A friend of Abdi Lemessa wrote these words of insight that we would to share them with you. Courtesy to both of you, of course!!!
>>> I sometimes wonder, several decades after Walelign spoke up against a country with two levels of citizenship, we still face the same challenge and ignorance.
I had the pleasure of growing up in the progressive Wollo, which has always been ridiculed by all “yemekuanint zeroch” for our progressive stance that assures equal status and pride for all, which, unsurprisingly emanates from our longstanding Oromo heritage.
I grew up appreciating the extremely accomodating and friendly core of the Oromo culture, the proud and extremely loyal Affaar people, the culturally rich and tolerant Sufist Muslims of Wollo…,
I grew up seeing markets with two ”official” languages, which can be a model for current Ethiopia… The unity that I wish upon my country is not one based on dismantling the individual identity of these beautiful people we categorically call Ethiopians, and definitely not based on denying pains and horrors each sustained throughout ages.
I would rather not have unity at all if it is not based on mutual respect and dignity. For me, unity is the Gari, identity and dignity are the Feres. I can’t imagine having the Gari before the Feres.
You would be surprised to know the massacres Wollo sustained for its “unity through dignity” stance throughout ages, even in the recent past: Kassa (Theodros) raided killed and mutilated Wolloyes, the other Kassa (Yohanes) raided killed and mutilated Wolloyes, Minilik despite his busy schedule of raiding killing and mutilating the other Oromos to the South and West, still spared time for raiding Wollo. The less known and less popular king among the unity camp (due to his Oromo background and progressive stance) was Lij Iyaasu, who tried to establish the Wollo model of tolerance and equality. You know how the mekuanint of Shewa and Gondar handled him. Why don’t we hear about these stories outside of Wollo, uhh well, they don’t do very well to the “tesasbo befikir bandinet” tales of our Kings. Thanks to the rich folklore of Wollo, the nontraditional and amazingly progressive Ali/Worqit dynasty of Yajju (Wollo) lives in my heart.
Until Ethiopia is ready for that kind of unity, let’s keep preaching love, mutual respect, dignity… before unity