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Respect the Past, Protect the Present: Save Our Tigrayan ArtisansUrgent Appeal for Protection and Recognition of the Tigray Ancient Handcrafts andJewelers Making Civic Association

MekelleŠć° 6 June 2024 (Tigray Herald)

Emotional and Powerful message of

By Yerga Yaecobe
Justice.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

6/6/20224

Dr. Atsbha Gebreegziabher

Head of Tigray Cultural Heritage and Tourism Bureau

:Respect the Past, Protect the Present: Save Our Tigrayan ArtisansUrgent Appeal for Protection and Recognition of the Tigray Ancient Handcrafts andJewelers Making Civic Association

Dear Dr. Atsbha Gebreegziabher,

I am writing to you with a profound sense of urgency and concern regarding the criticalsituation faced by the members of the Tigray Ancient Handcrafts and Jewelers Making CivicAssociation. These skilled artisans, who have safeguarded Tigray’s rich cultural heritage forover 4,000 years, are under severe threat. They have been subjected to persistent attacks,including killings, displacement, discrimination, and dehumanization, all of which havestripped them of their fundamental human rights and disrupted their lives and livelihoods.

These artisans’ children are unable to attend school due to ongoing discrimination. Theirhomes have been destroyed, and their farmlands seized by those perpetuating harmful andoutdated practices within the Tigrayan community. Furthermore, these artisans are beingdenied their right to worship, as some priests, misusing religious practices, have conspiredto exclude them from churches in Tigray. This systematic oppression is rooted in14th-century policies imposed by Amhara extremists aimed at undermining the knowledgeand craftsmanship that define Aksum’s Tigray ancient civilization.

In the post-genocide era, following the devastating war inflicted by Ethiopian and Eritreanforces, it is inconceivable that fellow Tigrayans would continue to persecute their ownpeople. The atrocities committed against these industrious individuals, who embody theessence of Tigray’s proud history and cultural legacy, must cease immediately. Suchbackward practices bring shame to the resilient and proud people of Tigray.

As the head of the Tigray Cultural Heritage and Tourism Bureau, you have made significantstrides in preserving and restoring Tigray’s cultural and religious heritage in the aftermath ofgenocide. Your leadership has been instrumental in the rehabilitation and development ofour rich traditions. We believe you can play a crucial role in halting the crimes against theseinnocent artisans by collaborating with Tigray’s religious institutions to close this dark chapterin our history.

We urge you to take immediate action to protect and recognize the invaluable contributionsof the Tigray Ancient Handcrafts and Jewelers Making Civic Association. Their knowledgeand craftsmanship are the jewels of Aksum’s Tigray ancient civilization, deserving of respectand admiration.

Your commitment to this cause will not only preserve our cultural heritage but also ensurejustice and dignity for these artisans. Thank you for your dedication and achievements thusfar. We look forward to your continued leadership in safeguarding Tigray’s cultural legacy.

“Protect Tigray’s Legacy: Stand with Our Artisans”

“End Discrimination, Preserve Our Heritage”

“United for Tigray: Honor Our Ancient Craftsmen”

“From Genocide to Justice: Defend Tigray’s Artisans””Cultural Pride, Human Rights: Safeguard Tigray’s Craftsmen”

“Respect the Past, Protect the Present: Save Our Artisans””Tigray’s Heritage, Tigray’s Heart: Stand Against Injustice”

“Empower Our Artisans, Preserve Our Civilization”

“Together for Tigray: End the Oppression of Our Craftsmen”

“Celebrate Our Crafts, Honor Our Artisans: Unite for Tigray”These slogans aim to convey the urgency and gravity of the situation while appealing to Dr.Atsbha Gebreegziabher’s leadership and commitment to preserving Tigray’s cultural

heritage.

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