Friday, December 23, 2011

Ziade Hailu shares with us an enlightening and educational book review written based on 'Letters of Ato Dillibis" concerning the Irob people of his time.

Letters from Alitiena: Book review

Ziade Hailu, Dec 2011
That this book review may reach you well the noble inhabitants of America, Europe, Asia Africa and Middle East, who read my previous opinion pieces, provide me comments which are more beautiful than the full ears of corn on fertile field, to me, poor reviewer in the desert of Abyssinia, Ziade, the son of Hailu, son of Weldu from the tribe of Irob. Or that is how Dillibis would start his book review, or again how a Somali would begin to write her autobiography. 

The brave Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of those rare women to ever walk on Somali soil recalls how she came to learn about her ancestry under a watchful eyes of her grandmother:  “I am Ayaan, the daughter of Hirsi, the son of Magan. I am a Darod, a Harti, a Macherten, an Osman Mahamud”. “Get it right” her grandmother would insist shaking a switch at her. "The names will make you strong. They are your bloodline. If you honor them they will keep you alive. If you dishonor them you will be forsaken. You will be nothing. You will lead a wretched life and die alone. Do it again”. Every Somali is expected to learn the names of their ancestors by heart. It is a lowlander’s life. It used to be the same in Irob land and both places people used to pledge their allegiance to “their tribe leaders and not to the state”. In a sense there “were no citizens; there were tribes” and clans. That was before the highlanders insisted on private property rights and ownership issues reversed the entire community arrangements
You would suppose interesting books are written by highly learned people with full of serious history but sometimes one comes along the document written by a humble man that’s fun as well as educational. Such is the case with Ato Dillibi’s letters to the Vincentian theology students in Europe. His works are translated to English in 2008 at the “request of confreres of the Ethiopian province”. If you were like me agonizing on the lack of historical narrative of what went in early 20th century, Irob land and its environs the publication of these letters in a book form is indeed a welcome step in filling the dots of our history. Any cultural anthropologist would feast on discovery of such documents as any treasure hunter would on discovery of gold deposit inside the ship under the deep sea. Hats off for the Vincentians! Lately I hear that some concerned individuals are translating the letters back to Tigringa (Tigringa-Dutch-English-Tigringa) and that initiative if it bears fruit will make accessible a vast wealth of information to the public.
The man and his Dutch connections
The book introduces the young Fr. Cornelius de Wit leaving Netherlands “to become a missionary in Northern Ethiopia” and “there he stayed for 21 years, until his death in 1932”. This priest is a protagonist in the making of the letters to Dutch friends of Dillibis.

According to the accounts in the book Dillibis spoke and wrote Amharic and was able to communicate in French and Italian. It is said that he wrote the letters in Tigrina and had them translated to Dutch by Fr. Cornelius. It is hard to get to know the birth date of Dillibis (a shepherd doesn’t know his birth date) but it is assumed that he was born “around 1880” from Coptic parents. Plague broke out in Irob land and his parents took him to Keren in Eretria; and after his long illness, he was recovered and was introduced to Catholic priests and eventually became a Catholic.

With a passion and zeal of true convert, as he was, Dillibis served the missionaries and he contributed his best to the expansion of Catholic faith in Irob land and beyond. He accompanied the priests wherever they went and at times paid heavily for his faith and conviction. A man with a serious interest in various cultures, political arrangements and languages surely came handy for the missionaries. He was the best guide not only to the most inaccessible Abesha land but also to soul of Abesha mind. The book characterizes Dillibis as a talkative and Irobs in general with an appetite for talk.

However the observation “to talk is more pressing than food and drink especially for Irob tribe” is not convincing knowing the Irob character more of a listener than a talker. Whatsoever, Dillib’s tendency to communicate must have helped in spreading the Gospel. From comments by Fr. De Wit we learn that Dillibis’ looks were “not exactly handsome but he has a jovial character and is always cheerful”. Even though there is an attempt to compliment him for his character than for his looks, European standard of beauty is not hidden.
Dillibis’s disturbing modesty is flashed on every page and it is not surprising to find why he signs his letters as “Dillibis the sinner”.  He is well traveled for a man of his time: from Tigray to Gonder, Gojam, Addis Ababa and even to Djibouti. His desire to migrate to a country that he describes as, “Eden rediscovered, the most famous country, glorious Holland” is evident.  It’s disappointing to learn that his wishes were not fulfilled but you learn as well the history of curiosity to “cross the seven seas and live in the land of the white men” is as old as Irob’s debut with the missionaries.

It appears Dillibis was also eager to know more about Europe and its civilization and ready to learn from their wisdom. But the intention of the white men were mainly  to convert the populace to the ‘true’ religion than empower the local people with insights of enlightenment values of logic, reason, secularism and pluralism which were almost universally accepted in Europe by then. Though I admit trying to explain ‘social contract theory’ to Wonna Woldegiorigis would not have been an easy feet to accomplish at the height of feudal succession system but they could always try.
While the Irobs in general are considered by many to be emotionally inaccessible folks who keep to themselves the joy and the occasional grief of life, what is curious about Dillibis is his openness about his feelings. He is so passionate about his wife, his kids, about his mother of whom he says “… I am convinced that between all the women who have been in the world after Eve, none was like my mother. She had the heart of a woman and the intellect of a man”. Ignore the male chauvinism there; that was 100 years back.

From my reading of the letters, it appears Dillibis was not only engaged in preaching the gospel as a catechist but was also engaged in developmental works. Probably the first project proposal for funding was crafted by Fr. De Wit for the famine victims of Irob in early 1920’s and the first project report was written by Dillibis in his capacity as ‘project officer’. He acknowledges the receipt of the funds by de Wit and thanks the donors for saving lives. Since then his descendants have sharpened their skills and written thousands of proposals and even created an industry of its kind.

The legacy of proposal writing for funding has continued to trigger the imagination of our elite.  They recommend it as the preferred alternative route to obtain resources to support economic freedom for the poor. External assistance is fine from time to time but many experts in development suggest doing business to be the best way to beat poverty. History is a witness to such facts and you would be surprised to know why the Jewish people are rich and their counterparts are not. Probably penniless Jew is rare to find but penniless Irobs are everywhere.  Until very recently the so called respected jobs were around churches and administrative jobs in government but not anymore. Civil service and church services are still worthy perusing for a “man doesn’t leave on bread alone” but if your goal is to “be rich or die trying” there seem to be complete reversal of that view. 
The time
Slave trade was rampant in the country and the feudal political system was in its apex. The missionaries were rushing to Africa to save souls. When they were not busy engaged in saving, they were amusing themselves with the new culture and astounding African landscape. Being part of the white structure, they must have contributed their share to African colonial history as well. After the destruction of the First World War Europe was in relative peace.   The country of “the brave and the free”, America, was under terrible economic depression only to explode in 1929.

Some of the best literary (drama, poetry and novels) works were being published both in Europe and America while Ireland and France were leading centers. Ernest Hemingway was having fun in Paris writing one of the finest works ever. Virginia Woolf, though had some nervous breakdown from time to time was brilliantly hammering on feminist topics and writing treaties on women’s place in society. P.G. Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh in Britain and some others in America were making names for their contribution to English literature. Mr. Waugh was in Addis during Hailesilassie’s coronation in October 1930 and his report was damning as he describes the entire process as “an elaborate propaganda effort”.

Meanwhile Albert Einstein had put physics upside down. A physics literate friend of mine told me that Einstein’s theories “had changed our understanding of the universe and became the cornerstones of quantum mechanics and general relativity”. I don’t understand those things much but I was told they were important. The same day Einstein received noble prize in physics Dillibis had written a letter introducing his Dutch friends to traditional medical practice called “mahguma”.  Intellectual universe the two people inhabited is obviously worlds apart. Of course he didn’t as well forget to engage himself in adulating the missionaries for opening schools and teaching the true religion.

The contents

The first one or two paragraphs of the letters are always a boring pain to read. The long introductory lines begin with inquiries to his friends about the weather, health, famine conditions in “glorious Holland” and everything under the sun. Now, I am aware how the traditional letter writing style was originated in Irob land. “Enkab zetefelalenalu mealti kisab lomi bitsega tiena ….” Remember those lines before they were replaced by hi, or what is up dude type? Those expressions are even more beautiful when you use them to express love and longing for the special one in your teenage years. We all wrote love letters. Didn’t we? Before the internet mail services destroyed it and face book ruined it that style was familiar to many of us. I always believe the literary genius is activated when one is in love.  I found out some of the letters I wrote years back could give a run for his money to the most gifted writer.  Though I must admit my wife doesn’t always look at those letters form literary perspective.

Thanks to the questions put by ‘illustrious’ Dutch men, Dillibis partially satisfies our curiosity about the social, economic and political conditions and actors of his time. If there is anyone who complains about this work, the writer must be blamed for what he didn’t write than for what he did.

One of the most interesting details is about the time of Wonna Weldegiorgis’s 60-years bravery and ‘just’ rule. He also provided some portraits of national politics acting as a journalist. His account of Dejazmach Teferi’s rise to power and consequently to the throne and his (Dillibis) hatred for Ras Gugsa for his superstitious tendencies is clearly communicated to his Dutch friends. His literary skills are also displayed on some of the pages and here is one of my favorite:

“This evening I write to you in the shadow of the Mimosa tree, next to my house. The sun sends a more subdued light into the valley. I hear the singing of the shepherds who descend from the mountains with their flocks - I also hear the bleating of the goats, which call the young goats to be suckled”.
To whom would this vivid description fail to resonate with?

In nutshell, these letters are a story of Irob people and their resilience. It tells the story of suffering, injustice, feudal backwardness and also ‘smiles on many face and love in many hearts’. Year after year, the letters communicate the news of famine, drought, locust and conflicts with nearby Islamic tribes. One of the most depressing letters ever written was an account of his time during internal displacement (exile, he calls it) around Enderata in Tigray in 1929. He has brilliantly captured the humiliation and shame that the Irob people faced during ‘sidet’ in search of food more than any contemporary writer would.

Interestingly though he was conscious of the fleeting nature of their displacement and tells the news of the people who were not even close to being “bowed down” by anything. Thanks to their new faith the Irob tribes were trained to face challenges by way of mobilizing their Christian faith as coping strategy in the face of crisis. Biblical characters like Job, Joseph, Mary, Jesus and Daniel were invoked to unleash the internal resources that the community owns during terrible disaster situation. Invoking those names was inspiring the poor and energized the downtrodden to face challenges.   
The only way to explain how the Irobs survived continuous disaster situations for years and years without giving up on living must be because there is some relationship between faith and resilience. I wish someone studies that aspect. I am not sure if Dilibis knew the Victorian poem by the English poet W.E. Henley, Invictus, but through his letters he has conveyed the power of “unconquerable soul”: “… I thank whatever gods may be; for my unconquerable soul. … My head is bloody, but unbowed”.

However, my analysis of ‘hard times’ of the Irob people should not give an impression of romantic attachment to underdog character whom everybody despises and at the end comes victorious. This is not a movie. This is real life and in real life smart people change their response to outside stimuli according to the demand of the time, sort of chameleon.  By and large, my earlier harsh indictment of the Irob character that failed to rise up to the challenges of the 21st century - refusing  to integrate to the world of entrepreneurship,  detached itself from power politics  and failed to produce serious scholarship - still remains intact. 

The Irobs don’t like chameleon  for its  inconsistent  behavior but perhaps that is exactly how they should respond to  the realities as the place they inhabit  is not Camelot, the capital of King Arthur's kingdom where “truth and goodness and beauty” reigns.

Dillibis’ letters are a stark warning to everyone who wants to avoid extreme poverty. Declining moral behavior followed by God’s outrage alone can’t possibly explain our miserable economic position. A better answer should come from the elite why the life of affluence and dignity been so elusive for generations in our region than what Dillibis provides. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Irob Scholarship and Educational Support Program (ISESP) Has Been Established in Ethiopia Operating Under the Umbrella of Irob Development Association (IDA) of Mekele, Tigray, Ethiopia.

Social Media, Committed Citizens and Irob Fund: 

Communiqué from ISESP Committee-Nov 2011

After we have posted the news of proposed fund raising dinner that is slated for December 31st  2011,  many of you have raised some valid questions regarding the status of the program and its legitimacy. It is evident more information is required on the Irob Scholarship and Educational Support Program (ISESP) and this communiqué is issued to answer just that.
What is this all about?

Goron group junior volunteer cadres are committed to social accountability and here is what is achieved so far. But first, for starters let us answer some important questions (in fact three) that may be troubling you all the way. “What is this new round of initiative different from others and why would I give my hard earned money and how would I trust you?”  Since trusting too much these days is unsafe and those who verify before they trust are wise, let us try to convince you that one initiative is different, it is achievable, it’s an idea whose time has come and those on driver’s seat are people of unquestionable integrity and sense of service to the community. Those of you hell-bent on not getting convinced before we make our case, please leave the room. (lol). 

Here we go: there are different groups and names like Goron and others that have emerged in the front of Irob related initiatives. One such initiative that we want to bring to your heart is - Irob Scholarship and Education Support Program. Its objective is not entirely new (except new media is being utilized for social change) as such since many other initiatives have also been concerned with wellbeing of Irob from this or that dimension. The program is about the wellbeing of Irob people through educational opportunities and support – arguably the most reliable and sustainable way of transforming the situation of our people. The program operates under Irob Development Association. This was decided because at this point in time there appeared several small groups with several names in the name of Irob and adding another one to the list in the name of small group of people would seem too much, at least in our view. Therefore, this program abandoned the idea of standing on its own with its legal personality and we went for merging it to IDA with necessary autonomy as it enjoys all the privileges it can get from IDA as far as the basic vision and missions are complementary to each other.
Vision:  The Scholarship and Educational support program (ISESP) aims to empower Irob minority students by supporting their educational efforts though scholarship opportunities. It seeks to make education accessible to academically qualified but financially needy students by providing them financial assistance. Further, it hopes to train and nurture these young men & women to be future leaders of the nation.

Mission: The Irob Scholarship and Educational support program ( ISESP) has a mission to provide disadvantaged students in Irob woreda, and their schools, with support and educational resources so that they may improve their communities and break the cycle of poverty in the region.

Objective: Aims to support Schools in Irob woreda and to provide scholarship opportunities to academically qualified, those who demonstrate leadership qualities but financially needy Irob students by providing them financial assistance. 

This program has working guidelines  and it has principles and maximum possible procedures to ensure impartiality and equal opportunity for Irob students as long as they satisfy the requirements and resources are available. Our target for this year is five hundred thousand birr (500,000.00). We understand this is an ambitious plan but with the support of every one of you it is not something unachievable. 

Achievements So far

Committee Appointed: The program operates under IDA legally but it has its own stirring committee fully authorized and appointed officially by IDA board director and the committee is constituted of the following: Hulluf Weldesilassie, Program coordinator; Ziade Hailu, Addis Ababa representative; Alema Gidey, Europe Representative; Daniel Aduma, Canada & Australia representative; Kahsay Debesu, Assistant Coordinator/Mekelle; Hagos Gebray, USA representative. You are cordially requested to collaborate with these volunteers for a noble purpose of saving a generation and overcoming poverty through education.

Bank Account opened: There are officially appointed Irob individuals to facilitate the actual operation of the program locally – in Adigrat. The local committee is composed of: Hulluf Weldesilassie, Kahsay Debesu, Kassa Zigta Mekonen Bulad . 

The above four with a letter from the IDA board director, had opened a bank account for the program. They shall transact the financial issues or activities of this program. These are individual who we believe are sincerely committed to Irob cause and they shall ensure that all the money is used properly. They will also organize and manage the fundraising occasions locally. The cooperation and support of everyone is requested here too. When you do your contributions please write your full names for record purposes and issuance of some acknowledgement documents.
Committee Established: The scholarship awarding committee is set up, with an understanding to operate under the general guidelines of the ISESP for selection criteria. Educational achievements and leadership qualities are given prominence for selection. Individuals with academic excellence and keen eyes for spotting talent are nominated. 
Proposal Developed: Formal project proposal is developed for first round of beneficiary students to solicit funds and anybody interested to have the document and search for funds is welcome. 

Fund raising: Local Fund raising dinner is arranged at the end of December in Addis Ababa to raise some money and introduce the program to stakeholders. The practice will replicate in other towns and cities as well.
On the need to establish Advisory board: Since this initiative is being run on the bases of volunteerism, more willing souls are required to join the cause to act as advisory board. (The most senior, senior cadres please stand up!) Inputs are still solicited from all of you on innovative ways of running the fund and on its sustainability strategy. You shall be appointed as Advisory board. Thanks to the new media geography is irrelevant; your hearts are what matters. 

That is why we “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world:  indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ziade Hailu's Report on the Celebration of Meskel 2004/2011 at Dawhan Town

UPdate #3. Live from Dawhan town. This town of  Dawhan  is ready to welcome her guests. This afternoon before the D day many, including media people, guests from far and close are converging to this small town. Accommodation is not easy but then what a heck....(alga leminie). Tomorrow is a big day but festive mood is already in the air.
The D Day is up on us. The president of Tigray region their excellencies,  Atto Abbay Woldu and Abune Tesfesilasie, are among the distinguished guests. The administrator of Irob woreda Mr. Rufael presented yearly performance report. The hall in Dawhan is overflowing with humans and highly over suffocated. nothing like this has been ever witnessed in that small town. your reporters in the ground will be updating you every minute.
Update # 6.  According to the report by the Administrator of the woreda Asimba and its environs t up to Ggundagude is earmarked for Eco tourism. Investors are invited to assess tourism potential in the region. Also investment in beles is highly recommended.
update # 5.  Breaking news: It was announced just few minutes back that the commercial bank of Ethiopia will start operations in Dawhan town beginning from October one. This is an important step for the region with long long years of history but no formal financial institutions for years.
Update #8.  It is raining heavily in Dawhan town. After an interesting luncheon with variety of food including great people are back to conference center. Question and answer session is being conducted. Though some people are complaining that the festival has become more of a serious stuff than a celebration of culture. If the rain doesn't spoil things the best part they said is yet to come. Your reporters myself in the main studio and Huluf Weldesilase at the ground shall be updating you every minute of every hour during this historic day. Don't go away.
Update #9.  Further reiterating what his Excellence  the bishop said in the morning about the resilience of the Irob people, the president of Tigray region is making a final speech. In brief his speech focuses economic empowerment. The Irob people suffered enough but that has to stop. He compared the irob topography to Israel and according to him that country receives less annual rainfall than Irob region yet it has become bread basket. If Irobs invest in bees, water harvesting, 'tele/begi' and work hard there is no way that the appalling poverty will continue. He said something in  line of Paulo Cohelo's witting that if a community decides to change their fate then the universe shall conspire to make it happen. He received applause from the audience for comparing Irob to Israel. Now, we have heard the speech, witnessed the fanfare and rhetoric we wait for actions. This festival has clearly put Irob issues on the map of the powerful in Mekele town or so it seems.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Global Irob Discussions on the Need of Forming "Lideta School Alumni Association" Is Underway!.

አዲሱ የኢሮብ ትውልድ ለኢሮብ ህዝብ ልማት ባጭር ታጥቆ መነሳሳቱን እያረጋገጠ ነው።
የ “Lideta School Alumni Association” በተመለከተ
ክፍል ሁለት፤ ተጨማሪ አስተያየት
ክፍል አንድን “Concerning: Lideta School Alumni Association” የሚል የኢንግሊዝኛ ጽሑፍ ይመልከቱ።
አብዛኛው የኢሮብ ወጣት ለልማት እጁን ለመዘርጋት ዝግጁ መሆኑን እያረጋገጠ ነው።
አሁን ጅማሮው በልደታ ማርያም ትምህርት ቤት ላይ ያቶከረ ቢሆንም ቀጣይነት ያለው ተነሳሽነት መሆኑ ያመልክታል።
ይህንን የተቀደሰ ሓሳብ ተግባረዊ ለማድረግ ሁለት መሰረታዊ ነገሮች በትዩይ መቅደም አለባቸው።
1. የትምህርት ቤቱ (የልደታ) ርእሰመምህር በጣምራ የሚያዙት የሂሳብ ቁጥር በቀድሚያ መከፈት አለበት

ይህም አቶ ሙዑዝ ፍሱሕ
Meuz Fessuh
18. august 14:34
hi guys:
i have contacted aba habtegebriel the director of lideta secondary school.he said he is has prepared the articles and memorandum of association,and that he will open an account in a weeks time together with committee in mekele.

በገለጹልን መሰረት በቅርቡ ተግባራዊ እንደሚሆን ተስፋችን የጸና ነው።

2. ለመርዳት የተነሳሳ ሁሉ በግሉ በመንቀሳቀስ የፈቀደውን ገንዘብ በቀጥታ ወደ ሂሳብ ቁጥሩ ማስገባት ይችላል
3. በያለበት አከባቢ በቡድ በመንቀሳቀስና በፈለገውና በፈቀደው አላማ ማለት
• መጸህፍትና የትምህርት መሳሪያ ማደራጃ ቡድን
• በኮምፒዩተርና ያዲስ ቶክኒዮሎጂ ግኝቶች ማደራጃ ቡድን
• በባህልና ትያተር ማደራጃ ቡድን
• በታሪክን ስነምርምር ጥናት
• በመምህራን ደሞዝና መደጎሚያ ማጠናከርያ መዋጮ
• ተማሪዎችን በምግብ ለመደጎም የሚንቀሳቀስ ቡድን እንዲሁም ወዘተ
በቡድን መደረጀት የፈለጉ ደግሞ በአከባቢያቸው በተስማሙበት መልኩ የራሳቸው ሂሳብ ቁጥር ከፍተው በመንቀሳቀስ ብርን ካሰባሰቡ በኋላ ለኢሮብ ህዝብ ይጠቅማል ሲሉ በተስማሙበት መልክ ወጪ እንዲሆን በማመላከት ብሩን በቀጥታ በልደታ ርእሰመምህር ጣምራነት በተከፈተው ሂሳብ መግባት አለበት።
እያንዳንዱ በፈቃደኝነትና በራሱ አነሳሽት የተደራጀው ቡድን ሂሳቡን ለትምህርትቡቱ ሂሳብ ቁጥር መላኩን ለኢሮብ ተወላጆች ሁሉ ማሳወቅ አለበት።
የትምህርት ቤቱ ርእሰመምህርና አብረውት በጣምራነት የሚሰሩ የኮሚቶው አባላት ደግሞ የስራ አፈጻጸምን ዝርዝር መግለጫ በሳይበር በእንተርነት በኩል በተለየዩ አህጉራት ተበትነን ለምንገኝ የኢሮብ ልጄች እንዲያበስሩ የግድ ይላቸዋል።
የልማት ተሳታፊዎቹ የኢሮብ አባላት ያዋጡተ ብር በአግባቡ በጥቅም ላይ መዋሉን ሲያረጋግጡ እርካታቸው ለበለጠ ተሳታፊነት ይጋብዛቸውና ሞተሩ እንደታደሰለት ባቡር፤ የልማት እንቅስቃሶአቸው ፍጥነት እንዲጨምር ይሆናል። ይህም ጥረታችን በአንድነት አጣምረን ተጣምረን፤ በቡድን ቡድን ከመደራጀት አልፈን፤ አቶ አለማ ተስፋይ ከዚህ ቀጥሎ “Lideta School Alumni Association” ሲሉ እንዳቀረቡት ፤
Alema Tesfaye
16. august 01:53
Dear Haileselasie Yohannes, I am very happy to see your wonderful and constructive comments on how to proceed once the organization is established and set on the right track. The steps that you proposed to go forward with this nobel idea of Lideta school alumni formation are appreciable. You also stated “I am assuming that this association is established by the current Director of Lideta Mariam School of Alitena (who have long ago have shared me his honorable idea) and I believe we have to be accountable to the school administration and not any other organ.” This statement is completely new for me. To get more evidence of it, I tried to call back home and ask about it and the people whom I contacted back home told me that they never heard about any association which is established.
Secondly, you stated in your above post “Under the umbrella of the Lideta School Alumni Association we can organize ourselves; say for example;
1. The book donor’s group
2. Computer donor’s group
3. “Best Teachers” financing group
4. Irob - cultural group
5. Irob-History group
6. “Water and food for the students” organizing group “.
This is very important comment that leads us well to hit our target after the association is established. I believe and stand firmly on it. But first of all, we have to establish the Alumni association of our historic Lideta School. It doesn’t matter who created it as we are just fighting for Irob people’s life improvement which focused on enlightening the future of our beloved Irobs back home.
Fugi niada yakoy.
ይሁን ወይስ እኔ ከወቅቱ የልደታ ርእሰመምህር በመጋቢት ወር 2003 ዓ.ም ጥንስሱን ብቻ ሳይሆን አንዴት መተግበር ይችላል ሲሉ ተጨንቀውና ተጠበው መላዎችን ሲዳስሱ እነደሰማሁት ይሁን ወይስ ሌላ አደስ አወቃቀር ወዘተ ለማደራጀትና ለማወቀር እንችላለን።ይህም ክፍል ሁለትን የጋብዛል።

ክፍል ሁለት ከክፍል አንድ ጎን ለጎን የሚካሄድ የውይይት ድርጊት ነው። ይህም ሂደት ነው። በአንድ ዠንበር የሚሆን ስላልሆነ ቀስ በቀስ እየተወያየን በሰከነና በረጋ መንፈስ በውይይት አሁን በምናደረገው በሳይበር ዓለም ሃሳብ ለሃሳብ ልብ ለልብ በመለዋወጥና በማብሰል የሚደረስ ይሆናል። ስለዚህ አሁን በተጀመረው በሳል አካሄድ ምክክረችንን እንቀጥል።
ወንድሜ አለማ ተስፋይ አንዳለው ፤ሃሳቡን ማንም ያፍልቀው ማንም ዋናው ቁምነገር የዚህ የተቀደሰ አላማ ግብ መምታት ጅማሮና ውጤት መጨበጣችንና ማየታችን ነው።
ላረጀው ላፈጀው መንፈስን የሚያውደው፡
አዲሱ ትውልዳችን የለውጥ መዘውር ነው።
የኢሮብ ወጣቱ ትውልድ በረቱ ተበራቱ
በጠባቡ ሳይሆን በሰፊው አትቱ
በጥላቻ ሳይሆን በፍቅር ወትውቱ
የዛሮውኑ ሳይሆን የጥንቱን ተመልከቱ።
አጻጻፍ አነጋገር አሳምሩ!
ሌላውን ለማስገደድ አትዳክሩ!
በፍቅር በሃሴት ተከባበሩ!
ከልብ በመንፈስ ተማከሩ!
ተደጋገፉ ተግባቡ እንጂ አትጎነታተሉ
ተዋደዱ ተከባበሩ እንጂ አትወነጃጀሉ
አጻጻፍ አነጋገር አሳምሩ!
ሌላውን ለማስገደድ አትዳክሩ!
በፍቅር በሃሴት ተከባበሩ!
ከልብ በመንፈስ ተማከሩ!
በወንድማቹህ ላይ ቀንበርን አትጫኑ
የሰማችሁትን ሁሉ በደረቁ አትመኑ
ማንበብና ማመሳከርን ልመዱ
አሉባልታንና ቡድናዊነትን አስወግዱ
ሀገራዊነትንና ህዝባዊነትን ገምዱ
ኢሮባዊነትንና ወገናዊነት አወድዱ


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Monday, August 15, 2011

"Irob Education Fund" Is Proposed To Be Established For The Irob People In Ethiopia

On ‘Labha Labha, Labha Kinoka’ and Irob Education Fund
                                                                                                                By Tsehaye Alema & Ziade Hailu
                                                                                                                                                                August 2011

With the arrival of social networks the Irob labha (both male and female) are participating on issues related to the society more than ever. It feels good to be part of something and the idea of belonging to a community is an innate need that has to be met. As much as we are concerned with dying coral reefs, melting arctic ice and problems in Syria and Libya (the people want to bring down the regime or in Arabic-  Ash-sha`b yurid isqat an-nizam), we are  worried about the less than acceptable level of  educational achievements of Irob kids or even worse, the failure of talented once due to lack of financial support. 

The conversations are fitting for we know no community that experienced all the misfortunes of existential threat than ‘little Tibet’.  After having followed sometimes nasty, sometimes civilized, face book conversations (we are card carrying face book cadre) we have come to conclusion that everybody wants to have his/her voice and that is the beauty of social networks. Unlike some people who equate differences of opinion as enmity and a valid reason to declare war, (blame history-stupid) we beg to differ as such debates are creative. Isn’t oneness uninteresting? It is  boring and we don’t want to go there.
It is undeniable that face book groups suffer from ‘tirnafe’ (organizational) problem as many such cyber based advocacy groups experience. Uncoordinated, idealistic initiatives are not in short supply in Goron land. Perhaps Irob land is a reflection of Goron land or vice versa. The good thing about the virtual land is that there is no specific control and monopoly of truth and knowledge. Denied in the real world, the habitants of Gorn land believe in existence of multiple realties. At least in Goron land truth is relative and there are  no holy cows. People can question everything and conventional wisdom is put upside down if needed. We find more naturalists than positivists on face book groups. Long live face book dissent, of course until it becomes destructive and irrelevant. However, dissent is not unique to this generation. 

In a nutshell, we have many types of members on those sites: those who try to bring novel ideas and strive hard towards making it real, those who bring new ideas but insist their names are written on gold plated statutes, and others who try to participate but withdraw with slightest disapproval. And yet there are other few ‘labha kinoka’ whose job is just opposing for the sake of opposing. We would prefer who do something and make error of judgment than those who judge. The good news is that ‘labha kinoka’ are few. 
All types of labha have come with all types of initiatives (boundary to abductees to poverty alleviation) to solve community challenges with good intentions at heart.  However, they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Lately, though there seem to be convergence towards some simple, measurable, achievable objectives: setting up educational endowment fund. Setting up Education Fund can be a way to give back to our community. (You probably heard more than often repeated -sayimar yastemaren hizb-).  Besides, there is a big joy in giving.  “Giving takes you out of yourself. You expand beyond your limitations” so says Dipack Chipra wellness guru.

May God bless search engines (death and Google are great levelers) we were trying to look into how to setup education fund. Here is what we got and thought interesting for our work. First, it is imperative to decide on the objective of the fund. In our case we propose privately operated, nonprofit organizations established to assist Irob schools and students help earn the education they want and deserve. Second, establishing the criteria for the award (who gets the award, how do they get, for how long), third, name the fund (Irob Educaiton fund?-IEF), fourth, nominate advisory board and fifth, meet the legal requirements by Charities and societies (CSO) law and get registered and raise funds for the purpose. The fund administrators often implement the scholarship administration process and procedures. IEF Administration includes such tasks as: promotion, the application process, selection and award process, student monitoring and fiscal reporting requirements.

Some ‘labha labha’ deserve honorary mention for they are toiling to make this idea come true and it is our duty to tell our dear readers that  we are not trying to hijack  people’s ideas and we are not by any means the architects of this initiative. Some names then: well the two lions of Aiga Onna  Adex Weldegiorgis from the Australia and Onna Daniel Tesfay  from land  ‘of scenic splendor’ who live ‘seven oceans apart’ but the Irob cause is right in the middle of their gentle hearts; Huluf Weldesilasie his inner memo was outstanding and included some original ideas on how to set up the fund; Yohnnes Tesfay, the most energetic prominent social activist on Irob blogosphere;  this website, and its administrator, and hundreds of  others who are willing to contribute and wish the initiative success.  This time it seems our fear that many associations that are formed are either a complete failure or waste of time will have to be revised. 


This ‘little Tibet’ - a reference to Irob by Paul Henze- needs our support and we have moral responsibility to help.   To borrow a line from Eritrean Self help music - eza menbere timurat, eza deki hade libi- deserves support and we owe it to the people. By the way, a little distraction is warranted here. Do you follow Eritrean music these days? It repeats a continuous narrative that bad days always precede good days and those days are coming, with only one problem that they are nowhere to be seen. Never mind, it is just a music replacing the role of a counselor   and ‘abat nefse’ and it serves well when you have a real bad dictator.    However, Abrham Afeworki albums may not sell well in Irob land. If we don’t act now we shall not sell hope and it is a distressed market. An opportunity of saving a generation is upon us. we act or we don’t.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The First Annual Conference of Irob Language & Culture Association (ILCA) Was Held in Addigrat, Tigray, Ethiopia in July 2011.

To read the report of ILCA in Amharic in pdf format, please click HERE! 
All Irobs and friends of Irob around the globe are requested to support   financially and morally the efforts and initiatives of the ILCA.