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Our New Culture of Victimhood and Voyeurism

Virgil, Dante, Sartre, Milton and James Joyce all took turns describing hell.  But it took an Eritrean, Mulugeta, to surpass them all.  It is just what we Eritreans do, we are special.  This is what hell is like:

“Mulugeta said if he wanted to see his daughters, the traffickers would bring the girls to him and rape them in front of him. There was nothing he could do. They cried for him, but he was forced to watch as they screamed and were violated, stripped and beaten.” 

This was reported by Deutsche Welle on June 11, 2013 about yet another Eritrean victim of “human trafficking.” Now, if you—particularly if you are a parent—were to describe hell, can you envision something worse than what Mulugeta went through? I can’t. He was quoted saying this, through an interpreter, in Israel; that is: after going through hell, Mulugeta has to depend on the kindness of strangers to help him deal with the hangover of his daily hell. 

After I read the article, I packed my bags, headed to the airport and twelve hours later, I was in a Cairo cab headed towards Sinai to rendezvous with the soldiers of fortune I had recruited.  Most are Americans, veterans of the Iraq and Afghansitan wars, but the man in charge was an Eritrean: I can’t tell you his name, let’s just say he was in charge of EPLF’s 1984 “kiya 18 dekayk” commando operation that blew up the Ethiopian birds of destruction at the Asmara airport.  My only job was to give him the money and one instruction: make it painful, make it loud, make it so that henceforth everybody in the world knows that there is a price that will be paid if you mess with Eritreans…

Well, of course not.  Nothing of that sort happened.  I did what Eritreans do nowadays: I took it.  I seethed, I cursed, my blood boiled, my heart raced, but nothing else happened.  I waited for life’s banality to wash over me and for that to happen all I had to do was check what other headlines were competing with Mulugeta’s hell.  The shockingly tragic (“the traffickers would bring the girls to him and rape them in front of him.”) is just an event crammed between the mundane (“Confucius Institute opens in Asmara”) and the depressingly commonplace. (“They were detained on Saturday around Kassala town, said a leader of the Eritrean Islamic Reform Movement, who asked not to be named.”)   There is a strange quality to our lives: it is like being on bus tour and the guide says, to your right is hell, to your left is the absurd, and straight ahead is the surreal world where an opposition leader is asking not to have his name publicized.

It was not always so.

I had a vision of a loud booming man who died in 2009 (RIP) and my mind reeled back to 1995.    We (six of us) are at a friend’s house and he, the man with the booming voice, an Eritrean government official, was doing most of the talking.   He is loud, in-your-face, brutally honest and addicted to insulting and shocking people.  And those were not his only great qualities. This was: Henceforth!” he declared, “no blood will be shed in Eritrea.  We have bled enough.  If we ever have to bleed, it will be south of Tigray.”

He was saying:  whatever doubts we had about his government’s commitment to democracy, civil liberties, or the free enterprise system–and we did, and the discussion was us pointing out the failings of his government and him dismissing us as know-nothings–we can always count on his government about one thing: it will aggressively protect Eritreans, particularly innocent Eritreans, because Eritrea will never be a war zone.  That we definitely believed.

What happened to us?

Our New Culture of Victimhood And Voyeurism

One of the worst things the Isaias Afwerki regime has committed against Eritreans is to condition them into emphasizing the status of a victim.   I make an effort to understand the thinking process of the Eritrean government on any given topic (a riddle, most of the time) so I read a letter Isaias Afwerki sent the UN Secretary General earlier this year (of course nobody proofread the letter and it had grammatical errors.) In the letter calling for an investigation, President Isaias Afwerki said that human trafficking “was unleashed in tandem with the decision to block the implementation of the “final and binding” arbitral decision of the border dispute, and, is part and parcel of the war declared against the country.”   

Help me out here, but I think the argument of the Eritrean regime goes something like this:

1. The Eritrea-Ethiopia border is not demarcated because they (US and its allies) don’t want it to;
2. This has forced the Eritrean government to maintain a large army indefinitely;
3. Frustrated with this, they (US and its allies) have aggressively courted Eritrean youth to leave their country so that Eritrea cannot defend itself;

4. This has resulted in a large number of Eritrean youth leaving their country;
5.  But the Eritreans who leave their country remain loyal to their “country and government”;
6.  This has frustrated them (US and its allies) even more: that’s why they are trying to deny them the ability to send remittances back home;
7. Many of these Eritreans are victimized by human traffickers;
8. Therefore, it is their (US and its allies) fault.

This line of reasoning makes Eritreans victims—victims of US/UN refusal to compel demarcation, victims of the West’s generous asylum process, victims of the US conspiracy to weaken and starve Eritreans.  The larger the conspiracy, the easier it is to rationalize why you haven’t solved the problem. The new Eritrean breed may, based on causes blessed by the government, be inspired (or ordered) to rise up against some “injustice” identified by the government—border demarcation, sanction, freedom to send money—but is incapable of taking the initiative to rise up against injustice period.

Eritrea’s human trafficking problem via the Sahara desert goes back to at least 2006 when Eritreans began flocking to Libya en route to Lampedusa.  The question then is: why did it take 7 years for Isaias Afwerki to write a letter to the Secretary General? Why did it take Independence Day 2013 for him to use his newly-minted phrase for human trafficking, “flset seb”? Wasn’t he downplaying the exodus by referring to it as a picnic? Why did it take the pro-government Eritreans 7 years to raise the issue?  The answer is that the government (and its supporters) are raising the issue to defend themselves against accusations that they have a hand in it because their policies (which have created a hopeless country) are contributing to it or because some of their military officers are profiting from it.    Their outrage is not that Eritreans are being victimized; their outrage is that the government is being accused.

The Eritrean government owns the lion’s share in the causes that contribute to the Eritrean exodus, and, as a government—whose first priority is to protect its citizens—has the responsibility to address the issue effectively.  Addressing the issue should not be confused with rationalizing it or affixing blame for it but actually solving it.  If Plan A—waiting for the US/UN/Ethiopia to demarcate the border so Eritrea can demobilize its soldiers and re-direct its budget from national defense to productive economy—didn’t work, what is Plan B?  Waiting with more “spirit of rebuff”?  Is seething and watching our blood boil now officially our national policy? 

How about the rest of us? When we are not seething mad, we have developed this strange “tragedy voyeurism.”  We read tragedies, we watch tragedies, we listen to tragedies.  We pass around articles, and audio/video clips of terrible things happening to Eritreans.  Then, we pass judgment on each other based not on our ability to plan solutions or execute them but on the volume of our tears and screams.  

Jeffrey Eugenides’ Virgin Suicides is a story about five sisters—ages 13-17—who commit suicide.  They don’t do it all at the same time—it is a slow suicide that happens in two phases over a year as the entire community is watching.  It is a book about how mundane tragedy (even the most horrific) can be, how you can’t stop a person set on suicide and how there is, sometimes, no wisdom to be gleaned because, as the author says, “all wisdom ends in paradox.”   There is a line in the book when the 13 year old first attempts suicide and the perplexed doctor says “you are not old enough to know how badlife is, why would you try suicide?” She says, ““Obviously, Doctor, you’ve never been a 13 year old girl!”   In Eritrea, when we are asked why are you, a nation only 22 years old, committing slow suicide, we tell the world, “obviously, you are not a young nation: you don’t understand the enemies arrayed against us including the unquo Hayal America.”  


Here in the US, it is not uncommon to see people wearing a WWJD bracelet.  It stands for “What Would Jesus Do?” and the bracelet is supposed to be a moral and ethical guide for people when they are confronted with a problem for which they have no easy answers.  Ask yourself what would Jesus do, answer it, then do exactly that.

When we were stateless, we relied on the kindness of neighbors and people of goodwill—the people (never the government) of Sudan, the Catholic Charities and other religious institutions—for charity.  But for justice (or vengeance, take your pick) against those who would victimize us, we didn’t beg NGOS: we counted on our liberation fronts.  When we were struck with the massacres of Ona, Sh’eb, Weki Dba, Eritreans didn’t sit around and say, “Ewway, entai’mo kn’gebir? Eh! Edkum trkebkum!” We delivered justice.

I don’t know what exactly we should do;  but  I think one of the questions we should ask is What Would Tegadalai Do? It is a question worth asking because we have asked and failed to answer all the other questions.

About Salyounis

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

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  • Michael, B.

    ፍቱው Akal
    ስለ ልብነድንግል ስነወሎዶናን ባዕዳን ጸሓፍቲን የሳንዩሉ፡ እንከሎ ስለ ባሕ。ይስሓቕ፡ ዛንታ ሃገር ዚፈልጡ እንድሕሪ ፈሊጥካን ኣለሊኃን፡ ስሞም ዘይትጠቕሰልና ብሓንሳእ ከነንብቦን ከነናጽሮን ክንምሃሮን ክንምዝግቦን፡ ሓቂ እንተሎካ፡ ባዕሊኃ‘ንዶ ስለ ወለዶ ልብነድንግልን ይስሓቕን ምነገርካና፡ ከኢላታት ምስክርካ፡ ሃየ ከኣ ሕጂ ንገር ዛንታ፡ ጽሙእ ወለዶና ይጽበየካ ኣሎ፡ ብስነያታ/ ሚቶሎጂ ኣምሓራ ኪጸምምን ኪድንቁርን ኣይትግደፎ
    ኣይከኣልካን ዶ በልካኒ፡ ንስኃ ወይ ’ቶም ዚኅእሉ ዛንታና ዘይትምህሩና፡ እንታይ ቆለፈኩም፡ ዓጸቦ-ንዓጽቦስ እቶም ሣዕቢያ ከምቶም ጉልታዊያን ወረርቲ ኣምሓራ ድፉናት፡ መንነቶም ኮንር ዓዶም ዓውዶም ኪሓበኡን መበቆሎም ዘይፍሉጥ ሃገር ምስ ትውፊቱን ዛንታኡን ኪድሕፉ እንሀዉ ሀሮምሮም ይብሉ
    ሓንቲ ትብላዕ የብላን እዛ ነዳይ ፍካርየ/አምደምታኃ፡ ንዘይፈልጥ ስለዘይፈልጥ ምነኣስ ግቡእ ስለዘይኮነ፡ ብኡ ሠለል ክብለካ ኣይደለኁን፡ ደንጉኃ ስለ ዘመልከትካ ምሓለፈ ነቢሩ፡ ወሰን ቢለ ክምልስ ጊዝየን ባህጊን የብለይን፡ እቲ ባህለትካ ካበይ ከም ዝነቐለ ጥንቁቕ ነባቢ ብቀሊል ኪእምሮ ኢዩ፡ ንሃጠው ቀጠው ጊዝየ ኣይትደርቢ፡ ዛንታ አሪትራ እንተ ትፈልጥ ነዚ ብርዒ ኣይምሓዝካን፡ ንለባማት ወለዶና ምተወከስካ እሞ እህሉ ካብ ሓሰሩ ምፈለኃ፡ መልሲ-ርእይቶኃ ዝጸፈፈ ምኆነልካ፡ አሪትራዊ ብዓጽመ-ስጋን ሕርየትን ዕላማን እንተኮንካስ ዛንታ ሃገር አሪትራና ምነገርካና እሞ ተመሲጥና ምሰማዕናካ ግዲ
    ርግጽ ነቲ ዝበልካዮ ኣይመለስኩልካን፡ በየን ክሕዞ እሞ፡ ግን እንኮ እቲ ስለ ሓበሣ፧ Abyssinian፣ መን ከበይን ኣበይን ቢልካ ጽወየና፡ ናብ መዋዕላዊ ሃለውለው ኣምሓራ ከይጸደፍካ ንገረና ባዕሊኃ፡ ሰብ በሎን ደገሞን ቢልካ ሓበሣ ሓበሣ ኣይትበል ከምቶም ጸማማት እንኮ ደርፎም፡ ንቐደም ስም ኣጽሪ፡ እዚ ቀሊል ከይመሰለካ ከኣ እቶም ሓበሣ ኢና፡ ኣልጋነሥ፡ ሥዋይነሥ … ኢዩ ስምና፡ ትርጉም ሓበሣ ኣይነገሩኃን፡ ከመይሲ ብገጹ ምነገርካና፡ ከመይ ዚፈልጡ ሓቲትካ

  • Akal

    Dear Michael B.

    Regarding Atse Lebnedengel being half Merebian/Seraye, I think you read or understood it wrong. For sure , his mother is most probably from Hadiya in south Ethiopia and not from the Bahri Negasi region. Thst Bshrinegasi Dori, was indeed sent by the king of kings of Abyssinia and not originally from bahri Negasi. If you read the history written by the portugase mercenaries of that era , it is clearly stated that he, as any other successive bahrinegestat(viceroys) was sent by the king of kings of Abyssinia along with some 15,000 Chewas(foot soldiers) who have superior rights over the aboriginal citizens of that bahrinegasi region. Re-read it , please.

    BTW, isn’t Bahrinegasi or bahregasi Yishaq himself originally from Shew he is, ideed. However, typical of Abyssinian intrigue, he was going back and forth regarding his allegiance to the royal family of Abyssinia. And eventually, he paid dearly for that being defeated by the Abyssinian kings from the south. Though, not sure about him, his father and brother are said to have reverted to Islam. Lots of untoldand murky history about that, brother. Needs some research by abled ones.


  • Kokhob Selam

    ………. መን እዩ ተጋዳላይ? (P1)…….. on Jebana.

  • YAY

    Dear SaliH AAY: What would a Tegadali(t) do?

    The brief (theoretical) answer is that a Tegadali(t) would do what a Tegadali(t) does. But, the things that a Tegadali(t) could practically do may be different depending on the problem that requires action and the overall/particular situation involved, and therefore, need further exploration.

    Who, or which Tegadali(t), would do what about what issue/problem/grievance? where? when? for what purpose? and under what circumstances, or within which general context in the stages of change/development of the Eritrean society, or nation, or State? as an individual or a member of a certain organization, or operative within the GoER? The question is so very broad and inarticulate to provide a brief answer to what a particular Tegadali(t) would do about something undefined.

    The only appropriate response to this question,I believe, could be none other than what an abstract Tegadali(t) would do when his/her group/people/nation is faced with a problem(s) that demands action at any time and under any circumstance and anywhere. That means that we are talking about someone not necessarily even an Eritrean Tegadali(t), but a universal Tegadali(t). And let us consider some of the country-specific (Eritrean) abstract initiatives Tegadali(t) would do.

    In the Eritrean context of armed national liberation struggle, a Tegadali(t) was organized under a certain national liberation movement, or front. Each had some duty, or specialization(s), in his/her organization’s division of labor.
    A Tegadali(t) could be a combatant (armed fighter to remove enemy forces from ER and enhance the freedom of the ER people), which was generally considered to be the highest degree of commitment and dedication to the successful conclusion of the Gedli, and/or

    a contestant (competing for influence and control within or outside an organization), and/or an activist (an agent of social, etc. change), and/or

    a propagandist (an agent of news network, education, public relations), and/or

    an organizer ( uniting and mobilizing people, logistics, actions and lead under systems of chaos with various levels of discipline, commitment and determination), and/or

    a provider of necessities, and/or

    a protector of own and defender of public safety, and/or

    a producer (of necessities and construction of infrastructure), and/or

    a protester (protesting certain acts, behaviors, thinking, etc. without necessarily being a change agent), and/or

    an obstructionist (temporarily hindering, delaying, or stopping the actualization of something), and/or

    a humanitarian (e.g. taking care of refugees, captured enemy soldiers, or a mother breastfeeding children of mothers who could not nurse their babies, etc.), and/or

    an intelligence/intellectual agent (collecting/disseminating data, or research and other studies, etc.), and/or

    an opponent ( opposing some policies or strategies and presenting alternative ones for the success of the nation’s causes), and/or

    a planner for action and accomplisher of the planned, etc., and all these

    to the best of one’s capacity, including planning to engage/abandon contact with the public, friends or adversaries, re-assessments and improvements of self and methods, and

    in defiance of any adversaries or obstacles (lack of human/material resources, societal fault lines, inexperience, personal/group weaknesses, intellectual/organizational shortcomings, errors/mistakes in judgments, strategy, tactics, techniques, and others numerous to list here), and

    with the spirit of tirelessly and repeatedly conducting a struggle for the success of the nation that one may not be alive to witness (i.e. often at the expense of one’s own personal interests).

    What a Tegadali(t) would do is apply such a country-specific theory to solve each particular/general problem(s) affecting Eritrea(ns), I think.

  • hizbawi

    I have a question though. I have read most of the posts If not all, but I have an honest question to Sal,Serray, haile, hayat particular and all of you in general.
    Do the youth, the voyager and the victim should shoulder some of the responsibilities with what is happening to them?
    You see, if you cannot see a problem right on the eye and trying to solve it head on, then you will be always fall short. If the youth will put up with kind of inhumane, heartless and atrocious situations, why not die in dignity fighting the regime? I hope you answer me sincerely.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat hizbawi:

      I will answer, but first, please clarify: are you referring to (a) why do the Eritrean youth continue to flock out of Eritrea and continue to go to Egypt when they know what awaits them or (b) why don’t Eritrean youth fight back once they are held captive? or (c) both of the above.


      PS: btw, Hizbawi, your comments always end up in the Spam section. Try to type directly on the comments window (instead of typing on Word and copy/pasting it) and make sure your computer is virus-free.

      • hizbawi

        Merhaba Sal,

        Sal, my question, as you got it right, it is the first one. You said it well, that is
        “why do the Eritrean youth continue to flock out of Eritrea and continue to go to Egypt when they know what awaits them””
        What awaits them is death, humiliation, mortification and horrible degradation of their dignity. Why not fight the government if the government is the cause of your misery? I know everyone blames the government but is there any responsibility the youth should assume in here?

        • Salyounis

          Selamat hizbawi:

          What the Eritrean youth* are responsible for is risk assessment which is based on (a) receiving timely and accurate information from people you trust and (b) the mental state required to make a calculation.

          (a) Who gives the youth “timely and trustworthy information”?

          It is not the government. It tells them that their desire to leave the country is not caused by its cruelty, but by the propaganda of the West. When they turn to it for any signs of hope of whether anything will change, it has nothing to give: simply more hardships. Worse, it equates their travel as a “picnic” from which they will return. That is: the government tells them there is no risk at all in them leaving the country: the only risk is if they are caught crossing the border. Lying is such second nature to the regime that they wouldn’t believe it even if it accidentally told the truth.

          It is not the long-exiled Eritreans (you and me) who appear to them as hypocritical people: we got our piece of the cake and lecture them about the merits of avoiding cakes;

          It is not traditional leaders–priests, sheikhs, elders, community leaders–whose authority has been stripped by the Eritrean regime and cannot give advice (political speech) or take action using emotional appeals (don’t leave the land of your forefathers, stay here and fight for your right to a better life, etc.)

          The only authorities that the Eritrean youth consider reliable (and, by that, I mean not serial liars, hypocrites and powerless old fools) are their own peers who were their roommates in hell and have now made it to the West. They are the ones who tell them about the success rate–who made it, and who didn’t–from people they personally know. It is their peers who tell them that they need not even be afraid of never having to return home: all they have to do is write an apology letter once they get to the West. With the information about Sinai now more publicized–with even the government now, in its own stilted way, admitting it– you can expect the traffic to be less through that specific route. But then there is…

          (b) Mental State

          Taking calculated risks assumes that you have the required mental state to be able to do calculation. However, if you are in the situation like the fish in the frying pan (refer the aesops fable here, which is where we get the expression “jumping from the frying pan to the fire”), then you are not responsible for your action. Desperate people do desperate things. If a man, trying to avoid a bullet, jumps over a cliff, would you ask, “how much responsibility does he share for being disabled and in pain?”


          *I am referring, of course, about those who voluntarily sign up to travel. Those kidnapped, of course, had no say: they are victims and have zero responsibility.

          • hizbawi

            Merhaba Sal,
            I want to agree with your explanation but what I have seen the youth in action on war with TPLF in 1988 to 2000; I am very much at lose. The bravery and the resolve the Eritrean youth displayed in the war are beyond words to express. From what I witnessed and from what I am hearing is something does not add up.
            The other thing is most east African refugee declares that they are from Eritrea and it has become real problem to know exactly the number of Eritreans suffering in the hands of the human traffickers. By the way, I am still laughing the story you told about May-Jahjah. The point I am trying to make is that I think it is exaggerated the numbers of Eritrean youth supposedly leaving the country. The Tigryans are arriving in the US in droves by falsely claiming as Eritreans.
            Anyway it is a sad story to see those young Eritreans leave the country in which they shade their blood to protect.

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Hizbawi:

            I will leave the answer to the experts, but I suspect it has to do with what psychologists call “conditioning” (classical and operant) to describe human behavior. Remember, the “bravery and resolve” you witnessed and admired was itself a result of army conditioning.

            But I understand your mystification. The great (greatest ever?) comedian Richard Pryor once took on young/tough African Americans who blame their ancestors for “allowing” themselves to be slaves and brag that they would never ever have allowed a slave master to make them slaves. As Pryor put it, “you wouldn’t have done s$*t about it.”


    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Because the youths do not need sawa degree to figure it out how you enjoy Your sommer in Asmara. They can too tell the west how life is horrible in Eritrea and have a better life. Do you think you are recurited to stay in the west by Your qualification?

      • abraham


        If you understand Hzbawi’s mystification which u called army conditioning, I dont know how u miss its connection to Yikealo’s predicament. After all tegadeltis were also in an army of some sort and the awrasis might have been also conditioned. If you do not risk contradicting urself I hope u agree that Pryor’s retort (they wdnt have done s$*t) wd have worked on the question that was posed by you (what wd tegadelti do?).

        • abraham

          What i meant by the previous statement is that if you can accept that warsay’s bravery and resolve was a result of army conditioning then why cant u accept that tegadeltis bravery and resolve might have also been a result of ghedli conditioning. Even if today the tegadeltis were in their primes, they wd have chosen what the warsay have chosen given the present political and social environment in Eritrea. Under the environment they prevailed during their meda time, there must have been some sort of conditioning happening in the ghedli to make them brave and courageous fighters. And that conditioning is what i call propaganda, ‘ferah do kibehal koyne’ attitude, bhils such as “ms sebka meat darga geat” and znegese nguska zbereqe xehayka’, etc. And to g


    Dear SAAY,

    No matter what one’s politics, one can’t help noticing the strangeness of Eritrean politics of this latest phenomenon – the leisure to debate on none issue of our time, the “NIle issue” and “who is tegadlay and who isn’t.” Sorry Saay for keeping my lament persistent and I hope it will not affect my political space – a political space I never lost since I joined the ELF (a space to dissent).

    Thanks to the ELF political culture which allows to have a political space for lamentation to echo your view and dissent….a culture that allows me at my youth age to say “Kalsi Hiwetey eyu.” So far the awate forum is a continuum of that political culture with some reservations.May be I had overblown expectation on the team to have a high “standard of political ethics.” A team that doesn’t demean debaters but sensitive to the stratification of social knowledge one can share with his countrymen….a forum of education moderated by someone who doesn’t belittle members of the forum as “mediocre” and all other unnecessary Pruritic languages. I hope those who have such attitudes from the team could learn from the latest saga.

    Switching gear back to my argument: we have delighted heroes and heroine on the current struggle – A new gladiators in the pantheon of political warriors in the human right fronts (Dr. Alganesh, Meron, Elsa, Ghezae…etc) and on the civic activism front (Selam, Bereket..etc). We know these individuals have shown tangible success in the things they do b/c they are focused….focused on stopping extortion of money, Saving our youth from the Sinai horror and Bedouins, bringing Eritrean human right issue to the international courts and UN, and mobilizing the youth, channeling Robo-Calls to awaken the Eritrean people to rise.

    The awate website and awate team should be a medium to galvanized the efforts of these exemplary citizens, a medium of building trusts among our divides, a medium that thrives to hold the fabric of our society and its co-existence, all these noble mission to the country and the people we love dear. I am absolutely confident once this stage passed through these remarkable attributes, it will be the source of academic educational resource eventually.

    Notwithstanding, no adult needs a primer on the politics of our nation. Part of what makes so difficult the current politics is that we are not focused and don’t collaborate our efforts to harvest a significant success. How could be difficult to understand this basic and pragmatic politics? I think sometimes, even a little glee from the bleachers would seem appropriate to rectify our moment.

    • Abe z minewale

      What would the fallen teGadalai JEBha by WEyane Tiyet have said, when the living comrad in arm kissing the the shoes of weyane? aigermenin

  • Michael, B.


    In our old Eritrean, plain and non-imaginative history, I read that hatsey Lebnedengel was half Marebian or from Seraye by his mother side. I do know no gebredingil! Seriously and according to Alvarez, Bahrinegasi Dori or Deruy of Debarwa? was his maternal uncle. Our traditions and Amhara zenamewael do not contradict each other, at least on the general facts of that turbulent period. People of Mareb, in particular the Seraye clan chieftains and warriors fought against Ahmed Gray, at Shimbera-Kure. They were valiant, we are told, many of the leaders fell in that memorable battle won by Gray. He and his jihadist and allied army got new firearms and cannons from the Ottomans (Turks) by which they were able to terrorize the ChristianTewahdo.
    In the subsequent ten years Gray overrun the whole Tewahdo lands and other peripheral areas. The Tewahdo being soundly beaten were practically helpless in the aftermath of that decisive battle. The north Tewahdo, those on both banks of Mareb river, were the only ones who could oppose the Islamist invaders and win some minor encounters.
    Bahrinegasi or bahregasi Yishaq ruled our region or part of it from Debarwa. He was faithful ally of both Lebnedengel and his son Glawdewos. He was engaged in many fronts, against the southern Muslim enemies of Amhara and against the Turks in the north front. Either because he resented the ungrateful Amhara gultawiyan elites like Minas and his son Sertsedengel or because he was rather independent, ambitious and capable holding his ground on the battlefield even against hatsey Minas, the younger brother of Galawdewos, he was not reluctant to shift alliance, when needed.
    The only real and su(I do know no gebredengil)re bonding with the Amhara and other transMareb was the Tehewahdo faith. That was the main reason which compelled the “Eritrean” warriors to take part in the far afield and long-drawn-out anti Muslim zemete of the gultawiyan, greedy, bloody and cruel Amhara. Thus why they allied with the hatseyat and against the Adal, Yifat … and other Muslim regions with whom had no enmity or history of vendettas.
    These would be in short and poor English some of the facts we could label as our experience in the first half of the 16th century (ca. 1519-1565 AD).

    • ewnet

      It’s a shame that keep twisting history while you are obviously well read. Even the bahrenegashs would be ashamed of your outright denial of your ethiopian blood.