Born in Ethiopia in 1974, Aïda left the country at a young age and spent an itinerant childhood between Yemen and England. After several years in a boarding school in Cyprus, she finally settled in Canada in 1985. After studying film at Howard University in Washington, D.C., she went on to work as a freelance photographer for The Washington Post. Then in 2003, Aïda was chosen to be part of the groundbreaking show «Ethiopian Passages: Dialogues in the Diaspora» at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. Later that same year, she made an appearance on “Imágenes Havana” a group photography exhibition in Havana, Cuba - the same fortuitous encounter that led to «The Unhealing Wound.” A documentary that explores her own stated fascination about her own identity and also with «how much cultural retention is possible without, necessarily, cultural interaction.» In her new photography book “Ethiopia: Past/Forward (Africalila, 2009,) Aïda explores the country through, identity, personal journey and family nostalgia after a 30-year absence. The photographs are a collection of images that show cases a return to a society juxtaposed between past, present and future.
Aïda continues to exhibit her work worldwide and a collection of her images can be found in permanent collections in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and the Museum of Biblical Art in the United State. She is the 2007 recipient of the European Union Prize in the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, in Bamako, Mali. As well as the 2010 winner of the CRAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo,Italy. She is currently the Director of the Modern Art Museum/ Gebre Kristos Desta Center inside the Addis Ababa University and also the director/curator of the first international photography festival the Addis Foto Fest.