BALOBESHAYI

African Women Voices

An African Spot In Istanbul

It’s a bit hidden between Istiklal Caddesi and Tarlabasi boulevard, but there is indeed a space in the very central heart of the old city of Istanbul where you can find African music, African food, African dancers. That’s the Habesha restaurant, an Ethiopian restaurant. I’m not surprised of the cuisine of this African restaurant since I remember the words of an Ethiopian academic we met last year when filming in Los Angeles. About Ethiopian St in LA she said: “wherever Ethiopians go in the world, they open a restaurant and a church.” We still haven’t spotted the church – there are so many where Africans go! But we did find the restaurant and it was indeed interesting. Especially the dancing every 45 minutes or so: two dancers would come downstairs from a top floor club (African as well) and would dance for 10 -15 minutes for a rather small crowd. Apart from unpleasant little surprises, it was special to see such a strong African presence in a country that apparently still struggles in understanding that there are Africans, they’re not aliens, you’re not supposed to take pictures of them all the time, their colour is not something you can take off by sliding your finger on them.

IMG_1576

Advertisements

2 comments on “An African Spot In Istanbul

  1. Gual Ketema
    9 October 2014

    I spent a month in Istanbul in 2013, and unfortunately didn’t peel the layers back on the African communities there. I wish I had heard of this Habesha restaurant you are referring to. Now I’m more excited to return someday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: