Is it by accident or by design that the compass went wrong in Ethiopia?
Dr. Yohannes Aberra Ayele 5-5-19
World geography has become a firmly established field of knowledge beginning from ancient civilization in Greece. One of the commonsense knowledge in geography is the compass directions, namely North, South, West and East. In Ethiopia no one completes primary school without knowing where northern Ethiopia or western Ethiopia is located and which regions are included. Northern Ethiopia exclusively refers to the Entire Tigray Region; Gondar is northwest and Afar is northeast.
Taking the liberty to exaggerate, even the blind can locate Gojjam in western Ethiopia. If anyone who can write an article in English and post it on mereja.com I have no ground to assume that the author is illiterate. A basic literacy in Ethiopia is to know where the major regions of Ethiopia are located in terms of compass directions፡ Harar is in the East, Wolaita is in the south, Wellega and Gojjam in the west.
Initially I waved it as a typing error when the first article entitled "Treacherous road, spectacular scene-the Blue Nile Gorge in northern Ethiopia" appeared on mereja.com English page on April 30. I did not react to this considering it as a silly error. Blue Nile Gorge is not in northern Ethiopia. It is not even in Ethiopia. Blue Nile is in Sudan. When Abbay River crosses the border into Sudan it is known as the Blue Nile. Tekeze become Atbara in Sudan and Baro River becomes Sobat in South Sudan. If one thinks that the name Blue Nile is more beautiful than the local name in Ethiopia for that river, Abbay, I am not surprised. This is the typical Ethiopian self-down-grading. Let me take the name for the river preferred by the author to mean the Abbay Gorge. It is the Tekeze Gorge that is located in northern Ethiopia. Abbay Gorge is in Western Ethiopia.
When a second article appeared on May 5 entitled "Driving through Debre Markos town, northern Ethiopia" on mereja.com I cannot help thinking that there must be some sinister intention behind this. It has become a part of everyday life for Tigrayans to read and hear endless provocations. Last year there was a row about the alleged inclusion of Semien Mountains in the Tigray school curriculum. Blue Nile is too far to help ignite another row. I apologize deeply for this blunt statement, but it is the truth: Given the severe grudges the folks in Debre Markos bear towards Tigrayans the north would never love to have Debre Markos or the Blue Nile Gorge wrapped in gift paper. If the intention is to mislead the world into thinking that northern Ethiopia, with all its historical and cultural treasures, is just the Blue Nile lands I don't think it is the best trick in their hats.