Aksumology Study for the Aksumite Civilization: A Rational Rescue to Ethiopian National Identity
By Ali Sheikh 12-06-17
The ancient chronicles or historical annals of any given society define the honorary position they occupy in the face of the present worldview. Particularly the existentialism reality of that very society. Hence history by definition is an infinite prerequisite of human life and structural necessity to interpret significance of national identity both in terms of geographical elongation for settlement and the lengthening of political occupation to unachievable sites of the past. Sometimes, history is regarded as no more distinct from philosophy. In that it too deeply stresses incidence of nations, nationalities and individual’s existence, opportunity of freedom and choice of lifestyle routine. In other words, it holds the view that the same society would distinguishes their own principal significance in life. With particular reference to their ancient attempts (read Aksumite kingdom civilization) and how they manage and organize themselves an orderly so as to create the mushrooming and ever-existing records of Aksumite Kingdom civilization. This consequently rendered the present-day Ethiopian nations and nationalities the confidences to act and hand-picked the preferred political and economic lifestyle pertinent to their country discourse and context in spite of existing in an irrational universe of conflicting ideologies.
The contemporary romantics of history hold the confidence, that the good old days enabled the societies or nations and nationalities to comprehend their ancient flaring fame. This helps them to define their present-day naïve position in terms of identity so as to reserve and live on the same celebrity. Although the present-day Ethiopian nations and nationalities are seemingly playing Judas on such precious and defining moments of the past annals. By simply turning their back from keeping neat the continuity and the dissemination of the past chronicle annals as a necessary asset for the coming generation so as not to live in pointless state of identity crisis.
It will be very unfair, sort of unwitting and unwanted gesture if we fail to put up a system in place in the education fraternity which allows the conditional teaching of history subject to our children. No matter what level of education or what subject of specialization one is performing. Otherwise, it will be denigrated as useless for the longstanding historical pride of the ancient Ethiopian nations and nationalities. Such agnatical determination of creating those historically flaring fame through then Aksumite civilization over thousands of years ago will be shelved as irrelevant only to mention during the leisure talks. Needless to say, the Aksumite Empire emerged much of it as the most powerful blacks’ kingdom in the beginning of the 4th centuries. As you may already know, the Aksumite kingdom civilization was the only civilization which had to melt its own coins, create its own arts and designs, architect, language and religion. It stretched its influence through the tunnels of Arabian Ardhul-Shaam regions in the Middle East to the tombs of Timbuktu of Mali and further to the Sudanic belt of North Africa.
Those ancient society dedicated much time and even hung together their kids and families to the instruction of preserving such historical records so as to pass it safe and sound to the future age band of the modern day Ethiopia up until the world comes to an end without any significant dent, distortion or damage. Imagine they did so in a difficult circumstance of the medieval eras where there were no technological or allegorical support to preserve ancient chronicles from misplacing and mishandling.
To this reality we become unconscious and unconcerned in the manner of handling the defining truth of the federal history of Ethiopia as a national asset. In this way, we are influenced to the losing end of our own historical essence and identity in the expense of our own negligence and indifference.
This carelessness scenario has occasioned the bourgeoning and reaping up of modern day desperate new generations of Ethiopian nations and nationalities. Which finally tend to accept the paradoxical myth of Egyptians claim of the Nile River waters as their gift of God for the Egyptian people. Because the government in Cairo claims and insists continuously that Egypt be guaranteed its “historic rights.” This means, Egypt owe us a two-thirds of the river’s flow as though the Blue Nile belongs to them. While the natural owners of the Blue Nile, which begins at Lake Tana inside Ethiopia just demand to share her own resource on even-handed basis of the water distributions. Not only to herself (Ethiopia) but to all other sister countries in the riparian region. Unlike the Ethiopian context, Egyptian’s successive authorities have authorised all-inclusive somewhat syllabus. This was behind the intention to promote provisional history subject across all the learning institutions in the country at a varying degree right from nursery to tertiary institutions. For the reason that Egyptian governments have over-romanticized and civilised attitude towards the significance of inculcating history into the bloodstreams of each and every Egyptian person. To the extent of eventually making their citizens justifiable to even claim other nation’s resources as their gift of nature with specific reference to the case of the Blue Nile River. Unfortunately our present generation think that water stalemate crisis is purely political gimmicks between EPRDF regime and that of Egyptian crazy country head. Little did they know that it is all about safeguarding historical asset of the nation.
Even though we live in a world of speedy changes, a time of advance progresses. There is the need to describe ourselves with respect to where we come from originally, where we start from, not where we are going to right now. Our ancestors hold great essentialness to us. They lived in periods not the same as our present time of technological abundance and struggled hard to set a history specific to our pride as a nation of nationalities. Man is so impressively more intelligent today than he was ever, even in ten years earlier, this does not mean that anything from the past is out of date and irrelevant to us. Our mindlessness of the past isn't the result of a nonappearance of information, however of ardent. But it is because of not feeling the sense of esteem that we all have as a matter the past in which itself, history matters. Our ancients hold significance to us and to the entire nation and the nationalities of Ethiopia. Although they lived in times so not the same as our own season. To such a degree they particularly helped us in keeping their antiquities and art records while living in a state of the unequipped world. Even in to that prehistorical circumstance; they struggled hard for enlightening insight to enrich into our present experienced identity. Our obliviousness of the past isn't the consequence of an absence of resources. It is because we feel that it does not have value, but the fact is that everything we are or we have is just but about our past antiquity.
It is not because we are so different from our prehistoric societies, or incapable of shedding light to our primeval experiences. It’s all because we are positioned into the complex of the colonial framework to define our past within the realm and the descriptions of the colonial historiographers whose focus interest is directed only to the events of the last one hundred years. For some worthy reasons best known to them. This was/is what has dominated in our educational syllabuses as a modern day Ethiopian federal state.
In my recent visit to Aksum University, I happened to meet some of the highest administrators of the university. In the process of having meaningful but short academic discussions with them I asked out of curiosity whether the Aksum University has history streams. To my disappointment I learnt that out of the enormous classes ongoing in the university (natural science and social science) there is/was no such thing call history class. To be in Aksum city which was the mother of the African on blood civilization yet none having of history study group in the curriculum was to me quite unacceptable. Not only that but the worst irony of the time. The ending blames are of two way traffic; on the one side to our current digital generation who seemed to be oblivious of the important position history stands to our identity. While the other blame rest on the shoulders of the government who from the look seems not emphasising the essence of history as identifier of national pride.
Finally I would like to recommend a pertinent system should be put in place that allows history inclusive syllabus addressing all the ancient chronicles of the country. This should be taught in all level of learning institutions as a conditional subject of study. There should be Aksumology study—the study of Aksum civilization particularly focusing the ancient history, language, literature, religion, and art starting probably from the 1st century.
The writer can be reached at Dhagaweyne3@gmail.com