Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
August 28, 2007
With striking difference from a mail sent to me before a week by an Amhara Kinijit member, in this article I will publish a mail I received a few days ago from the part of an Eritrean of Tigrinya background.
I decided to publish this considerate letter and my answer to this person in order to shed more light on issues pertaining to the Horn of Africa that I have not yet focused on. Making comparisons between the Amhara gross style full of insults and paranoid, unilateral and racist statements and this pertinent text was not part of my targets, as the level difference between the Tigray and the Amhara elements has always been chaotic.
As the letter’s author seems to be a well educated and balanced person with democratic sensitivities, I decided to communicate his mail to some friends from Abyssinia who, although belonging to other peoples, were his compatriots before 1991, when
After presenting integrally (and without the slightest editing) the Letter sent to me by Mr. Eremias Woldemikael, I will elaborate my comments, publishing as intervals two points sent to me in guise of indirect reply by two friends, one Ogadeni and one Sidama, who originate respectively from the East and the South of Mr. Woldemikael’s previous country that with the secession of Eritrea lost its extreme North. Numbers inserted in Mr. Eremias Woldemikael’s letter refer to the subsequent comments.
Mr. Eremias Woldemikael letter
Dear Dr. Megalommatis,
I was first acquainted with your writing when I read your article about "
Based on your writings, I have come to conclude that all your views arise from the premise that today's Ethiopia does not deserve to be called that because the name belonged to the Kingdom of Kush (Meroe) nearly 1700 years ago. 2 Your premise is indeed supported by the first recording in the Tri-lingual record (Greek, Geez, and South Arabian) Ezana used to describe his success in
Moreover, you seem to suggest that the Oromos are Descendants of the
I am not sure how much of support your hypothesis about Meroitic and Oromo relationship has in the respective scholarly communities of Archaeology and linguistics. This seems like a legitimate hypothesis that must be explored or studied. However, your views about current social and political realities are bothersome. 5
Nations in historical and current times such as
You are indeed entitled to your opinion, however I think your sweeping statement about entire ethnicities is unfair. 9 It is true that some peoples of
It is a fact that the Historical systems and rulers of today's
As an Eritrean of Tigrinya Ethnicity, I ask you to stop attacking me and my entire ethnicity of Tigrinya and my entire population 17 in the process of attacking regimes, parties, and rulers or in the process of defending the Oromos and other ethnicities. Advocating for the respect of one ethnicity need not be at the expense or denegation of others. 18
I would appreciate a reply.
Thanks in advance.
My Comments On Mr. Eremias Woldemikael’s letter
Thank you for your time, interest and consideration; I believe something very positive as mutual understanding between at least Eritrea’s Tigrinya people and Abyssinia’s numerous oppressed peoples can come out of this. That is why I intend to invest more than a simple personal answer in this regard.
Going to point 1, I am glad that you have known me from the publication you quote; in 2004, I published indeed a series of articles – not exhaustive of course – about the Pre-Islamic History of Yemen in the Yemen Times (indicatively: http://yementimes.com/article.shtml?i=760&p=opinion&a=4) that have almost all been republished in the Buzzle one year later (again indicatively: http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/8-4-2005-74197.asp).
I am sure that you have noticed my strong anti-Arabic Nationalism stance and my attitude to set historical academic approach and political choices on Moral Principles, namely Impartiality, Equity, Equidistance, Fair Judgment, and Denunciation of Confusion and Orchestrated Ignorance. I say this because Amharas to greater extent and Tigrays to lesser extent have accused me as Egyptian agent, based on the fact that I currently live in
To say “all your views arise from the premise that today's Ethiopia does not deserve to be called that because the name belonged to the Kingdom of Kush (Meroe) nearly 1700 years ago” is an over-simplification and an impossible amalgamation of historical conclusions with political – ideological – philosophical ideas. This is incredible.
My conviction that Ogaden must become an independent country has nothing to do with the
At this point, it would be essential for me to express my wonder how you were able to write about
Either you do not understand fully my approach or you want for any possible reason to avoid any reference to the epicenter of the problem; actually, everything that happened in the area of the current Abyssinian territory during the past 120 years (and more) is due mainly to the Colonial Game between France, England, Italy, Germany, and Belgium.
That is why I am not sure whether you truly understand my position as regards the Abyssinia / Ethiopia predicament; yet, I published much about it (indicatively:
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=17647, http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=24464, http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=24948, http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=25165, http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=25568). Of course, I did not say all I can say about the subject, even in the form of abridged articles – not books. I want here to say that to the last link, which highlights the colonial involvement, need and use of the Name Predicament, there will be at least two articles as finishing point.
By analyzing the reasons of a anhistorical, later, and absolutely inconsistent use of another country’s name (
As far as the Abyssinian Axumite invasion of
A. Abyssinia did not occupy but a small part of Meroitic
The subsequent rise of three
As we see in the last pre-Islamic century, Axum was more interested in the Yemenite politics, as Abyssinians were Yemenites who crossed the Bab el Mandeb Red Sea straits and settled in
B. There was – true – scarce mention of the name Ethiopia in Gueze sources but all this relates to the royal propaganda of Axum, and the subsequent Abyssinian royal states. The royal propaganda of every medieval Christian state was closely linked to Biblical excerpts; in
C. Despite all this, until the middle of the last century the official political name of the country was always ‘
Not exclusively the Oromos; every Kushitic people of Eastern Africa could eventually be called like that, as Ethiopia in the Septuaginta Greek version of the Old Testament is just the translation of the Hebrew name Kush.
Speaking about my ‘views about current social and political realities’, you seem to forget that in many cases I give space to articles, mails, press releases and interviews with various representatives of the oppressed and tyrannized peoples of the Cenotaph Abyssinia, Sidamas, Oromos and Ogadenis.
I do this because I believe that readers allover the world need to have direct knowledge about how people who undeservedly have been left voiceless in the Hell of monarchical, communist and pseudo-republican / bogus-federal Abyssinia see and describe their situation and the difficult circumstances they have been crossing.
Certainly my field has mainly been Ancient History of the Middle East and Northeastern Africa, certainly I have a direct knowledge of modern politics in the area, but certainly I have never been in Sidama Land; yet, I find extremely more important to focus on an area – illustriously represented by their intellectuals in the Diaspora – where thee entire indigenous people, instead of enjoying self-rule and independence, freedom and democracy, have been the object of unparalleled hatred and racist hysteria from the part of the Amhara and Tigray regimes of Abyssinia. When I therefore offer space to many oppressed people, certainly I agree with their views, but my own opinion is second to theirs.
And this you know only too well, because you have been a most assiduous reader of my publications; so, what is ‘bothersome’ to you is not my ‘views about current social and political realities’ but theirs!
What bothers you ……
What bothers you is the view of the average Sidama expressed through Kambata Xola, Seyoum Hameso, and so many other most convincing voices.
What bothers you is the view of the Ogaden Human Rights Committee and their pertinent reports on the appalling crimes perpetrated by Meles Zenawi’s thugs who, shamelessly impersonating police and army of the most racist and criminal country of the world, carry out the most inhuman acts of murder in the 21st century.
What bothers you is the view of the Oromo youth imprisoned in Kaliti jail and then (luckily) refugee in Djibouti; or possibly the view of the Oromo students who denounce the disastrously partial, unfair, racist, backward and obscurantist educational system of Abyssinia; or eventually the interviews with Oromo leaders and the articles written by Oromo intellectuals; or ultimately my focus on the Oromo refugees in Cairo.
Before continuing, I want to express my apologies to the peoples of Afars, Gambellas, Shekachos and to many other tyrannized peoples of
I guess that what bothers you is not my ‘views about current social and political realities’ but the fact that I give space to voiceless who testify – better than I can from Cairo and better than you can from Asmara – to the racist, inhuman and uniquely barbaric practices and ideas, attitudes and deeds of the successive Abyssinian, Amhara and Tigray, regimes.
You seem to prefer the insanity of the world mass media focusing on some leaders, selected issues, fabricated news, deviously misinterpreted events than the genuine and authentic voices that truly narrate and reflect the real problems of various peoples allover the world.
However, I could definitely offer you some relief; I would not publish the Ogaden Human Rights Committee reports in the future any more, under condition that you manage that these Reports are immediately published, as soon as they are issued, in Frankfurter Allgemeine, Die Welt, Il Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, La Stampa, El Pais, El Mundo, The Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian Izvestia, Sabah, Milliyet, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Neue Zuercher Zeitung, Economist, L’ Express, Der Spiegel, and a few more newspapers, reviews and magazines allover the world.
And what bothers me….
And now I am justified in my turn to tell you what bothers me; what truly bothers me is that you found the time to write a letter to me, and you did not use your valuable time to express your indignation for what the Meles Zenawi thugs perpetrate in Ogaden.
Truly, I find unbearable that – just because you happen to speak the same language and to share the same ancestry with
I consider this attitude as unreserved partiality, and inhuman prejudice any time it happens to any person anywhere; it must definitely and markedly be accepted that all of us – before belonging to a nation, people, country, ethnic group, religious denomination, tribe, political party and any other sort of grouping – are humans, with top priority to tell the truth and denounce injustice. All the rest comes later, and is far less important. And inhuman is anyone failing to recall this…..
Ogadenis denounce Tigray misperception of the modern world
Drawing a parallel between dinosaurs and computers helps very little. You say: “Nations in historical and current times such as
Dear Dr. Muhammad,
I would like to comment on the following paragraph of Mr. Eremias Woldemichael’s letter.
“Nations in historical and current times such as
unrelated peoples. Yet, you suggest that Ethiopians of today should
not live together by identifying themselves as such. What is even more
worrisome is that you describe all Abyssinians (
racists, ignorant, and oppressive.”
I categorically reject comparing
The US armed and security forces do not kill, rape, torture, starve out, depopulate and raze to the ground entire towns, villages and hamlets belonging to American citizens because of their ethnic and religious background. In
A. Sulub Abdi
To this I would only add that the historical formation of both countries, and the completely different political environments do not offer space for any comparison whatsoever.
America did not see the inhabitants of these sizeable territories as enemies, insects, lower beings able only to be exploited in the most brutal manner, good to be deprived of their lands (that would have been given to Americans from Virginia), and capable to be dispossessed of their national and cultural identity.
There may certainly be a colonial issue in
An act is an act, but the continuation matters; denouncing a wrong policy, and rejecting an inhuman and unacceptable idea are real political options; we notice them in post Nazi Germany in particular. This has never happened in the fossilized and crystallized medieval tyranny of
Again you forget that when it comes to current day, I “do not suggest” but I express the political wishes, the national desires, the expectations and the will of
And what is your concern about
After all, what business is it or yours to care about
Further on, I would also understand that Abyssinia’s Tigray province merges with
Is it ‘worrisome’ to call an entire people or rather two peoples (Amhara and Tigray) as “racists, ignorant, and oppressive”?
No! This can be the case, and it has actually been the case many times throughout History.
‘Ignorant’ pertains to illiteracy; you rather check the details for both Abyssinia and
‘Oppressive’ and ‘racists’ pertain to Amhara and Tigray attitudes to the Oromos, Ogadenis, Afars, Sidamas and the other oppressed peoples of the Morgue Abyssinia.
I do not believe that at any moment, after the illegal Amhara invasion of these territories at the end of the 19th century, any Amhara and Tigray intellectuals, academia, politicians and /or activists expressed any vigorous reaction, and ushered any political – ideological campaign against the abhorrent deeds of their barbaric monarchs, against the racist policies and ideas of their monarchs and armies, and against their compatriots who were inclined to perceive the Oromo, the Sidama and the other peoples and cultures as lower, treated them as insects, and were happy to grant themselves illegally abducted properties of the invaded lands and peoples. So, they are all involved and they are all guilty.
I therefore claim that
Guilty are the Amharas and the Tigrays
Guilty are the Amharas and the Tigrays for having ceaselessly considered the Muslims of the invaded Ethiopian peoples (Somali Ogadenis, Oromos, Afars, etc) as enemy deserving annihilation.
Guilty are the Amharas and the Tigrays for having ceaselessly considered the traditional monotheistic religions of various invaded Ethiopian peoples (Oromos, Sidamas, etc.) as of lower, valueless and coarse nature.
Guilty are the Amharas and the Tigrays for having ceaselessly expressed contempt for the Muslim and the traditional African cultures of the various invaded Ethiopian peoples.
Guilty are the Amharas and the Tigrays for having ceaselessly accepted the provocatively inhuman, absolutely lawless, definitely immoral, and utterly criminal deeds of their monstrous leaders, monarchs, generals, and administrators against the various invaded Ethiopian peoples, and more precisely
7.robbery of all sorts and methods,
8.extensive practice of relocation to places other than the tyrannized peoples’ motherland,
9.humiliation of all sorts,
11.intentional destruction of environmental wealth,
12.illegal exploitation of the natural resources of all the illegally occupied lands, and
13.prohibition of religious, social, cultural, educational and political activities.
Guilty are the Amharas and the Tigrays for having ceaselessly attested what was the intentional extermination of numerous invaded peoples, without reacting and condemning their rulers’ inhuman and criminal plans.
Guilty are the Amharas and the Tigrays for having never repented for their aforementioned attitudes and acts, for having never apologized for the severe crimes for which they have been held as collectively responsible and wholehearted accomplices, for having never dissociated themselves in any regard from their leaders’ destiny, and for having never expressed sorrow and regret for the distress they uninterruptedly caused for so long to so many innocent.
Guilty are the Amharas and the Tigrays for having avoided to admit responsibility for the aforementioned.
If – despite the aforementioned – my “statement about entire ethnicities is unfair”, the modern world’s conclusion about the German nation’s collective responsibility for the WW II and the Holocaust is also unfair. In fact, it is very fair indeed.
Yet, I would accept the aforementioned opinion of mine as wrong, if you made available a list of Amhara and Tigray authors and/or journalists who published books and articles – at the times of Haile Selassie, Mengistu or Meles Zenawi – under similar titles: ‘We have no place in Sidama Land’, ‘Let Ogaden go free’, ‘Stop calling Finfinne as Addis Ababa’, ‘We were wrong with the Oromos’, ‘We harmed innocent people in Sidama land’, ‘We have no right to kill Ogadenis’ and the like.
What you try to say here turns everything worse as regards your judgment and your possibility to be impartial. It is unspeakable for anyone to compare what happens within a national state and an independently organized society with situations that ensued from forceful military expedition and invasion, illegal occupation of a land, and oppression of a people by another!
You should therefore realize that you cannot make comparisons between
You cannot possibly say that Franco’s tyrannical rule in
Anyone saying in a Faculty of Political Sciences in Europe or
Sidamas denounce Tigray anti-Oromo trickery of division
To your next point of inaccuracy, I will let a Sidama intellectual speak; outsiders have little to say in this case. The text is part of a mail sent by the Sidama intellectual Side Goodo, who refers to you.
He does not appreciate and mention the egalitarian system Kushitic peoples of
He has to know that, Amhara and
I believe when the Sidamas say that they were not oppressed by the Oromos prior to the Abyssinian invasion, a Tigray has very little to say; except, you find one of the few apostate Sidamas who for little money, a car and a flat work for the Amhara and Tigray administration, betraying their own people! But this Sidama would also say that the Sidamas were oppressed by the Ottomans, the Chinese and the Sumerians….
What you say “No one says that all Oromos are racist, ignorant, and oppressive based on such anecdotes of some rulers” is true; because they are truly not. There was never a massive act of oppression against another people, masterminded by an Oromo elite and shared by the entire Oromo nation, involving contempt and inhuman treatment. Comparison impossible.
What you say next ”the Historical systems and rulers of today's
More specifically, you refer to the silenced Amhara and Tigray Muslims who amount to almost half the Amhara and Tigray population, and have been terribly oppressed, culturally disfigured, and nationally denigrated because of the shameful identification of the Amhara and Tigray nations with Monophysitic Christianity. There lies the epicenter of the problem,
Your next statement is relevant to imagination and hallucination: ”Today, however, all the Ethnicities of Ethiopia seem to be relatively respected”. I would add only “and murdered”. Respected and murdered…….
Probably the Neo-Nazi Amharas and Tigrays will soon launch their next slogan – along with the ridiculous falsehood of the Ethiopian Millennium that is not Ethiopian but Abyssinian, and is chronologically inaccurate and inconsistent. The slogan will be “the Best Ogadeni is the Dead Ogadeni” and will illuminate in the most spectacular way the possibility of a Tigray ‘respect’ to the “Ethnicities of Ethiopia”.
You say that the current system of federalism consists in an improvement; you are right! On the papers, it is better than the Communists and the medieval, tribal court of Haile Selassie. But in reality, very few things changed. To put it briefly, it is ‘too little too late’.
You suggest that “Ethnicities be respected especially by scholars such as you instead of being denigrated and insulted”; you must be daydreaming. You cannot think of being respected before you denounce your past and present practices of oppression of masses, denigration and contempt of so many peoples, and totalitarian systems and methods.
Learn at least this: before you admit that it is the right of the average Sidama to setup committees to call a referendum and vote for immediate secession and independence, you are to be considered as a person with totalitarian and dictatorial tendencies, and if this is the case, you do not deserve respect.
If nobody told you this in the past, I can help you by pointing it out to you now: in this world where you live there is nothing more important than the Principle of Self Determination and Independence of Peoples. If you do not accept this, you are a miniature of Slobodan Milosevic, the denounced and condemned Serb tyrant. You should rather find another world to live.
Consequently, you cannot ask me “to stop attacking (you) and (your) entire ethnicity of Tigrinya and my entire population”, before you clearly dissociate yourself from all these immoral and inhuman practices of racial discrimination and vociferous violations of Human Rights.
If you do not repent, personally and collectively, rejecting your past and present attitude of keeping silent in front of acts of genocide committed by your rulers, you cannot possibly dream of asking a citizen of the world and a person of democratic and humanistic convictions to stop attacking you and your entire people.
Any people with such racist prejudices, unable to regret, repent and apologize, must be thrown outside the international community and excluded from any international body.
Finally, you are right saying that “advocating for the respect of one ethnicity need not be at the expense or denegation of others”; it is actually far more important for the world’s moral order to focus on “advocating for the respect of one people” that is alive, like the Oromos, the Ogadenis, the Sidamas and so many others.
For those who are unable to repent, all those who like the Amharas and the Tigrays are morally dead, the words of Jesus never lost their importance:
- Let the Dead bury their dead.
(Matthew 8, 22)
Yeha - A high place of pre-Christian and Christian Abyssinian civilization