In an upscale roar, our youth (EYC-EYSC) made a three-days event that went to history books. The demonstration that called for the end of dictatorship in front the Eritrean embassy, and the two-day messages, debates and the passing of action oriented visions were the signatures of the events. The enthusiasm and the burning spirit can be read from their faces. I hope this is not part of the natural rhythm that comes with a new political movement only to quench the temporary fire and brimstone – a proliferation of political spots. If success was to be measured by the three days event, it was astoundingly successful by all accounts – an Eritrean version politi-fact.
Needless to say, and to allay to the fears of others, I must pivot more slowly and less far than I otherwise might. The hitch of our young as they go forward is the push and pull of the Eritrean politics. The solution to the challenge is simple: pivoting to the center and avoiding awkward positions. For now the youth’s stewardship of Eritrean politics is evolving tremendously in a fast paced environment with a well crafted political hit to redeem the Eritrean people.
Obviously, the conference was showered by different speakers. Like Singletary, Haile Kiflai a man of “urgency” gave a mesmerizing speech about the role of our youth in the current revolution. Haile highlighted the urgency of redeeming our people. The pioneer of youth Dr. Harnet spoke about action-oriented strategy to root out the regime. Indeed the young doctor clearly pointed out the missing-link to the current struggle. Like Florence Nightingale, the lady with the lamp, Selam Kidane also roared with the message of “peace and hope” in the conference. Selam stressed that peace is still possible in the Horn of Africa. Oh yes, like Sheri Reinhardt, the voice of humanity, Elsa Chyrum also came to pass a message of compassion and saving the life of our refugees, accompanied with pictures that forces tears from our eyes; for most of us it was difficult to watch. No wonder we find the reality so hard to deal with.
Then there was a lively debate between Yosief G/hiwet and Gezae Zeresenai on the topic “Eritrean solutions for Eritrean problems.” Have you ever had one of those moments where you can’t stop laughing? Yosief’s skill in sprinkling metaphors and humors to his argument as he always does in his writing, exploded the conferees with unstoppable laughing. It reminds me of a baby who can’t stop laughing at a vacuum. Good moment which makes you smile, giggle or laugh is something everyone looks forward to; we had it and every body enjoyed the debate. Yosief stressed the need of an external pressure to expedite the fall of the regime, while Gezae’s position was a kind of “bitzefrna”- we can do it by ourselves. Following the debate was the panel discussion moderated by our young and energetic journalist Amanuel Eyasu. The panelists were: George G/sellesie, Aron Haile, Zekarias Kabreab, and Isayas Sium. The topic was “what it takes to be an Eritrean activist.” Amanuel has the ability of creating interactive and engaging discussions by addressing the hot topics of our time. He kept the discussion focused on the program topic so that the learning objectives can be achieved within the allotted time. I believe there was one tangible lesson that was learned from the panel discussion and that is the difference between activism and opposition. The interaction of the panelist with the audience on the floor was commendable. The event offered to us the opportunity to interact and listen to/with panelists.
You and your strategy
To learn riding a bike, you must solve two problems: the pedaling and the balance problem. Training on wheels solves only the pedaling problem – that is the easy one. Learning to balance on a bike is much more difficult. Leadership is stewardship. To be a leader one needs to have “vision” and “strategy”. To lay down a vision is relatively easy. But to find a strategy to pursue your vision is really difficult, the same as learning to balance on a bike. In a social revolution the strategy demands bringing all the social groups into the equation, and it is not easy to balance.
In all too many arenas, we see leaders holding nothing in trust for those they purport to serve. That is what happened to our nation. You the youth will be the custodian of our nation and its people. In other words, you will be the guardian or the caretaker.
In your “vision for swift victory” specifically the “three declared goals” , the EYSC continues to call for (a) immediate resignation of Isaias Afeworki (b) immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience (c) the end of the campaign of slavery disguised as national service. These goals will not match the speed at which the fabric of our society is going downhill. It means you are demanding. You are not fighting to dismantle the state apparatus that created the whole suffering. Your vision should stand on a solid ground of declared goals. I look forward for a fast evolution on this soft approach that doesn’t guarantee a swift victory as the title of your vision promotes.
Besides, your strategy, “the road to victory”, underlined two important issues: the need for an “Eritrean unity” and the purpose to “defeat and depose the evil system.” Your declared goals as noted above will not defeat and depose the system. I believe you need to harmonize your vision and your strategy. William de Witt Hyde says: “Live in active voice rather than passive. Think more about [what] you [make] happen than what is happening to you.” Therefore think of what you could make happen than what is happening.
Even the casual observer of roses (I am) will notice the climbing roses, free of black spot and puts up a fair repeat of bloom during the growing season. Climbing roses are real eye-catchers. In the EYC-EYSC conference I have seen many hopeful youth, vigorous and keenly organized for that setting of the youth conference. To mention some from the many, Daniel G. Michael, Solomon Gerbeyesus, Issayas Sium, Dr Harnet Bokrezion aka as Miriam, Zakarias kebreab, Micheal Andegiorgis who where real eye catchers like climbing roses. I saw the seeds of leadership in these new generation, free of baggage without mental encumbrances. They are new school of “realist” innately positioned for noble public servant in the current struggle. They have receptive ears ready to learn with an accommodating mindset. They look open to appeal and challenge, and aware of any peremptory decision that affect the fabric of our society on the basis of specious argument. In fact it was clearly demonstrated by Daniel G.Michael as chairperson when he faced the challenging questions. Daniel was brilliant at summarizing key learning points. At long last our youth EYSC showed us the way.
Wisdom up for grab
The fact is that many of us live in a culture that celebrates worthless and pointless values. We need to demystify those cultures. Freeing yourself from clutters will have an immediate effect on what you do. You will feel calmer and more relaxed on doing the action of your choice. You will know where every thing and how you will sort it out. You will find yourself more productive and effective in the things that you do. Remember if one is out of balance the rest will suffer. Know the logic and science, and then you will find the chemistry that links you to the reality. Tackle the clutter and mess, one item at time. The best remedy is “action” as the good doctor Harnet shared her wisdom with all of us. Begin and bypass the crashing boor and it will be the day that will never return. Our struggle is tough and you need to dare it.
On your road to victory, you call for the Eritrean people to unite and take a swift action against the regime. Extend your hand to your sisterly youth organizations everywhere in Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and Ethiopia to forge your unity to assure the transfer of the torch to take the stock of our nation. Remember that, still the shadow of our past is haunting our nation’s future. The nation’s future strictly depends on the young generation. Tomorrow will be a fair game and fair play as we put the entire burden on our youth.
Catherin Pulsifer keeps reminding us about the true test of life and how we face the challenges: “the true test in life does not occur when all is going well. The true test takes place when we are faced with challenges.” The true test of you life is now, the current struggle of your choice. If you get hit by setbacks, be strong and resilient. Don’t expect fewer bumps and quick success for there is no shortcut for the battle you are waging. It is all about finding what works, how to bounce, and be flexible enough to meet the challenges. Wish you all the success.