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Mai Ule (ማይ ኡለ): A Play

ACT (I)

CHARACTERS 

  1. Ahmed Hillal  (ኣሕመድ ሂላል)
  2. Abubeker Mohammed Hassen (ኣቡበከር መሓመድ ሓሰን)
  3. Hassen Mohammed Amir (ሓሰን መሓመድ ኣሚር)
  4. Ahmed Alqeysi (ኣሕመድ ኣልቀይሲ)
  5. Sulieman Hindi (ሱለይማን ህንዲ)
  6. MihreteAb (ምሕረተኣብ)

SETTING:  She’eb (ሽዕብ)  and environs, mid to late 1971.

SCENE: Mai Ule (ማይ ኡለ) river and the hills, mountains in its vicinity.

Sitting under a shed of a tree, THREE young men, no more than twenty three years of age, are seemingly engaged in a serious conversation.  Clad in a semi-military fatigue with a sarong (ኩሽኽ) wrapped around each of their heads, they first reminisced poignantly their experience in Kassala, Sudan in the mid to late sixties, they then went on talking about the recent meetings and conferences within the Eritrean organizations and finally they dwelt upon the apparently insuperable hurdles and challenges that their inchoate organization is facing. Their extended confab, in which the medium of communication was Arabic– Though two of the interlocutors spoke Tigrayt, Ahmed Hiall, an Afari, didn’t — went something like this..)

Ahmed Hillal:  I remember vividly how the ELF fighters referred to each other in Kassala in the sixties during our sojourn there. I still shake my head in utter bewilderment about those days.

Abubeker Mohammed Hassen: Yeah, in those days, they were saying that he is from this zone or that zone. Or, so and so is from Menteqah rabAa (መንጠቃ ራብዓ) or MenteqAa Ula (መንጠቃ ኡላ) or MenteqAa Khamssa(መንጠቃ ኻምሳ) — Fourth Zone, First Zone and Fifth Zone respectively — .

Hassen Mohammed Amir: Those were just another way of designating and identifying a fighter’s region or religion, as simple as that. This is like saying he is a Christian or a Muslim and from the Semhar or Barka or from Hamassien.

Ahmed Hillal: Not only that, the way that the ELF fighters were detailed to each Zone had also a tribal element to it. Though the Eritrean Jebertis hailed from virtually every corner of Eritrea, they were assigned to Zone Three,which was made up mainly of Saho fighters from AkeleGuzai region.

Abubeker Mohammed Hassen: Speaking of Zone Three, I heard a story while I was in Kassala that its leader, Abdulkerim, was quite popular in Senhit region, which was Zone Two. There is a popular song there that goes like — Abdulkerim MetsA Seni Falu — (ዓብደልከሪም መጽኣ ሰኒ ፋሉ) …. Here comes, Abdulkerim, the harbinger of good…. It is said that it is the favorite tune of the Bilen girls (ኣዋልድ ብለን) who work in Keren’s frankincense share company, commonly referred as Sheriket Luban(ሸሪከት ሉባን).

Hassen Mohammed Amir: Doesn’t that attest to the fact that our civilian population’s national consciousness has surpassed the sub-national tendencies that has grievously constrained the ELF fighters and leaders.

Abubeker Mohammed Hassen: Not only that, the way the ELF forces were divided and assigned into many zones by the leaders in the supreme council is to enable them in maximizing their social base or constituents and to garner more money through taxation thereby increasing their chances of grabbing more power.

Ahmed Hillal:  We thought that we have overcome all those backward tendencies and they were behind us when we left the ELF and made it to Dankalia. But, alas, you saw what has transpired in Sodha Ella (ሶድሓ ዔላ) when our forces were split into two based on  regional lines.

Hassen Mohammed Amir: Though it appeared that the difference was on military strategy at first, it didn’t take too long for one to see that the difference  was of a regional emanation. However, thanks to our recent Meeting at Embahara (ኣኼባ አምባሃራ) where both Umaro (ዑማሮ)and Abu Tiyara (ኣቡ ጥያራ) agreed not to seek a leadership position, we were able to iron out our differences.

Abubeker Mohammed Hassen: Indeed our Embahara meeting was quite a success, no doubt about it. We have prevailed over the barriers that seemed insurmountable even as we trekked from Dankalia all the way to Gedm (ገደም), Semhar, and then to Ad Shumma (ዓድ ሹማ). But, the divide between us and our brothers in the Selfi-Natsnet(ሰልፊ ናጽነት) group is NOT getting narrower. The antipathy between us and them is quite palpable, even after they held their Akheba Tekhli(ኣኼባ ተኽሊ).

Ahmed Hillal : We have to be patient with them and try to understand their angst. The mistrust they have been evincing is the result of their failure in fathoming that we, like them, were equally victims of the misguided policies of the ELF leadership.

Hassen Mohammed Amir: The contrast between us couldn’t be more stark. They, The Selfi-Natsnet group are Christians and we, Popular Forces — The Sodha Ella group — are all Muslims. We have to overcome this glaring divide, if we are to achieve the unity of this organization. After all, we split from the ELF because of our adamant opposition to the divisions within the fighters in the ELF.

Abubeker Mohammed Hassen: What they –The Selfi Natsnet group — are failing to see is the fact that all of the ELF forces are literally arrayed against us in that they are intent on in seeing our complete liquidation. Haven’t they read the recent declaration from ELF’s first congress with its dire ultimatum. Now they are saying that ELF’s elite units, The Aremrem(ዓረምረም) , are coming after us. On the other hand, the ELF is calling on the Selfi-Natsnet group to come to the table in order to resolve their differences and to lodge their complaints. We are not given those options. Ultimatums and only more ultimatums.

Ahmed Hillal: Let us hope that the meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, will come out with some solutions that will enable us in unifying the three groups of The Popular Forces. You may recall that Osman Saleh Sabe (ዑስማን ሳለሕ ሳበ) , Ali Said Abdella (ዓሊ ሰይድ ዓብደላ) , Isaias Afwerki (ኢሰያስ ኣፈዎርቂ) , Mesfin Hagos (መስፍን ሓጎስ) and the leadership of the Obel (ዑበል) group are still in Beirut.

Hassen Mohammed Amir: Though we have covered many issues and tackled many problems in our first and founding congress of our party, The Eritrean Peoples Revolutionary Party, (EPRP), which was held just a couple of months ago in Gedem,  the internal problems and issues within the Selfi-Natsnet group were not dealt with and addressed extensively and thoroughly. Without knowing the crux of the problems that are bedeviling this group, our effort of unifying our forces will be fraught with obstacles.

Abubeker Mohammed Hassen: The Selfi-Natsnet Group seem to be more interested in procuring rifles and guns such as AK-47s. They think that we have a boatload of them and we have tons of ammunition boxes squirreled away and hidden in caves. They don’t seem to understand that there is a paucity of armaments in our group. I can’t understand why they are making a stink about the fourteen AK-47s we gave them. They are saying that Umaro (ዑማሮ) promised them that they will get forty AK-47s and they feel that they were shortchanged or cheated.

Ahmed Hillal: Our brothers in the Selfi-Natsnet Group didn’t have enough rifles and ammunition. Some of their fighters were carrying sticks in lieu of rifles. But, one would think that the recent operation they undertook in Asmara where they raided the Finance Department  (አንዳ ፍላንሳ)
ammunition depot would have ameliorated their dire need for rifles. The operation was a success. They were able to get some rifles, though not AK-47s, they are rifles nonetheless.

Hassen Mohammed Amir: Still, they shouldn’t make such a great fuss about this issue and should rather concentrate on the bigger picture.

Abubeker Mohammed Hassen:  Quoting liberally from the works of Ibrahim Frantz Fanon, he expatiated extensively the after effects of colonialism and the arduous struggle that must be waged in raising the consciousness of all the fighters and the Eritrean civilians at large.  He told them that through a protracted struggle, the unity of the Eritrean fighters and the victory of the Eritrean revolution was near a certainty.

( While they were still engaged in their conversation, Yassin Dehab (ያሲን ደሃብ) and another fighter from the sentry post came to them. They asked, if they can see and speak with Ahmed Hillal immediately.)

Yassin Dehab: First the fighter who was on guard told me and then I confirmed it through this binocular that we saw some fighters heading our way. I am not sure if they are our comrades or that they could also be ELF fighters.

Ahmed Hillal: (In a hurry and taking brisk steps) he led the two fighters to the sentry post. After a minor adjustment of the binocular, he could see a group of fighters heading towards their post. He zeroed in the fighter leading the group. Before too long, he was able to recognize the face and the gait of that person. Coupled with the previous information he has had, he told Yassin Dehab and the other fighter that, these are our comrades coming to join us.

Yassin Dehab: Oh, really? Who are they?

Ahmed Hillal: That is our Engineering Squad — MesriE Handessa — (መስርዕ ሃንደሳ) led by Sulieman Hindi. It is he who I have recognized through the binocular. They were around Massawa, Emberemi (እምበረሚ) area, to be precise. Now they are heading our way to join us.

Ali Higna (ዓሊ ሒኛ): I hope they are bringing some of the provisions we have been waiting for and some other stuff that are of vital importance to us.

Ahmed Hillal: More than that, I hope they  were able to thoroughly scout the areas and to have conducted a good reconnaissance  on their way here,  stopped by those villages and made contacts with the civilian population there. And, I hope also they were able to meet with our platoon (ጋንታ) stationed in Gedem.

( The Engineering squad led by Sulieman Hindi, after accomplishing its tasks around Emberemi, it headed directly to Gedem where it stayed for a day. The commander of the platoon in Gedem, Saleh Tetew (ሳልሕ ጠጠው) had an extended discussion with Sulieman Hindi. After a lengthy journey from Gedem, they first stopped at Weqiro (ወቂሮ ). They then trekked to the villages of Ad Ele and Ad Shumma (ዓድ ዕለ and ዓድ ሹማ). After that, they footslogged to Shebah (ሸባሕ ). A day or so later, they arrived at Mai Labba (ማይ ላባ) — the ephemeral river of Mai Labba– . It was here that they came across some shepherds and some farmers who came from the Eritrean highlands. They were able to gather some invaluable information. Finally, the Engineering Squad has made it to Mai Ule [ማይ ኡለ]. )

Sulieman Hindi:  (Before joining the platoon stationed at Mai Ule, he addressed his squad. They gathered around a small hill adjacent to the river bed of Mai Ule. He gave them detailed instructions, where they will be detailed to and how they were to carry out their responsibilities. Once the meeting was over, they joined the platoon stationed at Mai Ule).

( From the shed of the tree, Sulieman Hindi, could see that the commander of the platoon at Mai Ule, Ahmed Hillal, beckoning to him. He started walking towards the tree to join the THREE fighters sitting under its shed.)      

Next: ACT(II)

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  • mokie berhe

    Salam all. Regarding the latest defection of Eritrean football players in Uganda, one must wonder how successful Eritrean sports could have/would have been had it not been for all the defections over the years.

    “It’s been kind of routine over the past several years whenever there is an event, sports event, where the Eritreans take part, it’s almost a must that some of them won’t return home,” said Ismail Dhakaba, spokesperson for Uganda’s National Council for Sports.

  • mokie berhe

    Salam all. Sorry to bring up a touchy subject but it needs to be dealt with. Even without PIA in the picture, how can a future Eritrea survive given its religious parity? It is a question that the Eritrean opposition has not adequately dealt with, as they simply have not been so clear on what a successor Government would look like. As a result, an air of suspicion and mistrust regarding the motivation of different Eritrean opposition movements/groups lingers. Globally, there are not many countries with substantial representation of both Islam and Christianity, that are fairing very well.

    • bardavidi

      Hi……Mokie……It would be addressed in the Constitution……….The Supreme law of the Land would Prohibit Political Parties based on Religion and Regional Affiliation………It requires a representation per general population of the State as a whole……..Not a very complicated subject but, one that has to wait for the Right Time………In my opinion it should also ban Left-Wing socialist Parties………Since we are Reaping their Harvest of Misery Today………….Selah

      • mokie berhe

        Salam bardavidi. Constitutions vary. What prohibitions and/or accommodations will Eritrea’s constitution have? This is where I believe that opposition groups need to be clearer. For example, will the Eritrean constitution allow for Sharia law, Christian canon law, etc?

        • bardavidi

          Selam, Mokie……There is one on the Shelf………That never was Ratified by any Elected body such as a Parliament……….It does have a Comprhensive Provision/Prohibition components and Addresses many concerns and Issues we discuss everyday………..It is also Amendable to adapt to what comes in the Future with a certain majority votes required……….Selah

          • mokie berhe

            Salam bardavidi. The one on the shelf has before been criticized by so many here. Complete clarity from opposition groups/movements on what is to be accommodated and prohibited within Eritrea’s constitution should be transparently advanced in order to foster unity.

          • bardavidi

            Selam, Mokie………I see…….Unanimity is not required but Ratification by elected body with a large Majority……….Of course most of the Opposition has its own Organizational mission as well as agenda but has to be Subject to the Law and that is where the Constitution comes in to Bind in Conformity to Unity………It is not a Socialist-Dogmatic document ………Amendement is allowed with Required Majority as needed……..Thus Progressive and Futuristic as well as Stable………..Selah.

          • mokie berhe

            Salam bardavidi. Ah…but that is where everything becomes grey and ambiguous and leads to suspicion. With potential political volatility between Christians and Muslims in Eritrea, the constitution should be truly secular in nature and not allow for the possibility, even if by an elected majority, to ratify a constitution or amendments thereto, which entertain religious based law(s) in any form or manner. For example, because of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, no religious tradition can be established as the basis of laws that apply to everyone. Hence, no possibility for Sharia Law. In Eritrea, I would even favor prohibiting faith-based schools.

          • bardavidi

            Hi…Mokie….I am with you on that it should be Totally Secular without any religious preference or overtones……….However, banning religious based schools and restricting practice of faith is also advocating Athiesm which is a Religion by itself and that is how Socialism sets in………That is what they practice in PFDJ……….It is called Socialism in Economy and Athiesm in Faith……….Its aim is to break up Families,and then Communities and their Values, to get them to be Subjects to their Religion-Atheism and system-Dictatorship ……….That is a Belief system we need to Eradicate………..Selah

          • mokie berhe

            Salam bardavidi. Under your understanding of Religious Freedom, do you believe that Sharia Law should be allowed in Eritrea? Whilst I believe that all Eritreans should have the right to practice his/her own religion (or no religion at all), I believe that faith-based schools are simply bad news and should not be allowed in today’s modern world. Faith-based schools in the U.S. have long been a mess and used as a discriminatory tool against desegregation efforts. Eritrea’s constitution will have a chance to get it right from the get-go and with large percentages of both Muslim and Christians, careful articulation within what a constitution prohibits or accommodates will be pivotal to future sustained religious pluralism. Eritrean opposition groups/movements need to be effervescently clear on where they stand in terms of how religion will be accommodated within the constitution. There has long been a problem of opposition disunity which has in large part been fuelled by religious concerns/allegations linked with inclusiveness. Yes, Eritreans need a constitution, fundamental human rights, due process, prisoner release, etc.; but they also need clarity on what opposition platforms stand for removing a bod government/dictatorship doesn’t always ensure a bright future.

          • bardavidi

            Selam…. Mokie…. What happened in US during the times of Segregation is not relevant to the Current situation in Eritrea……….Sharia law should be allowed in a limited and Inferior position to the Secular Constitution ………. My understanding is that there was a Sharia law practiced in Eritrea Prior to the Ethiopian invasion but you can correct me on that if otherwise…………There is a frequency and increase of acts of Violence in the Eritrean Communiy world wide and at the Root of that is Morale insensivity this Generation grew up in Versus the others…………The Foundation of Morale, Family and Community values is Faith, and Religion as a whole and that is what this Generation Lacks…………Selah

          • mokie berhe

            Salam bardavidi. Thanks for your openness. Our positions/views in regards to faith-based schools and Sharia Law are obviously far apart but at least I know where you stand which is more than I can say for many here.

          • bardavidi

            Thanks…….Mokie…….That is what Democracy is all about……..Expressing our opinions and views without any restriction and Inhibition in a Civilized manner………Opposing views are not Precursors to hate but, rather a gate to consensus thru compromises………..You can see better with two eyes than you would with One……….Keep it up………Selah

      • Paulos

        Selam bardavidi,

        If I may ask you, what is Left Wing Socialist Party? It sounds oxymoron for there is no Right Wing Socialist Party so to speak unless the Right Wing part is its social dimension–if it is socially ultra-conservative that is.

        • bardavidi

          Hi…….Mokie……A left wing socialist party is a party that encourages an erosion of Morale values thru Liberal Policies and Social activism……..Feminism, Excess Regulation, Gay-activism,Excess taxes, Atheisim are the main tools thru which they Operate……….A Classic example at this time is someone like the Governor of California………..Run all the major Businesses out of Town thru Imposing Excess regulation and Taxes they can not bear and now blames the President for his Lack of Funds and growing Homlessness Crisis he created……….It takes Hikiat Al Gahwa to discuss in detail however that is how you Sum it up…………Selah

  • Selamat Gheteb the Adulusian,

    Here let me do iSEM your “coval..” a favor…

    Dhak, Chittagong, Comilla
    Kathmandu, Pokihara, Patan
    Riyahh, Jedda, Medina
    Dar es Salam, Zanzibar, Morogoro
    Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k0RmgssqII

    GitSAtSE

  • iSem

    Hi All:

    An Envious Eritrean
    There is this line that PFDJ supporters repeat again and again: Eritrea is new country so we should give the PFDJ a slack until the country matures and the Eritrean people are ready to embrace and understand democracy. How insulting it is to say the Eritrean people do not understand and are not ready for democracy and rule of law. And how condescending to say justices is in the DNA of our people when it suits them to flatter us when they want to coax us to participate in their crimes by raising money. Insulting because to say Eritreans are not ready means Eritreans are so back warded compared to how the Americans were when they founded the republic almost 250 years ago. Eritrea in 1991 was in much better position than the USA was in 1776. The Eritrean people were much more enlightened and experienced than Americans, having gone through 30 years of bloody war and having united under Eritreans.
    Today the USA congress started open hearings on Impeachment proceedings and my envy springs from the fact that the president, no matter how crazy he is, cannot impeach congress members, he cannot arrest parliamentarians, he cannot shutdown the proceedings. He has an equal and separate power, a different branch—the executive. But in Eritrea, in PFDJ’s Eritrea, in IA’s Eritrea, where the supports call IA the George Washington of Eritrea, the president has built “state- of the art” prison in Ela-Ero to torture the Jeffersons, the Madisons, the Hamiltons, the Monroes of Eritrea. PFDJ goons only have Washington, no Jefferson and no Madison… And for sure no Lincoln.
    But the PFDJ, true to their nature, they will pooh-pooh the USA as a country littered with homeless and will invoke slavery, ignore that there are more salves in Eritrea now there were slaves in USA before the emancipation, they will cite the biases of media in the USA, ignoring that the media mostly is accountable, ignoring that journalist do not disappear into the thin air in the USA, while they do in Eritrea. They will mention the homelessness in USA, ignoring that the millions are homeless in Eritrea. The PFDJ, shameless as they are they will laugh about how some Eritrean will study and pass exam to acquire the USA citizens, ignoring that the USA if you award you citizenship, a privilege, but Eritrea under privilege will strip your citizenship.
    The PFDJ and even its not so sharp supporters know that they have no case to win against justice but they do count on this: the old will die and the young will forget. We cannot inoculate the old from dying, but it is within our power to make sure that the young do not forget and to use our wherewithal to indelibly document, every failing from us, every crime by PFDJ, every attempt to undermine the posterity of our identity, every attempt to sully our history.
    For some of us the USA impeachment hearings are like sports, just like those who went crazy when the Toronto Raptors for the first time. As weird as it is may sound, I am enjoying the proceedings, but unlike the basketball fans; am not yelling at the top of my lungs, I am envious. How about if we had such hearings in Eritrea, how about if we had a journalist who challenges the president (Jim Acosta of CNN) and his White house press badge is revoked and he sues and wins. How about…. I am envious and if you are Eritrean and you are not feeling envy toward USA, see your doctor, some glands are not producing a hormone. Or see your priest or shiek or pastor.
    I am sure the not so sharp PFDJ supports will point to the fact that the White house revoked the journalist’s Id, ignoring that it was reinstated when the court ruled so.
    Oh even, some not so stupid opposition members will say, the Madisons, and Hamiltons read the Enlightment and Renaissance writers but the PFDJ boys read communism, and they were trying to fight against feudalism, so they will tell me that I am misguided, speaking of an intended apologist. That is easy to rebut, but this is not about the opposition apologists, that is a fight within the family, this piece is about the not so sharp PFDJ supporters who do not even have the capacity to feel holly envy about the rule of law, but they are consumed of jealousy towards others who rub shoulders with Yemane Monkey and IA and Sophia Tesfamariam and are trying hard to acquire stature by canonizing IA and sanitizing his crimes.

  • iSem

    Hi Awatista;
    Do not be fooled by this suspect, laborious, mediocre,pretending to be a literary work. It has divisive undertones, based on flawed history, unstudied history, Isaias say (hear say)
    The idea that he is trying hard to discredit by peddling PFDJ line is this; That the ELF zonal assignment was based on shallow tribal and regional calculations that was hell bent to divide Eritreans. FALSE!!. It was masterful. It understood that they cannot dispatched a highland to lowland to preach about Eritreans that did not exist in the mind of a Beni-Amir. Eritrean did not even identify themselves as Tigre, Tigrigna etc. and they could not send Mohammed Kerar to highlands to pontificate about Eritreanism to people who were naming their kids Ethiopia, Shewa and Belaynesh. This era must be studied and told because we are buying into PFDJ and GeHteb’s lies.
    Eritrea only existed geographically then and there was no cohesive national feeling, it was a budding nation in making. The Ghedli had to start somewhere. And start somewhere it did and it evolved. By 1969 when the whining groups GheHeb is elevating to the pedestal splintered when ELF was out of the woods to become a national front from it humble beginnings. Those destroying Eritrea now left when ELF was at its best.
    And EPLF, now PFDJ literally implemented the zonal assignment that they decried before in 1988 and they targeted the Blen in Sudan and Ghergis Girmay and Wedi Garza (not be confused with the the wedi Garza that EPLF killed in Khartoum) were assigned to this mission. They were literally bribing the Blen with jobs, with money and food to recruit them
    See, when Eritrean nationalism and identity was solidified, EPLF implemented the things ELF implemented to answer the timely issue.

    GeHeb is writing this none sense and cannot even ask about the whereabout his General who lived like a dog and died like a dog. G. Sibhat Ephrem.
    Awatisata, given GeHteb’s track record here, I urge you to rid between the lines of his motives

    • Nitricc

      GeHeb is writing this none sense and cannot even ask about the whereabout his General who lived like a dog and died like a dog. G. Sibhat Ephrem.

      Hi All; how do your answer to a person who lived his life as being a burden of another society. how do you answer to a person who lived all his life by Begging lying and escaping from every responsibility life has throw at him? Most shocking is calling the living hero’s names. If any one is lived as dong and died as one; that will be you! loser. What have you done? Can you take a minute from your dog life and compare what General Sibhat life and compare that with your lowlife? Have some respect A-hole.

      • iSem

        Hi private Nitricc of Ghetto No 1000
        First start with salutations. Follow orders
        Now I am so happy I did not join Sibhat Ephrem’s and IA’s gang. Even GeHteb left them

        • Nitricc

          Semere: you don’t know what respect is, you never had one. You escaped Tigray wearing women’s closing to disguise the border security forces. They let you in to Sudan thinking you are a just a little girl. Once in Sudan, god knows( i have my own theory) what you did to lie your azz off to to Canada. even then till now you are under welfare. Your whole life is being Burden of others. think about that. I wouldn’t call anyone a dog but if there is someone; that will be you. You are not a dog, you a rat and you will die as a rat. What kind of decay of morality do you have to call General Sibhat a dog? for a person who fought for his dignity and the dignity of a nation, even if you disagree with his stand, have the courage to acknowledge his virtues. You are one disgraceful rat and you will die like a freaking rat. by the way how is your boy friend? hahaha we know!! stupid.

  • Brhan

    Thanks Gheteb for the play
    As a play I would love to see the subconsciousness of the characters. The characters’ dialogues are facts that can be found in books. But because this is a play it is important to address the issue of why character so and so is saying so and so. Is character so and so , communist, atheist, nationalist or is he emotional person, rational or opportunist, greedy, honest, etc. The issue of character building is very important and playwrights emphasis this because they are writing a play that will impact on the audience.
    Why we like Othello is not only because of the plot but because Shakespeare is taken us to the deeper minds of Othello.
    Thanks

    • ‘Gheteb

      Greetings Brhan,

      Thank you for the constructive input and feedback. I understand the need and desire to know more about the characters . Believe me, I do. I concur with what you have alluded to that the dialogue may not reveal more about the characters traits, attributes and political orientations. I hear you loud and clear.

      The MAIN characters are going to come alive as the play progresses through ACT II and ACT III. What has so far been attempted to achieve through ACT I of this play is to give the general sense, to capture the general milieu — environment– , if you will, of the setting, scene in which the MAIN characters are going to play their roles.

      One thing though that I want to underscore and emphasize is to pay attention to the dialogue as they reveal certain traits and political orientations about the characters. Let me amplify and augment what I am saying by way of offering two examples that one can cull from the dialogue.

      1) Ahmed Hillal — from the dialogue and the other stuff presented in this ACT, one can readily pick up certain features or attributes about this character. The tone in his take and response vis-a-vis The Selfi-Natsnet Group gives you a hint about how desirous he was to see the unification of the two groups. What is also quite clear is that is an Afari from the Dankalia region of Eritrea. What is more, is the fact that he was the military commander of the platoon at Mai Ule.

      2) Abubakar Mohammed Hassen — Though one may not be able to pick up a lot about this character’s traits, one thing that is made abundantly clear is this: He was the intellectual giant as can be easily gleaned from the part of the dialogue where he was quoting expansively and at great length Ibrahim Franz Fanon. One can also infer that he is from the Tigre ethno-linguistic group.

      3) The part of the dialogue where they — the THREE characters — discussed about what had transpired in the founding and first congress of the Eritrean Peoples Revolutionary Party, and their participation in that very congress, tells us that their political orientations and leanings was that of the CENTER LEFT and revolutionary.

      Finally, as the play moves to the second third acts, hopefully, the rationale as to why this character or that character or why so and so is saying this and that. It will become much more clearer as play continues.

      Thank You!

      • Brhan

        Thanks Gheteb,
        Good that you will enrich the characters with traits, that is what I understand.
        But above all the characters are like any human being that before they go to their work they were ordinary people who love and beloved, who have certain kind of habit for example when they talk they for example move their hands, I can’t say move their heads to mean Mr. Suleiman Hindi.
        The characters are not only politicians but also people who can make us laugh by their humor , or inspire us by their wisdom. In short the approach to a play characters must be comprehensive because that is the only way that we build great characters.
        I wish more plays like this like for example to make the Waala Bet Giorgis but again we might not go direct to Bet Giorgis but start from the houses of Wel Wel , Kebire, Tela Bairu to see how did they prepare to that meeting ? what did they say to their wives. That will help us the intergrity of the characters. Was he democrat at Bet Gioriges but also at his house in Geza Kenisha, Geza Birhanu, Shuq or Geza Banda….

        Thanks again and waiting for Act II