Tuesday , May 30 2023

Ethiopia: Look but do not go back



They do not often tell us that we are the problem. But that's not true. We are the problem.

It has become easier for most people to have ideological debates on issues that concern our country and the world, even if there are still those who prefer to live with their own close bubble. Nevertheless, there is a protracted thought that something is wrong.

The shocking reports of the deaths of innocent civilians addressing their linguistic cultural background in various parts of the country are an indicator of the collective responsibility we take for the suffering in society.

I was in these areas before and even though I was not born or raised there, I felt secure. However, the link between communities was obviously too loose to be eroded today.

A colleague told me that he felt that more than any time before his life, he felt that people were clinging to their national identity. The next day on national television, an employee was dealing with questions about national and border relations between people.

As she put the plans to deal with these questions procedurally, I started to wonder, will it really solve the problems? Will our flag change? Would a referendum be enough? What really changes this? While our nationality enriches our lives, why did it begin to deal with our entire being? When did we realize that it had become so prominent that we could no longer move on? Did not we share history and identity before?

However, today we are on the verge of many internal conflicts for administrative delimitation.

It is important, however, not to overcome such situations. The only way to get out of it with dignity is to work together to solve our problems.

When I travel to rural areas, I have gone to schools where Amharic and Oromiffa are the two main languages ​​that students can choose to learn and take courses. With few resources, communities have been able to work.

So why, when the economy has the potential to create better opportunities, has the fight for resources intensified? Is it not obvious that we can create much more resources through the productivity of our human capital than we could ever hope to gain from mineral resources or land?

We can choose to go back, which for some could be seductive. The past is being reconstructed as a utopia that has never been. The children died at birth, most were illiterate, and there were far fewer winners then, while generations were weakened by illness and conflict.

The remedy is to recognize that we are all the problem. For a long time, many of us sat like half the truths that dominated the airwaves, and they are now doing so with increasing intensity. We have not been able to challenge the prevailing arguments and provide alternatives, not to mention that we are too deterrent to those who have different opinions.

Even when we are not on television or social media, we must support politeness. Every household, social media group and office need it more than ever. This type of ignorance must be fought within everyone, including ourselves. Our state is fragile, and sentiment, nationalism and other ethics will not be the way to resolve it.

I do not think this was the kind of conversation we will have as a nation right now. However, this is my misconception. We are here at this historic moment in order to better deal with our past so that we can move on. While some may wish this to be a step towards the restoration of a particular story, I hope it is the last step in removing the past as it embraces the future in absolute terms.

Hanna Haile ([email protected]) She is an Ethiopian writer and social worker. He is one of the organizers of poetry Saturdays at the Fendika Cultural Center in Addis Abeba and Terara Bar & Kitchen in Hawassa where the scene is open to those who celebrate art through performances on the first and second Saturday of each month.

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