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From: Robel Keleta (robelk@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Jun 29 2009 - 15:59:25 EDT

Selam Dehai:

Logically Mr. Berhane & Mrs. Elsa Kiflom have every right to name their Restaurant after Queen Sheba; of course emotionally and politically it’s obviously a different matter. Here's how.

I. The legendary Queen Sheba is part of highland Eritreans' fabled history, identity, heritage, religion and ancestry. Those Eritreans I refer to include Kebessa geographically and religiously although at first it would seem limited to Tewahades, but however it includes Kenishas, Catholics, Pentecostals, Jehovah Witnesses, and more, all sorts even including Jeberti's---as long as they have common Tigrinia-speaking ancestry. Why? Because descent is genealogical, and chronologically all those above mentioned groups emerged after the Tigrinia-speaking ancestors of 1270 who in partnership with the Amharic-speaking ancestors erected the Kibre Negasit and Ark of Covenant, core building blocks of the subsequent state of Abyssinia soon to expand to Ethiopia; but more importantly claimed descent from Queen Sheba, King Solomon and their son Menelik. So there's nothing one can do to change this, unless of course, much like Europeans of 16th and 18th Century
 that had the Renaissance, Enlightenment and Reformation in the conceptualization of identity and religion; say if Eritreans were to have such an Enlightenment--that would be a different matter.

II. I ate at Mr. Berhane & Mrs. Elsa Kiflom'S Queen Sheba Restaurant. The food is four stars. The venue is awesome. The tea with spices is superb to say the least.

III. Those myopic, narrow minded Dehaiers against the idea of Eritreans benefiting from an Ethiopia-related business strike me as being in the same company as the Ethiopian leaders who expelled the Amiches; but instead more closely resemble those low-level Tigrean cadres who prior to 1991 refused the Eritrean Nacfa due to the currency having pictures of Moslem children.

IV. Disappointed and surprised that Mike Seium--the reporter--didn’t do his homework.


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