By: Joseph Gessese
The simple word “ENEBLA” is a magical word that encapsulates the true meaning of our culture. But what is the true meaning of Eneba? This might sound superficial and pedestrian. I bet many of you don’t know the deeper meanings and implications of this magical word. Yes, millions of Ethiopian across the world use the word Enebla to invite fellow Ethiopian/Eritrean to dine with them. It’s a beautiful word that we share daily without even thinking. But most of us don’t really know the true and deep meaning of Enebla. How many of us can say they invited a poor person from the streets of Addis and invited them to dine with them. How many of you can say that you have done that. Many might even think this is not a question worth asking. But why not? Is it because you can’t see yourself being seen dining with them. Why is this simple invitation we ask each other within our social circles so difficult to extend to everybody? They speak the same language and at one time or another they probably had everything we currently have and maybe even more. But we do not consider this as we just look at them superfically and find it impossible to go ahead and say the magic word.
We say Enebla to those who dress nice and can afford their own food. But we take it for granted to leave out the ones who need it the most. Enbla was originally an egalitarian word. It was not meant to leave out anybody from the nourishment that we all need equally. It was an injunction to partake equally and share equally. And at its core meat to be for those who are in need and not someone who can afford their own meal. It seems to me over time this true meaning of enebla has been hijacked and mutated to met the individualist tendency that has infliltrated our culture and has become a tool for for our own gratification. Most of the time it has even become a formality that one says so fully expecting a formal refusal, and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy of the quest for meaningless magnanimity. You then feel good about yourself, pat yourself on the shoulder for saying Enebla. But how many times you have set in a café in Addis and gratuitously pass so many who are in desperate need and but wait to invite someone who is well dressed and can afford anything on the menu. Why do we leave out the other Ethiopians who are not included in Enebla. How can you enjoy your meal knowing that few steps away there are hundreds of Ethiopian who haven’t eaten for days or they are digging the trash for food.
Would it be too much if you take a few bucks to put a decent cloth on a poor person and invite them to a restaurant and dine with them. What would happen? You get to hear the person’s life story and watch them enjoy the food they would never have had, had it not been for your kind invitation. How much blessing would you receive from that? Listening to their story might even allow you to help them in a way that can change their lives. The is the true and egalitarian definition of Enebla. Helping our fellow Ethiopians who are in desperate need and invited them to dine with you and see how your own life begin to change. This is true gratification from Enebla. We are our brothers and sisters keepers. God put us in a position to lend a hand to someone who has nothing and desperate. If every Ethiopian pledges to help out as many as they can, then they will all begin to learn and understand the true meaning of Enebla, I truly believe our country will begin to change when we begin helping our fellow brothers and sisters. Many of us here in the states or across the world who have been fortunate enough to leave Ethiopian and establish a better life somewhere else have the obligation to give back to those who left back home.