Adwa: From Ahmad Grañ to Menelik II By Maimire Mennasemay, Ph.D

February 28th, 2016 Print Print Email Email

Against historical amnesia

Ethiopians will be commemorating the Victory of Adwa on March 1st. For many, the commemoration of Adwa is a celebration of Ethiopian unity and history. But not for the TPLF. One of its weapons for fragmenting Ethiopians is its politics of historical amnesia, best exemplified by the petulant remark of our late Prime Minister who claimed in 1993 that Ethiopia is no more than one hundred years old. The TPLF dogma is that the Ethiopia we know now did not exist before Menelik created it “by force”.

Unfortunately, many admirers of Emperor Menelik are also entrapped in a similar historical amnesia. They claim that Menelik created the unity that made the Adwa victory possible. But a “longue durée” view of Ethiopian history shows the inaccuracy of this claim. Menelik is not the creator but the beneficiary of an Ethiopian unity that was conceived centuries before him.

The historical figure who sowed the seeds that eventually led to the emergence of the enlarged new Ethiopia out of the old one is none other than Imam Aḥmad Ibn Ibrāhīm al-Ghāzī, commonly known as Grañ. Until the 16th century, Ethiopia was a medieval state more or less limited to the northern and central areas of what we now call Ethiopia. Grañ changed this dramatically. If Grañ had not existed, it is doubtful that contemporary Ethiopia would have its present geographic and demographic characteristics.

From Shimbra Kure to Chelenko to Adwa

Grañ’s war (1529-1543) is not an invasion by an external force. It is a sequel of the internal conflicts between the rulers of Christian Ethiopia and the periphery of Muslim chiefdoms since at least the fourteenth century. Much is made of the fact that Grañ received military assistance from the Turks. But this does not make him less Ethiopian than the Christian Emperors who received military assistance from the Portuguese in the war that pitted them against him.

Imperial history claims that Grañ brought war and destruction to Northern Ethiopia. He did, but he was not the only one. The armies of the medieval nobles and kings of Northern Ethiopia, who often engaged in wars, descended on the peasantry like “locusts”, to quote Marcus, devastating everything in their path. But there is a difference between the destructive wars of the medieval nobles and kings and those of Grañ. The wars of the former did not open a new chapter in Ethiopian history. Those of Grañ did.

One could say that Menelik’s victory over Emir Abdullahi of Harrar at the battle of Chelenko on January 1887 completed the chapter of the new Ethiopia that Grañ opened 358 years ago with his victory over Emperor Libne Dingel at the battle of Shimbra Kure in 1529. Grañ sowed at Shimbra Kure the seeds that eventually made possible the unity and victory of Adwa.

Grañ: The catalyst of Ethiopian unity

The medieval Ethiopian emperors (Amdë Tsion, 1313-44; Zara Yacob, 1434-68; Dawit, 1382-1411; or Yishaq; 1414-29, Libne Dingel 1508-1540…) were interested primarily in unifying Christian Ethiopians, and in controlling the Muslim peripheries mainly for commercial purposes. Grañ’s historical novelty lies in that, first, he is from the periphery, and second, he is the first leader of the region who had the project of transforming Northern, Central and Southern Ethiopia into a single political entity.

True, Grañ’s pursuit of unity presupposed the Islamization of Christian Ethiopia. One may thus object that the unity that he envisioned passed through the elimination of Ethiopian Christianity. This may be true if we limit ourselves to a key-hole view of Ethiopian history. However, if we take a longue durée view of Grañ’s wars, we see that they are historically transformative in an unexpected and lasting manner.

Grañ’s conquest of central and northern Ethiopia weakened political, cultural and ethnic frontiers between the North and the South and rendered them porous. It opened the door to wide-ranging demographic movements from the South to the North, which eventually led to the establishment of the Oromo in Tigray (Raya and Azebo), to the rise of powerful Oromo Muslim chiefdoms in Wallo, and the emergence of powerful Oromo princes in Gondar (1769-1855), making multi-ethnicity and trans-ethnicity indelible features of Ethiopia. Ultimately, the demographic movement from the South to the North triggered by Grañ’s wars paved the way for reverse demographic movements from the North to the South, expanding the multi-ethnicity and the trans-ethnicity that Grañ’s wars initiated. Gran’s actions led to the transformation of fixed ethnicity into liquid ethnicity—ethnicity whose meaning boundaries are in continuous flux.

Moreover, Grañ’s wars allowed the spread of Islam, a universal religion, already present in Ethiopia since the 7th century. Like Ethiopian Christianity, Ethiopian Islam transcends ethnic, linguistic, and cultural barriers. For both, ethnicity is a fluid and not a closed identity.

As Hussein Ahmed shows in his study of Islam in Nineteenth-Century Wallo, Christianity and Islam have forged trans-ethnic social practices and meanings that are now part of the common reference world that Ethiopians inhabit. One finds among Ethiopian Christians and Muslims shared practices such as recognition of holy men, veneration and supplication of saints, Muslim and Christian pilgrimages to the same shrines, (e.g., St Gabriel’s church in Qulubi or the Muslim shrine of Faraqasa in Arssi), exorcism, and so on. Consider also the musical sensibilities that manzuma and tizita share. Both originated in Wollo and in Amharic, and both transcend ethnic differences and are sung now in various Ethiopian languages.

The Ethiopian unity that these two universal religions forged gave rise to two unique phenomena, as Jon Abbink notes, namely, “oscillation” of many Ethiopians between the two beliefs, and “religious tolerance”. Historically, Ethiopian Islam and Christianity have become, in many respects, expressive of Ethiopia’s multi-ethnicity and trans-ethnicity, of its unity and identity. Consequently, we could say, Grañ laid the ground for the emergence of the new heterogeneous Ethiopia from the old homogeneous Ethiopia: territorially larger, more diverse, with a richer common reference world, and with more potential for unity than before, as Adwa demonstrated.

That which in Adwa is more than Adwa

One may object that the unity of Ethiopia that emerges from the aftereffects of Grañ’s actions is the result of unintended consequences and cannot be attributed to him. But were we to eliminate the unintended consequences of human actions from history, there would not be much history left to talk about. It is retroactively that events appear as necessary conditions to what follows them.

In this sense, Ethiopian history has emancipatory surplus meanings—witness the development of multi-ethnicity and trans-ethnicity—that enable us to embrace our history in all its complexities and our future as a shared collective task. An Oromo aphorism expresses this idea forcefully: “By remembering the past, the future is remembered” (Kan darbe yaadatani, isa gara fuula dura itti yaaddui). What the aphorism tells us is that without a sense of history, we cannot build a better future. Let’s remember that the absence of a sense of history was a contributing reason for the failure of the 1974 Revolution and for the rise of the politics of ethnicity as destiny in 1991. To quote Churchill, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

This means that we have to historicize Adwa and see it as a work-in-progress in order to elicit that which in Adwa is more than Adwa: its surplus meaning of the rejection of internal domination, incubating in its rejection of external (Italian) domination. We could indeed find the seeds of this surplus meaning in the cracks of Ethiopian history if we go beyond nationalist and ethnic narratives and unpack it as the history of a people engaged for centuries in direct and indirect struggles for a better life. Read against the grain, Adwa is one of these struggles.

Rescuing Adwa from hero-worship

Celebrating Adwa means liberating it from its current existence as an event frozen in time and place and interpreting it from a longue durée perspective that discloses it as one of the manifestations of our long historical struggles for a better Ethiopia. Such an approach allows us to see the multi & trans-ethnicity that has progressed since Grañ and that manifested itself in Adwa, and to enucleate from it the non-group criteria we need to articulate individual freedoms and ethnic rights as democratic mirrors of each other. Only then would we be able to answer “yes” to the 2015 question of Obang Metho, one of the sincere voices of Ethiopian unity and democracy: “Look at the lessons of Adwa. Are we free?”

Otherwise, our celebration of Adwa is just a yearly ritual of hero-worship. True, Menelik is a great emperor, but the Adwa victory is greater than him for it is the victory of a people that history has united. To forget this and indulge in hero-worship is to lose our sense of history. It is to suffer from historical amnesia. Isn’t the unwillingness of other Ethiopians to join the Oromo protestors a symptom of the virus of historical amnesia with which the TPLF has infected Ethiopians? Historical amnesia is an obstacle to Ethiopian unity and democracy.

Adwa teaches us that it is necessary that we recover our sense of history for it is the only effective antidote to the historical amnesia on which thrives the poison of ethnic politics. And when we retrieve our sense of history, we recognize, as Adwa has shown, that our differences become the cement of our unity. Thus speaks to us Adwa when we historicize and understood it as a historical work-in-progress.

  1. dodo
    | #1

    what a bizzare argument. Specially surprizing coming from a son of former history teacher. There is a wise saying in amharic ለ እስላም አገሩ ሃይማኖቱ ነው “for a muslim his relegion is his country” what this means that a muslim primary dedication is his religion. That is why Jihad is the essential corner stone of the Muslim religion. The destruction of Christiany and the slaughter of Christians by Ahmed Gragn is well documented by his biographer Faruki in a book called “Fituh al Habasah”(the conquest of Abasha(Ethiopia) and wondefully cronicled by our own esteemed historian Tekle Tsadik Mekuria. Meammir has to go back to his history lessons.

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    I don’t give any destructive comment for your biased and irrational comments .But I advise u to read Taddese Tamrate’s and other books which can shed light for u to understand the true history of ethiopia and the murderous nature of both Muslim and Christian leaders. Finally, u are not a better Ethiopian than any Muslim Ethiopian citizen.

  3. መዕጠይጠይቲ
    | #3

    ሁላችንም ወገኖች ሆይ,

    ኢትዮጵያን አስመልክቶ ግራኝና ምኒልክ የሚገናኙበት ጉዳይ ቢኖር, የኦቶማን አገልጋዩ የግራኝ የልጅ ልጆች ከወሎ ወደ ዖምድሩማን ስለላን ከቁኒን ጋራ እያዛነቁ ሲያመላልሱ እንደሚያድሩና እንደሚውሉ ሃፀይ ዮሃንስ ይደርሱበትና, ሃገር ትኖር ዘንዳ አንድ ወጥ የሆነ ሃይማኖት መያዝ አለበት የሚለው አባባል ላይም ይደርሱና, በየኩሬውና በየባህሩ ቀሳውስት ወጳጳሳትን እያቆሙና ራሳቸውም ከጳጳሳቱ ጎን በመቆም የክርስትና አባትነቱን ሃላፊነት እየተቀበሉ ያጠምቋቸው ጀመር:: ብዙዎቹ ኩሬ ውስጥ ዋኝተው አምባሻ ጎራሾችም በመጠመቃቸው ደስተኞች ሆነው ታማኝ ኢትዮጵያውያን ለመሆን ሲበቁ, አንዳንዶች አክራሪ ግራኞች ግን እንደ ስጋወ-እየሱሱ ተብሎና ኩሬውን ዋኝተው ካለፉ በኋላ የተወተፈባቸውን አምባሻ በጉንጫቸው ወሽቀው ኪሎሜትሮችን ከሮጡ በኋላና, ንጉስና ጳጳስ እንደማያይዋቸው እርግጠኛ ከሆኑ በኋላ ዓኽ-እንትፍ ብለው ተፉት:: በመጨረሻውም ጎንደር በዶርቡሽ ትቃጠልና ሃፀይ ዮሃንስም በነ-ክርስትና ልጆቻቸው እነ ራስ ሚክኤል እየታጀቡ የጎንደር ዘላለማዊ ህልውናን ለመረጋገጥ መተማ ላይ ዶርቡችን የማያድግም ቅጣት ሰጥተውና ጦርነቱን በማከናወን የጎንደር ኢትዮጵያን ዘላለማዊ ህልውና አረጋግጠው ወደ ዋና ከተማቸው መቐለ ሊያመሩና እነ ራስ ሚካኤል በጎናቸው ቆመው የሃገርን ድንበር በሚያስከብሩበት ስዓታት ላይ የወሎ ሴቶችን ተጋሳሾ ውስጣዊ ጠላቶች ሆነው የሰነበቱትን ሊቀጡ ፈረሳቸው ላይ እንዳሉ ፊታቸውን ወደ ታላቋ ኢትዮጵያ በሚቀለብሱበት ደቂቃዎች ላይ በምንሊክ በተዘጋጁና በታጠቁ የወሎ ቁኒን ተሸካሚዎችና የግራኝ የልጅ ልጆች በሆኑና ስጋወ-እየሱስ ሕንባሻን ዓኽ-እንቱፍ ባዮች ባልተጠበቀ ሁናቴ በጥይት ተመትተው ቆሰሉ! በእነዚህ ተግባራት ላይ ሁለቱ ባልጣወቀ መልክ በኢትዮጵያ ምድር ላይ ተደቃዮች የኢትዮጵያ ህልውና ጠላቶች ይገናኛሉ:: እነዚህን ካሃድያንን ከኢትዮጵያ ጋራ አያይዞ የሚያገናኝ ነጥብ በተለይ ይሄ ነው:: በግርጥ አፄ ዮሃንስ ወደ መተማ ሲወርዱ ያደረጉትን ስህተት ማውሳት አለብን:: ገና ሲዘምቱ የጦር መሪነቱን እንደተለመደው ለታማኛቸው አሉላ እንደመስጠት ይልቅ በየጠላ ቤቱ ለሚያጉረመሩሙ ባንዳ ዘመዶቻቸው መስጠትና በፈለገው አይነት መንገድ ደግሞ ራስ መኮንንን ከራስ አሉላ ጎን አብረዋቸው እንዲዘምቱ አለማድረጋቸው ታላቅ የአፄ ዮሃንስ ጥፋት ነበር:: ይሄ ሁሉ የንጉሰ ፅዮን ስህተት ያስከተለውን ካታስትሮፈ እርሳቸው ራሳቸው ምንም ሳያዩ በማለፋቸው …..! እኛ የእምነ ፅዮናቸው ወገኖች ግን የዚህ ጥፋት ተጠቂዎች እንደሆንን እስከ ዛሬም ድረስ አለን:: ወደ ሃረር ከሄዱ በኋላ ራስ መኮንን ከእስላሞች የሚመጣውን ውስጥ-ውስጥ ማሽክሾኮች አስመልክተው, የኦቶማን አሾክሻኮዎችን, እርግጠኛ ነኝ,”በዮሃንስ ይሁንብኝና” እያሉ እርምጃ እንደወሰዱባቸው:: ራስ መኮንን የዮሃንስ ወገን እንደሆኑ ያስመሰከሩት በዚህ ተግባር ብቻ አይደለም:: በገዛ አጎቶቹ በእነ ራስ ሓጎስ ተከድቶ ላይሆንለት ነገር መንገሻ ዮሃንስ በምንሊክ ላይ ሊሸፍት ያሰኘውን, ራስ መኮንን እንዲገጥሙት ይደረግ እና, እርሳቸውም ለመንገሻ ዮሃንስ በገዛ አጎቶቹ ተከድቶ ወጥረት ውስጥ ገብቶ መፈናፈኛ የሌለበት ሁናቴ ውስጥ እንደሚገኝ ካስረዱት በኋላ, ግን ሁሉም ሲወርድ-ሲዋረድ የፅዮን ልጆች እንደመሆናቸው መጠን ከእሳቸው ጋራ አብሮ አዲስ አበባ እንዲሄድና ከምኒልክ ጋራ ሊያስታሩቁት እንድሆኑ ቃላቸውን ሰጥተውትና ከዚያም ተያይዘው አዲስ አበባ ከደረሱ በኋላ, ምንሊክን “ይሄው ልትታረቁ ዘንዳ ይዠው መጥቻለሁኝ” ብለው የተናገሩት ቃላቸውን ምንሊክ ግን ወደጎን ጥሎ ሲያበቃ, በመንገሻ እጆች ላይ ካቴና እንዲገባበት ያዛል:: ቃላቸው እንደተከዳ የታዘቡት ራስ መኮንንም, “አስታርቀሃለሁኝ ብየ ቃሌን ሰጥቸው እኮነው የመጣነው” ይላሉ:: ቃል አይጠብቅ ምንሊክ ግን ቃላቸውን ከድቶና የአድዋ ጦርነት ላይ መንገሻም “እኔ ስምንት ዓመታት ሙሉ ያቆምኩዋቸውን ኮሎኒያሊስቶችን, እርስዎ ስምንት ስዓታት እንኳን መጋተር ሊያቅተዎት ነው እንዴ, ይበሉ እንጂ ወደፊት እንግፋ እንጂ ወደኋላ ማፈግፈግ የለም!”ብሎ የዘለፈውንም እያስታወሰ የመንጋጋ ጥርሱ ውስጥ ይዞ ኖሮ ለካስ, “ጠላትን እየማሉና እየተገዘቱ ነው ማሸነፍ” የሚለውን ቃል ወርውሮ የመንገሻ እጆች በካቴና ተቆለፉ:: በዚህ ክዳት ስ ን ባ ደ-መደናገጥ የደረሰባቸው ራስ መኮንን ከመ ቅፅበት ተሰወሩ, -አልሞቱም ተሰወሩ እንጂ- እስካሁን ጊዜ ድረስም እንደተሰወሩና ግን በምድሪቱ ታላቅ ተራራ ላይ, ምናልባትም ራስ ዳሽን ላይ ወይንም ኪሎማንጃሮ ላይም ሊሆን ይችላል, የትም ሆነ የት ሆነው እኛን እየታዘቡን ስለሆነ ሁላችንም እንንጠንቀቅ, ታሪክን ለዕለታዊ ጥቅም ብለን አናዘናብል!

    | #4

    Gragn Mohammed, did not unify Ethiopia, nor was it his intention, it’s rather quite the contrary, he might have unified Ethiopia, intentionally. Gragn burned down thousands of Orthodox Christian Churches and killed thousands of Christian worshipers and Christians that was protecting the house of God.

  5. Bekele
    | #5

    That is also the exact reason why the entire Islam civilization and 100% of Muslim countries technologically backward and culturally narrow minded.
    Islam is total dependent on Christians modernity and technology. So far, Islam contributed nothing to useful to the world advancement but terror and religious extremism.

  6. taye
    | #6

    My Special Place , Adwa
    my heart warms,
    a place that echoes
    Your alluring mountains, winding valleys,
    shelter and fortress,
    call us from the distant past,
    In my heart there is a place,
    It is you Adwa,
    Marching armies,
    where no one else can go,

    you forged and shaped our history
    the birth place ,
    the era that lives
    year after year, only surprise

    no enemy dare touch you,
    Menelik’s footsteps persist

    the starting point,
    the dawn of freedom.
    Only in my special place,
    where your victory is kept.

    The memory of that Mother of all wars,
    the stage that you provided.
    The pain of the enemy,
    your joy,will always bring a tear.
    Ethiopia your victor

    I’ll you hold with me.
    This joy somehow is mine.
    In my heart and dreams you’ll be,

    the new days , i face
    With me my special place.
    days of old beckon you,
    for ever Adwa reigns!
    the foundation of our unity

  7. Dawi
    | #7

    Dr. Miamire said:

    [[..if we take a longue durée view of Grañ’s wars, we see that they are historically transformative in an unexpected and lasting manner.s…]]

    This is one interpretation of history and sounds a good one to me.

    Is Ethiopia a hundred years old or three thousand? Did the Oromo invaded Ethiopia or joined to Ethiopia by the invasion in the 19th century?

    What ever it is, we don’t need to keep fighting over historical interpretation but creating institutional means today so that everyone can have their political expression included in a Union. It seems to me the present “federation” is one serious attempt towards that.

  8. DANI
    | #8

    The mass media is the biggest remote control ever built, and we all exist within the four-walled idiot box it controls. Manipulation of thought and behaviour is a part of our accepted daily lives. Each time we lock eyes on a news story, whether on the tube, the screen, the tablet or the old fashioned way, via a newspaper, we are buying into a perspective that may or may not be our own. We read stuff, and readily accept it as reality, often without ever bothering to source the information or take the time to perform due diligence and research the subject more deeply. We then pass on some of that information to others, and the viral effect can now, with the Internet and cell phones, travel on a global scale in a matter of minutes.

    If you wanted to truly control the minds of the masses, what better way than buying time on the media outlets the masses most visit? And the most effective types of media most able to manipulate our behaviour and change how we think… and even consume? News media, advertising… and now, social networking.

    Get ready to have your channel changed, because with the sheer amount of social programming faced on a daily basis, you are no longer in control of your own remote.
    Media Manipulation

    It’s all bad news, all the time. The stories that bombard us on television, radio and even social networking often tend to be depressing, fearful and anxiety provoking… and they spread like wildfire. But we all know that good things happen in the world. Why then does the media love to focus on the blood, gore and violence? Because we respond to it, that’s why.

    Negative news stories dominate the news because we are hard-wired to respond more to them. It’s simple brain science, really, and harkens back to our days of needing every bit of news we could find in order to guarantee our survival. And much of that news involved FEAR. Predators, lack of food and water, bad weather, other nasty humans… our primitive brain responds to bad news because at one time we needed to know it all. Who cared about the good stuff when there was a chance of death around every corner?

    In his book Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, author Michael A. Hoffman brings up a strong point for the hypocrisy and mixed messages the media sends, especially when it comes to two of the viewing audience’s favourite things – sex and violence.

    “Have you ever noticed how television and print media will scream themselves hoarse in news documentaries, editorials and heavy analytical pieces about ‘rising pornography, crime, violence, gunplay’, etc? And yet in the same TV Guide announcing the latest special on ‘The Crisis of Sex and Violence’ will appear an advertisement for Miami Vice, the ‘show that brings you the action and excitement you’ve come to expect’, etc. Or your newspaper will condemn sex and violence in the loftiest terms but there in the entertainment section is a half-page advertisement for a new ‘action’ movie accompanied by a photo of women in string bikinis and high heels fondling automatic pistols and machine-guns.”

    Hoffman calls this the Double-Mind of mass media, and we are all guilty of buying out of, and right back into, each of the two minds… the one that repels and the one that accepts. The use of images to alter our emotions is an age-old way of manipulating behavioural responses, and the media excels at imagery that shocks us, terrifies us, and titillates us.
    Misinformation vs Disinformation

    Yet much of the information we are bombarded with via a variety of media sources is not corroborated or fact-checked. Many of the news ‘outlets’ people are getting their news on are satire sites, or blog sites, or websites that allow anyone to post a story without having to prove their points or source their material. It’s become standard business to spread and take viral the most shoddy reporting, which would never hold up to journalism standards of old, even without bothering to find out who funded the story, who owns the website it first appeared on, the source of the information, and whether or not any other news source has reported on it.

    If it’s in print, or on the Internet, or the TV… we buy it. Who has time to find out if it’s true or not? Besides, if you see it in the media then it must be true, right?

    Misinformation abounds. This is information that has no basis in fact, or is the result of poor journalistic skills or shoddy reporting. This is information that mistakenly is called fact and gets spread from person to person, network-to-network, and often goes global before someone decides to finally do a bit of fact checking. By then, it’s often too late, as the populace has already accepted the information as valid and real. Even when later presented with facts, it rarely changes the minds of those already entrenched in the falsities, especially if those falsities support their ideologies and worldviews.

    Disinformation is planted on purpose, like seeds that will grow into accepted facts. Propaganda, rumour, gossip, news, and fear-mongering all spread with an agenda, usually to provoke fear and paranoia and cause people to react in a specific manner.

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell misinformation from disinformation, and often the manipulation occurs in a subtle manner on a subconscious level, which makes it harder to pinpoint, and therefore refute. One of the main reasons why we allow this is because we are so willingly distracted by the media’s idea of what we should know. We would rather spend our time and energy on these distractions than have to face our own truths.

    This could easily explain the power of social networking to create its own form of mind control, as more people spend more time on sites that allow for every possible form of distraction.
    Facebook & Social Networking

    In 2012, the megalith known as Facebook did something quite nasty to its followers. 700,000 unwitting users were basically utilised as guinea pigs in a gigantic social experiment that allowed Facebook to manipulate emotions and emotional responses, without telling anyone it was doing so. Facebook data scientists set out to see if they could influence the emotional state of site users and prompt them to post more positive or more negative content. Using an algorithm that automatically omitted certain content that was either positive or negative, Facebook researchers manipulated users for one week, later publishing their data in the March issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But once the secret experiment got out, people screamed about the blatant invasion of privacy and manipulative, deceitful tactics of the experiment, even causing some of the scientists behind the study to apologise for their less than ethical methodology. Privacy lawyers and organisations came forward, admonishing Facebook for violating the rights of the users, who were never told about the research.

    Problem is, Facebook had been doing these kinds of things for years, changing the functions and looks of the site to better serve their users, and give them more access to personal information at the same time. Users just didn’t know they were being manipulated until this particular study got attention. The forces behind Facebook understood how easy it was to influence the emotions of users with very little work, and all of it under the radar of the users. Subconsciously, these users were being swayed, even if they weren’t consciously aware of anything different on the site during the week of the study.
    Social Programming

    Are we being ‘programmed’ in the same way we program our DVRs to record our favourite shows? Also known as ‘social engineering’, this tactic of politics, religion and corporate consumerism, even education and academia, involves literally engineering the behaviour, attitudes and desires of large groups of people. Real social engineering is done using specific scientific methods of analysis and decision-making, often for more academic purposes. But social programming goes on every day in ways that are not necessarily meant for the greater understanding of humanity.

    Similar to propaganda, social programming is a type of public relations that sways large groups to accept, deny, support, resist, or anything in between. One of the pioneers of public propaganda, known as the ‘father of public relations’, was an Austrian-American nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays. Even though he had a degree in agriculture, he was fascinated by the use of propaganda during wartime, and wondered if the same rules and methods could be applied in peacetime as well. He dove headfirst into the world of psychology and public relations, linking the two to design his own concepts of public persuasion and what he called, “the engineering of consent.”

    By understanding how “group mind” worked, Bernays believed the masses could be controlled and manipulated without being aware of it. He used a lot of his famous uncle’s theories in his quest to shift public perception and promote specific behaviours, including his own desire to help out big business by treating the mass distribution of ideas the same way a company would treat the mass production of materials. His 1928 book Propaganda remains a highly influential examination of his work documenting the relationship between what he called an “invisible government, the true ruling power of the country” and the public that was ruled over, something Bernays saw as necessary to keep order over the chaotic masses.

    This kind of social control is really about regulating the behaviour of both individuals and groups of people in a society, with the influence of propaganda as one of the tools of control.
    Media Methods

    Some of the methods used by the mass media to control the viewers and influence the populace are obvious. Others fly under the radar. All are insidious and are motivated by the desire to reach, and in some way control the largest audience possible.

    Framing is a means of changing public perception about a subject or concern by imposing a ‘frame’ or base of information around the subject. This frame doesn’t necessarily present false information, but rather accentuates specific positives or negatives of the image presented within the frame. Think of a piece of art that may be very straightforward, at least on the surface, yet changes in the eye of the beholder when surrounded by an ornate frame, opposed to a plain plastic one. The media and politicians use framing as a way of getting people to accept a specific party line of thought surrounding a news story or issue.

    To frame an idea is not necessarily mind control, but it is a way to influence thought and behaviour. Two completely different groups of people, representing extremes on an issue, can find a way to frame their points of view on the issue that might actually appeal to those in the middle of the road. Framing can make an extreme concept less intolerable, and a tolerable concept more extreme, depending on how it is used.

    Language is yet another great method of swaying public thought and perception. Use of specific words and phrases can literally shape a society’s political and religious direction, and create a mentality that is as submissive as the elite in control could hope for. Look at the whole ‘us vs. them’ media assault with stories of ‘those blacks’ or ‘immigrants’ or ‘feminists’ or ‘the dirty poor’ or ‘the lazy homeless’ or ‘those terrorist Muslims’ and it’s easy to see how countries can be prodded into accepting violence, aggression, intolerance, bigotry, sexism and even war. By making someone else the threat, the enemy, the reason behind our problems and the thing to be feared, we can shrug off our own responsibilities and dysfunctions and blame the ‘other guy’.

    False accreditation is another way of getting people on board an issue or eager to buy a product or serve a purpose. By mentioning ‘scientific studies’ or some vague ‘ten doctors out of eleven’, an advertiser or news agency can get plenty of people to blindly accept that a new product is worthy of their hard earned dollars, or that such-and-such doesn’t really cause cancer. Giving credit to science, even when it’s false credit, carries a ton of weight with consumers and news audiences, who are too busy and distracted to actually go and research the claims themselves to see if they hold water.

    People have been dumbed down to the point where anything presented as fact, news or science is accepted without a second thought. It’s that second thought that is so critical, but it doesn’t happen often, leaving us reeling, wondering how we got collectively duped again and again.
    If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Distract ‘Em

    Attention is everything, and there are numerous ways to distract a person, and a group of persons. Some of the methods of distraction used by corporations, advertisers, news outlets, politicians and others include:

    Promoting nationalism – When something happens that threatens our nation, we jump on the patriotic bandwagon, to the point of supporting wars that we cannot afford or getting behind political and religious movements that promote intolerance.
    Wagging the Dog – How do you get people to stop focusing on a critical issue? By presenting them with an issue that gets more news time, even if it’s trivial and sensationalistic. Someone having an affair? Political scandal? High-powered divorce? Distract them with dirty laundry!
    Scapegoating – Look for the weakest opponent and focus on him or her. The weak link in the chain is enough to break the chain, and is a surefire way to get public eyes off the chain itself.
    Misinformation and misleading – When you want the truth to stay hidden, reframe it with a little bit of falsehood, repeat it often enough until it sticks, and sit back while it goes viral.
    Demonise the other guy – When we want to take the attention off our own sins, what better way than to focus the public lens on the demons in the other guy? Remember McCarthyism in the USA, when people who were against the government’s actions were labelled “Commies” and “America-haters?”
    Fear mongering – The big one, for what better weapon against common sense and sanity is there than fear, especially hysteria-driven fear? We saw this played out recently with the panic over a few Ebola cases in America that sent the country into a media-driven frenzy of terror and anti-African sentiment.

    Subliminals & Under the Radar Mind Control

    The use of subliminal imagery and words in advertising is well known by now, and with the advent of the Internet, social networking, and technology that allows you to make a fake photo that looks real, anyone can create a subliminal meme or message.

    Back in 1957, a market researcher named James Vicary decided to see what would happen if you inserted words or phrases into a motion picture. Words such as ‘eat popcorn’ and ‘drink Coke’ were inserted into the frames of a movie, just for a single frame and therefore not even long enough to register consciously, and resulted in an increase of sales afterwards. Those results were later called a hoax, but the concept stood strong and the age of subliminals was born, with all kinds of studies, including one at Harvard in 1999 looking at the power of flashing words and images over the subconscious, often with intriguing results. Could you make someone buy a product just by showing a single frame image of a half naked woman holding the product, even if the person buying it didn’t LIKE or NEED the product? Could you implant ideas and images directly onto the pliant and impressionable subconscious so easily?

    The answer was a definitive yes, and controversial, subliminal imagery has been used in product advertising, politics and even in motion pictures and television shows. One of the most interesting uses of subliminal imagery occurred in the movie The Exorcist, where an image of a white-faced demon named Captain Howdy flashes on the screen now and then, despite author William Peter Blatty’s outrage against the use of the image in his film. Another involved the 1943 animated Warner Bros. movie Wise Quacking Duck where Daffy Duck spins a shield. On one frame the words “Buy Bonds” appear on the shield. In one of the most blatant attempts at corporate advertising, an episode of “Parks and Recreation” titled “Community” contained a scene with a Microsoft logo and stickers. Microsoft just so happened to sponsor that particular episode to promote its new Bing search site.

    The technology to not just insert these images into movie frames or paper adverts, but to literally implant them directly into the brain, does exist. An actual United States Patent, 6,506,148, submitted in January of 2003, titled “Nervous system manipulation by electromagnetic fields from monitors,” documents the highly detailed technology available by which, as the Abstract reads, “it is possible to manipulate the nervous system of a subject by pulsing images displayed on a nearby computer monitor or TV set. For the latter, the image pulsing may be imbedded in the program material, or it may be overlaid by modulating a video stream, either as an RF signal or as a video signal.”

    In other words, the manipulation is no longer just done via a single frame here and there, but by actual modulation of the feed or signal and coming right at you via your home computer, cell phone, or television set… even your DVD player. And the manipulation occurs at a remote source.

    “For a TV monitor, the image pulsing may be inherent in the video stream as it flows from the video source, or else the stream can be modulated such as to overlay the pulsing. In the first case, a live TV broadcast can be arranged to have the feature imbedded simply by slightly pulsing the illumination of the scene that is being broadcast. This method can of course also be used in making movies and recording video tapes and DVDs.”
    Desensitise the Masses

    Perhaps it’s all a means of desensitising the masses to the violence, hatred and intolerance in the world. Perhaps it’s a means of numbing the populace to the realities that they have no power, no wealth and really, no say in how the world around them works. By using constant violence, whether on the news or in entertainment shows, and by exposing certain themes of misogyny, racism, and subjugation, eventually the viewing audience comes to accept it all as normal. Desensitisation is a powerful way to get someone to go along to get along, even if it means going along to his or her own death and destruction. Break down the inhibitions, expose the brain to constant images that would otherwise be repellant, and hammer the spirit with darkness and death and fear… and you have the perfect consumer, the perfect citizen, numbed to choices and rebellion.

    In his seminal work Mind Control in America, Steven Jacobson writes: “The techniques of psychotherapy, widely practiced and accepted as a means of curing psychological disorders, are also methods of controlling people. They can be used systematically to influence attitudes and behaviour. Systematic desensitisation is a method used to dissolve anxiety so the patient is no longer troubled by a specific fear, a fear of violence for example.” Jacobson explains how this process serves to allow the patient, or in this case, the public, to adapt to situations and ideas that once terrified them, if they are exposed to them enough.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, when he was US National Security Advisor, once said: “In the technotronic society the trend would seem towards the aggregation of the individual support of millions of uncoordinated citizens, easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities effectively exploiting the latest communication techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason.”

    Ultimately, we can control what we look at and listen to. We can find better outlets for getting information, maybe even use our own discernment and source the material that is presented to us as fact. Our minds can only be controlled to the extent that we remain numb, unaware and distracted.

    Once we wake up, take back the remote control of our lives, and begin to program our own minds the way we prefer and according to our own ethics and goals and values, it gets an awful lot more complicated for anyone else to take up residence there.

  9. Adwa
    | #9

    The writer is misleading the true essence of Adwa.
    Its real essence is as follows.

  10. ዘረ-ያዕቖብ ወ.ግ.ዓ.ም-ፅዮን The Eth.
    | #10

    All sorts of evil ካሃድያን for the last 130 years, please go home with your “philosophy” of, ስለ ታሪክ አያገባንም, ትርፍ ካመጣ ግን ሁሉንም ነገር (እስከ ሰውም ጭምር) እንሸጣለን!

  11. ዘረ-ያዕቖብ ወ.ግ.ዓ.ም-ፅዮን The Eth.
    | #11

    “Prince Mengesha tells VOA: Wolkait Tsegede has never been part of Tigrai” Ha… Ha…!

    መንገሻ ስዩም ለምስክርነት የሚበቃ የታሪክ አዋቂ ሳይሆን ሌላኛው ስልጣንን ብቻ ወዳጅ “ጅል ትግሬ/ጎጃሜ” ነው:: ይኸን ደግሞ ዘላለሙን የዓድዋ ተማሪዎች ለዘመናት ሁሉ ሲነግሩት ነበርና, ይልቁንስ ወያኔዎች እነ ዓደርቃይን እስከ አሁንም ድረስ መበደልን አቁሙና ከወገኖቻቸው ጋራ አዋህድዋቸው::

    We had two most educated (ዘመዶቼ!) የታሪክ ምሁሮች:: Both of them do not live any more.

    They were:

    1. Dr.ደጃዝማች ዘውዴ ገብረስላሴ of ሓሓይለ/ዓድዋ and ካጥናይ እስከ አጥናፉ የፅዮን ልጅ

    2. Dr መርእድ ወልደኣረጋይ of ኣክሱም

    የታሪክን እውቀት የሚሻ ሰው (በተለይም እኛን አስመልክቶ) ካለ የነዚህን ዋንኛ የፅዮን ልጆችን ፅሑፎችን ፈልጎ ያንብብ!!

  12. Anonymous
    | #12

    I like your article very much! Bravo! please keep writing, transcending and sometimes ignoring the myopic, narrow and chauvinistic vacuous cries that some commentators seem to throw at your article.

  13. Dawi
    | #13

    ዘረ-ያዕቖብ said:

    [All sorts of evil ካሃድያን for the last 130 years, please go home with your “philosophy” of, ስለ ታሪክ አያገባንም, ትርፍ ካመጣ ..እንሸጣለን!..]]

    With all due respect, profit is a Capitalist concept and nothing wrong with it; nations are built by all kinds of subjugation including genocide as in the American Indian Genocide for the outcome of the USA; so we can argue for ever regarding historical interpretation or agree to disagree and let go and build future institutions.

    That is not selling out but overcoming differences. Especially for those who felt outsiders of Ethiopia and not willing members, today’s new political arrangement has enabled them identify with Ethiopia. That is a good thing and we don’t want to take that away. We want to overcome the clash of our conception, interpretation of history of the country that keeps us apart by building a united future.

  14. abbiy
    | #14

    Adwa is an inspiration for many Ethiopians, and indeed for many Africans, and the Adwa Victory celebration should be seen in a special light.
    The Ethiopian partiotic army which Emeye Menelik put together, from all corners of Ethiopia routed the well armed white supermacist fascist army that came to colonised our beloved country.
    The victory not only made Ethiopia the first African country to challenge and defeat supermacist fascists, but also pave the way for black liberation struggle from colonialism.
    The Ethiopian tri colour became the symbol of black liberation and has been adopted by many countries in Africa.
    this is our history, this is the country that our forefathers passed on to us, a proud and independent country able to stand to defend itself and defeat its enemies.

    Today outsiders who want to undermine our history, use internal enemies to destroy Ethiopia.

  15. Dawi
    | #15

    Remembering my visit of Harar in 1985, I had a chance to tour the Tomb of Gran; it was around the market place a modest one and one can tell it was kept clean with honor by the community.

    After reading the fantastic historical interpretation of of history by Dr. Miamire, I came up with an opinion of… may be we should build a major “statue” of Gran in the center of the city of Harar while at it, other war memorials that includes one that show his destruction of Christian monuments in other parts of the country & maybe another Tomb where he was killed. We shall make Dr. Miamire in charge of that. :-) why not?

    That may give us a balance of interpretation of history delivering some tolerance of the different atrocities that happened in our country.

    May be then one of my favorite singers Saliha Sami shall come up to write a new song on Gran’s “horrors” similar to the following one.

    [[..Ahmed ibn Ibrahim el Ghazi, known as Gran (the left-handed). There had then been intermittent warfare between the Moslems of Adal, where Harar was situated and the Emperors of all Ethiopia, for several centuries, and particularly since the time of the Emperor Amda Sion (1314-1344) ; but there were intervals of peace when the Moslem chiefs appointed by the Emperor to administer Adal and other areas acknowledged the supremacy of the imperial power and accepted office as governors responsible to the Emperor. In the periods of warfare many parts of the country were laid waste and the population suffered bitterly. When Gran rose to prominence the warfare was terribly intensified…]]

    Gran was succeeded by Nur who initiated the building of the wall round Harar City, and according to Dr. Paulitschke, introduced also the Harar currency.
    [[.. In 1577 the Imam who ruled Harar, Mohammed Gaza, removed his capital to Aussa because Harar had become too much exposed to attack by the Galla tribes. Henceforth the City contended (and now for its very existence), not with the Emperors of Ethiopia, but with the Galla and Somali tribesmen. The Emir Ali ibn Da’ud (1647-1653) established a dynasty of 15 descendants. During this period it is said the Gallas first established themselves within the City walls and the rulers of the town commenced marrying Galla and Somali women…]]

  16. Freedom
    | #16

    Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. If you don’t know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, then you won’t know where you are going. Since TPLF and company had refused and continue to refuse learning Ethiopian history, they do not have the slightest clue where they are taking Ethiopia and its people. Consequently, they keep taking Ethiopian people off the cliff again and again and again and again.
    Regarding the author thank for the history lesson. However, you have made some outlandish statements. 1st Gran is not an Ethiopian. He is a somalian.
    You said,
    “Interpreting Adwa as one of the manifestations of our long historical struggle for better Ethiopia.”
    I disagree. Adwa was a war against Italian colonization. PERIOD. Abyssinia, not Ethiopia, was under existential treat since Italy has sandwiched Ethiopia from north via Eritrea and south via Somalia. Part of the reason for Menelik’s invasion of the southern parts of Ethiopia was b/c he was aware that the Italians were planning to invade southern Ethiopia. By doing it prior to the Italians, he figured he will slow down there advance to northern Ethiopia and by turning the conquered southern people into soldiers he wanted to increase his chance of victory.

  17. Dawi
    | #17

    Freedom said:

    [[..1st Gran is not an Ethiopian. He is a somalian...]]

    Do you realize that you’re ruling out/discounting close to 5,000,000 Ethiopians out of Your Freakin’ Mind?

    Showing your true colors eh “Freedom”?

    Now we know it is for your kinds that the term “Amharic speaking chauvinist” was created. :)

    Chances are the Ethiopian Somali population is larger than the country Somalia?

    As I quoted #15:
    “..since the time of the Emperor Amda Sion (1314-1344) ..Moslem chiefs appointed by the Emperor to administer Adal and other areas acknowledged the supremacy of the imperial power and accepted office as governors responsible to the Emperor..”

    Why don’t you tell us who is Ethiopian to you?

  18. Dawi
    | #18

    The following is one interpretation of Gran’s history.

    “..Ahmed Gran, an Ethiopian citizen but Moslem, was born in Harrar, to the South of Ethiopia…”

    Ahmed Gran

    [[.About 1528 – 1540 A.D Ahmed Gran led the Turks in a terrible battle against the Ethiopian Christians. Ahmed Gran, an Ethiopian citizen but Moslem, was born in Harrar, to the South of Ethiopia, was the husband of Del Wambara, the daughter of Mahfuzh, who was killed by Lebna Dengel's Champion Abba Gabre Endrias. Assisted by all forces of Islam, he attacked the country from one end to the other and successfully opposed the Christians. For over a decade the invaders pillaged the land, innumerable monasteries and churches were sacked and burned to the ground. Ancient manuscripts and Other works of art were stolen...]]

  19. Freedom
    | #19

    You said,
    “Menelik is not the creator but the beneficiary of an Ethiopian unity that was conceived centuries before him due to invasion of Ethiopia by Ahmad Gran.”
    This is an outlandish statement. Ethiopian unity was never conceived by Gran’s invasion. There is no prove that Gran’s invasion of Ethiopia contributed to Ethiopian unity. Gran’s aim, with the aide of the rising Ottoman Empire a world super power, was to turn Abyssinia into a Muslim State. Due to the aide of the other super power of the time, Portugal, Ethiopia was able to avoid defeat.
    If your theory is true there would have been peace and unity soon after Gran’s invasion. However, after his invasion, Ethiopia was in a constant state of division and war. Centuries later was the period of Zemene Mesafint, a period total disunity, constant war and power struggle.
    One important lesson of your article is the fact that our OROMO BRO/SIS HAD BEEN PART OF ABYSSINIA EMPIRE SINCE THE INVASION OF ETHIOPIA BY GRAN(1529-1543) close to 500 years. NOT AS SOME CLAIM THAT OROMO PEOPLE HAD BEEN PARTY OF ABYSSINA AFTER THE INVASION OF OROMO LAND BY MENELIK IN THE 1890′S. Therefore, due to almost 500 years of culture and linguistic integration of Abyssinia and OROMO, it is high time for the OROMO people to adapt one unifying language for the whole Ethiopia. That language is Amharic, the language a significant proportion of the Oromo people have been speaking for almost 500 years.

  20. Dawi
    | #20

    Hear is the softer side of Saliha, a different interpretation of Ethiopia, with a “Raya”, a beautiful one at that, to soothe those who were annoyed by the earlier one. :-) Enjoy!

  21. Alex
    | #21

    The victory of Adwa has been reversed by the same Bandas whose origin is mainly Adwa and its northern neighborhood. Therefore, we are in a different style of surrogate Neo-colonialism. TPLF,EPLF, OLF and others are working as a proxy for this neo-colonialism. After the second world-war colonialist powers adapted to utilize a different tactic.Rather than direct military aggression they use local proxy agents like TPLF,EPLF, OLF to execute the same colonial agenda. Whenever we remember Adwa as the present day generation, we have to be more ashamed of ourselves than being proud of Adwa.
    Because we are regressing that we failed to do our own home work in order to secure those victories and its blessings. However, great honor for those generation of our forefathers and foremothers who sacrificed their dear life for that victory. Great Honor for emperor Menilik and empress Taitu who were the vanguard leaders of that victory. And shame for all types of present day Bandas who hate and denounce Menilik.
    Bandas do not have the slightest conscious of what dignity and freedom means because they think by their belly and then live and die for their belly. Any way Ethiopia for the last 25 years and still is under neo-colony and we have to keep the fight to get our freedom. Our current enemies in power (TPLFites) are the worst enemies of all time because they do not speak and understand any sense of reason, truth, respect and compassion. What they speak and understand is only looting, revenge, hatred,deceptrion and violence by terror. This is their innate subliminal carnal drive which they are very obsessed with and can not rule the other way. Therefore, they way out for freedom is so bitter and it is most probably through violence. TPLF came to power by violence, it rules for the last 25 years by violence and it goes by violence. Because there is a saying that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.Their self conceit has blinded them to observe any sense of reason and compassion. That is why they barbarically kill unarmed innocent civilians even children and mothers.They are just born to live and die that way .TPLF from its very inception only speaks and understands the language of deception, looting and violence. It is their subliminal carnal drive. They can’t help it to stop it .because it is their life support.That is all. Therefore to regain our previous Ethiopian freedom and dignity we need another type of Adwa victory to defeat the present day surrogate neo-colonialism under TPLF rule.

  22. ዘረ-ያዕቖብ ወ.ግ.ዓ.ም-ፅዮን The Eth.
    | #22

    ውድ ነፃነትን ወዳጅ አያ Freedom ሆይ,

    “by turning the conquered southern people into soldiers he wanted to increase his chance of victory.” የሚለው አባባልህ ክፋት የለውም, ግን ከሃቅ ጋራ ያልተያያዘን ጉዳይ ለልጆቻችን ማስተላለፍን መተው ይኖርብናል:: ምኒልክ ወደ ደቡብ ሲዘምት የነበረው መፈክር “አውሮፓውያን አፍሪቃን ሲከፋፈልዋት ዝም ብየ የሚታዘብ የጎን ተመልካች ልሆን አይደለም!” ነበር:: ለዚህ ለደቡብ መስፋፋቱ ተግባራትም ከአፄ ዮሀንስም ፈቃድ አግኝቶ ነበር::አፄ ዮሃንስ የምኒልክ ነገር ከመጀመርያውም ቢሆን አይዋጥላቸውም ነበርና, ከዚህም በመነሳት ነበር አብዛኛውን ጊዜ ከእርሱ ጋራ በቀጥታ ከመነጋገር ይልቅ ከራስ ዳርጌ ጋራ መላላኩን ይመርጡት የነበረው:: ስለሆነም በራስ ዳርጌ በኩል አድርገው ምኒልክ በቁጥጥሩ ስር ያዋላቸውን ህዝቦችን በሙሉ ከመ ቅፅበት እንድያጠምቃቸው አፄ ዮሀንስ በጥሞና ያሳስቡ የነበረው:: ምንም እንኳን አፄ ዮሀንስ የምኒልክን እንኩይነት ታዝበው ኖረው እያሉም ግን በበለጠ አላወቁትም ነበር:: ውሎ አድሮ ከፊል ግዛቶቻቸውን ለጣልያን የሚሸጥ እንኩይ መሆኑን ደርሰውበት ቢሆን ኖሮ ከፍ ያለውን………..! የተግነዘቡት አፄ ቴዎድሮስ ነበሩ, ከዚያም በመነሳት ነበር የሸዋ ንጉስነቱን የሰው ልጅነት መንፈስ ላልተለያቸው ራስ ዳርጌ እንዲወስዱ ፈቃዳቸው የነበረው:: ራስ ዳርጌ ግን አልተቀበሉም:: በርግጥ ለጊዜው ራስ ዳርጌ ከራሳቸው መንገስ ይልቅ የቤተሰባቸውን ድር ማበርን ማስቀደማቸው ያስመሰግናቸዋል:: በረጂሙ ሲታይ ግን ምኒልክን በማስቀደማቸው ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የማንም ከየትም የተለቀመ የኢትዮጵያን ግዛቶ ይሸጥ ዘንዳ መነሾም ሆነዋልና ምንም እንኳን ራስ ዳርጌ ከነ ከሃዲው ራስ ሓጎስ-የወንድሙን ልጅ አሳልፎ ሻጭ, በበለጠ የቤተስባቸው ተከናካኝነታቸው ብናደንቃቸውም, በኢትዮጵያ ምድር ላይ ግን ቁጥር አንድ ባንዳን ተከናክነው በማሳደጋቸው በመጠኑ ሳናዝንባቸው አልቀረንም:: ነገሩን ለማሳጠር, ለሰሜን አስቦ ምኒልክ ደቡብን ወረረ ብሎ መናገር is like በሬ ወለደ ነገር, ስለሆነም አገራችንንም ስንወድ ሃቅ ላይ ተመስርተን መሆን ይገባዋል የሚለውን ለማሳሰብ እወዳለሁኝ:: የለም እንደ ሃፀይ ዮሃንስ አዳንቄ ነው አገሬን የምወደው ባይ ሆነህ ከተገኘህም, it is okay!የዮሃንስ አምላክ ቆልዓ ትግራይን በጎንህ ያቁምልህ!

  23. Dawi
    | #23

    ዘረ-ያዕቖብ said:

    [[.. ስለሆነም በራስ ዳርጌ በኩል አድርገው ምኒልክ በቁጥጥሩ ስር ያዋላቸውን ህዝቦችን በሙሉ ከመ ቅፅበት እንድያጠምቃቸው አፄ ዮሀንስ በጥሞና ያሳስቡ የነበረው:: ..]]

    With all due respect to Atse Yohannes, you’re telling us that his being an instrument of some creation myth adapted/invented by one particular tribe of middle eastern herders has a moral high ground compared to the native one say, Waq or Waaqa as in the traditional Oromo religion? Get out of here!

    Another excellent interpretation of the history of our national Adwa victory and Menelik’s actions is the following:

    “..Adwa was also a formative moment in the creation of Ethiopia as a modern nation-state. In the wake of the victory, Ethiopian sovereignty was recognized by the European powers. Yet, Adwa’s legacy remains ambiguous. Emboldened by his national and international prestige, Emperor Menlik II continued his expansion into the south and west, and consolidated his empire in the decade following Adwa. As a result, many peoples of Ethiopia who fought valiantly at Adwa are ambivalent about the victory: they see themselves as victims of their own triumph. Here as elsewhere, Ethiopians seem to be at once exalted and anguished by their past…”

  24. Dawi
    | #24

    Disregard #20 please, I meant to put the following link on the “softer side” of Saliha Sami!

    **NEW** Raya/Oromo Music (2015) Saliha Sami ~ Sanggawwee

    Saliha Sami Kamisee wolloo 2013

  25. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #25

    This is a well written article and much effort given in being fair and balanced. There is a lot to be re-read of books that have been written about the people of that country. We are now past the level where we usually found ourselves at a novice whenever we discover or come across books and articles written about that country more than 100 years ago. I can’t tell you how I was surprised and excited when I came across and read that age old chronicle Futuh in Arabic many decades ago. I hoped that someone with linguistic flare would be able to translate that into English. I know now that it is available as such and it is part of my home library. This is what I suggest to all of you out there who will have the chance to encounter any book written by a foreigner about our people more than a century or so ago. You need to ask why the author sat down and wrote the book during the time when his or her cousins were slaughtering each other either during the 7-year, 30-year or 100-year war raging in the forests of Bavaria, Scotland, Holland, Bordeaux, Burgundy or Crimea. When you come across such telegram news as the one that was printed in the New York Times in February 1995 where such a dispatch was telling the world that Menelik forces slaughtering more than 70 thousand of my very proud Oromos just at one sitting, you should ask what else was going at that time and who sent that dispatch. When 70,000 Oromos (this was later upgraded to 500,000 nearing the war) were being slaughtered just at a stone throw away from Adwa, another force of more than 30,000 Oromos were facing the aggressor Italian forces right there and then. And when you dig further and further, you will find out that that very telegram had its source in Massawa where more than 20,000 invading Italian soldiers were disembarking and readying(fantasizing) themselves to deal the defending Ethiopian forces a telling and decisive blow. You have to read every one of such books and news with a great deal of salt and with a wide open mind. There are some among my own Oromo people who vehemently claim that there were no Oromo warriors fighting the Italians on the fateful day in Adwa in 1896. They should awaken General Dabormida from the dead to ask him about that. That raging war cry that deafened his bigoted ears was not a Puerto Rican dialect but rather a Barento Oromo I got you ‘goome’ pouncing at him to stick that deadly spear in his puffed up chest once and for all. He was told he was in the wrong house and at a really wrong time!!! It was just yesterday how he was vowing to scandalize our proud women of Tigray when he saw them strolling with their drop dead slender bodies just yesterday. That is after he took the entire ‘niggers’ army for breakfast on that historic day in 1896. What he did not know or refused to grasp was the fact that he was not facing just a ‘niggers’ army but rather a calculating one that was leading him over the cliff just like a hungry clueless buffoon bear. My Barentu Oromo horsemen skillfully led him into an inescapable ravine and by the time he realized the trap, he had nowhere to hide or run into. Heaven and earth were laminated airtight before him, on both sides of him and behind him!!!! O Mamma Mia!!! Mamma Mia!!! No good!!!! The legend goes like that he was hurling racial slurs such as ‘you niggers!!’ before he found himself darted to death by my Barentu Oromo ancestors!!! The raging fire that was rushing out of the nostrils of our gallant fighters was so hot that he might have been vaporized into oblivion. No wonder why it was impossible to find his remains on that decisive day. Someone help me shout ‘Victory’!!! An African one that is!!! Who is that African or any other colored man/woman that the victory at Adwa 126 years ago would not drive him/her gushing in an overflowing pride? Who is that?!!! Speak up you narrow-minded bigots!!!! That victory was not a cheap one. More than 7,000 of our ancestors had lost their lives. You see. The blood that was shed and flowed in the fields and ravines of Tigray had an Amhara, Tigray and Oromo source in it. It rolled all those three into one and flowed for miles leaving every colored man a source of pride and an emblem of battle cries in many decades that followed including today 126 years later. It should be told again and again so it will be even more recognized. It deserves the attention of the big enchiladas of the Tinsel Town. It should be embraced by all humanity. Full Stop!!!!!

    Congratulations my countrymen/women!!!!!

  26. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #26

    Please read both ’126 years’ as ’120 years’. Thanks.

  27. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #27

    Please read ’126 years’ as ’120 years’ in both places.


  28. ዘረ-ያዕቖብ ወ.ግ.ዓ.ም-ፅዮን The Eth.
    | #28

    መተማ ላይ ጦርነቱን አሸንፈን, ግን ከመጀመርያውኑ ጥንቃቄዎች ጎድለውን ስለነበር በመጨረሻው ካታስትሮፈ ደረሰብን::

    ዓድዋ ላይ ጦርነቱን አሸንፈን ስናበቃ, ግን በመጨረሻው የገዛ ግዛቶቻን ላሸነፍናቸው ወራሪዎቻችን ቸርቻሪዎች ሆነን ስለተገኘን ጣጣው ማይጨው ላይ ተመልሶ መጣብን!

    ሽረ-ህንድ ውቅያኖስ ጦርነቶች ላይ ጦርነቶቹን ካሸነፍን በኋላ በዚያው መልክ ግን መንግስትንና (State) ሃገርን ከማዋቀር ይልቅ የማሸማቀቅያ መሰናክሎች ተተብትበው ተነጥፈው ሲያበቁ በንብረት ዘረፋ ላይ ብቻ ስለተተኮረ ይሄው ምንም ነገር በአወንታዊው መልኩ ሳይቛጠርና-ሳይዛዘም ወደ የገዛ ህዝቦቻችንን እያዳፋን የስልጣን ሂይወትን ከዛሬ ነገ ማሸጋገር ዘዴ ዘንዳ ተሸጋግረን እንገኛለን!

    መንሲኤው ምንጊዜም የጦርነት ብልህነታችንን ወደ ፖለቲካዊ ብልህነት ስለማናስተገብረውና ካለፈውም ታሪካችን በሰነስርኣቱ ትምህርት ካለመቅሰም የሚነሳ ጉዳይ እየሆነ ነውና ዘላለማችንን የተነስቶ ወዳቂዎች ታሪክ አራማጆች ሆነን የምናርፈው ያለነው, ስለሆነም በየጊዜው ድል ተጎናፃፊነታችን ወደ ካታስትሮፈ ስነ መቃብር ዘንዳ የማይመራንን መንገድ ለመከተል ምንን ማስተካከል አለብን በሚል አቅጣጫ መሆን አለበት በውይይታችን ወደፊትን ለመዘርጋት መተለም ያለበት!

    ለዚህ ሁሉ ቅድሚያ የራስን ሁናቴ ሃዘኔታ በማያውቅ ስርነቀል ተንፀባርቆ ማስቀመጥ ተግባራት ከቁዝምዝም (lamentierung) ስክንክኖች መቅደም ይኖርባቸዋል:: ወደ ዝቃጭዝም ጎትተው በትነው-ዘርጊዎች እነዚህ ተግባራት ዘንዳ ምንም የሚጫወቱት ሚና ስላሌለ, ይልቁንስ the ዝቃጮች ወደ “በኋላ ዴሞክራሲ ምንትሴ ብለው እንዳያስቸግሯችሁ አጥፍዋቸው” አላ ኢሳያስ ካምፕ ብትጠቃለሉ አቻዎቻችሁን እዚያው ታገኛላችሁ!!

    ሰላሙን ለሰው ልጆች ሁሉ!

  29. Nelson Rantz
    | #29

    Current government programs to control deforestation consist of education, promoting reforestation programs and providing alternate raw material to timber. In rural areas the government also provides non-timber fuel sources and access to non-forested land to promote agriculture without destroying forest habitat.

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