Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy is an organization comprised of working professions with diverse backgrounds and experiences who all have one thing in common—a deep and abiding love for Ethiopia. Beyond our love for Ethiopia, we are also united in our belief that the Ethiopian monarchy, an institution that kept Ethiopia united even during the hardest times for 3,000 years, is urgently needed in an paradigm where narrow self-interests and tribalism is threatening to rip our beloved nation apart.
The executive committee, Treasurer Mel Tewahade, Sergeant at Arms Giorgis Menelik, Chief Operations Officer Bethlehem Bekele and I—with further additions to the team to be announced in the coming days and weeks—all have vast experiences working within the Ethiopian community and organizing large scale events. All of us have learned first-hand the successes and weaknesses of movements that have come and gone over the years only for our community to grow more demoralized as most causes eventually languish and succumb to inertia.
We have all learned valuable lessons along the way. The one area of consensus that we have observed is the lack of trust from the community that each movement aims to serve. As I noted a few days ago in my Fasika outreach message, we are a community that has suffered a string of traumatic experiences. Most of us have learned to be skeptical; this skepticism leads many to be suspicious of anyone who tries to do something worthwhile for the community.
Not only do we understand this skepticism, we acknowledge it and we place the onus on us to earn your trust instead of thinking you will trust us based on our words alone. This takes on a greater level of importance considering that we are asking our community to embrace a monarchy that has been in exile since 1974. If we are to be successful, it will only be because we have proven to our community that our aim is truly to serve the people and that our vision for the monarchy places primary importance on restoring hope and opportunity for Ethiopians instead of just reviving the crown for the sake of symbolism.
We believe that the monarchy is the one institution that Ethiopians have that can rally the public behind a spirit of togetherness. As we say this, we also acknowledge that there are many who don’t have fond recollections of past Kings and Queens. As much as we push this idea of restoring a constitutional monarchy, we must listen more than we convince.
Our aim is to err on the side of transparency, to continually reach out and learn from our people and to involve our community as we grow. What we are attempting is a Herculean undertaking; one that requires an outpouring of support from our people back in Ethiopia and those who live abroad. We will be announcing programs to involve “gobez alekas” (precinct captains) in various regions throughout Ethiopia, select countries and key states in America. We are going to be at once efficient and open-sourced.
Restoring a constitutional monarchy in Ethiopia is the end goal; along the way, we yearn to be sources of positive change. We will not shy away from taking on issues that gash at our communities and tear at the seams of our nation. When we have open and honest conversations, with the aim of listening instead of yelling past each other. Change will not be possible unless we are as moved by compassion towards others as we are passionate about what injures us. What we aim to restore through the the restoration of a constitutional monarchy is the hope and prosperity of all our people without regard to tribe, religion or political belief system.
If you are interested in being a part of our effort or you have input you want to give us, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enamesegenalen.
Lij Teodrose Fikremariam is the Chair of Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy. He is the direct descendant of Atse Tewodros II, the once Emperor of Ethiopia who united a fractured nation during Zemene Mesafint (age of princes) and imbued Ethiopia with a sense of togetherness that enabled them to eventually defeat Italy at the battle of Adwa. Lij Teodrose was born in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia but grew up in America. He has a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University and an Masters of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. Lij Teodrose believes in one Ethiopia and that a nation can only be judged by the wellness of the least among us.