Saturday, December 20, 2008

Freedom of Speech! Really?

See, it is so troubling when the very people who are fighting for freedom of speech , fighting back the very freedom of speech them selves. It is a pure paradoxical ignorance – at its best.

We Ethiopians, at times, love the warmth of the mob mentality. When it comes to opposing, dissing, lamenting, complaining, gaming up to pull someone down, we can form solidarity. we even have a saying that boasts itself “Ye Telate Telat Wedaje New” loosely translated “ the foe of my enemy is a friend of mine” - unfortunately it is true!

What is the point here? Recently I was so struck by some of so called “intellectuals” narrow minded view of freedom of speech.

Let’s get some facts straight:
1) The very thing I detest about the current government and other dictators is while freedom of speech is the right of humanity, they should not hold our mouth from speaking what our hearts compelled to utter.
2) Every one that posses a balanced out look of the world should be instrumental voicing up for core human rights violation; one being freedom of speech. We Ethiopians should voice up for the same cause when OUR government functions otherwise.
3) Any individual or organization or group that claims to defend this freedom of speech should not fall under the hypocritical path of double standard by becoming an anti-freedom themselves with their my way or the highway attitude.

What compelled me to speak of freedom of speech is the behavior so rampant in some of Ethiopians website sites, blogs and published materials. Some even go to the extreme to call names and to throw stones at any opinion that doesn’t seem to suit their shallow outlook of ‘the enemy of my foe…’ view. It is so shameful and embarrassing to claim the “peace-seeker” but to fail to be the “peace-maker”.
Then What seems to be true is:

1) If I have my opinion, then you get yours! Then, there should never be a reason why you are ready to kill me while you are preaching peace!
2) If your intention is to shut all the voices that sound different from ‘your own’, then you are no different from the very dictators who are committing atrocity on humanity.
3) By doing so, you are limiting the type of exposure and learning your might gain in shaping up your world outlook.
4) You make more enemies, and you prove that you are the worst type of Hypocrite the new Ethiopia would never accept.

We live in 22nd century; the world has changed so much. Our country, Ethiopia, has issues of the 19th century content. Broaden your mind (especially those in Diasporas and exposed to different ways of thinking), develop an all inclusive point of view. Even if you don’t accept an opinion don’t loose your sense of respect. That is the only way you gain respect back.
Once the great Mother Theresa was quoted saying :"I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there."
See! The difference is in the outlook! If we seek freedom of speech, then we should practice and preach freedom-of-speech ourselves.

That is the new Ethiopia!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Missing Habesha Family & Friends

I run to the site refugee united while reading a newsletter from the blogcataloge effort and the theme for common blog platform is Bloggers Unite For Refugees. “A noble idea” was my initial feel. Then some how I felt ill! When dug deeper in to the site, the above link unfolded itself; where four of Ethiopian/Eritrean languages are represented.

Well it is cool that some thoughtful people prepared and funded a tool of sort. But, it is really sickening how bad, how severely we Habeshoch (Ethiopian, Eritrean …) are scattered on the face of the earth. Refugee!

I don’t fancy all the complex stats that a highly paid data cruncher from UN, USAID, ALMANAC… etc spits out every minute about the refugee profile. Millions of us live abroad mainly for economical reason, mainly because we are poor – although we pretend that we WERE NOT, mainly for betterment of our life span, our kids, our generation. That is alright, America was formed off of dreams and aspirations of refugees. (Mind you I’m wrapping immigrants to refugee’s bundle here).

But, is there an exodus of sort for us ‘scattered citizen’s of Ethiopia’, abandoned children of Africa?

I don’t know about you, but a dedication of sort, a rebuilding of the “mother land”, a sense of restoring and being restored, a sense of ownership, a sense of freedom from beggar attitude, a sense of freedom from slavery… is so vital for our sanity. It is way bigger and better to re-gather, recollect and restore the scattered seeds of Ethiopia, Africa…!