People-to-People Diplomacy: Kinijit-Dallas

August 23rd, 2007 Print Print Email Email


kinijit
Dallas and Fort Worth Kinijit Relief & Development Organization
P.O.BOX 742974,
Dallas, TX 742974
Tel: (972) 375 1334

kinijit

People-to-People Diplomacy: Kinijit-Dallas

Kinijit-Dallas held a successful cultural-diplomatic evening with over 25 Americans in Dallas at the Kereje (Ethiopian) restaurant on the evening of August 23rd 2007. The guests were employees of a local high-tech firm who were on a company-paid cultural outing. Also present as co-hosts to our guests were local Ethiopian business, media and community members. The chairman of Kinijit-Dallas chapter, Dejene Assaye who has a long standing business and personal relationship with both groups helped set up the dinner mixer event.

Kinijit Dallas has now a standing diplomatic function under its community relations (non-Ethiopia) committee. The objective of this function is to cultivate friendship between the people of Texas and Ethiopia through a concerted effort of communication with politicians, academics, journalists, religious and business groups of the state. This task is particularly important in the current situation. We have now paid diplomats like the Ethiopian Ambassador in the US who shamelessly tries to defend the Melesse regime’s across the board human rights violation and political oppression by comparing it to a simple police brutality incident of the kind involving Rodney King’s beating of the 80s in Los Angles.

dinner5.JPG
diner2.JPG

The August 23rd cultural mix with our American friends was one of the first planned diplomatic activities for this year. Our guests had an Ethiopian dinner. For a starter, the guests were given guidance by the Ethiopians on the menu choice, ingredients of the food served and the etiquettes of an Ethiopian meal. After the dinner, a presentation supported by illustrative pictures was given focusing on Ethiopian history, geography, culture, and places of attractions including four of the country’s UNESCO world heritage sites. The unique history of Ethiopia, its independence, its alphabet and the calendar (our Millennium) were explained to them.

Following this presentation, the chairman of Kinjit-Dallas gave a speech on the current situation in Ethiopia through personal stories of the Diaspora since the 80s. The audience was very interested in the discussion and followed the presentation and the speech with very inquisitive questions about life in Ethiopia, the political and economical situation of the country. In the Q&A session, among the Ethiopian guests present, a former UN staff member and another Kinijit-Dallas member told the Americans how Ethiopians have been suffering from bad governance for a long time. They identified this problem as the main reason for the perpetual poverty of the people of Ethiopia. They then told our American friends that the best way to help alleviate the suffering of Ethiopians by people who live in freedom is to urge their government representatives to change policies that help tyrants and start putting policies that can help spread rule of law and democratic institutions.

Finally, the guests were informed about both the positive and negative impact of US policy on Ethiopia. A one page literature explaining the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 introduced by Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) and HR 2228, a bill introduced by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) was handed out to them. They were also informed that they can help the cause of the Ethiopian people by contacting their congressional representatives and by asking them to sponsor, support and vote for H.R.2003. For further information, the guests were given Kinijit-Dallas contacts and the web site for HR 2003 coalition: www.HR5680.org.

As the formal discussion ended, the guests inter-mingled with the Ethiopians in small groups and at personal level and continued the information exchange and the conversation informally.

To conclude, as it is demonstrated by the exemplary work of the coalition for HR 2003 and other similar civic groups, countering the efforts of Melese’s lobbyists to buy his regime unconditional political, economic and diplomatic cover from the US government is critical and possible. For now, the urgent task is supporting the work around HR 2003. However in the long term, Kinjit North American support chapters in conjunctions with the civic organizations who are pioneers in the diplomatic activity must harness our superior numbers and grass root level connections to the people of the United States and their representative to cultivate a fruitful and durable friendship between the people of Ethiopia and the US.

Kinijit-Dallas PR


kinijit
Dallas and Fort Worth Kinijit Relief & Development Organization
P.O.BOX 742974,
Dallas, TX 742974
Tel: (972) 375 1334

kinijit

People-to-People Diplomacy: Kinijit-Dallas

Kinijit-Dallas held a successful cultural-diplomatic evening with over 25 Americans in Dallas at the Kereje (Ethiopian) restaurant on the evening of August 23rd 2007. The guests were employees of a local high-tech firm who were on a company-paid cultural outing. Also present as co-hosts to our guests were local Ethiopian business, media and community members. The chairman of Kinijit-Dallas chapter, Dejene Assaye who has a long standing business and personal relationship with both groups helped set up the dinner mixer event.

Kinijit Dallas has now a standing diplomatic function under its community relations (non-Ethiopia) committee. The objective of this function is to cultivate friendship between the people of Texas and Ethiopia through a concerted effort of communication with politicians, academics, journalists, religious and business groups of the state. This task is particularly important in the current situation. We have now paid diplomats like the Ethiopian Ambassador in the US who shamelessly tries to defend the Melesse regime’s across the board human rights violation and political oppression by comparing it to a simple police brutality incident of the kind involving Rodney King’s beating of the 80s in Los Angles.

dinner5.JPG
diner2.JPG

The August 23rd cultural mix with our American friends was one of the first planned diplomatic activities for this year. Our guests had an Ethiopian dinner. For a starter, the guests were given guidance by the Ethiopians on the menu choice, ingredients of the food served and the etiquettes of an Ethiopian meal. After the dinner, a presentation supported by illustrative pictures was given focusing on Ethiopian history, geography, culture, and places of attractions including four of the country’s UNESCO world heritage sites. The unique history of Ethiopia, its independence, its alphabet and the calendar (our Millennium) were explained to them.

Following this presentation, the chairman of Kinjit-Dallas gave a speech on the current situation in Ethiopia through personal stories of the Diaspora since the 80s. The audience was very interested in the discussion and followed the presentation and the speech with very inquisitive questions about life in Ethiopia, the political and economical situation of the country. In the Q&A session, among the Ethiopian guests present, a former UN staff member and another Kinijit-Dallas member told the Americans how Ethiopians have been suffering from bad governance for a long time. They identified this problem as the main reason for the perpetual poverty of the people of Ethiopia. They then told our American friends that the best way to help alleviate the suffering of Ethiopians by people who live in freedom is to urge their government representatives to change policies that help tyrants and start putting policies that can help spread rule of law and democratic institutions.

Finally, the guests were informed about both the positive and negative impact of US policy on Ethiopia. A one page literature explaining the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 introduced by Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) and HR 2228, a bill introduced by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) was handed out to them. They were also informed that they can help the cause of the Ethiopian people by contacting their congressional representatives and by asking them to sponsor, support and vote for H.R.2003. For further information, the guests were given Kinijit-Dallas contacts and the web site for HR 2003 coalition: www.HR5680.org.

As the formal discussion ended, the guests inter-mingled with the Ethiopians in small groups and at personal level and continued the information exchange and the conversation informally.

To conclude, as it is demonstrated by the exemplary work of the coalition for HR 2003 and other similar civic groups, countering the efforts of Melese’s lobbyists to buy his regime unconditional political, economic and diplomatic cover from the US government is critical and possible. For now, the urgent task is supporting the work around HR 2003. However in the long term, Kinjit North American support chapters in conjunctions with the civic organizations who are pioneers in the diplomatic activity must harness our superior numbers and grass root level connections to the people of the United States and their representative to cultivate a fruitful and durable friendship between the people of Ethiopia and the US.

Kinijit-Dallas PR

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