First of all, Awatista is a knock-off of Sandanista. We are not lefties, but we are revolutionaries, thus the Awatista. If you consider yourself a revolutionary, someone who wants to change the world for the better, you may not agree with us on anything else, you are an awatista. Well, you must believe in the cause of Hamed Idris Awate: FREEDOM.
Now, then, we are talking about awate 7.0. Why 7.0? Because it is the 7th version of awate.com since we founded the website in 2000. No, it is not true, we did not copy Google, Microsoft and Apple and have a secret name (Gaba, Akat, Nyala) for this latest revision. That was the proposal of our developer and he is a born trouble-maker. And exceptionally talented: and when we think of how GOOD and TALENTED he is, and how he could have been snuffed by the Isaias regime in 2001, we hate the Isaias Afwerki regime even more for all the Eritrean talent it has wasted. Yes, whether it is version 1.0 or 7.0 or 17.0 that won’t change: WE HATE THE ISAIAS AFWERKI REGIME AND WE WON’T SLEEP UNTIL IT IS UPROOTED AND JOINS THE DUST BIN OF HAILE SELASSE AND MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM. Are we yelling? No apologies.
No, we are not anywhere near ready but we want to pressure ourselves, and we want you to pressure us, to be ready by the first week of 2014.
Here’s our vision:
1. An independently published section for our regular writers (at least an article a month) with a section page that describes the author. We call it articles, you call it blogs. Tomatoes, tomatoes; potatoes, potatoes.
2. An improved discussion forum with more pizzazz (you will definitely like this. Oh, yes you will.)
3. A Tigrinya and Arabic section that will run parallel to the English format–all posting guidelines for the English section apply to the two sections. The continuation and maintenance of the two pages depends on the willingness and availability of dedicated writers and volunteer editors.
4. Cartoon, video, audio and other talent page. Awate channel (maEbel Awate.)
5. Select RSS feed to provide all the relevant information that you need, in one website. We want to make awate.com a one-stop website for news and information consumers, activists of all kinds (as long as they are awatistas: improve the world for the better, which we define simply as this: more civil liberties, more human rights, for all.)
6. Satire: we will translate shabait.com to ordinary language.
7. Crowd-sourcing. Emphasis on Human Rights and Civil Liberties.
8. A seamless integration of awate.com with our social media pages and links.
9. Tools and widgets to make your life easier and to keep your connection to Eritrea and our region (yes, Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti and the whole Horn of Africa.) Calendars, time zones, currency exchanges and more.
10. Fully web 2.0 compliant. This means simply that this is going to be, more than before, YOUR website. You will drive it, set its agenda, manage most of its content. We will have an Eripedia page where we celebrate Eritrea because our country is MUCH bigger than our political differences. Excited? We are!
11. Deadline. Well. We are pressuring ourselves; and we are relying on the stress from your pressure. This is the time when web developers go on hibernation, rest, relax and we are saying, NO, NO, NO, our readers are awaiting something new. Come back! No rest.
12. This is deliberately empty. It has nothing. Because: we want you to be Action 12: Tell us exactly what you want to see and (this is an Eritrean website after all) what you do NOT want to see.
13. Whatever doesn’t materialize in awate 7.0 will appear in awate 7.1, so while we appreciate your pressure, hey, don’t pressure us too much. Dig?