ARBA : The 40th Day Remembrance for the Late Lij Amde Araya to Be Observed On September 3,2017
Annandale, Virginia ( Little Ethiopia )- The word "ARBA " is an Amharic term that stands for the number 40 in the Ethiopian national language. It is also recognized as one of the working languages in the District of Columbia and Takoma Park, Maryland. If an Ethiopian who belongs to the Ethiopian orthodox church passes away and is buried for over 40 days, family members, relatives and friends gather to remember their loved one after attending a church service.
Araya who is a nephew of Emperor Haile Selassie I migrated to the United States with his father Lij Araya Abebe and his mother Wz. Mulumebet Abebe after his brothers Mesfin and Merrid Biru were killed fighting the communist military government of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. Selassie was deposed on September 2,1974 and 60 of his senior and military officials summarily executed in November of the same year. Araya like his father Abebe who fought against Italian fascism in the Italo-Abyssinian War of 1935-41 fought the brutal military government by advocating and giving hands to the Ethiopian Committee on Immigration ( ECI ) that was established to expose the criminal activities of the government and garner legal status for nearly 30,000 Ethiopians immigrants residing in the United States. His late mother, Woizero Mulumebet Abebe, was the sister of Princess Medferiashwork Abebe ( later empress )