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Deliverance: A Tale of Colliding passions and the Muse of Forgiveness

Book Review
Title: Deliverance: A Tale of Colliding passions and the Muse of Forgiveness
Author: Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie
Genre: Historical Novel
Pages: 330
Publisher: RSP (Red Sea Press)
ISBN: 9781569025178 (HB) and 9781569025185 (PB)

A new novel by Dr. Bereket: Deliverance, a Tale of Colliding passions and the Muse of Forgiveness

Reviewed by Semere T. Habtemariam

Reading Dr. Bereket’s latest book, “Deliverance: A Tale of Colliding Passions and the Muse of Forgiveness” is like sitting around a campfire being regaled by a masterful storyteller who was among the group that midwifed the revolution in Ethiopia. It is an engrossing tale of tragedy which would please the gods of Mount Olympus looking down on human actions from the clouds and laughing at man’s delusion and myopia. But for mortals, it is a clarion call for somber reflection for “ultimately the passions of the moment will [have to] give way to dispassionate reflection putting the common good above factional and personal interests.”

The author contends that “a writer’s duty is to be counted on the side of justice and truth.” I am neither informed nor qualified enough to judge him on these twin pillars, but I can safely say that he has done a marvelous job of describing problems that have afflicted Ethiopia and Eritrea and prescribed solutions that could positively transform the region.

“We don’t have to go far to illustrate the tragic loss of life and waste that was caused by the tale of colliding passions described in this novel. The appeal to the redemptive power of forgiveness is an essential condition for the success of any attempt at reconciliation.”

I believe it is for this reason that he has appropriately titled his book “Deliverance: A Tale of Colliding Passions and the Muse of Forgiveness.”

Deliverance is the culmination of all of Dr. Bereket’s previous works that ties up the loose ends. This book depicts the personhood of Dr. Bereket more than any other book. It is the result of a lifetime reflection of the age-old question of what is the common good and the good life and of how to attain it at the individual and community level. Love to the former and justice to the latter turns out to be the touchstone of a healthy and balanced society.

The young revolutionary, the dreamer, the pan-Africanist, the lawyer, the judge, and the scholar Dr. Bereket might have been constrained in his previous works due to many possible considerations, be they personal, political and professional, but in Deliverance, he is totally free and unencumbered. The historical novel genre serves him well; he has the liberty to let “the loose wings of imagination.”

As if on a last call of duty, he seems to want to bring it all and bequeath a roadmap of peace, justice and development to his progeny and his revolutionary cohorts. The former because they are free from the baggage of experience and the latter of the possibility that “the passage of time” might have “mellowed” the “aging protagonists and antagonists of Ethiopia’s political drama,” to change “their outlook on life.” It is some of the merits of graceful aging.

It is for this reason that Socrates admitted his fondness of talking with old men because “they have proceeded on a certain road that perhaps we too will have to take, one ought in my opinion, to learn from them what sort of road it is—whether it is rough and hard or easy and smooth” (The Republic). Likewise, I implore young people to read Dr. Bereket latest novel.

Perhaps literary works speak to our soul more than any other. It is hard not to empathize and sympathize with the main characters of Deliverance: young Ethiopian students inspired by lofty ideas and ready to make the ultimate sacrifices.

As an Eritrean who was teeming with rightful indignation at the suffering of my people, I never bothered to appreciate the suffering of Ethiopians at the hands of our mutual enemy—the brutal regime. At the intellectual level, I was aware of their suffering, but emotionally it was easy to shrug it off as a self-inflicted misery.

The power of Dr. Bereket’s novel was that it forced me to empathize and put myself in the shoes of my Ethiopian brothers and sisters. On the road to Damascus that the author built, I found my epiphany: the Ethiopian victims were me. The dialogue I had with the characters has a transformative impact and it is this kind of a meaningful and constructive dialogue that our people need. I hope the great Ethiopian filmmaker, Dr. Haile Garima, will one day turn this novel into a movie.

One thing that is clearly and undeniably visible is the author’s love of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia and his wish to see them living in peace, harmony and justice, but even more, to see them being the springboard for a future united Africa; his undying commitment to the long-held Pan-Africanist belief of African unity. Shouldn’t this be the wish of every Eritrean and Ethiopian!

The elder statesman has an 84-year old side-mirror where objects are a lot closer than they appear and wants to caution those in power and the opposition and the society at large so history will not be repeated. In prescribing dialogue as way of reconciling differences, the author, for example, does not create the wrong moral equivalency in trying to appear fair and impartial as has become the fashion in today’s public discourses and diplomacy.

The challenge of a civilized conversation, he points out “concerns both government and opposition. But the onus lies with the government to start the ball rolling.”

Winning a peace needs a strategy as much as winning a war.

The mutual recriminations and denunciations between respective governments and oppositions do not serve the cause of peace; a middle ground must be found. Those in government today were yesterday’s opposition and it is a matter of time when today’s opposition will be in tomorrow’s government. This vicious cycle must stop and it is the responsibility of the governments to take the initiative and reach out to the oppositions and for the opposition to embrace it.

The way the opposition behaves is, for the most part, determined by how it is treated by those in power. Violence breeds violence and peace breeds peace, and this awesome responsibility squarely falls on the shoulders of those in government. “Just as there is a culture of violence and death, there can be a culture of love and life. But like everything else, it has to be cultivated.”

The book cleverly juxtaposes two stories: the birth of a child left abandoned at the church courtyard and the outbreak of the revolution. In fact, the latter is the writ large of the former.

The plot reminds one of what Plato did in the Republic where the city becomes the overmagnification of the individual. If one could understand “the unfortunate act of a mother who left her baby to the mercy of the elements on a cold November morning,” then one could understand the political upheavals that engulfed the nation. “Whatever it is that drove that woman to abandon her baby, whether it is poverty or shame of conceiving a child outside what is accepted behavior by our society, the very act of leaving her baby on the ground abandoning her to an unknown fate is horrendous.”

As the character Aberra would write in his diary, “…the revolution exploded in our faces long before we were ready for it; long before the squabbling factions of our revolutionary groups could heal their mutually inflicted wounds. And the revolution threw up from its womb unexpected forces and individuals that surprised us.”

An unnamed Eritrean freedom fighter “likened revolution and revolutionary justice like an unexpected summer storm that produces a powerful torrential rain and stream rushing down from the highlands and taking with it everything that lay in its path. Not until it reaches the even level of the plains down in the lowlands will it dispose of and leave aside what it forcibly brought down.”

The small and inconsequential benefits that came as the result of the revolution pale in comparison to the huge destruction levied on the country. The loss far outweighs the gain, and victory cannot be more hollow.

My antipathy for revolutions dates to my childhood memories; a five-year old victim forced to flee his home and perpetually live in exile.

My conservatism is not rooted in some atavistic attachment to everything old and past, but it stems from the practical recognition that change is natural and inevitable and that the best change of all is, in the words of Edmond Burke, the continual preservation of the good and its continual improvement: “A disposition to preserve and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution” (Reflections on the Revolution in France).

Even the patron saint of revolutions, Che Guevara, had to admit that “cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel.”

This is not an excuse to be passive in the face of injustice but a call for prudence and to be mindful of the adage: be careful what you wish for. This understanding seems to come naturally to the religiously devout character Yohannes who was at peace with his individual moral responsibility and his ethical duties as a member of church. Yohannes was deeply rooted in his religious tradition but not limited by it. He was open to change and knew that differences and diversities were good things and source of vitality.

The ruling emperor, however, had his ship of state in a neutral gear; neither going forward nor backwards. Neutrality in the face of change was neither wise nor useful. The aging emperor Haile Selassie wiggled between the horns of modernism and traditionalism and miserably failed to provide the country a circumspect choice.

The “once illustrious and renowned world figure” was mostly responsible for his downfall; he dug his own grave for he stayed in power for far too long. He should have followed the example of one of Axum’s greatest leaders, the saintly king Caleb, who, at the height of his power, abdicated his throne and joined a monastery.

Knowing when to exit on the highway of power is the highest form of political wisdom; and it is invariably when one is at the top of one’s game. Unfortunately, it is a lesson that is also lost on all subsequent rulers of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The revolution in Ethiopia did not appear as a ghastly apparition; it has been in the making for a while and a confluence of events contributed to its violent outbreak.

In the absence of a clear national vision and a viable alternative, Ethiopian youth flocked to revolutionary ideas that became their oases in the desert. They had been footling about a revolution that would end the systemic feudal exploitation of the masses which has rendered the country the backwater of stagnation and underdevelopment and usher in an egalitarian and progressive society where democracy and social justice will supposedly be the norm.

They were part of a “generation that had been infected by the spirit of revolution at a time…We (one) could not escape being affected by what was going on everywhere in the world, especially the Third World, in Cuba, China and so on.” This was “the generation of destiny” with its “supreme confidence and heightened self-regard” as its most “distinguishing mark.”

The we-know-it-all attitude of the generation and its concomitant stubborn stupidity frowned upon any kind of compromise and peaceful dialogue in solving conflicts, and the revolution quickly degenerated into “a deadly struggle for the capture of fugitive glory.”

The single-minded and unconditional commitment to the be-all-end-all revolutionary ideology left no space for any alternative ideas to coexist and consequently any intellectual debate that ensued was to determine who is more Left and more devoted. It was a recipe for intellectual stagnation and morbidity.

The savoir-faire revolutionaries would solve all societal ills if they would just remove the status-quo and install communism in its place. It was the worst form of idolatry; the rebirth of the golden calf.

It was the sign of the times; young people pontificating about political matters in jargons which obfuscated the real and practical demands of the Ethiopian people.

A lose network of schlockmeisters of revolutionary ideas emerged in campuses and schools of Ethiopia to circulate some notable books that engendered a slavish commitment to alien ideas on the youth. “They started selling Marxist literature, including Mao Zedong’s little red book.”

In a country that had a profound sense of its history, no one had the temerity to question the wisdom, relevance and applicability of communism and the revolution soon morphed into a Faustian movement that denigrated its spiritual and cultural heritage. The youth of a country, that stretched forth its hand to God before any other nation, nonchalantly ignored the Biblical injunction: Do not move the ancient boundaries set up by your forbearers.

The new god of the revolution will not allow any other god to be worshipped and non-conformity became the worst offense. The alchemists of the revolution unleashed an unprecedented reign of terror which wreaked havoc in the country. As the mansuetude of revolutionary love gave way to internecine fratricide, only a very few were duly warned and perturbed by the incipient dysfunction of the revolution. “The colliding passions of groups with similar ideologies and commitments governed the course of events, with violence as the inevitable arbiter of disputes.”

Of course, telling the most committed generation of revolutionaries that they were wrong is like telling a five-year old that Santa does not exist; nothing good comes out of it. It should be left to the healing hand of time and it is perhaps for this reason that the author treats it simply as a fait accompli. But the undeniable truth is that, in the words of professor Gebrue Tareke, “a generation was wasted in a blind rage.”

The book invokes all sorts of emotions; it is a deeply engaging narrative. For anyone who seeks understanding of the cataclysmic events that have shaped modern Ethiopia and Eritrea, this is a great source. I hope it will be widely read.

The book could have even much more impact if it had left some of the conclusions to the imagination. Quite often mystery is much more useful than history. No good book shares its secrets easily. Readers must wrestle the secrets out of this book as Jacob wrestled with the Angel for that is the most effective way of transformation: Jacob becoming Israel. It is personal, empowering and less intrusive.

In a season that honors the Prince of Peace, Deliverance is a fitting gift. Deliverance is an attempt to fill the fissures left gaping by war with love and peace. “Happy are those who work for peace,” and I hope “God will call” Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie “his child” (Mt 5:9-14).

The book can be ordered directly from the publisher at Red Sea Press

Semere T. Habtemariam is the author of “Hearts like birds,” and the forthcoming book, “History of the Tewahdo Church of Ethiopia and Eritrea” (Expected release date: January 2017). Semere can be contacted via his email: weriz@yahoo.com

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  • Nitricc

    Greetings people: On this day i declares with the power invested on me, that the person of the year of Awate-com to be the all time great Kokhob-Selam of the awtista,
    respect Sir!
    toothless Nitricc!

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Abi,

    I am glad you admit that Eritreans are loving people even after so much abuse:).

    You said it’s quota system and then say they have more Eritreans in AAU. I don’t understand the logic, quota system suppose to make equal representation, would it not? Could it be that Eritreans worked harder in school? I am just saying since you said there were many of them. I would not be surprised if some of your teachers were people of my generation. And for your information, we didn’t want any Ethiopian to be our teacher specially when it comes to math and science, may be except those math teachers from Mekele. Don’t take it in wrong way, I was just saying what the perception was, may be they didn’t care or they too political and they suited to teach other subjects like history, or political science (you know Marxism / Lennism).

    I am glad I have giving you enough ammunition to reduce and abide Eritreans:). It’s called self help, redemption starts with admitting your mistakes. I am not saying Eritrea fight independence was wrong but we have to admit that the frakistiene we created is worst than the monster.

    Contrary to what you believe all ERITREAN leaders, Isayas afrewirki, Mohamed Nasser, Saleh Sabe, Idris Abdella and others, like ERITREAN elders participated in any call that called for dialog and peaceful resolution to ERITREAN problems, always its the Derg hardliners end it after they buy time. This is historically documented and you can compare to say for example TPLF history of dialog and make your own conclusion. And you should be thankful for helping to get rid of the Derg, you were too occupied with your Dabo and hod:).

    Berhe

  • sara

    Dear awatistas,
    Shooofooo al juraa al youhud..
    At the UN right now a vote is called against israielies illegal settlement in Palestinian land.
    The arrogant Israel prime minister is instructing the US administration veto it.
    Do you think Obama will succumb to this at the wee hours of his presidency?

    • sara

      Dear awtistas,
      US abstained, first in a long time,
      Thanks to Egyptian diplomacy, behind the scene.
      At least until trump takes over its a relief to Palestinians, and am sure the celebration beitlaham is going full gear.
      Congra…our Palestinian

      • saay7

        Selamat Sara:

        Meanwhile, on the matter of South Sudan, the US effort to impose arms embargo failed to pass: 7 yes votes, 8 abstentions cast by Angola, China, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Senegal, and Venezuela.

        This is important because exactly 9 years ago, UNSC voted to impose sanctions on Eritrea (13 yes votes, 1 abstention by China, and 1 no vote by Libya.) And to this date, some–especially those who are always creating excuses for the PFDJ’s massive blunder– still describe it as a solo US project with the rest of the security council members falling in line. Well, if that is the case, why didn’t it happen now?

        saay

        • sara

          Dear saay,
          According sout al Arab mn alkhahira, obamas tahafuz came eight years late.
          Saay, you sure know better than me the back room deals, of those who have stake in this case, and with the on going situation in the middleast and Europeans, taking the burden they pushed Obama to at least abstain.
          Well, you know Eritrea..
          Is not yet in the league..
          That would have made difference.

    • tes

      Selam sara,

      As a supporter of free and sovereign Palestine state, the news you provided gave me hope. I wish Palestine people to own their dignity and values and live as a citizens of free Palstine state where all run smoothly without fear and intemidation.

      Long live Palestine!

      tes

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam sara,

      The settlements are not illegal. Which law(s) did they break?

      • sara

        Selam Mr kalab,
        Are you serious? Then why was it in the SC for a vote.
        Mr, these case is over 60 years and has made our region of war and destruction, and the main culprits is because some people came from Europe and stole other peoples land called
        Palestine.
        In case you are not comfortable with my simple reply,I can send you links that will help you understand the Palestinian cause.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Which law(s) did they break?

          The territories in question were captured in a war of self-defence against Jordan. Now, Jordan has forfeited its claim to these territories.

          Furthermore, there is no state called ‘Palestine’ to claim these territories. At best, these territories can only be called disputed territories. The status of these territories can only be determined after peace settlements.

          As to Obama, he is a Community Organizer, not suitable to be a president; but the American public chose him twice anyway.

          • tes

            Selam Simon Kaleab,

            You have an important point here when you say, “The status of these territories can only be determined after peace settlements.”.

            Then, do you think that peace settlement will exist when Israel is expanding its housing construction in the disputed land? Just wondering what your take will be?

            tes

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam tes,

            If and when peace settlements are achieved, these properties could go to the ‘Palestinians’ just as the Gaza hot houses went to them after Israeli evacuation.

            But, it is to be recalled that the hot houses were totally damaged by the new owners [which is their choice].

          • tes

            Selam Simon Kaleab,

            Then what you are saying is that Palestinians should wait until peace is settled no matter how far Israel expands in their territoryn right?

            tes

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam tes,

            It is disputed territory captured in a defensive war against Jordan.

            Do the ‘Palestinians’ want peace or do they want to stay in refugee camps looking like museum artefacts, used as political and religious tool by rich and territory endowed Arab countries, seven decades and counting? Amazing!

            Since the end of WW2, more than 50 million refugees have been settled and integrated in various countries.

          • tes

            Selam Simon,

            I think your human nature is fading away. How can you utter such points regarding the people? Did you forget that the reason for their displacement is war and occupation? How can they get peace when they are victims of anti-peace?

            Can’t you at least sympathize with their worrisome refugee camp life?

            I thank those rich Arabic countries who are still helping Palestine people. They are doing a noble work.

            Simon, when you wrote this, “Do the ‘Palestinians’ want peace or do they want to stay in refugee camps looking like museum artefacts, used as political and religious tool by rich and territory endowed Arab countries, seven decades and counting? Amazing!” , I recalled Eritrean refugees who are living in refugee camps in Sudan for the last 50 years or more. You broke my heart when I see you with a cold heart.

            Even now, my spirit landed in Ethiopia, where there are hundreds of thousands of Eritreans living in refugee camp?

            How rude is your spirit Simon?

            Do you think that (to be just ourselves) Eritreans prefer living in the refugee camp than having peace?

            Isn’t it the absence of peace that is forcing them to be confined in restless life condition?

            How dry is your humanity?

            Simon Kaleab, I am trying to follow your inputs. Though I disagree in most of your take, I respect your inputs till this one. Here, let me tell you this: you are too arrogant and irresponsible human being who is occupied with hate towards yourself.

            Come and heal yourself. This is what I can say. Wedihanka

            Long Live Palestine!

            tes

          • Simon Kaleab

            Nice try.

          • sara

            Dear,
            – then any country which goes to war in “self defense” has a right claim that territory it took by force. if that is the case then why did the Israelis not keep the Sinai,after they occupied it after the war of 67.
            i understand your reference is based on the western narrative , that there was no state called
            Palestine , there were only few Arabs etc. if you are Eritrean isn’t this the same when our detractors also say there was no state called Eritrea prior to Italian colonization.
            do i need to go on to tell you about decolonization of Africa and how the new states are formed after second world war.
            kalab, if you are serious, and you want to know better about the Palestinian issue
            you have so many reference starting in 1948 at UN websites.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam sara,

            Israel and Egypt have a peace treaty reached in 1979. This treaty is built on various components [demilitarization etc.] that guarantee the security of both countries. It is as part of this treaty that the Sinai was returned to Egypt.

            If a country fights in self-defence and captures its enemy’s territory, then it can keep this territory until such time that it guarantees its security. This is one of the rules of war.

            Eritrea and Ethiopia had decided for an international mediation on their border disputes. Now that a judgement has been made, both countries should accept the outcome. Furthermore, Eritrea and Ethiopia are not existential threats to each other, it is only a matter of personality clashes that have gone out of hand. The two countries have a great potential to be partners in peace, security, trade and economic progress.

          • sara

            Dear Kalab,
            well, you are repeating what those who support Israelis have been saying for the past 30 years, why not try what the other side also has to say or is saying ever since the 60th.
            how about you spare some time over the x-mass holidays to read Edward said, who was a Palestinian/American prolific writer and thinker.
            i know, if any one is supported by a strong power they are have the resource to manipulate the history of any situation, and this is what is happening to the Palestinian cause.
            happy holidays,

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam sara,

            May God bless his soul, but Edward Said sounds confused to me.

            Cheers.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Simon K, by saying “If a country fights in self-defence and captures its enemy’s territory, then it can keep this territory until such time that it guarantees its security. This is one of the rules of war.”, aren’t you admitting that Israel indeed, is occupying Palestinian territories?

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham H.,

            No. The territories were occupied from Jordan as the aggressor party. Jordan, later on, abandoned its claim to these territories.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Simon K., ok, last try: “Since 1979 the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the United States, the EU, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as occupied Palestinian territory or the occupied territories. General Assembly resolution 58/292 (17 May 2004) affirmed that the Palestinian people have the right to sovereignty over the area.” -Wikipedia. So it is probably the State of Israel and individuals like Simon K. that disagree with this internationally agreed upon issue. Mind you even the Israeli Supreme Court has staed that “Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation (occupatio bellica)..” in one of its rulings.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham,

            I stated the facts, not the opinions of highly compromised entities such as the UN, EU, ICJ and the rest.

            You can believe what you want. Best wishes in your endeavour.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Simon K, likewise, but I do believe these world bodies must have sent their best people to do the research and come up with that general conclusion. I’m not kind of “super human” like you who would challenge the consensus among almost the entire world.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Simon K, which law did Israel break? They broke and continue to disregard the Geneva Fourth Convention, Art.49 which among other things states “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham H.,

            These are not occupied territories, they are DISPUTED territories.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Simon K., you are wrong, the West Bank is an occupied territory by Israel. The territory was demarcated by the Jordanian-Israeli armistice of 1949. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem continues to be occupied by Israel despite the international community considering this contined occupation illegal.

            “The International Court of Justice advisory ruling (2004) concluded that events that came after the 1967 occupation of the West Bank by Israel, including the Jerusalem Law, Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan and the Oslo Accords, did not change the status of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as occupied territory with Israel as the occupying power.” Quote from Wikipedia

    • Abraham H.

      Dear Sara, thankfully, the proposal has been passed by the UN, and president Obama didn’t succumb to the unwitty press from the Israeli govt. Sure, the US president-elect Trump had tried to put pressure on Al-Sisi of Egypt to withdraw from the resolution, but that effort proved to be futile.

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Hi Semere H.
    I have not read Dr. Bereket’s book and I do not intend to. From what you wrote, it seems that it is a confession, his deathbed confession, coming out of his closet, heralding himself for all to know that he is an Ethiopian.

    It is good for him to do what he has done, and for us too, now that we know for certain who really he is , and that the doubt of his allegiance that has been swirling in our mind since he spoke to the now dead Meles Zenawi several years go about his deathwish to see Eritrea and Ethiopia united is finally resolved.

    However, his disturbing personality disorder can be uncovered by asking the question as to why he deserts both countries, Eritrea and Ethiopia, when their internal and external situations seems to be bleak?

    Recall he joined Eritrean liberation movement, deserting Ethiopia when , on the one hand ,The Greater Somalia Military forces were , unimpeded, fast moving to enter Addis Abeba, and on the other, Eritrean Liberation Forces were about to seize Asmera.

    Under this circumstance, to deem Dr.Beteket a revolutionary is a misnomer. Rather the more fitting is a flippant that follows his comfort and runs away from hardship, antithesis of a revolutionary. If Socrates were alive, he would brand him a sophist( opportunist)and not a midwife as you indicated.

    I agree with your transformation though, now that you have bowed to woyane authority ,calling Eritrean liberation was a loss, of which the complete fiasco of Medrek is a testimony.

  • tes

    Dear Awatawyan,

    It is true that we will waste lots of energy defending our history when we are supposed to learn from it. It is sad but it is what is happening. Look here how Abi has deviated the topic at hand. Abi assumed, as he always does, attacking our core values is a moral duty to cover Ethiopia’s unforgottable criminal history. I personally can not my history and will never make any excuses. If I were an intellectula during the same period the good Dr. Bereket lived, I could follow the same path. Dr. Bereket did a right thing according to his inner values and consciences of that time. As an Eritrean, I am proud to have Dr. Bereket as my father and hero, one who contributed his academic expert for the Eritrean cause when he was called to do so, be it self motivated or call made by concerned citizen.

    Here Semere has provided us a gist of the book. Hopefully I will read it sooner. Day in and out, I am loving Dr. Bereket, for his heroic contribution and honest for the Eritrean cause. Eritrea can not demand more to our distinguished professor Bereket.

    For Dr. Berekeret, As he what he proudly says as a pan-Africanist, I wish his dreams to come true. There is no crime to wish Eritrea and Ethiopia get united for a big dream of united Africa.

    Eritreans fought 30 bloody war simply because we had no choice. Now that we have our country, we can choose our destiny.

    If what happened in the past was a hindrance for a unity, we could not have EU, US, UAE, etc. The only problem with unity is when there is no choice to do it as we were in the 1940s and 1950s.

    What I appreciate most as a noble quality of Dr. Bereket is his “Reconciliation” call. Though personally I do not support any reconciliation with PFDJ system, I support reconciliation with our history. I support this because I don’t want to be chained in history. Regarding PFDJ, the same as it was in the 1940s, Eritreans have no choice except to Weed-Out PFDJ, same as we did Ethiopian invadors.

    Thank you Semere T. for giving us the world view of Dr. Bereket.

    tes

    • Abi

      Hi Professor Tes
      You sound like you are in a festive mood. Drunk as usual.
      Yes Tes Hawey, you weeded out the Ethiopian invaders from your cities and mountains…
      How is your job application working out? You are a good candidate at mekele university.
      Your engineering and food safety skills could be used to arrange the cafeteria chairs and maintaining proper food temperature at the cafeteria.
      You weeded out the Ethiopian invaders just to follow them to their country looking for opportunities.
      Stay away, stay drunk!
      “Keep thirsty my friend!”

      • tes

        Selam Abi,

        This is how I let you trapped in the vicious circle of your childhood game.

        It is unique skill that I mastered in you and Nitricc. But I want to welcome you. It will be a great loss not having you around again. I will therefore abscond and let you swim for some days.

        I don’t want to use my basic physics concepts on you again. If not, I will melt you down in my advanced physical laboratory. Your hygrogen atoms might be used unless they are already converted into other forms of disgusting and irritating chemical form.

        tes

        • Abi

          Tes Hawey
          Entay khonka anta wedey?
          Ene fiqir enji tseb yebley😜
          I’m scared of your thermodynamics!

          Christmas in Paris !!
          ይበለን ደስ ደስ!
          ወይኑ ይቀዳ ውስኪውም ይፋሰስ
          ሆዳችን ይቃጠል ኣንጎላችን ይፍረስ
          ባፋችን እንራ ቂጣችን ይተንፍስ
          እያለ “ቱስስስስስ” ፣”ቱስስስስ”
          የቴስ ቴርሞዳይናሚክስ!!!!

        • Nitricc

          Hey Tes, you getting funny by the day. lol what does mean when you say “Your hygrogen atoms” I think i know the periodic table and i can’t find your new found element of “hygrogen” hahahahah
          oh my lol.

          • tes

            Selam Nitricc,

            You know, I was a teacher and I love teaching people who need it badly. Since you are wondering what a hydrogen atom is, though you know periodic table*, I will be glad to share with you what I found in Wikipedia.

            Here it is:

            A hydrogen atom is an atom of the chemical element hydrogen. The electrically neutral atom contains a single positively charged proton and a single negatively charged electron bound to the nucleus by the Coulomb force. Atomic hydrogen constitutes about 75% of the elemental (baryonic) mass of the universe.

            In everyday life on Earth, isolated hydrogen atoms (usually called “atomic hydrogen” or, more precisely, “monatomic hydrogen”) are extremely rare. Instead, hydrogen tends to combine with other atoms in compounds, or with itself to form ordinary (diatomic) hydrogen gas, H2. “Atomic hydrogen” and “hydrogen atom” in ordinary English use have overlapping, yet distinct, meanings. For example, a water molecule contains two hydrogen atoms, but does not contain atomic hydrogen (which would refer to isolated hydrogen atoms).

            Attempts to develop a theoretical understanding of the hydrogen atom have been important to the history of quantum mechanics.

            —End of lesson

            Nitriccay, read thi short note carefully. if you have any question or you want more clarification, I will be happy to explain for you.

            tes

            PS: Do know that Germany will be the first country user of hydrogen powered passanger trains. The by-product will be water. And for your additional take, these trains are designed here in FRANCE.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Tes, i know what Hydrogen is; i just didn’t know what “Your hygrogen atoms” mean, read what you have written. lol, you are funny.

  • Abi

    Hi Semere T. Habtemariam
    I found this comment by the all time backstabbing expert interesting. He said “I was aware of their suffering, but emotionally it was easy to shrug off of as a self inflicted misery.”
    He was talking about the ever generous and hospitable people on the face of this planet,Ethiopians.
    I can’t wait to read his obituary somewhere soon. I mean very soon.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Abi, Ras Abi that is:
      .
      Oh my goodness! Where have you been. I missed your post. Welcome back Ras Abi. We need more common sense not less.
      .
      This article refers to Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie as “…as masterful storyteller.” I haven’t read his book and I will not read his book, however, I will not quibble with the characterization.
      I can’t believe my eyes and ears where the good Dr. has taken it upon himself to be the champion of “….the springboard for a future united Africa.”
      That is what Hitler called ….the Big Lie approach.
      .
      Mind you Abi this, TCHIRA KERESH SEW, worked for Emperor Haile Selassie, Butcher Mengistu Haile Mariam and Dictator Isayas Afeworki in high level positions, I mean high and trusted positions.
      What this fact alone tells you is the man does not have a core of human conviction. If he can live another 80 years he would have changed his animalistic behavior few more times based on what is good for himself at the time. Pathetic.
      .
      How can anyone read what he writes, with his blood soaked hand, and learn anything. It is equivalent to inviting Satan dressed in Santa Clause outfit into your home.
      .
      In case he is not aware, he can read it in newspapers nowadays, the gap of interdependence of the two people is widening, not narrowing, and there is no good way of putting a workable arraignments without suspicions anymore.
      .
      Mr. K.H

      • Abi

        Hi Kim, Horizon
        Millions suffered and still suffering because of this modern day ” Jack the Ripper “.
        What is more frustrating is the author of this post hopes God to call him “his child “. Can you believe this nonsense just when we are preparing to celebrate Christmas?
        I hope God will “call” him soon.
        Thanks for welcoming Ras Abi.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Abi,

          Welcome back. You have just picked up where you left it off.

          If I am not mistaken, his wife is Ethiopian and his children are.

          I don’t know why you keep exagirating his role in the ERITREAN independence, you speak as if it’s his making.

          As to his role here is what he said:

          He served under haileslassie government.
          He resigned in 1964 in protest as he has disagreements / difference.

          He joined the group that over threw the king. What a surprise, aren’t there many others who did the same. For example Shaleqa Dawit, General Andom, professor Mesfin and others.

          He left Ethiopia when the Derg killed his commerade Aman Andom and he escaped arrest.

          He joined the Eritrean independence movement later, may be he figured its best that these two countries separate, I don’t think unthinkable reason where the DERG was eliminating everyone who stood in its way.

          He helped draft ERITREAN constitution when he was asked to do. He also was involved in Nigeria and Iraq constitution making.

          Berhe

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Berhe,

            Geography ‘Professor’ Mesfin never opposed any government nor did he join any opposition movement; until recently.

            Mesfin is an Amara chauvinist from Mera Bete [Shoa province]. His motto during the Emperor was: “Semay aytares, Negus Aykeses” meaning ‘You cannot till and farm the sky, as you cannot sue a king in court’.

            Mesfin supported every regime in Ethiopia, provided it is not led by Tigrayans, without having any qualms about Human Rights violations.

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe
            የኣይጥ ምስክሯ ድንቢጥ
            I’m not surprised or excited if his wife is an Ethiopian. Everybody was an Ethiopian before your useless struggle for independence due to affluenza.
            Now this backstabbing specialist wants to see the two people together before he departs this world. You see, for him we are laboratory animals. He shrugged off our suffering, he care less about all those who died to bring the useless independence, or those who died to keep the unity . I consider it as an insult when someone like him preach unity. Actually, he is backstabbing all those “freedom ” fighters who brought the independence.
            If you consider yourself as a human being, you should oppose his nonsense. I don’t know about you it pains me when somebody consider me as a laboratory animal just like the ኣይጥ or the ድንቢጥ I mentioned above.
            Thanks for welcoming me. Don’t expect Ras Abi to change much and preach unity like Kibur Professor.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abi,

            When you call Dr Bereket a “backstabbing specialist”, you are implying that he betrayed the regimes while pretending to be their friend. Your assertion is wrong and is based on confusion.

            Contrary to your belief, the fact that he tried to help those regimes in good faith hoping to guide them away from their wicked paths but abandoned them when he realised it is impossible makes him a conscientious and righteous person.

          • Abi

            Hi Simon
            Good one!
            I hope to see him buried at St Bereket Church on Godana Harinet.

          • tes

            Selam Simon kaleab,

            I don’t know why you are wasting your energy. Above all, Abi does not accept Eritrean Independence. Are you surprised then if he goes after Dr. Bereket? Lets not fool ourselves. Let him breath. This is what at least he can do for the lost opportunity of keeping Eritrea as part of Ethiopia.

            tes

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam tes,

            You are probably right.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam tes,
            .
            I am just wondering. I think Abi is looking at the people and you are looking at the geography.
            Is there a Physics law that can reconcile the two views?
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Abi

            Hi Kim
            There a possibility to reconcile what I say and what Professor Tes says. He either doesn’t read or comprehend properly. He still thinks I want Eritrea back while I’m telling him to stay away. It is bereket the former Mayor of Harar or AG of the Great Nation of Ethiopia under the Great King or Chairman of Mermari Commission under Abyotawi Meri Mengistu wants to bring his people back. The problem is it is really difficult to catch Tes sober. I will try after the holidays.

          • tes

            Selam Kim Hanan,

            I think you are lagging as usual. These people whom Abi is looking for are found or originated from a geographical location called “Eritrea”. If he is looking these people, he will definitely refer Eritrea. Hence, Geography and people are unseparable. Did you Demography is the brach of geography that studies about people?

            Historically what Abi is looking at is very important. I ca not ignore anything that encompasses.

            By the way, I want Abi to stay around despite his boring argument. What I love about him is when he talks within himself through his wonderful poems. He must be an exiled journalist.

            tes

          • Berhe Y

            Ras Abi,

            I don’t expect you to change your view and I am not trying to make you change. You are entitled to your opinion and be critical as you can be towards the professor or anyone else.

            What I meant by what I said was, that you always seem to put the blame on the Eritrean side while ignoring the historical fact to what drove the Independence movement in the first place. We have been through this many times, and your point of reference is those Eritrean suffering from what you call “Afluanza”, but you forget those Eritreans who were suffering under the successive Ethiopian administrations. Tsigereda just chronicled what life was in Asmara during that time, and we lived through it, and don’t tell us we were suffering from Afluanze during those hard times.

            As to the professor, the reason I said his wife is Ethiopian is because she was and she still is. So naturally he may have a stake for the sake of his children or his wife or for himself that the two countries live in peace…It’s no.hard to imagine. And you make it sound as if he is the father of Eritrean Independence movement, he is not, he was 15 more years late when he joined the independence movement

            Personally I am not really fun of the professor, and my main problem with him is for the work he did with regards to the Eritrean constitution. To begin with, I think he drafted it so that to EPLF to rule Eritrea for eternity without giving the people much democratic choice similar to normal democracy / freedom that others aspire to. Specially when Isayas implemented the special court while he was in Asmara drafting the constitution by passing the legal system, he should have resigned in protest and let Eritreans know what was happening. Instead he was giving interview, how the president supported the constitution commission, how he never intervened with them, non sense…and he did not push for the participation of all Eritrean including the opposition group who were exiled.

            But who knows, may be he understood Isayas powers and influence and wanted to give him the two terms with a limit ( I believe Isayas shelved the constitution) as a compromise. I am sure deep in his heart, I don’t think he wanted the suffering of the Eritrean people or that of Ethiopians, that I believe.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Selam Berhe
            Sorry, kind of busy . Last minute Christmas shopping…
            Just on your last sentence
            He said he knew Ethiopians were suffering but he shrugged it off… his words, Berhe Hawey.
            Will be back.
            Thanks

          • Amde

            Selam Abi,

            Not to get into the Dr. Bereket thing, but I understood the statement of “…intellectually knowing Ethiopia sufferings but shrugging it off as a self imposed misery …” is one that Semere is admitting about himself, not quoting what Dr. Bereket said.

            This admission is to be commended – a bit too little and too late in my opinion. The thing is though, there is a LOT of bad blood and resentment by the revolutionary generation against Eritrean activists. The revolutionaries (many of them) believed many of Ethiopia’s problems were due to the “backward” and “anti-democratic” nature of its government. The Eritrean issue they thought was to be seen in that context.

            The way Eritrean independence came about, and with it the imposition of EPRDF rule, the country’s landlockedness, the Badme war have all compounded the feeling that Eritreans don’t care about what Ethiopians went through, what Ethiopians did to help Eritrean independence, and that at the end of the day, we are better off without much Eritrean contact. As much as Semere says he finally “emotionally” gets it, Ethiopians for the most part now don’t care whether Eritreans do or don’t at this point.

            I don’t want to get into the whole of Dr. Bereket’s issue. One of life’s cruel ironies is that when you have a long life you get to witness the effects of the choices you made. He was a favored official during the Emperor’s era, and perhaps at some point he may realize that the evolution of the system that took him from nothing to Attorney General would have been a much better option for everyone concerned. It is just strange to see him romanticize revolutionaries.

            Melkam yeferenj Eyesus lidet.
            Amde

          • Abi

            Amdachin
            I like to take this opportunity to nominate you Awatista of the Year!!
            You are on fire or may be you are burning I don’t know which one.
            Now, I will go back and reread the article again. One thing I know for sure is I’m extremely biased about this person.
            BTW, I celebrate Abesha Eyesus lidet.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Abi,

            I second that. He was phoneminal and what a gentle man. He never loses his cool.

            Berhe

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amde,
            .
            I know you don’t want to deal with the Dr. Bereket issue. I really don’t either.
            They call him Distinguished Professor, Intellectual, Revolutionary and all the rest. I am stuck on his former title, the Attorney General of Ethiopia.
            .
            Your last paragraph was powerful. It was the meat of the realty under discussion that was lost forever. THAT lost circumstance ushered in all the misery and suffering, visiting thousands of people perhaps millions up to now and will continue into the unknown.
            There was and is a lot of blame to go around in all directions, to be sure. The current 20 and 40 year olds dealing with the misery and hardships perhaps have no idea how they got to this point.
            Of course, all this is the past.
            The hope now is to adopt to the new realty and face the world “AS IS”.
            .
            To bring in recent historical figures and make an attempt to rehabilitate their contributions through a rose colored lens only succeed in aggravating those who have lived a long life.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • saay7

            Selamat Amde:

            I started to write about this subject and then realized I have written the exact same thing (in defense of Dr Bereket) 3 times before and i should stop until i can come up with fresh and perhaps more persuasive arguments. Such as: why do you not speak of Mengistu Hailemariam (butcher of 1.5 million people) with the same anger you speak of a government official? Clearly, 25 years laters, some feelings are still raw. It may surprise you to learn that back in 1991 some Eritreans were furious that the Government of Eritrea was not going to seek reparations for the 30-year-war of devastation that was waged in (mostly Western) Eritrea. I was at such a meeting where the new president was asked why Eritrea is not pursuing this strategy and PIA said, “our curses will have to suffice.”

            As for the evolution of Dr. Bereket, I have always thought that one thing that may be helpful is if we, parenthetically, insert the people’s age every time their names are mentioned at the time they made a crucial decision. At least then those of us with grey hair will understand, although the young ones won’t.

            As for people’s decision to whether stay with a country and seek separation, the argument is made easier for them when you torch their huts, or gather men, women, children in a mosque, on a holiday (Eid) and burn them to death. (Ona, Beskedira: december 1, 1970.) As I have written many times, if the king had not been an ally of the US, and if the UN instruments we have now were as developed then, the king would have been found guilty of crimes against humanity.

            Having said all that, I second Abi’s motion to name you 2016 Awatista of the Few Years, an award given randomly. You may want to decline it when you remember the last winner was Mahmoud Saleh and you know what awatistas have done to him lately, in the great Greek tradition of “killing your god.”

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay (Aya Adi’U),

            In the words of Bonnie, ” whether in reaction to social injustice, or to our leaders’ insanity, or to those who threaten or harm us — is a powerful energy that, with diligent practice, can be transformed into fierce compassion” (Bonnie Myotai Treace). It is the injustice befallen to our people that propelled the young generation of that era to join the Eritrean revolution in droves, to fight with fierce compassion to liberate our people. In the study of “Sensitivity to befallen Injustice” (SBI), the study predicted cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reaction to unjust treatment. The Eritrean youth did react in the same breath to defend our people. No matter what we encountered with a brutal of our own, currently, history will not absolve HS and Derg from the crimes and atrocities they have committed to our people. What I can tell to Abi and his likes is: “yewega biressa yetewega Ayresam”. The Eritrean people can not forget them the atrocities committed by the Ethiopian regimes.

            If Abi is adult enough to remember those days, then I tell him to accept history as it happened and move on and listen to Voltaire’s words of wisdom which says” “Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Haile S.

            Hi Saay7,
            You talking of Mahmoud Saleh, MS? Let’s bring our living Greek god from the cold, by resurrecting a king who left his fingerprint through his stone itched inscriptions*, Ezana. I am trying to answer MS’s question of few weeks back in a forum discussions on Barya and Nara nomenclature and plus. MS was asking SGJ to present proof for saying “Barya transformed into its derogatory meaning (slave) because of the practice of enslaving the Barya people, hence, Barya people precede the derogatory name Barya”; to which I added ‘in the same way as the word slave came from the Slavic people’ (enslaved by the Germanics). I found one element that could answer MS’s question. Ezana mentions Barya, Hasa and Mangourto inhabiting the other side of the Taccaze when talking about the people he conquered and submitted in the region. The stele was inscribed in geez around 340 AD after Ezana’s conversion to Christianity, meaning the designation of Barya as a name of a people easily predates that period. Ezana’s steles are very interesting in many aspects, but let’s limit ourselves to the question raised for now.
            Source : *Albert Kammerer. Essai sur l’histoire antique d’abyssinie: Le
            royaume d’Aksum et ses voisins d’Arabie et de Meroe. Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner 1926.
            Haile S.

          • MS

            Selam Haile S.
            Happy Christmas and thanks for the input. As usual it’s helpful in getting us closer to a plausible conclusion or explanation. Sorry, for the late reply, I was a bit busy. And I don’t want to busy you with my inquiry, please feel free to ignore it and enjoy the festive mood with your friends and family, if your situations demands that. Coming to the question of who came first: “Barya” the word or “Barya” the people, consider the following:
            – Slavery was practiced long before king Ezana and the golden era of Geez, the Roman Empire and the Middle East (Arabs) were the main destinations for East and Northern African slaves.
            – Since Geez is the precursor of Tigrigna, Tigre and Amharic, it is possible the word Barya had been in practice along the history of Barnet (slavery), it is quiet possible the Nara people were not the only enslaved ones. Enslaving conquered tribes was the order of the day, therefore, it’s possible the victims could have been any vanquished order and its people. As you know, be it in the Western or Eastern part of Africa, it was the African chiefs who were trading slaves with foreigners. Therefore, I still feel that the word Barya was given to Nara and people who looked like them because, probably, they were easy picks for trading them as slaves due to their dark complexion.
            – The date of the inscription, during king Ezana reign corresponds with a rich evidence of the practice of slavery.
            So, my point is: We can establish that the word Barya could have been invented centuries before the inscription to describe slave trades, and slave system in these areas (the steles themselves could have been built by slaves, there are evidence that slavery did exist in our region until the last century…), therefore, the Nara and people who looked like them could have been dubbed “Barya” as a racist and demeaning epithet, long before the inscriptions of Ezana era steles.
            The key will be to establish the etiology of the word, and I’m afraid we can’t make that at this point, and here. Therefore, it will depend on comparative reading of what we know.
            Regards.

          • saay7

            Haile S:

            That was a noble effort (and you should consider being a historian) but I find this statement by MS, the former Awatista of the Year very compelling:

            “There are literature and Facebook pages by Nara citizens. I don’t think they would have kept quiet if their name was misused.”

            Now, it would be awesome if you can show cases where societies re-purposed an derogatory term and embraced it. I think of two cases in the US, but let’s stay in Eritrea.

            saay

          • Haile S.

            Hi MS,

            Thank you and happy holidays to you too and to all. I agree with your analysis and historic of slavery. However talking about geez, ‘Baria’ doesn’t appear to be a geez word. I am not knowledgeable in Geez, but by curiosity checked some of the available dictionaries, Dillman’s, Ludolf’s (both freely available in Internet Archives or Google books), as well as Wolf Leslau’s concise Geez dictionary or Lambdin’s introduction to classical ethiopics. Baria appears in none of them. All say slave in geez is gbr (ገብር); making Baria as used in Ezana’s geez inscription a highly likely authentic name of the people we know.

            And thank you for the info on Hasa; Ezana listed so many people he conquered and not so easy to identify them with present denominations.

            S. Haile

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi S. Haile and MS,
            The non Tigrayit speakers in Eastern Sudan pejoratively call the Tigrayet speakers as Hasa sometimes pronounced Khasa. I know a few pejorative rhymes common the region but it’s degrading to repeat here.

          • Haile S.

            Hi Saleh and Saay7,
            Saay7
            thank you for the complement. Socio-cultural and political discourse is dominated by the powerful, the dominant,
            the conquering and by the one who have the means of leaving written records, as
            you are well aware. It would have been more interesting and would have completed the understanding if the version of
            the targeted people was available and if we knew how they perceived us, the others.

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile S

            Amen brother:)

            I was in some mailing list of the Joshua Project some time ago (long story) and in one of their mailers they asked me to pray for the Nara who were “forcibly converted to Islam”. To convince their readers that they are worth saving, they told their readers they were called Nara since the 5th century (per some stele somewhere) and were ancient people who introduced agriculture to Western Ethiopia (I didn’t write it Abi, Amde: just reporting)

            Professor Alexander Natty (disappeared by PFDJ since 2001) always went against the conventional wisdom of “all Eritrean ethnic groups have lived happily one people one heart” and while his writing is necessarily focused on the Kunama, he has written peripherally about the Nara (never Baria but Nara.) I remember one of the things he mentioned was this: the words “gash and setit” were Italian inventions: the indigenous people who live where the Gash river flows, the Kunama, don’t call the Gash River Gash but know it by a different name (I forget.)

            Finally, to support your argument about the disadvantage of history being written by the dominant groups, there is an African saying “Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            Thank you Saay.

            For some reason I find the link on weekend only, a little bit Archaic.

            I understand the reason given, but it’s too restrictive to broaden the debate with valuable reference that enrich the knowledge and information sharing sprit.

            I don’t know when and how it come about, but I feel it come out of no where.

            To expect people to wait until the weekend to read or post a link is unreasonable and unpractical.

            Instead of outright ban, I think the case is an exception than the rule, and it should be handled as such, in my opinion.

            Ismael,

            Sorry for your loss.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear SGJ & Berhe,

            Abu Salah, I don ‘t mind if AT ban any link in the forum as far as the forumers did not follow the instructions of AT. I am sure it is difficult to moderate Eritreans. Ban it to remove one of your headaches.

            Dear Berhe, I understand your point, but if they make exceptions, it will always be problematic to AT with endless critics. Therefore understanding their position on the unruled individuals is quintessential to make the purpose of of this forum relevant.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Berhe Y

            Dear AT and AH,

            Thank you and I understand, and honestly I don’t have a solution. I will search discussion forum Etiquette and if I find something worthwhile I will share.

            I don’t think I was in jebena link more than a couple of times. I agree that the music link may be annoying and irrelevant but I didn’t think the other links were such a big problem.

            I just thoughts links provided by the ever resourceful saay or Amde are quite valuable.

            Berhe

          • Dear Berhe Yeman and all,

            Thank you for understanding our dilemma.

            Jebena was the brainchild of Saay, though now he is a repeat offender; he knows the regulations but keeps posting links 🙂

            Jebena didn’t reach its potential despite our continues attempts to make it an example on how links can be very useful and entertaining. it hasn’t reached to the level we wish it to reach.

            Here is our suggestion and below, we will put some links to explain our vision on how we see links and audiovisual content can add value to the forum, and to the visitors of awate.com.
            If someone believes Awatistas should invest their time to watch or listen to what they link here, it would be appropriate for them to explain what is behind the link–at least provide a brief summary and introduction to the linked material in order to give it context. As you know, some comments are longer than the normal summary and introduction needed for a Video or Audio content to appear on the frontpage and initiate a debate (the main goal of the forum). Otherwise, inviting people to links without explaining it, is disruptive to the debate and the comment section–we encourage people if they see their comments running longer than a usual comment, to develop it some more and send it for publication on the frontpage. We believe some comments are just too good not to appear on the frontpage—simply it may require a little extra editing time, and most even do not need editing. If they do, we are here to help.

            Awatestaff had tried to show by example how a link can be developed to a frontpage content with added value, incentivize or initiate debates, and at the same time entertain Awatistas and visitors of awate.com alike.

            In addition to the Zimbabwean documentary of last Saturday, we often post many such audio-visual content. The following two links are examples on how we envision the links to be presented:

            1. Exactly two years ago we posted this link: http://awate.com/a-break-from-politics-jebena-presents-fairuz/
            2. And about a year ago we posted this: http://awate.com/jebena-jerusalem-the-flower-of-the-cities/

            Finally, we urge you to do invest a little extra time on the links you wish to post and share your insights instead of posting dry links. Otherwise, don’t complain 🙂

            And thank you all, whether you understand our problems or not. We appreciate your feedback.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear AT,

            Thank you for taking the time to respond, including using a link:).

            That’s what I have in mind when I was registrating my complain. A link or a reference adds value and enrich and support the argument a person is making. Now if you have to follow your own advice, instead of just giving a context and a link for further explanation or reference, you would have to either wait until the weekend to write your comment or you have to repeat exactly what’s really available and write it all over in the same context. Would I benefit most if I read the link or your context added link, most probably a link is sufficient and I make the choice if I want to read the link or not.

            Let me give you an example, saay just made two arguments, one with regards to the topic Nitric is commenting and another one with regards to Eritrean history. In both couldn’t add the link (one was removed).

            The other day Amde was making an argument with regards to the GERD and he said some thing to google to find a document, where his argument was related to the topic at hand.

            I find in both this examples, the restriction unreasonable. The jebena was a good alternative to music and YouTube link and those who have something share they should use that. It’s not that I have no interest but it’s not a priority so I didn’t make an effort.

            AT is already managed to moderate on a couple of important aspects of the forum:

            1) greeting
            2) clean, no name calling debate.

            I believe it’s going to great length to moderate the form and moderating on the link, I think is not a huge burden I believe.

            My suggestion would be:

            1) restrict music, video to the forum or keep it for weekends

            2) allow link if there is some context for what the link is all about and if relevant to the topic.

            3) Punishment those who violate willingly.

            Note: I have not thought about the logistics of this and how it can be implemented.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe Hawey
            ሰላም ነው? ኦኬ ነው? ኣማን ነው?
            The problem is you have to wait until the weekend to post your findings.
            As Ato Amanual precisely put it it is difficult to moderate Eritreans. So the solution is let the Ethiopians moderate the forum. We know how to get things done. 😜
            So far the moderator failed except in enforcing greetings.
            የእልፍኙ ኣጋፋሪ እጅ የሚያስነሱት
            ኣሮጌው ዋርድያ እበር ላይ ያሉት
            ባለቀጭኑ ልብ ባርኔጣ የደፉት
            በሩን ዘግተው ይዘው እንግዳ እንዳይገባ
            መታወቂያ የሌለው ያልታወቀ ሌባ
            ንትርክ እንዳይፈጥር በረባ ባልረባ
            “ሰላም በል”ብቻ ነው የሚወጣ ካፋቸው
            እጃቸውን ንስቼ ገባሁ እቤታቸው
            ሰላም ይብዛ እውስጣቸው
            ኣሜን በሉ ጏዶቻቸው

          • Haile S.

            Hi Saay7,
            Very interesting narrative. People’s history oral or otherwise need to be taken seriously and when reconciled with research material can come closer to the truth. Kammerer’s book relates the contents of many steles found in Meroe, Dekemhare (Hamacen), and Axum inscribed before the 4th century. Though non-exhaustively, I couldn’t find any mention of Nara in that book. There are other material that mention Nara either as the name of region (James Bruce and W. Guthrie) or as a language (Antoine d”Abbadie). Antoine d”Abbadie and his brother Arnaud stayed for many years and travelled and wrote extensively of Abyssinian geography and people. Antoine talks about Gax (Gash) as a region and mentions of Baria and other people of the region several times in his book of Ethiopian geography. More interestingly, related to our previous discussion on Baria, d’Abbadie says in his book under the title tribus negres (black or negro tribes) “Barya, Bazen, Tirbidda, Xilko, Bixkul and the three Lagodok are names of black/negro tribes in the area. In general, in the region of Gax, all the blacks/negros are called Barya.” suggesting the use of Baria as name a people and its derogatory use.
            I can agree with Pr Natty on the naming of “gash and setit” as a region by Italians, but these names were used or existed before the Italians as shown above for Gax, and setit is mentioned by many as a river. In addition some unusual names for rivers (that could have been local) are mentioned in a book WD Cooley’s book (in English). Here is a list of the reference. All except Kammerer are freely available on google books:
            – Kammerer , reference given in earlier posts.
            – Antoine d’Abbadie. Géographie de l’Ethiopie: ce que j’ai entendu, faisant suite à ce j’ai vu… 1890.
            – William Guthrie. Nouvelle geographie universelle. Description, historique,industrielle et commerciale… 1809
            – Cooley WD. Claudius Ptolemy and the Nile: or an inquiry into that geographers real merits and speculative errors, his knowledge of eastern Africa and the authenticity of the mountains of the moon. 1854 London.
            – James Bruce Travels…..
            P.S. Thank you for Alemeseghed tesfay’s interview; since links in Awate have issue, I will try to find it otherwise.
            Haile S.

          • MS

            Hi SAAY
            Haha…I retired quietly a year ago (a month before my term ended, Dec, 2014-Dec 2015). I will nominate a would be contestants based on their :
            1. seniority and active participation (frequency of uninterrupted attendance)
            2. contribution to diverse views
            3. contribution to creating a civil discourse (vice squad)
            4. role of Enriching debates through contributing educational feeds and reference materials
            5. desire to see our region move beyond conflicts, and their aspiration to see a region where xenophobia and bigotry have no place, and where justice takes root; where development and interstate cooperation between peoples become the norm…..
            With that in mind, I nominate the following awatistas for the prestigious “Awatista of the year”.
            1. Fanti Ghana: for his peace loving and hopeful attitude, rare but brilliant contributions
            2. Tzigereda: for her rare but no-nonsensical and intelligent inputs
            3. AMDE: for his rich (knowledgeable) feeds; his levelheadedness
            4. Ntickay: for his seniority, contrarian view, and the color and character he brings to the forum
            5. IsmailAA: For his knowledge, coolness, and his desire to see a better region
            6.Amanuel Hidrat: For his desire to see Eritrea that is founded on social equality; for his unyielding wish to see a peaceful region
            7. Sara: for her short and witty comments, engulfed in an air of friendly tone.
            There are many outstanding Awatistas, the list is gong to get longer, and I believe they are represented (Hayat, Semere T, SemereA, BerheY….)
            SalehG and SalehY are not here because it is not justice to get them to stand in queue to contest for that honor. They deserve a life achievement award.

          • Saleh Johar

            Mahmoud at,
            This is your conspiracy to deny us the cash reward that comes with the award? Saay is saying, “geTimnakki alena”. You can run for the second time, and the third and fourth and stay loyal to the African tradition. Mugabe is making fun of you. Blash!

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Mahmuday & Saay

            I was fifty-fifty between IsmailAA and Amde, but Saay’s last sentence gave me a clue to why I should vote for Amde. Long live the Greeks!

          • MS

            Selam Fanti
            I know it is too competitive to pick a name, So many candidates for one spot which speaks for the richness of the forum. But hey, its Sunday, and Mengistu Hailemariam had a say for this type of a situation.
            http://www.tubechop.com/watch/8721412

          • Abi

            Hi Vet
            Are you campaigning to keep the honor? Nice try.
            I was expecting you to say ” I approved this message!”

          • MS

            What’s up abi
            The late PMMZ once, when he was the president, said something like “slTan(?)/Shumet Sukuar naw” when he expressed his disappointment on the disgraced PM, Tamrat Layne, who was removed from his post because of corruption. As you know, PMMZ stayed in power through his moto bmoto (100% winning) election games until his creator called him back. The Gambian dictator had a second thought after he had conceded his defeat, the rest, like SGJ’s Mugabe (tsk, tsk) are actually honest about their determination to stay in power. That leaves MS the great who left the post on his own term despite its generous reward, including a retirement package. So, no, it’s about a new Awatista of the year.

          • tes

            Selam saay7,

            Without doubt Amde is 2016 Awatista. His very matured, full of wisdom and enlightening cool headed discussions gave life to the forum. He is a hero of all discussions with full of knowledge.

            Bravo Amde!

            tes

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            .
            I fall in line to vote for Amde’s …2016 Awatista of the Year Award.
            At the same time, I want to mention 2 individual Awatistas who always remain Honorary Awatistas every year in my book. They are Haile TG and Hayat Adem. It is not an exaggeration to say the room is a little dimmer without them.
            .
            As to your point of “…..why do you not speak of Mengistu Hailemariam (butcher of 1.5 million people) with the same anger and ill-will….”
            .
            Mengistu Hailemariam, I am almost sure before he dies will write another book, a memoir so to speak, of his life and the contribution he made to the Ethiopian nation. He will document, by now a well developed, integrated and expanded philosophy. He will enumerate all the great foundational accomplishments he made. Such is human nature.
            .
            For SOME REASON if that book is reviewed here at Awate Forum and the reviewer attempts to rehabilitate or normalize the diabolical behavior of Mengistu, rest assured, at least on my part I will go “insane” at the foolishness of the world at large and Awate’s charitable review in particular.
            Just thinking about that possibility raises my blood pressure.
            .
            I wish Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Abi

            Hi Mr Kim
            Haile TG is AWOL. Hayat? No Sir! If the winner is not Amde it is definitely AG. You remember AG? Yep that AG who used to tell Hayat all the secrets in the world? Of all the people in the world he chose her. Just like Qidist Mariam Weladitwa.
            Everybody was wondering who this AG was except Ras Abi. I knew it all along.
            It is Angel Gabriel !!!! AG!!!
            መላእኩ ገብርኤል ኣምዴን ኣመዱን ቡን እንዳያደርገው ፍራ. He hates competition.

          • Abi

            Hi Saay
            Excellent points!
            There should be exceptions to the rule when we mention a person’s deeds along with his age.
            When that person is a habitual betrayer the rules don’t apply.
            He betrayed not one, not two, but three Administrations spanning three generations.
            Regarding Ona and other incidents I’m sure bereket was the advisor to the king.

          • Amde

            Selam Saay and Awatista,

            Well this is quite rich.. haha.. one gets reminded of the freshest episode of regicide before being offered the crown. And Fanti, whatever do you mean?? It used to be said of Hellenic Kings that a sword would hang over their seat tied with the thinnest of threads.. ostensibly to make it easy to reach out and use, but at the same time making death by falling sword a distinct threat.

            I thank all who nominated me, and I humbly accept the post of “Random 2016 Awatista of Every Few Years”. My humility is like Trump’s, where he told his interviewer that ” I am more humble than you can understand” (Man I laughed at that for hours) I will have to ask what the compensation is beyond the vague promise of regicide. I am cheap – a handful of qolo a month will do.

            In all seriousness, In the spirit of Inform, Inspire, Embolden, my vote is split between Ismail AA and Berhe, smart and honest truthtellers whose dignity shines through. I would list all the reasons why, but i have a hot cup of shahi correnti which even Berhe or lsmail would agree would be a travesty to let go cold.

            Merry Christmas Awatistas all.

            Amde

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Amdachin!

            I think it is an old fashioned jealousy, but since the political
            power base is shifting center-south I want to practice “opposition” on you while I am at it.

            Merry Christmas to you too!

          • saay7

            Selamat Amde:

            Trumps answer reminds me of “the greatest thing about me is my humility.” The Office of Awatista of the Year has only been occupied twice: once by Haile The Great (HTG) and the second time by Mahmud Saleh (MS.) You can draw your own conclusions what the office does to the person based on their reigns and the aftermath. Each office holder shapes it and is shaped by it. [Insert other platitudes, preferably proverbs, here.]

            Compensation: the very rare “no wonder you are Awatista of the year” sandwiched between long periods of indifference. Also, you get to put it in your resume under “achievements”: feel free to mention the size of seated readership and it’s goal. (You forgot the 4th goal: Reconciliation. Inform, inspire, embolden, reconcile. Forget it again and there will be a recall drive)

            Your #1 task is to be the ” Ageb/Newri/Newr!” vice patrol when someone deviates from the posting guidelines. A very thankless job where you will be accused of being an inconsistent enforcer of the rules.

            And now for the most useless advice: just be yourself!

            Saay

          • Amde

            Selam Saay,

            Ah well.. thank you so much for the forewarnings and backhistory.

            And I will take this opportunity to vent and right a wrong. I am sick and tired of being out-Selam-ed by Eritreans. If I understand conjugation correctly, “Selamat” is a plural of “Selam”. Hence for every “Selam” on my end, a “Selamat” from your end is an “I see your one Sekam and I raise you by an indeterminate number of other Selams. ” Well played sir, but that imbalance of Selams sh*t ends now. At least for the next month, I shall start every posting with the for-now-awkward-sounding “Selam Tembeshbeshu Awatians”. For those not so familiar with Amharic, to be “menbeshbesh-ed” is to be blessed with a surplus shower of whatever … In this case, of course.. Selam. And so I raise your arithmetic progression of Selams with a surplus-by-default wish for peace.

            Speaking of “Selam”, there is an odd evolution of Amharic greetings in Addis. When I left Ethiopia during the Derg years, the standard greeting was “Endet neh / endet nesh” (“How are you?”). Well a few years later it had changed to the oddly phrased, “Selam neh/nesh?” literally “Are you peace?”. Then a few years later, this repertoire has expanded to where the even more impersonal “Selam new?” (“Is it peace?) became the youth default greeting.

            Apparently this was not deemed sufficient, and so a new greeting form has morphed into existence.
            You are asked “Selam new?” (“Are you peace?”)
            You reply, “Selam new!” (“It is peace.”)
            You are asked “Selam neh?” (“Are you peace?”)
            You reply “Selam negn” (“I am peace.”)

            You think this is the end but no..

            You are asked “Wustih selam new?” (“Is your inside peace?”)

            Inside peace? Inside peace? What the …..?!?!?

            Invariably, every person I relate this to laughs about the whole thing, until this last query about the subject’s internal peace. Which brings about an odd mix of paranoia and defensiveness. “It is nobody’s business how I feel inside. Who the heck does he/she think they are asking me about my internal psychological state?”

            I will have to report back from my next trip how this is going. Addis is awash with translations and original works about personal psychology, success literature, new agey spirituality and the like.. Perhaps this newish trend of asking about the internal state of the subject is a rare bleed through from the literature, or it may just be a short lived fashion. If it persists, I would deem it a revolutionary change of focus from a world driven by external objective realities to one driven by sensitivity to the subjective psychological state.

            And on that score, I say “በውስጣችሁ ሰላም ይምበሽበሽ!” (May you be awash with peace within you.)

            Amde

          • saay7

            Selam@:

            (Well, I had to live up to Abi’s expectations of Saaytanish: I didn’t write Selamat but I did:)

            Your post made me laugh out loud. You are not kidding: the title has already gone to your head and you are issuing proclamations😂

            About greetings…in my short stay here in Planet Earth for the last 35 years (shut up everyone), this is how the greeting progression went in Eritrea:

            First there was “Alora?” Italian for “then?”

            Then came the amharic “tadiyas?” during the Derg years. Amharic for “so?” (I believe there is a website with that name: an odd name for a website: instead of telling me, it is asking me.)

            Then came the Arabic “Kief?” which is, literally, “how?” Can you imagine greeting a Spanish-speaker with “como?”

            Lastly, in the PFDJ era came “kemey kemey” which is “how, how.” How, how, indeed.

            To summarize: then, so, how, how how. This is how we have greeted one another as a people. And you think my “selamat” is an overkill. Then with Wahhabization of Islam, it is no longer cool to say “ahlen, kiefek, zeyek” but “aselamu aleikum”. The more pious you are, the longer the greeting. So, one can write a thesis that the reason we don’t have peace is we don’t know how to greet people.

            በውስጣችሁ ሰላም is “inner peace”, a very Buddhist concept. (This reminds me: I must watch Kungfu Panda for the 17th time and embarrass my kids.) We call it “qsanet” in Tigrinya, which is always coupled with “rahwa.” Maybe you guys don’t have one word for it in Amharic and thus the awkward phrase?

            Long Live The Reign of Amde

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Amde and Saay,

            I will never forgive you for not mentioning the Addis Ababa greetings that annoyed me the most in the nineties. All of s sudden, the young substituted endiet nek, for endet neh, then “meTak?” for meTah? And all the annoying, bellak, tegnak, TeTak, etc followed. Surprisingly, it was the male version that changed, the female “bellash, tegnash, etc’ remained unchanged. I thought it was a passing trend and they will soon get bored of it. They didn’t. Last week I met a respectable woman and she greeted me, “endet nek?” It was the ninties all over for me. Until she said that I couldn’t tell her age, now I do–ye nineties biTie 🙂 How did that shift from meTah to meTak happened, I will never figure out.

            For Saay: in the nineties you would greet combatants, ‘kemey alekha?’ and they would reply, “sernaay”. Wheat? What is that supposed to mean? It means, according a person in the know, “white” because the mother of white flour bread is sernay. Mahmuday might know better.

          • Amde

            Selamat SalehJ (see what I did there haha)

            Oh boy don’t get me started on the “..h.. to the …k..” shift. This the kind of real life phonological change linguistics drool about studying. But, dear newly born baby Jesus. could it be more grating and annoying to the ear. And the bad icing on the cake is the pitying look da youth give you when you pronounce it the way Egziabher himself intended… with a soft “..h..” The damn thing came out of nowhere and today it is probably the most obvious marker of youthspeak. Which – you are right – I should have included earlier. So then modern youth greeting in Amharic goes like this:

            “Selam new?”
            “Selam nek?” (vs Selam neh?)
            “WusTik selam new?” (vs WusTih selam new?”)

            God forbid this thing happens to the feminine form of the words.

            You know, we used to say to someone displaying suspicious behavior if they are touched in the head by politely asking them “nik neh?” This new style demands this query be repurposed to “nik nek?” What’s next – a nik nek joke?

            I would go for a little dictatorship to put down the k and elevate the h. What sayeth thou?

            Selamih yimeshbesh.
            Amde

          • sara

            Dear abi
            Well come back, still the jebena is being wormed and waiting.
            On this special occasion I want you to know i agree with all your stand about Eritrea and Ethiopia.
            Mn baaed only!

          • Abi

            Hi sara
            Thanks. I consider it as Christmas gift.

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe
            Tsegereda chose to chronicle the thorny part not the rosy picture. I don’t expect a freedom fighter to write anything positive about the Great Ethiopian Administration. She has to keep convincing herself and others why she joined the madness.
            Look, the situation in Eritrea is going from Great ( under Ethiopia) to slavery under pfdj. Now tell me why are not people join the opposition? It is because of luck of affluenza! The sad part of Eritrean writers is they are one sided. They are experts in exaggerating events. They just copy parts from the EPLF/elf propaganda book.
            You always talk about Eritrean suffering under Ethiopian Administration. Yes you were suffering from affluenza!!!!!!!
            AFFLUENZA!!!! The high achievers! The unique people!
            When it comes to Eritrean issues derg was an Angel. Eritreans were privileged in every aspect. Keep denying everything…

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Abi,

            If you are asking me if Eritreans were better off under Derg than under pfdj, I can tell 100% we were. Let me give you an example of irony. The eplf and elf were planting bombs in the roads, so trucks exploded. A lot of trucks were owned and a lot of Eritreans lost most of their trucks. The insurance didn’t cover such act I think and they had nothing left after years of working to own those trucks.

            The Derg who has nothing to do with the act, signed / sponsor a deal with Italian truck manufacturing companies and was giving them back as a loan so they can work and pay it back. Those trucks most of them were assembled in Addiss and I think they were called AMICE. I believe the reference of Eritreans origin was with that regard. And they were given the opportunity to pick up their lives again, it was a good policy and it helped a lot of families and created many jobs.

            I tell this happened when Shaleqa Dawit come to govern Eritrea and a lot of good things happened. And if he had continued to govern, EPLF would probably never had a chance to get the people behind. But the derg replaced him and come with the 6 offense which he opposed I think, that you can read the book by Balu Ghirma and the rest is history.

            Berhe

          • sara

            Dear berhe,
            I think you were one of those lucky enough not to have it rough during dergi.
            As said one was luck, but there were also many who were openly or secretly co operating with dergi that they were protected and had privileges in supply of food and other economic opportunities, most of them
            Went abroad after independence and some are rehabilated leading normal life.few are in the dungeons of the state.
            Now, ato berhe what do you say ?who was better of during dergi time.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Sara,

            Do you think Eritreans have it better now than they did during the Derg? If you do, why don’t you give us your example and experience.

            Remember, all humanity believes and think Derg was the worst of the worst with its purges and red terror.

            Still I believe the PFDJ is worst. And I can refute any example that you can come up with.

            This does not mean that the fight for independence was wrong.

            It’s just that we got rid of a minister but instead we created a frankistiene, now we really don’t know how to get rid off.

            Berhe

          • sara

            Ato berhe,
            I told you there were two types erotreans, of course those who were on the side of history paid dearly. I don’t know which side you where.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Sara,

            I was not speaking about myself, I was speaking in general terms. For your information, I was considered lucky because I left Eritrea before the pfdj set foot. I live in west with foreign cash to spend and I am one of the privileged citizens who can afford to travel as tourist, is able to buy land and build house, my children are spared from the sawa slavery as long as I don’t stand up to the pfdj ask questions and mind my business. So what I speak is not what happened to me personally but what’s happening to our people, I live in G7 country, how can I have it bad.

            As to what happened to me during the Derg, I was not privillaged or as you are trying to imply a jasus:).

            But you failed to give me few examples why the derg was worst, you don’t have any. Let me give you another example, there were lots of Eritreans who went to meda to fight and many left to Sudan and then to the Arab countries, like SA, Kuwait and others. They prospered, made lots of money and they use to send and help their families, and many of them traveled to Eritrea freely and were able to invest but homes and build homes, without any question asked, Edga Hamas, may chehot, akria and other places.

            The last time Asmara seen such development was during the repatriation of ERITREANs from Germany where the German government made a deal to return to their homes they must give up they’re german citizenship / residence in exchange for money to help them settle in Eritrea. I know many who regret that decision and now like the rest are escaping from what Eritrea turned out to be a hellish place to live.

            Are you one of those few privillaged, with no concise who have it good under pfdj.

            Berhe

          • sara

            Ato berhe,
            Mashalh, mashalh…good for you you became a westerner by defoult, you have dollars and can travel any where, and your children are privileged because of their father’s is smart he hitched early before the heroic eritreans showed up in Asmara.
            Ato, berhe..since you are happy with your achievement, and you are originally from Eritrea, it really makes me happy, to hear you did well in your new found land.
            As for me I was very young during dergis era, but seen lived all that atrocities against our people, that the space here will not be sufficient to list it.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Sara,

            I never said Derg was angel, if you recall I called it monster. Do we agree on this so far.

            Now let me ask you, and I know you perfectly understand what I am saying but you are avoiding it purposely, and I know what I say or will do will make you tell the truth to your self.

            Can you tell me how is the pfdj better than the Derg? Is this really difficult question? Why can’t you list few things, I will e easy for you, list only THREE things.

            I am not bragging about my achievement or my privilege but to show you that, people like me and I am afraid people like you are previllaged in pfdj Eritrea.

            I chose to oppose the system and I expect nothing less for the Eritrean people than they deserve, people like you on the other hand are happy with the status qou as long as you have your vacations, your villas and the royal treatment you get on your arrival.

            Berhe

          • Nitricc

            Hey Sara, i hate to see you wasting your time with wasteful souls the likes of Berhe. this dude have no morality nore consensus. one he told this forum that he lives in heaven, heaven to equate Canada. Now, he is telling you he got dollars. yet, he wonders why young Eritreans are motivated to take the most dangerous journey to their death. What this lost soul does not understand is his ignorant post are great motivators to the young Eritreans to risk their lives. Do you how ignorant and stupid this person is, he wanted to know if Eritrean were better off in Derg times. never mind the entire village of ShiEb was run down with tanks alive; but because their name was not Berhe but Ismail and Fatuma and they were Muslims doesn’t matter. To Berhe, Eritreans mean just the Highlanders and the christians. What i don’t get is, what is Canada? I get it, you get a free stuff and you live in welfare and you stack for live nowhere to go!!!!! wow, talk about a low life!
            please forget this kind of people who are devoid to humanity, dignity and pride. life is more than living in welfare, but don’t bet Berhe to understand it.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Nitric,

            I will be one of the first to return and help build my country when I see the pfdj gone from the face of the earth. I am not like you mr hypocrite.

            You want to twist my words and saying that I didn’t care about the suffering of Eritreans from the lowlands. I didn’t say any of such things.

            How about the pfdj government refused the return of thousands ERITREAN to their ancestor Arian land and refuse their settlement.

            Hey I will also ask you the same question I asked Sara, can you name three good things the pfdj did since it come to power?

            Berhe

    • Dear Abi and Kim Hanna,

      Welcome back abi!

      I do not understand how come I have not heard of the professor. I googled and I see that in life he seems to have had an interesting itinerary: from a high government official in HSI government – a separatist eplf fighter – served in eritrean government and was the head author of the eritrean constitution – a pan-africanist.
      I think I have heard (read) him say that it is his wish to see ethiopia and eritrea reunited during his lifetime, and now he says that he hopes that this unity will be the nucleus on which pan-africanism will develop.
      To tell the truth the review made me believe that it was a genuine forward looking concept, until I read your comments. I am more cautious now about the genuinity of what he says. Could it be remorse or the failure to achieve his lifelong dream that made him think differently in this last hour?

      • sara

        Dear horizon,
        You can read or not his book
        Even wish like abi said..though it is not humane.but…
        Pls becarefull when it comes to peoples cause’s.
        Eritrean struggle was not a separatist endeavor, but a just cause against occupation.
        Look,I know you are one of those who frequent this forum and honestly I read you to learn about Ethiopian views etc, but from time I see you casually saying “comments” things that has long been accepted or undetstood by most , at least by our ethios
        In this forum.
        With respect.

        • Dear sara,
          I can never be perfect, nobody can, but i have the obligation to say my mind, which cannot be to everybody’s taste.

          The thirty years war was a painful experience for both people. You bled, and we bled, and both people suffered from their common enemy (the derg). Nevertheless, as explained by the the reviewer of the book, both parties did not look for a common solution, even though as he said, “the ethiopian victims were him too”. You have your explanation and we have ours. I call it madness, and you call it a necessity, and if I am not mistaken, the professor calls it shortsightedness (savoir-faire revolutionaries, the know-it-all generation, for the sake of fugitive glory, a generation consumed by rage, etc). You see everybody is entitled to have his /her own approach to a situation.

          Now, the main point is not how to characterize a past history, but how not to repeat it, especially when it is so painful, and how to build on the future, which is slipping through our fingers. Most of the discussions we make are not solution oriented, but old shilela/zeraf, which we repeat over and over again. Therefore they do not add value most of the time.

          I always read your input. I wish more women participate in the forum.
          Regards.

          • sara

            Dear Horizon, the “I can never be perfect, nobody can, but i have the obligation to say my mind, which cannot be to everybody’s taste” is good excuse in general this days …, but here i thought people are interacting with you to form understanding that will help peaceful co-operation between countries or people or like people to people etc,
            i read your discussion with Mr saleh, are you telling me that kind of discussion wasn’t serious,and has no value? then why are we here day in day out reading you and the many fine commentators.
            thank you any way.

          • Dear sara,
            I do not normally look for excuses in real life let alone in the virtual world. If we have not reached some level of understanding after so many years of discussion, most probably we are going in a circle, trying to avoid to take a new trajectory, which could lead to some sort mutual understanding.
            As much as my discussion with SJG is concerned, what you wrote above is your own conclusion and not mine. Our discussion was important but not new. We might have discussed it in the past and most probably others have discussed it too. Nevertheless, it does not mean that we should not discuss it any more. We should find a way to move to the level of examining possible solutions, which holds true for everybody in the forum. The two governments are saying my way or the highway, and we are doing the same thing. You may ask, then, are we the right people who could find a solution. We might not be the brains ethiopians and eritreans are waiting for, nevertheless, I do not think that it is a bad idea to discuss the solution as well and not only the problem, even if it is at the level of exchanging ideas.
            Regards.

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Abi,

      Both the Monarchy and the Derg [Tej Bet/Beer Hall Communists] were unjust and unreformable. They did not represent the majority of the Ethiopian people. Don’t you think they should be opposed?

      • Abi

        Selam Simon
        Sure, every oppressor should be opposed. I agree. You see Simon , I love Eritrean Independence so much that I’m determined to defend it against such people like the modern day Jack the Ripper AKA bereket who preach unity. ( I call it reverse opposition) .
        I hope you are with me in keeping Eritrea independent!
        Down With Reverse Opposition!!!
        You welcome.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Abi,

          You are digressing.

    • tes

      Selam Abi,

      I know that this is your favorite jab making topic. But don’t fool yourself. Before, we have wasted lots of energy with you. Now, it is 2017. We will never fal again on your stupid argument.

      If you move on, well, we will be happy. If not, stay there with your broken eye-glass.

      hawka

      tes

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