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Human rights lawyer vs. trained healer

Eritrea Does Not Allow for anyone to Unbound

My Sundays begin at dawn, not with reading newspapers, but with listening to one of my favorite National Public Radio (NPR) programs, This American Life. I enjoy listening because it brings stories that one wouldn’t hear anywhere in the mainstream media and one cannot find anything better than this program if one wants to stay as far away from anything Eritrean; this definitely would be the last place where one would hear of Eritrean stories. So I thought. What I heard this morning, however, blew me away; it was tigrinya interspersed with English as the translator was trying to keep up with the person who was speaking on the other end of the line. It took few seconds to realize that I was not losing it and that there was no running away from Eritrea – even in the last refuge where I hear stories that nurture my American side, my sanctuary was no more – there is no escaping Eritrea, Eritreanness, Eritreans because our dire plight and our collective tragic stories are being disseminated like a plague the world over. Eritrea does not allow any room for anyone to unbind. Normally, this one hour radio show is segmented into four episodes and each episode carries independent mini-story but each is linked with the rest of the segments through themes. This time however the entire hour was dedicated to this harrowing human tragedy as it unfolded in the Sinai desert in which 29 Eritrean hostages were being tortured and the listener is hooked for the duration of the hour to listen to this unbelievable tragedy right to one’s ear drums, especially, when the ear piece is plugged right into one’s ear.

The entire Sunday I am left feeling like a zombie. I try to stick to my routines, but I just cannot bring myself into doing anything else, not even that homemade and mindless café-latte making, I just couldn’t bring myself to make; it had to wait until I finish listening to this. There is no distractions from any of my family members until around 9am, at which point my son, invariably, wakes up and asks how my morning was with a quick follow up that comes in quadruple successive and  predictable variations: “can I watch Netflix? Can I do the Wii? Can I do X-Box? Can I play on your laptop? And, I am privy to remind him in how I wish he would say something like, “can I do my reading daddy?” He gives me that sly smile of his as he walks toward the living room and says, “That comes after, daddy.” And so I am left alone in my study room to deal with the disturbing story I heard on the radio this morning. This is nothing like when one goes to Eritrean websites, one is prepared, and the mindset is there to handle any bad news with the psychological defensive mechanism to absorb it. But, this one was coming at me from an unlikely source that is what makes this story quite unnerving.

My mind races back and forth – the things I read in the past come galloping to the fore, in no particular order, mind you; thusly, an impetus to write forges forward, the only refuge I know when such uniquely Eritrean maladies strike and my center is about to refuse to hold, ah, but Yeats comes to the rescue: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”  Indeed, “mere anarchy” would be “loosed upon” my world if my personal gravitas, my inward is destabilized and does not comport with my emotional wellbeing, “things” indeed will “fall apart” as they seem to have done exactly that and much, much-more, to the only woman among the 29 individual Eritreans held hostage in the deserts of Sinai. Some died and some physically, emotionally, and psychologically scarred, perhaps, for life, and Semhar seems to have gotten all conceivable scars and brunt put together – she lost her mental faculties was the last piece I heard on that radio; but hoping against hope, I just hope that she will ostensibly regain it. But how does one even regain one’s mental faculties in places like Israel where refugees are treated as ‘untouchables’ of India with no health care facilities being available to them?

So, the musings and recollections continue and I try to put some semblance of order in my recollection, but they refuse, they just forge and surge forward and I comply. But there must be a way of relating all these recollections, there has to be order to this madness, a pattern, a metapattern, a theme. Something. So, I begin to muse, recollect, and relate between what I had read, as it were, to find a theme, much as my favorite radio program tries to do week-in-week-out. Something must give, and it ain’t going to be at the expense my sanity, that much I knew. What begins to emerge after contemplating what I have read in the entire summer and beyond is now finding a culminating point at the center of which rests what was supposed to be  the “city on the hill,” the beacon of hope that was supposed to serve as paradigm par excellence in the Horn of Africa.

What has unleashed instead is this unimaginably atrocious two decades that defies any imagination. Edgar Allen Poe’s Prince Prospero, at least, attempts to salvage a thousand of his subjects in the midst of a plague that has ravished the land. In desperate attempt to defy death the Prince comes up with what he thought was an ingenuous way of deflecting the plague. Edgar Allan Poe’s story grapples with the notion of how a prince struggles to slow down a plague that is ravishing his country, of which the prince is the ruler. Given the publication date of the story (1842), having no modern medical technology at his disposal, after losing half of the population, the Prince decides to save about a thousand people he deems savable subjects, by inviting them to his mansion where no plague can possibly enter. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” addresses the furtiveness of life as humans will fight for dear life by devising meticulous mechanisms to fight a plague, before it holds its sway over their existence and renders them extinct. What of Eritrean plague you say? What of our Prince of Darkness you wonder?

Indeed, what of our prince of darkness, what does he do? He makes the country so unbearable to inhabit, he hallows out the nation of its youths to only make them become preys of human predators that no one knew existed. Prince Prospero, however foolish his attempts, tries as he might to keep death at arm’s length, whereas our Prince of Darkness makes venues available for the predators to harvest organs of young Eritrean men and women to the highest bidder; to a point now in Asmara there is an area with state of the art villas known as enda kulit. The public, apparently, knows some of these owners of these villas bought these properties from illegally harvested kidneys. This is the ultimate and the height of betrayal that no one can match.

It is to these monumental obstacles that Eritreans in the opposition attempt to make sense out of. Some resort to verses in the bible, to the divine intervention, as it were, to God, to “good and evil” as they try to find some comfort and solace in it as Aklilu Zerai attempts to do in his last piece. The challenge to the Eritreans’ God is that it stays static; it is not as dynamic as that of American God. The American God begins (minus Native Indians one) with the arrival of the Puritans. The Puritans had concrete idea of God, a God that they dragged, metaphorically speaking, with them across the Atlantic Ocean from the Calvinists mold, where God is in charge of everything on earth and beyond. The inherently bad or evil mankind deserves God’s wrath because there is natural disposition toward depravity of man.  Mankind’s life is predestined, hence for the doctrine of grace, where God’s forgiveness is bestowed upon humanity. Not necessarily to all humanity, for God chooses whom to rein His grace or wrath upon.

The Enlightenments ups the ante in reverse direction – i.e., they diffuse the concept of God quite a bit from that of the Puritans. Here, these enlightened Americans begin to believe and shift the focus to the world of here and now and how to solve its practical problems, therefore, soften the image of God as the benevolent one, as it were, a rational God who is commensurate with scientific laws.  Therefore, the Enlightenment era brings forth concepts of shared humanity, progress oriented world view, education/self-improvement, and the advance of print technology which helps in the perpetuation and dissemination of such beliefs. The evolving of God does not end there.

Enter a new era of Transcendentalism, a world of Waldo Emerson’s Natural Man and Natural God. The seamless evolution of God seems to down-spiral (depending on one’s perspective). Transcendentalist movement in the U.S. as ushered by Emerson and Romantic Movement in Britain, nudge the idea of God from the two concepts mentioned above to one that is a personal God – God in tune with Divinity and Nature. Thusly, the revelation of God comes to mankind through Nature and that mankind must make his own mind up about God. In other words, mankind should be left alone to have personal relations with his own God and arrive at his own understanding of what God is.  The following tidbits from Emerson’s “Nature” summarize the essence of his thought and about God/Nature:

The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? […] [W]hy should we grope among the dry bones of the past? […] There are new lands, new men, [and] new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship […] [N]ature is already, in its forms and tendencies, describing its own design.  Let us inquire, to what end it nature? […] Nature, in the common sense, refers to essences unchanged by man; space, the air, the river, the leaf (Emerson, 1106-7).

It is in the above spirit and the lens through which one should attempt to see new ideas, ideas that are seemingly intractable today will be spot on in the future when viewed from proceeding generations who will live to see our era as an era of tumult but an era no less of great deal of soul searching, deeply probing to find solutions to the trouble the nation was placed in by its misguided leaders who placed it in great peril. Of course, the likes of Emerson who resigned from ministry to philosophize as he greatly influenced many more Americans to think –agree or disagree- nevertheless to think of the future of their new nation that must chart a future that is uniquely their own, and indeed they have.

Seen in such spirit one can easily see what some other Eritreans who decide to write are doing. For example, other writer want to find some semblance of rationality and reason in quantitative and qualitative world as Sal tried to do recently. Quantifying emotions, trepidations, and human spirit is hard to do, but trying nevertheless Sal did. Similarly, Tewelde Estifanos attempts to lift the spirit of Eritreans can-do-attitude as he delves to the positive territories of Eritreanity he thought, but one tangential introductory note changes the dynamic of the conversation that ensued, which mangled his otherwise lucid message beyond recognition. The search for answers to Eritrean maladies must continue unabated.

To find coherent meaning to the plight that’s plaguing Eritrea’s sociopolitical landscape vis-a-vis “politico-psychology,” Amanuel Hidrat resourcefully patches myriad concepts together. I would be remiss if did not include Anderson’s notion of “the political power of nationalism vs. their philosophical poverty and even incoherence. In other words, unlike most other isms, nationalism has never produced its own grand thinkers: No Hobbeses, Tocquevilles, Marxes, or Webers. This emptiness easily gives rise, among cosmopolitan and polylingual intellectuals, to a certain condescension” (Introduction). Anderson does not stop there; he quotes others who are known for their professed understanding of nationalism, by extension one can suppose its adherents, such as Tom Nairn who state the following:

“Nationalism” is the pathology of modern developmental history, as inescapable as “neurosis” in the individual, with much the same essential ambiguity attaching to it, a similar built-in capacity for descent into dementia, rooted in the dilemmas of helplessness thrust upon most of the world (the equivalent of infantilism for societies) and largely incurable” (The Break-up of Britain, p. 359).

This is an interesting challenge to those who have strong attachment to the notion of nationalism. A paradigm shift is being demanded take place here, one that would stomp-out nationalism from its ideological baggage where it does not belong to one akin of “kinship and religion” as opposed to where it now belongs: “liberalism or fascism” (Introduction). Irrespective of where nationalism belongs, issues of identity will come barreling to see to it they be addressed. And that’s where Yosief Gebrehiwot’s (YG”s) grapples seem to center in.

At the core of what makes us humans lies our identity and YG attempts to dig ever deeper into what lies beneath the names we name our kids as it can be gathered from his latest article. Personal narratives are not absolved from scrutiny as Gabriel G. elucidates using tea-pot as the proverbial story inducer. Stories do not end there. There is Zekere Lebona’s, amidst the desert disaster stories, in light of harrowing stories told in the NPR piece of this morning (well now it is yesterday morning), Zekere found an angle in our national anthem to lambast at the core of what ails us. Agree or disagree these story weavers are trying to make sense of what seems irreconcilably difficult world Eritreans inhabit today. It is all for one Imagined Community that Benedict Anderson who in the introduction states, “the end of the era of nationalism, so long prophesied, is not remotely in sight. Indeed, nation-ness is the most universally legitimate value in the political life of our time.”  Anderson delves into the history and cultural artifacts that spawned and spurned “nationalism and nation-ness.” He stipulates that “to understand them [nationalism and nation-ness] we need to consider carefully how they have come into historical being, in what ways their meanings have changed over time, and why, today, they command such profound emotional legitimacy…[and] have aroused such deep attachments” (Introduction).  A host of events amalgamate to create a nation, some of which that Anderson mentions are “self-consciousness, social terrains merge and be merged, political and ideological constellations” as eyed through historical lenses and they “arouse deep attachments” as eyed through “cultural artifacts”. It is at this juncture of culture and history where Awate and Asmarino approach to activism show sharp contrasts.

For an observer looking in, it would not be that difficult to see the warring factions that exist between two Eritrean virtual sites. The ideological struggle can be narrowed to two trajectories between and the former is holding the status quo ante that had fed the Eritrean conscience since the inception of when Eritreans chose the struggle for Eritrea’s independence. The latter seems to bask into this revisionist notion of history of remaking, reassessing, thusly reshaping a new mindset that wants to see Eritrea’s history through a new lens. Interestingly, at the heart of both sites lie clear purposes: to contribute the end to the suffering of so many innocent Eritreans by the regime in Asmara. Now, philosophical or ideological debates as we know never end and Tsigereda and Amanuel Hidrat and some others have been advocating that all opposition camps retool and repurpose their energy into one and only one: to rid the brute regime in Asmara, thusly, alleviate the suffering of Eritreans in Eritrea. Using all arms of social sciences to disarm the current regime is one thing, but amidst existential threats that exist back home to attempt to write revisionist history as Girmay Yebio does, a shoddy one at that, is totally another. To be fair to the man herein follow some the gist of the criticism that one can level at Yebio’s piece.

Girmay Yebio’s “Part III – Independent Eritrea, a crumbling nation and a tragedy:” ‘The Architects of Destruction’” as posted in on Monday, 24 June 2013 attempts to offer a nuanced sociopolitical dynamics that existed among colonial powers of Italy and England in the twentieth century Eritrea and the national identity issues that were brewing within Eritrea as it relates to Ethiopia. More specifically, the article seeks to unravel the conflation of identities, including the associations between Ethiopian national identity and that of Eritrea, essentially, being purely of Ethiopian heritage. In his effort to de-couple these linkages, Yebio argues that the meanings of ethnic identity and nationhood in the Horn as not only malleable but also contingent upon local and spatial circumstances. Through an examination of two historical periods – the 40s and the 50s (he considers the historical lynchpin) on the one hand and the 60s and 70s (he argues was the ghedli concocted propaganda history), on the other – Yebio brings as illustration as he attempts to show how local conditions informed conflicts about the meanings of nationhood in the region. The Italian and British conquest of Eritrea transformed both the geopolitical and cultural boundaries between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Yebio believes that the Union Party of Eritrea had already sealed the deal in its desire to unite with Ethiopia, but that foreign influence fanned the nationalistic flames into the Eritrean Muslims such that of Abdulkadir Kebire and Ibrahim Sultan by stoking religious sentiments that were akin to becoming swallowed by a Christian nation of Ethiopia. Therefore, such sentiments, Yebio believes did not only derail the terms for the incorporation of Eritrea into Ethiopia’s fold, but also recast Eritrean and Ethiopian conceptions of the relationship as a case of colonialism of Ethiopia on Eritrean nation.

Thus, whereas mid-twentieth-century Eritrea could have developed a relatively inclusive conception of national identity based on national heritage with its genealogical trajectories traceable to Ethiopia, but the issue was made to be one of national sovereignty that excluded Ethiopia from the menu; these competing visions of national sovereignty by Eritreans cast ominous aspersion on Eritreans ever since., according to Yebio, bringing forth a ghedli generation that Eritrean public never had a say in. Yebio’s article prompts several questions that merit answering. The questions are:

What conceivable positive outcome could revisionist history such as his serve at this junction of Eritrea’s history? Suppose all in the opposition camp, including those inside Eritrea now accept the premise as advanced by Yebio, that we all trace, in some shape or form, our historical heritage to Ethiopia, therefore, what? How do these kinds of arguments serve any useful purpose in alleviating the present despair and pain of Eritreans within Eritrea’s proper and those from without? Can anyone think of any positive contributions these historical and sociopolitical issues serve? Why the sense of urgency for such divulgence of our history – positive or negative – now? These questions are being raised not necessarily in order to proffer answers to them, but merely for us to collectively address, contemplate, introspect, and eventually find a happy medium from which to operate collaboratively in the struggle, and out of which we would ostensibly find a modicum of reconciling points to operate from.

All efforts that were advanced – be it – by Haile Selassie or Mengistu’s Dergue, to place Eritreans and Eritrea into the Ethiopian tent were met with adamant refusal by Eritreans from all walks of life irrespective of its right-headedness or wrong-headedness. Therefore, this ex post facto and retrospective ideas that dwell on what could’ve been, what might’ve been, or what it should’ve been and had to have been is too little too late. What must be done now with the existing existential threat which would invariably lead to what will need to be done, at which point Eritreans can discuss and have dialogue about the future and sociopolitical project of Eritrea?

Beyan Negash

About Beyan Negash

Activist, a writer and a doctoral candidate (ABD) in Language, Literacy, and Culture at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Beyan holds a bachelor of arts in English and a master of arts in TESOL from NMSU as well as a bachelor of arts in Anthropology from UCLA. His research interests are on colonial discourse and post-colonial theories and their hegemonic impact on patriarchy, cultural identity, literacy development, language acquisition as well as curriculum & citizenship. The geopolitics of the Horn of Africa interests Beyan greatly. His writings tend to focus on Eritrea and Ethiopia. Beyan has been writing opinion pieces at since its inception (1 September 2001).

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  • G. Michael

    [Moderator: kindly stick with one nick–you have used several so far and we thought you would correct that. Now you used a title for a nick. We have changed it to Mikael. Kindly stick to it.]

    Communications with in the Eritrean milieu,

    The social and political climate we are in as Eritreans discourages civility. We are all assaulted by the brutal dictator one way or another. The daily barrage of ill treatment of our people, especially our youth, – our nest egg to the next generation is being fast destroyed and dispersed across the glob. We all hear the agony of our compatriots in Sinai, saw the left over bodies being drugged in the beaches of Mediterranean Sea of hundreds who sunk in the seas. This is a traumatic experience for all of us unlike to any other citizens of this world. This in addition to pleading calls from refugee camps in neighboring countries, or relatives from Eritrea on death beds due to lack of care and necessities – there is no end to constant impact of these bad news to our psychic. There is no normality for us. Conventions, ethical ways of communications comes with a modicum of stability, which is absent in our case.

    • A. Benstar

      Hell all,

      As one somewhere said, the best way to deal with the Eritrean issue is to leave it alone or something to that effect. That was what I gather from one of Uncle’s Sam’s diplomats that. Eritreans put the wagon before the horse and expect to go somewhere and end up where they were because the wagon could not pull them and the horses they ride! The simple song that all sing but don’t dance to is : Ethiopia for Ethiopians and Eritrea for Eritreans or, is it? Eritreans may know what they want but don’t know or don’t want to know about how to go about to get what they want as civic citizens of their homeland!

      Eritreans are divided along regional, ethnic, religious and the like lines like babies demanded their piece of the pie with out due regard to the piece of the pie that belongs to their other Eritreans! Eritreans have to learn to strive to bring about what they want in their unity in diversity which all claim aspire to uphold and live by under the rule of national and international laws!

      The Ethiopians, especially the Habesha ones, and their PFDJ Eritrean counterparts will not give the Eritrean people what you want but will try to undermine and destroy everything that advances the will of the Eritrean people to live and let live under the rules of national and international laws that all concerned agreed to abide and live by!

  • Beyan Negash

    Wrap-up Thoughts

    This is as good of a place as any to wrap up my thoughts on the subject I have started. I must begin by thanking you all, with many of you who made the discussion lively, not only those who had similar viewpoints to mine but those who were critical, at the top of which who stands prominently is no other than Asmera/Asmara, Lemlem, Nitricc, etc.; my sincere thanks to you all. The intense back and forth conversation, at times shouting match, at other times cordial ones along with the conference I attended yesterday must be at play in this morning’s thought. Plus, of course, the rapid and forceful fire-range coming from the fellow who goes by the name Asmara/Asmera is at the root of it all, the first sentence of which from his last note is worth quoting here: “I haven’t read much of your writing and have not known you before that well, hence I would start addressing you with respect, like I always do, until I see or read something that doesn’t warrant any respect.”

    The conference I attended was centered on three ideas behind effective communication, and the first of which is “respect” and next two are “honesty, and understanding.” The speaker’s word for word introductory speech was as follows:

    “Extensive research has proven that high quality communication is characterized by respect, honesty, and understanding. Respect, honesty and understanding can be intentionally communicated and result in higher levels of trust and cooperation. The most important step in conveying respect, honesty and understanding is the decision to do so. This decision results in an attitude that improves communication. Respect, honesty and understanding are conveyed by the use of specific nonverbal, expressive, empathic and discourse skills (Guerney, 1977).”

    Perhaps, the fact that such “nonverbal” cues are clearly missing in action because of the nature of virtual communication, the last sentence quoted from the speaker is difficult to accomplish in virtual setting; but I believe it is dispensable and really good idea to keep that in mind in the event that we begin to speak to one another face-to-face.

    I firmly believe that dialogue, more so in virtual setting, must begin with respect to a fellow human being with whom we are communicating – it needs to be attended to carefully and insistently against the temptations to the contrary. If this component is lost the breakdown of communication is easy to incur. So, no matter what that person says, once the disrespect kicks in there is no communication to be had – all what’s left will be contempt. So, I must begin with myself and say, if I had shown any disrespect to any fellow Awatawyan who came to discourse with me, my sincere apologies, which leads me to the next item from the list above: HONESTY.

    Sincerity and honesty must be on the top of our list. If we come with an agenda to win a debate at any cost, then, all of our efforts, efforts that we are investing to convince others to our way of thinking would have suffered greatly and will most certainly be in vain. We may feel good at venting, but that’s all what we have done. People, as my friend always says, have visual cues at their arsenal that they may not realize they have, but can see sincerity in a person in no time.
    Unfortunately, the virtual discussion we are having does not give any room for that – our dialogues suffer greatly as a result of such miscues.

    In my estimate what may ameliorate to such shortcoming is to never assume and jump to conclusions and hurl insults at others based on what could as well be erroneous assumption. How about asking questions and granted this will require a great deal of patience, but is worth every effort. It was, for example, easy to lump all of those who disagreed with me, especially, if I don’t know them personally and that is the majority in this forum, I automatically want to label them as loyalists, the Amen Corner, etc. This kind of communication really does not help anyone to arrive at any constructive resolution, instead, how about we try to show “UNDERSTANDING.”

    By understanding what I mean is this: Let us try to put ourselves in the other’s shoes. Let us show some empathy toward the other person’s concerns; let us validate such concerns and try really hard to see it from their vantage points. The speaker in the conference I attended quoted J.C. Maxwell, an oft cited thought which goes like this: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

    Through empathy, understanding, and respect, the writer in this forum will begin to sense we are really making efforts to communicate as we attempt to arrive at some sort of a resolution.

    What I see taking in Egypt worries me a great deal not that I have any more affinities toward Egyptians than, say, Libyans, Nigerians, or any other country for that matter. I care about humanity at large and when I see lives being wasted unnecessarily I feel it takes away from what’s left in mine. My worry though about Egypt rests when I try to relate it to my own country. Are we really any different than these countries that are facing monumental obstacles? Once people begin to speak of us versus them, and I am not talking about republicans versus democrats; I am talking about people with guns, clubs, and machetes speaking of the other fellow countrymen with contempt as though they were aliens, thereafter, it takes not much to descend into chaos and to barbarism.

    Therefore, we in the Diaspora, I believe can start talking to one another with respect, honesty, and understanding, maybe, maybe then we will begin to see the humanity in the other. The concerns of the other, however, far removed from our own. We must make efforts to acknowledge that those people who are expressing their views day-in-day-out do really care about the subject matter they speak of. What in that subject matter that they speak of can I find commonality from which to build a common goal? Look, if African Americans who faced the ultimate dehumanizing experience of some 400 years can accept the descendants of those who enslaved them as their brethren and accept to coexist, surely, we can find common ground with the people who are not directly linked to what is going in Eritrea, but are supportive of it, no less, to begin to talk with them with respect, understanding, and honesty.

    If South Africans who suffered at the hands of whites the most horrendous discrimination – apartheid – that any human being faced in recent history, surely we can begin to talk to one another. We have far more in common, the welfare and the wellbeing of the people of Eritrea at heart. That’s all I wanted to say as I wrap up my thoughts. This dialogue has been way taxing than I ever thought possible. But, it was all worth it and I learned a great deal about myself more than about anyone else. Thank you all for those who openly participated and those who wrote me in private and called me to point out certain aspects of the conversation I could not have seen it until they mentioned it. I am grateful to friends and foes just the same.


    • Nitricc

      Beyan, I have not read what was said so, I can’t really comment but if time permits, I will read and catch you anther time. However, for now the problem is the lifeless oppositions are busy in finding in what keeps us apart than looking what bring us together. I hope you will lead the disgraced oppositions on soul searching mission.
      Beyan, this is for you and to all the oppositions.

      • Beyan Negash


        The legendary Yemane was the one I always went back to listening whenever I felt the urge to listen to Tigrinya songs. After the passing of Yemane – my he rest in peace – I had already developed the taste to Abraham Afewerki’s music sensibilities, which was quite unique; but then after the passing of Abraham – may his soul rest in peace – I have yet to find one that speaks to me musically.

        The closest that I have come to enjoying music is that of weddi Tkabo – especially, zemen. Many of his jingoist/patriotic stuff I don’t care much about, though I enjoy the power of his voice and the melodies, and what have you. When he sings politically neutral songs – he can be deep.

        All this is to say that, Nitricc, you may have introduced me to a singer with great voice and the lyrics to match that voice along with the melody – this was my first to listen to the young man, Yared is part of the name I remember, and so far, I have listened to it three times – and I just love it. what I liked about it as well is that the lyrics were on the screen for a Karaoke moment if I so chose.

        I am leery, however, because my daughter thinks I tend to miss beats when I try a sing along with some songs, but she admits that I don’t miss a beat when dancing; unlike our Saleh Osman, gathering from the hilariously written description of the man’s dancing skills. I was more mesmerized by the writer’s lyrical Tigrinya writing skills. He elevated the language, I thought, to a new height – that was wonderfully illustrated piece – thanks Haile for that.

    • A. Benstar

      Hello Beyan and all,

      Beyan, all that you had to say is more or less, let us be civil in this note! The most important thing is not what other people about the issues they talk about but the truth of the issues themselves! The most import thing to understand is that people should not fire before they know understand who they are firing their verbal metal bullets. In this connection, if you wrongly characterize the personalities and the issue the are connected with, the whole discourse goes sour and useless because it is based on mistaken, misinformed, or hypocritical grounds! In this connection, I would like to recast my last note to you for you, again, to consider and take it from there:

      {Hello Beyan,

      Beyan, in one of your earlier notes, you stated:
      “You know when George W. Bush says “you are in our prayers” I tend to believe than when Obama says it. The former is a self-declared born again, so one tends to believe that he really means it. But with the latter, it just does not comport with the overall persona that he presents to the public.”

      Beyan, “George Bush says that Christians and Muslims worship the same” “God” and that there are many ways that lead back to the same “God” and “His” heaven: Nothing but New Age Religion, Babylonian godism in a new garb from the old Indian, Mesopotamian, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman gods and the like:-). Following is a clip of about 2 minutes where George Bushy is being interviewed by somebody for you to see and take it from there:}

      • A. Benstar

        Hello Beyan and all again,

        I wrote the fist paragraph of the above note in haste and I would like to express it thus:

        “Beyan, all that your note above seems to more or less call for is for people to exercise civility and humility when communicating with each other! That is well and fine but the most important thing is not what other people say about the issues they talk about but the truth of the issues themselves! It is very important for people to first know that people should not fire before they know and understand who they are firing their verbal or metal bullets at! In this connection, if you wrongly characterize the personalities under consideration and the issue they are connected with, the whole discourse goes sour and useless because it is based on mistaken, misinformed, hypocritical and the like grounds! In this connection, I would like to recast my last note to you for you, again, to consider and take it from there.


        People who support an serve evil cannot be trusted to be anything other than what they are, servants of evil and they are note worth wasting the time and energy that people spend to communicate for one reason or another till such time that they call a spade a spade and Esaias the devil incarnate till such time that he stops being an idiot feeding on the blood and sweat of those who hailed him as their son and hero:-).

        Man should not appease no evil for evil only comes to lie, steal, kill, and destroy! If the cult of PFDJ could draw their god, they would drew him as “Nsu” with “Nhna” bowing in worship to their demi-god “Esu” instead of the Almighty who created them but they know him not:-)

      • Beyan Negash

        Dear A. Benstar,

        In a word, you are right truncating it to “civility” would’ve sufficed to say to one another
        but then there is a lot more to a word;
        it can inspire OR become the thing that help things like conversations expire.

        Let’s pause a moment and listen to what Dickinson(1830-1886) had to say:

        “A word is dead/when it is said,/some say./I say it just/Begins to live/That day./ she would say. So, my dear friend, A. Benstar, I am trying hard not to let the word of yesterday to shackle and paralyze me today. Ah, but what of tomorrow you might say, but there is Shakespeare’s Macbeth in “Macbeth” to save the day:

        Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
        Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
        To the last syllable of recorded time;
        And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
        The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle,
        Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
        That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
        And then is heard no more: it is a tale
        Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
        Signifying nothing.

        The only exclusive reason I brought G.W. Bush is nothing more than to illustrate that particular point of the saying in the U.S. that goes by “we have you in prayers,” which Sal brought in one of our conversations. GWB is the last person I consider insightful or thoughtful person to quote or listen to at length or whose ideas I consider worthy for a discussion.

        I watched the clip you sent me, the guy does not think more than one sentence at a time. If you notice that he is just literally thinking a word and a sentence at a time. Incidentally, I heard on the six o’clock news last evening some of the former presidents who were recorded on Nixon’s secret tapes; guess who was there – the late Reagan, bless his soul – telling Nixon who was in trouble with the law in how he will have him in his prayers.

        That is another president, this one though was a smooth talker and can probably think beyond a word, a sentence, and even paragraphs, but I would rarely quote as a person who could have anything inspirational to say. But then, you never know, someone like Sal – who may even be a Republican at heart will unearth something cool that Reagan said from his “Reaganomics” stuff.

        So, dear A. Benstar, let us give each other some benefit of the doubt and begin to have a dialogue and for that to happen, I don’t want to belabor the issue again but we need at least those three things I addressed in my last piece.


        P.S. I must tell you, I truly enjoy the way in which you weave your ideas in such lucid manner – I just love it. Wish you up the ante and take your ideas to a level of an article – just my wish, but I understand that life happens.

        • A. Benstar

          Hello Beyan,

          Brother Beyan, thank you for taking the time to respond to my last note. Beyan, when one choose to engage in a discourse, it has to be on the bases facts or what are assumed to be facts! That is why I stated that:

          “the most important thing is not what other people say about the issues they talk about but the truth of the issues themselves! It is very important for people to first know that people should not fire before they know and understand who they are firing their verbal or metal bullets at! In this connection, if you wrongly characterize the personalities under consideration and the issue they are connected with, the whole discourse goes sour and useless because it is based on mistaken, misinformed, hypocritical and the like grounds!”

          Now, the part of the discourse I was asking you to shade further light was the religious part where I stated that “Beyan, “George Bush says that Christians and Muslims worship the same” “God” and that there are many ways that lead back to the same “God” and “His” heaven: Nothing but New Age Religion…”. This was in response to your assertion that:

          ““You know when George W. Bush says “you are in our prayers” I tend to believe than when Obama says it. The former is a self-declared born again, so one tends to believe that he really means it. But with the latter, it just does not comport with the overall persona that he presents to the public.””

          Therefore,before I could even opine on the further opinions that your article and your comments generated. Beyan, Bush was and Obama is now the top leaders of the so called New World where what they say and do matter to every human being on Earth positively or negatively as the case may be! The leaders of the New World have unequivocally said that they seek to establish a “One World Government”.

          Thus, their high priests and priestesses, their witches and wizards and a host of fools that are good for nothing but to be used as tools to advance their New Age Religion, a One World or Universal Religion which I think some also call Tans-humanism, being brought into being in full speed where their pantheistic god, a god that allows both evil and good to existed at the same time and for people to find their own salvation by seeking him out and evolving toward him saying, “I am god”, “I am part of the great I AM, my individual salvation depends on our collective salvation, god’s heaven is open for anyone who wants to come and climb upward in the ladder of evolution post your human self and what have you:-).

          That, ladies and gentlemen, is is Babylon the great of the New Age speaking and it is rounding everybody up to its fold, be they great or small, weak or strong, wise or fool, rich or poor and be a brother or sister of the aliens or ascended masters and what not:-). I thought an intelligent nice person would already know what is cooking in plain sight by the sons of the powers that be that are leading the world from one war into another until the mother of all wars comes to end all wars at the end of time:-). I think this hastily jotted down to you Beyan will do for now and take care!

  • AK

    Hi Beyan,

    I hear you, and please keep up the good work & don’t let anybody distract you.

    You need to be nice. Leave the family alone. Let’s stick on the issue that we all care about and please don’t take it personal.
    You don’t have to reply, ‘I get it.


  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Different Groups!

    In the 18th Century a great French princess said ‘let them eat cake’ after she had learned the peasants had no bread to eat.

    A famous and genious in his scentific work as any eye doctor in Ethiopia said ”i get frustrated when they eat ‘swallow’ the eye ointment” about the peasants who did not follow his prescription.

    ‘We have to let Our students get Access computers in their schools’ said president Clinton in late 90s to the world leadrs on their annual meatings.

    We have tegadelit sympatizers who compare the hardship the tagadalits experienced verses life in Eritrea now and conclude that all who complain or struggel for more than what pfdj could/would offer to the People as spoiled brat.

    We have Medical doctors, engineers, etc in Eritrea who have choosen to sreve Eritrea while they can get better oppertunity even in Ethiopia.

    There is a woman who works as house maid abroad until the last closest Family can have enough Money to leave Eritrea.

    There are thousands eritreans who live as refugees in Ethiopia in this modern time but the same People could have lived all over Ethiopia as their own country even in the worrst dictatorship in 1974-1991. One of the great woyane failure in eritrean politics is to concider eritreans as a refugee in Ethiopia. All ethiopians can be forginers in Eritrea but all eritreans are ethiopians in Ethiopia. At least this was the case until 1998.

  • AK

    Here we go again,
    Our good friend Beyan Negash’s interesting article has tuned in to a battle ground of name calling.
    That reminds me of the opposition group who jump out of the case in point and talk nonsense, year after year.
    we all need to grow up and respect each other. it is OK to have a different opinion.

    • Beyan Negash

      Good “UnGodly” Morning Ak and others,

      There is nothing more frustrating than to see people who supposedly have a great deal of heart toward Eritrea, yet come charging to hurl insults at the countrymen with whom they may have differences in the way the country is being led; and there is no letting up either when the first few lines of their sentences contain insults, epithets that amount to the profane, there is just nothing else one ought to do but refrain from validating or trying to outmatch it. Ak, I share your frustration, and I don’t profess to have the magic wand as to make it disappear other than just to do what you kindly have done – plead to our common senses and try to see the bigger picture. Dehumanizing one another will not get us anywhere close to finding solutions, that’s for sure.

      This reminds me when growing up in Akhriya, I hesitate to call myself Asmarino, because the gentleman who goes by Asmera/Asmara may challenge me on it by saying, “Look fellow, how dare you call yourself weddi Asmera when you and the Qeyyih Hamed on your shoes and your likes tell each other, ‘nsmera do newredmoo’ and off you went to downtown Asmara. Now, mewwrezaymoo ngdef…;” so, I shudder to be on Asmera’s radar, although with this note the cat maybe out of the bag… let me get back to my Akhriya story…

      There was an endeared elderly lady, let’s call her addey Aramsa, who had long passed, bless her soul, who used to pile stones outside the door of her house; and we children of the neighborhood knew better than to mess with those piled stones. God forbid if a child is cursed, especially by an elderly person – mergem from the elderly goes straight to the gates of heaven, to the Almighty, and from there one will be eternally damned and was sure to burn in hell, at least that was the perception we had as children; so we never messed with addy Aramsa, for mergem was at the tip of her tongue. We were privy to even not scratch our head near those piled stones, for if our shadow falls on it and is perceived by addey Aramsa as us tampering with it, and that mergem left her mouth at a rapid speed and there was no way of retracting it, for we were sure it would stick like crazy glue from there to eternity. So, no messing with addey Aramsa.

      Those piled stones were guarded 24/7, if any child who didn’t know any better tries to take a stone or two to play with, addey Aramsa would come charging out the door to protect those piled stones as they were gems to her. I kid you not, the door to addey Aramsa’s house could be locked but she would come at the exact moment when a poor child tries to play with those tempting piled stones as viewed from a child’s eye, these were toys to toy with but not to addey Aramsa.

      And our brother Asmera strikes me as someone who is on the ready with his neZela at hand to come charging to today’s version of the piled stone – pc / laptop – to key away those insults as he hurl and throw those stones at whoever writes anything negative about Eritrea and its errant leadership. Have mercy on us, Asmera/Asmara, will you?


      • Beyan Negash

        The “Ungodly” term refers to the fact that I am compelled to write at such ungodly hour and in the wee hours of the night. Check the time.

      • asmara

        I was writing something on the other thread and did not see what you posted here.

        Anyway your opening, the content and the conclusions you put here are all mixed up and the body contradicted your objective (which turned out to be fake, as a result). And your joke is not that funny either

        As for “…I shudder to be on Asmara’s radar…..” nah, you are not up there yet.

        For now, we will blame it on the lack of sleep. I don’t think what you are saying here is worth depriving yourself and your immediate family of sleep and drag them into drowsy and horrible next day.

        So, I suggest you better turn in

  • Beayan, Haile & all,

    Beyan – I will add a combustive issue to the mix, an idea to the core of our social problem and at the same to to divert from the issue of religion. I hope you will not disagree. In fact your input is indispensable.

    Haile – I am bringing up to the top the thread we started on August 16 on this article. It is the issue of Centralized unitary government (CUG) and Decentralized unitary government (DUG). I will give you some hints to ponder on it.

    Let us start with the obvious:-

    (a) the 1997 constitutional document depict a CUG – a product of a hybrid of parliamentary and presidential structure. This structure gives an excessive power to the executive body (no matter who comes to the executive) and undermine the legislative and judiciary power. Think about this structure where the power of the president undermine the two pillars of governmental structure.

    (b)The second obvious is the mutual mistrust among our social groups being scared from tyranny of the majority.

    (c)The third obvious is our minorities are demanding unequivocally equitable power sharing and and equal economic opportunities.

    If you see the 1997 constitutional document, It does not address (b) & (c). Here comes my argument as a statement that – CUG doesn’t respond to the needs of our diversities but DCG does. I have written about it many times. Let me answer two questions to help you. Is DCG the same like federalism? not always, b/c all federalism are decentralized governance but all decentralized governance are not federalism (things that help you to explore). Are there different kind of DUG? Absolutely yes. So what kind of DUG fits to the reality of our society? keep in mind the socio-economic status of our society. Could bicameral parliament help us to respond the grievances of our minorities? In my view – absolutely yes (I will come later to it). Now I gave you some synapses to think along that line. Think DUG that is short of Federalism but that has room with time and socio-economic development will evolve also accordingly. Why do we need DUG? Because it has the following merits (a) it is rooted on the idea of accommodation (b)It changes the nexus of power by devolving from the center to the periphery (c) It gives full power to the people to elect their own leadership horizontally and vertically (d) It is conducive for civil democratic governance to emerge (e) It brings trust and strengthen the coexistence of our diversities.

    So Haile and others I gave you hint to ponder along that line either to prove or disprove it. Then I will come to expand my argument.


    • asmara

      A prelude to that famous Woyanie Policy,

      “Mesel Kisab Migintsal”, with an eye on the Afar thing.


      As if we can not see right through you.

    • gebreab

      Dear Hidrat.
      …fiefdoms,cantons,Kebelie without a central government…and the decision of the majority is undermined ’cause the minority feels threatened by it,the big ethnic groups are accumulating such wealth while the small ones are living in objective poverty…your idea is good.
      the tigrina folks have very appropriate proverb,goes like this,Ab kunat zeywaAles yehatir,yiblu lebamat abotatna.

      • Dear Gebreab,

        What does it mean DUG? Does unitary reflects the existence of central government? What does fiedom, cantons, Kebelie has to do with DUG? I think you need a little courtesy and a little reading is required by your side.

    • haile

      Selam Aman,

      DUG? Well, I think this may not go down to address the problem: making all sections of the society have real access to power and resources. So, my first concern is that it would need a sprawling bureaucratic layers that the nation would ill afford in any case (i.e. not a very prudent way to disburse $1 of public fund if you have to spend $.60 to manage the disbursing process).

      Next, let’s look at how DUG doesn’t really address the issue of “empowerment” that is at the heart of the this whole exercise.

      Britain is an example of a decentralized unitary state. Much of the government is done by local, borough and county governments. There is even a weak devolution to “national” parliaments. But, the real power belongs to Westminster.

      The power of these other governments was given by Westminster and can be taken from them at any time. Thus, all of the real power — the reserve power belongs to the central government. They may lend power to others; but it can always be taken back. This is not the case with a federal system.

      In the case of a country like the US, the states actually have real constitutional powers. There are real limitations on what the federal government can do to the states. And if the states wanted to, they can amend the Constitution without the approval of Congress to make any and all changes they wish.

      There are real limitations and separate spheres of influence in a federal system.

      Now, assuming that we all agree a fully fledged federal system is not desirable, and also that DUG doesn’t seem to devolve “real” powers to those section, I am still of the view that may be the power sharing arrangements in the Sudan is something to look at. Of course, the Sudan has many other problems, but if you look at the idea of such like settlements and you really are determined to make it work, then IMO you stand a good chance of tackling the problem both at “perception” and “real” levels.

      On a separate note, I think the 1997 constitution would only be relevant, if it so happens that the regime opts to hand over power to the Eritrean people in a peaceful manner. It seems to me that the regime would go in a typical “African Worst Dictators” style, violently or abandoning the country by night and such like. Such would undoubtedly lead us to start from scratch politically, economically and socially.

      A new dawn, a new history where IA is remembered as a man who prevented the Eritrean people, for more than two decades, the enjoyment of the freedoms and rights that they fought and paid for.

      As we take ownership, we need to move pragmatically and swiftly to stabilize the center and kick start nation building, and in my opinion, a shorter and easier ways may prove attractive:)

      • Hailat,

        until I come back with full detail later this evening, I will ask you questions pertinent to the 1997 constitutional document. The issue with our diversities is the need of “equitable power sharing and and equal opportunity for economic development.” Please say something by citing in the document where it assures equitable power sharing and equal opportunity. Please give citation where our minorities could be protected from tyranny of majority. Why do we need a hybrid government created from parliamentary and presidential rather than one of the two? Prove how CUG respond to the needs of our diversity? In your response when I gave you the hint to think along the concept of DUG….I felt that the only that came to your mind is Federalism. Again my hint was straight foreword and that is since there are different DUG (not different federalism)I wanted you to think DUG short of federalism. A little research my friend. I am not talking about federalism since all DUG are not federalism perse….pushing you another try on your side. I am absolutely convinced that the 1997 constitutional document is not a unifying document unless it is enacted by decree. Take it, it is your turn.

  • asmara

    You know what is Grinding My Gears?

    Allowing ones brilliant brain to decay is what is grinding my gears. ….

    Haile’s decent to uselessness is what is grinding my gears……

    Look what Haile’s brain, which used to be smart and admired by many in the past, had to come up this time:

    “….Mind you; it is exclusively only the pro regime people here who see something wrong with someone being praised for big or little thing…..”

    Ayey…Hamedke Ide!

    May be his new smugness would not allow him to go few days back and recall all the praises people were showering him for his (past) solid stand on the border stuff. Now, sadly, it is just him and the Hidrat dude. If his aim was to degrade himself from a hero of the Eritrean people into unionist’s trumpet, then he surely is in the right track.

    Besides, for the typical participants of, he used to be considered the HGDEF of this forum. (Of course he would not remember that. That is why we are talking about a brain decaying) Actually some of them are still trading cautiously on how to handle him even now; for fear that he might be a HGDF snitch.

    For the rest of us, we knew him before we know him now as well. But all the same, we were showering him with praises and what not, for the correct stand he used to have on the border. Because he was right, regardless of what he calls himself. But, hey, we are talking about a brain in decay here.

    Now, the degraded mind of his doesn’t seem to know what it is thinking and who it plans to throw stupid comments and conclusions to throw at.

    Again, Hamedke ide!

    • haile


      I think it was around independence day that the legendary Eritrean Artist Bereket Mengisteab sang his strange song titled “Hito yelon rEyto…” Well, dismayed Eritreans retorted by saying that “enKua Hito zbehal neger mhlawu feletka tray…”

      I am happy that you know, at the very least, the existence of “talent decay/brain decay” I have no doubt, all by yourself, you will be able to figure out who is decaying and why. Seriously, you will never miss that, you just won’t!

      Just to keep up with my emphasis on less opinion and more fact approach to dismantle and shred to pieces the regime’s lies, let me challenge you that anyone except the following: asmara, lemlem, araya, nitricc, and YAY have anything to say about “popularity” or anything else?

      Hizbawi cautioned me to keep independent, and Semere A made satirical speech note out of the whole thing. You are here by challenged to redeem yourself, or live happily with your decay. The truth shall set you free.

      • haile

        Talking of Bereket’s Hito song, here is how his children is singing (few lines):

        ከማይ ደ’ሎ ሕሰም ዝረኸበ
        ምድሪ ቤቱ እሾኽ ዝተረበ
        መኣዲ ቐሪቡ ዘይጸገበ
        ከይዛረብ ኣፉ ዝተለጉመ
        ከማይ ኣይትርከቡ ኣነ’ስ ተጠሊመ

        ኣብታ ሪመይ ኣብ ገዛእ መርየተይ
        ተሓዲገ መሰለይ ክብረተይ
        ተጨፍጪፈ ብሓወይ ብናተይ
        ተመንጢለ ጡብ ናይ ወላዲተይ
        ኣበይ የብቅዕ ጥራይ’ዩ ጸሎተይ

        ዝመረሮ ሃጽ ኢሉ ዝጠፍእ
        ገለ ናብ ባሕሪ ገለ ናብ ኣጻምእ
        ኣእጋርና’ወ ፍትሒ ክምእርራ
        ፋሕ ጭንግራሕ ናብራ ደቂ ዛግራ
        ናትና ኢልና ሒዝናዮ ውሉዳት ኤርትራ….

        Let’s think of real DECAY asmera, not superficial one’s of individual commentators here.

        • asmara

          Oh, boy! Did not know you already have finished your decent

          Off you then to jebena then, a place where you can quietly finish you final decay.

          Kokob Selam,Gasha Tekebel. Loneliness is no more. You just found someone to share that lonely Bun with


      • asmara


        I already have figured out whose brain is decaying. Didn’t I say that already? I thought that part was clear. But hey, it is ok if you miss what my last comment mean; we are talking about decaying brain after all.
        And I already mentioned who is sucking up to new Haile and his decaying brain as well, didn’t I? (A typical Woyanie subordinate with unionist tendencies, do I have to mention names here?
        Hint: Search for “hallelujah” and you will not miss it. Oh, sorry, I forgot, you only are good at YouTube. And, we know you damp all those HaileTubes and present them here as a facts, and the hidrat guy goes, hallelujah….oops, my bad! Did I give it away?)

        Now that you chose to mention some fine people in this forum (As if you understand the message these people try to pass to you), there is one specific thing said by Hizbawi, that you seem to have totally missed (Again, talk about decaying brain, overloaded brain, congested brain, confused brain…..etc. etc)

        hizbawi on August 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm said:
        “…..Now, reading your post, I cannot help but to trigger that nagging doubt and hesitation…….”

        So, here is the deal, every time you write something here, almost always you leave some nagging feeling behind, like, you leave more holes than you close. Think it this way; whenever your regular losers (They call themselves opposition) write something, it is always chaos, clumsy and so detached from reality that sometimes you blame it on the detachment, and always think you might give them a chance at some point if they manage to tidy up a bit. With you, on the other hand, is different. It is like cleaning the house to the dot, only to miss or leave a big cobra siting right there in the middle of the room. And, people could not help it but focus on the cobra than admiring your cleanliness. Meaning your cleanliness is your disadvantage, it leaves you wide open (Your cobra has nowhere to hide) so all in all it is “Zero le Zero”, as saay would put it, and basically all of you are useless. So, every time you think you are doing something to harm the GOE, you are actually helping. Sure, you are playing the tune the losers want to hear, but for the regular country loving Eritrean, you are actually baring your behind. At times, when you are gloating and all, in your quest to say something bad about the government or when you are trying to distance the good aspect of something from the GOE, you actually end up doing to the contrary – you bring something good about the GOV to light.

        Examples by request……..

        • haile


          Your Problem: You can not defend the indefensible. You were given more than your fair chance to do so, you have failed miserably.

          Now, the dictionary of insults and put downs in infinite, it would swallow you up and wash you away with the dirt. I hold nothing against you as a fellow citizen but the irresponsible regime that has inspired you to be callous and heartless towards your fellow Eritreans.

          Please meet Tsegu-Bokhray Haptemariam, 20 years of age, from Himbrti, Zoba Maekel. This is brief and only a minute and half of introducing you two:

          I know you are huge on the border demarcation. I suspect you lack in depth knowledge about it however. Please study why the origins of the conflict investigating body was never set up, what happened inside the EEBC courtroom (there are Eritreans who are now refugees but were participating in the process), what kinds of meetings were taking place in Tigray reginal state at the time, how H.R. 2760 (2004) came about in the US…Stop believing what anyone would tell you, obtain first hand information, judge for your self and respect the integrity of the persons who debate you.

          One last point, in 1998 a measure conflict was started following claims of minor skirmish in the Ethio-Eritrea border. Fast forward to March 2012, Ethiopia attacked inside Eritrean territories, it informed the world that it did so. Not only it informed the world that it did, but went on to rationalize that it did so in the knowledge that Eritrea is not in a position to retaliate. And went on to prove its assertions by following up further attacks into the following days after the announcement. The regime complained to the UNSC and its appeal was promptly thrown to the trash bin.


          Your problem: You can not defend the indefensible.

        • Abe z minewale

          These kind of language does not and will not represent my birth place beautiful Asmara

          • Kokhob Selam


            it is like a domestic cat fighting the tiger. you better run away.

  • Beyan Negash

    On Friendship

    Nitricc advertently or not raised a very interesting question, question of friendships. How does one go seeking friendships? What criteria do we use when seeking friendships? Do we even make deliberate attempts in how and when friendships are developed? Do friendships develop on their own accord? I am not here to answer these questions just rhetorical way to help clarify it in my head. Khalil Gibran’s book, “The Prophet,” a poem on friendship out of which I am availing below was given to me as a gift from friendship, albeit short lived, that was developed some 16 years ago. The friendship developed quickly and it was intense and our political views were worlds apart, but this individual is a poet in her own right, thoughtful, passionate, and intensely articulate. Our friendship was not severed because of our worldviews – it was totally for reasons other than… I truly enjoy Nitricc’s sincere questions, which is why I thought of sharing Gibran Khalil’s poem, which I think aptly captures the essence of friendship.

    Friendship IXX

    And a youth said, “Speak to us of Friendship.”

    Your friend is your needs answered.

    He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

    And he is your board and your fireside.

    For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

    When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”

    And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;

    For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.

    When you part from your friend, you grieve not;

    For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

    And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.

    For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

    And let your best be for your friend.

    If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.

    For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?

    Seek him always with hours to live.

    For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.

    And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.

    For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

    Khalil Gibran

    • Why is it that Gibran Khalil’s poem is gender specific?

      • Beyan Negash


        Good point! The only guess I can surmise is that he was a bi-product of his time. I am not too smitten by Wikipedia because of factual inaccuracy that can sip in due to myriad factors. However, for a quick check such as what I wanted to relate about the era in which he wrote, I think it does the job. So, Dawit by only looking at his when he was and when he died, you may come to sympathize and even appreciate the man more. If KG were of of our era, he would more likely be a feminist at the core. If you read some of his other poems you would be able to surmise such leanings in him.

    • hizbawi

      it is very difficult question to answer. My initial reaction was no, you can’t be friends without having similar views and ideas. Then to think of it, half of my friends we don’t even see eye to eye politically but nevertheless we are good friends. I don’t know how to answer your question. But the key is, If you read nitiric’s question carefully, he said “close friends” so, I think you can be friends but can you be “close friends” without sharing the same ideas and views, I don’t know. This is the tough one. Very interesting, hopefully someone will educate us on this one.

      • A. Benstar

        Hello Beyan and all,

        I think people generally establish their friendships based on the temporal and or eternal values they uphold as individuals. The best friend is him that doesn’t stand on the way of one’s freedom to seek their own good but help advance them independent of friendship, animosity, and kinship of any sort whatever:-)

        Why do people need friends when they can be everybody’s friend? What is the difference between friendship and brotherhood? Wouldn’t universal brotherhood and friendship be one and the same independent of their locality? Can man be free of friendship before he can choose he is real friends be they near and dear or from far away or here?

        Anyways, who knows about why the modern man-machine chooses to have one set of friends and another set or sets of enemies while taking those in the middle as the people of the market place, “tifezos”/fans and or customers, if you will, uh?:-). One somewhere said something to this effect: “I can’t choose whose brother I should be but I can choose my friends:-)

      • Beyan Negash

        selamat hizbawi,

        You are absolutely right to bring to my attention something I, indeed, overlooked. The question that was posed by Nitricc on “close friends” which could clearly be a distinguishing factor from platonic ones. Like you, hibawi, I, too, look forward for some illumination from others.


  • Beyan Negash

    Of Religion & on God in Eritrean Context

    My attempt at drawing distinctions between the American God compared to the Eritrean God seems to have generated interesting reactions, gathering from the substantial dialogue that were for all of us to see in the dialogue box, via phone calls, as well as private e-mails that I have received. Hayat Adem even was willing to go offline so as not “to bore” Awatawyan as well as A. Benstar who shied away for similar sentiments, are good indications that there is an interest in talking about Providence in Eritrea’s context.

    I agree with Amanuel Hidrat to the extent that the issue does not become mired in whether, for example, Christian God is better than Muslim God; or the issues gets directed to that intractable notion of the existence of God; or that the issue helplessly gets in loggerheads over atheism, veganism, and the like; or that the issue becomes so abstract that it could become a point of derailment. However, Sal had asked the right question of finding a way in relating it to Eritrean God in Eritrean context, the elephant in the room that we are all leery about, at least in the back of our mind if not spoken openly, must be that whether we have what it takes to coexist peacefully. I believe it is a timely question to raise in light of anarchy that seems to be descending in Egypt, by golly, God is at the center of it. Militarism, Secularism, Islamism, are all enmeshed in the mess Egyptians are finding themselves in. They are already treating one another as sub-humans; the notion of us vs. them is becoming a daily occurrence in the language each side is using. Once, a group of people begins to dehumanize another, the justification to kill, to maim, and extinguish is not hard to do –there is plenty of historiography that can corroborate that. From the Nazis to the Tutsi and the Hutus, examples are abounding. I think reading Khalil Gibran’s poem of Religion and on God could help put the right frame of mind for us to discuss openly about a subject that requires dispassionate approach more than any topic that I know – let us give it a shot shall we? I believe we can discuss it openly if we just remember to respectful of one another’s belief and faith.

    I am not sure if the Awate Team has had an experience where this was an impossible topic to discuss without losing our cool. Since I am part time visitor to the website, I maybe missing something. Therefore, I will leave the decision to the moderator monitoring this note.
    Khalil Gibran: On Religion

    And an old priest said, ‘Speak to us of Religion.’

    And he said:

    Have I spoken this day of aught else?

    Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,

    And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?

    Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?

    Who can spread his hours before him, saying, ‘This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?’

    All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.

    He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.

    The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.

    And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.

    The freest song comes not through bars and wires.

    And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.

    Your daily life is your temple and your religion.

    Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.

    Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,

    The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.

    For in revery you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.

    And take with you all men:

    For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.

    And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.

    Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.

    And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.

    You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.

    Khalil Gibran: God

    In the ancient days, when the first quiver of speech came to my lips, I ascended the holy mountain and spoke unto God, saying, ‘Master, I am thy slave. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey thee for ever more.’

    But God made no answer, and like a mighty tempest passed away.

    And after a thousand years I ascended the holy mountain and again spoke unto God, saying, ‘Creator, I am thy creation. Out of clay hast thou fashioned me and to thee I owe mine all.’

    And God made no answer, but like a thousand swift wings passed away.

    And after a thousand years I climbed the holy mountain and spoke unto God again, saying, ‘Father, I am thy son. In pity and love thou hast given me birth, and through love and worship I shall inherit thy kingdom.’

    And God made no answer, and like the mist that veils the distant hills he passed away.

    And after a thousand years I climbed the sacred mountain and again spoke unto God, saying, ‘My God, my aim and my fulfilment; I am thy yesterday and thou art my tomorrow. I am thy root in the earth and thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before the face of the sun.’

    Then God leaned over me, and in my ears whispered words of sweetness, and even as the sea that enfoldeth a brook that runneth down to her, he enfolded me.

    And when I descended to the valleys and the plains, God was there also.

    • You are an interesting man, Beyan. Well, I thought I could throw in my two cents worth.

      Who created who? Is it the man who created/creates God in his own image? Or, is it God who created man (long time ago) in His own image? If the former, then we can agree on one God, if the later, we will forever fight over whose God is the mightiest.

      If God is an everlasting, omnipresent, and omniscient supernatural being, then what else is out there to elicit God’s curiosity? Can you imagine yourself living for millions of years? Within these millions of years, you can do all the things imaginable, and visit every place there is in the Universe. What then would you do after you have been there and have done that? Tell you what, if I were God, I would really be bored to death. I am glad we don’t live forever. 😉

      What does God do on his free time to keep him busy: read, play video games, or do experiments?

      • Let me correct myslef:

        read as:

        If the later, then we can agree on one God, if the former, we will forever fight over whose God is the mightiest.

        • A. Benstar

          Hello Beyan,

          Beyan, in one of your earlier notes, you stated:

          “You know when George W. Bush says “you are in our prayers” I tend to believe than when Obama says it. The former is a self-declared born again, so one tends to believe that he really means it. But with the latter, it just does not comport with the overall persona that he presents to the public.”

          Beyan, “George Bush says that Christians and Muslims worship the same” “God” and that there are many ways that lead back to the same “God” and “His” heaven: Nothing but New Age Religion, Babylonian godism in a new garb from the old Indian, Mesopotamian, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman gods and the like:-). Following is a clip of about 2 minutes where George Bushy is being interviewed by somebody for you to see and take it from there:

  • haile

    Selamat Aman and everyone,

    Yes I have read the opinion paper on the recent happenings, regards new housing development scheme in Asmara, that was put out on Asmarino/Asenna. Personally, my assessment of the situation is totally different than the one presented there and also noted some internal contradictions within the opinion paper presented.

    On the contraditions, the main and obvious one appears to be that the writer initially states that the houses would never be constructed and later on goes to describe how the regime would entrap the new would be owners with exuberant utility bills. Well, I thought such is a glaring contradiction. And, in any case, it may be worthwhile to reserve opinion if one is not able to make a well grounded argument.

    In my recent info from Asmara, some construction machines have been moved into the areas purported to be the scene of the construction feat to alleviate the housing shortages of Eritreans in the diaspora:) To date no actual work or movement of builders has been sighted.

    Now, we can put aside the poor information management in releasing the news in itself, as it might end up taking over the main talking point here. Whether it is 1600, 1680, 1474..or what ever the actual number to be build is (depending which source shabait, madote, tesfanews…you will get different numbers), you need to note that the regime WILL LAUNCH this project. Let’s leave if it would or would not until a little later. But, focus on the fact that regardless of demand, the numbers have been decided and costs assigned to them. claimed that the total project cost is UNKNOWN but estimated b/n $150m-$200m.

    Just as a side note, the regime has also officially dishonored the national currency the Nakfa and payments (regardless where you are) are asked in Euro. Here, the regime was caught between the works, i.e if it allows those inside the country to propose to buy in Nakfa, then the official exchange rate of 21ERN/Euro would make those houses the cheapest hot deals in the continent. Hence, the Nakfa is NO NO:)

    Since the regime has suddenly, barely two weeks since the SEMG report was made public, decided to launch housing project to the tune of millions of dollars, that can’t be purchased by the local population (it is in Euro) and in spite of the fact that there grave pressing living conditions woos in the country, what is it up to?

    The regime has decided to launch this venture, and the project is managed by the regime’s private bank the Housing and Commerce Bank and not by the Central or commercial Banks of Eritrea that belong to the state and receive the mining revenues. Hence, the Central Bank of Eritrea MUST (and will be authorized to) issue payment to the account number held at the private regime bank the HCBE. Once the money is officially transferred under such pretext, you can forget your little villas (pie in the sky). Everyone knows that such projects can be delayed indefinitely or require continuous injection of cash and never get closer to be implemented for a number of reasons. Hence, why would the regime be forced to actually build them, and who would buy them anyway?

    The regime would be able to draw money from the state banks, and put it down to this huge project that moves no where. The SEMG would be given account of withdrawals that refer to this project and anything that can be attached to it.

    This little scheme of the regime is essentially a high street robbery of the mining revenues that are directly deposited into the central bank of Eritrea. If there were no SEMG in its back, the regime would have simply RAPED the bank and would throw anyone who stands on the way to the dungeons. Fortunately, the regime’s acts are checked by external actors (sadly not by Eritreans that are divided between: careless diaspora, few pro regime butlers/operatives, clueless opposition)and the regime has to go to such elaborate tactics in order to siphon off the money generated from the nation’s natural resources.

    Just think that in a country where people are given 700ERN per month, no electricity, no water, rationed food, skyrocket rent and other prices, the first priority of the regime is to build (regardless of being bought up or not) a set number (1600+) primarily targeting Eritreans in the diaspora!!! Not even cheap and affordable housing project for the general populace that they can pay in nakfa from their meager resources!!!

    Unfortunately, large number of Eritrean people in the diaspora think positive about their country but don’t really care enough to intervene. That leaves the regime operatives who send diabolical message to Eritreans at home. The opposition has still to come out of the woods and remember that Ghedli had long ended some a quarter of a century ago. Thankfully, concerned outsiders have taken the barbaric regime to task and it finds it self between a rock and a hard shoulder as we speak. No thanks to the rest (most, except few) of us, who have long abandoned our flesh and blood is 🙁


  • Sal,

    I see your point. Don’t we have a saying akin to Aristotle’s. For example this saying Ente zeytidefAaNi’s men Mexdefeni which presupposes a prime mover (Axdafay) and the moved or acted upon object (xedafay). 😉

    As to the irreverent comic , Habesha 😉 people have some thing similar. It goes like : “Aboy’n adey’n bebeynu xolotom” . I believe that God does not simultaneously accept two prayers that are diametrically opposed. That is why God did not accept the prayers of the Pharisees but accepted the prayer of the tax collector.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Can one combine the common usage of the concept honesty and the wrold vocabulary like human rights, Democracy and international laws? Many accuse the ‘west’ of misusing human rights, Democracy and itnernational laws against countries which are on the way of the western economical and strategical interest. Has Eritrea exposed for such abuse from the west or is isaias fabricating stories? What i am trying to say is that if pfdj is a democratic party then could the west have no problme With isayas even if isayas chooses the Arabs instead of the west? As eritreans teachs us countries are not made of gods but kings and colonizers, Eritrea too has been created by the same sorts. How can pfdj justifies the minority of afar in Eritrea must be separated from the state of Afar in Ethiopia? We are told that we Ethiopians care about only the land not eritreans? How can eritreans be different from us when they separate afar in Eritrea from Afar state in Ethiopia? Can afar in Eritrea have a possiblity to unite With their Afar state in Ethiopia in the future democratic Eritrea and democratic Ethiopia. Afar state in Ethiopia has no mandate as the afar has hoped for. So far the Afar state in Ethiopia follow the tplf-eplf agreement that it no saying a Word about afar People or afar Territory in Eritrea. Pfdj has no doubt to lecture us about Democracy ie if the majority of eritreans say eritrean afar must stay as part of Eritrea then period, the opeople of Eritrea has spoken. Does the border conflict make the journy for democratic Eritrea a slow one even after the Down fall of pfdj? If so what is the strategy of the oppostion party? Allying With the Arabs or the west? Or solving the problme regionally without inviting ‘forgeiners’ from far away?

    • Tamrat,

      I know for a fact that some houses are at least made of bricks, and beams. Now, you are telling us that Eriteans have told you that “countries are not made of gods but kings and colonizers”.

      This must be some kind of mathematical riddle for adults. How many kings or colonizers do you think I need to build a different Eritrea in the middle of an Indian Ocean 😉

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        What about starting With the change of king isaias!

  • Yohannes Fitiwi

    It appears that Eritrea and Eritreans which were mortally wounded by the Ghedli generation, is being killed by HGDEF. Based on the cyber interaction, if that is taken as an indicator, the only sane voice that is trying to save Eritrea is the voice that emanates from the group. People like Yosief, Ghirmay, Zekere and others are trying to get to the bottom of the root cause of the current problem in Eritrea, in order to properly diagnose the ailment and treat it accordingly. Even if HGDEF collapses of it’s own accord and the Asmara regime is removed from the equation, still the ideas these people are forwarding is the only rational voice that could save it from complete demise. If these voices are not heard and if once again the opposition with the same Ghedli mentality with their scores of organizations come to power, then it would be the end of Eritrea as we know it now. To sum it up “Ghedli wounded Eritrea, HGDEF killed it, and the opposition would bury it”.

  • haile


    Here is a reporting about the 1994 massacre of disabled ex-tegadelti. It is hard to argue that many tegadelties are also victims of this runaway regime of closely knit community of crime syndicate.


    • gebreab

      Dear Haile.
      Who authorised the shooting at that time?Mr.Isayas Afewerki is a tough guy but not a criminal.That is my opinion….after all Eritrea is not short of people who are in important positions willing to disrepute it for hand-outs.’cause I know some of that kind of people.They would sell for pittance every property of the country at the auction house southaby in London.And I can assure you the people I am talking about…to destabilise and siphon off its resources.these guys are under the pay role of Western agents,be it of UK,USA…

      • haile

        Selam Gebreab

        I am not sure if you are alluding something to do with the late Naizgi Kiflu when you say London, property, auction… (I am most likely off the mark here, just wild attempt to make sense of what you wrote there).

        I am afraid we hold opposite views about IA, i.e you think he is tough, where as I think he is coward. You don’t think he is a criminal, well, short of solid facts I believe there are serious implicating FACTS that point that he is indeed one.

        As regards the video above, there is mention of Mesfin Hagos. It would be nice if he could come clean by giving his version of events. IA also presided over the whole affair, subsequent jailing and forcing admission of guilt under duress and mislead the public in his response to questions from the citizens.

        I hope you feel a sense of duty to stand by those who stood for you in your darkest hours. atTlem amanikha, keyTelmeka fetarikha 🙂


    • Hailat,

      A very interesting article, a new expose, that once somehow touched it in your comment, is now came in a full-fledged article. It is a new housing venture – a new trap looking by the regime for the “Nusu nehna, Nehna nusu” section of our people.Here is the link with some estimated statistics (figures and percentag

  • Gebre

    Dear Nitricc, Salyounis, and other character assassins,

    Nitricc, you apologized to Beyan for commenting about his family. Then you go down in the next paragraphs to shower down personal attacks on YG. Why all this, Bayan? You do not have to love or hate people to argue with them. Just discuss issues; refute their ideas and views on certain issues if you can. Why should you bring other peoples’ private lives into this forum? It is absolutely unnecessary and is very counterproductive. Remember, it very easy to create enemies but very difficult to find good friends.

    Unfortunately, I have observed many commentators with similar behavior as yours, Bayan. Even the staff member of this website whom I had thought would be a role model is no different from people who have engaged themselves in ad hominem arguments.

    Sal, you are very clever at insulting people, who differ from you, indirectly and more commonly sarcastically. Insulting or demeaning people indirectly or sarcastically is still insulting. Comments on others private lives (like religion, political stance, sexual orientation, color, weight, height, health, age, family life, etc. ) clearly show how much level of wisdom and maturity the commentator has reached.

    Sal and others, it is never late to learn and change. Only death is the limit.
    I hope this website will discuss issues and not persons in the future!

    • Gebre

      In the second paragraph: “…. behaviour as yours, Bayan.” Should read behaviour as yours, Nitricc.

  • Nitricc

    Selamat Beyan.

    First of all please accept my apology for bringing your son in to this. I could have find a way to make my point with out it had I thought it through .I just reacted instantaneously after reading and wrote what I felt. We have a very proud culture; we can agree, disagree and fight each other but never the family. I crossed the line and I am very sorry. I will never do that again. My bad.
    For the rest of what I have said, I stand by it! I don’t think miss understood your point, may be I have exploited it to make my point; however, I got your point.
    All I am saying is the government has nothing to do with it. The people are enticed by what the Diasporans gained and they want a piece of the pie. Simply put!
    Beyan, I was very surprised to hear YG is your friend. You blow my profile of YG, I think of him as a single aging male, no wife, no kids, no friends, shy, and no-life to speak of, simply I see, a low life miserable SOB. You don’t have to be a brainy to reach that assumption. He writes 50 pages about nothing really, consistently. A family man or a person with real life can not have that kind of time on hand. Point blank, read his latest article about Eritrean names, a sane person will not sacrifice his time on that garbage and for a person of who has respect for time, will not post that trash to waste his readers time.
    Well, surprise, surprise, Beyan, since you are YG’s close friend, Do you share his views?
    Haile, I said before I will peel you, NO, I change my mind, I will chop you like an onion.
    I am just kindly letting you enjoy your toothless popularity by the lifeless, corrupted and outdated oppositions. Till then enjoy it.

    • Awate Team,

      I am sure you are busy, but I can’t believe to let someone to insult a fellow country man as “low life miserable SOB” no matter how big difference we could have on our ideas. He can trash his writing but not his personality. We are better than that.

      • hizbawi

        what you write is what you are and what you think, you don’t think so, Aman,No?
        I guess will never know how you think.

        • Selam Hizbawi,

          There is no abstract in my talk. It is straight forward on your face kind. I don’t talk around the bush. Like it or dislike it, it is there in plain words all my thoughts and my stand pertinent to the regime you chose to defend it. Your right is respected as is but at the end the wrath or people will bring the current situation to an end. History will commemorate the victory the the oppressed people.

          • hizbawi

            Aman you said

            There is no abstract in my talk. It is straight forward on your face kind.
            Twsaka niska da-a
            ጋዐት ሲ አለኩ ኢላ ተተንፍስ.
            ብኣይ ሲ አይትሰከፍ.

      • MG


        you wrote”He can trash his writing but not his personality” really! does that apply selectively or for all people? I think you are the last person to preach about that, because you have been calling names to people who do not share your political stand or philosophy namely the GOE supporters or PFDJ members. I know you will not admit that but it is in your writing documented for all to read.

      • L.T

        Mr Aman,Don’t bother much in above he meant to Yesif and not reflict you in that matter.

    • Beyan Negash

      merHaba Nitricc,

      Firstly, I saw nothing in what you said about my family that merits an apology. It is a fair game when someone puts his ideas and thoughts in writing for public consumption, in the parlance of wrestling, no holds barred. But, it speaks to your decency though, that is the take away for me as I begin to know and understand Nitricc as an individual Eritrean who has Eritrea and Eritreans’ welfare at heart.

      Secondly, your characterization of my friend Yosief was way off the mark. The most down to earth individual you will find, a person who would not hurt a fly – humble all the way around. But, that’s neither here nor there. It did not seem to dawn on you that people who write day in and day out about matters that they see important relative to Eritrea could have views that are starkly different than yours. I was even taken aback further by your question if my views comport with that of Yosief’s. Now, I honestly was going to add on my friendship lists, my friend Semere Habtemariam, to avoid some such questions that you picked up on, but refrained from doing so because I didn’t want to drag the man into the mix since his name was not dragged into the conversation as that of YG when Hayat mentioned it. So, by my own admission to my friendship with Semere now, are you going to ask me of the same question you asked in reference to my friendship with Yosief? Do you see how untenable your question is? After all, do friendships depend on our world views in general or Eritrean ones in particular – I think not.

      Thirdly and lastly, Nitricc, allow me to even tell you how I met Yosief. We met in an Eritrean function when we formed Eritrean Student Relief Organization (ESRO) based in Irvine’s University of California in the early nineties. I wouldn’t want to belabor the issue, but if you are interested about the organization an Eritrean educator, Dr. Tekle Woldemikael, whom I also consider a friend, had written an article about ESRO in a scholarly journal. We all care about Eritrea and its people, and the essence of my article was meant to show, by the way, the myriad ways we all show how deeply we care about Eritrea – be the Asmarino crowd or the Awate, as well, I am certain, in those other crowds.


    • haile


      If you peel me [haile onion], then chop me, I have no doubt you’ll also pour on me some tomato sauce and silsi qeyrka msklte bani fetfitka ktbelani:-)

      Anyway, once I see that a person has the capacity not only to reflect on their own actions but also to have the courage to apologize, it doesn’t mean much to me if I win any argument against you or not. You have already won my respect and that is a full stop to me. If I haven’t been able to persuade you then that is my problem, the same applies from your side. However, your self assessment there with Beyan and and taking the only proper action to rectify it says much about you.

      On another note, I was taken back in time as I read your “enjoy the popularity” comment. Mind you, it is exclusively only the pro regime people here who see something wrong with someone being praised for big or little thing.

      Few years back, as I sat in a car outside a coffee house in asmara [ bar piccolo], I said to my friend since the country was so oppressed, why don’t “they” try to change the system from within. My friend replied with something very odd observation that I didn’t expect but left a memorable mark in my mind. He said “eziom ayfeletkayomn eko, dehan kdan tekhedinka enterEyomkha aynom dem kmelE entetreE” – or “you don’t know these people [regime people] well, if they see you wearing a decently you would be surprised to see them getting agitated” or something to that effect.

      I am always surprised that the fact that some fellow Eritreans decided to praise what I said and they found agreeable, and it ended up exclusively perturbing the regime people here.

      Did I hear saay saying “hasaadat”…I am confused now:-)

      • I can not help but laugh at the exchanges between Nitric and Haile.

        Haile’s memorable statement:

        “If you peel me [haile onion], then chop me, I have no doubt you’ll also pour on me some tomato sauce an extremely hot sauce and silsi qeyrka msklte bani fetfitka ktbelani:-)

        • haile

          Selamat Dawit

          hmmmm…so you’d changed the tomato sauce into “an extremely hot sauce”! entay ktrekb anta:-) Anyway, Haile had long scaled the kitchen window and abandoned the cooking zone. When you both sit down to enjoy your silsi with “an extremely hot sauce”, you’ll have no meat, just a burning hot sauce to bite your tongue on:-)

          • Alexander the great, Oops “Tugushtetey” I meant to say Haile the Great -courtesy of Sal. 😉


            => So that he “Cannibal Nitricc” can destroy you “hiri-hiray geru”, I added to the soup hot sauce. 😉

            => So that you won’t come back and bite “Cannibal Nittric”, I recommend he also cook the human-meal at a very high temperature, i.e. well over 500 degrees. 😉

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      No you dont have to be a brainy. You have to be a bad mouth appologizing With out understanding the meaning of appologizing.

    • belay

      You said”haile i will chop you like onion”that and that only can land you in jail,it is criminal act my careful. you can only attack are jumping from one wrong to the other.

      • haile

        Selamat Belay,

        You’re right on the money, this guy has to be stopped before proceeding with using me as part of meal grocery (Onion, Haile, tomato, hot sauce and bani) 🙂

        The problem is these guys own the jail corporations in Eritrea and they don’t think it applies to them too on this side of the world:)

        • Hailat,

          The “jail corporation.” That is a new good fit. Tirekbo de’a niskas. The reason you know them very well. I don’t think this one will itch them.

  • Beyan Negash

    merHaba Sal, Hayat and All:

    You know when George W. Bush says “you are in our prayers” I tend to believe than when Obama says it. The former is a self-declared born again, so one tends to believe that he really means it. But with the latter, it just does not comport with the overall persona that he presents to the public. And so when the average American says it I don’t take it seriously because, especially, if I don’t those who are saying it. I just take it to mean a way of saying that has no teeth beneath it, but just meant to smoothly end a conversation

    Similar way in which much as our Horn of African pals say to one another. For example, when two Eritreans meet or an Eritrean and Ethiopian in a brief accidental encounter that both know wouldn’t be repeated if it weren’t for such chance encounter; in other words, both do not really want to see each other but both use some niceties meant to diffuse haphazardly awkward chance encounter. In such cases we say hrray emmo knrrakheb ena and in amiches parlance, ennigenangallen and off they go their separate ways to never meet again until another chance encounter, which would probably concluded in some such similar manner.

    As for Karen Armstrong’s book that Hayat references I did read from cover to cover; it is readable; what I liked about it, it has been a while since I read it, is the fact that she presents the book without too much fanfare, you know, the emotionally loaded way some writers write when it is about religion; that aspect of the book I recall enjoying. I guess, the squeezing out the emotional burden as it disburdened me as a reader, especially, viewed from a Muslim’s perspective, as reader I needed not to feel the need to side with one story line versus another. For that I remember enjoying the book.

    Currently, coincidentally, it so happened that I am reading Armstrong’s book, “Muhammad: A Prophet for our Time (2006).” Really well researched book, fascinatingly and lucidly told. On the cover of the book, the Wall Street Journal’s caption reads: “Armstrong’s sympathetic profile paints a portrait of a very human prophet.” And The Economist on the back cover says this about the book: “Respectful without being reverential, knowledgeable without being pedantic, and, above all, readable. It succeeds because [Armstrong] brings Muhammad to life as a fully rounded human being.”

    Sal, as for the the zero zero song you reference I think is sang by shamble Alemayehu, see the link below, which I really enjoyed listening to when it first came out for its equal opportunity offending lyrics, nonetheless, in my estimate a protest song that’s befitting to today’s Eritrea.


    • Hayat Adem

      Yes, that is Armstrong. While at it, let me go back to Sal. It is only because I like to see you replying back more than wanting to debate on it further…
      You wrote: “Of course, some of us believe that God lives outside history and there cannot be A History of God but a history of the man’s consciousness of God.”
      Can God live outside man’s consciousness? Who could say/know that? I would say nothing exists outside your consciousness, Sal. If it does, you would not know or would not know you know if you know or don’t know, because if you have the capacity of knowing or not knowing about it, it automatically becomes part of your consciousness. Or else anything that lives outside History would be automatically beyond any relevance, relationship, meaning, discussion, interest to human being. God’s purpose and rules, and all the reasoning around them, target our conscious part, manifest themselves through that part. If that was not the case, you, Sal, should be the first to forget invoking any fanatical, non-defeatist positive empowerment for/against the benefit of any group or society, shouldn’t you?

      • Selam Beyan & Hayat,

        The following liner said by you and quoted by Hayat: “some of us believe that God lives outside history and there can not be history of God but history of the man’s consciousness of God” will take us to the abstract historical materialism argument. I don’t think we can have a stride as it will be only an open end academic exercise. Can we relegate a philosophical abstractions for the moment and focus to the task on our hands.


        • Beyan Negash

          Amanuel Habib Asha’ab. Hayat was not quoting what I said; she quoted Sal Y. in one of the three way discussions. This is not meant for you to retract – just for clarification purposes. In line with your thinking, Aman I concluded on God related topic when I responded to A. Benstar, earlier today. I concur with your assertion is all what I am trying to say here.


        • Hayat Adem

          Hi Sal,
          Heeding Aman’s advice, not bore others, I’ll leave it there- maElesh! Sal, I would like to give it a try at a person to person level with you, though, if you don’t mind. I can send my follow-up to your email if I can get your email. If you don’t like the idea of putting your email here, I don’t mind displaying mine:, and in that case, you must take the burden of initiating the conversation. Or if you think, we are venturing too far to unknown and unnecessary territories, I’ll work on suppressing my appetite on this.

      • Salyounis

        Selamat Hayat:

        By definition, history is a recounting of events in time and space. And God is timeless and spaceless. Thus, there cannot be a history of God, but a history of man’s consciousness of God. In the words of Aristotle, ou kinoúmenon kineî: God is the unmoved mover, or the prime mover. History is a record of what is being moved.

        Almost everything happens outside my consciousness. What Hayat sat down to write “nothing exists outside your consciousness”, I wasn’t conscious that she was typing it, but it doesn’t negate that she did. That is the essence of reality: that just because we are not aware of something happening, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Which also happens to be one of my pet peeves: people who write with absolute certainty about something happening or not happening just because they personally are not aware (conscious) of it. 🙂 That is ego history, or Egostry (trademark, copyright, patent pending.)

        Or, am I am completely missing your point?


        • I disagree on this one:

          “God is the unmoved mover, or the prime mover.”

          Many people pray to God for a miracle, meaning they pray to unseat Him from His throne to do their bidding. For example, man prays to God for healing, for destroying an enemy, for so and so forth.

          Aristotle got that wrong , did he not 😉

          • Some people allege that they have been successful in politely ordering God to heal this individual but not that one; they have been successful to make God destroy their (prayers’) enemies not them (the prayers). I don’t know if we can say God works in a mysterious ways.

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Dawit:

            You are taking “unmoved” literally:) In the context it was used it simply means if you keep asking, in infinite regress, “… but who caused that?”, you will get to God: the Uncaused Cause.

            Besides, the fact that people PRAY for something to happen, doesn’t mean they MAKE it happen. Which reminds me of an irreverent comic: you know how athletes, after every victory, give thanks to God without whom they couldn’t, wouldn’t prevail? This comic once said, for once, I would like a losing athlete to blame God for his loss: “I was doing sooooo well until God took sides and helped my opponent.”


            PS: I have no special affinity for Aristotle. I cited him here because Muslim and Christian scholars credit him for having a clear understanding of God despite the fact that he was a heathen 🙂

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    In 1993 already many eritreans became suspicious that the over inflated ego of isaias could bring some disaster. Around 1997 the opposition of pfdj started to oppose the regime openly even in Eritrea assuming the basic democrtic principles were planted. If any one believed isayas then he said in 1993 that he personaly assist ethiopia in developing a democratic system. Around 2008 a good deal of eritreans both at home and abroad plus the oppositions have not the slightest doubt that pfdj is on the wrong and disasterous track. Now even the supporters of pfdj know Eritrea couldnt offer what pfdj promissed. The difference between the pfdj supporters and the oppositon is the pfdj blamed every failure it has done on the west using ethiopia as puppet to destroy Eritrea though they claimed that they destroyed both russia or usa before.

    If the tigray dominated ethiopian government were as monster towards eritreans as pfdj and some propagate by now Eritrea could have been the havoc of civil war. This was avoided by tigrians feelings over their relatives in blood the majority tigrinya supporters. Some assumed the tigray dominated ethiopian goverment doesnt wish civil war in Eritrea because it can bring ethnic based civil war to South and the minority tigrians With their 22 years record couldnt take that chance. What ever the reason might be avoiding the civil war is a God given gift and must be respected. If isayas had the opportunity tplf is enjoying now, the civil war in Rwanda is a piece of cake. So to every bodys well being isayas and his pfdj must lose their Power from Eritrea. The bombing of those School children in mekele is just pure declaration for a horrible civil war.

  • haile

    Selamat YAY

    I have recently read your ill-informed, poorly judged and amateur attempt to explain why the “silent majority” will never support the “opposition”. Your neither here nor there analysis aside, let me tell you that you need to focus on your arguments and avoid trying to come up to me in that sort of “Haile this” or “Haile that” claptrap. If you wish to be spoken to with respect, then have some. Just take this as a friendly notice, lekhefkhef neyatatka ayteqemen.

    On the substance of what you put on that comment, you detail the failures or short comings of the existing “organized” opposition groups and gave detailed, yet short sighted analysis and justifications as to why they will not be supported.

    YAY, the Eritrean people oppose the current regime that has unleashed a form of brutality against Eritreans that has few parallel in the annals of human history. When the regime has finally is overthrown and all the dungeons are open, all the dead are buried, all the mentally deranged are tended for, all the families are re-united…you will know exactly what I mean.

    Any group of people that organize and aspire to be representatives of the Eritrean citizens at large is with in their right to attempt to do so. Their success is measured against how well they convince the public in that respect. Because some of that type of groupings failed to achieve their goals, you are not justified to bring in a bestial regime by the backdoor and tell us we need submit to it.

    A large number of Eritreans dislike the current regime, but remain fragmented, disorganized and unable to influence the political process. In the end, only the people can change their destiny by taking interest and demanding change, challenging results, supporting alternatives and making informed decisions.

    No grouping or association is the sole yardstick of evaluating our relationship with a regime that is hiding from the law and destroying our nation. If you believe the existing organized opposition don’t offer the much needed breakthrough, then outline what set up would meet the bill. Don’t be fooled to think the current group must get legitimacy because others fail to have the advantage of the gun to do the same.

    The idea that you seem to have floated for a second time, i.e. power sharing with the regime, is a no starter. Firstly, the regime has to clear its name from heinous crimes that it is accused of internally and externally. Secondly, power sharing would be great for representatives of our smaller ethnic groups who have to secure their control of the nation’s resources but have the obvious disadvantage of being small in numbers (between 1% – 3% of the general population each). These groups can be assured of permanent access to the nation’s resources by reserving certain portfolios in any government (Deputy PM) on permanent bases.

    No one would want to share power with a group (current regime) that has yet to account for major crimes against our people and the nation. And the lack of representative opposition doesn’t translate into legitimacy for such a group. Only goes to highlight that such an endeavor must go on. However, if the regime falls suddenly, you don’t have to wait for that either, one such group would be assigned for you by the events on the ground and you would have to work with that regardless.


    • hailat,

      Noticing the grievances of our minorities on your side is a new dimension in your argument. I salute it.One who actively engage with our minorities could read easily the mistrust within our diversities…which by the way is one of the setbacks that hold the opposition camp from going forward and have a cohesive strategy against the regime. I have floated the idea repeatedly to make aware the public and recognize the deep mutual mistrust that makes us ineffective in our struggle. No one wanted it to be in the front loading of our politics. So our political malaise will persist as long we kept aside.

      So Haile, the often accusation that comes from you and the rest as to why the opposition camp is ineffective, in my view wasn’t articulated enough to address the grievances of our minorities. There isn’t a clear vision on how our minorities could have equitable power sharing and economic opportunities. none at all. What we are watching so far is, denouncing them, because they organized their own social group to address their grievances. Think about it being on their shoes. In my book there is nothing wrong to organize your social group as far as they have open grievances to fight for their rights. In Eritrea for so long our minorities are decimated to the extent some of them are on the verge of extinction. Take for instance the Nara tribe.

      Hence, Hailat our politics must have a real meaning on the way we handle the sociopolitical crises we have. Undermining might give temporary gratifications for those who say “ezi’om abey kibets’hu eyom ziblu.” But eventually as the cancer will not stop from its metastasizing effect, our problem will not stop from exhibiting multiplied existential effect which might be to late to challenge it.

      • haile

        Selamat Aman

        I agree with you that such issues of equitable representation should and must be addressed in a transparent and bold manner. In fact, I was only responding to YAY’s “power sharing” notion that he seemed to allude to in a number of his comments.

        Following up your intervention, however, it may be worth adding a word or two on my views as regards of the issue of the ‘conflict’ challenge that needs to be resolved properly by an aspiring opposition movement that seeks to gain control of state power or government. Repressive and unaccountable regimes, such as one we have in Eritrea, tend to exacerbate existing social, economic, political and cultural/ideological conflicts or create new ones. A successful opposition group not only identify and formulate policy towards addressing those, but also ensures that it communicates such information with the general population effectively.

        Some of the conflict legacy that would be inherited from this regime are:

        Cultural/ideological conflicts: those that may involve traditions, languages, ancestral rights, ethnicity, religion….

        social conflicts: those that may involve issues of gender equality, disability, social barriers,service to the nation, reconciliation, fair access to justice and other services….

        Economic conflicts: the issues of those who have been interacting economically with the current regime, redress of unjust confiscation or expropriation of private property, diaspora dues and economic rights, compensation of loss incurred….

        Political conflicts: including those of equitable access to national resources through some sort of guarantees (may be power sharing on permanent bases), unconstitutional incarcerations, present acts of violations of the rights of citizen[s]…

        All conflicts born by the above aspects of societal conflicts that are now being allowed to simmer under the current regime, would explode and come to the fore once the regime is no more. A relevant, credible and hard working opposition organization, would spend tremendous amounts of time and energy to formulate policies that they intend to implement once in a position to hold the seat of government.

        For example, on the minority representation, if the policy is to push for a permanent allocation of government positions reserved for identified sections of the society, then a clear position would be taken on that and publicly announced.

        Another example, take the way the regime has been playing with citizens hard earned money and squandering their meager resources. Some were made to buy bonds, others purchased homes (eg. the regime sold homes to some citizens at $125000 many years ago, after the homes were completed it demanded $300000 by cancelling the agreed price. hence the issue of transfer is stalled and no chance those who paid the original sum would see refund)…how does a new government handle the resolution of such mischief by the regime.

        Another example, is the denial of citizenship to Eritreans on various grounds. And hence, the expropriation of business and subjugating some to serious violations of their human rights…again how does a new government deal with such.

        On top of that, add to it that the opposition also needs to chart new policy of macro-economics, fiscal and budgetary issues (given the current dismal status would leave it penniless), constitutional, judiciary and law&order issues and provision of basic services.

        Now, we can see how much time is spent bickering about what to call Idriss Awate, the regime, and each other….preposterous. This why I was trying to tell YAY that he can encourage and support the emergence of such an opposition group but not tell us that since no one has made it to such level, let’s just pay our taxes and obey and submit ourselves to extinction.


        • Merhaba Haile,

          The issue is what kind of governance will respond to the grievances of our minorities? Do you still think “centralized unitary government” will accommodate to their needs as it is envisioned in the 1997 constitutional document? Myself I don’t think so. what is your take as to what nature of governance will hold the social fabric of our society? I will take my turn after you.

          • haile

            Selamat Aman

            This is going to be a difficult resolution. Take for example the Nara ethnic group you mentioned. They are considered to number less than 100,000. Subdivided into four sub clans, two of which are dominant in numbers. They are agrarian people and with a lot of neglected or poor social service provisions. Now, I can’t see them as a fully fledged federal entity nor do I believe that would serve their acute needs of development and investment opportunity to benefit from. So, my personal opinion, would be some form of resource and power sharing arrangement that would further their basic interests as a citizens of Eritrea.

            Of course, you might have thought more about this than myself, hence, would have been better for you to have gone first:)

            IMO it doesn’t make for prudent political, social and economic management of state resources to significantly devolve (with acute shortage of the necessary infrastructure) key administrative powers to small enclaves and sectors. A key government position, that negotiates on behalf of the identified group on permanent bases on budgetary and other significant socio-political issue may suffice.

            I am sure it puts the cart in front of the horse, for me to give my views before a person from such minority groups however.


      • MG


        Please tell us what do you know today about the Nara?

        isn’t 1981 your last contact with the Naras? which is 32 years ago.

  • haile


    As I sense some of our “renowned and self styled patriots” 🙂 here are trying to divert their dog/pet up keeping money to invest on “Mediterranean style living conditions” in Asmara’s sprawling condominium complexes, let me throw in a word of caution.

    Do you know of people with financial mismanagement problems? One way to diagnose such problems is to look at their credit card statement. If you look carefully, you would note that, such people made the minimum repayments and their outstanding balance is now higher than their principal drawing (what they borrowed to start with).

    Here is a credit card statement for the Eritrean regime, as of July 2013, from one of its many creditors – the world bank.,,pagePK:64392398~piPK:64392037~theSitePK:40941~countrycode:ER~menuPK:64820000,00.html

    The regime borrowed close to $460 million under IDA credits (credits given to the poorest of nation under rock bottom interest rates and long repayment schedules).

    In addition, the regime received close to $90 million under IDA grants (grants extended to nations facing imminent debt distress).

    After making its minimum repayment (that it must make) of close to $18 million, its outstanding repayment obligation from a loan of $460 million stands at $472 million. huh.

    This regime is now asking for express payment of 25% deposit for a housing complex it just decided to launch in 2013 (barely 3 and half months to go for 2014!). If you have bought into similar scheme in the past and your construction permit has been frozen, well it still remains frozen except if you would like to transfer it to this latest scam (oopps scheme). By that you stand to lose your earlier investment in favor of a private bank that can soon collapse [no evidence].

    All ya dog groomers/owners out there, I would stick with my money than wager it on some credit junkie.


    • Zegeremo

      Dear haile,

      Thank you,and hmm… would you mind if I modify your nick name to Haile-The-Go-Getter?


    • Salyounis

      Haile (the great!)

      Now, now. I think you and I know, because if we haven’t been in the inner sanctum of the PFDJ but at least it’s peripheries, that the merasnti (the ones who read the inspiring poems with great passion, the ones who volunteer to pledge the first 5,000 donation) just have a role to play: it’s to ignite the passions. But when the register is opened, and the lines of names are searched, there is little if any donation that matches the passion. It’s all a scam, similar to the scam of the American televangelist. One sells paradise around the corner, another in the after life.

      And those who do fall for it? P.T. Barnum said it a long time ago: “there is a sucker born every minute.”


      PS: nitricc is, by the standards of PFDJ, ok. Because he has a sense of humor, he never has a nervous breakdown and go into a tirade and he can actually laugh at himself. As for debating using facts and figures (as opposed to homilies and slogans) nah, but that’s not his fault. I mean consider what he is defending 🙂 in other words you can Asmara* him in 2 minutes flat.

      * verb. Refers to a knockout punch administered to Asmara. Like a deer that’s been shot and doesn’t know he is dead, Asmara keeps racing. 🙂

      • asmara


        “….Like a deer that’s been shot and doesn’t know he is dead…..”
        Nice. I know what you mean by that. Totally!

        Say, how long have you (And your group, or people like you) been calling yourself an opposition again? Oh, yea, Decades and decades. And you still are going b “Demenefs”. Yea, I understand what you mean, by being dead and not knowing it. And, after all these years you still are scavenging for something or somebody to come (From the HGDF zone) and rescue your failed cause, right?
        Oh, yea, you are that dude, after so many years of calling himself an opposition, still has to support his cause by lies, fabrication, outside intervention (Woyanie and unjustified sanction) etc. Right, I know what you mean by dead walking.
        Oh, yea, you are that guy who after decades of calling himself an Eritrean opposition, doesn’t seem to have a clue about the Eritrean people. It is only yesterday that you had to ask for PFDJ or its supporters to come to this god forsaken, menaharia anatsu woyanie,( whose only aim is to have its way with HGDF, and doesn’t care about Eritrea or the Eritrean people) , and to tell you why they are supporting the government. Right!
        That is dead alright!

        Nice, simply nice.

  • haile

    Selamat Gebreab

    I am not sure if you follow my writings here without fail, but I answered your first question, i.e SEMG accusations of terrorism, in the past. No, I don’t think (and hope it doesn’t) that the regime is actively involved in Terrorism (in its strict legal definition). Regardless, a serious allegations have been made against it by the world body. As a result, three rounds of sanctions under Chapter VII have been passed.

    To date, the regime has refused access to independent investigation. It is a catch 22. There is NO WAY that after five years of continuous request by the world body to the regime to allow for access, the former would just throw their hand in the air and call it a day and walk away. It is much more serious than that. Had the latest sanction resolution was worded to say the UN “demands that the regime grant access” it would have been a showdown. Remember, the request is filed under Chapter VII, the most serious way the UN can engage an offending party. I have my views why they scaled down do “the UN expects that the regime grants access”, others have their take too. Mine is more cynical, in that the UN wanted the change in Eritrea to be effected on the cheap.

    If the UN, as external force, is to bring change, then it would also be responsible for the full post conflict costs of setting up functional administration in Eritrea. However, if the regime falls by internal dynamics then the UN would only be involved in terms of responding to necessities as they transpire on the ground and not held responsible. Hence, the regime is facing serious accusations (not from Haile) as regards terrorism from one angle of the world body and human trafficking from another angle. In both cases it is burying its head in the sand and refusing to grant access to the UN to perform investigations and full audits, including the office of the President itself. So, please don’t lessen this down to a matter of opinion held by discussants here. It is much more serious than that.

    Your second point of shifting the blame to diaspora Eritreans for the mass exodus of Eritreans is baffling. I need you to corroborate your assertions by providing facts that Eritreans were given basic rights to work, engage in business, interact with the outside world, earn more than 500ERN per month in a country rent starts at 2000ERN per month, can escape arrests, had recourse to justice, were allowed to move without menqesaqesi…and then we can access the impact of the diaspora show off to motivate them to migrate in mass. Let’s be fair, this is not about Haile but the 5 month old baby that was granted access to land on Italian shores on Eid al fetir day last week after holding to life aboard a flotilla on international waters for weeks on end, clutching to his mother. Gebreab, let’s remember we’re all humans and what we say or do would live to haunt us for evermore.


  • Asmara and Fanus,
    I cannot remember to have seen a similar hostile, uninformed, DIA one sided blind support and pure hatred impregnated nonsense. What a goof! One may question the issue of Eritrean youth staying in their homeland , one may with respect criticize many aspects of the politics, all of which you perfectly disagree, but your poison opinion style and wording, argument and analysis of Negash is below every level, I have seen onto now.

    I am sorry to say that I am deeply disappointed by hatred of yours. I can only express my detest for your piece of utterly false opinion, filthy, disgusting opinion, which is not worth a detailed discussion of yours. How can you argument against many relative great good articles?
    Please read below what i wrote last Sunday. You may find that we are in this sinking boat together?

    A Tribute to the Drowned young Eritrean in a Desperate Quest for freedom and Dignified Life:

    As we all know someone related to us and often reading and watching the news Drowned young Eritreans, it is heart wrenching witnessing live another episode after another wave after wave, a recurring sad tragedy off the Italian coasts of scenes of recuperation of the dead corpses of so many Eritreans youth drowned and other nationality from closer Southern Hemisphere countries trying to smuggle their way to Italy after long journey escaping hell on earth of DIA Eritrea . So many of those Eritreans desperate flocking to closer European shores in desperate attempts to illegally enter promised lands of richer countries in search of better freedom and dignified life are faced with the high risk of prospects of death in Egyptian desert and riding the waves of open-seas way below grade floating boats, sadly crammed like tightly like sardines in most inhospitable sanitary and inhumane conditions.
    Escaping the spirals of oppression and subjection of DIA regime with no hope and aspiration with abject poverty; ravaging security nightmares, and a desire to itch a living to support beloved parents, children, espouses and kin condemned to eternal life of oppressions, poverty, servitude, malnutrition and unspeakable life of abject material deprivation, death yes death becomes a negligible token of inconvenience, the smallest price one could pay in the quest for deliverance of self and beloved souls.

    A Day should be observed across Eritrean Diaspora around the globe every year marked the “Desperate Eritrean Day,” as a tribute to those brave souls, drowned Eritreans in search of Freedom and Dignified life ,a deliverance; a better life befitting God’s vicegerents, mortals created in the image of the divinity deserving the dignity of all men created equal.
    Perceived as outlaws in the convenience of the legalistic jargons of the economically prosperous; socially advanced and perennially politically ever stable nations of the Rich North, the arduous path full of thorn that the drowned our beloved brothers and sisters youthful Eritreans track to attain deliverance is synonymous with the savior’s dolorosa as the weight of the cross resembles in the untold sufferings and loss of prospects that’s of the nightmare and horrors of an ‘Eritrean s journey in quest of deliverance.
    Rightly did the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, to lay a wreath and offer a prayer a month ago at Lampedusa, Italy, in commemoration of the drowned young people trying to enter Italy, the unknown soldiers, in their desperate bid to get their just share of what Divinity primordially decreed of human dignity and security.

  • asmara

    Focusing on the “Metsikaleydo, metsikaleydo..” Wudase part of Belay’s comment:

    “…. but then I won’t underestimate your [Nitricc] capabilities of finding tangential issues as you did on mine. So, watch out Haile for those peripheral ideas that may herald your way under the guise of seeming central points to contend with. I am certain you won’t fall for those!……”

    Hint, hint:
    – Note how the border war and its effect was kangaroo jumped in your guy’s 10 page comment

    – How the report of the monitoring group was assumed to be a general truth (Like the sun rizes in the east) and presented as a proof….

    (hint, hint, hint)……Example our famous 2% guy (Gezae) – lies about the 2% (Lying is by the way un-Eritrean), then passes it to the monitoring group, the monitoring group include it in their report, then your Haile, comes here and tells us, “look this must be true, because the Monitoring group put it on their report. Definitely the regime is falling down tomorrow” . Oh, please add, under “its own weight”….

    How tangential do those two sound? You need more?

    Oh, there is that ransom thing he mentioned there too. Not smart thing to say. Not smart

    • haile

      “Oh, there is that ransom thing he mentioned there too. Not smart thing to say. Not smart”

      Care to explain what seems to bother you??

      The border issue: No problem what so ever…Eritreans continued to invest and make things work the way Eritreans knew how. The IA regime order them to freeze everything and get the hell out of the country. Got another story to tell? genzebna cherbah zebelna alona!

      The SEMG is not taken as a general truth, but it has uncovered serious allegations that they will need to be verified. The regime MUST grant unhindered access, after all it has nothing to hide, does it?

      My “not so smart point about ransom”, no need to say more. The UN expects the regime to grant access to a human rights auditor, let that run its course.

      By the way, how come you got so incensed by the ransom thing? 🙂

    • belay

      Hi Asmara,
      i saw my name above on your comment.if it is about me belay Agame,what i had in mind on my comment to L.T was not in -ve way.
      in 2-3 yrs,Nile issue will be settled then business will be normal between both countries was the message.
      Thanks,please do not stress yourself out.

      • asmara


        Oh, shoot! Wrong name. Was meant to say “Beyan”

        I am afraid I do not recall reading your conversation with L.T. And if it has to do with The Nile, most probably did not. But will go back and look for it.
        Anyway, replace Belay by Beyan, in my comment above

  • Nitricc,

    You really you have nothing to say or any context of value. Since our independence Eritrea has been dysfunctional, dictatorship, over-militarized and gravely economically underdeveloped. Order has been imposed from above, usually oppressive , brutally, with no tolerance for dissent, whether political ,linguistic or cultural. DIA is viewed of with deep distaste and of anger, for ruthlessly dictatorial regime managing the complex dynamics of our societies.
    Eritrean people dominant trend is toward much more accurate and relevant writing on the Eritrea , as tens of thousands of ordinary citizens express themselves and struggle to transform their societies, and infuse them with the values of democracy, freedom, dignity and social justice that remain powerful and structural drivers of Eritrean identity. who seek better futures for themselves, the imperatives of social justice and dignity, Most impressive also are web sites in the United States like awate and UK Asmarino that compile a wide range of Eritrean topical and usually impressive writing
    Specially the recent and ongoing current observations with a rich and ever-relevant body of historic event at Fortto that reflect the attitudes, true values and aspirations of those Eritrean Diaspora ordinary men and women who have risen up recently to take command of their own destiny.
    The quest for democracy, religious-secular balances, perceptions of the current uprisings give a boast and hope.

    The ongoing current developments with a longer legacy of popular values and attitudes that will always shape those developments. the importance of mustering the honesty to try to really understand the sentiments and aspirations of millions of ordinary Eritrean who are now turning their world for much better of tomorrow.

  • Hayat Adem

    I was late to read this article, so, I assume a lot of reflections and discussions have already predated me. The good thing about written foods (for the mind) is they never become leftovers even for late comers.
    Beyan beautifully used powerful intro because he knows paragraphs that relate to the person who write them are powerful scene setters. lets not also forget that could be what provoked Beyan to write the article.
    I also strongly conquer with Beyan on the parts he mentioned God, Religion and Faith. I do cherish and internalize the contributions of Faith and Religion to societies’ well being and sanity; although we can’t say anything as what use religion has to an individual- that remains unknown to 3rd parties. But educated people should never miss the fact that “man created Allah/God” and not the other way. How else could we end up having different Allahs/Gods, then? And yet, they are still good for the most. And they are not, in some cases. Let me quote the following from the History of God: “Instead of making God a symbol to challenge our prejudice and force us to contemplate our own shortcomings, it can be used to endorse our egoistic hatred and make it absolute.”(Karen Armstrong)
    (Note for Sal and others): If the above quote makes any sense, fatalism, in defense of ego and hate (however anti-defeatism it can get)is not a positive empowerment. That is because, if you are fighting for the wrong cause, then, sensibility dictates that you better be defeated for others’ and your own sake.
    Beyan’s reflection on the current Eritrean political and humanitarian conditions are very agreeable.
    How about his criticism on other writers who are revisiting and rewriting Eritrean history (such as YG and GY)? It would make a lot of sense for me if his justification for that criticism is solely based on the urgency of prioritizing “immediately required actions”. That is to say, if someone is set on fire and is calling 911 for help, it would be absolutely cruel and uncharacteristic for the fire protection officer to hold the caller for minutes on fact-checking as to how the fire started and escalated just for the sake of setting the record right. That is what Beyan was criticizing and I can see the validity of that point. However, the same logic did not dictate Beyan to go the other half-mile. He left all other writers glorifying and romanticizing the struggle for independence unscratched, and licensed to go to the past and write as they wish as long as it is not a criticism on Ghedli. That exhibited a bit hypocrisy on the part of Beyan, unless that is explained as an innocent overlook; which I doubt.

    • Beyan Negash

      Selam Hayat,

      Your ability to hone-in-to the point that matters is beyond compare. I have been wanting to write on the two sister websites – asmarino and awate – for quite some time. However, the challenge was how to stay objective and neutral if I am going to sample articles which articles do I pick that seems representative of each? What would be a representative sample that I can use? As I was developing my ideas, I stumbled into that radio program – totally unexpectedly – which derailed everything I had in mind, and the piece came out the way it did because I was, for the most part, letting my ideas stream out in a stream of consciousness manner as I relied on my memory bank when referencing writers. Obviously the articles I reference happened to be the ones I remembered while I was letting my ideas pour out into the keyboard.

      There was no deliberate or intentional manipulation on my end. In the world of literature, stream of consciousness writing is used as a method or better yet, as a literary device, that a writer uses as he/she attempts to be aware internally and externally, simultaneously, if you will, and tries to capture both. I must have not succeeded in doing that because Nitricc didn’t seem to catch my drift and focused on dialogues that were almost irrelevant but were placed in the piece to capture the inner and the outer workings as I was writing it in real time.

      That said, since stream of consciousness is a domain of psychology; please allow me to venture into the territories of psychology and psychoanalysis a little bit. I hope you don’t think the latter as so superannuated concept as to render it useless. I am only bringing such issues to concur with you that there may have been an unconscious bias on my end, but not one that amounts to “hypocrisy” as you seemed to conceive the perceived discrepancy. For the sakes of honesty and sincerity I will be the first to admit that bias in ideas is an inevitable occurrence, be it at a subconscious level or at unconscious ones.

      The topic of the romanticists and revisionists is a huge task. There is no way for you to know this, but my friendship with YG goes back to early nineties. If you were to ask Yosief, I would probably rank one of his top five friends with whom he spends – out of his valuable time – socializing. The last thing I would be accused of is being unfair to whom I proudly call a friend. This is my way of saying your point is well taken. But, the topics that you want tackled require a thorough reading on both sides of the isle to be able to write in a balanced and bipartisan manner and not in stream of consciousness literary device that I attempted to employ.


      • Hayat Adem

        Thanks. That was a candidly honest talk. With that, I’m totally convinced that you don’t deserve to be associated with any aspect of that word- hypocrisy. My apologies for my excess!

        • Beyan Negash

          Hello Amanuel and Hayat,

          When I enter into a dialogue of the virtual sort or in person, I come in with no second guessing others. I simply want my views to be heard and likewise to hear others viewpoints.

          So, having no political or other agendas that may inhibit and prohibit sincere and honest discussion from taking place; there usually is no problem in accepting others viewpoints even one disagrees with it.

          I think, this one between me and Hayat is a case in point that Amanuel enjoyed seeing and kindly lavishing it with his kind words, to which I reciprocate in kind to say, the thanks is all mine ezi hawway.


      • Beyan,

        who can say it better. simply magnificent, unstained,unbiased, purely conscious literalistic approach.

  • Nitricc

    selamat Beyan.
    I am intrigued to the point of discombobulated to understand the thought process of the so-called learned people. Correct me, if I am wrong, Is there any a direct correlation between good writers and complete detachment from reality? Those days I just stop by and check now and then to see what is up, and I came across Beyan’s article. I haven’t read enough articles of Beyan to make any fair judgment but as I read this one and based of this one only, Beyan is no different from the rest of all the detached, intellectually dishonest and hypocrite writers in
    As I was reading, I couldn’t pass when Beyan talks about his son’s usual requests for “netflex, X box, wii and laptop.” Mind you food wasn’t on the requests menu.
    I had to stop right there and reflect. I pictured all Eritrean kids in Eritrea.
    I envisioned what the request might be an Eritrean kid in Asmara,
    I envisioned what the request might be an Eritrean kid in Keren,
    I envisioned what the request might be an Eritrean kid in Afabet
    I envisioned what an Eritrean kid in Qarura might request. I tried my best all over Eritrea, Help me, what do you think an Eritrean child request will be on Sunday morning in Eritrea? I leave the answer for you.
    What is even more intriguing is that Beyan was stunned, distraught and depressed by the news what he heard and wondered why people are leaving the country only to be killed and tortured on the way to the X-boxes.
    I know; the evil government of Eritrea is to blame, but really Beyan! Beyan with due respect, it is in every parent’s DNA to provide to their children with the netflexs, the X boxs, the wiis and the laptops. You afforded those toys because you left your country for a better self. Now, what is so hard to understand if people did what Beyan have done many decades ago, Leave the country and provide what is the best for his kids?
    If you think the people who are leaving the country are getting killed and tortured, why are you enticing the people to leave their country so they can afford what you have afforded? If I am in Eritrea in my mid twenty and reading your article what you can afford to your children, I am leaving the country to do the same to my kids and risk to be killed on the way.
    I know it is in the interest of the toothless opposition getting people to leave the country. In a twisted opposition mind, the more people leave the country the worst the government of Eritrea looks. I get that, but why all the crocodile tears?
    Don’t encourage people to leave the country; rather encourage people to stay home and to make their country as they wish to be. If Eritreans can fight 30 years bloody war to free their country, I can assure you, they can build and construct a nation of their dream. Leaving the country is not the solution.
    I know No matter what it is the government of Eritrea at fault. I get your point.

    • Lemlem

      Bravo Nitricc! You hit the nail on the head. Nothing more to add.

    • asmara


      And then someone with sane mind comes from somewhere and tells idiots exactly for what they are.

      Oh, we do have a name for these so-called learned people in the so called opposition. “Educated-Idiots “, is the word.

      Sometimes, reading what these people write here, with all those fancy words, and superb English skills, but twisted logic and childish interpretation of things, makes you wonder as to why you need to send your kids to school, for fear of them ending up being, well, like these Idiots.

      • Fanus


        education is generally not a bad thing. the problem is people like beyan and others in the “opposition” just like to write for the sake of writing. people like to write about what they know. since they know eritrea (or at least they think they do) they end up writing about eritera, but much of it is misplaced or irrelevant or not attached to reality. in fact, it has no semblance of reality most of the time. So they end up writing a lot but they don’t say much that is of value. education is one thing. common sense is another.

        • asmara


          Was just making a point, otherwise you are right. I think these people are confined in prisons of their own making. These prisons are, hate, grudge, vendetta, low self-regard, self-hate, frustration, jealousy you name it.

          Their eyes are covered, their judgment is clouded, and common sense is lost. And above all they are so detached from Eritrea so much so that they have lost the things only citizens of one nation know and feel. They are detached so much so that, they couldn’t differentiate the good from the bad. And they always prey for the bad, and they dream and imagine the bad, so that they live another day to come and write it here.

          And because all their being revolves around the hate they have for, HGDF, EPLF, and GOE, and because their sole objective is to destroy HGFD, EPLF, GOE, at any cost and by any means, they are lost on anything Eritrean. And if any one comes and asks them “what about Eritrea and the Eritrean people?”, their answer will be, “errr, what? Oh, Eritrea. Sure, well, yea, who cares, let us just go…. Down, down with HGDF” Wodaje

    • haile


      When you did your “I would have peeled you like an onion” somersault comment and disappeared, you had be ponder if you had anything different. Again, admittedly, I can’t tell when saay is kidding or serious, but wediere also warned me not to “underestimate” you. Hence, I was waiting to get a gist of what you’re all about, alas, another day, here comes another butler, another gravedigger for a heinous regime.

      So, you believe that the thousands that perished in the deserts and high seas were just looking for an “x box” life? That you believe the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid in ransom through Asmara to Sinai hostage takers were just to secure an “X box and Wii” life style? Read on and get what got me to think of you as a gravedigger of a heinous regime.

      Following independence, the world was left speechless as Eritreans from all over the world headed to their newly formed country. The port of Massawa was so busy with machinery, materials, vehicles, and many other cargo supplies that Eritreans started to off load there, for a new beginning for hope and massive economic development they were poised to effect in Eritrea. More than $90 million was being exchanged by Himbol alone and there were 30 other exchange facilities making even more transactions. Massive construction proposals, massive business proposals, massive good will from Eritreans and their friends to let the nation fly high. Eritreans were happy and proud, so were their American, European, Arab….friends who were only too eager to follow them. Asmara airport was packed, so many foreigners and so many diaspora Eritreans, talking development, construction, investment, money, transport you name it.

      Unfortunately, a section of the Eritrean government (that has now long consolidated state power through a 2001 purge) was the only evil that lurked in the shadows at the time. By 1998, Eritrea fully liberalized its currency, such a small and war affected country was able to wither the border war, still investment going on and investors paying salaries of those at the front line. Unheard of patriotism that sent a reverberating message to the world that Eritreans are indeed going to emerge as a beacon of hope for the rest of the dark continent.

      The evil, IA, that lurked in the shadows did in fact did certain dirty acts (such as kicking out those who rented government buildings into the street and undermining business by its new found party ventures). However, the optimism in the Eritrean psych won the day and we looked the other way.

      Soon after the war, the regime finally silenced the voices of reason and having consolidated power, started to destroy everything in wanton and extreme brutality. All youth were put under indefinite labor camps, citizens banned from importing or exporting, citizens banned from business ventures, farms told to hand over their produce, fishermen to surrender their catch, construction ordered to freeze and investors let their investment lay to waste, University shut down for boot camp, the regime begun to borrow and siphon off the money that it gets by being the only contractor while forcing your brothers and sisters to work for free. It invited foreigner armed groups into the country including those wanted by intl. community on terrorist charges (Aweys), Eritreans refused the option to leave their country by legal option.

      Today Eritreans forced to carry AK-47, pulled out of their homes to wonder the streets at night, spend 8hrs a day guarding dead government buildings, marched outside their cities to dig all day long. Isolated from the eyes of the inl. community, starved and disorientated, they are leaving in droves.

      The regime finally met its fate by UN sanctions regime under chapter VII that includes armed intervention. In the last four years it was whacked with four sanctions including under human rights accusations. Recently, the regime survived actually military onslaught from the inl. community thanks to a SINGLE wording. The sanction resolution was about to be put for voting “demanding” (which would have necessitated armed threat) the entrance of SEMG into the country. No thanks to Russia it was changed to “expects” to allow access. Regardless, the regime is on its death bed. You may ask how.

      The regime is accused of conspiring with terrorist organizations and running an illicit economic activity. For you Nitricc, you wouldn’t give a hoot if all those Eritrean kids you mention are drowned into the sea or what ever. Unfortunately, the world has not forgotten 9/11. Legal investigations into the death of thousands of Americans and other nation citizens is still open. The world is horrified to learn that a group that is holding state power in Eritrea is connected with the perpetrators financially, facilitating diplomatic and other transport and money and arms movement through illicit activities. The world body has also accused this group of involving in human trafficking. Don’t tell me Nitricc other nation’s peoples and governments would be as indifferent and callous as you towards their own citizens well being.

      There is NO way the regime would wave Esmart blah blah onto the world community to get off the hook. It MUST allow access, and if next time “we expect” turns into “we demand” I don’t think the crime syndicate would be around to build “Mediterranean style homes for the air heads as asmara lemlem and araya” to walk their dogs around. Still, I encourage them to pay the 25% in Euro to the HCBE private account of the regime. They should put their money where their mouth is.

      For the world, the regime MUST open access to investigation, else it would pay with its sorry existence. You think the regime is capable of building 1600 buildings without energy and water to drive the activity? It is actually preparing its exist and the sooner you guys pay up the better for all of us. “This year” has only less than four months left, and the regime has just thought up of building you nice villas, never mind that those who were fooled before are still around waiting when they gonna get permission to continue working!

      The regime has resulted in the mass migration and the associated tragedies of Eritreans. It is now connected to inl. terrorism that has been blamed for the death of over 21000 Somali citizens. Through its long association with Dahr Aweys, it is linked to the terrorist acts in Kenya, Tanzania and Yemen. There were issues to do with the arms sales to the Tamil in Sirilanka and rebels in C.Africa. The IA regime can’t get out of this one without FULLY accounting for all its activities. You can clap as much as you want, the train has long left. The reason the UN decided to scale down from “DEMAND” to “EXPECT” is to give room for it to fall internally. But next time it won’t be the case, if it still is around to say “give us terms of reference”. You know about audits, don’t you? they are very thorough and employ every necessary expertise.

      So, Nitricc, we are happy our brother Beyan can get such nice toys for his kids. We hope and we can supply that to every Eritrean at home thanks to our love of our people and country. As a gravedigger of a heinous regime that is on the run and gasping for last breath, you are way unlikely to determine the reason why Eritreans found Eritrea to be unbearable place to live in.

      • asmara

        Here comes the new-Idiot (Just a description, ok?) with the usual kolel and not even close to be a reply to what Nitric said.

        The only thing that seems closer to the subject at hand is the following:

        “….That you believe the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid in ransom through Asmara to Sinai hostage takers were just to secure an “X box and Wii” life style? ….”

        Of course, our Haile here would not and could not identify that the ransom is just a rescue effort to save the victims from the horror they put themselves into as a result of migration through harsh land and the attempt to get that X-Box belay was advertising, that was the lure.

        But, hey, our guy here has to wake up from his sleep to throw his usual regime is dying tomorrow drama, and yet again bore us to death

        Dude, not even close, try again

      • gebreab

        Dear Haile.
        lets put blame where blame is due and be honest first to ourselves and our country and people.first,your accusations of terrorism of the Eritrean regime is baseless and far fetched…haven’t you yet gotten the rumors(unlegalized news) about 9/11?the fingers are pointed now to some one else …and secondly the 999 out of 1000 Eritreans leaving or already left the country after independence are/were looking for a better life some where else.having said that it is not a crime…,it is human nature to search for a greener pasture some where else.and third,it is the diaspora Eritreans to blame for the part of brain-drain going on.let me tell you a short neighbour with their four children fly every year to Eritrea,they cargo three or four barrels(fisto)food ration with you know how it is viewed by the people back home?…we all know that…and on top of that cars clothes you name it…despite that their SHuRo,TuMTuMo,BaMia,AHMiLTi,DuBa healthier and nutritious are than the rubbish from one pound shops.but people back home view it differently and appreciate it simply ’cause it is from MiERaB. so to put it in a nut-shell our people back want have exactly what the Eritrean diasporas it is nobody to blame for the brain-drain but life.

      • Dear Haile,

        In order to know with whom you are dealing, let me give you a metaphor that explains exactly what your are doing and why couldn’t cross their brain barriers.

        In medicinal chemistry or in making pharmaceutical product we always add “inactive ingredient” to the “active drug agent.” The inactive ingredients or inert ingredient are only used as fillers, sweeteners, colorant, flavoring agents, carriers, binders…etc. In all your attempt, your message as the agent of change what ever smoothing words you use, what ever effective agent (word) to rest of us will be, to them will never cross the brain barrier system of their mind to alter their way of thinking. Their attitudes and psychological behavior is intact until we find their brain wash manual to study it intimately and frame a new brain wash manual to do the work of reverse psychology. So a question to you is have you ever come across that “manual”? Just a kidding.

        So far no one with acute mind who knows in and out the political transaction of the evil man and the enforcers that decimate our nation and its people made them naked the world to see. I can’t believe that no one from their side could dispute line by line, facts after facts , phrase by phrase, theme by theme to your well laced argument. When one has not the fact on his side what he/she does is throwing disparaging words to intimidate if they can..that is all. So far you stand tall with our people…our oppressed people….our dismantled nation fighting tooth and nail to redeem our people and our nation from the grip despot.Keep your ground as it start to have a strong foundation…no flinching no appeasement by the grave diggers and butlers. Do not stop to zoom in your powerful binocular telescope to hidden areas – the “Abusement and killing parks” as their act is still continuing as we speak.


        • correction: read as “from the grip of the despot”

      • TheTruth

        Looks like you bought the lies spewed by hegemonic powers. Your post is devoid of any truth. Why would a sovereign nation allow inspectors who have continuously fabricated malicious lies? The SEMG is being questioned for professionalism so no one takes them serious except their western handlers and their puppets.

    • Beyan Negash

      merHaba Nitricc,

      Firstly, I appreciate you withholding judgment, this being your first interaction with my thought processes. Likewise, I, too, will withhold judgment until I develop a rapport based on what you write. I must give you though for finding the most tangential angle in my piece as you try to blow it so disproportionately to a point of making it as though it was a central theme of the article. But, Haile caught your bluff rather quickly and has done an unbelievably good of a job in addressing your concerns that I would be repeating myself unnecessarily were I to try. So, I will just take this moment to thank Haile for a rebuttal that all of us should model after – stays focused on the subject like a laser beam and leaves no holes for a rejoinder; but then I won’t underestimate your capabilities of finding tangential issues as you did on mine. So, watch out Haile for those peripheral ideas that may herald your way under the guise of seeming central points to contend with. I am certain you won’t fall for those!


  • Lemlem

    Dearest Beyan:

    I am sorry that you can’t get away from Eritrea. I am sorry that even when you want to escape Eritrea shows up on NPR. Most of us don’t feel the way you do though. Most of us love Eritrea and can’t get enough of it. Most of us want to be near Eritrea not far away from it. Even those who leave Eritrea for economic reasons are always with Eritrea and its people in spirit. We always get home sick and can’t wait until the next time we visit Eritrea and its people (our families included).

    By the way, check out the massive construction project that is underway in Eritrea.

    And that’s just the beginning. Much more to come. It looks quite good. Lots of greenery and green space there. We always said that 2013 was going to be the year when we change gears and accelerate our development drive. It’s happening folks. And I am glad citizenship has its benefits. People who refuse to pay their 2% rehabilitation tax should not be allowed to enjoy the Mediterranean way of the good life in Asmara. Let them eat hamburger and live in their ghettoes.

    • yegermal

      “Most of us want to be near Eritrea not far away from it. Even those who leave Eritrea for economic reasons are always with Eritrea and its people in spirit. We always get home sick and can’t wait until the next time we visit Eritrea and its people (our families included).”

      Meshak….Visiting Eritrea once a year really makes you a tourist or beles like any other. If you really truly without doubt absolutely lovely DIA’s Eritrea, you should go to live there permanently whether the economic conditions are favorable or not. Audacious hypocrites! Hifret mechem nabakum aytikeribin ya!

      • Beyan Negash

        Dear Ygermal and Lemelem,

        Thanks ygermal for offering the needed context which was at first misconstrued – intentionally or not – then, Lemlem comments on the misconstrued ideas that she laid out. All I can say my dearest sister Lemlem, if you live on this side of the Atlantic, please spend your money wisely the next time you visit Eritrea. I am sure you’re socially and environmentally conscious person since you have the luxury to own a dog, which I thought Nitricc would be up in arms about had he known you’re feeding a dog, a money that could’ve been spent wisely by adopting any poor child in Eritrea.

        Herein follow some of the things to watch out for that Nitricc kindly outlined for you to consider that I am just copying and pasting for convenience, although, you did give him your kudos for it assuming you mean what you say and I trust that you are not just being tifozo for tifozo’s sake. So here it is:

        “I had to stop right there and reflect. I pictured all Eritrean kids in Eritrea.
        I envisioned what the request might be an Eritrean kid in Asmara,
        I envisioned what the request might be an Eritrean kid in Keren,
        I envisioned what the request might be an Eritrean kid in Afabet
        I envisioned what an Eritrean kid in Qarura might request. I tried my best all over Eritrea, Help me, what do you think an Eritrean child request will be on Sunday morning in Eritrea? I leave the answer for you”

        So, my dearest sister Lemlem: is it fair for you to own a dog that can consume as much as a human child can when you know, I am sure you’ve seen it through your visits, that there are a lot of orphaned children that you could’ve used your money instead of a dog.

        My last inquiry for you Lemlem is to please whatever you do, please don’t stay ab enda kulit gezawtti. And do inquire before you purchase and souvenirs to make sure they were not made under duress, you know, in “sweat-shop” type places.

        Bon voyage!
        From one of the “hamburger ghettos” that happens to have Wi-Fi -:)

    • gebreab

      Dear lemlem.
      you are a disgusting patriot ever I heard preaching to exclude other Eritreans from enjoying the fruits of freedom and liberty in their god given country is ridiculous and shameful and very greedy of you.people like you who pretend to be supporters of the Eritrean government are staining and destroying the reputation of our gallant Tegadelits.the dirty languages you using to exclude part of Eritreans away of Eritrea were strange and unkown to our heroes and our people in general during the thirty years of hardships and can you be so brute and heartless to your own people to wish them a miserable life in ghettoes in the West?what I have come to figure out with the time is that there are many rats(wolves in sheeps clothing)inside the camp of the so-called supporters of Eritrean government.they are in every croon and crack like parasites in order to stain and weaken, the fabric of our people.i really feel sorry for you for being so what you are.and I think it is the society you grew up to blame for your mental makes you hate yourself,hate others,you harbour to much hatred inside you.get rid of that.for others hatred is their daily diet but for us Eritreans is poisonous.the Eritrean government must open re-education centers in Eritrea for people like you.’cause the young people be it in the UK… are being systematically destroyed…that is my personal opinion from my experiences may be others view it differently.

      • yegermal

        A new genre of DIA’s supporters? Eway shekelkel !

  • L.T

    Shabia is god and remember that and this it was your Jesus Christ who wrote it”It is true,I have never seen like Isaias Afewrqi before and it is best to read him than to watch 1000 movies”Meles Zenawi with Aser magazin 1996 so a poet read a poem.We Shabia ‘ve already written our own.Had I gone to far,crossed the line?And Meles is dead and you all are a victim.

    • Hayat Adem

      I’m not surprised you are forced to have needed to lie to praise PIA. I mean, how else then? MZ never said that in Asser. I’m saying this because I was a subscriber of that Magazine and I’d been reading them up until 2-3 weeks after the incidents of Badime. It is also easy to dismiss such a claim even without reading those copies that MZ would have never said that.
      More: my guess from your comments (this one and previous ones)is you like PIA and dislike MZ. If my guess is right, you are using the most twisted and bizarre logic to get your point across. You’re not providing us either with facts or sensible justifications to support PIA; instead, you are validating and valuing the testimony of a man you dislike to support the man you like.
      AMP: I will reflect on my views on the article.

      • L.T

        Ok Hayat;
        Read this”Kab 1000 Meshafti mnbab ms Bitsay Isaias hade saet mealal yibelits”And it is not secret or dark story that they were in honoymoon in that time Habibti.It’s so dark that let do that.

        • Hayat Adem

          I will not be bothering myself to ask you for “source”, because you can’t possibly provide it, because it never happened.

          But for the sake of argument, lets say that had indeed happened in those ‘good’ days, and MZ had said those words of praise in admiration of PIA. Let me repeat: Meles never said those words about Isias but let assume he did. We also know for-sure Meles publicly spoke of Isayas extremely negatively during the clash and afterwards. Both testimonies are coming from the same person. Do you validate one and not the other, if it is the same person who is saying in both scenarios? Or, if you have to choose, don’t you think that it is logical for you to take the later because last statements prevail over previous ones, if there are contradictions

  • ertrawi

    Amerika zigebruwo zelowu mechem ageb iyu.

    Mestana kiwerdom iyu. Rekiben’a ka alewa. Bankrupt koynen alewa. Falito abilen. Hanti ayterefenin.

    Kab China wedi China iyen kiliqaha ziwEla. Bejakum alequhina iyen zibla.

    Eda n Eda koynen. Intayu izu kulu mis Ertrana obsession (tsilale) hizuwen.

    Ertrea gin Eda (loan) aytifetun. Birihatsa tinebir. Eda n metsaie weledo aytgedifin.

    Izi gin aytewahtelomin. (they can’t swallow it).

    Zegermyu nai bihaki.

    N Weyane Tigray kihigza kibla n Ertrea kisab kindzi mitslam? Tselelo milkay intay yedli?

    Ertra gin kem kedema n qidmit tiray tikeyd. Yeman Tsegam aytiblin.

    Kibrin Mogosin n Zeyhilel ZeytsAt Hizbi Ertra!

    Awet n Hafash!

    • Aman

      Jeez, I can’t fathom people can still think in terms of the 70s in year 2013. If the majority of eritreans think and believe the way this particular ertrawi does, there is absolutely no hope for this unfortunate state.

      • gebreab

        dear Aman.
        CNN,Fox,BBC can repeat it for you if you want to hear again what Eritrawi said of your mentor.even Obamas holiday money is borrowed from China.If you are a US citizen your country will never ever be able to pay back its debts,unless it swaps land for Greece offering many of its Islands to the highest bidders.
        And by the way patriotism is not confined by time and age.the US Americans are very patriotic people…and I do not see any wrong an Eritrean,a Vietnamese,a Venezuelan,a Chinese,a Russian,a Cuban,an Ethioipian,a Sudanese… being patriotic. people (in the western hemisphere)are made fool by the very media of their own.the western media what it calls nationalism in other countries,is patriotism in the US .
        we have a proverb in Tigrina, it goes like this”EDe KeM HaMLi…”

  • Beyan Negash

    Gezae, Aman, Sal and A. Benstar, you are not included in this or any others whose post may beat this one by a hair – your comments are duly noted, hope to get back to you soon)

    This is for those who pride themselves in their lack of Tiraz Neteqnnet:

    Tiraz Neteq and Risas Neteq, which are clearly meant to be condescending, I take as under handed compliments because by the originators’ inadvertent admission they lack ‘Tiraz Neteq[nnet]” and or “Risas Neteq[at]”; therefore, all I can say is go ahead bury your head in the sand but be forewarned all the grey and white mater left in you will be buried along with it.

    As you may not know this: “Gray matter structures (cortex, deep nuclei) process information originating in the sensory organs or in other gray matter regions.” So, you will have a lot to lose if you choose this option. Just a little disclosure here.

    Nonetheless, I urge you to consider this just in case that grey matter has some working cells that may process the following information in it I will only cite few facts and evidences, due diligently noting the capacity and the magnititude: If the seven thousand plus refugees in Israel don’t amount to much; or those in the thousands more languishing in the Ethiopian refugee camps mean nothing; or those who are in transit – in the thousands and thousands more – in the Sudan; or those who made Sudan their refuge for decades now or Europe and North America; if all of these Eritreans do not amount to much, then the “gallant leadership” knows only how to listen to its base who can only be characterized as the “Amen Corner.”

    If the premise from which we come is such that that Eritrea is heaven and her demi-god is sitting in its helm auto piloting it; and those in the Amen Corner crowd will invariably see the minerals, the gold, and the infinite resources; and those of us who see a hellish land being governed by a Devil, then, no mineral or gold thank you; I hope you can see that then we have inherent differences of definitions.

    If some such evidences cannot sway one, then, one cannot expect these types to develop anything remotely close to conviction – conviction is drawn and sustained and nurtured from evidence, and when one chooses to shun evidence, there is no movement to any direction of any type of reconciliation let alone reaching to any consensus.

    Yours Tiraz Neteq truly,

  • A. Benstar

    Hello Beyan and all,

    Beyan, it seems that you may be inching back back toward your 90s self of the last century or so it seems:-). People where very original in those days and I used to read you and get a kick out of it and the response your writings generated. You put more meat on the bones than most do here or elsewhere and people can relate to the emotion, intellectual, and material side of your writings and at least see the essence that cover the bones:-). That being said for a general introduction, I would like to throw in note I posted in one of the earlier articles in this site as a caveat and then follow up with your treat and the responses it has and perhaps will generated. The said note follows below:

    As man tries to give meaning to his life in our modern civilization, it could be that one manipulates, another calculates, a third contemplates, and yet another speculates based on the power of their mental, emotional, and physical centers about how the world goes or ought to go more or less round and round. Modern civilization believes in its rationality based on what it can observe and verify with its normal senses of perception and the aid of the instruments it has created! All these and much else would have been good if modern mankind used them to better his everyday life and that of his fellow humans! However, the life of modern man and his machines create things that are most often destructive to himself and his environment and this state of human affairs seems to have the upper hand till the Almighty Himself puts it to an end before it destroys the whole Earth!

    In tandem with the what is said above, it could generally be said that modern human rationality is more or less governed by science, technology, and money monopolized by the powers that be and their diverse ideologies and doctrines that advance one sort or another world view which conflict with or reinforce one another and try to make the world dance to their tunes! Beyond the creation of the world of his utilitarian rational mind, man has all sorts of philosophy, religions, and ideologies of one type or another which are mostly governed by his rational mind. The rational mind is carnal and starts with ignorance as the arm of flesh for which most men live and would sell their soul to save and cater for their skin and earn their wages while living from outside and dying from within with the passage of time!

    Be the above views as they may, man is born naked, innocent, and helpless and lives to learn to live and let live till death do us apart and the dust returns to dust when the life that animated it departs to heaven or hell or disappears altogether as man may think the case is or may be! Every child of Adam and Eve has to be nurtured and taught about the do’s and don’t’s of life from cradle to grave and learn and understand how to deal with the things of life and his fellow humans in this dog eat dog world where the strongest and richest survive in one way or another till their time comes to go! Time seems to run fast as people grow older and stronger or weaker as the case may be as man is born, grows, gets old and dies in his journey of life along the highway of time!

    In connection with the foregoing views, the people of Eritrea seem to have received the bitter end of everything that this world of ignorance, fear, hunger, lust, greed, arrogance, hypocrisy, betrayal, war and the like has to offer and govern the nature of modern mankind! Where does this all end? Everybody have their own religions, ideologies, theories, doctrines and much else and foresee the future based on these and accordingly make or create their friends or foes that become their agents of peace or war to defend what they think and believe is their past, present, and future that is informed by modern culture which is mostly of the degraded and self-serving kind!

    The world has created a laws that rule the governments that compose its members and have many ways of dealing with them as do the governments that form it! However, the Eritrean people have fallen victim to its injustice as they have been denied to live and let live under the rule of law that all agreed to abide by! Democracy is to freedom as law is to justice and both for keeping societal order and peace, all of which have been denied to the Eritrean people from inside and outside their homeland! Eritreans need to recognize that the full realization of their dream to live in peace with themselves and others will materialize only when national and international laws are respected and made to govern their political and territorial sovereignty!

    • Beyan Negash

      merHaba Ghezae, A. Benstar, and Awatawyan:

      I do remember when the ever daring Saleh Gadi approached me with his intentions of launching a website and that if I would be willing to help out in writing some articles, and I did. Dehai was increasingly becoming intolerant of any dissent as it wanted to be in the EPLF/PFDJ corner come hell or high water. Incidentally, Albert Camus’s “The Rebel” I was introduced to by my good friend, YG, it was a kind of philosophy that ours Eritrea could’ve learned a great deal from.

      The very mention of Bolshevik in your note and reading A. Benstar’s lucid note on human behavior, rationality or lack thereof, I am reminded of, to the chagrin of anti Tiraz Neteq crowd, a book I read, “Magnetic Mountain,” that dealt with Russia’s revolutionary trajectories that went awry as it tried to modernize and industrialize the country through coercive methods – after their two consecutive revolutions. For those who are willing to open their mind and try to learn from other countries’ experiences there is here one of primary exhibits that ought not to be emulated.

      In the first part of Stephen Kotkin’s Magnetic Mountain, the author uses “Magnetic Mountain City” as a case study as he traces the way in which “Stalinism” deliberately coerced the population (sometimes at a barrel of a gun). They used demographics to control labor movements; and essentially anything that the Bolshevists believed would advance their version of modernity was a fair game irrespective of how irrational; no feasibility studies, just erecting the biggest iron industry was the only requirement to show the west that Russia can outcompete the capitalists.

      Juxtapose that to our current predicament where roads are built, airlines are launched seemingly without any drawn out plans. The brunt of such overreach would have to come at the expense of its peasants and for ours from forced and coerced labor of the young in the name of national service and for the Russians its peasants whom it deemed “backward”; and the way forward was to bring these peasants into the world of technology and science.

      The author of Magnetic Mountain argues that “the distinctiveness of Stalinism lay not in the formation of a mammoth state by means of the destruction of society but in the creation, along with such a state, of a new society – manifest in property relations, social structure, the organization of the economy, political practice, and language. Stalinism signified the advent of a specifically socialist civilization based on the rejection of capitalism” (p. 2). EPFDJ’s version is not that different except in our case seems to be civilization against its own shadow, a shadow that was meant to never disappear only metastasize in the worst imaginable ways.

      The above tendencies are pushbacks to the ideas of capitalism-based modernism, which might as well lead to a discontent where there was none to be had to begin with. Just because America happens to do something so well and those countries that want to hate to do anything that America does end up making colossal mistakes in wanting to do the thing better, bigger, or totally the opposite of what is rational & reasonable. Much of Magnetic Mountain narrative seems to fall into this kind of mentality by the Russians.

      However, such an undertaking by the Russians turned out to be far more complex endeavor than they could have conceived. Surprising the west they did, at least at the initial attempt of industrialization, Russians seemed to have had a good start. Consider this: Two consecutive events that western based analysts and scholars thought would doom the soviet society shown to be no more than “smoke screen.” The ultimate sacrifice the Soviet public paid to quell Nazis and the death of Stalin in 1953 was believed to create anarchy and lawless society. However, according to Kotkin, in fact, “not only did overt repression abate…instability did not follow. Thus despite the prolific and high-quality research…carried out, the result of these scholars’ work was something of an analytical cul-de-sac” (p.3), it was just one of the complicating factors; the worst technological nightmare was yet to come.

      Putting Stalinism in historical context, Kotkin offers this explanation:
      “It is impossible to comprehend Stalinism without reference to the eighteenth-century European Enlightenment, an outpouring of impassioned public discussion that took as its point of departure the seventeenth-century innovation of modern “science.” Applying the new models of nature to the political world, many thinkers during the Enlightenment embarked on a quest for an explicitly “rational social order,” a well-regulated organization of human beings independent of the “arbitrary” authority of a sovereign… Above all, science promised, not simply the possibility of immediate improvement but “a vision of constant progress”(6-7).

      If Enlightenment was the impetus for “rational thinking” based on science, the French Revolution was one that offered a momentum to that notion, a notion that “social order” could also be made and remade through some such efforts. Kotkin alludes to this by stating that “[w]hat gave this worldview tremendous force was, of course, the French revolution, which appeared to offer a mechanism for realizing the vision of a rational social order” (p. 7). Therefore, “[t]he Russian revolution, too, was about using politics as a means for creating a rational, and therefore just, social order” (p. 7).

      Bolsheviks’ “success in wielding the powerful lever of the state depended on an impressive ability to create effective new institutions, such as the Red Army successor to the Red Guards) and the Cheka (successor to the Military Revolutionary Committee)…shocked the world” (p. 13) and it certainly boosted their confidence that they were on the right path to utopia. Indeed, the creation of such institutions, one that was uniquely Bolsheviks was the beginning of modern Russia as a push-back or an antidote to European version of modernity that would serve as an alternative path for the rest of the world to consider. Beyond the political slogans that one may hastily attempt to dismiss that the Bolshoviks were nothing but authoritarians and that would amount to nothing more than shedding crocodile tears because the Bolsheviks were latching onto something completely new: “Bolshevism itself, including its evolution, must be seen not merely as a set of institutions, a group of personalities, or an ideology but as a cluster of powerful symbols and attitudes, a language and new forms of speech, new ways of behaving in public and private, even new styles of dress – in short, as an ongoing experience through which it was possible to imagine and strive to bring about a new civilization called socialism”(p. 14). Behind the seemingly rhetorical iterations and reiterations of “values, behavior, and beliefs” there was a strong will with a strong current of “cultural dimension” (p. 14). And, the corollary to such originally powerful ideology, of course, is the fact that it would last as long as it has a testament as it spread the world over; the reverberations of which are still with us today, albeit, at far more diminished capacity than ever before, yet it was a force to contend with until late 1980s.

      Viewed from such wider context, there seems to be some hope in the horizon for Eritrea’s case as well, notwithstanding the kinds of “moral babbles” with confused moral compass that we see in some of our country men and women; but one can only suppose that that is meant to be par for the course; our kind so called high primates, humanity that does not want to learn from others’ historical narratives – Egypt’s current turmoil is a classic example of such deficiencies of the highest order.

      • A. Benstar

        Merhab Beyan,

        Though very familiar, your last note is educational as well as reflective. Concerning the evolution of “God” in your notes, you will be surprised if you dig a little deeper into the back grounds of the ideas and the backgrounds of the leading theorists and scientist of the Enlightenment who landed us all here! God, you say, and which “God” I would have to ask if we are going to continue our conversation on this line of the Almighty and his Adversary and his son and servants further and inform our views concerning the state of affairs of modern man and his machines:-) I only know One God and a “God” that evolves as in your piece and the gods of man, mammon, devil, demon, and Satan:-)

        Anyways, I would opine that you would some heat in the oven and crystallize your powders and let your man speak in his own tongue:-). Powder, or shifting notions and the emotions that they generated disturb your essence or your individuality before your personality comes to the rescue, saying, buffers, too much shock, need buffers, prozac, if you will, and back to the land of ignorance is bliss:-).

        While I am at it, I think you should never mind the noises that come form the dead in heart. When the head dies, the heart also dies with it and goes insane and gropes in the dark to find solace in the dead things their idol god constructs by destroying what was living there, Eritrea, a land where evil rules and lives on the sweat and blood of others! If that is not bestial, nothing is and those who think otherwise are either dead in the head and heart or lost souls who think life is all about pleasuring their deadly flesh, zombies feeding by inflecting misery on humans in the land of the living dead!

        Beyan. the journey is both collective and individual and all I have to opine in closing is that: may your individuality rule over your personality,what is real in you or anyone man, as a solid base on which your being stands and steers your boat in the stormy waters of life that come from all corners to destroy the powders of personality that shift like sand or wind:-).

        • Beyan Negash

          merHaba A. Benstar:

          Enjoyed your well thought out, concise, and beautifully woven message, particularly about the power of the individual over personality and the Amen Corner crowd. Their hearts maybe stained beyond any conceivable repair.

          Indeed, our worry ought to be about what the Eritrean Satan is doing rather than occupying ourselves with God. So, “who needs God” when our Satan seems to have influenced and convinced his errant followers, in Milton’s words, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heav’n” (“Pardise Lost” I. 255).

          Our Satan seems to have found, unlike that of Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” who rises from the “Tree of Life” and “lake of fire”; ours has moved from the highland’s capital to that vast open space of Red Sea for un-obscured view and vision as he professes unto his disciples, come one and come all, it is far more interesting to brand “a Hell of Heav’n” rather than “a Heav’n of Hell” (“Paradise Lost,” I. 255).

          So our Satan’s disciples seem to be overjoyed by such prophetic pronouncements so much so that they are beyond themselves, because the way their Satan (unbeknownst to them who is seen as a demi-god) subverts Heaven to make it Hell can only come from someone with supernatural abilities; therefore, they follow, just as the herds do their shepherd.

          Of course, in Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Satan looks and acts like hero but he is not, whereas in our version of “Paradise Lost,” the Satan at the helm is clearly their hero for now, but when he falls from grace as many others before him had done, they will be left holding an empty basket, for they will realize too little too late that they had put all their eggs into that fatefully useless basket.


          • A. Benstar

            Hello Beyan,

            Thank you for your generous comments and keep up the good job that you are doing in flogging the head of the dead horse or snake that is devouring Eritrea before it goes to its grave:-). Esaias is dead in the heart and head while his deadly machine is disintegrating by the day and his cult of cowardly, lowly, heartless, parasitic and useless humans will be no more as soon he is no more except in hell :-).

            I was about to comment on some of your further comments and the comments your article generated. However, I will try to do that sometime on the Jebena section of this site so as not to disturb the discourse that is going on here if I find the time and thought it necessary to keep the conversation on the light side:-). Anyways, thank you for the energy and time you spend to generate such useful notes in such a short time:-)

  • Salyounis

    Selamat Beyan:

    I enjoyed the piece, specially the Religion in America section and I was hoping you would give an Eritrean version of that–from the perspective of Eritreans in Eritrea.

    What I notice when I speak to older Eritreans (I realize some of you think I am 60 and I am actually talking to my contemporaries:) who have seen the Brits come and go, Haile Selasse come and go, Derg come and go, is that they have an almost serene view of life. It is fatalistic, but not in a defeatist way, but in an empowering way: it’s what Islam calls “Taqwa” (which I once heard described at a mesjid, to my pleasant shock, as “Godliness.”) Their view is: God brought the EPLF and God will remove the PFDJ, so leave it all in the hands of God. I wouldn’t describe the Eritrean God as static but Eternal…

    Maybe nationalism does not have any great books to inspire us by, but don’t you think the biographies of great nationalists are inspiring and have things to teach us?

    I think the stumbling around that we do is because we don’t have a Moses. In fact, Selam Kidane told us to give up on Moses and find a David (who was all of 17 when he slayed Goliath… Go EYSC! 🙂 In fact, even if Moses AND David were among us, we would not follow them because, apparently, the one thing we have learned from post-independence politics is what Bob Dylan told us decades ago: “don’t follow leaders; mind the parking meters.”

    I think what the writers at try to do (using different approaches and, no, we don’t meet to discuss our articles) is to convince Eritreans who are disoriented, discouraged, demoralized that they can find a fountain of strength in their past and the theme that I see at our sister website is a rationale for why Eritreans are feeling disoriented, discouraged and demoralized because any sense of pride and dignity they felt was based on a mountain of lies. And what our readers do (because they are rational beings:) is that they pick and choose what sounds rational to them and dismiss what sounds outlandish regardless of whether the story-teller is giving them an inspiring or a dispiriting story.


    PS: What is with Eritreans/Ethiopians and National Public Radio? An American friend who travels all over the US once told me “you are the only cab drivers I have met who listen to NPR!” Me, I am almost reminded of this whenever I think of NPR: (25 seconds long video; don’t open if you cringe at sight of blood.)

    • Beyan Negash

      merHaba Sal and Awatawyan: (Sal, if someone issues a fetwa on my head you will be partly to should responsibility here, for I really didn’t want to go there, but feel compelled to do so because you ask probing question and I just don’t have common sense to take my fifth on it - Oh, well, here goes it)

      In your note on religion as viewed from Eritreans in Eritrea you describe it as “fatalistic, but not in a defeatist way, but in an empowering way […] Their view is: God brought the EPLF and God will remove the PFDJ, so leave it all in the hands of God. I wouldn’t describe the Eritrean God as static but Eternal…” I am not sure if I agree with your characterization here, and here is why. I think religion in our part of the world remains to be “fatalistic” and “eternally static.” Static because there is a resigned sense of acceptance of anything that befalls one; everything is left for a Divine intervention as Italians, Brits, Ethiopian Haile Selassie, Dergue, were invited by God and were taken away by God and so will be the fate of PFDJ. There is nothing more defeatist than this. Why did God bring these entire wraths to a people if you begin to muse, you would be looked in askance as though you were insane to even question the Almighty’s intentions.
      This is precisely what Puritans had to deal with when they arrived in the Americas as they wished to keep their religion pure, that they were unable to do when they were in the old world. The absolute sovereignty of God, the natural depravity of man, and the doctrine of grace were all meant to keep mankind through remote ideas at bay. There seems to be no balancing act between free will and sovereignty of God. History from Puritans perspective is nothing more than record of God’s book-pages. To tie this to our part of the world, consider just one item from the menu of options that can be analyzed in detail. Let’s consider prayer and its applications as it relates to Eritreans in Eritrea and bring the point closer to home.

      From childhood children are taught never to pass a cemetery without praying for the dead, at least for Muslim Eritreans. Prayer at the cemetery for the dead, by the living, offers a possible mercy on the dead from the suffering due to the bad deeds they may have committed when they were alive. From a young boy’s perspective there was just no question about it: Praying helped ease whatever suffering the dead might be enduring. Therefore, I read the Koran on a regular basis to alleviate the pain of my dead ancestors, even though I had no notion of what it said, because Arabic was not my mother tongue, but simply learned for recitation purposes. Therefore, in my mind at that time there was no doubt that reading Koran and praying were a dedication I had to offer for the sake of easing the suffering of the dead. As children if we didn’t do that we could as well be letting our loved ones who passed to suffer in their grave from God’s wrath. If that is not fatalistic and defeatist view of the world I am not sure what is? For an individual to pray for the sakes of another’s salvation remains elusively perplexing a notion that I still have difficulty wrapping my head around. Why would prayer from a stranger help ease a pain for those we may not even have known existed? It would seem to me wiser and logical if the merciful God just bequeathed this good deed rather than expecting it to come from the prayers of other human beings.

      Now, if the prayer is also meant to remind the living of their own mortality as well as trigger fond memory of the dead, points well taken; however, one could accomplish such remembrances by displaying, say, pictures of loved ones in wallets or by adorning the walls in the homes. It gets even more interesting now in the United States. After Friday prayers, where you heard on Taqwa, I hear, every Friday (considering of what I had to say here, some may find it hard to believe, but I do go to the masjid almost every Friday) the Imam announcing of passing of someone’s relative, say, somewhere in the remote part of the world; and then the Imam asks for everyone to pray for the person who died. I suppose globalization affects prayer too, in which, God would be receptive to anonymous prayers from remote corners of the world. These are what I remember of religion back home and that seems to me to be not only fatalistic but also eternally static.

      I believe on Christian Eritreans’ side is probably not too far from what I describe here. The crossing of heart when passing by a church or when a priest presents kids his wooden cross and they pray to it, it must have deeper meaning similar to what the Muslims do when they pass by cemetery and what have you? But, I leave for others who are intimately knowledgeable to address it., if they so wish to do.

      The Tiraz Netiq in me can’t help it but cite some erudite individuals that I admire. Here is what C.S. Lewis states about praying for others and H refers to his wife’s first name Helen who was known as Joy Davidson: “I have always been able to pray for the other dead, and I still do, with some confidence. But when I try to pray for H., I halt. Bewilderment and amazement come over me. I have a ghastly sense of unreality, of speaking into a vacuum about a nonentity” (22). For me it is not whether my loved ones who passed on were, or now are nonentities. For me it is just a non sequitur. For someone begging for mercy out loud or silently on somebody’s behalf, for example, to somehow magically produce the alleviation of suffering in others is a notion I have difficulty fathoming. I know this is going to sound heretic for some of my siblings, but I must say praying for someone I intimately know is one thing but for those I have never met and never seen, I just have difficulty to pray heartily as I would for my mother, for example, whom I buried in Orange County, CA, whom I have seen in the prior night in my house in her bed; and placed her six-inches-underground the next. So, prayer is supposed to be intimately personal – the depersonalized prayer is where my difficulties lie.

      Sal, I hope you can see how absurd this seems, that praying on behalf of the dead so the divine power may have mercy on them is one good reason to see our version of religions as static. The supposition of the three monotheistic religions is that each claims the exclusive right to the heaven at the exclusion of the other. I can provide an example of prayer related absurdity in which Christianity claims that anybody who is not “saved” before he/she dies will never go to heaven. Similarly, Islam proclaims that unless one dies a Muslim the heaven won’t be available for him/her. Now, in Islam one is supposed to pray for the soul of the dead Muslim so he/she may be allowed to eventually go to heaven. Let’s use the recent notorious example of the death of Osama bin Laden; to claim that no matter what a Muslim does in this world he/she will eventually go to heaven is just beyond me to comprehend. Let alone praying for such an individual to go to heaven, I would have nothing whatsoever to do in living near such a low life if I were to totally believe in the existence of heaven and hell. To believe that Mother Teresa, no matter how angelic when she was alive, will go to hell while any Muslim, no matter how evil, will eventually go to heaven is just unfathomable at best.


      • Salyounis

        Selamat Beyan and Hayat:

        Beyan, nah, I wouldn’t worry about anybody passing a Fatwa against you. You have to have a level of fame that would attract the attention of some attention-seeking Fatwa-dispenser. At our level, somebody passes a Fatwa against you, you just declare one against him. Issum zero zero isswam zero zero in the words of some neftegna singer who was popular in 1999. (Hush, Eyob.)

        Now, since you are an American, Beyan. One of the most awesome things Americans do, when they learn of something dreadful which happened is to say, “we will keep ____ (you, him, her, them) in our prayers.” And they mean it, and they do it because they are humanitarians: they believe human beings are part of one big family*. The Imam who is asking you at the mosque to pray on behalf of some strangers you never met is telling you that they are part of your umma. And if you don’t feel the pull of the umma, well, you don’t feel it.

        The rest of the “traz neteq” stuff I will skip: other than to say that to mock the educated is part of the great pass time of the uneducated: kab mhro aemro, money doesn’t buy you happiness, etc, etc.


        Author Karen Armstrong, (I believe she is a Catholic nun), was huge in the 80s and 90s and her book with cover with a cross, a crescent and Star of David on the cover and her brand of “don’t be afraid of the Mussulman,” which was recommended reading in comparative religious studies, lost its shine in post 9-11 America. Of course, some of us believe that God lives outside history and there cannot be A History of God but a history of the man’s consciousness of God.


  • L.T

    What”Eritra is our beloved lealte Tenga-Werq,Zenebe-Werq,Tsahy”means to(1943)70 yrs on?Our affair with Ethiopia are an end shows.The aristocrat Lual Ermis Sahleslassie Hailesllasie aggressivet will never affects Eritrea bright fututre.
    We don’t trust you and our relationship there were a few years.We are in front of each other.So pls Ethiopians or Weyane we are not your comedy partner.Stop your idioticall eccentric.

    • belay

      You will be.
      Give it 2 or 3 years .The unpredictable president of yours might have surprises for you in store.
      Any way ,lets not make it people of Eritrea against people of know we are family,don’t you L.T.?
      God bless you.

      • L.T

        When Ato(Dej)Tedla Bairu Qkbit head od state of Eritrea Haile Sillasie drave him into in exile to Addis Abeba(Ras Hotle)in 1955 there your late PM Meles Zenawi born in Aduwa town in the some time.
        If you wish that Isaias will die after 2 or 3 yrs and it means you have hope in him correct that is he you want to change his mind to come to his sense to Axumat kingdom.What does mean Axum to Tenbien or Agame Awraja?Alex the great to Aten,Rom to Roma,Otman to Eritrea……?
        Ato Zewdie Retta,Dr Tekeste Negash books are to wrong way that they will lead you and Prof Bairu Tafla from Humbarg univirsty in 1990 in Bolonga admited it.
        good day!!

  • L.T

    Allen Poe born for 200 years (13/08/2013)ago.What is also new in today’s situation is not Poe.It become an ethicl dilemma for me.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Beyan Negash! You are just simply superficial. I dont think the English superficial explains you good enough. In amharic we have a good term which is called ‘Tiraz Neteq’.

    • L.T

      In Tigrigna”Risas netek”

    • Tamrat Tamrat,

      When you tag someone with adjectives you should be careful.Which part Beyan’s argument is superficial? And which part of his argument is irrelevant to our issue? If you don’t have any clue of what he is saying it is good for you to ask more clarification to understand the whole and the synthesis of the parts of his argument. In fact Beyan tried to weave the ideas of many writers with his own view to show where we are and how we should go about it. A one liner accusation doesn’t do the job. if you have the knack back it with rational argument where you agree and disgree.

    • denden


      thanks you hit the nail right on its head! you might be surprised we have them in abandance as educated and still ignorant as well as arogant bunchs.

  • Shabia way mot

    I’m a physician in canada and your symptoms indicates some un diagnos
    Psych issues. Best treatment for you is to stay away from eritrea. Why worry
    About eritrea, when u living in western country, and your master is feeding u,
    Let the real eritreans worry about eritrea

    • Mesgena

      Shabia wey Mot,

      Seems you have already determined your destination. As things stand now, shabia is in despair and what’s left is death. It seems you have opted for this.

      Also, you tried to argue that those leaving outside Eritrea are not concerned about the nation, while you, living in Canada, have a say. If you are sane, one of the following should be right. i. Canada is part of Eritrea ii. There is some place called Canada within Eritrea. iii. You are not living in Canada. If all these possibilities are false, you should be an idiot 🙂

      • gebreab

        dear Mesgena.
        No one can kill and destroy Shaebia,’cause Shaebia is the people. therefore your massa must commit genocide on all Eritreans in order to destroy and kill one can take away from is in the Eritrean blood.take it or lump it.dear Mesgina.have a nice day.and enjoy dreaming Shaebias death day in day out.

        • Danny

          If you have not heard yet, shaebia killed shaebia 29 some years ago. What you have lurking in Eritrea now is shaebia’s zombie. I hope you are clear now.

      • Beyan Negash

        selamat Mesgena,

        Succinctly logical and logically rational answer that I couldn’t have articulated it any better. yekennyellay zehawey.


    • T..T.

      Shabia way moot,

      You missing issues of central objective and pivotal factors for an acceptable govt.
      At least don’t deny treatment for your patients including ISU.

  • Ghezae Hagos

    Selam Beyan,

    Almost exactly, 13 years ago, you heralded; you wrote the introductory note. Sept.01, 2000. It is refreshing to see you back up here.

    I specifically remember your expose on ‘The Rebel’ (Camus). Many a time, I think what we miss is that ‘rebel’ Camus idealized (after 1905 failed Bolshevik revolt). But introduce one into the volatile, capricious, zeitgeist of such confusing times, things fall apart. The upset of Eritrea’s moral core ‘bewitched our horses…’

    Yet again, I am glad to see you around.

    Ghezae Hagos Berhe

  • denden

    Negash rest assured it is you and the likes of you, who are a pague and a bad stain on Eritrean society!!! No the gallant leadership or Eritrean people.