Saturday, December 10, 2016

Confronted by Stupid Question,


A dude from Harare Ethiopia this afternoon had stupid verbal confrontation with two of my kids at Somali KAAH financial transaction Bank. I took them there so they can send money to some of their relation at the IFO Camp. One of the kids the son of my late brother Tefera speaks fluent Somali and was talking to the bank teller behind the glass window, it looked like they were having fun talking to each other.  But all of a sudden this man whose sits faraway corner interrupted jumped in the conversation., asked one of the boy  how  he come to know Somali language so well?  Answered I was in IFO, leaned the language from Somali friends I befriended all those sixteen years I had been at the camp.   

Okay said the man but where are you from?   I am from Ethiopia. He said really you do not look Ethiopian? Of course I am an Ethiopian, from Gambella.  So you speak Amharic?  Yes I do. Dude still confused but you people do not speak Amharic very well. Really said the other kid, so you think all Oromo people speak better Amharic Language than Gambellan? Yes said the man. Lie, you are a liar said the kid.  What about the Oromo Della, Arsi, Bale, Wellega, Etc.

We live with many them in the refugee camp; I never saw them spoke Amharic. Ho by the way some Oromia language spoken in Gambella too.  I said that is enough let’s go, and we left the West Bank, went to Southside Minneapolis  Somali, to grocery store to buy phone numbers used as calling card by all expatriates from Africa.  As we exited the store, we were met by two Somali ignorant who call us Sudan, Garang, with no body responded among three of us we just board the car and left, after I dropped the boys home, I said to them don’t mind about what happened today, just look forward, my other boy responded dad we are not new to those kind hacking, we live with a lot of illiterates like that in the caps all those years. 

Our skins have been immune to illiterate diatribes at the camps.  I said do not worry, he seems like a very confused person too. Here was a man who spoke Somali, when asked of his Identity he said he is an Oromo from Harare, he had the gut to question you about where you learned the language? You know one of my friend from Harare once told me about some confused Harare people during the Somali-Ethio, 1976-77war, he said as Saied Bare defeated the Ethiopia army at the initial war and control vast land at the eastern fronts, he said the Harari flogged to the streets chanted slogans:  Saied Bare! Saied Bare!  Long Live Saied Bare, but as our gallant forces rejuvenated and fought back, defeated the enemy, and  recaptured our lost territories, he said the Harari flipflopped, turned switched their allegiance  backs against Somalia, came out in support of Ethiopia victory against Somalia, chanted Mengistu! Mengistu! Long Live Mengistu! You see how confused border people are in Harare. Thank God we are not, we remain always loyal, to one country, that’s “Ethiopia” 

In all this conversation I sit-down muted, never said anything at all. So folks I think I should explain a little bit into two or three paragraphs what definition of identity is:  one’s sense of belonging to one state or to one nation. It is the sense of a nation as a cohesive whole, as represented by distinctive traditions, culture, language and politics” Counter point, it didn’t say color or looks. If you were born in Ethiopia you most certainly are Ethiopia citizen by birth, what you look like doesn’t matter. For instant I was born Anyuak by my tribal identity, from Anyuak country, from Gambella state Ethiopia.  And what one look like is not an answer to our political community.  


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