Ethiopia / Places We Go

Meskal Square, Addis Ababa

Placed in one of the more modern sections of Addis Ababa, Meskal Square has a number of streets pouring into it – Bole Road, Ras Desta Damtew Street, Jomo Kenyetta Avenue, Menelik II Avenue, Ras Mekonen Avenue, Ras Biru Wolde Gebriel Street, etc. And those are just the main streets!

Views of Meskal Square:

meskal square addis ababa

meskal square addis ababa

meskal square addis ababa

One can see many famous runners exercising here in the mornings:

meskal square addis ababa

meskal square addis ababa

As a main focal point in the city, Meskal Square attracts all manner of people. Don’t go anywhere with someone that approaches you here.

A common trick in Ethiopia known as the “siren scam” involves one accepting an invitation to visit someone in their home where you will be introduced to their “family” (which just happens to consist of a number of women). Tea will be served and the women will want to show off for you a traditional Ethiopian dance they “just learned.” After a few minutes of sipping tea and watching the dance your host will present you with an astronomical bill for the drinks and entertainment.

An Ethiopian at Meskal Square ran this one on us, but we ejected as soon as we realized what was going on. It’s difficult because many people will come up and talk to you and it takes a little while to sort out who is genuine and who is trying to get something from you.

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This was quite near Meskal Square not that many years ago:

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12 thoughts on “Meskal Square, Addis Ababa

  1. Pingback: Pictures And Scenes Of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia « The Velvet Rocket

  2. Pingback: Meet Solomon Fissha « The Velvet Rocket

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  4. I am still against your intention. what do you mean by posting a photo(in front of Palace) which was taken 19yrs ago ? your intention is only to tell to the world that Ethiopia is a country which is under state of starvation & War. Why you are doing this to us ? Do you think that we are going to keep silent while Notorious person like you go against 80million Ethiopians.

    any country including yours have passed away through lots of war & hardships. so what makes Ethiopia’s case unique? why you are jealous of us?is that because we were not colonized by your ancestors?

    Don’t forget the development of your Country is due to the hard work of our African brothers( your cruel ancestors took many Africans as slave to work on their farm lands which is inhuman. And some of them also robbed the resource of African’s to make their nation prosperous) So I see no reasons where you can be proud of your past doings & insult the victims by posting outdated photos which doesn’t express the current situation.

    Rather you need to ask an apology from African’s for all those wrong doings & also allocate some of your budget(from the resource that you looted in the past especially during colonial era) to get us out of poverty.

    I want to remind you that Addis Ababa is not only the capital of Ethiopia but also it is a Capital of Africa & hence posting outdated information about Addis on this site can be considered as an act of insult to all Africans.

    • You’re really stretching on this one… One would have to be pretty thick to be under the impression that my picture of a tank represents how Meskal Square looks today, would they not? Especially so as the post is contrasting the Meskal Square of the past with the Meskal Squae of today… Unless, of course, they did as you do, Weyne, which is to read nothing I have written and to only look at the pictures.

      I find it revealing that you speak at length about the history of African slavery (by the way, where does that fit in with “expressing the current situation?”), but then go on to attack anyone that brings up a part of history that doesn’t fit into your narrative of victimhood. How about all of the Africans that owned slaves or helped facilitate the slave trade? Where does that fit into your narrative?

      You’ve chosen a poor target for bringing up ancestors. How well do you know your own family history, Weyne? Do you know that your ancestors did not help support the slave trade? I know that mine did not because I know my family history stretching back for hundreds of years. My ancestors actively worked against it and many fought and died fighting against the South in the American Civil War. Can you say the same about your ancestors? Or perhaps your ancestors actively collaborated with the Italians when they colonized Ethiopia? Mine didn’t. Mine were fighting and dying on the battlefields of Europe to stop the fascists.

      Again, Weyne, you reveal yourself to be the racist, unbalanced hypocrite that you are. And considering the nature of the comments you have left on this post or on others, I would not be surprised if you are in some way affiliated with the current dictatorship in Ethiopia.

  5. Pingback: The Red Terror Martyr’s Memorial | The Velvet Rocket

  6. ”A common trick in Ethiopia known as the “siren scam” involves one accepting an invitation to visit someone in their home where you will be introduced to their “family” (which just happens to consist of a number of women). Tea will be served and the women will want to show off for you a traditional Ethiopian dance they “just learned.” After a few minutes of sipping tea and watching the dance your host will present you with an astronomical bill for the drinks and entertainment.”
    I am Ethiopian. I have had opportunity to meet several foreighners because of nature of my job but I have never heard or even read such a ludicrous accusation. How many incidents did you witness before you shamelessly brand it a ”common trick”? Despite the hardship overwhelming majority of Ethiopian women are still very religious and decent. My suspicion is you have probably been hanging out with hookers who target foreighners. Whatever the case this is the most misinformative blog I have read about Ethiopia. Do some research b4 you write something you post on the web.

  7. Of course you have not heard about it or had it happen to you… You are Ethiopian and not a Westerner. You’re not the target. You’ve met “several” foreigners? Wow, congratulations!!!! You must really know everything now. Did you ever consider that it doesn’t happen to EVERY Westerner? Or that perhaps it did happen to some of these people and they didn’t want to be rude and discuss something negative while a guest in your country?

    Pick up an Ethiopian guide book some time and skim through – Lonely Planet, Bradt, etc. They all mention this scam. Are they misinformed as well? So, let’s review: It happened to the authors of the guide books, it happened to my wife and me (ruling out your prostitute theory) and it happened to several friends of mine that visited Addis. I’d call that a pretty “common” trick.

    The problem is that you are so sensitive about criticism that it blinds you. You just have this kneejerk reaction that I am wrong, misinformed, whatever… Instead of considering that that experience may actually happen to many Westerners, you just attack a truth that you don’t like. A classic case of denial…

  8. your logic is laughable at best.
    1.U say my family and friends(i have reservation about you reading it in reputable travel blogs coz i can say I have read most) have seen it so it is common.
    2. you say you are against censorship but try to silence people who dont agree with your post by wildly accusing them of corruption.
    May be it is my fault. I shouldnt be wasting my time in a shadowy travel blog to start with. Adios

  9. Censorship is preventing someone from saying or showing something that you don’t want them to share. You may not have noticed, but your comment posted directly the second time you left one. That’s because I gave you unrestricted access to any area of this site without moderating your comments. I disagree with what you are saying, but I am, in fact, promoting your ability to say it. That is the very opposite of censorship. Look up your definitions…

    I have never claimed this was a travel blog. This site is for me. If you want a cute, Disneyland-style travel web site where they show only the happy side of life and claim the whole world is roses, then you are definitely in the wrong place. I try to show things as they really are, not as you want them to be seen, Abebe.

    • I’m afraid that your point isn’t very clear. I included old pictures of the area around Meskal Square to show the history of the area, not to prove any points. What point was being proven by including historical pictures of the area?

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