Archive for June, 2008

Breaking news!!

Ophelia Saved the Day
June 27, 2008, Friday

8 year old daughter of Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe, Ophelia Robertta Mugabe, saved the day.

According to our reporter in Harare, Mugabe had a change of heart when his daughter asked an important question the night before his country’s second round presidential election.

Waddling in her little Mini-Mouse slippers to where her “baba” is, to give him a kiss before it’s time for her “kurara” (meaning “sleep” in Shona, the national language), the little girl notices the worried look on her ole man’s face.

“What’s the matter, baba?!” asked Ophelia, fluent in the English language, as all her classmates at the S.E.S.P. (Sandford English School for the Privileged).

“Oh, nothing daughter” Mugabe replied taking his eye-glasses off, rubbing his tired eyes, and putting them on.

Ophelia waved her tiny arms in a spoiled attempt to show she needed lifting up. She was put on her dada’s ancient knees accordingly.

“What are you doing?!” she asked, sifting through the notepad her father was pouring over, on which the words “gun” and “pen” were written across and down as if for some kind of class punishment.

“Remember those farmers whose land I took?” her father asked.

“Y..e…s” said Ophelia in a sing-along voice “The White Zimbabweans?”

“Yeah right!!”, exploded Mugabe before realizing who his audience was and a pact he made when she was born. That this Zimbabwean won’t be like none other! He tried to pass his hand through her kinky hair “Well, their friends are saying I should leave this palace”

“Oh daddy!”, whined a distressed daughter “What’s to become of us? Are we going to move? Is mommy coming with us? Am I going to leave S.E.S.P. and all my friends? Oh daddy..”

“No chile! No!” Mugabe smiled, his eyes twinkling from within his eyeglasses “we are going to fight! I AM going to fight. You know I won’t let nothing happen to you and your amai

“But..”, Ophelia hesitated looking at the receding lines of her father’s hair, his worried eyes and wrinkled face..

“Y..e..s?!” it was Mugabe’s turn to sing-along


“Now now, Ophi” the stern father demanded “You know you can tell me anything, I promise I won’t be mad at you!”

“But.. baba, aren’t you too old for it?!”

Thirty minutes before the second round election was to start this morning, Africa’s Desk of BBC World Service (instead of Al-Jazeera slash English’s) received a call from the Zimbabwe President. Robert Gabriel Mugabe requested a live interview in which he apologized for the problems his country has been going through for the last few years, promised to return the land to the white “Zimbabwean” farmers, to make amends with and do the biddings of the Western World and that “the Pen” should rule the day.

“Who would have thought?!” said Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s Opposition Leader, from his hiding at the Dutch Embassy upon hearing the news “siring a child at 75!! And such a child too! Maybe the ole man should have her DNA checked. If he’s heard of it!”

A joke, according to our source, Mugabe didn’t find funny.

June 27, 2008 at 6:33 am 8 comments

AmdeTsion, My AmdeTsion!

I am in LOVE!
Had the most awesome lunch ever in which i had my first Epiphany. And now I’m in-love! In love, with Amdetsion! Emperor Amdetsion! Who, before today, I only knew through history books I never read and a poem I had translated for my Ge’ez class:


What, and, which territory he brought back I didn’t know. Didn’t ask! Didn’t care! But I asked this morning and explain my friend did, what/why and how, to the last drop! I am not a huge fan of politics. Am worse when it comes to world affairs. My history knowledge, however, is more or less non-existent. I only know names and with what to associate them.

  • “The French Revolution” I associate with a spoilt princess, “Best of times, worst of times”, Charles Dickens, and Le Guillotine
  • “Watergate” I associate with Nixon, ‘I’m not a crook” and an ABBA’s song made for Waterloo
  • Which I associate with Napoleon & Josephine

That’s all I needed to appear learned, informed. And with it I either convinced them, or confused them. This day of our Lord, 26th day of the year 2008 though, I asked all the questions. The what, the why, the who and the how. Then I went to Google to read on it. And baptised I was, with love! For “ArBegna AmdeTsion, MeLaLash YeWossen”.

It’s a sick feeling, coming across accusations you “beDabesa” know can’t be blamed on our government 100% (like Somalia and Ogaden), as I came across this morning. What am I missing, I ask myself, that I don’t seem to know how to get through to these people that Ethiopia NEED to hold onto her guns if she has to survive as a nation?!. That many were our ill wishers, and powerful are those who take care of them, for us to lie on our bed at nights and dream of “England”, so to say?! That we would have to keep our guns by our bedside at all times, have them lie on our knees when we are preparing each “gursha” to throw into our mouth; that we can’t afford to, don’t have the freedom of mind for, the eating of our enjera, and lapping of our water unawares (like dogs?!)

I knew all these – beDabesa!! But couldn’t explain it to neither Dr. Ethiopia (over by Abesha Bunna Bet) nor his pacifist friends for I knew not what I was really talking about. A female soldier minus her “Qeleha”, the undersigned had become for a moment there, ill-prepared to fight the holy war (our “holy war” this time, the war for survival as a nation & individuals who won’t have it no other way) becoming an easy target for both friends and foe.

But history lesson I had on lunch time. The very best! So I’m in love now, in love with Amdetsion and know why this East African country needs to have the biggest military power in all of Africa, inspite of being the poorest, inspite of famine and food aids. Our guns are our means of survival, as has been for thousands of years. And they should continue to be as long as there is breath in an Ethiopian’s body and those whose eyes turn red at the sight of one!

Now, I’m not sure how to make this crystal clear to you, how Somalia & Ogaden (and all those ensuing places of our war of survival Al-Jazeera would be telling it the way it hasn’t happened against us) are above religion and beyond heaven, without being politically incorrect. Perhaps you should try to meet with my friend and discuss it with him. He knows how to tell it, the way it’s been and is happening. And I am in love, en-chanted, in-toxicated by one AmdeTsion, Emperor of Ethiopia. And, yes, Meles, I’m with you on this one!

God speed!

June 26, 2008 at 12:22 pm 15 comments

Can quote me on that!

A friend of mine sent me two “quotable quotes” this morning. One from what actress Kristin Davis said, and the other from a “The Sopranos” script he found on Ethiopundit . blogspot . com used “to whip Meles Zenawi’s stand on the conflicted land issue around Gondar-Sudan region”. I liked one of them, I hated the other. Here below is my reply. Would appreciate your take on them!

Thank you for the “TiQsis”. Your Kristin Davis’ quote (“If I had one wish for myself, it would be to fall in love. That’s asking for trouble, but that’s the truth.”) sounds pretty shallow. Maybe because I find the concept of “falling in love” freaking funny. So does Chris. We used to laugh about it all the time: one of rolling on the bed saying “oh… oh.. I’ve fallen in love.. It’s all over me.. !” (in a very much Carrie-in-a-wedding-dress way) while the other chuckles delightedly. I know it’s silly. But so is the concept, were you to see it from where I saw it.

Here is how I believe “love” happens:
You see a person, you want them! That’s the reality. Everything else is sugar coating it and we’re both too old for that. If you started dating them, then you are maneuvering them to bed. If the sex is great, you wanna have more of it. And you’d pay whatever it takes to keep it. That’s what they call a “relationship”. While in this relationship, you get used to the person and his/her ways. Some good, Some bad. You develop a resistance to it, or you don’t. You either stay, or leave. When you stay and they aren’t around, you’ll miss them. Miss their corky ways that don’t look so bad when they are away. And you think you must be in love. The truth is: You are just used to them. And you need them. They been filling gaps in your life that needed feeling and, without them, you find yourself pretty see-through-ish as if with some yeTalyan gize “chichi”. Cold and lonely, that’s where they came from. And you find out that you guys were [have become] perfect for each other, inspite of all the imperfections you know you can live with and will perfect in this waltz we call “relationship” eventually. That’s where the expression “Gabichana chama midelaw siyarej new” came from. It’s your leg, your individuality/whatever you been walking through life with, that shrunk to fit the new shoe or got used to the discomfort. Nothing to do with the shoe!.

So.. I ask you, where does the “falling” come in?

True, Kristin Davis ain’t exactly wishing it on me and a person can wish for whatever they see fit. But I won’t be running to list it under my “fav quotes” section any time soon. So, I guess you can say I haven’t found the Kristin Davis stuff so hot although she’s pretty neat herself. “A Shiksa goodess”, Harry Goldenblatt called her character on one of the “Sex and the City” episodes. Which indeed she is. Sticking to doing what you do best, that’s the bitch!.

Loved the Sopranos one (“Buy land AJ, cause God ain’t making any more of it”-Tony Soprano to his son). Can I use it for my post? Can I?

June 25, 2008 at 8:30 am 4 comments

Persecution, z attraction!

“Persecution Lust”, as the name clearly indicates, is the exact opposite of “Persecution Mania”. Mania is mania. Is come from the Greek word “mainomai”. Is mean “to freak out” or “fear”.

Persecution Lust, on the other hand, is the feverish desire to be singled out & mistreated exhibited by (eteQsalehu): fresh “Pentes” (otherwise known as “new born-again Protestant Christians”), supporters of an up & coming [charismatic] “teQawami” party and members of an ethnic group whose Liberation front just popped the question of self-determination.

Symptoms of mania, or “persecution mania” as I would from henceforth call it, include: rapid speech, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, hypersexuality, euphoria, impulsiveness, grandiosity, and increased interest in goal-directed activities.

Symptoms of persecution lust include, but are not restricted to: singing loudly in the street, trying to sneak religion or politics into whatever conversation members chance to find themselves in (sometimes at a parliamentary meeting on national television) and a thundering “GETA YIMESEGEN”/”Min Yihe Mengist Eyale..”/Etc. as a response to your greeting in a way that makes you wonder if they weren’t trying to scare the devil/the”NeFtegna”/the”Mengist Degafi” out of you. [“Hey…!”]

If you are wondering why these people seem so eager to cost their parents a burial ground, their country men and women their precious lives, and the calm and collected side of your brain; join me as the receiver of a [religious] sermon I was a part of almost a decade ago.

This is how it goes, atleast to the Protestant Christians: The minute you received the lord, you become enemy to the flesh, the secular world and Satan. By default! And try they would, to destroy your faith: through loved ones, hated ones, neighbors & colleagues. They won’t leave no stone unturned (these three) to cut your journey to heaven short. Your road would be paved with the brambles and thorns of temptation and there won’t be a weapon that won’t be used against you, however innocent it may look. You’d be buffeted all around by thorns, until you grow faint and weary, and pray to the Lord to remove it, and the Lord says unto you “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness”. Like he did with the Apostle Paul.

So they thirst after persecution! And how could they not?! It’s their guarantee to a life with the Lord! An assurance to spending an eternity at the right hand seat of the “Son of his love”! And to having been lost and found by the Good Shepherd who would neither leave them nor desert them. “Lost and Found”, imagine! An irresistable title to those quite souls whose most further journey away from home is a trip to the nearest Pharmacy!! So, yes, Satan, “the world” and “the flesh” are as crucial to [Protestant] Christianity as the bible, prayer and faith were said to be. In them they put their trust, to prove their right-eous-ness.

You may wonder how I knew all this. Well, my friends, My name is abesheet, and I used to be a Persecution Lust-er! This was back in the days when “Karate” films were referred to as “Kincha”s, when boys sent postcards of Indian movie stars as a gift to the girl of their choice and being a “pente” was something that can have you kicked out of the house. I went to a church, I stood up, I received the Lord (an experience I still vividly remember), and went back home ready to pack my bag at a moment’s notice of trouble from the parents.

When, however, neither Satan nor the world would react to my Christianity in the anticipated [preferably violent] way, and when everybody around seems to be happy that I have found something to keep my wanderlust soul fascinated with, I figured why Satan haven’t found me a threat to his kingdom was because he was in on something: That the lord didn’t want me!! That I was that rare specimen of the animal kingdom – a person whom God rejected! After all, hasn’t Jesus himself said “Many are called, but few are chosen”?! And that the word shall come to pass if nothing else does?!

True! There was a joy in the realization, a certain freedom! A license to do what I will for what am I but a clay in the hands of this master craftsman we call God or fate?! But there was sadness too, a heart break, especially in times of depression. So my wanderlust soul went her journey feeling Godless & unloved; full of self-pity; loudly proclaiming independence yet secretly wishing there was someone to say of her, “This is my beloved.. with whom I am well pleased” and bring her “home”. But then times changed! “Karate” films were rightfully left to teenagers with stinking feet, postcards started accompaning actual gifts and folks get to hear [and stay] Lily’s “mezmurs” in indiscriminant taxis and minibuses all over Addis. The cool got cold. Just like that!

That doesn’t mean humans won’t be humans and they won’t manage to find something to be persecuted for. I still see & recognize my kindred spirits, or fellow victims of over-powering feelings of mediocrity, every time I come across them – on or offline. Online, you can tell them apart by the cold silence with which they treat you when you ask them to explain themselves/group/religion/quest for self-determination. Or why. In real life, you can tell them by the measured steps they walk around with – scouting the horizon for “brothers and sisters” in the faith/of the ethnic group/party, the radiant look of a rebel [a defier of traditions and breaker of laws] you see in their eyes when their sole interest in life is given due attention or the restlessness and righteous destaste with which they treat all other subjects when conversations refuse to drift that way.

They neither have to know what they have gotten themselves into, the rules of games with which to play or who and what they are drawing, so long as there is a special interest group they can become a member of, and another stronger group who persecute it (atleast theoretically), they are happy as a lark and more committed to the cause than “those who bore the heat of the day”!

Which is why you can never reason with these people! If they allow you to talk and you managed to convince them, they’d lose this special place they assigned for themselves as individuals and groups. And back they would go to being their un-special, insignificant, rejected self. So if they don’t jump at you the minute you started giving them your polite version of “please get a life” – i.e. please to take things easy, they would ask you to skip it [“agreeing to disagree”] or avoid talking to you altogether. All the while feeling a holy pity for you and the dark cloak you are wearing on your eyes which they know is tailored by [who else] “Satan”, “the world” or “the flesh”. Or whoever they see as the personification of the Prince of Darkness.

Heaven help them!

June 24, 2008 at 12:33 pm 1 comment

Luck of the Have-nots

If there is one thing that breaks a colleague of mine’s heart, it’s the fact that her children prefer watching movies instead of reading books. She won’t have been 10 years old when she witnessed her classmates being tortured and killed infront of her very eyes for reading pieces of paper they found on the ground. But she kept on reading anyway, at the privacy of her house, and in the shield of darkness. Because reading was a culture in her family! The shelf, laden with books, was the only eye-catching furniture you see upon entering her parents’ house! Books were the “anTura habt”s of her older brothers. And the only thing they asked of anybody inquiring what to bring them from abroad!

Her favorite childhood memories are book-related as well. She fondly remembers those kids of 14-16 years old (most of them killed at the Iihapa time), who poured over their Marxist/Lennist volumes every night next to a “permuz” full of tea and a bundle of “chaat”. She fears that’s when Ethiopia lost all her intellectuals, her “golden kids” so to say. Which is why nothing anybody says or does these days surprises her. At 41, she’s become one of those cynic ole timers who do nothing but talk about the good days in which students thurst after knowledge, and teachers swapped books.

When I read about the new government-proposed education policy, and it’s implications, on Addis Neger’s previous 2 publications, it’s her sadness that came to my mind. Her sadness and mine every time i entered a taxi and hear heated arguments of soccer fans (or “men and women whose mind has turned into mush due to being repeatedly hit on the head by a foot ball”, as I like to put it! It’s more poetic in amharic). And the heart-break I feel for those unfortunate kids at government schools every time my high-school-teacher university classmates opened their mouth to speak.

“70/30”, as the policy is being referred to nowadays, is easier to understand than it looks. With it, the government has proposed higher education institutions receive, starting 2001 E.C., 70% of their students for Natural Science studies and 30% of them for Social Science studies. The idea, atleast on paper, is to produce more scientists and engineers who would be of help in the “Millennium development goal”. The real agenda however, according to the responses of the various interviews Addis Neger conducted with the parties concerned (parties the government refused to consult with and is said to demand they shut up and do what they are told) is punishing the many politically active university lecturers of the past 17 years and creating a generation of students that would never ask questions. More “ArAt Kilo” instead of “Sidist Kilo” [university], so to say.

Neither Addis Neger, nor the above mentioned parties, are against the policy per ce. Would have been acceptable, they’ve said, if it was given enough time to work its way through the existing education system (a system that enrolls 60% of it’s students into the Social Science Department and 40% to the Natural Science Department) with as little damage to all as possible. The existence of little or no market for Natural Science Graduates; the need to create an environment in which the very technical-by-nature Natural Science could be implemented, not to mention all the teachers/instructors of Social Science studies who would be laid off if change should take pre-maturely are given as major hindrances for a quick shift from the present education policy into the proposed new. According to these sources, it’s taken Korea more than 30 years to adopt the 70/30 education system fully. The same Korea our government has said it’s copying the policy from! But using a method, they complained, very much like taking the “soil” with the “plant” & is doomed to fail!

Vengeance may or may not be the agenda behind the proposed new education policy (I’d like to think not, for I can’t imagine a more successful way to drag the country decades back than “Dergue” has done), but you don’t have to be a genius, or involved in Education, to know what a total mess this is going to be. And to “woe” the generation that would have to pay for it!

Is it possible that St. Mark was referring to us when he wrote on 4:25 of his gospel: “For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”?! Seems to be the reality for so many areas of our lives after “Mircha 97”.

Heaven help us! More importantly, Heaven help our kids!

June 23, 2008 at 8:05 am Leave a comment

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The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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