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Language and Religion In Eritrean Politics (Archive)

(The following was presented at a panel discussion under the theme “Eritrea’s Path towards Democracy: Dialogue on Constitutional Issues”. The event was held at the Universities at Shady Grove, Rockville, Maryland, on June 25, 2011; the organizers of the event assigned the topic to the presenter. It’s being republished to shed light on the topic as it’s relevant to the ongoing debate. Still, after so many years of debating the issue of language and religion, there seems to be sever lack of knowledge on the topic because it has been overly politicized and scholarly input to alleviate the situation are lacking. Apart from minor changes, in this version, I have included a poster that shows Surat AlFatiha, the first Surra of the Kura’an, and Abune Zebezemayat the Christian Ft’hat. Both are written in a hypnotic Arabic calligraphy. The poster in itself does not prove anything, but the intention here is to provoke people to question their perception and understand that language in itself is religion-neutral. Like many other languages of humanity, Arabic is the language of Muslims, Christians, Jews, as well as of adherents of other Middle Eastern faiths.)

I didn’t choose the topic; and though it seems like a dispassionate intellectual topic, I believe it is specific: language and religion as it relates to Eritrea. It is even more specific than that—for religion, read Islam and for language, read Arabic. Both remain in trial indefinitely, and the latter is treated like a suspect that needs to prove and reprove, and reprove once more that it is Eritrean. I intend to do that, for the umpteenth time not forgetting that Arabic has been in the land long before the name Eritrea entered our memory.

I will tell you a story that I probably told a dozen times because this subject keeps re-emerging in old garb and its presenters think it is original: the same tired objections, the same cynical suspicion of Islam and Arabic, and by extension, that of half the Eritrean population. I have no other way but to tell the same story over and over again. I will only stop that when the arguments change; otherwise, it will always be there.

A drunken violinist, a Wata, had an excellent day in Asmara and was returning to his village in the outskirts. On his way, he arrived at a roaring river, which he could not cross. Since the main job description of a Wata is showering everyone with songs of praise, he pleaded to the river to slow down and enable him to cross to the opposite bank. He sang: Oh dear mighty river, my honorable river, please be gracious, slow down for a while and allow me to cross! The river didn’t yield. Another stranded man noticed the Wata singing to the river and told him: “the portion that you praised moves on and a new portion follows it; you have to focus on one portion and run alongside it, singing, until it stops for you to cross!”

Like the violinist, some are doomed to repeat the same argument to new portions of the flood, newcomers to the debate. It is exhausting, but no one is giving up.

And since the topic is old and politicized, I am aware that some portions of my presentation is recycled material; I cannot help but do just that.

Arabic and Muslims in “Abyssinia”

The countries known as Ethiopia and Eritrea today, are close neighbors to the Arab world. In fact Eritreans have been closer than most people would like to admit. For Muslims, they know that their Kur’aan itself is called mesHaf, a word borrowed from Geez[1], metsHaf.

There is a wealth of material that explains the relations of Axumites with Arabia, well before the prophet Mohammed, and it was natural for that to continue after the advent of Islam. Twenty out of the 132[2] Muslim refugees who fled Mecca to Abyssinia were Abyssinians or of Abyssinian ancestry. Among them was the Abyssinian Baraka Um Aymen[3], the prophet’s mother (by breast feeding, “wet nurse.”) The refugees lived in Abyssinia for 16 years, and 14 of them died and were buried there. So, don’t be surprised if an Eritrean says that someone from those Arabs who lived in Abyssinia for 16 years is their ancestor.

The Abyssinian-Arab relations means a lot to Muslims: the maternal grandmothers of both Omer Bin Alkhatab, the second Khelifa and Omer Bin AlAas, the conqueror of Egypt, were Abyssinians. Again, Khelifa Omer was killed by an Abyssinian in Medina and so was Hamza, the prophet’s uncle who was killed by Jahash, an Abyssinian slave. Abyssinians are not strangers in the history of Arabia, even before Islam—Abraha and the “People Of The Elephant” (asHab alfil), is a story that is told in a surra of the Kur’an, and Muslims memorize by heart. Bilal the Abyssinian and Luqman AlHakim[4] (Luqman the wise) are just two of the tens of prominent Abyssinians in Islamic history. To this day, the inner security of the Ka’aba is entrusted to people most of whom are descendants of the erstwhile Abyssinians, who until recently were eunuchs (I am not sure if they are so now.) In short, Islamic history is full of Abyssinian personalities of high stature—in the military, trade, craftsmanship, literature; Abyssinians are generally associated with beauty, piety, singing, dancing, bravery, etc. And Yemen has its long relation with Abyssinia; the migrations and cross migrations are well chronicled.

The crescent-shaped area extending from the Zeila (an old port around today’s border between Djibouti and Somaliland), all the way to Southern Shoa, had flourished under Muslim Sultanates—seven of them are well known—and it is believed that the word Jeberti comes from one of those Sultanates of that area. Many people from those Sultanates joined Imam Ahmed Ibrahim AlQazi (commonly known as Ahmed Gragn, teh left-handed) in his conquest against the highland kings of Abyssinia.

Today, we find most of the suspicion of Muslims and rejection of Arabic by Abyssinian Christians based on what I mentioned above—specially the conquests of Ahmed Gragn which remains alive in the psyche of many Christians though it happened six-hundred years ago. Why?

Isn’t the anti-Christian onslaught by Gragn more than matched by the anti-Muslim excesses of kings of the era, and later by Prince Wube, King Tedros, and King Yohannes? And if Christian Abyssinians don’t feel the need to apologize for the deeds of those kings, why should Muslims be made to feel of dual loyalty or suspect for the excesses of Gragn? And if Christian Abyssinians could move around and settle anywhere in the Eritrean and Ethiopian highlands why is the word “settler” only reserved for Muslims?

In the 19th century, the population of the Eritrean highlands was less than 300,000, most of whom were settlers who came with the waves of the invading Abyssinian armies from the South. Many villages and regions in present Eritrea are descendants of Amhara and Oromo armies sent to the Eritrean highlands to protect the trade and caravan routes from Massawa to the hinterland or to fight one war or another, or to invade and plunder. Many villages were established by followers of the many generals who raided the highlands and who remained and established themselves in present day Eritrea. Alula, Yohannes’ general, is said to have enforced many legislations to enable his soldiers and those before him, to acquire land rights. The Seraye region is settled by many warrior families from Tigray and their retainers and followers. There are villages whose ancestral origin is Dembia, Gondar and Tigrai[5]. But, amazingly, demeaning “settler from Tigray,” is reserved only for Muslims.

Speaking of language and religion: Are the Jeberti in Eritrea originally from Tigray? Some are. Others have been there since time immemorial. And yes, some even came with Ahmed Gragn or were converted by him 600 years ago. There are Jeberti from every conceivable race in the region, including Arabia and beyond. That is why they try to tell people that Jeberti is not a race, but an amalgam of people with countless racial background: anyone from any place who is a Muslim and embraces the local culture is easily assimilated. It is not a race; it is a nation—again, that is why they object to being baptized Tigrigna by a government Fiat issued on the whims of Isaias and his ideologues.

But here is the biggest problem that Eritrea faces. The Beni Amer, and the Hedareb, have no problem in recognizing their cross-border relations with their kinsmen in Sudan. The Danakil tribal confederation doesn’t have a problem recognizing their kinship, the Afars in Djibouti and Ethiopia. The Bet Asghede tribes of Sahel do not have a problem recognizing their kinship with their brethren across the border in Sudan or their ancestry in Abyssinia proper. It is only in the Eritrean Highlands that people seem to have a problem recognizing their relations to Tigray and Amhara. Not the Jeberti, not the Saho speaking tribes, not the Erob and not many people who live on the border regions of the area. But as you move further from the border, you have a never-ending attempt to differentiate one’s self and to severe the racial, linguistic, and religious ties with Abyssinia, specially with Tigray!

And there is another problem caused by a twisted logic: the elite of the highlands want to decide the race, ethnic name, division, and retroactively molding of Eritreans as per their whims. No one objects when Eritrean Highland Christians claim ancestry from personalities who lived a thousand years ago, to biblical times; yet never does a Muslim mention an Arab ancestry without a noticing a belittling chuckle from those same Eritreans. But let’s see: the Assawerta claim ancestry from Asawr; the TroAa from Suleiman Al-Arabi; a small section of the Jeberti claim affinity with the Arab Mekhzumis, Moroccans, and still others from Osman Bin Afan; the Beni Amer from several Arab ancestors; the Ad Mualim and Ad Shek claim Hashimi (prophets tribe) ancestry. The name Hedarb is a corruption of the word Hadarem[6] from Hadramot in Yemen. The Artega section of the Beni Amer claim ancestry from Mohammed Jemalladdin (and beyond him), an Arab who first settled in Saukin[7], and there are many more such ancestries.

Arabic Pre-dates Eritrea

“The Arabic language has not been a language of religion only, but it is also a language of life in this world, and many documents that go back to centuries, and which was kept in the Archives of the court in Massawa and Keren, attest to this fact since it was written in Arabic[8].”

There is ample proof to indicate that Arabic was a ligua-franca in Massawa. Documents of inheritance, endowments (Awqaf), marriage, commercial dealings, etc, were all conducted in Arabic in Massawa in the 18th and 19th centuries[9]. There are old Arabic engravings in gravestones in Dahlak Kebir, etc. It was common in Muslim towns to see inscriptions or embossed writings on top of the doors and gates of the affluent: adkhuluha bslamin amneen[10], or, ya dakhil albab sely Alanebi[11], etc.

There is also a misconception that Arabic is the choice of the Muslim elite. That is not correct, it is the choice of all Eritrean Muslims not just Muslim elites.[12]

  1. Whatever education Eritrean Muslims were getting in pre-modern Eritrea (namely khelwa (Madrassah), or Kur’anic studies) was in Arabic. Muslim literacy in pre-colonial Eritrea was essentially Arabic literacy. The Khelwa tradition continues to this day. Basically, every Muslim child in Eritrea, prior to going to regular school, attends kura’anic school[13]. Modern education started less than a century ago; Eritreans have been around in that land quite a few centuries before that. That should establish the fact that Arabic, (since no one is objecting to Tigrinya) has been an indigenous Eritrean language forever. The founding fathers of modern Eritrea agreed and designated Arabic and Tigrinya as official languages of the country. That treaty is sacrosanct—any violation of that agreement bears grave consequences.
  2. The Shariaa courts (family laws), and all documentation were (and are) performed in Arabic. Since time immemorial, Muslims conduct their rituals, death, marriage, inheritance, business transactions, etc. on Arabic. Therefore, Arabic is not limited to religious affairs as some wrongly assume.
  3. Even in religious affairs, in Eritrea where Muslims belong to every linguistic group in the country, there is no practical way of duplicating communications and Friday sermons in all the nine languages. Muslims adopted Arabic as a solution to their multi-lingual reality, not because they hate their languages, but because every Muslim has a basic knowledge of Arabic from a young age; it is therefore practical tool for their unity.

Arabic was part of life of Eritrea and Ethiopia for centuries and not just for Muslims. Unless crowned by the patriarch of Alexandria, who speaks Arabic, no Ethiopian king was considered legitimate. This is supported by the fact that the seal of many Abyssinian emperor carried Arabic inscriptions: melk mululk AlHabasha (King of Kings of Abyssinia). Ras Alula has an iconic picture wearing An Arab garb. Much of the Ethiopian religious literature was translated from Arabic. The kings’ envoys to the region and their trading emissaries were Abyssinian Muslims fluent in Arabic.

When the Italians came to Eritrea, they brought with them Arabic translators and spoke with the locals in that language. When a Portuguese delegation passed through Massawa in 1520, the Captain General met the chief of Hergigo and “had conversation which they held by interpreters, the Captain speaking Arabic well…”[14]. The priest of the embassy who accidentally became its registrar, refers to the local populations he met on the shores of the Red Sea as Moors. This is indicative of the fact that he didn’t see any difference between them and the Arabs (Moors) who ruled his country, the Iberian Peninsula. As recently as when I was growing up, we referred to the people from the countryside of Western Eritrea as Arab.

It is not true to say that Arabic is advanced by Muslim elites. But it is very true to say that Arabic is denied by EPLF/PFDJ elite. And the EPLF/PFDJ elite don’t even have to be from the highlanders or Christians to deny the historic role of Arabic in Eritrea.

In 1996, in a debate over the constitution provisions, Mussa Naib, a PFDJ functionary whose very last name is an Arabic title (similar to Viceroy, or Deputy) stated to me that Arabic is a British invention in Eritrea; but we know the British came to Eritrea in 1941. Mussa was a member of the constitution commission of Eritrea that was touring the world to promote the idea of adopting mother languages (never mind the PFDJ had already decided that.) Someone asked a question: “In what language did your ancestors, the Naib’s of Massawa, correspond and in what language did they gain their primary education?” Of course, Mussa brushed the questions off. But the answer was, Arabic, and that was centuries before the British set foot in Eritrea, But poor Mussa was only pushing the official PFDJ line.

For instance, let’s take the name Rashaida. In its social reengineering exercise, the PFDJ divided Eritreans into nine linguistic groups. It baptized every group by the name of the language it speaks except the Rashaida who kept their racial reference, Rashaida. This is not only inconsistency it is done just to avoid referring to them as Arabs. Of course, the PFDJ wouldn’t call them Arabs when it is engaged in a futile attempt to eradicate Arabic from Eritrea.

Prejudiced Energizers

The prejudice against Arabic has its roots; Europeans missionaries and zealots have played a destructive role in the region, specially the Portuguese[15] and Jesuits. The damage can be traced to ignorant priests like Alvarez.

Many Ethiophiles after Alvarez continued the damage, and one of them wrote that the, “Tigre speakers are very largely illiterate, and those who have pretensions to literacy find Arabic a more useful means of communication.” And “The decision of the Eritreans government, in 1952, declaring Tigrnya and Arabic official languages of Eritrea is significant and augurs ill for the future of Tigre.”[16]

A respected Ethiopian scholar writes, “[the ELM] was soon eclipsed by the Muslim dominated ELF.”[17] Though it is an established fact that both the ELM and the ELF were started by Muslims with national agendas and programs, but the anti Muslim die was already caste a long time ago.

Such are the “scholarly” inputs that the PFDJ feeds from and adds to its bigotry, exclusionary and dangerous policies that have relegated Muslims to the inferior citizenship status. It has happened in the fifties[18], and it is happening now[19].

Polarized Society

When the British proposed the idea of dividing Eritrea between Sudan and Haile Sellassie’s Ethiopia, it was primarily the Muslims who fought that proposal and caused its failure. The Muslim dream for a united, peaceful Eritrea, and their commitment to it, is just there for anyone to see, provided there is honesty.

Recently, I have noticed a growing frustration among Muslims, especially those who were born or raised in the refugee camps of Sudan. Just a few weeks ago I met one of them and he was cursing Ibrahim Sultan and his colleagues who aborted the British proposal of partitioning Eritrea. The refugee told me, “what is the difference, myself and my family have been living in Sudan as refugees since 40 years, at least we would have been Sudanese and we wouldn’t have been kicked off our land.” However one tries, it is difficult to put yourself in his shoes and I felt like crying in despair. I didn’t even manage to utter enough words to console him, I felt helpless. “They betrayed us”, he said. I don’t know who he meant by THEY, but I felt as guilty as they, whoever they are.

The main culprit for the continuation and exasperation of the polarization is the PFDJ designs which was unfortunately not corrected by the constitution commission[20] when it had a chance. In its attempt to eradicate Arabic, the PFDJ has always avoided designating official languages. The result is what we see today in Eritrea: it is a unilingual, hegemonic state and “the domination of the Eritrean state by the Tigrigna ethnic is not subject of question. This is the fact and only those suffering from self-delusion can deny it.”[21]. If you do not know Tigrigna, you have no chance of getting a public employment or advancement in position regardless of the set of skills and certificates that you hold. And this fact can be illustrated by a story of another frustrated Eritrean I met in Dubai in the nineties.

A lawyer by training, he eagerly raced back to Eritrea to live there for good; no one could patronize him for not joining the struggle because of his young age. He applied for a job and was asked to take an exam for a public job; he did. One Sunday morning, he wanted to check if he passed the exam before traveling to Western Eritrea to be with his relatives for an occasion. He went to where they put the list of those who passed the exam and looked at the list on the wall. But he couldn’t read the names, it was written in Tigrigna. He stood there for a while until he saw a child of about twelve passing by. He asked him if he could read the list for him. The child went through the list and told him, yes, this is your name. He was supposed to be happy; but he was not. “That was the day I discovered I was illiterate by PFDJ standards though I carried a university degree.” He said to me with bitterness. He left Eritrea for good—even if he stayed, what awaited him was a job as an elementary school teacher like many graduates from the Middle East who can only get a teacher’s job, teaching Arabic to elementary school students simply because they do not know Tigrigna and could not be absorbed in the public employment positions. That is why after twenty years of independence, the diversity in the PFDJ employee list is warped. Worse, some people do not like Muslims complaining about that. What should they do? Keep quiet and die in agony?

The UNESCO Doctrine

I am not sure how UNESCO describes its goals and missions, but in the Eritrean context, in relation to the mother-tongue policy, I am taking the liberty to define it as follows: a doctrine that fiercely promotes the equality of languages. It promotes mother tongues as both a governing policy and as a means of education. Unwavering believers defend the doctrine as any fanatic would defend his faith.

One of the mistrust of the constitution commission by most Muslims is because they believed it will endorse the PFDJ policies. Those who should have known didn’t object, those who didn’t know the reality of Eritrea, those who never ventured outside their villages to know the rest of Eritrea, considered the issue an intellectual exercise and trampled over the rights of others[22]. As planned, the adaptation of the mother-tongue policy neither benefited the non-Tigrigna speakers, nor the Muslims who have always opted for Arabic. And the entire country is still going through a damaging journey.

After twenty years of misrule in Eritrea, we all know the language issue is not theoretical any more. The UNESCO doctrine is just another useless acrobatics.

Idris Aba-Arre

The language topic cannot be discussed without mentioning the brave Idris Aba-Arre who warned about the risks of the irresponsible and mischievous language policy. In 2001, the regime threw him in jail for his views and he disappeared in the dungeons of Isaias. Aba-Arre challenged the elite that should have known better, that exclusion of Arabic is detrimental to the cohesion of Eritreans and vital to social justice. They didn’t heed his advice. Just as he predicted, almost twenty years of mischievous application of the mother-tongue policy produced two generation of illiterate adults (about 8% high school attendance only.) The policy also effectively barred those whose educational background is Arabic from employment in the public sector.

And look around you, Muslims are excluded (or exclude themselves) because of this polarizing factor. Decade ago, just like now, individuals tried to silence people from discussing their grievances, as usual, Muslims never abandoned their call for dialogue, tirelessly they tried to explain their issues which were discouraged because the issues were considered polarizing—those who oppose Arabic with passion fail to notice that their patronizing posture is the only polarizing factor.

What Is In Arabic?

Many fail to remember that Eritreans launched an armed struggle to reinstate the official languages, flag and other symbols of Eritrean sovereignty that Ethiopia violated—the violation of Arabic was one of the main reasons. No one has the right to make a choice on behalf of anyone—paternalist posture is anti-democratic and every bleeding-heart democrat should be aware of this fact. In a free country, citizens are equal and they have equal choices.

The elite of our society has always been in the middle of all political and social unrest and today’s unelected rulers of Eritrea perpetuate the prejudices and paternal attitudes of the past. What emboldens the rulers to continue to punish the people with impunity? Why are Eritrean citizens so weakened that they cannot resist tyranny? Eritreans are so confused to strengthen mutual trust among themselves and be able to wage an effective combined national struggle to rid themselves of their present predicament.

The intensity of the regime’s obsession with systematically excluding Arabic from Eritrea is in direct contrast to the intensity with which Eritreans are determined to defend their choice. That choice should be viewed as a national, cross denominational and patriotic choice for the wellbeing of Eritrea and for keeping a genuine unity of its people.

No. I am not an Arab. But Arabic is part of the social bond that the founding fathers of Eritrea made a covenant on; and to reject or marginalize it is akin to forfeiting a bonding contract.

Thank you

(Saleh “Gadi” Johar, founder and publisher of awate.com, author of ‘Simply Echoes’,  ‘Of Kings And Bandits’, and ‘Miriam Was Here.’ You can also read his 2010 article on the language issue at: http://awate.com/like-an-aged-wine/)  

[1] Mohammed AlTayeb Al Yousifi, Ethiopia wel Eruba Wel Islam, first edition (AlMaktaba AlMecciah, 1996), the authors mentions many words borrrowd from Abyssinian language.

[2] ibid

[3] Dr. Lapiso Dileba, Ye etipiawinet tarikawi mesertoch’ena masaryawoch, 1999.

[4] There are also a few sources that contradict that and claim he was Persian. Mohammed AlTayeb Al Yousifi believs he was Abyssinian.

[5] Alberto Polera, translated from Italian to Tigrigna by Abba Issak Gebreyesus, Deqebat Hzbtat Ertra. This book gives a through description of the origin of the present Eritrean people; though very informative, it overwhelmingly based on folktales and traditions.

[6] Andrew Paul, History Of The Beja Tribes Of Sudan, 1953

[7] ibid

[8] Mohammed Saeed Naud, the founder of the Eritrean Liberation Movement (Haraka or Mahber Shewaate) http://www.nawedbooks.com/nawed/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=293accessed June 16, 2011.

[9] Jonathan Miran, Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa.

[10] ‘Enter this house in peace and trust’

[11] ‘Oh ye who enter this house, pray for the prophet’

[12] Check Chefena Hailemariam, Doctoral thesis, Language and Education in Eritrea: A case study of Language diversity policy and Practice. The book concludes from the surveys conducted in several Eritrean communities and schools that the overwhelming majority of Muslim parents (Tigre, Saho, Barya/Nara, Blin speakers) said that they prefer Arabic as the language of instruction for their children at primary schools. Similarly, the vast majority of students from those communities attending the schools covered by the survey also opted for Arabic.

[13] Kur’anic schooling usually continues a few years more, side by side with secular education, until the child completes the whole course of the Kur’an).

[14] Father Alvarez, Expedition Of Portuguese Embassy Into Abyssinia -1520 (English translation).

[15] When Alvarez was asked by the people of Debarwa to pray to God to rid the region from the locusts, he prayed that “..within three hours [the Locust] should begin to set out on their way, and go to the sea, or to the country of the Moors [Muslims], or to mountains of no profit to Christians….”

[16] Edward Ullendorff, The Ethiopians: introduction to country and people.

[17] Bahru Zewde, A History of Modern Ethiopia, 1855-1974

[18] Interview with Adem Melekin, a veteran of the Eritrean struggle since the fifties

[19] Refer to Ahmad Raji’s “The Lost Rainbow” series of studies (Part1-4):
August 9, 2009 The Lost Rainbow (I)
August 15, 2009 The Lost Rainbow (II)
August 24, 2009 The Lost Rainbow (III)
October 1, 2009 The Lost Rainbow (IV)

[20] In his book Wounded Nation, Red Sea Press, 2011, Dr. Bereket Habte Sellase acknowledged the shortcomings with regards to the official language issue and he explains in detail the causes and risks of polarization and presents workable solution to overcome the political impasse in Eritrea.

[21] Ibid

[22] On April 14, 1997, the late Tekie Fesahatsion, member of the constitution commission wrote: “One cannot give a constitutional imprimatur to one or two of the local languages, without downgrading the other eight or seven. We are a multilingual society. The moment we designate, constitutionally, some, and not all, of our languages, we will surely be straying from the equality provision–the cornerstone-of our constitution. This we cannot do, must not do.”

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

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  • Peace!

    Dear Maekebay,

    Go Easy on Emma:) I have similar issue with him that he doesn’t usually give a straight answer perhaps it is a strategy of the Nikid T’ray opposition groups.

    Regards

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Peace,
      I don’t see any reasonable argument that you make so far. and I never see, any post where Emma didn’t give straight answer. mention one and here I am to challenge you.

      • Peace!

        Dear Kokob selam,

        “You are too funny and great entertainer. (I know you are talking serious, this time).” Courtesy of Rahwa

        Regards

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Peace,
          you may have to read more what she said it about me if it is important for you. I don’t put here what others said about you, I said once ” Peace with his narrow mind….” do you read that?

          • Peace!

            Dear KS,

            Ay’testewahido-;)

            Regards

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear PEACE,
            Thank you peace. I have updated and in safe. shall I copy for you?

        • Rahwa T

          Hi Peace,
          Are your trying to create a crack between me Kokheb Selam? No way. You will not succeed. If you understand my comment in a negative way, it should be out of luck my capability to compose ideas the way I wish. For me and other Ethiopians, Kokheb Selam is probably the best man (or at least one of the few men who aspire and strives for the good people to people relationship. To me he is even more the Ethiopians, to be honest. So please use your own of transferring messages.

          Selam meAlti

  • Pass the salt

    Awatistas,
    Quick poll. When two parties of the Eri oppostion (individuals or groups) fight amongst each other, who is the happiest camper? That is, of course, other than the PFDJ and Co.

  • selam

    Dear Readers
    Have you ever heard draught is on the way to Ethiopia and Eritrea ? This year harvest is very low in both countries and I am sure their respective governments will sit on lies over lies , papi . T.T , dawit will sit here and brag . Tigrai farmers and most Eritrean kebesa farmers are at the mercy of their governments.

    • Michael Tesfamariam

      Selam, I think the draught is now coming to Eritrea to expose the empty slogan of “self-reliance” of PFDJ cadres.

      • selam

        Dear mik
        There was no self reliance once the rain stops ? This is a natural thing , forget PFDJ even weyane who bragged a growth of 10% for 20 years could not feed their people. This problem is real , you want prove call to Eritrea or Tigrai. I have a friend who visited Tigrai just last week and he told me Hunger is just rushing to the people and cattle , you want news about Eritrea , well no one will tell you unless you see them on the news of sinking boat.

        • Michael Tesfamariam

          Selam
          Ethiopia is growing, it is real, it not propaganda unlike enDa Issais. Yes, there are many people yet to be helped escape extreme poverty in Ethiopia, but you got to remember the millions of people who have graduated from poverty so far. Even though, economic growth is expected to help poor people escape from poverty, but it doesn’t have to be automatic. Economic growth doesn’t bring about reduction in poverty straight away.

  • selam

    Dear Maekebay
    Thanks for stating the truth. Ema is on a mission to say any thing to make his party suffered from the two joint army of TPLF and EPLF . He will never answer your question . He will try to fool abi not Eritreans.

  • T..T.

    Thanks AMAN for making things clear.

    But still a question remains to be clarified. Are you saying that the ELF outsourced the job of liberating the Eritrean and the Ethiopian peoples to EPLF and TPLF. And, so long the job was done, the ELF shouldn’t regret the day the New World Order decided the ELF should be rooted out.

  • selam

    DEAR FORUMERS. I ask you to help me figure out what want wrong.
    , I have so many copied comments which is harsh than the comments I made. The moderator has a Tlf line that moderate me to extrem distance , some times they will not even have any prove to that i cross the guide lines more so this last time ban. Here you have it folks , semere Andom called all the tewahdo believer cowards, the moderato did not even check it while semere sing Canadian anthem , Abi called the Arabs below humans while he knew there are 1000, 000 Ethiopians working under arabs and fund their family .For your own sake , what did selam do ? Call someone a cadre of weyane based on proven track record , come on people , how long I and so many to look for fair treatment.

    • Michael Tesfamariam

      Selam Shikor
      In fact Semere and Abi were right on their characterisation of Arabs and Tewohado, that is why the moderator did not want to discipline them. Now I wanna ask you this Selam, am I right, the other day I was reading a message from the moderator to the awate readers, which was written some years or months ago, I can’t remember the date when the message was posted here in this forum, but Selam was mentioned there? Even though, I can’t quote the exact message directed to Selam, it says,,”selam you are passionate,, but your comments do not have quality,, we need quality more than quantity”. I was wondering who Selam the moderator was referring to when he said “Selam”? If that was you, I think he was wrong, cos, you are great debater, I like your offensive remarks sometime, including to me I should say.However, despite your excellent quality of debate, your position on PFDJ has never been clear to me until this minute. Could you tell me now whether you are you pro PFDJ or against?

      • selam

        Dear michael
        First of all , I am not going to spend time explaining my view on PFDJ it doesn’t need any of it. Second the people who want quality arguments are putting very ugly arguments. Third I am not here to debate , because debating means just taking word for word and deflected it to make your point. I am not that person mik. I am here to just stay with the basics of the Eritrean people history and their interests . Why would you ask my view any way ? Ok you want prove if I despise PFDJ, ok deal I don’t think even for micro second but I am not like the people like semere and Amanuel hidrat who spend my time on blaming the known criminals , I have stoped blaming and complaining about criminal leader in Eritrea. What I am willing and determined to do is ask the so called elite Eritrean opposition and writers to form a united front to comfront PFDJ on our own merits not by using weyane and other evil agency’s work. Here you have it. I am more worried about disillusioned opposition than a known criminal leader in Eritrea.

        To put thing to remember for you , How is it possible for the moderator to aprove semere word”cowards”to the Orthodox believers to be true ? How are the arabs below human being to be aproved by the moderator ? Let the two big men speak then we can put this behined.

        • Michael Tesfamariam

          Selam
          I told you once, the two guys were absolutely right. The Orthodox Tewahado has been used by all criminal thugs from Emperor Haile Selelassie to PFDJ, they are greedy and wolfish, who betrayed Abune Antonios, true and brave Patriarch. The Arabs, particularly the two cancers, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are spending millions of USD to spread extreme Islamic ideology across the region and E. Africa, they denied basic human right protection for Eritreans who flee the regime in Eritrea, they are disturbing Syria and Yemen by supporting extremists. Instead of helping the “Palestinians” to settle in their country, they use them as bargaining tool with the west to disturb the world with impunity, ,,,, and so so forth.
          My question on PFDJ was rather simple,, you don’t have to spend time explaining it to me, I wish to know if it is yes or no, a simple question deserves a simple answer!

          • T..T.

            To Selam,

            I – ditto – the above.

    • Amanuel

      Hi Selam
      I lost count how many times you have been baned, but I remember one effence, a personal attach against Tes, which i think deserves a life time ban. As far I am concern you have been treated with kids gloves.

      • sara

        Dear Mr.Mr. Amanuel
        are you suggesting awate has to ban here, why only pointing fingers at selam? how about those bashing
        Eritrea day in day out,com on if you are serious about this start with those who are maligning the country
        not individuals.
        with respect.

        • Amanuel

          Hi Sara
          selam asked the forumers what is wrong with her comments and I gave my thought about one of her comments regarding Tes. I am not suggesting for her to be banned. However, I am reminding her that she has been punished lightly.
          I have got a question, is there any chance selam and Sara may be the same person?
          Regards

          • sara

            Dear
            btw,its sara not Sara and the answer to your question is the same as Aman and Amanuel, does that make sense. honestly i don’t understand why you are after selam? be easy on her!

          • Amanuel

            Hi sara
            Sorry about the big S. Your answer doent make sense. Sometimes Aman could be a short for Amanuel and sometimes it is a name in its own. I am not after selam. She asked a question i gave her my honest opinion. Is she banned again? Is it a coincidence that you come to the forum whenever she is banned?

          • sara

            Dear Amanuel
            i think i have said what i thought is right about not going after selam, apart from that i don’t want to duel much on this and take the space for those commentators.
            Good day.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Abisha,
    I emphatically refuse to accept a solution that is based on mutual distrust and or mutual cancelation. Why not continue with what we have or pick any of our languages? The reason English became successful is its power of adaptability. Wherever it went it inherited local words and made them part of it. I don’t know if you know the history of the English language (very interesting class), but its origin was German. As it made its way west toward present day Scotland it had morphed to something the Germans themselves would have hard time understanding. Its secret to its success was its acceptance of other language’s words and making them “English.” So, my solution is to incorporate words from our other languages into Amharic and expand it as we go. Because this happens over time and slowly, it is doable. No foreigners please!

  • Eyob Medhane

    Abi, Horizon, KH and all Ethiopian Awatistas, including Sal and Gash Saleh (closet Ethiopians 🙂 )

    Esti qezqez argut. 🙂 Enkuan lebuhe aderesachihu…

    You can continue with your debate after you watched this..

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BXnYq8UwWSo

    • Abi

      Eyobe
      Qezqez argut?
      Endet new negeru?
      Saay ende Buhe dabo kelayna ketach eyelebelebegn endet liqezqiz? Eko endet?
      YeEyobn tigist yisTen.

      • tes

        Dear Abi,

        You are declaring Amharic to be replaced by English, right?

        tes

        • Abi

          Tes
          I am wishing English to be our official language all over ethiopia. In schools, government or non government offices. We are already using it half way. I want it to use it everyday, everywhere by everyone. Not the selected few with money. Nobody left behind. Local languages could be taught in schools.
          When there is a new advancement in food safety procedures, my people don’t need Tes’s help in translating it to their language. I want every farmer to be able to read and understand the warnings on the bag of a fertilizer. How about that?

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abo,
            using English all over the nation is not bad but dismissing Amharic and replacing it by English is a crime. Abi, I am among those who want to make Tigrinya and Amharic popular all over the world while learning other languages. why don’t you join me. the precondition to join me is to love own culture and language and also. you will be tested if you have mastered Amharic typing …60 words a minute. Lol ! will you?

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello Prof. tes,
          Abi has been exposed, and I have decided to wear black for the week, but I am a shirt and two pants short. I am going shopping this Saturday for a couple more pairs.

          Every body who is who on this forum asked Abi to please use Geez font including a complete instruction by some one (Ted?) on how to get a program that will allow him write in Geez for free. He made some lame excuse like “if I only had my computer room on the east side instead of the west I would have.” Now, we know why for sure; don’t we?

          Abi,
          You can’t fool all the people all the time!

          • Abi

            Fantish
            How about black chama for a week? Are you color blind?
            You said your wife is from kilite awlalo? From now on she is from second cyclone.
            No Tigrigna anymore. It is relegated to crying or fighting only. Use Amharic for loving.
            Repeat after me ” emebete”, ” yemwedish “….

          • Amde

            Abi,

            Wait a minute.

            Growing up, I was told that “Egziabher zefen siamrew Tigre lay yazenbal.” I know one Oromo lady who told me she decided to marry a Tigrayan because she absolutely loved the Tigrayan songs and dance during the annual Mesqel.

            Unfortunately for her, it turned out the saying,

            “negiresh yellem wey be aTir tenTelTiye,
            Tigre wushima inji bal ayhonim biye”

            was more a propos.

          • Abi

            Amde
            That is what I’m telling Hayat. Yetigre bal? No! No! No!
            Egziabher Tigre lay kazenebe silesenebete mihla lay nachew. Zefen yelem.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Amde:
            What do you guys mean by “yazenbal”, the Tigre locations are arid, are you talking about bullents 🙂
            PS: Abi, this is a joke, I can count on Amde to take it as a joke for Abi, I have to add this one.
            PS: even this is a joke:-)

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Amde,

            Please don’t feed Abi with any more weapons against me. By the way it was the Eritrean Truck Driver that reuined our reputation with that ‘wushima inji bal ayhonim’ mistaken identity. I understood this one from an early age. Those truckers would be going away from home for weeks, sometimes more, and of course, they have to have warm beds along the way to eventually go back to their wives. Poor Tigraway!

          • tes

            Dear Fanti Ghana,

            I am in short of time these days as I have to finish my thesis. but I am scanning comments whenever time permits.

            Regarding Abi, I can say this: when he (Abi) irritates the only and only Truth teller and rational man we have here at awate.com, named Fanti Ghana. I can see now the demise of Abi’. What I am looking now is to hire somebody to collect his corps and bring to my Morgue’s place (you know I am appointed as City Morgue’s administrator by Abi. God must have told him about his future and the only safe place that his body can be kept under tes’s territory.

            keep on going with the rest forumers. Awate Room is nw runnig at light spped. Just take the lead. I will take care of the dead bodies until I got an honest worker at the morgue like Abi.

            tes

          • Abi

            Tes
            I’m glad to be in good hands. You are the best in the business.
            How long would it take you to reincarnate Abi to abi ? Last time it took you less than a minute to reincarnate yourself. May be self reincarnation is easier for you.
            Do you accept payment in kind? I can bring red wine.

    • saay7

      Eyobai:

      Welcome back from purgatory. Now how do I punish you? I got it: hoyena hoye, Eritrean hip hop style.

      http://youtu.be/sICbqkZU6Q8

      saay

  • Semere Andom

    It is depressing to see those who benefited the most from ELF trashing it as a Muslim organization. Things start somewhere by some few people serendeposly or they had advantage or whatever, US started as white protestant, but it did not remain so, and the same with ELF, it started in the lowlands with Muslims, but it did not remain so, it got its act together and when it saw its demise by the unholy alliance of EPLF and TPLF it was dominated by Christians, from its garages to its top echelons, for sure things lingered from the old days, but they were not bad. It was a national front, not an Arab stooge as some people who would have ended up as donkey farmers somewhere in Areza, if it was not for the education they received from ELF. The debates in Dehai that assassinated the character of lates selfless teachers were a testament to the bigotry that will widen the cleavage that has started in 1991, ganging up against a national organization by accusing as Arab an anti Habesha.

    Some “ruffians” do not support ideas because they spring from our region or our ethnic group or benefits our clan and that is called profiles in courage and truth.

    Sem Andom

    “Maeteb” donning Orthodox from Tigriniya

    • Hayat Adem

      Selam Semere Anbesa,
      Added to the puzzling part you mentioned is there is something unusual when you see the history of ELF and EPLF (also TPLF to an extent), the latter became victor and the former sank in the sand. When you consider the inventory of their negative past engagements against each other, it seems to me ELF was mostly on the receiving end, and it was totally consumed by the unfriendly fire. But the amount of bitterness and hate flows towards ELF than originates from them. While victim and defeated, they show better magnanimity and grace towards their opponents compared to what they receive. The victor still vilifies them contrary to their current status as a long, long spent force but as if they have a superiority of some kind.

      But I don’t support the excessive emphasis they were giving to Arabic. Emma told us the burning of those books was because of tactical reasons from the a retreating armed group point of view. Without 2nd guessing Emma version, I suspect the issue might have a great deal to do with a decision to destroy Tigrayt literature. Remember, a bone of contention was the issue that those text books were written without an authorization or violating a decision from the leadership of the front. Besides, if what Emma told was true, there might have been a lot more books and docs written in Arabic which haven’t been reported as burned.
      Hayat

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Hayat,

        Yes indeed, all kinds of books, and other logistic materials were burned. It happens in any push and pull war tactics. So Hayat don’t stick in such baseless suspicion on the reason why they were burned. It is the nature of war. We have many urgent things we can talk about. Let us redeem ourselves from our acts before we try to redeem our people and our nation. If we have the courage, let us make history to change the direction of our nation. Talk is always cheap if action doesn’t accompanied it. You don’t need a 2nd guess, and don’t debate on second guess basis, for things you don’t have any clue about it. Talk always on facts at hand if you are a forward looking person. You have the audacity to drag a debate on speculations and not on reality at hand. The task at hand demands focus. This all side issue is killing us with no prospect to be serious on it as I see it. All our debates are recycling from time to time – and it is not worthy even because we are not coming even a single issue, to a common understanding. Pleas stick on the issue of priorities – and you know them well.

        Regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat.

        • Abi

          Hi Ato Amanuel
          You made it sound like the war was against the Tigre language. If the books were purely for academic purposes , why the need to destroy them? You didn’t want EPLF to use them? Was there any hidden agenda you tried to hide? if you ask me only criminals burn documents when running for their lives.
          The more you tried to cover the reason, the more questions arise.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abi,

            I think when you debate with people who don’t know the rules of wars, it comes all kind of questions, and they are endless. Why don’t we conclude them by saying, if you were not a soldier or a fighter in the army you will not able to understand them. Isn’t it easy to do that at least for arm chair judges.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Abi

            Ato Amanuel
            We are talking about books written in the language of the liberators, for the benefits of the liberated. We are not talking about weapons depots. Why do you confuse the two?
            You don’t have to be a soldier to understand this issue. A good soldier protects its literature nomatter how poorly prepared or prepared without authorization. Never burn them. End of story.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Abi,

            Logistics for liberating army includes logistics for civilian purposes and war purposes, because a liberating army has a dual mission in his engagement. The army is an educator, health officer, fighter..etc Gebito my friend.

          • Abi

            Ato Amanuel
            YereTebew lay shenahibet.
            I will leave it here.
            Thanks

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abo,
            you just type anything that your fingers order ( Lol ! when comes to my friend Abi, it is not the mind that orders to type something but the finger) I wish your fingers are also ordering your mind in typing Amharic.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kokobay,

            It is not only me. When abi types Amharic using English alphabets, I have hard time to read it.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Amanual,
            I don’t know actually why he chose to type in English. it is difficult to put it in English and you have to read again and again to get the idea. that is why I stop reading his Amharic words typed by English letters.

          • Kokhob Selam

            ዓቢ ኣልበዛም !

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Abi,
            still you are in Mengstu’s day Abi. what do you think of war ? have you ever participated? when the enemy comes to kill you and destroy you will you leave anything behind if you go back? do you know we have fighters who fight to then end when injured but kill themselves not to be captured?

          • Abi

            Kokobe
            Never laughed this much in my life.
            Are you telling me the books burned themselves instead of being captured?
            Thanks kokobe. I needed to laugh.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abo,
            Keep laughing. I thought you will put it in poem form so we can enjoy it. Now, you must remember the books are also part of fighters. Lol! don’t you know that books in Eritrea were alive during our struggle? they had life!

          • Abi

            Kokobe
            I have heard books have lives. Never heard of sacrificial books.
            Yetesewu metshaftoch !

        • Hayat Adem

          Dear Emma,
          1) This is article is about language, religion and identity. The discussion is relevant and right on it. So, nobody is dragging or distracting anybody else from anything else.
          2) I know you for your habit of straight talk. But on this issue, I am seeing you going to great length to find a graceful reason for the burning down of the books. I don’t have to remind you that you don’t owe any one a reconstructed and admissible purposes of bad decisions of the past. We are only trying to understand the attitudes on our values and identities.
          When YG brought it a year or so ago, and we were discussing it, you didn’t give us a war situation as a reason for burning them down. You just confirmed that a) there was a difference between the congress and the dept-edu, your department decided to prepare the text books in Tigrayet contradicting the congress, which officially decided to go with Tigrigna and Arabic (but practically ended up with only Arabic. b) the department went ahead and published them, anyway, c) elf intervened and stopped them from being distributed and were collected/confiscated back and stored, d) later on, upon withdrawal, they were burned down. This is your account, not mine.
          3) While the congress’ decision was for using Tigrigna and Arabic, why did ELF practically favored Arabic over Tigrigna?
          4) While the Dept of Edu went against ELF leadership to publish text books in non-Arabic? Was it not because of a stand against too much, too soon pro-arabization tendency over native identity?
          5). If the reason for burning the books was forced, what was the reason for collecting them back and storing them?

          6) Like, others were wondering, they are just text books. If carrying them was viable, why would burning them be viable?
          7) Please, don’t dismiss serious concerns and questions blaming it on our lack of temokro ghedli and miedda.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hayat,

            I will correct you two things. We published the Tigre and Tigrigna. They didn’t stop the tigrigna, it was distributed – we took them to the army and to the liberated areas for literacy purpose. They stop only the tigre. The ELF leadership didn’t favored Arabic over Tigrigna. I don’t know from where you get it. Tigrigna and Arabic language as equi-languages are taught by ELF organization. The reason why the tigre was stored is, to let it be decided its fate by the Eritrean people in a democratic Eritrea..

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Emma,
            It is just a language and identity discourse. History is sometimes an avoidably visited for support. So, take it easy. I am just using it as an opportunity to learn and have a solid grip. If I’m able to make my mind on an issue with certainty, then, like you, I also try to stay a good and principled soldier and stand my ground for what I believe. So, this and other discourses will help us build a consensus for more mutual understanding, broader commonness, and shared space and plans.

            I want clarify one thing though. You said, “The ELF leadership didn’t favored Arabic over Tigrigna. I don’t know from where you get it.”. I will tell where I got that. One time, a year or so ago, saay wrote something to that effect. And you endorsed it. This is on top of other informed testimonials, of course.

            Hayat

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Hayata,

            “I will tell where I got that. One time, a year or so ago,….” I didn’t notice any. can ! you help and try to find the exact link ? anyhow, let me assure you as I am ELF and never changed since ever in cold and hot. and I hope you will not ask more proof than ELF itself. Arabic and Tigrnya are equal and balance for my front.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi KS,
            There was one quote in General Collin Powell’s office wall. Some one has noticed and brought it out. The quote was taken from President Regan’s talk about Collin Powell. It goes like this: “when Collin tells me something, I know it is so.” I can borrow that with little improvisation to say this: When Kokhob tells me something, I know his is telling me with all honesty.

            Hayat

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hayat,

            Could you pull it from where you read my endorsement. May be I am misunderstood. I know you profile every commentator in this forum and I hope you will do it. Again ELF that I know, it used both languages (Arabic and Tigrigna).

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Emma,
            I think AOsman did pull it. If it is not that one, I will look for it. Look Emma, it is not that I’m profiling every commentator’s feedback here. Not that it is bad to do but my resources would never allow me to do that. I hope you are not buying Nitricc’s guess-to-err shots that I’m paid by TPLF to follow this forum 24/7. The reason I was able to mine out some old feeds is the magic power of disqus awate.com gave us with this format version. Evey thing we have said is being archived there and you can mine it at will in a matter of seconds.
            Hayat

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hayat,

            AOsman pulled from my original article. what he has quoted me is my own word, and not something I endorsed Saay’s comment. I still need to see my endorsement to him to see how I did it. I feel that I am misunderstood by you. You see Hayat I am sick and tired when people are recycling issue and saying the same thing. It has nothing to do with current predicament of our people. It sucks.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Hayat Adem

            Ok Emma,
            But because you are looking for the entire exchange, I prefer to give you the link as it won’t be good to dump the whole thing here.
            Hayat

            http://awate.com/eritrean-ambassador-to-nigeria-arrested-in-asmara/comment-page-1/

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hayat,

            Okay now Hayat, you brought the link “the entire article with all the comments in it”. If you read Saay’s chronicle, period by period, it doesn’t explain that the whole life span of the ELF organization was favoring Arabic than tigrigna. You are not honest to lump all the history of ELF to your specific argument. Generally, Saay was right the way he put it, and I was correct to support his chronicles. I told you Arabic wasn’t favored from tigrigna in the era when I joined the front. I don’t know what your mission is – you make me to be suspicious as to what your intention is, simply to put it straight forward. As much as I enjoy your debate skills, winning a debate doesn’t amount always to be truthful. And you know that very well. We know and admit on the flaws of our ghedli on the way it manages its internal contradiction, but we never hesitate on the mission of our ghedli. Never to tegadelti. Let me tell you one sure thing, that all Eritrean people are solid to maintain the sovereignty of our nation. This world is dynamic and the new dynamic is conducive for economic integration, possibly the whole East African countries if the security issue is resolved. Other than that, the new reality is created by all the factors that makes it to happen ( we don’t need to detail those factors now). Accept and move on, and talk how to improve the situation and the lives of the people in the horn.

            I have a hint why you are harping on ghedli consistently . You are against ghedli and its outcome. Once you are against it, we don’t expect you to give a sound judgement on our ghedli anyway. You are engaging with a biased position on the issue we are debating. You told us that I am here to learn. But someone who has already made up his mind and already showed his/her position, can not come to learn with an open mind. The only thing you are here is, to find an additional information to substantiate to your believe and your argument that says “ghedli is a wrong project”. We can have many ups and down on our way, but the Eritrean people is resilient, and we will overcome the current predicament. I am deadly sure about it.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Emma:

            You sound disappointed; don’t be. Just ask our archivist, A.Osman, to pick the most relevant parts of the discussion (related to the language issue) from the article Hayat has linked…and trust me, you will be vindicated….and I am afraid Hayat will not look good because it will become clear that she is asking questions about issues discussed vigorously and answered conclusively in the article she linked. And that’s why she didn’t excerpt my statement–which had a timeline of Arabic in Eritrea–your correction, my accepting your correction.

            Ajokha.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Saay,

            I am not disappointed on what we are intending to do, at least to change the situation in our country. But I am sickened when the forum change sometimes from debating ideas to chatting, and above all when the diversionist dragging us to play on a recycled issues. Look on any given article posted in this website, how many serious debate we did on them. It only needs one unrelated comment on the subject at hand to divert the whole debate engagement. I really feel the debate we are doing is not contributing to the actual problem we want to solve. Other than that nothing has changed from the spirit of struggle I had since ghedli era.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            The article in question, “Language and Religion in Eritrean Politics” deals with some of the most contentious issues in Eritrea. If, as you often say, our inability to consolidate the fight against the Isaias regime is driven by our mistrust, this articles attempts to shed light on what could be contributing towards that mistrust. In this particular case, Emma, (and I know Haile TG and SGJ may disagree with me), a segment of the silent majority are Muslim lowlanders–who have been silent for a very long time and believe that the issues that matter to them–return of refugees, reinstatement of Arabic language, reinstatement of the Eritrean flag and other issues dealing with equality of citizenship and the dignity of the citizen– are not a priority to the opposition and will not be a priority to it in a post-Isaias Eritrea…so why do I want to empower a group that is going to stab me in the back?

            On the other side of the silent majority, the Christian highlanders think that, yes, change is necessary but not change so radical that it will destabilize the country and they see the sum total of all the changes requested destabilizing.

            Ideally, all this is discussed calmly in a round table–but to get there, you have to have an informed populace. The Eri regime and its satellites monopolize and spin information; the opposition lives in parallel universes–one using Arabic media, another using Tigrinya media. There are very few places where all sectors of Eritrea AND, this crucial, our most influential neighbor (Ethiopians) can get together and discuss issues. And I believe that Awate Forum (awate university) fills that need. We wholeheartedly believe that and if we didn’t SGJ and I would be silent moderators in this forum.

            Now, about a forum where the article is “language and religion…”, what percentage of the nearly 1,000 comments dealt with that? Why? And what can be done about that? These are things we talk about daily. In fact, I am asking for a volunteer to crunch the numbers and tell us what percentage of the comments dealt with the subject at hand. And we will report it: make it a sticky thread and close the discussion.

            saay

          • AOsman

            Dear Emma,

            From reading the discussion between the three of you at the time, I sense Hayat did not get the full picture on the burning of the documents. SG comment seems not to have done the job too, so it makes sense that she remembers such details (nagging Q are not easy to forget). It might take few seconds to load, the following link will take you straight to the particular discussion.

            http://awate.com/eritrean-ambassador-to-nigeria-arrested-in-asmara/comment-page-1/#comment-1369099691

            SAAY – ain’t an archivist, but google is good to get you what you want in seconds, the reason I provide the links is that I know these topics have their season, connecting them as we debate with past articles will help us from unnecessary future debates. I admit, the webarchive is not googleable :).

            Maybe Awate should publish e-books in volumes (by year/topic/writers anything that suits), sell them at an affordable price. Trust me (I know u don’t like the word) you will find buyers and it will be something to funding the website.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Emma,
            1) the glory of ghedli is not the point of discussion here. but my views on that are clear, your are clear, and if need be we can continue discussing it. but that is not a priority and urgent.
            2) but we agree on the objectively existing conditions now and I guess we have a lot in common about the options going forward. That is critically important. The mission of both of us comes from this point. so, why are asking why my mission is just because I question the past?
            3) now you are saying elf was not like that in its entire life span or at least at the time you were there. that is fair. but don’t accuse me as if i misrepresented you. because i didn’t. saay gave a list of summary on past history. one of his points was this about the language and elf, relevant to the issue we are discussing. then you endorsed his summary and you corrected the points you thought needed correction. your corrections did not include the language-elf item. so, i brought it here and i never try to distort or spin it. i don’t do that. now, if you think the fact that you didn’t include it in your correction was an accidental omission, you can do it now. but i didn’t think i as unfair on that.
            Hayat, with much respect

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hayat,

            Move on please. I don’t like your dragging tactics. However, that does not eclipse my respect to you. Than you.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Amanuel,

            Don’t you think that, with hindsight, that Ghedli was a waste of human and other material resources?

            There is no point in saying: if it was not for Isaias … if it was not for Stalin or Mao or Ho Chi Minh or Castro etc. the revolution would have resulted in a better outcome.

          • Hayat Adem

            The dream? great.
            The journey? bloody.
            The destination? you have arrived at the thickest darkness of the night, go dream again.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hayat,

            Is this really your comment voting for Music Novice recommendation to send me to rehab program? Thank anyway. Good to know now.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Emma,
            Not you for a rehab. Not that part. But there are some messages in that comment I support. My vote was meant to convey a message to you in particular.
            Hayat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Gual Adem
            I guess more graceful admonitions to follow from the PRIME MINISTER.
            So, let’s put your hero YG who changed sides and comforts when the real deal was plying out against the heroes who were in the thin and thick of all it. As an average reader, should I trust to give a passing tick of rationality? Let me put them in an order:
            1. YG: ELF was an Arab made organization, Malaake TeKle, Tesfai TeKle….Harestay, Degiga…were Arabized. They let Arabization creep up the body of the organization to its head, finally, causing it to have a massive and fatal brain injury, sending it to the Sudan.
            exhibit? Look how many of Tigre (mind, of Tigre, not of Tigrigna as abi takes it because he does not know that Tigre is not Tigrigna).
            Sources: mengistu and his remnants, HS remnants
            Hint: Read/listen to interviews of Mengistu…Gen.Wubetu Tsegaye who made it out of Nadew on camel back (yes, that’s true, he fled his cordoned army in Afabet and fled on camel back. Of course, he did not hesitate for a second that the camel came from the Arabs (ye muslimochAraboch ensesa), also listen to Fiqre wegderes (ex-PM), THEY ALL say ኣረቦች ናቸው የተዋጉን።
            2. Now luckily we have people, real actors who happen to know exactly what things looked like.
            Exhibit:
            – Read semere Andom’s series on Tarikh sewra Ertra, but please go upto Akhieba TeKli. After that things get murky. You will see SAAY challenging him with evidences. But hey even YG is becoming the “reference” for some of our smart folks.
            – SGJ, Aman H, KS,
            My little brain tells me I should trust the four men, I wish my dear Tzegereda comments, but she seems she is so busy this days. Where is Haile Zeru? He is from Tigre and an ELF veteran, I know he did have fine inputs when Tigrayet was the topic and the articles of culture and music written by angafaw maHmuday. I trust them because they have no other baggages except bettering Eritrea.
            An individual opinion:
            1. A one time act (justified or not does not tell the whole story, hence, does not lead to a general conclusion. Unless of course, you are looking ANYTHING that could satisfy a gnawing appetite. It seems to me ELF was a dynamic organization full of errors and miscommunications…It followed a natural trajectory of growth. It went from an overwhelmingly regional and Muslim composition to a national front.
            2. Sometimes internal friction (which is normal and expected) spills over, and when seen by observers may give the wrong message. My sources tell me that the organization was so dynamic internally that sometimes departmental decisions outpaced organizational decisions. There is no question that a similar to what we are doing of discussion was raging there too. However, the fact that Tigrigna flourished in ELF tells me that the front was not an Arabic agent.
            3. Sometimes even organizations take a wrong decision. This happens everywhere, I know it thanks to ዕድመን ጥዕናን። For instance, in early 1980s, the EPLF was about to switch to Latin alphabets. Course of transliteration were given. That was not because EPLF was against the GEEZ which is the ultimate cultural heritage of what it is to be Habesha. Some education geeks/experts brought the idea (I won’t go to detail), but other rational geeks/experts fought it back.
            Bezterefe, wo deHanki.

          • Hayat Adem

            Thank you, Mr Prime Minister. That helps.
            You said, “My sources tell me that the organization was so dynamic internally that sometimes departmental decisions outpaced organizational decisions.”

            I say, very good but I wish you learned this fact some 35 years ago before you shoot them:)

            You said: ” The fact that Tigrigna flourished in ELF tells me that the front was not an Arabic agent.”

            I disagree, respectfully, of course, Tigrigna was becoming so vibrant and flourishing during the federation time and there are plenty of evidence for this.

            Now, I will give you a direct quote from saay: “The Eritrean Liberation Front did
            (and how could it not if it was saying part of its founding was that theEthiopians killed Tigrinya and Arabic?) adopt Tigrinya and Arabic as official languages. But because it was founded and overwhelmingly made up of the “Arabic-as-official language” constituency, it operated predominantly using Arabic language (For example: the language used for military training/instruction was Arabic.)”

            I want you to agree with me on the following derivative points as directly coming from the above quote, that I am not saying anything more than repeating saay’s ideas:

            1) ELF adopted both Tigrinya and Arabic as official languages.

            2) ELF operated predominantly using Arabic language.

            I am not going to ask you to agree or disagree but I want you to knowledge that such a statement is made by a prominent and knowledgeable Eritrean and that person is not called YG. If you ask for mine, I think I very much agree. YG and saay seem to have a shared observed fact here. Only their interpretation diverge. Saay justifies it on the given nature of the political constituency of the time. YG thinks it was a mission of arabization. The interpretation aside, the fact is ELF was favoring Arabic over Tigrigna. Saay said it. YG has been saying it.

            3) Emma, usually consistent and principled, reacted to saay’s statement with the following line: “All in all, it is a good “summary report” on the aspects of our history to set the record straight for the confused awatistas readers…”. Saay had enumerated a long chronicle of the time, and this was not the only one but Emma has endorsed almost all, including this one except some corrections he made on the role of Zemihret and other minor issues related to the congress/elf executive versus edu dept. Now, that leaves us saay, yg and emma all agree on one fact: on the one stated by saay above, which is ELF on practice favoring Arabic over Tigrinya. And that is not a one time mistake of decision. That is a practice. If you think like me, Nothing explains better the intention and nature of an organization than its pattern of practice.
            Thnk you,

            Hayat

          • saay7

            Wow, Hayat:

            Let me try to help you out using something you can relate to: TPLF and EPRDF.

            Why did the TPLF use Tigrinya as a mode of communication for the first 13 years of its existence (1975-1988)? Was it trying to kill Amharic? And why did it, after the creation of the EPRDF switch to Amharic?

            Now why did the ELF use Arabic as a mode of communication for the first 13 years of its existence (1961-1974)? Because between 1961-1974, the ELF was predominantly made up of lowlanders (Tigre speakers, Hidareb speakers, Blin-speakers, Afar-speaker). There were, of course,Tigrinya speakers and Saho speaker, some in prominent places, but the predominant make up was lowlanders and the means of communication (including military training) was Arabic. Not because it favored Arabic, but because there were, statistically, hardly any Tigrinya-speakers in the field then.

            Despite the fact that, in 1971, at its first congress, Tigrinya speakers were a minority, the ELF, as a matter of principle declared Tigrinya as co-official language of Eritrea.

            After 1974, with the massive influx of Tigrinya speakers to the field, the dynamic changed, but the policy remained the same: tigrinya-arabic as co-official languages. This was purused to the most minute levels: even the mass-organization meetings were conducted in Tigrinya and Arabic (this made the meetings twice as boring.) You don’t have to take my word for it: you can, I am sure, find youtube videos on that.

            Years ago, William F Buckley wrote that you can describe a person pushing a man towards an oncoming truck (to get him killed) and person pushing a man away from a speeding truck (to save him) as people “who like to push people around.” Similarly, here, to say that there is an agreement between me and YG is not accurate. I am saying it was natural for the 1961-1974 ELF to communicate in Arabic because that was the language that lowlanders from different language groups communicate with each other (particularly when the first of the combatants were veterans of the Sudanese army.) YG is saying that this was done deliberately to suppress Tigrinya. Night and day.

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay and Hayat,

            Saay covered most of what I wanted to write you, so I will just add a little more anecdotal information that might help you understand the situation.

            1. The Arabic/Tigrinya arrangement in the ELF was a sacrosanct policy. For the most part of the early years, there was no way the diverse combatants would have communicated with each other if not for Arabic. Remember, in the 60s, people hardly traveled away from their villages. For instance, today, many Blin speak perfect Tigrinya; when I was growing up, not many did. Blin was wide spread and lingua franca in Keren, alongside Tigrayet, Arabic and a little Tigrinya. Speakers of diverse languages who joined the ELF found Arabic essential, and though not perfect, almost all achieved conversational proficiency in a short time, and everything was fine.

            2. In the mid-seventies, the number of Tigrinya speakers overwhelmed the ELF which was quick to adopt to the changes. The ELF was elated it finally become a fully national, diverse organization. It celebrated the diverse participation, particularly of the other half of Eritrea and it didn’t hesitate in giving Tigrinya its rightful place. In the ELF, there was neither objection to Tigrinya nor a wanton promotion of Arabic. The dual language arrangement was just considered second-nature, something considered natural, and a foundational covenant. I am a Tigrinya speaker and I say the above with confidence–and I am sure many will attest to that.

            3. I can name two ex-Ethiopian commandos officers who joined the ELF, Shambel Kidane and Lieutenant Asmelash. Lt. Kidane insisted on training the soldiers in Tigrinya and he continued doing that and he did a great job in creating an efficient fighting army. Upon joining, Asmelash refused to hand over his pistol and insisted on keeping it, though every newcomer should go through training unarmed. An altercation ensued between him and the trainers. A commander of the ELF chastised the trainers, “what do you want to train an accomplished soldier on? Leave him alone.” That ended right there. In 1975, the ELF had just received its first Doshka gun and evrybody was excited. It was something out of this world. The ELF assembled a regiment (Haili-Sirriya) and made Asmelash its commander. He was the first one to be entrusted with a Doshka, just a few weeks after he abondoned the enemy and joined the ELF. And that decision was exemplary, and wise. Asmelash didn’t let the ELF down; he marched away with his regiment and in a week or ten days, he attacked the Elaber’ed garrison–roughly three weeks after he abandoned the commandos forces. Asmelash was not forced to use Arabic, as long as he was doing his job, no one really cared. And he was a brave admired combatant. I will share with you first hand observation of the fearless Asmelash, in due time.

            4. Here Mahmuday can correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think the EPLF would have entertained such action from Asmelash refusing to hand his pistol, even Generals had to go through the training with students and soldiers they commanded, and other new recruits. Refusing to disarm would certainly have been treated as insubordination with dire consequences. The lax military discipline is what brought the ELF to its demise, and that is what sustained the EPLF until victory.

            5. In one instance, I witnessed a veteran combatant, known for his bravery, approach a commander and hand him his arms and telling him he was done with the struggle and he was leaving–that entails dire consequences. But the guy said, “I was struggling to either die a martyr or achieve freedom, now that the Asmara boys that you assigned as cadres are telling me that there is no God, and when I die the termites will feed on me, and that is the end of it, I don’t want to die for that end. I am going and you cannot stop me unless you shoot me from behind.” He left and no one stopped him–the leadership was overwhelmed by such complains, where the veterans were called “AdharHarti (reactionary)” and some naive cadres considered themselves “Gesgesti (progressives)” and had to treat veterans like school children, and the Labor Party defending and cheering them up for creating a socialist utopia. All the “adHarHarti” left the field and the ELF started its way on a down ward spiral. The outlook and worldview of some veteran individuals clashed with the outlook and worldview of the newcomer; that clash developed to what became known as “Falool” phenomenon. It was an ugly polarization that led to uglier situations. In fact that is when the ELF was actually finished. And the cultural problems were in the center of it all, including the views on the Arabic/Tigrinya arrangement.

            6. What you saw over the last few days has been going on for decades, and personally, I believe it is the Achilles heals of Eritrea.

            7. The issue of language is not a technical issue, whether one chooses English or French, one has to deal with its emotional and political aspects and it should be seen as a political problem not a technical one. Furthermore, many of us went to school during the Haile Sellassie time and there was no question about the importance of English, which was the medium of instruction starting from grade 7. But contemplating on doing away with what we already have for English is an illusion–unless we manage to stop life until all the people learn the language, forget their languages and develop an English culture, learn the names of all the farming tools, translate their traditions… and then we start to live again as a normal country. How long does it take to change a culture and centuries old traditions and norms? Haile Sellasie tried it with Amharic, and we know where that led to. That kind of assessment is missing from the argument of the English camp. But why? All of that to avoid recognizing Arabic, which is already recognized by half the population?

            8. Language and religion: If Eritrea would adjust its language policy, all we need is 12 years to create a huge bilingual generation (pool) Imagine a Muslim and a Christian children, 6 years of age, start grade one, and are taught both Arabic and Tigrinya as languages all the way to high school, mother language included where there is a possibility (curriculum, developed teaching tools, etc) By the time the children reach 18, they will be multilingual. Polarization based on language will be a joke Eritreans remember and laugh about. Both children will own the languages without any religious politics attached to it. But would the PFDJ goons think in that manner? If they did, they wouldn’t be PFDJ anymore. The following link will explain more of what I am saying.
            http://awate.com/isaias-a-cult-leader-surrenders/

            Finally, I thank you, Hayat, for handling this issue with care and the seriousness it deserves, in the middle of the madness that we have been subjected to, where people come with their sticks to fight, not to learn and teach, not to listen and be heard, but to shout, to insult, and to question the rights of their compatriots who are supposed to be equal citizens, I have to express my admiration of your debating ethics.

            Thank you

          • Amanuel

            Hi Saleh
            It is true Asmelash request would not have been accommodated under EPLF. There is a story where all the ex commandos who joined EPLF refused to hand over their watches as all private items has to be confiscated under the rules of EPLF. They were ordered to had over them several times but refused saying you don’t hand over your watch and your wife, however greed once the smooth talker wediefrem asked them. When they were asked what made them hand over to him they said ” he had ready polished words” ዘረባ ተጸሪቡ ኢዩ ዝጸንሖ።”
            Another incident I have witnessed was in the 90 ties when the big cadres who joined the front abroad and some with in enemy lines were ordered to have a military training. Once they are arrived to the training centre they were treated as a new trainee.
            At last not leat I am still waiting for your evidence to support your claim.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Honorable SGJ,
            Thanks for the word of admiration and the entire note.
            Hayat

          • AOsman

            Dear Hayat,

            After 1974 where SAAY stopped, read what Amanuel Hidrat once stated (emphasis mine):

            Incidentally, I would like to
            share my personal history and by extension my colleagues in the department of
            social affairs (ELF) in 1975 during the army struggle. It was our early stage to
            evolve and to mature in the Eritrean politics, and as the same time to know
            practically to the socio-atomic structure of Eritrean diversity (our unity and
            diversity). As complex as it is, the urge to “higher social transformation” and
            the “Eritrean social reality” was at conflict at every juncture for the new
            comers. It was also a conflict of “freedom” and “democratic centralization” for
            the leadership of the organization to equilibrate and find the momentum. And
            yes, it was at this political atmosphere that, in contravene to the principles
            of the organization, we were advocating against Arabic not to be as a working
            language along Tigrigna in the organizational operations
            . With time and a scoop
            of history and above all with a grip of understanding the nature of our societal
            contradictions, the issue of language subsides with understanding that we can
            not deny the desire of half of our population as long as it hold us together. It
            was a process of maturity and a principle of justice and equality evolving
            slowly within the base of the organization. Any social change that does not come
            by its natural evolutionary process could be at any time reversed and even more
            so delays the needed change that time and space could generate that fits with
            its reality. When I see the cacophony against Arabic language in our internet
            media, it reminds me those days when I was acting like them back in the 70s.
            Nothing could I regret about it, because it was a process of learning for me and
            many others. I realize even more so for our young at this time, to learn
            cautiously about their society and their demands and how they will adjudicate
            justice and fairness. From the get go we must realized that justice devised by
            an advantaged few will not be justice. Indeed justice as fairness requires that
            power positions are equally accessible by both sections of our society.

            http://web.archive.org/web/20091004155043/http:/www.awate.com/portal/content/view/5309/5/

            You will notice, rather than fighting for Tigrigna to take its rightful place, Arabic was questioned. That means there was no such challenge to have Tigrigna as a working language, apart from having fighters who spoke many local languages and the shift from Arabic to Tigrigna was a neccessity of the time to accommodate the swelling number of Tigrigna speakers. So to argue that ELF marginalized Tigrigna (or Arabization), sounds absurd.

            Regards

            AOsman

          • saay7

            Hey Abu Affan:

            That’s pretty much the history of Eritrea since shortly after the British Military Administration in 1941:

            The Non-Tigrinya Eritreans say we will have Tigrinya and Arabic as official languages. And, every week, every month, every year, for 74 years now, a refusenik Tigrinya-speaker says, “we will have Tigrinya but not Arabic. Can we make it Tigrinya and Tigre?” Even when the Tigre says, no, thanks for caring, but I insist on Tigrinya-Arabic.

            It is not all lost though:

            1. After 74 years of the same discussion, the pro-Arabic-official-language is holding firm: that is 1 EPLF Ghedli and 1 Sawa of complete Tigrinya homogenization attempt later. No go: still the same pro-Arabic-official-language constituency.

            2. Once in a while, the discussion gets interesting. Here’s one from Hayat: “I understand the appetite for Arabic in present day Eritrea but Amharic is not a lost game either.” I think, if we are lucky, we will hear a call for Esperanto. Remember, it is ABA (Anything But Arabic:)

            saay

          • haileTG

            Hi saay,

            It just occurred to me that may be we can have three official languages: Tigrinya, Tigre and Arabic. Wouldn’t that satisfay everybody? 🙂

          • saay7

            Hailat:

            Uncharacteristic of you, you haven’t been paying attention. Tigre is proposed as a replacement for Arabic and not as a supplement. Even Amharic is proposed now as a replacement for Arabic: remember it’s ABA: anything but Arabic. And as I said previously, a lot of that is driven by fear of the luggage that Arabic brings with it from people who don’t know that Arabic in Eritrea is Sudanese Arabic and Yemeni Arabic: luggage free:)

            saay

          • haileTG

            Saay,

            That is true, I just wanted to make it obvious that the care for Tigre was just a convenience thing. Meaning, it would make our lives easier if someone says I don’t want Arabic for x y z reasons than going around the block to say something to that effect. Gosh, our problems never end, one day it is secession and the next accession. 🙂 We fear to separate, we fear to integrate, still we fear to stay the same, pretty difficult.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Hailat,

            now for all those years we were debating on the same issue. it seems it more understood today than before. at the end of the day it is the majority who should decide and that can be done when we own popular transitional body. which means today’s desiccation only will prepare us to decide from open and clear mind (unlike before). Now, the emergency job is cleaning the garbage so we can accommodate everybody and every idea. I was asking to myself, what PFDJ feels when they saw us challenging our ideas ? I don’t know the answer as those guys over there are not using their mind and heart. but for sure they will fill at least and say -እዛ ሃገር እባ ሰባት ኣለውዋ ::

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Saay,
            You sound… (I was going to say harsh).
            There are many ignorance-corners in me that I readily admit, but here, there is none. That is because I was basing my argument on what you said. I didn’t challenge your justification for the constituency dictated reality of the day. You said Arabic was the operative language predominantly in the work world of ELF. If that was true, we have nothing to disagree about.
            YG said the same thing. The motive he put for ELF using Arabic more than Tigrigna is different from yours and I acknowledged that. Obviously, your TPLF-EPRDF and ELFearly-ELFlater analogy lacks parallelism. What you are saying with that analogy is: TPLF started from a local language and widened up to include others as its organizational sphere of influence grows. ELF went the opposite: it started from international and became inclusive to local identities later with growth.
            You can count me as one with bleeding heart about the plight of the Eritreans in Sudan. We have a lot of wounds waiting for us to cure as a society. One of them is about our people who could find their way back home from Sudan and still continuing to live there in bad conditions.
            Saay, you have this temptation of unnecessarily elbowing me for nothing. I’m not against restoring Arabic. I think we’ll benefit from doing so. Obviously, I would never count Eritreans in exile as strangers when they come home. Why do you have to say all that?
            One more time: my questions are on the validity of arguing Arabic as an Eritrean native identity. I truly question that. And I oppose the fact that when people can promote the restoring of Arabic as a useful resource, they shouldn’t go beyond and claim things that are not part of our identity fabric. And my worry is not out of hating Arabic as a language (how many time should I say that?) My worry is promoting false identity has a price. Identity elements are not compatible for peaceful coexistence. Every entering identity murder a corresponding native identity and stands on the dead body of the old one. I tried to elaborate that at length in my feed back addressed to SGJ last weekend.
            Hayat, with respect.

          • saay7

            Hey Hayat:

            You notice in my posting that you are responding to, I didn’t say “Hi Hayat” but “Wow Hayat.” It was wow because it was devlishly clever:

            YG and saay seem to have a shared observed fact here. Only their interpretation diverge. Saay justifies it on the given nature of the political constituency of the time. YG thinks it was a mission of arabization. The interpretation aside, the fact is ELF was favoring Arabic over Tigrigna. Saay said it. YG has been saying it.

            Here you are trying to highlight an “observed fact” shared by saay and YG and downplaying the reason for it (“the interpretation aside.”) Assume there is a fatal traffic collision that is observed by 100 people. From the 100 people, 15 people are willing to come forward and speak on what happened. And from the 15, 14 say the traffic light was not working, and 1 (who was nowhere near the accident) says no it was working and 1 of the drivers deliberately ran it, accelerated and killed the other guy.

            Hayat is asked to give a summary and says 2 people witnessed the accident and they both agree that there was a fatal accident, thereby undermining the testimony of the other 13 and elevating the status of the 1 who never witnessed it. Then, she downplays their testimony (interpretation aside.) Now, that is some spinning and thus my “wow.”

            On Arabic as a factor in some Eritreans identity…the article in question goes to great lengths to define what it means by it. Beyond that, “social identity theory” is part of psychology 101 and you can google it and if one makes minimal effort to get to know the Eritrean lowlanders and Muslim Eritreans in general, it is hard to deny that Arabic is, and has been for a very long time, part of their social identity. I know this is not a scholarly discussion forum and people just write what they feel, but on topics as important as this, well-read and very intelligent people like you are supposed to exercise some due diligence.

            saay

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Saay,
            The truth is I don’t want to fight even with lighter weight awatistas at this time. I must come up yet with the best way of telling the truth and what I feel is right without irritating and provoking people in a negative way. In any case, I want to register a couple of points under this thread with you:
            1- I blame myself. I must have known better how you would react to your summer allergy (read: YG):)
            2- I never knew the testimonial exchange rate between you and YG was set at 1 to 100:)
            3- I thought the “what” always comes before the “why” both in weight of value and place of order:)
            Hayat, with respect

          • saay7

            Selamat Hayat:

            Points registered…but let me register mine:

            1. Again you are making this as a saay/yg issue. I wasn’t in the ELF but I followed it closely; from the writings of yg, there is nothing to indicate that he followed it (given his large gaps in knowledge of ELF-101.) Hardly two authoritative sources. You have access to ELF and EPLF veterans right here in this forum. Why would you want to restrict your sources to me and yg, unless you already have a narrative (ghedli-“deromanticizing” ) that you consider is non-negotiable and whose major pillar is ELF was an Arabist, Islamist org and you don’t want to ruin it with facts?

            2. There was no exchange rate implied. What I was saying is that, again, the information that you are seeking is easily available to a literate person like you–and for every 1 yg that will give you his disinformation there will be at least 100 who will set you straight– but you have chosen to be willfully blind and deaf on it. But not mute.

            3. “What” comes first in some fields (R & D) and “why” comes first in other fields (marketing.) In your case, you had already concluded what the “what” is (ELF “favored”* Arabic) and then you tried to completely bypass the “why” with the on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand-but-it’s-not important slight of hand. In this case, the “why” leads us to completely different conclusions and the one that is the pillar of your school of thought is not only factually wrong but one that contributes to the mistrust among our social groups.

            saay

            * One of the reasons you got a “wow” because favored has two meanings and I suspect you chose it for precisely that reason.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Hayat
            Let’s wrap up this thing; as a PM, you are expected to obeying my directions. If not the use of the “terrorism law” is a phone call away.
            1. SAAY defended himself. Remarkably, I was going to argue along that line. The interpretation is very important Hayat. If Sudan were the occupying force, and Eritreans were starting the revolution from the gorges of Akeleguzay, for instance, with their core contingent from the Imperial army, the dominant language would be Tigrigna until such time Arabic speakers/educated deqi metaHt were flooding it. That’s why SAAY says it was a reality dictated matter and not an act of Arabization. YG of course gets everything upside-down. I don’t for a second doubt that you are doing this cyclical revisionism because of reasons other than lack of information. You are just too well read and well versed in matters even more complicated than this. I promise this is my last admonition.
            What YG could not explain is the fact that ELF was continuously joined, and in great numbers, so much so that in the late 70s and right about its demise, the number of Kebessa Christians was rapidly overwhelming the number of MetaHt (Source: a friend who used to be a battalion commander). They are still fiercely protective of it. Now, how on earth those tens of thousands were joining an organization that was supposedly on a campaign to erase their identity? How on earth they are still fond of their legacy, and quite sensitive about it? Does it make sense?
            The thing is really one of displaying humility. I would urge you not to lecture those tens of hundreds who flocked to that front; and who defended its principles to the last minute; and remarkably, keep defending it. The flying awa of time has not faded their memories. So, how could you play more catholic than the Pope?
            I hope all the 1-3 are answered above and in SAAY’s reply. On dynamism of the organization and why I shot at them:
            The dynamism was to show that
            a/ the organization was growing from a metaHt majority to reaching all the corners of the nation.
            b/ it seems to me it had some leeway for the co-existence of different ideological undercurrents, the coexistence of Marxist, Baathist…nationalist…islamist…undercurrents shows some degree of tolerance; just an observation.
            If so why I shot at them? I wish you asked that Aboy SebHat and IA. But I’m on record saying that the demise of ELF was a great loss for Eritreans. It keeps haunting us.

          • Hayat Adem

            Yes, Mr Prime Minister,
            I will not be lecturing anyone. I will only reflect on what I feel is true or right. If unclear what to say, I’ll ask. If unclear what to ask or say, I will be quiet.
            Hayat, with assured allegiance

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam HAYAT
            Please forgive me for using “lecturing.” I could have used a better word, or even a better phrasing. I was probably charged by what we experience in the cyber world where people who have no first hand life experience of certain era-specific topics tell participants of that historic episode how those participants experienced it, etc. to the point of interpreting it for them. Remember, I admire your articulated comments in areas of regional peace and cooperation. Therefore, keep on. There is no letting up.
            Regards.

          • Hayat Adem

            Yes, Mr. Prime Minster.
            Thank you for the above note.
            Hayat

          • Mizaan1

            Dear Hayat, when did you join the pact of Ghedli romanticizers?

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Mizaan1,
            The truth is I didn’t, and never will. There are a lot of, really lot of questions standing between me and the romance of ghedli. For me to join that camp, every death and killing has to be justified and validated. I don’t think any body can answer those questions to my satisfaction; and without those answers, forget about me joining the ghedli romanticizers. But, I will not be launching another ghedli to undo every reality the ghedli has created. I will look for ways to make things better from where they stand now, from what is real.

            My turn to ask, what made you think so?
            Hayat

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you Mahmuday, ኣዃይ ወዲ ኤርትራ ሃይ ላሎ —– ዓንዲ ሕቶ ሰውራ —
            https://www.facebook.com/fetaw.selam/videos/933218536709767/

          • Amanuel

            Hi Mahmud
            Forgive me for the interjection here and i am aware that you said you won’t go to details, however i want to tempt you to tell us what you know. I think it was a historical moment as far as GEEZ alphabets concerned and i encourage to write what you know and pass it to the next generation, unless you are keeping it to your first book. I heard that the project was abondened because the person who was leading it was martyred.

            Regards
            Amanuel

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Aman
            I have to tell you first that I did not even know what they were talking about. I am putting this sentence ahead to alert you that I was not in the know company. But I was heavily involved in preparing, producing and testing Tigrayet books. Therefore, I was around that discussion. The fighter you mentioned was a historian, a linguist with a lot of languages under his belt. He was a brilliant man who challenged his illness in his endeavor to pass his knowledge to his people. His name was Tesfankiel, he comes from the Irob community. Tesfankiel had a terminal illness, but he seemed he was racing against time. He was working day and night. He headed the history committee in the department of curriculum; prepared history books, and taught history in the revolution school. He was also the head of Saho/Asawrta language committee, preparing text books in that language.
            Sometime in 1983, there was an extended meetings with the then assist.Secretary General, Isseyas Afewerki. The workshops involved individuals who were active in language development. The main goal was to standardize languages that were used in the department of education (in text books and schools), the department of political science research and agitation, led by Haile Menkerios, and which published ideological and political megazines…books…pamphlets,etc. and the department of information which was was primarily tasked with news and information (radio dimtsi Hafash…Fitsametat/newsletter…etc. The issue of transliteration was also raised as a side topic. The work of those departments was influenced by military offensives, interruptions were the norm. I don’t think the idea stayed more than a year and a half. Any way, months later when I returned from a mission/assignment, things were in high gear. I was told the transliteration was introduced to standardize the languages, to make them accessible to foreigners…and to avoid the discussion that was going on in that era, what alphabets should we best use for languages that did not have their own original alphabets; most Eritrean languages were not written prior to this experiment. For instance, in some cases, there were some written materials done by researchers and churches, such as simple dictionaries and the Bible. There were those who were suggesting Arabic alphabets would suit better, and others who would say Latin, and still some others who proposed Geez for all Eritrean languages. I was told part of why all languages would be transliterated (Latinized) was to avoid these problems.
            However, there were others who objected this direction. Finally, Tigre and Tigrigna continued in Geez, the rest except Arabic adopted Latin alphabets. It did not take off, it was in its initial stage.
            Tesfankiel later died of natural causes.
            Regards.

          • Amanuel

            Thanks Mahmud.

      • Semere Andom

        Dear Hayat:

        Finally I got your attention, let it be noted that you are a slave driver:-)

        you are correct ELF was little bit weighted to Arabic, I think it emanates from their roots, many of the founders joined from Sudan and were educated in the middle east. But the 1970s change the balance when Christians joined the ELF in thousands and it quickly became dominated by them. I think the emphasis on Arabic is not more than what EPLF gives to Arabic, except the military training instruction, Arabic was widely used in both organization, but ELF’s roots haunted it and lingered on
        ELF understood one thing and it was not to alienate the Christians, without this demographic group the Ghedli would not succeed went their thinking, that is why they declared war on the Muslims centric organizations and declared peace and negotiation on EPLF. My take is that for the Christian fighters in ELF it was sexy to speak in Arabic and for the Muslims fighters it was sexy to speak in Tigrinya. I also think that ELF organically expanded Tigiriniya while EPLF made it a language without personality.
        I also think that the cultural and religious “chastity” of highlanders/Christians would have flourished and persevered better under ELF than it has done under EPLF.
        But collectively the Eritrean people would have fared better without Ghedli in every parameter, but this is the revelation of by power of hindsight

      • Nitricc

        Hahaha lol when ever my dad is satisfied about some thing I have done he will say ” Ambesa” now Hayat is saying ” Anbesa” I am assuming that is a Tigryan dialect. You know, the Dedebitawian way Dedebit is always Dedebit, even if they want to be Eritrean and Muslim.

  • Tewelde G/mariam

    To supplant our native languages by an alein, validity and efficacy must be seriously considered before hand . And specially so when it comes on the back of religionswhich, as history conclusively show, come and go since time immemorial. The Egyptian, the Babylonians, Mesopotamians, the Greeks, the Romans including our own ancestors had religion they worshipped. And it can definitely be inferred that each of them had strong belief that their religion came from God.

    However, none of them survived the grinding march of the wheel of history. But can these endless appearing and disappearing of religions imply also that new Gods were sprouting over the ashes of the old necessitating change of people’s faith?

    If the answer is no, as it ought to be given the currently predominant belief of one God, meaning the God has always been one and the same, can we conjure up variability in the essence of God in order for us to explain the causes for the people’s continuous change of beliefs over the infinite past?

    The answer can only be No, otherwise we will be contradicting ourselves because for God to change in any way there must be something greater than Him, and by our definition of Him, there is none.

    If God is one and his essence one, how do we account for the multitude of religions of the past?

    If people have been giving different answers since time immemorial to this transcendenal question of God, then it means the question is beyond our capacity as humans. And those who profess to receive mission from God can only be suffering from mental impairment. I think agnosticism is the way to go.

    Those who are advocating to impose Arab language on our people are misguided and short sighted. They are unwittingly calling on our people to commit cultural suicide , to be in their own country, in the likes of the African Americans. No, that is unjust and cruel. And if our people are to vote on it, it must be done well after they are enlightened on the pro and con of the issue.

  • Dayphi

    Oh My Abi..

    Are you that racist? I can’t believe my eyes of what i am reading.

  • Admas

    Honestly, It is hard to believe these are the same people who fought of what they perceived to be an “elian language” Amaharic yet they are trying to sell Arabic as a native language…In my opinion it is identity crises that has wrecked the region for so many decades and it looks like there is no end in sight for the crises…..Even if Eritrea that share similar Ethnic make up to Ethiopia some how manages to overcome the current unexplainable crises, it is hard to imagine how it can sustain the “unique” Eritrean identity without allowing Ethinic groups in Eritrea the same autonomy as the once in Ethiopia have…perhaps they have every reason not to worry about it now because they have too much at hand they need to solve before they even think of it….but at least Isais afwerqe seems more far sighted than most Eritreans when he “with wholeheartedly” advocates for United Ethiopia..cos he knows what a stable federal Ethiopia means for his dream of a “united unique Eritrean identity”.

    • Haile WM

      hala Admasachn,

      “elian” language is that of the eliana ? my niece whose name is eliana uses that… (what happened to the good non-alien names these days 🙂 )

      anyway, back to business… my cognitive abilities tell me that with “elian” you actually intended alien language. well Admasachn Arabic is a native language in Eritrea, there is a tribe that uses that language as a mother-tongue…the Rashaida; whereas none of the nine ethnic groups use Amharic. so tell me Admas who is alien and who is not ? do you really believe its up to you to tell us eritreans about who is alien to us and who’s not ? ask the Borena or the Suri people if Amharic is alien to them, their answer migh surprise you

      • Hayat Adem

        Dearest Haile:
        As you might already know, I have no issue in using Arabic as a resource to function as a nation and people. If Arabic should get any preference, it has to be solely based on the merit of whether it has a better standing in facilitating business and social interactions. If we are reasoning identity and nativity, I am always full of questions.
        1) Isn’t it true, Rashaids constitute a tiny part of Eritrean population, by some estimate less than 2%?
        2) Isn’t it true Rashaida’s are themselves settlers of the mid 19thC?
        3) Do you think Eritrea doesn’t have 2% settlers who can trace their origin to the Amharic speaking highlanders of the south?
        4) If you remove the political cloud from the thinking, how do you think Arabic is more native to Eritrea than Amharic?
        —————-
        5) You are usually calm and collected and would like to see you keeping that rare composure also when debating with Ethiopians.
        Thanks,
        Hayat

        • Haile WM

          Dearest Hayat Adem,

          what merit is that you want more than the fact that some citizens with their full rights are demanding it ?? is there any greater merit than that ?

          1) rashaidas are a tiny part of the Eritrean population nevertheless they are indeed part of our nation, even if they were 0.0001 % of the total they would be still part of the nation and their identity not questioned and certainly not alien. being tiny doesn’t mean you loose you unalienable rights.

          2) True rashaidas are settlers from 19th century, but being a settler is only a temporal aspect in eritrea, you for sure know the Bilen tribes are settlers from wollo Lasta and Wag, the Beja tribes are settlers from 6th-7th century, the Tigrigna are settlers from 2000-1000 BC from the arabian peninsula, etcc… only Nara and kunama are not settlers if we see it in historical era, if you even go further in prehistoric era we are all settlers even kunama and nara… so why discriminate the rashaidas as settlers ? they were in the land before the land was named “Eritrea”

          3)yes there are entire villages who trace to Amhara tribes and even to Oromo tribes, but to my knowledge they have not retained their ancestral languages, thus Amharic language is alien to Eritrea as it is Oromifa. Don’t forget we have even people who can trace their origin in Italy nevertheless Italian is alien to Eritrea.

          4) well Hayat if you remove the political cloud at all you will see more similarities between Amharic and Arabic than alienation.
          They belong to the same Semitic branch of languages, but in Eritrea fact remains that a tiny portion of the population use ARABIC as mother-tongue and half of the total use it in their religious and civil functions.
          **************************************
          5) Please do not generalize on Ethiopians, you are violating posting guidelines here -:)
          seriously though I don’t have any problem with Ethiopians, except of those few who have the temerity to tell me (eritrean) who am I and how fake identity I have and who’s alien to me so on so forth.. yes those few get to my nerve every time… but I am trying to control my temper, work on my self 🙂

          Regards

          • Hayat Adem

            Fair Enough Haile,
            1) Tiny as they are, they are part of the nation identity. I agree. But tiny as they are, they can’t be a justification entry-gate for upgrading their language to blanket the entire nation. That was the reason for me to mention their size.
            2) The purpose of that point was to make a fair comparison: language to language, number to number and settlers to settlers. I understand the appetite for Arabic in present day Eritrea but Amharic is not a lost game either. Again my point is not to advocate that if we bring Arabic, should bring Amharic in the same way. The language point has to be decided only as a matter of verified merit and right. But we should be very careful and accurate when we are associating or disassociating languages invoking identity and nativity.
            3) addressed it in 2.
            4) I agree
            5) I understand but views expressed on identity and language can never be able to surgically target only those who provoke.
            Hayat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Gual Adem

            What’s going on little sister? You are becoming too mechanical, too lifeless, honestly. I will guess you migrated to the West when you were a little girl, so, the emotional, social and political nuances that languages carry are missing from your contemplations when engaging in this particular issue. Because I know the emotional value that my kids place on their language (English) is different from the emotional value I assign to my beloved Tigrayet/Tigrigna/Arabegna…ወዘተኛ. Now, I have done a remarkable job at learning Amharic too (thanks to my friend Belachew, he also learned some Tigrigna; but tell you what, he has been too slow, just like abi); the point is….where am I going? Anyway, this is to say:bless your heart, I’m afraid you are mashing things.

            1. The right of our citizens is not distributed in a quota fashion per their number. Small or big, it’s their language, they happen to be Eritreans, and therefore, no insinuations of downgrading them.

            2. Arabic has and will continue to have an important role in Eritrean life; because it has been for centuries now. Read the article, and talk to your brothers and sisters. An Afari from South Dankalia communicates with a MassawaEi… with a person from the Sahel, all the way to the Western border, in Arabic. They may not be fluent in the language, but that’s how they communicate. This is in addition to the spiritual and emotional links. There are many families and individuals from the Christian Kebessa who teach their kids Arabic for its cultural and commercial values. I know many friends who went to the Jalia of Asmara, and who were good in Arabic. A young lady from Addis works next to me who studied Arabic in Addis, and still retains good command despite the fact that she has been here since her teen years. So, the fear of an invasion by an identity camouflaged in Arabic is in the minds of those who think their identity is in a mortal competition with the identity of the “others.” You said, “I understand the appetite for Arabic in present day Eritrea but Amharic is not a lost game either.” This tells me how detached you are from the average Eritrean.
            4. The bottom line is: Amharic is an important language; once the border opens for commerce, we like it or not, we will be making transactions with it. Its importance will depend on how peacefully it spreads, not through the barrel of a gun but through “Made in Ethiopia.” Case closed. Kebessa merchants who frequent the Sudan and live along that border are becoming fluent in Arabic, so are all the Christian settlers along that border. So, please, if we take out defensive fears, languages are connecting threads to humanity. What if Amharic is taught in Eritrean schools? Well, if it’s according to my view, why not? Provided that there are people who demand it.

          • Hayat Adem

            Yes Prime Minister*,

            No, I am for any sensible plan to bring Arabic to service. So, don’t feel me as if I’m opposing that. I found nothing disagreeable in all the things you said here above minus your admonishment on me. Look, advocate for re-installment, upgrading, expansion, promotion etc of Arabic. I have no issue. Can you expect me to advocate for it? Yes. To the level of equivalency to Tigrinya/gna? Why not and I think the benefits of that can be explained adequately. But, never on the basis of identity and nativity. That thing is very very very corrupt and unhealthy. I despise only that part. It simply is not true and it divides our people than help.

            No, his excellency, Amharic is not a lost case. The spirit for the Amharic is muddied by politics of separation but you can’t be serious. All generations particularly the city residents were learning it in school and using it in business and administration during from Dergi up to 1991. You speak it. SGJ speaks it. saay speaks it. Haile and SK are writing poems using Amharic. Emma was there before he went to meidda. Ted is wedi qiera. Nitircc knows Amharic (not Tigrigna nor Arabic). We have thousands of Amiches that came back. We have so many now heading south. We You would hear more Amharic** songs in Asmara than Arabic.

            ———-
            *Yes Prime Minister” one of the best comedy production ever came into the entertainment industry. I never stop loving and laughing on watching those episodes.
            **The jock goes like this: Recently, Asmara residents were being discouraged to stop tuning to Amahric songs by the regime. But those youngsters who came from Addis would not heed. The regime would not yield and the punishments for that grew bitter and bitter. One Amharic crazy young man put earphones to his devise and continue listening with mild body moves that accompany the beats. A security man was following him from a distance. Then, caught up the youngster and stopped him.

            “You violated a law. You were listening to Amharic song.”

            “No, I was not.”

            “Yes, you were.”

            “How do you know that? I have an earphone connected.”

            “I was following you for 10 minutes. AYDERBKAN.”

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Hayat
            I have no problem with any language. You see I even said why not taught in schools as long as it has demands. That’s founded in my belief that people have the right to use any language (hope, you remember my comments on Arabic, you see I am so consistent: THE PRIME MINISTER.
            Now, jokes aside, language sip through peaceful interactions and transactions. Once the gun is silenced and over exuberant folks like Hayat tone down, the peoples of the region will eventually coalesce into a language or few common languages. Who knows, that language could be Amharic, Arabic, Tigrayet (?) Oromicha… Take it easy. Nature will take its course.

          • Hayat Adem

            Yes, Prime Minister!

          • Shum

            Hello Hayat,

            Your suggestion to make Amharic an official language is the ultimate in trolling. You said, “…Amharic is not a lost case” and you are right, it’s not a lost case nor cause. It’s not a cause at all. It has no historical movement and there is no constituency for it. There was a time when Amharic was an official language and it was overwhelmingly rejected. You might as well replace Amharic with Italian or Turkish. They have about the same number of folks asking for it.
            Again you’re putting the discussion of Arabic in tandem with Amharic which tells me you have no clue about the Eritrean society. Long back, Saay was certain you weren’t Eritrean. I’m not so certain as he is. I think you could very well be one. I just don’t think you associate with very many nor know the society very well with the things you write. Either that or you like to play a devil’s advocate.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Shum,
            That is not what I exactly said. But, let me ask you this: what is wrong with that if based-on-demand? My approach language is necessity. I don’t have taboo or emotions to all non-native languages including Arabic.
            Did you know Amharic is the 15th official language in Washington DC?
            Hayat.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hayat,

            With all due respect, do you expect your bringing Amharic to the mix will be taken seriously?
            It could be the 15th language in Washington DC, but it is the #1 language in Gonder, # 2 in Mekelle. In fact Hausa would be way ahead of Amrharic in Eritrea. According to Wikipedia, “Hausa is a Chadic language with about 39 million speakers. It is spoken mainly in northern Nigeria and Niger, and also in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo, Eritrea, Germany, Ghana, Sudan and Togo.” And that is spoken by some people in the Gash region 🙂

          • Hayat Adem

            C’mon Saleh,

            No, I didn’t and I was not serious but I mentioned it somewhere and people are at it like they saw a monster. Hausa? Hmmm:) Do you have any awatista who speaks Hausa here? Bet, I bet 90% of awatistas can say and listen to Amahric. Why so much animosity with the language? Remember, language is interest-neutral. When African countries did away with the colonialists, they retained the language. There was no fight with the language as such. Seriously, Saleh, can you explain that?
            BTW: Amharic is the 15th officialized language in DC, not the 15th.

          • Shum

            Hello Hayat,

            On-demand by what group of people in Eritrea? Who is asking for this? Again you’re putting Arabic with Amharic because your understanding is that they are both non-native. That’s the issue and that’s why I say you don’t understand the society or history. You think this is about taboo and emotions. You’re misfiring in all directions. Nice top off with Amharic’s place in DC. Which again, has nothing to do with our people.

            If our people wanted Amharic as an official language, they would have kept it in place after Dergue. No one lifted a finger let alone an arm when it was undone. Maybe you don’t have any feelings about how it became our official language because you weren’t impacted by its significance and the political and social upheaval that came with it. You might see this as liberating or big of yourself. I think to most of us, it looks like you don’t share our history or at least understand it.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Shum,
            1) “On-demand by what group of people in Eritrea? Who is asking for this?”
            The demand is to be noticed in the number of people who can speak and communicate in Amharic. That must be one indicator you knew the demand for Arabic exists strongly, is it not?

            2) “I say you don’t understand the society or history.”
            Then, you have no reason to worry about what I say. Look, I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone. You are not either. So, let all Eritreans be asked and answer freely.

            3) “Maybe you don’t have any feelings about how it became our official language because you weren’t impacted by its significance and the political and social upheaval that came with it.”
            All colonial languages are first imposed, and then retained. When the owners go home, the language stays.

            4) “I think to most of us, it looks like you don’t share our history or at least understand it.”

            This has been said so many times. The bad thing is I could simply borrow your words and insert your name in my place. The good thing is we can’t deny each other natural entitlements.

            Thanks, Hayat

      • guest

        How lucky Eritrea is, with genius sons and daughters like yourself who can easily pick mistyped words? HAILE, I DON’T know how old you are but in this day and age of smart phone it is easy to send texts and messages with an intended words and to me that is how understood Admas’s errors….I think you had enough valied argument without having to try to sound smarter than you are…just a brotherly thought…

        • Haile WM

          hey guest,
          chill out.. I was not trying to pick on miss-spelled words (i would have done it in your posts if that was the aim) I was trying to make some humor relating to alien names these days (such as Eliana) in our rich Habesha culture… but i guess humor is subjective:-)

          relax and have some civil debate.
          regards

          • Abi

            Hi Haile WM
            The great YG has a whole article on names . You will find it interesting.
            It makes me sick to see our people try to be westernized than modernized.
            BZW, my son’s name is Alula. How do you like that?

          • Haile WM

            hey Abi

            I totaly agree on this westernization thing although it does not affect only eritrea or ethiopia, it affects the whole of africa and the world at large. George is sexier then Ghiorghis these days….

            I have read YG article a couple of years ago. I like YG as he is out of the box kind of thinking although his many ideas go from a flawed start and get to flawed conclusion, but in the middle of his reasoning i think he is gifted in many aspects. right now his ideas are too radical to get to the heart and mind of both people across the mereb… but in 100 years maybe he will be appreciated..

            on Alula you must help me… can you tell me in the habesha context it’s orgin ? Usually our names have meaning even those who come from bible gebre-yesus, lete-mariam, welde-gebriel etc… the non-religiuos names such as goitom-ghetachew, Nguse, Abbebe also all have a meaning …
            Alula I can’t find the exact meaning or origin. But definitely I like Alula, for sure more than Ronaldinho or Eliana 🙂

          • Abi

            Haile Welde Mariam
            I have no clue what Alula means. I just have the highest admiration to Ras Alula. That is all.
            If you ask my son what his name means , he will tell you it was the name of a great ethiopian hero.

          • saay7

            Hi Abi:

            Please find a chair to sit down….and a tall glass of water. If you are driving, you might want to pull over because I do NOT want to be responsible for any accidents.

            Ready?

            “The name Alula is an Arabic baby name. In Arabic the meaning of the name Alula is: First born.”

            Those Arabs.

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Saay:
            My understanding was that it is a hybrid of Tigriniya and Arabic: “Alu La”
            Alu: Tig for deny
            La: Arabic for No

          • saay7

            Selamat cousin iSem:

            But I have a source for mine and you don’t have a source for yours:) you are just saying it to annoy Eyob.

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            No Sal to annoy you:-)
            eyob Hibshtay
            sem Hibshtay
            tsegem yblomin entrof mztay
            rem Gheteb what he said about Lalibella,he said it was Tigrayit for “say night:-)
            And the other day someone said that Adi Geda was God made, I remember E.Melekin when he once told a crowd how Mirarar is related to somewhere in Israel;-)

          • Saleh Johar

            Semere Andom and Saay,

            I think you are both taking the easiest translation Al-Ula means “High Up” or “most high” like in semawat AL-Ula. The most high skies.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Abi, Saay,

            Abi don’t listen to Saay, who cares what the origin of the name is 🙂 what is important is for every Ethiopian Alula associates with a hero, a true Ethiopian Jegna. I probably will name my son Alula. One good friend of Ethiopia, the Pankhursts named their son Alula in honor of the beloved Jegna.

            Abi what I find a bit funny about this is you are advocating for English to be an official language in Ethiopia ( Which is a non issue and never going to happen) but get upset when parents give their children foreign names. You of course realize that downgrading Amharic from official language damages it far more than few elites giving their children foreign names. So what gives yagere lij ?

            Saay, in my heart those you mentioned don’t hold a candle to the heroics of Ras Alula Aba Nega.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Selamat Addis:

            How can I argue with what you feel in your heart? That’s subjective. But if you accept that all men are created equal–that a victory over a white person is the same as a victory over a black person–, if you want to be objective and use metrics that the military uses to assess a general’s excellence, well then, you will have a harder case to make when it comes to comparing Ras Alula with, say, Ibrahim Affa.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            I said that to show what he means to me and clearly make it subjective so that to leave the arguments to others, as my knowledge of the ones you mentioned is limited. But Alula, anbesa really 🙂

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            Let me tell you about one of them: Ibrahim Afa. And a context.

            In World War II, it took the Allied forces (UK), 50 days to wrestle Keren from the Italians. Keren is a fortress town and it is the only place where the Italians put up a fight.

            In 1978, it took the EPLF three days to wrestle Keren from Ethiopia. And the chief strategist for this victory was Ibrahim Affa w Before he joined the ELF (followed by military training in Cuba (are they Arabs?) and later the EPLF, he was in the Ethiopian Navy. When he was killed in 1985 during Ethiopia’s 7th offensive (some, to this day, say he was killed by Isaias Afwerki), his death was such a shock that the EPLF would not disclose it fearing massive demoralization, desertion that would ensue.

            What I am saying is Ibrahim Affa would have been as famous as Ras Alula if the Ethiopians had been white. You don’t make it the list of Great African Generals if you kill fellow blacks.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Thanks for the info about Ibrahim Afa.

            About Alula, apart from his heroics in other battles what contributes to his fame in a world stage is that colonial powers were undefeated in Africa before and he dispelled that notion. Not just because they were white but more importantly they were undefeated. Shattering that image of white supremacy(largely comes from being undefeated) meant a great deal to black people allover the world and in my opinion its significance has no match simply because of that, it was a pride for the black race not just one nation.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Selamat Addis:

            Agreed. I once had this discussion with Eyob when I used to like him. Consider this scenario:

            120,000 soldiers with 100,000 firearms and 40 artillery pieces defeat 17,700 soldiers with 56 artillery pieces.

            Reaction: Yawn.

            Now try this:

            120,000 BLACK Ethiopian soldiers with 100,000 firearms and 40 artillery pieces defeat 17,7000 WHITE Italian soldiers with 56 artillery pieces.

            Reaction: OMG!

            15,000 BLACK Eritrean combatants defeat a 20,000 BLACK Ethiopian army: they kill 10,000 and capture 5,000 including 3 Russian advisors.

            Reaction: When? Where? What?

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            I believe comparisons should be made taking into account many factors and am no military expert so I’ll just have to leave that topic. Now if somebody argue with you to degrade or discredit what means a lot to you then that argument is doomed from the beginning. That’s why I based my argument in the spirit of what Alula ( the battle of Adwa) means to me and to black people in large. I am sure you don’t minimize what it means or describe it as just a result of uneven match. That’s why I believe you added “Agreed” when you started your comment.

            I don’t know if those reactions(When?Where?What? about Russians) is from Eyob but I don’t see any problem in asking those if somebody is not in the know.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Dear Saay,
            Please, do not forget to add to the 17000 WHITE Italian soldiers, the tens of thousands of BLACK Eritrean Askaris,
            who were fighting and dying for the Whiteman’s cause, which was colonizing another Blackman. It is said that about 40% of able-bodied Eritreans were serving in the colonial Italian army as Ascaris. They played a major role in Libya, Somalia and of course Ethiopia. While all accepted and served the colonial
            powers, some even with pride, Ethiopians were the only black Africans who stood against the Whiteman’s supremacy, be it the British or Italians.
            It does not matter if it was120000 against 17000 ((although it is not the truth); it could have been a million against 17000. The large number of Ethiopian soldiers showed that the majority of Ethiopians believed that they are free and equal people to any human being who walks on this God’s earth, be it a Whiteman or an alien from another planet, contrary to those who accepted them as superiors and served them. You may ridicule the battle of Adwa by saying that you are sorry that it was not like a football game (11 against 11), nevertheless, you should have known that it is the pride of the great majority of Black Africans.
            Of course, nothing unusual to be defeated by an entrenched guerilla fighters fighting a defensive battle. It is said that you never send one soldier against one enemy soldier, when the enemy soldier commands a defensive position. That is foolishness and suicidal. Some say many times that number is required to root out the enemy. What we doubt is not
            if the Dergue’s army was defeated, but when you say single handedly you defeated the Dergue’s army, that you had no help from nowhere, internal (LFs, the contradiction of the Ethiopian people against the blood thirsty dictator), nor
            external factors (external help), and worse you defeated the Ethiopian people. If you had not believed especially the last, you would not have made the 1998 fateful mistake.
            Therefore, by now, we should all have known that only the truth, wisdom and words of peace can bring nearer these two people, and not recycling the sagas, odysseys and re-written history, which brought nothing but misfortune to the whole region.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Horizon,

            “The case of the forgotten Ascaris” this fall coming to you on History channel 🙂

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hey Horizon:

            I didn’t forget: I said “conscripts”, which is what the Eritrean ascaris were.

            The victorious Ethiopians, the pride of Africa, released the Italian prisoners of war without preconditions. They also released the conscripted Eritreans–after chopping off their limbs. This was so no future invading force can conscript them again: it was a gentle, humanitarian act.

            There is African solidarity for you.

            Saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Noble idea to criticize the wrong that has been done. But your attempt to pick and select part of history and omit what don’t fit your narration is not helpful to very least and poisonous at large.

            There are many who claims that those amputated ascaris you mentioned were pardoned twice before. Why did you choose to omit that? Or does it not fit the picture you want to paint which is savage Ethiopia ?

            Should we open the flood gate of revealing the barbaric and deplorable stuffs those ascaris did? including the name sake of this very site? I don’t think it’s constructive to go on that road. So let’s calm down and if wanting to reflect back on our complicated history, then attempt to do it genuinely not to blame each other but to learn from them so that they aren’t repeated.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Horizen,

            በነካ እጅህ ይችን ጥያቄ መልስልኝ።

            I have always been wondering if the European colonizers such as British and France had recruited African Ascaries? If yes, please answer me whether they had used them as soldiers when they expand their colonies to other colonies nearby (like the Italians used Eritreans in Libya (and Somalia?)).

            Thanks

          • Haile WM

            Hi rahwita,

            study more about ethiopian history, the British actually used Indian and Sudanese askaris to give back Ethiopia to HaileSilasie from the Italians… or you did you really believe Askari concept were invented by italians ? I think you are too good at insinuating fishy things… especially when it come to eritrea

          • Dear Rahwa,
            One should know that most Africans fell under colonialism with little or no resistance.
            Native colonial troops (Askaris) were used by European colonial powers, in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It does not matter whether they used them for nearby or faraway missions. They
            were fighting inside and outside their continent, and of course facilitating the subjugation of their people. As an example, Indian troops were in Aden and Hong Kong under the British. Mozambican Askaris were in Goa under the Portuguese,
            the French used North African troops, and Angolan and West Africans troops were also used. As we all know, colonial troops played an important role during WWI and WWII under British and French commands.
            We cannot say that these people were forced to fight for the Whiteman, because they happened to be professional soldiers
            earning salaries and even pension benefits.

          • Haile WM

            hi horizon,

            I think you should read carefully the numbers at hand in the battle of adwa: the Italians including their askaris were totaling 17,978 units, and not as you say “tens of thousands of BLACK Eritrean Askaris” that’s totally wrong the askari number was around 5000…

            a quick reference is:

            wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Adwa

            your approach to history shouldn’t be that of “it’s said”, if you are interested in the italian askaris of that period there is ample evidence that actually the first askaris were Turkish, Egyptian and Sudanese who were part of the Egyptian and ottoman garrisons in Massawa.. “40% of able-bodied” is what you may assume, but that is totally fabricated .

            then you say something astounding to my ears:

            ” The large number of Ethiopian soldiers showed that the majority of Ethiopians believed that they are free and equal people to any human being who walks on this God’s earth, be it a Whiteman or an alien from another planet”

            please remind me when was slavery abolished in ethiopia ? i am sure you know the answer 🙂

          • Dear Haile WM,
            If you are insinuating that Ethiopians should have bowed to Italians and should never have fought them because during these period, there were people who were seen and treated differently due to the color of their skin, then you are making a mistake. Unfortunately, Gambellans, Kunamas etc have a lot of painful past stories to tell. By accepting the Italian masters we would have lived under a broader form of slavery, the apartheid system. Ethiopians fought Ottoman Turks, Egyptians and Italians and they kept their freedom with a big price. They did not choose to succumb to any would be master. It is better to leave to historians about the role played by Arab slave traders and the extent of cooperation on the Ethiopian side.
            One of the excuses Italians used to invade Ethiopia was to abolish slavery, while they were practicing apartheid next door. The Italian army was blessed by the pope to enslave Ethiopians in the name of abolishing slavery.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Horizon,

            Don’t bother… I had that back and forth for years here in awate. It is a mentality that is been conditioned for generations. To be submissive, to be ruled by the Italians has been conditioned in minds of many Eritreans (particularly The Kebessa) as something to be proud of. Hence, the massive identity crisis, the empty bravado that is marinated with excessive arrogance. Many of them just can’t fathom how one wishes to be free from Italians and even dares to resist to retain, who they are, their language, their identity and their dignity, unless they are “uncivilized” and couldn’t understand how good pasta tests.. 🙂 That was a kind of low self esteem mentality of many Eritreans, which made us insulted by the kind of Gebretinsae Tedla, after Ethiopia made him, who he was as opposed him being died in some slimy Italian soldier’s kitchen, should he’s stayed in Asmara. Unfortunately, he may have freed his body, but his mind was enslaved, until he died. Sad to see that there are many of the likes of him springing up generation after generation of Eritreans…

          • Haile WM

            Hey Eyob
            jumping in a discussion and labeling a whole nation as that is not healthy for you…
            You just insulted me and all eritreans because of your prejudice… I should retort but it would be giving you too much credit, one advice though; if you decide to jump in a discussion do it when you really understand what has being said and if you feel like you can contribute.
            Thanks
            Regards

          • Eyob Medhane

            Haile,

            Where did you get the “..whole nation..” In my comment? Notice..”..MANY Eritreans…” and “Particularly the Kebessa” indicate specificities. Unless, you equate these specifics to the “whole nation”…Thanks for the advice..

          • Haile WM

            Eyob,

            how many Eritreans do you know personally? 100 ? 1000 ? can you simply talk about MANY and try to pass it as “specifics” based on your “broad” knowledge of eritreans ?
            if you speak about “Particularly the Kebessa” then that is a gross generalization… in my kebessa home 🙂

            you are well come for the advice…

          • Eyob Medhane

            Haile,

            How many Eritreans do I know? Hummmmm..let’s just say too many to count… :-)…

            I hope we don’t lose the point in this snippets of back and forth..

          • saay7

            Selamat Eyobai:

            Bad Bad Eyob is back… and with Eyob, this time (as it is every single time), it is personal.

            1. Since “many of them just can’t fathom how one wishes to be free from Italians and even dares to resist to retain…” can you mention one of the many. Just one.

            2. This is the 7th time you are mentioning poor Gebretinsae Tedla… you don’t just speak ill of the dead; you put it on a loop and play it over and over.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            You and I have had this conversation for years. I can’t believe it just keeps refreshing itself. I am not being naughty, but as you know well outbursts some times triggered by getting pricked…

          • saay7

            Hey Eyobai:

            I know, I know… But no discussion is complete without you. I figured since this discussion is going to be locked (Emma is saying thank God), I might as well get my friend Eyobs views to see if there has been any evolution in his views over the past 4 years.

            Saay

          • Haile WM

            Dear Horizon,

            no i am not insinuating Ethiopians should have bowed to Italians. Not at all ! I am just saying history should always be read in context or else it falls under propaganda. The Abyssinians of the day were fighting for their kings and warlords, not for equality of the black-man nor for emancipation…
            Seen in context some history can be understood and analyzed accordingly, for instance why do you think the raya azebo attached Hailesilase’s army in disarray after the battle of Maichew ? Why do you thing Ras Hilesilasie Gugsa the late grandchild of Yohannes IV betrayed hi Emperor in the wake of second ethio-italian conflict ? How did menelik subdued the southern nationalities of ethiopia ? wasn’t he a colonialist in their view ?
            Context might help us understand history not triumphalist propaganda i believe.

          • Dear Haile WM,
            Even if Abyssinians of the day were fighting for their kings and warlords, at least they had a cause to fight for, which helped them not to fall under alien masters.
            If power struggle was the norm in those days, it did mean that they were for the sake of democracy or they had a broader agenda. It was a power struggle between feudal lords, the House of Shoa and the House of Tigray.
            If you call Ethiopian resistance against invading enemy forces triumphalist propaganda, then I have nothing to say.
            The word colonialism has lost its meaning in our region. Even Ethio-Eritrean coexistence is called colonialism. It is the first time that colonized people
            faired even better than the colonizer in some aspects. We are not going to reach any where, and we better leave it there.

          • Haile WM

            Dear Horizon
            you can decide whether to discuss or not with me it’s up to you… I always thought of you a reasonable person and willing to engage in respectful debate..

            having said that my point was it was all power struggle not emaciation or freedom, Alula was ruling eritrean kebessa as an usurper from the local Ras namely Ras Woldemichael Solomon who revolted to Yohannes and many were resentful to him in the kebesa…
            meantime Menelik was flirting with the Italians in order to weaken his rivals from tigray right after Yohannes and he let them safely to Eritrean kebessa… do you see any resistance to alien masters in this? even if you go back to Yohannes… Kassa Mircha aided the British against his Ethiopian emperor… do you see any resistance to alien masters?

            dear Horizon if we want to read history there are many layers on it simple blank ethnocentric views lead to misconception such as Black-man fighting the white masters… it was not such and never was.

            thanks for you time
            Regards

          • Dear Haile WM.
            I have no problem in discussing any subject with you provided that I have something to add to the discussion. You see Haile, many of the subjects we are discussing are not new; and sometimes we find ourselves discussing endlessly without reaching a mutually accepted conclusion to bring the
            discussion to an end. In addition, sometimes our other obligations override our wish to continue. Otherwise, please understand that I will be more than happy for future discussions.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Haile,

            So all those rulers putting their difference aside and coming together under one cause, which if you want me to spell out for you, was to keep ETHIOPIA FREE FROM COLONIALISTS was all just power struggle to you? And you try to pass your distorted view as looking at history in all context? This attitude of trying to minimize or belittle what means a lot to many Ethiopians doesn’t really help either the people to people or country to country relationship we all are hoping for. Promoting this kind of hate(Yes it’s hate to me) towards Ethiopia does’t take your country one step forward. By now you should know that forgetting the hate you have for whatever reason and playing nice with Ethiopia is far more beneficial.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Haile WM

            hi Addis,

            reading history from from different angles or different point of view doesn’t mean hate, it means having a broader view of historical events and it’s actors. I don’t hate Ethiopia nor Ethiopians, I believe history was made at adwa and Menelik succeeded in what many Africans before him had failed, uniting under one banner all the warlords and kings of Ethiopia, the only thing i am not accepting is the claim that he did it for the people let alone for the emancipation of the black man…
            Addis when Eritreans tried to resist to Italian invaders (oh yes they tried!) in their land where was Menelik? he was busy making treacherous accords to sell Kebessa to italians (WuChalle treaty does it ring a bell to you? ). He let them into Eritrea safely didn’t he ?

            I read you were trying to justify the barbarian act of chopping the hands and legs of askari POWs, i think claim that they were pardoned says all of you and your views.

            Cheers and be happy, nobody hates you around here 😉

          • destaa

            Dear Haile,
            I like your view. And as an Ethiopian I have to say that your are one of the guys whom I read their comments. I am not saying I agree here but I don’t consider the points you raise as hate. I think sometimes people’s view depend on with whom they argue. You being Eritrean might seem an attack for Addis but it is not secret that there are many Ethiopians who have similar views like you

          • አዲስ

            Hi Haile,

            Now you accepted what’s truly a historic event( which by the way whether you accepted it or not doesn’t really matter cause the world did accept what it meant 🙂 but I will indulge you) at least we have something we can agree on. But again your issue is why he did it? Let’s see your two points: You said :
            1. It was not for the emancipation of the black man. Just for the sake of this agreement let’s say he didn’t set out to free black people, but do you really deny the reverberating impact it created throughout the whole of Africa and black people at large? and contributed a lot to black people’s struggle against colonizers ?
            2. You also said he didn’t do it for the people. I don’t even know what that means. So why did he do it Mr Haile who has broader view of history? By saying he didn’t do it for the people or the country (because there is no country without its people) , are you suggesting that he tricked all those rulers when he united them under the banner of Ethiopia? are you suggesting he did that for some other sinister purpose? Clarify it for me please ayte haile.

            Your crying of where was Menelik when Eritrea was invaded is like an old record so go read more about wuchalle and what happened during that time.

            I was not trying to justify anything. But I also know a sinister attempt to try to paint my country as barbaric. I will resist that and defend it from any outsider. What happened to your broad way of viewing history when it comes to that very topic you and your kind always like to bring? I just gave you another valid perspective that’s all. Again why did you just bring that only all of a sudden and forget all the barbaric acts of your ascaris ? how very thoughtful of you 🙂 Trust me we have been through this road many times and nobody falls for it. Try a different approach again 🙂
            As I did last time I will give you a free advice, be nice to Ethiopia. You don’t want us as your enemy. Being nice begins with simple people to people talk like this .

            Cheers to you too and am definitely happy, and am sure you will be happy too when you remove the veil of hate 🙂

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Horizon:

            It’s interesting that you mention the age-old rivalry between the House of Tigray and the House of Shoa. In commemoration of the anniversary of the death of PMMZ, there is the traditional debate on whether his vision is being implemented.

            Apparently, there is a sense among some Tigrayans that the TPLF has gone native and joined the House of Shoa and I saw this: changing the acronym if hzbawi weyane Harnet Tigray to hzbawi weyane Harnet Shoa. This sentiment is not reflected in the meto bemeto elections where TPLF won 100% of the seats of Tigray region. Or maybe it’s agitprop from the Eritrea-based De.M.H.T. Any insights?

            Saay

          • Dear Saay,
            You brought a very interesting topic. Unfortunately,
            I am far from being the right person to have an opinion on the subject. I hope people who are close to TPLF would enlighten us, for it is interesting to know
            if there is a change in Ethiopian politics.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Horizon:

            The fact that Ethiopia is the only nation which was never colonized makes it unique, but to claim that the people kept their freedom and a hyperbole unless like PFDJ supporters freedom means enslaved by your own kind by fending off foreigner occupation of your land. So let us not pretend that Ethiopians were free because they were not colonized, that is why TPLF 1 and TPLF 2 and the other resistance movements we created, fostered by the people.

            Ethiopia may have avoided the foreign occupation unlike its sister nations, a point well noted and that piques the interest of many people when you tell them that during discussions, but Ethiopia true to its African roots it was not able to fend of slavery, destitution and tyranny: lack of freedom, its people were never free. If Ethiopia was free and fee does not mean not being colonized the bigger Ethiopia, a force to reckon with would have gone to the moon, we would not have this discussion, and Eritrea would be a province of Ethiopia

          • Dear Semere Andom,
            Throughout human history there were two types of masters, foreign and home-grown. I was talking of
            foreign powers that enslaved other people, simply because they felt that they had the power to do so. As much as our internal masters are concerned, no
            society is immune, not even in the developed countries, and that is why we see continuous struggle for total emancipation.

          • dawit

            Selam Saay,
            Yes “We are #1 in the world”. If we have to talk of colonization of Africa specially to the horn of Africa, we need to start with Thewodros II, of the great betrayal by Yohannis IV and his general Alula. The seed of colonization was planted then by the British and later they promoted Yohannis and Alula and Menelik II to act as their agents to control the source of the Nile and the Red Sea, by inviting also Italy to the equation against their chief rival France in Colonizing Africa, from east to west French empire. All the other incidents and personalities like the battle of Aduwa, Michew, Keren are part and parcel of that original design of colonization of the region. On the battle of Keren, it was the turning point of world war II where Eritrean (askari soldiers played a crucial role for the victory of the Allied Forces against the Italian-German plan to rule the world. Without that victory, the Axis forces of Germans and Italians would have controlled the Red Sea the oil supply route of the world and defeated the Allied Force in Europe and today we would have been singing ‘High Hitler’ instead of ‘Churchill’. Of course so many of the real hero’s of that great battle, the Bashis, Buklebashs and Barambalses did not made it to history books of the world like Abraha Debotch, Mogos and Zerai Deres Every year the Allied leaders gather in Normandy beaches of France, they don’t mentioned that pivotal they had in Keren. Their victory would not happen if the gallant Askaris switched from their Colonial masters to the Allied forces. Yes again the great General Abrahim Affa, liberated Eritrea and Ethiopia from another colonial plan by Communist forces in Africa, defeating their new agents like Mengistu So you see cousin Saay we can say Eritreans liberated the world Fascists, Nazis and Communist dictatorships and yes we are no 1 in the world! The Fortress town of Keren is where the torch of freedom shines to the whole world!

          • Abi

            Mezmure dawit
            History 101, presented by Saay and dawit , written by an “F” student at Cairo university . ( as everything else)
            Tell me more about these spineless, shameless askaris. They must be number 1 in betraying themselves. It’s good not to share their heroic deeds.

          • Abi

            Saay
            Is Mesfin Hagos the current defense minister? His name is familiar.

          • Amde

            Abi,

            There are a couple of semitic interpretations of the root of the word.

            One is the cognate of “Le’ul” i.e. Prince, or elevated, or most high. This root is what gives us the Hebrew name for God “El” or the the Arabic, “Allah”
            The other could be the name for a jewel “Lul”. There is a well known female name – Lullit – that is derived from it.

            By the way, there is a Somali town called Alula or Aluula, supposedly derived from the word for Pearl. According to Wikipedia, it even has Alula airport. God willing, maybe it might be a good place for you and your son to fly to one day as a father-son trip, and then chill on the Indian Ocean beach.

            Ras Alula was such an important figure, his name got expropriated by many admiring communities. So it might be tough to trace it to localities that used that name the most. My suspicion is that Alula is derived from the old Agew root for honey. The name Lalibela was derived from the Agew referring to bees or honey. There are Raya songs that have the refrain of “Laloye Laloye” sang by people in Tigray and Wollo. Dayphi on this site reminded me that the Amharic word “welela” could be
            identified as a derivative of that. Alula and Welela do not sound too
            far apart to my years.

            I don’t believe most of these people (Agew speakers) ever moved – they just changed languages, and adapted old words and terms into the new ones. I couldn’t find the reference but I believe it was Wolf Leslau who suggested that 40% plus of Amharic’s vocabulary is from pre-existing Cushitic sources, primarily Agew. Fanti, it looks like people have been doing your suggestion of merging non-Amharic vocabulary into Amharic for centuries anyway.

            All in all, Alula is a superb Ethiopian and Abesha name.

            Amde

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Prof. Amde,

            Thank you for saving us from the feminizer interior minister!

            The merging works. We just need one hero in a position of influence to suggest it to the education ministry; it would be simpler than it may sound. We sometimes do that without coercion. Example: miskinu shimagle betekirstian hedu [miskin is Arabic].
            Alula = ዓልላ , እልል በሉ፤

          • Amde

            Hi Dottore Fanti,

            Is this in standard Tigrigna? Or is it in a dialect (more Rayan perhaps)? Please let me know if I am blowing smoke

            By the way…You just blew my mind.

            I never connected “elilta” (ululation) to le’i’lina (elevation) until just now.

            But check this out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ol%C3%A9,_Ol%C3%A9,_Ol%C3%A9

            That theory is apparently much disputed, but still it explains why “ululation” is generally a Semitic invocation and not more universal. Don’t hear the Germans break out into elilta.

            Amde

          • Fanti Ghana

            Dear Amde,

            Did you see what the Spaniards did to our elilta?

            With Alula’s background as a common peasant it is likely no one had prepared a name for him before birth until somebody kept shouting at somebody to continue the ululation because “it is a boy” (7 times for male, 3 times for female ululation tradition).

            His name indicates he was really a nobody from a poor and uneducated household. If I am not mistaken the name Alula never existed before him. I have lots of supporting evidences to suggest his name really meant no name at all, but I better pass for now.

            Now, the interesting question is where did the ululation come from?

            PS:
            I keep telling people we are really related to the Arabs (damn them), but no body listens.

          • Abi

            Fantish
            the moderator must be out camel riding. You can not say “damn them” to the chosen people.
            Are we related to Arabs? Ya ilah ilalah!

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abi,

            I meant it as a play full gesture. Do not use it in a serious tone or manner. I am extremely careful not to generalize, because generalization is almost always wrong. Abish, Ya ilah ilalah? Metema newa yadekew!
            That explains everything.

          • Amde

            Dear Fanti,

            I knew you’d like the Spanish reference. It just explains to me why we (and the Arabs) do elilta and non-Semitic cultures don’t (as far as I know). A celebration is marked as showing evidence of being “elevated”. Elilta signifies l’ilina.

            I cannot tell if you are serious when you say that the name Alula means nothing at all, and that it never existed before. That is strange to me. If he came from a Christian family, he would have at least had a Christian name. Why would he resort to a no name? That just doesn’t make sense.

            As far as the Arabs, I don’t think people deny we are related to them. I believe our main historical beef is really with the religion, and principally due to the near death experience abesha Christianity experienced with Ahmed Gragn. That man was the man of the millenium. He popped up mid-century and the events that followed him still reverberate to this day. If the Arabs had become and stayed Christians, our relationship would be different. Being human, we will most likely have differences and issues even leading to bloodshed, but it definitely would not have an existential zero-sum dimension to it. Arab nationalism complicates the picture.

            Amde

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Amde,

            Are you certain that “Hebrew name for God “El” or the the Arabic, “Allah”” are related?

            Any evidence?

          • Amde

            Hello Music Novice

            As always I may be wrong. It turns out there is agreement on this though. Check out the Wikipedia on Elohim… https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elohim&ved=0CCsQFjAFahUKEwj5pbuLhrjHAhWCez4KHYqJA1U&usg=AFQjCNH5VzMV94MBoIw51WwgjgLXwd5KWA&sig2=MyuPDAa6pu8R0l9hKhSxHw

            What do you think?

          • Ted

            Hi Abi, i suggest you name your second son Tewedrose(Ted:-) just not to antagonize your Gondere Compatriots who know they were betrayed by Atse Yohaness/Allula. You are true to your nature to name your son the General known to harass and rule Eritreans by iron fist;-) Are you sure you are Gondere?
            “The Great YG” and ” if it were not for Arabs” comments are a good jab on us. Admit it ,the cause for Eritrea is not all lost in you and our bad friends telling you we be better off with you doesn’t help you to let it go. May be you took 3000 yrs history of conquest and invisible attitude that followed it to the heart . Arabs ?What Arabs. Had you seen any one of those Arabs the in trenches of Eritrea? Get real, while your Gov used zillion dollar weapons and mercenary Russian carpeting the whole town with napalm , we only counted on our raggedy ወንበዴውቸ, The greatests.
            As for Arabic, it is here to stay and prosper with Eritreans,we just need to fix some bugs causing glitches. Good luck with your English and easy on our case if you can:-),

          • saay7

            Hi Ted:

            “…between 1977 and February 1978, without adding the arms that followed in later years, the Soviet Union shipped arms worth a billion dollar to Ethiopia. In addition hundreds of military officers from Russia, Cuba, East Germany and south Yemen were brought in to train and advice the Ethiopian army. At that time 17,000 Cuban troops also came in to aid the Ethiopian army in the Somali front.”

            http://www.shabait.com/about-eritrea/history-a-culture/16987-north-eastern-sahel-front-from-birth-to-demise-part-i

            Yemenis (ARABS!) were in Ethiopia training Ethiopians how to fight Eritreans (Ethiopians, then.) Well, yeah, there were also Russians, Cubans and East Germans but those are not ARABS!

            saay

          • Haile WM

            Hi saay(7)*

            you forgot Libya helping the DERG,

            there was this joke about a derghi burocrat presenting Gaddafi to the abyotawi Shengo:
            “Mehamed QeTafi ye Lebaw meri”

            *why 7 ?

          • saay7

            Hey Haile WM:

            That’s funny:)

            Why 7? Because seven ate nine (789). Also u are supposed to read saay7 as sei sete in honor of Italy because artificial Eritreans love Italians.

            saay

          • Ted

            Hi, say I was asked by my niece “why 6 afraid of 7”. I was blank . kids say the darndest things.
            Now you ruined the Abi’s hero name, you have to come up with the equivalent, he is into English names now. may be Victore.
            On different note.
            Every Chines kids in America i know adopt western names like Megan Yin, and kevin Yan. But in reality they are nothing close to being Megan and kevin, they stay in character as their chinese parents Yin and Yan in almost every thing they do. I wonder why bother that their look is a give away.Do they know something what We habesh don’t know calling our kids Ali and Berket?

          • saay7

            Selamat Ted(ros):

            This is a true story and the names have not been changed to protect the innocent.

            I once knew a Vietnamese refugee in Southern Cali. His name was Duc Nguyen. So one day he comes all excited because he had just got naturalized: he was an American citizen. He was more excited by the fact that he was allowed, as part of the citizenship process, to change his first name. To John. Why? Because John Nguyen. He was a huge John Wayne fan

            Saay

          • Haile WM

            Hey saay78*,

            this is a jibe to my artificial heart ! I love italian language and I despise those who do not comprehend astefishal (in asmarino parlance)

            I promoted you to 78 in honour of an artificially created neighborhood in Asmara 🙂

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile WM:

            Can I ask for an upgrade from Setanto Oto to a classier neighborhood? Like Paradiso, Villagio… even Emba Galiano. No, not Emba Galiano, it is named after a fascist general and I don’t want Eyob to put me on his psych couch.

            This is a funny story. I was talking to someone about Asmara neighborhoods and their new post-independence names. So he hails from “Comisariato Hamassien” and the GoE changed the name of that neighborhood to “Ertrawit Adde” (Eritrean Mother.) So he was saying, “We are screwed! Which future government would ever dare change the name from “Ertrawit Adde”?

            saay

          • Abi

            Ted
            Alula is my all time hero. As Awate is yours. No negotiations.
            We need more Alulas and Yohannesess. Tewodros , I don’t share him even with my son. He is out of this world.
            Now , I am always easy on your case. Regarding your choice of language, you choose any language in the world including sign language. I do not care.
            I need a good luck to promote English.
            I also wish you a good luck in your Arabic.
            Thanks.

          • guest

            Oops, before you get too excited, the first phrase is meant to be “feel free”

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Ambassador,

    Mr. Amanuel has been saying repeatedly that this is not a case that can be solved in the manner we are discussing it here, and I do agree with that assessment.

    However, just to touch some basics, here is the dilemma the Eritrean Muslim is facing (for the sake of argument I am referring to the pro Arabic language advocate, the Eritrean Muslim, and the Low Lander as one and the same entity):

    1) The territorial expansion by highlanders toward the low lands
    2) The systematic abandonment of the Arabic language after signing an agreement some 70 years ago regarding what to do with it.
    3) Are these signs of Tigrinya/Christian take over?

    It is entirely possible that some Arabic language advocates may have sinister motive, but that cannot be used to deny the majority of their rights. The way things look right now, at least from the out set, is that The Low Lander cannot possibly ask for his/her rights or defend his territorial integrity and heritage without being label either

    1) Arab sympathizer
    2) Islamist
    3) Un-nationalist
    4) Potential terrorist

    For this very reason cool minds are necessary to filter out the just cause from the opportunistic parasite. Although I understand what you said about the generalizations some of them make, let’s keep in mind that those are “reactions” to some action that is being taken upon them: namely the expansion and abandonment I mentioned above.

    Again this can and it will be solved with the right people, the right place, and the right time.

  • selam

    Dear Dawit , kim , Abi
    Don’t you think we need our mother tongue to be alive , how cheap are you going to go to dump our own languages in fa or of English ? How idiotic idea is that ? Look at ivory cost , nigeira , Ghana and other African countries , what do they have in common , well they are just empity with libraries full of lies about western English or french historical data. Ethiopia with its rich history is more important than your wish to shift to english and Eritrea is ok with its own history of the most available mother tongue it owns . I am against any monopoly of any language but I do not deny the facts to communicate easily and be modern yet I do not believe Changing from Amharic to english will do good to ethiopia or even to Eritrea. I used to call people who dump their respective language like cheap people .The reason I oppose this article on its intention is due to the implication that arabic does to the 7 languages we have in Eritrea. By so quickly assumptions if we apply arabic to take over Tigre , kunama, bilen , afar , saho, hidarb and others , we are allowing the murder of our deep held culture in All Eritrean low lands . You may argue it is a good idea to sum up all the little ethnic minority languages to arabic to make it politically sound but it is a false assumption by p3o9le who care less about the low lands than their perso al ambitions . Abi , kim I was thinking you have some courage to stand on your ground to obeject dawits continues cooments on this b6t you give up easily by comparing the advantages to your western held degrees and false assumption that Engo7sh will be good instead of arabic and that is just idiotic assumptions.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Selama,
      You are a jewel and a work of art! I wish the world sees what I see.

      PS:
      I may need a whip in one hand to help you understand better, but we will talk about your Omnipotent Paradox some day.

      • selam

        Dear Fanti
        Don’t give much attention to my spelling errors and by the way the Arabic was meant to be amharic ;but this is rush our at my own work , not time to edit or read it again , I just wanted to lash out at abi , kim and dawit theory of dumping all the mother tongue in favour of English, which is not good at all. I believe we don’t have language probelm and if we have it is not even urgent for our people. Our people need good leaders who can see tue future in the interest of their people and the activists should march on that not on their personla wishfull thinking. Can you imagine ethiopia to be like ivory cost or Eritrea to be like some arab country in your account based on dawit , semere andom , abi , kim and others these in favor of foreigners languages. It is sickness that get brainwashed by westerners or by elite arabs . Btw , stop this gigantic words on me .

    • dawit

      Dear Selam,

      Nobody is suggesting we abandon our mother tong, unless you give it up yourself. We are talking a common national language which will be common to all government functions. in multilingual country, which is neutral to all members of the nation that does not give advantage or disadvantage to others. Look I earn my living using English, but I speak Tigre, Amharic and Tigrigna at home. You idea is absurd, it is like saying my parents and grand parent used camel or mule to travel from place to place, I don’t need to use a car that was made in Japan. That to me idiotic idea, when you can travel in 45 minute from Asmara Keren, it will at least takes 2 or 3 days to travel the same, distance. Please Selam read this article from The Economist about Singapore and tell me what you think, if it has any application to what we are debating in circles for the last few days of Arabic and Tigrinya controversies here at AT.

      http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2011/01/singapore

      • sara

        Dear Dawit
        i read you comments and you are repeatedly bringing Singapore to the fore, i wonder if this will be taken easy by many, remember such sayings were what triggered the fear which culminated into a full fledged war of 98. keep those thoughts from the forum lest we get into trouble again.
        good day to you.

        • dawit

          Dear Sara,
          Nice to hear from you. I know what you mean and understand it fully its implication on the 1998 war. But to emulate Singapore path to development policy was right then, and still right today if people are guided by their self interest and not be jealous towards others.. Both countries could adopt such policy, Including Somalia and Sudan for faster economic development and integration to the wider world market. As they said “haki tezaribka, ab mengedi babur dekis”. I hope for people to learn from past mistakes and do what is right for them selves and their neighbors.
          Good day to you.
          dawit

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Abi:
    I have a different take: the Habesha, those who have the DNA of Sheba and Solomon to be deceived by the Arabs, this makes the Habesha stupid, if indeed the Arabs played as because our cousins, the Jews are playing them. I gave you a tip that you all declined, study them, learn their language, heir history and you can laugh at them, not only their language, but study their myth, their slung, even their pickup lines, so you can pick them up 🙂

    • Abi

      Sem
      You have a point . The Arabs played the Abeshas. You are right some of us fall for them. Look where we are now.
      I don’t touch an Arab with a long stick.

  • saay7

    Abi:

    When you say Arabs

    1. You can’t possibly mean the 300 million PEOPLE who call themselves Arabs. Because as a Habesha you are too civilized to call people “things”; or less than human
    2. You can’t even mean the GOVERNMENTS of the 20 countries that call themselves Arab: what did Tunisia for example ever do to you?

    Also, Abi, please refer to the posting guidelines: what you wrote, practically every line, violates it. If I hadn’t been chilling to great Arabic music now I would have put on my mod hat and chastised u

    saay

    • Abi

      Saay
      Listen to me. We did no harm to these people at all . Tell me what did we do to them? They did everything in their power to hurt us ( both ethiopian and eritrean peoples) . They bleed us to death. Saay , don’t get me started, please. I am already shaking of anger.

      • saay7

        Abi:

        I am asking u to more narrowly define who “they” are, for reasons I gave already. Also don’t post when angry. Or drive.

        saay

        • Abi

          Saay
          You are the worst moderator. We need a better one for the night shift.
          Let me narrow it for you if it is possible at all.
          They are all Arab countries who initiated and supported your struggle materially, financially, morally….. All they wanted was the bleeding to death of ethiopia and eritreans not your independence. They do not care if eritrea exists or not. Why should they? Tell me if you know something that I don’t. Tell me they care for eritrea and eritreans.

          • saay7

            Abi:

            You are becoming less and less rational. Again who is the “they”? Remember “Arabs” refer to over 300 million people and 20 Arab countries, most of whom don’t even know Ethiopia exists much less conspire to harm it.

            Now, whenever we Eritreans get mad, we occasionally say “Ethiopians” did this to us but our better angels tell us to direct it to Ethiopian rulers. Learn from us. Anger does not license you to violate our posting guidelines.

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            I’m not looking for excuses to violate the guidelines.
            Am I getting less and less rational? Don’t expect me to be rational when it comes to the Arabs. I don’t expect them to be either. Because they are not.
            Saay, why don’t you ask Ato Amanuel ? He will tell you from which countries he received armament when he was stationed at port Sudan. He told us ever so proudly his business deals with the Arabs .
            Ato Saleh can add more.
            I don’t expect 300 million arabs to conspire on us . However, the most powerful did exactly that.

          • dawit

            Dear Abi,
            I understand why you hate Arabs, because that was the line of politics and history you were told by Hailes Selassie and Mengistu through out your life. For what ever reason they blamed the Arabs for the rebellion in Eritrea. The king lied to his subject and the world when he dissolved the UN mandated Federation. He should have waited a year and conducted the Referendum. Who knows Eritreans could have voted for Union or Independent after the 10 years of the experiment. When the Eritrean revolted he opted military solution for 13 years, and that became his downfall. Poor Mengistu continued the war for 17 years, Both were hiding who they were fighting against, they never admitted they were fighting Eritreans, til it was to late. As Semer told you the supply of Arms from the Arabs would not have made the difference. Ethiopia had direct access to larger real sources of Arms, US, USSR and Israel and the largest army and Airforce in Subsaharan Africa. The bulk of the EPLF arms was supplied by Ethiopia, specially during Mengistu’s time. You can find that from Mengistu lamenting on the loss of his weapon to EPLF by his army admitting the fact in his speech to his parliament or Shengo.. Remember also Ethiopia was also receiving arms and pilots from some of the Arab countries, Libya and South Yemen, fighting against Eritreans.

          • Abi

            Mezmure dawit
            Please stop sounding like you won against ethiopia. You won against derg which cut its right hand with its left. We all know how derg rounded these young kids from their schools and markets and farms … and send them to war after a quick training. Derg send them to war , the generals sold them to EPLF. End of story.
            I’m amazed that you still beat your chest as if you are doing great. I’m angry because of where we are now. We are begging on the Arab and European streets.
            Tewaridna.
            BTW, I don’t blame derg if it hid that it was fighting eritreans. Who would have believed it knowing eritreans were the cream of the society in those days.
            How do you fight a government that never discriminate against you ? A government that provided you with a larger space to prosper, to be the best, to be the highest achievers. I would never believed derg had it told me it was fighting eritreans.
            May be eritreans supported by the Arabs fought eritreans supported by derg to the demise of both. This makes sense.

          • dawit

            Dear Abi,

            Now you can split hair to differentiate the leaders and the country, but that is your choice. But like it or not they represented Ethiopia and they were fighting on behalf of Ethiopia as a nation or a country. If you please you let me say Eritreans won against Haile Selassie and Derg wrong policies towards Eritrea and Ethiopia, by thrusting their foreign advisors and arm suppliers. They destroyed Ethiopia and Eritrea. If you didn’t know that the Derg was fighting Eritreans, then you should blame yourself, because by that time EPRP had exposed the Derg what was the war going in Eritrea. But you knew you block your mind or you were bussy dancing with the Derg Music (Kinet). And if you have gone towards Kerchel (Alem Bekagne) or Sostegna or Mekakelegna prison you would have observed lines of Eritrean mothers taking food to their imprisoned children, husbands, brothers and sisters. It used to be known that the prison system in Ethiopia spoke Tigrigna. But how could you know the as the son of privilege burocrat you said last time you did not know a single friend that was drafted to go to war i.e. by your own admission.
            I don’t beat my chest because of Ethiopians and Eritreans suffering, but rather my heart bleeds. This I have told you before, I also warned you before the coming of a great famine and distraction to our region, because nothing has changed in the policy of Ethiopia, since Haile Sellasies’s time still empty bragging and drum beating for mor wars in the region. Don’t be fooled by few glass boxes erected in Addis. Haile Sellasie was also building. There is a simple road to prosperity in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia and that is establish peace with their neighbors.

          • Maekebay

            selam Abi,

            Without the help of the Arabs, the Eritrean revolution would not have started to walk on its two feet let alone to wage against a formidable enemy. Without the assistance of the Arabs, it would have remained as a movement of a few individuals’ banditry. Eritrea was displayed as one of the Arab countries and its history was taught in many Arab schools. If you were to ask an Iraqi or a Syrian guy before independence or in the 1990s that you are from Eritrean and you are not a Muslim, they would not believe you. They would even challenge you that Eritrea is totally a Muslim country. Don’t blame them though. They are victims of the Eritrean Islamic groups such as Saleh Sabe and other remnants. However, the major player in this saga was the archaic ELF. Its years of propaganda that portraying Eritrea as an Arab country without any Christians and animists (nonbelievers) had made the Arabs to believe it. The Arabs also had a geopolitical interest. The problem we have with the language issue, religious issue and political issue trace their roots to these destructive entities.

            Let us see if this comment becomes another victim of the moderator’s censorship (I hope he is still enjoying his Arabic movie) or it faces the same fate as the one I sent yesterday to reply to Ambassador’s comment. I am glad I have a copy of it for future reference. You see Abi, to write is to influence the thinking and decision of others. This website has a mission, and it won’t tolerate any serious challenges from the other end of the spectrum unless one remains meek or becomes like Selam and the renowned Nitricc whose presence here are showcased as the “incredible” tolerance of the websites to opposing opinions. There are hundreds of Eritreans that I know whose opinions are off-limits from this comment page. You see, you have been worn to tone down your criticism of the Arabs but the street ruffians like Semere Andom are free to call the Eritrean Tewahdo followers as “Cowardice” and many other disgusting stuff. We will see if they get the balls to repeat what they say here in a free and democratic Eritrea.

            Cheers!

            Maekebay

          • Abi

            Dear Maekebay
            Don’t worry about the moderators. They tolerate worse than what you wrote.
            I agree with everything you said except the moderators part.

          • saay7

            Selamat Maekebay:

            You have already gone one step further than Abi and identified whom you mean by Arabs: Syrians and Iraqis. Governments, I presume.

            Let’s see what Abi has been warned to “tone down.” This is what Abi wrote: I hope they go to hell as they are doing now. They are barbaric less of a human beings. I HATE,HATE, HATE these things called Arabs . All of them. These barbaric bastards should burn in hell forever.

            This is extreme by any measure. And he responded to invitations to tone it down by claiming he is angry as if anger justifies racism. Just replace the word Arabs with blacks and hispanics and say it at your next company picnic and see what that gets you.

            And this is what our posting guidelines (http://awate.com/posting-guidelines/) say:

            25.6 It is okay to criticize a political ideology but it is not okay to attack a collective identity (race, ethnicity, tribe, region, religion, nationality, gender, etc). Doing so will result in immediate suspension/ban.

            He is not suspended/banned because he has a long history of civility; I can tell you that if he was new to the forum he would have been suspended.

            Now, about Semere. First of all, he is criticizing an institution, not a people. Second, he is criticizing an institution that he shares an identity with. Even when someone criticizes a group of people, we give some leeway if the person is criticizing a collective identity he belongs to. For example, we have heard Nitricc (before maturity) criticizing “Africans” and we have cut him some slack because he is African (whether he likes it or not.) That is what Dayphi is doing with Muslim preachers and their Friday sermons.

            And how was Osman Saleh Sabbe part of an “Islamic group” exactly?

            saay

          • Peace!

            Hi Maekebay,

            Perhaps you haven’t listen to the interview of former prime minister on what led to the quick fall of powerful Ethiopian army. (Arabs barely mentioned)

            http://youtu.be/gDB6hFwWMnY

            Regards

          • Admas

            I don’t think you understand Amharic, did you say Arab barely mentioned? …..2:28…..clearly talking about the involvement of Arabs and their motive…

          • Peace!

            Dear Admas,

            Actually that brief comment was a follow up to Maekebay’s aggressive and misleading take that he accused Arabs for creating EPLF to defeat Derg and Islamize Eritrea. Please I am not defending Arabs:)

            Yes, the former prime minister mentioned Arabs and stated the reason for their hostile policy toward Ethiopia was the NILE issue. He continued and said the reason for the quick fall of the most powerful army was the fact that there was a war on multiple fronts: Gonder, Tigray, Ogaden and Eritrea, and in addition to that, its socialism ideology was also responsible for not garnering enough support from the Western countries. Thus, Arabs role was “Barely” to blame for the quick fall of the army, and that’s exactly what I meant.

            Regards

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            May be I am the dumpest person ever to ask the following questions.
            Can you put the Arabs help to our struggling with your leaders for 60 years ?
            Can you compare the help ethiopia got from others to kill our people with the help we got from Arabs ?
            Even Americans at the time of high time cold warera was silent to our cause , why you people try to empity Eritreans hard work to Arabs? We Eritreans rised to the situation and crushed your arm even you come with bandles of soviet help plus cubans , americans and israelis . Please read the past 50 years history with open heart. You want to get a fair treatment here in this site by saay even by coming near to his nose full of lies on your hand , I am amused how dare these people are able to sustain such forumers .

  • Michael Tesfamariam

    Selamat all

    We need this type of priests in Eritrea if we really want to get out of the mess we are in today!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umRRCkspaQU&list=RDumRRCkspaQU&index=1

  • dawit

    Papillon,
    Wrong papi, we have added monuments of ‘Shida’ and a statue of Pushkin since independence others to follow as the Eritrean Diaspora pay their 2% tax contribution. Perhaps we will put a giant bicycle monument to add to the colonial relic of the past.@ Mizan1, then you lose your Eritrean identity and become Somali.

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Papi:
    Also in recorded history, we are the first nation to deny its dead burial in their homellamd

  • Mizaan1

    Dear Papillon, that is exactly what has been disturbing for years now. The Italians got my great grandfather killed in Ethiopia in World War II (1941’ish) as a fitwarari yet his kids were not allowed to enter Campo Citato. @dawit, FYI, I eat spaghetti and even rice with my hands just like the Somalians do.

  • Ted

    Arabic as any language belongs to the world and would be adopted by groups or country based on its merit regardless of religion. Eritreans can’t be any different and they, the stakeholders, are yet to be heard or decide. Why do we make it messier than it ought to be. Here are we: the good, the ugly and the bad proponents in the matter.

    The good are those who see the goodness of Arabic for what it is. They see Arabic as added benefit for Eritreans in understanding the world and our neighbours. Bless their heart.

    The Ugly are those who use this opportunity to lambast PFDJ regardless of the reality on the ground. They look for a crack to insert themselves to claim the moral upper hand. Why not!

    The bad are(the dedicated and loudest) groups who want us to be hostage of their extreme views. They create fear/ defensive attitude to capitalize on the chaos around the world. They thrive behind the screen spreading suspicion and anonymously. The one side explain “Arabic language as a prerequisite for Islam” and the other portray “Arabic as a means for spreading extremism.”
    We know Arabic other than being the the language of the Quran has nothing to do with validity of islamic faith among Muslims. (as all 90% Muslims who don’t adapted Arabic). It is all good to discuss Arabic and religion, but it is unfortunate we are being asked to be overly sensitive and fearful about possible Islam/christian conflict in the country the stakeholders are living in harmony. As many things more, Eritrea political system has been a rough ride, but to call Islam/ christian relation a ticking bomb is nothing but a wishful thinking of a few.

  • Peace!

    Dear Ambassador,

    My understanding is the ongoing debate is pretty much about revisiting an issue that was settled decades ago; now, please help me here, is there anything new the angry Muslims are asking for?

    Regards

  • dawit

    Selam to all Awates’

    I liked what Mahamud and Amanuel suggestion that such topics of religion and languages to be settled on the table or through Referendum. HTG also put some Referendum choices on preferences of languages for Eritrea, including, Tigrigna, Arabic and English for Administrative, Education and Commerce purposes. Sayy had also suggestion on that line of choices but asked HTG what languages to use to conduct the referendum. I think all the languages included on the ballot could be used. As the color of choice we could use green, blue and yellow to signify Yes, NO or Abstain or Both. We can avoid the red color for this purpose. I commented on one of comments made by Dayphi who seams zealous on the topic of Arabic language to be elevated to Conational language in Eritrea specially in Metahit regions. Based on his response I suggested to avoid both Tigrigna and Arabic in favor of English as the sole official language for government, commerce and education while preserving the various languages in the country to be used as Ceremonials or Cultural languages to preserve our cultural inheritances, like churches and Mosques, weddings etc.. I asked his opinion but did not want to touch it instead he has moved to other topics like the punctuality of Friday Prayers. I will make a copy of what I wrote following one of his comment on the topic of National Languages in Eritrea. I would like the heavyweight commentators at AT Deans of the various of Colleges at AT university HTG, KS, Saay, Mahamud, Amanuel, SGJ, Nitricc, Selam, Aman, Abi, Fanti, Hayat, Rahwa etc, respond to the idea. Here is the copy what I wrote to Dayphi

    dawit Dayphi • 15 hours ago

    Dear Dayphi,

    You wrote ‘Language is not citizenship.. just mode of communication”. I believe that and If you also truly believe that, then why don’t we use the best tool that we can find. Arabic is not the best tool in the market. As Semere Andom wrote in one of his comments “(Arabic) is becoming the Lingua Frank of terrorist, as the natural laws of supply and demand stipulate it, Arabic will be soon in the pantheons of Latin and Gaelic”. selam also wrote in one of her comments ” …Arbic is just as beautiful as any other but hi , now Arabic is not appropriate to speak in western airports”, If those comments are true why invest on something that is depreciating quickly. Most of the Arab nations abandoning Arabic and fast learning English. Don’t you think it is better for Eritrea to invest on a language that is appreciating its economic value in international commerce, education of science and technology? I believe also the use of English will eliminate unnecessary competition for government jobs etc, since every Eritrean will be in equal footing whether he or she born on the highland, lowland or coastal regions of the country. It is better to invest in English and keep all native languages as ceremonial and cultural languages in their respective localities. What do you think of this proposal?

    Waiting any response anxiously.
    dawit

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam dawit,
      .
      Good idea but impractical. How many generations do you think it would talk to have Eritrea as an English speaking country. If it gona have any chance it must be a robust effort by the Government similar to sawa military training for all Eritreans.
      I am afraid these kinds of experimentation with abesha’s lives is too much. They have gone thru enough experimentations. Enough already.
      .
      K.H

      • dawit

        Selam Kim Hanna;

        Thank you very much. You are the only brave one to respond. You claimed it is good idea but impractical, I disagree on that, there is nothing impossible if people decide and determined to do it. Look our grand fathers got only 4 years of Italian education and they were able to speak the language and some mastered it to work as interpreters (turjumans) to their colonial masters. Many worked as accountant, businessmen, mechanics technicians with that rudimentary education. I believe we have the same gens or chromosomes that we inherited from our forefathers. When every kid realize that his/her English knowledge would open work opportunities both in the private and government institutions would add the incentive to learn the language faster. I want you to read from The Economist Magazine of Singapore experience. Its history is amazing, it was one of the poorest country in South East Asia. Like Eritrea it had an experiment with Federal arrangement with its larger rich neighbor Malaysia. They were kicked out of the federation by the Federal Malaysian Parliament after few years experiment, contrary to our experience EthioEritrian Federation dissolved by the King in favor of forced unity by that lead 30 years of war of destruction. While Malaysia and Singapore building their economy since 1960, we were killing one another destroying our infrastructures. Singapore adopted English as its official language while Malaysia kept its local national language. Now 50 years letter Singapore is one of the richest country in the world with $56,286 percapita income higher than US and Malaysia $10,829. Ethiopia $567 and Eritrea $590 according to World Bank data for 2014. If Singapore did it why not the Habesha? It will be feasible for both Ethiopia and Eritrea to adopt English as national languages. Tell me what you think after reading the Economist article.
        http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2011/01/singapore

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam dawit,
          .
          First off, was your nick dawit all along? A long time ago (2-3 years) I seem to remember we did not have a cordial communications. Now I read all your post and I see a change. What gives?
          .
          I read the article and printed it too. It is an interesting piece. The visionary leader admitted what they were facing, when he said “We decided to opt for English as a common language and it was the only decision which could have held Singapore together.”
          .
          I see your point and the advantages it ushers in for the future generations. In Ethiopia’s case it is a brain and a heart thing for me.
          I could accept one day the English version with all its advantages, and the next day abi will send me a CD complete with Semena Work, dubbed with Amaharic music to plea with me not to abandon Amharic, which will reverse my earlier decision.
          The only consolation is that I think both of us are sending more and more of our kids to “English schools” and eventually with a manageable pain we will be an English speaking people. Unless of course, you become God forbid, Arabic speakers first.
          How about that, for a cop out?
          .
          K.H

          • Abi

            Kim
            With all honesty, If ethiopia adopted English as an official language tomorrow, I will be the first one to abandon Amharic . Honest to God, I care less if Amharic relegated to be used only at churches .
            I know it is difficult to implement but not impossible.
            I love the idea so much I will ask TK to think about it.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam abi,
            .
            I am surprised at you. Menew megderder kere ende?
            .
            K.H

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello KH,
            I think Abi made up for all the times I made him cry. I am still fighting tears. the shortest semna-werk in the Amharic language is፡ ቀበሮ ሳቀች፤
            አቢን አስረዳልኝ የኔ ጌታ፤፤

          • Abi

            Fantish, Kim, dawit Addis , Selam Asmara tsbuqti
            I was convinced that Ethiopia NEED English as an official language when I was at AAU not at Awate university . I didn’t even read dawit’s post about Singapore.
            We need one strong , advanced, ethnic neutral language if we want to be part of the advanced world.
            English should be a medium of instruction in all ethiopian schools starting preschool.
            I read an article written by an ethiopian when I was at AAU . The title is ” yeCollege hisab beAmarigna.” It shows how we are struggling in interpreting concepts in many advanced fields of study.
            Look, I’m not saying let’s kill Amharic or oromigna or Tigrigna….
            I’m saying we need English to make the playing more field plain. Let’s use it to advance ourselves. This is 21st century. Let’s be part of it. English is only for the rich now. I want English for everyone everywhere in ethiopia .
            Empty pride didn’t take us nowhere. Let’s be practical.
            We have already dropped geez, I do not see any practical reason why we don’t drop Amharic and pick English.
            do I sound radical? We need radical change.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abi,
            If you ever repeat these words ever again I will disown you forever!
            I could not believe my eyes. Are you out of your corn fed mind? Abandon Amharic, Oromiffa, Tigrigna, Afarigna… and so on? For what God forsaken reason brother? Please go to bed right this instance! We will talk tomorrow.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Abi,

            Eway tekeste. Ere amarignachinen lekek (don’t blame me for writing my comment in English here 🙂 )

            I am all for Amharic + Oromiffa as official languages. Teach every kid in every corner in Ethiopia Amharic and Oromiffa as a subject where it’s not used locally and improve the laughable way we teach English. There problem solved. 🙂

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • selam

            Dear Adis
            Stay strong on that because these English or arabic wishers to Ethiopia are on the way to destroy Ethiopias strong defence against these bullies from west. Lets kick them once for all to stay where they are with their english or arabic fakse assumptions. These people have zero knowledge what is behined destroying your mother languages. They are just modern killer to our strong held culture and they should be confronted where ever they come .Ethiopia doesn’t need English or arabic , it is a foreign languages and these languages should only stop at the air port and pass transit to research dept. Not in the daily usages. Thanks for your great input sir.

          • selam

            Dear adis
            pls don’t take the word our in the comments as if I am commenting just to oppose thier logic, because I am afraid some one will th7nk I am ethiopian .these days some people are not ok with scrutinised comment.

          • dawit

            Dear Kim,
            I was dawit then and I am same dawit, now. What givesHowever, when ever some one writes or push a deliberately wrong idea that create further divisions and confrontation between Ethiopians and Eritreans I gate angry and I blasts that person. Perhaps that might be the case of our confrontations. I once told Fanti, that I had no country i.e. I was stateless, before 1991 then I gained two countries, Ethiopia and Eritrea, then I lost both in 1998. I am an Eritrean and Ethiopian equally. It does not bother me a bit if the two chantries unite peacefully and leave separately in peace. I was staunch supporter of PM Meles and President Isaias before 1998. But when the border crises came and war broke, I hated Meles, because he was in position to stop it instead he escalated to what is today. Yes he died but left a mess behind. I believe he shortchanged our Habesha stand in the region and the world. We could have been as strong economically as South East Asian countries in the 25 years since 1991, and not worry of drought, wars and famine in the region in 2015. Frankly I have not found a reason to blame President Isaias and I still support him, I still regard him a strong leader for our region in spite of his dictatorial tendencies, which is natural given our regional history. that make me here at AT the odd man and many Eritreans and Ethiopian hate my stand, but that does not bother me. I can communicate cordially as long as they respect my stand and I accept their stand but we may differ in our thought and we can share ideas and contribute to the betterment of our region so that the coming generation live in peace.

            Enough about me, but I am glad you read the Economic article, it may have practical application to our region. We can still keep our national languages for all family and cultural communications. I use English to make my living, but when I go home I speak in Amharic with my wife, speak Tigre when I call my mother and speak Tigrnya with my friends. I don’t think I will enjoy wedding without the traditional kebero beat or wata,or kirar, but I can listen to classical music of Bach or Mozart or Vivaldi relaxing on my sofa or driving my car.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello dawit,

      I had similar idea concerning Ethiopia not long ago, and it has not gone away from my mind yet. It is similar to what you suggested. In my private sanctuary, I was trying to solve our ‘multitude of languages’ dilemma as follows:

      Oromiffa is spoken by our largest single group. Amharic has been our official language for so long that it is spoken/understood by most Ethiopians. The close proximity between Tigrinya, Guragigna, and Amharic makes the Tigrinya and Guragigna case mute. Our Oromiffa, Afar, Somalia, Gambela, binshangul, and Southern Nations have had the short end of the stick more than any other, especially Oromiffa, when we consider the number of its speakers. So, my Utopian solution was to come up with one native language that will incorporate all the native languages. How we can accomplish that, I envisioned, was by expanding our Amharic to include words from these other languages henceforth.

      Say for example the word “dafe” in Afar, which is a nice mixture of ‘please have a sit’ plus ‘please rest a little,’ could be incorporated as an Amharic word from now on. Many more very expressive and to the point phrases could be gathered from all of our languages and expand our Amharic beyond its current limitation as of today. It adds to the overall quality of the language over time, and as the same time, eventually, our national language becomes everyone’s language. The main advantage of doing it this way is that we don’t have to come up with a language from scratch, but continue with what we already have; in our case Amharic. How many words will be adapted from each language depends on the number of speakers of that language. Rough example: 7 Oromiffa, 5 Afar, 5 Somali, 3 Benishagul, 2 Gambela, and 1 each from the rest.

      This may sound idealistic, but all other options are much worst if we are to systematically preserve our smaller languages. Otherwise their demise overtime is eminent.

      • dawit

        Selam Fanti,

        I want you to read an article from The Economist on Singapore experience. If Ethiopia want to keep the Federal Government Experiment intact, this may be the solution to its Article 39, that allow secession of various region, unless to keep using force to keep the nation together.

        http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2011/01/singapore

        .

    • Dear dawit,
      We know that there are nations, especially nations of Africa, who have dumped their own languages for the sake of a foreign language, because they found it practical, and it usually happens to be the language of the colonial masters. Remember, all the different local languages in countries of Africa or elsewhere, were at the same level of development, and none were written languages. I for one do not know, if there is a nation that has abandoned its language with its alphabet for a foreign one. If you have a a
      written language, you have a written history, literature, myth etc, and you
      know who you are, where you came from and you can even know where you are going in the future. Simply, you cannot abandon your language with its alphabet and lose your identity and even your soul (as somebody tried to put it). You can adopt an international language such as the English
      language, as a co-official language to navigate in this globalized world, but,
      throwing out of the window your language and its alphabet, which happens to be the safe place where you keep your identity, history and who you are as people, is simply not acceptable to many nations, one of them being Habeshas. The Geez script that spans over millennia and the history, literature etc that have been written, cannot be erased, simply because
      modern-day Habeshas have become a confused people, and have chosen to live in denial of everything that characterizes them as people and are infatuated with everything foreign. Even our non-Habesha Eritreans and Ethiopians should have been equally proud to use the Geez script for their written ethnic languages, instead of searching for foreign alphabets such as Latin, Arabic, etc.

      • dawit

        Dear Hayat,

        Yes there is a country. Mandarin is a Chainise language with its alphabets and much longer history than Giez. Read the following article from The Economist Magazine of Singapore experience.

        http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2011/01/singapore

      • Abi

        Selam Horizon
        Modern day Abeshas are confused people in many aspects of life . When it comes to language, we need one ethnic neutral rich in advanced technology usage, which we are already using 50/50, that is English. Let’s make meto bemeto. We can achieve higher in other areas too. Not only in democratic elections.
        nobody is suggesting to kill our own languages. I don’t know why you don’t want to see the practical advantages ? Try to translate one scientific journal and see how frustrating it is. Or try to write a scientific journal in Amharic since it is a written language.

        • Dear Abi,
          I did not say I am against the English language. In actual fact I said that we should have English as a co-official language, with the aim to use it for modern education, business, trade etc. At the same time, I was trying to stress that a language which is blessed with its own alphabet that has served perfectly well for millennia in keeping historical records, writing literature, religious books, mythology etc, should not be abandoned.
          Abi, you showed as the beauty of our language with your beautiful and smart short poems. Did you really mean what you said when you said, I will be the first to abandon Amharic? I do not believe you; because I know that you cannot live without writing your short poems in the language of your ancestors.
          Finally, meto bemeto is tasteless, monotonous and tiresome, especially in elections. Abi, I had a plan to forget about it for
          the next five years; why remind me, especially in this hot August afternoon?

          • Abi

            Horizon
            May be I’m too radical to your taste.
            I’m for corn before teff, dabo before democracy, advancement before semna worq.
            We can use Amharic for singing, Tigrigna for crying, English for uniting and marching forward. Add more languages to my list. Joke aside, we are not that apart.

    • selam

      Dear Dawit
      I am against any given language to monopolies any our languages, pls help me spare your time if you think English is better than English to solve our problem , our problem is not language as in this article , it is the greedy and criminal way of PFDJ that is doing bad not the other way around . There is no way that Mr.saleh can see the future of Eritrea from his American based life no , he has no clue about how saho , kunam , tigre and other people deal with their life based on their communication . They do not intend to dump their language as in the Eritrean refugees in sudqn or Ethiopia or even in America. His call to score political based on language is just as low as it can get. Eritreans all lowlanders and highlanders need justice to be given on their hand not this languages issue. They can sort it out if they need arabic instead of tigre or bilen . You all seems to go aloof by the notion that we have language problem , that is false assumptions and has no data to back it up. Do we need fair communication method in our system yes but we have more urgent issues than this languages issues. We need to defeat PFDJ based on proven methods not the other way of wishfull thinking. I am sure some one will come up with the assertion of mr saleh as if I am fooling any one . Fair treatment of languages in Eritrea is needed after we have our country back and even after that we do not intend to give up our own languages for the sake of Elite arab7c speaking people. We will fight tooth to nails if you people assume it is easy to dump our mother language in favour of other foreign language.

      • dawit

        Dear Selam,

        PFDJ did not create the controversy of Tigrigna or Arabic as the national languages of Eritrea. It was long before EPLF was created. I am not sure how this story was true, but a friend of mine who had joined ELF told me there was a time speaking Blin was forbidden by Tegadelti, in an effort to make Arabic the Lingua Franca of the front. Now Bilen is a small tribe Squeezed between Tigrinya and Tigre speaking people. Blin language still is used by the people, because the people wanted to use it as their cultural heritage. They learn Tigre and Tigrinya to communicate with their neighboring tribes for commerce and other reasons. I know a family who thought their children who were born in Frankfurt Germany. No one will take away your mother tong unless you give it up yourself, by learning English as your national languages. Infract using a neutral languages to all may help mother tongs to flourish, since there will not be from a government official favoring one national language over the others, A nutral national create a level field to all members equal access to education and government jobs.

        Read this article from Singapore experience some 50 years ago.
        http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2011/01/singapore

        • selam

          Dear Dawit
          Apart from your good will , I don’t think English will do us good things, look at ivory cost , they used to have native language now they have zero. Go to Ghana their native language like Ibo , hausa are going to a free fall , with the fall of the native language comes the lose of identity. I am more worried about my little language than our officials or politicians languages. Look at any language in Eritrea , they have been for centuries now here you and your friends Abi, kim and saleh want to rope our own language in favor of foreign language. I read the article but we are quite different than singapore . Any way lets just say this language issue is not our urgent issue. Go to Eritrea and Ethiopia we have a hunger problem just around the corner.

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    Just jumping in to add what is missing and to enlighten SELAM as to why she picked up the statement “Most muslims see it as language of God to communicate with them.”

    Sometimes history helps to guide and enlighten. Let me go back:

    The Ethiopian government like any other colonial power sought to suppress the Eritrean people’s rights in order to advance its interest.

    Eritreans did not say any when Ethiopians allowed the USA and Israel to trespass Eritrean lands and waters.

    Eritreans never opened their mouth when Ethiopia destroyed the Eritrean economy by dismantling all Eritrean industries in order to force Eritreans leave Eritrea and go to Ethiopia and the Middle East.

    But finally,

    -when Ethiopia’s king issued a decree ordering Arabic and Tigrigna forbidden as official languages of the Eritrean government, and

    -when the Eritrean flag was de-hoisted and torn to shreds

    THE ERITREAN PEOPLE started to resent/fight back and that was the cause for declaring the Eritrean revolution. The revolution fought in the name of Aslamai and Kistanai as well as Tigrina and Arabic.

    However, contrary to these facts in July of 1972 in a meeting held in Philadelphia, USA to honor Osman Saba, Weldeab Weldemariam and Musa Mohamed Nur and to declare support to PLF, a splinter from the ELF, the late Nizghi, Haile Menkarios and Alemseged Tesfai (the author of Aynfelale 1941-1950) became architects of a new strategy. This strategy of using language as a power by fragmenting Eritrea into many unwritten languages was born in Philadelphia.

    Isayas only manipulated the strategy and was a victim of the architects of power through imposing tigrigna and denying Arabic.

    The architects didn’t learn from Ethiopia’s failure in Eritrea.

    The architects never knew that Switzerland had three official languages.

    The architects never knew that Puerto-rico of the USA refused to be a full member until Spanish language was on equal footing with the English language, which is becoming a reality nowadays.

    Don’t you know that Isayas’s kolel of no constitution is due to this strategy. The power does not accommodate constitution because it is meant to suppress all including the tigrigna speaking people.

    • selam

      Dear T.T
      Thanks for your input , my assumption is really fair argument , it is just our boss don’t like my criticism because it happens or seems to make him angry. He is not more attache to Muslims than me . He has no clue who I am but let’s give him the benefit of his name. I understand the PFDJ equally as him. I know how the Eritreans fought back against cruel leaders , but you misunderstood the whole idea of struggle by not looking at the Tigrai people reason to rise against dergi was not language nor it was religion but true fight over the rights. I explained my point of view from my understanding of religion that is not crime or lame idea sir. When I oppose this article I oppised it based on the intentions not based on my views on the Eritrean struggle.
      Hidden campaign to score cheap anger of your people and make them immune to common sense is evil walking on day light if you believe or cruel intentions if you are a person who believes on reasonings. You see T.T , I am not going to say things that I do not like just to make the dance house warm , I go with the basics and the fabric of common people not the elite once . Distribution of ideas these days can be borrowed from your enemies thanks to technology of the day , I am not going to be lectured by ignorant priest or sheik in my own life. It takes no extra charge for this to understand. Look at these people who spend their whole life in america or touring the world and far apart from the nomadic life of their people to say English orArabic is better to the Ethiopian and Eritrean people. It is crime that should be destroyed on 7ts inception. Raise you key board and fight for your people’s way of life not to be sold to western based elites or arab7c based ideas.

  • Mizaan1

    A failed project:

    This project called independent Eritrea has failed miserably because it was not a natural process in the first place. It is a grand project of the Arabs, particularly the Egyptians, to perpetually weaken Ethiopia. As YG says, there is no center of gravity in Eritrea with the Christian Highlanders nearing extinction by their own consent to be veiled with an alien identity. We are not Italians nor are we Arabs. We are Abyssinians, period. We are not a unique bread in Africa, we are just straight up black people of the Horn of Africa. We are no better than Somalians, Agews, Gurages, Amaras, you name it. But ghedli has done a brainwashing of biblical proportions. I don’t necessarily oppose for a nation called Eritrea to exist but there is no Eritrean identity. It is a man made nation. Please stop thinking you are a special people. What have we ever contributed to the ever changing world that is becoming like a small Kushet to think that we are better than other peoples of Africa or elsewhere? The West Africans are 50 years ahead of us yet we think we are better than them because we have a more fair skin than them. Our ignorance is unsurpassed in modern history. Do not reject your identity. You can acquire any citizenship you like but you cannot change your identity. Most people residing in Eritrea today did not resemble culturally and religiously to what they are today 50 years ago but this social engineering introduced by ghedli and being executed to the fullest by EPLF/PFDJ has done much more destruction than some have you believe as to what Hailessalessie and the Dergue did combined together. Ghedli and its Muslim and Christian elites are on a mission to destroy all the fabrics that connect the habesha people together. But it is so sad to see that the Christian elites are still euphoric about this fake independence with no liberation. Your forefathers knew a lot better. Can someone please tell me how someone from Adi Arada is different from someone from Shire but the same to someone from Aqurdet?

    • dawit

      Mizan,,
      We are the first people to use fork to eat spaghetti in Africa
      We are the first people to ride bicycles in Africa, first people to ride at the Tour de France in 2015.
      Eritrean identity is the hottest commodity in Africa, for those who want to Migrate to Europe and America. Thanks to PIA millions of Africans use Eritrean Identity to escape poverty in Africa.
      Just few of the reasons why Eritreans are different from the rest of Africa. “WE are #1 in Africa”

      • Tafla

        Ato Dawit,

        Please! tone it down! if we are truly No.1, let others say that about us, Bragging is unbecoming! 🙂

        Hawka

        • dawit

          Ato Tafla,
          I am not bragging, I am just stating facts that were reported in the media responding to a comment made why Eritreans feel different than others in Africa.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Tafla (abi seb),

          I saw your question in the morning. I couldn’t find it now, to give you an answer. However, check my response to Aderob, if it also somehow answer your question too.

          Hawka,
          Amanuel Hidrat

    • haileTG

      Dear Mizaan1,

      It is understandable that people question themselves in times of great trouble. But we need not throw the baby with the towel. Take Ethiopia for example, they had been through great wars, famine, pestilence, political strife, turmoil, bombings, oppression you name it. At every junction of that they could easily walk away and say the whole Ethiopia concept is made up and let’s call it a day. But they seem to be striving for better days ahead and their resolve to make their country work is a rock solid as ever. We know not what the future might bring for us. There may be worse days ahead or not. There may be greater tragedies, bigger losses and heavier sacrifices. That goes with the territory of being independent and responsible for your destiny or fate. Our existence as a nation has already been defined, regardless of where or whom we come from. The nation is here to stay and that is non-negotiable. The PFDJ cheap ploy of slurring people with issues of identity, religion and ethnicity is only to fool the people. Some have undoubtedly bought into that are doubting themselves (not just you). We need to look beyond that failed ploy and independently assert our self worth, history and justness of our cause. Hold on in there and fight the good fight brother.

      • Mizaan1

        Dear Hailat, my main issue is the never ending attack on the habeshas. To me citizenship and identity are different. I share the same, exact same identity as in someone in Tigray but I can share borders with someone in Tessenney. So what we need to fight for first is our identity not our land. I couldn’t careless of if I am landless so long as my identity is preserved and the best hope we have is working in unison with our brothers and sisters south of the Mereb. People in Tessenney can speak as much Arabic as they want but I don’t want Arabic competing with Tigrinya in the streets of Asmara or dekemhare or Adi Quala. This is an attack, this whole article is an attack on Habesha identity.

        • saay7

          Welcome back Mizaan:

          We missed you. You came back full of YG sound and fury (signifying nothing because it is mostly ignorant of Eritrea’s pre-Ghedli history). Now, about that “Arabic competing with Tigrinya in the streets of Asmara…”, I submit to you the following images:

          1. Tigrinya and Italian signs (restaurant)
          2. Arabic and English sign (restaurant, shorthand for Muslim restaurant; I think even Ethiopians do that for restaurants and butcher shops)
          3. Tigrinya, Arabic and English sign (the iconic Bon Voyage sign which nitricc will like because he is…nitricc.)

          Even street signs in Tel Aviv are written in Hebrew, English and Arabic. Take it easy, bud.

          saay

        • haileTG

          Dear Mizaan1,

          The great King Solomon (HS’ great granddad:) once said “it is much easier to win a well defended city than an offended brother!”. Let’s calm down because it is not fair nor proper to accuse our Muslim brothers and sisters with something history never recorded as “attacking our identity”. Our identity can’t be taken away but given up on. But land is never given up on but always taken away. In order not to give up on one’s identity, all one needs to do is maintain it, preserve it and develop it. This is why I stressed early on in the opening arguments that cross boarder kinship relationships need to be promoted all around Eritrea including the highlands. In fairness AOsman was right when he pointed out that it is the highlanders themselves (in most part) who are engaged in an irresponsible way of severing that relationship and creating long lasting enmity enough to isolate their children for generations. However, I also argued that even the Muslim Eritrean is as much responsible in pushing his/her highland brothers and sisters to sanity and promote them have healthy relationships with their kinship because ultimately the latter’s stupidity will cause us to be even more disruptive inside Eritrea proper. How can the Muslim Eritrean anticipate peaceful and tranquil life when his highland brother is perturbed and throwing stones against his immediate neighbors? So, our bad foreign relationships is Eritrean problem and risks to cause problems to ALL Eritreans. Look at the way we are arguing here, we made Ethiopia the center of our politics so much (most of the 97/2000s) and now are turning around for giving up Eritrea! It is indeed important to develop cross boarder kinship relations in a responsible and mutually beneficial way. That relieves a sense of besiege that cause us to feel erratic and act out of all proportions against a reasonable proposals by sections of our population. That is like a man who is not visited by his relatives because he pushed them away, bothers his wife for being visited by her relatives when he isn’t? Poor wife would be going..whoa??? The point is that identity is only given up and not taken away and it is our very own decisions that will either preserve it or grow it and not our ability to prevent others from promoting their own.

          Regards

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Selam Mizzan1;

          This is why you don’t believe in Eritrea’s independence; for you that comes second to your relationship of “identity” with the Tigreans. And that is why you curse the Ghedli day and night. Therefore, i do not really understand it why those who identify themselves with independent Eritrea have to argue with you.
          Regards

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Abraham
            I do have respect for your views. But let’s respect his views, and just move on. And let’s respect every awatista choice of deciding who to engage. Whether he believes in Eritrea’s independence or not, he is an Eritrean as long as he says he is. What I mean is Abraham, even in democratic Eritrea there will be forces/individuals who will advance similar sentiments. And I THINK, as long as they are playing by the book, they will still be citizens. Just an opinion. But what HTG said below is I think very important. We should not be questioning calls/efforts that aim at building trust between the two brotherly people. I have always believed the reason why these two people are killing each other is because of ignorance, very few privileged elites are pitching them against each other. That has been my belief. So, there is no problem when we work for cross border relations. It’s natural for the Barka Beni Amer to have strong relation with their kins across the border in Kassalla, Afars and Tigrignas….the same with their counter parts. It’s good for building trust and hence sustainable peace and development. The problem with comments like Mizzan seems to be on allegiance level. A completely different kind of relationship, one that raises where one’s allegiance is.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Mahmuday; my last comment before i call it for the day. As humans and as Eritreans; we should have a different views and opinions but as Eritreans; Eritrenism boils down to three points.
            Acknowledge and respect our Gedli.
            Acknowledge and respect our martyrs.
            Acknowledge and respect our independence.
            other than that let’s argue and fight about ideas. let’s have a different views how things should be done. i am all for that and should be. people like Mizan are just religious thugs who are bend to believe their toothless religion better than every other one. so, Mahmuday, i disagreed, once agin. religious thugs should be heard! the end!
            good night sir!

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Gen. Nit
            Generals know fighting. But you know what, discussing these issues demand more than fighting wars; they demand guts, honor, glory and balls (ha-ha…cheers).
            I agree on the three items you listed. I also disagree on trying to marginalize folks based on their beliefs, but that’s not for the toothless Generals.
            Good night friend.

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Mahmuday, thank you, I take i as a good advice.

          • Shum

            Hey Abraham,

            I couldn’t agree more. There are four arguments Eritreans on this forum make that i don’t get or comprehend.

            1. I’m Eritrean but if something else comes along that’s better, I’ll be that.
            2. I’m Eritrean but I don’t connect with non-Habesha Eritreans. I identify more with my neighbors to the south and that is MORE important to me.
            3. I’m Eritrean. The land is not important, my identify is and it is under attack.
            4. Eritrea is man-made. All other countries were fashioned by Yadullahi. Sorry I mean to say Hand of God. Didn’t mean to scare you.

            So, let’s say in 10 years, things turn around and we’re doing amazing things politically, socially and economically, what will these people say. I suppose it depends on how many of the above positions they will still espouse.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Mizan,

          I can only tell you that you lost your balance or your Mizan. When I advice you to use that nick name, I had in mind that you will be “a good mizan” to issues of “reality” and issue of “history” however it is built and shaped and gave birth to “new reality”. Remember the argument you are bringing – Muslim/Christian, it is the same reality with Ethiopia too, in whatever it is handled. One who played with religion, must know that he will be the first victim from that clashes. No game with religion.

          regards,
          Amanuel Hidrat

        • tes

          Dear Mizaan1,

          Hahaha, you are funny!

          tes

        • Peace!

          Dear Mizan,

          “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” George Bernard

          Regards

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Ahlan HTG
        “The nation is here to stay and that is non-negotiable. The PFDJ cheap ploy of slurring people with issues of identity, religion and ethnicity is only to fool the people. Some have undoubtedly bought into that and are doubting themselves (not meaning you per se). We need to look beyond that failed ploy and independently assert our self worth, history and justness of our cause.”
        Well, said brother(little). This discussion is of course for people who have no other national identity, or a back up plan, to look up to. This sort of discussion is for people who believe, for better or worse, they belong to the bigger family called Eritrea. I like Mizzan because he never pretends in his views to be someone else. His has been እንተቀዶ ግርም፡ እንተዘይቀዶ ህልም። So, brother the train contains jumpy passengers too.. They will travel as far as they feel comfortable. And what’s comfortable is an Eritrea that fits their vision, no bargaining, no compromise. If the ride becomes bumpy, they will jump off the train.
        Eritrea will get over with this situation. All what’s needed is to have mature and honest discussions. Those who see themselves within the bigger picture of Eritrea will keep the fight regardless of the bumpiness, because they have no backup plans as demonstrated by those who say “…if things go this way…then better to be with our Southern brothers.” This fight is for folks who believe Eritrea is big enough to accommodate the needs of its children. What we see is a symptom of a dysfunctional political system, otherwise, we would have been over with these issues years ago.

        • saay7

          MerHab Mahmuday:

          Very well said, Mahmuday, you are in your element lately. If awate was a bar and not a university, we would be saying, “I will have what Mahmuday is having.” Your postings are usually excellent but of late they have been so good that I am calling Morgan Freeman to narrate them.

          The እንተቀዶ ግርም፡ እንተዘይቀዶ ህልም equivocation on Eritrea is not just limited to the Ethiopiaphiles and those who are having buyers remorse and wished Eritrea was still part of Ethiopia. It applies to the “self-determination up to and including session” organizations who are part of the opposition to the PFDJ. What do you think?

          saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Saay,

            Good observation sir! Every time Mahmud posts something, I too have been getting more empressed than the last time. Especially ever since I gave him that PM position, he has been unstoppable.
            So, can you throw some credit this way please.

          • saay7

            Hey Fanti:

            But you are the only His Fantiness. You are practically royalty around here, surrounded by his kbur zebegna. Once in a while Addis sneaks in…and like all royalties you have your eccentricities (really, how is possibles not be wowed by Teddy Afro?) and it took you an unusually long time to get the message of SGJs article…but what’s on the other side of the scale is so massive, no tipping is required, pun fully intended. I mean you are halfway to greatness just by not being Eyob, who has been unusually quiet on a subject that combines his favorite pet peeve (Arabs!) and pet project (saving Eritrean highlanders from themselves.)

            Saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay, Fanti,

            I was trying to get his Fantiness opinion few days back and also help his greatness 🙂 by giving him a chance to come out and criticize EPRDF(or its official) once in a while when it’s appropriate to do so but his Fantiness is nowhere to be found 🙂 and KH just laughed it off.

            Ofcourse I am talking about this disgusting remark by Redwan Hussien:

            https://www.facebook.com/Soliyesami/posts/866082953475377?hc_location=ufi

            To further push his Fantiness and his pal KH’s attention to more pressing issue, I add below one more article on the current shortage of rain and its devastating consequence in OUR country. This is my new approach of exposing EPRDF supporters to information that come from sources other than ETV 🙂

            http://addisstandard.com/drought-in-ethiopia-affecting-millions-worsens-food-insecurity-as-government-appeals-for-emergency-food-assistance/

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Addis,

            Haha. I was waiting for KH to continue with what he started, and I was going to sneak in as shimagle for a change. Unfortunately, KH did not fall for it.

            I saw that clip, and I saw it was carefully cut out from the middle, but I had two choices. 1) find the original video and try to understand what he said in context, or 2) wait for someone (like Eyob who lives next door to the government) to come up with it. However, due to time crunch and being unlucky, neither happened.

            There is no way I can prove it, but what Redwan could be meaning is that on the onus of the water shortage, the authorities may have had emergency water containers or locations in strategic places, but most of those herders did not get the information accurately or in time. In which case the dis-organizing or miss-informing would have been a local government failure. I will hold on to this guess until you prove me beyond doubt or until Eyoba comes with magic saves my hide.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Fanti,

            Glad I get something out of you at least 🙂 But I won’t stop pressing. Obviously you gravitated towards giving him the benefit of the doubt, but what he’s saying is clear in no uncertain terms. The clip is obviously taken from a long press briefing and you can locate it and watch the whole thing but I can assure you that anyway you slice it, he said what he said and it’s not taken out of context.

            Let me try to translate the portion of what he said : ” At some places when the cattle were thirsty, due to the failure of not taking them to where the water is right away is what partially contributed to the damage but the work of taking water to the area has been done and is still on going strongly” . I apologize for my poor attempt of translation, I am not good at it. But that’s what he’s saying word to word. Now Fanti, where did you get the sense that he is talking about failure of information or organization by local government? It’s clear to me that what he’s saying is the pastoralists didn’t take their cattle fast enough to where the water is.

            Anyway, I urge you the other link I posted earlier to get more information on what’s going on about the drought. It’s one of the worst we have seen in more than a decade and hopefully the damage won’t be as bad.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Addis,

            You translated it perfectly. And my guess was not too far fetched. I based it on this: “…the failure of not taking them to where the water is right away…” That implies either they were not told properly or on time or they did not heed to the advice on time. Since the later wouldn’t make sense it would have to be the former.

            The key word that needs explanation is “not taking them to where the water is.” He couldn’t possibly be referring to where they always do. In that case it would be absurd for him to say that. However, it would somewhat make sense, still not free of the responsibility of failure mind you, but at least it would be understandable if he was referring to the “emergency water delivery location” I am guessing the farmers didn’t know where it was.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Fanti,

            I am happy you found one of the two explanations(though I believe there’s only one) as absurd and senseless. I believe it’s senseless also and am sure you’ll come up to find that’s the only thing he was saying once you watch the full video.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hello Addis The Menace:)

            Well, to borrow (and apply it in a 180 direction) from Papillon, the TPLF/EPRDF is a luckier version of EPLF/PFDJ. You will get criticism of PFDJ quicker from De Ghidewon and Sofia than u will get crticism of TPLF/EPRDF from His Fantiness, Eyob, Rahwa, T Kifle, KH, etc. The power of loyalty is strong – stronger still when one sees oneself as a perpetual underdog whose one tiny mistake could lead to extinction.

            should I watch the video or will I be depressed. I already saw on Facebook the spokesperson of the prime minister who told an Ethiopian who was mildly criticizing EPRDF to go to Asmara. It’s dangerous when thin-skinned people have unchecked power.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Am I rally the Menace here ? 🙂 The issue of blind loyalty and support is one of my new angles in engaging the likes of Fanti. I will try to poke and provoke him as much as I can. And let’s see what he comes up with once he saw the full video 🙂

            About the clip, you can read my poor attempt of translation and transcript below when I replied to Fanti. I know it may look like a small thing, but it’s one of the many repeated vulgar statements coming out of this individual which of course reflects his party’s position.

            I haven’t seen the video you mentioned but it really don’t surprise me.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Addis Da Menace:

            The monicker “menace” used affectionately because it rhymes with Addis.

            Can you repost the translation here? It must have been lost in the maze of the comments. I am surprised by the drought because a phenom Ethiopian lady started a commodities exchange system for Ethiopia. As I have exceeded my quota of praising her , I will let Eyob do the rest.

            Getachew Redas “see you in Asmara” was not a video but an FB posting. I like that he engages ordinary Ethiopians; I wish he was less of a hot-head. I like that FM of yours: he is preternaturally calm (must be his Asmarino upbringing). He should keep his day job and stop singing though. No, Virginia, not all black people can sing and dance.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Yes, Eleni did a great service to her country by establishing the commodities exchange, but what does that have to do with the drought? drought is a natural phenomenon. The commodities exchange will surely help reduce the consequence of the drought in the form of distributing food from one part of the country to the other.

            Here’s a rough translation of what he said : “…At some places when the cattle were thirsty, due to the failure of not taking them to where the water is right away is what partially contributed to the damage but the work of taking water to the area has been done and is still on going strongly..” In my understanding he effectively put the blame on the pastoralists for the death of their cattle. For some this might look like splitting hair but for me this is the extension of the vulgar statements repeatedly coming out of government officials. Getachew Reda is a good example. If you follow that guy you will see what I am talking about. His contempt to whoever that shows a differnt opinion to that of EPRDF is amazing.

            About the FM, he may appear calm to you but that’s until he’s pushed just a little. Many of us remembers his melt down on Facebook during the crisis of Ethiopians death in the hands of ISIS, at one point he threatened some guy( he said something to the effect of yegebahbet gebten enyizehalen) and put on a military jacket and hat and declared “Je sui woyane” . This is coming from the top diplomat of the country. NO, FM we are not all woyane, we are Ethiopians and I expected the ETHIOPIAN foreign minister to stay calm during such a charged time but that’s not what I saw. If you ask me, he’s not confronted or tested in public(not in a regime friendly public) as the likes of Meles and if that ever happen you’ll see how a hot-head he is.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Selamat Addis:

            You said what does the drought have to do with the commodities exchange then told us how the commodities exchange will alleviate the effect of the drought. That’s exactly the point, isn’t it: drought is selective, some areas are never affected. What am I missing?

            The quote… well, I am not a good judge. Remember I come from a country where the head of state told us that if the water doesn’t come to us, we should go to where the water is. So maybe I am a bit desensitized?

            Yeah, you are right, I don’t know the FM other than what I see publicly. I did watch the pre-election debate when the subject was foreign affairs (Aseb, Aseb, Aseb:) and EPRDF was represented by the FM, Tedros Adhanom and the afore-mentioned Getachew Reda. I think Getahew’s nostrils were flared the whole time (the word Gurena was invented for him) and Tedros APPEARED to be calm, cool and collected even when the oppo was taunting him “what do you know about foreign policy; you are a medical doctor.”

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            I said what does drought have to do with the commodities exchange because of this statement from your comment: ” I am surprised by the drought because a phenom Ethiopian lady started a commodities exchange system for Ethiopia.” I read it as you are surprised drought happened after Eleni started the CX, as if no more drought after CX. Other than that we are on the same page.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hi Addis:

            That’s it: you are Addis Da Menace:) I am a big fan of Eleni but I don’t think she can put an end to droughts–otherwise we would bring her to California–but she can alleviate the suffering caused by drought with her commodities exchange.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            First of all get the man’s title right.. 🙂 The spokes person of the Prime Minster is H.E Redwan Hussain. H.E Getachew Reda is Special Advisor, Chief of Staff extraordinaire…. 🙂

          • አዲስ

            Hi Eyob,

            Redwan Hussien is actually the head of Ethiopia’s communication affairs office under a ministerial portfolio. NOT the spokes person for the Prime Minister 🙂

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • dawit

            Hi Addis.
            Famine in Ethiopia? You must be joking! How come a country which is growing at double digits for the last 10 consecutive years begging for Food Aid? That must be a false propaganda from our enemy Shabia and you must be a shabia’s agent, working for Ginbot7 Dictator Isaias! spreading false rumors to destabilize the democratic country in the Horn of Africa!

          • አዲስ

            Hi dawit,

            Calm down it’s drought not Famine ato dawit. Hopefully and most probably it won’t come to that. And yes the government along with humanitarian groups have asked a $325 million assistance.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • dawit

            Ato Addis,
            Yes it is drought, what worries me is the pattern of drought and famine in Ethiopia. I have followed the subject since the 70s. In early 70 there was a surge of Agricultural development boom, every one planting Boloke (Haricot beans) for export taking land from poor pastoralists, in the Awash Valley and Shasemene area and Wollo, with record export, government ministers and feudal lords becoming rich overnight.. Then boom drought following famine. Same pattern today land grabbed from poor peasants and pastoralists sold to investors for cheap, to plant crops and flowers for export. A year two here at I predicted a great famine to come the region, because we have not changed our policies a bit still we invest heavily in arms fighting our peoples and our neighbors. God Save the Innocent poor People of Ethiopia!

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Ustaz,
            Did you mean how is it possible not to be eww, eww, ewwed?

            No, I thought I understood the article just fine (I had a week head start on it by the way). It was the comments that kept throwing me off because most of them were by people I admire. It was the combination of self doubt plus Addis’ punches that froze me up.

            Funny you mentioned Eyob. There was something you said (I forgot) I thought will bring him from his hiding, but alas! I guess he must be on duty these days.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            In this over 750 comments, if you dig deep, you’ll find mine..(I think at the beginning of the discussion) I said my peace and the rest of my peace is being said by my fellow countrymen… 🙂

          • haileTG

            Selamat saay,

            You ask “what do you think?”….well may be the Arabs are at it again Haha… kidding:-)

            The point is that opposition is an open wagon that anyone can jump in. And they can get off whenever they wanted. The subtle logic in the idea of opposition that it is validated by what is not (PFDJ) than what it is (since there is no a central vetting office to do the swearing in or fare well (as the case may be:) ceremony). Technically, whatever would the final constitutional arrangement would look like will still be determined by popular vote. Hence, would it not be putting the cart before the horse to rule in or rule out the core beliefs that leads one to oppose?

            Regards

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan SAAY
            Just wonder what the programs of these organizations would look like if they were situated inside their country? How if they were backed by Khartoum? I think the “made in…” has a lot to do with credibility. I know you drive German made cars ( per nitrickay) because you know they are reliable.
            Also remember when we were talking about the heart and mind thing? I think most of us agreed that the hearts are beating differently, each faction prioritizing their own narrow agenda. Let me leave it there because I had had my fight on this and have bruises to show. But it is all becoming clear that this way, “blackmailing” clauses attached to programs, is not appealing to Eritreans. That’s why the chauvinist wing lead by SAAY has been calling for self-evaluation. Because that approach has not even rallied the targeted social groups let alone mobilizing Eritreans as a whole. But it goes without saying that such programs have impacted the resistance movement negatively. I believe, we all have a mutual problem to solve, that common problem has been constraining all of Eritreans to move forward in all area. All other grievances, including Emma’s social grievances, could be solved within a grand scheme, within a grand bargaining, not through threats of secession….etc. That’s just my opinion.

          • saay7

            Ahlen Mahmuday:

            [putting my helmet and bullet-proof vest for the blitzkrieg that’s coming from HTG]

            I used the word “toxic” and it aggravates HTG and he uses it when he is Hichichin on me (copyright) but all the self-indulgent, blackmailing, maximum demand for leveraging, political jockeying that was being done by the Islamist organizations (3 for Gods sake for small Erirea), the “self-determination up to and including secession organizations (4 for Gods sake for small Eritrea) has not just set our cause back but it has given Isaias an opportunity to say “you want political pluralism? That’s what political pluralism looks like!” To HTGs least favorite but politically a very powerful group; the silent majority. And I don’t know if it’s the chauvinist school or the truth bound society but one of us have to take them to task on it.

            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dearest SAAY
            I think HTG’s position is one of: ሁሉ ነገር ወደ ህግድፍ ግንባር let the “up to secession” ግንባሮች alone; once a truly inclusive national platform emerges, it will serve as a center of gravity for all sensible nationals, the nitriccs, the ELL, the “up to secession”, the ሓበሻ ኢና…tHE “…IF not Arabic…then…”, the chauvinist school, the social studies school with its director, emma,….Once this happens, I think our Haroons, Kernelioses…will have no reason of existence and no justification for continuing the current programs. The panacea is forming a truly inclusive organ. The ball is in our court SAAY, in the court of those who complain of the existence of those separation-oriented factions. As long as we are not able to build a truly democratic as evidenced by its inclusive nature, I think we are not justified to blame them. If a truly appealing organization was to form, who knows your favorite Ambassador Estifanos and Charlie could finally switch sides…jump of the derailing train of PFDJ.
            More to come tomorrow. That’s if there is an appetite from HTG.
            This is a special edition of the TBS. Now back to you.
            Good night Saleh.

          • haileTG

            Dehan eto Mahmuday.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Mahmuday,

            Do you think our Saay think, that the ball is in “the court of those who complain of the existence of those separation oriented factions”. I don’t think so. If the grievances of these factions are correctly and properly addressed there will be no such “secessionism” demand. Let me tell a story I heard in my presence at Addis. One was accusing the chairman (Haron) of the Afar liberation front. When he saw the accuser to look himself more Eritrean than him, he told him ” don’t.act to be more Eritrean than me. It is this arrogance that put us where we are.” It is good to judge without understanding their grievances, Saay and others who are flatly denying the grievances, can not bring a solution to their grievances.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Emma

            What’s up Bro? You made a good point and that’s:
            “If the grievances of these factions are correctly and properly addressed there will be no such “secessionism” demand.”
            I do agree with the above, provided that we are talking about an ideal world. I’m cognizant of the fact that there will always be individuals who raise these questions no matter how an inclusive a platform you create. Because, there will always be self-serving individuals who will make social grievance a get-away venue, and the easiest way to rattle an establishment is to raise ethnic and religious questions. But when an inclusive programs prevail there will be enough moderate elements in the social groups targeted by these individual that will counterbalance their incitements. For instance take our Afar people. Let say there is an anchoring, inclusive national front that addresses broad demands of all the sectors of Eritrean society (of course, you can not possibly satisfy each individual’s or clan’s demands), there will be enough numbers of our Afar folks who will say “no” to the individuals inciting that social group for “up to secession.”
            I tend to judge these things, as of now, in the following way.
            a. General principle: While I do believe in the right for self-determination, I do also believe, and it’s quite clear, that the ethnic movements are heavily influenced by Ethiopian political experience. I do believe today’s Eritrea is not a yardstick for us to think in terms of ethnic oppressions. I do believe, the Tigrignas are equally oppressed to demand the “…up to secession…” clause as much as the Kunamas…Afars…wezeterefe if we were to take todays Eritrea as a yardstick. This is to say, PFDJ’s Eritrea should not be taken as a normal benchmark for us to fathom separation ideals. The regime is killing the whole country without impunity. The right way is to unite in defeating the common enemy. Once PFDJ is gone, and “the new” Eritrea becomes reality, then they have the right to say “hey where is our pie?” If the new reality does not accommodate their grievance, then they will have the reason to raise those lofty clauses.
            b/ OK, let’s believe that the train has left the station, they have already made their plans clear and are fighting for them; that’s to say, they are working on the ground that they will be part of Eritrea only as long as certain demands are met, then we are pressed to look if their programs are appealing to their constituencies or not. The fact remains that their programs are not even appealing to their constituencies. I have not seen an Afar, or a Kunama general uprising. What does this tell us? The average public, I think, is wiser than those “leaders” who by the way have been leaders as long as Monkey was the leader of PFDJ.
            c. The third metric I consider is: The inability of the unifications of programs and ideas, or at least, consolidating their strategies, tells me that there should be reasons other than social grievances for their existence. Let me put it this way:
            Say the reason of their existence is similar across the board,(policies of ethnic marginalization/neglect, or something similar). Common sense tells me they should not have a problem merging or working together. Because, even though they represent different social groups, their programs are similar. I guess that is what carried TPLF to Addis Ababa. Once it woke up out of its slumber, thanks to the pragmatic Meles, they joined hands with the Amharas, and the Oromos; and that act served as the foundation of today’s EPRDF. So, sometimes, the parts can work upward to making the whole. My observation in all the above metrics (a-c) tells me the voices that call for an inclusive national platform (s) is the way to go*.
            I think SAAY’s take is that the whole should tend to the parts, which is to say, those grievances could be answered within the general formula.
            * Amanuel, we should these factions’ programs at face value. If they inserted certain things in their programs, we will take them per their written programs. They may say ” No, we don’t mean to separate…we are just using this to…”, well, if they don’t mean to separate then they should not insert clauses that clearly say that. To me that’s just blackmailing. እንተቀዶ ግርም፡ እንተዘይቀዶ ህልም።
            Dear Emma, as you see, I’m not answering your question directly. Instead, I’m sharing my opinion. That’s done purposely. I really want you guys fight this thing out. Me? I will just enjoy reading your inputs.
            Bru

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            We are talking about power decentralization and I am saying there should be a limit to it, otherwise one can’t talk in good faith. One can’t talk about how to play football if one says if I don’t like how negotiations go, I will take my ball and go home. The organizations in question can say, “right of self-determination short of secession” instead of “right of self-determination unto and including secession.” One tells us that they want maximum self-determination; the other says, “I will stay part of Eritrea as long as I get what I want, if not, I will bolt.” This completes things enormously when it is coming from a self-identified Afar organization when secession really will mean absorption into Ethiopia. So, actually, is the opposite of “abey-key betsehu eyom” but we have strong indication abey kem zbetsHu.

            With all due respect to Haron of RSADO, if he says “right of self-determination up to secession” why, yes, any random guy who says Eritrea must never have parts that secede IS more Eritrean than him, by definition.

            As for the Islamist organization, there is no grievance, social or otherwise, that justifies 3 Islamist organizations for Eritrea. Nor should there even be 1 because you can’t have an Islamist organization in a multi-cultural society. People are just reluctant to say that because they don’t want to appear intolerant.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Saay,

            Again you are arguing without talking with them to know their limits limits of their self-determination. How realistic could your argument could it be with this perceptional judgements. I don’t know. Actually you don’t have interest even to “hear and listen” by direct engagements. That is how Eritreans we are. And that is the saddest part of our politics. We have a long way to go to stop this outright dismissal without engaging each other. Anyway we shall see how far this kind of politics will take us – and what kind of people and nation we will build. Edme Entede’a Aluyna bihabr Kinri eyo ena.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Amanuel:

            What is this engagement you are talking about? So that people can tell me “Yeah, I put that in my political program as a bargaining chip but I don’t mean it”? Do political programs mean something? This is the political program of DMLEK and “self-determination up to and including secession” is right smack in the middle:

            http://www.mesel-biherat.com/DMLEK/Resources/siyasata%20Matareba%20Dalabbu.pdf

            As for RSADO, you don’t even have to read their political program, it is their tagline

            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-Sea-Afar-Democratic-Organization-RSADO/266401206728556

            To be sympathetic to someone’s predicament is one thing, but that requires you to treat them as equals–and treating people as equals means to point out the folly of their ways when they are making a mistake when it comes to the larger cause of the opposition. Short of that, it is what is called “bigotry of low expectations.”

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Okay Buddy (Saay),

            Awate.com is one of our mass media. You are one of the Awate Team. In order you and others who are skeptical about them to have first hand engagement, you could call Haron and Kernelios for an interview and ask them every possible question to remove your skepticism or justify your perception its truthfulness. If you did that it would be a good service to the public. What I got from one on one engagement with them in Addis, they are not for secession. They are for regional autonomy or federal governancet “wish-Tawi Mimihdar Natom” what we politically actually call it “decentralized unitary governance”. In fact I want to hear them if they still maintain that position when you interview them. So arkucha Saay, that is what I mean by engagement. I want you to be part of the engagement. In any negotiation you come with your maximum demand to the table knowing that you will give something (drop) in order to come with a win-win-political-deal which is good for the nation and its people. Again we are people somewhat we believe either win them all or lose them all. We don’t believe on win-win that gives fair sharing. I hope I am clear to you as I am clear to myself. “engagement and accommodation” are not in our vocabulary. Not at all.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            Well, then, I am coming with my “maximum demand” that secessionist and Islamist organizations should not exist:) We will negotiate down to “they can exist but they shouldn’t be issuing bulletins and press releases.” How about that.

            The “maximum demand” stuff drives me crazy when we are in a state of emergency. When I am extremely thirsty and I am buying a cup of water, I don’t negotiate: I pay, I drink. The politicians are acting as if we are in a National Assembly somewhere negotiating because time is not of essence at all.

            The interview is a good idea and worth pursuing from the standpoint of informing our readers. We have done quite a few interviews but, Emma, what your opponent uses against you is not the stuff that humanizes you but the stuff that estranges you. And with their secessionist plans and Islamist agenda some in our opposition aren’t just estranging themselves but the entire opposition.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            You see how dishonest you are, when our topic was about the Afar and Kunama’s “self-determination up to secession” issue, you try to mix in you argument the Islamist issue. Not good at all. Two different issue needs two different approach. I know why you are doing that…… but, but as you said several times it is the nature of politics.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Amanuel,
            from what I understand , most of us are not taking responsibility and be part of the solution.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kokhobay,

            Absolutely true – it is all chatting we are doing. Nothing will come from this chatting – let alone solution, not even basic political education.

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            Whacha talkin’ about, Willis?

            saay

          • haileTG

            Haha saay, Hichichin is the staple diet of the silent majority..always has been. No copy rights there, it is public domain:-)

            I am asking you for umpteenth time to stop vedic math tricks to fool the public:) The 4 mighty separatists that represent the whooping mighty 4% of the population holding off the Hichichin silent majority while 8% of the population (the productive young at that) emptied their country, when their hard won independence is literally subordinated to UN technocrats, when their country is literally producing the worst daily news in all accounts, is mighty old Hichichin to give any other explanation. The full 94% of Eritreans is scared lifeless that they would not be able to steer into a politically and socially safe resolutions, because 4 organizations from 4% of the population held them hostage is hard to believe. Religion is going to be with us for ever, but the rest is Hichichin dear saay. If it is not the mighty Kunama or Afar, it will be the sea or the desert or the sky to blame. What did SGJ called the silents? azekreni:-)

          • saay7

            Selamat Hailat:

            I have temporarily taken away your The Great Balika. Also, I have, for 48 hours, taken the The Greatest balika from Mahmoudsy. This until such time as you take a refresher course in Branding 101. The ELF was destroyed by EPLF because the latter branded the former as “sectarian, Islamist.” Dukakis was branded by Willie Horton ads as “soft on law and order.” (Way back when Mahmouday was a tegadalai.) Jack in the Box was unsafe because 1 guy died from food poisoning. A cream called Ayds was put out of business because AIDS appeared. Ford went almost out of business because a tiny segment of its products, Pinto, had a tendency to explode.

            Politics is as much about branding and marketing as it is about principles and goals. And in that regard the Islamists and secessionist have always been a liability to the Eeitrean opposition and will remain so to a dictator whose one argument is “après moi le deluge.”

            saay

          • haileTG

            Hey saay,

            Now I have to warn you that in an average African politics “self determination up to secession” is a kids play thing as it compares to taking away or messing around with baliqa of the more equal citizens. Baliqa are the source of our predicaments not manifestos saay:) Here is the flip side, suppose the two orgs. you mentioned, DMLK and RADSO, decide to drop the clause and the Islamists say they are for secular system:

            1 – How do you see the silent majority changing?

            2 – How do you think people’s prospect of trusting each other across religious barriers changing?

            If the problem of indifference is indeed that of the opposition’s image as a whole and that has been caused by small segment of it, then surely there will be no problem after that and Eritreans will start to have a whole new world view of the predicament of their people and country. Surely, the reason lies somewhere else. One of profound confusion, expanding poverty and ignorance, disfranchisement of the common citizen, deprivation of rights and eventually reducing the people to a hopeless situation. If I was to assess patriotism in the Eritrean landscape (simply an opinion, as I have no right to determine so) and say 1 is most unpatriotic and 5 is least unpatriotic, here goes the least:

            1 – PFDJ and supporters: they don’t give a hoot if Eritrea is blown to pieces so long as they are not in power

            2 – Silent Majority: they couldn’t care less what will become of the country so long as they are out and they are now too busy rebuilding new lives (believe me that they have no idea if Kernelios a Kunama opposition or a name of a tool in their Black and Decker toolkit).

            3 – OTTO: they care for change and betterment in Eritrea, but that can wait, prisoners can die, their people can sink at sea or get fried in scorching desert heat, first and foremost the have to screen fellow opposition and go after them should there be differences. They believe not in the Eritrean people, they have to do the cleaning themselves.

            4 – Narrow sub national opposition organizations: they care about their people but have no confidence to step out of their immediate kinship.

            5 – Power hungry, mischievous, selfish and deceitful human tendencies that are carried by into the opposition body politic via uncontrollable channels of individual people. There is a new word in town called ተገፍዑልና:-) (I am not taking any position in the last point however, just disappointing stuff).

            Of course, Unpatriotic #1 and #2 are difficult. The rest can be handled:-)

            cheers

          • saay7

            Hailat:

            You said: “Here is the flip side, suppose the two orgs. you mentioned, DMLK and RADSO, decide to drop the clause and the Islamists say they are for secular system”

            I just supposed what you asked me to suppose and I am pleased. Why don’t we try that? This fear of change, fear of rocking the boat is understandable when you are making headway. But when stuck, change is necessary.

            Once the Islamists (who have not been able to demonstrate that they have any support among Eritrean Muslims btw for 26 consecutive years) accept secularism, their entire reason d’être vanishes. So that’s 3 fewer organizations cluttering the opposition. Then we do an inventory of all the rest and ask “who are you, what are u up to and what have u done for your constituency lately.” An audit. Is that too much to ask of people who use my and your name?

            saay

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Haile TG,
        .
        I cannot say anything about what Mizaan1 said without being tacky.
        However, I can say something about what you just said. “….At every junction of that they could easily walk away and say the whole Ethiopia concept is made up and let’s call it a day”
        .
        My lord!, Haile TG, we did.
        .
        We used to be a big Ethiopia, with a big potential. We stumbled and fell to the ground. We got up and dusted off our selves and became a smaller Ethiopia. Yes, we are doing fine considering and we gaining partially our strength back.
        .
        The bigger Ethiopia, that will never be, could have been a power to reckon with.
        Thanks to our Arab neighbors, that is now water under the bridge.
        .
        K.H

        • haileTG

          Dear KH

          Haha.. My Amharic speaking Abyssinian army ancestors use to say ወይ የኛ ጣጣ! whenever they came across tricky situation like this you just brought up 🙂 For us Ethiopia is one and same and united as it always was. Now, it sure gonna take us some 30 years to re-visit the arguments for it. I don’t know though if it is thanks to Italians and other colonizers or the Arabs for having defined and redefined the maps throughout colonial Africa including our both countries. Heck even the OAU under HS came up with the sanctity of colonial borders. That was way before the Arabs had anything to do with it 🙂

          Regards

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Haile TG, Kim Hanna

            You guys are getting too close for comfort toward my specialty

            Concerning the division of the Earth

            From the middle of Jerusalem, and from the north thereof to the south-east is the portion of the Emperor of ROM [Roman Empire]; and from the middle of Jerusalem from the north thereof to the south and to WESTERN INDIA is the portion of the Emperor of ETHIOPIA. For both of them are the seed of SHEM, the son of NOAH, the seed of ABRAHAM, the seed of DAVID, the children of SOLOMON. For God gave the seed of SHEM glory because of the blessing of their father NOAH. The Emperor of ROM is the son of SOLOMON, and the Emperor of ETHIOPIA is the firstborn and eldest son of SOLOMON.

            The Kibre Negest
            Translated from Ethiopic by E. A. Wallis Budge
            First published 1932
            Page 109

          • dawit

            Hello Fanti,
            You almost hit the Jackpot, except the eldest son Solomon was born and raised on the Ancient Ethiopia now called Eritrea. He was born at Asmara near the source of river Ansaba, (Maibela) at the kingdom of Saba, Adi Saba or Ansaba!
            Cheers!
            dawit

        • saay7

          Selamat K.H.:

          You said, in reply to Haile TG, “The bigger Ethiopia, that will never be, could have been a power to reckon with. Thanks to our Arab neighbors, that is now water under the bridge.”

          Do you actually believe this: that the “Arab neighbors” were responsible for Ethiopia losing Eritrea?

          saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal and Kim:
            Time to own up that the short-sightedness of dissolving the Federal arrangement and the blunders of attacking the low lands early own contributed the loss that Ethiopia suffered. I do not think the Arabs, even if they wanted would have been that farsighted to “screw” the Habesh. Also the Dergi upped the ante in the brutality.
            Blaming the Arabs while 40% population ( I know is 50%, I am discounting it for money, coercion , influence and vote rigging) who were naming their kids Alganesh Shewanesh, Tsehaynesh, Ethiopia, Arefainne etc were in your side is just not admitting the myopia of the Ethiopian leader during those turbulent years.
            Also, Eritrea would not make bigger Ethiopia a force to reckon with, it is a drop in the ocean.
            This debate has pilled the repugnant onion that will make us week for many decades: it has revealed those who worship the status of a Czar and the Shida, those who will not tolerate a mild dissent from either direction and the worst were the former tegadalti and tsibah (Note: I am not referring to Emma, SGJ and Mahmuday)
            It all started with making a passing comment about Arabic usage in Ethiopia

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay7,
            .
            I sense a little anger in that question. So let me answer it this way. If Meles was Emperor instead of Haile Selassie at the time, we would have one big Ethiopia. Today, we would not be on the receiving end of threats from Egypt and co.
            .
            K.H

          • saay7

            Hi KH:

            Well, no anger at all. There are three narratives on how Eritrea became an independent country:

            1. The “against all odds” version as explained by Dan Connell (Against All Odds)
            2. The “extreme cruelty by Ethiopian rulers”, as explained by Alemseghed (Identity Jilted)
            3. The hybrid of the two above, as explained by every conventional narration

            Yours, that Arabs are to blame, was something I thought from a fringe group of Ethiopian ultra nationalists and I am asking u if u believe it and if you do can you elaborate. I can’t possibly hope for Abi to do it because he is getting more and more unhinged on me. I am hoping my moderator shift ends before I take abyotawi ermija against him.

            saay

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay7,
            .
            I will try tomorrow at this time. My shift ended here. Besides I wanted to think about it a little more.
            .
            K.H

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Semere and Sal,

            Many Ethiopians will never give up on the argument that blames Arabs for independence of Eritrea, because it is so seductive for 3 reasons

            – it conveniently shovels the crimes committed by Ethiopia under Hailesilasie and Derg

            – it spares them the inconvenience of being described as (almost) colonialists (at least by some people).

            – they can ascribe the failure in their effort to hold on to Eritrea to external factors (and in the process diminish the extraordinary struggle and success of Eritreans to get their independence).

            Best,

            FS.

          • saay7

            Selamat Fnote:

            Agree, on all counts. If part of Ethiopia’s self-image is that it never loses a war, then it is important that one thing is held as a constant: Ethiopia didn’t lose a war. So what happened in 1991?

            (a) The Arabs 30 year long relentless campaign against Ethiopia of training and arming Ethiopia’s enemies bore fruit. To accept this, one must never be specific, must never give examples but speak in vague generalities about Arab support for the Eritrean revolution. And one must downplay or deny the massive support that Ethiopian governments received from the US, Israel, USSR, Cuba, Yemen and Libya (who have retroactively lost their Arab identity for an intermission);
            (b) Ethiopia actually lost to other Ethiopians–TPLF–in which case it is just a civil war which Ethiopia is very familiar with during zemene mesafnt. To accept this, one must accept TPLF as a fierce fighting force which defeated Derg, and the ELF/EPLF were lame me-too organizations.

            The Nile originates in Ethiopia, and Denial too:)

            saay

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay7,
            .
            I am not really qualified to answer the question substantively and fully. But since I made the statement and you questioned why I said it, I will give you my humble direct answer.
            .
            I said “The bigger Ethiopia, that will not be, could have been a power to reckon with. Thanks to our Arab neighbors that is now water under the bridge”
            .
            You said if I actually believe that the “Arab neighbors were responsible for Ethiopia loosing Eritrea”
            .
            No, I will say 1st and foremost Eritreans are responsible for the separation of Eritrea from Ethiopia., in short for the independence of Eritrea.
            .
            Who facilitated that journey from beginning to end?
            .
            I will add the Ethiopian Government as the 2nd major contributor.
            .
            Not far down the list the 3rd major contributors were the Arabs, not all Arab nations but most that counted.
            ,
            The contribution The Sudan made was enormous and irreplaceable. Whether it was for religious reasons or to accommodate the other Arab countries or both, it worked with Eritrean rebels despite the inevitable risk it would face itself. Why would they do that? That was a big contribution. .
            .
            Other Arab countries provided significant assistance in providing what the insurgents needed. At the early stages of its development the Arab countries helped in organization, guerrilla warfare, military and political training, equipment and finance. They had an agenda. They wanted the insurgency to succeed. It did succeed.
            You may say, the contribution is not significant. I say it is significant when foreign governments get involved in another country’s internal affairs, with all the capacity of their offices.
            .
            I am not discounting at all the brilliant use of all the ingredients ELF/EPLF used to achieve independence. One of the ingredients was the contributions of the neighboring Arab countries made.
            .
            If Sudan closed its borders to the rebels, the Arabs did not provide any assistance to the Eritrean rebels, where would we be today? I don’t know. I don’t think anybody knows. It might be, just might be, that Ethiopia was headed for collapse the way it was headed. Eritrea might be part of that reconstitution after the collapse. It is hypothetical at this stage that is why I said water under the bridge.
            .
            K.H
            .

        • dawit

          Dear K.H,
          we still can be that big Ethiopia (Small Ethiopia + Eritrea) if we go back to our senses where we left of 1998. The senseless border war is the obstacle to our greatness. The unhealthy competition of pride and jealousy is what prevent us from reaching our potential. With our strategic location and abundant natural resources, the sky is the limit. We can be on top of the world in all fields.

    • Fenomeno

      Ok fine, Eritrea is a manmade nation.

      Please tell me about those god made, animal made or robot made ones.

      • Semere Andom

        I can name two: Israel and Saudi Arabia;-)

        • dawit

          Cousin Semere
          You forgot my other country Ethiopia

          • Fenomeno

            All manmade nations.

            God might be an Ethiopia-made entity.

        • Michael Tesfamariam

          Semer, I think you are wrong, Saudi Arabia was founded just 90 yrs ago. Jerusalem and Adi Rasi , Eritrea are the only God made lands in the planet.

    • selam

      Dear mizaan
      You see I know you will be on the wrong side , I have collected some your comments and also emere andom , hayat comments they have one thing in common with each other , and that is they are just emptying the full. You think Adi arada which is not far from Ala, mai habar near to your beloved tigrai ? Do you think we have no clue aderad is just 7 km from Ala. Who do you get in ala , mai habar ? Some people from Tigrai , no .you find sahotay all the way . You may think Aqurdet is nothing to some one in Adi Arada but you are miles away from the truth. Get the lesson probably and come back how many hereos from Adi Arada are dead in Aqurdet all the way to cross halhal , ensi … I can go on and on but it will not make sense with your abissinia theory . Eshi goytaye people have been there long time ago qt the time of federation and here you are all again and the truth is we smacked your face with our independent country cqlled Eritrea with its colourful people. Now you want cryfull pls apply to Dedebit people .

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Merhaba Aderob,

    zelhal ya habibi.

    you see my friend is not a problem . But sheria Is a problem

    • Tafla

      Selam Aman Haw kulu,

      Qurub’do keneshegireka?

      Islamic Sharia, Jewish Halacha and Roman Catholic
      Canon Law are an mportant part of religious practice for their respective adherents, Why yes to Arabic, but no to Sharia? The very fact that Eritrean muslims choose Arabic because it’s the language of the Quran, should tell you, that what’s written is even more important than the symbolic, political positioning of choice of Arabic.

      To me, it looks like the tigrinya saying…”When it’s cold with your hand and when it gets hot with a spoon” 😀

      best regards

    • adarob

      Salamat habibi Amaneul
      Me and you know that Sheria is not the solution and i agree with the reason you gave above. You know that eritrean use arabic for it’s absolute value and not as first step for Sheria as Nitricc and many others propagated. My answer to them was that they have to take the risk of accepting arabic because there is no risk or maybe according to them i don’t know.
      Habibek adarob
      Comeback to portsudan and will invite jebna ja ustazi alkabir.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Ahlen Aderob.

        Nitric is one from our young generation. He is still not familiar about our society in real life. Most of the reaction for Arabic language (him and others) is similar to what I was doing early on, when I joined the Front (ELF) at the end of 1974. I will not be surprised to see such reaction to Arabic language from highlanders to which I belong to. They need to have an experience of real life interaction with the rest of our social groups, in order to know what it takes to be “accommodative” to fellow Eritreans of all social groups. Eritrea is not defined by the highland/christian alone nor will be defined by the lowland/Muslin alone. The building blocks of Eritrea are the social groups inscribed in it, and not the two religions by the way. The social groups are the identities and the religions are the spiritual cultures. Therefore, Eritrea can not be defined out of this context.

        What keeps me still in the struggle is though, that our social fabric as Eritreans is organically solid. I believe the mistrust we have is avoidable, if we devise a multi-cultural constitutional governance – hopefully I will come with an article on this issue.

        Now back to sheria. You see Aderob, when we were in the struggle the things that make us to fight together is the “national democratic political program” and the political infra-structures build under those program. I truly believe those fundamental democratic structures, if we would have continued them, the Eritrea we have today could have been different. As far as the united Eritrea keep existing, the arabic language will be there, and the sheria will not be there. Sheria will not united us, rather it divide us. This should be crystal clear to all of us. So aderob, just stick to liberalism that gives all kinds of freedom – including religious freedom by the way. If you don’t have the political manual – the national-democratic program we grew up, I can send you a copy. Just kidding.

        regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Nitricc

          Hey Aman-H. i am not opposed to Arabic language. oh my, i don’t care if Eritreans speak or adapt Japanese as official language. i was simply brain stroming why some people, the likes of Mizan oppose to Arabic language. i can assure you they oppose it from religion stand point. if not, who opposes language? so, on that line of thinking led me to ask Abraham the question. as far as i am concern, i treat language and the same as music. the more language i know the more music i can listen. trust me.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Nitrickay,

            Now, from seeing your picture in the clip that you posted in this website, I can call you “son”. You are my son, and I will give you every possible advice that I give to my kids. You are growing up not only physically but mentally. I see a lot of progress. Your position on language is sound to me, soon to see more on other national politics. Thank you.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Nitricc

            Hey Aman-H i just seen your post. that video is not me. i just found on you tube and i like it i.e. i shared it with awate community. trust me the day i am free to show myself; you will know.
            for real.

          • Pass the salt

            Aman,
            The guy in the clip said he grew-up in the house (over there in Asmara). How did you connect the dots to make him the Nitricc that never lived in Eritrea and barely speaks Tigrigna? Just curious.

  • haileTG

    Mehaba Letu,

    So, how is your life in Eritrea now days after you learned that war was actually good and helped you to study genealogy and anthropology? Don’t tell me you’re still stuck in Sweden since the late 80s without any end in sight. War may be good to you up there watching it from Sweden, but what is the point if you can’t enjoy it and had to grow warts, wrinkles and false teeth in someone else’s country? That is why leave Eritrea to avoid Tigrayans only to live in Stockholm next door to the EPRDF embassy all your life. Letu, hiseblu, abajigo keywesedeki b’u geyru:-)

  • Haile WM

    dear Awates

    I was reading some of the footnotes of the article, especially the series of Ahmed Raji “the lost rainbow”. it is quite revealing, an eye opener for those still have some perplexity on the fundamental inequities in our society, direct mismanagement and misrule of PFDJ goons are only part of the main issue, but it’s also our fundamental failure as a multicultural society to address the grievance of our compatriots.
    though i couldn’t find the last part of the series, the link is broken… I would like to ask the awate moderators where could i find it or if they could fix the link.
    I would also ask Ahmed Raji to contribute on the subject as much as he could or at least sum up the series and put it as an article as it could be a reference for the future. I see on his behalf a brilliant and analytical approach the matter.

    thank you

  • Ambassador

    Spark-

    See Spark- that is called fighting for religious freedom. Muslims have every right to observe their Friday prayers and the government has the responsibility to accommodate for that observance. In fact, it is not only the government who failed in its responsibility, but also their Christian brethren who did not stand for the right of their fellow Muslims for Friday prayers. All Eritrean Christians, including me, have failed in this matter tremendously. The issues of Pentecostal, Jehovah Witness, Seven Adventist etc.. can also be treated the same way. It is not the government’s place to interfere with peoples’ belief system, either through its actions or inactions.

    Instituting Arabic as an official language, just because it asserts a Muslim identity is, however, a political question. And religion always needs to be private. I am not a bigot; but I strongly believe that once we allow religion to go political, we will open a Pandora box. To live together harmoniously, we need a country-a grand political institution – not a mosque nor a church.

    • Bayan Nagash

      Dear Ambassador,

      I am sincerely baffled by this line of argument. I am for the separation of Church/Mosque & the State. What I find baffling is this: If Eritreans translate their Quran into Geeze and begin to practice their religion strictly through the use of Geeze much as the Eritrean Christians do, then these Eritreans of Muslim faith still wish to have Arabic as their co-official language in Eritrea, you obviously would have no problem. Does that about sum up to the argument you are advancing? Or am I missing something here?

      Sincerely,
      Beyan/Bayan

      • Ambassador

        Dear Beyan,

        Personally, I would prefer Tigrayet to be the co-official language of Eritrea, for practical and ethnic-identity reasons. But, I feel uncomfortable with the officiating of any language, including Tigrigna, when such a choice is made to declare religious identity. Because, doing so brings politics into religion. Similarly, if we have ample practical reasons-other than religion-that requires us to make Arabic the official language of Eritrea, I am up for that too.

        With respect,
        Ambassador

        • AOsman

          Dear Ambassador,

          Forget the officiating of any language for now. Following your proposition, in the event where all are declared non-official, what language do you propose to run the day to day government business. Are you going to say, lets declare them all as “working languages”.

          Then what, deja vu, back to square one – Tigrigna as the main working language, Tigrayet as a sexy language that you wish, the rest …left to adopt to reality, how convenient.

          By the way, I have no issue with Tigrigna, it is my language, but I see many Eritreans who struggle with it and to say you have no other option “indirectly” is not fair on them.

          Regards
          AOsman

  • Yohannes

    Dear Mahmud and dear Awatistas,

    Your following sentence says it all and I wish people take it seriously…

    “I have been saying that such and similar issues related to styles of governance, rights of citizens, the vision of the nation, issues of war and peace… would better be addressed by all Eritreans. In order to attain that I have been calling for effective opposition, an opposition that stimulates and enables the domestic potential.”

    and that is why I believe rising issues that are beyond the scope of website panels is not only wise but also destructive.

    But, as you said if this is to be seen as ‘a chance of knowing each other better’ it is not worth the price.

    But I got to say my principle is, if an issue is known to be big, sensitive, and can potentially be misused and misunderstood; then it shouldn’t be raised just the way we rise issues of human rights violation, for instance. Because either you have to have the capacity to address it adequately or you don’t have to make it a public warfare.

    Why? because inadequacy in case of sensitive issues = adequacy in disseminating distrust, fear and ultimately causing reluctance that stagnates the motivation of many justice seekers.

  • sara

    Dear Gual Erena
    i read your response, it is all about how Africans are been treated unfairly in the middle east,
    its true in general terms, but what has this got to do with the Arabic language need in Eritrea.
    the issue is, Arabic language has to be one of our official language. what do you think?

  • saay7

    Hala Adorob

    After I asked Mahmuday please don’t tell me that there is more to Halib Mentel than its literal meaning, he says yep that’s it: it’s the literal meaning and nothing more. Now I am not going to ask him about Hmeret Kelboy.

    saay

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear all
    Dear Nit

    This is a continuation of what I have been writing in relation to this article and the opinions thereof, it may contain repetition, and may be another lengthy blabbering. You are excused to skip it. I will make Nitrickay’s comment, which I will quote, to expand my elaborations.
    ኣታ ኒትሪካይ ዓርከይ፡ ይዝከረካ’ዶ when I was discussing the border issue and when you asked me not to continue with my comments that the border would be better settled with elder villagers; or when I was saying “what the heck with negotiating to conclude what EEBC ruled…” You were scaring me with the Highland (Tigray-Tigrigni); you were telling me that the unity of both Tigrignas would hurt MetaHt. You even sounded as if supporting the ELL, whose primary grievance was cultural and political hegemony “of the highlands/Christians,” and where Arabic language topped its agenda. Do you recall that? I rejected both saying that the “highlanders” were my people, and the problems they faced in relation to the border were my problems. I also reminded you why I rejected the ELL call, because the ELL wanted to dance tango alone. I felt such complaints would best be undressed in a democratically framed constitution. That their grievances would be every Eritrean’s concerns. I have been saying that such and similar issues related to styles of governance, rights of citizens, the vision of the nation, issues of war and peace… would better be addressed by all Eritreans. In order to attain that I have been calling for effective opposition, an opposition that stimulates and enables the domestic potential.

    Now, I find it rather contradictory to position yourself as the toothless giver and denier. First I suspect most of the people infuriated by this mild article are not doing what it takes to exchange views about this and similar issues, trying to learn, just like I’m doing. Second, you said “If we allowed them to have Arabic….”, right’s are not given, Nitrickay. Rights are bargained, if the bargaining fails, the issues of rights could lead to violence and unrest. You and I dream to have a country that is at peace with its citizens and its neighbors. Don’t we? Because peace and stability is the key to giving our young people the enticement to live in their beloved country and among their beloved loved ones. A couple of points taken from politikawi timherti nAbeyti (cheers).

    1. Tigrigna is my language as much as it is yours, provided you know it. You can’t shortchange me with your Amiche Tigrigna, OK. I will be the first to oppose anyone who tries to kill it. It is a beautiful language, I have mastered its Asmarino version (the elite Tigrigna of news and politics); I have now bought a book that unveils the hidden treasure of its “Mases, melQeses (ማሰን መልቐስን) and other traditional treasures. Why I feel comfortable with the language, because I lived with its speakers and that taught me that those people are as decent as any other people I am related to. That’s why I think the problem emanates from the lack of exposure/information; the current terrorist trends also fuels the suspicions. I don’t blame someone who does mishaps because of lack of information. It is my responsibility and the responsibility of sensible folks from the other isle to give that person apptopriate material in order to enable him/her an informed decision. However, the fact that some individuals are reframing the issue in order to justify their extreme and irrational fear is regrettably detectable.

    2. You said “…Say I am Christian from high land of Eritrea. Say I oppose Arabic to be an official language of Eritrea and I might reasoned for my opposition, simply by saying
    That If we allowed the Muslims to Have Arabic today; they are sure to demand Sharia law tomorrow. Arabic is just a small prerequisite of the grand idea.
    What would be your answer for me?
    In fact I am asking every who wants to answer me.”
    Let me volunteer to help here. I hope you appreciate the fact that my toothless initiative is for discussion only. Because, as Amanuel Hidrat underlined it, these issues are of such an importance that free Eritrea will have to decide on them through unfettered public participations. The participations may take different forms (delegatory participation or a referendum…etc.). My intention has been one of an accessory role by raising areas that other participants may not be aware of; otherwise, I’m not here proposing new stuff. The issue, as far as Eritreans are concerned is a non starter. Muslims and Christians, who have followed the founding documents of Eritrean entity of the 50s, liberation movements and current government policies, in short, people who have been updating themselves with our Qalsi to independence, and after, know that it has been dealt with decades ago. That understanding has been at the core of all national documents. It perplexes me when it’s presented by some as something new. The article’s object, I guess, was not raising new demands but explaining away disinformation that has been done to cloud up this area to the extent that it has become a bottleneck in hammering out a viable resistance front. It also tried to give information to people like you and me who have known only the tag line of ማ ይሁመክ ንኺድ ጥራይ። I am on record supporting mother’s tongue/ language. But that should not hold me back from accepting the reality that there is in fact a problem that needs to be discussed for the sake of enlightenment. For the sake of Eritrea, I have to be extremely frank here: this is not a demand of few, period. Do your own reality check, just carry candid conversations with as many Muslim friends as you could. Reality could be dodged, but dodging is not going to be the way you will be able to solve problems that are dictated by that reality. You are just kicking the can down the road.
    Now let me come back to your reply and the questions you asked.
    You are forgetting that this is not a retail politics. Everything will and should be spelt out in a constitution that the majority accept.
    1. Politics should be separated from religion. Hence, there is no Sharia law or any other theocratic rules in Eritrea. And for your information, ShariA has nothing to do with Arabic Language. Non Arabic speaking communities also demand it.That answers your question. Now, don’t bring an issue that has not been raised. And don’t forget that there are many in the Muslim community who oppose ShariA law. Let me put my neck one more time under the guillotine blade: I oppose ShariA to even be contemplated in public administration or to be used as a national law. Communities may use it for civil cases in a way it does not contradict with the rights of citizens enshrined in the constitution.
    2. Remember the policy of your government: it says to the effect of “A child has the right to be schooled in his mothers tongue or any language the family choses.” This is fair. But It has not been implemented, and that’s why people are asking for it. Also it becomes an issue because folks who wake up from the deep freeze think they have found a new issue. Otherwise, it has been in all national documents. So, let’s see it with examples, I am doing this only for you.
    Say you live in Sheeb. The village or town decides to teach its kids in Arabic. What’s the problem with that?. Isn’t that their right?
    Now, another village, let’s say Ghedghed (they are neighbors) votes that their children be taught in Tigrigna? What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that their right. Now, move south, and take Metkelabiet, they are along the same line connecting Sheeb to GhaHteilay); let’s say Metkelabiet choses Tigrayet, well that’s their right. Go to Edi (an Afar land), they may sttle for any of the languages….etc. Now some enclaves around Mendefera prefers Arabic. Fine. Himberti may decide to incorporate it in its elementary, good. Or all of the above could be rejected and instead English could or another language could be preferred. No problem. You know why, because the policies and national documents of all political organizations that have had impact on influencing Eritrean politics have had this point written in their programs, including the EPLF’ PFDJ, GOE…and even the ill-fated constitution of 1997. All these documents say that any family/community has the right to school its children in its mother’s tongue or in any language it prefers.
    A point that many are missing is that the Muslim community is as diverse and as dynamic as the Christian community. It won’t allow to swap away its native values. It’s also as patriotic as any other community. Therefore, the fear mongering I see holds no water.
    I will repeat an example that I brought here in this forum in the first months of me joining awatista family to illustrate that the Muslim community is as peace loving as its next Christian neighbor. Therefore, it will not allow radicals set the agendas. Remember that the lowlands are still living with the vivid memories of the 30 years war which was mostly fought in its land. The experience cemented a lasting experience of peaceful co-existence. To come to the example: In late 1980s and early 90s there was a real jihadist threat in Eritrea. The Jihadi movement tried to incite the lowlands and the hundreds of thousands of young people residing in refugee camps under deplorable conditions. But it could not rally Muslims. The movement was contained and brought to a halt because of two factors.
    a/ to their credit, the opposition organizations applied pressures on it, and they invited it to join the democratic struggle. Those pressures and the invitation extended to the Jihadi movement helped the moderate members inside that Jihadist movement to do the right thing, join the democratic opposition umbrella.
    b/ the people did not follow it. That movement with its vehemence and violent literature was aiming for inciting a religious civil war. I may be wrong, but that was the understanding I got from the literature I read.
    In conclusion: I urge the participants to see this as a chance of knowing each other better. We are not going to decide the topic here. We are merely knowing each other more closely.
    Thanks.

    • haileTG

      Thank Mahmuday! That was a great read. This is what seems to be lacking in general, as people are under a lot of stress and vulnerable to falling victim to beguilement by those with all sorts of agenda. You have brought the discussion down to people level and revealed the endearing values that has held the nation together. It is such kind of conversations that open more room for dialog and understanding.

      Now, on a separate note, you wondered why people think this is new. No, they don’t. I think there is a deeper reason for why they appear more concerned now than in the past. The times have changed, many walls that we once leaned on had given way and collapsed and people’s self perception had been drastically altered. What you’re seeing is the reflection of the new reality, and associated anxieties. This is why I think your approach is the correct one to help people to get to grips and feel at ease while deliberating.

      Great job Prime Minister 🙂

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear HTG
        A lot of thanks with respect.

      • Hayat Adem

        HTG,
        We are witnessing the start of some kind of flowering revitalization, refocused fierceness and awakening space in the person of Mahmuday! Are we rediscovering our true Prime Minister?!
        Hayat

        • haileTG

          Hello Hayat,

          እዋእ! ክሓልፈልና’ዶ ኢልክዮ። ከም ማሕሙዳይ ዝኣመሰለ መራሒ ደኣ’ሞ ዝተዓደለ ጥራይ እንድዩ ዝረኽቦ:) You see Hayat, there is a proverbial attribute of the true shepherd. The one who leaves behind his 99 flocks to go out in search for the one that went missing. Mahmuday is always on the look to reach those on the other side and his listening talent makes that come naturally for him. A leader like that simply means peace and development. Now, let’s hope we don’t let him burn out and get frustrated, because if we lose him, we all have ourselves to blame:-)

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Hayat and HaileTG
            ኣቱም ርጉማት፡ ካብ መዓስ ከ ካብ ሓላፍነተይ ወሪደ? በሉ ሰመረ ዓንዶም ከይሰምዓኩም!! ‘ዶስ ግዘይ ተቓጺሉ እዩ? መቸም ንዓመት ሽመት ተዋሂቡኒ ከምዝነበረ እዝክር እየ። ዓወቲስታ ናይ ዓመቲስታ ‘ኮ ተሸዪመ ነይረ እየ። ተርጀማ ያ ኣደሮብ!
            Hey Guys, thanks for the flattering comments. I know Fanti Ghana also renewed the call, his Fantiness has been busy doing his Fanti things. But here is the deal: running the family has been challenging enough dear Hayat and HTG.
            My BFF (best friend for ever) 10 year old son (soon to be 11) sketched a horrible drawing of me yesterday. Inspired by one of his “Star War” heroes, he made me look like an alien from a distant galaxy. He does that every now and then when he is not happy with me. He put it up on the door of the refrigerator and warned everyone that it should not be taken down until it was seen by me. Well, it was a sort of blackmailing bait in order to make me yield in my decision to reinstate him as the “supervisor” of the living room. I “froze” him from that position because I found out that he was acting too tyrannical to the point of “owning” the area, and breaking rules of “electronic entertainment.” The sketch did not do the trick; So, lately he is on another campaign. He wants his mom to be the “chief of the household.” Well, this morning I told him “That has always been her position; so, what’s next buddy?”
            He said he would think about it and then turned back and said, “Dad, I think you are a great dad,” and went outside to his basketball hoop. And now I hear the commotions between the brothers.
            Well, I think there are thousands who can run a nation. Let me get through with the day to day chores of running a family, dear Haylat and Hayat.
            According to SAAY: Himeret Kelboy means Himeret what? I’m not going to say it lest SGJ, Aman H, aderob and Kokebay run for my skin.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Mahmuday,
            It is all in the “root.” You have all the necessary ingredients for leadership: A well balanced diet of every necessary nutrient. The rest the chief of stuff will handle.

    • Yohannes

      Dear Mahmud, your following sentence says it all and I wish people take it seriously…

      “I have been saying that such and similar issues related to styles of governance, rights of citizens, the vision of the nation, issues of war and peace… would better be addressed by all Eritreans. In order to attain that I have been calling for effective opposition, an opposition that stimulates and enables the domestic potential.”

      and that is why I believe rising issues that are beyond the scope of website panels is not only wise but also destructive.

    • Nitricc

      Wow, wow, wow Mahmuday. Are you for real? I just got home from work and i have few things i need to do for tomorrow, so it will not be today that i will present my response. besides, I have to digest the main points of yours.till then, let me say this. the reason what i ask Abraham was, not that i believed what I have said, rather, i was trying to ignite Abraham’s criousity on the subject. when i was reading Abraham’s replay; i was think what could be the reasons why people resent to particular language. And that thought led me to ask the question i have asked. as far as i am concern; this world will a better world without religion that with one.

      for your information this what what posted to Mizan’s response before i replayed to Abraham with my question.

      here is what i said to Mizan.

      “” Hi Mizan, I appreciate your honesty while I honor your stupidity. For your information, ” no one is free when the others are oppressed” it is tragedy that there people like you with backward and outdated mentality. You like it or not; there will be one inclusive Eritrea or no Eritrea at all. The sooner you deal with it, the better for you. By the way what ever happen to your job-less hero?””

      my point is how do you reconcile what you have assumed and what i actually i believe?
      anyway we will sort it out and get the bottom of it. I will read it one more time.
      till then be cool Mahmuday!

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear Gen. Nit
        I get you Nitrickay, I wrote that comment believing that it would give you and all of us additional material to enrich the debates. I just used the questions you presented to everyone and volunteered. Thank you for bringing the reply you gave to Mizzan. Frankly, I did not read that, and I admit that was a bad thing on my part. But it’s fine; it will help you for preparing your reply. Hey, Nit, it’s all discussion, and in between, throwing some hardballs. I’m sure you will come back with a grand idea for everybody.
        I will tell you something, for the most part, you have been disciplined.

  • Dayphi

    Bless you spark, and Bless the school principal of Garset. As a muslim, i dont have problem with Sunday day off. Just realese the muslims a couple hours early to prepare for their Friday Noon Congregation. I admit muslims have not done good job in arriving to Jami3 masjid ontime whether they have Friday off or not. By the time the Imam ascends to the pulpit and the second azan is called, barely 25% of the congregation are assembled inside the mosque. The other 75-80% arrive after the sermon is already in progress. This doesnt happen on certain rainy, snowy, bad traffic friday noon, but sadly EVERY FRIDAY.
    We muslims need respect our Friday, rather than asking others to do what we miserably have failed, as a community to observe. If you are a muslim and early arriving to your local masjid, Allah bless you. But to double check what just said, stand up in wherever line you are seated when the imam mounts the mihrab, see the believers already in the masjid. then do the same at the end of the salah.. Believe me, you will see the congregation at least 4 fold increased from your first observation.

    • saay7

      Hi Dayphi:

      I thought this was only an American phenomenon because people go to Friday sermons on their lunch break and Friday traffic is always bad. Ok, tell me if this is an American or global phenomenon: the kids who attend the sermon are usually texting and checking their social media pages and the Imam said “I am sorry that I was boring and my voice is not dynamic but listening to the sermon is part of the Friday prayer.”

      saay

      • Dayphi

        الاخ صالح يونس والاخاخت بِيسْ.
        بوركتما وبارك الله سعيكما إلي بيوت الله. اتفق مع بيس في الصلوات اليومية -عدا صلاة الفجر. اما بخصوص حضور المصلين الي المساجد . .And as i have said in my previous comment, stand up when the Imam mounts the Minbar, have a rough figure of the attendees at that time before he starts the sermon. Then stand up again as soon as you make tasleem at the end of salat. Believe me, . The number will quadriple at least. As for saay, it is NOT an American phenomenon only. You remember masjid omar ibn abdul azeez of geza banda Tilyan. Hardly you find 3 lines filled before the second azan, at the end of salat, you find the whole masjid filled and some praying on the street. i found the same thing 8n Kassala, khartoum, and all cities of saudia that i visited and resided, There exceptions such as the Haramain, the masjid where Shaikh Abdul Hamid Kishk ( RA ) used to lead, where it is said his masjid used to get filled by as early as 10 am, and masjid 3amr 8bn 3aas when shaikh al 3uraifi came there as a visiting Imam on one Friday. One of the most famous imams in saudi arabia was an Eritrean youth, from ASSAEGH family. i cant recall his first name now. i prayed 4 c9nsecutive fridays in his majid in Jeddah 10 years ago. Same story. the masjid was less than half filled at the start of khutbah, but over filled and more people praying outside the masjid.I hate to be bad news bearer, brother saay, but yes, it is global phenomenon from my experience in Eritrea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, USA, and Canada. If the masjid of Peace is filled before the imam ascends the pulpit, i am glad to hear that.بعد إعتلاء الإمام المنبر فهذه ظاهرة سيئة وعادة غير محمودة ترسخت-مع الاسف-عند معظم العامة من المصلين.

        • Dayphi

          Speaking of arriving late phenomenon, the Angels stand by the gate recording the names of the attendees only till the time the imam heads to the pulpit. Once he is on the pulpit, the book of the roster is shut and the Angels go inside the mosque to listen to the khutbah. On the day of judgement, many will not find their names on the record book, because they were a habitual late comers.

        • saay7

          Well Dayphi:

          Thank you for that! That was a global survey including my Asmara neighborhood mosque. An alternative answer to blaming the congregation for being late and for not having adequate Iman (faith) is to blame the Imams for having redundant and boring sermons that have nothing to do with the day-to-day struggles of the faithful.

          If a believer is saying “I won’t miss much if I miss some of the sermon” I think that tells us something about the state of Friday sermons.

          saay

          • Dayphi

            Eih Salihey.,
            Ay tibkey indiyu zebkiyenni zello.
            The deplorable condition of our Friday khutbah is beyond any description. It only reflects the equally deplorable condition of the Ummah at large. If the masjid is not filled before the imam ascends to the minbar, it is possible a) the khutbah is boring and out of touch……b) longer than the salat…..c) bad habit of tardiness of the musalleen.
            Most khateebs are under direct supervision of the Awqaf and Religious Affairs Dept. They must follow the strict guidelines of the regime. Until conditions improve, my advice to khateebs would be to curtail their sermons to 5 minutes or less, and make sure the salat is LONGER than their khutba. Save the people the heat of the summer and the cold and short day light of the winter. If needed, make 2 jumu3as. Nevertheless, people must arrive before the khutbah starts.

            Saay: if your heart is okay for a controversial, YET a good khateeb, try Dr. Adnan Ibrahim of Ash-Shura Masjid of Vienna, Austria. ( he’s on youtube ). Trust me, you will see Islam with a new different spectacle.

    • Peace!

      مع الاحترام ياأخي من قال ان المسلمين ياتون متأخرين الأداء فروضهم فأنت غلطان فمعظم المسلمين ياتون في وقتهم للاداء الفريضة لا ادري في المكان الذي تعيش قد يكونون المسلمين الموجودين مثل ماتقول ولكن أقول ايضا قد يكون لهم سبب لتأخرهم مثل بعد المسافة او ماشبه ذلك

  • Nitricc

    Hey Abi, sorry man i though I cut it. guess not. any what here is the one I wanted you to see. my bad

    here

    http://www.tubechop.com/watch/6612206

    • Abi

      This time you cut it too short. Only 3:35. It is manageable.
      It’s your bad.
      Yeqenyeley

  • Nitricc

    to Ethio-Eritrewi Abinet; with love ; that is to say to the jegnaw Gondere. a gift for you. As you keep saying Asmara Tsibiqti.

    I can’t not wait to walk all over Asmara.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCsxSnRf0oM

    • Pass the salt

      Thanks Nitricc. I watched the first 15 minutes. Really nice video. Seeing the familiar neighborhood made me feel terribly homesick.

    • haileTG

      Hi Nitricc,

      Thank you for the look around the “buildings” in Eritrea (that were built by the Italians and rotting under the despicable hgdef) driving around with a notorious YPFDJ. Shame that he couldn’t show us where the youth are and what their lives look like. Let’s also remind Abi that the reason the reel revolves around empty streets is because life is not permitted for living under the mafia regime. Here is the real story from his age peer:-)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0so0hTnk6Z4

  • Pass the salt

    The Guardian is one of the most vocal anti Eritrean tyranny media. They are doing big service to justice. Yesterday they started a series on the situation in Eritrea. Their effort to publish in Tigrigna is really going the extra mile. I don’t think any foreign private media has done that before. The Guardian has a big heart. God bless!
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/17/eritrea-migrants-isaias-tigrinya

  • Yohannes

    I won’t comment on what should be the official language in Eritrea for a simple reason. Because I don’t like to say things just because I can. But I was just amazed this evening when I came across this issue accidentally with my flatmates, and I will share you the story.
    There were six of us dining. Three Indians, two Germans, and me. Somebody asked if Raj speaks Rasool’s language. “No, I can’t understand anything he says”, replied the latter, ” …man, in India there are many many languages, I speak Telugu, he speaks punjabi, and Alam – Gujarati. but the national language is Hindi. We can speak in Hindi”
    “Oh, so Hindi is the offical language? but who are its native speakers?” I asked mischievously.
    “In the North, ….the Bolywood and…” he was cut short by the punjabi who was not happy.
    “No! Hindi is not an official language!” he retorted. when I asked him what the official language is, he shrugged and said “we dont have an official language….but ….almost everyone speaks English, but not all speak Hindi….so you could say English is the official one…for jobs, schools…”
    “I see…but English is also not your native language. You had to learn it, right? so why don’t you learn Hindi the same way?”
    He was not pleased. “No! but we don’t want to learn Hindi! ”
    Sometimes I am annoying on purpose. “Suppose, there was no English, then what would have happened? what would have been the official language?” (kisedo diye!)
    The answer seemed to have come quite as natural to him. “then India would have been broken in to pieces” he said.
    hahahaha….I get it bro. I get it. – to myself. salsay alem zblunas yhalfelnado tblwo?!

  • Nitricc

    Hi AT; i had three posts, one for Mizan, one for Aman-H and one for Abraham on the last three hours. the two are gone and there is only my response to Abraham Hanibal. I don’t think disqus ate them because i seen them posted and i don’t you deleted them, because there is nothing wrong with them. is there any explanation why my posts are no where to be found?

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Nitrickay,

      If it is regarding the “official language” , I read it, and it is still there. Roll down to the end of the comment section, on this article. I am expecting you to show up with your homework. While I am at it, I saw a lot of change in your debating style. Keep that. Respect and humility are very important in winning the heart of the people.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Nitricc

        Hey Aman, thanks, i see it now. i still don’t know what happened my replay to Mizan. anyway Aman, thanks; trying to grow up and it is hard stupidity the easy way out lol. i will do my best. thanks

      • Abi

        Selam Ato Amanuel
        I also see a change in Nitricc. I also see a change in myself.
        In my first exchange with him, he called me ” qoleTam” . Today he gave me an honorary citizenship . I’m honored!
        It took me less than three years from being the most annoying person here to be an honorary citizen. Now I demand honorary doctorate from the university.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear belay,

    I don’t know why I love to put under your comment but here it is.

    እቲ ትማሊ :-
    …ጉዳይ ቋንቋ ብሄር – ክለዓል ክንገር:-
    …ገሊና ንብህርር -ገሊና ንነጥር :-
    …እምብዛ ንሽቅረር – ንሃድም ንብህርር:-
    …ኣብ ክንዲ ንተርር – ሓሓቁ ንትርትር ::

    ሻቡ :-
    …ህግደፈይ ወዛል – ሓደ ልቢ ትብል :-
    …ኣምሰሉ ትምስል – ሓፋሽ ከተታልል :-
    …ብሓድነት ትምሕል – ትጥሕል ቀጻሊ ተሽካዕልል :
    …ምጭኳን ክጥዕማ ምስበልናላ እኹልል ::

    እንተ ሎሚ :-
    …እነሆ ተደፊሩ – ሓሓቁ ተነጊሩ :-
    …ፍልልያት ኣኽብሩ – ንጽልኢ ስበሩ :-
    …ድልየታትኩም ኣስምሩ – ብሓደ ንበሩ :-
    …ዕርዲ ፍርሓት ተቦንቂሩ – ሓዲሽ መድረኽ ተፈጢሩ ::

    • belay

      Dear kokhob Selam,
      Thanks for the lovely poem , which soothes my heart, and i treasure it so much.
      please let me say this:
      some times,we create a no go area, in our house (WOO’SHATE ) guess who lives in there ? You guessed it; a snake or any thing scary, at least in our imagination.
      So is our mind,it needs cleansing and upgrading and be current and honest all the time and take risks some times.
      do we honestly believe that, things will be worst than they are now? I doubt it but, I understand, then again change is scary, but,certain.
      Sorry, I got carried away now!!
      Ended up lecturing Awatians

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear belany,

        you may also like this short poem on change.

        ሽላ ቲ መንጢላ ፡ ኣብ ሰማይ ዝነፍር –
        ምስ ሓያል መንገፍገፍ – ምስ ሓያል ኣጻፍር –
        ኣንዊሑ ዝንሳፈፍ -ብዙሕ ኪሎ ሜትር –
        ግዳዩ ክቀዝፍ -ብፍጥነት ዝውርወር –
        ኣንቆቆሖ እዩ ነይሩ ኣብ ውሽጢ ዝነብር ::

        ምቅይያር ባህርይ ሕጊ ተፈጥሮ እዩ –
        ለውጢ ናይ ግድን ቀልጢፉ ወይ ዶንጉይ-
        ርኣዮ እንዶ ዕለት ወጊሑ ምምሳዩ –
        ኩሉ እዩ ዝትካእ መዓልቱ ተጽብዩ ::

  • selam

    Drear Tewelde and Dyaphi ,

    please accept my added reply to all your comments and mentioned versus of dyaphi.
    I hereby confirm my call for Eritrea to be a complete multiple language nation and atheist country, all young children should no more pressed to learn their ancestor religion except their mother TONGUE , after that they can choose to either or
    dump it all at once. The benefit of doing this would be enormously beautiful to see. After all no one would be allowed to live at the back door of history books which is 2000 years old. If children is to believe santa is false thing , isn’t that much better to appreciate that kid ? Adding present over and over is just not good to teach your kid.
    As an atheist, you get to participate in the process of learning more and see things more on common sense as well as human way rather than the fear of the unknown.  As a religious believer, most of you can either (a) accept what they hand you, or (b) have your own revelation.  If you’re prone to accepting “Hey, I had a dream about it last night, so it must be true” as an answer, then you might as well pick a religion and go with it.  Or found your own and go with it . I need to pick a few nits with myself here.  For one thing, I do not mean to disparage religion at all.
    First I think no one ever sat down and seriously contemplated exactly what their religion means. Take the story of Adam and Eve for example(which is present in both Islam and Christianity). The story is they were just created, and were now living in the garden of Eden. The devil comes along in the shape of a snake and tells Eve to eat the forbidden fruit which God/Allah told them not to eat. Eve eats it thanks to the devil and shares with Adam and then they get chucked out of heaven. Isn’t this just a little strange? First of all if God is omnipotent, and knows everything that would ever happen, surely he could have predicted this(or he would have known it) before He instructed not to eat the fruit to Adam and Eve. Also as he designed these man and woman and he would have known exactly what they would do under any situation, for example taunted to eat a forbidden fruit. He could have also interjected at any point had he wished to. When he told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit, He must have been having a big sin’ joke. I forget may be he was ob bed just tired from making trees and also Jupiter and her moons, but why did not he give us one language ? Why he did not do that simple thing ? After all we couldn’t be arguing on such article .

  • Yoty Topy

    Hi Papillon,

    You know what they say…”yetenake Yasiregizal…:)’

    Who would have guessed back in the late 80s that they would rise, to literally redraw the map of the Horn of Africa. No other group has dominated the politics of the Horn of Africa over the past quarter century more than EPRDF.

    Whether it is EPLF, which adamantly believed that they can bring them into submission within a matter of few days or the Eritrean opposition figure intellectuals whose main raison d’être seems to take jabs at EPRDF under a stale and false pretense of ‘human rights’ and ‘religious tolerance’ or the diaspora goons who are still harping for bygone era when supposedly we used to live under one ‘harmonious’ Ethiopia that did not have any ethnic strife;- everyone seems to do a horrible job of sizing them up as you have astutely pointed out. The only people who seem have a good idea as to what they are capable is actually the Ethiopian people.

    Running a nation of 100m people with over 80 different dialects, where Zero-Sum game politics is the default orthodoxy is not for the fainthearted. So how did this movement succeeded to transform itself from once an obscure gorilla group to governing a nation while so many have failed?

    There are three other attributes on top of what you mentioned that I believe have contributed to the success of the party:

    A: Moderate self-criticisms (the key word being SELF): Self-criticism is an essential toolkit in combating complacency and ironing out differences. From the days when they were able to ease-out their former CEO peacefully or the rather orderly way they dealt with the early 2000s internal divisions is a testament of the existence of some form of self-criticism.

    B: Learn from mistakes: Those who do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them, as a famous historian lamented. EPRDF ruled the country unscathed with mediocrity for the first 15 years but after the 2005 elections it realized that it better deliver some result or otherwise it would be history which gave birth to the “Developmental State’ macro economic policy responsible for the double digit growth the country has been witnessing. But another thing that EPRDF took lesson from that election was that elections in tribal societies are rather like Mars Trip Packages;- difficult, but may be attainable sometime in the distant future.

    C: Set clear agendas: Whether it is the fate of Eritrea; the flag; or the role of government in delivering basic needs to its people it must outline its goals loud and clearly while pulling the rest of the nation towards achieving those goals.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Yoty Topy,

      Hmmm, good your inside info, and of defining the attributes and driving forces of the Ethiopian economic success. Wish you to keep the current trend.

      Regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • AMAN

    I can’t believe it this comes
    from you semere Andom ! Seriously ?
    I think you need to apologize quickly before too late !

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam Semere Andom,
    .
    What do you expect them to do? In addition to being slapped on both sides of their faces, they were exposed to untold humiliation and oppression. They have no money. No support from outside. They do their best to survive for another day. It is a miracle they survived these generational onslaught on all fronts. They are surviving on their faith alone.
    .
    Now, from the top of your lung you call them COWARDS. It maybe because you have lost faith and respect for them. I will cut you a little slack if said in frustration and despair.
    Don’t blame them when the soldiers fully armed, intellectuals like yourself who are in the know, and the diaspora in the know and with full wallet, cannot do anything that resembles remotely courageous.
    .
    I wonder if you or anyone from Diaspora sent them a dollar to buy a daily bread to keep body and soul together. It would have been a great untainted source for their bread but a greater source of courage that they are not alone or abandoned.
    .
    K.H

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Kim Hana

      Since I am little bit responsible for getting this forum to rejuvenate the debate on this divisive and sensitive issue of language and religion by making a general statement about Arabic, let me say that when I talk about Orthodox Church I am referring to the Eritrean branch of it. So far in the history of the making of Eritrea they have played their cowardly card. I am not even keeping them accountable for supporting EPLF/PFDJ when they made the Jehovah Witnesses non-Eritreans by revoking their business licenses and jailing them for 25 years now, I am not even talking bout when they smirked alongside dictator when he disappeared the Muslims, rather I am making it easy for them by taking them to task for not standing for themselves and their church when PFDJ walked over their sacred monasteries and house arrested their pope.

      During the armed struggle when EPLF instituted “giffa”, effectively rounding up villages to forcibly recruit youth, EPLF forcibly and comfortably took Orthodox girls from their homes (the Eritrean villages are overwhelm Ely Orthodox), but when EPLF tried that with the Muslims in the low land, they protested and Muslims girls were not part of the “giffa”if they were, it was an anomaly, a culture that still exists in the lowlands, the NS is relatively lax in the low lands even now for girls. The Muslims stood for their tradition, I can imagine them they took their swords when EPLF touched those girls and ascended the hills, for sure EPF could have wiped them out with their guns but fearing backlash and antagonizing them they capitulated. Now Maekebay correctly said that the church was on the receiving end of demonizing during Gheldi and then he talked about how they liberated Eritrea singly handedly, I think it is more correct to say that the Orthox were enslaved to liberate Eritrea.

      In the diaspora, the Orthodox churches were EPLF has leading role, dividing them and intimidating them, they do not do that in the Protestant, Catholic and Pente churches and for sure they do not do it in the Mosques, go figure!
      I expected them to say something about the ridiculing PFDJ. EPLF was subjecting them, I excpected them to stand up against PFDJ, is that too much?

      • አዲስ

        Hi Semere,

        The Orthodox church has a lot to be blamed for but you said you wanted to make it easier for them and only focus on for not standing up for themselves when PFDJ arrested their pople and EPLF took their girls. Now I don’t know much about Eritrean orthodox church, but of all the things you can take them to task for you chose this and blame them of cowardice. This is coming from an Eritrean where his country men are facing all sort of heinous crimes by PFDJ. So should we blame the Eritrean people for not standing up for themselves when their sons and daughters are killed, arrested, exiled? How ironic is it to blame the victim of cowardice and also claim to care about them at the same time while sitting comfortably wherever you are.

        Thanks,
        Addis

  • selam

    Dear meaebay
    How is one man seen defender while others get killed by haile silasie and others ? What does all your close friends say about other things ? I am wondering over your assumptions plus the over represented picture of your beloved Prophet jesus in all Eritrean facebooks, come on , I believe jesus was blue colour and I could argue that , believes are the one to belame for every thing in Eritrea and the ME yet it is bogus idea if you do not understand humanity . It is no wonder that so many people claim to meet God at night . Come on Muslims where also in that category of defenders not for their mosque but for their country and people.

  • Rahwa T

    Dear Maekebay,

    The irony is this ancient church that has contributed a lot in religion, education, music, art to the people of the Habeshaland is being ridiculed by a covert with a name “Tesfa – Mariam”.

  • Saleh Johar

    Selam Belay,
    Such real issue make many persons uncomfortable. They would rather push real issues under the rug and preach rhetoric. They think it will go away because they wish it so. The hypocrisy is just overwhelming and it has not changed one bit. Now you know why we cannot solve our problems. A tiny fringe of bigots have been wreaking havoc for too long and continue to do so. And they are not ashamed of showing their hypocrisy and bigotry.

  • Sara

    Dear guest
    Honestly, I am astonished you have that kind of ability in story telling, keep the Nik guest at least for these thread.
    How about A seer Me shekel?

    • Dayphi

      هههههههه ياسارة. أشربها بالفراولة والمنجا. As for the story, it is a real incident told by Hajji Mohammad Mahmoud Mirkab. If you’re Kerenite, you know him. He is, mashaallah, still alive. May Allah give him health for many years to come. He told us in Tigrinia with his beautiful and charming Mense3aite accent. I just narrated his story in English. All the credit goes to Abbona Mirkab.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Brother Dayphi,

    What a beautiful background about the same ‘Building” serving both Faiths. I grew up in an area that was famous for its supremely integrated community, and this kind of stories go straight into my heart. Everything I know about Islam I knew it when I was young and careless. No documentation or memorabilia of any sort.

    We are bombarded with information that try to make Islam look like intolerant of other religions, and the extremists are making it hard to explain that the opposite is actually the truth.

    I remember the statement “…And do not argue with the followers of earlier revelation,” including how we, the Christians, are referred to as the “children of the book,” hence, my frustration with those uninformed when they “fear” or “resist” Islam based on the kind of black mail campaign being waged by some sections of the west.

    One fantastic story I heard a religious teacher teaching in the Sudan was about what to do if one is faced with a dying animal in the middle of nowhere. The teacher explained to the students that the passenger should bless and slaughter the animal before it dies, and he must leave 5 small stones on top of it if he is a Muslim or 3 stones if he is a Christian to indicate that that meat is Halal. I remember being amazed by the respect that teacher showed to both religions equally. The point is that Islam is not only tolerant, but also respectful of the Christian faith.

    Most of the fears and suspicions we are mired with is not only uncalled for but also tragic. As you mentioned, our forefathers had a better vision of mutual respect and cooperation, and it would be quite a shame if we fail them!

    Thank you Dayphi.

    • selam

      Daer Fanti
      It is the people who are tolerant not the religions. If you read the two books , they are trillion miles away from each other with stark contrast ideas but our people especially Eritrean people are graceful to the human nature of common sense. I used to live in the middle east for quite good years and I have eaten Christmass food with Eritrean Christian families even with out saying any thing but if I was able to follow themy quran teacher , owww , do not even dare to think. no way I would eat. Now to basics , is Christianity or Islam tolerant to each other on strong basic principles , no way. But the people are. The notion there is this gracful God is the best bogus idea you can find in this 21 century. Do I love arabic 100% , does arabic have advantage to Eritreans 100% , does arabic has the foundations to be Eritrean language no it doesn’t have, it never have but since the quran is not translated in to Tigrayet , saho , bilen , afar these elite brothers want to use it as a jumping step in definition which is just a shroud assumptions. Arabic is a foreign language to 80% muslim Eritreans .

  • Tewelde G/mariam

    Julius Nyere of Tanzania, once said that the Imperialists came with their Bible; a little later , they gave us their book and they took our land. Yes, he was right but not only did they took away their land, their languages, way of lifes, cultures, the positive perception they had had of themselves as Frantz Fanon detailed in his book, Black Skin Whit Masks.

    Were the Arabs any less Imperialists than the Europeans? Abdolutely not. The original Egyptians, those who built the Pyramids which, to date, no body could duplicate, those who taught civilization to the Greeks, Italians, those from whom the Jews and Arabs copied monotheism etc. are nowhere to be seen in Egypt today because the Arabs systematically wiped them out, took their land and forced their language on those still languishing under their colonialism. Infact, all Northern Africa was occupied by Arabs in similar fashion.Read, Islam Unvailed by Robert Spencer, published 2002.

    It can be considered a work of miracle that we were spared from Arab invaders, that the invasion of the Arab surrogate, Othoman Empire was effectively contained around the Red Sea coasts, that the Othoman Empire ploy, Ahmed ibn Ibrahim, was mashed by the collabocerative effort of the king of MdreBahri and Portuguese contingent forces and that the Italian fascists’ diabolical dream on our people was preempted by The Allied Forces.

    But are we ,as Eritrean , free from the ugly vestiges of colonialism some of our African brothers have been suffering? No, we are not free as evidenced by our individual names. A Christian person must have a Jewish name, and a Muslim, Arabic.Why? I guess because the God in heaven acknowledges only Jewish or Arab as his people, therefore, we have to fake names to deceive Him. But that is illogical. The Omni Potent and Onicient God can neither be decieved nor be a bigot.

    But can He complain of disobedient people? No. Such perception can only occur among those ignorant people who see the essence of God in the nature of man, or among those who are vicious bent to take advantage of the naive and gullible.

    Does God need human soldiers to kill his human enemies? Again, such question comes only from those who think of God in the essence of man

    The inference from above is that denying our people their God given langauges in favor of foreign language be it Arabic or English under any guise is sheer nonsense and absolutely slavish. Our people need guidance from us, we must not plung them to be other than themselves, Eritreans in Arab masks. That is a grand sin!!!!

    • selam

      Dear Tewelde , First Arbic is just as beautiful as any other but hi , now arabic is not appropriate to speak in western airports . Any way back to where you are. I was just amused how elegantly you put the main issue of this article to task. The main argument for Mr.saleh arabic as Eritrean language can be seen just , 1 .it has history in 2. Most muslims see it as language of God to communicate with them
      3. So out of 9 ethnic groups in Eritrea do tend to believe this bogus idea of the word of God. We can not held back to such useless but seriously dangerous idea of Arabic thing. Arabic has no basic evidence to be Eritrean unlesspeople pike my mother tend to attach it to their religion. It has no basic value that can be over represent over Tigre . What is exactly these elite muslim want in Eritrea ? Do they see Tigre , saho and other languages best equiped to serve their owners or do they think Arabic their quran word to be all over other basic human rights . M8ther tongue is a human right issue but Mr.saleh and others are happy to dump Tigre , saho , bilen and other languages to none recycling bin . What a shame.

      We can all agree that a “married bachelor” can not exist because it is contradictory and self-refuting. An omnipotent God is self-refuting and contradictory.
      -Omnipotence is the ability to do all things. Forget all things these old believes are putting people to knifes but hi …
      -However, some abilities are contradictory to each other. or some actions negate each other
      -To sleep means you are not awake, for instance. You cant be alseep and awake at the same time.
      God has the ability to live for ever. Eternal life. However, that means that he can not die and 
      God has the ability to be everywhere. he is omnipresent. However, that means that he doesn’t have the ablity to leave certain places or to be absent from certian places and events , so where is he ? Does he allow people to be gassed , knifed ,,, they will say bla bla .

      • Saleh Johar

        Selam,

        You are dishonest. Show me where I said Muslims want Arabic to speak to their God! You can’t just make my argument for me, unethical debate. Then you ask, what do these Muslim elite exactly want in Eritrea? Do you hear yourself? They want you to stop bigotry and think that you are hosting Muslims in your cottage. In short, you are not even qualified to be in this debate, you are just a combative, arrogant, misleading personality. And hey, you are not even an atheist. It is your misleading tactic. You are not fooling anyone dear.

        • selam

          Dear Mr.saleh
          It is a muslim believe that Arabic is the language that God choose to communicate with prophet Mahammed and that is not your word but everyone’s believe . Second I said it can be seen !!!!! It shows to me and to many . I do was once who believe that . And you are assuming that either i am a christian in which i do not give a dime to what jesuse and his so called mother say or a jews in which i do not give any clue to what abrham say. Are not you assuming i am not atheist , well your shoot at me in which i have nothing to say. Yes i am not qualified to be debating with you in any sense at all. But mr.saleh are not you putting your parenting to me with too much scrutiny ?
          Let it be clear for you that I have zero respect for any known religion to you. I have make it clear that I do not believe in any thing does that sound any thing similar? Why will I play atheist while if you think I am not ? If you have other things to say to me , just say it. I do not intend to fool any one about what i believe .If you say so please put any prove unless you are accusing me . I was wondering if you are just digging on the wrong person files. This is selam and i disaprove your characterizing. Who is arrogant the one who give people names , believes or the one who says such thing can be seen 1,2,3 . Come on be fair to me and stop pocking me . I am c8mmenting on your article in which I gave a reply to tewelde. Let him reply to me or ypu can correct me if I misquote you . I am assuming you are having the other way round .

        • tes

          Dear SGJ,

          Haha, she is simply gual hidirtina! I was not simply labeling her. yet she continue to be a crap.

          Back to business: I am so happy that such wonderful discussions going on. Keep on a leader by example as usual.

          tes

          • selam

            Dear Oaths breaker Tes
            You broke your own swearing thing, you have said before that you will not call names , here you are supporting saleh for saying the untrue thing . Saleh is not to save you from any thing . Saleh can call me any names and I gave him a pass duto known things and that is his shortcoming to bring prove about his defaming me.
            Here is the good thing , saleh is wrong on every thing he try to defame me. He has no prove of my beliefs , he just make it up to satisfy his wishes , now why you are having this lapses at late at night.