The Alarm Bell for Tigray Event in Amsterdam



A beautiful event took place at Splendor Amsterdam last week. The event which included music, testimonies and information, panel discussion and traditional Tigrayan dances brought Dutch musicians, journalists, people from relevant government organizations, civil society representatives, Dutch friends of Tigray and the Tigrayan diaspora community together. Many found the event informative, inspiring and even healing. The event was also livestreamed.

Some audience reactions

Below are some reactions from people who attended in person or watched the event live.


The event has got some coverage. Dimtsi Weyane Tigray has presented many parts of the event both in its Tigrinya and Amharic programs [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Jan Willem has also been interviewed by Haarlems Dagblad on the context of the event and Tigray.

The Event

The recording of the entire event can be watched here.

The event started off with Dutch musicians playing the Tigray struggle anthem. The theme of the anthem is that despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and adversities, atrocities and brutalities, the just struggle of the Tigrayan people will eventually prevail. Some of its lines are:

“There is no mountain we don’t climb []in the quest to prevail],
there is no river we don’t cross

people are our source of power
we won’t be conquered, we will prevail”

The theme of the event was for people to speak, sing and for Tigray in order to be a voice because when people speak in unison against genocide, against injustice they can stop it. It is only fitting that the event started off with the Tigray anthem that also says people are power.

Tigray Anthem (ዘይንድይቦ ጎቦ ዘይንሰግሮ ሩባ) by Dutch Musicians at Splendor Amsterdam Alarm Bell for Tigray

Following that, an introduction by Jan Willem Baljet, who is the one that, upon hearing about Tigray Genocide, took the initiative to organize the event, personal story and background information by Gebrekirstos G. Gebremeskel and a testimony by Girmay followed.

jan willem speaks about how he came to know about the tigray war and how he was moved to take action. gebrekirstos tells his personal story and provides a background information on the war, girmay gives testimony on axum massacre and others.

After that, Belgian-Namibian singer-songwriter, guitarist and musicologist Shishani Vranckx, better known as Shishani, sang a freedom song. Before the her song, she also spoke shortly in an emotional and moving manner.

Belgian-Namibian singer-songwriter, guitarist and musicologist Shishani Vranckx, better known as Shishani, singing freedom on the Alarm Bell for Tigray at Splendor Amsterdam.

Then it was time for a panel discussion where experts on stage and on online engaged with questions regarding Tigray Genocide, justice and what should be done. Panelists were Alex de Waal, Mirjam van Reisen, Jan Nyssen, Gebrekirstos Gebremeskel. The discussion was moderated by Marie-Jose Grotenhuis.

Panel Discussion

Before questions and answers, there came was music. Dutch musicians played a rendition of Raza Raya’s Asli song. The arrangement was by Tatiana Rosa. It was beautiful.

A rendition of Raza Raya’s Asli (ኣስሊ) Song by Dutch Musicians

Then it was time for dance by a group from Tegaru Youth Holland. They did a superb job, bringing the audience close to the Tigrayan culture. For many, these were new dances.

Tegaru Youth Holland dance at the Alarm Bell For Tigray Event at Splendor Amsterdam

Finally there was Martine Fondse’s “For Tigray” song. Martin said about the song “it has anger in it, it has sadness, it has a little bit of hope in it.”

Dutch Componist des Vaderlands (Composer laureate) Martin Fondse presented a song named “Song for Tigray” at the Alarm Bell for Tigray event at Splendor Amsterdam on 10 February 2023. Introducing the song , he said “it has has anger in it, it has sadness, it has a little bit of hope in it.”

After this, there was time for people to stay, drink and network.

Bring Tigray to your cities and communities

The diaspora Tigrayan community has been busy in speaking about Tigray genocide. But it is mostly online or in the form of rallies. I believe it is about time that we also use other means and platforms.

I hope this event inspires Tigrayans to take their online advocacy for Tigray to their cities and local communities. We need to venture out to new people and communities and use other platforms and means of advocacy.

As the Tigray struggle anthem with which the event started off said, people are power. If enough people can speak, sing, make noise and show solidarity with the people of Tigray, the Tigrayan people can be heard, their suffering and extermination ended and justice delivered.

See also

A Music and Discussion Event for Tigray at Splendor Amsterdam

1 Comment

  1. Nonstop smear and intimidating campaign by the zehabesha youtuber and its followers

    February 20, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    Amahara radical media honors elites from amahara inapprpriately while disparaging well-versed scholars from other ethnic group.
    « ዶ/ር አብይና ተከታዮቹ የሚፈሯቸው ብጹ አቡነ አብርሃም ማን ናቸው?|የአሜሪካው ፕሬዘዳንት የሚከታተላቸው ብጹ አቡነ አብርሀም ከየት መጡ?#abune Abrham »
    From Hagerie Media on 19/02/2023
    Hateful speeches against decision passed by Council of Archbishops of Tigray Orthodox Tewahedo church.The first person (Nuna)below said :we gonna block the highways to obstruct vehicules from reaching Tigray.The hatespeech is motivated by zehabsha, henock alemayehu , replica of Esat, notorious terrorist media. Zehabesha journalist is saying tigrayan in Sudan rejected to the call made by Tigrayan leaders to return home since these people committed serious crime in western Tigray. This fabricated story is introduced to the present day amhara people to echo the same fake story to foreigners & their fellow citizen unanimously. And the same fake story will certainly pass to the next generation, as usual. This is how many people are now having a hard time to differentiate between the books full of white lies , complied by the biased amhara self-appointed historians and those genuine books who were writtten by true historians.
    « History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there …by George Santayana.This saying describes the stories written by amhara elites who purposely perverted the historical events to suitably fit their political and defamatory agenda .
    Nuna T
    20 hours ago
    የትግራይ አባቶች ህዝቡን የረዳውን መከላከያ ሲመታ ዝም አሉ። የትግራይ ህዝብ ፍዳውን ያበላው ወያኔ ሆኖ ሳለ ጩኸቴን ለምን ቀሙኝ ይላሉ? ይቀጥሉ እኛም እንላለን ከመሃልም ይሁን ከክልሎች የሚገባ አንድም ነገር አይኖርም። እራስ መቻል ነው።

    Fre Media Food ፍሬ ሚዲያ ፉድ
    20 hours ago
    ወይ ጉድ ሁለቱ ሱዳን ሻንቅሎች እነሱም ካቅማቸው ተዳፈሩን ባለቤቱን ካልናቁ አጥሩን አይነቀንቁ ።

    Rtf Dift
    16 hours ago
    ኦርቶዶክስ ብዙ ቦታ ተቆራርሳለች ለዚህም ምክንያቱ እግዚአብሔርን መተዋ ነው። አማልክትን መከተሏ በዝቷል
    Workeye Ferede
    19 hours ago
    Walkaite and Raya 100% Amhara land. Tplf has no rigt to call Tigrians to settle again to Walkaite came from Sudan. Still ambitious and want to play cheap tricks like before. Now Walkaite and Raya case are closed.
    ደቡብ ምእራብ ክልል፥ ከፋኖ ጋር ቢተባበር፥ ድንበሩንና ሃገሩን ማስከበር ይችል ነበር። አራት ኪሎ ያለው ሰውዬ ግን ፋኖ ሲባል ይንቀጠቀጣል
    Debebe Seyoum
    15 hours ago
    ኢትዬጵያ ወታደር የላትም ወያኔንም የመከተው የአማራ ልዬ ኃይልና ፋኖ ነው ይሄ እውነት ነው
    Yohannes Seifu
    22 hours ago
    ትግራይ ቄስ አለ እንዴ ? በጦርነቱ ግዜ ሲያሸብሩ አልነበር አሸባሪዎች ተገላገልን

    simegn tigneh
    18 hours ago
    የትግራይ ወንበዴዎች የተከበረው የመናኞች መኖሪያና የጸሎት ቦታ የሆነውን የዋልድባ ገዳም ካድሬዎቻቸውን በመነኩሴ ስም እየላኩ ሴት መነኮሳትን ሲያስደፍሩ፣ የተቃወሙትን ከገዳሙ በማባረር ችግር ላይ እንዲወድቁ ሲያደርጉ፣ ሌሎች መነኮሳትን ሲያስገድሉ፣ ሲያሰቃዩ፣ ገዳሙ እንዲፈርስ የተንኮል ሥራን ሲሰሩ የትግራይ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስትያን አባቶች ጉዳዩን እያወቁ መች አወገዙ፣ ቦታው በኃይማኖታቸው ቀኖና መሠረት በፖለቲካ ሰዎች መደፈርና ተንኮል ሊሰራበት፣ሰው ሊገደልበት የማይገባ መሆኑን እያወቁ ለምን ተቃውሞ አላሰሙም?? አላወገዙም??

    Source : Ethiopia: 3 የአሁን መረጃዎች | Zehabesha 12(on 19/02/2023)

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