Last Saturday on April 26, 2014 there was an international day in the city where we live. The city is a port city which provides a wide range of maritime and logistics services. It is the largest port in Europe and ranks as one of the top 20 world’s busiest ports. It is also the heart of the global diamond industry, both in terms of polishing, processing and trade. With a population of half a million there are quite considerable number of expatriates living in the city. There is an international school called Antwerp International School which provides education from elementary to high school.
The school organized an “International day 2014” (http://www.ais‐antwerp.be/page.cfm?p=1505) where more than 25 countries participated. The event was colorful and there was exciting programs of music, dance and games for all ages. Each country was selling delicious food, refreshments and gift items from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. As an employee of the school one of us got a slot representing Ethiopia. The opportunity was used to introduce Ethiopian culture and promote tourism. Posters of Axum, Lalibela, Sof Omar and Ras Dashen were hanged. A coffee ceremony was held. Ethiopian delicious cousins (doro wet, kitfo, tibs …) were part of the event where many appreciates the taste. Tej is also present.
One unique thing in the Ethiopian booth was the autograph signing. Abinet was surrounded by children and teen agers to put his signature like a great author or celebrity. His signature is ኢትዮጵያ in one of the world’s oldest script, Geez. Its uniqueness attracted teen agers to have it in their autograph. While our friend is busy signing we were busy explaining about Geez script, Ethiopia’s diverse languages and cultures. Though we were in short of leaflets to promote tourism we tried to sell Ethiopia in the event. Having such opportunity it would be naïve to leave without talking about present day Ethiopia. It is with this sprit we prepared a flyer which briefly informs about current Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is determined to get the people out of poverty through economic development. The economy is booming and there are mega projects under construction. These are engines of development. Roads, railways and power generating plants are some among the game changer projects. One which stands tall of all projects is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). So the flyer tries to illustrate the grand project. Distributing the flyer for those who visited the Ethiopian booth we explained about GERD. We briefed the source of Abay (Blue Nile), the power generating Dam project, its progress, the impact, the project financiers and so on. We created some awareness in that part of mini world. This is our first time which motivated us to do more in the future. Imagine the outcome if such things are replicated in all parts of the world.