An Open Letter to my Fellow Ethiopians for the New Year: Reflection Brings Questions
Written by Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia - obang@solidaritymovement.org   
Friday, 08 January 2010

My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because the children and infants faint in the streets of the city. They say to their mothers, “Where is bread and wine?” as they faint like wounded men in the streets of the city, as their lives ebb away in their mothers’ arms…What can I say for you? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?” (Lamentations 2:11-13) [1]

Dear Ethiopians,

As we celebrate this New Year and reflect back on 2009, it draws me to examine myself and my purposes for my life. I invite you, meaning all Ethiopians—including Woyane or EPRDF supporters to do the same.

For me, I live a simple life, without many of the “extras.” In fact, the truth is, even maintaining this has been quite a struggle. Recently, it has caused me to really question myself as to how long I can continue this way. The holiday season has a way of only increasing such introspection. As a result, I have found myself engulfed in an inner dialogue, a conflict of sorts, about my soul, my life and the purposes God has given me in this life. It is all inextricably interwoven with my motherland, Ethiopia, Africa and after six years of this work, what my response should be in 2010 to this continuing crisis.

In the midst of these heavy and confusing feelings, I became aware of powerful passages from the book of Lamentations in the Bible, written in 586 BC, that spoke of the pain, suffering and grief of the people following the destruction of Jerusalem. These laments profoundly spoke to my heart over two thousand years later as they seemed to so closely describe the destruction going on to our people all over Ethiopia, pointing to part of the cause being, the lack of justice and compassion towards others. Is this not true of us Ethiopians? 

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