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U-Turn

Liberating Civil Society

I should probably start by saying a few words about how amazing the developments in the opposition camp in general and the civil society component in particular have become. I haven’t been following much of the written material with the exception of my favorite writers on Awate and Asmarino. This, …

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The Sound Of Money

Is it, one wonders, love or simply money that makes the world go round? I think it is money. But the moment money is mixed with love and passion, the destructive force generated is enough to blow the world to pieces starting from your family. Especially if a femme fatale …

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We Produce Our Own Leaders

Although there are various cultural, psychological, political, economic, social, geographic, regional, etc. factors that bring good or bad leaders to the fore, the fact that the people are responsible for the appearance of their leaders, whether elected or through a coup, should never be underestimated. The leader comes out of …

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The Sound That Men Produce

The music teacher told the choir consisting of boys and girls with good and bad voices alike to sing loud just the same. Let your voices rise to the heavens, he said. “Those with good voice, please sing louder, that way you will please the Lord; and those of you …

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Eritrean Traditional Fairies

They live in barren mountains and in woods, in creeks, in rivers and streams, in deep canyons and ravines and dark forests, (and after the coming of the Italians and the subsequent construction of railroads, they seem to have taken a liking to tunnels or galleria) and decide to visit …

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The Need For Historical Fairness

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it, once said Winston Churchill. Ever since writing was invented and kings and emperors climbed to their thrones to rule; scribes, chroniclers and later on historians began to document events for posterity. The majority of them scribbled the royal …

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Eritrean Schoolchildren Stories

When the issue of producing goodly fruits out of the Eritrean children of the 1950s was discussed, a book containing stories full of morality was suggested. The British Military Administration of Eritrea under Captain Kinston Snell approved the idea, and Arba’aan Arba’ten Zanta (44 Stories) was published (in Tigrinya) to …

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Political And Fundamentalist Religion

Whenever I hear the word culture I reach for my gun. That’s Goebbels, of course. I don’t know why he said that, but it seems that nowadays the word religion is charged with so much negative particles as to arouse the same sinister reaction among many otherwise well-meaning citizens of …

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Precision, Symmetry and The Analytical Mind

In Eritrea, highland women use a spindle and cotton wad to spin yarn in order to clothe their husbands with gabi (four-ply cotton shawl) for winter. They twirl and throw the spindle, topped with a wooden disc, in the air and catch it with their nimble fingers to give it …

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The Work That Men Do

“Why do people work?” once asked a friend of mine known for his aversion to anything that distantly demanded physical or mental exertion such as lifting one’s fingers to move a chair, having to walk from one pub to the next on foot on a boozing spree, having to guess …

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Dissipation Of Social And Political Energy

Entropy, a scientific term, is described as disorder and a dispersal of energy, a dispersal of particles which are themselves laden with energy. What is happening at present within the Eritrean opposition forces can aptly be described as entropy, a waste of energy that could have been used to topple …

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Close Encounters With Superstition

Adey Lettu loved to drink coffee early in the morning after attending church mass. She trusted St. Michael but distrusted her neighbors very much. She loved a God whom she could not see and hated people whom she saw and felt and touched and drank coffee with. She was, to …

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When A Bomb Fails To Explode

What do you do when a bomb (of the old type) fails to go off after you light on the fuse? If you had been very sure of yourself that it would detonate anytime anywhere, the first thing you would do is to check the fuse and the wirings. Okay, …

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How To Profit From Reading

My uncle, Malu had been reading the Psalms (Dawit) in Ge’ez for the last forty years, with tears in his eyes, but if you asked him the meaning of what he had just been reading, he would simply gawk at you and blink his eyes. He read because he had …

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The Awakening

It is probably a déjà vu. A surge of global consciousness similar to the one that transpired in the 1960s when in every corner of the world the cry of freedom and independence was heard. Then we had a Kennedy in America, now we have an Obama, both known for …

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Breaking The Kitchen Barrier

It is written in Genesis that Adam and his helpmeet were told not to eat of the forbidden fruit. “And the Lord God commanded the man saying of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall …

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Now They’ve Got The Money!

What a combination! A reckless regime and a mountain of gold. But some combinations can be unstable like glycerin and nitric acid. Booom!!! And it is the end of Eritrea as we know it. Una brutta fine! According to the tyrant, the country will go the way of Somalia in …

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A Noisy Village Is Our World

Our world is fast shrinking thanks to the Internet, mobile phones, sat dishes and high-speed planes. Now, in this small village, people can simply stick their necks out from their respective windows and shout at each other, hurling curses and complaining at the world’s deplorable situation. Those with shady characters …

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The Evil That Men Do

A Persian sage once said that the greatest oppression a person experiences in life is mental oppression. The body is but a chariot and takes us to where the mind or soul leads it; it executes thoughts and aspirations and as it finally crumbles down into dust, the soul merges …

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The Trouble With Eritrea

Some countries are very unlucky to find themselves on the wrong side of the globe. Poland had been one of these in the past with Austria and Russia mauling it from time to time. The nightmare happened one day and this country, for all intents and purposes, disappeared from the …

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