Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
There are a very vicious people and many vicious institutions, whose successes must depend on disparaging some achievements, misrepresenting views of individuals, societies and their struggles, families, institutions and their worldviews, etc. By so doing such people deceive themselves believing that they are better off and could make a better future for themselves.
Ethiopia has also its share of this from some of its children, especially those that glorify its present, without having a moment’s thought that this day would have been nonexistent without Ethiopia’s past and the efforts of generations.
The good fortune is that, there are better persons than others that emerge from somewhere and point out that what is said about Individual X, Family Y or Institution Z is untrue and wrong. Such people do this not out of favoritism or nepotism, or to repaint the TPLF image that soaked in it, as the favorite pastime of the Who is Who in the TPLF echelon.
Witnessing such was my Monday June 9, 2015 experience. I was browsing, among others, Tigrai Online.The article I was reading was In Praise of Ethiopian revolutionary Ethiopianity and modernity, scribbled by one Tedros Kiros. The shocking part of it that he has a holder of a PhD, who dares discredit a country with long history in a crime it had not committed. I already had questions after viewing a few of his nonsensical about the ‘moral economy’.
Ask me about his emotions about the new Ethiopia and rant on yesterday’s Ethiopia. Fortunately, I can assure that Ethiopia can successfully live without it. To my mind, Tedros is no different from a person without a cause, who tries hard to disguise his emptiness. Thank God I don’t know the person, but I have a sense that he has been in a desperate search for long for what he could call his cause – others call it meaning in life.
Sadly, Mr Kiros’s article begins with a sentimental cry of a lonely soul, suffering with the pangs of deprivation surreptitiously questions both his present physically and emotionally on the planet.
His pain is deep and he tries to sublimate it both through his symbolic affirmation and negation of himself symbolically his origin – Ethiopia – with whom in love with now and his unattributed flee from his adopted home – assuming that the latter is America – as follows:
I love being an Ethiopian, and I am honored to have been born to Ethiopian lands; I am humbled by our sublime mountains designed to nurture spirituality, manifest in the birth of the great thinkers who grew up there; my soul is pervaded by the depth of thought that the ravines and valleys inspire in me; my eyes are drunk with the beauty of the lush and green of the south, which greet me, when I land from Ethiopian Airlines to visit my homeland; my heart vibrates when it listens to the roaring sound of the saxophone and the sharpness and power of the trumpet in classical Ethiopian music, how many times have I shed tears of passion as Tizita, pierced my sensitive heart in the darkness of a lonely night; how often have I fallen in love with those round and bright Ethiopian eyes, resting on the ravishing bodies of our women; how tirelessly do I admire our dance and the cuisines that accompany them; how desperately have I wished that I could master all our ethnic dances and consume their cleansing fragrance, when one is possessed by them.
In fact, his senseless rant has reminded me of what I have learnt from the Great Educator Joseph Campbell about such people. Until his death in October 1987, Prof Campbell was known as one of the foremost mythologists in the world. He was sought after and consulted by governments, friends and colleagues (normal human beings) and motion picture producers, among others. I would share with you information that Joseph Campbell was the inspiration behind some parts of Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, which got on track movie mogul George Lucas to immediately roll up his shirts.
If you are a movie favourite, you may be aware that The Phantom Menace weaves its story from philosophy, myth and the Bible. My son’s earliest first favorite and to this day it remains one of the most dramatic achievements in modern motion picture history. It is even reported that it was one of the most attended movie by employees in the United States, since at the time of its release, a consulting firm reproted US companies lost $293 million in productivity because of absentee workers.
As to Tedros’s subtle search for meaning in his life, I must say Prof. Campbell must have seen through persons like him to write:
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
In spite of being PhD holder, Tedros Kiros wants to thrive on loving the Ethiopia of today, its mountains, its airlines, new skylines etc., with no interest in knowing a little bit about yesterday’s Ethiopia, or trying to know a little about its past. Of course, even though they are the most loyal of human companions, their misfortune is that the saying thinks that dogs bark in defense of their masters.
In his words, Tedros observes:
“Gone are the days when descending from Ethiopian Airlines one had to look down at Shanty towns… when paved roads where a rarity, when donkeys and dogs fought for visibility, when certain Ethiopians had to change their names to be accepted as part of Ethiopian normalcy, when there were only Two Universities for the entire nation and, when Tigrean and Eritrean students were systematically denied entry to the two universities and entitlements of all kinds had to be preserved for the elite of the Amharas, when Ethiopians were being forced to worship Haile Selassie, a human emperor.”
As an entrant at Haile Selassie I University in 1969, I never knew that truth revealed in particular to this man. For all, I know my friends coming from same school in Addis Abeba had friends from both Eritrea and Tigray, as also from many other regions of Ethiopia, sharing same dormitories.
He already had my comments on Tigray Online, in which I asked him, “I am not Tigrean, but had lots of Tigrean and Eritrean university friends. Could it be that they might have been smuggled by human traffickers!”
Unlike today’s ethnicist Ethiopia, subverted by the TPLF, where even unskilled and individuals with no qualifications as Tigreans are favored for leadership position over PhD holders from other ethnic groups, simply because they were fighters. Also, not that I was in administration, but I never saw then or heard that anyone catering in that university especially to anyone because of his/her ethnicity. Certainly, human favoritism is a reality everywhere, but not on matters of admission. That is why, unlike today’s AAU, HSIU used to have good reputation at home and abroad.
When Tedros Kiros goes to Addis, he has no time to look around especially in such matters of interest to him and enrich his outlook and perception of Ethiopia a little bit more. Of course, he is not doing that since it matters not to him; he goes to Ethiopia to have a good time and dance around and have little fun, with no buttons to push to compare the past and the present.
As an Ethiopian, I must say, I would congratulate Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia, who was honest and courageous enough to chastise his “good friend” about “some flaws in his article”. As a matured person, who thinks about the future of the country we share in common, as a Tigrean he gave his testimony, based on facts. That is what I call PhD. In his comment to the man’s article, he thus wrote:
“Dr. Teodros [sic] is a good friend of mine and when I read this piece on Tigraionline I immediately dropped him a note with respect to some flaws in his article and because he is a sincere intellectual he agreed that I made the corrections. The main message of the article, as I glean over the text, is what Teodros calls the new moral economy (NME) which is palatable to me and which I think could shape the Ethiopian public policy in a positive fashion. However, I must disagree with my friend (whom I call ‘brother’ affectionately) on his introductory remarks in which the Amharas were favored by the regime in power and the then existing two universities. That was not the case and this was the hard fact: at a time when there was only one university, that is Addis Ababa University, during the reign of the Emperor, the latter had a policy of quota by which a certain number of students would join the university from all over Ethiopia. This does not mean, of course, all nationalities were equally represented. In fact, there weren’t Afars or Somalis, let alone Gambellas or Beni Shangul Gumuz’s. However, students from Tigray, Eritrea, the now Oromia region, and the now Amhara region were predominant. Amharas were not exceptionally favored and the Tigrayans and Eritreans were not deliberately discriminated against. On the contrary, Eritreans were exceptionally favored (for political purposes) because a 15% increase for Amharic examination was given to Eritreans only in order to make sure that they don’t fail in Amharic. At that time, for matriculated students to join the university, they must pass three mandatory courses (Amharic, English, and Math). Most Eritrean students were not good at Amharic and thanks to then Government and the University they had enjoyed a special privilege. I was a political science major at the University and witnessed first hand what I just wrote above. My good friend was not at Addis Ababa University and this may have contributed to the misconception of Amhara privilege and Tigrayan and Eritrean discrimination. Lets all remain objective and constructive.”
On his part, Tedros has scribbled in his article:
“Now, when Ethiopian airlines descends in Ethiopia, one can see high rises, highways, a plethora of schools and universities for all Ethiopians. New dances, new songs and new vocabularies of Ethiopianity are now just beginning to emerge… Beginnings are not ends. They are merely potentialities, which await actualities by the vibrant participation of new national consciousness forged by the activities of Ethiopians who have voted the regime in power to stay in power provided that in order to stay in power, it must mend its ways, not by shrinking political space but confidently expanding it and allowing genuine participation of oppositions who are guided by the people’s agenda, which is the eradication of poverty, the control of corruption, the guarantee of living wages and the birth of a new moral economy-mediated by a developmental state.”
Does he anywhere in his article mention about the injustices in his ‘revolutionary Ethiopia?
Did Tedros see under his article Reburn has written a comment reminding him:
“The first time in the history of ethiopia:
I. 99% of military Generals are from Tigray.
II EFFORT controls 90% of government contract.
III. 99% of head of government officials are from tigrai.
This is the first time in history one ethnic group.is controls, military, finances, telecom, agriculture investment,and manufacturing . Blaming Amehra doesn’t justify the current daylight robbery that is committed against the poor Ethiopians by elite tigrai aka TPLF.”
Does Tedros know that Ethiopian youth are the regime’s targets, serving time in concentration camps around the country, for fear that they would cause havoc during the election. This is a crime, which Ethiopians must mobilize against the regime at any time.
There also some ethnic groups that are subject of deliberate human rights violations, because the regime Tedros exalts sees them as threats? This discriminatory treatment is a violation the human rights of citizens, which can be considered as crime in international law.
More over, his byzantine New Moral Economy (NME) now is nothing but subterfuge he wants to apply for the next phase of TPLF’s dupery, if he only knows how to turn it around! With such a start, he may be presenting it for funding by some companies or institutes one of them to give him posting.
Incidentally, what I see in his moral economy is repetition ad infinitum of COMPASSION. Sorry, mister, it could not even move up for Bush or the Republican Party!
Tedros’s farce has now become too much for everyone – if one checks out the 83 comments by the time of this writing – he had only one sympathizer. The rest are literally saying ዐይንህ ላፈር, literally, to say not anymore!
He must see from this that it now is too late for any of the things you and your types are trying to pull off on behalf of the TPLF.
For now I tell you, shame on you, for insulting a proud nation’s intelligence!