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Mahmoud Kannoni: Rest In Peace My Great Teacher

A bright educator has passed away. A great teacher who left his marks on our personalities has passed away. Ustaz Mahmoud Mohammed Ali has died. May he rest in peace.

Almost sixteen years had passed when I visited Ustaz Mahmoud in his house in Abu Dhabi together with my late friend Sheikheddin Yassin. He didn’t change as much as I imagined him despite the long years since the days when I left Keren,. However, I expected to see his wry smile, his trademark smile that left students wondering if he was mad, or felt sorry for their foolishness, or it was just his way of wearing a blank face.

Ustaz Mahmoud had a visible contempt for mediocrity and he didn’t expect anything less than excellence from his students. As a student, however good you felt you were, Ustaz Mahmoud reminded you it was not enough. There was room for some more.
Though he was the school director—a role all students considered his other job—he was seen as a no-nonsense teacher and an excellent educator. Unfortunately for the other teachers, he set the bar so high, students measured them on the Ustaz-Mahmud-Kannoni yardstick. And he stood almost alone on top of that yardstick, towering over the rest. All teachers strived to stand with him at the same level, and thus he elevated the school to new heights. He inspired the students and teachers to excel, forming a vibrant school environment that all students remember with great fondness.

Another fifteen years later, I visited him at his residence in Cypress, California. This time I tried hard to conceal my shock: my fast walking teacher was using a cane! I remembered him as a fast pacing man, with legs that seemed as if borrowed from a tiger. I avoided looking at the cane and instead looked at his eyes, and his smile, all the time wondering: Did I let him down, or I didn’t?

As we chatted, he spoke softly and assured me I was okay in his eyes. Yes, it meant a lot to me. if I was a soldier, I would want Ustaz Mahmoud to be my commander. As a young boy, I was lucky he was one of my teachers—and more than that because he was a friend of my father. In fact, I used to boast that I took my first driving test with his blue VW beetle. He had called Ustaz Ahmed to get the car from his house and drive me to the testing area—I passed the test and took my license. But soon I left Keren with most of my peers, and I have no idea where the license ended up. But for a brief time, I boasted a lot. How many people can claim to have driven Ustaz Mahmoud’s car? None.

I could write tens of pages about Ustaz Mahmoud, and I dedicated a big chunk of my book, “Of Kings and Bandits” to stories about Ustaz Mahmoud or stories inspired by him. He was the educator who inspired me to be curious—to look for knowledge, even in newspapers that I should fish out even from “Gumama”, out of a trash bin. I have done that in so many ways, though the trash dump in Keren didn’t have any written materials.

The following is a brief portrayal of Ustaz Mahmoud, from my book “Of Kings and Bandits”.

The integration of boys and girls wouldn’t have been smoother if not for the efforts of the overly ambitious school director who wouldn’t settle for mediocre education. Students waited eagerly for a chance to have the director cover for absent teachers. They raced to his office if a teacher didn’t show up—he followed a policy of first-come-first-served. Once he lectured on evolution and the students listened in disbelief. He pointed to a girl and said, “The lizard is your cousin.” The girl was so offended she cried.

The director repeatedly said, “I was born in Chaeda Krukh,” a tiny village in the outskirts of Keren. Jemal took that as a gesture to some dedicated students who walked long distances from the countryside to attend school. It might have been his attempt to boost the self-confidence of those students while at the same time chip away at the empty pride of town dwellers who looked down on villagers… That year Janhoi visited Keren.

I feel sad I didn’t get to see him for a year before he died. And I feared talking on the phone could be taxing to his health, I rarely called him. However, I blame myself and human complacency—we don’t think death comes unannounced. And it did come unannounced to snatch Ustaz Mahmoud.

May his soul rest in peace, and may his family and relatives have solace remembering the crowds of his students, some of whom have attained high educational credentials, some were heroes who fell in the line of duty, in the pursuit of freedom. While others remain true to the ideals he inculcated in us. Still, others who have become fathers and grandfathers, many of them successful in their lives. I am sure his brothers, and children would be content and thank God that he lived a proud man and died as one.

My condolences to Kerrar, Hamid, Fouzia, Jemal, Khalid, and his children, Ahmed, Salah, and Dr. Samia… and their younger siblings whom I haven’t met.

Farewell, my dear beloved teacher.

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

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An Envious Eritrean Congratulating Ethiopia

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  • Nitricc

    Hi Selam: Even if I wanted too, there no way I can distort this one. I can’t deny the similarities, the culture, the language, the intermarriage and geographic location of this two people. I get that but the truth must be told as is! Yes, I am not denying the facts, but if the people of Tigray believed that the people of Eritrea are their own brothers and sisters why not oppose and voice when the Eritreans were treat with absolute harsh conditions and roped their entire properties? Even to tell you the truth further, the reason the Evil TPLF ignited the war was for simple purpose in convincing the Oromo and Amara to show its force. Just to say look what I have done to the arrogant Eritreans, the Eritreans you couldn’t beat for the last 30, I brought them down in a year. so, in away TPLF was telling them not to try anything funny. That was the whole idea of the war. After All the deaths, the destruction of properties and Eritrea paid the price, a little to late for peace and to call each other brothers and sisters. why now? because the Oromo you trusted to eliminate Eritrea they came after you? why now? because the Amara you friended to wipe out Eritrea came after you. is that it?
    Whatever the answer is, the Eritrean spinal cord of Eritreans is intact and functional. At lease you people need to acknowledge the wrongs that were done first, for any positive relationship and peace to be created. How about a little apology to the people of Eritrea?

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Ethiopians (at awate forum),

    Congratulation for the long awaited to hear about your new Prime minister. As far as there is a debate, discussions, and listening to each other between stakeholders, no matter how difficult and intricate your politics might be, you will always prevail to challenge it. You have proved in the last 25 years. The Ethiopian stability and unity is not only important to the Ethiopian people, but also to the entire of the Horn Africa. We wish him to the newly elected prime minister to bring peace and stability to Ethiopia, and pursue the Economic development the country has shown in the tenure of those who precedes him. Good luck.
    ንዓኹም የማስልና::

    Regards

  • Dis Donc

    Dear A.Osman,

    Since I am gonna disappear again, this time for a very long time, I have decided to write you the following. Long ago you had a paw-wow with Simon and in there you asked what and who is Eli. It is a Hebrew word and has meaning of:
    EL: mean the lord, not to confuse it with a lord.
    ELI: My lord.

    So when you see Samuel, Natnael, Israel, etc they all mean that the lord did/is this or that.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam fellow Awate forum family members,
    These day, an absence of half a day from this wonderful forum makes one a loser. By the time you scroll down the screen and try to read a few postings, you realize that much water had already flown under the bridge and reached estuaries to mix with the waters of seas and oceans. The exchanges on the anxiously awaited news from Ethiopia have aroused several sharp-minded and knowledgeable observers. Among them are Amde and Dis Donc whose in puts were fairly broader and full of substance. I really enjoyed their take and coverage of the political scene.
    I think given the decision of the EPRDF coalition would hold (there is no guarantees in politics), we are set to watch historic moments that could retrospectively be compared to the events that led to the downfall of the ancien regime in 1974. Had opportunities that were missed not allowed the military to take over under the Derg, and unharnessed passion and theoretical dogmatisms had dispersed the revolutionary forces, I think what Ethiopia could have got might not have been much different than what is anticipated from the ascendancy of the OPDO and the Oromo people in general. The logic of history and considered pragmatism could not have ignored the plight and oppression of a socio-cultural entity that makes the largest territorial and demographic part of Ethiopia.
    The rise and prevalence of the Oromo component in united Ethiopia has been and will be political inevitability. Thus, the tenure of Dr. Abiy faces formidable challenge first to come out with a program accommodative of the faction in the Oromo constituncies, and another that could be elevated to the national level and open level fields to all stakeholders – inside the EPRDF as well as outside it. On Oromo front, the role and participation of the OLF is crucial. As Amde, Dr. Paulos or Dis Donc (I do not remember who) the OLF has been watching from the sides while retaining its political and affiliation-based moral authority among wider sectors of the Oromo society alive. It is probably the first Oromo activist organization after the events in Bali in early 60s. Its weight and historical impact can be compared to the ELF in Eritrea as pioneer organization. The reasons that made the OLF reluctant to lay down its cards in 1991, and later on opted to take a long term route to political opportunities could become plausible soon. To underscore this point, I would like to share an anecdote I recall from a Lucky encounter on the eve of the May 1991 ELPF, TPLF and OLF talks in London under the auspices of Herman Cohen, USA Undersectary for African Affairs at the time.
    I happened to be one of the ELF-RC Khartoum office visitors to the OLF office there for the purpose of briefng them about an EPLF military assault with coordination of the Sudanese security operatives in an effort to push our units out of Eritrean territories. We were surprised by the presence of the OLF delegation under Dr. Yohannes L. Wagayo, who was his way to London. It was time of Sudanese way of breakfast time (9-10 before noon), and we were invited to share the meal with our Oromo brothers around the breakfast table. That was unexpected golden opportunity for us to chat with Dr. Yohannes, a very jovial and very humble man, over his expectations from the London meeting, as well as how things will develop in Ethiopia that the Derg was on the verge of collapse.
    Dr. Yohannes told us that OLF was not expecting any room for accommodation and power sharing because the EPLF and TPLF had already won the support of the USA and other powers including the Russians, and that the OLF was invited for tactical reasons, and that actually was not a welcome element in the calculations of the USA and its allies. He added that the EPLF and TPLF were enormously armed and their armaments had doubled by dividing the Derg’s arsenal in both Eritrea and Ethiopia, which that disadvantaged OLF militarily. F
    From what Dr. Yohannes told us I felt that the OLF would bet on time, history and breadth of its constituency. That was why the OLF withdrew from the transitional government quite early. As some of fellow forumers have noted, bidding for time and opportunities seems to have paid, and the rise of OLF role in Ethiopia’s politics in one way or another is very much to be anticipated.

    • Dis Donc

      Dear Ismael,

      Here you are so astute and generous patriot, at the same time, who could have made a difference in the playing fields of the Horn. Alas, languishing in the remote corners of an alien land, which is not even yours, has became the norm for most Eritrean yesteryear heroes. For some of you and your like, one would think that you should be writing books and giving lectures (earning a sizable income from the proceeds) in universities, in free societies. Ayyy there is no point in talking about it…. very sad really. Anyway, as the German provincial proverb says, DAY LIGHT MUST COME.

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Dis Donc,

        Very glad to have you back at the right time to enlighten me, probably many others, on details about the complex political scene in Ethiopia. With brothers directly concerned, such Amde and Horizon, you have drawn a useful picture that is very important to us, Eritreans, because united, peaceful and prosperous the future of Ethiopia as its people dream, is vital to what Eritreans dream theirs to be.

        Indeed, dear Dis, “day light must come” for genuinely sacrificed blood, tears of parents and sweat of our patriots should not end in vain. Personally, I do not dream of the things you have mentioned, I only dream to be still breathing and see our youth taking responsibility of their fate in a free country in the way Ethiopians and other peoples do, and then join those had already departed with relaxed conscience. Thank you for your kind sentiments.

    • Amde

      Selam Gash IsmailAA,

      I feel you know and understand Ethiopia much better than 90% of its political elites, leave alone the people. I second DisDonc’s lament – It would have been such a blessing to have you as another intellectual/moral giant in our country.

      I agree with you – depending on how events unfold this has the imprint of another revolutionary moment. Interesting anecdote and perspective on the OLF in particular. As you said, we could have been at this point a generation ago. Still, better late than never.

      Thank you very much sir.

      Amde

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Amde,

        Look, at his wisdom,,

        “Very glad to have you back at the right time to enlighten me, probably many others, on details about the complex political scene in Ethiopia. With brothers directly concerned, such Amde and Horizon, you have drawn a useful picture that is very important to us, Eritreans, because united, peaceful and prosperous the future of Ethiopia as its people dream, is vital to what Eritreans dream theirs to be.”

        KS,,

        • Ismail AA

          Kokhob Selam,
          I wish I had a fraction of the wisdom and moral strength you are blessed with in adversity. Many of us learned from the tenacity you had demonstrated in difficult moments. Stay strong because that is what the essence of life and living it means. Thank you for you kind words.

  • Hope

    Selam Alex;
    While I admire your “flexibility” and the enthusiasm to learn and to be convinced ;and your gut and courage to call a spade a spade, I disagree slightly with your lack of enough information.
    While it is deplorable and even condemnable what and how the PFDJ Gov is playing with the sensitive Religion Card for obvious reasons, I challenge you and your mentors about the Real Threat Eritrea has been facing with since its inception, specially from the Foreign based and influenced Islamists and Jihadists;and it is only naivety or Yewahinet/gherhinet to think and believe that Eritrea and Eritreans are not at risk form this poisonous Foreign Islamist Agenda.
    Hint:
    -The Christian/Orthodox vs Islamic Bloc polarization due to the British poisonous divisive Policy, which has left us with a painful scar and unhealed wound.
    -The Notorious and well documented Religion based discrimination and corruption within the ELF Hierarchy and Agenda without going into details
    -The Post Independence civil wars in the Eri-Sudanese border during the Osama Bin Ladin and Dr Hassen Al Turabi Era,who declared to create “The Islamic Republic of Eritrea” by declaring Real Jihad on Eritrea, which is still going on in a low level scenario
    -The Islamic Jihad Factions being fully supported and funded and trained by the TPLF,not to mention their destructive role(considered as a Legitimate Military actions by some here) in Gash Barca,and now by the Sudanese Intelligence along with the full fledged help by Qatar, which is labeled as the Most Dangerous Terrorism Sponsor at the highest level per the USA public declaration.
    Not sure if you were deployed around the Gash Barca, area in general and around the Ghirmayka and Maria /Jengheren area and you would understand what I am talking about ,that irrespective of its gravity, the Foreign Sponsored Jihadist Groups or call them “Liberation Fighters”, if you wish are causing havoc in that area of the Nation.
    To be fair, they might be legitimately fighting against the regime but the way they act and they call themselves and their sponsors make me to call them as such.

    • Alex

      Hi Hope,
      Don’t take me wrong. There could be a minority fringe group that could be Jihadists and Islamists like there are in christian side. My point is it is wrong for the Gov or any body else to claim for any body who oppose their policy as islamist. The majority Eritreans are tolerant against each other when it comes to religion.

  • Amde

    Good Morning Awatistas,

    Now don’t lie.. 🙂

    Who amongst you is NOT frantically refreshing your twitter and facebook feeds to know who the new PM is going to be?

    Amde

    • Selam Amde,

      Are suggesting that we should start gazing towards Addis to see the white smoke coming out of the chimney? Do you think that they have reached a consensus who should be the next pm?

      • Amde

        Selam Horizon,

        Well OPDOs are strutting and TPLFs sound dejected. Probably meaningless outside the context of the whole package (deputy PM, status of SOE etc….)

        Definitely drama.

    • Dis Donc

      Dear Amde,

      Current political realities of Ethio calls for thorough understanding of its ethnic makeup and economic outlook.

      Oromo: this group is large in numbers and have spectrum of their own making: from the Qotu (mostly Muslims and eastern) to the Wellega (mostly Cristian or animist western fringe), with anyone else in between. In the same vein, the Oromo parties do carry differing flavors. From the OLF (mostly composed of eastern fringes) to the OPDO (mostly western fringe) and any one else in between, like the Oromo federalist and some such. In the current ethnic federalism, any one who can forge an alliance with a unifying Oromo party, can rule Ethio. This is seen recently as a proof that OPDO is gaining sympathy from almost all OLF fringes. To get ANDM and any other Amhara party, all they have to demonstrate is that they stand for unity. This too is in showing.

      OPDO: TPLF knew this very well, from its inception. First they tried this via OLF, which failed rather spectacularly. As shroud as TPLF was, they knew very little that the WPO (that later formed OPDO) made up mostly of the western fringes. I am always at a loss as to how little Tigrians, Eritrean and some Gonders know about the Oromo. OPDO never forgotten that and after the civil war (1991 onwards), they agitated the local Oromos to rebel against TPLF, which at that time was confined in military barracks. (If asked, I can expound later on this.) OPDO has learned, from its 25+ yrs of waiting on the side lines, that they can attract the OLF sympathizers, buy ANDM on its side, and play crook in upstaging TPLF in the EPRDF groupings. After all TPLF is only 6%. Or there about.

      TPLF: Ethios democracy is flailing at a time when the politicians should only be public servantes, and not rich kinglings. This is due to the lack of the basic tenets of democracy; the former guarantees checks and balances thereby stamping out corruption and nepotism. The latter separates the economy from the politicians. TPLF was entrusted to do so (for 25+ yrs), leaving an indelible lasting mark in fledgling democracy, but the result is neither. This will only mean that cronic ethnic grievances will continue un abated. Whether due to the limited participation in a burgeoning economy, with double digit growth, or otherwise. Ethic grievances can always be traced at the economic outlook of the country. There is also one glaring fact that after the civil war the dergi army family was left with no means of survival and they were mainly made up of the Oromos. The current Oromo youth is affected by that dismissal directly or indirectly. After studying all that OPDO decided to challenge in all fronts; and TPLF has every reason to fear their leaders like Abiy and Lema. And those who say that TPLF has done so much and getting the bad end of the stick I can only say to them that tough luck. Politics has a short window of opportunity given to you so that you can build a lasting legacy. After shoving shoulders with the western leaders for the last 25+ yrs that should have come clearer to them. But as their sister EPLF party to the north, they want the people to sing Jigna Wedi Jigna, forever for them.

      Please remember time constraint…

      • Amde

        Selam DisDonc,

        What a pleasure to hear from you Gudifecha :-)…

        This post of yours is exactly right on point. Well it warms my heart because it is pretty much my understanding of Ethiopian society… so forgive my vanity.

        I have to give EPRDF applause for the sheer drama and suspense.
        I would be so bold as to say that marathon EPRDF session will go down in history as the defining moment when TPLF’s conception of Ethiopia and its faith in ethnic politics as the sole saviour for Tigrayans came to its inevitable crash.

        Your analysis of the Oromo diversity explains why it was foolish to forcibly aggregate all Oromo speakers under one political umbrella, and in the process effectuate the OLF’s (and other Oromo Nationalists’) long term agenda. Sometimes I feel this system was just designed to put and keep the Amara down, and not even to maximize Tigrayan long term interest to be honest with you.

        And at the end if the day, it was the sheer greed and corruption, inevitable in a system where there is no legal or political remedy that embittered whole swathes of society from the land dispossessed farmers to the merchant and entrepreneur class who are forced to give a cut of their business to people who are nobodies except a Mr. X who threatens to shut you down. I have an old friend right now who has toiled to get his business up but is being threatened ranging from loss of his business to harm to his family unless he promises to give up a share of his business. Corruption is bad, but it is terrible when it is cemented in the public’s mind with an ethnic community. The hostility to Lemma from the TPLF was simply inexplicable – after all, here was a vetted EPRDF insider who was genuinely popular and would give a new lease of life to the front and would this be a logical choice. Until you hear that he was returning land to dispossessed peasants from real estate squatters who got it simply for being designated as “investors” – in which case it was crystal clear it was less about ideology and more about moolah.

        We still don’t know if this is the true end of TPLF dominance within EPRDF.. we will have to see whatever deal was probably struck about the military, the security state, the state of emergency… etc. If the legions of Oromia officials swept up under the SOE are still in prison a month from now it will foreshadow a grim season ahead.

        But how the votes went down in the final hours are stunning. Supposedly… Demeke declined to run at the last minute, OPDO and ANDM voted 100% or close for Abiy giving him 108 votes, TPLF and part of the SEPDC voted for Shiferaw Shigute. I can’t tell if Demeke turned out to be a sly last minute fox. And it is still not clear to me why Debretsion decided to get into race only to get a humiliating 2 votes.

        “But as their sister EPLF party to the north, they want the people to sing Jigna Wedi Jigna, forever for them.” Yes.. the cult of the martyr… Maybe it is good things turned out this way, perhaps Tigrayans can have the room to start supporting political alternatives ranging from other Tigrayan ethnic parties to Ethio nationalist ones.. to strictly ideological ones.

        Amde

        • Dis Donc

          Dear Amde,

          While the Ethiopian social proportional make up remains the same the economic outlook has shifted to the powers be. The sad thing, to observe, is that almost all my college friends who got married to a Tigrians are now millionaires, contrary to the others who aré languishing in just Above poverty line. Uff, there is some much I could write about corruption and cronyism, but let it be….

          Dear Amde, whether TPLF looses or not isn’t important. What is important is to have installed a sensible person that could change the course of Democratic History of Ethiopia, thereby EPRDF in itself. Or form another one. As of my writing I didn’t know that Abby won but was obvious that OPDF wants to be heard. If their shout was for an opportunity to be given to restructure the faultering democracy, well and good. But if they only want to be king makers like the past leaders then they will only be pandering the archaic ugly path, far from changing it.

          Observation calls that this unhappy union of TPLF with OPDO (including ANDM) will continue until each side find their respective ethnic party match from each group. This is to be seen because it has reached to the point that TPLF has found its match in OPDO. It is clear now that TPLF cannot find a vestigial party in Oromo nor in Amhara regions. It’s only left for the tri-partite to realize this. May be then we can be assured of new parties that can challenge EPRDF, in the national level. The regional land mark of Ethiopia has been redrawn and it will take a hell of a genius or gigantic party that can undo this mess.

          • Amde

            Dear DisDonc,

            I feel Dr. Abiy, or more properly Team Lemma are as close to “sensible” we can hope for from within EPRDF. I feel enormous relief. On my last trip in December I came back convinced we were within six months of highrises torched in the middle of Addis, forget the outskirts.

            About the “new money”. This was a topic of conversation with a lot of people when I visited, and as you can imagine there was a range of views and emotion. There were quite a lot of people who told me they are OK with the nouveau riche keeping their wealth, but the system that allowed them to do it had to come to a stop. I don’t know how one would square that circle. One can kick off a so-and-so’s brother who has foisted himself on your business once he has lost political cover, but it get trickier with the party businesses such as Effort, and the Metec affiliated cloud of companies. God forbid – I can see OPDO wanting to repeat that formula as well for it’s own crony class.

            We will see.

            Thank you for taking the time to post on this issue.

            Amde

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Amde,

            Okay, let’s enjoy the moment, but I am curious, are the voting results posted somewhere?.

          • saay7

            Fanti:

            The voting results, per Daniel Berhane (HornAffairs)

            Abiy: 108 votes
            Shiferaw: 59 votes
            Debretsion: 2 votes

            Don’t ask me why this doesn’t add up to 180 🙂

            saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat Saay,

            Since TPLF has only 38 participants the total is 173. Which means only four others are missing. Perhaps some illnesses or something.

            However, after reading Amde, I was curious whether who voted for whom was made public or not which would be very unusual for EPRDF.

          • Amde

            Hi Fanti,

            You are absolutely correct.

            Who voted for whom has not been made public, and the numbers are an extrapolation/assumption.

            Demeke’s last minute dropping out (described by someone at another forum as “votus interruptus” smacks of strategic voting on ANDM’s part, so it is not implausible the OPDO and ANDM voted completely or in absolute majority for Abiy.

            Amde

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            (Sigh)..Ok…You won…Just this time. What was the bet I have to pay up, now? (Rolling my eyes)

            Now, for the next few years, we will have unending Henry Kissinger and Ayn Rand quotes from a certain new horn of African leader.. 🙂

          • Paulos

            Selam Eyob,

            What OLF failed to accomplish, OPDO did it. Some cynics may argue that, there is element of OLF in OPDO, if that holds true, they have come to power through democratic means where that has been the selling point of the ruling coalition in the first place.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Dr. Paulos,

            There is a little OLF in every Oromo organization, but OLF has become like an old person everyone obeys out of respect but not for their wisdom.

            Creating a strong coalition with OFC will be the real test of OPDO’s strength. There are some talks about mixing and rearranging all political parties including EPRDF and oppositions to form “ideology based” new sets of parties.

          • saay7

            Eyob:

            Sore loser. I am looking forward to fine rhetoric like the following:

            Knowledge is like a cow. It has horns and it had an udder. E = mc^2 can bring about this (visual of Hiroshima) or light and energy (visual of 💡). A horn and an udder.

            That’s an actual quote from a speech Abiye gave in Amharic at some meeting. Wait, Amde, what is it you said about milk? 😂

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Oh God!!!! Now we’re going to have this jibrish for for at least next 8 years…? As the old TV show says.. “…Just shoot me…”

            You know what my favorite is?

            “..Black Americans live to complain….They should get over it amd be like Jews…”

            Somebody, please translate this to Al Sharpton… 😀 😀 😀

          • Bilien Giorgis

            Selam Saay
            The TPLF didn’t field a candidate. Debretsion never ran. What Is being said is that someone from within EPRDF nominated him. If TPLF had nominated him, logic says he would at least garner his party’s vote, which would be 45 or at least whatever number of actual members they have at the moment.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Amde,

            In Holeta, me and old friends have a business of manufacturing bottled products. The business was so succceful we added more products. Now we make the bottle itself. However, space became very limited. There is a pitch that I grew up playing football on it. The very same pitch used to also hold a yearly event of Timket. So we spoke with the high priest in the region and went all the way to Addis to negotiate with the church. In 2015 we struck a deal the following:
            1. We will build a small stadium and the church can use it at any time, exclusively.
            2. We were to build the bottled products on site but not the bottle itself.
            3. The church gets a 15% shares.
            4. We expand, the already existing charity org where we help anyone from Holeta, provided proven.
            This gave us an opportunity to build a gym and public sanitary business, like shower, washing and drying, etc. So we drawn up all of this and submitted to the local admin. To date we haven’t heard anything from them. Can you believe this? So when people tell you that they are up in arms, it is for a reason. The last I heard is that the church itself is fighting to keep the pitch and had to barricade it, with barbed wire, from being invaded.

            It was nice talking as well but you know how to reach me should you need anything. I don’t know if you noticed but all over the world the left leaning parties are being replaced by business oriented parties. I work for an international organization and we won many projects, 7 to be exact. We do from defense projects, to energy production and space projects. So I am quitting management and going into designing and testing. Next four years will be exciting and a lot of hard work, I am sure.

            Thanks!

          • Amde

            Selam DisDonc,

            Funny enough your story matches one of someone else – an otherwise successful investor who is fighting to setup something similar in the Amara region. He says it took him years, and moving from the US to Ethiopia and he is just now seeing some traction.

            I am sure we will be staying in touch. As always, you are an inspiration sir. I wish you best of luck in your new track.

            Amde

  • Saleh Johar

    Hope,
    I know you very well. Just polish your memories dear. But I sometimes wonder how you turned into THIS and I question myself if it is you or someone else?

    Learn to live with the riddle, my dear 🙂

  • Nitricc

    Hi All; I just can’t put my finger to it when I read this……….
    “ADDIS ABABA – Prominent Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition figure Andualem Aragie, who were released from years of prison only recently, were on Sunday arrested again together with other 9 journalists and former political prisoners.”

    • Paulos

      Nitrikay,

      It is sad that they’re back to prison. Here is the thing though: If you were in Ethiopia, you would be surprised on the number of people not only who don’t know about the news but they don’t really care as well. They don’t even know who Eskindir Nega is in the first place. They care only on how to improve their lives and look where the money is. That is the reality but here of course for the obvious reason people are obsessed with back home politics which I think is pretty weird.

      • Nitricc

        Hey P; I agree with you people are more worried about their daily lives and they many not even know what is going on. However, from observing the situation, when they released the prisoners, I thought it was from a moment of weakness but when they rearrested them, what do you make it of it? Can we say they are doing this because they felt stronger or they have no flying clue with what they are doing. I don’t know but it doesn’t look good.

        • Paulos

          Nitrikay,

          To have them released was not a general consensus with in the higher up in the first place. I suspect. I also suspect, if it was one of the reasons the PM was sucked for making the decision for them to be released. Again, this is just pure speculation.

      • Selam Paulos,

        It is foolish of eprdf to put them back in prison, because they used an ethiopian flag without the eprdf symbol, i.e. the 5A (5 Alpha), which without the lines in between is thought by others to be the sign of the devil. I think that the flag is the reason.

        The name of the game is: We do not recognize you as a legitimate government, – No you will recognize us, – If not we are putting you in prison.

        The problem with third world countries is that whoever comes to power comes with a new flag. They do not learn from what developed democratic countries do; that they do not change the flag with the change of government. Governments change, but not the country. When are they going to understand?

    • saay7

      Selam Nitrric:

      Your priorities continue to be misplaced. Compare:

      Ethiopia arrested bloggers and opposition politicians who had just been released from prison. It did so when they were attending an event held to honor them. You heard about it in an Ethiopian newspaper (which still has the freedom to publish the news); the government will cite specific articles from the State of Emergency for its action; the international community including the American embassy in Ethiopia will condemn it and there is a good chance it will succumb to the pressure and release them from prison AFTER their lawyers will sue the government.

      Meanwhile, in Eritrea hundreds of Eritrean youth were rounded up after they attended the funeral of a school official. Many of them are underage. Nobody knows for sure where they are. Their families can’t visit them. The government has not charged them with anything because there is no law it can cite they violated. And the international community including the useless American consulate in Eritrea or the Europeans heads of missions or the goddamn Arab embassies have nothing to say.

      Yet, you find that in your “tell the truth” frame of mind, focusing on what the Ethiopian Gov did is the highest priority?

      saay

      • Paulos

        Sal,

        I guess that reinforces your original argument. It is normal in Eritrea but not anywhere else.

      • halafi me(n)gedi

        saay,

        tiwiyilena aleka z arkey. after announcing the near demise of Ethiopia for 15+ years, we are very close to achieve it with our sheeeer power, why do you have to talk about Eritrea…bikedemuwin weyalat bezihkum ember, kedem n Ethiopia missearnaya neirna….anyway, you will see, after ‘game over’ tplf, we will have kuwam, prisons will be released, election kikayed eyu, free press kienbib eyu…..just watch.

        hm

      • Nitricc

        Hey SAAY; priority stems from present of danger how once feel. Accordingly, I think What is going on in Ethiopia should be every Eritrean concern and even priority. The other day Peace was talking how every one was laughing When ESAT started and look how now becomes the force to be rockened with. Right after reading Peace’s post, I didn’t respond but I say to my self, wait till the Agazians roar in with impunity. Sure, everyone is ;laughing and making jock of the like of Tesfatsion, but trust me, the next clear and present danger to Eritrea is the Agaizan movement. The Tigryans found their new and shameless tone, that saying ” We are Brothers” And ” the Solution of Tigray is Eritrea” and so on. The Agazian movement will be decided on what direction Ethiopia goes. If peaceful and orderly change comes, then Eritrea will be spared from this Agazian danger. other ways, if Ethiopia to implode and go to disorder and then the Agazian movement has no where to go but going full in destroying Eritrea’s social fabric,unity and her harmony. So, you are right sir, I have put my priority where the danger is, bedsides how do I know ” in Eritrea hundreds of Eritrean youth were rounded up after they attended the funeral of a school official.” How do you know? remember, nothing comes out of Eritrea? Right?

        • saay7

          Nitricc:

          The problem you have, the same problem the government you support has, is you guys think that if there are is no media in Eritrea then nobody knows anything. And the part you forget is that every exiled Eritrean has family members and because it is a very small country, it’s easy to extrapolate. Take me: I know 4 kids who are arrested. Four young boys; three of whom are immediate family. When I talk to my IMMEDIATE friends, I find that each can mention a second nephew, a neighbors child etc. So, it turns out, those of you who claim to be the nationalists and superpatriots are the least informed because you don’t appear to know anyone in Eritrea and all you know of Eritrea is from google.

          saay

          • Nitricc

            Hey SAAY, it doesn’t matter a word of mouth is multiplied 1000X. You wanted me to believe those people but sorry, I know better. And again, I am fine knowing Eritrea from Goggle, what is wrong with that?

          • saay7

            Nitricc:

            I didn’t say I know everything; what I said is you know nothing and you make no effort to know anything because, even if you wanted to, you can’t. How many Eritreans do you know who, right now, live in eriteea? In Asmara? I’m Akhria? How many Muslim eritrean friends do you have who have family in Eritrea, Asmara, Akhria? If you know any, have you talked to them? So this is why you often appear out of your element.

            I am not telling you about arrested family members to get sympathy: I really want none, least of all from those cheering the government. And I really don’t care if you believe me: those ho know of Eritreans in Eritrea or have friends who do can verify it. I mention it to tell you that the PFDJ has 0.0 credibility when it complains about the human rights records of other governments all of whom have a better mechanism for dealing with it than it does.

            saay

          • Kbrom

            Comon saay7 how do you dare say the PFDJ has 0.0 credibility, Have not you heard that his excellency PIA has also been promoted to be the His Holiness the 1st Eritrean Dalai Lama, by popular demand, because several Eritreans who failed to be cured by the American modern health system are being cured by ማይ ሃሎት. This has happened after His Holiness the 1st Eritrean Dalai Lama touched them in their hands.

          • saay7

            Haha Kbrom:

            I actually saw the video just recently. Whenever the Mzungus say that unlike the rest of Africa there are no statues to the Big Man in Eritrea, it is because they miss the images of citizens kissing the hand of Isaias, raising his picture and, as in this video, claiming that they were healed after they visited Adi Halo and touched his hand.

            saay

          • Paulos

            Selam Kbromay,

            Perhaps the greatest influence on people by a leader with incredibly strong personality cloaked in cult is Mao. But to my knowledge, never read or heard anyone who ever alluded to have been cured by him or touching his picture either.

            This is not a laughing matter to be honest. A number of elderly Eritreans attribute the calamity that has befallen on the nation to our collective wrong doing when we started to put our trust on one person as opposed to on God. And this? A woman who alludes to have been cured when Isaias helped her up and when she sprinkled water from a lake that has been touched by Isaias. This should worry us! Really!

          • Kbrom

            Dearest Dr Paulo

            Should we? My half body is telling me we should laugh and the other half is telling me we should be worried, I would really like to hear from Haile, Tzigereda, Aman, saay7, SJ, Sara and all AT community.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Kbrom, Paul and all,

            ዝሓለፈ ሰሙን፡ ክብሮምን ኤማን እግዚኣብሔር ኣልዒሎም፡ ንሰማይ ጠሚቶም። ስቕ ኢለ ሰሚዔ፡ ክናገር ኣይደለኹን። ሎሚ ኽኣ ጳውሎስ እኖሃለ God ይብል ኣሎ። ኣንቱም ሰባት ሎሚ ዲኹም ከስቲንኩም? ወይ ከኣ ኣሪግኩም ኣለኹም። ሰብኣይ ዓድና፡ ምስኣረገ እዩ ቤተክርስትያንን እግዚኣብሔር ዝዝክር። ጸሎትን ቤተ-ክርስትያንን ዘብዝሕ፡ ዘክረኒ ኣይትረስዓኒ ማለቱ እዩ። ኣነ ጸሎት ሃልዩኒን እንተሰሚዑኒን፡ ንክርስዓኩም እዩ፣ ዘዕልሉኒ መታን ከይስእን። 🙂 🙂 ።
            Kbrom, your ማይ ያሎት was epic!
            On a serious note, the eritrean huge able-to-do CV has been, since long time, appropriated by this leadership. EPLF appropriated the ELF and other fighters CV. PFDJ did the same with this cumulative CV, putting itself at the top of the pecking order. Now this huge Cockerel called PFDJ has a lot of fat (CV) under its skin. The little grains it gathers from its supporters and the nagging that it doesn’t suffer from underneath keeps it happy and healthy. The CV that eritreans toiled for for so long and brought them the independence they worked hard for has been left to a guardian that uses it for its survival. It is not easy to snatch that CV from the grip of this prison-guard. It needs a meticulous sustained approachs።

          • Paulos

            Hailat,

            ዝገርመካ I am a strong believer in the existence of God. I am Orthodox Christian. Hope one of these days to write on the comment section as to why there is no contradiction between the basic tenet with in the orthodoxy of science and the existence of God. And why the story of humanity is not complete without God.

          • Haile S.

            Hey Paul,
            If there is a way that you can elevate it to a full blown article within Awate’s SOP, please do. I may not comment, though, I already feel walking at the edge of the admisible.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat,

            When I was a young child I memorized the Bible and I was also a singer ensembled in choirs. This was then. Now this dirty politics dissociate me from those kind of practice. For me politics and doing religious rituals does not go side by side. I am from those who say stay with either one. Which means either avoid politics do your religious belief or go to politics and don’t mess with the Devine messages. If one tried both he is not loyal to either. Just tell to the youth to speed up the struggle in order the old generation to return and think about the next life.

            Regard

          • Paulos

            Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

            I don’t see any reason why you can not do both. History is replete with great men and women who picked up a calling in life where they maintained a critical balance when they dedicated their lives to both realms.

            One of the fascinating historical personalities is the French Cardinal Armand Jean, Duke of Richelieu where he was not only a Cardinal in the Catholic Church but one of the most effective Foreign Secretary of France as well during the reign of King Louis XIII.

            What was remarkable about him was that, he made alliances with other Protestant factions during the “Thirty Years War” to defeat other Catholic factions when he was not only a Catholic himself but a Cardinal as well. He is considered the father of Realism School of Thought when he famously said, “Man owns immortality for his salvation is hereafter, the State doesn’t own immortality for its salvation is here or never.”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Dr Paulos,

            I know you will refer me to many religious leaders who involve in politics. What I know and you also do know is, there are many normal languages in politics that will be considered abnormal in religious practice. Those tools of languages that are seems abnormal in religion are effective to the success political endeavors. That is what I have learned when I involve in politics. I hope you get what I mean it,

            Regard

          • saay7

            Paulos:

            That a lady in her 50s or 60s believes that should not worry us. That the official State TV, Eri-TV, saw the news fit to broadcast in an interview is one more milestone in the deification of Isaias Afwerki. For those who haven’t watched the video don’t understand Tigrinya, the great Samuel Emaha has transcribed it: you can send it to the Mzungus who tell us there are no Isaias statues in Asmara. Worse, there is a deification campaign:

            In the interview conducted with state TV in a programme that features artists and writers, a PFDJ supporter called Dehab Ghebremeskel who has suffered for years from facial and knee injuries sustained after unfortunate fall claims to have seen improvements after visiting Adi Halo Dam- one of the many small scale dams the government has constructed. Asked by state journalist as to the causes of her injuries and the challenges this has brought in her life, Dehab replied that she had lost part of her lips and her two knee bones were broken. The most traumatic experience for artist Dehab was the inability to speak against the Weyane regime. In her words:” I did not know our lips are useful for speech. I thought God gave us lips just for the look.

            After the injury, I realised that our lips are important for speech. For that reason I cried my eyes out not because it looked ugly without lips but because the weyane question was not resolved and I could not continue talking about it.” Dehab had to go through many rounds of difficult labial and knee surgeries. Unfazed by the challenges and driven by her patriotic zeal, she continued to participate in Mekete meetings, managed to partake in the public meeting President Isaias Afewerki conducted in New York (2011?),and even braved a long journey to the Sawa military training camp. She did all this breathtakingly inspiring activities while on a wheelchair. After all these years of suffering and perseverance, Dehab experienced a miraculous breakthrough in her life. This happened after her visit to the famous Adi Halo dam to see President Isaias. She describes her experience matter-of-factly without any undertone of irony (the interviewer himself shows no sign of incredulity) thus: “First, to meet your president in person and touch his hands is almost like going to heaven.” When the president saw her, he himself carried her from the wheelchair and put her [at the bank of the dam]. “Even though the government has named the dam Adi Halo, I consider it holy. I took water from the dam and soaked my clothes with it. After my return from Adi Halo, my doctors declared that I have improved a lot and can walk with the help of crutches

            saay

          • Amde

            Selam saay,

            Thank you for the transcription.. .I needed the laugh… This poor woman needed a shrink.

            Must have been a slow news day on EriTV. You don’t really think there is a deification campaign going on do you?

            Perhaps his holiness will now be hounded by those seeking miracles and succor.

            Amde

          • Paulos

            Selam Amde,

            I actually found it repulsive. The lady is a prototype of the new not Eritrean woman but Woman-Eritrean where Isaias dreamt of manufacturing en masse.

            Sal said something rather interesting where the lady appeared on Eri-TV where the editors knew well ahead what she was about to say. And under normal circumstances, it would be embarassing to the head of state when someone alludes to have been cured by the President’s hands but Isaias deliberately wanted the message to get through.

            When we were kids, we were made to believe that Isaias was capable of writing his name on a wall by spraying or firing bullets on it but that is the psychology of a super-hero in every kid but to see an adult turning into this is a tragedy. What is more tragic is Isaias is not even Eritrean!

          • Amde

            Selam Paulos,

            Yes I agree it is quite repulsive to be honest on further introspection, but one has to admire the thing. The woman’s ailment is not being able to talk about the Weyane mind you. How can that not be funny?

            Cults are definitely manufactured, and there was a definite state organized cult of personality for Mengistu Hailemariam as well as HaileSellasie, but I doubt healing was ever attributed to either one. That would be a bridge too far, even for the Mengistu who deigned to tell Gorbachev to his face that Perestroika was the work of counter-revolutionaries.

            My view is as much as the calendar reads 2018 our contemporary (Ethiopian / Eritrean) politics would be right at home in 1960. I barely missed HaileSellasie but do remember childhood conversation as to whether or not His Majesty used the toilet or not. And the slogan of “Land to the Tiller” would be perfectly in place in today’s neo-መሳፍንት Ethiopia.

            Amde
            PS.. about this Isayas not being Eritrean…..እንዴት ነው ነገሩ? Surely, his curative powers are overrated, but his pedigree…?

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam amde
            What about the Stupid visionary (the dead meles)? He is seen by his people as such.

          • Paulos

            Selam Amde,

            Not sure if it is Napoleon-complex [not because of Napoleon’s short height] or Stalin-complex [not of course his crooked left elbow] but both had something in common. Napoléon was from the Island Corsica not from France-proper and Stalin was from Georgia not from Russia-proper but there seems to be some sort of subverted psychology to it where Isaias is not an exception either.

            Mengistu and cult of personality? That I never heard of. That dude was as paranoid as they come where he intimidated people right and left. Incidentally, if you have read Fisseha Desta’s book which is sort of “holier than thou” clap trap, he seems to be still affraid of Mengistu where he lavishes him with praises instead. Not sure if that is cultism though.

          • Amde

            Hi Paulos,

            I don’t feel that Mengistu wanted/needed a cult for his ego. Nothing since he left the scene suggests that either (at least for me) Look at my response to Saay.

            I have not read Fisseha Desta’s book, but it is generally considered the most candid of the memoirs written by the the ex-Derg officials. I listened to an interview he gave, and I thought he was very (too) kind to Mengistu. I dont know if he is afraid of him, i just think he is consistent with his opinion of him. They were friends and colleagues for years, and he didnt change his mind about that.

            Isayas as Napoleon or Stalin, i.e. the outsider who goes out of his way to prove his bona fides. I have heard of that theory, and I guess the Adi-strategy idea was at some point floated as an organizing principle to drive out perceived interlopers like him. I may be wrong of course. I just think it is more fruitful to understand Isayas as the kind of personality that can survive and thrive in the rules of the game of political competition the Gedli went through. Extreme political positions are tactically useful, and there is no real penalty for holding them. The mieda is understood as dog-eat-dog so killing is OK .. as long as one phrases it as “struggle “. The ገባር need to be liberated even if they don’t know it themselves, so anything is fair game. Such a personality would think their success proves their correctness of their positions. I think someone with unquestioned local pedigree who succeeded at the game would jist be as ruthless.

            Amde

          • Paulos

            Selam Amde,

            Shifting to more rather pressing issue…..

            The Ethiopian ምክርቤት is expected to annonce the next PM today. And do you know what Isaias said on Aljazeera when he was asked about when elections will be held in Eritrea? He said with a stern face that is, “…Who knows, maybe in 20 or 40 years time or maybe never.” Do you know what happened afterwards? Dead silence in the studio and back in Eritrea as well.

          • saay7

            Amde:

            Long time buddy. Do I believe there is an Isaias deification camapaign? Well, buddy, it’s like the boiling frog metaphor: it happens slowly.

            For over four decades new, people have talked about ትንቢተ ኢሳይያስ (the prophesies of Isaias.) Like all conmen, Isaias knows that if you make 100 predictions and 2 are right, the true believers will forget the 98 you were wrong on and remember the 2 you were right on. For Isaias (just like the astrologer Jeanne Dixon), one of the two he needed to get eight happened very early in his political career: “the ELF will dissolve away.” He claimed in 2005 that the Weyane clock is at 2 minutes to midnight and it’s time is up. If Weyane was to be removed from power, the true believer doesn’t say well he missed that by 13 years (half its reign); oh no: he would say “Wedi Afom called it again! What a visionary!” (refer to the weekly updates by Nitricc on more of this.)

            To the religious (Old Testament religious), that he is named after a prophet is also not a coincidence.

            He helps along this deification by having a media which begins all its interviews by quoting what he said years earlier and by his assertion (to European diplomats) that he hopes to live another 70 years. So that he can touch and heal people is a natural extension of the party’s complete ideological bankruptcy and descent to hero worship.

            Saay

          • Amde

            Hi saay, Paulos, Teodros

            You know, I have a pet theory where I believe all Gods are ex-dictators. The cult of worship extends into the after-life. How else then to explain the First of the Ten Commandments, which warns that God is jealous and will not tolerate mere mortals worshipping some other God? (I will probably burn for this but what the hey – why would He Who Creates Time and Space be worrried about who Amde worships?) A century or two ago, the line between the living and tbe dead was not so clear so an anthropomorphised God with all the psychological needs was probably quite normal. Hence, “Elect of God” is quite feasible. So is ancestor worship and its modern counterpart, the cult of martyr worship.

            There was most definitely an engineered cult of personality for Mengistu when I grew up. At some point, the street signs and banners bearing slogans with ከጓሊመመኃማአጋወ as taglines sprouted.. (that was not a typo – that was short hand for ከጓድ ሊቀ መንበር መንግስቱ ኃይል ማርያም አመራር ጋር ወደፊት). It got worse after his Korea phase when he returned enamored with the Kim Il Sung suits and what not. There is still a monument to the revolution along Addis’ main axis of Churchill road where the sculpture would be completely in place in Pyongyang, even with the great leader in relief and with facial features that seem unsettlingly oriental with the eyes and what not.

            I was just listening to an interview of a poor man who was a portrait artist during Mengistu’s time. He was then asked/commissioned/forced to make a huge portrait painting of Mengistu. Having labored at what must be a terrifying ordeal of those times, he offered his work to the cadres who commissioned it.
            Well then, somebody decided that he has painted ጓድ መንግሥቱ rather grey around the lips. Which was promptly interpreted as him portraying the president as eating ash “ጓድ መንግሥቱ አመድ ሲበሉ ስለሀል።” Which of course is a near capital offense for which he spent serious time.

            Towards his last years, there was the beginning of one for Meles as well – so much so that the Party faithful Reporter newspaper started talking about how unseemly it was for EPRDF to depend on a dead man for its guidance two years after his death.

            Somewhere in the manual of authoritarian systems there must be something about the system needing something akin to a cult of personality of the leader. Especially now that we live in a Trump America, i just do not think Mengistu as having a Narcissistic need to have his name and image emblazoned all over the place. Same with Meles. These were tough guys who put themselves at the top of the pecking order in a game of life and death. And yet there were most decidedly serious investments of time and resources to build a cult that was considered an important element of the system.

            Alternately, I can also see how these things creep up as a series of one-up-manships of competing sycophants wanting to curry favor with the boss. There is one story about an almost defeat of the EPLF at Nakfa which failed due to one of the Generals – contrary to all planning and preparation – wanting Mengistu’s old unit to have the honor of breaking the line, and thus providing the necessary delay for the EPLF to regroup and repulse. Is this story true? I don’t know but I can definitely believe a sycophantic General doing something like this even if Mengistu never wanting it.

            In either case, it is a bad sign when deification starts. North Korea’s Kim Il Sung was the alternate God before he died. And we today have a Kim dynasty. After all, who is worthy of taking the place of a God than the son of a God? I am told Isayas is grooming his son to take over, so an acceleration from a leadership cult to a deification campaign in an otherwise (used to be) very religious culture might mean something beyond the ego stroking of the current throne occupant. Hope it is not a campaign.

            Amde

          • Paulos

            Selam Amde,

            Good one! Here I am half asleep though. Will try to jot down tmrw. G. night ma bro.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Amde,

            When you mention Mengistu Hailemariam you reminded me of something. For those, who say ደርግ ይሻላል please recommend this article. It was written in 1978 on Rolling Stone…a great historical document. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/ethiopia-after-the-revolution-vultures-return-to-the-land-of-sheba-19780921

          • Paulos

            Selam Amde,

            “Eye for an Eye” to “If slapped on one cheek, give the other cheek.” Was that a revolutionary in thought or an evolution of thought? Well, it can be both but one thing certain, it was a radical transition from the animal instinct to human instinct.

            Christ was right to codify the “Cheek Theology” or narrative where latter day thinkers as in John Locke and Hobbes among others picked up on that and synthesized the idea that lest “War against war” breaks out, members of a society ought to give up certain of their rights for the “Common Good.” But of course sadly, Nietzsche upended the revolutionary idea when he said, “It is a moral decadence, designed by slave mentality to instill guilt on the Ubermensch” as in Super-Man.

            On a state level, has the Eye-for-an-Eye evolved onto the Cheek narrative? Certainly not. Simply because the Theory of Justice postulates that the Eye-for-Eye is used as a deterence so that recidivism is minimised.

            How about with in the dynamics of intra-nations? Well, Realists as in John Bolton argue that, nations are inherenntly violent in attitude as such the entire intellectual foundation of a state ought to sprung up from the position of strength and power as well. I guess I need to stop here.

            Mengistu was no an ideologue or a demigod but he was a man who rode on the rare contingents of history and diminished the pride of the nation till the existence of Emperors Tewodros, Yohannes and Menilik became questionable in the distant past that is. A man with a deep-seated inferiority complex and as a defence immature mechanism, he set out to destroy anything and everything good. Was this man really in power for 17 long years, people ask a rhetorical question in hindsight after they saw the rise of a giant in the person of the late Meles that is. Is that the touch of a cult on my shoulder? Perhaps. May his soul rest in peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            ዘይተባህ የለን ዘይተሰምዔ እምበር ክበሃል ይሰምዕ:: እቲ ንዓኻ ዝሓቶ ሕጂ: ዘይሰማዕካዮ ዝተባህለ ደሎ’ዶ ይኸውን? The holy water of Adi Halo will go as a fun for all generations.

          • saay7

            Emma:

            Please don’t tell Haile and Abrehet but the example you gave is one of the reasons I don’t have much patience for proverbs*. Here are few from the ዘይተባህለ and ዘይተሰምዕ list:

            ፕረዚደንት ሃገረ ኤርትራ ነበር ኣቶ ኢሳይያስ
            ህግደፍ ካብ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ይቕረ ሓቲቶም
            ህግደፍ ተጋጊና ኢሎም
            ህግደፍ ንኽሱስ ፍርዲ ቤት ኣቕሪቦም
            Should I gone? These are from the never said and never heard.

            saay

            * exception: the proverb kbrom cited about the limping hyena:)

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            Aha, these lists “ዘይተባህሉ” are in the queue of “ክበሃሉ” in the dreams of my dear friend Saay. If that is the case, we have different reading and understanding in the character of the Eritrean people.

          • blink

            Dear saay
            Are You suggesting people (Eritreans)shouldn’t write about Ethiopia with out mentioning the Akria kids ? I mean come on ,First of all these kids are in lawless land and no one is in dispute about Eritrea’s lawlessness. It has been like that for decades , PFDJ has been killing and arresting people for years , you can write and say more but the reality is sir , there is nothing that we can do at this time , you can pray if your god is living around in which I do not believe he is . And Nitricc doesn’t need to know anything about Akria nore does he need to know anyone who is Muslim from Akria to care and know about Eritreans who are in prison. The political situation in Ethiopia can affect Eritrea more than the Akria kids in prison, don’t you think? I think so . Mention one person who was in prison in Eritrea and has his day in court ? You can’t bring a single story, right ? How do you expect this to change because of Akria kids in prison?

          • saay7

            Blink:

            Let’s see your input one sentence at a time:

            1. They can, but when they do, they will be called on it and if they stammer and blabber, the reader will know they have no clue.
            2. So what? To know Eritrea is lawless doesn’t mean to accept its lawlessness.
            3. This is your central message: there is nothing you can do about it. It is always defeatism, couched in militant atheism.
            4. Yes, he does. You can’t consider yourself an informed citizen (informed enough to comment about the world) if you don’t know and don’t care to know, what is going on in the capital city of your country. And when you do, you will be called on it.
            5. The “political situation in Ethiopia can affect Eritrea more than Akria kids in prison” is a transparently phony rationale: too silly to merit a response.
            6. So what? That I can’t mention a person who had a day in prison doesn’t mean that I should accept it when that 1 person becomes 100, the 100 become 1,000 and the 1,000 includes underage children. Your reply appears to be to shrug off everything: you are paralyzed and you are recommending paralysis as a solution.
            7. Change comes from awareness and outrage and plan for action. Status quo comes from shrugging and accepting things as they are. The theists you make fun at least are waiting for divine action; you, on the other hand, are an atheist who appears to have zero plan and your solution is to just wait.

            saay

            saay

          • blink

            Dear saay
            Yes my realistic view about PFDJ and the solution against them is simply wait until the man dies or have car accident while he is on his way to his dams . I meant it sir , I have no hope for quick solution at this time. I can rage ,call names ,go to protest and the results are all the same , ask me how do I know this , well I have done them all.

            Oh the waiting game of theists is infact longer than mine . By the way I always wish no single person to go to prison in Eritrea because unlike many in this forum I know PFDJ prisons and I as anyone has personal story to tell but it will not matter at all. It doesn’t move the ball an inch.

          • saay7

            Blink:

            Your self-described “realistic view” is a defeatist view. Not only are you a defeatist, all your posts are a form of proselytizing for defeatism. Man, you evangelize more than the most religious for your view: ironic considering you are also a self-described atheist. You rail more against God than Isaias–odd, considering you don’t believe there is a god.

            saay

          • blink

            Dear saay
            We shall see what happens next week then , we are here all together and what we know is the opposition is not in hurry to settle their differences and topple the sadist. I have seen oppositions on Tv but not like Eritrean opposition leadership, how can you not have guessed that Eritrean opposition is a vacuum with out leadership. I was in Geneva and in that day I can say confidently there were over 10,000 people and guess what happened, nothing we come and go . Aren’t you like anyone sir , you write articles and spoke to UNHCR and then what , guess how many are dead after that ? Many and the man continue to kill yet nothing happens . Do you want me to bragg about the days I went to protest against him and then you can count me as an opposition, no need for that . In reality PFDJ will not fall because we protested in western cities or it is not on power because the lack of awareness of our people ? Who are you trying to tell about the act of the man ? Do you think all Eritreans are dummies that know nothing about his act ? Oh yes yes will not be saay reply.

            The fact that , you joined the people who demanded “ you must say my way or the high way “is new to me.
            Many people think Issaias will fall if they write everything about him and guess who is dying , small kids . Do you think all Eritreans are blind and deaf that did not know about his evil act? Do you count yourself among the highest IQ ,Albert Einstein’s was 160-190 and he built enormous power to look in to . What I really care is what we can get done , nothing else . There is no genetic lottery in this ,what you see is what you get.

          • saay7

            Selamat Blink:

            Where did I say my way or the highway, buddy? You can have your own way, and my way sometimes requires me to have what Confucius called “rectification of names”: to call things by their names.

            Your second paragraph is very Hope-like: it is just a string of words that means nothing. If I don’t reply to my own cousin when he writes gibberish, why would I write back to you? 🙂

            saay

          • Hope

            Hahah Prof Dr SAAY:

            You are TOTALLY IGNORED,buddy.

            Tiwgah Emmo?

            Weghihado wella Lissaa’?

            Gibberish?
            Talk about the “gibberish” Opposition you are “flirting” with/ around and as to why it has failed ..despite your back up and support with the sharpest pen–ever could penetrate.
            Soliciting and supporting the well documented terrorists as if they are struggling for Justice at the expense of the Eritrean Unity and national security Interest is beyond gibberish..

            Nah….Blink caught you..

            “Where did I say my way or the highway, buddy”?
            U said it above…Only what you write is perfect and Correct but what others/some others write are Gibberish??
            You are “demoted” to a low level professor…

            Good luck.

          • Kbrom

            Dear Blink

            Have you heard when Russia’s Sergey Lavrov said “If it looks like a terrorist, if it acts like a terrorist, if it walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?”.

            By the same token, because you look like PFDJ agent’s assignment, you walk like PFDJ agent’s assignment, and you quack like PFDJ agent’s assignment – you are PFDJ agent’s assignment knowingly or unknowingly.

            Have you noticed that almost all people (except zeyhlelo saay7) absolutely ignore your posts, do you know why? I will tell you why I ignore your posts: It is because I know their malice and cheap intention and I did not want to give you the pleasure you aspire for by engaging with you in a destructive discourse.

            Because I know well the agent’s assignment is to be involved in Eritrean social media and exploit any opportunity that polarises the people horizontal and diagonal. Why do you try time and again to convince the people that you oppose the PFDJ, you do not need to, you can be a staunch supporter, it is your undeniable right, so long you do it in a constructive manner.

            Three days ago you put the list of Christian names in the Awate forum and tried to say something to the effect that do not we think Awate is dominated by Christians. Too cheap! The good thing is no one gives you the least attention.

            Just in this post you stated …….’ And Nitricc doesn’t need to know anything about Akria nore does he need to know anyone who is Muslim from Akria’.

            I can only hope Awate owners to have some sort of editorial policy, code of Ethics and code of conduct to protect the level of AF from falling into murky, low level ምጭምላቕ።

            P.S
            I do apologies in advance that I will never engage with you what ever you reply unless you commit to be engaged in a constructive manner and approach.

          • blink

            Dear Kibrom
            I don’t intend to get educated by a man who was in UAE at the time of sabbe. You know why I don’t give a flying hint about your reply to me , in-fact most of the time I don’t really read yours, so that you know plus I don’t expect to get replies from anyone. I have been reading awatecom for a decade and trust me I have seen it all and nothing amuses me sir. You can write about PFDJ and accuse me of supporting them but you don’t have the authority about how people oppose and you don’t have to dictate what people say in this forum. I said nothing that cross the posting guide lines of this forum and when the guidelines change to your wishes , do you expect people not to cross your views . Please kibrom no one is here for your reply . Please pass my comments and don’t waste your time in reading them because who knows your sugar level can go up .

          • saay7

            Kbrom:

            I am going somewhere with this: follow me

            In the United States, religious organizations are not allowed to endorse a political candidate and still retain their 501(c)(3) IRS designation which exempts them from paying taxes. When President Reagan was running for office he addressed one of the Christian Right religious orgs and said (I am recalling from memory so it may not be precise) “I know you can’t endorse me; but I endorse you!”

            There are awatistas who will swear up and down and say “I don’t support the PFDJ!” and really mean it. But what’s clear from their defeatism, their relentless effort to demoralize the opposition, and stay silent on the crimes of the PFDJ is “the PFDJ certainly endorses them”. Or at least considers them, in the parlance of Lenin, “useful idiots.”

            saay

          • Kbrom

            saay7

            the problem is you can not discuss 501(c)(3) IRS with them, they would not understand it even if they read it.

            The other reason for their repetitive confession of “I don’t support the PFDJ!” could be another childish behaviour. I remember when we were kids we used to run to our mothers when they come back from enda zuret and without being asked we would tell them ማማ ኣነ እንዳ ምብጻሕ ምስከድኪ ሹኮር ኣይቆሓምኩን. in Tigrigna they call it ሰራቕ ሞባእ ባዕሉ ይለፋለፍ።

          • Paulos

            Thank you so much Kbromay!

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Blink,
            Do you read and think about your comments before you post them? Or, you just are being yourself?
            It’s amazing.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear SGL,

            Every second the same question comes to my mind…

            KS..

          • blink

            Dear SG, KS
            I don’t spend thinking about what could possibly your views about my comment, I am a simple person who can tell what I think and believe ,there is no second guess about your moral compasses on my views . To be fair to KS and you , I do not pick anything unless I wanted to know about something from you guys . SG ,if I am being rude about the crime clearance, I am just telling how I feel( because I found one family that thinks Issaias is like god given to rule Eritreans and they believe that to be true , guess what hailessilase is god to ras teferians ) . Yes sometimes I mentioned your name just out of curiosity to know what could this giant say and the reason I did that was because you don’t really give free lesson in this forum , I still believe you , Ismial and many others don’t tell as expected but when people pock you , you throw one or two and it is really a painful to wait .

            KS you don’t need to jump about this sir , you are perfectly ok for me as always and I don’t see you with the disco guy from Addis . You are a good heart Eritrean .

          • Paulos

            Aya Saleh,

            As Wedi T’kabo said it, ‘Germena’lo.

          • Kbrom

            Dear SJ

            Do not worry some people have the habit in fact the culture of putting an electric tool into a socket and then read the manual to know what was the proper voltage after it is burnt because they put it in wrong voltage. They also like first to cut then to measure ሓጺራትኒ እምበር እታ እዛ ዝቖረጽክዋ ጨርቂ ኣይይ ዓቅና እስከ

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay(Aya-Adi’U),

            If you haven’t noticed them yet, those Eritreans who cares about Ethiopia than their own people, will not be persuaded otherwise. Take a note and do not waste your time.

            Regards

          • Nitricc

            Hi Aman-H; I know you won’t happy since I am talking down Agaizans. Trusted me, your generation was all about occupation and now, it is the Agazian. I know your position on that one. No one support the Tigryans more than you. it is not by accident you mourn about the dead midget till this day.

          • Kbrom

            Hi Nitriccay,

            saay7 asked you the following question can you please reply to that or help us see what we can not see?

            ”……..: Meanwhile, in Eritrea hundreds of Eritrean youth were rounded up after they attended the funeral of a school official. Many of them are underage. Nobody knows for sure where they are. Their families can’t visit them. The government has not charged them with anything because there is no law it can cite they violated. And the international community including the useless American consulate in Eritrea or the Europeans heads of missions or the goddamn Arab embassies have nothing to say.

            Yet, you find that in your “tell the truth” frame of mind, focusing on what the Ethiopian Gov did is the highest priority?

          • Nitricc

            Hi Kbrom; you sound like I am some diplomatic personality or some kind of government official. This is just sharing how I see things how I anticipated the future may unfold. This is just my personal take and I do believe the next Eritrea’s fight is the idea of Agazian and that very idea is coming from Ethiopia, what is wrong for me, as private person to look on to it a little deeply. By the way Tesfatsion’s program will be aired in Mekelle University. Do you see where this going. Now is my concern and that what I shared. you and SAAY are saying how about Eritrea? I am saying I don’t know? do you? for sure!!!!

          • Kbrom

            Hi Nitriccay

            Saay7 asked you hundreds of Eritrean youth were rounded up after they attended the funeral of a school official. Many of them are underage. Nobody knows for sure where they are. What is your response?

            ሀ) እታ ጤል ጭሩ ኢያ
            ለ) እታ ጤል ጤል እያ ስለዚ ኣይነፈረትን
            ሐ) ወላ ጤል ትኹን ነፊራ ኢያ
            መ) መንግስትና ጥራይ ደው ይበለልና እምበር ጤል ትኹን ጭሩ በዓለዲኣ ትፈልጥ!

          • Nitricc

            Hi Kbrom:

            መ) Hagernan Hizbinan “ጥራይ ደው ይበለልና እምበር ጤል ትኹን ጭሩ በዓለዲኣ ትፈልጥ!” hahahahah

          • Kbrom

            Hi Nitriccay,

            You are funny

            I like that! ኩሎም ብሓንሳብ ጭሩኦም ጤሎም ሃገርናን ህዝብናን ደኣ ከምዘይንረኽቦም ነፊሮም ከይጠፍኡና ደኣ እምበር።

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Kbrom

            “……..: Meanwhile, in Eritrea hundreds of Eritrean youth were rounded up after they attended the funeral of a school official. Many of them are underage. Nobody knows for sure where they are. Their families can’t visit them. The government has not charged them with anything because there is no law it can cite they violated. And the international community including the useless American consulate in Eritrea or the Europeans heads of missions or the goddamn Arab embassies have nothing to say.”

            A. – “In Eritrea hundreds of Eritrean of all ages were rounded up after they attended the funeral of a school official and nobody knows for sure where they are .”

            B. – “The government has not charged them with anything because there is no law it can cite they violated.”

            C. – “The international community including the useless American consulate in Eritrea, the Europeans heads of missions, the goddamn Arab embassies have nothing to say.”

            Well I get that. But, but, but……

            We know who came to their defence in in full force (on the media front) at least in November – The Islamists and Jihadists from Khartoum, London…………

            So, how do you see that kind of opposition to the PFDJ government not being supported by the majority of Eritreans “in your tell the truth frame of mind”?

            Semere Tesfai

          • Kbrom

            Dear Semere Tesfai,

            Thank you for bringing very important topic.

            You said:

            We know who came to their defence in in full force (on the media front) at least in November

            The Islamists and the Jihadists from Khartoum, London…………

            If I am going to ‘tell the truth frame of my mind’ then I have to ask for clarification on what you said above.

            What do you mean by ‘their’ when you say came to their defence?who are the ‘their’
            Who are this Islamists and the Jihadists from Khartoum, London………… and what did they do or say

            What do you mean when you ask me ‘how do you see that kind of opposition to the PFDJ government’ are you assuming that I am convinced that there was ‘that kind of opposition’?

            I am not trying to return back the ball into your court, I just wanted to have a meaningful discussion that is framed on a correct context.

            With all due respect

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Kbrom

            Let me make it very clear to you.

            – Political opposition framed along religious, ethnic, regional, personal vendetta….. lines is not a winning strategy.

            – Defining the PFDJ government as an ethnic Tigrigna government and trying to defeat it on that ground is not a winning strategy.

            – Believing (the opposition) the PFDJ government is supported only by ethnic Tigrignas is not a winning strategy.

            – Labeling to anyone who voiced ዓገብ (disagreed with the ethnic Tigrigna bashing opposition, organized along ethnic, religious, and regional lines) a PFDJ supporter, is not a winning strategy.

            – Dreaming to defeat, disband, outlaw, weed-out, and
            finally cleanse any traces of PFDJ, while defining PFDJ as ethnic Tigrigna regime is not a winning strategy.

            – Being tool of foreign governments and foreign agents, being on the payroll of foreign governments, preaching and parroting foreign governments hostile policies and talking points – all in the name of opposing the PFDJ regime is not a winning strategy.

            AND THOSE ARE THE ONLY THINGS THE ERITREAN OPPOSITION CAN OFFER TO THE ERITREAN PEOPLE.

            NOW TELL ME WHY THE ERITREAN PEOPLE SHOULD SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION? OR TELL ME WHY I’M WRONG!!

            I hope I made it clear this time.

            Semere Tesfai

          • saay7

            Hey Kbrom:

            I am multilingual and I speak PFDJese so let me help you out. After the arrest of Musa Mohammed Nur, the following events transpired:

            1. Eritreans, Muslims and Christians, demonstrated in London
            2. Eritreans, muslims and Christians, demonstrated in DC
            3. Eritreans, Muslims and Christians, demonstrated in Australia
            4. Eritreans, Muslims and Christians, showed their solidarity on social media
            5. Eritreans, Muslims and Christians, recorded Facebook Live messages in solidarity
            6. A Sudanese preacher, whose concluding messages were for Sudanese to participate in the Government of Omar Albashir’s street cleaning campaign, gave a distorted and Islamo-centric history of Eritrea and expressed his solidarity with the arrested.

            Therefore, in conclusion, clearly, the demonstration against the arrest of Haj Musa Mohammed Nur was supported by Jihadist. I mean you would have to blind not to see this.

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Semere,
            Please do not trivialize the issue.

            1. I care less about who came to their “rescue” if anyone did. You cannot blame Eritrean victims for what some big mouths say elsewhere.

            2. I came to their “defense” (with the humble means at my disposal, writing) just like I did with every Eritrean victim regardless of how you pigeonhole them.

            3. When Eritreans are arrested, focus on their rights and don’t try to trivialize it by bringing whoever wants to capitalize on their suffering. As an Eritrean, you are supposed to focus on the situation of your compatriots, some of who are the age of your children or your fathers.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah SJ,
            I would add “and grand children”. One sided commitment to something is a burden right or wrong.

          • saay7

            Emma:

            I am not trying to persuade them, Emma. 🙂

            saay

          • Desbele

            Selam Saay,
            ኣውቆ የተኛን ቢቀሰቅሱት ኣይሰማም። ናትና እሞ ከኣ ህሉፋት እዮም ፣ ኣብ ሃለፍታ እዮም ዘለው

      • Alex

        Hi Saay,
        I agree with you completely that the Gov have the burden to bring them to court if they think the people they arrested broke the law, if not they should be released. But you lost me when you state “The government has not charged them with anything because there is no law it can cite they violated”. If I am correct on the awate article regarding their arrest states “unknown individuals pelted the security officers with stones. In reaction, the police closed the gates of the graveyard and rounded up the crowd–they hauled close to a thousand people to the Adi Abeito prison in waiting trucks they had parked on the side streets”. So isn’t the security forces have the right to arrest the offending people who throw the stones and then the Gov have the burden to bring them to court of law. I know her in USA, if I throw a stone on police or security officer, I will be charged but I will have my day in court to contest the charge.

        • saay7

          Selamat Alex:

          First of all, the event occurred 3 weeks ago. That is plenty of time time for the government to conduct an investigation and charge or release.

          Second, many of the arrested are underage children. Some are as young as 9 years old. There are laws governing the arrest of underage children.

          Third, the methodology the government uses whether it is with gffa or any roundup is “arrest first, investigate later.” This investigation process can take weeks, months, years because it feels no sense of urgency, no pressure about detaining innocent people from anybody. There have been cases where the government has held people in detention and it has been so long, it forgot why they were detained and it was asking the prisoners why they are detained.

          Fourth, and as a matter of routine, the government never allows family members to visit the imprisoned and, in some cases, even concede they are imprisoned or where.

          So, under these circumstances, it is farcical for the government to pretend there is a rule of law and it is complying with it. And, what triggered my post, it is insane for those who support it to be outraged by what is happening in Ethiopia.

          saay

          • Alex

            Hi Saay,
            Your point is well taken. I am not sure why the Gov are dragging their feet. They should as matter of urgency release the underage children unconditionally and charge the people who throw the stone and release the rest.

          • saay7

            Alex:

            The government is dragging its feet to create one narrative: Eritrea is under assault by Jihadists and Islamists who are using Eritrean Muslim youth as their foot soldiers and thereby endangering Eritrea’s sovereignty and security.

            You can never underestimate the potency of this message in a plural society: it has the ability to give pause to even people you thought were intelligent who will ask, with zero evidence, “could it be true?” It resorts to this every time it feels the heat of popular uprising: the last time it did this was in 2002. That was the year SGJ and I were officially branded as Jihadists and Islamists and we used to get “go back to Bora bora” hate mail. That was the year that the late Ambassador Girma Asmerom told my congressman that my dad was in jail most likely because he is a jihadist. IA has been using the fear of “Jihad” since Nehnan Elamanan–where he accuses ELF of being Jihadists. he knew of the potency of the word long before the average Eritrean Muslim knew what the word meant. It is the old reliable in Eritrean politics.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay (Aya Adi’U),

            For Issayas and his colleagues “Juhadist and Islamist” is the potent propaganda they have been using for dividing the Eritrean people, since he split from ELF organization. Unfortunately, that kind of propaganda has found traction on one side of our religious divide. It is not a secret then, that those kind of propaganda do also create mistrusts and affected the current unity of the opposition camp. Semere Tesfay’s comment in response to Kibrom in itself is sending similar message in this forum. Whether we like or not the religious divide is real in Eritrean politics. The Eritrean people scared to admit about it, talk about it, and deal with it.

            Imagine, if for liberal like you and SG called you Islamist and Jihadist, for being a Muslim, just think how effective their brainwash manual is to divide the Eritrean society in perpetuity. The made our people the victim of their own fears. We have a serious problem that demand serious citizens that deal with the fear of our people in order to find solutions to our predicaments. We are not honest to admit it and deal with it. Wether it was directly or indirectly, I was calling to deal with it in all my writings. Problems can not be resolved by themselves without the intervention of genuine and honest people.

            Regards

      • Nitricc

        HEY SAAY; when you said this ” Your priorities continue to be misplaced. Compare:” please read what is said and discussed on this forum. It is only crime when I said anything about Ethiopia. Reading above, every so called Eritrean is talking about Ethiopia, including you, where is your and their priorities?

        • saay7

          Nitrric, is this a serious question? Here is the difference:

          We talk about Eritrea and Ethiopia.
          You (and all Eri regime apologists, defeatists and look-over-there-ists) talk only about Ethiopian victims of Ethiopian government but never (NEVER, EVER, EVER) about Eritrean victims of Eritrean government.
          Clearer now?

    • Teodros Alem

      Selam Nitricc
      What the tplf/eprdf doing is diversion.
      They waited until bekele gerba and other oromos leave the spot and than they started arrest the 12 guys.
      Basically eprdf is sending signal for its supporters and other to not to worry .
      After the diversion successfully worked , they will release them.
      The diversion is something to do with the next pm.

      • Nitricc

        Hi Teddy; what happened to Qerro? I told you it was nothing but a psychological warfare. I think TPLF figured it out that one. Not bad for a dedebit.

        • blink

          Dear Nitricc
          Around 300 Oromo officials are taken prison and these are from the party as well as state police officers. The rounding of Oromo officials is going smooth for TPLF and we can expect Lema to go down the pipe . Relax , I can mention people from Akria and I know about Akria , I mean I can defend myself from saay , don’t mention Ethiopian politics thing 😂

        • Teodros Alem

          Selam Nitricc
          It looks like they(tplf) already disused to fight the opposite including qerro with a little change of faces but who will win remain to be seen.
          I heard most tigraians r leaving oromai and selling property that tells me they don’t want to live in peace(democracy) with the people.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Teddy; I heard no Ethnic of Tigray is present in Bahir-Dar. There were few Eritreans hotels that are taken by Tigryans when Eritrean were deported, Karma a bitch and now the Tigryans has abounded their “properties” and fled to Tigray. I don’t blame them though. I would have done the same thing. things are tight and serious.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam Nitricc
            I know that too. Anyways i say tplf decision is more good for the opposition for intensifies the struggle. It will creat more favorable ground for the opposition.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Teddy; As long as the Oromo and Amara stayed apart and stay distrust of each other, TPLF going nowhere. My fear is the longer the tension the worst the situation gets. I am not comparing it but Egypt, Libya and Morocco were in trouble and quickly resolved the problem, yet, when you see Syria, the same problem but it took years and treble human and material lose. So, I think it is for the good of Ethiopia this thing will come to its conclusions.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam Nitricc
            Agree. If u see the last 2-3 years the ethnic poltics get more stronger and now they trying to counter balance the other said( look ebc now days) .
            That is been the case for the last 27 years and i don’t know how the oppositions don’t get it. The opposition have been played by the same game over and over again.
            The other problem is the fake opposition and cyber warriors the likes of abi(blink). they r all over the media diverting, dividing the people.

  • Selam All,

    African free trade agreement involving more than 50 african countries, with the aim to create a borderless free trade area extending over the whole continent, leading to possible economic integration and creating an african common market, has been signed by more than 40 countries, with the notable exception of the biggest economy, Nigeria.

    Ethiopia is a signatory, but i am not aware of what asmara has done. Whether this big plan to bring together african countries may or may not succeed, nevertheless, what is the position of the eritrean regime?

    • Hayat Adem

      Hi Horizon,
      The Eritrean regime’s eyes are never on such grand stuff; they are always after dark deals and dirty economy. Although I don’t know for sure if they have signed for this one or not, I’ve always known them to be allergic to mutual growth, regional integration and normal plans of cooperation.

    • blink

      Dear Horizon
      PFDJ are not signatories AFTA , they believe they can play around with Controband as they always do. But frankly the free trade agreement at this stage is just as the other AU dreams. It will not work for the African people as a whole .It is going to serve the Multinational coorporations and their kids . Africa has many more years to be beneficial from this .

    • halafi me(n)gedi

      Horizon,

      Happy and hopeful with initiative, but very skeptical…and it seem trivial, at least at this time, to focus on who signed and who didn’t (includes SA, Zim, Bot, Nam, Tan, Er…total 11 countries). Also a little worrying that an organization that can’t enforce its basic charters and agreements, would be inept at resolving trade disputes in the future and passible leading to more resentment and confrontation.

      hm

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi everyone;
    I was alerted to this racist Israeli diplomat talking about infiltrators from Eritrea and South Sudan (while actually they are refugees according to the UNHCR). I am glad the journalist has fiercely cornered and grilled him with strong facts like it should be but I must say this man has no sign of shame when saying that Israeli gives them financial incentives to be relocated or put them in a detention centers and he calls that a choice for them. This man speaks about protecting the Jewish purity. Shame!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhnCnuuSVik

    • Selam Hayat Adem,

      The mantra of a “pure jewish nation” has been evil not only to arabs and others, but also to jews themselves as well.

      One has to remember the case of de-arabization of jewish children who returned from arab countries to the newly formed jewish state, who were separated from their parents to bring them up as pure jews with no arab culture, which they acquired by living with arabs through many centuries in north africa and yemen.

      I doubt how much an ethiopian jew is jewish enough to the racist european jews (ashkenazi jews). Ethiopian female jews were given a long-acting contraceptive injection (depo provera), without their knowledge. Ethiopian jews blood donation was thrown away at one point, without the knowledge of the blood donor.

      Now, when they speak of sending refugees to a third country with a one-way ticket and $3500 or to a detention camp in the desert, it is the same old story.

      Nobody is saying that israel should absorb all the refugees, nevertheless, acknowledging their refugee status and not calling them “infiltrators”, and asking the unhcr to help the refugees reach their final destination they are asking for, could have been more humane. The good thing is that, although the jewish state is racist, as many people say, nevertheless, there are many democratic citizens who are opposed to its policy.

      • iSem

        Hi Horizon and Hayat:
        The idea of purity in the state of Israel is a pipe dream, I believe Israel is at cross roads now, it has to decide whether be a “pure” Jews state or a multi-cultural state. It has Arabs whose number are increasing fast and it has blacks, so the idea of purity as disgusting as it is, it is also impossible, if they push it, they it will not succeed and it may endanger the success Israel has made in the future
        Now about the Eri refuges, Israel has options, it should do a better job at protecting its borders, offer some asylum, deport those who become PFDJ lackeys after arriving in Israel. Like Israel I have no sympathy for those who take all the risk to come to Israel, then go back to PFDJ, Israel should just deport them to Eri, it should not host those who are PFDJ supporters. It is these liars who are mudding the waters for the genuine justice seekers. And Europe and USA and Canada should also do the same, those who go back home after securing their papers should be mercilessly deported
        I also can tell you about Eritreans in general, they hate the state of Israel, well I know what Peteros Solomon said that Eritreans have a common with the Israelites, he was insinuating that we won against all odds and Dr. Aradom said to YPFDJ gathering that we have to be like the Jews. Both lies, first we did not go through what the Jews went through, second we cannot be like the Jews with out the support of our state, Israel has created a country that should be the envy of others but Dr. Aradom is telling us to be like the Jews without creating the state values its citizens, without a united community orgs that work for the betterment of Eritreans in different areas
        Israel gives asylum protection to very few Eritreans and you cannot blame them, blame it on us, overwhelming number of people say they came for work because they were told so by the translators who are PFDJ stooges and second they go dance at the PFDJ organized nights like headless chickens and the authorities know about this. Sal was partly right when he said we have not created an alternative community for these refugees to come to, but also the ambivalent of many of the refuges to have it both ways back fires at them, Europe is gives them slack but not israel for obvious reasons and racism may play a role but it is not the only reason. The refugees could have faired better have they insisted they were political refugees and not economic. Still with all the racism and Israel’s adamant stance against the refugees Eritrea live better life because Israel is the land of laws, let us admit that

  • Hope

    RIP!
    I was honored to meet /to have met and to honor this Eritrean Icon in one of Eritrean Social Events!
    (KEREN High School Reunion,I believe as the Guest of Honor,if my memory is serving me correct??).
    Am I right Usataz SGJ-one of the events u,unfortunately,missed??
    I vividly remember that glowing face!
    Ms Dkan U. talks a lot about him.

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi all,
    An Eritrean gave this testimony:
    In Sudan, we get kidnapped and sold; in Egypt we get auctioned and sold; in Libya we are sold over and over again; Israel pays Rwanda $5 000 for our resettlements; and worst of all, our president demands $50 000 from Israel for our deportation and torture. This is what it means to be an Eritrean refugee in 2018! It is an enigma that I fail to resolve….
    Hayat

  • Hayat Adem

    And my condolences to you, hon SGJ. Take much comfort as his seems a very fulfilled life.
    Hayat

    • Beyan

      Selam Hayat,

      Indeed Ustaaz Kannoni’s life appears to have been one in which he had an immense reverence for a society with educated lots in it and made sure his students were challenged with their educational endeavors. He worked toward that end most of his life even during the thick and the thin of the liberation war. In fact, I was talking to a friend whose dad was one generation at a remove from that of Ustaaz Kannoni’s, nonetheless, he, too, passed on and was a principal of a school as well. Up until ghedli started, these great generations understood the importance of education and made sure not only their own kids received excellent education, but also the entire community in which they happen to be either administrating or teaching or both. Ustaaz Kannoni a good example of that. Although Aqordat was his home but he ended up moving to Keren where he left such rich legacy that one can see from the video clip I shared previously.

      Ustaaz Kannoni’s generation comprised of the then bright students like Yemane weddi Tesfahannis Berhe – may he rest in peace as well. These were not only educated in Addis university, but received scholarship to attend at American University in Beirut. This friend knew Yemane from his Rome days, and he says that’s what Yemane would tell him about Ustaaz Kannoni who was on top of that list of the scholarship recipients. As SGJ’s piece attests, Ustaaz Kannoni expected nothing less than excellence both from the teachers and the students as a director of the school he managed in Keren. In SGJ’s own words:

      “Though he was the school director—a role all students considered his other job—he was seen as a no-nonsense teacher and an excellent educator. Unfortunately for the other teachers, he set the bar so high, students measured them on the Ustaz-Mahmud-Kannoni yardstick. And he stood almost alone on top of that yardstick, towering over the rest.”

      We keep on losing towering figures without recording their stories the way that it should be recorded. Instead, we are losing them either to the vagaries of life in exile or to the merciless regime that continues to hasten the deaths of the great generation we’ve had; and all that we can do is be left stupefied each time we hear of some such news.

      BN

  • said

    Greetings,
    For every Eritrean diaspora can truly experience beauty at every instance; in every place at any circumstance; It is seeing beyond the obvious; It is the cleansing of the Mind and the Heart at the breaking of the morning to entwine with the unfathomable wider universe; the boundless realms of unlimited possibilities;
    Seeing the positive in the Divine’s creations by conditioning the Mind and Heart to discern the wheat from the chafe even in the most wrenching moments, at each challenge to one’s senses, sensibilities and perceived ideal realities;
    Living beauty at every instance by eliciting the ultimate purpose and meaning of existence, even at the most cynical episodes as one relaxes the guards over one’s emotions and preconceived ideas, thoughts and sensory perceptions; It is living Divinity as the emanating source in the oneness of the mind, the soul and the spirit.
    Vanishes all Dichotomies, Separation walls, between the perceived actual and the imaginary, for, in the continuum of existence, in the wider unfathomable universe, they all unite in eternity;
    It is living beyond the limitation of the I, the prison of the ego that blocks the rays of the morning sun;
    Ever unbounded; ever free to float with each perceived novelty of an ever-boundless universe: a feather flying in the wind; unobstructed rays of the sun; the clouds ushering in announcements of the renewal and the rebirth of life. Smile to the world, bounty and colorful as we internalize in an expression of a larger self in a perfect harmony of a man and nature.
    For every Eritrean diaspora, written and speaking about Eritrea country can be somewhat emotional and personal and different precative. For us as diaspora, the experiences of leaving former identities framed in memories of the our beautiful country , land scape , diverse people, food smells, tastes, older children smiles, children laughter, tears and other feelings wrapped in the our divers ethnic native tongues and rebuilding our own personhoods and lives in foreign words, living in foreign land with different custom – A new foreign scopes, adjusting to new foreign frameworks held together with our Eritrean divers culture and values, way of life’s and beliefs and norms of others gives us a special opportunity to see Eritrea dimensionally differently .Some of us recognize the mechanisms carefully hidden by the very machination of the social structure. The revelation, at the same time, reveals our essential beings hidden in our former-selves.
    Eritrean refuge each have his own stories of individuals that are also the stories of a people forced into exile by Ethiopian imperial power, greater than they. King Haile Selassie and his western allies include the world’s two most powerful governments. Those allies have proven time and time again that justices, international law, compassion and fairness are not what motivates them. This has created a political situation that tried and failed miserably but continues to try and erase Eritrean and its people from the annals of history. Yet, they have not succeeded in that task. Eritrea got its independence. A thirty year of struggle and what a phenomenal testament to the courageousness of the human spirit. And today some how we have the same spirit but set in totally different time and place. That these narratives of unique lives lived in that exile diaspora land and scattered and in wandering around. Eritrean refuge they are as old as humanity itself and as new as the last refuge escaping Eritrean from IA regime, it is about their survival. Survival in desperate, dangerous and desolate circumstances; Eritrean political circumstances created by IA and his corny armies and sell out minions whose understanding of the human spirit is only that it is something that must be crushed at will, and many end up suffering at the brutal hands of IA regime.
    Each individuals tell tale is a brutal story , with different interpretations of the circumstances and consequences escaping destruction of their lives, yet heart-rending reminder of how heartless decisions by IA regime destroy normalcy families, faith, love, youth hopes and dreams. Despite the fear, despair, desolation and often facing high death risk, their stories and whose lives they describe maintain hope. It is that hope that not only keeps them live, but also what gives these tales their integral humanity.
    Eritrean experience and descriptions of violence, passions, love and desperation and many stated to weave a new life in a new land, a tapestry of the Eritrean experience in their short voyage human history. For most Eritrean experience in diaspora. One thing is clear is that the idea, as Eritrean people, a national custom and strong heritage exists within the heart and souls of those who share it. Nothing in common with IA regime —not wars, not fighting and not guns, not hate, not serving as salve can remove that idea living in peace. Numerous writings from Eritrean have made this clear, but few have done so as adroitly and poetically as awate site has done here. Antonio Gramsci used to say that cultural resistance is either the rehearsal for political resistance or the means employed when political resistance is not possible.

  • said

    My sincere condolence to Ustad Mahmoud-kannoni families, Ina lilah we ina ileihi rajiu’n. Allah Yerhamou. Give glad tidings to those who patiently endure, who say when afflicted with a calamity: “To Allah we belong and to Him we return.” They are those on whom (descend) blessings and mercy from their Lord, and they are the ones who receive guidance.” (Qur’an Surah Baqarah; 2:155-157)
    One of the most difficult times that we have to face is the devastating period we go through when someone very dear and precious is no longer with us. The feelings of bereavement and deprivation overcome us, May Allah give patience to his remaining families

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear SGJ,

    Sorry, just returned from a long trip.

    The essence of your eloquent eulogy and the shrouded sense of loss it conveys leave no room for doubt about the sincerity and immensity of the respect and gratitude you have for the man – a man who, from your account, seems to have had a major influence on your life as your teacher, family friend and even a personal friend. Your eulogy further reveals that Ustaz Mahmoud Mohammed Ali is an icon of Eritrea’s ingenuity-created, unpretentious and first-rate school system of a bygone era which gave our old-generation intelligentsia an academic springboard that catapulted them to great successes and accomplishments in life.

    Those of us who are not afraid to look back at our recent past through the lens of history and take pride in recognizing that Eritrea had built outstanding social institutions recognized for their excellence and discipline – those of us who take that stand join you in bidding farewell to one of the custodians of those fine institutions. Ustaz Mahmoud Mohammed Ali is one of the last departing members of a ‘dying breed’ – both literally and figuratively – of dedicated and committed old-generation Eritreans who built and run those exceptional institutions thereby making that glorious era possible. We honor them all on this somber occasion! We express these views not in a futile attempt to dwell in the past (as the perverted and the wicked would allege), but in affirmation of our firm conviction that the Eritrean people can emulate the spirit of these great citizens and make history repeat itself for Eritrea!

    Thank you, Saleh for eulogizing such a great man in such exquisitely touching words and for sharing your feelings with us. May his soul rest in peace and may Allah give his loved ones, family and friends the strength to go through this time of their great loss.

    • Beyan

      Selam Yohannes & Kbrom,

      Events have a way of getting ahead of us sometimes, making it next to impossible to keep participating in this otherwise dynamic medium (aka, awate forum). Thanks to Paulos, Kbrom, Ismail AA., Haile S., Sal Y., MS, SGJ, Tzigereda, Amanuel H., Berhe Y., Ghezae, Burhan, Peace, Mez, iSem, Semere Tesfay, Said, Sara, Nitricc, Blink, Hope, Horizon, Amde, Kaddis, Kim Hanna, etc. I know I am bound to forget some, but the point is: It is the collective dynamism that keeps this forum going to a point when individuals go missing for a while, the conversation keeps rolling.

      A case in point, I stopped participating some seven days back, the last of which I believe was when I gave a response to Amanuel Hidrat about The Hague International Women’s Day bit. Someone from the AT suggested – seemingly in passing – as to why not ‘I write an article if I felt so strongly about the subject matter’. So, I thought it was an excellent idea and I did. I submitted the piece I believe some five days ago. But, events not only have a way of getting in the way at personal level as in time constraints and such but also in public matters as well. The two book reviews were already in line for publishing, a poem in Tigrinya, and now the passing of Ustaaz Kannoni, understandably were given precedence. So, the piece that I submitted, will perhaps be irrelevant now, because I now see over 550 commentaries being registered under the article of Dr. Sadia, probably rendering some of my arguments moot points as there could have been individuals who preempted it. Obviously, I am speculating, because I stopped following the commentaries. But, I will leave that call for the AT to make. They know far more than I as I am someone who just writes when the muse calls for it, sparsely at that. So, Yohannes, this is one heck of a convoluted way of telling you not feel guilty about the time constraints. We all are on the same boat in this regard. Let me now turn my attention to the main reason for writing this entry.

      I saw Ustaaz Kannoni about three years ago in Garden Grove, California masjid in a Friday prayer. The reverence and the respect his two children, Mustofa and Idris, showed in taking care of their father who was praying, at this point, while seated on a chair, was just heartwarming. You can feel the love, the connection between a father and his sons. And the farewell piece from SGJ combined with the clip below, a picture emerges of a man who lived life to its fullest. What was stunning to me was that back in the 60s and 70s, teachers like the late Ustaaz Kannoni knew not only the importance of education, but made sure that learning was imparted via “student centered” approach, which is now, one of the major components in educational system, at least, in the US, the country I consider home, of which I feel comfortable talking about. The late Brazilian scholar, Paulo Freire popularized this concept of treating children not as blank slates or as he referred to it a “banking model”, where knowledge is deposited into children’s minds without due regard to its criticality; rather he argued the approach of learning should be student centered, what’s now known as “funds of knowledge”. I am not sure if Freire coined the latter, but that’s essentially the opposite of the banking model, which is what Ustaaz Kannoni mentions in the video clip, though the term he uses is student centered. So, the man, has contributed a great deal to a community of Keren students like SGJ and many more who were applauding when he was telling them stories from an educator’s perspective what it is they were trying to inculcate in their children when he was an educator. There is a beautiful story he tells about uniforms in how young girls in a coed setting were subverting the society’s conservative norms by washing their clothes, the-below-the knee-uniform began to turn into above-the-knee due to the shrinkages that occurs when clothes are washed. At any rate, the passing of any person is bound to bring issues of God, religion, spirituality, and the like, because that’s how we attempt to draw comfort for ourselves and for those who lost their loved ones.

      I deem it not only necessary but important and the right time to illustrate further about the Friday bit I referenced above when I saw this moving interaction between Ustaaz Kannoni and his two children. Yes, I love the spiritual end of the Friday prayer. Yes, I am one of those who made his peace with that part of my life as someone who thoroughly enjoys Fridays, Ramadans, and the two Eids, and I am quite content with it – no more, no less. And, it is why I enjoyed Haile S’s response below because it speaks to the major religion adherents’ inconceivability that there could be individuals within these major religions who may fill the array of spectrum between the strict adherents of their respective Books on the one end of it and those who are completely removed from such belief system altogether on the other end of it. Of course, there are those who fall in-between these two extreme spectrums, variations thereof can fill in the gaps in between. I contend it is the latter groups who are the bridge between the two extremes who keep life’s hues more colorful. This reminds me of a joke, it is said, the man at the helm of power in Eritrea having said when asked this question: “Who is the majority in Eritrea, Muslims or Christians?” His tongue-in-cheek response: “እቶም ዘይሰግዱ ሐዊስካስ ንሕና ንበዝሕ ኢሉ መሊሹ ይበሃል::”

      Here then is Haile S’s response to Awelkher’s article that you can find in Awate’s Tigrinya page. Below it is Ustaaz Kannoni’s speech, most of which is in English with sprinkles of Tigrayit in between. Sound quality can be rough on one’s ears if one is using earpiece to listen to it, especially during the clapping of the audience, at which point I suggest the removing of the earpiece until the clapping subsides, lest you irritate those delicate eardrums.

      ስላም ኣወልኼር

      ‘ሃይማኖታዊ ጎንጺ ዝበሃል የለን’ ዝብል ንሰላምን ንምስምማዕን ዘምርሕ ጽሑፍካ ኣንቢበዮን ፈትየዮን። ኣቀማምጣ ሓሳባትካ ሓፈሻዊን ታሪኽዊ ዝሓዘለ ኮይኑ ብቐጥታ ንሃገርና እንዳጠመትካ ዝጸሓፍካዮ ጌረ እየ ተረዲኤዮ። ስለዝኾነ ከኣ ንቕድሚት ዝጥምት ከምዚ ዝኣመሰለ ልዙብ ዘረባ ኩልና በብኣረዳድኣና ክንድግፎን ክንስዕቦን ዝግባእ እዩ እብል። ናይ እምነትን ናይ ዘይምእማን (ምኽሓድ፡ ብኣዛራርባኻ) ነገር፡ ኣከራኻሪ እዩ። ንስኻ ግና፣ እምነት ልዕሊ ኹሉ ጌርካ ኣቐሚጥካ፣ ኣብ ምእማን’ሲ ዘይምስምማዕ ክህሉ ኣይክእልን ኣይግባእን በሃላይ ኢኻ። ነዞም ዘይንኣምን (ከሓድቲ)፡ “እግዚኣብሔር ዘይሓዘሎም ንሕናውን ኣይንሓዘሎም ስለ ዘይፈለጥዎ እዮም” ኢልካ ኣብ መቑሕ ኣመንቲ ዘእተኻና ትመስል። እምበኣርከስ ኣብ ሃገርና እቶም ኣዚኹም ትበዝሑ ኣመንቲ ስለ ዝኾንኩም፡ ንስኹም እዞም ኣመንቲ ጥራይ ድ’ኣ ተሳማምዑ እምበር፣ ብሓባር ኰንኩም እዚ ከሓዲ እትብልዎ ናይ እምነት ጸላኢ፡ ርኸቡ እምበር፡ ንሕናስ ብኢድኩም ትኒዕ ኣይትበሉና እምበር፡ ንዘረባኹም መልሲ ንቓላትኩም ዕጽፊ ቃላት ኣይንሓምቕን ኢና።

      ኣብ ዝተፈላለየ ኣርእስቲ ምጽሓፍ ንኸይተቋርጽ እማሕጸነካ

      ሃይለ

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUnpixQfb3M

      • Paulos

        Selam Dr. Beyan,

        You’ve been greatly missed when the forum needed you the most where the issue at hand was languages and when some Tigrinya words seem to be disappearing into oblivion and replaced with often times a chimera of words and sometimes by the caricature of the original words. And the participation of the ladies as in Drs. Sara, Tzigereda and the one and only Abrehet was not only the icing on the cake but the cake itself. Great to see you back brother!

        • Beyan

          merHaba Dr. Paulos,

          It’s kind of you to say you missed my participation while at the same time very temptingly you to tell me the nature of the topic I’ve missed. Now, where in the world does one even begin when there are 550 entries. If my recollection serves me right, I left the scene when the entry was at less than 200. The lesson that one must glean is this: If at all possible to keep abreast of the conversation in the forum, which can be a hard sell sometimes.

          If I am complaining about less than 300 entries, imagine of our future historians who will be condemning us for making their job so difficult if and when they want to unearth some primary source as to what we were doing when our country was being robbed in daylight for 26 years. Perhaps, there is an inadvertent solace in knowing their job will be made so difficult that they will give up their virtual archaeological dig at our present predicament. Oh, well, it is what is. Life goes on, we will continue expressing our feelings, trepidations, dreams, nightmares, and the endless suffering that our countrymen and countrywomen are facing.

          Cheers,
          Beyan

          • Haile S.

            Welcome back Yahannes and Beyan and selam all,
            Beyan let alone 550 entries, These few sweet comments starting fron Yohannes’s, and the video links already took a chunk of my morning making me almost forget going to the shower. በሉ ሕጂስ ናብ መንጫዕጫዕታይ ክኣቱ። Paul, don’t compare me with IA again:-) 🙂 🙂 .

          • Paulos

            ሃይላት,

            IA ከማኻ ምዄን ኣበየናይ ዕድሉ ክረኽቦ. ገጹ ትርሓቕ!

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Selam kubur Haile S,

            It has been such a long time!

            Thank you for the positive remark regarding the few things we threw out for discussion. And I am sorry that, as a “side effect”, they caused a disruption in your morning routine. 🙂 But what you do not know is that, using your outstanding skills in two languages, you have done worse things to me not only once, not twice but multiple times. 🙂 🙂 Many will agree with me that when one encounters a person who shoots, as you do, with a double-barreled cannon that alternately fires “humor-tipped” and “wisdom-tipped” bullets, one can do nothing else, but sit THERE mesmerized for considerable number of minutes overwhelmed by the effectiveness of that weapon!! So having had such an experience a few times, and on your account, I am not about to offer you much sympathy for an inconvenience as tiny as “having a delayed shower” that you claim our simple statements to have caused you.:-) 🙂 🙂

            Good day, brother.

      • Ismail AA

        Hayak Allah alf kheir ya Dr. Beyan,

        Nice to have you back. As our Paulos has aptly observed, to me your absence was very much felt at a point when there was need fo your contribution that could have added value to our understanding because I know the area that makes part of your forte.

        That said, moreover, I personally feel compensated in part by the pertinent and deserving eulogy you included in this entry. Greatness of learned and knowledgeable persons is they append their messages by generous bonuses like shopkeepers in old days in our towns used to do when we were children. You remember they used to give a candy (meqshish). As children we used to return to a shop that gave more. Thank you, sir, for your words about the great teacher and the idea of student-centered teaching system. This should a not to be missed motto in our lives.

        • Beyan

          Allah yaHayyik Ustazna Ismail AA.,

          As always, your signature intros are such heartwarming, they compel reciprocity from those who respond to your entries. You have deep understanding of The law of reciprocity, the concept I just thought I’d look up. And here is what popped up as the first answer: “Social psychologists call it The Law of Reciprocity – and it basically says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed.”

          So, there you go. Granted, nobody can match your signature intros let alone exceeding it, but we all try though, for that we deserve a little ሞቕሺሽ. I don’t know if it is derivative of ምቐሸሺ as in መቀባጠሪ. My hunch is ሞቕሺሽ is derivative of the Arabic term በቕሺሽ as Egyptians are fond of saying ማበቐሺሽ ያሓቢቢ. We’ve had sizable Yemenis who owned mini 7-11s (convenience stores) in the local neighborhoods. Perhaps, they started using the terms as they give us Halawat as በቕሺሽ and the word was appropriated into the Tigrinya sphere to be known as ሞቕሺሽ. I am certain there are variations to this in different parts of Eritrea or even within Asmara proper.

          I completely agree with you. And I thank you for fishing out the most important message out of my longwinded rhetorical screed. The take away point ought to be that these are our great generation as the well known TV anchor (now former TV anchor Tom Brokaw), in a book by the same title has called American who came of age during the Depression of 1920s and 1930s and went on to fight in WWII. The generation of Ustaaz Kannoni and that of Haj Musa and Haj Mohammed Abrar (who is still in jail) and many others who didn’t really get the accolades they deserve from the regime in Eritrea, what they’ve gotten, in fact, is debasement and worst. These are now a dying generation never to be heard from. Each time we lose one of them is each time feel an entire library is burning down right in front of our eyes to which also Ustaaz Kannoni makes an explicit mention by imploring his listens to keep taking two or three books each time they went to Keren. Apparently, there is a vibrant library there that he references.

          Each time we lose men and women of this generation, each time I am at pains to remember of the most recent interview that the historian Alemseghed had mentioned about this very problem in which he said that sometimes due time constraints, before one can get to interview, some just pass on. In fact, I will post it as soon as I find the link to that interview.

      • Kbrom

        Asenay eb dahan metsaeka senetka re’ena Dr Beyan.

        Your presence makes one feel warm, excited, and more than any thing else, your existence helps us to learn a lot from your educative values. Please do not disappear.

        I absolutely concur with your observation on Ismail; his humble character is near perfectionism. As they say ‘true humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Ismail has all the characteristics, he teaches, leads by example, gives respect and love, pursues greatness and yet he is always like “I know that I know nothing. He is blessed as God gives grace to the humble.

        Re: ባቕሽሽ I agree with your comments most likely by the Yemenis in ዱካን ባሕበሽ ባሙሽሙሽ ባሸባኽ etc. Because you ask ባቕሽሽ only when you visit ዱካን but not in other businesses.

        Looking forward to read your article Beyanom ደሃይካ ኣይተሓባእ።

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Dr. Beyan and Kbrom,

          I am humbled by generosity of both of you. This is the essence of sharing our humanity. Respecting and loving fellow human beings, and valuing good deeds, are bounties that make our humanity full. Those blessed by awareness of this practice it unawares; it’s just part of an existence.

          In my case, which may sometime sound burdensome due to repetition, it was a kind of family circle law that my late father used to remind us at every opportunity. Everyone in our neighborhood used to hear his voice when he passed through the raw of houses saying good morning and good evening and stopping here and there to enquire about whether everything was fine.

          That said, moreover, Dr. Beyan is correct on the word በቕሺሽ; and ሞቕሺሽ is a corruption that we as children had used without awareness of its meaning. In Arabic is defined as gratuity or fee gift. Its modern use is equivalent to a tip or incentive to attract customers or as token of appreciation of service given.

          I would like to thank Dr. Beyan for reminding us about Haj Mohammed Abrar who is along his companions and thousands suffering in the hellish dungeons of the regime. After the passing away of Hajji Musa, he is the bearer of the banner of lofty moral authority that reminds us of our duties towards them and the cause of our people.

          • Paulos

            Selam Kbur Haw Ismail AA,

            Thank you so much including Ato Kbrom and Dr. Beyan for the lesson of the day. At Awate, we always learn something new where Wiki doesn’t have in its store. How about launching Wiki-Awate?

            Now I know the root word for ሞቕሽሽ where ሓለዋት comes to mind. Have a question though, can you please shed some light on the history of the Yemenis as in their arrival in Eritrea (when)? I knew about the prominent families as in እንዳባ ሙሽሙሽ and እንዳባ ሓበሽ who trace their roots to Yemen. No? Have always been curious to know the time line about their arrival to Eritrea.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Dr. Paulos,

            Answering the question you asked is at least a first degree worth. Some young aspiring student could pick it as challenging subject and can write viable hypothesis. Anyway, let me beg and consult my tiring memory from my old school days and jot a few sentences.

            Of course, I surmise with confidence that you not unware about the many centuries old interconnection of the history of the peoples who inhabited the eastern and western littoral coasts of the Red Sea and their respective hinterlands. The Adulis-Qohaito-Tekonda’a-Metera-Yeha- Axum in parts of what makes today Eritrea, and Hadramout- Sana’a- Hadramout regions had seen exchanges of migrations from centuries back. Historians trace the name Habasha itself to Hadrami ancient language which the Europeans later transformed to Abyssinia. But this is the broader part of ancient history with which you and many in this forum are familiar with.

            But you question targets more recent developments.
            What I can state in rather hasty manner is that there was substantial migration of Yemenis, mostly from the Hadramout area, in late 19th to early 20th century. This is what a Dutch researcher, Marina de Fegt in an article “From Yemen to Eritrea and Back: A Twentieth Century Family History, April 2017” had reported. One of the factors she mentioned was the construction of the Djbouti-Addis Ababa railway and opportunities it had offered. At the turn of 20th Century, migration gathered pace, and many of Yemeni opportunity seekers settled in Eritrea and Ethiopia and took up trade and commerce as their main occupation. In Ethiopia, the imperial state was vey much cooperative because the Yemenis proved productive in import and export business.

            In respect to Eritrea, too, the Yemeni migrants did the same. They principally engaged in trade and commerce, and with expansion of urbanization after the arrival of the Italians, their role in the economy of the country became significant. There was hardly no urban settlement in Eritrea where one did not find Yemenis. The took up import-export business and all kinds of utilities and service shops. Some who did not have capital to start business did hard work and took up jobs locals considered menial and despised like loading and unloading transport trucks. I remember the word ረፋዕ, which means in Arabic to carry or haul, was used as demeaning term referred to the Yemeni laborers. Many had started in that capacity and became successful business holders. Yemeni migrants were conspicuous presence on many levels of Eritrean economy until the security situation affected them and many of them left.

          • Beyan

            Dear Ismail AA & Dr. Paulos,

            Gentlemen, this, indeed, is less explored frontier that is worthy of a scholarship. My memory about the Yemenis is within the confines, not in how they came to settle, but as the settled fixtures of Asmara and its environs much as one saw Italians as well as Indians better known as Baynans as in enda Kothari, who I suppose were the ones who brought us Indian films.

            At any rate, as Ismail, you rightly surmised, the Yeminis, most of whom were from Hadremot who did intermarry with the locals a lot. In Akhriya’s case, at least in my neighborhood, there were two convenience stores, to our left and right (end dukkan), both of whom, Saleh & Ali, had habesha wives. Their children were part and parcel of the Akhriya character. The latter was killed in a dawn as he went to shuq to buy some “bani” to sell for his customers, which would’ve been us, Akhriyan residents. It is said that he was killed in a robbery attempt, those who wanted whatever little money he had killed him with a knife at the crack of dawn. Saleh, beAl dukkan ended up vacating. Although my recollection of the time is that he was one of the causalities of politics, where Yemenis were uprooted by fiat of the Dergue, which I didn’t understand how or why that would be at the time. You guys come up with such intriguing ideas and questions that tickles the memory bank in such a way that one is left with no option but to juggle it until it produces the stories stored within. Thank you both for that.

            BN

          • Paulos

            Selam Kbur Haw Ismail and Dr. Beyan,

            Thank you both so much. The Yemenis have their prints with in the Eritrean urban culture and the language as well but for some curious reason, it hasn’t gained intellectual traction where one is yet to find a literature to that effect.

            As Ismail rightly pointed out, it could be problematic to pin down a specific timeline to see when the influx to Eritrea started for the reason that the close geographical proximity probably made is a common phenomenon since time immomorial. Hope one would rise up to the challenge to undertake a study where the heading is “Yemenis in Eritrea.” Thank you again.

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Dear Beyan,

        Thank you for your comprehensive commentary. Like you, I have not followed the second half of the discussion that evolved around Dr. Sadia’s article. I therefore have nothing to say in relation to the issue you raised at the end of your comment. I would nevertheless like to say a few words in relation to some of the other points you touched upon in the same comment.

        For many of us, it appears difficult to stop thinking or talking about the seemingly unavoidable feeling of discomfort (if not guilt) that most people experience when they fall short of the amount of time needed to do all the things they MUST do and those they WOULD LOVE to do. But I guess that is an inescapable fact of life for the majority of people and something we all must learn to live with. So, thank you for your repeated advice that reminds me of that fact and which I find reassuring.

        I concur with, and share in, your appreciation and praise of dedicated forumers (a representative list of whom you included in your comment) whose intellectual contributions continue to make Awate.com the excellent forum that it is – a debating and learning forum from which I for one continue to learn and benefit immensely.

        I thoroughly enjoy reading your articles and would like to see more of them posted. Unfortunately, “pressing” you to do so (or insisting on that wish) would only take us straight back to the issue of time constraint! On my part, I am content believing that the comments/rejoinders you post on a multiplicity of threads generated by a variety of articles and opinions is no less valuable than the ideas you would put in article(s). I therefore encourage you to continue contributing to the discourse in a manner that suits you best and one that conforms with your schedule.

        Finally, I would like to thank you very much for sharing the clip on Ustaz Mahmoud Mohammed Ali’s address to the ‘Keren High School Reunion’ participants. My earlier positive impression of the man was only reinforced by what I watched and heard in the clip. Mind you, I had no first-hand knowledge of Ustaz Mahmoud or his background. But Saleh’s brief historical account of the man enabled me to “see” him through what I had heard and read about one of Ustaz Mahmoud’s contemporaries and a fellow “club member” of that “dying breed” of dedicated Eritreans I spoke of in my earlier comment. Upon watching the clip, I was gratified to discover that I was not, after all, far off in my visualization of his personality, the ideals he stood for and the pride he has in his former students. But I claim for myself not the least of credit for that! Because, there is no way I could have gone wrong with the task for I was already equipped with a mental replica of the man I was trying to visualize!! You see, members of that “breed” were all bestowed with greatness that allowed them to measure up to the highest standards of gentility, integrity and dedication!

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear all.

    I wish him higher paradise. Sure, this man will wait in heaven since he was kind and perform his duty correctly. Allah yerHamu,,

    KS,,

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Saleh,

    I heard he was one of the great directors of his time. RIP. I know his brother Jemal in Port-Sudan with Ahmed Raji attending high school at Camboni. He was one of the active Student/youth union in our office in port-Sudan. My condolences to the family.

    • Ahmed Raji

      That colleague in Port Sudan was his son, Emma. Ahmed Kannoni, that is

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Ahmed.

        I think I am getting old, thank you for the correction, Ahmed. I think I mixed with the other Jemal one from the group. About 10 years ago Ahmed Konnoni emailed me from one of the Gulf States. He got my email from my articles, in this website. He recalled my relationship with the student union in port-Sudan, that gave me some nostalgic memory. How could I forget those amicable group: Yourself, Saad, Muktar, Jemal, Ahmed. By the way do you communicate with them? If you do, could email me Ahmed’s email please. My email if you do not have: tebeges@yahoo.com

        Thank you again
        Regards,

        • Ahmed Raji

          Well, your mind is as inquisitive as ever Aman.
          Some of those friends are on FB. I will forward you their contacts.

  • Paulos

    RIP!

  • Ismail AA

    Hayak Allah Saleh Johar,
    What devastating news. He was one of the brilliant educators to whom several generations of student are indebted. I did not enroll in any class level of his school(s) but knew him as most respected and loved resident of Agordat. Along with many educators such as my teacher and school director Yousuf Nebarai, he shall retain his place among great educators Eritrea had seen.
    May his soul rest in peace; Ina lilah we ina ileihi rajiu’n.

    • Saleh Johar

      Ahlan Ismael,
      Indeed, he was one of a kind. But though he was from Agordat, he was the director of the Keren Secondary school. Allah yerHamu