Top Ten Reasons Why Afan Oromo Should Be the Federal Working Language in Ethiopia

Filed under: Opinion & Analysis |

By Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni*

Nowhere in the world has the government of the country refused to speak the language of the majority of its people. It is weird, unthinkable, unjust, undemocratic, immoral, and absolutely unacceptable. Ethiopia is all of these. The Ethiopian Federal Government and two of its largest cities do not speak the language of the majority of the people, Afan Oromo. This is a preliminary outline to say the obvious: make Afan Oromo legally and unconditionally the Working Language of the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the two largest cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.
Interview with Dr. Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni – Pt 1 – (SBS Amharic)
Here are the top ten reasons why:

1. Demographic reasons: Afan Oromo, the language of the Oromo people, is the single most widely spoken language in Ethiopia and the fourth largest African language in terms of the number and size of speakers. It is spoken in at least three countries outside Ethiopia. Although statistical data may vary, about 50% of the Ethiopian population is estimated to speak Afan Oromo. In comparison, only about 29.1% of the entire population of Ethiopia speaks Amharic, the legally imposed Official Language of the Federal Government, and the two largest cities of Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa. Given this demographic weight, it is unjust, undemocratic, and discriminatory, to say the least, not to use the language of the majority of the people as the Working Language of this multinational and multilingual country.

2. Geographic reasons: All of the segregationist entities, including the Federal Government, the Addis Ababa City Administration and the Dire Dawa City Administration, are based in and hosted in the Afan Oromo-speaking State of Oromia. Yet, due to the discriminatory and exclusionary Amharic only language policy, the federal government institutions and these two large cities do not speak the language of the host people and the host state. These entities, which feel like occupying forces rather than governing forces, cannot continue as an Amharic-speaking island in the middle of the sea of Afan Oromo-speaking population while fully relying on the resources of the Oromo people for their existence, including food, water, electricity, ports, waste disposals and roads – at a very high human, financial and environmental costs to the Oromo people and the State of Oromia.

3. Unity of the country as a reason: The exclusionary Amharic-only language policy is the antithesis of the multilingual and multicultural nature of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Federal Government and the two segregationist cities under its administration have an urgent civic duty, if they care, to abolish this divisive and dangerous policy that undermines the equality, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence of the people. Ethiopia cannot continue as a united whole with its current segregationist policy – which benefits one segment of the population while fully excluding the other segment of the population.

4. Economic and job opportunities. This segregationist and exclusionary Amharic-only language policy of the federal government and the two largest cities (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa) have fully and completely excluded Afan Oromo speakers from all federal, municipal, corporate, and private jobs as well as all economic and business opportunities, including the right to do business and live in these jurisdictions unless one speaks Amharic. All employees of the Federal Government and these two largest cities are 100% Amharic speakers. Less than 10% of ethnic Oromos, who have been assimilated into Amharic-speakers, are presently employed both by the federal government institutions and by these two segregationist cities. Even worse, none of the federal government offices and offices of these two cities, including hospitals, businesses and all other service providers, provide translation services for Afan Oromo-speaking customers and users. Yet, Afan Oromo speakers and their State, Oromia, is the economic backbone and major sources of exports and tax-revenues for the Federal Government and the two segregationist cities.

5. Representational reasons: The Ethiopian Federal Government institutions and its bureaucracies, and the two major cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, have legally excluded Afan Oromo speakers by adopting Amharic as their only Working Language. Under this condition, it is very hard to either say Afan Oromo speakers are represented in the Federal Government and these two cities, or to say that the Federal Government and these two cities represent the Afan Oromo speakers. The ruthless Amharic-speaking ethnic Oromo political appointees the government and these two cities flag as representatives of the Afan Oromo speakers are outlaws who don’t even represent themselves. Even the percentage of the assimilated, i.e. culturally and linguistically disconnected, ethnic Oromos employees in Ethiopian federal institutions, and the institutions of these two major cities, as a whole is less than 10%. This is in a country where the Oromo people constitute more than 40% of the total population.

6. Legitimacy reasons: The government that does not speak the language of the people it claims to govern neither it does speak for that people nor it does legitimately represent the interests of that people. For the Ethiopian government to be considered a legitimate representative of the Afan Oromo-speaking population, it must speak Afan Oromo and be the representatives of the interests of the Afan Oromo speakers at all levels of its institutions, not just in nominal political appointee positions and portfolios.

7. Justice, Equality, Equity and Fairness reasons: Justice, equality, equity and fairness demand equal opportunity and equal treatment of Afan Oromo speakers on the same basis as the Amharic-speaking segment of the population. The Amharic-only language policy of the federal government and the two segregationist cities have completely left the Afan Oromo-speaking population outside all economic, social, religious and educational institutional frameworks – creating a country where close to half of its population lives in subhuman situations, without any single institution of their own. The Ethiopian Federal Government and these two largest cities must not only immediately abolish this unjust, discriminatory and apartheid language policy, but also invest financial and human resources to create Afan Oromo economic, religious, cultural and educational institutions; and adopt economic empowerment policies that will remedy and address the historical injustice Afan Oromo speakers had passed through and are passing through right now.

8. Multilingualism to create bond among various nations and nationalities: The Amharic-only policy – that was intended to assimilate over 80% of the Ethiopian population into the Amharic-speaking few or exclude them from the political, economic, religious, and social structure and institutional fabrics of the Ethiopian state – has created a very racist and hateful group which does not accept and respect the equality of various nations, nationalities, languages, and various ethnic identities. This dangerous policy has now lent legitimacy to the development of racist and hate groups which claim to struggle for the ‘unity of Ethiopia in the name of this Amharic-only language policy’ to openly discriminate, propagate hatred towards non-Amharic speakers, and even issue racist political manifestos in a way that will destroy the social bond among various nations and nationalities of Ethiopia. The main targets of these hate and racist groups – which have been incubated and developed through this Amharic-only racist and bigotry policy – are the Afan Oromo-speaking population of Ethiopia.

9. One language and one ethnic hegemony policies will kill Ethiopia: Diverse and pluralistic Ethiopia can only stand on the acceptance of the policy of unity through diversity. The two most important challenges that work against this most important policy presumption to keep diverse and united Ethiopia are the effort to create one ethnic hegemonic country and the Amharic-only language policies. These are two equally cancerous and terminal policies that will kill Ethiopia. Ethiopia will only continue to exist on the multinational and multilingual federal structure – where mutual respect and peaceful coexistence of its multiple nations and nationalities are protected and respected by institutionalizing constitutional system of governance where fair economic power- and political power-sharing mechanism are legally established. Making Afan Oromo the Working Language of the federal government and the two largest cities will open the door to save this sick and disabled country that now operates with less than one third of its potentials.

10. Language as a core factor in Human Development: The only means and avenue through which any human society could produce, develop, exchange and disseminate knowledge and information for self-actualization, economic and social development is language. The Ethiopian Federal Government and the two segregationist cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa have denied the Afan Oromo-speaking population of Ethiopia this fundamental, inalienable and basic right through their Amharic-only policy. No wonder Ethiopia is the tail of the world and at the very bottom in the Human Development Index of the United Nations.

As a conscientious member of the Afan Oromo- speaking society, and because of the above listed reasons and so many others, I call upon the Ethiopian government to immediately and unconditionally abolish the Amharic-only language policy and make Afan Oromo the Working Language of the Ethiopian Federal Government and the two largest cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni is an Attorney & Counselor at Law, and a former Legal Affairs Advisor in the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations.

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33 Responses to Top Ten Reasons Why Afan Oromo Should Be the Federal Working Language in Ethiopia

  1. I am very happy with the statement given about Afan Oromo. I agreed with your ten points my brothers. But do you think you will succeed in a way you expect. As to me it will not be easy to make the Afan Oromo to be the spoken language in Ethiopia. What the Oromo people should do is to fight for their freedom and sacrifice their lives to make sure that Oromo are respected. You should do the experience of Egypt. Let one Million Oromos sacrificed their lives to take the palace of Ethiopia then put the leadership in the hands of Oromos.

    Gambella Beer
    March 12, 2015 at 3:44 am
    Reply

  2. yerasachin tshuf eyane lemen ye baid enetekemalen ???

    why not Amhargna ??

    aye OLF kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    senu
    March 12, 2015 at 4:58 am
    Reply

  3. @senu…for the same reason you did not use in the above comment. Why not ??
    @ writer
    I, as an Oromo /Ethiopian, wish all of us work toward having some kind of Language immersion program so that the Amharas can also get chance to master ormo language. Then they might be open to this two or more official/national language thing. Otherwise the separatist idea will win and all will have their independent nation with own language as an official language.

    milkeessaa
    March 12, 2015 at 11:09 am
    Reply

    • Mikessaa you are very narrow minded. You think Ethiopians are only Amharas or You don’t care about the other tribes or you thinking the other Ethiopian language speakers know Amharic. Why on earth you think Amharas need to master oromifa???????? please don’t be stupid and follow the stupid writer’s ZIBAZINKE!!!

      lili
      January 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm
      Reply

  4. Senu lol@yerasachin tsehuf…The Sabian script (fidel) was imported from Yemen. Beside that the Oromos have a right to choose any script they want that fits the language properly. This is a done deal, and don’t waste your time.

    Correction
    March 12, 2015 at 11:58 am
    Reply

  5. Thank you I support your idea

    Bekuma
    March 12, 2015 at 12:15 pm
    Reply

    • yayit Misiskir Dinbit

      lili
      January 19, 2016 at 2:38 pm
      Reply

  6. OLFites brain must stuck in the 1960’s Instead of asking basic human rights Justice and the rule of law to prevail in the Country ..they demand the whole Ethiopians to Speak Affan Oromo..FYI-The majority of Ethiopians Speaks AMAHARIC not as you suggested Afan Oromo

    Selamawit Solomon
    March 13, 2015 at 12:42 pm
    Reply

    • LOL @ SELAMAWIT ….YOU DEMAND US TO SPEAK IN AMHARIC BUT WE suggest for most people to be multilingual in multi-lingual country. I think you stuck in the 19th cen. and you only picked the name calling part from the 20th cen. We are way beyond that!

      milkeessaa
      March 16, 2015 at 12:11 pm
      Reply

    • TRUE! And the problem is not that Oromigna is not spoken widely or any thing but Many non-confident oromos create problems with their complex….sadddddd

      lili
      January 19, 2016 at 2:40 pm
      Reply

  7. Where is my comment? You claim to be against censorship but you are imposing one on me. Where is my rights of expression? I want my human rights and I want it all now?

    Tekle Adigrat
    March 13, 2015 at 7:41 pm
    Reply

  8. I wonder why education makes you more narrow minded. Sit down and have a cup of coffee, it might stimulate your understanding, and try to think of all those Ethiopians in the north, south, east and west who are non-Oromos. How do you think will they communicate with other Ethiopians including the Oromos? You have already confused your own “Afan-Oromo”, don’t try to confuse others too.

    GobenaTesema
    March 13, 2015 at 7:52 pm
    Reply

  9. The Science of stupidity, is what this article is all about.
    Someone said, ” Stupidity does not bring progress and advancement in Technology, but it progresses right along progress.” whoever said that, said it right to the point.
    I did not read this article at all it is a sheer waste of time. The writer is one who is educated beyond his ability, and has no clue what he wants to convey! Crap!

    Yehayes
    March 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm
    Reply

  10. Hello Obbo, just do a little research. Amharic just happened to be spoken all over the country. Don’t ask me why. Again, do some digging of facts. Now, how can you implement Ethiopians speak Oromifa? I leave it for you. Wake up man. Don’t keep dreaming. It is not about population it’s about language. I would agree a little more if Woyane said so. But they know it will not be practical.

    Zimm
    March 14, 2015 at 9:08 am
    Reply

  11. The ormo’s and Tigre’s should stop whining amara did this and that, then we are not Ethiopians etc… Rather they should think better than WOYANE does and work for justice, freedom, unity and equality of all ethnicities in the country. Not the way woyne [the neo-neftegn] brags!!
    Woyane the most corrupt, racist, killer machine has finished its shelf life, finished its trick or magic to cause ethnic chicken fight and dissemination of hate.. has to go.
    It is late for not making oromifa for one of national languages. Any post-woyane just system must be inclusive and consider that. If other ethnic groups don’t want to learn the language up to them. Oromigna hast to be part of national language because it is simply the second major language if Amharic is spoken by more people.
    Orthodox church has to allow reading bible in other languages besides in Amharic in regions where Amharic is less spoken (if this is not already done). The priests should as well be from other ethnic groups (besides tigre and amhara who predominate the priesthood order) and should be able to preach in their language.
    That is how the country should begin to diversify. Only diversified, just, democratic Ethiopia will be able to exist in peace in the future.
    Who said Amharic is Ethiopian language and orthodox Ethiopian religion? That is perceived so because these are used by the ruling dictators by default and imposed them on the public at gun point. Ethiopia is more diverse than that and the future must consider all that.

    justice
    March 14, 2015 at 9:32 am
    Reply

  12. You Oromos, when do you be human…are you still …is the problem of Oromos and Ethiopians not speaking oromiffa?? for me this is not the problem we have rather…let us focus on unity plz…temirach yaltemarachu atihunu…

    bire
    March 14, 2015 at 9:31 pm
    Reply

  13. Lencho lenchecho cholenchilo chechreelocho

    tefera
    March 14, 2015 at 11:24 pm
    Reply

  14. Using & imposing imported Amharic onto occupied Oromia is one of racist based
    colonial witchcrafts. What logical explanation can be given other than bigotted racism?
    Bole, one of the lucky spot retained its original name but speaking Afaan Oromo nor documents
    that serve speakers of Afaan Oromo travelers are forbidden to this second. Can any Amhara explain this?
    Lets say, Gondar airport forbid Amharic at that airport, how does that make Amhara passangers if they have
    to fill out forms in Hadya? This injustices ought to be corrected by a new progressive government.

    Senbeto
    March 16, 2015 at 4:12 am
    Reply

  15. EDUCATION 101

    Amhara Contributions to Ethiopian Civilization
    Elias Kifle | April 17th, 1993
    By Fikre Tolossa
    Ethiopian Review, April 1993

    In the March 1993 issue of the ER I wrote about some of the contributions of the Oromo people to Ethiopian civilization. In this article I will attempt to depict a few of the contributions of the Amhara to Ethiopian Civilization. A number of the contributions of the Amhara people to Ethiopian civilization are best represented by the achievements of their monarchs. For this reason, I will first of all briefly state a few of the achievements of the Amhara royalty.

    Even though the early settlements of the Amhara are supposed to be Lasta and Saynt, they had already settled in Gagn, Shewa, Maqet, Shadaho, Wadla and Dilanta by the thirteenth century, if not earlier. Later, they populated Gojjam and Gonder. Like the Axumite Ethiopians, they were of Semitic stock, though their language, Amharic, exhibits both Semitic and Cushitic features as a result of their association with Cushitic peoples. Their emperors trace their origin to Axumite emperors who claimed to be the descendants of the Solomonic Dynasty. They also consider Axum, a city in Tigray, their holy city, the center of their religion, church and culture. As a matter of fact, their civilizations is an extension or an offshoot of the Axumite civilization in essence, though it looks different in appearance.

    The last Axumite emperor from whom Amhara emperors claimed descent is said to be Dil Ne’ad. According to one version of Amhara history, Dil Ne’ad had fled from Axum to escape to Shewa from his servant Mera Teklehaimanot, who usurped his power to establish the Zagwe Dynasty. Before that, when Dil Ne’ad ascended to the Axumite throne in 910 AD, he had made an effort to restore the Christian religion which was
    devastated by the Jewish Queen Yodit (also known as Gudit). To this end, it is believed that he built the Cathedral of Axum Zion and the great monolithic church of Michael Amba in eastern Tigray. With his flight to Shewa, Axum fell; or in other words, it ceased to be the heart of Ethiopian civilization. Since the Amharas claim that Dil Ne’ad was their last emperor who ruled for a while from Axum before fleeing to Shewa, they too, should have been Axumites before they fled to Shewa with their emperor. Later, in central Ethiopia, they coined a new language, Amharic, while they were serving at the court of Zagwe emperors who spoke with them Amharic, in order to tell secrets in it. It was called “Lisane-Negus” (the tongue of kings) because the royalty started to speak it. Had the Amharas not created Amharic, they might have continued to be called Axumites,
    or even Tigreans.

    After the fall of Axum, the ex-Axumites who became Amharas in Shewa, Lasta, Gojjam and Gonder had numerous emperors. These rulers were soldiers and scholars. Quite a number of them made significant contributions to Ethiopian civilization. According to the Shewan Amhara, one of the descendants of Dil Ne’ad the Axumite who survived in Shewa on exile while the Zagwe Dynasty was ruling Ethiopia, was Yekuno Amlak. It was he who restored the Solomonic Dynasty around 1270 AD. It is believed that Emperor Yekuno Amlak built his capital in Tegulet, Shewa, which also became the center of the future Shewan Amhara aristocrats. The first thing Yekuno Amlak did to consolidate his sovereignty was to bring a Metropolitan from Egypt, in accordance with the tradition of Axumite emperors. Yekuno Amlak is best remembered for bettering Ethiopian administration and for enhancing religion and culture, by following in the foot-steps of Emperor Lalibela the Great. He thus constructed monolithic churches at Lasta. It suffices to mention here the superb work of art, the rectangular Genet Mariam church which is a great attraction to this day. In addition, he established once again, the territorial unity of Ethiopia.

    Amde-Tsion (1314-1344) was a great Amhara emperor. It was Amde-Tsion who first attempted to provide a sort of constitution defining the responsibilities of the emperor and the hierarchy of the Ethiopian Royal Charter, which evolved later as Serate Mengist. He promoted scholarship during his reign. His scholars revised the Axumite translations of the Scriptures and for the first time transcribed in Geez various texts for rites and liturgies. He encouraged the clergy to compose hymnals. He established libraries and filled them with precious apocryphal works such as The History of Adam, legends of apostles, rare manuscripts, miniatures with such artistic qualities whose impact lasted upto the 16th century. He also founded on the islands of Lake Tana the monasteries of Gelila-Zekarias and Kevra’an. He supported the monastery of Debre-Damo in Tigray thus making it the center of great scholastic achievement in the whole of Ethiopia. Amde-Tsion became so popular for his deeds that his subjects composed songs praising his name.

    Amhara emperors made Ethiopia famous and respected in the eyes of the outside world through diplomacy and by defending the interests of Coptic Christians in Egypt and Nubia. During the reign of Emperor Seyfe-Ared (1344-1372), for instance, Ethiopia was the official protector of the Patriarchy of Alexandria. During the reign of Dawit I (1382-1411), Ethiopia defended the Copts in Sudan. Emperor Dawit established a good relationship with the Hanafite Emir of Egypt, and obtained from Jerusalem a piece of the True Cross (Gemade-Meskel) together with precious paintings among which was the rare Kuer’ata Re’su, the figure of Christ crowned with thorns. Ethiopia is seen with awe to this day for her possession of such rarities.

    Dawit I invited craftsmen from Florence to build churches and monasteries such as Debre-Worq in Gojjam. He funded Turkish artisans to introduce to Ethiopia handicrafts, weaponry and tailoring.

    Following his example, Emperor Yeshaq (1414-1429), too, employed foreigners to build his nation. An Egyptian by the name of Mameluk, for example, reformed the Ethiopian army and instructed the military in the use of Greek weapons. The contributions of Yesehaq included the construction of churches such as Kosoge and Yeshaq-Debr.

    During the reigns of Emperors Dawit I and Yeshak alone, monks translated the Senodos and Didascalia from Arabic. It is believed that, The Fetha Negest (The Judgments of The Kings), which became the standard work on Ecclesiastical and Civil Law in Ethiopia, was translated then. Biographies of Saints (Gedle) such as Abba-Libanos or Gebre-Menfeskedus, Lalibela and Na’akueto Le’ab were also being composed at the same time. Historical writings about the deeds of Emperor Amde-Tsion also appeared. The translation of Snaxarium, (Senksar) into Geez, which was enlarged later by Ethiopians who included the lives of their great saints was also started around this time. Among the literatures of this period the prophetic book, Fukare-Iyesus (The Prophecy of Jesus), inspires awe in Ethiopians to this day.

    Zera-Yacob (1434-1468) was perhaps the greatest Amhara emperor. The first step Zera-Yacob took when he came to power was to go to Tigray to pay homage to the abode of his ancestors and to be coronated at Axum, in accordance with their tradition. Shortly after his return from Axum he built a number of churches and monasteries like Metmaq in Tegulet. After that he moved his capital to Debre Berhan. Zera-Yacob was not just an emperor. He was a scholar and a writer. He promoted the open discussion of theological and other issues, and took part in them demonstrating the depth of his knowledge and wit. Among several of the books he wrote are Mesehafe Milad, and Mesehafe Birhan. It was during his reign that Tamere Mariam was translated into Geez. The life history of saints, hymns, books of revelations such as The Book of the Mystery of Heaven and Earth, diverse occult literatures including magical spells and astrological formulas were composed and compiled. The world famous Mesehafe Henok, which survived only in Ethiopia, and Lefefa Sedk, which is comparable to the precious Egyptian Book of the
    Dead, were preserved under the care of the Amhara Emperor Zera-Yacob.

    As a far-sighted emperor of international diplomacy, Zera-Yacob communicated with the civilized world outside Ethiopia. He corresponded with European leaders such as Alfonso of Aragon for the well-being of his country. Zera-Yacob also spread the good news of the Gospel among his own people in the remotest part of Ethiopia, who worshiped rocks, trees, as well as evil-spirits, and sacrificed to them human beings. His successor, Emperor Be’ede-Mariam (1468-1478) carried on Zera Yacob’s policies.

    Emperor Naod (1494-1508), besides defending the territorial integrity of Ethiopia and his religion, wrote verses, hymns and built beautiful churches including Mekane Selassie. His empress, the wise Eleni, constructed the most gorgeous church of Mertula-Maryam, whose style is said to be Italian.

    The successors of Emperor Na’od, emperors Lebene-Dengel (1508-1540), and Gelawdewos (1540-1559), were preoccupied with defending their religion, civilization, and territorial integrity from Emir Ahmed-al Ghazi, whom they called “Ahmed Gragn.” The Christian Ethiopian emperors believed and feared that Ahmed Gragn as well as foreign Muslim invaders, including the Turks and the Dervishes, were out not only to expand their territories and convert the Christians to their religion by force, but also to destroy the Christian civilization.

    Their fear was not groundless. Ahmed Gragn destroyed all those wonderful churches built over generations which were masterpieces even in the eyes of advanced Europeans, burnt down, precious books, manuscripts, paintings, all sorts of art works and other valuable items which would have been a great treasure for all of humanity including Muslims world-wide. According to the chronicler of Ahmed Gragn, upon seeing the destruction of the splendid church of Mekane- Selassie, which shone with gold, pearl and artistic paintings, Ahmed Gragn himself gasped in admiration: “Is there anywhere in the Byzantine Empire, in India, or in any other land a building such as this, containing such figures and works of art!” When he reached Lalibela, he was spell-bound by the awe-inspiring beauty and splendor of those rock-hewn churches. Luckily, he ordered his soldiers not to destroy them.

    Emperor Gelawdewos was not only a warrior king, he was also an architect who built churches such as Tedbabe Mariam, and a writer who wrote, The Confessions of Gelawdewos.

    Even though both Lebene-Dengel and Gelawdewos were engaged in tragic wars most of the time, art and literature did not stop from flourishing during their reigns. Etchege Habakkuk’s work, Ankasa Amin, and his translation of Barlam and Yosef, are noteworthy. Numerous Geez chronicles have come down to us which narrate about the reigns of Lebne-Dengel, Gelawdewos and their successor, Emperor Minas .

    Minas (1559-1563) fought with Ethiopian Muslims and Turkish expansionists as well. The Turks who began to settle in Tigray in 1557 worried him. They occupied Massawa, Arkiko, and the fortress of Debarwa. They also destroyed and plundered the famous Debre-Damo, mercilessly slaughtering its monks.

    Emperor Sertse-Dengel (1563-1597) waged fierce battles against the Turks. Being an emperor who was not detached from his Axumite and Tigray roots, he celebrated his coronation among the monks, priests and the citizens, as well as the daughters of Axum and Shire who glorified him amongst them. In return, he showered them with lavish gifts. He gave to Axum and the churches around its vicinity lands and other valuable things. In the latter part of his life, he built two palaces and a church in Gubae (Enfraz) and at Ayba, in the Wegera region, which later became a part of Gonder. When Sertse-Dengel died in 1597, he had expelled the Turks, expanded Ethiopia and laid the corner-stone for the civilization of Ethiopia at Gonder.

    Susenyos (1571-1632) was captured in a battle by the Boren tribe when he was a little boy and lived in Shewa with the Oromo growing up in accordance with their custom and way of life. He was the first Amhara of noble birth who was closely associated with the Oromo both before and after he became an Ethiopian emperor. He filled his court with Oromos and was always surrounded by them. He was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum in 1608. Even though he made several campaigns against foreign aggressors, he was converted to Catholicism as a result of which he shed a lot of blood to crush opposition, until his abdication to his son Fasiledas (1632-1667).

    In spite of the distress Susenyos caused to his people because of his conversion to Catholicism, he made significant contributions to Ethiopian civilization. During his reign, Amharic was developed by the Portuguese missionaries. Not only did they preach in it, they also translated some of the Scriptures and wrote theological discourse in it to convert the Orthodox Ethiopians to Catholicism. When the Portuguese painted Jesus and other saints in Churches to attract Ethiopians, the Ethiopian monks developed a unique Ethiopian style of painting to counter the Portuguese. Whether it was by accident or because Susenyos created a conducive atmosphere for them, art, literature and architecture blossomed during his administration. As mentioned above, Ethiopians invented a new style of painting and illumination of books. Regarding literature, numerous works were composed in and translated into Geez, such as Ra’ey (Visions), the Coptic Chronicle, The Book of Hawi, and perhaps The Fetha-Negest. New styles of architecture were introduced. The Church of Gonder Gorgora, and that of Bareay Gemb, the palaces of Guzara at Enfraz, and the ones at Gorgora, were very original.

    Emperor Fasiledas (1632-67), the main builder of Gonder banished the Jesuits and restored Orthodox Christianity in Ethiopia. Not only that, but also to secure his restoration, he blocked all the sea routes to Ethiopia to prevent any Catholic Europeans from entering Ethiopia. Emperor Fasiledas, however, is best remembered in Ethiopia for building in Gonder the palace bearing his name. This palace, with its huge swimming pool amidst a garden and a pavilion rising out of the water, which has partly survived to this day, is a great architectural contribution to Ethiopian and African civilization.

    Fasiledas’ son, Tsadiku Yohannes (1667-82) was perhaps the most pious Amhara ruler. To the buildings which his father had constructed, he added at least two, one for himself and another for the royal library. It was he who founded the church of St. Anthony with its magnificent paintings. He was, most of all, reputed for allowing theologians and scholars to discourse openly in his presence and for encouraging them to meditate on the holy scriptures on secluded islands by providing their provision.

    Iyasu the Great (1682-1706) was the last significant Amhara emperor who ruled Ethiopia. He too built palaces, churches and monasteries of great spiritual and artistic values. In Gonder he constructed the sanctuary of Debre-Berhan, decorated with precious paintings. He rectified The Fetha-Negest and the laws by which Ethiopia was ruled. He established good relationship for Ethiopia with Europeans such as the Dutch and the French.

    Among the Amhara royalties at Gonder, three important figures who made significant contributions to Ethiopian civilization after the death of Iyasu the Great, and before Ethiopia was divided into dukedoms, were Emperor Bakaffa (1721-30), his wife the beautiful Empress Mentwab, and their son Emperor Iyasu II. These three struggled to develop Ethiopia, safeguard their religion and the territorial integrity of their country, in addition to building palaces, churches and other fabulous edifices.

    Emperor Tewodros II (1856-68) arose and eliminated the dukedoms. Tewodros was neither an Amhara nor a member of the Solomonic Dynasty. He was Quaran who assimilated the Amhara culture and spoke Amharic. He ascended to the throne by the might of his gun. Even though he burnt churches, cities and peoples who stood on his way, and though he committed many other atrocities, he is credited for trying to restore the Ethiopian empire and modernize it. Without the cornerstone which he laid to unite Ethiopia, the Tigrean Emperor Yohannes IV (1872-89), and the Shewan Amhara Emperor Menelik II (1889- 19130, perhaps would not have united Ethiopia easily.

    Nevertheless, Menelik II, who belonged to the Amhara royalty of the Solomonic Dynasty that was left in Shewa when the seat of the monarchy was moved to Gonder in the 17 century, achieved with extraordinary wit, humanism, diplomacy and military strategy what both Tewodros and Yohannes failed to achieve by sheer use of force. Besides winning the Battle of Adwa in 1896 and keeping the independence of Ethiopia, he strove to build a nation. The end result of his efforts was a unified, peaceful and expanded empire with a fine infrastructure for the modernization of Ethiopia.

    Emperor Haile Selassie I (1892-1974) himself followed in the footsteps of Menelik in order to modernize Ethiopia. He made contributions in the fields of education, government administration, military, means of transportation, telecommunications, industry and administration.

    So far, we were made aware of only the contributions of Amhara nobles to Ethiopian civilization. How about the Amhara common folks? Their contributions to Ethiopia civilization, too, are tremendous.

    Among the Amhara common folks were a number of saints, philosophers, poets, scholars, writers, painters, singers, and patriots. Ethiopian gedles are filled with the stories of great saints including those of Amhara descent. Towering among the Amhara saints is the 13 century monk, Abune Tekle-Haimanot, who was born in Bulga, Shewa. He is the
    only Ethiopian saint to be canonized by the Coptic Church. Abune Tekle-Haimanot was an important figure in Ethiopian history for two reasons. The first is his contribution to the spiritual life of Ethiopia. The second, the key role he played in restoring the Solomonic Dynasty without bloodshed.

    According to Gedle Tekle-Haimanot and Gedle Iyasu Mo’a, Abune Tekle- Haimanot and perhaps another Amhara saint by the name of Yesus Mo’a mediated the peaceful transition of power from the last Zagwe emperor, Yitbarke to Yekuno Amlak, the descendant of Dil Ne’ad, the last Axumite emperor of the Solomonic Dynasty. For this, Yekuno Amlak appointed Tekle-Haimanot as the temporary head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and gave 1/3 of the royal lands to the Church. Yekuno Amlak appointed Iyesus Mo’a, who was also his teacher in his youth, as his Aqabe Se’at.

    Abune Petros was another great Amhara saint who was also a scholar of ancient Ethiopia. The descendant of Abune Tekle-haimanot, Abune Petros. During the invasion of Ethiopia by Fascist Italy, the Italians executed him in public on July 22, 1928 (EC) in Addis Abeba for refusing to collaborate with them.

    Wolde Hiwot was a great Amhara philospher who lived in Shewa in the 17th Century. He was a disciple of Zera-Yacob the Axumite, the greatest Ethiopian philosopher. Wolde Hiwot was a rationalist who advocated critical thinking about one hundred fifty years
    earlier than European rationalists.

    The perfection of the art of composing poetry known as qine is a major contribution of the Amhara. There is a debate on who started qine. Some scholars attribute qine to the Axumite Saint Yared who lived in the Sixth Century AD. Others contend that it had existed before St. Yared. There are those who say that the Amharas innovated it in the 16th Century. I think that it was St. Yared who created qine. However, the Amhara developed it. If St. Yared laid the corner-stone of qine, the Amhara invented sem’ena worq, which is a subtle form of qine.

    Gonder and Gojjam were the centers of Ethiopian universities, including the schools of qine, music, philosophy, theology, painting, astrology, astronomy, mathematics, history and occult, to mention just a few. Ethiopians from Tigre and Shewa went as far as Gonder and Gojjam to study in the great colleges where the masters, the seasoned professors, shared their wisdom with them. It took a student over thirty years to graduate with a degree from one of these colleges majoring in just one discipline. Some of the genius masters, however, graduated majoring in three to four fields, which was extremely difficult thing to do. Most notable among the Amhara geniuses are Arat-Ayna Goshu (the four-eyed Goshu), who was called so because he was a master in four
    fields, Memher Tselalo Wolde-Mariam, Memher Sewagegnhu, Memher Akale Wold (who was a friend of Emperor Tewodros and highly regarded by him), Aleka Heruy and Memher Engeda Wolde-Mariam.

    Ethiopian universities were not open only to male professors as it used to be in Europe. They have appointed women as professors for centuries. Among some of the known names of female Amhara professors in recent history were Weyzero Meselech, Weyzero Abeba, Weyzero Haimet, Emahoi Lekidelu and Emahoi Gelanesh. The last one, Emahoy Gelanesh, was the daughter of a master, Merigeta Hadis from Gojjam. The fact that she was blind did not prevent her from replacing her father after his death.

    Sem’ena worq is purely an Amhara phenomenon. It is a testimony to the richness of the Amharic language as evidenced by the double meaning of almost every word, and to the poetic genius of the Amhara people. Qine and Sem’ena worq, a division of qene, are the highest forms of poetic expression. It is ambiguous, and at the same time plain. It suggests one thing, and at the same time myriads of things. Its power lies in its ambiguity. It is like a hearth which looks cold and dead, but has red, hot embers hidden underneath its ashes. Europeans attempted to attain this sort of poetry in the form of symbolism and surrealism as late as the 19 Century, whereas the Amhara of Ethiopia were well-versed in it for hundreds of years.

    Three of the greatest Amhara poets who excelled in qine were Yohannes Geblawi, Tewaney and Kifle-Yohannes, who lived in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries respectively.

    Qine, particularly sem’ena worq, was not limited to intellectuals. Laymen, emperors and empresses too, created it impromptu to express their feelings.

    Every Amharic song fits in to one of the four scales known as Tizeta, Anchihoye, Ambassel and Bati. Each scale or tuning system produces its own melody which is different from the other three. Tizeta and Anchihoye bear the names of songs, whereas, Ambassel and Bati are the names of songs and places simultaneously. Judging by these last names of places and by the contents of the Amharic songs which refer to Wello, I believe the four scales of Ethiopian music played by Kirar and Masinqo were invented by the Wello Amhara.

    In my opinion, the people of Wello are the most artistic people in Ethiopia. The Amhara of Wello are so artistic-hearted that almost every leading azmari (bard, minstrel) including Assefa Abate, Shishig Chekol, Etagegnhu Haile, and probably Bahiru Kengne, were from Wello.

    Another legacy of the Amhara in the field of music is the begena (harp) with its divine poems whose impact compels human beings to be mellow and spiritual. The Amhara play the begena during lent to praise God, meditate upon life and death, and to strengthen the faith of their fellow Christians. The begena culture is one of the qualities which makes Ethiopia a unique Biblical country, reminding the visitor of King David and his harp.

    The wedding ceremony of the Amhara with its melancholic songs, the poems of the maidens who tease the groom and his bestmen, and the whole marriage celebration which is reminiscent of an old tradition, makes Ethiopia colorful and exotic to
    the outside observer.

    Amhara clergymen have created the bulk of those paintings and books about which Ethiopia boasts and cherishes as her artistic treasures. Mixing paints from leaves and different stones, they told stories of angels, saints, queens, emperors, historical events and the mundane life of the peoples of Ethiopia. Not only that, but they tanned hides, made parchments, bounded and wrote books, taking the pain of illuminating them with loving tenderness. They also translated foreign literatures of value and passed them on to us. These books and paintings are scarce items which museums world-wide treasure dearly considering them to be a great human achievement.

    Two more remarkable contributions of Amhara to Ethiopian civilization are the Amharic language and literature. Whether Amharic spread among the non-Amhara peoples of Ethiopia as a natural course of things or by means of coercion, the outcome is positive. All Ethiopians whose native tongue is not amharic, now have one more language at their disposal and to their advantage. They can communicate with their fellow Ethiopians without an interpreter. Moreover, they can also read novels, poetry, history, science, philosophy and a plenty of other books which deal with different fields of knowledge. They can listen to and read world news in this language. Amharic has been a key which opens the doors of plenty of information and knowledge areas to all Ethiopians who are fortunate enough to know it. Praise is due to Afework Gebre-Yesus, Belaten-Geta Hiruy Wolde-Selassie, Bitwoded Mekonnen Endalkachew, Kebede Mikael, Hadis Alemayehu, Mengistu Lemma, Abe Gubegna, Birhanu Zeryehun, Mahteme-Selassie Wold-Meskel, Aleka Zeneb, Aleka Taye, Alemayehu Moges, Tekle-Tsadik Mekuria, Tsehafe-Tezaz Gebre-Selassie, Aleka Atseme-Giorgis, Belata Merse-Hazen Wolde-Kirkos, the sayings attributed to Aleka Gebre Hanna and the host of other writers who wrote in Amharic.

    If the Amhara scholars contributed a written literature to Ethiopian civilization, the laymen have provided Ethiopia with oral literature. The common Amhara folks conveyed across the wisdom of their ancestors and their own interpretation of life through folklore including proverbs, sayings and folktales. The oral literatures of the Amhara summed up the gist of their experiences and observations of life with a few stunning words or sentences, so that we can learn a lesson or two which help us to live better.

    Pertaining to dance, the Amhara of Wello, Gonder and Gojjam have enriched Ethiopian choreography by adding their famous shoulder-dance (iskesta) to the number of other Ethiopian dances.

    The contributions of the Amhara in the art of cooking and brewery should not be overlooked. Among the old nations of the world, Indian and Chinese food are supposed to be two of the best. Compared with the variety of rich Amhara dishes, however, they are insignificant. No honest person can deny that the Amhara are great experts in cooking and brewery.

    Last, but of course not least, the most important contribution of the Amhara to Ethiopian civilization and to the survival of that civilization, is their struggle to safeguard the independence of Ethiopia and to protect her territorial integrity from foreign aggressors. Whenever Ethiopia was at stake, the Amhara were ready to sacrifice themselves. Poor or rich, they gave up everything else including their families and faced their enemies bravely to shed their blood for their country together with other Ethiopians who also loved their motherland. Bare-footed, with tattered clothes and empty stomach, especially the Amhara peasants defended Ethiopia always. Yet, their lives have not been any better than the lives of other Ethiopian peasants. Inspite of this, they have been attacked unjustly lately being confused with the defunct Amhara ruling elite.

    The Amhara of Ethiopia, both nobles and commons, have indeed contributed immensely to Ethiopian civilization. To deny this is to be blind to facts.
    _______________________
    Fikre Tolossa, Ph.D., is Assistant Dean of Faculty at Columbia Pacific University in San Rafael, CA. He is also Associate Editor of ER.

    Ras Damte
    March 16, 2015 at 8:00 pm
    Reply

  16. Your history have nothing to do with us those who live south of Garb a Guracha.
    We are not questioning your Abyssinian history. We are subjected to undue
    Burdens of Colonial burdens that forbid us to live our lives, history of ours in our land speaking
    Our God given language. This is not civilization of any form when
    Majority who speak Afaan Oromo speakers are threatened forced
    to speak minority language “Amharic”. This was enforced post the occupation of the
    Historically neighboring Abyssinia started to use scramble for Africa
    as pretext to use European donated live guns on independent
    Free people of the horn citizens . All of Victims if Scramble for Africa
    had managed to free from evil hostage takings of Colonialism except us.
    Those of us who were fallen pray to Black on Black invasions that
    Incorporated us into unholy union. Union that force colonial texts languages, alienations of
    of our rightful language customs rules that predate Christ
    This is finest forms of biast begot worst forms of ethno-racism we can no
    longer endure. We aspire to be free at last. Respect our right to speak write our domestic language I
    Our soul. You speak yours back home & leave us alone. USSR has done,
    white Europeans had done it Balkans has done but only Ethiopia continue to
    Savagily practice such baberisms onto occupied territories

    Hudu
    March 17, 2015 at 10:35 am
    Reply

  17. hey all wedko meferaget lemelalat (kufanii gangalachuun madaa dabalachuu)the Amharas are dead like Roman empire kkkkkkkk go beg chigaramoch.

    gadaa
    March 17, 2015 at 10:40 pm
    Reply

  18. Dear Mr Webmaster, I hope you are fair enough to post my comment on your website.
    The person who wrote this article definitely belongs to one of the ethnic groups in Ethiopia who were shouting “Ethiopia is a fake country. There is no country called Ethiopia. It is the creation of Emperor Menilik. Ethiopia is colonizing us.” The first chapter of your dream came true and you could be a junior partner of woyane and shabia alliance. However you were not smart enough to survive the political game and woyane dropped your political group(OLF) like a bad habit. Your political group, however massacred people and caused innumerable sufferings to many ethnic ordinary and innocent Ethiopians in the Oromia region of today in a barbaric way just because they do not bear an Oromo name. To post a comment as a concerned Etniopian citizen on this website and talk on ehalf of all Ethiopian people while working to destabilise the country 24/7, you have no moral ground.
    Any conscious citizen of Ethiopia, be it from the Amhara, Oromo or any other Republic of today knows that not only Col. Mengistu Hailemariam Wolde Ayana, but also Teferi Mekonnen Woldemichael Gudessa(the late Emperor Haile Selassie I – like many Neftegnas of the past decades) were from the Oromo ethnic group among others. Even the most respected leader of modern Ethiopia, Emperor Menilik II was married to a respected noble woman who is a noble descendant of the Yejju Oromo dynasty. Trying to defame Emperor Menilik II with falsification of history or trying to judge his wisdom from your current political and historical knowledge of the digital age is not only anti Ethiopian and an unfair judgement, it is a cheap political game of trying to balkanise the whole of East Africa. General Teferi Benti was from the Oromo ethnic group and General Aman Andom was from Eritrea and not from Amhara Republic of today. You can find out for yourself that nobody from Gojam, Gonder, Wollo or the Showa province has been at the top of the government for the last one hundred and fifteen years. Ethiopia has been led by Ethiopians and not by Amharas. Please do not insult the intelligence of other Ethiopians who are not from the Amhara region but feel Ethiopian in general but also part of the Amhara culture because of the Amharic language in particular. Tilahun Gessesse, Tsegaye G/Medhin, Pawlos Gnogno or Yidnekachew Tessema were not members of OLF – an organisation which tries to form an Islamic State like ISIS or Boko Haram. No way, these distinguished individuals from different walks of life and professions were all from the Oromo ethnic group. However these people were proud Ethiopians and there are millions of non-Amhara compatriots who do identify themselves with these respected individuals. The diverse culture and language we have is the source of our pride as Ethiopians. We feel we are ethnic Ethiopians, made out of the mixed marriage of different ethnic groups of Ethiopian origin. It is a fact that there are many other nations around the world which do have many languages and ethnic groups but do consist an independant sovereign nation. India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages, Nigeria has 521 languages, and the Sudan has 114 languages and 500 accents, among others. Even the 23 year old independant Eritrea has nine different languages and group of people. You can add many nations and you could end up with a very large list.
    However, there is one common feature among the leaders and all those Ethiopians who used to live in the towns and cities of the country in the past century. They all use the Amharic language as a working language. This language is just an instrument of communication – nothing more and nothing less. Dude! most of the new elite ethnocentric politicians of today have realized that without the language of Amharic there is no Ethiopia. The language is not criminal per se. It is the backward mentality and the injustice which has been carried out over a long period of time by the ruling elites coupled with the foreign power’s geo-political interest which caused the under development of the country.
    Addis Ababa, serving as an epicentre and the melting point of all Ethiopians from all over the peripheral areas of the country, an urban Amharic language and a common urban culture has flourished, whether you like it or not. While seeking their livelyhood in urban centres people from different ethnic backgrounds are intermarried and the children from these families grow up speaking the Amharic language. Many Eritreans do speak fluent Amharic though they are not from today’s Amhara Republic. In fact the Amharic language spoken in the capital city or among modern Ethiopians makes the Amharas of the rural regions feel stranger and déclassé because of the different accent they have. They are refered to as “balager” with a derogatory implication. A new reality, and a unique ethnic group has been evolving called “ethnic Ethiopian” which will not be recognized and accepted by people like you with an ethnocentric mentality. For guys like you who spent most of their lifetime in peripheral areas humiliating these people and calling them names makes you feel strong and civilized.
    People talking Amharic and educated Ethiopians are for you “Amharas”!! They trigger an inferiority complex in your senses and little grey cell. Do not indulge into the stupidity and the political fallacy of incriminating and insulting more than 35 Million innocent people and country loving Ethiopians for no organised crime of enriching themselves and getting any special advantage of having better infrastructure, education, industry or health facilities by aquiring political power. The Amhara region is by the Ethiopian standard of today the poorest and most people live like in the biblical times. Compared to the size of its population, many of the region’s population have no access to electricity, no access to clean drinking water, no access to health facilities, and no access to educational facility.
    Dude! Do yourself and others a big favour! If you call yourself Ethiopian, you are spoiling the political culture of the country. Please go to school! read books! and above all “GROW UP!!” If you are from the islamic movement of OLF deal with your own garbage and please keep your idea of oromising the whole nation for yourself. Ethiopians do not need to be amharised or oromised – we will always be Ethiopians. The indigenous language should not be the problem of the country, I am ready to learn Afaan Oromo, without being imposed on me as a compulsory language if you open language school and offer language courses. This is a civilized way of making the language popular which is at6tractive and acceptable. Regarding the Amharic language it is not the national language of Ethiopia, however there is an estimated figure of around 65 Millions of Amharic speakers in Ethiopia today.

    ethioHope Brown
    March 18, 2015 at 5:30 am
    Reply

  19. Thank you for history 101. The 10 reasons of why the oromo language should be the official language is nothing but laughable. On a yet serious note, it clearly shows how sometimes pure hatred clouds one’s thinking so much so that no amount of education can clear it. Think about it, why do we use language for? Most Ethiopians speak and write in Amharic including the learned lawyer. What did he lose? Nothing, in fact studied law at AAU, worked for the Foreign Service and now started to lecture us on what he thinks dragged Ethiopia which is but Affan Promo was not made the official language. It is a blessing that such characters are not in power.

    zecharias
    March 18, 2015 at 9:14 pm
    Reply

  20. As somali,i think english should be one of the official language of ethiopia.That will reduce the marginalisation of somalis and non speaking amharic nations in the fdeeral administration and bring more justice and equality.Dont forget amharic was imposed on us and most of our population are still rejecting it.
    Best solution is Make all ethiopian language official ,not only amharic.and That will weakend separatist idea.

    Abdi
    March 19, 2015 at 9:27 am
    Reply

  21. He tries to undermine Amharic speakers. We all know that the majoriry of the population weather Oromo, Tigre, Debub and all others speak Amharic. Because of this almost 90% of the Ethiopian population speaks Amharic. The 29.5 amharic speakers he mentioned is false data. OLF tried to brainwash Oromos by writing false analysis and this will not take you any more. When you say Oromo language how about the other 80 languages?

    Afendi
    March 19, 2015 at 1:30 pm
    Reply

  22. It is surprising to see the number of responders and their justification against having another national language in addition to Amharic.[I admit may be it is not yet time to discuss this. Woyane has to go first] It must be just prejudice or stupidity not to admit that Ethiopia is a diverse nation and needs one or more additional national language based on importance and number of speakers. It is not issue of politics. It is a necessity. I speak three languages. My mother tongue, Amharic, English. I am not sorry for speaking Amharic and English because I use Amharic to speak to most Ethiopians and English for international and other reasons. I benefited and benefit from that. I lived more than a decade, served Oromo Ethiopians (feel proud about that) and I tried to learn the language but may be did not show good effort because I was so busy, now I regret for not being able to speak it. Oromifa is spoken by a large segment of Ethiopian people. The region is one of the most likely areas any one might be exposed to work in Ethiopia. I would prefer to communicate with the public in oromifa than in Amharic or English with a translator making myself feel as if I am an educated foreigner with upper hand on the indigenous people. English language in Ethiopia is already dead and buried since the woyane introduced lame education system or started even before that and got buried at woyane’s arrival. Starting English even at the primary level of education and even making English part of official language would actually have benefit from my point of view. That would allow more Ethiopians to have better command of English, better communication at international level. I can assure you outside the country Ethiopians are not as conversant as their other African partners who already speak English from childhood. I don’t think this will have any thing to do with damn politics or colonization [I know some people are to proud with speaking Amharic and eating injera bewat; I am but I am not crazy about it]. It is time Ethiopia has to diversify and be open to its own people and to the world at large. English should not be the language of a university graduates alone and Amharic alone should not be the language of that vast land alone. The chauvinists should swallow that fact and start accepting it. If it does not happen now, believe me it is gona happen at later stage when the country becomes more civilized and after the hardliner have died.

    stern
    March 20, 2015 at 3:41 am
    Reply

  23. What contribution did Amharas gave to Oromia??? We made Amhaic what its today don’t you gonderes ever forget that. We are the majority our language will be the official language wether you clowns like it or not. We don’t need your approval. If you people don’t like that feel free to return to the caves of gonder bunch of idiots learn how politics actually works its 21 century.

    biyyaa
    March 21, 2015 at 12:28 am
    Reply

  24. English should serve all while other languages serve as local language of each regions.
    Or Oromiffa should be an official language in its birth place of Finfinne.

    Hudu
    March 21, 2015 at 1:01 am
    Reply

  25. It is very exciting to see and hear someone started talking about the change in the medium of communication for Ethiopia. But I have a much better alternative to the current form of national medium that is not liked by everyone. All of us(you) know that the Tigrigna language is widely spoken in all of Tigray, 80% of Wello, Gojjam, Gondar, Addis Ababa, most major cities/towns in Ethiopia Washington DC, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis and most major cities in Europe and Australia. When I speak of overseas cities I mean in the areas where most Ethiopians live. And there will be no need to change the alphabet and spend billions of Birr in teaching the population a new non-phonetic alphabet. Tigrigna is a well developed language. Oromo language on the other hand is still in its infancy and not well organized. An Oromo in Eastern Ethiopia will need a translator to communicate with another Oromo from Jimma, Gore, Wellega or Shoa. Phasing out Amharic will also help diffuse the hatred some of the Oromo secessionists have for the Amharas and the language itself. Tigrigna and the Oromo people go a long way back to the 14-15th centuries. That was when our Axumite king welcomed the Oromo people as invited guests into his territories. With the selection of Tigrigna as a national medium, everyone will have something to be proud of its well documented history of more than 3,000 years.

    The other change we should make is to the name of the country. As you all know a lot of people do not like the name Ethiopia. They, right or wrong, believe that the word Ethiopia is their oppressor. So why not change it back to Axum and call it Axumia which was the Land of the Queen of Sheba. Then all the OLF’s and ONLF’s will have nothing to go by. And from my years of conversation with thousands of Eritreans, they have told me that they will drop their independence like a hot potato to come back to the union. Again, everyone will truly have something very grand to be proud with the 3,000 year history of Axum. I know all of you will praise me for such very beneficial and constructive proposals. In order this to happen, all current leaders of Ethiopia should be forced to retire and replace them with younger generations from Tigray, Amhara, Oromo, Afar, Somali and Southern Peoples. They have been leaders for too long and must be allowed to leave office with comfortable retirement. That is called ‘Thank you and good bye!’ I know all of you will praise me for this suggestion too.

    In the meantime I am seriously thinking about organizing a peaceful rally here in DC and other major cities overseas also in Addis supporting my peaceful suggestions. What do you think folks?

    Tekle Adigrat
    March 21, 2015 at 6:54 pm
    Reply

    • GOOG IDEA!!!!!!

      But I am not sure of the documented 3000 year history in Tigrigna. Is there?

      tazabi
      March 21, 2015 at 10:30 pm
      Reply

  26. sm comments made me feel sad n laugh @z tym. Zis article is all about makin Afan oromo additional working language… Pls don be delusional… Its 21st century… GOSH!

    gb
    December 15, 2015 at 2:42 am
    Reply

  27. neftegn minded fear making Afan oromo as a working language kkkkkkkkk

    Amhara
    April 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm
    Reply

  28. Zehabesha.com is a mouthpiece of imperialism: this article is the proof. Now we know.

    amhara malet ityoppyawi
    March 29, 2020 at 10:29 am
    Reply

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