Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tamagne Beyene: Ethiopian Hero

By MeKonnen H. Birru, PhD

Artist Tamagne Beyene Ethiopian Hero
The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is.
Joss Whedon
A hero is a defender. A hero is a protector. A hero is a rescuer. The legendary Ethiopian writer Dr. Haddis Alemayehu (1902 – 2003) portrayed Gudu Kassa as a ‘hero’ in his classical work Fiqir Iske Meqabir (Love Unto Grave’. Gudu Kassa (Kassa Damte) was a nobleman by birth but refused all for the sake of his progressive ideas. He fought for individual liberty and freedom. He became a defender of his people, not his class, nor his race, nor his family power. He fell in love and married a working class woman while he was a noble because he saw love in her, nothing else. To him and so many millions of Ethiopians, love is the essence of life and the root of every particle, motion, foundation, liberty, freedom and expression. Love is our Ethiopian culture and our norm. And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

In our times too, we have several heroes who believe in such love, liberty, faith, and peace. They are crying for our liberty. They are crying for our beloved country: Ethiopia. They cry for love, equality, and fairness. Tamagne Beyene is one among many. Tamagne was born in Ethiopia; grew up in Ethiopia, and becoming Ethiopia. His entire families were from Ethiopia. They all love their country and understand the beauty of love, kindness, respect, and compassion. They are the true faces of Ethiopia.

On the other hand, we have brothers and sisters who decided to be dark and evil. They want us to go back. They want us to count our bones. They want us to be divided in terms of race, power, province, and religion. I tell you such are not from God but evil. ‘Turn from evil; do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalms 34:14). I tell you again anyone who purposefully tries to deprive our liberty, unity, and one nation for the sake of security are wrong and from evil. Benjamin Franklin stated any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and loose both.’

Lord Acton wrote, “Liberty and good government do not exclude each other, and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end. It is not for the sake of a good public administration that it is required, but for the security in the pursuit of the highest objects of civil society, and of private life.”

Long live mother Ethiopia.

God be with us.

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