We often were not told that we were a problem. But that's not true. We are a problem.
For the majority, it has become easier to have ideological debates on issues concerning our country and the world, even though there are still those who want to live in their own narrow balloon. In spite of that, there is still an imaginary thought that something is wrong.
Reports on the death of innocent civilians, focused on their linguistic affiliation, in different regions of the country are an indicator of the collective responsibility we take for diseases in society.
Before that I was in this area, although I was not born or I was there, I was sure. Nevertheless, the connection between the communities was obviously too relaxed to corrode nowadays.
One colleague told me that he felt it more than ever before, during his life, that people feel their own ethnic identities. The other day, on the national television, the official spoke about issues related to the ethnic and border relations of people.
Having procedurally set up plans to address these issues, I began to wonder, would it actually solve problems? Would you change our flag to any difference? Would a referendum be enough? What really changes this? Until our ethnicity enriches our lives, why has it started to take all of our lives? When did we realize that it has become so much emphasized that we can no longer move forward? Has our history and identity been divided before?
Nevertheless, today we are on the verge of many internal clashes over administrative delimitation.
It is important, however, not to rename such situations. The only way we can get out of this with any dignity is to work together to solve our problems.
When traveling to rural areas, I was in schools where Amharic and Oromiff are the two main languages of which students can choose to learn and take lessons. With scarce resources, the communities succeeded.
Why, then, when the economy has the potential to create better opportunities, the fight against resources is intensified? Is it not obvious that we can create far more resources through the productivity of our human capital than you could ever hope to get from mineral resources or land?
We can choose to go back, which may be seductive for some. The past has been reconstructed as a utopia that has never been. Children died at birth, most were illiterate, and then there were many less winners, while illnesses and conflicts weakened the generations.
Lek is to admit that we are all a problem. Far from us, many of us moved while half-truths dominated the air waves, and now they are increasing in intensity. We have not been able to challenge the prevailing arguments and provide alternative solutions, not to mention that we are too repulsive of those who have different opinions.
Even when we are not on TV or in social media, we need to advocate for civilians. Every household, social media group and office need it more than ever. This type of ignorance must be guided in everyone, including ourselves. Our state is fragile, and emotionalism, nationalism and other lies will not be a way to solve it.
I did not think it was a conversation that they would have as a nation at the moment. Still, it's my delusion. At this point in time, we are here in history to better deal with our past, so we can proceed further. Although some might want this to be a step towards restoring a certain history, I hope this is the last step in the release of the past as we fully accept the future.
Hanna Haile ([email protected]) is a Ethiopian writer and social worker. She is one of the organizers of the poetry Saturday at the Fendik Culture Center in Addis Ababa and Terar Bar and the Kitchen in Havasi, where the stage is open to those who celebrate art through performances on the first and second Saturday of each month.