Gelemso - Notable Persons From Gelemso

Notable Persons From Gelemso

Gelemso has been associated with many imminent figures. Its notable personalities include the following:

  • Sheikh Ali Jami Guutoo : - commonly called Qallicha by the Oromos, not only for his origin from Warra Qallu Oromo clan, but also for his high priesthood in the Chercher plateau. His descendents are still called Qalicha or Qalittii- meaning the respected one (Qallitti is for female), It is said that the first man to preach Islam peacefully and openly (without any sanction ) in the land of Chercher was this Sheikh Ali Jami, so that he became one of the key figures in the Islamization of the Ittu Oromo. Sheikh Ali is considered a great saint and most of the people of the Chercher highlands usually refer to him as Aw Ali.
  • Sheikh Umar Aliye :- popularly known as Gelemsiyyi. He was another key figure in the Islamization of the Ittu Oromo and a father of Mohammed Zakir Meyra and many more heroes and scholars. Perhaps, he is the most widely known scholar, activist and important Islam figure in the region. In fact, he is well known for his dedication for Islam and its teaching throughout the country. He is also the most noted figure in the transmission of the Qadiriyyah Sufi brother-hood ( Tariqa ), which he introduced to the Harar Oromos with Sheikh Mohammed Harar, his close friend with whom he returned from Wallo after the completion of higher education.
  • Ahmad Taqi Sheikh Mohammed Rashid (well known as Hundee) (1942? – September 6, 1974): He was an Oromo nationalist known with his comrade Elemo Kiltu as the first true fighters since they launched the first armed struggle for the Oromo causes under an organization that bears the name of their people (i.e. Oromo). They died together on September 5/1974 at the historic Battle of Tiro and now honored as martyrs by the three major Oromo political organizations; OLF, OPDO and IFLO. Hundee the hero immortalized by Ali Birra's songs.
  • Mohammed Zakir Meyra (1949 -1977): Also known as Mohammed-Zakir Sheikh Umar Aliye or well known as simply Meyra):- He is a son of the well respected Gelemsiyyi (see above). He was considered by the people around Gelemso as an heir to Elemo and Ahmad Taqi. While he was only in his 20s, he marched to Somalia leading a group of youth with whom he used to discuss the national agenda. He returned as a commander of brigade that included in addition to his fellow Oromo youths, some West Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) fighters who claimed giving support to the Oromo brothers. His brigade had effectively destroyed the Dergue army in Boke and Darolebo woreda. But he felt furious on the mischievous act of the WSLF fighters when they start to install the flag of Somali Republic on the freed lands. He fought them as equal as he was fighting the Dergue. The fight between the two forces continued until the winter months of 1977. And finally, Meyra was martyred on the Battle of Kurfa Roqa, 30 km south of Boke town.
  • Umar Bakkalcha (1953? - 1980) was one of the early Oromo nationalists and martyrs well-remembered in the Chercher highlands of Harerghe especially for the heroic speeches he made at his death spot. His name had been Umar Sheikh Mohammed Rabi, but the people usually refer to him as “Umar Bakkalcha” or simply “Bakkalcha” (the downfall star). Bakkalcha was enlightened in the Oromo National struggle from the very beginning. He had a good understanding of the quests of the Oromo causes far before many people. However, the most brainstorming incident that took him to decide giving up all of his belongings for the Oromo causes was the heroic death of the well known Oromo patriots and guerilla leaders called Elemo Killtu (Hassen Ibrahim) and Hundee (or Ahmad Taqi Sheikh Muhammed Rashid).
  • Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Bilal :- father of Ahmad Taqi, well known as a teacher of many of the latter sheikhs and, a protector of local knowledge and oral history. He was primarily a source of most of the historical data concerning the ancient history and culture of the Oromos of the Chercher highlands that appear today in many books (the information is disseminated either directly by him, or through his disciples).
  • Sheikh Mohammed Rashad Abdulle a graduate of Al-Azhar University who translated Qur'an in to the Oromo. (For the detail of his life and work, click on his name.)
  • Abuna Berhane Eyesus, the current Patriarch of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. He is originally from Anchar woreda, but raised up in Gelemso in his early ages.
  • Gelemso and its vicinity had produced many scholars which include Dr. Ashagre Yigletu of the Dergue, Dr. Bayan Asoba of OLF, Artist Garbi Ahmed Nurie (Pianist, live in Toronto, Canada), Artist Adnan (singer) and Fozia Amin, member of the Central committee of OPDO and Human Rights Commissioner in the Federal Government of Ethiopia.

The city produced many doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists, and many other professions.

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