Archive for the ‘Comment’ Category

What is English to me?

June 24, 2012 15 comments

The following is a guest blog post by Tesfaye Ejigu, an English teacher at Future Talent International Academy. His email address is

English is a language spoken in England. The latter being the island lived in by the British, has infected the world with English and the vices. Modern education has already taken the fair share of the blame for bringing English up here. Here, where it got into a fight neck-to-neck with the well developed Amharic. The fight goes on till date with Amharic resisting but Oromepha giving in. Thus the question what is English to me? Read more…

Categories: Comment, Opinion

Looking Ahead

September 22, 2009 15 comments

By Prof. Donald N. Levine
A half century ago, the ill-fated coup attempt against Emperor Haile Sellassie I in December 1960 marked the moment when Ethiopia entered the era of modernizing revolutions. The event, I have argued (, became the first of several missed opportunities that Ethiopia suffered while trying to become a politically modern state. In hopes that the 2010 elections may offer an opportunity that this time Ethiopians might seize with complete success, I offer some thoughts on the challenging year ahead.
First off, let us acknowledge that nearly all parties involved in the tragic events of 2005 seem determined not to repeat their major mistakes. The Government will not again react with excessive violence to demonstrations or public protests. Opposition candidates will not refuse to accept the positions to which they were duly elected. Both sides will probably refrain from the most grievously inflammatory elements of their electoral rhetoric and focus on issues. Read more…

Categories: Comment

“Ethiopians should find thier own medicine.”

March 2, 2009 20 comments


Prof. Haile Gerima said Ethiopians should find their own medicine as he has done himself for the cultural dislocation that he says is responsible for the “demented” course of Ethiopian modernization.

“What I am saying is that I am not going to tell other Ethiopians about their culture. I don’t have medicine for other Ethiopians. I am making my own medicine, “Teza”, “Adwa”, “Sankofa”. I am healed through the films I have made,” the filmmaker said in a wide-ranging interview with the monthly magazine, Focus.

Haile told the interviewer that his Adwa is his therapy, his medicine. “I made a medicine out of Adwa so that it helps me regain myself; the things I lost. I taped my father telling me things I missed. When the Derge came, it destroyed generational transactional relationship with our parents.So my father was here while I was in America.I had to snatch him, bring him here. I had to tape him a lot to understand what I lost,” he recalled.

Haile said it had been disheartening to see people obsessed with the western culture. “Why do Ethiopians under the equator worship Santa Clause? Under the equator you should melt down. He is for people who are In the northern snow, who cannot get out of the house who fantasized the idea of Santa but Ethiopians are so flipped up side down that they are walking around Christmas trees with the idea of Santa clause?” he wondered. Read more…

Categories: Comment

Value under threat

February 10, 2009 2 comments

Commenting on the current situation of Muslim-Orthodox tension, Girma Beshah, senior journalist and media personality, says the tension should not be allowed to assume a proportion any more than it has already. Here is the full text of the article taken from the February 5, 2009 edition of Ethiopian Weekly Press Digest, a publication that Girma himself edits.

Recent incidents of communal unrest in some parts of the country are hitting the front pages of the nation’s weeklies. Unmistakable signs that we are at a critical stage of our history are there for everyone to see.
Reading the papers and listening to the daily radio broadcast would hardly give one an insight into what exactly has happened in Dire Dawa or Gonder. Inevitably we have to rely on hearsay or rumors for a better grasp of the communal incident in Dire Dawa or else where. Whether we like it or not, however, significant events are unfolding in Ethiopia’s inter-religious relations. We don’t realize or perhaps we don’t want to realize that the religious landscape in Ethiopia has changed dramatically. For what ii is worth, the recently published figure of the population and housing census gave us an idea of what are in quantifiable terms. The data drove home the reality that we are after all much less than we thought we were and in cases much more than we thought we were. Read more…

Categories: Comment

Our focus is the young: Patriarch

February 8, 2009 3 comments

abune“The history of Ethiopian Orthodox Church is well known by the outside world. Our concern is no so much educating the foreign public about which many of whom already are informed through one way or another as instilling the values to our young flocks. We want young people to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers. They are the ones that we want to reach too.”

His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church in a rare interview with the Amharic weekly, Addis Admass.

The patriarch made many references to peace, love, unity, charity and tolerance. Read the whole interview here.

Categories: Comment

Protected: Is the Orthodox Church losing ground?

December 8, 2008 Enter your password to view comments.

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Categories: Comment

Can Ethiopian College Students Do Better?

March 30, 2008 Comments off

By Alethia

This is a sequel to my last article on Ethiopian academics. This time I decided to reflect on the role of Ethiopian college students in the Ethiopian institutions of higher education. Reflections on the role of the institutions of higher education, colleges & universalities in Ethiopia, cannot be complete without including the role of students as well as teachers in higher education, of course, among other things.

It’s crucial to bear in mind that the thoughts in this article are my personal observations and reflections based on my experience of having been a student in Ethiopian institutions of higher education for a number of years. I’m deeply convinced that Ethiopia as a nation can undergo a tremendous change for better if Ethiopia’s institutions of higher education undergo a long overdue change for better from within.

Nothing short of a revolution in the lives and thoughts and actions of those that constitute the community of higher education in Ethiopia will bring about the much desired and desirable change for better for Ethiopia as a nation. This is the conviction that underwrites the present article as well as all in this series on Ethiopia’s institutions of higher education. Read more…

Categories: Comment

Could Ethiopian Academics Have Done Better?

March 3, 2008 114 comments

 By Alethia

There is no doubt that these days many Ethiopians are wondering and thinking long and hard as to what Ethiopians from various walks of life could do to make a difference to their society: a difference that will truly make a difference for better for generations to come. This is my reflection on what the Ethiopian academics could do and could have done to make Ethiopia a much better country.

By academics I refer to college and university teachers. My focus in this article is on the Ethiopian academics in Ethiopia. Since this is a large topic my focus will be limited to some key roles that Ethiopian academics could play in the Ethiopian context that can make a real difference to the way the society functions. 

 This is personal reflections on observations that I’ve made over a long period of time. Personally, I’ve also been through no less than ten years of post-secondary education in Ethiopia. I’ve a great interest in what has been happening and is happening and will be happening in post-secondary education in Ethiopian colleges and universities. I’m an academic myself and look forward to contributing my share of responsibility in the years to come. I’ve not held an academic position in any Ethiopian colleges/universities yet with an exception of teaching at various colleges briefly and in all of these only on a voluntary basis, without any reward in any form at all. Read more…

Categories: Comment

The creeping corruption of Amharic

January 30, 2008 5 comments

A veteran journalist, Yakob W/Mariam says that we are murdering our official language.He says aping others does not get us anywhere and he sees  everything wrong in officials in particular interspersing Amharic with so many English words as a sign of “erudition” when they are talking on radio or TV.

Read the whole article here.

Categories: Comment

Reflections on our Identities

November 30, 2007 160 comments

By Alethia

This is a short article on a reflection on the nature and question of identity, ethnic identity and one’s political identity as it is being played out in the contemporary Ethiopian politics. Caveat:  It’s not my intention to share anything more than my own reflections on the issues of identity and ethnicity in light of nationalism and what most or some call “Ethiopia.” Much of what I say is intended to bring out some, hopefully, conceptual distinctions in the ideas being treated here.

First, on what we mean by one’s identity. No intention again to address this complex issue thoroughly:  we all know that our own sense of who we are, upon a reflection, goes someway in answering the question of our identity as human beings no matter where, geographically, we are.  Yes, we all know that we’re human beings and share all the essential attributes that make a being human. The bottom-line here is that there are essential attributes that make a being human and such attributes know no color, no race, no culture, no language, no ethnicity, no country, and no time. All humans share essential attributes that make them what they are [I leave such essential human-making attributes for my readers to figure out].  I know some would dispute this claim but then this is not the right place to address some academic yet misguided debates about some human beings lacking in what truly makes a human being what it is: human, period. Read more…

Categories: Comment

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