Deacon Dawit Muluneh is an author (I Need Answers) and Ph.D. student of Ethiopian and Arabic studies. Over the course of his studies, he learned about the true history of Ethiopia and knew right away that he had to share this information with others. Using his education, he hopes to dispel western misconceptions about Ethiopia through his upcoming book Hopeless Romantic.
Tell us about your book Hopeless Romantic: The Untold History of Ethiopia.
The aim of this book is first to point out how in late antiquity, Ethiopia was a great kingdom that was compared with the great Roman empire and was able to trade with great notions like superpowers like the Egyptians, the Middle East, India, Greeks, Romans and Persians. Sadly, this story is rarely told to the rest of the world since the research that fascist Italians conducted in order to divide the Ethiopians and conquer the citizens became the authoritative source of history. Regrettably, instead of the remarkable history of the late antiquity, the version that points to ethnic, religious and linguistic differences being at the center of major conflicts is what permeates universities and mainstream media across the world.
What inspired you to write this book?
For the past few months, Ethiopia has found its way into mainstream media (like CNN, FOXNEWS, BBC, etc.) because of civil unrest that has taken place in the region. Unfortunately, this has led many friends, family, church members and so much more to be divided among themselves.
Having learned about the mightiness of Ethiopia, I thought it would be of benefit to briefly shift the conversation from the divisive issues we currently find ourselves into that of a unifying subject: The mighty tale of Ethiopia.
You were raised in Ethiopia and the United States - what are a few key differences between the two that you noticed while growing up? How did your upbringing shape your perspective?
One key difference I have seen is when it comes to Ethiopia, is the ability for the people to embrace diversity. Many Christians live peacefully with Muslims, various ethnic groups have inter-married, and several people speak multiple local languages of the country. Having witnessed this all my life, I am interested in learning about other cultures and willing to embrace people who have a different perspective from me.
Can you speak to the current situation in Ethiopia? How does the current climate in Ethiopia relate back to Ethiopia's untold history?
As I mentioned above the research conducted by fascists found its way into western universities wherein they are being studied to this day. Their writings became the authoritative history of Ethiopia. Regrettably, present-day Ethiopians are now killing each other because of ethnic and religious differences which the Italians wrote was the central cause of conflict in their country. That is the insanity that is going on in Ethiopia. This is why I want to shift the current conversation which took place on major media such as CNN, BBC, and FOXNEWS: back to the 1930s when the fascists entered Ethiopia because that is the root cause of the war that is happening today.
What is the main theme or key message you hope to share with Hopeless Romantic?
I would like Western readers to know that many of the misconceptions about Ethiopia that permeate the world likely stem from the findings of Ethiopian Scholars. Sadly, most of the Ethiopian scholars are non-Ethiopian Westerners and are primarily getting their information from sources that were intended to divide the country of Ethiopia. I believe this reality has had a severe consequence on the Western perception of Ethiopia.
Do you have any other projects you’re working on or plan to work on in the near future?
Yes. I hope to change this book into a documentary so it can help reach a wider audience. From the academic side, I plan to dedicate the next few years to researching the extent of historical rewritings that took place by the fascists in the mid 20th century.
To learn more about Deacon Dawit Muluneh and his book Hopeless Romantic, please visit: https://dawitmuluneh.com/