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Book Review: Defiance In The Time Of Chaos And Existential Threat

Book Title: Defiance In The Time Of Chaos And Existential Threat
Author: Bereket Habte Selassie
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Authorhouse (18 July 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 172831805X  and ISBN-13: 978-1728318059

In a world beset by “moral bankruptcy, corruption and the threat of nuclear war,” it is the age-old “phenomenon of migration” that is causing unprecedented tensions and undermining the ties that bind people “within and among nations.” No one understood this better than the late American author, Samuel Huntington, who in his book, The Clash of Civilization, encapsulated the background in which Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie’s latest story takes place: “If demography is destiny, population movements are the motor of history.”

The profundity of Huntington’s pithy and yet loaded sentence could only be unraveled by a  few thoughtful and deep thinkers like Defiance’s Stefan Schmidt, a German scholar/activist, and not by the modern-day demagogues, who would stop at nothing to win elections, and have an evident disdain for asking deeper questions.

Dr. Schmidt is one of the three protagonists of Selassie’s new novel. The other two being Rashid Ibrahim, a European football star of Sudanese origin and Isabelle Negassa, a French woman with an Ethiopian father, who was killed by the Mengistu regime when she was an infant living in France.

Defiance is a global story in the new global village where the lofty ideals of an open society, free trade and the universal declaration of human rights are constantly strained by the machinations  of political expediency and electioneering. But if professional associations of doctors and journalists could work without borders, why couldn’t the people of the world do so to meet the challenges of the modern global world? So asks Selassie’s Defiance.

Some notable political theorists like Benjamin Barber have already started advocating for the creation of a parliament of mayors, where cities unencumbered by national sovereignty can act locally and collaborate globally. Perhaps the new world of globalism, conceived in the 19th  and 20th century world of triumphant nationalism, is falling short because it has not gone far enough. The anachronous structures and ideas have hit a wall and are needlessly hindering progress.  The new world has to first clear out the outdated way of thinking.

So many activists have already come to the conclusion that the world cannot have its cake and eat it too, and that tough choices have to be made. A number of non-governmental, non-profit and humanitarian organizations and think-tanks are leading the way and it is this fight that has brought the trio protagonists together enabling them to forge their lasting Platonic and romantic relationships that were occasionally punctured by breakups. They all agree that it is time to move forward with the spirit of the time, and not retreat to the too familiar world of fortress-building, where those who are besieged inside dream of getting out and those kept outside, dream of getting in. The world can debate the “Push or Pull Factor” of migration, but migration is here to stay, and new policies have to be formulated and implemented.

Although, the “phenomenon of migration”  is as old as history, the venom and rhetoric of xenophobia and racism—cleverly masquerading under the seemingly benign patriotic slogan of “making America great again,” that the new president of the United States Donald Trump has shamelessly spewed—has compounded the “existential threat.” The genius of the American experiment is not, and was not, to form a “perfect union,” but “a more perfect union.” The responsibility of Americans is to bequeath to the next generation a country greater than what they  have inherited from their predecessors. The binding covenant is to make America continually greater and not “great again.” This on-going perfectibility is what makes America the most exhilarating political experiment ever devised by mankind. America is an inherently forward-looking, young and optimistic country, where every generation finds it glory in the endless possibilities of the future and not the stagnant past. Immigrants are an integral piece of keeping the American spirit young, fresh and vibrant.

It is this on-going perfectibility that has made America exert unprecedented influence in the world. The truth is: what goes for America goes for the world. Up to now—for the most part—America has well-played the role of the shining city on the hill. It is mind-boggling to the German Stefan Schmidt how the country that has championed the tearing down of walls in his home-country, only three decades ago, has suddenly become the one that wants to build them in its own backyard. The irony is that Trump’s pillar of support comes from people who wear the Bible under their sleeves conveniently ignoring that, “Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.”

Not long ago, Lady Liberty “lifted its lamp besides its golden doors” to the “homeless,” “the tempest-tossed,” “the poor,” and “the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Now Trump tells them “go home,” “you’re causing crime and big problems,” “the US is ill-prepared for your invasion and we’ll not stand for it.”

Sadly, Trump is forfeiting America’s moral leadership by failing, in the words of Lincoln,  to strengthen “the bonds of affection” among all people by touching them “by the better angels” of America’s nature. It is for this reason that many Americans have taken it upon themselves to be good Samaritans and show kindness and mercy to the many immigrants stranded in the temporary shelters on the southern border. It is also  the reason the author, an immigrant himself, has dedicated his book to, “The Migrant father and his daughter who drowned while crossing the Rio Grande.”

Trump aside, the problem of migration is as complicated as it is too familiar. Migration is the rule and not the exception in human history and since there is no agreed upon cut-off time on when one ceases to be an immigrant, it is safe to say that people all over the world are some sort of migrants. Wars, conquests, famine, exploration, and the search for greener pastures have driven people all over the world from one part of the world to another and everywhere in between. The power relation between the new comers and those who have been there has necessitated many shades of gray, but, semantics aside, it is the same old story of people moving from one place to another to resettle, find employment and better opportunities, and escape persecution.

Conquerors, colonizers, expatriates, and refugees are all immigrants of some sort. But in a world that has not fully exorcised itself from the shackles of historical biases, prejudices and a sense of racial and ethnic superiority, a Mexican working in the US is a migrant worker while an American working in Mexico is an expat. The expat is—supposedly—a modern-day missionary with a burden of spreading commerce and civilization; he is the good guy who has to brave the hardship of the less-developed South for more altruistic reasons than naked self-interest. He is a boon to the South while the immigrant from the South is a burden to the North. This is what drives the vitriol against immigrants from what Trumps calls “shit-hole” countries and the rise of right-wing nationalist parties in several Western countries.

The world might have gone mad on politics, but the book reminds us that there are still human values that make us laugh and cry and happy and sad. It is an intelligent book that sheds light on the human condition. When all is done and said, Defiance is a human story of love, friendship and humanity. Isabelle’s desire to connect with her father’s family and find his remains in unmarked mass-graves is as touching as it is edifying. It is this love and human desire to connect that takes the trio to several countries and three continents and knock on the doors of power. It is what took them to Ethiopia where they met a former freedom fighter who has become an extremely wealthy government official and notorious philanderer after his group took power in the country, replacing the unelected government of Mengistu Hailemariam. In an interesting word-play, his name was Teshome—one who was appointed to a position of authority through legitimate means. In a culture that harks back to the Middle Ages, Teshome was the victor who got all the spoilage; it was his turn and that was all the legitimacy he needed. It is hard not to feel that Defiance is art mimicking life.

Defiance is a book about the sublime as it is about the mundane, the lofty as well as the base. Sometimes the characters command respect, and other times rebuke, but over all, they exhibit human frailties, vices, virtues, and capriciousness and in trying moments they show their true colors and what they are really made-of; they become whole and that makes all the difference. There is hope for humanity.

Defiance will make you realize that the shoe that fits one pinches another. A culture of empathy, as the author have said in his earlier works, is all that one needs to remain fully engaged in the story.

I strongly recommend Dr. Bereket’s book, “Defiance”. It can be purchased from Amazon: Defiance.


About Semere T Habtemariam

Semere T Habtemariam is an author and a columnist at Awate. He holds a BA in Government and Politics and a MA in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas. He lives in Dallas, Texas. His two books are: Reflections-History-Abyssinian-Orthodox-Tewahdo and Hearts-Like-Birds.

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  • ጠረብ ጠረብ ጠረብረብ
    ሰሓብ ሰሓብ
    ኣንታ ሰብ ሰብ ኣንታ ሰብ
    ሃብ ደኣ ሃብ ሃብ
    ን ቲ
    አንተ ወሰኽካሉ ኣንታ ሰብ
    ን ሃብ
    ይኸውን ሃብቲ





    • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

      ዳክተር ጻጸ
      ርእሰይ ዶ ክላጸ?

      ተተረደኣኒ ትመልእኽቲ
      ስለትቐብሮ ኣብ ታሕቲ
      ነዚ ናትካ ግድል ክፈትሕ
      ኣጥርየ ሕማም ኮራርምቲ
      ሓጋይ ዝጸሓፍካዮ ተፈቲሐዮ ክረምቲ
      ‘ተ ዘይኮይኑ ክሓቶም ‘የ ንዓዲ ሞንጎቲ
      ወይ ድማ ሰብ ሰገነይቲ
      ኮይንካኒ ‘ኳ ናይ ኮዲንግ ትሊንቲ

      ኤእ ብሰንክኻ ርእሰይ ተሓሚመ
      እሞ ‘ንተ ተሓኪመ
      ወይ ድማ ‘ንተተለኪመ

      ከይኮነካ ጣዕሳ
      ‘ታመልሓስካ ኣለስልሳ

      መልእኽትኻ ክንርድኦ
      ኣግህዶ ኣብ ክንዲ ትሓብ ኦ
      ንዓይ ጥረኣይ ‘ንተኾይኑ
      መልእኽትኻ ተሸፊኑ

      ዕሽሽ ኢልካ ሕለፎ
      እዚ ዝብለካ ጠቕሊልካ ጉሓፎ
      ካብ ዘኽብረካ ‘መሃንድስ ዚ ዘገንፎ’

      • ወይለከይ ኣነ ሓዋ
        ተምጸኦ ‘ለዋ
        ግዲ አታ ትብልዋ
        ኣንታ ‘ዛ ዳዋ

        ዝበልኩ ‘ነ ንቶም ሰብ ከቢድ ኣጽዋር
        ዝኣወጁለይ ዂናት ኣብ ኩሉ ግምባር
        ነቲ ኣዝየ ዝፈልጦ በዓል ፈረስ
        ክንደይ ዘይጋለበ ድፋዐይ ከፍርስ
        ኣየ ምዓት ዶሮና ዓይንኻ ንኽትርኢ ብዳህሳስ
        ዕላምኦም ኩሉ ደጀነይ ን ምድምሳስ
        ውሽጢ ውሽጢ ይሉአኹለይ

        ሕጂ ኸኣ ናትካ ጭንቂ
        ኣለዎ ዶ ጠንቂ
        ከምቶም ቅንጠመንጢ
        ዘይ ኮንኩ ኣን ሓንጣጢ
        ዶ ኣይነበርካን ን ጎባጢ
        ኩቡር ኣስላጢ
        ነታ ሓቂ ጨባጢ
        ብ ስነ ፍልጠት ስነ ጥበብ
        ናይ ህንድስና ሸቃጢ
        ዘይ ነበርካዮ ኣስቅጢ
        ዘላለይ ቀዳማይቲ ፊደል ‘ልያን
        ናይ ጢልያን አታ ጢ
        ዘይተራአየ ኣየ ወ ቅድሜኻ

        ኣቐዲምካ ስለ ትፈልጦ
        ጡዑም አንተ ‘ለዎ ሓንፍፎ
        ድሑር አንተ ኮይኑ ኣትርፎ
        በደል አንተ ‘ለዎ ግረፎ
        ን ዘኽብሮ ዶቶረ’ስ ኣነ ክጸርፎ
        ሽሙ ክቕይሮ ኢለ ዘግንፎ
        ርኸበሉ ደኣ መዕርፎ
        ተተንከፉ ሕማቕ ስምዒትካ ባዕልኻ ደኣ ኣጽድፎ።
        ናባይ ጦብላሕታ ቆላሕታኻ ግደፎ ግደፎ
        ኣለኒ ኣነስ ሓያል ተጻባኣይ ስኑ ዘርግፎ

        ኣስትውዕልካ ዶ ቅልው ቅልው ቅልውላዋ?



  • ዓይኑ አቲ ስዉር
    ዓይኑ አቲ ዕውር
    ኣየ ሕስረት
    ስራሕ ኢቲ ግስረት
    በኣየንቲ መሽረፈት
    ደሓን ደሓን ደሓን
    ኣጆኻ ኣይትሰከፍ።

    ኣንዳልካ ኣንታ ንሱ
    ሕጂ ኸ አንታይ ፈሲሱ
    ኣድሚቑ ሃሲሱ
    ብቐደሙ ግዳይ
    ከፋሊ ገዛ ኽራይ
    ገደሎ ጽሩይ ማይ
    ኣጆኻ ሃብሮማይ
    ክትከውን ቀዳማይ
    ከተጥርይ ዳሓራዋይ

    አዚ ኹሉ ዝማለሌታትካስ
    ኣምጸኣለይ አኳ ድቃስ
    ከላስ ከላስ ከላስ
    አቲ ዝቐልል ይኣክል
    በልና ዶ ሓቀይከላስ
    ወላ ስ?

    ክንጅምሮ ዶ ታ
    አንዳ ሰውራ።

    ዎሆይ ኣንቱምምምም ሰብብብብብብ
    አንዳ ተኸደንካ ጉልባብ
    ሓንሳብ አጀ ጠባብ
    ብሑቡአ ብጸባብ
    አንዳቐያየርካ ካላኣይ ሳልሳይ ጉልባብ
    ሓንሳሳ ብ ሓንሳ…….ብ! ሓንሳብ
    ሕሰብ ሕሰብ ሕሰብ ሕሰብ
    አንታይ ክኾነኒ ዲኻ ኢልካ
    ኣንታሓውና መታን ክትረክብ
    አንታይ ዲኻ ትብል ዘለኻ
    ኣንታ ሓውና መኽሰብ
    ስኡን ኣይትኹነልና አወ ኣክብ
    አንታይ ጽጋቡ ኣይትበል
    አንታይ ኢዩ ዓይነቱ አዚ ሰብ
    ንዓኻ ኢየ ኣንታ ሰብ።

    ክደፍ ዓጀው ዓጀው ጀው መሲሉካ ጥዑም ከም ተምሪ ዓጅዋ
    ኣጸቢቕኩም ክትፈልጡዋ ራህዋ
    ኣሽረብ ኣል ጉዋ ጋህዋ ቃህዋ



  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ሰላማት ዓዋተ

    ኣንታ መጽሓፍ ዶ ክጽሕፍ
    ኣብ ርእሰይ ዘሎ ከራግፍ
    ሓደ ብሓደ ከብለን ንግፍ

    ሓንሳብ እጅገይ ክስብስብ
    ኣብ ሓንጎለይ ፋሕ ኢለን ዘለዋ ሓስባት ክእክብ
    ክሕንጥጥ ክጅምር ነቶም መጽሕፍቲ ዝደርሱ ከርክብ

    ኣየ ፈኸራ! ክንደይ ዘይረ ኣና በለት….

    ዋእ! ናበይ ደኣ ተሸሪቦም?
    ካብ ሓንጎለይ ወጺኦም
    ኣበይ ተሰዊሮም

    ‘ዛ ፒሮይ ቀለማ ዶ ወዲኣ
    ዶ’ ዋላስ ተሓቢኣ
    ሰብ ኣብዘይሪኣ

    ‘ንተ ‘ንበብኩስ ዝጽሕፍ ይመስለኒ ኔሩ
    ሕጂ ግን
    ገጅፍ ጎቦ ኣብ ቅድመይ ተገቲሩ
    መን ‘ዩ ‘ሞ ዘፍርሶ ፍሒሩ
    ብዓቕሊ ጽበት መስለኒ ሓንጎለይ ጒሂሩ
    እዋይ ቦራዕራዕ
    ካባይ ጀሚርካ ክንደይ ዘይፈከሩ

    ኣቐዲመ ክሓስብ ዶ ኔሩኒ ሓቀይ?

    ሓንቲ ገጽ ጽሒፈ ዘይክእል
    ኣይቅደምን ‘የ ንዝጽሕፉ ከቃልል


    ጥንቅቕ በሉ ኣይትሕመዩኒ
    ንሰብ ምትሓት ኣመል ኮይኑኒ

    ንሳያ ኔራ ክእለተይ
    ታ ድርቲ ዓቕመይ
    ሕጂ ግን ይምለስ ኣለኹ ናብ ልበይ

    ይቕሬታ ነቶም ትጽሕፉ
    ተዓንቂፈ ኔረ ኣይትተዓንቀፉ

  • Ayneta

    Merhaba Semere:
    While I appreciate the efforts that went to write the ”book review”, I find it hard to fathom what the intention behind penning the review is.

    1. I don’t see any critique on the content of the book. You focused more on global, academic laden concepts but failed to connect them with the premise of the book. At the end of the ”review”, I found myself scratching my head if I truly read the title of the article right.
    2. One has to go several paragraphs down to see any mention of the book. You wasted plenty of ink describing general abstracts, yet no tangible focus on the book.
    3. One area you miserably ( may be even deliberately) missed is to evaluate the book if it sheds light on African immigration and even Eritrea given the ongoing immigration crisis in the continent. I am not sure if you are comfortable to go in that direction given your previous comments here at Awate.
    4. If your intention was to market the book, you did a good job. In my opinion, Dr. Bereket is a legend and he deserves some free advertisement. But if you genuinely intended to critique the book, there is no content in your review to suggest so.

    • Paulos

      Selam Ayneta,

      Endearing terms in mind, I say, Semere is one of us, so is Awate. This is to say that, Awate is not TLS [The Times Literary Supplement] or The New Yorker magazine where the two are high end Book Review turf if you will. To be fair to your criticism, the title should’ve been more of a summary as opposed to a review but again, we pretty much the intended audience that we are, will buy the book whether it is a bore or a page turner. Context matters.

      • Ayneta

        Hi Paulo:
        I didn’t quite get the gist of your opinion, but from the feel of it, it appears you are not happy I criticized Semere for his ‘’review’’. I made it clear at the begging of my comment that I appreciated Semere’s efforts to bring the book to our attention, but I also tried to point out the fact there is a mismatch between the title of his article and the content. To be frank, this is not the first time Semere has done so. What he called ‘reveiew’ in the past was in fact more of free advertisement and less of critique. You cant have both ways: either it is implicit free marketing or it is a review in its real
        sense. Semere likes to play the second role under the disguise of the first one, which is not right. But like I said in my previous comment, it is good that he helped Dr. Bereket’s work ( which I admire greatly) get some attention here at Awate.

        I didn’t understand what you meant by ‘Semere is one of us, so is Awate’. I don’t think I alluded anything towards that effect. It seems you tried to read between the lines.

        • Paulos

          Selam Ayneta,

          We don’t even need a review of a book that was written by one of us–ወዲ መረባና–we would buy it regardless for a reason which is traditionally common to all of us. I suspect, that could have been the reason Semere didn’t go by the protocol Professor A. Hidrat kindly provided. We buy a book to garner knowledge and most importantly to help the writer financially as well. Sort of along the lines, ምብላዕ ምብልዑ ዝብኢ ዓድና ይብላዓዮ.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Dr Paulos,

            If we don’t need “book review” as you avowed in your argument, then let us call it “book summary” for what it is. Don’t you think so?


          • Paulos

            Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

            Let’s vote with a show of hands. Hands counted and summary it is 😂.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Dr Paulos,

            Have you read the “book review” by Dr. Okbazghi Yohannes on the memoir of Dr Bereket “The Crown and the Pen”? You read that you get what a book review entails.

          • Paulos

            Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

            I am afraid I have not. Would’ve loved to though. If I am not mistaken, I think I have seen him in a conference. Is he the sight impaired gentleman?

          • Amanuel Hidrat


            Yes he is. I met him in DC, in a Symposium facilitated by EFND, in which both of us were/are members of the organization.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Dr Paulos,

        The writing center at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, outlined the common features of a “Book Review” to evaluate the “Reviewers”. Here are some of the features:

        – First, a review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.

        – Second, and more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.

        – Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it.

        Therefore, reading the book rewiew of Semere H and reading the “handout of book review” as outlined above, I concur with the acute observations and critics of Ismailo and Ayneta. I hope the author of the review will take a note from the constructive criticism of his readers.


  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ምሁር ኣይኮንካን ተባሂለ
    ምሁር ደኣ ከመይ ‘ለ
    ስለዝኾንኩ ዲግሪ ዘይሰቐለ
    ብገለ ተሓንኲለ
    ካብ ማሕበር ምሁራት ተኸልኪለ

    እሞ ንስኻ ኣንታ ምሁር
    ቀደምሲ ኔርካ ክቡር
    እስከ ንገረኒ ሕጂ ‘ንታይ ኢኻ ትገብር?

    ምሁር ተባሂልካ
    ከምዛ ከማይ ‘ኳ ኢኻ ኣስቂጥካ

    ተኺእልካ ብሕቡእ ሽም ትጽሕፍ
    ወይ ድማ ብዘይ ሽም-ኣቦ ትልፍልፍ
    ከምኡ ደኣ ኣነስ መዓስ ተሪፉኒ
    ብምንታይ ደኣ ኢኻ ‘ሞ ትበልጸኒ?
    ንዓይ ተናሽወኒ

    ንሕና ንፈልጥ ምሁራት
    ይካትዑ ብትብዓት
    ወጺኦም ኣብ ቅርዓት
    ንስኻ ግን ተሓቢእካ ከም መርዓት

    ንዓይ ዘይምሁር ትብለኒ
    ታሕቲ ተውርደኒ?

    ‘ታ ፍልልይና ዲፕሎማ
    ኣብ ገዛኹም ለጢፍኩማ
    ናተይ ሕብእቲ (nada) ናትካ ግን ተሰሊማ
    ምናልባሽ ዶሮና ተሸኪማ

    ከምቶም ምሉእ ሽሞም
    ከይፈርሑ ኣብ ደገ ወጺኦም

    ኣንጻር ሓረድቲ ዝቃለሱ
    ምስ ዓመጽቲ ዝበኣሱ
    መሰረት ገዛእቲ ንኸፍርሱ

    ስለዚ ኣይትበለኒ ዘይምሁር
    ካባይ ንላዕሊ ስጋብ ትገብር

    ዲፕሎማ-ኣልቦ በለኒ
    ፈትየ መዓስ ኮይነ ትምህርቲ ‘ያ ኣብያትኒ
    ሕጂ ንስኻ ድማ ሓሳስያ ኣይትኹነኒ

    የንብብ ‘የ መጻሕፍቲ
    ገለ ተቐሰምኩ ካብ በላሕቲ

    • Haile S.

      ሰላም ምሃንድሻ፡

      ሰላም መሃንድሻ
      ግደፎ word-world ሓበሻ
      ትምህርቲ ተሰኪምካዮ ብኪሻ
      ዘይኮነ ዝተረኽበ ብውርሻ
      ተጻህዩ ተጎልጒሉ ከም ሕርሻ
      ምቁር ልስሉስ ከም ቃንጥሻ
      ከም ሕምባሻ
      ሓቅኻ ትምህርቲ ኣይኮነን ፍልጠት መጨረሻ
      ከምኡ’ውን መፈስሒ ኣብ መናፈሻ
      መርኣዪ እዩ ዝተበጽሐ ኣድራሻ
      ካብኡ ተላዒልካ ትግስግሰሉ ንዕብየት ንመገሻ

      እቲ ምሁር ዝብለካ ዘይተማህረ
      ተማሂሩ ዘይተመራመረ
      ካብ ድቃሱ ዘይተበራበረ
      ከብዱ ዝመልኣ ዝጸገበ ብወረ
      ስደዶ ምስትውዓል ክቆጽር እንዳ ቀሺ ማህደረ ።

      • Paulos

        ሰላም ሃይላት,

        ነብሶም ይምሓር ቀሺ ማህደረ፣ ኣባት ነብስና እዮም ኔሮም።

        • Haile S.

          ስርማት ጳውልሻ፡

          ማህደረ ዝበሃሉ ዘጋጠሙኒ ሰባት፡ መብዛሕትኦም ወይ መምህር ወይ ኣቐሽቲ ስለዝኾኑ እየ እምበር፡ ንሓደ ሰብ ዘኪረ ኣይኮንኩን። እዞም ኣባት ነብስኻ ዝፈልጦም ኣይመስለንን። ግና ሎምስ ሰብ እንዳረሳዕኩ እመጽእ ኣለኹ።

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            ሰላማት ሃይላት/ጳውሎሳይ

            ካብ ኣልዓልኩም ናይ ቀሺ ማህደረ
            በታ ሓንቲ ኢዱ መጽሓፍ ዝዓተረ
            ንብዙሓት ምሁራን ዘምሃረ
            ካርሸሊ ድንቁርና ዝሰበረ
            ገለ ‘ተልካ ግን ትስሕና ዕጣን ናይ በርበረ

          • Saleh Johar

            ኣታ ‘ዚ ጉሒላ ውርሻ ኣውሪስዎም
            ኣብ ኽሻ መሊኡ ብፍትሒ ዓዲልዎም
            ከይሞተ ብደዉ ኣመዓራርይዎም
            ድንቂ ዝኾነ ስንቂ ‘ዩ ‘ስኒቁዎም
            ዘይተኣደነ ዕሽነት ሂቡ ራሕሪሕዎም
            ኣይትኹንኒ መረት ጾር ተሸኪሞም
            ኣኻይሽ ዶ ‘ሞ ፎኵስ ኮይኑ:: ሕጅስ ከቢድዎም

          • Paulos

            Caro Geometra,

            ኣቦይ ቀሺ ማህደረ had a lot of class. He stood out when he owned a Villa in Geza Banda and of course drove VW Beatles when most of the clergies hit the road on foot and lived in a rented abode. One other clergy with the same class and taste was ቀሺ ግብጻዊ. He owned electric ሞጎጎ and maintenance store and drove Datsun Pick Up Truck. Those were the elites and literati in their own right when the stigma of impoverishment lingered about the ተዋህዶ Church. May God bless their souls.

          • Haile S.


            Now after making me smell piece of cloth samples (I am like police dogs), I remember some more of the businesses-minded orthodox clergy. Owners of oil factory, a coffee packaging factory, book shops, elementary schools and candle wax shops to mention some. I couldn’t come up with a bar owner :-).

          • Paulos


            Bar owner? That is classic. You should see me laughing. I remember calling out clergies “ቀሺ ሓጥያት” when they get wasted with ስዋ or ሜስ! Good times and an age of innocence when they were apolitical much less conspire with a looney leader.

            And of course, ቀሺ ሉቃስ comes to mind who owned a Book Store.

          • Men eyu Asmarino

            Men eyu Asmarino
            Hi all
            There was a nun’ (Felasit) who used to teach an art design in front of Kehas secondary school
            The place was used for disco every Sunday
            I was a kid who was in charge of the disco

          • Haile S.

            Selam Asmarino,

            The only disco/nightclub I know around Kehas is located on a small road from the principal road to Kagnew beside Kehas known by the name Copacabana or ኮባኩባና as we used to call it. There were two swa/mies houses that students use to go, one down on that principal road (forgot the name), the other, not far. This is memory from the mid 70s.

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Hey Paul,
            Should we call him ፈሲሕ ቀሺ ማህደረ 🙂
            If this was the same ቀሺ ግብጻዊ, his son, Simon, was my classmate. I wonder where or what he is doing now.

          • Paulos

            Caro Geometra,

            I vaguely knew one of his adult children but wouldn’t tell his name. Perhaps could be an Awatista, one would never know. Hope he is well where ever he may be.

  • Paulos

    Selam Semere,

    Thank you for the great review and equally, I commend Professor B. Habteselassie for his beyond human energy where the rest of us can only wish to be bestowed with that kind of grace in an old age. May God bless him with the touch of Methuselah!

    Perhaps, on the heels of Enlightenment credo, the idea of progress took hold not only in the scientific enquiry to understand the world around us but if every human is equal under a universal law became a fundamental question as we created political communities. Certainly, bad science interfered along the way when it pushed for a stratification of races based on competence and intelligence. Eugenics among other loaded terms to be more precise. If the term was born in continental Europe, it was practiced and enacted into law in the land where we are told that, it is a city of hope up on the hill. Right after it made its defining credo as a city on the hill, it uprooted and shipped close to 12 million slaves with in the span of 4 centuries–not immigrants looking for a better future but uprooted from their natural habitats.

    Along the threads of history, the pillars of Enlightenment were hijacked when Liberty and Freedom became caricatures instead and politicians made a living out of them. They morphed into political platforms with in two philosophical underpinnings of big government and small government; should America cross the oceans in search of monsters to destroy or an isolated America minding her own business. In short, a selling point of Liberals and Republicans to the voters.

    In the 21st century however, the two parties turned their focus into something called “Identity Politics” where everyone searches to not the ones of humanity but to the difference with in humanity–in color, faith, ethnicity and gender. Some say, we are harking back to the world of the 1930s Europe where Nietzsche said, human history is circular as opposed to Hegelian–an arrow into one direction guided by providence. The question then becomes perhaps more relevant: Is it norman for someone to leave his or her home country and settle in an “alien” land of an “alien” culture, “alien” language and an “alien” way of life? Shouldn’t one stay behind and struggle to better his or her life instead no matter how hard the challenges are? Human history could as well be a history of immigration but it is equally a history of losing authenticity as well.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam Ustaz Semere
    Thank you for the review, well written,as usual.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,

    This book, and the review thereof, may interest more a reader of USA affairs under Trump rather than an Eritrean focused on Eritrea’s affairs under Isayas Afewerqi. I say this having in mind that both the author and the review writer are Eritreans. The general literary value aside, for an Eritrean reader today, any discourse on migration and the human toll it entails or has been entailing drawrs his/her reflection toward the Sinai-Libya-Lambedussa triangle of death. After reading the material and ending up with the few lines at the end, I stopped posing a question to myself of whether the review had any other purpose than marketing the book.

    • ሰላማት ተናፋቒ ኣያ ኢስማዒል ኣኣ፣

      ከምይ ቀኒኻ ጸጋ ጥዕናኻ፥ ሰናይ ክትህልወልና አንዳ ተመነኹ፥ ኣብዛ ደምበ ዚያዳ ክትዋሳአ ክሪኤካ አንኮሎኹ ብጣዕሚ ኢዩ ደስ ዝብለኒ፥፥ ኣይትሰኣነና ሓደራኻ ኣያ ኢስማዒል፥፥

      ኣብዛ መጽሓፍን “ቡክ ርቪው”ን ተመሳሳሊ ከም ዝናትካ ሓሳባት ኣብ ሓንጎለይ ተላዒሎም፥፥ አቶም ናይ ፕሮቶጋኒስት ናይዛ ልብወለድ ዝመረጾም ደራሲ ዶር. በርኸት፥ ነቲ “ማርኬት” ኣጽኒዑን ኣስተውዒሉን ዝመረጾም ኮይኑ ተሰሚዑኒ። ካብ ሰለስተ ዕዳጋ ዝለዓለ መኽሰብ ትድልብ ከምዝኾነት በዘን ዝስዕባ ተገንዚበ።

      ሀ) ኤርትራውያን ብ ኣፍልጦ ደራሳይ ዶር. በርኸት ሃብተ ሰላሴን ብታ ቃል ናይ ኣርአስቲ “ዲፋያንስ” ምስ ‘ዚ ኤርትራዊ ዘካይዶ ዘሎ ናይ ቃልሲ ብድሆታት፥ ስለኦም ዝተጻሕፈት መሲልዎም ነዛ መጽሓፍ ዝሽምቱ ሓያሎ ዓማዊል ከም ዝረኽበላ ዶር. በረኸት ከም ዝሓሰበላ ክጠራጠር ክኢለ። መኽንያቱ ን “ዲፋያንስ” ምትብባዕ ዘድልዮ፡ ብስነጥበብ ቁኑዕን ዘዐውትን መምርሒ ክወሃቦ ኣንቃዕሪሩ ዝጽበ ዘሎ ህዝቢ፥ ህዝቡ ኤርትራውያን ሙኻኑ ዋላ አኳ አንተ ዘይዘንጎዖ፥ ን ኣዝያ ትዓቢ ዕዳጋ ማግኔት ተጠሙ፥፥ አሱ ኸኣ አዚ ዝስዕብ “ማርኬት”ን ስልቲን ኢዩ፥፥

      ለ) ኢትዮጵያ (ቮሮሽይስ ኣፐታይት) ብኣዝዮ ጥምየት ዘይጸግብ ናይ ስነ ጥበብን ዝተፈላለዩ ስነፍልጠታዊ ምህንዳስ ተዋሒጣን ተባሪኻን ኢያ ትርከብ ዘላ ኣብዚ አዋን። አንካብ የ ሰሜርን ባላኣገሮች ድማ፥ ነቶም ምድማር ዘቀራርብ፡ ዝኾነ መኣዲ ዝቕርቡ ከኣ፥ ብዙሓት ኢትዮጵያውያን ሃንጎፋ ኢሎም ጥምየቶም ዘዕንግሉን ጽምኦም ዘርውዩን ሚልዮናት ቁጽሮም ከም ዝኾነ ዶር. በርኸት ኣጸቢቑ ከምዝተግንዘበ ኣነ ጥረጥር የብለይን። ስለዚ ኢዪ ኸኣ ምርጫኡ ናይቶም ቀንዲ ተዋሳአቲ (ማይን ፕሮቶጎኒስት) ዜጋኦም ኢትዮጵይውያን ዝገበሮም፥፥ ኣብ ታሪኽ ኢትዮጵያ ዝጥቀስ ዝፍለጥ ሽም ደራሳይ፥ ኣብዚ ህሉው ኩነታትን ዘመነ “ምድማር” ሰላሕታዊት ድርሰት ቀንዲ ዕላማኣ ኻኣ ዕዳጋ ሙዃና ስምዒት የሕዲራትለይ፥፥ ተዋሳአቲ (ፕሮቶጋኒስት) ኤርትራውያን ዜግነቶም መሪጹ ጽንኩር ኩነታትን ህልው ጉዳይ ኤርትራውያን ናይ ደቂ ሃገሩ “ዲፋያንስ” ምስ ዕለም ከለሊ ዶ ኣይምቐረቦም ብሃላይ ኢየ ኣነ።

      ውዕሎም ሓዲሮም ብሓይሊ ሰበ ስልጣንን ሃብትን ፈላጣትን፡ ኣብታ ሓንቲ ኣብ ሞቕለኣ አንኮላ ተጽግበና ኢያ ዝ ቅጫ ዝብልዋ አንዳ ሞቕሎ ውዕይቲ ፎርኖ፥ ክነግዱን ክሽሙቱን፥ አሞ ናይ ዕለምና ንቡር ኣሰራርሓ ኢዩ ኢሉ ዘጠራር ነገር ኮይኑና ኣሎ።

      ሐ) አታ ሳልሰይቲ ከምዛ ቡክ ሪቪው ከምዘተኮረትላ፥ ናይ ትራምፒዝም ኣንጻር ስደተኛታት ቶሞርኪሳ ናብ ናይ ኣሜርካ ዓባይ ማርኬት ትምዝምዝ፥ ከምዛ ዝበልካያ ኣያ ኢስማዕል፥ ኮይና ንዓይ ውን ተስሚዓትኒ።

      ኤርትራውያን ድርሰት ሲ ኣሰላስልዋ ድረስዋ
      ድርሰት ዓባይ ዛንታ ናይ፥