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Gennene Debebe Reincanated in Keren

In the mid-seventies, a young boy attended a concert of a band assembled by General Werqu, the commander of the Ethiopian occupational army that spread from Karrora, to Umhager and Keren. The concert was held at Forto, where the young boy was jailed a few months earlier. Grudgingly returning to Forto as a spectator, he went through a tragi-comedic experience that is still vivid in his memory. Years later he wrote about it. Particularly, he remembered a certain low-rate singer named Gennene Debebe, who screamed a song of four, short, mediocre lines that he repeated for 20 minutes:

Kereneytu Ketema, Kereneytu Ketema
Belbie ‘mengaaaalehu endtegegni Girma.

The singer had launched his singing career a few months ago in Asmara where he spurted his genius lyrics:

Asmeraytu Ketema, Asmeraytu Ketema
Belbie ‘mengaaaalehu endtegegni Girma.  

Gennene toured many Eritrean cities screaming the same song except he changed the name of the town he was in.

Currently, an Ethiopian propaganda musical troupe is touring Eritrea and it held a concert in Keren, similar to the one Gennene Debebe held decades ago. Certainly a few youngsters have grudgingly attended the show. In the future, at least one of the young children will write about the tragi-comedic experience just like I did. Yes, my hometown watched a supremacist singer shamelessly calling them Ethiopians, in Keren, the cradle of the Eritrean struggle against Ethiopian occupation. Even Hamelmal Abate, the Ethiopian singer, like many propaganda singers, sang flatteringly describing the people of Keren, a town she arrived to only a few hours earlier! It was a typical flattery of an  azmari-bet where tipsy patrons could not tell if what they hear through the loudspeaker is the voice of a braying donkey or a humanoid. 

It seems the Ethiopian supremacists who can’t live without shedding blood for too long, are summoning the demons by endlessly provoking Eritreans, and they are blowing the whistle for the start of part two of the tragic past.  This time, the role of the collaborators and enablers of yesteryears is taken over by Isaias and his cohorts, while, Abiy Ahmed has assumed the role of the pompous Haile Selassie. The project manager is Radwan Hussein, Abiy’s ambassador, who was irritated by the Nov. 15, 2019 Gedab News that exposed the secret that he was not accredited more than a year after he arrived in Asmara. That concert is a revenge by Abiy and Redwan (and of course Isaias) because the news embarrassed them so much they wanted to prove to their patrons that their relationship is fine.

Here follows my story of “the young boy” who attended General Werqu’s concert decades ago, the precursor of the recent concert that I missed because I can’t visit Eritrea that has become a worse prison than the one I grew up in. It’s part of a chapter from my book “Of Kings and Bandits”.

Special message to Jano Band: Thank you for being true artists
__________________

COLONEL WELANA WAS NO MORE the supreme authority in Keren. The people were hopeful Werqu would be far better than him—no one could be worse than Welana. Werqu shunned the aloofness and scornful demeanor of Welana; he wanted to prove to the people that he was an enlightened man—and compared to Colonel Welana he was an angel. He immediately embarked on a pacification strategy and relaxed the curfew, pushing it back three hours to 9 p.m. For the first time since his early childhood, Jemal was reintroduced to the streets of Keren at night.

General Werqu carried his dark glasses and a wide smile everywhere. No one could read his eyes and he remained mysterious. He drove alone in a Jeep without guards, roamed about the bars, and sipped coffee in the verandas all by himself. He bowed his head to older people, a sign of humbleness and respect. In an attempt to portray a friendly image of the military and ease the tension, Werqu had began to learn the local language, though his heavy Amharic accent betrayed him.

Werqu looked like a professional soldier, someone who knows his enemies are the armed rebels and not the civilians who are caught between the fires. In a short time, he proved to be a refined soldier who doubled as a diplomat to win the fight against the rebellion. He must have despised Welana, he was never with him in his outing and instead, junior officers sat with him in the verandas of bars. The attitude of Janhoi’s soldiers had changed and they became less lethal in dealing with the civilian population. But all this was for naught.

“Don’t mistake the sight of the lion’s teeth for a smile,” Srnji said about Werqu, quoting an old Arabic poem, “he is still a Janhoi soldier.”

Janhoi had sat on the Ethiopian throne for almost fifty-years. He had stayed safe from the turbulences that shook the countries of the region. The rebellion had made a dent in his government but winning against him seemed still far away. Jemal wished officers like Werqu would depose Janhoi just like the officers in Sudan, Somalia and Libya had done. Then he thought it over and changed his mind—they would be the same soldiers who brutalized the people to protect the king. He laughed at the idea of protecting Janhoi in the streets of Keren while he lived in Ethiopia, a three-day bus trip away from Asmara; Jemal and his friends had to be jailed to protect Janhoi! The soldiers also protected Janhoi from innocent villagers whom they massacred in the hundreds!

Werqu was serious. He had assembled a musical band and invited the townspeople for a concert at the Tigu fortress. It was the first time for many to walk on the grounds of the ancient fortress, the heavily fortified Tigu hill. Jemal had been released from there about a year earlier. Now he was there with his friend Khalid. He glanced at the room in which he had been jailed and saw the low wattage yellowish light coming through the grill on top of the steel doors. He began to wonder what was happening inside and who might be there. Images of Mahmoud and Mubarek and the other prisoners flashed in his memory; he remembered Yegin with whom he had played checkers.

Jemal and Khalid walked further to the field to where the sound of the loud music came from. About ten musicians accompanied an Amharic singer, whose voice was lost in the piercing sounds of the brass instruments and drums. Another singer screamed a song about Keren in an attempt to sing in a local language. The people just watched more than they listened, not very amused. Curiosity had brought most people; they wanted to see what the notorious fort looked like. Now that the restraints of the curfew had been relaxed, they wanted to walk on the streets of their town at night once more. In Welana’s days, few of those who entered through the fortress gates had come out alive to tell about it. Everyone knew the concert was a propaganda ploy planned by General Werqu, the man with the lion’s teeth that was not smiling. The people just stood there as if against their will.

The light from the tungsten bulbs hanging on makeshift poles was glistening over the faces of the dancing soldiers. The music continued, obscure singers gave it their best try, soldiers tested their voices and band members sang more Amharic songs. Janhoi’s soldiers went into a dancing frenzy; most of them were villagers who were dancing in excitement as if it was the first time they were ever entertained. The concert, supposedly held for the townspeople, turned out to be an event for the homesick troops.

Jemal looked up to the highest point of the fort where the steep road with brick wall guardrails meandered to the top. He glanced to his left again, to the jail rooms and still wondered whatever happened of Yegin! He was in pensive mood until Khalid laughed hysterically, “Listen to that!” He said.

“What?”

“Don’t you see who is singing? It is the prostitute from the Casino!”

Jemal saw the woman on the stage, she sung feverishly, repeating a two-word Amharic folksong for what seemed like eternity.

“Invited by Werqu and entertained by a prostitute,” Khalid whispered.

The troops didn’t think that way, they continued to swing and shake. Streaks of sweat flowed over their faces and soaked their shirts. Suddenly Jemal saw Mokria standing by the side with a blank face. Jemal had heard that the fat sergeant was gone and Mokria was reinstated in his old position as curfew enforcer; he seemed unhappy of its extension to 9 pm, now he would have less people to harass and jail. Jemal remembered all the sufferings that Mokria had caused. Kidane told him a lot about Mokria’s cruelty.

“I don’t see Kidane,” Jemal said.

“Kidane and Omer! They might be doing some mischief somewhere,” Khalid said.

“Omer wouldn’t dare come to this place tonight; I see many soldiers who would kill him if he did,” Jemal said.

“I suspect Omer had started to drink; he can’t spend all that time with Kidane and not drink. You know, Kidane is not into tea.” Khalid said.

“Let’s try it someday Khalid,”

“Try what?”

“What Omer might be trying; you know, let’s do it again like the last time.”

“Go and drink with Kidane if you want, not me anymore, I hate the smell. I almost died from throwing up the last time.”

 

End Notes

  • Janhoi: that is how Ethiopian kings were identified, here it means Emperor Haile Selassie
  • Colonel Welana–the Ethiopian commander who oversaw the massacre of Ona and Besekdira
  • Khalid–the character of my martyred friend Beshir Neberai
  • General Werqu–Abiy Ahmed could be his reincarnation. I would say they have the same personality; both wish to sweet-talk their way out of any complicated crisis.

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  • bardavidi

    Hi ….To all Lefties….. Why do I keep observing that this somehow is rather a Socialistic forum in a Democratic Setting ???………..Lets do facts by the Numbers……….A Globally failed system that was Practiced by about 50 percent of the worlds population that now only accounts for 2 percent of all living……….This is a totally abandoned Economic system except for a few Dictators that are out of Reach with Reality such as Castro, Kim Jung, Maduro and Isaias………Are these our Heroes and Mentors..???……….. Capitalism is a Natural economic system that developed thru the process of supply and Demand from the Beginining of times and has always outlasted and Trumhped over all others………Lets get in touch with Reality at hand……… that was the way of the past present and Future……….Selah

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Bardavidi,

      Don’t be fooled yourself. Capitalism is beyond “demand and supply”. Capitalism is about wealth accumulation and exploitation of human labor. It teaches you how to be greedy and how to exploit human labor – the center of human evil instinct. It is founded on an insatiable individualistic behavior. You are too late to figure it out.

      • bardavidi

        Hi….Amanuel………I believe you are set on a School of Thought from the Sixties and Seventies that was trendy But has Repeatedly failed every Nation that dared to Venture in to it and is in Literal Extinction……….Capital is a necessary resource that thru Accumulation makes way to enhance the Livelihood of people thru Venture Capital, R&D thus new Invention and Innovations would come forth to Better our Lives………. The Nations that are still dwelling on that Anti-Capitalism pro-Socialism direction are Literally Cuba….Venezuela….N Korea and Eritrea………Not to forget the latter……….That is the school of thought they preach and Practice at PFDJ/Isaias………I do not personally see how one can be for Freedom and Democracy and still Advocates Socialism……….Its like Dancing with Wolves and Singing to the Sheep…????.Religion is a Weapon of Capitalism thus has to be controlled and all the Free thinking Enterprenuers and Media people have to get under Leash…???………They have to stop the Capitalists from Exploiting the average Citizen, The government is the Protector of the Masses……so on…….Every one of those Progressive nations have a problem with their Population Seeping thru borders looking for Freedom in Strange Places,,,,,,,??? Sounds very familiar…………Selah

  • Paulos

    Selam My Good People,

    Is Market an Ethical-Ideal or self-centered construct of needs and wants? I would imagine, first thing that comes to mind with the above inquiry is the famous phrase in Classical Economics when Adam Smith theorized about the “Invisible Hand.” What is even more elusive about his assertion is that, in the almost 850 pages of the “The Wealth of Nations”, not only the phrase was mentioned only once but experts tell us that he mentioned it in passing if not in a sarcastic tone. But strange as it may seem, it has become his namesake so to speak.

    They say, there is no need for Economics in Heaven for the discipline deals with scarcity of goods and services or to put it in a strict academic terms, Economics is the study of the use of scarce resources which have alternative uses. Again, the rationale goes, Heaven is imbued with abundance where practically Economics loses any meaning. The dilemma rests on how to balance Man’s unlimited needs and wants with the scarce resources where Planet Earth has to offer. In that sense then, the roots of market dynamics can only be explained as a strictly a force driven through Man’s selfish needs. Or is it?

    To put it differently, is the need to enrich oneself sanctified by spiritual scriptures? Well, one can make a case where the Calvinists for instance internalized the ethics of hard work and self-reliance so much so that the latter day Classical Sociologists, Max Weber among them traced the rise of Capitalism to the ethical credo of Calvinism when he wrote, “The Protestant Ethic And The Spirit Of Capitalism.” Moreover, in the first chapters of Genesis, we read that Adam was told, ‘….In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…” The question is then, should Adam or Calvinists share the harvest of their sweat and toil with the weak and meek for the scripture also says that, “If you have two shirts give one to the poor.” According to Marxist Theory of Surplus Value, the extra shirt you own is the first step in capital accumulation. How do these contradictory ideas reconcile? Well, we need to go back to the Renaissance era and revisit the works of the political theorist Nicollo Machiavelli.

    Machiavelli was practically mesmerized and obsessed in fact the whole Europe with the larger than life Medici Family of Florence. Way before they gave us the Banking system, the Medici were notorious far lethal than the latter day Sopranos, Corleones, Cosa-Nostras to mention but a few where four family members were executed because of the crime they had committed. In short they were gangs. In a complete reversal of fortune and ingenuity however, the family gave Medieval Europe two Popes [Leo X and Clement VII] and two French Princesses as well. It all happened because of Giovanni the Elder when he understood a key idea in the nature of money.

    Most of the lenders of that era would lend out money to borrowers with huge amount of interest rate for there was risk of not paying back where the lenders would recourse to violence to get their money back. And the vicious cycle would usually lead the lenders to bankruptcy. The Medici however figured that, if they open up multiple lending centers, if some don’t pay back, at least half would pay back—they didn’t put all their eggs in one basket so to speak. And it set forth to the risk taking of bankers for centuries to come and the House of Medici not only became the wealthiest and patrons of Renaissance in Europe but politically extremely powerful as well. And that was the reason, Machiavelli theorized about Realpolitik when he closely studied the lives and times of the Medici.

    For our purpose however, the Medici, instead of resorting to violence in a bid to get their money back from irresponsible borrowers, they help creat a state institution where the mandate of the institution was to enforce the rule of law through a judiciary system. As such, they resolved the contradiction between sharing your extra wealth with the needy when the state begun taxing the wealthy and giving it to the weak and needy. In a sense, the formation of the State bridged the self-centered need of Man to the moral obligation of sharing with others.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dr Paulos,

      Capitalism has never worked for the poor people of a societies and will never be. Capitalism is a system for the insatiable selfish people and is structured for exploitation. Adam Smith’s theory works strictly for them. Their “trickle down” philosophy is one of the many lies of capitalist system.

      • Paulos

        Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

        Would you rather have Communism then? In my opinion, the malady is not in Capitalism per se but on how wealth is redistributed among the people including the poor. For that to happen, any nation needs civic society where fairness is the guiding principles.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Doctore,

          The issue is always about fairness and equity, and it will never happen in a capitalistic system. Fair redistribution of wealth is not part of the principles of capitalism. Capitalism is about how to accumulate wealth and how to exploit labor in the production of wealth. I knew it in theory from back home and I knew it in my practical life here at the center of the capitalist system.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Amanuel,

            What do you consider most Western (EU) Europe, Canada, Japan and others have as a system. Are they not in one form of another a capitalist system?

            I think US use to be the same as well, but with the introduction of Reaganomics is where the middle class starts to erode in the US.

            And that’s strictly a US problem for the most part and it’s not a capitalism problem as its practiced around the world.

            And I think the key issue is, lack of appropriate taxing of the high income earners.

            Berhe

          • Teodros Alem

            selam berhe
            What up berhe, not just that but the west (including Japan, Taiwan, s Korea and etc) have by far advanced economies and the people of the west have higher living standards, that by itself tells a lot about it.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Berhe,

            All western countries are capitalist. They only differ in the stage of their economy. The core essence of capitalism is (a) about individualism (b) about accumulation of wealth (c) about creating class of “haves and have not” (d) about creating oligarchy.

            I don’t know whether we are going to see it in our life time, but with the advance of modern technology replacing the labor force, with the diminishing of natural resources, and with the fast climatic change in our world, not only we shall see the clashes of civilizations but also the clashes between monopoly and the societies that struggle for survival. We observing the trends of crises in the world.

            Regards

          • Kokhob Selam

            Yes Dr. Amuni,

            “I don’t know whether we are going to see it in our life time, but … ”

            So Amuni, what a bout going through spiritual journey to manage this all mess in this strange world?

            I think.would take to find out who you are, what your problems are in life, and how to come to peace with the world. Keep it is looking from within every thing….

            KS,,

          • Selam Amanuel H.,

            Unbridled capitalism or neoliberalism and globalization, are the reasons for all the problems of the modern world. Exploitation of third world countries by western neoliberal capitalism and climate change that has the biggest effect on these countries of the south that have contributed almost nothing to destroy the planet, and the resultant poverty of developing nations, is the main factor for immigration, and will continue to be.
            The negative effect on the standard of living on the middle class and the working class of western societies by the economic policy of neoliberalism brought the far right and white supremacists.
            The greed and the wish to control the world economy brought the gulf war and the never ending crisis in the middle east and the broader area.
            We can’t say that we are not already seeing clash of civilizations when we hear and read of white Christian Europe standing against Islam.
            The end of history and the triumph of western neoliberal democracy is not yet with us, rather will never be. Even Francis Fukuyama himself is revising his theory, as he sees the revival of fascism and nazism.
            The future relies on who owns the most sophisticated technology of the means of production ever, the individual for his selfish end or the state for the good of all citizens. Therefore, there are some who say that the so-called ubi and ownership of the means of production by the state may as well be what Karl Marx envisioned, and communism is not dead after all, when one looks far into the future, and when most human beings will be unemployed, because robots will take their jobs. If all human beings share the product of the labor of robots equally, that may create the free human being.
            Finally. neoliberalism (uncontrolled capitalism) will not take human beings either to democracy or prosperity of the vast majority but that of the very few. In addition, western exploitation of the rest of the world and that of its own citizens will end up in a zero-sum-game as you pointed out, which will result in widespread social unrest.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Horizon,

            The first time we agree. As the saying goes “never say never”, and here we agree on this issue after having divergent views on many issues. After all, communism as a philosophy is for fair distribution of incomes. Unfortunately, the old corrupted practioners of the philosophy made it look bad.

        • Abi

          Paul
          There was an interesting article in 1960/61 Readers Digest where it discussed the scarcity of cars, fuel stations ,paved roads and other similar things in USSR.
          It was written just after a Russian car manufacturer bought the patent from the Italians to make a car they named LADA ( formerly known as FIAT 124).
          In the article it says “It is not a socialist philosophy that put Russians behind the wheel. It is Western Capitalism “.

          • Paulos

            Abination,

            I absolutely agree. There is no question about it.

    • iSem

      Hi Paul and also Emma:
      What a treat Paul once again.
      Adam Smith may have mentioned the “invisible hand” in passing but the theme of the book is about leaving the market alone, that it can correct itself, that the forces of market when human look after their own self interest will fix the problems.He also never mentioned or thought of himself as economist as the field did not exist, now we call him an economist. He was occupied by how leaving people pursue their own interest will bode well for the economy. Add I woulds say this worked for us for the last 200 years.The utopian notion of the communist failed, capitalism, succeed.Yes Emma, it trickled:-)
      But pure capitalism does not exist even in the USA as governments some time needs to interfere to fix the imperfections of the market. And that is what Kensyan economics is all about and it also worked in introducing the safety net, I would think. Adam Smith also hated endowments as professors will be less motivated to be good at what they do and he preferred they get paid directly by students, tell that to the capitalists.

      But now the dictomy of capitalism v communism has run its course now and in the next 50 years we will be faced with almost the end of work with automation, machine learning and AI, where most jobs, not only factory jobs but even white collar jobs will be eliminated and there will be many people who will be unemployed. Capitalism will not work, in its current form. So what will people do, how will they earn a living: enter Universal basic income. Is this communism, no because communism entails is tyrannical, what do we call this in the context of rule of law and democracy?

      Countries like Eritrea and many are talking about the stuff of 200 years and when they create their industries and roads and dams the world will move to new era, were machines take over and ppl have lots of time on their hands, so those rich people will be taxed more, some are asking for it and UBI will be the norm and many of the entitlements of today will be replaced by it. Question is what do we do with our new found leisure, do we self destruct or usher in new renaissance, the second one with art, like they did in Europe after the plague decimate 50 percent of their population
      So the capitalism vs communism is so yesterday now.Humanity has new challenge: the end of work as we know it. So where do we find meaning even if we can still earn a living without working, work has been more than earning a living, it is identity, one is a dr, lawyer, economist. They will become irrelevant and we will innovate to conquer mars and moon to create the new renaissance or self distract. What ever we do we should eradicate communism and tyranny like we did many diseases

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Ahlan iSem,

        I agree with you in all you have said in your comment above. Leadership has become in the hands of technology. Capitalism and communism have become history, no more is leading the world. Technology is leading the world, socially, economically and politically.

        Some peoples will disappear from the surface of the Earth with their GERDS and other old means of thinking and living.

        Al-Arabi

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Al-Arabi,

          I think human has gone through all systems by now and nothing worked and it is my best to see spiritual solution is the best. We will have to try it and take careful transmission. We the ordinary peoples mostly not living comfortably living is dream like life. An illusion to explain in short we still experiencing is matrix stage and we will have to beyond that to make this life free. No more 3D and we should go through 4D to reach higher to 5D level..

          In next year there will jump to humanity..where there will not be man to man exploitation.. So will you need that all complicated technology? That will start to be come history like that VHS..

          KS,,

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Kokhob Selam,

            Now technology have made us to communicate very easily and will make us get our requirements very easily in the future similar to that of information. Technology will shift us from dependence to others to total independence. We will roam the world flying without passports and security to stop us. Technology will make the world the best place to live in. Robots will never replace man but will lead him to complete freedom.

            Al-Arabi

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hala Hameed Al-Arabi,

            You must see by now, that the development is with high and sure the robot may come to replace us and man has not wake up enough so far and now he had come to understand late that he might easely

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Hamdat,

          Modern technology can create wealth, but don’t forget that technology will displace human labor. Technology without redistribution of wealth will create the wealth for the rich only. Actually the advancement of technology will create the unforeseen conflict of human being – the ultimate struggle for survival.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Aman,

            I meant technology will provide every human being the tools they need in life. In the near future technology will provide us with easy source of energy that any person could produce without difficulties. Also technology will assist man with tools to transport easily from place to place or a single man could roam the world by flying. The same goes with the rest requirement of human being.

            At the present, as all of us conceive information that was exclusive for limited institutions have become obtainable by all within a click of a mouse. I think at the end of the day technology will facilitate for us all our requirements without pains the same like that of information.

            Al-Arabi

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Hamdat,

            But technology will not solve the economic disparities with in societies. Rather it increases the gap between the haves and have not. I want to see your argument technology in terms of the economic life of the general population of any given society.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Hameed,
            So many years ago we heard or were promised that technology will be so advanced people will not need to work more than thirty-hour week. Today people are working twice as much and unable to make ends meet—even with the added income of a working father, mother, and children.

            Technology is being developed with the sole goal of maximizing profit, not with the common person’s interest in mind.

            I would rather run to the corner store to get my pizza instead of an exploited and oppressed delivery man using an app to deliver it to my door. That’s is just one example of the technology dreampipe

          • iSem

            Hi Saleh:
            Long time ago sal quoted someone, probably he was a basketball player as saying predicting is bad idea especially about the future:-)
            So some may predict things to come and maybe wrong and sometimes they may be ambitions in terms of timing, but one thing is fore sue. Tech will change our lives. From farming using horses or oxen to machinery have all transformed our lives so far the better
            the next one maybe be for good or bad, it will depend. It is conceivable that the few rich will build castles with sentries and with their few servants and the rest will be homeless, back to before dark ages.
            No drivers, no cashiers, no factory workers, no pilots, no garbage collector, no delivery people, imagine that worled. It may not be 100 percent unemployment, even 30 percent unemployed, displaced by a robot that does not sue, that does not get sick etc is a really, maybe not in 20 years, but definitely in 50
            Many of the policies of today will be irrelevant, but most western countries can afford to to pay the unemployed. but what do pp do with their leisure time, we may destroy itself with drugs or create new things to take humanity to the next level like they did after the dark ages with new ingenuity.
            Even if this happens in 100 years, but it is reaity
            I do not want to bring Ra Kurzweil for fear that Berhe Y will be so disgusted and quit:-), Even if 10 percent of his prediction come true that will change this world drastically as we know it and I think his singularity point is an avoidable

            We may laugh at the Ludites as morons, but now, I think of them just as way ahead of their time, early.
            Some european countries like swiz now have implemented some form of UBI, and Andrew Yang and the call to tax the rich more coming from the rich like Buffet ant Styer are signs of things to come
            T

          • Selam iSem,

            With the implementation of UBI and the sophisticated means of production in the hands of the state for the good of all, or even in the hands of individuals, under the control of the benevolent state, and all the means to hide capital are blocked, what would people do with their leisure time has been asked by many. Will they just go on and kill themselves with drug overdose or even commit more suicides out of boredom, or will they make the best out of life?
            Just guessing with no any special knowledge. Is the anxiety of the uncertainty and the precariousness of life an important factor or not in the life of human beings? The fact that at young age, except the rich, most young people are not sure how they would fare in life. Not being sure if one can succeed in attaining the vital things required in life, is one of the reasons for their frustration. Finding relief through drugs is one of the solutions they find. Let’s forget those who do it out of boredom.
            If the system can give security for their future, what would be the choice of human beings, to drug themselves or make the best out of life, by finding satisfaction, for example, in poetry, arts, nature, social work by caring for each other, travel, etc., or are they going to be at each other’s neck to pass their time, because wars will be rare. In addition, interstellar travel and inhabiting other planets maybe human being’s next mission.
            What lessons do we take from the Scandinavian countries that are near to solving the economic woes of their society. Are they more drug addicted than others or not? Recently i think that i saw that Norway is supposed to be the happiest country in the world.
            Therefore, let the system give society economic security, and i am sure that they will find something good to do with their lives, and they wouldn’t be lying in parks or drug and drink themselves to death.
            Of course, human beings will not solve the economic problem of just the developed countries and say that problem is solved, unless it includes all humanity, which is possible.

          • iSem

            Hi Horizon:
            nice take on many angles with this vast topic.
            About ppl with freed from toil drugging themselves, for sure some will do but policies will have to catch up , besides save the few anomalies like Newton those who created the and thought about science were those who were well fed and nobility, not the destitutes who were worried about their next meal.
            But also i think ppl will find new meanings life because the meaning work as dignity was also human creation, not divine because Adam was not supposed to toil :-),
            And like Adam, we may kick ourselves from the new paradise of leisure and economic security, tempted by a conscious robot, who got tired and jealous.

      • Berhe Y

        Hi iSem,

        Your logic makes sense if you see the economic problem from American, Canadian or Western Europe point of view. But the western world problem is not world problem. They should worry about obesity, diabetes, heart attack and drug overdose before they should worry losing jobs to the robots.

        According to Oxfam, 26 richest people combined wealth is equal to 50% or 3.3 billion of world population.

        The west had advantage of controlling the money supply, by printing worthless paper in controlling world resources (labour and material resources). Starbucks for example generated 26 billion in revenue in 2018.where Ethiopia who has 15 million coffee farmers, who harvest coffee by hand, made about 1 billion in export.

        Basically for every cup Starbucks sells, the farmer gets less than 10 cents.

        We can say the same thing about Oil, tomato farmers, mining etc. Basically the western economic model was created to exploit the world to their advantage by controlling the money supply.

        How is it possible the US which increased its national debt by 2.5 trillion since Trump come to power, and by 12 Trillion since the 2008 economic crisis, have possibly doing anything good economically. If you give this kind of money freely to the rest of the world Africa for example, imagine the kind of infrastructure / development they can do with it.

        Basically this economic, debt become useless for the western world and I don’t know it will have meaning anymore. EU, Japan are no different.

        Africa, South America and Asia has been shafted by this economic disadvantage for most of last century but I think now the game is shifting.

        It’s shifting because of crypto currency where the central banks monopoly is no longer have total control.

        If Africa embraces this phenomenon, I think it will be for the best. The west so far were able to control Africa by dividing the continent, by sponsoring coup, by creating division and war, because they had total control of the money supply but I don’t think it will be the case. So far, against the wishes of IMF and the world bank African leaders are moving very fast in integration of their economic and movement of the people. Such as free air flights inside the continent, upon arrival visa and now they are working towards free intercontinental trade. The western African countries are leading the way such as Ghana. The francophone countries just reached a deal to replace their currency which is controlled by France and 50% suppose to be deposited in French central bank (close to 500 billion) now they are introducing new currency called ECO in Jan 2020, still not totally free but no longer require the deposit in the French central bank.

        Berhe

  • said

    Greetings
    Buried Christian (and Pagan) Basilica Discovered in Ethiopia’s ‘Lost Kingdom’ of Aksum.
    Lost City Discovered Beneath Ethiopia Was Once a Pillar of The Legendary Aksum Empire. Excavations in Ethiopia have uncovered a lost city from one of the least documented major civilisations of the ancient world.
    Archaeologists discovered the early Christian church, built in the lofty Roman style called a basilica, while excavating the buried town of Beta Samati. The town, whose name means “house of audience” in Ethiopia’s Tigrinya language, formed part of the kingdom centered on the ancient city of Aksum.
    Back in its heyday, from 1st to 8th century AD, the African kingdom of Aksum was a force to be reckoned with. Sitting along the northern edge of the Red Sea and encompassing Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Somaliland, this flourishing and complex society played a major role in trade between the Roman Empire and ancient India.see the link
    https://www.livescience.com/buried-christian-church-lost-kingdom-ethiopia.html

    • Abi

      Paul
      በትንቢተ ኢሣያስ መሠረት በአዲሲቷ ምድር ችግር ረሃብና እርዛት አይኖሩም:: ህዝቦቿም አይሰደዱም በምድሪቷ ላይ በደስታ ይኖራሉ::
      በአዲሲቷ አገር ምጣኔ ሃብት ቦታ የለውም::
      Isaiah is my favorite prophet.

      • Paulos

        Abination,

        ኣንድ ቀልድ ላጫውትህ፣ ኣንድ የኔ ብጤ ድሃ በህልሙ a bag full of gold ያገኝና በጣም ተደስቶ እያለ ባጉ ትንሽ ተቀዶ ያይና ደንግጦ በኣውራ ጣቱን ያትመዋል፣ ከዛ ከእንቅልፉ ሲነቃ ኣውራ ጣቱን ቂጡ ላይ ተከቶ ያገኘዋል!

        • Teodros Alem

          selam paulos
          i bet u heard this joke in “tela bet” some where in tigrai, i heard it first from tigraian so called activist called daniel birhan .

        • Abi

          Paul
          እርግጠኛ ነኝ ቴዎድሮስ ዳግመኛ ህልሙን አይነግርህም::

          • Paulos

            Abination,

            You should see me laughing. You’re bad!

          • Teodros Alem

            selam paulos
            this kind of “jokes” that makes u laugh, right? In other word u r pathetic ghetto.

          • Abi

            Paul
            አውራ ጣቱን ለምን እንደሚጠባ አሁን ነው የገባኝ::

          • Teodros Alem

            abi
            That is exactly what u what u have been doing when ur poor mom let u outside and close the door to do “business”.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam
            the point is u guys r (begondergna) “ye zach lej” tela bet ghettos, “ye sherm**t lej”u can tell from ur “joke” and that is why u haired to be pathetic.

      • Teodros Alem

        selam
        Aside propaganda medias the fact shows by any measurement eri performed better than ethiopia in the last 20 years except ethiopia created a very few super rich individuals. even ethiopia migration problem is by far worst than eri, according to unhcr there were 110 thousand illegal immigrant registered in Yemen UNHCR office in 2011 alone(this is the number of registered refugees, there r estimated another 100 thousands unregistered according to UNHCR). ethiopians migrant use 3 directions, to sudan(libya egypt and Mediterranean sea), to Yemen(Saudi and middle East) and to the south Africa.
        most of the infrastructure that been built the last 20 years were built by loans and most of them didn’t even function properly after 2 -3 years old.
        i know u kind of “always same face same topic” kind of person but listen to yesterday’s fana tv interview of 2 individuals(they r part of culture group that been sent to eri).

  • Mez

    an interesting week;

    1) Awate Editorial started it by putting together a write up, which inherently says, “more
    of all the same” and brought a stark parallel (or even identicality) between the
    then Ethiopian general in Keren, and the contemporary Ethiopian Prime Minister
    AAA and mission of his Music-band dispatch currently in Eritrea.

    2) Then came “out of the blue” a declaration by PIA in Addis Ababa saying ”
    We have to work hard to compensate the LOST three generations time”.
    2.1) The interesting thing about this statement is, it didn’t originate from a
    prominent Eritrean opposition group or politician, or an academician. No, it
    came from the same crock PIA.
    2.2) With this statement, he set the tone for the
    coming two or three decades of a peaceful Eritrea/ Horn of Africa (Ethiopia
    Included)…..What an idea-theft.
    2.3) Apropos Eritrean opposition movements, where are they? most likely fractured
    as usual and still in “hibernation”; with no intent and interest in sight
    to give policy direction to their society and people…..
    2.3.1) And, and with a big sign on their respective door: ” please don’t
    disturb, I’m in a deep sleep….”
    2.3.2)…..further stating:……however, my default answer for any eventuality: “my
    way or the highway”

    3) what else happened? in an apparent geopolitical scale shakeup (albeit
    in its infant stage) turky had rattled the wider region (especially Egypt), by
    declaring its military support for the embattled Libyan government in Tripoli.
    3.1) this mere declaration of Turkey brought an abrupt change (at least
    frittering) of the Egyptian delegates in the triplate Nile GERD negotiation;
    showing a willingness to narrow down differences, moving away, from its
    (Egyptian) rigid stand.

    4) In the previous week the IMF, World bank approved loan to the PM AAA
    government, in the amount he requested!
    4.1) is it a good news? it depends on the way one may look at it. I am not
    aware of any country which prospered by strictly following the diktat of the
    two giant western monetary institutions; as their policy historically
    inherently collides with the interests of the “mass poor” of the country where-ever these two monsters come in.

    thanks

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Mez and all,

      What an incisive observation; in a few points you have provided volumes of informative assessment on several fronts. The despot had his happy time thanks to our failure as opposition. What he said and done shall of course endure as long as his ego and whims dictate otherwise. The burden is on the side of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister who seem to have hinged his bet on whether he would deliver his peace making mission put on his shoulder by the Peace Price. The despot knows he can spoil the mission if his ego would dictate one early morning. On Turkey’s shaking of the pawn on geopolitical chessboard of Southern Mediterranean, the burden is on the powers of Western Europe plus the USA. They seem to have alerted by the re-emergence of the old sick man of Europe. It will be seen how they will react. As to the Egyptians and the GERD, I think realities of the current era has done its job to impose sense of realism. Dr. Abij’s bid to get loans from IMF, I am not sure whether that money would ameliorate or worsen poverty in the country.

      • Paulos

        Selam Kbur Haw Ismail,

        In my opinion, the real dynamics and hegemonic posturing lies with in the rivalry between China and the US on who owns the new and emerging century where Turkey and other minor players are limited to transient hiccups in the entire region if you will.

        Certainly, Abiy has tacitly sided with the US where the latter will probably have to go back to the drawing board to re-examine their strategy when Abiy is losing control of Ethiopia’s internal political and social fractures when he is not even US’ “SOB” let alone a statesman worthy of a strategic partner.

        More over, the Saudis and UAE have invested in him thinking that he is his own man neither Mengistu nor Meles but again Ethiopia with complex people seemed to have responded well to the latter two of strong personalities in their own right not to a person who is not only pathologically indecisive but is not fit to lead in the first place.

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ሰላማት ዓዋተ

    መዓልቲ ልደት ክርስቶስ ተዓዲመ
    ዓመት ምሉእ ከዲመ
    ሕጂ ግን ከዕርፍ ወሰንኩ
    ፍስሃ-ወሰላም ተረኸብኩ

    ከድኩልኩም ናብ ናይ ዕድመ ቦታ
    ክንደይ ክንብሎ ጫውጫውታ
    ህልኽ ክትዕ ምስ ጸወታ
    ብላዕ-ወስተ ኮታ

    ብምንታይ ‘ዶ ‘ሎ ዩ ትኽትዕ
    ቦለቲካ ‘ቴልካ ኤኮ! ብልክዕ
    ኣቤት! ልደት ክምልክዕ
    ገለን ይግምጥሎ ገለን ከኣ ይበልዕ
    ብዙሕ ዝጨለጠ ብዘይ ሙዚቃ ይስዕስዕ
    ገለን ድማ ብብዝሒ ቢራ ኣበይ ከምዘሎ ይርስዕ

    ኣነ ድማ ካብቶም ዝጭልጡ
    ብኾፎም ዓለም ዝጭብጡ
    ሓጺን ሓፍ ከየበሉ ቀላጽሞም ዘሕብጡ
    ብግዳሞም ሕጉሳት ሕርቃኖም ዝዓብጡ
    ብዘይ ኣክሮባት ዝገላበጡ
    መዋጽኦ ‘ተረኸቡ ዘዕለብጡ

    ትጸገም ግን ኣይኮነን ውልቃዊ
    ናይ ሃገረይ ስርዓት ዘይንቡር ምልካዊ
    ሓደ ተሳኢኑ ቁስሊ ህዝቡ ዘሕዊ
    ውፉይ ሰገጥ ዘይብል መትከላዊ
    ኣብ መስመሩ ዝረገጸ ብሓቂ ፍትሓዊ
    ብጽእ መርሃዊ
    ቅኑዕ ሃገራዊ
    መዋእል ዶ ህዝቢ ክንድዚ የእዊ

    ኢለ ክሓስብ
    ኣብ ክንዲ ዘዕልል ዝሕጎስ ምስ ዚ ዕዱም ሰብ
    ልደተ ክርስቶስ ከብዕል ዝእከብ
    ኣንሳፊፈ ኣብ ናተይ ዘይንብርቲ ምርከብ

    መስተን ጭንቀትን ተሓዋዊሱ
    ንዳ ተዛረብኩ ሓንጎለይ ኣልሚሱ
    ኣብ ክንዲ ምስ ዕዱማት ዝዘናጋዕ
    ሓንጎለይ ብተጋራጫዊ ሓስባት ይላጋዕ

    ከም ናተይ ከይትረኽቡ
    ህዝበይ ተኣከቡ
    ፍልልያትኩም ገዲፍኩም ብዘራኽበኩም ተላዘቡ
    ደሓር ከይትተዓዛዘቡ
    ፍሊስጠማውያን ‘ታይ ረኸቡ
    ኢልኩም እስከ ሕሰቡ
    ተታሒዝኩም ከይትዓርቡ

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Ahlan Awates,

    While I was watching the Ethiopian cultural troupe touring Keren, Eritrea, stopped me a poster written in Amharic and Tigrinia. Through decades Eritreans accustomed to see Tigrinia written above all languages, but here in that poster Tigrinia was written under the Amharic language.

    I endeavored to get a logical reason for such an action however failed to get a rational reason except one: It is unacceptable and impossible for Isaias to write his MASTER, Haile Sellase, language under Tigrinia. You can watch the poster in the following link.

    https://streamable.com/cmgs6

    Al-Arabi

    • Paulos

      Selam Al-Arabi,

      That is a bit of a stretch. I wouldn’t read too much into it for it was a courtesy and out of respect for the guests to have their language written first when the host city welcomes them. It is one of our core values among others. Chil!

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Ahlan Paulos,

        Did the Ethiopians receive the Eritrean musical band with the same token? My friend, this is a political tour and should deal with it politically. I hope you prove Isaias courtesy of respect with other guests, then only I will chill.

        Is there any difference between what Isaias said and your courtesy of respect? We should not rub our sovereignty under any courtesy.

        Al-Arabi

      • Abi

        Paul
        ምነው እግር አወጣህ እኔስ ፈረደብኝ
        ያም አንተን ያም አንተን አየሁት በዛብኝ
        ወዴት ነው መዋያህ ፈራሁ እኔ እንጃልኝ
        አይን በዝቶብሃል ሽሽግ በልልኝ::
        ( አስቴር አወቀ)

        እችን ኤርትራ መሸሸጊያ ጠፍቶ
        ቁጭ ብሎ ነጋበት አረቢ እንቅልፍ አጥቶ::
        የት እንደብቃት የትስ እንሸሽጋት
        አማርኛ ቋንቋ እንዳያስጨንቃት
        ግንብ እንገንባላት ወይስ መጋረጃ
        ግራ አጋቢ ነው መፍትሄውን እንጃ
        ኢሱ አዲስ ላይ አማርኛ ሲማር
        አረቢ በቁጭት እድሉን ሲያማርር
        ዻውሎስ ሊያረጋጋው ሲፍጨረጨር
        ራእሢ አቢ በሳቅ ፍርፍር!!!

        • Paulos

          Abination,

          Will have to read it over again. You’re too sophisticated for us. You need to go easy on us. By the way, did you hear what Isaias had to say about the King and the Colonel? He practically absolved them when he said, three generations fought on both sides for no reason. Yea for no reason. Go figure!

          • Abi

            Paul
            I strongly agree with him. You know my stand on Eritrean struggle for independence. No convincing reason whatsoever. Only a lame excuse at best.
            I hope you will figure it out soon. It is a lot less complicated than genetics or DNA sequencing.

          • Paulos

            Abination,

            Obviously the guy is not happy in Eritrea for he was born to Ethiopian [Tigrean] parents. Perhaps, he is pulling his cunning tricks on Abiy the fool when Isaias is aiming to sit on Arat-Kilo and if he is running out of time, his son will have a shot instead.

            Buckle up for your turn will come as he is almost done with his cruel stint on Eritrea. Till then however, please do us a favour and take him with you for he was never one of us in the first place.

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            ሰላማትዶተረ: ክውስኸልከዶ?

            ቀታሊ ኤረትራ: ኢሳያስ
            ኣድካዪ ኤረትራ: ኢስያስ
            ክፍኣት ናይ ኤረትራ: ኢሳይስ
            ቅዋማ ዘፍርስ
            ህዝባ ዘብርስ
            ካበየናይ ኩርናዕ ብዘየገድስ
            ሃገር-ብሃገራ ዘልምስ
            ራብዓይ ወለዶ ናይ ሓጸይ ዮውሃንስ

            ጸገም ኣይኮነን ናይ መረብ ምላሽ ዘርኢ
            ኣቦይ ወልደኣብ ወልደማርያም ዘይትርኢ

            ንኤረትራ ተሓሊቖም
            ሃገረይ ክብሉ ሓሊፎም
            መን ደሎ ‘ዩ ክንድኦም?
            ስለዚ
            ነላልዮ ናይ ኢሳያስ ጸገም
            ስለምንታይ ክንድዚ ሕሰም
            ብምንታይ ይግምገም
            ዶ ዋላስ ነጢቡና መርገም?

            ኣቦይ ኣፈወርቂ ክሩዕ ኔሮም
            ሕቡን ብትግራዋይነቶም
            ‘ንታይ ደኣዩ ናይ ኢሳያስ ጸገም?

            ብ ‘ንታይነቱ ዘይእመን
            መንነቱ ዝቆጽሮ ከም ገበን
            እሞ
            ሕጂ ዶ ንሓርገጽ ክንጽውዖ ተመን?
            ጉድ ኳ ተረኺቡ ሎምዘመን

          • Paulos

            ማሃንድሳ,

            ኣይተኻኣልካን ለብዘበን. That is awesome!

          • Abi

            Paul
            Why did it take you 60 long and miserable years to figure out that Isu is not one of yours? You guys are unusually slow. Now that you figured out that Isu is not one of yours, next step is to figure out that your struggle was not for your benefit. Glad you are making progress in your discovery.
            Abiy the fool? You don’t say.
            Abiy ኢሱን እንደ ወጌሻ እያረቀው ነው::
            We don’t mind bringing His Excellency back to the Motherland. . The problem is what if he insists to bring the whole country with him? እዚህ ላይ ወራጅ አለ!!

          • Paulos

            Abination,

            Did you just make that up? What the heck is ወጌሻ? Never heard that before.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Paulo,

            I think wegesha is a sports doctor no? At least I remember the doctor who look after soccer players if injured is called Wegesha.

            May be it means like nay Habesha doctor when someone broke something.

            I remember EndAboy Sahel, arbaete Asmara.

            2020 Isayas will be gone.

            Abi welcome.

            Mehandis, Bebizekenayo Eyu Tuem like Abraham Afeworki says.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Hawna Berhe
            You got it right.
            What is Bebizekenayo?
            I miss you too.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            Bebizelenayo. It means it’s better we are left alone where we are and do well and wish well.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Hawna Berhe
            Amen.

          • Abi

            Paul
            ወጌሻ is kind of physiotherapy . It is a very slow and delicate process to fix a dislocated shoulder , wrist or something like that.
            ገንዘብካ

          • Selam Abi,
            Your explanation seems right to me. I have also come across the word ‘chiropractor’. Could it be the equivalent of ‘ወጌሻ’.

          • Abi

            Hello Horizon
            I think chiropractor is mostly for back pain and spine treatment.
            ወጌሻ የሚጠቅመው ለውልቃትና ለወለምታ ነው::

          • Selam Abi,
            የምላስ ወለምታ በቅቤ አይታሽ፤
            በመሆኑ ማን ነው የሚጠግነዉ።
            Do you think habeshas could ever find a therapist for it? How do you think they would call the therapist? KS may have a name for it as well. 😊

          • Abi

            Selam Horizon
            Of course, if we strictly follow Kokobe’s example we can definitely treat የአፍ ወለምታ without any pain.
            ኮኮቤ አፉን ወለም ሲለው ወደ ሚስቱ ነው የሚሮጠው:: እንዴት ብሎ ሰባት የወለደ መስለህ? ከንፈሩንም ወገቡንም አብሮ ነው የሚታሸው::

            ለአፍ ወለምታ የኮኮብ ሰላምታ
            ታ ታ ታ ታ ታ ታ ታ

          • Paulos

            Abination,

            Bring Eritrea back to the motherland? That ain’t gonna happen! As Charleston Huston famously put it, over our dead body! You know, the senile King tried it. The dummy Colonel tried it and you obviously know what happened to both.

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Dottere,
            According to Amharic to English translator, ወጌሻ means Aggressive.

            BTW, how about if we turn that arrow in reverse and bring the Tigray & Amhara regions back to Eritrea and call the country still Eritrea. How would they feel?
            Just a thought.

          • Paulos

            ማሃንድሻ,

            ኣታ ሰብኣይ ነገር ከተምጻልና’ዲኻ ደሊኻ? ሞሲባ ‘ይባሃል’ዚ 😂

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Dottere,
            ሞሲባ? Now I know why I am called “Trouble Maker” at work 🙂

          • Abi

            Hello መሃንድስ
            Misinformation is a crime.

          • Abi

            Paul
            I’m with you on this. Together we stand separated!!

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Paulos. Did you mean to say Charlton Heston and not Charleston Huston? You confound me. You have openly expressed your praise on Meles Zenawi and have lauded TPLF achievements and then you make the above statement? Meles and the TPLF thugs were a far greater risk to Eritrea’s sovereignty than PMAA but most here remained mum at that time.

          • Paulos

            Mokie,

            There is no need to be pedantic on an actor’s name but if you get the thrill of “gotcha” moment, there you have it, I give you. My cell auto corrected and I went for it.

            And of course, Meles by far was the best thing that ever happened to Ethiopia. Did he deport Ethiopians of Eritrean origin? Regrettably he did but he owned his historic mistake and apologized for it unlike your master Isaias who deported his own people [Tigreans] and never acknowledged it much less to apologize.

          • Abi

            Paul
            Are you talking about the inhuman and illegal deportation of Ethiopians in 1991?

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Abi. Were you in Asmara in 1991? Abrehet Yosief where are you? Because I believe that you were there then and may add comment.

          • Abi

            Selam Mokie
            I have never been to Eritrea. I have seen the illegally and inhumanly deported Ethiopians all over Addis in 1991..

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Abi. I can only speak from what I saw in Asmara on Friday, May 24th, 1991 and the period afterwards. There were so many Derg soldiers (100,000?) that had retreated from the buffer zone in Ghinda to Asmara in surrender. They were placed in the stadium where they were given food, water and medical attention. Most of those soldiers were really young and many appeared to be from southern parts of Ethiopia. Most experienced Derge soldiers had during the months before been relocated to the Ambo front. One got the idea that seasoned EPLF soldiers felt pity on them for being dragged into a war, that they knew little of, at such a young age They were eventually moved by convoy back to Ethiopia as there was simply no way an already overly strained Asmara could at the time accommodate them. During those early days, higher ranking military/officials who had knowingly conspired with the Derg security (to include Eritreans) were placed into custody. Several Ethiopian property/business owners remained while others gradually left and a few stayed. I heard of individual retribution attacks against Ethiopians but did not personally witness any. While there might have been 100,000 surrendered Derg soldiers in Asmara, tens-of-thousands of others escaped to Sudan and even to Djibouti. A couple of weeks later, I went to Addis Ababa for a week. It was quite hectic then. Crowded streets with both TPLF and EPLF soldiers everywhere, a bit of air of uncertainty and a lot of confusion, with sporadic gunfire in the distance. I met some people that I knew from Asmara who had newly arrived (I did not know before that they were not Eritrean) and seemed somehow lost in the chaos. I even remember meeting one of the Derge security guys from Asmara near Ras Hotel, he was visibly very nervous, but still carrying a pistol, for which he showed me. After leaving Addis Ababa, I then went to Djibouti for one week before returning to Asmara. Djibouti was also surprisingly hectic. Most hotels were full of Derg officers and most of them had loads of Ethiopian Birr for which they were desperate to exchange for USD.

          • Abi

            Hi Mokie
            You went to Addis a little too early ( a couple of weeks after May 24) to see the illegally and inhumanly deported Ethiopians. They started arriving a little later. There were about 168,000 families ( not soldiers) deported inhumanly by your front and the kind people of Eritrea. They were all ove Addis particularly at Jan Meda and around Black Lion Hospital. They were robbed and abused. You should have left them alone until your referendum.
            Ethiopians did not deport Eritreans in 91 or 93.
            The disgraceful atrocities started back then is still going on by your front.

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Abi. Would be interested in knowing where you got the figure of 168,000 families (not military) that had been deported from Eritrea in 1991 and how many of these were based in Asmara. Most Ethiopian families that I knew of in Asmara back then were either connected with the military of Derg officials. Also, to recall that the Derg higher officials, military officers and those working for security, were among the group that tried to quietly escape Asmara to Sudan during the very early hours of Friday, May 24th, leaving all other Ethiopians behind to fend by their own devices. In the months following Eritrea’s liberation, many Ethiopian families would move back to Ethiopia on their own accord as they did not feel comfortable staying in Eritrea. Others, especially those with business or property holdings, would remain behind to try to sell what they had. Movement of surrendered Derg soldiers back to Ethiopia involved coordination between ERA and REST and once they were moved across the border into Tigray, they were the responsibility of REST and Ethiopia. To my understanding (and I was also back to Addis Ababa for a short time in August 91), most of those on the overcrowded streets of Addis Ababa were demobilized Derge soldiers that had came back from various fronts and not only from Eritrea.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam mokie b
            he(abi) was cheerleading when over “3 millions” ethiopins displaced , looted and deported from their own country.

          • Abi

            Hello Mokie b
            The number is from ኢሠመጉ (ኢትዮዽያ ሠብአዊ መብቶች ጉባዔ) report. Of course at that time both EPRDF and EPLF denied the report. The sad thing is EPRDF partially admitted to the report during the deportation of Eritreans in 1998.
            Those Ethiopians who remained behind during that chaotic period were Ethiopians of Tigray origin. Even those were deported during the 98 war.
            ኢሠመጉ = EHRC
            Ethiopian Human Rights Council
            ( I almost forgot that you don’t read Geez)

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Abi. አመሰግናለሁ. ለሪፖርቱ ቀን ወይም ማጣቀሻ አለዎት?

          • Abi

            Hello mokie
            ቀንም ማጣቀሻም በእጄ አይገኝም:: ብዙ አመታት ተቆጠሩ እኮ ወንጀሉ ከተፈፀመ::
            ይህን ሁሉ አማርኛ ከየት አመጡት ጌታው?

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Paulos. You wish to believe that ‘Meles by far was the best thing that ever happened to Ethiopia’? I fully understand why you like to vacation in Tigray. Regarding deportations, the following is an excerpt from Human Rights Watch Report (Jan 2003) on The Horn of Africa War: Mass Expulsions and Nationality Issue (June 1998 – April 2002): ‘The Eritrean government did not set up special administrative or judicial institutions like the deportation committees in Ethiopia. During the initial phase of the war, diplomats, representatives of international organizations and agencies, and several independent observers concurred in interviews with Human Rights Watch in Asmara that there was no government-sponsored retaliation against Ethiopian residents in Eritrea’. It was only after the May 2000 offensive, when Ethiopian troops had penetrated deep into Eritrea, did expulsions begin. And even from that point, many were repatriated under ICRC oversight.

      • Teodros Alem

        selam paulos
        It should have read ” enqn bedhana met’achhu” hu. I think a guy like horizon is the one wrote it.

        • Paulos

          Tedros,

          I guess you’re right. I love the language but often times I get stuck particularly when I read Amharic long texts. And it is frustrating.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam paulos
            did u see pia’s pic when he cutting cake that has ethio and eri flags on it? it is funny, i think it is in adama (nethert) , 3A and shemeles(oromo president) was on the side of him and it is like telling him as u cut the real one, cut the flags too. it looks like pia was struggling to cut the cake, like he wants to cut it by avoiding cutting the flags. It is funny.

  • Paulos

    Selam Bar-Davidi and Awatistas,

    In his exchange with Mokie, I believe it was yesterday in a different tread, Bar-Davidi asserted that, Left-Wing Socialist parties should be banned from participating in the political process of assuming power. In short, his rationale is for they are pro big government and for their strong stand with respect to minority rights.

    Well, to oppose a certain political platform and to try to defeat them in the ballot box is something else but to out right ban them from participating in the political process is mind boggling to say the least. Bar-David as a visible minority who is enjoying basic rights where his rights didn’t come easy, should realize that it was left wing political parties’ struggle during the civil rights movement in particular who made it happen for the rest of us including for him to enjoy basic rights including to be recognized as citizens which eventually gave us the first Black president in history.

    Certainly, Neo-Liberals are for individual freedom but also for a corporate take over where the state is rendered subservient to their interest. It is the Progressive forces who stand up for the marginalized and powerless when the culture of insatiable consumerism fill the airwaves where winner takes all rules the day. Am I my brother’s keeper sarcastically asks big corporate, and a progressive voice responds in affirmative when it says, yes I am.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Awatistas,

    I will grace you this weekend with a song of hope and wishes of 2020 for our people. And yes it will happen. “ኤርትራ ተንስኢ ብርሂ”

    https://youtu.be/DiPUY_Nx520

    • Haile S.

      Selam Emma,

      You certainly brought this for the message of hope, but talkng about the song, it is not an innocent song. It is partisan proselytizing song unnecessarily condemning practices of other beliefs and religions. እቶም ደገምቲ ዝዋረድሉ፡ ጠንቆልቲ ደብተራ ዝንቀልሉ is at a minimum controversial.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Hailat,

        I got your point. But, for a political mind person, like myself, I can only harvest from it the “words of hope” and the “positive wishes” to our people and wishing for “ትንሳኤ ኤርትራ”:: From my end that is the core of the message. ስለዚ ሃይላት እቲ ዘድልየካ መሚኻ ውሰድ:: አነውን ከምኡ እየ ገይረ::

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Selam Amanuel and Hailat,

      Thank you Amanuel for having shared the link. I am sure you did so with the intention of kindling hope in all of us Forumers as we prepare to enter the New Year with great anticipation of the good fortunes that it may bring to our suffering people and to our troubled nation. Let us all pledge to contribute to the “Struggle for Change” in any way we can and in accordance with our respective capacities/capabilities — no matter how small those contributions may appear to be. And yes, together with that, let us also do our very best to Keep Hope Alive!
      And Hailat, I appreciate your being on your guard, so to speak, ready to identify and oppose divisive ideas and rhetoric that weaken our unity as a people but, more generally, are downright unjust and undemocratic. I do stand with you on that. Of course, we Eritreans cannot afford not to be vigilant about attempts to spread hate and bigotry among us. All the more so since we are already a target of relentless campaign of divisive plots concocted and launched by internal and external enemies of the Eritrean People.

      That said, I think you have misunderstood the significance of the verse in the song that you quoted in your comment and the singer’s intent for including it in his song. This would become obvious If one: (a) views the quoted verse in the lyrical context of the song, and (b) consider rumors about Isaias Afewerki that have long been making the rounds in Eritrea and which narrate unorthodox methods and activities Isaias Afewerki allegedly engages in for purposes of self-preservation and prolonging his stay in power.

      Let me elaborate …..

      a) A review of the complete lyrics of the song shows that it, in fact, carries a very positive and peaceful message: peace, unity, love of country, a wish that the new year will bring brighter and happier times for the country. The terms “ደገምቲ፡ ጠንቆልቲ፡ ደብተራ” in the song refer to individuals associated with certain types of occupation or practice; they do NOT refer to “beliefs and religions” since a “ጠንቋሊ”, for example, can be of any religion. Equally important is the fact that attacking beliefs and religions would be oddly incongruent with the overall message of peace and unity that the song projects.

      b) In Eritrea, it is widely alleged that Isaias regularly travels to places in Gash-Barka region and elsewhere in the country where he meets with person(s) claiming (or believed) to have magic powers and supernatural abilities — who may be identified variously as fortune-teller, psychic, witch, sorcerer, satanist, etc. In Tigrigna, of course, terms such as ደገምቲ፡ ጠንቆልቲ፡ ደብተራ፡ are used to refer to them.

      Rumors have it that such “craftspeople” — known as “ተዃሪር” in the Gash-Barka area — serve Isaias’s interests by employing their art of divination and intuitive perception to forecast the future for him and to identify political enemies that ostensibly conspire against him. People claim that based on such information, Isaias has through the years tracked down and eliminated so many prominent politicians and liberation-era leaders. As such, these dubious characters have earned the ire of many Eritreans who hold them responsible for the demise of many Eritrean patriots who perished at the hands of Isaias, and for helping the dictator — psychologically, if not practically — perpetuate his tyrannical rule over the country. I believe it is in this context that the above terms are used in the song.

      Finally, let me emphasize that I don’t mean to belabor the point. It is just that I am a firm believer that, in general, misunderstandings which crop up in our Eritrean political discourse must be clarified promptly as they are, too often, the cause of our disagreements, hence divisions.

      Thank you

      • Haile S.

        Selam Yohannes,

        Thank you for taking your time on this controversial song & I believe it still is. I completely understand your take and that is what many people understand it. For this reason I didn’t call on the moderator for any kind of measures. I commented on the song only. If I said something on the sender, it was in the same line as you put it. Sometimes I like to recoil, but I am here to read the very many educational comments like yours.
        Best regards

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Selam Hailat,

          Your response to my earlier comment has helped clarify for me your thinking on the subject of our discussion. I don’t believe we are far off from each other on the broader issue although we seem to differ on the details. Even then, I feel I understand where you are coming from in regards to the latter and do appreciate your position. I certainly enjoyed and benefited from the brief exchange.

          Thank you

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Yohannes,

        Well said brother, well said. You have the ability to elaborate things or issues, that are thought controversial, like this one

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Selam Amanuel,

          I am highly appreciative of the usual niceties and encouragements that you seem to be capable of readily extending to others. All I did was try to contribute to the discussion in some way and “in accordance with my limited capability” — as small as that contribution is. ንስኻ ግን ዘይኢደይ ኣኻዕቢትካለይ ኢኻ’ሞ፡ ክብረት ይሃበለይ።

      • Hashela

        Selam Yohannes

        referring to the penultimate paragraph of your post, I think we need to be careful to not demonize and further drive to extinction our native and recently migrated minorities in southwestern Eritrea. We, the highlanders, have made Isaias to what he is now

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Selam Hashela,

          I thank you for your response to my earlier comment.

          I appreciate your concern and thank you for advising caution in whatever we say and write about our country’s various social groups (be it ethnic, linguistic, religious, regional, etc. groupings) and make sure we do not inadvertently offend their sensibilities. However, in regards to the issue at hand, such a concern is misplaced because as I pointed out in my previous comment, the subject of the current discussion are individuals engaged in a specialized occupation rather than the social groups listed above.

          At the risk of appearing to belabor the point, let me give an example here which may hopefully drive the point home. The reader may have heard of a certain ደብተራ (his name escapes me) who resided in the village of Adi Yacob not far from Asmara and who made a name for himself playing with the resources and emotions of countless people who found themselves under the stress of debilitating illnesses, family feuds, social problems, etc. This guy — who not only professed a Coptic Orthodox faith, but claimed to have received his religious education in an Orthodox monastery — was condemned and accused by many citizens who knew what was going on and understood the consequences. Nevertheless, no one thought that any of that public outrage was directed at the Orthodox Church for it was not. Indeed, the Orthodox Church itself soon followed with its own condemnation of the guy and proceeded to excommunicate him from the church for his accursed claims and actions.

          As for being careful to not alienate and/or persecute disadvantaged/vulnerable segments of the Eritrean population, I can only say this: How many ደብተራ፡ ጠንቆልቲን፡ ሰብ ዛርን ቆለን who sell their “psychic” services to the public are there in southwestern Eritrea or in the whole nation for that matter? A few scores? A couple of hundreds? Do we realistically ought to be fearful that anything said or written about the practices and activities of this tiny group will “demonize and further drive to extinction our native and recently migrated minorities in southwestern Eritrea? I honestly think not.

          Finally, the last sentence of your response opens up a whole different and controversial subject that has been at the center of extensive writings (originating essentially from one single source) and triggered repeated written exchanges (between groups). I do not want to engage in extensive discussion on the subject in short order, but I will throw in some relevant thoughts in a separate post.

          Thank you

  • Admassie

    Selam paulos,

    (Can I use መምህር አ/ኣብራራው😍 for Paulos? 😁)
    I would appreciate if you can shade some light how much valid an ancestral test result is to a person or a family and how much recent can it tell. I am asking is because my younger sister living in the US has got a result that tests ninety three percent throw us out of east africa and sixty percent out of africa. If that is much valid and tells about human recent migration, that talk we assumed as we are the descendent of this or that tribe or society becomes irrelevant.

    Thank you.

    • Teodros Alem

      selam admassie a
      the blackest people in Africa such as south sudan, Nigeria and the whitest people in Europe such as Iceland or German, Sweden have at least 5% mixed race outside of thier continent in their dna. normally most people in east africa( ethio, eri, somalia, Djibouti), they have 20 to 55 present nixed race out of Africa ( mostly meddle east) and in north africa.

    • Paulos

      Selam Admassie,

      መምህር ኣብራራው is funny. You reminded me of my former Middle School teacher whom we used to call መምህር ማዓዳይ for he would give one advise on almost anything like there is no tomorrow. Anyway, thanks for the kind words.

      Saw your comment about half an hour ago and have kinda rough idea about it but it could be a bit tricky for it deals with Population Genetics in particular. I am heading to bed right now but will try to comment on it tomorrow, God willing that is. God bless!

    • Abi

      ሰላም አድማሴ
      እራስን ከአድማስ ማዶ አገኘኸው?
      እንዲህ ነውጂ የአለሙ ልጅ!!

      • Admassie

        ሰላም አቢ፡

        ኖር ብለናል ጌታው እኛን ይምሰሉ ከመደቡ፣
        እየገቡ ለሚወጡ እየወጡም ለሚገቡ፣
        ሁሌም በሩ ክፍት ነውና፣
        እንኳንም መጡ በደህና፡፡

        ባይሆን ብቻዎትን ምነው ነጠላዎን?
        ደረብ አያደርጉም ለራስ ጥላ እሚሆን፡፡
        ሲሻዎት ፋንቲገን ሲሻዎት አምዳችን፣
        ማ ይሙት ጠፍተው ነው አሁን ከቀያችን!
        ኧረ እንዲያውም ካሉ ራስ እሚያምርበት፣
        ንግስት ስትኖር ነው ክብሩ እሚሰፋለት፡፡

        ባይሆን፡
        ‹የዘመድ ጥል የስጋ ትል›
        ነውና ምሳሌ እሚል፣
        የጠየመ ልብ ካል፣
        በእኔ ይሁንብዎት ይዤዎታለሁ ጌታው፣
        አፍዎትን በማር ልቆርጠውና ለዛሬው፣
        ብልሃት አይጠፋዎትምና ነገር፣
        እንደ ወስፌ ጠቅታ ወጋ ሲያደረጉት እሚያነዝር፣
        እንዲመለሱ ነውና ምኞታችን እባክዎን ሞከር ያድርጓቸው ሞከር፡፡

        የአለሙ ልጅ አድማሴ

        • Teodros Alem

          selam admassie a
          Is that rayagna? Or other part of wolloagn near afar kilil? Am just curious:) why the lie though?

          • Admassie

            ሰላም ቴዎድሮስ፡

            አዬ ቴዲ የአንቀልባ ላይ አንበሳው!
            ቀደም ባለው ጊዜ “የማያድግ ህጻን እናቱ ጀርባ ላይ ሆኖ ያፏጫል” ሲባል፤ ባለጌን ልጅ አምላክ ባጭሩ ያስቀረዋል በሚል እሳቤ ነበር። አሁን ግን ዘመኑ ከፍቶ እንዲህ እንዳንተ ያለው እየበዛ ሲመጣ አምላክ ምኑ ሞኝ ነው ቅጣቱን አከበደዋ! ባለጌን ባጭሩ ከማስቀረት በ40 አመቱም ቢሆን እንዳያድግ ማድረግ። አየህ የፈጣሪን ብልሃት😊😊 እንግዲህ ይኸውልህ ለዚህ ነው አሁንም መከረኛ እናትህ ጀርባ ላይ ሆነህ የምታፏጨው!!😂😂

          • Abi

            ሰላም አድማሴ
            ምን ነካብኝ ብቻህን ታወራለህ?
            ኧረ በስመአብ በል!

          • Teodros Alem

            abi
            I don’t consider u as human, u r a cheerleader of killers, gayys.

          • Admassie

            ሰላም አቢ
            ‹በስመአብ በል› ጥሩ ምክር፣
            ሰይጣን እሚባረርበት በትር!

          • Teodros Alem

            selam admassie a
            u don’t believe in religion, u r ” tella bet” trash cadre, hypocrite.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam admassie a
            i hurt u with just a i just a simple question right? because ur amharic accent is some where in raya or some where in yeju or near kemise, how do i know? i know the accent wa de wa ho de dede wa ho wa. if it is gonder ni ni ni ni. and for the record i never lived with my mother since i was 16 years old expect when i go home to visit .
            the reason i hate u is because , u r liar cadre with 0 moral values. u guys r shame for humanity, u guys displace and kill women and children. u guys burn holy places , u guys r talking animal, that is why i hate u .

        • Abi

          እንዴት ከርመዋል ልጅ አድማሴ
          የጎንደሩ የከሚሴ
          አማርኛው ከሮ መመለስ ቢከብደኝ
          ምላሴ ተሳስሮ ጉልበቴ ቢከዳኝ
          በጏሮ አመለጥኩ ብዬ አጉራህ ጠናኝ::

          አንድ ራሤን ብመጣ ሳላስከትል ጋሻ ጃግሬ
          ብትናፍቅ ብትጨነቅ መጣሁልህ በርሬ
          እንደኮከብ ተወርውሬ::

          ጀማውን ላደምቀው ቀዬውን ላበራ
          ላነቃው አዋተን ነፍሱን ልዘራ::

          ብትናፍቁ ጏደኞቼ በመጥፋቴ ያዘናችሁ
          መጣሁኝ ገስግሼ እጅ ልነሳችሁ!
          ከራሴ ላይ ለማትወርዱ መልዕክቴ ይድረሳችሁ::

    • Selam Admassie,

      I have not come to enlighten you on the thing that is puzzling you, but to learn like you. It seems that ancestry gene test is a vogue in USA, and not in the rest of the world. Maybe for a reason, as all races and tribes of the world are concentrated there giving it the biggest diversity possible.
      By the way, does the test tell you your ancestors, or in what percentage you share a certain gene with others. The more genes one has of a certain group of people, i think that it means the more recent the admixture of the gene, and it may not need ancestry test in that case as people may know up to let’s say their great grand parents.
      I saw on the web an east african woman exalted because her ancestry gene test showed that she has some jewish genes in her genetic makeup. I didn’t understand her joy, because that is not going to change anything about her as a black african from the horn of africa, only that sometime in the far away past there was an imported gene, which through generations just a small percentage of that gene still exists in her, while most of her genes are sub-saharan. It seems a complicated issue.

    • Paulos

      Selam Admassie,

      My apologies for the belated reply. My two kids are driving me nuts and it is given but of course that is the joy of kids particularly in this holiday season.

      Back to the issue at hand:

      The story goes or asks, why do Elephants look bored particularly when they meet each other, or why don’t they get excited when they see each other? Perhaps, it is because they all look identical. We humans on the other hand are blessed with diversity where “Variation” is one of the cornerstones of Evolution. Certainly, variation occurs due to the other pillar of Evolution—“Mutation.” Variation through Mutation happens when the Genome [more on this latter on] responds to the environmental pressure or stress where the Genome is left with nature’s uncompromising choices which are either to adopt or to get weeded out through “Natural Selection” which is the third and last pillar of Evolution.

      In a deeper sense or at the molecular level if you will, how does the the cruel ultimatum of nature take place? Well, we need to go back to the basics if not to the dogma of Science—-Reductionism or a modified version of Occam’s Razor. As you may remember from Biology grade seven, we were taught that, group of cells make up tissues and group of tissues make up an organ and group of organs make up a system which is essentially the human body. But if we take the powerful tool of Reductionism a bit further into the milieu of the cell, we see micro-organs or Organelles floating with in the cytoplasm and some of them completely insulated as in the genetic material encased with in a membrane otherwise known as “Nuclear Membrane.” It is the sacred land of the cell if you will where the genes do their tricks and perform magic.

      What exactly are the genes though? Well before that, some terminologies are in order. As you know, the chromosome is the more visible genetic material we inherit 23 from mother and the other 23 from father. In each of the individual chromosome, we find segments of genes embedded, spliced and configured for a specific task, to determine eye color of a person for instance. And with in each gene, we find the famous DNA double helix. As such, a gene is a certain length of DNA tasked in protein synthesis or synthesizing Insulin, for instance. Again, armed with the tool of Reductionism, when we go deeper, we see the make up of DNA where it is made of of fundamental Base molecules known or designated by four initial letters as in A for Adenine, C for Cytosine, G for Guanine and T for Thymine.

      What is remarkable about the four bases is that, they don’t pair with each other randomly, instead A is paired with T and C is paired with G through Hydrogen-bond. What we call mutation is then when the fidelity of the replication goes wrong, that is, when for instance A pairs with C or G instead of T.

      Moreover, with in the length of the gene, there is an area where replication doesn’t take place and this area is known as “Junk” simply because nothing happens in it. When a gene is a certain length of a stretch of DNA with in the chromosome, Genome on the other hand is the entire genes with in the human body. And experts tell as that, a genome contains around three billion base letters and in every one thousand base pairs an error occurs, usually between where replication takes place with in a stretch of DNA and the “Junk” where replication doesn’t take place. Here is the interesting part, this particular error which is known as a random mutation tells us a lot about the past as in about our ancestors.

      Consider this, suppose we see an error [When A pairs with C or G instead of with T] in a specific area and we see the error in the genome of someone, and if we see the same error closer to with in the stretch of the DNA of someone else’s genome, we can conclude that both genomes belong to an ancestor of a recent past. On the other hand, if the errors are far with in the stretch of the DNA with in both genomes, we conclude that, both genomes belong to a very distant ancestor if not, not to a common ancestor at all. Experts tell us that, over the approximately three billion letters [DNA bases], there are typically around three million differences between unrelated genomes. The higher the density of differences separating two genomes on any segment of DNA, the longer it has been since the segments shared a common ancestor as the mutation accumulate at a more or less constant rate over time. In a way, it is a powerful tool where the differences provide a biological stopwatch if you will.

      In our case, either Eritrea or Ethiopia, our geography tells more story than we can imagine so to speak where we are closer not only to the Middle East but to India and Sri Lanka as well and it is not surprising at all if we happen to share genetic proximity with the people from that part of the world when our ancestors might have crossed the Indian Ocean including the Red Sea to settle in what we all call home today.

      • Selam Paulos,

        Just for the sake of discussion; can Ethiopians and Eritreans speak of generic differences? These are people who have lived in the Abyssinian Highlands for thousands of years, more or less in the same environment, with gene flow in all directions. While we talk of gene admixture from far away places, is it possible to speak of a barrier between people who lived in more or less the same area for so long? After all, they had their camels, horses, donkeys and even their legs to travel throughout the region. The myth says that the queen of Sheba traveled all the way to Israel 3000 yrs ago, and brought back Jewish gene, which shows that distance was never an important factor, unless they had to cross sea and ocean. Even then human beings succeeded to reach Australia thousands of years ago, (the Aborigines).
        In addition, it is said that there was what we could call ‘back to Africa’ movement of people 3000 thousands years ago from the region of the Levant to the horn of Africa, farmers who constituted about 25% of the population of the region.
        There was also flow of genes in both directions between the horn of Africa and southern Arabian peninsula. Therefore in my opinion, the habesha gene is a mixture of genes that had come from all directions and hence its broad diversity and one can’t speak of local differences. It’s said that about 40% of the habesha genes are Caucasian while 60% sub-Saharan, which makes Ethiopians black Africans.

      • Admassie

        Selam Paulos,

        I am really very grateful for your generousness for taking much time from your children and holiday to enlighten us with such extent and clarity. You made it so simple I had to slap my self for hating biology in highschool 😁.

        By the way this “recent time” is it anthropological-archeological time you are referring or our real-real time with in the near past… Mesopotamia …Egypt…Greek type?

        My point for raising the question is that the human race was/is very mobile throughout its history and no race could be immune from mix and the claim that we are descendant of this or that in absolute terms is bogus. What matters is what we are today!

        The funny thing is, it is the “error” that talks much about our past. The “error” created b/n the ሰራተኛው
        and ቦዘኔው DNA😂

        Thank you again, dear Paulos. Indeed መምህር አ/ኣብራራው!!

        • Paulos

          Selam Admassie and Horizon,

          Again sorry for not responding sooner but I am glad you like it.

          The time scale could be of a conventional type for the most prominent landmark we use is the transition from the Hunter-Gatherers to the Agricultural Revolution. What is interesting about the time scale is that, the transition happened not only ten thousand years ago but only sixty generations back from the present time. If you think about it, it is not that long ago.

          As we have discussed them in the previous days, Plate Tectonics* played a critical role in configuring human settlement where our ancestors for valid and strategic reasons settled around river banks—Mesopotamia [Tigris and Euphrates], Indus valley and other settlements where the settlers were Phoenicians, Assyrians whose ancestors were also people from the frigid zones of the far North when they crossed Alaska to Latin America during the sporadic and at times protracted Ice Ages when the great oceans were turned onto solid ice.

          As you have aptly put it, the human genetic milieu is diverse so much so that not only we are the product of an archeology of myriad genes of different “races” but surprisingly of viral genes as well where the “Junk” part of our genes is made of what viruses are made of.

          We are complex beings where the wonder seems bottomless but fascinating to say the least. In a rather deeper philosophical meaning, what is our role in this strange but beautiful planet and equally what do we make of our complex nature? Should we capitalize on our differences
          or on our quest to find a meaning based on our commonality? Perhaps the latter when Science traces the prints of who we are and spirituality traces the moral codes of how we ought to live. We need both!

          *The Great East African Rift Valley which stretches from Mozambique all the way to Syria created a diverse habitat of vegetation, woodlands, grasslands and swamps [Some dared to call it Garden of Eden] and we are its product. Moreover, If you look at the shape of India, it looks like a big letter “M” where it was drifted from Australia when it broke off from Antarctica millions of years ago got sandwiched with in the Asian landmass. And we Eritreans and Ethiopians are its products when again, our genetic imprints suggests to have descended from that part of the world. Of a personal note, my two aunts from my father side look a lot from the Middle East and my two sisters look a lot like Indians. It is a mystery to say the least.

          • Admassie

            Selam Paulos,

            The human being is so complex and that complexity makes our conflict so trivial. What is simple about the complexity is your explanation. The more you make it simple for us the more we understand and the more we understand the more questions pop-up endlessly! But, for the sake of practicality let me stop here. (but, can you replicate your knowledge in capsule so that we can take it home? እንታይ ድኣሞ መሊኡ ሂቡካ እንዲና ቀኒእና!)

            It is similar to your personal note that makes me push my sister to take the test. My aunt from my mother side and some of her aunts from her mother side looks from the Middle East with a kind of greenish eye. And that curiosity was killing me.

            Thank you Paulos.

          • Paulos

            ወዲ ኣለሙ ዓርከይ ኣኽቢድካለይ. Thank you so much. I am humbled by your kind words. We are here to learn from one another for it is in all of us. God bless!

      • Ismail AA

        Selama Dr. Paulos,

        This is a classroom level informative stuff. Thanks admassie for asking and you for taking time to share knowledge with us. You have in a few paragraphs simplified rather a complex secrets of nature. For one graced with knowledge of how the nature of living organism works, a mundane remark [ኣሕዋት እኳ እዮም ዝቃተሉ ዘለዉ] of an ordinary person about wars such as the one the Eritrean and Ethiopian people fought would make perfect sense.

        • Paulos

          Selam Kbur Haw Ismail AA,

          We don’t see you much these days in this great site. Hope all is well with you.

          Many thanks for those kind words. It is true that we need to celebrate our skin deep differences when we are essentially one and the same but of course the courage to do so needs to start somewhere as in from our leaders first and foremost. Again, great to have you back Sir!

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Dr. Paulos,
            Thank you. I am alright apart from some personal preoccupation. You’re right; this wonderful forum deserves participation. But time constraint is brutal .

      • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

        Dottere,
        This is genetics for dummies, just like me! Wow, you put it in a very simple way, even I, who can’t stand biology, can understand it. Thank you!

        • Paulos

          ሰላም ማሃንድሳይ,

          I am having a hard time to believe that for you are too smart not to understand Genetics but of course your sense of humility is spot on.

  • said

    Greeting, Yohannes Zerai,
    I fully agree with in respond to Horizon . Rarely one truly sees al-Haqqah, HAQQEE ‘The Reality.’” The politics that allows this is, of course, a well-meaning one. A kind a liberal person , committed to what you see and doing the right thing, and this is evident both in your oeuvre as your writing below and it is an impressive opinion

    Ethiopian demonization of Eritrean is mega industry by itself for very long time, Exhortation ignores everything about the history of the Ethiopian colonization and exploitation , including its relation to most Ethiopian ethnic that is dealt with some kind open racism.
    You are narrating Ethiopian elite , and not the life experiences of marginal characters, often the vast majority poor marginalized, this tiny Ethiopian elite radical group ,the language functioned in a somewhat different manner. Often one ends up seeing only what he wants to see and showing only what he wants to show. When one sees his choosing this particular way of representation, But style, and aesthetic choice, is also an expression of worldview, of politics, and there is a certain kind of Ethiopian imperialism in extending this late-hipster mode, alternating between lack of affect and irony, to characters who have had life trajectories very different from what we mostly experience and in order for our humanity to be of significance. We do not need be reassured of our own humanity. we Eritrean know who we and what we want
    All wars end with winners and losers, the only real losers are the people. while almost all the states in the horn of Africa “ Eritrea ,Somalia, Sudan and south Sudan ” have been weakened or completely wrecked, Ethiopia to certain degree is not standing in its feet . Ethiopia has turned the page of Marxism and Leninism of by gone era of Bolshevism ideology and the policies Ethiopia implemented had long term consequences. In a pendulum movement, Ethiopia for century was awfully feudal state, Ethiopia of 1960th and 70th – was part of favored nation by “western free world” event those Ethiopian remained feudal state and self-adoration of the Of king Haile Selassie and cohort feudal tiny super-rich, – 50 years later after the demise of king Haile Selassie , The sad truth of the decade-and-a-half, a new face and class appeared ,it is they turn to cashing , a similar cabal of the new tiny superrich emerged “new ruling class”, a powerful forces, deadly former Marxist group turned capitalist and ethnically homogenies and intimately tied to one another in controlling the Ethiopian state . Some of the by gone now Ethiopian deep state are not yet satisfied with its efforts to further expropriate the wealth of Ethiopia, too bad time is not mercy to them, their time is up . The vast Ethiopian working class and majority poor Ethiopian .they want to see real change and improve and enrich themselves more . The Ethiopian ruling class controls not only the Ethiopian parliament , but the higher apparatus of state power, An ever-growing number of ordinary Ethiopian are coming to realize that they are being had for century after centuries long tyranny of Ethiopian ruling-class and wealth expropriation of the poor peasant and landless peasant suffered the most . the recent Ethiopian history repeat it self solely by one ethnic group in name of Ethiopian political forces entity of the greatest con-men PMZ of last two decades and half . Today Ethiopia has morphed into a set of coercive and falsely consensual societies. Ethiopia is endowed with a bigger and more oppressive bureaucracy than that of China and former Soviet Union in term of percentage . True existence of human civilisation is based on justices and free society .one hopes Ethiopia will respect International Law and leave Eritrea and respect it boarder once and for all . The fact remain horn of Africa countries economic are stagnant economic truth of Ethiopia as deepening socio-economic inequality is obvious to all who choose to see, to know, what’s going on interior of Ethiopia. This condition exacerbates such ongoing conditions as deepening poverty, failing health and overall social malaise. Ethiopian should stir Away from wars and imperial ambition. Ethiopia need to focuses to its internally need reform economic progress shifting from an agricultural to manufacturing nation. One can only wonder if a series of catastrophes similar to those that took place in the feudal state of past 1900s-1970s is the only social force that redress the tendencies to ever-greater inequality? The great challenge facing Ethiopian progressives groups and Ethiopian Dr. Aiby in the upcoming years is to acknowledge economic inequality and the need for a radical redistribution of social wealth through out Ethiopia .

    Ethiopian , are extremely tired and disillusioned for century by the backward traditional royalty kings and their feudal system and the traditional backward monopoly of land ownership and servitude of the people , in time Ethiopian rejected deadly bloody Dereg communist. Ethiopian desired something else which is moderate, middle of the road and enough of the war . What has disillusioned Ethiopian people is not just the TPLF left and Derg, the new elite Ethiopia ruling class opposed the values of public freedom and tolerance of divers difference, who have more similarities than differences with narrow ethnic oriented and Ethiopia neo elite politics . Ethiopian elite are pushing cloture of war

    experience political expression of hateful violence , a political system deaf to their needs and interests. The ruling class past and present they hadn’t realised that a large proportion and majority of poor people were at the end of their tether, people who have nothing . they did not recognise the anger and suffering of the people that went strangely unheeded. indifference to ordinary Ethiopian people. Almost endangering the unity of the country. in the 70th 80s ,90th Ethiopian from the top to the bottom knew that feudal system and communist it wasn’t working, Ethiopian revolted in masses against political system that did not represent the people. A sense of doom that people feel. Ethiopian disillusion with established politics. The fearless Ethiopian protest movement. started with structureless and leaderless nature that made them very potent and brought some change .
    Here comes like a gift from heaven PM Abiy Ahmed with his patrician attitude, with well established party system and political reform policies, realty will soon kick in with exacerbate this crisis of false representation. Dressed in reformer cloth with the sole bearer of optimistic values PM AAA who came out of the blue with his party and political base. Without been laden with an original sin of his political base.

    which has its roots in Ethiopia ugly colonial history to ward south of Ethiopia and this will constitutes an obvious obstacle and impediment to the Dialogue of real human Civilizations with Eritrea for most Eritrean people, since they were the victim , they part of culture of peace which is universal and It is shared by people and nations every where
    culture of war” is not new for Ethiopia ,is same old Ethiopia of hegemonic project predicated on the creation of conflict and divisions within their own people and between Eritrean people and Ethiopia at large . It is this Ethiopia elite unilateral imperial project of warfare which is intent upon destroying our neighbourly civilization. Eritrean people Ethiopia should be confronting and dismantling “the culture of war” which has a pervasive impact on the Ethiopian mindset historically wise. Ethiopian elite culture of war”, which is in blatant violation of the UN Charter.
    For those who believe in the culture of peace should not let Ethiopian elite highjack their country.
    It requires good will and real action . The real need for a cohesive anti-war movement at the grassroots of society nationally and across Ethiopia
    Translating the “culture of peace of the people ” into concrete actions no more war and translated the geopolitical and diplomatic levels Ethiopian elite their lies should be confronted media disinformation and war propaganda .
    The cultural dimension is crucial. The Neo Ethiopian elite policy-makers believe in their own propaganda. The “ ugly and distractive culture of war” often combined with twisted ideological and/imperial undertones, influences Ethiopian elite government officials involved in acts of war to prevail

  • Paulos

    Selam My Good People,

    I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Remember, love conquers all! And never stop learning!

    • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

      ሓቅኻ ዶተረ
      ዝተማህረ
      ነይከሰረ

      ዋላ ጁባኡ ጥራያ ተተረፈት
      ‘ታ መፍትሕ-ፍልጠቱ ኣብ ሓንጎሉ ምስተረፈት
      ክትሓስብ ክትባላሓት ከየዕረፈት

      ካብኡ ዝዓቢ ጸጋ
      ሓንጎል ‘ኳ’ያ ንነብሲ መዓርጋ
      መን ‘ ዶ’ ሎ’ዩ ንበላሕ ርእሲ ዝዳረጋ
      ክሻ ገንዘብ ሒዝካ ወሪድካ
      ክትሽምታ ዘይትኽእል ኣብ ዕዳጋ
      እምበር
      ሓደ ጎብለል ‘ኳ መሕደጋ
      ነታ ናትካ
      ቦግ መበለካ
      ኤእ! ኣየውርድ

      ብሩኽ ልደተ ክርስቶስ ይግበሮ
      ኣመኽኒና ነዝ ስጋ-ደርሆ ሓመዶ ክንገብሮ
      ምስኡ ሕውሰ ተበልናሉ ቀይሕ ወይኒ [መስተ-ነዳቖ ማለተይ ‘ዩ]
      መጥሓኒ ክኸውን ነቲ ዘዝለልናዮ ዝግኒ
      ገለ ዝብል ነይመስለኒ
      ትኾርምየኒ

      ፍለጠት ደልቡ ‘ዶ በልካ
      ዓባይ ምኽሪያ ንዝሰምዓካ
      በል ብሩኽ-ልደት ይግበረልና ይግበረልካ

      • Paulos

        ሰላም መሃንድስ,

        ተማሂርና
        ‘ታይረኺብና
        ኣብ ጎደና
        ንውዕል ዘለና
        ቀንፈዘው ‘ዳልና
        ገሊኦም ይብሉና

        ፍልጠት ተቐሲምካ
        ኩሉ ይበርሃልካ
        ዋላ ስራሕ ተዘይረኸብካ
        ሰብግን የኽብረካ
        ክትመኽሮ ይሓተካ

        ትሕትና’ውን ይምህረካ
        ከይትዕበ ተነፊሕካ
        መንከማይ ከይበልካ
        ኣርኣያ ክትከውን
        ንናኣሽቱ የሕዋትካ

        ፍልጠት ጥዑም’ዩ
        መቐረቱ ምኡዝ’ዩ
        ወትሩ ንብሃጎ
        ኣፋላላይ ዘይብሉ
        ታሪኽ ምስ’ሳይንስ
        ኩሉ ብውህላሉ!

        • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

          ሰላማት ዶተረ:

          ይበል! ግጥሚ ይበል!
          ብርክያሞ ዝተሰፍየ መስል
          ቆቢዐይ ኣውጺአያ ስራሓት ናይ ሰምበል
          ናይ ልደት-ውህብቶ ‘ንታይ ከይትብል
          ካብ በይ-ኤርያ ለምለም ኣድናቖት ተቐበል

          • Haile S.

            ሰላም ሰብ ዓወተ፡

            መሃንድሻ ድዩ ጳውሎሻ ወይ ጳውሎሻ መሃንድሻ
            ሓደ ድዩ ክልተ ናታቶም ኣድራሻ
            ግጥሚ ዝትልልዎ ብማሕረሻ
            ብትኣምር ዘውጽእዎ ካብ ቁርባበሻ
            ካብ ተፈጥሮ ዝመጸ፡ ዘይተረኽበ ብውርሻ
            ከመይ ዝበልዎ ጥዑም ናይ ሎሚ ሕንባሻ

          • Paulos

            ሰላም ሃይላት,

            ክንብሎ’ዶ ኮሌጆ
            ወይስ ጎጆ
            ኣብ እንዳ ዓዋተ
            ኩሉ ምስ መከተ
            ኩሉ ምሰ ሞገተ

            ፍልጠት ተዓጢቑ
            ከይባሃል በቒቑ
            ዘለዎኦ ተኻፊሉ
            ኢሂን ምሂን ኢሉ
            ብፍልስፍና ጀሚሩ
            ናብ ስይንስ ተሳጊሩ
            ንታሪኽ መቲሩ
            ንግጥሚ ኣትሪሩ

            ይምጉት
            ይምክት
            ሓዘኒ እንዳበለ
            ማህደር ‘ዳገምጠለ

            ኣጎራ ንግሪኻውያን
            ጎልጎል ዓዋተ ንኤርትራውያን
            ፍልጠት ይዋናጨፍ
            እንዳበለ ሰፈፍ

            ጋና ኣይተተንከፈን
            ‘ቲ ናይ ፍልጠት መኣዘን
            ሃየ መንእሰያትና
            ክፈትዎ ‘ቲ መኽዘን

            አብ ፍልጠት
            ተመስረተት ሃገር
            ነይትስበር
            ነይትዳናገር
            ነይትኹምተር
            ነይትሽምረር!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Dr Paulos,

            “ኣጎራ ንግሪኻውያን
            ጎልጎል ዓዋተ ንኤርትራውያን”

            Spot on. Spot on. ይበል ግጥሚ:: You have all the tools of knowledge.

          • Paulos

            Thank you so much ክቡር ኣያይ. It is in all of us. God bless!

  • sara

    hello awtistas—
    the country we were told is the best example for ethnic federal system is now turning ugly
    didn’t we hear its the biggest democracy in the world etc…what happened? now its getting ethino/theocratic nation which favors only… Hindus in religion and ethnicity, while the country
    has the 2nd largest population of Muslims in the world after Indonesia.
    what have you say, our awtistas.

    • Teodros Alem

      Selam Sara
      India is a friend of the West and an ally of the west to counter China’s influence in the region, that is why the name democracy given to India.
      i don’t much, but expect India’s size, thier democracy, economy, the people modernity is not different than Pakistan, Bangladesh kind of India’s neighboring countries.

      • sara

        selam ato tedros,
        you are right , if you are a friend of the west because of their political or economic interests they give you names that works in their favor… like what you said INDIA is democracy…. lately i came to notice this and the worst about India is it has even people in slavery… they dont count as equal citizens in the country, and this is not only because of politics but socially there is a segment o f the society deprived of all basic rights as human beings…. and we are told India is a democracy… even here at awate .

        • Saleh Johar

          Sara,
          Good comment. It is a joke that India which religiously maintains an unjust caste system, where the lower caste do not intermarry with other castes like the Brahmas, and were the officially designated untouchables do not sit in a meal with upper cates, and who are condemned to do the dirtiest menial jobs, is considered a democracy. It is not.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Salah,

            Democracy in the capitalist countries is only about “regular election”. It has never been about justice and equity. That is why the definition of “ modern Democracy” should include the elements of “justice and equity”.

          • Paulos

            Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

            I agree with you. That is a key point. Moreover, the reason India garnered a reputation as the leading democracy in the world is because everyone in the society is represented in the public body as in the parliament where as you have aptly pointed it out, the justice system is still work in progress as any other country including in the U.S.

    • Selam Sara,

      Recently i have come to believe that my previous opinion about India being an ideal democracy was biased because of what M. Gandhi had achieved. When i read of the misogyny, mass rape, racism against africans and part of their own society, and now the anti-Muslim law that was brought by the far-right Modi government and passed by parliament, is simply unexpected and outrageous to say the least. From what i understand university students are opposed to the law which discriminates against Muslims, and it has resulted in the death of many students.

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Ahlan Awate Team,

    The Ethiopian music band touring Eritrea sang to Keren kids, “you are an Ethiopian” (እትዮብያዊ ነህ). The children started asking each other: What is he saying? (ምልብል ሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃሃላ?)

    Al-Arabi

    • Paulos

      Selam Hameed,

      Welcome back. Hope all is well with you.

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Ahlan Paulos,

        Thank you very much for this kind greetings. I am very well.

        Al-Arabi

  • Admassie

    Selam Awate Team,
    “Don’t mistake the sight of the lion’s teeth for a smile,…” That is a deadly sure warning for the niceties of our smart aleck, the PM. He sent people like ገጣሚ አያልነህ ሙላት, who are nostalgic of the past (አንዲት ኢትዮጵያ ወይም ሞት). It is a kind of ሰምና ወርቅ for people like አያልነህ ሙላት if you hear them saying “ኤርትራዊያን ወንድሞቻችን” like taking the lions teeth for a smile.

    • Teodros Alem

      selam admassie a
      what u trying to say? since when lions used as a bad example? am confused, r u talking about lions or hyenas? clear urself up.

      • Saleh Johar

        Tedros,
        Different cultures have different perception on many things. The lion and other animals are not perceived similarly in the entire world. Besides, if you get closer to a lion thinking he is smiling, you might end up being his lunch. That’s what the poem is about.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Admassie,
      Osman Srinji was a known carpenter and a close friend of my father. He was into poetry and varied topics–as a young boy, I learned a lot from him.

      The saying is from one of Abu Teyeb AlMutenebi’s poems. However, he was a racist to the bone and switched allegiance to rulers which gave him a leverage in society and gained money for praising the, However, he was a genius as a poet. His work is timeless and deep. The quote is below, probably with a better translation from a social media page.

      إذا رأيت أنياب الليث بارزة فلا تظنن الليث يبتسم
      Never take a loin’s grin for a smile

      • Admassie

        Selam Saleh Johar,

        Thank you for explaining the main source of the quote and its correct translation. I hope we did not lost the essence of the quote, though. As you implied the word “grin” expresses the quote better. እሞ ሓሳባትናስ ወሲኹ ጸበቐ።

        • Paulos

          ሰላም ኣድማሴ,

          ኣታ ሰብኣይ ትግርንያ ትኽእል ዲኻ? እሞ ወዲ መረባና-ወዲ ዓድና ኢኻ ማለት’ዩ! ረጎደ!

          • Admassie

            ሰላም ጳዉሎስ፡

            ኣንታ ሓውና ትግርኛ ድኣ’ሞ ሞንጎ ዶብ ጎንደርን ትግራይን ተወሊዳካ ናበይ ክኸደካ፡፡ ዝምድናውን ዘይ በዓነተብኡ ረጕድ – ብስጋ ዲኻ ትብል በመውስቦ!

          • Paulos

            Selam Admassie,

            We are two nations of the same people which ever one slices or dices it. No?

          • Admassie

            Selam Paulos,

            True, though it is unfortunate that we are two nations. But we both can translate that unique tie to a unique benefit based on mutual respect.

            But again on our side, it seems we have not still learnt from that error. We are doing it again internally! The obsession of being “one” is hitting the crown again. The more we enforce that “oneness” in the name of unity, the more we erode our cohesion and endanger our unity to stand as a country.

            And again that obsession will not stop there. That is why Saleh Johar’s quote gives meaning.

            Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • Selam Admassie,

      Let me hope that i have understood your point. If it is about ethiopia and eritrea, then the drama of not being separated completely and not being together, a complicated relationship between two entities that do not dare to be far away from each other nor close enough, is a riddle no one seems to solve, in my opinion. A situation that has a very negative outcome compared to being either together or separated for good. A divorce that has not separated them completely as it should, is doing more harm than good. Going away, only to return back one way or the other, when hundreds of thousands of eritreans live in ethiopia, is not a solution. Such is the history of the two people at the moment. A relationship that is full of suspicion, unnatural, impractical, without a future or could benefit anyone of them. What to do then, is the million dollars question. They may have believed that they can’t live together, can they prove to themselves that they can have nothing to do with each other, and put it in practice, as long as whatever happens between the two is not well received mainly by diaspora eritreans?

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Horizon,

        The divorce is “real and complete” since 1993. From the Eritreans stand point, there is no looking back again. The problem is with you Ethiopians. Still you don’t have the confidence to exist without Eritrea, and hence you always strive for a forceful marriage at every turn of our history. Abiy’s wishful project will be foiled in the same fashion we did with the past Ethiopian rulers. For Eritreans “nationalism” is the most powerful political spirit that unite us. Don’t even think about the history that has found its closure.

        • Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

          The problem is rather on your side. It is not ethiopians who cross the border to the south. How can you explain that ethiopians do not have the confidence to exist without eritrea, when ethiopia has done so over the last three decades without any problem whatsoever.
          The point is not forceful marriage, but any sort of marriage, for that matter.
          How do you interpret, sitting in the west, when you see eritreans going back to ethiopia with every chance they may find? The only ones who do not own their fate are eritreans who live within eritrea. They can’t decide on how to arrange their lives because diaspora eritreans sitting in their comfort zone are deciding for their fate. They tell them that any contact with ethiopia is an anathema.
          You people opposed the peace agreement and the rapprochement, which had a positive effect on the lives of ordinary eritreans for the first time after almost three decades. Now it is put in the freezer, and you do not come with any other solution whatsoever. Opposing everything that happens between the two people is not equivalent to providing a solution.
          Why should Abiy come to you when you are going to him? These are not the sixties or seventies. Nationalism has been used then, and what did eritreans get out of it, except a land that is more important than themselves, who sacrificed a lot to make it a reality. Don’t you think that people may say, what is the use of Nationalism, if it means sacrifice and sacrifice only. While you are talking about nationalism, the young continue to leave in droves, because nobody has given meaning to their lives, except a never ending commitment.
          Contrary to what some people say, the problem is not that ethiopia wants eritrea back, but eritreans are fed up of living behind the iron curtain. Some diaspora eritreans are helping in keeping the iron curtain in place over the last three decades. As much as they are concerned, any sort of rapprochement with ethiopia is a danger to eritrea’s existence, nevertheless they do not give an alternative solution. Hence eritreans decide by themselves and choose to cross over and do business in ethiopia and beyond.
          Any ethiopian government that wants eritrea back should be completely crazy. Don’t worry. Let the people communicate with the world around them, ethiopia included. It is not only IA who is suffocating the people, but some diaspora eritreans as well.

          • Paulos

            Selam Horizon,

            You have certainly raised serious points of a substance. And I tend to agree with with some of them particularly when you said, Ethiopia has managed not only to survive but to jump of the protracted poverty into economic power sans outlet to the sea. It however has to be seen against the backdrop where Isaias is determined to break the steeled backbone of Eritreans including their sense of nationalism when he subjected them into unimaginable cruelty which is refusing to let up.

            But if we back up a bit, we see the genesis unrivaled when Ethiopian rulers including Tewodros perhaps for a valid reason obsessing over the sea. They did so when the nation was confronted with two realities as in political fragmentation and the presence of foreign powers on the coastal line where again Ethiopian rulers referred them as “Turks” including Mohammed Ali the Egyptian who became a menace for over a century.

            The foreign powers on the coastal line took advantage of the political fragmentation that had maligned successive Ethiopian rulers when eventually Menilik let Eritrea off board in a bid to consolidate his power on the rest and to “fix” the fragmentation as well. In the meantime, on the ensuing years, Eritrea fostered an identity which evolved into a sense of nationalism which became generational. Lack of understanding this crucial underpinning, the latter King and the Colonel invigorated the sense of nationalism into a rock solid one when they resorted into brute force in handling the Eritrean question. Thus, in its true sense, Eritrea is the product of the incompetence of Ethiopian leaders when one can not subject people against their wish and will. If Isaias has learned anything from the Ethiopian rulers, it is just that as he tacitly tries to turn the tide of history. One thing we need to be certain is that, the reason Eritreans are leaving in droves and Eritrea is in such a mess is not because of its election to be independent but because the political incompetence of Isaias and his regime as well.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam.paulos
            The poltical understand and the people believes 30 years ago when it comes to eritrea and ethiopia itself is totally different than right now.
            30 years ago.there was a strong believe that ethiopia is one country that existed for more than 3000 years and in some cases ethiopia used to control from starting to nubia all the way to Yemen to coastal areas of east Africa(present day Madagascar)
            the people and the poltical power believe eritrea was one of the core part of ethiopia that been separated for 50- 60 years by colonizers force .
            right now this myth is changed 100%.

          • Selam Paulos,

            In my opinion, everything got derailed when eritreans were given independence without freedom. It was not because eritrea was in any danger from ethiopia after independence that the freedom of eritreans was curtailed, but other factors played a role. One of them is that, as it happened all over africa, whoever led an armed liberation movement at the end became the owner of all the fruits of liberation, of course with the help of their enablers, and the liberators became the tormentors of the same people they said they liberated. That, i think, is the case with eritrea, as it was with ethiopia after HSI’s return from exile, and with almost all african countries where liberation wars were fought.
            It is only natural that any leader would want a sea access for his country, and ethiopian leaders could not be an exception. Menelik was a feudal king and not pushing to liberate eritrea was more strategic than giving up on eritrea. It happens in battles as it happens in everyday life that it is not only the gallantry of the fighters that always determines the outcome of a battle, but good old chance and a fateful mistake on the enemy side as well. In my opinion, if Menelik had pushed forward after Adwa with his feudal and ill-equipped army, there was a chance that the outcome could have been disastrous, as rations were dwindling, diseases were having their toll, etc.. Therefore, i think that menelik was forced to sacrifice eritrea to save the rest of ethiopia in the treaty with italy and afterwards. Just my opinion.
            Maybe we should ask ourselves if there was what we could call ethiopian nationalism within eritrea at the time when unity became a topic after the end of italian colonialism, for ethiopia to opt for union, although other factors played a role as well, access for sea outlet, for example.
            After the lowlanders revolted, atrocities were committed from the ethiopian side, and foreigners were involved one way or the other for geopolitical reasons, unfortunately things got complicated. In retrospective, it was much better if ethiopia had withdrawn despite maybe the political consequences back home.

          • Paulos

            Selam Horizon,

            Let’s face it, there was no a nation-state called Eritrea prior to 1888 or 1890 where Eritrea was crafted out of Ethiopia-proper by the Italians after that. As you know, the British wanted the Italians to have a hold on that region to weaken the rival French where if the latter encroaches into inland, could have potentially compromised Britain’s hold on the Nile.

            That as it may however, the Italians employed a strategic policy of “Subversion” in the North and “Persuasion” in the South where the former almost bore fruit when Tigrean Princes were briefly sold out to Italians when they turned their back on Minilik. Certainly the reason for that was to avenge Menilik for he snatched the mantle of power from Yohannes by conspiring with the foreign powers. What is even remarkable is that, with in the backstabbing laced with vengeance, bona fide Eritreans on the other hand helped Menilik’s army by collecting vital intelligence during the Battle of Adwa which was essentially eight years after Eritrea was rendered Italian colony. This is to say that, the sense of Ethiopian nationalism was still animated with in Eritrean psych when Tigrean worlords [Ras Mengesha Yohannes] as it was stated on the above, sided with the enemy instead. More over, the sense of Ethiopian nationalism with in the Eritrean psych lingered sixty years after the Battle of Adwa, it only began to weaken if not to thin out due to sheer political incompetence of King Haileselassie when he abrogated the Federation. If we can only learn from history, Abiy seems to flirt either knowingly or unknowingly with the sensitivity as he throws words that is making Eritreans extremely nervous where they began to see him the same breed cut of the same cloth.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Paul,

            A point I want to make on this idea that considers Yohannes as a passive innocent player upon whom an English ‘manna’ fell upon, giving him a lot of arms. Yes, this manna lets say “fell” upon him and “admit”that he could do nothing against the English force. But he was not that innocent. Long before that period when he was aspiring to become a local chief, he was acting as messenger to Tewodros’s sworn enemy Neguse (Wube’s niece), carrying messages to the Father Di Jacobis in Halai (Eritrea) hoping (Neguse) to get in touch with the french to get help & arms in exchange for land concession in Adulis area (long before Djibouti), an area under neither’s mens control. So Yohannes was conspiring with foreigners long before Menelik contacts with Antonelli the Italian official envoye and long before he got importance. Yohannes employed all sorts of foreigners (unless we don’t consider this conspiring) starting with wise Kirkham, his english advisor, a big remnant of the British Expedition and many many others. So talking of conspiracy, none is a champion than Y.

          • Paulos

            Selam Hailat,

            You are absolutely right. I didn’t absolve nor did I sanctify Emperor Yohannes for he was the product of the culture of power politics that traces its roots to 1768 [Zemene Mesafint] era. He certainly utilized the classic Machiavellian—a means to an end—not only to hold on to power but but to his credit to stabilize the nation through a rudimentary Federal system when he recognized autonomous Kingdoms particularly in the Highlands.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Paul,
            Okay, but I am not sure about the autonomous kingdoms and his ‘federal system’ because at the end he put his people in the Eritrean highlands ending in bloodshed, thus the reason for the rise of Bahta Segeneiti for example.

          • Paulos

            Selam Hailat,

            Well, I used a qualifier “rudimentary” when I said Federal System for it was not an enacted document in to law of the land as we know it today. That said, he [Emperor Yohannes] let for instance Menilik to govern Shewa and to be recognized as Nigus where the honorific title was customary only in Shewa where it passed on from his father Nigus Haile-Melekot and his grandfather Nigus Sahlesellasie. The same recognition was bestowed upon the rulers of Gojam and Gonder, for instance. And hence my assertion as a rudimentary Federal arrangement.

            As for Dejazmatch Bahta Hagos, in 1894, he revolted against the Italian policy of land distribution where it attested the fact that, the sense of Ethiopian nationalism was still there as it disqualifies the false narrative of Eritreans as sell-outs to Italians.

          • Haile S.

            Paul,
            Sure, but to begin with Bahta had to revolt and kill Yohannes’s very close relative & representative who was there to collect ፈሰስ no matter what, impoverishing and killing the people who revolted obliging guys like Bahta to man-up. I am with you in negating the notion that considers Eritreans as sell-outs to Italians. Bahta went to Italians, because they (Italians) were battling the collector of ፈሰስ even though locust has devastated the area.

          • Paulos

            I actually didn’t know that part of the story. Thanks for the lesson Laureate Hailat!

          • Saleh Johar

            Hailat,
            Let me add another reason.

            When the Italians established themselves in Massawa, they set a recruiting station at Htmlo and offered clemency to all the outlaws who were wreaking havoc all over the place. Some were known bandits others were remnants of Yohannes and Alula. Many Muslims found that an opportunity to arm and protect themselves from the bigoted remnants. They formed the core of the first local contingent of the Italian forces. They would do anything to fight back against the hordes of the “Solomonic kings. “

          • Teodros Alem

            selam paulos
            u said, ” let’s face it, there was no a nation-state called eritrea prior to 1888 where eritrea was crafted out of ethiopia”, this was the exact same argument derg used to say for the people.
            If u believe that, why u think elf, eplf and all eritrean poltical org. movement was for Absolute total independence of eri from ethiopia? if they were part of ethiopia only separated by colonial force, why they didn’t fight to change the gov to a better Democratic gov. Or why they didnt fought to regain the federal system?
            U seems so worried about who is responsible for eri independence but fact is fact, 1, eritrea officially separated from ethiopia in 1993 by referendum. 2, most part of eritrea was occupied by the ottoman empire, by egypt way way before menelik, or yohannes or tewodros.
            3, eritrea occupied by Italy when ethiopia was under yohannes, before the “wachela” treaty Italy occupied eritrea.

          • Selam Paulos,

            Thanks for daring to say, “there was no a nation-state called Eritrea prior to 1888 or 1890…. “, for it will put the history of both countries in the right perspective. Some Eritreans would go as far as ancient times trying to prove that Eritrea never had anything to do with Ethiopia, the Axumite Civilization and the rest, as if she was an island within the horn of Africa. This i think is the main reason Ethiopia and Eritrea are stuck together and they find it difficult to cut the umbilical cord that always joined them.
            One point that is possible to entertain, if we take out politics, ideology and individual interests, is that what remains to divide the two countries and people is not as significant as some may think or would like to say. Nevertheless, that could be the truth as much as Highland Christian Eritrea is concerned. The big question is what about the Lowland Muslim Eritreans, who may have a completely different psych and point of view on this topic. These were the people who started the Eritrean struggle. One should accommodate this part of Eritrea as well. I can’t say i have any good idea. Nevertheless, a strong economic development in Ethiopia that drags with it Eritrea’s economy to a higher level, may be the right medicine. Let’s face it, economic development in both countries will solve the different problems between the two, as it would do within Ethiopia. Politicians and activists will go bankrupt as living standard improves in both countries. One should look at Germany and Austria, two countries, almost identical, with no problem whatsoever between them, from what i can understand, because they have achieved high economic standard. Where there is poverty and ignorance there is always complaint of one sort or other and the fertile soil that could easily be sown with hated, discord and conflict.

          • Saleh Johar

            Horizon,
            It’s not only Eritrea that was not a nation state. All of Africa and Asia were not nation states, including Ethiopia which is the creation in expansion by Minelik. Before that, only the central highland existed as Abyssinia. Al Habesha.

          • Selam SJG,

            If i may quote, “Some scholars have argued that Ethiopia has always been called the same name (Ethiopia) since the 4th century and that the name Abyssinia was just popularized by the Arabs and that Ethiopia is bigger than Abyssinia geographically.”. It seems that different people have different opinion on this topic.
            Abyssinia, which could be defined as a nation state existed over centuries. This entity was known by Arabs and European powers and diplomatic contacts existed with many powers. The Ethiopian and Eritrean Highlands that constituted Abyssinia in the past, is denied by some Highland Eritreans as part of their own history, and they refuse to accept that they are Abyssinians.
            Countries expand and shrink throughout history, their names change, example Iran which was called Persia, etc. Ethiopia is simply part of the geopolitical development that was seen all over the world throughout history.
            Maybe the past is not a panacea for the present and the future, and what ethiopians and eritreans would do about the future well being of their people is more important than any past history.

          • Saleh Johar

            Horizon,
            I won’t address the other points but two.
            1. Ethiopia was a Greek name for the entire middle of Africa from the Red Sea to the Atlantic ocean. It never meant the current Ethiopia which was adopted in the 19th century.
            2. Persia is the Anglo spelling of Faris, the name of the country until 1935. It was changed to Iran, more of a racial identifier, in 1935–WW2 and it was announced by its ambassador to Germany with a letter to his peers in Berlin. You can relate what Minelik did in patching together to what King Saud did to the patch of Arabia.

          • Selam SJG,

            It is known that Ethiopia is a very old name found in Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey. Herodotus, another Greek historian used the name for the lands south of Egypt, the land of the people with a burnt face, which it meant, of course included modern Ethiopia and Sudan.
            The legendary Ityoppis is supposed to have founded the kingdom Axum. I also quote, “The earliest attested use of the name Ityopya in the region itself is as a name for the Kingdom Of Axum in the 4th century, in stone inscriptions of King Ezana , who first Christianized the entire apparatus of the kingdom”.
            The name Ethiopia in the Old and New Testament depicts more the region of Ethiopia and Nubia two adjacent areas, than any other region of Africa.
            The thing i want to show is that if there is any country that deserves the name, it is modern Ethiopia, even if the name Abyssinia was also used together with Ethiopia.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Horizon,
            You basically repeated what I said with the legendary twist. I avoided that purposely. Greek+Legend+Ityopis+found Axum= legend, folktale. And I am not fond of arguments based ob legends. Therefore, modern Ethiopia was never known as Ethiopia before the 19th century, the Biblical Ehiopia has nothing to do with modern political Ethiopia. WE can both believe what we wish because this debate cab= not continue based on mythology,…. and Greek 🙂

          • Haile S.

            Selam Horizon,

            I was intrigued by the quote you mentioned in your above comment.
            You said “The earliest attested use of the name Ityopya in the region itself is as a name for the Kingdom Of Axum in the 4th century, in stone inscriptions of King Ezana , who first Christianized the entire apparatus of the kingdom”.
            Thus I checked the available translations of Ezana’s inscription. There are Greek, Sabean and Geez inscriptions of Ezana. The one that contains the word ‘Ethiopians’ is the greek inscription found and translated by Sir Henry Salt. His translation begins as follows as he put it exactly:
            <>.
            Therefore, Ezana did not use Ethiopia as a name for the kingdom of Axum as your quote says, but on the contrary, both are listed separately as two kingdoms also separate from Sabeans and the other kingdoms raising the question to which area Ethiopia refers to.

          • Selam Haile S.,

            I can’t say that i have the right knowledge to support the one or the other interpretation of ancient stone inscriptions. Nevertheless, it is not easy to conclude if the term “Axumites” meant citizens of the ancient city and its environs or a vast kingdom independent of ethiopia. As you said, it doesn’t tell us the whereabouts of ethiopia. It could be the surrounding region for that matter. Of course a city and its environs can’t raise an army that could conquer regions as far away as today’s yemen. Meroe was defeated and destroyed, according to history. It is really difficult to say.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat,

            This pre-Axumite archaeological discovery might help you for your argument. Check out this link, it is a very fascinating discovery,

            https://www.sciencealert.com/ancient-site-buried-under-ethiopia-was-once-a-pillar-of-the-powerful-aksum-empire?fbclid=IwAR3zcwSnY51W56s6OciRzqMthfRj4c-nwkiSKl87Mh08xFpMdz17twVIKK0

          • Haile S.

            Selam Emma,

            Thank you for the link. But the point I was making is that, based on Ezana’s Greek inscription, among the kingdoms and people he ruled as a king, Ethiopia, Axum, Saba and others were identified as separate people and kingdoms, thus were not synonyms like ” the word Ethiopia standing for Axum” that Horizon was saying.

            Talking about pre-axumite civilizations, the idea was forwarded by people like Francis Anfray in the 80s or earlier. Now following the changes in 1991 scientists were able to excavate and study them. Pre-axumite civilization has been excavated studied by Matthew Curtis around Asmara in the 2000. Check Afr Archaeol Rev (2009) 26:327–350.

          • Ask

            Hi Saleh, hope you are doing well.
            Try to read what Berhe wrote. He actually articulated and coupled the region with current and past population size. King Minelik never intended to subjugate natives – why? because there were no natives in his era to begin with. Consider Gambela as an example – current population of Gambela is estimated to be 500,000 – how many there were 120 years ago at the current location? None ! Once Minelik reached current day Juba, the path for migration towards Ethiopia was opened i.e Minelik conquered an empty land. For the record, population of Ethiopia was 5 million when Minelik started his conquest of empty land. In his time, population of coastal area of Eritrea was literally zero. Djibouti was estimated to be 20,000. Population of Africa was 120 million which is same as current population of Ethiopia. Try to see things from different perspectives.

          • Saleh Johar

            Thanks ASK,
            Even if there were ten people, an occupation is an occupation. And a mindset of expansion is just it. We cannot use relativity in such cases. If ten people are ruled brutally and a million are also treated brutally, the rule is unjust. Otherwise, why do some section of people in our region, who lorded over a fewer population, want to lord over millions by justifying it based on the past? It’s the mindset. Numbers are irrelevant except in maybe, economics and other disciplines though they should never be used to justify injustice and brutality. Also, that’s is the excuse all invaders and colonizers use to justify their actions. I am sure the Congo was not as densely populated then as it’s now, but the atrocities that the colonizers committed are very inhuman, regardless of the size of the population. I do not want to justify the eradication of a few helpless people based on goals of establishing settlement and colonization . If we follow that kind of justification, we would be blessing the eradication of the Native tribes of America, and the acts of the Conquistadors, and many more. That is what I think, but it’s just my view.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Paulo,

            You wrote

            “ Let’s face it, there was no a nation-state called Eritrea prior to 1888 or 1890 where Eritrea was crafted out of Ethiopia-proper by the Italians after that.”

            I agree there was no country called Eritrea as we know it. But I think what you wrote, today Eritrea was created out of Ethiopia by Italians, narration that we heard all the time is in fact true. A couple of questions.

            1) in the Eritrean highlands for example, there was higi endaba that governed them. Did they have similar laws in highland Ethiopia (Tigray / Amhara) for example?

            2) the road to modern road to Massawa was created after the Italians come. I know there is other was to get to Massawa but you have to treck by foot. How can Ethiopia rulers ever make a claim that Eritrea today (including Massawa and the sea) was ever under their control ? How can anyone trade anything at all in that capacity if there was no road to begin with, and they never build any road.

            Sorry my question may be stupid as I lack deep knowledge and history of the region, but it made me wonder if what we learned and heard was ever true, as in Ethiopians natural boarder is the sea etc.

            Berhe

          • Paulos

            Selam Berhino,

            Let me make a couple of points clear. If we are going to build a better future, we have to be truthful about our past. Sometimes, it can be uncomfortable if not painful to say the stuff considered historical taboo so to speak but we need courage to address them for the reason Eritrea is in such a mess is that, our leaders fed us lies where we took them as the corner stone of our history.

            Remember, Eritrean nationalist consciousness was created as any other countries had, with in a generational period where it is with in sixty years in our case. As such, the struggle for independence was valid and legit for Eritrea in every sense of the word had the full morale and historical right to claim independence. It is again imperative to emphasize that, the reason Ethiopians particularly the elites are banking on “we told you so” is not because the faulty lines are embedded with in the option for independence, rather in the corrupted nature of Isaias and his regime when he is determined to humiliate and shame the Eritrean people.

            To get back to the points you raised, perhaps Anthropologists could shed some light for the question if the same cultural practice of እንዳ’ባ was practiced in Tigrai or Amhara as well. My guess would be probably they did for there was no clear cultural distinction between particularly Tigrai and Eritrea [ሰራየ፣ ኣከለጉዛይ and ዓድዋ፣ ኣኽሱም፣ ሽረ] as we know it today.

            On the second question, I am sure they must have trekked either on horses back or any other means for they claimed their reign all the way to Southern Arabia present day Aden where obviously they had to traverse Dankalia and cross the narrow strait of the sea as well. Of course that was at the height of the Axumite Kingdom.

          • iSem

            Hi Paulo:

            “Do not stop learning!” This words reminded me of what my later father told me when I was a bit cocky to someone who I thought was dumb because he could not understand the LCM in grade 7
            Not only did Eritrea as a nation never existed before the 1886, the concept of nation state is new. Italy, which created the nation state of Eittrea as we know it is itself is two or 3 decades older than Eritrea.

            The 3000 Ethiopian myth, the ancient nation of Egypt were never nation state.
            A few days ago a contract who came to fix our printer at work told my colleague that he was an Assyrian when my colleague asked him where he was from.
            The ancient Egypt have very little semblance to modern day Egypt if at all. Not language, not culture, not even their looks
            I used to say by the time the oil rich countries come to their sense and enjoy their God given wealth with peace and rule of law, oil be irrelevant, in the same token people are killing each other for the sake of nation state instead of enjoying one an other and one day, nation state may run its course when humanity moves to new arrangement like we have done since we walked upright
            Buon Natalle: And speaking of Christmas, Jesus was into something when he said my kingdom is not in this place
            If Ethiopia could claim 3000 of statehood, a fallacy that prof Tekeste Negash also seems to believe, should Sudan also claim that, because teh name Ethiopia and Sudan mean the same. The former in Greek and the later in Arabic.

            I also agree with you on the right of Eritreans to claim independence and it was not the ingenuity of the drops out of IA and gang but it was the fashion on those days, but the process of Ghedli was a sham,it inflicted more suffering on the people of Eriteran than it did on the enemy, it fractured the society instead of uniting it, it decimated the culture instead of nurturing it and all to create IA career, that is what we have to show for.
            There are those who are hopelessly optimistic that we will recover, what they forget is founding is important, yea one day we can, possible but when, oh yea our struggle is protracted but our victory is must, translate that in Tig sounds better
            If we are truly honest, the last 60 years was waste.

            The least we could have done was to affirm the Eritrean identity, under the “vanguard” of EPLF/PFDJ we have even squandered that
            I know it was not your intention to get down this tired ghedli debate, but I bring it because you said we have to be honest and not only honest, but we have to say things without fear of been alienated. This is no coherent comment, but am confident you will get my drift
            Show up more here, will you?

          • Paulos

            Buon Natale anche per te caro Semerile,

            China as Middle Earth, India on a stack of giant Turtles, Italy on two orphan brothers who were raised by Wolves….

            Mythology as mystery as it is, not only nations claimed legitimacy through it but classical Psychologists as in the brilliant student of Freud, Carl Jung as well took Mythology seriously so much so that he believed that dreams and Mythology as inner expressions of the collective unconscious of the human mind.

            But of course, Mythologies have become anathema particularly in this new century when they became a fertile ground for radicalism, nativism and populism as well where “us vs. them” became the defining narrative. Of interest, Canada on the other hand is one of the few countries which is free of radicalism precisely because it doesn’t trace her historical roots to mythological narratives.

            Back to Eritrea: A you know, a State is a political entity where as a Nation is the organic aspect of it if you will as in the cultural, linguistic and collective claim of common history of the people. Even though I personally found it to be problematic and weak the claim that, even if we say that there was no a nation-state known as Ethiopia prior to 1890 [Ethiopia was in fact a Nation-State where the Wichale Treaty comes to mind among others], that doesn’t disqualify the claim that there was no a nation-state called Eritrea prior to 1890, simply because there was never a distinct society known as Eritreans before 1890. Again, because the country known as Eritrea today and the people known as Eritreans today were part and parcel of Ethiopia back then. To be more precise, Ethiopia was two-third of what it is known today but again Eritrea was part of it in every sense of the word–linguistically, culturally and historically. Eritrea was created not out of historical justification but out of political expediency instead.

            With in the ensuing sixty years however, a new identity and a distinct society including a new national consciousness was created and legitimized the struggle for independence when Ethiopian leaders refused to internalize the new emerging political and historical reality. Again, the reason Eritrea is in a weak political position is not because of its election for independence but due to the betrayal of a man who is determined to humiliate and shame the Eritrean people. I say, the optimists have a valid reason for it is less challenging to remove the evil man than when they fought heroically to free Eritrea from the shackles of Ethiopian rulers during the struggle for independence.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Paulo and everyone,

            Thank you and the best wishes for you and your family.

            The reason I asked was to understand the truth.

            There is no point in denying our history, good or bad we have to own it and learn from it.

            What I find hard to swallow is, every Ethiopian who is capable to speak, capable to write starts writing history as if modern Eritrea was part and parcel of Ethiopia and it become in existence because of Italy.

            What I want to know is, I understand how Eritrea has to be one to exist, but the narration that’s told as if Eritrea was part of Ethiopia if it has real truth.

            For example you said “ Again, because the country known as Eritrea today and the people known as Eritreans today were part and parcel of Ethiopia back then. To be more precise, Ethiopia was two-third of what it is known today but again Eritrea was part of it in every sense of the word–linguistically, culturally and historically.”

            Which part of Eritrea are you referring, the whole of it? Massawa, Keren, aquirdet, Sahel etc, does this include the whole lowlands, which is by my estimate 2/3 of today’s Eritrea by land mass.

            Personally I don’t think it was ever possible Ethiopia to have claimed Eritrea sea access ever as theirs. They have travelled through it and traded but to probably very insignificant portion, nothing more than gold etc.

            It’s physically impossible for that time to be able to travel across that mountain. They didn’t make ships, they didn’t travel the worlds with their ships.

            Second, the claim about highland Eritrea as well, if it was governed by their own kings and using their own laws or according to Ethiopia kings and their “kibre negesit”.

            The population of Ethiopia in 1900 was 4 million, and if we go further in time, 1800 or 1500 we are talking about very insignificant number, and we lose sight that we think Ethiopia today as if it existed that time.

            Berhe

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Paulos and Berhe,

            True, Eritrea was established in 1984, but so was Ethiopia which was always called Abyssinia or Habesha. But then, all nations went through expansion and contraction–some even appeared unrecognizable from their state a few decades or so earlier. I am objecting extrapolation the present to the past to fit the present narration. When some Ethiopian say Eritrea was part of Ethiopia, they are not mentions the forerunner of the present two countries. For instance, the Axumite kingdom has a corridor to the Red Sea and we have scanty-to-nothing documentation on how the governance of that area was at the time. Could the seashore have been an autonomous region? The Afar land was not part of Ethiopia, neither Harer or the South. Abyssinia was limited to a tripe of land on the highlands only. AS for Western Eritrea, it was never a territory of Abyssinia though there were frequent incursions and invasions, including the Gash were Abyssinian warlords invaded to loot and enslave people. So, how can we describe the history of Eritrea and Ethiopia based on what they are now? When Napier arrived at Zula in 1968, was present Eritrea under Tefros? It was not. When the Portugese expedition of Alvarez arrived in Massawa, there is no mention of Abyssinian authority–but they were going to the Abyssinian king. What was the authority of the Red Sea region of Eritrea? The Naibs who administered the region were not appointed by the Abyssinians because the Scramble for Eritrea has been going on before the Scramble for Africa began. But our region is still suffering by the revisionist history of the Solomonic Dynasty. Massawa was not built by the Italians who just added to it. The Western lowlands had its own rulers and kingdoms, etc

            I think it is futile to claim this or that region was part of this and that region before Ethiopia and Eritrea were created in their present form. They evolved to what they are but were not as they are from eternity.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Saleh,

            I agree with you and my thoughts are exactly the same. Specially since these agazian, Tigray-Tigrini what ever narrative they are using to create confusion and eventually in some form of another going after Eritrea’s sovereign territory. If there is any country in Africa which had its boarder clearly defined, Eritrea is one of them. Italy unlike other European countries did not have much bigger colony they they needed to breakup after second ww.

            I use to think that I am habesha thing as a nothing of harm but, I have changed my stance since and now I just want to be knows as ERITREAN.

            It’s not because I want to create wedge or broke any historical link that we had with some part of Ethiopia / Eritrea but I think it’s good for long term peace that we go our own ways and we should build our unique brand and identity so we can see into the future.

            Just like America / Canada have done, they are not confusing their citizens, sometimes we are British, sometimes French but managed to create unique identity that defined them and that they are proud of.

            Berhe

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Selam SGJ and all,

            Thank you, Saleh for analyzing the issue by taking a rational perspective that put it in proper historical context and which supports its arguments with snippets of historical facts about the region. I totally agree with your arguments and the conclusions that flow from them. It is really puzzling to see some people trying to question or reject “tangible present realities” based on incomplete account of a fading history of a distant past.

            Political History is a dynamic phenomenon which has been undergoing continuous evolutionary change as shaped by the “Local Order” (in ancient times), “Regional Order” (in intermediate eras) and “World Order” (in modern times). People whose political/philosophical thinking is in sync with the progress of Political History live in the Real World. Those who fail to keep pace with its progress, try to dwell in the past or, worse, try to reverse it — Well …, I do not know about them. But, I know that if they choose to continue doing so, it will be at their own peril!

            Incidentally,
            * There was no nation-state called Bangladesh prior to 1971 when it broke away from Pakistan;
            * There was no nation-state called South Sudan prior to 2011 when it split from the Republic of Sudan;

            I say to the reader: Make of that what you will!

            Thank you

          • Paulos

            Selam Berhino,

            You have presented serious scholarly questions and I must admit I am going to have to need more time to address them in sequence if I am up to the task and the challenge that is. Will get back to you. Thanks again for the questions.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear iSem,

            I wanted to comment on your statement,

            “ If we are truly honest, the last 60 years was waste.” I totally disagree with you. The reason I disagree with you is not because we Eritreans didn’t lose a lot and didn’t waste much but, if you understood you correctly, you make it sound like we have a choice.

            You are right, may be done of us have a choice. Speaking for my family, we had a choice (for my father) to move to Ethiopia, establish his business and prosper, and assimilate and become an Ethiopian.

            Others who lives in the city are also made a choice to assimilate, prosper, obey and take orders from the Ethiopians, and willing to have their children thought in Amharic and in the process willing to forgo their eritreanness.

            But for the most majority, they had no choice, their homes burned, the mosque turned into ashes, their language abandoned and leave their homes and villages into exile. They did not have a choice but to fight and like you say fight they did.

            Then Isayas Afeworki come and he was plotting his long plans to mould the struggle to his direction and in the process create civil war that will certainly destroyed the country. The leaders of ELF (as you have told me, saw the danger and wanted to find peaceful solution rather than confront him and in the process destroy the struggle). They may have failed in winning the battle but they have won in the war. Eritrea is free the country is sovereign and Eritreans for the first time have the means to lead their own future by themselves.

            Isayas is one of us, and he is just happen to be the worst in us, and sooner or later, he will go and Eritreans will rebuild what ever is left off.

            The other day, I was listening interview of young ERITREAN lawyer (who lives in Canada) named Awet Haile.

            https://youtu.be/USf9nqHPQiw

            If Eritrea is able to produce such talented, assertive and bright young men and women, with clear vision then it’s worth it.

            Berhe

          • Haile S.

            Selam Horizon, Emma & all,

            Horizon & Emma, allow me to say this on your vivid discussion. Your exchange is at the heart of the problem between the two countries and mimics it to perfection. It is well exemplified by the expression “je t’aime, moi non plus” (I love you, me neither). For the history: the expression is a title of a french ero..c song by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin in 1969 (listen at your own risk), a song condemned and banned, excommunicated in many countries starting with Vatican.

            If we elevate the rhetoric, it only adds to the problem. Eritrea’s regime or its opposition never stopped from inviting Ethiopian regimes directly or indirectly to their internal affairs and Ethiopian regimes will never stop from benefitting as long as a reddish carpet is deployed by one or the other. I believe if Eritreans come in unison and friendly, the solution will be straight forward.

          • Admassie

            Selam Horizon,

            ጉዳዩ “አላህዬ ከሷ ጋር መኖርም ያል እሷ መኖርም ቸገረኝ!” እንዳለው ባል መሆኑ ነው፡፡ አምላኩን አንዴ “ሚስት ስጠኝ ” ብሎ ሲለምነው ሌላ ጊዜ ደግሞ “አረ ወዲያ ውሰድልኝ” ብሎ ሲንገሸገሽ በመጨረሻም ቢቸግረው ግራ መጋባቱን ለአምላኩ የገለጸበት መንገድ ነበር፡፡ እንዲያው ለፈገግታና ለጨዋታ ማዋዣ ያህል አመጣሁት እንጂ ቀልዱ ከሁለቱ ሃገራት ጉዳይ ጋር የሚገናኝ ሆኖ አይደለም፡፡

            I agree with your note that says “How can you explain that ethiopians do not have the confidence to exist without eritrea, when ethiopia has done so over the last three decades without any problem whatsoever.” a reply to Amanueal’s assertion “The problem is with you, Ethiopians.” It would have been better if Amanuel had qualified his assertion with “some Ethiopians”

            First, in my view and in my conviction and with no buts and with no ifs, Eritrea is a sovereign and an independent country! I also believe you have the same view. But there are some Ethiopians, not ordinary but elites, who still are obsessed with the bygone status quo.

            Then, coexisting and peace is a different issue and it depends:
            1. Readiness to move on from the past.
            2. Healing time for our wounds.
            3. Stability and democracy on both countries.
            4. Far sighted policies on both sides.
            5. Avoiding “The enemy of my enemy is …” type of politics by
            politicians of both countries.
            6. Base agreements not to take advantage of one’s
            weakness but to complement and to benefit both sides
            genuinely. Avoid Shylockian agreement!

            Saying so, the current peace deal between both countries could be a relief for breaking the tension on both sides of the border and could help separated families to join, but I do not think it will be more than that.

            1. It was said the border was the main contention for both, but
            there is no sign of negotiation so far.
            2. Trade was also an issue. Again there is no sign about it.
            3. Port is the one and the most important agreement issue for
            Ethiopia. Can Ethiopia seal this agreement with the current
            regime of Eritrea comfortably?

        • Teodros Alem

          selam aman h
          there is a saying in ethiopia “afu aymotem”, meaning, “regardless,his mouth never day”
          1, what do u mean by the divorce? If u mean eri independence from ethiopia? I don’t know how u r so late to figure out this but the independence is real.
          2, ethiopians r not the one coming to eritrea to work and live in a refugee camps in eritrea, it is u the one coming to ethiopia to live as a refugees and work.
          3, ethiopia don’t want forceful or unforced marriage with eritrea. but since eri and ethio r neighbors, what 3A is doing right now is based on ethiopia interest, a very careful and minimal relationship to create peace in the region.

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Selam Horizon,

        I read your comments with interest, and here are my views on them. Having came into the discussion rather late, I see that you have posted additional comments where you argue more or less the same points in the same vein as in the first comment. As such, my views pertain to those follow-up comments of yours as well.

        1. Tell you what – As an Ethiopian you, of course, would be unable to influence events and decisions in Eritrea even in theory. So, forget about Eritrea and Eritreans for now and — given your express unhappiness about the present state of affairs between the two countries — push yourself to work vigorously and get your government to agree to “have nothing to do” with Eritrea. That will certainly provide an answer to your “one million dollars question.”

        I say this because, judging from your writing, you seem to be fixated exclusively on two extreme possible scenarios: (i) “living together” (as you put it) or else (ii) “having nothing to do with each other.” Rational minds would certainly envision other relationships (intermediate between these extremes) the two countries could possibly engage in by mutual consent and for mutual benefit. Opening yourself up to this kind of alternative thinking would perhaps have helped you resolve the “riddle” that seems to be bothering you so much

        Incidentally, I honestly do not know what it would take — beyond what has already been DONE — to convince people that there is no way in hell that the Eritrean people would ever waste a single minute of their time “thinking” about the so-called “living together” notion; not even in amazement at how more awfully dumb a notion could get!

        2. I am not quite sure I understand your characterization of the present relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia as “unnatural, impractical.” As for the “suspicion” that you attributed to that relationship, I believe suspicion has always come from the Eritrean side since Ethiopia/Ethiopians have no basis to be suspicious of anything Eritrean. (If there is any such basis that I am not aware of, please bring it up and I would be happy to study it with an open mind and learn from it.)

        But it is important to note that suspicion will be eradicated from Eritrean minds only on one condition: When ALL major segments of the Ethiopian population feel genuinely grateful for the abundance (in human and material resources) with which their country has been blessed, AND when they ALL cease eyeing enviously and with malicious intent whatever little their smaller and weaker neighbors possess. That will be the day when genuine and lasting peace will dawn in the region!

        3. In your comment you alluded to the “hundreds of thousands of eritreans [who] live in ethiopia” in a manner that seems to ascribe opportunistic/exploitative political motive to their migration — as if these desperate refugees had the luxury of choosing destinations other than trekking to the nearest of their neighboring countries of Ethiopia and the Sudan. You also disingenuously tried to use the misfortune of the refugees as a factor to label the status quo, i.e., Eritrea’s independent existence, as being problematic — This “is not a solution,” you say emphatically! It is shockingly frightening that your zeal for making sweeping accusations against Eritreans, albeit often implicitly, does not spare even the most downtrodden groups among them.

        Migration and the issue of refugees is a modern-day plague — social, political, economic, military in origin — that afflicts every country and every society in the Horn in particular, and the wider African continent in general. Yes, there are “hundreds of thousands of Eritrean refugees” living in Ethiopia and even larger numbers in other countries of the region. A news report released by UNHCR about 6 months ago indicated that Ethiopian refugee population in the Sudan has hit the 2-million mark (not to mention those in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia). There are more Sudanese refugees in Chad than there are Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, etc., etc. Go visit legitimate online international sources for global statistics on refugees.

        To people of conscience, the refugee crisis is a heart-wrenching human tragedy which should evoke sympathy for the multitudes of its victims and should inspire everyone to apply pressure on their respective governments — through appeals, petitions, protests, rallies, etc. — to make a serious effort to address this grave international menace. So, to try to use (as you did) this calamity as a weapon for putting down a people is unconscionable, to say the least.

        Thank you

        • Selam Yohannes Zerai,

          When almost half of the discussion concerns ethiopia, there should be no complaint when an ethiopian is forced to discuss eritrea from the same thread.
          Eritreans can and should live and work in ethiopia. Nevertheless, why should it be anathema when ethiopia wants to do business with eritrea? When hundreds of thousand live in ethiopia and every rapprochement between ethiopia and eritrea is demonized and disapproved as anti-eritrean by some eritrean elites in the diaspora, it is difficult to explain. These people (refugees) can’t continue to live in limbo. They have families and future, and when they are not known by their government and the government of the host country as well, and have no rights, why should one block the way by opposing everything between ethiopia and eritrea that may change the situation?
          Ethiopians are not exploiting the situation of eritreans, only that some diaspora eritreans do not seem to feel their plight, and they are accusing ethiopia for whatever she does that may improve the lives of refugees.
          When one talks of having nothing to do with the other, one should not forget that the same holds true from the other side. Either there will be mutual relations of give and take, of mutual benefit, or no relations at all, if any relations is going to have any meaning now or in the future.
          When peace agreement or any other economic and people to people rapprochement are said to be a problem and are seen with suspicion, what else is there as the alternative way. The point is that one should not have in mind only the land, but the people as well. Eritreans go to ethiopia and diaspora eritreans do the same thing, and the rhetoric, we will have no relation unless under our terms, simply doesn’t stand. If one wants relations, one should come with an open mind.
          I don’t understand why ethiopia sees enviously and maliciously anything that has to do with eritrea. Whatever both countries have will be supplementary to each other, if they want to work together and make the best out of them. If ethiopia doesn’t have something and eritrea doesn’t want to cooperate, the world is an open market, and there is somebody else ready to provide the service and get the benefits for it. There is no problem with that.
          Independent and functioning eritrea is important for ethiopia. The problem is when any rapprochement ethiopia tries to undertake is met with outright disapproval, as if no benefit but only loss will come for eritrea out of it.
          Of course, there are ethiopian migrants all over the world. The point is that they have a country they can return to. In addition, they are not opposed to every relations ethiopia may have with all her neighbors, especially today. The worst thing is when something however small it maybe that could improve the fate and life of refugees is blindly opposed for the sake of politics.

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Selam Horizon,

            Thank you for getting back to me.

            The introduction to your rejoinder insinuates that there have been unspecified objections to (or complaints about) your commenting on Eritrea. I do not believe that any such protestations have been sent your way, certainly not on my account. It goes without saying that you are free to discuss and even criticize Eritrea all you want. It is a right that you (or anyone else) are entitled to and may exercise as they see fit. But when you do so, you are expected to be factual with your arguments and to put your emotions and subjective wishes aside if others are to engage you in discussion.

            All your comments on this forum that I have had the chance to read — and, believe me, I have read quite a few — are persistently and boringly critical of the Eritrean people or segments thereof: Eritreans (in general), Eritreans in the diaspora, Eritreans living in Ethiopia, Eritrean refugees, Eritrean elites, etc. In contrast, I do not remember reading you voicing any criticism of the leaders/governments (both Eritrean and Ethiopian) OR expressing concerns about the inconsistencies, irregularities and illegalities in their actions and policies which are primarily responsible for the messy problems that people are writing about.

            I do not claim to be speaking in any capacity other than on my own behalf, but it is my understanding that the issues I just outlined are the very ones at the center of objections raised by the majority of Eritreans. And it is these objections that you erroneously claim are directed against the people or the country of Ethiopia. No, they are not at all about the Ethiopian people or the Ethiopian nation! You may not want to admit it, but the Eritrean objectors you speak of are very clear and focused as to who the target of their objections are. It is the two leaders and the reactionary, revisionist, expansionist elements of the Ethiopian society who have been emboldened by the dou’s political flirtations to try to revive old dreams of turning back the clock on the history of Eritrea-Ethiopia relations!

            One can legitimately speak or write at length about problems and complications of the governments’ own making which have thrown the future relationship between the two countries into a state of grim uncertainty. But, for now, it suffices to leave you with a couple of factual observations. From its inception, the Eritrea-Ethiopia rapprochement which has been teetering on the verge of collapse was heavily influenced by the national agendas of Middle Eastern powers and was further complicated by the hidden ambitions of the two leaders. The agreement they signed is personal and conspiratorial in nature which neither involved nor was revealed to the Eritrean and Ethioian peoples. Thus, not only is the rapprochement warped for the above reasons, but it has so far failed to implement the very “agreements” on which it is based. No one thinks that it is the Ethiopian people (or Eritrean people) who should withdraw occupying troops from Badme or open the closed border-crossings between the two countries — if you see what I mean.

            Finally, let me point out this: One must really think of Eritreans as being devoid of any sense of national (and even personal) responsibility if one were to expect them not to object to these disturbing conditions that are decidedly detrimental to their interests and those of their people and country.

            Thank you

  • Paulos

    Selam AT,

    Very true, all the props to Jano Band for not only rocking Massawa but for daring Isaias and his useless lackeys when the lyrics were coded with the message of “ይኣክል” and “ጸልማት ክቕንጠጥ’ዩ ኣጆኻ ኣይትታሓለል!”

    • Teodros Alem

      selam paulos
      I don’t know it is just me or everybody else but most of the music lyrics that they selected to play looks like coded with a message, hamelemal music, the arabic music, the guy that song “anger letbela yedeha neger”. can u translate the one that u wrote in tigragn, next to ” yeakel,?

  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,

    Keren shall remain the Keren it has ever been. Hot bed of resistance whenever the need be – and the need avails itself when the ill-intended think and decide to test the waters of Eritrean patriotism and try to pass through Keren’s Giro Fiori. The young boy who portrayed what Keren was in the past, would for sure be emulated by one who shall portray what Keren is today (will be if need be).