sporting activity with Haile Gebreselassie, a dear friend whom I have known for several years.

Which restaurant in Addis Ababa do you consider the best?

As the diplomatic capital of Africa, Addis Ababa has emerged as a hub for a wide variety of international and Ethiopian restaurants. However, it’s important to note that the culinary scene extends beyond Addis Ababa to other cities such as Adama, Hawassa, Arba Minch, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Desse, and many more.

Whether it’s Ethiopian cuisine or Western dishes, there is a multitude of exceptional dining options available throughout Ethiopia.

What is your holiday wish for the people of Ethiopia?

On this Ethiopian New Year Holiday, I extend my warmest wishes to my Ethiopian sisters and brothers. May your celebrations be filled with joy, happiness, and exciting opportunities. Let us take this moment to reflect on areas that can be improved in the upcoming year.

It is an opportunity for us to set new resolutions that promote prosperity, unity, and the development of our beloved Ethiopia into a stronger nation.

 

Stefaan Thijs, a seasoned diplomat, holds the esteemed position of Belgian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti, and serves as the permanent representative for the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Which Ethiopian dish do you enjoy the most?

Doro wot.

If you were to compete against an Ethiopian athlete, who would be your choice?

Kenenisa Bekele, an esteemed Ethiopian athlete, is not only widely recognized for his incredible achievements but also happens to be a close friend of mine.

Which restaurant in Addis Ababa do you consider the best?

The chef at the Exclusive restaurant brings an extensive experience from a longstanding tenure at the Belgian Residence.

What is your holiday wish for the people of Ethiopia?

I believe that fostering a social contract between the government and the Ethiopian people, as well as among the different regions of Ethiopia, has the potential to contribute to sustainable peace, development, economic growth, and the well-being of the nation. It can serve as a solid foundation for a united society. That is my wish.

 

Darren Welch is the UK Ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the AU. He has a wide experience in policy formulation, co-ordination and communication, especially in the field of development and international relations.

Which Ethiopian dish do you enjoy the most?

I had a tender roast goat meat when visiting the Somali Reginal State last week. That dish comes high on my list, along with Shiro, of course!

If you were to compete against an Ethiopian athlete, who would be your choice?

This year, I hosted Yalemzerf Yehualaw at the embassy. She is an inspiration for Ethiopia’s female athletes. I wouldn’t dream of challenging here though – I would get left far behind.

Which restaurant in Addis Ababa do you consider the best?

I can’t pick a favorite restaurant, because there are so many good ones, but the brilliant chefs at my Residence produce wonderful meals from fresh ingredients grown on the embassy compound. I also love the smell of their fresh-baked bread.

What is your holiday wish for the people of Ethiopia?

That’s easy: peace in the whole country and happy times with family and friends. 

 

Kang Seokhee serves as the esteemed South Korean Ambassador to Ethiopia.

Which Ethiopian dish do you enjoy the most?

I like Ethiopian coffee a lot. Before I came to Ethiopia, I enjoyed coffee from all over the world. However, since I arrived here three years ago, I realized that coffee was discovered in Ethiopia a long time ago, and there is a special way of drinking coffee here. So, whenever Korean people come to Ethiopia, I show them how to drink Ethiopian coffee in the traditional way.

I enjoy visiting places like Tomoca and My Golden Coffee, which are my favorite coffee spots. I have also tried various Ethiopian foods, and among them, Doro wet is my favorite. Additionally, I have a fondness for popcorn, especially when I eat it together with coffee.

If you were to compete against an Ethiopian athlete, who would be your choice?

Abebe Bikila, the legendary marathon runner, achieved remarkable success during the 1960s. His unique approach of running barefoot made him widely recognized and admired. Even though he is no longer with us, it would have been a great honor to meet him, engage in running and walking together, and have insightful conversations about Ethiopia and Korea.

Running and walking are my personal hobbies, and sharing those activities with such an iconic figure would be truly inspiring.

Which restaurant in Addis Ababa do you consider the best?

In Addis Ababa, there are four Korean restaurants available for dining. Two of them are located in the old airport area, while the other two can be found in Bole. I visit these restaurants occasionally.

Korean food has gained popularity worldwide, and I hope that the people of Ethiopia have the opportunity to visit these Korean restaurants and experience the unique flavors of Korean cuisine.

What is your holiday wish for the people of Ethiopia?

I wish peace, prosperity, solidarity, reconciliation, and good fortune to the Ethiopian people and Government.

 

Robert Shetkintong is a distinguished diplomat currently serving as the Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia. He holds an M. Phil degree in Political Science. He has been involved in diplomacy since 2001, bringing over two decades of experience to his role as an ambassador.

Which Ethiopian dish do you enjoy the most?

When I first arrived in Addis Ababa on the early morning of October 13, 2020, I found myself waiting for three hours until the shops opened. During this time, I eagerly sought out a nearby butcher’s shop to indulge in some delicious Kitfo. I also have a strong desire to experience the flavors of a Beye-aynetu platter, which offers a delightful assortment of various Ethiopian dishes.

It’s worth noting that my daughter Sarah has developed a deep fondness for Firfir, while my wife thoroughly enjoys her Ful breakfast. As for my son Raymond, his taste buds are particularly drawn to the flavors of Shiro and Doro Wot.

If you were to compete against an Ethiopian athlete, who would be your choice?

If given the opportunity, I would choose to run alongside Haile Gebrselassie, one of the greatest runners from Ethiopia and the world. While I may only be able to keep up with him for a maximum of two kilometers, it would still be an incredible experience to share the track with a legend.

It would also give me time to convince Haile to do business with India.

Which restaurant in Addis Ababa do you consider the best?

Ethiopian cultural restaurants are the best. We thoroughly enjoy exploring various dining establishments, especially those that beautifully showcase Ethiopia’s rich culture and cuisine all under one roof. These cultural restaurants provide an authentic and immersive experience that we truly cherish.

In addition to the vibrant Ethiopian culinary scene, Addis Ababa also boasts a diverse selection of Indian restaurants that have captured the hearts of locals. The Ethiopian people have developed a deep appreciation for Indian cuisine, owing to the shared love for flavorful spices.

Sangam was the city’s first Indian restaurant. Now, Konark, Vraj, Om Bistro, Indian Spice, Chillies Addis, Jewel of India, and Namaste Addis are among the remarkable Indian restaurants available in the city.

Shaheen restaurant at Sheraton Hotel is renowned for its excellent Indian dishes, while Hyatt Hotel’s newly appointed Indian chef creates mouth-watering Indian cuisine that is truly irresistible. If you’re looking for another fantastic restaurant with an Indian menu, Zaika is definitely worth a visit. Even Seven Lakes Hotel in Bishoftu features an Indian restaurant that adds to the extended culinary experience available in the area.

What is your holiday wish for the people of Ethiopia?

In Ethiopia, we eagerly anticipate this time of year to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year and Meskel festivities. Similar to India, Ethiopian people value and cherish their connections with family, relatives, and communities.

Families come together around the Chibo fire, sharing both joys and sorrows, and expressing wishes for the well-being of their loved ones and the country. I join in the universal prayer that is on the lips of every Ethiopian—for peace, unity, and development in the country.

It is notable that around 40 Indian families from Gujarat have made Ethiopia their home for the past 3-5 generations. Over the years, they have been joined by investors, educators, and social workers. Presently, there are approximately 5000 Indian nationals residing in Ethiopia. We enthusiastically celebrate all Ethiopian festivals, including the Ethiopian New Year and Meskel celebrations.

On behalf of this community, I extend my warm wishes to all of you for a prosperous New Year and joyful Meskel festivities.

 

Ferdinand von Weyhe is a distinguished diplomat currently serving as the Chargé d’Affaires at the German Embassy in Addis Ababa. He recently arrived in Ethiopia as the deputy head of mission.

Which Ethiopian dish do you enjoy the most?

Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for providing me with this opportunity to extend my heartfelt wishes to you and all your esteemed readers on the occasion of the Ethiopian New Year of 2016. As a recent arrival in Ethiopia, serving at the German Embassy in Addis Ababa, I am filled with excitement and enthusiasm to be here.

Ethiopian cuisine have distinct and exciting flavors. I find great pleasure in experiencing the Ethiopian way of eating and sharing food from a communal plate. It creates a unique and special atmosphere that is truly remarkable. I also enjoy participating in the coffee ceremony, which holds its own charm, including the invigorating scent of burning incense.

If you were to compete against an Ethiopian athlete, who would be your choice?

I’m aware that Ethiopia is renowned as the land of long-distance runners, and I admire the remarkable dedication, hard work, and pride of Ethiopian athletes. While I would never dare to challenge one of these extraordinary sportsmen and sportswomen, there are two athletes in particular whom I greatly admire – Haile Gebrselassie and Derartu Tulu.

Which restaurant in Addis Ababa do you consider the best?

I haven´t tried many so fare – but I have come across same where delicious food is served, with good service – and not too loud music.

What is your holiday wish for the people of Ethiopia?

I wish all Ethiopians a happy new year! May the Year 2016 be filled with joy, hope, peace, and prosperity. I believe that Ethiopians have the wisdom and capability to continue the positive developments and overcome challenges in unison.  

 

Yevgeny Terekhin is an accomplished diplomat with a wealth of experience in international relations. He currently holds the esteemed position of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, serving as the Plenipotentiary Representative to the Commission of the African Union. With a career spanning over four decades, Yevgeny Terekhin has been actively engaged in diplomacy since 1981.

Which Ethiopian dish do you enjoy the most?

When people speak about Ethiopian food, they mostly mention tibs and injera. I agree that these Ethiopian dishes are totally great, but I also prefer shiro and ye beg alicha. And, of course, I have tasted all of Ethiopian traditional drinks. Most of all I like tej.

If you were to compete against an Ethiopian athlete, who would be your choice?

I guess I would not dare. Invincible Ethiopian athletes amaze me with their sporting excellence, commitment, endurance and courage.

I wish them success in their further achievements. And of course, I am proud that many of them are among my friends.

Which restaurant in Addis Ababa do you consider the best?

I love going to cafes and restaurants in Addis Ababa. As a rule, Ethiopian cooks make really delicious food. Each establishment has its own unique charm and distinctive features, and out of respect for all of them, I prefer not to single out any specific restaurant, so as not to unintentionally cause offense.

What is your holiday wish for the people of Ethiopia?

I would like to take this opportunity to wish my dear Ethiopian friends good health, happiness, success and the best of luck in all your endeavors. May the upcoming year be filled with peace, joy, and prosperity for Ethiopia as a whole, as well as for each and every individual family.

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