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Eritrea: Gliding With Broken Wings

The following article by the Sudanese journalist, novelist and writer, Rania Mamoun, appeared on the October, 2015 edition of the Qatari Arabic Magazine, Al-Dowha. The magazine is an exceptional informative magazine and we encourage you to visit it. Rania’s article entitled, إريـتـريـا..التَّحليق بأجنحة مكسورة “Eritrea.. Gliding with a broken wing” is translated by awate.com. On behalf of our readers, we are grateful and we thank Al-Dawha magazine for covering Eritrea and we hope it will continue to do so in the future. We also thank the brave Sudanese journalist Rania Mamoun for the great journalistic work reported in a humane and artistic manner.

We have tried to make the English translation close to the original Arabic as much as possible, however, we admit, most of the beauty of the Arabic prose is lost in the translation.


Eritrea, a homeland of passion and beauty, with picturesque nature, the land of exhilaration and warmth, yet, this country is suffocating its children, mostly the youth who dream of escaping from it.

My friend and I carried our bags; we had received many advises and warnings, importantly, and first and foremost: beware of talking about politics! The warning had raised my curiosity, I felt the advice stems from an exaggerated sense of security, if not out of a wild imagination.

We crossed the border on foot–from the city of Kassala in eastern Sudan to the first crossing point in the Eritrean territory, and we went to the office to secure an entry permit. I observed the place while we waited for the completion of the permit process: modest crossing post like the one in Kassala, a lounge with some tables and a lot of border crossing permit papers, and staff with depleted patience. Outside, a large courtyard fenced with straws and straw mats, including a shade made of straws, and several buses to transport passengers to Teseney. I didn’t feel I was in another country, the features of the faces were the same, as well as the dresses, even the language was Arabic, except for some Tigrinya words that my ears picked from time to time.

On the way to Teseney I saw the nomadic life, and the poverty in the villages that we passed through: simple, small houses, many of them inside courtyards fenced with corrugated metal sheets or straw fences–children, goats, and pack animals. Wars have exhausted this country, and its people.

We stayed at a resting place facing the transportation station, a mere, wide, fenced yard with some trees, hosting tens of families. Tens of women chatted while waiting for the arrival of the next day to travel to their respective destinations. Since I entered the place, accompanied by Meyas, we became their show, they begun to follow all our movements, our conversation, and our many questions to the workers in the place, as curiously as someone in need of a pastime. We didn’t want to stay overnight in Teseney, and we were delayed trying to find a bus that would take us to Keren—a town about four hours drive away. We rented a private car owned by a humorous person with witty comments. He spoke Arabic fluently, and memorizes many Sudanese songs, a great admirer of Zinedine Zidane the football player, so much so that he gave the full name to his son. He said that women are so flexible that they can be bent without breaking; he did not hesitate to squeeze four of us (two women and two men), in a seat that is meant for three people. He was able to absorb our anger with the beauty of his spirit.

Assailing us with his talks, he said he was happy for the serious injury on his leg which he was inflicted with in the course of performing compulsory national service. It required the care of Italian doctors who attended to him for several months. However, he was thankful for his leg injury, because of which he was free. These words stuck in my mind, and it will be part of my enquiries during my journey in Eritrea; the foremost concern and the motive of my journey was the Eritrean person. The beauty of the place is important, but it is the human being who gives anyplace its soul and its individual emotions.

***
The road to Keren via Barentu, and Agordat, and others, is mountainous, like most snaking roads, towering in high altitudes and linking the Eritrean cities. And it is very dangerous: on one side there is a deep escarpment, on the other, an ancient mountain. However, despite its gravity, it is covered and adorned with beauty: it’s graced by a blanket of lush greenery, beauty and magnificence, mountain goats and monkeys that continuously emerge from nowhere, and spread over hundreds of meters on the edge of the road, and the mountain, killing boredom with the spectacular scenery of passing cars and their passengers.

Martyrs’ graves are distributed on the outskirts of the cities where it’s possible for the travelers to see them, as if a hand spread to welcome and shake the hands of those entering the city, or a hand gesturing to them upon leaving—graves that do not care about the religion of the martyr, embracing both Muslims and Christians; everyone is the same in sacrifice. I felt the high regard with which Eritreans hold the martyrs of the revolution which was launched in September, 1961, to achieve independence.

Keren, the beautiful city, is a quiet organized place, nestled in the bosom of the hills, whose major inhabitants are the Blin people. The city has relatively low residential buildings, that are well taken care of, its paved streets are clean, it has abundant greenery and is embraced by the sun with a special form of rays that are in harmony with the overwhelming white coated city—Keren looked like a piece of a smooth and transparent cloud.

In order to reserve rooms in the hotel, first we had to go to the police station and register ourselves! This procedure surprised us very much, but, it is imperative that we do what we should, and we thought: This is one of the manifestations of a police state.

In the morning we went to the “Mewefar”, the transportation station, where the buses heading to Asmara and other cities gather. In a wide courtyard lined on either side by shops that sell snacks, water, soda, we found a “riga” [que], or a row, to reserve a place for each of us in order to board to the low-cost government bus. The que was a line of stones, empty water bottles, soda bottles, old shoes, bags, cigarette packs, plastic bags stabilized by weight stones—you can put anything available under your feet in the line to reserve a place. The line becomes long, at times straight, and sometimes it meanders, but, despite the chaos, each one remembers his place, though I do not know how they remember which one is theirs among the similar things; you may find three bottles of water of the same color, behind each other: whose turn is first and whose is next?!

However, the problem was not in the que but in that strange man, or governor of the “Mewefar” as we called him, who whimsically lined up the people, and allowed them to board for travel in the same manner; he yells at all, calls whomever he wants, and fills the bus with them, then changes his mind and orders them to get off the bus, and lines them up once more, and suddenly he declares: no one will board the bus—repeating such act more than once. Actually he was in control of everyone, taking them from one place to another; the travelers follow him around, he talks to them, rather, he yells at them, and they talk to him, and we do not understand what they were saying, or what was happening!

He carried a pen, marking their hands with it, and instructs them to remain in a specific place. He is a short man, shaggy hair, sharp features, anxious movement, walks in quick steps, in confusion, he acted in an exaggerated oppressive manner as if taking out his rage on them.

We were moving back and forth to the station, under the hot sun, and scarce shade, and time was running on us, we stayed for nearly two hours in a hopeless situation, to no avail. Finally, we cursed the government buses and the mad employee, and we decided to rent a private vehicle to take us to Asmara.

***

Asmara is charming city, its beauty is breathtaking, rising to 2300 [meters] above sea level, unique in its European style architecture, Italian marks, African mood, and its beautiful Eritrean features, the people dress in European costume, and others in traditional attire, which is overwhelmed by White colors.

It is difficult for one not to fall in love with Asmara, the city whose mornings are saturated with dew, carrying the smell of coffee and tenderness of mothers, the city of prayer calls and bells, mosques and churches, steadfastness and challenges, patience and oppression, poverty and riches. Asmara, the calm witness to blessed love stories, of lovers, and gestures with hints.

We did not feel alienated in the middle of the black faces. The place and its features has changed, but the friendliness overflowing from the eyes made us feel the welcome. The Eritrean people are friendly, kind, refined, and hospitable. Samson (or is it Samir) whom we met at a restaurant insisted that we share his food, he was also not thrifty in sharing with us the details of his life. He, just like the city, embodies the differences. His ancestors came from Mecca 700 years ago as Muslims, and part of their grandchildren remained that way, while Samson, or Samir, the Eritrean Arab, who carries two names, is a Muslim and a Christian at the same time—something that prompted question from all of us.

One of the rituals of visiting Asmara is the promenade, even for one time, in Campo Citato, or the Liberty Street, the heart of the city whose streets are lined with palm trees, and on its sides, shops, government buildings, restaurants and cafes. Many hotels overlooking the street surrounded it for the convenience of tourists, since the street is a place of major attraction.

In that street is the Asmara Cathedral, or St. Joseph (1922). An everlasting and magnificent architectural icon, in the middle of the leisurely street and its attached buildings. At the entrance of the Cathedral is a platform that is reached through a flight of stairs that start from the sidewalk. But the stairs are not used to be scaled or just for landing at the platform. Sitting on one of the steps is fun, and hope. There, one follows, visually, the cars, and watches the surrounding buildings, and the banners on the buildings written in Tigrinya or Arabic, or English. One may have a packet full of freshly roasted peanuts, or a water bottle that one slowly drinks from, observing the passers-by who choke the street, as they come and go, in different attires, ranging from the traditional to the modern, and of different ages though overwhelmingly young.

That platform is a waiting place for a friend or a lover, it is a place for invigorating the lungs, and conscience, a place for reflection and contemplation, watching Eritreans patiently waiting for the coming of a transportation vehicle, where the bus is filled and overflows. I followed the steps of an elderly woman in a traditional dress, a wide white dress, and “netsela”, white cotton fabric with embroidered colored edges, predominantly in red, carrying things that she spread on the ground, and in a few minutes she sat down on a small stone, and displayed her wares in front of her: cigarettes, tissue paper, and nuts. Close by, a young girl, with whom we established a silent friendly connection and exchanged smiles every time I glanced at her in a place, near Cafe Diana, also exhibited items on the ground: sunglasses of different colors and shapes.

Not far from Campo Citato street and the cathedral, there stands the Khulaf’a Al Rashideen Mosque, which accommodates ten thousand worshipers, and which was built in 1900, and renovated in 1936, and is one of the most prominent landmarks of Asmara for its quality of construction and the splendor of its design and its religious status.

In Campo Citato Street, the cafes are full of patrons, especially on holidays, and it would be difficult to find a table, or even a chair from the seats and tables spread in the open air, or inside the café. If you find one, that must be a rare occasion, and you are surrounded by the sounds and laughter, different scents, and you feel elated if a Tigrinya word knocks at your ears and you happen to know the meaning of the word–and familiarity increases.

Intriguing advertising signs on the wall along the opposite side of the street invoked my surprise. They were not announcements of public concerts, or movies showing in cinemas, or art galleries, but displayed announcements of social events, of marriage and death. The announcements of death may also be accompanied by an image of the deceased. Probably it is due to the difficulty of communication between the people; there is only a single communication company operating, and it is government-owned. In addition, there are controls for owning a mobile phone card—which is not allowed except for a certain category of people!

One day, while sitting in front of the cathedral, I saw Hassan who got off his bicycle and came towards me. It occurred to me that Eritreans like riding bicycles a lot. It’s the forty-years old Hassen, our Eritrean friend who collected all his dreams and hang them on a rope of hope with a single peg: to be a trucker on the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway after he leaves Eritrea. Hassan loves driving, most of his talks are about that and about cars, and his memories are of the time when he was a truck driver in Sudan, and between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He memorizes the distances between all of the Eritrean cities, in kilometers. He awaits the day he would be able to leave the country and reach Khartoum, without falling into the hands of the human trafficking gangs.

Eritrean youth suffer from a harsh and impossible situation that results in human tragedies, in the seas and deserts and the borders, under which Eritrean refugees and migrants live. The youth are unable to leave the country legally, unless they are released or they complete their indefinite compulsory national service. The youth may spend more than half of their lives in the service (either military or civilian), and that stretches for years, it increases but doesn’t decrease, though in many countries, the period of compulsory service ranges between 12 and 36 months, as a maximum.

I asked Feven (a nice girl) who would later invite us to her home, about the period she spent so far in the service. She said, after checking to the left and right over her shoulder: 3 years. And when will you be released? She replied in sadness: I do not know… No one knows.

Then I also glanced to my sides, Meyas did the same, and Hassen was continuously glancing; everyone here glances to the left and to the right when anything concerning the government is mentioned, no matter how insignificant. Is the sense of insecurity prevalent in our homelands to this extent?

In her simple and intimate home, we met her mother, Akhberet, who was, together with her husband, a combatant in the liberation struggle—there is a picture of them sitting on an elevated ground, smiling brightly with hope, young and beautiful, with guns close by. She told us about her years in the struggle during the coffee ceremony, inside the room, made carefully and with special rituals of love. We sipped the coffee, and after each sip, we said, “Teoum Bun”. Later on, in the same room, we ate a very delicious food called Hilbet, which is made of on injera (bread), a mixture of yogurt, some marinating ingredients, and stew full of hot spices.

***

In a permanent exhibition in Asmara, we met two young artists: Semander Yosief, and Abel Gebrai; they were exhibiting their paintings, paintings that centered around the life of the Eritrean person as their theme. The paintings of Semander were about the nine nationalities of Eritrea, portraits, or captured moments of life, about cultivation or grazing. While Abel’s paintings focused on the sensations and emotions, as a portrait of a man looking far ahead, stretched lips, and with clear determination, or a girl gathering her dress around her body, an obvious pain on her face, as if trying to shelter herself from the brunt of the severe pain she felt.

Despite the beauty of all the paintings, one that had most effect on me was the one with two intermingled bodies, two bodies of lovers, friends, brothers, sisters, or a mother hugging her son after his survival and return from a shipwreck, kidnapping, or death. Abel named the painting, “REUNION”.

He said: We are suffering from fragmentation and separation due to the constant escape; so, I painted this painting.

Abel coined the longings and dreams of Eritrean to meet those they who parted, those who went far away, when the chances of their survival is negligible compared to the inevitability of their demise, but nevertheless they leave! Eritrean youth escape towards death while escaping from what’s worse: a miserable life.

***

Three women came in: two were above fifty-year-old, wearing traditional dress, a white dress and large white scarves; the third was a young girl in her twenties, wearing black pants and a blue blouse. They entered the night club shyly, and hesitantly; one of the women covered part of her face with her scarf, and the second carried a picture of a young man in his early twenties. Under the picture was a text of some Tigrinya phrases, and the young girls carried an open bag, inside it were some Nakfa bills.

Shortly after they entered, the music stopped, and something was said over the loudspeaker, and then came the waitress to help them talk with people around the tables, even though the event does not need talking.

The women’s faces wore excess of grief, pain, and modesty, and they looked anxious. They were moving, the three of them, slowly and silently, from one table to another, to collect donations. They were carrying the photograph of the kidnapped son of one of the women and the brother of the girl; his kidnappers had demanded a ransom that the parents, the family and the whole village were unable to collect: thousands of dollars.

I did not dare look in the mother’s eye when they arrived at our table, who dares to look in the eye of a grieving mother?! I felt ashamed, complete helplessness and sadness engulfed me, I trembled from the pain, I felt like an excited blade was cutting through my heart, and the malevolent blade stuffing pepper in the wounds, and then smile.

In rage I wanted to cry, that’s what Hassen did in Massawa, after we watched a documentary film about the tragedy of the Eritrean refugees; if they succeed in crossing the Eritrean border, there awaits them kidnapping gangs, or they are deported, or they are held for a ransom, or they are sold, or their body parts are extracted and they are left to bleed to death in the desert, or they are shot, or are swallowed by sharks in the sea.

Hassan, still crying, said: he did not want his kidneys to be stolen, or to die in that manner. Nevertheless, he wants to escape.

***

When we were walking around Massawa, I felt I was wandering in a history book, between its yellow pages where time left its footsteps: in the buildings, and in the homes, especially in old-Massawa, and in the streets; so did the war. Effects of all of that manifested in what I saw and sensed of the city, and my modest knowledge about it, though it has remained in my memory since the school days, as the city that opened its arms for Islam and the religious migrants who were seeking security in it.

In old-Massawa there is the Sahaba Mosque, whitewashed, with windows and a small wooden gate. Part of the courtyard is fenced with corrugated metal sheets, and consists of two buildings, above one is a minaret, and between them a courtyard. At first, I thought the mosque was built after the migration of some of the companions to Massawa, but now I am uncertain.

There are also crumbling stone houses, with rickety wooden doors, or rusty metal sheets, I thought of them as abandoned houses until I saw a child of about 3 years, standing on one of the doors.

At the other side of the city, at a modern style entrance, three tanks snatched by the rebels majestically stands on a dark marble base, including the first tanks that was seized in August, 1978, in the area of Addomzemat, south of Asmara.

On the way to Massawa, the ability of human determination expresses itself in taming nature; a road cuts through the mountains, rippling through it as ornaments on the edges of a leisurely walking bride’s dress, a road that gets you closer to the sky, hovering in the clouds, you throw away your worries, and be immersed in the pleasure of viewing. Watching the mountains, trees and villages scattered at that height, reaching to the roofs, a virgin life, in balance with nature, coexisting in harmony. We saw the shepherds behind their herds, women, carrying firewood on their heads and thinking of what to cook for their children that day, and children curiously standing to watch the cars, smiling, waving, while wearing that plastic shoe named “Shidda” of which we saw a monument in the Shidda Square in Asmara, which was built to commemorate it, because the rebels wore that shoe during the years of the revolution, from 1961 to 1991.

The beauty of the road and its greenery inspired an appetite for dreaming within us, each one of us followed their dreams, without the fear of the precipitating rain, or the fog that blocked our vision and compounded the risk of the road and its many narrow bends, and limited our vision to less than a meter. But the car continued ahead through the dangers, without worrying about the possibility of an imminent death, we continued in our dreams, in our aspirations and memories, and our feelings flowed, and we thought about loved ones, and inside the heart sat a concealed melancholy, about the person of a country named Eritrea, who began his journey towards it with curiosity and passion, and finished it with love. But the heart that went there is not the same as the heart that returned.

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  • Araya

    Hi All: I am looking for Nitirc to share this news with him personally. You know how the Tigryans brag on their economic achivment and there was Nitricc to pull them back to reality. he never failed to remind the Ethiopians to feed their people first. He called it. Ayyyyyy Enda weyane. Limena eyu Bahlom. the culture of begging never ends.

    “Finally Hailemariam Desalegn Appeals for Food Aid”

    http://ecadforum.com/2015/10/14/finally-hailemariam-desalegn-appeals-for-food-aid/

    • Nitricc

      Hi Araya, what is up, long time. Now, why are you doing this? hahahah. I haven’t followed awate for a few days. I am on assignment and I was doing my work silently and then, here you are calling me out and pull me in. well, what can I tell you? The Ethiopian leaders are not only the embarrassment of Africa but the entire humanity.
      For the life of me, I will never understand how Ethiopia is hungry and begging the world to feed them? Yet, they will barge how their economy is growing and how they are building high rise apartments. The most basic and human thing to do is to feed your people. Wow!
      In a way; I can understand, they have neither drive nor vision. Once they used to bagging, it become an addiction. If not, to grow food all it takes is three basic things. You need People to do the work; fresh water and fertile land. Guess what? Ethiopia is blessed with the three parts I have mentioned. Then why are they hungry and begging?
      Their fresh water concede cowardly to Egypt and Egypt is preparing to do whatever it takes arming themselves with Rafale and Alligator, while watching every movement of the Ethiopians through satellite and what do the Ethiopians do? They are busy harassing Eritrea. If the Ethiopians had a leader with a single thinking cell, then, solve what ever you with Eritrea. Take Eritrea of the equation! The more you harass Eritrea the greater the chance for Egypt to manipulate Eritrea. But Ethiopians have no leaders.
      .
      Their fertile land is handed to every Shakkar from India. Instead of mobilizing their own people and go to work; their human capital is wasted. It gets worst; If naming your own dream liner; a pride of your nation, Taj Mahal is not embarrassing enough; now, the Ethiopians haired 20 Chinese to serve in the foreign named dream liner.
      What I don’t get is this; Ethiopians are the most beautiful people with beautiful women in Africa, what is the need to hair the Chinese? Why not give those opportunities to your own people? Why not change for the better one person’s life at the time and those opportunities could have used by the Ethiopians themselves. By my own estimation; there are over 60% unemployed youth in Ethiopia. I figure that if in the USA 18% youth is unemployed; it is not that hard to estimate 60% for Ethiopia.
      Now can anyone make sense out of what the senseless Ethiopian leaders are doing?
      I know one delusional Ethiopian will come out and will tell me it was a business decision.

      Hey Araya, whatever happened to the space program that Meqelle University supposed launch? Hahahahahahh, lol. Please feed your people! jjjjjjjjj
      be back next week.

  • AOsman

    PTS,

    I did not follow the football match against Botswana, well some of our players are absconding Eritrea now. I thought they solved the problem?

    http://www.thevoicebw.com/2015/10/14/some-eritrea-players-remain-in-francistown/

    Regards
    AOsman

    • saay7

      Hey AOsman:

      It appears (preliminary reports, not confirmed, but sounds logical) that the “team” (it is not a team; it is a group) was a hybrid between the Diaspora-based and Eritrea-based players. And the Eritrea-based players, like all previous Red Sea football team members, are the ones who have asked for asylum in Botswana.

      saay

  • saay7

    Hey Addis:

    So help out a brotha here. Does “addey” have a meaning in Amharic or it’s the Tigrinya word we know?

    saay

    • አዲስ

      Saay,

      I think the name of the stadium is after Meskel daises. If you see the design, it has some element of the flower on its facade. But I believe the “Adey” is still Tigrinya. May be you can tell us why the Meskel daises are named “Adey Abeba” if you know.

      Thanks,
      Addis

    • Eyob Medhane

      Sal & Addis,

      Again, I just took a break from my cave, to answer your questions.. :-)..

      Sal, it is not aDDey, (mother in Tigrigna) it is Adey. It is a rarely used Amharic word, which means “Wagahta” in Tigrigna or it’s synonymous word in Amharic is “Wegagen”.

      Addis, Adey is translated like above and as far as I know only we use that word for the flower, because it comes ones a year, when “yeKiremtu chelema alfo, yebegaw birhan simeta yemitay abeba silehone” – :-)… You made me look up Aleqa Taye’s Amharic dictionary to answer your question… 🙂

      • አዲስ

        Eyoba,

        Thanks for the good work Eyoba 🙂 I always thought Adey comes from Tigrinya. Now I know.

        Do you like that name for the new Stadium in Addis ?

        Thanks,
        Addis

      • saay7

        Selamat Eyob:

        This is why we love you here at awate. You are a walking encyclopedia, when you stick to the stuff you know, he said with his back-handed compliment.

        But seriously, thanks! I had no clue about the Amharic adey which I guess would mean “bloom”? No?

        Back to your Tora Bora*

        Saay

        * note to NSA: it’s a joke. Geez.

    • Saleh Johar

      Saay,
      I hope our Ethiopian friends do not make fun of me, particularly Abi, but I have a story with Adey Abeba (not the Tigrinya Addey Abeba, but the “a” is very short sound).

      The first time I went to Addis, I saw Adey Abeba Shahi Bet, Adey Abeba Tej Bet, Adey Abebe Hotel Bet (hotel means restaurant by the way), adey Abebe Suq. I was surpised by the Adey Abeba signage which was everywhere. First I thought it was a franchise but the majority of the places were shabby and no franchise would have that image. Then I concluded, Adey Abeba must be a traditional woman and wondered how wealthy she was. The day I disclosed that in Kuwait, among Ethiopians, they had the biggest laugh of their life.

  • dawit

    Dear Keshi Ezra,
    Thank you for the Blessings. Please understand my position. I am not challenging you to prove what you mean. I don’t know you personally, but I have known about you a lot in the past. I have a copy of your book Kenisha and I have read it twice. It is a wonderful historical record book, mainly for Eritreans but also for Ethiopians, It records the long standing relationship from the Lutheran perspectives. I was simply requesting your help as respected pastor in both communities to mend the fragmented lives in both communities. I am requesting all our religious leaders to take active rolls in guiding their flocks to love one another and make peace in this confusing times.
    Regards,
    dawit

    • Ezra Gebremedhin

      Thank you, Dawit! You have given me further food for thought.
      Blessings
      Ezra

  • saay7

    Hey PTS:

    You are a bit behind on your Tigrinya usage:) Qomelti, nit-pickers, are hyper-analyst. They analyze things that should not be analyzed.

    And, yeah, you got carried away in your prediction: that was your heart talking. One of the Assembled-in-Diaspora players actually described the loss as if it is the result of the first half. His point being that Eritrea will face Botswana again. We shall see, said the blind man. I am trying to figure out how in Dawits Sunday sermon this will translate into “Eritrea is #1.” I am guessing #1 to have a national team entirely composed of Diaspora.

    saay

  • saay7

    Hey Addis:

    Happy Sunday! I actually had already seen it and shared it with my Qomelti friends. Since you think I pick on Ethiopia (lqeqen ebakeh, were your words I believe), here’s something that shows we Eritreans can laugh at ourselves, assuming you didn’t understand the commentary in Tigrignya:

    Commentator 1: Botswana gets a corner shot because last touch was by Eritrean player.
    Commentator 2: There is no danger [of a goal.]. We say this because our defenders are quite good at this, they have practiced for it. Moreover, the opposing team, is not known for its skills in across kicks.
    Pause.
    Botswana kicks. Header heads to another header, who heads it. Goal. Ayer b-ayer. Or as the commentator 1 says “shuto!”
    Then the punch line. The goal is scored by a player named Weyana. And the coup de grace, commentator 2 says that yeah we had warned against this.

    I expect a full article about this at aigaforum.

    saay

    • Mahmud Saleh

      MerHab SAAY
      Easy on wondmochachen EtioPiawyan! Well, here is where the story should be tilted, a bit gently. The camel starts sluggishly but then keeps steady pace. If the trend of our diaspora athletes continues (playing for their flag), and if the national team does not abscond (following the other trend), the camel will surely arrive at the goal post before abi finished counting his cows that had been stolen by Ted.
      Good Sunday.

      • Abi

        Hi Mahmud
        Which goal post are you talking about? I believe it is your own goal post, right?
        The camels were sluggish beginning to end. Some of them travelled for more than a week to play at home. They don’t know each other by name. They go by number.
        “Anta shimike manyu?”
        “Ane quTr selste ebahal”
        “Gurum, ane quTr kilite ebahal.”
        Ajoka!!!!!
        My Tigrigna is better than any one of them.

        • Pass the salt

          Lol Abi,
          Is that how the Walyas greet eachother?
          Btw, what happened to them? They were making impressive progress the last several years.
          Every East African team sucks at soccer. They should quit and focus on athletics.

          • saay7

            Hey PTS:

            I wonder if there is a co-relationship between African soccer and the Mo Ibrahim Index:

            https://mobile.twitter.com/saayounis/status/651231701302022145

            Saay

          • PTS

            SAAY,
            There is no question qovernance has impact on soccer. The full extent can be easily studied.
            Did you notice, btw, the contrast btn Botswana(top5) and Eritrea(bottom5)?
            Ps How come I didn’t know ‘qomelti’ has another meaning? Sounds freshly assembled.

          • saay7

            Hey PTS:

            Ok, fine, it’s freshly-assembled. You have heard of “zereba aytuqmel”, that’s do not hyper-analyze speech. So people who do that are “qomelti” not to be confused with “qomalat” or “qmalam”.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            PTS,

            I had to come back from my hideout to respond to you.. 🙂

            I thought, these are east African countries?

            http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/y=2015/m=10/news=ethiopia-kenya-tanzania-advance-to-second-round-2710862.html

            Please don’t rely on tesfanews for information. I just read on their website saying “….Isn’t it weird all east African teams are lost…?”… A statement, which is totally devoid of facts. I know what they want to justify by saying that, but..I really don’t want you to emulate them.. 🙂

          • PTS

            Eyob,
            Alright.The Walyas punished little Sao Tome. Big deal. You do concede they’ve regressed a lot, I mean a lot, since under Bishaw, right?
            It is still true that soccer is not for East Africa. It is a West African thing, almost inherently.
            Having said that, you are right the notorious Tesfa News can not be taken seriously with any news about Ethiopia, or Eritrea for that matter.

          • Abi

            Hi PTS
            I will pass the massage.

      • saay7

        Selamat Mahmuday:

        Actually, at this stage, only nostalgia for my youth compel me to watch soccer. Otherwise, it’s one painfully slow game, particularly after one discovers American football and basketball where something is happening every second. In other words, once again, Nitricc is right.

        Saay

    • አዲስ

      Saay,

      Did you see we kicked some unknown ass today? Sao Tome…. we are good like that 🙂 Thanks for the humorous translation. And of course I like your playful picking on Ethiopia. Keep them coming 🙂

      Btw, this is a good luck message from Eritrean Football Federation to his counterpart in Ethiopia. Eski antem kesu yilmedebeh. 🙂

      https://twitter.com/Tesfayegebreye/status/652968473224679424

      Thanks,
      Addis

      • saay7

        Hi Addis:

        …. well, allow me to retort… with a timeline:

        9/27/15: Haha Eyob:

        Why do you want to give poor Abi a heart attack on a Sunday. Your four super stars, Walid Ata, Salahadin Said, Omer Ukuir and Getaneh Kebede, all play for ARAB countries. For Areboch. You know how much he hates Arabs. Do they like have to take extra showers before they touch the holy Ethiopian soil? And, dude, Sao Tome (population: less 200 thousand)? If you lose to them..oh boy.

        +++++

        10/8 Sao Tome Shock Ethiopia

        10/8 – 10/10: Eyob disappears

        10/11: Ethiopia Avenge Loss With A 3-0 Victory

        10/11: Eyob resurfaces from his cave.

        saay

        • አዲስ

          Hi Saay,

          You like timelines 🙂 how do you know Eyob was not busy advising Yohannes Sahle on how to reverse the shock loss ? 🙂

          Btw, all the players you mentioned were not part of the team this time around which cause a bit of controversy in the country.

          Thanks,
          Addis

          • saay7

            Ok fine, Addis:

            Here’s Henok Goitom. We still got it, if only…

            https://www.facebook.com/100009152051365/videos/1496252280689826/

            saay

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            Here are highlights of Ethiopia-Sao game, where Ethiopia scored 2 goals and 1 offsite. Just kidding, 3 genuine goals.

            http://youtu.be/zHbX8_e7nd4

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Saay,

            Yeah I saw that. Thanks. Our commentators are the worst though 🙂

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            Whaaaaaa? U mean u didn’t like “ahun chewetaw tejemere”? At least your guys call a goal by its universal name, gooooooooal. Our guys went to the Department of Literal Translation and say “sheto”. How do you even stretch that? Shetoooooooooo? It sounds like u are calling it smelly.

            Also, “Asmara Stadium” used to be called “Queen Sheba” when I was growing up but everybody called it Cicero. I wonder what the young gen calls it.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Hey Sal,

            It’s me from my cave again… 🙂

            Sal, you and your time line keeping..Well, Coach Yohannes, has made some big decisions this time and took out big names that you mentioned Getaneh Kebede, Omod Ukuri and the giant Salhadin Seid. (I think the fact that they are being punished for playing for Arab clubs.. 🙂 (I am joking)…Kokhob’s cousin Walid is injured and missed this games, so Yohannes Sahele had to play the las two games with a team that was made up entirely domestic players.. unlike…. 🙂

            Eriitrea team,

            My assessment of the “Cameles” ( Please guys do something about that moniker) is that they actually did not do that bad..Imagine this guys, as Abi said, let alone to have a coordinated game, I don’t even think they learned eachother’s names correctly. With such a team, to lose 2-0 to Botswana is really not bad….

            Your football federation president is a very classy man. He wished good luck to Junedin Basha, Ethiopia’s football Fed. president. That was very nice of him,,

            I have heard it, from very reliable sources a player, who was said certain will play for Eritrea’s team and was actually expected to play with your Botswana game did not join the “Cameles”, because he actually was drafted by the Walyas, and in fact chose to join Walya…His paper work with Fifa is being cleared out and he is expected with our second leg with Lesotho in March, I think, I would refrain to mention his name now, but Sal, When I do, it will be with an epic rant against Kebessa.. (Again)…… 🙂

          • saay7

            Hey Eyob:

            I knew which particular cave buster I had to use to get you out. 🙂

            Congrats on the win!

            The original name of the national team was Red Sea and the players were called Red Sea Boys. But boys will be boys and they kept absconding. Isaias had two choices: to implant chips in them or use anklets. Or form a group of Diaspora kids who are enamored with all things Sahel and called them Camels. This is because the Red Sea Tortoises was already taken. Uggg

            As you known many of the sports teams in the U.S. are named after animals (colts, broncos, Eagles, Hawks, lions…) that signify strength, grace, agility and are supposed to strike fear and loathing into their opponents. I don’t know if a sports team named “camel” gets more than a giggle: slow and graceless (please constrain Mahmud: he is coming after me.). So obviously I agree and I wish they would drop the name.

            Will wait for your seber zena. Please go easy with your Kebesa rants. I recommend you read Pinks book on motivation: it’s called “Drive.” And insulting, humiliating is not in the list of tools to use to modify people’s behavior. What? Physician heal thyself? I am trying.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Saay.

            Haha “sheto” sounds funny but if you watch Ethiopia play, the commentaries will make you really mad. Now I am past getting mad and laugh at the ridiculous things they say.

            Have you heard the stadium that’s going to be build in Addis will be named “Adey Abeba Stadium” ?

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            “Is that a typo and you meant to say ‘Addis Abeba’ and not ‘Adey Abeba’,” he asked with great trepidation.

            saay

  • Abi

    Hi Addis
    The Red Sea Camels do not do well in ” away” games. Let’s hope they do better at home games in front of their people.

    • አዲስ

      Abi,

      Is Asmara Stadium an away venue for the Red Sea Camels ? 🙂

      Thanks,
      Addis

      • Abi

        Addise
        Is Asmara Stadium an away venue for the camels? Well, if the camels took a looooong camel flight /ride to go to their stadium, what do you call it? My question is how many of the camels apply for asylum in Asmara ?
        BTW, Saay didn’t watch the camels play. He was at Addis Ababa Stadium dancing with the Sudanese singer. As always, he outsmarted everybody.
        Mahmud , the camel herder was cheering the camels he never new existed. Ajoka! Enkid! Jigna Camels! No response from the camels because none of them understood Tigrigna. The only thing they heard him say was ” enashenfalen”. The coach, the only one who speak Tigrigna said ” eway derg metsiyu “.
        Sign language was the common language of the camels.
        Phew!

        • አዲስ

          Abi,

          Haha I didn’t know that.I hope at least they enjoyed the beautiful Asmara 🙂

          Thanks,
          Addis

  • dawit

    Dear Keshi Ezra,

    I also like to join Sabri in welcoming you to AT discussions rather Eritreans argument forum. In your first “impulsive act” respond to Rania’s article you wrote this words “Let soft, sensitive, colour-rich Eritrean voices too speak to us. We need healing”. I am wondering, if you as trained pastor and respected Eritrean, can add your soft colorful Eritreans voices to facilitate healing among Eritreans and also Ethiopians.
    Best Regards,
    dawit

  • saay7

    Hey Halew

    I am all for family re-unions, but not in jail. Aytezarbena bejakaha

    “Red Sea Lions” sounds like a category in jeopardy. for 200, Alex, “what are the fewest words you can use to annoy Abi?”

    PTS, sorry to disappoint but no guts: I have never seen these guys play, don’t know their coach, don’t even know if they live in the same state.

    saay

    • halew

      Sal,

      Yes you. You don’t think you are special, do u? You fill that Tasa forum ( the more genuine you are the better) like any body else and just like what your mom (RIP) said, we will say “Kemsebu” 🙂 But seriously it is not like what you guys make Eritrea or the Gov look like. Genuinely think of going there and may be teach, voluntary summer class, or teach the Shabait guys some English. Just do something, contribute something. New way of thinking 🙂

    • Abi

      Saay
      I’m glad you have a diaspora soccer team.
      Now I play them in fifa 16. Last time I played your team in fifa 15 they disappeared after the first game.
      It is a relief.

      Good luck for the RSC!

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Hello Dogali
    Thanks for that. I know that reality is sinking fast. YG has been kicked hard by true Ethiopians like you to suck it up. Hayat Adem didn’t fare better, thanks to abi &Co. The latest casualty has been V.F.or mizaan, or Mizaan1, or. ..there is a good chance he will come back assuming another nick. Yes, Dogali, I agree the umbilical cord has been severed in 1991 when the gallant EPLA demolished the most feared durg army, huletegna abyotawi serawit. But we still have very delusional Eritreans who continue to be in deep confusion. The faster they realize that Eritrea has made its decision not to look back the better we would be doing in focusing on the main mission.
    Hold on, I didn’t know you guys could also copy our landmarks. When did Dogali moved to the South, anyway? Or this is the miracle work of the new 3D technology?

    • Abyssinia

      Hi Mahmud,
      Dogali is a symbol of heroism, a spirit. And it is never Eritrean, it is Ethiopian through and through. Eritrea is an alien concept that started after Dogali and there is no way Eritrea can claim ownership of Dogali. After all, Eritreans willingly disowned everything before Italy lest the “beauty” of colonialism gets watered down.

    • Rahwa T

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      I single word attracted my attention to your comment. Here in Ethiopia we believe that there are historically significant “Landmarks” that are placed in what is the current “State-of-Eritrea”. Places such Doga’Ali, Qua’Atit, Sehati and Kufit and many others will shine forever in our history. I am sure you know these places, although judging from your comment, you don’t seem to know what had happened before 140 years within them. Sure, the monument that symbolizes its history for Ethiopians is no longer standing there, and replaced with another one for a different reason.

      So if Dogali is a landmark for Eritrea, could you tell me its historical or political importance?

      Cheers!

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear Rahwa T
        Selam kemey, geHan ‘do? Well, you could add Keren to your list provided Gadi gives you the consent. Hey, sometimes, I do throw jokes. Take it easy, my wayaneyti heroine…haha.

        • Rahwa T

          Dear Mahmud,

          Thanks for adding Keren to the list, but I am not asking the land (as the people is not mine) and I know Gadi will not allow me to have it. He can’t deny me the history, anyways.

          I thought you would say a bit about Dogali, though I know it was not a landmark to the EPLFites.Of course, I shouldn’t have missed that you are specialist in narrating stories of contemporary Eritrea.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear RahwaT

            Why don’t you stick to things you could have control over? You see, I know how smart you are, but hey, you are only as smart as any human being, yes? So, what happens to us when we want to deviate from things we know little about? We make mistakes. Now, you have made a mistake and I will correct you, dear Rahwa. EPLF, long before it was able to stand up straight on its feet and was able to train our glorious wayane, it had grown up in and around Dogali, EPLF bled hundreds of times in and around Dogali. And for your information (this is just for you), I’m from a place not too far from Dogali. So what’s the fuss for the legendary EPLF about Ras Alula with 7000 men (many of them Eritreans) annihilating a force of 500 Italians?
            Well, here is how EPLF story about Dogali is told by an Ethiopian General. Enjoy.
            http://www.tubechop.com/watch/6998566

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Mahmud,

            Thank you very much. Sorry if I was interrupting you guys.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Rahwa,
            I have no power or mandate to deny you anything, you can claim Karen, Dogalli (Dag Ali, by the way) you can even claim Korea and Congo where Ethiopian troops fought but that would be like the Japanese claiming Manchuria in China where they committed a genocide 🙂

            Seriously though, Rahwa, why do we need such abrasive provocation ? We can do without being creative at getting to the nerves of others, you as an Ethiopian claiming Any part of Eritrea is healthy considering what the two countries went through.

            Thanks though for, at least, asking my consent before claiming Keren 🙂

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Saleh,

            To be honest I am not interested to be disruptive. My problem is I am curious to know peoples new thinking. I am sorry you couldn’t see why I raised this history. If you still couldn’t see my point, please tell me more so that I will refrain in my future comments.

            selam

    • PTS

      Mahmuday,
      Trump says his openents in the campaign trail go down the tubes if and when they attack him. There is some truth to that. There is also plenty of truth anti Gedli commenters call it quits in frustration. The backlash could prove draining. I realize it is beneficial to examine Ghedli once in a while, I think the problem is more burning issues take the front seat, rendering the Ghedli discussion less relevant, and at times irritating.
      Now to a more serious business. Tomorrow’s game in Asmara Stadium will be a close call. In the end? Eritrea 2 Botswana 1.

      • saay7

        Hey PTS:

        In case you are wondering where Eyob is, he was either, like me, a little too busy to write or afraid to face the taunting he would get here for Ethiopia’s defeat by Sao Tome (http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/y=2015/m=10/news=sao-tome-shock-ethiopia-liberia-held-by-guinea-bissau-2710307.html)

        Eritrea’s “Red Sea Camels” are mostly Diaspora players; looks like the Isaias government has solved the problem of athletes never returning back home by just changing the definition of home.

        saay

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Marhab abusalah
          By the way, your retreat produced another excellent article. I have been bogged down in addressing hagerawi and ahgurawi gudayat. But I will pencil a TBS commentary soon.
          Now coming to IA changing the definition of”home”, I think he copied it from the opposition which seems to have changed the definition of home by making the diaspora its home.
          GO RED SEA Camels!! Enashenfallen! !

          • halew

            Mahmud,

            IA changing the definition of home? Tomorrow when our Red Sea heros did miracles like their brothers and sisters in cycling, don’t come singing it is not IA 🙂

            Eritrea is home to any Eritrean whether he/she comes back after a short trip or after a decade. That is the beauty of Eritrea that you ppl are missing out 🙂

            Less talking, stop moaning, go serve your nation according its needs not according to your diaspora spoiled demands 🙂

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Hello Gud
            Yes, I will come singing “It’s not IA!” It’s Eritreans who are used to doing miracles against all ODDS. You know my mantra, “All the good things belong to the hardworking people of Eritrea, and despite THE despicable leadership of IA. And all the bad things (aka ግዕዘይ) belongs to PFDJ.

          • halew

            From the moderator: changing your socks is not a disguise. We really want you to be here without playing cat and mouse with us–you are unnecessarily adding to our moderation tasks. Have mercy. We haven’t banned all your tracks hoping you will return with a new attitude… Again, we will give you another chance. Use your old nick with a new attitude. Your disguised messages are being deleted.

        • Fnote Selam

          Saay,

          I would actually say, with the current national team, IA accentuated the dichotomy with which Eritrea treats its youth.

          FS.

    • V.F.

      Not so fast Mahmud. I was contemplating quitting but I can’t do it. I like being here. The thought only came to me when I was told I was being disruptive. I think I can shift gears and still argue my case without being disruptive.

      What you wrote about Bitew is a masterpiece. By the way, I read a transcript of the speech years ago when I was least active and I was extremely shocked that someone like Bitew came through Medda. That speech he gave at Adi Mengoti will go down as one of the most powerful speeches in Eritrean history. You did a beautiful commentary on it. Thank you!

      Your response to halew about an unrelated topic is simply halewlew, in total contrast to your other comment. That has been my observation about your comments. It’s a tale of two minds. Your comment to halew is nothing but belligerent, pardon me for being blunt. You, as an experienced and senior member to most of us here, should be preaching peace, reconciliation, harmony, etc. consistently. You are a lucky man but the vast majority of Eritreans are faring quite badly. They need someone who preaches hope and peace, not about the demolition of the HuASe. The ends don’t always justify the means. Revisiting what could we have done better is a good calibration point to help us move forward. Nkulu kifu’en tsibukin miknijaw aytsibukin eyu.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Welcome V.F.
        My best PFDJitsa friend is dawit, and my best YGista friend is you. The reason is simple: you guys stay within a civil parameters. Unlike reesi tanikatat (the empty-tin-headed thugs who bring no added value to the conversation) you stay on course, and I have no problem with people who air their views.
        Thank you on the first part of your comment regarding Bitew. On the second part, I believe it was to Dogali that I mentioned the demise of ሁኣሰ. I don’t see why that would be considered as belligerence. Isn’t it history? You have to see why I used it. Read it in relation to his comment.
        As far as peace and hope is concerned, V.F., please don’t deny me credit. I have been looking for a partner from the other side for the past 2 years. I can count on Fanti Ghana; other than him,none of the other Ethiopians have shown any sense of responsibility to promote the conversations of private citizens. Most of them are political cadres, very few of them are very bigoted. The Truth-Bound Society has revised its policy. It will grab the bull by its horns. The new policy is enhanced in accordance with the law of proportionality. That’s why you see different tones when I reply to Rahwa T and the other guys who come here to spew hatred. I like a clean fight. But if you are fighting with a warthog, you better be ready to get muddy. Although I have found no common ground with your ideas, you are a nice man, welcome back.

        • V.F.

          Mahmud, I can respect that. I am going to try and keep it clean but I do agree that there is a sort of a movement here. I have accused a couple of the Ethios for being here to just enjoy our cries of grief, frustration, despair, and whatever else. I like Horizon, FG, Amde. They may have differing views from probably the average Eritrean but I have no doubt they care and they are sincere. Needless to say, as Eritreans, we should discuss everything as they arise. Priorities are very important as AH keeps on hammering, no doubt. We need to free up our people. They can figure out how to earn their living, they have done it for centuries. Only the ideas that have good value and merit will survive. We need not fear people like me who are thinking at the moment that side by side existence with Ethiopia is a very huge mountain to climb. I am here to prove my case or be proven wrong. Either way, so long as the Eritrean people can find a lasting peace, justice, and prosperity, I couldn’t careless if we make a union with Mars and leave this planet behind. That is where my argument arises from.

          • Abi

            Hi VF
            You are not preaching the peaceful existence of the countries side by side. No sir. You want to be on top. Yours is the most idiotic and arrogant approach that belittle the whole ethiopian population.
            I know it hurts to be rejected .

            Yeleba aynedereq
            Melso lib yaderq

            You want to ascend to Entoto ? How about Arat Killo? Go further to Eyubelyu. Why Not? You are the smartest, right?

            Meblatwan satawq ejwan taTebech.
            Fara!

        • Rahwa T

          Selam Mahmud,

          Let readers be the judges if you have always been peace-preacher while I and few others come here to spew hate. I don’t know why other people come here. But I am sure it is not in me to saw the seeds of hate. Of course, I have been responding whenever I read lies and exaggerations in your and others comments. You ask people for evidences, but you just get annoyed when it is your turn to be asked. Don’t try to put yourself at par with Fanti Ghana. I am here in search of truth and knowledge. I am not a cadre.

          • PTS

            Rahwa,
            I can judge (personally) that I didn’t see any hate in your comments. You are well-disciplined in my view.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear PTS,

            Thanks for your positive understanding of me. ለባም ኣየስእነና

          • Abi

            Hi Sistu
            Are you talking about Fanti who left his country in the 60s , a person who knows more of eritrea than ethiopia? He admitted that his knowledge of ethiopia is minimal. He also said he was approached or recruited by ELF. You see he has been trusted by elf back then and he is trusted and loved by eritreans now. You can’t match his credibility when it comes to eritrean issues.
            Sistu, when it comes to ethiopian interests, Fanti is the last person I trust. Fanti is the first person I call to have coffee.
            I care less if Vet Mahmud calls me political cadre. Why should I? I am not here to say what he wants to here.
            I better quit than try to please others to get acceptance.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Abi,

            While I was writing this comment, I read the above comment from Mahmud. So I had to delete what I wrote about his view. But generally, what I noticed is comments at Awate.com get bad every September of the new-years.

            I don’t have words to describe Fanti*. I see him as a person every one of us wish to have him as a friend, brother,… well his married. It is a rare personality. But as you said, with this great personality, it is difficult to trust him to be my repetitive as a leader.

            Finally, I would pray to God to give you a faintest of Fanti’s patience to deal V.F. Don’t be that hard upon him.

            *I hope Fanti Ghana is not annoyed with our view of him.

          • Abi

            Hi Sistu
            Fanti is a person I need by my side if I fight with my wife. ( washto yemiyastariq)
            If I negotiate beAger guday, I need T Kifle on my side.
            i am covered.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Rahwani, Abisha

            If you only knew! I could never ever be annoyed with your views about me, especially when you are this close to the truth. Even if you were wrong, it probably means either I was not clear enough about my positions or you misunderstood me. Either way, you have never said anything remotely resembling annoying. In fact, I may not have expressed it as often as I should, but I am extremely grateful for your complements.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abisha
            I am reply to you and Rahwa below. መወቀስህ ላይቀር እስከዛው ጨምርበት፤፤

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam RahwaT

            I think I was not clear enough to make it clear you were not in the group that I believe comes here to spew hatred. There are established Ethiopians awatistas here. a’mde, Horizon, T.Kifle, abrham, Rahwa… Addis is also becoming an excellent presence (I might have forgotten some, it’s early morning; Oh, how about abi?… etc. They could claim this forum as a home more than I could. So, I am not talking about you guys. I ‘m talking about the majority who visit for a blip of a second, and amazingly, they dump tones hatred and make a quick exit; hibernate somewhere, and then come back with a vengeance. They don’t like to see assertive Eritreans. I have known the established of you. Of course, I have to see someone who is independent minded, who criticize her/his government. I really don’t like political cadres. To me they are political prostitutes. You will see me standing critical of the government and the opposition, of course each has its own reason and depth. But the Truth-Bound Society saves its allegiance to itself.

            Coming to your weQesa (or criticism/ complain):-
            I want you to zero in on the following because that’s where your name is mentioned.
            “The new policy is enhanced in accordance with the law of proportionality. That’s why you see different tones when I reply to Rahwa T and [to] the other guys who come here to spew hatred.”
            Here I ‘m trying to put you in comparison to those who come to spew hatred. I was trying you are not one of them. and to make it clesar [I added the preposition “to” in a parenthesis.
            Fanti Ghana is a special breed, I don’t claim to have his level of clearness of heart and mind because our experiences make us cope with stresses that come our way in the debates differently. I think we need to save some of his cells so that future generations can clone him giving them a clue that among the chaos and confusion there lived some of us with clean heart. But I would like if I could get a couple others who could take off their narrow nationalism and just talk gentle and civil stuff. What’s amazing is most of you are so protective and nationalists but when it comes to Eritrea it’s an open season. Of course, this pattern has taken shape with the frequenting of people who claim to be “Eritrean justice seekers” when in reality they are working to cause erosion and confusion in the Eritrean proper. It annoys not because they have the power to shatter Eritreanism, but they scare innocent Eritreans from standing up for their rights. They think opposition means Andnet, opposition means becoming a TPLF puppet…etc. Most decent Eritreans want to see change but they want an Eritrean driven change.
            Concerning your assertion that I you jump in to expose lies and exaggerations….
            The Truth-Bound Society will put you to the test. Let’s see what you said yesterday about Dogali and my response. Just go back, read it; then you will see who is lying or exaggerating. Same with my responses that Eritrea was bleeding Ethiopia, that Ethiopia did not get free access to the Sea…
            Dear RahwaT: I will respond only if I have something that I can backup. Rest assured I am not in the pity games of exaggerations such as “we did this for you…we are better than…bigger than…etc. That’s too childish for me. So there is no discrimination in putting folks to the test. The Truth-Bound Society (TBS) has an arsenal of testing techniques and stores of truth. It is generous for sharing. It will share the truth with everybody ready who is in a mood for give and take.
            Happy Week End. And stay cool. I called you my wayaneyti heroine, OK.
            GO THE RED SEA CAMELS (Red Sea Donkeys to follow soon)

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Mahmud

            Thanks for this long reply. I like it.

  • Qurashi McGee

    He must be worse than IA if he was complaining about Ethiopia getting “free stuff” fromEritrea. This dude must be a Hamasenay, Anseba?
    Lol ,you people were acquiring Ethiopian passports like it was nothing and running your illegal trading because you thought you were the top dogs of The Horn. oWho can whoop “the agamaes” you “trained and took all the way to Arat kilo”
    u wanna have your cake and eat it too. Etopiya yegarra Eritrea ye Gil? Don’t forget you started deporting Tegaru back in June 1991.
    Your arrogance and foolishness was your undoing and after all these years you are still in denial.
    Who is laughing now 🙂
    Am I sad for yo No.Even if we were genuinely concerned you still harbor so much hate and racism you would still take it the the wrong way.
    (The low landers are a different people though)

  • Michaelinlondon1234

    Who paid you and how much?

  • Yohannes

    Hello Awatistas,

    This is a great article to show a good glimpse of the inside Eritrea reality, specially for those who have been physically away for long. Intelligent observation and compassionate heart from the jounalist.Thanks for bringing it.

  • karim

    Eritreans will do anything to please Arabs 🙂

  • Semere Andom

    Ted:
    A show down would be good, if you can do it. Any one who does not tell his family their lives will be better any where outside Eritrea is someone who is either trafficker or PFDJ member who is benefiting from all the crimes.

    I do not tell people in Eritrea life is hell, they tell me it is hell, they also tell you it is hell, but you decided to ignore it, it is your choice Ted,

    And I have no handlers, I speak for myself. I do not recommend the risky route Eritreans take, but sure Eritrea is hell and I would like to bring my family to the west legally and safely.

    Kiros Asfeha and all the artists in Ethiopia told you that to live is forbidden in Eritrea, a more harsh description than life is hell that is attributed to me and my “handlers”. Are they lying Ted,? Say it, Kiros is telling lies, Freselam is a liar, Michael Araya (former guard of G-15) is a lair.

    Although your intention was bad it isprovoking, it gave us Tes’s testimonials

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam Awatista

    This is General Biteweded Abraha speaking to a crowd who came to pay respect to the General who had just been released and had come to place a wreath on his father’s grave. 10/24/97. Ato Abraha, the General’s father, died while Bitew was in prison.

    -Biteweded explained why he was imprisoned, because he opposed the president’s decision of giving Ethiopia free access and other favors not bound by law.

    -Gen. Bitew talks about the wisdom of reconciliation, and forgiveness. He said he had forgiven his jailors, and was ready to move on.

    – He warns citizens not lay their guards low, because he says liberty demands a price. “We have to be courageous to demand for our rights,” he says.

    – He warns against violence to exact retributions, he encourages dialogue in order to narrow differences, he mentions the need for tolerance of in addressing differing opinions.

    – He warns against fraternal wars; he mentions how countries like Angola and Mozambique paid more in post independence civil wars than they had paid for gaining independence.

    – He warns against monopolizing power on the pretext of “we brought independence.”

    – He criticizes Generals and ministers who were abusing their power, he said the price of human liberation (the fulfilment of human rights, rule of law…and social justice) will be heavier than the price paid for independence.

    A historic speech, probably the most powerful speech I have ever heard. He appears to have just opened up after placing the wreath and saw the over pouring support from his village. I have knew of the availability of this audio, and heard of its extracts by way of word of mouth. I never expected I would hear it from his mouth. I thought it was long destroyed.

    Anyway, the story of Bitew is a tale of a total failure of a nation. It is a link in a chain of established failures when it comes to the rule of law and respect of human life. This audio shows a typical Bitew, fierce, unbending, an yielding, reflective, forward looking…

    ትሑት፡ ተባዕ፡ ሕዉስ፡ ፍሽኽታ ዘይፍለዮ፡ ንእሽቶን ዓብን፡ በዓል ስልጣንን ተራን ብማዕረ ዘተኣናግድ።

    ኹዕሶ እግሪ፡ ሙዚቃ፡ መጻሕፍቲ፡ ምምሃርን ምስትምሃርን ዝፈቱ ነይሩ። ኣብ ክረምታዊ ክራሽ ኮርሳት ምስቶም ዝመርሖም ተጋደልቲ ይመሃር ነይሩ። ኣዝዩ በሊሕ፡ ብናይ ምምራሕን ምውዳብን ክእለቱ ዝነኛ ነይሩ። ኩሉ ግዜ ሓደሽቲ ኣሃዱታት ምስ ዝቖማ እግሪ ዘትክል ነይሩ (ክ/መጓዓዝያ፡ ትምህርቲ፡ ክ/ሰ 52፡ ክ/ቁጠባ፡ ክ/ሰ 90፡ ንዓባይ ዳንካልያ ዝሓረረ ናይ ኮማንዶ ክ/ሰራዊትን ደገፍቲ ኣሃዲታታትን…መሪሑ።

    ኣብ ዘለኻ ኣሊኻ፡ ዓቕልን ጥዕናን ይሃብካ ቢተው።
    Start at 06:51

    https://soundcloud.com/radioerena/9rsrxvxd1wmc

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Mahmud:
      Thanks for the summary. His speech was really inspiring.
      Every word was deliberate, every phrase no accident. I hope he mikes it.
      But my favorite when he still uses the Giez calendar, 24, Kidane-Mhret. After 20 years in Ghedli, 6 years in prisons he still uses it. Amaizing!
      Tomorrow is date 29 in Giezie and you will not see me here, because it is “beal Ezghier” 🙂

    • haileTG

      Thanks Mahmuday…ahh what a heart wrenching and saddening experience to hear this!!

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear haile TG,
        I feel it. I have been mentioning the name of Bitweded several times in my post if you notice. but I am still wondering, I wish I get an answer from you as most of the people couldn’t convince me. my questions is what makes a man like Bitiweded stay under such criminal group? I understand we ordinary fighters go for the main aim and do what orders are given to us to free Eritrea from Ethiopia. simply it is difficult to see how EPLF leadership was anti peace and freedom. But men like Bitweded were well awaken and I really can’t I can’t see why they have to stay till the end under those criminal guys. Help me on this. See, long before they went to prions people were killed and it is just illogical to continue before cleaning that leadership.

        again, long after such wonderful soul was separated from the mass, I saw intellectuals of similar character joined PFDJ and again were missing, lost, killed and arrested. that is really strange. how people with such mind do mistakes, how?

        and still now there are very advanced among us who are still ready to reform PFDJ and it’s supporters, why is that? really Hailat, I don’t understand.

        • haileTG

          Dear KS,

          I know that it is not proper for me to feel in the shoe and speak on behalf of such people who were part of and leading the history of the making of independent Eritrea. So, my views here are more of a personal opinion and perception than judgement of the actions of others.

          You will not be surprised if I tell you that just as there are people who are lost for words as to why people support PFDJ, there sure are others who are lost for words to explain as to why people would oppose PFDJ (the political views of these group being very sheltered). This of course comes down do individual or group experiences. The intensity of our reactions and indignation becomes relative to what we have experienced or continue to do. Generally speaking, people may have the same level of morality but their knowledge of facts or experiences is variable over time. It is not that an immoral man becomes moral one day or vice versa, rather the same frame of individual person’s morality is what shapes the form of their reaction with respect to changing situations.

          For example, some people were saying to tes “but you worked with hgdef”, the same is always said in relation to many people. That mindset is lame. Very lame. Tes is a good person. His moral compass of the past and the present remains the same. But yesterday he didn’t have the facts and knowledge that he then found the following day. The same moral goodness that allowed him to serve his country under one set factual awareness also resulted in him abandoning the regime under different set of factual awareness. The example of tes is just random, because it could be me, it could be so and so, it could be any random person out of 7+ billion humanity. We all do not have the same perspective at the same point in time about the same set of issues. We grow, we learn, we muster courage at different pace and junctions of our life experiences. The question is what would help those deemed in the wrong position to come to the right position? In fact, empathy isn’t born out of judgement, it is a simple and natural way of trying to place one self on another’s shoe and say what if that was me, if my life right now to be found in that situation, what would it have meant to me, to my close one’s and to those who depend on me? How would I have felt, thought, hoped for, kept sane….

          The complexity of our country’s problems are at the max now. We need to look forward, relieve stress nodes, improve communication and work for safer resolution of our crisis. In the end, the law must prevail and everyone should be entitled to defend themselves using all the rights they have to do so.

          Regards

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear HTG
            Your excellency, another whacking sermon. Here, I see an Asmarino man who did not have a direct experience of what it would mean to have been in ghedli explaining psychological impacts of such exhausting experience using universally accepted teachings. That was excellent. Honestly, it makes us lower expectations when we read some comments of individuals you would think should know better about reasons that made ghedliera citizens sacrifice everything, including injustices they have experienced for the common good. Bitew is a good example of what the vibe was in 1991. Remember, Bitew was imprisoned in 1991, but by the time he was released, 1997, the political discourses have changed, the fierce tegadalay has long been desensitized, thus we hear and see Bitew in his originality, uncorrupted, the Sahel tegadalay.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Hailat,

            Thank you very much. I can’t say I am fully convinced yet but sure for some what you answered must be the case. you see Hailat, it is important to ask such questions and answer them as s we are still facing the problem. I hope some among us will not misunderstand me. first of all I don’t have to pass through difficulties time some one has already passed through to learn. again, I could some time say your stand is wrong to someone who was against that corrupted group but when I see it myself and live in it at least I should understand why that someone has said it. for example we have been told that the group in top is useless to lead but we put them in our head in took them to Asmara. again, after all those experiences we are becoming crazy when we hear people telling us we have to close the chapter by accepting our mistakes while enjoying the heroism we recorded. today, we are hearing from people who are telling us our gedli was wrong. some of us are defending without accepting our historical mistakes.

            I Hope the majority will defend his gedli era and go forward while fully accepting our mistakes. and here is the difference I see between those who want to reform and those who want to clean the garbage.

    • Rule of Law

      Isayas Afeworki never gave Ethiopia access to anything or free. He rather tore down his only bridge which in turn ruined his little fiefdom back to stone age (unfortunately) hence the headline “tahleeq Eritrea ba jenah makssur” very true indeed. Let’s not forget the millions of counterfeit Birr (Ethio currency) that he printed and spread among Ethiopian peasants not to mention other covert smuggling activities.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam RUleoflaw
        In such a divided world where belligerence rules rationality, even outright lies find receptive ears. Keep fooling the same audience until such a day rationality reclaims its power. You can not bring any independently verifiable evidence that Eritrea was carrying out the manufacturing and distribution of a counterfeit Birr. If it could do that it would not certainly waste its meager hard currency in acquiring technology and infrastructure to manufacture Birr.
        I can bring you signed agreements, documents that allowed Ethiopia using free access. we were witnessing that and it was creating a lot of frictions among Eritreans. That is why Biteweded was arrested, because he literally refused to do that.
        My friend, you better ask where your government was because all of these stories came out after the war. And it only shows what shallow minded people we are debating here, people who chose to ride the high waves without enquiring why it is high in the first place.
        BTW: Eritrea will break off the cruel encirclement which was caused by PFDJ’s belligerent policies and Ethiopia’s decision to make it a disabled bird, gliding forever. No it will recover and sore up. Believe me it is determined not to look southward unless South is willing to deal with it on equal terms. Not ever.

        • Rule of Law

          Dear Mohamud,
          My friend, I am not trying to mock Eritreans over this unfortunate circumstance which has been forced up on them by people who have forfeited their sense of humanity. However temporary, Eritreans are currently undergoing the brutal course of history which definitely is not open-ended and It breaks my heart to see Eritreans (rather creative people) languish in refugee camps. I never thought Eritreans were anything different than us Ethiopians. I reckon Eritreans were fooled all the way from the sham referendum ballot boxes to the atrocious course of war that consumed many lives from both sides of the isle and I have no intention of passing on judgement that doesn’t serve any purpose in our discussion however, on the counterfeit currency, you have the right to disagree with me nevertheless, I am quiet surprised that you appeared to be on the defensive side on behalf of the PFDJ criminals. Needless to say, I have a solid info. that certain Gayme from the Scandinavia who was deported at the time was the middle man handling the deal. For the record, It does not occur to you that the discovery of massive counterfeit currency back then prompted the Ethiopian government to introduce a new currency of all denominations with slight color modification which was a very expensive process to just change for the sake of changing don’t you agree? You have the right to believe whatever you wish and to me, it really is “selective hearing” however, It is what it is. Any ways, had it been my way, I would love to see Eritreans break free of this atrocious system and start the pursuit of happiness in life like any people else where except North Korea.

          I keep wondering though, given the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that Eritreans are going through, I am not seeing any effort from those who claim to have Eritrean linage within the Ethiopian government some of which I have heard bragging in paltalk. But I came up with a hypothetical answer to my speculation that politicians are like prostitutes. They are only interested in solidifying their tenure in office but they don’t give a hoot about how many Eritreans have to perish before this crisis come to an end.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Rule. ..
            your evidence is as good as those constructed aft the war by the TPLF controlled EPRDF government. “A certain Gaym. ..a certain Daym…a certain Abdu…Andu biela. ..bilew…”
            The currency re-issuance came when Eritrea decided to pursue its own financial policy, and when there seemed to occur a fallout on how to reconcile each other’s financial responsibilities.
            Thank you for your care about Eritreans. That’s only a human attribute, although I sense you are trying to make the current situation a launching pad for spewing the stinky expansionist patronage. You see my friend the Truth-Bound Society abhors politicians a and cadres. It welcomes people to people dialogue free of inflated egos. It appears you will need to grab tissues, wipe of excesses of the crocodile tears, and stand straight.

          • Rule of Law

            Dear Mahmud,
            You said “The currency re-issuance came when Eritrea decided to pursue its own financial policy, and when there seemed to occur a fallout on how to reconcile each other’s financial responsibilities” Okay, how does this offset the replacement of the Ethiopian currency in its entirety. The old symbols are still in place as they were in the status quo so what rational explanation can you com up with for the sudden change of currency that cost millions of much needed hard currency to have it printed and shipped? There is a great distinction between the Naqfa and Birr unless the Naqfa’s initial design mimicked the Birr to the point one would fail to tell and supposedly “after the fallout” the PFDJ went back to the drawing board and drastically changed it to its current look – is that what you are saying? I can tell you were not too close to the decision-making-body at the time which is why your narrative sounds nothing more than a rumour. “expansionist patronage?” It’s unfortunate that you are trying to put words in my mouth however this expression is not synonymous with Ethiopia’s foreign policies. May be you can say the US or China but Ethiopia is currently busy and handful within its own borders and I can assure you that there’s no interest for “expansionism” If this were true, one would ask as to how strong the Ethiopian government’s vision is as far as bringing about regime change in Eritrea militarily through proxy wars using Eritreans as foot soldiers which is the exact same thing PFDJ is doing? The doctrine / is: there is no need for “expansionism” (if I may borrow your erroneous term) the PFDJ as a regime is imploding at its own sheer recklessness which inevitably is headed to a total collapse. It’s only a matter of time as time is a hidden factor and we’ll see what happens in the short foreseeable future. No one is interested in patronizing Eritrea for whatever reason. WE ARE JUST DOING FINE!
            Regards!

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Rule…
            Two points. Firstly, EPRDF was going to change the currency any way. Because the Durg had symbols that reflected its ideological vision of how Ethiopia should look. EPRDF government would certainly issue revised design of the Birr that would reflect the ideals of the new system. The negotiations on settling Ethiopian Birr circulating in Eritrea, cross border trades, exchange rates between the then about to be released Nakfa and Birr…and so on were going on. Ethiopia didn’t quite accept the conventional way of collecting its Birr that was to be replaced, not only that, but because of fear that Eritrea would return it through the purchase of goods and services in and from Ethiopia, it decided to issue the new Birr in secret and ahead of schedule. My friend, I have enough documented material that would absolve Eritrea. In fact, it was IA who was pushing aside calls that warned him to be serious with Ethiopia.
            Whether pfdj is going to implode or explode, it should be the worry of Eritreans. I’m, and almost all Eritreans are really bored by the taunting of the might of Ethiopia. Let it be good for its citizens who are crying for justice under the notorious “terrorism law”. Any Ethiopian with a grain of decency should look inward first, and then try to patronize Eritreans. As a person you may have good intentions, but you are mixing things to make the usual homage that Eritreans are in this situation because of their choice to endure untold sacrifices in order to have their stolen dignity returned. I can assure you, the journey continues, we will win, again, despite the weights pressing us as a result of PFDJ and your government’s policies which, despite their appearance that they are against each other, end up accomplishing one goal:hurting Eritrea. The worst is over my friend. We are coming back, we will rise.
            Thanks.

          • Saleh Johar

            Mahmoud Pasha,

            Small correction. EPRDF didn’t change the design, but the color of the bills. the color of the, 1 Birr was green, they made the 100 bill green and the 1 Birr grey, etc. No design change took place).

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi SGJ,
            They also removed the Ethiopia Tikdem seal with Eritrea attached to it:)

          • Saleh Johar

            Yoty Topy,
            I stand corrected. You are right, I just remembered only one side of the bills.

          • Rule of Law

            Dear Salih,
            You have taken a poor line of argument in the sense that you don’t have your facts together. You just said “EPRDF was going to change the currency any way. Because the Durg had symbols that reflected its ideological vision of how Ethiopia should look.” perhaps you are talking about the flag and in this case I don’t think we are in the same boat here. Ato Saleh has tried to correct you on the cosmetic change that was made to the Ethiopian currency and from what I sense, you are just pretending to “know” something about this while in fact, the opposite is true. For your info. I have never said there is justice in Ethiopia but you can agree with me that Ethiopia is in much better ground than many african countries today. I can not even juxtapose the higdef regime with that of Ethiopia but to mention a few: there is freedom of movement for citizens both locally and internationally which this by itself is enough. Quiet frankly, I don’t know why you chose to put me in a negative light as if I were an EPRDF apologetic. What do you mean by “despite the weights pressing us as a result of PFDJ and your government’s policies which, despite their appearance that they are against each other, end up accomplishing one goal:hurting Eritrea.” What PFDJ is doing is obvious but do you expect the Ethiopian government to send boots on the ground and fight on your behalf so internet heroes like yourself can safely return to post PFDJ-Eritrea? While PFDJ is pursuing the policy of “the end justifies the means” the Ethiopian government however, is showing great restraint not to breach international laws and treaties in the face of perpetual aggression by Isayas Afeworki’s mercenaries. Where the heck are you now? probably in the west leading a comfortable life all the while playing a “freedom fighter” To me behind the veil of looking an angry victim, you are indirectly in bed with PJDJ.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam ROL

            Let me remind you of the following because you seem to be darting everywhere.

            1. You started this thread claiming that Ethiopia did not enjoy free access. You further went on to insinuate Eritrea was Issayas’ little fiefdom and conjured your own “little broken wing fiefdom”; alleged of counterfeit and continued saying, ” Let’s not forget the millions of counterfeit Birr (Ethio currency) that he printed and spread among Ethiopian peasants not to mention other covert smuggling activities.”

            2. You were challenged to present evidences supporting your claims. Your evidence was “a certain Gaim” living somewhere. You also said that the Ethiopian government was prompted to issue a new currency because “a massive counterfeit” money was located. a. As usual no evidence

            b. Money could be counterfeited by any criminal group. Banks know it, and it is an everyday worry; they have security procedures to control that. Therefore even if the Ethiopian government found such money (no evidence it did), it would deal with it. There are laws that govern countries on such issues

            c. It is unheard of that criminals counterfeit all denominations. It is not economic. Criminals usually target certain bill, and security officials know that. For instance, in the USA, the $100 bill is the most counterfeited.

            d. What we know is that Ethiopia issued its currency for the reasons I mentioned earlier: it was in the pipeline, anyway; but speeded it up to coincide with the launch of Nakfa in order to preempt the likelihood that Eritrea would settle its stock of birr which Ethiopia reneged to collect per its law and legal conventions by purchasing goods and services from Ethiopia. It wanted to make the birr in Eritrean hand useless. There is ample literature on this if you want.

            3. Saleh Gadi corrected me that there were no new designs introduced but some colors. Now, instead of bringing your argument and sustain the debate on your own you jumped to SGJ correction apparently thinking that was a rescue chute. What you forgot is the security features that were introduced in the new currency that are of mention and not colors or engraved political symbols of the bills and coins. Therefore your argument of color is not to the level of the debate we are having here. We are talking about counterfeiting my friend. And security designs are part of the designing of money, not only the superficial design that we see.

            4. Coming back to your claim that Eritrea did not did not give Ethiopia free access, I will have you locate “The Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation Between The Transitional Government Of Ethiopia And The State Of Eritrea”, July 1993. There you will find:
            – It allowed Ethiopia to continue using the port of Assab free; There was a huge Ethiopian community employed in the Ethiopian shipping line, port, refinery..with its own schools following Ethiopian curriculum. The Ethiopian shipping lines had a control over its cargo.
            Northern Ethiopia and Tigray regions used Massawa for small transit fee (1.5%); there were negotiations to reduce that fee.
            Concluding Remarks:
            Dear ROL, I read your comments again and I can see some flickering indications sparsely thrown within your comments that tell me you could be a genuinely concerned person about the situation Eritrean people are experiencing. Perhaps you did not follow my comments, but I’m a friend of the people of Ethiopia and the Ethiopia itself. I’m against any military solution. I don’t want Ethiopians to die for me. I invite you to read my thoughts with regard to the people of both Countries. Obviously, you have not done your homework dear ROL, otherwise, you would see I wrote about the rejection of any Ethiopian interference in Eritrea. I have THANKED Ethiopian people for whatever assistance they furnish for our citizens, and I expressed my wish that war were over and boith peoples made up missed opportunities. To be frank, most of the material is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned, because people are just making their gut driven emotional statements without thoroughly doing their home work.
            Regards.

          • Rule of Law

            Dear Mahmud

            You said “Therefore even if the Ethiopian government found such money (no evidence it did), it would deal with it.” I am not sure what you are trying to say here. Off course the Ethio. govt. dealt with it decisively. Again you said “There are laws that govern countries on such issues” What?? The plan was partly to liquidate whatever legitimate currency was left within Eritrea but that was not the reason at all that led to the decision to replace the currency, it was indeed ዐስፉረይን ብሓገር ዋሒድ as the Egyptians say. Let’s rewind the events prior to when the cloud of trouble started hovering over Isayas’ world where the honeymoon between T,and E- PLF was at its climax but then the discovery of the fake money came as a huge surprise sending shock waves among Ethiopian officials who promptly decided to replace the Birr. If you base your argument on the notion that the legit ethiopian currency within Eritrea at the time outweighed the cost of producing a brand new one back in Ethiopia, you are bluffing. It was the one mimicking the birr that prompted the change whether you like it or not. We’re talking about 14 billion dollars worth of Birr whose greatest denomination costs approximately $0.12 to print. Ironically, you are asking me to produce evidence as though awate were a medium of arbitration or is it? Do I sound like I am suing PFDJ for restitution here?

            This strictly my own speculation to your query of section C. Ethiopian markets back then especially in rural Ethiopia from which Isayas used to hoard massive quantity of the coffee beans due to which Eritrea had outdone Ethiopia by taking the number one place of coffee exporting countries in the region, big notes were suspect and subject to close scrutiny therefore minor denominations were easy to circulate unnoticed and if you ask me what it cost the criminals in Asmara to photocopy the fake money, I can tell you probably, not too much but again, I care less as to why the smallest denomination in the Birr was modified. Do you think they did this to give it a face lift?

            By the way, up until the time Isayas Afeworki sent his soldiers to invade Badme, Meles Zenawi, who was more Eritrean than any Eritrean never had the slightest idea that he was in for a rude awakening. He refused to believe numerous intelligence alerts that there was a lot of digging going on at the border between the two zalambassas, why, Isayas never gave the slightest impression that he was about to do the unthinkable. What does that tell you? the element of surprise was overwhelming. Off course, things backfired and he was beaten to submission hence, again, Rania Mamoun’s metaphor, the bird with broken wing……

            At least, you have conceded defeat on the issue of tariff which you claimed was free in your earlier thread only to come up with watered-down version that stands at 1.5%? This is barely evidence. With all due respect, you are trying to portray yourself that you are the man who challenged Isayas Afeworki “that the Ethiopians must pay more” and lived to tell your story? I don’t think so!! As to the “flickering indications that I am a genuine…” you are second-guessing me for telling the truth but then you opened a can of worms yourself. I am not just jenuine, I am authentic. Why would I pay a lip service here at awate at this trying juncture where Eritreans stand at the receiving end of grave atrocities? What surprised me the most in this discussion is that you are fiercely protective of Isayas’ policies. You seem to be ticked off when I mentioned Isayas the chieftain of the fiefdom of Eritrea. I cherished the discussion and it was nice talking to you Mr. Mahmud. Here I rest my case lock stock and barrel. Thank you!

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam ROL
            Thank you for the reply. I have already made my case and actually moved to a more important issue. Awatista readers are legendary for their critical reading.
            regards.

          • AOsman

            Dear Mahmoud,

            The topic of what caused the war and the economic triggers might not be of immediate interest, but there is much to be learned from them. It is interesting that Gen. Bitewede had a big issue with how the relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea was managed immediately after independence, DIA even went as far as talking of confederation. All this may have been a cover for TPLF to consolidate power in Ethiopia at the time, while DIA was confident that any reaction on the Eritrean side was manageable (GBA imprisonment could be to nip any opposition in the bud before it grows – in his speech he sounds radical, but may have been seeking clarity in the dealings and full independence). I personally, have concluded that Badme was just a cover after reading/listening to Meles interview.

            We need to have an environment that looks at the challenges faced by both sides (TPLF and EPLF or governments) from an academic interest and have a discussion free of defensive posturing, free that we see an Eritrean agreeing with Ethiopian government position, while an Ethiopian taking the Eritrean government position. It may be easier to integrate nations than dividing them, just consider how EU is struggling to deal with potential Greece exit from the Euro. Physical separation was a phase towards independence, but when it came to the economic divorce PFDJ may have looked at maximizing benefit (Ted’s approach – ላሜ ቦራ! ላሜ ቦራ የእማምዬን አደራ!), than ensuring full independence.

            On the counterfeit: I read somewhere that both EPLF and TPLF had produced counterfeit currency just before independence to use it for their benefit and to hurt DERG. If true, it is unlikely such information to be readily available, but would welcome if someone knows anything about it.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Aosman
            Personally, I respond when I see a clear distortion, otherwise, the cause (s) of the war is not of immediate interest at this time. What interests me is the conclusion of the border demarcation, and I know it will not happen until such time that there occur the will to address it by both capitals. Generally, I don’t disagree with you said. I would love to have that sort of conversation between citizens. But you see the quality of comments with regard to this area. We have what we have. Under this situation it is appropriate to take firm stand. Peace and cooperation comes after normalcy, we don’t have normalcy. Personally, I may want my government to do more to break the impasse (and I was open about it in my comments), but I will never absolve the Ethiopian government.
            On Economics: the reason is the same. A win-win situation existed, and still exists. But I don’t accept the claim that Eritrea is in this economic situation because Ethiopia embargoed it. Eritrea could have easily directed its economy towards other partners. Just revise the economic interdependence that had existed, nothing except ports (and that’s also if Ethiopian use of the ports could bring some added economic activities such as direct employment, lodging services and retail business… otherwise, Eritrea could have outsourced their contracts to foreign fishing companies and still get those benefits. The rest such as tef…livestock…and other agricultural products’ could have been diversified to other sectors, Ethiopia was pursuing a policy of substitution economy any way, and Asmara products would not be competitive anymore. The financial sector had already diverse…the whole climate was a sign that we better be careful. If doing business with Ethiopia would mean surrendering our sovereign choice (treated like piggyback , there are many countries we can do business with based on comparative advantage…consider the plains of Sudan…for instance for growing crop. Isn;t the Arabs and Indians leasing Ethiopian fertile lands?
            So, it’s the policy of PFDJ, otherwise, the economic part of the relation could have been mitigated. Even for the future, our economy needs to be planned in away an embargo of one country does not halt us. What’s holding us in this situation is the policy of keeping a nation under strict military command.

          • AOsman

            Dear Mahmoud,

            I understand your point, some under the pretext of caring, come here to give few jabs, by now we should have got used to them, another teta3sna paper awaits us from them too.

            Found the following paper that discusses the topic, Rule of Law may find it interesting to allow him to shoot more (he can also check the provided references therein for more).

            http://assenna.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Berhe_Eri-Ethio.pdf

            Regards
            AOsman

          • dawit

            Dear AOsman,

            I read the that you reffered from assena.com written by Berhe Feshaye
            pretending to be Eritrean but obviously an Ethiopian from Tigrai, trying to justify the Ethiopian aggression based on the fabricated border crisis. He tried to white wash the betrayal of TPLF on the various agreements and promised they enter with Eritrea. It is revised account of the war propaganda used to justify the war, taking advantage of the present economic and political crisis in Eritrea, as the result of the Bademe war, blaming Isaias as the root cause of the problem. Another justification for regime change in Eritrea. Nothing good come out of Assena.com for Eritrea.

          • AOsman

            Dear Dawit,

            It is clear that the author is defending Ethiopia, I was more interested in the expanded detail that he has provided so ROL can push for more if needed.

            In the past I used to visit Dehai for details, there is a treasure trove there. In this instance, first come first serve was the deal, order was from google :). As for his nationality, be him Eritrean or Ethiopian, I could not care, what he lays and the evidence he provides is more important. We have enough heavy weights here to poke holes if they see distortions of facts likely to confuse us all.

            Please share what you know, many of us here want to learn.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Amde

            Selam RuleOfLaw

            We had . discussion a while ago about the economic causes of the war. One of the major issues was a disagreement of what to do with Ethiopian Birr currency notes whose value had been transferred to Eritrean Nakfas. It seems the Eritrean side expected the Ethiopian side to compensate Eritrea for the Birr. As you can imagine, the Ethiopian side disagreed, and this was one of the major reasons for the souring of relationship.

            I am not sure if you are referring to these Ethiopian Birr, or are you specifically talking about actual counterfeit money above and beyond the the currency that had been converted to Nakfa. I have not heard of counterfeit Birr before, but I won’t put it past EPLF.

            Bad marriage is bad, bad divorce is worse.

            Amde

  • PTS

    Awaitstas,
    I don’t know if you had chance to listen to but here is the courageous Biweded Abraha in his own words. His speech is truly uplifting. I think he represents the true meaning of tegadalay.
    https://m.soundcloud.com/radioerena/9rsrxvxd1wmc

    • Semere Andom

      Hi PST:
      That was very forward looking for recording that.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear PTS
      Thanks man. I did not see your post when I posted mine on the same subject. Indeed, he represents the true spirit of what a tegadalay should be. Sadly, he was failed by the tegadelti and people he trusted. Imagine if the movement of G-15 was triggered because of his dare to roll on things. He mentions Abona Akito, an elder from Dankalia and a parliamentarian of the federation-era government as a person who had done his best to enquire about him and secure his release. Could it be Uncle Akito’s payback for General Biteweded because it was Biteweded along with Gen.Wuchu who led the campaign of liberating Dankalia? A friend in need is a friend indeed.

  • tes

    Dear Dayphi,

    Did you read some one who crossed the sea when saying, “it is better to die in the sea than living in Eritrea under PFDJ?”

    Eritreans are more than aware on what is facing them but they have chosen either to die or reach a place where they can live as human beings. Having this fact I am really surprised when you say,

    “Truth should also be said that i never heard him, Chirum, , and Meron and the other activists warning the would be desert/sea crossers of the danger they are to embrace and try stop them BEFORE making the dangerous, deadly, and illegal trip where only 50% make it alive to c[S]icily broken heart, spirit, and guilty feeling while the other 50% are eaten by the desert sand and sea water.”

    Is this what Truth is for you?

    tes

    • Ted

      Hi Tes, you don’t handle challange very well. Do you really believe when one told you i rather die than live in Eritrea.

      • tes

        Dear Ted,

        Yes I do believe. I had a brother who decided like that and unfortunately he died even before crossing while he was in Sudan. It is even part of my life history, part of my family life history. Don’t go further. If you have any left humanity to believe then take what I am saying.

        tes

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Tes:
          Sorry to hear that Tes. My younger sister crossed in April of this year just after the 900 people died and she was lucky she made it to Holland.
          Yes, Yes stop right there TED

          • tes

            Dear Semere Andom,

            Let me share this. Sometimes people like Ted don’t know what every Eritrean is facing and when they write it is just for the sake of writing. Concerning my brother, he was the one who made me to be who I am. When I was studying in my university, he decided to help the whole family and took 100% responsibility of 10 family members. At that time 6 out of the family members were students and one was in military, married and a father. And another sister was married and mother of 3 at that time with her husband in military. My brother was also in the military for 4 yrs but decided to hide and work to keep the family running. After working 2 yrs through hiding in a small family garden, he couldn’t work any more.Life became difficult for him. this was up to 2006.

            They took my mother and kept her in prison. My father was working as local administrator and they wanted him to serve them while keeping my mother in prison. My brother had no option but to give-up and he went into prison. After staying 1 year, he was freed. This was in September 2007.

            He attended my university graduation which was held in 2007. During that evening, he told me, he can’t live anymore in Eritrea. He and another close friend who was almost in the same situation decided to flee. They did an 8 days journey. After crossingthe border he went to Shegerab and stayed 3 months there. No one was present to help him from abroad. After 3 months struggle, he managed to reach Khartum by using some money sent to him from home.

            In Sudan he worked hard. Always working hard to help back home. He had all the skills, construction, agriculture. While he was in Sudan, even he managed to help our two sisters who got trouble after they decided to flee. The smugglers asked a ransom and my brother was the only one to help. He did and they joined him. Until 2009, I had no income at all and the family continued to be dependent on him even after just I was able to manage myself but unable to support home.

            He continued his family responsibility until December 27, 2012 just before he made a miss call to me and he told me he was severely ill. Within 3 days he passed. May he Rest in Peace.

            Through his support, I am who I am now. One of sister now she is living in Canada. Anoether in Italy (my sister has a shocking experience but she didn’t want to tell me – she even continued to take medication for a year while she was welcomed in Italy). Another young brother, the youngest, had also similar experience and now he crossed the sea this summer. Now he is in Norway.

            My father, who was shocked after the death of his son is now unable even to control himself. My mother, she a mother of 8 is now with no one around even to bring her fire wood.

            My older brother, a second round national service, got TB first. When they gave him a leave, he thought it is a good opportunity to work (the article about the wounded national service member reminded my brother) and started to work. he was not able to take his medicine properly. then he was infected for the second time. Then he started again, and went to work again. A third infection. After that he was lucky not to die. he spent 6 months in a military hospital. Now he s almost paralyzed but we are lucky he is living. the brother I am talking is a father of 5.

            I have another brother who is now living there, a father of 3, age below 30 and in national service. My sister, a mother of 4 has already sent her oldest daughter to national service.

            And me, I am a STUDENT who depends on scholarship for his daily life still now and I am a father too.

            Imagine now, what family we are having.

            And this is what Ted is denying.

            A mother of 8 but no one around even to bring her firewood and water. A father of 8, but no one is around to say “here I am father”.

            Just imagine.

            Can then Abba Musie Zerai or anyone else stop anyone from my family to stop him when he lost all the hope to live?

            This is my personal and family realitistic situation and when ever I write a single word;

            I feel the pain pf my mother, the sorrow she has, her loneness, her anguish

            I feel the grievances of my father. the time he needed us most, we are not around.

            My brother, I hear him shouting from the graveyard he lives in and calling me, “Tesfabirhan, where are you? Are you around? Are you fulfilling our dreams? How is mom doing? Don’t let our father sit alone? Be with him.

            And I am in France, even unable to help my 3 years child.

            This is the pain from within.

            I didn’t go to what is happening to my uncle, my aunt, to my friends, etc. It will be extremely shocking.

            Just one final. I have an aunt who lost four of her sons during the liberation struggle. Now she is alone, always crying in her small house in a village. Even her house has no electricity. Her beloved sons fought to bring light to her mother and to Eritreans and yet their mother is living in a dark room. Now she is almost 80 or more. Just imagine.

            tes

          • Semere Andom

            Dear Tes:
            This is gut wrenching, thanks for sharing. It is a common story of the Eritrean people what the people like dawit are mocking here because for them the Eritrean suffering is academic. But find solace in that your family is in a relatively better position, better in the Eritrean context. There are families whose 5 kids were maryred and the one dies in the sea and one in prions and no one abroad. This is the refusal of PFDJ to have a plan, they do nto care if a family is extinct, They never had a plan before independence and they do not have plan now for the Eritrean family.
            To accomplish what you have to be sober in the face of all this speaks to your strength and the love you have for your family. Keep accomplishing, keep fighting keep pushing the envelope, keep shaming the brutes here, there is no other choice

          • tes

            Dear Semere Andom,

            Normally I don’t want to share such stories but Ted argued me to say something from my personal pain bank. Sometimes it is hard to tell people the truth when the truth is on the street. They want to check whether one is breathing or not when they take the heart out (like that of Sinai). This is what dawit is doing here.

            Man, what I wrote was just what I feel inside. I didn’t thought that much can be. Anyway, since it is Eritrean, everybody is forced to remember his own. I wish I am able to write more on my personal pain.

            I thank you

            tes

          • V.F.

            Dear Tes, man, I don’t see eye to eye with you quite often but if anyone reads this and does not cry out loudly or even have teary eyes, that person must be inhumane. This is just absolutely gut wrenching. I feel you my brother. Most of us share very similar stories like yours. Trust me, my family is not in much better situation than yours as we have deep problems too. Only two left in Asmara out of 7 of us. I am sad to say that my parents are both not alive and fortunate for them, they don’t have to see their children and grandchildren suffering but like you said of your brother, maybe my parents too are feeling our pain in their grave.

            But don’t despair. Finish your PhD and you will be able to help your family and you will better yourself for life and you will be an inspiration to your child and a lot of other people. Don’t mind people like Ted and little dawit. They do not know anything about Eritrea. Most of the Amche’s only became Eritrean when Melles kicked them out and now they are PFDJ lackeys because they feel like that is how they can get back to weyane. They are called 10 biher in Asmara for a reason.

          • tes

            Dear V.F,

            No matter how our views can be, lets not deny the facts. In fact I see very small difference between us. Our difference is: my driving force is HOPE and yours(?). Else, no pig difference I think. You are like dawit, Gud, Ted, Nitricc.

            Saying that, I thank you for your kind words. Toegether we will succeed.

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            You are one strong person. Keep going. Don’t look behind. The future is brighter.
            God bless you and your family.

          • tes

            Dear Abi,

            I thank you. But please on this occasion, feel the pain of every Eritrean. I am just airing a penny from the ocean. Eveybody these days from Eritrea has so many pain inside.

            Eritrean pain is more than it can be said but we are still looking for good times to come. Be part of us and if you can be like Fanti Ghana if notat least humble with our cause.

            It is a brotherly call and thank you again

            tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Abi,
            This is Eritrea, Eritrea who don’t want to give up it’s national freedom. This is the nation that gives it’s long scarifies aim -nationalism priority. people have chosen to suffer than to throw the hardly found nation. we didn’t fought for “Arabs” as you use to tell us. we don’t want to sale Eritrea for coffee dollar and we don’t want to sale it for petrodollar. PFDJ will be removed and democratic Eritrea will shine. and you and me will remain brothers as usual. I don’t have to be your slave or Arabs, I deserve to get my freedom. Learn from this one story and yo will hear more.

          • Abi

            Hi Kokobe
            Yes, you deserve your freedom. You fought for it. You sacrificed for it . Now , I do anything in my part to keep your freedom alive.
            Win win situation. As you said we remain neighbors. Let freedom ring in both countries.
            Thank you for bringing independence.
            Wuletachihun anresam.
            The Arab thing? Call it Abi’s ignorance. Abi’s lowest moment. I should not have said those embarrassing things to your brothers. Please accept my heart felt appologies.
            Thanks

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hi gentle man,

            it is late but I am happy at least you apologies today. and that “Wuletachihun anresam” is clear for me. Lol.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi tes,

            Keep your strength intact and surely you will prevail and overcome the hardship of life. God bless you and the rest of your family.

            Regards,

          • tes

            Dear Amanuel Hidrat,

            First of all thank you.

            Sometimes there are moments that I can not resist what is inside me. When somebody touches that wound, I feel the pain and my pain just goes out. My pain is not too personal, it is of Eritrean. I feel the pain of Eritreans. Last year on the same situation I shared the pain of your Comrade, Ato Tesfay. When somebody just plays with reality, I can’t resist it. Something that is inside comes out. I do not its strength but it is very deeply sourced.

            On my family, my family are lucky even they are lucky. Like that of my Aunt, there are hundreds of Eritreans who are left with no one to tell the reality.

            And yet, I believe on HOPE. Hope has been the driving force of human being and what I have is also just that. I wish those diehard PFDJites to open their heart ‘haile TG’s strategy’.

            I thank you again

            tes

          • tes

            And I am happy that your sister crossed safely. May she has a peaceful life now.

        • Ted

          Hi Tes “Let me share this. Sometimes people like Ted don’t know what every Eritrean is facing and when they write it is just for the sake of writing” I feel sorry for your loss because i know and for now i will let it go your condescending remark on things you have no idea about me or my family.

          • tes

            Dear Ted,

            I know every Eritrean family has a pain. As I am trying to say, mine is just a peny and almost none compared to many. But your comments forced me to speak what I feel inside me. I did that because I thought at least you can take it seriously though sometimes it is naive to believe like that.

            Anyhow, you can have much worse tragic history. You could be a man who lost his parents during the armed struggle and he is here to fight for their dreams. I am much aware about every Eritrean. Saying that when I say that, it is just based on your lines. Don’t take further.

            I usually respond to lines. Lines for me are everything except personal biography unless they are shared.

            To be clear, my base was your question to me and my answer were based on that. Don’t take them further. But if you have more paining history, share with us. It s good to speak on reality. Sometimes politics becomes out of touch from reality and we need to make a check by bringing real and personal facts.

            If I hurt you, it is not because I know you but because of the lines you dropped. Even for that I apologize.

            tes

            tes

          • Ted

            Hi Tes, no need. we’re all in this together. Let’s hope one day we see a better day and grief properly.

    • Dayphi

      brother tes,
      selamta..do not compare dying in sea with living in Eritrea under the evil regime of sha3biya..i didnt say that.And i never called for people to stay slaves of esayas in eritrea..If you carefully read what i said, it was about staying in UNHCR set refugee camps, where hundreds of thousands are living at least in relatively peaceful, 3 meals served, free medical, and children going to school, with no danger of been raped, support traffickers with 6000 dollars per person, or death in the sahara, by isis, and sea water..i never said better stay under esayas. but definitely better be patient like the hundreds of thousands of eritreans living in the refugee camps than becoming victim of isis, and trafickers..staying under esayas was not an option under my first comment and i surely dont know why you brought it. Let’s not cheat ourselves. Losing 50% of our youth to trafickers, isis, sahara and mediterranean is an acceptable loss.

  • sabri

    Nice to see you here Keshi Ezra. I appreciate your work.

  • tes

    Dear Awatawyan

    Eritreans, those who fight for justice have now excelled to be champions of PEACE. Our Ambassador is Abba Musie Zerai. A man who saved thousands of life.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p034h5yz

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11910942/The-little-known-priest-giving-the-Pope-a-run-for-Nobel-Peace-Prize.html

    I wish I have a pen analysis like that of Saay7 to introduce Abba Mussie Zerai to Awate Readers.

    Awate.com, I wish you come with your brilliant pen to present us with our Ambassador.

    Kudos to Abba Mussie Zerai and Kudos to the community of Justice Seekers

    tes

    • haileTG

      Hi tes

      That is true and good proposals too. The difference between the justice camp and the PFDJ camp can’t be more stark, i.e. the justice camp sends its champions to Nobel Peace prizes and other Recognition and Accolades, where as the PFDJ camp sends its champions to the ICC and travel bans.

      Regards

      • tes

        Dear haile TG,

        I know you won’t write it in an article format but I would call you to bring your super mind of analysis and give as an in depth discourse on this brave man.

        I feel shame when I see no website is writing about this great achievements.

        @M@mahmud_saleh:disqus, @Sal@salehjohar:disqus, @Ama@amanuel_hidrat:disqus, @saa@saay7:disqus looking your pen thirstly. At least we could have read from Gedab News by now though we failed all to drop some lines..

        tes

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear tes,

          I fully support to the idea you are pushing regarding aba Mussie Zeray. He worked very hard to address on the plight of our youth especially during the Lampadusa crises. I have no enough recollection to write about him. I believe Hailat and Semere Habtemariam are in good position to write about him.

          Regards

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Selam Tes
          I think you have a slicing mind. And you happen to be close to the actions. HTG is definitely more than able to compile readable material. He has demonstrated his passion and his knowledge of the matter, and its caus; He could certainly place father musie and his compatriots within this picture giving us a comprehensive look at what has been done to alleviate it and what needs to be done to stop it. Both Semeres could also do good job.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mahmuday:
            I join you and Tes and others on showcasing our heroes like Abba Mussie who has been libeled by PFDJ supporters. His nomination to the Noble prize speaks volumes, This year’s Noble prize have been declared so it is good timing.
            If the info about why he was nominated for the Noble can be found will add meat to the bio. Also interviewing him can follow, the occation is apt: anniversary of Lampedussa and the annual Noble prize annoncment
            Doing that will shame the propenents of falsehoods that libel the bood name of Eritrean heroes, a habit that has been tolerated too long

          • tes

            Dear Semere Andom,

            You came with another good idea: interviewing him could be a great contribution for readers. He is an Eritrean, an African, a father who came from a war-torn region and yet he voiced for the voiceless.

            Are we then just going to be voice of the voiceless or we can also acknowledge for those who do that? Abba Musie Zerai has excelled and went much further to show the world. Our part is, to introduce him for our peace loving people.

            PFDJ websites went on the other side, as usual to do their business; defamation. Though their satanic mission can not let them do more than that, we the justice seekers can move on the missing side and at least acknowledge such works.

            tes

          • tes

            Dear Mahmud Saleh,

            No I am just like all of you on personal level. I know him through my friendship contact on facebook though I know his great works. I More than that I am just delighted to have this brave man. He is a man of exceptional.

            I feel guilty when I skup his works and say nothing about this great news.

            tes

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Tes:

      The Nobel for peace has not been announced yet and Abba Mussie is still in the running, He has good chance, If Obama can get it for merely offering a speech, for a promise, F. Mussie has good chance and if that happens no need to do anything except report the good news. If he does not make it then we can raise his profile by writing about him.

      Here is a write up about him: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11910942/The-little-known-priest-giving-the-Pope-a-run-for-Nobel-Peace-Prize.html

      • tes

        Dear Semere Andom,

        The world media has started to write and interview Abba Mussie since the announcement of his candidacy. We did almost nothing to follow this big news rather PFDJ affiliated websites went further to defame him.

        For now I am not taking whether he will be the Noble price winner or not. It is for his noble contribution and how his works became international. If he wins the Noble Price, even a alien from Mars will write about it.

        tes

        • Semere Andom

          HI Tes:
          I agree. what I am saying his in 3 days the winner will be announced and that will make life easier for the project, your idea and the ppl who libeled his name will be shamed, if this happens no one will do better job than the win. The nomination itself is good but by following on writing about him we will lift his name as good doer

          • tes

            Dear Semere Andom,

            I agree with you now it is almost close to know. But we were too shy to write the success of justice seekers.

            tes

  • Abrehet Yosief

    Dear AT,

    Thank you. There it is. Our nostalgia and grief; our riches and poverty, all captured by an observer with a conscience. A night club stops its music to allow a mother to beg so she can pay ransom for her son. A young man dreams of being a truck driver but must break the law to do so and face the risk of being kidnapped. The heart that went there is not the same as the heart that returned. Indeed!

  • Ambassador

    … “The beauty of the place is important, but it is the human being who gives anyplace its soul and its individual emotions.” Words of wisdom to PFDJ idiots who always think Eritrean human misery is justified to protect a piece of land. And, similarly for those in the opposition, through their narration of resistance, imagine Eritrea as a place of parts with distinctive inhabitants.

    The moment you start to think pieces of land give humans meaning, instead of the reverse, you will come out as an idiot who would slaughter brothers and sisters to protect a land that would eventually be devoid of its people. Case in point, Badme, a village of ten households, that took away 40,000 of Eritrea’s youth.

    Thank you AT

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Hi Ambassador;

      To protect a piece of land? I don’t really think the PFDJ-idiots support Isayas for this reason; it is all about protecting an ego as big as a mountain. Isayas never protected Eritrean lands; one doesn’t protect a land by singing “final and binding” for decades and killing his people in pursuit of it.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    This is a great personal account of the beautiful country and its people, ERITREA. Congratulations AT for doing a superb job in translating Ustaza Rania’s report. She captured the reality we all are aware of: a resilient and resourceful people against a backdrop of the reign of control. Never kneeling people, never-succumbing, always with smile, always with hope. Despite PFDJ destructive policies, and years of cruel and unjust sanctions, life goes on in Eritrea. If I could have a listener, I would say this to the Eritrean youth, ” ሞረትካ ዲብ እዴካ ወ ኣርዌካ ዲብ ሓንቴካ,” or its rough translation, you have got the stick in your hands, and the [terrorizing] snake is right in front of you. You have the means to change the situation; you have the power to bring Scandinavian life home.

    What struck me was the story of the driver who was happy for getting wounded because that made him free[from the national service]. During the old days of ghedli, tegadalay was fleeing to the trench limping, some with unresolved infections, I know people who lost a hand served in combat units. I know of tegadelti who lost an eye, who had weakness on one side, etc., would refuse to be assigned to the rear departments. The driver’s story is a contrasting example of how this abused program has hit our young people.

    Eritrea is calling for all its children to come to terms. Enough of factional politics, cross-factional dialogue needs to begin. There are many sensible citizens across the factions. All it needs is breaking taboos, dissenting traditional political leanings and coming together. It may look far-fetched, but that’s the only way that has been shunned.
    Shukran Ustaza رانيا مأمون

  • native

    Thank you Awate Team for translating this touching narration of Ms. Mamoun.

    It could be nostalgia of the days gone by, the longing for the warmth of home, the guilt of being away or simply a traveler’s love for the exotic and far-away, beautiful lands, but this leaves one wanting to hear more. More of the happy and the beautiful but also of the longing and the sad stories that have to be told. Ms. Mamoun just titled it aptly: “Broken wings”. Broken wings of the dove of love or that of a vigorous and industrious eagle. The land and the people I know are both. And yet, it is crippled. No flapping of the wings to bring good tidings, nor soaring to new heights; just [gliding] (I wonder if the Arabic word is the same.)

    -the flat lands of Barka
    -the free life of the nomad
    -climbing Tinkulahas
    -the beauty of the city on the summit
    -“avatar” rigga for attoboos in Keren
    -Asmara’s early morning zae’zae’ta
    -hilbet with silsi
    -Aroma of Awel boon early in the mornings

    -Tiwiyway mengedi Bats’e
    -beauty of the eastern escarpment and its g’mme
    -Precious and “pricey” Mitswa’e

    …and yet

    -a mother’s plea for ransom of a kidnapped son
    -a street sellers struggle to feed the family
    -the unfair push to leave home

    … all in one piece.

    Thank you Ms. Mamoun.

  • PTS

    Dear Miss Raina,
    Nice article. Really. This was the first article I read a-z in a long while.
    Few points
    – I hope the names you used are replacements. Otherwise folks can get in big trouble. As you know, sharks’ mouth slams shut forcefully.
    – As for your wonder on how ppl identify their que objects, oh that’s not a problems. Abundant experience of 25 years is in place just for about anything: bread, kerosine, firewoods, bucket of water…. This was the case even in the better time of the 90’s.
    – Hilbet sure looks like yogart but is not. Haha. You made me giggle there. It is actually made of a serial called baldonga.
    – lastly, the bad news is you have kissed your chances of re-visiting Eritrea good bye. And so have thousands of Eritreans and friends. The good news is it won’t be for too long.

  • AOsman

    Dear AT,

    Excellent article, the writer has beautifully captured the situation back home……my favorite section was:

    The que was a line of stones, empty water bottles, soda bottles, old shoes, bags, cigarette packs, plastic bags stabilized by weight stones……………..However, the problem was not in the que but in that strange man, or governor………………and lines them up once more, and suddenly he declares: no one will board the bus—repeating such act more than once. Actually he was in control of everyone, taking them from one place to another; the travelers follow him around, he talks to them, rather, he yells at them, and they talk to him, and we do not understand what they were saying, or what was happening!

    A good contrast between the ruler and the ruled

    Regards
    AOsman

  • Semere Andom

    Hi AT:
    Thank your for this. Sure it did capture, the beauty of the language It is classic of Arabic writers describing things with excruciating detail and a tad of hyperbole.
    Once a Sudanese journalist visited Sahel to cover the 25 anniversary of Ghedli, I remember him reading in that article: Dehab, asharet lenna an nektebbi. Kelashin kov zinetuha wo alqubar utruhha… “: Dehab, motioned to us hide, the kelashin kov was her ornament and dust was her perfume.”
    Gliding with broken wings, what a description

  • dawit

    Selamat All,

    What a beautiful article from a beautiful woman journalist. Unlike Al-Jazira ugly female journalist sent few years ago to Eritrea about , with their finished article bashing Eritrea to add some spices, Rania Mamoun arrived with a clean empty canvas to paint her picture of Eritrea what she saw, observed, experienced in Eritrea. The end result is a beautiful original paint of Eritrea and its people without exaggeration or understatement. She saw Eritrea ‘Under Construction’ gliding forward with broken wings. Thanks Awate Team for the translation and making it available to its readers.
    dawit

    • Sarah Ogbay

      Dear Dawit, in which part of the text did you read or sense ‘Under Construction’? Are you so fascinated by her love for Asmara/Eritrea that you missed out in the sadness that she expresses she read in the people? I think her aim is to show that Eritreans have been broken by the repeated wars and unfortunate situationsthey are in, in and out of the country and she is sad because she felt that they do not deserve it. This artistic description of Eritrea and Eritreans by the author coupled with the great work of translation only depicts Eritrea’s misery, nothing more. As an Eritrean you should feel sad that even and outsider who comes to Eritrea for few day can feel the misery.

      • dawit

        Dear Sarah,

        I wrote what I felt of her article. She didn’t observe ‘Eritrea North Korea of Africa’, ‘Government shoot to kill policy at the border crossing’, ‘Metal container prisons’ etc. She saw the problem of poverty, shortages of transportation facilities etc. She talked to ordinary Eritreans, visited their homes, experienced their genuine hospitalities, drank coffee ate Hilbet, she saw Asmara bustling city not a ghost city, visited “Campo Citato Street, the cafes are full of patrons, especially on holidays, and it would be difficult to find a table, or even a chair from the seats and tables spread in the open air, or inside the café. If you find one, that must be a rare occasion, and you are surrounded by the sounds and laughter, different scents, and you feel elated if a Tigrinya word knocks at your ears and you happen to know the meaning of the word–and familiarity increased. She describe Eritrea ‘Gliding’ not a stationary place, but with motion, even with the broken wings. But we know who is busy breaking Eritrean wings. I am sorry I guess you seem disappointed with her article, because she wrote what she saw and felt, unlike other writer arriving in Eritrea already programed.

        • Brhan

          Dear Aboy Dawit,
          What is your understanding about the following paragraph of the article:
          “Eritrean youth suffer from a harsh and impossible situation that
          results in human tragedies, in the seas and deserts and the borders,
          under which Eritrean refugees and migrants live. The youth are unable to
          leave the country legally, unless they are released or they complete
          their indefinite compulsory national service. The youth may spend more
          than half of their lives in the service (either military or civilian),
          and that stretches for years, it increases but doesn’t decrease, though
          in many countries, the period of compulsory service ranges between 12
          and 36 months, as a maximum.

          I asked Feven (a nice girl) who would later invite us to her home,
          about the period she spent so far in the service. She said, after
          checking to the left and right over her shoulder: 3 years. And when will
          you be released? She replied in sadness: I do not know… No one knows.”

          regards,

          • dawit

            Dear Brhan,
            She described the realities in Eritrea, the National Service, the economy etc. In spite of these problems Eritreans are standing and gliding forward? Any other more questions?

          • SenaiErtrawi

            Brother Dawit,
            What possible could happen to a nation with the Lion of Nakfa at the head, ha? Let the wings break, crush to the ground with limbs/legs going to pieces. Let its feathers shed and let it start crawling like a reptile . . . 🙂

            Which means, we can even go back to the life of Sahil (ofcourse with you and me living in the US) if that is what it takes to keep our Lion of Nakfa on the top. The only other option is to let Weyane, Islamists and regionalists have their way.

            I know I know, I am making our hidden line of though public, but hey – let them know!

          • dawit

            Brother SenaiEritrawi,
            The last time with the Lion of Nakfa at the head, Eritreans get rid of their colonizers and declared their independent country in 1991. The next time the Lion of Nakfa at the head Eritreans defended their country from being recolonized again by Ethiopia. This time when the Lion of Nafka at the head, Eritreans are standing on their two feet and ‘gliding’ with broken wings, surrounded by vultures the Woyane, Islamists and regionalists hovering over Eritrea. Despite the temporary hiccups the majority of Eritrean still support the Lion of Nakfa, and as long as the Eritrean people support him, the danger of the vultures will not materialize, Eritrea will not be like Libya, Iraq, Syria or Yemen. Therefore, the future of Eritrean Camel is firmly in the hand of Eritrean people, not on the hand of disgruntle opposition figures and few sellout opportunist individuals hovering ghosts.

        • native

          Dear Dawit,

          Are you saying things that make a country a “North Korea” would be readily available for tourists or writers (of any sort) to visit. According to your analysis, a tourist would know a shoot-to-kill policy exists or sees a container with prisoners in the middle of town? Hmmm. If I give you specific GPS coordinates in Eritrea, can you go and visit it yourself? Not foreigners, you. Some places, just mentioning their names, would jeopardize your next visit if not the very visit you are in. (I assume you are Eritrean, live outside and visit from time to time)

          • dawit

            Dear native,

            You are right I live in US and visit Eritrea from time to time when I afford it. I also follow news about Eritrea, mostly written by people who have an ax to grind. This what Ezra from Sweden wrote about the article
            “Rania Mamoun’s article comes in like a cool breeze. Soft wind. She too belongs to the category ‘homo narrans’ “. Now, I wonder why people here obsessed with my comment rather the beautiful article?

          • native

            Dear Dawit,

            The “beautiful” article stays beautiful when it is let be as is; not when something unsaid or not suggested by it is put forward in its stead. You said, “She [unlike Al-Jazira ugly female journalist sent few years ago] saw Eritrea ‘Under Construction’ gliding forward with broken wings.” I think this is inaccurate and misrepresenting. The writer never concluded anything but just a painted a picture. But you see something else because of your mindset. What the “ugly” Al-Jazeera lady asked was what many Eritreans were/are asking? The reality is their number is growing by the day; yes the “ugly” Eritreans. The circumstances of the citizens in hard times mentioned in the article are by no means to be ignored. Nor do they represent striding/gliding forward in these times that we, ever progressively, reach newer low-points by the day. There is a broken policy/governance that caused that and at the least, you should ask policy questions to fix those. I am for more than just addressing a policy issue at this point, if you ask me. I think I have gone “ugly”.

          • dawit

            Dear native, Enjoy this music and sleep tight, good night
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQvM28-pwU8,

        • Sarah Ogbay

          Hi Dawit,
          Really dawit? that is what you took from what the journalist wrote and what Ezra said in is comment?
          Eritrea is not only Campo Citato Street -that poor street being constantly used as a cover of what is going on in Eritrea? This observant journalist started describing the lives of Eritreans starting from the moment and the place she set foot on Eritrean land. You can’t choose and pick sentences and phrases to actually feed your state of denial. I am not disappointed with her article, it is you and denial that I am disappointed with.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sarah:
            Eritrea is number one
            znegese ngusina zeberqe tsehaina
            IA an an elect of God
            And this one now are dawit’s trade mark, he has been awarded the patent number00000 for his ground breaking discoveries

          • dawit

            Hi Sarah,

            Yes she arrived to Eritrea through the border with Sudan, and she didn’t observe “Shoot to kill policy” in the border! Overall she wrote a positive image of Eritrea, not the negativities that we are accustomed to read from pseudo journalists. “Rania Mamoun’s article comes in like a cool breeze. Soft wind”. wrote Ezra.

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Hi Dawit,
            Ok, Now I rest my case. You have made it clear that you have some reading comprehension problems. Let’s leave it there.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Dr. Sarah:
            Dawit 101 for you.
            If tomorrow Ethiopia invades Eritrea and declares it a province of Ethiopia, dawit will support this deal, after all Ethiopia is his first country, it was one before even the Ethiopians knew they were Ethiopians: application of the break through “znegese ngusna zeberqe….”
            If IA make public that he killed all the G-15 as the punishment for “defeatism” and he also brags about killing all the 10,000 prisoners for the same reason and IA also receives the North Korea label as an honor, dawit will support it because he will say Christians worship God and God is a tyrant, pastor dawit will argue and he would bring king Dawit into the equation in his Sunday sermon saying that he killed lots people and it was God’s will and still God calls him “kem libey”, This is application of dawit’s finding of IA as God elect
            If your tell him Eritrea will disintegrates after gliding without wings, he would tell you that Eritrea gliding is good because it is because of the over flowing of crude oil that is oozing from the ground
            If IA asks every support to bring a loved one as sacrificial lamb and kill them under the Pushkin status as an altar, dawit will not only comply but he will tell you that he will even put his right hand on whoever the sacrificial lamb is so he can transfer his own sins to the poor human.

          • dawit

            Hi Sarah,
            I thing the reverse is true. I am an optimist I look for the positive in peoples writings, but you being a pessimist you hunt for the negatives about Eritrea from the article. Yes, Let’s leave it there, no point for an optimist and pessimist to discuss the truth.

    • Tewelde G/mariam

      Hi Dawit,
      Do you know what ” gliding with broken wing'” imply? It means that the country is broken and is about to fall apart. The writer was expressing of the ominous peril that is about to happen to our country and people as you would expect to happen during landing to a gliding bird or airplane with broken wing, unless of course you are an intellectually impaired cult worshipper Cheguar Danga.

      However, The Home of the Brave will never ever fall apart. We do not weave conspiracies; we are not treacherous, we do not have forkedtongue that utter shamelessly lies , and people with such foul character can momentarily take advantage of our uprightness but we have the natural capacity to bounce back and lay our enemies in the very graves they had dug for us. History atests to that.

      The hallmark of evil is, it receprocates evil for the good it receives, of which Isaias afewerki and woyane embody perfectly. Both of these evil people are recipients of our noble hospitalities and goodness. But owing to their evil nature, as they receive our noble acts in our country they drew up elaborate and sophisticated schemes to wreck our country by systematically and covertly sowing seeds of discords among our ethnically and religious diverse community. All these they have been undertaking portraying themselves as mutual enemies. They even led Eritrean and Ethiopian youngsters to slaughter each other on fake war which they fraudulently had conjured up to realize their evil dream. For that cause, Badme was handed over to woyane in 1985.

      The advent of Eritrean Solution for Eritrean Problem, which was beautifully written and posted by Mirriam here at Awate website, is a sign of our youth maturing and recognizing the wolves in our midst, who, with malicious intent of plunging our country into anarchy, have been advocating for uncontrolled regime change. Now, the youth have understood that regime change must be done by united patriotic eritreans with political infrastructure in place to secure the outcome and to keep peace and security in our country.

      Eritrean Solution for Eritrean Problem is also effective antidote to the e ethnic, religious and regional poison the two Siamese evil twins, isaias afewerki and woyane, have been spraying on our people.

      Although our people did no live under their own political structure in recent past, side by side, they lived for ages respecting their difference in faith, language and culture. But there are many indications that they are indeed descendants of the same ancient civilization. We must not therefore dwel on our differences but on our similarities as we embark upon building the Eritrean Nation. Equally important is the that offices of our government must not be filled through simple Math of ethnicity but through Merit. Mritocracy and not democracy of ethnic Math must be our guiding principle. Another one is, we must keep our religion locked in our Mosque/Church. Remember, there is no permanent religion. As in the past, the current religions too shall pass away.

      • dawit

        Hi Tewelde,

        I responded what I felt about her article, beyond that I really don’t have time for a blabbering idiots.

        • Sara

          Dear Mr dawit
          First thanks to abu adal for bringing this to the forum and his effort in its translation which is exellent. What amazes me is that every one of us is reading it according to his political inclinations. she wrote what any one who has good will and wish of and for eritrea will write under the circumstance, nothing to be offensive that we read day in day out from those…….. …you know who. ?
          To enjoy more of such stories, how about we all start to learn arabic, it is beautiful and rich….
          And we can all enjoy khelil jebran …………to almutnebee

          Btw, Rania is not stranger to eritrea and eritreans.

          • dawit

            Dear Sara,
            Thanks for your keen observation, we read same article and pick different points, some positive and some negative from it and we regurgitate that point which we picked. I like the positive and many here at AT picked and the negative. On the Arabic languages, I wish I knew it, I tried to learn on my own without a success. I think I could have learned if I had lived in Arabic speaking country. Learning any language is always a plus, it expands our horizon.