October 11, 2016
From an experience, I know this to be true: “It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, and a day to love them, but it takes an entire lifetime to forget them.” Anonymous
I am an Ethiopian who is deeply saddened by a tragic death of Sharon Gray, a thirty-one year old scientist at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). Though I don’t know Gray, her friends or families, I want to extend my deepest condolences to them.
It was with great sorrow that I read the news on the internet about your tragic loss. Gray’s heartbreaking death in Ethiopia by an injury from a rock thrown by protesters that was aimed at a vehicle she was traveling in with her colleagues.
The first thing that came to me when I heard about your loss was that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then, I thought she wouldn’t die if the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front’s (TPLF’s) elite didn’t provoke the hundreds of death and/or injuries at an Ireecha festival in Bishoftu, Oromiya a few days prior to her death. I also reflected on the Obama administration and the United Nations, and I contemplated that she wouldn’t have died if they didn’t unconditionally support Ethiopia’s fascist regime, the TPLF.
Later on, to try to find comfort, in the sad loss of your loved one, I daydreamed. In my dreamland, I saw Gray in a middle of nice vegetables and fruits gardens which have all kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuces oranges, peaches, watermelons… I also saw different colors of doves flying over the gardens under pitch-black skies.
Then I heard a whisper that came out from the darkness … It is too dark here. But you can see. Just try to relax and look around. Check it out. Isn’t it pretty? I have everything and more I loved in life except for my friends and families.
I had a great time in Ethiopia. I liked it there. I enjoyed the people, the foods and the cultures. I planned to go back. One of the things that caught me by surprise was the natural resources were barely touched. And almost everything they built and/or they are building in the city need to be rebuilt because they are below par. Whole lots of cars in the city have to be replaced; their carbon dioxide emission is out of control. Absolutely, the people need and deserve new leaders with better visions and mentality for their people and country. The current regime is infested with suspicious and narrow minded former guerilla fighters. They still think they are on the mountains. They followed us every were we went.
I tell you Ethiopians cannot blame the white race for being impoverished. However, they should blame the black race, the Ethiopian elite, those who are leading them with the barrel of a gun without having leadership wisdom and/or skills. They should blame their elite those who went to school but came out without learning how to collaborate. They should blame them for their inability to work together and to form formidable opposition parties, which is a basic ingredient to create an accountable and a transparent government. Lack of an accountable and a transparent government is the root cause of the Ethiopians’ plight for decades. For instance, the TPLF overtook power by force. Soon after it got a grip on power it was hated. It would be history shortly. Another powerful group would come and the vicious circle would continue, which is depressing.
They also should blame the most powerful black man, Barack Obama, of the world. Do you remember what he told the world when he was in Ethiopia last year, in July 2015? He told the world that the TPLF, one of the most tyrant regimes the world has seen to date, was elected democratically by 100% of the vote.
A year later I understand that he lied, look what happened to me? Protesters who were demanding to elect their government democratically were throwing rocks at cars passing by them. I happened to be there, and I got hit by one of the rocks a protester threw at my vehicle. I immediately lost my consciousness, and I died shortly without suffering. For no reason, I lost my life at a very young age though I loved to live. I worked hard throughout my life. I planned and hoped to raise a family of two or three children. I lost all my hope and dream in Ethiopia for nothing. I cannot see my husband, mom, dad, sister and her children, godchild, friends … until they make it here, and get their own gardens. Isn’t it that sad?
Then I saw a white dove carrying an olive branch attempting to place it on Gray’s forehead. While I was looking at the dove, I heard another whisper from behind me. When I turned around, it was a stranger … you are loudly daydreaming; people heard everything you said.
With an embarrassment, I looked around. I saw everybody staring at me. In a whisper, I replied to the stranger that daydreaming isn’t a bad thing as long as it isn’t out of control. I talked it out loud to try to figure it all out.
Oh! I see …Anyhow … there are other better ways of brain storming such as writing … or being ready to tolerate other views and getting organized and discussing issues with a group of people. Before you try to do that, you must know that it isn’t your way or the highway; it isn’t everybody’s way either, but it is finding a middle ground. And remember to listen to other views more than you talk about your views.
From Gray’s facial expression and the way she let a wind blew through her hair in the above picture, I thought she had a joyful personality. Tributes of her friends at UC Davis which I watched on various media, I believed that she had a mind that sought knowledge and a wisdom to spread awareness about what she knows across the world. A simple proof is she went to Ethiopia, the world’s most impoverished nation, from California, the most developed and prettiest place on earth, “to study how growing levels of carbon dioxide affect plants.”
Please accept my condolences.
The writer LJDemissie can be reached at LJDemissie@yahoo.com