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The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival at the end of August dedicated a concert to the music of Emahoy Tsegué-Mariam Guèbru, the Ethiopian born composer acclaimed as “one of Africa’s most important composers ever”. Ran HaCohen (PhD), our Middle East Correspondent, was at the event

Famous in Ethiopia, Emahoy, who has spent the last three decades in a small chamber in the Ethiopian monastery in the city of Jerusalem, is practically unknown in Israel, and what is described as her “discovery” adds an exotic flavor to her already highly unusual life story: Born in Addis Ababa 90 years ago as a relative of the Emperor’s spouse, Emahoy enjoyed European education in Switzerland – quite unique for an Ethiopian girl at that time – , studied music in Cairo, returned to Ethiopia, saw the light in Church, and in 1984 left Ethiopia for the Jerusalem monastery. A long life of music.