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Singers and Poets

About ten years ago there was a popular singer named Tarreqe. He had a unique voice. Until his slow disappearance, he used to remind me of Mohammed Wardi the Sudanese singer. Last time I watched Isaias’ marathon interview–I had to because it’s my raw material. After the end of the …

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Proclamation No. 1

Last Friday, Abiy Ahmed released a few prisoners of conscience who posed a risk to his control of power. The announcement sounded as if Abiy Ahmed had pardoned the prisoners. In the first place, I don’t believe Abiy alone made the decision to imprison them; the Dergue and Haile Selassie …

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Teashop culture

I have a habit of reading the ads on the Starbucks bulletin board as I wait for my coffee. Two days ago, there were for sale ads offering a chair, a table with a broken leg, and a lady appealing to the public to help her find her lost dog. …

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The Story of the #BlueEritrea Flag

Today, I hope the restless would stay calm as I narrate a basic history of the Eritrean flag–the significance of our AwlieE, meley, HKhedra. I realize some people may have an opposing view, or to believe a contrary narration; it’s fine provided the counter narration is based on knowledge not …

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“Goush the Shepherd Did It”

In a village council, when it was on a consultation break, a restless young man interrupted and said, “It’s Goush the shepherd who broke the bull’s leg.” A dumbfounded councilman asked him, “who is Goush, and what bull are you talking about?” The Young man confidently answered, “aren’t you talking …

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Tug Of War

When a country faces a risk of war and invasion, the best precaution is to strengthen is national unity. But what kind of unity? And exclusive unity or a comprehensive one? When ruling parties fight, it’s mostly like a tug of war; forces pulling each other to the fall line. …

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Eritrea, Ethiopia’s Hostage

Anyone who went through the miseries and cruelties of the successive Ethiopian occupation (Haile Selassie’s and Mengistu’s) followed by the PFDJ oppression, would never wish for a perpetual rule by similar regimes. In fact, if it was possible, the victims of these regimes wish to erase the painful memories, let …

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The Six-Husbands of Eritrea

In the Tigrinya language we do not have separate words for sebay, as in husband, and sebaay, as in Man. Both are sebay. Therefore, the title is not about men but about husbands. Also, we refer to Eritrea in the feminine gender, Eritra t’Ewet, not Ertra y’Ewet, always in the …

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Eritrea and the Ethiopian Civil war

[9 mnts. reading] Writers or speakers who discuss everything under the sun should not shy away from raising critical topics for fear of annoying a few. Discussing sensitive issues is what I intend to do in the coming few episodes.   In today’s Negarit 149, which is an introductory episode, …

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Casualty and Effect

Living in Eritrea, far from the Sea, I only knew canned Sardines. Then I went to Massawa and tried grilled chunks of fish—I thought Massawans were pulling a joke on me, giving me beef, and claiming it was fish! Years later I lived in Jeddah and AlKhober but never cared …

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The Hyena-leg, Egri Zb’ee

When I was a child, there was a man who had a big funnel-shaped wooden leg. His steps made a bang every time he stepped. The children would say, Ennguuuy, and he will chase them. His nick was Egri Zb’ee and children never let him live in peace. Years ago, …

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“May You Beget A Black Cat”

In 1986 a border conflict erupted between Qatar and Bahrain over the ownership of the Hawar Islands (Fisht AlDibal). Qatari forces arrested 29 workers sent by Bahrain on a construction job. Soon, Saudi Arabia succeeded in mediating and securing the release of the prisoners; in 1994, the case was resolved …

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The General’s Bad Lessons

A longtime ago in the environs of Kulentebai, the late Tesfai Tekhle, the liberation era commander, told a group of young combatants a joke. He was warning of a military involvement in governance in post-independence Eritrea. That is an important lesson I learned from him. Tesfai told us the joke: …

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Please Come and Invade Us!

A fringe racist, bigoted, and servile group has been trying hard to undo Eritrea and what its people stand for. They have been mocking the struggle for self-determination and freedom including its veterans. They were in the verge of  losing steam when the Ethiopian civil war erupted and the fringe Tigrayan groups became …

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Rude Awakening

Emperor Humayun was the ruler of the Moghul empire in the 16th century in what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, North India, and Bangladesh. One day in 1556, Humayun carried some books from his library, stepped on his robe and tripped on the stairs and injured himself, and died a few …

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Kings of Kings and Colonels

In ancient times, each locality, and later each city, had a king. One of them emerged stronger and subjugated the rest. They accepted his authority over them and submitted to his rule with varying level of autonomy. Thus, he became King of Kings, who overtime became an expansionist emperor. Some …

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Whispering to the Eritrean Forces

Addey Abeba’s* husband and elder son died in a car accident while the family was returning home from a pilgrimage. Since that incident, the traumatized woman became over-protective of her younger son and wouldn’t let him play in the streets for fear of cars, though daily, hardly more than three …

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