Rejoinder to Professor Teshome’s Rejoinder
By Mezgebe Gebrekiristos,
November 27, 2013
Winston Churchill once said, “Criticism may not be
agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the
human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
It was with this optimistic spirit in mind that I
dare criticize Dr. Teshome’s initial paper posted on aigaforum http://aigaforum.com/articles/if-we-give-ourselves.pdf.
It would have been an utter disservice to the professor’s stature in our society,
had I not brought the “unhealthy state of things” in his article to his
attention. Hence, I applaud him for taking my criticism of his shortcomings,
for the most part, with grace, and responded to my article with reasonable
points of rebuttal. For that reason, I will return the favor in kind in the
subsequent few sentences.
Even though I still firmly stand with my initial
statements that Teshome’s advice to the current leaders of Ethiopia to take a
lesson or two on good leadership from our past two emperors was misplaced and
uncalled for, I realize that he is free to love and cherish the ‘dogs’ (to use
his metaphor) of his choice, as long as he doesn’t let his ‘dogs’ bite the
already patience-compromised Ethiopian public! But if he chooses to let his
dogs stray in the street, without any supervision, he shouldn’t be surprised if
he is unfavorably “judged” by the passerby for his careless handling of his
animals and trespassing. But, still, I assure him that no one will prevent him
from secretly praising his lovely ‘dogs’, because, for some people, love is
unconditional as expressed here http://aigaforum.com/articles/if-we-give-rejoinder.php.Who
am I to judge that?
As I mentioned in my previous article, it is true
that during the reign of both emperor Menelik and Haileselassie, the majority
of Ethiopians were excluded by design, not due to the lack of resources per se,
from getting access to modern education and destitution was rampant. For most
people, Ethiopia was a big prison where the emperor was the judge and the
prosecutor. That is why I responded to the professor’s unqualified mention of
the emperors with, as it were, strong condemnation. Let’s not pretend here, and
admit the dark side of our history, and move on.
However, whether we are dog lovers or not, I realize
there is room for the professor and I to work together in advancing the plight
of immigrant Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia, rather than engaging ourselves in
perpetual rebuttal on the internet. An old African adage has it, “When
elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers most.” We shouldn’t waste our
precious time blaming the current or past governments for the current quagmire
our citizens in Saudi find themselves in, because it doesn’t help their cause.
From what has been broadcast on the news outlets, the Saudis didn’t order only
Ethiopian immigrants to leave their country, even though Ethiopians were the
ones who suffered the most. Indians, Philippines, Bangladesh, Eritreans, and
Yemenis were also expelled from Saudi Arabia. So, why don’t we make this an
international cause by galvanizing able people from the countries whose citizens
were directly affected by the actions of the Saudis?
So here is a simple message from a student to a
professor: after all, there is life after a constructive criticism, and the
proof is in the pudding.
I wish him a happy Thanksgiving Day.