BY LEULSEGED WORKU, Ethiopian Herald
Lately, the writer of this piece and his friends had a chance to attend a get-together program organized by a group of individual Ethiopians. These senior citizens are found in their late 60s. The reason they are gathered under one roof was to inaugurate one of their friend’s house. Among the seniors gathered in the Engineer’s house to celebrate the day, most are living overseas and have their own religious and ethnic backgrounds, way of life and political philosophies.
However, what we (me and my friend) understood from their conversations and learned from their expressions is that they have one thing in common: a deep-rooted sense of Ethiopianism. They way they made fun and mocked each other as well the genuine respect they showed one another, reflected how strong the bondage is between and among them.
Despite the fact that they are grandfathers, they were joking as if they are in their early ages with full of sweet memories still linger fresh in their hearts. HaileMariam Denbu is one of the members of the group whom we had a chance to discuss issues freely and in a friendly manner. Haile is a businessperson and came to Ethiopia to share his experience in bee farming.
For him, Ethiopiansim is not something expressed simply in words. It is beyond that. His experience in Sweden has shown him how strong his attachment is to his motherland. His hope and vision to his motherland Ethiopia is peace and prosperity.
Despite all the challenges the nation has passed through, he believes that better days are waiting for the nation. However, according to Haile, this could only happen when there is an understanding between and among its people. For this to happen, he underscores the importance of open dialogue among Ethiopians.
There is always a way to realize a better Ethiopia which is the most pleasant and safeties place to live and a source of pride for its citizens. When people are allowed to share their idea freely and their thought is accepted, they are always happy to scarify their interest in the country. That is why we are gathered in one place, he said.
Engineer Girma Alaro (Ph.D.) is the other person we approached for discussion. He also lives in America. He has a great desire to invest his intellect here at home. As to him, the notion of Ethiopianism is a deep-rooted sentiment either luxurious life or course of time or any other reasons fades it away.
The well-known Engineer and a prominent figure in the U.S Engineer Girma, despite his professional skill and position in the US, his attachment to his motherland is still fresh. Engineer Girma, he is also the owner of the house, is well known among his friends for his strong muscle.
In the 1960s, he was a box champion in Ethiopia and one can guess this by simply looking at his graceful physical appearance. Girma spends most of his time engaging in engineering activities. As a result, he has accomplished several successful activities. This includes his service at the U.S as a Bolt Mayor City Construction Inspection Head. He is also the one who designed the Building Code of the City. Girma also served as the President of Society of Professional Engineers’ in DC. These senior citizens have reminded me of something.
These days most Ethiopians like to talk about the difference at the expense of peace. Even some are trying to show the supremacy of their ethnic group. To my surprise, Engineer Girma and his collogues have never talked of such issue rather than repeating the words we Ethiopians and “our country…” Despite all the difference between and among them, Ethiopia is always the center of their identities and a harbor for their hearts.
As these Diasporas uttered through the political and the economic system of the nation forced them to flee and live in foreign lands, the issue of Ethiopia is always their greater concern. As the saying goes “Old is Gold’ their tongue is full of wisdom. They truly love Ethiopia. They are always willing to scarify their interest to their motherland. This new generation has a lot to learn from such Diasporas.
The first and most important thing is that we have to appreciate diversity and give value to unity. We do not have to genuflect to any divisive actions. If we put ourselves on such activities, what are we going to deliver to the coming generation?