A Letter from Jail
Birtukan Mideksa’s letter from prison: in Amharic and English.
"YOU JUST NEED TO BE A FLEA AGAINST INJUSTICE. ENOUGH COMMITTED FLEAS BITING STRATEGICALLY CAN MAKE EVEN THE BIGGEST DOG UNCOMFORTABLE - AND TRANSFORM EVEN THE BIGGEST NATION."-MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN
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CNN (TV) and other major news organizations that didn’t want anything to do with the killings and detentions in Ethiopia, extensively covered, (in a very condescending tone I might add) the new Ethiopian Idol TV show. I assume they all got the story from the same source, probably Agence France Presse (AFP) or Associated Press (AP)….. almost word for word, they all kept iterating it in the same manner.
The coverage went something like this:
“Yellowed satin sheets and signs taped to the walls provide the backdrop for a set hastily constructed each week in a shabby hotel restaurant. Performers have to contend with frequent power cuts, feedback from poor sound equipment and ringing cell phones……….”most of the time, I tell (contestants) to go back to their old jobs, forget about a career in singing,” the 46-year-old Ethiopian idol judge said. “Or I tell them they sing like donkeys.””
On any given day, the line up that makes up for a major chunk of the news in the U.S involve………..Cute puppies, cuddly panda bears, and Paris Hilton ………more or less in that order.
Michael Buerk warns “A flawed media, leads to a flawed democracy. Ill informed citizens cannot make proper judgments about their leaders' actions, about the actions that take place in their names, about the laws that govern them.”
CNN (TV)... In the words of Mr. Feleke Hailu Ethiopian idol judge (who in my opinion makes Simon Cowell look like a little girl scout) ………. Your news is fit for a donkey!
(The Article below is submitted by Fikirte Hagos)
Just for fun let's look at the first few paragraphs of the article. The aim is to learn how one can fit in as much negativity as possible without using too many words. We were quite impressed at how they were able to achieve this. To better assist with this exercise we have highlighted some of the key phrases. Perhaps we can take a few tips.
(Jan. 8). ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA -- "Ethiopian Idols" is a far cry from the glamour and glitz of its U.S. and British inspirations.
Yellowed satin sheets and signs taped to the walls provide the backdrop for a set hastily constructed each week in a shabby hotel restaurant while waiters peer in. Performers have to contend with frequent power cuts, feedback from poor sound equipment and ringing cell phones.
But "Ethiopian Idols" has it own answer to Simon Cowell -- the acerbic judge on the American and British versions. Feleke Hailu disses contestants by telling them they "sing like donkeys." The show has fast won the highest ratings on otherwise dull state-run TV. While "Ethiopian Idols" cannot promise the riches or fame enjoyed by American and British winners, it does offer hope in an impoverished country where most of the 77 million people cannot afford a TV set.