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The documentary (The Journey), directed by Aida Ashenafi won first place in this year’s competition.The film is scheduled to premier in Washington DC on May 9th at the Lisner Theater (GWU). Part two of our By Tadias Staff Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 The film chronicles the interaction between two young residents of Addis Ababa and their peers in the Ethiopian countryside.“All of a sudden they cleared out the room and a whole bunch of military people with machine guns came in.I kind of sensed that it might be Mengistu and he was not my favorite guy.The article noted: “Ato Fesseha is best known in the field of Ethiopic computing for providing the genesis for the concept of computerizing the Ethiopian alphabet.” “The Ethiopian script has come a long way since it was first applied to a computer program in the early 1980s,” Fesseha says.“We have made a lot of progress in the last three and a half decades, and I get emotional when I think of how far we have come in just 30 years.” While working with the Unicode Technical Consortium in the early 90s (where he was the only African participant for 30 years) Fesseha was also responsible for proposing and pushing Ethiopic script to be the computer name instead of Geez or Amharic.We were curious to find out when and how Ethiopic Script was introduced to modern computers, so we reached out to Ethiopian-American Engineer Fesseha Atlaw, founder of the first Ethiopic software company, Dashen Engineering, and an early pioneer of digitized Ethiopian script.Fesseha was among those profiled here some 25 years ago in an article titled “Legends of Ethiopic Computing” for his role as the producer of the first usable Ethiopic word processor.
The film is scheduled to premier in Washington DC on May 9th at the Lisner Theater (GWU).
“This I did consulting with Ethiopian linguists,” Fesseha explains. It not only permanently codifies the computer reference to the language to be associated with Ethiopia but also correctly credits that the alphabet origination or development belongs to all Ethiopians.” “Necessity is the mother of invention.” For Fesseha it was his passion for writing in Amharic rather than his profession in the tech industry that initially inspired him to design the first known Ethiopic Script Software.
“I loved writing in Amharic as far back as I remember,” recalls Fesseha in an interview with Tadias.
They told me that they had a contractual obligation with the Ethiopian government not to sell the typewriters outside of Ethiopia.” “Necessity is the mother of invention” Fesseha says, explaining that he decided instead to develop a software using the Ethiopic alphabet.
Of course there was no such thing as Windows Operating System at the time and personal computers were at very early development stages — home computers were not even in the radar — and buying one was an expensive endeavor.