Arab Spring turns to Fall?
As we watch refugees pouring out of Libya on illegal boats (sometimes thrown off in the Mediterranean) or see tourists bombed in a Tunisian museum or read about the supposed Egyptian reformer President Morsi being sentenced to 20 years in jail for torture of protesters, we may wonder what happened to the Arab Spring that seemed so promising. Revolution is started by people who have had enough and want reform. Unfortunately, it often gets hijacked by others who want personal and complete power. Certainly that was the case in Ethiopia, where hopeful Ethiopian Christians joined the ranks of protesters and celebrated the fragile possibility of a new and better society back in 1974 when the Emperor Hailie Selassie was removed from power. Then came the counter-wave of terror, as Col. Mengistu took absolute control and clamped down on anyone who might be perceived as a threat, including any religious leaders who did not knuckle under to his imposed authority. I hope my memoir–Running to the Fire–has relevance in this sense. It is a look at an earlier “Ethiopian Spring” that turned too quickly to Fall–or perhaps I should say an Ethiopian planting season that turned to drought. I’m enthused about a recent radio interview about the book, which was conducted by Bob Leonard on KRLS, based in the Pella and Knoxville area of Iowa. It was aired as part of the show “In Depth,” and it goes in depth into the origins of the book, the history behind the revolution in Ethiopia, the role of missions in Ethiopia, and more. If you have time, you can listen to the podcast at http://kniakrls.com/2015/04/in-depth-author-tim-bascom/.
To listen to another shorter interview, this time by Rob Dillard at Iowa Public Radio, you can go to the following link: http://iowapublicradio.org/post/teen-runs-fire-1970s-ethiopia. It’s an honor to be included on both radio shows!