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  • Media Framing and Public Reaction

    By Abel Merawi

    Media FramingNovember 15, 2021 ( – Facts are not always factual; they twist and shift with a vantage point. The literary genius, Adam Reta, employs a shift in point of view by narrative a sympathetic tell of reality through one character, which then shifts to another character’s utterly depiction of the same reality. This helps readers, at least me, to know that narrative angles distort reality. Furthermore, the same historical event as narrated from opposing sides speak of the same facts but end up with stark differences. Here, we see the power of narrative frames in distorting and changing facts. As our central focus is the media, let us use the reporting of a hypothetical protest to show how the media can manipulate facts to gain the desired public reaction.

    Imagine watching the news on TV about a protest gone awry. Me

  • Human Wave Attacks

    By: Abel Merawi

    Iranian youth in battleSeptember 23, 2021 ( -- Playing chess or even observing others play it is a sobering and realistic lesson on the workings of our world – our political world, to be exact. The king and queen sit surrounded by two castles (rooks), two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The objective is to protect the king at any cost. All the other chess pieces serve the king by engaging in battle with opponents with similar ranks, and all are expendable sacrificial lambs. Unlike the other chess pieces, pawns are greater in number, and no one losses heart when they’re sacrificed. Chess is truly an age-old war strategy, which even democracy fails to overcome. Soldiers are still sacrificed to defend the king – the leader. But what if the rules of war actually represented the election promises of politicians

  • The Bridge Between Love and Hate

    By Abel Merawi

    Ethiopia crisisAugust 5, 2021 ( -- I wish to begin with a troubling childhood memory, which is a sort of parable on the bridge between love and hate. Life in Ethiopia used to represent a shared rather than isolated existence. The gates and walls did not prevent you from watching the life of neighbors, and vice versa. The lives I saw were dominant expressions of a love bond, but they were accompanied by unintelligible moments of sadism. I am speaking of husbands beating wives out of ‘love’ or of jealous lovers becoming nemeses. This sadistic tendency was typical of authoritative teachers who thrash students – ‘educating’ them! Equally incomprehensible was the friendship or alliance formed out of mutual hatred and competition with ‘others’. The unwritten law runs: my neighbor is my friend whom I must d

  • The Plurality of Identity

    By Abel Merawi

    Personal IdentityJune 18, 2021 ( -- It is common to witness people stand in defense of identity to the point of sacrificing their lives. Sadly, such sacrifice is made for a single aspect of identity rather than full identity, holistically. For instance, the defense for ethnic identity may jeopardize the inherent values of national or religious identity. This, in every form, is the person losing battle we encounter every time we imagine a singular identity. For this reason, I am critically reluctant to heed the call for defending a particular identity, unable to select one from the plural elements that constitute my identity. I think this difficulty troubles every human being, and so I choose to remain true to my plurality by claiming that I am not just one thing.

    My attempt to reveal the plural nature of identity began with a str

  • Public Trust in Social Media

    By Abel Merawi

    Ethiopia social mediaMay 14, 2021 ( -- There seems to be a global shift of information sources; a shift from the mainstream to social media. This shift brought both encouraging and discouraging outcomes, and so it may be hasty to jump to a conclusion and harshly criticize either source. However, a proper diagnosis is necessary in both cases if we are to make an informed prognosis. An understanding of this shift requires closer scrutiny regarding mainstream media, the public, social media personalities, and fact-checking.

    Firstly, we must observe the defects of mainstream media that have led to public distrust. Then, this public distrust of conventional outlets and, consequently, the shift of public trust to social media needs a deeper analysis. As social media are dominated by special interest groups and individuals, it is al

  • Invisible Citizens

    By Abel Merawi

    Homeless Addis AbabaApril 1, 2021 ( -- The daily hustle we all endure ends when dusk closes in, and we retreat to whatever shelter we call home. But amongst us are the unfortunate ones who remain in the unforgiving street for they have nowhere to go and no place to call home. These are the invisible citizens of the street. In the safety of our home, we are oblivious to their existence. After we closed the gates, we also veil our imagination to external reality by dwelling on our endless personal woes. Our apathy is no wonder as our TV and phone screens orchestrate a lullaby of fairyland. Then when the sun rises, we open our gates but our mental gateways remain locked. We move with mechanical intentionality to attend to our daily tasks or idly roam the streets. Either way, the invisible citizens are not part of our world. We brush against them as we

  • Democracy and Democratic Institutions

    By Abel Merawi

    Addis Ababa City AdminFebruary 22, 2021 ( -- Every political system rests on a fictional or concrete foundation of ideologies that enforce their rule. Monarchs stand on the legitimacy of unquestionable divine power, while dictators rest on military force. The same goes with democracy, which lays its foundation on institutionalism or bureaucracy as a way to hear and respond to citizens. It is common knowledge that democracy is the will of the people but it is often forgotten that institutions are the lifeline between leaders and people. They are indispensable channels which in combination form what is known as bureaucracy.

    However, the existence of institutions per se does not grant them legitimacy or a democratic nature. I hope the common perception behind bureaucracy as a machine of oppression may not make you assume that I

  • Paideia or Deep Education

    By Abel Merawi

    Mrs Jane ElliotFebruary 4, 2021 ( -- There are moments of a collision between the classroom and the outside reality. The brutal, irrational, and unjust murder of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was such an event. It was almost impossible for a teacher to educate benign children about the fiction behind centuries of slavery and segregation or Jim Crow, which had shown its monstrosity in the murder of a man of peace, love, and justice. To begin with, how on earth can you explain racism between the same race – Homo Sapiens? The perfect and protective classroom world hasn’t been designed to deal with the cruel ways of the world. We teach equality and love while the ignorant world practices bigoted inequality and hatred. Education leads to knowledge and wisdom only when it serves as a logical bridge between the ideal and the prac

  • Crowd Leaders as National Enemies of Ethiopia

    By Abel Merawi

    crowd-leadersJanuary 11, 2021 ( -- For years, we have witnessed crowd leaders striving to segregate the people of Ethiopia, which ultimately threatened our sovereignty. We have seen them conniving, in a grand chess-player style, to sacrifice the people as pawns with the aim of crowning themselves. The crowd leaders of Ethiopia appear different only from distance. You see their glaring similarities once you take a closer look. It reminds me of James Baldwin in ‘The Fire Next Time’ when he remarked how the chief of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell, contributed to Malcolm X because they both work to have a separate nation through racial superiority.

    Here too, we find crowd leaders from various ethnic groups working together toward ethnic victory at the expense of national unity. Driven insane by their shallow

  • Conformist Realism in Ethnic Federalism

    By Abel Merawi

    Ethiopia FederalismDecember 20, 2020 ( -- The following article revolves around a single vital question: Why are Ethiopians focusing on how ethnic federalism operates while failing to question why ethnic federalism is even necessary? Following the germination of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia, people in almost every realm of life have posited notions that attack or favor the workings of ethnic national identity. Many are the scholars who showed how one ethnic group has triumphed at the expense of others. Countless are the songs that championed ethnic rather than national identity. Numerous are historians, with both good and evil intentions, who tried to voice ethnic identity using history to their service. Legions are the lives lost due to ethnic conflicts, which resulted in making all groups both oppressed and oppressor. What is lackin

  • The Assault on Truth

    By Abel Merawi

    The Assault on TruthJanuary 26, 2022 ( -- Defending Truth is a uniquely human endeavor, but it is ventured by heroes who are willing to sacrifice. Let us save the essence of such sacrifice to the conclusion, however. Let’s begin with the struggle. Wherever and whenever the truth teller claims to communicate reality to the public, and when this figure is defamed and accused by the powers that be, we see a struggle between truth and untruth. As we witness opposing sides engage in a verbal battle to tell the truth and discredit the opponent, we witness the struggle of falsehood to overcome truth. The public views such claims and disclaims of truth with a hint of doubt and cynicism. Deception never defeats truth by replacing it, but it can reduce truth to mere opinion. When this occurs, the public goes beyond conceptions of truth and

  • Vice in the name of Virtue

    By Abel Merawi  

    Vice and VirtueNovember 15, 2021 ( – How do you write about something without a name? What do you call something that is yet to be identified, explained, and defined? Amazingly, we fail to recognize an existing phenomenon when a term for its recognition is lacking. I chose to deal with a situation that is designed to escape category – a nuisance of life created by narcissistic humans whose intent is remaining undetected by most, and when detected ignored. The lack of terminology is no reason to withhold a troubling fact, and so I chose to explain its intricate pattern and keep the labeling for the future.    

    Shakespeare writes in Hamlet, “…conscience does make cowards of us all….” In this line, Shakespeare explains how our sense of right and wrong keeps us in fea

  • Dream of a Reality

    By Abel Merawi

    I have a dreamSeptember 24, 2021 ( -- New Year has dawned, and in this time of hopefulness and optimism, I wish to speak of a dream. This dream is not as great as that of Martin Luther King Jr., or of the prophets, or of Dostoyevsky, or of all those noble and gentle creatures who transcended the immediate ill to envisage health and vigor. It is not as great for it is a dream I was able to clearly see through the visionaries. I was able to heed their call because the dream served to awaken a grand truth that resides in all of us. Sadly, we all dream grand dreams of universal bliss but we easily abandon it. We fear it will disturb our hardened hearts. If we live out this dream of truth and love, we subconsciously fear it will weaken the cruelty we confuse with strength. We also fear it will expose our true selves by removing our shields of rati

  • Identity Frames and Humane Response to Suffering

    By Abel Merawi

    Human suffering EthiopiaAugust 5, 2021 ( -- I wish I could write about the past with the intelligence and arrogance the present affords. But almost anyone with possession of historical documents can do so since one would no longer be captivated by the magical spell of an identity frame. For instance, I could write or even mock the false frame of identity that made aristocracy or serfdom possible since these types of identity are outdated and hokum to me. We no longer afford such luxury when faced with imminent horrors in the present, which add folly to future annals of history. Currently, as both victims and agents of parochial identities, we either gaze in bewildered indifference or actively partake in the making of tomorrow’s regrets. I know my writing will be a failure because I am blind to my generation’s mythical so

  • Necrophilia – The Affliction in Servants of Death

    By Abel Merawi

    War and destructionJune 18, 2021 ( -- Every life form seeks to perpetuate itself. This is evident in the primacy of reproduction in every species. As Tupac Shakur beautifully articulates, a rose bursting out of concrete seeks life. Human beings are no different as the survival instinct equally operates in us. In Greek mythology, this affirmation of life was personified in Eros, the god of love, or by the Roman Cupid. But Eros fails to explain war, torture, suicide, and the legion of evils that destroy life. This perplexed the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, who coined it a ‘death instinct’ that operates as an unconscious urge to die. Long before, Greek mythology personified death in Thanatos. Building upon these theories, the psychologist Erich Fromm explained these two forces competing for mental orientations using

  • Even Monkeys Can Use Smart Techs

    By Abel Merawi

    Even monkeys can use smart techApril 15, 2021 ( -- What I am about to say may come across as an insult to our civilization, but I pray that you read the article in light of recent disastrous events which make us lose heart in humanity. I promise to expound on it but the basic argument runs like this. Contemporary human beings remain primitive in morality, spirituality, and rationality while possessing the technology par excellence of a great civilization. To avoid misunderstanding, civilization is used here in the strictest lexical meaning that denotes social development and organization manifested in the excellence of thought, manner, and taste. In other words, we are primitive beings without such refinement. Being primitive expresses an archaic and lower form of civilization, characterizing compartmentalized tribal tendencies, imprudenc

  • Adwa – Triumph of Unassailable Humanity

    By Abel Merawi

    Adwa Victory 1896March 8, 2021 ( -- Adwa marked the victory of freedom for the oppressed over the Western ideology of supremacy. White hegemony has been an agency of evil, which spread its insidious root using shallow pseudointellectuals to cover sheer lust for power and money. The academic wolves wore sheep garbs to defend their theory of Teutonic Origins. This theory advocated white supremacy by claiming to have noble origins as descendants of ancient Germany’s Teutonic tribe, which vouches of whites’ exceptional ability for nation-building, justifying their unparalleled crime of colonization and slavery. This white fire of hoax had affirmed itself as most African nations and indigenous people across the globe were consumed by this evil. Consequently, they were able to make the world believe their dominance, being undefeatable by any ot

  • Democracy and Democratic People

    By Abel Merawi

    DemocracyFebruary 16, 2021 ( -- Democracy is an elusive concept as its preceding and competing notions such as authoritarianism or socialism. This is because the elements that encompass democracy place requirements on not just the government but also on the people and the institutions serving as outlets. Even in the case of authoritarian governments, dictators attempt to persuade the people because if they don’t accept the propaganda of living under dictatorship and institutions of force, it could not survive with sheer force.

    The same applies to socialism, which can only survive with the direct or indirect acceptance of the people and centralized institutions that further its dominance. In the same manner, democracy does not spring into life even if the government declares to rule democratically. It can only function by setting de

  • Educational Purpose: Good Citizenry Vs Rational Autonomy

    By Abel Merawi

    Education Rational AutonomyJanuary 26, 2021 ( -- Before diving into a discussion on the purpose of education, I venture into the age-old legend of the hero. Leaving aside the divine touch in the protagonist, which was indispensable in the classics, I portray the purely human protagonist. The hero begins life by participating in the ordinary social routine until maturity brings an insatiable thirst for more. This perpetually grows until the hero is unable to endure the immediate reality. Then the arduous journey into the wilderness becomes the only solution to the hero’s disquietude. Embarking on this journey is breaking social ties, which presents harsh criticism from beloveds and society at large. The wilderness too presents the hero with both ephemeral worldly desires and imminent dangers before awarding even minor vict

  • Ethiopia Under the Threat of Crowd Mentality

    By Abel Merawi

    Crowd-Mentality-EthiopiaDecember 31, 2020 ( -- Nations are built by the autonomous and unified strivings of citizens. Contrariwise, nations are destroyed by crowds who operate blindly to fulfill petty and irrational goals. Crowds may originate from various elements. In Ethiopia, they emanate from the catastrophic element of race and ethnicity. Currently, we are witnessing crimes against humanity in various parts of our country, and they all point towards crowd leaders and their hypnotized followers. The effort of the government to put a halt to these atrocities become futile when citizens abandon national identity and form ethnic factions. These ethnic cliques are led by crowd leaders deranged by lust for power and money. Crowds and their leaders have a symbiotic relation, and the destruction of one necessarily leads to the end of t

  • Ethiopian Police Issues Arrest Warrant on 76 Generals, Military Officers

    By Staff Reporter

    Arrest-warrantNovember 19, 2020 ( -- The Ethiopian Federal Police have issued arrest warrants for another 76 army generals and military officers for alleged treason by working with the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF).

    In a statement released on Wednesday, Ethiopian Police said the army general and senior military officers have been accused of having roles in the killing of members of the northern command division.

    Retired army generals and military officers are among the suspects whom police issued an arrest warrant for the second time after war broke out between TPLF and the central government two weeks ago.

    The army generals have also been charged with the instigation of several ethnic and religious-based violence and unrest which resulted in the killings of innocent people and destruc

  • TPLF Leader Calls on All Tigrayans to Fight Federal Army

    By Staff Reporter

    Debretsion-Gebremichael-calls-TigrayansNovember 18, 2020 ( --  The leader of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) Debretsion Gebremichael called on all Tigrayans to fight what he referred to as “Abiy’s fascist forces” as the federal army captures key towns in Tigray.

    Speaking to Tigray TV on Wednesday, Debretsion said TPLF forces have turned into offensive and defeated the federal army on all war fronts.

    However, Debretsion has confirmed to a local TV station that federal troops have captured Shire, but called it a "tem

  • PM Abiy Calls for Surrender as Fighting Intensifies in Tigray

    By Staff Reporter

    PM-Abiy-offensiveNovember 17, 2020 ( -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday announced the end of the three-day surrender deadline his government has given to Tigray Special Forces and militia to lay down arms.

    There are no reports of members of the Tigray special force and militia have given hands to the federal army following the premier’s call except those fighters who have surrendered amid battles in different places of Tigray.

    In a message conveyed in Tigrigna language three days ago, Prime Minister Abiy called upon the Tigray Special Forces and militia in Mekele to save their lives and help the national defense forces apprehended TPLF leaders without causing casualties.

    “The call for the Tigray Special Forces and militia to save themselves and the people around them, as Tigray Pe

  • Ethiopia in Conflict - Part I: EPRDF and the Creation of Ethnic Division

    By Abel Merawi

    Ethnic-federalism-EthiopiaNovember 16, 2020 ( -- When we seriously examine the genesis of every civilization, we see people who find themselves together without intentionality. In the beginning, some people are migrants, some relatives, some conquered and some conquerors. But time slowly begins to transform and unite this crowd, which becomes the identity of the nation this people call home. As people occupy the same space, they begin to have shared experiences too. Through the bond of marriage and through various processes of unification, they form a collective identity. This identity is used by the ruler of the land to create a nation. However, every civilization is bound to go through transformation together with the ideal that constitutes it. The life of the rulers of every civilization, remains as long as the ideal remains al

  • TPLF Bombs Bahir Dar, Gondar Airports; Warns Asmara

    By Staff Reporter

    Bahir-Dar-AirportNovember 14, 2020 ( -- The Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) fired rockets in the neighboring Amhara region and inflicted damages on Bahir Dar and Gondar airports, the Ethiopian government has disclosed.

    “In the late hours of Nov. 13, 2020, rockets were fired towards Bahir Dar & Gondar cities. As a result, the airport areas have sustained damages. The TPLF junta is utilizing the last of the weaponry within its arsenals,” Ethiopia Emergency Fact Sheet said in a statement.

    TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda has confirmed that TPLF forces launched missile attacks on Gondar and Bahir Dar and threatened Asmara with a similar attack.

    Getachew said the attacks have carried out in retaliation for air strikes conducted by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s forces in various parts of

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  • Alternatives to National Identity

    By Abel Merawi

    Ethiopia-nation-buildingDecember 10, 2020 ( -- When we think of a nation, various assumptions come to mind. Some consider how a group of elites gather and create a grand plan to form a nation. This cannot be any further from the truth. And whenever such attempts were made, the results were catastrophic. Recalling the Holocaust and the Gulags is enough to make us shudder. The other assumption is that nations are the result of various fortunate and unfortunate events that brought people together or separated them. In order to find out the alternatives to establishing a nation, merely defining it will not suffice without ample evidence from history or philosophy.

    The crude definition of a nation may even be misleading. These are the dictionary definitions of a nation: (1) A politically organized body of people under a single government. (2) The people who live in

  • Ethiopia in Conflict - Part II: A National Stand for Unity

    By Abel Merawi

    Ethiopia-UnityNovember 24, 2020 ( -- A friend once told me a modern day parable that I labeled ‘Do the chickens know!?’ There once lived a schizophrenic man who believe that he was a chicken. To make matters worse, he refused to leave his house, assuming that other chickens conspired to peck him to death. With relentless intervention from family, friends and psychologists, he was finally convinced that he is a man; not a chicken. However, he still refused to leave his house and his loved ones inquired the reason. He replied, “I’m not crazy! I know that I am a man. But, do the chickens know? If they don’t, they can still attack me!”

    The above parable describes the mentality of TPLF, OLF Shene and every other political entity that advocates ethnic superiority when compared to the rest of the people. It also represents their followers, who fit the p

  • Forms of Human Violence (Part II)

    By Abel Merawi

    Human-Violence-2In an attempt to understand our mental representation of justice and fairness, psychologists have come up with an interesting experiment. There are many variations of the experiments, but I included the one pertaining to our topic.

    Scenario: Imagine someone promised to give you 10,000 birr without asking any service in return. Then told you: “There is someone in the other room with whom you can choose to share the money. You are free to give this stranger nothing, all of it or anything in between.” You accept this term and were just about to leave, when this person gave you the final warning: “I have told this person that I gave you will 10,000 birr. Remember, you can offer to give any amount of the money. But if this person rejects your offer, both of you will get nothing.”

    How much of the 10,000 birr will you give this stranger? As you re

  • Forms of Human Violence (Part I)

    By Abel Merawi

    human-violenceOctober 29, 2020 ( -- Have you ever wondered about violence? Specifically, have you seen how violent we humans can be? The act of violence fits well into its definition, which can be summarized as: An act of aggression that is manifested in being wild and turbulent and result in injuries and destruction. This definition revels the meaning of violence based on its manifestation, but doesn’t say anything about the source of violence. Moreover, it might as well be the property of humans, animals or even natural forces. Natural forces like floods and animals can also be wild and cause destruction. However, violence carries a special meaning for human beings. It becomes a special feature of our species, which employs ingenuity in execution and hidden motivation that ignite us into action.

    To describe Homo Sapiens is not the same as defining them. Just as

  • The ‘Having’ Mentality

    By Abel Merawi

    The-HavesOctober 22, 2020 ( -- Let us begin with a question Erich Fromm asks in his book ‘To have and to Be’: Who are you? Are you what you have or something else? If you are what you have, who will you be when you lose your possession? Your reply depends on your personal disposition or character. However, just like the individual, every age has its own character. This character is a mentality we develop in our relation to the world. Modern age is characterized by the ‘having’ mentality. In the individual, this mentality is manifested by the tendency to own things in order to enjoy them. In society, it is represented in capitalism’s special feature of consumerism. Captured in perpetual shopping spree, we have forgotten there is another way of existence. We will explore the various manifestations of the ‘having’ mentality and end with a way out to reach

  • Group Narcissism

    By Abel Merawi

    Group-NarcissismOctober 16, 2020 ( -- It is customary to cite some Greek literature to shade light on many issues. The reason has to do with their genius in employing artistic creativity to show profound universal aspects of the human condition. I too will use the following Greek legend to exemplify the central idea. Once lived a lad named Narcissus. He was at the prime of his life with unparalleled beauty that captured the heart of every girl. But that was not all, the beautiful maiden goddess named Echo, was also hopelessly in love with him. But the heart of Narcissus was filled with vanity to the point of rejecting even the love of a goddess. Echo found the rejection unbearable and died of a broken heart. Nemesis, the goddess of divine retribution and vengeance, witnessed this and sought revenge. Nemesis punished Narcissus by making him fall desperately in love with the reflection of hi

  • Freedom from versus Freedom to

    By Abel Merawi

    LiveFreeDieOctober 6, 2020 ( -- “Give me liberty, or give me death!” continues to be a symbol for revolutionaries. It was part of a speech made by the American author and politician, Patrick Henry in 1816. Evidently, this statement resonates throughout human history for depicting the spirit that ignited revolutions and rid of tyrants. I like to begin by making it clear that I do not intend to disparage the sacrifices of ‘freedom fighters’. However, it is my intention to put our conception of freedom under scrutiny and gain better understanding. Returning to the speech of Patrick Henry, we find the verb ‘give’ is integral to the whole spirit of the statement. When we say, ‘give me’ something we have shifted power from ourselves to someone else who is more powerful. In this particular case, both ‘liberty’ and ‘death’ belong i

  • Creativity

    By Abel Merawi

    CreativitySeptember 24, 2020 ( -- Let me indulge you in the life of an imaginary writer. She is sitting in a room filled with the sound of silence. In solitude, she struggles with her inner world, seemingly lost to the outside world. In this state of being, there is transcendence of immediate reality in a struggle to create the future. She is oblivious to the daily struggles of everyday people. As the rest of us remain victims of circumstances, this writer is fighting the noble war for humanity. Her pen and paper work in unison to create order out of chaos. Do not be mistaken by assuming she has neglected life; it is rather her seriousness that leads her to this path. The road she travels is one filled with the unknown, but it is this very road that re-creates and re-shapes the world. She is gripped by anxiety since every word she imprints on paper creates new possibilities. There is hesitation

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