Letter to a beloved daughter of Ethiopia – By Abebe Gellaw

Dear my good friend Birtukan Mideksa, First and foremost, I would like to tell you how very proud and honored I feel to see you smile again warmly and heartedly wiping off all the tears and agonies of the past. Like a bird freed from the cruel confines of a cage, you are flying and singing again.
birtukan medeksa
Your graduation from Harvard Kennedy School of Government after so much hard work is another milestone not only for you but also those of us who admire and hold you in high esteem for all the courageous sacrifices you have made in defence of freedom and justice. The qualities of greatness is not measured through the things you have achieved without difficulties and challenges.
Great success often comes after trials, tribulations, pains and tears. You have seen and tasted them all in those dark wintery days and none of them were able to define and hold you back from the risky and treacherous journey you have chosen through the valleys of death, tyranny, terror, injustice, abuse, false accusations and incarcerations in those horrible rat infested cells.
Life is full of ironies. On May 28, 2014 we woke up to the sad news that one of the world’s most beloved daughters passed away at the age of 84. Dr. Maya Angelou was not just an American giant but also a global citizen and a “phenomenal woman”, as she once described herself in one of her popular poems. She was a legendary author, a celebrated poem, a passionate activist, a humanist, among other things. She was a woman that fought for justice, freedom and equality. She was indeed a “phenomenal woman” who has given so much in the span of her colorful and blessed lifetime.
Like so many mourners across the world, I did not have a proper way to express my sadness over the loss of such a giant except repeating her own words on my Facebook page: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Yes, we Ethiopians, the victims of injustice and tyranny, may also forget and forgive what they said or did to us but we will never forget how they made us feel. We don’t also forget how they inhumanely abused, mistreated and made our heroes and heroines feel in their own country and in places of refuge across the oceans and mountains.
Just a day after the phenomenal woman passed away, you emerged from the gates of Harvard University with smiles that you had proudly wore during that epic year of 2005. You changed the mood of so many Ethiopians from gloom to bloom. For so many Ethiopians, you are also a phenomenal woman not because you got a degree from an Ivy League college but because you proved to the enemies of freedom and dignity that your spirit will never be broken. Your silence was even a potent revenge that proved right when you quietly emerged more matured, enlightened and educated. When you thrive and bloom, the hateful TPLF dictators, torture czars and their servants will certainly feel doom and gloom.

Dear Birtukane, It is a timely tribute to Dr. Angelou that you proved her message. She had said: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” You survived the worst days of your life and did it with so much passion, compassion and style.
As you know, so many things have happened since you got out of Kaliti prison. After you walked out of the notorious jails, Eskinder, Andualem, Reeyot, Bekele Gerba, bloggers, Muslim rights leaders, activists, dissidents, among the countless and nameless others, have been dragged in, shackled and locked up. And yet the most significant change is probably the silence and absence of Meles Zenawi, one of the worst few who ever walked in Ethiopia. In a twist of history, he is buried under the very country he tried to divide, destroy and break up. The brutal dictator, who put you in cages, in no more here to witness the fact that your spirit is unbreakable. He will no longer feel terrorized and threatened with your vision, dreams and successes.
Instead of being broken and depressed as he so desperately wished, you proved him wrong by being indomitable and invincible to his wicked schemes. It was so gracious of you when you chose to express your condolences upon the timely demise of the man who once taunted, tormented and tortured you and so many beloved daughters and sons of Ethiopia. This is a powerful lesson to those who can learn from the fact that there is an awesome and perfect judge ruling from the heavens. The Almighty judge we trust and believe in wipes the tears of the weak that appeal to him and punishes those that vainly try to damage and destroy the precious and beautiful souls he created in his own image. His unfailing judgement is perfect and mysterious.
To be honest with you, I believe that the lessons you have gained through your struggle for justice and freedom that led you through the valleys of pains and suffering are more valuable than the lessons you learned in the textbooks of Harvard. Those hard lessons are unforgettable and life changing. Unfortunately, countless others are experiencing the excruciating pains and so many are killed in cold blood. We should all never relent until injustice and tyranny become history like the tyrants that are dropping dead in the middle of their illusion to crush every little voice and soul forever.
Throughout my entire life, I have never participated in a democratic election to choose those who must serve the people of Ethiopia like polite and loyal servants. Sooner or later, all of us, the true sons and daughters of Ethiopia that just aspire to be treated fairly like ordinary citizens in our country will be able to cast our vote. When the time comes, I promise that I will vote for public servants like you who have paid incalculable but unforgettable price so that others will live in peace, freedom and dignity.
My beloved friend, I am very lucky to have talked to you for so many hours and listened to you with keen interest. Your stories are compelling and your cause is holy. I have understood not only your words but your inner feelings and desire for freedom and dignity. I have no words sufficient enough to describe the depth of your love for your people and country.
Unlike a few others, I do not judge you from afar. But I can clearly share your vision for Ethiopia and its people. Yes, this great country will rise again. It has been proven throughout our long history. Ethiopia has risen on countless occasions from the rubbles of history even during the most atrocious and treacherous times. It has prevailed over colonial masters, slave traders, fascists, invaders and home-grown dictators.
In our last conversation, you and me have agreed on the inevitability of a historically proven fact. Ethiopia will rise again!We will rise like the sun that breaks out of the dark clouds warmly smiling and shining. We shall never, never doubt that we will rise. We will learn from the mistakes of the past and claim the future for generations to come. We will never be defeated unless we doubt the inevitability of our rise.
Dear Birtukan, Thank you for the phenomenal rise defeating the spirits of terror and fear that haunted you in the dark hours and the nightmares they deliberately created in your mind to destroy your intimidating confidence. You are a truly phenomenal woman that must continue to fight in the battles we have not yet finished. Thank you Birtu-Kahn! Your wings are no more clipped. Rise, rise, fly and soar as high as you can. I also wish wish to see the rise of the visionary young men and women you have helped inspire.
Before I conclude, I find no better words to encapsulate the feelings I expressed above to you than the poem of the late phenomenal woman, Dr. Maya Angelou:
Still I rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

The writer can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Congrats! to our sister for this monumental achievement. The deceased tplf fuhrer tried his best to break you; however, through God’s unfailing mercy and help, you came up on top. He died mean, vengeful, jealous, hateful, brutal, looter, and racist, but you graduated from one of the best University in the world to bind up our dear Country’s wound inflicted by tyrants, oppressors, and robbers. Recently or a few days ago, we also celebrated our dear brother Obang Metho’s winning of the 2014 SEED award. So far, it was a bad year for hateful tplfites, while it was and still is a very good year for us. Again, congratulations!

  2. I am glad to see her coming back to her real roots after going AWOL with those she did not belong with for a quite awhile. Finally she has joined ranks with her gallant brothers and sisters of Glorious Oromia. So stifle from calling her ‘Ethiopian’ any more because she has duly attested herself as being a red-blooded Oromian instead. She will have no time to cheer you up at your dysfunctional public gatherings since she will be very busy with her assignments close to our Independence Council for the upcoming independence of Oromia in just few weeks. Please don’t be upset with me for telling you this but you should always be thankful to me for taking my time for keeping up to the minute. Don’t forget!!! My order is still in effect!!! Don’t call her an Ethiopian!!! Ever!!!!

    • Eshi Aya Ordofaa Hordofaa…
      You must be one of the faggot loser. When you failed to do by yourself, you try to trigger someone to do your job. Afterall, who the hell are you to represent and say onbehalf of her? Each and every single individual is representing himself/herself.

    • Ordofaa
      You cover up yourself with oromo Name but truly you are not. You must be true enemy of Oromo People. We all know that and you can’t deceive us anymore. Be cured with your divisive and evil strategy. We Oromos now know Our enemies such as you and few like you who are extremists and always run for endless destruction. All people of Ethiopia are standing up against you. Your burial will be soon. Oromos respect and honour others and have been living for centruries with all people. Your propaganda of Independent Oromia- is non-existent any more. Our Mighty God is at work in our country. You will die of seeing prosperous and living people building the whole nation in a very amazing way for the whole world to wondered ” how this is happening to such poor Country and people”. People from the whole world will come to visit and invest in that country. Your tactics of separating people and provoking enmity is a phased out strategy. We know for sure you are not Oromo- rather you must be the enemy of oromo and the rest of dearly beloved Ethiopians.
      May God continue to Bless Ethiopia

  3. Ordofaa Hordofaa – You sick minded idiot when will you stop your vile and narrow minded thinking? If you are concerned about the fate of Oromia, why are you hiding yourself in the West. Go back and fight. Do not push others to die for you. Maybe you can work out your glorious Oromia’s independent while the rest of the world is becoming one.
    As for Birtukan – She chose a different path. She worked hard to achieve her degree. I say congrats. May your future be brighter and full of joy!

  4. Dear Hordoffa:
    You are read too much into people’s surname. Bevause one has an ormo sounding surname does not mean that he/she should become a disciple of tribal hates. Moreover, the name Mideksa could well have been from Gurage region, or from amhara or the south. Ethiopia is a hybrid of nationalities. Ethnic politics will wear itself out. It is not a sustainable politics. Birtukan hates ethnicization of politics and she was the most victimized because she fought TPLF’s gutter sized politics of ethincity. Birtukna has risen above the shallow level of ethnicity. Ethnicity is a usiness of mutual hate and mutual exclusion, aloose-loose game which western europe abandoned for good 100 of years ago after experimenting with it.

  5. Mrs, mordofa your been sniffing around every ethiopian web site blabering boring messages to create hate between us. We know who you r, so get lost. Your tried this old game through tesfaye gebreab(evil eritrian author) but Never worked and Never will.
    Please ethiopians there are lot of hyinas who wage cyber war against us. So be aware and egnore to this animals and focus on our Unity. God bless Ethiopia.

  6. To you three Nekersa, dof and Tesfa:
    You just violated my human and democratic rights. You are also inflicted incalculable damages to my reputation as an Oromo by launching character assassination on me. I am going to talk this matter to my very capable Oromo lawyer 1st thing Monday morning. I am going to take you to court when my Oromia becomes an independent nation in just a few weeks. You have called unmanly and the ‘N’ word. You better apologize to me know before I proceed with my suit. I am also going to file a complaint with Amnesty International and Human Rights groups next week explaining the injustice you have to me.
    The only option that may change our mind about staying in the union, in addition to our other demands, is that if the name of that country called Ethiopia is changed to Oromia and all its citizens to be called Oromians. Nobody like that name anyway. Also, the ethnic name ‘Amhara’ should be replaced by another one such as Gonderians or any other name they may choose and they have to do it now.

  7. I have been reading this nonsense diatribe by a hum-drum nitwit by the name Ordofaa. I am not sure if he really realizes how he embarrasses himself by such false hope and utter stupidity. In one way it does not surprise me that he believes in what he is writing because he is just one of the products of false claims and outrageously exaggerated ‘accomplishments’ that some so-called ‘liberators’ have fed individuals like him. ‘We are closing on Finfine’, ‘Our gallant army just put 10,000 Weyane and Naftegna trrops out action’, ‘ Our army captured truckload upon truckload of heavy weapon from the Abyssinian army’, ‘Our gallant fighter (one female fighter) fought off the entire Abyssinian battalion alone and enabled the entire central committee members of our liberation front made it to safety’ on and on and on. And heaps upon heaps of false old news dispatches that tell millions were brutally butchered..on and on and on. There was one such news dispatch to the New York Times around the time of the Battle of Adwa that told a story of untold massacre that took place upon my people. I was shown the same dispatch about 25 years ago by someone close to these hate mongers. I was really upset and the massacre told in the dispatch made my blood boil with anger. The dispatch was sent from Massawa in the then Italian colony of Eritrea. Then I started investigating the history of that time. It was the time when both Menelik and Crispi were involved one daring the other to come to blows. The dispatch sent to the New York Times claimed a total of 85,000 Oromos were killed in the south but the owner news paper had printed a much lower number, 1/10th to be exact in Italy. That discrepancy was not lost to the savvy folks of the New York Times. One can suspect that the dispatcher of that news should not have been none other than someone close to Prime Minister Crispi who wanted to justify his war plan on an Independent people including my own Oromo forefathers. Then 1896 came and he ended up taking a good licking. We all know what my Barentuu Oromos horsemen did to the fearless and arrogant Italian general Dabormida and his well armed battalion on that fateful day at Adwa. I want anyone one of you to tell me how on earth my forefathers accomplished such a feat at a time Menelik massacred tens of thousands of their kin and kit just like yesterday. How? How? There are stories that had been and still being told, published and lambasted by wicked intellectuals just to spread hatred among naturally harmonious people. I am not saying atrocities were not committed. There were quite a few. Who had not? I have read stories from the 1870’s when Emperor Yohaness of Tigray conducted a military campaign into the present day of Gojjam where he laid siege that resulted in scorched earth everywhere there. As a result tens of thousands of Gojam people died of starvation and disease. Didn’t Emperor Tewodros do even worse atrocities to the people of Wello region? But what should be the purpose of telling stories of such atrocities in our times? They should be told to show our people specially the young ones that everyone in that country we all left behind at one time or another was victimized by former rulers but since then the common man and woman have chosen to live in peace as neighbors and citizens. That is what 99% of every ethnic group in that country has been telling us. But these 1% hideous group of intellectuals have been conniving and scheming to incite peaceful people by playing songs of victims so they can carve out a region they will claim it their own fiefdom. That is what they are salivating for. Nothing less and may be more. That is why they failed again and again. They play this song of victim so much so that it made them dizzy enough to conduct a war in Kenya. Some ended up in the lion’s lair in Asmara and some of them became victims of an acute vertigo and they need someone to tell them where in the dickens they are now. They are lost in the wilderness. This person is one those who got really lost. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

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