(excerpt from the book ‘The Greek presence in the horn of Africa’)
In 1902, the railway reached Dire Dawa in the southeastern of Ethiopia and the Greek workers were among the first Europeans who settled in. Over the next decade, Dire Dawa transformed into a modern city with restaurants, café and hotels such as the ‘Continental’ of Stelios Bololakos. Nearly and around the hotel there were most of the Greek trade stores and a cinema that belonged to Alexandrou. Undoubtedly, most of the Greeks were involved in the coffee trade. Some of the dominant trading houses were those of I. Vozikis, Michaelidis, Karellas, Papakonstantinou, Kermelis brothers, Varbetas, Vrachatis brothers, Philippatos, L. Kalos, T. Armantzas, M. Dalentzas, Diamantopoulos, E. Theofilou, Zafiriadis, Salavrakos, V. Klitsas, N. Baltsorias, Giannatos, C. Koutsogiorgis, G. Kalaidis, I. Tzelatis, Michalitsianou brothers.