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A Film Depicting Post-famine Ethiopia Screened in DC.
By: Tsehaye Debalkew, April, 24, 2012

A film produced by the award winning filmmaker Chip Duncan depicting stories and images of hope in Ethiopia was premiered at the Mansion on O Street in down town Washington DC.

The film titled "Widespread outbreaks of Peace" showcasing Ethiopia and Afghanistan unlike conventional narration , heralds good news about how in each nation, tremendous, positive things are happening presently.

It vividly demonstrates each nation's ability to determine its own course and future emphasizing the ingenuity and quality of local government initiatives and the populace at large, that do not require outside assistance or "relief".

Ambassador Girma Birru, Special Envoy and Ambassador Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the US and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico who was on hand to watch the celebratory film took the podium and thanked the film crew and still picture producers and particularly the presenter Mr. Duncan for showing a keen interest in Ethiopia by their courage at revealing the truth for everybody to see and for testifying the current effort of the government and people of Ethiopia to steadily but surely change the face of the nation for the better.

The Special envoy also extended his appreciation for the over one hundred guests who assembled in the Mansion for the evening for demonstrating to avail themselves during the function and urged them all not only to be active viewers but also to in turn be the advocates and promoters of the genuine strivings of the Ethiopian people and government in their undaunted effort to transfom the country into a modern hub of the 21st century.

Enumerating the measures undertaken to elevate the nation from its traditional stigma as aid- prone and relief seeking country the Ambassador apprised his audience by saying that the first order of business in the government's list of priorities was to permanently severe the linkage between drought and famine. In this regard he cited the instruments of Early Warning System, Emerengency Food Reserve System and Safety-net programs that were put in place ensuring the end of famine in Ethiopia.

Ambassador Girma further elucidated that one of the sustainable and deadly panaceas to curb and subsequently eliminate the recurrence of drought was the present government's proven policy of supporting the small holder farmers that account for the lion's share of the economy by creating an all-round enabling environment to boost production both for consumption and the market.

This policy direction has certainly started to release the potential of the small farmers country-wide thereby unleashing their productivty and ensuring the nation not only to be self-suffient but also to be forward looking as the film has succinctly shown Ethiopia to be the land of hope and progress, he reiterated.

Ambassador Girma reminisced at this plausible moment the irrefutable and unforgettable role played by the late Mohammed Amin the famouse Photographer and Filmmaker who navigating across the hills and valleys of our huge country and relentlessly strove to show the world of the sad 1984 year of calamity which claimed close to a million Ethiopian compatriots who were the victims of the nauseating famine during the era of the ruthless and merciless military Junta.

Ambassdor Girma praised the late Mohammed Amin by saying that " This Icon lived and died for Ethiopia" and added that his death was not in vain for while alive he reververated the world by igniting the famouse motto, " We are the World" marshalling global support for our country.

What is more, Ambassador Girma underscored that Mohammed Amin is remembered as a hero by the millions of Ethiopian farmers today who have vowed not to see a repeat of the dark days of yesteryear and are marching forward in unison to realize a bright furure.

The special occasion also witnessed the relative peace that is present in today's Afghanistan conveyed through still pictures taken by Mr. Duncan and screened during the function. It was observed that the positive scenario that was portrayed is largely ignored by the media who more often than not opt to subscribe to conflict and strife strewn news as the standard bearer.

Mr. Ahmad Haidari, Cultural Attache' of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington DC, took the stage and made an intimiting and captivating speech as concerns the big picture of peace in Afgahanistan which he emphasized is prevalent nowadays.

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