Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

Eritrea – Prisoner of Conscience Day

We have “Armed Struggle Launch Day” (September 1), “Martyr’s Day” (June 20) and “Independence Day” (May 24.) It stands to reason that we should have “Prisoner of Conscience Day” because those who didn’t die for the revolution, and who didn’t live to see Eritrea’s independence, have been imprisoned by it. Actually, in unique Eritrea, someone can celebrate…

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Professor Asmerom Legesse Gets It Wrong

In an article entitled “Critique of the Human Rights Commission [sic] on Eritrea”, Professor Asmerom Legesse attempts to take to task the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea (CoI-E) as well as Ms. Sheila Keetharuth, the UN-appointed Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in Eritrea.” Unfortunately, even very able and committed advocate of a…

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The Churning

There were two demonstrations in Geneva in June 2015 on the occasion of the Human Right Council’s 29th session (HRC 29): one was in opposition to the damning report issued to the HRC by a body it mandated, the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea (CoIE), and the other was in support. There was, as usual,…

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When Eritreans Went To The Polls In 1997

Everybody is going to the polls, let’s go to ours. Well, it is a different kind of poll our is an opinion poll and not voting poll. And it requires a time machine…that takes us 18 years back. And it is not by the millions but by the dozens. But it may give us a clue…

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Come And See (What We Want You To See)!

The good news is that the Eritrean opposition and the Eritrean government have started talking to one another. The bad news is that it is proxy talks: it is discussions by our favorite foreigners. Pro-oppo Foreigner Narrative: Eritrea is one of the worst violators of human rights and exporters of asylum-seekers; an outlaw regime that…

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Congratulations Mr. Yemane Gebremeskel, Incoming MoI

Mr. Yemane Gebremeskel, aka “Charlie”, has been named Eritrea’s Minister of Information, according to his ghost writers at He replaces Ali Abdu, who defected from the post in November 2012.   I think it was November 2012 although I can’t be sure because the other ghost writers at had sworn they had seen him…

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I Was Wrong

Ever ordered “Chef’s Special” at a restaurant? Don’t: it is stuff the restaurant couldn’t sell. Also, two Americans opened a Chinese restaurant in China and everything Chinese was alien to the Chinese: kung-pao chicken, Mongolian beef, and definitely Chow Mein, invented by a San Franciscan chef and of course the take-out Chinese boxes (which the…

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Afro-Pessimism, Optimism, Realism And Eritrea

Much of the scholarship that deals with African development can be categorized as Afro-pessimist, Afro-optimist or Afro-realist.  To-date, the case for pessimism had been easier to make: Africa is so far behind on nearly every metric, and it has been stuck there for so long, and it is growing at such lackluster rates, it is hard…

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How To Win Eritrea’s “Political Legitimacy” Argument

Since 1991, the debate between Eritrean regime supporters and the opposition has been that of legitimacy. Back in the 1990s, the arguments were crude. The opposition would ask “who elected you to lead me?” and the regime spokesperson would answer: “And who elected me to fight for your independence?” Ah, good times. The State was…

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EYSC’s Bologna Forum Recognizes Dr. Bereket Habteselassie

03 Sep 2015 Semere T Habtemariam Comments (150)

Oakland, California: On Saturday, August 30, 2015, the Eritrean Youth Solidarity for change’s (EYSC) Bologna Forum recognized Dr. Bereket Habteselassie…

Two Heroes, Same Gene, Same Strain

02 Sep 2015 Abdulkader O. Ali Comments (1)

Awate the initiator, Awate the continuation, congratulation! Awate, the man who gave birth to a nation Awate, the website which inspired the…

September 1, Happy Double Awate Day

01 Sep 2015 Awate Team Comments (421)

If nations do not have symbols, they create them. National symbols help solidify a common identity and strengthen unity. Every…

Reintroducing Diversity In Eritrean Politics

30 Aug 2015 Saleh "Gadi" Johar Comments (104)

On Saturday, August 29, 2015, I attended an event hosted by Bologna Forum in Oakland. I had prepared a speech…




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