June 22nd, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Hundreds of Ethiopians in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) area conducted a successful fund-raising dinner to support the newly established Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) at IBEX Ethiopian Restaurant on June 19, 2010. At $50.00 and $100.00 per dinner, the fund-raising activity was a privilege to dine with the renowned Ethiopian Activist and entertainer, Artist Tamagne Byene, who was the guest of honor. The event started at 7:00 pm and ended at 11:30 pm.

ESAT is the first independent Ethiopian Satellite Television service that debuted transmission to Ethiopia, Africa and the Middle East countries in April 2010. Its main objective is to become the voice and conscience of the Ethiopian people who are deprived of balanced and accurate information.

The guiding principle of ESAT is that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes the freedom to present one’s opinions without interference from government, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through the media regardless of frontiers. ESAT will serve as a conduit for citizens to express their opinions freely, to access reliable information, and to play a part in the struggle to build a democratic Ethiopia.

Prominent individuals with their families attended the dinner. Ato Zewge Kagnew of the Ethiopian community radio was master of ceremony at the event. Zewge repeatedly (and wittily) emphasized the need to stay loyal (being Tamagne) to the cause for which we stand. Ato Betru Gebregziabher, informally representing the DFW Ethiopians opened the meeting expressing the purpose for the gathering and welcoming Artist Tamagne Beyene as a champion of this and other similar initiatives in the struggle for Human Rights, Justice and Democracy. He admired the manner in which the current ESAT initiative was undertaken. He singled out ESAT’s strategy of showing us the end result first and then proceeding to ask for financial support from the rest of us as very wise.

This was followed by a written message from Dr. Aziz Mohammed, one of the members of ESAT Advisory Board and the chairman of ESAT’s technical committee, who could not be present at the event. Ato Mekuanenent Seifu read Dr. Aziz’s message conveying a reassuring message to the participants that ESAT will resume its function soon and will be on the air shortly despite the repeated electronic interferences on the broadcast by ill-wishers of ESAT.

Tamagne Beyene, who is also a member of the advisory board of ESAT, further excited the audience when he took the stage next and reiterated that ESAT is going to be on the air not in weeks, but within a few days. With his humorous yet sincere style of delivery, Tamagne urged the community that they should act in unison to challenge the existing undemocratic and ethno-centric regime in Ethiopia.

The youth of the DFW area renewed their commitment for the support of ESAT. A young and enthusiastic representative of the youth group in the DFW area, Shewayraf Shiferaw, presented a speech and a plaque to Artist Tamagne in recognition of his all rounded contribution to his country and Ethiopians everywhere. This young man also appealed to the audience and to the organizers that the youth must be an integral part of the struggle for freedom in order to bring about a meaningful change. He reminded everyone that the current leaders and activists must work strategically toward grooming their replacements.

Throughout the evening exciting video clip of ESAT’s previous broadcast to Ethiopia were presented to the audience via the big-screen display. The emotionally touching video clips of Birtukan Mediksa’s various speeches and Tamagne Beyene’s different artistic and political life were among the video clips showed and glorified the event.

During the discussion session there were many questions and opinions from the participants. Artist Tamagne Beyene addressed all kind of questions from the participants and responded to each question eloquently. The discussion session was very educational and a spirit of unity had reigned overwhelmingly throughout the evening. The dinner was fantastic as was the service of IBEX Ethiopian Restaurant. The fund-raising organizers were graciously praised for the flawless event.

At the end of the program, the participants, who committed to fully support ESAT, empowered the existing ad-hoc fund-raising committee to continue their function and call a general meeting to elect ESAT support group for the DFW area in line with the interest of ESAT. The ad-hoc committee, who organized this event are proud and appreciative of there community who made this successful fund raising event a reality and are hoping other major cities to follow suit.

June 20, 2010

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