Individual Armenians have settled in Ethiopia as traders and advisors, but it was only in the late 1800s and early 1900 that a community was formed.
In 1924, the future Emperor Haile Selassie 'adopted' 40 orphans from the Armenian orphanage in Jerusalem and brought them to Ethiopia, making them his official Imperial Marching Band. Their leader, Kevork Nalbandian, composed the national anthem of Ethiopia in 1930, which played until the Communist Revolution of 1974, when it was discontinued.
Asbed Pogarian is a third generation Ethiopian-Armenian. His paternal grandfather arrived in Ethiopia in 1899 after surviving the Hamidian massacres of 1895-96. Both his parents were born in Addis Ababa. He left Ethiopia in 1975 and attended the Melkonian Educational Institute in Cyprus. In 1985, he spent a year in Yerevan researching the relationship between Ethiopians and Armenians throughout history. Last January, after an absence of 43 years, he returned to Ethiopia for the first time and documented his travel in the film, Dear Ethiopia: A Love Letter.
The event is free to the public. There will be a reception with Sample of Ethiopian Food.
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