London ESAT Studio. Professor Haile Larebo in his lengthy interview (Part-1 & Part-2) with ESAT, entitled “Who Are Ethiopians” on January 10, 2017, Appreciated the Ethiopian History. The Professor described the name Ethiopia is an abstract idea that can bind us, like the presence of God who is available to all, not associated with just a single ethnic. The Ethiopian nation is ancient. It is there since the time memorial, with the exceptions of size differences. Ethiopia has 6,000 years of history, at least 3,000 years of written history.
He also stated northwestern Ethiopia’s ethnic characteristics. He said, the people of Gojjam and Begemdir are Agaws, not Amharas, Empower Tewodrows is a Quaran, Kemant not Amhara. He justified his statement further, both main historical sources, Chronicle of Ethiopian Kings (የነገሥታት ዜና መዋል) and Arabic literature recorded Ethiopia until the 19th century limited the Amharas presence to some areas of Wollo, didn’t include Gojjam, Begemdir (Gondar) Shewa and parts of Wollo. The last people are Agaws, the one who constituted Zagwe Dynasty. The people these regions have ultimately become Amharic speakers as a result of the expansion of the central government influence, which used the Amharic as the working language of the state. He said also the Amaharic Language was created in the form of fission (lguramayil) and has become suitable language.
Professor Haile in his interview part-2 stated that Agaws are well known with their creativity not only in Ethiopia, they are known worldwide. In Ethiopia, the Agaws discovered grain plants: barley, teff, telve (oil seed) and invented injera baking. He added, today these foodstuffs and practices are assets of all Ethiopians. Follow the link to watch the video:
ESAT Issued Statement (Update January 27)
ESAT on January 26 stated it had realized that there were a considerable number of Ethiopians who felt unhappy with the interview expressions with Professor Haile Larebo on the history of Ethiopia. It added the expressions went to a level that can affect people’s dignity. The ESAT described it such mistakes are common even experienced media beyond developing media. It promised that it would be sensitive for the future not repeat similar errors. It said as the matter of policy, anything expressions by individuals are the position of individuals not necessarily the stand of the ESAT.
The ESAT didn’t specify the expression that caused outrage from its viewers. Observers informed wlka that the ESAT statement was related to the professor’s statement regard to Oromo, especially Harere Oromo. One of Oromo persons expressed his outrage on Youtube.com on the issue (January 25). The same speaker added his disappointment on the presumable preference of the use of the word “GALLA” over Oromo. Another speaker on Ytutube was critical on the Professor Haile’s use of the term pastoral (regne).
Professor Haile Larebo Gives Clarifications (updated on January 29)
Professor Haile gave clarification, January 29, on his use of the “pastoral” (regne) in the reference to the Oromo history. He said he used the term in a positive aspect to illustrate the Oromo people’s original lifestyle before their progress into a higher role in the history of the country. He added, he didn’t apply the definition to insult or dishonor the Oromo people, yet refrained commenting on other two related points raised by the Oromo critics.