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Harari Revivalism by Afendi M. Ziad, ph .D
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:52 am Reply with quote
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Harari Revivalism


Afendi M. Ziad, ph .D

Argoba
Silldhe
Efat
Sheikhaach
Adal (Adal Batuuli)
Hamar etc.
are all Hararis ?;

I wanted to try to analyze with you all brothers and sisters, an idea, which seems very simple and clear in nature but which is the most ambiguous and which lends itself to the most common misunderstanding, that is Race and Nation. What is our race or nationality and what is our nation.

Race and Nationality ? in its simplest form is a group of people who may have identity of culture, customs, religion, common origins, political aspiration and who feels separate and distinct from other people.

Nation ?? from ?nationality? we come to a nation. It is a nationality, which has organized itself into a political body or entity either independent or trying to be an independent and form a nation or state. One individual nationality can be a nation or a group of nationalities can form state or a nation, such as Ethiopia, Sudan etc.

Our revivalism movement is aimed at restoring and reviving our social virtues at the cost and expense of ourselves. Our aim is to live together with our brothers in peace and to improve the quality of our lives and we want unity and justice to all of us. This is not a new order that we invented, but it is a natural outcome that every body or mankind wants. The Harari crisis owes its origin to the fundamental weaknesses arising from the socio-political institutions and feudal attitude, which was based on, but a narrow Amharic ethnic consideration imposed on us by the Amharic culture and values.

Since the end of our dynasty or empire, or rather since the aggression of Abyssinia, it seems that we?re divided into several ethnic groups and regions and for fact, to regain that empire, has become impossible. Certainly, the division of our people is too great for an attempt to bring our nation back within its natural limits is almost impossible.

There is no doubt those are all Hararis, there might be others whom I might not get to know them yet. Unfortunately, they were dispersed away several years ago in their homeland. Naturally, we Hararis posses certain unique qualities and characteristics that makes us unique in terms of our social and political life. The nature of what constituted in our nation have changed considerably over the course of a century, but certainly, certain characteristics have remained unchanged. It is a simple truth that we, Hararis did inherit a homogenous history at some point of time in our history. We had and have common language, customs, rituals, social organizations and religious beliefs, which is Islam. It is very unfortunate to know that some Hararis converted into Christianity due to, to some unfortunate situations. I will give you a detail account in this topic in my next issue.

Historically Hararghey was a place that marked our beginning as a people, and gave us our freedom, directions, laws, regulations and disciplines. We had a unified government and permanent political structures that unified us all, as one people throughout the years. Indeed, there were extra ordinary mechanisms, which brought all the villages, towns, cities and or the bands together. Through these mechanisms, different tribe or villages and towns of Hararis developed bands with one another. At other times, villages and bands were largely became independent of one another under the chiefs of the tribes or council or Sheikhs of the villages, and it was noted that occasionally fighting brook between them.

This pattern of autonomy was true, particularly, among Hararis, some used to live in large autonomous villages some in single politically unified villages. This structures changed rapidly when sheikh Abadir moved the capital city to Madinatul Harar.
We did not have a diverse past of multi-ethenic, multi-culture and multi-religious identity for a long time. No, not at all, we were one nation; with one culture, one language and Islam was our faith. When Somalis immigrated to the region things had changed gradually, we became multi nationalities, but still they adopted the way of our life, they accepted Islam, enjoyed farming and trading.

The unification of our people is meant to bring about a strong and prosperous nationality with along lasting, bright future for our people; and it is the common wish of all our people at home and abroad. After an appropriate period of forthright exchange of cooperation, and consultation conducted under the principles of our very tradition; peace, parity and reciprocity, to all sides of Hararis should be fostered with a consensus of unity and an equal prosperity. Together we will build a new and a unified Hararis. We hope all Hararis throughout the world will work with one mind toward our fulfillment of this noble ambition.

History is our witness that, ?Hararghey was a place that marked our beginning as a people, gave us our freedom and directions, laws, regulations; disciplines and guidelines that could be very empty and frustrating without our entire tribes?. Our fathers were great people, because they taught us just to do what is good through dedication as outlined in Islam. Our people were scattered everywhere in Ethiopia, Somalia and Middle East, as freedom fighters or educators. It is unquestionable, yet when it comes to religion our people went everywhere without any hesitation and taught Islam for years. This is our grand fathers? great achievements and legacy.

It is undeniable that historically, our people gave their very lives rather than seeing a colonial ruler in our soil, and they faced martyrdom at Chalannqo. Indeed, they left for us behind, their legacy and other great works of their wisdom.

The ever increasing awareness of our peoples identities and how we perceive ourselves as one people have challenged us to redefine ourselves in terms of our identity, as one inseparable people, homogeneous Hararis. Our perception is that we are all Hararis, most unified single nationality in the nation of Ethiopia. At one point in time in our history we were a nation by our selves. On the other hand, the perception of Harari community is that we were a separate and a distinct nation, implying that Hararghey or as Egyptian used to call it in old days ?Punt land? or as many writers prefer to call it, Somalia, was a distinct country with at least one nation which was a homogeneous society functioning as one nation for the most of its recoded history. After Somalis immigrated to the region we become one country with at least two nationalities governed by centralized institution and a single legal code, which was Islamic sharee-a. Again in 16th century Oromo immigrated to this region, then we all promoted diversity rather than one homogeneous nation. Each society remains as a nationality and we all constituted together a nation under one flag and rule of laws. As a result ethnic identities were becoming more meaningful until the colonial era disrupted our natural development and way of life. During this time Somalia was cut off from the main land, Hararghey, and divided among European colonialists and then Hararghey was annexed by Minilik of Ethiopia.

Hararghey is the historic land, the homeland, and the cradle of Hararian Nation. It was the Harari society that was formed from the amalgam of a host of races and culture, (Hamatic Tribe and Arabs from what are known now as Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman) which were settled in Hararghey, (Somalia). It was them who forged the land, and defended their homeland from foreign invaders. In more recent time, it was we; Hararians all together with all the nationalities of the divers ethnics who had settled in Hararghey collectively formed the Harari nation. Due to, the fact that Somalia cut off from the main land Hararghey, they started functioning as a separate political entity during and after colonialization. Otherwise we had one common territory, we had the same common past, and we proclaimed allegiance and loyalty to common political and organizational institutions that a nation constituted.

The timing and the manner of our unification should first and foremost respect the interest of the people and protect their welfare. It should be achieved in a gradual phases under the principles of reasoning, parity and reciprocity.

All the areas that we presently occupy would be the new territory of Hararis. Helping to bring about national unification should be the common responsibility of all Harari people. Our unification should be for the welfare of our people and should aim at promoting our common culture and heritage and preserving our common history.

The emerging Harari identity needs to be strengthened by a shared public memory and cultural affirmation. There is not any thing more to say after such a touching portrayal of Harari wisdom except to feel proud. What we needed now is a complete assimilation with each other in urban communities and else where to promote a common Harari identity.

After suffering the pain of separation and segregation physically our memory must constantly be reminded who we are as a poeple. Our history and culture were almost distorted and our heritage and legacy were unfairly degraded. Now this needs to be revived. The new emerging Harari identity need to strengthened and there is not any more to say except to fill pride. The new Hararis that emerged made us think of our identities and ourselves in a new and different ways.

Nothing could be more troublesome for our civilization other than abandoning our fundamental principles that we are a rational and moral being as Hararis with specific language and culture. These elements; our language, our culture, and our race are uniting factor and are our historical formations as a nation or nationality.

I think a consultative organization for our unification should be established through which all sides, in accordance with the will of the people in all areas so that we could adhere to the great goals that establish equitable and prosperous Hararghey.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 5:47 pm Reply with quote
saidshake
Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 1




Dear Dr. Afendi Ziad,

I read your article "Harari Revivalism" a couple of times and I found it very interesting in a positive way. There are areas were I completely agree with you hundred percent. Naturally there are few points which I can raise an issue and must be further researched.
I was not sure whether the article was an introduction for further discussion or is it a conclusion you reached with supporting evidence. Just to give you one simple example let me quote what you wrote :
"Historically Hararghey was a place that marked our beginning as a people..."
I could be wrong, but let me layout my reasoning nevertheless. Hararghe as as an emirate existed ,let us say , two thousands years ago. But I am sure Hararis existed as a people way before that and some of our culture , the origin of our language etc... attest to that.
In any event I hope this is a good start to explore , research and refine the origin of our culture, where we came from and where we are going...
Just to make it simple ;would you be kind enough to put some light and elaborate further by what you mean when you wrote

"I think a consultative organization for our unification should be established through which all sides, in accordance with the will of the people in all areas so that we could adhere to the great goals that establish equitable and prosperous Hararghey."

Do you mean the unification of Argoba,Silldhe,Efat,Sheikaach Adal and Hamar ?
Sorry once again; I consider myself 100% Harari but when I talk about Sheikhaach I look at it as my somali heritage independent of Harari and the only time my sheikhaachness had any meaning was when I visited the Somali region where they took me in from the cold as their lost Somali son which to this day makes me feel guilty because in my heart of my heart I am always a Harari.Besides Sheikhaachs extol their relations to Hararis but consider themselves Somalis.
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