The Kingdom from hell and Ethiopians – By Yilma Bekele

Today it is said that there are over a quarter of a million Ethiopians in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The vast majority are young economic refugees working as maids, chauffeurs, and house servants. Women outnumber men and judging by the conditions in Ethiopian it is safe to say most have less than eight grade education. Most arrive with an employment contract for a specified period of time while a few are undocumented refugees working menial jobs.
saudi new ethiopia
Saudi Arabia with a population of about 27 million relies on foreign national to run its economy. They comprise 80% of the labor force. In the last few months what has gotten the attention of the Kingdom are the hundreds of thousands of undocumented people that live in limbo. In order to solve this festering problem the Kingdom announced a seven month amnesty period asking individuals to qualify for legal status or leave the country.
Indians, Filipinos, Tamils and other nationals were seen camping around their Conciliates waiting for transportation to their homeland. Upon the expiration of the amnesty period the Saudi Government has been rounding up ‘illegal’ immigrants and holding them in ‘special centers’ while processing their papers.
In the process there have been clashes between the police and the immigrants resulting in the death of an Ethiopian and severe beatings of a few others. Today thousands of Ethiopians, Somalis and Eritreans are held in detention centers waiting to be deported back to their respective homelands.
The callous way the Saudis treat those they identify as illegal is simply beyond the pale. Killing, beating and raping for such a simple offense is a reflection of a backward society riddled with its own human right problems.
ethiopia saudi nov 14
We Ethiopians are saddened, shocked and at a loss on how to respond to such abuse of our people by a neighbor. The last few weeks the criminal act of the Saudi regime has been the center of conversation among those of us that have left our country but are lucky enough to live in places that has allowed us to live with dignity far from our motherland. The wanton violence against our people has angered us while making us once again feel helpless when being victimized.

We are showing our displeasure at the unprovoked violence against our people by marching in front of the Kingdom’s Embassy to shame the regime; we are collecting countless petitions to make our concerns clear to Saudi officials. All what we doing are commendable and the best way we know how to let the steam out. But there are a few things to keep in mind to really appreciate the situation that is confronting us.
One thing we have to understand is the nature of the Saudi government that is committing all this human rights abuse in broad day light. The question to ask would be should we expect anything different? How in the world does one expect justice from a country that keeps half its own citizens under servitude? Saudi Arabia a country named after an individual is a male dominated society where the woman is considered a piece of property. The immigrant is just another piece of inanimate object and no amount of thought or care goes to worry about such lowly creatures feeling or wellbeing.
I believe our righteous anger should also be aimed at the cause of such calamity not just at the symptom. A simple question should be why are those hundreds of thousands Ethiopians willing to go to a place that is hostile and unwelcoming is a good thing to ask. As an Ethiopian shouldn’t we be looking at the cause of the problem instead of the effect? Does shouting standing outside the Saudi Embassy a solution or would looking deeply at what caused the disease in the first place bring about a better and lasting cure?
I agree what is done to our people in the Middle East requires our unreserved condemnation and active participation in shaming the reactionary regime but I believe that should be the tip of the iceberg. The main culprit of such degradation of the people of Ethiopia is the dictatorial Tigrai ethnic based minority regime lording over us. Tackling that problem is the key to solving the current insult we are receiving.
The Saudi situation is I am afraid nothing to be so hot about at this late hour. The last twenty years in the Middle East from Lebanon to the Gulf our children have been committing suicide, forced to kill, being humiliated or driven insane. We are all aware of that. Our Woyane masters have been facilitating this crime knowing the dire circumstances they are sending these young children into. They have made exporting young girls to the Middle East or selling so called orphans to the west into a science. Again we are all aware of that.
Without being callous may I be allowed to say that what the Saudis are doing to our people is what the Woyane regime has been doing to us the last twenty years. We seem to be upset because they are foreigners but do you think it matters who pulls the trigger for the person being shot? Who do you think is doing all that atrocity to Semayawi Party and Andenet? Who do you think committed all that war crime in Ogaden, displaced people in Gambella, internally exiled the Amharas in their own land?
Wasn’t it only a year or so ago a young girl was forced to commit suicide in Beirut because the Embassy chased her out of the compound into the hands of her assailant? Aren’t we all aware of the young women that kill themselves by drinking cleaning detergents when unable to take any more of the abuse? Didn’t we see the crime committed by Gadhafi’s son wife that burned the face of our daughter or sister?
When do we learn to step up and take responsibility? When do we stop this lie and willful ignorance and always search for someone to blame? When do we learn to stop being selfish and care about those we left behind? When do we start looking deep inside our soul and admit our failings and resolve to make things right? This indignation and shouting and screaming will look foolish if tomorrow we go back and do what we have been doing all along. Turning our face not to see, investing in condominiums, belittling the efforts of those that fight for us and being used by Woyane to divide, disrupt our community even in our places of worship.
This unfortunate situation has given us the opportunity to unite and confront our common enemy. We can turn this bad situation into a positive learning experience and treat each other with dignity, worry about our people, think positive no matter what the little negative voice says in our ears and chart a new road. We can do that if we are serious and genuinely felt the plight of our people stuck in an alien place with no one to protect them. On the other hand if we are only galvanized by the picture we see but not by the slow death of our children in Ethiopia then my friend your cry is hollow, your concern is empty and you are doing more damage than good. I have but one simple question to ask-what exactly are you going to do to get rid of the disease called Woyane in order to stop the sickness that is killing our precious land? We shall overcome.


  1. For How Long…,To Whom Can We Appeal?
    who are these
    what is
    their charge
    being oppressed
    has been
    their faith
    no government
    to represent
    to appeal
    their case
    just because
    they are Ethiopians
    O God
    for how long
    are we to suffer
    for bread and butter
    who is there
    that plead
    their case
    no government
    to defend
    their human right
    for how long
    are Ethiopians
    to be raped
    no place
    to call home
    no wealth
    to pay off their debt
    O God
    to whom
    can we appeal
    © Lemlem Tsegaw, November 12, 2013 to all Ethiopians who are suffering in Saudi Arabia

  2. I had left this comment to Obbo Tecola on the other website(Abugida) earlier today. I would like to copy you the same comment because you are one of well educated men of history from our former homeland.
    You have my respect for your intellectual horse power and also for the love you have for our countrymen. I am one of those individuals hailing from the Horn of Africa who has been wondering as to what happened to the descendants of the slaves taken from the shores of East Africa to the ports of the Arabian Peninsula for more than a millennium until the beginning of the 20th century. This curiosity became even stronger after I migrated to the Good Ole USA. I found millions upon millions of descendants of Africans who were brought here to the Americas during the slave trade. But I did not see such a reality anywhere in the Arabian Peninsula even in the entire Middle East for that matter when I used to live in that part of the world.
    I am pleading to you and all of your scholastic colleagues to use your enormous intellectual arsenal to start doing an overdue research to trace down the descendants of East Africans taken to the Arabian Peninsula as slaves. It was proven that between 50-70 thousands of East Africans were taken from their homeland by force to the ports of the Arabian Peninsula every years as slaves every years for centuries. What happened to and what did they do with them? I have asked this question numerous times in the past. Back in the mid 60’s one Omani had tried to give the answer by telling me that those slaves had managed to inter-marry with the locals in the hinterland of the Arabian Peninsula and therefore disappeared, I did not buy that and I can tell how that answer vexed me to the core. There is a secret hidden from us all humanity for a long, long time. I hope you will take my call as something plausible and at least start a conversation with your intellectual friends. Insha Allah!!!!

    • @Ittu Aba Farda
      You are a great man, I always read your comment with admiration. I can not agree more with the points you raised here

      • Obbo Jamal!
        Thank you for reading my comment. I hope and pray that Obbo Yilma had the chance to grace my comment and By Grace of The Creator he will start conversations with his scholar colleagues. As we all know, there is a mountain of historical documents how our African brothers and sisters were brought here to the Americas as slaves. We can see millions of their descendants in many countries and cities of the two continents of the Americas. I had lived in the Arabian Peninsula from my early childhood through my adulthood. When I was there I had questions about the fate of the slaves taken from Africa to the Arabian Peninsula for more than a millennium. But my curiosity grew stronger when I moved here to the USA and saw striving communities with millions of African Americans. It is the same phenomenon in most other countries of the Caribbean, Central and South America. I never saw a single community with a black race community any where in the Middle East with descendants of more than a 3rd generation. Please note that between 50,000 and 70,000 Africans were taken from the shores of East Africa as slaves to the ports of the Arabian Peninsula every year for centuries. This part of the history is well documented by eye witnesses. There was one group of blacks who were forced to flee persecution to one of the Islands in the current Eritrea. They fled wanton killings and pillage they were subjected to by the ‘Aslees’. I can not tell you what the Saudis and Yemenis call those black people. It was worse than the ‘N’ word bigots used here on African Americans. I believe very little has been done in terms of scholarly research for a variety of reasons. The perpetrators of that part of the slave trade are protecting themselves behind the veils of religion. They have kept us busy fighting each other on tribal, clan and religious lines. They are still spewing around their poison so we will never have peace and harmonious lives. Call it Wahabbi or Al Qaeda it is just the two sides of the same coin. They are competing for another phase of a modern era slave trade.
        All I would like to see is a research conducted by our own East African scholars to find out what happened to the descendants of the Africans taken to the Arabian Peninsula during the slave trade. As a person of an advanced age I hope I will see one before my last day on this Good Earth. Insha Allah!!!!

        • It is a good idea which scholars should consider on a grand scale and I believe the mistreatment of our fellow citizens in that part of barren land will be a good catalist for considering thios investigative approach towards what has happened in the land of this mindless people for such a long time.

  3. As to me there is nothing than unity that can cure the cancer we have been suffering for the past 22 years. Unless we are united and act as one we will remain under Machiavellian ruling for a generation to come, Yelema. You have been writing the grievances of our people for years and yelling the voice of freedom for quite a long while but all was to no avail. The sufferings of our people have been continue and Ethiopian in Saudi Arabia have been subjected to extra-judicial execution and gang-raping at the hands of a collection of wild beasts. The EPRDF/TPLF regime is accomplice of the atrocities committed on helpless Ethiopian in Saudi. In order to stopping suffering Ethiopian across Middle East Countries we must remove the dictatorial, divisive and ethnocentric regime from our beloved country and establish a democratic government. It is then that we are able to protect our brothers and sisters from wild beasts in Middle East countries. we have to combine all our resources to remove the dictatorial, divisive and ethnocentric regime that has left our people in inferno for the past 22 years from our beloved country.
    United we are stronger and indomitable, divided we are weak and vulnerable to Dr. Debretseyon’s and Sebhat Nega’s thugs.
    May God protect our beloved country and its people from wild beast.

  4. Since Menilike era Ethiopia was travelling the wrong directions politically and conomicaly, the previous three Amhara Dominated governments were the major culprit of Ethiopias backwardness and poverty stricken society. The governments instead using the country resources to up lift millions of starving Ethiopians rather the misuse the resources to buy tanks and bomber jets to oppress and kill non Amhara Ethiopians in particular (Oromos,Tigre and Eritreans) through the stealth of nationalism and ideology. This is the kind hatred and tribal killing brought mistrust and civil war among Ethiopians.
    It was fifty years ago the immigration to Europe and Middle East started to scape the discrimination and killings by the Amhara regime, today of course millions ETHIOPIANS living abroad for the economic advantage of it.

    • @Arbaminch
      Ethiopians know you before you even open your stinking Woyane mouth. Discrimination in our country is rife today more than ever before, aided and abetted by the greedy minority to which you belong. The immoral bastards like you are the ones destroying the people and the country in more alarming ways than was seen in our history, enough of you racist rant here, shut up until Ethiopians rise and kick you in your tiny ass.

  5. Mr/Mrs.
    I agree with your comment the damage is already done during the amhara regimes you had mentioned but oromos and Tigres should not hold grudges against Amharas, rather we should concentrate on the future not in the past, if you stuck in the past you will make the same mistakes as the Amhara governments did in the past.
    We must learn from Amhara era misdeeds and act positively, since poverty is our common denomination enemy which all must unite to defeat it, and personally believe today Ethiopia is in the right path than ever when it comes to fighting poverty, in the mean time I ask ETHIOPIANS to think positive to assist whatever ways possible.

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