Friday, October 31, 2014

Featuring Sheek Bakrii Saphaloo, One of the Pioneers of Afan-Oromo Linguistics

Continuing our focus on Qubee and Afan-Oromo (i.e. the Oromo language) as the adoption of Qubee (the Afan-Oromo alphabet) marks its 23rd year on November 3, 2014 …
It had taken countless sacrifices by the Oromo Nation to develop its national language, which had been (and continues to be) targeted by successive Abyssinian regimes occupying Oromia since the conquest of Oromia by Menelik in the late 19th century. Today, the Abyssinian regime occupying Oromia – the Tigrean TPLF, works to wipe out the Afan-Oromo through indirect means, such as denying Afan-Oromo the status of the Federal Working Language, thus through making Afan-Oromo undesirable for the Oromo youth to know and study it. Oftentimes, a job candidate reveals that they’re denied jobs at the Federal level just “#BecauseIAmOromo,” i.e. just because one only speaks Afan-Oromo fluently, the most widely spoken language in Ethiopia, rather, candidates with Amharic fluency get the jobs (thus leading to the discriminatory hiring practices based on nationality in Oromia itself). Imagine that in England, the Federal/Central-Govt Working Language becomes Deutsch/German language, and Englishmen and Englishwomen (who have been taught in schools in the English language) are required to know Deutsch to work at London’s federal (i.e. central government) institutions. That’s the injustice now millions of Oromo youth face in the TPLF-controlled Oromia.
To undo the linguistic tyranny in Ethiopia, countless Oromos worked day and night (and sacrifices their lives) to finally unban it in 1991, only 23 years ago. The unbanning of Afan-Oromo for official uses in Oromia came following the toppling of the Amhara-Abyssinian regime of Derg in May 1991. Even after its unbanning, in the now TPLF-controlled Oromia, the linguistic tyranny against Oromos continues and fuels the discriminatory hiring practices described above.

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