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A Sample Of The Eritrean Grief

The following was posted as a comment on Awate Forum; it is a profound story that we decided to make it a feature article

Tesfabirhan, the author of the article stated, “my story is a drop in an ocean I am just lucky to be able to write about my family; there are families with no one tell their stories.”

Compared to the number of beleaguered and suffering Eritreans, the stories that are made public are, indeed, “a drop in an ocean.” Those who boldly decided to be the voice of the voiceless are depressingly few.

Such stories are the reason for the stampede of young and old Eritreans to leave the country. And these are the kind of victims whose sufferings that the Eritreans embassies worldwide perpetuate.// Editor


Let me share my story with you. Some people don’t know what every Eritreans are facing, yet they comment just for the sake of commenting. Let me share with you what my family has been going through for many years.

My brother is the one who made me to be who I am today. When I was a university student in Eritrea, he decided to take care of our entire family and took the full responsibility of caring for the ten members of our family. At that time six out of the ten were students: one was serving in the military, he was married and a father; a married sister was a mother of three, and her husband was serving in the military. My brother was also served in the military for four years before he decided to abscond, hide, and work to care for the family. After working for two years while hiding in a small family garden, until 2006, life became so difficult for him and he couldn’t continue working under the circumstances anymore.

The government took my mother away and kept her in prison. My father was working as a local administrator and they wanted him to serve them while keeping my mother in prison. That impacted my brother who had no option left but to give himself up and he went into prison where he stayed for one year before he was freed. That was in September 2007.

My brother was able to attend my university graduation ceremony, which was held in 2007. That evening he told me that he can’t live in Eritrea anymore. Together with a close of his, who was in an almost similar situation, they decided to flee outside Eritrea. Their escape was an eight days journey to the Sudanese border. They crossed the border to Sudan and went to the Shegerab refugee camp where Eritrean refugees are camped for decades. My brother stayed there for three months. He had no one he knew living overseas to provide any support for him and he struggled and survived there for three months. Eventually he was able to leave the camp and reach to Khartoum after he received some money from home.

Life was hard in Sudan and he worked equally hard because he wanted to help his family who were still in Eritrea. Fortunately, he had many skills in construction and agriculture. While he lived in the Sudan, he managed to survive and even to help our two sisters who faced trouble after they decided to flee Eritrea–human smugglers holding them hostage asked for a ransom and my brother was the only one who was supposed to help. He also managed to help and finally my sisters joined him.

Until 2009, I had no income at all and our family continued to be dependent on my brother. At that time, I was just beginning to be able to support myself, but yet, I was unable to support my family at home.

My brother continued to bear the burden of supporting our family responsibility until December 27, 2012 when he dialed a “missed-call” to me. I returned his call and he told me he was severely ill. Three days later he passed away. May he Rest in Peace.

Through his support, I am who I am now.

One of my sisters now she is living in Canada. Another is living in Italy (she has a shocking experience but she didn’t want to tell me the details). My youngest brother also had similar unfortunate experience; he finally crossed the Mediterranean Sea this summer. He is now living in Norway.

My father, who was shocked over the death of his son to the extent that now he unable even to control himself. My mother, who carried and gave birth to eight children, is now alone, with no one around even to help her fetch firewood.

My older brother, a second round national service, was inflicted with Tuberculosis, and he was elated when they gave him a leave: he thought it is a good opportunity to work (the national service member who was happy because he was wounded reminded me of my brother). My brother started to work. But since he was not able to take his medicine properly, he was infected for a second time. But after some time, started to work again. But he was infected for a third time, though luckily he didn’t die. He spent six-months in a military hospital. Sadly, now he is almost paralyzed, but we are lucky he is still alive—this brother is a husband and a father of five.

I still have another brother who is under thirty years of age and he is still living in Eritrea; a father of three children, he is tied up in the national service.

My sister, a mother of four children, already has her oldest daughter doing the national service.

And myself? I am a student who just finished my MA degree program and who depends on scholarships for his daily life. I am also a husband and a father too, though separated by a sea of injustice from my family whom I miss so much.

Imagine now: if what you read in just a sample, a tragedy of a single Eritrean family, what is the cumulative, national pain that Eritreans are going through!

A mother of eight children, yet no one around to fetch her firewood and water; a father of eight children has no one of them around to assure him, “here I am, father”.

The above story is my personal story, the story of what my family went through and what they real situation they are facing. I feel the pain of my mother, her sorrow, her loneliness, and her anguish. I feel the grief of my heartbroken father. None of us is around when he needs us most in his old age, we are forced not to be around. Incidentally, these are the type of helpless people that the Nobel prize nominee, Abba Mussie Zerai, has been helping.

And I miss my brother. I hear echoes of his voice coming from the grave, talking to me, “where are you, Tesfabirhan? Are you around? Are you fulfilling our dreams? How is mother doing? Don’t let our father sit alone? Be with him.”

And I am living in France, helpless, unable to help my three year old child still stranded in the middle of the way to join me but couldn’t because of a piece of paper, a passport problem! This is the pain from within, cutting my guts.

Yet, I didn’t narrate the stories of my uncle, my aunt, my extended family and my friends—how shocking do you think that would be? But let me conclude by telling you about the suffering of my aunt:  she is a mother who lost four of her sons during the liberation struggle. Now she is living alone, always crying, in a small house in a village—in a house has no electricity. Her beloved sons fought to bring light to Eritrea, yet, their almost eighty years old mother, like many Eritreans, lives in a dark room.

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  • robi

    henok, I would write a number of paragraphs in his paragraphs, but it is a waste of time. there are many inconsistencies in his writing, many of them are false, but above all he was doing only for his benefit. Any way all the of The GA know him, how tes is..

  • PTS

    Hope,
    I believe you are more than capable to translate it. Come on man, have the GUT!

    • Hope

      Ha ha ha PTS:
      I thought u were my friend!
      As an Eritrean,YES indeed, I have a Courage and the GUT of the guts to do and to achieve the unachievable but I am labeled as ” Incoherent” @awate.com even to comment let alone to translate things…,,
      I can do it in Blin and Tigrayit as well,unless Mahmouday says NO!
      My English and Arabic are Elementary at this stage!

  • Asmera

    TODAY I FEEL VERY SORRY, IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING IN THIS WORLD?

    BUT I HAVE A QUESTION FOR ALL ERITREANS. WHY SUCH HORRIBLE IS HAPPENING TO YOU PEOPLE?

    May God help you, we need to pray for this people who are really suffering.

    MY brother I have never forget you, I wish Allmaight God will heal you

    Your true story removed the question I had on Eritreans, from my heart. From now on wards Eritreans are also my brothers like Ethiopians. We were one, but the situations forced us away from each other.

  • Agame guy

    It is our land. Badme Shire is Tigray. The Hamasen farmers migrated there during the “Anbetta Famine”

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Negash,

    Thank you.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear tes and all awate friends,

    “The Nobel Peace Prize for 2015 is awarded to this Quartet, not to the four individual organizations as such,” the committee said. Congratulation, they deserve it. one of friends in face book said Abba Musie zerai he didn’t step up For his Recognition. He step up to do GOD’s WORK with his Angels Faith . His Rewards is not from this Earth it’s from the Above. The best Is yet to come he is always a winner. ” yes ended he remain the winner forever.

    A Tunisian democracy group won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its contributions to the first and most successful Arab Spring movement. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/the-tunisian-national-dialogue-quartet-wins-the-2015-nobel-peace-prize

    peaceful struggle, and finding solutions for common problems is here important lesson.

    • tes

      Dear Kokhob Selam,

      Thanks for the update. I also followed a direct report (live). What makes me proud is that the Eritrean tragedy and a fight to help for those victims is now widely recognized. I hope COIE report again to press more issues to bring those criminals to court.

      The achievement of Abba Musie Zerai is achievement of those who are fighting for justice.

      Kudos to Abba Musie, kudos to all those who are fighting to stop suffering of Eritreans.

      tes

  • Aklilu Hailu

    Hi Amanuel, My line of argument is to debunk and chip off another piece of lie on the Ghedli narration of history. The lie that Haile Selassie forcefully annexed and colonized Eritrea. The truth of the matter is that Eritrean people voted for the unionist party overwhelmingly to give them majority seat in the parliament and it was this party that was responsible for replacing the flag, changing the official language and finally dissolving the union. Ethiopia was a reluctant party in all of these and rejected the move for union two times before finally approving it on the third time. However, this narrative of history is not accepted by some Eritreans because it goes counter against the lies of the Ghedli version of story.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear halew,
    I think you mean to say Ethiopia should return the places legally decided to be Eritrea.Even by mistake? do yo mean that? so here I have corrected your post at least by mistake ! Lol.

    My friend , I do stand with you that the legally decided land should be handed over to Eritrea. but to whom should be handed over? to Eritrean people, isn’t it? who are Eritrean people? is that PFDJ? show me the proof that this group represents you and me. if not let it stay there, anyhow the entire nation is on fire.

  • PTS

    Hello all,
    Few days ago we had General Bitweded Abraha’s (GBA) testimony released on audio and now the video part of it is made public (link below). Credit goes to iron lady, Elsa Chirum, and other contributors behind the door. The major websites are displaying it and I hope AT is working on transcript because his speech is a national address that deserves publicity. He said it took us 50 years to gain independence, and it will take another 50 years to gain justice and freedom. So true!

    For a long time, I had read and heard that his run ins with Isaias has to do with Ethiopia’s use of Assab port in unprofessional and un-transparency way. On his testimony, GBA mentioned that in passing as being the cause for his imprisonment. But he didn’t elaborate. So having heard his own words, his case is crystal clear to me and what was wriiten about this case appears to be accurate. It is truly heartbreaking that aside from few months, he wasted ALL of his after-independence life in dungeon. If there are Eritreans with that fate, it must be very few. A small solace in this is to have his statement recorded and made it to public domain. I wish The Papayos, Asters, Senaits, Miriams and so many civilian and tegadelty prisoners had their case recorded and released like that.

    The question now is as to what effect the esposè will have on pro-regime Eritreans. I actually think GBA’s case is stronger than G-15’s as far as exposing the President goes. Logically, GBA’s seemingly strict approach to Ethiopia’s use of port (if we can call it that) should please the anti-woyane Isaias supporters. This should elate them. On the other hand, if Isaias is the jailer, sympathizing with the General would defeat the whole purpose of supporting the tyrant, as the support seems for who he is and regardless of what he does. It is quite a conflict of interest!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4MpG-DxLHPY

    • Semere Andom

      Thanks PST: Assenna also played it with an introduction
      This is out of this Eritrea, he is the first victim of PFDJ/EPLF torture to have healthy mind courage, reconciliatory , forgiving , determined, clarity of vision for his life and gutsy. I hope he is still not broken.
      His story is, sad to say but a typical story of many, many people after him and before him. The difference is he had the courage to speak about it in Eritrea, he was not broken. He also, I heard wrote a book or two, he also mentioned it in passing
      As to w hat effect it will have in the PFDJ supporters: NOTHING. This is made for human beings. The PFDJ supporters are not anti-Woyane, they are pro-IA, if IA says let us give one port to Ethiopia, they will find a reason to justify it. It is not because GBA was anti-Woyane that landed him in prison but it was because he dared IA
      Mahmuday, his use of language is different, are you sure he was in EPLF Sahel 🙂
      It is not because GBA was opposing Woyane that landed him in prison it was because he dared IA

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear Semere
        Bitew has left a historic speech. I’m elated beyond imagination that this speech has been preserved and now made public. Bitew is true to his character, as you can see, he touched almost everything that we are talking about now. He showed reason. He showed control, and he showed foresightedness. I can assure you, he portrayed the true character of the real, unadulterated and uncorrupted original Eritrean person (tegadalay and civil) of that time (the time Bitew was arrested, 1991). He reminded me of the debates we were doing in meetings, many of them led by IA (regretfully, none are made public to show the readiness of tegadalay of that time to pass power to the people).
        People need to take this in conjunction with interviews Haile DuruE, Petros, Ogbe, Sherifo…did with Dan Connell,now translated to Tigrigna by Ruth H/Mariam and posted on Assenna.com. People will have a good insight into what was going on in that transitional period as well as the history part. I think what is more interesting will be 91-2001. Here people will see the constant debate and frictions between forces that wanted progress (transition to constitutional democracy) and few individuals who were dragging their feet. For instance, DuruE says that in a CC meeting in 1991, three proposals were presented as regarding to the fate of EPLF and the way forward. Continuing EPLF as transitional force, dissolving it and allowing the formation of parties, or creating a broad based front, thus came the creation of PFDJ, including of private and individuals (constitution making)…etc. That means the conservatives won.
        Coming to your comment, I agree that Bitew has left a monumental speech. People speak about Abe’s speech in Gettysburg, although they are of different historical significance, Bitew’s speech is more powerful and far reaching; it will be studied for ever; he has left a reminder of a squandered time. I feel bad about the rest but nothing moves me like this one. The question is: do we use these interviews of those leaders and Bitew’s speech as tools or we shun them as having been said by “EPLF leaders”? I really thank you Semere for giving these materials (your comments and your article) the attention they need and in the manner they should be treated. These are our resources when we “We have been cheated…”; these are our evidences when we say ” “we fought for the liberation of our people”, these should be tools when we try to persuade doubters and rebuff the manufactured narrations of deniers. They belong to all of us. They are the sons of the gallant Eritrean Revolution.
        As for books that Bitew might have written, I’m aware of them, they were in editing phase. I hope they are preserved, but beyond that I can’t say anything. Some individuals have already paid in jail terms for things related to the books and other materials.

  • Negash

    Greetings Tes, very touching story. I hope you will be reunited with your family soon in your beautiful town or village.

  • Aklilu Hailu

    Dear tes,
    Ethiopia and Eritrea lived in relative peace and prosperity as a federation from 1952-1962. The unionist were the first ones to start chipping on the rights of Eritrean people by changing the official language to Amharic, replacing the federation flag by the Ethiopian flag etc etc to finally bring about the dissolution of the federation in 1962. Remember the ELF (Jebha) was officially formed around the same year the federation was dissolved and they gained momentum after the dissolution of the federation. The unionists were the first ones who started infringing on the rights of the Eritrean people and when it became a full blown war, there will be horrible crimes committed by soldiers on innocent people. Strangely, I don’t see the unionists being held accountable for their activities on most Eritrean narration of history. Maybe it is because their action which helped galvanize the Eritrean support for ELF. Mr Johar can elaborate on this but the ELF were a small scale guerrilla rebels fighting for Eritrean independence before the dissolution of the federation. But the dissolution of the federation invoked a strong sense of nationalism and Eritrean youths started joining them in the droves. But the action of the unionist was what broke the cordial relation between Ethiopia and Eritrea and it was the spark that changed the independence movement from small scale rebels into a well organized army. But then again, I find it strange that this part of history is not found in most narration of modern Eritrean history. The accountability of the unionist is minimized or sometimes their action esp taking down of the federation flag and changing of the language is painted as the work of HIM. Maybe speaking strongly against the unionist may sound indirectly supporting the federation which runs against the independence philosophy. Maybe it fits the narration that all Eritrean problems are caused by Ethiopia. I don’t know. But all I can say is that Eritreans need to read their history using different sources not the one that was written during war times and still being written to invoke strong resentment towards Ethiopian and galvanize support for the armed struggle. The armed struggle is over now and the purpose of that narrative of history has done it’s job. Now it is a new era and it’s time to look into history with fresh eyes.
    Peace be with you.

    • tes

      Dear Aklilu Hailu,

      Eritreans who supported at that time union were not themselves free. They were agents not actors. Haile Sillasie was the actor of the evil acts. But that does not mean those who played their role agents of unionism are free of guiltiness. Nevertheless, the independence block was much stronger than the unionists. And Ethiopia figured that and wanted to involve directly. Most of those who were advocating for union later on regretted for their acts. And some even became active leaders within the Eritrean revolution. And some were used and thrown by Ethiopia.

      Saying that I believe Eritrean history is not yet well documented and written. I hope there is time to write the history without partiality.

      tes

      • Aklilu Hailu

        Hi tes,

        I’m not surprised by your narrative of unionists. In fact I have seen Tedla Bairu the architect of the unionist faction hailed as a hero after doing his dirty deed and then changing his mind to join the independence movement. The funny thing is that when the unionist party brought the dissolved Eritrean federation on a silver platter to the Emperor they were expecting to be rewarded. The Emperor instead rewarded the independents with titles and high level positions. The unionist like Tedla Bairu felt slighted by this and joined the liberation movement. You won’t read about this part in the Eritrean historical narrative. Instead its usually written as him having an epiphany and changing his mind. But maybe this is the crux of the Eritrean problem. Believing someone to be your leader regardless of their action as long as they sing you the tune you’d like to hear. But Eritrea being repeatedly used by power/status hungry individuals in the name of the Eritrean “freedom” is truly a sad tragedy of the 20th/21st century.

        • tes

          Dear Aklilu Hailu,

          If you are opening the book of Unionists and try to narrate Eritrean history from that perceptive, all I can say is your line of thinking is that of YG. If so your argument will read like this: “Eritreans were enjoying the privileges given to them by Emperor Haile Sellaise, the great Emperor, his Majesty”. And indeed you are saying it.

          You have put, “The funny thing is that when the unionist party brought the dissolved Eritrean federation on a silver platter to the Emperor they were expecting to be rewarded.” Yes you are right Aklilu Hailu. Those who acted as agents were power hungry men whose sole purpose was just to be rewarded with prestigious naming and positions.

          What you are purposefully not mentioning is that Haile Sillaisi’s interest. His majesty, as I prefer to call him so that you can be pleased, is smart enough what he will do next. he was playing a smart but a foolish game of deception. First he deceived himself by believing Eritreans are power hungry and all they need is titles. And second, he believed that no one will boycott his plan to engulf Eritrea. In both assumptions he failed terribly.

          Then, close your unionist book and speak on reality. To ask you again, “why Ethiopia was interested to invest heavily in wiping out Eritrean people since 1950s?”

          Did you forget that Ethiopian motto was “We need the land not the people?”

          Just asking if you can be at least humane when you speak about reality. If not, it is a mere day dream to respond honestly.

          tes

          • Music Novice

            Greetings tes (the brave),

            Do you believe that YG’s line of thinking is Unionist?

            If so, can you provide direct quotations to support your claim?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam MN,

            He told us (paraphrasing it) that Ghedli was launched in search of identity while they have already an identity. But of course you can’t see this statement without the context of the entire of his argument. The identity that he was referring was, the identity as part of Ethiopian identity the – Habesha identity. You need to revise the project of his writing.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Amanuel H.,

            To have ‘Unionist line of thinking’ at the present means a line of thinking that wants to reverse the current status quo of Eritrea in order to achieve a Union with Ethiopia.

            Can you provide direct YG quotations to support your claim?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mn,

            You have the audacity to ask word to word. If you haven’t been following his writing I gave you the hint and if you are eager to know it, help yourself to make a little research. We have been debating for years his argument. If it was or wasn’t unionist thinking, you can only come to it when you read it. Please don’t ask questions without reading them.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Amanuel H.,

            If you want to build a democratic Eritrea, the work starts here. You need to lead by example. So, it is better to calm down and argue your case.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam MN,

            We did it already, you could continue recycling his argument and have fun on it.

          • Negash

            Dear Mr. Amaniel, if you watch this video, you will conclusively know where yg stands, union or no union. It is a 4.5 minute video but you need only watch the last 1.5 minutes if you cannot stand him. youtube dot com/watch?v=ZU_UDIe2uFo

          • Negash

            Selam MN, YG’s thinking is that the Eritrean elites were searching for an alien identity – Italian for the Asmarinos and Arab for the lowland elites. that triggered Ghedli. he never officially declared he wants reunion – that is an impossibility…he wants people to know who they are exactly and solutions will follow. How many Eritreans do you know who say ‘nhna eko areb ena nmesil’ or ‘ezi tsibuk bahli eko b tilian ziteatatewe eyu…’ etc.? The way I understand him, he wants people (highlanders in specifically to be proud of their habesha identity. I been reading the posts in this website a long time ago and i can tell u he is not popular around here. so better to focus on other things to influence opinion. but he is on to something. not sure where he is these days tho.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Negash,

            So far nobody is willing or able to provide a direct quote to back their claim.

            Therefore, I conclude that the accusation that YG has ‘Unionist line of thinking’ is a counsel of despair, i.e. if all accusations fail then throw in the ‘he is a Unionist card’.

          • Negash

            MN, go to youtube dot com then /watch?v=Iy08z64z_vw.

          • tes

            Dear Musie Novice,

            YG has been challenged and chopped into pieces. I use him just as an example of hopeless people.

            tes

          • Music Novice

            Greetings tes,

            I only asked you to provide direct quotations to support your claim that YG’s line of thinking is Unionist; not about chopping into pieces. So, could you kindly answer my question.

          • tes

            Dear Music Novice,

            Quoting from articles written within a time span of 10 yrs is not easy. I would rather advice you to revisit him. In fact my understanding on YG is not some one who advocates for unionism but a dead soul individual who talks on the past and has no any trace of present and future perspective.

            Therefore when I talk about YG, it was all about the past, the dead soul’s man perspective. And so far I didn’t come to be aware of group of people who are advocating for Union. but there are opportunists, I call them business people, who are looking for the fall of Eritrea and probably sell the land to mama Ethiopia. I see those kind of people but not the other way round.

            And when I brought YG in the discussion, it was in reference to 1960s not in 2015s perspective. I did that because YG never lived in 2010s.

            tes

          • Music Novice

            Greetings tes,

            You said: “In fact my understanding on YG is not some one who advocates for unionism …”

            and: “when I brought YG in the discussion, it was in reference to 1960s …”

            Thank you for the clarification.

          • tes

            Dear Music Novice,

            I didn’t thought that you can be pleased with this abstract sentence. Read it and you will understand what it mean. A dead person can not advocate any kind. This is the core message.

            But it is good that you are satisfied.

            tes

          • Music Novice

            Greetings tes,

            You need to loosen up a bit, like relaxing before you answer a question. In any case, I am happy to hear that you are happy that I am happy with your response.

          • Abi

            Tes
            Who challenged YG? Not you. You wrote a two-part article in ” dismantling” YG and ended up supporting him. You said “ghedli was brainwashed “.
            Tes, YG is not in your league.
            Stay calm and collected. Please don’t use ” chopping” for a fellow human being. It is ugly .

          • Aklilu Hailu

            Hi tes,

            I read the article ‘Romaticizing Ghedli’ and it opened my eyes into the psyche and identity of what an Eritrean means. I now understand why you don’t want to read any narrative that even remotely seems to taint the little pristine illusion you have of Ghedli. Your generation is hopeless and as long as people like you are alive Eritrea won’t be able to see the light of day. The only silver lining for Eritrea is the new generation who never share the deep resentment towards Ethiopia nor that euphoric day you broke the chains off from your Ethiopian “colonialist”. All they know is war, forced hard labor, imprisonment, mass exodus and just general strife and suffering. The Ghedli doesn’t mean anything to them. In fact they see it as the main cause that brought this suffering upon them. This generation will be the one to dust up the history books and use different sources to separate the Ghedli lies from the truths and re-write Eritrean history in a different light. This will be the generation that will pick up Eritrea from the ashes and build it to become a peaceful and developed country.

          • tes

            Dear Aklilu Hailu,

            I read “Romanticizing Ghedli” while I was in Eritrea. For me that article is a piece written by a hopeless man who betrayed his own identity.

            As for you, I won’t be surprised as it written to open the eyes of people like you who closed them out of narcissistic feudal tendencies. For you that piece was great since it helps you to remember the Meneliks and the Haile Sillases. It is a piece that reminds you a mirage of lost opportunities. More than that, the piece was just a dead piece who can awake day dreamers.

            Did you say, “Your generation is hopeless and as long as people like you are alive Eritrea won’t be able to see the light of day.”

            haha, the good thing is you are not the one who is saying it. Even PFDJ is destroying our country from the same perspective. No wonder for your hypocrisy.

            A note for you though don’t try to lecture me my own history. I have the basics.

            And still expecting your response. and to repeat the question, ”

            “why Ethiopia was interested to invest heavily in wiping out Eritrean people since 1950s?”

            tes

          • Aklilu Hailu

            Hi tes, I’m not surprised at your impression of that article. It was expected. 🙂

            To answer your question, Ethiopia is not interested in wiping out Eritreans. Maybe the Derg regime with it’s conscripted soldiers have committed some crimes against civilians but so did the EPLF/ELF. On the contrary, Ethiopians have always acted in brotherly love towards Eritreans and even to this day we are taking majority of Eritrean refugees and helping them get their life back together. Like I initially said, hate will eat you from inside out and that was why you strongly reacted to it because truth hurts. But you would like to continue on this tunnel vision of hate, fear and paranoia that the big bad wolf Ethiopia is going to wipe you out one day. Go ahead, it will only hurt you and your country.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mr.Aklilu,
            I was reading your comments and try to get the idea. what ever mistake is done in gedli is internal mater of Eritreans and let us handle it. is that okay? you may come with your suggestion on how to do it but you can’t decide. regarding Ethiopia and Eritrea as fighter for freedom let me give you final and binding solution Lol, Eritrean case as an independent nation is over already. there is no more U turn on that. now what ever you say will not change the situation. that is already past history. now what we should do is work for both nations peaceful future. we all know Ethiopians were victims too but the main reason for all that was being under that king HS. he is dead and we can’t bring him back. the revenge is creating peace and love.

            your country’s war plane destroyed my village, what do feel about it? they killed a lot of civilians including my relatives. what is your feeling about it? I still love you and all your people. read on please,

            Gedly corrupted leaders created war between my people. I lost a lot of friends, field worriers who were innocent and who don’t know even the reason behind the war. I have got 7 bullets of EPLF leadership in my body. another long sample story yet to be written here. that is Eritrea, no one escape the story and every Eritrean has story to be told. I still love those who fought against me and my party, our main aim separating and creating independent nation is a done job.

            today I want democratic and prosperous Eritrea who is good sister of Ethiopia. I think you too want that but you can’t do that by pulling the past and try to convince me I was wrong because there were inconvenient actions taken here and there.will you?

          • Aklilu Hailu

            Hi Kokhob. I think you got the wrong impression that I intend to unify Eritrea. I understand there are Ethiopians who still dream of a two unified countries but I don’t belong to that group. Unifying Eritrea comes with it own baggage of issues. Issues with your identity, cultures, tribes etc etc which Eritreans are still trying to sort out to this day. I don’t want Ethiopia to deal with these issues anymore. Cutting our ties with Eritrea was the best thing that happened ever since the king was deposed and it has allowed us to develop economically and improve the lives of our people at a pace never seen before. The only worry I have now is an Eritrean neighbor geared towards war and distracting this development by starting a war. I’m glad to hear that you also want to see a democratic and prosperous Eritrea who is good sister with Ethiopia. I hope the next leadership in Eritrea also has the same vision.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Aklilu Hailu,
            sorry if I have misunderstood you.if that is the case it is okay. It is healthy and important to think the well being of your nation. now, leave alone you an Ethiopian even me and Eritrean is worried about it as Ethiopia has really shown promising development. PFDJ has tried a lot to distract but it wasn’t possible . PFDJ will try more but through your opposition parties.I think the best solution is to attract and collect your opposition – you should work on that I think. If I am an Ethiopian I could fully work on that. you know, the external enemy never comes in, without using your internal problems.

          • tes

            Dear Aklilu Hailu,

            Hahaha, first of all, you skipped 14 years: 1961-1974. Derge came in fact when the fire was already burning Eritreans. He didn’t extinguish the fire rather he added more fuel to burn innocent people.

            and are you saying, “Maybe the Derg regime with it’s conscripted soldiers have committed some crimes against civilians..” I know why you added EPLF/ELF, your Ghedl narration, right?

            Ok dear Aklilu Hailu, well, well. You are not even sure whether Derg committed crimes or not. It is “may be” for you and worse, “some crimes”, right? You are fooling yourself, just like that of YG. Go and enjoy please YG’s article. It will help you to say, “oh we did nothing then”.

            I am sharing one of the “may be crimes” as you prefer to call them crimes committed by Ethiopian leaders. let me tell you this: I have not yet finished watching this video. It was so horrible to me. I usually skip some parts and watch again.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC44I4rZpk8

            And 0960-1974, there are documents, both documented and undocumented, that show an entire villagers murder. Saleh Ghadi can give you a first hand information.

            Dear Aklilu Hailu, history is merciless. Take not this. Helping refugees can not delete history. May be of you are thinking like that, you are fooling yourself. When you help refugees think in this way: “it is humanitarian responsibility”, no more no less.

            tes

          • Aklilu Hailu

            tes, the list of crimes committed by EPLF and ELF is actually well documented for you on the EHREA site if you care to see it. Just because they are your heroes doesn’t make them saints. Crimes were committed on both sides once the first rings of shot were fired for war. Blaming the consequences of war while turning a blind eye into who got you into the war (unionists later freedom fighters) in the first place won’t lead you anywhere.

          • tes

            Dear Aklilu Hailu,

            I am not denying what has been done to Eritreans; be it from EPLD/ELF or Ethiopia. And I am not blaming either. What I am saying is, “what has been done is true and we must respect. Whether we like it or not, Eritrean history has millions of tragedies and crimes. Saying “may be” bla bla wonn’t save us.

            You are bringing ehrea records. yes I know the database and yet I believe what has been recorded is just a cup of events from the ocean. We need to spend millions and millions of dollars to document and create a database.

            Hence I am not denying rather you are.

            My argument is: what we have, be it good or bad is Eritrean. What we have is our identity. With it, Eritrea is incomplete. If EPLF/ELF and now PFDJ did crimes, it is there and we Eritreans know it. We don’t need Ethiopians to lecture is on our own history.

            Therefore, don’t flash from one source to another. If you are for good, accept the reality and build mutual friendship based on that foundation.

            tes

          • Abi

            Tes
            You are lying big time. The article was published in 2013. You were in Eritrea in 2012. That means it was published after you left your country.
            Either he sent you the draft copy for your approval or you have no clue about what you are talking. ( as always).
            I need your help.

          • tes

            Dear Abi,

            Hahaha, ok, since you are always dead, I need to bring it to your grave. here is the document anyway

            http://www.ehrea.org/gedli2.htm

            tes

          • Semere Andom

            Abi:
            YG wrote de-romanticizing in 2003 maybe 2002 not 2013. Stand corrected 🙂

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Aklilu Hailu,

          in our history, we have seen people changing their stand and we have taken it as normal. in fact if we didn’t accept in our struggle those who were with HS, we may have lost the main part of fighters. the only thing I support from your say is that accepting such type of people in high positions was wrong. But the starters of the struggle were really innocent once. you can’t imagine they were the once who give this much power to the man called Issyas Afwerki, they gave him everything. so in general our struggle didn’t start with clear and good plan.

          see now, if you notice the awaken among us are not easy go type to be cheated and are standing in their principle. they are not giving chances to PFDJ agencies. it is because they have learnt a lot. you may not see any current leader in the future to appear on power. in fact all those debates going on are between those who were serving the devil and want the past to continue and between those who want to throw the corrupted old styled leaders like PFDJ right the to fire while giving all the respect to those old leaders who were for peace and couldn’t challenge the mafia group. The new, style is that cleaning the garbage forever while keeping the house and the family alive. this will not be done in cyber world it is a job that should be done right on the ground and promise it will be done.

          • tes

            Dear Kokhob Selam,

            What do you mean when you say, “so in general our struggle didn’t start with clear and good plan.”?

            Are you talking on specific areas: for example who will lead? or in general, as you put it?

            tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear tes,
            if I thought in general, I couldn’t be part or if still think it was wrong I will not go with it being proud of the history with all negative points. so what I am saying is the leadership then was not very well prepared to see the who can play negative role unlike today. today for example no practical (I mean it practical) party will be captured by corrupted once. that is why the filtering processes is a bit slow and making mad to some of our friends. so I am talking about specific part as you have seen. I mentioned IA for example. trust me, I will never allow that type of man to lead me at any circumstances. never.

  • Music Novice

    Greetings VF,

    “Farewell and good luck to everyone of you!”?

    But why?

    Earlier Hayat and now you, who will be next?

    Stay put and enjoy the show, with so many characters, you may also have a cigar.

  • Michaelinlondon1234

    You made your choices. Your brothers and sisters made there choices.

    So you have all deserted your parents which is not uncommon.
    Your parents followed in your grand parents steps but had better education and access to more modern medicines.
    You have done the same.
    None of you have learnt about family planning and contraception.
    All of you expect to be able to expand your family lines.
    It does not work…….
    There is about 3.5 billion people in the same situation as Eritrea and Ethiopia find them selves in today.
    You need to learn about contraception.
    You need to teach every one in the country how to grow fruit trees. Keep building dams.
    The EU can supply teachers of bureaucracy if you want more pieces of paper.
    It would be better to ask for bakers and trades to be taught so you can build the cities and towns you want.
    Regarding your aunt? So buy her a solar electric system. Led on solar powered key chains. Cost very little…Send her a set of 50. She can sell the rest. once she has sold them it becomes a business. Teach her Accounts.
    If you can make it work as trade….Then it can expand to a hardware store.

  • tes

    Dear halew,

    Are you looking lines that says, ‘he killed all my families?” And killing that you wanted to read is physical killing. The rest is how you read the piece. It is on the page and wide to public. Read and make your own conclusion.

    tes

  • Ayneta

    Dear Tes:

    Kudos to you for sharing your personal story about your family with us. It takes a strong and confident man to do that. My heart goes to your family. I can only imagine how your old folks are aching each hour, each day contemplating what is that they did wrong to deserve this tragedy. As a young father myself, It is just heartbreaking to say the least!

    Don’t be distracted by naysayers and defamers for that is why they know and that is how they justify their stand, no matter how flawed it is.Every dictator that has been on this planet had its own stout supporters no matter what. The only time these people will soften their heart is when the tragedy and injustice they so infamously deny and try to downplay finally hits their home. Only then that they will realize what it means to see your hope, dream taken away, your life perpetually imprisoned , your family put under abject fear and torment. Until that day, they will praise PFDJ as the microcosm of the best on earth, they will dismiss anyone who complain as ‘half-baked nationals who like to blackmail the good government’. They will hail the president as ‘ the only selfless leader’ that can take Eritrea to its utopia. One of them at Awate has recently even gone furthest to say the president is ‘the prophet’ that God sent to Eritrea as if God run out of prophets! There is just no limit when one depersonalizes from reality!

    From the good book, we know that nothing new can come under the Sun. From history, we know that no dictator is benevolent. All dictators, no matter when or where they reign, share the same personality, use same pretexts and deploy the same tools. No matter how one tries to paint them, reconstruct them, one cant change what they are. It is in their culture, values, mentality, policy. Once a dictator, one is always a dictator ( sounds familiar- once a rapist always a rapists?). Dictatorship is one way street. The very nature of it does not allow for U-turn. There is no science nor Voodoo to turn a dictator to its benevolent form. It is only a matter of time before the current president turn the whole country to absolute ash. Sometimes, I despair when I think of the future of our beloved country. For good or bad, Eritrea’s history is inherently interlinked with the armed struggle and post-struggle Eritrea is miserably failing us, especially the younger generation whose attachment with the country begins after independence. The same generation has preferred to flee than confront the very system that has subjected them to unimaginable atrocities. Exodus has become a learned behavour in Eritrea, a very worrisome mass behavior. We have failed before we even started taking the first baby steps as nation and people. I wonder if ever we will be able to walk at all after all this. When the dust settles, the rain pours down, the Sun sets in , will we be able to gather it up all and reclaim the free, fair Eritrea that has eluded us for so long? I hope I am wrong.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your personal tragedy. Like I said earlier, it takes a strong man to do that!

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      At what point are you going to realise it is breeding like rabbits that is causing the problems..Not government.

  • Goytom

    What can we except cry after reading each ones account. Things like ajoka or kHalfyu lose meaning after having been said sooo many times

  • PTS

    Dear tes,
    Thanks for sharing this sad story. May your brother RIP.
    I can see that you’ve coped quite well. I think it has made you stronger in facing day to day life.
    Keep up the positive attitude.

    • tes

      Dear PTS,

      Your comments reminds me what Africans learned from colonizers in the early 1960s.

      The whites brought with them a Bible and they taught Africans to pray while closing their eyes. Then they started to practice by closing their eyes and Bible in the hand. When they finished their praying they found that their land was taken by the Whites.

      PFDJ, unlike the Whites even didn’t teach anything rather he tortured and killed Eritreans on day time. He let our eyes open and see what he does. And his objective was to create FEAR and anxiety, sorrow and anguish, to be filled with grief.

      Then, Eritreans learned their grief is not the solution. Above all they see who was the source of these griefs. and how he commits those crimes. Then they decided to stood against. The grief is increasing from day to day and parallel to that the heart is getting stronger and stronger to overcome the grief and fight against the source. This is what I am doing.

      I am relatively ok compared to many. But the grief of others is my grief. Hence I equally feel the pain of the most infected Eritrean citizen and I stood with 100% firmness to fight against the source and the source is PFDJ.

      Saying that lets not be over taken by grief. That is what PFDJ wants us to be, just to vanish without a trace.

      tes

      • PTS

        Hey tes,
        How did my comment relate to what the Europeans did to Africans? Funny.
        Anyway, here is a question for you. As the saying goes, the Italians allowed Eritreans to eat but not to speak; The Brits allowed us to speak but not to eat; the Ethiopians said don’t eat and don’t speak; and the PFDJ toped them all: it said don’t eat, don’t speak and don’t sleep.
        From public wellness angle (forget sovereignty for now), who would you rather have rule Eritrea at this point?

        • tes

          Dear PTS,

          My point was not on coined on the first part. I just wanted to induce something. My point was how we can still be alerted while we are damaged heavily. As I said, PFDJ’s objective is against life and we are victims of this policy.

          All I did was to confirm my status and how I over-come the grief. As you said it to me, I am calling for all victims by saying, “Lets not then therefore be absorbed by grief. We can weed-out the cause together.

          tes

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Dawit:
    can you add to yoru nick this ” this is not dawit” so readers can distinguish you from dawit

  • Semere Andom

    Hi All:
    Is sensitivity learned or in born? Can someone work on his sensitivity to improve it?
    Is it from nature or from nurture?
    Is pleading with someone to show some sensitivity in vain?
    Have you noticed something after Tesfabrihan shared his story, there are 3 people who were in sensitive in their own unique styles. And these people can polish, their lines, they can begin their comments with salutations, they can be mild but they are in capable to be sensitive. You say I am exaggerating every human being has some degree of sensitivity. But I ask you what is human? Does human only entail the physical tangible aspects: a heart pumping blood, kidneys flashing the sewage, they have legs and arms and they can reproduce liken any human being endowed with eggs and sperm cells.
    But that kind of robotic human being will easily be made in the lab soon with the advent of new technology, but human being also entails some intangible aspects that these among us are lacking. They would go ballistic when IA is challenged but cannot feel anything when their fellow human is suffering, in the contrary they will help the suffering with words and their actions.
    So do not exhaust your energy, they will not learn sensitivity, it is not in them, science has name for them, they are called psychopath , some accomplished some buddying and aspiring to be accomplished.
    within their weird insights , within their unhinged comments, there is “treasure”, a “treasure” for dictator, a human being that is incapable to be sensitive

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Semere,
      A simple answer (with no detail to it) – Sensitivity is both “acquired” (learned) and “genetic inheritance”. Acquired, because behavior psychologist told us that it can be learned or unlearned as human behavior, when especially the person is not predisposed to genetic traits. And it is inborn because as predisposition of genetic inheritance. But I warned you not to ask to make a behavior test (experimentation) in this forum.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

    • Fnote Selam

      Semere,

      Lets, for once, not give the attention to the ‘insensitive’ whose parents raised them to hate on their own oppressed side. For change, please read this piece by this amazing person, Rahawa Haile (@Rahawahaile)…..

      http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/a-low-and-distant-paradise

      Needless to say, she is amazing writer. That is only matched by her sensitivity to the suffering of her people (apparently, never being to Eritrea, partly b/se she could not bring herself to use the very airport that is forbidden to her fellow citizens……).

      Yes, alewuna, alewana!

      FS.

      • halew

        FS,

        I know Rahel close. Don’t you ( as in you anti Eritrean entities) dare bring her to your despicable low lever.

        • Fnote Selam

          Sir, good choice of pen name.

          FS.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Prof. Tes,

    Thank you for sharing, and my heart goes with you my friend.

    As ironic and as weird as it may sound, I hope you find solace in the fact that you are not singled out since similar tragedies are happening to many households in our region. Every time I need to motivate myself for some courage, I review Rose Kennedy’s (President Kennedy’s mother) tragic story of losing her children one after the other and how she coped with it with her dignity intact. She lost two sons in plane crushes, two to assassinations, and one for a brain cancer while still caring for a daughter with cognitive disabilities who eventually also died just before another daughter’s death from pneumonia.

    As if in defiance to all the powers that be, the amazing part of her life and courage is that she lived until the age of 104!

    Brother Tes,
    Along with those unavoidable sad memories, please remember your family’s smiles, their good moments, their happy days, their little differences from others, and LIVE for them!

    Selam.

    • tes

      Dear Fanti Ghana,

      When you write, “please remember your family’s smiles, their good moments, their happy days, their little differences from others, and LIVE for them!” it just flashed my mind with Ecstasy and I remembered a photo I shared of my baby today. I don’t know why I can’t upload a photo now but I wanted to share it with you that beautiful smile she feeds every time being far away from me.

      tes

      • Michaelinlondon1234

        You want a western lifestyle.Have you been taught about contraception and what Intra urinary devices are?
        An IUD is a small T-shaped device that is inserted inside a woman’s uterus
        by a medical practitioner. The IUD stays in place until it is removed
        by a medical practitioner. There are two types of IUD’s available:
        Copper IUD’s are made of plastic and
        copper. They prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from fertilizing an
        egg and preventing implantation. Copper acts as an effective spermicide
        (to destroy sperm).
        The Hormonal intrauterine system (IUS) (name brand Mirena
        and Jaydess) is made of plastic and contains a small amount of the
        progesterone hormone. The hormone is continuously being released at low
        levels to thin the lining of the uterus, thicken the cervical mucus
        making it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg, and can stop the
        release of an egg from your ovary.
        IUDs prevent conception. They do not cause an early abortion.
        How is an IUD inserted and removed?
        The procedure can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic and can be inserted postpartum or after a surgical abortion.
        IUD’s can be inserted at any time during the menstrual cycle.
        Some women experience a brief sharp cramp or sting on insertion.

        Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be done at the
        time of insertion or in advance of insertion if necessary.
        Removal of an IUD is done by a doctor or nurse during an office or clinic visit.
        There ismore info
        Taken from
        optionsforsexualhealth org

  • Solomon Haile

    Selamat tea and awatistas,

    Though not a single Eritrean wishes a joyless or difficult journey through this precious gift of life to his/her country man, this personal continuing oddysy, at least until he is reunited with his toddler child, helps me in this way: “I am not alone.” And gives me strength to overcome these temporary and passing obstacles as “this too shall pass”. I can relate with his story as I too am one of ten children yet the only one to be privilaged to leave Eritrea at the age of a kindergartner. I am dreding not only for the two of the eight SaHil born siblings that border (youngest of the eight) and the Atlantic (oldest of the eight) as their oldest brother but also for the others in the middle who may follow and what may transpire should this trend continue. Law of large numbers is frightening me indeed. As an American grown Eritrean I felt responsible for the entire Eritrean family “all for one one for all” and not much thought for my siblings in all honesty. I have been caught of guard and being the only one with access for relief for being your brothers keeper has its dire consequences as all of you can imagine. What keeps Awatista Tes and every Eritrean family going FOR SURE is the rich Eritrean history inherited from the land and the people up to the spirit from the “against all the odds” until now and beyond. What ever the causes be they the post independence causes and effects, the second war, external powers and certainly bad governance in good and bad circumstances in independent Eritrea by the lone PFDJ party necessitates CHANGE IF ONLY TO GIVE RELIEF TO A PEOPLE WHO ARE SECOND TO NONE IN PERSERVERANCE AND AN INEVITABLE VICTORY. The Eritrean people that I have grown to know from abroad for almost four decades. As I adapt to prepare and help my family of brothers and sisters as it is my Eritrean culture I remind my self the Eritrean Revolution that has always inspired me to excel has been for justice, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Eritrean households and families of all nations in our world. This is why we must unite and bring the change from within(supporters) and with out (opposition supporters) Eritrean Solution that is inspirational as tes’ brother RIP.

    TsaTse

    • tes

      Dear Solomon Haile,

      This is the quality of personality you have. I am delighted reading your lines.

      tes

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      You want a western lifestyle.Have you been taught about contraception and what Intra urinary devices are?
      An IUD is a small T-shaped device that is inserted inside a woman’s uterus
      by a medical practitioner. The IUD stays in place until it is removed
      by a medical practitioner. There are two types of IUD’s available:
      Copper IUD’s are made of plastic and
      copper. They prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from fertilizing an
      egg and preventing implantation. Copper acts as an effective spermicide
      (to destroy sperm).
      The Hormonal intrauterine system (IUS) (name brand Mirena
      and Jaydess) is made of plastic and contains a small amount of the
      progesterone hormone. The hormone is continuously being released at low
      levels to thin the lining of the uterus, thicken the cervical mucus
      making it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg, and can stop the
      release of an egg from your ovary.
      IUDs prevent conception. They do not cause an early abortion.
      How is an IUD inserted and removed?
      The procedure can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic and can be inserted postpartum or after a surgical abortion.
      IUD’s can be inserted at any time during the menstrual cycle.
      Some women experience a brief sharp cramp or sting on insertion.

      Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be done at the
      time of insertion or in advance of insertion if necessary.
      Removal of an IUD is done by a doctor or nurse during an office or clinic visit.
      There ismore info
      Taken from
      optionsforsexualhealth org
      For men…Use a condom…..

  • V.F.

    Semere, yep, that is where I was trying to get at as well – the family unit. You dismantle the families, there is nothing that can stand in front of you to destroy the fabric of the nation. I need not lecture anyone here that Eritreans and obviously everyone in Horn region is very family oriented. If any regime can effectively weaken the fabric of the family unit, then they have left you with nothing. This is the saddest part. There is no family in Eritrea that has not been affected by PFDJ’s actions. That is why they are very dangerous and a force to be reckoned with just as such, as a dangerous bunch with a very mean mission. How many of us know young mothers who come to the West leaving their small children behind because 4 years and older, you can’t get out without being demobilized officially? I can count half a dozen in 6 seconds.

    That is where PFDJ is attacking us – where it hurts the most. If they stopped at arresting high level officials, the damage would be limited and short term, as terrible as it is to the G-15 and their families. The rest of what they are doing is not easy to fix. How do we repatriate all those refugees? How do we heal the pain inflicted on individuals and families like that of Tes’s?

    It will take a long time to normalize the life and well-being of Eritreans, inside the country and abroad.

  • henok abraham

    Hi Tes. it is a very touching story. thank you very much for sharing it here with us. it is a very high time for the eritreans that every Eritrean family is experiencing similar agonies or similar stories to tell. I didnt know that you had all these burdens and frustrating family life when you were serving in Hamelmalo Agr. college. I am saying this because you were one of the most loyal GA to higdef cadres in the college and and you were very active and happy servant. dear tes most of the GAs know that even some students. because of your close friendship or relationship with Ahferom (chief higdef political cadre in Nakfa), there was a couple of misunderstanding with some of the GA members of the college and the dean of the college. some GAs still blame you for the unnecessary confrontations (not necessary to mention the confrontations) and your aggressive (emotional) political view, acting like you have all the means to control and benefit from that service. dear could you tell us also why you chose to serve higdef and their elites. was it because of your real political beliefs or was it because of some kind of relationship with your family’s background or else. It would be good if you could tell us also the reason. may be some of the people who are still accusing you or are still in grudge with you may understand the reason behind all that worthless sehabo guteto.

    Thank you

    • tes

      Dear henok abraham,

      This is very innocent question and I thank you.

      To answer your questions.

      1. I joined the college in 2006 and in 2008, I went to Cadre School in Nakfa. During the course, I used to ask thousands of questions per day and most of my questions were critical to PFDJ’s system and student’s life in our college. Because of the active participation, the school appointed me to be as head branch of PFDJ office in our college. According to PFDJ zonal structure, higher education is treated as one Zone and each college as sub-zone. Aftre assigned in that position, I started to reform student’s life. One of my immediate project was Student’s cafeteria. A group of 12 student and staff members were formed to look after the daily activity of the cafeteria. We did a commendable job and at least students enjoyed for 3 months. But we introduced very tight rules in order to change the lawless cafeteria into order. this put us in confrontation with many including GA. Some GAs were in suspection as they were not aware for what I was doing. Many simply suspected me as an agent for PFDJ. Everybody was hating PFDJ and I also became a victim. But I continued to bring a change in the college at my level best. If you were there, you will see my foot-prints I left.

      As head of PFDJ officer in the branch, I served just for 6 months. In fact, out of 6 months, I opened the office for 3 months only. My intention was not to run the office but to use it as a cover to bring a CHANGE that I advocated for during my cadre course. Then YPFDJ students of the college protested against and demanded for my resignation. the students wanted to maximize the PFDJ activity and they wanted the office to run. I was inactive in the office and they wanted it to be active. Then they called higher officials and we did an election as I accepted their demand. May be I am the only one from PFDJ office who accepted student’s demand and resigned officially.

      But I didn’t stop engaging on many activities of the college. The dean was my best inspiring friend and mentor. I won’t say more about him now. But he is one of the exceptional leaders. Some may not like him for his excessive power but the way he does things is admirable. I wish I am still working with him. He has a dream and he wants it to be realized. He is a well educated man and with great humanity. He is among the few who tried his best to keep the quality of higher education after university of Asmara was made un-operative. He worked closely with former UoA staff members to keep the academic and curriculum standards of UoA. He worked hard to open a door for GAs to go abroad and study no matter whether they come back or not. Our college was number one to send for the first time her staff members abroad. And many of us became beneficiaries. He is a very strong leader and firm on decisions. Above all he likes hard working people and those who respect the norms adapted by the college. Some GAs were not happy with him and I know why. For me, he was like my father. And those who hated him, they were also hating me. May be they were considering me as his SPY. In fact some they believed in that way. I have chatted with some and they told me honestly. But our relationship is of different in its kind: He loved my bold criticism and my contribution in my capacity.

      Second: With Ahferom. No I was not loyal but I was one of his best students. Out of 700 students at that time, my group and me as a group chairman stood second in the general research work. I was the presenter of our research work. We did a study on Challenges of Higher Education in Eritrea. Our relationship ended as Teacher-Student relationship. But he continued to appreciate me even after. My works in the college (to change student life) became a model and almost every summer, either my name or my college will be as an example of achievements done by former students. That is all about Ahfreom.

      Third: Some of GAs were for sure not OK with me. They were not sure about my activities. They wanted me to be like them, IDLE. They wanted me to be passive. They considered my activities as LOYAL work. Some of them even they were saying, ” A FOOL”, “halay” – simply because I didn’t remain SILENT. Very few and very close friends know what my REAL activity was. They knew what I was doing and why. What I did was OF POLITICAL in Nature. Not because I was affiliated with someone but an internal motive that says, “YES I can”.

      Some of my activities are now monumental.

      For example, I designed and supervised a student and teacher’s club, basket-ball field, landscape etc. I was also encouraging students to engage in art works, (especially NUEYS). I was activiely engaging as committe in preparation and handling of General Knowledge Competitions. I participated in many projects as Project Engineer. As cafateria manager, etc. Within six years stay in the college, I did a lot.

      These activities were extra works. Like all GAs, I was also actively engaged in giving lectures. Too much loaded every semester. I remember some semesters handling five courses, far beyond my capacity.

      These activities put me to be in a SPOT and of suspect ion.

      Parallel to that I know what happened to me. After I started to bring a change in the cafeteria, I was taken by security agents while I was walking in the streets of Keren. I was alone and no one was around. One of security agent called my name and ordered me to go when he directs after showing me his identity. I stayed in a prison for one night. In the morning, another security officer came and asked me about my activities in the college. Finally he strictly warned me to STOP any kind of movement within the STUDENTS. He made to SIGN and then released around mid day. I have many to say in this regard but for this time all I can say is, I was under close surveillance until I left Eritrea.

      And after I left Eritrea, I immediately joined the justice seekers camp. What surprises me most is that those GAs you are calling are now all with good education. But none of them is fighting against the injustice back home. Even some of them openly again are calling me a FOOL simply because I am not keeping silent and do my business. Those who are DEAD are dead always.

      I hope I elaborated your honest question.

      In today’s Eritrea, if you work hard, either being as PFDJ member or Justice seeker, you are a FOOL. What makes me sick is that these labeling come from those educated people, from those who could have ended our misery by now by being as role models.

      As for me, I always fight for good of humanity. I did that when I was working in my college for my students and I do it now for the entire Eritrean people. Those who SILENT, they will always remain SILENT.But me NO.

      tes

      • henok abraham

        Dear Tes

        Thank you for your prompted reply. I read it and i hear you. this is only for the record though. I hope, you keep your passion. the passion to fight for the right justice, the passion serve the common cause. and I wish we sit together and discuss the matter together and with other GAs. I will try to invite them and read your story and your response to my question. if they step up and tell their disappointment honestly and openly, things would be much better than they are right now. for now i have got half the story (the essence of it), and i must thank you for that.

        all the best

        • tes

          Dear henok abraham,

          If you meet some of them, convey this message,

          Tell them and call them to join the justice seeking camp. Ask them why they were silent before and why now again? From the GAs that we were together, may be not more than 4 are openly advocating for justice. the rest, they are saying nothing. Just from my college, there are about 60 scattered with high educational qualification. Call them to join and be voice of the voiceless. Forget please to talk about tes. tes is not the problem now. Talk about our people, those who are becoming a victim of a dictatorial system.

          This is just a response for your curiosity. If not, I never thought I have an issue with any of my work mates. I loved them all and I miss chating and debating with them. I remember our days when I was debating with them by bringing an argument that says, “there was NO GOD, I am God”. We had a very good and enlightening period with most. In fact those who were in shock when I debate on the said topic were not ok with me. A long debate we had by bringing one of my spiritual philosopher, OSHO. We had a good time with those open minded GAs. I missed it. I remember!!!

          AT last, don’t forget to call them and join the justice seeking camp.

          Thank you again

          tes

      • Michaelinlondon1234

        How many fruit trees have you planted? And what types?

    • tes

      And henok,

      The story is my family’s story. My own personal story is a history of success against all odds “as Solomon Haile” said it. But all I did and I am doing is simply because I see beyond the walls. I read so many philosophical, psychological, revolutionary and science books that keeps my inner energy always strong.

      I have many to say but that will be enough to start with.

      tes

  • henok abraham

    hi tes

  • haileTG

    Dehai,

    Where is Gen. Biteweded?

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Tes,

    I am deeply sorry to hear about your misfortune.

    On a different note, congratulations to Aziz Sancar for sharing the Nobel Prize for Chemistry today. Professor Sancar is a product of the secular system established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk which the current PM Erdogan is working hard to destroy.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Selam Tesfabirhan,

    Thank you for your courage to share with us the saddening situation of your family. My condolences to you and your family on your loss of your brother. Also you know that you’re not alone in this; almost all Eritrean families are experiencing such tragedies right now. The family is the core of a society; a society cannot stand with dispersed families. In the same way the current regime is determined to dismantle our social fabric, we’ve to resist it with the same determination. I wish you would soon succeed in your studies and somewhat alleviate the harsdhip of your family.

    Best wishes

  • Aklilu Hailu

    There is a saying that hate eats you inside out. Majority of the Eritrean diaspora are filled with hatred for Ethiopia and raise their children the same way that no matter what atrocities happen in Eritrea, they are more concerned from the threat coming from the big bad wolf Ethiopia waiting for an opportune time to “annex” them again. And the PFDJ plays on this fear like mozart on violin to make them believe that only PFDJ can stop this threat. So they turn a blind eye to any atrocites commited by PFDJ and some even try to justify it with some reasoning more crooked that Owen Wilsons nose. The sad part is, PFDJ regime has a significant supporters in diaspora supporting it save face on media (Madote etc) and through financial assistance that it’s going to take a generation for change to come. While the diaspora is burning with hatred for Ethiopians and loosing sleep over the fear that Ethiopia is going to “annex” them. Ethiopia on the other hand has moved on and rather than hatred they are burning with regret over the fact that we went to an unnecessary war for 17 years over a territory that we are better of not touching with a yard stick.

    • tes

      Dear Aklilu Hailu,

      I am not sure what triggered you to write like what you did though I found your lines as part of the conventional views of wishy-washy people. Most Erireans do not hate Ethiopia but they don’t forget their history. If remembering history is interpreted as hate, let it be. But the truth is, we have unforgettable crimes committed on Eritreans.

      On the same line, Eritreans have another biggest enemy today and that is PFDJ. PFDJ, not only he did crimes on each and every individual Eritrean citizen but also he is cultivating enmity across the border through continuous propaganda machines and actions. And those who support the regime work day and night to keep that work effective.

      It is better therefore to think in these two perspectives. No peace loving Eritrean hates Ethiopia but remembers history. I wish history can be forgotten. But my wish is just a wish, of that of the wishy-washy people. Nevertheless, we have one big opportunity: opportunity of building trust among the two people and work for a sustainable PEACEFUL DEVELOPMENT.

      tes

    • dawit

      Dear Aklilu,

      You seem to be one of the new recruits planted in every Eritrean websites, to ferment disagreement between Ethiopian and Eritreans. You talked about Eritreans hate Ethiopians which is nonsense. Let alone today when Eritrea is an independent country, even during the height of the liberation struggle Eritreans showed un parallel love and respect to Ethiopians. They treated Ethiopian soldiers prisoners of war humanely, fed them, educated them and set them free.
      You don’t have shame to talk about Ethiopia’s ‘regret’ for going to war (occupying Eritrean territory, working hard to isolate Eritrea, Initiating UN Sanction and campaigning day and night for more sanctions). Are you looking an exchange Assab for Bademe, by blaming Isaias and PFDJ?

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Selam Akillu
      Remember, you are in an Eritrean forum. We do know Ethiopia of yesterday and Ethiopia of today. We know it very well my friend. Having said that, we do also differentiate between people with genuine love and concerns as represented in the person of the beautiful Ethiopian Fanti Ghana and people who appear occasionally to mock us. We do have the faculty to process appropriate discretion and discerning regarding those who volunteer to “educate” us.
      I think your plate would be full of Ethiopian related issues of human rights if you were really an advocate of justice. Congratulations for coming to that conclusion. Guess what? We do feel the same to when it comes to our experience with Ethiopia. Just move on, don’t look back. Here is a folklore tale which I think describes your situation. Once a monkey wanted to reach a beautifully ripen fruit. The fruit was in a precariously hanging branch. The monkey tried everything to reach it, including shaking the branch. When he got exhausted, he settled for rationalization. He tried to convince his urging instinct by saying that the fruit was not worth any more trying. He said, “Forget it, it’s rotten after all. ”

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Aklilu,
      I am not sure if you know more than a dozen Eritreans, but your wild generalization is disturbing–and proves one thing: based on your comment, you hate Eritreans.

      Let me confess: I hate all bigots and prejudiced people, including Ethiopian and Eritreans. And I am not apologizing for hating the haters. Try to find where you fit.

      For the rest of the readers: please note that we have such people on both sides of the Mereb, but they are in the minority and equipped only with hate, they can hinder, but they cannot have an impact.

    • Aklilu Hailu

      Selamta lenantem folks,

      I’m not here to mock but to give perspective. Sometimes it’s good to hear the perspective of an outsider looking from the outside into the inside so it helps you analyze your situation. If the current regime is as bad as it is reported in different websites and human rights reports why are Eritreans divided in their support for it ? Why do some speak vocally against the terrors of this regime while others turn a blind eye ? These are the primary questions one would ask to analyze this situation. Change only comes when there is more than a majority supporting one side. Currently, it seems the ones against and those supporting the regime are almost the same size. So, if you’re part of the group that believes this regime is dictatorial your next step is to understand the reason why the other half does not see things your way and turns a blind eye. From my experience, the other half supports this regime because they still harbor the same sentiments and hatred towards Ethiopia and the regime is playing this fear and paranoia on them. Take SAWA for instance. The Gulag of Eritrea where a lot of your children are sent based off the paranoia that Ethiopia is going to come and annex Eritrea again. There are a lot of Eritreans escaping from that complex and telling about their harsh experiences. Talk about annexation, to this day Eritreans still speak about Ethiopians as having annexed and colonized them. I still see this sentiment on online discussions and youtube historical videos. Foregoing the part where Eritreas own unionist party was responsible for the dissolution of the federation, foregoing the part that the Eritrean people during that time voted for unionization with Ethiopia, foregoing the part that Haile Selassie rejected the request for unionization two times before he finally approved it on the third time, It’s a bit of historical irresponsibility to claim that Ethiopia forcefully annexed and colonized Eritrea. But then again, this doesn’t fit the narrative for the fear, hate and paranoia Eritreans need to have towards Ethiopia. But as long as this sentiments are there, the PFDJ will be there. Flaming these sentiments and passing on to your children is what keeps the regimes support and stay in power. It’s going to take a generation to escape out of the propaganda and look at the history of the two countries with fresh eyes.

      • tes

        Dear Aklilu,

        In your first comment what strikes me most is this; “There is a saying that hate eats you inside out” and you framed your whole paragraph based on this line.

        Again you came to say, “I’m not here to mock but to give perspective.”

        Really? You must be jocking.

        Reading your second comment, I can realize that what you are trying to do is to impose what you believe not a perspective. The good thing is many have the same lame man”s approach. Be at least wise here at awate.com.

        tes

        • Aklilu Hailu

          Ay tes, if those lines are distracting you from the core of the message I’m trying to pass then I will gladly take them out for you 🙂

          I just stated why PFDJ enjoys as much support from Eritreans especially in Diaspora based on my experience. Let me here your perspective why PFDJ enjoys such support ?

          • tes

            Dear Aklilu Hailu,

            I am not fun of debating on history. I just respect history and I am not comfortable with those who deny history.

            Ok, let me put what you are calling a perspective.

            ” Foregoing the part where Eritreas own unionist party was responsible for the dissolution of the federation, foregoing the part that the Eritrean people during that time voted for unionization with Ethiopia, foregoing the part that Haile Selassie rejected the request for unionization two times before he finally approved it on the third time, It’s a bit of historical irresponsibility to claim that Ethiopia forcefully annexed and colonized Eritrea.”

            To make it visible clearly, I will put them again as numbered.

            1. Foregoing the part where Eritreas own unionist party was responsible for the dissolution of the federation,

            2. foregoing the part that the Eritrean people during that time voted for unionization with Ethiopia,

            3. foregoing the part that Haile Selassie rejected the request for unionization two times before he finally approved it on the third time,

            4. It’s a bit of historical irresponsibility to claim that Ethiopia forcefully annexed and colonized Eritrea.

            You are here talking on history right?

            I call our great teachers to challenge you on this historical denial. For the first time I am reading, “Haile Selasie rejected the request for the unionization two times before he finally approved it” is a virgin historical information to me.

            @Sa@salehjohar:disqus may you give us a proof of this narration?

            tes

          • Aklilu Hailu

            Wow tes. I’m shocked you don’t know about this history. I will try to post online resources soon. But I think at the very least, you should read about the Eritrean unionist party and how their action led to the precipitation of relations with Ethiopia.

          • tes

            Dear Aklilu Hailu,

            Don’t be shocked rather I should be shocked on how you put it. If it is true, history does not shock me.

            Before going further, lets hear what our elder brothers say about this. Until then just think why Ethiopia bombed Eritrea for 30 years without mercy? A line for you to contemplate

            tes

          • አዲስ

            Hi Tes,

            Setting the history aside for the historians. Let’s talk about the NOW. With all the atrocities PFDJ is doing against the Eritrean people(sampled here in a very sad narration of your own family story), why does it still have a considerable amount of support from the Eritrean diaspora ? I am not sure if the majority diaspora support it or not but we can’t deny the fact that it has a significant support. Eritrea being a small country, these supporters have family members, neighbors, or somebody they know who are victims of PFDJ crimes, so why do they still support it ?

            Whether you think Aklilu is a wolf in a sheep’s cloth or not, I think that’s his main point. Whatever his feeling towards Eritrea is irrelevant to answer that question.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Aklilu:
            What prove do you have at this time that PFDJ enjoys “much’ support in the diaspora?
            Have you conducted a confidential experiment to support your claim?
            Or is your claim based on the the sizeable crowd mostly gullible yPFDJ who have no clue about the history of this nations and the the “zuray” donning, ornament showing off women who grace the PFDJ functions? Failing conducting a secret ballot voting systems that is does not reveal the identity of the voter, you cannot claim ‘much” support.
            I have seen the crowed that diligently attends the function also give arousing clapping when an opposition member who sneaked in to asks a question that touches them. Gone are the days when someone was jeered for asking tough questions against the government.
            Your claim is right if your are basin it on: the people who are silent and seem like they support PFDJ because of their investment in land so want to go back home so they are in the closet and those who support PFDJ for regional and other stupid tendencies such as that they went to school with IA brother or their uncle knew IA’ brother

          • Aklilu Hailu

            Hi Semere,

            I’m actually basing it off the last group of folks you mentioned. The ones supporting the regime to protect their investment or their relatives profiting from connections in the regime. I haven’t taken a “confidential experiment” but just from my experience it seems a significant much partake in such actions.

      • Ambassador

        Mr. Aklilu,

        I see your point. There is definitely something wrong with the Eritrean people; albeit the wrong is more nuanced than hatred and fear of annexation.

        If you think there is a difference of perspective between those who oppose the government and those who support; you are mistaken. I invite you to read the following excerpt from Yosief Gebrehiwet’s seminal article on “Romanticizing Ghedli”..

        “Ironically, the only thing that unites those who hold extreme positions in the current crisis, and wouldn’t see eye to eye on any other issue, is this romantic obsession with the revolutionary past, magnifying whatever was good in it beyond proportion, while discounting anything else that mars that picture.”

        ….. “But keeping this picture pure requires a lot of illusion, not unlike that of magic; only this time, it is willfully played upon oneself. Not only does it require a lot of willful forgetting of what happened in the past, it also requires that one not see a lot of what is taking place in the present.”

        See, keeping the legacy of ghedli pristine is more of the cause that prevents us from rallying against the dictator in unison than hatred against Ethiopia and fear of annexation.

        • Aklilu Hailu

          Hi Ambassador,

          That’s a very good point and thanks for the article. I just found a pdf version and it looks like a good read. You’re right, the Ghedli is the bedrock of modern Eritrea history and folks would like to keep it as pristine as it is. However, no countries foundation is without some fault. Even the great nation of United States is built on the backs of slavery and much worse atrocities. So a balanced review of Eritrean history would come in due time. The Ghedli is a story of heroes and villains and Ethiopia is the big villain in it. Of course, Ethiopia was a villain but it’s made out to be a far worse villain than it really was. It apportioned the actions of a few treacherous people in power, on the shoulders of the common people. I understand the need for the exaggeration during the time of struggle to gain more fighters and support for the cause but I think every Eritrean is now responsible to review these history and attempt to tone down the factually wrong accusations leveled against Ethiopia. Otherwise the current regime is currently using the story to maintain its power.

          • tes

            Dear Aklilu Hailu,

            Don’t try to be a wolf covered under sheep”s skin.

            There are two forces:

            1. Those who deny history
            2. Those who respect history.

            In between there are different hybrid types.

            tes

          • Aklilu Hailu

            Hi tes, you have every right to mistrust my opinion. However, sometimes it’s helpful to question some of your inner held beliefs and ideas.

          • tes

            Dear Aklilu Hailu,

            It is an accepted norm to accept or reject an opinion not necessarly to trust it. Saying that, you are neither giving your opinion nor telling us your perspectives. You are here telling us an information channeled wrongly with a wrong information.

            tes

          • V.F.

            Aklilu, it’s not a good read. It is an eye opener. I am proud to tell you that all my hesitation about Ghedli where solidified and ascertained that I wasn’t wrong, that Ghedli damaged Eritrea and Eritreans for good. Irreversible change! There is no point of return except my ideas of joining the Ethiopian party and ascending to Entoto.

          • Abi

            Hi Ermi
            Entoto is Emye Menelik’s home. Find another mountain like nakfa. Share that with PIA.
            YeEmyen leqeq
            YeIsayasin Tebeq

          • Saleh Johar

            Ouch Abi, can’t even pitch a tent at Entoto and boss Ethiopians around like a Mahraja ? You are cruel. Just a 3×3 meter rent space, s’motillih Abiye!

          • Abi

            Ato Saleh
            Minew balTefa meret terara lay menTelaTel?

            I have a plot of land on Bole Road next to Saay Cake ready for you. I know you like that area.
            Erswo yimTu enji bet eko yeEngida new.
            Bunam enafelalen, bet yaferawunim enqamesalen.

          • Saleh Johar

            No Abi,
            I trust you will say “mi casa su casa” I am asking you help the would-be boss of Ethiopians a place in his mountain of choice: Entoto. He is in need of a royal location, I will just rush to your house. Please allow him to occupy Entito.

          • Abi

            Ato Saleh
            Ok ! I got a place for him. Debre Libanos Gedam. Far from Addis, far from Asmara. There he reads the Book of Lamentations twice a day . Three times on weekends, four times during fasting seasons. He has no time to annoy us.

          • Saleh Johar

            Abi, please do that. Hasten it for God’s sake, b’qulubbi Gabriel biyallehu !

          • Abi

            Ato Saleh
            I have to do it for my own sake. First stop Amanuel Hospital.
            Egir keworch eserulign.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Abi,

            I have, what you may think to be, a boring question.

            Speaking of Bole Road, I had a good friend by the name Ibrahim Nawd who was building a private hospital near Bole Road in the mid 1990s. Do you know him? If you do, how is faring?

            I was wondering what is happening to him after the border war, i.e. “the two bald men fighting over a bone-hard comb”.

          • V.F.

            Abi, please refer to me by my proper nickname.

            Thank you! Here is my last comment to you until you get it together.

            When we ‘regional harmonists’ say let be together and work together, what we always keep in mind is that Ethiopia is far far from perfect. It can use a lot of help from Eritreans to go even further. So it is a two way street – everybody benefits. I know you are very scared of Tigrinya power but nothing will be different. You guys are not going to dethrone the Tigrayans anytime soon. You might benefit from having us because the competition will get tougher for the Tigrayans and you Amaras might find a crack to come to power or compete a little bit better.

          • አዲስ

            V.F.

            Now you are pitting Tigirians against Amharas and you are proposing yourself as the missing link for the Amharas to get power. Play your sick game in your sick mind. Keep it wherever you are. We don’t need another problem on our hand. We have enough of our own. What kind of sick thinking is this ?

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • V.F.

            Addis, the idea is to have Abi swallow his unfounded pride.

          • አዲስ

            V.F

            Abi’s pride is very well founded unlike your sick thinking and yearning for a conflict between groups of Ethiopians. That’s what PFDJ is good for. Join them and see where it got them. You are part of the problem along side PFDJ for any future peaceful coexistence between these two countries. I strongly detest your ideas.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi VF
            So, all Eritreans, four or five million of us, are damaged and you and a handful others are the only sane people! Or are you saying you are also damaged? If that is the case you are incapable of advancing an solution because you are also damaged. If you think you are the only sane person, what makes you think the millions whom you consider damaged product will heed your advice? A few walked the path you are walking, they ushered de adds of bloodshed and mayhem. They damaged the two countries, and that is the role that you chose to play and legacy you decided to own! First, I wish you luch, you will need a lot of it, and, second, does it occur to you that your proposal is an insult to the minions of “damged Eritreans” who, though damaged, they still can discern insults from sugar coated ill wishes?

          • PTS

            Hi Saleh,
            kem beAl V.F. megohayti hzbom ayseanun. kab bsul Tre kulu gzie alo.

          • V.F.

            Hi Saleh, if someone can prove me wrong, I am all ears here. I have a theory and I haven’t heard anyone give me good arguments refuting it. My theory is that with Ethiopia as a big neighbor which will always naturally seek to be dominant and Eritrea as a ‘smaller’ nation always feeling insecure (we have seen how the international community works), it will always be a fearful and uneasy existence for us. I say we have other options. To quote IA, ‘wey hayal kun wey mis hayal tetsegae.’

            Next, when I said damaged, it should not be taken literally as in damaged mentally or physically. It is a metaphoric word by which I meant we have been put in a corner against our backs. We can’t turn back, we can’t turn to the left, we can’t turn to the right. We are squeezed and the beast will not let go. He is damaging us even more. Like Tes’s article, the family unit is being broken apart. Hillary Clinton says ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ There are villages in Eritrea with no one left in them let alone fully functioning families. I know I am preaching to the choir here but that is what damage is at its worst. I will refrain from mentioning the ‘G’ word but that is where things started going wrong because that is where IA and his enablers were produced and hatched. We need to disown them. We need to disown the by-products of G. All the terrible alien things amongst which is always suspecting Ethiopia is coming to get us, the whole world is against us, we can do it ‘against all odds’. In other words isolationism. We have all merged and assimilated with all other cultures around the world and that is what we need to do with Eritrea too – make it a part of the world beginning with the Horn, IGAD, AU, UN, everybody. World cooperative solutions for Eritrean problems.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi VF,
            The problem is see is very common; people come with tired ideas and they think it an original idea that they just discovered. That my dear, is delusion. The andenet idea is as old as Eritrea and every few years people like you come and float the recycled idea anew. You are apprehensive that no one engaged you on the the “novel idea” stop your apprehension, no one gives merit to such proposals but the delusional (sorry about that). That is why most are ignoring your comments and I like you that I thought I should try to open the curtain for you so that you can see the naked delusion.

            I will show just one point from your comment that is undemocratic, archaic and feudal, maybe chauvinistic: you told, rather tried to entice him, to aim for the throne not as an Ethiopian, but as Amharay. And the other players you consider are the Tigrigni of Tigrai and Eritrea. The rest you consider your sheep who has no business in power. For you rulers Gould always be Tigrinya and Amharic speakers. Can’t you have one progressive thought that transcends archaic thinking and primordial relations? Your kind of thought is the hindrance to any peaceful Co-existence between the two peoples, your thought are not productive but destructive.

            My dear, your thought are reactionary, that’s why no one seems to be interested.

          • V.F.

            Dear Saleh, so long as I am not kicked out for violating any rules, I don’t mind writing things that fall on deaf ears. I can do good practice writing here. Again, I have yet to hear anyone propose a good solution for the Ethio-Eritrean dynamics. It will always be there and it needs to be addressed. My ideas could be wild but at least I am not afraid to see the problem directly and deal with it albeit unpopularily by a website full of ultra nationalists. Needless to say, Abi, Eyob, and Addis – do not by any means represent the views of the majority of Ethiopians. Those three are here to maximize the damage and eventually get the good at no cost. That is my opinion and I am proud of it and this is what I espouse here (in my city) at my community of Eritreans and I do have some buyers.

          • Abi

            Dear VF
            You have buyers?
            this is “As good as it gets”.
            ” Sell crazy somewhere else.”
            How many eritreans do you know who are schizophrenic? I know four. Mizan, VF, gehrelibu, and of course Ermias.

          • Saleh Johar

            VF,
            I have no problem with patriots who love their country. And the have no problem arriving at a workable solution if the schizophrenics stay far from them. Why do you sell it to the community? Do you think it is a used fridge or what? Your dream buyers and sellers are not in your community, sorry about your exile city and county, leave the regio. That you think is inhabited by dummies alone.

            One more thing, extremists invite the wrath of the opposite extremists. Your type of views are always pipe dreams but disruptive. It’s like so one who is loud in a library.

            Now you want to be considered calm and composed by elimination, by calling all of us here ultra nationalists? Anyone who rejects your extremist view is ultra nationalist? If I was PFDJ I would have been tempted to call you sub nationalist, or non nationalist. You come with your wild idea and you want to be treated as an e ceptionl thinker for recycling a stinking dead political tool? My friend, the Eritreans I know are peace loving until their culture and tolerance was robbed by the delusional, the chauvinists, and the fanatics…. and the schizophrenic who could not decide wether they are Ethiopians or Eritreans so, they dream of having the best of both worlds by uniting the two countries to lord over them. Neither Eritreans nor Ethiopians will call for that self-serving evil proposal. We have been there and we know what the gubiTish holds.

            I am done with this hallucination.

          • PTS

            Dear V.F.
            The good and only solution is for both people to reign on their respective governments and make them responsive to their demands. Both people love their own countries more so than anything else. All they’re longing for is normal and peacefull neighborly life just like most neighbor countries around the world. To that end, there are various struggles going on by citizens of both countries for justice, rule of law and better future. I know no movement in either country that is waging struggle for unification. Why do you want to start new front that no one is interested on?

          • Dear V.F.,

            Gedli was born, nurtured and its legacy survives on resentment against ethiopia. one may call this hatred or whatever, but it can never be called love.

            i am among those who support ethio-eritrean rapprochement, but i believe that other doors should first be opened, before any ultimate higher level relationship (e.g. federation, union etc) can occur. reunification of any sort, if it is ever to happen, can not be entertained at this stage, and it should be the result of longterm experimentation of living first side by side in peace and cooperation, a relationship built on justice, friendship and a win-win situation. how to achieve this relationship should be our main concern at this stage before anything else, for living side by side and saying that we should not have any sort of relationship is unnatural and irrational by any standard. be sure, this is a million dollar question, and it is not an easy mattera as it seems to be. remember, there are many eritreans who would rather lose everthing (even would not desist to see eritrea completely ruined) than touching ethiopia with a long pole. therefore, ethio-eritrean relations shoulod be built again gradually from a scratch. nevertheless, be sure, there is nothing wrong in aiming high, right from the start as you are doing, for tomorrow it may be too late, unless one acts today. who knows, nobody has all the facts and all the truth, and a radical change could be waiting for us just round the corner, and simply we are not aware of it.

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Horizon,
            Please reconsider your views. You are wrong, Gedli was not nurtured on resentment, that is too soft a word. It was nurtured on rejectio of oppression and occupation by a feudal King.

            It was never based on hate of nothing; but on the love of freedom. I am not theorizing, I was part of it and that was my drive. Please don’t tell me how I felt. However, when you are down, all the volt urges hover around you. I blame no one but our own brutes who made us the laughing stook of midnight analysts. Please don’t be hard on us, we had already enough poking from the regime that is oppressing Eritreans.

            One question though: what was the Ethiopian Gedli build on, resentment of Ethiopia? Please use one yardstick, you can borrow one from fair friends if you do not have one 🙂

          • Dear SJ,

            when the Ethiopian gedli arrived in addis in 1991, its baggage contained among other things items that showed its resentment to ethiopia. we have heard, itiopya beafnchawa bitdefa gid yelenem, i am this or that ethnic group first and formost, the ethiopian flag is a piece of rug, ethiopia is a country that came to being only a hundred years ago, etc.. these were resentments against ethiopia. well, one might say that this was the result of injustices and inequalities under the previous systems. fortunately, these concepts have changed today; ethiopians became aware of the reality on the ground, and they seem to have buried the hatchet and they are moving forward together in harmony. the ethiopian national sentiment is robust today, and we have no reason to accuse those who had resented ethiopia in the past.

            going back to ethio-eritrean relations, you said that eritrean gedli was due to rejetion of oppression and the love for freedom. i have no reason to doubt it. nevertheless, the question that arises is, what now; how should eritreans and ethiopians move forward; with antagonism and confrontation as their weapons that will lead to more destruction and misery; or with a change of sentiment that may bring peace and prosperity? we can dwell on the past, but will it solve today’s problems?

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Horizon,
            It seems you forgot what you wrote, you showed resentment on Gedli, that was our tool to rid ourselves from oppression. That was my point: “Gedli was nurtured with n hate of Ethiopia”, you wrote. And I was challenging that statement.

            The rest about what now, and how the future should be… C’mon Horizon, you know my position on that and your questions are just rhetoric, I don’t think you want me to reply to that!

          • አዲስ

            Hi Horizon,

            What does it matter what the cause for Gedli is apart from its historical value? Especially from an Ethiopian point of view? It’s a reality at this moment. Eritrean people overwhelmingly supported it with blood and resources. During the referendum they overwhelmingly supported to be an independent nation. Whether that’s because of getting rid of oppression or they were fooled by Egypt-influenced few, it doesn’t really matter now. All the people that you saw voting for independence knows exactly what it meant. They wanted to have their own nation Eritrea. You can’t keep somebody that don’t want you.

            What’s good for the relationship of the two countries? is the question. In my opinion, whatever the struggle need to occur to bring about a more representative government in both countries is the first step. I do believe if the respective governments are more or less representative of the two people, the relationship between them will improve much better.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Dear Addis,

            as much as ethiopia is concerned, as you rightfully said, eritrean gedli should belong to history, and ethiopians should move forward. i think that already this is how ethiopians see it. if one has to resort to history and draw any conclusions from it, it must be to bring positive results; and history should not be a stumbling block for future friendship.

            indeed, democratic and representive governments are a must for a normal regional relations, and especially between ethiopia and eritrea.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Horizon,
            Yes, as we both agreed (I hope people will agree too) that any type of agreement should take it’s proper process. at this time there are two things we should do 01. accept Eritrean struggle against Ethiopian ex-governments was just a must. Ethiopian and Eritrean people both were victims of the king and those around him and also Eritreans (those few who make agreement) with king without putting in to consideration the choice of Eritrean people. 02. it is time to cure the wound and let those brotherly people live side by side building once again love.

            TKS,

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Horizon,

            Eritreans had a good reason to show resentment against Ethiopian REGIMES (not the Ethiopian people). Their efforts to establish independent state through peaceful means was frustrated, hence they had to embark on an armed revolution/Ghedli. Eritreans’ revolution coupled with Ethiopians’ own struggle has succeeded in removing one of the most brutal dictatorships in Africa-the Derg. This is history, and it should not be denied. Sadly, however, the aspirations of Eritreans for a just and democratic society have not been realised so far. Though most of the reasons for this failure is due to internal Eritrean affairs; Ethiopian government has also played a significant role by not complying fully to the Algiers agreement it had signed.

            There is no other alternative than peaceful co-existence between the two peoples. However, at this stage the Eritreans do not have peace even among themselves let alone with their neighbors. They have first to succeed in getting rid of dictatorship, and put in place a just and democratic government. Then it will be time for all types of relationships with all our neighbors. Ethiopia, just like other neighboring countries can play a constructive role in helping Eritreans bring a change to the better; and naturally this help should be based on respect of Eritrean sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as not imposing Ethiopian solutions to Eritrean problems. Ethiopia can achieve this by encouraging dialogue among Eritreans and letting them take a leading role in the process of change. In this way, we can succeed in creating a stable Eritrea; which is a win-win situation for the whole region.

            Regards

          • Dear Abraham Hanibal,

            i believe that there should never be an ethiopian solution for eritrean problems. this has always been my position. eritrean problems should be solved only by eritreans themselves. unfortunately, up to now the solution exists only as a slogan, and not in its real sense.

            sometimes, i ask myself why is that ethio-eritrean relations is not the same as, for eg., the relation between ethiopia and kenya or ethiopia and sudan; just an ordinary and typical interstate relation as it happens between any two countries all over the world, as long as we cannot form a closer relationship. may be, we should blame it on the fifty or so years we lived together that do not let us free ourselves from this destructive relationship. when eritrea achieved its independence, it was meant to bring peace, but unfortunately, it did not. dia should have turned his back on ethiopia, and he should have forgotten about her completely, as long as he had achieved his goal. unfortunately, he complicated things by starting a war, which brought us to this quagmire. may be by now we might have travelled our separate ways, and might have left the past behind us as an object of research for historians.

            regards,

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Horizon,

            Though Eritreans deserved to be independent and are independent state, we shouldn’t deny the historical ties between the two peoples; especially between northern Ethiopia and the Eritrean highlands. For better or worse, there was a far-reaching relationship as exemplified by inter-marriages in the border areas, as contrasted to the various atrocities that were committed on Eritreans by past Ethiopian regimes. We shouldn’t also forget that though the EPLF and TPLF had periods of bad relations during the fight against the Derg; they had also periods of warm relations under which they fought and died side by side against the common enemy. But I don’t believe the periods of good relations were strategic, instead they were tactical in order to win against the Derg.

            It seems the Eritrean government ( at least Isayas Afeworki) didn’t want to rush the process of nation-building after the fall of the Derg. Most of the reasons for this could be simply technical issues, or the fact that the EPLF had to build a nation from the scratch. However, I suspect that Isayas had a plan of creating some sort of unity between the two countries, hoping that he would be at the helm of the union by riding on the then strong military power of the EPLF. When Isayas realised that the EPRDF and Meles Zenawi would not endorse his grand-plan, he resorted to the use of his mighty military power to send a strong signal to the EPRDF. But, as we know now, his plans proved to be catastrophic for both peoples, especially the Eritrean people.

            Regards

          • Dear Abraham Hanibal,

            i think that M.Z. had also said that it was the eritrean people who wanted independence more than I.A., eventhough, according to his opinion, the people did not know exactly what independence really meant. M.Z. would have liked to see eritrea in some sort of federation with ethiopia, and I.A. also preferred some sort of connection with ethiopia (confederation), rather than a complete divorce. this meant that both knew to a certain extent the problems of complete independence. in addition, the way the people of eritrea were mobilized did not give I.A. the chance to revise his position, and tell the people that it was better not to go all the way to the end. independence, i think, is political, economic and cultural. eritrea could be independent in the first, but not completely in the second and third. may be this the reason we find it difficult to live together and far from each other. an other twenty five years of antagonism and confrontation is not going to help the situation.

            Regards.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Horizon,

            we can’t say we found it difficult to live separated or even together. we can only say so when the mass is leading not a group like PFJD (they can’t even managed small establishment). Eritrean is not tried under it’s legally chosen leadership. it is the same when comes to any type of unity, those two nations were not under a system that govern them equally.

            since Eritrea is a nation now, let us see after removal of PFDJ how it manages it’s own case. the way I see it, Eritrea has enough resources in all fields to manage. we have leaders, we have enough economy and great geographical postilion and wonderful culture and experience.

            Any type of agreement we do with our brotherly people (Ethiopians) can be done in proper way and it will give another good result. Let us wait and see after the nation get it’s legal leadership. but the IA and PMZ agreements is different story. IA, from the beginning was the man of HS and since HS is gone he want to replace him to lead both nations – Lol, Ethiopians might have been under Eritrea and go for another 30 years national freedom struggle or something like that.

          • Agame guy

            The German people were “damaged” during the reign of the Third Reich. A people as a whole can make mistakes. I would say most Of the elites of Eritrea are racist beyond repair to Tegaru (The Muslims may be different due to their. Religion and egalitarian Culture.
            Have you ever tried to address this issue? Why do you think it is perfectly ok to hate insult and demean your cousins south of the Mereb?

          • Aklilu Hailu

            Hi V.F.
            The more I read your ideas, the more I realize it’s not a workable solution. Ethiopia should never play an affair in Eritrean internal matters and I support the current Ethiopian government stance of not creating/supporting armed groups to topple Eritreas government. The deep resentments towards Ethiopians is still there and any government formed with Ethiopias involvement will lead Eritrea into another civil war because there will always be a group that will tap into this resentment and attempt to destabilize it’s legitimacy through armed struggle.

          • henok abraham

            Hi Aklilu

            i always believe being nuetral has a net safe outcome at the end. But the ethiopian goverment takes the position of no aggressive approach to the ethi-eritrean limbo situation is i think because the Ethiopia is enjoying a prmising economic pregress since the tribunal decison that keeps Eritrea in a painful situation and ethiopia in a relatively better stability (somehow). i believe ethiopia doent need any kind of provacation as far as higdef and his insane policy remains the same. ethioipia has always a revenue here.

          • tes

            Dear V.F,

            Your Ghedli hesitation is not of sincere hesitation. It is born out of luck of seeing beyond the walls that are blocking you to see a change from within. You lost hope and now you are losing everything. Your theory is born out of failed mindset and it will have no ground to be put.

            Come and be with Hope on your own people.

            tes

        • Aklilu Hailu

          Hi Ambassador,
          Thanks for mentioning the article. I know Eritrea as a nation has descended into a dark abyss but never imagined to be that deep. While cross referencing some of the facts mentioned on the article I also came across the EHREA website which goes into the great details of the crimes committed during the Ghedli. It’s a very sad state of affair.

  • Abrehet Yosief

    Dear Tes,

    Responding to a question about the veracity of the testimonies in the COI report, the singer Kiros Asfha said, the report was 500 pages only, the truth is that if every young Eritrean was interviewed, each one could narrate a personal tragedy that would fill 500 pages. How true. This personal narrations are so common and yet so shocking every time we hear them. My over 60 year old aunt was in prison in place of her son. With her, were two new mothers with nursing babies. My aunt considered the presence of these infants in prison as a blessing. For who has time to think about ones own suffering and the injustice of it, when one has to be creative to feed the nursing mothers and keep clean and warm the new born babies.

  • Nitricc

    To all of you throwing tantrum!
    No wonder why one man is bending and tearing apart to no end. I have no doubt this is the very reason you are unable to wage any kind of opposition to challenge your tormenter. If you had the courage to stand up and asked questions and demanding for explanations; you wouldn’t be were you are. Instead of learning from your mistakes, worst, you are imposing your worthless “value” hiding it under your toothless sensitivities. What is wrong when Tes, who once declared to be one of the chosen and privileged person in Eritrea. Then he turns around and tells me chilling story; if you had a shred of courage, there is nothing wrong to ask for clarification. Did I say Tes’s story is wrong? Lie? I did not say that. I had a doubt and I ask for clarification. Regarding your sensibility, shave it you know where. When there are doubts; there will be questions. When there are suspicions; questions will be asked. Nothing is beyond the limits of questions. Get comfortable; we will ask questions and we will demand explanations.deal with it.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Nitricc,
      I agree, you have to ask questions, and challenge statements. However, what makes you stand as odd is that you lack sensitivities. I know people who would not come out and be public with their agonies for many reasons. The fact that many Eritreans are silent doesn’t mean they have no sufferings, and heart wrenching stories. But going public comes with a cost, and people are patient until they snap–then nothing matters. The time someone reaches such a decision may be triggered for mundane reasons, but that reason could be “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. And at that moment, people are at their lowest, sad and grieving–it will be the worst time to make things worse. Honestly, that is how I saw your comment. A little sensitivity Nitricc dear, a little. Your reaction might not be considered out of line in many cultures, but in the Eritrean culture that I know, it is inconsiderate. Trust me that is why some are reacting the way they do, me too.

      I remember Tes stating that he was considered privileged, but I understood it to mean relative to many others. If he chose to be docile, hide his grief, and ignore the injustice that befell his family, he could have done better than many cruel operatives of the regime. He didn’t. Imagine yourself in his place, what perks would make you ignore all of that? Money? Titles and positions? That is his situation as I see it.

      Dear Nitricc, you know I have a soft spot for you, and consider this an advise from your brother: try to be a little sensitive.

      • Nitricc

        Hi SJ, I understand your point. I am not even challenging Tes’s story. however; for anyone with a little gray matter; must question that if this happens to the few “privileged” once; what happens to the average person? What happens to the ordinary citizen? By Tes’s account no Eritrean should stay in Eritrea. Eritrea should be empty with out a single person.
        That was my thinking while I was reading his piece. And my intention was for Tes to explain it. Of course the corrupted bunch came out swinging. SJ, the Truth is neither comfortable nor sensitive.
        I see what you are saying though.

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Dear nitrikay
          Correct yourself and move on, please. There two things here. Tes previous statement that he had been privileged is understandable. While many of his peers were serving in the military, he was privileged with free higher education, followed by a scholarship abroad. The other point is the human tragedies which didn’t spare even the family of Saleh Younis, which is privileged by all standards. Wall street financiers were not spared of September 11. Your conclusion is right though. If prominent figures like Biteweded and the G-15 could be treated that way, what do you think the fate of the average person is? Second, when human tragedies strike, like the loss of loved ones, it’s only human to suppress all your other questions. Non of the cultures I know fail to respect this aspect. Nitrickay, sometimes you bring the wrath unto yourself, and then you come out complaining that people mistreated you. Remember we talk about this when the death of the teens along the border was reported. I hate to see you sometimes losing teeth.

      • halew

        Gadi,

        You said “But going public comes with a cost…..” Can we safely assume then his wife and kid will be in prison of killed (That monster HGDF) after this post? Actually how come nothing happened to them after tes failed to go back to his country and started to call himself activist? That killer monster hgdf is sleeping or is dead?

    • Solomon Haile

      Dear Abraham,

      On the contrary ACE! It is because a few stood up and asked why the Eritrean flan was lowered and Eritrea was annexed unjustly by a well meaning modernist and aging Nugguse Negast, and it is because a few stood up and asked to a brutal butcher Junta that hung young Eritrean brave low landers first and then indiscriminately highlanders Eritreans as well as brave young Ethiopians seeking justice and progress for Ethiopia, and it is because a few if not all Eritrean Independence war veterans from Haraka on wards stood up and asked, and it is because Young Independent Eritrea Warsay the inheritors and Arkebe stood up without question to preserve the light and it is because brave Eritrean Revelution heroes stood up and asked some losing their life and liberty some also in jail themselves as wardens of the jails that is housing their yester year fellow comrades and friend and it is because every one is asking for change as supporters and opposition that ALL ERITREANS ARE IN OPPOSITION OF OUR CURRENT ERTRIAN PREDICAMENT. Even the President of Eritrea I A himself is asking and ready for change (I will provide you with the link of a recent interview) nitric my friend Eritreans are a united opposition for change and progress for us, Ethiopians and beyond. But first Eritreans must Right It’s wrongs…The only way to full liberty for all including our PILLARS! So Dear Nitricc if you are indeed Slim Shady enjoying M&ms candy “would you the real Slim Shady, Please Stand Up Please Stand up!”
      It is because we stood up and asked that we are where we are: Closer. “Would the real Slim Shady Please Stand up please Stand up.”
      TsaTse

  • haileTG

    Dear tes,

    Thank you for articulating the story of your family, an Eritrean family, in such down to earth and humble way. It is indeed the story of countless families all over the land. Behind each of those stories is the story of what could have been, the story of lost opportunities and the story of shattered dreams. No one sets up a family and raise children to end up in such ruinous conditions as many Eritrean families find themselves in. It may be even more disconcerting to know that the situation of Eritreans since those recent times had dramatically changed for the worse. Today, it is 13 and 14 years old teenagers that make up the bulk of those flooding out to the outside world from the gulag that IA and gangs are running. Just as one would expect children to progress to junior school after elementary, today it is common to expect the children and teenagers to plan to get out into the refugee camps. Ask many new arrival youth and they will tell you that their younger siblings have already left.

    The rate at which events are moving are likely to hit a catastrophic crisis point soon. It is not some one or some powers trying to portray Eritrea as failed, as a matter of fact, it has failed. Reconstructing back from this huge national loss isn’t going to be easy, rather fraught with risk and dependent on a lot of luck. This stage of the political struggle must brace itself to bring a Glorious End to the Struggle for Freedom In Eritrea. Eritreans must start visualizing the end scenario from hereon. After all that has gone on, after all the bitter struggle that took many years, after the unyielding war of attrition with the regime and its minions, the stage is set for the last leg of the struggle against tyranny in our homeland. What should the end look like? It sure must be something for the better, it sure must be a cessation from the permanence of tragedies and miseries, it must look normal, open and free in all respect. Citizens must regain their dignity, must dare to dream and must do away with fear and unwarranted sense of obligation towards hallow slogans but be there for each other as well as their shared future.

    The regime no longer possesses real arsenal to fight against the cause of justice. It has been completely stripped naked in front of the world for its barbaric and inhuman nature. All the forces arrayed against it must now unite in common dream and solemn promise of “Never Again”. It is time to bring to an end the long march to freedom, the glorious end to the struggle for freedom must be conclusively for the better.

    Regards

    • AOsman

      Dear Haile,

      The rate at which events are moving are likely to hit a catastrophic crisis point soon

      What worries me more is that the current crisis has taken its toll on the whole society at home and abroad. It has drained the wealth of the nation, it is not sustainable and our capacity to manage any additional crisis is severely weakened. With change, we may become overwhelmed by what is in store, being reactive to change is a recipe for disaster.

      Regards
      AOsman

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Tesfa,

    really touching story.. I can see why you have been always struggling in searching the truth. I can see why you are kind even after strong debates with everyone. all my respect tes. from now on I will consider you my young brother. soon I will try to send you my address and I will be in contact with you. and sure I will completely introduce you who I am.

    Here, there are lessons to be learned. one of the lessons is your brother RIP – that is one kind of heroism. and what… the job he has done is still shining here, you are the result, and that is how heroes provide development to the world. your teachers were happy when you completed your education, I was happy although I stay thousand miles far. a lot of people were expressing their happiness. you know, who was making every body happy? it was from unseasonable and invisible world right from heaven where your brother is in, we got all those wonderful days. now if you continue your education or you start working everything you do is connected and based from your brother’s selfless nature who was always interested to see successful.

    Hopefully you will do all your best and gain more knowledge to serve your people. and sure your family members and all our people will comeback and rejoin in our nation. wishing your parents healthy long life.

    All my love and respect .

  • Nitricc

    Hi Tes, as usual, you are confusing me. At point you told us that you chose to oppose the government because of your sense of justice and the right thing to do, otherwise; you could have lived a comfortable life in Eritrea because you were from the few, the chosen and the privileged once. The above statement is your own words; now, you are telling this, which one is the truth? Nothing against you or your story but my only mission is to seek the truth.

    • Semere Andom

      Nitricc:
      instead asking Tes, why do not you ask your self if these two stories are contradictory.
      There is an ambassador whose wife is in prisoner for almost 10 years, rumored to have died, so his kids are without mother. Also his nieces are orphaned as their father is one of the prisoners also rumored to have died and ambassador is serving the dictator and living comfortably .
      So where is the contradiction.
      You also need to learn some Eritrean sensiblities

    • tes

      Dear Nitricc,

      there is no contradiction though your own confusion is.

      I will be kind to you as usual. Suppose you are the worst student in a class. Just suppose. Then the student is used to drop in one class for seven year. is he is chosen to repeat or he is because he is?

      On the other hand, suppose you are a good student and you always stood first or second highest rank in your class. Are you the chosen to be or you are as you are?

      The word chosen is one which is said not what I said.

      Another point, I wish Eritrea of PFDJ had a habit of chosing the best ones for good. Unfortunately, PFDJ choses the best not to develop but to kill or to torture.

      As for my life, I said it clearly. Since you need repetition, this is what I put, “I had no income at all and our family continued to be dependent on my brother. At that time, I was just beginning to be able to support myself,…” No Eritrean will say, “I was able to support myself”. I said because I was. Relatively though I had better income than almost most Eritreans because of the high salary scale put for university teachers. Don’t take it high though. It is only 2500 Nakfa, of today, 50 dollar. Sadly I not able to help my family with income.

      Funny

      tes

      • AOsman

        Dear Tes,

        Your story was touching, powerful and inspirational. Don’t mind him, he is being his usual self, insensitive.

        Regards
        AOsman

      • Amanuel

        Hi Tes
        I feel your pain. It is what all Eritrean families are going through right now. You don’t have to explain your self to Nitricc. It is some sort of application designed to create confusion and frustration.

        The block I was brought up has 6 houses and had 42 children. Out of the 42 children only 3 are now in Eritrea and managed to sep up their owen families. Guess what! two of them are some how disabled due to the boarder war. The rest are either martyred or left the country; and the parents are left behind in these empty houses.

      • AOsman

        Dear Tes,

        Few day ago my brother was telling me some of the prices back home, it is mind boggling how people survive. Your 2500 Nacfa may look good by number, but it is nothing when looked against the cost of living. I tried to find more data on that (as we loose sight on inflation over the years), but gave up to only stumble an article when checking Erena to listen to Gen.Bitweded speech.

        Typical Wages
        Government Employees – 700 – 1400 Nacfa/month
        Government Employees (on National Service Duty) – 150 – 450 Nacfa/month

        The above will not cover the rent let alone food cost. There are many families who do not have relatives out of the country to support them. Some prices to give us an idea on cost of living these days (mind you the list is considered as luxury items – hopeful someone come up with more comprehensive information ):

        Small Bread – 3.50 Nacfa
        Oil /litre – 120 Nacfa
        Egg 10 Nacfa
        Meat 350 Nacfa
        Honey 800 Nacfa
        Butter 800 Nacfa
        Shehaful – 60 Nacfa*
        Panino – 80 Nacfa*
        Sheep – 7000 Nacfa*

        http://www.erena.org
        * added, not include in the report

        Regards
        AOsman

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Dear AOsman,

          It is really hard to grasp how the people are coping with the current price gallops; especially those Eritrean families who do not have any helping hand from abroad. From what I see, the prices have risen roughly tenfold relative to what they were at the end of the 90’s. In comparisen, the salaries have stayed the same.

    • AOsman

      Nitricc,

      Two quotations for you from the last two articles:

      My older brother, a second round national service, was inflicted with Tuberculosis, and he was elated when they gave him a leave: he thought it is a good opportunity to work

      Assailing us with his talks, he said he was happy for the serious injury on his leg which he was inflicted with in the course of performing compulsory national service. It required the care of Italian doctors who attended to him for several months. However, he was thankful for his leg injury, because of which he was free.

      Now read Tes previous message with those two in mind, and stop being so Nitricc.

      Regards
      AOsman

    • Tewelde G/mariam

      Nitricc,
      I do not think you are an Eritrean. Otherwise you would not have resorted to such sarcastic skepticism of a painful story which, if indeed you were an Eritrean, would have rekindled in your soul of such direct or indirect experience that you had gone through in the past because as author rightly indicated, the story is the story of every Eritrean save the perpetrator, his family, and his cabals and their families.

      Your response reminds of the response the impostor isaias afewerki and his cabal, yemane monkey made about such heart wrenching stories. They totally denied that such a things ever happened in Eritrea, that it was an inventions of the enemies who did not accept the sovereignty of Eritrea.

      But an impartial investigator would very easily spot the contradictions they uttered without even looking for evidence from the victims or going to the country togather valid informations because the fact that the isaias afewerking has been , for fifteen years, masquerading as a president of the country by willfully trampling the Will Of The People, the Constitution, the implication of which is that he has turned the people into his slaves.

      And who would at this time consciously defend and rationalize the Crime Against Humanity being wholesale inflicted on our people by isaias afewerki and his cabals?

      Isaias afewerki has been the author of evey evil deed that has been befalling on our country and people: the 1998 war, the crippling successive sanctions, the drawn out No War No Peace, the isolation of our country , the Human Trafficking, the mass exudos of our people etc. Truelly a con artist and treacherous ( I hope the veteran tegadalai Wedi Blata will one day end his silence on this subject) that he has ever been since he joined ELF in 1966, he was able to do two opposite acts simultaneously: to inflict evil and to convince his victims that he was their savior.

      However, although isaias afewerki has had a very long run of success of inflicting evils and getting away with it, the chickens have at last come to roost. He can no more hide any longer. He is explosed. His support base is shrinking at the speed of light. But we must not be surprised if the likes of Nitriccs stand by him down to his grave; they are his Abai Tigrai disciples.

      • Rahwa T

        Dear Tewolde,

        One should not necessarily be an Eritrean to feel Tes’ emotional pain when his whole family fell under this situation. I think every human being with a good heart would be very sad to hear such a sad story. My appreciation to Tesfabirhan for his courage and strength and being academically successful when he is under stressful condition, which is emotionally very difficult to hear let alone experience it. I don’t know how many of us would walk normally had we been in his position.

        • Tewelde G/mariam

          Dear Rahwa,
          You are absolutely right.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Thanks awate team

    Tes’s family story is a sample of the millions Eritrean heart wrenching stories they are confronting with. This family story and tes’s activism is a remindinding note to all of us to keep our struggle to continue with faith to the end. Thank you again.

    Regards,

  • V.F.

    Thank you AT and Tes for sharing this incredible story of an Eritrean family. To say that this is a typical Eritrean family’s story would be an unfair generalization because every family is unique. Every Eritrean individual and every Eritrean family’s story should be told as Tes did.

    I learned a lot from this story about Tes and also it brought me down to a human level. We discuss here about a lot of fancy things but there is humanity 101 before all else. Everything can be put on hold but the humanitarian crisis in Eritrea should be the first to be tackled.

    So many Eritrean families are not faring very well at all with members dispersed all over the world. I, myself, have siblings in Ethiopia, Kenya, England, Sweden, Italy, and of course Eritrea. Each of my siblings can tell gruesome stories lasting hours and hours.

    I am not trying to match Tes’s story by any means but just trying to support the idea that we have humanitarian crisis of untold proportions in Eritrea. It may not seem very visible to the world but every family is suffering quietly just as Tes has been quiet about his everyday pain for as long as he has been participating here. He, like most people, hasn’t personalized it. It’s the whole nation that is suffering thus it is a crisis that we all have to assume ownership of including dawit, Ted, Gud, and Nitrcc.

    Reform or weed out, union or never, regional integration or isolation, all these things we debate here everyday are things to be dealt with after we ensure our continuity and integrity as a people. Democracy or constitution for whom? Every great nation is composed of great people. It’s the greatness and the integrity and unified and healthy families that made Eritreans who they were upto the last 10 years or so. That greatness is in great jeopardy right now because Isaias Afweki is on a mission to make us nebereya nebere and a lot of opposition organizations and activists are preoccupied with mundane and cosmetic things while IA inches ever closer to his ultimate desire. That desire is to inflict as much suffering as he can unleash until he can’t anymore.

    We need to fight for the masses and let them off of the shackles of PFDJ and IA BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY!!!

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Team:
    I am delighted that you gave this post its rightful place, saving it from getting buried with the other comments. It was transpired when a heated exchange ensued. Tes was passionate, open , clear, concise and eloquent when sharing his story, the story of his family, the story of the Eritrean family at large, a story of humanity, a story that went far too long.
    He, several times wrote profoundly remarkable commentaries but most of us did not notice, his timing was not right

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Tes
    Thank you for sharing your story. It is representative of the hardship and heartbreaking situations Eritrean families are going through. Keep the faith, though.