Message from the President
It was 120 years ago that our forefathers fought with valor at the battle of Chelenqo. That was to preserve their sovereignty and independence.They paid a heavy price with their blood for the sake of Harar and her people. For more than a century our people have been acknowledging and commemorating the blood that our forefathers have shed at the battlefield of Chelenqo with the color red.
The color red was used in both our houses and clothing to remember our heroic martyrs discreetly to avoid the vengeance of the oppressive regimes of the time. This tradition of commemorating the martyrs of Chelenqo continued even after the establishment of the Harari National Regional State. Both the flags of the Harari National League and the Harari National Regional State have a red stripe to commemorate our martyrs.
During the celebration of Harar’s Millennium we honored the sacrifices of the martyrs of the battle of Chelenqo by building a monument in the center of the city. We also gathered at the battlefield of Chelenqo in large numbers and offered our prayers to the martyrs, and gave thanks to the Almighty for gathering our dispersed people from around the world. Moreover, we honored the 700 grooms that were martyred in Chelenqo, by arranging for a mass wedding of 40 couples.
There is no doubt there were some shortcomings during the celebration of the Millennium. However, this was such a large event, which was unprecedented in scale in our recent history. We will learn from our mistakes and organize an even better and greater event five years from now. We also expect our people to come in an organized manner to accomplish our tasks more effectively. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and commend the Australian community for coming in a very organized manner.
Australian Saay Harari Association is a non profit, ethnically based, social organization based in Melbourne, Australia.