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Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Addis Ababa And Djibouti: Mannequin And Plastic

In the last edition of Negarit, I lamented the sad situation of Assab, and the sadder situation of the people of that region who are denied job opportunities in their own country by a reckless policy of the dictator and his enablers. I was going to leave it at that, …

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Unusual: Imagining Asseb Through Djibouti

As much as I try to stay focused on Eritrean issues, the spirit of the Horn Of Africa pulls me towards it; and the last two months have been phenomenally busy for me. Whenever I sit down to write about something, another thing comes up, and then another, and another. …

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Facts For The Gossip League

If it wasn’t spoiled for me, I had intended to give my readers a light reportage about my trip to Djibouti (April 3 to 10) and Ethiopia (April 10 to 27). I will do that soon after I take care of a small glitch and do some cleaning up. I …

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Post “Liberation” Struggle For Liberation

(This is a speech delivered on Saturday February 19, 2011, at a meeting hosted by the People’s Committee for National Congress of Greater Los Angeles—Saleh Gadi Johar) The title of the topic that I was asked to talk about by the organizers of the event is ‘Post Liberation Movement’; but …

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The Endangered Brown Frog Of Eritrea

I swear I never intended to write about any NGO or Ngdet (in the plural) after the one I wrote in April of 2010, but I was not so inspired that I had to do it again. Blame it on a certain scholar, Sga Aboy ille—he made one stupid comment too many, …

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An Eritrean Year Of So Many Alis

Ali Copter When the helicopter first appeared in the Eritrean lowlands, the people mispronounced its name. It became Ali Copter. But that presented a problem to women who were married to men named Ali since tradition dictated that they not utter their husband¹s name under any condition. They had to …

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The Lizard’s Tail

Once I saw an American neighbor’s kid showing off his chameleon that crawled on his hands. The father was proudly smiling because his son was so happy with the pet that he bought him for his birthday. I saw the chameleon turn its skin into different shades and hues, I …

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A Conversation With MP Arhe Hamednaca

The population of Yiker, a small village close to Elaberet, another small village, could not have expected the news that came out of Sweden last week. Good luck finding Elaberet in the map let alone Yiker. But against all odds, that small village, tucked in the hills behind Elaberet, is …

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Naud: The Living Legend Passes Away

On September 16, 2010, the legendary leader Mohammed Said Naud passed away in Asmara Eritrea where he has been living since he returned to Eritrea in 1991 just after the Ethiopian forces were pushed out of Eritrea. He was seventy four years old. The Eritrean ruling party’s website annopunced his death in two-sentences only: “Veteran …

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Good News, Bad News And Ngst Hanna

Today I have bad news, good news and anger, but first, let me begin with the good news. Good News #1: My friend Adhanom Gebremariam was sick, bedridden for weeks in a hospital where the doctors tried on him all their knives, cutting, his abdomen, sewing it again, only to …

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Of Kings And Bandits

Today’s Negarit is somewhat of a commercial; Negarit has begotten negaritmedia.com. And Negarit Media has begotten its first book, ‘Of Kings And Bandits.’ What led into all of that?   Four of every five people I know have urged me to write a book; I know what it takes to …

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Like An Aged Wine

In the last edition of Negarit, I promised to write about the issue of official languages in Eritrea. I have kept my promise. As usual, a short story will hopefully put you in a relaxed mood as you read this rather long article.   A drunken violinist, a Wata, had …

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Ngdet London, Kahsa Weyane

Let’s begin with a traditional scene. Two spouses quarrel and friends intervene. The husband is pressured to ask for forgiveness. He brings home a fat chicken, the wife cooks it for lunch and they resolve their issues over a zigni derho meal. The husband brought some gifts as well: a …

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The Torch Is Dead, Long Live the Torch

Fresh breeze came from the south carrying subtle smell of animal dung and wild flowers as a mother agonized delivering her second baby. She has been laboring for hours when finally the baby came into this world, the few women in the house let out sharp ululations, twelve times, a …

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Ufficio Lavoro, Worker’s Union & Labor Party

A laborer, a worker and a proletariat may be interchangeable words, if you are innocent. But as you progress from one to the other, you notice that the involvement of the politicians who claim to speak on behalf of labor ranges from zero to one hundred percent; from the practical …

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Milk Moustaches And Awate.com

For a few months now, I have been unconsciously humming an old children’s rhyme: shuf’el kedis gllet adebu; shereb leben wemesah shenebu… It is a story of a cat that slurps milk meant for a baby and then licks its whiskers clean as if nothing happened, while the hungry baby …

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Confusion: Opposition Or Resistance?

We are almost three-weeks into Ramadan; this year it is a marathon fasting, 15 long hours of daylight. The initial physical fatigue is now easier, but given the steady ignorance (and perpetual) provocations, being nice and peaceful (a must in Ramadan) has proven more difficult than the physical fasting. The …

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Eritrea Is Not An Eggshell

“It is time to take a break from impersonating someone else; if you find my writing a bit rusty, you have to wait until I immerse myself in the character of Ali Salim!” Lucky me, the Ayni Brur always allege I am behind many pen names, including Mensour Kerrar and …

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“Mistirawit Debdabbe” To Obama

Congratulation to all Obama supporters; in the last three days before the election, I was afraid he would be Swift-boated. The American system, unlike the systems set by unelected repressive regimes, has always been self-correcting and that is the best quality of America. I was impressed by the level of …

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Tweedledum & Tweedledee: lqqi chflqqi

Tweedeldum and Tweedeldee are characters in an old poem by the English poet John Byrom. Over time, the characters were adapted in nursery rhymes and cartoons and became the equivalent of “Dumb & Dumber”. Searching for an Eritrean equivalent of Tweedeldum & Tweedeldee I found a perfect traditional Tigrinya rhyme: …

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