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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:26 am Reply with quote
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Saturday Oct. 20th, 2007 was our 3rd day in Siltie Zone. We woke up early in the morning, and by then we were getting used to the routines. Pray, eat our breakfast, and wait for our hosts to arrive and begin our adventure in earnest. We were supposed to meet Mohammed Noor by 7:30 am on that day, and complete our tour before 10:00 am. The vehicle was supposed to be heading to field thereafter for work purposes.

However, nobody showed up until well past 9:00 am. We felt our adventure for that day was on shaky grounds. Mohammed Noor told us that they had a flat tire on the way as the reason for them being late. He suggested that we rest today, and start our tour early the next day. The driver of the vehicle bid us farewell and headed to work, while Mohammed Noor and the 3 of us discussed what our next step should be.

Teshome insisted that we should not waste our day doing nothing, since we did not know what tomorrow holds. He proposed that we take public transportation and continue with our exploration. After further discussing the availability of transportation and distance involved we all agreed with his idea, and the adventure was on!

Our destination for the day was Qawa Qottu Woreda. It is 40 km or so west of Worabe. We boarded an empty bus near our hotel, took our seats and were waiting for it to take of. However, we realized that the bus would not budge until it was completely full. We waited for quiet sometimes before all the seats were taken. The bus still would not move. We asked what the reason was, and we were told the bus would wait until there was no standing room.

So we waited some more until there was no more room to take a single person on board the bus. We were crammed like sardines in a can. The bus was getting stuffy. We all breathed a sigh of relief as the bus started to move forward, and we got a breath of fresh air.

It was the day after Shawal Eid, and the continuation of the festivity was apparent from the passengers. Most had gifts to give to their parents, and some carried special food they prepared for them. The journey on the bus gave us a good opportunity to intermingle with the people of Siltie Zone. We talked, learned, joked, and laughed along the way. Ultimately, we reached our destination and disembarked from the bus in Qawa Qottu.

What is so special about Qawa Qottu you might ask? Qawa Qottu was the place where the “hamisti gistichas” resided. In Harari that would be “hamisti gistach”, or the 5 honorable ladies.

Our local host in Qawa Qottu Woreda was brother Abdushakur. He was the public relations officer for the Woreda. In my opinion, he was perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people that I have met during our journey. His passion for the subject matter was contagious.

He led us into the local masjid, and pointed to some rocks to the left of the gate. He told us that it was there that the “hamisti gistichas” rested when they first arrived to this region.

Who are the “hamisti gistichas”?

Br. Abdushakur informed us that some of the wives of Imam Ahmed’s soldiers followed their husbands from Harar and settled with them in what is now Siltie Zone. Others came to teach and trade in the region.

Among these women who came from Harar were the five honorable ladies or “hamisti gistichas” who are revered as Waliys and as the mothers of the Siltie people. They were Gisti Fatima, Gisti Muluka, Gisti Mekiya, Gisti Shemshiya and Gisti Zebere.

When they arrived in the region, they rested on the rocks that are currently found in the masjid compound. Each had a rock they used sit on, and one to recline their back on.

Karamas of the five Gistis

The five gistis are reported to have performed many acts of miracle, of course by Allah’s permission. It is said that the five gistis used to love drinking coffee. When they newly arrived to the region, the place they rested on was sparsely populated. They rested on the rock and fell asleep dreaming of coffee.

While they were sleeping the coffee was pilling up like a mountain. I believe it was Gisti Mekiya (I will confirm soon) woke up and exclaimed “Qawa Qottu Qanana”, or the coffee has piled up. As soon as she said that, the coffee stopped increasing. The locals started to come and get the coffee from the 5 gistis, as well as learn Islam from them. In exchange the locals brought food and gifts to them.

The other karama was one that was performed by Gisti Mekiya. There was a shortage of water in the area. So she made a special supplication, and hit the earth with her staff and abundant water gushed forth. Br. Abdushakur told us that the water was still running to this day, and that the locals use it to quench their thirst with and earn their living from by selling it.

Teshome drinking from the spring water

He led us down a steep hill to where the source of the water was located. A concrete tank was built around the source of the water. The locals were queued in a line to get the water through the tap. Once they get their containers filled, they would carry it on their back and clime up the hill either to take it home, or sell it to others.

Mubarak, Teshome, Mohammed Noor, Abdushakur, and I all drank from the water in hopes of receiving baraka for the sake of this Waliy who lived 500 years ago.

Abdushakhur, Teshome, Mohammed Noor, & I

We then took picture with the locals, and headed to brother Abdushakur’s office for further interview. The clime up the hill was challenging for me, since we were in high elevation, which my lung was not used to. When we got to Abdushakur’s office I could hardly breezy due to excessive coughing. I gave the camera to br. Mubarak and went out to catch my breath.

After they finished the interview, we headed out hoping to find a bus. Maybe it was the baraka from the 5 gistis, we found a pickup truck that was heading to Worobe! That worked out just perfect, since we could ask the driver to stop anytime we saw beautiful scenery that we wanted to videotape or take picture of. We stopped in several such locations along our way. Both the driver and br. Mohammed Noor were really patient with us and had no problem with our many requests to stop the vehicle.

One such location that we stopped at was a place where you can see Worabe from a birds eye view. Observing this young city from a high position, one really gets to appreciate the level of development that has taken place in Worabe within the last 4 years. This due to the active participation of

After taking pictures and video along the way, we finally reached Worabe, and our adventure for the day was over.

Last edited by malasay on Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:54 am; edited 3 times in total

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:51 am Reply with quote
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Sunday Oct. 21st was our fourth and last day in Siltie Zone. We went through the daily routine in a professional manner, and added packing our belongings to the list this time. Brother Mohammed Noor arrived around 9:00 am and we headed to a body of water that is known as Hera Sheytan or the Sea of Satan.

As was discussed earlier, the four honorable ladies of Harar settled in Qawa Qottu. However, there was a fifth Gisti that left Harar with them, but did not opt to go to Qawa Qottu along with them. Her name was Gisti Ugirat. Instead she separated from her companions at this location. She settled by Hera Shaytan, while her companions continued with their journey. Her residence and shrine is said to be located close by, but we were unable to visit due to brevity of time.

Hera Shaytan, the sea of satan

We heard a local legend about how the lake was formed from a shepherd of perhaps ten years old. He told us that there were two brothers who fought with each other over inheritance of the land. They went to argue their case in front of an elder. However, when they came back the farmland was filled with water that we know as Hera Shaytan.

I hope we Hararis take a lesson from such legends that teach us wisdom. While we argue and dispute with one another, we might lose something that is dear to our heart. We should be wise and analyze our surroundings before we try to stab one other constantly over every little thing. It will be of no use to be regretful once the damage has been done.

We left Hera Shaytan and we headed to the mosque of Alkesiye. It was a large masjid with a huge courtyard. The shrine of the renowned Shaikh Alkesiye is found within this compound. Once a year they hold a large celebration to commemorate the birth of the holy Prophet (SAW) or mawlud. Thousands of people attend this celebration even year.

The exterior of Alkesiye Masjid

The interior of Alkesiye Masjid

In the compound there were several khalwas, a place where students from various part of Ethiopia can come to stay at while studying in Alkesiye. One of this khalwas is named Harar. We were told anyone that comes from Harar could stay in it. It is a simple looking hut surrounded with trees and nicely trimmed grasses.

Hara Khalwa in Alkesiye

Sheikh Said Ashrak, the murid of Alkesiye, was the one who gave the name “Harar” to the khalwa. He told us that it was prepared two years ago to welcome the Hararis that came to visit during Eid Al Adha.

Teshome asked Sheikh Said Ashrak if he could recount for us his ancestral roots. Shaikh Ashrak told us that he does not know more than six by heart, but that he has a notebook where his roots are recorded. He asked one of his students to fetch the notebook from his house, and the student obliged willingly. Meanwhile the other students served us with soft drinks and some snacks.

The student came back with the notebook after few minutes. Sheikh Ashrak opened the relevant pages and asked his student to read it aloud. The student read the names of his teacher’s ancestors in earnest. It went all the way back to Omar Ar-rida, or Aw Abadir.

Shaikh Ashraf, sitting in the background, while his student is reading.

After the interview, Sheikh Ashraf thanked us for our effort in researching the true nature of the relationship between the Harari and Siltie people. He prayed for our success and we bid each other farewell.

Teshome being interviewed by Mohammed

With this we concluded our adventure in Siltie Zone and headed back to Addis Ababa. During our stay in Siltie Zone we made numerous friends and acquaintances. We learned new things that we did not know before. It is our hope that the readers have also learnt something out of this journey.

Last edited by malasay on Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:33 am; edited 2 times in total

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Eid Al Adha in Siltie Zone
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:14 am Reply with quote
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Eid Al Adha was celebrated in Siltie Zone from Sunday December 16th to Thursday December 20th throughout Siltie Zone. Harari community members and other dignitaries were invited to participate in this festivity. I'm writing what I witnessed during that journey.

Day 1

I was in Addis Ababa a week before the start of Eid Al Adha festivity. Therefore, my version of the story about the trip to Siltie Zone for Eid Al Adha begins in Addis Ababa, and not in Harar.

I woke up early Sunday morning in December 16th, 2007 and packed my cloth and video camera equipment for the journey to Siltie Zone. I went to the Harari National League (HNL) office in Addis around 10:00 am. There was an ongoing meeting when I arrived there. I started to roll the video to capture the spirit of the meeting. Different issues and concerns were raised in that meeting. However, overall the mood was festive as most of the attendants were ready to go in a journey to Siltie Zone to celebrate Eid Al Adha with their brethren.

A Siltie friend of mine had told me that the Siltie community has made an intense preparation to welcome their Harari brothers and sisters to Siltie Zone. The Siltie community took the preparation so seriously that they forbade those who have performed Hajj twice from traveling to Hajj this time around so they can help in preparation to welcome the Harari community to their Zone.

I asked my friend, would members of your community obey such decisions? The reply was if the community members made any decision that they all have to comply. I asked, what would happen to those who don’t comply? He told me that members of the community would go to the house of the violator of the decision and camp in his house until he admits his mistakes. During that time the violator will be forced to meet the needs of those who camped in his place in terms of food and drink.

Furthermore, he told me if the community members decide to do fundraising with each paying certain amount and if an individual who is capable does not participate in the fundraising the community would fine him double the amount.

My admiration for the organizational skill and discipline of the Siltie community increased tremendously. I really feel there is a lot that the Harari community needs to learn from our Siltie brothers and sisters.

Forgive me for digressing. Going back to the Eid Al Adha journey to Siltie Zone…

After the completion of the HNL meeting, most of us boarded the 2 buses that were stationed in front of the HNL office. Some opted to drive their personal vehicle to Siltie Zone. I took the front seat on one of the buses. After waiting in the bus for an hour or so, it was time to hit the road.

Anticipation can be seen in the faces of all the passengers in the bus. The prevalent sentiment amongst most of the passengers was as though we were traveling to meet our long lost family members. Although this was my second journey to Siltie Zone, I had the same feeling – this time with an even more intensity.

Starting from Addis to Worabe the passengers in the bus were doing Zikr, singing songs about Harar, or listening to tape doing either of the two. The mood in the bus was festive and joyous. Our bus reached the city of Boutajira, which is divided between Gurage and Siltie Zone in the late afternoon. We embarked from the bust and headed to a restaurant to eat our lunch.

Boutajira was to be the meeting place for those coming from Addis and Harar. The President of the Harari Regional State, H.E. Murad Abdulhadi, arrived in Boutajira couple of hours later. However, the buses and vehicles from Harar were nowhere to be seen.

Around 5:00 pm or so it was decided that we should head to our final destination, Worabe, without our compatriots from the City of Harar so as to not keep our hosts waiting for too long. As we were approaching Worabe several vehicles joined our convoy to form a long line of vehicles, perhaps more than 200 or so. Along the way many people lined along the boulevard to greet us by waving at us and with takbirats. It was really a moving experience for all of us who traveled to Siltie Zone. We waved back at them frantically as we went past many of our brothers and sisters.

As we entered Worabe we were welcomed with jubilation

When we approached Worabe the number of people waiting to greet us increased manifolds. Thousands of people in both sides of the highway were waving and shouting takbirats this time. As we approached the main hall where the welcoming ceremony was to be held, the density of the people increased even more. I decided to disembark early on so I can videotape the people waving at us even closer. Besides, I could also move faster by foot than the bus that was stranded in floods of vehicles and humanity.

The emotions between our two people were intense and genuine. Some shed tears of joy as they exchanged greetings and pleasantries. Some embraced one another like long lost family members that we are.

A siltie performer singing of unity between the Siltie & Harari people

When we entered the hall where the welcoming ceremony was to be held, we were greeted with ululation, as well as beautiful songs and performances. After few songs, we were all invited to head outside to see the firework show.

President Murad Abdulhadi being carried by the crowd

Firework outside the hall

Afterwards, we went back to the hall and we were served a very delicious dinner, with mouthwatering Kitfo and the like. After some more entertainment, we headed to our respective hotels, homes, and even offices converted to bedrooms to accommodate the Harari guests.

Some of the mouthwatering food that was served in the Hall

Ah, yes … those from the city of Harar did eventually arrive in Worabe late in the evening. However, they missed the entertainment part, but they were fortunate enough not to miss the dinner part. Alhamduli’llah.

And with that we concluded day 1 of our stay in Siltie Zone.

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Eid Al Adha in Siltie Zone - Day 2
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:08 am Reply with quote
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Day 2 – Monday December 17th, 2007

The second day started with breakfast at Park Hotel. Lucky for me I didn’t have to go that far to get there since I was staying at that very hotel. Since there were limited numbers of rooms we all had to share our rooms with 2 or 3 people. My room partner was Nabil Ishaq, who lived in Australia for more than twenty years and moved back to Ethiopia like me. I was really lucky to have Nabil near by. It was only because of his dependable and consistent help that I was able to videotape the entire event. Thanks, Nabil!

Back to the breakfast buffet - varieties of cuisines were prepared for the Harari guests, such as sambusa, fatira, donut, pizza, firfir, and more. Attentive waiters served us our choice of coffee or tea.

The billboard to be inaugurated, which is located near Park Hotel

After a relaxed meal in a nice sunny weather, we headed just outside of the hotel where a billboard inauguration was to take place. A large crowd of people gathered around the billboard, which was covered with a white cloth. Music blared over a Pepsi truck that went up and down the street keeping the atmosphere festive. Horsemen also galloped and showed their riding skills to the audience.

Horsemen showing their riding skills

While the audience was waiting for the billboard inauguration to take place, I took the opportunity to interview a Siltie elder, who stated that the Siltie people were the descendants of Aw Abadir. He also discussed the historic background and attempts by the Siltie community to reach out to their Harari brethrens in the past, I could go on about the things he said – but it is better that you purchase the DVD and watch it yourself (I had to pitch for the DVD somewhere, right?) The DVD has 5 parts – one for each day. The 3 parts are already complete, and the full set should be completed within couple of weeks – Insha’Allah.

The public at the billboard inauguration ceremony

The billboard inauguration started with the arrival of officials from the Siltie Zone, the Harari Regional State, the Southern Nations and Nationalities Regional state, and the Federal government. The Siltie Zone administrator, H.E. Mr. Sani Radi, invited the dignitaries to cut the ribbon by the billboard. After the ribbons were cut, the officials removed the white cloth that was covered the billboard, which was greeted with warm applause and takbirats.

Officials inaugurating the billboard

The billboard reflected the Siltie Zone’s traditional way of life, as well as their visions for the future. It depicted traditional farming practices, children studying the Quran, traditional houses, masjids, and a proposed large modern cultural house, along with several other Siltie traditional displays.

The billboard that was inaguarted in Worabe

After the billboard ceremony was completed, we were instructed to head north of Worabe to attend a ceremony for laying a foundation stone for Hikma Islamic College. We headed there, and after couple of speeches government officials placed the foundation stone jointly. There were more ululation and takbirats from the crowd. It was a festive occasion for all involved.

Portion of the audience at the Hall

Thereafter, we were invited to head to the hall in Worabe city for the rest of the program of the day. It was the same hall that we were welcomed at yesterday. However, this time the activity was not held at the main hall itself, but rather at a tent that was pitched next to it to accommodate an even larger crowd of people. Siltie bands that played traditional, as well as modern music welcomed us.

A Harari band entertaining the audience

Speeches were made, beautiful roses were given to each individual, Siltie and Harari artists performed, coffee was served, new friendships were made, and the camera rolled. It was such a beautiful and colorful event. The atmosphere was warm. There were an even more ululations, smiles, and applauses from the audience.

H.E. Sani Radi, the chief administrator of Siltie Zone

H.E. Shiferaw Shugutai, the Chief administrator of Southern
Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region

Lunch was served around noon, and there were more performances by the artists until late afternoon. Nabil and I went around interviewing the participants to gage their reaction and to document the event on video. Both the hosts and their guests expressed their satisfaction with the way the event was handled.

Thus was completed the program for day two in late afternoon. We then headed to our rooms for shower, bercha, and/or for walk around the city.

Siltie’s performing Zikr

Elias Ahmed Adus performing Zikr

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Eid Al Adha in Siltie Zone - Day 3
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:26 am Reply with quote
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Day 3 - Eid Al Adha in Siltie Zone

December 18th, 2007 was the 3rd day of the special and exciting Eid Al Adha celebration in Siltie Zone. There were 2 events scheduled for that day. The first one was a symposium about the history of the Siltie people, while the second was “Women’s Arafa”. The symposium was held during the daytime, while the “Women’s Arafa” was held during the evening.

The title of the symposium was “Siltie History, Cultural and Language symposium.” Mr. Mohammed Saed discussed and presented a paper titled the “Study of the History of the Siltie community,” while Dr. Wondoson Tesfaye discussed and presented a paper titled the “Study of the Siltie Language.” The moderators were Mr. Ahmed Hassen and Prof. Ibrahim Hussain.

The symposium was educational and an eye opener. It discussed about the various Islamic kingdom’s that existed in the region before the time of Imam Ahmed. Most of the information depended on books that were published by Arabs at that time. The linguistic root of the Siltie people, and its proximity to the Harari language were also discussed. After the presentations, there was a speech by H.E. Sani Radi and President Murad Abdulhadi. That was followed with a discussion session with the audience.

The symposium program was over around 5:00 pm, and we headed to Qawa Qotu warada to attend the “Women’s Arafa.” The Women’s Arafa is a special Siltie traditional celebration, where special meals are prepared and presented by women the day before Eid Al Adha.

We arrived in Qawa Qotu, which was located in a winding and mountainous region of Siltie Zone to partake in the celebration of “Women’s Arafa”. The residents of the region were out in force to welcome us with great warmth and fanfare. As we entered the compound where the celebration was to be held, we were greeted with drumbeats, songs and dances.

We were ushered by our gracious hosts into a well-decorated large hut, where coffee was being roasted for us. We were seated on a carpet, with the women being seated in one side and the men in the other. Qawa Qotu is where the five “gistichas,” who are considered to be the mothers of the Siltie community, settled in the 16th century. The home of origin of the five “gistichas” was Harar.

The fact that the Women’s Arafa was being celebrated in Qawa Qotu, where the honorable Harari ladies settled, was a historic fact by itself. However, the fact that the administrator of Qawa Qotu Warada also happened to be a women, gave it an even more special significance.

Eventually, we were served the special feast that was prepared for the occasion of “Women’s Arafa.” It was very delicious. I am getting hungry typing this. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the women who worked hard to prepare the dinner and organize the event.

The dinner was followed by zikr, ululation, and dabal. Thus was how we spent our day 3 of Eid Al Adha celebration in Siltie Zone.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:18 am Reply with quote
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Day 4 - Eid Al-Adha in Siltie Zone

Wednesday December 19, 2007 was our 4th day in Siltie Zone. It was the actual day of Eid Al Adha, which is celebrated by billions of faithful Muslims around the world. Eid Al Adha or the feast of sacrifice marks the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismael (Ishmael) in obedience to the command of his Lord.

The Eid Al Adha celebration was the climax of our journey to Siltie Zone. This was the main reason that so many of us traveled hundreds of miles (kilometers) to Siltie Zone for. Eid Al Adha is celebrated enthusiastically in Siltie Zone, with Silties around the nation gathering in their hometowns to be with their parents and loved ones.

There were two programs scheduled for the day of Eid Al Adha. They were the Eid prayers and the “men’s Arafa”, which was to be held after the prayers. The “men’s Arafa” is the day the men in Siltie community perform zikr in praise of Prophet Mohammed (SAW).

The Eid prayers were to be held in Oumnan, close to where the shrine of Hajj Aliye is located. Hajj Aliye was under the command of Imam Ahmed, and settled in that area along with aw Berkhadley, Sidai, and around 600 soldiers to pacify that region. Their place of origin was Harar. As discussed in my previous entry “Shawal Eid in Siltie Zone” – Hajj Aliye is considered to be the father of the Siltie community.

Therefore, the place of prayers in Oumnan was a fitting selection to honor the historic relationship between the Siltie and the Harari people.

We woke up early in the morning that day, and unlike the previous days no breakfast was served at “Park Hotel”. In the day of Eid Al Adha it is the sunna not to eat meal before the Eid prayers.

We started heading from Worabe to Oumnan around 8:30 am by bus and private vehicles. Along the way we witnessed several residents of the region, who were dressed in their best outfits, trekking towards Oumnan by foot, while others were riding their horses. As we reached Oumnan we saw waves of humanity converging at the prayer field.

The filed was accessible through a building that looked like school or government office. At the entrance to the gate there was a large banner with wishes for closer co-operation between the Siltie and the Harari people. As we approached closer to the field we could hear the takbirats getting louder and louder. The field was awash with see of humanity praising Allah – the creator of the universe.

After the takbirats, we performed our prayers and listened to a khutba/sermon. At the conclusion of the khutba we embraced one another, and wished a blessed Eid to each other. Thereafter, we headed to a compound close to the Shrine of Hajj Aliye, where the “Men’s Arafa” was to be held. It was about 10 minutes or so drive.

At the gate we were greeted my women singing traditional songs accompanied by drums and handclaps. As we entered inside the large compound dedicated to Hajj Aliey, there were Siltie men who were engaged in doing zikr. They were standing under a banner that proclaimed the unity of the Siltie and Harari people. The drum beats and the clapping that went along with the zikr, the swaying of back and forth by the people who were engaged in doing the zikr reminded me of beloved Harar. The scenery, the sound, the ululation, the warmth of the Siltie people – it was just too intoxicating.

Afterwards, we were served meal, and chat was brought to those who wanted to kick back and relax. And later on there were more zikrs by both men and women at their own corners. Thus was how we spent day 4 of Eid Al Adha celebration in Siltie Zone.

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Eid Al Adha in Siltie Zone
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:45 am Reply with quote
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Day 5 – Eid Al Adha in Siltie Zone

Thursday December 20th, 2008 was our 5th and last day in Siltie Zone. We woke up early in the morning and to packed our belongings. We loaded our luggage and boarded the bus. We were set to go out of Worabe, which has hosted us well for the last four days.

However, we were not yet done with Siltie Zone. In fact one of our most exciting day in Siltie Zone awaited us. The 5th day was a day of adventure and journey throughout Siltie Zone. We ate breakfast in one woreda, lunch in the other, and bercha on yet a different location.

Dalocha Woreda was the first area in our itinerary for the tour of Siltie Zone in day 5. As we traveled on the bus, the group I was with was singing Harari songs, as well as doing Zikrs. As our convoy passed along towns in the Woreda, numerous people lined along the road to cheer and wave at us. We also waved back and exchanged smiles with our Siltie brothers and sisters.

As we reached our destination at Dalocha Woreda, there were even more people waiting for us. I would not be exaggerating if I said that there were thousands of people who were lined up to see us. It was a scene reminiscent of how super stars get treated in the West. This was a genuine and raw emotion that was on display from both the Harari and Siltie people. They must have waited for hours on the sun and the dust just to wave at us as we passed along. I would just like to say to our Siltie brothers and sisters, we love you. Thank you for the great welcome!

Finally we reached our destination in Dalocha Woreda. There were several people waiting both at the gate and within the compound where breakfast was prepared for us. It was a royal treat all around. To make a long story short, we ate our breakfast and headed back to our bus.

Our second itinerary would take us to Mito, in Lanfro Woreda. In terms of sheer number of people that went out to greet us during our journey to Siltie Zone, I don’t think none surpasses Lanfro Woreda. There were just too many people out there. More than I have described so far. In Mito we were served refreshments and then headed to a farm in the Woreda.

It was a large farm that mainly produced corn. However, the farm also had sugarcanes, chat’s from Harar, and other fruits. The owner of the farm allowed us to take whatever we wished from his farm. I took couple of sugarcanes.

We then boarded the bus and headed to a place where they had prepared lunch for us in Lanfro Woreda. The welcoming ceremony and the hospitality were all similar. We ate our lunch, bid our hosts in Lanfro Woreda farewell and boarded our bus.

We are now at the final leg of our itinerary. After having eaten our breakfast and lunch, it was now ziwariqa time. For that we headed to a beautiful and picturesque lake known as Abaya Lake. The people of the region welcomed us with a very warm welcome, which we have gotten accustomed to during our journey in Siltie Zone. They furnished us with carpets and leaves to use as cushion. Moreover, chat was provided to those who were craving it, and sugarcane for those who didn’t. Once again, I went for the sugarcane as I went around shooting the final segment of my video.

We then boarded the bus and we all headed to Addis. The chief administrator of Siltie Zone, H.E. Sani Radi boarded each bus to bid us farewell. They gave us a police escort to take us all the way to Addis. It was with such affection and love that our Siltie brothers and sisters treated us during our journey to Siltie Zone for Eid Al Adha.

~ If not us, who? If not now, when? ~
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 101
Location: World

Brother Mohammed,

Thank you for sharing the beautiful experience. I would love to meet my brothers and sisters of the Siltie zone. Today, I needed to feel connected. Thank you again. With tears in my eyes.

"All intellectual improvements arise from leisure"! unknown author
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Journey to Harar - 2007
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