Few places in Addis have as diverse and colorful community as the Cathedral area. This area is favored by Indian expatriate teachers, Arab traders, mixed Italian families and Ethiopians from various corners of the country. The presence of the Russian Cultural center along with the naming of the street going from Cathedral school to the Arada post-office as "Pushkin" street all add to the international flavor of this small but beautiful area. So, it was not difficult for our new team member at the Photo Essay team to convince us to start her new assignment at this area between Churchill Road and Pushkin Street.
|Like the rest of
Addis Ababa, neglect under the Dergue era and now more neglect
under the TPLF/Gimgema era have taken a toll on this
neighborhood. Dust from the never-ending Tele and EELPA (EEPCO) digging,
dumpness from countless Kremt seasons and the unforgiving sun of
the Addis Ababa Bega season have all conspired to age some of the
graceful buildings and old houses of the area. But
a low profile and slow revival of this area is visible to the close
observer. Centered around the newly opened 'World Book', some of the
stucco buildings are getting a face lift by their residents. We
thought the only way Addis Ababa could claim its place among some decent
cities in our continent was through this - residents taking matters into
their own hands. The city government, we feel, is there primarily just
to make sure that Addis stays dirty, polluted and decaying. So far they
had managed to do that but with Addis Ababans slowly claiming their
neighborhoods, some hope for our city may be on the way.
Going clockwise from bottom-left: The Russian Cultural Center, a recently renovated historical timber building on Pushkin Street, Saturday afternoon in World Book, spires of the Cathedral church. On the right columns are shown: recent renovations, street scene at Pushkin, more of Book World, a balcony in a courtyard of an old neighborhood.
We couldn't resist publishing this contribution from Dr. Bibi Ephraim. A loner is contemplating life in everyday Addis from shade offered by a lone tree in the Mesqel (Abyot) square.
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