“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Macron Ethiopia visit raises hopes for ancient stone-carved churches

Yahoo – AFP, Chris Stein, March 11, 2019

Massive shelters have been erected to protect the ancient stone-carved 
churches (AFP Photo/EDUARDO SOTERAS)

Lalibela (Ethiopia) (AFP) - Priest Mekonnen Fatne stood among his Ethiopian Orthodox faithful, looking upon a nine-centuries-old church they feared could be wrecked at any minute.

Over the church loomed a massive tarpaulin screen supported by a lattice of metal, one of four shelters erected to protect the northern Ethiopian town of Lalibela's historic churches, but which residents worry -- despite experts' assurances -- could obliterate them.

"If this were to collapse, do you think there would be any piece of the church left?" the priest asked, gesturing to the thick metal rods plunging into the red earth around Bete Maryam church.

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to arrive in Ethiopia on Tuesday afternoon as the country grapples with the aftermath of a plane crash close to capital Addis Ababa, which killed all 157 people on board.

Macron and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are scheduled to travel to Lalibela later this week, for a visit locals hope will result in a new plan, money and expertise for the complex's renewal.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978, the Lalibela churches are unique. They are carved from rock and sit below ground level, surrounded by deep, dry moats, with only their roofs visible.

Orthodox priest Tsigieselassie Mazgebu wants to see the site permanently restored 
and the shelters removed (AFP Photo/EDUARDO SOTERAS)

The courtyards surrounding these extraordinary places of worship are reachable only by staircases and tunnels.

Preservationists say the shelters erected in 2008 to keep rain off the churches pose no threat, but the structures have nonetheless become a symbol of the neglect Lalibela residents say they, and the complex, endure.

"We are here because of the heritage," said Yitibarek Getu, a deacon at the complex. "If there's no heritage, imagine what will happen?"

Ancient history

Lalibela takes its name from King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, a 13th-century leader who local lore holds built 11 churches with the help of angels after God ordered him to build a "New Jerusalem".

Located 680 kilometres (420 miles) north of Addis Ababa, Lalibela is a popular destination for foreign tourists and followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox faith -- the country's largest religion.

The rock-hewn churches stand up to 15 metres (42 feet) tall, replete with ornate designs and windows carved in the shape of crosses, but their rock composition leaves them vulnerable to erosion from the intense downpours of Ethiopia's rainy season.

There are concerns among locals that heavy support pillars have damaged 
one of the churches (AFP Photo/EDUARDO SOTERAS)

The Italian-built shelters that protect some of the churches have earned the ire of residents who claim they are ugly and could collapse in strong wind.

"It's like revenge by the Italians!" Negash Adamu, a 27-year-old Lalibela resident, said in reference to Ethiopia's repeated conflicts with Italian colonisers.

Priests and worshippers at the complex complain the shelters' heavy support pillars have damaged the underground Trinity chapel, its roof cracking under the weight of the support pylon.

The chapel is not open to the public.

Locals also worry about the soundness of the shelters, which came with a 10-year guarantee.

"We want a permanent restoration, and we want the shelter to be removed," said Tsigieselassie Mazgebu, the complex's parish priest.

"There is a big possibility that if it falls on the treasure, it would demolish it."

An artist paints postcards at Lalibela ahead of a visit by French President
Emmanuel Macron (AFP Photo/EDUARDO SOTERAS)

Lack of trust

Last year, Lalibela residents sporting shirts reading "save Lalibela", staged a protest over the churches' condition, according to Negash.

Hailu Zeleke Woldetsadik, director of cultural heritage conservation at Ethiopia's Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, insisted there was no cause for alarm.

He denied any damage had been done to the Trinity chapel, and said the shelters were designed to stand safely beyond their 10-year warranty.

"There is no imminent danger," he told AFP, adding that the structures were designed to sway in heavy winds, rather than strain to breaking point.

Kidanemariam Woldegiorgis, an archaeologist who grew up in Lalibela, blamed the controversy on a lack of consultation with town residents, which stoked suspicion.

"It's not clear, it's not transparent what they are doing," he said.

Hailu said Abiy and Macron will sign an agreement for the temporary shelters' maintenance and the hiring of scientists to look into permanently restoring damaged churches.

This could pave the way for the shelters' replacement with lighter structures, possibly ones that can open and close depending on the weather, while repairs are done.

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