San Jose hosts Ethio-Eritrean friendship dinner – By Abebe Gellaw

October 13th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

The effort to mend fences between Ethiopians and Eritreans was boosted with a spectacular Ethiopian and Eritrean friendship and cultural event, which was attended by over one hundred people from both communities in San Jose, California.

The October 2 fundraising dinner, which was organized by the San Jose-based Ethiopian & Eritrean Friendship Forum (EEFF), was described as a landmark in the process of building people-to-people bridges between the two communities that have been seriously damaged by decades of treacherous history of conflict and bloodshed.

Chairman of EEFF, Dr. Worku Negash noted that many people are now realizing the fact that the strong bond between Ethiopians and Eritreans need to be repaired so that the wounds of the past would not hinder efforts to establish a long lasting harmonious relationship. He told Addis Voice that the coming generation should only be bequeathed peaceful and normalized relationships in stead of animosity and bitterness. He commended Ethiopian and Eritrean students in many American and European universities that have set up joint student unions in order to have a collective voice and representation.

Dr. Worku pointed out that the event was organized to raise funds for the forthcoming Ethiopian and Eritrean Friendship Conference, slated for March 2011 in San Jose. “Our aim for the conference is not different from the objective of EEFF, which is to create an enabling environment for ordinary Ethiopians and Eritreans to forge honest people-to-people dialog based on mutual trust and respect with a view to healing festering wounds and facilitating harmonious relationships,” he said.

Representing the Eritrean community, organizing committee member, Mr. Berhane Ghebre Negus, spoke in Tigrigna reflecting a similar sentiment expressed by the chairman.

Popular singer Shanbel Belayneh and Eritrean DJ and committee member Yakob Wolde also gave the event a special flavor with their vibrant cultural music while Dr. Fikre Tolosa read a sentimental poem expressing his views on the enduring bond that exists between Eritreans and Ethiopians.

The event, which was held at Masonic Center hall that was uniquely decorated for the occasion, was opened and concluded with prayers. Elders from both communities expressed their joy to see the two communities come together to make sincere efforts to live in harmony and peace. Cultural songs from both communities spurred the attendees to spring up out of their seats and dance together in a spirit that was a true reflection of the event’s mission.
EEFF is a continuation of an initiative by San Jose residents under the Ethiopian and Eritrean Committee (EEC) which organized two conferences in the city aimed at facilitating honest dialogue and normalize relations at community levels.

Abebe Gelagay, one of the founding members of EEC gave a passionate speech relating his personal life experience and his vision for the future of the two communities. During the course of the event, there appeared to be an unspoken consensus among organizers and attendees that feasting and dancing together bodes well for the future of the two communities and the efforts to mend broken fences and bridges in that have been damaged due to their tumultuous history of tragic conflicts.

  1. Tilahun Bekele
    | #1

    Support for Birtukan Mideksa

    As we all know, Mrs Birtukan Mideksa has been nominated for 2010 EP Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.

    We cannot fight against darkness and win. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary. Birtukan is that light. Few wise men of Europe understood that thought of freedom in Ethiopia and brought Birtukan’s name to the highest order of humanity.

    The Geneva conventions 1949 international treaties binding on all states including Woyanne, limits barbarity of any sort. No wonder all Develop nations regard supreme law of the land as Humanitarian laws. Hence the birth right of every man and women on the face of the planet. Now imagine what is in store for him that mocks and degrades the highest order of humanity.

    Now we all know what happens to Soviet Union after few years of Sakharov prize. Europe closed up all avenues for escape, Soviet Union dismembered beyond recognition, and gulags and all the rest went to their death camp. History is repeating and woyanne is no exception.

    Let us galvanize and exploit this extraordinary prize nomination for Birtukan, so that darkness is wiped out as far as west is to east and north is to south.

    Now you wish your support message reaches as many MEP’s as possible and it is very important that we should do so.

    Follow the following simple steps.

    1) Copy and paste the following MEP’s email address to your send To: Line

    2) Copy and paste “Freedom of thought in Ethiopia” to Subject: line

    3) Copy and paste “This Sample letter” to body space and sign it

    4) Click send

    5) Introduce “Birtukan the Light” to a friend of Ethiopia and ask them to support you.

    I am inspired by many young Ethiopians, as young as 13 years old. US, Canada
    And all over the world who spread the word of love of Birtukan the Light.

    Love you all

    Tilahun B
    1) MEP’s email address:

    2) Freedom of thought in Ethiopia on subject line
    3) “This sample Letter”
    Dear MEP……
    I am sending you this brief note to humbly request you to lend support to Birtukan Mideksa’s nomination for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Birtukan is an unsung heroine that needs the attention and unreserved support of people like you in her struggle for freedom, human rights and justice in Ethiopia.
    Young lawyer and former judge Birtukan is a single mum and leader of the Unity for Democracy and Justice, who was jailed twice in the last five years for standing against the criminal repressions being committed by the forces of injustice led by Meles Zenawi. Her last incarceration, though it ended last week, lasted 646 days in Kality jail, where she was subjected to untold brutality and solitary confinement. She was also denied visitation rights, access to a lawyer and proper medical care.
    Your support for Birtukan’s nomination will undoubtedly add momentum to the struggle of the Ethiopian people for dignity, human rights, justice and democracy in our country and can also draw attention to the thousands of political prisoners languishing in harsh jails across Ethiopia.
    In anticipation of your kind support, I appreciate your kindness to add your voice in recognition of the struggle of Birtukan Mideksa and the entire oppressed people of Ethiopia.
    Yours sincerely

  2. annanymouse
    | #2

    The Ethio-Eritrean people issue is none issue if, 1- the aiga jungle products- Meles/Abebe/Legesse/Mathza, and his boss Bereket Simon could be locked in seclusion before they distroy many other people, 2- there should not be that much hatred let alone between Ethio-Eritreans but for the entire region of the horn of Africa because the democraphic and spectrum are much smaller, 3- the Ethio-Eritrean people have much to gain because what affects one may affect the other- especially security threats from the religious extremists, and 4- there is more to gain if peace and mutual respect gains between both people. the status quo of between both countries as of today can only the Ethiopian blood suckers weyane officials and their advisors.

  3. chabelo
    | #3

    here you go anther failer of toxic diaspora.i remember a song singing by ertreans to the derg millitary “chabelo chabelo zeadigi serawit dergi”
    he dergoch live alone ertrea to be friend of you they can be friend of each other bye the way dergoch do u have mind to think. PLEASE FIND OTHER FRIEND ESAYAS AFWERKI ERA WILL END VERY SOON.

  4. seifu
    | #4

    weyane cadre worest nitemare is ethiopian-eritrean friendship & co-operation. good job guys.

    long live ethiopian-eritrean friendship & co-operation.
    death to weyane

  5. Anonymous
    | #5

    Why now? Very suspicious. Eritrians are a fair weather friend, Ethiopians beware and don’t put your guards down. This looks like the case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Peace to all Ethiopians!

  6. Melka
    | #6

    Please you need to watch EPRDF taking over TPLF in the next 2 to 3 years. I don’t know non Tigrian community notice what happened in Tigrian community, a big fire is spreading from one end to the other end. For the First Time in TPLF history, TPLF accepted non Tigrian
    member(Azebe Mesfin)soon she will take the leadership position the same way she did on the busines side. Many of them believe that she will take over the party leadership and the prime minster position from Melese and this is his plan as well. And that is why recently Melese gave an interview and saying that he will give up from the prime minster position but he said he own the party and he can not stop working with in the party. Many Tigrian are mad because for first time in TPLF history the organization is gone be lead by Amhara including the members who are thrown out of the organization and now struggling in the opposition side. I don’t want to give a name but from a confidential source I heard that people from the opposition circle now talking about hoe TPLF gone be hijack by Amhara including a big figure oposition Tigrian memebers.

  7. Anonymous
    | #7

    Please stop! Where in the world, did you find this fabricated story about Amharas going to take over TPLF? What an outrageous story! I suggest you read the open letter that is written to Azeb. Please take time to read the entire letter to understand the heart wrenching story what TPLF are doing to the Gonder people who live around the land that is taken by TPLF.

    A must read open letter to Azeb by Abeyou Belew Getahune:

  8. solomon
    | #8

    chebelew, ante raseh adgi nehe, yederg wetader neberk mesligh.betam tekorekork. aheya.

  9. ኪፍለ ገብረ
    | #9

    ደስ የሚል ጉዳይ ነወ. አንካን ለዚህ አደረሶው ህዝቡ. ለሚመታው ጊዘ አንዲሁ ያድርሰን ድሮም ያለማወቅ የሚደረጉ የነበሩ ጉዳዮች ለሁለት ህዝብ የረጂም ግዘኢ የተጠና ታሪክ እየተገለጸ ህዝቡ ኢንዲቀራረብ መደረግ አለበት: የሰለሙን ዘር የሚባሎው ይቅር: የነገደ ዛጝ ታሪክ ይውጣ

  10. Tigi
    | #10

    Well Done ! Bertu! Anonymous above, you can be suspicious it does not matter People like you make no diffence. Viva EEFF.

  11. chanie
    | #11

    We don’t need the parasitic eritreans….but to the ethiopian fools.
    you can’t change the outcome that you think of, whether you dance or socialize with banda eritreans you will not bring back eritrea
    under ethiopian adminstration.that is not going to happen.
    So ethiopians specially Amharas don’t prostitute yourselves
    how many times you have to be tricked by the eritrean bandas.
    don’t sell your honor for food or party cookout.

  12. Anonymous
    | #12

    Chanie, TPLF are worse than EPLF.

  13. aha!
    | #13

    The silent majority of Ethiopians are engaged in a peacefull and/or armed struggle with TPLF/eprdf regime for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where does this notion of mending fences with Diaspora elite Ethiopians fit in that context. Ethiopians may hold Eritreans accountable for voting for the referendum of Eritrean independence but not for the actions of EPLF to liberate itself from Ethiopia and take the ports along with itself, while it could have turned as authonomous part of Ethiopia through a democratic process and/or government. Unfortunately that did not happen and Ethiopia is gripped with ethnic and secessionist politics that gave birth to Eritrea and others in line fighting for it.

    Where is the beef for the silent majority of Ethiopia in this publicised notion of mending fences, which is a non-isue for the silent majority, who hold no grudges over Eritreans in general but the governments on both sides. This reminds me of UDJP leadership sending appology to Tigreans on behalf of Kinijit.

  14. Anonymous
    | #14

    go hell

  15. Tigi
    | #15

    Please Etiopians and Eritreans, you can’t live forever in this world. Try to live in good manner for the next generations. Everything is in God’s hand. At least we can be open and moveforward.

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