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Tigrai-Eritrea: Long Overdue for the Molecular Wall to be Atomized & the Real “Singapore” to rise!

By Hailemariam Abebe
Tigrai Online Dec. 18, 2020

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I was either in the 3rd or 4th grade when I first learned about the umbilical cord bonding the great Empire of Axum to Adolis. I remember it clearly, after these so many years, in whose class I first learned about it. It was in the Gibre Guebnet class taught by one of Axum’s premier priest and scholar of Saint Yared, Mregeta Fisseha (may he rest in peace). And it is not only with regards to his class of Gibre Guebnet that I remember him so dearly but for the transforming event I had seen him do too.

It was about midnight on Saturday night, and it might have been a holiday of one of the saints too. In the darkness of the night, my brother and I were heading to the Saint Mary of Zion church. As we paced quietly to our destination, I could already hear from a distant, the heavenly voices of the priests and deacons reverberating through the silence and stillness of the night. I could hear too, the drums, cestrum and ululations, and the closer we got to the church, the more intense the heavenly chants of Zemas, drums, cestrum and ululations became more intense and transdentally captivating.

We make it through the main gate of the church compound, take off our shoes, and as we were reminded of our mortality by the tomb of stones on our right and left, bare foot, we walked past the tombs and entered the church packed not only with the priests, deacons, the monks and the laity but also a heaven full of paintings of heavenly angels and Saints that looked like me and just about everyone I knew and saw anywhere and everywhere in Axum and beyond! Then, I directed my eyes to the epicenter, and I was surprised to see the Mregeta, this disciple and scholar of Yared, belting out powerful chants of heavenly voices accompanied with equally powerful waves of spiritual movements making it clear and in no uncertain terms, to believers and non-believers, that there exist, in deed, a Force greater than ourselves. I had revered the Mregeta as my teacher before but after I saw him do those transforming magic, his Gibre Guebnet class became one that I looked forward to. And there was more of his transforming and timeless lessons.

Gibre Gebnet was not only about religion, faith, morals and ethics but it was also about history. And it was in one of his religion classes, I remember him teaching us about the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Jerusalem to meet King Solomon, and how her son Menelik (Emne Melek) brought the Arc of the Covenant to Axum. Never it was through the Nile river or across the desert of Beja (Begemdir) of the Sudan to Lake Tana, so concocted by those peddlers of the bogus “Solomonic Dynasty” on whose squatting, no archeologist could find a trace of anything of civilization of archeological value, but through Axum, Adolis, the Red Sea, and Jerusalem! I vividly remember it all, the lesson of my life from that great teacher, that renowned scholar and guardian of the faith, the priest extraordinaire, the student of St. Yared, and great citizen of the Tigray Nation, the late Mregeta Fisseha!

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There was something else I remember too. There was something angelic about Mregeta Fisseha. When he taught, his words were like a beautiful August midnight rain, powerfully soothing as they were both spiritually and intellectually transforming. His words were like music too, full of life and vitality, vivacity, intensely enlightening, and magically healing, energizing, rejuvenating and powerfully empowering! His words had colors too, and did he draw with his words, rainbows of angels and Saints, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, and not to mention Heaven and Hell! And in the center of it all was always, that seat of that great Empire the world has known for so long as the Axumite Kingdom/Empire: Tigray, unlike today, whole all the way to the sea and all its people one and a mighty family, the former as the land of God, and the latter as the angels of just, committed to live by the laws of God! No wonder the heaven full of paintings of heavenly angels and Saints I saw at the St. Mary of Zion and every other church since, looked like me and just about everyone I knew and saw anywhere and everywhere in Axum and beyond! But my rendezvous with Axum and Adolis was not confined to my class of Gibre Guebnet and my beloved teacher, Mregeta Fisseha.

It was during the celebration of the end of the school year when for the second time and in a powerful way too, that I came to learn, this time around, not only about Adolis and Mendefera but a whole lot of history! Before the certificates were awarded, but after all the celebratory activities sports and speeches, there was a play which took center stage on vast stage, and in the presence of the religious leaders, government officials, the great elders, and the rest. It was about heroes and landmarks before that day, I had no clue existed. These were places of battle such as Dogali and Sahatit (Saati), and a place I knew well called Adowa, and about heroes of unbound courage called Emperor Yohannes, Alula and Bashay Awalom! Then came the story of our man in Rome, our hero extraordinaire in Rome, and his timeless courage at the home of the enemy, not reenacted for he had made sure it has made it into our genes, but played, in what truly was in Realtime episode! So gripping was his story, as the Italian Fascists were finally about to get a handle of our man in Rome, his mother who was in the audience and like every one of us so transformed into that site of battle, screamed with a motherly terror and grief, thinking that her son had fell into the hands of the Italian enemies so made real by the extraordinary actors! And so, it was first Adolis and then was ached and stenciled, for the first time, like the deed of his predecessors, it was the legacy of Zeraey Deres, which, ever since along with the other greats of ours that are the Yowhannes, Alula, Bashay Awalom, Abraha Deboch, Moges Asgedom, and the countless others who when the Caucasian, yellow, brown and black kneeled down for the colonial master, fought fire with fire, in so doing, defined the code of honor and the way of life for those of us with blessed to be born from this lineage of extraordinary mothers and fathers whose deeds has been written in the scrolls of granite in Axum, Yeha, Adolis, Kohaito, Metera, and comeback to Debre Damo, Abuna Yemata Guh, Mikael Debre Selam, Abuna Abraham, Abraha We Atsbaha, Lalibela and yes, Gondar too!

Then I grew older and was in the seventh grade when the next milestone, although the Italians, Arabs and Menelik had inflicted so much damage to our neck of the woods so to speak, assured me that no merchant of evil, both domestic and foreign, could break that bond which hold us whole, proving that the divine sense we have about ourselves is beyond any evil’s reach, for it is not only trans formatively integrated into the holy blueprints in each of our trillions and trillions of cells but much more elusively, it is in our thoughts! Such that it was and timeless, became clear to me when two Ethiopian security agents of Eritrean origin, under a guise of tourists visiting Axum, walked into the Kaleb Hotel where two teachers of mine of Eritrean origin were playing a game of pool (Karambula). Shortly, the agents approached the unsuspecting teachers and introduced themselves, following which they asked if they could join them in the game. During the game, the agents, armed with the background of the teachers, skillfully sold themselves as individuals not only from the same localities in Eritrea as the teachers but as potential related relatives too. That was when, with total innocence, the teachers asked the agents to go to their houses and spend the night. When they reached home though, the agents pulled their handguns and marched the teachers to the police station then headed by an Eritrean Colonel. The latter owned the Agip filling station adjacent to the Catholic Cathedral located in the center of Kombishtato.

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Word of the arrest got out quickly and the students of Axum run to the police station and surrounded it sealed. Anger was everywhere, and within hours just about all the students from Adwa arrived. I never forget the scene. By about 5 PM, the Colonel has wrung the police station with heavily armed Special Forces (Fetno Derash), and he himself was armed with an UZI. I never forget his words too. “Let alone quantity, if you come as quality, I will wipe you out” were his first uttering. He then followed it with “I will give you a choice, I will lift the curfew for the night, and you can go and have fun anywhere. “He even advised the students from Axum to play a great host to the students from Adwa. As to the plight of the prisoners, he continued, they are members of the EPLF and as such, will be transported to Asmara in the morning. But he assured the students that no harm will be done to them. And as a sign of reassurance, he ordered the two prisoners to come out to the courtyard of the prison. It was a heart breaking seen; the teachers came out with their heads down trying to hide the tears rolling down their faces. But they could hide it no more; as they saw the mass of students, they became emotionally overwhelmed, and there was no student without tears in his/her face too! The standoff held out until the next morning. It took the letter of assurance from then Governor of Tigray, Loul Menaguesha Seyoum, for the standoff to end. The Governor personally promised that the teachers would be back to work within a week. That was when the bus carrying the teachers could head for Asmara. To our great joy, as promised, the two teachers were back in Axum by the end of the first week.

There is a reason why I cited those lengthy stories about how I came to learn about Adolis, the play about Zerae Deres (may he rest in peace), and about my former teachers. I wrote about them so that both our people in Tigray and in Eritrea, can get a sense into how those of us who lived in the south (Tigray) felt about our brethren in the north (Eritrea)! Never had those in the south, thought of our brothers and sisters in the north, in any other way, other than our people pulverized by enemies from within and from without! Hence why, the students of Axum, Adowa and Shire converged on that prison, determined to protect those of their own from the jaws of those from without! No question about it, the might of solidarity from their fellow brethren, spared the lives of the teachers! You talk about “thy brother keeper,” and “Might in the Service of Right!” Might in the service of the family, justice and the collective good! Mission in the service of the common denominator! A cause of greater good, and a selfless life devotion in the service of country and our way of life have been the bulwark, the code of honor and guiding light of our people since time immemorial, and that it could never be extinguished was vividly obvious to me from not only the footprints left for us behind but that it was actively alive then as it is today, was apparent from the actions of the students, and the convergence and concordance we see today!

There is no question, the events of the last forty days do throw ice-cold water over our timeless bond and resilience but I do see that same gene(s) which not only innovated one of the four great civilizations of the world, but despite our history being replete with those who wish and do us harm, remember the evil, once again, will be atomized but remember too, we cannot go on like this forever; it is time for us to, once and for all, unearth each and every seed of evil that has been sown in our midst by both domestic and foreign farmers of the last one hundred and fifty years, and burn it into ashes as to never again be able to form the seedling of evil the likes which has ravaged us and currently have been able to set the fire of all fire in our neck in our midst! But where do we start you ask?

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How about beginning at the beginning. How about starting with the connection so obvious just about everywhere in the land the Prophet Mohammed called the “the land of peace and justice” that was the Axumite Empire whose seat was the current day of Tigray Tigrigni? We can even go back further in time and follow the gold posts so erected by our forefathers and mothers so that may never loose our way with the passage of time! Start from D’mt, Yeha, and Axum, and follow the underground path linking Axum to Senafe. And while in Senafe, please continue your journey to Adolis, Kohaito, Metera, and comeback to Debre Damo, Abuna Yemata Guh, Mikael Debre Selam, Abuna Abraham, Abraha We Atsbaha, Shire Lalibela and yes, Gondar too! There you have it, some of the great footprints of your ancestors, so rare and without common denominator! Please understand that the footprints mentioned are the tip of the iceberg! You would not be wrong if you claim that, in fact, every inch of our soil is replete with your greatness; you just have to come home and see it with the eyes and mind free from that hundred fifty years old stain of evil!

Be forewarned though! As obvious from the current madness, the depth we have fallen is just about bottomless. Just as the evil of Italy, Menelik and the Arabs had wanted it, one people, once not long ago one family, have been shattered into two! The evil so buried in our midst, just the way the protagonists of evil have designed it, is perpetually exploding, seeding everywhere the shrapnel of hate amongst the family, in what seems far exceeding in magnitude and depth, than the hate the Italians had for us! It is not only in the battle fields which we have proven the Italian, Menelik’s and the Arab’s evil is working to the max but in the electronic superhighway as well. Just look at the comments; the core engineers of evil must be thrilled beyond themselves seeing how well their design has worked thus far!

There are key questions we must ask ourselves and secure the right answers too. The answers are the key for our freedom from the poisonous residues which has defiled not only the sacred soil of ours but also our minds. Before we could ask what, happened to us, we must ask what happened to me, folks? Can we please take a moment and think about what we are doing, not only to our people but to ourselves? Why are we allowing ourselves to be the cadres of those evil who wanted us forever dismantled, fractured and eventually extinguished? Why are we dancing to the tunes of those merchants in evil? Why have we, despite all the knowledge at our fingertips, chosen to remain a playground to the poisons of our enemies? Why is it that we have forgotten our history but that we are living the terrible legacy so set for us by those decrepit merchants of evil?

I know, both Eritreans and Tigrayans (I hate to use that split), are horrified by what Isayas and his entourage of criminals are doing in Tigray! True, the Italian campaign could not even come close to the barbarity so inflicted upon the Tigrayan people by the black Mussolini that is Isayas Afewerki! And there is the other parallel: just as the Italians colluded with Menelik against Tigray, Isayas has repeated history joining hands with those progenies of Menelik, not to just bomb Tigray but to erase its people! This is in fact not just black on black crime of the highest order but a family on family fratricide the likes never seen in the history of the Axumite civilization to date!

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We must soul-search and reconnect with who we really are! We must stop fighting the fight others have orchestrated for us. We have been killing each other not for the pursuit of our best interests but for the interests of others. It is really a time long overdue for us to realize that a war for the wall of evil is nothing but a sign of how deep we have lost our mind or how much we have fallen so deep as to not be aware that we are dying for the cause of our worst enemies! It is time for us to fight those who are programmed to die for the wall and restore ourselves whole! It is time to join hands and fight those whose mission it is to break and conquer us! It is time long overdue that we outlaw the war courtesy of our Anglo-Arab mortal enemies! We owe it to our kids, to be born to live a life of love and peace! We owe it to the mothers and fathers whose children have served and continue to serve as canon fodders for a cause which is never in their best interests! Together, we can move mountains but divided, we would be dying for a cause that is clearly in our worst interest. Think about it and do the right thing- be an agent of love and peace, bring down not only the physical but the more importantly, atomize the molecular wall so erected in our mind by our worst enemies!

I am seeing a hopeful sign! Tegaru of both from the north and south are surging, converging and merging into a mighty juggernaut. It is like the biblical story of the walled city of Jericho. Yes, the people of the south and north have had it and they are marching around Jericho where the epitome of evil that is Isayas, lives. Soon, and maybe but certainly by the seventh day of Jericho that would be Lekatit 11, the people on both sides shall produce the “powerful roar, and Jericho's walls” shall crumple into smithereens! Such must happen, for within that walled Jericho are devils who feats on human flesh! But before we march on that walled city, we must be sure that we are free of our mental Jericho! It is only when our own molecular wall is atomized, not only we will be in a position to prevail over Isayas’s Jericho but also, we will be on the driver’s seat to not only build the real Singapore but also, resurrect Axum for its second coming or glory!

(Follow me on Tweeter: @Hailemariam Abe4)

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