Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeOpinionContribution of Amhara Scholars to the Existential Struggle of the Amhara People 

Contribution of Amhara Scholars to the Existential Struggle of the Amhara People 

Amhara scholars _ contribution
Photo : from the web (file)

By Bialfew Bayou

In the field of scholarly discourse, there has been a marked trend over the past four decades in the publication of articles and research papers that portray the Amhara people in a negative light. These publications, often sponsored by the government or international institutions with political agendas, consistently portray the Amhara as invaders, aggressors and oppressors of other ethnic groups in Ethiopia. This biased narrative permeated anthropological and political research and contributed to a pervasive anti-Amharic sentiment.

On the contrary, Amhara scholars have won numerous awards and recognition both domestically and internationally. Despite their laudable achievements, there has been a significant lack of research findings that present a balanced and fair representation of the Amhara. This asymmetry in professional discourse perpetuates a one-sided narrative that does not accurately reflect the concerns of the Amhara people.

It is evident that during the proliferation of disparaging articles and research, few Amharic scholars have taken proactive measures to counter this biased narrative. While some individuals have tried to address this issue, their efforts have been overshadowed by the overwhelming amount of negative portrayals. The consequence of this imbalance is that the wider public discourse has come to be dominated by views that neglect and denigrate the Amharic people.

The implications of this biased representation are profound, especially for Amhara individuals who are unfairly stigmatized as invaders and oppressors in their own land. Scholars’ failure to challenge and correct this narrative has perpetuated the mischaracterization of the Amhara people, contributing to their social and political marginalization. More so, the ongoing active war in the Amhara region of Ethiopia has led to various consequences affecting the region and its people. Some of the consequences include loss of life, displacement of civilians, humanitarian crisis, economic impact and collective excursions.

Furthermore, it is disheartening to note that while Amharic scholars have remained relatively silent on the issue, antagonistic entities have actively sought to undermine the legitimate struggles and movements of the Amharic people. The absence of a concerted effort to develop strategic interventions to address the suffering and challenges facing the Amharic people is a glaring oversight in professional circles. Instead, there are cases where scholars have co-opted and undermined the genuine efforts of determined individuals who courageously advocated for the rights and welfare of the Amharic people.

One such example is @Dr. Yonas Biru, whose public criticism focused on the brave individuals who led the struggle for the Amharic people. This type of scholarly intervention not only does not contribute constructively to the discourse, but also undermines the activities and aspirations of those advocating for the rights and representation of the Amharic people.

Given these circumstances, it is imperative for scholars within and outside the Amharic community to critically engage with the prevailing narrative and actively work to produce balanced and objective research that accurately reflects the experiences and contributions of the Amharic people. This requires a concerted effort to challenge biased representations and correct historical inaccuracies that have perpetuated harmful stereotypes.

Moreover, it is imperative that scholars engage authentically with Amharic struggle leaders to amplify their voices and experiences in academic discourse. By promoting inclusive and participatory research practices, scholars can contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the Amharic people and counter prevailing prejudices that have marginalized their perspectives.

In conclusion, it is the duty of scholars to uphold ethical standards in their research and actively work to correct the prevailing prejudices that have misrepresented the Amharic people. By engaging in rigorous academic inquiry that prioritizes fairness and accuracy, scholars can contribute to a more inclusive and representative body of knowledge that reflects the diverse experiences and contributions of the Amhara people.

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com

Related Reading : Ethiopian Diaspora Organizations Issue Urgent Appeal To International Bodies Over Brutal Massacre In Merawi, Amhara, Ethiopia


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  1. Reading this article sadly strengthens my fear that Ethiopia has lost the chance to reconcile the different competing tribes and is about to split up. When she was an Empire, like all empires the different people making up the country were held together by force (of the army) or/and by religious beliefs (the church). This led to different people being oppressed or being the oppressors at different times of history. The absence of a common shared history was balanced by the church where people from different tribes and cultures would unite under Christianity or Islam. That’s why we see these continued attacks on the church, because the church (Christian or Muslim) is the only thing that keeps the country from disentegration.
    For a few years now that Ethiopia is trying a democratic style of governance, which not flawless but better than all than other systems, despite it’s severely flawed constitution which promotes and enforces tribalism. Therefore scholars should push for a constitutional change to keep the country united. Nowadays every tribe in Ethiopia has it’s own version of history where they are the good guys, always fair and just and the others who are always devils and oppressors. Depending on who you listen to, they are neftegna, they are donkeys, they are bareo, cowards, fascist collaborators etc. At the same time each and every tribe but especially the Oromo, Ahmara and Tigre accuse each other of all evils imaginable while at the same time preaching their racial superiority and considering themselves defacto leaders of Ethiopia. Ofcourse the simple people of Ethiopia continuesly prove these allegations false, by living and working together, helping eachother, intermarrying and exchanging cultural traits. People just need safety, work, meritocracy, justice and freedom to work and travel in any part of the country they choose. How many scholars can admit that there was no Ahmara tribe, in old times. In general, an Amhara was an Amharignia speaking Christian person, to distinguish themselves from the 80 something tribes that formed the Ethiopian empire. It only recently became a tribe. (I know i will trigger some people with this, but i urge them to ask their oldest family member if he remembers being called an Ahmara as a tribe when they were young. You can guess the answer). Amharas were regionally distinguished, Gojam, Gondar, Wollo , Showa etc. not by blood.
    Do you realise how many lives would be spared by simply erasing the tribe’s name from your ID cards and just replace it with Ethiopian, as is the case with almost all countries.
    The so called scholars have done nothing meaningful for the people. Nowadays they influence people to be even more divided, they teach lies as historical facts, they want the rebirth of a long dead, backwards system (Gaada) in a modern fast paced interconnected world, they preach separation and racial superiority in a way that would make a certain Adolf Hitler proud. Others are blindly dancing on the war drums the government bangs hopping for a good position of power in a university or even better in the government. The few that are true to themselves and the science of history are afraid to speak up, because prison and torture is not for everyone(and no one can blame them for that). Tribal pressure forces others to accept these false narratives full of an ugly combination of inferiority and superiority complexes as their own beliefs because they don’t want to be ostracized by their own community/tribe.
    Sit down and talk. Talk before guns start singing, not after. There cannot be”a winner takes all” in a democracy. Each and every one should take some steps back to allow breathing space for the other. Because the other is you!!
    Agree on a common history where all the people have done wrongs and all people have been victims and victimizers. Focus on the uniting threads you share and knit a history that will bring people together under one banner. European countries were fighting eachother for many hundreds of years before they united. Respect others as you want to be respected, know your flaws and your wrongdoings, forgive and forget, let qualifications, merit and character value and not who you know and which tribe you were born in be the determining factor for social and economic development.
    Sadly, if these major changes fail to happen, Ethiopia is destined to go down the same path as Rwanda or Yugoslavia. Ethiopia bares more similarities to Yugoslavia which was a really strong country when united as an empire in the beginning and under communism later (sounds familiar?), but after 30 years the 6-7 new countries divided on linguistic and more importantly religious lines, still struggle to find their place in the world and are as a whole in a worse position than when they were united. Not learning historical lessons means you are bound to repeat the same mistakes.
    I beg for common sense to prevail, for the ancient wisdom of the ancient Ethiopian people to finally come forth before it’s too late. Do you realise what a victory for the powers of evil it would be if Ethiopia (the pride of Africa) breaks up? Already most of the people i know are fleeing the country disappointed and heading to an uncertain future in unwelcoming countries because their motherland could not include them…..
    This is a failure of scholars from all fields of knowledge. It’s a shame and the worst has yet to come.
    I pray to God to be proven wrong.


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