This website, awate.com, was launched on September 1, 2000. The name and its launch date are not a coincidence: it is named after Hamid Idris Awate who, in our opinion, is one of the great founders of Eritrea. Awate launched Eritrea’s armed struggle for independence—liberty, right for self-dertermination—on September 1, 1961, DESPITE the overwhelming odds that he and his small band of fellow combatants faced in Emperor Haile Selasse I, and his domestic and foreign allies. Haile Selasse I has now been replaced by Isaias Afwerki I: and we see our mission the same way Hamid Idris Awate did: to resist oppression so Eritreans can have their God-given right to determine their fate.
Our duty, as we see it, is to provide Eritreans with accurate and timely information about Eritrea and the platform to debate it. It is to inspire apathetic Eritreans into choosing sides: there is good and evil; there is right and wrong. Choose a side. It is to embolden them into action. Information, unless followed up by an action plan is just archive: we see it as our duty to embolden Eritreans to resist the violation of their rights. And, finally, since we do not want to see a repeat of the same cycle that has plagued Eritrea—where only the actors who want to dominate change but the attitude remains a constant—we want Eritreans to reconcile to the notion that Eritrea belongs to all its stakeholders and it is important that we have a reconciliation based on brutal truth.
Inform. Inspire. Embolden. Reconcile.
That was our mantra 10 years ago; that is our mantra now; that is what it will be 10 years from now.
This new look is based on our mission. How do we facilitate information? How do we provide more comprehensive, more accurate, more timely information? How do we serve Eritreans who want to receive information using different medium—audio and video? How do we facilitate discussion and debate better? How do we inspire Eritreans? How do we fight against the dispiriting campaigns waged by the PFDJ and elements within the opposition? How do we resist those who want to put a pause on our collective struggle until they get the upper hand? How do we tell them their campaigns are futile and we want to help them embrace the merciful death that fate has in store for them? How do we embolden those who have been told they are a minority, they are a handful, they don’t count, they are destined for a life of servitude? And when all is said and done, how do we reconcile the angry, embittered voices of our difference population?
Over the years, we have been receiving advice from our readers and loyalists. Build on your strength; work on your weakness. That is what we are doing. We want to tear down the wall between those who opinionate and those who debate. We want to provide our readers more opportunity to share news, information and calls for action. Over the next few weeks, we will share with you our plans. Stay tuned.