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Fikre Tolossa’s book | by Paulos Milkias

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by Paulos Milkias
In my book review of Dr. Fikre Tolosa’s published work, I asked proof for 13 questions regarding its conclusions but not a single proof of scientific nature was presented in his last posting. Instead of taking responsibility for the sources he uses, Dr. Fikre strangely tries to pass the buck. After all, isn’t it his duty to render iron-clad proofs for what he claims to be historical facts?

All I asked for is present plausible proofs. Dr. Fikre points to the 45 references he has listed at the end of his books as researched proofs. He says: “I didn’t make up the Ethiopian history I enshrined in my book. I used literature available on the book market, which can be easily verified, as I have listed them as bibliography.” Unfortunately, far from being reliable proofs many of the sources in the bibliography are suspect. Actually, I will add five more statements of his and ask if he can provide reliable proofs for them too. One concerns the statement he makes that “God ordered Melchizedek to send his son Ethel who was named …Ethiop later on by God, to go and settle in Ethiopia at the islands of Lake Tana.” Second he says “the Amara and the Oromo are the descendants of one man – Melchizedek, King of Salem the highest priest of God on Earth, founder of Jerusalem to whom Abraham and other kings bowed and paid tithes to receive his blessings.” Third he says: “The Agazi, tribe [those who spoke Ge’ez] who were brought from Gaaza (here enter the Palestinians!) by Menelik I fought for him when Ethiopian tribes warred against him, treating him as a Jewish “keles” [Interesting that they would use such Amharic pejoratives 3,000 years ago!] And fourth, he says: “Ethel went to Ethiopia and settled in what is today known as Gojam; God changed his name from Ethel to “Ethiop” meaning ‘the gift of yellow gold to God’; thus, not only Ethel became Ethiop, but the land in which he settled also started to be called “Ethiopia”; He mentions 9 children born to him by name one of them being Tola and adds the comment, “by the way, the name of my uncle, the brother of my father Tolossa, was Tola.)” Dr. Fikre: Congrats for finding a name sake for your uncle but do you really consider what are quoted above as historical facts? Or are these passages from the scriptures or other religious works? You see, your work is not history at all; it is a melange of religion and mythology. If not, prove otherwise.
 

Regarding the manuscript, Metsehafe Djan Shewa, you wrote “as for bequeathing the ancient manuscripts found at Jebel Nuba to the Ethiopian National Museum, their discoverer is willing to do so, if Dr. Paulos can guarantee their safety.” Please note that I shall make sure that the Ethiopian National Museum would give it the same protection it gives to the fossil of Dinkinesh(aka Lucy.) I shall also make sure that a specialist scholar examine the integrity of the manuscript and the whole story behind it because my enquiry to the Nubian antiquities has yielded a negative response. They say that they have never heard of the discovery of a manuscript called Metsehafe Djan Shewain Gebel Nuba (Nuba Mountains) or any other locality in Sudan or the Aswan region of Egypt.
I am far from suggesting that Meriras’ manuscript is fake. Far from it. In fact I would be the first person to root for it if passes the specialists’ tests with regard to the time and place it was discovered, that its dating is ascertained to be of the said time by the characters used in the Ge’ez syllabary it was written in, that the materials used in the manuscript date to the period it is said to have been inscribed, and that UNESCO has a record of this major finding and its location at present.
Why worry about the integrity of the manuscript? Consider the following example: In 1983, it was announced that “Hitler’s Diary” covering the years from 1932 to 1945 was discovered and was subsequently hailed by major world media as the most important historical find of the time. But in less than 15 days, it was announced that specialists had proved it to be fake. It was found that some of the materials used to make them were not invented until after the demise of Hitler, and that modern optical brighteners were noticed in the paper when the pages were examined under ultraviolet light. Furthermore, when samples of the binding of the diaries were inspected under polarized light microscope, it was determined that they contained modern synthetic substances. Therefore, I only want this manuscript to pass the scrutiny of other manuscripts of similar importance to merit quoting as a reliable source.
You ask how history can be science. Yes, it is science for it lends itself like all other social science disciplines to rigorous human effort to comprehend the history of the natural world and the way in which the natural world functioned in the past with reliable evidence as the basis of that understanding. Science varies from religion or mythical lore in that it has an exit clause for its propositions. If evidence or a set of data cannot support their postulate or if they do not correspond closely with the conjectures that they have come up with, scientists alter their views completely. It is this methodological commitment to accepting the implications of evidence that is consistent with the suppositions or to rejecting one that is contradictory to it that forms the foundation of social science enquiry.
Indeed, there is a striking contrast to verifiable history on the one hand which, in Aristotelian syllogism can be arrived at through inductive logic and religion or mythical lore which are based on blind belief or faith which lend themselves only to deductive logic – the kind that Dr. Fikre presently expounds? Simply put, one may be forced to ask where one can find comparable methodology that scientists depend on in religious dogma or mythological tales like that of Dr. Fire’s? The obvious answer is that there is none whatsoever. So, Dr. Fikre is wallowing like Alice in wonderland where reality is distorted and nothing can be proved to be trustworthy deductively. In a major twist of logic, Dr. Fikre says: it is absurd to characterize historical evidences as “scientific” and then claims he has presented a scientific proof. His statements hare are clearly self-contradictory and paradoxical.
One should keep in mind that researching the past is not just a blind pursuit of forgotten people and events surrounding them. Researching the past should withstand the tests of rigour and an iron clad backing of reason, a rebuttal of myth, a way of looking at the past with the same exactitude that we require when we analyze present political figures and events. A scholarly book is only as good as the sources used. It must be based on trustworthy, academic sources. A scholar’s major responsibility in eliciting scientific results is to fathom the variance between fact and fiction as well as differentiating reliable from unreliable sources. Far from being scientific, D. Fikre sources are terribly weak (among the 45 references he proudly quotes as his scientific proofs, for example, there is Wikipediathat anybody can write and anybody else can edit.) So, the burden of proof still lies with him.
Instead of scientifically proving a point and building a rigorous argument, Dr. Fikre uses an appeal to popular assent through the mechanism of arousing positive feelings and enthusiasm of a multitude. This however is committing the fallacy of Argumentum ad Populum. In the author’s view, as long as the majority of people do not question the proposition and are happy with it no matter its validity, the points paraded as fact must be accepted as a truism; fatal error in reasoning. For example, prior to Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, religious leaders taught people to accept the idea that the Earth which is flat is stationary and is at the centre of the universe and that the Sun goes around it as it seems to our senses that is why in religious parables, Joshua was said to have succeeded to supplicate and get the permission of God to stop the sun and when on the orders of God, the sun stood still, the people of Israel had revenge that they wanted on their enemies. One can easily assume that over 90% of the people at that time believed in this theory and were happy with it. But that majority belief didn’t mean the earth really was flat or the sun went around the earth. So, people being happy with Dr. Fikre’s propositions does not make the fabricated explanation in his book valid.
Dr. Fikre says that scholars have considered the appearance of his book as a milestone. In fact he has the audacity to claim that “genuine scholars” have reacted to his book as “a paradigm shift in Ethiopian history.” Are you serious? If indeed anybody has called it a paradigm shift, then it is a “paradigm shift from history to fiction.” I challenge him to find any support for his ideas from well-known Ethiopian historians including Profs. Bahru Zewde, Messay Kebede, Getachew Haile, Tesema Taa, Mohamed Hassan, and Bahru Tafla among others. I, at the same time, invite them to break their silence and comment on the matter at hand. It is their responsibility too.
*Dr. Fikre revels at what he says is the success of his book, in achieving its goal that the Oromo and Amara in particular “demonstrate a stronger sense of understanding, peace and love towards each other ever since the release of my book.” He claims that the book has a mission of “healing their soul” which he asserts it did. He claims that his monograph rectifies the ills of identity crises and dispels misunderstanding. In that sense then, over all, Dr. Fikre’s book is not a book of history but rather a book in the genre of Ethiopian Debteras’ ??? ?? and ??? ???? that are supposed to protect people against malevolence and provide them with peace and love towards one another and ??? ??? that is supposed to have the power to protect their soul. In fact I would not be surprised if he entertains the ambition to get the present book or its planned sequel inscribed on Debtera magic scrolls so that the Ethiopian people can hang them on their necks like ???? for protection against all adverse episodes. One way or another that is where the genre of Dr. Fikre’s book belongs not in the genre of Ethiopian historical scholarship.
* Dr. Fikre claims that I have lived outside Ethiopia for ages and am far removed from the present reality in Ethiopia. To put the record straight even though, I have been away from my country for many years, as I think he did, I have taught and done research there since 1998 when I was sent by the United Nations to teach at Addis Ababa University as visiting professor. I have also been assigned under the auspices of the Swedish government to teach at the same university as visiting professor in 2011. Furthermore, I have been invited by Addis Ababa university to participate in the development of its graduate programme with many gifted Ethiopian scholars at home and from around the world. And there were times when the university paid my expenses to travel to Addis Ababa to evaluate Ph.D. graduates in political science. For the last 20 years, I have conducted a lot of research funded by my university in Ethiopia. To fulfil the purpose, I have gone to Ethiopia for a minimum of 3 months every year and in 2016, I was in Addis for four months where I presented a paper at Western Michigan University sponsored conference at Addis Ababa University and was actually discussing research work at the Forum for Social Studies with Prof. Bahru Zewde, the time Dr. Fikre was conducting his book signing. So, I am not as far away from the reality in my country any more than he does.
As for my advice to our young and burgeoning scholars not to quote from your book, yes, I have decided to be paternalistic by choice in order to protect them against being victims of false information. I have not been a teacher for so many decades to shirk my pedagogical responsibilities at this stage. When I speak of teaching mark that I am talking of teaching in any area. Let us say, for example that you are a driving teacher. As a driving teacher, don’t you train your students to guard against road hazards? If you don’t, then you do not only harm your clients who might get into trouble, you also harm your reputation as driving instructor. Another example of responsibility: my late Somali friend, Prof. Said Samatar of Rutgers University used to insist that we, Ethiopian educators should try hard to stop our youth from chewing qat which, he used to say, has already destroyed the brains of many Somali men and women. In Ethiopia because such precaution was not taken by educators, there are already multitudes of people whose brain wiring has been damaged and have slowly degenerated into schizophrenics and are wreaking havoc. Such people do not realize this because they live in an entirely different world, a world of illusions where they hear voices. Scientific studies also show that chewing qat may also lead to brain cancer as happened in one celebrity case in Ethiopia whom I would leave the readers to figure out. We, as educators should work hard go guard our youth against such dangers as well as against false information. It is our duty to do so.
Indeed, one has to give warnings regarding you book. No sane learned scholar will pass a student in a history class who quotes the countless false information you provide in your book. Let me give you just a few examples as to why as a pedagogue, I would rather be labeled paternalistic than leave young Ethiopians eager to learn their country’s history confused and in limbo after reading your monograph. Would one expect any Ethiopian historian pass a student in his class who quotes from your book and claims that “Humans originated in Gojam near Lake Tana” while scientific enquiry has proven unequivocally that based on the theory of the Eve Hypothesis and mitochondrial DNA (See Alison Jolly, Lucy’s Legacy, Harvard University press – Jun 30 2001) as well as the lesson from the fossil of the first human: Homo sapiens Idaltu (see Yuval Noah Harari Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Random House, 2014.) homo sapiens sapiens evolved in Afar 200,000 years ago strengthening the theory that modern humans came into being in the Afar depression and then spread across the rest of the planet?
Do you expect any Ethiopian historian to pass a student in his class who quotes from your book and claims that “The Jamaicans of the West Indies were captured by Ahmed Gragn as they fought the invader fiercely in the 16th century, and were sold as slaves in the Western Hemisphere” confounding the well documented history of the transatlantic slave trade that traces the roots of all Jamaican slaves to West Africa? (See Klein, Herbert. The Atlantic Slave Trade. USA: Cambridge University Press, 1999; Audra A. Diptee From Africa to Jamaica: The Making of an Atlantic Slave Society, 1775-1807 University of Florida Press – Jul 18 2010.}
Do you expect any Ethiopian historian to pass a student in his class who quotes from your book and claims that your so called “Deshet” designated as the forefather of the Amharas and the Oromos also doubled as “a major prophet who designed the Zodiac which was taken out of Ethiopia and spread around the world” when all specialists in the field agree that the zodiac which derived from the Greek words “circle of animals” was originally conceived of as an idea in ancient Egypt and was then later embraced by the Babylonians who calculated that it took 12 months (i.e. 12 lunar cycles) for the sun to appear as if it turned to its original position and then identified 12 constellations that they observed were linked to the progression of the seasons thus assigning them names of certain animals with the belief that heavenly bodies can indicate a plan of the future of a person in helping him make important decisions in life. The Greeks expounded on this theory and popularized it during the heyday of their influential vast empire. When you speak of Deshet as a prophet who according to your book developed the zodiac, you are actually jumping into the field of astrology. What does astrology have to do with history? You may believe in the zodiac, I don’t. Nevertheless, if you are interested for all that it is worth, there is a rich literature that gives you the roots of the Zodiac. (See Rupert Gleadow’s The Origin of the Zodiac, Dover Publications Nov. 2 2011.)
Do you expect any Ethiopian historian to pass a student in his class who quotes from your book and claims that “when Axumite of Ethiopia was a little boy he was crowned as Ramzes in Egypt” when all historian agree that Ramses, son of Seti I and Queen Tuya of Egypt known for constructing the famous Abu Simbel temple complex in Nubia was the third pharaoh of the 19th Egyptian Dynasty – 1292-1186 BCE- (See Zahi Hawass, The Mysteries of Abu Simbel: Ramesses II and the Temples of the Rising Sun, Oxford University Press, Feb 15 2001.)
*Do you expect any Ethiopian historian to pass a student in his class who quotes from your book and claims that it was the Amaras who accompanied Axumite (later to become the king of Egypt as Rasmzes) all the way from Ethiopia to Egypt about 2,850 years ago to protect his throne and that about 350,000 Amaras went with him some returning to Ethiopia “only” after 1,850 years of stay in Egypt and accompanying King Lalibela” when the history of Ramses who died at the ripe old age of 95 as written in Egyptian hieroglyphics does not at all raise this issue in any shape or form? If one were to follow your story, what can one attribute to the Tigrés of Axum and the Agaws of Roha in the meantime? (See Wilfred C. Griggs, Ramses II: The Great Pharaoh and His Time, Denver Museum of Natural History, 1985,
*Do you expect any Ethiopian historian to pass a student in his class who quotes from your book and claims that when Axumite founded the city of Axum and became Emperor of Ethiopia, he gave his daughter Ribla in marriage to King Nabukadenesor of Babylon (today’s Iraq} and that the Amara soldiers who accompanied Ribla to Iraq founded a city called “Amara” in Iraq after their own name? Research shows no Ethiopian connection to the founding of Amara in Iraq. In fact the city of Amara was founded in the 1860’s as an outpost of Ottoman military forces from where the Turkish Sultanate enforced its suzerainty on the warring tribes of Al Bu Muhammad and Banu Lam. (See Nikolas Gardner The Siege of Kut-al-Amara: At War in Mesopotamia, 1915-1916 Indiana University Press, Sept. 16 2014) Side comment: Simply because one finds the same name in another place, one cannot latch historical references to it to boot with a distance in dating of some 3,000 years! There is also a town called Amara in the State of Arizona in the United States. May be you will now claim that the Amharas invaded the country of the first nations and founded a city in their name during antiquity. I have observed that when you see a proper noun such as Ophir you jump to tie it to Afar. A proper noun, Meqdish for you, is presto Mogadishu. You mention that “ancient towns in Egypt carry Amharic names and give the example of Amarna which you translate to be ‘konjo honin’ and Delta which you say means ‘“we are comfortable, we are doing fine.’ [Don’t tell us that the U.S. State of Aizona is also derived from Amharic Aryizona!
* Dr. Fikre’s work is in league with Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865.) and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (1997.) He has already vowed to reserve [his ] time and energy to write [his] next book. The sequel to Dr. Fikre’s book on the origin of the Amharas and the Oromos would I surmise be akin to Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass(1871). Both are sequels to fairy tales though written 145 years apart.
Dr. Fikre in this book has surrendered a dispassionate search for truth to the cause of fantasy. But to present fantasy as history no matter how many people get resolution for their confusion and alienation, and however enjoyable and soothing they are, is to embed a dangerous and misleading historical precedent. And as far as rigorous historical treatment is concerned, Dr. Fikre’s book is completely outside that realm: it is fantasy, pure and simple. How do I know it is fantasy? Because the assertions made in the book have not been supported by valid evidence and as the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is a duck. All I can say to Ethiopian compatriots regarding Dr. Fikre’s published historical fable and its promised sequel is that if you are looking for plausible history in them, caveat emptor!
Professor Paulos Milkias can be reached at pmilkias@gmail.com

21 Comments

  1. To start with this writer put in so many junks. He claimed also to be one of the developer of curriculum in Addis Ababa university which could be for the total failure of the program and the learning teaching environment. To say about the scholars he mentioned it true that there are no scholars in Ethiopia to make us know the correct history of the country. Except few all are fake including the writer. He is telling us about the student of history which the government is to end the study of history in the country, I do not know about which students he is barking about. He is also dare enough to insult the religious leader and scholars who far better than him. The sole reason of this writing is to continue the hatrage between Amhara and Oromo and maintain in power of the devil Weyane. We should all understand the reality and do not be mis-leaded by this disciple of devil. He has not written single sentence which disprove professor Fikre’s History, rather mentioned Hitler and so on for unknown reason. Are his groups planning to commit what Hitler has committed and give him the task of writing all these blah, blah, blah. This man is not professional at all, but pseudo-professional contradicting the true professionals. It is good to take your tip from Weyane for your blah, blah, blah and leave the history to the people of Ethiopia. The people can determine their true history no need of mis-leading.
    Sorry for your jealousy and try to pretend as if you know history and if teacher in university, but knowing nothing that is shame to you.

    • Shewan Geremew, first go learn English and come back for a comment so that we understand what you would like to suggest. Professor Milkias has provided an excellent analysis and commentary on the myth, aka garbage your cousin fed millions of illiterate psychos like you. You might have gotten a temporary relief for your problem from the plot the play write provided, but the reality is Oromo and Amhara are different ethnic groups with separate origins and there is no problem with that. Diversity is beauty. Our problem is governance and let’s try to address that as diverse as we are.

    • Go to school please. Rubbish, if you have no anything to say? you must shut up. You better study your own history instead of trying to steal Amahra history.

  2. Who ask you for review?, I think no one, then Paulos shut the f** up, no one asks your opinion or review, which you obviously mistook review for belittling the fine work.
    We know which angle you coming from, shut the hell up, dim wit.

  3. Thank you Professor Paulos, Dr Fikre is not a scholar. He even does not know the meaning of history and science. He is not ethical. He is not professional. He is more far from debtera; He is an astrologer. I have never heard of this type of naïve, shallow, heartless man who claim to know everything and erase history and rewrite history. He must be charged with crime of academic indecency. One can not rewrite history from vacuum. Dr. Tolos must be hanged in a public square because he is a disgrace of science. He thinks his claim can not be verified. He must know everything in these days can be tasted and proved. History is not fiction or fairtale. History is fact of the past recorded by authentic people, not by a man who does not even what history means. He must know the document he mentioned can be examined using Raman dating using laser and the exact source can be indentified. Dr. Fikre is an illiterate man who does not even know what history is a science. He wrote all that crap to fill his emptiness being an Oromo without recorded history and find himself in crisis and he thinks everyone is like him in identity crisis. He must know the Amahara know their history and they do not an illiterate does not know history as science to teach them their history. He must know the Amahra = pure Tigreans an attempt to separate Amahra from Tigrean is just futile political coup. Amhara are Agazian like Tigreans. Dr. Fikre must be hanged upside down on a tree. He is rubbish with no common sense even.

    • What surprise me how zhabesha let this kind of language be posted, it shows the quality of reviewer before posting the likes of the infamous commentator Paulos Milkias and the Leba, as his name suggests be published.

  4. Dr Fikre Tolossa,s recent book on Ethiopian history is defiantly an important contribution. It should and will be available in many libraries as a reference book and in many universities recommended as essential reading for illustrating/teaching the main difference between fiction, storytelling, fantasy, myth, legend,folktales on one hand and history – based on facts, accepted theories and evidence on the other.
    Thanks again Dr Fikre for your contribution.
    Alemayehu

  5. Fikre Tolasa is suffering from identity crisis. Now i would like call him Fake Tolasa. All Dr Fake is doing is faking.

  6. It is sad that this generation is willing to tolerate lies about its history. Professor Paulos Milkias spent his academic life studying and publishing on Ethiopian history. You may disagree with him but you need to provide evidence; otherwise be grateful someone is taking time to teach us all few things.

  7. I have a solution because it dawned on me as a revelation in one of my dreams last night. I discovered that our Amhara brothers and sisters are descendants of a tribe that migrated from the Bora Bora Pacific island in the 15th century. My own Oromos descended from a tribe that came from the present day Bavaria, Germany in the 15th century also. No, no, someone corrected me on this one. That Oromo tribe actually came from the Oslo, Norway area. I am sorry. We are Germans or Norwegian and our Amhara brothers and sisters are Oceanic people. Our Afar, Somali, Tigrayan, Wolayta and many other brothers and sisters came from the present say Patagonia like around Punta Arenas, Chile. Wait minute!!! My Issa friend just told me the last group of people just dropped from the sky. Just like that. Hadeelikethat?
    Now, some of rascals, don’t you ever call me an African. I am a German!! Wait a minute, didn’t someone just tell me I am a Norwegian? I gave up!!!!

  8. Ittu Aba Farda
    Your narration is actually very similar to that of Dr Fire’s. You both tell story, myth or fantasy if you like. The main difference is that Dr Fikre presents a fantasy that some Ethiopians would very much like to hear and even promote. Facts do not matter at all to these people. Dr Fire’s story is anything but history based on facts, accepted theories and evidence as Alemayehu points out above. Your story is similar but is not a popular version, not a version some people willing to accept without any question.
    Tesfaye

  9. I have not read the book by Obbo Fikre but I have read some of the comments and reviews by those who read it. If it was written in English I may end up buying a copy so I can reach my own conclusions about the content. But there is one paragraph in the article by Obbo Paulos above that bothers me and it did bother me a lot. It is the material in the 2nd paragraph to the last. He goes:
    ‘In fact there is a precedent from Ethiopian history. In the 17th century, there was an unhinged Gondaré ecclesiast named Ze-Christos who claimed divine origin, established a church separate from Tewahedo Christianity’s and appointed his own bishops, priests and deacons. When upon the orders of Emperor Susneyos, Ze-Christos was thrown into a dich and stoned to fulfill the imperial orders of capital punishment, he defiantly went to his death crying at the top of his voice: ምንአለ ጋሼንም ሰቀላችሁት!’. By ‘was thrown in a dich’ I guess in a ditch. What was his point? That was a terrible incidence. That was so barbaric. Why did he bring it up? Was he saying that the author deserves the same treatment? Such horrible way of punishing prisoners should be archived and let it remain buried for ever. Was he advocating for the return of such way of delivering justice? You know. In this day and age when some ISIS goons cutting the heads of our Christian brothers and sisters and when we hear the same demons stoning women to death, we do not need to exalt such savage actions as a means to criticize others. This part of our history should be something we should all be ashamed of. It should be trashed off!!! Out of my sight and out of our sight!!!
    This is also another thing I noticed in this book review. The writer ridicules something told in the holy scriptures of three religions with a combined adherence of more than 3.5 billion people. It was told that Joshua had stopped the sun and the moon from moving. The writer seems to dispute that. To him that is not possible because it is not scientifically plausible. How can he be sure that it was not possible? Were you there during the time of Joshua? If you were not there, how then can you say it did not happen? I am not a law person but that seems to be presupposition or rather prejudicial. Let’s not tinker with what is proven to be The Almighty Our Creator’s words.

  10. Obbo Tesfaye:
    Which part of my concocted history did you not believe? How about if I all of a sudden changed into a commie and tell you that my Oromo people somehow evolved from the Atlantic kind a salmon fish, our Amhara brothers and sisters evolved from the Pacific Tilapia and the rest of the Ethiopian people just descended from the sky after breaking loose from the eggs of various species of flying birds during the migration from the Antarctica. How about this version?
    Putting all kidding aside, does it really matter? In what ways will the pursuit of knowledge as to where the various ethnic groups originated have any bearing on the endeavor to lift them out of abject poverty? None whatsoever, right? I have been like a kid in a candy store since the fossils of the oldest ancestor(Lucy) of mankind was discovered in the old country in early 1970’s. No, no I am of Semitic, no, no I am Hamitic. Wait a minute you are all wrong. I am a Nilotic. It will not stop there. Others will come one after another. Omotic, Cushitic, Nubian, Hausa, Bantu, Axumite this and Axumite that. I am running out of breath even before finishing counting 5% of them. When we all get worked up about ethnicity this or that, it may not serve the people right. The way I see it is that those who dwell too much on ethnicity are those with ulterior motives to carve out a territory to call it their own fiefdom. They don’t tell you that though. They tell you that they ‘will pay the ultimate sacrifice’ to liberate an ethnic group they claim their own. And if and when they succeed carving out a territory as a new nation what you will see is looting and murdering their own people. Am I wrong? If I am wrong you must tell me which one ended up being a democratic regime after the liberation. Give me one since the American Revolution of 1776.

  11. Thank you Obbo Ittu Aba Farda
    My point through your comment on the issue was directed at Dr Fire’s recent book and what it attempts to get across. Not only its content, which is important, but the methodology he employed to make his point, which is equally important. In other words, how he arrived at his conclusion.
    Dr Fire, who is not historian himself, to a large extent dismisses Ethiopian history as presented to date claiming to have discovered original history of the country (though one will have to admit that Ethiopian history is not limited to the history of Amara & Oromo ). The title of his book is, “The True Origin of the Oromo and Amhara People”. He, however, failed measurably to prove his point to the extent that many readers started to question his intellectual capacity and integrity. His book, as pointed out by many critics, simply does not pass a test to quality as a history book. It is anything but history.
    Why all these matter? History is essential to comprehend the linkage between the past and present. Such knowledge in turn helps us to move forward based on a better understanding. Our problems are multiply and complex but interpretation of the past (history) and how this affect the present is at center of controversies and challenges we face.
    When it comes to other issues you raised, such as the ultimate objective of those who claim to sacrifice their lives for freedom of certain ethnic Group – this is a broad issue related to many other political debates requiring a series attention and hence adequate time & space. An attempt to address it here, moreover, could divert the main issue at hand.

  12. I am not trying to avoid the important issues you raised Oboo Ittu Farda, but trying to stick to issue/topic under discussion 

  13. Finally, an academic has stepped up and called out the fairly tale that Dr. Fikre has been peddling as history for quiet some time. It was long overdue. I hope other historians will also join Prof. Milkias and put the theories of Dr. Fikre where it rightfully belongs. I admire Dr. Fikre’s passion and love for his country but loath his blind expression and audacity to present myth concocted in his head as evidence.
    It doesn’t really take much to decipher the fallacy of Dr. Fikre’s “historical” assertions anyways. One need not be an academic or know anything about Ethiopian history at all. Any time someone begins with “and God ordered so and so to go and do this” and presents that as historical evidence of some event in the past, that person has lost me.
    Kudos to Prof. Milkias. He has done us a great service.

  14. Obbo Tesfaye:
    Good observation, young man. Keep up the good work and please do not stop preaching every lasting harmony between ethnic and religious groups. You see. Our glorious people are known for that. They are legendary at their ages old domiciles to live in constant harmony and still calling themselves Oromos, Amharas, Tigreyans, Afars, Somalis and more than 80 other ethnic groups. This is also on top of being Muslims, Christians and home grown religions adherents. You see. On that ever historical Adwa battlefield it was not only Tigrayans who died defending their country from a foreign aggressor. There were Amharas, my own Barentu Oromos both Muslims and Christians. Their sacred blood flowed rolled into one with sonic boom victorious blast. They died happy men and women because they know they had left their beloved country unmolested by foreign demons so their grandchildren like you and me can conduct civil conversation about issues that concern us all. And I would like to tell you something from my own experience. When I was a young boy way back in the very 1950’s that small village where I was born had inhabitants of various ethnic and religious background with the majority being Oromos. The main means of making a living was farming. My father’s and uncle’s small plot of farm was next to one of our Amhara neighbor. The men used to spend most of their daytime tending to their farms and there was a lot of tending needed if you want a bumper crop at the harvest time. Those flocks of birds!!! Those little flying creatures in their thousands used to wreak havoc on those farmers. I tell you it was not work for a fainted heart. So everyday the women at home prepare food and we the boys were the ones who were expected to deliver that. So we the boys take turns in teams of two. I remember in a lot of my turns I used to carry food both for my Father and Amhara neighbor. The next day the Amhara boy does the same thing. Just look at the message those ‘illiterate’ but noble neighbors were trying to implant in their children. I know what it did on me. You see. When I delivered the food I did not receive appreciations and blessings only from my father and uncle but also from our Amhara(Christian) neighbor. Then I saw them tilling and tending to their plot of farms together. Politics based only on ethnicity discomforts me. Anything belittling others because of their ethnicity infuriates me. I never preached ethnicity to my two children the whole time they were growing up. It makes me uncomfortable and flabbergasted when I see people too worked up about something said or implied. Obbo Fikre wrote something he believed facts. He might have spooked some of our Tigrayan brothers and sisters for leaving them out. And they have legitimate reasons for feeling left out. But that is just a book. There are a lot to question about what we have been told about us. The historicity of what I was told about my own Itu clan beginning is out there if we chose to spend all of our valuable energy to validate it or to discredit the whole story. It is a waste of time and much ado for nothing in regards to improving the abject poverty the people of the old country is facing. That was why I turned to ridiculing and concoctions of my own creations.
    In any case, as I mentioned above keep plugging away my countryman.

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