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It Feels Like Yesterday: It Is All Time’s Fault

In different parts of Eritrea some call it gizie, some call it hmmet, ewan, zemen, and some even call it kunetat. They are all talking about the mighty Time. In Tigrinya lexicon it seems everything is the fault of Time, everyone picks on it. Poor Time!

“Time, you have changed on me, I cannot tread on the ground with confidence, you have rendered me a refugee, devoid of dignity, whose opinion does not matter, unable to accomplish the dreams of my heart, I walk with a stooped head, weak and lamenting, unelectable and with no right to vote, I will question you Time, answer me: why did you strip my pride, love and serenity away?” These are Yemane Baria’s words from the lyrics of his song, Zemen, which was popular during the tumultuous eighties. Yemane blames everything on Time, even the betrayals, and the desertification of the once green pastures of his country.

During the brutal Ethiopian reign, when people talked about the atrocities that the Ethiopians were committing, older people with tears welling up in their eyes and their voices cracking, would cryptically refer to the Ethiopians as ezom seb gizie, the people of the day. They were alluding to the temporal nature of the power that the criminals of the day wielded. In direct contradiction to the fickleness of Time, some named their children Gizie. Several Tigrinya singers have also crooned about Time, mostly decrying it for failing to be on the side of the oppressed, the weak and the sick, begging it to do its magic, reminding it that even the mighty Time has limited time. But the latest song about time by Tesfaalem Arefaine (Korchach), “gizie tezerab”, Time, speak up, takes the blame that has been lodged against Time for ages to a different level; Korchach actually accuses Time for its deafening silence. In it, he implores Time to stand up for itself, lest the blame of Time becomes entrenched, he says.

Korchach criticizes Time for its silence on the face of the onslaught; your name has been tarnished, come out of the closet to defend your name, he challenges. Then he relishes the most obvious of things and tells Time that man is the shrewdest creature, ever. He opined that everyone blames Time for every crime. He dares Time to stand up for itself, to deny the allegations lodged against it and deny people the opportunity to make its name the excuse for their thriftiness, crime and decadence. Time, roll your sleeves to clear your good name. Speak up, Time, come on to the open! He danced to his song, he also danced around the issue, conveniently averting those who ought to be dared, blamed and challenged for their deafening silence when their names are being tarnished, their future squandered, and their pristine history blemished.

When you complain about the situation in Eritrea, PFDJ, the repressive ruling party, and its supporters are fond of replying, “This, Too Shall Pass”, echoing the words of some wise men somewhere in the Orient. Myth has it that an Emperor tasked his advisors to give him a phrase, an aphorism, a proverb that will always hold true.  The wise men, pulled all-nighters and huddled to solve the riddle and they came up with, “This, Too Shall Pass”, but many Eritreans believe that it was first said in the Eritrean field! Yemane Ghebreab of PFDJ, in his last appearance in the 10th anniversary of the founding of YPFDJ, reminisced about an old patriotic song that played just before he ascended the podium. With discernable nostalgia he mentioned that they danced to that song when he and his comrade Girma Asmerom worked in the information department. He also teased ambassador Hanna by remembering that she only danced to the song at night. Then quickly added, “it feels like yesterday”. For him time has stopped, he has not felt it, time has not passed. As long he is free, dinning and winening, talking to the fresh faced girls in his YPFDJ outfit, dallying the easy ones, and flying to the finest cities of the globe, it will always feel like yesterday, Time will fly by. But to his former colleagues in the prisons of the PFDJ and in the dungeons of Ella-Ero, it will feel like eternity when they suffer under the heavy shackles that Yemane and his comrades have put on them. PFDJ is forgetting their favorite saying–“This, Too Shall Pass” is universal in its application, both good and bad times, pass.

Along with Time, the month of January is often blamed for all crazy occurrences, “January the crazy” goes the cliché. The Italians say, “Marzo e’ Pazzo”, that March is crazy for its erratic weather, the Sudanese also complain about the heat of the month of May, but the Eritrean blame of January for everything crazy that happens in the month, is misplaced; January is the month of bounty, of beauty, of generosity, of weddings and of celebrations. When the gloomy and dreary rainy season ushers in the harvest, people enjoy their toil, they play, dance, marry and copulate, yet if someone does something wacky, it is the fault of January the “crazy”. I think the old saying of “blemlem daas, bkebero leggas…” should be replaced with “blemlem daas bTirri leggas…” to pay tribute to the generosity and bounty of January.

When the Forto incident of 2013 failed, even my friend Semere Habtemariam, one of the Deans of Tigrinya, penned a poem attributing the demise of a dream to the month of crazy January. I teased him about it, then in October, 2013 after the Lampedusa tragedy, after the PFDJ called the 400 Eritrean youth who perished in the ship wreck “some African migrants”, an Eritrean artist wrote a poem, more of a rhyming lament, and said, “ayye TV-Eri, afriqawiyyan do elikiyom….”, Oh, Eritrean television, how dare you call them illegal African migrants! I am disgusted and ashamed by your patronizing,” he told the department of information. Our artist was disgusted by the words that the bunch of wires, bits and bytes amplified. He danced around it, he did not say PFDJ called the poor souls African migrants, according to him the Eritrean Television did.

Speaking of the YPFDJ, the gathering of mostly Diaspora born and raised young Eritreans, usually the young are the agents of change by virtue of their propensity to embrace radical, daunting ideas. It was the youth movements that inflamed the spark of the Eritrean desire for independence, but YPFDJ in its ten-years life, has acted as a surrogate to the PFDJ and has become the subservient of despotism, corruption, murder and rape that the international community has documented and that Eritreans have witnessed. The YPDJ only has the veneer of the genuine and idealistic Eritrean student and youth moments of the eighties. The speakers of the YPFD donned Jallabiya and Sderiyya, even a young woman went out of her way to swaddle herself in a colorful “lewyet”, a not so sublet attempt to send a message of inclusiveness, opting for the decorative instead of the substantive. The guys and gals, the lads and lassies of the YPFDJ grew their hair to mimic those of the genuine youth and student movements and freedom fighters of generations earlier. The youth of the eighties did not grow their hair to mimic the freedom fighters, or to pretend that they were equal to the freedom fighters in the trenches, they grew it because it was the fashion of the time. The youth of the eighties did not wear the shidda to pretend they were fighters; they wore it because that was what they could afford in the Sudan.

The YPFDJ mimicry did not stop at the head and the feet, they invited the chairman of PFDJ’s almost defunct student and youth union, and in a typical PFDJ style, he had a Muslim name, Saleh Ahmedin and he is neither a student nor a youth, he is a middle-aged man, yet he heads a student and a youth union. So was Yousef Sayiq, so was Amin Hassan, so was Muhyeddin Shengeb, so was Sultan Saeed and so is Saleh Ahmeddin. All Muslims, all middle aged, all non-students, all subservient to PFDJ/EPLF and all not advocates of the youth issue and the future of the country.

About Semere Andom

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  • AMAN

    Dear Awates
    This forum of yours brings me more confusion than information.
    Actually has been so ever for long…though I used to choose to
    When I expect information, all it brings me is history.
    And I had been only motivated by my material and spiritual world
    values and experiences when I tried to share what I can. Sometimes
    beyond my ability. But one can’t not simply turn away and ignore when
    he/her sees such a situation where people and their politics is heading
    in the wrong direction. One has to take the helm to be in the frontline
    whether he was the chosen capable in scholastic and political shinning
    resume or not .
    So did what I can and didn’t what I can not. Every human being has his
    And for reasons unknown yet to me , there was a lot of vilifications and
    smear for stepping up to do the job and show devotion to sacrifice often
    to the benefit of the many others.
    To the extent that you bared me for 2 weeks for such a trivial reason.
    Which actually turned out to me as a Blessing In Disguise and gave me
    two whole weeks time to reflect on the whole discussions we exchanged
    and conducted at Awate forum.
    And I am so happy to tell you and break the news that I have been able
    and blessed to identify all the facts and merits of our discussion in retrospect.
    And so happy and proud at my service to my people and country contrary to
    what the defamers wanted out of me and wanted me to be.
    But now, since I found that two weeks bar inappropriate and of trivial reasoning
    to silence and dim the flame of free spirit of me, How about now in my turn also
    give you a two weeks bar and boycott that ends in April 18, 2016……12:00 PST.
    Sorry for the action / punishment but it has to be done. I do not take injustice
    lightly or I neither condone or conform it.
    Also , I have found it so offensive or offending some people who think they are
    the ultimate heroes at this site while they do not know it that they are quite the
    opposite of their magnified imaginations of themselves or may be cowards see
    artists and aspiring artists as genders of the opposite gender and call them with
    so many insulting names and portray them with the opposite gender for their
    original identity just because they used their artistry profession to serve their
    people. Some people here hiding behind the screen had been calling us
    inappropriate vilifying names , and it is my turn now to call them and show it to
    readers who they really are and not what they think or imagine they are.
    So are you telling us that Yemane Baria was a guy for his laments and lamenting
    songs expressing them freely from his hearts………………………that is just what
    others tried to do to.
    And for issue of my English Language proficiency and edition I will come back later
    Thank you
    for your forum.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam AMAN,
      Well AMAN, sometimes you give me a whiplash.
      Now, to the point, since you are going to be out till April 18, 2016….12:00 PST, I decided to use your space for my column.
      I read Semere A. and Horizon’s posts and was about to interject. However, since I don’t need a response, your absence for the next couple of weeks was a slam dunk. Here it is:
      From where I sit and with a 100% hindsight benefit, I put the blame for all the tragedy and trauma that the Eritrean people went through for generations and are going through with no end in sight squarely on all the supporters and participants of the Ghedli.
      The righteous Eritreans who made the gallant effort to stop Ghedli from going through with its plans, against all odds, were hunted down and whipped out mercilessly. Those were the unsung heroes, in my book. They fought for the wellbeing of their people and lost. They were right in my opinion with hindsight but failed in their effort and paid the ultimate price.
      (BTW: TPLF had the right and the guns at the same time…But made a different and wise decision for their people.)
      That was not all., the participants and builders of Gehdli came in all forms with various strands of approaches to achieve their goal. The aggregate contributions of all the participants big and small achieved the goal of independence. (leave outsiders for a minute)
      The prominent awatistas ,Amanuel Hidrat, Muhamed Saleh and others claim this fact to be their proudest achievement in life, the birth of their country, fair enough. In the same breath, however, they disavow all the negative accompanying events of the Gehdli.
      The current status is the result of ‘hijacking’ they pronounce, even though the same leader they were serving in different capacities is still the undisputed leader of the country.
      They in effect are saying all the positive results of the revolution are theirs while the negative results from the same Gehdli belong to others, like PIA and co.
      In a very recent article of Awate of a testimonial of a blind ex-prisoner, the big point of contention was whether he said he drove the car or not. It is pathetic. It is also pathetic when participants claim the glory of independence to themselves and assign the negative results that came with independence to others. I have no problem with those who claim the good with the bad to atone. In fact there are some folks who weighted the good and the bad, claiming the bad out weights the good.
      It is good these folks, though very few, are out there. Their statements are looked at as a heresy. That little flickering light needs to keep shining so that truth is not wiped out.
      Whatever big or small contribution one made to the realization of Gehdli bears the responsibility to some varying degrees. Trying to wash ones hands as if you have no hand in it is a denial of biblical proportions.
      All of this is an attempt to point out the error in perception and understanding. On balance it is irrelevant now. However, unless realty and truth dictate our future thoughts and actions, some fantasy land solutions might even usher in harder times for all of us.
      Mr. K.H

      • Haile WM

        Greetings Mr Kim Hanna,

        are you telling me Ghedli is responsible of the current regime mistakes ? this seems to me a gross
        selective generalization. I mean Ghedli is a wide and general term, it means roughly “revolution”.

        you say:
        “Whatever big or small contribution one made to the realization of Gehdli
        bears the responsibility to some varying degrees. Trying to wash ones
        hands as if you have no hand in it is a denial of biblical proportions.”

        does that include TPLF and Meles Zenawi ? they contributed in many ways to eritrean Ghedli.
        TPLF waged their own Ghedli (tagay new yemialew?) I am just curious how you see TPLF’s Ghedli.

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Haile WM,

          May be I was too naive, may be i was too young but since 2001, I have stopped believing anything

          • Haile WM

            greetings Berhe Y,

            I think you are giving too much credit to IA, We have to admit he is cunning but not all capable.
            his main achievement was to align his personal goals with that of the front, which he didn’t create, but was part of. we all know how it went. Eritrean aspirations were much earlier than his entrance in the scene.
            The salient fact about IA and his leadership skills is that it was fit for a guerrilla movement, shrewd, overbearing, imposing, cunning. He couldn’t transform to a statesman because that required accountability, tolerance, nation/state vision all of which IA doesn’t posses.
            But we also as people have failed to restrain his growing power hunger, especially after independence.
            Each of the incidents you listed above what was the reaction of the people at large ? the people were siding with those who were wronged ?
            I remember each of the incidents the people were supporting IA, each time justifying his overbearing intollerant attitudes, glossing over his criminal deeds. He was testing the people and how we would react. We failed miserably and now we are paying for it. still to this date, many continue to justify his actions.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear HWM,

            I am not giving him credit for Eritrean liberation, I am sure that’s all done by others and he has no part in it. He was in charge of money, security (as in arresting / spying people and Halewa Sewra), and (eliminating and killing) Eritreans, and recruiting hit man.

            I really do not believe he really had anything to do with Eritrean independence at all.

            But I think he was in full control even when they were EPLF as far as the leadership goes, total control. If not how do you explain this from Don Connell with regards to the interview?

            “The interviews were done with full expectation they’d be published. In fact, as the situation in Asmara got more and more tense, Haile, Petros and the others made an effort to get more on the record before they were arrested, as they expected to be.”

            If he had no control, why would they be waiting for him until they get arrested. I don’t think that’s

          • Haile WM

            Selamat Berhe

            He wasn’t even in charge of finance. It was Ermias Debesay who had all the finance and economics of the front, IA was busy spending that money for his fun. Ermias was later jailed for embezzlement and sentenced in the kangaroo court called “special court”.
            IA was in charge of the secret party, the EPRP, and effectively he was in charge of security and as the shadow man behind the EPLF leader until 1987.
            His abilities are not fit to be president let alone be and absolute monarch. But I think this will be a lesson to our people, not to give to much admiration and adoration to a single man.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear HWM,

            I am not suggesting that he was in charge of the daily activities of raising money, or that its regular spending or counting. Ermias may as well be in charge for that, but who did Ermias have to report to?

            Who was authorizing the money of the front and how it was used? Did Isayas Afeworki needs to ask permission in how he wants to spend the money or is it vice versa (as you indicated he was spending it). I think Ermias reported to Isayas and the secret party, thus Isayas was in charge. The same way Hagos Kisha is in charge of PFDJ finances (day to day) operations but untimely, Isayas is in charge of that, Hagos reports to him.

            I don’t know if you remember but we he come to the US in 1993, he had a meeting with the public in DC. There was question and answer period.

            Hagos Kisha was seating beside him, I think he was head of EPLF in DC at the time. Part of the meeting was fund raising. An older women asks question, we would like to donate but we don’t know where our money goes, she was going around the bush but was telling him we don’t trust Hagos Kisha (she didn’t singled him out). So the president says, ezom beal Hagos diyom, she says YES. The public goes into laugher and she gets loudest applause (basically in agreement with her). He says we will fix it.

            A year later, he promotes Hagos and makes him in charge of PFDJ.

            If this is NOT total control of the front, the party and the government what do you call that.

            Only he can pull that kind of stunt and gets away with it. I believe he did that all along through out the history of the party including during EPLF.


        • Kim Hanna

          Selam Haile WM,
          “..does it include TPLF and Meles Zenawi ?”
          Of course it does. Now if you go too far I might have to corral you back, but contribution to a goal, some small, some big, is still a contribution.
          I think you understand what I am saying, because the quote you picked pretty much says it all.
          An illustration:
          At the age of 40 you decide to open your own business with all your life savings and 401 K money. It is a big gamble. You assemble employees, business is open and you work for many years, say 25 years, 10 to 14 hours a day. At the end:
          Result #1 You become a millionaire.
          Let us skip the in between.
          Result #2 You become very poor.
          In both cases, with all the lucky or unlucky breaks, and the good and the bad decisions you have made the result is the determining factor.
          Once the decision is made to launch the business, the positive contributions employees make, the stumbling blocks other people might put on your way is part of the game. The known unknowns and the unknown unknowns, so to speak, at least should have been thought of and considered at the beginning, because at the end what matters is the result.
          You become a millionaire, you get the credit.
          You become a destitute, you get the blame. The accountability is all yours.
          BTW: TPLF is a millionaire, isn’t it? oops, a little dawitism is showing.
          I know I have gone into the weeds here but…, I just hope someone like Gheteb wouldn’t come up to say that …’money isn’t everything !’.
          Mr. K.H

          • Haile WM

            Selam Kim Hanna,

            I don’t like extremes, as most of the time they lead to extremisms 🙂
            between becoming a destitute and a millionaire lays the whole world… But I think I get your analogy.
            the only part i don’t really catch is the final result that matters… is it final and binding ? (I hope the PFDJista don’t get exited… it has all other intent here 🙂 ) I mean we didn’t frame a time table from which we would analyse results and set them as final result.
            Today we for sure have IA, and I agree with you it’s not what we dreamed for, but IA will be gone sooner or later… the main question, then, will be: have we and all the neighbourhood (the contributors) have we learned our lessons ? I say hardly we ever learn our lessons in this part of the world.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam and good health to myself,
            Addendum!, where did I hear that word before.
            I re-read my above post. It was not as clear as I thought it was at the time.
            Keep in mind the “business” is the “revolution or Gehdli”.
            The owner or owners are the leaders and participants.
            I hope that makes it clearer and no other addendum is needed.
            Mr. K.H

  • ghezaehagos

    Dear Semere, le Magnifique et al,
    Sal, mentioned among others, Yohanes wedi Tikabo’s possibly most known song, “Zemen.” Last fall, he sung it in Winnipeg, and did a little a speech after he was given a small gift, an amalgamated photo of Barya, “Singer of Zemen song and lead singer of Zemen band” and Amanuel Asrat editor of “Zemen” newspaper and friend of the recipient. Not much of a stage-talker, Yohannes said, ” N’ZeMen Kinseero alena atum sebat..” His version of Zemen seems that people make their own history and it is up to us to prevail. A stark contrast to our most intractable drawback in our psyche: that we are too, too FATALISTIC.
    Mentioning Barya and Zemen from SA, reminded me of what I wrote in 2009. Please allow me to print an excerpt from it…
    “The Rock Star of that ‘Zemen’

    Barya is heavily associated with the word ‘Zemen’. He has a mysterious bond with it. His band was called ‘Zemen’. It is the name of one of his most popular songs which critics laud for its harmony and its haunting lyrics. His son was named Zemen. What is Zemen? Or more germane, what is it for Barya?

    I assume it meant some embodiment of all powers that humans wants to embrace and/or fight against…it is time, ages,
    destiny, fate…God. When you hear that song ‘Zemen’, you see a mere mortal, a human conversing with some supernatural being about his fate, his life. “K’hatekaye Ane Mel’sely Zemen/ Nmntay Keliekani sinit Fikir Haben…” I have no competence to exhaust the details of the song here. I sometimes relate it to the book of Job. Both sufferers of
    the windmills of gods confront their deities face to face like in a Greek tragedy. Grudgingly bypassing their complaints, their wounds, their humiliations, they try to find some solace, some meaning, some future.

    “Zemen”, in spite of its mournful melody and downer lyrics, actually ends on a bright, optimistic note. Like “Zemtse Yimtsa’e Zegaunfeni, Yik’Elo iye anes Haftey Kem Zihabeni” (Whatever happens to me, I am going to survive it),
    ‘Zemen’ too highlights Barya’s innate optimism and belief that all obstacles pass as history, as records. They do crush in face of indomitable human spirit.

    Thing is Barya’s brand of optimism is quite different than say the fiery in-your-face optimism of Abraham Afewerki. Barya’s is more subdued, more substantive, with a tint sorrow. Him, looking a man of sorrows, has a subdued tone that consoles the aggrieved heart. “Zemen,” thus, ends with quite nonetheless certain acknowledgment the unchangeable axiom: “Sened Ika Zemen Mezgeb Temekuro/ N’kunetat Tmali Lomi T’kyiro…” That is the saga of Zemen. Everything and everybody comes to pass to history; Make sure you leave good and noble.”

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Semere A.
    My comment will have nothing to do with your article but I think what Yohannes was talking about in his last article, “Eritrea Asks: Are You Sure You Care Enough?”

    “I can’t stop asking myself how serious are we when we say we are serious about change while many questions remain unanswered, in spite of the endless empty rhetoric of general statements that occupy a large cyber space. Why is the very important time parameter in the equation of that change totally missing? What is the change we need? Why? How urgently? How desperately? With what plans and strategies? Questions not so many bother to ask any more without the fear of sounding mundane.”

    You see, when I read this article, I can’t see any reason it’s relevance in the on going discussion that we were having with regards to Mahammed Video testimony and how we can use to rally people and expose this barbaric regime.

    You come up with this “spoiler” article, in my opinion just an intellectual exercise but has absolutely no value in addressing the brutality of the regime and, divert all the attention and energy of everyone and focus on your article. In the same light that I see, the long response that were coming from Gheteb, dawit or Nitricc where everyone were spending their time and energy responding to them…For them I know it’s a strategy when T.T. and Tes and others start talking about law suits but for you and few others, it has nothing to do with the article.

    For all I know you may have been planning this article for a while and I admire your talents, sometimes I feel like we are just spinning around without no end in sight.

    To me if you ask me, what we can do next with the testimony of Mohammed:

    1) To find a way to send them him message of appreciation and condolences, so he stays positive and have some hope to help him move forward.
    2) Sal mentioned, if subtitle can be inserted into the video and so it can be available to a wider audience (like the CoI, like media outlets)
    3) Create a campaign page to create awareness and send it all media outlets like the BBC Africa, CBC, EU, AU, US and other governments who are supporting the regime.
    4) No body is good in everything but some of us are good in few things..may be you are good in translating and other may be good at editing the video and others good are contacting the media etc…


    • Lamek

      Dear Berhe,

      I was asking the same thing to myself. It was an interesting read and I started commenting but I got distracted and read your comment a little later.

      The difference between PFDJ and all of us combined together is that PFDJ is all about action, of course never good action. They never stop weaving a way out or going on the offensive. They work day and night to discredit the UN, AU, the opposition, the USA, and the Ethiopian Govt. They take no break.

      That’s what sustained them thus far. But what do we do? We are talking about meetings in Nairobi or Addis. What Andeberhan did to someone else. What’s the best song, what does time mean, etc.

      Way too many abstract things and we rarely reach the people who can barely read and write. Elitist! That’s is a big weakness.

      I posted an excerpt last night from a Facebook page of someone reporting groundbreaking information from Eritrea detailing PFDJ’s plans for the foreseeable future. Nobody bothered to read or comment upon. He has given us PFDJ’s formula for the next few months and it’s upto us to fight them wherever we are.

      Yohannes’s question is very important and timely. The elites of this website are not seriously seeking for change. It’s a hobby of writing beautifully. It’s very sad. People here have refused to show an urgency to the suffering of Eritreans and that is the main reason why opposition has gained no respect whatsoever from the average Eritreans.

      • dawit

        Selamat Lamek and Berhe,
        I share your agony about the opposition, people without plan except blaming and insulting PFDJ at every chance they got, hiding GoE achievements and exaggerating their mistakes . That is why I urge you to join the action oriented PFDJ rather than wasting you time valuable time courting the opposition dead end strategies . For better or worst GoE is doing something to change the lives of ordinary Eritreans.
        Lamek I read the article you published from Facebook twice and I am studying it before I respond to it. Actually I found it relevant informing us what is planned to fight the enemies of Eritrea. Thank you for making it available here for all concerned.
        **Forget opposition, think about Cooperation.

      • saay7

        Selamat Lamek and Berhe Y:

        I respectfully disagree, and here’s why. In the field of pedagogy, there is a lot of research focused on how to teach (deliver new information) to a complex machine known as human. This then branches off into various studies of learning styles–how, for example, some people are visual (they have to see) and some are auditory (they have to hear)…to remember the information. The whole premise of TED Talks, for example, is that the human mind is incapable of retaining information for more than 21 minutes.

        Now, let’s demonstrate it here and tie it to the news you presented from Saktism.

        The first thing someone will say when they see Saktism is, what is that? “Sakt” has an Arabic meaning and an “Asmarino Arabic” meaning, and the two are different. If, an Asmarino says, “Sakt iyu bejaKha”, it means “it is meaningless.” So, if the person who had created the facebook page and sharing what appears to be insider and credible information paid attention to language (as Semere A is trying to do here), he wouldn’t have called his page “Saktism”: the study of frivolous things.

        Second, you will see an overlap between what Saktism wrote and Semere A wrote on one subject: YPFDJ. Semere A talks about the institutional defect of YPFDJ and Saktism says that the PFDJ is trying to do something about it. Someone reading both Semere A and Saktism would find the two very complementary to one another.

        Third, this is something I was trying to not to say to Yohannes Abraham and his article “Eritrea asks…” Well, whom is Eritrea asking this question? Are there some Eritreans whose jobs is to do and others to remind others to do? Instead of Berhe Y criticizing Semere A to do, he (Berhe Y) can do. Instead of Yohannes taking a year to reply to something I wrote in March 2015, he can do something. It is all a voluntary task. It so happens I was translating the piece you mentioned (Saktism); it so happens the day Yohannes wrote his piece I was trying to co-ordinate which you will hear about soon. But it also happens that Eritreans are so sick of “politics” you must sometimes find ways to deliver it—in a way that is palatable, and here is why:

        The take away from Saktism is that despite their domination of mass media in Eritrea, despite their campaign of intimidation and coersion in the Diaspora, the PFDJ is saying we are losing and losing badly and we should change our strategy. And all the “we must treat this as top secret” found itself in FB pages, essentially proving to them that they are still losing. This is because their approach to things–ordering people–has a limited return and is not sustainable forever, especially if it is one based on lies. For example, the one that they brag about, how they tricked the Danish Immigration Service, is falling apart because the media (including Aljazeera) is interviewing the members of Eritrean exodus.

        My position is and was that the most that we in Europe and the US can do is to create a dynamic and effective civil society that is a real Eritrean American Society that attempts to affect our host countries policies towards Eritrea by making its admission into the family of nations conditional on its abandonment of barbarism. This civil society must be completely independent of political organizations–new and old–because it is when you have people with overlapping responsibilities that paralysis and splintering occurs. I have also said, many times, that I (for a dozen reasons) am not the person to lead this organization but would be very happy to be its member and to contribute.

        If we don’t like the reality of Eritrean opposition, let’s re-create it.


        • Atsn’haley


          Regarding the choice of ‘Sactism’, of course only the owner of the facebook page can tell us for sure, but my understanding was that in saying ‘sactism’ s/he was referring to pfdj’s ideology as being sacit. It is more clear in the tigrigna name of the page – ሳክቲዝም: ህግደፋዊ ናይ ጥፍኣት ስነ-ሓሳብ- the ‘: (kilte netbi)’ after the word ‘sactism’ indicate what is coming after it is the definition of ‘sactism’ i.e., pfdj’s useless/hopeless/meaningless ideology (which is cataclysmic). This is kind of accurate, IMHO, because if you ask anyone (even the so called silent majority) about pfdj, the first response you get is ‘kila sakit eyom eziom..’.

          Just a minor observation…


          • saay7

            Hey Atsn’haley:

            Between you and me, I have always thought that “Sactism” is our own Haile The Great. If you are a Haile, you don’t just disappear–specially with that size of brain and connection/knowledge of the inner workings of Dukan hgdef.

            I am going to try to confirm what is reported by Sactism, which, on the surface, sounds entirely credible, with my own sources; if/when I do, then the PFDJ has given us their roadmap: I will translate and disseminate with our English-reading audience, including the Mzungus whom the PFDJ is strategizing to hoodwink.

            You made excellent points, btw.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            You have a good guess and observation on “Atsn’haley”. The writing styles and the “avatar” clearly belong to our own Haile-TG**.

            ** Come on Hailat you are badly missed. Here was the front of your battles you exposed the useless PFDJ ideology or “ህግደፋዊ ናይ ጥፍኣት ስነ-ሓሳብ.” Your knowledge and the style of your fight is indispensable in the last push of the regime.

            Senay Mishet
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Lamek

            Hi Emma. Great comment but I am hoping Gheteb is not following the thread because he will chew you otherwise.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Lamek,

            A run away person is a gutless person. He run away from a battle and there is no a battle he can win. Trust me. Look this Bojbaj, how he is mocking to the victim. He is mocking Mohammed of being blind in the prison of PFDJ. He is mocking on the tragedy of his family, he is mocking of his innocence.

            Senay Mishet
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Lamek

            Hi Amanuel. If you notice, I have been setting up Gheteb and Dawit and make them expose their true selves. All you have to do is ask them very simple questions like ‘did he have a lawyer’, ‘where is the dicumentstio’ etc. You don’t get trapped in their mengedi twiyway. Dawit is on record saying Mr. Mohammed repented and that he was no longer a security threat. Oh yeah? Look all dirt he is exposing of IA’s prison system. This is more of a security threat to PFDJ now than when he said very simple expression in 2001.

          • PTS

            Amanuel & SAAY,
            ‘Haile TG’ is one of the folks Atsnihaley is following. Are you two telling me he is following himself?

          • saay7

            Hey PTS:

            Our good friend Emma pulled an Emma. What I said is the guy behind Saktism might be Haile TG. Pure conjecture based on his Tigrinya diction (straight from EPLF school and masterful), very well connected to PFDJ and EDF hierarchy, and strong analytical skills. The only thing which gives me pause: Haile TG was an emotional coil – and Saktism is not:)


          • Lamek

            Hey saay, I think this is it. No way this will escape Gheteb. Emma be ready for some chewing aba guayla kitie style. This is therapeutic man.

          • ghezaehagos

            Hi Sal,

            On Sactism identity. Playing Warsay Eritrawi from dehai days. I wouldn’t say he is Haile of Awate forum. Unless deliberately diluted to avoid detection, Haile’s writing is richer in both languages. Besides from the myriad posts here, Haile could have given us some insider information, specifically mentioned at sactism pages.




          • Berhe Y

            Selam Emma,

            ATsnha’ley is FmoteSelam, as per his avatar and his signature FS.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Berhe,

            You might be correct. Thank you.

          • PTS

            Radio Erena also had the news. What’s frustrating is during this smartphone, twitter and facebook times, we can’t even know for sure for something like this that happens in the middle of Asmara! One can only imagine how difficult it is to get information on happenings outside Asmara.

        • Lamek

          Hello Saay, my main goal was to let people know of sactism and they can check it out for themselves. I was recently introduced to it by someone who recently escaped to Sudan from Asmara. Sactism refers to the way PFDJ is taking Eritrea, not the facebook page itself as you can read below:

          “ሳክቲዝም፥ ብሳክት ምሕደራ ሃገር ናብ ዕንወት ወለዶታት ናብ ምጽናት ዝሸመመ: ኣብ ድርኩኺት ዕርበት ዝርከብ ጉጅለ ህግደፍ ሚስጢራቱ ዝቃለዓሉ ፔጅ’ዩ።”

          • saay7

            Selamat Lamek:

            I got it. “Saktism” combines two concepts that you hear from people who describe Eritrea’s governance:

            1. ሃገር ብፎሎ እያ ትኸይድ ዘላ (car is on neutral, going downhill)
            2. ህግደፍ ኣእዳዉ ኣብ ኩሉ የእቱ ህግደፍ (PFDJ gets its hands involved in everything.)

            In other words, the quality of governance is so poor, and there is so much gross negligence, one assumes it is indifferences (Folo), but this level of gross negligence is not passive, it is based on active criminality (interference, micromanagement.) Combine the two and you have Saktism.

            Here’s how “Sakt” was used when I was growing up:)

            ሳክት ኮፍ ኢለ ኔረ (I was just sitting doing nothing). Idleness.
            ሱቕ ኢልካ ሳክት ኣይትዛረብ (You are not making sense). Incoherent.
            ክላ እሱ ዳኣ ሳክት እንድዩ (he is not reliable.) Unreliability.

            Sounds like GoIA taglines to me.


    • Nitricc

      Hi Berhe; the first mechanism of action is for you to leave your job, family and Canada all together and join the opposition in order to make the difference you are preaching for.
      The problem with your toothless so-called opposition is that you want some one to do the dirty job for you so when the dust settles; you want enjoy the country with your family for vacation from Canada! Is there any more evil intention that this?
      “ Why is the very important time parameter in the equation of that change totally missing?
      No; it is not missing ; you are right time is very important but “Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.” Too. How about you do your share and worry about others latter.

      What is the change we need?
      To get rid of PIA; any idea in how to do that?
      Becouse PIA won’t let’s us take a vacation in Eritrea; we had the chance to show of our brand new i-phones but he won’t let us. i.e. we need change; that is why.
      How urgently?
      Well; we wanted as soon as possible but the freaking TPLF won’t drive their tanks toward Asmara. So, we are hoping the Eritrean youth will do it for us.
      How desperately?
      Too desperate to count on the UN to do our job for us! Things are that desperate!
      With what plans and strategies?
      Plan one was for PFDJ to collapse on its won weight; to the contrary; PFDJ is getting stronger economically and structurally.
      Plane two was the youth to do the job but to the contrary; the youth is fleeing the country to every direction; so nothing there.
      Plan three was for TPLF to head their tanks to ward Asmara and get rid of PIA, to the contrary; the TPLF are in a do or die situation in Ethiopia. The Oromo are about to finish the weyane once for all and no hope their.
      Whenever we tried to have a new plan and strategy; this guy Semere A comes with curve ball and sabotage our plan. I think Semere is paid agent of PFDJ.
      So what to do now, Nitricc? Nothing! Shut it, take what ever the whites are throwing at you; support your family mind your own business. Oh and pray!

      • Berhe Y


        You are just happy to see people distracted so that your god can stay in power for ever.

        Even if it’s true that he was born in 1946, he is 69 years old…with lots of complicated health issues…he will be gone, either by man or God.

        Don’t worry what I discuss with people that are on my side (if you don’t get it, people who oppose the PFDJ, Saay, Semere, AH and many others) is none of your business. Actually I think now, you only got a handful left (you, Ghetib, and dawit). I consider Ted and Hope, almost converted…which a lot of credit goes to the patient awatistas…


        • Nitricc

          Berhe; for your information I am the person not afraid to be alone. I rather stand out and cut out my neck than blending in and confirm. so, don’t even go there! Having said that; I am not opposed to a change;
          I just want to know to what I am changing!
          I just want to know what are the programs for the change!.
          I just want to know who is doing the change!
          I just want to know HOW the change is achieved!
          I just want to know what the cost of the change is!
          I just want to know if the change is free of revenge seekers!
          I just want to know what happens to the current governing body after the change!
          I just want to know if the Weyane going to have a hand on our affairs!
          In short what I am opposing is the likes of Berhe from Canada who wants change by jabbing and by TESTA to people who they differ from their views like Gehetab.
          Are you following Mr. Canadian?

          • Semere Andom


            No matter how much you want to sound smart by asking questions it is not sticking, look at the list you provided, you should have asked why we need the change then the your list can follow.

            But there is new study, scientific one from the school of Agriculture that Tes was teaching at that found out that makes brain transplant obsolete and it is diet: People in your age group can upgrade themselves from imbecilic to morons by eating a healthy diet. The difference between the two is the first cannot learn, the second can learn some rudimentary things like the fact that if you are a professor, or chair or a dean in a college you cannot be the president of the student association, and if you are a man you cannot be the chairperson of a women’s group, even if you are a fan and a honorary member of the women’s group

            There are 2 kinds of the PFDJ supporters: the imbicils, who can only repeat what they are told and who have deluded themselves to thinking that they are critical thinkers, but critical thinking not selective, only applied when criticizing the opposition, it should apply to every info that is presented you. You seem to selectively applying your self-crowned critical thinking only in support of the government. The second group are cognitively smart but are cruel, but who like Ted Bundy and son of Sam relish when pain is inflicted on others, since you admitted you are blunt, let me tell you point blank the guy who Berhe wanted to punch, is a buddying Ted Bundy, his dreams have not yet been accomplished on humans but I can assure you that as a kid your new found love Gheteb’s hobby was torturing animals while his peers played football. He expressed his pleasure with every news of suffering in Eritrea that made it to awate in the excuse of opposing the crowd thinking of the opposition, yet he joined the crowed of pigs that PFDJ supporters are.

            Although you are cold, uncompassionate and self admittedly dumb, I have not seen that cruelly in you yet, so your choices are either you decide to be smart and compassionate or slowly follow Gheteb into becoming a person who enjoys the suffering of others. You choice, sir, all are choices

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Semere Andom,
            Don’t be harsh on Nitricc, he just thinks he is a neutral judge in the fight between the oppressed people of Eritrea and the illegitimate regime ruling them with impunity. The moment he starts to assume the role of a citizen, and give up the illusionary role of a judge, you will see he is a kind person. Right Nitricc? 🙂

          • Nitricc

            Semere; you did your best to up it up your level of IQ, to no avail. Let me confirm one more time, that is, Yes I am dumb! I admit! As dumb as I am, what discombobulating me to no end is that you are dumber than I am? So, on that note, I take a comfort with my dumbness knowing you exist.

          • Semere Andom

            Wow! discombobulating? Gheteb is growing in you and before you know it you will be like Gheteb Bundy

          • Ted

            Hi Nitricc, Do you see the problem with the likes of Semere Andom (the gamblers, the malicious, the backstabbers and the opportunists) to be the face of opposition?It is sad. It is also unfortunate to see people go out of their way to sustain this dysfunctional person. I understand he is “special” lost boy at young age, in that sense, needing a place to belong but not at the expense our suffering and the struggle for genuine change.

          • Semere Andom

            I was going to just say Uufff like Sal, but your continuous deliberate telling untruth is mind boggling.
            You and dawit have not clue about Eritrea, you discovered or shopped for a country when TPLF humiliated you after you abused the good will of Ethiopia and unfortunately many innocent people were taking with you, so I have no respect for you. I feel sorry for Nitricc for the card he was dealt at birth and instead of helping him, advising him you are propping and emboldening him because when a human being fails you and dawit succeed at their expense. So please do not mention my name in vain. Eritrea does not need bigots like you, it has more than its share and that was revealed when you associated the wearing of Jelabiya and waiting on tables (when Sal called you on it, rem?) to make extra money to buy your girl friend that romance magazine, to hid the love letter and to bribe the neighboring kid. All these was honorable but not to you. If you must know, I was paid to go to school in the Sudan from grade 8 to grade 12
            If you have some ideas to demolish all the radical ideas I presented to rid Eritrea from PFDJ, if your real are for change in the or even reform it, tell us
            Some the ideas I presented are overwhelming and daunting you as your are a novice Eritrean, because you discovered Eritrea after 1998 but many of them were employed by your PFDJ, and they work like a charm, ask the great Mamday;-)

          • Berhe Y


            Don’t worry you are protected by people who advocated “no body left behind”. With GheSab, that’s my way of settling the issue…so that to free him from the evil Tebab that’s controlling his soul. And you for that matter, what you asked was, I like to believe it but “who is smerr” as if it makes difference who recorded the video / did the interview.

            Can you just be in the shoe of that man and feel his pain for a brief second / minute? Do you have your own children? If you do, can’t you see their smiling faces, their soft small feet, do you tickle them, do you feel your heart when they hold your hands…

            Now just think about, if this love is taken away from, for no fault of your own but because someone just feels like it….Do you have a world to consider living let alone make sense of…what’s left for you live….

            And you come questioning this man pain, agony and life long misery that you have not able to get out of…

            How does your day about your nights…what do you dream..what do you vision…..

            This is what I was upset and took it personally to criticize my good friend and best friend SA…He diverted the whole attention and this misery and rage has already been forgotten. People like you and GeSab WIN…

            Off course I am no body and can’t do much about it…..but I could never accept a moral like me and you to decide on my faith and that of may children and expect me to move on.

            Do I really care what happen after the PFDJ go into flames…..they can all go to hell and burn for all I care for all the misery they have caused and continue to cause….I would rather end this misery now, and let’s pick up the pieces that’s left from the ashes so we can rebuild….Under NO circumstance to continue this suffering for ever…


          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Gen. Nitricc,

            These are very important questions, and they should be asked by all prudent citizens. It deserves a detailed reply or may be even an article for the purpose of discussing about more ideas inherent in these questions. Some of your questions have been asked before directly or indirectly, but I cannot say whether they were addressed fully. When we are accustomed to talking a lot about lots of issues with friends, we occasionally miss the rare jewel moments we purposely or accidentally stumble on. This may be one of those moments, I am afraid. I will try to say more when and if I get a chance later tonight.

          • Nitricc

            Your Fitnness; I know what you mean and what we have here is, demanding people with out shame and consciousness. The main question needs to be answered is, you need change? fine,then, what is the cost of the change? what is my share of cost in to brining the desired chenge? Sadly, no one is interested in assessing that question. Semere wants the youth to die for him so he can walk in streets of Asmara with his donated I-phone; if the youth won’t do that for him,he is begging the TPLF to do it for him. Berhe wants to vacation in Eritrea with his defective I-pad and wants to contribute nothing. then How could one demand with out paying the price for it; nothing free; if they want change then pay the freaking price. Although I can understand why the Semere’s and the Berhe’s shamelessly could demand with out paying any price; since they live in welfare state; they have to pay nothing for; everything they get is for free; so, why not; they are extending the free stuff to regime change in Eritrea.
            I understand; ““In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” But, still, come-on; how stupid one can be?
            Do you want change? Then give-up your welfare checks; pick your fat azz and keep moving and fight PFDJ. That is all there is to it. Do you want change? what is your share of the price for the change you wnated? simply-put1111

          • Berhe Y


            I understand your tactic, you want to drag me to respond to your “legitimate question” so you divert my attention. Why don’t you answer those questions your self, for a person who hates “black people and slave mentality” can you answer these.

            Isayas has been in power for 25 years, how many governments changed since:

            George H. Bush
            Bill Clinton (1st term)
            Bill Cinton (2nd term)
            George W. Bush (1st Term)
            George W. Bush (2nd Term)
            Obama (1st Term)
            Obama (2nd Term)

            and who ever will be president next year…

            In the United states there has been successful 7 elections and 4 changes of government.

            Now you are saying Eritrea politics so difficult that we can’t manage ONE change of government?

            We are some of the few fortunate people to end up in Canada, and the only reason what keeps us engaged is, what we wish for our people to reach their potential if and when a government similar to that of Canada is established.

            *Lucky for us, we are really set for life her, free education, free health care, free press, free movement, stable job, decent retirement, free society, to worship, to associate…

            If there is heaven, I think Canada is probably on the top and next to it.

            * when I say, free not entirely free like take, take, and take like PFDJ without giving anything back, but provide free until you are set on you own two foot and pay back (like paying in taxes) that I happy comply. But my children if they have the potential, they can go all the way to the parliament and even to the prime minster office….It will not be long before we see an immigrant make it to the top job in Canada.


  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hi Sem,

    Good reading. But, isn ‘t it “time or Gizie” determined by us human being? Aren ‘t we human being the factor for conditioning negative or pisitive time? Why do we lament for “time or Gizie “as a determining factor to our fate? Did you think about it before you pen down your article?

    Senay MeAlti
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Emma:
      Thank you:
      You are correct, but I am talking about the scaptegoats we find, Trri, gizie, TV-Eri etc;-)
      Korchach and Yemane talk to Time as if it has its own brain and is responsible for our predicament.
      I always say tewsakitu gizie.
      Korchat is telling Time to stand up for itself, instead of saying people stand up for yourself. I was going to mention Bahir( by Fhira) too, but then I remembered Sal is lurking in the board so I may not be published;-)
      That was the idea, I may not have done a good job in communicating the culture of scapegoating

    • Nitricc

      Hey Aman-H; I agree with you. The people who blame time are the once who have less value and less worthy of themselves. Because; you won’t value your time till you value yourself. So, when people are at loss with facts of their life and their accomplishments over the time; people resort to blame time it self which time has to do nothing with anything. Today is here and Tomorrow will come; what you do with it is up to you.

  • Abi

    Hi Sem
    ” During the brutal Ethiopian reign, when people talked about the atrocities that the Ethiopians were committing , older people with tears welling in their eyes and their voices cracking, would cryptically refer the Ethiopians ezon seb gizie, the people of the day.” What a garbage! What a useless garbage!
    In Amharic ” Yezemenu Sewoch”
    I’m glad the atrocities of the brutal Ethiopians is gone . We are witnessing the care and generosity of the Eritreans. Now, the people of the great nation of Eritrea are rejoicing, their children are all over the world attending universities, the rest are attending local universities and colleges. All the good things are happening after you inhumanly evicted the brutal Ethiopians from your land. Yes! His excellency President Isayas Afeworqi is wiping the tears from your eyes, paying you in gold, building villas for each of you…( dawit will tell you more)
    Bo Gize lekulu!

    Gize kemestawot endemin yileyal
    Enkuwan yesew fitun jerbawun yasayal. ( Tewodros Taddesse)

    Ethiopians’ atrocities ! Ethiopians! Ethiopians! Really!
    Semere, don’t open your dirty mouth about the people you have no clue about. There are millions Eritreans in Ethiopia. They are in a “brutal” country. When was the last time you heard brutality committed on a single Eritrean in Ethiopia?
    You can not put brutal and Ethiopians in the same sentence. Never! Impossible!
    Long live Eritrean Independence !!

    • Semere Andom

      truth hurts and as I said before let me repeat accept your history of atrocities and do not remind Eritreans about the current atrocities by IA.
      Abi, This, too shall pass!

      • Abi

        Hi Sem
        What atrocities do you want me to accept?
        All I know is Gize Yemayshrew The Legendary Ethiopian Hospitality and Generosity.
        End of Story.

      • Dear Semere Andom,

        I am not surprised at all when I read brutal-criminal-colonizer Ethiopians coming from Eritreans. Well, there is a lot of bad blood between Ethiopians and Eritreans, and these things are said sometimes rightly or wrongly, and usually inflated and out of context. Nevertheless, what I find extremely difficult to understand is:
        1. Twenty-five years after Eritrean independence, you still use the same language and the same tone, and
        2. I am astonished a lot when these brutal-criminal Ethiopians are invited as liberators and as the power that can oust DIA by sacrifising themselves to solve the Eritrean problem. These are two opposite and conflicting positions.

        It seems that we have burnt the bridge behind us for good, and unfortunately the night seems still long. Nevertheless, as you said, with time this too shall pass. Nobody really knows how, and what will be the final outcome. In addition, I cannot say if the message is passive, defeatist and fatalistic or realistic.

        • Semere Andom

          Hi reasonable Horizon

          We cannot change history, if you know how too, I am all ears

          I said “during the Ethiopian brutal reign” Where is the falsehood?, Ethiopian reign was brutal to Eritreans and Ethiopians (red terror, hawzen, wekidubba and all the villages both regimes burned, killed, women, children), unless you want to deny it, as far as I know, you are not known to be a denier, if you have changed let me know;-)

          Ethiopians like FG actually met Eritreans who survived the Onna massacre, and let us not hide behind the current good deeds of Ethiopia. And no, we have not burned our bridges, that info is outdated, PFDJ (the current Eritrean reign) wishes ill to Ethiopia, Eritreans do not. If dawit accused me of saying Ethiopian brutal reign, I will understand, because his whoever is crowned king is my king compels him to do so, but you?

          I still believe that Eritrea and Ethiopia have a future, in some form or another, do not ask for details, please;-)

          As I said before more than half Eritreans (oh, I will get in trouble for saying more than half, Eritrea half Muslim, half Christian) wanted Ethiopian and who rejected them?, not Ethiopians, the Ethiopian reign, regime, ruling body, government or choose your own word did.

          The HS and Derg were both brutal and both Ethiopian and I called it during the E. brutal reign

          Also in the future we will talk about the brutal Eritrean reign when this passes.

          I did not call Ethiopians brutal, actually Eri Ghedli perfectly delineated the Ethiopian people from the Ethiopian regime (reign)

          If you want to know what is my take on the current Ethiopian regime, just remember my debates 😉

          Sometimes I feel that you guys, do not understand what the Ethiopian reging inflicted on Eritreans, maybe you personally and and Abi were shielded from its criminality, just because you were, do not assume, the only two governments you have in your 3000 history was also shielding us from brutality. The best supporter of the Eritrean revolution and the one who helped it more than the Arabs was the brutal Ethiopian reign, tokormikka motte assafika motte (either die doing nothing or die doing something worthwile) was the theme in response to the brutality. I know I can persuade you, but dawit will deny that because I am going against the crowed kings of the day

          • Dear Semere Andom,

            When Europeans came out of WWII, they did not go on bickering on what happened in occupied France, Belgium, Holland, Greece and even Italy under the Germans. Germans who committed crimes were punished, and the rest was left to historians. Just after a decade they sat to bring together the peoples of Europe. In late 1950s they formed an economic union and later worked hard to form a political union. They constructed their economy and created a situation that will completely prohibit war in the future.

            On the contrary, in our case, what we see is that every effort is made to keep things as fresh as possible in our memories, so that the road to reconciliation remains closed. Nobody is saying that if crimes have been committed they should be covered up and forgotten, but it is time Gedli is left to historian to record it with impartiality, while the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea concentrate on how to move together to the future for the sake economic prosperity and an everlasting peace. After all if we blame the Dergue, it has paid the price, and Ethiopians and Eritreans should not be burdened for ever by the actions of their governments.

          • Abi

            Selam Horizon
            You are talking with a person who writes about Ethiopian brutality and atrocities in the day time and prays Ethiopians tanks give him a ride to Godana Harinet at night. Waste of time .

          • Nitricc

            Hi ras Abi; when you said ” and prays Ethiopians tanks give him a ride to Godana Harinet at night” That is very true; Semere and VF,mizan, Lamek what ever freaking is his nick is; all want Ethiopians blood to be shade for their own shellfish reasons and they turn around sing different tones. Never trust them.

          • Abi

            Hi General
            Semere prays for a ride to Godana Harinet, VF/ Ermias/… prays for a flight to mount EnToTo. All these at the expense of the brutal Ethiopians.
            Eway qibTet !

          • Semere Andom

            Dear Horizon:
            You are wrong when you said: “……they did not go on bickering on what happened in occupied France, Belgium, Holland, Greece and even Italy under the Germans. Germans who committed crimes were punished, and the rest was left to historians.”
            What they did not say is the German people did this or killed 6 mil Jews,they said, the Nazi’s(German Reign” did all the heinous crimes. Let alone in the after math of the war, they still talk about it in this way: let we repeat what Nazis and Hitler did, and when a few years go a party in Austria that had some overtures of the Nazi emerged, the Europeans purged it, but they did not lump the Germans and Italians, the said the Fasicist and Nazis, the Italian and German rulers, they kept it fresh with documentaries, movies, trials and hunting down the criminals so that lest humanity forgets.
            About the formation of economic union, I am all for it, and eventual Habesha Nation, one currency,one army, with the beauty of the diversity and vibrant economy, We can remove the names of Ethiopia and Eritrea to avoid politics and cousin Gheteb can seek refugee in his Hadendewa Kingdom;-)
            Questions, if you believe HS and Dergi committed heinous crimes, and Amde once told me that Dergi may have massacred about million people and if you believe that both were Ethiopians you should not have problem with thet “during the Ethiopian brutal reign.”
            I believe that the Habesha nation can be a super power in the entire continet of Africa, but to do that we have to purge the telltale overtones of those who lost power in your country and definetley weedout the tryannt in Eritrea

          • saay7

            Hi Cousin iSem, Horizon, Abi:

            iSem, I am older than you right? So listen to aya Saay: what our Ethiopian friends are saying is that when you use the word Erhiopia and Ethiopian even when you qualify it with regime all they hear is Ethiopian and it offends them. So why don’t you say the Haile Selasse and Mengistu regimes?

            And to our Ethiopian friends, horizon, Mr KH and Abi:remember how we were helping out some folks here by explaining to them what “I rented a car” means in Eritrea. It means I rent a car and its driver. Similarly, a little translation here so you don’t see malice or enmity where there is none: when we talk of other regimes and their brutalities we still speak of “the Turks”, and the “Italians” and “the Brits” with generalization although we have no enmity to them. In fact, in our peculiar telling, we refer to them as male singular (exactly the way Tes, thinking In Tigrinya but writing in English, still refers to PFDJ as “he”:)

            Abi, congratulations on replacing Qey bahrachn with Qey Wqyanosachn: did you hear Erhiopia signed a deal with Somaliland for some ports? You probably missed that news while you were watching terrible European football during American basketball season.


          • Dear Saay,

            I did not know what to make of your discussion concerning the interpretation of the sentence “I rented a car”, as if it is an important philosophical topic, as it was going to and fro between you people on one side and the deniers on the other. At one point I was expecting somebody would get so angry that he would come out and shout, blame it on the Ethiopians, they are the ones who sent us these Amiches, and they are driving us crazy, elevating our blood pressure and disturbing our peaceful sleep at night, by denying the obvious, consciously misinterpreting what is being said, and leaving important facts out of the discussion, so that the discussion loses its target and importance and the perpetrators are absolved of their crimes.

            This individual was:
            a) Incarcerated for thirteen years for no reason, because if there had been reason, he should have been brought to the court of law, (therefore fact),
            b) He lost his whole family, because they could not live in fear in PFDJ’s Eritrea (again fact),
            c) Robbed off his $280K (there should be a way to verify this, although most probably 99% true),
            d) He was blind as proved by doctors in Sweden. He entered prison with a normal vision and came out blind. (fact)

            You were fighting to prove to them that the person did not drive the car, but rented (hired) the car and paid a driver, to people who are hell bent to divert the discussion and invalidate this person’s odyssey to protect the regime in Asmara from condemnation. As if all the above is not enough, this person is brutalized for the second time by questioning his moral values, by the supporters of the same regime under which he passed thirteen hellish years of his life in prison. Is it any different from, some African migrants drowned off Lambadusa, Eritrean refugees are economic migrants, there is no tyranny in Eritrea, etc., and you were wasting your time trying to explain and convince people who know the facts, but it is their mission to deny the truth?

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Horizon,

            Thank you. No one could have said it better.


          • Abi

            Kemey Aya Saay
            Semere is smart enough to know the difference between Ethiopia and derg. I’m sure he knows the difference between Eritreans and PFDJ. He always makes sure to show the difference. When it comes to Ethiopians, he said it purposely. I expect this from chief cadre Tes. Not from the all knowing Semere.

            The car rental thing was just stupid. It shows Eritrea is so backward there are no self driving cars available for rent. I see a business opportunity there. I will open shop on Godana Harinet replacing the outdated cuccineta. Genzebka

            This is the best season for the real football afqariqoch. Games all over the globe except Eritrea. I see a business opportunity there. I will bring Ethiopians to play for Eritrea. They never disappoint and disappear before or after the game. We will bring life back to Saba Stadium . You welcome.

            Time to learn Somaligna. Nebed!

          • Abi

            Obviously I missed the Somaliland deal. I was busy watching El Classico. I wait for gedab news for details on how Somaliland is eating Eritrean dinner. Ato Saleh was so angry when he watched Djibouti ports eating Eritreans lunch.
            ” yebey temelkach” yila Amhara .

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Well, the Berbera port deal is more for headline-grabbing from arbegnaw weyanew because of all the criticism for the imports stuck in Djibouti. They still have the same problems they always had–undeveloped port, bad roads from Berbera to Ethiopia; no international recognition for Somaliland.

            As for ato Herman Cohen and his lament about Arabs eating Abyssinian lunch, well, trf kalebet, Mr. Cohen has no problem recommending that Somaliland get absorbed into Ethiopia.


          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal:Thanks, for sure
            I agree!. I was surprised at Horizons, but Abi was just hungry and speaking of hunger, HS and Mengistu provided more “dabbo” that the PFDJ:-)

    • dawit

      Selam Abiye,
      Forget about Semere murmuring, he is the most confused person I ever noticed. One day he praise Tor Serawit and next day he condemn them. Enjoy the following song by the beautiful Hamelmal Abate about Gize the best Amharic song ever written. I had translated the lyrics for my children long time ago.

      • Semere Andom

        Hi davy:
        “seb nabsebu zbie nab gerebu”goes a saying in my country of Eritrea, so you translated the song for your kids to keep their heritage and link with the Torserawit. Speaking of one being ahead of his time!

    • dawit


      Sorry AT have deleted Hamelmal’s video link. I guess it was time (Gize) to hide the truth. Just Google the song from YouTube.

      • dawit

        From dawit to Moderator, Can you explain who is AT and who is Moderator? Is there a distinction? Who is who?

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Hi dawit,

          unless we crack your spinning machine, we know that you are here for diversion and confusion. You know AT are the moderators unless you are dumb.

      • sara

        Dear moda… afwan-ya akh”faisal kasim” ,rajaaen khali a rajel yekeml jumletoo….
        al mushaheedn hona lel ajel al saamae gedaya alwatan fe maahatatkum telvesa al areekha..

  • Atsn’haley


    Excellent! ‘Time’ is one of the many lame excuses many Eritreans use to avoid confronting the core issue at the center of all their problems. Glad you mentioned the song by Korchach where he defended ‘time’. Right after the song was released someone posted it on facebook and I read the comments people were posting, oh boy…it is so ironic, embarrassing and frustrating…people completely misunderstood that song and instead were blaming time….you know the familiar phrases….gizie kezab, gizie tekeyari, gizie bla bla….They hear the song was about ‘time’ and their default response was to blame time…


    • PTS

      Good observation. Did you notice the Western world doesn’t have the equivalent of that? They do curse just about everything (rain, wall, traffic…) but not time. They don’t go like ‘time the trator’ or the freaking or the lier, the opportunist….

  • saay7

    Selamat Cousin Semere:

    Oh, come on! You might as well call this article “I am going to write an article just to provoke Cousin Saay.” How is it possible at all to write an article about TIME and not mention Wedi Tkabo? You might as well write about the Theory of Relativity without mentioning Einstein. I am sure if I think hard, I can find reference to time in almost every song of Wedi Tkabo, but, just off my head:

    1. He had a song called…. Zemen. Not just Zemen but Zemennnnnn, where every verse is better than the one before.


    1. Zemen:

    እሞ ዘመን (‘sup, time:)
    መን ኵወንካ ድኣ ተስግደኒ (who do you think you are to ask me to bow to you?)
    ጥልዕ ጉብጥ ድንን በል ትብለኒ (telling me “stretch, bend, bow”?)
    ኣይንስኻ ንዲኻ ናይ ትማሊ (Werent you the one, just yesterday,)
    ኣብ ጸድፊ ኣብ ገደል ኣንጠልጢልካ (who suspended me on a cliff)
    ደይቦ ዝበልካኒ ብፈትሊ (and ordered me to climb it using a thread)

    ጥሙር ሚእቲ ዓመት (100 years bundled)
    ኮታ ሓደ ዘመን (oh, so it is, an era)
    ቁልቁል ጠሚቱናስ (looked down upon us)
    ገይሹ ዶ ኣይከረመን (and left for long)

    2. Chorus to Ab Mntay’yu Hailu

    ንሓዲሽ ጉዕዞ (a new journey requires)
    ብሓዲሽ ምህዞ (a novel innovation [and so])
    ምዕባሌኣ ከይገበለ (before her development takes hold)
    ጸጋ ምድራ ከይበሰለ (and her raw materials are ripe)
    ሰለም ዘይብል ዓይኒ ዓሳ (eyes unblinking like that of fish)
    ሓይሉ ዓቅሉ ወዲ ኣንበሳ (strength in his patience, like lion’s cub)

    3. Yigermena Alo

    Umm, how about every single line? A lot of tmali and Tarikh in what has to be the most lyrics-packed Eritrean song ever. Somewhere, Homer looked at that and smiled. Well, he didn’t look: Homer war blind. But I think he drove a chariot.

    4. Hadnetna

    ገይሻ ኣላ’ምበር ( Ghedli is on an outing)
    ተትህሉ ገድሊ (for if she were around)
    ታይ’ደኣሞ ዘይትርአ ኣብ ከውሊ (it would have been seen in a glimpse)
    ሕማቕን ጽቡቕን ከተለሊ ( to distinguish between good and bad)

    I could go on, but I will leave the rest to….time.

    And, on YPFDJ, did you notice that despite the fact that this is their 11 congress, they haven’t produced a single leader because every year, some newbies come up, but there is one constant in YPFDJ and it is OPFDJ: the oldies come to tutor them. Finally, this year, they said that YPFDJ is going to “morph” (their word) into your typical mass organization which will “serve” all communities and just the youth. But it will remain YPFDJ. So if the D and J mean nothing, it was only a matter of time before the Y meant nothing to. Maybe they will call it Young At Heart so the Oldies don’t need to feel out of place.


    • Haile WM

      hi saay,

      I think you missed the best wedi tikabo song titeled “Gizie” amazing lyrics imo

      here is the link in youtube

      • dawit

        Selam Haile WM,
        I agree wit your selection, best lyrics Tigriny “Gizie”. There is also similar Amharic ‘Gizie” by Hamelmal Abete, unfortunately I cant put the link but you can Google it from YouTube.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Ya Abu Salah
      1. Any song of gzie in Tigrayt? waqt, wakd, eyam, zeben/zemen…..
      2. This is for you and your cousin Semere: Any reason why the heads of the youth associations have always been Muslims? I think this needs to be asked? I will tell you if you ask me why IA has always been the leader.

      • saay7

        Hala Mahmuday;

        1. Hmmm. There are songs that advise us on how to deal with time: (a) patience (Alamin Abdulatif: “seb’r wdde ba3a sebr uwut’tu”, and the one you translated, of course, “elama t’Halfeni’tu gebe’e wa qebet snache’t gese”); (b) impatience (Wed Sheik’s “Yinit’hamel…as’k m’dol”) and of course (c) anticipation (Wad Amir’s “Asmera tsinHina babur…”) But, clearly, weriduni gwal qeshi, that is not my area of expertise.

        2. Double hmmm. I thought it was because NUEYS of Eritrean students was established in Keren, and then after the strategic retreat, its biggest base was Port Sudan? Perhaps because it was all the baby of Abdella Jaber before Abdella Jaber became a non-person? Actually, it goes beyond the chair to the vice chair and the whole executive level:) We are all supposed to pretend we didn’t notice that, though and leave it to our bad cousin to point it out.


      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Mahmuday,
        If you come up with the answer I am thinking of I think the world will turn upside down in 24 hours. But let me go first for the first hint: does it have anything to do with his father?

        • Dear F.G.,

          A mesmerizing question, “why IA has always been the leader”, is asked and you do not want to tell us the answer. You gave us the impression that this secret is very important and it is known only to few people like you. Don’t you think that it should be told and the truth be known? Look, he is a person who has impacted negatively the politics of the region.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Dearest Horizon,
            Trust me brother, this is one secret you can do without. Like the Jedi mind trick my secret, if dragged out, would only shatter the world of the weak. In either case, I made a solemn pact with his family to not reveal this one unless it gets out from other sources first. Slick, that I am!

          • AOsman

            Dear Fanti,

            It likely MS is talking about personality trait, his wedi shuq-aradanet rather than his hereditary nobility, wathever you may be hinting. MS will have to say what is in his mind as he got what he requested.


          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Ustaz,

            I think Mahmuday was joking, but if he indeed was privy to the family secret I am thinking about, then we will have something interesting to chew on for a while. Let’s wait and see.

            What happened to your disqus account brother? Please get it back! You are one of those Awatistas I like to read back when I miss their posts the day it was posted.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Fanti,

            I thought the Jedi did did was for the greater good, rather than protecting the dark side.

            As to the person, him growing up an enda swa when his parents were alive, I think it may have set his moral value. Exposing to all filth, adultery, alcohol as that younge age, I don’t think anything positive can come out.

            He may have been recruited as a spy for CIA and his venture to meda was part of that plan, as there was absolutely no history of being the main leaders of the resistance both in Asmara and Addis, compared to Haile Dure and others.

            ELF did the worst mistake when they sent him to China, where he perfected his skills or Evil. I personally think “nhnan elamanan”, he may have copied it directly from the works of Mao, but China in the late 60s and early 70s was going through tough time, where there was purges and dictator ship and mass killing was happening (cultural revolution).

            There was an article about him and his family by certain Doctor back in the 90s. Where he goes as far as to say that his family ties is with Tigray.

            There was a website that counted his anncestary to that of Emperior Yohannes.

            So Fanti, if you have the power to end the suffering of the Eritrean people, the likes of Mahammed, then I hope you open your heart and look at the greater good.

            I personally do not think, his parents has anything to do to how he turned out. We hear that all his brothers, including his mother live in exile like the rest.

            That makes you wonder why?


          • Semere Andom

            Hi BY;
            IA was the comissioner of Kebessa Kiflitat according to the plan that ELF decide to implement and that plan was the Algerie’s expereince. Since the Ghedli started in the low lands and due to the prevailing Muslim and Christian distrust ELF, reasoned to assign ppl to their region to attract them to the Ghedli and IA was the commission of a group, I think under Kahsay Woldai and when the china opportunity came, he was illigible to go and that was good thing, ELF was developing their talent.
            Well, family is important , it orients you in certain ways, there are certain things you do not do, or do not say in a family. Let me give you one example , IA had an uncle, captain Mekonen Abraha, who fathered a son from his bar manager mistress. The son came to USA sponsored by Amare Afewerki, IèsA older brother and once AA mocked his cousin in front of people that that this guy was born “ab shuqq’, the poor kid broke down. I am sure Gheteb will spin this positively for his master, but the allusion is clear, do you think these words are normal and Yemane T said in an itnerview with Assenna that
            Also not all his family live in excile, those who do is by choice and actually his family left through EPLF, no one leaves through EPLF to go to Sudan, I know an entire family who were forced to joine Ghedli, 6o years father and all the children, teh two underage were send to the rev. school, teh family already had 3 children in EPLF one died in ELF
            But IA his has 4 siblings in EPLF all came safe
            1. Yonas was a driver in the trasportation department, he used to come to Sudan regulary
            2. Nardos was int the NUEY, she later joined and married to a teacher Wedi Shambel, who was teaching their rev school in Khartoum
            3, There was one named Petros and Tsigereda in EPLF too. The one who died was also with EPLF, but I think he later went to ELF, not sure and rumor had it that he was opposing EPLF when he was with them, not reliable though?

            One of his bothers who used to live in USA was at one point the charge D’affairs in Denmark,
            and the two younger ones an other older bro live in USA, and they go home regularly

          • AOsman

            Dear Fanti,
            I read somewhere about his uncle being ruler of Wallo and that his grandfather left Tembien due to some power struggle. Is it more sexier than that…something like related to Atse Tedros or related to Lij Iyassu who had many wives and was roaming everywhere. I am sure Abi is also privy of what you are hiding, he just does not want any linking at this stage.


            I will use my disqus, once I return from mama Ethiopia…from my mobile could not set it up.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Sal:
      Your comment is gripping! Thanks!
      You are going to confuse some people with the inside jokes:-)
      There are a lot of Time songs in Eritrea including Wedi Tkabo and Orion but “nklugizie allewo”, next article:-)
      Zeben, Zemen, is not tedayiqe, it is like the ambessa, anbessa, mitseba, maichaba, sibbet, shibbet, tseguri cheguri, I can go on and on, but gize hatsiratni (Teg. Tzigereda thing gize is a female, so it is);))


    Semere, if you are aware of the Belin ethnic group of Eritrea, you can’t tell a person’s religion just by his or her name. Secondly when it comes to PF(DJ)/EPLF religion is irrelevant. Thirdly for us the issue should not be the color of the person but the work of the person. If PF(DJ) is playing the ethnic or religion card we should not be cheated and follow its trick but be smarter to reveal its trick and its lies. As communicators we should read the mind of PF(DJ) which hardly stops from any means to prolong its power.

  • Hmmm…

    [from the moderator: begin your comment with salutation]

    I always wonder about this oblivating ignoramous called “Nitricc”. Always comenting something negative…lol. Why dont you produce something of yourselfif you dont like what you rad????

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    Time and human elements are involved in stopping time in Eritrea. Indeed, Eritrea is the only country where time has come to a total stop and the country failed to keep up with the world. The destruction of life there evidences that the country slipping back to Stone Age, where there is no electricity and water with people practicing bartering to get their food.

    Because the Isayasists failed to learn from yesterday to decide what is better for today, time has totally stopped in Eritrea. Yes, this Isayasists are more problem tanglers causing mess and confusions. And, the people don’t know that a punch in the nose is designed to knock down the problem tanglers before going through the door of a change. Once the people courageously decide to look fear in the eye, the stopped timer will start ticking again. Only such courageous actions will bring about the desired goal by dealing with the tyrant who never stops at nothing in destroying the country and its people.

    There are many ways to end the tyranny, but even not one tried in Eritrea. People inside the country, by design, got caught in daily necessities. No food, no thinking. No energy, no action. The worst, the defenders of the tyrant are defending him by destroying everything, life and properties. So, the tyrant is controlling the people not only by gun crimes but also through stopping life there: no food, no water, no electricity, and no children around. If these are the people, who are the problem tanglers (the Isayasists)? Are they part of the people.

  • Nitricc

    Semere; you can’t help it can you? ” rape” I am not even going there; it is clear you have a deeper issue. your article shallow. at any University; the students are young and in their early twenties; but the deans; the presidents and the teachers are older and some cases people in their 60’s. are you suggesting the deans, the teachers and the universities have to be in their twenties too?did you see how your argument is flowed and garbage? I know IQ matters.

    • Amanuel

      Hi Nitricc
      When you are going to do your national service? Time is flying and I am still counting on you to fulfil your national duty. It is only taking the talk you have to walk the walk as well.

    • Semere Andom

      Did the university you went to have a none student as the president of its international student, Black student associations and the schools’s student body?

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam Ato xeHafay Semere
    A smooth read, but I won’t forgive you for not mentioning the quintessential, father of modern Tigrigna music and his “gzie” song. He may as well be the first artist to lament of “Time/gzie” in modern Tigrigna songs. Of course, I’m talking about the great Ateweberhan Segid.