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Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of awate.com. Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism Awate.com was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of awate.com is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

The Smashed Eritrean Wristwatch

[this was first published in May of 2015 in objection to an attempt by some hacks to revive old partisan rivalry, and their obsession with partisan politics. Yet, they are the ones who insist on national unity and on focusing to achieve change [justice] in Eritrea. The current debates in some circles …

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Berekhet Mengisteab on the Answering Machine

This was first posted on Dehai twenty-years ago (Sun, 3 Aug 1997). I was going over some old files when I accidently stumbled upon it-–I don’t remember the occasion or the inspiration that made me write it, but with minor editing, I thought it serves as an  entertainment and easy …

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Asmara to Geneva: A 25-Years Journey

Clarance Darrow, the famous civil libertarian wrote, “No other offense has ever been visited with such severe penalties as seeking to help the oppressed.” He also said, “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” Eritrean patriots would attest to that; they have been facing injustice …

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Untie The Knot In Your Life

Today’s edition is very personal. I am celebrating my 87th cigarette-free day. Three-months of detoxification and I am treating myself to a cup of tea, not in the usual open air, but inside the shop. Over the years I got used to sitting outside, come rain or shine, because I …

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The Prayers Of Good People

Mr. Johar! Mr. Johar! It was Big Bird calling my name; I could see the bright red mouth when it opened its yellow beak. There was clamor, unusual  commotion for the calm Sesame Street Show. The noise became tense, and louder. Big Bird continued calling my name: Mr. Johar. Mr. Johar! When …

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UHURU: An Eritrean Cry From Nairobi

This edition of Negrit comes in two sections. The first is about the journey that culminated in the convening of the Nairobi meeting; the second is a postscript. I believe many are expecting my personal reaction to the “Veto” exercised against my attendance by Andeberhan at the final session of the …

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Tesemma, The Lion Of Maareba

The history of Eritrea in the forties cannot be remembered without mentioning the Independence Block. And that cannot be mentioned without remembering Ras Tessema Asmerom. The independence block played an important role in the struggle against Eritrea’s unconditional unity with Ethiopia. Tessema Asmerom, a member of the Akele-Guzai nobility, was …

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السياسة الإرترية والتنوّع … بين القول والعمل

حضرت في التاسع والعشرين من شهر أغسطس الماضي إجتماعًا بدعوة من منظمي منتدى بولونيا في أوكلاند . وكنت قد أعددت خطابًا باللغة الإنجليزية ، ولكنني قررت أن ألقيه باللغة التغرينية ، بدون التمسك بالترجمة الحرفية لما في الخطاب . لذلك لست متأكدًا ما إذا كانت كلمتي مختصرة أو مسترسلة ، …

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Ali Baabe, Adolescent At Seventy

Sometime ago I discovered Banyan is a name of a tree, but I don’t know why the Indian community that lived in Eritrea was called Banyan. As a child, I was a client of a Banyan barber until he left town. Then I shifted to Aya Estifanos, who also moved …

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Miriam Was Here In Tigrinya Coming Out In July

It’s with great pleasure that I announce that the Tigrinya translation of my last book “Miriam Was Here” is now accomplished. The translation took almost a year and another several months in editing, checking, proofreading, cover design and registration. I am also glad to announce that I received the prestigious …

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Eritrean Opposition’s Pink Panther Show

I envy people who grew up watching the Pink Panther cartoon show; there was no television where I grew up. But as an adult, I avenged myself; I watched all Pink Panther shows. If you find a strange word, run for the dictionary. If you want to check a location …

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The Smashed Eritrean Wristwatch

Some anecdotes are timeless, I will tell you an old one: Adey Tekh’a, was a very old senile woman. A combatant asked her how old she was. She tried to remember, “Since I was baptized as Tekh’a, since I shepherded the goats. What! I could be 400 or 500 hundred …

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Eritrean Janus Ethiopian Hydra

This edition of Negarit was about to be published when the tragic events in Libya, and then the Mediterranean Sea overwhelmed us. I delayed it for a few days to give people time to mourn. Here, I would like to commend the Ethiopian government for handling the Libya massacre case …

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Ona: Nine-Meter Shroud

As we push towards reconciliation, we have to expose the wounds of the past that always pop-up to hinder the journey. Real reconciliation should not be considered for the sake of political expedience alone. The festering wounds need to be recognized and healed to reach a meaningful and lasting peace. …

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Put Off The Lanterns of Terror

This is a bribe, in a nice way, the legitimate kind of bribe. I thought of offering it in preparation for the next edition of Negarit which I suppose will make a few readers uneasy. Please accept this Arabic poem which I wrote over fifteen years ago while I lived …

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Eritrean Salvation Front Attacks A Government Garage In Asmara

In a statement issued today, March 13, 2015, of which Gedab News received a copy, the Eritrean National Salvation Front (ENSF) announced that its armed unit attacked a government garage in Qohawta neighborhood, southeast of the capital city Asmara. ENSF is an Eritrean opposition organization. According to the statement, the …

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Achievers Who Make Eritreans Proud

Considering all the demoralizing news coming out of Eritrea one would be hard pressed to rule out Eritreans as mainly refugees and under-achievers. A demoralized and damaged people. But time and again Eritreans proved to themselves and to the world that, given a natural chance, they can excel. And excelling …

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Awate 2020: Project Survey

Introducing Awate 2020 Project Project end date: June 10, 2015 Dear all, As you all know, awate.com is in its fifteenth year of uninterrupted service in the struggle for the betterment of Eritrea. Over the years, we have accumulated experience, goodwill, and morale equity. At this juncture of our history, …

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Confession From Outside The Bubble

Consider today’s Negarit edition mainly a confession booth; I hope the so-called “silent majority” would join me. But first let’s remember the phrase “silent majority” was popularized by President Nixon, who robbed the anti-war constituency of the credit for the decision to pull out of Vietnam, and countersigned that credit …

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