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Never Mind The Calf: Mind The Rustler

Africans in general, and Eritreans specifically, remain skeptical about the benefits of high profile summits, meetings, conventions, and discussions at the margins because, throughout their history, they have rarely seen tangible benefits from these “baptismal parties” that come and go. It was this sentiment that Eritrea’s State television, Eri-TV, was trying to exploit with its blistering “let go of the calf that died last year” editorial, which it aired on August 7th. Why? Because of what happened August 4th– August 6th: President Obama hosted the US-Africa Summit and the Eritrean dictator was one of only four African leaders who was not invited. So, a more appropriate title for the editorial might have been an Eritrean proverb: “They Rustled Our Cows But [it’s ok because] We Hailed Insults At Them!”

Skeptics of such summits have many reasons to be skeptical. First, of course, is on the criteria for the invitation: any country that is in good standing with the United States and the African Union was invited. This means, as Mother Jones magazine pointed out, Congo’s Joseph Kabila, massively corrupt and incompetent, was invited; Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Isaias Afwerki’s twin soul for his austere authoritarianism, was invited; Mauritania’s Ould Abdel Aziz, huge violator of human rights AND presiding over a country that still tolerates slavery, was invited; Uganda’s Yoweri Musevini, a hardcore, old school African Big Man, was invited; Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Mbasogo, in power since 1979: (need we say more?) was invited.  Re-invited: Mbasago’s third visit to the White House.

The Invitation Criteria

Thus, it is very unclear what “being in good standing with the United States” means since the United States, which very briefly in the George W Bush years had said that it has learned from its long experience of coddling authoritarians for the sake of stability because you get neither democracy nor stability with dictators, has resorted back to form: any country that is willing to buy weapons from the US or accommodate its arms sales to the world appears to meet the criteria of being “in good standing with the United States” so long as the African leader is willing to, occasionally, mouth platitudes about democracy.

As for being “in good standing with the African Union” that appears to have even fewer demands. The AU has a firm-sounding policy that a country whose leader comes through a coup is not eligible to be admitted to the AU club, which sounds impressive until you consider the fact that the authors of such policy were, themselves, beneficiaries of such prohibition. The grandfather clause is not a bug, but a feature. Moreover, the AU is not interested in how a leader comes to power, so long as the leader gives the appearance of having the legitimacy of carrying the people’s mandate.

Just in 2014, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Madagascar joined the AU club by holding sham elections which were enough to get their suspensions lifted.

Thus, Isaias Afwerki, who came to power piggybacked on the legitimate cause of the Eritrean people’s long-standing demand for self-determination and self-rule, would appear to meet their minimum demand. But he failed even that test. Now, does that make him a rebel, a stand-out, a voice of Independent Africans? Well, let’s consider the company he keeps; let’s consider who else was not invited.

The Company He Keeps

His only friend, the president of neighboring Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, was not invited. Al Bashir came to power, through a coup in 1989 (double coup, actually: his party came to power through a coup; he personally came to power by engineering a coup over the flamboyant Al Turabi) and he has presided over a horror show that included multiple civil wars, genocide, and, according to Wikileaks, massive embezzlement—9 billion dollars worth, stashed in London banks.

Africa’s latest “pan-African” (who discovered his Pan-Africanism after he lost the favor of England), the president of Zimbabwe, who has been in power since 1980 (as Prime Minister or President) is the other exclusion.  Mugabe has brought ruin on his rich country: his country is sanctioned, there is a travel ban against him (he can travel to the Vatican). Mugabe has achieved the impossible: turning a country destitute WITHOUT war.

Finally, the leader of Central African Republic, Catherine Samba-Panza, was not invited because her hurried appointment as Prime Minister is somewhere between a coup (2013) and scheduled elections (February 2015.)

Isaias Afwerki’s Self-Inflicted Wound

Why was Isaias Afwerki not invited to the US-Africa Summit? Is it because of his terrible human rights record? No. Is it because he rules without a constitution? No. Is it because he has turned Eritrea into a gigantic prison? No. Is it because he drags Eritrea from one war to another? No. Is it because the United States and the African Union are appalled by the massive exodus of Eritrea’s youth? No. Here’s the reason given by a US official when he was explaining why an invitation card was not sent to Isaias Afwerki:

Eritrea will not be invited because the U.N. continues to sanction Eritrea for its efforts to destabilize Somalia and because Eritrea has not accepted full diplomatic relations with the United States, rejecting our offer of an ambassador,” the White House official said.

This means that if Isaias Afwerki were to take measures tomorrow morning to accept a US ambassador to Eritrea, he would be invited to US-Africa Summit II by doing absolutely nothing else. He accredits a US ambassador; the US ambassador says Eritrea is no longer destabilizing Somalia; the Djibouti-Eritrea border is demarcated in days.   None of the factors that contributed to Eritrea becoming a hell-hole rise anywhere to the level of importance (much less urgency) that would warrant his exclusion from future “baptismal parties.”

That being the case, what we in the Opposition should understand very clearly is that, while the foreign governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can be allies to our cause, we Eritreans must be the ones who OWN and develop the strategy for defeating the Eritrean regime and then for delivering salvation to our people. The US won’t; the EU won’t and the AU won’t. This is not a call for isolation; rather, it is for intelligent alignment: we should seek out alliances with the people of Africa who are subjected to similar power abuse and not with the fickle governments who are willing to turn a blind eye to them.

Let Go of “The Calf That Died Last Year”

This brings us to Eri-TV’s editorial entitled “Let go of the calf that died last year.” (Hateta. Eri-TV. August 7, 2014), a critique of the US-Africa Summit and the alleged hidden agenda behind it: for the US to leverage Africa for its own economic interest. This is the English translation of the Eri-TV editorial:

Recently a party that was called “Africa Summit” was convened. The occasion and its goals do not require a lot of analysis and commentary. Its announced public relations goals are to express the concern of America for the destitute Africa that is suffering from poverty and famine, disease and terrorism; and to provide it with alms. America, with its accomplices, being one of the main causes of poverty, famine, sickness and terrorism in Africa, how can it be caring and generous?

Where would America get, or snatch from, the billions of dollars [it intends] to give as alms to Africa when it is has trillions [of dollars] of debt and trade deficit, and when it is ravaged by economic and financial crisis?

The true aim of the party [the summit], as is proved by figures and realities, is a cacophony that followed an intensely emphasized propaganda, to invite the leaders of Africa to kiss the hands [of the USA] to reinforce its mastership, fame and influence, to beautify the aura of sole superpower status of America, under the cover (or umbrella) of a public relations exercise, and all that for an already exposed chaos, in different baptism parties: sometimes [under the pretext of]  global alliance, or NEPAD, or AGOA, etc.calves that died in vain after being named and, thinking the memory of the people is dead, to revive it, to exploit the resources of Africa, is a search for remedy to cure the economic chaos of America.

The countries and people of Africa individually, and the African continent in general, are respecting and maintaining their free choices by learning from their experiences; rejecting foreign interferences; disruption, agitation, and looting. With their unmatched potential, if they can exploit their own resourcesby following uncorrupted and responsible avenue; by staying away from alms and deceitthey can sustain themselves and others.

It is time to state: ‘Enough subterfuge.’

Never Mind The Calf: Mind The Rustler

What needs to be remembered is that US-Africa Summit is the US copying the China-Africa summit, a “baptismal party” that the Eritrean tyrant goes to, without fail. The agendas of US-Africa and China-Africa are the same: Investing In Africa; Peace and Stability. But they are not identical. The US-Africa Summit’s agenda also includes “Governing for the Next Generation.” One thing that the “China-Africa Summit” never involves itself with is who the next leader is and how they will come to power. This is why the China-Africa Summit is the preferred baptismal party of full-throttle dictators like the one in Eritrea.

The United States has always had the same policy when it comes to Africa and the Eritrean dictator was a close ally of the United States, baptized part of the African frontline states and New Generation of leaders. So what changed? What changed is one and only one thing: when Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders were allies, the US did not have to choose between Eritrea and Ethiopia. When they became foes, the US had to choose and it chose Ethiopia.

To put it more personally, which is the only language Isaias Afwerki understands, the United States chose Meles Zenawi over Isaias Afwerki. This, despite the fact that Eritrea’s control of part of the Red Sea was supposed to give it an advantage over Ethiopia.

Rather than swallowing his pride and prioritizing Eritrea’s national interest over his own ego, the Eritrean tyrant has gone on increasingly destructive adventures designed to frustrate US interests in the Horn of Africa and particularly Djibouti and Somalia. And a decade later, the tyrant has not become what he had hoped he would be: an African rebel standing up to a superpower. Far from it: he has isolated Eritrea, he has impoverished her and, more ominously, he is emptying out the country of its most productive citizens: its youth. His foolhardy policies have resulted in sanctions that have left Eritrea completely defenseless—no Eritrean youth to defend her; no weapons to defend her with and, most dangerously, no cause to fight for as his warlords have sapped Eritreans of their natural sense of patriotism.

So, never mind the calf. Mind the cow rustler.

About Awate Team

The Awate Team is a group of individuals who collaborate in preparing editorial contents that mainly appear under the PENCIL signature and other columns that carry the Awate Team signature. It represents the collective team's view.

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  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Tes,

    Enjoy your vacation, hopefully to come with new energy. Your short reflective message shows who you are and what your value is. Keep that human virtue and with that you will find peace with yourself and others.

    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Nitricc

    Tes; Nice rhetoric but fighters never take vacation lol. It is okay drop the fighting stuff and go on have a great time on your vacation.
    To everyone in here; please don’t bull us with fancy words like fighter; justice; democracy; struggle; please drop it. Just go ahead and do your thing. Yes; go to your vacations!

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Tes,
    I wish you a pleasant, reflective, and peaceful time on your much deserved vacation. However, I would like to give you “nay wechi” before you leave. “Alem Mesalil iya, Hade ywerdela Hade ydyebela.” I read that long time ago on a small pocket calendar called “Awde AwareH” that used to be printed in Asmara.
    Selam.

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Tes;
    Enjoy your vacation, but I doubt it that you will not be tempted, I also vowed to do so to myself and you know what happened, but if your really want to be unplugged do not take your laptop or tablet with you, unsolicited advice.
    See you after recharging for more insights from you and thank your for your comments and articles and disagreements Tes
    Sem

    • Nitricc

      Semere the toothless ; if i were you i will stay in Itali and ask asylem than returning back to the freaking country called Canada. Nothing moves in Canada. Boring country in the world. Knowing you how toothless you are; I bet you are proud of it.
      Ja

  • desta

    hmm…Eyob is her marriage real or fake? When you are a celebrity, your life is near to the public.And there was a video of a false kissing? Did she do what many do when they get DV lottery, pretending to be real partners? And I think she was under radar when she opposed homosexuality in Moscow while the Swedish team was the main advocate.

  • saay7

    Selamat Thomas:

    That gun pointed to your head forcing you to read “nothing” and that string tied around your hand forcing you to share your opinion about nothing? All imaginary!

    I am second to none in my admiration for Haile TG, but even Haile TG mixes it up to often join the discussion about “nothing.” Just because it’s a buffet doesn’t mean you have to eat everything: just pick whatever you find nutritious and skip the rest. And if there is nothing nutritious, skip it all.

    saay

    • Thomas

      Selamat saay – I am surprised with your response, “That gun pointed to your head forcing you to read “nothing” and that string tied around your hand forcing you to share your opinion about nothing?”

      Sorry, response looks like those store/shop owners in Eritrea/Asmara who would like to say “Ms genzebka aleka ms genzebe’i aleku” “kid endo dei kolel elka kitmles eka”. We are the best of all, a number one in the content/the eritrean cyber. Hahaha – well, I don’t think you have a restaurant or grocery store. When you are selling information, it is sensitive because you are talking about people or a country. Whatever you say, it is not inconspicuous, people will interact not in the “Ms Genzebka Ms Genzebai” kinda of thing.

      Thomas.

      • saay7

        Selamat Thomas:)

        You created a straw-man argument, then you tore it down. Let’s look at its elements:

        (a) you are acting like an Asmara store-owner
        (b) But awate is not a store
        (c) Therefore, stop acting like a store owner.

        Well played. But replace the Asmara store (limited choices) with the Internet (infinite choices), then your metaphor breaks down:)

        But thanks for playing.

        saay

        • Thomas

          Selamate Saay – at least in my case, I have quoted what you implied, so never created a straw-man argument. The audience/readers can see what was said for themselves:) Thank you for understanding!

  • Saleh Johar

    Selam Abunet,
    The worst thing in such debates is being misread of misquoted out of context. Please read carefully. Do you believe I accused the entire Habesha, including myslef of Chauvinism? I always emphasized that chauvinism was breed and perpetuated by the warlords and feudal class. From that, you can understand that the chauvinists who wreak havoc are a powerful minority, and all Eritreans including the “Majority Eritreans” who include the Habesha are suspicious of them.
    The chauvinists were defeated in 1991, and that is why we cling to our little Eritrea jealously. What remains is just fine tuning of political nature, and that is an ongoing social process, we will deal with it among ourselves. You can congratulate me belatedly for the victory of 1991, the culmination of our “30 years struggle.”

    I do not live among people who are suspicious of me, they are my compatriots, and our problems are our own, and we do not appreciate condescending remarks from outsiders. Being suspicious of a tiny, tiny chauvinist elements does not undo Eritrea, and they have no significance to do anything. “It is difficult if not impossible tolive with people who are suspicious of you at personal level and as a country at large” is your sentence not mine, and it is not factual but a repeat of the chauvinist propaganda that we are discussing. Your suspicious of Arabs is your own ailmenst, not ours, deal with it but do not expect us to complain of headache whenever you have one. Deal with your own fears, and allow us to deal with our own. Is that too much to ask Abinet? I engaged you with goodwill, and with honesty, but I will not pass it when you misconstrue my words and act as a therapist (no, as a village Debtera) and address Eritreans with condescending attitude. Come out of it dear.The Arabs you are suspicious of have a saying: iza Habibek Assel, matelHasush Ketir. Gwadegnah Maar bihon, bzu attelasew–enda yalqqbh 🙂

    So long my friend.

    • abinet

      I don’t misquote or misread you at all. I used your words so that I don’t misquote you.
      I brought the arabs to see if your suspicion is like mine. I know you live with your people but part of thrm arr still abesha if not the majority. Unless you tell me they are eritreand and don’t manifest abesha chauvinism, then I understand. I didn’t try to act as a therapist . If you feel that way, I apologize.
      If I am suspicious of the stinking arabs, it is because they are the major causes for any kind of problem my country faced in the past. It is not imaginary it is real, I lived it. They supported you ,in anyway possible not because they believed in your cause, it is because they used you to attack us . And there is no guarantee that they don’t conspire against us in the future. They are your friends not mine.
      chuheten qemugn yilal yagere sew

      • Tesfabirhan WR

        Hi abinet,

        I have engaged in discussions, debates and alike, but non except you have misquoted what I have said and here I can see what SGS said several times. I do not know why you are doing it. Observing the on-going discussions, my understanding is becoming much broader on how the Ethiopians in this forum are purposefully change the meaning, divert the discussion and put what they want as an added value. Chauvinists might be not appropriate for people like you but surely these chauvinists are big viruses they have to be dealt with.

        I have almost nothing information about Ethiopian matters and I am not willing too. My own internal problem is much bigger and if I succeed in solving this, which I believe I can, then after I will deal with people like you who are simply barking for nothing. Therefore, I kindly request you to stay from our internal problems. Eritrean problem by Eritrean Citizens! Got it?

        tes

      • Rahwa T

        Abinet,
        I think you better leave Professor Tes alone. I have noticed in most of his replies that whenever he is short of forwarding convincing answers, he always bring the excuse to “read-what-I-wrote” excuses (while what he wrote raise the same question whether you read once or thrice) and tries to attach the Ethiopians as if we were here to divert the “normal flow” of their discussions.

        • Abinet

          Ok my beloved sister.thanks for the advice

  • Rahwa T

    Thanks for discovering a new ethnic group to Ethiopia. According this logic we will group all the Muslims including all the recent coverts (my cousin being one of them) will no longer be called as Tigrawoiti or Amhareiti.

    • Elenta

      I didn’t discover a new ethnic group in Ethiopia. They were there for centuries.Whatever logic you name it. Its better we respect their choice.

      • Rahwa T

        You guys are accusing the Woyanes for the perpetuation of ethnic – based political organizations in Eritrea, when there are clear cultural, linguistic, etc differences to support them. And yet you have the gut to talk about respect of ethnicity within one people that have the same culture and language. We will see if the Pentes, the Johuvas and other new arrivals would claim for recognition of their “ethnicity” in the future.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Sal,

    Sorry to ruin your party to celebrate Meraf’s victory… (She indeed deserves celebration) But just 24 hours before her gold, this happened. Watch…and listen to the commentator’s comment towards the end…… 🙂

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KWxlan0_zAc

    • saay7

      Eyob:

      Epic. I have never seen anything like it: in the first lap she was dead last and in the last lap she was decisively ahead against a favorite

      This reminds me of the Dejen v Mo Farah contest last year. Mo was the favorite (it was in England) and Dejen lost one of his shoes at the start of the run. The commentators were saying he should drop out because running with one shoe can cause long term damage… And then this happened:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtDa2whaCRQ&sns=em

      Saay

  • Rodab

    Super Pappi,
    And then there is this 16 years old remarkable young lady, heading to Ivy Leaque and wants to go back to Eritrea to help with medication. Truly sweet girl.

    I
    want to go back to Eritrea to provide medical attention – See more at:
    http://eastafro.com/Post/2014/08/16/next-stop-for-16-year-old-eritrean-milwaukee-whiz-is-the-ivy-league/#sthash.sMYsVjqm.dpuf
    I
    want to go back to Eritrea to provide medical attention – See more at:
    http://eastafro.com/Post/2014/08/16/next-stop-for-16-year-old-eritrean-milwaukee-whiz-is-the-ivy-league/#sthash.sMYsVjqm.dpufhttp://www.jsonline.com/news/education/next-stop-for-16-year-old-milwaukee-whiz-is-the-ivy-league-b99330793z1-271449191.html
    What a nice way to conclude ‘womens day’!

  • saay7

    Selamat Eyob:

    You know how every time an Eritrean runner (you, copying Eri-TV call him an “athlete”) beats an Ethiopian one you brace yourself for the PFDJ taunting? Put your ear muffs on:

    “[Sifan] Hassan, who won the 1,500 meters on Friday, seemed well placed as she attacked on the final curve but Eritrea-born [Meraf] Bahta proved too strong down the final straight.”

    Sifan is Dutch of Ethiopian ancestry and Meraf is Swedish of Eritrean ancestry…so now four countries are involved in this healthy competition:)

    saay

    • Eyob Medhane

      Sal,

      I hate this expression of “Dutch of Ethiopian ancestry”. Sifan was running for Ethiopia, until 2013 world championship. Let alone to to describe her as “Dutch of Ethiopian ancestry” I would have said, ” well one of her legs just touched down Amestrdam and the other one is expecting yo follow soon 🙂 )

      Congratulation to Meraf. She was really good. The other “Swidish” athlete. (See what I did there?) Abeba Aregawi should look over her shoulder, because her reign over 1500 seems to be over with the new arrivals Meraf and Sifan…..

  • Rodab

    Hello Elenta,
    Calendar is the only thing Ghedli changed. There is one more thing. Amharic was discarded and replaced by Eritrea’s native languages. That is so strange and so alien thing to do:-)

    I guess Ghedli critics would say the unabated militarization, the never ending sacrifices, and the total submissioness of the Eritrean society is unnatural and forced upon by Ghedli. These are valid points if you consider them independent of the causes that triggered Ghedli in the first place. But this wouldn’t have been the case had we been born the natural way, i.e, had Eritrea gotten its independence the same way/time our counterparts Somalia and Libya did. So Ghedli is responsible only for its part of all the miseries, but not the totality.

  • T. Kifle

    Hi Aniyee,

    Don’t despair. I didn’t say it conclusively. SGJ indicated that the Jeberties are denied the rights of advancing their language and culture. I honestly don’t know any grievances of such sort. I also don’t see any reason why they are not allowed to practice and maintain their identity while others are allowed to do so in their hundreds. But because you mentioned few names to corroborate your claim, I am afraid if these guys identity themselves as Jeberti. Seriously do you know any organized grievances brought to the attention of the state government or House of the Federation? Any inconvenience caused is not really intended and is honestly regretted

    • Saleh Johar

      T. Kifle, Okay you are chogwar danga if that makes you better than Eyob 🙂
      I didn’t say “Jebertis are denied the rights of advancing their language and culture.” You surely misread me. How could that be when their language is the language of the day, Tigrinya? As for culture, there are differences, and though they look minor, they are significant. For example, the example that Saay brought, Zuria. First, let us acknowledge that Zuria is a Jeberti creation, and funnily they are taunted as “Alemti” in a derogatory way 🙂 I am not sure but I believe they improvised the cross on Zuria as an added value to their product, and to please their customers. Yet, Jeberti do not wear dresses with a Cross and as of late, that is the only thing you see represented as Tigrinya culture in the shows that are organized by the same regime that forces the Jeberti to consider themselves Tigrinya. Nod and pass. T. Kifle, that is not assimilation, but repression.

      As for the Jeberti of Tigray, let’s call them “Aslam” to make it easier for you. Now it will be easier for you to search for their complaints 🙂

      On the cross border identity, let’s see this theory: Since the likes of YG promote Habesha alliance (in many ways, for hegemonic aspirations) and since mostly Habesha is disfigured up to appear as exclusive Christian identity, let’s bless that alliance. But on the other hand, let’s envision a cross border Muslim alliance, all the way from Western, Central and Eastern Eritrea, throughout the Afar land, Harrer, Ogaden, Benshangul, Oromya, even with the Muslims of Gondar, Welqait, Tigray and everywhere else. What would be the problem, or rather, what would be the risk? As far as Habesha alliance is considered, what Ethiopians should do to understand its implications is, to visit Newton’s Law: For every action, there is an equal.

      There you have it! That is why I reject the chauvinist Habesha attitude because the risk is too great to be treated as an emotional ego trip.

      • T. Kifle

        Dear SGJ,

        It seems you are blowing the “Habesha” thing out of proportion. Habeshaness as I understand it and being expressed in Ethiopia at the moment is in its most passive mode. My hunch is it might be more pronounced in the Diaspora probably with a disregard to other cultures. But here it is totally different. Me?ኣይሞቐኒ ኣይቖረኒ!! 🙂

        • Saleh Johar

          T.Kifle,
          Blowing it up? And you are here witnessing the onslaught by the Habesha supremacists? I understand that Ethiopia has come a long way eradicating chauvinism, though the process is on going as far as the paranoia related to it is concerned. I am glad it is in passive mode in Ethiopia, but on our side of the border, we have a few eggs to fry before we can describe it as passive. And our problem has always been with the Diaspora. It is a few individuals among them that need to hear the Amharic saying: ezihm bet essat alle 🙂

          I think we have squeezed the juice out of the topic, I am moving on…

          Take care

    • anyee

      hi t.kifle.
      i was ok with you untill you floged me with your old naration aslamay adi yeblun semay amdi yeblun thing. t.k please we have to be carefull when we address such a sensitive esues wich might agrivate old wounds, which i read you denying about your kings atrocity against my grand father, who migrated far away because he was forced to denounce his religion, and many more systematic ill treatments followed untill this day.
      as those individuals i mentioned they can not claim thier jeberty ancistery because they gave up them selves to the general tigra/Ethiopiany cause, rest asured i have close blood relation with one of them, also samoras interview includes his up bringing in axum as a muslim tigraway may tell a story of those individuals before they donated their sole to the couse, i.e they do not adress themselves as jeberty but if one is tigraway and a muslim automaticaly that person is jeberty.
      in conculusion please do a bit of reading about your tegaru muslims not the ones written by your prists or some borcham aderbays but by outsiders mainly the arabs and europians, as our collective history is made a hostage by the church in order to serve one side of our society with punityso , it is biase or incomplete.
      last but not i am still your admirer regarding your representation of ethiopian politics in this forum.
      take care.
      wedi lahmikha

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Anyee,

        I understand and share your sentiments. Of course it’s unfair to label me as proponent of the “…aslamay adi yeblun semay amdi yeblun…” ክስታናይስ እንታይ ዓዲ ነይሩዎ ኢልካዮ::

        So the Jeberti is closer to the concept of “Ethnic Islam” which includes every Muslim irrespective of he languages. they speak. Though people in some parts of Tigray still use the term(more often in derogatory sense), I hope you would agree with me that Muslims are no less Tigreans than their Christian brothers and sisters. That’s how I understand the individuals you mentioned as I know some of them much closer than you would probably think. At least that’s how I see it. The culture that discourages handicraft and creativity in the past is now giving way to productive and entrepreneurial ventures where the few who set-up micro business(weaving, smith, pottery, metalworks etc) are receiving accolades and rewards of their handwork with favourable market response(pls note: neither all the mentioned are Muslims nor are all Muslims involved in such businesses). In fact, the largest weaving enterprises are located at Shiro Meda, Addis Ababa where the owners are not Muslims at all but Gamos and Gofas. The activity in Tigray is very limited compared to that of Shiro Meda

        History? hmm, I have little faith in our recorded history and wouldn’t make fool of myself by jumping to the bandwagon that dictates us regurgitate down whatever they said is our collective history. Rest assured we are in the same boat in this regard.

  • Tzigereda

    Hi Awatistas,
    May I share this good news…Meraf Bahta won the 5000 m in European championship. According to the swedish newspaper, she escaped from Eritrea in 2009 ( her parents were prisoned, her mother died behind bars). Congratulations Meraf!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vPC7Jlx_Zd8

    • desta

      and have you read how both Meraf and the Ethiopian (who came second after Meraf) were annoyed when reporters asked them why they do not run for their “original” countries? I think the least these runners want to hear is to be associated with their home countries. I am happy for them that they succeeded though. http://www.expressen.se/sport/friidrott/fragan-som-gjorde-meraf-bahta-upprord/

      • Rahwa T

        I read the Google translation. She must be frustrated very much by the unexpected question from the journalist. Anyway, well done Meraf and congratulations for Eritreans.

  • Saleh Johar

    Yeah Elenta, some would want everyone to accept those allegation as true because doing otherwise is helping the PFDJ. Many of us believe we do not fight the PFDJ with lies since there are enough truth against it.
    1. Not at all, there are many who intermarried.
    2. Nope, Geez script was and is in use, in fact I know someone who went to Eritrea from the West to develop Geez script software beside other IT business.
    3. Nope, but the culture they promoted wsa/is offensive to traditionalist ot those who want to develop their culture.
    4. Nope, but it fell under the control of a government that is not fond of religion…just like the other religions.
    5. They taught history of the “glorious EPLF” other component of history was neglected. Their version of history didn’t reject Qohaito, etc, but it is designed to extol Eritrea though it became isolationist and arrogant.
    6. On the contrary, Arabic under the PFDJ was relegated to a lower level.
    7. Nope, people traveled as they wish provided they have permission to do so and provided clearance: tax arrears, military service, etc.
    8. Nope, Qddus Yohannes is celebrated with “National zeal” as the PFDJ say.

  • Ermias

    Serray, sorry to start up top of the page but I was tired of scrolling down a mile to get to the thread.

    I have one question for you: IA eventually shelved the 1997 constitution recently. You argue that he started the 1998-2000 war to dodge the constitution. What could have prevented him from shelving it back then? He seems to have always been in total and complete control of his regime.

    • Serray

      Selamat Ermias,

      First, lets clear the semantics: Isaias shelved the constitution when he ignited the border war and he discarded it in May 2014 to celebrate his independence day. Why didn’t he discard it when he set eritrea and ethiopia on fire in 1998? I guess it would have been obvious if he did that at the time war was raging or immediately after it. Even the wall decorations known as baito or the office ornament cabinet would have had a hard time warming chairs.

      Shaebia has two ways of saying No: stalling or just saying no. They use one or the other depending on which one is more vulgarly pragmatic. For example, the G-15 were sentenced to life or death the day they got arrested. Telling people that the special court has sentenced them to life in prison or death is doable but it is not vulgarly pragmatic. It created an illusion of accountability and unnecessary public discourse.

      When it comes to the constitution, the right question is not why he didn’t discard it 1998-2000 but why he discarded at all. I mean shelving was working nicely, sort of. You see, stalling works for people; you shelve them long enough, they die. Paper doesn’t. Plus, lately, from the semi-pfdjs and even some of the people who support him started mentioning it. Even worse, the only transmission that made it out during Forto was “implement the constitution”. I guess Isaias saw the value of its rallying potential that we saw long ago and he decided to put it out of its misery. And so it is was time to switch from the stalling version of no, to the no, no.

  • Semere Andom

    Framing the Eritrean woman debate:
    This debate just like the Ghedli debate has been hijacked by some quarters to attack dissenting views, So here I will try to frame so we can have terms of reference when debating:
    1. Do the overwhelming majority Eritrean women really support the regime that enslaves them? Please support your arguments for and against with some facts empirical will do
    2. Has Ghedli emancipated women as teg Mahmud likes to believe or enslaved them both during and after Ghedli?
    3. Does our culture in general enslave women worse than Ghedli or were women better of before Ghedli
    Things has been mixed up and deliberately twisted and soon we will be calling each other names like in romantics vs de-romantics, which was taken our of proportion.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Sem A and all;
      Before I head for my vacation, just a correction bxay semA:
      I never said ghedli emancipated women, but I am on record saying it didn’t enslave them. Do you see the difference? I went as far as I could possibly go supporting my argument that emancipation of women is a long societal process; that being true, women earned respect through their actual participation and sacrifices and that, had it not been squashed by PFDJ policies, they would have been in a better place. I was focusing more on the general blame targeting women, and actually proposed on how to win them, concluding my long and not so fruitful debate (with who else other than my humorous Sem A) that, if the opposition fails to win women, it won’t win the society. There are details for anyone to see in my replies. Now, there you have it wed Andom. I am packing up. See you when you return to the land of the free.

    • Nitricc

      I don’t get? Everyone was slaved to the idea of free and independent Eritrea. And everyone worked to their full capacity and died for the idea. So, why is it the leaperated Eritrean women scares you? Well it sucks for you, serray and your master YG. Eritrean women will never regres to your backward ways of life. Swallow it.

      • Semere Andom

        Dear Awatista:
        Pay close attention, the transplant brain part from Sal, part from Aman, part from Mahmuday is working on increasing the number of cells on someone’s brain as evidenced by: “Everyone was slaved to the idea of free and independent Eritrea. ” And everyone worked to their full capacity and died for the idea”
        It would have made exponential increase if the transplant included some of Papi’s, Hayat’s and Yodita’s, but the patient was adamant to receive transplants from women to his peril. The statement quoted was ground breaking and it is conjecture that the combination of the cells from the different donors produced a novel cell and proved for the first time that single cell brains have hope. Especially since Sal in the board of directors of the body that protects discrimination against single celled brain, his articulation to persuade Emma and Mahmuday to donate some cells is thought to be selfless, the results are phenomenal, but if the subject does not have the will his body may reject the cells. One person, Serray will not be happy as now the romantics have gotten one more player who was benched, but he has no one to be blame as he was the one who first brought this birth defect to our attention, which bothered the movement of no Eritrean left behind and the campaign for harvesting the brain cells began in earnest. Hayat and Yodita were willing to donate long time ago, bug the subject refused the offer by saying that since Hayat is from Tigray he did not want her cells in his body and he refused Yodita’s on the basis of what he called her “sexually” frustrated nature. Sal tried to convince him that he better accept the offer as his debating and manners will be “lethal” to the de-romatics and especially to Serray the sublime

        • Serray

          Selamat Semere,

          I guarantee you the transplant will fail; its motherboard had no slot for that. It is actually easier to install a capitalist chip in isaias’s alcohol soaked china made brain. The difference between a single brain cell and two is huge. Have you noticed how it doesn’t evolve? It is because the cell get fried at the end of the day and it regenerates at night while charging. That is why one day it seems vaguely to understand something and then the next day it is back to its old self. The single brain self is attached to its RAM and it gets wiped out every time it is turned off. I asked a programmer friend to write a subliminal code to permanently fry its brain cell. As soon as he finish writing the code, we will test it on old cleaning bots (he needs to clean even with no brain cells) and runit on the twenty or so forums this thing scribbles gibberish.

      • LETAY

        Nitric
        You have to be in women shoe to understand, they are double slaved by the society and the party.

    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Dear Semere A,

      Some researched papers to share with you. I have read these papers a year before and hope you read them already if not here I am sharing.

      http://gencen.isp.msu.edu/documents/Working_Papers/WP274.pdf

      http://www.fafo.no/ais/africa/eritrea/WomenLabourEritra.pdf

      • Semere Andom

        Thaks bother Tes for this and the comments yesterday
        sem

  • Amal

    Salam all,

    My apologize to the Reply Button Police! I am forced to write you all, because not enough hours in the day to reply to each and everyone of you.

    Being one of the women that read and never interact on the comment section of awate.com, I have to confess that I am utterly provoked and astonished that in 2014 we still have men that hate women (yes really) in our society. The current discussion under “Never Mind The Calf: Mind The Rustler” is amazingly revealing to a small portion of this deeply rooted hate to the female wisdom and the never discussed patriarchal stronghold of our society. No idea how this developed into a discussion about women, gender and even a spontaneous “women’s day” was declared. I won’t get into who said what when but allow me to put somethings straight.

    Little did Stieg Larsson know that the first book of his Millennium series “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, which in it’s original language (swedish) had the title “Män som hatar kvinnor” literally, men who hate women. If the title had to truly reflect on the story, it would translate to “women in Eritrea”.

    To my understanding there is no such thing as Habesha culture when it comes to women in our society. The cultural norms here that govern social norms for women’s position is between Highland/Lowlands. There is no difference between Saho, Jebirty and Habesha women’s treatment, upbringing and societal expectations in the highland except that of religion (I stand to be corrected). And in the lowlands many a time one would hear men (only men) boasting as to how well they treat their women but both ways in my opinion are limiting and oppressing to women with their own set of codes.

    In the highland, it’s the tough rough type of “love”. Where by women do everything for the household, even the hardest choirs, that in any other setting one would expect men to be doing. And in the lowlands it’s by limiting women to the home, anything outside the home is for men to take care of. In both cases, it’s from a position of ownership and the standing of honor culture, ornamented and hidden behind “our tradition” as a scapegoat for patriarchal chauvinism. Of course we are not alone, the whole world is run by this system that in some cases harm and limit men to roles imposed on them also with the same codes and ornamentations of social expectation “boys don’t cry”!

    Then there is the story of Ghdli and the participation of women in the liberation. For instance the Eritrean women fighters especially within the EPLF, as soon as liberation was granted they were faced dealing with the same norms of society that their mothers had to
    suffer. Up to now there are no documented, women martyrs that are made accepted into role models. I never understand, is that because their life/death had no value? or we simply had superwomen so they didn’t die and they were not worthy of being named heroines? I sadly rather believe the former. But my suspicion is that our society is ashamed of them “they bring shame on family” ( with a Pakistani accent). How many of the women and girls that took part in Ghdli had the blessing and support of their family’s before leaving to Meda? Especially by head of the household? I believe answering that question would help us understand better our predicament and how we view women in society.

    This too though not unique to us, this is what all revolutions did to female comrades, in all the revolutions, e.g. The French, Bolshevik, Chinese, Vietnamese, Eritrean revolution no different. What should be the concern of the so called “elite” is to be aware of these issues and try to bring them up to the surface of our discussion table, only then we will scratch the surface of an old misperception of what a woman is and should be in our society. Let it be known that, throughout history men have used women giving them the rights of this and that, to the advantage of the cause at hand. In the opposition camp too, women are only welcome if they will push the male/party/cause agenda forward. But even the women that are celebrated as the heroines of the opposition do so because they act like men they “bend it like Beckham”. The idea is to copy what the most powerful of men do, and do it 100 times better to male standards, all while having the subtext “I am one of you”, ” I am a humanist, I am not a feminist” because God for bid if these women started to handle or talk about women and gender issues in any other light other than “women are victims and I am not like them” …they will loose their game.

    Once upon a time, the men of ancient Greek sat down and
    wondered what a woman is? if she is equal to a man!? less than a man? equal to a boy?! (which according to them was in higher stage of being) ;). And in every society these questions come up at some point even if not voiced, always comparing, judging women by the norms of men, with such conditions our gender based struggle will go on, until we as women find our own norms, trust the female wisdom and do it the woman way. I am not suggesting we go back to Greek sort of questioning of femininity but it would add to our discourse if we look at ourselves from a far with distance.

    Amal

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Amal:

      First nice name/ nick

      Second Sal just told us that your debating skills are lethal, a complement. I just want to know can you substantiate your “is amazingly revealing to a small portion of this deeply rooted hate to the female wisdom and the never discussed patriarchal stronghold of our society’?
      Thanks
      Sem

      • saay7

        Hala iTegadalai Sem:

        I told you this trip to Italy has been really bad for you.

        “Sal just told us that your debating skills are lethal…”

        Sal told you no such thing. You just assumed that Amal is the same as the other “female unit” who IMed me.

        More shetaHtaH for melheyna Sem. What’s worse Kalashin Mahmuday litSeberka hala when you get back:)

        saay

        • Rodab

          Regardless he got it right or wrong, Sem Arkey is right in assuming this Amal was the Amal you mentioned hours earlier. I am with you on this Sem. Sal said earlier “thanks Amal. I guess some people are into the Math teacher look”. And boom..there is Amal at the forum for the first time. Dramatic coincident!

          • saay7

            Rodab:

            I see that sign now: “Slippery When Wet”; you have joined Sem slipping and sliding away 🙂

            1. A female, whose name I don’t mention(let’s call her X) IMs me and expresses her reservations about the persona Eritrean males take online. I share an excerpt of what she wrote:
            2. Serray goes nuclear; Sem supports Serray, and Haile TG calls her a teen who is incapable of debating.
            3. I correct Haile and say she is not a teen and she is an able debater
            4. Meanwhile, Amal and two other women who rarely if ever write join the conversation
            5. Sem can’t resist the conclusion that Amal is the same as the X.
            6. Rodab says yep Amal is X…

            saay

          • Rodab

            Haha Sal, the unbeatable.
            I was amazed by the coincidence..haha.
            Other than that my view is more of sympathy for our ladies. My only complaint was for those who say let’s treat them more nicely. My reasoning against that is, well ok we can labor to do that here, but the real world is not exactly that way. So it is better to be as tough with them as we would with male partners,,,in an effort to prepare them for the real deal….

          • Amal

            Funny enough Rodab, this is all your fault 🙂

            I wrote here yesterday to reply to you. Didn’t even have an account until a few hours after I first wrote to you.

            Btw, women don’t need to be trained, they are humanbiengs not pets.

            It’s not about being nice, just be civil… That’s what I miss on these forums.

            Amal

          • Rodab

            Hi Amal and welcome to baytona,
            ‘trained’ aywetsanin:-) but preparation? That is a must have for every human being, I know you would agree.
            Needless to say civility is a much desired yet regrettably scarce commodity. Even as well-run as this website, only so much can be done by the moderators. As a result, it becomes imperative to be “thick-skined”. That was my point.
            Now, what can we do to make your stay longer and continuous?

          • haileTG

            Selamat Amal and saay

            Saay, I don’t know what you’re being investigated for, however, I will give my witness account and figure it all out later 🙂

            When I read what you were IM’ed by X, I put my awate forum sense that one grows here by engaging the way we do. By noting her punchlines and also weighing the odds that a middle aged Eritrean woman (that are focus of our discussion here) talking like that or is it one of her daughters, I took the teen blind stab. The debate skill may indeed be unlikely (which is why it was qualified with “probably”, the oldest tool in the kit of the political talk mischief 🙂 Now that we know she is not as I thought her to be, it is also a relieve to note there is Amal. When you mentioned it earlier, I thought it was a typo to mean Aman and wondered for a while if he’d added women’s case to his social justice portfolio 🙂

            Dear Amal,

            There is indeed a patriarchal system in Eritrea and the vast parts of the world. A non-Eritrean friend of mine who had many years of travel and work throughout Africa, once observed to me that even if the male has a higher status in the home, our division of labor seemed to him to be done willingly and accepted naturally. This of course was in reference to how the Eritrean diaspora household manages rather than the actual situation in Eritrea and throughout its diverse cultures. I believe, however, that the observation may be possible to extend to Eritrea, in so far as the roles of relatives were to be limited. Sometimes the main perpetrator of the woman’s agony ends up being a vengeful female in-law (sister or mother).

            What is your take?

            Cheers

          • Saleh Johar

            HTG, I didn’t check today; now I find the story of Saay’s affair all over the place. I know him so much and I can tell you he is not good at detecting age from text or voice messages–I am sure she is a “mature middle-aged women”. I doing this because everyone went shtaHtaH and I want to join in the shtaHtaH 🙂

            Seriously though, it is laughable to blame Gedli for social ills entrenched in the society for centuries. Emancipation of women is a long struggle and cannot be achieved by a government fiat in a fortnight. What I can say is the it is Gedli that brought the issue of women to the fore, not Haile Sellasie’s Ethiopia, well before the Derg went Red. So, credit is due to Gedli, at least we are aware of what’s wrong with our society that rewards women a fraction of what they deserve, and that if we men felt generous.

            Such struggle should not be limited to intellectual debate, it should be supported by firm legislation and emancipatory policies. But that should not mean women should be touchy-feely when it comes to criticizing womenfolks who comprise a big chunk of the crowd that supports and adorn the PFDJ festivals and dis-empower those who struggle.

            In fact when I coined the Wedini and Scunis terms to describe the PFDJ, I have men and women in my mind. Growing up I knew social outcast, both men and women. To my surprise, very few of those I met have changed and become decent people, zqoreben zshemgelen. The rest haven’t changed one bit. And where do you find those who are still social outcasts, though immigration to the West and Arab gold ornaments has camouflaged their true character? You guessed it; they are all supporters of the regime.

          • saay7

            Haile The Great:

            I will summarize paragraph 2 for you using three words: “I screwed up.” 🙂 You made an assumption and your assumption was wrong.

            But don’t feel bad: it is a shetaHtaH party. Even my friend SGJ, trying to fix things, made them worse. “He was putting make up on her and he blinded her,” as the Arabs say. HTG called her a teen, so SGJ doubled down and called her a middle-aged lady. Do I have an “old lady” How about an “octogenarian”? Going once…going twice…

            But seriously, Hailat, I know you have seen FB pages where they show a woman holding a portrait of Isaias and kissing his hands…pictures of Eritrean women dancing at PFDJ parties and being made fun of. How about the Eritrean men who rush to kiss the hands of Isaias Afwerki when he is “making an inspection tour” of Gash-Barka? Do you think the “Deleyti FitHi” need to get their act together when it comes to their messaging?

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,
            Gega ykhlaaley ‘mber, mine was a voluntary shetaHtaH, and I made that clear, I should have gone somewhere else where they have a slide.But, sga aboy ille, mokhHali aynebereni qolqal– weriduni gual qeshi 🙂

          • saay7

            Haha Abuselah:

            byeHsel fi AgdaE nas:) Just so you know that this means that I will not be able to meet my quota of “recruiting new writers particularly from underrepresented members of Eritrean society” which was Anqets 4.2 of our awate bylaws:) I respectfully request that the sabotage of Haile TG, Semere T’s ymezgebeley: that we post their images in the front page, and invite women to throw virtual rocks at them:)

            saay

          • Tzigereda

            Wow, I feel good!

          • Rodab

            Tzigereda, I am glad you agreed to Aman’s call to write an article.
            How much time you need? 5 days, a week?

          • Tzigereda

            Dear Rodab,
            Yelekhulan…

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Sis Tzegereda,

            Here it goes, Saay is inviting you to write articles in the front page of awate. You have the knack and show your flower in the forest of males. I really wanted you to show up and meet the challenges. By doing that you will open the door to others. Am I right sister?

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Tzigereda

            Dear Aman,
            Thank you, in the moment I am so busy with meetings and work, just give me (us) time.

          • sara

            Dear tzigereda
            i understand your position, we are all busy and have work and family, i mean kids to look after too, i am wondering how those brave men in this forum could afford or squeeze their time to write such wonderful articles keep on debating.the day has 24 hours and definitely most work 8 hours and spend 3-4 hours going and coming from work then 6-8 hours sleep … forget daily choirs… where do we have the time…thats why i said i understand the dear tz.. when she said she couldn’t.
            ato, aman don’t be pushy.

          • Saleh Johar

            Sara,
            I observed that on the average women spend more time watching soap operas, if you can cut on that, you will get the time 🙂

          • sara

            amee’ saleh, indid you are right “some” not all of us spend time watching soap operas, infact that is a challenge to you and your likes to be creative enough to come up with alternative.

          • haileTG

            hey Sara

            That is now interesting, can you elevate it to an article 🙂 (kidding ya)

            My life happen to include many women (most Eritrean) and can’t help to notice one or two things on their preferred cyber experience. They do spend a lot of time in social media (who wouldn’t and haile would be the last person who should point that out:). It is just that Eritrean politics isn’t high on their selection list (probably not on the list at all). Their cyber trending includes socialization, shopping, personal care, movies, music and the likes. Their longest comment on Eritrean issue (for many) happens to be “elelelelelelel…” and you can never run out of an “..el” to make it even longer 🙂

            This is why I disagreed (OK had a different take – with a clenched fist 🙂 when they tried to blame us here for their willful absconding!! ዓንጾ ዓንጾ ንማዕጾ ክብሉኺ ከምዚ። Please go around this website and point me the closest thing a woman would wish to spend time looking at?? Give me the eastafro of the opposition camp, opposition doesn’t have movies, no fashion, kids don’t exist, nothing, cold, cruel, argumentative politics from Eritrea going as far back as the Axumite kingdom!! Gosh, I am even wondering how we attracted you here 🙂

            Like anything else, in the real life political opposition work, there are large numbers of women. Many are also in leadership, decision making and also making big headlines. But, so are in many other areas of our lives. The HGDEF supporter woman is under a different set of pressure that I have first hand knowledge in and she is unlikely to ever muster to speak the truth because of a cosmetic change in here or other opposition websites.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal:
            Your should add so they can perfect the actual “argumuhum” later 🙂

          • haileTG

            haha saay,

            Thanks for the “summary”, let me finish it up Haile style: “I screwed up and my apology.” There. 🙂

            I use to have a professor long ago (in my undergrad years) who used to tease us “..OK class this is going to be easy, except you need to be fluent in Latin” If we are to suggest cultural revolution before political one, well I can only say that we may be a little pressed for time sir!!! Eritrean justice seekers who believe Ethiopia should assist them still go one using terms as “agame” in derogatory terms. The complex issues of women’s rights ain’t dandy in HGDEF side either and can’t be argued that is what is making those old ladies (from the time of Hafash wudubat) to stick around. HGDEF and its kingdom is the WORST violator of women’s rights. Eritrea is still a developing state in this regard and the issue straddles all societal nooks and crannies. Can we be who we are, go at our pace and mobilize to save the nation or it is either we solve every world problem first or perish? I don’t think other successful revolutions reached the level of such thresholds of equality and justice to do what is right and moral to save their periled populations.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hailat The Great:

            Finish this sentence for me: “if you keep on doing what you are doing…..” And: “the definition of insanity is…..”

            Well, no, sir, we can’t be who we are because who we are isn’t good enough for the outcome desired:)

            saay

          • Tzigereda

            Dear Haile TG,
            The sole aim of the whole discussion is on how to enhance the contribution of erirean women in saving the eritrean people and the the nation. The eritrean women belong to the main victims of the PFDJ-gang! We are not calling for ” cultural revolution”!

          • haileTG

            Dear Tzigereda,

            I totally understand that such is a desperately needed and welcome development in advancing the cause of justice. Unfortunately, it waxes alien to the reality of Eritrean politics to argue that the women are not joining because of the justice seeking community being somewhat discouraging of women participation. It would be preposterous to even argue that there is anything outside of our societal norms taking place in the opposition to turn away women. I think it is many women who are left without bread winners in Eritrea, I think it is many women being raped and humiliated from Sawa to Sinai and the jails of Tripoli and Misrata, I think it is many women giving birth in horrifying conditions while running away the brute. A women who doesn’t give a dime to all this and is jumping up and down for IA and kissing his hand may have other issues. Saay’s criticism of pictures used and words uttered calls for either a Utopian world of gender equality given our humble societal situation. Despite the above women tragedies I mentioned, many older women are still hopelessly being used by regime propaganda. I can’t say what is in their head but they tend to submit to the regime’s mischief. We are a society where women don’t sit on the same side with men in church services, social occasions and the rest. A woman is still domesticated in mainstream Eritrea and social role stereotypes and male domination pervades the entirety of our society. Hence, either saay is proposing cultural revolution or cosmetic changes! I don’t know an Eritrean opposition organization that is against the full woman participation in politics and so forth. The opposition is far better at boasting high profile women doing great work. But, if one starts to scan social media or street corners to sample attitudes, well that may be too hard to satisfy. I like to invite women and still keep men, I hate to win one by sacrificing the other. cheers 🙂

        • Mahmud Saleh

          SAAY,
          Nitricc donated brain tissue is growing, just waiting for sem arrival eb deHanu lmtsae, and with an intact brain cavity. Rome wasn’t good for our boy.

        • Semere Andom

          Dear Habibna Sal:
          As Aklilu Zere would say, you have not economized English words to save your friend from Shetahta:-)

      • Amal

        Selamat Semere,

        Thanks for liking my Hope :).

        Without being patronizing, what kind of substantiated evidence do you need? Are we or are we not a patriarchy in Eritrea (except the Kunama)?

        I would have to write a book to answer you and go into details of how this hate for the feminine and the desire to control it manifest itself. Hence I am not the woman Sal was talking about, rest assured this is not happening in this life time.

        An easier way would be if you have a heart to heart with the Eritrean women in your life. Where by, you genuinely want to investigate patriarchy and it’s effects on society.

        Wa dahanka

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Amal
          II specifically asked you the hate for women under this thread. I do not need to investigate patriarchy in our society I am with you in that. Maybe I did not understand your, but I am asking your specifically the hate under this comment section

          • Amal

            That’s better more clear!
            Maybe also I was not clear on my post but there was so many comments to reply to and I just wanted to write all of with out being specific … Lazy .. I know 🙂

            There were certain points raised, as to want make it as if women only are the supports of PFDJ. Do we ever ask why men support the PFDJ? Intresting that women are all of a sudden just a mere collective. It’s when you guys were talking about that that I could sense the resentment for women in small portions.

            Hope I made my point clear?

            Amal

          • Semere Andom

            Thanks Amal:
            I wanted to make sure that we are clear, I wanted to clearly delineate what we are debating, the Eritrean women have been at the receiving end of the ugly societal norm and the ugly gheldi that promised to liberate them and ended up enslaving them. Because I was accused wrongly accused of being anti women when I criticized the Askalu’s I wanted to make sure you were not making the same point, it turned out to be I misunderstood as Sal deciphered I am suffering from aqua mineral overdose 🙂
            I am cool with you

    • Nitricc

      Amal thank you. I hope and pray youare here for th r long run. I need you in fighying the pigs. You go girl; give them the 21st century pill. They are so behind it is sad.
      Well come and i hope you stick around.
      Absolut respect.
      Niticc

      • Amal

        Thanks for the nice welcome and kind words Niticc!

        Don’t count on me sticking around, it’s kind of;I say my thing, drop the mic.. While storming from the stage 🙂

        Amal

    • Tzigereda

      Dear Amal,
      Well done! Waiting for our article!

  • Ermias

    When it comes to our contemporary problems which resulted from Ghedli and Shaebia, there is absolutely nobody who makes more sense than Serray, not even YG. Let’s not get too defensive but try to understand his points. The man probably arrived a little too soon because most Eritreans are still in a huge state of confusion as to how the great ghedli and it’s product Shaebia (same as PFDJ) is not as glamorous and as grand as advertised.

    The one thing that just beats me every time is when we accuse PFDJ of rewriting Eritrean history specially that of medda, ELF fighters come to its defense but least do they know that PFDJ has successfully erased much of their history in the minds of a huge portion if Eritreans or at least they have successfully twisted ELF’s history.

    • Thomas

      Ermias – you said, “The man (Serray) probably arrived a little too soon because most Eritreans are still in a huge state of confusion as to how the great ghedli and it’s product Shaebia (same as PFDJ) is not as glamorous and as grand as advertised.” Hahaha just wrong time and choosing wrong website, it is like changing your religion to Jehovah’s Witnesses in the middle of Majority Orthodox/Tewahdo residence. You get the heat and social outcast:

    • saay7

      Selamat Ermi:

      If I was going to assemble a debating team, I would want Serray on my side. But, being a great debater and being right are different.

      1. So you think that Seray arrived too soon? Tell that to the ELFers who were warning that nothing but disaster will befall Eritrea if the EPLF/PFDJ takes power in Eritrea. But nobody listened to them because they couldn’t make it to the finish line: an Eritrea free from Ethiopian rule.

      2. The reason the ELF fighters come to “its defense” is because you are not accusing PFDJ of rewriting history. You are accusing PFDJ, EPLF, ELF, ELM, Independence Bloc and anybody who argued that Eritrea was morally and legally justified to be an independent nation. You are accusing Ghedli (Ghedli was ELF from 1961-1971; it was ELF+EPLF+ELF-PLF from 1971 to 1981; it was EPLF from 1981-1991.)

      3. Serray is not as way off the deep end as YG–at least Serray grudgingly accepts that Eritreans (correction: lowlander Eritreans) were justified in raising arms in 1961 (whereas YG, and therefore Hayat) think we raised arms too early and then we just took too damn long to finish it. Serray is the reluctant warrior: we highlanders HAD to help out the lowlanders because the King forced our hand, what can we do. MeAt indiyu weriduna.

      4. Serray, like YG, often commits what is known as the “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” (After this, therefore because of this) fallacy. He is way too smart, and the examples are too many, for me to think this is accidental. I think he gets in the Debate Zone: I am going to win this argument. For example: the Eritea-Ethiopia conflict was started so that Isaias can avoid implementation of the 1997 constitution. I think both Serray and YG are attracted to neat formulas that explain life, but life is way too messy.

      5. Serray does not appear to be aware how apprehensive some Eritreans get when he emphasizes Habesha identity. I don’t think I have ever heard him ask, “now tell me, exactly, what is your apprehension?” He assumes that when you do express that, it is because you are self-hating Habesha, or somebody trying to suppress his identity, etc.

      Other than that, he is a great guy and an even better debater.

      saay

      • Ermias

        Selamat Sal,

        Is this a debate forum or a discussion forum? I looked up the exact meanings of ‘debate’, ‘discussion’, and ‘forum.’ Well, I prefer to believe that I am discussing our current state of affairs with my fellow Eritreans and some Ethiopian friends. Debate sounds a little too formal and cold. Anyway, on this website, there is no better debater than you because you support most of your arguments with exact dates, references, and videos too amazingly enough. So I don’t quite admire Serray for his debating skills but for his fearless expression of his ideas with which I agree with more often than not. I hope he can take on your five point rebuttal on his own but here goes mine with the limited knowledge that I have.

        1. The context is a little different. To my understanding, ELF, Menkae, etc. were raising concerns and even fighting not because they believed in the fundamental structural flaws of EPLF but because they had grievances with individual EPLF leaders. Serray is seeing through the opaque walls that was created during the long misinformation and brainwashing campaign.

        2. Sal, I still do not know what ‘ghedli defamer’ means. Are you then a Hailesellassie defamer because you are extremely critical of him? I don’t think so. My reference was basically what I see on Eri-TV where PFDJ rewriting the entire ghedli history as if ELF never ever existed and contributed nothing. Of all my family members (one brother, and dozens of first cousins and first uncles), at least 75% were in the ELF, many died with no trace of their place and date of martyrdom. I would like to know their struggle at least mentioned to the Eritrean people from time to time. Of the ELF survivors in my family, most have converted to PFDJ or sympathizers. They never say a word as to why their history is being buried. That is an example of ‘contradiction of the Eritrean mind.’

        3. That is where it gets really murky and gray for me. Both sides make extremely strong arguments and I have yet to make more research on that and take a position but at this point I hear you SAAY and I hear you too YG and same with you Serray.

        4. “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” – did you just make that phrase up? I tried saying that fast three times and the people near me thought I was saying ‘I am going to burn this building.’

        “For example: he says the Eritea-Ethiopia conflict was started so that Isaias can avoid implementation of the 1997 constitution.” I have read that from Serray before and that is the weakest thing that I have ever read from him. From all my observations, both sides had no idea what they were getting into initially. IA was looking for some attention. I was reading the definition of ‘war’ and when IA took tanks to Badme, he had no idea that he actually officially started war. He had no intention of going on an all out war with Ethiopia. Melles figured ‘let me use this opportunity and teach this former bully a lesson he will never forget.’ Who would ever have blocked IA from burning the constitution with or without war? He does whatever he wants, he has always done that. Plus I have also read Serray saying that implementing the constitution would be a good first step. That is the second weakest thing in his analysis. There really is no point to that. I read the constitution recently twice and it cannot work. Aman H. made strong arguments refuting the constitution and he actually opened my eyes on that.

        5. I have yet to read much about Serray’s Habesha identity writings. My take is that ‘people should be allowed to live as naturally as it comes to them.’ Why would it be a problem for anyone if people, say, from Senafe or Adi Quala live peacefully as if there is no border line separating them with people in Adi Grat or Rama, respectively? The same on the other side of the border, people from Tesseney living in the same manner with the people on the west side of Sudan. One question, I could ask you Sal is that when do you think were people in Eritrea living in the most natural manner?

        • Nitricc

          Wow! I have no idea people live in a cage. Good luck SAAY answering that nonesense. SAAY i undestand your mission in informing the yong that Gedli is beyond eplf ;pfdj and Pia. I do but how do you deal with people like Ermias? This dude is as dumb as me.
          Or is it semere lol

        • Tesfabirhan WR

          Dear Ermias,

          I can see now your empty head {Which I referred YG’s fertile ground}. Go on anyway, you will be emancipated from your complete ignorance on the Eritrean case. Your eyes will be opened also and realize land border is nothing but psychological border in which PFDJ successfully succeeded in creating in every innocent Eritrean as the ultimate case.

          You will see also Eritrean history is beyond the Ghedli history once you read Eritreans were engaged actively in today’s Eritrea as sole owners of the land but yet every time tired of the Abyssinian warlords.

          Go and put some tangible historical, social, political and governance facts.

          The good think that I admire you is that you are so innocent. This is very good quality but YG and Serray will manipulate you. Even question the unquestionable, think of unthinkable on SAAY and others. In that way only you can be the REAL you.

          This is a friendly talk with you

          tes; the adventurer from the wonderland of Eritreans

          • Ermias

            Tes, what happened to you brother? All these for simply voicing my opinion and understanding? I would have least expected that from you. To repeat what Sal said our people need more freedom of movement at this time than freedom of speech. Let’s not building a Berlin wall along our borders specially to the south. I understand the Eritrean case much better than you do. My father was actively involved in the politics of the 1950’s. Unfortunately, he was really at an advanced age when I was born and so he was deceased before I could start asking him tough questions but few bits of pictures and documents I found helped me get into it. Also for your information, one of the documents he left, we trace his genealogy 16 generations back in the Massawa area, I forget the little village. They migrated to the highlands and settled there. We are Asawrta, I remember him saying that but I had no idea what it meant at that time. Sorry for the digression but if you are trying to tell me that you are more Eritrean than me, then you are no better than a PFDJite. In a reply to Kim Hana, Sal said this yesterday and I would say that is brilliant analysis and let’s just start from there and expand on it. Let’s not pretend like the Tigrinya people in kebessa have nothing in common with Tigrayans and to be fair the same on the Sudanese border. Here is the quote from Sal:

            “While the people who inhabit Eritrea may be ancient, the Eritrean identity is relatively new. Eritrea, as you know, became an Italian colony in 1890 and I doubt that was the year the people who inhabit Eritrea called themselves Eritrean. This “artificial construct” was a process created by colonial power. This is common to almost all of African states which were formed by colonial powers, enshrined by the OAU in 1964: our national identity is whatever the Europeans told us it was. Excepting for Ethiopia on whom borders weren’t imposed but negotiated by Menelik as equal partner with the Brits and Italians.”

          • Nitricc

            Ermias so you don’t really understand what YG stands for? Well you got work to do before you support the YG s and Serray’s. Do your homework my dude. Wow you have no clue where YG stands and why you support him. Nop

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahwat Ermias & Tes,

            Despite your differences, still you are brilliant and are the hope of Eritrea. One advice to tes though, while I agree your line of debating on the issue, you become to aggressive and sometime you make it personal. For example there is no such “empty head” though human being differs on the knowledge they acquire. So please avoid personal attack. Attack to the idea.

            Ermi, sometimes I openly say that we Eritreans are poor in politics.Politics is the art how to administer the differences within your society. As a result of that we are still suffering lack of leadership – a leadership which understand our differences (administering our differences) and accommodate the needs of our people. Our reality is crystal clear, be it the governing regime or in the opposition camp (in Diaspora) we lack the skill of leadership. We know how to oppose and diverge our ideas, we don’t know how to converge ideas by accommodating to our divergent ideas.

            So both of you, as brilliant as you are, you have to study our differences and fill the deficiency of the generation before you in developing the quality of leadership to administer our differences within our society.

            Hawkum,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Amanuel H,

            Thank you and ab Libina yeHdro.

            hawka
            tes

          • Ermias

            Hi Emma. I was more surprised by Tes’s remarks than offended.

            I have a couple questions for you within the context of Eritrea but I hope others can chime in too:

            1. What’s the difference between nationality and identity? For example, can someone be a very proud and embracing habesha and at the same time a proud Eritrean or Ethiopian?

            2. Is Habesha an ethnicity or an identity or what is it?

            3. Is Tigrinya an ethnicity? Or Tigre or Bilen…etc?

            4. If the habesha’s form an alliance, does that threaten eritreanism?

            5. Is there such a movement as in the greater habesha unity movement at this time? I ask this because I am sensing some people are feeling a little insecure.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Ermias,
            I will volunteer a reply if you don’t mind. Okay, you do not mind 🙂

            1. Nationality is one layer of identity, but identity is not neccessarily a layer of nationality. Not all Eritreans are Habesha , and not all Habesha are Eritreans.
            2. Ethnicity is defined by shared traits, commonality in race, religion, language, etc. If you define ethnicity based on language, it is your choice, others might not want to be defined based on language. But usually, those in power impose their will on the people, like what PFDJ did to Eritreans. No Tigringa speaker ever defined himslef as Tigrinya, but as Habesha. No Tigrayet person defined himslef as Tigre, etc, until the PFDJ imposed the ethnicity of the people. This should not be done under duress and proclamations, but a consensus of the people.
            3. As Saay explained earlier, people have the right to identify themselves. To me for example, there is no Tigrinya ethnicity, but Tigrinya language. The PFDJ considers me Tigrinya, I reject that. I am a Tigrinya speaker, but not Tigrinya, none of my ancestors or me identified ourselves as Tigrinya.

            5. Anyone can form an alliance, but if it is political alliance, it certainly affects security of others who will be forced to counter it with similar alliances. That is not good for identity #1: national identity.

            5. There are individuals who blurt such sentiments, YG for example, but it doesn’t travel beyond the Internet chatter. If there are dormant sentiments, it is a result of the disappointment that we feel. It’s an emotional reaction, not rational–I think. If you observe people feeling “insecure” your observation might not be correct. People react to give those who bring dead, lazy, chauvinist ideas to give the perpetrators their kind of medicine. Nothing more.
            d their choice to identify themselves.

          • Ermias

            SGJ, of course. I am glad you answered. I did have you in mind as a matter of fact. As you can imagine, one could write articles out each point we are discussing. In the final analysis, where I am trying to get at is ‘allegiance.’ Individuals have identity choices as you alluded too. However, collectively what should our strongest pledge of allegiance be to? The national identity or the ethnic (or the other identifiers)? I ask this because I have heard YG say that ‘unionism is not only foolish but it is also impractical.’ Which means he has a much stronger allegiance to his ethnic identity than to being Eritrean. It sounds logical because most people are loyal to their families, then to their extended families, then to their regions, to their religions, and so on up to the national. Please correct me if I am wrong.

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear SGS,

            I may discuss or a kind of amateur debate with you on this matter especially on the ethnicity point of view. One thing that I agree with you though as you said I do not support an imposed or through proclamations for the sake of homogenizing the heterogeneous group.

            Coming from broad perspective and on scholarly, evolutionary and political landscape concepts, ETHNICITY has a dynamic nature. I have read your response to TK and I am considering that also and from these two comments you have I may defer. A reactive political tendency might blur such discussions but from many angles the concept of “Pan-Ethnicity” is the best option when high level of civility is attained instead of the other way round that leads to tribalism and clans.

            huka
            tes

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Tes,
            Let me elaborate:
            1.People decide who they are, no one should impose an identity on them.
            2. People across boreders will naturally have things that connect them and it is natural to have a bond.
            3. When that bond is heralded and forged with a political (hegemonic) and reasons that affect others, those others naturally react against that alliance.
            4. Identity is dynamic but usually evolves over time. A region might have one religion today and a different religion over time. It is not natural (doesn’t happen often) for a region to speak Greek today, and change to Russian speakers in a fortnight.
            5. If 4, happens, it should be because of some disaster, genocide, etc.
            6. I didn’t say imposed alliances, but imposed identity– but I do not accept anything imposed.
            7. What you consider “best option” another might consider “worst option.” What we like and wish for is something and what will end up happening depends on how strong the political, social and other dynamics are.

            8. Most political disasters (and quarrels) happen because naturally people have “reactive political tendency” to act in defense of their security and survival. I wish it was not the fact, but unfortunately that is how humans are wired.

            Take care dear

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Selah,
            If I am not wrong, are you saying there are no ethnics in Eritrea? correct me if I am wrong. If I am right, What does the social terminology “ethnic” means? How do you relate the word to our “defined social groups”? When I say social groups I mean specifically to the “Bilen-people, Saho-people, Baza-people, Baria-people, denkalian-people…etc. Look I am avoiding the word ethnic from my side, because I want to give you a room to define it sociologically, not the literal meaning. Don’t we have to argue with the scientific meaning of it? Do we need to write articles on the subject? When we say “biheratna”, doesn’t it mean our ethnics? I am really curious about it.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Emma,
            Ethnicity can be defined by many factore/layers: linguistic, religious, racial, etc…
            I didn’t say there are no ethnics in Eritrea; I said the classification are imposed by the PFDJ without the consent of the people to change their identity by another imposed by the regime. I believe, whatever a government unilaterally imposes on the people as an identification, should be rejected by those concerned. I gave example of Tigrinya: I never heard anyone calling himself I am Tigrinya before the regimes’s fiat. Still, I never saw Kdan Tigrinya, but kdan Habesha, no megbi Tigrinya, but megbi Habesha, no derfi Tigrinya, but derfi Habesha, etc. Another thing I pointed out is that I considered Tigrinya my language, not my “ethnic classification.”

            All this would be debated, negotiated and resolved in people have representations, until that time, we do should not give legitimacy to the tyrannical decisions the PFDJ makes. I understand a country needs some kind of classification, for example, to decide electoral districts, fair distribution of wealth, governance, etc.

            Within the opposition for example, there are different adopted classifications. Some are similar to the PFDJ classifications, others are not. There are still others who see Eritrea as Muslim/Christian or Highland Lowland, or those who stick to regional classification: Barka, Senhit, Hammasen, Seraye, etc.

            This is how Wikipedia defines ethnicity:

            An ethnicity, or ethnic group, is a socially-defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience.[1][2] Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, myth of origins, history, homeland, language (dialect), or even ideology, and manifests itself through symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, physical appearance, etc.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen SGJ,

            So you agreed we have Ethnic-groups. Then, I will assume except on the ethnic-nomenclature of the tgrigna speaking social group, you will agree on the ethnic-nomenclature of the other social groups. So you don’t mind the tgrigna-speaking social group be called the “habesha-ethnic.” Am I right? For me, If that is the case, and as far as you admit on the existence of our ethnics defined in their specific areas with their intact culture (language,tradition,their way of life), it answers my questions. As to the tigrigna people, it is up to them how they want to be called as far as they fit to the ethnic craterias. Thank you for your clarification as to how you see the make up of our Ethnic-groups.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Ermi,

            In 2006 Yg challenged me how Ghedli contributed to the evolvement of Eritrean identity and Eritrean Nationality (Nationhood). This is before he become full fledged against Ghedli that started with his “Ghedli romanticism.” So while I will link my article to see it how I tackled to his challenge, I will also try to answer your questions in brief.

            1) nationality – is the condition that makes you to belong to a particular nation by origin and birth. Yes indeed one can embrace habesha and at the same time will have Eritrean or Ethiopian nationality.

            2) Habesha is an identity of nationality. Unfortunately because of the artificial nature of nationhood of African countries that are created by the partition of the colonizers, these countries haven’t the natural process of evolvement like that of the European countries.

            3) Tigrinya, tigre, Bilen….are ethnic identity. (keep in mind ethnic identity and national identity are different)

            4) The alliance of Habesha shouldn’t threaten Eritreanism once the “Eritrean Nation” is created. Because many nationalities (Ethnics) on cross border areas are always splitted by the partition of the colonizers. That is the norm of the nationhood of African countries and of course the way how legitimacy recognized.

            5) There is no “greater habesha” movement to my knowledge. And if there is, it is absurdity.

            Just read the link below, if it enhances my explanation.

            http://www.asmarino.delina.org/blog/wufyat/hdmo/21/item/756?view=article

            Hawka,

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • tafla

            Ermias,

            Excellent quiestions !

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Ermias,

            You took it in the wrong way. I am not in doubt of your identity, even be an Ethiopian or alien. Here we are discussing on the Eritrean case and what I perceived you is what I said. I didn’t say and I am not an advocate of Eritreanism through origin. I said and you are repeating in the other way round. What I wrote is, “land border is nothing but psychological border in which PFDJ
            successfully succeeded in creating in every innocent Eritrean as the
            ultimate case.”

            ??? Need verification: I have some history also Asawrta were originally Kushites living in the ancient Egypt and before are from today’s Israel. [Got this information while doing a mini-research on the Saho People]

            As I told you, it is a friendly talk, hence do not take it seriously.

            hawka
            tes

        • saay7

          Selamat Ermi:

          Serray is not just an able debater but also a person who can think clearly and advance a point of view coherently. Now then:

          1. Assume I say, “Hey, Ermie, you gotta see this. There is this person, you gotta see it to believe it, all he does is eat, and wake himself crying because he peed on himself!” You come out and I show you a… baby. What Serray and YG do is to point out thing that were obvious not just to Ghedli dissidents but to the ordinary Tegadalai: they knew there was misinformation, brainwashing and a lot worse: they just put up with it as the price to pay for the cause and because it was also surrounded by the best of what human beings aspire to be: heroic and generous, Have you ever heard Serray or YG compare Eritrean Ghedli with any other Ghedli? Do you actually believe the, to quote the theme of a popular movie, “everything is awesome!” stories that T.Kifle tells about the Ghedli next door, Weyane Tigray?

          2. A defamer is somebody who says false things to destroy the reputation of someone or something. YG qualifies in that regard; Serray does. Can you give me an example of a false thing I said about Haile Selasse. Even saying that he destroyed Eritrean villages, burned women and children alive is treated with a shrug and “s**t happens” by YG.

          3. No comment:)

          4. It is a Latin phrase, it is one of the common logical fallacies. It is one of Serray’s favorite ones; he has others that I have pointed out to him and he came back swinging:)

          5. Please refer to my rather long (sorry!) reply to Kim Hanna on the issue of “Habesha.” I am for peaceful co-existence and I believe I pointed out that I agree with someone who said that in pre-literate societies like ours, to the ordinary folk the “right of free movement” is much more important than “freedom of speech.” I am not trying to dodge your question: what does “most natural manner” mean? Hres Harestay, Neged Negadai? At peace? Free from fear of deprivation, domination?

          saay

          • T. Kifle

            Dear SAAY,

            Hahaha ግደፍንዶ ወነይ ኣይተልዕለለይ!

            The “everything is awesome” punchline about Weyane Tigray is your interpretation. ከምዚ ዓይነት ሓሳብ ኣይወፀንን።ምስ ጀብሃን ሻዕብያን ዝነበሮ ፍልልይ ምግላፅ ወያነ ካብ ሽግራት ዝረሓቐ ነይሩ ማለት ኣይኮነን።

          • saay7

            Harbeyna Tegadalai T. Kifle:

            My daughter wants to disown me because my OCD says watch this 33 second clip 45 times. Replace the main character by T.Kifle and Legoland by Ethiopia and changeo presto:)

            http://youtu.be/vx5n21zHPm8

            saay

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam saay,
        .
        This might be the only opportune moment to ask you directly this question that always baffled me. Without employing your debating skills or assuming bad faith on my part, please explain to me and others like me as to what it is that we often speak past each other for so long on this topic.
        .
        .
        What is your apprehension, when an Eritrean or Ethiopian for that matter emphasizes habesha identity? Is there more apprehension by others, do you think?
        .
        I await with apprehension.
        K.H

        • abinet

          Selam kim
          I have a questionn too for him or Ato Saleh.
          Is there a difference between abesha identity and eritrean identity? If there is a difference, how significant is it? And more importantly is there a difference between eritrean identity and ethiopian identity.
          Thank you

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abinet,
            There is a big difference. First, I think we should identify what identity we are talking about. Ethiopian/Eritrea, etc is only a citizenship identity. Both countries have not reaches the leval of nation states where cultural differences are blurred as in a few European countries. Even those countries that are built on immigration, like the USA and Canada still have religious and cultural differences. For example, Italians, a big portion of the Irish, and Mexicans are Catholic while most Southern Whites are Protestant. New immigrants are even more diverse.

            Ethiopians are Somalis, Amaras, Tigrawot, Afari, Ben Shangul, Oromo, etc… they have some commonality but nothing much that binds them except the political/citizenship identity–which is the basis of modern day patriotism and nationalism. So, in short, I think there are no more than 20-25% Habesha in both Ethiopia and Eritrea combined, the rest have nothing to do with the Habesha identity.

            In Eritrea, the Habesha are mostly concentrated in the Eritrean Highland regions of Hamassen, Akele-Guzai and Seraye. The rest, for example, Afar, Beni Amer, Kunama, Baria, Hadendwa, etc, have nothing to do with Habesha identity. They share the citizenship/political identity with the rest of Eritreans, and certainly they have no Ethiopian identity since they are not in the political sphere of Ethiopia.

            The problem: since Habesha have been ruling both Eritrea and Ethiopia for the longest period, and since Ethiopian warlords and kings were imposing Habesha culture, religion on everybody else, with the aim of assimilating them, just like Haile Sellasie heralded his cultural imperialism and imposed Amharic on all Eritreans, most Ethiopians think that the people of the two countries are all Habesha.

            You will find many people raising the slogan of “diversity” but practice the politics of exclusion and hegemony. Those who support a hegemonic system, should understand the meaning of diversity and freedom. If their goal is to assimilate everyone into their culture and identity, what will be the component of the diversity they give lip-service to?

            Easy solution: understand the choice of people, and understand more, the meaning of diversity.

            Hope I touched a few things.

          • Abinet

            Thank you
            All I have to say is I have to do a lot of reading regarding this and similar topics.

          • haileTG

            hey Abinet and SGJ

            The population group habesha or what is referred to in your comments as habesha identity** that straddles Ethiopia and Eritrea seems to be dominant in Eritrea than Ethiopia (population wise). Using the “God knows where it came from” population census of Eritrea, its Tigre and Tigrigna population make up well over 85% while Ethiopia’s habesha is about 35%. Hmmm…interesting 🙂

            ** Identity is often self perception and may not imposed externally.

          • Saleh Johar

            HTG,
            “God knows where it came from”

            Even if God changed his way and called them on the telephone, they will not listen 🙂

          • Amde

            Selam Saleh

            Can i ask for your definition of habesha?

            Amde

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam Amde, this is a deep subject…. but in brief, Habesha in Arabic (old) means mixed, the Habashat race who settled/mixed long time ago and inhabited the Highlands of the central rift valley mountains (northern Ethiopia, central Eritrea and Beja Mdr (begemidr). In this age, they are mainly Amharic and Tigrinya speakers (there are a few others) . The ancient Greeks took the name Habasha and corrupted it ti Abyssinia and they knew the entire landmass between the Red Sea and the Atlantic as Abyssinia. The Axumite Kingdom (before the Solomonite usurpation of the throne) managed to make it synonymous with their region. Thus Habesha land. I think, it is a geographical and racial identity of the people who reside of hail from that area and accept it as their identity.Those who adopted other identities for themselves are no more Habesha.

            Take note, this is a very simplistic explanation, I recommend you read non-propaganda but scholarly books by Ethiopians and ancient Arabs–for starters try al meqrizi if you find a translation.

            By the way, long before the name Africa became popular with European explorations, the Arabs knew the cost as Afriqiya, after the Afar people, meaning the abode of the Afar. There, Afar lent thrie name to the continent though now corrupted to Africa 🙂

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello memher,
            I read a book once in which the author claimed the word “Abyssinia” was the corrupted version of Habesha as you said, but that author credited it to a Portuguese explorer. My only reason to think that he seemed more reliable than a few others I read was that he was specific and authoritative in the way he detailed it. For example, he said the word Abyssinia is one Portuguese writer’s mispronunciation of the Arabic word “Al Habeshat.” He was correct in both the word and the language references, and I believe that took place in the 15th century. Assuming this is correct, the blame or credit goes to Portugal! The Greeks already had labeled us “Burned Faces” and disappeared to never heared from again.

            One thing I still haven’t figured out though is the meaning. As you said somewhere earlier it is something to do with being mix, but who mixed with whom?

            Abinet,
            in your search for Abyssinia, please find out who mixed with whom. I have this funny feeling it might be Arabs with Agews (A&A). I also think that it got deliberately forgotten, but subconsciously retained, and what do you know, we named our two great cities Addis Ababa and Asmara (A&A). Wey gud!
            PS: I will be back tomorrow.

          • Amde

            Hi Saleh

            I appreciate the response. It has been somewhat fashionable to use the word Habesha to describe Yemeni Semitic descendants. This is a simplistic formula that i suspect is wring and even if it has a grain of truth , it has expired after over two thousand years post-migration.

            In my conception, habesha are the people that formed a civilization along what are now called the Ethiopian highlands on either side of the rift valley. So from that point of view i have a minor bone to pick with you with your identification of the southern border of habeshaland in Gondar.

            One of the most illuminating books i have read is “Guns Germs and Steel” By Jared Diamond. In my mind he explains how geography defines the theoretical limits of a civilization. Geography is only trumped by technology. So a culture that has learned to cultivate the seeds, resist the diseases and grow the livestock within a certain climate is likely to expand within that climate. Hence, while Ethiopian conquests were more or less limited to the highlands and adjoining lowlands,

          • Saleh Johar

            Amde,
            I have read Jared Diamon’s excellent book–his theory is that migration is latitudinal not longitudinal–I don’t think you are questioning the cross migration of the people from Southern Arabia and our part of the world. If you accept it, taking it back to Jared’s migration is prehistoric and we cannot go as far as Adam and Eve to explain modern political realities. Prehistoric migrations do not influence our culture or attitude. In replying to your question about Habesha, I didn’t go beyond the relatively recent migration that explains Habesha.

            On the language: Geez, Amharic, etc, I think it is a long topic and I would rather skip it this time.
            Thanks

          • Amde

            HI

            The reason it is latitudinal is precisely because of the relative uniformity of climate latitudinally (dominant continental axis) This has held true until about a century and a half ago – not prehistorically to Adam and Eve. Medical, agricultural, logistical technology started to trump these climatic constraints only very recently… almost within living memory of our times.

            Amde

        • saay7

          Selamat Kim Hanna:

          It so happens I have written on the subject in a different forum just last week and I will most likely plagiarize myself. I begin with two premises:

          1. People have layers of identities and they and only they get to decide which one is their most important identity;
          2. Identity is voluntary and people have the right to choose an identity and to reject one being imposed upon them.

          The sense of identity/belonging one feels due to ethnicity, race, species, region, nation, religion, gender, lifestyle, age-grouping, etc are the layers of one’s identity. All demand a form of loyalty and while some identities co-exist with other identities within the self, others require negotiation, particularly when people are negotiating rules of harmonious co-existence.

          While the people who inhabit Eritrea may be ancient, the Eritrean identity is relatively new. Eritrea, as you know, became an Italian colony in 1890 and I doubt that was the year the people who inhabit Eritrea called themselves Eritrean. I think this took on a form of simultaneous acculturation and diffusion: domination by Italian concept of nationalism and embracing elements of it. This is common to almost all of African states which were formed by colonial powers.

          Unlike Ethiopian national identity which came about through a relatively long process of acculturation and infusion (The great awatista, Amde, opened my eyes to this), Eritrean identity is relatively short (historically) and the Ghedli (both ELF/EPLF which were Marxist-Leninst) accelerated sense of national identity by making all other identities as taboos and declaring them as atavistic tendencies. One of these so-called atavistic tendencies was “Habesha” identity. To my knowledge, for one to claim “I am Habesha” was as taboo as one saying “I am from Akele or Hamassien or Senhit.” I will let Eyob and T.Kifle address what was happening under Marxist-Leninst Mengistu but it would surprise me if similar campaign wasn’t underway in Ethiopia: to focus all attention on a unifying identity (Ethiopian or Eritrean) and to discourage micro identities (region, language, etc.)

          “Habesha” is a supranational identity: it transcends borders. It is an identity shared by some Ethiopians and some Eritreans. Haile the great says it is an identity shared by the overwhelming majority of Eritreans–Tigrinya speakers and Tigrayit speakers. He is doing what many do when analyzing this: using anthropological definition of identity. But if you accept one of my two premises, identity is voluntary and I don’t know many Tigrayit-speakers who self-identify as Habesha. No, this was not the work of Ghedli: British administration era documents show that in the Western lowlands, where most Tigrayit-speakers are found, the people identified themselves by tribe and it was the work of Italians and the Brits that even got them to create tribal federations.

          So, Habesha identity is strongly identified with Tigrinya speakers. So, in essence, this supra-nationality is, within Eritrea, is an ethnic identity or, more precise, a language-group identity. And given that Tigrinya-speakers are predominantly Christian, it also overlaps with a religious identity.

          This is all beautiful–so long as it is not then used a political identity. Because when it is used as a political identity and as a means of political agitation (which is what the Ghedli defamers do), there is a political reaction to it: everybody else activates their dormant identity as a tool of agitation. Of course, this is already happening: Kunama identity, Jeberti group, Saho group, lowlander group–which is why many (myself included) are very apprehensive of the movements and the government that encourages this: Harbeyna Weyanai.

          The cause of all this is—drum roll–Isaias Afwerki. (I knew he would show up sooner or later, didn’t you?) Because of all the identities, the one that has an explicit covenant between the individual and the State is: nationality. And when people realize that they are getting nothing but misery, exile, death, humiliation from nationality, then they gravitate towards other identities. This happened in Eritrea in the 1980s: when some Muslims said that political Islam can get them what nationalism can’t: return from exile, honor, dignity and we know how that ended up. We also know how, rightfully, apprehensive the “Habesha” were with that movement.

          How do I feel about Ethiopians who emphasize the Habesha identity? Well, if it is to tell Ethiopians that they have a civilization/culture to be proud of, I have no problem with that. It is when they use it as a political hammer to beat on Eritrean nationalism that I see red:) Doubly so when it comes from Harbena Weyani who, I am sure, is not going to the people in South Ethiopia and telling them, “aren’t you proud you are Habesha?”

          saay

          • T. Kifle

            Selamat SAAY,

            Great take over all. Few things to complement your message.
            1. I hereby remind you the giant SGJ who declared himself on here time and again that he is a proud Habesha(assuming he is a Tigrayt).
            2. All revolutionaries are characteristically against old cultures, values and traditions. Neither Derg nor “Harbegna Weyanai”, blended the Habesha identity into their political programs as such. While Derge ventured to self-styled “INTERNATIONALSIM”, Weyane considers the habesha values in perspective but limit its applications to where it truly belongs. The quarrel over the state formation thesis partly emanates from these differences that the old establishment wants to impose the Abyssinian tradition not as one element among all other myriad traditions in the country but as a touchstone of refined, dominant and virtuous supra identity sooner or later other should emulate.

          • saay7

            Selamat T.Kifle:

            In keeping with my premise, that everybody gets to define his/her identity, I will let SGJ answer item 1 above.

            But, dude, this is what surprises me about Harbena Weyanai: how is it you spent decades fighting alongside Eritreans and you don’t know Eritrea 101? “Tigrayit” is the language, not the people. What you did is like me walking in downtown Addis and asking the bus driver, “Are you Amargna”? Tsk, tsk.

            saay

          • T. Kifle

            Dear SAAY,

            Damn! it’s a slip of mind. Actually, it was confusing for me in my school days since in the then official language, Amharic, both people Tigreans and Tigre had the same name :Tigre. 🙂 ትግረ, ትግሬ. ንምንታይ ብከምዚ ክቀራረቡን ክርሓሓቑን ከምዝተገብረ ዋንኡ ይፍለጦ! But believe me this is not Eritrean 101 but Ethiopia 101.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Good morning TK,

            SAAY and Abraham, count your blessings. It could have been much, much worst. In the area I grew up on, asking someone “ክርስትያን ነህ ኣማራ” was a normal question. Even now, I sometimes slip, and either I apologize or dodge it depending on the listener’s body language. So, brother TK ከበሳ አይኮነን ኣስላማይ እዩ ይመስለኒ ዘይበለኩም ተመስገን በሉ፤፤

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Fanti G,

            it’s evening here!

            ያነሳህኸው ነጥብ ስሜት የሚሰጥ ይመስላል። እኔ የተሳሳትኩ ብሆንም ሳልሕ ዩኑስም ቢሆን ድርብ መለኪያ መጠቀሙን ልብ በል። ኤርትራ ውስጥ ያሉት ትግሬዎች ስማቸው ብሔር ትግርኛ ነው። ሓማሴን, ሰራየና አካለጉዛይ ውስጥ የሰፈሩትን ትግሬዎች ስማቸው ጠፍቶ በቋንቋ ስም ሲጠሩ አቤት ባይ መጥፋቱ የሚያስተዛዝብ ነገር ሆኖዋል። አንተስ በዚህ ጉዳይ ላይ ምን ትላለህ? እውነት ለመናገር የትግረ ቋንቋ ትግራይት መባሉ ያወቅኩት እዚህ ዓወተ መድረክ ላይ ነው። ከዚያ በፊት(ትምህርት ቤት እንደተማርኩት) ህዝቡና ቋንቋው መጠሪያቸው አንድና ያው ነበር።
            ሌላው ደግሞ:-
            “ክርስትያን ነህ አማራ” ሳይሆን ክርስትያን ነህ ኦሮሞ መሰለኝ። ይህ አባባል ባሌ, ቦረና እንዲሁም ሐረርጌ ውስጥ የተለመደ አባባል ነው።

          • Fanti Ghana

            TK,

            Although I am sure about the question including sign posts that say “yeAmara mgb bet” or “yeIslam mgb bet” and son on, until I get back to a computer with Geez font please read “Islam neh Amara” instead of “krstian neh Amara” on my earlier post. However you raised an interesting point for me on the “krstian neh Oromo” question. the Raya Oromos believe that their ancestors came from Harar region, and it is conceivable that the “Islam neh Amara” may be derived from the “krstian neh Oromo” concept you mentioned.

            PS: Just because every smart person I know is from California, I always imagined you to be in California (kHisekado?)
            Ayee, Nitricc dea tesiEu keykewnber!

          • T. Kifle

            ክቡር ፋንቲ ጋና

            ሰላም

            መበገሲ እቱ ነገር ኦሮም ዘቦኡ እስላም እዩ ካብ ዝብል ሓሳብ ዝብገስዩ። ኣብ ወሎን ራያን እቶም ዝበልካዮም ብሂላት ይህልው ይኾኑ። እቶም ቅድም ኢለ ዝጠቐስኩዎም ቦታታት ብስራሕ ምኽንያት ስለዝፈልጦም እምበር ንሳቶም ጥራሕ ከምኡ ይብሉ ማለተይ ኣይነበረን።

            ካሊፎርኒያዊ ኩሉ ሕሉፍ(smart) ምዃኑ ስለዘፍለጥካኒ ድማ የቐንየለይ። እንተ ኣነ ግን ጭው ዝበልኩ ዋልያ እየ:: 🙂

            ሰናይ ምሸት ናዓኻ

          • Amde

            i would add what my grandfather told me in the early revolutionary years. There was me expounding on the attributes of ዘር እና ሀይማኖት. (ethnicity and religion). He says.. እሥላም ወይ አማራ. i explain he is confusing two concepts of ዘር ena ሀይማኖት and pose the example of an amharic speaking muslim. He responds.. “እሥላምማ ምን ሀይማኖት አለው!”

            Just four generations ago the terms we so casually bandy about today meant such different things.

            I dont know if amharic speaking muslims identified themselves as amara. Or whether they used the word ሀይማኖት to describe their spiritual attribute.

            Amde

          • desta

            And in the Amhara region, Muslims will not call themselves Amara. And in the same region, when Christians say I am Amara, they are telling their religion and not ethnicity.

          • Semere Andom

            Selam Sal:
            I agree this week is ShetaHtah, I have a reason, what is yours:-)
            Even non Tigrayit speaking Eritreans do not know that let alone some one from Tigray. Even now after the wide spread nationals service, young Ertreans say tigre tezarabay

          • saay7

            Sem A:

            But the national service (agelglot) would never go to a Tigre-speaker and ask “are you tigrayit?” That’s what T.Kifle did.

            That Italian Aqua Minerale still in your veins, I see…:)

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Sal:
            sure, I was talking about the lack of knowledge. I caught myself and I caught you replacing Tigrayit for Tigre and I never bothered to correct it until you one day last year or so corrected one commenter and we all corrected, it is one of those things

          • abrham

            Dear SAAY

            Is it like asking in Asmara…ok in Mekelle ” Are you Tigrigna”?

          • T. Kifle

            Serray,
            My God, you brought forth a bombshell. I asked this question long ago to no avail. How are you doing you Tigrigna Eritreans? 🙂

          • tafla

            Selam Saay,

            I understand the notion of choosing one’s own identity differently from you. Maybe you can clarify. If someone is adopted from china and reared by an African-American family, he cannot call himself African-american, but he can call himself an american, that’s a possibility. A መንሳዕ is a መንሳዕ irrespective his religious identity, and an Arab is an Arab irrespective his religious identity. I really would like to know, if the claim of recognition for Jeberti as a “Biher” is anything other than historical grievances against the Christian Habeshas (b/c not all jeberti support biherhood e.g tegadalay Mohammed Berhan blata)?

            Is it about wrong classifiction? Would it be more acceptable if we were consistently classified by language alone?

            (add “-speakers” to all the following ) (1) Arabic (2) Afar (3) Beja (4) Bilen (5) Kunama (6) Nara (7) Saho (8) Tigrayet (9) Tigrinya

            Best regards
            tafla

          • saay7

            Selamat Tafla:

            Both the ELF and the EPLF used language classification to group Eritreans. (Abu Selah, your organization did more than “experiment”; it published booklets, newsletters–I think because you are allergic to communism, you were not reading them.) Emma can correct if I am wrong but all the political indoctrination manuals had a brief history (then the turks came, then the Italians came, then the Brits came, then the Ethiopians came), geogology/topography, then people classified by language.

            The only difference was that the ELF consistently used the -speaker (Tigrinya speaker, Tigre speaker) and the EPLF started out that way and then dropped the -speaker and then, when it could (as was the case with Rashaida) asked itself, “now is there a word for Arabic-speaker in Eritrea”?)

            Here’s how the two fronts classified Eritrea’s language groups

            ELF Version: Afar, Baria, Baza, Beja, Blin, Elit, Saho, Tigre, Tigrigna
            EPLF Version: Afar, Blin, Hedareb, Kunama, Nara, Rashaida, Saho, Tigre, Tigrinya, TIgre,

            Excluding for nomenclature differences, the only difference between the ELF and EPLF classification is: the ELF recognized the Elit but not the Rashaida; the EPLF recognized the Rashaida but not the Elit.

            That is to say, the arguments–why is this group and not that group–are not new at all: they are decades old. And the Fronts, both ELF and EPLF have been consistent: show us where we violated our definition that we group people by language and nobody has showed an inconsistency. They have only argued that the very idea of grouping people by language is group: people should be grouped by whatever identity they feel strongly attached to.

            As a libertarian, my view about these things is that if you create a central government whose powers are so limited that it cannot give anything or take anything, it won’t matter what the government’s classifications are: people will create their own indigenous group identities. But in countries like Eritrea which are just a series of Fesivals (one just opened yesterday: Expo), simple things like–the dance routine of which language group was playing when the head of state joined the dance? What is the booth placement of the language group? Is the Zuria of the Tigrinya group religion-neutral or religious–take on oversized roles.

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Ato Saay, I didn’t deny ELF espoused the language classification, even for a non-communist that was too noisy to miss. But I considered all the dreams of of the time irrelevant until the enemy is rooted out. It is the PFDJ that adopted and implemented it. And that is what I explained to Tes when he attempted to correct me that it was the EPLF not PFDJ. To me phase 2 started in 1991 and anything after that is of significance as far as governance is concerned. But the ELF cadres would certainly have a word or two on that: aren’t they the ones who amateurishly printed Tigre curriculum to banish Arabic? How could I miss that.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ustaz,
            Just breaking my vacation silence;
            1. Could you say more on the Tigrayt experimentation during ELF era, because a lot has been said by ghedli defamers about it.
            2. What exactly is Habesha culture? Can you explain it outside the Orthodox church tradition? Other minorities might have adopted certain cultural expressions of it like dressings, dance/music, food, farming…technologies, etc., but may not have attained the sense of belonging to it.
            I am getting familiar with this word here in diaspora. I think people came to use it more often to avoid the question” are you Eritrean or Ethiopian?” Most Metaht people, as both you and SAAY have correctly stated it, didn’t use to identify with that word. Actually, Habesh to them was similar to Orthodox Christianity which represented the political power.
            3. This with my understanding that Ethiopian rulers who happened to be Habesha ( from Tigray or Amhara) used that word to describe whatever under sun they controlled thereby exacting their hegemonic policies. Also if you where to look at it from out side, habasha would symbolize the ” the Christian island. ” That’s how abyssinia is described by Arab and European historians and writers.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Pasha,

            1. The topic is very boring Mahmuday, excuse me from that task for now, let’s just say it was driven by ant-Arab sentiments which were prevalent and still are.

            2. Of course you can explain it outside everything because Habesha was there before Christianity and Islam until they adopted both religions in their infancy. Habesha didn’t land on the two religions, the two religions landed on them 🙂
            When people adopt a religion, they gradually fine tune their traditions and cultures. Subsistence farming and the rest remained the same until at a later stage Muslims were disposed of their land and oppressed, they developed alternative trades, one of them was weaving (thus Zuria), and carpentry, masonry, iron works and general trade. Since they travelled for trade which others considered a lowly occupation, they were exposed to other parts of the world. Being Muslims, they had connection with the surrounding region–that is why many of the emissaries of Abyssinian Kings were Muslims. For example, King Tedros interned Muslims in certain areas to serve in his factories-mainly making bullets and forging iron. Atzie Yohannes through his general Alula interned Muslims in Adi Teklai and Adi Gebru until the Italians came and they were dispersed (Read of Kings and Bandits, instead of making me repeat it here 🙂

            Habesha is not a Diaspora invention Mahmouday, haven’t you heard, “zereba Habesha” Kdan Habesha” and Habesha dance, etc.? Many Dispora Habesha assume everybody else from the region is Habesha and the solution is educating them.

            3. You are partly right here but the “Christian Island” slogan was popularized by Ethiophiles, Western scholars. But Muslim historians referred to it as AlHabasha without associating it to any religion. There are many Saudi’s and a few in other Arab countries who still carry the surname AlHabashi. Europeans worked hard to lure Ethiopia at the expense of Muslims and overemphasized the Christian identity. Read about the Jesuit adventures in Abyssinia and you will find they introduced the Muslim-Christian schisms which developed and culminated in a violent eruption in the 16th century. Otherwise, Abyssinian-Arab/Muslim relation was normal. Do you know that the royal seal of king Yohannes IV had Geez and Arabic inscriptions? Who would imagine that! It reads “YoHanna AlRabie, melk AlHabesha. In recent times, Haile Sellasie took the anti-Islam campaign to its highest level, something that is crippling us to this date and is the inspiration of you-know-who 🙂

          • tafla

            The problem with your take on Habesha and anti-arab sentiment is that you never ever mention the fact that Habesha never invaded any Arab land other than in self-defense (Sudan, arab?), while the Egyptians invaded us as late as 140 years ago and the fact that we had Turks on Eritrean Soil for 300 years trying to establish a foothold in the highlands. You dismiss the role of Ahmed Gragn in ruining the relationship between Christians and muslims, The portuguese helped the christians and the Turks helped Gragn, many monasteries burned and women were taken as concubines and gave birth to god know how many present day Eritreans and Ethiopians.

            I do not condone or approve of any crimes committed in the name of Habesha by wube, alula or Haile Selassie (many of their victims were Christians too). Eyob is right, when he says that the Highlanders were brainwashed to the degree that they disowned their own Habesha identity for an Eritrean identity, and the irony is that other Eritreans use Habesh as a derogatory term for them.

            Eritrea had a legitimate cause without all the fuss, just a former African colony that should’ve been granted Independence like all other colonies.

          • dine

            ustaz Mahmud
            agaw, gurage, orthodox southerners and orthodox oromos(not sure about oromos right now but they used to) see themselves as Habesha.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear dine,
            My little understanding of the word habasha was that the Orthodox church has been at the center of the word. As per SJG explanation, Habesha precedes the church, and it’s quite obvious since abyssinia had existed before Christianity. I think the problem arises when a certain culture is used as a unifying symbol in the making of nations. For instance, many habesha elites use habesha culture interchangeably with Ethiopian culture. Just look at Dergue and Haile Selassie tourism art facts and cultural representation. You can also see that most of those who criticize the current political configuration in Ethiopia are those “habasha cultured” elites.

          • dine

            Ustaz Mahmud,
            i don’t know if it is true or no but the abyssinian believe that they were Jewish before they converted to orthodox and Dergue used to have a lot of non-Habesha tourism art facts and cultural representation.

          • Saleh Johar

            For those interested, here is an educational paper. I am sure Amanuel Hidrat will love it:

            http://modaina.com/files/the_study_of_islam_in_eritrea.pdf

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam T.Kifle,
            Ehm, abziHkaley mesleni. At any rate, I am not “Tigrayet”, and I don’t know anyone who is Tigrayet 🙂

            Tigrayet is the language, translated into Tigrinya, it means “Tigraweiti.”

            Tigre is an economic class. The shmagele were the nobles and the exploited Tigre were the serfs. Most people do not know that our national hero Ibrahim Sultan was an emancipator of the Tigre. Himself a Tigre, he waged a class struggle and emancipated the Tigre under the banner of Islam. He further transformed the power of the emancipated Tigre into a national one, forged alliances with the likes of Kebire, Ras Tessema and Weldeab Weldemariam and they created the Independence Block.

            Infact Tigre is demeaning to those who know their meaaning and history. But the PFDJ is callous and doesn’t care. It calls the people “Serfs.” Traditionally, until now, they identify themselves as Habab, Beni Amer, Mesa’a, Betjuk, Maria, and others when far from the ears of the PFDJ.

            I am not “Tigrayet” but I belong to the proud town of Keren which has all the groups I mentioned above and more. I am a Habesha, a Tigrinya speaker, a Jeberti whose ancestors came to Keren escaping with their skin, I am fourth generation Kerenite whose ancestors originated in Seraye. Who were they running from? Ofcourse, Habesha warlords (okay, bigots), chauvinists and slave drivers like Wube, and those who followed him. So T.Kifle, I speak Tigrayet as much as I speak Tigrinya and Arabic. My character has traits from all the groups I mentioned above and still remain a Habesha, not the exclusive narrow Habesha club of chauvinists, but the Historical Habesha of the Axumite Kingdom and that of Negashi Armaha.

            I hope Ermias takes note why my skin hair raises when I hear a repeat Habesha chauvinist discourse 🙂

          • T. Kifle

            ክቡር ሓው ሳልሕ ጆሃር

            ስለ ዝርዝር መረዳእታኻ የቐንየለይ። እቱ ኣገላልፃይ እውን ኣይበዝሓካን። ሳልሕ ዩኑስ ዝፍልጦ ዋላ ሓደ ትገረታይ ብሓበሻነቱ ዝኾርዕ ከምዘየለ ምስ ዝጽሕፍ’የ ከምኣብነት ንዓኻ ዝጠቕስኩሉ። መሳርሕቲ ከም ምዃንኩም መጠን ከኣ ታሪኻዊ፣ ማህበራውን ፖለቲካውን ዝንባለታትኩም የዔሪኹም ከምትፋለጡ ብምግማት ነቲ ዘቐረቦ መደምደምታ መሊሱ ክሓስበሉ ምእንታን ንምብርትታዕ ዝዓለመ እዩ ነይሩ።

            ሓቂ ንምዝራብ ሓበሻነት ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ጎሊሁ ዝርኤ መለለዪ ኣይኮነን። ካብ ኣብ ውሽጢ ኣብ ወፃኢ ኣብ ዝነብሩ ዝምልከቶም ኤርትራውያንን ኢትዮጵያውያንን ሓይሉ ዝግለፅ ይመስለኒ። ኣብዚ መዋእል እዙይ ብባህላዊ ሜላ ዝሽመኑ ክዳውንቲ ሓበሻነት ዝገልፁ ይርከቡዎም። ዋና ዓደግቶም ከኣ ካብ ወፃኢ ዝመፁ ደቂ ሃገርን በፃሕቲ ኣጋይሽን እዮም። መጠኑ ዘይናዓቕ ከኣ ንወጻኢ ሰደድ ስለዝግበር ክልቲኦም “ሓበሻ ኢና” በሃልቲ ህብታት ዘማእኸለ ከምዝኸውን እግምት።

            ከረን

            ኣጋጣሚ ኮይኑ ከረን ረጊፀያ ኣይፈልጥን። ንከረን ዘለካ ፍቕሪ ከኣ ካብ መፅሓፍካን ሓሓሊፍካ ካብእትኸትቦም ሓጸርቲ ፅሑፋትካን ይርዳእ’የ። ብዙሓት ምዕራባውያን ጸሓፍቲ ምስ ትውልዲ ቦትኦም ዘለዎም ምትእስሳር ፍልይ ብዝበለ መቐረት ከገልፁ ምርኣይ ዝተለመደ ይመስለኒ። ኣባኻውን ከምኡ ዓይነት ዝንባለ ክምዝተዓዘብኩ ክገልፀልካ እደሊ።

            ትግረ ህዝባዊ መሰረት ዘለዎ መለለዪ ጌረ እየ ዝርድኦ ነይረ። ብዛዕባ ብሔርን ብሔረሰባትን ሰረ-መሰረት፣ አሰፋፍራ ቋንቋን ባህልን ኣብ ዝገልፅ ዓውደ ትምህርቲ ትግረ ሰሜቲካዊ ስነልሳን ካብዘለዎም ህዝብታት(ትግራዎት፣ ኣምሓራ፣ ጉራጌ፣ ሃረሪን ኣገውን)ሓደ ከምዝኾነ እግንዘብ። ትግራይት ልሳን ህዝቢ ትግረ ምዃኑ ግን ኣብ መርበብ ሓበሬታ ዓወተ እየ ፈሊጠ። ጌጋይ ከኣ ብኡ መጠን ክእርሞ እየ። ካብዙይ እንተይዋፃእና ግን ብዙሕ ጊዜ ሓቲተ መልሲ ዘይረኸብኩሉ ዛዕባ ከቕርብ ይፈቐደለይ። ሰለምንታይ እዩ ትግራዋይ ኤርትራዊ(ወላ ዝኾነ ካልእ ሽም ይወሃቦ) ህዝበ ትግርኛ ተባሂሉ ዝፅዋዕ? እዙ ጉዳይ ድርብ መዐቀኒዶ ኣይኮነን(the Tinglish for double standard)? ምላሽካ ብሃንቀውታ እፅበ።

            ምስ ሰላምታ

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi T.Kifle,
            If I were to type this comment in Geez, it will take me ages, and I apologize.

            I will reply to your question based only on my experience and observations; I cannot support it with any reference apart from my confidence that almost all Eritreans agree with what I have to say:

            1.As far as I remember, I haven’t seen Eritreans from Seraye, Ajekele Guzai or Hamassen identifying themselves as “Tigraway Eritrwai.” Tigraway is reserved for those who hail from Tigray. Also, the rest of Eritrea never identifies the people of the Eritrean Highlands as Tigrawot though no one denies the cultural relations between the two.

            2. Many people who came from Tigrai and settled in Eritrea get assimilated quickly and there are elaborate village laws that govern that–including laws imposed by Abyssinian rulers (a different subject) though when it comes to marriage, land rights, etc, their Tigrai origin becomes very relevant.

            3. The Tigrinya identification is manufactured and imposed by the PFDJ (though ELF also toyed with it in the seventies). I consider it a social engineering exercise since the PFDJ believed what they call “sub-nationalism”, particularly among the three highland regions, is divisive and will hinder the cohesion of the people. On top of that, they didn’t want to have an odd group calling itself Jeberti as a separate group. Therefore, they decided to unite the highland people, regardless of their religion and their accepted identities, by blending them together under the Tigrinya identification.

            3. As a leftist organization, the PFDJ wanted to eradicate all primordial loyalties that would compete against the national identity under which they wanted to bond everybody (it was the goal of the struggle for nation building by the way, only the PFDJ went a bit too far). They also wanted to avoid commonality with the South, therefore downplayed the Habesha identity and adopted new classifications under the guise of ethnic grouping. By the way, I heard you do not recognize the Jeberti identity in Tigray, how true is that?.

            4. All Eritreans, including me, are very suspicious of Habesha chauvinism which ends up being hell to the non-Habesha… it has been so for the length of the remembered history.

            5. When people from Tigray (and Ethiopia) talk about Habesha, they piggyback it only on a single religious identity, the other religion is excluded. That is why Muslims are apprehensive because their cultural identity is not represented. When was the last time you saw a Jeberti culture represented in either Ethiopian or Eritrean television? When people watch government sponsored shows that are supposed to represent them, they just nod and say: “that is not me!”

            Take care
            Even the PFDJ that acted as if it invented secularism has given up the pretense, the display of religious symbols on cultural dress, that is supposed to represent two religions, doesn’t represent the two. That is how the culture of people dies, and they resist not to die. That could explain why many of us abhore the Habesha chauvinist who came as Gedli defamers (sorry, a few are in that group because they think it is hip, and I am not accusing them of chauvinism). What concerns you most is this: many Eritreans suspect they have enablers on the other side of the border, and that could explain to you one of the reasons why many Eritreans resist the mention of Ethiopia in relation to our struggle against the PFDJ.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear SGJ,

            Once again thank you for your elaborated reply to my question. I understand the messing up of the Habesha identity with Orthodox Christianity. That’s why while it’s customary to see a cross printed on the cultural costumes, I never came across any display of Islamic symbolism whatsoever. My understanding is as much there was religious exclusion from the state-favoured Orthodox church, Muslims also did their fair share in search of religious rituals, costumes, etc imported from the Arab tradition and cultures. For example a Muslim Habesha rarely celebrates the Ethiopian New Year. When one asks why, the answer they most often get is that Ethiopian New year is a Christian new year. In Eritrea, you call it “Geez” new year. Assuming that traditional Arabia, which influenced much of the schemes, has adopted a different calendar, which nationality in Eritrea do/es follow the Gregorian Calendar that warranted the state adopt this particular calendar while relegating the “Geez Calender” to the edge? I am not overlooking the “neutrality effect” in short-term state-stability but would like to know if there is/was real grievance among the Eritrean people demanding to enforce that precedent apart from the colonial effect.

            As to the Tigriyna speaking Eritreans, my take is different. We have parallels within Afar, Saho, Kunama, from the Eritrean Side and Somali, Afar, Oromo shared with Djjoubti, Somalia and Kenya. People in Gambela and Benshangul Gumuz share the same with some ethnic groups in South Sudan. The pattern is they maintain the same name with their respective kins in either side of the border. The only exception in this case is the Tigriyna speaking people in Eritrea. I am not in any way qualified to argue these people identify themselves as Tigreans but what is it so unique about them when they are named after the language they speak unlike other ethnic groups?
            with regards

            Speaking of the Jeberti, my understanding is that there are no Jeberties in Tigray (please excuse my ignorance if they do) or they have been assimilated over time. Saho, kunama, Tigreans, and Agew(now under Amhara regional state) are the ethnics groups recognized in the state.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi T.Kifle,

            You said There are no Jeberti in Tigrai!

            Would I be wrong if I suspected you are a Tigwaray Amiche? 🙂

            I think you need to upgrade your understanding. You also mentioned something about being “recognized by the state”; does it mean if the state stops recognizing, say, Gurage, they will cease to exist? Of course not, but state powers have a way of suppressing identities and oppressing minorities. In the Soviet Union, minorities were not allowed to express their identities, including the Orthodox church; that is my problem with identity by proclamation which leftist organizations are fond of.

            On the calendar, the primary reason for inventing calendars was related to religion. Every religion has its own calendar. Muslims cannot celebrate New Year as long as it is called Qddus Yohannes? You mentioned Gregorian Calander, it is a religious calendar introduced by Pope Gregory III. The Orthodox church uses the a calendar to observe feasts, fasting and other religious events and it was in use in many places before it was adopted by Axum. The Muslims use their calendar for the same purpose…in short, all calendars are religious in nature and all religious symbols are not indigenous in our region–Christians and Muslims did not invent the religious symbols, we adopted them. Can you mention the imported symbols
            that Muslims adopted and if there is a Christian equivalent? Check the image and tell me who imported what 🙂
            https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202164020320414&set=pb.1185966892.-2207520000.1408288249.&type=3&theater

          • T. Kifle

            Dear SGJ,

            Yes sir, you would be terribly wrong if your “suspect” goes unchecked 🙂 . I am not even a town man like you by Keren standards. I am ጭው ዝበልኩ ሃገረ ሰብ. The thing is double edged as you said the Eritrean “Tigrigna” don’t Identify themselves with Tigray(Ethiopia), I took the same line from your book and applied to it as in my understanding the Muslims in Tigray don’t have an identification which is at variance with that of any other Tigraway. I didn’t know any grievance as a result of the denail

            As to the state recognition, it’s not new in Ethiopia. Earlier times the ስልጤ ብሔረሰብ was part of Gurage. They presented all the evidences they could muster and presented them to the House of Federation and finally granted an independent zone-level administration. There are many other examples that passed through the same constitutional procedures and ensured their identities. The Jeberti issue I think is complicated as they are not living collectively in a particular geographic locations. Though they may identify themselves as one at individual level, I am afraid if there is any collective voice towards this end.

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear SGS,

            I do not agree with you that when you say PFDJ engineered the social make-up. This social engineering was long time before. I am quite sure this issue was very hot topic during the revolution time and hence the credit can not be given to PFDJ. You and Emma can better say on the ELF side though from the information that I have so far both revolutionaries resemble same in this concept.

            On EPLF side, The 1971 manifesto has put these 9 ethnic groups as basic identification for the Eritrean social make-up. For example, in the English version of Nihnan Elamanan (Published in Magazine: LIBERATION Vol. II No. 3 March 1973, available online as pdf), speaking on the Eritrean population, the classification was into 9 groups though naming is different from what is practiced today. In this document, it is stated that these 9 groups could have different ethnic origins.

            What I may agree with you is that PFDJ continued this social engineering and almost considered it as social taboo to speak about. Albeit the Italians did, in a more advanced way during the British administration even up to the federation era. Italians did an extensive research on the Eritrean population is is well documented for those who really want to pursue for further study and in more intensive, debate and discussion based, the British administration in his short stay allowed Eritreans to explore in this subject matter as deep as it is possible.

            Hence, the Eritrean Ethnic group is more of Language based rather than other cultural,geographical, religious or other criteria. revolutions of 19th and 20th C believe that diversification is not beautiful. What is good according to their revolutionary thinking is that as much as possible people should avoid differences and live as one. No matter what religions the people may follow, what ever ancestral heritage it may have, what ever tradition it was in existence etc., the basic concept they put in mind is “Evolution through progressive Integration.” And hence, the revolution (Ghedli) did introduce such social engineering concept. Let’s not forget that the globalization is also of not different from this concept in its long term social effect.

            Seeing the social ancestral make-up of Eritreans, my take on this subject matter is quite different. Though I do not support an artificial blending, groupings on major common values is much more wise than going into the old Cave-tradition.

            In Europe for example, today, The European Culture is coming, a common culture that dignified the whole community based on shared values. They have worked on this for long time and its new version started in the 1950’s, just after the birth of European Union. If so, it is not shame to learn lessons on the new social engineering philosophy that is going on around instead.

            hawka
            tes

          • Amde

            Tes,

            you said “Revolutions of 19th and 20th C believe that diversification is not beautiful. What is good according to their revolutionary thinking is that as much as possible people should avoid differences and live as one.”

            It is a little off topic, but i think his was the same rationale followed by Haile Sellasie in his modernizing zeal. He was a revolutionary, almost two generations before the Ghedli. Hence the over-centralization Of power in Shewan hands, contrary to Ethiopian political tradition. Eritrea joined Ethiopia during this period, and hence the incompatibilities of the political systems.

            Modernity was supposed to be a result of an efficient state. Efficiency was maximized through reduction of diversity.

            Amde

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Amde,

            I will not be surprised by that as Haile Sellasie himself was working on the Pan-Africanism and motivated by the New World Order. To the emperor, Christianity and political hegemony was much important than traditions or ethnicity. In this regard, the emperor failed in many aspects, especially in trying to create an artificial Solomonic line kingdom which made him an old medieval king.

            Thank you though for your added value.

            tes

          • Amde

            New World Order?

            that’s stretching. He was just a modernizing nationalist. His pan-africanism is a result of his experience during the fascist invasion of 1935 and his subsequent exile. He wanted to eliminate industrialized european powers as immediate neighbors and create a secure and defensible neighborhood for his country. In that he was spectacularly successful.

            Amde

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Tes,
            Please do not start your comment, “with I do not agree with you”, instead show me your differing view. 🙂

            I think I mentioned that even the ELF was toying with that idea, but it is the PFDJ that executed the dream. That is what I meant not that the idea started with the PFDJ.

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear SGS,

            Oh, I am sorry for the way I started. I thought that I have a bit improved in my way. I just picked one that I feel not agreed with. I told you, I will have an amateur debate. Second, I thought that I am continuing the threads.

            Here I have just picked one point and I ended with it. Thank you, I am now clear with your statement.

            Huka
            tes

          • abinet

            Ato Saleh,
            I like to focus on number 4. Acoording to Haile TG, majority(85%) of Eritreans are Abeshas . Sinceyou described abeshas as cchauvinistic, do you think the rest 15% are still suspicious, or it happens only when it comes to ethiopians.
            Thanks.

          • Saleh Johar

            Abinet, please read carefully because if you do not, then you misrepresnet what others say.

            HTG didn’t say 85% are Habesha, he said those who speak Tigre and Tigrinya are said to be 85% and questioned the validity of the figures: “God knows where” the fugures came from.

            I didn’t describe Habesha as chauvinists, but that Habesha chauvinists wreaked havoc in the region. Haile Sellassie’s rule for example, was chauvinist and bigoted, you expanded the description of a clique to all Habesha! That is you Abinet, not me.

            The Tigre speakers do not consider themselves Habesha, this was explained in detail by many particularly by Saay. As far as Eritrea is concerned, Habesha or non-Habesha are suspicious of chauvinism. Even in Ethiopia there is suspicion from non-Habesha.

          • Rodab

            H.E. Saleh,
            May be he should clarify it but I also understood Hailat to have meant 85% Eritreans are habesha. Here is his quote:

            “The population group habesha or what is referred to in your comments as habesha identity** that straddles Ethiopia and Eritrea seems to be dominant in Eritrea than Ethiopia (population wise). Using the “God knows where it came from” population census of Eritrea, its Tigre and Tigrigna population make up well over 85% while Ethiopia’s habesha is about 35%. Hmmm…interesting :-)”

            It sounded he was comparing habesha percentage in both countries to make a point that habeshanism applies more to Eri than Ethio.

          • Saleh Johar

            Yes Rodab, and the Tigre speakers I know do not consider themselves Habesha, the Tigre speaking Beni Amer, Marya and others are not/do not consider themselves Habesha.

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear SGS,

            The Bilen people I think do not consider themselves as Habesha. They have different way of calling the habesha, they identify them as called “Dishkilya (Singlular) and Dishkli (Plural)” Though the Bilen people proudly trace their previous history as Agaw people, they differntiate themselves from the habesha as “Dishkilya meni nin” , “Deshkliya Akuam” From this then we can understand, the Agaw people do not belong to the Habesha Identity.

          • desta

            Thanks for your info. The Gojjam Agewu are highly intermarried with other Gojjames and I have many friends and they identify themselves as Habesha. Using your logic, from this then, we can understand that the Bilen have mistakenly considered themselves as non-habesha. They belong to Habesha 🙂 .

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear desta,

            Could you read please what I wrote again? I didn’t write what you are wrote here.

          • desta

            Sorry if I misunderstood you. It is not a deliberate one. My comment was on this. You said Bilen identify themselves as non Habesha and because Bilen is from Agew, you concluded that Agew should be non Habesha.
            Mine was since I know many Agew who Identify themselves as Habesha, and since you informed me that Bilen is from Agew, I concluded that Bilen should be Habesha.

          • Saleh Johar

            Tes, read about the Zagwe dynasty and how they were manipulated/forced to abdicate the throne to the fake Solomites. Of course they are not Habesha and historically the Habesha don’t consider them one.

          • tafla

            Sergel Tes,

            If you have traveled through the highlands, you will have noticed that many villages carry bilen/agew names. People assimilate into different cultures. If we go by ancestry and DNA, I’m sure the majority of Eritreans and Ethiopians are cushites or nilotes and share a common bloodline, with a tiny bit of Habesha or Agazian heritage. It’s mostly cultural/mythical self-identification. That’s why language-classification makes most sense to me.

            If you study (maybe you know it already) the history of belew and kelew, king M(r)ara teklehaimanot, Queen G(Y)udit, king lalibela, king yekuno amlak and the zagwe migration all will fall in place.

            here you have some links if you are interested:

            http://www.amazon.com/Tarik-Weledo-Eritrea-Tigrinya-Edition/dp/1496141326

            http://snitna.com/eritreangeneaology.html

            http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ahmad_ibn_Ibrihim_al-Ghazi

          • saay7

            Hey Tafla:

            I think you and I might be in the minority (?) who believe that language classification makes the most sense for a number of reasons.

            Are you familiar with the groundbreaking work of Noam Chomsky* on linguistics? I think more than race, more than ethnicity it is people’s language that shapes their culture and therefore their values. I am simplifying it greatly but you could have a people say from Bet Asghede: they move to Sahel: adopt a new language and they have a new culture. The link that SGJ provided from allsaho.com also shows that the Saho come from different races (?) and it is the adoption of the Saho language that gives them shared values.

            Here’s one of my favorite stories related to the power of language:

            ++++
            For example, in Pormpuraaw, a remote Aboriginal community in Australia, the indigenous languages don’t use terms like “left” and “right.” Instead, everything is talked about in terms of absolute cardinal directions (north, south, east, west), which means you say things like, “There’s an ant on your southwest leg.” To say hello in Pormpuraaw, one asks, “Where are you going?”, and an appropriate response might be, “A long way to the south-southwest. How about you?” If you don’t know which way is which, you literally can’t get past hello.

            About a third of the world’s languages (spoken in all kinds of physical environments) rely on absolute directions for space. As a result of this constant linguistic training, speakers of such languages are remarkably good at staying oriented and keeping track of where they are, even in unfamiliar landscapes. They perform navigational feats scientists once thought were beyond human capabilities. This is a big difference, a fundamentally different way of conceptualizing space, trained by language.
            ++++

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868

            I know in Tigrinya and Amharics we have words for North, South, East, West. I would be curious to know from our multi-lingual awatistas here if these words exist in our other languages. I think in Tigrayit, the Arabic substitutes are used (?) Can you imagine the advantages these might have not just on being a cab-driver but in warfare?

            saay

            * Noam has a dual interest: linguistics and hard-core left politics: he is more famous for the latter than the former:)

          • tafla

            Thank you Sal, I learned something new.

            Best regards
            tafla

          • haileTG

            hey Rodab,

            Clarification: 85% vs “God knows where it came from” –

            It was a question and specifically trying to learn about how the Tigre see themselves in this regard. You may be surprised, but I had no idea! In the bad old days, whenever I told my Kerenite friend he was “woyanay”, he always responded “they are more closer to you than me” wearing a mischief smile:-) Now I know what he meant.

            the “over 85%” was based on a widely circulated census that no one knows where it came from. It assumes 55 or 57% for the Tigrigna speaking peoples of Hamassienay, Akeletay and Serawetay 🙂

            Regards

            Ps: SGJ’s latest expansion into our other Tigre speaking peoples and the fundamental statement made by saay, taken together, have now shaped my view differently.

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear haile TG,

            About the public census, let it be as such. There are some public census so far, 1975, 1984 and of rough census 2005. The exact number is not unknown though PFDJ purposefully closed it like any other information. Every family even every child born is registered in the files of local administrators and each zoba exactly knows its population number.

            Here is at least what it can help for such information:

            http://www.citypopulation.de/Eritrea.html and

            http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/eritrea_statistics.html

            More information can be obtained from WHO

            Concerning the Eritrean Social make-up, an introduction course to Eritrean History in the University of Asmara has much more detailed information (Dr. Awet, if he is around, can give us more information, as he was teaching History courses in the university).

            For your information: There are two history books in Eritrea, one: for Academic youth and another for political use. History course which was delivered at Asmara University has somehow more detailed information about the Eritrean History than any PFDJ history books, thanks to late Tekeste Melake, (May He Rest in Peace) for his relentless struggle against PFDJ to keep somehow away from distorting some facts. Therefore, you need to read more I think if this piece of information given by SGS shaped your view differently. I admire Gash Saleh for such but still we need more.

            Some books written by Tekeste Melake can be obtained at

            http://www.allbookstores.com/Tekeste-Melake/author

            Gash Saleh has precisely showed us the general make-up of the Tigrayet speaking society are composed of different groups of people and extend up to Sudan. Tigre is another name for “barya”,”Serf” almost like a slave.

            Even Bilen has such complexities: the language spoken is called, “Blin”, the people “Belayin. But within, Bilen, there are three broad categories, the two being well known, the thrid is also divided into 12 sub-groups. In general, are called “The three- Bilen” which make up the Ethnic group “Bilen.” But, Bilen people do not recognize themselves as tribes

            Same also goes to Saho, which I have so far good information and within they are categorized as tribes.

            http://www.allsaho.com/saho-land-people/

            hawka
            tes

          • Rodab

            Hey Tes,
            What is the logic behind the PFDJ not liking census? There are governments like in Ethiopia and Rwanda who come from minority ethnic groups. In such instances, I can understand as to why they wouldn’t be eager to talk about census. And then there are governments such as ours who don’t see the benefit of economic data and numbers that stack up against their ‘hager tm’ebl ala’ narration lines. This could be unemployment, deficit and related numbers. But I am trying to figure out the harm it does for the PFDJ to promote and publish census. It certainly is not from the minority ethnic group. So what’s the reason?

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Rodab,

            I wrote on this special question you asked me and here you can find my response to you.

            http://tesfabirhanw.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/pfdj-structures-its-hardware-and-software-network-dissection-analysis-and-thinking-beyond-2/

            hawka
            tes

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            I am more amazed of your declaration that “….All Eritreans, including me, are very suspicious of Habesha chauvinism….”

            Really? “…All Eritreans…”? So are you saying that the overwhelming habesha Eritreans, who are the clear MAJORITY of Eritrea (I understand that the Kebessa will become the tiniest minority, through their planned extinction) but regardless Eritrean Habeshas, which include the Tigre are self loathing people? ወቸው ጉድ:: ጆሮ አይሰማው የለ…

          • Saleh Johar

            Why are you surprise, what is I change the word, Most Habesha, including me, hate Habesha criminals. Would that somehow be translated to self loathing? It is the bad stains, the chauvinist among us that we loath, not ourselves. A smart guy like you should easily understand, unless you do not want to understand it 🙂

            Do you despise or accept chauvinists who happen to be Hanesha?

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            1) I never said ‘Tigre Habesha’. Look it up again. But I said Tigre are habesha. Please dispute that. That will be an epic, Gash Saleh. I am sure their habesha identity was not burned along with their books that was written in their language at ‘meida’. Zing (I am doing Sal 🙂 )

            2) This days, the definition of ‘chauvinist’ is getting lost. It seems everyone, who is a proud habesha and wants to preserve who they are are being classified as ‘chauvinists’, so the definition for me has to be clear for me to accept or deny it…. 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            The Epic willbe when you prove the existence of Tigre Habesha or Tigre Are Habesha, you can regroup the word in whichever way please. I said I do not know such people existed in my country. You can only create them if you have divine or other powers to issue a proclamation. Eyob, look for another saga, the people you mention do not exist, ufff, lb adrq!

            Google offers a definition for chauvinism, some of us don’t look it up, because thre is no need for that, we saw it in blood and flesh. And we are seeing an attempt to revive it.

            A whisper: help me resolve a riddle. If everyone has equal amount of money, are they equally poor or equally rich? Or them comparison loses meaning? Alternatively, if every man is proud of who he is, then everyone is equally proud, but does “pride” still maintain its value or it becomes insignificant? Hitler was proud of what he is, so was Mussolini. Beware, fascism creeps in that way.

          • Haile Zeru

            T.Kifle

            From what you said so far you are clue-less about Eritrean history and culture. Yet, you wrote extensively in this forum on what is right and what is wrong about Eritrean politics, past and present. Often you were propping YG’s arguments, with a little touch.

            You know, in the parlance of some Eritrean kids ( about 10 years olds) a person like you should have the nickname Ghere-Mariam. I do not know why the kids say so. But it fits you very well. There is another one also that is used by the elders, which I prefer not to say.

          • T. Kifle

            Hi Haile Zeru,

            You will be appreciated if you teach me what you think I should know.

          • haileTG

            hey saay,

            an excellent analysis (couldn’t agree more) overall, and where I was mentioned:

            1 – You’re spot on that I strictly looked at the anthropological definition of “Habesha” based on early settlements and population groups. And, partly I was trying to get a response as you did regarding our Tigre population. Mind you, that was an eye opener, I have never asked or pondered about it.

            2 – On things you suggest to lighten our burden, please don’t take that as arrogant when I say I truly Understand what you say. Except that I am not convinced by it. I believe change is needed in Eritrea now, in order to halt a certain possibility of state collapse and prolonged civil war. Eritrea in 1991 was a nation full of dreams and high hopes, Eritrea in 2001 became a nation of broken dreams anf uncertain future and Eritrea in 2014 is a nation fully rejected by the world and with mass exodus on par to the worst conflict hot spots, severely depleted economic resource and under international censure. The writing is on the wall, the pattern is clear and the outcome, if nothing is done, is almost certain. Against this backdrop, an Eritrean woman who thinks seeking the needed change doesn’t cater for here feminist sensibility, an Eritrean person who thinks seeking change doesn’t reflect well on their cosmopolitan Eritrean trending ( habesha or not) or even an Eritrean who thinks seeking change isn’t for their hard nosed, can do, self reliant jingoistic bravado in the face of backward and impoverished existence, I say let them. The need for change should only be (in may view) in response to the deteriorating conditions. If that is not apparent for whatever reason, well they can march on wards and forwards with the current situation.

            I personally wouldn’t have advocated for change because of slick and smooth proposals. I am genuinely concerned that sooner or later central authority would collapse in Eritrea and all our current sensibilities would mean absolutely nothing when our situation turn to the worse if nothing is done. I have no problem helping the struggle in any way, but it needs to be done without losing focus on the “what” aspect of our problem as we see it.

            I don’t want to divert the focus of this thread, so I will stop here, but might add one or two things later on some of the other threads:-)

          • Ermias

            Sal, by and large, that is more like it. Great analysis. No further questions your honor.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Phew….Yes. That was serious word debris 🙂 Well I agree with most of what you had to say. But from what I understand, KH’s question was not ‘why do you feel apprehensive, when one emphasises their habesha identity’, not why do you feel apprehensive, when one uses their habesha identity for political purpose’. Your complaint is ‘well these Ethiopians use their identity for political purpose and I don’t like it. I drew a line for them, where and for what purpose they are allowed to discuss their identity, but they keep crossing that line and make me apperhensive’. First of all, if you believe that Tigrigna speakers, who live in today’s Eritrea proper are of habesha identity, which is related to Ethiopia’s habesha people, you can’t limit the two peoples’ relationship to be only formed in the shape of your liking. You can’t dictate that, Sal. I as habesha Ethiopian can have whatever relationship that I want to with my kin across the border, without Saleh Younis cheperoning. That relationship can be cultural, religious, marital, and yes, very very yes POLITICAL based on our shared identities. That goes the same for the Afar Eritreans, for the Saho Eritreans, for the Bilen Eritreans……Isayas Afeworki or you can not dictate the terms how Eritreans should relate to their kin across the border. But you did. Your ghedli dictated people an invented identity, which was a mishmash of Marxism, pan Arabic and God knows in the middle. The greatest victim of ghedli’s experiment is the habesha of Eritrea, especially as you described the “overwhelmingly christian Tigrigna”, why? because everyone seems to get up in some random morning and feels to dictate identity to them. The incessant focus on the ‘Tigrigna’ people to indoctrination them with alien identity that would make them hate and create enmity with their habesha kin across the border is always welcome, because that indoctrination threw them to the fire and made them pay the MOST sacrifice throughout ghedli and after that of course they and their children are the ones that are targeted to be butchered by the Bedouins and get drowned in the high seas and fill refugee camps around the globe. What do you know?! Dictating and indoctrination of alien identity on the Eritrean habesha is pushing them fast to their extinction. So, the point I wanted to make is that in your word debris, though I agree with your explanation of what identity is you seem to feel free to delineate what one should use their identity to create what kind of bond with who, and I say no no no…You have no right to dictate that, because last time that happened a generation is lost and another one is on the verge of extinction…..Thank you for listening. Remember, today is Saturday don’t make to heavy on me ቀለል አርገህ ያዘው… 🙂

          • saay7

            Selam Eyobai:

            Keeping the Saturday tradition in mind, here’s a short version: create three circles: Tigrinya, Habesha, Ghedli. The overlap is so huge, your line “…everyone seems to get up on some random morning and feels to dictate identity to them….” is absurd. In Eritrea, by sheer numbers, the Tigrinya entirely own the “Habesha” classification and overwhelmingly dominate the Ghedli phase of Eritrean history and all its ethos so, no comprende as to the “they” who are trying to dictate to “them.”

            Now back to our regular Saturday programming. This video is old school. “Libey midrebeda” by Osman Abdulrahim. A friend once told me that the Portugese have a word for homesickness: Saudade. Wikipedia says the word “has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.” I am all Saudade and the only death penalty I approve is for people who say “You will never see Eritrea ever again.”

            http://youtu.be/h-qIH1Jrv5U

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Ok Sal,

            There was no hyperbole. You know EXACTLY what I mean. Both you and I know that the Tigrigna had joined the horrific ghedli party after targeted, incessant. methodical indoctrination by “others” mostly delivered from Cairo and some other baathist centers. Therefore, I implied everyone, who wanted to use them for the exact reason that you touched on (their sheer number) to accomplish a sinister political goal. That is my story and I am sticking to it. 🙂

            I am feeling a bit generous this morning. I was matching and comparing between an auto tuned bad rendition and an original song. So I am going to let you in the game. It’s Jacky Gosse’s (Gossaye Kelemu) and the wonderful Teshome Asegid. It’s an old song that Teshome labored on and Jacky took it, auto tuned it, ruined the lyrics, yet the kids these days go hoopla for his really bad version…..Please, have a heart and listen both of them… (Come on, it’s Saturday. You ain’t got nothing to do, but listen to my songs… 🙂 )

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

            and here is the original version…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdAluuid0KE

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            Here’s my mantra: it is “Saturday, keep it light; it is Saturday, keep it light.” Ok, just one from Reagan: change a word and it applies to you and all Ghedli defamers: “the trouble with our liberal friends isn’t that they are ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” Zing.

            Ok, this Jacky Gossaye dude. Back home we say when there is something that everybody knows except the person who should know: “Hshukh belwo” (whisper in his ears.) He does know that Jacky is a girls’ name. No? He has been watching a lot of T-pain videos so it is the power of American pop culture…

            Speaking of which, my window to Ethiopian pop culture (via Europe) is Winta: The Show. This week, I learned the word for “I got tanned” (“tequaqriyalehu”) and they are pressured to use MrT Asr instead of Top Ten.

            The songs mostly suck but the videography is stunning.

            saay

            http://youtu.be/KbSyXNJyswQ

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            What the heck did I do to you? Is this how you punish me on this fine Saturday? Who are these two clowns? And even worse they play that Nhaty guy’s song, which I showed you the other day asking for your cooperation to report him to Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism unit for “terrorizing” the Ethiopian music lovers with his songs….

            Now my time to punish you….

            Please, listen this cringe worthy lyrics of “Ethio-Eritrea….hizbey beHabera”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnQ5RLYZUwM

            But, I can’t stay mad at you..so after your punishment, I want you to listen to this. This is what we call organic. Amazingly original and BEST rendition of old songs. I am too impatient to chop it for you, so you can skip the interview and forward to 8:30 and listen. Please I urge you, Sal….I know you love guitar and this is IT. You are welcome… 🙂 Let me know what you think…

            P.S Hushuk belwo did not need a translation. I know I am bad in Tigrigna, but not that bad, especially, when the word is almost identical to Amharic ‘Shuk Belew’… 🙂

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjliDMIx9Ow

          • Fanti Ghana

            Thanks Eyob.
            I am having a very strange morning. Two cups of coffee, and I am still unable to focus, but you made my day with the “Ethiopia Eritrea Peace” song. I am going back to bed while I am ahead, and you, go ahead and sin for the next three months: you won’t hear a word of objection from me.

          • abinet

            Eyobe,
            Thanks for Teshome’s song. It took me back to 1980 EC. This tape was released in collaboration with Hirut Bekele, Kennedy Mengesha and Asefu Debalqe. Yared Tefera is the saxophonist. I think it is this tape that put Yared among the elits 3-4 years after he graduated from YARED MUSIC school.
            Thanks again.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            .
            I very much appreciate the explanation, it is helpful.
            .
            Thank you,
            K.H

      • Serray

        Selamat Sal, Ermias, Alam and everyone,

        What mazing discussion. One has to stop and take a breath to really appreciate it.

        Amal,

        Please allow me to correct one thing you wrote regarding women in the opposition, you said, “But even the women that are celebrated as the heroines of the opposition do so because they act like men they “bend it like Beckham”. I don’t think so, our women in the opposition are trial blazers. What Elsa and Meron are doing is a refreshingly first. None of the old men with grudges do what these amazing women are doing for the eritrean people in the field of human rights and human trafficking.

        Sal and Ermias,

        If I had the power to calm the rage I feel about eritrea’s lost opportunities, I would have liked to be the calm and intelligent ghedli romantic Haile the Great is but I can’t. We are who we are.

        When Yg joined us last time, Sal asked him to summarized his views, Yg simply wrote, “People first”. Sal didn’t like it. I guess he felt it is a copout answer. To appreciate yg’s answer, you have to contrast it with its counter-part, “country first”.

        Every person who gives value to the hellhole of a country we call eritrea because many have died to make it a nation belongs to the “country first” club. Eritrea is an open air prison with absolutely no freedom, no justice and a slavery system that doubles on human trafficking but for the “country first” crowd, the process that led it to this stage (ghedli) is worth it because for them eritrea the country is still worth the sacrifices to make it a nation, that is what “country first” means at its deepest depth of its meaning.

        Amanuel, who by principle avoids to be drawn into this discussion of ghedli says the talk about ghedli is pointless because it is about the past. If that is true, then all of the “country first” crowd, the romantics, should be taken out and shot because if it is all about the past, the country first crowd have nothing to show other than thirty years of carnage by ethiopian rulers and twenty three years of carnage by shaebia leaders. But the country first crowd are saying that, if not today, tomorrow the nation will reap the benefit of nationhood. Otherwise, they are, him included, pure and simple nihilists. So, Emma, the discussion about ghedli is as much about the past as it is about the future, if not more so.

        People first is different. It reevaluates the past in order to make sure the future is not as futile as the past and the present. Those who do not learn from history the saying goes…and if we accept and glorify our past just as the mindless pfdj do our present, then the probability that we will repeat it is not only high but an absolute certainty. Shaebia regime is a singular lesson of inability to learn and, if one shares its “country first” mentality in any shape or form; if one fails to openly and honestly state that the pursuit to free the land has failed completely and unambiguously to free the people and that this pursuit has resulted in systematically, not accidentally but systematically, switching the value, the worth, of the people in favor of land, then, not only are we going to repeat shaebia lazy and brutal governing, but we will elevate it.

        Sal, fifty four years of “country first” has brought us to the verge of an abyss; if you seriously believe that whipping patriotism, defaming alternative views, coining silly phrases to shut up the voices that argue for respect and elevation the people above and beyond the hellish land we call eritrea, then please, at least be honest about it that you are in your “country first” heaven.

        That is me stating my case, now let me answer your questions.

        1 and 2) In response to Ermias that I came too soon, you said the ELFers warned about shaebia long before we did. True, but they lacked a mirror. Jebha set the pace how ghedli is to be conducted. Jebha is in many ways a less disciplined version of shaebia at its core. The value system that I am accusing shaebia leaders is a shared value system. Jebha is the precursor that made it okay for shaebia to be as savage as it ended up being.

        Year 3) using your debating ability to revise history, huh. Ghedli didn’t start in comishtato, it started in metahit by mostly metahit people. Awate is not from adi abeto. These are facts. And yes, the majority of highlanders joined ghedli when shaebia and jebha brought the fight to the highlands. It is true leftist students from college went to medda in the mid to late sixties (and jebha was very suspicious of them because of WHO they are) but is in the seventies that highlanders join medda in droves, not because the fronts had outreach programs and convinced people to join them but because dergi and afagn played their role to perfection when the front brought the war to our doorsteps.

        4) about badme and the constitution. Sal, I wish you know me then, I was fanatically against the war after I found out the dummy started it….I didn’t contribute a penny to the war effort. Those who supported the war bought into the regime’s explanation; not us. Meaning, we are confronted with a question that you guys didn’t; “If shaebia is at fault, tell us why, the hostile question go, why does our government start a war out of thin air?”. Struggling to answer that hit me one day, “isaias ignited the war to shelve the constitution!!!”. The reason you guys dismiss it is because you bought into the regime’s explanation, you supported the war effort finically and intellectually and you are still searching for a decent explanation today. The danger for you guys is, if you buy into my theory, you have to disown a huge chunk of your belief system. The only outcome of the war is shelving a constitution, “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” doesn’t preclude it for being absolutely and completely true because reality showed it is true…isaias ignited a war to stop a constitution from taking effect and HE DID. Not only that, last May, he actually discarded the constitution.

        The only counter argument to mine, a counter-argument none of you ever made, is “It is difficult to believe knowing the nature of Isaias he will go that far”. You know why you don’t make that argument? Because you know he is capable.

        5) why should anyone be apprehensive if I stress who I am. Some openly argue for Arabic and I have no problem with that. I am not going to ask you why it bothers you that I walk on my two legs because nothing you say can make me walk with my two hands. I think Eyob gave you a better answer to that.

        • Tesfabirhan WR

          Dear Serray,

          The concept of “Country first” and “People First” is of misguiding according to your approach. Here I will not go into lengthy arguments but the two concepts are quite clear till 1991. IN the 1952 federation, the world powers put first the strategic position of Eritrea and as Ethiopia being their ally decided to put it in Federation. This means, Ethiopia which she has never cared about the Eritrean people but the Sea did all kinds of efforts to make this “Land-First” concept at play. Ethiopia never, never cared about the people.

          Then, Eritreans were in put in danger, fear of extinction, and started an armed struggle. Here then, “The country First” concept originated. People sacrificed their life to save their land. It is very obvious.

          Under this second concept, people fought 30 years war thinking nothing about life but the country. But, they were hopeful that once the land is secured “The country-First”concept will be over and according to their dream it was supposed to be in 1991. You could then ask me if it was materialized or not. Definitely BIG “NO” EPLF handed its power to PFDJ and PFDJ hijacked what the people fought for.

          To summarize then, Ethiopia preferred “The Country” We said “NO” Let you kill us first if you going to take it. Hence, we scarified our life, “The People” We our land, but then, another dictatorial power came and said, “Country First” same mission with that of Ethiopian warlords. And since after, The people are dying for nothing but because of dictator. Therefore, depend on historical facts not on DESPAiR.

          Say, ENOUGH to PFDJ and come to the main highway that was started to be constructed in May 24, 1991.

          Hawka
          tes

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Serray,

          I did write the political dichotomy about “people first or country first” long when the war was going. I think we debated it before YG raised it. I raised it as subtitle in one of my articles and I argued for the former. This issue was debated even when Issayas was running the border war. Yg was supporting the war at that time for God sake. Do not give him credit which is no due to him.

          Back to the point: Suppose the “justice seekers” are divided as yourself noticing it on that political dichotomy and remain on their position both sides, What can you do other than registering your point in the debate and sent it in to the public domain? Are we going to continue this debate while the youth leaving the country in drove and facing all kinds of tragedies on their way out? Just tell me what is the exit strategy to the crises and tragedy of our youth. I think we agreed on the evil system of PFDJ and yes they are continuation of the political culture of Medda. Serray where is the beef to your solution? We are just debating in a circular fashion, say it at dead lock, give me the way out to see it the feasibility of it.

          • Serray

            Selamat Amanuel,

            De-romanticizing ghedli is not a tactic or a strategy. That is why I get mad when people made it by falsely concluding that the view reflects a need to go back to the past. De-romanticizing ghedli is about setting the record straight first, and then, about incorporating the lesson learned in the past into our future. It is a warning that draws from the carnages of the past. Lets face it, if unchecked, tegadeli and ghedli romantics have a potential to take us to the abyss if we don’t say stop it. A past so full of itself as ghedli (shaebia is a huge subset of ghedli) needs to be shown its sour fruits all the time and de-romanticizing ghedli is a tiny part that verbally puts a mirror in case the depopulation, isolation, depravity, concentration camps, sinai, Mediterranean sea are not enough.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Serry,

            First you didn’t answer my question . In any case I will give you two confirming things that allow you to go forward rather backward. (a) If your argument is to register your warning, it is repteddly registered in the public domain (b) I will assume from your argument the ghedli-romantics are the ex-tegadelti. The living ghedli generation are my generation and they are close at the exit door to leave this world. So whether they could or couldn’t do better the torch is hanging in the air the young generation to grab it. Therefore if you have any potential energy that you can afford, direct it to the effort for removal of the regime and its institutions. How about that? Just think about it from the practical point of view. We could debate issues, but for the same issues for years is something wrong with us. our young are leaving the nation for good, if we can’t do something effectively to change the momentum.

        • saay7

          Selamat Serray the Sublime:

          We have veered so far to the edge of the limb, I can’t even see the tree anymore…How did we get here exactly? It reminds me of a debate we had a long ago which was a limb off a sub-branch of a branch of a trunk that, in the end, only the two of us were reading it. You think that’s what’s happening here? Is this (knock, knock) mic on?

          I will skip 1-4 as I suspect we will revisit them and focus on the only new topic that has been introduced: the issue of identity and apprehension. I have answered that in my reply to Kim Hanna and the short version is because (a) in Eritrea, Habesha identity is Tigrinya/highland/orthodox identity and emphasizing “Habesha” identity has the exact same risks as all other mobilizing tools. In much the same way that you get apprehensive when somebody over stresses nationalism because that often leads to hyper nationalism and war; supra-nationalism (Habesha, Kurd, Russian) leads to breaking bonds within nationalists and creates an us-them within the same country; (b) the capital of Habesha is Tigray and some Eritreans think the root cause of all that ails modern Eritrea is an Ethiopian government that originates from Tigray and it will be more work (unnecessary burden) for us to convince them, “no, that’s not what we really mean…”

          saay

        • Amal

          Selam Serray,

          I think you took that particular sentence out of the whole paragraph to make your point. Nonetheless, I didn’t mention any names. But if the two human rights activists you mentioned are the only “heroines” in your book, I understand that you had to correct me.

          Our society suffers from tokenism politics, in both the opposition and regime. It does not affect women only, but covers, region, tribe, religion etc… creating the appearance of inclusiveness of all groups but in reality it’s only to deflect any suspicion and accusation of discriminations. Women have been the victims of tokenism for a very long time and have created ways to push their agenda forward within the frames and restrictions patriarchy have put on us. If anything that’s what I was trying to allude to in my comment.

          In this thread so far women are mentioned as a collective, you singled out two “heroines” and boom, they are now individuals. It kind of brings back memories of childhood and how a girl is daddy’s girl when successful and her mothers daughter when she is naughty. Interesting!

          One another not, you spelled my nickname “Alam” on the beginning of your post, I hope that was a typo..

          Amal

          • Serray

            Selam Amal,

            In diaspora, specially in the west, the rules of back home don’t apply. As a matter of fact, pound for pound, eritrean women are more successful than men. There is an element of choice in their absence in the resistance given their numbers in the regime’s camp. When and if they choose to, they can create an new space to fight the regime here. If they find politics distasteful, they can be advocates of any aspect that ails our nation. I am sorry but I don’t buy your transplanting of a limiting factor from back home that has no parallel here. The fight to change the status quo has to begin somewhere; given the entry barriers to the resistance in the diaspora are very low or nonexistent, I think women sitting on the sidelines in diaspora reflects more of a choice.

            Finally, I don’t get your point about me naming names; I am celebrating their achievements. You can’t have it both ways: you can’t complain when women are admired AND when they are ignored. Pick one.

            Sal, I am aware this doesn’t help fill your quota of recruiting women writers. Let me suggest a solution until you fill your quota, ban some of us who hold them somehow responsible for some of the things that happens to them in diaspora.

          • saay7

            Ahlen Serray:

            That’s hell-to-the-no: the “quota for recruiting women writers” was an inside joke with SGJ. I think all we can ask is for introspection into whether we use a language that is civil yet belligerent.

            Like you, I believe that, at least in America, the leadership potential of women is greater than that of men simply because there is a big gender gap between female college attendance and male college attendance. And it has been going on for almost a decade now. I realize that the answers women give for why they don’t participate in greater numbers may be self-serving but, having been on the receiving end of “why don’t you participate?” invitations from groups, I find that organizations and movements are often incapable of objectively analyzing themselves and are quick to resort to hyper-defensiveness.

            My own assessment is that the language we use and our resort to quick combat about everything contributes to turning away women.

            saay

          • Amal

            Serray,

            Wai Ana Di… 🙂

            If you really think that we are living in the modern world and that our traditional norms are not applying here in diaspora… I wouldn’t know where to begin to explain to you but proves my point replying to Rodab a few days ago, this forum is for elitist and detached ones at that. Generally, I agree with a lot of what you write on here (I will get pinched for this) especially your views on women in Ghidle and post PFDJ. But don’t appreciate your Yg tendencies, a traumatized people don’t need shock therapies to start healing!!!

            We have half of society with a dismissed history, no really acknowledgment for their sacrifice, at least nothing that would meet the aspersions and promises made in Meda. EPLF women post independence, we have witnessed what happened to them, ELF women lost when the party lost in 1981. I know that there are a lot of women in the opposition but for the sake of arguments lets reverse the question, Why should Eritrean women trust any movement that want to change the status quo?

            Of course I won’t answer that!

            But from me to you, feminism 101
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c

  • Thomas

    Semere Andom to Nitricc “Do not expect me to understand your abused past and be understanding
    like the others. Women will be insulted for your to act as imposter and
    act like you care for them.”. I agree with Semere Andom’s thinking on Nitricc

  • Nitricc

    Why do Serray, YG and Semere hate Eritrean women and Gedli?
    If you pay attention to what the three stooges have one thing in common and what they are saying; they all expressed their concern about their Habesha culture being destroyed. What does it mean when they say, habesha culture at the same time blaming EPLF for empowering the Eritrean women. It took me for a while to figure it out but finally I cracked the code. There are three corners that must be assembled in order to make sense.
    The Habesha culture; the age grupe of the three stooges and the hate of the Gedli or EPLF.
    What is Habesha culture? In their twisted mind; it means women’s total and unconditional obedience to men. Giving their age, they must observe their mothers doing just that and in turn they wanted that way. They can not stand it Eritrean women are empowered and not only they don’t do what their mother’s have done but worst, they stood up to face and surpass the gender burier the likes Serray,Semere and YG never let go. They are too old to adjust and to stubborn to learn to move with time.
    Doing so, they are blaming EPLF or Gedli; because if wasn’t for Gedli; Eritrean women would have been at the same predicament as their mothers were; to Serving their husbands with unconditional obedience. They hate the Gedli and the EPLF because Gedli empowered the Eritrean women to no return and for this their culture; a culture of male dominance is destroyed. Read Seraay’s concern about his Habesha culture; read Semere’s ; read the job-less’s articles. You will find very striking similarities. YG himself told you how Gedli ruined Eritrean women so do his foot soldiers Seraay and semere.
    What really sucks to the three of them is; Eritrean women are not going to stop marching forward. They earn it during Gedli; the likes of Serray, YG and semere were bending and lying to the immigration officers while the great Eritrean women were having it all. Now, there is Sawa! Eritrean women will go to the end to destroy the mentality of those old fools. Yes, Sawa will invigorate and revitalize if there is any doubt at the journey of Eritrean women to an absolute equality.
    Now you know why serray hates Eritrean women; now you know why semere and his master YG are on it calling names to the great Eritrean women. The good news is they are old and a matter of time to the end of their hate.

    • Semere Andom

      Nitricc:
      Please do not venture into stuff you have no clue. Who is known for instulting women in this forum and who stood for them. Your self loathing is apparent and if you want people like us who have way too many more brain cell s than you do you better increase yours from one to a few thouthands then you will be qualified to debate and clean your language before making allegation that we hat Eritrea

      • Nitricc

        Semere you are not that bright are you? With just what you said you have strength my point and destroyed yours.
        You think women are weak and they should be protected and I am telling you they don’t need your protection. They strong and they can defend themselves. I am saying no favors or special treaments becouse they are women. I am saying no. Eritrean women need no Semere or serray or your master YG. When three of hit the ride tacking your taile between your legs; Eritrean women were on the front and surprised every pig men who were doubting them. What makes you they need your protection? Do you get my point?
        Regarding you understanding me; well shave to your you know where!

  • Thomas

    Hi Haile TG,

    Great article on Asmarino.com. This is in comparison to what we read (above) by AT.

    http://asmarino.com/news-analysis/3877-transforming-eritrea-where-to-begin-1

    I believe below was the US reasons (quoted from the asmarino article, url above) not to invite DIA:

    “Washington saw no purpose in inviting Isaias who is widely seen as Africa’s worst violator of fundamental human and democratic rights. His government has not only been committing atrocities against Eritreans, but as the UN and the African Union have concluded, it has also supported international terrorism by aiding and abetting the deadly Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group which has slaughtered thousands of civilians in Somalia and beyond.”

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Interesting how things devolved or evolved to Ghedli and its semantics, following saay’s quoting of a “girl power” teen, whose debating skill wouldn’t have probably passed the “talk to the hand” mark line 🙂 and an editorial that would have best served as a press release after the up coming youth gathering abroad under the theme “hiji ewn lewTi kab wushTi” 🙂

    Well, Serray took a position which was initially agreeable to most of us, save for the small part that caters for his signature implication that everything must be linked to Ghedli. Mahmuday took the podium with a well argued defense of ghedli but didn’t quite run the last mile because despite some of us in the romantic’s side believing that ghedli is a significant part of our history and its achievements has compensated its shortfalls (as things stood till 1991), we are firmly in the view that the legacy of the history of ghedli can’t be used to subjugate and expose to the worst forms of human violations (including depopulation) and want the crooks perpetrating these crimes out. Ghedli did not create Eritrea it is the other way around. Many leaders and middle ranking tgadelti of the meda years, are today dishonored criminals awaiting to be internationally documented through a UN mechanism. The current reality must make it clear that any feeble dreams of using ghedli to inherit the HGDEF built serfdom will prove foolish. My valuing of Ghedli (the sum total of the independence struggle that is bigger than the armed struggle component which abinet wanted to know) doesn’t necessitate me to add value to known criminals simply because they were part of it. The sense of entitlement on the back of the ghedli is much like blood fortunes. Ex tegadelti have engaged (and continue to do so) in the most disturbing crimes against the civilian Eritrean population. And, it is naive to hope that the current psychological confusion created following this massive crime they perpetrated would give them cover to inherit the serfdom built upon its loots. I would say, a far cry and dream on. When the dust blows over, all we will be left is with grave anguish and full view vantage of the bloodletting crescendo the bloody mindedness reached.

    Ghedli’s achievement in securing what we aspired for (independence) using our blood, money and time is our history. The Eritrean people were then snatched the fruits of what they paid dearly for and the rest is history. Hence, the key is that ghedli is a shared and proud history, yet all those who wish to capitalize on it to undermine those they disagree with should be challenged and shown right up their noses the rivers of blood of innocent Eritreans flowing under criminals, flip flops and duplicitous manipulators who ended up with a second thought regarding our right to self determination. The total crumbling of PFDJ in the diaspora that is left with few hundred despite pouring huge money didn’t come about with soft heart or second thoughts of the vicious criminal. It is gratifying to see PFDJ running and humiliated like a rat in the diaspora, since that is what it does to our beloved people at home. We need to keep our eyes sharp on the idea that our proud history is not for righting a shameful present. So, ghedli doesn’t entitle one to be our leader and we shouldn’t feel at odds to both cherish it and challenge those that would wish to misuse it in order to enslave us with it.

    Regards

    • Semere Andom

      HTG. And how does this make your Romatic, just curious 😉

      • haileTG

        Semere A…haha…ever heard of Unconditional love 😉

        • Semere Andom

          Hailat:
          If we draw the proverbial political spectrum then you will fall on the de-romantics side or if your do the Vienn Diagram your intersection with the romantics will be microscopic. I too intersect with the romantics albeit at a nano level;-)

          • haileTG

            Semere,

            I think majority of Eritreans are healthy romantics, there is simply no way around it. The unhealthy romantics (for power shenanigans) will never last and the deromantics will never make it. The future is rosy for the healthy romantic, the others will end up in messy fixes 🙂

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear haile TG,

            well said. Very clear statement.

            hawka
            tes

          • Estifanos

            Dear Haile TG,

            I think the two terms, Ghedli Romantics and Ghedli De-Romantics,
            are creating unnecessary dichotomy in the camp of justice seekers.

            As spelled out by you many times,Gedli encompasses two things, the heroic achievement
            of the Tegadelti and the systematic injustice of the Gedli leadership. We
            should be able to cherish the former and obliterate the later without creating
            any havoc.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            HTG;
            My goodness, you’ve just slapped my good friend sem A with a simple but heavier than what his Rome ghetto syndrome inflicted brain can hold. Sem A, just come back with your cranial cavity intact, we will fill it up with regenerated neurons donated by nitricc.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Hailat,

      I wish Serray would have the kind of stand you have. I believe on, that we own the history, but we should change the reality. Ghedli is the product of Eritrean people and what ever bad and good happened back then, and even if the current reality is caused by the ghedli leaders – the motto should be to dismantle the system they installed from its roots. Eritrea today is not for the ex-tegadelti, it is for the young generation. The evil is not on the “independence” the evil is on those who govern the “independent nation”. I really agree on your analysis and your idea for the go forward and that is to remove PFDJ from the governing seat, change the political culture, and pass the torch to our young.

      serray ,

      please let us take this as a common denominator to liberate our people from this mafia people. The curse didn’t come from the result of the cause which is “independence”, it is from the governing body of PFDJ and the oppressive system they installed. We have debated about ghedli for years, and we know where the problem is. Our nation is depopulated of its youth, and without the youth even the things you want to see changed will not happen. When can we stop the ghedli argument and focus on the exodus of our youth? Instead of converging our views we are diverging our views day in day out. Just think about it. You have said ” My problem with ghedli is not that it started but how it was conducted and how it ended up giving us the absolute worst regime on the face of the earth.” I don’t think anyone will disagree on this quoted statement. The current struggle is to change the “absolute worst regime” to use your word, and dismantle the oppressive system it installed. Can we agree on that.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Aman H;
        Spot on! Well balanced comment! (oops!).

    • Mahmud Saleh

      HTG
      First, people waited for you to weigh in early on and you retired to your dark cave watching us from that vantage, huh, you must have enjoyed it. Second, the debate, at least on my side, wasn’t about ghedli; it was women-related, at least that’s what I was defending not ghedli (with serray), then my really…refreshingly really good friend semere jumped in; he must have thought it was time to finish me off, Semere A ጻዕዳ did what a good loyal does,( well, I believe deep in his heart the man believes he should n’t have said what he said about our women, cheers my friend Seme A!) Anyway, I had to give ሓፈሻዊ ፖለቲካዊ ትምህርቲ ንጸረ-ተጋደልቲ, it was challenging HTG, I think Rome ghetto drained out his brain, the man behaved unusually erratic in his judgement;believe it or not, What I was trying was a helpless effort to make sure my friend Sem A didn’t fall prey to the drooling nitricc, I was kinda coaching him out of a deep hole he jumped into doing his duty, defending serray (ምክትል ሓለቃ) and the brainy guy of the group …well, let me just skip the name the group for now; you see HTG, the forum had to behave as expected (not so friendly), but I think we were OK considering how highly motivated we are; Tzigereda and SAAY occasional reminders kept us somewhat around the theme መዓልቲ ደቀንስትዮ (ደቀንስትዮ ወይስ ደቂ ኣንስትዮ?) I have to tell you HTG, tes is coming up with technical stuff, I would really want to see you guys collaborate on some articles, both of you seem to be serious and with unbelievable potential. Of course, you will have to stick to your sober assessment of our history (I agree with you ghedli is long gone, and it could not be a basis for new Eritrea, its values ideologies as they existed then do not serve new democratic Eritrea. There are universal values, good ones, that had consolidated during ghedli, we should keep them and let them transform influence and be influence; at the end, there is no static value; values change as society changes, they influence each other in a reverse relationship). So, I think, it was a good discussion, at least I enjoyed it, we may have some bruises here and there, but over all we made it out safely. I may have some more ” civilized conversation” with Semere Huye, but you guys can move on.

      • Semere Andom

        To Mahmuday with much disappointment
        ጀበንቸ እንድ እታክ
        ድምዱሙ ሰፋለልኮ
        በዲር ጀበንተት ወ ሓሊብ እትፋቕድኮ
        ወ ዲብ አስምራ፡ ወ ዲብ ከረን ክልኢቱ ሐገልኮ
        እንሰር ድምዱሙ ሰፋልሎኮ
        ወ ሃሩዮእ ዲብ ሑዮ(ወዓንድም) አፍገርኮ
        ሚ እወደ ናይትሪካይ አትጋመኒ
        ጎማትካ እግሊይ ሂጋ ርቢታ
        ሂጋ ርሱል ታ
        ውልኪን እስቶፍር ብላህ
        መሳሕች ታ
        እም ብድሆ ሓሶሰይ አከብቲኒ ልበንዱቀች
        እግል እሊ ሕፉናይ ራሕመት ሻዕብየት እግል አረይዪ
        ህታታ ስርያኡ

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Sem A
          I wish if I could translate your poem, but I won’t do justice to it. But your humor is well appreciated. Now, that you’ve dropped your Gual Menkeryos ( ቱታ..ቱታ) stuff, I hope you give her respite.

      • haileTG

        Hey Mahmuday,

        Actually, I tend to let discussions take their course without interrupting. Often times, when heated exchanges are taking place between two debators, I tend to believe that it is better to hold off myself commenting (also I don’t want you guys blaming me for losing an argument because I ended up dividing your focus with silly questions…:-) OK kidding). We go long way back with serray on the very topic and I must add that he may be less understood here. For the astute observer, there are critical points of distinction between Serray’s point and that of YG’s point. Serray is extremely incisive and methodical thinker and highly articulate with a flair to depth, but I would say he has not signed up to a political world view as most of us (and yg too) have done. He rejects gedli and rejects Ethiopian interference at the same time. This is where he careers alone. Serray rejects the road traveled to get us independence because he thinks it left us with problems that we are incapable to cure. At the same time, he holds Ethiopia responsible at the outset and doesn’t extend the problem to our mind set, culture, colonial delusions and what have you. In your recent encounter, the question he posed to you regarding ‘civil war’ was one fine moments that gives the debate with serray an elevated edge,

        Serray doesn’t see Ethiopia as a solution, neither does he see ghedli flavored future as good for Eritrea. So, considering the alliance he designated by positioning outside these two nodes of influence in Eritrean politics, he argues that the external pressure is the best stick for his cause. The key fault line in serray that I know his almost fanatical expectation that somewhat the traces of ghedli will be completely wiped out. He also doesn’t acknowledge (or has knowledge of) the massive disparities in the life of tegadelties and many tegadelty to migrate in the last ten or so years have grave misgivings on what is going on and their own human rights is also violated in much the same way.

        I would admit that many youth follow serray’s ambivalence and it would require a sober look at the reality in order to develop a workable solution.

        In your case, despite my limited exchanges here in the last short while, I have gathered few facts as you state them, i.e. being an ex-tegadali and also having left in the early 90’s (during the heydays of tegadelti). This means that you have paid tall price for the independence of the nation and it is perfectly understandable that you find some of the discussions nauseating, especially the graphic types. Who wouldn’t feel distraught to see the house he toiled to build demolished? You have paid real price and you see that being squandered. And a natural reaction would be to scramble to save what ever pieces and bits that can be saved.

        There is a theory in diaspora realities that the person of a diaspora only holds the last image of home before he departed. He nurtures his sense of belonging, identity, personal effects… based on this last captured image that freezes in time in his mind and heart. When he finally gets to visit “home” say 20 years on from that very moment of fond memories, his world comes tumbling down, his heart shuttered the warm and safe home he built deep in the recess of his identity dissipates into thin air. He no longer see himself part of the reality he thought was his for so long, and a new journey starts right there.

        When people debate you, they tend to overlook your lifetime attachment to the cause of ghedli, your personal investment in it and the fact that your heart is naturally where it should be, Eritrea. Hence, we all end up dismissing each other, declaring each other persona non grata of being true Eritrean.

        Let’s all understand where we are coming from, that way we would set the right stage for dispassionate discourse based on better understanding of our debating partner 🙂

        cheers

        • Mahmud Saleh

          HTG;
          I can’t put it more accurately, thanks.

        • Rodab

          I read this nicely written comment earlier in the day, Hailat la Grande.
          You sure know how to generate ideas, and more importantly how to express them. Good work!

    • Kokhob Selam

      ዓዋተ. ኮም ልዕሊ ኩሉ ተፈታዊት ዝገብራ :- ንመርገጻት ንጹርን ጽጹይን ስነ – መጎት ከቅርቡ ዝኽእሉ ሓያል ናይ ምትንታን ክእለት ዘለዎም ሰባት ዝሳተፉላ ንኹሉ ሕብርታት እተርእይ መርበብ ምዃና እዩ :: ይበል ሃይላት በርትዕ !

      ኤርታራ ድኣ ንገድሊ ፈጠረት እምበር ገድሊ ኣይኮነን ንኤርትራ ፈጢርዋ :: ኣብ ገድሊ ዝተፈጥረ ጉድለታት ይኹን ጌጋታት ንህልውና ኤርትራ ኣብ ሕቶ ዝእቱ ከቶ ክኸውን ኣይክእልን እዩ :: ኣብ ጉዕዞ ገድሊ ግዳያት ዝኾኑ ደቂ ‘ዛ መሬት ይኹኑ ኢትዮጵያውያን : ነቲ መዳርግቲ ኣልቦ ቃልስና ከበርዕኑን ብኡ ንብኡ ንሕቶ መሰል ህዝብና ዘይሽሙ ከልብሱን :- ብፍጹም ፍትሓዊ ኣይኮነን:: ብኣንጻሩ እቲ ንሃገርነት ኤርትራ ዝነጸገን :- ጠንቂ ናይ ‘ዚ ተናውሐ ቃልሲ ዝኾነነ እዩ ቀዳማይ ተሓታቲ :: እንተ ኣብ ገድሊ ዝተራእዩ ገበናት ብእዋኑ ህዝቢ ኣብ መጋበእያ ከቅርቦም እዩ ::

      ኤርትራና ንዘልኣለም ትንበር ::
      ንሰላም ክልቲኡ ህዝብታት ኢትዮጵያን ኤርትራን ኣበርቲዕና ክንሰርሕ ኢና ::
      ሓውካ ኮኾብ

    • Thomas

      HTG – Great clarification of the issue; and categorizing/differentiation PFDJ and ghedli. We needed to be reminded that liberation of our country has taken the effort of the entire Eritrean population and was never the sole sacrifices of Tegadelti. The entire Eritrean people courageously paid all kinds of scarifies (from Fedain, Hafash wedibat, each citizens unbeaten struggle/endurance and more).

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Thomas
        Good point. Good man.

      • Peace!

        Well said!

    • saay7

      Haile The Great:

      This must be ShetaHtaH Week for the XY Chromosome Awatistas:)

      You said “…saay quoting of a ‘girl power’ teen, whose debating skill wouldn’t have probably passed the ‘talk to the hand’ mark line…”

      She is not a teen. Her debating skills (in my brief debates with her) are on the Hayat/Serray level (lethal.) Not your finest assumption.

      Consider this, Hailat. In the United States, females now outnumber males by significant margins. The gender gap between black females and black males is 12 points. (69% of high school graduates vs 57%.) Anecdotally, I would say that among Eritreans in the US, the gender gap is comparable to that.

      If you accept my premise, that means there are more Eritrean female college graduates than Eritrean male college graduates. Yet, Eritrean forums are lopsidedly dominated by men. I don’t want to pre-empt SGJ’s September 1 report so I will limit it to Awate’s FB page: it’s 85% male and 15% female.

      Now, doesn’t that make you at least wonder why? And if one assumes that part of the reason is that forums, notwithstanding all our efforts at moderating them, encourage belligerent and aggressive language, is there merit to what my correspondent is saying? Is there merit to what Tzigereda and Amal* are saying?

      saay

      * thanks Amal. I guess some people are into the Math teacher look:)

    • Tesfu

      Dear Haile,
      ” The sense of entitlement…. blood fortune.” The entitlement, it did not start out of space/vacuum, it started in meda. When “they” liquidated Menkae who raised voices/, who rose to challenged them, and those who did they followed the same fate/path.
      When/what “they” did to Yemana-wyan who said a word,none.
      When ‘they’ eliminated the disable Tegadelti, who said that is not right, they deserve better treatment, and sought justice, none what so ever.
      When G-15 got arrested who said at that time.A leopard never leaves its spot.none
      Folks/people of Eritrea.,our future looks dim when we observe/see what has happened and till the current event.
      There is an old saying, how do you catch a thief,? send a thief.Who is to second-liberate the country? Only God knows
      We failed to see the past crimes they had committed till they came to rob our heart and soul.in broad daylight Sorry to say “Sre yelan” folks

      • haileTG

        hey Tesfu,

        You are absolutely spot on the similarity of the crimes done at various stages. Mind you though, some of the later days victims were themselves abusers of the earlier years. What this means is we need to utilize an approach that Amanuel Hidrat talks about many times, i.e we need to frame the grievance we wish to be addressed in a coherent and workable statement of problem. Hence, let’s have a cut off period, before which time any politically motivated wrong doing would be given a blanket amnesty. 1991 can be symbolically attractive or 1993 legally makes sense. If we go, say for 1993, everything including the 1992 protests of tegadelti and related grievances wouldn’t be grounds for legal persecution but a truth and reconciliation committee can ascertain facts to provide closure to survivors and their family. Anything after that to this day would definitely be something that would be settled legally and/or politically. This part would also include all and every aspect of social, economic, political, cultural and other grievances that are currently being perpetrated. The public know these people including those working in hgdef security intelligence very well. And their case would need to be impartially settled for justice to prevail.

        This is why I try to stay with the post independence era because going further back is in deed moral but we may lack the conducive environment to do so. Crimes being committed today are against defenseless civilian population and there can never be a way out of that. Such type of transgressions against civilian population is extremely serious and it could never be washed away regardless of the passage of time.

        regards

  • Peace!

    Dear Papillon,

    Wow! But why not respect your differences with the reformers, U-Turners as much as you do with Neo-Andnetists? Do you really understand the opposing position? Don’t you think they have a valid reason? There has been a heated debate right here as to why reforming is better over weeding out and vice versa, but your input is limited to few characters: “Enkua’e Kem’ue B’elkum Ahwatey/Z’hawey……Belewom da Nezom Hegdef Mendef. You are articulated enough to argue your own case and win, Kab Me’Mes Zeme’tse unionist Metekae, A’yhaishin?

    Haw’ki