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GEAN: Memorandum of Understanding

On the initiative of Global Eritrean Advocacy Network (GEAN), and after a series of deliberations, we, the undersigned individuals, civil societies, political organizations, veterans, community and religious leaders subscribe to this memorandum of understanding (MoU) to serve as a basis for:

  • Understanding and articulating the daunting challenges that Eritrea faces, and offering a clear and practical transitional path for post-PFDJ Eritrea and beyond.
  • Building partnerships and coalitions among all Eritreans to help achieve a broadly accepted alternative to the current regime.
  • Facilitating practical civil engagements and collective actions aiming to bring about peace, stability, and sustainable development for our people and our region.
  • Bridging the cultural and political divide by encouraging dialogue, reconciliation, mutual understanding, and cooperation among all Eritreans.
  • Building a just and equitable society by promoting collaborative approaches aimed at reducing conflicts and promoting a culture of tolerance, respect, and peaceful coexistence.

Having had numerous discussions on the views, programs, and the state of the Eritrean opposition and resistance to the regime, we conclude that the majority of the pro-change civil societies and political organizations:

  • Reject all forms of religious extremism and ethnic chauvinism that resulted from years of President Isaias’ Afewroki’s devastating policies of divide and rule that pitted Eritreans against each other along religious, ethnic, and regional lines.
  • Recognize the unity in our diversity as a people having overlapping and multilayered identities which include but are not limited to: Christians and Muslims, Lowlanders and Highlanders, Afar, Aleet, Bilen, Dahalik, Hadareb (Bedawyet speakers), Jeberti, Kunama, Nara, Rashiada, Saho, Tigre (Tigrayet speakers), Tigrigna, and many others who wish to be identified by one of the several dozen tribes or by the language they speak as it is within their unalienable rights to assert who they are and how they wish to be characterized.
  • Do not fundamentally differ in the goals they are trying to achieve. Some elements of these programs are essentially the same and others have minor differences.

We, therefore, believe that it is in their best interest that all these organizations form a common understanding of the core principles upon which their programs are based. Further, for the effective and efficient use of our limited resources, we encourage all social and political organizations to coalesce into fewer and larger groups.

We consider the restoration of the rule of law in Eritrea an extension of our historical struggle for independence. Suspicion emanating from the specter of yet another betrayal, especially by the regime’s beneficiaries who now purport to be against it, is well founded and can only be allayed by assuming a clear and principled position on key issues that matter to all Eritreans. We, therefore, consider the following consensually agreed upon key elements as nonnegotiable requisites for peace, stability, and justice in Eritrea.

  1. Establishment of a democratic, constitutional and decentralized political system of governance structured around applicable regional and ethnic federal system
  2. The assertion of group rights within a multiethnic and multicultural society including the right to describe themselves as they wish
  3. The right of all Eritreans to return to their original homes
  4. Arabic and Tigrigna to be maintained as official languages of Eritrea
  5. Restoration of the legal, customary, and historical rights to land ownership

These rights are articulated in the Eritrean Covenant of 2010 which was ahead of its time and was well received by many Eritreans from all walks of life. Therefore, rather than reinventing the wheel, we incorporate aspects of this well-known document to our understanding of the aspiration and wishes of all Eritreans.

Moreover, it is our understanding that there should be a consensus and broad support for a national accord document that all Eritrean political parties and organizations must pledge their full commitments to abide by and recognize it as the only acceptable path towards restoring democracy and rule of law. We believe the template provided by the Eritrean Accord of 2010 is a good starting point as it services as a model for a clear path towards the restoration of rule of law in the interim and transitional periods of post-PFDJ Eritrea and beyond.

In conclusion, we call upon all pro-change groups to join us in subscribing to this Memorandum of Understanding as a way of building trust and confidence for working together, while giving due consideration to the fears and aspirations of all Eritreans whose rights have been denied by the current regime and its predecessors.

About Global Eritrean Advocacy Network (GEAN)

We consider ourselves an interest and an advocacy group that seeks to promote and advance issues we deem central to a just, peaceful, democratic and prosperous (present and) future Eritrea. We are committed to working closely with all individuals and groups that seek to advance these central issues regardless of political, religious or other orientations to garner support, help devise strategies and execute plans to fulfill aspired goals.

Mission:

To educate, mobilize, organize, influence public opinion and elected officials, empower Eritreans around important national issues and to inspire them to energetically and proactively participate in the national discourse; and to safeguard their aspirations for freedom, peace, equality and justice through equal representation and an inclusive national constitution that represents all sectors of Eritrean society within a free and democratic Eritrea.

Objective:

GEAN seeks to meet and engage like-minded individuals and groups in sharing ideas, brainstorm best ways to address existing challenges and avert future obstacles as well as share resources, talents, and aspirations. We believe in promoting issues that are factually based, empirically quantifiable, rigorously researched will and do stand the test of time. We believe such factually based and thoroughly researched ideas will help to cement sound and long lasting laws, policies, services and practices.

Supporting document: The Eritrean Accord: Harmonized Constitution – By Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar

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  • Abraham H.

    Selam Hayat Adem,
    This is a reply to your post longer below about the article in hand.
    Until GEAN comes and responds to your questions here is my take on some of the issues you raised:

    1. First I’m against any plan that seeks to divide Eritrea into federal states based on ethnic grounds; because it is too diivisive, and impractical considering the geographical distrubution of the various ethnic groups that in reality live mixed in the whole of Eritrea. This is to say Eritrea cannot be divided into clear cut distinctive ethnically based geographical entities.

    2. To guarantee the participation of all Eritreans in the political, economic, social, and cultural affairs of their country, one doesn’t need a federal system. We can have a strong central government, that would be formed by the fair representation of all the constituents and stakeholders. At local levels we can have local administrative units that have greater say in the local affairs, in terms of political, admistrative, economic, social, and cultural aspects (decentralization) as much as their capabilities allows.

    3. The issue of having national languages is mainly important at the level of the central government, because this government would deal with the affairs of all Eritreans together, while the local units could have the freedom of deciding on their own local working languages. The issue of national language doesn’t have anything to do with the relationhips of the Central government with the outside world as you pointed out by saying: “Once the federal government is set up on negotiated terms from the constituting units, it can always pick and add working languages that helps it do business and diplomacy with the outside world?”. How the Central government deals with the outside world will always depend on which country it is dealing with; in most cases one of the international languages would be used in this matter. The question of naional languages is an internal matter.

    4. You wrote, “What is the justification GEAN now wanted to shift emphasis of primacy from Tigrigna to Arabic?”. This claim is based on wrong observation; GEAN are not planning “to shift emphasis of primacy from Tigrinya to Arabic”, rather they are saying becasue of the ethnic make up of Eritrea, Arabic should be equally endorsed as a national language along with Tigrinya to accomodate the needs of the people who have a better mastery of Arabic than Tigrinya.

    5. You wrote, “Isn’t it also true that the kind of language the federal state uses when dealing with the Eritrean people must be the choice of the federal entities as is the case that all domestic powers must emanate from them not the other way?”. In my view the answer is ‘no’, because the issue of the language of the Central government should be decided by the Constitution, and it should take into account the needs of all of the Eritrean people; those who are more comfortable with Tigrinya, and those who are more comfortable with Arabic, because the Central gov would deal with all Eritreans and the local administrative units would deal with those in their respective administrative areas.

    6. You also seem to question the legitimate right of all Eritreans to return to their ancestral lands, and the question of land in general. And you said such issues are ‘policy prescriptions of Unitarian nature’, a claim I found to be astounding. We have to know that all Eritreans have inalienable and unquestionable right of returning and resettling in their motherland, a God given right they have simply because they are Eritreans. The issue of land is probably the most difficult one in post-Isayas Eritrea, because it has been going on since the Ethiopian occupation era, or even much earlier. Thousands of Eritreans have been forced to leave their abode due to war, poverty, political repression, and racial/religious motivated displacements. The lands of these people have been confiscated by the various regimes, and some land has been transferred to other inhabitants from other parts of the country. Hence to claim “Restoration of the legal, customary, and historical rights to land ownership” as GEAN said is easy said than done. We have, therefore, to set up a national commission that would deal with the land issue, taking into consideration the new Constitution, and all other historical factors that have led to present day land practices.

    • Hayat Adem

      Dear Abraham,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was hoping the GEAN would address my issues. Either they thought they didn’t deserve response or they wanted to come late on them. But you did and that is good.
      1) Whether Eritrea need federal system as the best option and whether that federal should take ethnicity into consideration is a very debatable issue. One thing I agree with you is decentralization is possible even under non-federal systems. But, I genuinely believe there are many problems of efficiency and empowerment that a federal system can address better. it is a matter of which one gives more advantages for nation consolidation and nation-building. So, we just a different feeling about the approach to achieve the same goal, and we’ll leave at that.
      2) Again, the same thing. It is about which system works better for Eritrea. By the way, it is not about having a weak government vs a strong government. because federal governments can be strong as well ,and unitary governments can also be weak. i think the issue here with both types of stems is about scope, not depth (function). Basically, I tend to pick a federal system ensuring a majority rule and minority protection while letting individual citizens to be totally free to unleash their God given potentials to enjoy life and work as much as they can.
      3) On the issue of language: I think if I remove the misunderstanding on the issue of language, we may be a bit closer towards each other than you may think. For example, i only said the central government can pick a working language, or languages for that matter, for international businesses and diplomacy. National language is a different issue. For that, people of the land must pick one or two. So, like you said the question of national language is an internal matter. Citizens and people must have a say in determining as to which one of the local native languages should be. This can be done during the process of discussing the content of the constitution and can also be decided with a vote in a constitutional assembly. Almost no difference here.
      4) This one is a bit tricky, so let me quote the entire point you made, so that i address it properly.
      start
      [You wrote, “What is the justification GEAN now wanted to shift emphasis of primacy from Tigrigna to Arabic?”. This claim is based on wrong observation; GEAN are not planning “to shift emphasis of primacy from Tigrinya to Arabic”, rather they are saying because of the ethnic make up of Eritrea, Arabic should be equally endorsed as a national language along with Tigrinya to accommodate the needs of the people who have a better mastery of Arabic than Tigrinya.]
      end
      When you tow sacred items, there is a reason why you mention one first and the other in 2nd order. I thought their mentioning of Arabic at the forefront and before Tigrigna is a sign of an implicit tone of emphasis. I might be reading too much into this, maybe, GEAN can claim use of alphabetic order. But, I doubt, because in all serious documents and declarations, usually the weight of importance is what dictates order. So..
      5) Well, it doesn’t surprise me we a difference on your 5th point. You wanted a Unitarian system and it comes by default that the central government picks a national language. I vote for a federal system and like in federal systems, all kind of relationships between the federal umbrella and the entities is decided by the entities, as power comes from them. But GEAN agrees with me except that they wanted the language to be pre-determined to be Arabic and Tigrigna before hand.
      6) I was not opposed to the contents of the suggested principles about the return of Eritreans, rights to land etc, per se. But they shouldn’t be prescribed from interest groups that call for a federal system. Gean calls for a federal system. And I thought, it is not supposed to advance Unitarian policies at the same time.
      Thanks,
      Hayat

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Hayat,

        In the process of the Eritrean highlander’s mind “Decentralized Federalism” will be the worst political culprit than the current “centralized unitary government.” Two reasons can be given as to why their political mind run the way it is running.

        A) In social science and politics “power is the ability to influence or outright control the behavior of people.” Controlling the political power means controlling the economy of a nation. The type of governance that facilitate for welding political and economic power is “centralized unitary governance. Just observe who is advocating the 1997 constitutional document that depict centralized unitary government. You will find only the highlanders. It is to their interest to keep it, as their fight is limited to remove Issayas only.

        B) It is bad omen for the Eritrean minds that Decentralized Federalism being exercised by our neighbor country, Ethiopia, and as such their enemy. Eritreans strive to be different than Ethiopians strive to do, to show that we are not the same. Look both centralized unitary governance and decentralized governance are the philosophy of governments, originally introduced by the European countries. Decentralized Federalism came to existence to negate centralized unitary governance, in order to distribute power between the central and the periphery. Now ask them who in his right mind resist to distribute power, unless they want to monopolized the political and economy power of our nation, and control the entire life of our people. To many of us “the power structure” is more important than the routine elections. Elections without power distributions are not elections. Single party elections and one man vote elections are also called “Elections.” The issue is what kind of elections? Does elections give power to the people is the crux of the matter. Therefore, there is no a system of government that gives power to the people to administer themselves than decentralized federalism.

        C) Decentralized federalism is not Ethnic federalism only. There are plenty of it varying slightly in their structures in terms of creating the administrative units and the nature of the devolution of power from the center to the people at the periphery. But in the Eritrea mind, decentralized federalism is only explained in terms of Ethnic federalism. But Ethnic federalism is appropriate for countries with multi-ethnic diversity that has historically deep mistrusts among the social groups, and those social groups should be significant in size and are concentrated in a specific areas. So Ethnic Federalism is a good prescription to many countries. Now, is Ethnic Federalism good for Eritrea? In my view no. Simply for the requirements I mentioned. What about other kind of federalism? May be or may be not.

        regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

      • Abraham H.

        Selam Hayat A., just a passing comment on your points 5&6: I think there is a misunderstanding in our views regarding these issues. The issues of national languages, right of return of Eritreans to their homeland, and the land policy are not related with what type of government we envision to have in Eritrea. And I didn’t suggest the Central gov decide on the matter of national languages, rather since this is of cardinal importance to Eritreans, it has be enshrined in the Constitution based on the consensus between the stakeholders. The same goes also with right of return (God given right, independent of type of system of gov) and a just and fair land policy, which are not exclusively the domain of a Unitarian gov. as you espoused.
        Thanks for engaging me.

        • Hayat Adem

          Selam Abraham,
          I see your points. I don’t think we are very far apart.
          *The type of national language is not related to the type of the government system but the way the issue of language is dealt, is. If it is federal, that means we have federal states that are sovereign and would decide on how and with what language the federal government and federal entities interact. Actually, this one can be settled in the constitution, which will be written by the representatives of each entity in the constitutional assembly, for example. We agree on this one as well.
          *Right to return home? You are right, I completely agree. In fact, this is more of a humanitarian and human right issue than political. Gean is spot on and perfectly right in advocating for the right of Eritreans to return home unconditionally. In fact, this shouldn’t wait until a political negotiation is effected. We agree on this one,too.
          *Land policy is important and in many parts of the world the guiding principle is legislated in the constitution. This is the typical area where the federal and non-federal system have a huge implication on land decisions. It can be private, public or a mix of both. It can be controlled/managed locally or by the central govt. It is directly related to the form of the system we intend to have. We may be on the same page on this one as well.
          The only difference I may have with you is on the kind of system> I am for a federal government, you are for a decentralized Unitarian govt. This is a very healthy difference, which might or might not narrow down through further discussions. Eritreans at large as well differ on this issue. And in a democratic system, elections and votes help you know if the majority favor one over the other. And that majority wish prevails.
          Thanks

    • Ismail AA

      Dears Abraham and Hayat,

      Your exchanges are very sober and entertaining. If I were the owner or author of this memorandum, this is the kind of discussion I would anticipate from posting it to this website. I would imagine the gentlemen and women at GEAN are delighted to read this discussion. I note that the differences between your views are marginal and matter of
      emphasis than substance except on point six.

      Having scribbled these few lines, I would add that preference of governance system of nation-states in most cases depend on domestic objective and subjective needs of the governed. I mean outlooks informed by ideological guidelines serve the elite more than the ordinary citizens who are the main stakeholders in type of governance chosen for them. I my rather amateurish views, Eritrea and its people also should not be an exception to the rule.

      To elaborate this, I would like to mention two matter rather in cursory form that commensurate substance. These have to do with the question of nationalities and federalism as system of administration or rule. The debate on the
      former has been going on from as early as the formative years of the Armed struggle.

      While one of the liberation fronts (ELF) upheld that the ethnic components of the Eritrean society and nation have not yet obtained development that qualified them to fulfil the minimum requirements that classical designation of
      nationalities prescribed, and therefore, should be defined as social communities or even some of them less than that, the front that became the EPLF maintained the 9 nationalities preposition depending, in my view only on the
      linguistic element rather than bothering to rationalize the policy as it should have been. As later developments demonstrated, the issue for the elite in the EPLF was more of political nature than ideological.

      Regarding the second matter, namely federalism, the realities show that the demographic settlements in Eritrea overlap and the people are distributed through the geographical regions, especially urban and semi-urban areas. And the trend is tends to move towards more mixing and overlapping with more urbanization and shrinking of rural resources. Perhaps, the one region that could be seen as homogeneous is the Afar region.

      Thus, if I were to suggest an opinion over what governance system would maximally fit the Eritrean scenario, I would say neither ethnic nor federal based administration would answer the need of our people. The size of the land mass and demography would call for fair and flexible central government with generous devolution of power and prerogatives to the regions. The bottom line is how to craft a constitution that duly enshrines fair and equitable
      distribution of resources and power anchored on consensually written Charter that resolve pillar issue on which the Eritrean have not reached consensus, namely the question of official languages and land. These two are so crucial
      that national unity and societal cohesion would not sustain. Perhaps for neutral and outside observer these issues may appear conventional issue simple matter of expediency could settle. Land is an element of identity for our settled peasants and language is a uniting element for majority of the social components. This was the fact that our founding fathers had dutifully appreciated during their deliberations in 1952.
      Thank you both for giving incentive to engage, and I ask excuse for mistakes or unbaked idea.
      Regards

  • sami

    Hi Nitricc,
    I have reservation on the IQ data. It sounds racist and incomplete. I am not getting your point in relation to my comment. Sorry, a bit more clarifications if you don’t mind.

  • sami

    Hello GEAN and Awate forum,
    GEAN authors and members. Let me help you with your challenge of processing your oldie notions on Eritrean language preferences for Eritrean Muslims. It is not Islamic at all to adhere to Arabic as your daily language if it is not your natural language. You are just creating hardship to the people which Islam prohibits you from. Think of the republic of Pakistan the only nuclear and Islamic state on the face of the planet. The republic has 95% plus Muslim population, dozens plus of regional languages and made up of as many or more ethnic groups. Its origination and history is based on Muslim rights. Its capital city is named after Islam; Islamabad. They are very proud of their Islam identity and their national identity as well. But had never inclined to Arabic language at any point of their history as their official language. Instead, they chose Urdu (being the majority language) and English (being a commonly understood language). Period. Though, they use Arabic and English language extensively in their religious sector which made Pakistanis as one of the significant contributors to the Islam’s preservation and progress. Now let’s come to our Eritrea. Eritrea has at best 1 to 1 proportion of its Muslims to non-Muslims population, has less than a dozen ethnic groups of which these days all of them commonly can communicate in Tigrigna regardless if the evolution is right or not. But it is a reality; like English for Pakistan. As Eritrean Muslims are devoted to their religion for centuries, they would not expect from their government to teach them Arabic for their faith. Instead, as they have done for generations, they will advantage from being multi-lingual societies by mastering their Arabic language for their Islam cause in the first place and communicate with their surrounding, mastering their mother-tongue as they are proud of their identity, utilizing Tigrigna as their majority language of their nation and acquiring English as the international language that can link them to many Muslim and non-Muslim citizens of the world. Thus, Tigrigna and English would be the best choice for Eritrea and more so for Eritrean Muslims. Don’t feel guilty or shy to articulate your choice for Tigrigna and English as Eritrean working languages. It does not make less Muslim or more non-Muslim. It is just the best logical choice for the betterment of our common good. If you think the transformation going on with the Eritrean society both internally and externally, the need of English is very vivid and is tantamount to the national security of our nations if we are to survive the wave of changes around us. English can be the best bridge between the Eritrean in the country and the Diaspora. It eases the communication I and my family can have with our relatives and friends scattered all over the world. And allowing the other significant languages such as Arabic, Amharic, etc. to flourish by the people for the people as necessitates organically and not artificially through government handouts. This is the healthiest approach of managing communication is Eritrea rather than making it field of bloodletting and unjustifiably. Brothers, would it make sense to you what I am trying to say? I hope so and it better do so for those dogmatists.

  • said

    Greetings
    Deep and comprehensive analysis – excellent political program. For long oppressed people of a long shared rich heritage in search of affirmation of identity, emphasis of Nationalist Identity in the face of insatiable regime hegemonic designs and the existential challenge regime poses, is the natural rallying cry to muster the resources to facing up the unity, security and socioeconomic development challenges lying ahead. The challenge is for Eritrean that have for long prided themselves on being the most tolerant, most progressive, most enlightened people . What that country would look like in the Eritrean case is unclear, for Eritrean society was always a patchwork of different identities, mostly connected to ethnicity and religious affiliations.
    PRELUDE The Eritrean – My Folks – are not waiting someone like me to advise them on the facts and what’s best for them. They long taught me and many others in their relentless more than a thirty -long struggle and immeasurable sacrifices what it means to uphold one’s dignity and hold on to one’s national rights. Understandable that humans near the twilight of age face the wrenching disappointing feeling that they have lived a life in vain as they take stock of a life journey meshed with a mumbo jumbo mix of the constraints of social conditioning, near sacrosanct ossified mores, spoon fed cultural instructs and the unique peculiarity of idiosyncrasy rendered unique with the peculiar vagaries of the individual’s unique circumstances. It is particularly more wrenching and far more confusing to reach possibly the last station in a life journey near the twilight of age in near total distrust of one’s identity as defined by a human’s innate perception and the peculiarity of the despondent social environment. Distrust of an identity where the actual and real is widely in divorce with the enshrined guiding ideals and sacrosanct value systems. This is truer nowadays with the truth of the Eritrean Character. What qualifies one to make what could be misconstrued offhand by the less savvy as an over-sweeping statement; over-pessimistic assessment; even distorted self-serving characterization, is an inquisitive mind that is never tiring from endless quest in the search of the truth; a relentless search of objective reality, and, foremost, the accumulation of facts through intent detached observations gained over long years of extensive geographic displacements across many world cultures and Eritrean sub-culture much the dialectic antidote defining the Eritrean identity – at the very core of its social, political, business and human interaction levels to the degree of almost internalizing the subtleties of what lie behind Westerners’ collective motivational forces, general collective behavior, and general impulsive drives – endows one, for purposes of objective comparative analysis, with the insight and deeper understanding of the shaping of one’s own character. Same goes, with same degree of intensity and deep interaction with

    Now that the Chicken has come home to roost, compounded with all the insight and reflections one has gained through such a varied and quite an intense existence, and as charity starts at home, one is in a more vantage position to relate one’s thoughts and observations in a more objective and in a more detached universal context. At the age of twilight, humans generally drop apologetic renderings as they become more cynical and less constrained by social conditioning and appeasing false pretenses to serve often subconscious ulterior motives. The Eritrean individual falling victim to the onslaught of sudden disproportionate wealth and an overwhelming universal culture and experiencing a very serious and very deep distortion of character. The character of Eritrean individual is in a deep crisis touching the very core of an individual’s existence. As actual conduct and behavior is at a great variance with a rather despondent value system where religion still plays a central role .
    development, revival and renaissance of the Eritrean world and the facing up to national challenges that cut deep into Eritrean existence and the future of the Eritrea world. One can state most humbly and with deep chagrin that no character on Earth, is living and experiencing this high degree of dichotomy as does the Eritrean character.
    NO COMMON Eritrean CHARACTER
    Eritrean are living the falsehood of the existence of a common Eritrean . Eritrean nationalists, the writer of the above article included, live and have lived the illusions of the slogans calling for Eritrean unity on the force of the commonality of heritage and aspirations.
    The Hodgepodge of the Eritrean ’ sub-cultures is a truthful reality that precludes the commonality of a singular Eritrean ; however, the Eritrean Mind’s subconscious resistance to reconcile to this reality is at the core of the crisis of the Eritrean character.
    The Eritrean character in truth is a multi-Eritrean characters that follow and are shaped by the peculiarly, very distinct and unique peculiarities, of the geographical and unique demographical makeup of the different and varied regions of the extended Eritrean nation. One can reasonably comfortably divide the broad Eritrean sub-cultures into nine (9) Eritrean sub-cultures with each sub-culture sharing a certain degree of commonality as to the general features of the individual character and the set of local socio-cultural and political challenges each of the sub-cultures face.

    The Eritrean all through their short history; that amalgam of sub-ethnicities; subcultures; multi-religions and multi-sects; gravitated, during one time or the other, during an epoch or another, around a leader or a reform movement, collectively or in isolated parts of the Eritrean nation , that tended to hold the promise to uphold Eritrean national ambitions for revival playing often successfully the role of interim saviors. Such leaders, often, shared the masses’ ambitions and hopes for deliverance and salvation.
    The above description befitted specific leaders and personalities all through Eritrean history, however, not these days, as the Eritrean are found leaderless, devoid of any rallying ideology and any meaningful plans for meaningful encompassing socioeconomic development plans and programs.
    REVIVAL IN THE REASSERTION OF SUB-CULTURAL IDENTITY
    Eritrean revival can more realistically start, other things being equal, by first reasserting the sub-cultural identities to forming clusters of relatively more homogenous and more like-minded congregations along the lines highlighted above. Very much as with the empowering concept of devolvement to the level of meaningful truthful representation that unleashes group creative energies through social cohesiveness, reassertion of Eritrean sub-cultural identities empowers the parts into revival that empowers the collective whole.
    Reassertion of sub-cultural identity that could evolve into a recognized unified political structure could usher in a stronger sense of identity that instills greater motivation for socio-economic prosperity and more democratic form of representation.
    The common historical heritage could act as a potential binder between the different political structures, however, upon the consummation of a conscious process of harmonization of political cultures and socio-economic systems.
    Short of the above, and continuing to adhere to the flux of sham Eritrean Nationalism glossing over the impediments of sub-cultural uniqueness and disparities, would only further aggravate the dichotomy and the crisis of the Eritrean character that stands at the very core of the Eritrean dilemma.

  • said

    Greetings
    Deep and comprehensive analysis – excellent political program. For long oppressed people of a long shared rich heritage in search of affirmation of identity, emphasis of Nationalist Identity in the face of insatiable regime hegemonic designs and the existential challenge regime poses, is the natural rallying cry to muster the resources to facing up the unity, security and socioeconomic development challenges lying ahead. The challenge is for Eritrean that have for long prided themselves on being the most tolerant, most progressive, most enlightened people . What that country would look like in the Eritrean case is unclear, for Eritrean society was always a patchwork of different identities, mostly connected to ethnicity and religious affiliations.
    PRELUDE The Eritrean – My Folks – are not waiting someone like me to advise them on the facts and what’s best for them. They long taught me and many others in their relentless more than a thirty -long struggle and immeasurable sacrifices what it means to uphold one’s dignity and hold on to one’s national rights. Understandable that humans near the twilight of age face the wrenching disappointing feeling that they have lived a life in vain as they take stock of a life journey meshed with a mumbo jumbo mix of the constraints of social conditioning, near sacrosanct ossified mores, spoon fed religious instructs and the unique peculiarity of idiosyncrasy rendered unique with the peculiar vagaries of the individual’s unique circumstances. It is particularly more wrenching and far more confusing to reach possibly the last station in a life journey near the twilight of age in near total distrust of one’s identity as defined by a human’s innate perception and the peculiarity of the despondent social environment. Distrust of an identity where the actual and real is widely in divorce with the enshrined guiding ideals and sacrosanct value systems. This is truer nowadays with the truth of the Eritrean Character. What qualifies one to make what could be misconstrued offhand by the less savvy as an over-sweeping statement; over-pessimistic assessment; even distorted self-serving characterization, is an inquisitive mind that is never tiring from endless quest in the search of the truth; a relentless search of objective reality, and, foremost, the accumulation of facts through intent detached observations gained over long years of extensive geographic displacements across many world cultures and Eritrean sub-culture much the dialectic antidote defining the Eritrean identity – at the very core of its social, political, business and human interaction levels to the degree of almost internalizing the subtleties of what lie behind Westerners’ collective motivational forces, general collective behavior, and general impulsive drives – endows one, for purposes of objective comparative analysis, with the insight and deeper understanding of the shaping of one’s own character. Same goes, with same degree of intensity and deep interaction with

    Now that the Chicken has come home to roost, compounded with all the insight and reflections one has gained through such a varied and quite an intense existence, and as charity starts at home, one is in a more vantage position to relate one’s thoughts and observations in a more objective and in a more detached universal context. At the age of twilight, humans generally drop apologetic renderings as they become more cynical and less constrained by social conditioning and appeasing false pretenses to serve often subconscious ulterior motives. The Eritrean individual falling victim to the onslaught of sudden disproportionate wealth and an overwhelming universal culture and experiencing a very serious and very deep distortion of character. The character of Eritrean individual is in a deep crisis touching the very core of an individual’s existence. As actual conduct and behavior is at a great variance with a rather despondent value system where religion still plays a central role .
    development, revival and renaissance of the Eritrean world and the facing up to national challenges that cut deep into Eritrean existence and the future of the Eritrea world. One can state most humbly and with deep chagrin that no character on Earth, is living and experiencing this high degree of dichotomy as does the Eritrean character.
    NO COMMON Eritrean CHARACTER
    Eritrean are living the falsehood of the existence of a common Eritrean . Eritrean nationalists, the writer of the above article included, live and have lived the illusions of the slogans calling for Eritrean unity on the force of the commonality of heritage and aspirations.
    The Hodgepodge of the Eritrean ’ sub-cultures is a truthful reality that precludes the commonality of a singular Eritrean ; however, the Eritrean Mind’s subconscious resistance to reconcile to this reality is at the core of the crisis of the Eritrean character.
    The Eritrean character in truth is a multi-Eritrean characters that follow and are shaped by the peculiarly, very distinct and unique peculiarities, of the geographical and unique demographical makeup of the different and varied regions of the extended Eritrean nation. One can reasonably comfortably divide the broad Eritrean sub-cultures into nine (9) Eritrean sub-cultures with each sub-culture sharing a certain degree of commonality as to the general features of the individual character and the set of local socio-cultural and political challenges each of the sub-cultures face.

    The Eritrean all through their short history; that amalgam of sub-ethnicities; subcultures; multi-religions and multi-sects; gravitated, during one time or the other, during an epoch or another, around a leader or a reform movement, collectively or in isolated parts of the Eritrean nation , that tended to hold the promise to uphold Eritrean national ambitions for revival playing often successfully the role of interim saviors. Such leaders, often, shared the masses’ ambitions and hopes for deliverance and salvation.
    The above description befitted specific leaders and personalities all through Eritrean history, however, not these days, as the Eritrean are found leaderless, devoid of any rallying ideology and any meaningful plans for meaningful encompassing socioeconomic development plans and programs.
    REVIVAL IN THE REASSERTION OF SUB-CULTURAL IDENTITY
    Eritrean revival can more realistically start, other things being equal, by first reasserting the sub-cultural identities to forming clusters of relatively more homogenous and more like-minded congregations along the lines highlighted above. Very much as with the empowering concept of devolvement to the level of meaningful truthful representation that unleashes group creative energies through social cohesiveness, reassertion of Eritrean sub-cultural identities empowers the parts into revival that empowers the collective whole.
    Reassertion of sub-cultural identity that could evolve into a recognized unified political structure could usher in a stronger sense of identity that instills greater motivation for socio-economic prosperity and more democratic form of representation.
    The common historical heritage could act as a potential binder between the different political structures, however, upon the consummation of a conscious process of harmonization of political cultures and socio-economic systems.
    Short of the above, and continuing to adhere to the flux of sham Eritrean Nationalism glossing over the impediments of sub-cultural uniqueness and disparities, would only further aggravate the dichotomy and the crisis of the Eritrean character that stands at the very core of the Eritrean dilemma.

  • sami

    Hello GEAN and Awate forum,
    Mind you Pakistan is also one of the few democratic Islamic states in the Muslim world. Same similarity can be drawn with the Islamic State of Iran. Iran is the second Islamic state on the face of the planet that has secured home grown nuclear industry at least for peaceful purposes at this point. It has a dozen or so regional languages and ethnic groups. It never used Arabic as its official language. Instead it uses Persian (majority ethnic language about 55%) as its official language. They widely use the Arabic in their theological sector as any Muslim world. Again think of Indonesia: the largest democratic Muslim nation well industrialized and one of the fastest growing tiger nations of Asia. It has 85% plus Muslims and has diverse ethnic groups. It never used Arabic as its working language. Instead it uses Indonesian as a dominant language with English thriving widely and organically. Research on the republic of Turkey. The only industrialized and European Muslim nation on the face of this planet with recent history of being a super power of its time. Even with its almost 3% Arab population and 95% plus Muslim population and a number of ethic group, it never used Arab as its working language; Turkish is its language (the dominant one.) Of course, even it modernized its writing alphabets from Arabic to Latin letters. This did not make her less Islam state. Instead it managed to score better development and wellbeing of its citizens. The list can go on and on. We as Eritreans need to learn a lot from these states. There is a good correlation between identity confidence, communication advantage, development and security of a nation. We need to be very pragmatic and not just mechanic.

    • Nitricc

      HI Sami: you said ” There is a good correlation between identity confidence, communication advantage, development and security of a nation.”
      so, do you agree with IQ index? since you said there is a good correlation, what do you for following
      “IQ distribution by race/ethnicity: •
      Ashkenazi Jews = 115
      • East Asians = 106
      • Whites = 100
      • South East Asians = 87
      • Non-White Hispanics = 86
      • American Blacks = 85 (average 24% White admixture)
      • Middle East and North Africans = 84
      • African Blacks = 67 (Only 2% of Whites score this low)
      • Australian Aborigines = 62 Asian IQ scores cluster around the mean. The cognitive variation among Whites produces more geniuses, but also more morons. Ashkenazi Jews are 0.2% of the world’s population and 20% of the Nobel science laureates. No Black has earned a Nobel science laureate.”

    • Robel Cali

      Hi Sami,

      It appears they are against logic. They seem to be ashamed to come clean as to why they really want Arabic as a co-national language of Eritrea when it does not deserve such a status. I think it has to do with inferiority complex towards Arabs and wanting to link their mythical Islamic religion with their African ancestry. They want to convince themselves they really are Arabs for religious prestige and so they can boost to one another they are somehow related to Prophet Mohamed’s tribe. We see similar nonsense among orthodox communities in Ethiopia (Queen of Sheba and King Solomon myth and their son, Menelik founding the Ethiopian state myth).

  • sami

    Hello GEAN and Awate forum,
    GEAN authors and members. Let me help you with your challenge of processing your oldie notions on Eritrean language preferences for Eritrean Muslims. It is not Islamic at all to adhere to Arabic as your daily language if it is not your natural language. You are just creating hardship to the people which Islam prohibits you from. Think of the republic of Pakistan the only nuclear and Islamic state on the face of the planet. The republic has 95% plus Muslim population, dozens plus of regional languages and made up of as many or more ethnic groups. Its origination and history is based on Muslim rights. Its capital city is named after Islam; Islamabad. They are very proud of their Islam identity and their national identity as well. But had never inclined to Arabic language at any point of their history as their official language. Instead, they chose Urdu (being the majority language) and English (being a commonly understood language). Period. Though, they use Arabic and English language extensively in their religious sector which made Pakistanis as one of the significant contributors to the Islam’s preservation and progress. Now let’s come to our Eritrea. Eritrea has at best 1 to 1 proportion of its Muslims to non-Muslims population, has less than a dozen ethnic groups of which these days all of them commonly can communicate in Tigrigna regardless if the evolution is right or not. But it is a reality; like English for Pakistan. As Eritrean Muslims are devoted to their religion for centuries, they would not expect from their government to teach them Arabic for their faith. Instead, as they have done for generations, they will advantage from being multi-lingual societies by mastering their Arabic language for their Islam cause in the first place and communicate with their surrounding, mastering their mother-tongue as they are proud of their identity, utilizing Tigrigna as their majority language of their nation and acquiring English as the international language that can link them to many Muslim and non-Muslim citizens of the world. Thus, Tigrigna and English would be the best choice for Eritrea and more so for Eritrean Muslims. Don’t feel guilty or shy to articulate your choice for Tigrigna and English as Eritrean working languages. It does not make less Muslim or more non-Muslim. It is just the best logical choice for the betterment of our common good. If you think the transformation going on with the Eritrean society both internally and externally, the need of English is very vivid and is tantamount to the national security of our nations if we are to survive the wave of changes around us. English can be the best bridge between the Eritrean in the country and the Diaspora. It eases the communication I and my family can have with our relatives and friends scattered all over the world. And allowing the other significant languages such as Arabic, Amharic, etc. to flourish by the people for the people as necessitates organically and not artificially through government handouts. This is the healthiest approach of managing communication is Eritrea rather than making it field of bloodletting and unjustifiably. Brothers, would it make sense to you what I am trying to say? I hope so and it better do so for those dogmatists.

  • sami

    Hello GEAN and Awate forum,
    I did not see any new progress within GEAN from the posting of its MoU which is at best a non-starter for many Eritrean stakeholders. Instead of rewriting same mindset of opinions in various shades (and in English, funny hypocrisy) why don’t you act by example and not by preaching? You know, you are demonstrating for us as if English is the most effective of any other language which indeed it is. Are you addressing to Eritrean people or only to the Diaspora? What is your audience and subject? What did you accomplish since your last meeting? Or are meetings your very goals? I would like to be updated what your membership growth is and its diversity? Why are you trying to re-create the wheel of harmony and reconciliation when there are many that preceded you? Can not you lend hands to them as you are asking others to lend you? Your obsessions with land, language, federalism and the like are second to none. Are they people’s agenda that should be advocated for their constitutional resolutions instead of by your preemptive gesture unholy to an advocacy group you claim to be? To give you a generous hint, I see myself as a Muslim and from a minority group but I don’t support the idea of Arabic as one of our official languages. Instead, I prefer English whole heartedly and save Arabic for my faith requirements. There are many other agenda that you have specified and I totally disagree with. Because you are not indulging into the privacy and mandate of people’s choices without due respect or consideration of other possibilities by of the former. Please, stop your nonsense old amateur political exercise and come back to realities and actualities. Think of a fresh and a working platform that really unites the Eritrean people not yesterday but today and in the future, if you genuinely care about it. And remember to be TRANSPARENT, whatever you are trying to do. Good luck with your retarded impressive MoU. KINDIZI TIRIHITSA NEZI KITGIEETA!

  • tes

    To Awate Staff,

    It is my first time to ask credibility of your document produced. And and it is not on its content but on those who signed this document to be available for us.

    Here is what is written:

    On the initiative of Global Eritrean Advocacy Network (GEAN), and after a series of deliberations, we, the undersigned individuals, civil societies, political organizations, veterans, community and religious leaders subscribe to this memorandum of understanding (MoU) to serve as a basis for:

    I am not sure who owns this document.

    Awate Staff or
    Those unmentioned groups/individuals

    As per the document, here are the supposed to be signatures of this document.


    1. Civic Societies
    2. Political Organizations
    3. Veterans
    4. Community and Religious leaders

    My follow

    1. Where are these people who are supposed to sign this document?
    2. How many civic societies participated?
    3. Can you list for us the names of these civic societies?
    4. Can you give us the list of the political organizations who participated in this organzation?
    5. Could you please provide to awate readers the list of community leaders participated in this meeting?
    6. Could you please list religious groups who participated in this meeting?

    I am asking this because in its December 2015 meetings, about 200 people particpated. And this something worth to be known for the Ertitrean citizens.

    In December 30, 2015 report, Gedab News has reported about GEAN conference. And in its report, it says;

    Eritreans activists, humanitarian groups, and professional attended the conference to explore ways to “identify and promote actionable items and solutions” for what GEAN considered its core principles.

    Around 200 Eritreans attended the conference and discussed the topics of the conference in four workshops and submitted their recommendations to the organizers.

    .

    And according to Gedab News Report, the conference’s objective was:

    “on the premise for the need of political engagement of Eritrean Muslims in the Diaspora.”.

    Reference: http://awate.com/gean-adopts-four-core-eritrean-issue/

    Ok, if GEAN was all about Eritrean Muslims, why then in this meeting a different tone is used?

    I am urging therefore to provide awate readers a clear picture of this meeting.

    Was it mainly a call for Eritrean Muslims as per GEAN’s 2015 reported news or as we can read now with a different toned document produced by Awate Staff?

    Who is responsible for this document: Awate staff or GEAN particiapnt?

    I am writing this on behalf of Eritrean/public rights for transparency.

    I appreciate any clarification given to me by Awate Staff or any other responsible representative or participant of the GEAN 2017 Conference.

    tes

    • Dear Tes,

      As a website, awate.com does publishing service on behalf of unregistered (not regular authors). Since its inception, there are many postings that were published by Awate Staff (Awatestaff). The document in question is not different.

      It has been clearly explained in many occasions, on The Awate Team is the official signature for the website’s materials.

      In case you missed it, we made conditions for publishing the document that someone be present to reply to readers’ questions in the Awate Forum. That GEAN has done and any queries can be directed to them.

      It is clear who the owner of the document is and now we hope it is clear to you.

      • tes

        Dear Awate Staff,

        I appreciate your response. And I think I am familiar on the guidelines and I have always appreciate it. But today, Peace! provoked me to question a little deeper when he bullied Amanuel Hidrat for asking a simple and legitimate question.

        I will wait GEAN participants to give us information about the signatures of this document. If it was not there, I could never have questioned such Credibility based questions (and I believe Amanuel Hidrat also has the same take like me). I kindly therefore again hold my question in its place.

        Either Awate Staff or GEAN have full right not to expose. However, I believe this is not what we are fighting for.

        Transparency is highly needed these days more than anytime. Secrecy is killing us day in day out.

        tes

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam tes,

          I remember to challenge the “Mukhtars” and Awate Team to come forward about the individuals who wrote the document titled “The Eritrean accord: Harmonized constitution” so that the other side of the political spectrum to engage them in real world, face to face, to bring a solutions to the problem we are facing. They could not come up to the open and of course they disappear. If they are expecting to get an okay for their proposal without give and take, then it is unrealistic dream. It won’t happen without engagement. Throwing proposal without the input of the other side could not and would not be a common solution for the nation. So GEAN has to come to an open real world to discuss the issue. Trying to dissociate their names from the document is not helpful for whatever they want to help our people. If they resist not to come up to the open, they will face the same fate, like the Mukhtars.

          regards

          • tes

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

            First, let me clarify my take. If the document published byAwate Staff didn’t include “we, the undersigned individuals, civil societies, political organizations, veterans, community and religious leaders “, and simply stated as GEAN, I could have cared less on who is who within GEAN. My focus could then be directed on the message.

            Thanks to Peace!, he helped me to pay attention a little deeper. Here is therefore where I joined you and Mahmud Saleh to tell us about the participants.

            Knowing from Gedab News report of 2015, GEAN is mainly an initiative to call Eritrean Muslims engage in the Eritrean politics, these mentioned participants could have been listed. 200 participant is a really big number and Eritreans deserve to know about the participants.

            It is however disappointing but not unusual to read from GEAN this comment given to you.

            As we at GEAN are attempting to build a broad based coalition, we also understand that, because of our fractured society and irrespective of the viability of the proposed idea, some people would not consider joining a coalition simply because others had endorsed it. Ask anyone who attempted to do this before. As we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of listing the names of organization and individuals right now and until we reach a critical mass and pick momentum, we would like to give people a chance to consider the merits of this initiative itself.

            This speaks volumes.

            A message to GEAN, all I can say is that you are adding another fracture to the already fractured society.

            First of all, GEAN is all about Eritrean Muslims. And this is a sign of a big fracture by itself. If you really want to have some repairs, you could be transparent enough and be ready for questioning by the other half stakeholders. Nothing succeeds from FEAR.

            I don’t know how long we will continue to be conquered by FEAR. Why GEAN is not brave enough to list the participants?

            GEAN should be transparent and must be ready for any challenge that comes from all angles. Without doing this, no fracture can be repaired.

            In conlusion, though my call is not for engagement, I encourage GEAN participants to reveal themselves and be ready for any challenge. And GEAN has full right to reject any sort of discussion, engagement or whatever it is with other parties. But Eritreans need transparency to know the actors that are playing a crucial role in the struggle for justice.

            Despite their FEAR, personally, if their whole mission is as stated above in this document, I don’t think there will be any sort of challenge. But there could be reconciliation produced as the result of unity of purpose.

            Therefore, it is better to call GEAN for transparency.

            tes

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam tes,

            Excellent. I could not say it better.

          • tes

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

            Thank you.

            Without transparency and freedom of assembly, nothing can be repaired from the already fractured society*.

            tes

            *Added to highlight If GEAN’s belief on Eritrean society is as an already fractured society.

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            Looks like you are learning to read between the lines.
            You already figured out this GEAN organization primary purpose is bringing Muslims together .
            They are hiding behind some fake name without mentioning Islam.
            Funny.

          • tes

            Selam Abi,

            I am a supporter of GEAN 2015 gathering and same now too. There is a serious challenge facing Eritrean Muslims since the birth of PFDJ. I know what ‘Nihnan Elamanan” of EPLF and now PFDJ stands for. And when all Eritrean Muslims become united as they did in the 1940s, 1950s and during most periods of the armed struggle, I believe PFDJ will be gone the next day.

            My address to GEAN is on transparency. They should FEAR no one as PFDJ is fearing no one when he is killing on day hours.

            1. I am a supporter of Afar Grievances – which I have witnessed it by myself for their suffering during my visit to Assab in 2007.

            2. I am a supporter of Eritrean Muslim scholars as I have witnessed the wide arrest and closure of established Institutions.

            3. I am a supporter of Barka Original/Native Settlers – as I have seen their land grabbed by PFDJ companies and military camp expansions. And now by Mining companies.

            4. I am a strong supporter of Kunama people struggle against PFDJ. Kunama people, as a native settlers, they deserve special treatment.

            5. I am a strong supporter of Semhar people, whom I have witnessed their areas occupied by PFDJ land grabbing agenda. I have seen Massawa empty of its tarditional settlers – now you can only listen Tigrigna language to be spoken in all the city – very hard to imagine in the 1960s.

            6. I have seen Hidareb/Beja people almost in the verge of extincting.

            7. I have witnessed Halhal and Sahel Muslims arrested and killed under the cover of Jihadic movements.

            8. I know hundreds of thousands of Eritrean Muslim lowladn dwellers are refugees in Sudan for the last 50-60 years.

            9. I have travelled in almost all major areas of Sahel, Barka, Senhit, Semhar, Denakil, and Gash. I have witnessed the economic hardships of these people and almost non existent public services.

            10. There are yet unvisited people along the eastern escarpments, all along Green belt to Afabet, where there is no public service at all.

            On the other hand, I have witnessed Tigrigna speakers expanding and occupying lands all over Eritrea.

            Therefore I feel so happy when Eritrean Muslims come together and create a strong voice to resist PFDJ expansion agenda.

            What I don’t understand is when they try to hide their struggle openly. Hence, it is all about being transparent and courage to stand openly against the oppressor.

            I encourage Eritrean Muslims to come together and form a formidable resistance to stop PFDJ’s expansionist agenda motivated by Nihnan Elamanan.

            This is my political stance and you have to know it.

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            I hope your wishes come true.
            I don’t support any political party or group that is based on ethnicity and religion. It is stupid and should be avoided by any means possible.
            What is really bizarre about this GEAN organization is they are not straight forward with their purpose. If it is to bring Eritrean Muslims to the political arena then, logic dictates they should include “Muslim” in their name. Just like TPLF, OLF, Afar Something something, Kunama something something, ……
            Eritrean Muslins Global Something….

          • tes

            Selam Abi,

            Had anyone asked or told you to change your name into Abebe?

            There is no wrong in naming. They can name what ever they want. It is the organization’s right to be named as they want.

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            Nobody asked me to change my name to Abebe. Ras Abi is good enough.
            You seem to have trouble understanding my point. I kind of expected this to happen.
            What I am saying is don’t hide yourself under the big umbrella ( Eritrea) if your purpose is serving only The muslin community.
            Which part of my comment you do not understand?

          • saay7

            Hi Emma:

            The “Mukhtars”😂 😂😂

            That was funny

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba saay,

            No bad intent at all. Since the authors of the document represented by by pen name “Ibrahim Mukhtar” that is why I call them the Mukhtars. Nothing beyond that.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            I know, I know. It just made me laugh:)

            I will make it up to you now. You know how the Republicans are now being forced to have town hall meetings to explain why they want to kill Obamacare when eight years ago legislators were forced to explain, in townhall meetings, why they allowed Obamacare to happen? Some very clever guy linked this song, one of my all time favorite songs to explain it. Similarly now, when our friends at GEAN talk about civil socieites who have supported their cause, and when they won’t come forward and tell us who they are, I feel like, really? Isn’t this something that we all resolved to be done with: that nobody behind the curtains, not GEAN, not Foro, nobody is going to be allowed to advance a cause unless they tell us who they are? Anyway, the first line of this classic is “Hello, darkness, my old friend: I have come to talk with you again.” And the song is “The Sound of Silence”, By Simon & Garfunkel: it has a deep meaning about a prophet trying to warn people, and the people refusing to listen

            https://youtu.be/–DbgPXwLlM

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Salah,

            What a befitting song. And yes “silence like a cancer grow” 👍 Within us,

            Regards

          • tes

            Selam saay7,

            What a great wisdom you have to say a barely needed call in such precisely high-pitched but with a touchy voice! I wish I had a cent of your wisdom.

            tes

          • MS

            Hello SAAY
            I almost missed this great rejoinder of your honerista awatista. His excellency SAAY said, “…when our friends at GEAN talk about civil societies who have supported their cause, and when they won’t come forward and tell us who they are, I feel like, really? Isn’t this something that we all resolved to be done with: that nobody behind the curtains, not GEAN, not Foro, nobody is going to be allowed to advance a cause unless they tell us who they are? No more loud sound of silence”
            And I hope GEAN is reading it. Here is the irony: When they asked why there is no basic observance of due process, or why the government is so secretive, and so on, PFDJ and its supporters invoke national security, or they say, “Eritrean reality does not allow it,” or they use their all-time favorite “gzien kunetatn aytemale’en…” You are not allowed to ask how government is run, how it collects and distributes revenues, etc. They tell you nKid Traay. Now, for fairneness, I’m not equating GEAN with PFDJ, I can’t do it because I have no enough information about GEAN to describe it one way or another. But I would expect them that they understand the current feelings of Eritreans. Miead Ertra is full of entities that dump out communiques that lack follow-up engagement with the public. Today, the agent is more important than the communique it releases. I may add, what’s the new understanding? I have not seen anything that shows a shift of position, a merge of ideas/plans, or something that would show a breakthrough of some sort has happened between factions, etc. So, if they thought releasing the communique was not a problem, what makes releasing of the list of the entities who had agreed on releasing it? Indeed, the sound of silence sings Paul Simon, the man who produced for us the best Album ever, “Grace land” and his 1987 concert under African sunny skies, with the greatest of all, Miriam Makeba.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            Yep! The core of your message is “Today the agents are more important than the communique they release.” The rest is an explanation to it, just to make it your usual hateta. At any rate it is clear and timely message.

            Regards

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay and all,

            I think you guys are making a big deal for GEAN not releasing the names.

            How about they are Eritreans opposing the regime, do we need anymore explanation than that. How about we focus on the message instead.
            It sounds to me “HaseKa Dembe ab zlemlemelu”.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe Hawey
            GEAN is playing God.
            You know his name but you don’t see him.
            You read his message but you don’t see him.
            You hear his voice ( Abraham, Moses) but you don’t see him
            If you see him you die. Now I’m scared of reading the names of the distinguished signatories.
            I want to live a little onger to see Eritrea back under Ethiopian rule.

          • iSem

            Hi Abi:
            I rem you saying you were reading and learning the Bible, so if you want to live longer to realize your dream, stop reading the good book. There is a joke in Tigriiya:
            A young man decided to pray and go to church and he did that devoutly for a while but one day he suddenly died. An accquitance wondered why he did not see the man go to church and he asked the brother of the deceased and the bro answeed that his beloved bro has sadly passed away to which the man replied, “no wonder he was showing more often (qilqil endo aybzhen)

          • Abi

            Hi Sem
            Sorry I missed the joke. A little translation is required ASAP.
            I don’t want to offend the internist in charge tonight.
            This is from my bible reading from this morning
            ሳያዩ የሚያምኑ ፃድቃን ናቸው::
            Sound familiar?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abisha,

            They said: a student (religious) found a well kept looking religious book on the side of the road. He randomly opened somewhere in the middle and started reading. The first sentence was ያላስቀመጥከው ኣታንሳ፤ he put the book back where it was, obviously unhappy, and exclaimed: እዛው ይጎለትልሃ!

          • Abi

            Fantastic
            I’m sure this happened to Anbessa iSem. I can even hear his accent. “ይጎለትልሃ!” ጥራይልካ

          • saay7

            Hi Berhe:

            Oh man, thanks for the guilt trip 😂 As it is, I know and like the members of GEAN: I was going to mention it but it wouldn’t have changed the central message.

            Living part of our lives in the Eritrean ether, we have by now reached rock-solid conclusions. In my view, a statement that is published by an organization which purports to show that it is endorsed by other civil society organizations, must disclose them and its authors must introduce themselves (at least via a spokesperson) and then disseminate their views via Eritreas talk shows (paltalk rooms, VOA, Asenna, Erena, etc) GEAN, via a representative who commented here disagrees and holds the view that the focus should be on the ideas not the people behind the ideas. To make his/her point, the commenter references those who *did* disclose their names and that got in the way.

            So that’s is and we have a difference of opinion.

            The fact that virtually is discussing the actual content on GEANs paper is not indicative of anything other than awatistas culture of treating the article they are commenting under as a placeholder.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Aya Adi’U,

            Anta Sebeay, I didn’t know that I am a headmaster. But….But, let me tell you this, that it sounds to me nonsense to debate on “alien document” without “the owners or their representative”, if the document was to mean to debate on it. It also sound that the authors are not series about their document, if they throw the document just as pilot project to test the Eritrean political water in this small forum without the instructor. The Eritrean problem requires serious individuals and organizations to tackle it honestly and transparently without fears. At least for me, it does not matter how they are organized, as far as they are organized on “grievance base” be it religious or ethnic or regional and come with a proposal of solution to their real or perceived grievances. They should not fear as to how they will be perceived as far as they show their honesty on their real grievances.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

    • Selamat tes.,

      Solomon Seyum I will sign.

      • Ismail AA

        TenaysTlN Gashe Solomon GitSAtSE,
        Good day for me, and thanks tes for igniting the Gashe to fully identify himself. My next message will be addressed to Gashe Solomon wedi Gashe Seyum.
        Regards

    • Ismail AA

      Dear GEAN,
      I think tes is right, and I add my voice to his. And this issue should be addressed. I am one of those who supported the memorundam for its bridge-building merit. If the debate is to become useful and forumers’ effort and time would not be in vain, representatives of the owners of the document should not shy away and should come out and defend it.
      Regards

      • tes

        Dear Ismail AA.,

        Thank you for adding your voice to call for rights of Eritrean citizens for transparency. As saay7 hinted, no need for a curtail.

        I hope GEAN are hearing our voices. What we voice is voice of the voiceless Eritreans who are looking a redeemer badly.

        tes

  • Hayat Adem

    Hello Gean
    GEAN green sounds great. I welcome the develpment.
    I have interrelated points that may merit clarification from you, GEAN, or anyone in the mood. I read “the key elements non-negotiable” that must-be-met conditions itemized above. GEAN prescribes a decenteralized constitutional federal system that considers ethnic and regional diversity in Eritrea. And I think that is so wise. Eritrea is too diverse for any centralized systems and diverse enough for a truly decentralized federal system. This far is good.
    Where my problem is the three items that follow: language, returning Eritreans and the land issues, which are all policy prescriptions of a unitarian nature – contradicting the principles of a federalization. In a federal system, the federal units negotiate on how they want to be represented at the federal level, be it the make up of deligates, institutions or their responsibilities and mandates thye assume. Here, per GEan’s view, it seems it wanted the federalization to start from a given allowance, not from a zero.
    For example, why is it non-negotiable that Arabic and Tigrigna are the only two official languages? What if the federal units want to bring Tigrayet instead of Arabic? What is the justification GEAN now wanted to shift emphasis of primacy from Tigrigna to Arabic?. Isn’t it true, Once the federal government is set up on negotiated terms from the constituting units, it can always pick and add working languages that helps it do business and diplomacy with the outside world? Isn’t it also true that the kind of language the federal state uses when dealing with the Eritrean people must be the choice of the federal entities as is the case that all domestic powers must eminate from them not the other way?
    Thank you,
    Hayat

    • Abraham H.

      Selam Hayat Adem, until GEAN comes and responds to your questions here is my take on some of the issues you raised:

      1. First I’m against any plan that seeks to divide Eritrea into federal states based on ethnic grounds; because it is too diivisive, and impractical considering the geographical distrubution of the various ethnic groups that in reality live mixed in the whole of Eritrea. This is to say Eritrea cannot be divided into clear cut distinctive ethnically based geographical entities.

      2. To guarantee the participation of all Eritreans in the political, economic, social, and cultural affairs of their country, one doesn’t need a federal system. We can have a strong central government, that would be formed by the fair representation of all the constituents and stakeholders. At local levels we can have local administrative units that have greater say in the local affairs, in terms of political, admistrative, economic, social, and cultural aspects (decentralization) as much as their capabilities allows.

      3. The issue of having national languages is mainly important at the level of the central government, because this government would deal with the affairs of all Eritreans together, while the local units could have the freedom of deciding on their own local working languages. The issue of national language doesn’t have anything to do with the relationhips of the Central government with the outside world as you pointed out by saying: “Once the federal government is set up on negotiated terms from the constituting units, it can always pick and add working languages that helps it do business and diplomacy with the outside world?”. How the Central government deals with the outside world will always depend on which country it is dealing with; in most cases one of the international languages would be used in this matter. The question of naional languages is an internal matter.

      4. You wrote, “What is the justification GEAN now wanted to shift emphasis of primacy from Tigrigna to Arabic?”. This claim is based on wrong observation; GEAN are not planning “to shift emphasis of primacy from Tigrinya to Arabic”, rather they are saying becasue of the ethnic make up of Eritrea, Arabic should be equally endorsed as a national language along with Tigrinya to accomodate the needs of the people who have a better mastery of Arabic than Tigrinya.

      5. You wrote, “Isn’t it also true that the kind of language the federal state uses when dealing with the Eritrean people must be the choice of the federal entities as is the case that all domestic powers must emanate from them not the other way?”. In my view the answer is ‘no’, because the issue of the language of the Central government should be decided by the Constitution, and it should take into account the needs of all of the Eritrean people; those who are more comfortable with Tigrinya, and those who are more comfortable with Arabic, because the Central gov would deal with all Eritreans and the local administrative units would deal with those in their respective administrative areas.

      6. You also seem to question the legitimate right of all Eritreans to return to their ancestral lands, and the question of land in general. And you said such issues are ‘policy prescriptions of Unitarian nature’, a claim I found to be astounding. We have to know that all Eritreans have inalienable and unquestionable right of returning and resettling in their motherland, a God given right they have simply because they are Eritreans. The issue of land is probably the most difficult one in post-Isayas Eritrea, because it has been going on since the Ethiopian occupation era. Thousands of Eritreans have been forced to leave their abode due to war, poverty, political repression, and racial/religious motivated displacements. The lands of these people have been confiscated by the various regimes, and some land has been transferred to other inhabitants from other parts of the country. Hence to claim “Restoration of the legal, customary, and historical rights to land ownership” as GEAN said is easy said than done. We have, therefore, to set up a national commission that would deal with the land issue, taking into consideration the new Constitution, and all other historical factors that have led to present day land practices.

  • tes

    Selam Peace! and others,

    Here is what I found from last years GEAN news report here at awate.com.

    Eritreans activists, humanitarian groups, and professional attended the conference to explore ways to “identify and promote actionable items and solutions” for what GEAN considered its core principles.

    Around 200 Eritreans attended the conference and discussed the topics of the conference in four workshops and submitted their recommendations to the organizers.

    I need to correct my previous comment for saying that in GEAN’s 2016 report, the identity of participants was revealed. My memory was very vague. The report was the same as today’s report.

    I join therefore on asking about those who signed on this report meeting to be published here.

    Transparency is highly needed these days. So much about unknown actors. Till then, what is reported here is invalid and unworthy for me.

    I hope Peace! will come and give us something. He seems well informed or is trying to silence a legitimate question of transparency.

    tes

  • Abraham H.

    ሰላማት ዓበይቲ
    ኣይበልናኩምን እንዶ ኣንቱም ሰብ። ኡይ በሉ፥ ኡይ በሉ ፥ ሃገር ትዝመት ኣላ። ኣየወ እዛ ብመስዋእትን ጻዕርን ኣሽሓት ደቃ ዝተረኽበት ሃገር መጻወትን መጣልዕን ሓደ ሰብ ኮይና ተሪፋ። እዋይ ውርደት። መርበብ ሓበሬታ ኤሪመድረኽ ከም ዝጽብጽቦ ዘሎ አዚ ካብ መሸጣ መሬት ዓደቦ ኤርትራውያን ካብ ሃገር ኢማራት ዓረብ ዝርከብ ዘሎ ሚሊዮናት ዶላራት ኢሳያስ ጥራይ ከም ዝፈልጦን ብቐጥታ ናብ ጁባ ናይ ዉልቀ መላኺ ኢሳያስ ይኣቱ ከም ዘሎን ኢዩ። ሕጂ ድማ ወዱ ንኢሳያስ ኣፈወርቂ ኢብራሃም ኢሳያስ ከም ወኪል ናይ ሓይሊ ኣየር ኤርትራ ኮይኑ ምስ ሕቡራት ኢማራት ዓረብ ይራኸብን ገንዘብ ይቕበልን ናብ ኣቦኡ የበጻጽሕን ከምዘሎ ተሓቢሩ ኣሎ። እዚ ድማ ኣብ ርእሲ እቲ ኢሳያስ ጥራሕ ዝውንኖ ኣታዊታት ዕደና ሃገር ኢዩ። ወይ ተካል ዘበን!

    • ‘Gheteb

      Selam Abraham H.,

      I read the “report” by the Mederek folks and to be totally frank with you, I found the “report” be implausible and far-fetched. Sure, it is quite possible that the UAE could be expanding its logistical/naval base in Assab by building more hangars for its military assets. That is to be expected and falls within the realm of the plausible.

      As much as you are, the Mederek folks seem to be obsessively seized upon by the capabilities of Google Earth or Map to bring forth what is being constructed in Eritrea. However, I have not seen any new photos/images captured through Google Earth/Map that the Mederek folks brought up in their “report” to corroborate the claims they have made.

      You are saying:

      ” አዚ ካብ መሸጣ መሬት ዓደቦ ኤርትራውያን ካብ ሃገር ኢማራት ዓረብ ዝርከብ ዘሎ ሚሊዮናት ዶላራት ኢሳያስ ጥራይ ከም ዝፈልጦን ብቐጥታ ናብ ጁባ ናይ ዉልቀ መላኺ ኢሳያስ ይኣቱ ከም ዘሎን ኢዩ። ሕጂ ድማ ወዱ ንኢሳያስ ኣፈወርቂ: ኢብራሃም ኢሳያስ ከም ወኪል ናይ ሓይሊ ኣየር ኤርትራ ኮይኑ ምስ ሕቡራት ኢማራት ዓረብ ይራኸብን ገንዘብ ይቕበልን ናብ ኣቦኡ የበጻጽሕን ከምዘሎ ተሓቢሩ ኣሎ”.

      You won’t say Ato. Abraham H.? Seriously though, do you really believe that Isaias is selling the lands of the fatherland ( መሸጣ መሬት ዓደቦ ) to the UAE and is pocketing the money and now is even enlisting the help of his son, Abraham?

      Implicitly, you are saying that these deals should be made public and the money generated from these agreements with the UAE need to be publicly announced. Well, have you followed the recent news about the Somaliland and its parliament discussing the issue of the UAE based to be stationed in Somaliland?

      If you did, the issue of money that the UAE is going to give in exchange for using the Somaliland base was not even told to the members of the parliament, let alone to be publicly announced to the citizens of that particular country.

      Issues such as military base dealings with other foreign countries are not something that one discusses publicly such as in public places such as the one in Zagir, Karneshim (ናይ ዛግር ኣደራሽ).
      Suh issues are of supreme national security importance and as such are handled confidentially and shared only to the highest government officials who are required to keep it in utmost confidence.

      Now, Abrahm H, why are you asking others to join you in your wailing ceremony as you are calling others to: ” ኡይ በሉ፥ ኡይ በሉ ፥ ሃገር ትዝመት ኣላ”.

      • saay7

        Cuz Gheteb:

        Somaliland, which is not even a recognized country, has a parliament with 151 members. The vote to allow UAE to establish a based in Somaliland was contentions and in the end 144 voted for it.

        In Eritrea? Hmmmm: here is the vote count😏

        saay

        https://mobile.twitter.com/saayounis/status/830924726113415169

        • ‘Gheteb

          Ahlan Cuz SAAY,

          I have NOT said nor even remotely adumbrated that Eritrea has discussed the UAE base in Assab in its parliament. You are right that Somaliland has a functioning ‘national’ parliament and Eritrea doesn’t. I am not disputing that.

          The thrust of my comment is that such issues of money generated from a base deals are not disclosed even to the members of parliament in countries like Eritrea . Regarding the Somaliland parliamentary vote or hearing, I am of the opinion that, they have to go through this parliamentary procedure even more so because Somaliland is not a recognized country and the deal has to go through and approved by the Somalian government in Mogadishu that is a recognized country to be legally acceptable.

          • saay7

            Cuz Gheteb:

            On the necessity of Somaliland having to go through parliamentary votes to approve UAE military presence in their country, more than Eritrea has to:

            https://goo.gl/images/RIz6bn

            In awe,

            saay

          • Hayat Adem

            Selamat Saay,
            In awe, indeed. Gheteb brought Somaliland to show that the IA regime is behaving within standards. Notice how Somaliland is used as a standard setter. If it was someone else who mentioned Somaliland, the answer would be about disqualifying the comparison invoking the recognition status. But now it seemed to Gheteb helpful to say that there was another “country” doing it too. When reminded that that “country” was doing more and doing it differently going through a public process on such national interest matters, he invoked the necessity on Somaliland to be more transparent and accountable. Who said a not-recognized country is needed to be more democratic, transparent and accountable than a goverment running a recognized UN member nation? Only Gheteb can reconcile such oddities.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Howdy Cuz SAAY,

            Ha ha ha…. I stood up to join “the standing ovation”, too. I applaud the Somaliland parliamentarians endeavor in discharging their democratic duties and ,Godspeed. I wish them nothing but more success.

            Having said that, though I hasten to add that Eritrea is no Somaliland and the two countries couldn’t be more dissimilar in the case of the UAE military base in their territories. I won’t elaborate further as I am more than sure that you know what I have in mind.

            Now let me address the issue of Abraham ibn Isaias, (Abraham Isaias Afwerki) and the prospect that he may succeed his father as the president of Eritrea, here is a scenario that I want you to ponder over:

            Let us suppose that Abraham the son of Isaias happens to be a smart, energetic and competent person with a huge potential. Let us also say that he is as visionary as his dad and has hoarded and inherited a repertoire of experience by watching his dad in action and having the close proximity to the nerve center of the Eritrean body politic.

            Now, give the above conditions, do you think that Abraham should be disqualified from being considered as being one of the candidates to replace PIA simply because he is the son of Isaias? And, those who are looking askance at Abraham are not making an a priori judgement?

          • iSem

            Hi Gheteb:
            The rhetorical question you raise about Abraham Isaias Afewerki Abraham Hagos Mircha, illicit your deep and anguished desires. And to cover this, you hide behind experience, vision and all the flowery words. You are mixed up dude. A son of a president is a citizen after all and have the right to run for an office, but that is not our dilemma: our problem is do we have rule of law that will allow any citizen to hold office, for any citizen not to be disappeared for years, not be raped, and above all not to be so brainwashed to defend his own tormentors.

            Abraham watches his dad and for sure has learned, how to kill, how to get drank, how to abuse and he has showed those traits. Otherwise in a country with rule of law, many relatives and children of prime misters became leaders of their country by working hard, by running campaigns by proving that they are worthy. In Canada, we have as a prime minster the son of a former prime minster and if you Gheteb are not wishing ill for the Eri people and if nothing is wrong with you except the useless diction that you push here then you would not wish PIA’s son to replace him, but as Sal said, PA may want to replace him because he wants to irrevocably erase the history and write his own lies as history.

            To answer your question that you laboured so hard to write, “it is not simply because he is the son of IA”, it is because he would have inherited IA’s crimes and for that reason even after rule of law reigns PFDJ groupies should be banned, PFDJ must be purged from the system and be relegated to the dusty bins of history like criminals before them. And the notion that PFDJ should be reformed is deliberate plot to mislead Eritrea under former EPLF/PFDJ insiders because even if they marginally disagree with IA, it pains the likes of Andebrhan and his gang for their legacy to be tarnished and so the cosmetic changes they are selling to us, but it is too late and too little. I think Eritreans are smart enough to distinguish the tegadali and thugs who were at the helm and so it is not lost to us that the so called tarnished history was never luster before. So, your “barf” is so obvious, so predictable and disgusting: “If Abraham is visionary like his father, if he has hoarded,….”. All baloney

          • saay7

            Hey Cuz Gheteb:

            Sure…but are you and everyone reading this going to be in the candidate selection committee (electors) or is he going to be fast-tracked?

            And I thought u were into meritocracy? The National Service system is based on meritocracy:

            School leaving exam:

            High marks –> university
            Middle marks —> vocational college
            Lower mark –> diploma program
            Lowest mark –> certificate program (proposed), indefinite manual labor (existing)

            So, um, how did Beni Isaias get to the Air Force?

            saay

          • ‘Gheteb

            Hello again, Cuz SAAY,

            Now you are seriously trying to vet “Beni Isaias”? Well, that is all good and dandy. Please, don’t hold me on this as I am reeling off this info from the top of my head.

            If I remember correctly, Abraham Isaias has attended the EIT ( Eritrean Institute of Technology) and may have graduated from that university. I think that was the route that landed him in the Eritrean Air Force.

            I have scarcely noticed or registered any types of nepotism regarding Isaias and his family. BTW, I knew both of Isaias’s younger brothers. ( Reference will only be provided at my own discretion and on a need to know basis only) 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • saay7

            Hahaha Gheteb:

            Statistically, everybody knows Isaias’ siblings because he had 8 of them😂

            IA is almost western in his attitude toward family: he is indifferent to brothers, sisters, mom, dad…. but crazy about his kids.

            saay

          • ‘Gheteb

            Howdy SAAY,

            You are right that we are way too old to be Abraham’s peers. But tell you what? You may not believe this that I have actually talked to one of Abrahams high school friend who used to play basketball with him. This friend of Abraham is neither a disgruntled Eritrean youth in the diaspora nor has any axe to grind.

            I think the rest of the information that I have gleaned is way too a privileged information and I can’t divulge all of it without having a confidentiality paper signed.

            I have no doubt that Isaias is crazy about his kids like any other father. But, that did NOT spare his daughter Elsa from heading to Sawa. Neither did she attend private schools abroad a la semhal, the daughter of the late Meles Zenawi.

          • saay7

            Hmmmm Gheteb:

            It looks like we may both be guilty of self-selection bias: you talked a non-disgruntled source and I talked to disgruntled source and our conclusions are different. The phrase that was used to describe AIA was very common in Tigrinya: of sons who don’t live up to daddy’s expectations.

            Re: daughter. Again another parallel universe: the standard u are using is that she wasn’t sent to the West; the one I am using is that unlike most National Service members she pulled the lotto and she is not digging trenches or building dams. You know: what the unconnected rhixe belaE, deqi akhway do.

            u know the borderline racist expression: if the mountain shall not come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go the mountain?* I know u are not a big fan of Medrek but they report: since IA can’t send his kids to foreign countries for training (to maintain his commercial cred), then the foreign experts must come to Asmara.

            saay

            * I hope this doesn’t bleed into the other thread about yawn religion.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Hi Cuz SAAY,

            Speaking of PIA’s kids, we are still talking about the sons and daughters of the most powerful man in Eritrea, i.e the president of a country called Eritrea. Now what I have not seen in regards to the assignment that both Elasa and Abraham is what exactly is that they have gotten in terms of preferential treatments?

            Elsa being assigned to The Ministry of Information? For that to constitute an act of nepotism and preferential treatment, non of Elsass peers or cohorts should be given that opportunity. You know that ain’t the case as many a Warsay or Warsayit is working in MoI as part of his/her national service.

            Do you really believe that PIA will bring teachers/professors to tutor his son Abraham in Asmara as has been reported by the Medrek folks? Firstly, since when did PIA turn as being a fan of Western education as he has consistently said that the Eritrean field experience being far superior to it. The Medrek report evokes the images of private tutors in some royal palace and seems not to fit ‘the Isaias persona’.

          • saay7

            Hey Cuz Gheteb:

            Because his second name was Isaias, Abraham was spared this:

            http://hrc-eritrea.org/wpxyz/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/warsi_slave_labor.jpg

            And because her fathers name is Isaias, Elsa was spared this: attending the most bitter-sweet concert I have ever heard. Because I have children not far off from this age:

            https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=TcNZZOzrbvk

            The corruption in Eritrea is systematic and systemic. Why is the son of yemane Gebremeskel in Frankfurt. Why the wives and children of many generals and colonels and Gov officials spared from rock hammering? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.

            Saay

          • ‘Gheteb

            Hello again, Cuz SAAY,

            Believe me that I an’t quibbling and splitting hair here. I understand what you are saying. I am not even disputing the irregularities in assignment of jobs in the national service regarding some high officials within the PFDJ or the GoE.

            The only thing that I fail to wrap my head around is the claim that Isaiass kids are treated differently and that they have been getting this egregious preferential treatment. I am not also sold on the accusation that corruption is systemic or systematic in Eritrea.

            All I can tell you is what I have known from the EPLF days that the EPLF believed that there will be equality within its members, but there won’t be ABSOLUTE equality.

            Now, you don’t believe that ALL of the national service members are engaged on what you dub as “rock hammering”? Of course, save Isaiass kids and other high officials of PFDJ. I mean are the 200k to 300k national service members hammering rocks?

            Again, believe me that I am not quibbling, splitting hair or acting like ” The Legendary Case of “Ayisemam”.”

          • saay7

            Cuz Gheteb:

            I detect a lot of ayisemam from a man who takes great pride in his powers of deduction and his permanent residence in Planet Logica.

            Given that:

            A. The generals colonels and senior Gov officials abuse their power when it comes to protecting their children from
            The ravages of National Service (including sending their kids to foreign countries on no-merit scholarships and assignments to Asmara and not Asab for example);
            B. Given that this is corruption and there is a “special court” to deal harshly with corruption and this has never been dealt with in years;
            C. Given then this strongly suggests that it is done with knowledge approval or tolerance of Isaias Afwerki;
            D. Given that IA loves his children as much as the generals and cololonels and senior Gov officials do and he wants to spare them from the harshness of Sawa
            E. given that, Even if he doesn’t, in the hierarchy of Eritrea where Isaias is rhe supreme leader and every general colonel would want to please IA and would therefore spare his children from
            the elements of Sawa;
            3. With or without merit, they will be assigned to the least physically demanding assignments including:
            A. MoI: which has multiples of “interns” than what it really needs;
            B. Air Force: which is in any country in the world where th elite of the elite go but in the third world (long list available upon request), where the connected go. AIA did not even have the aptitude to actually fly planes: he was grounded and he was in the civil service side of Eritrean Air Force. (Do not make me pull out the list of graduates; he doesn’t appear anywhere in Kinfi magazine)

            Ergo, presto.

            saay

            Now, therefore, it is resolved:

            1. The children of the supreme leader will be spared from rock-crushing, dam-building, finger-nail scrapping manual labor
            2. They will also be spared from any form of punishment inflicted on the unconnected Sawa conscripts for minor offenses;

          • ‘Gheteb

            Cuz SAAY,

            So said judge SAAY and the opposing party concurs that judge SAAY will have the last word on this issue.

            Till our next engagement on a totally different thread, hopefully pretty soon,so long!

          • iSem

            Hi Sal:
            I am fascinated by the resilience of some humans to endure humiliation under the avalanche of facts,
            It must a blissfully intoxicating to ignore truth.
            No response is expected, I am just talking to myself, and as long as you do not answer to yourself, one friend once told me ,talking to your self is fine,

          • iSem

            Hi Gheteb:

            Wow, you know IA’s brothers who cares, lots of people know them, they have friends and interaction and gezawti they lived in and villlages they hail from and relatives.

            On Elsa I, did not attend schools abroad, she could have if she had the marks, but except the younger who made it to Mai Nefi, Elsa and Abrahan flanked. Semhal Zenawi is a genius, her brother is not so she attended, and he did not. But I like that you re comparing Eri to its peers and not USA.

            About going to Sawa, that is also a show, the kids of PFDJ leaders who go to Sawa have privileges, unlike the other poor kids, during the breaks and weekends, they gather them and bring them to one location to call their parents, watch movies and eat special food. So please, they are not treated equally. Please stop lying. And during the such special treatments IA’s younger kid would refuse to return to his unit and threaten the administrators.

            The younger son, Berhane made it to college but he has issues and it was true that he was caught defecting, he was arrested with his friends celebrating Satan worship in a bar in Asmara, so with all the privilege you would except them to turn out better in school and in everything

            You can believe and lie to yourself all you want, but please do not assume everyone is stupid her. Some of us also met IA brothers and sisters personally in some cases associated with them for weeks, not in USA, but in Hishkib and Sudan, so who cares and when I say met them, I do not mean we sought them.

            The point is, the leaders of high PFDK echelons have privileges, so the façade that we see in SAWA Elsa I met her dad by pure serendipity and the theme you are weaving is a lie, akin to Isaias Afewerki i write his name with bullets that a lot of illiterate peasants believed

          • iSem

            Hi Sal:
            Info that IA is in different to family, dad and mom etc here by requested

          • saay7

            Hey iSem:

            Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away (eritrea, 1960s, before iSem was born), phone calls involved having the switchboard operator on, in real time, connecting the two parties. A guy calls from Addis to his friend in Asmara. The subject is money. The Asmara dude owes the Addis dude some money. The two parties speak in Tigrinya, the operator speaks in amharic. But I have to translate in English for all our language-deprived readers:

            Addis: cyzcbtinsjhr#%{%{^
            Asmara: I can’t hear
            Operator: he is asking you to send him money
            Asmara: since I couldn’t hear him, and you could, why don’t YOU send him the money?!

            The punchline is “ayisemam” 🙂

            So, iSem, ayisemam. It is impossible to answer the question without hurting feelings and disappointing people whom I at one point really liked.

            saay

          • iSem

            Hi Sal, still I am not going to call u what Abi calls you wickedly.:-)
            I am going to use the Asmarino, saytan for wicked for good
            the joke was so saytan that I forgot my request and forgot to read the last paragraph, the plot of the narrative:-)

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay, iSem

            I said long time ago Abraham will be our next president as its common with most dictators. I worked with a Chinese and a Korean guys 7 years ago. And we were discussing politics off course and subject of what crazy Kim did come. After a while the Chinese guy said

            We are lucky he said, I asked why and he said

            “Chairman Moe did NOT have a son”.

            Ever since that day it was obvious to me his son is the next in line.

            ISem,

            I know you didn’t ask proof of Melles Indifference, but I thought I share this

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B2p91flsEEw

            Personally I don’t know if I admire him for that, specially he is not able to help his brother.
            Berhe

          • iSem

            Thanks BY:
            But that is not in difference, I rem you telling me about MZ dad’s interview with one paper long time ago. This is not indifference, this shows the family did not get favors as it should be
            But I believe that IA are not the same. MZ was not poor by Tigray standard he was
            privilege, so is IA and look were they are now. For example some one told me that IA family came through Keren and liberated area to Sudan,but his mom did not go to enda addetat, the kids did not go to the revolutionary school. ect. And as I said one was appointed to PFDJ. This is of course a response to you, as you heard this before.
            Sal is right, the family should be off limits but in this case,it is exception and yes I rem when you said that IA will appoint his son, it is was so clear for you
            There is one more chance the veteran PFDJ leaders to make a decent attempt at redeeming themselves and that is in the event IA dies naturally and if they allow IA’s son to be president

          • Dear Berhe Y.,
            The fact that these brothers and sisters were not beneficiaries of his power may mean a lot of things. The point is, if he would have behaved the same way to his son, or would have groomed him to be the next pm of ethiopia. One should not trust people who come to power with guns.

          • Selamat Berhe Y,

            አኢ32። ሎንግ ልቭ አኤል ፕረዚደንተ doesn’t quite fit. Neguse on the other hand…በርሀ ወይ። መንገዲ ጥዒና ዓመት ተጓዓዞ።
            ጻጸ

          • Selamat iSEM,

            Indifferent.

            Xaxe

          • iSem

            Gheteb:
            one of his younger brother, Paulos, who you may know was appointed PFDJ officer in Denmark, if that is not nepotism, what is. Also the PFDJ officer has more powers than the ambassador or charge d’affairs, so?

          • ሰላማት ወድ ዓንዶም,ሰመረ፡

            ፓውሎስ was my classmate. Would you elaborat a bit more about the appointmeny. Skip the neppotisim ism kismm ጻጸism.

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE Agniyeya Children Books Press

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Gheteb,

        I read: “… military base dealings with other foreign countries are not something that one discusses publicly such as in public places”. This would have been the case had we been speaking about duly elected officials who discharge state duties within constitutionally safeguarded distribution of power. Elected officials, who shoulder responsibilities in terms of limited tenure, do have constitutionally framed mechanisms through which they fulfil requirements of accountability to the nation, or people to be specific. But in the case of the current regime, we are dealing with a police state that functions under a shadow of a ruling party dominated by omnipotent man at the driving seat.
        Regards

        • ‘Gheteb

          Ahlan Ismail AA,

          I understand the points you are making here and I don’t disagree with you that much. All I want to say is that I am of the belief that we have to take the Eritrean reality as it is and not as the way it should be when dealing with issues that have national security ramifications.

          Whether it is what you have described in Eritrea as having “a police state” or ” a ruling party dominated by omnipotent man at the driving seat” or something else, the Eritrean political reality is far from being optimal and propitious for it to entertain a body politic that meets the democratic trappings of a country run by “duly elected leaders who shoulder responsibilities in terms of limited tenure, do have constitutionally framed mechanisms through which they fulfil requirements of accountability to the nation, or people to be specific”.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear ‘Gheteb,
            Thanks for the elaboration. It’s indeed sad and ruinous reality for which a reasonable alternative is over due.
            Regards

      • Abraham H.

        Selam Gheteb,
        እዚ መልእኽቲ’ዚ ነቶም ሃገር ኤርትራ ክትመጽእ ዝተኸፍለ መስዋእትን ስንክልናን ጻዕርን መላእ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዝርድኦም፥ ጸገምን መከራን ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣብ ትሕቲ መግዛአቲ ኢሳያስ ዝግንዘቡን ዘሕምሞምን ደቂ ኤርትራ ዝምልከት ኢዩ። እዚ መልእኽቲ ‘ዚ ነቶም ንውልቀ-መለኽቲ ዘምልኹ፥ ዓይኒ ከለዎም ዝዓወሩን፣ እዝኒ ከለዎም ዝጸመሙን፣ ተረፍ መረፍ ናይ ጎይታኦም ኢሳያስን ደቂ መዛምርቱን ከልምጹ ሃነፈፍ ዝብሉ ዕሩባት ሕልና ከም በዓል ከማኻ ዝምልከት ኣይኮነን። እንተ ‘ቲ ካልእ ሃተፍተፍካ ኣሕዋት ሳልሕን እስማዒልን ብዝግባእ መሊሶምልካ ስለዝኾኑ፣ ንሱ ኣኻሊ ኢዩ።

        • Paulos

          Selam Abraham,

          ኣገናዕ! ኣገናዕ! ጸባ ስተ ጸባ ኣስቲኻና!

        • MS

          Selam Abraham
          It’s very sad that 25 years later we don’t even know how the government functions, let alone talking about a mechanism (national council/parliament) that should approve and oversee the hosting of a foreign country’s military force. I was wrong in many levels in this issue. The information coming from the country is not good; it makes one thing clearer and clearer: the country is really in dire situation. People are frustrated approaching a point of no return. The veterans are exhausted. No body knows how the affairs are run. Eritrea is looking for an urgent action.

          • Abi

            እጅ እነሳለሁ የተከበሩ አባት አርበኛ
            A question from a narrow minded person to a very broad minded Vet

            Do you consider or believe the Agazian movement as one way of ” the urgent action ” that Eritreans are looking for?
            Desperate times indeed!

          • MS

            Hey abi
            Ertra is not in their mind. And actually, we would be overreacting if we were to consider them as a movement. I have no problem with their politics f they could do it with civility, without attacking talaQu abi ‘na tegaay Mahmoud.

          • ሰላማት ብሉጽ ማሕሙዳይ ሳልሕ፡

            1. እንታይ ኢዩ ኣብ የእምሮኦም?

            2. እንታይ ኢዩ ኣብ ልቦም?

            “ስለዚ ሓደራ…”

            በል-Seven.

            ጻጸ ኣዚሎ40 ኣግኔያ
            ማሕተም ጽሑፍ ቆልዑ

          • ሰላማት ኣቢ፡

            የጠፋ ሁሉ ይገኛል። ሰላም ነው።

            ሥለ ሥዱሳኢደድስ ኣርእስት በሩን እንክፈት።
            ኣውራን ጉንዳን

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam MS,

            You said:

            ” No body knows how the affairs are run”. You mean like NOBODY as in …

            nobody
            ˈnōˌbädē,ˈnō bədē/
            pronoun
            pronoun: nobody
            1.
            no person; no one.
            “nobody was at home”
            synonyms:
            no one, none, not a soul, nary a soul
            “nobody was home”

            With all due respect to your political opinions vis-à-vis the PFDJ/GoE, the statement you have made is the ne plus ultra of illogicality.

          • Abrehet Yosief

            Selam Gheteb,
            I cannot understand how you are unable to accept the obvious. Do the ministers or generals know how anything is run? No they don’t they all line up wherever the dictator decides is favorite hangout place to beg for his attention, decision, authorization etc. Lately, they have to go through the newest appointed, former driver, office contact. He runs the place on a whim. I really don’t know how with your education and experience you fail to see what is going on. ሰራሕ ገንኢ: ምስራሕ መጎጎ ይኣብዮ::

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Abrehet Yosief,

            You said:

            ” Do the ministers or generals know how anything is run? No they don’t. They all line up wherever the dictator decides is his favorite hangout place to beg for his attention, decision, authorization etc”.

            I have just a couple of questions that I hope you will answer.

            (1) You are saying that the minsters and generals don’t know “how anything is run”. Are you saying that these ministers and generals are absolutely and totally ignorant as they don’t know how anything is run? From your statement one can say that these ministers and generals are absolutely clueless and they don’t know how to drive a car, operate a cell phone etc and more importantly, how to run a ministry or run a military operations? Are you talking about Eritrea or some other country in a different planet that is found in another universe???

            (2) Didn’t the Eritrean cabinet of ministers hold regular meetings, once or twice a year? I thought the president has offices in Asmara, Massawa and Adi Halo. Why do they need to fetch for the president in his “favorite hangout”?

            እንድዒ! እዝስ “ፈቲኽን ዶ ንጉስ ትምርቃ” አዩ ዝብል ።

          • Abrehet Yosief

            Selam Gheteb,
            I see you are picking my use of the word “anything”, nice catch professor. As to the rest of your questions I suggest you seek source of information outside of EriTv.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Abrehet Yosief,

            You are saying that I only get my information from EriTv? What if I told you that I don’t watch EriTv except some excerpts or portions that is available on different Eritrean websites? If you think that I am a regular consumer of EriTv, then you are making one insane assumption that is purely based on a stereotype and I assure you that you will never be able to substantiate.

            አንታይ ደኣ እዚ ጉዳይሲ ” ባዕልኽን መምጻእቲ ደርፊ፣ ባዕልኽን መጥፋእቲ ደርፊ” ኮይኑ?

            Anyway, thank you for your advice that I “seek source of information outside of EriTv”.

        • ‘Gheteb

          Selam Abraham H.,

          አንታይ ደኣ አዚ ኽሉ ጸርፊ ምዝናብ ኣድለየ ኣቶ ኣብራሃም ? እቲ ተላዒሉ ዘሎ ሕቶን ጉዳያትን ምመላሽ ምቐለለካ ዝብል ኣረኣእያ እዩ ዘለኒ።

          ከምቲ ናይ እየሱስ መልእኽቲ ” ኣቱም ገመል እትውሕጡ፣ ቃርማ እትጽርዩ ዕውራት መራሕቲ” ዘስምዕ እየሱሳዊን ገሳጽን መለእኽትኻ ክይኣክል ኢሰያሳዊ ዘተንብህ መልእኽቲ ደረብካኣሉ። ክመቲ ክቡር ፕረዚደንት ኢሳያስ ኣፈውቂ ብዛዕባ እቶም ምስ ወያነ ተላፊኖም ዝሰርሑ ዘለዉ ኤርትራውያን ዝበሎ “አዚኦም ለሓስቲ ተረፍ ብያቲ/ ሸሓኒ ወያነ” እዚ እስኻ ዝበልካዮ “ተረፍ መረፍ ናይ ጎይታኦም ኢሳያስን ደቂ መዛምርቱን ከልምጹ ሃነፈፍ ዝብሉ ዕሩባት ሕልና ከም በዓል ከማኻ ዝምልከት ኣይኮነን” ዘስምዕ ዓርፍተ-ነገር ድማ ወሲኽካሉ? ብጣዕሚ ዘስድምም አዩ። ንሙኻኑ እዚ ዝጸሓፍካዮ ዓረፍተ-ነገር ብሪኢቶይ ውጹእ ስርቀተ-ሓሳብ (plagiarism) እየ ዝቖጽሮ።

          ሕቶን ርኢቶይን ገሊጸ ደኣምብር ካልእ ኣይንበረን እቲ ጉዳይ። ደሓን ግን ብዙሕ ኣይተንጸርጽር:: ሰብ መሲሉንስ እምኒ ቆንጥየ እዩ ዘብል አዚ ናትካ ነገር ።

          • Abraham H.

            ገተብ ሓውና፣
            ንኢሳያስ ምምላኽ ከይኣኽለካስ ሕጂስ ከኣ ወናኒ ቋንቋ ትግርኛ ክትገብሮ ደሊኻ አምበኣር? ኣንታ እዚ ናይ በዓል ናትካ ዜይሕንከት’ስ መወዳአታ የብሉን!

          • ‘Gheteb

            ሰላም ኣቶ ኣብራሃም

            በል እዛ ናይ ሸሓንን ምልማጽን ተርፍመርፍ አትመልክት ዓረፈተ-ነገር ቅድሚ ኢስያስ አንትልካያ ወይ ድማ በዘልማድ ኣብ ኣዘራርባ ትግርኛ ወይ ድማ ኣብ ስነ-ጽሑፍ ትግርኛ ዝውትርቲ አንተዳኾይና፣ በል ትብዳህ ኣለኻ መርትዖኻ ከትቕርብ። አኖሀለ ፈረስ፣ አኖሀለ ሜዳ በል ኣቶ ኣብራሃም።

            ምሒር ጽልኢ ኢሳያስ ደኣ ብኢስነሞጋታዊ ኣተሓሳስባ ኣእምሮኻ ዓብሊልዎ ድኣ ከይከውን? እንድዒ!

  • Abraham H.

    Selam All, GEAN writes “Establishment of a democratic, constitutional and decentralized political system of governance structured around applicable regional and ethnic federal system”-stress ethnic federal system, no thanks! One of the reasons these guys are hiding behind the curtain is because they are entertaining the so-called ethnic federal system, they are afraid people would associate them with emulating the EPRDF system of ethnic federation of Ethiopia. A system that has been exploited and used as divide and rule method by the narrow minded TPLF group, and that is being currently seriously challenged by the disadvantaged majority ethnic groups of Ethiopia.

    • Abi

      Hi Abraham
      I have a different take on GEAN. I remember the debate and non stop guessing as to who GEAN was from a year or so ago.
      My understanding was GEAN is purely Islamic in organization without mentioning Islam in its name .
      I am dying to see the list of distinguished signatories.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Sirs & Madams,

    I just want to correct you that my article you linked in your comment is not about “Gean” but rather it is about “EASE” the Eritrean Afar State in Exile. The article was making some kind of appraisal to the speech presented by Youssouf Mohamed, the chairman of EASE on the grievance of the “Eritrean Afar social group” and the nature of their struggle. Nothing about “GEAN”.

    Regards

    • Global Eritrean Advocacy Netwo

      Dear Amanuel,

      You seem to wanna split hairs. The messenger that brought the Afar plight through the participation of EASE in that California conference you wish to give no recognition; recognition by the way is the least of GEAN’s concerns – it’s an advocacy group after all. GEAN wishes to bring all of the minority Eritrean groups to the center of conversation. Hopefully, you agree with the premise of bringing all of the Eritrean minority groups into the larger tent for dialogue with the rest of the Eritrean stakeholders – that’s one of the kernels of GEAN.

      • Paulos

        Selam GEAN,

        I doesn’t really matter anymore. They say, time and tide wait for no one. I admire and appreciate your sense of urgency where the inquires as in who are the undersigned and other irrelevant issues lose their meanings simply because the undersigned are the Eritrean people. That is the reality!

  • Robel Cali

    Hello everyone

    I don’t understand why Arabic is becoming a center piece of the opposition’s struggle? It’s an alien language that was brought to Eritrea with the sword. We know for a fact it was never a dominant language in Eritrea because all the indigenous ethnic groups of Eritrea do not speak it as their mother tongue. We also know one has to be very misinformed or an islamist with an agenda to want Arabic over English as a national language for Eritrea.

    And please, if you’re going to respond, don’t waste my time with 1950s language agreements. If we respected things from that era (when the British were trying to divide the country for partition, hence the introduction of Arabic), then we should be part of Ethiopia, since those guys were comfortable with it.

    So what will it be? Make Arabic the national language along with Tigrinya and force Eritrea into a federation with Ethiopia so this unbreakable 1950s era political covenant can live on or do we forge a future based on common sense?

    • Nitricc

      Hi Robel, I thought it is a good idea for Arabic to be one of the national languages in Eritrea. Not that there are enough Arabs to demand for Arabic to be the national language of the country but there are small ethnic tribes who speak different language. I don’t know for a fact but I am assuming say, Saho may have their own language, Bilen may have their own language, Kunama may have their own language, I know Tigre have their own language, so, don’t you think it is a good idea for all those I have mentioned to have one language which they can communicate and do business? In my mind making Arabic a national language makes very convenient for schooling, for dispersing information and for public health. If I am a doctor, a teacher or a journalist on those areas, all I need to know is one Arabic rather than multiple tribal languages. Just my take. I could be wrong but just the way I see it.

      • Robel Cali

        Hi Nitricc

        So you’re suggesting all of Eritrea should learn Arabic simply because half of Eritrea’s population needs a common language to unify them? Why not Tigrinya? It’s already the most widely spoken language in Eritrea and best of all, it was developed in house by its citizens.

        What you’re suggesting is sectarian solidarity based on the Islamic faith as a common denominator. It’s a tactic ELF tried before, and what many in the opposition are still trying to do today. The motive behind it is to politically challenge the Tigrinya people and to isolate them from the other ethnic groups.

        No matter how you slice it, Arabic has no business being a national language of Eritrea. English deserves that title.

        • Nitricc

          Hi Robel; I wasn’t aware that ELF used that tactic. I was just expressing what I feel about the very topic we are talking about. Again, if see the lowland it makes sense for Arabic to be the official language giving the proximity with Sudan. The way I imagining it not on the ground what is today but the future. I see the lowland of Eritrea flourishing with booming business with Sudan. I see highways from Kessela all the way Teseney to Asmara. There are a great thing to come. I see Arebic becoming very useful business tools. Don’t judge or think of what is today. Right now, as a nation what we are doing is trying to survive while going through many obstacles, a price must be paid today for the better Eritrea tomorrow. I see great things to come, so, think future!!!

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Nitricc,

            Having followed your exchage with Robel Cali, I thought there is a clash of enlightened and broader view of Eritrea’s interest governed by its geopolitical-demographic position with narrow and provincial attitude that seemed to have informed Robel’s view. I could see that you have good grasp of what the broader interest of the Eritrean state entails. Robel seems to be marred by cultural-cum-traditional outlook without taking note of say, for instance, the long and open borders with the more than 40 million strong market in Sudan, 90 million Ethiopians to our south, nearly 100 million Egyptians to the north and the oil rich economies of East of the Red Sea all the way to Iraq and the Gulf states.

            In the age of fast developing mass communications and economic interdependence of nations, I wonder whether Robel have given a little thought about Eritrean entrepreneurs and businessmen would be in good bargaining position with only Tigrigna and English languages in dealing with those economies. Besides, even today the small businesses activities Eritreans under the current hermetic conditions of our country are done with the Gulf States, especially Dubai. What language does Robel think those trades speak in those countries.

            Furthermore, for the information of Robel, the ELF was not using the Arabic language as tactic. It was incumbent on it to uphold the pre-annexation constitutional obligation. The founding fathers, aside from also irredentism-driven segment of the politician of the time, were so wise and broad-minded that Eritrea’s wider interest was a stake for them when they legislated Arabic and Tigrigna to be official languages of the land, in addition to respecting the interest of their non-Tigrigna speaking compatriots as you have correctly summed up.

            Regards

          • Paulos

            Selam Ismail AA,

            You said, “…..in addition to respecting the interest of their non-Tigrinya speaking compatriots….” Could you please elaborate on that particularly the “interest” part. Thank you.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Paulos,

            With a surprise that you could not really relate the “”interest” with “‘ non-Tigrigna speaking folks in the Eritrean demographic configuration, I will explain what I had stated. Arabic was collectively demanded by Eritrean constituencies who mainly did belong to Tigrigna linguistic group.

            In the May-July 1952 series of sessions 68-member Parliament of Eritrea legislated, among other bills, Arabic and Tigrigna to become official languages of the country. While there was unanimity on the question of Tigrigna, half of the Tigrigna speaking parliamentarians, who were members of the Unionist Party, opposed Arabic. Those who argued for Arabic were members whose mother tongue was not Tigrigna, plus the Jeberti. During the prolonged debate that took almost a month, the issue failed to get consensus, and actually the deadlock was broken by interference of the Emperor Haile Selassie who wanted to buy time for piecemeal annexation. At that point, and the session of July 12, 12 Tigrigna speaking members voted with the pro-Arabic groul in favor of Arabic. I hope these few remarks from history have elaborated the issue.

            Regards

          • Paulos

            Selam Ismail AA,

            Didn’t mean to work you up. Many thanks for the effort and insight. Appreciate!

          • Paulos

            Selam Ismail AA,

            Remembered something I have been meaning to ask you. I have seen several videos of Osman Saleh Sabbe and as it happened, in all the videos, he spoke only Arabic or English. I wonder if he was at ease with Tigrinya or if he didn’t know any Tigrinya at all. If you could please shed some light on that.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Paulos,
            I have no clue. But my assumption is that he could speak Tigrigna. This is not farfetched since he also spoke Amharic because he studied in Addis Ababa. Actually, I only met him one time in the Damascus in 1975, and the audience he spoke to were all Arabic speaking, and there was no need for him to speak in Tigrigna. But the man was really broad-minded, and I do not think the importance of knowing one of the national languages of a country he was struggling to liberate.
            Regards

          • Abi

            Hi Ismail AA
            I don’t think Sabbe was broad minded at all. In my opinion he was as narrow minded as one gets. If you read his achievements under his biography, you will find that he was more interested in helping the Muslims than the Christians.
            Even when he was studying in Addis he was organizing muslin students.
            Am I biased? Yes, always . Specially if a person’s name is Sabbe I’m very biased.

            How you described him as broad minded is mind boggling.

          • MS

            Selam abi, IsmailAA, Paulosay
            Hey talaQu abi, When it comes to ye ertra gudaay, angolh Tebaba, newa!! Ha..ha.. IsmailAA’s comment on the late arbegnaw Osman Sabe was meant for broad-minded person. BTW, he spoke Tigrigna and was sufficiently fluent in it.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustaz (Maulana) Mahmoud,

            You have earned the new title from me, Talib Al Iim, for the many things you taught me this week by way of engaging with other brothers. Furthermore, thank you for the info on the late Osman Sabbe’s fluency on Tigrigna. I did also presume he did, considering the leadership role he chose. It’s understandable that anyone who had ambition to lead the struggle and later Eritrea as a free nation would not take fluency on both languages as indispensable asset. We have seen this in Isayas Afewerki who learned Arabic but while discouraging others.

            Let me throw a point in passing; it is simply difficult to engage a brother who already declared his prejudice or bias. The only thing one could say is: Sir, you are entitled to your opinion, and good luck Gashe Abi.

            Regards.

          • Abi

            Hi Vet
            Good one!
            Vet1
            Abi 0

          • Paulos

            Selam Ismail AA,

            Thank you. I was just curious.

          • jacob abreham

            Succinctly, as per your explanation, you are foreseeing that the future of the lowland people is much more intertwined to the Sudanese culture and economy rather than those people in Eritrea mainly “Tigrigna”. Based on your prediction, there was no need for them to involve in carving a common denominator with the “other” people who are within their own country(Mainly Tigrigna) that could bring them in harmony within Eritrean as a nation state .In that case, relocation would be the best solution and the “other” people in Eritrea will deliver all necessary logistical support to expedite it.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam jacob ahreham,
            With due respect to you, brother, when one would need to comment on someone’s view point, the duty decency requires would impel close reading of what is written or said. I did not read in Nitricc’s comment that the fact lowland Eritreans have mutual interest with people next door who share long and open borders with them implied that those lowland compatriots negate the culture and economic integration with their own compatriots in the highlands. Besides, it is a bit surprising for an Eritrean, I assume you are, to describe the citizens of one nation by “others”.
            If the Eritrean people will be able to break the chains of the current dictatorship, and are left alone to chart their future and system of governance, then suggestions (speculations) of relocation! and expediting! madness by either of the two segments of the population would not exist save perhaps in imagination of ill wishers.
            Regards

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Ismail, the ugly ideas that this guy is barfing are a reminder of what is being said in the primitive and fanatic world of Tesfatsion.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Abraham,

            These are targeted conduits of the regime and its policy of divide-and-rule. I think compatriots with cool and informed minds should tackle them so that the regime could be denied of ammunition and tools it could use for prolonging the life of the regime, and the despot at its helm.
            Regards

          • jacob abreham

            Hello there!
            There is no any need for people to delve into issues that are not currently relevant .Those issues mentioned on this so called “ Memorandum” from phantom elements are not primarily aimed at inviting civil discussions-as” they” stated it- ,rather it is and has been aiming to instigate a reaction of the people they consider them as their “adversaries to their cause”, and utilize the platform as a rehearsal for future political agendas and ends .This foul play has been there for years and to the belief of many it had had its closure in the early 1980s. The rest is history and obituaries .The world has changed in so many facets of life in the last 100 years –quite many for the betterment-, mainly embracing English as its lingua franca , dollar as its common hard currency and in our case-Eritrea- things on the ground has changed to a point where undoing them is almost impossible .In short, there is no point in discussing to things that had had their closure decades ago .In regards to your suggestion that Arabic would help us in trade with Arab countries, I think the Arabs themselves have come to their senses to read the reality on the ground and are sending their children to English teaching colleges and universities. English is good enough for that matter my friend. እዚ ናትኩም ኣዲኣ ገዲፋስ ሓትናኣ ትናፊቅ ዝብልዎ ከምዚ እዩ

          • jacob abreham

            Selam Ismail,

            Hello there!
            There is no any need for people to delve into issues that are not currently relevant .Those issues mentioned on this so called “ Memorandum” from phantom elements are not primarily aimed at inviting civil discussions-as” they” stated it- ,rather it is and has been aiming to instigate a reaction of the people they consider them as their “adversaries to their cause”, and utilize the platform as a rehearsal for future political agendas and ends .This foul play has been there for years and to the belief of many it had had its closure in the early 1980s. The rest is history and obituaries .The world has changed in so many facets of life in the last 100 years –quite many for the betterment-, mainly embracing English as its lingua franca , dollar as its common hard currency and in our case-Eritrea- things on the ground has changed to a point where undoing them is almost impossible .In short, there is no point in discussing to things that had had their closure decades ago .In regards to your suggestion that Arabic would help us in trade with Arab countries, I think the Arabs themselves have come to their senses to read the reality on the ground and are sending their children to English teaching colleges and universities. English is good enough for that matter my friend. እዚ ናትኩም ኣዲኣ ገዲፋስ ሓትናኣ ትናፊቅ ዝብልዎ ከምዚ እዩ

          • Ismail AA

            Selam jacob abreham,

            Though my mood to engage in a sort of polemics with you dims because you seem to be building your views on the issue at hand on what you think was great accomplishment the current despot and his group had sold to some unaware segments of our people, I think your gross generalizations call for a few remarks. By the way, I am coming to the point I just made because I understood what meant when you stated that “This foul play has been there for years and to the belief of many it had its closure in the early 1980s.” You are referring to the EPLF-TPLF plus others aggression of the 1980-1982 against the ELF. I am just mentioning this just to remind that your position seems to be bit bereft of the sense of history. Matters related to nations and nation-building cannot be dismissed for a mere reason a certain battle or battles end in one way or the other. We are dealing with peoples that constitute nations and may have different perceptions and interests, with emphasis on the latter.

            As I respectfully tried to indicate to you yesterday, I think it is good to stick to the topic raised. I did not write whether English is useful or otherwise to Eritrea and the world. I couldn’t really follow you why you tend to mix issues.

            On GEAN of whether they are real persons or phantom, I have not proposed my self to be their attorney. I think they are capable to defend themselves if they deem necessary. And, thank you for engaging with me.
            Regards

    • Brhan

      Well Robel..It is 21st century where the right of people to speak in the language they choose globally championed. It seems you are missing the train
      .

      • Robel Cali

        HI Brhan

        Any Eritrean can speak whatever he desires. But when people start saying Arabic should be a national language of Eritrea, that entails all Eritrean citizens must have basic understanding of it. And if all of us need to learn it, then we must ask ourselves is this the best language for ALL ERITREANS? Is this the language that is going to help Eritreans compete in a global economy? No it’s not. That would be English.

        • Brhan

          Hello Robel,
          Let me put it this way: National language(s) are chosen by the people. So you agree with me that when you asid “Any Eritrean can speak whatever he desires” which the word desire fits the word rights.But where? At home or when he goes for a services at government offices? Before answering this let me remind you this.

          I believe you know we had a constitution draft that puzzled many scholars because it was ambiguous when it came to the issue of national language(s) in Eritrea. It is also said that among those who drafted it are regretting for not coming crystal clear with regard to the issue. Compare between the different constitutions of countries and you will know my point. To help you I will give you an example and let us not go very far. Amharic has become the national language of Ethiopia when Ethiopians went to ballot and their constitution clearly states what is the national language of Ethiopia. Do all Ethiopians must speak in Amharic, no. But must the government officials?, yes. And now let us go very far. Do all Canadians must speak French, no, but if a Canadian seeks a government position at federal level must know French, besides English, Yes. How do Canadians came to this agreement? People were given freedom to choose so. They did choose and their constitution hammered this agreement .
          You chose English, that is good, do you want impose it, I do not think, so. Do you like others have a say on this issue, I believe you do so. Now both of us are catching the train.
          Have a nice weekend Robel

          Having said that I believe you are missing an important point about the subject. National language (s) arena is not at homes, but at government offices. So it means any government official will be requested to know the national languages

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Robel Cali,
      Your statement that “don’t waste my time with 1950s language agreements” suggests that you are in fact aware of why the founding fathers had agreed on the languages, but you wanted to hide behind the perception of the current abnormal circumstances the regime has been trying to sell, especially among the diaspora young generation.
      You seem to have bought the distorted history the regime is trying to re-write. For instance, you could not provide an evidence that it was the British who introduced the Arabic language for divisive purposes. This is the source, I think, for your shallow and dreadfully uninformed logic that choice of Arabic with Tigrigna would “force Eritrea into a federation with Ethiopia”.
      Regards

      • Robel Cali

        Hi Ismail

        The “founding fathers” were not free men. They were under duress and pressure from Britain, Italy, Ethiopia and Sudan.

        The British did the most to promote Arabic language. Their goal was to partition the country.

        Ambassador Andebrhan Welde Giorgis wrote about this in his book that i recommend you check out.

        The following was taking from Eritrea at a Crossroads: A Narrative of Triumph, Betrayal and Hope
        By Andebrhan Welde Giorgis, Page 66-69.

        3.3 British Policy of Destabilisation

        As Frantz Fanon had aplty observed, the colonial system seeks to systematically destroy the “national culture” and promote a culture of ‘regionalism’ and ‘separatism’ in contest with the culture of unity of the colonised people, in the service of colonial domination.[122] In an apparent affirmation of Fanon’s premise, the British drew up the plan to divide Eritrea based on ethnic, regional and religious factors. The scheme was designed to foster ‘separateness’, prompt the budding national movement to resort to region/religion as a mobilising principle, and induce the formation of political parties along regional, ethnic and/or religious lines.

        Having concocted the plan, the British Military Administration (BMA) schemed to define the terms of reference and drive the internal debate on the future of Eritrea in a manner designed to foster ethnic, regional and religious schisms within the nationalist movement and to prepare the ground for the partition of the country. In October 1943, the chief British military administrator announced that Eritreans would henceforth, be allowed to discuss the political affairs of their country and express opinions on its future in an organised way, spurring intense jockeying and a flurry of activities for the formation of political parties. [123]

        In August 1944, Brigadier Longrigg authored an ingenious article under the guise of an Eritrean Tigrinya speaking christian highlander and had it translated and published in the BMA-run Tigrinya weekly, Semunawi Gazetta. [124] The article depicted Eritrea as intricately divided between two main regions, peoples and cultures: the highlands inhabited by Tigrinya-speaking Christians and the lowlands inhabited by mostly Tigre or Arabic-speaking Moslems. Disguising the British design with the garb of Eritrean ‘desires’, the article opined that the lowlanders wished to unite with the Sudan with whom they share educational, commercial and religious affinity. It also opined that the highlanders wished to unite and establish one country with the Tigrayans in northern Ethiopia with whom they share ethnic, religious, cultural, historical, educational and traditional affinity and a common Axumite heritage.

        The article aimed to prepare the groundwork for the execution of the British plan to partition Eritrea. It sought to direct national debate, and split the Eritrean body politic, along regional, religious, and linguistic lines; and drive a wedge between Highlander and Lowlander, Christian and Muslim, and Tigrinya and Tigre/Arabic speaker. It set the stage for the formation of political parties based on sub-national affiliation; and encourage the use of sectarian considerations as the underlying mobilising principle of political organisation in order to undermine national unity, divide the country, and facilitate the realisation of the partition plan.

        The advocacy of a greater Tigray state and cession of western Eritrea to the Sudan was designed to sow national discord and division along sectarian lines. It targeted the unity of the Eritrean people ad the territorial integrity of Eritrea. Partition would reverse the historical process of colonial state formation, undo the dynamics of the making of Eritrea, and erase Eritrean national identity. Hence, the Italians accused the British of pursuing a deliberate policy of divide and rule (divide et impera) in encouraging the Unionists in the Plateau and the Moslem League in the Lowlands; introducing Arabic and Tigrinya into the school system; impoverishing the territory; and promoting communal strife in the service of the partition plan. [125]

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Robel Cali,

          You are still dancing around the bush, sir. You did not come with a fact that the British imposed Arabic. What you tried to explain by way of relying on Dr. Andeberhan’s narrative is general British preferred policy for the disposal of the former Italian colony. Their suggestion to partition Eritrea was based on their intention to help the Ethiopian Emperor and the irredentists to have their way of uniting with Ethiopia, which was vehemently opposed by the majority of the Eritrean people hailing from both Moslem and Christian section of our people. That attempt was defeated through acumen an solidarity. Of course, I am avoiding to delve in details at this point.

          One point that I would like to stress is that the founding fathers in the Chamber of elected members of Parliament of Eritrea were indeed freemen before and after the legislating session on Arabic. Your contention that “they were under duress from Britain, Italy, Ethiopia and Sudan” is gross generalization that cannot pass serious scrutiny and research. Lastly, I was hoping to see an elaboration whom you meant when we wrote “እዚ ናትኩም” in you last comment.

          Regards

          • Robel Cali

            Hi Ismail,

            I think you are the one beating around the bush. All this is really unnecessary because you have failed to convince me why Eritrea would need Arabic as a national language when English is a far better option.

            So far, your argument seems to be Eritrean men from the 1950s who lived in an unfree occupied country were some how free enough to make a marginally spoken language like Arabic a co-national language of Eritrea. Let’s assume you are right. So what? That’s my point. We can’t live in the past forever.

            My point is English is a far superior language than Arabic and as such, it deserves to be the national language of Eritrea.

            My question to you if you had the power to select one national language for Eritrea, what would it be?

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Robel,
            I am really at loss where you got that English and its relevance is at issue. Is the issue choosing English or Arabic to become official languages in Eritrea? It is seems there is no value in engaging. I would like to thank you, as the last word i.e, for your effort to defend your point of view
            Regards

    • Abraham H.

      Hi Robel Cali, why does Eritrea have to be federated with Ethiopia in order to have Arabic as one of its official languages? What kind of argument is this? Remember Arabic was not introduced as a national langauge during the 1950’s as a pre-requisite for Eritrea to be federated with Ethiopia, rather it was part of the mutually agreed upon covenant between the then Eritrean political leaders from the then existing national political parties.

  • Ismail AA

    Dear AT (GEAN),

    Frankly, when I read the memorundam yesterday evening a lot of questions arose in my mind. Thus, I decided to take my time and not scribble a few comments as I usually do. But, after reading GEAN’s response to a number of questions some brothers have posed, I tended to understand their position, especially when they wrote that people should concentrate on the idea than the list of names of the owners though the issue of knowing people who signed it is perfectly legitimate.

    Now, the idea of bringing people to work together for common purpose is (to me at least) is very inviting call in this era of dispersal we as Eritreans are living through and threatening to undo what generations of our small nation had achieved at great cost: national independence and cohesion of the society that should sustain it. Thus, without delving into details of the memorandum , I would give credit to the initiative, hoping its chance of success would be better than the past attempts.

    Moreover, since we are informed that GEAN is an advocacy group upholding education, mobilization, organization and influencing public opinion as its aspired goals, there is good common working field with others to build bridges, or even to help maintain the fast eroding social and political bonds. In my opinion, this initiative could be prelude to real and broad civic movement that cuts across the weak social and political barriers and grow to become effective pressure group whose guidance and counselling contribution would be so indispensable that no political or social actor could dare to ignore.

    To reach there, GEAN and its members should have already done the homework of critically appraising the experiences of advocacy-cum-civil society groups that mushroomed after the debacle of the senseless border war. It could recalled that these groups had at first reflected welcome message as bridge-builders and pressure groups and a lot of hope was pinned on them. But, though they made a good first step in playing role of helping to bring two disputing factions of EDA together, later they went astray and some of them turned to be stakeholders in the yet unearned power sharing stride.

    To end this rather passing remarks, I would have liked to see also the operational scheme GEAN intends to use in its work. In other words, it is not clear whether it intends to work on ad hoc basis or will have organizational structure that shall enable it interact with the various groups and organization or leaderships, as the memorandum indicates.

    Regards and wishes for success.

  • Brhan

    Hello Awate,
    This question is for GEAN members.
    It has been three years since your formation, I believe. If so was your role limited only to produce this memorandum and supporting document? Or you can give practical examples such as cutting PF(JD) activities? In North America, the regime’s representative was kicked out and the 2% tax was outlawed and the onus goes to the advocacy of some Eritreans and their counterparts who conducted peaceful demonstrations against the regime and a few puppets.

    • Selamat Brhan,

      This is an excellent question in that you are providing privy to GEAN members information to all Awate.com readers.

      This is not to say that I personally oppose the 2% tax. Another technicality that needs to be handled with utmost care.

      tSAtSE Azilo40 Agnieya

      • Brhan

        Merhaba tSAtSE,
        hmmmm… utmost care like …a disguised company or person collects the 2%?! One of the fields that the regime was challenged and given a blow by the Diaspora was at the 2% field. That source of income has dried. It was source of income for the regime to do what ever it wanted to do to our people such as arrest them without trials and abuse them at jails

  • MS

    selam GEAN
    Netemena liekum attafwiQ ( wish you success)
    1. “Suspicion emanating from the specter of yet another betrayal, especially by the regime’s beneficiaries who now purport to be against it…” Unnecessary, prejudicial to your declared mission of uniting forces.
    2. Amanuel Hidrat question is appropriate, your reply complicates matters. Your communique says “[W]e, the undersigned individuals, civil societies, political organizations, veterans, community and religious leaders subscribe to this memorandum of understanding…” Amanuel is simply asking to know who the members in the “we” are. I understand he is not interested in knowing who will join or drop out in the future. Please list the undersigning entities for your own credibility. I know one person from GEAN and I have the highest respect for him. I’m sure he is surrounded with like-minded fine Eritreans. Do the right thing please. You know this stuff more than I do, and reading your communique and the tone of your reply sows more suspicion than the suspicion you are trying to put off. Eritrea is looking for political platform that looks Eritrea. I’m hopeful you are working towards that end, but staying transparent will make you unique and appealing.
    Regards.

    • Selamat MS,

      1 (#3)The right of all Eritreans to return to their original homes.

      2.(#5) Restoration Land ownership..

      Though these Two may seem as if they poses daunting technicalities to overcome, one must focus on the gains from the activities from numerous fields of reality.

      The An Eritrean Accord is indeed what Aya Ismail AA would call “This is hope.”

      tSAtSE Azilo40 Agnieya

  • Kebessa

    Selam all,
    Few questions to the GEAN members:
    1- How can one learn a little more about GEAN? Is there, for example, a website that introduces GEAN?
    2- Officially, we have nine ethnic groups. Above, you listed 12. What caused the discrepancy?
    3- When you say ‘restoration the rule of law in Eritrea’, restoration to what/when? What is your reference point?
    4- Same on ‘Restoration of the legal, customary, and historical rights to land ownership’. When was the last time this was the case?
    5- ‘Arabic and Tigrigna to be maintained as official languages of Eritrea’ What does this mean in practical terms? What would you like to see changed from the status quo?

    • Global Eritrean Advocacy Netwo

      Dear Kebessa

      Thank you for your comment.

      Answers to most of your questions can be found in the two referenced
      documents – The Eritrean Covenant & The Eritrean Accord

  • Paulos

    Godspeed and hope this is the last straw that breaks the Camel’s back.

  • said

    Greetings,
    Musing:Hypotheses of the Secret of the Exceptional Performance of the Jews

    At a social gathering more than four decades ago while in social talk over myriad of issues at a friend’s home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Saudi naturalized Eritrean Jamal Omer, a senior executive at the ministry of Petroleum in Saudi Arabia, a visitor, a high executive. He put forward a question in a sign of bafflement and bewilderment that no one could give a well-thought through answer to at the time. The question was, “what makes the followers of the Jewish Faith, a tiny minority, so disproportionately successful, powerful and most effective in the world affairs?”

    Now more than 40 years after, with much added exposure, knowledge and mature thinking, it seems I developed some kind of a response, rather a hypothesis for an answer to the question asked more than three decades ago, as my ever agile inquisitive mind never ceases to ponder the issues, aided by, Grace a Dieu, a blessed sharp memory that can recall past events and simulate well-thought responses to often intricate questions and unfathomable situations.

    A mere 15 million souls out of a world population exceeding the 7 billion, a tiny fraction, the adherents of the Jewish faith as they often identify by their faith that has a strong grip over their mind and sense of belonging, are exceptionally exceling in every domain, nearly every walk of life, in every aspect of human’s endeavor: Academia, the Sciences; Literature; Publishing; Journalism and the Media; the Economy, Businesses and Finance; the Art, Music and the Movies; Politics and General the World Affairs. Besides, there are a huge number of Jewish laureates of the Noble Prize and other world revered accolades, along many great thinkers, philosophers and great inventors of followers of the Jewish faith.

    As a good number of followers of the Jewish faith studs, nowadays, the new Donald Trump Administration, including Senior White House Advisors and the important Department of US Treasury; as true of nearly all past American Administrations for the past half a century and in many Western countries; the question anew once asked more than 30 years ago pops up seeking an intelligent repose: “What Seems the Secret of the Jewish Minority Enjoy a well-merited huge disproportionate economic, cultural, political and intellectual power and influence in the world?”

    Just going back to the old bewildering question, and without any ulterior motive, what-so-far other than satiate one’s curiosity reflecting on an obvious and an interesting phenomenon, what makes that tiny world minority exceptionally and so disproportionality successful and producer of exceptional high achievers? Simply put, “a very valid academic question.”

    It suddenly dawned on me the resemblance of an answer, a response, much in the tradition of the Greek Archimedes of Syracuse of the third century before the year of our lord, jumping out of the bath tub shrieking “Eureka, Eureka….I Found it; I Found it; “I rushed to jot it down as below herewith and share with friends and acquaintances a hypothesis, my own conclusion suited as a potential valid answer, “Why the Jews?!” As a Caveat reminder, this exercise comes pure of any ulterior motives, a simple intellectual exercise of a fact of life that cannot be denied neither have any misrepresented purpose to it.

    It seems to me that many objective, subjective and incidental factors; convictional, theologian and historical factors conspired to catapult followers of the Jewish faith to become, in general, exceptionally successful and powerful. As comes to mind a number of these factors, I venture, at the cost of seeming impetuous and naïve, to enumerate in the following some of these factors in as follows:

    • Inextricably the Jewish teachings, the Torah, the Talmud, and others, instill that deep sense of uniqueness and specialty of followers of the Jewish faith as repeatedly hammered in the Jewish Religious reciting, mantras, artifacts, Heritage and Historical narratives of the “Jews as the Chosen People;” while, somehow, that insinuating the others, the Goyim, the Gentiles, are the different others often perceived with suspicion and mistrust.

    • The myriad biblical myths finding expression in repeated rituals and festivities; besides observing livingly, almost in some cases on daily, of religious mantras and symbols as representations of the faith closely and staunchly observed, especially by the Orthodox Jews, enhanced a deep sense of cohesiveness and a permeating sense of uniqueness among the followers of the Jewish faith.

    • As in reformed Judaism, being distinct from Conservative and Orthodox Judaism, liberal and modern Jews tended to break away from mythical beliefs and traditions, the strong pulling frequent Jewish rituals, traditions, rituality and a wider environment imbued with anti-Semitism, still has its influence on the back of the mind of nearly every follower of the Jewish faith, save the atheists, none believers. Those ever nagging and hammering thoughts tend to shape a follower of the Jewish faith’s world view and a follower’s general cultural inherent biases.

    • The nostalgic Return to Zion epitomized by the frequently recited mantra of the Psalm 137:5, “If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Forget Her Cunning,” as mythically referenced to the exiled Jews in Babylon more than five centuries before Jesus Christ; repletion of such mantras at frequent Jewish Recitals tend to constantly further reinforce a Jew’s deep sense of estrangement and uniqueness among societies of predominately none Jewish majorities, as the case everywhere in the world with the exception in Israel.

    • Apparently in some of the Jewish teachings, as true of nearly all religions, that invitation to exclusion and segregation especially to reserving a fellow Jew a different preferential treatment with regard to dealings and commerce not accorded none Jews, tend to further strengthen the relationship bond and shared sympathies among Jews as differentiated from dealings with others. This clannish tendency is equally true of all minorities wherever they found. In Salafi Islam that distinction equally exists in differentiating a Muslim Community (termed the Society of Peace – ‘Dar Al-Silm’) from None Muslims, as they summarily categorized as the ‘Society of War,’ “Dar El-Harb.’ This is true of the Jewish Teachings with regard to the application of money exchanges and lending at prohibitive usurious rates (excessive interest rate, i.e. return on money lent) to the none Jews as is forbidden religiously to charge usury on a fellow Jew. One finds a perfect example in related anecdotes as in Shakespeare’s novel, the “Merchant of Venice.”

    • Given the followers of the Jewish Faith’s tendencies to closely cluster together, accord each other special preferential treatment, especially as they endured living stuck together in closed segregated communities in designated ghettos with separate and independent laws, mores and practiced traditions prior to the advent of the Age of Enlightenment towards the end of the 18th century (Read the late Professor Israel Shahak book, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years ,” 1994), the Jews, over the centuries developed that deep sense of togetherness and uniqueness.

    • Practices of horrible acts of anti-Semitism of segregation, discrimination, exclusion and outright persecution meted against followers of the Jewish Faith by the host societies of Christian Europe over the centuries (to a lesser extent in the New World); this as discriminatory and prejudicial treatment of followers of the Jewish faith acquired in Christian Europe the power of the law and the power of tradition until the late advent of the Age of Enlightenment. Anti-Semitism as practiced in its abhorrent form had hugely contributed to reinforcing the sense of cohesion among the Jewish people as a targeted community; as well as instilled in the Jewish psyche a deep sense of self-victimization, mistrust and suspicion in dealing with the others of the different faiths and different cultures.

    • Harsh laws and many centuries’ despondent practices of segregation, discrimination and deliberate acts of anti-Semitisms in Christian Europe prohibited and excluded Jews from practicing certain professions and the outright prohibition of the Jews owning and cultivating land (since at the Feudalist Age land was a source of great wealth and power in a mostly agrarian culture). This led the followers of the Jewish faith to specialize in money exchange; lending and finance, beside other forms of liberal arts and literary endeavors that with time, with land receding becoming a source of power, catapulted the Jews to dominant positions of economic power and influence over the trends of intellectual thought.

    • The Jewish people’s development of sharp acumen in Finance and Academia, i.e. two most powerful professions as the Feudal Age receded, rendered followers of the Jewish faith in the unique privileged position to accumulate power, true to the adage of the ‘Golden Age,’ i.e., “The One Who Has the Gold; Makes the Rules.”

    This in Grosso Modo my rather naïve hypothesis and a belated response to Jamal question more than four decades ago of “Where lies the Secret of the Exceptional Power and Reach of the Jews.”

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selamat awate staff,

    Where are the list of the undersigned individuals, civic organizations, and political organizations as stated in the beginning of their memorandum of understanding?

    Regards

    • Global Eritrean Advocacy Netwo

      Selam Amanuel,

      That is a valid question. We understand that it is important for some people to know the people behind the idea rather than critically examining the merit of idea itself. As we at GEAN are attempting to build a broad based coalition, we also understand that, because of our fractured society and irrespective of the viability of the proposed idea, some people would not consider joining a coalition simply because others had endorsed it. Ask anyone who attempted to do this before. As we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of listing the names of organization and individuals right now and until we reach a critical mass and pick momentum, we would like to give people a chance to consider the merits of this initiative itself.

      Until then please be assured that GEAN, which has been working for the last three years to bring Eritreans together, assumes full responsibility in providing the required transparency in the process of building such a coalition . We believe without such transparency no coalition can be successful in achieving its goals. So let us focus on the idea itself for now.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear sirs,

        Some 7 to 8 years ago we had “the Muktars and their covenant” who came with an impressive idea. But, they came in disguised and disappear in disguised. Eritrea can not be rescued behind disguised organizations. We can only rescue Eritrea in an open and transparent discussions based on give and take.

        Regards

    • Peace!

      Emma,

      Could you focus on the positive side than trying to scrutinize on day one before the job even began. You blew countless opportunities, and now others are stepping up to say ዓገብ which you and others have failed to do.

      Peace!

      • Paulos

        Selam Peace,

        There is no need to second-guess Emma. My understanding is that he was just asking for at the beginning of the memorandum, it says, we the undersigned individuals…… That said however, I agree with you that we shouldn’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

      • Abraham H.

        Hi Peace, I it follows naturally to ask the question as Amanuel Hidrat did because the article specifically states “we, the undersigned individuals, civil societies, political organizations, veterans, community and religious leaders…”. Posing this very natural question doesn’t mean Aman or anyone else doing so is questioning or disputing the content of the message. And if you ask me ‘do we have the right to know who are behind this “memorandum of understanding” ? My answer would be, yes, indeed, we do!

        • Peace!

          Abraham H,

          That’s too obvious, of course we should, and we will know every single individual. I was simply reacting to giving immediate focus on responsble individuals rather than details of the mission.

          Peace!

          • Abraham H.

            Hi Peace, but before coming up with your judgements as to Aman’s intensions, did you ever think that he could have a genuine concern that the list of those involved could have been left out because of some typographical error?

          • Peace!

            Hi Abraham H,

            I think his follow up comments clarify his attitude which exactly why reacted aggressively.

            “Some about 7 to 8 years ago we had “the Muktars and their covenant” who came with an impressive idea. But, they came in disguised and disappear in disguised. Eritrea can not be rescued behind disguised organizations. We can only rescue Eritrea in an open and transparent discussions based on give and take.”

            Peace!

          • Abraham H.

            Hi Peace, he made that comment after GEAN revelaed to him they had actually omitted the list intentionally.

          • Peace!

            Hi Abraham,

            You are right thats why I said “his follow up comments” Well, it is ok ቡዙሕ ሸንኮለል ዘድልዯ ኣይመስለንን።

            Peace!

        • Paulos

          Selam Abraham,

          That is Isaias’ talk. Do you remember the መን አምሊቑዋ ናብ ህዝቢ spin when the G-13 went to Asmara to plead with him about the dire situation of Eritrea foretold?

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Paulos, Isayas has nothing to do with the case at hand, unless you want to spin it out of context.

          • Paulos

            Selam Abraham,

            You’re the one trying to spin it when the undersigned individuals are the entire Eritrean people.

            P.S. Fantination, where are you? We need you here right now. Get your magic wand and spread peace.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Paulos,

            This is unbelievable! A few seconds ago after reading some of the posts, some thoughts came to my mind, but all a sudden I decided to let an Eritrean discussion be an Eritrean for once. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the next thing I saw was your call. It felt magical.

            There have been times when I said somethings, although with good intention at the time, I later realized that it would have been more beneficial to not have said anything. There is no logic or wisdom involved in this.

            In fact, as I was typing this, I was getting more and more convinced that this discussion should be left as purely Eritrean as possible, unless, of course, somebody messes up with my EPRDF. Hahaha!

          • Paulos

            Selam Fantination,

            You’re not only a diplomat par excellence but a diplomat-sans-frontiers as well. It is said that conflicts can best be resolved through the mediation of an “outsider.” Stick around for you are more needed than you can possibly know.

          • Paul,

            I beg to differ. At best it is :pedantic.”

            tSAtSE -Azilo40 Agnieya

          • Selamat Paul,

            If Plato had not given it its pejorative term, I would have said to you that you are such a sophist. Nurture V Nature, our good friend Amde, (an Ephors-5), I would like to pose a question to you Paul-E9 and Amde-Ephor 5- E9:

            What should I think of in order to get rid of a the hiccups: Hippias and Hipparchus? Should I face a photo or statue of Pisistratus and wait for some one to say Boo? Or should I pinch my nostrils and sip water Seven times?

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE Azilo40 Agnieya
            Children Books Press

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi peace,

        Don’t be stupid. I just quoted their statement. And if the word “undersigned” is not needed then they could remove it. I was trying to bring it to their attention. By the way aren’t you the one who cries for transparency to the opposition camp day and night? What happened now? Hypocrite.

        • Peace!

          Emma,

          No reason to go that far I was simply reacting to your rushing to know the individuals rather than the details, your question is totally legitimate and you have every right to ask.

          Peace!

          • tes

            Selam Peace!

            You are so funny my friend. Are you trying to silence him.

            Personally I have the same question. If it was not put, I couldn’t care who are within GEAN but the statement begins as what Emma put but none is mentioned.

            Though it is not a secret who GEAN are, as they have presented last year who they are, any statement that begins with “under signed” – must have full list of participants.

            Till then, I care less on what has been said.

            My question is therefore ditto with that of Emma.

            tes

          • Peace!

            Selam tes,

            Not at all! I do not think you read the comments that it is not about him showing sense of urgency to know the individuals, although per your claim the individuals have revealed their identity, rather I was simply referring to his seemingly self entitlement attitude. I even remind him the other day that if he wants to fight bigotry ( ዓገብ ክብል እንተደልዩ), it would look good for him to start with people he admired enormously like Amanuel Iyassu, assenna, and others. Hope that clarifies:)

            Peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Peace,

            I think you have grudges with me. Do I really know what you know about “Amanuel Iyassu”? Why is Amanuel Iyassu came, in the subject we are talking? I do not know it. Again at any rate, should I for any mistakes Amanuel Iyassu could have been committed, be responsible and be criticized for not responding to him? It is Absurdity at the core of your thinking. Coward, why you do not do it yourself the criticism against him? why do you want Amanuel Hidrat to do for all your feeling? If Amanuiel Iyassu did wrong thing, then you are capable to write an article and express and educate about his wrong doing. I do not represent you, I just represent myself and could be responsible only for my own mistakes. Why don’t tell to the big guns to criticize him on behalf of you? You scare of them (you know whom I referring). Why Amanuel Hidrat? Go rogue with him if you want.

            For all intend and purposes, I do not see any tangible contribution you make in this forum, except criticism, and as such with “personality attack” behind pen names, to those who try to look a solution to their nation. Get off from my back, and do your own business.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Peace!

            Hi Emma,

            First of all if you think seating at this forum and up voting EPRDF apologists is considered finding solution, you are sadly mistaken, and as for assenna, no one admired the website and used as a source in this forum as much as you did, so be a man and stand up for your credibility or stop crying. The other thing is I have said many times I am here to read and learn plus you are not in a position to police and grade forumers for their contribution or criticism.

            Now, please tell me who are the big guns and why should they criticize Amanuel, not you?

            Peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Peace,

            Wow “no one admire the website”!!!!!!

            So Everything that said and written in Assena.com are not worthy of reference and not worthy of reading? Aha I know why you are at awate.com? Abzee Enohelka Toblahta. Let me reaffirm to you, that I go to every Eritrean website, in search of Education and new info. If I found some worthy of reference, not only share with this forum, I use them for my pieces as needed. There is no end to your absurdity, haw peace. No one admire Assena.com really? All the Eritrean intellectuals interviews, and all the articles written and posted at it, are not worthy of admiration and reading. I know your sickness now. You are expose yourself my dear. And that is why you are behind pen name. But for sure easy to find you who you are.

          • Peace!

            Hi Emma,

            ዳሓንዶ እዚ ኹሉ ሓፍ ኮፍ…ክንድቲ ዝሞገስካዮም ዓገብ ካኣ ምባል ፍለጥ ስለ ዝበልኩ ድዩ ….certainly it doesn’t mean assena is bad or should not be a home for Eritreans. The only reason I brought into your attention is because you are here seating and scrutinizing others when you have zero credibility.

            Why are you afraid to share with us the big guns who are scared of criticizing Amanuel? come on መልሓስ ምዕጻፍ ኣብዚ ዘለኻዯ ዕድመ ነውሪ እዩ:)

            Peace!

          • tes

            Selam Peace!,

            I think you are anti-awate forum. In everything, you have to oppose. If you have qualms with assenna, go and do it by yourself. Please refrain yourself from telling people to do what you want.

            GEAN report is non-transparent and I think it is not a healthy report.

            It is the first time I questioned Awate Staff Report credibility. And this is because of you..

            If you try to silence people who are asking on what is given, I think the report must be not healthy.

            About assenna, do your job. You can use any platform to challenge them. but please refrain from telling people to do it on your behalf.

            tes

          • Peace!

            Selam tes,

            I guess I may have to wait till you get sober and correct yourself just like you did earlier otherwise you are not jumbling onto the right bus. I did not ask anybody to do anything rather I simply pointed out an outright hypocrisy, specially to someone who scrutinizes others 24/7, if you have a problem with that I am sorry deal with it.

            I am not GEAN representative nor I am here to defend them for not revealing their identity. All I am saying is people should focus on things that matters most or prioritize accordingly.

            Will check with you tomorrow (የቲማቲም ፍትፍት will do it:))

            Peace!

          • Hi Tes,
            Please note that the document is not “Awate Staff Report”, is is a statement by GEAN.

          • tes

            Dear Awate,

            But it is published under the name of “Awate Staff” not GEAN. First and foremost, accountability goes to Awate Staff members. I could have asked GEAN but their signature is not given. Therefore as authors of the document, Awate Staff are the only responsible producers.

            I have put my follow-up questions in a new thread. Here I just came to respond as per the response given here.

            tes

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Peace,

            “No one admire Assenna.com” means Assena.com is bad and there is no good things at assena.com. In other words Assenna is not your home like awate.com. Good for you and good for us to know you who you are. Second, there is no “መልሓስ ምዕጻፍ” from Amanuel, rather I am adamant to the principles I stood, and that is the criticism I hear always. “መልሓስ ምዕጻፍ” is yours. After saying “no one admire assena.com” in just 2 hrs to my reply, you have said “it doesn’t mean assena is bad or should not be a home for Eritreans.” EJ-Kefingi, there is no exit from it without an apology to Assena.com and their followers that has many decent writers and interviewees. Like any other websites some its writers can write disgusting content like Ali Salim and Semere Tesfay as in awate.com. Does that mean awate.com is bad and not home to those who writes at Assena.com? In your case it is. Websites entertain different views whether we like it or not, and they are not defined by their writers or interviewees, or by your taste on the writers. Peace grow up and wise up.

          • Peace!

            Selam Emma,

            ናይ ቆልዑት ትገብሮ ኣለኻ first personal attack.. stupid, hypocrite, grow up…then trying hard to justify your short coming using Ali Salem..awate…ዝገርም እዩ።

            Emma when you put yourself at forefront on almost every issue you have to expect people to ask you questions. It is not my business nor I am interested to ask whether you should condemned Amanuel Iyassu or approve his bigotry, I really don’t care. But But when I see you probing others I immediately questioned your credibility for the reason I already stated-why not focus on the main task first rather than asking for names on day one. Is that too much? Goodness!

            Peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Peace,

            The simple thing you have to do is to Apologize to Assenna and its writers as well as its intervievees for your discriminatory reaction. Did you criticize Ali Salim when he wrote his bigotry towards Christians. Not even uttered a single word. Then why do you accuse me of not criticizing Amanuel Iyassu. Keep in mind you despised Assena.com and its readers. A conscious Apology is warranted.

          • Peace!

            Hi Emma,

            ዋሓጥዯ እንተብልክዋ መሊሳ ትጎስሞ let me try one more time, It is totally fine with me if you have no problem with what Amanuel is doing just keep the lame excuses to yourself “you didn’t criticize Ali salim and you hate assenna” if that justifies your timidity, thst’s even fine with me. I didnt claim leadership nor represented people in weyane sponsored conventions (conspiracy).

            Lastly, please be creative with your defense mechanism- when people criticize TPLF, you paint them as Tigray people haters, and now assenna audince haters. how low can you get …just sad!

            Peace!

          • tes

            Dear Peace!

            As the dust is settling down, I think it is becoming more clearer what you care most. I urge you to add some decency. Bullying is enough. Your political approach is becoming so clear and what you care for is more than anytime clearer. I call you to embrace wholeness.

            tes

          • MS

            Dear Amanuel, Peace, tes
            All of you, please be gentle with your language.
            Dear Peace: Amanuel asked a simple question. He wanted to know who the “undersigned were. If GEAN released the contents of unlisted undersigned entities’ MOU, would not it be fair to ask who the undersigned are? I asked the same question, encouraging GEAN to release the list of the agents who are releasing the memorandum to us. PFDJ is known for its “just trust me” modus operandi. OK, you and GEAN are telling us to focus on the content; that the contentment is more important than the list of its authors. Fair enough, then if we can process and take in the content what makes processing the list of the less important authors?
            You were within your right to remind Amanuel to focus on the content. But you added “You blew countless opportunities, and now others are stepping up to say ዓገብ which you and others have failed to do.” You did not need to say this. You also don’t need to tell Amanuel to criticize Assenna. You can do it.
            So, please be understanding. Just be a humble advice.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            HimaQ tezaribom HimaQ yezarubuka Endyu koynuni. I am tired with this guy. Anyhow thank you for your advice.

            Regards

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