“The Pessimist complains about the wind. The Optimist expects the wind to change. The Realist adjusts the sails and keep sailing” – W. A Ward
By Zeray D.,
A tragic accident occurred on October 3, 2013, when a boat carrying as many as 500 people capsized while it was on its way from North Africa to Italy. Out of the 500 only about 150 survived. May their soul rest in peace.
I would like to express my deepest condolence to the families who have lost a loved one. It was claimed that most of the people that perished were from Eritrea. This tragedy made every Eritrean soul very sad. However, some who think that they are more Catholic than the Pope presumed that they felt the sorrow of the deceased more than any other Eritrean American who resides in the greater Boston area. They had the audacity to tell others when to stop mourning as well.
As it was mentioned above, the tragedy happened on October 3, 2013; prior to the incident, very famous Eritrean musical artists were in the US to perform for the Eritrean festival which usually occurs every July/August of the year. After the festival was over, the band started touring around major cities in the US. The band was slotted to play in Boston, MA on October 19, 2013 at the Park Plaza Hotel. An ad hoc meeting was summoned by Members of the Eritrean Community and Development Center (ECDC) and the issue was discussed thoroughly and a consensus had been reached to go ahead and have the party. Postponing was not possible because, the band will be going back to Eritrea immediately after the show in Oakland California the following week after the Boston show and a reservation has already been made plus, it was already a little over two weeks since the accident happened.
A good example is, after the terrorists blew the Twin Towers in New York, around 3000 people perished, however, within less than a week major sports events were broadcasted on TV. It didn’t mean that Americans were callous. Life went on as we were doing the right thing, such as praying and donating money to the victim’s family.
In regard to the so called ‘opposition’, they mailed an invitation to designated Eritreans who resides in the greater Boston area, to participate in a candle light vigil in memory of the loved ones that perished in the tragic accident. When I first saw the mail, I thought it was a noble idea. However, when I read through the note, I found out that it was politicized; indicating that while they are in deep sorrow the other community is preparing to have a big party.
Obviously, I had to refrain from participating in the event. A candle light vigil was held by members of the ECDC and the event went by smoothly without any politics.
On October 19, 2013 around 9:00pm, I took my family to the party. By the entrance into the Hotel, I saw some members of the Eritrean Community Center (ECC ‘opposition’) protesting. I knew for fact that what they were doing was not in good heart.
Regardless, I didn’t have any problem with the issue that they were doing, until one of the protesters insulted me. I was really caught by surprise. At least, if they were to protest peacefully, they would have made me think twice; if the decision that I have made was right or wrong. But insulting someone you don’t know was very cheap. Much to my surprise, I saw a video clip on assena website, whereby the hoodlums were insulting respected members of Eritrean Americans who have lived in the Boston area for many years. Kids as young as 12 were not spared from the humiliating insult. It was by far, one of the most embarrassing moments that I have encountered during my tenure in Boston for many years. There would not have been a better scene for real enemies of Eritrea to see an Eritrean insulting and/or making fun of another Eritrean.
SHAME ON YOU fellow Eritreans representing ECC. You have self incurred major disappointment to your well orchestrated drama.
Interestingly, they have disseminated a video clip indicating how miserable they were in front of the whole world. Amazingly, members of ECDC exhibited maturity by opting not to engage bad mouthing towards the ‘opposition’ group. This can be witnessed in the same video clip disseminated by the hoodlums on the mercenary assena website.
Inside the ballroom at Park Plaza Hotel, something happened that was very touching. A member of the Salina Band informed guests that the Band have decided to donate every single dollar they would get from the event to the family members of the deceased. At the same time, we found out that one of the towering figures of the Eritrean artist, Yohannes Tekabo aka Wedi Tekabo decided not to perform for the Boston audience.
For me, it was an honor to introduce Wedi Tekabo for my kids. I thought this was an opportunity of a life time. Every time iconic Eritrean artists visit the US, they never make it to New England. I thought it was a good opportunity for my kids to get a break from Hip Pop, but Wedi Tekabo didn’t accept the honor. I don’t have anything to say but to wish him the best. I still consider Wedi Tekabo a very talented artist. Yemecheh!!!
In the future, let us not politicize everything. During a tragedy, we should be able to sit together and mourn together. If we have the respect to each other, nothing is impossible. As much as the opposition has the right to protest against the government, we should bear in mind that government supporters have the right to support as well. We should refrain from insulting each other at all times.
Personally, I don’t have any affiliation to any political party. I had been a big advocate to see the merging of the two Eritrean communities in the Greater Boston area, however, that dream has dashed, thanks to some Eritreans who made a fool out of themselves by insulting others. We should discuss how to avert these kinds of tragedy in the future. Above all, let us do something that is pragmatic such as establishing a trust fund for the victims’ family.
We should put our hand where our mouth is. RESPECT!
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