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According to the St. Louis American newspaper, the leadership of Metaferia is “AMAAM ‘S offices have become an international way station for the city’s population of African refugees who seek neighborhood associations to ease their transition to life in St. Louis and as American citizen.”

Executive Director's  Message 

Gedlu B. Metaferia
Executive Director

The Importance Exercising Our Rights To Vote

As naturalized citizens and legal immigrants we must take the power voting seriously. We cannot afford to take the responsibility lightly because almost all of us came from countries that deny the right of their citizens to vote.

We also appreciate the great works that is being done by the International Institute of St. Louis in educating New American Voters through its voter initiative program. There are many foreign born persons who take voting very seriously. Naturalized Africans are no exceptions. According to the ”Spirit of Democracy Symposium on Diversity” sponsored by National Coalitions on Black Civic Participation on May 8, 2003 between 1970-2000 , the share of black immigrants in the US grew from 1.3% to 8.7% among whom 2/3rd arrived after 1980 with a total population of 5 million including the Carrebians.

Diversity is the strength of this nation of immigrants. The respect for individual rights and human rights is expressed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. That is what makes America a unique experimental nation within a short period of time. Various amendments in the constitution and improvements in civil rights have achieved their goals through peaceful petition, voting
and participation. Still there is more to be done. People have paid their precious lives in defending the nation and in achieving democracy in civil rights. As democracy is a process America is great because of the vigilance of its people to make lives better in the nation.

Citizens also should be aware of the great sacrifices by immigrants in the nation. According to credible estimates there are about 37,000 legal immigrants (permanent residents ) serving in the US military. Some have been given citizenship posthumously after their sacrifice. In the immigration debate, we have to acknowledge the contribution of immigrants also.

World Religion Day & Martin Luther King
Holiday program 

Baha'i Faith Information Center
- Saturday, January 17 -

Program included the presentation of awards to two individuals promoting interfaith amity and harmony in the St. Louis area. This year's honorees are Mrs. Barbara Russell and Mr. Gedlu B. Metaferia.

World Religion Day, observed on third week in January, was initiated in 1950 by the national administrative body of the Baha’is of the United States.

Baha’u’llah, Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, taught all true religion came from one source through successive messengers which have included Abraham, Moses, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Muhammad, the Bab and Baha’ullah.

According to the Baha’i Writings religion " should be the cause of love and agreement, a bond to unify all mankind for it is a message of peace and goodwill to man from God." "Religion is the greatest of all means for the establishment of order in the world and for the peaceful contentment of all that dwell therein."

Fatima's popular walk-up counter in the U-City Loop serves authentic Nigerian cuisine. Photo by Wiley Price

ST. LOUIS - The Yohannes brothers' restaurant, Bar Italia, has been the buzz since they set up shop in the Central West End nearly 20 years ago.

"We had the first espresso bar in St. Louis, and we introduced gelato, homemade Italian ice cream to the city," boasts co-owner Mengesha Yohannes, who manages the restaurant.

The brothers are natives of Ethiopia, and settled here 20 years ago to attend school. Mengesha graduated from St. Louis University with degrees in biology and chemistry and attended Washington University Medical School.

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