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Ethiopian And Eritrean Manuscript Traditions Day Launched

Addis Ababa University, Department of Linguistics and Philology, Hiob Ludolf Center (HLC) for Ethiopian studies and University of Hamburg from German collaboratively, organized the 4th HLC summer school on Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript heritages from September 30 – October 5, 2019 at Simien hotel Addis Ababa.

Hirut Kassaw (PhD), Minister, Ministry of culture and tourism, on her welcoming address said, “As you all know our country Ethiopia is one of the ancient and historic countries in the world. Among our huge wealth of historical written heritage, Ge’ez and Arab language take the topmost initial part to introduce and promote Ethiopia to the world.”

Hirut also added “These literary heritages have various written documents that might be as medicine for our todays’ and future problems; but, we didn’t protect and give attention to them. We feel proud and should have to give so many thanks for the elders who guard and handover these heritages to us; there is a lot to be done in terms of preserving the heritages. Universities and all concerned bodies should have the responsibility to protect and transfer the heritages to the next generation.”

Mitike Molla (PhD), AAU vice president for research and technology transfer, on her welcoming remark noted that, Ethiopia  has huge wealth of manuscripts. During the medieval period, Ethiopia was one of the countries in the world that preserved different types of documents by transferring manuscripts and parchments to the next generation. It also distinguished itself by preserving its own unique ancient religious culture based on Holy Scripture (Bible and Koran) in an ongoing dynamic religious tradition.

Feeling the urgency to professionally conserve, preserve and explore this endangered wealth of our nation, Addis Ababa University opened a Philological academic unit in 2004 under the college of Humanities, Language studies, Journalism and communication. Since its establishment, the program has produced and still producing young Ethiopian Philologist who are engaged in the exploration of the country’s huge wealth of textual heritage; running both MA and PhD programs, the unit is also playing as a source of motivation for the establishment of more departments and units in other local Universities Mitike said.

During the occasion, representatives from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church and the Islamic Council forward their welcoming address to the participants.

Different researchers and scholars presented their research findings on topics related to Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript tradition.

The school aims at training graduate students and junior scholars in methods used in researching the enormous body of Ethiopian written heritage. Lectures and seminars in topics ranging from history to philology to codicology to cataloguing shall cover the most central aspects of research and help in developing skills necessary for theoretical and practical tasks in the study of written heritages.

Netsanet Merete

(Office of External Relations, Partnerships and Communications)