Gelemso

What is Gelemso known for?


historical period

concerning the Islamization effort of ''Aw Seid'', in which Gelemso is identified as ''the scene of action'', may have solid truths which can be inferred from the chronological concurrence of the mission of ''Aw Seid'' and the flourishing era of the Sultanate of ''Dawaro'' (i.e. both of them were phenomena of the same historical period, from the 13th century to the 15th century). And again, it is said that ''Gelemso'' assumed a wider fame with the foundation of Oda Bultum as a cultural and administrative center of the Eastern Barento አዲስ አድማስ ጋዜጣ፣ ሰኔ 20፣ 2001፣ ‹‹ፉጉግና የሐረርጌ ኦሮሞ›› Oromos (one of the two major tribal confederations of the Oromo people, the other being Borana (Borana people) ) . Here, as many books have recorded, it was also Aw Seid who played a key role in the derivation of the Oromo Constitutional Law (called ''Hera'' ) at Oda Bultum. Oromia Culture and Tourism Commission, ''History of the Oromo People up to 16th Century'', Adama, 2004, p. 94-96 Prior to the 1991 governmental change (during Haile Selassie and Dergue times), people who live closer to the Oda Bultum often called the ''Oda'' itself as '' Aw Seid''. (''oda'' is a tree known in its scientific name as ''Ficus gnaphalocarpa'') . And many rituals exercised when the ''Ya'ii'' (conferences) of the Chaffe Gada were undertaken at Oda Bultum in recent years were called in the name of Aw -Seid. In this case, the role of the saint called Aw-Seid at the establishment of Oda Bultum can be accepted without any doubt. However, it is not clear again how Gelemso was elevated to a place of high social status with the establishment of Oda Bultum, pertaining that the place called so is 25 km away from the town. Some people say Gelemso was an administrative capital and the seat of the ''Mana Bokkuu'' (the President's Office) of the Eastern Oromo, with Oda Bultum serving as the place where Caffee Gadaa assembled only once in eight years. And others say that it was a place where the Oda Bultum itself was located prior to its move to the current place. Latter on, oral history says, Gelemso evolved to an important village of commerce when one of its counties called ''Qabri Lukku'' (now found in the south eastern tip of the town) was organized as a market center to accommodate traders who were coming from different regions. It is said that at that place, a local chief called ''Lukkuu'' had mastered over the caravan traders who used to sell the goods they brought from remote areas. Few elders, however, dispute this story and say rather ''Lukku'' was a man who in ancient times, left the traditional Oromo religion and accepted Islam so that when he was diseased, the Ittu Oromo sanctioned his dead body not to be buried with the mass, a reason why we see his grave on isolated ground. (''Qabrii Lukku'' mean ''grave of Lukku'') To conclude, when we consider oral histories which assert the town had ''Karra Torba'' (The Seven Gates) in ancient times, non existent in the case of other towns of West Harerghe save Gelemso, when we consider its presence closer to places of significant traditions like ''Halayya Buchuro'' and ''Laga Bera'' (retold as a place where once ruthless and contestant dictatorial queen called Akkoo Manoyye had built her palace), when we analyze its tie to Oda Bultum and the presence of the shrines of Aw-Seid both at Gelemso and Oda Bultum, we can deduce that ''Gelemso'' must had been a place of higher social and spiritual importance in the tradition of the Oromo people since ancient times. And to the least, we can say it existed on the ''line of history'' long before the appearance of many of the current towns of the Hararghe region. After the conquests of Menelik II In 1887, while campaigning to occupy the city state of Harar and the whole of Eastern Ethiopia, which he accomplished after his victory at the Battle of Chelenqo, Bahru Zewde, ''A History of Modern Ethiopia: 1855-1991'', 3rd edition, Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa, 2001, p. 72 Emperor Menelik II had arrived at the bottom of the current Gelemso town. The Ethiopian writer ''Tekletsadik Mekuria'' tells that Menelik arrived at Gelemso on December 18, 1886. Tekletsadik Mekuria , '' Emperor Yohannes and the Ethiopian Unity'', (written in Amharic), Kuraz Publishers, Addis Ababa, 1990, p. 291 Menelik was attracted by the landscape around Gelemso and ordered a garrison to be founded there, which his warlords had executed immediately. The garrison was established at the western part of the current town, and had been called ''Gorgo'' (an ''Amharic'' name for a kind of tree). That was a second turn in the long history of Gelemso, by which it had leaped from a small village of cultural importance to a truly urbanized community. However, elderly people assert that the formation of the garrison had also some bad objectives behind. It is said that Menelik II had an aim of erasing the centrality and symbolism of early places like Gelemso from the mind and the heart of his Oromo subjects. Truly speaking, it was Emperor Menelik II who officially closed down all of the traditional Oromo institutions like Chaffe assembly and prohibited many other cultural feasts, a fact that Ethiopian writers of the early 20th century like Aleqa Tayye had recorded. Getachew Haile, '' The Works of Abba Bahrey with Other Records Concerning the Oromo '', Avon, Minnesota, p. 222 But the true urban feature of the town dates from Menelik's period. This will be agreeable when we know that in 1908, Gelemso was one of the few centers that the imperial government formally recognized as true towns. ''Mayor Berhanu Bekam's Speech on the inauguration of Gelemso public bus station'', 1990, and new data obtained from Gelemso Municipality, December 2009, Gelemso, West Harerghe. The Municipality recounts this year 1908 as the birth date of a town. But the elders do not agree with that, neither the writer of this article (Alladin Alevi) too. This may be justified by the fact that the Menilik's landing at Gelemso was in 1887, and it is assumed that the Emperor did not had rest at a village which cannot fulfill the subsistence needs of his huge army; and where marketing was inaccessible. That means Gelemso had at least certain appearance of a small town or it had been a market place prior to the Menelik's period. During the Italian occupation Gelemso stayed under a period of dwarfism and stagnancy in the reign of ''Ras Teferi Mekonnen'' (latter Emperor Haile Selassie I ) who had special sympathy for another town established in the Chercher highlands and named for his honor Asebe Teferi(which mean ''Teferi wished it'' in Amharic). Bahru Zewde narrates that in 1933, immediately after his ascension to the throne, Emperor Haile Selesie made Chercher Awraja the model of his future administration system. Bahru Zewde, ''A History of Modern Ethiopia: 1855-1991'', 3rd edition, Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa, 2007, p. 156 However, when Italy conquered Ethiopia and formed the Italian East Africa in 1935, Bahru Zewde, ''A History of Modern Ethiopia: 1855-1991'', 3rd edition, Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa, 2007, p. 169 Gelemso began to expand in every direction. During their five years administration, the Italians returned the seat of the Chercher province to Gelemso (which was moved first to ''Kunni'', then to Asebe Teferi or Chiro by the Haile Selassie officials) and made valuable change on its urban customs. They established new settlements in the northern and eastern parts of the town, starting from a hill called now ''Kambo'' (from Italian (Italian language) ''campo'' which mean a military camp). The Italian occupiers also constructed the first graveled road of the town, and connected it with Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa through all weather roads which run in the west to Awash (Awash, Ethiopia) (via small towns of Hardim and Bordode ), and in the east to Dire Dawa through Wachu and Bedessa. (the remnant of the western old road still exists with its decorated Italian style bridge built on the northern section of Aw Seid river ). The first modern buildings of the town were also attributed to the Italians, the most eloquent of them being ''St. Michael Catholic Church'' mentioned above. Scholars tell us that the Italians had focused on Gelemso because of its presence in the vicinity of Wachu (10 km east of Gelemso), a place where they intended to build Secondo Roma (Second Rome), a future city to be evolved from the agrarian community that would be brought from southern Italy under the resettlement program. On the other hand, one of the most important features of Gelemso town, the Sheikh Omar mosque, was built in that period while Sheikh Omar was Qadi of the Chercher province. After the Italian occupation In 1951, the Christian missionary group of ''American Adventist Church'' constructed the first school of the town at a place called ''Lode'' ( now separated from the main town by gorge created by gully erosion and called ''Tirso'' ). Although the group closed its missionary activities in the 1960s, the school they built has continued to function to this day, and the elderly people still call it ''Amerikaanii'' (The American). Gelemso was made a municipal town in 1952. And in the year 1958, while it remained still under the Chercher awraja administration, it was designated an electoral district (in Amharic called ''የምርጫ አውራጃ'') and had got 2 seats in the imperial parliamentary assembly of the Haile Seliasie regime, which was won in that very year by ''Haji Abdullahi Sheikh Ahmed'' and ''Mukhtar Mohammed''. ደጃዝማች፡ደምስ፡ወልደ፡ዐማኑኤል፣ ሕገ፡መንግሥትና፡ምክር፡ቤት ፣ሁለተኛ፡መጽሐፍ፣ ዐዲስ፡አበባ፣ ጥቅምት፡1951፡ዓ.ም.፣ገጽ፡163-185 However, the governmental projects were rarely planned and executed in the town then. But when it became the capital of Habro ''Awraja'' up on the splitting up of the former Chercher Awraja to Habro and Chercher-Adal-Gara Guracha Awrajas (Chiro or Asebe Teferi remained the latter's capital) in the year 1968 and afterwards, some improvements were made. For example, the town was equipped with electric light service for 6 hours a night, and its tap water supply system (built by Italians) was expanded. However, it was the efforts of Arabian, European and Asian traders that greatly helped Gelemso continue its long standing role as market center and ''social panorama''. The list of those foreign traders includes ''Nasir Sana'ani'', ''Abdallah Ubadi'', ''Ali Ahmed'', ''Ali Sa'ad'', ''Salah Muhsin'' who were all Yemen (Demographics of Yemen)is, the Greeks (Greece) ''Kostar Gragor'' and his brother ''Stafrol'', the Italians (Italy) ''Antonio Viccini'' and ''Francesco Berto'', the Sudanese ''Haji Abdullah'' and ''Sheikh Bashir Babikir'', and the Indian ''Usma'il Hindii''. Latter on, natives of the town like ''Mohammad Abdo (Lungo)'', ''Ahmed Yusuf'', ''Mohammed Beker'', ''Muteki Sheikh Mohammed'' and his brother Ahmad Taqi, ''Haji Ahmed Nure'', ''Haji Sani Abdulqadir'', ''Ahmed Alhadi'', ''Usmail Ahmayyu'', ''Nejash Usmail'', ''Belew Haile'', ''Mekonnen Metaferia'', ''Jemaneh Yimamu'', ''Tiruneh Gebremichael'', ''Omar Ghazali'' and his brother ''Mumme Ghazali'' etc....and well known Ethiopian entrepreneurs like Mohammed Abdullahi Ogsade also entered to the business and they altogether marked the town's classic commercial era. That was why the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia moved against its working rule of the time and opened a branch at Gelemso (according to its working rule of that time, the bank do not open its branch in a town found far away from the High Way). Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, ''Gelemso Branch Inauguration Ceremony'', December 1969, p. 17 In the late 1960s and early 1970s, General Taddese Birru, a well known Oromo nationalist and co-founder of ''Mecha-Tulama Self Help Association'', Bahru Zewde, ''A History of Modern Ethiopia: 1855-1991'', 3rd edition, Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa, 2007, p. 273 Geda Melba, ''Oromia: An Introduction to the History of Oromo People'', Khartoum, 1988, p. 183-184 had been in the town for his supposed ''ግዞት'' (Amharic for ''house arrest'') . Fortunately, the incident favored '' Tadesse'' to meet other early Oromo nationalists like ''Elemo Kiltu'', ''Ahmad Taqi'' and ''Mohammed Zakir Meyra'', with whom he could demonstrate his devotion for Oromo freedom, an act that became one of the main reasons for which Gelemso is heard so loudly. From the 1974 Revolution up to 1992 When the Dergue came to power in 1974, Bahru Zewde, ''A History of Modern Ethiopia: 1855-1991'', 3rd edition, Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa, 2007, p. 241 more attention was given to Gelemso. Viewers and most of the residents say that the Dergue era was a prosperous time in the town's history where many governmental buildings were erected, and subsequent improvements were made in the town. This includes the health centre, two primary schools, the current Gelemso High school, the multi purpose city assembly hall (a unique at the time in all of Eastern Ethiopia), the public slaughter house, a stadium, youth recreation center, farmers training center and most notably, the Gelemso-Mechara high way. On the other hand, NGOs like CARE (CARE (relief agency)) international highly participated in the development activities of the Habro Awraja starting from the late 1980s. The 1984 Harerghe Province All Games Championship it hosted was the major sport festival in history of the town where all of the 13 awrajas in Hararghe participated in the contest. Gelemso was also the first town of Eastern Ethiopia where the Development Bank of Ethiopia had opened its branch (now this branch had moved to Chiro or Asbeteferi ). One of the main urban zones of the town, called in its Amharic name ''Addis Ketema'' (the New City), totally emerged during the Dergue time as well. It is worth having also to mention the former President Mengistu Haile-Mariam had visited Gelemso and its surrounding villages in 1985 which makes ''Mengistu'' the only Ethiopian ruler that came across the town for official visit while in office. However, the prosperous situation prevailing during the Dergue time must never be considered as an expression of sympathic view of the Dergue towards Gelemso. The motives behind the ''Dergue's'' considerable attention, as many people believe, were the economic importance of the Habro Awraja for whom Gelemso was a capital (among the 13 awrajas of the former Hararghe province), and to an equal importance, Gelemso's central location in the ''Chercher'' highlands, a region highly known for Oromo rebellion. Geda Melba, ''Oromia: An Introduction to History of the Oromo People'', Khartoum, 1988, p. 194 Indeed the ''Dergue'' era was also a period where brutal campaigns like the Red Terror Geda Melba, ''Oromia: An Introduction to History of the Oromo People'', Khartoum, 1988, p. 152 were undertaken in Gelemso and elsewhere in the country. For instance, the residents of Gelemso still have fresh memories of the Kara Qurqura Massacre where 70 people (half of them in the pretext of ''Amhara land lords who resist the land reform'', and half of them labeled ''Oromo secessionists who conspire against the state with Somali Expansionists'' ) Babile Tola, ''To Kill a Generation: The Red Terror in Ethiopia'', Amharic Translation by Awgichew Terefe, Addis Ababa, 1992, p. 96, - However, Babile did 2 mistakes in his book. a). He underestimated the number of the dead. b). He alleged the cause of the dead to EPRP, which had no strong support in Gelemso were taken away from town, executed, and then bulldozed to one grave in April 1970 at a place called ''Karra Qurqura''. (20 km east of Gelemso) On May 30, 1991, the town came under the control of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and was made the administrative center of the OLF-held areas in the former provinces of West Hararghe, Arsi (Arsi Province) and Bale (Bale Province, Ethiopia). The most memorable event of that time was the Oda Bultum festival, where about 800,000 ''Oromos'' came together at Gelemso and Oda Bultum to celebrate the resurrection of the ancient Chaffe Gadaa assembly tradition. Nonetheless, this time has also served as a period of atrocious detentions and executions of Amhara people in Gelemso and the surrounding regions by OLF. On June 21, 1992, when OLF quitted the transitional government, Gelemso was passed to the current Ethiopian government led by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front along with the other towns of the West Harerghe Zone. References Category:Populated places in the Oromia Region


service program

Category:Populated places in the Oromia Region


historic battle

; ref *Ahmad Taqi Sheikh Mohammed Rashid (well known as Hundee) (1942? – September 6, 1974): He was an Oromo nationalist known with his comrade Elemo Kiltu as the first true fighters since they launched the first armed struggle for the Oromo (Oromo people) causes under an organization that bears the name of their people (i.e. ''Oromo''). They died together on September 5 1974 at the historic Battle of Tiro and now honored as martyrs by the three major Oromo political


quot international'

, Andy Baker, Melanie J. Leng, John Gunn and Mohammed Umer, "A High Resolution Multi-Proxy Stalagmite Record From Mechara, South East Ethiopia: Paleohydrological Implications for Spleothem Paleoclimate Studies", International Journal of Speleology, Bologna- Italy, October 2008, p. 208 Andy Baker, "Analysis of the climate signal contained within dO and growth rate parameters in two Ethiopian stalagmites", Science Direct, April 2007, p. 2977 The first scholarly study of them was undertaken in 1996 by a team of experts from University of Huddersfield ( England ) which then afterwards nicknamed ''The Huddersfield Expedition''. Andy Baker, "Analysis of the climate signal contained within dO and growth rate parameters in two Ethiopian stalagmites", Science Direct, April 2007, p. 2978 :The three caves are known as ''Hachare-Aynage'', ''Rukiessa'' and ''Barro''. Asfawossen Asrat, Andy Baker, Melanie J. Leng, John Gunn and Mohammed Umer, "A High Resolution Multi-Proxy Stalagmite Record From Mechara, South East Ethiopia: Paleohydrological Implications for Spleothem Paleoclimate Studies", International Journal of Speleology, Bologna- Italy, October 2008, p. 208-209 :Since the ''Huddersfield Expedition'', the caves around Gelemso and its surrounding areas have become important sites of Geological and anthropological studies. *'' Dindin Forest and Wild Life Sanctuary '' :- found 35 km west of Gelemso. It is one of the properly protected forest areas in Ethiopia, and extends to the Arba Gugu mountains of northern Arsi (Arsi Zone). Currently, the forest is a home of many species of animals, including the endemic Mountain Nyala. Places of archeological importance *''Corooraa'' Chorora :- an archeological site 40 km west of Gelemso, where Chororapithecus, the 10 million years old fossils of a primate family (ape) were found in 2007. Anthropology.Net, "Chororapithecus Abyssinicus in Brief" Nature.com, "A Species of Great Ape from Late Miocene Era from Ethiopia" Primatology.net, "A More Thorough Reading of Chororapithecus" According to ''Nature'' Journal, these are the first fossils of a large-bodied Miocene ape from the African continent north of Kenya. :When the fossils were excavated, the news media (including ''Nature'' Journal) reported the place wrongly ''Chorora Formation at the southern margin of the Afar rift''. Choroora is of course in the southeast part of the Rift Valley. The exact location of ''Chorora'', however, is the east section of Anchar woreda of West Harerghe zone, on 40 km distance from Gelemso. Places referred as ancient settlements *''Qurquraa'' :- a villages referred by Oromo elders as a long existing settlement area since ancient times. This notion may induce us to identify it as a place repeatedly mentioned by the same name (Qurquraa) in the famous book known as Al Futuhul Habash, (''the Conquest of Abyssinia''), a chronicle of the brilliant campaigns of Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi whom the Ethiopian writers call Ahmad Gragn, which was written by the eyewitness of the conquests in the 16th century. Futuh al-habaša, English Translation by Paul Lester Stenhouse, Tsehai Publishers, 2003, p. 98 (Special:BookSources 0972317252) This village is found about 30 km away from Gelemso (in the western direction) near to a small town called ''Hardim''. *''Abboonah'' : - another village (a market area) referred by locals as a long standing settlement. Since the village is commonly called by the natives with a prefix ''Daro'' (saying ''Daro Abonaah''), this one also might be identical to a town of the ''Dawaro'' Sultanate that was mentioned in Al Futuhul Habash by the same name. Futuh al-habaša, English Translation by Paul Lester Stenhouse, Tsehai Publishers, 2003, p. 173 (Special:BookSources 0972317252) The village (a small market of about 1000 residents) is about 60 km to the south of Gelemso. In the 1980s, the Dergue government had established a strong military base there in order to watch the nearby movements of OLF (Oromo Liberation Front). *Professor Mohammed Hassen also notes another village called by the name Qunburah in Al Futuhul Habash which is a commonly known name in Oromo nomenclature. However, among many places of the Chercher highlands called by the name Qunburah, the Oromo elders do not consider any one as a long standing. But this does not mean there was no place who had this name in ancient times. In fact, one of the places called Qunburah in Chercher highlands is believed to be the offshoot of the ancient Qunburah of Al Futhul Habash. Therefore, a search for that place should continu. *''Harala Ruins'':- around Gelemso, we can find ruins of the ancient buildings of the legendary people of ''Harala'', whom the Oromos narrate as people of great length, extra ordinary strength and superior wealth, but devastated by hunger, epidemic and volcanic eruption because of their extravagance and disbelief. Today, as Professor Urlich Braukamper had described precisely in his book, the remnants of the stone built necropolis, store pits, houses and mosques of the ancient Harala people are observable in all of the of Hararghe highlands. Their mysterious legends reach as far as Karayu in the west and Jijjiga in the east. Places of cultural importance *''Oda Bultum'' :- one of the five Oda or traditional meeting places where the Oromo (Oromo people) used to meet to end one ''luba'' or 8-year period of the Gadaa system and begin a new one. It is 25 km to the east of Gelemso. አዲስ አድማስ ጋዜጣ፣ ሰኔ 27፣ 2001፣ ‹‹ኦዳ ቡልቱም በሐረርጌ›› *'' Halaya Buchuro'' :- A deep gorge where the Oromos in ancient times, used to throw and execute (in to the chasm) criminals who were found guilty of intentional killing (of innocent people). Places noted for Islamic history and culture *''Sheikh Omar Mosque and Sufi Compound'':- found at the heart of Gelemso. The mosque is to the west of a Sufi compound called ''Hadra'' አዲስ አድማስ ጋዜጣ፣ ሐምሌ 11፣ 2001፣ የጥበብ ሸማኔዎች (ሱፊዎች በሐረርጌ) which hosts the celebration of the birth day of the Prophet (Mawlid), making the town one of the main places in Ethiopia marked with such a festive. The ''Hadra'' has many quarters of different uses, with ''Beytul Hadra'' (the house of presence) as a focus. The compound of ''Hadra'' is also a home of a big mausoleum in which the tomb of ''Sheikh Omar'' (the founder of ''Hadra'') is found. *''Aw-Seid Shrine'' which is traditionally identified with the ancient ''Galma Usso'', of which the name ''Gelemso'' was derived. There is no surviving remnant of the 13th-century mosque by now. The current shrine dates only from the late 19th century. *''Aw-Sherif Hill'' :- where, according to oral history, the Muslim saint ''Aw-Sherif'' had lived some 300 years ago. *''The Mosque of Sheikh Ali Jami'':- located 10 km east of Gelemso, where a saint ''Sheikh Ali'' had lived and preached Islam after he returned from the city of Harar where he attended his higher education. His mosque is encircled by a ''galma'' and a mausoleum that contains his tomb. Important Christian sites *''Medihane Alem Church'':- An Orthodox Christian Church aged about 60 years. *''Saint Michael Catholic Church'':- Built by the Italian colonists in the late 1930s. It is the tallest man made erection in the town, which is visible as far as 30 km due its strategic position, and commonly called ''Mana Dheeraa'' meaning ''the tallest house''. It had served as a church, then as prison, and now it hosts a primary school. Notable persons from Gelemso Gelemso has been associated with many imminent figures. Its notable personalities include the following: *''Sheikh Ali Jami Guutoo'' : - commonly called '' Qallicha'' by the Oromos, not only for his origin from ''Warra Qallu'' Oromo clan, but also for his high priesthood in the Chercher plateau. His descendents are still called ''Qalicha'' or ''Qalittii''- meaning '' the respected one'' (Qallitti is for female), It is said that the first man to preach Islam peacefully and openly (without any sanction ) in the land of ''Chercher'' was this Sheikh Ali Jami, so that he became one of the key figures in the Islamization of the Ittu Oromo. Sheikh Ali is considered a great saint and most of the people of the ''Chercher highlands'' usually refer to him as ''Aw Ali''. *Sheikh Umar Aliye :- popularly known as Gelemsiyyi. He was another key figure in the Islamization of the Ittu Oromo and a father of Mohammed Zakir Meyra and many more heroes and scholars. Perhaps, he is the most widely known scholar, activist and important Islam figure in the region. In fact, he is well known for his dedication for Islam and its teaching throughout the country. He is also the most noted figure in the transmission of the Qadiriyyah Sufi brother-hood ( Tariqa ), which he introduced to the Harar Oromos with Sheikh Mohammed Harar, his close friend with whom he returned from Wallo after the completion of higher education. Hussein Ahmed ''HARAR-WALLO RELATIONS REVISITED: HISTORICAL, RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL DIMENSIONS'', African Study Monographs, Kyoto University, March 2010, p. 111-117 *Ahmad Taqi Sheikh Mohammed Rashid (well known as Hundee) (1942? – September 6, 1974): He was an Oromo nationalist known with his comrade Elemo Kiltu as the first true fighters since they launched the first armed struggle for the Oromo (Oromo people) causes under an organization that bears the name of their people (i.e. ''Oromo''). They died together on September 5 1974 at the historic Battle of Tiro and now honored as martyrs by the three major Oromo political organizations; OLF (Oromo Liberation Front), OPDO and IFLO. Hundee the hero immortalized by Ali Birra's songs. *Mohammed Zakir Meyra (1949 -1977): Also known as Mohammed-Zakir Sheikh Umar Aliye or well known as simply Meyra):- He is a son of the well respected Gelemsiyyi (see above). He was considered by the people around Gelemso as an heir to Elemo and Ahmad Taqi. While he was only in his 20s, he marched to Somalia leading a group of youth with whom he used to discuss the national agenda. He returned as a commander of brigade that included in addition to his fellow Oromo youths, some West Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) fighters who claimed ''giving support to the Oromo brothers''. His brigade had effectively destroyed the Dergue army in Boke (Boke (woreda)) and Darolebo woreda. But he felt furious on the mischievous act of the WSLF fighters when they start to install the flag of Somali Republic on the freed lands. He fought them as equal as he was fighting the Dergue. The fight between the two forces continued until the winter months of 1977. And finally, Meyra was martyred on the Battle of Kurfa Roqa, 30 km south of Boke town. *Umar Bakkalcha (1953? - 1980) was one of the early Oromo nationalists and martyrs well-remembered in the Chercher highlands of Harerghe especially for the heroic speeches he made at his death spot. His name had been Umar Sheikh Mohammed Rabi, but the people usually refer to him as “Umar Bakkalcha” or simply “Bakkalcha” (the downfall star). Bakkalcha was enlightened in the Oromo National struggle from the very beginning. He had a good understanding of the quests of the Oromo causes far before many people. However, the most brainstorming incident that took him to decide giving up all of his belongings for the Oromo causes was the heroic death of the well known Oromo patriots and guerilla leaders called Elemo Killtu (Hassen Ibrahim) and Hundee (or Ahmad Taqi Sheikh Muhammed Rashid). *Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Bilal :- father of Ahmad Taqi, well known as a teacher of many of the latter sheikhs and, a protector of local knowledge and oral history. He was primarily a source of most of the historical data concerning the ancient history and culture of the Oromos of the Chercher highlands that appear today in many books (the information is disseminated either directly by him, or through his disciples). *Sheikh Mohammed Rashad Abdulle a graduate of Al-Azhar University who translated Qur'an into the Oromo. (For the detail of his life and work, click on his name.) *Abuna Berhane Eyesus, the current Patriarch of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. He is originally from Anchar woreda, but raised up in Gelemso in his early ages. *Gelemso and its vicinity had produced many scholars which include Dr. Ashagre Yigletu of the Dergue, Dr. Bayan Asoba of OLF (Oromo Liberation Front), Artist Garbi Ahmed Nurie (Pianist, live in Toronto, Canada), Artist Adnan (singer) and Fozia Amin, member of the Central committee of OPDO and Human Rights Commissioner in the Federal Government of Ethiopia. The city produced many doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists, and many other professions. Notable administrators *Dejene Gizaw - The municipal mayor of Gelemso acknowledged for the foundation he laid in the modesty of the town in the 1960s. Category:Populated places in the Oromia Region


long period

Category:Populated places in the Oromia Region


local knowledge

Category:Populated places in the Oromia Region


historical religious

introduced to the Harar Oromos with Sheikh Mohammed Harar, his close friend with whom he returned from Wallo after the completion of higher education. Hussein Ahmed ''HARAR-WALLO RELATIONS REVISITED: HISTORICAL, RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL DIMENSIONS'', African Study Monographs, Kyoto University, March 2010, p. 111-117<


+known+for

of the Amharic Weekly Newspaper called ''Addis Admass''. For full citation, visit this website The administrative center of Habro woreda in the Mirab (West) Hararghe (Mirab Hararghe Zone) Zone of the Oromia Regional State, it has a latitude and longitude of . Gelemso is the origin of a variety of khat called by the same name (Gelemso). It is also a scene of an Amharic novel known as Akel Dama

in the two open markets. The cattle market, however, is totally run by males. The town is one of the primary suppliers of the humped bull, popularly known as ''Harar Sangaa'' (Harar Bull). *The Afan Oromo spoken in the town is the Eastern Oromo dialect. But the natives of the town and the surrounding areas of Chercher highlands retain some peculiar usages. For example, coins are usually called ''niiraa'', (from Italian lira), and its counting vary by successive units of two. For example

, at Gelemso, the Ethiopian five cents coin is called ''niira lama'' (two lira), the ten cents called ''niiraa afur'' (four lira), and 20 cents called ''nira saddeet''(eight lira). On the other hand, the Ethiopian birr is called ''qarshii'' and the ten birr note is known as ''bawandii'' (from English ''pound''). *The residents dine three times a day. The breakfast is called ''fatara'' (from Arabic ''futuur''), the lunch is known as either ''subaata'' or ''qadaa'' (from Arabic ''ghada'') and the dinner


classic commercial

....and well known Ethiopian entrepreneurs like Mohammed Abdullahi Ogsade also entered to the business and they altogether marked the town's classic commercial era. That was why the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia moved against its working rule of the time and opened a branch at Gelemso (according to its working rule of that time, the bank do not open its branch in a town found far away from the High Way). Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, ''Gelemso Branch Inauguration Ceremony'', December 1969, p. 17 In the late 1960s and early 1970s, General Taddese Birru, a well known Oromo nationalist and co-founder of ''Mecha-Tulama Self Help Association'', Bahru Zewde, ''A History of Modern Ethiopia: 1855-1991'', 3rd edition, Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa, 2007, p. 273 Geda Melba, ''Oromia: An Introduction to the History of Oromo People'', Khartoum, 1988, p. 183-184 had been in the town for his supposed ''ግዞት'' (Amharic for ''house arrest'') . Fortunately, the incident favored '' Tadesse'' to meet other early Oromo nationalists like ''Elemo Kiltu'', ''Ahmad Taqi'' and ''Mohammed Zakir Meyra'', with whom he could demonstrate his devotion for Oromo freedom, an act that became one of the main reasons for which Gelemso is heard so loudly. From the 1974 Revolution up to 1992 When the Dergue came to power in 1974, Bahru Zewde, ''A History of Modern Ethiopia: 1855-1991'', 3rd edition, Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa, 2007, p. 241 more attention was given to Gelemso. Viewers and most of the residents say that the Dergue era was a prosperous time in the town's history where many governmental buildings were erected, and subsequent improvements were made in the town. This includes the health centre, two primary schools, the current Gelemso High school, the multi purpose city assembly hall (a unique at the time in all of Eastern Ethiopia), the public slaughter house, a stadium, youth recreation center, farmers training center and most notably, the Gelemso-Mechara high way. On the other hand, NGOs like CARE (CARE (relief agency)) international highly participated in the development activities of the Habro Awraja starting from the late 1980s. The 1984 Harerghe Province All Games Championship it hosted was the major sport festival in history of the town where all of the 13 awrajas in Hararghe participated in the contest. Gelemso was also the first town of Eastern Ethiopia where the Development Bank of Ethiopia had opened its branch (now this branch had moved to Chiro or Asbeteferi ). One of the main urban zones of the town, called in its Amharic name ''Addis Ketema'' (the New City), totally emerged during the Dergue time as well. It is worth having also to mention the former President Mengistu Haile-Mariam had visited Gelemso and its surrounding villages in 1985 which makes ''Mengistu'' the only Ethiopian ruler that came across the town for official visit while in office. However, the prosperous situation prevailing during the Dergue time must never be considered as an expression of sympathic view of the Dergue towards Gelemso. The motives behind the ''Dergue's'' considerable attention, as many people believe, were the economic importance of the Habro Awraja for whom Gelemso was a capital (among the 13 awrajas of the former Hararghe province), and to an equal importance, Gelemso's central location in the ''Chercher'' highlands, a region highly known for Oromo rebellion. Geda Melba, ''Oromia: An Introduction to History of the Oromo People'', Khartoum, 1988, p. 194 Indeed the ''Dergue'' era was also a period where brutal campaigns like the Red Terror Geda Melba, ''Oromia: An Introduction to History of the Oromo People'', Khartoum, 1988, p. 152 were undertaken in Gelemso and elsewhere in the country. For instance, the residents of Gelemso still have fresh memories of the Kara Qurqura Massacre where 70 people (half of them in the pretext of ''Amhara land lords who resist the land reform'', and half of them labeled ''Oromo secessionists who conspire against the state with Somali Expansionists'' ) Babile Tola, ''To Kill a Generation: The Red Terror in Ethiopia'', Amharic Translation by Awgichew Terefe, Addis Ababa, 1992, p. 96, - However, Babile did 2 mistakes in his book. a). He underestimated the number of the dead. b). He alleged the cause of the dead to EPRP, which had no strong support in Gelemso were taken away from town, executed, and then bulldozed to one grave in April 1970 at a place called ''Karra Qurqura''. (20&nbsp;km east of Gelemso) On May 30, 1991, the town came under the control of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and was made the administrative center of the OLF-held areas in the former provinces of West Hararghe, Arsi (Arsi Province) and Bale (Bale Province, Ethiopia). The most memorable event of that time was the Oda Bultum festival, where about 800,000 ''Oromos'' came together at Gelemso and Oda Bultum to celebrate the resurrection of the ancient Chaffe Gadaa assembly tradition. Nonetheless, this time has also served as a period of atrocious detentions and executions of Amhara people in Gelemso and the surrounding regions by OLF. On June 21, 1992, when OLF quitted the transitional government, Gelemso was passed to the current Ethiopian government led by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front along with the other towns of the West Harerghe Zone. References Category:Populated places in the Oromia Region


136

Studien zur Ethnologie 9, 2003, ISBN 978-3-8258-5671-7, p. 138, 118& 122, 166, 135, (16-19, 23, 28, 36, 102, 107, 109, 120, 136), (16-19, 23, 28, 36, 102, 107, 109, 120, 136), 117-122, 116, 118, 119, 119, 119, 116-117, (16-19, 23, 28, 36, 102, 107, 109, 120, 136), 131, 118, 70-76, 116-120,- Professor Urlich Braukamper is one of the leading authorities in the study of Islamic History and Culture in Ethiopia. He was so considerate man that while his study was concerned on the ''Hadiya'' people

Gelemso

'''Gelemso''' (Ge'ez ገለምሶ ) is a town in eastern Ethiopia, in the western periphery of the highly networked mountain chain referred to by the natives as Fugug but by geographers as the Ahmar Mountains. አዲስ አድማስ ጋዜጣ፣ ሰኔ 20፣ 2001፣ ‹‹ፉጉግና የሐረርጌ ኦሮሞ›› The marvelous networking of the ''Fugug Mountains'' and the ethnography of the indigenous ''Oromo of Harerghe'' were extensively described in this June 27 2009 (ሰኔ 20 2001 in Gee'z calendar) edition of the Amharic Weekly Newspaper called ''Addis Admass''. For full citation, visit this website The administrative center of Habro woreda in the Mirab (West) Hararghe (Mirab Hararghe Zone) Zone of the Oromia Regional State, it has a latitude and longitude of .

Gelemso is the origin of a variety of khat called by the same name (Gelemso). It is also a scene of an Amharic novel known as Akel Dama (''the Bloody Land''), written by Theodros Mulatu in 1991.

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