Honoring Ethiopians who honor Ethiopia!
This week Ethiopia enjoyed a slew of rare moments in the limelight on the international stage on account of two prestigious prizes bestowed on its citizens. On Monday, Freweini Mebrahtu was named the CNN 2019 Hero of the Year and on Tuesday Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) received the Nobel Peace Prize 2019. Ethiopians who truly love their country were overjoyed by the awards. Inasmuch as we are thrilled when our beloved nation is portrayed in a positive light at important global forums, we are dismayed when its reputation is marred by vile acts. Ethiopia is a great nation which symbolizes an indomitable spirit and determination for all black people. The Great Adwa Victory of 1896 particularly was an epoch making feat which earned it recognition far and wide. This unprecedented accomplishment inspired the Pan-Africanism movement. The country supported the independence struggle of countries under the yoke of colonialism and spearheaded the formation of a continental organization that brought Africans together. It’s a cause for celebration as a nation which has a special place in history thanks to the sacrifices of its sons and daughters is honored again today as a result of the achievements of its citizens. We would like to congratulate the recipients of the accolade for they have done their country and fellow Ethiopians proud.
Ethiopians have lived together for centuries both in good times and bad times. Their unity is founded on a common psychological make-up, shared values, patriotism, solidarity and mutual respect. Given that they put the nation above everything they hold compatriots who raise their country’s profile in high regard. They know well who really has their interest at heart and as such will not countenance anyone who invokes their name in vain. And they have forged a strong sense of national unity and preserved it for generations by embracing ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. Sadly, there exist among them a few rotten apples bent on fomenting intercommunal strife with the express purpose of unraveling the tie that has bound them for eons. These unpatriotic miscreants need to be stopped in their track through the collaborative effort of peace loving Ethiopians; they ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms and brought to justice for their atrocities. They must not be allowed to continue disgracing Ethiopia and undermining the national interest.
The single most important task awaiting Ethiopians is to stand united in building a democratic order. There is no reason why we cannot work together towards shared goals despite ideological differences. As democracy can take root insofar as diversity is cherished, exploiting differences to sow divisions and vanquish “enemies” is antithetic to modern politics. As a country on a knife’s edge Ethiopia must do everything possible to ensure the prevalence lasting peace. When peace prevails the road to free and credible elections will be smoother; trade and investment will flourish; citizens will be able to live and work wherever they choose; the youth will pursue their education without fear; inclusive job opportunities will be created; and conflicts and instability will become a thing of the past. It ill behooves Ethiopians to whine ad nauseam about past injustices and try to settle scores instead of heeding the lessons of history to create a better future. All of us would do well to realize that history will judge us harshly if we are wont to perpetrate acts which take the country and its people backward rather than honoring and emulating citizens who do Ethiopia proud through hard work and excellence.
Freweini Mebrahtu won the 2019 CNN Hero of the Year for her work effort to keep girls in school by designing a reusable menstrual pad and trying to end the cultural stigma around the issue. Though the people she knew were skeptical when she set out on the project, was determined to make her dream come true. Freweini produces around 750,000 reusable pads a year at her factory in Ethiopia, 80 percent of which are sold to non-governmental organizations that distribute them for free. Nearly 800,000 girls and women have benefited from her work. Her dedication for such a noble cause has earned her a deserved recognition and serves as an example the youth should follow. Prime Minister Abiy won the Nobel peace prize for his instrumental role in bringing to an end the two-decade “no peace no war” stalemate that had existed between Ethiopia and Eritrea following the 1998-2000 war between the two countries in which an estimated 100,000 soldiers and civilians died on both sides. His effort to bring peace between Djibouti and Eritrea in a bid to strengthen regional cooperation and stability in the Horn of Africa also won him praise. The first Ethiopian to become a Nobel laureate Abiy has written himself and more importantly Ethiopia into the history books. Ethiopians who honor their country deserve to be honored.
Ethiopia has produced countless children who have contributed a lot in their chosen fields to improving the lot of their compatriots. Serving one’s nation with commitment, discipline and integrity earns one respect. Vilifying those who do something without doing anything for the country is the height of hypocrisy and a mark of traitors. It’s only cowards who ride on the coattails of real heroes that preen themselves on their imagined achievement. Exacerbating the grave challenges Ethiopia is confronted as opposed to tackling them in their order of priority is not the hallmark of a sane person. Ethiopia is above the selfish interests of individual citizens or groups. Forces declaring that Ethiopia will collapse if they do not control the levers of power are not only narcissistic, but also prone to subvert the constitution. Politicians collaborating with these forces are a disgrace to the nation. Elements engaged in such shameful acts should learn from history if they are to avoid the ignominious end they will face otherwise. Ethiopia has no use for those who do not care an iota about its stability and prosperity. What it needs are citizens who perform good deeds for their country, fellow countrymen and humanity at large. Honor to Ethiopians who honor Ethiopia!