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Friday, 15 August 2008

Is Arsi for sale too?

Tedla Asfaw

After the victory of Tirunesh Dibaba in 10,000 meter  in a new Olympics record in Beijing Friday night(August 15) exactly eight days from the opening of the Olympics the world is again reminded of the Athletics glory of Ethiopians in long distances that started with Abebe Bikila in the 1960s.

Most of the dominant runners in the last twenty years, however,come from Arsi and the world is now focusing why Arsi has produced star athletes like Haile, Derartu, Fatuma, Kinenesa and Tirunesh and many on the pipe line. Its high altitude and famous in producing wheat and Ethiopian Teff which is full of iron are considered as the main factor for Ethiopian domination

Here in USA many cereals are fortified with iron and we have not seen long distance runners like Ethiopian and Kenyan caliber. Kenyan main staple is corn and the "Teff" factor can easily be ruled out in the short term, however, we should still be open for future research if Ethiopia's teff is still a factor.

Sadly this teff which is the staple of millions of Ethiopians is now beyond the rich of Ethiopians and is in fact  exported here in USA and in Middle east and Europe in alarming rate by merchants who are connected with the regime  for foreign currency. There is also large tracts of land leased for foreigners for their own crop production and the case of Saudi Arabia is one  among many.

A regime that confiscated food producing lands from farmers to produce flower for cash, that export "teff" while our country is begging international community to save lives of millions starving Ethiopians, that out right sale large areas of arable land for Sudan for money can do whatever it wants and nothing is impossible including Arsi the birth place of our heroes.