By Wondimu Mekonnen

Betty the beautiful girl!
Bubbly family pearl!
Betty the little wonder!
Tiny fast learner!
She was expected to go far!
Shining little star!
Betty had unique talent,
Prodigy young poet!
Smart, cute and bright!
Complex poems she could write.
Betty troubleshooter!
Genius at computer.
Unfortunately she could not shine,
The regime in power is a swine.
She saw right, she saw left,
No hope for her mind to rest.
No job, no money no future,
Under the tyrant furore.
Although she was so loved
Hugged, kissed and pampered
One day Betty disappeared.
Lovely Betty was gone!
Destination Lebanon!
Betty left behind her nation,
To face risk of humiliation.
No more breakfast in bed!
Betty became an Arab maid!
Cooking, cleaning, laundry,
Modern day slavery!
Exploited and used,
Shouted at and abused!
Determined to stay alive!
Betty struggled to survive!
She had no fears!
Protected by her mother’s prayers and tears!
When things go wrong,
She’d tell herself “Stay strong!”
She lived on poems for an inspiration,
To ease her pain from the tribulation!
Hidden away from her Madame,
She would write a piercing poem!
She was such a precious!
But God gracious!
Lebanon became under fire!
Bombardment of Israel!
Ash-Shadu Allah!!!
Tit-for-tat shoots Hezbollah!
Death toll climbed higher!
Betty caught in cross fire!
As if the slavery was not enough!
Life turned into a scary tough!
The Ethiopian diamond among the rough!
Was abandoned like a worthless stuff!
Her owners ditched our precious girl!
Exposing her to peril!
Grenades rained like a hell!
Betty dodged the bombshell!
As she heard crying sound,
She turned to look around.
There she saw a moving head
Another discarded maid.
She ran to her and gave her hug and comfort!
Saying “ayzosh
Betty offered her a real support,
As she was in total shock and anguish.
Betty was so dignified
As she saw others terrified.
The ordeal could go for long,
Betty had to remain strong!
Pulling herself together
She called out for all sisters!
One after the other
The girls started to gather!
She wanted for more to care,
But there was no time to spare
“Do not fear!
We shall not going to die here”
Shouted brave Betty,
As she led the girls to safety.
She took the Northern route!
Cheating death in the city of Beirut!
Betty took others into a second exile!
On foot miles after mile!
Then she had to focus
To materialise her effort
On the road to Damascus,
Deep into the Syrian Desert.
Betty hit the Syrian Road
Like Paul
She thought she could meet the Lord.
Without food or water
The girls had to suffer!
Not only that!
Hungry and confused
Whenever they were found
By the fearsome desert nomads
Some were robbed, raped and abused.
But Betty bets to stay alive!
Just for a day to survive!
At any price!
By any device!
Though she carries this heavy burden
She would find that safe haven.
At night
Under the twinkling stars light
Betty gazes up for a guide
Life is a rough ride.
She’s is out of Lebanon
Not to return forever gone!
“Move on!”
Come-on girls!
Betty shouts!
Her party should not stop!
In Damascus there is no hope.
Their safety is agile
Syria is hostile.
Though the journey could be murky
They might make it to Turkey!
Not to easily get hurt,
Wondering in the desert
Huddled together at night!
For security close tight!
Under the twinkling star light
Betty writes!
“Mothers and fathers!
Brothers and sisters!
Ethiopian patriots!
My people and compatriots
Rescue us before we perish,
Don’t cry if we die in anguish!
Don’t hurt your eyes in sorrow!
Shade no tears for us tomorrow!
Before our lives waste away
Do something right today!”

Dedicated to all sisters hiding in Beirut, suffering in Syrian Desert and Turkey after escaping from Lebanon.

Listen Tensae Radio broadcast of 24 July 2006.
3 among Betty’s 200 poems can be heard at:  

Published in: on July 31, 2006 at 9:51 pm  Comments (39)  

TPLF firing on opposition

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1191 29/07/2006

The partisans of the Ethiopian government in the United States are making endless propaganda on the radio against the hard wing of the opposition.

For several months now, Selam Radio and Hager Fikr Radio have been making an endless number of programmes denouncing “the hardest line anti EPRDF elements”. Selam Radio broadcasts in Washington and is owned by the Ethiopian government coalition, the EPRDF. Hager Fikr Radio is subsidised by the Saudi-Ethiopian magnate Mohamed Hussein Al Amoudi. This campaign frequently takes the form of attacks against the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP, opposition), a formation which refused to join the Ethiopian opposition front recently formed entitled Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD).

The Hager Fikr radio station has been at the head of this media campaign for some time and has devoted half of its six hours of airtime on Sundays. The guests invited on the show to criticise certain radical opposition leaders by name are dignitaries of the Ethiopian regime, like the Consul in Los Angeles Taye Atskesellasie, but there are also some former Tigrayan dissidents who have rallied behind the present government in Addis Ababa. One such is Bisrat Amare and more surprising still, Abraham Yayeh, who spoke on the last two shows broadcast by this radio station.

This former dissident of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF, governing) has long been a scathing critic of the present regime in Addis Ababa and its Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Yayeh lives in exile in Copenhagen but would nevertheless appear to have become a partisan of Zenawi. He now reserves his most virulent attacks for the opposition, which he considers dominated by the Amhara ethnic group and motivated by anti-Tigrayan feelings. What is most surprising is that Yayeh has been to Eritrea several times and recently was still collaborating with the government of Asmara, which supports certain Ethiopian opponents.

Published in: on July 30, 2006 at 10:47 am  Comments (5)  


JULY 27/2006, SOCEPPReliable reports indicate that,up to now, two Ethiopians (one maid and one guard ) have benn killed by Israeli bombing of Lebanon though there are fears the death toll amongst Ethiopians maybe much more. At least 50,000 Ethiopians sold unto modern slavery by the Meles regime are stranded in Lebabon, their fate ignord by the “government”. “We have no government” is the expressed and angry comment by the Ethiopians in Lebanon.

The Ethiopians were trafficked to Lebanon by ruthless agencies linked to the ruling group in Addis Ababa. In their majority young women, they are mainly employed in Lebanon as maids while young men serve as guards, construction workers, drivers. They are subjected to racism, their passports are often confiscated by their employers, they are underpaid, subjected to beatings and ill treatment. They have received little or no protection from the government in Addis Abeba which has opened a consulate in Lebanon but is trying to squeeze as much money out of the Ethiopian workers. To render them help in this critical time the Consulate has demanded money from the stranded and sufffering Ethiopians. On the other hand, the government of Lebanon had not been of nay help either while international agencies are not presently very actively rendering assistance to the Ethiopians. Many do not even have their passports as the employers, who have fled, have not given them back.

The plight of thousands of Ethiopians in Lebanon expsoes the Meles Zenawi regime as an obdurate human rights violator,guilty of trafficking women and youngsters for profit.

SOCEPP calls on Ethiopians in the Diaspora to mobilize to help the suffering Ethiopians in Lebanon.



Published in: on July 27, 2006 at 11:40 am  Comments (2)  

The Headbutt on the Chest

By Mesfin Arega (Dedicated to the French soccer players)

Young black – athlete
King of kings of sport,
Superman – the ultimate,
Pay attention for a minute
For this advice so short.

That I give you in earnest
Risking mistreatment
From the white establishment
Set up to protect
The oligarchy’s interest
Under the false pretext
Of defending human right.

So please be silent
Read with intent
Here is my point.

If you really want
To command full respect
Deserve it – don’t expect.

Don’t you ever accept
Ignore or forget
Foul language or dirt
Indiginity or hurt
From a German or any white
An Italian the least.

Don’t try to be saint
For a stupid – idiot
Who understands only might
But has no clue or hint
What it shows – indicate
To be humble and polite.

When provoked to start
Never ever hesitate
For a single instant
To hit back and act
To talk back and shout.

When insulted insult
Talk to him – communicate
In his own dialect.

Do not give any thought
To the false document
Story or plot

The white news outlet
Controlled very tight
By the media magnate

Will surely fabricate
To intentionally deflect
The blame from the culprit
Toward the innocent,

By applying straight
The stereotype default
Which it did create.

For a violent be violent
Give him a hard-hit
Use your head – and butt
Where it hurts most
Right under the chest.

Keep hitting – repeat
Be quick and fast
Do not give respite
Until he lies flat
And then in his pant
Begins to excrete
His bestial white shit.


1 I wrote this poem for people who cannot understand the Amharic version. I have neither the ability nor the desire to write a poem in English. I would rather leave that to the Englishmen. After all, it is called “the English language” and they should be the ones solely responsible for developing it – although that is not the case right now. The rest of us have done them a great favor by choosing to use the language. Hopefully, one day, African’s will be conscious and proud enough to replace the colonial languages English, French and Portuguese and the settler language Arabic by one common native language, it doesn’t matter which. At least on the economical side, leaving the other invaluable advantages aside, using one native language instead of four is cost effective.

Published in: on July 20, 2006 at 9:47 pm  Comments (3)