A 2001 sample page from the “Readers Said” section, which was similar toLetters To The Editor. As you will see, we used to reply to most of the comments until we discontinued the section in about a year after we launched a discussion forum. The following sample page is from the archive; we thought it might help compare the topics that preoccupied Eritreans in 2001 to what preoccupies them now.///Editor, awate.com
Why Not Government Followers?
berhane.tekie, February 2, 2001
To interview different persons and let the readers to know more about their opinion is great. But in all of your interviews done with different Eritreans, your choice were strange. You chose only persons against the government. Why not government followers living outside our country (not government officials).
Why did you interview for example just Dawit Mesfin of the G-13 but not the others ?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Awate.com does not use an ideological test when selecting candidates for interviews. We are seeking interesting Eritreans, public Eritreans, who have interesting and insightful ideas–not slogans and cliches–that address Eritrea’s history and future and whose views will stimulate the minds of our readers AND are willing to be interviewed by us. This was the criteria used in selecting Dawit Mesfin for the first interview. It goes without saying that we are actively pursuing interviews with several GoE officials and, as soon as we succeed, their interviews will be published.
“A Critical Mass”
Mehary Bahta, February 2, 2001
In his ‘Necessity to Question’ article, Samson Isaac brings out several important issues about the direction that the Eritrean Revolution is taking. When do revolutions end? Well, I guess when the goal is reached. Are we there yet? is the question my kids would ask every time we go on a trip.
Is this observable? Definitely. Encrata defines revolution as “a dramatic change in idea or practice”. In politics it would be the overthrow of a government, a ruler or a political system. Revolution is an awakening that occurs in human culture brought about by ‘a critical mass’ of individuals. This awakening represents the creation of a new, more complete view, and replaces the preoccupation with secular survival and comfort of old times.
I was surprised by Samson’s definition of a revolution in his statement….”when respect and consideration are not reciprocated between people and government there will be lack of revolution”. I believe that because there was a loss of respect and consideration between people and government that a revolution occurs. As dramatic as it is, revolution can also be violent.
Now that we have achieved our goal, what is next? We need to identify and protect what is critical from inevitable uncertainty, avoiding failure while accounting for ‘Murphy’s Law’.
From what I have been observing lately after all the struggle for liberation from Ethiopia, the Eritrean Revolution has come a full circle. Putting revolutionary ideas to work is not quite as easy as flipping a switch. It requires a real change in how resources and priorities are managed. We are now at a point where we have to assure that the critical resources are available when needed. Weather we end up with a ‘multi party’ or a ‘one party system’, what we really have to worry about in this context are the critical chain tasks, since they most directly determine the success of all our combined efforts.
We can do it. We will do it. We have to do it.
We will sing our National anthem together.
Wishing Improvements on The Fertile Womb
Asmerom Abraham Negasi, February 2, 2001
There are numerous websites and news groups relating to Eritrea. I do read articles and suggestions of the other web pages as well as awate.com. But the series “Fertile Womb” sparked my interest on Eritrea’s proud past history. I have learned great deal from the articles that [?] awate.com is offering us. In short I just want to thank you for this section and I look forward to seeing this section improve and cover more intensively on our past and current history as well as on our heroes and giants.
Keep up the good job
HABTU DEBESAY, February 2, 2001
I THINK YOU DOING A GREAT JOB BY PROVIDING THE ERITREAN PEOPLE NEWS FROM THE PAST AND PRESENT, WHAT GOES ON IN THE ERITREAN AFFAIR INSIDE AND OUTSIDE. I BELIEVE AWATE IS WATCHING US COMMUNICATING TO EACH OTHER VIA THIS SITE WHICH IS DEDICATED TO AWATE. KEEP UP THE GOOD JOB AND GOOD LUCK.
Aden Zeray, February 2, 2001
I respect every thing which is Written in awate web site because that is the opinion of the other peoples. If I can not swallow the truth or refuse the rights of others what they want to say, what will differentiate me from PDEJ. PEDJ is stand against all human right of our people. PEDJ leaders some times telling as how and where democracy is working, in late 2000 Issaias’ interview he was telling as there is no real democracy in America, if he believe so why he doesn’t show as which one is real democracy other than his dictatorial style. We saw his type of leadership in the last 2 years, and he knows, now, what our peoples are thinking about the change and he planned to deceive the people by false election. If you go to any where in Africa now a days peoples know what election means! How the leaders deceive! To our surprise the previous Ethiopian leader Mengistu was doing the same strategy but it doesn’t save him. Issaiass and Mengistu , for that matter woyane, are the same except their names, they do not care about human right and war every where if they don’t sleep well they decide they have to start war tomorrow. Both men do not have good relation with there neighbours, they do not attempt to solve by peace but when the defeated they accepted and that surprised me! What about you!.
Setting Good Examples
Besma y., February 2, 2001
Let me first congratulate you for all your endeavors to bring together so many good writers with so many thought provoking national issues.It is really great to see a site that is doing good for the interest of the nation…or, so I believe.
Many of your readers may not agree with me, but, to my mind there is a burning issue of character of those who are at the helm of affairs in Eritrea that seems to be over looked or, is it a deliberate policy of the Awate team and its participants(!?) to keep away because of what may be termed as personal affairs by many as an excuse. I do not agree with such opinions, if any, as long as you are a public figure. Let me explain. It is a widely known fact that our leaders do indulge themselves with what may be termed by some as “nice things in life” while I do agree with many of the believers of personal freedom…if you call it that…is it not true that our leaders are not supposed to be all that free and that some scarifies is supposed to come with the territory? Are they not setting bad example to many youngsters to see our leaders drinking so openly some times to the extend of total intoxication? is it not heart breaking to hear your leaders not maintaining certain decency in their personal and family lives and putting many young ladies in the family way in total disregard to the society and their values?
I think this is a very important issue that should be debated.
Writing In Tigrigna
Habtom mebrahtu. February 2, 2001
Dear Awate.com web site.
why don’t Eritrean writers write in our language, Tigrigna? We can read their English later. I think it better for us Eritreans to read information about what is going on in Tigrigna.
FROM SAMMY TO HAYET
SammyG, January 31, 2001
[NB. Hayet is an exclusive mailing list whose members are invited to join from among the ‘Hafash’ subscribers of an Eritrean Website. This message was copied to awate.com]
Selam Hayet Folks,
I feel guilty for spilling over a rumor mill onto this mailing list.
But please allow me to vent my frustration. Just when I thought the unnecessary rumors about the ministerial reshuffles were disappointing enough, I get to hear this on EDF commanders.
Over the weekend, some friends were anxious to tell me about Maj. General Berhane Gebregziabher. Apparently, he’s been “fired” from EDF, whatever that means.
Anyway, those who told me so would not tell me about their sources. Obviously, they heard it from “someone.” Mind you, unlike my other Eritrean friends, these guys are not into the digital age. So I ruled out the Internet as their source. At least not direct source. Then something hit me. I remember the last time I logged on to awate.com (very long time ago) [by long ago, the writer probably means 11 days ago] there was a “report” on the sacking of an EDF commander. So I suspected awate.com again. And awate.com it is.[Eureka!]
I’m disgusted to see awate.com going to such pains, i.e., delving into military matters, to “inform” readers. Even if the story is true, which I highly suspect is not, awate.com should leave such “news” to the military itself. Awate.com will never know what really goes on inside the Eritrean military. And definitely will not know why. So, this pretentious insider/inquirer position is a dangerous one. [Some would say, the “inquirer/insider position” is what information media ought to assume]
Besides, if awate.com could not get its story right on ministerial reshuffles (such as Hamid Hmid’s), [Hamid Himd was not a Minister and was not reshuffled] how in the world does it expect to “inform” us on the intricate nature of EDF’s military measures? [check and verify is a simple open secrete]
Anyway, awate.com’s reporting style is risky and short-sighted; its credibility rests upon the dependability of its speculators/sources. And as is always the case with risk-seeking or speculative behavior, as its rumor mill expands, so will its margin of error. Thus, awate.com is only setting itself up for a big disappointment further down the road. [thank you, we assume it is a genuine concern]
Unfortunately, instead of reasoning about values and principles, the site has fully embarking upon the frowned and intellectually corrupt world known as gossip. [In the absence of free-press, Gedab News is the best one can expect and get]
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you for your concern Sammy G. However, we beg you to prove us wrong regarding the news of the General. If you can dig the truth deeper than we did, you would do the Eritrean public a good information service… and of course, awate.com would publish an apology. If your position is that even if it is true, it shouldn’t be published, (and that seems to be the case from your writing) please remember that one of the reasons we are in the mess we are in is because our government is so secretive and our citizens are not demanding transparency and accountability from their govt.
The military is run through a party infrastructure and not answerable to a supreme power but to party politicians. Therefore, the military case understandably is treated as a political case. Promotions and demotions are not necessarily on merits because in the current situation, politics play an important role and hurts the professionalism of the army.
Dear Sammy, there is a role for everyone in the Eritrean medium. Some choose to be government advocates asking, “what more can our citizens do to please the government?” type of questions; some think they are a vacuum to hand a microphone to a government official to squeeze more and more money from the exhausted citizen; and others think citizens are not here to serve their government but governments are here to serve their citizens. You can speak truth to power or you can be opted by power and corrupted. It is called freedom of the press and that is one of the many reasons you and I live in exile… of course, some exiles are forced others are voluntary.
Dear Sammy G, there was Pravda today there are mediums who would do anything to emulate Pravda. However, the days of the Eritrean Pravdas are on the countdown. You see, some time ago, there was Dehai, Asmarino, Meskerem and Visafric. Last year, Awate was born. This year, other Eritrean websites are mushrooming. A few of these websites use English/Tigrigna (Asmarino, Visafric); others English only (Dehai), others English/Tigrigna/Arabic (Meselna.com) and still others Arabic and English only (Hafash.com). Goggle on the Internet and I am sure you would find astounding number of websites. I expect the Cyber space to overcrowded very soon. Many, many, many, many more will spring up. This might shock some people out of whatever little convenient store they are in. Whoever thinks he reigns and others do not exist should think properly. Plus, you tell them you expect many, many, many more to spring up. Secrecy will be no more.
WISHING US GOOD LUCK
(1)Tekle Melekin, January 31, 2001
I think you are doing very well. You are a very good example of what an Eritrean in Diaspora can “also” be. Your web site is, definitely, helping many Eritreans to understand their own history and complete. Good Luck!
I would like to appreciate what Awate.ocm is doing. This is what is missing in our eritrean community be open to others ideas and suggestions.it is working and keep it up. That is the only way we Eritrean can learn from each other. The gap created by GOE is wide ,but we can norrow it down by being open to others suggestions give more time for listening than to talking.Respect ,listen, talk and compromise when necessary. These are the basic for meaningfull democratic discussions. Thank you Awate.com for giving us this chance.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you sirs
Akilas, January 31, 2001
I like Saleh Younis’ interview column, I like the idea of Arabic Forum, I like the idea of the Fertile Womb, I like the idea of Gedab News, and I also like your idea of displaying pictures of Eritrean past.
I don’t like the big presence of the Webmaster, though. It is nice to have an alternative outlook in Awate, but it feels that it is run like a print medium- further from the ideal of all to one, one to all communication of the Internet groups. Much like ANDY & SAM_SOLICITORS web page that provides
their own information to the public. Awate comes opinionated and as a finished product supplying its product to the readers, allowing very little room for the rest to take it us “our” Eritrean site.
Nothing wrong with that, but it is worth noting its top-down approach, and obviously different from the Eritrean pages-Asmarino, Dehai and Visafric sites. In fact, it reminds me not of EPLF or ELF but of Inda Abdella, Inda Ajib, etc…a private run faction that claims to care for all of Eritrea.
If I were the chieftain at Awate COM…
1. Congratulate Saleh Younis with his interviews, and may be ask him to broaden his column to include feedback from readers and response from our respected Eritrean luminaries.
2. Arabic Forum: is a good idea, but what are they discussing over there? Some excerpts please for those of whom the Arabic language is double-dutch.
3. Fertile Womb: please keep it up and include OTHERS (not only EPLF members but even Qeshi Dimetros’ camp too).
4. Gedab News…keep it up it is a forerunner to our colourful democracy to come.
5. Picture galore: Keep it up and inform us of any “updates”.
6. The Pencil: As far as I am concerned it is rubbish and it should be binned, I don’t like the presentation there.
Hold on…but then if you listen to me you will be not so different after all?! Oh, well I have vented my feeling and what ever you do I am reading you everyday- best wishes with the web.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you for your input, that is why we decided to publish this test page under the “Readers Said…” section. please continue to watch us for we can err.
You Have The Nerve! [Yes, we do] Name not given, January 30, 2001
You call this imposter [Ahmed Nasser] a “… giants, visionaries and selfless patriots?” Then again, “in the land of the blind, one eyed is a king!” We respect his right to call Badime Eritrean so long as he respects our right to call all of Eritrea Ethiopian.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We will always have our giants, visionaries and patriots; we are not imposing them on anybody.
“Weak presence of women …concerns us” Was Bad Taste
Mehary Bahta, January 30, 2001
Dear Awate.com or whoever respondes to ‘Readers Comments’
First, would like to congratulate you for your very resourceful website. A lot of very interesting comments are made on your pages and I have enjoyed them very much. However, you do not seem to take critisizm easily. On your answers to people who wrote to you, you are very defensive and use non-conciliatory language. In your response to a Senait Yemane you said…”though we are not champions of afirmative action, the weak presence of the women in Eritreans forums does concern us”. This comment is in bad taste. I am a male and do not refer to the presence of Eritrean women in Message Forums “weak”. There are quite a few of them out there, if they are given equal oportunuty to participate they can articulate a lot better than most males I know. I know my comment won’t make it to your feedback page, but I hope that you would at least read it to yourself.
Thanks for the opportunity,
EDITOR’S NOTE: Eritrean Women who write on the Internet are less that 1%, that does concern us. We consider it a weak presence. I am sure you didn’t mean to say you are satisfied with the few number. There are many good women-writers, we believe they should be encouraged to write in public. We consider criticism from readers a blessing. We now that someone is watching. On the contrary, please do point to us whenever you feel there is something worth criticizing…thank you
THE REVOLUTIONARY FLAME IS SPREADING ALL OVER ERITREA
Eritrea was liberated after 30 years of armed struggle in 1991. About 200,000 Eritreans are martyred, disabled for the cause of Eritrean freedom and the social –economic liberation. Yes as of May 1991 Eritrea is waving an EPLF/PFDJ flag, but nothing else has changed in reality for the Eritrean people. The people have become silent observers and passive participants in all walks of life and political activities of the country who paid so much for it’s freedom. In fact Eritreans are living in fear.
Responsible and revolutionary Eritreans are struggling to:
** Establish the political rights of the Eritrean people,
**Rectify what the dictatorial regime caused on Eritrean properties and culture,
** Erect political democracy in Eritrea.
Some Eritreans who couldn’t cope up with the present day revolutionary struggle of democratic process are trying to revile their incompetence as part of the dictatorial regime, in conferences, on the internet, and other media. Herui T Bairu is one of these people. I thoroughly read his resent articles, interviews by Saleh Younis and watched his videocassette. I would like to summarize what he tried to convey on those instances.
– The PFDJ government can lead Eritreans to the formation of democratic Eritrea with all of its shortcoming.
– The constitution is already ratified and can easily be improved in the years ahead.
– Political parties can be formed only if we participated in the year 2001 elections.
– Some members of the Eritrean Alliance used to choose military solution to solve political differences and it is wrong in contemporary Eritrea.
-The Eritrean National Alliance is fake.
Ahmed Nasser the former ELF chair man might agree with Herui, but I strongly reject it because:
Herui is A BOOMERANG BIZARRE POLITICIAN FULL OF MONKEY TRICKS ON HIS BACK. Here are some of his political activities which clarify why I call him A BOOMERANG.
In 1977 being a member of the clandestine internal movement for the democratization of the ELF he unilaterally called for emergency national congress of the ELF. This action caused a set back for the movement.
He abandoned EDM because he was not elected at the conference held in Khartoum Sudan and went to Iraq and then resided in Sweden.
He claims EDM was split and his group joined the EPLF while he is the only one who went to Eritrea and ended up being gum Arabic trader.
He preaches as if there is political tolerance in Eritrea being in Sweden even though he had never had conducted a single conference, seminar, or political gathering inside Eritrea to air his views. He thinks this bluff could secure him a seat in the PFDJ orchestrated parliament.
Herui is intelligent well educated and with a lot of political ideas, but lacks the determination, courage and patience to stand and fight for what he believes is right.
Other Eritreans with the highest degree of educational achievement say Eritrean opposition forces so far failed to create an effective opposition. I would like to say to them, open your eyes and your mind. Formation of ERITREAN NATIONAL ALLIANCE is not fragmentation, but revolutionary process to democratization. The CHARTER of the ERITREAN NATIONAL COALITION is step in the right direction in solving the political crisis in Eritrea. Educated Eritreans should not wait some groups to bring them political solution, but lead the revolutionary process glowing inside and outside Eritrea. Education is not knowledge, but action. So do your part Eritrea needs your energy and your ideas.
Some may say why revolutionary change rather than reform? I would like to direct my readers to the article I wrote which was aired in the web site of asmarino.com in December 2000 in Tigrigna under the heading TRANSITION TO THE FORMATION OF DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL SYSTEM IN ERITREA (It says by Yosan Gebremariam who is my daughter. I apologize for the error).
All the peaceful means of transition to political democracy in Eritrea have failed
1). DIALOGUE with PFDJ dictatorial regime got deaf ears. Every Eritrean knows what name brand the dictatorial regime gives to opposition organizations, political movements and political groups.
2) PEOPLE’S POWER that is mass voice of wrong doing by the regime, demonstrations against actions of the regime, gatherings of citizens were and are being met with bullets. The demonstrations of the war wounded and disabled former freedom fighters were disbanded with guns. The people who tried to show their opposition to the formation of the ZONES instead of the long-lived AWRAJAS ended up in prisons. Villagers who tried to protect their land got shot and those who survived the guns herded to jail.
3) PUBLICATIONS which don’t carry the views of the dictatorial regime have been sacked and authors or editors thrown into jails.
The damage on Eritrea and the Eritrean People is done by the PFDJ regime, and it is time to get organized for the remedy that should be a revolutionary. That will be the day political democracy would prevail in Eritrea with our effort struggle and sacrifices.
Saleh Younis might learn something from ERE-TV!
Asmerom Medhanie, January 28, 2001
I want to comment on your (Other)Sal’s Case Against ‘Hadas Eritra’.
Considering the “interview’s” chit-chatty nature which lacked vigor and rigor in its questions for Mr. Mesfin, I would say ‘hadas Eritra’s’ ‘simuaq’ captures the gist of the hallow message that you were trying to convey.
Right now I am not sure whether you are for free press or “selective” press. After all you have decided to ingore such insightful citique of your methods given by Dr. Khalid [the writer certainly means Dr. Kemal] by simply renaming your interviews “dialogues” rather than working on improving the way you interview such characters as Hiruy and Dawit. Not to mention that “criquet” thing you wrote which ridiculed your “champion of the free press” status.
In short you need to excercise the same objectivity that you are demanding from others. I suggest you take a look at the recent video of the interview that Issayas gave to Eri-Tv. You might learn something.
wocho entegelbeTkayo wecho
Redda Berhane, January 28, 2001
Dear Awate.com, I have written you other articles, but may be you don’t have places to put my articles or my appreciations for your web, I have never seen it. I hope now you will not throw this one. I read your interviews with Herui Bairu. It was an excellent journalism. I am preparing to write about it.
This is a re-response to the critics Ghezae Hagos Berhe on Response to Herui’s. I was surprised to see a well educated person crticising for the sake of criticism. Looking at his writings, expressions and historical knowledge-I would have seen him in a democratic country perusing his democratic devoires. Just to mention-since some one who is absent from his county for two years is legally dead, and ELF is absent for twenty years, so it is dead; then the immense people in Diaspora who financed and is financing the EPLF (PFDJ) for its wars, for more than thirty years is legally dead. That means PFDJ or EPLF is collecting funds from people who are legally dead. And I hope the writer himself has never been absent for two years or a legally dead person is advocating for the survival of a dictator who does not know him.
What Herui explained about the so called “Eritrean Constitution” is perfect. I am sure you have it in English. I have it in Tigrigna. There is no mention of political parties. And if you want to compare your article 19(6) with the constitution of other countries, it is not the constitution of other countries that we Eritreans are interested, but only Eritrean constitution which will serve to all Eritreans without distinction, even those who are LEGALLY DEAD. As for the constitution, IF IT IS ONE, it is written for those who dictated it and not for those who wrote it, neither for the people.
As an Eritrean I read “Highi Indaba” and their latest reunions. Compared to your constitution, it was far more democratic. To say that a coalition in a country is a disaster is a lame excuse for dictatorship. Even our grand parents have lived in harmony with their different laws for each awraja. You should take an example of them. It is a shame for someone who thinks that he knows more than anybody to say that the dit constitution views ethnical and sexual equality, we Eritreans have an elected president, a parliament which someone can compare with that of other democratic countries. You can say whatever you want to say, but reality is autrement. In your conclusion you are saying that after few months you are going to judge the results of the dit constitution. You should be very naive to believe a change in a dictatorial regime as long as the dictators are in place. There may be changes, internal, but as our proverb says, WOCHO INTEGHELBETKAYO WOCHO IYU. So many crimes have been committed by EPLF or PFDJ, and I don’t think they will let the people the chance to judge them in letting him (the people) the right to political parties, the right to speak, write,…etc.
What we fear now is another round of war with the Sudanese government. just because the war with Ethiopia is quasi finished, and not changes, elections…etc. And at last, do not pray for the Eritrean people to rest in the jaws of the hyenas, pray to deliver them from that.
The Message Was Not Delivered on Camel’s Back
Senait Yemane, January 26, 2001
Dear Awate.com publishers,
While searching the net, I came across an old email I had written to your attention some months back. I feel obligated to provide a reply to your email and offer some recently acquired observations relating to awate.com.
First, I deliberately omitted a title for my last piece after experiencing frustration with your selection process for posting. While I stand too painfully aware of your reserved rights to post or reject materials, I am hopelessly forever at loss as to the criteria applied to select and reject articles. However, I just wish a criterion was made available. Presently, I can only explicate a criterion based on friendship and complimentary substance, which, needless to say, has its own adverse effect on the overall quality and direction of this website and may perhaps deserve a recognition, admiration, and sympathetic solidarity for its exclusion of other views, an act that happens to contradict elementary principles of tolerance.
If I am wrong, please correct me. Doesn’t exclusion necessarily mean intolerance? I no longer question your mission. I fact, I did not mean to question your mission in the past. It is stated in bold, black and white, for everyone to read and hear. Your mission reads in part “… is to promote tolerance and reconciliation…” and you advise potential contributors to “write in a manner that would encourage dialogue and understanding.” So, I do not question what is written to read. I question the fairness and the process that leads into posting articles. It is the process I seriously question. My articles are NOT attempts to cow you into anything. I won’t even venture to attempt it. I am only questioning the process that, in turn, questions the sincerity of your stated mission.
I still criticize awate.com for harboring unacceptable and unpalatable forms of hate. The fact that you harbor hate needs not to be stated directly by you. Look at the quoted lines of your stated mission, and read articles authored by Dawit Mesfun. I do not care if he has issues with the GOE. I care less. However, I take issues with his gender based hate he espouses. Case in point: An article titled De-Hidaatizing. These sorts of male chauvinist articles are simply unacceptable. It is a form of hate and hatism. The guise of such articles is simply gender and undermines hard-won women’s liberty. If you guys have issues with the current political order, it is your rights and I do not care. However, when such immature articles are posted on a website supposedly advocate of tolerance, I take it with a grain of salt. I harbor no hate for the innocent. I, however, harbor all sorts of hate for those who despise the female gender! That much hate I harbor, and I openly admit it. Nevertheless, I do not harbor hate out of the blue sky. I do however harbor hate directed to those whose goals seems to degrade the female gender and establish a condescending reemphasis on hierarchical male-female relationship that, paradoxically, secralizes the very notion of tolerance.
Your observation, with some glee, registers that “reconciliation demands that we free our selves from trampling over the rights of others. Reconciliation doesn’t mean submission nor does it mean a master-serf relationship. Reconciliation is achieved on equal footing and on mutual respect…” But, am I to understand that you respect everyone’s rights except those of the female gender?
Recent observations: Awate.com is no different from other WebPages. I judge them based on two criteria. First, Diversity of the topics and views of topics in discussion, and Second, diversity of the authors. All webpages fail on both accounts. I guess it must be an Eritran thing.
With respect to all genders,
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dear Senait, I don’t know what to make of your writings. First you came as a person who is concerned about reconciliation. Then you switch gears to pose as a gender defender though there was nothing to stand up against… at least in this setting. The striking point though is, that you, having made serious allegations over three months ago, last October , against the tolerance level of this site, and having in a way challenged us to post your ‘article’ , didn’t even bother to check whether your message was published or not. You wrote that you accidentally came across your message while surfing the web. Why challenge others if you are not up to the challenge Senait? It just doesn’t make sense to make accusations based on nothing and then sleep on issues. You accused us for ignoring your articles, which we never received. You challenged us to publish your message; we took your challenge and we did publish it; it took you three months to find out. What are you up to Senait?
Writing in public forums is taxing and it entails being criticized, challenged and very often, insulted. Those who are not up to the taxation and can’t handle it are better off keeping away from such forums. You mentioned Dawit’s article that is about four months old as an excuse to depict awate.com as a gender biased site. Not forgetting the fact that your subject, that was mentioned in the said article is more than capable of defending herself, she writes publicly and all public writers are not immune to criticism and challenges to their ideas. When writers in awate begin to debate or criticize a writer, twe don’t tell them to start by questioning the gender, race, ethnicity or other identities of the writer. Simply, there is no preferential treatment to selective identities. Now it is our turn to challenge you: prove that anything ever published in awate,com was gender biased, I hope you will take the challenge!
I will skip your question of whether this site “respect everyone’s rights except those of the female gender?” because it is simply outrageous to even think in these terms, please think about your chain of accusation less you be accused for lack of objectivity by the readers.
I will not go over what I wrote in my previous comment to your message regarding tolerance and reconciliation… that would simply be monotonous. However, if you have anything to say about the subject, you are more than welcome to write and we will be glad to publish it.
Finally, please note that though we are not champions of affirmative action, the weak presence of the women in the Eritreans forums does concern us a lot. We hereby take this opportunity to invite you to write and encourage other women to write more often. Needless to say, I am hoping that you will read this comment of mine soon enough because I would not enjoy a message from you three months from today, telling me that you accidentally came across this message while surfing the Web!
We Believe It IS Just An Opinion!
Ilyas Hrui, January 25, 2001
Wouldn’t it be presumption of you to speak of dead conscience while you are yourself a victim of such ailment? How come that you have even showed great grief at the fate of Mohammad AL-durra while you haven’t even once mentioned about the fate of Eritreans in Ethiopia? Is that because they are presumed to be overwhelmingly Christian? What about the terrorist acts committed by the Islamic Jihad? Are their deeds in your opinion heroic? Why are you so quick to point the finger of accusation towards the PFDJ while at the same time showing reluctance at being critical towards those forces who commit crimes in the name of Islam? Irrespective whether Mr. Mohammad Khair and his children were victims of the Eritrean government- I know that there have been internal differences within the Jihadist movements located in Sudan like that between Al-Turki and others which have sometimes led to bloodshed- why did you fail to mention in your report that Mr. Mohammad Khair was not a peaceful old man you wanted us to believe?
Let me tell you this: before tackling such complicated issues like dead or alive conscience try to pay attention to your biased disinformation. Don’t you ever get ashamed of yourself for giving space to those people who claim everyday the victims and the heroes of the Eritrean armed struggle for independence were Moslems? Mr. Awate is a hero but does that mean he is more heroic than say Issaias Afeworki or any other ordinary fighter of the EPLF? After all Mr. Awate only spent few years in Medan until he died and his dreams of liberating Eritrea was only made a reality thanks to Issaias Afeworki and EPLF although there is in this regard reluctance on the side of some Moslems to accept that indisputable fact.
My advice to you is this: don’t exaggerate the achievements of people like Mohammed Nasser for religious and sectarian reasons while down playing the heroic deeds of others because they happen to be Christians or not of your ethnic group.
Some of your participants complain of Christian presence in areas like Gash-Barka. I don’t understand what their point is behind that kind of allegations. Do they want ethnic cleansing like that of Bosnia? Or, do they wish to see the presence of Christians in Gash-Barka buried in its soil as liberators and not living and farming in its surface? The same could apply to the former province of Sahel.
Those who accuse other of possessing DEAD CONSCIENCE should first check theirs that includes you, Mr. Web-master!
EDITOR’S NOTE: You are angry because the something you hold very dearly was criticized; what you read was an anger because the rights of citizens were neglected and violated.
The article in question criticizes the government for not doing anything to protect its citizens in the Sudanese refugee camps; you are making comparisons as if some blood is thicker than other blood. Crimes committed against civilians, be it by the Jihad, the government, or by a any version of extremism is condemned. However, it doesn’t mean that whenever one writes about a certain incident, the chronology of all previous crimes should be lined with the incident at hand.
Why do you bring Jihad to the issue? If you know something, please educate us. We don’t know about the things that you are hinting because the PFDJ does not inform its citizens of what is happening in Eritrea. But if you were using ‘Jihad” as an emotional blackmail, this website is immune to that attempt.
You ask: why the finger pointing at the PFDG while showing reluctance at pointing fingers at those who commit crimes in the name of Islam.
Why do you put PFDJ and Islam in two palms as if they are some sort of competitors? What is the common denominator? I fail to understand. Again, in the article that angered you, there was no mention of Mohammed Khair being innocent or not. It mentioned only that his murder was an act of cowardice whether it was committed by religious people as you claim, or by Atheists. But since you seem to know, please educate our readers about the not-so-innocent Mohammed Khair… while at it, please also explain to us the crime his two killed and three wounded children committed.
You disapprove of this website giving space to writers whose ideas you do not like. Rest assured, there will be many who do not like your ideas, still, we are giving you space just like we gave space to those you would certainly consider “them”.
You advised us not to “exaggerate the achievements of people like Mohammed Nassr for religious and sectarian reasons while down playing the heroic deeds of others because they happen to be Christians or not of your ethnic group.”. I wish you understand what you just wrote. I also wish you practiced that yourself. Please point to us where we exaggerated the achievements of Ahmed Nasser…though we know that he doesn’t need anyone exaggerating his achievements–how about a life long struggle for starters? We don’t blame you for believing the way you do.. there are roots to that. What all concerned Eritreans are doing is trying to stop those roots before they grow any further.
Finally, I would have liked to reply to your comments regarding the complicated issue of ethnic homeland and land rights, but since you present it as a simple issue in a shallow manner, I prefer to stop here.
HISTORY HAS ROOTS.
Gebru M , January 16, 2001
I appreciate Saleh Gadi’s article of Jan. 7, 2001 “All from the fertile womb”.
As I understand it, the allocation by Awate.com such a column for such a noble idea is a dignity to the web and a forum to the literates and historians who in recent months are awakening from a long self imposed hibernation. A forum that any able citizen can present his views , comments, historical facts and arguments. A vital phenomenon I can dare say that we Eritreans lacked until very recently. Eventhough very few argued for it and tried to be examplary. The very phenomenon that left us to be the echoes of divisive arrogant rhetorics whose words and deeds never much.
Now, let me return to my subject. I hope we all know that Eritrea is not the overnight creation of colonial invasion. It is a country with deep-rooted history and culture. To mention a few, its geographical position made it to be the threshold for so many wonderful civilizations, valuable cultures famous historical events. Its geographical position again recognizes it to be the gate way to Ethiopia’s past and present glories and agonies. In short it will not be a betrayal or an exaggeration even if one admits that geophysically, socio economically, in faith, custom, culture, tradition and kinship that Eritrea and Ethiopia are part and parcel. This also very well matches the recent rhetoric we are hearing from the present leadership in Eritrea about the oneness of the two politically divided peoples.
Before 60 years when the political air over Eritrea started to be saturated as my dear brother Saleh indicated in his article our fathers were divided into groups.
The one group based its arguments on historical, cultural, social and traditional links. And the other group on the vintage remnants of alien colonial political ideals. I think this is the reason that pushed brother Saleh to group our fathers as heroes and villains or the famous and the notorious. The worst thing now is to see the work of our famous, which we all applaud fall into notorious hands.
This very fact seems to have an impact on us to retrace our past in all its positive and negative aspects.
Now, that I have come to the limit of my little knowledge I leave it to the many talented elderly and the educated and courageous Eritreans to enlighten us on the roots of history and its effects to shape our future existence as a dignified people.
GLORY IS TO ALL MARTYRS WITHOUT BORDERS.
Januay 6, 2001
Selamat Readers in general and Huruy in particular I am writing this short post in response to huruy’s post regarding government and religion. Before I start my response I would like to commend awate.com and its administrators for allowing people with different values and opinions to post in a civilized and respectful manner. I have always beleived that Eritreans were more respectful and courteouse than those whose postings we read in the other Eritrean web. Huruy, you infered from Ismail’s post that Eritrea needs demcracy not any democracy but democracy but democracy that is strictly based on religiouse values. I read Ismail’s post also but my understanding of it is a bit different than yours (especially regarding this point). I did not read any statement or paragraph in Ismail’s post that can lead to your inference, as a matter of fact what I think he wrote (I am paraphrasing) Eritrea needs a democracy that respects the value of religion. What is the difference? the difference is in a democracy that respects the values of religion one can practice his or her religion with out having to fear of being accused of being a fundamentalist Islamist or christian. In a democracy based strictly based on religiouse values you violate the rights of those who do not beleive in any religion.In a democracy that respect the values of religion you give the people of different faiths to understand and respect each other. in a democracy based strictly based on religiouse values you can’t help it but favor one religion over the other. because if you are to establish a system based on any religiouse value, whose relifious values are you going to base it on. one thing can be of religiouse value to Mohammed but not to Kidane. How can you be fare to both Mohammed and Kidane? by establishing a system that doesn’t favor any religion or faith over another yet give Mohammed and Kidane to live their lives the way they want. If they choose to be strictly religiouse or “spritual” do not harras them do not make any unfair baseless conclusions about them. If they want to grow beard and pray five times a day and have their doughters cover their head for religiouse reasons allow the to do it without intimidating them or harrasing them. If they want to preach their faith I mean any faith to those who are willing to listen let them do it. Because these are the people that will defend the country if and when the time calls for it. They may be “back ward thinking” as have been labeled by some but they are no less Eritreans than those who think of themselves froward thinking and progressive. Hassen.
We are living in vicious of war as a result of the war our people is facing all the tragedic consquences of the war and poverity. Thw war for the moment is stopped. Finally, our leaders are telling us the victory is ours but how and where we defeated them is not answered sofar. However, still the enemy is occupied large part of the country and many are still displaced. Why we are engaged in war? Do the EPLF leaders couldn’t survive without war or we have incapable leadership who coudn’t feel responsilities? For how long we will be under one person leadership who is arrogant and aggressive? I wonder all this senior EPLF members who were struggling for more than quarter of their life in the field for freedom, but how on earth they allow one person to do whatever he wants to do by their name. This is a mystery for many Eritreans. The have to say something concret at least for the seek of peace and instabliity in the country than hiding his arrogance and be a victime of this prey. Once again the year 2001 will start another drama about the nominal election which will be held in Dec. 2001. As it is expected Issaias will win by 100% vote and it will not be surprising, because as one is running alone and abviously he is also the winner. Instead of spending the money for PR purpose it is helpful to spend on the rehabilitation programme for their vicitms. Issais has no intention to leave power or to admit his mismanagement of the country.The only thing they can do in the future is to change there party name and preaching about democracy. At present we need a strong party outside the country to challenge the dictatorshipe, and conduct campigens against the regime to show the world. Peace for Eritrean and Eritre!
Hello, Just to let y’all know that youe site sucks. Many people have tried to post articles there, but the texts never showed up on you pages. Please practice what you preach-give people to say what they think than promoting lay men like Dawit and the other self made “politicians” sincerely
First of all I would like to thank the awate.com team to for establishing an excellent website. I visits this website every day, and every time I visit I get good informaiton about Eritrea and Government of Eritea that I could not get them from any where else. Today I read awate.com’s intereview with HURIY TELLA BAIRU, it is very educaional, and it gave a chance to look on the histroy of Eritrea in general and GoE in particular from different perspective. YOU ARE BUILING A BRIDGE TO THE NEW AND DEMOCRATIC ERITREA. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, AND GOD BLESS ERITEA. P.S There is no way that I know of to get in touch with awate.com and that is why I choose to send these words of appreciation and ancouragement as an article. Sorry for any inconvinence this e-mail might cause you. Thank you again. Yonas Weldemariam.