Tuesday, September 12, 2006

An Extraordinary Man




"When I entered prison, my overwhelming feeling was one of a great burden being lifted off of me. The only ones responsible for what happens after now are the leaders of the EPRDF. We did everything possible within our power to steer the struggle away from this situation. Knowing that we could not have done anything more freed my heart from regret."

- Quote from Dr. Berhanu Nega’s book, “Ye NeSanet Goh Siqed” ("When the Dawn of Freedom Breaks.")

From http://www.berhanunega.com/

(With apologies if I massacred the translation.)

I have read excerpts from Ato Berhanu’s book. By any, any standard, this is an extraordinary man. From the obviously high value he puts on his wife’s opinions, to how he describes in painful detail the CUD's internal struggle about whether it should or should not join parliament, this is a man with astonishingly intimidating insight, intelligence, instincts, and most of all, integrity. As a parent, I can only dream of leaving my children a quarter he has left his. And as an Ethiopian, I know now I will always be haunted by the question, “What have I done for Ethiopia?"

I have tried to argue on this blog the importance of honor in leadership. The people in prison are testimony to men and women who value honor above power. Ethiopia has taken one giant leap.

This is an extraordinary man.

You can now get information on how to buy the book online by emailing a request to bookorder@ berhanunega.com. I hope it is translated to English soon because the world needs to know this man’s and his colleagues’ contribution to Ethiopian history. In the meantime, my uncle ('seven words or less') has promised me my own, personal copy.

Qrb new ye Ityopiya tinasaE.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Berish is betame Yarda Lije. Geberaelen Beyalehu."When I entered prison, my overwhelming feeling was one of a great burden being lifted off of me. The only ones responsible for what happens after now are the leaders of the EPRDF." Right on the point from Megen Yarada Lije.

10:02 PM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous m.k. said...

WonQ,

Hope you get your copy soon. I read it in one sitting. I never thought about legacies, "leaving our children with a better Ethiopia" etc until after I read his book. It is more than political. It is a blueprint on social responsibility and change. As you said about Ato "G", Berhanu loves Ethiopia more than he hates what TPLF stands for.

I look forward to your review.

3:08 AM, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Wonq

Dr. Berhanu for me is a living proof on Ethiopians future. I now understand that my life has a meaning, and Ethiopia will be changed for good for the better. This extraordinary man, possessing desirable qualities I have to aspire to, so that I can make a difference is what I look forward to. God bless you and Ethiopia.

4:39 AM, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous mrat said...

Ye Wenqette tadamiwech,

for those of you in the DC area, there will be a discussion held on the book on Sunday September 17, 2006 at the Washington Marriot Hotel 1221 22nd Street NW Washington, DC 20037, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Looking forward to seeing a lot of people there.

8:16 AM, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No biggie, just a little correction
he is Dr. Berhanu not Ato Berhanu.

1:03 PM, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous kezira said...

anything that makes possible social change (politics will follow)in ethiopia, i have to read. i will go to the sunday meet. can we buy the book there, does anyone know?

1:12 PM, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like yesterday's communist ideologies didn't get communist Ethiopia, today's ethnic politics won't get three or four or eighty ethnic homelands with Europeans owning and Pakistanis and Arabs with Ethiopian or ethnic homeland passports making the rest of the money while Ethiopians take second importance to the unique goats and foxes tourists are supposed to come and see while at the same time Ethiopian refugees in Europe and America bragging about the proud past and lost history after.

Dr. Berhanu is one extraordinary man indeed. Like the many extraordinary Ethiopians today and through out our bumpy journey of thousands of years of struggle for equality in independent statehood and most of all real citizenship and total freedom, he is paying the price.

Now I understand what QIRB NEW AYQERIM YE ITYOPIA TINSAE really means. Today will be yesterday tomorrow and today's children will be grandparents but Ethiopia is the constant, legacy is more important in history and the SPIRIT of Ethiopia lives on. Freedom is knocking on the door. Dr. Berhanu's book is going to be the mighty bulldozzer that opens up the flood gates of passionate Ethiopians that are burning with desire to salvage the old country and will crystalize the fragments. Solid like a rock like in Lalibela churches will be the idea and discussions on his book like the one at Marriot in Washington D.C. continue to take place.

Thank you and ENQUTATASH ETeWa, I wish I could do for my country and my future children a quarter of what you are doing right now. God bless you and your family, I still think of your grandpa and his legacy as if I read that posting of yours just yesterday, as they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I feel like I've known you all my life and you are my own sister.

1:10 AM, September 14, 2006  
Anonymous MebreQ said...

EtWonkette,

Check your Email! I've sent a little surprise!

10:36 AM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger kuchiye said...

Incredible he is! With a new breed of leaders like Berhanu in the pipeline, Ethiopia's Tensae is near indeed.

Kinijit DC-Metro Support Chapter is distributing cute silicon bracelets with Berhanu's and other leader's names debossed. A must have in my opinion.

If interested you can emial kinijitdcs@gmail.com

10:38 AM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger kuchiye said...

Incredible he is! With a new breed of leaders like Berhanu in the pipeline, Ethiopia's Tenasae is real close.

Kinijit DC-Metro Support Chapter has issued cute silicon bracelets bearing debossed names of Berhanu and other imprisoned leaders. A must have!

Contact kinijitdcs@gmail.com or (202) 541-0556

DC also has organized a "Walk 5 KM For Ethiopian Prisoners of Conscience" program for September 23, 2006. It is expected to be a great occasion for Ethiopians to come together and renew their committment to their leaders and their cause.

10:56 AM, September 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can buy the book at the Sunday meet! Limited copy left - selling very quickly. Yes, he beat us, the free ones to the punch! "The mind is a terrible thing to waste"

11:05 AM, September 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the risk of being skinned alive, I will ask the unthinkable…

Is it just me or does anyone else who has read the book feel Dr. Berhanu and his supporters attempted to engineer a coup under the guise of creating a single party only to have the thing blow up in their face?

Trust me, I picked up the book fully expecting to be swept up by his brilliant thinking and writing – even felt that way for a day or two after finishing the book. But the nagging uneasiness settled in and I am now half cajoling myself to read the entire book over again for some part of me wants to believe I must be very mistaken.

9:32 PM, September 16, 2006  

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