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Praise for Dr/Professor Ghelawdewos Araia

Over the last three weeks, we have been flooded with numerous emails to express your appreciation and support to Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia contribution on the going democratic process in Africa in particular Ethiopia.  

http://www.tekuret.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/pan.jpgWe at Ethiopian Observer would like to share our heartfelt gratitude to all of you who participated in our praise project for Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia. After we announced the Praise initiative, we managed to collect earlier statements in admiration of Professor Ghelawdewos and we also received some praises directly sent to Ethiopian Observer, some of which are presented below in chronological order.

As we have stated in our first announcement, Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia is “a man of integrity with unshakable principled stands on issues surrounding the liberation and freedom of the African people in general and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia; above all, he is one of the high caliber Ethiopian scholars who for decades presented highly educational and balanced articles, essays, book reviews, blurbs, and commentaries.” Now, we are gratified that our evaluation of the professor, in fact, is well endorsed and corroborated by the many people who responded to our call.

Ghelawdewos Araia is an Ethiopian scholar who has done the minimum that is expected of an intellectual: told his truth and respected the intelligence of Ethiopians. In these times when ivory tower intellectuals shy from saying/writing/doing something that directly addresses peoples’ needs and concerns, Dr. Araia has come out with numerous insightful essays. The most recent of which, The Paradox of a Breadbasket Starving Ethiopia, has fired the ire of some due to its non-apologetic presentation. The point is that by giving voice to the hidden truths Dr. Araia is bravely assuming the role of the noble intellectual so desperately needed for this age of lies, half-truths & injustice.

Beniam: The Role of Intellectuals in The Age of Lies, Half-Truths & Injustice Ethiopian Commentator, http://tisjd.net/role.htm   October 3, 2002

Note: Beniam puts Ghelawdewos Araia along with Abdul Rahman Munif (Saudi author), Eduard Galeano (Uruguayan journalist), Noam Chomsky (Professor of Linguistics at MIT), Be’alu Girma, Ethiopian novelist), and Edward Said (the late professor of literary criticism at Columbia University)

Dr.  Gelawdios Araya [Ghelawdewos Araia] is a sagacious thinker and a compelling writer. As a rich blend of philosophy, economics and history, his highly readable book, Ethiopia: The Political Economy of Transition, deserves a huge acclaim. In terms of poking at traditional assumptions and conventions, his articles on famine are novel and provocative. RE.HAB E.N.A.T.F.A, the brain child of Dr. Gelawdios [Ghelawdewos], is a wonderful project. If it is to be successful, however, it needs to make an onslaught on some of the teachings of our great church. Indeed, what we need at this critical moment is an exultant spirit tamed and guided by the words of Zara Yacob, our intellectual father, “Gods Wisdom”.

Abiye Teklemariam: The Orthodox Church and Famine, Ethiopia First, 5/17/2007


It is with pleasure to read this excellent book entitled Ethiopia: Democracy, Devolution of Power& the Developmental State, authored by Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia. His work proposes serious consideration toward the implementation of democracy not only for Ethiopia but also for the entire African world. The book does more than lament and exhort: it teaches us with precision the basic principles about democracy and the necessary tools to nurture its development; it also boldly uncovers the bad seeds decimating our political discourse and takes us patiently, step by step, how we can build our democracy by ourselves and with concerted efforts. Incidentally, the magnificent density of ideas infused into the corpus of the book are impressive and the many chapters on the pros and cons to implement democracy show Ghelawdewos’ vision of a peaceful and viable transition to a market economy with a gradual access to capital and property, thereby allowing an intriguing democracy in the African continent.

Daniel Gizaw (2013), author of The Prince of Africa and Fikre Kudus (ፍቅረ ቅዱስ)

Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia is a graduate of the most prestigious Columbia University and the author of innumerable books and articles. Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia has fully documented that the three thousand-year old history of Ethiopia is a reality not a myth as claimed by some pseudo historians who say that the history of Ethiopia is just a century old.

Regarding the current political divisions of Ethiopia, based on regional and thus predominantly ethnic demarcations, Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia seems to prefer to see a regional arrangement of Ethiopia that is based on the Southern Ethiopian Peoples Region where Amharic is used as the lingua franca for communications, education and business activities. According to Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia, this would bring about unity, with healthy diversity, and stability. Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia seems to be of the opinion that Ethiopia needed further restructuring, a referendum could have given the Ethiopian people a voice in the creation of the regional Ethiopian states rather than as it is currently left to the Ethiopia’s ruling regime to decide by fiat.

Unlike the tunnel vision common among a number of the Ethiopian Diaspora, the most impressive lesson that we can learn from the interview of Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia, the distinguished political philosopher and seasoned writer, is that instead of attacking the personalities of the Ethiopian ruling party, it would be healthier if the Ethiopian Diaspora would analyze the viability of the various policies set by the ruling party in Ethiopia.

Asayhegn Desta, PhD, Sarlo Distinguished Professor of Sustainability, Dominican University of California.   

IT WILL BE A REGRETTABLE NOT TO PRAISE AND ENDORSE PROFESSOR GHELAWDEWOS ARAIA.  Professor Ghelawdewos is one of the leading and prominent scholar of Ethiopian/Tigrean without exaggeration in the area of political history and his participation and co zenebe dawit

Dear sirs;

Please take this opportunity to record my appreciation for the profound initiative to compile Dr. Ghelawdewos’ tieless academic journey which adds velour in his own unique perspective!

I have been a longtime admirer of the professor’s great teachings, researches, and conference proceedings as conflict resolver and peace proponent.

Though I personally never met the good professor, I know Dr, Ghelawdewos deserves such an acknowledgement as an Ethiopian scholar for his extraordinary effort and his exceptional talent!

 A definite time, seems, has come so close that his efforts and thoughts are about to be considered. There is no better time for me not to support him for such an excellence! I am happy those of us who were calling for such acknowledgement to come at the earliest opportunity has indeed come! We as Ethiopians should be validating such exceptional tips of moral and educational excellence as a testimony to pass to the younger generation in its valid form! I congratulate you, once again, Dr, for your great efforts!

Because you deserve it so! With great care! Berhane Tesfay

From Tecola W Hagos: praising and applauding Prof Ghelawdewos Araia (PhD)

Simply put, praising and applauding Prof Ghelawdewos Araia (PhD) is the easiest task to do for me and/or for the multitude of his admirers. To begin with, I must point out the fact that Prof Ghelawdewos was educated at one of the great research Universities in the World, Columbia. He is my junior in age, but my senior in very many other ways. I came to know of Prof Ghelawdewos after my return back to my second home the United States in 1993 from my brief misadventure joining the frenzy of the TPLF winning streak against the brutal Government of Mengistu Hailemariam in 1991.

I call my two years’ experience a misadventure in hindsight, for my involvement at that time was truly an act of faith more than any degree of political or social in-depth commitment or allegiance to the main ideological framework that shaped the TPLF and its mercurial leader Meles Zenawi. Since then to this day, I struggle to define what ought to be our defining perspective between two irreconcilable ideologies of the unity and sovereign territorial integrity of Ethiopia juxtaposed against narrow ethnic based/blood-line ideology supporting ethnicism.

I am mentioning my own inner struggle in applauding Prof Ghelawdewos simply to point out how far more valiantly and constructively Prof Ghelawdewos struggled in bringing sanity in the polarized often vulgar debates on the subject of “Ethiopiawinet” through his great writings of well researched greatly educational numerous works. Prof Ghelawdewos is profoundly an academic, very disciplined; respectful of the views of others, and an absolutely eloquent writer in all the three languages he presents his ideas and comments: Amharic, Tigrigna, and English.  

I know of very few Ethiopians who love Ethiopia in a profound inclusive way as does Prof Ghelawdewos.  No matter how narrow nationalists, chauvinists or ethnicists of every shade provoke and nudge him to flare up with anger with their endless accusations of Tigrean narrow nationalism, he steadfastly and courageously refocused the debate on Ethiopia and defended the greatness of Ethiopia and expounded his great pride in its history. He sees his ethnicity simply as a locality that profoundly helped him to be a “person” and even more so to be a proud Ethiopian not the way our new Leaders in Kilil after Kilil seem to promote hate and atrocities against minorities. His being from Tigrai is as profound as and integral part of being an Ethiopian.

From the few times I met Prof Ghelawdewos socially, I can attest without any reservation that I found him to be highly engaging, very sociable, and with great sense of humor. He is courteous, welcoming, and generous far beyond the limited in-person contact I had with him.  


Professor Ghelawdewos Araia is undoubtedly a first rate educator of the highest caliber. Diligent, passionate, erudite, mature scholar, whose contributions are marked by fairness, judiciousness and calmness, I am proud to claim him as my closest friend and comrades in struggle.

Kiros, Teodros PhD


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