Our Northern neighbors should be reminded of our unrivalled patriotism
By Debru Negash
December 9, 2012
Ethiopians like this scribe, whose sense of his country’ glorious past is a source of pride and inspiration, cannot help getting ruffled by the sorry state of our great country and the existential threats that it is made to face.
Grey-haired he may be, and like millions, he profoundly loathes the incumbent regime for many reasons. However, the nationalist fervor in his blood is boiling over when rumors swirl around that Sudan and Egypt plan to harm his motherland on account of the construction of a dam on our Abbay/Nile.
Surely, no Ethiopian in his right frame of mind would want to deny our southern neighbors access to the Nile water which is their lifeline. The crux of the matter is that the primitive instinct of Egypt’s ruling class has always been hostile to the welfare of Ethiopians from time immemorial.
This history of his land informs this writer to fully concur with Gezu Karma. Gezu’s uproar on today’s edition of Ethiomedia over the posting of a Sudanese propaganda piece is legitimate. Ethiopia’s detractors must learn from our history. We may be down-trodden, we may look divided along spurious ethnic and religious lines thanks to the regime in power, but Ethiopians remain resolute and unabashed nationalists when a common enemy lurks round the corner.
History has taught us much. We acknowledge that it was the sacrifice paid by our forebears that has bequeathed our country to the present generation of Ethiopians. At least a million Ethiopians heroically died while defending the motherland against the cowardly Fascist Italians. We are cognizant of the hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians decimated by imperialist Ottoman Turks, Brits, Italians, Egyptians, Sudanese, etc not to mention the plunder and destruction they wrought upon our sacred institutions, churches, monasteries, palaces and national treasuries over the preceding centuries. Our ancestors preserved the sanctity of our country for over three thousand years.
History has taught Ethiopians that they had always defeated imperialist forces when they fought the enemy united. The following example is a case in point. Many remember how Ethiopians dealt a mortal blow on Egyptian contingent under the command of arguably the country’s most brilliant military commander Ras Alula, who was a Christian. His second in command, an equally illustrious general slain in battle defending his motherland against Egyptians, was a Muslim. His name has not come to scribe’s memory unfortunately. This is our proud history.
The veiled threat from Egypt, the grand bully and its subsidiary, Northern Sudan would not be taken lightly by Ethiopians at home and abroad.
Egypt- a compromised nation ashamed of its African past
Any discerning Ethiopian who has lived in Egypt for a couple years realizes how that country has lost its soul. No wonder, millennia of Greek and Roman rule, Arab invasion and successive occupation of European colonialists has left a big dent in the psyche and the body politic of that country. For one, they pathetically look down upon people darker than themselves. They do not see their southern neighbors, the Sudanese, as their equals.
Only history students, according to an Egyptian scholar this scribe had befriended, are taught that Ethiopians pharaohs ruled Egypt. The 25th dynasty was Ethiopian through and through. Some 18 of Egyptian pharaohs were Ethiopians. Sabacon, the pious Ethiopian pharaoh of Egypt is in fact the first leader in history credited for the abolition of the death penalty in the 8 century BC. Many rightly wonder at how we have degenerated three thousand years later. Woyanes kangaroo court judges who dish out sentences from death penalty to years of incarceration for s speaking or writing in the demands of one’s conscience, perhaps have never known this.
Sorry for the digression. Let us focus on bullying Egypt which denies the black African origin of its civilization. Not surprisingly, few Egyptians care to know or acknowledge the Ethiopian origin of their Nile much less realizing that 86% of the Nile water is Ethiopian. Egypt’s official English News paper Al Ahram, rarely fails to slight Ethiopia.
Egypt, the supposed cradle of civilization, uses European calendar, their months are given names of European pagan gods. Egypt’s Christian heritage is systematically suppressed. Most Coptic Christians are excluded from government service. They are not even allowed to renovate their churches. The 4 million Nubians or native Egyptians too, are in the lowest rung of Egyptian society. Their language is officially non-existent and their magnificent music never heard on national Egyptian TV. They are despised even if the land on which the Aswan Dam is constructed belonged to the Nubian people. The great Sudanese singer, Mohammed Wordi hails from these historic people of Upper Nile.
Egyptians immensely glorify Cleopatra, the man-like Greek queen, as well as the Macedonian Alexander the great, ostensibly to attract the dollars of narcissistic Westerners. As if by design they accord no such reverence for Nefertiti, the exceedingly intelligent and beautiful pharaoh and many other native Egyptian rulers.
The lessons from China
The seeming weakness of Ethiopia today and the manufactured divisions among its population, should not delude Egypt or Sudan that the patriotic spirit of Ethiopians cannot be rekindled at will. Egypt and Sudan’s role in the partition of Ethiopia is evident. We also amply remember Boutros Ghali for the same. But let them not misjudge the ferocity of aggrieved Ethiopians. Let them also know that the Almighty will not forsake them in their bid to punish the enemy with a sense of vengeance.
The recent history of China is instructive. When communist Chinese and nationalist Chinese (the Kuomintang) were at loggerheads, imperialist Japan attempted to capitalize on this internal strife. It invaded China at its peril. Indeed, the ideologically divided Chinese put aside their differences to root out the enemy decisively. Similarly, defending Ethiopia against aggressors is our shared heritage.
Long live the motherland!!
Debru Negash is pilot-physician and a student of history.
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