World geography has become a firmly established field of
knowledge beginning from ancient civilization in Greece. One of the commonsense
knowledge in geography is the compass directions, namely North, South, West and
East. In Ethiopia no one completes primary school without knowing where northern
Ethiopia or western Ethiopia is located and which regions are included.
Northern Ethiopia exclusively refers to the Entire Tigray Region; Gondar is northwest
and Afar is northeast.
Taking the liberty to exaggerate, even the blind can locate
Gojjam in western Ethiopia. If anyone who can write an article in English and
post it on mereja.com I have no ground to assume that the author is illiterate.
A basic literacy in Ethiopia is to know where the major regions of Ethiopia are
located in terms of compass directions
Initially I waved it as a typing error when the first article
entitled "Treacherous road, spectacular scene-the Blue Nile Gorge in
northern Ethiopia" appeared on mereja.com English page on April 30. I did
not react to this considering it as a silly error. Blue Nile Gorge is not in
northern Ethiopia. It is not even in Ethiopia. Blue Nile is in Sudan. When
Abbay River crosses the border into Sudan it is known as the Blue Nile. Tekeze
become Atbara in Sudan and Baro River becomes Sobat in South Sudan. If one
thinks that the name Blue Nile is more beautiful than the local name in
Ethiopia for that river, Abbay, I am not surprised. This is the typical
Ethiopian self-down-grading. Let me take the name for the river preferred by
the author to mean the Abbay Gorge. It is the Tekeze Gorge that is located in
northern Ethiopia. Abbay Gorge is in Western Ethiopia.
When a second article appeared on May 5 entitled "Driving
through Debre Markos town, northern Ethiopia" on mereja.com I cannot help
thinking that there must be some sinister intention behind this. It has become
a part of everyday life for Tigrayans to read and hear endless provocations.
Last year there was a row about the alleged inclusion of Semien Mountains in
the Tigray school curriculum. Blue Nile is too far to help ignite another row.
I apologize deeply for this blunt statement, but it is the truth: Given the
severe grudges the folks in Debre Markos bear towards Tigrayans the north would
never love to have Debre Markos or the Blue Nile Gorge wrapped in gift paper.
If the intention is to mislead the world into thinking that northern Ethiopia,
with all its historical and cultural treasures, is just the Blue Nile lands I
don't think it is the best trick in their hats.