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Eritrea’s Political Culture & Its Outdated Tools Of Analysis

Travel back in time; turn the clock back, way back to a neighborhood where you grew up. Find that Mr. Formidable Force (FF), the individual who becomes the captain of the soccer team in which you played growing up. Picture him in your mind’s eye in how he exuded the aura of power, an absolute power over not only each teammates but in how the entire neighborhood was run by this forceful individual, as it were, terrorizes your age group, pummels each and every one into submission through psychological fad that he possesses, to which he seems to have natural disposition. You could be having fun with your friends, a time of your life laughing and goofing around, the minute you see Mr. FF emerging from a corner a block away everything changes; he is now in charge and you have no option but to be wrapped under his spell and follow his orders. But such absolute psychological force does not quite translate to ounce for ounce strength of physical prowess, because at one point a new kid appears from nowhere who challenges Mr. FF through physical fight demolishing and destroying all that power. Thereafter, his power begins to wane. There is a little like Mr. FF in how we Eritreans handle our political discourse.

The Eritrean political culture has been run in similar fashion to that forceful kid whose sheer psychological fad allows him to rule and all it takes is for one individual to challenge such a façade. Eritrea’s political culture has been driven by personalities who had absolute power to silence individuals and groups alike through intimidation and bullying. To simplify it let us divide these political cultures into two phases: the pre-independence and post-independence political ambiances. Now, if one were to resort to political analysis in the case of the former, the tools one uses, by necessity would be different than when doing the same to the latter. And, when one begins to enmesh the tools of the former to analyze the latter, there will invariably be some disconnect, some dissonance that does not quite fit and let me explain using two recent examples of how this maybe at play.

The incipient pattern that seems to be developing with the emergence of the last two political organizations, namely, Medrekh and Eritrean Lowland League (ELL), into Eritrea’s political theater is worthy of some contemplation. What is conspicuously clear is that these two organizations have raised the political temperature in Diaspora if the controversy that ensued in their wake is to be used as a gauge. What these point is that Eritrean political landscape remains personality driven and ought to be rendered outdated because of the tools of analysis used not only do they need reconsidering, resetting, but also need to be re purposed and retooled. Eritrean political landscape seems to operate as though we are still in the era of pre-independence, at least in the analysis phase of it, which has become this anemically predictable Eritrean political character. The political melody, the social tunes, and the tones of dialogue, the whole monkeyshines, if you will, keeps on monkeying our ideas around in what seems a catapult out of which we have difficulty ridding ourselves from.

ELL & Medrekh can be used as case studies that help explicate the dilemma we face. Let’s take ELL first. When an organization makes it official by having a conference, a conference one of its kind we have not seen, vis-à-vis Lowlanders in Europe, it should be welcomed and welcomed warmly, but cautiously. The former because Eritrea’s political culture has been unforgiving and merciless when any entity attempts to stick its neck out the automatic tendency seems to be to hit it hard and fast until it stays submerged. The latter because, of course, as any organization in the formation process must be carefully assessed, we should give ourselves ample time to do just that before we swiftly render judgment on the organization.

Eritrean Lowland League’s (ELL’s) Hostile Reception

When ELL officially graced the political scene to assert its vested interest based on the region from which it hails, what conceivable problem that will have to the overall Eritrean political landscape as its agenda will be open to public scrutiny. After all, in the post independent Eritrea, shouldn’t each region, each ethnic groups, each religious groups, each Eritrean group of any stripe vouch for its interest? Isn’t that what civilized societies do. The whole point is this: we must be privy to the new political scene that is dawning in Eritrea. Eritreans are going to vouch for their vested interest; first and foremost, of course, so long that vouching is done in line with the sovereignty of the nation as a whole.

What made this rather interesting is what Dr. Mohamad Khier did: he spent a little over 50 minutes explaining the genesis and the principles of ELL as he was an invitee, mind you, not a member of ELL, but an independent entity invited to listen in, which was a noble gesture on both ELL and for Dr. Mohammad Khier to accept the invite and not only attend but eloquently present their case in Smerrr Paltalk. After all that, people still think that he is a member of ELL. The politics of suspicion; the politics of conspiracies ought to have met its demise when Eritrea became independent. Post independent Eritrea’s political landscape needs a fresh approach in that we should not read what we want to read into people’s motives, rather we should accept the explanation provided to us by the people who are telling us what their role has been as Dr. Mohammad-Khier did.

The tendencies of Eritrean political discourse being personality driven and has been so for so many decades is one of the culprits that must be rendered ineffective, part of the reason why people do not seem to hear what the good doctor was telling the public in clear terms. When politics is personality driven it gives no room for pragmatism; no amount of facts would sway the public at large and the pundits who wallow in how well they know an individual who is making the pitch, thus, whatever is being said becomes moot and what ought to be said becomes the point of analysis.

Medrekh’s Subdued Reception

The way Medrekh perceives its platform is the way it should be taken as a given, not what they ought and should be like. Distinction must be made between policy oriented politics and platform based political movement. The stage in which Eritreans are in now is not the former; it is the latter. Therefore, we must begin to act accordingly – the era we are in is not revolutionary. Rather, our aim is to rid of the system that is plaguing Eritreans in Eritrea completely from a self-appointed regime that has been wreaking havoc in the nation. Thus, if Medrekh bursts to the political scene seemingly wanting to keep the EPFDJ’s structure it will be a missed opportunity. Similarly, if ELLites burst to the Eritrean political landscape with their regionally tinged agenda at the core, they, too, will find it difficult to effectively function as political force to contend with because the very nature of their structure will limit them to that narrowly focused platform, translation: constituency. What both have to think about is identify their natural alliances. For the ELL, it would likely be other Eritreans who have similar issues, such as the Afars on the land distribution matters and with other Muslim Eritrean on their religious affiliations as well as conceivably with other Christian Eritreans who have similar issues vis-à-vis religious oppression under this heinous regime. Medrekh will probably gravitate toward those who have secular tendencies. ELL is asserting its agency without the need for relying on other entities to represent its issues. Medrekh seems to be one that is shortchanging itself at least short term, given the financial wherewithal it has at its disposal, its leadership’s name recognition, it can afford to swing its political gravitas to embrace and inject new blood to its political platform by allowing others to join – but, of course, to be embraceable it must go beyond political rhetoric of cosmetic diversity to a genuine plurality based platform, platform that would allow others to freely and comfortably join its mission and vision for Eritrea of the future.

Implicit in Medrekh’s mission seems to be in its actions vis-à-vis the two languages it chose to disseminate in its media outlet format – namely, Arabic & Tigrinya. This for some may come across as superficial, but analyzing it further may illuminate something very important that makes it standout in this regard. What many who argue against oppression of any kind, in general and on language policies in particular, miss is that it is not just speaking out loudly against linguistic oppression, colonialism, imperialism, and language monopolization that EPFDJ has been mercilessly using Tigrinya as its default official language is case and point; but due diligence and due considerations must be paid to the unintended consequences. For example, we know how language is intricately woven with historical, political, and social aspects of any given society that need and must be factored in when a nation considers of instituting language policies in education. What could easily be gleaned from EPFDJ’s default language monopoly is that nations and its people who have political clout must not miss the forest for the tree. They must consider and be cognizant of this fact: that any nation’s interest and economic success is tied in how it justly treats its citizens. Language policies are only the beginning to that long road of political stability, social and communal cohesion amongst peoples of different background, as well as an assured approach to democratic system. So, seen in this light, Medrekh’s approach seems to gravitate toward a system of plurality in post-Isaias Eritrea.

If we examine the history of language and how a given language becomes prominent during the nation-state formations, which began with the French revolution is one of assured path to hegemony. Once nationalism gains traction, language becomes front and center by which a country and its population’s national identity are defined. Jingoism and patriotism were some of the ways in which language superiority began to disseminate jingoist venom, especially in the countries where Europe was the colonizer. In the post-colonial African countries, for example, where multiple languages are spoken in a given country, one that dominates the political power oppresses the other languages spoken much the same way in which Europe did when it colonized these countries and what the current regime in Eritrea is doing today. The implication of that far reaching legacy is that, to this day, many African countries suffer from that perpetual mimicry they have learned from their colonizers by using it on their own people who happened to speak different language than them. Eritrea’s predicament has been a classic textbook case that one can easily trace its genesis. Therefore, the fact that Medrekh has shown such bold move from its inception is worthy of an accolade.

bnegash@hotmail.com

About Beyan Negash

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

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  • Sam

    Hi brother Beyan.

    I like the FF analogy about the political culture in Eritrea. Nice Piece.

    Just to point to your attention: To my understanding, the word privy suggests a privilege of sharing secret about something. So especially when you talk about national political agenda, public participation, accountability and
    transparency should be our guiding principles. Privy is what has been and still is plaguing our country. — Only active, transparent and responsible engagement in political platforms can move Eritrea
    and Eritreans into highest level of political consciousness and change; hence better
    political future for Eritrea.—

    Speaking of language, what do you suggest our guiding policy
    should be? I understand the language problem that other African countries have As a solution, some have adopted former colonial language as their unifying national language. As a result of this policy, many indigenous languages are at the verge of extinction or have already died. Case in point, generally speaking, some west and central African countries. There, you see indigenous languages being replaced by creole western languages. So when I see current Eritrean government language policy of not having official language or promoting mother language as medium of pedagogy at elementary school level, I think we are on the right direction in fostering our linguistic pluralism. It is important to carry out periodic empirical studies to see how this policy is actually working and if it begs some tuning or complete overhaul.

    Best wishes,
    Sam

  • Bayan Nagash

    Dear KS, Tes, dawit, and Awatawyan

    Dear KS thanks for your kind gestures, amazing talent where
    you can pop poetry like it is popcorn – amazing talent.

    Dear dawit, my apologies for making you feel the way you
    did, but you know how it goes: nay Habesha fiQri bZerfi, nay hindi dmma bderfi endyu, take it easy my friend, but I
    appreciate your attempt to generate a conversation; ideally, that’s one would
    want, but then being read by others is sufficient enough for my purposes. Allow
    me to use the challenges posted by Tes (here) and Hamid (on my FB) to broaden my
    idea as it relates to pre & post- independence era tools of analysis.

    Dear Tes & Hamid,

    In several fields of study there are models, concepts, and
    theories that are used to effectively address issues which help clarify ideas
    and argument when one attempts to advance the skeletons of one’s arguments. For
    example, in the field of history one will find those who believe that history
    can only be told using Primary Source, such as original documents from archives
    or newspapers and the like, but the tool of analysis these scholar argue must be
    through empirical data. Enter to the tools of analysis of New Cultural History to analyze
    of what occurred in history, mind you, no data needed here, but that one can go
    back to history and try to capture using, for example, anthropological tools,
    such as ethnography, cultural artifacts, or religious practices, and the like
    (See works of Eric Van Young and Mary Kay Vaughan, especially the latter some
    of whose work I have read are fascinating, indeed).

    In “Anything Goes…”,
    Stephen Haber who is proponent of the traditional historical writing opposes to
    this New Cultural History, to use his own words, on the following premise:

    “…the new cultural history is both ontologically and
    epistemically subjective. Many of its practitioners are ambivalent about the
    notions that there are objective facts (i.e., that facts exist independently of
    the subjective beliefs of the observer) and that arguments should be organized
    according to the canons of logical reasoning […] new cultural historians has
    serious consequences for their ability to sustain arguments. Their categories
    of analysis and systems of classification are vague, imprecise, and
    inconsistent. At the same time, the body of documentary evidence that sustains
    their empirical claims is, by the admission of the new cultural historians
    themselves, thin and speaks to the issues at hand only in an oblique manner.
    The net result is a body of scholarship in which evidentiary gaps and logical
    inconsistencies are filled by argument based on recourse to authority, moral
    statements, and ruminative interpretive artifice.” (p. 310).

    The above is being brought to illustrate a point that Tes
    brought forth, which is a valid one. But, my point of reference for using the
    recent examples in my article, namely, ELL & Medrekh, has to do with the fact
    that it is fresh in our memory and that time is inconsequential. The entire
    premise of my argument rests in the tools of analysis that we are employing not fitting the bill when we try to use concepts from yesteryear. Allow me to use the following thought that
    illustrates my point better. Consider women’s participation pre-independence
    (33%) and post- independence (no data), but in all likelihood it probably won’t
    be more than 10 %, this is putting it liberally. How does one explain this anomaly?
    One can stipulate, using the pre-independence historical context and historical
    analysis based on the kinds of existential danger tegadalti were facing was so
    real that they could not afford to put women to serve men’s domestic needs,
    that would be absurd. These people were fighting an enemy that could wipe them
    out, given women’s presence in abundance (33%), who want to fight on equal footing along side the men, it was of paramount importance in combating the enemy. So, whether it was the social pressure
    or due to anachronistic reasons for the retreat of women to the domestic sphere in post-independence Eritrea
    is worth exploring.

    Now, let’s turn our attention to post-independence era in
    which Eritrean women were relegated to domestic settings, why, because the
    chauvinistic male centered culture that was deeply rooted in Eritrean culture
    made it rather difficult to combat. This, in my opinion, is hogwash, because
    the EPLF leaders, who were by and large, men, did not see it as their priority
    now to operate in equal footing the way they did in pre-independence days when
    extinction was hovering in the horizon. This is one example that can make a difference in what tools one uses
    when analyzing situations.

    One can go category by category and would be able to see the
    importance of tools of analysis. Take religion as a category of analysis. In
    pre-independence era, religious practices were de-emphasized for many reason,
    chief among which, I would imagine has to do, again, survival. If gedli was
    going to win, it cannot afford to splinter along religious, ethnic, and gender
    lines. Therefore, the negation of an individual’s religious and ethnic
    identities had to be placed in the back burner. Take the same logic of gender
    issue aforementioned, you will arrive at similar conclusion. Soon after
    independence, Eritreans of Jehovah Witness persuasion were ostracized because of their
    belief when they did not want to vote for referendum. The tools that
    Eritreans used was one of survival mode, forgetting that they were free and
    could come up with a decree, instead, what do they do: round them up and collectively exact
    punishments. Similarly, a couple years later, young Muslim Eritreans were made
    to disappear without a trace because they began to grow beards and were
    practicing Islam the way they saw fit to their spiritual needs. Here, one can clearly see the
    pre-independence mindset being applied to post-independence era when every
    Eritrean should’ve been free to practice whatever he/she believed in, so on and
    so forth.

    I hope this sheds light in what I meant by outdated analytic
    tools. What I see lacking in our virtual world is lack of ideological space
    that would firmly allow us to adequately analyzing matters of social, political,
    gender, religious, culture, and the like.

  • Bayan Nagash

    Dear KS, Tes, dawit, and Awatawyan

    Dear KS thanks for your kind gestures, amazing talent where you can pop poetry like it is popcorn – amazing talent.

    Dear dawit, my apologies for making you feel the way you did, but you know how it goes: nay Habesha fiQri bZerfi, nay hindi dmma bderfi endyu, take it easy my friend, but I appreciate your attempt to generate a conversation; ideally, that’s one would want, but then being read by others is sufficient enough for my purposes. Allow me to use the challenges posted by Tes (here) and Ismail Hamid (on my FB) to broaden my idea as it relates to pre & post- independence era tools of analysis.

    In several fields of study there are models, concepts, and theories that are used to effectively address issues which help clarify ideas and argument when one attempts to advance the skeletons of one’s arguments. For example, in the field of history one will find those who believe that historycan only be told using primary source, such as original documents from archives or newspapers and the like, but the tool of analysis these scholar argue must be through data. Enter to the tools of analysis of New Cultural History to analyze of what occurred in history, mind you, no data needed here, but that one can go back to history and try to capture using, for example, anthropological tools, such as ethnography, cultural artifacts, or religious practices, and the like (See works of Eric Van Young and Mary Kay Vaughan, especially the latter some
    of whose work I have read are fascinating, indeed).

    In “Anything Goes…”, Stephen Haber who is proponent of the traditional historical writing opposes to
    this New Cultural History, to use his own words, on the following premise:

    “…the new cultural history is both ontologically and
    epistemically subjective. Many of its practitioners are ambivalent about the
    notions that there are objective facts (i.e., that facts exist independently of
    the subjective beliefs of the observer) and that arguments should be organized
    according to the canons of logical reasoning […] new cultural historians has
    serious consequences for their ability to sustain arguments. Their categories
    of analysis and systems of classification are vague, imprecise, and
    inconsistent. At the same time, the body of documentary evidence that sustains
    their empirical claims is, by the admission of the new cultural historians
    themselves, thin and speaks to the issues at hand only in an oblique manner.
    The net result is a body of scholarship in which evidentiary gaps and logical
    inconsistencies are filled by argument based on recourse to authority, moral
    statements, and ruminative interpretive artifice.” (p. 310).

    The above is being brought to illustrate a point that Tes brought forth, which is a valid one. But, my point of reference for using the recent examples in my article, namely, ELL & Medrekh, has to do with the fact that it is fresh in our memory and it is also time is really inconsequential if one uses the right tools, it can as easily be applied to others irrespective of how recent or how old. The entire premise of my argument rests in the tools of analysis that we are employing not fitting the bill when we try to use concepts from yester year. Allow me to use the following thought that illustrates my point better. Consider women’s participation pre-independence (33%) and post- independence (no data), but in all likelihood it probably won’t be more than 10 %, this is putting liberally. How does one explain this anomaly? One can stipulate, using the pre-independence historical context and historical analysis based on the kinds of existential danger tegadalti were facing was so real that they could not afford to put women to serve men’s domestic needs, that would be absurd. These people were fighting an enemy that could wipe them out, women’s presence was of paramount importance in combating the enemy.
    So, whether it was the social pressure or due to anachronistic reasons for the retreat of women to the domestic sphere post-independence is worth exploring.

    Now, let’s turn our attention to post-independence era in which Eritrean women were relegated to domestic settings, why, because the chauvinistic male centered culture that was deeply rooted in Eritrean culture made it rather difficult to combat. This, in my opinion, is hogwash, because the EPLF leaders, who were by and large, men, did not see it as their priority
    now to operate in equal footing the way they did in pre-independence days when extinction was hovering in the horizon.
    This is one example that can make a difference in what tools one uses when analyzing situations.
    One can go category by category and would be able to see the importance of tools of analysis. Take religion as a category of analysis. In pre-independence era, religious practices were deemphasized for many reason, chief among which, I would imagine has to do, again, survival. If gedli was going to win, it cannot afford to splinter along religious, ethnic, and gender
    lines. Therefore, the negation of an individual’s religious and ethnic identities had to be placed in the back burner. Take the same logic of gender issue aforementioned, you will arrive at similar conclusion here as well. Soon after independence, Eritreans of Jehovah Witness persuasion were ostracized because of their belief when they did not want to vote for the referendum. The tools that Eritreans used was one of survival mode, forgetting that they were free and could come up with a decree, instead, rounded every JW and collectively exacted punishments. Similarly, a couple years later, young Muslim Eritreans were made to disappear without a trace because they began to grow beards and were practicing Islam the way they saw fit to their spiritual needs. Here, one can clearly see the pre-independence mindset being applied to post-independence era when every Eritrean should’ve been free to practice whatever he/she believed in, so on and
    so forth.

    I hope this sheds light in what I meant by outdated analytic tools. What I see lacking in our virtual world is lack of ideological space that would firmly allow in adequately analyzing matters of political, social, gender, religious, culture, and the like. Most prominently, in my estimate, is the former and my hope is that someone from the field of political science will help us in developing models that we can use to get a better grasp of our mixed up approach being rendered in effective, at best.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dearest Beyan, I really enjoy it after reading the brief even more. allow me to put this poem under your article.

    ………ጽበትን ስፍሓትን…….. VER. 02

    ሰብ ንመሰሉ እዩ ዝጋደል –
    ንኽብሩ እዩ ኣይፋል ዝብል ::
    ነቲ ግቡእ ሰብኣዊ ክብሩ –
    ብሰላም ሓቲቱ በገባብ ሓቢሩ –
    መልሲ እንተሲኢኑ ኣንጸርጺሩ
    ግድን ‘ዩ ክቃለስ ክምክት ተሪሩ ::

    ተጋድሎ ካብ ውልቀ ሰብ እዩ ዝጅምር:-
    ናይ ውልቀ ሰባት ድምር ድመርምር :-
    እኮ እዩ ስድራ ዓብዩ ዝበጽሕ ብሄር ;-
    ሽዑ እንድኣሉ ዝዛረብ ብሃገር ::

    እንተጸቢቡ:-
    ጽብብ ሓዲሩ ጽብብ እንተወዓለ:-
    ብድሑር ዝንባሌታቱ እንተተብከለ;-
    ይከኣል እዩ ክምከር ክእለ:-
    ከፊ ኡና ዘሎ ናይ’ቲ ተጸለለ:-
    ናይ’ቲ ጸረ ሰላም ዓጢቁ ተላዕለ:-
    ናይ’ቲ ምዕባሌን ራህዋን ዝኸልከለ::

    እምበር:-
    ጸቢብ ድኣ ኣካል ገፊሕ እንድኣሉ:-
    ጸቢቡ ጸቢቡ ናበይ ከብል ኢሉ:-
    ዕድል ምስተዋህቦ ክሳብ ዝበርሃሉ:-
    ኣብ’ ቲ ገፊሕ ባይታ ኣይተርፎን ምጽላሉ::

    ‘ቲ ስፍሓት ዓቐን ብጸቢብ ነይውነን:-
    ‘ቲ ጸቢብ ‘ውን ግዳ ብሰፊሕ ነይኩነን:-
    ሰፍሕ ‘ውን እኮ ብዘይጸቢብ የለን:-
    ልቦና የድሊ ንመሰልን ክብርን::

    ኩሉ ብበቦትኡ ኣድላይ ብምኾኑ:-
    ክተሓዝ ይግባእ ግርም ተመዚኑ:-
    ግርም ተኣልዩ ከይሓልፍ ዓቐኑ:-
    ከይጋጮ ምእንታን ምውና ን ሓሊኑ::

    ምግፍሕ ‘ውን እኮ ሓድጋ ‘ዩ መጠን እንተሓሊፉ:-
    ውሕጅ እኳ ዝደክም መንገዲ እንተግዚፉ:-
    መ ጠ ን ሓሊኻ እዩ ዘድሊ ምሕቋፉ:-
    ግዳ ተጠንቂቅካ ገሊኦም ከይተርፉ:-
    ምስ ጸረ ሓድነት ከይዶም ከይስለፉ:-
    ስሚ መዓር ኢሎም ሰትዮም ከይቅዘፉ::

    ስለ’ዚ
    ዓቐንን መጠንን ብግቡእ ንምምዛን :-
    ዓይነት ከድሊ እዩ ተምክሮን ምህሮን:-
    ሓዲሽ መድረኽ ንፍጠር ነዚ ንምትንታን:-
    ዲሞክራሲያዊት ሃገር ክንፈጥር መእንታን::

    ብኮኾብ ሰላም 27/05/2014

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Beyan,

    Thank you for uplifting the type-to-do analysis for our future works. I was really happy to read the title and the sub-titles you brought here. But, soon, you narrowed your approach to groups that emerged within this 6 months. The title is very interesting, but the examples you brought did not enforce your title, rather, it lead me to current opportunists politics, I mean the ELL’s and Mederekites.

    i hope you will strengthen the title by engaging yourself in this discussion.

    Thank you.

    hawka
    tes

  • Bayan Nagash

    Dear Dawit, KS, and Awatawyan,

    If I am not mistaken Dawit you are our in-house cartoonist, which I thought you have a distinct ability of being able to capturing the bare-bone, the skeleton, if you will, on the pieces you decide to help readers get the essential points (with humor, of course). And then comes our poet in residence, KS, essentially asking the same thing, therefore, allow me to give it a stub to see if this brief note illustrates in as few sentences as possible what I tried to say in the article. Before I do, however, a little anecdotal digression is in order.

    During the heyday of AM-Radio-Talk-Shows there was a particular show that I almost never missed listening to, and there was this character who would call the host who spoke with a Southern drool and who fired his words in rapid succession. The rub was that this dude, no matter what the topic, found a way of addressing his two passionate subjects one of which his vehement opposition (abortion); and the other to which he was absolutely for (the right to bear arm) and would just find a way of stringing his ideas to talk about these issues.

    The dilemma I see with our Eritrean political analysts and laymen alike are as follows:

    1. Much as some African Americans (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton etc.), sixty years after civil rights movement see the world through the racial lens; we have Eritreans, 23 years after independence, still seeing the Eritrean world through ELF vs EPLF lens. That’s what I wanted us to rid ourselves from, hence for pre & post-independence categories.

    2. Personality driven analysis: Here you’ve got individuals who may have gone through educational process, evolutionary process, who may have made materially visible changes in their lives, yet, we want to judge them by one or two things we knew them when they were political actors. Hence, you hear us saying kla ezi d’a diE
    zbele Shaebia endyu; oh ezi da’a yfelTo endye zeywatsellu Jebha Amma endyu. The crux of the matter: let us focus on ideas rather than personalities.

    3. Mr. FF in the prelude was meant to illustrate and have us make a connection of that bully most of us knew growing up and that mentality being extended to our political landscape by which we are now being bullied to see the world through him (like Isaias in Eritrea) and many more you can extrapolate your own in the Diaspora. I do not follow events closely, especially with regime loyalists, but I bet you now they are salivating, because they finally have found something to latch onto that their bully is telling them he is going to institute constitution. Of course, now is the time to watch certain opposition groups,such as Medrekh who are being labeled as an entity that wants to salvage the structure of Shaebia in post Isaias Eritrea. How are they going to navigate out of this new hook bully threw their way, will they take the bait, well that remains to be seen.

    I hope this helps in clarifying what I was intending to articulate.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Bayan:
      It was good to read your article, I was in the process of writing your obituary, no I will never do that, I meant the obituary of your articles that once graced the pages of Awate.
      I am sure “dawit” will reply, but this “dawit” is not the Dawit the cartoonist, “dawit” is a PFDJ supporter who freely expresses his PFDJ opinions on a democratic website. Dawit is the real Dawit, but “dawit” is the blind, mammoth suffering from tunnel vision, arrogance and armored with heavy seemingly justice proof vest, but fragile, “ferah bzuh betru” Goliath 🙂
      dawit has been good to me so I am returning the favour by doing this until he replies to you;-)
      Sem

      • Bayan Nagash

        Hello Semere A.,
        Thank you for clarifying the finer distinctions between names based lower and upper case in the two Dawits. I thought the ‘Higdef_Mendef’ along his signature line was meant to be as facetious remark, I guess not – he is the real deal. He may now be busy then unpacking the meaning of the perverse remarks of the bully back home about instituting constitution in the country.

        It is immensely frustrating for me at my own inability to have sustainable engagement in Eritrean sociopolitical matters, but I must learn to live with it for now, seasonal activist is far better than being written off to a point of conducting unceremonious “obituary.” No virtual death yet Brother.

        BN

        • dawit

          Dear Bayan;

          I am sorry you had difficulty of distinguishin names between ‘dawit’ and ‘Dawit’ and you are not alone in this confusion. Why is this confusion? Long time when
          Awate. Com was the leading opposition web site, after Meskerem and Asmarino, I have been visiting the site and occasionally I aired my opinions with my signature name ‘dawit’. Later since Dawit is a popular name other new comers started to use it. Awate.com wanted to avoid the confusion of names, advised that new comers to change their but refused to do so they keep signing ‘Dawit’. Therefore the ‘dawit’ is the original and not the fake one, and ‘Dawit’ the late comer to AT is the ‘Resident Artist’. If I had to give an adjective to myself, I would say ‘dawit the resident pain in the neck at AT’. My new signature ‘HIGDEF-MENDEF’ was extended to me by XXXXX, ask SEM he will late you know of its origin. As to my relation with SEM, it is health competition, because I step on his exclusive territory of the ‘AT Resident Satirist’. So he steps in as an ‘advocate’ to defend with anyone I disagree in their opinions. Lately every insult that he imagined including that he has reserved for IA is shooting at me. “dawit” is the blind, mammoth suffering from tunnel vision, arrogance and armored with heavy seemingly justice proof vest, but fragile, “ferah bzuh betru” Goliath”. But, guess what? I have a thick skin and his cry in wilderness does not bother me. Now Beyan if you want a nice complement to use, here is nwhat Haile GT, referred to me ‘dawit the Thinker’ on reference to say’s confusion like you did, but you can refer to me ‘dawit the pain in the neck’ if you are decent or you can use the alternative ward for donkey, it doesn’t
          bother me. What I wrote on my comment, because I genuinely wanted to understand your writing. It was almost a day when no one responded to your article and I wrote what I wrote, and now your article is not the topic but ‘dawit’ the pain in the XXX. You did what I wanted to know on the continuation of the civil war of ELF/EPLF controversies from your article, and frankly I could have responded on that topic, but unfortunately I will not because you have joined in the ‘Insulting Business’ which I clearly would not like to travel that road with you or anyone else.

          Thank you

          The dawit, the real deal

          HEGDEF MENDEF

          • Semere Andom

            dawit:
            I was just trying to say that dawit will fail in the fight against Dawit and I used that meandering description to do so. No intention to insult you as we were not talking. I actually thought you will find it funny given our previous dry humour exchange

            thanks
            Sem

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dearest Negash, some articles are not easy like this one. it needs concentration. Medrek in itself as party is difficult to understand it. I didn’t give that weight to this party before. I learn and understand some new things as you have put it as example. leaving a prat the example, you have given very good information for the tools used in the past which describe it as out dated analysis and which in turn will light the new and fresh analysis.

    the good doctor was always open minded and a good teacher. above all I appreciate his honest participation in every event. people like this doctor should be encouraged.

    I feel what our lovely dawit is requesting is also correct. I may get more brief information if you summarize. I am sure you will do it for us.

  • Abe

    Poor Dawit,
    Why do you think people in awate don’t have a day job that pay to maintain their life??? Why do you have to rely on the like of these lost soul to prove you anything ?

  • dawit

    Dear Brother Beyan Negash,
    I read your article twice, and also went way-way back to my childhood but I could not comprehend what you are trying to communicate. Please could you summarize your idea in two or three sentences, so that people like me a typical HGDEF-Mendefites can comprehend it and be part of the discussion..

    Respectfully
    yours

    HEGDEF_MENDEF

    dawit