NOTE: If any of you are caring for a very paranoid, very sick, angry, hurtful and very hateful, heavily medicated loved member of your immediate family; you're going through various accusations, verbal and/or physical abuse or assaults by them, you need to read the following article “How to Handle an Elderly Parent's Bad Behavior”. They might be exhibiting signs of dementia, Alzheimer’s, or both. 

Sometime in the middle of next month, I will shut down this web Page. It has gotten way, way too big with four milllion plus visitors each year. I am no longer interested in maintaing it.

I updated the first part of "ABOUT ME". I say a lot more about the Holyland, the conflict there and added many new photographs. I'm told much of what I say will be new to most readers. I wrote about the history of the Arabs, Jews, the region and Israelis.

I write a little about the "Golden Age" of air travel and Sir Captain Richard Francis Burton as well.

I also updated the "HOME" page; I added old photographs of Addis Ababa dating back to the 1950s, when I first arrived. 

Also wrote more about my early travels and years Norway and added more images, speak more about education, Norway a few other things.

I hope you are entertained and informed.

Thanks for visiting.

Blue Skies

Updated: February 20th 2015


N.B. To mute the music, please click on the blue button at the bottom of this page.

Welcome to my world: A life far from ordinary 

Nabil Bassilios Faragallah
I am back flying again, mostly in and around Africa and the Middle East
Gonder, Ethiopia May2016

"Travel has been my greatest teacher" (Brittany Maynard - Nov. 19th 1984–Nov. 1st 2014) 

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page. Life has always had an element of risk; it shouldn't be avoided however, instead, it should be faced, because when you lose your curiosity, you're as good as dead, only the curios have something to find. I took my chances and have no regrets.  

I recently decided to make the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Ethiopia my business and Gonder my home (for six months a year). The website for the business is

The Simien Mountains National Park is home to Ethiopia's tallest mountain 4,543m (14,991,9 feet) and Africa's tenth highest peak, Mt. Ras Dejen (the-common but incorrect name is Ras Dashen). Many (eleven) of Ethiopia's highest mountains including Mt. Analu, 4,480 (14,767.5 Feet) and Mt. Kidis Yared, 4,473m (14,760.9 feet) are located in close proximity to Mt. Ras Dejen. Gonder with its castles is the Camelot of Africa.

One of the oldest sites of human existence, Ethiopia is a country bursting at the seams with unique historical and cultural secrets. It is the oldest Christian country, one of the oldest around today and the second largest in Africa. It has what seems inconceivable natural beauty and extraordinarily handsome people; soaring mountains, abysses, plateaus, escarpments, plains and rushing rivers, a spirit that sees it overcome adversities, survival and preservation of its ancient tribal cultures and traditions, with a heart as big as its land mass 1,127,163km² - 435,200 mi².

The image most have of Africa, in particular Ethiopia to this day is that of famine, elephants, savannahs, deserts and safaris.

Ethiopia goes beyond these expectations. It is the fastest growing economy, producing more and faster millionaires than any other country in Africa. It is varied, a microcosm of the continent of Africa where one can still go back in time, explore and discover. It is a country very rich with history and culture steeped in tradition.

The country is haven for trekkers, naturalists, students of life, and citizens of the world. If you are a photographer you have a rare opportunity to open doors into the past and allow a look into the future. If you are looking for beauty, a unique experience, a little of the unknown, no other place offers you this opportunity.

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” 

Ethiopia has a varied and diverse range of animals, more than its neighboring countries and unlike say Kenya where there are large numbers of a small variety of animals, Ethiopia has fewer numbers of a larger variety of game, some unique to certain regions of the country, some endangered and all have chosen Ethiopia as their home. One look at Ethiopia's diverse landscape tells us why.....

Ethiopia may be one of the poorer countries in Africa, but it will reward you with travel experiences like no other.

The Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of ten in Ethiopia. Ethiopia 2015

Saha & Truta Abyss. The Simien Mountains National Park. Ethiopia, October 2015


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The Simien Fox, also known as the Ethiopian Wolf, the Walya Ibex and a Gelada Baboon - bleeding heart Baboon (Theropithecus gelada).
The Simien Mountains National Park. Ethiopia 2015
Me at the Simien Mountains National Park Head Office in Debark and just below Mts. Imetgogo (3926m)
Ethiopia 2015 

Haile_Gebreselassie_2014.jpg Sergeant_Bekele.jpg
Me with Haile Gebrselassie, arguably the greatest long distance runner ever and you'll never know a nicer person "you have no idea"!. 

Haile Gebrselassie broke 61 Ethiopian national records ranging from 800 meters to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is widely considered one of the greatest distance runners in history. (Recent news about Haile, Dec. 2014).

 And on the right is Police Sergeant "Moustache" Bekele, an iconic figure in Addis Ababa; feared, respected and loved by everyone. He also escorted H.I.M. Emperor Haile Sellassie on his drives through the city. Addis Ababa C. 1960
 Two of my all time favorite Ethiopians.  
 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 2014. 
At the office with Frehiwot "Frehi" Yaregal. Summer 2014

Frehi is also one of the faces on Ethiopian Airlines posters.

Mursi_woman._Omo_Ethiopia.jpg Southeastern_Ethiopia.jpg _Keren_eritrea.jpg 
Faces of Ethiopia

Lunch with Frehi (eating with the left hand is a big no no in Ethiopia, but I was forgiven). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia summer 2014

If I had to re-live my life, I wouldn't have time. In living a number of lives already I’m inclined to envy the man who leads one life, with one job, and one wife, in one country, under one God. It may not be as exciting of an existence, but at least by the time he's seventy he knows how old he is. I shouldn't complain, I have been the architect of my personal experience.

“Diogenes, when asked from what country he came, replied, "I am a citizen of the world” (Diogenes - 412 BC - 323 BC)

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” (Mae West - Aug. 17th 1893–Nov. 22nd 1980)

Lili_Golden_Innocence.jpgLiliuokalani "Lili" - My most trusted, beloved friend & constant companion.
 I want to be the person my dog thinks I am.

A stroll on the beach, nothing like it to clear the head.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” (Ansel Adams - Feb. 20th 1902 - April 22nd 1984)  

Ethiopian Highlands - The Simian Mountains, its heights and abysses.
The Roof of Africa with "13 months of sunshine". Ethiopia

Tis-Isat Falls (Amharic - Smoke of Fire) and source of the Blue Nile {not in flood}.
The 4,150 mile (6,678 Km.) long Nile River is the longest in the world and only river in Africa that flow north.
Tis Abay, Lake Tana, Ethiopia

African Elephants. Tanzania

Machu Pichu or Machu Pikchu, Peru on a rare clear day.

Venice, a splendor of miscellaneous spirits. 

"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."  (John F. Kennedy - May 29th 1917–Nov. 22nd 1963)

I don't promote, solicit or sell anything; nor do I accept donations; there are no Google AdSense or pop ups despite the huge number of visitors each month from (to date) every country, on average visitors from 150 to 160 countries visit each month. There are 195 countries, 196 if you count Taiwan

update the web page periodically, mostly to occupy my free time and find it relaxing. I enjoy "writing" if you want to call it that and "write" illustrated-narrated stories about my life, places I have been and what I accomplished. I write stories for my children, I want them to know, remember and learn from my experiences and from those of others, to surpass me with everything I accomplished because that's a form of immortality. Already they are smarter; what they knew at the age of 8, I didn’t at 28. 

It appears, the more I “write” the better I get; a given I suppose. I was never taught to write, taken writing classes or even majored in English while in school. English is my 5th language. I am encouraged however, whenever I think of Ernest Hemingway's words “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

When I don’t “write”, I read. Samuel Jackson once said “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book". Reading gives me great pleasure, a sense of beig and find it relaxing.

I do what I do as well to entertain friends and enemies at home and around the world; after all, a man with no enemies is a man with no character. 

Over the past almost five years, hundreds of people from around the globe contacted me through the web page for various reasons; old friends wanting to catch up or have a question, folks I have not heard from in over fifty years, others I forgot I ever knew, yet others I never met. Some are just curious, some asked to publish with me, others invite me to lecture, at schools and universities.

I continue to hear from people almost on a weekly basis and when I receive messages through "CONTACT ME" and if I am busy, I give precedence to those from Ethiopia or others who lived there and of course old friends; I feel we have more in common. As a rule though and what has been the case, after a few emails, phone call exchanges and some catching up, I realize I've accepted having moved beyond the past, put a headstone and pressed on.

 “Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream.”
(Khalil Gibran – 1 Jan. 1883 – 10 April 1931)

Something about new thoughts, ideas, growth and fresh air; I inhale the future and exhale the past.

 I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. 

I don't watch television, I am not on facebook, twitter, instagram or any other social media nor do I blog, the web page keeps me busy enough. I do get messages occasionally informing me some things I mention in the web page are discussed on facebook and other venues. The most discussed subject has been Leslie David Casbon, a former principal at Sandford (The English) School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia back in the 1950s-1970s. 

I hope they buried that SOB face down so he can see where he was going. I talk about him and schools in Ethiopia in great length in "ABOUT ME.

This is a big web page, with long articles and lots to see in 14 galleries, read and check out, some called it "an encyclopedia". I include a lot of information on Ethiopia, Eritrea, Norway, Antarctica, OceaniaJudo as well as other topics and places in the world.

No one can go through its entirety in one sitting or even in a week. I am certain however; it will entertain and hopefully enlighten everyone about something especially (if you like to read). There is the "HOME" page, "STORIES", "ABOUT ME", LINKS” and "MEDIA”, if you are not a reader you'll miss out however. You can check out the photo "GALLERIES", "SLIDE SHOW" and VIDEOS”, there is music to the slide show as well. 

“To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company.”  (Andre Gide – Nov. 22nd 1869 – Feb. 19th 1951

In "ABOUT ME", I mention religion, growing up in Bethlehem, Jerusalem/the Holy Land area and life in Palestinian refugee camps. Scholars told me some information I include about the Middle East, the Arab Israeli conflict, policies of the Israeli Government will be new to many readers. 

I talk about Ethiopia and Addis Ababa; about some of its landmarks and changes that are taking and have taken place over the yearsI include many pictures from a bygone era from when Addis had a population of only 350-400,000 inhabitants back in 1954 through the late 1970s. The city since has been transformed into a mega city, becoming synonymous with Ethiopia and with a population now estimated at between four and seven million. This mega city today comes complete with all the headaches of a large city with noise, pollution, traffic jams, constant construction and so forth. If you ever lived in Addis, don't go back looking for what you knew or remember.

Having done both, in "FLYING & SAILING", I explain differences between circum-navigating by air and by sea. I mention a little about sailing which is 90% common sense as well as several other topics.

There are other shorter essays, "DEW LINE, A SOVIET ATTACK" is a fictional story about a Russian attack on the U.S. during the cold war. I got the idea to write this story from when I was a "bush pilot" operating airplanes in Alaska. All new pilot employees had to visit Murphy Dome located on the outskirts of Fairbanks as part of our company indoctrination since most all our flights were north of the Arctic Circle and out to the Aleutian Islands Chain. I operated C-46s, DC-3s, L-382 and other aircraft for Jim Magoffin who owned Interior Airways. Murphy Dome is part of the ADIZ - DEW Line.

The first thing I thought about when I saw the inside of that radar facility was the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Until about four months ago, the most visited page has been "JUDO". In it I write about the history of Judo in Ethiopia of which I was a pioneer. I started practicing the sport at the Juventus Club in Addis Ababa under the late Judo Master Pecol, "Gino" Giuseppe Luigi (24 Feb. 1940 - July 21 2015) in 1957. 

I talk about who can practice the sport and a lot more. This is the first and only complete history of Judo in Ethiopia. I support everything with documentation and photographs. Ranks of Judokas in Ethiopia were registered with the Kodokan in Japan and other European agencies and federations as early as 1955.

At the bottom of the Judo page, I talk a little about the history of the Armenian community in Ethiopia, the Armenian holocaust and Armenian contribution to Ethiopia. For one, they composed Ethiopia's first national anthem which remained the anthem until the Derg in September 1974 overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie's and changed it. I was there for that historic event. I was also in Addis when Mengistu Neway's staged a failed coup d'etat while Emperor Haile Selassie was on a state visit to Brazil on 13 December 1960. 

I am the first in the United States to introduce Judo in U.S. High Schools. You'll find a whole article about that in the 1967 issue of Black Belt Magazine.

Ura Nage (Back Throw)  

I have been asked to be Ethiopia's chief Judo Instructor, technical adviser and coach to the future Ethiopian Olympic Judo team, however, I decided not to commit to such a long term program. There was an attempt to organize the first Ethiopian Judo Federation ever which would have been sanctioned by the Ethiopian Federal Sports Commission and recognized by all the world's federations including IJF (International Judo Federation). Since I did not accept the position and no one stepped up to finance the program, Judo in Ethiopia now (May 2015) does not exist, with the exception of Seifu Mekonnen teaching about 100 students.

Recently, in the summer of 2014, I promoted Seifu Mekonnen Gebisa to Judo shodan (Judo Black Belt 1st degree), he is the first ever Ethiopian to be promoted and for such a promotion in the history of Ethiopia (for an Ethiopian to be promoted to Black Belt in Ethiopia).

Seifu Mekonnen is to my right with two other top Ethiopian athletes. Solomon Kebede Negash (far left) is Ethiopia's Karate team coach and head Karate instructor.
I have been asked by the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia's Sports Commission to be Ethiopia's Chief Judo Instructor, Technical Advisor and to form the first Ethiopian Judo Olympic team of which I would be the coach. I declined.
Addis Ababa, summer 2014

The first Judo Club in Addis Ababa ever; Juventus Judo Club. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1957.
Some of the guys: left to right standing: don't remember, Elio Palmucci, the late Gino Pecol, Arakel Derentz, and Samir Faragallah, front row: Umberto Iori, Nabil Faragallah and don't remember.

Left to right, my late brother Dr. Samir B. Faragallah with the iconic and legendary Judan (10th degree Black Belt) Gene Lebell, the late Igor Zatsepin and two others whose names slip my mind from Sawtell Dojo (or Welcome Mat, can't remember which it was). Southern California - C. late 1960s

I should point out; the above mentioned stories were written over five years ago, they were my first and first attempt at "writing" which was worse than it is today.

I seem to say a lot about Ethiopia, I do say a lot about other areas of the world, actually a significant amount of information about several places of the world. I find Ethiopia a country of great diversity, rich in history and culture. 

Ethiopia is the second oldest Christian country in the world (after Armenia). It is a microcosm of the continent of Africa with eternal spring like climate; it is the highest country in Africa. If you scroll down to the bottom of the "HOME" page and go to "GALLERIES" - "Africa", you'll find a lot more images of Ethiopia. 

While I am a U.S. citizen and a resident of Norway and very comfortable in my life style and could reside (with a pension and free health care) in Norway, anywhere within the European Union (EU) or live anywhere else in the world for that matter, many ask why I keep returning to Ethiopia? It interests me and it has been an ongoing case study for me. I like the very healthy local food there though if you are from the mid-west (United States), Norway, a meat and potato person, you most likely will not enjoy the local cuisine as much as I do. It is hot and spicy with lots of flavor.

If any of you reading this plan on visiting Ethiopia or know of someone contemplating moving there who might be worried about the unknown, especially a family with children, check out the following link, it has a wealth of information. I am not too interested in writing a guide for Addis Ababa or Ethiopia.

There are fourteen galleries “GALLERIES” as well with over 13,500 images and another 1,650+ high resolution images in the “SLIDE SHOW” (best if viewed on a large TV screen). 

 Table Mountain, South Africa. This is the only landmark in all my years sailing that I could see from 200 miles out to sea. The normal "line of sight" to the horizon on a boat is between 9-12 miles - on a calm day.

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Left: A family owned printing business with an 1862 British made, manual (Liberty) Press.
Khan el Khalili, 16th century market, Old Cairo, Egypt. 1972
This is my most commercially successful image, I sold it to Eastman Kodak.
Right: Paracho de Verduzco (often called merely Paracho) Mexico's guitar center is a small city located in Michoacán, Mexico

All the High-Resolution photographs in the web page where taken using various digital cameras, many however, were taken years before the digital age. Back then, I used Leica, Retina and Exacta Varex 35mm mirror-reflex cameras (for a very short time I even used 110mm). A couple of those "state of the art" cameras I used back then were years old at that time but produced excellent images. I moved up to the larger and newer 4x5 format cameras; Rolliflex, Hasselblad, Mamiya and Yashica for a short time. In 1980 when I embarked on my single-handed circum-navigation aboard my 42-ft motor sailor, "Great Eagle", I returned to the 35mm format and the newer single-reflex cameras. I did that mostly because the 4x5 cameras were cumbersome.

It was called film...... 

I chose the Nikon F-2 series camera body and Nikkor lenses; I also had a set of 35mm Canon cameras and manual lenses; I felt were the best at that time. I shot slides mostly, using Kodak film (with silver) almost exclusively. I recently had Kodak transfer several hundred of my slides to Hi-Resolution digital images. On occasion, I also used Agfa products. You will be able to tell the difference between the old and new images.

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Young Samburu woman, Lake Turkana (formerly Lake Rudolph), Kenya;
Hippopotames (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo.  
Right image a young Surma woman. South west Ethiopia. 

Since 1954, I visited 183 countries on every continent including Antarctica, circum-navigated single-hand (by sea) twice and sailed to some remote and out of the way places in the world; The Pitcairn Islands Group (Pitcairn) in the Southern Pacific Ocean for example. There are four islands in the island group; Ducie, Owno, Henderson and Pitcairn, the only inhabited island. Easter Island - The Salas y Gómez Islands in the Southwestern Pacific is another, the Andaman Sea and other islands in other oceans as well. These islands are not on the way to anywhere, you have to go out of the way, make a special trip to sail there.

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

I lived in nine countries; the United States of America; Palestine, Jordan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan, Norway and Italy and four states in the United States including Hawai’i, Alaska, California and Texas. I have driven across the entire United States, Canada, East and west Europe several times as well as driven across half the continent of Africa.

Cascades Los Glaciares Pategonia, Argentina

From a very early age I had the desire and determination to see the world, meet its people and shake hands with every tsetse fly in Africa. To become a student of life and a citizen of the world. I opened my eyes and mind and decided THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT LEARN; the rest is history. To achieve anything, you must be brave enough to fail.

A person, who cannot change his mind, cannot change anything.

I found going through life without noticing what is around me was like going through a museum blind folded and made it a point to see, listen, and remember. I was always told I had a photographic memory and took advantage of it. I also have an extraordinary attention span. I manage to juggle two or three different ideas at the same time, and that's probably, if I have a gift, that's probably the best gift that's given me. I always made myself to blend in, have a lot of chameleon qualities and become very absorbed in my surroundings. 

 No man can achieve immortality. I didn’t and don't live for what comes after I am dead, but for what I can achieve in this life - the only chance I have.

Of the things I accomplished in my lifetime, I am proudest of being a part of and charter member of Christian Pilots Association (CPA), now a global organization serving the needy; "a mobilizing service agency dedicated to assisting God's people in fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 28:19-20 by providing emergency air logistics, survival services, and supplies for people in need. Flights (missions) usually consist of such projects as disaster-relief, emergency medical hardship cases, airlifts of food, medicines, medical equipment, clothing, etc., to pockets of poverty, and areas of special need." they accept donations

In 1972, together with Stephen R. Smith who also was a charter member and later became an officer in the none-profit organization made the first flight to an orphanage in Mexico. We left Santa Barbara, California, stopped in El Monte, California to pick up supplies. The complete history of CPA is in "FLYING & SAILING". 

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” (Theodore Roosevelt – Oct. 27th 1858- Jan. 06th 1919)

I try to write a story a week no matter how long or short and never worry about grammar, we have editors for that. I am interested in quantity rather than quality at this point in my life, I want to get my thoughts on paper while I still can remember and before going senile. Everything I write is from memory and in many cases goes back 20, 30, even 50 and 60 years. When I am not sure of a date, I check it on the world's largest library, the Internet (thank you Al Gore).  

"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may house their bodies, but not souls.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”
 (Khalil Gibran – 1 Jan. 1883 – 10 April 1931)

I have been approached by people over the years to publish, co-write, sell my stories on Amazon and was even asked to have a movie made based on my life; no thank you, that is not my thing. I have outlived my life and I am not getting out of it alive. All I really care about is how my children remember me and how I influenced their lives; growing up and becoming better persons than me is enough of a legacy to leave behind.

“The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind." (John Allston - died May 1750) 

I write about many different things and cover a gamete of topics with many key words hence the high number of visitors from (now) every country on the globe. In the past five some years, over 24 million people visited the web page. 

At the end of the day, those who have known me and like me already know me, and those who don't like me wouldn't want to read about me anyway. Others might just like to read

I am not self made nor am I special; different? Perhaps. Someone or something taught me everything I know; good, bad or indifferent. The trick has always been to sort out what is important, worthwhile, useful and remember it. Everything I lived through helped make me the person I am today.   

I never took myself seriously and like Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, I love life. I have a comic outlook on life and things and laugh at myself harder than at anybody else. I get extremely vociferous about things I don't believe in, but I'm in the moment and look to the future.

To me, you're successful when you graduate from something, doing the same thing for thirty years is not my idea of success. I did many different things to completion and the highest level; undergraduate and graduate school, started a college, taught at all levels of academia; I was a commercial pilot, made a solo around the world flight. I was a sailor, both merchant marine and circum-navigated single-hand and traveled to or through most countries. I am a skydiver with several thousand skydives and over three and a half hours in freefall; I was involved in humanitarian causes and am a charter member of Christian Pilots Association and much more. I accomplished this before reaching the age of 35. The next 35 years were perhaps greater and in some cases even better and more interesting. Now I am contemplating my personal life. In the words of Khalil Gibran "Another moment's rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me...").

Life’s possibilities lie on growth; therefore one must always be moving, in mind and soul, if you don't grow, you are dead; people can teach you a lot if you'll let them. I have had defeats in my life as well but soon realized without an occasional defeat, victories would be empty, those became life experiences.

Success is always a public affair, failure is a private funeral. What you don't know should intrigue you more than what you do know. I was told a long time ago there are no mistakes in life only learning experiences, in the words of Horatio Alger's "luck, pluck and virtue"; learn; put a headstone and press on. In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.

I always choose my friends very carefully; never allowed anyone to choose me. I made sure they were always smarter, worldlier, more intelligent and better educated than me. I don't listen to people who tell me what they think I want to hear; conceited people never hear anything but praise. There is a saying in Sicily "Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty". 

"Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are". (Mexican proverb)

I am not young enough to know everything, but I do have a lot to say and thought I would share some of my life experiences. This is not an autobiography or chronology but rather a story about my life and does not include everything about me. 

I'm old, I'm young, I'm intelligent, I'm stupid. My tide goes in and out.

It seems luck has been on my side my entire life; to quote the proverb by John Heywood “I find that the harder I work the more luck I seem to have”. Being in the right place at the right time certainly helped; of course, I always steered myself there.  

I acquired a lot of my knowledge reading; I read a book a day most of my life. My dad early on instilled in me, always reminding me “a person who does not read is as bad off as one who doesn't know how”, knowledge is power, key to a better life, future, even becoming a better person; my children now carry on that tradition and I try to instill that in my students as well.

Equally I learned through my travels, mistakes of others, conversations and observations of behavior. Over time, I discovered single conversations across the table with a wise person can be worth a month’s study of books. Woodrow Wilson once said "I would not read a book if it were possible to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it".  

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” I did that several times during my lifetime, I am still learning, unlearning and relearning "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death".

I never looked at anything and asked why; I always looked at everything and said why not? In the words of George Bernard Shaw "You see things; you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?” You are the architect of your personal experience.

I have seen the world from several different perspectives, from the air, land and sea and can carry on conversations with just about anyone about anything; be it heads of state, a professor emeritus, people of the clergy, test pilots, citizen of the world or the person on the street. I also learned a lot, I found the more I traveled the more people I meet the more I read, the more I realize how much I didn't and don’t know. Discovering knowing what you cannot do was more important to me than knowing what I can do. When I knew nothing, I thought I could do anything.  

 “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.(Will DurantNov. 5th 1885-Nov. 7th 1981)  

 My late dad (middle) presiding Judge B. Faragallah who was the presiding Judge of Ethiopia and legal adviser to the late emperor H.I.M. Haile Selassie 1st. He co-authored both the penal and civil codes for Ethiopia which remained in use into the late 1990s.
 The shield behind the judges reads: "Imperial State of Ethiopia led by the king of kings" (in Amharic "Bekedamawi Ethiopia Niguse Negest Mengist").
 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 1951-1967. 

Procession at the Ethiopian Monastery (also known as Dabra Gannat Ethiopian Monastery) built by the Crusaders. Jerusalem.

In 1948 and again in the early 1950s I spent time in a couple of refugee camps in Palestine and Jordan after we were driven out of our homes in Palestine. By 1954 we had moved to the old city of Jerusalem (Jordan), from where we left for Amman, Jordan to fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I think that segment was a road trip, it is only 45 miles (72 Km) distance. 

With my late mom and all my now deceased siblings we left the Nativity Town of Bethlehem (Palestine), my birthplace and moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1952 my late dad had been appointed Ethiopia's Supreme Court Justice and legal advisor to the late and last Emperor H.I.M. Haile Selassie I.

A couple of years after settling in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (the only person missing in this image is my late brother George. 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1956

How my dad made it to Ethiopia is a story in itself. As a successful  attorney in Jerusalem, he did pro bono legal work for the Ethiopian monastery in Jerusalem.

The monastery is located on the northwestern corner of the church of the Holy Sepulchre complex, it houses a few monks who live among the ruins of a medieval cloister erected by the Crusaders where Constantine’s basilica had been previously. The cupola in the middle of the roof section admits light to St Helena’s crypt below. Around the walls are paintings of Ethiopian saints, the Holy Family and the Queen of Sheba during her visit to Jerusalem. It was during this visit that the Queen of Sheba, together with King Solomon, produced heirs to both royal houses, one of whom (according to Ethiopian legend) brought the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia.

On one of the Emperor's visits to Jerusalem, he asked to meet my dad to thank him for his services to the church and Ethiopia. After meeting my dad and "hitting it off", Haile Selassie asked my dad if he'd be interested in coming to Ethiopia and be the Supreme Court Judge there, re-write the penal and civil codes among other things. After thinking it over, my dad decided he would do it and moved to Ethiopia in 1952.

In 1954 Ethiopia became home for me and most of my siblings until I left in 1964. It remained home during the years I left to attend private boarding schools in Egypt, Sudan and Norway for almost eight years. The first time I surrendered my Ethiopian permanent residency was in 1964. I continue to return to Addis Ababa for short and summer holidays to this day. 

Between 1955 and 1959, I attended a private Catholic boarding school in Sudan (Comboni College Khartoum) and another, a Coptic boarding school in Egypt (el Batrakia Coptic School Cairo) always returning home for the short and long summer holidays. Those schools were two of the three worst school experiences of my entire life.

In 1960 I was in Norway where I attended seaman's school (Risøy Ungdomsskole for Sjømenn), now Risøy Folkehøyskole. I returned to Norway in 1995, became a resident once again, started a college and taught.

An aerial shot of the Island nearest to Gjeving and close to the town of Tvedestrand, Norway

Photo: Magnar Opdal
 Risøy Folkehøyskole, Gjeving Pr. Tvedestrand. Norway

On that first mini "international" trip family when we left Jerusalem for Ethiopia, my mom decided to make it a fun family adventure-holiday for us all; that marked the start of my travels, now I had the travel bug.

We boarded a flight in Amman for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and spent a few nights there. On to Aden, Yemen (before north and south Yemen become united) and spent a week there. I enjoyed Aden very much. From there, we flew across the Red Sea to the port city of Assab in Eritrea and on to Djibouti, French Somali-land (now Djibouti). We spent a few nights in each place finally arriving in Addis Ababa. There weren't many flights in those days and it was not uncommon to have to wait someplace for three or more days for a connecting flight. 

What I remember the most about my very first flight was how terrified I was of the wheels of the DC-3 aircraft; they seemed huge and intimidating to me. Who knew then I would become a Commercial Airline pilot someday and I could kick any airplane tire I wanted?

Approaching Aden from Mukalla, Yemen 2013

The City of Aden in Yemen, 1954
Now both North Yeman and South Yemen are united and called Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah, short form: Al Yaman, int'l long form: Republic of Yemen, int'l short form: Yemen

Port of Aden today (2012)

Short final approach runway 08. I was the pilot on this flight.
Aden (ADE-OYAA), Yeman

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North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border. (CIA - The World Fact book).

Me on the left with two of my siblings on the roof of our home.
Jerusalem 1951
Jerusalem 1950s.

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Left: The Grotto (where it is said Jesus was born), Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem. 1950s

Right: Church of the Holy Sepulchre traditional site of Calvary and the Tomb of Jesus. Jerusalem. 1950s





A street in the old City of Jerusalem. 1950s




The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Church of Mary Magdalene.



The City of Jerusalem



Church of all Nations (Basilica of the Agony), marks the last supper.

Jerusalem 1950s

There are many more images of Jerusalem and the Holy Land some more recent in "ABOUT ME".

Growing up in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), was very different from anything I had known prior to or since living there. The Tukuls (local thatched roof homes), the smell of burning wood, the smoke throughout the city, transportation, seeing people with bare feet and beggars in the streets, bare breasted women, open air bi-monthly markets; that was all new, different, a "culture shock" and very exciting to me.

As to be expected, Addis Ababa today is very different from what it was in the '50s, '60s and well into the 1970s, even in the eighties. It is very crowded, noisy and a polluted mega city today as to be expected like other major cities of the world. There is certainly a familiarity to it today however, compared to what it used to be but nowhere near the same place. 

I never go back with the idea of recapturing the past. I dream of the past yes, but don't live it; the past belongs to the past. 


The landscape around Addis Ababa is fast changing, where there used to be Tukuls (Sar Bet - Gojo), we now have government housing on a massive scale.
Ethiopia 1960's and 2015

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Left: and bottom, me with my siblings after first arriving in Ethiopia - in front of a tukul, a local residence and a village in the background.
All the images were taken in the same period in the 1950s.
Right image, public transportation. Yes, things were different in Ethiopia than they were in Bethlehem. 

There are those still living off the table scraps of the '60's and '70’s that are still being passed around, I don't. This does not mean we should not take care of our memories which we can never re-live.  

I continue to return and have been to Ethiopia perhaps eighty times in the years since 1954. I also became a resident a couple of more times during those more recent years since leaving in 1964.  

I have also been to Norway, east and west Europe over eighty times in the last 10-12 years. I do write about Norway (bottom of the page), the Pacific and other places in the world (below and in "STORIES") as well. 

I write more about Ethiopia because I know the country, understand its people and culture very well. Understanding Ethiopian mentality for many outsiders can be difficult to grasp, Donald N. Levine's book Wax & Gold explains it best.

I learned Amharic, the only language indigenous to Africa and unique to Ethiopia; how to prepare authentic Ethiopian food including doro wot (a spicy chicken dish with hard boiled eggs). To make this dish is very time consuming, taking five to six hours to prepare correctly. I always use authentic Ethiopian ingredients from Ethiopia - Ethiopian butter, Ethiopian spices and a very unique Ethiopian pepper, each blended and unique to that country. It would not taste the same as in Ethiopia otherwise. I serve almost all the Ethiopian food on injera, the local bread made from t'eff("Injera is a sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea. A similar variant is eaten in Somalia and Djibouti, Yemen, and Sudan". Wikipedia)

I taught at Addis Ababa University, flight and ground school instruction for the former Imperial Ethiopian Aero Club and operated airplanes everywhere within Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen and Djibouti for Aircraft Company of Ethiopia (A.C.E.) until the Derg nationalized all land, rail, air and sea transportation. I drove to just about every corner of Ethiopia on my own and with Shatto Safaris.

I lived in Eritrea as well and on and off I lived in Ethiopia for 14 years. I did my field work and research for both my Master's and PhD in and on Ethiopia.  

For years while still in school, professors from other universities in the United States as well as from overseas kept telling me I hold a unique amount of knowledge about that country and so did many Ethiopian scholars. I was invited to transfer from the University of California to several universities but never did, I was treated well where I was and very happy.

I "write" and mention places, people and things in no particular order or importance. Ethiopia was certainly interesting and fun, but so were Norway, Egypt, Hawai'i, Sudan and living in another six countries; California, sailing and flying around the world and so on. It is what I feel like writing about at the time. 

When I first went to Norway in 1959, I was a huge novelty there, people were fascinated withme and by my "chocolate" color and often stopped to talk to me and always turned their heads to look, not many outsiders went to Norway in those days.

Below are a few images of what a corner across the street from where we lived looked like when we first arrived in Addis Ababa and that same corner today. The images were taken from the balcony of our home, Palazzo Eritiery in Adua square (now Unity square). The building was erected during Italy's brief occupation of Ethiopia between 1936 and 1941.

 Pallazzo Eritieri in Adua Square (now Unity Square) our home in Addis Ababa. The building was erected in 1936 by the Italians during their brief occupation of Ethiopia between 1936 and 1941.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Summer 2014

The Lion of Judah monument in Adua Square (now Unity Square) next to the Haile Selassie Theatre (now the National Theatre). It was erected in 1955 for Haile Selassie's Coronation.
This is part of the view from my balcony.
Notice the high rise building in the background today, you''ll see further down other images before this construction.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia summer 2014

This black stone statue of the Lion of Judah near the National Theater at Unity Square (Adua Square then) commemorates the Silver Jubilee of the late and last Emperor of Ethiopia, H.I.M. Haile Selassie I. It is the work of French sculptor Morris Calka. Mr. Calka came recommended by Henry Shomet, Addis Ababa's City Hall architect. The monument was erected in 1955, a year after I arrived in Addis Ababa. Haile Selassie's coronation was November 2nd 1930. His Silver Jubilee was November 2nd 1955.

There are many more before and after images, information about Addis Ababa further down and a lot more at the bottom of this page. I cover and talk about Piazza (Piassa), Mexico square, Adua square, La Gare, the French Rail Road Company and other locations around Addis Ababa back in their heyday. Eventually I will create more pages and a separate page for just Addis and another on Ethiopia and its rich history. The stuff I included here would only be interesting to anyone who lived there during the years between 1950 and the 1970s, a walk down memory lane.

Prior to 1964 Ethiopia's traffic was on the left.

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Left image in the background taken in the mid 1950s from our balcony (Pallazzo Eritieri in Adua Square (now Unity Square). The Main Commercial Bank of Ethiopia sits today. The bank was built in 1963.
Back in the 1950s, this same corner was home to the main FIAT dealership for all of Ethiopia. Notice, Ethiopia was driving on the left then, they switched over in 1964.



View of Adua Square (Unity Square) from our balcony & roof; after FIAT & the gas station were torn down, and before the Ethiopian Commercial Bank, Hospital, and other buildings were built. 
 Ethiopia was driving on the left side of the road.
The Caltex gas station, built during the Italian occupation I mention further down is on the corner is in this image (you can see the roofs).
Addis Ababa - Adua Square - now Unity Square. 1956, 1970's & 2015


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Another couple of views of Adua Square (Unity Square), both taken from our balcony and roof. Above, Ethiopia was driving on the left side until 1964.
Left image is the corner where the bank building and high rise sit today, the right image is by the National Theater (Haile Selassie I Theater then).
Addis Ababa 1956/57 and 2015

 The same corner 30 & 40 years later - today.

The Haile Selassie I Theater (now National Theater), if you look carefully you can see a large fountain and the empty lot across the street from our home in Adua Square. Ethiopia was still driving on the left. This image was also taken from our balcony in Adua Square. Addis Ababa 1959

Until Haile Selassie was overthrown in a coup in 1974, the theatre was named Haile Selassie I Theatre.

The Italians begun constructing the theater hall during their brief occupation as a Cinema (Cinema Marconi) planned for 350 seats. The Ethiopian Government finished it later in 1955 for the celebrations of Haile Selassie's Silver Jubilee Coronation on November 2nd 1955 and expanded it to seat 1,260. 


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Looking towards De Gaulle Square prior to switching driving on the right side of the road. 
Piazza (or Piassa), Addis Ababa 1956

Coronation Day, November 2nd 1955. Menelik - St. George Square. 
Addis Ababa 1955

 The M/S Toledo, Wilh. Wilhelmsen Lines, Norway. 1962 

When I was fourteen I left home for the final time and embarked on my own first extensive "international" journey; from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Oslo, Norway. My trip, the first of many yet to come took me from Addis to Djibouti, Djibouti where I boarded a Norwegian merchant marine ship, The M/S Toledo, a freighter and crewed to the sub-continent of India, through most of Malaysia and Indonesia, down around the entire continent of Australia, back up through the Suez Canal, Southern Europe, through the Straits of Gibraltar, around the Iberian Peninsula, the Bay of Biscay, Western Europe to Oslo, Norway, my final destination. The journey took over six months.

School was too slow for me. More about that in "About Me". 

The M/S Toledo was the first merchant marine ship I crewed on back in 1960 and my exposure to the sea. The ship had just been commissioned with an impressive cruising speed of 23 knots (for itsday). This was before container ships. We had on board winches/cranes to load and off load cargo into and out of hatches below the decks to and from the docks.

It was not easy convincing my parents to let me leave home at such an early age and not having completed Jr. High - 7th grade, it took me six months of trying. I was determined, persistent and relentless. No to me means try harder. I say more about that in "About Me" as well. They finally relented and let me go.

I had great parents, I never met a man equal to my father and never loved a man as much. There is a Norwegian saying “the apple does not fall far from the tree”. I wish I were half the person my dad was and a fraction of him when it comes to raising my own children.

 “Whoever does not have a good father should procure one.” (Friedrich Nietzsche - Oct. 15th 1844 - Aug. 25th 1900)

He was a man of a few words, the most important influence of my childhood, into my later years and still is today. I started pursuing an education in pre-law to honor him and follow in his footsteps. But decided with my background (already even at an early age), Geopolitics was more appropriate for my purposes. I know he approved.

In the web page I also include a few short “STORIES”; an "EVACUATION FLIGHT" I flew out of Massawa, Eritrea to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My "SAIL TO NO WHERE" to find a schooner a friend of mine was rescued and airlifted from, "THE ISLAND HOPPER, a 14+ hour flight from Honolulu to Guam, stopping in several Islands including Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (Johnston Atoll) to land there you needed a very rare and hard to get special permission then and now but for different reasons. It is now "Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge"; Majuro Atoll,  Marshall Islands, Kwajalein, Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia. Kosrae is often referred to as the jewel of the Pacific and for good reason (if you read the story, you’ll find out why), Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Guam in the Marianas Islands. Between flying and sailing in the Pacific, it is safe to say I have been to almost all the islands in the Pacific (and elsewhere). I talk about each atoll in detail in that story.

Agaña (Guam).
The largest and southernmost island in the Marianas Archipelago.

More about Guam: Guam: Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture, Facts, Guide & Travel/Holidays/Cities

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Yao people of Yap (or Wa′ab) island in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean, considered to be made up of four separate islands: Yap Island proper, Tamil/Gagil, Maap, and Rumung.

Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia

The Yao people of Yap Island. The tattoos on the man are significant; they would be on a chief or warrior. Micronesia, Pacific 

Yao women performing the women's sitting dance.

Yao men performing the men's sitting dance
Unlike the Tahitians, Hawaiians and other Pacific Island dwellers, men and women often perform their dances sitting down. 
Yap, Federated State of Micronesia

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Men's Houses, the round stones on the left are stone currency.
Yap Island, Federated State of Micronesia

The Yapese or Yao people were some of the greatest sailors of ancient times, ranked second behind the Marshallese as the greatest sailors of all time. A tradition they carry on today. They were able to sail thousands of miles in small outrigger canoes using the sun and stars to navigate by. While I was there and on other Micronesian islands, I was taught to find islands by navigating using the shapes, size and motion of waves.

Unique to the culture of Micronesia and Yap is the Men's House. A men’s house is a traditional meeting place for men before they set sail on long sea passages. Because of the rigors and perils of such journeys men separate themselves from the village enduring hardships such as lack of water and food and expose themselves to the elements for long periods of time to prepare for the long and dangerous journeys.

For centuries, the main form of currency on Yap Island was stones, very large stones. Looking like Claes Oldenburg sculptures of oversized bagels, the stones – or rai, as they’re called – can stand as high as ten feet and weigh several tons each.

According to local legend, five hundred years ago, Yapese fishermen got lost at sea and washed up on the island of Palau. There they saw some shimmering Limestone deposits and thought they looked beautiful. They broke off a piece of stone, carved it into the shape of a whale, brought it home and called it money. The Yapese word for whale is “rai,” and it soon became synonymous with all stone currency.

“If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it." (Andrew Denton - August 29th 1951 -)

Another story "ANTARCTICA" is about one segment of one of my two single-hand circum-navigations. I spent five and half years circum-navigating single-hand (by sea - twice), circum-navigating once in the “wrong direction”, why? Because I can.

Crossing 40 degrees, there is no chance; crossing 50, no hope and crossing 60 degrees, THERE IS NO GOD.




Wiggins Glacier, Antarctica

 "Life is too short to be busy." (Tim Kreider)


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Aurora Australis, also known as the southern lights, and southern polar lights is the southern hemisphere counterpart to the Aurora Borealis.

Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights; counterpart to the Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere.

I rounded all five southern most capes, known  as Cape Horn (South America), Good Hope (South Africa)Leeuwin (Australia)South-East Cape (Tasmania), and South-West Cape (Stewart Island, NZ), "Antarctica". Something I decided wanted to do, and also went through both canals.

I took on the Southern Ocean (also known as the Antarctic Ocean) and Antarctica with the idea to circum-navigate it but never did, not single-hand. I overestimated my ability and underestimated Antarctica.

"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered." (Voltaire - Nov. 21st 1694 - May 30th 1778) 

In the words of Australian single-hand circum-navigator Jon Sanders: "Why live an ordinary life -- be original".

The Pacific, greatest of oceans. With an area exceeding that of all dry land on the planet.

"The tide-beating heart of earth." (Herman Melville - Aug. 1st 1819 – Sept. 28th 1891)

Under sail. Tahiti, French Polynesia.

Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head at dusk. Oahu, Hawai'i

Hula Dancer. Haleiwa, North Shore, Oahu. Hawai'i.

View of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu to Maili Point from Diamond Head. Oahu, Hawai'i.

Lava flow from Mt. Kilauea. Big Island. Hawai'i

"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?" Sterling Hayden

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore". (Andre GideNov. 22nd 1869 – Feb. 19th 1951)

I completed my two single-hand circum-navigations in "GREAT EAGLE", 66,000+ Nautical miles, after making many yacht deliveries worldwide, "uphill" and "downhill" (more money per mile in "uphill" deliveries) both as crew and skipper and serving in the Norwegian Merchant Marine. I also made many ocean passages in my second boat "OPPA" In San Francisco. I changed my one circum-navigation route after I decided to round the HORN (South America), head to the Southern Ocean and on to Antarctica.

Many boat owners enjoy downwind sailing; sailing down the Pacific, Baja, along the west coast of the United States and so forth, but hate sailing back to weather. I prefer sailing into the wind, sometimes it the fastest point of sail on some boats. Other times it is a beam reach or even quartering winds are the fastest points of sail as was the case with "Great Eagle", my last boat. I have over 100,000 Nautical Miles of blue water sailing. 

“Adventure is just bad planning." (Roald Amundsen - 1872-1928)


Beautemps Beaupre, Ouvea Atoll. Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia 

 Beautemps Beaupre, Ouvea Atoll. Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia. 

Beautemps Beaupre is a beautiful place, there is no doubt about that and one of the most tranquil places I visited. This entire region of the Pacific is beautiful but the diving in some places is not all that great, especially off these islands. There is no underwater life, but still one of the nicest.

“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” (Markus Zusak - June 23rd 1975 -)

and Enku. M
y crew in the South Pacific and 
Red Sea.

Everyday I was out sailing I wondered what the poor people were doing.......
Nicole, my crew after Dominique and I parted ways in Beautemps Beaupre. She sailed with me to The Bay of Islands, off the North Island of New Zealand where I sat out the hurricane season. Yep, I am a guy........ 

"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." (Charles Dickens - Feb. 7th 1812 - June 9th 1870) 

I picked Dominique up on Tikehau Island, the island with pink sand in The Tuamotu and Gambier Islands (French Polynesia). We sailed together through much of the south Pacific to Beautemps-Beaupré Atoll where she got off to return home. I sailed the longest with her. I hated leaving Beautemps-Beaupré, one of the most beautiful places on this beautiful earth.

"Great Eagle" under sail; my last boat in which I completed two single-hand circum-navigations.
She was a 42' (47' LOA), 18.5 Ton Ketch Rig Motor Sailor designed by George Stadell and built in Hong Kong. It is one of only eleven boats ever built. 

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"Great Eagle" and me below deck. 1985

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Some of the Provisioning on board Great Eagle. I always carried enough supplies to last me at least three years plus seven cases of freeze dried food, just in case. I had installed de-salination equipment giving me all the water/hot water I needed to shower twice a day, that and a freezer are luxuries on sail boats.

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 "Great Eagle": clock wise; the Main Salon, Galley, Cockpit and bow pulpit. I had the boat painted and canvas changed twice in the years I owned her.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” (Mark Twain - Nov. 30th 1835 – Apr. 21st 1910)

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Getting ready to leave Haleiwa Hawai'i in Oppa.

Me, aboard "OPPA" with Vicki leaving Haleiwa, Hawai'i. C. 1978/'79.
I left Haleiwa for Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i where I dropped Vicki off and continued north to San Francisco, California. It can take as little as just two tacks from Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i to the Golden Gate Bridge, the entrance to San Francisco's Bay.  

"Oppa" was my second to last boat, the best boat I ever owned. It was a 32' Cavalier, R.J. Salthouse design motor sailor I purchased in Nagoya, Japan. I traded her in for "Great Eagle" in San Francisco thinking I would end "camping out". As it turned out, even with the bigger boat and all the amenities, I found myself still "camping out". People would ask me if 32 feet was too small to sail the big oceans, I try to explain the safest thing in the ocean is a ping pong ball, but one cannot live in a ping pong ball so the next best thing is a 32 ft. boat. It is the ideal size even though it is not the most comfortable.

Sailing is the most expensive way to travel third class.

Anse Source D'Argent, Digue Island. Seychelles, Indian Ocean.

The Maldives Islands, Indian Ocean.

Getting lost is the only place worth going to.

On and off I have flown for 45 odd years, between 1965 and 2010. I made a solo flight in a Rockwell Shrike Commander from Los Angeles to East Africa. When I took delivery of the aircraft, the legendary Bob Hoover checked me out and later in his North American Mustang P-51 (N2251D; "Ole Yeller") now owned by North American Aviation. Bob is "the pilots' pilot". He was made honorary member of the Navy's demo team The Blue Angeles. He is 92 years old (born in 1922).

I can hanger fly all day with the best of them.

“You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3.” (Paul F. Crickmore)

I operated commercial airplanes for a U.S. flag carrier and F.B.Os (Fixed Base Operators) on three continents and Hawai'i. Operated "heavy metal" (airplanes over 12,500 lbs.) and light aero planes "bush flying" in Alaska’s arduous conditions where I landed on glaciers. I flew in Ethiopia and Eritrea during the war between the two nations and was a corporate pilot operating the Gulfstreams G-IV and G-V- G--550 by the end of my flying days.

"Asking what a pilot thinks about the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is like asking a fireplug what it thinks about dogs."

Gulfstream G-V-G-550. One of my former offices(mostly for bragging rights).

Boeing 777-236/ER

“The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.”

McDonnel Douglas MD-11

I made the attempt to break the round the world speed record (by air) in type and category airplane in a twin engine piston airplane; the Aerostar. Check out "FLYING & SAILING".

  • Ted_Smith_Aerostar_600.jpg
  •   Aerostar, The Airplane I used to break the round the world speed record in. 1974

    The Ted Smith Aerostar was powered by two turbocharged Avco Lycoming piston engines, the airplane I used.

    This aircraft is one of the fastest twin piston engine aircraft produced with cruise speeds of 261 knots (483 km/h).  Its light construction, low drag and high powered engines contribute to fast climb rates. Piper Aircraft Company now manufactures it. 

  • Me_taking_possession_of_my_new_airplane_at_the_Cessna_delivery_center_Witchita_1967.jpg
  •   Taking possession of my first brand new airplane. I was 21 years old in this picture. I made my first solo cross country flight from Wichita, Kansas to Torrance, California. 
  • Cessna Delivery Center, Wichita, Kansas. July 1967
  • Jamile_in_the_747-400.JPG
    Jamile H. Faragallah, in one of Atlas Air's passenger Boeing 747-400. In this image, she had just carried 352 Marines into Cherry Point, NC. She made flights into Iraq and Afghanistan for the military and was decorated for her involvement in military flights.


    Jamile H. Faragallah

    Atlas Air. Boeing 747-47UF/SCD 

    "Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate."

    Jamile is one of my children, the oldest of my four children. She operated all the Boeing 747 models including 400F and dash8 for Atlas Air, Inc. Atlas is an American based cargo and passenger charter airline and aircraft leaser based in Purchase, New York. They conduct cargo operations for many airlines and provide an important airlift of cargo and troops for the U.S. military. She is type rated, domestic and international qualified on all four B-747s; the 200, 300, 400 and dash8 models and has has logged over 15,000 accident and incident-free flight hours and all as Pilot In Command. She also logged time in the Douglas DC-8, De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter and several other airplanes and made her first commercial flight the day she turned 21.  The 747-8 is longer than the 747-400F by 18.3 ft (5.6 m) and has a payload of 154 tons (140 metric tons), including tare weight, with a range of 4,390 nm (8,130 km), it is the largest civilian freight hauling airplane after the Russian Antonov An-225 Mriya and the second largest passenger plane after the Airbus A380. 

    Atlas Air appointed her the first female pilot to become a Line Check Airman for them. This included giving line checks to Captains and First Officers on routine flights and Initial operating experience (I.O.Es), qualifying new Captains and First Officers.

    In addition to operating the 747 dash8 and being a check airman, she was asked to be a simulator instructor for Atlas Air, accepted and was stationed at the Atlas Air Training Center at Miami’s International Airport (MIA) in Florida (USA), also known as the "Crystal Palace" where she became a 747-200 Simulator (SIM) Check Airman as well. She eventually decided to return to the flight line, she missed flying.

    She “Quito qualified” Atlas captains and captains from other carriers from around the world that flew into Quito's old Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the busiest airport in South America that served about 220 flights per day. The old Quito airport was “Captains only”, meaning only captains can land and takeoff there.

    The Government of Ecuador shut down that airport in February 2013. It posed a danger to airplanes as well as the local community.

    Among the nicknames they gave Jamile, “Quito Queen” was another. 

    She invited me to Florida to get "Quito qualified" in both the B-747-400 and the B-747-8, talk about bragging rights………

    She very recently quit Atlas after operating airplanes for them 22+ years; she got tired of travelling and not sleeping in her own bed. Some of you might not understand this, especially those with bucket lists and a longing to travel, everybody wants to travel, or so they think.

    She would fly a trip say from New York to Miami and on to the tip of South America via a couple of stops on the way, get to her destination and after her rest period, she would be asked to deadhead to Alaska to pick a plane and fly to South Africa. Then to Amsterdam, to Tokyo, back to Miami....... it never ends. After millions and millions of miles, I guess she decided she didn't want to fly until she is the last person left flying. What she does not realize, is when you are retired, you never get a day off.

    For several years she out based in some interesting places around the world, among her favorites where Dubai, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Amsterdam etc. Amsterdam is where she met her husband. Anyway, she is done with travel and just purchased a home on a tropical island and enjoying her time off, being home, her Jack Daniels, piña coladas and long necks - until she decides what she wants to do next. I know and believe in her abilities, she is a very intelligent and capable person who  can do whatever she wants.

    I wonder who she sounds like or takes after? Except for I never drank. It sure takes a lot for someone, especially a female to give up being in the top 1% in her game.

    Jamile H. Faragallah with Mr. James Phillip “Jimmy” Hoffa, leader, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

    While with Atlas Air, she organized and represented Atlas and Polar Air pilots and joined the Union. Until that time, pilots were represented by Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The Crewmembers of Atlas voted ALPA out and voted in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

    In Aug 2011, Jamile organized for the women pilots at Atlas and Polar Air Cargo to attend the “Women’s Teamster Conference” in New York City. There were women from every imaginable teamster organization in the country. There were female police officers, bus drivers, truck drivers, correction officers and female pilots from other carriers also. Of the thousand Teamster women at the Conference, only Jamile’s group of six women was pilots. She is on a first name basis with Jimmy Hoffa Jr.

    More about this fire cracker another time. I am writing a story about her life which I will post in my next web page........the apple does not fall far from the tree.


    "Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
    and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
    wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
    Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
    and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
    "Up, up the long delirious burning blue
    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
    where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
    and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    put out my hand and touched the face of God."
     (Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.)

    "Man must rise above the Earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives". (Socrates - 470/469 – 399 BC)



    Gulfstream G-V G-550.One of my former offices. I Operated the G-V G-500 and G-V G-550 (mostly for bragging rights) for about four years. Flying into 40 countries in 90 days was my best record.

    There is an aviation gallery as well ("GALLERIES"). I was in aviation a good part of my life (1965 to 2010) and made friends with pilots all over the world. I know they enjoy airplane pictures. I did not fly all the different airplanes in the aviation gallery and not all the aircraft I operated are in there either. I included this gallery mainly because many of the airplanes I operated are now either retired in the Arizona and California deserts or displayed in museums around the world. I feel fortunate to have operated some first generation jets and a few of the last reciprocating engine classics.

    Experience can only be replaced with experience. 

    Lockheed Super Constellation "Connie" L-1049. I operated this type and model in Alaska among other airplanes.

    "Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit." (Brooks Atkinson - Nov. 28th 1894 – Jan. 14th 1984) 



    Phi Phi Island. 


    Sunset over Neil Island, Andaman Sea


    The islands, people and the Jarawa  
    The Andaman & Nicobar IslandsUnion Territory of India, Indian Ocean.

    Above images, the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. Union Territory of India..  

    Below, are images dating back to 1956, I use them to compare Addis Ababa today with yesteryear.

    Piazza a couple of years after we arrived in 1954.
    Diving on the left side and no traffic lights. The King George Bar was still there, so were Cinema Ethiopia, the bar next to it and the Electricity Building. It is not in the picture but so was Cinema Adua. Bar Centro and the record shop were not there, in fact, that entire low area across from Cinema Ethiopia was not built yet.
     Addis Ababa, Piazza in 1956

      Notice the traffic was still on the left side of the road and City Hall/TV/media center in the background was under construction.
     Addis Ababa's Piazza 1963. 

    Piazza (or Piassa) was Addis’s "downtown" even though it really was uptown. The Italian created it and meant for it to be downtown. The tradition continued until Addis exploded. Down town nowadays it seems is the Bole area, which did not exist until after the late 1980s; Maskal Square which came into existence in the late 1980s as well, Merkato which was always huge and overcrowded, Adua Square that really didn't take off until the mid 1970s, in any case, Addis is now a very chaotic place to say the least.

     In parts of Addis today, 2014
     This image was taken sometime between 1964 and 1969. They had switched driving to the right in 1964 and City Hall was completed in 1969.
    Piazza (Piassa) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Addis_Ababa_-_Piazza_-_The_New_City_Hall.jpgCity Hall houses the municipal government office of the city of Addis Anba and also used to house the government controlled TV/Media station.
     Addis today is a bustling metropolis and comes complete, crowded and dirty air, just like most urban centers around the world.

    Ethiopia switched over to driving on the right in 1964. I was there when that switch took place and was involved in a head on collision (I was not at fault). I saw the other vehicle, a taxi, moving over to my side of the road abruptly but could not react in time. This was before seat belts mind you. Since the other vehicle was a FIAT 600 taxi, with no hood or anything in front of the driver to absorb the impact or protect him, he wound up in the hospital. My Austin Mini Cooper was totaled but my sister Samira, who was with me at the time and I were saved from serious injuries. It is hard to imagine the United States of America once drove on the left, when we were British Colonies and gradually changed sides of the road beginning in 1792.

     "Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.” (Brian Jackman) 

    I spent a lot of time in the "bush" in Africa until I joined Shatto Safaris for a year before leaving Ethiopia in 1964.


    Africa, like nowhere else on the planet

    Nabil Bassilios Faragallah left and Michael Wayne Shatto
    People often mistook us for brothers and gave us one invitation to the same parties.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 11 June 1964

    I wrote a whole story about Shatto Safaris, Ted and Mike in "ABOUT ME".

    Mike W. Shatto was once the world's 1st - youngest licensed "White Hunter" (the term used in Africa back then). There are of course licensed black "White Hunters" (professional hunters now). He was also the world's best four wheel driver bar none, he still might be. He did things with the Land Rover the factory said could not be done. He can teach people a thing or two about four wheeling.

    Baro_River_Nile_Perch_Lates_niloticus_Western_Ethiopia.jpg Nuer_village_Ethiopia6.jpg
    Photos: Michael W. Shatto. 
    Left: Nile Perch. Right: Nuer men at an "altar".
     Shatto Safaris. Western Ethiopia 1960s.

    "There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday; no one became fat because he broke a fast." (Ethiopian proverb)

     Mike_climbing_Ras_Deshan_Simien_Mts..jpg Simien_Mts_The_Abyss_Ethiopia.jpg

    On_safari_the_road_Ethiopia.jpg Water_hole_Kenya.jpg
    Photos: Michael W. Shatto
    Mike was the first person to set foot on Mt. Ras Dejen in the Simian Mountains in Northern Ethiopia in 62 years. The Simian, its heights and Abysses.
    Driving the Land Rover in a dried river bed with two guys on the fender to keep the wheel on the ground. Back then, Ethiopia had less than 4,600 miles of all weather roads, less than what the UK had in the first century. And a Rhino and Cape buffalo at a waterhole. 


       “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” (Barry Finlay)



    African Elephants & Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background, Uhuru Point, 19,341' (5,895 m), the summit and the bottom image, some of its ice fields (at the summit). The mountain’s snow caps are diminishing, having lost more than 80 percent of their mass since 1912. The mountain may be completely ice free within the next 20 years due to Global Warming. Mt. Kilimanjaro's first ascent was in 1889. It is Africa's highest and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually. Approximately two-thirds are successful. Altitude-related problems is the most common reason climbers turn back.

    On_Safari_looking_for_game_Ethiopia.jpg On_Safari_Ethiopia.jpg

         On_Safari_stuck_for_three_days_and_three_nights._Ethiopia.jpg _On_Safari_Getting_to_finally_cross_the_Baro_River_Western_Ethiopia.jpg

                Africa._Ethiopia._Aunuak_girl_Western_Ethiopia2.JPG   Nuer_Chief_Western_Ethiopia.jpg          Photos: Michael W. Shatto.

    Shatto Safaris, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1960s-1980s


    Gino._The_SIMBA_of_Kenya_being_confronted_by_the_SIMBA_of_the_jungle._Rally_1965.jpgDriving hazards in East Africa.

    The East African Safari Rally with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background and Massai warriors.

    I taught at all levels of academia on three continents, returned to Norway in 1995 and started a college. 

    "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school". (Albert Einstein - Mar. 14th 1879-Apr. 18th 1955) 

    My California Community Colleges Teaching Credential, A Community College Instructor Credential.

    Subject matter area: Aeronautics and Anthropology as well as the Earth Sciences including Geography, Geology and Geophysics. This credential is valid for life.

    Nabil_-_Risy_ungdomskole_for_Sjmen._Norway_1960.jpgMe as student at Risøy Ungdomskole for Sjømen (seaman's School). Norway 1960-61.

    Students, faculty and staff. Me Sitting, front row third from right. Back as teacher and founder of the college. 
     Risøy Folkehøyskole, Gjeving Pr. Tvedestrand. Norway 1997/98

    A Nile cruise, one of several trips I took with a few of my Norwegian students; to Egypt (I am in back by the column). The two adults on the left in back are Norwegian and Egyptian guides. In Europe, people, students in general tend to travel much more than their counterparts in the U.S. I lead several groups to Egypt, East and West Europe, the U.S., several to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) and Geilo (Norway) skiing
    Luxor - Aswan trip, Egypt 1999-2000
    Above: the school, one view from the fifth floor and bridge in winter, all the water around  which freezes in the winter making it possible to ice skate around some of the islands and out onto the North Sea which also freezes over for several miles. There are 99 other islands around  Risøy,
     Risøy Island, Southern Norway.

     Gus by our home on Risøy Island.
    A nice place to live, visit, moore the boat or sail, row, camp, fish or ice skate. 
    Risoy, Summer and winter




    The_Monolith_Vigeland_Park_Oslo_Norway.jpg Heddal_Stavekirke_Norways_largest_wooden_church..jpg

    Above images are from around Norway.

    "In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson". (Tom Bodett - Born Feb. 23, 1955 - ) 

    I speak six languages, several dialects and a working knowledge in several more; Aramaic and several dialects and taught in English, Norwegian, French, Italian, and Arabic at one time. Not just academics; Anthropology and the Earth Sciences; Geography, Geology and Geophysics, Spatial AnalysisUrban Planning in the context of Geography (or the vacuous subject of Sociology); Historic Tension and Remote Sensing), but other subjects as well, including Aeronautics, flight and ground school Instruction, Sailing, Sky and S.C.U.B.A. diving, Celestial Navigation and Judo  to name a few. I needed to learn the language and terminology for each subject to teach it; at least it was for me. Every subject has its own language, terminology and definitions. 

    “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” (Rita Mae Brown - Born Nov. 28 1944 - )

    “Do you wish to speak in Provençal, French, or Latin? 
    They are all I can manage, I'm afraid."
    "Any will do," the rabbi replied in Provençal.
    "Splendid. Latin it is" said Pope Clement (
    May 26th 1478-Sep. 25th 1534).

    As a young boy and young adult growing up in Ethiopia, it was and still is very common to converse in and hear six or seven different languages during the course of the day and during mealtimes at the dinner table. 

    The city of Addis Ababa has as many as 80 nationalities speaking 80 languages, it is where I got my taste and start for languages. Over the years, I had taken languages and the fact so many were spoken at the same time in one place for granted. Until a friend of mine, a Harvard Professor, James M.B. Keyser was in Addis Ababa visiting me one time. Ten minutes into lunch at a friend’s house a few days after he arrived in Addis, suddenly, he stopped talking; he froze looking around the table as though he was a lost child. I asked him what the matter was; he said “In my entire life and my many travels, I have never heard so many different languages spoken in such a small area at the same time”. I said “welcome to Ethiopia”. I picked up several of my languages and dialects while living and travelling in Africa and Europe. Sometimes it is important to draw on the command of language and be silent; silence is loud and excruciating. “Speak only if it improves upon the silence,” I learned by my silence sometimes. 

    How I acquired my ability to learn languages is quite interesting in itself, perhaps even unusual and by accident for sure. Like most everything else in my life, I never set out to learn languages or do anything; things it seems always fell into my lap, languages was no different. They were a tool for me, something I needed for what I wanted to do. 

    Many dialects that are spoken around Ethiopia mostly belong to the Afro-Asiatic language of the Southwest Semitic group and related to Ge'ez, or Ethiopic. Cushitic, Omotic, Nilo-Saharan, Tigrinya, and Hermitic are among others that are spoken around Ethiopia. Several Scandinavian and other Indo-European languages, the most widely studied language family in the world are spoken in Norway.  

    Living in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Norway, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Italy, the U.S. and travelling the world certainly gave me the exposure and advantage few ever get. Being exposed to languages certainly helped. I saw opportunities and took advantage of them and glad I did.

    When did I have time for school? I didn’t, I was a 7th grade dropout.....if that, I chose instead to become a student of life and a citizen of the world - and made it. I made an appointment with destiny I intended to keep. I did return to school eventually and now hold a wealth of knowledge and more degrees than a thermometer. .

    “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.” (Socrates - 470/469 – 399 BC) 

    1965 Shelby Cobra 427 OD; 0-60 in 4.5 seconds (14.5 sec­onds to accelerate to 100 miles an hour and then stop again).
    You can tell a man is going through mid-life crises when he drives a cool car (or is it when he can afford one?), "The car I've always wanted". Spring, Texas 2014

     "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land". (Desmond Tutu) 

    “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”(H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie's speech at the League of Nations).

    H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie was born Ras Tafari Makonen, near Harar, Ethiopia on July 23 1892 (that's who the Rasta religion follows). Hamle 16, 1884 in the Ethiopian calendar. It was July 22 1892, but owing to the omission of a leap-year in 1900 Gregorian calendar, Hamale 16 corresponds with 23 July.

    I should point out; the following photographs of the imperial family were all taken by me. I did not get any off the Internet and as far as their publication I have only published them in my web page. I have more images which I will include at a later time when I write a complete story about Addis Ababa and its history. I also intend to include a story about Ethiopia and its history as well. Each will have a separate page.


    The late and last emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I (Jul. 23rd 1892 – Aug. 27th 1975) & the late Empress Menen Asfaw (Apr. 3rd 1891 – Feb. 15th 1962)
     Addis Ababa, Ethiopia C. 1961

    _My_dad_Judge_B_Faragallah_Ethiopia_19592.jpgMy dad and I at a social function with the late Emperor H.I.M. Haile Selassie I. This particular function was a reception, the opening of the Sudanese Club in Addis Ababa. The man standing next to the Emperor is Mr. Jemal Mohamed Ahmed who was the minster of foreign affair of Sudan. My dad is the one with the glasses by the curtain. The emperor is looking straight at me smiling.

     I took pictures of him at functions my dad attended on several occasions. 

     George_B._Faragallah_with_Emperor_Haile_Selassie_and_Marshal_Tito_Massawa_C1957-58_re-sized.jpgMy late brother, Dr. George B. Faragallah (far left), with the late Emperor, H.I.M. Haile Selassie I and the late Josip Bro aka Marshal Tito (May 7, 1892 - May 4, 1980). Marshal Tito is the former president of the former Yugoslavia.

    George was the Harbour Master in Massawa, Ethiopia (now Eritrea) in 1956-'59

    Photo: Wond Wosen "Mesfin" Mesfin
     H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia and Ras (Field Marshal) Mesfin Sileshi. 

    One evening in the summer of 2014 I was at Wond Wosen Mesfin’s home for dinner in Addis Ababa and noticed the above picture of his late dad with the late emperor and asked if I could have a copy made to include it in my web page as part of Ethiopia's history, he accommodate me. Wond is Mesfin's Sileshi's son. It is a rare image of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I with his closest and trusted friend Ras. Mesfin Sileshi  (Mesfin's dad) laughing and looking relaxed; I have seen him smile before but not this joyous laugh. 

    H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (July 23rd 1892 – August 27th 1975). His full title, "His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings and Elect of God". He is universally remembered as a kindly benefactor and depending on which book you read, who wrote it and for what purpose, he can be painted in a different light. I will let history judge him and what he did for Ethiopia and its people. 

    With him is Ras Mesfin Sileshi (July 5th 1905 - November 23rd 1974). The title "Ras" is equivalent to Field Marshal or Duke. 

    In a surprise purge by the ruling Derg (Amharic meaning “committee”), a leftist military junta which had formally overthrown Emperor Haile Selassie summarily executed (by the Derg firing squad) 60 officials, including Ras Mesfin, civil servants, decorated war veterans and elite army officers. November 23, 1974 will be remembered as “Bloody Saturday” in Ethiopia. I was there when that happened.

    I met both these gentlemen over the years, in the late fifties and early sixties. Mostly at functions my late dad attended. He was legal advisor to the throne. I took the photographs at those functions.

    Sorry, I regressed, back to talking about schools and my education. I know I never completed a single grade except for the three years I studied in Sudan (1957-'59) attending elementary school. I advanced grades over the years only because of who my dad was. It is true to this day, it is not what you know but who you know. 

    “For every person who wants to teach there are approximately thirty people who don’t want to learn much.” (W.C. Stellar)

    I attended 14 or 15 schools by the time I dropped out, 9 in Ethiopia alone (French, English, Greek, Italian, German, St. Joseph School and several government schools including Menelik and Tafari Makonen.

    I never graduated or completed high school. I had to stay enrolled in a school to be able to remain in the United States legally. I watched my class of 1965 and friends graduate from the sidelines, never was allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. I have since been invited to every reunion that class held since graduation and the big one coming up next summer for the 50th anniversary reunion. 

    I also never earned a GED, but somehow managed to stumble through life relying on my life experiences, languages and knowledge of the world.

    A GED is “The General Educational Development (GED) Test is designed for people who, for various reasons, did not graduate from high school but want a certificate equivalent to the traditional high school diploma”. 

    You can’t direct the wind but you can adjust the sails.

    I did return to school, a Jr. College in Moorpark (California) at age 25, carried 24 and 30 semester units and graduated a year later; some units I needed I satisfied with credit by exam. I graduated top of my class and received an Associate Degree (that and a dollar would get me a cup of coffee). I immediately transferred to the University of Calif. There, as an undergraduate student, I made the Dean’s List. To make the Dean’s list, one must earn a grade-point average of 3.75 or higher for the quarter, on a program of 12 or more letter-graded units. I carried 24 units, sometimes more and maintained a 4.0 average (the maximum or best grade one could achieve at the time), I was in a hurry.

    School was easy and very enjoyable for me when I returned. I had the desire to learn. If you have  that, nothing is ever difficult. I opened my own doors, teachers did not have to let me in, spoon feed or sit on me. They did provide me with the conditions to learn, the rest was up to me. I wanted to learn, “You cannot teach a crab to walk straight” (Aristophenes). Schools have to be careful, they can sometimes suffocate a child’s desire to learn, one reason learning becomes difficult for some.

    “Teachers should guide without dictating, and participate without dominating.” (C.B. Neblette)

    I remember the Dean of the Graduate Division at U.C.S.B., also a friend of many years telling me "Nabil, I know you're going to do well and get your degrees, even if you have to knock the door down", he was right, I powered through. It was easy once again for me to stay at the top of my class as a graduate student.

    I wanted Dean Collins on my committee until I realized he expected graduate students to do work, WORK? It is the curse of the drinking class; I abandoned the idea quick like and managed to get him off my committee without offending him.

    As a child in Bethlehem (Palestine) I enjoyed school. After I left elementary school there, it became a torment, torture and extremely difficult. My experiences were all bad after that, with schools, teachers, curriculum, and principals, especially Catholic and Coptic priests in private boarding schools in Egypt and Sudan.

    My worst experience ever was while attending The English School, also known as Sandford School in Addis Ababa. The principal was a Leslie David Casbon (British). He was a Masochistic, sadistic bastard. I endured the most pain and severe beatings from him, so severe; my mom would not recognize me when I got home.

    A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. (Theodore RooseveltOct. 27, 1858 - Jan. 6, 1919)

    Learning and education are paramount, make no mistake about it and wisdom is not wisdom when it is derived from books alone. Knowledge is flour but wisdom is bread.

    True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. (Socrates470/469 – 399 BC)

    After I dropped out of school, Jr. High, I did not just lay around, sleep in late or watch TV all day (there was no TV in Ethiopia at the time anyway) or gotten a menial job someplace but actually decided to see the world and left home.

    I was in a hurry, ready to knock doors down and see the world, learn, grow and become a better person.  

    When I left the first time, my final destination was Oslo, Norway. I had never been there, never heard of the place or even knew where it was on a map. I didn't speak the language, have much money or know anyone there. Somehow I knew I would make it. My dad always told me "if you were put in hell, you'll find a way to succeed. 

    I took a flight from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, Djibouti via Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and caught a ship, the M/S Toledo destined for Norway. 

    The M/S Toledo, Wilh. Wilhelmsen Lines, Norway. 1962

    The freighter was built by ERIKSBERGS MEK. VERKSTAD AB., GOTHENBURG/SWEDEN for Wilh. Wilhelmsen Lines, Norway. The hull was laid on Nov. 10th 1959, completed on January 26 1960. The ship was 525+ feet (160+ meters) long. July 16th 1979, it was sold to Nan Chiao Shipping Pte. Ltd. (Sin Chiao Shipping (Pte) Ltd)) Singapore and renamed "New Dolphin". On March 19th 1984 it arrived in Alang to be broken up by Rajesh Iron & Steel Works. Alang is the world's largest bone yard with respect to ship breaking; in the Indian sub-continent, in Gujarat, India. It oversees ship dismantling for almost 50% of the world’s vessels. The ship breaking operations-demolition on the M/S Toledo commenced in the graveyard on June 11th 1984. Today, after three decades, many questions have been raised about the conditions the workers face and especially child and labor laws and conditions at Alang. 

    The Wilhelmsen Lines was the world's largest shipping line until they broke it up after the Exxon Valdez accident to minimize their liability. 

    The ship left Djibouti for the southern tip of India, calling on Thiruvananthapuram, India, Colombo, Cylon (now Sri Lanka) and Madras in India (now Chennai, it changed its name in August of 1996, the same year Bombay changed its name to Mumbai). From there, we proceeded down the Bay of Bengal and Malacca Straight to Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta (also known as Tanjung Priok Port) in Indonesia. We continued to Darwin and around the entire continent of Australia. We then headed back up through the Suez to southern and western Europe where we called on several ports in Greece, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Germany and several others. I spent eleven days in Spain according to a letter I wrote my mom. I was introduced to lobster tails in Portugalete (Bilboa), on the North Sea coast of Spain. I like all of Spain very much, been to just about every place there that was my first major trip to faraway lands and the first of many.

    After stopping in Gibraltar, we continued around the Iberian Peninsula, to Lisbon, through the Bay of Biscay where I had a bad case of mal de mer the entire time (the bay is often very rough), up to Oslo. I arrived in Oslo sometime in August 1960 (I will have to research that more using letters to my mom and family, but close to that time). That trip, took over six months. 

    Photo: Daniel E. Morse, Professor Emeritus
    Aitutaki, Cook Is., Sept. 2014.

    Daniel E. Morse, Professor Emeritus, University of California Santa Barbara
    Fields: Plant & Animal Science, Biochemistry, Oncology
    Publications: 187 - Citations: 3,226
    Collaborated with 405 co-authors from 1980 to 2011 - Cited by
    6,482 authors.

    Dr. Morse received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Harvard, his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and conducted postdoctoral research in molecular genetics at Stanford University. He was the Silas Arnold Houghton Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty at UCSB. Honored by Scientific American as one of the top 50 technology innovators of 2006 for his development of bio-inspired, kinetically controlled routes to semiconductor thin films and nanoparticles, Morse was the 7th Kelly Lecturer in Materials and Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and the 3M Lecturer in Chemistry and Materials at the University of Vancouver. Elected a Fellow of the AAAS and the Smithsonian Institution, he received a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society, and honors as Visiting Professor of Bio-Nano-Electronics in Japan and as Visiting Professor at the University of Paris and universities in Singapore and the UK. His students have received international recognition and awards in numerous symposia and international research meetings.

    Dan has been a very near and dear friend since 1972. He is also my academic advisor and my son's mentor.

    While sitting out the hurricane season, I flew back to Hawai'i and operated light airplanes and gliders for Mr. Bill's Original Glider Rides. Dillingham Airfield, Oahu's North Shore, Waialua, Hawai'i. 1982. Enough sun while sailing....? You think?

    Taktsang "Tigers Nest" in Bhutan is one of ten most isolated places on the planet.

    The Monastery hangs precariously off the side of a 9,800 ft (3,000 meter) cliff in Paro Valley, in the Himalayas. Legend has it, Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha, arrived on the cliff on the back of a great tigress, before hopping off his unusual mount and toddling off to find a cave to meditate in; a cave that can now be found within the monastery walls. It was built in 1692, the monastery is a strictly practicing, Buddhist-only retreat and the only way to get there is by foot or mule.

    One of my favorite pass times, skydiving.

    USPA_Parachitist_Certificate._US_-_FAI_Class_D_Expert.jpg USPA_Certificate._Jump_Master_Rating.jpg USPA_Certificate._Instructor_Rating_US_-_FAI_14497.jpg
    "C", "D" (Expert) License, Master Rigger, Jump Master and Instructor Ratings. Several of my older skydiving certificates, I have them all, except for sissy jumps certificate (tandem). I am also a jump pilot.

    Free Fall, an airgasm and the most fun I have with my clothes on.

    Skydive_Being_stupid_-_BASE_jumping.JPG  Skydive_16-Way.JPG
    Being young and stupid, illegally base jumping (acronym for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth, now simply known as B.A.S.E) and closing in on a 16 way.
  • Gus_jinan.jpg
  • Jinan-Gus and Chrissy, Oak Ridge, Texas, U.S.A. May 2014

    MY MOM & DAD:

    I attribute much of my success in life to my late Christian mother and father and owe both plenty; for my accomplishments and extraordinary life. They gave me the foundation and moral compass I needed to make it in life (I never received a devastating left hook from my mom I did not deserve and never saw it coming). They supported and encouraged me to go places, see, do and accomplish great things. They trusted and allowed me to leave home when I was 14, with a few bucks (they financed everything) and their blessings; at a time when I think the world was a far less dangerous place than it is today.

    I thank God (not Allah) for everything I have now. What I got from my childhood weren’t many expensive toys or vehicles but memories. And happy memories are better than any toy. I am glad I am not a lover of hate, born in fear; those people never find release from tension. They spend their lives in a permanent state - Of miserable apprehension.

    They were not just great parents but the finest two human beings I have ever known and very proud to call my parents.

    Before letting me leave, they had me promise I would return to school (which I did); you see education was always a high priority with my family.

    "I could go into analysis for 20 years and not blame them for anything." (Tom Selleck)

    I was able to accomplish things I never thought I would; my mom and dad always had faith in me and as things turned out, they were right. I have a lot of that faith today in our children who will accomplish even greater things in the years to come, two already have.

    He was still living when I returned to school, received my Master's Degree and was enrolled in the Ph.D program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (U.C.S.B.). I had advanced to my C.Phil degree by the time of his death. "The University of California began offering the Candidate in Philosophy degree in the early seventies, but most campuses discontinued the practice before the end of that decade; however, it is still offered at some UC campuses, such as the University of California, Santa Barbara and San Diego, where it may be awarded within one year of advancing to candidacy" (Wikipedia).

    “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope John XXIII - Nov. 25, 1881 - Jun. 3, 1963)


    There are many landmarks within a square mile or two of the image above, especially for those of us who lived in Addis during the 1950s and ‘60s, especially prior to 1967.

    King_George_Bar_Piazza._Addis_Ababa_1950s.jpg Adis_Ababa___Piazza_Bank_of_Abyssinia_built_1905.jpg
    King George Bar (no longer there) and The Bank of Abyssinia Building built in 1905; Churchil Road. Addis Ababa 1950s.

    The iconic King George Bar pre 1964 (vehicles are still driving on the left). My brother Shawki met and married Thea who was the pastries Chef there. They remained married until his death in 2000. There was always a table with its chairs leaning against it reserved for my family here.

    The image on the right is of the Bank of Abyssinia building which was built in 1905 on top of Churchill Road. On the right side of the building down a few hundred feet was Ristorante Castelli. It opened in 1948 by the Castelli family after the war. Like very many Italians (and many other nationals) who were involved in the war, the Castelli's opted to remain in Addis Ababa when the war ended. I am sure, all had their reasons not to return to their respective countries, they may have been political, economical, personal reasons or the fact Ethiopia was a very desirable place to live. All those that stayed behind, most were not welcomed by Ethiopians at the time because of the recent occupation by the Italians, none the less they were very beneficial to the country and they themselves benefited.

    Facing this building, to the left and directly behind Castelli''s, was the Yugo-Ethiopian Company, a big department store even by today's standard. Other landmarks include Ho Chinese Restaurant, across the street under the bar next to Cinema Ethiopia. A few blocks from there is The Itegue (Taitu) Hotel.

    The Itegue Taitu Hotel was built in 1898 Ethiopian calendar (Julian calendar), 1907 Gregorian calendar by Empress Taitu Betul (1851-1918). She was the wife of Emperor Menelek II. Sad to say, the hotel burned down January 11th 2015. It was the oldest Hotel in Ethiopia.

    Bar Centro, across the street from Cinema Ethiopia low was next to the only record store and public restrooms in Ethiopia at the time. I used to enjoy sitting outdoors at Bar Centro to be able to listen to the latest music being played at the record shop.

    In the image, up a few steps across the street opposite Cinema Ethiopia, you can see Saba bookstore, a couple of doors to the right from G. Giannopoulos bookstore, the first and only bookstore for the longest time where one could purchase books and magazines in Ethiopia.

    The next street over passed De Gaulle Square was The Darmar Shoe outlet and across from that was (still there today) the original Commercial Bank of Ethiopia when it had just 45 employees; it now has over 18,800 and 550+ branches.

     Dad_Judge_B._Faragallah._Ethiopia_1960s.jpg Adua_Square_by_the_National_theatre__The_Lion_of_Judah._Addis_Ababa_mid-late_1960s.jpg
    Photo:  Zoe Smith
    On the left, my dad Judge B. Faragallah.
    Unity Square (Adua Square then). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1960

    In the right image is Mr. Arthur Bleasdale, same place. He worked for the UK's Meteorological Office as a scientific officer; a hydrologist. The image was taken while on a trip in March of 1961 that had taken him to Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya. He was on a fact finding mission to these countries and consulting the local governments on rainfall collection as a water supply for agriculture and homes and possibly for hydro electric power. He also visited an agricultural school in Jimma and a few other locations in the countryside.

    Nabil_-_Addis_Ababa_1955.jpg Addis_Ababa_-_Adua_Square_Unity_Square-_The_Lion_of_Judah_by_Beherawi_Theater.jpg
    Me in 1955 with the unfinished Beherawi Theatre - The National Theatre (Known then as The Haile Selassie I Theatre) behind me The Lion of Judah monument.
     Unity Square (Adua Square then) by the National Theatre.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1955 and 1961.

    The Lion monument and National theatre. 
    Addis Ababa - Adua Square (Unity Square now) 1965

    A better shot of the fountain and where it was before the present bar was built. 
    Addis Ababa, Adua square 1970s

    This is the same area today. Check out the high rise buildings in the background and the number of people on the street. I can point out several more things in the images but you get the idea. By the way, that tree has been around ever since I first got there.

    Another comparison for you, this is what it looks like today. Compare this and the next image down with the two images above.

    For the many of you out there who have not lived in Ethiopia or Italy and don't understand why there are "BARS' on every corner (there are hundreds of them all over town), bars are not "bars" in the same sense as they are in America or in most of Europe, but rather Cafés in the European Continental sense. A place where families and children go for pastries, sandwiches, coffees, cappuccinos, pizza and other delights. Yes, they serve alcohol at those "bars", but that is not their main purpose or attraction, coffee is.

    My late dad is in the left image above, Justice B. Faragallah, presiding Judge of Ethiopia and legal adviser to Emperor Haile Selassie 1st. Haile Selassie’s full title is  "His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings and Elect of God".

    Notice the large fountain behind where my dad is standing, (between the Lion of Judah monument and the National Theater). That large rectangular fountain had been filled in since to create room for the outdoors café that is now there.

    I date the image to the right to 1961. I came to that conclusion based on the image of me leaning against the 1953 FIAT 1100, it was taken in 1955. The same fence is in both images but different corners. In his picture, it is pretty beat up. I remember that fence falling apart about the end of 1960.  

    Before this small area was fenced in, it was a small open, uncared for field. I used to take my dog Hannibal there and play with it (I lived just a few hundred feet across the small alleyway in Palazzo Eritieri). The field was part of a Caltex gas station that sat on the opposite corner several hundred yards away, the field was fenced around 1956.

    Moustash_Seargent_Bekele._Addis_Ababa_1950s_on.jpg Moustash_Seargent_Bekele._Addis_Ababa_1950s_on_-2.jpg
    Another iconic figure around Addis was "Moustache", Police Sergeant Bekele.
    I hang out with his son Tilahun whenever I am in Addis, a great guy.

    Next door to The Commercial Bank in Piazza was and still is today Ethiopia's main flag carrier, Ethiopian Air Lines Inc. (EAL) office. EAL was established on April 8th 1946 with the purchase of five US Government surplus C-47's (DC-3s).

    ET-T-15_Ethiopia_Eddie_Coates.jpg Lideta_with_Samir_Nabil_and_Paul_C.1955-1958.jpg
    Left image: C-47 (DC-3), ET-T-15/ET-AAQ, first airplane EAL Inc. Operated commercially.
    Right image: Samir and I heading to Sudan, the third guy is Paul, a friend saying goodbye. Back when you were allowed on the ramp without a thousand back ground checks, clearances and badges.
    Lideta International Airport (HAAL) 1957.

    My late brother, mom and dad, William B. Faragallah, Jamile and  Judge B. Faragallah. Lideta International Airport Terminal. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1955

    Ethiopian Air Lines Inc. Convair CV-240
    Nairobi, Kenya 1960 

    Me getting off an Ethiopian Airlines Inc Convair CV-240 after arriving from Khartoum, Sudan.
    Lideta International Airport (HAAL). Addis Ababa 1959.

    Right image top is the first Convair CV-240, ET-T-20/ET-AAV "The Eagle of Ethiopia", Ethiopian Air Lines Inc. My late brother Samir and I leaving for Egypt. Paul is with us saying goodbye, back when one could get on the ramp or close to any commercial airplane on the ramp. I remember my brother Shawki getting onboard with us, buckling us in our seats, then disembarking. If you can get to the arrival or departure gate today without a ticket and passport, you are doing very well.

    The first CV-240 was purchased in 1950, the second in 1956. 

    The Convairs had JATO (jet-assisted take-off) since the runways at both Addis Ababa's Lideta Airport - Lideta Int. Airport (HAAL) and Asmara International Airport, HHAS (ASM) had short runways.

    Ethiopian Air Lines Inc. (EAL ) as it was called prior to 1965. I was a passenger on their first DC-3/C-47, call sign ET-AAQ in the mid-1950s and the Convair CV-240, call sign ET-T-20  and ET-AAV "The Eagle of Ethiopia", they had two. 

    Photo: Lars Borjesson

    I was a passenger on the Lockheed L-749 - ET-T-35 as well, while attending school in Khartoum, Sudan 1956 -'59. 
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Lideta Airport (HAAL) and London Airport.

    Nabil__Samir._Leaving_Lideta_Airport._A.A._1955.jpg Lideta_Laila_Samira_Samir_and_I_C._1957.jpg
    The main terminal at Lideta Airport (HAAL), now an army airport.
    left: Samir and I leaving for Cairo in 1955 - right: My sisters saying goodbye - Samir and I are leaving for Khartoum, Sudan 1955.
    Lideta International Airport (HAAL), 1957 and 1955

    From  an old postcard
    Boeing 7070-720 fan jet at the new Bole International Airport - HAAB (ADD). 
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1960

    Addis_Ababa_-_Bole_Intl._Airport_1960s.jpg Airports._Control__Towers._Boles_old_tower._Addis_Ababa_Ethiopia.JPG
    Bole International Airport Control Tower - HAAB (ADD). 
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1960s

    My final approach into Bole International Airport HAAB (ADD). This was the last evacuation flight I operated in Ethiopia, from Massawa Airport HHMA (MSW), (now Eritrea) to Addis.
    Bole had just one runway and no taxiway yet. 1975

    The ramp, Bole International Airport.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Ethiopian Airlines 707 (ET-ACQ), 

    Ethiopian Air Lines Inc. (EAL) was a joint venture with the American airline, TWA (Trans World Airlines) who set them up. EAL Inc. changed its name in 1965. When they started, they operated out of Lideta Airport (HAAL) built by the Italians in 1936 during their brief occupation. EAL used the C-47s (DC-3s) and later Convairs 240. By 1953, three quarters of the airline’s staff were now Ethiopian but expatriates still held most key posts, especially the pilots. The Ethiopian government negotiated and a new agreement with TWA with the ultimate aim of operating entirely with Ethiopian personnel was reached. 

    The company eventually changed its legal status from a corporation to a share company. At the same time the name was also changed from Ethiopian Air Lines Inc. to Ethiopian Airlines.

    One of the ticket offices is located in De Gaulle Square, across the street from the Electricity Building, home to "ModaNova" clothing store in Piazza where it has been since 1954.

    Ethiopian Airlines and the Electricity Building (was home to "Modanova" a European fashionable clothing store). Both structures were built by the Italians during their brief occupation between 1936 and 1941.
    Addis Ababa - Piazza - De Gualle Square (more like a suicide traffic circle). C. 1967.

    Other landmarks not in the image include Cinema Adua, Cinema Empire, The U.S.I.S. (U.S. Information Service propaganda office); up the street from there was the best Italian pizzeria in the world, across from them was the world's best Italian bakery. Ristorante Castelli was on top of Churchill Road, back when old man Castelli was still alive. He cared about quality, detail, service and people. His son, the present owner is a jerk and the place is not what it used to be. There are several other landmarks within the immediate area, most of these establishments have since been long gone.

    Piazza (or Piassa as Ethiopians say it) - the Ahronee Store on the right.
    Addis Ababa - 1960

    I knew Niso Ahronne reasonably well but didn't know much about his background, I never cared enough to ask. I am not even sure where he and his family came from or what their nationality was which was unusual in those days (not to know what nationality someone was). Someone once mentioned to me, they emigrated from Yemen. I don't know and I don't care, I always liked Niso, he also had two beautiful and kind sisters who I liked a lot.

    I have been to several of their parties at their home over time; the house was by the Sandford Bridge on the old road going towards the British embassy and Asmara, also before going up to the English School.

    One of my biggest treats knowing Niso was looking forward to riding on his scooter. I don’t remember if it was a Lambreta or Vespa. I think it was a Vespa, he let me ride once and I remember whenever I went around a corner, the scooter wobbled. The engine was on one side in the rear (I was not use to tit).

    I hear he is still happily married to Alan Blanc's daughter and living in San Diego, California. He is a jeweler I understand. I never contacted him even when I am in San Diego. I knew this because I was in contact with Alan, his father-in-law who also lives in San Diego, at the time, four years ago, Alan was in poor health. 

    I contact very few pwoplw from Ethiopia today, new acquaintances I met since giving up my residency there in 1964 and again in 1975-'76. All the folks from Ethiopia I hear from are folks who contact me through the web page (I heard from many over the years). The only person I am in regular contact with from the old days is Gerard Valentine; he lives in Paris. I have always liked him, his dad taught me to play chess and his mom was very kind to me as well. 

    Cinema Empire, Piazza. Addis Ababa C. 1964

    Piazza or Piassa was and probably still is Addis Ababa’s center, the old downtown though it is up town. You can see remanence of Italy’s brief occupation between 1936 and 1941. The city is on its way to becoming the historic part of Addis Ababa, an Italian legacy. There are other historic buildings that pre-date the Italians in piazza; a four story building which is still standing was Ethiopia’s highest structure until 1939.

    The word Piazza, dates back to the 1580s "public square in an Italian town" from Latin platea "courtyard, broad street" as well as Greek.  It was mistakenly applied in English in the 1640s to the colonnade of Covent Garden, designed by Inigo Jones, rather than to the marketplace itself; hence "the verandah of a house" (1724, chiefly American English).

    Piazza today is a functional old Italian city in Ethiopia with patisserie shops, restaurants, coffee houses, cinema halls, playhouse (National Theatre), the very first Ethiopian Hotel (Itegue Hotel), silver and gold smiths (Teclu Desta), historical Ethiopian, Greek and Armenian Orthodox churches, old schools, impressive stairs, historic old bank and post office.

    Addis Ababa - Piazza (also Piassa) and De Gaulle Square. The Ethiopian Airlines office building, the bank building next to it and the very large Electricity building on the right were all built by the Italians between 1936 and 1941.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1980s

    A few hundred yards from De Gaulle Square in Piazza, going towards Makonen Bridge, Saba Derega (70 steps) and the new Arat Kilo, (the original Arat Kilo is by the old Gibe, Menelek's palace, where you drive down to go to the Sheraton Hotel today). On the right is the Ahronne textile store (you can see the vertical Ahronee sign in the image). The store was across from Cinema Empire, in-between Zodiac and Avakian.

    Next to the cinema was a good and only flower shop in Addis at the time. My dad used to get his freshly cut flowers from the prisoners at Akaki prison, but that’s another story.

    Above is Ras Ayalew Biru's house, a stone masonry-timber building with “knee-braces” and double arches on the door way. The house is currently used as a Museum. Ras Biru (1892 - May 1945) was one of the feudal Chiefs during the time of Lij Iyasu and Ras Teferi. Haile Selassie was born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael. He was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. 
    Piazza, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    A 5-storey timber and mud building was the first high rise building in Ethiopia until Italy's arrival in 1936.
    Addis Ababa 1967

    Arat Kilo - Freedom Monument - Miazia 27
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Everyone always referred to this corner of town as Arat Kilo, but the monument itself is of some significance, commemoration. Its official name is Freedom Monument - Miazia 27.  The 15-meter monument symbolizes the obelisks of Axum and is supported by pillars with six entrances. The monument is located on the intersection of Adwa, Queen Elizabeth and Development through Cooperation avenues at Arat Kilo.

    Miazia 27 is the day Ethiopia achieved its victory over Fascist Italy in 1941 and was liberated. On this day, Emperor Haile Selassie marched into Addis Ababa accompanied by his patriots. It is also the place marking where Emperor Haile Selassie inaugurated the Freedom Monument in 1944.

    This square was the focus of Victory Day celebrations held on May 5th (Meyazia 27) every year when the Emperor would lay a wreath here following his attendance Mass at Meskia Hazunan Medhane Alem Church (Church of the Savior of the World, Consoler of the Grieved), a church my dad attended. 

    The Derg regime changed the date of Victory Day to the day that General Cunningham and his British, South African and Nigerian Troops actually entered the city. The post Derg government in Ethiopia has restored Victory Day to its original date.

    The Parliament building.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia C. 1964-65

    Another Landmark, Abune Petros monument.
    Addis Ababa, 1964

    War doesn't determine who's right. War determines who's left.

    Just West of Addis Ababa's City Hall, down the hill on the main road to the district of Merkato is Abune Petros Square where there is a rather imposing statue of the Bishop.

    Abune Petros was an Ethiopian Orthodox Bishop of Wello province who the Italians executed. The late Emperor had the statue erected in memory of the Bishop upon his being restored to the throne. The spot of Abune Petro’s execution is on a corner near the statue marked by a slab of stone.

    This Ethiopian Orthodox church archbishop was also one who supported the national patriots who fought against the fascist Italian invaders. The fascist leaders unsuccessfully tried to persuade Abune Petros to preach and convince the Ethiopian people to accept their leadership. The Archbishop’s counter actions; courage defying and agitating the fascists caused him to face a firing squad.

    Abune Petros, instead of abiding by what the Italians wanted, told everyone not to surrender to the Italians and if they did, not only would the faithful be excommunicated but their land itself would also be confiscated.

    The monument describing the action is seen within the street and square under his name just below the City Hall to the west. The original statue with full bishopric robe, a cross and a bible in his hands was replaced by the present one which indicates the action of his murder with guns with chained hands. The first statue is today found in the premises of St. George Cathedral in front of the bell tower where there is a small museum.

    Addis_Ababa_-_Piazza_-_Sidist_Kilo_-__1950s-60s.jpg Addis_Ababa_-_Piazza_-_Menelek_II_-_C._1950s-60s.jpg
    Left image: Yekatit - Martyrs’ Monument, Sidist Kilo.
    Right: Statue of Emperor Menelik II in front of St. George Cathedral (Genete Tsige Menagesha Kidus Giorgis) a little north of Piazza.

    St. George Cathedral; Genete Tsige Menagesha Kidus Giorgis.
    A little north of Piazza, St. Square. Addis Ababa early 1960s

    The Yekatit 12 Martyrs Monument (left) is located in the Sidist Kilo Square. It was a gift to Ethiopia by President Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia who was a guerrilla army leader that fought against his country's occupation. Marshal Tito and Emperor Haile Sealassie were good personal friends, often visiting one another in their respective countries. Tito on several occasions went on safari with the Emperor in Ethiopia.  

    The monument was inaugurated in February 1942 in memory of Addis Ababa’s citizens. It is meant to tell the world and remind Ethiopians of their history, of how thousands of innocent Ethiopians were killed in the massacre by Italy’s Fascist Government’s under the command of Viceroy Graziani in 1937.

    The attempt on the life of Graziani by two Ethiopians in February 1937 provoked the Italian to unleash a three-day reign of terror during which thousands of innocent Ethiopian citizens were killed. The entire horror and inhumane act befallen on the citizens of Addis Ababa is depicted in bas-relief on the 28-Meter of the monument made by two Yugoslavia architects, Agostinchi Anto and Curcinich Fran. 

    The figures were originally narrated by bronze lettering carved on open-book like stones on four directions around the obelisk, they since disappeared due to pollution and neglect.

    In Menelik II Square is this equestrian statue of Emperor Menelik II, a hero of battle at Adaua. The statue was erected by the late Emperor Haile Selassie in memory of his predecessor. It was dedicated on the day before Haile Selassie’s coronation in 1930,.

    The square is located outside the main gates of St. George Cathedral (Genete Tsige Menagesha Kidus Giorgis) close to Piazza and City Hall. Every year, on the anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Adaua, the Emperor would lay a wreath at this statue after attending mass at St. George Cathedral (the victory had occurred on St. George's Day). Col. Mengistu continued laying a wreath here on the anniversary, but did not attend the church services as his regime was Marxist.

    The Trinity Cathedral is located at Arat Kilo.

    The Menelik Mausoleum was built in 1941 to serve as the tombs of Ethiopian emperors and princes. The Trinity Cathedral is located at Arat Kilo; it was built to commemorate Ethiopia’s liberation from of Italian occupation.

    More recent history for you; Adua Square pre-1967.

    This shot was taken from the then useless and never used hospital on a hill behind the new Commercial Bank of Ethiopia building. The bank itself was founded in 1943. The high rise from which this shot was taken was not yet completed. The current main bank branch was built in 1963.

    In 1954 Ethiopia; the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia with government approval issued its own currency, until that time, Ethiopia used the Maria Theresa thaler.

    The first president of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia was an American, a George Blowers (perhaps that is why the currency then was the Ethiopian dollar). The United States also provided the silver for the minting of the Ethiopian silver half dollar coin.

    The above photograph is of particular interest for me because our home appears in the image (the big two story building "Palazzo Eritieri", catty-corner to Ethiopia Hotel which was not there when we arrived in 1954. The building, like many other large buildings, was built during Italy's brief occupation of Ethiopia, 1936-41.

    The same building today, June 2014.

    Aldo, Ada and daughter Silvana Ugolotti were our neighbors; Aldo designed and built the pool complex at the Ghion Hotel.

    The Olympic size, mineral water swimming pool at the Ghion Hotel  - designed and built by Aldo Ugolotti.
     Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    The famous "Cillia's Bar", Marcotti Grocery store, Alem's pharmacy where on the ground floor. Where Marcotti's used to be is now (2015) Shi Solomon Hailu Super Market. I understand he sells the best meat in town. Where the pharmacy used to be is now another bar.

    Ilario's barber shop where we had our hair cut was next door to Cillia's. The former barber shop is now a jewelry store. Ilario's spouse for the longest time owned and ran a pension where the Ugolotti's used to live; she also took over the apartment next to them on that floor, eventually taking over our apartment as well.

    You can clearly see the stadium in the not so far distance, The Ministry of War (the L shaped building) also built by the Italians during their brief occupation. The Ministry has changed names several times since 1954.

    Slightly out of the frame, is the Haile Selassie 1st Theatre, now  called the National Theatre (completed many years after we got to Addis). Next to it in one of the shops was Roberto Santilli's Bar, his dad owned it until his death in 1958 or '59.


    Same spot, roof of our home 51 years later in 2015.

    The Ras Hotel, Addis Ababa 1955
    My siblings on the roof of our home in Addis Ababa in 1955. In the background is the uncompleted theatre the Italians started building. Next to it is the Ras Hotel and another old Italian building (there was no shell gas station (now Libya Oil) next to it yet). After that, the Cathedral and at the end of Churchill Road, La Gare, the railway station.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia C. 1956

    Addis_Ababa_-_La_gare._The_official_Station_clock.jpg Addis_Ababa_-_La_gare_circle_and_Lion_of_Judah.jpg
    The official clock at La Gare, the Railway station in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    This other Lion of Judah statue is in La Gare’s (the train station) square. The golden colored statue is decorated with relief portraits of Emperors Menelik II, Haile Selassie I, Empress Zewditu and as Ras Makonnen.

    It was erected in 1930 just before Haile Selassie’s coronation. During Italy’s occupation, the statue was looted, taken to Rome and erected next to Vittorio Emanuelle’s Monument where it stayed for several decades and finally it was returned to Ethiopia in the 1960s sometime. 

    Then comes Ras Hotel, Photolite, the Cathedral, a Caltex station on the left and a Shell gas stations on the right, at the end of Churchill Road is La Gare (Buffet de La Gare was always one of the finer places to eat in Addis), the Rail Road Station which connected Addis Ababa with Dire Dawa, Ethiopia ending in Djibouti, Djibouti. It has not been operational for many, many years, a whole new Rail way system is being built in Ethiopia now by the Chinese. The will benefit from the dam being built now and will be completed this year.

    La gare, The Railway Station between Addis Ababa and Djibouti. 1976

    Ever since the French poet Arthur Rimbaud became a trader in the Eastern city of Harar, Ethiopia has captured the imagination of the French people as an exotic land boasting a millenary culture. Towards the end of the 19th century, precisely at the time Rimbaud was in Ethiopia, a number of French commercial explorers came to establish trading links with Menelik II, who was the then king of Shoa before becoming emperor of a greater Ethiopia. Menelik II is remembered as the Emperor who modernized Ethiopia and saved it from the threat of colonization. He famously rebuked the Italians at the historical battle of Adwa in Tigray in 1896.

    Menelek IIImage taken from page 26 of 'The Wars of the 'Nineties.  A history of the warfare of the last ten years of the nineteenth century


    La Gare Railway Station when it was up and running, Addis Ababa 1960s

    The different classes on the trains back when.

    He was also the one who gave the French the concession to build the legendary train line between the port of Djibouti which was then French Somaliland and the new capital of his new kingdom, Addis Abeba. The modern line was to replace the six-week mule trek linking the high Abyssinian plateaus to the sea and therefore to the rest of the world. It took twenty years to build the 488 Miles (785 kilometers) line, with construction starting in 1897.  A number of conflicting interests impeded the work to go ahead as fast as planned. Part of the traditional nobility disagreed with it and demonstrated against it. The British legation in Addis did not approve it either as they feared a reduction in traffic to the port of Zeila in British Somaliland. At that time, Somalia was divided between French Somaliland (Djibouti since 1977), British Somaliland, Galla Land (belonging to Ethiopia) and Italian Somaliland further south around Mogadishu. As World War I ended and a new world emerged from it, a satisfactory agreement was reached and trains began to run on the line. The railway was operated by the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer Ethiopiens, which later became the Ethio-Djibouti railways. The main train station in Addis, still called La Gare and still a landmark in the city centre, was designed by French architect Paul Barrias according to the French style of the time, and inaugurated in 1929.


    For decades the railway was a life line in the country, enabling goods to move to and from the capital. Many traders took the train on a regular basis, forming friendships along the way. However, a few years ago the line had to be closed down as the track had deteriorated and become too rudimentary.  The asphalt road, running parallel to the track, was used instead for the transport of goods. Luckily, the epic journey was well captured in a documentary by Samson Giorgis, an Ethiopian national who had lived in France for ten years and decided to use the train from Djibouti when returning to his home town of Addis: “The Djibouto-Ethiopian: stories of a return.”

    Today, the line is undergoing a massive renovation program to increase the capacity of the track. A new longer network with a wider gauge is being built by a Chinese company, and funded by a Chinese Bank. The European Union also provided a 50 million grant towards it.



    Mexico Square, right there on the corner was another landmark bar.

    This image of Mexico Square is taken from a high rise on Ras Lulseged Street, not too far from Orbis, the official appointed Mercedes Benz distributors in Addis Ababa. If one were to continue, it is a back way to the Markato.

    The road going straight - down, leads to Casa Populare, Genet Hotel and I think the Akaki prison.

    To the right of the square, was the Technical School, continuing passed the Russian Hospital, Mosvold, the building College, the High Court Building, passed the bridge up the hill to Princess Tsehai Memorial Hospital which was built in late January 1946. It is now the army or police hospital? I know the army hospital was passed the German embassy, closer to the Italian embassy. A little further along, passed the second entrance to the hospital is Lideta airport, now the army airport, on towards the leprosy hospital and towards Sabata.

    Around the area of Mexico Square is also rich with land marks. The Wabi Shebele hotel, Lombardia pension which had rooms for long term rent and one the finer places to eat around town. My office I shared with Ugo Boattini when I flew for him was in that building, a few doors down from the hotel.

    The road leading down from Mexico Square down to The Genet Hotel etc.

    Seferian V.W Dealership down from where Lombardia Pension- Shebelle Hotel before coming to Mexico Square. Going towards Casa Populare, Genet Hotel and Akaki Prison.
    Addis Ababa 19604

    Princess Tsehai Memorial Hospital built in late January 1946.

    Today Addis is nothing like the Addis I knew growing up or known through the seventies. The city now is divided into ten boroughs, known as sub cities and then further divided into wards (kebeles), all these places were simply ADDIS to me.

    Suburbs today include Shiro Meda and Entoto in the north, Urael and Bole (home to Bole International Airport) in the east, Nifas Silk in the south-east, Mekanisa in the south, and Keraniyo and Kolfe in the west. Many of the wealthiest people live in the southeast (Bole), southwest (old airport), CMC, Ayat and Lamberet parts of town.

    I have several hundred images of Ethiopia, in particular of Addis and all the surrounding areas from this time period. I cannot fit all of them here, now. I intend to write a short history, a photographic narrative about my years in Ethiopia over the years starting with our arrival until today. I will include many more images then.

    I will write a little something about my days flying in Eritrea, about some friends I met there, the islands, Asmara, Art Deco architecture etc. 


    Luciano Perino, Emma Bini and Philippe Leroy, Europe's and one of the world's most prolific actors.

    Emma Bini on the beach.
    The same place, same lady appeared on an ETO (Ethiopian Tourist Organization) poster except Emma had her top on.
    Mojeidi Island, Eritrea 1975

    Me with Philippe Leroy, and Ellena on Mojeidi Island, Eritrea
    Above images: The Dahlac Archipelago. An island group located in the Red Sea near Massawa, Eritrea. It consists of two large and 124 small islands.
    Sailing off the Red Sea Coast. Adulis Bay, Massawa & Assab, Eritrea. 

    Mojeidi Island, Dahlac Archipelago, Eritrea 1974. 


    I am entitled to a pension and free health care in Norway today if I were to live there. I choose instead to pay for my own health insurance and care and forego all benefits. We want to live and raise our children in America among Americans and already very glad we are doing that and have no regrets. Our children already had and will have many more opportunities in America than if they remained in Norway; they can always visit there whenever they want. Unlike the United States, even though they were both born in Norway, they are not entitled to dual citizenship, therefore are not Norwegian citizens.

    Both our boys are doing exceptionally well here, in school and with their social life. They will grow up to contribute to their communities and society; there is no question in my mind. They are among the brightest, politest people I have ever known, at any age. 

    “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”  (Voltaire)

    Norway is about 20 years behind the U.S. in health care. Every diagnoses, procedure or surgery that was done on me there was wrong or botched horribly. The two eye surgeries I had done there will cost me thousands of dollars every month for the rest of my life. I would get those eye drops free in Norway today had I stayed there. It is not worth it for me or to my family. I do get some whenever I visit. I came to the U.S. from Norway for my medical care. Free is not always good. 

    Skarstad, Norway

     Ålesund, known for its architecture in Art Nouveau style, its surrounding fjords and the high peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps. Norway
    Geirangerfjorden fjord. Sunnmøre region, Møre and Romsdal county, Norway. It is a beautiful country. 

    Norway has one of the highest price levels for personal goods and services in the world; the cost of food is a whopping 47% higher than Europe's average. The average personal income tax is 41.7%. If anyone is to have a second job, regardless of what it paid, their personal income tax bracket automatically becomes 65% (probably more now). Norway's income Tax Rate is as follows (%); Capital Gains Tax Rate 28.0, Net Worth rate 1.1; Inheritance and Gift Tax Rate 30.0. You are also taxed on income earned overseas investments, such as property rental, capital gains or anything else. If you get a third job in Norway, you are taxed even more. You are always punished for trying to get ahead, you never do.

    The_RA_II_Oslo_Museum1.jpg Vigeland_Park_the_monolith_Oslo_Norway.JPG
    The RA, Thor Heyerdahl's raft/boat; Kon-Tiki Museum & Gustav Vigeland's sculptures; Frogner Park. Oslo, Norway.

    The U.N. ranks the country as the world’s most desirable place to live and lists Norwegians as having the best living standard in the world, together with Australia and Iceland; the country is one of very few in the world that is debt free. Over twenty years ago, they had already invested the next generation's money (from oil). 

    Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has grown so much that it makes every Norwegian citizen a “theoretical” millionaire. The country reached the milestone thanks to increases in oil and gases prices during 2013.

    While the rest of Europe remains mired in financial crisis, Norway has quietly been amassing a huge fortune which reached 5.11 trillion crowns (US$828 billion), according to figures from the country’s central bank - Norges Bank.

    The new figure is over a million times Norway’s population which totaled 5,096,300 in the third quarter of 2013. The surplus revenue from Norway’s oil and gas investments around the world is collected in the Government Pension Fund Global.

    The fund ballooned in 2013, raking in a total of 288 billion crowns (US$46 billion) from around the world. Norwegian Finance Minister Siv Jensen told Reuters the fund helps protect Norway from volatile fluctuations on the oil and gas market." (Reuters)

    The country also has one of the highest standards of living and the highest cost of living in the world. Try US$10 for a gallon of regular gas (used to be $12), US$11 for a glass of beer at a self serve pub, a bottle of beer is US$17, a pint of local bear is US$25 (I never drank by the way). A regular pizza is US$22; Fajitas are $50 a piece (I make far better ones for far less) and the most expensive McDonald's in the world where you'll pay US$23 for a single meal of Big Mac, soda and fries. A slice of bacon was US$1.50 (with the skin still on. Ever tried chewing bacon with skin still on?). Sales Tax is 25%/18% on food, yet, the people don't complain, they are taken care of and are used to it.

    There are too many social programs to support, most food and machinery are imported, hence the high cost of living and taxes. They have a think tank always finding ways to tax people more. I had to pay a "noise tax" on a toy airplane I purchased for my son; it made some sound while taxiing. They have a tax for noise winter tires with nails emit and of course it is against the law to drive on summer tires during the winter. Is that creative or what?  Check these facts about Norway, written by a Norwegian.

    “The health care bill is nothing about health care- it's about controlling the people.” (David Lincoln) 

    The Government of Norway is reinventing communism and trying to sneak it in the back door. It is a cult.........of sorts “give us all your worldly possessions and all your money and we will take care of you” and takes care of you they will and do, very well, no denying that. They even prepare your annual income tax returns, for you and for everyone in the entire country (over 1 million of Norway's residents today are immigrants called "blacks" by locals, which is the same as using the "N" word in America). All that remains is for you to sign the completed the tax forms and mail them in; they never make mistakes.

    When our children were born (in Arendal, Norway), we had to submit each child's name to the government for approval before a birth certificate could be issued. They approved one name but not the other. One of my sons was nameless for six months until the U.S. embassy in Oslo straightened out the mess on their passports and Social Security cards, the birth certificate remained Norwegian. Imagine that, asking the government permission and approval to name your child. In Norway also, if one changes residence address, unlike in America where you fill out a change of address card at the local Post Office, there, you have to register with the government office or the post office will not accept the address change or deliver your mail.

    The government has complete access to every computer in the country. They know everything about everyone down to your shoe size, its value; the value of your vehicle, property, home, furniture, your salary and annual raises, what is in your checking and savings accounts, how much insurance you carry and for what, what you owe and so on; you get my drift. They know everything about its citizens.

    The only time in my entire life I was ever called "Nigger", was in Norway in 1960. Some drunk came up and said to me "Hey Nigger, the best thing you can do is go back to your ship". I was sitting on the steps of the Nationaltheatret (The National Theater on Karl Johans gate, the main street of Oslo by the main harbor. The theater is considered the home for Ibsen's plays). I got up and left. 

    Looks like a store in the former U.S.S.R. (for those who forgot, it means Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly called Soviet Union or Russia, it was a Marxist–Leninist state.)

    The Vinmonopolet (wine monopoly, government liquor store), Norway.

    The government also gets a share of every McDonald's or other business that start in Norway, I think about 30%, not sure about this one. There are no privately owned liquor stores as we know them in America only "Vinmonopolet" stores as they are called, owned by the government since 1939 (wine monopoly stores, they don't try to hide the fact they have a monopoly). It is the only store-institution with the authority to sell alcohol above 4.75 % Vol. to end-consumers. The government has 242 stores covering all Norway. They only sell wines and alcohol in its owned stores and the organization does not use any agent stores; they want all the profits and taxes from all the sales "Greed will find a way". 

    McDonald's, Bergen Norway

    On a positive note, when a child is born in Norway, back 19 years ago at least, the government gives each child US$5,000 cash (probably more now), free health checkups every month (by a nurse practitioner) and US$300 a month until they turn 18. This money is for baby stuff; cribs, clothes etc. medicine and Taxi transportation to and from Dr's. offices are free as well (that came in real handy for me during the winter. I let those with more experience driving on ice do the driving).

    A few of the things I learned living in Norway that stick in my mind to this day are: “that is not allowed, you must be punished and you must pay”. There are no rewards in Norway. When I tried suggesting and introducing rewarding students at the college I started to my boss, I was asked to appear in front of the governing board to explain this alien concept to them; they flat out rejected the idea telling me “only animals get rewarded”.

    They have something else we don't have in the U.S. During the month of December, you only have to pay half your income tax for that month and during summer, you are exempt from paying taxes on an entire month, which is you summer vacation money. July is usually the holiday month since it is the summer's best month (I have seen it snow in late May). Pretty much most all of Europe shuts down during the summer; they take their holidays very seriously.

    And here is something some of you will find appealing, at least interesting. I had to have an MRI done on my back and with just three machines in the entire country at that time; I was forcibly put on sick leave which turned out to be more than a year of waiting. I didn’t want that but I had no choice. During that period, the government paid my employer my full salary, which paid me my full salary on time as always. The board then hired my spouse, for less money than what they were paying me; she replaced me and got paid by my employer, they saved money and problem solved. When I returned to work, they offered me to work 10% without any loss of pay, I declined and finally quit, I wanted to work full time.

    As a rule, the employer is obliged to pay sick pay for the first 16 calendar days (employer's period). After that, the Norwegian Government office, NAV takes over the responsibility. NAV was originally an acronym for Ny arbeids-og velferdsforvalting (New Labor and Welfare Administration) but is now seen as a word. 

    As an employee, you are entitled to self-declared sick leave, i.e. to notify your employer that you are unable to work due to illness without having to present a medical certificate. The main rule is that self-declared sick leave can be used for up to three work days at a time. For more than that,  you must present a medical certificate from a doctor. Self-declared sick leave can be used four times in the course of a 12-month period. You must have been employed for at least two months to be entitled to take self-certified sick leave. 

    If you are sick longer than the time allowed by the self-declaration, you must get in touch with your doctor in order to get a medical certificate. If the doctor regards sick leave necessary, he/she will issue a medical certificate for the required period. The doctor will also assess whether full sick leave (100 per cent) is required, or whether you are able to perform some of your work and only need partial sick leave. For example you may be on 50 per cent sick leave and work 50 per cent of the time. The employer will adjust your duties and follow up while you are on sick leave. Active sick leave or other measures from NAV may be considered. You still would collect your 100% pay, even if you only worked 10% but you still must have a doctor's note.

    Sick leave money is a 50 year old “reform”; I call it a tradition in Norway. Not something lavish Norwegians have given themselves just because they found oil. There is mostly a drastic increase of misuse and fraud by -mostly the one million plus immigrants that now reside in Norway.  Immigrants are also the largest “consumers” of all of Norway’s welfare reforms ranging from sick leave money (sykepenger), unemployment benefits (dagpenger), support for single parents (overgangsstønad), sick pension (uføretrygd) and so on so forth. This fact has been presented in report after report from SSB (statistics Norway) and NAV. 

    Let's face it, like the United States, though not quite as rich monetarily, the immigrants there, like the U.S. use up most of the resources, the difference being, there are over 14 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. that don't contribute to the system.

    Immigrants and refugees don’t go to Norway for political asylum but for economic reasons. Many of them shop around Europe to find the best welfare system that best suits them and after getting kicked out of other countries. This overuse, misuse and abuse of Norway’s welfare system are the focal point of the voters in the coming elections in Norway. 

    I lived in a refugee camp with mostly Croatian and Iraqi refugees for a month (I was alone in Norway at the time and wanted to know about them). I was fascinated by their stories, how they were smuggled through the mountains in Turkey, into Greece, working their way country to country, how they forged their documents and smuggled money and extra children in. They file they were married back home when they were not. After establishing residency, they fly home choose and bring back a wife. The stories I heard were something Ian Fleming would write about. By the time immigrants make it into Norway; they are very savvy, they knew how to work the system. I ate better in the camp than I did in my own home, loved their stories.....and food. 

    Unemployment benefits in Norway are for three years, receiving up to 80 % of your pay and that can be extended after the three years.

    Wasn’t it the British rock band Dire Straits, that coined the phrase "money for nothin and chicks for free"? Welcome to Norway. 

    The prominent Senterparti-politician Sandra Borch (Central Party) calls Norway “the social security office of Europe”.

    Check out Norway's written law, the Janteloven; social conformity is like nowhere else in the word. I can write a book about living in Norway, why bother?

    No, thank you, I will enjoy my Chinese all you can eat buffet in the U.S. with real meat and vegetables (sometimes) for US$7.99. I have a lot of class, it is all low.

    The Bald Eagle, America's symbol

    Sometimes we joke about being "the land of the free"; America IS the land of the free. For those of you who think otherwise or like to bellyache about the United States, or others that like to talk about "back home" and how much better things were there, leave, go back home.

    Those of you still milling over what I am saying, if you ever have the chance, try living in North Korea, East Timor, Myanmar, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia or some of the countries I lived in, even Mexico; you will be home sick so fast, you will make a beeline for America before you can learn to say crepúsculo. 

    What makes a child gifted and talented may not always be good grades in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning. (Chuck Grassley) 

    Some of the photographs of Norway ("GALLERIES" - Norway) were taken within a five-mile radius of both my homes there; one home is on Risøya (an Island) on the south east coast of Norway, the other, my summer home, is in Lista, located south-southwest of Lindesness, the furthest point south in Norway along the Norwegian Sea (the North Sea).

    The Lofoton Islands in North Norway

    The country is one of the most beautiful I have ever been to. The people are very friendly, kind, and not at all aggressive, unlike the Dutch or Mexicans; they get all the jokes, happy by nature, easy and fun to be around. What surprised me though is when I first got there I found everybody can read and write in Norway but very few are educated. 

    Ulvik, Norway

    With Captian Svein Ivar Olaussen aboard the school and cruise ship GannSvein is one of several of my closest friends in Norway.
    Stavanger, Norway 2013
    I have a standing invitation to drop by, stay onboard or go on any of the ship's cruises anytime. He gives me free access to the entire ship "all areas, all hours", from the bridge to the engine room.
    I enjoy spending time having fun with the students, crew and teachers when I am onboard. I have also prepared slide shows for the cruises.

    M/S Gann docked at Odda, Norway. November 2011

    Odda is located in southeastern Hordaland County, surrounding the southern end of Sørfjorden in a beautiful fjord, with rushing waterfalls, mountain peaks and "eternal snow". Surrounding the town with two national parks, The Trolls Tounge, Røldal with the deepest snow in Europe, the unique stave church, Buerbreen glacier and the historical industrial town Tyssedal are among many other things to see and do. 



    M/S Gann's engine room and control panel and Gus starting up the ship's engines. Stavanger, Norway 2012

    I left Norway in 1963, returned home to Ethiopia, ran safaris in East Africa for a year while waiting for my worthless Egyptian passport's renewal and the F-1 visa for the U.S. (Student visa). I did many, many, many different things since. I returned to Norway in 1995 at age 50 and became a resident once again. I relearned and by then was becoming a better person.

    I did other things in Norway after teaching there five+ years as well. I try not to do the same thing for longer, except for practicing Judo (been doing that since the mid '50s), eating different foods from around the world, sailing and flying. I still enjoy doing all those things very much. I don't enjoy travel anymore though my interests are and have always been far reaching.

    When UDI in Norway issued my settlement permit (permanent residence visa) in 1996, it was, still is, Norway's best, rarest and most difficult to obtain. In the 1960s, Norway had very few foreigners and immigrating there was very rare. I was welcomed by some UDI employees in 1996 who said to me "Mr. Faragallah, Norway needs people like you, welcome to Norway". UDI stands for Utlendingsdirektoratet - the Directorate of Immigration. Norway is now one of the most sought after countries in the world by refugees and people from Eastern Europe. Only people from EU countries make it into Norway and are starting to dilute Norwegian culture.

    Years after living there, I became eligible for Norwegian citizenship which was offered to me. I considered it until I was told I had to surrender my U.S. citizenship. Quoting Charlton Heston’s “cold, dead hands” speech, I turned it down. America can also use people such as me.

    My spouse and children each had their own same type of visa but voluntarily surrendered it over ten years ago choosing instead to live in America. I am still a resident of Norway but only visit there a couple of times a year. I have been there over 80 times already.

    Norwegian_Permanant_visa1.jpg Norwegian_Permanant_visa.jpg 

    A few of my Norwegian Settlement Permit (visa) – Valid for work, residence and multiple entries on a permanent basis. It was re-issued to comply with the European Union (EU) laws, after Norway became a member (they never joined).

    I don't need the stickers in my passport which are valid for two years as per EU regulations. I did that for a while to expedite going through airports in Europe (EU as opposed to “all other passports” lines which are much more crowded and long). I also thought it would help going through immigration with other Norwegian citizens upon entering Norway. That is not necessary anymore, they use biometric identification. In all the years I travelled to Norway, I was never once stopped by immigration or customs, there were dogs, but never questioned. On my first visa, my profession is listed as teacher. Initially, a visa is issued year to year, after the third year, it becomes permanent.  

    America is the greatest nation on earth, This country and the American people have been very good to me, my family and everyone I know. It's a great honor and privilege to be an American citizen living here. 

     Los Angeles, California

    For sixteen plus years, I lived and waited abroad in several countries as well as in America paying out of state school tuition for several of those years may I add, in order that I may enter and be in the United States legally. I respected and abided by all America's immigration and all laws and still do.

    America never did nor does it owe me anything, I owe it. My love, patriotism and allegiances are to this country. When I recite the pledge of allegiance, I mean it.

    I lived in Palos Verdes Estates and took up time and space in the 12th grade as well as attending El Camino College in Torrance in California waiting until I was granted legal residency status (the "Green Card"). I never graduated from High School. A little over five years after that, I obtained U.S. citizenship (I was married to an American citizen, not to "my own kind").

    It took way far more time for that, over 13+ years, than when I applied for Norwegian residence, that process only took a month. Norwegian visas are among the hardest in the world to get. Everybody wants to live there, among other reasons, for the free health care, social and welfare programs.

    When I redo the web page, I will add a "NORWAY" page.

    I lived in Florence as well, Italians often refer to it as the unique "cradle of the Renaissance" ("La culla del Rinascimento"). Italian is my favorite language. A place, a people and food I enjoyed immensely.

    The Ponte Vecchio, Arno River and The Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy

    Tuscany, Italy

    The Ponte Vecchio across the Arno River. Florence, Italy

    Tuscany, Italy


    Basilica De Santa Maria Del Florence. Florence, Italy

    Flying in Alaska, landing on glaciers and flying the Mustang P-51

    Mt. McKinley and Mt. McKinley Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A.

    Glacier_Alaska.jpg Denali_Glacier_Alaska.jpg
    A fishing cabin and Denali Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A.

    Also had the rare pleasure and privilege to be in the rear seat of a Sukhoi-30 Fighter. Climbing at 540+ feet per second, it seemed like in just a blink of an eye we were at FL-600 and had already quasi left earth's dense atmosphere. But even at four times that altitude, there is still a trace of the earth's "hydrogen cloud" at its outer atmosphere called the geocorona. At altitude, when I looked up, I saw night; down, it was day. As we went through FL-460, I began to see the upper atmosphere start to get a very dark blue before turning black - night. I could also make out the curvature of earth in cruise.

    "Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death. I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing." (SR-71 Pilots crede)

    North American P-51D (P-51 Mustang) and FA/18 Hornet formation. 

    In cruise configuration, at 360+ MPH and Packard Merlin V-1650-3 engine, the P-51 Mustang burnt 60+ gallons of fuel per hour and doing acro, it burnt as many as 120, a full tank's worth. It was the most hands on, most demanding and most dangerous airplane I have ever flown, though my hands were full with the L-1049 (Connie) and L-19 (Birddog), mostly on the ground. 

    With full throttle on takeoff, the plane almost always required full right rudder (to keep it going straight). On a good cross-wind day, it gets more interesting just keeping the beast on the runway. That would require full right rudder, full right aileron and starting on the up wind edge of the active runway. Then you hope everything goes well during the roll because if you needed more rudder, there was none left. You want to "unstick" (get airborne) before the torque pushes you off the downwind side of the runway.  

    After surviving the takeoff roll, the climb becomes especially interesting; the plane tends to want to roll over. But then, after you survive all that...... the fun really begins, well, maybe. If you are not careful doing acro and the slightest error, you will find yourself up to your elbows with crocodiles. Many high time and commercial airlines pilots have gotten themselves killed in P-51s; took me more than 3,000' to recover from an intentional spin once. 

    A little bit about Judo and Ethiopia.

    I started playing Judo in Ethiopia in the 1950s (it was outlawed in 1975) and continue to play today; still trying to get it right you might say. With my late brother Samir, we were among the first to introduce the sport in schools throughout America. BLACK BELT MAGAZINE. 

    __Ura_Nage_back_throw.jpg _Judo1.jpg


    Judo "(Japanese: the gentle Way")
    Top left image, Ura Nage (back throw), right, Uchi Mate (Inner-thigh throw) both are of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Prof. Jigoro Kano. Bottom, tap out or lose an arm and shoulder.

    Judo._Seifus_promotion.jpg _Ethiopia_trip_2014._In_Adama.jpg
    Seifu Mekonnen's promotion to Judo Shodan (Black Belt 1st Dan (degree)). The first Ethiopian ever in the history of that  country to be promoted to Shodan (an Ethiopian National in Ethiopia). Out of admiration and respect to him, I took my Black Belt off and offered it to him, he could not bring himself to wearing it.
    A great guy and a wonderful friend to have. 
    Oromia, Adama, Southern Ethiopia Summer 2014

    Blind_Judokas.jpg With_Solomon_Kebeda__Negash_and_Seifu_Mekonnen._Ethiopia_2014.JPG
    Happy, poor blind Ethiopian children forgetting their problems and sorrows for 8-10 hours every week.
    The Judo program is available to all poor, handicapped and blind children in Ethiopia free. We are trying to get Tatamis (Judo mats) and Judogis (Judo uniforms) for the 150 or so handicapped and blind students. Sensei Seifu conducts the classes now.
    Me with Solomon Kebede Negash, the Ethiopian Karate Chief Instructor and Seifu Mekonnen in front of the Oromia Youth & Sport Affairs Bureau.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia summer 2014

    I promoted Seifu Mekonnen to Shodan in Judo, Black Belt 1st  dan - degree) in June of 2014. His rank will recognized by all the Judo Federations around the world once I register him. He has practised Judo for six plus years and competed in the 2011 world championships in Paris, France..

    He is my 1st assistant and eventually wants to open Judo Schools throughout Ethiopia using my name and I will do all I can to help him. 

    I have been appointed Ethiopia’s Chief and head Judo Instructor and technical adviser for all of Ethiopia by the Ethiopian Federal Sports Commission (not the Addis Ababa Sports Commission they are not on the federal level). I am to train and standardize Judo throughout the country, do promotions, train all the instructors as well as the referees. I could also be the official Ethiopian Olympic Judo team coach. Something we are working on getting organized.  

    We are now in the process of forming Ethiopia’s first ever Judo Federation, recognized and sanctioned by the Ethiopian Government and yet to be by the International Judo Federation. One of the requirements of the Federal Sports Commission is for us to have at least three federations from around Ethiopia join. Within the first five minutes after our meeting, five federations from around Ethiopia joined. We already have another six organizations from around the country asking to join. 

    It is only a matter of paper work to register the Federation with IJF (International Judo Federation). 

    Seifu’s promotion was a huge event. Every Martial Arts Instructor and several clubs from around Ethiopia came for the demonstration and promotion which was held at the Oromia Community Center in Adama (Nazaret). There were several radio, TV and newspaper interviews, a lot of media coverage and over three thousand people from around Ethiopia attended. We were given the Oromia auditorium in Adama (S. Ethiopia) for the occasion. Adama is the capital of the Oromia region. The event was a big success and lots of fun. 

    I was and am very proud and happy for Seifu, his performance, promotion and contributions to Judo. After the promotion, I took my Black Belt off and tried handing it to him to wear after even after my insisting he wear it, he just could not bring himself to do it. Ethiopians are the politest, most respectful people I have ever known. I love the guy.

    I am happy to say, Judo will also be available to the very poor and less fortunate children in Ethiopia, the handicapped and/or blind children. It is free to all handicapped children. There are adult Judokas (students) as well.    

    Photo: Lena Andersson

    Juventus Judo Club, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1950s - 1975



    Me in 2012, Houston, Texas. Former Member  
    USA Judo,  
    Registered, Kodokan Judo Institute, Japan; Life Member NANKA Judo Yudanshakai, So. California & 
    LIFE Member, United States Judo Federation (

    Circolo Sportivo Juventus Addis Abeba, Etiopia 
    (Juventus Judo Club, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1957-1974).
     Me throwing Gino, Kata Guruma (shoulder wheel throw). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1958., 

    I am very happy to still be a part of Judo in Ethiopia and I donate all my time for the underprivileged and handicapped children, the sport and everything associated with it. 

    I took Judo up just to beat Casbon, the principal at The English School back then and looked for him for three years but never found him. 

    I was a mere child, Mr. tough jerk. No child should have to go through or endure such behavior or punishment.

    I am told this topic, Casbon, me and my brother has been a hot debated topic on Facebook by several people in several countries (I am not on facebook, people write and tell me). The incident is also mentioned in a recent published book.

    “A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.” (Horace Mann)

    Since, I have had a very good relationship with students everywhere in the world on every level. I want students to enjoy and be happy in school, have what I didn't, be liked, respected and know they are appreciated. I can reach each and every student, weather I have 5 or 500 in my classroom, in the words of Robert Frost “I’m not a teacher but an awakener.” 

    In Europe and Africa, our home was always open to students at all hours, it was their home away from home. At the University in Calif. I had a party every Friday night to which many grad, undergrad; PhDs, MDs, staff etc. came. It is different in the U.S nowadays. It seems High School kids are wise beyond their years but very immature, some can be dangerous.

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. (Albert Einstein) 

    I have never known a school or school district outside the U.S. that has police officers on campus or police with K-9 units (I am not aware of "School Districts" as we know them in America outside of the U.S., the closest to a district I can think of would be government schools), not that I am aware of at least. Cop vehicles and cops with dogs are all over the campuses at Jr. High and High Schools.

    I think I can understand this need in America, there seems to be more problems, campus shootings, drugs, sexual assaults and other illegal activities than anywhere else I have been in the world. 

    I regressed, sorry. Back to Casbon, although my older brother settled my score with him for me, with interest may I add, I never got the satisfaction to repay Casbon the favor myself. I am not a violent person; in fact just the opposite. I have never been in a street fight in my entire life. I am of the opinion the lowest form of humans and the last step for humanity is when one human being strikes another. 

    I am a coward, I always walked away from a fight and never had anything to prove. Why stoop that low and strike another human being? If I would consider such a thing, my options would have been the morgue, the hospital or jail; neither of those options appealed to me.

    I never had to face a gun, had I, my philosophy has always been, you run to a gun from a knife. 

    The beatings I received were not with paddles, whippings with whips on the soles of my feet, ruler edges on knuckles; they were not “finger wagging” warnings. I’m talking about broken noses, ribs, cheek bones, knocking several of my teeth out, internal bleeding, you name it. The only thing lacking was water boarding and electric shock. In comparison, Guantanamo Bay is a beach resort. I talk more about those experiences and Casbon in “ABOUT ME”.

    I am positive schools in Ethiopia today are much better, more civilized than what they used to be.

    Something just occurred to me, those of you reading this about Casbon beating me so severely are probably wondering what I did so bad to deserve such a beating. First of all, no human being should have to go through that, certainly not a child. Secondly, something has to be done about schools in some countries getting away with it today. Like everything else, it all falls on and goes back to lack of education; for the government, schools, faculty and principals.

    My “crime” was I did not turn my home work in on time. 

    I showed up for class one morning without my homework (it was busy work and I didn't want to waste my time). I was sent to the principal’s office, Casbon. In my day, being sent to the principal’s office was a death sentence; you never want to be sent there. Casbon asked me why I didn't do my homework, I said it was busy work and saw no reason to do it. He then said “make sure you get it done and on my desk by 07:00 hrs. tomorrow morning.” I said “Mr. Casbon, I will get the homework to you whenever my dad drops me off in the morning” (I couldn't drive then). He picked a very heavy ashtray, thick glass with a tire around it and flung it at me. I dodged, he missed and it went through and broke his office window. That infuriated him; he got off his chair, came around his desk to where I was standing and pounded me into a pulp. It did not end there, he grabbed me, dragged me to my classroom, thrusting me into every wall on the way, when I fell on the steps, he kept kicking me until I got up. I made it into my room and started crying, not from the pain, but from the humility of it all.

    Spitsbergen, Norway



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    Updated April 1st 2016 - Northern Ethiopia

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