Let me share with you a letter Eskinder sent me the other day. I could’t give him honest answer, may be you can ‏- ?

January 8th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

I am…, but who are you?

On the evening of September 14, 2011, I was sitting with my son just outside my front door and watching the daylight lose its glory to the unpleasantness of the darkness. As the night progressed, I called my son and said, “ …let’s go inside.” He never answered. He was in another world, eagerly waiting to see that lovely moment when day and night quietly brush shoulders as the sun peeks over the horizon. I shouted out, “…. son!” As if he knew what is coming next, he whispered, “…no.” That was my last night with my son.

As the prison guard slammed the door behind me, I closed my eyes and tried to relax. My mind raced back to where it was twenty four hours ago and stopped halfway. I was exhausted. I started singing the song from the 70s, “When will I see you again” by the musical group The Third Degrees. How ironic. The phrase “third degree” is used to describe the use of torture in prison to get confessions from prisoners. The guard screamed at me, “Shut your mouth!” I ignored him and continued signing. I was singing for my love, Nafkot, for the love of my love, Serkalem and for the love of all loves, Ethiopia.

The Central Prison in Addis Ababa is a depressing and a dreadfully scary place where inmates leave their cells walking upright and come back on a stretcher skinned and dismembered like a slaughtered animal. It is cold, heartless, and brutal house of horrors. When you open your eyes you see ghosts, when you close your eyes you see ghosts. This is not a normal prison. It is a prison of ghosts– human beings whose dignities have been shorn away, bodies abused, hearts broken and minds numbed. But these are ghosts with a spirit of defiance, audacity and honor.

In the past, especially in the last four months, I’ve repeatedly told you who I am and what I stand for. Now it is time for you to know about you. Who are you and what do you do? Are you fighting tyranny? Are you doing your part to get rid of corruption from Ethiopia? Have you determined to make Meles Zenawi the last dictator in Ethiopia? Do you know our failure to unite and our inability to lead has shaken the faith of our people?

To continue as a nation and to ensure liberty to our people, Ethiopia needs self-initiated citizen activism. Our nation has been bleeding for the last 20 years. Our country will not survive these atrocious times if you are waiting for others to lead you. You must be a leader and you must act as if the future of Ethiopia depends on you alone. I am ready to lead. Are you?

Listen fellow Ethiopians, the nation’s hope for liberty is hanging on your shoulder. Our country needs heroes and heroines who must challenge Meles Zenawi’s dictatorship. I am forced to live and struggle in Meles Zenawi’s “Meakelawi”. I am Eskinder Nega. Who are you? Where are you?

Some of us blame the past and do nothing for the future. Some of us dwell in the past and fail to see the future. Some of us simply blame past and current politicians and leaders. Now it is a turn around time! No matter what we do, we can never correct the past, but we can always draw lessons from it and shape our future. Let’s take back our country and choose “who we are” and “who want to be”. We can do this only when we no longer allow our past decide our future. I know I am in prison, but we can do this together if I am in you and if you are in me. I am Reeyot Alemu. Who are you?

I’ve heard you screaming for freedom in different mass rallies and town hall meetings. Do you really want freedom? Do you really know what you want? I am stressing on what you want because knowing what you want is less important than knowing what you must give up to get what you want. Besides, to be free and make people free, the most important thing is not what you take up; it is what you give up. I want you to stop talking about the sacrifices paid by our fathers and forefathers. Now you are a father, it is your turn to do for your children what your forefathers did for you. You are the elect of this generation. Liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness are the three most important things worth living for… and what is worth living for is worth fighting and dying for.

A generation or two ago, most Ethiopians subordinated their individual concerns to that of the nation. Young revolutionaries of the 1970s committed suicide than snitching on their friends and their cause. Just a quarter of a century ago, honesty was the norm of the day and most Ethiopians had integrity. Today, I see selfishness and lack of empathy for others. I see a lot of lying, selfishness, and corruption. My fellow citizens, this is a fatal disease that you and I must cure. We must teach our young people that they would rather be hated for who they are than to be loved for who they are not. I am ready and I am Bekele Gerba. Who are you?

As much as we hate the crimes and human rights abuses of the TPLF regime, unless you and me create a renewed sense of common purpose and finish the job we started we will remain subjugated by the TPLF. Twenty years of internal squabbling and mudslinging has weakened our ability to face the enemy as a united front. We have gone through twenty years of grueling struggle and twenty years of agonizing defeat. I understand that joy and grief, victory and defeat are the two inseparable sides of our struggle, but we are not condemned to lose and grieve and the TPLF is not destined to win forever. We must seek learn from our failure, and transform the pain of defeat into the joy of victory in justice.The difference between us and them is that, for 17 years they were ready to die for what they believed. We are not. My brothers and sisters, if you’re not ready to die for what it is worth dying, then how can you live? I am Andualem Araghe and I am ready to live and die for my belief – justice, dignity, democracy and human rights for all Ethiopians.

Are you?

Who are you?

  1. koster
    | #1

    I am ready to do my share in the fight to build a free and democratic Ethiopia. It is unfortunate those who claimed to free Tigrai are now turned looters and killers and either Tigreans or other Ethiopians are free except the looters, killers and hodam collaborators.

  2. በለው!
    | #2

    *አንዲት ኢትዮጵያ የሁሉ የጋራ ቤታችን በሰላም,በፍቅር,በእኩልነት,በመከባበርና በመረዳዳት አብረን ልንበለጽግ ይገባል!
    ሀገራቸን ልጅ እና የእንጀራ ልጅ የላትም: ከሕዝብ ይልቅ ግለሰቦች በማናቸውም መንገድ የተለየ ጥቅም ወይንም ነጻነት ኖሯቸው ሌሎችን ሊያገሉ,ሊያስሩ,ሊበድሉ,ሊዘርፉ,ሊገድሉ የተለየ የዜግነት መብት ሊኖራቸው አይገባም::
    ህዝባቸን ካለፈው ተምሮ ሀገርና ሕዝብ ያለበትን አሳዛኝ አሳፋሪ ደረጃ አውቆ ለመብቱ መነሳት,መጠየቅ,መልስ ማግነትን የሚቸረው ሳይሆን በግድ የማስከበር አላፊነቱ የሁላችንም ነው::እንበርታ እንታገል እንተባበር ድል የድሃው ህዝብ ይሁን
    ለዚህ መሰረታዊ ጉዳይ ግንባር ቀደም ሆነው እራሳቸውን አዋርደው ቤተሰቦቻቸውን በትነው በእሥር ለሚማቅቁ ከሀገር ለተሰደዱ መሄጃ ጠፍቷቸው በገዛ ሀገራቸው የቁም እስረኛ ለሆኑ ዘጎች ብርታቱን ይስጣቸው ግፍ ይብቃ ማለትን አጥብቀው ይጽኑበት ጉዞው መራር ቢሆንም ድል የማይቀር ነው በለው!ከህገረ ካናዳ>>>>>>

  3. Sam
    | #3

    According to the writer Eskinder sent him a letter which stated “I am ready to lead.” I read almost every article Eskinder posted in Abugida, and I do not get a sense that he intended to lead. In fact, there was no any indication in his writings that he was interested to engage in politics as his prime motive. He wanted to be an impartial journalist, which is undeclared crime in Ethiopia by the undeclared defination of EPDRF about being a journalist. The writer without knowing it perhaps played in the hands of EPDRF propaganda, which says that Eskinder is a politician, indeed as a bad one as a terrorist. Eskinder is not a politician; he is a journalist. He wanted to make government accountable to the Ethiopian people. For that unselfish motive he was thrown to prison, not because he aspired to lead. The writer’s failure to distinguish a politician from a journalist is a serious error. Had Eskinder shown any inclination to lead rather than to be the volice of the voiceless, he would not have amassed such sympathy as he has now. That is not to mean a politician who opted to lead is not the voice of the voiceless as Eskinder is. Not at all. Even if the end game is the same, creating a democratic Ethiopia, a journalist and a politician do not see politics in the same light. A politician is partisian. An impartial journalist, whom Eskinder is one, is not.

  4. ሙሴ ሙላቱ
    | #4

    ሲያመኝ የነበረዉ ከዳነን በሽታዬ
    እንደ ደፋሮቹን እንደ እስክንድረኛዬ
    ማጂን ከጋሜባላን ሜዳዉን መጫወቻዬ
    የባሮን ዋነተኛ አባይ ነዉ መድረሻዬ
    በተከዜን ዙሬን እንዴት ነሽ አባዬ::

    እንደ አርቺሜድስ ከጀመረ ዕብቴ
    አሌክሳንደሪያኝ ሂጄ ላዉጀዉ ነፃቴ
    ፀሀፊዉ ወደ ቃሊቲ ይፅፋል በረከቴ
    ማንበብ የማይችሉ መፃፍ እንዴት ቻሉ
    ዘመነ ዘገረምዬን ይገርመኛል ነገር ሁሉ::

    ወሃን ወደ ላይን አቀበቱን ይፈሳል
    ባንዳ ከዙፋን ጨዋ ቃሊቲ ይወርዳል
    እንቅልፍ ከወሰደኝ ዓይኔን ይጨፈናል
    ሀሳብ ሲያምሰኝ ሌሊቱን ይነጋለል
    የባቢስ አበባ እንዴት ሰንብተሻል
    ገናን ለጥምቀቱን መለስ ይሰቀላል
    ይነጋልን ይነጋል ለስክንድሩን ይነጋል
    የናፍቆት ፈጣሪ የእሰክንድሩን ይሉሻል::

    ደጋግሞን ሲያመን መለስ ይሸበራል
    ሳነረሳ ልጁን ሲያመዉን ያመናል
    ዘብሄር ቃሊቲን እስክንድር ይባላል::
    እንከዋን አደረስልን ለበርሃኔ ልደቱ
    ወደፊት ካያዬህ ይደርሰልሃል ናፍቆቱ::
    ዉሾች እያበላች አንበሶች ካሳደገች
    ይነጋል ሌሊቱን ይነጋል ካለች::

  5. Tatek
    | #5

    The causes of our failing,our disintegration,our feeblity, our fragility,our inadequacy etc.are:lack of a collective consciounes,lack of a collective wisdom,lack of an essence,lack of a concentrated common goal towards the saving of our disarray nation and the making of the needed national identity,the re-constructing and the re- building of a strong national self.Being unable to be a meta thinker,being unable to ask ourselves-who are we?what are we?where are? what are we doing? what are we standing for at this critical and historical junction or epoch?Can we afford to be in different?Can we afford not contribute something at such national crises? Am I a human Ethiopian or am I a none human Ethiopian animal? As far as my mata thinking and telepathic relations are concerned- all native Ethiopian:flora and aquatic animals,birds,trees,rivers,mountains[all eco-systems] are crying in their natural/dialectical languages as much as I am crying for my dying nation.Unless we feel the situation in which we are collectively,we are not going to overcome it.When I mean by feel,I do not mean just a surface or a shallow national feeling.We must ignite our national psychic.What our Patriot Eskender has been trying to address to us is this message with a better language.

  6. lij Seife Michael
    | #6

    Tadias wegene!

    Yalehibetn askefi huneta sasibew, ijig beTam Zegenenegn!
    Min teshalegn, yemadergew gira sigebagn?

    Bayhon, yemiChalegn hulu indewetrow lemadreg QoriChe wesignalehu!
    Awo, wediawnu, debdabem liTsafilih biye wede computere teshagerialehu.

    Yidersih yihon? Enegnih Selabiwochin aynaChewn Getta yigardilin.
    Antenim keqifu hulu yiTebiqih. Ayzon, eskeminigenagn,

    Yantew Ethiopiawi wegenih,

    Tsinatun yisTih! Melkam Gena!



  7. Anonymous
    | #7

    Man…it was a metaphor…not lead in a sense of being the Ethiopian PM

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