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Reintroducing Diversity In Eritrean Politics

On Saturday, August 29, 2015, I attended an event hosted by Bologna Forum in Oakland. I had prepared a speech in English but then I decided to deliver it in Tigrinya; it was not a word for word translation, hence, I am not sure if it was in an expanded or condensed form, but I am sure it captured the main ideas from the English speech which is posted below.

Unfortunately there are spiteful and vengeful spoilers who need help with their sanity, therefore, I will first offer them a brief explanation.  

Reconciliation has been my motto for decades, therefore, I have never been a fan of exclusive functions that doesn’t reflect the Eritrean diversity. However, I am all for engagement, even with declared bigots and hypocrites let alone with genuine patriots like my hosts. And if I see something wrong in that aspect, I do not shy away from pointing it out. I detest those who lack courage and wisdom to call  things as they are–some elements have rightly pointed the fact that I should have blasted the Oakland meeting the day I discovered I was the only Muslim among 21 Christians in the list of guests. Since I didn’t, according to their logic, then my criticism of such warped meetings in the past was hypocritical. I ask these amateurs, if they had ever voiced their objection to such meetings that they attended–they haven’t. Furthermore, I stand by my position on previous meetings organized by some bigots (not all the attendants). And if some individual’s blood is boiling in defense of their inherent hypocrisy, for their failing to point out to the imbalance and for being exposed, they are just proving their mettle. At any rate… here follows my original speech of yesterday:


Why am I here? I am here because I am everywhere I am invited to. I am here because that is the role I chose, that is how I have been struggling for years and years. Does it mean I endorse any meeting I attend, or any Eritrean configuration that I see? No. Do I feel comfortable to talk about diversity in a congregation that has no semblance of diversity? Not at all. If I did, I will betray the cause for which I struggle. When I see warts in an operation, I have to mention them. I do not enjoy being the only Muslim among the 21 assembled “speakers” or “panelists,” among whom are people I respect very much. However, this hall is filled with my friends, close allies, potential allies, and beautiful Eritreans that I love and respect. But I have to emphasize a few things: I object to tokenism even if I understand it is not for lack of good intentions. I also understand the imbalance is not created by the organizers of this meeting, but by the despicable Isaias regime that is polarizing, fragmenting, oppressing Eritreans, creating distances and sowing mistrust among its components. I recognize the genuine intention and will of the hosts of this meeting to expand its diversity, and I promise to help them, and any other group, to make their meetings more inclusive and representative of the true face of Eritrea.

Let me take you back in time, to the time of my early adulthood.

When I was growing up, there was an Ethiopian soldier who smuggled military belts, jackets, and other things from the camp and sold it to Mohammed, a well known, much loved, and fun guy who owned a shop in my neighborhood. Mokennen became friendly with those of us who hang around Mohammed’s shop. He would tell us about his escapades and his bravery in the last battle against the bandits in which he fought bravely. Then he will receive the money for the things that he sold to Mohammed and go to the nearest bar to drink. One day he was lecturing us about the greatness of Haile Sellassie in a very animated way. To explain that the struggle of the shifta (ELF) is in vain and they will never defeat Haile Sellassie, he went to the wall and pushed it with all his might, shaking and sweating. He then asked us, “Gdgddaw tenqesaqese?” We shook our heads, ‘No the wall didn’t move.’ He smiled, “Haile Sellassie endezih gdgdda now” Haile Sellassie is unmovable, like the wall.

That demonstration taught me a lesson that I will return to later on.

No one can doubt that Eritreans believe in diversity, at least most of us. And we know there are some who give the goal only lip-service without following up their declared belief with action–tangible action, not just empty speeches and statements. But why do we fail in displaying our national diversity? Why can’t we be closer to each other as compatriots when we are closer to other races and nationalities, some of whom we never knew existed until we were exiled? Are we working to remedy this embarrassing shortcoming, are we really working?

There is no doubt that some of us have abandoned our families for this struggle; some of us are impoverished by it, some of us have spent all their health on this struggle. The sacrifices in money, time, health and deferred personal achievements are huge. Yet, the result is abysmal. Imagine the man-hours (and women hours!) we spend on this struggle. If instead we all worked flipping hamburgers at a joint, for minimum wage, I think we would have accumulated billions of dollars. If we had gone to school for the hours and years we spent on this struggle, we would have been the most educated communities wherever we reside. If we just stayed home and did nothing, we would have rested and saved huge amounts of money. Imagine: coming here I spend about forty dollars, just on gas and car cost. In the last fifteen years I have come here and other places hundreds of times, and the expense is mind-boggling–many in this room have done the same, they have sacrificed their time and money, and their emotions, for the struggle. But what is the result? How can we justify it? Unfortunately, like many things in life, all the incurred cost cannot be justified by the achievements. It’s irreconcilable, as a basic accounting would show? Where did our sweat and efforts go?

Remember Mokonnen, the Tor Serawit who taught me a lesson? He had the answer.

Work is basically an “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.” Spending money is also work because the money spent is generally earned by work. Therefore, according to the “hypothesis” of the unmovable wall, which is elevated and in known as “Mokonnen’s theory,” if I go to that wall and push it for eight hours, five days a week, for one year, I would have spent 2080 man-hours. Will anyone doubt that I worked hard to move that wall? I did, my time and efforts are worth, at least, the equivalent of $20,000 dollars–if I had worked at a McDonalds joint instead. See! No one will doubt my intention to move that wall. Then, if I came to this meeting and complained, “hey, I have been working on this wall for a year but it would not move!” What would you tell me? Would you tell me to keep pushing, and someday I will be able to break through it? Or, you would chuckle at my foolishness? Or, maybe you would tell me that I am not doing it right, and point out to me that I am not using the right tools. Maybe someone would bring a hammer and prove to me how efficiently he can do it in a few minutes!

Ladies and gentlemen, we are pursuing the diversity issue by following Mokonnen’s theory; we are trying to remove the wall by pushing it with our bare hands. And you know, if Eritreans followed that theory to  push away both Haile Sellassie and the Derg, we wouldn’t have succeeded in removing them. We didn’t confront their armies head on, at least not until we accumulated and built matching power. Instead, we used guerrilla tactics, small, mobile, flexible, focused, and disciplined, and importantly, principled and loyal units to do the incremental pushing. Our combatant died so their comrades could live. We made sure that everybody shared the small food that we found. Now, our diversity can only be solved by reverting to the Ghedli values, the Sewra values of yesteryear that helped us achieve independence–of course we need the Ghedli values less its dictatorial tendencies, less a few of its selfish leaders and conniving chief.

We are failing to be diverse because we have not fully embraced the idea of diversity. We have not internalized it and it remains a vague concept in our minds, we never fully understood it and we didn’t elevate it to action. During the struggle era, we had poletikawi tmhrti, it was indoctrination for the service of the struggle. If you do not like the struggle and its indoctrination, you shouldn’t have joined it. Do we do politikawi tmhrti in our current struggle to educate people about diversity? Of course not. We are independent cells that never join to become a bigger body. And to challenge that, I see some people bringing along corporate training modules and projectors to educate people, to motivate them–something people like Dr. Bereket has been doing for ages. But the situation is different, no lecturer in this struggle can expel students who are not willing to abide by the rules of the school, or the class.

Does anyone command the authority of a professor to discipline the members of the opposition? Can anyone run the opposition based on military discipline? No. If you are a leader, and you attempt to educate the activists, they will tell you accessing knowledge is a youtube click away and there are ample educational clips. Even when someone gives a speech, we are used to saying “astemhro hibuna” or, “halewlew ybl neru.” Why is that so? Because we are running in circles and not discussing tangible matters. Diversity is tangible, and it can be sensitive, and the best we can do to overcome that problem is to discuss it openly and honestly. Only then we can learn the problems and solve them, instead of banging our heads against the wall because we are annoyed by the symptoms.

Everybody is missing from this seminar except people from the highlands, maybe voluntary representatives of some other groups. And some other groups have sent their ambassadors here, maybe a Saho speaker, Beni Amer? Nope. Blin, Mensa’E? Maybe an ambassador, or two….. Relax! It is okay to make fun of yourself–of your weakness. Nobody is perfect unless they deny they are imperfect. And Eritreans are perfect people; If anyone doubts that, he faces the risk of being accused of being a fake Eritrean!

Therefore, why is this room all “Tigrinya”? Why does it look like a village Uqub meeting? I know that you went shopping for individuals from other groups, and you failed. But if you had succeeded, what would you have discussed? Selamawi, Gonetswai qalsi? Constitution yetegber? Sedet yebq’E? demokrasiyawi mhdera?

I embrace all of that as a national concern, not as a regional or sectarian concern. And because I consider it a national agenda, the issues that concern others should be addressed equally. If you will be so engrossed only in limited issues, and forget about the land issues, about the cultural issues, about the refugees who have been stranded in Sudan for decades, then the Eritreans who are not here will tell you: go ahead solve your problems and I will solve mine.

I attend meetings of other Eritrean groups–very few in comparison to this, mainly private social gatherings, and what I hear is all about self-centered issues. No one mentions gonetsawi or selamawi qalsi. No one mentions the refugees except those in Sudan, no one mentions Demhit. No one mentions Badme. We live in a parallel universe. Unless we bring those parallel universes together, in defiance of the laws of geometry, where two parallel lines never meet, we are doomed. We will be pushing a wall and we will never be able to move it. Let’s use the hammer to squash the bricks.

I am convinced that Eritreans are inherently good, like all human beings and not because they are Eritreans, or special. Our internal relations, at the traditional level are as strong as one can imagine. Our regional and sectarian ties run deep in our history. Our traditional conflict resolution mechanisms are very effective. Fear mongering aside, we should not leave open cracks through which despicable groups like AlQaeda or ISIS could sneak and wreak havoc in our country.

It is important that we find refuge, and fall back to our traditions, culture, and the laws of coexistence that served our societies for centuries, in bad and good times. True, our traditional laws are all undemocratic in nature–they are particularly unfair to women. And since we have social and national political problems, we have to deal with them by enacting inclusive laws–a constitution being one. But don’t despair, we have the struggle era experience that we can emulate as far as co-existence is concerned. However, we have to recognize that our societies, particularly the Diaspora, is totally ignorant about the Eritrean culture of coexistence. And that has become a liability that needs to be addressed.

In the West, employers, house renters, and even car purchase financiers run the credit history of the applicant. Many have suffered of an unpaid or disputed bill because they didn’t know how to correct that and it chases them like a nightmare. At any rate, credit history applies to many things, not only renting a place or getting employed. People with a low credit score and history–on their knowledge of Eritrean norms–have become the dead weights of our struggle. At the end, if one is struggling for himself, himself meaning his current abode in the West, and choosing between the Swedish and American types of government, for example, he is a liability to the struggle–that objective is not the objective of the Eritrean people at this time.

To hasten our victory over the Isaias regime, we must struggle selflessly for the benefit of the millions in Eritrea. If we are struggling for selfish reasons, we would do a great service to the struggle if we just pull out of it, wrap ourselves in gabi and drink coffee all day, or go nightclub hopping… whatever works. This struggle is not being waged for the illusionary Eritrean zobas that we created in the Diaspora. The USA, England, Sweden, Qatar, and other places of our exile, or adopted homes, are not extensions of Eritrea. Eritrea doesn’t have zoba ade engliz, zoba america, zoba norway, or awraja Australia. These are sovereign foreign territories; we need to come to terms with that. The beneficiaries of this struggle are Eritreans in Eritrea, first. In short, the outcome of our struggle should benefit the Eritrean people first; the Diaspora can only benefit by extension, maybe even by association since most have adopted new homes and some of us do not have the intention of returning, regardless if Isaias rules or not.

Finally, I have a trademark remedy for overcoming the diversity issue. I prescribe it to the audience wherever I talk about this topic. I challenge everyone here to check the address book of your mobile phones and see how diverse your list is. Relatives and coworkers should not be counted. I consider my list a crown that I wear in this struggle, with pride. I have a diverse list and I know some of you here have similar lists. But I guess most lists will start with Tesfai and finish with Daniel, just like the other lists I know starts with Abdu and end with Idris. That is not the case with most veterans of the struggle, and certainly not in Eritrea. This is mainly a Diaspora disease. So, can you take it upon yourselves to expand your list, make it diverse, know what other Eritreans are thinking, make it a learning process? Once we do that, trust me, we will not need to talk about inclusiveness because it will be a reality.

Thank you

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

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  • Ahazie Seyawi

    Found the subject interesting. But still believe that learning at least Arabic language specially for those of Tigrigna speakers, either grown up or born under the PFDJ’s regime, who lost great deal of opportunity of learning it, would help us to make smooth and spontaneous interactions. Hence we lost the best way of knowing the other half of fellows. Websites like Awate also should help us introducing certain subjects in a language that many locals can easily understand it. You better make locals also more interesting in your website which is unique in its perspective unlike others. Otherwise, Eritrea cannot secure its sustainable nationhood without ensuring its diversity in its best way

  • AOsman

    Dear Belay,

    The influence goes both ways, someone into History may give us timeline but here follows two wiki links:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabaeans

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himyarite_Kingdom (Abi – u guys were ivory traders)

    Also check on the Sabaen inscriptions, they are geez with slight variations. Marib was the capital of the Sabaean kingdom (sounds like Mereb), you will parallel story on both side of the red Sea as in migration old names are designated to new towns.

    Regards
    AOsman

  • Nitricc

    Hey, SJ I haven’t grade it your speech yet, because you have a lot words i did not get and that made it difficult for me to understand your take. for instance, you said ” He then asked us, “Gdgddaw tenqesaqese?” We shook our heads, ‘No the wall didn’t move.’ He smiled, “Haile Sellassie endezih gdgdda now” Haile Sellassie is unmovable, like the wall”

    I normally try to figure it out from the sentences before and behind but this one, no clue.

    even some of them i thought i knew, you got me running. this one “Why does it look like a village Uqub meeting?”

    I thought a village meeting was called BAYTO; what is “UQUB” mean? oh well, i find it hard to follow with those strange words. i will get it though.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Nitricc,
      Questions like this makes us better people. I will explain to you

      in Amharic, gdgdda = wall; tenqesaqese = to move (the answer is there, did the wall move)

      Baito is council. Uqub is a village cooperative association, usually people pay a certain amount of money to the bag and every month one of the members gets the cash–sort of funding . Villagers do not have access to funding, they form a cooperative and each month the total amount goes to an individual until all get the monthly stash and then the round started anew. Uqub is usually formed for closely knit family members and friends, usually in a village or a neighborhood since it is based on trust. Ask any relative and they will explain it to you, many people do it in the USA, particularly the older people.

      Now one more lesson, you mean you will grade my speech? Grade? You don’t say that because it makes you look arrogant, pompous. You grade your students and as far as know, I am not your student. You can say, I will share my views about it, I will debate it, or maybe “let me read it and certainly I will criticize it.” But grade it? Not good communication 🙂

      • Nitricc

        Hi SJ as usual thanks for your explanation. i do appreciate that and let me read it one more time and i will share my take. lol
        regarding using the word grade; lol well i stand corrected but i was under impression that every writer is at the marcy of a judgment of his/her readers. we all read the same article and for some that is the best article and for others that was the most toothless article they ever read, so in a way, they are grading; no? like i have said, I stand corrected but that was the line of thinking i was in when I used the word “Grade”.
        again thank you sir!

      • Pass the salt

        Selam SJ,
        Quick question on Uqub. Is there anti bailout rule? I can collect at the first round and say I have ended membership. Obviously that would be an awful thing to do and people might not do it in such dramatic way, may be they would think of doing it mid-way or towards the end before everyone has his turn. It reminds me a joke I know since I was a child and it goes like this: a father bird was giving words of wisdom to his son and advised him “when you see people bending and reaching the ground, runaway as fast ad you can because they are picking a stone to hit you with” after thinking the son bird asked “what if they hid stones in their pocket” to which the father responded “son, there wasn’t anything like that during our times”
        I am assuming as Ukub goes digital, rules will be established, which will then transform the very nature of Uqup. WedeHanka.

        • Saleh Johar

          PTS,
          In rular Eritrea, where the concept developed, betraying the trust of villagers, not to mention Abat Nefsi or elders, is a death sentence on the violator. Where would one hide after betraying his villages? No where, he will be excommunicated, and what have you. Uqub is built on total trust, and cultural restraints. The members do exchange turns, they negotiate it with whoever is the beneficiary of the next pick, friendly, favor, or other means. If someone travels away, wants to discontinue participation for any reason, there mechanisms. Hey, they did it for centuries and it is second nature to them.

          I am not sure now, but at that time people didn’t carry stones in their pockets 🙂

  • Pass the salt

    Addis, Addis Alem, Kaddis or whatever your name is. First calm down, collect your thoughts then say what you like to say in a clear way. As it stands, you are not saying anything but mumbling. Are you neo-Hailesillassie, by the way?

  • Saleh Johar

    Hello Tedi,

    I appreciate everything you wrote except one. Do you seriously think dissecting a metaphor is beneficial? I hope you think about it but I believe our problems are exacerbated by over analyzing issues. When I said a hammer could break the wall it is understood the wall is not a military wall, like a reinforce bunker. Examples are three to illustrate and convey a message, they are not the message. Discussing them doesn’t help the main issue. Apart from that, we are on the same wavelength.
    Thank you

  • Saleh Johar

    Thanks Papillion,
    I think you didn’t read my note to Hope. Please ask the moderator not me. But I believe the moderators are thinking of limiting of sharing videos unrelated to the topic since entertainment is a week end stuff. I am just speculating if anyone did delete a link that I do not know of.

    Thank you against, for inflating my ego 🙂

  • Dayphi

    Merhaba Ustathi, hello Awatewian,
    Under say theme, ” Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems ” EYSC and its partners held Bologna 15 – London Conference last July 18-19.
    I don’t know if the plight of the 1.6 million Eritreans languishing in sudan for 40 years was one of their top concern or in their agenda for discussion.
    I don’t know if the over-reaching central government on regions day to day running business was identified by the conference as one of the major dissatisfaction of eritreans with this regime and most probably with any other coming regimes.
    I dont know if they even are open minded people for regions self rule and governments thru regional elections under the umbrella ofEritrean Union.
    I don’t know if the Kebesite Tigrini culture hagemony over others is things to commend or support by the conferencees or reject and curtail.
    I dont know if they call for new constitution to be drafted by the direct participation of all
    Eritrean components or still cling to the 1997 constitution.
    I dont know if they decided to continue hoisting two different sendeq عalamas/ two nathional anthems for One nation of Eritrea or will drop one, or at least use only one alternately.
    I don’t know of many other things whether they are part of the problem or solution.
    BUT, i know one grave and huge problem they are and and of their making. Out of 52 weekends, they chose The Eid At Fitr weekend for their problematic conference. Thus making sure directly or indirectly muslims were not needed or invited in such conferences of Eritrean problem by only kebesite solutions. No muslim input.I have many Eritrean problems and ills i can ascribe to Esayas and his evil regime. The Bologna 2015 London Conference is not one of them. Esayas and his regime were having fun celebrating eid on that weekend. It was a total insensitivity and irresponsibility of EYSC to convene their conference on that weekend. I tried to come up with any excuse or emergency situation that compelled to have conference of that weekend. From all i read, none i could come up with. Not even a word of apology or explanation why it was necessary to held it in that weekend, except a call and recommendations fromsome participants , for future conferences not to collied with Eids and other public holidays, if i understood it correctly. nomore than a lip service. Actually, the tigrinia version of the closing communique sounds like calling for future conferences to be held on eids and public holidays. Again, excuse my tigrinia.Im losing my touch with that beautiful language faster than you ever before.
    THANK YOU MY HERO HAMID IDRIS AWATE.
    Happy September First to all Awatistas

    • Dayphi

      ገለ ካብቶም ብተሳተፍቲ ዝተዋህቡ ርኢቶታትን ለበዋታትን ንምግላጽ፡ ኣብ ቀጻሊ፡ ጉባኤ ቦለኛ፡ ብዓል ዒድን ካልኦት ህዝባውያን ብዓላት ኣብ ዝኽበሩሉ ግዜ ይጽዋዕ፡ 

      the complete communique is on the EYCS website

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Hello ya muAlm
    Thanks, my list is indeed making progress. BTW, we are friends on the virtual world that no body gives that much of an attention except the young folks and, yes, SAAY7, although nowadays he too is frequenting twitter. I sent you my email through messenger, enable it.
    Speaking of HTG and the other persons, I am really dying to know them too. There is also our poet, KS. How about nitrikay abadahri? The great Ted will soon publish his desertion thesis: Eritrean problems through Eritrean Efforts. Well, all of them, but for considerations of hagerawi Emamat, I guess we will have to wait until hagerna tHars.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Mahmud:
      Ted confided to me that his dissertation would be how to defeat PFDJ by milking one camel at a time: applying what I have learned from from milking cows:-)

    • Ted

      Hi the Greatest Ms. The dearest SJ made his mark how people should see and solve “suspicions and conflicts” in the way constructed from their roots. He tackled the diversity issue heads on being “the only Muslim” in the panel of Christian presenters when people are expecting him to feel alienated. The diversity issue has no bearing whatsoever for our current predicament and was created by some twisted or misguided people as hindrance in the struggle of justice and rule of law in. Diversity or its lack of has been falsely presented, as scapegoat, for our lack of coming to agreement how to deal with PFDJ. Now we have made the understanding and set one foot on the ground that Eritreans can only solve their problem, the diversity problem(myth) is bound to crumble soon with no third party is allowed to fabricate friction and suspicion. Diversity is no brainer for Eritreans as breathing and eating is for a person to live. Once again i thank SJ shedding the light on the two important issues( Eritreans taking charge of their affairs and Diversity. ) I like what he wrote in the article and said to kibur HTG “”But I guess most lists will start with Tesfai and finish with Daniel just like the other lists I know starts with Abdu and end with Idris. ”
      About coming out in the open, it doesn’t matter that everything i say is pre-approved by you, the Greatest wether you like it or not even the one you feel iffy about ‘reforming PFDJ”
      PS. Semere Andom is not the same – completely lost it since Geneva demo.” L.A. Times Columnist Calls Canadian Politics ‘So Civilized It’s Almost Quaint”Semere Andom be yourself, Civilized Canadian, leave Trump and Saay style politics to Americans. The more stupid things you said – Kunama and Afar should rise up & go vertical to Ethiopia to get respected, the more point you lose in your constituents of Toronto. May be it is why you turned out to be a butter finger never to tore single ነጽላ in Toronto.

      • Music Novice

        Greetings Ted,

        You said:
        “Diversity or its lack of has been falsely presented, as scapegoat, for our lack of coming to agreement how to deal with PFDJ.”

        You also added:
        “Diversity is no brainer for Eritreans as breathing and eating is for a person to live.”

        At least SGJ pinpointed a problem and proposed a solution.

        In your opinion, what is the main problem facing the Eritrean opposition, and what is the solution?

        • Ted

          Hi MN,
          Knowing our problem is half a solution. Our problem is the inability of the opposition to have a show of force to influence the Eritrean Gov to change its ways of governance ie to respect the rule of law. The show of force to influence can only happen when we all agree(united) on the issues of the way forward dealing with GoE. That has not happen for many reasons; Regional and religious issues take a priority than the national issue, the murky issue of Ethiopian involvement, old politics and self serving groups who want to take advantage of the chaos.
          When Eritreans voted unanimously to be independent, they voted as Eritreans knowing who they have lived with for centuries and will live for times to come. The thing we see in diaspora the talk of Christian vs muslim is not remotely the reflection of what is happening back home. Some groups played this division tune for one reason or another , it is just a smoke screen and only takes a few brave people to bust this division myth which has scared Eritreans away in participating in movement of change.
          Inclusive organization and Eritrean problem by Eritreans approach can and will get the support of all Eritreans to demand and attain change in Eritrea.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            You said:
            “Our problem is the inability of the opposition to have a show of force to influence the Eritrean Gov …”

            Why is the opposition unable to have a show of force? What form will this show of force take?

            You then added:
            “The show of force to influence can only happen when we all agree(united) on the issues of the way forward dealing with GoE.”

            Why is this unity lacking, then?

            You also said:
            “The thing we see in diaspora the talk of Christian vs muslim is not remotely the reflection of what is happening back home.”

            So, you are saying that people back home are united. Is this because of real ‘hade lbi, hade hzbi’ or because they are terrorised into submission?

            On the other hand, if the people back home are united, why don’t they have a show of force to influence the Isaias Government?

            It is always good to have a discussion.

          • Ted

            Hi MN
            People back home are busy trying to survive a day with no conducive environment to organize, speak out or discuss politics and map out their future. It is not being hade libi and hade hizbi but all are being muted. It is my opinion people back home can use the diaspora organization’s clear and concise plan how to deal with GoE. As of today, We don’t have a plan we all agreed on. I myself believe reforming the GoE to respect and implement justice and rule of law. Others go for all out change by any means necessary where religionalist, regionalist and political parties intend to fight for their own interest in the unholy alliance they created. And to make matters worse more than half of this organizations and political movements are being helped by Ethiopia’s TPLF Gov, the perceived enemy of Eritrean people.
            What do you think can help us go move forward for peace and prosperity, of course only if you believe our struggle and case for independence is valid.

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Ted:
        I hate majority government, I Ilike minority government and I stand up for the minority. But I have an alternative idea if you did not like that one. And it is as follow:
        After the we defeat PFDJ we restrict the birth rate on the majority Tigre and Tigriniya to one child per household and encourage the tiny groups to have more children by helping them and rewarding them financially to have about 10 kids, also encourage men to marry 3 wiveis, this is not shocker as men cheat any ways, so just legalize it for these groups. Also deport all the highlanders in Gash Barka and bring water to them. Make the land of these groups to protect it like they do for endangered species. But all these are temp measures to save their culture and their demography

        • Ted

          Hi, Semere You don’t like meto be’ meto, you be chased to the end of the earth if your handlers hear it.

    • haileTG

      Merhaba Mahmuday,

      You’re easier to catch up with than you think (haha…trust me:) and Beyan’s contact is handy. Indeed I will meet you guys, and it shall come to pass. I will do so however, because you guys are wonderful and special people to know and meet than any other grandiose objective of correcting the kolel trajectory of our mexelel zKonet adna:-)

      At this stage, I would like to also address SGJ and Beyan on the earlier point (including you dead Mahmuday) by way of my feedback to the “know five people from the other” idea. It is great idea indeed and it would sure improve our level of integration had it been as practicable as we really wished it had been. Two things come to mind:

      1 – when differences are the reason for knowing those people, it tends to reinforce the very thing one wishes to overcome. Common interests ought to be the reason for coming to know others and that common interest works to overcome the resistance that is inherent in differences.

      2 – The political mileage to be gained from the whole exercise needs to be properly channeled to feed into the greater objectives of the struggle at large.

      The above two points, if anything, highlight the fact that it is the institutional initiatives rather than ordinary people initiatives that would yield the greatest return for the intended outcome.

      For example if I attend a meeting of DMLK or RADSO, I may find (Dr Bereket did in the latter) myself the only highlander on the podium. Again, finding yourself outnumbered in a particular organization, may say more about the direction the organization needs to follow in terms composition. But that is still one organization with unique characteristics. To have the same situation in a conference supposed to serve as a bridge, facilitator, umbrella and so forth is however a cause for concern.

      Therefore, to have a basic expectation of representations within an organization is healthy. And the organization needs to self audit as to what it did, what it achieved and what it plans to meet those basic expectations in order to be called sufficiently representative.

      So, the thrust of my point is that the real expectation shouldn’t really be focused on how ordinary people are/should be doing but organizations. That is essentially an institutional approach which is more likely to meet the concerns I placed in the two points above.

      cheers

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Salam HTG
        I understand your concern and I very much share your concern. As I see the trend, there are two distinctive approaches in treating diversity. One approach sees the parts as independent players where a united front/voice may be materialized through the act of:
        – defining each of the parts boundaries
        -defining their demands
        -possible marriage of demands between the parts, building up words where at some point those aggrieved parts/sectors will meet the sector they consider monopolizing power. Some hinted that sector comprises Tigrigna and Tigre.
        The other approach understands that today’s Eritrea is not a good example from which to extrapolate how future, democratically set, Eritrea could behave in answering these questions. It recognizes that the grievances the cause of the grievances is real. The best way would be by treating each other’s complaints and demands seriously and engaging each other where a common understanding would be possible. I say our country needs real engagement at this time. I also admit I am the last person to lecture about this matter because I am just too biased by years of ghedli experience, and little real engagement on this matter since. Honestly, I am learning to voice these terms: religion…region…ethnicity…in Eritrean context. Is it an irony? I don’t know, but I believe I should not appear as someone experienced. I grew up thinking Eritrea, and I will die thinking that, no matter what. But I have developed the art of listening and learning. Thanks to living in the free world. When I attend a city hall full of representatives of all humanity, discuss our city government, and with a REAL “ብዓወት ተዛዚሙ”, there is no reason why Eritreans who bled in the same war, and who burdened the ordeal of establishing their own state could not sit down and come out with a real “ብዓወት ተዛዚሙ”.
        To come to your point: I read your first reply to SGJ and his reply to you. I agree with you that such poor representation is not only seen in conferences whose participants are primarily Christian. On the other “parallel universe” you will see conferences of mostly Muslim participants. That’s why Gadi summed it up in his “parallel universe” and his TM “contact list composition” riddle. I think he did an awesome presentation.

  • haileTG

    Hi all,

    ምንባር’ኳ ኣይድገምን’ዩ

    ከሎኻ ንበር

    ግቡእካ ግበር

    ሰባት ክንዳኻ፣ ከይዶም’ዮም እምበር….

    ክሓልፍ’ዩ ህዝበይ ኣጆኻ

    ዓቕሉ ኣጽቢቡ’ሎ ጸላኢኻ

    እቲ’ምንታይ፡ ሰሚዑ’ሎ ነድርኻ…

    Kiros’ new release on the eve of Sep 1,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1UdFE9cEYo&feature=share

  • Saleh Johar

    Dear PTS,
    Let me explain it. You have an issue with a bank on transaction. You can’t call because the bank is closed. Do you go to the tellers house when he is having lunch or wait until the bank opens and deal with it there? Is the teller splitting hair if he tells you get lost, see the bank and don’t come to my house?
    I am just asking the understanding of the split roles, a di wish I could split hair in this case 🙂

  • Music Novice

    Greetings SGJ,

    First, a minor correction of a typo. I think you meant ‘prescribe’ when you said ‘proscribe’. Proscribe means forbid, prohibit, ban or disallow. I am sure you do not mean that.

    Second, the message of your speech. It is the difference between what the World is and what you want it to be. Ethnic diversity is there, it is a product of nature, one has to put up with it and it is doable. However, a diversity of culture and narrative is mutually exclusive, an impossibility. Think about the mutually exclusive narratives in Eritrea. You cannot establish a diversity of narratives by good wishes. A house built on sand … and when the rain falls …

    • Mizaan1

      “All ethnic groups in Eritrea should decide their fate by themselves including everyone who pledges their allegiance to Habesha, no matter what their language or religion.” My proposal. It is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the people within Eritrea to live together as their differences are too great and irreconcilable. Worse yet, as YG would say, there is no center of gravity in Eritrea. People have to gravitate somewhere. You cannot have a group of 9 or 10 (Jeberti) weak ethinicities and think something will glue them together.

      • saay7

        Hi Mizaan:

        This “center of gravity” never made sense to me when YG said it and it is not making sense to me when you are saying it. First of all, in the attempt to present Eritrea as an “artificial country” that should never have been a country to begin with, there is no comparison ever made with any other African country–except Ethiopia. That is, Eritrea is being compared with the exception–Ethiopia–instead of every other “artificial” African country. What is “the center of gravity” of Kenyans, Ugandans, Rwandans and go down the list of every African country beyond the fact that some European arbitrarily drew their borders? And if one doesn’t exist, should they just say our “differences are too great and irreconcilable”?

        Secondly, part of nation-building is a shared experience, shared memory…and guess what is it for Eritrea? It is your (and YG’s) least favorite: it begins with G and ends with i. And it is not Gadi.

        saay

        • Mizaan1

          Saay, you always kill me with you professionalism and un-provocative nature. It is a rare commodity.

          Oh yeah, I know full well that all the African borders are made up by the Europeans, including that of Ethiopia by virtue of the fact that all the countries that share borders with it were colonial borders.

          The issue I have is when people are trying to change history and as you said the G..i word is what I attribute a lot of it to. Deep down, I am not even necessarily a unionist with Ethiopia. I just say every ethnic group in Eritrea should have a say for their own fate rather than PFDJ or other elites getting together and deciding for everybody. I trace my ancestors to Asawrta in the Massawa area myself but I am now a Christian and highlander. If you have read a book by Mergeta Berhanemeskel Tesfamariam (welodotat hizbi Ertra), you will quickly learn that we are all somehow intermixed. The most often thing said there is “ab adi egele zelewu deki egele ahwat deki kalie adi eyom…” (including metahit and kebessa). So I don’t even deny that most of the people in Eritrea today do share centuries worth of history.

          Now we are where we are. Something is not adding up. See, when SGJ said he was the only Muslim in a group of 21 Christian elites, the first thing that comes to my mind is, why does it matter? Or better yet what is the cause? I live in a city where there are thousands of Eritreans and I do not remember coming across an Eritrean muslim in several years, anywhere, hazen or meraa. Why? There is a deep suspicion of the highlander being an agent of PFDJ or an Abyssinian fundamentalist or I don’t what else.

          There needs to be a power base where people gravitate to. This base could be a group of people, a region, a religion, an urban center, something.

          We could have had a very prosperous and peaceful nation if we had shelved the experience of Ghedli to the history books just like the much despised weyane did. But here you are Saay still asking for more when you say we can build a nation based on a shared history called Ghedli.

          Our share history can be found on the book I mentioned earlier, which dates back many many generations. The reason why I believe we have big or even irreconcilable differences is because in the process, Ghedli destroyed so many fabrics to held our traditions together. It was needed but it overreached its mandate and it was overly excessive.

          • saay7

            Hi Mizaan:

            Thanks for the kind words. And you know what? You just solved the riddle for your mentor YG about Eritrea’s Center of Gravity. It is the fact that we are all inter-related. You referenced a book. The late Omar Jabber said that the reason ethnic politics will never work in Eritrea is because we are all inter-related: he gave his own biography. I think everyone who has made any effort to know his/her family history by blood or marriage can give that kind of testimony (I am beyond terrible at those and I count Jeberti, Tigrinya, Blin, Tigre Semhar*, Arab, Saho)

            So, there is the answer to your riddle: you can pull a Plato over your Socrates:)

            saay

            *Mahmuday, by Tigre of Semhar I mean Massawa–they rarely carry swords:)

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            You see brother, you talk yourself (not me) with coded words or phrases. A friend of mine asked me what does he mean when he say “pulling a Plato over Socrates”. I gave him my explanation, but let it be from the horse’s mouth…..fitehteh- zergehgeh eske abla ika, or decode it for him and like him.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            First, don’t give up on Mizaan. He has been attending a school whose motto is: “Awate Team are anesthesiologist in the extinction of the Eritrean highlander, and every Eritrean highlander who agrees with them is a suicidal fool.” I am a suspect, you are a suspect, until proven innocent in neveruary. But never give up: no Eritrean left behind. We are going to make sure iSem and Ted sit together; Mizaan and Nitricc sit together; Eyobai and…nah, we will be Eyob the fotorino. Cause that is how the man whose name we carry, awate, told us to do it. (He didn’t mention Eyob.)

            Now, about “pulling a Plato over Socrates.” Plato was a student of Socrates and everything we know about Socrates is because Plato told us about what he said. But while Socrates was brilliant, he was amoral–well, he was a utilitarian. Plato, his student, understood morality (soul.) So, it is my shorthand way of saying, “be better than your teacher.” At least it was shorthand until you asked me to explain it:) And now somebody is going to come and correct me and we will have long philsophical discussions and you will be upset and say, “this has nothing to do with Eritrea.” And, if I am lucky, you will shake your head and lament about the sad of state of affairs Eritrean politics is in:))

            saay

          • Papillon

            Dear Sal,

            Please pardon my intrusion but some people say Socrates never existed, he was the creation of Plato’s imagination. What do you think?

          • saay7

            Selamat Papillon:

            Ah, Socrates would be proud of you: question everything. Now that would be an excellent question for college students: “using the Socratic model, prove that Socrates existed.” Only Awate University’s resident philosophers LT and Aman can answer that.

            The larger question of, “how do we know historical figures even existed?” can take you real fast into the conspiratorial world (think the birther movement.) Because I very much like my sanity, I try to stay away from it. In college, at comparative religious studies, the professor gave all sorts of theories about Jesus–the historical figure, including that he never existed and that “Jesus” was a secret code for people using hallucinogens–and I remember a very religious very big Southern Baptist African American in my class saying “This is bulls$it!” and getting up to deck the professor. Classmates had to restrain him. I sat back thinking, “wow, in a different country (Saudi Arabia), a different religion (my religion), this guy would have been beheaded.”

            Where was I? Socrates? I believe he existed because 80% of historians believe he existed (ah, that number again.) And one of his contemporaries wrote a play mocking him. And also because the Greeks were the original bloggers: they wrote about everyone. And Aristotle, Plato’s student, rebelled against his teacher and when he did, he never wrote an expose: Plato men iyu? ZaEba Socrates ke nmntay mhizu? Socrates is also featured in Homer’s Illiad. But then, how do we know Homer–ayne swru teraki, as my amharic “Talalak sewoch” history book called him– a blind man who can recite pages and pages of poetry ever existed?

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            While you are at Greek Mythology class , how do you say Aristotle in Amharic or Tigrinya?

          • saay7

            Abi:

            I am betting it is ኣሪስጦጥል? My proof? My friend Tes Meharenna, the dictator of asmarino.com, used to run a radio broadcast from Pretoria, South Africa and he insisted on calling it ፕርጦርያ, despite my incessant teasing. Moreover, he had his beautiful teenage daughter, Delina (thus dimtsi delina) make the announcement of this terrible butchering of Pretoria.

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            You are close enough. It is ArisTaTalis.

          • saay7

            Abi.net:

            You are getting too soft. I don’t want New Coke, I want Classic Coke. Classic Abi would say: wrong! Not even close! I knew there was something wrong when you told Kokhob “I love you.” That’s what Fanti says. Abi, the prototypical Habesha Man, would never say that. You know why? There is an Amharic proverb about “neger” and “gonder” but I can’t remember it:)

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            I guess I’m learning from Fanti to throw love everywhere.
            Honestly, I loved kokobe’s work . You would have said the same if your understanding of the language was a little bit better.
            On ArisToTil, yechalkewun yahil tenTaTah.
            Hey, gondere sibela enji siyafeqir ayigderederim.
            BTW, is this by design those people with the name Tes are gira egroch?

            I’m waiting to see your response to papi. She put you way up to her level. Congratulations!

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Papillon was too generous and I am not good at dealing with compliments so enough of that (but thanks Papi). A gondere went home from the US and he was trying to explain to his mom how he and his cousin don’t see “eye to eye” and he said, “ኣይና ላይን ኣንተያይም”.

            Never mind all that. Remember how I told Eyob that the South Sudan deal would collapse? This is what I wrote:
            ++++
            Hey Eyob:

            Leave poor Salva Kiir alone. The “region” (aka Ethiopia with Obama lending his voice) has already bullied the man to sign an agreement with a gun pointed to his head. I am sure it’s an extension of African ethnic politics. Instead of more videos of the man sweating let’s begin the countdown as to when the agreement will be violated. I am saying Tuesday.

            saay

            +++
            It’s Tuesday in South Sudan. We had a bet: if he loses, he watches ESAT for a week and he has to report on what he saw. If I lose and I have to read Tesfanews. Anyway, the deal fell apart (on Tuesday) and now Eyob is saying, “it is merely an accusation mnamin mnamin” Could you render your verdict as a neutral judge? Enamesegnalen

            http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34106670?SThisFB%3FSThisFB

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,
            First of all, judge Abi has to hear both sides of to render his judgment…
            As you know this is normal. Opposing parties always accuse one another of violating something. The ‘violation’ has not been verified by IGAD or any international body, yet. The TVM (Treaty Verification Mechanism) is still being set up….So for powers that are fighting for the last 20 months it is normal for them to have some skirmishes, even if it happened. If it continues and TVM confirms it that the treaty has been broken like it has for the last seven times, then I will pay the bet. Even though the due is very stiff….. (ESAT? really? can I go to a different torture chamber?)
            Yetekeberu Getaye Abi,
            Ewnetun leyito Egzihar Yasayo
            Keqen qemagna kelelit megagna yitebiqwo
            Bagerwo bechilotwo ene dehawo tebediyalehuna
            abet elalehu…yihun yalutin eqebelalehu… 🙂

          • Abi

            Eyobe
            The problem is you see a glass half full , that FARA always see an empty glass. It is in your nature to wish good unlike some people here . Forget about ” professor Fuzo” you are a gentleman.
            I want him to write ” LOVE ” one hundred times. It is a far worse punishment for this kind of unloving person than sending him to tesfanews. I want him to stay away from that place. He doesn’t need more training. If you insist he should go, I will send him to ESAT where he meets his pessimistic friends.
            He belongs there.

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            It was a mistake to get Abi involved as a judge. Now,ነገር እንዲጠፋ ዳኛውን ግደል… So until you get additional information that people who sign a peacedeal with a gun pointed to their head and with an archenemy imposed a heartbeat away from assuming power will find a way to break the peace treaty (they are re-neging on removing the 8,000 Ugandan armed presence there to protect Salva Kiir), we can move on to other subjects. Like…

            Your Prime Minister over at Mekele now sounds full of energy and vigor now…Must be the magic of getting his own meto-be-meto election instead of inheriting it. Although, I must say, he was repeating the one phrase he learned from PMMZ–“rent seeking” (Kiray flega) so much that I wished I had a phrase renting business so I can rent him a new one. What’s up with the guy?

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Ante kiray sebsabi.. 🙂

            I really like the new Hailemariam….

            He seems he is getting his “mojo” really straight for the next five years..

            Wedefit.. 🙂

          • saay7

            Hi Eyob:

            Recently, Obama accused the Koch Brothers of “rent-seeking” and one of the Koch Brothers actually said, “I doubt Obama understands the meaning of the phrase.” And clearly Obama doesn’t:) The way Meles Zenawi and now Hailemariam Desalegn throw around that phrase, it appears it has completely lost its meaning as originally used by the economist who invented it. If you don’t believe me, ask an economist that you trust 🙂
            As his fan, I would like you to send this link to PMHD so he never misuses the term again.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidmarotta/2013/02/24/what-is-rent-seeking-behavior/

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Do you know one of the slogans Mengistu Hailemariam taught people?

            “Quanqua yiweledal, yadgal, yimotal” 🙂

            Let “Rent seeker” to be born, raised and die, please.. 🙂

          • saay7

            Hey Eyob…

            … Iyadege new iyemote? I am trying to help expedite its death eko. Governments which have very little respect for property rights should never use that term because it’s absence of property rights that encourages cronyism and rent seeking, aka legalized favoritism

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Oh yeah?

            Let me tell you about property rights in Ethiopia. Look at this opal miners. They “Own” their own natural resources…
            Compare that with South African, Congo and Siera Leone and finally Bisha miners… 🙂

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=be2ENU6qPic

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            You make it sooooo easy. You know there is a rank for everything. Including of course country ranking by property rights:

            http://internationalpropertyrightsindex.org/country?s=Ethiopia

            saay

          • Abi

            Eyobeeeeeee
            He is AraTa abedari.

          • Ted

            Hi Saay, Abi stunned all of us. It is bound to happen sooner or later when you like bubble bath and read jacquelyn frank type romance books.In his defence, in Addis it is so viral ዕወድህለሁ is the new thank you.

          • saay7

            Hey Ted:

            SGJ sent me a viral Arabic video where teens calls their moms to say “I love you” and the moms assume the kid is dying or was in a car accident. That’s what Abis “I love you” sound like to me. But like u said, it’s all that soft porn Harold Robbins, Jackie Onassis books he has been reading. The people of Gonder would be outraged and disown him. He has two strikes now: the random I love you and his demotion of the language of kings, Amharic.

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            “Random I Love You?” It is not random. I said it to The Loving Kokobe. He is preacher of LOVE. It is the least I can say to him. ( kokobe, I love you)
            Tell me you don’t love Kokobe.
            Ted, stay away. This is about loving your brother. You love only cows. Diros keQera kis awlaqi min yiTebeqal?
            PS
            Saay , you were with me regarding Amharic . Now you are changing position. Flip flopping was not your character.
            It must be Ted’s influence.
            “KeAhya gar yewalech gider fes temra tigebalech ”

          • saay7

            Selam Abi:

            Ye labu neger tew’na…I will be with u on Amharic as medium of instruction until yetyelele. Question is: is the average Gondere with you as you dump on his language? Also Kokhob and Eyob asked me to tell you to stop adding a random
            “E” after their names. As to why Kokhob keeps calling SGJ SGL, I am assuming he is missing the “J” key on his Arabic keyboard.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear SAAY
            Another proof: In Arabic, they are both written as ኣሪስጦጥል and ሶቅራጥ and Arabic has both ቅ: ጥ: ት: and ክ. So they could have written it the way English their names are written in English. Besides the Arabs are closer to the Greek, and did have cultural/civilization exchanges.

          • Papillon

            Dear Sal,

            I think I have said this before the fact that when I was growing up Dr. Fitsum Gebrenigus made tremendous impression upon me particularly his intellectual vigour and I always thought that he was the smartest Eritrean around but now will have to reverse that for you are one of a kind second to none. God bless hawey!

          • Dear Papillon.
            Excuse me for interrupting; I think that it may be due to the fact that, although so many things were written by others about Socrates, Socrates himself had left behind no written material. Socrates was a great debater, who could face a crowd of people to tell them the fallacy of their ideas. He taught (radicalized by his opponents) the young openly, and he faced his opponents (the system) in the streets, the agora, before the councils, etc, without caring about the consequences.
            Jesus did not leave behind a written material either. Nevertheless, the written material about Jesus will never be surpassed by anybody else’s. When accused by the Pharisees that he was misleading the people with his teachings; his answer was that he was teaching in the open in front of thousands of people for everybody to listen, and why the Pharisees did not go to listen themselves or ask the opinion of the people.
            Sometimes, they leave to others to write for them, their biography, teachings etc, and of course, there was not that concept of leaving for posterity.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            I do not fear the future. I am struggling to see the future, and hopefully positive future. Hence give up is not in my vocabulary. To your surprice I told him plato was a student of socrates so his message might be: be like or better than your teacher. Not that far if it isn’t the same. Now on your philosphical take, it was very tempting for me to argue, but I prefer to zeep my mouth. I voluntarily declined. Regading your question, I will forward to him or tell him to read your answer, if possible I will try too after hearing from him.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            ኣንታ ኣማንኤል፡
            Aman don’t let him go, (lol, courtesy:nit or KS).
            (ሃይለ ሓያል ኣታ ድየ ክብል ዘለኒ ወይስ ኣንታ?)
            ንሳልሕ ጭርኡ ከይትገድፍ፣ ሓንሳብ እንተኣዳህሊሉካ ኣኺሉካ እዩ። ከይትገድፎ።
            መቸም ምስ ሳልሕ “ኣብርሃያ ደኣ፣እዛ ነገርስ ገለ ደኣ ሓቢኣ ኣላ፣ ዘርዝራ…ኣይበርሃትን ” ክትብሎ ከሎኻ ሜዳ የዘካኽረኒ።
            እንቋዕ ደኣ ኣብቲ ሜዳ ኣባል ጋንታኻ ወይ መስርዕኻ ኣይኮንኩ (Aman, it’s really a situation where you see joke/humor in action)። ብእምኒ ምፈጋእኩኻ ነይረ። ብዙሓት ግን ነይሮም ለይትና እንእውዶም።
            OK, Aman, understanding most of SAAY’s brainy quotes will qualify one for a certificate of American and world literature. I don’t get some of them.
            One time my oldest son made fun of me. I used to edit his papers, give him some feed backs and all that sort. But he made this weird observation: “Dad you edit a college paper and I find your assistance helpful, but you make terrible mistakes with elementary English.You need to read kids’ books. Well, I don’t mean to hurt your feeling, I am just being honest.”
            I reassured him that I do recognize that weakness. I told him how we start learning English…by reading Marx’s CAPITAL!
            Nitrickay say “The moral of the story…”
            Well, the moral of the story, if there is any moral in it, is that Saleh is a typical product of Azmarino…Middle Eastern…American pop cultures… And I believe, through the years he has mastered tools that make generating them easy. I do like most of them, I google those I don’t get. But the style is just phenomenal in cooling or thawing a debate/situation.

          • Abi

            Mr PM,
            You see why I want to have coffee with Saay ? You can talk about various topics in life with him. Sometimes I feel like there are many Saays in one.
            YeArada lij yigdelegn!

          • saay7

            Hala Mahmuday:

            Did you actually write “ሃይለ ሓያል ኣታ ድየ ክብል ዘለኒ ወይስ ኣንታ?” As asmarinos would say, “ኸልየና በጃኻ ሽጣራኺ ንኻልእኪ በልዮ!” This is because EPLF were infamous for calling old, respectable men “ኣታ ሰብኣይ!” Look at Cousin iSem, grinning ear to ear, because he never remembers the other side of the ledger about EPLF.

            Thanks Mahmouday. I do love Asmara. There is a novel-to-be-published that a friend asked me to read the draft (he is reading this, I hope he updates us): it has odes to Asmara that I fell in love with. Friend, any updates on the novella?

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Saleh:
            ምስ ማሕሙዳይ ከተባእሰኒ፡ አብዛ ቁንጣሮ ፍቅርና ቭኽንደይ ምህለላን ሆይ ማርያም ሓግዝና፣ ሼኽ አብዱ ቃድር ዘጥረናዮ፡
            አብ ቀዳማይን እንኮ ሓድነታዊ ዝጸደቀ
            Or as Mahmud wedi Queshi Saleh would say:
            what Mariam or Sheik, we did it with self reliance
            18 መሪርን ክምህ ዝይብልን ዓርሞሞሸሻዊ ቃልሲ ዘካይድላናሉ ሰለይ ዝብል ዘለ ምሕዝነት ናይ ወጻኢ ሓይሊ ምትእትታው አይነፍቅድን

            THe Mahmud Wedi Wedi Qeshi Saleh is an iside joke because Mahmud’s contacts have mor Ghebremedhins more than Idrisays:-)

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Semere
            እዚኣ ሲ ባዕለይ ይኽእላ እየ። I don’t have to call the great Ted for help. I can do it on my own*.
            ኣቦይ ቀሺ፡ ሼኽ ዓድና
            ኣጽንዑ ደኣ ናይ ኣቦታትና
            መምህረይ ሓረስታይ ናይ ዓድና
            ኣጽንዑ ደኣ ናይ ኣቦታትና
            ኣደይ ስላስ ኣደይ ፋጥማ
            ኣጽንዓ ደኣ ናይ ኣደታትና
            ኣስላማይ ክስታናይ ወዲ ቖላ ደጋ
            ንምኽሪ ሰመረ ኣይተሃቦ ዋጋ
            የዋህ ኤርትራዊ ዘረባይ ስምዓኒ
            ዓፍራ ከይትረግጽ መሲሉካ እምኒ
            * ኣብ ሳልሳይን ሓድነታውን ጉባኤ ኤርትራውያን እትግጠም እያ።
            ብመሰረት ገድላዊ ባህሊ፡ “ሳውራዊ ግጥሚ” ኢልካ ትጅምር። “ኣልናስሩ ልልጀማሂር” ኢልካ ድማ ትውድእ።
            BTW: ፍቕርና ካብ መዓስን ብከመይን ናብ ብቑንጣሮ ትግለጸሉ ደረጃ ረሞቕ ኢላ? ብከመይ ደኣ ተጨሊጣ? ኣብራሃያ ደኣ። እዚ ብኮዳት ምዝራብ ብሳልሕ እንተዝውደኣልና እንዶ ኣይምኣኸለን?

        • Shum

          Hello Saay,

          I think the alternative of 9 to 10 weak ethnicities in a country is to join a country with 70 to 80 ethnicities because obviously that country will have less differences and less need of reconciliation for eternity as it was in the past. It think that’s the logic I’m hearing. Makes sense I guess.

          • saay7

            Hey Shum:

            I realize that your tongue is firmly in cheek but that is a sound problem-solving methodology attributed to President Dwight Eisenhauer:”If you cannot solve a problem as it is, enlarge it.” I just wish people would have the courage of their convictions and say it. Remember the Dylan line from Positively 4th Street: “why don’t you come out just once and scream it?” Instead all we get is dots and we have to connect them:)

            saay

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Shum,

            Don’t forget, for YG and his ‘nisu nihna, nihna nisu’ followers, Ethiopia consists of Amhara and Tigray…u know ‘Habesah’ with a capital H…..

            Best,

            FS.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,
            Jesus Christ! When has YG ever said that Ethiopia is consisted of only Amhara and Tigray? When did he ever even imply that? Come on… That is not fair.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Apologies to Sal,
            I thought it was Sal, who accused YG unfairly…

          • saay7

            Ah, Eyobai:

            Don’t use the Lord’s name in vain. Also, your Holy Book teaches you not to invoke “Jesus Christ” to no purpose.

            I didn’t say it, but if the person who said it, Fnote Selam, needs help, I can enlist to support his thesis:) Remember the Big H and small h in YG’s masterpiece? Also, remember when Fanti, KH, Abi, Horizon got all teary-eyed about how we-are-all-one-people when SGJ shared the dance* of the Blin people? But the tribal dances of Ethiopians from Omo Valley are shared by Kenyans, and the dances of the Hdareb in Western Eritrea are shared by Eastern Sudan. Then what?

            The point being: there are some who equate a sub-set of Eritrea (highland Eritrea) with all of Eritrea; and there are some who equate a sub-set of Ethiopia (highland Ethiopia) with all of Ethiopia. Those who do, Eritreans and Ethiopians, see a hero in YG. Those of us who don’t do that see him as a person who wants to trade one bond (Eritrean) for another bond (Habesha, big H.) It is all unnecessary because one can retain both bonds–just like the people in Lowland Eritrea do.

            saay

          • Fnote Selam

            Shum,

            Belated, but….I have to say many Ethios as well as some Eris (who claim to be Habesha first…cheered vigorously by ppl who grind their teeth when some Oromos say Oromo first….) totally blinded by the juicy attack on Eri and Eris by an Eri, don’t appreciate what YG way thinking means for Ethiopia as, for example, Ogadenis by virtue of their kinship joining Somalia…..so on and so forth.

            FS.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Music Novice–but an expert editor,

      Thank you for the correction. Indeed, I meant prescribe and I just corrected it. Thank you again.

      • Semere Andom

        Gadi:
        I also noticed it, but I really think twice when correcting a man or letters, one has 3 books under his belt. Maybe it is a workd that I never came accross, I told myself

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Semere,
          Indeed, sometimes too much writing causes such mistakes and since my editor fired himself, some mistakes are getting through unedited 🙂 please don’t hesitate to send me a text message whenever you catch anything like that. I appreciate such feedback from my readers. You will appreciate that we do this with limited resources, no luxury of typist, copy checkers or content editors. Thanks

      • Music Novice

        Greetings SGJ,

        Typos are a nightmare, one can correct many but rest assured one can easily miss one or two.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam SGJ

    Diversity in Eritrea is not artificial that you could own or disown it. You can not dismiss it or reinstate it or reintroduce it. They are there by the natural process of human evolution. They are the reality of the make up of Eritrean nation. Though I understood the message you want to Convey, I do not agree with the title of the piece.

    Regards
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • AOsman

      Dear Aman,

      Reintroducing Diversity In Eritrea vs Reintroducing Diversity In Eritrean Politics, isn’t there a difference between the two. I thought the many debates we have here is to reflect our politics with the reality. Where do you guys differ, am wondering.

      Regards
      AOsman

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Merhaba AOsman,

        Even in our politics the fight for diversity was there since 40s and 50s. You don’t need to reintroduce it, it was and is there for decades. This is not new phenomenon. The battle is there between those who want diversity in our politics and those who do not. We can neither recreate nor reintroduce for something already there.

        regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Emma,
          Now I understand your confusion, you would be right if the title was “Itroducing” but it’s “REintroducing” the RE is your answer.

      • Saleh Johar

        AOsman, saw your comment after I replied to Amanuel, that’s exactly my question.

    • Semere Andom

      Ahlen Emma:

      I also understand what you are saying, but I think by the title of this speech Saleh is not denying our natural diversity, but my understanding is that he is saying we tolerated diversity naturally, lived together happily, fought together with unity and we did not have the bigotry that is rampant in the diaspora today. We did not have the intolerance that afflicts our diaspora today as can be gleaned from our cellphone database, so he is saying, I believe the need to challenge our complacent and face our demons reintroduce that harmony the tolerance that came easy to us before, traits that propelled us during the armed struggle. That is my interpretation of his title. He can correct me.

      But as you can see from the earlier comment, I do not totally agree with that and my take is: we have been like that to begin with. Although nature has endowed us with the beauty of diversity we were bigots all along, even during the ghedli, era, we just suppressed to becauase of peer pressure, we did not want to appear “unswerarwi” and when the pressure of war was lifted we relapsed. The diaspora did not learn it here, it was embedded.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Sem,

        I really understood what he tried to convey. I don’t have problem with his message. In fact the email example he used to challenge us is in itself case in a point. But you don’t reintroduce the subject already roaring in a debate. That was my message. My question to him isn’t a big deal.Thank you anyway.

        regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi AH,
      I am afraid our politics is no diverse and our politics is not representative of our society. I would understand your objection if the title was “introducing diversity to Eritrea” which will be what you are disagreeing with. So, I don’t understand how you read the title to mean what it didn’t state. And I am sure you are not saying our politics is inclusive, are you?

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Ahlen Saleh,

        I don’t expect a question from you of that nature. But….but, you have my position in the public domain or the archive of awate.com. My point is, for an already introduced issue, and has been on debate for over two decades, it doesn’t need to be reintroduced. What we need is to bring an alternative solution that address the marginalization problem, not by framing on “religious politics” but by the real grievances of our social groups. When we frame our politics by religion, it is really dangerous. The Lebanon reality is a good lesson to us.

        regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Saleh Johar

          Thank you Amanuel,
          I am afraid it is over analysis. Titles are just like salutation In this forum, particularly in opinion pieces. In scholarly writing the title has to capture the entire thesis and can be a great adage spy long. Therefore, my title that was assigned to me was upholding diversity, I chose to change it. I know it’s subjective but c’mon Amanuel, do we need to discuss the title this way? Let it go Emma.

  • Solomon Gezahegn

    Dear Saleh,
    Thanks for your inspiring and inclusive ideas. That is what most Eritreans have to take into consideration, if they love their people and their nation. Your idea about inclusive diversity is what is lacking in Eritrea.Though EPLF was inclusive of all ethnic groups in Eritrea during the struggle, it didn’t materialize it when it clung into power. Inclusiveness is not limited to power but it also means ideas, visions, politics, etc. EPLF/PFDJ/ wanted everything for itself without being diverse and inclusive. Lately, it became dictatorial and one man show and it failed to accommodate Eritreans.
    If Eritreans are to be inclusive, then they have to accept their diversity in all forms. This demands that Eritreans, particularly in the Diaspora, have to remember what Weldeab W/mariam has said in the 1950s, “Eritreans have agreed to disagree”. Currently, it seems that most Eritrean Diaspora don’t give due attention to the plight of their fellow Eritreans within the country. However, I still insist that Eritreans have to reconcile among themselves so that they accept their diversity and move forward to support their compatriots become free from the current dictatorial regime at home.
    With Regards,
    Gezahegn

  • Amanuel

    Hi Saleh

    Thanks for sharing with us your presentation. Your diagnosis regarding the opposition (justice seekers) when it comes to diversity is spot on. However, what i want to highlight here is the solution. You seem to suggest that one of the solutions is to revert to the Ghedli values less its dictatorial tendencies. I agree Ghedli had several noble values as you mentioned above. However, the movements, specially the one brought independence (EPLF) was not diverse enough and not sure if the values mentioned above have any relation to diversity or are evidence that there was a diversity. I mean the values in their own are important tools to help us rid the PFDJ but will they help us to improve our diversity problem? Please elaborate your idea here.

    At last not least i have reviewed my phone list since your last advice and the result is, it starts with Abeba and finishes with Zeineb. Abdu, Daniel, Idris and Tesfai in between. So please pass the crown.

    Thanks
    Amanuel

  • Saleh Johar

    Thank you Hope,

    First, I am not blocking you, it is the moderator, though I also moderate.

    Second, you know why you are being blocked, and if you stop your violation, and try to engage the moderators in side issues, instead of letting them do what they are supposed to do (moderate) you will not have a problem.
    Third, you always annoy me by mentioning my names when you are talking about awate.com or the moderators. If I am a moderator at that time, believe me I will block you.

    Fourth, please recognize that I engage here using my name, address me like a member of the forum, not like a moderator (like you just did) or as an administrator of awate.com.

    Fifth, we do not block anyone unless we have to. Don’t think we enjoy doing that, but we do not enjoy babysitting adults either.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Salam Saleh
    God bless you; educational and inspiring. Let’s admit that we are all students when it comes these issues. Semere raised an important point saying that this area of diversity was not treated seriously during ghedli and brought examples to support that assertion. I agree. We may explain why it was not treated seriously during those years, and the years that followed independence, but we can’t have an explanation why we can’t be open about it; why we can’t learn from each other. I have attended seminars and courses regarding diversity, and the significance societies put on its handling. However, I have never attended a seminar or a workshop done by PFDJ or the opposition in relation to this subject.
    There are those who don’t want to hear about it. There are those who know it exists but are not quite sure how to raise it in face of the challenges facing the struggle waging for changed. And there are those who think they are quite sure they know how to make this issue an integral part of the struggle. Such a mature and easily accessible articles could narrow the gap. Let’s admit we will have a lot to do on personal level. Semere, I have bad news for you: My contact list tells me I have to reach out to Idrissays. I’m forgiven though, not a deliberate thing.

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Saleh:
    The challenge you put for Eritreans to consciously and deliberately work on their diversity literacy is very interesting and I seem to remember you have mentioned it before too. You also said that the challenge does not apply veterans fighters, that is, the diseases is exclusively diaspora centric. I disagree and the following are my reasons:
    Many of the diaspora lived in Sudan, where Eritrean lived among diverse group of Eritreans and even before that many of them were either in ELF and EPLF with supposedly diverse friendly organization that was dually fighting to expose Eritreans to each other. But suddenly when they came here they discover their identity and become pure bigots. Conclusion: it was all façade, pressure from above. Good example is what happened after independences, the tegadelti succumbing to the pressure from their families divorced their wives who were from their ethnicity, religion or regional. I do not have data, but it was in an alarming rate. My trademark reason for the lists that start with Tesfay and Abdu and end with Daniel and Idris respectively is the armed struggled was superficial in this arena. So I agree that in a deeper level bigotry is more prevalent than we would like to admit in the diaspora, in Eritrea whether you were part of the armed struggle or not.
    Because I did not want to disappoint my friend Saay, I did this little experiment long time ago regarding this, because it is subject closer to my heart. I talked to total of 10 friends and relatives, who happened to be highlanders and Christians, half of them lived in Sudan for at least 3 years and several of them hailed from Akria and count a couple of Muslims their good friends. The list of their cell phones stared with Tesfay and ended with Daniel. So I asked them how come you do not talk to so and so, the answer was shocking and it went something like this: so and so now goes to Mosques kemza msana beera zueyseti znebere and so and so started covering her head. I say this is good, nay abotatom endiyu? ewe gina wo la selam eko gedifemo. I am writing this by carefully removing the hyperboles
    Also the other side who mobile contacts starts with Abdu and ends with Idris do not fair better. For this group my experiment was to go to their table in a dominantly Muslim teashop and speak to them in Tigirinya and from a sample of ten, five of them told me to not speak to them in that language, do not know it, or I know it but I refuse to respond with it, was their common reply.
    Also once in a Muslim wedding, the groom refused the playing of one Tigriniya song he said that this is not cultural activities, it is wedding. He was begged but he was adamant. The irony was that his best man was Tigriniya speaking Eritrean from Jeberti Ethnic group.
    In the case of the wedding common sense and basic sensitivity would have done the trick. And if that was lacking, the Muslim groom could have turned to his scriptures that says “amullu ahle al-kitabu bletiya ashen.
    In the case of the traditional Muslim who turned to nay abotatu, love thy enemy could have solved the issue.
    So at the end of the day, until we figure this out hypocrisy will reign and our intolerance will be reflected in the mobiles contacts we carry. And the ultimate victims of this swaddled bigotry will not be the majorty of Eritreans but the tiny ethnic groups, regardless of their faith.

    • AOsman

      Dear Semere,

      I like your dig, yeah we all need to chill out…..we are creating an abnormal situation, while the opposite behavior is closer to our faith and identity.

      On the song: There are some hadith that relate an occasion where Abyssinians (deqi adena :)) did a traditional song show (word used is mesamir or zefen – it could have been religious ceremony) for the Prophet Mohammed PBUH in Medina Mesjid (second holiest after Mecca). What’s more interesting about the story is that the second khalif Omer Ibn Khattab tried to stop the show and drive them out of the place, the Prophet PBUH intervened and let them finish their show……

      source Dayphi will provide on request.

      Regards
      AOsman

      • Saleh Johar

        AOsman, don’t tell Eyob, but the yemenis say, Kan yzeffn, meaning, he was singing. the plural of Mezmur is mezamir in Arabic– as in Mezamir Daoud -mezmur dawit.

    • saay7

      Selamat iSem:

      In this era of “frank and honest discussions” that we have introduced, I am hoping two very responsible and very knowledge people will talk about this:

      The list of their cell phones stared with Tesfay and ended with Daniel. So I asked them how come you do not talk to so and so, the answer was shocking and it went something like this: so and so now goes to Mosques kemza msana beera zueyseti znebere and so and so started covering her head. I say this is good, nay abotatom endiyu? ewe gina wo la selam eko gedifemo. I am writing this by carefully removing the hyperboles. Also the other side who mobile contacts starts with Abdu and ends with Idris do not fair better. For this group my experiment was to go to their table in a dominantly Muslim teashop and speak to them in Tigirinya and from a sample of ten, five of them told me to not speak to them in that language, do not know it, or I know it but I refuse to respond with it, was their common reply.

      Scholars often mention how the Eritrea’s independence coincided with the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the Uni-polar world. What doesn’t get mentioned enough is that it also coincided with the rise of what used to be called “Islamic fundamentalism.” Its effect on Eritrea has to be discussed here at awate university but only by people who have an understanding of pre-1990s and post 1990s Eritrea.

      saay

      • AOsman

        Dear SAAY,

        Good point you raised, I will throw my qolo-titiqo:

        1. You last two lines – When such topics are discussed I see people mixing up fundamentalism with extremism. One may be able to show a link between the two using some groups, generalizing the link causes confusions.

        2. The issue of fundamentalism affected both Muslim and Christian communities (it is of a wider scope), we know how the government in Eritrea reacted to quash such movements (generally vibrant that attract the youth) and the traditionalist initially supporting the government (victims of fear). Somebody made a point in awate when Marxism failed, some went in search of God. I guess those traditionalist were not needed to do the reading and it caused the friction of authority :).

        3. I believe its effect in Eritrea is much less compared to our Diaspora communities. The topic may explain the divide outside Eritrea better.

        4. The globalized nature of the world that we live in has helped us to interact and forge relationship with communities we never knew, at the same time contributed in the distancing us from communities we lived with for centuries. New global affiliation were formed (mini-melting pots),while weakening affiliations based on a distant nationalism.

        5. Not all our communities in Eritrea knew each other well. You remember Shumbahri from old forum (by the way is Shum the same guy), he had so much stories about his Gedli years. One good example was his experience as ELF fighter when he encountered some in the Afar region. They so liked him (who wouldn’t), they could not believe some time later when they discovered he was Christian.

        6. Where Eritreans are trying to keep connected, the regional affiliation seems stronger. This does cut across our multi-faceted divide……..your friend called it the multi-decked identity.

        7. We have another group, Secular fundamentalist….not sure if we have them developed to Secular extremist yet, but they are also good at driving people away.

        Regards
        AOsman

  • haileTG

    Respected SGJ,

    That is what I call a clean, frank, caring and visionary message. ናእዳ ከይበዝሓካ’ምበሪ our people are in short supply of such true patriots and over populated by partisan folks. Your “phone contact” test is crisp and representative of the problem in diaspora. I would wonder what you would have said in a meeting dominated by the other section of our society though. Sorry, I can’t help the curse of living with an inquisitive mind 🙂

    Regards

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear hailat,
      you are right እዛ ሃገር ብሓቂ ተስፋ ዘለዋ ሃገር እያ ዘብለኒ ክልተ ዓበይቲ ባህርያት – ተጻዋርነትን ቅሉዕነትን -ንሙግቡዕባዕን ምስሉይነትን ብዙሓት ጸቢብ ኣተሓሳስባ ዘለዎም ክምክታ ክርኢ እንከለኹ እዩ ::

    • Saleh Johar

      HaileTG,
      Thanks, eheem 🙂

      The message is there; for both sections. Here:

      “But I guess most lists will start with Tesfai and finish with Daniel just like the other lists I know starts with Abdu and end with Idris. “

      • haileTG

        hi SGJ,

        That is true, you did. However, all this frank talk season is getting into my head 🙂 make allowance for that (even Hope is frankly telling us he is using multiple pen-names:)Anyhow, I am thinking about the sort of dispensation you would make on grounds that the other side is aggrieved party on the socio-political equity scale of the nation. Ahmed Raji was mentioning affirmative type actions to redress imbalances and inequities as they exist now. Would that reality change the nature of your call or you would still apportion equal expectations?

        • Saleh Johar

          HaileTG,
          I think Ahmed Raji addressed the issue from the level of government to build a fair representation. I agree with him. But I am more interested in the state of our opposition, my solution is focused on the camp of justice seekers. I would apportion equal expectation.

          • Bayan Nagash

            if I may interject between two Gentle Souls with salutations first, of course.

            I hope and trust someone has videotaped this speech and that

            it would be available for all to hear for years to come. There are so many
            quotable moments that I copied and pasted to use for this brief comment, I
            finally gave it up. Brave souls are not those who sing to the choir. Brave
            souls are those who make no bones about what they see and tell it like it is.
            That wall metaphor is so apt, every time I saw the wall all I could think about
            is that is the hegemonic wall, a kind of a wall that resides not in the
            hearts of those who are reaping benefits from it, but in their mind and when
            there is a disconnect between the heart and mind it is made to be far
            more difficult to breakdown that hegemonic wall.

            The flipside of the ever inquisitive mind of Haile TG is rather fascinating, a day may come, soon, inshallah, where SGJ will have a podium in which he will address the other side and a powerful message similar to this would have to do with a twist though, because if we admit there is a hegemonic wall made in Tigrinya, then, necessity, consistency, or logic would automatically dictate that the other side is the isolated and the marginalized one. So, the message would probably to have all of the other variables into consideration.

            What the other side is hearing and has been doing as a result of such unbreakable hegemonic wall is, here comes the quote, finally, “…If you
            will be so engrossed only in limited issues, and forget about the land issues,
            about the cultural issues, about the refugees who have been stranded in Sudan
            for decades, then the Eritreans who are not here will tell you: go ahead solve
            your problems and I will solve mine.” Sad to say, you hear no-one
            talking about the refugees in Sudan, for example. The only people who have been dealing with it for decades are those who are directly or indirectly impacted by it, bit it through their loved ones being stranded there for ages or indirectly through family friends and the like. So, the other side is doing exactly what the statement above suggests.

            We have been living in this parallel universe for so long that each is becoming disconnected at the core and no amount of breaking down of walls can ameliorate. Most certain the hegemonic wall that has been erected, a hammer will not do – one will need a bulldozer of sorts to terminate, even then the dust it leaves behind will take such a long time to settle that another wall might be erected in its place, another hegemonic wall that is, I am afraid.

            As for contact list on our cellphones, oh, well, unlike that Mahmud’s mine has
            more of Joses and Marias than anything else. If anything, I think I need more
            of Caucasian and African American names in it than that of Eritreans. Here is a rub, the challenge those who are married may face notwithstanding, do we have a list of names from the opposite gender whom we reach out to related to the struggle?

            As always, Semere A. comes up with such out of the box thoughts that here is one that is worth quoting: “So at the end of the day, until we figure this out hypocrisy will reign and our intolerance will be reflected in the mobiles contacts we carry. And the ultimate victims of this swaddled bigotry will not be the majorty of Eritreans but the tiny ethnic groups, regardless of their faith.” All one can say to this is Tru Dat: Amen!

          • haileTG

            Merhaba Haw Beyan,

            Believe it or not, I was about to say to SGJ yesterday that I got his point and it was similar to my position when we touched the issue recently. Thus I was about to invite you for your take, and was surprised that you quickly picked up the exchange and you were already here. I need to borrow your radar sometimes 🙂 Seriously though, now that SGJ has placed his bid, i.e. “equally apportion expectations” and you mentioned a “tailored” version suit each side, what would you wish included or excluded if SGJ was to address a meeting that is dominated by Abdu to Idrissay phone contact holders?

            Regards

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan HaileTG,
            I remembered something to answer part of your question, of what i would say to the other side. Here is a quote from my speech in Australia from December 2012:

            “1. Our 2013 resolution should include: Get to know 4 Eritreans this year who are not from your tribe, ethnicity, region, or religion but are in the Eritrean resistance movement. Preferably in person, and if you can’t, have conversations with them through social media, by phone, by skype, Paltalk, by whatever. I am talking about one-on-one personal conversations where you LEARN what their grievances are. Call It Campaign 4. Then ask each one you talked to, to reach out to 4 more and so on and so on.”

            For the full speech, check here: http://awate.com/eritrea-the-challenges-of-today-and-the-prespects-of-tomorrow/

            PS: please note that such speeches are partly influenced by the prevailing situations of the time.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Ahlan Haile TG,

            Now, you want to steal SGJ’s sunder, eh. I am liking this spirit that SGJ’s is bringing here, a spirit of fraternal, brotherhood, and sisterhood. I pledge now to reach out to five Eritreans outside my circle of friends. I am even going to take it a step further by making an attempt to reach out to the Ethiopian friends that I have had over the years but I no longer keep in touch. Of course, the likes of Horizon, Addis, Abi, Eyob, and Hannah are par for the course. I avail my e-mail again as a starting point: bnegashb@gmail.com.

            As for what would be included and what to be excluded from the hypothetical speech that SGJ would give to “a meeting that is dominated by Abdu to Idrissay phone contact, I am going to leave to the muse, if she inspires I may just do that. I am writing this note as I am listening to Kiros’s new song that you shared, that might have something to do with the concessions I am making here -“). it is captivating me to the inner core, the new song of Kiros that is. It appears I am wrapping up at the same time with first song and the second one is beginning…kemay, kemay, ekhi tbli…fiqri…ekhul eyu ekhul eyu…wait, wati that does not sound like Krios, that sounds like Mihretab with Khaled Alamin…Oh, yea, that’s them alright in Tel Aviv. I better get going here before you get me kicked out of this place.

  • Saleh Johar

    Hate Ethiopia? Where is that hate?

    If you say Haile Selassie and Derg are the embodiment of, or equal to the entire Ethiopia, you are wrong—but you would be right according to your warped perception.

    • Teyaqi

      Hello Sir,
      This article is pure Eritrean issue.I haven’t read any hate towards Ethiopia.By the way, I would like to appreciate this site for being so open for Eritrean civilized political discourse.Here, I witness, every body discuss issues without any insult and disrespect alike Madote and Tesfanews participants[they are basically barking dogs].I hope you’ll keep being a good platform for your fellow Eritreans and sometimes for us(Ethiopians).

      Cheers!