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A Glimpse at Gedli Boulevard, From the sidewalk

Exactly a year and a few weeks ago I wrote a draft article to post on Awate in the form of a letter to Tzigereda. It was a kind of encouragement and response to her after she wrote “Gejeret 1975: Life Under Mengistu’s Derg.” Seeing people criticising her on writing personal stuff as well as a cumulative uproar on what she wrote before, I wanted to do the same to signify there is nothing wrong with narrating personal stuff and the hardship of Gedli. But later on, since mine was a little more personal, I hesitated. Now visiting it from time to time to scoop few words or events from it as I have been doing several times since I wrote it, I decided to post it. It is not only a way of deflating for me, but more importantly a way of sharing and telling, without edulcorating, a true story to the young generation, an example of an experience that a non-tegadalay passively went through. Therefore, here is the letter as I wrote it at that time.

Often, I come across names that ring a bell, probably I know the people, maybe we went to the same high school and who knows, potentially same class. I am not confusing for Troy Dunn’s Locator, though it doesn’t hurt. But I am writing to relate some old news: my glimpse from the sidewalk of the Boulevard that Tzegereda trekked for long. As you are well aware now, this could be again misused, politicized. But wait a minute, what misuse are we talking about? Isn’t everything about politicising these days? Even a sneeze is a suspect! How can I prevent today’s youth from reading my abracadabra about the past, my rambling and suffering of the 70’s from finding an exact mirror image (on a convex mirror at that) now 40 years later? I would certainly be tempted to explain the difference, the nuance, and the non-resemblance.

But I know the answer I will be getting: Comparatively, yours was a promenade in bet Ghiorgis (the peripheral park of Asmara). And I likely would reply back defensively saying I was running from the horrific treatment of the Derg soldiers, but you are running for the magnetizing Economic-Attraction. My youth will tell me, yes for that reductionist’s word of yours, that axiom for all the unpronounceable, the word that throws away all concerns including itself into banality! What can I say other that my decision to continue expurgating our dusty nostalgia, the nostalgia that will not settle down. I read Tzegereda’s beautiful narrative. Here is mine.

It was in 1977; the troops of Ziad Barre reached the doors of Dire Dawa triggering the rumors of forceful recruitment of the youth to liberate Ogaden. The news spread overnight in Asmara. Everything happened fast since the Ethiopia Tikdem revolution: The killing of the king of kings, the massacre of the notables, the conversion of the military junta to socialism, the printing of teramaj mezgebe qalat, the ascension of Mengistu HM to his dust freed throne, the martyrdom by white-terror of Guad Tedros in Addis Abeba (was better for him if he had stayed in his chair at Massawa’s seamen’s club) and the baptism of ‘yetaagay dimtz yCHohal (የታጋይ ድምጽ ይጮሃል)’ in his honor. 1977 was the year tegadlo (freedom fighters) liberated a large chunk of Eritrea just leaving the encircled Asmara. Mengistu’s solution or at least the news that was brought by the wind said, he was going to mobilize the youth including those under his control in Eritrea to ship us to south-eastern Ethiopia to liberate Ogaden: his attempt to kill one and weaken another bird with the same stone. Asmara parents were in a panic and found themselves between two hard rocks. They caved-in and chose to let their children trek to their villages of origin. If they return once things settle down, well and good; if they decide to join their brother and sister tegadeltis, better than Ogaden.

It was September 1st, how can I forget that memorable day! I got my Harambe shoes and traditional afro pick (መሰንተር) ready. Unlike other times my mother didn’t cry when I was leaving, I guess because it was for my safety. My father accompanied me to Godaif. He gave me the 60 birr he had in his pocket, his watch, and a stick (በትሪ). I was very touched; he probably thought I might not come back. He asked a retired policeman from HazHaz, an old acquaintance of his, going to Dekemhare, to act as my guardian angel. We were a little more than half a dozen people on the trek and the elders had to decide quickly which way to go. Tegadlo`s night-buses were available between Zgb & Dekemhare, but who–in plain daylight in his right mind–would dare walk that corridor of scorched earth to Zgb, a street of death, corpses, IED’s (ፈንጂ) and the nervous Derg military watching from the heights of Tselot and adi Hawsha! Therefore, we decided to go straight south through adiguAdad to merHano and then to Dekemhare. The trek was long, the counties empty, the land completely barren, not even a rabbit of the name. We got few mini and stagnating streams here and there to quench our thirst. The discussion among us was on who (Jebha/ELF or ShaAbia/EPLF) controls this and that village; we were walking almost at the line of demarcation of the two fronts, far on our right Serae region occupied by the ELF and far on our left Akeleguzai, held by the EPLF. Since we were going to the EPLF-controlled area, everyone appeared verbally less sympathy to the rival ELF.

Deep inside, I had a little penchant towards the ELF. I knew about them since childhood when everybody was identifying them by the name ‘shiftas’. One of them was my mom’s cousin (BTW by 1977 he had changed camp with EPLF, later martyred, HT your face is embedded in my memory). I use to hear my mother saying, ወዲ ዓወተ እንድዩ ብቆልዕኡ ወሲድዎ ነዚ ሓወይ (the son of Awate took my brother at a young age). At that time, for me, the ‘shiftas’ were mixtures of tough, scary hairy, but likable guys. I cannot forget, in the early seventies, those who were killed by hanging in the livestock market of Edaga Hamus; in particular one hairy gallant man who the king’s mouth claimed he had committed thefts and crimes near ዓርበረቡዕ ነፋሲት ጉልዒ area; I overheard my father and neighbors saying the given reason was a pretext. Certain images never stop coming back at the slightest trigger, a dark box for example. Who will forget that British made hanging cube with rectangular arch guiding the ropes?

Back to my trek: Anyway we didn`t encounter any freedom fighters till we arrived near Dekemhare. It took us all day, but despite the papules and blisters under my feet, we were there safely. My honorable guardian angel took me to the doorsteps of my aunt. Arriving at Dekemhare was the biggest discovery for me; it was the first time I see tegadeltis in the wild in that number (I had encountered 1 or 2 who used to come on a mission in Massawa in an uncle’s place; I was not supposed to know or talk to them). Numerous tegadeltis had arrived in Dekemhare to celebrate the anniversary of the liberation struggle. My two little cousins were very happy to see an elder brother coming from Asmara and especially on that exciting period and that special day; they didn`t let me rest. I had to take them to the marketplace to watch the roar of the guns heralding the birth of Eritrean revolution. The night ended with pain on my feet and on my ears.

I was planning to stay recovering few more days, but unfortunately for me, a Debtera from our village staying in my Aunt’s house decided to go back at dawn, and I was left with no other choice but to follow him. My only consolation from the pain was that sweet and tasty shahi (tea) prepared on a wood fire, that I sipped on the way, on that never-detergent-washed blue-black galvanized kettle with reverberating lid from the steam, covered with layers of soot on the outside and by gluey adhering leaves on the inside. After few hours of trekking through again dry and desolate counties we arrived at our village. It was a complete climatic and human drought; only elder people were seen in the village, barely any young person of my age. I went to my deceased grandfathers’ hidmo (ህድሞ, a troglodytic house) where my younger uncle was living; except one emaciated ox, no cows or goats that I used to see years back were present. The family, my uncle, his wife and his little single son (now a martyr) were taken by surprise seeing their nephew, now a man, at the doorstep of their hidmo. Though it was a great pleasure and emotional to see me, the atmosphere turned quickly to worry and anxiety; they felt so sad for not having any food to offer me. They thought the small piece of Dagusa (millet) bread that they could share was unpalatable for me. No shop in the village to buy anything with the 20 Birr that I immediately, by a reaction, shared with them. And no comforting explanation that I had amply eaten on the way could console them. Aggravating their discomfort, no one from the neighborhood came to see me; everybody had that dignified feeling of shame for not being able to provide. I never minded sleeping with my dagusa filled stomach, but that witty debtera who understood the situation came that evening asking me to follow him and pleading not to ask any more question on the magical power of debtera in stopping rain and charming the girls to run after you and the sort of things I had bombarded him with that morning. I followed him and guess where he takes me? To a mourning (ተዝካር); a family was silently mourning their deceased by inviting only the priests. To keep it quiet, the table (መኣዲ meadi) was prepared in the wushate (ውሻጠ kitchen). I have never felt so uncomfortable; I felt like a greedy intruder and couldn’t even eat correctly. In addition, the priests who knew my parents and my grandfather, their leading priest before he died, were not at ease with my presence, I a secular or Judas among the `apostles`!

The sunrise next day gave me the chance to run away to my aunt who was in a much better situation living in a village just two rivers away. I stayed and enjoyed few days there, but had to go back to my village where the big news was awaiting for me. Two EPLF and two ELF fighters had arrived separately in the village! The EPLFers were on a mission to discuss with the village on a land dispute. The village, as everybody in the area, happened to be 100% pro-EPLF; therefore, the two EPLFers were officially and happily well received with smiling faces by the village representatives. The ELFers on the other hand came-by because one of them (now martyred) was from the same village, a single child to one of my numerous aunties, a widowed mother who chose years before, to come live in her parent’s village. The other ELF was wedi-metaHt (ወዲ መታሕት) a great tall guy with a sweet Tigrayt accent. Obviously, my cousin and his colleague were not well received. Not that surprising! But what was out of bound was being ignored by even his closest relatives. Perhaps it was also an evasion from the lack of means to provide. The relative`s worry was not receiving him as he deserves, but bringing their son in-line; trying in vain to persuade him and his colleague get converted to EPLF. I don`t think they dared say it directly to him unless through his mother. His mother’s happiness of seeing her only son face to face and her apprehension of the whole situation was expressed by the tears that never stopped from flowing from her smiling eyes without the slightest physical sign of cry. I was confronted with the embodiment of all injustice. The atmosphere was intolerable for the 2 ELFers and they decided to leave ASAP the next day. For me, it also ruined the ephemeral affinity I had started to develop with the EPLFers. One of them was just 3 years my school-senior and went to the same junior high as me. Although few years had passed, I still was wearing the white ‘sarian’ (ሳርያን) junior high school uniform we used to wear. With these two, we talked at length about it and about school life, the funny English teacher we had in common. I also mentioned to them my surprise at getting dictation of our then history teacher (Haileab, I think), his too daring mention in a class of `the liberation front of Eritrea is known as ELF ጀብሃ` while he was teaching us the history of liberation Fronts in Africa, Frelimo, Zanu etc.

The EPLFers wanted me to stay with them that day to attend the bayto (ባይቶ, open-air city hall) meeting and hinted at the possibility of me following them as well. I wasn’t ready at all at that kind of departure; it gave me goosebumps. I eluded them and that same day without warning picked my stick and followed the steps of the ELFers to my aunt’s village that also happened to be this cousin’s dead father’s village. I reached them at the second river. We sat there talking. I got questioned in return for my visible absence of enthusiasm to join the struggle, on the purpose of the EPLFers visit and what I thought about the whole situation. But our discussion turned quickly into how again this adamantly Pro-EPLF village was going to react. Wedi-metaHt insisted to request official reception as any tegadalay deserves. And he did, to no avail. He was furious, never seen someone so mad; his sweet accent turned into a desperate roar. Imagine my cousin trying to explain the unexplainable and defending his indefensible village and confronting his colleague who cannot understand the un-understandable, the disdain of the village officials to ELF, and to their own blood. Nonchalantly, they went to pass the night in an uncle’s house which happened to be on the back of my aunt’s house. The uncle had nothing to eat let alone to offer. Destitute touched there too! Then they decided to contact me explaining the situation. They asked me to do something; my cousin the ELFer didn’t want to talk to my aunt directly; saying my aunt (distantly his as well) doesn’t deserve to see their angered and desperate face. Therefore, I asked her to help on their behalf. My aunt and her husband were very understanding and generous people and gave me layers of injera admixed with delicious shiro inside an agelgl (ኣገልግል, a woven food storage) not only for the two fighters but also for all the family. They were very thankful.

The next morning, they let me know of their decision to leave that day further south to areas sympathetic to them. On my part, I got again another practical lesson on the tortuousness of Gedli Boulevard that left me get bitter and bitter. My next encounter with tegadeltis came a week or so after in the same village, a group of EPLFers including a lady, led by a well-known tegadalay judge (name retained) came to discuss the village’s territorial issue with a neighboring village. My first cousin who hadn’t joined yet the struggle, but one of the fervent diehard EPLFers of the village asked me to go with him at the closed meeting saying it will be a good experience for me. Out of curiosity, I went; I was always wearing my junior high uniform. No one noticed me at first, and then minutes later the lady tegadalit saw me and stood to ask who I was. My cousin started to explain. She reprimanded him immediately asking him to mind his business and asked me to leave immediately repeating I shouldn’t attend such meeting, the villages affair was none of my business. I heeded without voicing a word, but inside I was boiling saying ‘tsinHi anti gezaf meAkor (ጽንሒ ኣንቲ ገዛፍ መዓኮር)’. When I went back home weeks later, I told the story to my mom where she added, way weday! eway entay d’a weriduwa eza wnchar (ዋይ ወደይ፣ እዋይ እንታይ ድኣ ወሪድዋ እዛ ወንጫር)! But frankly, this was a small scratch on my chicks that angered me over the moment, but compared to what I related earlier, was just an amusing memory.

My story needs to end here. Finally, after almost a month stay, I got fed up, got sick cerebrally and physically, missed my mother, I was homesick and returned to Asmara after few more days of twists and turns through Segeneiti and its waiting list for the night bus, then to Zgb and its zillions corpse eating hyenas, the bad escarpments between Tzelot and Gul’I, to arrive safely at the church of Kidane Mehret of maiChehot. Arriving there, I kissed the exterior wall of the church that morning, and I felt good. The story of Mengistu sending us to Ogaden had subsided. I was able to continue my study.

Few more things on Segeneiti; it was a town where so many tegadeltis paid their life to liberate it. At the time I was there, many wounded and sick tegadeltis were still around. The bus ticket was sold by the tegadeltis who interviewed every person. They were strict on youngsters like me. For instance, they refused a guy standing before me to go back to Asmara because he should serve instead. I was asked the same questions. I answered with an excuse that I only came to see my mom’s corn fields and remove weeds. He looked at me and chuckled, and I insisted on going back to help my mom. He looked at my frail young body, shook his head still chucking and gave me a ticket. I was so happy.

That was my periscopic view of the tortuous and painful Boulevard that I glimpsed, and that led to our independence. Unfortunately, despite independence, we appear to be still in that tortuous Boulevard. It looks we haven’t given enough reflection for what went wrong and how to learn from it to be able to come closer from our respective corners. The only way out of our problem is to take a few steps each time towards each other’s direction with a responsible and compassionate understanding and tolerance of each other. We can only come together if and only if we recognize and admit how far apart we stand at present. Of course, the onus is on the Eritrean leadership to think beyond its determination not to flinch on what it perceives is the only avenue forward, without looking back, without self-interrogation.

Despite all my repulsive observations, the norm was to swallow the bitter truth and join as the objectives of the struggle outweighed the hardship. It was the case for many. I was not the only sneaky observer of what was going wrong. Why didn’t I join the movement then? Well, when you are not ready to join, the stream becomes an ocean to cross, the rock a mountain to climb and the slightest reason becomes the most valid one to hold-on, a single remaining boy to a mother, for instance.

Recognition, admiration, and tribute to those who saw no obstacles, those who saw flowers on the thorns, to the ‘shiftas’ (ሽፍታ), the wenCharat (ወንጫራት) and the Tseguar Danga (ጸጓር ዳንጋ), those who gave their lives and their living to make that dream a reality.

Happy New Year, best wishes for all, for Eritrea and our region in general.

About Haile S.

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  • Nitricc

    Hi Alex; I know what you mean I just want to expose him. He is just another loser. What I don’t understand is, I don’t know why they are so happy slaves and they are proud of it. What president Trump said about Africans, any African soul needs to be awaken. I bet this slave Desebele was proud to be called what the president called him. I truly believe the future is in Africa but I don’t expect the data entries to know that.

  • Beyan

    Greetings to all,

    There were so many names I tried to keep mental note of, whose ideas and thoughts I wanted to speak to. Alas, old age seems to be settling where I am having some senior moments. Senior moments or not though, the ideas that were espoused are what matter and to some of those I will skip to. Ismail AA., I may not know you in person, heck I don’t even know where you live; but through this forum I’ve come to learn of your integrity, of your big heart, of your above the fray approach to dialogue that’s second to none. So, please take care of your health. We want to have cappuccino or tea, whatever you fancy, the Asmara style one day. I can smell the aura, not of the cappuccino necessarily, but the fragrance of freedom of expression hovering the promenade, make that the heavenly boulevard, to borrow the phrase from the title of the article that Haile S. has graced us with – What a beautiful piece that grows in you anew when you read it again, seldom do I do that, but I must confess I did that just, hence for coming to share my thoughts a little more. Allow me to indulge on the accompanying image.

    Notice the woman who is embracing the anonymous tegadalay who is giving the camera his back, but notice the two hands held high as though he descended from heaven. Indeed, to many who were lucky enough to experience the inebriating moments of independence, these were the kinds of open arms by which Eritreans of all age received their liberators. Notice, the genuine smile of all who are captured up close – frozen in time and space…notice the other tegadlit who is to the left with unreserved gleeful smile as she watches the woman embracing the tegadalay.. This is what was squandered. This is what the regime stupidly blew, the heartwarming welcoming that Eritreans throughout Eritrea had shown them. Instead of cultivating that trust; instead of building on it, they blew it right of the hearts of the people just as quickly before the people could even get a chance to savor it. I shudder to think of the damage the regime has caused in the last 26 years toward that trust – it shuttered it into oblivion as there is nothing left in the heart of the people anymore. It would probably take us a lifetime to repair that. My energy gets drained whenever I think of the should’ve been, the coud’ve been, the would’ve been thoughts that I am right now occupied with, but what good would it do to – it is way too late for such renumeration now, isn’t it. Let me share a stark opposite picture of what was then of where we are now vis-a-vis our perception of the regime in the helm. the first one shows that genuineness with which Eritrean went to pay the ultimate price that Ismail alluded to in his previous comment. The second one no less the same with one creative FB pager who inserted the image of the man who has wreaked havoc lurking like a ghost watching those tegadelti who using keeping a watchful eye against the enemy. One can do picture analysis of the two images below and one above accompanying Haile S’s article and a mighty powerful critique of the past juxtaposing it to the sad predicaments Eritreans the world over find ourselves in today. Look at the piece I am linking here how low Eritreans are perceived by the British conservatives who forget that their colonial project was what had unleashed a cascade of world events that African countries are trying to rectify. This is no excuse, but the fate of thousands of Eritrean of my generation was, for example, sealed way before some of us were even born in that the the United States, the Brits, and the UN decided Eritrea didn’t deserve independence like that of Somalia or Libya, both of whom were colonial subjects of the Italians who were the losers in WWII. So, the victors wrote the history and it is that trajectory that the conservative Brits who are not willing to take responsibility for, which took Eritreans thirty years to rectify. Hey, in the end though, there is a whole lot of blaming that can go around, the regime in Eritrea certainly carries most of that burden for stupidly and idiotically squandering it to pieces:

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Dr. Beyan,

      Eritrea and Eritreans shall prevail. Why?; because it still has sons and daughters like you who will never let that to happen to it. The liberation war era generations that have departed as well as those approaching the end of their time have never cease hoping; optimism was, and still is, the fountain that supplies them with energy. I stubbornly tell my self that sooner than later our sons and daughters shall put their acts togethers and give me and others generous and most precious gift of being able at long last to set foot on the soil of free and liberated Eritrea. My hope is real to join you and your peers and enjoy a cup of tea or macchiato – my favorite drink during my days in Asmara). If fate shall will it that I won’t survive, please remember to order one extra for me at the table. Dear Beyan, thank you for your remarkable humanity and goodness.

      • Beyan

        Dear Ismail AA.,

        I am moved beyond words here. You know, life is such a delicate matter. We huff and puff as though we are going to live forever. We are here one minute and can as quickly vanish the next minute. I just want to make sure you reciprocate in kind. In the event that I am not there to join you for your favorite macchiato, do one cafe-latte on my behalf. Vote me up, I will know that is going to be a promise.

        Virtual Hawka,

        • Haile S.

          Selam Beyan and Ismail,
          Talking of the ultimate fate, I have no guarantee too, but I will be there. I will harras the entity who resides up-there in the blue skies not to let the table be incomplete. Isn’t he there to be disturbed, harrassed and pointed at? He worked like that for 5000 years; with the exception of few people like Job, everyone was admonishing him to almost a physical fight. The praiseful & prayerful methods are recent since the advent of Chritianity and Islam, just 2000 years old. Personally, I will resort to the old method, when rendering him jealous by telling him I will pray to your rivals made of clay was persuasive enough to let him throw his Mana. With our entity everything is apparently possible everyone can acces him and he listens to everything through his telepathic communication. Of course! what do you expect from an inpalpable cellphone without wire and antenna that works without parole, just with folded hand and closed eyes or stretched hand and upward gazing eyes? What we have problem with is with our kins whom we are obliged to let them administer us. They take every instrument with which we can reach them, the constitution, the ballot, the free speech, the free communication and even our feet and throat. The only thing they cannot reach is our free-will that we keep covered with fear.
          I see a gash on that curtain of fear. See you there!

          • Beyan

            Selam Haile S.,

            I don’t know how I missed this beautifully and deep response…you’re coming a little too close for my comfort … to Milton’s Paradise Lost. I will have to come back to this…I may just share an analysis I did of the book years ago … I am kinda thinking out loud here, whether it would be befitting to the awate, now, global forum…I will have to think about his. but the circle is widening…I can see it in my mind’s eye..right there next to Cinema Impero sipping our respective beverages …Haile S., you would just be a perfect elixir to get me and Ismail going … you are taking your fight to the ultimate arbiter now – beautifully done, donned in a picturesque language.

          • Selamat Beyann and Haile S,

            For the record, Selamat is plural.
            I read the following caption on a mural in Berkeley. YaEni Mn Jenub. It was on a Dukann’s wall:

            “Break your smile, you’re in South Berkeley.” Please, one of you hand MaHmuday “The Best” SaliH the map. 😂 Widening the circle–Opportunity Cost Benefit nayyZaEgol.

            The Imperative GLOBAL Narrative ###1/i∆ 40/60 klte Siso Susa’s’alata //## Eishrin K-Telata WaEla Akhder Menn Nefasitt, Embatkala Mayy nAAqeb.

            Zeloleka mEiqabb kemm mekhseb. Hence…

            Abbu Asshera Weapon X – Evolution

            YoGizzy, “Under construction”

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE Azzilo40 Agnyeya40 Acres and a Mule

      • Nitricc

        Hi Ismail: I am sorry for interjection but why not go now and enjoy than waiting to unknown situations? I mean, I doubt very highly the government will come after you or any other one because you have expressed your self in a forum. I assume as long as you don’t confront and threaten to their power, I doubt they will harm you. My point is enjoy and do whatever what is in your heart is.

        • Saleh Johar

          Before you any further. The moment Ismail lands in Eritrea, he will be taken straight to the gallows. He has been fighting fr justice all his life, and he is not a simpleton who would abandon his mission. Instead, you should have wished for the establishment of justice in Eritrea so that Ismael and all others can return to the country they sweated for and love–which now has mostly become the playground of the cheerleaders, the unprincipled, and the double-faced characters.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear SGL,

            Thank you for this post .. Really thank you..


          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Saleh, Haile and Kokhob,

            Thank you all. Our Yemeni brothers say “al ma yarefek ma yetemnek” – ዘይ ፈልጠካስ ዋጋካ ንምትማን (ንምውሳን) ነይበቅዕ . And, one of society’s myriad problems is that many among it pretend to know without realizing they don’t; and volunteer to educate before they learn. The cleverest among could have well off it they could benefit from wisdom of those who realize they don’t know much but yet generous to forgive. I have forgiven Nitricc with many thanks added for his unsolicited counselling.

          • Selamat AkhuAbuye Ayya Ismael AA,

            “ZeyfelTekas wagakha nmtmmann (nmwesann) neyEiqebb.”

            Entayy ‘lkayouw, ewanu Chereta ‘b mezgebb qalatt ndiyuu: giega ‘khlialeyy.


          • Beyan

            Dear tSAtSE,
            I copied and pasted this into the tigrinya converte: Entayy ‘lkayouw, ewanu Chereta ‘b mezgebb qalatt ndiyuu: giega ‘khlialeyy.

            Here is what I came out:
            ዐንታይይ እልካዮኡው፣ አዋኑ ጭሀረታ እብ መዝገብብ ቃላትት ንዲዩኡ፥ ጊአጋ እክህሊኣለይይ

            Not shabby at all! That’s funny: ጭሀረታ እብ መዝገብብ ቃላትት ንዲዩኡ. Hey, whatever it takes. Awate forum is even ready to put its collectibles for a silent auction. Dig into your garage brother, you may find something you can spare for greater good that others can use, but you had it stashed away for years…that was the case for my መዝገብብ ቃላት by the way. I only began to use it in recent month, sparingly at that. So, why not let someone who can make use of it better than I have been since I owned it – almost 18 years now.

          • Nitricc

            Hi SJ; you are absolutely right that I do not have knowledge of Isaile as a person nor I know his past activity in Eritrean political arena. I just read his replay to Beyan and it was kind of touching and I excused myself and I commented what I felt. And my thinking is what kind of threat and danger can people like Ismaeal can present to the government? I just don’t see any reason putting people in jail for no reason and harmless to the system. Having said that, I agree people should be free to go to their country regardless their past actions. Rest assured, Next time I will stay away from commenting I have no clue for, my bad.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Nitricc,
            Good start, you realize that one should refrain from making big comments on topics he doesn’t know about. Now you need to realize another thing. You wrote, “…I agree people should be free to go to their country regardless their past actions..”

            What kind of past actions? That can be said about a common criminal, a thief and the like. You are basically saying, veterans should be excused for having struggled, and the PFDJ should allow them into their country..

            Believe me, the moment you realize the PFDJ is unjust and a bunch of shefatu lording over the people, you will have clarity. You will be a born-again patriot, my dear Nitricc. Don’t hold the stick in the middle, throw it away–and firmly stand for justice–unconditionally. The PFDJ rascals have no business holding the nation hostage, if not for many who are looking the other way when injustices are being committed in front of their eyes. It’s the collaborators, the cheering crowds, the enablers of injustice. As always, I just wish you would think about that seriously.

  • blink

    Dear Alex
    Aljazeera is changing the story from sawa to Asmara , it is mind boggling how the grey man Tewekel work in his office. Is it a trick to change the media narrative of MEKELE conference of Adwa guys. The guy is a complete worker of weyane. Shocking aljazeera basic in Addis is nothing but lies and weyane propaganda machine.

    • Berhe Y

      Hi blink,

      How pathetic can you be. Why you keep repeating your insults of Tewkel as if he runs aljazeera like your boss runs Eritrea. You keep degrading him day and night without having any evidence that you accusing him off. And who the hell cares if he bond, gray or Afro hair. Aljazzera gave him the position surly knowing that he is qualified, that is eating you and your boss.

      Sudan has recalled its embassy from Cairo, what more evidence do you need that the issue is series.

      Just search you tube and see many “Egypt military power videos”. Why does Egypt need close to a million army (including the reserves), so much military power, to defend her from whom? Israel, Libya and Sudan, its immediate neighbours?


      • blink

        Dear Berhe
        Again as usual for you any one who doesn’t agree with you is all but Issaias crony, the problem with you is not even how you jump to accuse, it is just your jumping is not arguably on target. The news from aljazeera has specifically pointed to Addis with Tewekel name , is that what you wanted to see? , now if you read the exact news item I am referring to , you wouldn’t go nuts overall my views, now if you wanted to tattoo his name for disseminating the Ethiopian news but suddenly pop up to report about Fake news from sawa to Asmara, go for it.
        Egyptian military expenditures are not my favorite, they can even make them 2 million and billion investment, it is not my business.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi blink,

          You are accusing aljazeera and Tewkel as the mouth piece of weyane and dismissing the story as total fabrication to divert what ever mekele conference, what ever that means,

          And all this because you are taking the word of a pathetic liar called president.

          I haven’t read the news of the solidiers moving from sawa to Asmara, but if they did what’s a surprise there.

          We don’t know who is right or who is wrong because we have no independent media that can go and verify. We are left for our speculation but if past credibility is a witness, aljazeera has more credibility that IA.

          My problem with you is not for questioning the news of Aljazeera or the person in charge. But what you are trying to do to demean, to degrade and to make him a mouth piece of Ethiopia without having any evidence.

          And that I believe is your targeted attack to protect the regime and the president as you continue to do.


  • blink

    Dear Awate family
    Here is HIWUHAT internal file about the going conference. If you guys find such documents interesting, go through it.
    Awatemoderator sorry I attached this file , I thought it is interesting.

  • blink

    Dear Alex
    I did not know that, I thought he was done with that .

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Selam Haile S,

    Sorry, I came in late; but it was a pleasure reading your excellent article. Both in its substance and in its narration style, your piece is very refreshing and conveys a story that most Eritreans can easily relate to. I view it as an account of a personal experience of a long-gone era; but interestingly, it is also a story of “shared experience” by virtue of its similarity to those of some of your contemporaries (e.g. Tzigereda’s) and its being coincident with those of some others (e.g. Beyan’s). What makes your article even more fascinating is the fact that it has something for everyone even those who, for one reason or another, never witnessed the experiences of that era. Your story certainly occupies a niche in the mosaic of snippets of our experience as a people which must someday be forged into a “written history” of our past — a proud past which, unfortunately, is presently passing through an ugly period of distortion, vilification and desecration in the hands of latter-day revisionists.

    Thank you

    • Haile S.

      Thank you Yohannes,
      Your wisdomful verbe (word) is always enjoyable.

  • Saleh Johar

    Hi Ayneta,
    The criminal ex-tegadelti wreaking havoc in Eritrea are no more than 200 people. Gedli envolved tens of thousands of Eritreans and tens of thousands who gave their lives for it. Now, what kind of math (even arithmetic) tells says they can all be likened and represented by a few dozen shefatu who were enabled by many Eritreans, including you as a member of society. So, remember the tens of thousands of veterans are suffering like anyone else, and in pain to watch the result of their sacrifices hijacked by Isais and his clique. Also remember, throwing an unjst accusation at all tegadelti is unfair and irrational. Ask yourself if you had any role in enabling the few tormentors of Eritreans before villifying victims of the first grade. Just be fair.

  • blink

    Dear all
    As some of you may have seen the lunatic interview, he just talked about weyane , he categorically ignored Eritreans issues. How long does he think we care about others. Sad ,
    Saying weyane did this and that , I wish weyane were dead yesterday and I wish Africa to be like USA but that is not going to happen. Aljazeera the boss of fake news network is also on his agenda and I wonder what the hell is wrong with him , he didn’t talk about bread to Eritreans, he could have said something good to Eritreans yet he spent his time talking about the IMF and USAID land of weyane. Here is the link , sad saay is not at this .

    • Teodros Alem

      Selam blink
      What is shakeleti means in tigragn? Is it like shakeai? Help me up.

      • blink

        Dear Teodros
        I don’t know in Amharic in exact word I think it is አገልጋይ in this mans context but we can say it is “ servant” in English.

        • Teodros Alem

          Selam blink blink wink wink
          Ok what is the general message of pia in short?

          • blink

            Dear Teodros
            The general message from the man is :-
            A. The news about Egyptian military in sawa is the joke of 2018 by aljazeera and some people.
            B. Weyane political leaders lost their game to control Ethiopia by dividing each ethnicity.
            C. The current news about Sudan and Ethiopia in kessela is just a lies propaganda by weyane as always
            C. The security of our region can only be guaranteed only by stakeholders of the region
            D. Weyane main vision was to see Tigray as independent state and that was the reason they started the war with Dergi
            E. Weyane economic growth numbers are false due to the reality in Ethiopian households.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam blink
            Thank u for the help.
            But agree with pia 100% on this .why b/c it is 100% true. So why u disagree with the message?

          • blink

            Dear Teodros
            I thought we Eritreans need something new that is good to the people at home like releasing prisoners, just as a good wish for the new year. I also think the people need news about food security, water and electricity. The weyane issue is simply irrelevant at this time because Ethiopians from every class are fighting them and they will fall.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam blink
            But the interview was about regional politics according to your own translation .so r u saying the war(cold war) with the tplf nothing to do with the situation in eritrea or what? I think it has a lot of impact like any war (cold war ) .since eritrea r so small comparing to ethiopia the impact is also big.any way i like the word” ashekelti tplf ” it perfectly matchs with the tplf

          • Nitricc

            Hi Blink, you forgot the main one. ” the game is over for TPLF”

          • MerHaba Blink AAyni AAsa,

            Kndey mraayyy do you C. Klte Cii So klte, seleste, K-Telata waEla V^/####∆ Nodes do matter with regards to bRidGinG TRUST.
            (Anbeebka ‘Hliff.)

            I beg your pardon swaagg. Gudayy Sewakiin ©® cee red Sea Red||II.

            40/60 klte Siso Susa’s’alata

            NB: minor editing in your comment.

    • Hope

      Selamat Blink:
      Slow down .
      Give him one more time.

      Don’t expect new updates about Eritrea and the current
      crisis,which he created .

      But his analysis about the escalation of Ethio-Sudanese Alliance in general and the invitation of the TPLF Army including provision of a temporary Airbase in Kessela by Al Beshir after a hoax news about the Egyptian Army in Sawa and Barentu could be a serious development,which needs a priority attention.

      If this is true,then what is next?
      It is a serious National Security issue that needs an IMMEDIATE attention irrespective of the outcome and who the culprit might be.

      If Al Beshir believes Eritrea is a threat to his security,well,he has a legitimate right to defend himself and to bring in ” Shekelti and Ashekelti”!

      On the same token,Eritrea has the legitimate Right to defend itself by all means possible including bringing in the Egyptian Army and any logistics from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

      If this scenario is going to be the case,well,the Horn will be in fire.

      Remember that Al Beshir had been flirting and even
      “prostituting” with the Weyenti since long time .

      Eritrea was playing the game to be friendly with the Sudan for obvious reasons.

      The implication of the fluidity of the latest development might be more serious than it seems to be .

      The immediate and sudden closure of the Eri-Sudanese border alone itself has serious implication for Eritrea,which seems to be the work of the Weyenti per PIA’s interview /and analysis .

      Qatar is on the game now.

      Then what are Eritrea’s options irrespective of its mistakes?

      1-Negotiate with the Sudan:
      -Less likely as the Ashekelti are on it
      -Peaceful negotiations of the three parties!
      An ideal one but too late.

      2-Act swiftly and defend itself by taking a preemptive action

      A)Hit Al Beshir Now

      B)Expedite the down fall of the TPLF through mobilization of the Oromos and Amharas .

      • Selam Hope,

        If only things were that simple, every dream would have come true. But, they are not.

        Among other things you said:

        1) “remember that al beshir had been flirting and even
        “prostituting” with the weyenti since long time .” I think that this is a term that is more true for dia than anybody else. Egypt, saudi arabia, qatar, even iran were and are in the list of countries.

        2) You are right when you say “the implication of the fluidity of the latest development might be more serious than it seems to be.”. Nevertheless, you did not say who is going to sustain the biggest damage, who has the most to lose, and who is going to sacrifice the most in the coming storm. Just think about it, it does not take a rocket scientist to pinpoint the right answer.

        3) “The immediate and sudden closure of the eri-sudanese border alone itself has serious implication for eritrea,which seems to be the work of the weyenti per pia’s interview /and analysis.”
        The obsession with woyane has made some eritreans to lose a clear vision for their country, because you attribute to the woyanes everything that happens in eritrea, as if they are ruling eritrea as well. When are you going to see the bitter reality and give the burden of responsibility where it belongs. Tplf is not the policy maker of eritrea, tplf was not in cairo lately, and tplf is not putting eritrean sovereignty in danger by inviting foreign forces, which eritrea may not be in the position to control in the future.
        H. Cohen had told us, beware of the arabs coming to the african red sea cost, and nobody paid attention, and today dia is inviting them without asking the people, as if it was an invitation to his private home.

        4) You said that the eritrean regime has the right to defend itself from the phantom enemy it sees day and night by working with anybody, and by bringing egyptians, saudis, emerets, etc. The hate for the woyanes has blinded the regime and its supporters to the extent that they are not in the position to see where the battlefeild could be, with all the destruction that may follow, and why there should be an end to the sufferings of the eritrean people, which seems thgat they do not care in the least.

        5) Among your solutions are the prospects to “hit al beshir now, and expedite the down fall of the tplf through mobilization of the oromos and amharas.” None of these are under your control and it is not going to be an easy game to win. The bravado and audacity that has proved to be a big miscalculation in the past and has cost eritrea a lot, is still around in the minds of some eritreans. You act as if the oromos and the amharas are waiting for your orders, and they will start to dance when you push the button. Have you heard of the saying, you better not ride on a borrowed horse, because you may come down unceremoniously.

        Dia is taking the country and the people to the abyss for the sake of serving others, and instead of opposing his policy utterly and completely without ifs and buts, on the contrary, in a way you align yourself with his policy (which of course you will deny by bringing as evidence a word or two you say here and there against him), and you have plans to boost his efforts. Dia and the people who support him overtly and covertly are responsible for what may happen in the region.

        • blink

          Dear Horizon
          are you suggesting there are egypitians in sawa ?

          • Selam blink,
            Please, refer to the different news outlets. Remember, it was denied that the uae was in assab, until satellite pictures told us the true story.

          • blink

            Dear Horizon
            Yes to which news organizations? To aljazeera in which they copied a weyane mouth piece in their 28 people fake death and to Sudantribune ? Or to horn affiars of Daniel Brhane ? Come on sawa is like kindergarten now , the news really has to come from something rather than Tewekel the gray man in Addis. I just called my friend in sawa and he has been there for almost 6 years now , he just joked about that. I mean if there are Sudanese eastern opposition forces around very far from sawa , it may be but sawa ? It is just beyond the eye witness

        • Teodros Alem

          Selam horizon
          If u wanna know the relationship between tplf and sudan listen to the dead pm meles interview which conducted in flight after he visited sudan on the way back to addis. He said sudan is going to be another Somalia if we don’t help them up since than sudan in friendly with tplf .by the time blue nile state fighters Were supported by tplf themself .i think he offered them to choose between sudan disintegration or friend with tplf(swim together or sink together that what he said) and since than sudan become friend with tplf and tplf stop supporting bluenile and s Sudan fighters.
          I think tplf hold Sudan hostage by giving 2 bad choose which is allie with us or disintegration.

      • Amanuel

        Hi Hope
        You don’t get tried defending the ever dangerous actions of IA. Do you think the Ethiopian & Sundanese intelligens get their news from Aljezira and mobilise their army? Please have some respect for your self.
        It is well known fact that IA is working for the interest of Egypt (and the rest KSA and UEA) at the expense of Eritrean people’s relation with their neighbors. And it is all about money. Mark my words if some one comes with more money IA is made for them. Look what happened with Qatar.

        • Nitricc

          HI Amanuel: you said “It is well known fact that IA is working for the interest of Egypt” show us, what is your proof? Do you how stupid you sound? You can’t just create things from your azz. what a pathetic!

          • Amanuel

            Happy New Year Nitricc
            What’s up? Did I hit some nerves. Relax the year is only 15 days old.
            BTW did you see the photo of IA with el Sisi. There was not flag behind your man. There are rumors around that IA arrived unexpectedly and a young man like your online persona was sent to fetch Eritrean flag but come back with the old one. I think the Egyptian know that his days are numbered. It is shame he is leaving before doing you national services. It would be an honor to you to serve him.

      • Mez

        What is up Hope,

        1) Why Al Bashir need to offer the Kasala Airport, while the Humara one is in operation for a decade–for all air service needs.

        2) it looks like some Ethnicities in Ethiopia are at your finger tip; just think about it.

        3) there is a series boarder, nile water share issue between Sudan/Egypt. Ethiopia included on the nile one.

        Instead of letting them sort it out, why we seek to be part of it?


        • Selamat Memhrey Mez,

          “Instead of letting them sort it out, why we seek to be part of it?”

          This is broadening our scopes by putting focused attention to the continuity essential specific that matters most. I am purposely stretching out readers eyes through the meandering verbose statement.

          We seek not to be part of it by choice perse. My attempt to answer the question. Economic models through researched benefits, of the likes Hoover Dam”, as well as sincere long and short term effects should be dominant on all media now. I suppose to help them sort it out.

          Dear Mem. Mez, were you thinking along these lines or am I way off?


          • Mez

            Dear Memhier tSAtSE,

            I was focued on the conflict aspect.

            Otherwise, in the broader sense you are perfectly correct.


    • Haile WM

      Hello blink,

      Do you really expect Iseyas to talk about Eritrea ? he knows how to divert the attention, how to divert the blame, how to divert the subject. On the other hand the journalists don’t dare to look at him directly in his eyes let alone making relevant questions or object to his manbo-jambo on woyane. For example, i remember some years ago he announced that a brand new constitution will be drafted…. and years after has any news came about it ? i remeber some time ago, the same journalist in the interview asked mildly about the new constitution… guess what was the answer…. the people who were given the task of writing are working on a closed doors… in the mean time woyane has done this woyane has done that… but today he gave us a new information “GAME OVER for TPLF” 😀

      Nirie belet ewerti

    • Natom Habom

      Selam blink
      You right but you have also to understand most of the misery that happen to Eritrea
      Have to do with woyane hostile policy with the help of the west ,you might ask
      Why not new policy ,don’t expect any change that can deflect attention from the battle of the survival of the nation
      There will be one day change of policy for sure but not now , the job must be done.
      We must stand together against our enemy and not look the other way when our country if needed
      Ask Our help ,we will have to answer.

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Haile S. wedi gezawtey,

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Haile S.

      Selam Tzegereda, gual gezawtey,
      You are wecome! This was inspired by your story and what followed. Sorry for not bringing it to the plate at that right time.

  • AT,

    You can not dictate. nAdiekha mayy wredela. PERIOD


  • chefena

    Hi Haile S.
    Thank you for your very well written narrative piece. I want to start by acknowledging the importance of ‘narrating personal staff’ as a powerful method of understanding social reality. I am a fan of the micro, the social-interactional levels, the grassroots; since they are local and experienced, they provide a truer sense of reality. And your text makes meaning against the background of Tsigereda’s ‘Life in Ghejeret in 1975.”. In turn, I am now encouraged to give a glimpse of my own ‘non-tegadaly story’, or to use your words as ‘a sneaky observer’ of the period you are referring to.
    By some coincidence, the comment I will make below is going to be repletion of what I said a week ego. Last Sunday (on the Geez Lidet’s Day) The Eritrean Cultural Forum in Birmingham had invited me to lead a discussion on the perennial language issue. The presentation in Tigrinya and Abdu Abdala did the job of the translation into Arabic.
    By way of introducing myself and in my attempt to illustrate the illusive concept of identity, in a rather simple and concrete manner and roughly the following was what I said:

    I can call myself a native of Asmara, but also, I have other identities as well, one which is the national and the most important form me. The one year plus a month or so I stayed in the area where my parents hailed from greatly contributed in shaping both my national identity and my other identities, which was at the centre of the subject of discussion. To that effect looking back and taking stoke from what I went through, I said: it was time when both the national liberation movements where aggressively vying to win the populace to their sides. This was further South and the stretching up to the Southern frontier that both these organizations would fall back since 1975 due to its inaccessibility by the enemy.

    I remember, while competing fiercely, the two organizations appeared to work together pragmatically against the Ethiopian ‘Peasant March’ or the Raza of 1976 in which their co-operation seem to have paid off. It was concluded with their success as could be witnessed from the hug number of Ethiopia militia army POW being tended towards the north.
    The point I wanted to make was, for all the blasphemy and desecration of our national icons, I am pleased to have got the opportunity to share my narrative about the knowledge I gained and to celebrate the lives of heroes of the armed struggle. I watched Ibrahim Afa, like an ordinary tegaday, washing his shirt in the river. I got close to enough to listening to Woldemichael Haile’s conversation after his victorious return from the great battle he led deep inside Tigray; many other such episodes have left their mark on my national identity. Even viewing these charismatic leaders was so thrilling that I can compare to the kind of satisfaction that today’s youth derive from viewing their celebrities. In that sense, my national consciousness was experienced, if not performed. And this experience is inside me and enlivens my national identity. None of the audience seemed curious to ask why I didn’t join the ranks of the liberation movements. Could they have said, ‘ገድሊ ገደል፡ ዘይምግዳል ድማ በደል’ in silence?

    The summer of 1976 was son eventful. Of the two EPLF units very familiar in the area were battalion 4 lead by Wedi Haile, and thee commander of battalioni 5 was Ibrahim Afa while Beraki Gebreselssie and Dr Iyob Gebrekrestos respectively were the political commissars. Kuboni, the commander of Battalion , said to be from Dankalia was less know (may be because of his short life).

    There was the other side to it as well. I witnessed EPLF army commander interfering in affairs of justice system, land use and pasture use ( ሕዛእቲ፡ and ሳዕሪ-ብላዕ). Proud men who opposed such interference were beaten with a stick, publicly hamulated in front of their loved ones and fellow village people.

    There is no space for me to reminiscing all the events worth share and tell as I witnessed and experienced. One more isolate episode may give a snapshot of the reality of the moment.
    Then there was one of the ELF cadre by the name Gorgosh, said to be a Kunama orders ኳደረ and the asks ድራር ተጋደልቲ
    the ኳደረ says ‘ተጋደልቲ ናይመን’ (meaning ELF or EPLF)
    Gorgosh replies ‘ተጋደልቲ ጥራይ በሎም!’

    One might try to attribute the turn of event to the power of EPLF discourse against the ELF. However, that may not give a full explanation of the dynamic of the mieda without making sense of how events are shaped by what preceded them and how those events may affect future ones.

    • Haile S.

      Selam Chefena,
      Indeed! things narrated by the original observer are the raw material, the raw data for a social scientist. In few paragraphs you mentioned a lot of percuting observations. Your single tigrigna expression alone “ገድሊ ገደል፡ ዘይምግዳል ድማ በደል” speaks a lot. Than you!

      • Beyan

        Selam Ahwat,

        The kinds of narratives that speak to the recess of the heart, to the emotional core of our being as was told a year ago today by our sister Tzigereda from Gejeret, and now Haile S. followed suit so we may keep in telling our stories ourselves. Constructionism in social science proffers us to construct meaning, thereby allowing us to make sense of our respective lived experiences. These snippets of anecdotal narratives are moments that should not only be cherished, but they would’ve been what we should be sharing to the coming generation. Unfortunately, we seem to not miss a beat in getting ourselves from one skirmish to another; from one war-front to the next; and now we seem to be taking it to a newly dangerous heights, where we are allowing regional players to use us as their proxies as though the former Soviet Union, the U.S. and Cuba were not enough, we seem to be falling for something unimaginably ominous and existential threat that would make the Ethio-Eri war of 1998 a walk in a park. I hope the gods of the cosmos or call it the universe, providence, whatever you prefer, will look after our people and find a way of keeping us away from this dangerous adventure. Sorry to sour you moods, but I digressed. Let me return to the narrative and its attendant angles that might shed light a little.

        Michel Foucault (1926-1984)* was one of the first, if not the first historian and philosopher “who applied theories to historical study. The way Foucault applied his knowledge toward this new cultural history is because he was well versed in de Saussure (structuralism) and Nietzsche’s (philosophical theories). Foucault believed that “political and economic forces, such as governments and the bourgeoisie, shaped knowledge production for their own political and economic interests, which he termed “political economy of truth.” […] Foucault “believed that by studying the production of knowledge through discourses, or the words, phrases, ideas, and symbols associated with a specific topic, historians could better understand the past. He argued that various cultural groups, such as political, economic, or social groups, create and add to discourses to shape knowledge about a particular subject.

        “Discourses then create epistemes, mental structures which organize knowledge and prioritize new information as important/unimportant, true/false, or scientific/unscientific. These epistemes then shape the identity of individuals and create the mental world in which individuals live. Individuals, therefore, were products of discourses in their lives, rather than historical agents with their own free will” (p. 213). Foucault went beyond theories by developing his own methodology of studying history, which he referred to as “archeology of knowledge. He argued that, like an archeologist, the historian must painstakingly uncover the inner workings and structure of past societies. Because all texts are relative and reflexive, historians cannot just simply interpret them and claim to have reconstructed the truth about what happened in the past and why. Historians must deconstruct texts, closely analyzing them as if they were archeological fragments of the worldviews from which they were created.

        Rather than study historical subjects from the perspective of the dominant power that shaped the discourse, Foucault sought to “decenter” the subject under study, examining the past from unexpected perspectives, from “the other”: the outsider, the oppressed, the marginalized, and the anomalous. These alternative perspectives may reveal a rupture which had been covered up by conventional sources” (p. 214).

        *Please note that the notes I took on Foucault that I am sharing here was so long ago that I am unable to ascertain which were my words and which were to be quoted. I saw several inconsistencies in the quoting pattern, which is why I am foot-noting it here. But, I thought the message was worth sharing and no time to verify the accuracy of my citation pattern in this piece. Besides, it is my intention to encourage others to tell their stories and this little snippet might help in some minute way in that endeavor.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dr Chefena,

      Your expression “ገድሊ ገደል፡ ዘይምግዳል ድማ በደል” reminds me one young Eritrean returning back to his home from attempting to join ghedli in 1975. I was marching towards the recruiting center of ELF. I asked him why he was returning back to his home? His answer was ናይ ብሓቂ ገድሊ ገደል’ዩ: ዘዋጻኣኒን ዝኽእሎን ስለዘይመስል ገና ከይአተኽዎ እየ ካብ መንገዲ ዝምለስ ዘለኹ በለኒ:: I laughed and continue my journey.

    • Desbele

      Selam Memhir Chefena,

      Thank you for your narrative. The human interest stories as experienced by individuals are more relevant to the ordinary people. I hope others would join in speaking up.
      I was saddened to learn that civilian men were beaten by Shaebia during that period. I witnessed the beating of soldiers by their commanders in my stay with the military as a national slavery member. I later on found out that it is the norm within this monster organization. It seems that Shaebia started instilling fear and submissiveness on all Eritreans from long ago. I am always in contradiction accommodating the glorified heroism of Tegadelti and Tegadelti who face death on the front but yet tolerate a physical abuse by their fellow men. It is a paradox.

      • chefena

        You are welcome Desbele. In deed it is a paradox we are confronted with.

        • blink

          Dear Dr
          The question one has to ask is , where have you been all of these ups and down of these brave men time you mentioned? Desbele a guy who brag about family trip foto and you a Dr. talking about Ibrahim Afa only to reach at a term “paradox”. These brave men you mentioned don’t have the time to click now because as you said, they have created a country from scratch yet many Drs were clapping to Issaias until recently. There must be a line that differentiates lousy mouth from the silent brave men that a society can get. Many educated men and women are bluffing about how they can write negatively about these brave men you mentioned but does it matter ?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Blink,

            “Silent brave me”, how could silent men be brave men? Just curious.

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            As I cannot recall any Eritrean fighters brag about their bravery at any point, I said these people are silent in any form , either dead or alive , their stories were not told and we have very small collections of their bravery. Look at the ELF fighters not even a small % is told or written in books , even from EPLF great fighters their stories are not being told because some people wanted to glorify one man . What i meant by silence is that these brave men stories are in a lonely world deep in silence that some time in future will be heard but for now these who can write and bluff about their educational achievements are running their mouth to serve their own agenda. I believe Eritreans brave men stories are not told. Yet here we have Ayneta, Desbele bash them.

          • chefena

            Selam blink
            The questions such ‘where have you been?’ and ‘what were you doing when others…? may not lead us as anywhere except raising more question as to who has the moral authority to speak or whose voice needs to hear and who has be remain silent. Even if I give my honest answer , only if I am disposed to do it, again, it make very little difference. But the question, “where did we go wrong?” as society might, saves us from indulging in blame and conspiracy theory. And with Desbele, I agreed in only one dimension of the way we reflect on history of EPLF, the organization that had left a strong impact in shaping the most recent history of our society. In one of my posting over 18 months now, I stand clear on the issues of sovereignty and martyrdom. The ‘paradox’ that we are confronted with is real, when once is to reflects at where we are now. By that, I mean we should not fall into the pitfalls of oversimplification. Your, ‘they have created a country from scratch’ has been an overused concept. The political development and process nation-building have not moved in the direction we all hoped they would. That said, I am not one of the EPLF-heaters who draw a lot from their negative energy to get them going and, thereby, their only agenda to join the justice seeking. I have therefore tried not to get into this simplistic view of ‘you are either with us or against us’. It is good to locate such matters within the major and overarching quest for of justice and equality that we have historically been denied.

          • MS

            Selam Chefena
            I totally agree with you, and when I say “Eritrea as a whole was tegadalay” i had the contributions every Eritrean family had made. Eritrean tegadalay could be presented in different forms, not only in the combatants. Some carried that role while under the belly of the beast, others carried it while in diaspora, etc. I have avivid picture of that era and that is what drives me nuts. Who is going to write off whom? We all paid dearly for this nation in different capacities. Therefore, As you aptly put it, the question should be “Where did we go wrong?” That brings us to a level field where each of us could share responsibility, something I was encouraging ayneta to do.

          • Saleh Johar

            This “what did you do?” or “where were you” smells of shallowness and lack of self-confidence. The struggle had many facets, but the unfair challenge boils down to: did you carry a gun and fight?

            I am amazed by that because the armed struggle was a choice and a volunteer undertaking. People had and still have choices, they had and still have circumstances. I would understand if one is an unrepented collaborator with the tormentors of our people and collaborated with the enemy after changing masters, (many are still around with the PFDJ after changing masters and they will switch to any master in the future), but to pose such questions as a sword to intimidate everyone you do not agree with or you do not like, is preposterous.

          • MS

            Selam Saleh
            I agree. The respect that we expect from our people towards liberation war veterans, tegadelti, should be taken within its context. As you put it, the struggle took different shapes, intellectual, physical, tegadalay and non tegadalay. I personally don’t like people to flag me out as tegadalay and I have reminded many in the past to think of and engage me as a citizen. I think the opposite should also be true. We should think of and address the non tegadelti Eritreans as citizens. The tegadalay non tegadalay dichotomy belongs to the past. We should engage each other as equal citizens. I don’t disagree with those who complain the regime has created tegadalay/gabar class. Where I disagree is in their generalized assertions that that was an integral essence of tegadalay. That’s why I was encouraging ayneta to specify his targets. In general, the mass tegadalay I knew did not even dream they were going to see free Eritrea much less the possibility of monopolizing power. Is the regime using tegadelti and their sacrifices (as a social group) as a trojan horse? Absolutely, yes. Is that their desire? For most of them, No. I withheld 1040 words long Hateta, intended for ayneta, going deep into the analyses of the compounded circumstances that had led to where we are, dealing with the role of tegadalay within that context, but then, I stopped it because it would not add anything new. I know a bit about Chefena, I also know some of his family members who paid dearly for the liberation of Eritrea. I see him as a reasonable intellectual. Booing such personalities would be a loss to all of us. Of course, this is to remind brink to be considerate enough to give people space to discuss issues without the feeling that others might interpret their inputs incorrectly. Tegadalay took many forms, the mother who cooked their dinners, the militia, zonal armies, clandestine agents and activists, Diaspora citizens…so, in Eritrean context, it is very hard to question one where he/she was. Even if they did not do anything, they have equal claim on Eritrean affairs. We should think in terms of citizenship, not in terms of who contributed what. That comes when someone deliberately dismiss, discard, tarnish, or violate the rights of tegadelti, as was suggested by ayneta when he said “We should distance ourselves from them.” Chefena did not imply that. To repeat what Chefena said, it is really a paradox to see a generation that had challenged odds cowered by PFDJ. So, my dear brink, please separate Chefena from the likes of ayneta, and don’t write when you are angry, as your truly SAAY would have told you.

          • Beyan

            Esteemed Gentlemen,

            This notion of who sacrificed more for the realization of the nation on the one hand, and ወላ እቲ ኸምዚ ኸኸማይ መቕድሕ ማይ ዘየልዓለላ ነዛ ሃገር, on the other hand, the nation belongs to us all the same as citizens as you MS succinctly put it. This divide between gebar and tegadalay needs to be looked in its proper context, it is nothing more than a sinister ploy that’s meant to create a wedge, to weaken our thinking while it served as the a staying power for those who remain at its helm today.

            I wouldn’t wanna belabor this issue again, but this goes way back to the ELF & EPLF prism that was framed by the very tegadelti who wanted to liberate us all from the yoke of occupation. The unfortuante part is that mindset continued after independence. Those who liberated the country, at least, those who were in the leadership, created that perception of the privilige of tegadaly/tagadalit, which penetrated into every segment of our society. The worst part is the alienation of people into groupings; disabled veterans; Jehova Witness; Islamists; Fifth Columnists; I mean the list goes on and on.

            What must have happened, what should have happened is that tegadalti should’ve received for their service a lifetime veteran benefits – deservedly so – so they may move on with their lives. Instead, ሰናቲም ሂብካ መጣየሲ ኢልካ መቐሸሺ wasn’t going to cut it, by golly, it didn’t – of course, it won’t. How are these veteran tegadalti to survive with ሰናቲም ሂብካ መጣየሲ ኢልካ መቐሸሺ money, a one time lump sum? Think about it: In the United States, we see Veterans in the thousands all over the nation as homeless because war is hell and it has its corollary impact, such as mental health issues, PTSDs, and the like. For the record, 45 years has passed since Vietnam War ended and people are still grappling with its aftermath today at the personal level.

            Our Eritrean tegadelti who had been through hell on earth in the jungles of Eritrea fighting that brave fight, ready to pay the ultimate price for it, I contend did not receive the deserved benefits, what they got instead was get involved in the Hanish Island skirmishes in 1995 in which 12 lives were lost for it; three years later in 1998, yet again, into another, this time a massive war where the loss of lives exceeded what we lost during the thirty year war of independence.

            Think about this for a moment: The only semi-peace-semi-serenity – any semblance of peace – that Eritrea experienced was just for seven to eight years and even that was mired with pockets of disappearances and dungeons as alluded to above. And now, another war is looming in the horizon – may the cosmos, the universe, or whatever it is that one believes, may those forces help us avert this madness.


          • SJG, MS, and Beyann,

            You three are feeding the lulling stale old story line either knowingly or unknowingly.

            The essay, by Haile, and the contour dividing lines it boldly alluded too is forward looking. As in give personal narratives of one’s actions or lack thereof post the gedli. Did having been a tegadalay or non tegadalay influence ones reactions and contributions towards the current and inescapable circumstances facing the nation. Through such honest and personal lens, I believe the author has in mind a more higher level of insight that may prove to be a better guide for future actions to be taken.

            The question should be: Where did we go right?

            For a change attempt expertise. Or NOT, as is already done…


          • Ismail AA

            Selam Dr. Beyan and fellow forumers,

            Well, absence from this forum for a week makes one feel reluctant to stay on reading the postings under the current threads because volumes of water has already flown under the bridge as the conventional saying goes. It is feels like one is too late to catch up. Since the few minutes I logged in and saw the fund raising thread, this is the first time I am coming in. I found a lot of enlightening discussions have been posted that lurred me to scribble these few lines which my condition allowed me to do.

            First, let me salute Haile S for gracing the forum with lucid and well narrated piece that very well supplemented Tzigereda’s earlier post. I really do not have anything to add to some excellent in puts by erudite visitors of this forumer. Thank you Haile.

            Second, a few lines about who-did-what discussion during the liberation era struggle. Here also a lot of useful exchanges have been posted. To begin with, and as a veteran who had spent almost all my productive working and learning phase of my life, it never occured (even remotely) in my mind that some kind of reward for my service would be awaiting for me in the pipeline at the job was done. After all, it was my free and personal choice, as SGJ has put it. Remember that death and martyrdom were not apparent but real probabilities. This alone made one not ponder on post liberation benefits or advantages. The only dream was liberation of the country and well being of the population independence and freedom would bring to the people.

            Looked in retrospect, however, the mind cannot escape reflecting on the out come given the way things had gone after victory. When one has survived to witness tragedies like Lampedusa, organ harvesting etc it is simply human to revisit those moments when the fighters and patriots made decisions to join and die for the cause of their people. Aging veterans like me get very much burdened with reflections of the past decades when kids of relatives that were born after liberation survive the risk of crossing borders and call on you with desperation for help which you fail to provide. But, when faced with whether my decision was worth it or not, I would without hesitation say it was indeed worth because it was a choice between having winning back a nation or staying in permanent bondage. The post liberation burden due to betrayal of egoistic few would sooner or later be relieved when the population reach the stage of choosing a dictatorship or lose of nation for which had paid so much in blood and sweat.

            It seems I lost direction from the point I wanted to make when I started to jot these line: whether it is just to classify the national liberation movement by participation and forms that went with it. Thinking that the whole population could have had the same perception of the cause and thus commitment cannot pass scrutiny of objectivity. This is not unique to Eritrea and its people during the national liberation era. Survey of national liberation movements starting from Vietnam to Angola share divisions between supporter and opponents of the causes and movements. Continuity of the struggle for repairing what war had ruined and engaging in prolonged nation building required closing the national ranks to rally material and human resources. Aware peoples do not lose focus and do start healing and rehabilitation through processes of fair justice and reconciliation for past wrongs. This is where things had gone wrong in our case. The current ruling clique and their leader’s propensity to domination and despotism had denied our people the chance of the proper transition from state of war to national unity and nation building that would have opened the path to classifying the people to loyal citizens under rule of law designating them on terms of duty and rights.

          • MS

            Qaffara Ya ustazna
            Well, after having read your input, it looks to me you have recovered from the illness, good to read you. Now, there appears no more excuse for you to stay away, join the discussion. Welcome back.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Beyan and all,
            A good recap on the tegadelti’s dilemma. I think most of us touching the issue agree to recognize the merits and exemplary ultime sacrifice tegadeltis paid while denouncing its leadership that had a long history of missteps, putting it mildely. Beyan you said “The only semi-peace-semi-serenity – any semblance of peace – that Eritrea experienced was just for seven to eight years and even that was mired with pockets of disappearances and dungeons”. You are absolutely right, and most importantly putting it under the ‘semi’ prefix and parenthesis because may be that is where it started to go truely wrong, as you alluded to. The tell tell signs of big cracks in the foundation of the house and in its external wall were there. The time of euphoria and “እንቛዕ ካባኹም ተወለድና moment, pronounced or unpronounced” covered all the defects in the foundations. It was at that time that large chunk of the ዝተጋደለ-ተጋዳላይ and ዘይተጋደለ-‘ተጋዳላይ’ were forgotten, excluded and/or taken for peripheral clapping hands of the እስክስታ.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Beyan and all,

            I just read Aytna comment that was waiting moderation. I do honestly understand his feelings and why he feels the way he does.

            I think the reality on the ground is, weather the number of those in PFDJ power circle are 200 or 2000, the fact remains that the tegadlti who are running havoc in our country. And I think instead of glossing over, there are only a few bad apples, I think we need to ask and think critically WHY and WHO are these bad apples?

            Let me give you a personal example. I have two first cousins (brothers) who joined EPLF in the 70’s. One was a pharmacist before he joined and one just finished high school. The pharmacist continue to serve as pharmacist in Meda while the other become fighter. They both survived the war and made it to Asmara. One was assigned to work in the pharmacy (civilian perhaps) and the second become a colonel. The colonel was given a villa in gejeret nEshto, very luxurious I must add. While the pharmacist went to live with his parents and continue to do so until today.

            There is no point in talking about ELF tegadeliti as they have nothing to do with how the country is run today (unless those few who joined EPLF/PFDJ).

            I bring this as an example to show that NOT all tegadelit are equal. Some are privileged and most aren’t. So I think if Ayetana blame of tegadeli was directed at the privileged, then I agree with him 100%.

            Beyan, You mentioned a lot of important point with regards to compensation of the tegadeli and the support they needed. If we want to be honest, I don’t think the Eritrean people and the Eritrean government would be able to afford and compensate them so that they can have a meaningful lives. For example, there were close to 300K Derg military / and civilians who were stationed in Eritrea during the last days. I don’t know the exact number but we heard close to 100K personal (tegadelit and their families), just taking the big number. There is no reason why the country can not afford to support these tegadeli and their families. I don’t think there was short of housing, school, medical facilities or any other support that would not have been possible to accommodate the influx.

            For example, the housing project “enda korea” took place right after Eritrea’s independence. And there is no reason such projects would have been impossible to do to give and demoblise the tegadeli in similiar fashion.

            When I heard about the enda korea project, I felt sick. I remember those housing complex did not have elevators. And I asked my self, forget about the disabled tegadeli owning one of the apartment but they are not even allowed to go visit anyone who lives there. The government reason was, elevators are too expensive. The president when asked about proper way of demobilization of tegadeli he said “ተጋደልቲ ተጋደሊ እንዳ በለኩም እንዳ በልኩም አይተጽሙምና፡ ቀዳም ቀዳም በጊዕ ክንሓርደሎም አይኮናን” so his attitude and his plans were clear from the very beginning what he wanted to do. I even say before Independence his plan (EPLF leadership) were clear that they do not care about the well being of the Eritrean people. It never was, it never has and it never will.

            Now the question we need to ask is, who are these privileged tegadeli and why they do what they do? How do they get organized and what’s the reason why they stick with the regime.

            I have heard about secret party and how it operated. To this day, no former tegadaly who was part of the secret party have given an accurate testimony in how the party operated, how the membership was organized, what the members did to get in the party and what they were made to swear in.

            I personally think this secret party is still ruling the country. During the gedli era, it has eliminated people, it has arrested and tortured tegadeli, it has eliminated civilians, religious leaders who it found threat to the party.

            I don’t know why but it seems to me that, there is a secret that no body is willing to share and expose.

            So I think, until we find answers and we know who exactly our enemy is, our misery will continue to eternity. And those secret party members will continue to defend the regime even if the IA is gone.


          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Berhe,
            I thank you for the elaborate comment.
            As much as the issue of veterans is complex, it requires an extensive study to pinpoint the problems we are suffering from.

            True, the major enablers of the regime, though a privileged few, are mainly veterans and newly commissioned officers of post1991. There are also many who are blackmailed by the regime into submission. In addition, there are Eritreans with vested interest whose benefits are tied to the regime. But we have to identify those groups, ruling class members rather, do that we target them in a focused way. However, desecrating the struggle and vilifying the entire Eritrean experience should be confronted with resolve.

            Thank you again

          • blink

            Dear MS
            Are you saying these who used their time reading ELF or EPLF news in the streets of American university corners has the right to bash the achievements of these brave men ? Who are these people who are sharpening their writing skills to only bash Eritreans achievements? You can say Halima in Aderde can claim her role in pushing Eritreans revolution to its glory but to see Desbele and Ayneta blithering attack in General is heartbreak. I have been looking if in any case SALEH gadi , Ismael, Amanuel and you stand your ground and tell us how you guys did it , but you guys can’t talk and can’t narrate the things you know well . Guess what, people like Ayneta are hitting the drums before Saleh gadi can even tell one story that can we hold on to, at least he wrote a books but I believe we need to mine you guys( my friend call you guys ABASAT who refused to tell the heroes stories in their head like a picture) , yet here we have people talk every bad word on their dictionary about Eritreans brightest sons who gave their life . That’s why we have to ask these bashers , where have you been, what is your achievements? Asking the accuser about their act at that time is a legitimate question sir. This is not about selective attack on them because it is these people who are accusing our founding fathers. Who are these people, what exactly are they up to , this is not about opposing ISSAIAS, very far from it , where will they stop ? They have been accusing from the get go of Hamid idris Awate using our own way, this started long time ago and I believe any Eritrean has to come in terms to really question if such people really oppose the dictator at home.

          • Saleh Johar


            Please do not get me wrong. Those who bash our struggle and desecrate everything dear to us are legitimate targets. They are calling it upon themselves. By all means, these shameless people should be ashamed but since they don’t, they have to be shamed. Also, the tyrants of today who have caused so much damage to the struggle should be held responsible. They have walked all over the selfless history of our struggle and they are the bull’s eye in the target. Belom, no mercy.

          • MS

            Dear blink
            I concur with what Saleh said, rephrasing it would mean wastage of time. All I ask you is not to lamp up all who express their dissatisfaction with some aspects of our history. I criticized ayneta for his generalized dismissal of tegadelti, I also criticize you for the same manner albeit directed to the opposite. We need to be careful and discerning in replying to comments we find objectionable.

          • Selamat MaHmuday “The Best” SaliH,

            “Therefore, As you aptly put it, the question should be “Where did we go wrong?”‘That brings us to a level field where each of us could share responsibility, something I was encouraging ayneta to do.”

          • MS

            Selam The Great Humble Xaxe
            I need no code breaker to decipher this beautifully paced prose. “The correct question one must ask,” says the humble Xaxe, is “Where did we go right?” The humble Xaxe berates us for asking: where did we go wrong?
            Hmmmm…..a bit of logic application is in order.
            1. The question, “Where did we go wrong” implies we went wrong after a period of making a right course trekking, it suggests we did take a wrong turn somewhere along the journey. Yes? ሓዘኒ ኢኻ። ከይትገድፈኒ። ተኸታተል። ዓወት ቃልስና ብደምና ምስ ውጹዕ ሓፋሽ ህዝብና….ደረፈ ተጋዳላይ ተስፋይ መሓሪ ፍሒራ…..The Great and Humble Xaxe asks “Where did we go right?” Can someone hand him a map and retraces the portion where we did take the right course and where we might have gone wrong?
            2. The question, “Where did we go right” also implies we did go wrong after a period of keeping on the right track/course. Any maps, yet?
            The difference: None
            Both questions are valid, both are asked by minds ready to correct course. Only the arrogant and ignorant folks press on “Nkid Traay” or “keep going, charge forward, press on….” despite glaring failures.
            Indeed, the Great and Humble Xaxe has summarized it up here:
            “With every actions and inactions of our own selves, what are the current strengths, assets, accomplishments, institutions, infrastructures, inspirational attitudes and societal moods and modes we can collectively be proud of and in UNISON declare as MUST BE Salvaged and worthy to be protected by all means as THESE MATTER TO ALL OF US ERITREANS EQUALLY.”
            Words such as “actions” and “inactions” symbolize “wrongs and rights, which lead us to pause and contemplate, “where did we go wrong” or “where did we go right.” Two ways of asking the same question: Why are we here?
            It is not an act of lip service, I do, indeed, agree with how Chefena put it, and you rephrased it in your Xaxe tongue: where did we go wrong? And get off the backs of those folks, please…haha….
            ጭንራዕ ሓፋሽ ህዝቢ ሃሰይነት ከሎ….sang your fav FHira
            I enjoyed it, Xaxe, The Great and the Humble…don’t forget you are one of those who should show us the path forward…don’t blame it on Betan, HaileS, Chefena…and their class members…
            When most intellectuals are mute, these few Mhurat are engaged us: the Hafash, and we should not make them bolt out… are one of them, so show us where we went right. Then we can figure out where we went wrong. I also read your second input related to this topic. HaileS article would not necessarily take us tio the current discussion of egadalay versus non tegadalay and who did what type of discussion. But some folks did hijack the discussion and as usual we are bogged in distilling it.

          • Selamat MaHmuday “The Best” SaliH,

            “Can someone hand him a map and retraces the portion where we did take the right course and where we might have gone wrong?”

            No need for such. In spite of my huge number of accumulated frequent flyer to outer space miles, I assure you Sir of my presence every passing moment, to have personally traced every inch of our meandering contours map.

            Until I deliver my not so humble wrath with a very long “Haters”, (double dose of M”The Best”S’ taste of own medicine) I will provide you with a poignant application of logic that is evidently above you, or put nicely you have missed. Warning. Patronizing with exquisite litigators skills displayed, in illuminating numerous points will be, I promise, my very long Hateta.

            Your blind side of the patronizing, (typical Tegadelty attitudes) lecture on the topic of logic is thus:

            When traveling on a road map en route to a destination or the targeted goal. drivers and passengers alike fully expect to go up an incline, go down on a decline, make right as well as left turns.

            Dear NaHmuday,
            You have failed in giving due weight, if any, to the following variables through your limited binary thinking only Right and or Wrong turns allowed traveling roads. In anticipation of the impending very long and patronizing Hateta as well as for the expanding of the conversation, Vis-a-vis Haile S’ narrations please contemplate these road signs as variables:
            “Do Not Enter”, “Wrong Way” and in particular “Detour.”

            Yes you are absolutely right in pointing out my place among Haile S, Beyann N, and Chefena. And you took the bait. Round 2, “Mama said knock him out!” Knock out “The Best” of course.

            Prepare to defend “Where did the Tegadalay go RIGHT?” in spite of the Detour.
            The best defense is a good offense – as I will be utilizing Hijum offense of “Where did the non Tegadalay go Wrong?

            40/60, klte Siso Susa’s’alata is not to be taken lightly.

            The Bold tSAtSE

            PS. an introduction itself a long Hateta should indicate the length of the Hateta. Qn MaHmuday, you do recall the graphic designer of “tSAtSE”? Yeah BOLD “tSAtSE”! Then what’s with Humble XaXe????? Psychoanalyzing “The Best” aside, suffice it to say X is reserved for a much higher figure in The Imperative GLOBAL Narrative, i.e Abbu Ashera Weapon X – Evolution.

            Weapon X Ashera bil Ashera – 1!
            Stay tuned and prepared.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            Throughout our struggle, in the process of our politics, our wrongs outweighs than our rights. So it is better to start on what went wrong, than on what went right. The Eritrean politics has never found a solution to keep us as one family of a nation. Few years ago, I remember Vividly , SGJ to retort metaphorically to explain the Eritrean politics and its political organizations to have learned “subtraction before addition” in the process of their politics. The Eritrean politics had been the process of “elimination” and has never been the process of “accommodation.” That political culture still persist with the tegadelties who run the state of Eritrea and more or less within the organizations in the opposition camp. Ayneta’s qualms and criticism sits well within this aspect of our wrong politics that is eating our society with no hope in the Horizon. Mahmuday, defending our military success and our sovereignty is not enough to our young generation. As tegadelti, we gave them a regime and a system that enslave them with no future they could hope for. As tegadelti neber, we should not be defensive because our ghedli gave them a cruel regime and I don’t think Ayneta will miss that there were bad and good tegadelties. Let us listen to their grievances and let us give them hope rather jumping to criticize the young generation. Let us own our failures as tegadelti.


          • Selamat Ayya Amanuel Hidrat and Happy New Year to you and family!

            You are sneaking in with the same monoton mantra of the past nearly 40 years long. Your lamentations (Qanna mestemaseltii: moQzemzemti), yours truly and not so humble Bold tSAtSE will view it in two ways for the time being.

            1. You are attempting to stop from gaining traction a fresh look from varied degrees angle by luring a Tegadalay, MS, such as your self as the titled/self entitled authentic first hand eyewitness observers. Typical of the veteran Tegadelty attitudes, irrespective of their partisan, has been the suppression of new thoughts or ideas by assuring Tegadelty’s Narrative of all the Rights and Wrongs and wrong remains the dominant and supreme one.
            Typical is also that you too took the bait…. And the more elaborate and very patronizing impending Hatetta will illuminate even more possibly sinister and futile meek motives.

            Here you are utilizing the “kwEiyeka bmannka..” by contradicting your classic suggestion for all when you said: “AyteQzomzumu”
            With all due respect Ayya, though absent and lacking is the beat and melody, I can confidently wager that every reader will clarify your opening paragraph as MuQzumzam.

            “Throughout our struggle, in the process of our politics, “our wrongs outweighs our rights”. So it is better to start on what went wrong, than on what went right. The Eritrean politics has never found a solution to keep us as one family of a nation.”

            Particularly the last sentence above is not only untrue and a lie, it is also disappointing that you in particular Ayya Amanuel have failed to grasp the current Eritrean Politics and regional alignments as the direct resulting product of the forces and various group dynamics favoring the “incremental gains” and striding towards “… a solution to keep us as one family of a nation.”
            Your “..has NEVER FOUND..” (emphasis mine), is easily disproved as a pure lie, in that not only it negates all the efforts against all odds by the Tegadelty, as Haile S narration, village by village and in the harshest conditions, in successfully mobilizing and gaining the support of an entire united the Eritrean nation that attained the monumental nearly impossible victory of May 1991, but also lies to the Eritrean People themselves that at that particular and historical point in time a numerous others a United Nation of Eritrea did occur.

            2. My second view is that your comment is perhaps due to naivete, which I hardly doubt. In any, be it due to this or that, even when “doing wrong” in your shared comment with the purpose to influence you “are doing right.” You are shedding light… … abrupt end… duty calls… will continue later…

            Ayya Amanuel and many more have either completely missed Hail S’ higher insight or are purposely dodging it. And, TYPICAL, The Tegadelty are leading the confusion….

            40/60 klte Siso Susa’s’alata is not to be taken lightly.
            Stay Tuned and Prepare

            The Imperative GLOBAL Narrative 2018 – Abbu Ashera Weapon X – Evolution.

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE Azzilo40 Agnyeya40 Acres and a Mule

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Solomon,

            You make me lost. Are you supporting the regime’s domestic and foreign policy? Second, did we find a political solution that accommodate our differences? What is the pure lie on my argument? Aren’t we still on politics of rejectionist?

          • Selamat Ayya Amanuel Hidrat, MaHmuday “The Best” SaliH and all,

            {1/17//#####\18 Trusses and TRUST bRidGinG I/ vis-a-vis Haile S 40/60 klte Siso Susa’s’alata ©}

            Ayya AH,

            My intent is not, was not and will never be to confuse you or any one. Nor am I necessarily addressing only you and or any other commenters, in isolation. with all my direct replies.

            For example, to emphasize the above point, I will take liberty to rephrase the start of the sentence thusly: My intent NOT(was, is, will ever)… ..
            I will oblige and answer the questions you have asked very briefly, in order to give you a little bit more clarity. Pivoting with integrity, the hope is that yourself will attain full clarity and a much wider or even nearly the full scope vision. I assure you Sir, within days I shall submit much more elaborate follow-up.

            Your questions or statements followed by my brief and temporary place holders response:

            1. “Are supporting the Regimes foreign and domestic policy?”

            Dear Ayya Tegadalay, Now “you make me lost.” Which regime? Sudan’s, Turkey’s, Chad’s, Ethiopia’s, Eritrea’s, Egypt’s, Emirates. I fail to see where in my comments and Haile S’ personal narrative, the topic of discussion we should stick with, (As you have very often passionately advocated for), “Regime’s foreign and domestic policy” was even alluded. I challenge you Ayya to quote a single sentence from Haile S’ article that remotely addressed Eritrea’s Regime policies. As for yours truly, was, still am, and will keep zooming the focus on “where did we go right?” over “where did we go wrong?” I suspect your first question, you have pulled from the thin air, out of no where, is either born out of … … to be included in my follow up THOROUGHLY!

            2. “Did we find a political solution that accommodate our differences?” An emphatic YES, (doubly emphatic) is the answer. You are kept in the dark Dear Ayya Amanuel. I can’t tell whether it is self induced or otherwise. You must come to the realization that “our” Eritrean “differences” are NOT static. Nor are the accommodations through our political solutions (plural) static. As soon as political solution is made and our differences are accommodated, new difference and newer politics are created. Politics in short is stochastic since the time of its inception.

            And as for Our Eritrean specific political solutions and accommodations for of our differences, well Ayya surely your Tegadalay days with the ELF, Haile S’ Narrative that include your counterpart EPLF, all the efforts for the people’s support, mobilization, literacy and political liberation education, galvanizing nearly total unity culminating with all Eritrean people’s victory in May of ’91…
            98.7% Kiss FM in ’93 THE SEGWAY to this next question:

            3. “What is the pure lie on my argument?”

            This: “The Eritrean politics has never found a solution to keep us as one family of a nation.” “never”?

            See above #2 and stay tuned and prepared for the meat and bones in my follow-up.

            4. “Get Real Brother!”

            Yes I agree! I am getting real already ‘alright!!! You see, Dear Ayya Amanuel Hidrat, the enemy mutates lots more rapidly than say 40 years ago.
            Respectfully I too, more importantly the storms brewing commands “Get Real Brother Ayya Amanuel!”

            My follow-up will definitely shake you and lots more TO THE REAL. This was intended to be a brief TeAAmott appetizer.

            The question we should ask IS: “What did we do Right?”

            Stay Tuned and Prepared.

            40/60 klte Siso Susa’s’alata


      • chefena

        You are welcome Desbele. Indeed, it is a paradox we are confronted with.

      • Peace!

        Selam Desbele,

        Needless to say I found your position a bit confusing that the other day you admired Unionists who are responsible for assasinating pro-Independence Eritreans, and now you are accusing EPLF.


        • Desbele

          Hi Peace,
          You can avoid confusion by simply asking why I admire Unionists and dropping your malicious intent.
          I never say i admire Unionists for assassinations and never meant I dont admire EPLF for any of their achievements if I denounce their killings.
          ካብ Nitricc/blink ብመጠኑ ኢካ ትሓይሽ

          • Peace!

            Hi Desbele,

            Your poor personal judgement aside, you could have simply stated your reasons for admiring the Unionists although it won’t change anything that the fact that a killer is always a killer. It is ironic that your holiness sense is active only on Eritrean issues.

            These are your words “* I actually admire The Andinet for what they stood for then” Well, what they stood for was not a secret—liquidate pro-independence Eritreans, never acknowledge atrocities by Ethiopian emperors, and force Eritreans to unite with Ethiopia against their will. ናዓ ዳኣ ጽድቂ ብኽምዚኣ ኣይትመጽእን እያ, ደስበለ!


          • Desbele

            Hi Peace,

            I dont waste time educating a closed mind. Indeed the words are mine and I stood by them and I would explain why for anyone who cares. And yes on this forum my concern are always Eritrea and Eritrean issues.ከምዚ ናትካ ህግደፍ ዓማጺ እዮ ምስተባህለ ደይ ወያነውን ዓመጽቲ እዮም ኢለ ዝደዓዓስ ኣይኮንኩን።

          • Peace!

            Hi Desbele,

            See…blank face, no explanation! ሕጂ ንኻልእካ ኬድካ ቀሺ ኩነሉ.


          • Desbele

            ምንም ሰላማዊ ነገር የብልካን። ሽምካ ቀይር። ነፋሒቶ ኣይተታህዘትን ።ፈትና።
            ምሕረት የውርደልካ

          • Peace!

            Hi Desbele

            I won’t stoop to your level. As a friendly reminder though, next time you attack Nitric, Blink or others, first ask yourself where you stand because consistency matters—ኣብ ናይ Eritrea ጉዳይ ቀሺ ትኸውን ኣብ ናይ TPLF ጉዳይ ካድረ ትኽውን. መን እዩ ነፉሒቶ, ትፈልጣ ዲኻ?

            ደምበር ዛዓዲ ክሓልፍላ እዩ:(


          • Desbele

            ቑሩብ ተመሓይሽካ ኣለኻ። ምሉእ ምህረት ይግበረልካ።
            ኣማውቱኒ ድዩ ነዞም ክልተ ምጽዋዕኻ፧

          • Nitricc

            Hi Desbele; you are the last one to suggest about death and dying because you are already dead. I have never heard or read that a person who supposed to be young and served in Sawa to fall in love and admire for Andinet is preposterous, it just doesn’t happen. I think you are liar, there is no way you served Sawa and you be sympathetic to the politics of 50’s and 60’s. so, when peace told you that ” inኣብ ናይ Eritrea ጉዳይ ቀሺ ትኸውን ኣብ ናይ TPLF ጉዳይ ካድረ ትኽውን. መን እዩ ነፍሒቶ ” he told you the truth. You are nothing but TPLF cadre.

          • Thomas

            Selam Nitricc,
            When writing your none sense, understand that you have never been to Eritrea, you don’t know Eritrea and Eritreans like Desbele and other commenters here. You just have no idea on what your are talking about as such you must reduce your tune. It is just a shame and even though you will never get this. Thank you.

          • Desbele

            ካብ ወይጦ ህግደፍ ካድረ ወያነ ስለዝሓይሽ ሕሰበሉ ,ምዃን እኳ ሓንጎል ደርሆካ ክንደይናይ ከይትሕግዘካ

          • Nitricc

            Hi Desbele, what does mean when you say “ወይጦ” You are the weakest link to Eritreanism and to the concept of Eritrea. toothless TPLF cadre.

          • Desbele

            ወይጦ መትከል ዘይብሉ ለመጭ ማለት እዩ

          • Nitricc

            Thanks for taking time from your data-entry to replay to my question. If you had any gumption, you could have completed your nonexistence military service. You are a lair. you said your grow up in Addis, how do you know this deep Tig language? again another lie. You are disgraceful to the content of the word. Good luck with your white masters.

          • Desbele

            እግዜር ይይለት ይሄ የማነ(Monkey) ፤ ይችን የዶሮ ጭንቅላትህን ፍጹም እንደማትድን ኣድርጎ መርዟታል!

          • blink

            Dear Nitricc
            Who told you Desbele is young ? Just asking

          • Nitricc

            Hi Blink: I thought he told us. If I can remember He said he was in Addis, his father was a truck driver and he works as data entry here in USA and he was in Sawa but he couldn’t cut it, so, he fled the country like every other losers. So, I am assuming since he told us, he was in Sawa, which i don’t believe, but might be relatively young. Not the case, it is clear, the guy is a liar. He is nothing but lowly TPLF cadre.

          • Desbele

            Correction: I escaped slavery!! I am a data scientist.
            ወይጦነትካ ከይተርፈካ ንጎይቶትካ ከኣ ኣመሓላልፎ ዚ ሓበሬታ

          • Nitricc

            I know what you mean and you can use all flashy words but it is what it is, data entry. Enjoy your slavery. People like you are cancer to Africa, no wonder why Trump referred you as a “Sh!t-hole” I agree with him, people like are nothing but what the president has said. lol

          • Desbele

            ንሰዓት 29 usd እየ ዝኽፈል። ነቲ ስራሕ ተሰማሚዐ ብወለንታይ እየ ኣትየዮ።
            ባርነት ኣብ ኤርትራ ሓሊፉ። ኣብቲ ኣነ ዝነበርኩሉ ግዜ ንወርሒ 45 Nakfa( 1usd)/month ናይ ጁባ ተባሂሉ ይወሃበና ነይሩ።
            ብፍቓደይ ዝገብሮ ወላ ሓንቲ ነገር ውን ኣይነበረን። ብዙህ ኣይጽሕፈልካን. ዝርኻባ ሓንጎል ደርሆኻ ከይትትኮስ

          • Nitricc

            Desbele; I have been on this forum for a while and I have never seen anyone disclose their income. it shows how desperate you are to convince us that you are nota liar. Sorry you are a liar. I don’t know if you know this but a plumber makes 35 40 an hour. so what does it mean to your 29? keep typing my man you may get to hit 30 lol. You are disgraceful and happy slave for life.

          • Thomas

            Hi Desbele,

            Do we know anything about Nitricc, Blink, hope and other supporters of the regime other than their pen names? The answer is NO. Why are these people commenting here with their pen names then? They have not disclosed their place of residence either. One thing I noticed is Nitricc kinds are the ones who crave to know more about the lives of those who write here with real names and are not even afraid disclosing their residence. This shows lack of ወይጦነትካ (principle) in the likes of Nitricc.

            Look how nitricc is reacting when you tell him that you are doing fine with your private life. From my own experience, there is nothing that makes these stupid supporters go nuts than to see us succeeding (opposition) in our private lives. So low self-esteem as for them to feel better others must fail. The DIA regime is a failure and weyane must fail for the DIA and his supporters to feel better. Let’s work hard and be successful. I have to tell you nothing hurts these people than to see us succeed in our real lives. Let’s beat them with everything going in real life.

          • Nitricc

            Thomas; I know you are too dumb to get things but our janitor makes 24 an hour. Again when you go half the globe to find a wife, I don’t expect you to find a decent job here in the US, Ohio at that. loser.

          • blink

            Dear Thomas
            Is Thomas your real name? I know very few people in this forum and they are known by all of us like saay, MS, Ismael, Saleh gadi, gezae hagos , Amanuel Hidrat . Others use their id and no one knows them for real . Saleh gadi knows more about some people than most of us do. What matters most in this case is your views. Views like advocating for unionists is not Eritreans views as trashing our history is not Eritreans too.

          • Thomas

            Hi Blink,

            Short answer, yes Thomas is my real name. There was also a time when I posted a flyer with my name and address here. So, I am real and being transparent in everything I do because I believe that is the way to solve our problems. To work together you must know each other.
            “The key to getting people to work together effectively could be giving them the flexibility to choose their collaborators and the comfort of working with established contacts, new research suggests.” said David Melamed, appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
            Obviously, for a better collaboration or work, it is important to know the person. To me, you all are fake people.

          • blink

            Dear Thomas
            Call me naive, I sentenced all unionists to life in prison and they will never ever allowed to have any babies. I have provided 65 inch tech TV and the TV is playing the 3000 years old Hatsiye Metsiye importing USAID given food through Dijbuti . Don’t forget these people are sentenced by the majority of Eritreans. The main thing about this TV program is educating these unionists about Ethiopian Map I mean the new Map.Unionists are called nonsense propaganda of this false narrative we are one thing.

          • Thomas

            Selam Blink,

            You are already doing well in horrifying people:) The only thing I suggest is to put on the amharic word “ZERAF” and to repeat this work three before each sentence of the horrifying sentences/paragraph above:) Since it is a weekend and if awate allows, I am dedicating the below song to the heroic supporters of the mafias regime:


          • Desbele

            ሰላም ቶማስ
            ክልቲኦም ተስፋ የብሎምን። Nitricc ንኤርትራ ብ የማነ(Monkey) እዩ ዝፈልጣ።
            ህግደፍ ኢዶም ኣይስኣኑ ህዝብና ኣጽኒቶም ንቆልዑ ዳያስፖራ ከምዘይሃውዩ መሪዞሞም።

          • Yohannes Sebhatu

            Hi Desbele,

            Can you email me at the following address:

          • Selamat Desbele,

            Ahgurrawi beAl Sheqalo ss entayy iyyu? wutSuoE, tSiQuTT, tSAtSE — menfiitler.
            AAwett nHafash iu EU AU and kible n bits B.IT, A.IT, MaynfHi IT.

            VV^Ela V∆ Walla walla ‘qua iyyu Harriet mayyy kemm zrugg nfasss AAQlikha zetSibibb se^ann btibotatka tubbbo mayyy ziAAgitt.

            I am simply reminded of Allied Tube and Conduit/Chattanooga and churning out Sheqalo Benefits + Qualified BPs, SERPs and non discrimination testing.

            Abbu Ashera Weapon X – Evolution.
            The Actuary Actually [A.A., Rezene “ketemattat koynu meAskerna.]Pat®iots ®iots Teseney’s Ashera Ten UC Tennessee Titans
            TitTsATSE GitSAtSE ©®

          • blink

            Dear Nitricc
            How many fake CV can we remember? Imagine an Eritrean Muslim women married to Ethiopian who advocated for Tigrinya power in a greater Tigray and bragged about here achievements….

            A guy whose father was Eritrean fighter colluding for Dergi.
            Desbele, come on Nitricc we the guy is nothing than a unionist agenda by coloring himself as Eritrean.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Blink: I know now. they I work is when someone tells me something, I trust them then I don my observations. So, that was the case with TPLF senior cadre, Desebele.

  • Amanuel

    Hi Haile S
    Thanks for your honest story and you are a brave man to provide us with alternative story to the “ KuntAl beliAka mtsaA tebahile”.
    General observation specially to awstista across the Atlantic. Sometimes you guys throw phrases or words we on the rest of the world have no idea about. For example I had to google what “Troy Dunn’s Locator” meant.
    Awate has world wide readers and it would be great if you guys avoid local phrases, slangs or expression.
    This reminds me to a joke I read years ago. It is not fair but brutally true.

    A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN.
    The only question asked was:”Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?”
    The survey was a huge failure…

    -In Africa they didn’t know what “food” meant.

    -In Eastern Europe they didn’t know what “honest” meant.

    -In Western Europe they didn’t know what “shortage” meant.

    -In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.

    -In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant.

    -In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant.

    -And in the USA they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant


    • Haile S.

      Selam Amanuel,
      Thank you. You are absolutely right. Unexplained expression is problematic. Won’t be repeated. Your joke is hilarious, tough on some, pertinent on others.

  • Selamat Hailey S,

    Indeed a good read. Excellent recognition the body of the politics and a first step, (at least on awatistas forum), towards changing it. I have gained from your essay in that you have unlocked the door and left it ajar for 40/40. You say 40! Years ago.

    You are familiar with 60 Minutes on CBS and 30 for 30 on ESPN. Professor Beyann Negash’s 9/9/77, your September 1st, 1977 and and… Teseney’s Easter Weekend 1977 battle and nearly the entire township pouring out into Gash Stit, Fanko and the Camel Caravans heading towards Kessela making their pit stops under Hummer Trees to seek refuge from natural hazards. In 1976 I was in Gejeret Abi and Akhrya for the introduction of Shahi Qemem, (Algeria’s naEnaE) to my pallet. In 1977 in Kessela probably bumping into Beyann at a Dukann. Well, you say 40 years ago!

    The Imperative GLOBAL Narrative directing and dictating in 2018! Yemkunn yessAlu ketireen minekum: KAIF? KenyataWatista KAIF! Hashann kinda: kilte Siso Sussa’latta! 40/60.

    AmEritrean GitSAtSE Azzilo40 Agnyeya 40 Acres and a Mule.

    Abbu Ashera Weapon X – Evolution.

    “AyresaEnayann SebAAn ShewAten…SaHil koyne lomi kzikiro..” Tesfay “FeHira”

  • Ayneta

    Hey All:

    It has been years since any story about the armed struggle ceased giving me any sense of belonging . ‘Nay meda ehiya’, as we used to call it affectionately, doesn’t fly with me anymore. On the contrary, I find it all artificially elated and severely lopsided. Tegadelti lewah, bokbak, tebaE, wufuy, adjective is endless. Wudub halayi, ternafi, ni rihuk temati….another list of bogus descriptions. Of note, one cant deny the fact that tegadelti are the reason why he country is in a deep mess right now, no matter how one looks at it. While I understand the need to glorify the deeds and character of tegadelti during the armed struggle, I cant fathom the endless urge to Scribble unsubstantiated stories without don’t lend to common sense. 27 years after independence, some tegadelti and their sycophants still like to wear us down with endless tegadelti stories about which not so many people give a hoot. Thanks to the few tegadelti who have squandered our dreams, I have revelauted the every story I grew up listening to. It is just full of lies, trickery and above all sheer sense of arrogance.

    • blink

      Dear Ayneta
      Everyone knows who is not fond of Tegadelti stories and every one knows where these anti Eritreans pal talk rooms goes, you can happily sleep with Ameche pal talk and entertain the dark personalities . The only thing you and pleople like you bash the fighters is because you know no one cares what you guys think about them. People who are born from evil WELDEGEBA Dergi cronies can not possibly enjoy Eritreans brave stories, people who we used to call them deki kedaat can’t enjoy such article, people who missed their fathers and brothers fighting against the Eritreans brave men cannot enjoy the grace and bravery of Eritreans. So it is known people like you have a past dark history colluding with Dergi. Good luck finding them.

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Blink,
        Blink. Blink. Wink. Wink
        Is it you or another friend— I forgot. But a little Amharic lesson 🙂

        It’s Wedo-Geba not Weldo-Geba. The first means “surrendered in this own free will” the latter means, “he fathered a child and then surrendered”. As you can guess, the first one is the correct description. You are welcone 🙂

        • blink

          Dear SG
          no it wasn’t me , this is the first time . I have been using it in wrong way .Thanks for the lesson sir.

    • MS

      Selam ayneta
      Well, get us some Peter Pan’s neverland fiction and still we will enjoy it. Get real, man.Like it or not that’s our story. We celebrate our bright spots and learn from the dark ones. You don’t have to like it or even read it. And please try to come out of the downer malaise. If you have a different perspective, I would love to read it.

      • Saleh Johar

        Ahlan Mahmouday,
        Do you really need a different perspective Ayer he ave is his insightful perspective and wisdom filled cup of admirably disrespectful comments?
        I tin he gave us his best shot and too ugh wisdom is just.., too much 🙂

        • MS

          Ahlan Saleh
          Our Field Marshal, SAAY, declared years ago, “No one left behind in Awatista land”. I am encouraging ayneta to present us with his own perspective but in a respectful manner. How is it that he is going to discard stories narrated in a first person voice such as that of haileS? I’m curious to see him telling us his story. Don’t U think so? And then don’t type while driving, many typo errors…ha…ha…uncharacteristic of SGJ 🙂

      • Nitricc

        Your Greatness; what perspective do you expect from dead people? Ayneta is a living dead. reading his posts are depressing. I am not a shrink but sounds a man in trouble. like the saying does, Every one dies but not every one lives. When you live life, the good, the bad and the ugly is expected, you face the ups and the downs. And when it comes to life and the living, no one can compare with the Eritrean Tegadelti. They are everything to the true living being. They represent the meaning of humanity and its virtue. some times “Because what’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?”
        I bet you Ayneta never missed his breakfast or lunch. the people like Ayneta are devoid of hope and conscious, they are already dead and they can’t be part of the future. in their mind there is no such future, everything dark.

        • MS

          Selam Nitrickay
          Ayneta’s reply is on hold and I was late to see it. I would love to respond briefly to the many erroneous assertions he mad and wrong assumptions he held, but it does not allow me to reply to him directly since it’s still pending. The points I wanted to make were:
          1. Eritrean veterans wanted to go home as soon as the liberation of Eritrea was completed. I wish ayneta were around he would help us with that. Tegadalay did not demand a dime. they just wanted to be let go but most of them were not allowed. Those who were able to leave were discharged a $667 worth of Nkfas, after all those years of service, with their physical and psychological scars. Now, ayneta is telling us how privileged tegadalay is!!
          2. I don’t which tegadelti he talking about but the majority are leaving on the scale of 1991. According to that scale, most of them were already disadvantaged. The scale combined educational level and years in service. They are enduring the worst life conditions; they can’t be represented by the very few privileged higher military and party echelon; most of them are not in the military- they are part of the civilian society. I don’t know what percentage he has in mind when he generalizes tegadelti are “privileged”.
          3. Most attempts aimed at changing PFDJ’s behavior or dislodging it were made by tegadelti and individuals who felt they had similar responsibility (elders, journalists, artists closely related to tegadelti and ghedli).
          4. Tegadelti are as keen to see change in Eritrea as any indignant Eritrean. They are tightly controlled and closely surveyed by the regime’s security apparatus. I don’t know why ayneta would not be able to show us the magic of getting organized, even here in the free world. Good luck if he could bring the kind of change he foresee by distancing himself from tegadelti. The thing is Eritrea as a whole was tegadalay, and still has respect for its children; it does not confuse abusive few with the mass tegadalay. They are many in number, they have families…so, good luck. We have heard projects announcing high sounding proposals such as “remaking Eritrea” or cleansing it from the traces of tegadalay. Eneho feres eneho golgol.
          5. He wondered why no civilian in higher governmental positions. He is right. But that was something I (an ex-tegadalay) said years ago when i lamented how depressed I was for not seeing even a single civilian cabinet member, twenty-something after independence. Again, we better not look for shifting blames. It’s good to be part of those who focus on finding solutions.
          6. Ayneta’s dismissive comments are characteristics of those who want to run away from responsibilities. The level may differ but all of us shoulder the responsibility. Otherwise, it is an part of a primordial defense mechanism for not shouldering responsibility, just like the way you do it, nitrickay. Because you think there is no sound solution, you keep saying “Go with Wedi-afom!!” I got you, now?
          What’s new, anyway?

  • Peace!

    Selam Hailuwa,

    What a story ዝገደፍካ የብልካን! Good read and thank you for sharing.


  • blink

    Dear Haile.S
    Your article is great ,worthy events to remember and share with us.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Hailat,

    This is a familiar story to many Eritreans they have seen the squabbles between the two organizations in mid 70s. The organizations supposedly waging wars against occupiers to bring justice, indeed have sawn the seed of mistrust, division, and injustice within the Eritrean people. This brings me to the confrontation you made with “the embodiment of all the injustice” you have witnessed and poked my memory of a similar story I had confronted with, in March 1977. It is a story I have already shared with this forum. But I felt that it is relevant to say it again in support to your story.

    This is story that happened in a small village in the district of Tselema. A group Of ELFites came to the village and asked to the Dagna to arrange with inhabitants of the village food for them. While I was passing by the village, one gentleman told me that there are ELF-fighters in the village and led me to the house they are temporalily permitted to stay. Then a group of EPLF fighters came and asked the same thing for food. While waiting for their food, they call the villagers to an open meeting to give their political orientation. Since the meeting was an open meeting we joined to listen to what they have to say. The cadre opened his remark by saying “Abotat Adetat Nihna Ena Dekikum” to differentiate them from the ELFites who were painted as Muslim organization and are supposedly not from them. This kind of orientation ingrained in the mind of the Highlanders and became the source of our division to this date.

    Hailat, the following points from your story are worthy of noting them, if it could help us to heal the wounds that has left scars in the negative psychology of our people in order to bridge between the the two divides of our population.

    – Your confrontation with “the embodiment of all the injustice” you have witnessed.
    – The injustice that was “expressed by the tears of your cousin’s mother” as witnessed on here son by the people of the
    – The insistence of the of the tegadalay Wedi Metahit “to get official reception as any tegadalay deserves, but to no avail.”
    – The “disdain of the village officials to ELF and their own blood (being from ELF)” as a result of EPLF orientation.

    All these are highlighted in order to know our problem that inflicted the Eritrean society and the injustice are continuing in different form and shape as we speak to the entire Eritrean populace. Good reading, and thank you for speaking the truth as it happened in those years from the “side walk of ghedli.”

    Amanuel Hidrat

  • MS

    Selam HaileS
    You captured the political situation of 1977 artfully, the battles that raged between the Derg and the Eritrean organizations and between the Eritrean organizations themselves to win people and territories; you also depicted a vivid picture of the poverty in rural Eritrea; the hospitality of the people…an excellent depiction of human condition portrayal of yourself torn between joining the revolution or running back to your mom (ha…ha…the frank and humble HaileS)….good read.
    BTW: Those areas you mentioned remind me of my year long journey/trek to reach Asmara on May 24, 1991… a lot of memories, a lot of images, war is just horrible. I’m sure I ate some good Shiro in your village. When there was a lull in the fighting, I would enjoy a visit to one of the villages with buddies who wanted to see their families. Some villages were just few kilometers behind the frontline.
    Again thanks.

  • Saleh Johar

    Thanks Haile,
    Good read….

    • Haile S.

      Selamat Saleh J,
      Thank you for posting my little glimpse. I sent to webmaster a correction on 3rd paragraph. Sorry, if I had done the minor editing you suggested myself this wouldn’t happen.

      Thank you again AT for accepting this long story, personal, but I hope will interest Awate readers.

      • Beyan

        Selam Haile S.,

        Obviously, the title was meant to read “A Glimpse…” as I auto corrected rushing to read the narrative, because the title is so captivating with aptly befitting picture to boot. Sure enough I see where the title was snatched out of: “…I am writing to relate some old news: my glimpse from the sidewalk of the Boulevard that Tzegereda mentioned and that I trekked for long.” I don’t know about the inner workings of AT editors, but over the years, I’ve caused them some aches as I would send them revised version on the revised version that I had just sent few hours prior…but talk about patience…they would quietly do it. But, I have gotten much better at it now…so, kbur Haile S. – but that’s par for the course. Let me tell you Haile S., not only do you capture the arduous trek but the essence of that generation whose world was about to be rattled by forced conscription under Key Shibber… before it arrived in Asmara I left packing as well with the blessing of my parents who couldn’t bring themselves to tell me as they had just bide farewell to my older brother and my cousins from Addis Ababa a couple months later…mine came about 6-8 months later… but when I told them I wanted to leave they were relieved that it came from me, and gave their blessings; my mother accompanyed us four friends all the way to Keren.

        …this surreal reality of our generation that you capture speaks to me on so many fronts I can keep going as our fleeing seemed to not only share the same reasoning, but also the same month and almost the same week. You went the direction of Dekemhare… on the 1st of September; mine was the 9th of September, 1977 crossing the Bloco of Asmara toward Keren…for that reason this piece is closer to heart than any story I read. Thank you for deciding to share it…”a glimpse from the sidewalk of the Boulevard” that I can vividly see in my mind’s eye at a safe remove now. It must be the French, Amhairc and Tigrinya languages combined that they get churned in your mind to come out with such vivid quips as the title and here is one that is aching to be quoted:

        “My only consolation from the pain was that sweet and tasty shahi (tea) prepared on a wood fire, that I sipped on the way, on that never-detergent-washed blue-black galvanized kettle with reverberating lid from the steam, covered with layers of soot on the outside and by gluey adhering leaves on the inside.”

        Only a wordsmith can come up with this apt descriptor of the not so stout Eritrean kettle that announces its readiness for consumption by “reverberating” its “lid from the steam”. What a picturesque description. Hope you keep on writing bro. I mean that really. If you don’t believe me, believe our master story teller who has just now told you that…and you know when he says it, because it is “good read”.


        • Haile S.

          Selamat Beyan, Mahmoud, Emma and all,
          Beyan, what a concidence! Mine was a short excursion. Yours appear to be a very long journee with more adventures. I look forward to hearing it, hoping you will elevate it above an article. If we don’t tell the stories ourselves the hunters of substantiation who are already asking us how come we forgot our cellphones to document the events will be asking for our DNA proof in the sands of our claims. I am referring to Ayneta’s comment.
          Mahmoud, now knowing you at Awateland, I cannot refrain from seeing in you the Wedi metaHit that I had the honor to know for a couple of days.
          Emma, thank you for telling about similar encounter. Friends, those who came back home like me told me similar observations.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat,

            The title of your piece is excellent, for it depicts the story even before reading it. The reader can anticipate what will be coming in the story from the title. You are a good writer. Keep up.