CALL ME BY MY NAME: Solutions with Debteraw, XXV – DEBTERA versus SENATOR

Obo Arada Shawl alias Wolde Tewolde  – March 23, 2008


Three days ago, a girl whom I met at the Starbucks surprised me by telling me that she has never heard about ABYOT let alone to know what it meant. On the other hand, she perfectly remembers very well about the Wars of Maichew and Aduwa, Korea and Congo. She further told me that she was going to Ethiopia to get married in a traditional wedding. She prefers the marriage to be consummated in Ethiopia for cultural and religious values.

“What religious and what cultural values are talking about?” I have surprised her in the same way she puzzled me about ABYOT. I told her that I did not return home in Eritrea since 1972 and to Ethiopia since 1986 for lack of traditional, religious and cultural values.

I believe that the Ethiopian Revolution aka known as the Eway Revolution was to be remembered. It was not destructive, as some writers wanted us to believe. The Eway Revolution should be understood in its proper context of change, i.e. Revolution via Democratization.

I was about to explain to this young and vibrant lady what ABYOT or the Eway Revolution was/is meant, when suddenly her ride came to take her home, i.e. Ethiopia. We will discuss about ABYOT, Tradition and Marriage when she returns in about three months. But in the mean time, let me switch to a different and explosive topic for America and Ethiopia.

The Eway Revolution is not about nationality, ethnicity, language or ideology as was subscribed in Ethiopia and Eritrea as indicated below.

Leaders Tenets Symbolic Tools_______

Haile Sellassie I Christianity The Lion of Judah

Menghestu Haile M. Socialism The Black Lion

Mellese Zenawi Ethnicity Star of David in pentagram

Essayas Language Camel, olive tree and colors

For Debteraw and his political Party, EPRP it is none of the above. For Debteraw and EPRP, it is about the Ethiopian Security and the Eritrean politics by means of Revolution via Democratization.

For Ethiopia, the E-Way Engine (EWE) has brought a new way of thinking, thanks to Deteraw and his political party, EPRP.

For America, the Search Engine (SE) has brought a new way of thinking, thanks to Obama and technology.

However, the politics and experience of Debteraw and Obama are markedly different in many ways but similar in some ways. The origins of race, color and religion (RCR) are traced in Ethiopia, but they are nowhere a threat to Ethiopia as they are to America.


This week Obama spoke loudly and vividly something that was simmering on underground. The talk of race, color and religion were everywhere and but nowhere as an issue for – America is believed to be a melting point for everything. RCR was not discussed in public as a political issue. Now Senator Obama talked about it in such a way that it will help America because of his mixture of races. What races? Obama did not say it enough. He should have said that he is from a black and a white skin color. It is all about the color of the skin. This is what we call in Ethiopia K’L’S. He should have confirmed that his skin is a mixture. Instead Senator Obama says time and again that he is a unifier and not a divider. His reasoning is that has adapted various cultures by living in different places with different people. That is the trouble. It is not the mixed culture that will assist him to be a president. It is the single value that will unite the country. After all, Americans are known by their Flag (13 stripes and 50 stars), by their Latin alphabet and by their Freedom (FLF) and not by their culture, as Obama campaign wants us to believe.

Obama’s value is embedded in his name rewritten in Latin alphabet. Did he live by his name? Or alternatively, does his name signify something? That I do not know.


In Ethiopia a person’s skin did not matter. The same womb can deliver black or white regardless. In Debteraw’s country a human being is a human being. He is an Ethiopian, a child of God regardless. But in recent years, especially after the so-called modern education, things have changed. Some individuals began to hide their identify, especially after the Italian colonization. Some intellectuals began to hate their identity. They were captured by false pride of being educated without the “Alphabet” of GE’EZ. Here comes the scholar Debteraw Tsegeye into the picture.

Without the development of GE’EZ Ethiopia/Eritrea would not have been civilized. Civilization by definition is of mental exercise and record keeping. In the absence of GE’EZ, or any other alphabets enormous things would not have been possible. Philosophical thoughts, Biblical religion and Organization of societies would not have been possible without the written word. GE’EZ had and will continue to have great impact on social, economic, political, cultural and educational investment sectors.

What is GE’EZ? Fidel or Abugida?

I want to leave the answer to be discussed by my readers. 

U-T (HePe) ever since we know how to read and write, we have never thought of where it came from or how it was evolved. The answers to these questions were only told by foreign researchers mostly enamored themselves to be known as Ethiopinists. Inasmuch as they themselves were foreigners, they had to say that GE’EZ came to Ethiopia from outside the country via South Yemen.

Scholars of Ethiopia like Debteraw insisted that GE’EZ is an indigenous script and language. In order to dispel or reveal the truth of the value of GE’EZ language and in order to communicate with the alphabet of it, Debteraw became a debtera instead of a priest and had deciphered the content of the language of Ge’ez in terms of Qine-qidase-wazema-trgum-sewasw (QQWTS) and this has scarred not only the high priests but also the high government officials. While on the other hand, Debteraw went to college in order to understand the values of the western world written in Latin.

Those who became literate and educated in Latin alphabet are basically against Ethiopia and Ethiopians – essentially against themselves. Their own identity is at stake. What a tragedy?

First year students who attended Geography 101 class used to tell us that PMWM starts by teaching about Ethiopia in the following manner. He starts from the North, Eritrea is stone, Tigrai another stone and before saying more some students withdrew from Geography class thereby becoming ignorant of their own country. What do you call this? Hatred or ignorance?

Another example as narrated to me by a friend was as follows. While Emperor Haile Sellassie I was visiting the library of Alemaya College, the emperor asked the Dean of the college whether the library houses GE’EZ books. The dean bowed without saying any thing. Haile Sellassie again asked him the same question, the dean again bowed. The Emperor said, “ Is that the answer”, the dean bowed for confirmation. So we can see why the responsible officials like the dean of Alemaya, the lecturer of Geography in Addis Ababa never like to promote the true educational system for Ethiopia. The history of Axum, Meroe and Egypt (AME) do not seem to sink in the minds of our educated professors. Call me by my name. What is my name?

As if that was not enough, Mesfin Wolde Mariam is making sure that Debteraw will never see sunlight while he (PMWM) is alive. What a travesty? The reason is simply because Debteraw is literate in GE’EZ and English and he knows the difference between knowledge and wisdom unlike the professor who only negotiates his way via information.

Mesfin writes about Obama and not about Debteraw! Can anyone ask the professor why he is not writing about Debteraw? This question should be added to the 20 questions posed to the professsor by to become the 21st question. What a tragedy? Is he an Ethiopian or is he a mixture of cultures as Obama himself. I am wondering!!!

Semitic, Hamitic or Cushitic as a language was not an issue for Debteraw. The choice of FIDEL (GE’EZ) as in ATT (Amharic-Tigrigna-Tigre) and the Latin alphabet together are of fundamental importance for our peoples’ communication. The Afaan Oromo, with a modified Latin alphabet called Qub’ee as presented as Oromo Script is another alphabet to compete with GE’EZ. What a wonderful world of choices!!!

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