If any of you are caring for a very sick, hurtful, hateful, heavily medicated loved elderly member of your immediate family suffering from Alzheimer’s, Dementia, hoarding and you are going through mental and/or physical abuse/assaults from them, you need to read the following article. “How to Handle an Elderly Parent's Bad Behavior”

I updated the first part of "ABOUT ME". I say a lot more about the Holyland, added many new photographs and 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.

Also about my early travels and years in Africa and Norway.

As well as about the "Golden Age" of air travel and Sir Captain Richard Francis Burton.

The "HOME" page has been updated as well. I added more images, speak more about education, Norway and a few other things.

I hope you are entertained and informed.

Thanks for visiting.

Blue Skies

Updated: November 25th 2014


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

"Travel has been my greatest teacher" (Brittany Maynard) 

Welcome to my world: A life far from ordinary

If I had to re-live my life, I wouldn't have time.

Self Portrait: Nabil B. Faragallah

“Diogenes, when asked from what country he came, replied, "I am a citizen of the world”

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” (Mae West)

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

Pensive, a stroll on the beach to clear one's head.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” (Ansel Adams)  

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

Machu Pichu on a rare clear day.
The Maldives, always the Maldives, where God vacations....
West Virginia.

"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."  (John F. Kennedy)

I don’t solicit or sell anything; no adds Google AdSense or pop ups. I do this mostly to amuse myself, inform my friends around the world about where I am and what I am doing and thought I would also entertain my friends and enemies at home and around the world. 

It is a big web page, with lots of everything,  to see, read and check out. No one can sit and go through the entire web page in one sitting or even in a week. I am certain however, it will entertain and hopefully inform everyone about something, assuming you like to read. If not, check out the photo galleries.

There are fourteen galleries (“GALLERIES”) with over 13,500 images and another 1,650+ high resolution images in the “SLIDE SHOW”. Other entertainment includes “VIDEOS”, “LINKS”, MEDIA”, other links. 

Since 1955, I visited 183 countries on every continent, including Antarctica, some out of the way places like Pitcairn Island in the Southern Pacific Ocean, Easter Island in the Southwestern Pacific among others. I lived in nine countries and four states in the United States; Palestine, Jordan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan, the U.S., Norway and Italy; Hawai’i, Alaska, California and Texas.

Early on, I realized going through life without noticing what is around me was like going through a museum blind folded. I made it a point to be aware, pay attention and always remember. I made myself to blend in and have a lot of chameleon qualities; I get very absorbed in my surroundings. Life has an element of risk but it shouldn't be avoided. It should be faced. 

I also realized life has an element of risk but it shouldn't be avoided. It should be faced. 

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, stoped in El Monte, California to pick up supplies. The complete history of CPA is in "FLYING & SAILING". 

In "FLYING & SALING" I explain the differences between circum-navigating by air and by sea, among other things. I also mention a little about sailing.

There are other shorter essays; one is "DEW LINE, A SOVIET ATTACK" a fictional scenario of a Russian Attack on the US during the Cold War. 

I should point out, these stories were written over four years ago, my first, and the writing is worse than it is now. I try to write a story a week for my children. And I am more into quantity than quality these days. I need to get my thoughts down before I go senile; I write all this from memory, some of which is 60 years old.  

My most visited page has been the "JUDO" page until recently; it is now the Home Page. In it, I wrote about the history of Judo in Ethiopia of which I was a pioneer, about what Judo is and a lot more. This summer, I have been asked to be Ethiopia's chief Judo Instructor, technical advisor and coach for the Ethiopian Judo Olympic team. A little about that further down.

I am not self made nor am I special; different? Perhaps, but someone or something taught me everything I know; good, bad or indifferent. The trick has always been to sort out what is important, worthwhile, and useful and remember. Everything I lived through helped make me the person I am today. Life’s possibilities lie on growth; therefore one must always be moving, in mind and soul and people can teach you a lot if you'll let them. Success is a public affair, failure is a private funeral. What you don't know should intrigue you more than what you do know.

I always choose my friends; never allowed any to choose me. I made sure they are 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.

Tell me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are.

In "ABOUT ME", I write about the history and conflict in the Middle East; growing up in Bethlehem and Jerusalem and my early travels. I have been told by several scholars, some of the information I included about the Holy Land and the Middle East will be new to many readers. 

Table Mountain South Africa.

I am not young enough to know everything, but I do have a lot to say. I thought I would share some of my life experiences; what I accomplished, some of the places I have to, lived in and some people I met. It is not so much an autobiography or chronology but rather a documentation of events which don't include everything about me or my life. 

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 much of my knowledge reading and remembering; 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, a key to a better life and future; my children now carry on that tradition. 

Equally I learned through my travels; mistakes, 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 the course of 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?” 

I have seen the world from several different aspects, by 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. But I also learned, 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. When I knew nothing, I thought I could do anything.  

 “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” (Will Durant)  

In 1954, with my late mom and late siblings, we left the Nativity Town of Bethlehem (Palestine), my birthplace, and moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My dad had been appointed Ethiopia's Supreme Court Justice and legal advisor to the late and last Emperor H.I.M. Haile Selassie 1st in 1952.

 My late dad (middle) presiding Judge B. Faragallah. He 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 used 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. 

Ethiopia became my home in 1954 to 1964. It remained home during that time and during the times I left to attend private boarding schools in Egypt, Sudan and Norway for almost eight years. Always returning home during the short and summer holidays. In 1964 I surrendered my Ethiopian residency visa.

On that trip, my first mini "international" voyage, my mom decided to make the trip from Bethlehem to Addis Ababa a vacation making, marking the start of my travels. We were living in the old city of Jerusalem (Jordan) by 1954. From there, we went to Amman, Jordan; I think that was a road trip. I say a lot more about growing up in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and about the region in general. I also spent a little time in a couple of refugee camps after 1948 when we were driven out of our homes in Palestine.

We boarded a flight in Amman, Jordan for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where we spent a few nights. Then on to Aden, South Yemen (now Yemen) spending a week there. I enjoyed Aden very much. From there, we flew across the Red Sea to Assab, Eritrea, Djibouti, French Somaliland (now Djibouti) and spent a few nights in each place; and finally, to Addis Ababa. There weren’t many flights in those days and it was not uncommon to have to wait in a city for three or more days for a flight to the next destination.

What I remember the most about that first flight was how terrified I was of the wheels of the DC-3, they seemed huge and very scary to me.  

Me on the left with two of my siblings. Jerusalem in 1950

Jerusalem 50 years later.

I continue to visit and returned to Ethiopia perhaps eighty times over the years since 1954 and became a resident a couple of more times during those years.  

And just to keep things in perspective, 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 as well (below and in "STORIES"). 

I seem to write more about Ethiopia because I know the country, understand its people and the culture very well. I went as far as to learn how to prepare authentic Ethiopia food including doro wot (a chicken dish with hard boiled eggs). This dish is very time consuming, taking up to six hours to prepare. I use authentic Ethiopian ingredients I bring back from Ethiopia - Ethiopian butter, spices and Ethiopian pepper all unique to that country; if I didn't, it would not taste the same as in Ethiopia. I serve it on injera, the local bread made from t'eff. I also operated airplanes everywhere within Ethiopia and Eritrea, drove to just about every corner and lived in both countries. I did my field work and research for my PhD in Ethiopia. On and off I also lived 14 years in Ethiopia. It comes easy for me to write about Ethiopia and its history.  

For years while still in school, professors from many universities from around the United States as well as from overseas told me I hold a unique amount of knowledge on that country. I was invited to transfer from the University of California to several of those universities but never did.

I "write" (if you want to call it that) and mention places and things in no particular order. Ethiopia was fun, but so were Norway, Egypt, Hawai'i, Sudan and living in another seven countries; California, sailing and flying around the world and so on. It is up to what I feel like writing about at the time. 

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 my balcony in Adua square (now Unity square).

There is more before and after images and information about Addis Abab further down and a lot more at the bottom of the page. Those images are of Piazza, Mexico square, Adua square, La Gare, the French rail road company etc., pretty interesting stuff if anyone lived there during those years. Prior to 1964 Ethiopia drove on the left.

Samira_-_Addis_Ababa_where_the_Eth._Comm._Bank_is_today.jpg Addis_Ababa_-_Adua_Square._The_Ethiopian_Comm._Bank_under_construction.jpg
Left image in the background taken in the mid 1950s from our balcony (Pallazzo Eritiery in Adua Square, now Unity Square) is where 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.

Adua Square, another view from our balcony, after FIAT left and before the Ethiopian Commercial Bank, Hospital, and other buildings were built. They were driving on the left.
The Caltex gas station, built during the Italian occupation I mention further down is on the corner is in this image.
Addis Ababa - Adua Square (now Unity Square) 1956


 The same corner 30 & 40 years later - today.

Growing up in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), was very different from anything I had known prior to or since living there. As to be expected, it is a much different place today than what it used to be in the '50s, '60s and well into the '70s. The city is fast becoming a mega metropolis. I never go back with the idea of recapturing the past, there are certainly a lot of familiarities, but it is not the same, it is a whole new city. I dream of the past but don't live it; the past belongs to the past. 

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. However, this does not mean we should not take care of our memories which we can never re-live.  

 Haile_Gebreselassie_2014.jpg Sergeant_Bekele.jpg
 I am with Haile Gebrselassie, arguably the greatest long distance runner 
And Police sergeant "Moustache" Bekele. Two of my all time favorite Ethiopians.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 2014.

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).

Police Sergeant "Moustache" Bekele was 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

Nabil__Frehi_Addis_Ababa_resized.jpgAt the office with Frehiwot "Frehi" Yaregal, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia August 2014

Between 1955 and 1959, I left Ethiopia to attend private boarding schools, one, a Catholic school in Khartoum, the other Coptic in Cairo, two of the three worst experience with schools in my entire life.

When I was 14 I left home for the last time and took my first extensive "international" trip alone. From Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Oslo, Norway. My journey, the first of many 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, Wilh. Wilhelmsen Lines, Norway. 1962 

It was not easy convincing my parents to let me leave home at such an early age and without having completed, Jr. High, the 7th grade, it took six months of trying. I was determined, persistent and relentless. No to me means try harder. I say more about that in "About Me". 

The M/S Toledo was the first merchant marine ship I crewed on back in 1960-'61, it had just been put into service with an impressive cruising speed of 23 knots (for that time). This was before the days of container ships. We had onboard winches/cranes to load and off load freight into and out of hatches below the decks.

I included a few short stories (“STORIES”); an "EVACUATION FLIGHT" I made 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. You needed a very rare and hard to get permission to land at Johnston Atoll, 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 Pacifc, it is safe to say I have been to almost all of 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

Yapese_Woman.jpg Yap_man_tatoo_staus_symbol._Would_be_chief_or_warrior.jpg Yap_youn_lady.jpg

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

Yap_men_house__stone_money.jpg Yap_Mens_house.jpg
Men's Houses, the round stones on the left are stone currency.
Yap Island, 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.

Another story I wrote that is in the web page is  "ANTARCTICA". It is 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.

“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)


"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


Emperor_Penguins_Near_Ekstrom_Ice_Shelf_Weddell_Sea_Antarctica.jpg  Antarctica.__Ice_Lightning.JPG 

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; counter part to the Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere.

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

Emperor_Penguins_Near_Ekstrom_Ice_Shelf_Weddell_Sea_Antarctica.jpg  Antarctica.__Ice_Lightning.JPG 

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; counter part 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 went through both canals.

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

I took on the Southern Ocean (also known as the Antarctic Ocean) and Antarctica with the intention to circum-navigate it as well 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) 

Wiggins Glacier, Antarctica

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

"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." (Charles Dickens) 

"Great Eagle" under sail; my last boat in which I completed two single-hand circum-navigations.
It 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. 

Great_Eagle_my_last_sail_boat.jpg Me_in_the_main_cabin_-_Great_Eeagle.jpg
"Great Eagle" and me below deck. 1985

 Greateagle__Salon_-_aft.jpg Great_Eagle_Galley_-_Aft.jpg

Great_Eagle_Cockpit_-_Fwd.jpg Great_Eagle_Deck_Pulpit.jpg
 "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)

       -0Me_Haleiwa_Harbor_Hawaii.jpg Nabil_-_continuing_my_journey.jpg

Me, aboard "OPPA" with Vicki. Haleiwa, Hawai'i. C. 1978/79.
Leaving Haleiwa for Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i, where I dropped Vicki off and headed north to San Francisco, California.  

"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. From Nagoya, I headed to Tahiti but never made it. I was caught in a hurricane and blown 1,100 miles north off course, winding up back in Honolulu.

I traded in "Oppa" for "Great Eagle" in San Francisco thinking I would end "camping out". As it turned out, even with the bigger boat, I found myself still "Camping out". 

Sailing is the most expensive way to travel third class.

Gondolas, Venice. Italy
Iguazú Falls, Brazil
Taj Mahal. Agra, India
The evening Howl

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" and 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 in the late sixties 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.

    I have a daughter who is a pilot, in the top 1% in her game.  


    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 with her military flights.

    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. 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.)

    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

    I completed 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) and serving in the Norwegian Merchant Marine. I also made many ocean passages in my second boat "OPPA", one was an attempt to sail from Nagoya, Japan to Tahiti in French Polynesia. On the way, I was caught in a hurricane for 14 days and blown 1,100 miles north off course. I decided instead to head back to Hawai'i. After rebuilding the boat in Honolulu, I resumed sailing and headed to San Francisco. I changed my one circum-navigation route when 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.

    Experience can only be replaced with experience. 

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

    "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore". (Andre Gide)


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

    Beautiful place, no doubt about it and it is one of the most tranquil places I visited. This entire region of the Pacific is beautiful but the diving is not all that great in this area. There is no underwater life but still one of the nicest in its own way.

    “Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.”  (Markus Zusak)

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

    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........

    Getting lost is the only place worth going to.

    Above are several of the crew/companions I picked up along the way at various times in different parts of the world during my single-hand circum-navigation. Beautiful people, both on the inside and outside. We met and sailed together after meeting for just a few hours, if that. This is very common in cruising especially if a boat has a reputation of being a happy boat which mine did. All approached and asked to crew for me. I took a few over the years.

    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.

    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)

    Under sail. Tahiti, French Polynesia.
    Anse Source D'Argent, Digue Island. Seychelles, Indian Ocean.
    The Maldives Islands, Indian Ocean.

    "Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit." (Brooks Atkinson) 



    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 of 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

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

    Piazza 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 1970s, early 80s; Maskal Square which came into existence in the late 1980s, Merkato which was always huge and over crowded, 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
     Piazza, 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.
    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 center; crowded with dirty air, just like most urban centers around the world.

    Ethiopia switched over to driving on the right in 1964. I was there when the driving switch took place and was involved in a head on collision that was not my 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.

    Living in Ethiopia as a child, a young boy and an adult, 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. 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. 

    Over sixty languages and many dialects are spoken around Ethiopia. They 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.

     Mursi_woman._Omo_Ethiopia.jpg Southeastern_Ethiopia.jpg _Keren_eritrea.jpg 

    Lunch with Frehiwot "Frehi" Yaregal, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia summer 2014 
     Ethiopia's people.

    I am one of the pioneers of Judo in Ethiopia and still practicing. In "Judo", We are organizing the first Ethiopian Judo Federation ever, sanctioned by the Federal Ethiopian Sports Commission. I am the official chief instructor and eventual Olympic Judo team coach. There is a little about that at the bottom of the page and more in the "JUDO" page.

    I am also responsible for being the first in the United States to introduce Judo in the High Schools. In "Judo", there is an article about that in Black Belt Magazine.

    Ura Nage (Back Throw)  

    "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 joind Shatto Safaris for a year before leaving Ethiopia in 1964.


    Africa, like no where else on the planet

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

    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 think or two about four wheeling.

     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 Dashan 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. 

    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.


    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) 

    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 a 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, Egypt 1999-2000
    Photo: Magnar Opdal
     Risøy Folkehøyskole, Gjeving Pr. Tvedestrand. Norway

    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) 

    I read and write six languages, speak several others with a working knowledge in several; Aramaic and several dialects. I taught in English, Norwegian, French, Italian, Arabic and Amharic. Not just academics; Anthropology, 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; at least it was for me. Every subject has its own language, terminology and definitions. 

    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. 

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

    Initially I agreed to write stories to my children and to date I have written over 20,000 pages and very few of those stories appear in the web page (“STORIES”). 

    My stories have become a mix between personal past experiences and photo essays; many of my photos are imbedded in the text throughout the Web Page. 

    I was approached by several people over the years to publish, co-write, sell on Amazon and even been 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) 

    I am nothing special or different really; I write about many different things and cover a gamete of topics with many key words.

    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.

    “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) 

    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 speach at the Legue 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.


    The late and last emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie the first with empress Menen.

    _My_dad_Judge_B_Faragallah_Ethiopia_19592.jpgMy dad and I at a social function with the late Emperor. 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, George B. Faragallah (far left), with the late Emperor, H.I.M. Haile Selassie and the late Marshal Tito of the former Yugoslavia. George was the Harbour Master in Massawa, Ethiopia (now Eritrea) during 1950-59

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

    Despite the Derg murdering his dad, confiscating everything the entire family owned, imprisoning his mom and siblings over five years, young Mesfin (Wond Wosen "Mesfin" Mesfin) continues to give back to Ethiopia, donating millions of dollars in projects to the government and employing hundreds of people. His employees are the highest paid in the entire country. He is a very generous, selfless man. 

    One of the evenings I was at Mesfin’s home for dinner in Addis Ababa (2014), I noticed the above picture of his dad with the 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. 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. Ras Mesfin had a very long history with the late Emperor and were best friends, Haile Selassie often confided in him. Almost every evening Ras Mesfin would stop by the palace in Addis Ababa and have dinner with the emperor.

    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 had met both these honorable 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.

    When the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was looking for and unable to find a suitable location for their Ethiopia headquarters in Addis Ababa, the current Ethiopian government gave the foundation Ras Mesfin’s former compound. The Mesfins were  all raised there until the Derg came into power.

    I will have a lot more to say in my upcoming essay on Ethiopia wherein I mention how not only was Ras Mesfin executed by the Derg, lost all his property and wealth but also how W.W. "Mesfin" Mesfin escaped being murdered as well.

    I am collaborating with Mesfin's oldest sister Hiruth Mesfin and writing about how several of his siblings and mom were imprisoned in Ethiopia for more than five years. 

    H.E. Wond Wosen "Mesfin" Mesfin. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2014

    I was a guest of Wond Wosen “Mesfin” Mesfin (Ras Mesfin’s son) in Addis Ababa recently, I have known him since 1972; we were neighbors in Santa Barbara, California.

    Mesfin is the most generous, selfless person I have ever known, kind to a fault. He certainly has been very kind to me.

    I am also friends with H.I.H. Ermias Sahle Selassie, the grandson of Ethiopia's late and last emperor, H.I.M. emperor Haile Selassie 1st. H.I.H. Selassie still holds to a throne that has long been dethroned in his homeland. He is one of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I met him at the University of California in the late 1970s as well and now reside in the Washington D.C. area.

     “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.

    I know I never completed a single grade except for the three years I studied in Sudan (1957-'59) in 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 and was kicked out of 14 or 15 schools by the time I dropped out, 9 in Ethiopia alone (French, English, Greek, Italian, German and several government schools including Menelik, Tafari Makonen and St. Joseph Schools).

    I never graduated or completed high school but had to stay enrolled 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.

    Early in life, in addition to wanting to see the world, meet its people and shake hands with every tsetse fly in AfricaI wanted to become a citizen of the world. To be a student of life and decided THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT LEARN, the rest is history.

    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, curriculums, 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 Roosevelt)

    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.

    I am not young enough to know everything and I do have a lot to say. I would like to share some of my life experiences with you. 

    True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. (Socrates)

    After I dropped out of school, Jr. High, I did not just lay around, sleep 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 before, 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 to minimize their liability after the Exxon Valdez accident. 

    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.

    "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)



    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. 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.

    Lockheed Super Constellation "Connie" 1049L. I operated that in Alaska, among other airplanes.

    African Elephants. Tanzania

       “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.

    _Egypt_Khan_El_Khalili_Old_Cairo.JPG  Mexico._Paracho_Mexico.JPG
    A local printing business with an 1862 Liberty Press; 16th century market, Khan el Khalili, Old Cairo, Egypt. I sold this image to Eastman Kodak.
    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 this 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.

    Lake_Rudolph_area.jpg  _Flirt_Hippopotamus.jpg  Young_Surma_woman_-_Kibish_-_South_west_Ethiopia.jpg

    Young Samburu woman, Lake Turkana (formerly Lake Rudolph), Kenya;
    Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo and Young Surma woman. South west Ethiopia. 

    Baro_River_Nile_Perch_Lates_niloticus_Western_Ethiopia.jpg Nuer_village_Ethiopia6.jpg
    Photos: Michael W. Shatto.
    Nile Perch - Nuer, Western Ethiopia. Shatto Safaris, Ethiopia."There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, no one became fat because he broke a fast." Ethiopian proverb

    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.
  • 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. It was also my first solo cross country flight from Wichita, Kansas to Torrance, California.
  • Cessna Delivery Center, Wichita, Kansas. July 1967
  • 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.

    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 our own children.

    “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope John XXIII)

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

    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).


    “Whoever does not have a good father should procure one.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)


    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 with 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, non 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 as 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 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.

    This black stone statue of the Lion of Judah near the Beherawi Theatre (National Theater) at Unity Square (Adua Square then) commemorated the Silver Jubilee of the late and last Emperor of Ethiopia, H.I.M. Haile Selassie 1st. It is the work of French sculptor Morris Calka. Mr. Calka came recommended by Henry Shomet, Addis Ababa's City Hall architect. Until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1975 in a coup, the theatre’s name was The Haile Selassie 1st Theatre.

    The Italians begun building the theater hall during their brief occupation (1936-1941) as a Cinema (Cinema Marconi ) planned for 350 seats. The Ethiopian Government finished it later, in 1955 for the celebrations of the Silver Jubilee (November 2nd 1955) and expanded it to seat 1,260. 

    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.

    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 Egypt, the third guy is Paul, a friend saying goodbye to us. Back when you were allowed on the ramp without a thousand back ground checks, clearances and badges.
    Lideta Internation Airport (HAAL) 1955.

    Me getting off an Ethiopian Airlines Inc Convair CV-240 after arriving from Khartoum, Sudan.
    Lideta International Airport. 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 Airpot - 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. The L-749 crashed after takeoff at Khartoum's Airport.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Lideta Airport (HAAL)

    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 Khartoum, Sudan 1957 - right: My sisters saying goodbye - Samir and I are leaving for Cairo, Egypt.
    Lideta International Airport (HAAL), 1957 and 1955

    Boeing 7070-720 fan jet at the new Bole International Airport - HAAB (ADD). 
    After flying as passenger on their first Boeing 707, ET-AFB, I never flew Ethiopian Airlines as a passenger again. The last 707-379C totalled was on July 25th 1990, damaged beyond repair during an aborted takeoff.
    Addis Ababa HAAB (ADD), Ethiopia 1960

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

    Ethiopian Arilines 707 (ET-ACQ), one of four B-707s, out of the six they originally owned that crashed after an aborted takeoff.

    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.

    The ticket office is located in De Gaulle Square, across the street from the Electricity Building, home to "ModaNova" clothing store in Piazza.

    Ethiopian Airlines and the Electricity Building (was home to "Modanova" a European fasionable 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.

    Addis_Ababa_-_Piazza_by_Ahronees__Cinema_Empire.jpg Addis_Ababa_-_Piazza_Cinema_Empire.jpg
    Piazza. The Ahronee Store on the right and Cinema Empire. Addis Ababa C. 1964

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

    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 don't contact anyone from Ethiopia, except for a handful of new acquaintances I met since giving up my residency there in 1964. All those 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 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 in Addis as well. 

    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 3-storey timber and mud building overlooking the "Eri - Bekentu" canyon. It was the first five story 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 Dergue 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 Dergue government in Ethiopia has restored Victory Day to its original date.

    The Parliment building.
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia C. 1963-65

    Another Landmark, Abune Petros monument.
    Addis Ababa, 1963

    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 hunted 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 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.

    You almost could see The Circolo Sportivo Juventus. I started playing Judo there under Luigi "Gino" Pecol in 1957.

    The first Judo Club at the Juventus Club
    Some of the guys: left to right standing: Elio Palmucci, Gino Pecol, Arakel Derentz, and Samir Faraallah, front row: Umberto Iori, Nabil Faragallah

    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's Santilli's Bar, his dad owned it until his death in 1958 or '59.

    My siblings on the roof of our home. In the background you see the uncompleted theatre the Italians started building, next to it the Ras Hotel and another old Italian building, there was no shell gas station 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 II. Image 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 subcities, 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 in Eritrea with some friends, about the islands around there, Asmara etc. I am not in mood right now.


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

    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, I would rather pan handle in the U.S. than live anywhere, even for free anything. This country and 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 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. 

    My late brother Samir B. Faragallah (far left) with Gene Lebell, the late Igor Zatsepin and others from Sawtell Dojo in Southern California - C. late 1960s 

    __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)). He is the first Ethiopian ever in the history of Ethiopia 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. I hope to see him before the end of this year.
    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 students we have so far. Sensei Seifu conducts 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 Judo Shodan, Black Belt shodan (1st  dan, degree). It is the first such promotion erver in the history of Ethiopian Judo. He had been practicing Judo over six years. His rank is recognized by all the Judo Federations around the world. 

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

    After years of asking me, I finally accepted, 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 will train and standardize Judo throughout the country. I will do all the promotions, train all the instructors and referees as well. I am also 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 Sports Commission was for us to have at least three federations from around Ethiopia join. Within the first five minutes after I accepted the position, 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, registering the Federation with IJF (International Judo Federation) and arranging my schedule to be in Ethiopia more often and for much longer periods. 

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

    I was and am very proud of Seifu, his performance, promotion and contributions to Judo. I took my Black Belt off and tried handing it to him to wear after I promoted him. 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, we made Judo available to the very poor and less fortunate children in Ethiopia, mostly 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. I donate all my time to the underprivileged and handicapped children, the sport and everything associated with it. 

    I took Judo just to beat Casbon, the principal at The English School and looked for him for three years but never found him. The entire time I was at Sandford School and Casbon was the principal, I experienced the most hate I ever had for any human being, and hate is a very strong word I never use. I always hoped they buried him face down so he can see where he was going. I have never had such an intense dislike for anyone before or since. 

    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 relation with students everywhere on every level. I want them to enjoy school, have what I didn't, be liked, respected and know they are appreciated and matter. 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. At the University in Calif. and Addis Ababa, I had a party every Friday night and 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 departments 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 place, at Jr. High and High Schools campuses.

    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. 

    Thankfully, the police are there not just to investigate allegations, complaints, control drugs and crime; more importantly, they are also there to protect the innocent.

    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 is true. 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 and 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. 

    I just wanted Casbon, I was willing to make an exception to my rule just that one time, it never happened.

    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 teeth out, internal bleeding, you name it, I got. 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”.

    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. 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 in my home work 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



    “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) 

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    Updated January 26th 2015, Houston Texas

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