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I don’t know about Paris, but Harar is a city of love

Henok Wondyirad (DVM)

It is easy to think of the city of Harar as an old city of ruin, but easier to depart from it with a lasting taste of a city of harmony and love

From the March 2012 edition of Addis Standard magazine


When I first planned to go to Harar a few weeks ago, I never thought to experience anything new. All that I had imagined was an old city (probably half in ruin) surrounded by its inhabitants deeply addicted with khat (a mild narcotic)and Shisha (Hookah). On top of that my previous information about the people of Harar, a city in the eastern part of Ethiopia some 500 kms from Addis Ababa, was not a pleasant one. I heard that socially they were careless, less trustworthy and that they curse each other as if they are blessing one another.

But, there was also another legend I  knew: Harar is a city of love.  Packing my stuff for the trip all I was trying to do was paint a clear picture of Harar in my mind. I have tried to associate one story to another. I thought about my Harar born college roommate. I remember he was the best roommate in my time through college and that none of his personality traits fit to all the information I heard about the people of Harar.


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Shaping Tehran’s nuclear cost/benefit calculations

Mark N. Katz


Greetings from Iran


From the Feb 2012 edition of Addis Standard magazine

Washington has not yet succeeded in getting Tehran to reassure the international community about its nuclear program.  But the Obama Administration’s efforts to increase economic sanctions against Iran for not doing so now appear to be paying off.  The EU’s willingness to cut back on buying Iranian oil, the dramatic collapse in the value of Iran’s currency, and the increasing economic stress on the Iranian people are all higher costs that Tehran is paying for defying the international community on the nuclear issue.

The Obama Administration seems to think that no matter how much Iran’s leaders may want to acquire nuclear weapons, Washington has finally succeeded in raising the costs of their attempting to do this so high that the only rational choice Tehran now has is to give up the attempt.  This is because the economic costs that these sanctions impose on them increasingly threaten the survivability of Iran’s Islamic revolutionary regime.  And surely the rulers of Iran would prefer giving up their nuclear ambitions to falling from power.


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What Arabs knew about Russia before Americans did

Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran, Kuwait City, Manama, Doha, and Sanaa (1988)

From the December 2011 edition of Addis Standard magazine

It happened every time.  I would give a talk about Soviet foreign policy toward the Persian Gulf.  But no matter who was in the audience (diplomats, journalists, academics, or whatever), all they wanted to talk about was American policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The U.S. Information Agency (USIA) had sent me on a speaking tour to several Arabian Peninsula countries in February-March, 1988.  I visited Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and North Yemen.


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