Monday, March 4, 2024
InterviewAspirations and Apprehensions

Aspirations and Apprehensions

With hearts filled with joy, Ethiopians unite to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, embracing precious moments of togetherness and camaraderie. As the rainy season gently bids farewell and the promise of a new harvest emerges, families gather to commemorate this transition.

It’s a time of rejuvenation and optimism, as hopes for a bountiful year ahead take root. Clad in traditional attire, households unite within the cozy confines of their homes, engaging in a medley of festive activities.

Symbolizing beauty, freshness, and heartfelt wishes, friends and family exchange bouquets of delicate yellow daisies known as “Adey Ababa.”

The Reporter’s Abraham Tekle, Daniel Nigussie, and Selamawit Mengesha, engaged a diverse range of individuals, including businesspeople, politicians, journalists, and everyday citizens, delving into their aspirations, deepest fears, cherished New Year’s memories, and treasured Ethiopian dishes.

Aspirations and Apprehensions | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News TodayMerera Gudina, a seasoned politician and esteemed professor of Political Science and International Relations, stands at the helm of the Oromo People’s Congress. With an illustrious three-decade career, his leadership brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the forefront of Ethiopian politics.

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If you had the opportunity to make a single wish, what would it be?

I harbor a deep longing to witness Ethiopia flourish as a democratic nation, embodying the aspirations cherished over the past 50 years. My yearning extends towards societal progress, inclusive governance, and a nation where the voices of all citizens are heard, human rights are respected, and the principles of justice and equality thrive.

What currently instills the greatest sense of fear within you?

I echo the concerns surrounding political instability and the absence of democracy in Ethiopia, recognizing the substantial risks they entail, including the potential for severe collapse, disintegration, and even civil war.

The ramifications of political instability encompass uncertainty, diminished trust in institutions, and hindered governance. In the absence of a robust democratic framework, the voices and aspirations of the people may go unheard, further intensifying tensions and divisions within the nation.

Can you recall a New Year’s memory that has left an indelible mark on you, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative experience?

I experienced an unforgettable moment as a student when Haile Selassie I’s feudal reign came to an end – a pivotal event in Ethiopian politics. This change marked a significant turning point in my life. My release from prison after a seven-year sentence in 1984, remains etched in my memory.

Which Ethiopian dish (es) do you excel at cooking if given the opportunity?

I am not that much of a cook.

Aspirations and Apprehensions | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News TodayAbraham Haymanot (PhD) is the president of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP). He has been in this capacity since 2018.

If you had the opportunity to make a single wish, what would it be?

At this moment, my utmost wish is for peace to prevail in our country. With ongoing conflicts and instability, it is crucial that we prioritize peace as the only viable solution for Ethiopia’s future. I strongly believe that achieving peace is possible, and my ultimate desire is to witness a united Ethiopia where all members of society live in harmony.

Despite our differences, I hope for a political system that eliminates ethnic-based divisions and promotes national unity through fair federalism, ensuring an equal distribution of wealth and power. Through collective efforts, we can create a country that is free from violence and conflict.

What currently instills the greatest sense of fear within you?

As a politician and leader of a political party, my primary concern revolves around the looming threat of my country’s disintegration. Regrettably, this is the stark reality faced by Ethiopians, who are grappling with persisting conflicts and political instability. Years of violence and unrest have pushed the nation to a precarious precipice, leaving its population burdened with a sense of fragmentation and apprehension.

In addition to the ongoing conflict, Ethiopians also confront a multitude of challenges, including poverty, drought, and food insecurity. These issues have been further exacerbated by the ruling party’s failure to provide immediate solutions. Instead of acting as a responsible governing body, the government’s behavior mimics that of destructive agents.

Swift action is imperative to prevent our country from slipping through our fingers, descending into a full-fledged civil war and disintegration.

Can you recall a New Year’s memory that has left an indelible mark on you, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative experience?

As the New Year approaches, a sense of nostalgia and homesickness would often wash over me, evoking memories of my country and the joyous atmosphere that surrounded the occasion. Having spent a few years abroad as a migrant, the anticipation of the New Year celebration never failed to ignite a spark of hope within me for a brighter future and prosperity.

The festive ambiance in Ethiopia holds a distinct charm that is truly unparalleled. It is a time when the air is filled with enchantment, and the celebrations are unlike anything found elsewhere.

Which Ethiopian dish (es) do you excel at cooking if given the opportunity?

Although I may not possess extensive culinary skills specifically for holiday cooking, if given the chance, I would venture into preparing “Gored-Gored.” While my expertise in holiday cooking may be limited, I would embrace the opportunity to explore this traditional dish using raw meat, butter, and hot pepper spice.

Aspirations and Apprehensions | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News TodayAtaklti Haile Selassie assumed the role of mayor of Mekelle city in mid-December 2020, during the administration of the Transitional Government of Tigray, a few weeks after the war broke out in November 2020.

If you had the opportunity to make a single wish, what would it be?

Witnessing the people of Tigray transcend the existing political, social, economic, and psychological crisis and coexist harmoniously with all Ethiopians would fill me with immense joy.

What currently instills the greatest sense of fear within you?

There are two perspectives to consider when analyzing this question. Firstly, the errors committed in the past have jeopardized the very existence of our nation. Secondly, I am deeply concerned that the mistakes made by political parties could cost lives and the disintegration of our country. These concerns weigh heavily on my mind today.

Can you recall a New Year’s memory that has left an indelible mark on you, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative experience?

During my tenure as the Head of Corporate Communications at Mekelle University, our team was engrossed in organizing various facilities, leaving us with little time to spare for personal matters. Despite the challenges and inconveniences, my mother insisted that we wait until we could all be together for a family dinner.

I vividly recall instances when my family patiently awaited my late-night return. This memory has remained deeply ingrained within me to this day.

Which Ethiopian dish (es) do you excel at cooking if given the opportunity?

I absolutely adore chicken stew, making it my all-time favorite dish.

 

Aspirations and Apprehensions | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News TodayDawit Birhanu Moltotal serves as the National Executive Member and Public Relations Officer for the Enat Party. He holds a Master of Science degree in Language, Literature, and Folklore from Addis Ababa University.

If you had the opportunity to make a single wish, what would it be?

I wholeheartedly aspire to witness the unification and development of Ethiopia and its people. By embracing love, empathy, and compassion, we can cultivate a profound sense of unity and togetherness among Ethiopians. Through collaborative efforts and a shared vision, we can strive towards common goals, fostering positive change and advancement in numerous facets of Ethiopian society, including enhancing infrastructure, education, healthcare, and the economy, ultimately contributing to the overall progress and prosperity of Ethiopia.

What currently instills the greatest sense of fear within you?

Given the disintegration experienced by neighboring countries like Sudan and Somalia as a result of civil war, I am genuinely concerned about Ethiopia’s future. However, I remain hopeful that Ethiopia can learn valuable lessons from these examples and actively pursue a path of peace and stability.

Can you recall a New Year’s memory that has left an indelible mark on you, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative experience?

For the upcoming New Year, my plans revolve around cherishing quality time with my family. I intend to create a special and memorable experience by drawing a unique flower for each member of my family. This personalized gesture holds significant meaning to me.

Which Ethiopian dish (es) do you excel at cooking if given the opportunity?

My favorite dish to cook would be Shiro.  

Aspirations and Apprehensions | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News TodaySamuel Tekleweld, hailing from Mekele city, is an ex-combatant with a background in business. He actively participated in the conflict that persisted in the northern region of the country for a duration of two years.

If you had the opportunity to make a single wish, what would it be?

I wish for my four-year-old child to flourish in life and embark on a journey of higher education. I firmly believe that through the acquisition of knowledge and skills in college, my child will be equipped to make a significant and positive impact not only within our family but also within our nation.

I am wholeheartedly dedicated to nurturing my child’s intellectual curiosity, fostering a genuine love for learning, and instilling core values that will shape their character. This holistic approach will enable them to lead a purpose-driven life and become a catalyst for positive change within their community and beyond.

What currently instills the greatest sense of fear within you?

One of my greatest fears arises from the daunting prospect of another war, which carries the potential to dismantle the precious bonds we cherish with our loved ones and dear friends. In times of conflict, the very fabric of society can be strained, and the consequences can extend far and wide, causing profound anguish. The mere thought of being separated from those we hold dear, and the possibility of losing them to the ravages of war, evokes a profound sense of sadness and anxiety.

At the heart of this fear lies an ardent yearning for peace and harmony. We yearn for a world where conflicts are resolved through dialogue, understanding, and diplomacy, rather than through the horrors of war.

Can you recall a New Year’s memory that has left an indelible mark on you, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative experience?

It is truly heart-wrenching to recall my friend’s birthday falling on New Year’s Day, a time when we used to joyfully celebrate together. Regrettably, he tragically lost his life in the midst of the conflict, preventing us from commemorating the arrival of the New Year side by side.

Which Ethiopian dish (es) do you excel at cooking if given the opportunity?

Cooking Tibes during the holidays holds a cherished and sentimental place in my heart. Tibes is a traditional dish of great cultural significance, symbolizing a deep-rooted connection to the holiday season. Its preparation and enjoyment evoke a profound sense of warmth and nostalgia.

Aspirations and Apprehensions | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News TodayFitsum Nigusse, the CEO of Besh Gebeya, is a highly skilled businessman with more than 15 years of experience in the export and construction sector.

If you had the opportunity to make a single wish, what would it be?

I want to see the inauguration of the Lemi Cement Factory.

What currently instills the greatest sense of fear within you?

Death is my biggest fear.

Can you recall a New Year’s memory that has left an indelible mark on you, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative experience?

I had an unforgettable experience while traveling abroad. While on a flight, the plane I was aboard unexpectedly encountered turbulence. That particular moment is unforgettable.

Which Ethiopian dish (es) do you excel at cooking if given the opportunity?

Although I don’t have a specific dish in mind, one thing I enjoy making is popcorn.

Aspirations and Apprehensions | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News TodayElias Meseret is a journalist and a fact checker with vast experience in media sector. He is currently a freelance journalist and runs a fact checking organization called EthioCheck.

 

If you had the opportunity to make a single wish, what would it be?

My deepest wish is for Ethiopia to flourish as a nation of peace.

Which Ethiopian dish (es) do you excel at cooking if given the opportunity?

Tibs.

Can you recall a New Year’s memory that has left an indelible mark on you, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative experience?

On New Year’s Day in 2014, I invited two individuals to my home to help with slaughtering a sheep for the holiday. Little did I know that they were thieves. I vividly recall chasing after them for around 1 km as they tried to run off with the sheep. After a strenuous pursuit, they eventually grew tired and stopped, allowing me to retrieve the animal unharmed.

What currently instills the greatest sense of fear within you?

What currently instills the greatest sense of fear in me is the possibility of ongoing conflicts in our country escalating further.

 

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Video from Enat Bank Youtube Channel.

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