By EDITORIAL BOARD OF OromoTV.com
The United States, from its inception, has been the beacon of hope not only for immigrants and citizens alike, but the world. When most think of the United States, the first thing that comes to mind is the commitment to a free, fair and impartial democratic way of life. One that welcomes all to participate not only as voters, but potential candidates for a variety of elected offices at the local, state and federal levels. It is this level of commitment to democracy and economic opportunity that attracts immigrants from all over the world to the shores of the United States. In fact, President Barack Obama serves as a great reminder to Americans and the world what’s possible for those who aspire to hold office at the highest levels of government. Born to a Kenyan father and a Kansas woman, he embodies what one can achieve if they are willing to pursue their dream. No country in the world can boast of a democracy that makes the story of President Barack Obama possible.
Inspired by this incredible story and driven by the need to implement a fiscal responsibility, the first Oromo candidate for the Senate has emerged from the Lone Star State of Texas. For those unfamiliar with the Oromo people, they are the largest ethnic group in East Africa – numbering an estimated 40 million. The Oromos practice traditional Oromo religion “Waqafanna,” Christianity and Islam. However, they have faced centuries of persecutions from the Ethiopian government, and most recently, many Oromo students and adults alike were subjected to abuse, disappearance, torture and murder at the hands of the current regime. Continued persecutions have forced many to migrate to neighboring countries and beyond, including Kenya, Sudan, Egypt, South Africa, Norway, England, Germany, Canada and the United States. Fleeing centuries of upheavals, Oromo immigrants have called these countries and countless others home, and continue to fight for the rights of those who remain at the mercy of the Ethiopian government despite being the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and the greater East Africa. Collectively, the Oromo language remains the fourth widely spoken language in all of Africa.
The emergence of the first Senate candidate dawns a new beginning for the entire Oromo diaspora. Professor Mohammed Abbajebel Tahiro was born and raised in Ethiopia. He attended the Addis Ababa University and was forced to migrate to neighboring Kenya due to political and social instabilities. He moved to the United States in 1989 in search of better opportunities free of political persecutions. In 1996 he married Shadia Omar, and they have four children. He moved from Minnesota, home to the largest Oromo diaspora community, to North Texas, where he started a logistical company. He earned his undergraduate, and subsequently, a graduate degree in Economics from the University of Texas. He is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at Collins College in Plano, Texas.