July 4 2020
Note from the Editors
Yes, we are back and not a moment too soon. It's never a safe thing to have a bunch of listless editors with gandila-size egos lounging around drumming their manicured fingers in dbrt. Something's bound to detonate.
Ahh, September. The loveliest of months. The pre-New Year excitement brings so many memories of home... the smell of burnt koba on buhè bread; the strutting around awra godanas in ye-kt libss; the rumblings of tanks down Abiot Adebabai; witnessing the adhari –esque dodgings of the Meskerem Hulet s'lf evaders… Them were the days, folks, them were the days.
Inkuwan aderesen, SELEDAwian!
Geez, were those two months that just zipped by us…?? It just seemed like yesterday that we were impolitely mabser-ing to you the news about our now infamous double issue. And, God bless you, all of you, who did not exert the considerable effort it takes to sit down and prophetically write us poison pen notes about how our souls will burn in F'loha, how our children will end up in Lyceé (sebhat le ab!), how this, how that…
Good thing we are not the tolo tolo kur'rf bie types.
We are back, some of us even in one piece, and have hunkered down for a new series of SELEDA. (And depending on how long your furlough from Ammanuel Hospital is, that can be good news.) We missed being here.
It is the Diaspora/Life in Exile issue, which means one thing around SELEDA: upper management is furtively trying to get in touch with the Motherland. (Or, in their own words, they are feeling... "splendidly Ethiopian-ish".)
It's like watching a train wreck, ladies and gentlemen: you know you shouldn't watch, you know you should intervene, but the "ka-boom!" of listening to cell phone conversations about whether "we" can move the Filseta Tsom a couple of days ahead so it won't interfere with high protein diets, well... we live for those moments.
Incidentally, you'd be amazed at what people can pick up idling away for two months in DC with people who use phrases like "Mn happen areGe?" without a trace of irony. And for upper management people, who have propensities to be influenced by the latest sneeze, it has been a summer of playing eQa eQa with that 18th Street posse which subscribes to the "Let's do the be-one-with-our-ancestors-and-look-fabulous thing" school of thought.
Addis qess ke-PaPPas yibisal indaylu...
Fine. What do we care? What our bosses do on their days off would, of course, be none of our business, except that their infatuation des jours always end up affecting the rest of our peaceful lives. As in our cafeteria now has to serve the staff's favorite Salsa Verde and Green Tomatillo Dip with TiQur aflegNa injera.
You see why we are so testy all the time?
We are nobody to point out that the path to re-Ethiopianization is indeed a korokonch-y one, so we've decided to step aside and wait out this muse until they realize a little too late what "meTor"-ing someone does not entail.
Ere zimmmm new.
But we digress…
Welcome to the September issue!
First off, we are grateful to the few, the brave, the "hg yelem wei?" readers who were unlucky enough to be caught by the galling SELEDA radar. Promptly, they received our "esti nu, Tega belu" email/apocalyptic guilt trip/deplorable blackmail message inviting them to be contributors.
Promptly, some of them secured high-powered New York negere Fejs to shake us off. Promptly, some of them put their Qalichas on retainer to ward us off. Promptly, some of them sought asylum at Kerchelaé.
But man, those who jumped on board…Talk about weaving ye Qal haregs. Our heartfelt gratitude to the brilliant SELEDA mehabere seb, our readers-turned-contributors, for rallying around us. And were it not for the new company policy forbidding us from selling our SELEDA pre-IPO stocks at hibret suq prices... Etaytay timut!
The pulse of the Diaspora, it seems, is a-racing as we, its members, try to define our roles in two places: where we live now and where a part of our soul still remains. We have tried to bring you a glimpse of some aspects of life outside the land where our mothers buried our itibts. It is certainly not an exhaustive look, and it is a subject we hope to come back and visit often. We hope you enjoy.
So, what's semi new at SELEDA?
First off, you will notice, thank you very much, the spiffy art work on the cover page kindly volunteered and designed and re-designed, and re-re-designed by a preternaturally patient Assegid Gessesse, a reader who took up the Inat SELEDA T'ri for Ethiopian artists to help us in the creative department. Our deepest thanks to our new best friend and we hope he will serve as an inspiration to those of you who have set up gojos in the cyber closet.
As you read this we are working on the "Education" issue for October and the "Cities" issue for November. Dig deep into your memory vault… yep, in those long-forgotten folds of your cranium are stories that need to be told, so tell 'em! Vent, people, vent! As is the SELEDA war song: "We are cheaper than your shrink, and feel slightly better than Electro-shock therapy."
Other than that, all remains well around here. As always, we look forward to hearing from you about the articles you've read and your thoughts on how we can get the Webster's people to add "SELEDAfication" and "SELEDAfy" to their New Words in 2001 list. (While we're at it, let's also look into what our own mezgebe Qalat can do about making somethin' out of SELEDAma."
To a most peaceful and productive year...The Humble Editors.