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Ethiopian & Rastafari
by Aster Sellassie, Millennium Ed.
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From Anatoly:

I have to write something Esther wouldn't say.
The projects we introduced before will take years to complete. There is a lot of work for our family, for our friends and for the next generation.
In fact, this site is the first step to have such a museum....

What would it take to finish the modest monument in Addis?

Not that simple a task. Why?
Many people in Ethiopia would rather not remember Haile Sellassie. The government and even the church, which was silent throughtout the years of marxist dictatorship and silent now. The Haile Sellassie Family Web taught us a painful lesson. We keep receiving email from many people in many countries. Not from Ethiopians, and not from the members of the family.

Perhaps, it's a part of the story.

We knew it in 1985 during the fundraising for the victims of famine. The resentment. Why? Because Esther had her own agenda? Because she didn't ask for permission? Because she doesn't apologize for her affiliation with H.S.?
Each family has its secrets and problems; it comes with the territory. What kind of family would it be without conflicts? But here is something which goes beyond disagreements, something which doesn't belong to the family anymore. The memory. To remember means to speak. It's an obligation....
I often ask myself -- why do you write about it? Do you spend hours and days doing something which is so far away from you? I think about it and I have my asnwers.

Life is irreversible. Regardless of my personal future, there is something which is even more outside of my control -- my children. They are too young to realize the complexity and mystery of living. Thirty years from now they will discover that many of their problems are rooted in a very deep past. The way we discover our illness (not only gifts) passed on by the ancestors. Maybe, they will understand what I know today. I know why I lost Russia. I think I know why Esther lost Ethiopia. On my Russian Page "Exile" I write about it, about the size of wrongdoing when the bond gets broken. When the amount of debt gets so big that nothing could save relations....

This summer, eighty years after the murder of Romanov's family, Russia gave them a semi-official burial. The Russian patriarch didn't attend the ceremony. No, I don't want to place the guilt trip on individuals, but on the nation at large. Whatever Nicholas did or didn't do, he paid and is still paying the price. What about them, the millions, who do not know that their inability to remember is the core cause of their daily problems? They don't know that their togetherness is based on their mutual troubles, not their treasured past.

With sadness in my heart I see the renewed spirit of Ethiopian pride after the Eritrean invasion. Do they need a war to remember who they are? There are plenty of memories to feel your identity... and Haile Sellassie is to remember if one wants to feel Ethiopian.

I have been watching Ethiopian history in the making for over fifteen years. They follow the pattern of Russian history step by step. What is Russian history for them? What is Russian history for the Russians? They want to have "American" life without making American history into their own matters of heart. They want to take.... and it doesn't work this way in life. You have to give. What to give?

Ethiopia gave the world her son, yes, I'm talking about Haile Sellassie. The world will remember HIM, regardless of intentions of the Ethiopian mind.

The total rejection of the past is a curse of modernity. Russia markets its Imperial past for the tourists. The foreigners are paying for the times which made Russia into a nation to remember. I heard a lot of talk in Addis about developing the tourist industry. Oh, silly souls, it's easy! You value it by yourself and it will be visible for all to see!

Will it take another fifty years for Ethiopia to recognize the role H.S. played in its history? Who knows? Jews had to wait two thousand years to have their state. They are lucky, they remebered the past; many other glorious nations you can find only in history books.


. . . however, Our programmes undertaken in the economic field for augmenting the material
welfare of Our subjects, has not made Us forget that, according to the words of the Bible,
"man does not live by bread alone."
We believe that the spiritual and moral welfare of Our people is as important as their
material well-being.

Thus, it is that following the liberation of Ethiopia from the yoke of the
enemy, we have devoted a very large part of Our budget and national revenues
for the establishment and development of schools. During this short period of ten
years no less than fifteen secondary schools, of which the last, the General
Wingate School, was opened by Ourselves this year, have been established
directly as a result of Our initative and direction. The number of students enrolled
in schools in Ethiopia has neady tripled during that same period.

Shortly, the University, the foundation-stone of which we have laid, will be opened
under Our direction. We face with confidence the future of public instruction in Ethiopia.

If we have made so many sacrifices for the education of Our youth, it is because we
are convinced that only through intellectual progress and universal education can
Ethiopia come into its own and make its just contribution to the history of the peoples
of the Middle East. We believe that from truth alone is born liberty and that only an
educated people can consider itself as really free and master of its fate. It is only
with an educated people that representative and democratic organs of government can
exercise their influence for national progress. Our Address from the Throne therefore
testifies to the importance which we attach to education and, at the same time, to your
role as representatives, in the development and progress of Our people....

Nov. 3, 1951.

Haile Sellassie Memorial in Addis Ababa

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Get Site Info TIME EUROPE May 12, 1941

Home Is the Negus

The steaming city of Addis Ababa last week prepared to welcome home its conquering Lion of Judah, Emperor Haile Selassie, King of Kings, who was ousted from his throne by the Italians five years ago last week. Houses were decorated with the national colors (green, yellow & red) and native artists were busy painting pictures of the Negus as St. George slaying an Italian dragon with help from the British Army. Togaed Ethiopians massed in the main square and cheered as a radio announcer read out the names of the first 250 Italians to be sent to internment camps, while some 10,000 Italians moved into ghettos to await internment or deliverance.

In a dim, wind-swept palace on a hilltop outside Addis Ahaba the Emperor received a New York Herald Tribune correspondent, bulky Hiram Blauvelt, and delivered himself of an interview. The Negus said he was grateful to the British forgetting him back his throne; that he was grateful to the U.S. for the help sent his country's time of distress; that he was glad Ethiopia was joining Britain and the U.S. as one of the world's free countries that he was still a member of the American Museum of Natural History.

Correspondent Blauvelt duly noted the intelligence and backed out of the presence, inadvertently stepping on the tail of the Emperor's favorite dog, which let out a series of piercing yelps. Next morning the King of Kings mounted a twelve foot dais and appointed three generals in his Army. His son, Crown Prince Asfa Wassan, he appointed a lieutenant general. His son, the Duke of Harar, he appointed a major general. The son of his second cousin, Chieftain Ras Kassa, he appointe a brigadier general. The two sons each got a kiss on each cheek for good measure.

At week's end, however, the Negus had still not made his triumphal re-entry in Addis Ababa.

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