Brava Dr Eleni G/Medhin! – by Netsanet Zegeye
Hi … I read the excellent pedigree of Dr Eleni. So nice. So Ethiopian. Even more Ethiopian than many of us, I do strongly believe, if at all there is such a comparison.
What I didn’t understand, min adrga new yezena maekel yehonechiw? min tenagra woym
min serta yihon? tarikuans lemenager yasgededat huneta mindinew? yalgebagn neger slehone ebakh hoden qorto saychersew tolo dresilign. yegna ager neger wedeke kemebalu tesebere slemiletik kifugna eyyetechegern new.
(an email sent by me, Netsanet, to one forum member of an Ethiopian yahoo group)
I do not know exactly how and where the negative campaign started. But as you know going back and doing something in ethiopia while EPRDF in power is a treason for some Diaspora politicians. I remember there was similar negative campaign saying she is from Tigray etc etc. I think that is what forced her to write about herself, even though it is a kind of failing in to her critics trap and made me a bit uncomfortable.
Anyway, I didn’t want a new wave of negative campaign to get momentum and that is why I felt I should intervene. I am glad our good friends have backed off and she had made her speech in Chicago without distraction.
First, I would like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Eleni, who is really a melting pot of many of Ethiopian traits and threads. I read her interesting biography written by herself seemingly in a bid to slough off certain uncertainty allegedly to exist among some of us, Ethiopians, especially who live out of the country. After my yahoo group friend sent me the aforementioned reply, I couldn’t help coming directly to you, the esteemed readers of this peevish letter of mine. If I would keep on emailing with that friend, I would say, “Then what? Are there really people who act blindly to the extent of reacting based on ethnicity? At this time of globalization, is anyone who crazy to this extent? Is there any ‘Ethiopian’ especially in the Diaspora whose ground to launch a campaign pro or against someone is sheer ethos of a particular segment of the Ethiopian society? If what you tell me is true, we have to examine ourselves wherever we live.” But instead of sending my ideas to the few, I resorted to discuss it with you in a wider perspective among a relatively larger audience.
It really sickens me and hopefully millions of Ethiopians worldwide, too, if and when I observe some people knowingly or unknowingly shrink themselves to the level of animalism. In my little knowledge, it is only animals which group themselves according to their species. The troop of kangaroos, leap of leopards, yoke of oxen, pride of lions, pack of wolves, herd of pigs, etc are known for their natural selection of their own likes.
Depending on the three food chains, i.e., carnivore, herbivore, and omnivore, nearly all animals find their racial counterpart for various reasons most likely for survival which mainly includes securing food and defending themselves from predators. If we go on treating this biological stuff, we get man, (mind you not Tigre or Oromo, not Amhara or Konso, not Aryan or Jew, not Gypsy or Anglo-Saxon), we get man as one species, as one single species in the kingdom or phylum of animal classification. Unfortunate to the people of the world, I wonder as to why we human beings are degenerated to the level of being extremely wretched not to be able to give due respect to our communal race of humanity apart from finding our likes in terms of futile differences such as clan and tribe or color. And yet, we claim to have an IQ which is far better than any other creatures on earth. Unless in some rare cases, we don’t see a crash of rhinoceros fighting with another crash of this same species. It is quite unusual to see a host of sparrows waging a battle against the same host. It is only the human race that is pitifully fighting with itself from time immemorial. We can say the language he created, the brain he was bestowed by nature or God, the consciousness he has been developing through time and all other related gifts, talents, experiences or the like have not benefited him to the required level so that he could trim off his wickedness. It rather seems that the blessings in his hand have been misused, abused or maybe remained unused. Could there be a sort of curse upon earth?
It is heartbreaking to see a human being who is morally inferior to other animals. For example, if a pride of Ethiopian lions go, say, to Canada, for official visit, I hope the lions in that country will be happy. I don’t suppose they will organize a campaign to create any obstacle and make the visit a failure, by the simple reason that the constituents of the visiting delegate are lions. I think, in this regard, animals are far better than many of us, humans. They are reasonable ones; they do their actions with sufficient reasons, unlike many of us. In most cases, some people don’t want to limit the magnitude of their hatred and love as well. These two extremes are deadliest. As blind or baseless hatred leads one to develop vindictive personality and becomes a man of vengeance, likewise, uncontrolled and groundless love, infatuation in this case, may lead to mutual destruction as well. It is because of the two extremes that we Ethiopians are being affected tremendously now as has been the case for the last few decades, especially since the time of Dergue and the ensuing political set-up.
In the case of Dr Eleni, I don’t think any one from the Diaspora opposes her appearance and delivery of speech in any forum due to the fact that she is from this or that ethnic group. If there is any proof that any body tried to make a problem for her “inability” to be the ethnic group of that nuisance, it must be time for Ethiopians to have a mourning session for at least three days after burying such ignoramus citizen. How on earth any one takes the initiative and dare say, “Oh! Dr/Mr/Ms Thingummy is from this ethnic group, so let’s not allow their schedule to succeed.” What kind of absolute blindness is it? What the ethnic affiliation of the person has to do with the schedule so long as what they do hasn’t anything to do with the purposeful or otherwise destruction of the country? If someone begins something destructive, to my experience, there are some who will be attracted in any way. A tide of mob led by someone with a vested interest will rise and the consequence may be beyond imagination. We Ethiopians know
this better than any people in the world, thanks to the seven naughty kids of Addis Ababa University in the late mid ‘70s.This kind of mob and irrationality never takes us anywhere. We have to fight this divisive breed of Satanism that purposely sows the seed of hatred. And in the time to come, unless for special reason, we don’t have to ask “from which tribe/ethnic group you are?” This question must be deleted from our mid. We don’t have to imitate the Woyannes. Ethiopianness itself should be enough. Let’s not follow the furrow of the Woyannes and get lost as a consequence of our own folly. One other thing to avoid is that we have to scrutinize any campaign before we engage in it. Because, our enemies have various means to neutralize our struggle. They know how to shed crocodile’s tear. If we simply follow any torch that claims to be anti-woyanne, that torch could have been lit by any one of the moles amongst us so that we get divided and the struggle becomes aborted before Baby Liberty is born. Let’s not forget that Jesus was crucified due to the outcome of such a mob: ‘Crucify him, crucify him.’ As a result, the people of the old biblical times didn’t get the benefit of that wise heavenly Christ.
Neither Dr Eleni nor I poor Netsanet didn’t have any chance to choose our parents; or continent; or country, or ethnic group, etc. In my case, do you think I would be somebody from a remotest village of Tigray, among rural parents of Amharic and Tigrigna speaking people, and suffering by a manmade economic poverty and political vacuum (I guess there is no politics in Ethiopia, we have only one man’s ‘volunta’ to live or not to live, if that is politics, it is up to you) if I were given the chance to choose where and from whom to be born? Don’t bet! I wouldn’t be the one I genuinely expressed here above; I would rather choose one of the Scandinavian countries or if the multiple choices include ‘none of the above’, I would circle that one, in case of contingency. My dear reader, I am simply narrating what you beautifully know, but which is something practically important to remember it always in order to live on earth peacefully as brothers and sisters, not like enemies always heading for ‘vendetta’ as if one has killed the closest kin in a nuclear family, in the case of the hinterland of my country, in fact. We Ethiopians are Taliban and the US or the US and Al Qaeda. We Ethiopians are not Palestine and Israel. We Ethiopians are not the US and the Islamic Republic of Iran. We have been a model, for example, for a peaceful coexistence of religions and communities of different languages and traditions until Ato Meles came and made things fall apart. If we gather momentum and stand up for our right in unison, we can easily revive and create Ethiopia anew.
In regard to eccentric citizens who may clandestinely run their own hidden agenda at the expense of gullible individuals or groups, we Ethiopians have to sit down and ferret out the culprits along with their accomplices. Let’s get out of the blind hatred based on especially ethnic and religious groupings. Our major enemy is PM Meles Zenawi and the system he introduced. To me even Meles Zenawi is not our enemy; it is his view, his bitter sentiment about some section of the population, his ideology, his psychological make up, his inbuilt hatred towards Ethiopia, Ethiopianism, and Ethiopians, his complicated personality, his bloodthirsty nature, his uncompromisingly treacherous behavior which in turn are haunting him day and night are my fiercest enemies. Otherwise, though evil and devilish, by birth, he is Ethiopian. As a leader and as a token to pro-Ethiopianism, he can represent neither Dr Eleni nor I; Dr Fikre Tolosa nor Dr Hailu Araya; Dr Merara Gudina nor Dr Giday Zerasion… the list goes on. He is Meles Zenawi who is smashing Ethiopians irrespective of who they are as long as they do not abide by his vicious and far fetched Albanian style of ruling copy-pasted from the former President, Enver Hoxha, of that infamous country to sustain his totalitarian dynasty for ever.
On the other hand, it is the right of anyone to ask questions such as, are there Tigrians who support this man? Are there Tigrians who have been benefited by this ethnocentric man in a special way? Has Tigray Region been beneficiary of Woyannes’ discriminatory budgetary system in a way better than the others? The answer is out rightly ‘yes!’ As to me there is no question that many things have gone astray since the coming into power of Woyanne. But who did bring all this mess? Is it the people of Tigray? No! It is EPLF and TPLF financed by the historical opponents of the country and assisted by the foolish government of the Dergue which used to exasperate the mass and change the people to join the rebellion in droves.
The people of Tigray as a people in the Ethiopian nationhood have nothing to blame. Genet Zewdie is not Tigre; Dawit Yohannes is not Tigre; Demeke Mekonnen is not Tigre; Assefa Biru was not Tigre; Kifle Wodajo was not Tigre; Mulualem Abebe was not Tigre,… If we observe who is doing what, we can learn much about who is destroying this country following the commandments and even under the direct commandership of His Excellency Prime Minister Meles ( some say Monster, I don’t think it is appropriate). Though it is illogical to deny the role of many Tigrians in extending their unreserved first hand support in every aspect, especially by controlling
almost all command posts of the Ministry of Defense and other crucial state machinery including ministries of finance, health, education, …and thereby prolonging the lifetime of this roguish regime, on the hand, we don’t have to forget the role of other Ethiopians also who have been and still are collaborating with this system to achieving their insincere objective(s). Therefore, it is vain to be angry with, say, Dr Adhanom for his being a Tigrian Minister working with this anti Ethiopian government while there are also Manyazewal Mekonnen and Shiferaw Jarso who are serving this same despotic regime from other nationalities. We have to use the same parameter. Though it is impossible to prescribe the dose of emotions, nonetheless, we have to take care of
allotting our petulance when we think of culprits who have various ethnic backgrounds. A woman is said to have retorted this Amharic sentence which is now used as an axiom: . Let me add one
more saying. ” In one way or another, these sayings have something in common. Those readers, who can’t understand Amharic, please ask any Habesha.
To come to my closure, Ethiopians all over the world please let’s come to our senses and stop hating each other based on who we are in ethnicity. Albeit I don’t recommend, if we have to hate each other, let it be in terms of what we do, not of what or who we are. Let’s develop a cosmopolitan outlook. First, let’s be convinced that we are superior to any creature on earth as a human being. Moreover, let’s avoid the notion which tempts us to believe there is more than one human race on our planet; there is only one race that has devolved from two global citizens, whoever they might have been and wherever the might have been living. It is from only those two sexually opposite beings that billions of people in the world have come into existence. If a person understands this universal fact, for him/her, there is no reason to bicker over the color or the religion or the size of humans. He should ascribe these and other differences to certain factors that could have emerged afterwards up until our period of time in history. When we come to our specific case, it is inexplicably ridiculous and ineffably astounding to misuse our ethnic diversity for negative end. In this way, why not we ‘fight’ for hundreds of years, we will never succeed. Instead, Meles goes and another Meles comes as Mengistu was superseded by another Mengistu, a Mengistu who gave perfection to the evils of the old cannibalistic regime. When we are busy of boxing each other, wherever we are, with whatever means we fight, it is a bonanza to our little devils at Arat Kilo. These little devils are there not to please Btsay Hagos or Obbo Gemechu or Blatta Desta. Truly speaking, Meles and Azeb are there for the sake of satisfying their own id or ego of material and psychological interests, no more, no less. They are very much minute beings. It is a certain social situation that paved the way for them and gave them the opportunity to climb up and fill the vacuum. In due course, someone lent them the ethnocentric style of gubernatorial means with the help of which they are perpetuating their hellish rule upon millions of people including the over trodden people of Tigray, whom the Woyannes try to use them as hostage. When we think of liberating Ethiopia, hence, we have to be broadminded, not narrow-minded like the Woyannes. The same problem cannot be solved by the same level of mentality by which the problem is invented; I think I have emotionally plagiarized this idea from (Einstein?). We have to be smarter than the people who have given us the punch. That is why Jesus taught His disciples to be good to any body who tries to harm them.
God Bless Ethiopia and her Children all over the World,
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