The Ethiopian Diaspora and the Genie in the Tej Botte
– One day a group of Ethiopian diaspora folk were gathering for their monthly meeting. These were very popular meetings. Lots of talk went on about better times in Ethiopia. These members would lament for hours and talk about how much they would sacrifice to improve their beloved Ethiopia. – One day a member came bringing with him an unusual bottle of tej he received from a family member back home in Ethiopia. He indicated that no matter how hard they tried, they just could not remove the top. He indicated that they even tried breaking it—only to injure themselves. – Nevertheless, the subject changed and the meeting went on. After much discussion the bottle started to roll around and suddenly the cap popped open, and out came an enormous Genie—dressed in red, gold, and green. – The audience was captivated as the Genie spoke. “My friends, I have been listening to all of you, and now I am here to answer you with your wish.. If you pour out this bottle of tej, tomorrow when you awake all the wishes you have ever had for Ethiopia will come true. In fact, better than true.” – Delighted by the offer, a man from the front jumped up and said, “glady let me be the one to pour out this bottle of tej so I can bring great change to my homeland Ethiopia”. As he reached his hand out for the bottle, the Genie interjected and said. “Oh wait, I do need to read you the Terms of Conditions before you may continue. Would that be alright?” The man agreed and the Genie began reading from a scroll document. “First let me assure you that by pouring out this bottle it will have no affect on you here outside of Ethiopia. However, much will change for you back home.” The Genie continued: “It says here that you enjoy greatly how your hard earned foreign currency goes so much further in Ethiopia when you visit. In fact, you love being able to come and bail out your family and friends in trouble and surprise them with nice gifts. It makes you feel like a great rich uncle. So be aware, once you pour out this bottle, those days will end.” The Genie added: “In fact, there will be days you will even need to borrow money from your own friends and family when you visit Ethiopia.” – Caught off guard, the man now thought to himself a few moments and said, “oh wait… let me think about it”, and sat down. – Then stood up a second man who said: “Let me be the one to pour out the bottle, for I hardly ever spend money in Ethiopia as I do not have many friends or family there to impress anyhow. This won’t affect me one bit.” – The Genie replied, “Very wel, but let me read your Terms of Conditions.. …… Indeed you are right….however, it says here that every time you visit Ethiopia you do come across as an available bachelor and that draws all the young women that pamper you with attention and love in hopes to win your heart so you might marry one of them and bring her out of Ethiopia. You are quite aware of this and this is why you enjoy coming to Ethiopia several times a year. So let me warn you that once you pour out this bottle, you will no longer get that type of treatment ever again because those women will certainly never want to leave Ethiopia when this bottle is poured out.” The Genie added “In fact, once you pour out this bottle, you will have to do a lot more work just to get a single date with one of those same women.” – Shocked and a bit frightened by the ultimatum, the second man thought for a few moments and said “let me think on it”, and sat back down.
– Over and over again that night each member of the audience came forward offering to pour out the bottle and inevitably rejecting the proposal after hearing the Terms of Conditions. – Finally, after everybody in the room declined, the last man—the coordinator of the event—came up to the Genie and smiling humbly said: “I knew it… let it be me to pour out the bottle … For I have no family or friends in Ethiopia and women have never seemed to have liked me there anyway. And all those other reasons that affected those other people don’t apply to me one bit…I am ready to do the honor”. – The genie answered: “Very well, and congratulations. However it says here you are known as a traitor in Ethiopia and that you would prefer to further bankrupt and destroy your homeland in your belief to help it. It says also that you are not welcome in Ethiopia. I must warn you, if you pour out this bottle, nothing will change for you.” – The coordinator looked baffled and confused and finally answered … “let me think about it.”