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Message from Goron Forum

To Irob Wereda Administration

This is a summarized version of Goron forum discussion about Irob abductees and martyrs Memorial Day. Although we live miles away from our beloved people and land, we always carry you in our hearts and discuss about different issues that continue to affect our people. To that regard, Irob Memorial Day is one of several issues we continue to discuss. Please keep in mind that this is just to share our humble opinion on how to effectively celebrate this great day so feel free to take what you think is good for your consumption and let us know in which particular way you would like us to participate on this occasion. We will then inform the Diaspora public at large and hopefully our people in Diaspora would be happy to help in whatever way they can. Please see the majority view of Irobs in a nutshell as was expressed by some.

Irob Memorial Day
Irob Memorial Day should be a reflection of our current pain, means of strengthening our community and portray our determination, and aspirations. Therefore activities on that day should be consistent with those aspirations.

Irob Memorial Day (IMD) should be a time of solemn reflection on our identity, integrity, hope and aspirations, commitment, heroism. While we will celebrate the day, it must be a day of reflection of who we are, what has taken place in our community because of the aggressive invasion by Eritrea and a day that recognizes our heroes who paid their lives so that we can stay free.

We the Irob people here in the Irob wereda, other parts of Ethiopia and those residing all over the globe, have come together to celebrate this historic day in the memory and honour of those who have passed away by sacrificing their lives for us, in the presence of those we count on during the most challenging time of our long history, and mindful of our careful preparation and determination to pass what our ancestors have left us to those who will come after us in this land of ours. We pay homage to the heroic Irobs who faced an Eritrean national army without flinching face to face and fought them gallantly to the bitter end to protect their ancestral land. May they smile from the heavens by looking down on us as we promise them that we will not betray them and the cause they sacrificed themselves. We pledge to the families of those abducted by the Eritrean government to do everything in our power until every one of our brothers and sisters in the dungeons of the Eritrean government is returned to us.

We are fully aware and proud of our history and common heritage with a distinct and unique cultural and linguistic identify within the mosaic culture of our country Ethiopia; deeply cognoscente of, and pained by the unjust and unjustifiable aggression that was committed against our country Ethiopia and our Irob community by the Eritrean government; thankful for the ultimate sacrifice paid by our community members and our brothers and sisters from all over Ethiopia in the liberation of our land and people; committed to never forget the sacrifices paid for this freedom; fully prepared to work to bring back our brothers and sisters abducted by the criminal government of Eritrea; confident to secure our borders here in Irob and anywhere in Ethiopia that our forefathers have left in our care. We pledge today that not one single stone let alone parts of our country will ever be taken from us as long as one of us is alive and we together with all other Ethiopians will secure our birth right of our Ethiopian citizenship forever.

While the Irob Wereda administration should take a lead in facilitating this event it is an event that should be owned by all the community members:
There should be a coordinating committee made up of the following stake holders, but also keep the following groups to have their own committee that they would send a representative to the coordinating committee.

1. Wereda administrator
2. Irob regional representative
3. Irob federal representative
4. Irob Irob elders
5. Irob faith leaders
6. Irob youth
7. Irob militia and military in the area
8. Irob women groups
9. Irob academia
10. Irob artists
11. Security and police
12. Irob media personality (if there are any)
13. Other groups?

It would be great if the Werda and regional government would publicly recognize/acclamation that this day has been established as the Irob Memorial Day all over Ethiopia or Tigray; whichever is legally appropriate.

While we all may not be able to attend the first Irob Memorial Day from all over the world, those in the vicinity of Irob should be encouraged to attend. For the first Irob Memorial Day, celebration should be in one Irob location.

All activities should reflect as to who we are and strengthen the rationale behind this holy day; peaceful, deeply thoughtful and reflective of our history, common heritage and absolute commitment to the goals and mission of the day.

Candle light and prayers are the most meaningful and symbolic ways of celebrating respect, sorrow and determination. We should also have a plague showing those stolen from us and those who sacrificed their lives for us. There should be a small number of organizers in every community representing the total Irob community to lead this blessed plan.

1. Guests:
A. Invite political, social and spiritual leaders to the event: this will make the issue of our martyrs and abductees public information in front of those in power to make a difference.
B. Media: if possible, publicizing our issue among not just Irobs but overall region and nation will strengthen our position.
C. Religious leaders: there is a spiritual context to this as our people are people of faith and religious leaders have huge influence in our community.
D. community elders: this is consistent with the culture we love and respect
E. Foreign personalities: if possible, invite any and every foreign residents and guests as they may spread the news of our suffering.
2. Sport activities: this will start something that we need to encourage for future youth activities
A. Lati-tiya
B. Soccer ball
C. Volley ball
D. Basket ball
E. Gabatta
F. Track and field (ammokomtina)
3. Poetry
A. Adar
B. Tine eyan tine
C. Horra
D. Other relevant activity
4. Prayer: if possible, make prayer event in an open field
A. Candle light
B. Calling names of all our martyrs: recognizing that those direct relatives cannot emotional stand and explain their pain, we can put a show explaining what it means to have lost a father, a mother, a brother and or a spouse.
C. Calling the names of our abductees
D. Calling names of our perished youth victims of “Filset”
E. Calling all the names of youth who may be somewhere, but not sure

5. Award Ceremony: recognizing not only the best of that day in both sport and poetry, but make this day a day that we recognize the good in our community. Successful business owners, academic achievements, community activists /
6. To do all these and other memorable activities, there needs to be financial resource. I would ask that the Goron representatives in coordination with the Irob wereda take a lead on the fundraising front:
A. Ask contribution from all Goron members ($20-$50)
B. Ask every Irob individual to “purchase” a ticket to the event (contribution)
C. Request sponsorship from business owners
D. Invite small shops and “felo are” and “malab are” to set a certain % from the income on that day
E. Sell Tshirts and cups with the “Irob Memorial Day” and names and pictures of our “Itukat Senbet”
F. Make sure that a well recorded video of the event is prepared and sold to all Irobs that can afford to purchase it.
G. Additional thoughts of your own is welcome.


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