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Negarit Special: Manal Younus, A Poetess From Australia

Last week, at a public meeting called by SNIT in Oakland, California, Manal Younus recited a moving poem and the audience rewarded her with a standing ovation. Though I wanted to interview her like I did three-years agin in Atlanta, she surprised me with a request to interview me for her upcoming podcast program. I met her again for a conversation and I really admired her articulation, confidence and dedication.

Please watch to this enjoyable and uplifting conversation.

I also took the opportunity to ask her to recite one of my old poems, “Homage to Mothers” which I wrote in 1993. She accepted gracefully and I am indebted to her for it. The poem is towards the end of the clip following Manal’s own poem, S’ddet.



About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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  • Haile S.

    Selam Saleh,
    ዲንቂ ዝርርብ፡ እንታይ ክወጾ!

    Thank you Manal! A small poem provoked by what you said.

    Struggle struggle struggle struggle
    fighting for many
    and for a single
    a relieving agony
    a treasure we closely handle
    Independent or colony
    Individually or in-symphony
    a luta continua, against strangle
    till Equality Liberty Fraternity rule