Regarding the November 24, 2006 piece by Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis


Dr. Megalommatis is worried that Ethiopia is called Ethiopia, and begs that people call it “Abyssinia, do not call it “Ethiopia’ if you please.”   Unfortunately for Dr. Megalommatis the name of a country called Ethiopia is not going to change to suit his sensibilities or to make right his false appellation.  Dr. Megalommatis effort reminds one of an idiotic student who in a test placed the Appalachian Mountains on a map of Asia and prayed profusely to God so that God could place the Appalachians in Asia to help the student pass the test.  No amount of pleading, begging, appellation, or giganormous verbiage can change the history of Ethiopia, irrespective of the sensibilities, motives, or paid work by Dr. Megalommatis.


Ethiopia refers to people of “burnt face” as Herodotus who had visited Aswan wrote in 450 BC. The 25th Pharaonic Dynasty was ruled by Ethiopians or Cush, depending on how historians tried to align their work with nomenclature given in Septuagint (Common Version of the Bible) or the Hebraic (King James Version) versions of the Bible. In that way Cush and Ethiopia are used interchangeably.  Not surprisingly the majority of Ethiopians are Cush, beginning with the Agaw that occupied large section of Ethiopia .  The Agaw and the Semites are heavily intermarried and their languages have propagated over each other. Perhaps the best example one may cite is  how Ak from the Agaw term for water, Siyyoum from the Semitic word for Chief was  coined to  express “water Chief” as “Ak siyyoum”, which we now know as Aksum  (Taddesse Tamrat, 1982). The Agaw language from which “ager” (the Amharic term for country comes) is the substratum language over which many other languages spoken in Ethiopia propagated. The Afan Oromo, another Cushitic language, is widely spoken in Ethiopia after the Oromo migrated northward into the Ethiopian highlands beginning in the 16th century, as was documented by Abba Bahrriy (1593- Getatchew Haile, 2000 ).  However, by reason of intermarriage and propagation of languages, the Afan Oromo speakers are as ancient as any other Ethiopians (, 


Historians have a sketchy understanding regarding the linkage between the 25th Pharaonic Dynasty that ruled Egypt and the Sudan with its palace extending as far south as Meroe and the powers of highland Ethiopia including the highland DM’T Kingdom of Shire which predated the Aksumite civilization.  However, inscriptions on stones indicate interaction between the the lowland powers of Egypt and the Sudan and those of highland regions of Ethiopia until in AD 4th Century Ezana subjugated Meroe and placed a vassal king over that region. The inscriptions of Ezana’s exploits were written in Ge’ez, Sabaean, and Greek.  Ethiopians are not Sabaeans, or Greeks. They likely included the Ge’ez, if such appellation referred to people; though we are not sure of that.  A listing of the subjects that Ezana ruled over clearly included vast lands not only in Ethiopia and the Sudan but also in South Arabia . According to Sergew Hable Sellassie (1972), the first time Ethiopians referred to themselves in the literature as Ethiopians was during the Zagwe Dynasty, AD 1137 - 12 70, about 800 years ago.  I do not think that His Imperial Majesty Lalibela the Great would have imagined seeking the council of Dr. Megalommatis of the 21st century about what to call his country in the 12th century. Rather, Emperor Lalibela (1141-1181) of the Zagwe Dynasty raised in his imagination the Holy places of Jerusalem and Bethlehem north of the Jordan River and Mount Tabor south of the same river and built the rock-hewn Churches at a place that now bears his name (


Dr. Magalommatis statistics regarding the people of Ethiopia is wrong, and his reference to Ethiopian history is not only wrong but is told with such disdain that any further reply on my part to his effort would be regarded as abusing an idiot or glorifying the work of a malicious propagandist.  In either case the effort would not be useful. Hence, I conclude after exposing the errors of one of his propaganda pieces that I quote below.


“If America does not help the Oromo majority to secede, form an independent country, kick the Amharas out of Addis Ababa, which is a fake name for the Oromo city of Finfinne, soon the world will be taken by surprise by the new Islamic Volcano explosion, this time much worse than the supposedly marginal Somalia.”


Dr. Magalommatis is ignorant of Ethiopian history.  Addis Ababa is the name given to the capital city of Ethiopia by Menelik II, and had several different names in the past..  It is a region where many ancient Ethiopians had inhabited for centuries before the migration of the Oromo to that place. As the seat of the Ethiopian Dynasty moved from Lasta to Shewa, the Hati of Damot (Now Welega, but not settled by Oromo’s at that time) Motalemi had invaded Shewa and the strong Moslem family of Yefat had acknowledged the Hati as the overlord. It was Emperor Amde Tsion (1314-1342) who extended the Christian kingdom over lost lands of Ethiopia clear across Addis Ababa into the southern rift valley and boundary zones and northeast to the Red Sea.  His great grandson, Emperor Zera Ya’Iqob (1433-1468) married a beautiful (the famous Queen Eleni) daughter of the King of Hadiya south of Addis Ababa .  Also, one of his generals, Ras Bitweded Amde Mikael was governor of Fatagar, a region extending from Gruageland to Arsi (Dawaro).  The first battle between Imam Ahmad Ibn Ibrahim al-Gazi (Ahmed Gragn) and Emperor Lebna Dengel was in Shenkora Kure, in the vicinity of Debra Zeit, southeast of Addis Ababa.  It was in the wake of the Gragn wars (1529-1543) that the Oromo migrated northward to the Ethiopia highlands where other Ethiopians had lived. The Oromo intermarried and their languages propagated over the Ethiopians of those places. For a more detailed discussion on such issues point to  In the reigns of Emperor Lebna Degel's successors, from Emperor Gelawedowos through Haile Selassies to the usurper regimes of the Derg and the succeeding TPLF/EPRDF, Addis Ababa has remained an Ethiopian region despite its many names. We know that there are Ethiopian political parties such as the OLF that seek to secede from Ethiopia.  However, that concept of secession is fraught with a myriad of problems and merely helps the effort by the EPLF and TPLF to weaken Ethiopia and rule over the divided twin states of Ethiopia (Eritrea and FDRE).


Though some Oromo Ethiopians might profess Islam others are Christians. Neither the Christian Orormo Ethiopians nor the Moslem Oromo Ethiopians have a history of stirring trouble on grounds of religion.  In fact, though I cannot recall the source of the story, I had heard that the word Gala, which refers to those people that now prefer to be called Oromo, is derived from the Somali term, Ga’ ale?, which reportedly means “said no”, and referes to a people who refused Ahmed Grang’s request to join with him in his Jihad against the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia. Moreover, shortly after their migration to highland Ethiopia, a contingent of Oromo soldiers had marched to the Red Sea region under the leadership of Emperor Serse Dengel and had removed the Turks and their sympathizer from Mereb Mellash (Eritrea ) and coastal Ethiopia .  The main point here is to indicate that, despite the allegation and desires of Dr. Magalommatis, the Oromo Ethiopians have fought for the freedom of their country and do not have a history of siding with jihadists or waging a jihad.


HG: 12/2/2006