A weekend not to be forgotten.

November 8th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

A weekend not to be forgotten by Yilma Bekele

Last weekend was not an ordinary weekend. In the life of this resident of California, Citizen of Ethiopia, commonly referred to as the ‘Diaspora’ it was to say the least a very extra ordinary weekend. Sometimes the Gods look down from above and smile at you. It was my turn last weekend. They just did not smile. They had a wide grin stretching ear to ear. You see I had the privilege of sitting with the elected leaders of Ethiopia.

For a person raised to fear authority, differ to those in power, and accept their uttering without question the new breed of leaders was very confusing to say the least. Since the emergence of Kinijit in the Ethiopian scene everything has become topsy turvey as they say. It is as if the magnetic poles have reversed, the planet is turning counter clockwise or the mighty Nile is flowing from Egypt South to Central Africa. The magnitude of change brought about by Kinijit in our National Psych is no less.

Thus last blessed weekend I was a witness at a modern day revival. It was a moment of awakening of the spirit of the Ethiopia I was raised in. Spiritually I came in touch with my inner self that has been so lonely for such a long time. For the first time I knew how starved I was. The emptiness was stifling my very existence. I was adrift by any form of measurement. How little did I know that it was going to be a defining moment in this Diaspora half real half fake existence?

Like all other participants in the event, I arrived before the stated time. This should have been a clue to things to come, when I saw so many people there. My fellow Ethiopians were taking their seats an hour before the start of the event; this is really unheard of in our community. This sent a mild shock through me. A mild shock went thru me. Orderly as usual but a little quiet than normal. It was as if we all knew it was a special event. We sat and waited.

Boy did they arrive! It was a like a hurricane. As a Californian I will attest it was a 7-point earthquake. They did not need introductions. Their presence was enough to electrify the crowed. The positive energy emanating from that crowed was enough to power all of Washington DC. And my transformation began. I sat up straight. I looked at my neighbors and they were all doing the same. All those on the stage were the mirrors of our glorification. Ato Aklog, the young activist who is ‘Chairman of Kinijit Support Organizations’ was cleaver in priming the crowed for things to come. He praised our friends and warned our foes all in a playful tone. He was defiant. He was understanding. He knew he has the top guns right behind him.

Lo and behold guess who is on the stage. Yes Birtukan was standing tall and straight. She was looking at me, actually all of us but vain me I thought she was addressing me. She was a presence to behold. Beautiful and intelligent. Soft and as strong as steel. She was teaching us. It was a very low key message. But the message was as lethal as laser beam. Concentrated and precise. She was talking to the people who elected her. The irony struck me. Kinijit does not have the forum to talk to the Ethiopian people. In the head of those who invent the law in Ethiopia, Kinijit does not exist. Well sort of, at the moment there is a clone sitting around waiting for time.

So Representative Birtukan was speaking to her people from the USA. I have been told the voice of Kinijit is heard loud and clear in our homeland. It travels by Radio waves, Cyber space penetrating Chinese made Firewalls, video clips, bits and bites of zero and assorted media. You cannot escape the truth. She talked in brief about her recent experience as a political prisoner. It was not about her, but about her friends who suffered with her. The hall was quiet. The quiet voice was mesmerizing. We felt their pain. Fifteen hundred Ethiopians were connected by an invincible wire. Sad and happy at the same time. Then she took us forward. She was able to lay down a clear vision of the Ethiopia Kinijit was going to build. The Ethiopia which we have dreamt for so many years. The just and democratic Ethiopia where we will spend our energy and effort building the future not killing and imprisoning each other. The bright new Ethiopia where her sons and daughters stay home and contribute not scatters like the wind in search of freedom and economic security. It was brilliant. It was timely.

The delegates showed us that there is dignity in truth. They showed us by their example that the road to the future is paved with tolerance, openness, respect and above all adherence to the concept of the rule of law. Negativity and putting each other down is not the Kinijit way. Thus I flew back to California full of hope. The six hours flight gave me time to contemplate and revise my future plans. I have a new lease in life. I have a country to build. As the saying goes “lead, follow or get out of the way”. I choose to lead. I choose to contribute positively and avoid those who work relentlessly to derail the train of Kinijit which is gathering momentum on this epic journey of “Tensae for Ethiopia”. Please come abroad and be part of the future. Leave your dirty luggage behind. We have no place for lies, political machinations, and intrigue. The freedom train is leaving the station. Don’t just stand there; come abroad give a helping hand.

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