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S.—and therefore, as she has said before, felt like an outsider everywhere.

After working as a photojournalist with the Washington Post, she returned to Ethiopia to explore her heritage through her photography.

“My personal admiration and respect for Obama goes far beyond politics,” says Alexandria-based artist Alemayhou Gebremedhin, whose portrait of the President was recently presented to Yohannes Abraham, Deputy National Political Director of Obama for America 2012, at the Ethiopian New Year celebration event held last month beneath the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital. Abraham, the Ethiopian-American campaign official who accepted the gift, also delivered a message of “Happy New Year” from President Obama to the Ethiopian community in the United States.

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Almost immediately I began putting my thoughts on canvas.

From my personal perspective the fact that Obama became President represents social and cultural progress in the United States in a scale that I never thought was possible in my lifetime. When he was elected it was an incredibly beautiful feeling for many, many people.

I jumped up and said ‘only in America’ like Don King would say. If you understand the racial history of the United States and how far the country has come even since I got here, for example, in the arts, movies, music, literature, and politics, then you know that symbolically there could be no doubt that Obama is a very important figure in American history. His name that is written in Amharic on his tie is to show my Ethiopian background.” Alemayhou, whose colorful paintings are part of the decor in a number of Ethiopian restaurant across the country, said he also exhibits his works at different galleries in the D. area, including at Parish Gallery, Anacostia Gallery, and DC Loft Gallery. “It’s a direct response to my interaction with my environment and a creative expression of my life as well as a personal interpretation of the lives of those around me, their love, pain, dreams and aspirations.” “Painting is my way of surviving and coping. Below is a slideshow of samples courtesy of the artist, including the Obama painting.

The World Music Network label has a new CD out called Rough Guide to Ethiopia , which provides samples of everything from Ethio-jazz to contemporary fusion sounds, including classics from Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayehu Eshete as well as a new Krar Collective.

It’s safe to say, though, that the Ethiopian fascination has taken on a life of its own.

And it just so happens there’s an ever-increasing supply of releases to satisfy the also rising number of devotees.

(World Music Network, 2012) Art Talk | Reviews World Music Central Ethiopian music continues to be a source of fascination and listening pleasure.

Buda Musique’s Ethiopiques series, 27 volumes strong and full of vintage rediscoveries and new revelations, has certainly had a lot to do with leading the charge.

It makes perfect sense that World Music Network would put out a second edition of The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia.

I think Ethiopian girls are disproportionately beautiful, with their mahogany skin color, large eyes, high cheekbones, huge breasts and ass, and wild exotic hair.

“The Ethiopian girls he dated would always cook for him and even come over and take care of him when he was sick. I wish I could have stayed longer but I worked a corporate job at the time and I couldn’t get off more than a week.” By now she will be exploding with curiosity, but I will be restrained in showing interest.