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  • Ethiopian Church in Stockholm ‘Highly Commended’ at the World Architecture Festival

    The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Stockholm, designed by Belatchew Arkitekter, was deemed ‘Highly Commended’ at the World Architecture Festival Awards in Berlin.

    World Architecture Festival is the world’s largest international architectural event where the premier buildings of the year around the world are awarded. This year the festival took place in November in Berlin, Germany.

    The jury appreciated the strong sculptural feature of the church, it’s connection to history across the borders and the way it offered a civic space to a community larger than the parish.

    * Being awarded in an international context like the World Architecture Festival is especially rewarding as it proves that our projects are of international standards, says Rahel Belatchew, Principal Architect, CEO and Founder, Belatchew Arkitekter.

    * This project also shows how a building intended for a congregation could simultaneously become a meeting place for a neighborhood. Bridges are built over cultures for better social cohesion and buildings in the city are optimally utilized. Both these aspects play a crucial role for the sustainable cities of the future, Rahel Belatchew concludes.

    This project is about creating a place for a community and bringing together an ancient tradition with modern needs in another part of the world.

    The building is composed of coloured concrete that takes up the colour of the red African soil and the weight and materiality from the unique rock hewn churches of Lalibela in northern Ethiopia. The feeling of weight being conveyed by the outwardly inclined walls. On the inside, the Scandinavian tradition of wood is visible through large timber frames and panels.

    The main feature of the church is its large, round church hall with a central dome. The deliberately introvert volume takes in daylight from above avoiding openings in the façade. The lack of openings in the facade enables the visitor to start an inner spiritual journey without distraction from the residential neighborhood. The windowless facades also enhance the sculptural feature of the building and emphasizes the rough materiality of the red concrete. The dome is made of a copper like metal amidst green roofs.

    Rahel Belatchew, MSA/SAR, DESA, founder of Belatchew Arkitekter, has a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, and has worked as an architect in Paris, Luxemburg, Tokyo and Stockholm. Belatchew lectures at Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris and at the School of Architecture at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Belatchew is also a member of the editorial board of the magazine Trä (Wood


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  • Obama warns against 'irresponsible' social media use

    Former US President Barack Obama has warned against the irresponsible use of social media, in a rare interview since stepping down in January.

    He warned that such actions were distorting people's understanding of complex issues, and spreading misinformation.

    His successor Donald Trump is a prolific user of Twitter, but Mr Obama did not mention him by name.

    Mr Obama was quizzed by Prince Harry on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

    Prince Harry, fifth in line to the throne, is one of several prominent figures who are guest-editing the programme over the Christmas period.

    The ex-president said those in positions of power should be careful when posting messages, warning that social media is distorting civil discourse.

    He expressed concern about a future where facts are discarded and people only read and listen to things that reinforce their own views.

    Mr Trump has been accused of overusing Twitter, though he maintains it allows him to connect directly with the American people.

    On handing power to Mr Trump, Mr Obama described mixed feelings, given "all the work that was still undone".

    "Concerns about how the country moves forward but, you know, overall there was serenity there," he adds.


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  • arises how the cup winners president

    The environmental, social and financial crisesEthiopian Football Federation cancels the on 2012 Ethiopian knock out championship. Dedebit books CAF Cup place after a majority vote. Despite the cancellation of the event the federation plans two leg showdowns. Knock out cup for free and who may be lucky next season? The question arises among football fans.
    In a meeting called at Ghion Hotel to brainstorm ideas among the premier league sides the federation sailed through the not so disturbed water to safely dock home leaving football fans to shock surprise. The biggest shock is the cancellation of the long standing annual tournament that is a ticket to CAF Cup  international fixture. Although opposition rise from two sides mainly from Electric and Commercial Bank that the tournament should resume leaving out national team selectees, the federation decide for a vote after Coffee’s number one Lieutenant Fekade Mamo’s speech of acceptance on behalf of the national side a game away from booking a cup final place after three decades. Seven against two, Dedebit takes the knockout championship honor and take part at the confederation cup. A winners cup showdown also takes place between league champion Saint George and knock out winner Dedebit FC. Electric and Banks demand of why the event dosn’t take place without national teamers for every side has a registered 30 players no one appear to give consideration and the majority ruled the day. The question to have the chance to participate in CECAFA club cup likely Ethiopia the host present by Electric but to no avail for the federation president Ato Sahlu replayed it is to be seen in due times. When the question arises how the cup winners president replayed because the federation needs to collect money from the two leg events. Although it is hard to understand the bizarre situation, EFF gets away without a scratch and promised the participants the executive body is ready to perform better in the new season.


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  • The environmental, social and financial crises

    he International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) urge governments to invest in resilience, strengthen local control over natural resources, and apply realistic values to the environment and human wellbeing in order to steer societies onto a more secure path. 
    The call comes in a paper published by IIED’s director Camilla Toulmin, ahead of the Rio+20 conference in Brazil next month, when world leaders will meet to agree ways to tackle the environment and development challenges facing humanity. IIED recommends action in three areas areamong others; Local control: Evidence shows that local control of natural assets is the best way to ensure strong investment in and sustainable use of forests, water, soils and other resources, in ways that create jobs, profits and secure livelihoods in both rural and urban areas. “When governments recognise the rights and organisations of local communities, they encourage long-term decision-making, and sustainable management of key assets. It’s also a better option for outside investors, since returns need to be balanced to generate long term stable outcomes,” says Toulmin; Investing in Resilience: Environmental, economic and social shocks are becoming more common and include climatic extremes, volatile food and fuel prices, and financial instability. Governments can build resilience to such shocks with policies that prioritise long-term adaptive capacity, more diverse economic activities, and climate-resilient growth. “Decentralised energy supplies, new approaches to urban density, inclusive business models, and greater accountability in global institutions are among the building blocks of resilience to the shocks tend to hit the poorest and most vulnerable communities hardest,” says Toulmin; and Realistic valuation: Today, true environmental costs and benefits do not appear on balance sheets, and we use GDP to measure development despite knowing that it does not reflect human wellbeing and can mask the unsustainable aspects of growth. “We need to change the way we measure progress and address the market failures that today’s false environmental accounting allows to endure. The first and most urgent steps are a significant and rising price on carbon, and an end to fossil fuel subsidies.” says Toulmin.  The paper shows how the June meeting in Rio — the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit – is an opportunity for leaders to agree change in these three areas.
    “The environmental, social and financial crises that face us are interconnected, and so are their solutions,” says Toulmin. “After four decades of research on the links between the environment and development, IIED has identified three clear policy shifts that are realistic, achievable and effective ways to reshape our future and create a fair, greener and more secure world.”

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