Portraits of Bekele Gerba and Colonel Demeke Zewdu sold for US $109,000 in a fundraising auction in Seattle

Toronto
August 29,2016

Seattle Fundraising Event
Fundraising event in Seattle Photo credit : Muluneh Yohannes

A fund raising drive organized by Gonder Hibret in Seattle raised well over US $109,000. Proceeds from the fund raising will support Ethiopians affected by the ongoing killings by the minority regime in Ethiopia.

The above figure does not include funds acquired through ticket sale for the event.

According to one of the organizers, Muluneh Yohannes,the event was attended by Ethiopians from all walks of life ,and transcending ethnicity and religion, in Seattle. Auditorium was packed to capacity and hundreds were attending the event from outside of the auditorium.

Daniel and Abebe, members of Gonder Hibret leadership spoke during the event.

Former popular comedian, now activist, Tamagne Beyene was in stage leading the fundraising drive.

Portraits of Bekele Gerba, prominent Oromo opposition figure who is currently thrown to jail, and portraits of Colonel Demke Zewdu who has become an icon of Amhara resistance,who is also in jail, were up for auction during the even and they are sold for US $109,000.

Winners of Bekele Gerba and Colonel Demeke Zewdu portrait, ‘selam le Ethiopia’ which translates to peace for Ethiopia, awarded it to Oromo Ethiopians. Recent mass killings in Amhara and oromo regions of Ethiopia transformed the unity and solidarity of the two language speaking groups which together constitutes well over two-third of the entire Ethiopian population.

A portrait of what historians describe as visionary and bright Ethiopian monarch who was well ahead of his time, Emperor Tewodros, who ruled Ethiopia between 1855 and 1868 and who committed suicide rather than surrendering to British expeditionary force after his forces lost the war to well armed British forces, was up for auction as well. Gonder Youth association won it.

Popular traditional singer who is known for his patriotic songs, Fasil Demoz, entertained the crowed along with another singer, Mehari Degefaw.

Ethiopians in the diaspora have been actively following developments in Ethiopia for months after popular uprising broke out in most parts of Ethiopia. Violent crackdown is mounted by the minority Tigray People’s Liberation Front(constitutes less than 6% of the population).

Ethiopians in major North American and European cities staged protest in opposition of killings by the ruling party in Ethiopia.

Written by Dimetros Birku. Cab be reached on twitter : @dimetros

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