Haile the Lion heart. – By Yilma Bekele

August 19th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

I hope you saw the 10k races from Beijing. Both of them. It was our turn. It was a time to feel good about being an Ethiopian. The whole world was a witness to our unsurpassed endurance and generous manners. It was an emotional moment for Ethiopians around the globe. Wherever life has taken us to, we watched our coronation from Beijing. My phone was ringing off the hook. I got calls from as far away as Dubai and as close as my next-door neighbor. They all said ‘did you see that?’

First it was my beautiful little sisters Terunesh and Elvan Abeylegesse who kept me riveted to my seat. Small, compact and strong as nail, and graceful at the same time. With her expression so serene, it looked like Terunesh was out for an evening jog. She ended up setting a new world record. Ethiopians rejoiced all over the world. Our flag flew high, our spirits soared and for a few hours we felt good. (more…)

I hope you saw the 10k races from Beijing. Both of them. It was our turn. It was a time to feel good about being an Ethiopian. The whole world was a witness to our unsurpassed endurance and generous manners. It was an emotional moment for Ethiopians around the globe. Wherever life has taken us to, we watched our coronation from Beijing. My phone was ringing off the hook. I got calls from as far away as Dubai and as close as my next-door neighbor. They all said ‘did you see that?’

First it was my beautiful little sisters Terunesh and Elvan Abeylegesse who kept me riveted to my seat. Small, compact and strong as nail, and graceful at the same time. With her expression so serene, it looked like Terunesh was out for an evening jog. She ended up setting a new world record. Ethiopians rejoiced all over the world. Our flag flew high, our spirits soared and for a few hours we felt good.

Then came the brothers. Familiar faces that come around every four years and raise our spirits. They don’t fail us. Quiet and dignified you know they mean business. The big smile from Haile is a signal that all is well. Kenanesa with his chiseled face and Sihine with his somber look are formidable competitors. Then started the race full of human color bunched together, watching each other following and looking for a little hole to squeeze thru. Our Eritrean brothers were setting the pace. Kenanesa was staying close; Haile was watching the rear while Sihine kept in the middle. The Kenyans were watching the Ethiopians and the Ethiopians were pushing the Eritreans. After the 5000 meters mark it was time to separate the boys from the men.

Kenanesa looked back. He signaled it is time. Haile started to surge forward. Before you know it he was leading the pack. He was increasing the pace. Kenanesa stayed where he was, Sihine came closer. The Kenyans knew something was up. Haile was relentless. He was taking them to their limit. He looks back making sure his little brothers are keeping up. Reading their faces, exchanging glances, communicating. The three Ethiopians had their won virtual network with a robust firewall as formidable as the Great Wall. Haile the good shepherd gave the final signal and Kenanesa turned on the turbo. It was a scene to behold Then Kenanesa and Sihine accelerated as if the race just started. We shouted, we screamed and we cried tears of joy. It feels so good to be number one!
I saw our potential when we work together. It was a testimony that when we are focused on a goal nobody equals an Ethiopian. It was not the first time. Our past is full of glory like last Wednesday and Sunday. When Italy tried to invade our country the first time Emperor Menilik summoned the nation to stand as one. Menilik marched north with all Ethiopians and dealt a heavy blow to the invading army. The Fascist wanted to revenge their humiliation and came back. Emperor Haile Sellasie gathered his people and stood up against an army that was far superior. For five years Ethiopian patriots fought back and did not allow the enemy a single day of peace. When our own homegrown fascist Derg was escorted out of our life the Ethiopian people kept the peace and the faith in each other with no authority in sight. We were our brother’s keeper. Our unity is our only strength.

We thank our dear brothers and sisters for a job well done. We thank you for letting the world know that famine is not the only product coming out of our ancient kingdom. We know how to work together. We learn from big brother Haile that group reward is a precious as individual glory. We learn from Haile that our nation is bigger than an individual that sacrifice for the good of the many is a sign of deep love for one’s country.

The last week has been kind to our country. The famine is taking center stage. The whole world is made aware of our dire situation. We hope the food aid will come on time and save our people. We hope those in authority will acknowledge this human catastrophe and cooperate with the aid agencies. The resignation of Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is another good news for our country. Mr. Musharraf came to power nine years ago after a military coup. The Bush administration crowned him as a fighter of terrorism and kept his regime supplied with arms and financial aid. Mr. Musharraf was the darling of the west but a despot at home. He ruled by decree, used State of Emergency to imprison and exile his opponents and destroyed the judiciary. Time run out on Mr. Musharraf when his opponents created a united front. His American benefactors left him high and dry. Mr. Bush wouldn’t even return his calls the last few days. He was given a choice of impeachment and public humiliation or quiet resignation and may be an exile to another country. He will be free for a while, but all those under him who did all the dirty work would have to answer to a court of law. Dictators have no heart. Their method of operation is use and discard. They negotiate a safe exit for themselves and their family. Their advisors, their partners in crime and their mouthpieces are left behind to face the music. In today’s small world the saying ‘you can run but you can’t hide’ is truer more than before. Our humble advice will be to ‘do the right thing’ and you would have no worry in the world. It is never too late.

  1. Konjit
    | #1

    I am so proud of my Ethiopian sisters and brothers!
    Nicely written Mr. Bekele

  2. | #2

    I say with Ato Yilma,Konjit and others ‘hip hip hurrah!(3X) to these great heroes and heroines our country.

    Ato Yilma’s warm and crispy piece speaks for us all.

    In similar development,may be Ato Yilma next time will enable us to read his able commentary on Tim Judah’s ‘BIKILA:ETHIOPIA’S BAREFOOT OLYMPIAN’and BAREFOOT RUNNER:THE LIFE OF MARATHON CHAMPION ABEBE BIKILA.I hope he likes the challenge!

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