Thursday, October 26, 2006

To the family members of Mr. Araya Zerihun, his colleagues, and the people of Tigray

Our shock is immense, our disbelief wide, and our sorrow runs deep for the untimely demise of this great inspiring man and a voice for the poor and hard working people of Tigray.

We are very shocked and saddened to learn of his premature passing and just wanted to express our sympathy to his family and friends on behalf of the Tigray Community in Seattle, WA.

We Just want to let you know that we share your grief. We all empathize that the sudden loss of a family member and a colleague can be a most difficult thing to bare.

Our thoughts are with you and our sincerest sympathies go out to Mr. Araya's family, friends and loved ones
Mr. Araya, be assured your legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of the Tigray people and any man would be proud to leave such a legacy.
Farewell friend,
Abel Ghirmai (on behalf of Tigray Community in Seattle, WA).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Funeral of the late Araya Zerihun conducted

Addis Ababa, October 23, 2006 (WIC) - The funeral of the late Araya Zerihun, one of the founders and Chairman of Tigray Development Association (TDA) for over a decade, was conducted here today at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Araya Zerhiun was born in 1947 in Adwa town to his father Kegnazimach Zerihun Getahun and his mother Aster Ashel.

He attended his elementary and secondary schools in Asmara. He then left for the United States and secured his masters degree in Development Economics in 1981 form Maryland University.

After completing his studies, the late Araya worked at the National Center for Economic and Community Development in the US from 1981-1983.He then joined the ''Diplomat Parking Corporation'' as a regional director.

Araya returned to his homeland in 1993 and helped establish of the Tigray Development Association (TDA), which he served as Board Chairman for the past 10 years.

Ministers, religious leader, officials and relatives attended the funeral.

(c) Walta Information Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Araya Zerihun Dies


Araya Zerihun, general manager of Kebire Enterprise, passed away on Friday, October 20, after suffering a sudden heart attack, aigaforum website reported.

After coming back from the United States in the early 1990s, Araya served the Tigray Development Association (TDA) as chairman. He left the organization in early 2000, to join Sheik Al-Amoudi’s group of companies; he was instrumental in the establishment of MAA Garment, in Mekelle, 780Km north of Addis.

The passing of Araya Zerihun

The passing of Araya Zerihun

It is utterly shocking to hear the passing of Araya Zerihun, a gallant and hard working Ethiopian who tirelessly dedicated his time for the welfare of his people. I have known Araya for a long time, spanning at least three decades but my affinity to him was reinforced when we became colleagues in the formation and subsequent operation of the Tigray Development Association (TDA).

We have exchanged ideas and experiences with respect to development efforts several times through either formal meetings or informal contacts that we have had when he was in the United States. There were times when we had to spend nights together in my apartment in New York whenever TDA sponsors discussion forums and/or music nights. I vividly remember once we had to drive from New York to his home in Maryland and through the entire period of our sojourn we were immersed in discussing development agendas. But there were also times when we had a relatively relaxed atmosphere on the Ethiopian restaurants on 18 Street when we had to simply chat and dine.

Few years after the formation of TDA, Araya was assigned to head the international headquarters of the organization in Mekelle, and during the second annual conference of TDA at Mekelle in 1994, we met again. TDA conferees came from all over the world and despite the festive mood and well organized schedules for an entire week at the Mekelle City hall; I can't help but read fatigue on Araya's countenance. He was a brave man with utmost commitment but he too is flesh and had to exhibit wear and tear on his physiology. And I said to him, 'you are well dressed and look sharp but you look so tired' and he replied, 'I am ok but I did not sleep last night.' I don't think Araya
have had enough sleep in the last ten years and his untimely death could have been a combination of fatigue, stress, and unwell ness. I am terribly sad by his departure, but I can see his legacy living through the ages and his torch blazing as beacon and hope for future generations of Ethiopians.
May his soul rest in peace!
On behalf of the Institute of Development and
Education for Africa (IDEA)
Ghelawdewos Araia, PhD

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

On Ways to Involve Diaspora Professionals

On Ways to Invole Diaspora Professionals

Former TDA chairman passes away

(Aigaforum Oct 21, 2006) It is with sadness we brought you this news. Aite Araya Zerihun passed away Oct 20, 2006 due to sudden heart attack. Araya was a proud father and one of a kind humanitarian person. He left the United States of America to serve his country of birth as the Chairman of Tigray Development Association(TDA). He had served TDA in different capacity since then.

Under his leadership TDA has made visible progress, a number of special schools were built like Kalamino high School and MIT(Mekelle Institute of Technology), different training centers, and TDA also participated on the state level in construction, transportation, education, health sectors, and the establishment of Selam Bus transportation

He was instrumental in establishing Mekelle Technical Institute, Kelamino( High school for gifted students) and the various successful TDA projects.

Araya was working day and night managing MAA Garment, the newly built garment factory owned by Sheik Alamudi. Against all odds his company, which is furnished with new, state-of-the-art production equipment and machines acquired from the most respected companies/factories in the worldwide garment industry, was becoming a very successful company.

Truly Ethiopia has lost Araya. Araya is survived by his wife and children. He will be remembered for his invaluable contribution to peace and development. We will miss you Araya. May the Almighty in his infinitesimal wisdom help his family recover from this sudden tragedy.