Home / Negarit / Scent of Lemon: An Example Of Refined Eritrean Song

Scent of Lemon: An Example Of Refined Eritrean Song

My taste in music is unusual, not many songs please me. My aversion to saxophones is unmatched, but I love wooden instruments, the traditional flute, the Andean reed zambona, fisarmonica, Congo drums, rebaba, and the violin. The saxophone, however, scares me more than the sight of a Black Mamba snake. I wish Eritrean musicians introduce other instruments, the world has many of those and it’s okay to borrow.

I am into folk songs; that is why I tolerate country music, even those with awful lyrics, like “boiled potatoes burned my fingers…” Or the Eritrean version, “entay’eye zgebro n’msheto, karabata ‘ndidelu nay sembetu.”

In my childhood, I was caught listening to James Brown in my father’s shop when my father walked in with Ustaz Mahmoud Mohammed Ali, the famous school director who mocked the song: “James Brown stands on stage and when someone walks in, he asks them, where did you come from?” The person replies, “From California.” Then James Brown asks: “Hey, dib California zellim halet? (Is it raining in California?) The man replies, “yes, heavy rains.”

Then James Brown screams, “Yeah, rain’n in California, yeaaaaaah, yeah. Heavy rain in California. Yeeeeeeeah, baby.”

My father laughed and I was embarrassed to even more. But at the time, considering my limited knowledge of the English language and the difficulty one faced understanding the words of popular songs, such simple lyrics did it for me. Tom Jones sang  “She’s a lady…” but my generation heard it as “Sheeezeley.” And life was easy, and so was the English language.

I would have given up on modern Eritrean songs if not for the likes of Osman Abdulrahim, Ateweberhan Segid, Tekle Tesfazghi, Hussein Mohammed Ali, and of course, Wed Amir… and a few others. However, nothing beats the ease of strumming of the Rababa from Western Eritrea; I rarely find anything to enjoy from the screeching songs that come out of the PFDJ monopoly of the arts.

Then come Wedi Tikabo. I liked his songs, which unfortunately I listened to it in my seclusion. I didn’t like to be caught listening songs that promote the PFDJ regime, in any way. That is history. Yohannes Tikabo liberated me by openly rejecting tyranny. Now I can express my subdued love for his songs.

But before all the other singers, at least in North America, there was Dawit Ephrem, the only free singer who entertained the opposition camp’s functions. Those were the days when two or three dozen of us would sit in an almost empty hall listening to him. Those of you who have the urge to forget, remember that in the beginning there was Dawit Ephrem of Dallas. And I encourage icons like Wedi Tikabo to appreciate and recognize the relentless struggle those erstwhile artists waged single-handed–no financial rewards, no inspiring crowds, and very little recognition. Our nation’s artistic culture grows only by recognizing and encouraging those who sacrificed personal gains for public service. Remember Eyob, Osman and Hussein in Europe–and my “Hsas ldde” brother, Ahmed Abdulrahim!

Back to Wedi Tikabo.

The first time I saw him perform live was at the new year eve party organized by the pro-justice crowd in Oakland. He was an amazing artist. In that party, I really enjoyed myself and was assured that we have come a long way in salvaging our culture. However, there remained a critical distance we have to tread before we arrive at our destination: eradicating the parasitic PFDJ and its vulgar culture and screeching sponsored propaganda songs.

I drafted this Negarit on the first week of 2014 and decided to keep it on pending not to antagonize some people–in fact I deleted almost all the original draft; I do not need to annoy more people. But now, I think it’s time to say a few words about my observations at that “party” because it’s being duplicated elsewhere. I hope no one will be offended; this is supposed to be a call for reflection.

A function organized by the opposition to the PFDJ should not be a copy of the PFDJ culture and style–identical mannerism, colors, and songs. They say, “a few rotten potatoes spoil the soup,” and I am sure there are incidents of ugly sights elsewhere. Pick two-party video clips, one of the  PFDJ camp and another from the Justice seekers’ clips. Pretend you do not know the singers, the crowd or the event. Now see if you can tell them apart! That would only be annoying if it was not outrageous.

Respectable functions have codes that differentiate them from rowdy nightclubs. Our national functions are not occasions for pornographic dancing and a drinking binge, even if we need to have fun, and we need it more than any other people. However,  we need to remember that families avoid rowdy nightclubs not to mingle with social outcasts. Eritrean events should be a dignified family function, just like a wedding party, and the ambiance should be different from that of an alley nightclub, or a PFDJ function.

There are evident behavioral ethics that are observed in wedding parties, including the dress code and ambiance. People enjoy themselves and dance until they are exhausted and drop in their seats as dead bodies. They are elegantly dressed, in their best, maybe a cultural dress, and they show off their dancing skills and smile all night. Everyone is happy and all go home rejuvenated. Unfortunately, neither the parties of the justice seekers nor that of the PFDJ are anything like that.

What’s up with dressing like hookers and gangsters in a party that is supposed to be in support of a national cause? What is with the three-sizes smaller pieces of cloth, boobs hanging out and skirt hem hardly covering panties; and sagging pants that show greasy underwear? Maybe some people are convinced it is the way to look cool, to look modern and civilized. But I am sure there are many stores where one can buy decent clothes, and ways to be decently dressed. No? Maybe not. But I don’t think the parties of justice seekers should look like a scandalous scene from Babylon Square–for the young, Babylon Square was the Asmara version of a Red Light District.

The young might want to go to wild nightclubs, but that is not my concern. I am concerned with the manners of the cheap nightclubs being brought to supposedly “national functions.”

In the Oakland party, Tigisti, one of the MCs, stated, “tonight should be a turning point just like 1988 became a turning point after the defeat of the enemy at the battle of Afabet.”

Do you see anything wrong with that? I don’t. But a young tipsy boy with embarrassingly sagging pants had a different idea: “Kla Gdefenna, 88 ane kheman ayteweledkun nere!” Forget 1988, because he was not even born then! It was all about him. Eritrean history begins with his memory; what he doesn’t remember should be trashed. I was going to engage him, but a visibly intoxicated girl pulled him away to a corner before I could talk to him. I wished he stayed in Sawa or at least in Shimelba some more instead of getting further away without learning the significance of the battle of Afabet. But there is always mercy!

Luckily,  as if to ameliorate the scandal, Wedi Tikabo appeared on the stage to sing GuE Leminey (my lemon scent), an authentic country song, original, unadulterated, fresh flavored Eritrean song… as fresh as “Morning-Water.” What a contrast!

For those who do not understand Tigrinya, GuE Leminey is all about owning our heritage and being proud of it. To me, this song is a rejection and anti-thesis of the PFDJ that has corroded the Eritrean culture. It’s about reviving the pristine tradition that we are losing fast because of the PFDJ monopoly of the arts.

Not knowing the lyrics suck, and I am sure those who do not master the Tigrinya language would appreciate my translation–try to sing it along, you will learn a few words and feel good about your culture–can someone transcribe the lyrics in Tigrinya? Until then, here is the translation, though I have taken the liberty to alter the construction of some words to make it understandable in English. Corrections are welcome.

My Scent of Lemon (The Medicine of The Heart)

Wedi Haile, the pot breaker
I was afraid he will meet you in his rages of anger
I was on guard since down
Afraid he was lurking to get you.

By the meadows, by the grassy fields
Chatting all day long
You showed me what you can do
And you taught me the meaning of love
Oh my fresh barley kernel, while we devoured our passion
As the village girls watched
And they peeked and sang
Taunting me day and night.

Oh, my scent of lemon, take a walk
Come, stay with me by the meadows.
Oh, my scent of lemon, take a walk
Come, stay with me by the streams.

In the crowded tent-party in our village
You surpassed all the veiled dancers.
The youth of the village have seen it all
They enjoyed the night beating the drums.
But it was terrible for me, watching over you all night
I feared kidnappers might snatch you away
When I couldn’t find you in the party
I had a sleepless night searching for you
But as dawn broke
You soothed my heart with a smile
Though I was afraid, it would be detected
And your bright smile might invite jealousy
And other maybe inflicted with what I was
For I know in love caution is lost.

Oh, my scent of lemon, take a walk
Come, stay with me by the meadows.
Oh, my scent of lemon, take a walk
Come, stay with me by the streams.

Yes, by the Meadows…
What am I to do?
My love, what am I to do?
My love, what am I to do?
I’d rather end it believing love is compassion.

Wedi Haile the pot breaker
I was afraid he will meet you in his rages of anger
I was on guard since down
Afraid he was lurking to get you.

In the meadow, by the lash lawns
Chatting all day long
You showed me what you can do
And you taught me the meaning of love
Oh my fresh barley kernel, while we devoured our passion
He has become a hindrance in the middle of our village
Shall I hide and pull a sling on him
Whatever the village people may say.

Oh, my scent of lemon, take a walk
Come, stay with me by the meadows.

Oh, my scent of lemon, take a walk
Stay with me by the streams.

I have my limits and it’s not much
I live by the means I command
Your folks used to honey and butter
Might think I am after a fat dowry
Forty cows and forty young bulls
The lack of which stripes me of my courage
You should pity me
What does my house have but a bedding of hides?
And you know my skin bedding
It’s cold though you say it is cozy
You are what I wish for
Take my name, go ahead and own it
That’s not much of an offer for you
I may split my heart and give you its half.

Oh, my scent of lemon, take a walk
Come, stay with me by the meadows.
Oh, my scent of lemon, take a walk
Come, stay with me by the streams.

Yes, by the Meadows…
What am I to do?
My love, what am I to do?
My love, what am I to do?
I’d rather end it believing love is compassion.

Yohannes Tikabo is a  man who inherited the husky voice of Barry Water and he is a class of his own. He has also inherited the melancholic style of his father, an established artist of his time, and the romantic style of Marvin Gaye. If Jimmy Hendrix was an Eritrean, he would have earned his fame as a Krar player like Yohannes Tikabo, not the guitar. However, Wedi Tikabo is no one but Wedi Tikabo. He is a top-notch artist and he doesn’t need to be reduced to anyone else, not even to the level of Bob Marley.

I am not sure who writes his lyrics, but they are so original, so poetic, and genuinely Eritrean as he sings for his country, for the legacy of the struggle, always remaining true to the Eritrean heroes; I have a feeling they all shake their shoulders, dancing in their graves whenever he sings, and his voice relaxes them. Yes, certainly he moves the dead.

And who was dancing the night away, in Oakland? Peace-loving, justice-loving Eritreans. His supply of energy reached every nerve in the hall; bodies, limbs, heads moved and shook impulsively. His intro words for his next songs, “Gesha Ala ‘mber tet’hulu Ghedli” were so powerful, I could feel the roof of the hall shaking, announcing the presence of a majestic voice. Indeed, the struggle has taken an excursion, it spirit is away. But Wedi Tikabo was needed to give the justice seekers an impetus, and he still needs to give us more. His focus on unity (what we at awate.com call Reconciliation) is so powerful it instantly makes one remember what is at stake. In a traditionally delivered ode, he explained how a seed should not be divided. Of course, a broken seed is not a seed anymore. Divided Eritreans are Eritreans no more.

Wedi Tikabo joining the justice seekers camp heralded the end of the cold years where the opposition elements were in the minority. Not anymore. Free Eritreans will not be harassed, not anymore. The days of looking towards all directions only to find handful persons are gone, now one stands in the center and is overwhelmed by the crowd. The chilling loneliness of the opposition camp is now as warm as ever. This is a reward that we sometimes forget to celebrate. It is payback. I wish the new blood of strugglers would be endowed with wisdom and blessed with a national eye-glasses that see beyond the narrow circle of our comfort. It is time to think about diversity seriously, not in words, but in spirit coupled with deeds.

Finally, I plead to all artists to provide music that would shake even the stone-hearted. To provide music that would motivate the justice seekers, not just dancing music–we have tons of those. And Yohannes Tikabo, I wish he will produce more powerful contemplative lyrics and fewer dance tunes. Music that would help us sharpen our minds and think clearer.

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

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  • tes

    Dear AMAN,

    I like your unique corner comments. Saying that, I think you are not doing justice to me. It will be good if you understand my message and discuss.

    tes

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Flydubai is coming to Eritrea In the coming month of Oct. It is of course slightly late, 13th destination to be added after all the countries in the region. Dubai is one busy destination as far as Eritreans travelling abroad. Is this going to stay? We’ll see:)

    http://www.albawaba.com/business/pr/flydubai-announces-flights-eritrea%E2%80%99s-capital-asmara-724888

  • T. Kifle

    ለተወደዳች ሁና ለተከበራች ሁ ኢትዮጵያዊ ዓወታውያን

    ሰላም ለናንተ ይሁን

    ፋንቲ ጋና ኪም ሃና እንዲሁም
    አቢ ባነሳች ሁት ርዕሰ ጉዳይ ላይ ሐሳብ እንድወረውር
    ላደረጋች ሁልኝ ጥሪ አመሰግናለሁ።

    የተነሳው ርዕሰ ጉዳይ ከመደጋገሙ ብዛት የተነሳ ለውይይት የሚያነሳሳኝ እንዳልሆነ በቅድሚያ ልገልፅላች ሁ እወዳለሁ። እንደዛም ሆኖ ማለት ያለብኝን ነገር ላለማለት ግዝት ስሌለብኝ በሚከተለው መልኩ ሐሳቤን ለማቅረብ ወደድኩኝ። ሐሳቦቼም በመሰረቱ አዲስ ባቀረባቸው ትችቶች ዙሪያ ያጠነጠኑ ይሆናሉ።በቅድሚያ ግን ፋንቲ ጋና ፣ቶቲ ቶፒ ና ኪም ሃና ከሰጡት መልስ በዓይነቱ የተለየ ምላሽ እንደሌለኝ ክግንዛቤ ውስጥ አስገቡልኝ።

    1. የፀረ ሽብር ህጉን በሚመለከት

    አዲስ ስለዚህ ህግ ሲፅፍ እንዳላነበበው ገልፆ የያዘው አቋምም ከህጉ አተገባበር እንደሚነሳ ያትታል። ከግምት ውስጥ ያላስገባው ነገር ግን የአፈፃፀም ችግር በዚሁ ህግ ላይ
    ብቻ የተወሰነ እንዳልሆነ ነው። አማራጩ የአፈፃፀም ብቃት እስክናዳብር ህጉን ማቆየት ሲሆን የዚሁ ውጤት ደግሞ እየተራቀቀ በመሄድ ላይ ያለውን የሽበራ ወንጀል እንዲያንሰራራ መፍቀድ ይሆናል። በወንጀል ህጉ ሊዳኙ የማይችሉ ወንጀሎች በመከሰታቸው ለአጠቃላይ ማህበራዊ ሰላም መረጋገጥ ሲባል የግድ ማውጣት ያለብንን ህግ ማውጣታችን(መኮረጃችን) እውነት ነው። በማህበራዊ ሰላም ማስፈን ሰበብ ሐሳብ በነፃነት የመግለፅ መብትን እንዳይጨፈለቅ ተገቢ ጥንቃቄ እንዲደረግ ማሳሰብ ያባት ነው። በዚሁ ማዕቀፍ ስር የሚወድቁ የግለሰቦች መብት መረገጥ ተጨባጭ አብነቶች እየቀረቡ መንግስት ሚዛን እንዲጠብቅ መውቀስም ተገቢ ነው። የህጉን ተገቢነት ጥያቄ ውስጥ ማስገባት ግን ሲበዛ የዋህነት አለፍ ሲልም የተለየ ግብ መያዝን አመላካች ተደርጎ ሊወሰድ ይችላል። ሽብርተኝነት ተጨባጭ ሀገራዊ አደጋ ነው።
    ቀያይ መስመሮቹም በትክክል ተሰምሯል። ይህንን ማክበርና ማስከበር የመንግስትም የተቃዋሞዎችም የጋራ መርህ ሊሆኑ ይገባል። ጋዜጠኞችም እነዚህ ቀያይ መስመሮች ሲተላለፉ ጋዜጠኛ መሆናቸው ያበቃል። ተቃዋሚዎችም የወንጀለኞች ጠበቃ መሆናቸውን አቁመው ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ሰላምና ደህንነት ተግተው እንደሚሰሩ ማሳየት
    አለባቸው። ወንጀለኛን ማጀገን ፖለቲካዊ ብስለትን አያሳይም። ተቃዋሚዎች የለዘብተኛ አሜሪካን ገበያ መር ስርዓት እንደሚናፍቁ ሁሉ የደህንነት ሰጋትዋንም መጋራት ይኖርባቸዋል። የሽብርተኛ አያያዝን በሚመለከት አሜሪካ ከኢትዮጵያ ስለመሻልዋ የሚያሳይ ምልክት የለም። ጋዜጠኝነት የመንግስት ፖሊሲዎችና አፈፃፀማቸው ከመተቸት አልፎ ህገ-መንግስትን የሚፃረርና አደጋ ላይ የሚጥል መናገርና መፃፍ አይፈቀድላቸውም። በሃገሪቱ የህግ መወሰኛ ምክር ቤት አሸባሪ ተብለው ከተለዩ ሃይሎች ጋር ምንም ዓይነት ግንኙነት እንዲኖራቸው አይፈቀድም። ይህንን የተከለከለ ነገር ባደረጉ ጊዜ የሀገሪቱ ህግ ከለላ ሊሆናቸው አይችልም። ህጉ እራሱን የመከላልከል ተፈጥሯዊ መብት አለውና ነው። አዲስ ፓርቲ ሚና ከማህበራዊ ሀላፊነት የዘለለ ተግባር ሊሆን እንደማይችልም እምነቱ ገልፀዋል። ሰማያዊ ፓርቲ ግን የተወካዮች ምክር
    ቤት የለያቸውን አሸባሪዎች አይቀበልም፤ህገ መንግስቱን አይቀበልም፤የሀገሪቱን ህጋዊ ሰንደቅ ዓላማ ማውለብለብ ሞቱ ነው።የፈደሬሽን
    ስርዓተ መንግስት አይቀበልም። ሰማያዊ ፓርቲ ሳዑዲ መራሹን የሃይማኖት ወረራ በሀገራችን ጥንታዊው የእስልምና ሃይማኖት ላይ የሚጀምርና
    እስላማዊ መንግስትን የመጨረሻ ግቡ ያደረገ ዘመቻ እንደከፈተብን ሊገባው የማይችል ከሆነ ወይም ፍላጎቱ ካነሰው ችግሩ የራሱ እንጂ የማንም አይደለም። ያደርጋቸው የነበሩ ሰልፎች በአብዛኛው ሙስሊሞች መሳተፋቸው ከዓላማው የሚመነጭ የተለየ እስላማዊ ጥቅም ስለነበረው ወይም ስላለው
    አይደለም። እውነት ለመናገር ሃይማኖታዊ መቻቻልን አጀንዳው አይደለም። ጉዳዩ ወዲህ ነው። መንግስትን ይጎዳሉ ብሎ በሚያስባቸው ጉዳዮች
    ላይ ዘሎ ይንጠለጠላል። ዋነኛ የዓላማው ስኬትም ከመንግስት ጋር ባለው ርቀት መጠን የሚለካ ነውጠኛ ሃይል ነው። ይህ ባህሪው ግን
    ከውስጣዊ ተፈጥሮው እንደማይመነጭ እምነቴ ነው። ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ከሚያቀርበው ተጨባጭ አማራጭ ይልቅ የዳያስፓራ ባልሟሎቹን ለማስደሰት
    የሚጨነቅየተውተበተብ ድርጅት ነው። ህገመንግስቱን የማይቀበል ሃይል
    የማስፈፀሚያ ህጎች ኢህገመንግስታዊ ስለመሆናቸው ለመስበክ የሚያበቃ ሞራላዊም ሆነ ህጋዊ መሰረት የለውም።

    2. እስክንድር ነጋን በሚመለከት

    ይህ ሰው በሚስቱ ባለቤትነትና
    በራሱ ኤዲተርነት በሚታተም ጋዜጣ ላይ በትግራይ ህዝብ ላይ ያነጣጠረና ከመቶ ሃምሳ ክፍሎች በላይ የያዘ ፅሑፍን “ወግድ ይሁዳ”
    በሚል ርዕስ ስር እንዲታተም የፈቀደና ሂትለር ለጨፈጨፋቸውን 6 ሚሊዮን አይሁዶች ተገቢ ምክንያት እንደነበረው የሚተነትነውን ሐሳብ ኢትዮጵያችን ውስጥ ባለመደገሙ ከመቆጨቱም በላይ መከናወን ያለበት የወደፊቱ ተልዕኮ እንደሆነ የተጋራ ሰው ነው። ይሁን እንጂ አሁን ለመታሰሩ የተጠቀሱትን ጉዶች እንደ ምክንያት አልተወሰዱም። ይልቁንስ ይህ ሰው የታሰረባቸው ወንጀሎች በአረቡ ስፕሪንግ ተበረታቶ በተደጋጋሚ ያወጃቸውን የአመፃ ጥሪዎችና ፅሑፎችን መሰረት ተደርጎ ነው። ፅሑፎቹን ፈልጎ ማንበብ የምንም ፖለቲካዊ አስተያየቶችን ለማራመድ የቆረጠ ሰው ተግባር ሊሆን ይገባል። መነሻዎቹን ሳይዙ ከሚዘለው ጋር መዝለል
    ግን የምክንያታዊ ሰው መገለጫዎች አይደሉም።

    3. የ 100 %ቱ ደብተራዊ የምርጫ ስንክሳር

    ሲጀመር ኢህአዴግን አንድ ወጥ ፓርቲ አድርጎ መመልከት የዋህነት ነው። ይህ የተዛባ አተያይ ፖለቲካዊ ኪሳራው የተገነዘበ ብቸኛ ፓርቲ ኢዴፓ ብቻ ነው። ቢሆንም በነውጠኛው የተቋዋሚ ጎራ በደረሰበት ተደጋጋሚ ምት በመዳከም ላይ ያለ ፓርቲ ሆኖ እናገኘዋለን። ኢህአዴግ የተለያዩ መሰረቶችና ፍላጎቶችን የሚወክሉ 4 የተለያዩ
    ፓርቲዎች ውሁድ ከመሆኑ የሚነሳ በውስጣቸው ከሚኖረው ዴሞክራሲያዊ እኩልነት ውጪ ስንዝር ሊጓዙ የሚችሉ አይደሉም። በመሃከላቸው እንዲኖር
    የሚፈለገው ሐሳባዊ ኢ-እኩልነት ህጋዊም ሆነ ታሪካዊ መሰረት የለውም። ስለዚህ ኢህአዴግ ራሱ የብዝሀነት ውጤትና ማሳያም ነው። ኢህአዴግ
    በኢትዮጵያ ሶማሌ፤በአፋር፤በጋምቤላ፤በቤንሻንጉል ጉሙዝ ና ሐረሪ(ከፊል)ክልሎች ተሳትፎ የለውም። ስለዚህ በነዚህ ቦታዎች ኢህአዴግ
    የምክር ቤት ወንበር ሊያሽንፍ አይችልም። ሌላው ሁሉ ትተን አዲስ አበባ ላይ ብንመለከት ፋንቲ ጋና እንዳቀረበው ኢህአዴግ 65 ከመቶ
    ምርጫዊ ድምፅ ሲያገኝ ተቃዋሚዎች በድምር 35 ከመቶ አግኝተዋል። ይህንን እውነት እንኳ ለመቀበል ያልተዘጋጀ ነውጠኛ የተቃዋሚ ሃይል
    ነው ያለን። በ1997 ዓ/ም የአዲስ አበባ የተወካዮችና የክልል ምክር ቤቶች ወንበሮች መቶ ከመቶ ሲያሸንፍ እኩለ ቀን ላይ ኢንጂኔር
    ሃይሉ ሻውል ለቢቢሲው ዘጋቢ ምርጫው ተስፋ እንደሌለው ሲገልፁ በ2002 ዓ/ም ምርጫ ላይም ተመሳሳይ ሃሳብ በሌሎቹ ኢንጂነሮች ሲገለፅ ነበር። ሲጠቃለል ነውጠኛው ተቋሚ ዋነኛ ግቡ ኢህአዴግን በፖሊሲ ቅመራና በአፈፃፀም ብቃት መገዳደር አይደለም። ይልቁንስ የገንዝብ ምንጩ በሆነው ጯሂው ዳያስፖራ ሳንባ የሚተነፍስና የሀገርን ዘላቂ ጥቅም ቁቡ ያልሆነ ከንቱ ስብስብ ነው። ኢትዮጵያውያን ለእንዲህ ዓይነቱ ስብስብ ድምፃቸውን ቢነፍጉ አያስገርምም። ኢህአዴግ ከነ ብዙ ችግሮቹ ኢትዮጵያ ከነበረችበት አዘቅት ለማውጣት እየተጋ ያለ ግንባር ነው። ከሱ የተሻለ ሃይል በተገኘ ጊዜ ግን የተሻለውን ሃይል ለመምረጥ ለኢትዮጵያውያን ነጋሪ አያሻቸውም።

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Yager Kurat TK,
      Just hearing your ‘voice’ would have been enough cause for celebration, but you came carrying a rare and beautiful gift too. I am speechless. I can only imagine Kim Hanna’s relief right this moment. Welcome back Brother!

    • Amde

      T. kifle

      To be honest with you I find this

      “ኢህአዴግ የተለያዩ መሰረቶችና ፍላጎቶችን የሚወክሉ 4 የተለያዩ
      ፓርቲዎች ውሁድ ከመሆኑ የሚነሳ በውስጣቸው ከሚኖረው ዴሞክራሲያዊ እኩልነት ውጪ ስንዝር ሊጓዙ የሚችሉ አይደሉም።”

      a shocking statement.

      Are you saying the EPRDF parties are nothing but a marriage of convenience?

      Amde

      • T. Kifle

        Hi Amde,
        I don’t know why you understood it the way you did but I was trying to underscore that EPRDF is made up of independent parties in which their umberella can properly function only when all of them interact democratically. In essense, it can be taken as a sign of diversity and a functioning democracy in itself albeit at its infancy.

        • Yoty Topy

          Hi T.Kifle,
          First, thanks for taking your time to bless us with your opinion.Having said that,I am still in the dark as to how the 100% victory made it to the headlines. Per my understanding from the Amb. G.Birru’s interview, EPRDF [ the four parties] won 501/547 , which puts it at 91% and the remaining were taken by , let’s say ‘friendly’ parties to EPRDF, which in itself is not uncommon practice in many parliamentary democracies. So, my question to you is; was this a breakdown of communication; a deliberately disfigured result by opposition groups; or EPRDF purposefully wanted to give the impression that it won 100%.

          How political groups/individuals hoard political power and maintain longevity is a great interest to me. For example, why Issayas Afwerki refused to release the two US embassy staff members which of course as we know it lead to excommunication, might seem unwise decision to the average person. I have also read some comments here that seem to take a note of bewilderment on whether it was worth it or not. While the decision came at the expense of the nation when it came to Issayas’ survival that was a must and crucial decision that would set a tone how any opposition would view him for the years to follow. Had he wavered on those two without a doubt there would have been many people who would have considered it a sign of weakness and mount a challenge. Iyssayas understands how absolute power is viewed by the masses, it’s revered! As a result, a decade and half later this government’s political grip , as was commented on this article is for a lack of better words ‘impressive.’

          I read an article as to what the logic behind the 100% victory announcement but was not really convincing so I keep on coming back to this question.My motive is of course not to blame them but to understand the rationale

          Thanks,

        • Amde

          Selam T. Kifle

          I get what you are trying to say. In essence, since the EPRDF itself is diverse, parliamentary diversity is redundant, so it doesn’t matter if it (the parliament) is not diverse. That is what you are trying to say.

          Now, when an OPDO candidate runs in Mekelle, we can realistically square the circle of intra-EPRDF diversity and parliamentary democracy as we know it. Until then, let’s just say EPRDF is a cartel of regional political monopolies. It is quite fair to see Ethiopia’s political system much like the Chinese or Vietnamese political systems. The “political system” operates within the party according to rules of the game not so obvious to those on the outside. The thing is that, however it works it has at least brought about some peace, and some economic progress. Not perfect, but a lot of commendable work at statecraft. As it is in Beijing, so it is in Hanoi and so it shall be in Shegger.

          I would like to imagine (silly me) that the relative peace and prosperity the country is enjoying is due to some kind of elite consensus, created due to no small measure in the EPRDF internal politics. You can understand then my surprise at your statement, characterizing the intra-EPRDF diversity so great that “sinzir enkua liguazu yemichilu aydelem”.

          Amde

    • saay7

      Hey T. Kifle:

      Welcome back. Here are some random notes on your posting.

      1. ለተወደዳችሁና ለተከበራችሁ ኢትዮጵያዊ ዓወታውያን: Let’s all let this phrase,ኢትዮጵያዊ ዓወታውያን, sink in. It is a good phrase. I like it because it applies to Abi and all Ethiopians who think that Eritrea was an Egyptian project. Abi is part of the ኢትዮጵያዊ ዓወታውያን set.

      2. The all purpose Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) or የፀረ ሽብር ህጉ

      You know, T.Kifle, here in the good-old-USA, whenever they try to make a POLITICAL point they create LAWS that are already covered by existing laws. One such example is “hate crime.” There are statues upon statues that criminalize an act but when they ALSO want to use that politically, the create an all encompassing new statue. It is what you guys call (Pay attention Abi) ሁለት ባላ ትካል ኣንዱ ሲሰበር ባንዱ ተንጠልጠል. Another good example, which was effective in destroying the mafia in the United States is RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization) Act. There is a reason why Kenya has been repeatedly victimized by Al-Shabab and Ethiopia hasn’t: it is thanks to your ATP. So two thumbs hight up for የህጉን ተገቢነት ጥያቄ ውስጥ ማስገባት ግን ሲበዛ የዋህነት…. But. But. But. Please also note that in the United States, the Obama IRS went after the Tea Party because they were political enemies. So, when you say የአፈፃፀም ችግር በዚሁ ህግ ላይብቻ የተወሰነ እንዳልሆነ ነው, that is small, tiny consolation to those who are victimized by it. The claim that if a journalist has ANY connection with a terrorist (including if he wants to interview him) makes him a terrorist suspect is also an overkill and (not Obama’s use of the IRS to go after the Tea Party) abuse of power.

      2. No comment on Eskinder Negga. I think that was a case where some inflamatory guy who was allowed to operate as a “journalist” for a long time was captured by the government NOT when he broke the law, but when it became POLITICALLY necessary to take action against him. Again, that is a case of politics trumping law. Well, I guess my “no comment” is a comment.

      3. I get that the EPRDF is an amalgamation of 4 parties. I get that they have their independent congresses and elected their leaders independently and I get that they have “fellow-travelers” who are not EPRDF members. BUT. BUT. BUT. The end result of the 2015 elections were that, 24 years after the EPRDF came to power, the seats of the Ethiopian legislative arm is made up of 100% EPRDF and EPRDF-allied politicians. You can blame the opposition for that; you can blame the press for that; you can blame the stars and your fortunes for that but RESPONSIBILITY demands that you acknowledge that the political infrastructure that Ethiopia has created does not allow for someone who has a vision very different from that of EPRDF and its allied parties to be in a position of power to legislate.

      saay

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Merhaba Saay,

        Just a clarification from you, why are the parties who participate in the election or electoral process other than EPRDF are being called as an allied politicians? If they are allied to EPRDF what makes them not to be part or members of EPRDF? If they compete against EPRDF members, then what makes them an allied of EPRDF? Or is that, the all familiar normal political characterization we hear in any political process of any country for that matter? Just give me some clarity of it.

        Regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Amde

          Selam Ato Amanuel,

          I actually don’t know what constitutes an ally but not good enough to be a member. Anyway, the “allies” did not compete against EPRDF (or EPRDF did not compete against them) because EPRDF does not have parties in those regions. Everywhere EPRDF directly competed, it won. Where it did not compete, its allies won.

          Amde

          • Yoty Topy

            Amde,

            They are being groomed:)

          • Amde

            Yoty,

            Indeed they are, but 20+ years? It’s bizarre.

          • Abi

            Amde, Yoty,
            They are asymptote. In Amharic ” yiTege ayneke”

          • Amde

            Abi,

            Haha indeed. You reminded me of a phrase I hadn’t heard for a long time. yiTege ayneke indeed. any moment now…..

          • Abi

            Amde
            We used that term at AAU to those guys who always get “F” in the dating classes.

          • Amde

            Abi

            inekalehu b’ye l’Tega btega
            amlTa wedeqec ke Cole mengaga

          • Yoty Topy

            Amde,

            Really?I didn’t know. I am kinda Jonny come lately and this is the first time I am coming across this “friendly parties’ shenanigans 🙂

            But on the plus side, they will make a delicious “yeseba freda”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Amde,

            If the parties are winning in the regions where EPRDF doesn’t have its members to compete, how do we call to these parties an allied of EPRDF. Whatever the political process it is, and however it works, the word “allied” doesn’t look a proper characterization. In fact the political word “allied” snugly fits to the four parties that form an alliance under the umbrella name EPRDF. So Either the umbrella EPRDF is extended to include other new parties or these parties are independent winning in their regions without becoming EPRDF. You see Amde I am just arguing on the concept of the word “allied” not on the political process.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Amde

            Selam Ato Amanuel,

            EPRDF calls them allies. Why EPRDF doesn’t extend the umbrella is the mystery.

            There are national parties that mount national campaigns. EPRDF is not a national party. It doesn’t mount national campaigns. It mounts regional campaigns.

            There is in fact no party called EPRDF. You cannot join EPRDF. You can only join one of its member parties.

            Amde

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Amde,
            If You can only be allowed to join the member parties of EPRDF, can we call them the normal and formal way of calling –
            EPRDF as the ruling coalition parties?

            regards ,

          • Amde

            Hi Ato Amanuel,

            I don’t know if the designation of “ruling coalition” as understood in western democracies quite applies.

            It is in essence a tactical arrangement, based on a minimal set of agreed upon actions they can perform while in office. Otherwise they are very different and distinct entities. As you know, the British just ended a five year LibDem and Conservative coalition. The current German government is a coalition of Social Democrats and Christian Democrats, who otherwise are always opposed to each other on so many different issues. I know of no one who can tell me what the principle and policy differences are between TPLF and OPDO.

            Many of the Ethiopian opposition parties have been forming coalitions and fronts for pretty much all the elections. I don’t think it makes a difference. We are not at a point where elections matter.

            Amde

        • saay7

          Emma Arkey:

          You sure you want to ask ME? You know I am going to give you the most cynical answer possible. Compare my answer with that T.Kifle is going to give you and then create a weighted average answer.

          My answer always begins with Genesis “In the beginning…” 🙂 In the beginning was TPLF in Tigray. Then came other Ethiopians also opposed to Mengistu. Eventually ANDM showed up in Tigray and TPLF said, nah, we got this province covered, why don’t you go liberate some Amara zone. We liberate ours and you liberate yours. From that the EPRDF model was created which I am sure has a nice name in the dictionary of Revolutionary Democracies but in my dictionary is it is call Ethnic Monopoly. TPLF gets Tigray; ANDM gets Amara; OPDO gets Oromo (let’s have a moment of silence for OLF); and the Southern Peoples Nations nationalities get SEPDM. These make up the EPRDF: a coalition of Ethnic One Party States. Then in those areas where EPRDF has no presence (like Ogaden, sorry, I mean Somali kilil), it agrees not to field its candidates and some other Ethnic Monopoly One State Party dominates it and it caucuses with the EPRDF in the parliament. These include Afar National Democratic Party, Harari National League, Ethiopian Somali Democratic Party, Gambella Peoples’ Unity Democratic Movement and Benshangul-Gumuz Peoples’ Democratic Party.

          Hope this clarifies things? It is like the socialists in the US Congress (like Bernie Sanders) caucusing and voting with the Democrats. Here it is based on ideology; in Ethiopia it is based on Ethnic Monopoly Party:) Now wait for T.Kifle to spin it, blow dry it and put nice make up on it.

          saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Except Bernie Sanders CAN come out and ridicule Democrats, vote against them if he doesn’t agree with them. In the case of these so called “agar” parties, whenever EPRDF asks them to jump the only answer they must give is how high 🙂 or else….

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            Tru dat. In fact Bernie is running against their anointed princess (seyoume Democrats) Hillary Clinton:)

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            haha seyoume democrats i like that.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Saay,

            You are scaring by Hillary Clinton. Because she is the only formidable candidate from the democrats that blocks the salivating republicans from sitting in the white house. Don’t worry she will win the democratic nomination for the general national election. The democrats as they made history in affirming the first black president, they are ready to make history by putting the first woman president in the white house.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            Why are you trying to drag me to a subject I have retired from, the obsence two-party state of the US of A? So you are a fan of Seyoume Democrats Its My Turn Now Hillary Clinton? Really?

            Ok, the Republicans (I am a libertarian, don’t lump me with those guys:) are really good at campaigning and they have this all polished and ready to play this video 1,000,000, 000 times:) It sounds tasteless then; it sounds positively idiotic now.

            https://youtu.be/Fgcd1ghag5Y

            And what’s with all this “first black”, “first woman”? Jon Stewart had a definition of Trump being the “first openly A-hole” presidential candidate. This is a family website site, be warned, this has strong language ( that’s to say the average 13 year old uses it) but it is quite insightful:

            https://youtu.be/IxD0FxGcH7g

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            Though Amde has already given me the answer as to why you are calling them allies (EPRDF called them allies), I was strictly focusing on the concept “allied” rather on the political process. I have a clear understanding on how EPRDF is formed on the late 80s. I am glad awate.com also become the forum of Ethiopians to debate on their political process. While they are debating on their issue, if we would debate on our issue could have been fruitful for both of us, unless the political debate defuse into a wider issue like “cooperation and economic development.”

            Regards,
            Amanuelk Hidrat

          • saay7

            Ahlen Emma:

            I am most proud that awate.com is (one of) the only place (s) where Eritreans and Ethiopians have civil discourse about issues important to Eritrea, Ethiopia and their huge overlapping circle. The vision is to bring in the Sudanese, Somalis and Djiboutians and then we will have a Horny website. I mean Horn-phalic website. I mean never mind.

            What I am most excited about is that my Eritreans & Ethiopians For Civil Liberties party has increased its membership by 1: Addis has joined us. I am embarrassed to say what his membership means in terms of percentage increase. We are gunning after the Eritreans & Ethiopians for Common Habesha Identity*; and the Eritreans Unconditionally Agreeing With EPRDF party and the Eritreans Who Say What Goes Inside In Ethiopia Is None Of Our Business party:)

            saay

            *Addis, you are not going to say, “well, I also belong to that party”, are you?

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,
            You got some jokes 🙂 horny, horn-phalic. good one.

            For the common Habesha Identity, well let’s just say we are more diverse than that. Which is a good thing by the way 🙂

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Abi

            Saay
            I’m sure by now you know how much I despise ethnic politics. It is stupid. What year is it in ethiopian calendar? I bet you a joke it is already 16th century.
            I have my own characterization of those EPRDF affiliated party things based on the advanced ethnic politics.
            Think of them as private contractors working for you.You are not responsible for payroll, health insurance, workers compensation, 401K , etc, etc. they are not your liability at all . You hire them by project, if they perform well, you extend their contract, if not, hire a new one.
            I don’t know if you can outsource them. Any idea?
            I hate politics. I hate ethnic politics even more. It is backward.

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Nicely done. But, I think your philosophy has a qualifier “I hate ethnics BUT dabo kametulign mnm aylm”. You are a Dabo Now, Civil Liberties Later kinda guy. Addis and I are reviewing your application and we will need assurances to admit you to nascent Civil Liberties Now, Dabo Now party.

            I wish your analogy of the Ethno Parties were accurate. If they are my contractors and subcontractors I can fire them. But these guys distribute fertilizers to farmers; licenses to businessmen; jobs to the unemployed; land to the landless…so they are my benefactors. I rely on them (and now I am excercising my identity of birth, Ethiopian:) for my livelihood. It’s the welfare state on steroids. It’s a respectable warlord system where everyone warlord agreed to stay put in his Terrirory but within his Terrirory excercise absolute power. By the way, in the 2015 elections, how did the TPLF do in the regional elections? Was it 99% or 100%? And was this news published in the 1 newspaper?:)))

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            Ok! Ok! Ok!
            Dabo now !
            Civil liberties now!
            Ethnic politics never!
            Ethiopia forever !
            Peace kewenzu bashager!
            I need a tutorial in separating Civil Liberties from Democracy.
            My hope is eventually we will have a formidable middle class that avoids ethnic politics and demand a full fledged democratic system. It takes time.
            Right now we are at 0% ! Obama won by saying ” we are 1%”.
            You see we are close.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Abi,

            There is no civil liberties without democracy. Civil liberties are the ideal of democracy in itself. in fact it is one of the pillars of democracy. Civil liberties can’t stand by itself without the broad strategy of democratic ideals. Therefore there is no tutorial for separating them, and anyone who attempts to do that will be someone who doesn’t know the inter-dependency and inter-relationship of civil liberties and democracy.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Abi

            Kemey Ato Amanuel
            Thank you . That is helpful at the same time hopeless in our situation. I’m back to dabo now democracy later. ( Saay, don’t look at me. BilT eyebela yaleqsal , mogn eyerabew yizefnal)
            The above proverb is patented. You need my permission to use it.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Abi

            Keep and hold the ” dabo now democracy later “. At least Ethiopia is doing good strides On the Economy and business side. My country has neither dabo nor democracy. Definitely Ethiopia has good fertile ground for democracy. It will happen. The Political infrastructure is there, it is a matter of implementation as far as the Peaceful transformation are taken without hampering the progress so far achieved.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Abi:

            Beqa? Last offer? Even with merqlign?

            Hope you are enjoying your dabo because the democracy side is stagnant and regressing. Lots of people have rightly mocked EPRDFs and its allies winning 100% of the seats at the federal level. What hasn’t been ridiculed is how at the regional (province/zoba/killil) level it’s just as bad.

            Yesterday I asked I wondered what the election results were from each region? (I may or may not have read the results already and My plan to get a spinning

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            PS: let me interrupt your dabo time: Forgot the attachment

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            I don’t get it. What’s your complaint? This is the most clean un-messy democratic practice…

            For example for federal parliament Harar got 2 seats one went to OPDO the other went to HNL in the same manner in Harar regional council, there are 36 seates 18 went to OPDO and 18 went to HNL. The voters are so wise they just split their votes in EXACTLY half, when they voted for their representatives for federal and regional councils… Shouldn’t you appreciate that, instead of mocking it? Tsk tsk tsk tsk….

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Eyobay,

            Could you please explain to me what “affiliate parties” means in the Ethiopian political lexicon? I read in the report “EPRDF affiliate parties” referring to those parties which are not in the “coalition parties” that form the EPRDF.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Eyob Medhane

            Aman,

            Affiliate parties are parties that have similar in some cases identical political programs with EPRDF, but NOT members of EPRDF. EPRDF is only a coalition of four parties TPLF, ANDM, OPDO, SPDM…any other party that is friendly to these four parties or in general EPRDF is called an affiliate party. These parties are largely regional and leave national issues for EPRDF, which is the governing party. In turn EPRDF leaves the affairs of the regions they administer largely to them. They of course have the federal guide line they have to follow, but other than that they have an almost full autonomy in administering their regions. GPDM (Gambela) ESPDP (Ethiopian Somali) APDP (Afar) HNL (Harar) BPDM (Benishangul) are major affiliated parties. They are also administrators of their own regions. For further explanation, Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom explains it better in his interview with Christian Amanpour, and specifically, when he was asked the 100% results, he mentioned about the affiliated or friendly parties. Start watching at 4:45 minute to listen to that, if you don’t want to listen the whole 10 minutes interview…

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bwOo52Pb7PU

          • Abi

            Eyobe
            I almost forgot you. Aren’t these affiliate parties created by EPRDF ? What prohibit them from becoming members?
            “Kegemu ayqer qirnit new.” This is what makes me sick. I hate to be cheated.
            EPRDF won80% , it’s affiliates won 20% . EPRDF and its children won 100%. Very cute.
            I wish there will be no election for the next 20 years. I see no point in it but cheap manipulation of numbers.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Abiye,

            Ante? Endet enen resicheh neber tilaleh…yiqir yibeleh, abo…

            These affiliated parties some of them are indeed were created or at least nudged to be organized by EPRDF. Some of them (Afar and Somali in particular) have merged with formerly opposition parties with a wing that was organized by EPRDF. Some of them (Benishangul and Gambela) had a nascent existence, before EPRDF had reached out to them and bolster them. The reason why I believe that they are not becoming part of EPRDF is 1) they largely focus on the region they come from or govern. 2) They also have a whole lot more independence as their own entity than the four highly organized and rich in membership four parties of EPRDF (TPLF, ANDM, OPDO, SPDM. If they become a members of EPRDF, because of lack of capacity, they would completely be dominated by the four giants and lose their autonomy that they are enjoying now in their respective regions. 3) Because of at times conflicting regional interest they may have at times (though rarely) they show difference and crack with EPRDF policies, as EPRDF has more of national character than regional one. Hence, as a compromise, they leave national issues to EPRDF, unless some of their officials are elevated to federal level by appointment. And usually these officials that are chosen to be appointed to the national levels are highly educated, they end up to be just technocrats. (The Ethiopian Somali deputy finance minister Ahmed Shede)…I hope I answered your question.

            I really, really demand you listen to this VOA Amharic interview of Tedros Adhanom…please give it just half an hour..You will know everything about it..It’s really good..please Abi listen to it..

            http://m.amharic.voanews.com/a/ethiopian-foreing-minister-tedros-adhanom-on-obama-visit-to-ethiopia/2884403.html

          • Abi

            Eyobe nefs neger!
            since I love you so much I do not lie to you . I will not listen to that interview. What is he going to tell me ? That these parties are independent from their creator?
            You and I know how they were created.
            Eyobe, ene bebekule democracy moto hazen teqemchalehu. Bira yizeh kech bel.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hey Abisha,
            You have been had by the Dergistamonte political machines. Most of these organizations already existed during the formation of EPRDF Abisha. Almost all of them had two or more factions usually divided by extreme political outlook. Those divisions centered around forming a united federation or secession. EPRDF worked tirelessly to help organize and reorganize those parties who seemed more representative of the people’s wishes and beliefs. In doing so EPRDF brought sanity to a country that was in the verge of collapse. So, bihon bihon you should join the good guys alebelzia stay with the current fashion “Ethiopia wusT democracy bilo neger yelem.”

          • Abi

            Fantisha
            Is this another one of your bedtime stories. Sorry, it is forwarded to Abi not Tes.
            Why does EPRDF worked tirelessly to help these parties organize and reorganize themselves? Why should it be it’s business to organize other parties?
            Most importantly, when was ethiopia in the verge of collapse?
            It’s all EPRDF ‘s creation to appear it is the one and only that can save ethiopia.
            Fanti, EPRDF was busy creating parties on its images . All those parties breathe using EPRDF lungs, think using EPRDF brain. They are called” teleTafi drjitoch “.
            I have witnessed the drama unfolding. I have lived it. EPRDF removed all the original parties from the parliament and replaced them by its creations ( beAmsalu yefeTerachew).
            Fanti, I blieve that there is no democracy in ethiopia. I’m ok with it . It doesn’t bother me for the time being. I blieve in reality. I don’t live in a Fantasy world.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abi,
            ante, sile fikregnah Yalemkew lebalebetih yemtnegr mogno! ahun Ethiopian politics 99 litaTsefegn naw. I will write you a summary when I get home tonight. Had I seen what Eyob wrote above I wouldn’t have said anything, and I would have had a peaceful weekend. ahun silante sasib liwul naw!
            yaltadelech nebs.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Organization
            Created
            Goal

            OLF
            1973
            Secessionist

            OPDO
            1982
            Nationalist

            Afar
            Liberation Front
            1975
            Nationalist (Conservative)

            ANLM
            (heavly Dergista)
            1976
            Nationalist

            ALF +
            ANLF + APDO + ARDUF + ANDM = ANDP
            1999 – 2000
            Nationalist

            ONLF
            1984
            Secessionist

            ONLF +
            WSDL = SPDP
            1998
            Nationalist

            GLF –
            GPLM
            1979
            Secessionist

            GPDUP

            Nationalist

            EPRP
            1974
            Nationalist

            EPDM

            1982
            Nationalist

            EPDM + TPLF = EPDRF

            1989
            Nationalist

            EPDM changed its
            name to ANDM

            1994
            Nationalist

          • Abi

            Fantisha
            the ” like minded organizations ” is the key here.
            Of course most of them are like minded since they are either created by the anointed EPRDF or arranged and rearranged, to fit into EPRDF program.
            It is like ” build to suit ” kind of thing.
            So many Democratic Organizations working against democracy.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Good morning Abi,
            Okay Abisha, you win. Keeping the score: Abi = 2, Fanti = 0.
            There is a good chance I will win the next round though.

          • Abi

            Fantisha
            Can I trade the two wins with “that”?
            You are a ” loving ” person.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abi,
            anten kalasdesete min trgum alew? ante kelelehibet EPRDF lemin gedel aygebam. To show you my commitment to our friendship above everything else I here by accept your trade ins!

          • saay7

            Hey eyobai:

            Well played, u spinner u. U picked the one exception where the cartel broke the Terrirory (I wonder what the criteria used was, said nobody:)

            I noticed u didn’t mention all the other regions (except Harar), where one party won 100% of the regional seats. You know how in sports news when they are trying to tell you Team A defeated Team B and they use every synonym they have (trounced, defeated, over, won…)? Well here the poor reporter was trying to come with a replacement for the word ALL and he just couldn’t.

            Abi, you were asking what civil liberties are. Here are some examples and how countries without effective opposition or press view them

            “This dabo is stale and not edible” – endangering national unity
            “This government gets its machinery from China. It should get it from Dubai” – terrorism suspect
            “This government has no idea how to make dabo; all it knows is Hmbasha” – instigating hatred (Rwanda!)

            “I could remember when bread tastes so good in the 1980s” – Mengistu lover!
            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            ” we should stop eating dabo , instead everybody eats Hibist.”- now you talking! ( Fantacy)

          • Abi

            Saay
            Mognihn felig
            Daboyen salgemT Awaten alayim. Awate is dessert . Like these meto bemetowoch.
            I grew up in a family where dinner is always a three course meal
            Prayer , injera, joke.
            My grandpa used to say” esti chewata amTu”.
            Saay, Harari is sequenta , sequenta. I think the vote was not counted at mircha board.
            To be serious for a change, I expect EPRDF to win the next 3-4 elections comfortably. There is no doubt in my mind they won big time. The people are with them. I support my government in most cases. They are doing miracles. Dabo? No problem! The future is even better. I have never been optimistic like this before.
            My problem is I expect them to respect the people back. To tell the people they won 100% all over the country is showing disrespect to the people.
            It is kind of ” yemtameTutin enayalen!”

            Saay, I used to trade my difo dabo with ambasha and hibist.

          • Binieam

            Hi Abi

            The high level of optimism among Ethiopians about their economic future and that of their children might explain why EPRDF won at such a level. According to this article Ethiopia is in the top 5 of “The World’s Most Optimistic People”.

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-23/the-world-s-most-optimistic-people-live-in-africa

          • Abi

            Hi Bini
            Thanks for the link. Optimism is in the air. The people have said it they want EFRDF. I vote for eprdf. I want them to stay and continue the fight against poverty with no disruptions at all. I’m with you on this meto bemeto.

          • Hayat Adem

            Abi, Yene Geta*,
            “I hate politics. I hate ethnic politics even more. It is backward.” There are three sentences here pointing to one message. If permitted, I would rewrite them as: “Ethnic politics is backward” and then I would tag my own phrase to it: “I agree!”

            To state that you hate politics is a politics. To state that you hate ethnic politics is an ethnic politics. It is the same mirror in reverse.
            —————-
            *That is my attempt of paying back for your “emebete” and for the private dreams about me. Remember, you don’t have to report dreams to spouses unless waterboarded.

          • Abi

            Hayat
            Yene geta alechign eyulign echin sew
            Arfo yetegna liben dagim litaqoslew
            Hayat yene emebet eriqesh yaleshiw
            Tefteshbign new behilme yemeTashiw.

            Hayat, there are two questions I never ask when I meet someone. Ethnicity and Religion. I care less. You can’t choose your ethnicity and you can’t change it if you don’t want it. So, it is backward to form a party on ethnic basis. It is by definition not inclusive. I hope in the future democratic ethiopia ethnic parties should be prohibited.

    • tes

      Dear T.Kifle and Fanti Ghana,

      I have no idea what Ethiopian internal politics looks like. I am promising myself to read more once I finish my study. Saying that, EPRDF should build the political infrastructure of Ethiopia within the next 5 years so that at least reasonable but powerful competitors to emergy with a seat of not less than 25%. If not, Ethiopia will go on developing at national level(which I am sure about) but poverty at individual level will create unsatisfaction which might later produce a state of robery and crimes (just for the sake of making money).

      Having an opponent helps things to grow naturally. Friction is good always and EPRDF should put his motto as such. Sometimes friendship becomes boring as time passes. Not because the friendship got sour but that is a natural law. Ethiopia is huge country with huge challenges. So far, I happy to see Ethiooi

      • saay7

        Tes:

        Back to reality. Translate this for us. All I heard is dictator, minuscule, paranoid and Eritrea.

        https://www.wat.tv/embedframe/113114nIc0K1112522485

        saay

        • haileTG

          Hey saay,

          That is now a big favor from brother tes, because Fanti has recently raised the bar of standards for translation (wink wink)…go tes:)

          • saay7

            Hey Haile TG:

            And this one for SGJ. The first time Yemane Gebreab admits that 2,000 Eritreans leave Eritreans every month.

            http://youtu.be/BjPdGnS8W-c

            saay

          • Bayan Nagash

            Selam Sal,

            The part of the conversation that reference related to the 2K Eritreans leaving the country a month is worth re-sharing and perhaps providing a summary of the encounter.

            At first, Yemane attempts to universalize it by saying that it is not just from
            Eritrea and that migration is global issue. Then, when the interviewer presses the subject gently, Yemane admits the 2K, and immediately attempts to undermine the number. And the interviewer gives a quick calculation and gives him back it back at him what that amounts to in a year, and humorously adding suggests that that is a huge number, “mashallah”, which leaves Yemane to a lighthearted moment and genuine laughter that that he was clearly not expecting, akin to so Susan Rice on the 100% vote about Ethiopian election.

            At any rate, that in turn leads to conspiracy theory about how that could be intentional on the regime’s part so it may in turn collect its 2% from Eritreans in exile, which Yemane earlier in the interview had acknowledged of such a collection. Using the visual aid to illustrate the part here:

            https://youtu.be/BjPdGnS8W-c?t=974

          • haileTG

            Hey saay,

            That was the problem with the regime’s latest call for UN investigation of serious migration crisis, the day after YG told John Snow that more than half of the migrants attributed to Eritrea weren’t Eritreans! The fact that consistency means nothing to the regime now is consistent with Kiros Asfaha’s observation to radio Erena that he use to oppose even in Eritrea because the regime doesn’t have time to notice such things any more. They are, Kiros observed, in wura wura mode:-)

          • saay7

            Hey Haile:

            What was the number quoted by the CoIE for the number of Eritrean immigrants that the PFDJ and its satellites were saying includes mostly Ethiopians? Wasn’t it 43,000 in 2014? So, what YG has done is just discounted it by 50% and said 1 of every 2 migrants who seek asylum and claim they are Eritreans are INDEED Eritreans. What is odd is not that he gave this number, but they go to interviews expecting not to be even asked the question. I think you pointed out that 25 years of not having a national assembly that debates issues has atrophied their brain; well, 25 years of nothing having an adversarial press ill-prepares them to face and answer straight-forward questions. Moreover, because they are so used to a no-time-limit seminar, they are incapable of giving crisp answers. There was a part in the interview where the interviewer asks Yemane Eritrea’s position on Yemen:

            Q: Do you support the Saudi Alliance?
            A: No
            Q: So you support the Houthis?
            A: No
            Q: So you are neutral?
            A: Not exactly

            The correct answer, it turns out, is something about the United States changing its international policy.

            saay

        • tes

          Dear saay7,

          Why you did this to me? Anyway, let me try it.

          Many of the immigrants come an an east African country.

          many humanitarian organizations consider this small country headed by a dictator for 21 years as wild and paranoid.

          -These are Eritreans who are afraid of the camera [not to expose themselves]. They came out from the grievances of the totalitarian regime but continued to live in FEAR. Each time they ask [not be recorded] as the dictator will keep their family instead.

          -My brother was in prison and probably my parents too. I don’t have any news.

          – In each house, evey family member is registered. If someone is missed, they put the whole family in prison.

          -Eritrea, a minuscule (tiny) dictatorial state in the horn of Africa

          – The system [network] of surveillance extends even if they reach here in Paris. These young people are spied by supporters of the regime.

          – I don’t have confidence on [what will happen] to my family, my wife, my mother, my father.

          -We are not leaving the country because we are hungry[economic reason] but to search freedom.

          -In that country, there is no good image [news]. There are no independent journalists, humanitarian activists [organizations].

          -The UN used a satellite image to locate prison centers where prisnoners are tortured.

          -In Eritrea, the dictator has put unlimited military service. At 18, men and women, are obliged to wear uniforms. They work in campaigns, state agriculture and no one knows when they will released.

          -A man who left the dictatorial regime opened an independent radio in Paris broadcasting through satellite.

          ———-
          Then it is English
          ———-

          – Soldiers guard borders for not allowing people to leave the country. When they leave, the travel all along the sahara and cross the mediteranean sea.

          -Yet they did not finish with the dictator.

          -In Paris, the ambassador of Eritrea collects 2%income tax from them.

          ——–
          Very rough translation and I hope you will get the gist of the report by now.
          ——–

          any remark with square bracket is added to for clarrification.

          tes

          • haileTG

            tes,

            That was excellent! ወዲ ነብሪ ልኢኽካ’ስ ድቅስ ሕደር፡ አዩ። Translation standards have now taken their own class at AT:-)

            Regards

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hey Prof. tes,
            I here by, willingly and happily, pass my translation trophy to you sir.

          • tes

            Dear Fanti Ghana,

            I know how short skilled I am in translation work. In addition, I am very elementary to the French language (since July 2013, exactly now 2 yrs since I first started to learn it and as you can see I use English on daily bases) hence I could be very happy to accept but I will only be greedy. Therefore, I am incapable of having any trophy and especially when someone with extraordinary skills and wisdom has it already.

            Saying that your compliments are very rewarding. I thank you sir.

            @haile TG, I humbly thank you though what I did is just a trial. It is my first time to do that though I have to read lots of French scientific documents for my study and work purpose.

            tes

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Prof. Tes,

        Long time ago in a country far far away, there was a wild alien animal called Dergi. It killed and ate people. It breathed fire, and it burned many houses too. A few brave men and women of that country and their neighbors chased and killed it. But the problem was, before it died, it was pregnant. The few brave men and women of that country did not kill the baby Dergies because they looked innocent. Most of them grew up and learned to eat grass and leaves, and they did not eat people. Everyone was happy. However, some of the baby Dergies inherited their mother’s bad personality and they started to eat people. So, the few brave men and women of that country started to hunt them down again.

        The bad baby Dergies are tricky. They know the country, because they were born there. They hid very well. They also change their shape and look like human beings sometimes. But the few brave men and women of that country are tricky too. Instead of going all over the country looking for the bad baby Dergies they decided to wait by the river. Every time those bad bad baby Dergies come to drink water, the few brave men and women of that country grab them and put them in cages until they learn to eat grass and leaves. Some day, these bad baby Dergies will all learn to eat grass and leaves and everyone will live happily ever after.
        Tomorrow my friend Abi will read more stories for you.
        Good night!

        • saay7

          Selamat His Fantiness:

          I have been directed by Mahmoudays Truth Bound Society (TBS) that the following sentence requires additional scrutiny:

          “A few brave men and women of that country and their neighbors chased and killed it.”

          This is like saying Derg battlefields also include Eritrea. And Mission Impossible also stars Tom Cruise 🙂

          And is everyone opposed to EPRDF a Derg remnant? In the Ethiopian debates, one of the opposition guys mildly praised a Derg policy and the Bee came out stinging to remind people how awful Derg was and the Oppo dude (I don’t know if he was from the Begg or Fiyel party Abi) said, hey, don’t lecture me about the cruelty of Mengistu: I spent some time in his prison.It didn’t have the desired dramatic impact because apparently there are no tailors in Addis and everyone wears 3 size extra suits.

          saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            I remember that debate where one of the opposition candidate praised how Mengistu loves his country and its sovereignty. Now for any sane person that’s clearly not how you show your love for a country by butchering its people. But this guy in a very silly political move wanted to make a point that even Mengistu tried to keep the territorial integrity of the country in effect accusing EPRDF of not doing the same, if I remembered correctly. Now I also remember that after some backlash from the EPRDF candidates he tried to clarify by saying that Mengistu killed(or arrested?) his brother and he knows what Mengistu is all about doesn’t support him.

            One of the most popular speeches by Meles was his speech on the then OAU to keep the newly formed AU headquarter in Addis. He said to the tune of and I am paraphrasing ” who supported Mugabe in fight against rudisha? Mengistu….internal butcher …. but committed to Africa’s unity just like Haile Selassie…”

            Now compare these two speeches, though one is less significant than the other and on different topics, they are giving credit to Mengistu.

            I understand in a political debate showing even a little praise to a butcher is by itself suicidal and the guy deserves all what he gets in that political arena. But just with that statement can we lump this guy as a “Derg Nafaki” ? I don’t think so in my opinion. And that’s what you see in our political discourse. Forget about mentioning Derg or Mengistu, I said freedom of speech, rule of law, free press…and all of a sudden I was accused of yedero mengist nafaki as if those are the pillars of those past rulers.

            Substance matters, blanket statements don’t result in open and honest discussions.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            What I think happened is the EPRDF allowed televised political debates to buy some legitimacy but, because there is no reliable polling in Ethiopia, it went into total panic thinking the opposition were making some headway particularly when they kept talking about EPRDFs Achilles Heel: Asab Asab Asab Asab Asab. Panic in Addis

            Interlude: here’s David Bowie and Panic In Detroit

            http://youtu.be/QPI0PF8VWAM

            Saay

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Addis,
            .
            I am not a fan of Derg or Mengistu. However, I have to acknowledge the very important national service they accomplished. It was Mengistu and Derg that repelled the Somalia invasion once and for all. Haile Selassie could not have done it, he was too close to U.S and the Russians and the Cubans would have relished helping Somalia against Ethiopia. My conjecture.
            .
            Mengistu and the Derg nationalized all land by force when needed. They prepared the ground and left everything to EPRDF.
            I wonder what would have happened, if EPRDF is the one who came up with the land nationalization proclamation scheme.
            .
            K.H

          • አዲስ

            Hi Kim,

            In our power by the barrel of a gun politics, who ever comes before you is an enemy and everything they did no matter what will be vilified.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Amde

            Selam KimHanna,

            Good observation. The policy trajectory of the Ethiopian Student Movement (ESM) from the HaileSellasie years to today can be explained as the Derg years being the first part (dealing with the issue of land) and the EPRDF is the second part (dealing with the issue of ethnicity).

            I understand why the leftist and ethnic movements would have a problem with the leftist and nationalist derg, but I still don’t fully understand why the leftist and nationalist EPRP would otherwise have a problem with the Derg. (I suspect for civilians, “dictatorship of the proletariat” whether Derg headed or a civilian party headed would not have meant much difference). This is all academic of course. Once blood was spilled, the logic of revenge and survival etc takes over. And the side with the kind of resource access that running a state allows, can be predicted to do most of the blood-spilling.

            Large Soviet and Chinese famine deaths were results of the land policy changes. China’s Great Leap Forward is said to be responsible for @40Million deaths, whereas the soviet one is estimated to be 7million. Were these death necessary to implement the land reform? Was that kind of land reform necessary to allow the start of industrialization?

            Having said that, I don’t think most of the deaths in Ethiopia were related to the land policies. The 1984 famine deaths happened almost 10 years after the land reform. Most of the deaths happened during the Red Terror in the 78 – 80 period. And of course the insurgency and counter-insurgency wars continuously through the years. The land reform was quite popular especially in the South, and the side who lost really did not have much power to fight it.

            Did that mean the country would have survived both the land reform and ethnic agenda at the same time? That is questionable.

            Amde

          • Binieam

            Hi Addis

            It is a disservice to that great speech to post it without
            its entirety.

            “Who trained Mandela? … Emperor Haile Selassie the reactionary trained Mandela the revolutionary… Mandela was trained in Ethiopia. Who supported Mugabe in his fight against Rhodesia? … Mengistu …Internally Mengistu was a butcher, but on the issue of Africa Mengistu was as solid as Haile Selassie
            was. … Ethiopia’s commitment to Africa has not varied with governments. … You could have Emperor Haile Selassie and you can have Mengistu and you can have a different government, it didn’t matter.”

          • አዲስ

            Hi Binieam,

            ha? disservice? I paraphrased the relevant part for my reply and that speech has been played over and over for quite sometime. Anyway good for you to do solid to the speech 🙂

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hey Saay,

            So, you like children’s books too? Me too. I was waiting for the spouse of my host in a house I was the guest. Out of boredom I reached for a book from a shelf next to where I was sitting. It was a book meant for 5th – 7th graders, but it didn’t matter, and I got my fix. One chapter’s header grabbed my attention, and I kept reading. I couldn’t stop until I found out how the story was to end. I kept reading. There were only two characters in the whole story. I brother and a sister. The sister is the younger of the two, and she is also the smartest. The brother loves and cares about his sister, and he always try to teach her everything that he knows. Toward the end of their story, they were by the beach, the clever sister asked her brother if all those animals in the ocean were fish. Her brother, the humble that he is, answers ‘Nancy, what else could they be; aren’t they in the ocean?

            Brother Saay, it is extremely tempting to say yes, but ‘may be not’ is safer. If you insist I will elaborate first thing in the morning.

        • tes

          Dear Fanti Ghana,

          Your analogy is very true and I believe that those who pretend to be human beings will stay as mercenaries. They do not care about humanity but their own ego.

          Dear Fanti, it is within the analgoy that you brought here(though I can’t say it the way you put it) I stood against Ginbot-7 and likes who are allying themselves with one of the most brutal regime in the world. Before, they were members of brutal regime and now are friends of the same regime. Likes attract each other when there is abnormality and that us what we see among the mercenaries.

          Nevertheless my take is a different one. Ethiopia is a resourceful but less institutionalized country with enormous diversity. It is within this diversity that Ethiopia will face a challenge. Among the top priority of such challenge is social harmony and building respect among the different sectors of the society. For economy, I think Ethiopia is doing good so far and there is no doubt for its boast.

          Therefore Ethiopian leaders should equally invest on creating a harmonized and well civilized society parallel to their economic prorgrams. If not, economy will rise but the society will lag behind and when there is mismatching, huge challenge will arise.

          tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            Really ? I blame Fanti for his bedtime story.
            Fanti, Egziabher yiyilh!

          • tes

            Dear Abi,

            In fact you were my spot candidate among the reminants of the Derge mercenaries. I just dropped to include your name thinking that you will for sure come in hurry and drop your usual remark.

            Dear Abi, to tell you the truth, we don’t want you at all. we are for a 100% divorce process with the old system servants.

            tes

          • Abi

            Tes
            I know you are chairman of the “weed them all campaign “in both sides of the river.
            You are novice. Go back and read Fanti ‘s bedtime story. I still blame him. It was written for kindergartens. It didn’t fall on deaf ears. Kudos.

          • tes

            Dear Abi,

            I will take that chairmanship without hesitation but first ask a permission from SGJ if he is willing to transfer his position. May be we can have an election campaign and if we do I am sure to win. You see, I strongly oppose any who works as a dictator or ally himself with dictators and my struggle is to weed those totalitarian regime reminants. Ginbot-7 has gone to North so that they will vanish like their Derge ancestors. Not even their body corp will be found from there. Eritreans will despise them and so does Ethiopians. And their leader, Dr. Nega Berhanu is a loser and leader of a terrorist group who could not excercise a democratic right inside his own home. Instead he had chosen to be a terrorist.

            tes

      • Yoty Topy

        Hi Tes,

        Let me respond to this statement;

        ‘I was sure about Melles’s double mind capability where his legacy is still striving but quite hesitant about PMHD.’

        I like Premier HD a lot. He is absolutely without a shred of doubt the right person at the right time.

        Meles definitely picked a very able candidate to take the mantle of leadership. I like him because he is even-tempered; leads by consensus and most importantly, he is truly the first civilian leader we have had in 40 years.

        It is rather very unfortunate that in our society such leadership quality isn’t a commodity that is highly sought over. We love leaders that beat us, slap us , and spit on us. In other words we love leaders that abuse us. This is also compounded by the rigid caste system we have inherited that looks down on minorities , which meant that many people including, someone in this forum whom I will not name names 🙂 thinks of very poorly of his leadership.

        If you ever had a chance watch his parliamentary speeches and interviews. He is a very good communicator. A humble man; Man of the people; and Man about town, who is steering a nation of 90m inhabitants with a steady hand to the promise land:)

        • tes

          Dear Yoty Topy,

          I agree with you that Melles has picked a right candidate and that is what give credit to him as a double minded person. Now the challenge remains to PMHD. Can he nurture good leaders to come and serve the people? This is my core question. For this I suggest more rooms to be left open for competing candidates. So far, Ethiopia has welcomed opposition groups to excercise their rights and advance their objectives. And if there are more than 50 opposition parties, it is shows unharmonized political thinking(please read my comments under Fanti). The process to democracy should build convergence of ideas through constant debate and discussions. I believe that countries like Ethiopia might need of maximum 4 strong political parties: One that has strength on historical legacies, another for economy, third for social equity, well-being and civilization and fourth visionary.

          Ethnic based parties are heritage of dictators and totalitarians. Ethnic groups who lived under dictatorial system think that to fight for ethnic rights is the means to end grievances. It is ok upto the stage where public awareness and consciousness grows but then after people need more. It is civilization that matters. And civilization can only come through economic and social evolution. And that is what most African pople are looking for. Unfortunately many political movements are not upto date.

          tes

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Tes,

            I think we are not giving the merit of single political party led stewardship the benefit of the doubt. Truly, competitive multiparty political environments are a Protestant nations phenomenal. If you look at India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore and the list goes on you will find that only ONE party dominated for most of their modern history. It is only now that some parties are beginning to challenge the dominant countries.

            So if you catch my drift, let’s give EPRDF few more years to continue delivering results [may be 20-25 years?:)] When you come to think of it , what is another 20 to 25 years?:) The first 25 years just flew by just like that and soon the remaining will be gone just like that:)

          • tes

            Dear Yoty Topy,

            I just laughed for the first time deeply. hahaha, let’s give them a chance for the next 20-25 yrs!!! This is very funny comment.

            Let me tell you this: I am timeless man who loves to exist. I love existence and all I know is I exist. In this context, I don’t know what 20-25 yrs stands for.

            Let me tell you this: I have started schooling in 1989 and yet I am a student, 25 years exactly. Can I say that I waited 25 years to be who I am?

            Chances can be designed. Spending 20-25 yrs and to see the outcome is simply dream of naive people. Let me tell you this fact: waiting a chance makes you to lose a big chance.

            Existence is a continuous process. We should think of a sustainable growth right from now. If not, our after generations will go on praising the old axumite civilization.

            My call is therefore to open rooms wider and wider. Even I am not to far when I say 25% seat reserve for opposition should be an objective for EPRDF in this 5 yrs cycle. if not, their leadership will be a loss.

            Mind me, I am not saying granting. Political parties should build institutions so that to become strong and true representative of the people they represent. If not, it is not a natural process.

            Laughter of the day. Thank you sir for giving me a line to contemplate.

            tes

          • Abi

            Tes
            You said,”I am timeless man who loves to exist. I love existence and all I know is I exist .”
            Now, which of the following best describes you?
            A) you are Jesus
            B) you reincarnated
            C) Both A&B
            D) other———-

          • Amde

            Hi Yoty Topy,

            Are you a political scientist by training or just an amateur student of history? I found your statement “Truly, competitive multiparty political environments are a Protestant nations phenomenal.” quite interesting.

            I somewhat believe that there are some “non-obvious” cultural value elements that underly the “obvious” manifestations of political and economic systems. So, one way to see the cultural stress on learning, omnipotence of a competent state, etc that helped/guided the economic performance of China and Korea may be explained by the cultural norms that were formalized as Confucianism. Also, when viewed in the historical arc of Russian Tsar rule, we should not be surprised that Putin is another Tsar Vladimir. Ditto with us… many centuries of “syume egziabher” has perhaps bred an unspoken cultural consensus that rulers act and behave as if they do so with the finality of divine omnipotency. So thus the omnipotence of a 100% electoral victory.

            I had heard a little bit about the Protestant work ethic and how it may have driven the development of modern industrialization and capitalism, but I had just not made a connection between multiparty politics and Protestantism before.

            Many thanks.

            Amde

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Amde,

            You flatter me Sir! Just a humble observer with few college level liberal science elective courses under my belt:) In any case, I am glad to hear that a statement I floated tickled your imagination, which I think is a toll order in itself.

            You are spot on the role of ‘Protestant work ethics’ played in rise of capitalism leading to industrialization as well as to ‘plurality democracy’ which I mentioned in the comment. If you ask people ‘what is democracy?’ they will probably tell you, election, free-press, check & balances and so on, which I think are all true but at the heart of Democracy lies the principle of Individualism and Equality . It is this principle that came out of the Reformation which many believe to be the cornerstone of Democracy.

            Before the Reformation, knowledge was monopolized by the church which was very hierarchical. You have the ordinary people at the bottom ; the priests/bishops at the top ; and the Pope as the divine figure with absolute power at the helm. You can see that this type of system does resemble some of the the governments we are familiar with today. You have a dictator/authoritarian leader with his military/security apparatus at the top and the masses at the bottom.

            Breaking off ties with the Catholic church meant that followers of the new churches did not need any clergy to intervene for them . The relationship is just between them and their God. No repenting. They can read their bible which they couldn’t do before since only the clergy could ready Latin. Hence the birth of Individualism[Faith is between you and your God.]

            Once we established how individualism was born , I think the role individualism plays in vibrant democracy and creative individualism [This explains your curiosity] is self-explanatory. In addition to that , the churches that were established were highly egalitarian and very representative which served as an inspiration to some of the types of governments that evolved. For example every congregation is independent and self-governing.Each chooses and ordains its own ministers. Some congregations also work together in larger associations which to some extent describes democratic governance and federalism.

            In a nutshell this is how Protestantism played a role in shaping democratic governance. Gave rise to individualism and power hierarchy structure of the church was almost implanted to setting up governments.

            Gross over-generalization but hope it helps.

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Amde,

            You flatter me Sir! Just a humble observer with few college level liberal science elective courses under my belt:) In any case, I am glad to hear that a statement I floated tickled your imagination, which I think is a toll order in itself.

            You are spot on the role of ‘Protestant work ethics’ played in rise of capitalism leading to industrialization as well as to ‘plurality democracy’ which I mentioned in the comment. If you ask people ‘what is democracy?’ they will probably tell you, election, free-press, check & balances and so on, which I think are all true but at the heart of Democracy lies the principle of Individualism and Equality . It is this principle that came out of the Reformation which many believe to be the cornerstone of Democracy.

            Before the Reformation, knowledge was monopolized by the church which was very hierarchical. You have the ordinary people at the bottom ; the priests/bishops at the top ; and the Pope as the divine figure with absolute power at the helm. You can see that this type of system does resemble some of the the governments we are familiar with today. You have a dictator/authoritarian leader with his military/security apparatus at the top and the masses at the bottom.

            Breaking off ties with the Catholic church meant that followers of the new churches did not need any clergy to intervene for them . The relationship is just between them and their God. No repenting. They can read their bible which they couldn’t do before since only the clergy could ready Latin. Hence the birth of Individualism[Faith is between you and your God.]

            Once we established how individualism was born , I think the role individualism plays in vibrant democracy and creative individualism [This explains your curiosity] is self-explanatory. In addition to that , the churches that were established were highly egalitarian and very representative which served as an inspiration to some of the types of governments that evolved. For example every congregation is independent and self-governing.Each chooses and ordains its own ministers. Some congregations also work together in larger associations which to some extent describe democratic governance and federalism.

            In a nutshell this is how Protestantism played a role in shaping democratic governance. Gave rise to individualism and power hierarchy structure of the church was almost implanted to setting up governments.

            Gross over-generalization but hope it helps.

        • Solomon Haile

          Selam Yoty Topy,

          I was thinking the same thing as he stood next to President Obama. I.e Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is the first civilian to lead Ethiopia.

          • Amde

            Solomon

            That is an astute observation. Indeed he is. He didn’t come by his position through force of arms.

            Also, another first I appreciate about him. He is the first one who nobody can say is the alpha and omega of power in the land. Reading about internal EPRDF factional machinations might be considered taboo or embarrassing by some but to me it is a sign of a healthier politics practiced in normal countries. He has to constantly navigate those streams.

            However it works, he is at the head of a system. Hopefully at the end of his stay, the balance of decisions and actions will be from institutions not personalities.

            Amde

          • tes

            Dear Amde,

            When you “…he is at the head of a system. Hopefully at the end of his stay, the balance of decisions and actions will be from institutions not personalities.” I simply loved it. This was my call to PMHD’s legacy.

            One term might be short (just 5 yrs) but every leader should always think and perform his/her activity accordingly. If he/she got elected, then he can just start from what he/she assuled to be accomplished by others. A wise leader leaves his table clean by the end of the day. Unfortunately many are not doing it. Most probably, PMZ has done that ( I think so).

            tes

          • Solomon Haile

            Selamat Amde,

            Don’t you think PMHD like Linden Johnson in that he took the Head of State position after an abrupt death of his predecessor. Jonson after the assassination of JFK and Desalegn after the sudden death of PMZ. Much like I partook in the joy Ethiopians would have certainly basked in attaining their first Medal of the Olympics after the multi fronts for liberation struggles against the Derg, I felt the same while watching the both Heads of State of USA and Ethiopia. My emotions are alike in that seeing the return of the tradition of Ethiopia’s internationally renowned great runners (shoeless Bekele) signified the return to happier days for the collective “Abysinia” lands immediately after the end of the bloody and costly three decades plus wars Ethiopia experienced. This recent event of PMHD hosting PBO, as it was graciously by The U.S. President, again signified to me the return of Ethiopia’s symbol of Continental Africa’s Star in the political and diplomatic arena. The first thirst of peaceful era strides by Ethiopians and the then, with a healthy envy, soon to follow newly independent Eritreans success were dashed by the doubly trajiic eruption of the first interstate war of the late nineties. I don’t foresee a second disappointment with this current symbolic moment puts the dignified light on an African nation even with the tremendous problems it shall conquer with time.
            Long intro is the “methods of my madness” and it shouldn’t be misconstrued as nativity. For the are other tremendous gains, some symbolic like the HoA cyclist lead African Team success in France, some blunders and detrimental for and by Isaias Afeworki lead Eritrea that bore a very alien and abhorrent cultures and behaviors almost like Hitlers Germany, and some tremendous gains and strides of the Eritrean opposition leadership that has constructed the logistics, methods of struggle for change and justice as well as their Bayto or government in exile. “Against All Odds” indeed the Eritrean true revolutionaries for Eritrea’s historic trek towards true liberty and the sacrifices is not only alive and strong but as many if not all awate.com forumers have been saying for awhile the inevitable and fast arriving final victory. Speaking of Daniels and lion dens the data analytics and recommendations by The good Dr. Daniel is not only the road for all rational thinking Eritreans to choose with added vigor but is also, coupled with the already in place “synergy” by the progressives of the region, the recipe for an all HoA resurrection of constant wars and trampling human dignity to spearhead the recognition of the wisdoms of Black People and The African.
            No I did not bump my head rather tomokireyo personally and finally took a marathon crash courses at Awate University. For instance data, demographics, contingent events are my methods of madness that makes me connect the acronym of the name of the Black Man President Barrack Obama is also the same for Projected Benefits Obligations. It is PBO. Peace Bridges to ALL

            Solomon (Seyum) Haile

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amde.,
            .
            That is the potential great service to the country. He is the man and leader for the moment to mature, cultivate and normalize the institutions of government and the public.
            .
            I hope he has another term only so that he does not develop that sickness. At the end of that term of office, I hope, he will hug, kiss and usher in the next Prime Minister in a big public inauguration party.
            .
            If I am in attendance of that party, I will shade tears of joy and declare him as the great leader of Ethiopia for perpetuity.
            .
            One can always hope
            .
            K.H

        • Nitricc

          Hi Yoty no wonder you never had a true leader. your expectation of a leader is depressing. you are the 2nd most populous nation in Africa; you are the water tower of Africa, you have a good given the most fertile land and you have the people who loves their country and are welling to build their nation and you happy with HD? He has done nothing on his own. He is busy reciting what the dead Melles said or planned to do. no wonder with all the quality and advantages you have; you busy begging in every corner of the world. give me a break.

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Nitiricc,

            Don’t change horses midstream and if it is not broken , don’t fix it:)

            Don’t be player hater bro. Presidents come carrying frankincense and myrrh to pay heed.

      • Amde

        tes,

        What do you mean by your last paragraph? What is the difference between “strategically important” relationship, and “sister nations” relationship.

        Thanks

        Amde

        • tes

          Dear Amde,

          I thought that I have explained it in my comment above.

          tes

    • አዲስ

      Hi TK,

      It looks like most of your comments are based on mine so I will try to reply.

      1.You are saying that the problem with the anti-terrorism law is implementation and also tried to show that’s a problem in other areas too(though that’s not lost on me). The alternative for this as you put it is to first build capacity before using the law. I disagree with you there. It’s really hard for me to believe the sad drama that I saw on zone9ers can’t be unavoidable or be shoved aside as problems that arises due to less capacity. Their trial was given much publicity and this indicates that for how horrible the system can be for less publicized cases. They were politically motivated from the very start. Any body who is reasonable enough can clearly see that circus for what it is. One can also bring many cases here but I’m not going to preach the high priest of EPRDF here on what they are doing. You know it very well.

      2. About Eskinder Nega, I don’t think I have that much of a different opinion about him than you do. Fanti was justifying his arrest because of his writings, I replied I don’t like his writings or to go even further I despise his writings but don’t think he should be jailed for them. I also mentioned that I don’t know about the terrorism case he is jailed for. I don’t think that puts me in “መነሻዎቹን ሳይዙ ከሚዘለው ጋር መዝለል” category or may be you were looking somewhere else when you said that 🙂

      3. This whole paragraph of yours is just dishonest for me. So I won’t even comment on its details.

      Finally I would like to say that the sooner we understood that this country of ours belongs to all its citizens not just the selected few, the sooner we give space for different ideas, the sooner we treat dissent as what it’s just dissent not terrorism, the better it’s for all of us.

      p.s this recent phenomenon of diaspora bashing always makes me chuckle. In a country where the remittance from diaspora isn’t that smaller than that of its GDP, where there’s huge intellectual mass for the benefit of the country, the new sport of diaspora bashing is just useless.

      Thanks,
      Addis

      • T. Kifle

        Hi Addis
        Please note the qualification of the diaspora. The vocal diaspora are whom I am talking about. For the rest of your takes, I will get back to you on another thread time permiting

        Thank you

        • አዲስ

          Hi TK,

          Thanks for the clarification. You like the quite ones 🙂 Be quite or the bashing will continue. I got you 🙂

          Thanks,
          Addis

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam T. Kifle,
      .
      You heard our call and appeared on this thread, pleased, I quickly sat down to jot the questions I had in mind about the events of the Obama visit. The questions, as I wrote them became blurred, disjointed and unfair.
      On the 3rd draft of the questions, it was clear to me that it was really an anxiety attack and paranoia. So I am not asking you any questions.
      Here is my beef though, on the 4th draft.
      .
      .
      I do have a concern and uneasiness, when I see and hear all this hoopla about strengthening relationships and even closer cooperation between Ethiopia and the superpower U.S.A. I don’t exactly know what that means.
      I guess the nagging concern in a nut shell is, is it beneficial in the long term for Ethiopia to be too closely associated with the U.S. In such a high profile manner, at that.
      .
      our neighborhood is what it is. It is there today and it will be there tomorrow. The U.S is an unreliable ally to say the least. (Besides their natural tendency to strongly advise others to Negotiate, Compromise, favor the creating of joint government, and provide rights for gays)
      Their internal political system is such that a country like ours can only deal with the government in power. The other party out of power for the time being can easily derail you without notice, if it sees an opportunity to embarrass or score points against their opponent, with you as a game ball. You can easily become the grass underneath these elephants.
      A large number of Senators and Congressmen can easily be manipulated; such is their knowledge and understanding.
      .
      It is wise to remember what U.S did to Ethiopia in 1978 when Somalia’s fully prepared military invaded the country and claimed 1/5 of its territory. The U.S denied access to armament and ammunition Ethiopia had paid for, at that critical moment. It is only one of those historical anomalies that switched the alliances of the super powers to save the day.
      .
      Next, Ethiopia went into Somalia the first time to engage the union of Islamic courts a decade ago; there was no support from the U.S. The U.S sent a couple of Generals and diplomats to inform P.M. Meles that he was on his own if went in militarily.
      .
      Now I am hearing such high praises and how our partnership is paying off. Things must be looking up in Somalia because the U.S is willing to share credit with Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
      .
      Ethiopia had few of these super lucky breaks. We cannot rely on that all the time.
      .
      My hope is our government has sufficiently astute and pragmatic individuals who will manage this relationship instead of high fiving each other for Obama’s promises.
      I hope in their private reading, this cooperation should be limited to education, health services and the like, completely sheltering the security, intelligence services and financial aspects of the country away from possible future interference by the future U.S government and Senators.
      As one of the former kings of Ethiopia once said about this giant ally, “AYAWKUBETIM”
      .
      K.H

      • Berhe Y

        K.H.

        I know it may not be my place to comment, but I think Ethiopia should continue to excercise it’s independence. The TPLF/EPRDF come to power by their own, the have no body to report to and they have complete independence like no other African country (may be Eritrea:).

        On top of what you said, I think they should limit specially the finiancial aspects (allowing the foreign banks to come in, because they are able to print money without any limit) they will drain the country in debt. Also based on what was revealed by Edward Snowdon, I think they should be careful with security appratus and state secret.

        But most importantly they should never allow companies like Monsanto and others in the crop and farming to have access to the crop (specially Teff) as they will modified and they turn it around and destroy the native crop.

        There are thousands of farmer’s suicides in India and it’s claimed to crop failure, debt burdens, genetically modified crops etc.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmers%27_suicides_in_India

        Berhe

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam Berhe,
          .
          Thank you for your comment. I hope those with the knowledge and capacity will provide the assistance and advice the government needs. You mentioned Teff, I agree and those with that specialty have to be ever vigilant.
          .
          K.H

  • Berhe Y

    Dear SGJ,

    Thank you for wornderful article and superb translation of the song. I would expect such splendid work of art (music) from saay, but I could never had guessed you are well versued in such quality as well. I had heard the song before but it gave the chance to listen again and read the lyrics you translated. Really wonderful, it reminds me Dr. Haile and Prof. Cantelope translations (what a great time that was). I didn’t know GuE means scent, I thought of as only hot paper. Scent of Lemon what a wonderful title, it reminds me one of my all time favorite movies, scent of a women.

    Reading the commentes, I thought the topic was about Saxophone and Jazz. But when I read the article, actually the whole article has little to do with that rather, about this beautiful song and how the opposition camp to revive our pure culture without the PFDJ thugs. I read some of the comments and a lot of the suggestions and links to great Saxophone and jazz (although I am great fan of ethiojazz), I didn’t bother to listen to anyone of them, as I want to give the proper attention the article and the song it deserve.

    Thank you,
    BY

    • Saleh Johar

      Berhe Y,

      Thanks for understanding teh gist of the message.

      As I indicated in the disclaimer, I had taken the liberty in translating the idea. In fact GuE is a fruit that is not ripe. So, GuE is unripe. When he says GuE Leminey, he is describing her by the strong scent of the lemon. Traditionally, our people believe that the smell of lemon is good for heartache, nausea, etc. In the context of the song, when he says GuE leminey to a girl he loves, he is likening her to the beautiful scent–not the unripe fruit.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi BY:
      You reminded of a the old joke about and Eri girl who lived in Italy for a year and when she rurned home she spoke with an Italian accent and could not remember “Shiro”, mamma, entay eyu emo eti bicha powerder tiE tiE zble”
      You cannot remember GuE”s other meaning in Tigrinya?
      This reminds me when I used to wonder about the name of “GuEy” and in 2001 also I learned there is a male name “Guulay”. I am not sue if both are related to GuE, but I still like them better than the name Alga-Nesh, Semay-Nesh 🙂
      I am not a bit surprised SGJ coming with article, he is an artist , a writer and to writers obsessing with lyrics comes naturally.
      About the song, I like this better than his other song “Abmintayu” where he is not sure about where the Eritrean gift and strength and he keeps saying “messilunu” then messiilunni aykon haqqeye nere”

      • Abi

        Hi Sem
        I heard your neighborhood Tim Horton was closed for renovation. Welcome back. I almost missed you.
        Your joke reminds me of a joke about rich kids in addis.
        A teacher in a high school Amharic class asked if anyone can make a sentence with the word ” beqolo”. Nobody knew what beqolo was. The teacher was frustrated. Finally a girl tried. This is her sentence
        ” Abebe beqolo lebese ” she said this with an English accent. Try it in French accent.
        Welcome back.

      • Berhe Y

        Hi SA,

        That’s not fair, I may have told you the joke:). I will take the humiliation, if the God father (saay) or, debtera (Ghezae H) of Asmarinos confirm and heard of guE other meaning (as in scent or Chena). Hagereseb like you and those from enda Haleqa do not count:).

        I know about Chena lemon,Chena Adam, there is a saying. I know guE to mean, something not ripe, or describing a Color or guE as in hot paper you eat with Shiro but never heard it used as it mean Chena.

        I admit Asmarinos (those of my generation DERG era), do know know the Tigrina language in its sophisticated form. We never had any formal training, no book reading assignments, or book review etc. the only formal Tigrina book that we learned in school was, Arki Temaharay (even that they replaced it with Lema begebeya). So if you are lucky, you have access to old Tigrina books like Robinson cruso, menyu bedeleNa or if you happen to go to catholic / Lutheran school and learn timhirti kiristos. They even close those schools and replaced them with, marxism and Leninism. But we had to read lots of Amharic books, sememen, tangut, Tamra Tor, yeberahaw tokla, shekoko.

        Don’t get me even started how the EPLF/PFDJ are on the mission to destroy what’s left of it.

        SGJ, I think Wedi Tikabo writes his lyrics (Ghezae may disagree), but I must say he is very talented and sophisticated in his knowledge (without formal training like most of his generation).

        Berhe

        • Semere Andom

          Hi BY:
          I thought you did not know GuE as unripe but only as GuE berber, I miss understood you. But am sure you heard the obsession of Eritrea with “Shitta Leminie”, GuE is does not mean exactly scent, SGJ is allegorically translating it:-)
          You and Sal Asmarinos? Ask Sal the parameters by which one is from one place, so both of you are not Asmarinos, think about it. Ghezae is:-)
          But Asmarinos pretend not to know certain Tig as if Asmara is located some where in Europe, Adi Abeito, Wedki Dibba are a stone’s throw from the heart of Asmara and all the uncles, the cousins who come every Nigdet?? And the non-Asmarino parents and yet they pretend not to know basics:-)

          • saay7

            Hey iSem:

            Welcome back! Yes, BY is definitely an asmarino. You don’t get it; part of being asmarino is not to know some things because we are too busy to know it:)

            Here’s my definition of asmarino from 2000 (fittingly posted at asmarino.com)

            https://web.archive.org/web/20001202164700/http://news.asmarino.com/

            GH’s neighborhood, Edaga Hamus, produced an asmarino ( Haile Ghebru from Zerai Deres Band) so GH is safe:) Of course, when Haile Ghebru made some money he moved to the part of Asmara where REAL Asmarinos live which I won’t mention for now but it may or may not have been my neighborhood:)) (just in case Habtom Yohannes, wedi Edaga Arbi, is reading this)

            saay

  • Music Novice

    Greetings SGJ,

    The Saxophone can give a great sound, depending who composed the music for it and who is playing it.
    I suggest you listen to the Sax entry of ‘Us and Them’ by Pink Floyd or ‘Be Yourself’ by Hawkwind.

    Good Luck.

  • አዲስ

    Hi House of Stark,
    What a nick name 🙂
    Let’s see what I think are some of the shortcomings of oppositions.
    1. Election cycle activism.
    2. Working to only demand power. Not compromising as seen after the 2005 election.
    3. Not being articulate enough and engaging the young generation. Semayawi party seem to be doing better than the others.
    4. Opposing just for the sake of opposition and think that makes them democratic.
    5 Creating coalition that are dominated with opposing personalities who only look after what they want only and not share common values.
    I could think many more but these are off the top of my head. But I truly believe given a better conducive environment, we can see better oppositions that can truly be an integral part in building democracy in the country

    Thanks,
    Addis

  • Nitricc

    To all Ethiopians. what do you think about this interview. be honest. I will say my take after I collect the data. i brought this up because last time ask Abi if he supported the 1998 war between Ethio-Eritrea. and Abi and KM; responded honestly and they said; YES. now in my opinion there will be war. not between Eritrea and Ethiopia but between the government of Ethiopia and Ethiopian opposition. the Eritrean government have done its homework and I believe quietly there is formidable opposition force to be rocking with. what is your position? are supporting the opposition or the government? if the Ethiopian government decides to start war With Eritrea; do you support your government like you did 1998 or oppose it this time around. what say you KH and Abi since you supported the last war.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot7fBqj11vA

    • Abi

      General Nitricc
      There will be no war. All those armed oppositions are protecting IA. You can’t pay them enough to fight the mighty ethiopian army.
      They all come home after telling us they were misled. No big deal. After two months of debriefing, they will join the fight against poverty.

      • Peace!

        Ato Abi,

        Tadia L’mnew ato Desalegn hayel Entekemalen Silu tesemtewal bekerb Gezie, lefugora new endie? The other thing is I am putting a fun plan together for the tour de Massawa, what do you think of first stop at the best Karaoke Bar in town? I can see you have tones of songs and poems to show your talent-;)

        regards

        • Abi

          Hi Peace
          I will be happy to sing if SGJ plays the saxophone. I’m in.
          Is this your tour de Massawa on a cuccineta? Nobody beats Saay .

          • Peace!

            Dear Abi,

            B’felegkew! B’cuccineta, or Balegri Telo Telo Negarim ale… You pick! I am just a tour guid. Le Karaoke yemihon zefen mertehal wey? Would you mind sharing….

            Regards

    • Olana

      Nitricc
      You are the most confused person in this forum. You are deceiving yourself or you post it for entertainment purpose? As Abi told you there will be no war. Your prediction (dreams) are always wrong. One thing I agree with you is that there will not be a full scale war between Ethiopia and Eritrea because you dictator will not dare to make another mistake to end his kingship. The opposition can only follow the old EPLF terrorist style and that is proved to be futile in many occasions. If there is going to be a war to remove Isaiah it will be between PFDJ (and its supporters) and the Eritrean opposition supported by Ethiopian. And that will be supported by many.

  • አዲስ

    Hi Fanti, this is where my reply belongs

    Thanks for the reply. Let’s see your points and try to put aside the none issues first

    1. Talking about Derg remnants. Talking about ‘EPRDF Amaran eyabarere beTigre iyeteka naw’ as you put it are not my choice of discussions here. I don’t know where you get that from. So let’s forget that.

    2. Ethiopian terrorism law being the exact copy of western countries. I haven’t read everything about the terrorism law. But I have seen its implementations. It’s a gross injustice in my opinion.
    3. Muslims called to elect their own leaders. EPRDF says NO. EPRDF says those leaders are extremists and that’s how the demos began in my understanding. If the role of Blue party is more than supporting for the Muslim community to have their own say, then you tell me. I don’t know much about that.
    4. The demo against ISIS: I think you are making a hasty accusation here. There were people who were just walking but haven’t even reached at the demo site that were arrested. Was everybody calm and peaceful? no. How can they be? their friends were killed by ISIS. Were all the chaos motivated by political reasons? big NO. People were angry on the way EPRDF handled the initial days justified or not. So lumping everything as a fault of opposition party is just being reckless.
    5. Yes there are still some that writes and criticize the government. Very few who have the reach as compared to the ones arrested or exiled. So the issue here for me is the road is narrowing dangerously.
    6. Link what Eskinder Nega said here. Let the people see that.
    7.Where do you get that information about Dr. Dagnachew? That’s completely false. Listen to his interviews on VOA amharic. There was no announcement coming out of AAU as far as I know. It was never a dispute of pay and benefit. The guy is a respected scholar who can earn much more money anywhere in the world. Framing the issue as pay and benefits when it’s not is insulting to him and to the goods he has contributed in my opinion.

    Fanti, I do try to gather information from various sources. I don’t belong to any opposition group. I try to assess what I see in terms of what I wish to see in my country. I don’t stand here to argue for HRW or oppositions groups. But if HRW says zone9ers arrest is illegal or any of its opinions aligns with mine then I agree with that, it has nothing to do with Daniel Bekele’s view of EPRDF.

    Please also look at the reply I gave to Yoty below.

    Thanks,
    Addis

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Addis,

      Among other things, when you said “…There were people who were just walking but haven’t even reached at the demo site that were arrested” that is probably true. Also most of what you said here and earlier is not necessarily false. The question is why is that happening? Lack of capacity is one of the main problems in our country right now. It is not the intention or program of the government to arrest individuals arbitrarily. What in the world would they benefit from arresting by standers? I wish you had the chance to follow the relationship between EPRDF and journalists from its inception.

      When freedom of expression became the law of the land, there were over 200 private news papers and magazines that sprang almost over night. Most of them had war slogans for a name such as Satenaw, Gomeraw, Amoraw, Nebelbal, and Negodguad type names, and almost all of them broke the law right and left. Some of them just from not knowing what journalism really ought to be, but some of them, well known Derg members at that, knew exactly what they were doing. EPRDF tolerated most of these violations out of fear of discouraging genuine freedom of speech.

      When some of them kept trying to instigate tribal enmity between nationalities, most of them received repeated warnings to no avail. EPRDF started to arrest a few. Mind you all this while the laws, the courts, the legal system in general were in excessive shortage of qualified man power. Arrest them, forgive them, arrest them, forgive them cat and mousing went on and on until as recent as the drama involving Birtukan Medeksa. I could tell you a lot more using my own family as an example, but may be some other time.

      What I suggest is that you give EPRDF the benefit of the doubt, and try your best to get both sides of the story. I know getting the government’s version is like pulling a tooth, but in most cases you will be able to get some information here and there and see most of the picture. To give you an idea and as an example what the government was dealing with here is what Eskindir Nega had to “journal,” and for your surprise the government didn’t even arrest him just for that.

      http://hornaffairs.com/en/2012/10/06/on-eskinder-nega-setting-the-record-straight/

      http://hornaffairs.com/en/2012/10/14/eskinder-negas-newspaper-justifying-the-holocaust/

      http://hornaffairs.com/en/2012/10/21/eskinder-negas-paper-preaching-genocide/

      PS:
      I know the most recent ones are Semayawi and zone 9ers, but I want you to have a little bit of the background first.
      Selam.

      • አዲስ

        Hi Fanti,

        I will start with your comment on Eskinder. Now I remember reading the articles you posted here. I don’t like the way he writes. I actually despise it. But does he deserve to go to jail for those is another question by itself. For me no. Now I don’t know much about his terrorism charges so I won’t comment on that. And I do try to see the private press issue as far back as I can. I suggest you do the same, don’t just be selective. Try to see what kind of News papers we have lost because of EPRDF. Like Addis Neger for example.
        Trust me I have given EPRDF the benefit of the doubt. For 25 years they are on power. That’s more than giving the benefit of the doubt. But now more than ever in terms of human rights and democracy they are leading the country into a dangerous territory. So let’s speak up when we see something wrong.

        Thanks,
        Addis

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello Addis,
          Agreed, and I shall do my best.

  • tes

    Dear Awatawyan,

    I don’t know why Eritrean (aka PFDJ) Commission of Sport is distorting news?

    As we all know, Daniel and Merhawi, though Eritreans and what they score also has an advantage for Eritrea, participated in Tour de France as members of MTN Quebeka cyccling team. And MTN Quebeka is a South African team though the dream of the club is to valorise African Cycling by recruiting the best riders across the continent. Hence, what MTN Quebeka wins first and foremost belongs to the club as it has invested heavily to see this success for the last 10 years. And second beneficiary is South Africa as the team is a registered club and owned by South African investor.

    Then comes an indirect beneficiaries: Eritrea, through members of the team has gets an indirect advantage. Daniel and Merhawi are professionals and what they play is for their club, first and for most.

    But here we see, the Commission of Sport plagarizing the event and broadcast news as if Eritrea participated in Tour de France. Did Eritrea invested directly a single cent to make this competition to happen? By what measures are they stating Eritrea represented the continet of Africa?

    This is what they wrote, “In this world’s biggest and famous competition, Eritrea represented the continent of Africa through her best chosen sons…”. Why they are stealing the success of MTN Quebeka?

    Ok, indirectly, Eritrea became beneficiary and it can be celebrated. But to steal it as if you invested this competition was yours is wrong.

    I know what PFDJ does but at least for the sake of the professional players and the team, they could have abstained from disinforming the peopel. Eritrea didn’t represent Africa and the players didn’t compete for Eritrea but for MTN Quebeka.

    The Sport Commission should stop diffusing false news.

    tes

    • Ted

      Hi, tes
      When you went to cheer the race, did you wave the MTN Quebeka flag or Eritrean flag. Unlike you( i don’t know what you stand for anymore) they did compete for Eritrea. What do you see at the back of his shirt.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4Xqfpf8iSk

      • tes

        Dear Ted,

        I have mentioned that Eritrea is a beneficiary and during racing, the riders have a right to put what they like in their T-Shirt. And I am happy to see Daniel and Merhawi doing that.

        But Eritrea didn’t represent the continent of Africa. No one represented any continent in this competition. Always the best team participates in Tour de France.

        At national lavel, as far as I know, there is Olympic games. And any country represents her self as far as the minimum requirement is scored from that country.

        What I am saying here is very clear: Eritrea is an indirect beneficiary, in fact at tertiary level. Disinforming the people is not good for the sport activity.

        You got me?

        Can you say that if Ronaldino competes with Real Madrid and wins the Champion league has represented Portugal?

        tes

        • SA

          Hi Tes,
          I think you are wrong on this one. If you listen to the live commentary of the TDF by Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, a great emphasis is placed on the country of origin of the riders. If you are a cycling fan, you may forget the teams of the great cyclists but it is much harder to forget the countries of origins of the cyclists. In addition, riders often change teams but their countries of origin remain the same. If you are a cycling fan and I ask you to tell me team of the legendary climber Marco Pantani when he won the TDF in 1998, you will probably find it hard to come up with the name of his team at that time. But no cycling fan worth his cycling knowledge could ever forget that Marco Pantani was Italian. Countries make a big deal of their citizens who win the TDF. When Jan Ullrich became the first German to win the TDF in 1997, cycling boomed in Germany and Germans became crazy about Jan Ullrich. When Lance Armstrong started winning the TDF, cycling became popular in the US and Lance Armstrong was idolized by many Americans.
          So the press release by the Commission of Sports probably has less to do with PFDJ misinformation but with the natural pride a country feels about its successful sportsmen. The writing in the press release may not be very precise, but the spirit of the press release is appropriate within the context of Eritrea.

          SA

          • tes

            Dear SA,

            I agree with you when you say country of origin has great emphasis and indeed it is logically. Tour de France puts great focus on individual talents and that is why the winner of race is highly celebrated.

            But what I am saying is, does Eritrea represented Africa? Simple question.

            As I already said, Eritrea has much to celebrate on this occasion but it should be in the right way. I am particularly focusing on the way the news is delivered.

            Waiting your concrete response but in the mean while all I can say is PFDJ is trying to use that opportunity as if he does something good to the country. If PFDJ was sane and good willing to our youth, he should have given a wild card to all youth who particpate in sport. Sport activitity died in Eritrea because of its military nature. Those who the chance are rare and they are showing to PFDJ what could have achieved if there was a free will.

            Re

          • SA

            Dear Tes,

            The answer to your question is that Eritrea did not represent Africa in the TDF. But MTN-Qhubeka was only African team in the TDF2015 and the team had two Eritrean riders. Since Eritrea was represented in the only African team through its two riders, I think it is easy to claim that Eritrea represented Africa in the TDF. Perhaps, you are assuming that the writers of the press release know all the little details you are discussing. I am more inclined to think that they do not. Their claim that “Eritrea represented Africa” is a bit absurd if you took it literally, but I understand what they are trying to communicate. You and I agree that PFDJ has destroyed our country, but I do not see any sinister motive behind the press release.

            SA

          • Mizaan1

            SA, you make excellent points and so does Tes. I agree with both of your takes but a little more with Tes because as you probably well know, PFDJ politicizes everything. They will try to milk this to make some naive people think that ‘Eritrea is not doing that bad afterall.’ I simply like to ask you one question: if Daniel Teklehaimanot was a known anti-PFDJ, do you think the state controlled Eritrean media would have printed or aired anything about him?

          • SA

            Hi Mizaan1,

            If Daniel Teklehaimanot was a known anti-PFDJ, they would not publicize the success of Daniel. But on the other hand, if Eritrea had some form of democracy and independent press, I would expect that the Commission of Sports would issue a similar press release. Yes I get that because PFDj politicizes almost every thing, the press release is no different than their usual political propaganda. My point is that any country would issue a press release similar to that issued by Eritrea’s Commission of Sports if it had successful cyclists such as Daniel. I do see your and Tes’ point, but for me since they are doing what a typical African country would do, it makes more sense to me not to make the press release an area of criticism against the PFDJ. They are destroying the country after all, and I think we should focus on the bigger and more fundamental issues.

            SA

          • Mizaan1

            SA, again your points are impeccable. No need for me to try to refute anything you said.

          • tes

            Dear SA,
            .
            Now you are to the point.

            “Perhaps, you are assuming that the writers of the press release know all the little details you are discussing. I am more inclined to think that they do not. Their claim that “Eritrea represented Africa” is a bit absurd …” is inlone to what I said.

            But I excluded the later part of yours that reads, “…if you took it literally, but I understand what they are trying to communicate”. …”

            I know how PFDJ tries to profit from such occasions and I can’t take it literraly. What they say, they mean it. Regarding the communication, what you mean be interprated in different ways. If you are forgiving them for their ignorance, all I can is you are so kind. And if it is in the otherway, that is what I want to convey.

            In general, you got my message and thank you for coming to the point.

            tes

    • Nitricc

      Tes, I know i am going to regret this but AND what is wrong with this? i know you are our contemporary philosopher but here what goes. first they are Eritreans; originality; the they are Africans and finally they represent the team. but i don’t expect you to understand it. you are fault finder and your mind ruined.

      • tes

        Dear Nitricc,

        Daniel and Merhawi are professional riders, best in Africa and now coming to be the best at world level. This is a fact.

        What I am saying here is: did Eritrea represented Africa? This is the first question?

        Second: Is Tour de France a comptetion where countries participate as countries or countries can be beneficiaries if their citizens participate?

        What the Commission of Sport is doing is pure plagarism. He should tell the true nature of Tour de France. Eritrea can still celebrate with what her beloved sons accomplished. but trying to make is as if it was accomplished by being a representative of a continent is wrong and misinforming.

        tes

        • Nitricc

          Dear Tes, let me repeat what i have said. first they are Eritreans, then they are Africans and finally they belong to their team. how hard is for you to understand? it is just like the human body; there are cells and then there are organs and then there the body. Originality!!!!!

          • tes

            Dear Nitricc,

            I know you are a slow learner but here is news for you.

            MTN withdraws MTN-Qhubeka sponsorship as earnings fall short

            http://www.caperi.com/mtn-withdraws-mtn-qhubeka-sponsorship-as-earnings-fall-short/

            Do you think PFDJ will finance the team?

            tes

          • Ted

            Hi, tes. is that your argument that the talented Eritrean fate is sealed because there is no fund or as you arrogantly put it (PFDJ can’t fund it). Daniel , Merhawi and Nathanael are not enlisted out of the goodness of the MTN’s heart. They are good at what they do. I guess you are not going to make us proud in what ever you achieve since PFDJ is not funding your project.

          • tes

            Dear Ted,

            You are so funny. You see, I will apply my thermodaynamics law.

            It is only Ted who can translate, “Do you think PFDJ will finance the team? = PFDJ can’t fund it.

            Very cheap mind. I thought that you were a wise PFDJites but now, you are as dump as your house of Nihna Nsu. Do not worry about my arrogance. Only through my arrogance that I can show you your arrogant system.

            Mind though, I am not arguing about the performance of the cyclists. I am talking specifically about the news. The news is disinforming the people and it must be corrected.

            And do not worry, either shabait or EriTv journalists will take my point seriously. hence, I am not writing it for you. i know those journalists at the MoE read more awate.com than shabait. Hence, cool down. Don’t be a crap like selam.

            tes

          • Ted

            Hi, tes.
            Unsolicited advice.
            Don’t think very highly of yourself.
            Think before you write or record yourself.
            Personally, i don’t doubt your agenda but i worry about your unmatched skill some how to find a way to disrupt even the biggest conference/meeting/ the opposition may have in the future. Calm down.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Ted, hahahaha; sorry i had to to have fun with this. now, our Tes is Thermodynamics. lol
            i don’t think Tes understand what he is saying. once he leveled me a black KKK and said that was Newtonian take down. lol
            I do think Tes have something to offer but i have no idea what that is. the guy is screwed up; up there upstairs. i have no doubt that Tes loves his country and people but something is wrong with his thinking. so my good friend Ted, cut the guy some slack.

          • tes

            Dear Ted,

            First of all my wish is to see one of the biggest conference/meetings the oppositions to have in the very near future. As you are not indoubt of my agenda(which is very good – when someone is sure about what you advocate for), all I am working hard is to bring all justice seekers in one table and weed PFDJ for ever.

            Let me tell you this: when there will be such big meetings, I will be so happy and enjoying the French best Cheese from the Alps. I believe there are hundreds of Eritreans who can handle such meetings and my presence is not needed. Therefore, make no worries.

            Just now, lets work together for such gatherings to happen. The day you stop your OTTO, the next day I will invite you for a big French dinner along the beaches Atlantic ocean..

            tes

          • Ted

            Hi tes, The Gatekeeper. You just confirmed my worries “bring all justice seekers in one table and weed PFDJ for ever.” What about the likes of me, the reformists? Mr Eritrean issue Bouncer,are we allowed to get in, even we don’t sigh into your “weed out PFDJ forever” club? Here is the major flaw, if you believe there are more capable people to discuss Eritrean issue, shouldn’t you be restrained from outlining the talking point for those people.You need to give it a thought that for justice and rule of law to prevail in Eritrea, the reform approach is more sensible and achievable than your weed out club. Why? because it is about implementing what UN recommended for us( rule of law)-Exactly what Eriteans want at this juncture. Every one is suffering ,understandably so, Every Eritrean and the world community will be there and interested for its implementation . It is the choice between the one with road map AND the chaotic with no road map.Of course, I don’t hold my breath the weed out club to come to their senses. as always has been, the vengeful ( Hi Semere, welcome back) and power hungry can and will always derail the path. Mercie beaucoup for the invitation.

          • tes

            Dear Ted,

            You are good at giving adjectives and I like them all: King maker, arrogant, Gatekeeper, Bouncer etc etc.

            Let’s come to the point: The problem with reformist will be when they try to deal with PFDJ gang else as I have repeatly said diversity is important. Those who say, weed’em out will on the extreme end and will keep the purity of Eritrean politics and Reformists will be there to play as businessmen.

            To tell you the truth, having an agenda to Reform PFDJ is pure business. And only PFDJ reminants as well as hardline EPLFites who broke with PFDJ but never welcomed other political parties to be stakeholders in the making of Eritrea will push for it. It is a big battle and it will not end soon unless the old mentality of “Nihnan Elamanan vanishes for good”.

            Though my wish and my struggle is and will be to weed PFDJ ideology I am naive if I believe such ideology which has by now deep roots among the youth will terminate soon. PFDJ has invested a lot to brainwash the youth for the last 20 years, almost one full generation. As a result, our struggle will not be that much easy and I am fully aware of it. And the path I am following is the right one to have a free, democratic and self-respecting Eritrean people. hence I will work harder and harder to weed the reminants of PFDJ ideology. By now, we have achieved a lot and the only remaining is to dump those who are in power.

            My call for Reformers is therefore to remind them to that they should not make any friendship with PFDJ but with the true compatriots of WEED’EM – OUT advocators. If they do so, there will be peace and respect. And this is what I call reconciliation.

            tes

          • Nitricc

            Dear Tes, I told you i will regret this.

            whose flag is he displaying on the stage? you are retarded.

            http://www.tesfanews.net/eritrea-at-tour-de-france-superb-performance-and-mission-accomplished/

          • tes

            Dear Nitricc,

            yah, you will always regret simply because you don’t believe what you write. Please come into yourself and write what you truly believe. Only then you will stop regretting.

            Concerning the flag, don’t repeat please what I said already.

            tes

    • Peace!

      Dear tes,

      So what’s wrong with that? They are victorious Eritrean professionals. All Eritreans, regardless political affiliation, should be proud of them.

      Regards

    • Amanuel

      Hi Tes
      I think nothing is wrong with saying that “In this world’s biggest and famous competition, Eritrea represented the continent of Africa through her best chosen sons…”. For example the British media called a British success to Froome’s win, even though it playes for Sky and he was borne in Kenya. Neither the British government nor the British cycling Association paid a penny to his success.

      Have a nice day
      Amanuel

      • tes

        Dear Amanuel,

        What I am saying is, “Is British particpated as a country or her citizens participated? There is a a difference when one is benefitted from what he does and when someone does for him. In both cases, he can celebrate, no problem. But where does the credit goes?

        Read the news please. It is a wrong method of propaganda.

        PFDJ could use the opportunity obained at least to broadcast some good news to the people (in fact that was the whole fantacy) but it must be on fact base.

        Does Eritrea represented the continent of Africa in the Tour de France? This is a simple question that I am addressing.

        tes

  • አዲስ

    Hi Kaddis,

    As much as I disagree with EPRDF, I also do the same with opposition parties. So where to go from here? Something gotta give right? People are being killed, arrested, exiled. Who bear the brunt of responsibility here to correct these issues? EPRDF in my opinion. If EPRDF is working for the good of the country that is. Correcting some of the issues we have, trying to give space for dissent then the people will decide if they want the policies of EPRDF or oppositions. If they want Liberal or Revolutionary democracy. In my life the only process I saw that resembles democracy was in the 2005 election. what happened after the election is a sad affair for all of us. First of all not joining the parliament whatever the circumstances(acknowledging many negative things were done at the time by EPRDF) they were under was very shortsightedness of the opposition. It clearly exposed them as one who were after the power not the establishment of democratic process.
    But what followed after was pure and systematic dictatorship by EPRDF. It takes us back many steps. EPRDF had two choices at the time, but they chose the worst one. What we see today is the result of that choice. What I oppose is that. It has nothing to do with me supporting a certain opposition party or yearning for the good old days as some try to put it here whatever that means.

    Thanks,
    Addis

  • Bayan Nagash

    Selam to All,

    Child prodigy? No doubt about that! I bet though, a decade from now if the menace at home isn’t removed this child would probably end up in the indefinite national service camp instead of Institute of the Arts somewhere where he can cultivate such a talent.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxTsj_tWC5w

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Negash,
      Yep,this charming young boy like every young his future is dark – hopefully not – look how many of them are in refuge camps, imagine how much talented boys are lost in deserts… the more we delay to change the more we lose.

  • Hayat Adem

    Keihksad,
    When music is that powerful and arresting in message and harmony, everything else counts for a plus.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Hayata,

      you said it, Music is really powerful, it is an international language. sound is an energy like light. Yet, as every other tool, Music can give negative and positive results depending the users intention and style or method of using it. man has to be very careful in using it as it affects the life of his fellow man kind and the nature at large. I have been reading the article and the comments, yet we have a lot to say about it. just to start as you said it “….message and harmony” Harmony during those difficult eras we went through in both sisterly nations, when artists were after their political stands, still some like Teshome and Ethiopian and Tesfamariam an Eritrean were harmonizing life. hear what they have said, listen how they manage to live always friends, an Eritrean saxophonist supplying love, trust …..open bellow link and I will come back to you after your reply for more

      http://m.tigrigna.voanews.com/a/teshome-tesfa-06-27-12-160574775/2172540.html

      • Hayat Adem

        Kokhobai,
        This is Sax at its best. Hopefully, these are some of the things that may change the heart and mind of SGJ and take a better attitude towards this beautiful instrument. It is one of the best sound factory.
        Hayat

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Hayata,
          I think you didn’t open the link. hear their words both Tosheme and Tesfamariam. listen by opening the link it is short interview
          http://m.tigrigna.voanews.com/a/teshome-tesfa-06-27-12-160574775/2172540.html

          • Bayan Nagash

            Dear KS,
            I concur. This is a must listen to audio. See my comments above that I posted before I read your note to HA here.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Bayan,
            I noted it. you completely understand what my massage is. those are the type of musicians who serve the people. but people are much attracted by noisy sounds – I call that sound pollution which attracts the ego and after the era pass it pass. love wins at last, art should serve love it doesn’t matter the political circumstances. the only tough time art suffers is when the monopolizing group get strong and the most difficult time that the artist should work hard is when we the entire nation is under no rule and no system circumstances. I have more to say just see my posts in here.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Dear KS,
            These kind of messages, unfortunately, get lost in the shuffle of cyber clutter. We need more of these types of conversations that touch the heart, thereby validate and elevate our humanity. Please keep’em coming. Any message that caters toward reconciling I am all for.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Bayan,

            I still want to talk about how massages of musicians affect our life. you see, the first object of universal brotherhood comes in every nature of music itself if it is performed properly. watching the involvement of at least two players, who should coordinate their part (both instrumental and vocal) with each other and interact as one is the first sigh of how 1+1 is greater than 2. the two or more than two people working together teaches the result of working as one from different colors toward one common aim – bigger result. again the heart and soul of listener moves to higher stage lifted and every listener gets common understanding through the massage sent to the conscious and unconscious mind. I am trying to say when music is used for peace and love, it strengths universal brotherhood. I will have my poem in this regard. slowly I am going to put my ideas under this post.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Selam KS,

            I agree in the way you contextualized the message about how collaborative efforts in music between two countries can lead to a deeper understanding of the two cultures and that the corollaries of such efforts can in turn also bring forth an unexpected positive results as they will invariably bring new phenomenon to the music itself.

            In similar vein, Hayat also reminded us of others who had done similar projects from the recent to the distant past. Now, along the lines of collaboration, I can easily conceive similar concerted efforts between artists, say, not only with Sudanese songs, but as well as with other Eritrean ethnic groups. Such hybridization will inevitably lead to similar sentiments that you and I felt about the two artists in question from their respective countries.

            When I say collaborative efforts among various ethnic groups within Eritrean proper, I am not thinking about what we generally see around national holidays, rather on ongoing basis mixing not only the music between each, but also the intermixing of the lyrics. If we truly believe that music “nourishes the heart and soul” as you and I obviously do, then it stands to reason those who love music, dare I stipulate, will begin to learn a word here and a phrase there bringing forth brotherhood and fraternity among the various Eritrean ethnic groups.

            This, of course, requires the fundamental freedom of movement that Eritreans are severely lacking. But to create such an ambiance also requires Qsanet, TiEnnan selamn – it cannot happen while eta “mamma” enda Hamematnna. selam msAsele gin ezi khullu niblo zellena knerkibellu ena koKob Selam, gddi yibelkan ezi Hawway

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7hcB0iu79o

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmhm2bvWLX0

          • Hayat Adem

            Yes Kokhbai,

            I listened to the Sax and I was to miss that conversation at VOA. I loved it more. Both are great. You see, how people to epople, person to person relations are bigger than politics. There was one other great conversation on the same media between Iyasu Berhe and Abrham Afeworki some years ago. And then they both died and I have been thinking someone will upload it on the internet. The other example is when Korchach from Asmara helped a young female artist Hermela from Mekele produce her song. They were doing the entire consultation on the phone. I have heard our legendary artist Berekhet praising Kiros Alemaye on helping him with a an entire expense of a space and band for his first concert in Addis after Kiros died. Berekhet told me he was studying Kiros’ music as a material of memorial. We are blessed on the culture and people connections. Look at the netSelaMendeq lyrics of Barya for example. How powerful is that! There is also an entire book written by Memehir Asres Tessema dedicated to both peoples cultures. So, art and culture are some of our fall back sanctuaries of sanity where differences are overblown beyond their true proportion to cloud minds and hearts.

            Thanks Kokhobaaaay,
            Hayat

      • Bayan Nagash

        Selam KS,

        Thanks a lot for sharing. The first link is very important in how dialogue between Teshome and Tesfamariam can serve larger purpose in the way art can transcends borders and political barriers that politicians idiotically stoke flames between two peoples, the consequences of which have been monumentally destructive and of catastrophic proportions.

        Such is the power of art and such is the power of the spoken word. In less than 12 minutes, the program covered a host of issues in how these two artists were able to transcend the political differences between their respective countries. This kind of people to people talk is what will heal wounds not what politicians do or not do.

  • selam

    Dear Amanuel Hidrat
    I am sure you are on y8ur way to your group meeting , would it be possible for you to convey my greetings to all the old rotten men in your favourite group congress and tell them we are tired of their empty to do lists and we need compromise between different factions in order to move forward and please tell them , their age is not fit to take us to the last line of crossing.EPDP congress should and must be renvent their strategy or let them a party of chiwawa in a panic mood. Let the tihim tihim be a real voice , of course I am asking this if incase you are in their circle. These old men who have never worked for their breakfast in their life and these old men who have never moved an inch from their rotten ideas are one reason the opposition is in disarray. The congress and their 30th meeting should really have a good political auditors.

    • Peace!

      Dear Selam,

      It is now too obvious that our N’kid T’ray ( Wedefit Beluley Fitleuley) Ethiopia based opposition groups have no longer moral authority to represent the oppressed Eritrean people given that they are much more closer to Gebru Asrat, Abona Sebhat and other high rank TPLF officials than to their own constituents.

      Regards

  • አዲስ

    Hi All,

    Have you guys looked at #IfAfricaWasABar trending on twitter? It’s hilarious. Interesting to see how we Africans see each other in a geopolitics mixed with fun way. But, what’s up with all the hate from Eris on Twitter on Ethiopia? 🙂 lighten up ppl

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ifafricawasabar&src=typd&vertical=default

    • saay7

      Hey Addis:

      My fave was on Nigeria:)

      This was my entry: self-deprecating humor and of course that “3,000 year history” is an easy target:)

      saay

      • አዲስ

        Hi Saay,

        Haha of course. Everybody piled up on Nigeria and there was clever mentions of xenophobia about South Africa. Obviously East Africa was mostly mentioned as the gorgeous lady in the bar. It’s fun to see how other people see us. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

        Thanks,
        Addis

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam Addis,

      Thanks for sharing. There were so many lighthearted moments. I enjoyed it. I has now reached close to 70k entries – hashtags – hard to read all but I would not have read any had you not brought to the attention of Awate readers. There were two that I enjoyed related to our region besides what Sal and you have said. I couldn’t find the one that I really liked about Eritrea being kept locked in the restroom for three hours – something like that. Here is the other one that I was smart enough to copy and paste as I kept reading.

      Milena Bereket ‏@tekerebanelim 3h3 hours ago
      #IfAfricaWasABar Eritrea wud smuggle in coffee for everyone to sober up, Ethiopia wud claim it’s cocaine, & the US/UN wud endorse the lie…
      14 retweets15 favorites
      Reply
      Retweet14
      Favorite15
      More

      • አዲስ

        Hi Bayan,

        I am glad you enjoyed them. It is really fun.

        Thanks,
        Addis

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Memhir SGJ,

    There are some signs that show we may not be completely lost just yet!!

    Enjoy another Dejen The Great!

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

    • tes

      Dear Fanti Ghana,

      You know how much love I have for you. An exceptional humanity you have.

      Saying that, you see, human existence is a continuous process. Nothing comes that bever existed. PFDJ thought the other way round. Nothing existed and nothing will come. What we have at our drawer is the best thing and hence stick to that mentality.

      I am saying this to prove what you posted here. I agree with one of my favorite spiritiual philosopher when he says, “I was on this planet 700 years ago”.

      With all due respect Fanti

      tes

    • Saleh Johar

      Yes Fanti,
      I like it, though I have a feeling the flute is synthesized. The absence of you-know-what instrument makes it palatable 🙂

    • selam

      Dear Fanti The Great
      You know PFDJ will probably use this innocent kid on their way of tour America or Europe to entertain their potential tourists . The number one product in Eritrea is producing singers , we have dozens of them . The thing is they all must serve the evil man and that is really painful to watch. We never have shortage of singers and songs , even at the dergi time we have them in bundles . You know as everyone else the opposition are good at making horrible videos of the dead people in sinai or in lampudusa , what they failed to do until now is , lead and comprise . DIA has used the opposition for so long , can you imagine after so much crime he committed over the people and so much cry from our people PFDJ is able to do what so ever they want with out risking their throne. How do you help me tell the awate forumers who spend their time on blaming but not lead and show some thing to tell to their people .

  • haileTG

    Haha Nitricc, do you think this applies to the opposition leaders too??? Say no more..hmmm:-)

  • Nitricc

    I just listened to Obama”s speech in Addis and it is strange. The fat black lady who opened the conference asks Obama to solve Libyan problem. She could have make sense if she to make a call to solve the Ethio-Eritrea problem. They are sitting there and no one mentioned anything. Even Obama did not take shoot at Eritrea. my senses is that Obama is talking to Eritrean leaders behind doors.
    On the other news; the French have delivered what they promised to the Egyptian army those nice and quick Rafale fighter jets and the practice is on. The question the Ethiopians on this forum refused to answer is, why do the Egyptians need Rafale fighter jets while they are armed with F-16 F-18 and S-37? Why do I a feeling the Ethiopians will caught with pants down. Lol, the last I checked the retarded Ethiopian PM was mumbling something about Eritrea.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/17012_693350124129306_6615597726535097664_n.jpg?oh=a2283a925a81ed40d98d7e48772e2f2e&oe=5611B278&__gda__=1444195623_d0530961901dcade8af3230ece2d1b5f

    • Yoty Topy

      Hi Nitricc,
      It is just that the Eritrean cause novelty has worn off. I am sure in your narrow world you think the world revolves around Eritrea but the world has myriad of complex problems which some of them are just tough to address and some of them are just unnecessarily self imposed of course the Eritrean issue falling under the later one.

      I think Premier Hailemariam Desalegn did an outstanding job in disarming President Obama by admitting that his government is still learning the ropes of democratic governance. That was brilliant move by the Premier. Of course everyone knows ,including President Obama that at least in the short term when it comes to democracy in Ethiopia , today is as good as it gets tomorrow. But if there is one thing that I have learnt in the professional world is that leaders/ managers love to hear you say:” yes,blah,blah…but I am working towards achieving goal A,B,C ..” That explains why Mr. Obama who is known to choose his words carefully addressed the Ethiopian government as ‘democratically elected’ which is even one step more than what Suzan Rice was willing to admit.

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Yoty Topy,
        .
        Yes, we are learning the ropes ….was a brilliant response to Obama. In a way that is also an accurate, precise statement on its face. My heart ached that Meles wasn’t there, no matter, Hailemariam did a good job and we are proud of him.
        .
        One thing I wish the Ethiopian Election Board do in the future is first and foremost announce the popular votes by districts or whatever. Let that seep in. Later announce the final results and the parliament seats results. The impression of all these 30 or 40 million registered voters voted unanimously for EPRDF as repeatedly reported and made fun of will be avoided.
        Even those in the know keep repeating this 100% for their mischievous purposes.
        .
        K.H

        • አዲስ

          Hi Kim,

          Are you really proud of Hailemariam and also being nostalgic for Meles days? In the face of all that are imprisoned and killed by EPRDF, all the political space lost and one party rule reigns,rule of law being a joke, you seriously believe that we are learning the process of democracy? that’s laughable to me. To at least be honest and say we are learning and in process, one has to be on the right track, make improvements no matter how small. But what’s happening in Ethiopian politics is quite the opposite.

          And then you go on and tell us the problem is in how the Ethiopian ppl perceive the result coming out of the fake election board. Rather than being concerned about the conditions that the result was obtained, you are focusing on how to change ppls perception of it. Your concern is on how to avoid being made fun of the 100% result rather than giving ppl freedom to elect who they want and respect it. This is sad really. Any observer of Ethiopian politics can see that the question of popular vote is the new talking point that comes out after this laughable “election” from EPRDF side. You and I know that you are not naive to think that knowing the result of the popular vote doesn’t give representation the those unrepresented. It merely puts lipstick on the pig.

          Thanks,
          Addis

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Addis,
            .
            I said what I said because I believed in them. Granted, I am saying what I said, from a distance and limited information. It could be a “fake election” as you called it. The whole thing could be all smoke and mirrors.
            .
            If tomorrow, Obama left Addis with his Air Force One and P.M Hailemariam goes direct to the parliament and declared himself, the leader of the proletariat dictatorship of the masses as represented by EPRDF, I will hold my breath and listen. If he continues his speech and say he and his party will continue to do exactly what they have done in the last 20 years, I will breath and say Hallelujah!
            .
            Maybe it is all an illusion. All I can see from this distance is peace, stability and economic growth not only from their mouth but from others. Therefore I would like to see it continue for another 25 years or so. I don’t see other alternative that is even better than that, I wish there was.
            .
            K.H

          • አዲስ

            Hi Kim,

            Well I suggest you look closer as you obviously care for the country. It’s really not that hard to understand what’s going on even if from distance. It’s good for you that you can “breath and say Hallelujah” when you think about what EPRDF done in the last 20 years. It’s unfortunate that too many can’t say the same.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • haileTG

            Selam ኣዲስ

            I am on sabbatical from regional politics but here is different perspective video on Obama’s visit to to Ethiopia (and of course Kenya):-)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB9lZwCIWss

          • አዲስ

            Hi haile,

            I know that he would try to be careful and speak diplomatically when discussing about human right issues in Ethiopia. I know that America’s interest comes first, in this case their partnership with Ethiopia on war on terror and security in the region. But what saddened me and surprised me is to hear him say EPRDF is democratically elected. Not once but twice. I didn’t know if going that far was necessary and by that he gave EPRDF clear ammunition to deafen the Ethiopian people for years to come and clearly cemented his legacy as one who stand with strong men rather than the people.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Addis,
            From all the oppositions that run for election this year which one of them do you think would have been a better or close alternative? In case you answer none of them, my follow up question will be; then what should the people do? I would also like to hear your opinion about what you think EPRDF needs to do in the next five years to be considered as pathfinder to establishing democracy? What are EPRDF’s strengths and weaknesses as you see them? Just to give you an idea about where I am coming from, it would have been a travesty should any of these so called oppositions made it to the parliament. None of them have any viable and verifiable agenda whatsoever about how they would lead the country once in power. Except criticizing EPRDF, even that is not for what it should be criticized for. They have absolutely nothing to show off. It is sad that you don’t see this election for what it is. Fortunately the Ethiopian people saw and weight carefully what they had to choose from.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Fanti,

            Your questions seem to take an assumption that elections happen in vacuum. You are asking me what the oppositions brings to the table. Before we even talk about all that, can you admit that there’s almost no space for oppositions to operate? I hope you didn’t just wake up yesterday and saw what the oppositions are worth. If you see the problem of our “democracy” process in the view of opposition don’t provide viable alternative so that the people vote EPRDF, that’s just being naive.

            Following the 2005 elections, EPRDF came up with “laws” to criminalize dissent. Free speech, rule of law, good governance are jokes in the country. So now you are asking me why the oppositions are not strong. Or whether they can be an alternative. My answer to you is, go to the Sahara desert, plant a tree and don’t water it. Then ask yourself why that tree is not growing or bearing a fruit. That will answer your question.

            To your other question: what EPRDF needs to do.
            1. Revise the terrorism law. Dissent is not terrorism. Opposing a government is not terrorism.
            2. Free journalists and political prisoners.
            3.Rule of law should be respected. In Ethiopia, an EPRDF cadre is above the law. He can put you in prison with no charge for over a year( read about Oromo students). Or make up fake accusations and drag your trial for quite some time. Follow the circus around the Zone9ers trial
            4. Ban on civil societies should be lifted. A strong civil society is an important institution to build a democracy.
            5. Considering the large majority of the country still lives in rural area, mass media(radio, television) especially radio should be liberalized not just for government supporting voices but for others too.
            6. Corruption especially in benefiting people close to EPRDF should stop. People should compete for jobs, projects…based on their qualifications not because they are parrots of EPRDF. Your EPRDF is one that fires Dr. Dagnachew and Having Constantinos or whatever his name is to teach students at AAU. That’s the kind of leaders you are praising as the only alternative. I can go on and on.

            You mentioned “it would have been a travesty should any of these so called oppositions made it to the parliament”. Really? a travesty? Worse than a 100% one party rule? How many of the programmes of these opposition parties have you seen to decide that? Having people like Dr. Merera in the parliament is a travesty? You sound like the EPRDF cadres when you characterize them as only “criticizing EPRDF” because that was all their talking point in those televised debates.

            Again, elections don’t just happen in vacuum. All those laws that started popping out left and right since 2005 pushed what already was a little playing field into the abyss. Ethiopia is a country of over 90 million people given a little chance there are many, more than capable to present an alternative. EPRDF is the one who wants you to see them as the only alternative. So open your eyes, don’t just internalize what Redwan Hussien tells you. Unless you are one of their cadres or beneficiary of their one party dictatorship, then by all means carry on.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Yoty Topy

            Addis,

            I hate to draw out Ethiopian politics in this forum but will you chill-out bro/sis? First of all, isn’t it ironic that the person who dismissed others view under the guise of ‘talking points’ lists talking points straight out from ESAT manual? I guess, others are ‘EPRDF stooges’ and you are the Messiah who is sent from heaven to spread good old ‘democracy?’ Please spare us your holier than thou comments. That’s just revisionist code yearning for the good old days.

            Let me take a stab at your laundry list here.

            1. Revise the terrorism law. Dissent is not terrorism. Opposing a government is not terrorism. I agree with you here. I think the name should be changed to ” Destabilizing Peace & Order Law’. I think that should stand the scrutiny of activists. Every country has something similar to this law.

            2. Free journalists and political prisoners. Spreading ethnic tension under the cover of a pen doesn’t really make you a journalist. Just look at what happened in Rwanda [even Kenya 2007-8]. A hate filled rumor can lead to an extermination of over a million people in few days. The government has responsibility to protect over 80 groups not just massaging the egos of the few ‘chosen’ ones only.

            3.Rule of law should be respected. In Ethiopia, an EPRDF cadre is above the law. He can put you in prison with no charge for over a year( read about Oromo students). Or make up fake
            accusations and drag your trial for quite some time. Follow the circus around the Zone9ers trial . There is rule of law. Just because you do not respect it doesn’t mean there isn’t rule of law. Zone9ers-please see above.

            4. Ban on civil societies should be lifted. A strong civil society is an important institution to build a democracy. Bollocks! For a country that has almost nearly half of the population living under a $1 , civil rights issues is not the pressing issue unless for imports such as yourself who just regurgitate editorials from western media.

            5. Considering the large majority of the country still lives in rural area, mass media(radio, television) especially radio should be liberalized not just for government supporting voices but for others too. It should be but what good is it if you have so called opposition groups bent on the dissemination of hate filled propaganda? Again, unless they have proven to be responsible that would amount to giving people a loaded gun to do whatever please them.

            6. Corruption especially in benefiting people close to EPRDF should stop. People should compete for jobs, projects…based on their qualifications not because they are parrots of EPRDF. Your EPRDF is one that fires Dr. Dagnachew and Having Constantinos or whatever his name is to teach students at AAU. That’s the kind of leaders you are praising as the only alternative. I can go on and on. If you could just pass your hatred for the government, you would realize that it is actually listed as the top list corrupted African countries. But you know the old adage: ‘Awko Yetegna..’

            Finally, I know this government has many shortcomings and I may say many, many! But when you come up with the list that only highlights their vices, you are not helping move the conversation. Just another bitter ideologue trying to relive a bygone era.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Yoti,

            Are you sure you are not one of Redwan Hussein’s trolls?

            All the attempt you tried to poke a hole in my arguments are laughable to say the least. They can be generalized as EPRDF knows better than everybody for anything under the sun in that country. Asking for rule of law to be respected, freedom of speech, free civil societies, talking about curbing corruption, speaking against illegal jailing of political activists and journalists is ” just revisionist code yearning for the good old days” as you carelessly put it. That’s pathetic to me. Which part of my arguments were the corner stone of those bygone eras? Did the derg or the kings lived by the principle of democracy? Spare me the nonsense and talk about facts, think for yourself, examine what you see and read not just parroting the script Redwan gave you.

            1. I don’t know if you have followed the Zone9ers trial but it’s a very good example of how those terrorism laws are used to silence dissent. “Awko Yetegna” works very well for you here but I will attempt to see if you can wake up. No man left behind 🙂

            The excerpt below(in amharic) are from Zone9 bloggers fb page. I have listed here some of the evidence put against these bloggers. Mind you Zone9ers are just a drop in the ocean of the injustice being committed in Ethiopia today.

            “በጻፉት ጽሁፍ አልከሰስናቸውም “
            ተከሳሾች በታሰሩበት ወቅት የኢትዮጲያ መንግሰትየመናገር ነጻነትን ለመገደብ የወሰደው እርምጃ አንደሆነ በተለያዬ አካላት ትችት ሲቀርብበት የተለመደ መልሱን “ በጻፉት ጽሁፍ አልከሰስናቸው”በማለት በተደጋጋሚ መልስ ሲሰጥ አንደነበር ይታወሳል፡፡ ይህ መንግስት ገለጻ ግን ቆየው ተከሳሾች ላይ መደበኛ ክስ እስኪመሰረትድረስ ብቻ ነበር ፡፡ ከግማሽ በላይ የሆኑት አንደማስረጃ የቀረቡት የተከሳሾች የግል ጦማርና በዞን9 ጦማር ላይ እና ፌስቡክ ላይየተጻፉ ጽሁፎች ናቸው ፡፡
            በተከሳሾች የሽብር ክስ ላይ በማስረጃነት ከቀረቡትጽሁፎች መካከል ጥቂቹን ለአብነት ያህል ብንጠቅስ
            “ ሳንሱር ዋጋ ያስከፍላል ፣ እኛና ሶማልያ፣ ስደትና ፍቅር ፣ ዋኤል ጎኒም ኢትዮጵያዊ ቢሆን ኖሮ ፣ ድምፃችን ይሰማ ፣
            ልማታዊ ጋዜጠኝነት ወይስ ይሁንታን ማምረት ፣እንዴት እንደመጥ ፣ የመለስ ውርስና ራዕይ ፣ ነጻነትና ዳቦ፣ ሰብዓዊ መብቶች በሕገ-መንግስትና መንግስት ፣ ግልፅ ደብዳቤ ለጠ/ሚ ኃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ ፣ ሕግ ምርኩዝ ወይስ ዱላ ፣ መክሸፍ እንደ ኢትዮጵያ መፅሄቶች ፣ አራማጅነት በኢትዮጵያ ፣ የእነርሱ እና የእኛ ሕዳሴ ፣ ልማት ሲሉ በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ልማ አለ ማለታቸው ነውን ፣የ1966 ዓ.ም አብዮት እና የሲቪል ማኅበራት ሚና ፣ የሥርዓትና ሐይማኖት ለውጥ ፣ ኬንያ ከነፃነት እስከ ምርጫ እና በሀገሩ ጉዳይ የሚያገባው ትውልድ ፍለጋ ……”
            ከላይ ለአብነት የጠቀስናቸው ሃያ ጽሁፎች በዞን9ጦማር ላይ ወጥተው መንግስት “በጻፉት ጽሁፍ አልከሰስናቸውም” በማለት ላቀረበው ክስ በዋነኛ ማስረጃነት ያቀረባቸው ጽሁፎች ናቸው፡፡እንግዲህ እነዚህና መሰል ጽሁፎች ናቸው የህብረተሰቡን ደህንነትና ጤና አደጋ ላይ ጥለዋል ተብለው የሽብርተኝነት ድርጊትን ለማስረዳትየቀረቡት፡፡ ጽሁፎቹን ያነበበ ማንኛውም ሰው አንኳን ማህበረሰቡን ደህንነት አደጋ ላይ ሊጥሉ ቀርቶ የአንድን ግለሰብ መብት አንኳንየሚጥሱ እንዳልሆነ ማንም ያነበበ ሰው ሊረዳቸው ይችላል፡፡

            “የሚያስደነግጡ ማስረጃዎች”
            ከላይ ያሉ ጽሁፎችን አንብቦ ለተገረመ ሰው በቀሪዎቹማስረጃዎች የበለጠ ሊደነግጥ ይችላል፡፡
            1. “Ethiopia thousands protest political repression – June 02/2013 Associated Press (AP) by Kirubel Tadesse
            2. የሰማያዊ ፓርቲ ሰልፍ ፓርቲውንጸረ ህገ መንግሰታዊ እንቅስቃሴ ያጋለጠ ነው- ኢህአዴግ ግንቦት 26.2005 ( ፋና ብሮድ ካስቲን ኮርፓሬሽን ኤፍ ቢሲ) ጥላሁንጎሳ
            3. Thousands march for rights in rare Ethiopia protest June 02/2013 – Reutors Aron Masho
            4. Ethiopia thousands stepped anti government protest June 02/ 2013 Posted by Daniel Brhane ( by Marthe vanaderwolf)
            5. ሰማያዊ ፓርቲ የጠራው ሰልፍግንቦት 25 /2005 አም በአዲስ አበባ ተካሄደ ( ERTA reporter Kebede Kassa)
            6. Thousands of Ethiopian Opposition actively demonstrate in Addis Ababa June 02/2013 VOA byPeter Hailen
            7. Beware of wishful thinking one swallow does not make a swimmer – June 03/ 2013 Tigray online Dilwenberu Nega
            8. ሰማያዊ ፓርቲ የተቃውሞ ሰልፍአካሄደ ጁን 02/2013 ሶደሬ ዜና
            እነዚህከላይ የጠቀስናቸው የዜና ርእሶች ጽሁፎች በሙሉ ተከሳሾች ላይ የተገኙ ማስረጃዎች ናቸው በመባል እንግሊዘኛዎቹ በ56 ገጽ ተተርጉመውተከሳሾች ላይ ማስረጃ ሆነው ቀርበዋል፡፡ የመንግሰት የመገናኛ ብዙሃን ( ኢቢሲ፣ ፋና …)ሳይቀር ያወጧቸውን ዜናዎች ሳይቀር የሽብር ህግ ያስረዳሉተብሎ የቀረቡ ሲሆን ፍርድ ቤቱ እነዚህን ሰነዶች ይመረምራል፡፡

            https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=841297079292119

            In the below link you will see what the government prosecutor put as evidence claiming that the following organizations gave terrorism training for the bloggers. Among them you can find

            Civil rights defenders ( CRD) , The floke bernadotte academy , the Swedish institute , Swedish international development cooperation agency ( SIDA), the open society foundation , tactical thec , Kenya Media council ( KMC) , Article 19 , freedom house , National endowment for democracy , IREX , united nations higher commission for human rights, amnesty international , committee to protect journalist (CPJ) , eastern and southern Africa Journalists association ( ESAJA) , Rhoedeb Journalism university and African institute for governance with integrity

            https://www.facebook.com/Zone9ers/photos/a.336166499805182.82266.294879533933879/841669999254827/?type=3&permPage=1

            And these are the types of “terrorism training” allegedly given by Ginbot 7. May I remind you that these were given by international institutions that have never been accused of terrorism and have no connection with Ginbot 7. But for yoti and EPRDF hey it’s all the same.
            1. የአመራር ስልጠና ( leadership training)
            2. የአድቮከሲ ስልጠና ( Advocacy training)
            3. የቃል ግንኙነት ስልጠና ( oral communication)
            4. የመሪ እቅድ ማዘጋጀት ስልጠና ( strategic planning)
            5. በአፍሪካ የሰብአዊ መብት ስብሰባ በባንጁል ( meeting at African commission for people and human rights)
            6. የተባበሩት መንግስታት የሰብአዊ መብት ኮሚሽን ስብሰባ ( meeting at united nations higher commission for human rights)
            7. የኢንተንኔት ደህነት ስልጠና ( Internet security training)
            8. በኬንያ እና በደቡብ አፍሪካ የጋዜጠኞች እና የጦማርያን ማህበራት ጋር የተደረጉ ስብሰባዎች
            እነዚህ ስልጠናዎች በሙሉ ከአለም አቀፍ ድርጅቶች የተሰጡ ሲሆኑ የግንቦት ሰባት ስልጠናም ሆነ ስም በማንኛውም ማስረጃ ላይ አልተጠቀሰም፡፡ ይህንንም ፍርድ ቤቱ መርምሮ የሽብር ተግባር ዝግጅት መሆን እና አለመሆኑን ለመወሰን ለሰኞ ቀጠሮ ይዛል፡፡

            There are many more like the above. All you have to do is go to Zone9 blog of fb page to see.This is what Yoti thinks is just fine. The circus, the injustice, the irregularities shown in this trial is an example of what rule of law looks like in Ethiopia.

            According to Yoti and EPRDF, every opposition party is out there to destabilize the country and can’t be trusted. So no radio for them, no free press, no demonstration, nothing. The country should just take what EPRDF think is good for you. What a laughable argument.

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Addis,

            It seems we are talking past each other. Right from the get go all the information you flooded about the Zone9 is inadmissible in my court. If I want to see what they are guilty of, why would I want to read material shoved to you by the ESAT people? If I want to better understand their charges, wouldn’t I look at the official statement not from someone who is determined to undermine the government at any cost? A government that hacks people’s phones just bothers to arbitrarily arrest 9 people just based on the allegations you flaunted flies in the face of logic.

            The Redwan troll and all that Logic talk is pure hyperbole so I will say no more.

            Your list of international organization who allegedly corroborate your stories- What can I say bro/sis, It is called ‘job guarantee,’ How else will they justify their existence if they don’t make noise on every opportunity they get? They care less about the welfare of people in the third world. But of course it comes in very handy for people like you with hidden agenda to overthrow a government under a false pretense.

            Like I said, there will be time for vibrant societies down the road but right now the immediate pressing need is feeding our people. All talk about ‘freedom’ and ‘election’ by you and others is just a euphemism for ‘we are the privileged people and we ought to rule everyone.’ But unfortunately for you, EPRDF has made some room to accommodate you. So, settle down mate, it is a long ride.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Yoty,

            Clearly you are a logical person 🙂 I don’t know what brought ESAT here but those are the actual evidence put against the bloggers(not by ESAT 🙂 ). At least you say it’s inadmissible in your court. In that you are agreeing how the charges are laughable so hey progress. It looks like your issue is not actually having enough information before you carelessly accuse these young men and women and others with dividing the country and terrorism. Why you did that without actually having enough information? well that’s what I call a Redwana Hussien parrot or troll. So that’s that.

            About the international organization, I didn’t say they corroborate my stories as you put it. Try to read it again. I said the government prosecutor in its evidence against the bloggers put those organizations as the ones training them in terrorism. Now do what you want with that information. In admissible or admissible in your court? or your conscious ? you tell me. Or is it ok as long as we get to eat?

            And this argument that we need to feed our people not talk about freedom. Do you hear me or other democracy advocates talk about not feeding our people? There are many things I applaud EPRDF for like health care for the mass, primary education…but why does that keep you from asking your freedom? You know those two are not mutually exclusive ? Asking for all the things i mentioned in my post is a euphemism for I want to rule over you? I will let those who read our exchange decide that.
            One thing I agree with you is it’s a long ride. I don’t expect our country to be a democracy all of a sudden. Let’s not forget what we know so far in our history is rule by the barrel of a gun. But making progress however small is what I ask, going forward not backward.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Yoty Topy

            Addisye,

            You are not bad yourself 🙂 Let’s not ‘Telat bemehalachin Aygiba’

          • አዲስ

            Hi Yoty,

            Our enemy is poverty right? 🙂 Am sure that phrase makes you happy

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Nitricc

            Hi My Ethiopian friends. this very encouraging events between Fanti, Addis and Yoty Topy. in my opinion this is the first time Ethiopians to display different views and opinions when it comes to their country. trust me, it is good for you and i hope you will continue on your dialogue so, i can take a break from pointing the short coming of your government. good job.

          • saay7

            Selam Addis:

            well, alright. Awate.com was starved for Ethiopians who would call for the faithful implementation of the Algiers Agreement. Fanti Ghana was the lonely Ethiopian for sometime and now we have three. Awate.com was starved for Ethiopians who were not enthusiastic or reluctant fans of EPRDF…and now we have increased the membership of LIBERAL ETHIOPIAN from diddley to diddley squat: from 0 to 1. Yay.

            I don’t want to blame our (Eritrean) problems on others. But part of the reason that Isaias Afwerki has been able to stay in power is by having his followers point to Ethiopia and Sudan and saying: there is no genuine democracy anywhere, there is no free press anywhere, there is no civil society anywhere, there is national security everywhere.

            So, Addis, keep plugging away. The “Dabo Now, Democracy Meh Who Cares?” constituency is surprisingly large and surprisingly stubborn.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Just one LIBERAL ETHIOPIAN here? 🙂 that’s a lot of responsibility but I will try my best.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Selam Saay;

            You wrote “…part of the reason that Isaias Afwerki has been able to stay in power is by having his followers point to Ethiopia and Sudan and saying: there is no genuine democracy anywhere, there is no free press anywhere, there is no civil society anywhere, there is national security everywhere.” I think the problem lies in those of us who’re made to accept such hilarious and lame excuses from the PFDJ-gangs. Why should we compare ourselves to the ills of others, and settle for it that we’re not alone? Because our neighbor’s house is burning, do we’ve to burn our house? Why shouldn’t we follow the good examples, instead of the bad ones?

            I’m not saying you agree with PFDJ’s lame excuses at all, but i’m just trying to set the spotlight on those endless astounding “justifications” the PFDJ-gangs use to mislead their naive supporters.

          • Abi

            I just wanted to know if this is “my” Fanti Ghana I love and respect who wrote the above comment. Please , please, please tell me this is a different one with the same nick.
            I know my Fanti never insult my intelligence.
            Mr Moderator, please check if there are two or more people using the same nick.
            I’m speechless! I even couldn’t find a fitting Amharic proverb for the above comment.

            ” Honey, ebakish Pepcid Ac aqebyign”
            “Uffff arfeh tegna ”
            ” TeqaTelkulish”
            “Dibin bel, man anbib aleh?”
            ( Sorry, I was talking to my wife)

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abi,

            Either take a couple of days off or close your eyes wherever you see Fanti and አዲስ side by side for a few days until we change the subject. In fact, I cringe whenever I have to argue Ethiopia-Ethiopia cases. In fact, my privately stated position is to never get in to Ethiopian politics on this forum, but (excuse me Saay) every time I try to get out they keep pulling me back in. In fact, I have said my piece for good or until I forget again. In fact… I love you too. That will never change!

          • Abi

            Hi Fanti
            You are a little too late. My wife told me this morning I had a bad nightmare. She asked me who are Fanti and Hayat ? I told her Fanti is meto bemeto and Hayat hamsa kemeto.
            She wants you to be 75/100 max! Hayat 0/100!
            ” let’s give them to talk about…”
            Fanti , have you ever seen the qey weT at AAU students cafeteria ? It is called ” therefore”. It is because there are only three pieces of meat in your plate always making a ” therefore ” symbol.
            How about a ” therefore ” in ethiopian parliament?
            QiNTibTabi enkuwan werwrulin enji.
            Fanti deg neber lekisu yemaysasa!
            Bewenberu kemeTu yihonal Ambessa!
            I love you too.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abisha,

            ine Hakun sinager አዲስ bakebabiw alneberem inji, kemejemeriawunu ‘terachen naw arfachuh tegezu,’ biye ewnetun yagaleTku ine neberku. min yehun tadia semi yele.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Fanti,

            I wrote a reply to you on your post and when I try to post mine it says yours doesn’t exist anymore. What happened ? 🙂 anyway below is my reply to your non existent post 🙂 Probably disqus ate it.

            Hi Fanti,

            Thanks for the reply. Let’s see your points and try to put aside the none issues first

            1. Talking about Derg remnants. Talking about ‘EPRDF Amaran eyabarere beTigre iyeteka naw’ as you put it are not my choice of discussions here. I don’t know where you get that from. So let’s forget that.

            2. Ethiopian terrorism law being the exact copy of western countries. I haven’t read everything about the terrorism law. But I have seen its implementations. It’s a gross injustice in my opinion.
            3. Muslims called to elect their own leaders. EPRDF says NO. EPRDF says those leaders are extremists and that’s how the demos began in my understanding. If the role of Blue party is more than supporting for the Muslim community to have their own say, then you tell me. I don’t know much about that.
            4. The demo against ISIS: I think you are making a hasty accusation here. There were people who were just walking but haven’t even reached at the demo site that were arrested. Was everybody calm and peaceful? no. How can they be? their friends were killed by ISIS. Were all the chaos motivated by political reasons? big NO. People were angry on the way EPRDF handled the initial days justified or not. So lumping everything as a fault of opposition party is just being reckless.
            5. Yes there are still some that writes and criticize the government. Very few who have the reach as compared to the ones arrested or exiled. So the issue here for me is the road is narrowing dangerously.
            6. Link what Eskinder Nega said here. Let the people see that.
            7.Where do you get that information about Dr. Dagnachew? That’s completely false. Listen to his interviews on VOA amharic. There was no announcement coming out of AAU as far as I know. It was never a dispute of pay and benefit. The guy is a respected scholar who can earn much more money anywhere in the world. Framing the issue as pay and benefits when it’s not is insulting to him and to the goods he has contributed in my opinion.

            Fanti, I do try to gather information from various sources. I don’t belong to any opposition group. I try to assess what I see in terms of what I wish to see in my country. I don’t stand here to argue for HRW or oppositions groups. But if HRW says zone9ers arrest is illegal or any of its opinions aligns with mine then I agree with that, it has nothing to do with Daniel Bekele’s view of EPRDF.

            Please also look at the reply I gave to Yoty below.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Addis,

            My post is still there, but I think you posted it here to annoy Abi. I know you liberals!
            Maybe you got caught while I was editing it.
            I will come back later. Hopefully you will in bed then!

          • አዲስ

            Hi Fanti,

            haha didn’t notice you were editing it. But I posted it there again. I don’t know if your edited version differs much from the original one but I will see your reply when you post it.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Addis,
            I only noticed I had misspelled and corrected Eskindir’s name. That was all the editing. It is not worth reread.
            Now, I am going back to our other posts.

          • Abi

            Fantisha
            Qedmo endemnawqew keTint keTewat
            Wenber leEngda new tedeladelibet
            “Yemayadrubet bet ayameshashubet”
            Gizew yaleqe elet tolo wede meTahibet
            Simun keresahew yibalal dedebit.
            TiHilo sayTefah sayhon teret teret.

        • Yoty Topy

          Hi Kim Hanna,

          Why EPRDF wanted to push the message of 100% election victory is still beyond me. Because, as you can see from H.E Ambassador Girma Birru’s account here, which was a surprise to me as well ,EPRDF only won 501 out of the 547 seats and the remaining were claimed by the EPRDF ‘Tifozos’

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9OOtySXCrk

          The 100% strategy according to an article I read is meant eliminate any future opposition absolutely to the extent one cannot even fantasize about. The explanation was a bit murky but interesting concept.

          • አዲስ

            Hi Yoty,

            That’s just a talking point. When have you seen those “Tifozos” as you refereed to them stepped out of line EPRDF draw for them? Do you really believe they have any independent say in anything in that parliament ? If you really consider this “victory” as anything but 100%, then that’s being dishonest in my opinion.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Addis,

            It seems EPRDF is quiet popular 🙂 I don’t blame them. Anything they touch turns to gold. Even mentioning their name gets you to parliament.

          • selam

            Hi , hi you at this house , i am calling to you “Yoty Topy”
            I couldn’t resist to admire your wit and I will not say any thing but thanks for raising your hands at the right spot. Be careful though because hayat will hunt you down to request her parliamentary sits. Gademet you pulled me to drink too much.

        • Amde

          Kim,

          What was the actual vote percentage? I did not see it anywhere – not that I really looked.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amde.,
            .
            Sorry, I don’t remember now. Maybe, someone who follow it closely will let us know.
            .
            K.H

          • Kaddis

            Hi Guys –

            I agree on releasing the results in regions and hammer the data to avoid confusion. In Addis – the opposition as expected got more than 30% vote. Around 350,000 vote out of just more than a million voters. Blue party and Medrek consequently. Opposition got good numbers 15-25 % in Oromia, Amhara and South as well. The rest of the region including Tigray goes 90% and more to ruling party.
            Our opposition thinks; opposing an authoritarian government makes them democrats. The people knows better.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello KH, Kaddis, Amde
            They had the individual counts posted last election, and I was hoping they would do the same this time too. I don’t know why they didn’t, but I hope they will once the counts are verified. I am assuming they probably stop counting once the majority is determined. Where is TK when you need him?

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Fanti,
            .
            Stop counting?, I hope you are 100% wrong. That would be just unbelievable.
            .
            I wish that T.K makes a little time to visit us here and keep the record straight. He is one of those, like Sal, who has all information at the tip of his fingers. Sometimes I wonder if they ever sleep.
            .
            I have another reason wishing he was here. I have a nagging concern and question about this Obama visit and the fall out from that. Excuse me for saying it this way, if he does not show up in a few days I will frame the concern and the question to you.
            .
            K.H

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello KH,
            I was just desperate for an explanation. I know they posted it last election, but I don’t know why they didn’t this time. Unless the regulation changed the only other explanation left is time. Time to prepare, to finish counting, or waiting for the Kilils to send their figures. As I said they are waiting for something or the law has changed. I think TK is just busy from work. I hope to hear from him soon too.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Fanti,
            .
            I read your post somewhere around here that you were editing AND correcting spellings. What is it you have a backdoor access like the owners where you go to do it.
            I have suffered immensely at the beginning and now it is just a small sharp pain in the belly whenever I re-read my post and see all the errors. I am getting used to it I am afraid.
            .
            Is it simple enough to tell me or not to bother.( If takes more than three steps, never mind I will put up with the pain.)
            .
            K.H

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello KH,

            I wonder how you post your takes. Don’t you see the ‘Edit’ menu button next to ‘Reply’ and ‘Share’ on discus? I am always editing my posts, because I usually write on a hurry and under time pressure. Then I come back to see what I posted, and sometimes it is hilarious.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb69fb3b513bc6503a03d38e095e2903b524e05fb720067ffb2e6f7d337b4acf.jpg

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Fanti,
            .
            That is interesting, I don’t see “EDIT” next to Reply and Share. It must be the way I started to post a long time ago. It is O.K, I don’t know why I am trying to add more work.( I will see which pain is worse)
            .
            Thanks for your help.
            .
            K.H

          • Abi

            Fantish
            Does EPRDF has a rollover account with the election board to use the unused votes for the next election ?
            I miss TK. He can be as serious as “Vet” Mahmud and as funny as my Fantasy Fanti.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Kaddis,
            .
            Thanks for the information. It is really important to lay the actual numbers in the public square. Even the Addis residents are being told that EPRDF got 100% not 97% of the votes. The international media is repeating this bizarre 100% vote figure to everybody with a smirk.
            Members of the 30% Addis residents who voted for the opposition are wondering where their votes went. As you know there are plenty of people with as much information as I have who will tell them it was stolen, with a straight face.
            I hope the election board review their announcement procedures.
            .
            K.H

      • Nitricc

        HI Yoty Topy. no, i didn’t think the world revolves around Eritrea. what i was saying when the black fat lady asked Obama to solve the Libyan problem; i can not help but to think she was sitting right on the problem needed to be solved. why do you think she didn’t ask Obama to help reconcile the two brotherly and sisterly people? do you think that was more relevant giving the place they were getting together and trying to solve African problems and all i am saying is, there one right on their nose and they did not even mention it. but a slave always a slave. she have no problem admiring Cuba and the USA reconciliation and she have no problem to stand up for Libyans but you get my drift.
        regarding PMHD, well you must be joking. when you are salve; what ever your master tell you, it goes. what do you want the retarded PM to say to OBAMA, the master? you got jokes. to tell you the truth; if you are Ethiopian, a true Ethiopian at that; if you don’t feel got insulted at the joke and laughing style of Susan Rice and her comments; then it is on your blood to be a slave and you deserve no dignity.

        • Kaddis

          Hi Nitric –

          the reason Dr. Zuma raised Libya is to remind US and its allies who bombed Libya; they are the one who created the mess in the first place. She was saying clean the mess you created while AU stood against it.
          The border is a non-issue which can be solved by the Woreda Admin near Badme; problem is there is no guarantee Eritrea wont freak out again and lit another war while even smart people like Saay have the audacity to write – Ethiopia provoked the war and Eritrea escalated…

          its a hopeless case

          • Nitricc

            Hi Kaddis, what is up? how is Addis? so, you think the border thing is non-issue; huh. you can not be more wrong. you guys have no idea who you dealing with. you are dealing with PIA and by hook or crock he will get it done. i am very surprised how everyone is undermining the Ethiopian opposition forces. don’t get fooled by PMDH’s toothless Gura that Ethiopia may attack Eritrea. To attack Eritrea; the Ethiopian army has go through TPDM, G-7, EPPF and the rest. And why do you think the Ethiopian forces keep intruding to Kenya? OLF and OPLF are not dead. my point is that you are wrong for dismissing the border issue as non-issue. you will see.

    • Amde

      Nitricc,

      What can the Rafale do the F-16, F-18 etc cannot? What does the purchase of the Rafale change?

      Amde

      • Nitricc

        Hi AMDE; i used capital because the diam computer will change it to AMED; lol and i don’t want do that. lol
        anyway; a good question. i have done some comparing between all fighter jets as soon as i learned that the Egyptians ordered the Rafale fighter jets from the French. I have it some where but what i can remember from that comparison is that the Rafale was the one for the long distances. if i can recall correctly; I could be wrong but the Rafale stayed twice longer in the skay than any other fighter jets. that is the reason i suspect that the main reason Egyptians ordered Rafale is that they don’t have to ask any 3rd country for assistance if they plane to do anything to the Ethiopian project. simply if this is not the main reason; there is no need for Egypt to order those costly fighter jets while they can get the F-16 and F-18 from the USA. i can be totally wrong but just my take and the way i see it. anyway let dig it out and i will give you my complete findings.

  • SenaiErtrawi

    Saleh,
    You are such a writer! I am completely with you on the saxophone in modern Tigrigna songs – it buries the string instruments (Kirar and guitar) completely with its loud and coarse presence. Can’t stop laughing about “Sheezeley” . .. . I used to say “sheezeley aytihazeley . . . .”. How about when we said “Africa richest” for “Ah, freak out Le freak, c’est chic” 🙂

    On the dress attire issues and young people, all I can say is – can’t win! It is easier to accept, even those “sagging pants that show greasy underwear”. May be you should think of the issues the generation before you had with your generation . . .

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatistas,

    “When one leader says “I am the ONLY person who can hold this nation together” then that shows in fact that leader has failed to build that nation” Barack Obama, Speech to AU deligates in Addis Ababa today. Very cool:)

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33684721

    • saay7

      Hey HTG:

      A Rwandan asks her president: remember way back when you said that if I haven’t mentored someone to succeed me, that alone is evidence that I am not qualified to lead you? Her prez, Paul Kagame, says, essentially, well I meant what I said then, and I mean what I mean now.

      And what does he mean now? Well, unbeknownst to him, Rwandans are filing a petition to amend the constitution to allow him to have a 3rd term. This, of course, is completely outside his control, never mind that he is such a control freak he chases down and hunts opposition in exile.

      Now at least with Paul Kagame he can rationalize his “I am indispensable” argument by pointing out to 20 ways of transforming Rwanda from the abyss to a peaceful developing nation that is “working” and to being a man who is one of the most respected intellectual fire powers of Africa. What can Isaias Afwerki point to in his 24 years of misrule?

      saay

      • haileTG

        Wow Wow..ኣንታ ሰብኣይ ካበይ ኢኻ ትረኽቦ?? ላይብራርይ ዓዲጎም ድዮም ስድራኹም:-) Haha…that is excellent saay thank you again!

        cheers

        • saay7

          Haha Hailat:

          You actually listened to/read the entire Obama speech. (I hope Bayan is not listening: he is a fan) but I find the man insufferable; always lecturing. He reminds me of the other guy who is always in the ሞያዊ ምኽሪ ለጊስሎም mode:) Whether it is an architect, a farmer, an athlete, a teacher, if the poor citizen “inhabitant” finds himself in the presence of Isaias or Obama, s/he will not escape ሞያዊ ምኽሪ 🙂

          saay

          • Bayan Nagash

            Ato, Ato Sal, (klitte Ato Keman kweHdekka)

            Lecturing is the man’s profession, much as maiming, killing, and vanishing people and putting them in dungeons is the profession of Nsu – that’s the 24 years resume of the man for you. And only God knows what else he had done in the 30 years struggle for preceding the independence of the nation.

          • haileTG

            Dear saay, go easy on Obama and IA:-) the point is that the people need less govt intervention and the duo have figured out that can only be satisfied by limiting themselves to consultative roles. Now where is the logical handicap in that? Haha..

            On a separate development, B’Emnet Tewelde has come back to post on dehai the latest call of the regime of IA for the UNSC to set up ሸፋፍ መካኒዝም to investigate UNSC members on human trafficking. The regime says it would only reveal its ዕቱብ ናይ መርትዖ ሓበሬታ despite that Italy, Germany and others had long went ahead to persecute suspects without waiting for ሸፋፍ መካኒዝም። Is this an indirect black mail of the people who helped their family escape??? ሸፋፍ no ሸፋፍ we know trafficking is paid in Eritrea and 4×4 land cruisers of senior officers are their drivers.

            Here B’Emnet Tewelde’s dehai link:

            http://www.dehai.org/archives/dehai_news_archive/2015/jul/att-0517/______________________________________________________________________.pdf

            Regards

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear saay
        Ah, why do you bother HTG with that question? There, Gen.Nit is raising his hand to answer it.
        On a separate subjects, I rarely agree with Gual Adem. But here is a part of her comment that I completely agree with.
        “PFDJ has stolen much…much more from Eritreans than it did from Ethiopia.it has nation-jacked from its owners (citizens).”

        • saay7

          Hi Mahmuday:

          Well, I HAVE read Nitricc’s toothless answer; it is as toothless as Obama’s answer when he feigns surprise that he doesn’t understand why Africans want to be presidents for life 🙂

          1. Obama said that for purely domestic reasons because there are a lot of Americans who think that he will pull some national emergency to continue his third term. In fact, he toyed with them by saying that if he COULD run for president, he would win again.

          2. One of the LEAST surprising things is why an African president wants to be president for life: it is unlimited access to money AND power. The real question is NOT why they want to be presidents for life but why we the people are powerless to stop them.

          Here’s a report on South Sudan: “The Nexus of Corruption and Conflict in South Sudan.” The leaders are incentivized to be presidents for life, for many reasons, and one of them is that if they lose power they will be hunted and imprisoned/killed.

          https://thesentry.org/reports/south-sudan/

          Hey, welcome back Mahmuday!!

          saay

          • Ted

            Hi, The Great MS. How you doin’?

            When you see “”PFDJ has stolen much…much more from Eritreans” She sees “PFDJ…. did from Ethiopia” just thought to point out the un- obvious so much for side mirror analogy.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ted the great
            You know how the argument progressed, yes? Actually I was the first one to ask Hayat to back up her assertion that 150M was rushed to Eritrea. The fact is, dear Ted, much more than money was exchanged, blood. So, I asked her because she came up with this figure. Any body could check Ethiopia’s aggregate economy of that time and its balances and figure it out. The fact is there was more than money exchanging sides on those days. We should never deny what they did for us. For instance, they stood with us during the Hanish conflicts (although PMMZ later wanted to downplay/minimize it). Now, Hayat is not going to give you any verifiable source about the 150M, because it did not happen. Remember also when Bronwyn Bruton was debated; Hayat said Bruton sided with Eritrea because she was denied employment at the UN/Somalia. Mahmuday challenged her to back it up. What happened? Nothing. You remember the debates on the droughts of 1984-85…I mean that’s just Hayat. But lets give her the credit she deserves. She is a talented and fierce debater. I appreciate those types of individuals, including your no-nonsense attitude. Even if they beat you hard, you go home knowing you have put up a good fight.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Saay

            I do not understand why you want the question to be it one way. It Could be asked both ways. Salihom why do you stick with repulicanized questions ? You hate obama like republicans. Am I right?

            Amsnuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            Como? No comprende. Which question and how am one-waying it and what are the two-ways?

            I don’t hate anyone, not even Obama. Hate is an exhausting emotion. Plus it is hard to hate someone when u are bored by them:)

            Saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba saay,

            the both ways are:
            Why African leaders want to be president for life? and why the people are powerless to stop them?

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Hi Emma:

            I see. I have already answered why African leaders wan to president for life. It’s a good gig and there doesn’t appear to be guaranteed quality life for ex-presidents. I think in psychology they call that positive and negative reinforcement which, in combination, is an irresistible force and that’s why I thought Obama was being disingenuous when he claimed not to understand.

            The second question: well, first of all African (and Middle Eastern, for that matter) nation states are tender new things. We did not have evolutionary growth from sovereign kings (Soverign/subject) to sovereign states (State/citizen.) Then of course culture has a lot to do with it: there is no local word for president but there is one for king, king of kings, dejazmach, grazmach, qenazmach, cavalieri, fitewrari, mufti, papas, and all these guys die “in office” and have no limits. We have nguse, but no temahare for first names:)

            So we are not into term limits. Once crowned, unless you commit some unforgivable sin–like convert your religion–you are expected to keep it. The Musevini, Kagame, Isaiases accepted “term limits” in the 1990s because it was part of the Washington consensus and later on changed their minds.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Okay Saay,

            No question that Obama understand as to why African Leaders want power for life. My understanding as to why he asked the question the way he asked, he want to leave that question in the mind of the leaders, to rethink-and-think about it, that their current mindset is the epic-center of instability for them and to the rest of African people. I think he did it as a choice of his diplomatic outreach than giving authoritative directives to them. That is my take on his speech my dear friend Saay.

            Beyan – when Saay and me talk about Democratic/republican parties, it will be one of those days to reflect on on & off our ideological differences in an attempt to structure and enable us to work mutually, collaboratively, and amicably. We wish two formidable but ideologically different parties to grow in Eritrea. Am I right Saay.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Bayan Nagash

            Dear Sal, Haile TG, and Aman,

            I thought the issue about not understanding why anyone would want to stay in power indefinitely was going to die down, but Aman has resuscitated it. So, two points, will suffice:

            1. I understood the expression at its rhetorical level in that
            he wasn’t necessarily being ingenuous but simply for the effectiveness of what’s to follow. Sal, you know this way of talking at close range in your-day-to-day interactions with employees as Amanuel would also know it from the other end of the spectrum. I am not sure what Haile TG does, thus I will leave him out of the equation. The point that needs to be made, however, is that Obama as former professor knows very well the power of rhetoric when wanting to drive his point home. So, he prefaces it with “I don’t understand why” although he, more than anyone of us, knows why these leaders wish to stay in power…partial reasons of which Sal alluded to it in earlier comments and in the rejoinder to Aman now. So, from a discourse analysis perspective, the preface was surely effective as you could hear the crowd clapping – Rhetorical ploy at its best.

            2. The second point that needs to be made about Sal’s leaning toward republicanism, well, that’s understandable. I have a dear friend who spent a great deal of his career working for others. In fact, he was locally active in supporting Obama’s ticket for presidency. He did all what needed to be done within his power, such as being part of the caucus in making sure that Obama gets his fair share of votes to outgun Hillary in the primary, so on and so forth. It so happened this very friend became a businessman in his field during the interim of Obama’s presidency – he is, as it were, his own boss now and has close to fifty employees…and now what I hear from him is that when you become a businessman the bottom-line (i.e., $$$) promptly turns you into Republican tent. So, Amanom, Sal has a lot at stake. He cannot, in good conscience, support democrats when they are hitting him – left & right – on his pocket book. The man has family to feed – That must be established.

            Am I right on the ballpark on this, Sal or am way out on the left field? I am open if there is any philosophical or ideological arguments that you can make outside the pragmatic point I just made why you lean toward the republican tent. Educate me master rhetorician as I will be all ears you hear?

          • haileTG

            Selamat saay,

            There are sometimes formulations that rhyme plausible but hardly make sense in reality. For example, one of the interviewees in the Kiros Asfaha video that I shared yesterday says that “the Eritrean people are paying the current sacrifices in order not to jeopardize the unity of the country”. That sounds and rhymes plausible for the the unsuspecting listener. However, it really is contradictory in terms because the fact that we chose to leave the country in droves and then absolutely mistrust each other to even come together on the minimum points of agreements, is the one singular greatest threat to unity. The gentleman however found a way to reconcile the facts on the ground that are sharply at variance with his assessment that we’re somewhat solidifying unity by putting it at a grave risk.

            Again, I felt likewise with this part of your above point despite the rest being consistent with the way I look at the subject: ” This is why RECONCILIATION has to be the centerpiece of everything we do, no matter how mad we are at those who are blocking our path.”?? Can the Rwandans have been asked to reconcile while genocide was in progress? Could the South Africans been asked to reconcile while apartheid was in power?…. Isn’t reconciliation a sustainable means of administering justice rather than a vehicle for political solution? So, how can we reconcile with those on our way without first relieving them off their power so us we can see them in the courts in an equal footing? Could you please reconcile that for me:-)

            Regards

          • saay7

            Selamat Hailat:

            Ok, that’s a two parter of two inter-related concepts: ሓድነትና (our unity) and ዕርቂ (reconciliation.) I think I understand what the gentlemen in the video you presented were saying and I will try to interpret it; and I think I can do better in describing what I meant that “reconciliation has to be the centerpiece of everything we do…”

            On ሓድነትና (our unity), YG had a blistering critique of it in his “Circular Journey” series (http://asmarino.com/articles/1588-iii-the-circular-journey-in-search-of-eritrea-hadnetna-from-sahel-to-the-sinai2) where he criticized the awate team for being the “anesthesiologists.” YG’s thrust was that ሓድነትና (our unity) had seize being a means but the actual goal. I think what the gentlemen in the video is saying is that there are many means to fight the Isaias Afwerki regime and defeat it, but because we are constantly conscious of the need to maintain our unity, we will refrain from taking some measures that, although they may appear politically expedient, will endanger our unity, i.e., our formula for enduring, harmonious co-existence. To put it bluntly, we are not going to say, እዞም ኣስላም፥ እሎም ሓበሽ፥ እዞም ሓማሴን፥ እዞም ኣከለ…because that is a point of no return. Now, what Haile TG is asking is: well, then, if you actually want to act on that principle of unity, then why are you so mistrustful of one another and why don’t you actually create an organization on that basis? I think it is because what replaces the potency of atavistic allegiance is a powerful ideology*–socialism, communism, Pan Africanism, Pan Arabism–and that doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe we are living in a post-ideology world? The closest we come to ideology is individualism–individual rights, individual liberties–and…well, should I say I will write an article about that because Professor Asmerom Legesse has pretty much made the point that CoIE “glorifies” individual rights? I shouldn’t because then I will commit to something and that violates my individual right to allow young individuals to find their space:)

            On reconciliation, let me speak in codes because I can’t match your eloquence in Tigrinya otherwise I would write it…maybe Mahmuday can help me. If my Tigrinya was a matchstick it would be ሸርጠጥ….. ቅሕም (inside joke.) Supposing a serial killer decided to go on a murderous rampage and he puts together a 10,000 strong cavalry of professional jockeys riding stallions. The victims will hate the serial killer, horses and short people. Reconciliation simply means focus on the serial killer: the horses and the short people were just instruments. እዋይ ክትልብም ተረዲእካኒ! Actually, the most coherent “who is the criminal, who is the instrument?” clarification was, to my mind, best explained by Wedi Vacarro. If we are not careful about that, whenever we call ourselves “justice-seekers”, all the horse and jockey lovers are hearing is “revenge seekers.”

            saay

            * SGJ convinced me to watch the data dump by AP Archive on youtube and I am glad he did. That is the power of ideology, really: a bunch of really smart, young Eritreans with integrity and with the right cause. Saw Abdella Suleiman, Sabbe, Dr. Yohannes Zeremariam… Phew! I think YG should watch it; he might reconsider his classification of the ELF and EPLF leaders as clueless folk who had no vision besides hatred of Ethiopia.

        • Hayat Adem

          Mahmuday,
          The objects on this side mirror may be closer than they appear. We may have more things in common than you are willing to acknowledge, or less difference than you are readily acknowledging.

        • selam

          Dear Mr.MS
          That particular sentence is true and there is no one that a sensible person in this site will deny that fact in which she has no space to make it like her other skewed points .For your own sake , can’t we all agree that she is the sole representative of weyane propaganda machine , do you think I did not know that sentence before . Or are you trying to just accept all her demise and skewed analysis about every thing? How far are you willing to go on the up scale of her own comments ? Have you ever read hayat comments unless she wanted to preach all things about weyane. Or is there some one with double name who act like hayat ? There is no way that she is Eritrean and spend the whole time defending TPLF figures . I reject the notion that my enemy’s enemy is my enemy in this case , hayat comments are always one sided in favour of weyane. So I urge you to keep the records straight with out picking from the middle.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear selam
            With all due respect, I have to make the following points in relation to your reply.
            1. If like “any sensible person in this site”, you agree with me that the particular sentence I quoted as being true, then you agree with Hayat, too. I’m surprised too that you neglected tones of qualifications that I inserted just to make it as clear as possible. Did I say tones? I learned exaggerations from my little boy.
            A typically conversation would go like this:
            Son: I love you.
            MS: How much?
            Son: Billion…trillion…gazillion…times.
            And the familiar son-father baloney goes on and on until usually I get tired.
            Anyway: I inserted at least two qualifications, landmarks that would tell you what exactly I mean. I said ” I rarely agree with Gual Adem”, I also quoted the part I agreed with.
            2. I don’t know if she is the “sole” wayane propagandist, but I know she reflects the views of wayane’s mainstream views, and her arguments agree with known TPLF cadres. So what? Who said I should not talk to or agree on certain aspects of any given debate with Wayanay cadre?
            I have my own redlines and criteria dear selam. Perhaps you did not have the chance to follow my LEGENDARY fights with Gual Adem in almost all areas, otherwise, you would not be caught off-guarded by this clearly placed comment.
            Regards.

          • selam

            Dear Mr. MS
            Yes I actually was not reading comments too much in the old times but come on , lets agree in secret that she doesn’t like to support her claims with prove , on top of that she skewed things more than Gebru asrat can imagine. Oh your son and dad thing is really not fair to me, come on . I was just in rush to respond when she tried to bring the mirror thing and you took to much time to respond on that mirror thing unless you are the one who stood firm about the 1985 aid food for guns I remember every thing . I know you have your own red lines I was just wondering how could MS has more common things with her and when you did not reply , I just wanted you to come back and adress this mirror thing. Sorry for wasting your time.

          • Pass the salt

            ዝኸበርኩም ጭቃ ዓዲ፣
            መቸም ዘይምርድዳእ የጋጥምንድዩ ሓደሓደ ግዜ፣ ንዝጊ ይጥዓሞ ተባሂሉ ግን ሸለል ኢልካ ከኣ ይሕለፍዩ። ሕጂ ከኣ እንሆልኩም ዳእሲ ብመሰረት እቲ ካብ ወለድና ዝወረስናዩ ክቡር ባህሊ፣ ነዛ ጎርዞ ክንዋሓሳሞ እቲ እገዳ ክለዓለላ ንምሕጸን።

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Pass the salt,

            ለባም ኣይስእነና፤ ነዛ ጓለይ ክትወሓሱዋ ምምሕጻንኩም ካብልበይ የመስግን፤ ንምርብራብ እኳ ነዞም ሰብ ገዛ ኣረብሪባቶም እያ እዛ ጥይት ጓለይ፤ ግንከ ንዝዓቢ ቆልዓ ኣትበድል እዩሞ ቀስ አናበልና እስካዕ እንመኽራ በጃኹም መሓሩልና ንበሎም፤፤

          • haileTG

            Hi Fanti and PTS

            በሉ’ስኪ ባይቶ ምስ ጭቃ ዓዲ መጺእና’ሎና። ስዋ ብዘይ ሓተላ፡ ሜስ ብዘይ ኣምቦላ ነጀው ኣብላ። ጸሓይ’ውን መሪራ’ያ ዘላ’ሞ፡ ትፈትዋ ጓልካን ዋንጫኻን እናነብዓ ይመጻኻ እንድዩ፡ ጸረር ክሳብ ትብል’ስኪ መሊእኩም ቅድሕዋ። እሞ ናብቲ ጉዳይ ክንኣቱ፣ ነገር ካብ ክልተ ከይሰማዕካ ኣይትፍረድ እንድዩ ብቐደሙ፣ እንዳ ዓዋተ ዝብሉና ዘለው፡ ጉዳይ ሰላም ካን ከም ሰብኣይ ቅብጥር እንተሓዝካዮ ዝነጥር ኮይኑ ረኺብና። እሞ ኣሞራ ሓላው ስጋ፡ ንጉስ ሓላው ጌጋ ካብ ኮነ ድማ፡ ክሳብ ሰለስተ ቅነ ቅድሚ ጳጉመ ወጊዝናያ’ሎና ይብሉኹምን ይብሉኽንን ኣለዉ። ሰላም እውን ብወገና፡ እንተቐዶ ቐዶ፡ እንተዘይቐዶ ሕንጣጦ ኢለ እምበር፡ ከም ወያ ሕነ ቐራናት ንጓዕማማት ምኻኑ ኣካይዳይ’ሲ ኣይዘንጋዕኩን ትብለኩምን ትብለክንን ኣላ።

            መቸም ብላዕ ዝበሎ ተቐሪቡ ይጸንሖ፡ ተሸከም ዝበሎ ተጠሚሩ ይጸንሖ እንድዩ ነገራቱ፡ ንሕና ባይቶ’ውን ድሕሪ ፈጽሚ ከምዘርከብና ኣይከሓድን። ስለ ዝኾነ ድማ ካብ እንዳ ደገዝማቲ ኣይትለቃሕ ፈርጊ፡ ንየው ነጀው ክትብል ከይትሓጊ፡ ዝብል ናይ ቀደም ጥንቲ ብሂል እናዘከርና፡ ንሰላም ብሩኽ ቅነ ይግበረልኪ፡ ኣብ ምላሽኪ፡ በዓለገ ብመልሓሱ፡ ከልቢ ብጭርኡ ይልለ፡ ከይኮነኪ ዝግ ኢልኪ ክትላዘቢ ንመክር። ንንዳ ዓዋተ ድማ ሹም ይእዝዝ፡ ቀሺ ይናዝዝ ስለ ዝኾነ፡ ካብ ስራሕኩም ኣይወጻኹምኒ። ወድሓንኩም። ምእንቲ ባህ ክብላ፡ ዱባ ጽብሓላ ኣይንግበሮ፡ እዝጊ ኣይፈቱን ከምኡ።

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Haile TG,
            Oh man! I had something cute to say. I forgot I can’t use Geez font on my work computer. Kabkhatkum ziAbi ezgi TiraH iyu’mo, isKhatkum lebamat ziferedkum’o ed nesi’ena teKebilna alona.

          • Nitricc

            Dearest AT. I always thought you learn from me as much as i have learned from you. over the years, no one, no one; gave you more headache and troubles than i am, yet you put up with me. what i couldn’t understand is your intolerance with Selam? AT; this is good, we are practicing the art of debate. when the time comes to sit down and talk about affairs in civilized way; this is the practice for that event. it is on your mission; reconciliation and reconciliation requires tolerance. on that sprite; with the sprite of solidarity with Selam; i am suspending my participation till August 11; unless AT comes up with the alleged violations. Yes, AT, you can not get away by just mentioning ” serious violation” what are the serious violation? i can not stay for one day away from this web-site let alone for two weeks; unless i get an explanation for my inquiry, then i have no choice but suffer. i feel like i am a member of PFDJ and do nothing when PIA putting people in to prison. i say no to that capture.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salamat Gen.Nit
            I feel awkward to say this, but I have to say it. I believe Selam hasn’t been suspended because of her political ferocity and bold stances. It all has to do with attitudes. To my credit, and allow me to credit myself, I have given her polite advises and cues to slow down, and post respectfully. How many ” rotten old men” statements have you seen? I think, if you really care about her, tell her what you would say to your sister or friend:be respectful. I still have a delicately soft spot for her. But I will not help her if I don’t tell her what needs to be done. We tell the naked truth to someone we like. AT has just done that. I wish selam would say sorry and come back right now. She doesn’t need to be rude, she has got all that’s needed to make her point in a civilized manner. I was disappointed at the way she addressed Amanuel Hidrat and SGJ
            . I mean, come on, it is neither Eritrean nor a western culture to be rude and disrespectful. So, nitrikay, I don’t believe you agree with the mannerisms she has been displaying. I believe this has nothing to do with her political views.
            Dear selam, you are welcome whenever you feel rejoining.

          • Nitricc

            Mahmuday; what is up? well, one thing anyone can’t be is disrespectful. Like i was telling AT; i wasn’t aware of it. when you brought it up and AT explained it, i see the point. i was under impression that Selam was suspended due her strong and to your face style of debate. anyway; let’s help Selam to become a young respectful Eritrean citizen of awate.com.
            Thanks for the explanation Mahmuday.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan nitrikay
            Thanks for the well thought out comment. I agree with you in welcoming selam back. The point is, if you want to make a point, reduce the noises and buzzes around you. That becomes possible by sticking to the message and making it in a clean and respectful manner. Selam has all the talents to make her point get through.She doesn’t need to strain herself. I hope she understands what needs to be done and rejoins; I do miss her presence.
            BTW: it wasn’t without a reason that saay called you the truth teller.

          • Dear Nitricc,
            As you know, the moderators are here to ensure an uninterrupted flow of debates. They do not take arbitrary decision but try their best to advise violators. If you are expecting them to hold a court with and deliberate a decision, it will not happen. Consider their job like that of a referee in a game who can kick a player out.

            We are determined to protect members of this forum from the abuse of other members. We just cannot watch someone harass and abuse people without adding any value to the ongoing debate.

            As you can testify, we do not care what view members of this forum hold, or what they many levels of identities are as long as they have something to add to the forum. And if they don’t we do nor care but we cannot allow abuse and disrespect, particularly when that becomes a repeat offence and total disregard to the many advises, temporary banning and open warnings.

            One thing we do not tolerate is for someone to attempt to censor us on our own website and nag us on what we publish and what we don’t. Anyone can have an opinion about a viewpoint, published on the frontapage or no, but that should not be expressed with disrespect, or by assaulting the rights of the editors. Worse, it is not acceptable that such objection should lead to disrespect, insinuated insults, and rudeness.

            In short, if we didn’t write this message, what Mahmoud Saleh wrote should have been enough on the subject. But we decided to add a little more.

          • Nitricc

            Hi AT thanks for your explanation. i was not aware the disrespectfulness you have sensed. Even Muhmuday shared your view. Anyway; we should all try to help Selam to be respectful to theres and to be a better citizen. it is very hard to switch from one style of debate to the new one. trust me, I am still struggling to clean it up. giver her time and i will do my best to help Selam.
            Again thanks for your explanation.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday,
            You said of me, “…her arguments agree with known TPLF cadres”; and then you said of yourself, “Who said I should not talk to or agree on certain aspects of any given debate with Wayanay cadre?”
            Let’s take both sentences at face value. The first is a gross generalization but I like the 2nd one because it also lends me a justification why nobody should tell me to disagree with a Weyane cadre as a point of departure. Actually, the only point I should be accountable to explain whether whatever I do or say compromises or 2nd-places Eritrea’s or Eritreans’ interest is Eritrea and Eritreans. That is the center from which we all should be measured if patriotic or not. The moment we make our point of departure on how much we hate Weyane or disagree with them, we became senseless. That calculates for itself as we anchored ourselves firmly on the core values and interests, which can only stem from our care to Eritreans. There is no value or sensible interest in starting from the position of inversely mirroring Weyane. How can there be. Look at Selam and Nitircc- that is exactly the problem. How worse can PFDJ’s indoctrination screw our views and distort our horizon from seeing things logically and clearly!!!

            ———————
            Let’s take Selam’s reasoning: Selam hates anything of Weyane. No risk for me to declare 100% because she has showed it proudly a lot of times. If we assume Selam’s view is justified, for the sake arguement, Weyane is to be hated 100%. That kind of conclusion comes if only you think Weyane is an obvious enemy of Eritrea. But that is nnot even eneough, to hate it 100%, the group has to be anti its own people, and all humanity. That makes Weyane your number one enemy and everything else comes next. According to this setting, PFDJ and other problems come after Weyane. Imagine: the Eritrean youth are not running away from Weyane for refugee in PFDJ. It is the other way. The justice seekers are not debating if they have to abandon Weyane to work with PFDJ. It is the other way.
            ———————-
            Now- which one is dangerous: agreeing sometimes with some one who is suspected of agreeing with Weyane all the time or agreeing sometimes with someone who is suspected of hating Weyane all the time? Which one? The only reason why we are not alarmed by the views that come from people like Selam ia one- because of the indoctrination of PFDJ/EPLF and two, because they are powerless and can’t go beyond expressing their views and harm someone. There is no way they should be able to put so much pressure on sebsible person such as yourself to make you walk a tight rope and explain yourself with qualified statements.

            ———————-
            But you are also wrong on some level on describing me as always agreeing with a known Weyane cadre. I don’t measure my positions on how close or far from Weyane or PFDJ are. That must come as a consequence and regardless. But all said, up on demand, I can give you a list of many issues that I happened to be on the opposite side of Weyane’s views; a lot of issues that I feel strongly about and the Weyanes don’t; a lot of issues that I give urgency and priorities that the may not and of course, also, a lot of issues that we converge up on.
            With respect,
            Hayat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dearest Gual Adem
            ይበል ጽሑፍ። እንታይ ክወጾ። But I have to tell you (and you know good friends talk eye to eye), most of the suspicions that Eritrean awatistas have on you are your own creation. Let me explain it this way. Through the short period I have followed your comments, there is nothing of a comment that you could point at that tells us you are indeed a believer in Eritrean statehood. On average you will converge whenever a debate deals with a general humanitarian issue. Once debates are arrayed in a country to country basis your comments are more likely to promote the interest of Ethiopia than not. You are good when things are at mutual level. To test that, in the past week or so, I asked you a simple question.
            I’m afraid by evading a direct answer to that question you missed an opportunity to come clean in the eyes of many ‘sensible’ awatistas including the great SAAY who once called you a wayane pamphleteer. I’m not sure if he is still clinging to it. That opportunity was when I asked you if you where aware/informed of the harassments and displacements our border farmers and villagers were subjected to by the ruling gangsters of Ghebru Asrat and cohorts. This was asked purposely. Because any Eritrean will tell you a lot about those painful experiences that Eritreans went through because of the violations of their rights to live peacefully in their ages old settlements carrying the identity they had held for generations. And all these under the nose of their acquiescent government. Any sensible Eritrean will acknowledge those harassments and the ever moving border posts inwards Eritrean territory. So here it was about the visceral feeling. Mind you, I am not trying to underline whether those acts constitute a ground for an all-out war. I’m very clear about the causes of the border war and I don’t want to go there. It was just about a feeling. After all, an identity is a feeling before it becomes a legal adage.

            I was disappointed to see you dodging an obviously easy question. My question could have been answered in one or two sentences. In short I asked you if you acknowledge the border
            incursions, harassments and dislodging of Eritrean farmers and villagers. You could have simply said:

            1. Yes, I do. They were wrong acts, but could not constitute a reason to go to war to settle or reverse them.
            2. Yes, they happened and they were right measures.

            3. No, there were no such acts. No more explanation needed.
            4. None of the above (insert your own)

            It’s clear I was trying to see whether your failure to appreciate the other
            side of the coin, real aggressions of Tigray Authorities lead by Ayte Ghebru on Eritrea, or a deliberate negligence in order to emphasize TPLF’s version that the war has nothing to do with border related issues. For an apparently obvious reason, you seem to be uncomfortable giving a straight answer to the question. Instead, you asked rhetorically “If the Tigray Administration was harassing and abusing my people, how best do I defend them?” You see, you
            are saying “if…” and then veered deliberately to the
            escaping chute of moral grids and comparisons of ” even if they do
            this…we shouldn’t do that…”

            So, Hayat, you are too smart not to grasp why I was asking you that question. There are many unhelpful comments that you have made which must have caused politically naïve folks take you as representing the resistance efforts.

            You said you “…I can give you a list of many issues that I happened to be on the opposite side of Weyane’s views; a lot of issues that I feel strongly about and the Weyanes don’t..” why don’t you jot down three things on which you oppose wayane just to put Gen.nit and the great Ted to a test. But they should be Eritrean-related policy points.

            On a positive note, I want to end this with the following remark you have just made:
            “Actually, the only point I should be accountable to explain whether whatever I do or say compromises or 2nd-places Eritrea’s or Eritreans’ interest is Eritrea and Eritreans. That is the center from which we all should be measured if patriotic or not.”
            Again, I do agree 100% (anyway selam is taking off per AT moderator).

          • Hayat Adem

            Kibur wo Hifur Mahmuday,
            ይበል ጽሑፍ። እንታይ ክወጾ።
            Entai kiwetSo mis belka gin hidet keytSanHkha nab mwitSetSa’e keydkha!
            ————————-
            “…most of the suspicions that Eritrean awatistas have on you are your own creation.”; “you missed an opportunity to come clean in the eyes of many ‘sensible’ awatistas including the great SAAY who once called you a wayane pamphleteer”;

            I am so bored to death on this issue. I sometimes think of going public and at times leaving the forum altogether. It is unnecessarily tiresome. I’m not running for office, so dealing with ideas I forward would have been enough. But our political identity concepts seem to base themselves primarily on “who are you” not on “what are you.”
            I don’t know how many of them doubt me but even a single one is not to be celebrated. But the worst you could do to address worries of such nature is going out of your way and belief. I would never do that. But if there are some things that I can explain more to clear confusion or misunderstandings, of course, I would be willing to do that. What else is the purpose of coming to this website! If there are certain areas where I should shut up and learn from other knowledgeable people here, of course, what else can be the purpose coming to this website! You mentioned Saay above. True, but it is not all the time and it is not necessarily in the way you tried to imply. But Saaaaaay always reminds me of the singer and song writer Joni Mitchell: “sometimes I love you, sometimes I hate you, but I hate you because I love you”..Go away, Mahmuday… I don’t know why you always want to drag this great man to this qoyqi; he is free to think of Hayat anything he wants under the sun.
            ————————-
            “[From] your comments, there is nothing of a comment that you could point at that tells us you are indeed a believer in Eritrean statehood”

            Every statement I make here starts from believing in the Eritrean statehood. I take that not as a sacrosanct setting but as a dictating reality. I don’t rule out the chance of exploring other options given a favorable geopolitical setting but I strongly believe, with right governance, Eritrea is in many ways in a better situation to become a vibrant and stable state, more conveniently than many others in the neighborhood. But again, even if I don’t believe in Eritrean statehood, I should be stigmatized and quarantined. A large number of Canadians don’t believe in the Canadain statehood and they vote every leap year to assert their beliefs. There was a referendum in Scotland recently that resulted in majority of them not believing in independent Scotland. My friend, do not take Eritrea’s statehood as a sacrosanct litmus paper. That how screwed we are with the overdosed propaganda over the years. But the recently declassified documents from the Soviet era show you that even your beloved EPLF was ready to call it a day for a settlement short of independence. In 1987, when the revolution was turning 25 years old and feeling the fatigue of stalemate, the EPLF was softening its independence mantra again. Eritrean statehood is not a sacred thing but a de facto and preferred setting for this time. “Believer of Eritrean statehood”?!!! Funny! The only thing you should demand of me to do on the minimum requirement if we have to remain citizens of the same country is respecting the rule of law. You have no legal or oral right to dictate me to be a believer of anything.
            ————————-
            “To test that, in the past week or so, I asked you a simple question.”

            Honestly, Mahmuday- there was nothing testable there. All, we have is what PFDJ told us after the fact of May 12. For example, I have full Tigrigna interview of Isaias done in February or March of 1998 exclusively dealing with the relationship with Ethiopia (Nakfa/Birr, Trade, Policy Harmonization, and Citizenship etc). That was one or two months from earlier. Isaias said nothing about the things you raised. So, I feel so sad when you try to base your questions on points of propaganda from the PFDJ. If you personally knew or witnessed that it happened in certain ways and brought it for me here, then that would be a real testing case. Otherwise, we don’t know for sure if it happened or didn’t happen rather than to assume on the basis of conditionality. For example, Siye wrote a book earlier and Ghebru Asrat wrote details of recently. Siye’s Amharic is easier to understand than Gebru’s bulky one, was harder for me. Someone should try to translate it to Tigrigna. (Not Fanti and SGJ- you have done your share, and too bad, Amde can’t still help to return favors). But it has a lot of data and recollection about it. Obviously those stories run parallel to the ones you raised here. But regardless, you raised the question and I answered it. I could have answered it in one of the four options you put or in 100 different ways. It would make no difference towards my clearance or in answering what caused the war. The implication you tried to present the crisis born of a lot of complex problems and series of provocations would get you to a dead end. Let’s assume Weyane was harassing Eritrean villagers. You’ve so many ways to stop it before jumping guns. If I answer 1,2 ,3 or 4, You wouldn’t get anything that you are not getting now.
            ————————
            “why don’t you jot down three things on which you oppose Woyane …”

            1) I want EPRDF to intervene in Eritrea militarily before it slips to chaos and civil war on the principle of helping Eritrea and Eritreans.

            2) I am totally opposed to ethnicity based politics, low land highland divide or any other identity-based stratification except for the purpose of addressing group and social grievances.

            3) I want Eritreans residing in Ethiopia and the Eritrean refugees in the camps granted dual citizenship and save them from exile and camp life.

            Hayat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Hayat
            Thanks for the reply. You made great points, and helped me clear my desk of “things to ask Hayat”stickers. You see Hayat, in order to wish good things for Eritrea and Eritreans one is not required to be Eritrean. Your hope for a better region is more important than the ambitions each of us project from our little cage called nation. I’m a good wisher of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. I don’t need to be an Ethiopian. However, when one is seen as the promoter of ideas and policies that seek to contradict that mutual respect and cooperation, we are forced to know who that person is. You are free to float your ideas, and people who don’t agree with those ideas have the reason to get curious. That’s why i said you created those suspicions. By appearing to defend my “beloved” EPLF, I’m setting myself to get asked and jabbed. I should not complain when Gual Adem slings her sharp shots every now and then.
            I find great points in your reply, I will have to digest them . unfortunately I don’t have the time to give you a detailed answer. But I completely disagree with your call on Ethiopia to violate Eritrean sovereignty. Remember, the sovereignty of a nation is independent of who is ruling that nation. I can assure you one thing:if Eritreans can’t unite to challenge PFDJ, they won’t unite on ruling an Eritrea that ha been given to them by a foreign intervention.
            Hayat, again, the more you venture outside your comfort zone the more you are creating problems for yourself. You said in 1987 my beloved EPLF was ready to call the day and settle for anything less than an independent Eritrea . Another public challenge for you: please collaborate this assertion with evidences. For your information, EPLF was fighting for the right of self-determination. Independence was one of the choices that it put forward in its 1981 referendum proposal. That 1981 proposal was the one EPLF was holding as a last or minimum bargaining chip when it sat for negotiations with the Durg in 1978. Had Durg taken that path, lives and properties would have been saved.
            All in all, ybel zebl wereja zereba.
            Regards.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday,
            If a help is asked and granted for a good reason (this time to save a nation from heading to collapse and civil war), it can never be violation of sovereignty. Refusing to ask without no better alternative in order while existential disaster is hovering would mean more than a violation- extinction.
            ————————
            Are you saying “EPLF was fighting for the right of self-determination that includes all options”? Since when? That makes it a copy cut of the TPLF. My 1st time to hear that. Please forward if you have documents on this. Then when did they change that stand and start demanding independence. This is not reflected in any of the EPLF official documents, nor in their major statements, nor in the infamous document called niHnan Elamanan, But again mine is mostly from a desk research, and as you were a Tegadalai on top of the matter, I remain ready and curious to learn.
            ———————–
            1987: Well, position like this are made from multiple and series of observations and evaluations. For example I can refer you to the speech made by the chairman of the Front in celebration the 25th anniversary of sewra Eritrea. In that speech he said to the effect, not verbatim, [we have struggled and paid every dearest price to realize Eritrean independence and have come this far. We didn’t have helpers and our Tegadalai and our people had to shoulder so much disruption and sacrifice. We can’t rely on any cooperation with the Ethiopian political organizations. They too expect to get to power through using Eritrean sacrifices. So it must be known that we are alone on this. We must evaluate our conditions and the objective reality to see if there are other options that we can consider to minimize the burden of sacrifice on our people and Tegdalai.] In a way, I am not criticizing such 2nd-thoughts. In fact, that was the smartest and wisest consideration. I wish PFDJ is that rational this time.
            With respect,
            gual adem

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Hayat,
            I cannot show you off hand but I am sure others will provide de you with the support you requested. But there always has been a consensus among 99.9 of Eritreans that we wanted to have our own independent state. I hoped that will be our only 99.9 vote and still hope it will be the last. Importantly, almonds at all Eritreans understand self determination to be a shorthand for independence. I don’t think that is debatable.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            ZKeberky Gual Adem
            1. Let Eritreans coalesce around a representative body first, then the issues of international assistance, the issue of comprehensive and strategic review and steps that are needed to meet those strategic questions could be addressed by the legitimate representative body. Individuals like you and me should not stretch beyond our limitations. Ethiopians have been helping in ways their interests are safeguarded. I’m not worried because they will jump to answer your calls; I’m worried because such calls will hinder the emergence of a credible representative body and the rallying of Eritreans round that
            credible body.
            Dear Hayat, there are alternatives. Some of them quite feasible others still taking shape. There is a growing discontent and open resistance taking different forms inside the country, and an evolving and consolidating diaspora resistance. We have reached a point where Eritrean united resistance is poised to be more visible.
            2. I will post the 1981 EPLF referendum proposal which continued to serve as the backbone of the late 1980s Jimmy Carter Brokered negotiations, unless Saay volunteer for that. BTW, the phrase mesel reese wusanie ( right of self-determination) is one of the most used concepts in Eritrean ghedli literature. I’m surprised you are not aware of it.
            3. Hayat, just take it back. The 25th celebration of the armed struggle was done in 1986 in AdobHa, and nothing like that came from anyone, let alone the SG.of the EPLF. None like that was ever disseminated as far as I know, official or otherwise.
            Last but not least, at the core of Eritrean Struggle was the right of self-determination, right from 1961. Remember, Eritreans accepted the federal arrangements. 1961 was an expression of their failed attempts to continue in that arrangement because of HS violations of that arrangement. The concept is a universal one, it doesn’t matter who copied from whom. But wait, at least we are on the record, 1981, when TPLF was fresh and energetic with its Republic of Tigray. So, if you are talking about copying, who do you think was the copying side?

          • Nitricc

            Mahmuday; seriously? do you remember the lady who forced the TPLF flag onto Freselam’s face and he had no choice but to wave it? guess who that woman was?

            take a break listen to this. no one beats kirar.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NJfERF9VD8

          • Ted

            Hi, The Great MS. We know what we said and did. Only outsiders interpret it wrongly.

          • saay7

            Hala Mahmuday:

            You wrote: I will post the 1981 EPLF referendum proposal which continued to serve as the backbone of the late 1980s Jimmy Carter Brokered negotiations, unless Saay volunteer for that

            Well… you don’t even have to go for much research, although it is fun to do so. Here’s the thing: the Eritrean argument was that Ethiopia was a colonizing power and the colonized Eritreans, like all colonized people in the world, have the right to self-determination. Basically, Ethiopia was Portugal and we were Angola. Or, Ethiopia was Morocco and we were Spanish Sahara. But if people insist:

            1. In 1978, the ELF and EPLF issued a joint declaration calling for self-determination. Referenced in:

            (a) The Eritrean Question: An Alternative Explanation
            Author(s): Mesfin Araya
            Source: The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 79-100

            (b) Ogbazghi Yohannes’s “The Eritrean Case: A Colonial Question?”
            http://www.jstor.org/stable/160948?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

            2. A review of the EPLF-Derg Talks: “For the last three decades, the Eritreans have waged a guerrilla campaign against the armies of Ethiopia. The resistance movement evolved into the EPLF. When asked for, the three most important issues that must be resolved to attain peace, the EPLF answered “self-determination, self-determination, and self-determination.”
            Conversely, when questioned about the principle behind its fight against the EPLF, the PDRE response was “national unity and sovereignty.”‘

            http://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2064&context=ndlr

            (3) The Research & Documentation Center of EPLF (formerly RICE) has a terrible website (because everything about the PFDJ is terrible), otherwise, the document you are referencing is easily accessible here. Maybe the Organization of Eriteran Americans can do something useful and prevail on their bosses in Asmara to open it up:

            http://www.eritreanarchives.org/rdccollection.htm

            4. But to your point, Mahmouday, the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict lasted for 30 years because successive Ethiopian governments (Haile Selasse, Derg) pursued an insane policy. I know that Abi blames it on Egyptians but, nah, it was his governments. Eritreans asked for “self-determination” and Ethiopians kept stressing “national unity and sovereignty.” All Eritreans were asking for was for a referendum to be conducted WHILE Ethiopia was still INSIDE Eritrea; Ethiopia said no; so we had the referendum once Ethiopia was evicted of Eritrea. It was a case of moderate voices within Ethiopia continuously silenced, massacred, killed…and Eritreans sticking to their one single cause: self-determination.

            Here’s Osman Saleh Sabbe being interview by AP (in English) what Mengistu’s killing of Aman Andom means to the Eritrean revolution:

            https://youtu.be/PYMDgHDASK0

            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Saay
            Thank you for that wealth of information. That was a damn informaional blitskrieg that could only be generated by the great SAAY. Hereby, the Truth Bound Society (TBS) declares victory.

          • Berhe Y

            Thanks Saay,

            I saw the interview of Sabe and other ELF leaders on the weekend, and they were articulate and had clear vision in what they wanted to achieve. What I would like to mention is, the Eritrean libration movements, in all 30 years had NEVER targeted any civilian population or properties at least in Ethiopia, I am sure they could have done had they wished.

            As to refering the case of Eritrea as colonial issue I don’t think I agree, annaxiation I think is the correct way. I think Eritreans have the right of self determination, like all other nations. For example, in Canada, Quebec the French part of Canada had two referendoms so far. And recently Scotland had one. In both cases, I don’t think it’s because of colonial issue but the people of those countries, via their representatives wanted to excercise of their right for self determination.

            I think, the Eritrean leaders chose to call it as a colonial issue may be it has some other motive, which I am not sure what it can be beside to speculate.

            Berhe

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Mahmuday,

            Let me clarify few misunderstandings first:

            1) You could be right about the year to be 1986. But I have a secondary reference to what Ramadan Mohamud Nur has been quoted to have said then in one of the gatherings.

            2) I was referring to a similarity of principles and I was not talking about who copied who. If it is about copying experiences, I think the TPLF leaders have been on record admitting that they have benefited a lot learning a lot of things from the EPLF. Too bad, the EPLF didn’t find it necessary to learn some things from the TPLF.

            3) “Self-determination!” emmm! Okay, I was not exactly looking exactly for whether EPLF was mentioning the phrase and the principle in one way or another. The self-determination concept was being tossed around by every insurgency mainly to imply justified and legitimate grounds. I have known no left-leaning political organization of the cold war time drafting their political programs without inserting that phrase. it has been almost a punctuation of every opposition rebellion in modern times.

            4) The key framing was if EPLF was advancing it as a program where the people can exercise of rejecting independence as one legitimate and desired option and, towards that end if EPLF was tolerating tendencies in its own organization for members to entertain that kind of idea openly. The materials from Saay are very useful but it would be great if you still can find the 1981 referendum and see how it was framed. That is why I used the qualifier “self determination that included options”. For example, the “We and Our Objectives”, it clearly spelt it that the struggle was about independence and a separate nation.

            5) A question for you, Mahmuday: If “self-determination up to union”, in the real sense, was the objective of EPLF all the way and you really believed so, don’t you it was hijacked and trimmed only to end up with a narrower option, then?

            Hayat

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            Was EPLF striving for one party rule of governance when they say to erect ” ሕቡር ኤርትራዊ ሰልፊ” I think that is why we are stuck with PFDJ. Don ‘t you think Mahmuday with the reality we are entangled with?

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Emma
            When I read such phrasing usually I want to understand what their writers meant, what their contextual backgrounds are…
            1.You are well aware that liberal democracy was not envisioned by the author of that document; or, for that matter, by any Eritrean political program/leader of that era. The fronts were all leftists, I don’t need to say much to you. You know the ideology that prevailed during those years, from Africa to the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. The document is heavily laced with leftist ideological pronouncements.
            2. That document was written in 1970. It was read circulated and distributed predominantly among selfi natxnet and its clandestine roots. Selfi naxnet would later be one of the factions that merged to form the EPLF. It was the smallest faction of not more than a 100 tegadelti at the time this document was written. I’m saying this to indicate that document was written in a very early stage of the formation of EPLF, and it in fact went through diluting and improving phases as the organization matures. Therefore, it would be a gross negligence to generalize EPLF’s changing programs and priorities by its 1970 Nhnan Elamanan document. Its program of 1977 was more mature than that document, and the program of 1987 was much better than that of 1977, etc.
            3. On the ሕቡር ኤርትራዊ ሰልፊ: I think the author is not referring to unitary political organ or uni-party political system. He is referring into uniting all people “ናይ ሃይማኖትን ዓሌት፡ወገን ጾታ ፍልልይ ከይገበርካ ሕቡር ኤርትራዊ ሰልፊ ሃኒጽካ…” It is meant to refer to the need of building an alliance of the “oppressed class” a typical rallying cries of those days. The word selfi could have meant an alliance or front. This is among the first Tigrigna attempts to express political programs, therefore, you can imagine the writer was having difficulties in expressing his thoughts clearly. If you check at the end of the document, you will see vocabulary lists of some terms. By today’s standard, they could be funny. But in those days, it must have been a daunting task to find political terms that are conventionally understood.
            So, brother, I could only speak of what has been made public and that’s the literature and my observations. In that case, You see an organization that was evolving. If you ask me of what if there was a hidden agenda held back from the public by some members of its leadership, that’s open to debate, and hopefully, it gets resolved soon once the archives are open to Eritrean researchers.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            You know the contextual background I am talking. But I agree on the evolving argument, despite the current reality doesn’t reflect the 1977 and 1987 you attribute as the evolution of EPLF’s vision. The man has set his vision (irrespective his tactics in the ghedli era) and the end result shows his vision running on the ground in the current Eritrean nation. The organization – its leadership, its rank and files had full trust on the vision of the man, again irrespective the tactics he use to exit from any trouble he encountered.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Emma
            I do agree. Most former EPLF cadres will tell you they have in fact been blindsided with regard of IA. If you remember, even his close comrades, the first members of the G-15, bemoaned that he appeared to be different than the man they had known. During the struggle, events primarily registered by the people and tegadelty masked whatever was being cooked in the undergrounds of FaH and Amberbeb. Members of the front did not have time and space to mull around and contemplate about events surrounding how they were run. Ghedli culture, in general, and the focus of individual members to accomplishing the goal of liberating the country played well into IA hands. Those who were able to sense that IA might have been different than what appeared to be projected of him publicly were nabbed at their earliest stage of speaking up. A cry that I won’t forget is when tegadalay Musie said “This organization is being turned into an individual’s handkerchief.” How true he was. The rest as you know, to this moment, we let the man do his things in front of our eyes. He comes with different labelings, MenkaE, Yemin, Hluf xegamawyan…Jihadists…regionalists…BaEthists, etc.
            So, what you say is not far from the truth. I am just saying, the publicly available image of the organization and my personal observations tell that EPLF, as an organization and in the eyes of its followers, was greater than IA. Its instances, literatures, programs, attitudes evolved greatly from that document we are talking about.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Hayat

            I think it’s important that we don’t lose the triggering reason why are here and the thread that has brought us to this stage of the discussion. We are making these exchanges because you asserted that the EPLF was ready to settle for a solution less than independence; or, in your own words, to call [the struggle] a day. I want to underline to points here.

            1. The armed struggle was a natural continuation of failed peaceful attempts of Eritreans to reverse Imperial Ethiopia’s unilateral dismantling of the federal arrangement. Actually, the start of the armed rebellion was to force Ethiopia to respect the federal act and to alert the UN so that it could do its obligation of seeing the federal act go trough the planned path. Of course, HS escalated the situation to a situation where Eritreans found it abundantly clear that HS atrocities should be challenged and the rest as you know is history.

            So, even here, at the budding stage of the armed struggle, Eritreans choice was clear. They wanted their right to determine their fate be respected. In the early stage, had HS halted his scorch earth policies and sought a genuine peaceful settlement, I think Eritreans would not prefer the long and bloody path. However, the more crimes were committed against their lives, dignity, and properties, it became that the federal arrangement which highly favored the King and Ethiopia would not be sustainable. By this time, even the traditionally Ethiopian inclined Kebessa flooded to the field. Independence was the leading choice.

            Despite their disagreements both leading fronts of the Eritrean revolution had committed themselves at liberating Eritrea, thus no wonder why they had the letter “L” in their acronyms. Now here is the tricky part though. At organizational level, their programs had carried the liberation of Eritrea as the goal of primacy. This is at organizational level, OK. The question should be whether they tried to shove that leading choice (as a matter of fact Ethiopian regimes had not left any menu of choices, anyway) down the Eritrean public’s throat. The answer is no. And here are some examples:

            1. Early 1960s: Eritreans looked for the UN to intervene (to force King HS to reverse the situation to status quo ante).

            2. Attempts by Durg members , Gen. Aman Andom, Teferi Banti…and both fronts interest in listening and engaging the signals coming from Addis.

            3. EPLF’s 1978 attempts to negotiate for a peaceful settlement; and ELF’s attempts 1978-80; all these separate and joint efforts of the fronts had one common minimum precondition and it was the respect of the right of self-determination of the Eritrean people. To their credit, they may have appeared at times to outflank the other diplomatically, but none of them went lower than that precondition.

            4. 1981: EPLF puts forward the unthinkable: it checkmated the durg by proposing a referendum. The EPLF basically told those who were saying that Eritrean ghedli was for a secessionist agenda against the will of the Eritrean people; that it was a mercenary force bought by Arab petrodollar… well, Eritreans said, OK, let’s do the sensible thing; let the people speak. The Referendum proposal was bold and by all standards fair. Here it is:

            http://www.fettan.com/Documents/Referendum.pdf
            5. Late 1989 Carter sponsored talks, EPLF’s readiness to give the Ethiopian army a period of ceasefire while top officers tried to topple Mengistu.
            All this show you that Eritreans were trying to solve the matter peacefully, but the durg and HS were bent on one solution only: the militarily subduing Eritreans.
            It is already too long, I will not take yours and the readers’ time responding to every point I felt objectionable.
            Your last question should be understood within the above examples. For instance if the Derg allowed an internationally sponsored referendum in 1981 and while all its apparatus was in Eritrea, would Eritreans choice be different than 1991? If Haileselasssie handled the situation responsibly in the 1960s, would we still have the revolution? It is very hard to say definitely things would go this way or that way, but Eritreans were morelikely to stay in their federal arrangement in the early 60s than 80s, and certainly more likely to stay closer to Ethiopia in the early eighties than early nineties. The more the struggle continued the brutal the repression became and the farther that possibility became.
            PS: Editing is possible, I am just writing this after a long day.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Mahmuday:
            This is great and I agree with most of your points above. But take your recollection one step back and you will be able to remember the very reason why we are talking about this is not because I “asserted that the EPLF was ready to settle for a solution less than independence”. It is because you wanted to question me based on whether or not I was a believer in the Eritrean statehood. I already told you that I’m a realist in the political sense of it and I take the Eritrean statehood is a reality of the day. Also, I wanted to show you that “Eritrean statehood” is not as inviolable grail as you think and I gave you examples of fluid stands and moments around it even by the organizations that led the Eritrean revolution. And you ended up supporting my argument without knowing it.
            Thanks,
            Hayat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dearest Gual Ademest

            Haha…Not so fast. What you have so far agreed upon is actually what the writings of the great YG dismissed to acknowledge. Therefore, by your brave and generous admission, the notion advanced by YG, and by extension, by individuals like Hayat Adem, that Eritreans stuck to a stubborn endeavor of of nationhood, in the process sustaining a ‘prohibitive cost” has been shuttered. Here, I tried to show you that Eritreans did not really entertain the idea of war, but rather were cornered by oppressive and subjugating policies that left no other options for them. I tried to show you that ghedli was not a one-day-out-of the-blue initiative but a dialectical evolution of the process where oppressors belittle the oppressed taunting them as trigger-happy immature kids, where tes Newtonian principle works perfectly; that’s the more oppression there is the more resolve to counteract there will be, etc. Hence, throughout the history of the conflict, you will see Eritreans pleading the UN, AU, Arab League, nations in the non allied movement, European community, the East Block, etc. for help. Ironically, the only determined help and alliance they found was from the people of the country they were fighting against. The movements of Ethiopian people against their repressive governments can also be viewed in this regard. Therefore, your statement that EPLF was looking for other-than-armed solution is correct, and it’s public; you could find it in the information it was disseminating at that time, through its public organs and interviews. What I objected to was the part of your statement that EPLF was simply ready “to call it a day” for less than independence. That is simply wrong. If you would specify as “EPLF was ready to call it a day if Derg accepted a venue where the will of the Eritrean people would be put to the test through an internationally supervised fair referendum”, yes, that would have happened at period in time, because what Eritreans were fighting for was to be able to determine their fate. Although Eritreans’ choice was forgone conclusion, in principle, that was not different than what the different Ethiopian organizations, including the TPLF, were fighting for. And that’s why it should not surprise us when TPLF stuck to the recognition of that right (let’s leave aside the ወያኔ ሓሳድ እዩ debate for those who are good at it).
            Now, here is where we are diverging. You said ” I wanted to show you that ‘Eritrean statehood’ is not as inviolable grail as you think….” I believe it is inviolable, as inviolable as the Ethiopian, USA, and OTHERS statehood. The statehood was the product of Eritreans’ freely expressed will; at this juncture as you said it is the reality of the day. That reality of the day also encompasses or embodies rules (international rules, in this case) that keeps it stay real. Once you violate some of those rules, you mess with its real state. For instance, water will remain water under certain conditions: temperature, pressure…etc. Once you violate one of those conditions it ceases to be water in its fluid state. Countries are the same. There are many examples in our region where when you mess with some of those rules the result won’t be exactly as you would wish happened. If something is real don’t mess with it, or you will have a whole new sets of unpredictable challenges.
            The need to alleviate the challenges facing our nation should not push us to making unrealistic statements. As you claim if you are really realistic, then it should be easy for you to figure out what realistic methods click with Eritreans. I can assure you that questioning the motives of their struggle, reviving 1940 and 50s unionist sentiments, constantly advancing propaganda of entities that have not come to terms with the very existence of their statehood (you mentioned in one of your replies Asrat Ghebru and Sye Abraha as your references), and although genuine, pushing premature proposals of reunion are all unrealistic and tend to hurt our resistance. That’s why I’m critical of you. I told you in the past, in one of my comments, that I am a global person. I don’t disagree with your passion to see these two nations cooperating and integrating. But that should be done by a slow and organically evolved decisions of both peoples through their legitimate political organs where there are freedom of expressions and the right of the individual to express themselves are guaranteed. BTW, that includes all the region. However, our priority should be the change needs at home. Let’s first focus on how we can put our house in order. Then the talking points you raise will follow. And it is a must. Whether we like it or not, whether it will happen in our time or not, our region and Africa as a whole should unite, it should work towards complimenting arrangements. I like the idea because I am against wars. When countries get economically integrated, and socially interconnected, the urge to solve minor conflicts through arms becomes less and less. If we play it safely, that day will come sooner. So dear Gual Adem, play it safely.
            wadeHanki.

          • saay7

            Mahmouday:

            Egl t’thade tu
            Et MaEshura
            Wa hta samEt yhlet
            asUla.

            Thank you

            Saay

            https://youtu.be/B2L6Af2SKyk

      • Nitricc

        SAAY not a fair comparison. if you have two persons who are 40 years of age; and they were at the same footing when both were 20 years old young men. One went on with his life and did good something for himself and the other went to prison for 20 years. now they are both at 40; how on earth will you compare them with their individual achievement in life? that is the exact story. Eritrea never allowed or given the chance to show case her potential. please don’t tell me everything is PIA’s doing . it is not! sure there are somethings he must shoulder the responsibilities but it is not all is his doings. if I was PIA and someone ask me the question you are asking; i simply replay “I survive” “the country is in one piece” ” at one time there were three neighboring leaders gang-up on me; to choke me to death and one is dead; the other is exiled and the 3rd is wanted for crimes against humanity and he being hunted. despite the whole world is against me; i am on my feet and alive. does that count for something? i am not even mentioning how i crippled the toothless oppositions for life. ”
        what kind of obstacles did Kagme over come?

        • selam

          Dear Nitricc
          It will be very hard even to think that , why Eritrea was not near Finland or Ireland in order not to have the weyane crooks but howndare you give all the failure of this man from recognising the danger he put our people . How on earth doe he think that he is the only person to lead Eritrea ? How is one person smarter than three institution of government ? I am not dismissing the weyane card but , why do you think this man take us the longest journey to death ? This man is a hook and he never have the truth and he never liked it from the beginning . I have no words for your explanation but I really tried not to make the evil weyanti in this happy. Can you imagine this man to take Eritreans to the death row with out exploring other options , we are human beings , we are not chickens in the market . The man is responsible for every thing bad in Eritrea. He is not smart for good. I hate to break it for you but this man doesn’t work for better Eritrea. If he was good enough for us , he could have let us have our constitution in place . He could let people go to court in a proper way , this man is laughing over my father skeleton , I hate to say such things in front of evil people but I really feel that you should not give the credit to this man for Eritrea to stay together. I am really sad that you forget this man is walking alone in the middle of the night by letting his infant baby in house with window closed and the fire burning.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Selam. I think your understanding is that i am defending PIA. no, you are mistaken. I do beleive in justice, not the justice that is preached in this forum but the real justice. to the so called justice seekers in here, justice means what ever is good to their cause. it does not work for me that way. weather i like or i don’t; weather it advances my cause or not; as long as it is the truth; i will live with it. i don’t pick and choose. therefor if i did not acknowledge the positive things this man did in his life for this country and just pointed out the negatives, the bad and the ugly once only; then i just demolished my sense of justice and i lost what i stood for. so, let’s tell the truth, once we told the truth and then can we only make sensible judgment and acive the true sense of justice. meaning i am not defending PIA rather defending the truth. once, I discover the truth, i know the real justice to come. you can not have justice by dismantling justice it self.

          • selam

            Dear Nitricc
            You know I admire your stand and your stiff resistance to the continous attacks you get even from some arrogant awate.com forumers and as well as from the weyenti cadres who have more access to insult us more than any one in this forume but some time you just hurt me for not accepting the issues and failures of this man. I know all the outside evil intentions and shroud actions but can it be possible for you to blame the man for every thing he is doing , no accountablity to the people, no rule of law to the people who died and bleed along his own foot solidiers , could it be really possible for this man to arrest a pereon for just speaking the truth , yes 8nly the truth . That is all what I m asking. Forget these biproduct of evils and useless people around who have no plan at their hand for 23 years . You know I am not some one who buy the blame game and I am not some one who just shout after season out and season in. I think we Eritreans deserve far , far better leader if you just compare the way we do our home work and also every thing at our home. I have seen other african nations and I have seen their people as well as the way they lost their identity , we are far better and were far better equiped to have a vibrant nation but this man spoiled it as no other. Yes I would probably give him credit if he was able to transfer or educate young leaders but this man is mess7ng with our future and he is not in harry to build any institution . Can you imagine the Nigerian current president was a criminal yet the people choose him. If DIA was able to put our constitution in time , he could have won two times with out any worry , possiboe like weynae 100% laughing stock election but on the other way Eritrea would have stayed in the world circle and so many young lives could have been saved. People from EPLF could have eaten their fruit and they could have laughing now but you see this man , he like torture torture . I can’t take it .

        • saay7

          Selamat Nitricc:

          Did you really ask what kind of obstacles did Kagame overcome?

          Sometimes you make it so easy that people are going to accuse you of throwing me softballs:)

          1. Kagame, from a minority ethnic group (Tutsis) which was devastated by the majority (Hutus) , was part of a Uganda-based guerrila force that overthrew the genocidal Hutu government, but not before they killed/hacked-to-death 500,000 – 1,000,000 Rwandans (mostly Tutsi). So, when he came to power (after following Isaias path of being the # 2 man for a long time), Kagame had a country completely devastated from a brutal civil war. In contrast, Isaias Afwerki came to a country that was devastated by war but enjoyed the goodwill of almost every Eritrean.

          2. Rwanda is a tiny, landlocked nation. In this tiny, landlocked nation are packed 12 million people. It is the most densely packed nation in Africa. In contrast, Eritrea is relatively large, for its population, and has a long (very long) coast line.

          3. The exiled Rwanda Hutu rebels based themselves in Congo and tried to wage a comeback war. Kagame and his allies went in and destroyed Congo but in the process protected his rear guard. Isaias Afwerki had a tiny, ill-armed Jihadist movement that was supported off-and-on (mostly off) by Sudan’s Turabi. And that was 1991-1995.

          4. Rwanda has modest minerals, like Eritrea. It has essentially invented itself into a services hub and has enjoyed one of the longest running economic growth. Please take a brief break from Isaias T-shirt waving 🙂 to watch as many videos of this as you can and see what you can report back:

          http://www.cnbcafrica.com/video/?bctid=4318348918001

          5. Please, Nitricc. Read up on the Eritrea-Yeman war. (Started by Eritrea.) The Eritrea-Djibouti near war version 1 (almost started by Eritrea until France threw its weight around.) The Eritrea-Ethiopia war (Ethiopia provoked, Eritrea over-reacted.) The Eritrea-Djibouti war of 2008, started by Eritrea. Even if you are right and Eritrea was an innocent victim and blameless in these wars, its policy was, is and apparently will be (based on your naieve reaction that Obama would raise the issue with Ethiopia), to wait for the UN and the US to force Ethiopia to demarcate the border. This is not leadership. I am telling you that if Kagame found himself in that position (by the way, Kagame was the first to volunteer to resolve the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict with the US-Rwanda plan and then, once he saw the stubbornness, he quickly divested himself and said I don’t want to suck my country into this quicksand.

          6. I know you are going to go all MDG, MDG on me. Check out Rwanda’s MDG results. Check out its clean, corruption free, crime free operations. Basically, Kagame is what we thought Isaias would be: dictatorial but effective. What we have now is a criminally incompetent dictator who has basically given up the presidency (which would have required him to go to AU, COMESA, UN meetings) and is running for the Asmara Municipality (attending to expos and festivals.

          saay

  • Kaddis

    Gash Saleh – let me introduce you to Andreas Kümmer, Germany’s contribution to the world next to Mercedes. The Sax in his cover of this classic could help change your mind …just trying

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLarP4K_bvzAynQigGCRk7v8BqMFA9sVVp&v=-NQmgD-i73I

    • saay7

      Ah Kaddis

      Now you will take Bayan Negash down memory lane because it will remind him of the biggest stars of his exiled teen years: The Bee Gees who did the original “to love somebody.” Here they are long before they hit the stratosphere with Saturday Night Fever

      http://youtu.be/XrWqDv3Kfsg

      Saay

      • Bayan Nagash

        Good Tuesday Morning to you too, Sal Y.

        Nice try Sal, this is spot-on-bait that I will not even begin to entertain in public because it cuts way too deep in a good way.Oh brother! I thought one day down memory lane was one day too many, if you will. A second day, Sal, I say heck no, buddy. Let me do this instead: a spoof on memory and a parody would have to do to help me snap out of my memory stupor and return to the reality on the ground at once and conclude this marathon down the memory lane madness with aptly titled song of Minnie Riperton’s “back down memory lane”. Nice try Sal, but I dare you to tell a story or two about the second one, let’s hear it from the master narrator.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzSaoN2LdfU
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d_yleSDm4M
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z7MaFE-uRQ

        • saay7

          Hala Bayan:

          Uh oh; I see this quickly deteriorating into spoofs of “Staying Alive.” Here’s my entry: from the movie “Airplane”:

          http://youtu.be/5WXVaChA3Q0

          saay

          • Bayan Nagash

            What’s up Sal?

            This clip is hilarious beyond words. I simply cannot top that – funny, funny, funny. Yet, in less than 4 minutes it captures an entire generation story. This is how powerful media can be and it is to this kind of power that Haile TG was alluding to in one of his previous posts with the testimonies of several Eritreans in a different thread in this article.

            I still feel traces of laughter on the skin of my face and the muscles are now beginning to relax as they subside into smile…

          • saay7

            Hi Bayan:

            Add 45 more seconds to give context: that whole scene is from the protagonist narration about love found and love lost and he speaks about it to complete strangers in such excruciating detail, he leaves them only one option:

            http://youtu.be/CSALQn0u9z4

            saay

  • haileTG

    Dear SGJ,

    Wonderful work, and great article. I hope the other great singer Korchach also returns to the scene. His level of talent shouldn’t be left to waste, that would be a great loss. I have a question to Nitricc: Wedi Tkabo produced only one song “Hadnetna” after distancing from the regime. It has been one of his most viewed hits by youtube count. I hope you know that Andit Okbay had a blast in Israel and so did the other artists as Fuad Alamin and his group. Can you find me two other wedi Tkabo songs that would pass his Hadnet single? (Combined view count is close to 1 million).

    Here is a very touching message to regime supporter diaspora from another popular artist:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=jO9j5Sr6-Ts&app=desktop

    • Nitricc

      Haile TG; i am disappointed with you; how can you bering me radio wegahta. i am sorry. you know better. did you know about this people?

      • haileTG

        Haha Nitricc, what people? There is only one people, did you not hear Obama’s speech at the Palace Dinner Party held by his Ethiopian host? Wegahta has some rare and valuable material and yes Dr Daniel is a cherished Eritrean too…haha

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Haile,
      Yes, it would be nice if Korchach would come out and do his part. Thank you for understanding the gist of the message, of course you would, I didn’t expect you to dwarf it to dress code like the “liberal selam” did.

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam Haile TG,

      The pain is so deep it cuts you to pieces from inside, most specifically, the artist kiros Asfaha – you can see the pain on his face. Well produced snippets of what Eritreans are going through in today.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Beyan & Hailat,

        These are samples of outcry On our tragedy. Very difficult to watch them. Ahhhhhh Painful.

        Amanuel. hidrat

      • haileTG

        Selamat Brother Bayan,

        Indeed saddening. What kind of nation would reduce a young, bright, gifted and patriotic young man into sorrowful tears?? Only a nation under the grips of evil would do that, the regime of IA is simply evil! እዚኦም ሰይጣውንቲ እዮም! Looking from the essence of SGJ’s discussions above, he [SGJ] is really talking of narratives, i.e. how to present the justice seeking activity in a way that tells the true narrative of the Eritrean diaspora. Kiros Asfaha is heard bitterly criticizing Eritreans who live in the diaspora. In fact, I would testify that such is the common understanding of those in Eritrea when they conceptualize their diaspora people. “ብሰንኩኹም እኮ ኢና…” is a common view point expressed in Eritrea. The reality however couldn’t be further from the truth. PFDJ seldom attracts 1000 people in diaspora functions where there are over 25000 Eritreans. Yet, its media spins day and night to churn out a make belief narrative of diaspora staunch support. The regime considers those silent majority [or are they still?:] as helping it indirectly, even though not being an active opposition doesn’t translate into supporting the regime. Hence, we come back to the narrative issue and Artists and specially musical talents have great responsibility to narrate and verbalize the diaspora sentiment and its solidarity with the home front. Media and art are indispensable tools of controlling the space to narrate to the wider audience. Both the quality and quantity of productions are highly relevant in that regard too. I hope artists in the justice camp are acutely aware of such fact. The regime’s false narrative has already clouded the judgement of Eritreans at home about their diaspora counterparts. The true narrative ought to be told in a concerted endeavor by those gifted to do so without complacency.

        Regards

        • Bayan Nagash

          Kbur Haw HTG,

          No doubt in my mind what Saleh GJ addresses in this article is as I attempted to state it unequivocally (in another thread on this very article) that opposition must give its narrative the solemnity it deserves. It never ceases to amaze when some media personalities in the U.S. smile as they report gruesome news. To a lesser extent that is what I take
          Saleh’s point to be, that our rhetoric must comport with the narrative we are trying to convey. Much as one does not go on dancing binge or on drinking binge when paying respect in a grieving family, condolences have their proper ambiances. The same goes for the opposition, we are addressing issues of grave consequence, consequences that we are attempting to reverse and overhaul completely – it belittles our cause when we do not give it the respect it deserves. Otherwise, the sociopolitical dissonance could only do its number on us due to lack of clear lines of separation between our rhetoric and the jarring image we portray on the one hand and that of srAt PFDJ on the other.

          That said, the power of media and the indispensable role artists can play to change the overwhelming odd pitted against the Eritrean public needs and requires, as you precisely diagnosed it, “concerted effort.” I was watching a number of video clips earlier today produced by young Eritreans from Saudi, who have done some great work in producing high quality short visual clips. These kids, I don’t know if it is done on purpose or just a manipulation game by srAt PFDJ, these young kids’ narration of Eritrea is so lopsided, content-wise, it left me wondering what their endgame was. It is in Arabic, perhaps, those who understand Arabic can elaborate on it. Here is one with subtitle in English:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8NgsKkd5RQ

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDsgAzUCp8c

          This is all to say that replications and duplication in the opposition camp is hurting us big time, though I had difficulty figuring out if the youths group (“Mufahim”) which side of the isle they stand. Nonetheless, the question still lingers that we have gotta be efficient and the only way we can be efficient is when we streamline our meager resources. It is a hopeful sign, albeit painful to watch, to see the clips you availed – but that’s what must be disseminated widely. Unless someone like you and Sal who are the most resourceful duos I have come across drag it for us to see, chances are I wouldn’t have seen the clip. And imagine how many Eritreans who should watch these kinds of moving testimonies, are not. I don’t profess to have the solution for this, but solution needs to be found, must be found now, meanwhile, the existential threat in Eritrea for the youths continues unabated.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ouch Beyan!
            Suleman is one of my favorite intellectuals in the Middle East. I watch all his Mefahim (concepts) video clips. I. The clip you appended, he is talking about the damages on narrow mindedness and assaulting tribalism head on. This one you will like: he says, tribalism debases women and minorities… a narrow minded person is not able to liberate a nation. It is all gems and he is spot on, on everything. Suspecting his message as ante by pfdj is totally unfounded. He knows exactly what ails tribal Eritrea. I am sure you didn’t follow what he is saying. By the way, we have plans to introduce a few exceptionally talented Eritreans from that area. Suleman is on the list.

        • saay7

          Haile TG:

          There are moments when the Eritrea gov gets such a kick in the gut that it loses its footing and all you need is a split screen video to show how it is absurd it is. Consider the interview that Eritrea’s ambassador to Kenya, Beyene Russom gave CCTV where he reads from a script he was given about how dangerous the accusation against his government is, and then goes into complete incoherence about how “98% of Eritreans support the government”:

          https://youtu.be/N5nvJfJJ4-Y

          Awatistas are tired of me saying that we Eritreans are two-degrees-of separation. In the case of Beyene Russom, he was married to Senait Debessay, an EPLF veteran and famous singer:

          https://youtu.be/i6PmBx2jSA4

          Her brother, Ermias Debessay, one of executives of 09/Red Sea Trading Corporation. The siblings, have been arrested since 2003. No charges, no court, no due process: simply disappeared.

          Ermias daughter holds signs reading “where is my father” and demonstrates:

          https://youtu.be/lwffATA79rQ

          Now, when the CoIE, and the Special Rapparteur, Sheila Katharuth, are merely echoing what a young Eritrean is demanding the whereabouts of her father and her aunt and Beyene Russom knows this, the whole EPLF/PFDJ hierarchy knows this, who do they think they are fooling except themselves and how long do they think that house of cards will hold?

          On FB, I saw an incredibly articulate Eritrean youth (but I am being redundant) who was saying the regime is about to collapse of its own dead weight, we just need to focus on getting ourselves organized and I have never been as optimistic that, indeed, it is going to happen if we let the youth find their own space and own voice and, where appropriate guide them. So, yes, I appreciated Kiros’s outrage, moral indignation is appropriate, but then we need the planners and the executors and I see them coming.

          saay

          • haileTG

            Thanks saay,

            That was a brilliant way to describe the short chain that makes up the length of the abusers and abused. I also agree that it is the youth that must be encouraged to find and hold down their own space. Mind you though, the youth are most inspired by their peers, most sympathize with their peers and have much more to identify with their peers. This could help in identifying the right approach to correctly locating where that space is and positively influence the youth in their quest to control such a space and advance those values consistent with the aspirations of their people as a whole.

            Regards

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Saay, SGJ and others…

            You have probably seen this from the guardian:-

            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/27/eritrean-diaspora-share-your-experiences?CMP=twt_world%5Egdnworld

            They want Eritreans in diaspora to share our experiences….lets make sure our voices are heard.

            May be Awate.com could bring this up to the front to increase awareness and encourage people to participate…..

            Thanks,

            FS

  • Pass the salt

    Can someone find me a clip of DIA’s joint press conference with a head of state in Asmara?

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear PTS,

      If there is no press in Eritrea, how do you expect DIA to make press conference with foreign dignitaries? So the answer is, there is no clip whatsoever. Unfortunately, long way to happen in Eritrea.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • saay7

        Haha Emma:

        You kill me sometimes with your absolutist statements 🙂 we kinda had a quasi free private press. Plus some of the heads of Huge states (like the U.S.) bring their own private press entourage with them (as you noticed in Obamas/HD press conference in Addis. The question is who visited us then with their own press? The only one I can think of (and he is not a head of state but Sec of Def was when Donald Rumsfeld visited and there was a press conference.

        Meanwhile, AP has done a decades long data dump of its archives in YouTube. Just search Eritrea AP Archive and you will find national treasures. Speaking of: check Aida Kidanes channel on YouTube. She has rare videos.

        saay

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Merhaba Saay,

          Can you do it for me. Believe me, when I was putting my comment, I was thinking about you and was whispering with myself, something like this: ” Saay the fihira will jump with something now.” Please do so, at least we will say we had it sometime ago. By the way I consider myself as a relativist. You are wrong on your characterization.

          Regards
          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,
            .
            Ha ha.. Amanuel, you know he hates it when that happens.
            .
            K.H

      • Pass the salt

        Emma and SAAY,
        Many heads of states visited Eritrea: Meles, Albeshir, Ali Said Abdela, Museveni, Kagame, Hosni Mubarak, Kofi Anan, obsanjo, Buteflika, Ghadafi, Optidon….are you telling me there wasn’t a single press conference whose clip I am requesting to watch?

        • Saleh Johar

          Dear PTS,
          Can you please list those who visited in the last ten years–minus those who were removed by their people ( reminder, Yemen, Egypt, Libya.) 🙂

          • Pass the salt

            Dear Saleh,
            In the last ten years, there were quite a few visits. But since it was done by one person, we will cut it to a single visit, and since Albeshir is another clown that doesn’t do press conference, we will cut the visits to zero.
            So nothing to list. I was talking about in the 1990s.

          • Abi

            Selam Ato saleh
            You forgot His excellency Dr Birhanu Cheleme from the kingdom of Ginbot 7.

          • Saleh Johar

            Yqreta ato Abi, I forgot the future king of Ethiopia now training on the art of running a country like it is all greased, from the enlightened governance guru of Eritrea.

          • Abi

            Ato Saleh
            You better say the future King of both countries considering his stand on independent eritrea.
            We are back !
            Egzio mahrene Birhanu
            AwTan kechelema ahununu
            Mengatu layqer ataschenqen
            Birhanachin fana hunlin
            Tinbite Isayas endenegeren
            Ante yegna neh egnam yantew nen!
            Yihew Nega! Birhanum meTa !
            Zewdun chino kemelaTa
            Yemanew belTaTa ?

        • saay7

          Selamat PST:

          Does a head of state press conference outside the country count? Here’s kbur president in Addis press conference 🙂

          http://youtu.be/rthKX-ymawE

          Saay

          • Pass the salt

            Dear SAAY,
            Thanks. I’ve got annoying Ipad crush in the middle of the conference…anyhoo as Doug from King of Queens once said it, coupon is as good as money in this house:) so the clips are good.
            Btw, the second clip must be a run away that didn’t get erased from archive. Traces of G15 is unacceptable as far as Isaias thinks.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear PTS,

            I hope you will not consider this as joint press conference. Saay sometimes he throws some metaEshawi things.

  • Nitricc

    Hi Wolde ab. Long time and I See you have fun with my mix up. Lol. Hey,it could get worst. I could have been from Dedebit University and write like this lol I got a good lough from this.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11752021_1619819198289148_7382515632727640784_n.jpg?oh=4b444dc92af69fbc9acdd207857260e9&oe=560EF43F&__gda__=1443892079_8d8ce07f92694e8c0116b5e0843e8ed0

  • Nitricc
  • Saleh Johar

    Saay,
    You saved yourself by acknowledging the acoustics 🙂

    • Ted

      HI SJ, I was hoping someone come and say it as it is. For me it started with irritating Electronic Kirar then comes the Electronic drum(don’t start with me the voice changer). Now you mention it, i see the sax is as big offender as the two in Eritrean music.
      SAAY, you took it right from my mouth. It worked well complementing the kirar. The sax in the clip doesn’t over power the Kirar. In my opinion the song would been better off without the SAx.

      • saay7

        Hey Ted:

        But that’s true of every instrument: the issue is mixing and engineering and not the instrument. In moderation, even the sitar and even (shudder) the harmonica is enjoyable. Saleh knows this from his teachings: “kheir al umur….”

        In the 1980s, when the British New Wave came and there was a great aversion from some corners to their synthesizers and keyboard heavy music, one of the music magazines (Rolling Stone?) interviewed one of the great bands from the era (Depeche Mode) and he said something I have never forgotten: “how can you hate an inanimate object?” I ask you the same question 🙂

        saay

        • Ted

          Hi Saay, people kill not guns. The Ex-Texas Gov, Perry (the oops Guy), said people need to have their guns in movie theater to protect themselves and one black comedian tweeted, what ever you do, don’t let white man have a gun in Magic johnson movie theater.( you know how black people annoyingly like to talk back to characters aloud at the movies). Sax has its place when used wisely.

  • Nitricc

    Hi Selam. You said somewhere about Obama being a drone operator and you remind me the words of this man, from the university of Stanford. listen to this, very interesting when it comes to human psych

    http://www.tubechop.com/watch/6506674

    • saay7

      Hey Nitricc:

      Check these two tweets. Some people are brutal.

      Saay

      • Nitricc

        Hi SAAY it gets worst. Since China started producing lethal drons for market; the U.S. Not lose out on the market; they are for sell to ” selected countries” I don’t know what selected means. The problem is , lethal drons are extremely dangerous and needs advanced operators. Right now country with money can by them and I see a very dangerous world.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Nitricc,

          the other “toothless” Obama is warning African leaders ,,I don’t know why he is interfering in African afairs.

          the t”toothless” you, you are in America and you president is warning my president. he said “No one should be president for life,” and worst the warning is for those who completed their term not to those who get power by force and lead the nations without any rule.

          http://awate.com/scent-of-lemon-an-example-of-refined-eritrean-song/#comment-2160955942

      • Nitricc

        Hi SAAY after Obama read his welcome poster; he decided to move the drons from Arbaminch all the way to Mekadushu. Lol very embarrassing. So much for 100s of universities. Dedebit is always dedebit

        https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/11061187_10152895317402237_6233114125087281883_n.jpg?oh=ab3a3ac479941300645163242d2da9ca&oe=5651B21C

  • Ahmed Raji

    Saleh, I’m posting this link (never mind the lyrics) in an attempt to soften your heart towards the saxophone. But, seriously, how can someone who loves jazz, Marvin Gaye, and Motown music be averse to the great sax (per saay7)?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMVzM4Im-p8

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam AR,

      You’re worst than Sal Y. HaZira enteblkus denina tsEsE koinu allo negeru. What Sal skipped right through, you tapped into my adolescent years of Cairo, Egypt, in which this song was one of my favorite. I never knew who the singer was, never have I heard it since. Sal & AR, you’re killing me with this memory lane stuff -:)

      Just like when someone says don’t think of pink elephant you’re bound to think about it; your “never mind the lyrics” comment, albeit it in parenthesis, took me right to the lyrics. Lord, I was listening to music that was meant for adults when I was only an adolescent, but I am absolved from it all since I had no grasp of the language, but the music was groovy, and that was what mattered then and what matters now, to some extent. Thanks for sharing AR.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Ahmad,
      My position is (never mind what Saay says) about the saxophone is this: for every one nice saxophone tune, I can show you a hundred ugly donkey bray tunes. I used democratic calculations and divorced it altogether. True to my Eritrean character, I will never admit that I ever enjoyed a saxophone music, just to get at those with toothless taste of music, including Saay, and Nitricc 🙂

      • Ted

        Hi, SJ, for every clip they show you Sax is good, i start to see your point.

        • Saleh Johar

          Ted,
          I think now is the time to start an Eritrean anti Saxophone Society–two birds with one stone, 1) follow the trend to “strengthen the opposition” and, 2) bury the ugly instrument 🙂

          • saay7

            SGJ and Ted:

            SGJ, did you say Awate should declare July 27 “Teklit Aron Day”? 🙂 I am game.

            http://youtu.be/3k5cKSf6rHE

            Ted: you know who was the coolest cat in the Muppets Show? And what instrument he plays? Right?

            http://img.sharetv.com/shows/characters/large/the_muppet_show.zoot_the_sax_player.jpg

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,

            I have a request. Take out the ugly instrument and you will miss nothing with what’s left. Keep it to the confined to the Muppets Show, very fitting 🙂 I rest my case.

          • Ted

            Saay, you are not helping your case. You can’t bother people by Sax as solo, only good filler as back ground instrument. The jury is out, It is a killer of Ethiopian Tizta and Eritrean Guayla.
            SJ, i don’t know if you help me to see the light or ruined my taste. Either way, i accept the “bury the ugly”, conditionally for now.

          • saay7

            Ted and SGJ:

            Just remember, according to religious teachings, a trumpet will sound to awake the dead. So you are just trading the sax for the trumpet. You have been warned:)

            saay

          • Ted

            Saay, hahaa. You are upping the stake. The religious thing goes like this too, If you suffer on earth, you will have eternal after life. Is Sax worthed for achance in after life. SJ, what do say?

          • Ted

            Hi SJ, I see you like Music, writing, history, culture,poem- the whole creative writing. To your credit, you kept it up to the level possible because I see many people with the same talent abandon their passion when they come to the West. In my opinion, politics has hurt us great a deal by overshadowing this part of the field, Literature( Soul food). I wonder what would been like if we were in peace.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ted,
            Edom yehabom PFDJ, they denied Eritreans all the good things in life. Eh, eh ille ‘lekhu–arragmuni gdda 🙂

  • Yoty Topy

    Hello Awate readers,

    When I think of the origin of the plague of Sax in to Tigrigna ( I am talkin about Guayla) , the name that crosses my mind is Wedi Tikul’s late 80s Batsi’e Seye collection.Am I wrong?

  • Amanuel

    Hi Saleh

    Thanks for bringing this very important topic. I agree with most of what you said, except in some which, I think you have been harsh. I am on the opinion of that people should dress in the way they think it is approprite to them . Quite frankly you need to chill out a bit as you seem still angry after 7 months. For example, the young tips boy, his behaviour and sense of dress could be seen an innocent part of growing up. I am sure when you were his age you wanted to dress like James Brown and show off. I feel confident about our future when I see young people break the norm and I worry when they do as they were told. As for those women, who disappoint you with their sense of dress, 1st you are comparing wedding party with new year party. 2nd you mentioned national (i take it Eritrean). The spectrum of Eritrean wedding celebrations is quite wide. For example if it was a Rashaidan wedding the dress could be conservative (covering from head to toes for woman) but if it Kunama wedding those you called skirt hem hardly covering the pants would be acceptable. Let me tell you a true story, it was in the late eighties at Meda. Conscripted women were brought to Sahel for training from Kohain (south Eritrea.) As part of the military uniform they were given a panty (underwear) and bra. Most of them refused to wear the panty & bra, reasoning that it is for the hookers. ናይ ሸራሙጥ እዩ። A round after them, Kunama conscripted women were brought in and given the military uniform including the panty and bra. As soon as they were given, one woman put her panty and bra (with out other cloths) come to us and asked ” how do i look?”, of course we were embarrassed and told her to go and cover her self. You see Saleh there is no as such as Eritrean tradition when it comes to dress and dance. I wouldn’t have been worried if your complain was a day after the party, i would have taken it as an old man moaning about the current generation. It would have been like a father telling his doughtier to change her skirt because it is above the knee, but to write with fully loaded words after 7 months is over the top.

    Have a nice day
    Amanuel

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Amanuel,
      This is waht I was afraid of when I replied to beyan (Beyan, see what happened)

      Dear Amanuel, I agree with your comment but from a 2200 words article you are picking a small paragraph which seen in context, has nothing to do with dress code but with the dignity of the function (Justice) and indecency. Please see the mention of the dress withing the bigger picture, not in alienation to it. As I have told Beyan, I really do not care if people joined the nudist club–it is not about my preference, but the depreciating of the goal and struggle that we are in. The gist of my message is: the functions that Justice seekers hold, should not be a carbon copy of the PFDJ that we are fighting against. Do you object to that? I don’t think so.

      Thank you for the note.

      • Amanuel

        Hi Saleh
        Like I said on the above comment I agree with most of what you have said. My worry was with the words you used to describe the scene. It also gave me the impression that you were prescribing a dress code for justice seekers party in passing, which I don’t agree with because it will add additional problems to the already complex situation.
        As for coping PFDJ, I must admit that they are market leaders on organising a party and there is nothing wrong with coping from market leader.
        Thanks
        Amanuel

    • Bayan Nagash

      Dear Amanuel,

      I hope you will take your time to read what has been discussed in the comment section, not just the article in question. Writers, as artists, write to engage, but context is everything when it comes to any piece of art. As you rightly mentioned about various Eritrean ethnic occasions, traditions dictate that things are done according to the cultural norms and mores.

      What SGJ is alluding to is the need for separating ourselves from the culture of Hgdef, which is replete with denigrating practices. When the struggle we are attempting to advance requires it that we elevate the cause, thusly, we must give it its due respect. And causes are elevated when they are reflected accurately. So, it in the need for distinction and in the need of not trashing but not mangling it with thrashing out, because thrashing out process for us demands of us to elevate our cause to its deserved solemnity. Our cause has certain level of solemnity to it, and as such let our behavior be reflective of it.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Amanuel,
      “…You see Saleh there is no as such as Eritrean tradition when it comes to dress and dance.”
      I wonder why some Eritrean ‘old men’ wonder whether this generation is lost. Any idea?

      • Amanuel

        Hi Fanti Ghana
        sorry I didn’t articulate what I want to say adequately. What I mean was there is no a single Eritrean tradition which represent all Eritreans equal. The spectrum is very wide.
        Hope I made it clear now.
        Amanuel

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello Amanuel,

          It is very clear now, and I am sorry for not giving you a chance to clarify before posting my sarcastic outburst. I was regretting it all last night. I have too much ‘uncertainty’ stored up regarding this ‘lost generation’ subject that I was not thinking clearly myself.

          Thank you.

          • Amanuel

            Hi Fanti Ghana
            No worries Fanti .

  • Bayan Nagash

    Selam to All,

    While the topic is art, culture, and music of our region, it would be a remiss of massive proportions if “The Shepherd Flutist” is not included in the conversation. No amount of words can give justice to Ashenafi Kebede’s “The Shepherd Flutist”. Perhaps, juxtaposing it to Girma Yifrawshewa’s piano version of it can show the unequivocal supremacy of the former. Enjoy!

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

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4JzIpTpRv0

    • Abi

      Selam Beyan
      All I can say is you know music.
      Do you know Prof Ashenafi founded Yared Music School?
      He is one in a million!
      Thanks for sharing my favorite music for those who don’t know him. Or for those who don’t know what a good music sounds like.
      Thanks.

      • Bayan Nagash

        Sleam Abi,

        Indeed, the monumental setback that the incessant turmoil in the Horn has caused to the region’s culture, music, and art cannot be understated. It is a colossal loss that will take ages to undo. A lot of times such endless wars are measured by the loss of human capital in its economic terms and the collateral damages that war leaves in its wake. However, those intangible treasure troughs such as art, culture, and music we tend to pay less attention to.

        It is in that spirit I appreciated SGJ’s piece and in that spirit also I wanted the conversation to go to the realms of the late scholar, Professor Ashenafi (1938 -1998) to give art & and music the all deserving human touch. The scholar in question has done for Ethiopian music like no other even while making life and raising his children in Florida. Paying homage to the man is the least one can do in the name of art.

        So, here is a little bio that can contextualize it for all of us and perhaps our Eritrean intellectuals and erudite who made a career in the U.S. higher learning institutions can learn a thing or two that life does not revolve around politics 24/7 like 7-11. They can make their mark in other arenas as well, and we have more than our share of educated lot, but in dire straights when it comes to art, music and culture. Let me hyperlink the link before Sal Y. asks access to my C-Drive -:)

        http://www.ethiogrio.com/biography/3746-ashenafi-kebede.html

        • saay7

          Nice Beyan:

          We should have a ratings system so we don’t give SGJ a headache:) For example, this one would be rated SGJ 4: has four saxophones; may cause extreme cluster headaches to people who hate the majestic sax:)

          Ethiopian jazz is a genre all by itself studied and reviewed seriously by jazz afficianados.

          On a serious note, remember back in the day when we were trying to buy Eritrean albums not from the back of a van or a “community center” (hafash wdbat) but Tower Records, B & N, Borders, and if you are super hip amoeba records? And the closest we came were to Ethiopian jazz and maybe Tsehaitu and Tewelde Redda would sneak in? Those were the Ethiopique records. Here’s a great one which plays in the background in Ethio restaurants. (Am sure they never pay the artist a penny for it.)

          http://youtu.be/996ag6J6sCY

          saay

          • Bayan Nagash

            Anta Sal Y.,

            Why do you do this to me. Few days ago you help juggle my memory with Osman Abdurahim right to my formative years in Akhrya. And now you’re taking me to LA’s “Little Ethiopia”, which wasn’t known as such then; it was simply put, ab Fairfax dommo nraKeb was the only signal one needed and invariably these instrumental tunes were part and parcel of the eating experience.

            As I pencil this note in I am listening to the piece you shared. Before you had me go where I don’t want to go vis-a-vis sharing from the memory lane that I am feeling a bit nostalgic about now; so, let me just cut through the chase by sharing one of my favorite Eritrean Sax player, Frewyni Tewolde and second appears to be a rendition variations thereof, and one from Ethiopia, namely, Ambassel, in hopes of fleeing from the warm and fuzzy feelings that the music is bringing forth.

            https://youtu.be/NlZYNuJM6KQ?t=651

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzdxV6uRZh4

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZUAtH1jVnc

          • tes

            Dear Bayan,

            Thank you. I think you have either you are a musician or you have a deep passion to music.

            I don’t know why SGJ doesn’t like Saxephone? May be he likes eskitishim???

            As I am fond of classicial music, I love Saxephone. And the music you share here is one that resonates always in my deep memory.

            I thank you

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            I’m as ignorant as it gets when it comes to the role of saxphone in classical music . Could you please post one of your favorites so that SGJ enjoys and I learn a little bit.
            Thanks.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Dear Tes,

            Let me tell you honestly. When I first came to the U.S. as a young man in my teens took lessons in music with two of my Eritrean friends.Two of us chose drums the third chose saxophone. So, the music teacher was an older retired musicologist African American gentleman who could pick you out in no time out of 12 students where each is playing different instruments, mind you.

            You have to imagine this, Tes. We are sitting down what we think the teacher is telling us to do. The three Eritreans among our American counterparts we stood out like a sore thumb. In one of those sessions, we all thought were doing great, and he points out to the three of us, and I am paraphrasing here, states something like this: “you know what you just did, thank God there were no people dancing to your tune, because they would definitely stumble into one another instead of dancing. So, we would’ve caused a commotion and accident of musical kind, eh -:)

            That was the end for the three of us when it came to playing instruments. The saxophone student had great singing voice, but never took any further, sad to say.

            Thank God appreciating music does not require a teacher telling you what to listen to. I have developed some sense of musical appreciation. What I have availed are the type of music I enjoy listening to when the mood strikes.

            Now, the mood that began with Sal Y. is going down hill with what AR dovetailed it to a prefect pitch with Roy Cs music that I am listening to as I am penning this note. So, if some of my note makes no sense you know who to blame. I am loving it ya’all. I am not getting anything done today though – I tell you that. Today, is being spent in the memory lane. I better get out of here right now before someone else comes along to spin me to a direction least expected. Outta here!

          • tes

            Dear Bayan,

            I understand, you better go. Memory sucks. Just for you before you go here I share with you

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bok-pi8uYQg

            Hahaha, your story won’t let SGJ free. I bet he likes koboro bites so much. For those who love deep mediitation, Saxophone and flute are ideal

            tes

          • saay7

            Haha Bayan:

            Of course, the Asmarino answer to the teacher who dissed your musical chops was to say “kla! AlEl abilu iyu bejakha! Entay aflitWom musiqa iziom bzeyka gelTemTem. BelaEti hashema gesreT enda Teretu zkhedu!” Hope you said that 🙂

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Tes!
            Eskitshim with saxophone? Laley welalena goyla with wild-wild kebero does it for me… have you ever seen that ugly instrument anywhere around where you grew? Tes, keep away from that thing to stay sane 🙂

          • tes

            Dear Saleh Johar,

            Let me tell you this: when I was kid, I used to walk one hour (from Elabered to Ruba Anseba on the way to Halib-mentel) covering one way and again coming back the same distance. I did the same oscillation, 7/7, 31/31 and 1yr/yr. I studied in a Catholic School till grade 5 where there was only morning class and almost everyday we have to sing a song. As soon as I finish my class, I have to drop my school back (just 5 minutes walk from my house) and start walking at 30 minutes past mid-day. After 1h&15minutes walk, I am supposed to be in my family’s small garden (my elder brother was working there, a very tough guy, who is now dumped by PFDJ after serving for almost 20 years as military training teacher, 2nd round. If) I reached late, I have to face severe punishment. Hence, no single minute should spend in the way. And for returning, I have to walk again alone between 7-8 pm This was between 1991 to 1995, 4 years none stop.

            Most of the time I was alone. Rarely I had someone to accompany me. There was no loud music that I can hear except wind blow, bird sound, wild life sound, and shattering of leaves. These experiences left me to enjoy nature’s composited music, thinking, contemplation and meditiation while walking.

            I rarely participated in wedding occasions and music performed around. We didn’t have any radio, Tape (music player) or TV. The only time we got Tape in our family was when I won General Knowledge competition held among grade 9 students of Zoba Anseba in 1998 and another second price (again Tape) of general competition held in Gash-Barka among Summer Works programme participants (I was in Mogoraib, now Bisha mining center).

            You can see now how poor my family were and still are and how I was handicaped from enjoying Koboro music.

            And after elementary school, I have to study hard (competition was not easy and I have keep my status). No going out and no dancing. This trend continued till I joined my university (2001). In the universit, it is purely a student life, class-cafeteria-study-sleep.

            But thanks, in the university, we had tea club, where I can enjoy classical music and at student dormitory, we had radio where we used to listen FM music. That is it.

            After I finished my study, I someone how started to go to wedding and dance. But it was to late to be mad with Koboro. You might be surprised, but I never bit Koboro to this day though I can enjoy Blin, Tigrigna and Tigrayit cultural dancing. I am good at it.

            Then during my working days, I started to listen on daily basis classical music and country music (i love Don Williams), religious music and Chinese music.

            Finally, during 1 yr stay in China, I doubled my habit of listening classical music. Slow music became my favorite and till now, I enjoy it.

            Am I then sane?

            Dear SGJ, I passed through hard and poor Eritrean family life. No radio no TV, no music to listen being at home.

            If I say now I love classical and slow music, like Saxophone, you can understand what I mean. I was much closer to nature’s music than to man made music. And I believe Saxophone is closer to nature’s rythm.

            Got me? Now I share with you one of my favorite Chines Instrumental music, Flute.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7FJvdtR3EM

            tes

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,
            Selam would tell you I hate saxophone because I spend my time in the mosque, therefore I am a Jihadi. Selam’s finding will be: a;; Jihadis hate saxophone 🙂 Some do wallow in ignorance and bigotry.

          • selam

            Dear Mr.saleh
            I wouldn’t tell you , you hate sax due to so and so , I am completely free of these musical instruments etc. I am not really in to music , I only love poems and most poems don’t need saxophone . I do not care if saxophone get lost or vibrate up.
            What I find in your comment is the notion that some people dress or way of talk is blocking your favourite members or your orthodox friends from participating in the opposition gathering. By the way , how dare you subscribe people to ignorance and bigotry because they did not accept your explanetion ? Is that how you want to deifne people or you just want to say to me? I myself have been accused of that term jihadist by people who have no clue of what is exactly jihadist , I wouldn’t probably accuse you of such . But I can see your old rotten tradition thing is boiling over due to the dress trends you see in the gathering of opposition , be it tatooed , piercing , and even half naked is welcome to the opposition . Just accept the trend . Your old way of looking things is not going to help you nor do to the struggle . I invite your conservative friends be it priests, haleka, daquen , sheik , immams to the party of accepting any thing about any dress code.

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam
            Get it into your thick skull. It would s not about dress code it is about the function. Don’t worry about you orthodox friend. I do not befriend bigots. Bigots are not bigots Because they differ with me but because they try to define the difference in a religious mold. You have a problem either with me personally or you do not understand what you read. That is why you are always on a clashing mode. Bring something useful for a change, always bickering! Don’t nt you get tired of chaw chaw!

          • selam

            Dear Mr.saleh
            I do not have any problem with any one , I really couldn’t imagine to have any problem with you personally, you have no idea how I admire your work and you have no clue how long I have followed your articles and speaches.Here is what I think is the problem , you have this huge experience that is still untapped and you want people to feel like you, which is impossible for people like me. My idea is only to form a united front against common enemy but if I continue to make lists you will probably hate me because i do not entertain people by creating false analysis like your friend hayat numbers (150 million and the 2 billion birr thing, you have cost me too much pain for entertaining such false and skewed analysis ) , may your god block you from posting such articles in this website ever ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ of course I am jocking about the pain thing , how could I , first of all it was a jock and false assumption. By the way what do you think about the Ethiopian theives who are cheating old Eritrean songs ?

          • Hayat Adem

            Selam,
            It seems you are obsessed with these two numbers like a hungry dog would on a bone. Something must be bothering you inside because I have been saying something bigger but you are fixated with those two numbers. PFDJ has stolen much, much more from Eritreans than from Ethiopians. It has nation-jacked the the whole country from its owners (citizens). You can’t put a price on that. If you have to lose sleep, it should be on this and others like this.
            ———————————-
            For the record: I didn’t make up those numbers. I have no reason to cook numbers to make a point. You are absolutely within your rights not to buy them and dismiss them but you can’t accuse me of making them up without a proof. On my part, I have promised to people here to try to buck it up with evidence even though selling those numbers were not my main points. That still stands.
            ———————————–
            An economist once said, it is a waste for a man to marry the whole girl just because he is crazy about her dimple. Just remember this: we don’t have to suffer your presence because of your meager positive contributions.
            Hayat

          • selam

            Dear Hayat
            Ok lets agree that you did not make up the numbers but where do you find them then ? Besides I am not accusing from zero , I am just reminding you that your analysis is way skewed and your back up system is not true. If you can just defend the Eritrean people by just blaming PFDJ I will gladly support you with prove . I will shove all the things about weyane once you stop defending them and acknowledge the wrong doing of their action. I have never ever defended the evil man nor do I intend to do. It is not that I did not know their crime , the crime of PFDJ is very close to my family , when I said close I mean very very close but I reject the way you write the historical back ground of the war in 1998 and the aftermath of the war on both sides.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi selam,

            I think I will do this one more time though I have commented on it several times before.

            1. I am here in my personal capacity, kindly refrain from talking to me as a representative of awate.com. Anything I say here is my own individual view and awate.com should not be implicated. Saleh Johar, as an individual, doesn’t discuss awate related issues here–the admin does it. It can’t be more clearer so please desist.

            2. You have no way of knowing if Hayat is my friend–I know her here just like I know you. Stop assigning friends and enemies for me, I do it on my own.

            3. I don’t post anything on awate.com, the Admin does. If you are still not clear about it, check item #1 above.

            4. Stop taunting me for everything you don’t like on the pages of awate, take that over with the Admin (and I advice you to do it in a respectful way to be taken seriously). As Saleh Johar, I suggest that you learn to live with the publishing policies of the website or hold your peace. Don’t try to engage me on awate.com Administrative issues. It’s an institution and deal with it as such.

            5. Your last question is out of place and I chose to refrain from answering it.

            NB: Thank you for your nice words and how you “admire me” It shows from your communications that you really admire me and you prove that by continuously taunting and distracting me. Thank you indeed.

          • selam

            Dear Mr.saleh
            Ok agreed, now move on . I would not know if Rupert Murdoch or Roger Alise of fox news are responsible for Mr. Oraley or the crazy shown hannity rants but they must have a say .

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam selam,
            .
            My dear friend selam, what everyone is telling you is you have too much miTmiTa in your hand. Occasionally miTmiTa is good. I like my raw meat with miTmiTa…. but don’t go there….
            .
            I know with a little effort on your part there will be “selam” in the place and everyone will read your main concerns and frustrations. Otherwise everybody will come in with their own miTmiTa and before you know it we will all disappear coughing into lala land.
            .
            K.H

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam Bayan Nagash,
          .
          It is really appreciated you presented these composers and their music. Prof. Ashenafi was a great composer and teacher. If memory serves me right, he had a special class he was teaching in mid sixties at Tefari Makonnen High School, in Addis. It was a great loss not to have him a while longer.
          .
          Girma Yifrashewa is a young gifted musician. His training is in classical music and I am sure we will hear more from him. I have a couple of his CDs.
          .
          K.H

          • Bayan Nagash

            Selam K.H.,

            Indeed, GY is charting new territory as he finds his own niche in the world of music. In fact, if you read a little about his background, you will find extensive training in the Western classics. Let me share a quick read with you that you may as well be aware of since you seem to follow his work closely, it shows the extent of professional training he’s had in music. The reviewer does a great job in offering readers by going deeper into GY’s background. One of the CDs you have might as well be the one the critique is reviewing, namely, “Love & Peace”. Here it is:

            http://www.textura.org/reviews/yifrashewa_love&peace.htm

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Nagash,
            .
            Yes, that was the CD, and thanks again.
            .
            K.H

        • Abi

          Hi Bayan
          thank you.you and I and many others share the same pain. A nonstop pain.

    • Yoty Topy

      Hi Bayan Nagash,
      I am not sure where I heard it, is the shepherd ‘s flute an adaptation from a Japaneese, either folklore or classical music ? Anyway, great contribution to the topic. It always reminds me if Ethiopian radio dramas which most of them used this ensemble as a background.

      • Bayan Nagash

        Hello Yoty Topy,

        Much as ideas in books are said to be about other books preceding them, music is no different. Indeed, you are right to point out the Japanese influence in his professional work. In fact, the late Professor’s work incorporates some of the Japanese music compositions. The Wikipedia entry even goes further to Bulgaria as well. Here is what it says in part: “In his own compositions he combined Ethiopian and Japanese musical ideas. “Koturasia” is one such piece, written for flute,clarinet, violin, and Japanese koto. Among his other musical compositions were “Peace unto Ethiopia” and “The Life of Our Nation”. His best-known composition, though rarely heard outside Ethiopia, was “The Shepherds Flute”, performed in 1968 with the Bulgarian Symphonic orchestra.”

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

        In similar vein, if you read the review on G.Y. that I shared under Kim Hanna’s note below, you will find extensive influence in classical training that the young man did when he was student in the former Eastern European countries, I believe was in Sofia, Bulgaria.

        The corollary to the reluctance of infusing music from others has been to the determine of Eritreans musically. SGJ’s encouragement to the Eritrean artists to venture out and “borrow” (I think was the word he used) will inevitably be to the creation of new untapped artistic creation. Jazz in the U.S. by African Americans speaks to this notion rather aptly and succinctly.

        • Yoty Topy

          Hi Bayan Nagash,
          Much obliged for the thorough analysis on his source of inspirations and influences.

        • Saleh Johar

          Beyan and Raji,
          A year ago I watched a movie (Incha’Allah Dimanche) on Netflex. The movie was excellent but the background music captivated me and I read the credits to see who the singer was and I was introduced to the legendary Amazighi musician Idir (I suggest you learn about Amazighi struggles and disappointments if you haven’t so far, I love revolutionaries). I went through Idir’s songs and I found one that I really liked. What did I do? I sent it to Saay (the saxophone lover) and he trashed it just like he trashes any song that I send him. How I trash the saxophone is the same way he trashes my taste of music 🙂 Be the judge, the link takes you to the linked song–I couldn’t find the original version that I had in mind, but this will do.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnUhyVGlwh0

  • selam

    Dear Awate forumers
    PM of the weyane regime said ,”we are committed to real democracy “. And susan rice said , oww ja , we know you have won 100%. A jock if the day doesn’t stop there , obamo continues to say USA and Ethiopia are close friends for 100 years , one thing he forget is , for 100 years american money was channelled to kill innocent Eritrean People.

    • betri_weyn

      anti-selam after the fall of derg 1/4 century ዝተኣደለ ንኦባማ ይቅበል ዘይተኣደለ ንብርሃኑ ይቅበል

      • selam

        Dear betri weyane
        I did not get it the end line of your sentence.

  • selam

    Dear Haqi
    Just focuse to the singer effective way of using words and his great music , forget aboy saleh’s concern about the dress code or what ever he is talking about the younger energised people. The old are getting older and the young are coming with new trends that some our church and mosque people wouldn’t love it. Mr.saleh wants to see all the white close orthodox girls covered their head and all the madrassa girls covered from head to toe , as well as the men , ata tikidaney alebay kaki kidaney bano is already thrown out from the box, He is saying thousands are not coming , I just loved his way of disappointmenton the dress code . Fashion is a creation over time and they can do nothing about it.
    we will drive the opposition function with our ears pierced , arms tatooted , legs open , breast half open , for the old men to wish to be born in this age. Poor conservative mantra is broken and they are left to be rotten alone . By the way , they can’t dance and listen the music , their ear is just open to hear not to listen. Here is one story that happened in Boston , one old ELF fighter was in the meeting and he keep staring at me as if I am from mars , what he forget was that there were so many girks behined him who dressed far open than mine and I asked him , how does he feel about the new trend of dress code in the Eritrean diaspora , he told me we are a lost people , and I asked him back who was responsible for our lose in dress code , he stare at me again and walk away.

    • Abi

      Selam ,
      Asmara tsbuqti
      I’m glad I married 20+ years ago . It is very difficult to find a descent woman these days. These women who confuse westernization to modernization are totally ” lost in translation “.
      We have proud cultural way of dressing and talking. There is a proper venue for every kind of dressing. If a woman want to show her bare buttocks and breasts , the venue is the streets at night. Not our weddings, cultural gatherings, political gatherings or anywhere descent people attend meetings or Protests.

      • selam

        Dear Abi
        Great , I am sure you do not mean that to be specific . What I am adressing is quite to the opposit of your understanding , I am saying saleh has no business or what so ever to tell to people this and that . I am saying these so many people he said did not come to the gathering has to go to mosque or church , they have no value to lecture us with their old understanding of dress code. I hope you understand that I was not adressing specifically to women . And I am quite happy that people like abi are old not young .

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Selam,
      why do you think he ignore you and walk away? I have an answer but I want to hear from you.
      till you answer the question, I want to put some points here, ELF is everybody. any front in Eritrea is from ELF. Additional to that far from other fronts there are still young once direct members of ELF. but even more for you,,, I and the people like me are still direct members of ELF and we never feel we are old. I am very much modern than you, learning still while keeping alive my old wonderful culture, – the ethics I am proud of .

      now go, answer to me why that gentle man ignore you and walk.

      • selam

        Dear k.s
        I don’t think you are more modern than the time can offer but let’s give you the credit of your choice. The reason he walk away was just beyond your guess and if you say you know the reason , you will be in line to the 150 million , and also 2 billion birr hayat’s property of making things up. Here is the reason , he walk away because his daughter was at the back of his shoulders with her breast wide open and tatooted legs , I just caught him off guard. Tell me how is modren to ask people on how they should dress if they come to opposition metting , are you trying to debate me on dress code or are trying to lecture me on things you have no control . I think decency is just quite big topic which is not cornered by dress code. Conservative people tend to say too much about the future while doing their religious rituals.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Selam,
          now you are in trouble. read your fist post and this one and you will know you are badly cornered. the fist story might be true but hey, you can’t tell us his doughtier was there behind him now. Selam, I can simply see that you have been with PFDJ as your style reflects so.

          Selamino, if you think your dress will show how much you are modern you are in deep s….t. external appearance may help for ordinary sales man but it never show how much you are educated. yes, dress may help to indicate your job like Municipality, traffic or police etc. and also if you wear part of your body only that shows you are on the way to madness..Lol. for your information advanced man at this era will never be attracted by your internal body nor he dislike you by your appearance..that is the low level (animal stage) group of men character. people are very much awaken those days and are controlling their mind. if so happen some one is attracted by your wearing style, and you are happy of that , this is good example that you are in animal stage. awake lady!!

          regarding religion, we have already closed before. I know people who don’t have religion but are few among them honest. It is up to you to have or not to have. but you should not be against religious people, in fact you are not allowed.

        • Saleh Johar

          Selam,
          Your indecency was obvious, you bigotry is coming out now. I think you will always remain an adolescent, try to bring added value to this forum because so far, I haven’t seen any but badmouthing and indecency–cheremrem.

          One serious question though: what should I write about? What is the business of a writer? That is because you believe I have no business writing about indecent behavior that I see and if I write about that, then I am a mosque man (and I will say for you what you do not have the courage to say-a Jihadi) Would you say that to me if my name was say, Tesfai? You wouldn’t. And that gives away your bigotry. Bigots think that it is “religious extremism” to write or talk about decency. Theirs is unbridled indecency and acting like street-boys, the Wedini and Skunis, the very reason I oppose the PFDJ. You badmouth anyone who is older than you–and that behavior is traditionally called sddnet.

          Since you insist on picking on me, bring it on if that gives you a break from whatever is troubling your head and boring you. I justb feel sorry I had to waste my time dealing with confused people.

  • Saleh Johar

    Abi,
    I love your quick wit. I love it.

  • senay

    Selam SJG,

    Thank you for sharing your observations on music and culture. I found this episode of Negarit refreshing and a good detour from the usual politics. I too enjoy Wedi Tikabo music. His lyrics are poetic with layers of hidden messages. Every time I listen to his music, I am fascinated by his cryptic words and with ease he weaves them. You are right, he is a class of his own, a poet, great composer, and talented musician.

    Few days ago, I was listening to an interview of Eritrean artists about how music can play a role in attracting the youth to flock to the justice seeker camps. Their core message was, instead of endless meetings, it is easy to attract them by organizing musical concerts with verity of artists. Simply put, use PFDJ play book. They were very successful at it too and I found your take and theirs very interesting.

    As you are aware, a great artist (musician, poet, author, teacher) Memhir Asres Tesema passed away a couple weeks ago. He is one of those I respect greatly. After his death, I started reading his latest book about the history of Eritrean art. To my pleasure (and surprise), he credits you for your contribution in spreading awareness how Eritrean artists influenced and helped develop the Ethiopian music. He mentioned your article from a decade ago as a source. If memory serves me correctly, back then, SAAY mocked it as a “Marching Band” :). (I stand corrected). My surprise was, how the book evaded censorship for simply having your name in it.

    Now the role seems reversed. Your detest for Sax (brass instrument) and SAAY is trying to convince you the once “Marching Band” instruments are the greatest. How about that! (I understand both your cases, I am just playing the devils advocate here). I used to hate the Sax in tigrina music in the ninties. Now, I am indifferent. But if you are interested to listen to an artist who doesn’t use Sax, look for an artist named Thomas Alazar. I find his music to be traditional, cultural, and spiritual.

    Thank you again for this article. I enjoyed reading it greatly.

    Senay,

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Senay,
      Thank you for the info.

      I heard of Memhir Asres’ death and now discovering that he has written a book, makes me happy. I always wanted to interview him but never got in touch with him–we foolishly think that we always have the time.

      The last time I met Memhir Asres was In Jeddah, in the eighties. I was invited to lunch in the house of the Late Lloyd Ellingson who worked at the Jeddah Airport and whom I knew a few months earlier. Since he was a peace corp teacher in Asmara, he had a few acquaintances who were were also invited. Over tea, we talked about many things but somehow we started to talk about the airport and how big it was. Innocently I remarked that the area of the airport is at least five times the size of Asmara–the entire group, being from Asmara, wanted to bite my head for saying that, “how could you degrade Asmara, how dare you…” I reasoned, i don’t think Asmara is more than nine square kilometers but te airport is almost 70 or there abouts. They wouldn’t have any of that ad they gave me the then equivalent of the current “Weyane” until Memhir Asres came to my rescue. He said, he is right, Akria to Sembel, is Radar to Geza Banda Tlyan–how many square kilometers do you think it is? They didn’t accept that but they know they couldn’t be more Asmarino than Memhir. He save my day. One of the guys never talked to me after that day. I wish I could expand Asmara for him–he didn’t know small is cute 🙂

      May the soul of Memhir Asres rest in peace.

    • saay7

      Merhaba Senay:

      Welcome back; it’s been a long time! You should write more often.

      And you have excellent memory: I have equated Ethiopia’s kbur zebegna (royal orchestra) with marching band music. By that I mean that all you hear is brass horns (barely any guitar or sax): it was mixed badly and it sounds like noise. Compare that with Ethiopian jazz greats: they had a horn section too but they didn’t overpower each other. In short: saxophone sounds subdued and melancholic to me and all the other horns…well, to quote Dire Straits in sultanas of swing, “…don’t give a damn about trumpet-playing band; it ain’t what they call rock-n-roll.”

      Now, marching bands, particularly in college football, have come to realize they are awful and are compensating for it with drum lines. I was going to give examples but SGJ doesn’t like perfectly synchronized, choreographed dance moves. I am going out on a limb and saying he is the only one in this planet who hates choreographed dance because he equates choreography with military marches.:). Abu Selah: not even prisoners dancing to Michael Jacksons “thriller”? Not even all the creative video editing to make it look like other dances are set to thriller?

      Saay

  • Bayan Nagash

    Selam to All,

    No other reason than just the sheer pleasure and joy of it is why I am posting it here on this Sunday afternoon. A friend sent me to enjoy this Tigrinya song where the blending of sax, keyboard, and guitar along with the soothing voice accompanying makes for one pleasant listening experience.

    Granted, this is well choreographed, including the audience is part of the music experience, where you see young faces dressing elegantly, including the artists on the stage.

    All and all, one could easily conceive SGJ’s coming to enjoy such an experience where the dress code is strictly enforced to the tee, where, for a change, one can enjoy music without being jarred by unsavory scene, where one needs not feel out of place in one’s own event.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mpRRzcTkgI

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Beyan,
      I thought of commenting before my article is made to appear as if it was about dress code 🙂
      It was about decent manners in national venues that should not be another version of a nightclub. Apart from that, I care less if people join nudist camp and do away with dresses altogether. I believe the disgusting g mannerism, bing drinking and all has become a barrier for many who want the struggle to be dignified and decent. For instance, I have no problem with the scene in the clip you provided, I will have a big problem if someone told the crowd were discussing national issue in that club or bar. Does that pigeonhole me as a conservative 🙂

      • Bayan Nagash

        Hello Saleh G.J.,

        It never dawned on me your piece being about “dress code” or a “conservative” writer righteously preaching to his congregation as such. To the contrary, the
        narrative I saw as no more than art in its attendant context, which is to say
        the solemn ambience event for which the people gather should be reflective of
        the particularity of the occasion.

        After all, the beauty to art rests in its dogged desire to not be pigeonholed. The quality of your art, whether it is about music or about politics or about social issues, for the most part, tends to have layers that one must be open to go there with the narrative. Much like the great poet, Wallace Stevens said about poetry as “The poem of the mind in the act of finding what will suffice.” You furnish your readers “what will suffice” and not many are capable of doing in prose what
        poets do in poetry. Reason for my seeing the piece one way and others seeing it
        another way, so on and so forth.

  • AMAN

    Dear Awates
    The reason Ethiopian,Eritrean and Sudanese songs of the 1960’s were
    dominated by the saxphone is that due to the import of American music
    dominated by jazz of that era.
    African music culture, especially the one promoted by the National medias
    was looking into American music culture as its role model for their Radio and
    TV broadcasts.
    It was introduced from American music culture of the 1950’s and 1960’s which
    was dominated by Jazz and Blues. And also because these genre of music
    especially appeals to African listeners as it ( the Blues / the jazz ) is especially
    dominated by the African American Artists and the people.
    The JAZZ and BLUES music looks like as if it has african blood in it. So it is
    intimately interwined to African roots in its rhythm and is played and developed
    as such.
    In the 1950’s the US has sent some African American music instuctors to start
    and develop the music and theatre center or National theatre or orchestra of
    Ethiopia. And the military bands developed from these introduction of American
    jazz and Blues style of music thereafter.

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam Mr. Johar, Mr.SAAY and Awatistas,
    .
    Mr. Johar, I am not going to say anything about the saxophone and the donkey.
    .
    I see clearly what you are saying, Mr. Johar. For the most part however, I believe, our songs and mannerisms are primarily polluted by the dominant western culture. When I visited Addis around 2000, I heard a very loud wrap music coming from one of those blue and white taxis. Every other word of the lyrics was a demeaning and curse word. It was so sad to see such a change.
    .
    Reading this article brought back memory of long past. The early experiences and neighborhoods have a lasting impact on all of us.
    When I was a young boy of 12, 13 or 14, I went to “Jan Meda” on Timket, a religious holiday. One of the fun things me and my friends went to see is the multitude of groupings that formed and disbanded after an impromptu singing performances by ordinary people.
    On that fateful day, one of those gatherings that formed had a well dressed woman of 20s or 30s in an immaculate Abesha dress. I thought she was modern because she was wearing a sunglass.
    This light skinned beautiful woman began to sing with a little nervous smile. I heard her voice. As if that was not enough, her ever so dignified “eskista” struck me like a lightning, I was in love.
    For decades after that even though the odds are against it, I always wished her a long and a happy life.
    .
    These are the cultural ingredients and experiences that gets engraved in our brain to keep us part and parcel of our people, no matter what. It is being hard wired.
    .
    K.H

    • Saleh Johar

      Bingo Kim,
      Copying, copying, and more wholesale copying, and then claim to own a long history–proud people! Self-confidence gone awry. I blame it on the Habesha who are infatuated by “amerikan ager!” ghetto culture. Why would one imitate “fitty-cent”, can anyone please explain to me?

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    True Haile “music of peace and love” dearly missed. We missed it for decades.

  • Saleh Johar

    Dear haqi,
    It’s a good idea, keep your American life. An indecisive citizen is a liability to the Eritrean struggle. For your information, thousands of people are staying away from the many events because they do not want to be part of the indecency that you are promoting. But you have your freedom, you can dress as you like, intoxicate yourself as you like, take all sorts of drugs–all that is not my concern. Just don’t bring that to an opposition function and make us look like a bunch of night club crowd. Just maintain the dignity and honor of the Eritrean traditions in opposition functions. Is that too much to ask?

  • selam

    Dear Awate Forumers
    What is the expected out come of Mr. Obama (the dron operator) from his trip to Kenya and Ethiopia? Is he goibg to tell us about his daily nice words or he will say some thing the truth.

  • Nitricc

    Hi people of awate:
    I have a question. what is the main reason for Eritrean artists, once they abandoned or deserted the government; their popularity goes down to the toilet. I agree wedi Tikabo is the best and my favorite by far.

    • Saleh Johar

      Nitricc,
      I thought you knew the reason, “id PFDJ newiH ‘eyyu” 🙂

      But that is a testimony that the PFDJ is a monopolizer. Don’t you agree?

      • Nitricc

        Dear SGJ; we will like to bring this matter to your attention. you have breaking awate.com’s rules for some time. we have repeatedly asked you to respect and follow the rules of our web-site; to begin your post with salutations. we would like to informed you from this point on, if you fail to to begin you pots with salutations; we choice but to suspend your account for 30 days. then after, you will be suspended for ever. Thank you.
        lol. sorry i had to take the shoot. i love it.
        Anyway; SJ don’t you think it is the other way? meaning the government has more power than the rest of the toothless revenge seekers? my point is, to break free is to be free of any monopolizer; so, they are out of the PFDJ shackles. in fact, if PFDJ is that bad, their popularity should go up not down, don’t you think?

        • Nitricc

          Hi SJ i forgot; did you know some one bit you translate the song to some thing else? oh yes, here is Selamawit Gebru. oh yes, she got nice legs, lol

          i thought she did good job, what you think? listen to it, here
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezQDyu_EZbQ

          • Saleh Johar

            Oh Nitricc,
            I have seen that. Her voice is exceptionally good. The cherographed dance? The Arabs say, yekaHilha Amaha–meaning, wanted to put mascara on her eye lashes, but he poked her eyes. I don’t know where they dance like that in Ethiopia, all dancers carrying Wata and uniform dress. It is a distraction. To me song addresses the ears and the soul, video is cheating. Selamawit could just sit and sing and that would be fine with me. By the way, I never watch the video, I minimize the screen when I listen to music. But then, maybe they do it that way, in purple uniform and dance in a funny way. I will wait for Eyob or Abi to tell me in which part of Ethiopia they sing like soldiers in a parade. Sure not in Shashemene or Gonder. Nitricc, maybe the toothless Dedebit, huh?

            By the way, in that place all women have excellent legs–I didn’t have to check, I believe you

          • Olana

            Dear Saleh Johar
            I agree with you such videos are cheating but I will be surprised if you do not know the style of the dances, not the parade. The beat in the music is originally from Tempen, Tigray as I never heard any such beat from the different Eritrean nations. I will be corrected if there is one. But I like the music played by wedi Tikabo. The dance style is called Awres and except for few that is the way they played it. Have you heard of Mihimbat? That is putting one of your palms under the other armpit and produce a sound like fart. The ladies in the videos are crossing their hands as they are dancing are just acting as they are making the Mihimbat. So it might look funny for you but it is highly enjoyed in Tigray especially in Tempen and some parts of the eastern part of Tigray and southern Eritrea. Playing the instrument by all the dancers is just for clip purpose.

          • Olana

            Dear Saleh
            The word beat I put was to mean Melody. Sorry for the mistake.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Dear Saleh,

            I had seen the clip before as well, based on that didn’t follow this thread of discussion. However, what the choreographers might have tried to do is create hybrid of different cultures much as you encourage in your article for Eritreans to borrow from others musically, here, that seems to be the case culturally. Consider Awres music and dance from Tembien, Tigray. Awres transcends any parochial sentiments. It is noticeably close to what was being attempted with waTa, the outfit
            notwithstanding, you can see in the dance moves it is very close to Tembien.

            Anyone who knows the Awres culture can enlighten us, and of course, I will stand
            corrected if there is any misrepresentation. The third one I am sharing to
            provide wider context in that It shows that Eritrean culture is not unique but
            part of the larger spectrum. The third clip is just like Saho in
            Eritrea, but it can be found in Tigray.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV_LZ9zYamQ

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBa0q8FbUwc

            This one is also great It shows you Eritrean culture is not unique but part of the larger spectrum. This one is just like Saho in Eritrea, but this is in Tigray.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5onGQth4K0

          • Abi

            Selam Ato saleh
            I didn’t see this comment until I followed Bayan’s.
            You and I always agree on music choices except saxophone.
            Those dancers spend a lot of money to look as agly as possible. What happened to the traditional clothes ? Any traditional cloth not this ugly thing.
            The music is beautiful if you don’t see those robots.
            It is definitely ethiopian song and the dance is also from ethiopian northern region called Bilen.
            I know my people.
            Ato Saleh, when was the last time you listened to Kenny G?
            Try ” breathless ” on a long drive. Trust me you will love it.

            Bayan
            What do you think of the Great Saxophone player Tewodros Mitiku? In my opinion he is the best saxophonist. RIP.
            Please introduce him to SGJ. It looks like he is missing a lot.
            Thanks

          • Bayan Nagash

            Dear Abi,

            ante sewyye Tlacha alweddim enye ibakkhn – isn’t music supposed to be a source of joy and a language of universe and not one of consternation. Hey, If this one does not do it I do not know what will. So, SGJ let me give this a shot on behalf of Abi, which is to say, any dngay yemtwerewwrow (any stones that you hurl) should be directed at Abi – I am only a middleman here – delal, as it were, free of charge.

            Abi, kenne giTmu naw engideh yasQemeTkullat, hope ato SGJ likes the lyrics accompanying the sax, which would make it a bit more tolerable.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKRBNLa2psw

          • Abi

            Hi Bayan
            Thank you . You brought three great artists in one. Mahmoud Ahmad, Ali Birra and Tewodros Mitiku.
            Any idea who sang the original song ?
            Both have played it together on the stage .
            Mahmoud in Amharic, Ali in Oromigna.
            Tewodros made it better in ” saxophonegna”
            You are really great. I always read your comments.
            Thanks.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Hello Abi,

            I honestly do not know who sang the original song. I was only being a good soldier soldiering on and obliged on the question you posed about Tewodros’s saxophone talent and my concurrence is evidenced by the selection made.

            I appreciate your kind words. I am happy our paths crossed here, it is inevitable that that was going to happen sooner or later. I am happy music brought us together. I, too, agree a 100% on a 100% topic in which some one who admired your your quick wit.

            I hope you don’t think less of me if I go out on a limb to say, please chill on my friend Tes. We need not take matters personal. It is ostensive that you and will have disagreements on some subject matters in the future, that’s natural, but we need not tear each other apart. I am really not interested in revisiting the source of it – I did eavesdrop on some of your differences, but I hope you see where I am coming from, Abi. I sense I developed enough of a rapport with you to use that leverage to a positive end.

            Respectfully,
            BN

        • Saleh Johar

          Nitricc, now you are becoming truly toothless, when did I not put a salutation? I always put the mame of those I am addressing in the beginning. You caught me once and I apologized. Do you want me to carry a boulder and ask your forgiveness? That would be a toothless request 🙂

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Saleh Johar,
            At the risk of sounding a tattletale, he doesn’t seem to get the idea behind the rules.i.e to encourage civility towards one anther. Instead he’s keeping scores.

    • betri_weyn

      Dear nitric forget wedi t… have you heard from the south the new single theme…የታደለ ኦባማን ይቀበላል ያልታደለ ብርሃኑን ይቀበላል

      • Abi

        Hi betri-weyn
        In Amharic we say
        ” ankola giTamun ayaTam”

      • Nitricc

        Hi Betri-weyn and Abi. Be carful what you say. Look what happened to Gahanna. He is a bad luck. Is it African mentality? How is Obama better than Birhanu? Why is it Africans have low self worth? Unless you guys fix your attitude, you will get nowhere and you will always bend by the whites and outsiders.
        As far as Behanu Nege; I rather have Birhanu Nega. The fanny part is, I was doing his Bio and Behanu’s father owns Semen-Hotel. And obviously he is from a family of well to do. But his father live like a normal life, not a life a rich person. So, some body asked Mr. Nega that how is he (Birhanu) lives in luxury, drives nice cars and dresses well while you are just working day and night?
        Mr. Nega’s response was
        Ay Esun Tewut, Esu Ye Habtam lij new Endeza Madreg Ychilal.

        • betri_weyn

          Hi nitric I know u don’t need any interpreter for your new guest wedi-nega please u need to watch this video and translate for dear selam and sara https://youtu.be/ievA8QzmGIg

  • Dayphi

    عيدك مبارك يا استاذي
    you hit on the nail head. Isayas and his sha3biyyah aremenawyan have turned ou4 culture, our language, and even our religions and beliefs into their Hegdef Service. They turned our beautiful, easy to understand Tigrinia into hard to understand Gibirishinia and turned our Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, and Milad-un-Nabi into an occasion of getting drunk, fornication, and semi nude orgy of decadency, void of ALL and any spirituality those holidays represent to average muslims like you and me.
    Since none of our pioneer muslim artists like Osman Abdurraheem, Al-Ameen Abdellateef, Yahya, or modern vocalists made any Eid Songs that i know, i would like to present to you and All my muslim brothers and sisters this lyric of our sister Safaa Abu su3ood, AHLAN AHLAN BIL 3EED…MARHAB MARHAB BIL 3EED, that reflects the happiness, spirituality, and Praise of Lord , shared by all muslims, whether Kerenite, Da3ro Qawlosawi, Musawwa3i, Jayzani, Shubrawi, Shirazi, Harari, or any other muslim around the globe. HAPPY and Spiritually fulfilling Eid to all of you, Awatewyan.

    • Dayphi

      كلمات اغنية العيد فرحه – صفاء ابو السعودأهلاً آهلاً بالعيد…مرحب مرحب بالعيد
      هي هي هي هههي هي
      العيد فرحة …وأجمل فرحة 
      تجمع شمل قريب وبعيد
      سعدنا فيها بيخليها ذكرى جميلة لبعد العيد
      غنوا معايا غنوا
      قولوا ورايا قولوا
      كتر يارب في افراحنا 
      واطرح فيها البركة وزيد
      جانا العيد اهو جانا العيد
      باركوا وهنوا .. سوا واتمنوا 
      كل العالم يبقى سعيد
      كله اخوة …بره وجوه
      كل فرح وهنا وزغاريد
      غنوا معايا غنوا
      قولوا ورايا قولوا
      كتر يارب في اعيادنا واطرح فيها البركة وزيد

  • saay7

    Hey SGJ:

    Again?:)

    The Great Sax in Arabic music:
    Samir Srur
    https://youtu.be/vhTeW7H6a7o?t=1m20s

    The Great Sax in Pop Music:
    Hall & Oats/Maneater
    https://youtu.be/uzbDhc3QBwU?t=2m57s

    The Great Sax in Hard Rock Music
    Foreigner/Urgent
    https://youtu.be/pYZ-Zn0G8Mc?t=4m56s

    The Great Sax in Progressive Rock Music
    Pink Floyd/Us & Them
    https://youtu.be/hERapHPZpAY?t=36s

    The Great Sax in Classic Rock Music
    Pick any random song by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (RIP Clarence) but let’s go for Born to Run
    https://youtu.be/IxuThNgl3YA?t=2m9s

    The Great Sax in Eritrean Music
    Haile Gebru/Zerai Deres Band/nsamamaE
    https://youtu.be/C2Of0gHgzpA

    The Great Sax in Ethiopian Music
    Getachew Mekuria (actually the sax was invented to play this song; some of us can only play it on black keys of the piano:)
    https://youtu.be/3SpqTeM8GFo

    I won’t even mention jazz, blues or classical music: just way, way too many greats to pick.

    I don’t think you hate the sax abu Salah; you hate the sax when it is played badly and overpowers everything else. That is the problem of the engineer, the producer, but not the poor instrument or its player

    saay

    • saay7

      Addendum, SGJ:

      On drums….well, the synthesizer version of our drumming only slightly lamer than the organic:). What do I have in mind?

      Here’s a 7 year old taking on one of the most inspired drumming Candian rockers Rush and their song Tom Sawyer.

      http://youtu.be/MR_x_vrSZBM

      saay

      • Saleh Johar

        Saay,
        Addendum! That has nothing to do with the traditional drum, which in the hands of able drummers is magnificent. The instrument that the kid is playing, the Ringo Star type, has no place in traditional music. If you don’t agree, wait until Yoty Topy sponsors the draft resolution in the future constitution making 🙂

        • saay7

          Abu Salah:

          You were glorifying the “traditional” drumming and, compared to (pick anyplace, Planet Earth) I am saying that the traditional drumming is lame and redundant. It is then that a tradition has to be upgraded and borrow/steal from other traditions:)

          saay

        • Yoty Topy

          Saleh Johar,
          The Kebero will claim its rightful place in the new order and the Sax will be relegated to the periphery- like children, should be seen not heard:) In line with this threat, I am working on a blue-toothed Kebero to stream the volume to the speakers so that it can start playing a dominant role.:)

    • Saleh Johar

      Saay,
      “He was emphasizing on how we should be nice to our neighbors to the extent I thought he will ask me to list my neighbors as my inheritors.” I hope Deyphi will quote and source that properly 🙂

      I can tell you love the donkey-bray instrument as much as I hate it. I love you and if you were a saxophone manufacturer I will pray that you sell more of them to deafen many innocent ears, but I will never make peace with that annoying instrument. 🙂

      • saay7

        Hey SGJ:

        I think you are calling every woodwind instrument, and every brass instrument a “saxophone” and then cursing the poor instrument. Not everything that you produces sound by blowing into it is a saxophone. Most of the marching band music of His Imperial Majesty’s kbur zebegna orchestra was a whole lot of woodwind and brass instruments with no saxophone in sight:)

        saay

        • Saleh Johar

          Saay,
          Never said anything about other woodwind instruments. in fact I mentioned the flute (the reed one)… I have a feud with the saxophone. If you pester me, I might even change my mind about the Samir Surur guy. The concession as good as you stopping voting for the ugly saxophone. Haza al-kelam ya Hamza:-)

      • Dayphi

        Merhaba ya Ustathi.
        i am caught off guard as to what the discussion was or who you were referring to, when you said, ” He was emphasizing on how we should be nice….”. If you were referring to the hadith of Archangel Gabriel advising our Nabiyyil Kareem, Alaihima Salaam, indeed it is an authentic hadith reported in Bukhari, Muslim, and other accredited hadith books with unbroken chain of narrators that goes back all the way to Aisha, the mother of believers ( RA ). Because of problem in sequence with my gadget, i will post the hadith/ hadiths on subsequent post.
        cheers.

        • Dayphi

          Aisha reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Gabriel continued to advise me to treat neighbors well until I thought he would make them my heirs.”

          Source: Sahih Bukhari 5668, Sahih Muslim 2624

          Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi(authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim

          عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَا زَالَ يُوصِينِي جِبْرِيلُ بِالْجَارِ حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُ سَيُوَرِّثُهُ

          • Dayphi

            مازال جبريل يوصيني بالجار حتي ظننت انه سيُوَرِّثٌهُ is Bukhari’sversion; while مازال جبريل يوصيني بالجار حتي ظننت أنه لَيُوَرِّثَنَّهُ is Muslim’s version. And Abu Dawood reported it in this wordings, مازال جبريل يوصيني بالجار حتي قُلْتُ ليورثنه. As you can see slight variation in wordings, but same meaning.

  • Haile WM

    Dear Saleh,
    your aversion to saxophone is understandable given the miss use of it in pfdj era Eritrean music, however saxophone if used in the right context is one of the best instruments.
    Gu’e Leminaey is a great song from a great artist.
    on a worrying note tough, I heard an amharic version of it….
    and in 50 year time we will hear it was originally sang by an ethiopian
    lady…. just like saba sabina and Engineer Asghedom… 🙂

    enjoy this saxophonist… you might get your faith in the sax back 🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNjIl2RY6Rg

    • selam

      Dear Haile
      Yes , you are right , if you go to his youtube as well as other Eritrean singers , there apears to be a systematic review of their work by Ethiopian singers , the list is very long and a great damage to Eritrean music , so many ethiopian singers are cheating the original and make a remix and put it in youtube and demand , like by their ethiopian listeners to dump out the original song made by Eritreans , just to say the list , it seems politically motivated work by cheaters . The Guinness of tye Eritrean singers isjust under great pressure by cheaters and theives from south , bad time for our lee singers .

    • Saleh Johar

      Haile,
      My aversion starts with the Ethiopian Radio which had songs lined as a saxophone medley. Until recently I though the saxephone was an authentic Ethiopian instrument just like the Begena. Maybe Abi can confirm to us the saxophone was invented by a Gonderie 🙂

      • Ted

        Hi SJ, Ethiopia and windpipe instrumental affair started with Armenians migrating from Middle east. Ethiopians dropped every thing string for windpipe. That is how your torture started.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0xBybuEOgY

        • saay7

          Hey Ted:

          Funny! Speaking of Armenians, super-talent Armenian-Ethiopian artist (lots of guitar, no sax, SGJ:) Vahe Tilibian was participating at EuroVision 2015 contest representing all of Africa. Back in March, I told the man who introduced me to him, the very terrible Eyob Medhane, to organize a campaign to have him win (sine he is representing Africa) and since 50% of the winning was from tele-votes. (the other 50% was boring judges judging.)

          Anyway, the very terrible and highly Weyanized Eyob told me that he is too busy making sure that Weyane doesn’t get embarassed by winning only 95% of the vote and that was his priority.

          EPRDF ended up getting 100% of the vote and Vahe didn’t win.

          Here’s the awesome Vahe and his rock ballad Tizita:

          https://youtu.be/jawtpRwDy3Q

          saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            First of all please get it right. Vahe is Ethiopian-Armanian, not Armanian Ethiopian. He’s third generation for Christ sake. His grandparents were Armenian Ethiopian. He and his parents were born and raised in Ethiopia…

            Second, if he had sang a nice Ethiopian song, instead of English song with few Amharic words, he would have won for being “exotic” and “different”. So the loss is on him.. 🙂

            Third, I must have been so good, because, while I was working for 95% victory, woyane ended up winning 100%…They need to pay me for the 5% Extra I have worked for…. 🙂

          • Ted

            Hi, Eyob. Bless your heart.The 100% hahaa is cracking up people, even always frowny Suzan rice got the joke:)

          • saay7

            Hey Ted:

            Eyob never listens to me. I told him that from now until 2020 every journalist will feel duty bound to say the EPRDF won 100% of the vote, which exceeds Saddam and Stalins percentage. So, here’s Al Jazeeras coverage of Obama in Addis. Nobody will remember what the reporter was saying. But they will remember the caption:). Stubborn Weyane!:))

            Saay

          • saay7

            Hey Ted:

            Eyob never listens to me. I told him that from now until 2020 every journalist will feel duty bound to say the EPRDF won 100% of the vote, which exceeds Saddam and Stalins percentage. So, here’s Al Jazeeras coverage of Obama in Addis. Nobody will remember what the reporter was saying (low key minamin minamin) But they will remember the caption:). Stubborn Weyane!:))

            Saay

          • Ted

            Hi Saay. For the West, It kind of things they chose to accept with no means or need to rectifying it. Obama, a lame duck, has no plan of changing policy in eleven hours. It would been better he stayed away from the bad spotlight.
            It is like Chris Froome who won 2 times Tour de France from no where after 30 yrs in to his cycling career. Just they call him late bloomer-scratching their head.

          • Abi

            Ted
            If you don’t laugh at the best joke of the century, you got a problem. 100% funny.

          • Peace!

            Dear Ted,

            Please don’t ruin Abi’s happy Sunday Funday:

            http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4545951/susan-rice-laughed-eprdfs-100-win

            Regards

          • Ted

            Hi Peace.
            Suzan Rice lost control when a lady(voice over) add “having fun out there”. May be she didn’t get a memo from Abi how EPDRF won the election fair and square.

          • Peace!

            Dear Ted,

            She just can’t maintain her poker face for very long.

            Cheers!!

      • Haile WM

        I remember those tunes in ethiopian radio and television, “tey nana tey nana… yeagherie, etc…” and the sax crying all along, infact sax is not gondere its gojame and Abi cannot confirm it, he is biased being clearly ye addis abeba lij…
        On a more philosophical aspect, i think the use of saxophone in our region could be associated to regime propaganda music, the marching band influence, as once noted by a friend of mine

  • Solomon Haile

    Selamat Awatistas,

    I believe Wedi Tikabo would best serve his craft and gifted talent by reaching out to and collaborating with other internationally acclaimed musicians. I would suggest Dameon Marly, The Fugees’ Wyclef and Lorin Hill. He is indeed a great poet who writes from the heart as it is evident with the exception when the PFDJ took total control of his art and used him as the Asmara Festival propaganda main act with songs such as “ygerrmena ‘lo” This after he was suspect following his “zemennn” song.

    Though financial dire need dictates Eritrean opposition gathering performances for several thousand dollars a pop, I truly believe that if he commits to catering disingenuously to only one segment of audience, inevitably his lead role will suffer and become second to another. Also it would be no different for the opposition to steer and hyjack his art for the cause than did the PFDJ for several years. Having said that, he can still pull it off. Listen to his ” gedli geisha ala” He could possibly out write past Eritrean great song writers. AmEritrean GiTsaTse

    • Yohannes

      Dear Solomon Haile,

      Your wishfulness for the greatness of the artist is shared by me, too. But I disagree on what you said
      about PFDJ using him or hijacking his art. From personal observation and from the account of the artists who fled the country there is no way to assert that the PFDJ imposed their propagandist lyrics on the mouth of our singers. In my opinion many of the singers in Eritrea tend to repeat PFDJ propaganda for one of two ways: a few because they genuinely believe it to be right(I would put wedi tukabo in this category), the other majority do that
      because they know singing a patriotic song pays off well.

      The paying off doesn’t necessarily mean in monetary terms, but all the other advantages related to it which at the end yield to material and security gain. For example, more frequent play of the song in the government medias, attention and interviews, the opportunity to travel abroad ….etc. It is very common in Asmara to hear from aspiring singers ‘nay hager gitmi eba sirhaley’. It is a short cut to success. So, in this way we could even say the singers are using PFDJ and not the other way round. Or at least they are both playing for their advantage.

      In Eritrean political context, if there is anybody whose naiveté could be exploited(is prone to be used), it is only the kids born and raised in diaspora…and in search of identity; all others are ‘gorahat’ – no worries about an Eritrean being used by another Eritrean out of innocence. Look at most of the artists who fled the country, their route is similar: give the PFDJ what they want and get the media attention, release an album or even a single, enjoy the brief successful time in Godena harinet, get a show in diaspora with a ‘hagerey hizbey’ song, say good-bye Eritrea, ask asylum and whatever follows next ,except singing again for your ‘Hager’. It is a continuous cycle of ‘kilte gorahat’ for selfish gains. Not always, but usually.

      • saay7

        Selamat Yohannes:

        Co-sign on everything you wrote above. 17:15

        In 2004, Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC)’s “Foreign Correspondent” program visited Eritrea and presented “death of an African dream” documentary. In retrospect, the title of their program is not hyperbolic: it is in that interview that Isaias Afwerki claimed he doesn’t know Joshua (co-founder of the largest Eritrean newspaper, Setit) whom he disappeared 3 years earlier. It is in that interview that Isaias Afwerki says that he will never, ever retire. It is in that interview that Paulos Ba’Atai predicts that this lack of openness, reconciliation lack of political space results in “coup and counter-coups.”

        And it is in that interview that you see Yohannes Tkabo and you can see his state of mind–that he feels absolutely trapped after 10 years of military service–clearly. (His segment begins at 17:15.)

        I hope toothless Nitricc watches it:) His clear stand for justice is often overtaken by feel-good propaganda he hears, when the ugly truth has been stated in black-and-white so many times. Nitricc: Joshua was arrested simply for writing a letter to Isaias Afwerki and telling him to stop his autocratic ways. If you are a truth-teller, you should pick your side and stick to it.

        Here’s the documentary from 11 years ago: all foretold to those who have eyes and ears:

        https://youtu.be/VctEO5hWN04

        saay

        • Yohannes

          Hello Saay7,
          You are fihira. I have never come across this exceptionally rich documentary. So many brutal truths in it. I like how the narrator put it, “Eritreans are short on food, but there is an abundance of political rhetoric. State Tv feeds the masses a steady diet of propaganda as the regime intends to merge the sacrifice of the liberation struggle with the present confrontation with Ethiopia.” oh, it also reminded me of the desperate struggle to forget reality in the night clubs(though the Asmara beer is also a rare item that appeared seasonally like our meager rains.)

  • Yohannes

    Dear SGJ,

    Thank you. You have brought up an interesting issue of our arts that holds no less relevance even to the Eritrean political landscape which is highly discussed here. During the liberation struggle we all know how effectively songs were used to inspire, charge and mobilize the youngsters to join the liberation struggle, and once in it, I believe songs were like a dope to uplift the spirits of many a tegadalay. Now fast forward to 1998 and you have it all over again. I don’t really know how many songs were sang against ‘werar woyane’ , but I suspect they could beat the world record of patriotic songs produced per year. But! I have no doubt that those songs from Isayas Tsegay’s (or was it Gual ankere who launched the first anti-woyane song?)…yes from ‘ezom sebat menyom’ to Bitibito’s ‘aboy teraray’ …..and after that you could say it was almost like ‘anxar woyane zeyderefe yikeses’.

    The bottom line, though, is they really really were more effective than all the pfdj politicians summed up
    together(seriously!). We Eritreans strongly respond to art, particularly songs. The drum and kirar songs for that matter!

    Talking of Wedi tukabo, I remember him meowing his Kirar singing ‘wures….wures teworares: atfiayo nmeles…(one of the best footages ever capturing the Eritrean youth’s spirit of that time. It almost breaks my hear even now, with the realization that too many of the brothers in the video died in the war) now, but we truly felt that at that time) and setting the dear soldiers in frenzy and then ‘hagerey nmen tefkiri’ one of the coolest videos of that time……..how those songs fuelled us with patriotism! How those songs blinded us! How those songs…..!

    And in the era that followed after the ‘werarat’ …I mean the era of ‘blaming US’ (I remember the swift shift
    of propaganda from woyane to USA, I remember ‘noticing’ it but I am not sure in which time it was…I think around 2004 or 2005)….yes and in this era, too, the music was on the forefront of the campaign as usual. This time the theme was ‘the unyielding Eritrea Vs the World’ and particularly Vs America.

    Wodi tikabo had excelled at this. Every year on 24th may there was one big hit song from him. I could say one of his songs was worth a 365 days of Eri-Tv editorials. Why? Because the language of music is better heard in Eritrea, and the language and patriotism of wedi tukabo could be truly convincing, (honestly, I believe he sang them from heart, and that’s why they appealed to many hearts, too.) That’s when I took away all the appreciation I had for him,because……….he took it too far!(taking it to 2010’s is really too far)

    Well, now he has shown us if someone truly has a good heart, he might be fooled for some time(even a long
    time), but the truth will find him at last. That’s what found wedi tukabo at last. The truth. But, if I am to give him back the appreciation I once had for him, he has yet a lot to give back to the hearts he zombified with his songs for years. As much as he worked dedicated for the cause he once believe in, I would expect him to do the same now. I have counted only one payback yet…….I am waiting. Dear brother wedi tikabo, I wish your faith in Eritrea and Eritreans still stays alive(alive is ok; I don’t expect our faith intact)

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

    • Bayan Nagash

      Dear Yohannes,

      You’re really capturing the role of music in political context in Eritrea, its influence, and in how it shapes the artist and how the artist is also in turn influenced by srAt PFDJ’s big stick to survive and thrive. First rate analysis! Keep it coming, especially when the analysis seems to come from someone who was there living it and experiencing it all.

      I,too, couldn’t help but wonder where these young nationals are today, majority of whom probably didn’t make it out to the civilian world – bless their soul. And for those who made it out, if they are not incarcerated for one reason or another, one hopes that they found safe harbor abroad.

      Eritrean history has been tragically epic of more than “Greek” proportions. The mass incarcerations and extrajudicial killings are the antitheses of Sophocles’s “Antigone” (a play) in that the characters in “Antigone” are surrounding one family, things begin to unravel as the power of the State comes into play when in death burial was disallowed. Though “Antigone” does not succinctly fit nor comport into Eritrea’s tragedy, as art it can teach us a lot about human condition if one is able to dig deeper than the surface sexual mores of the time, irrespective of their veracity, that’s just the surface level that one must be able to cross to appreciate this great play. The fact that it has lasted this long speaks volumes to the power of art and its creator-Sophocles-who gave civilization some great sociopolitical conundrums that we struggle with today. “Antigone” I believe was written somewhere in the 430’s or 440’s BC and is played the world over to this day, which goes to show the power of art. Here is a quick glimpse of Sophocles’s “Antigone.”

      https://youtu.be/hYaSQK4zheA?t=61

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Ustaz
    Good Reading Ustaz Saleh.
    On the dress style and choice, good luck. I understand your intention, but I am a living witness that the call is challenging, may be even unnecessary unless the dress is out rightly obscene or unbefitting to a family centered occasions. I guess it’s generational as well as cultural (the fact that we are living in a less conservative societies…). I faced challenges with my son some 8 years ago. He started acting out by putting on bulky and lose pants (one of those pants you would see Nitrickay pulling up to cover his behind, half way down); Thanks, they seem to be gone, I am doing fine with the next son in line. But I can never be sure of that, I haven’t laid down my guard yet.
    While I have a different attitude towards saxophone (please be kind to it), I certainly enjoy the instruments you mentioned. Of course, different groups/societies are attuned to different preferences of music. Some scales are strange to some people. For instance, I had hard time, developing the ear for Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Classical music. I still don’t listen to them unless I am doing it for a particular purpose. That’s because my brain is wired from day one to get excited by a more bolder notes/tonality. So, naturally,those musical pieces that employ smaller units will irritate me until I get used to them. They have a terminology for that. Anyway, I still have to appreciate your favorite violin.
    On a more serious note though, the role of artists is really crucial and thank you for emphasizing that. Every revolution has its voice; we have voices of artists, I hope they collaborate and send united waves across the diverse Eritrean field. I certainly appreciate veteran artists who disassociated themselves from the regime such as Ustaz Osman Abdulrahim, Hussien Mo/Ali with his “ትም…ትም/tem…tem”, Abrar Osman with his “constitution…my constitution/ቅዋም…ቅዋመይ…song, and many new and emerging artists coming to the scene, artists are taking their responsibility. They need encouragement and assistance.
    I have an equally important message: I really hope to see Eritrean and Ethiopian artists breaking free from the “expectations” they feel placed upon them by their respective countries by arranging joint concerts and by producing collaborative works of peace and cooperation. For a long time now, I have believed it is the citizens who should break the taboos. Particularly, the diaspora should feel free to test breaking the resilience of unjust rules and “patriotic ardor” and “expectations” their respective government put on them.
    Thank you again, I enjoyed it.

  • washington

    any one know where about Tesfa Mariam kidane sax phone player he is the best of the best I just watt know what he is doing . I love his music is great artist

  • Bayan Nagash

    Ahlan Saleh,

    Your challenge to artists is well timed as art indeed can move and mobilize the opposition like no other, if done right. The shunning of the regime by prominent artists needs to be used effectively as you suggest. Here are three video clips that speak to the central theme of your article above. We need more of these reflective type talks by artists, lamentations of all sorts, through plays, poetry and the like:

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

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_zNMf-16xE

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

  • Yoty Topy

    Hi SGJ,
    I am very partial to your aversion to Saxophone in tigrigna songs. I would rather hear someone scratch a chalkboard with their nails. It is an abomination next to synthesized Kebero!

    • Saleh Johar

      Aha Yoty,
      Thank you for understanding my pain. Indeed, the synthesized Koboro is so ugly i can’t explain it any more. Why do they do that? Whey when the Koboro is the easiest instrument and almost 19 among every twenty Eritreans can play it? In our post-Isaias constitution we should ban its use 🙂

      • Ahmed Raji

        You guys have touched a subject that has been giving me heartburn. How did we come to this? The synthesized kebero. Actually the synthesized everything, for the keyboard seems to have taken over the function of many an instrument

        • saay7

          Welcome back Ahmed Raji!

          So I take it you are not a huge fan of EDM? It’s a world where the DJ is more popular that the artist who produced the original song. A world of synthesizers which provides its listeners the same thing all music fans crave: escape, inspiration.

          I am sure, even if you were hiding with two fingers plugging your ears, this one has penetrated….”oh! Sometimes, I get the feeling…” Over and over and over…

          http://youtu.be/_ovdm2yX4MA

          Synthesizers are awesome…but that instrument that is used only in square dancing and, sadly, Ma.t.a. bands, that accordion thing….:)

          saay

          • Ahmed Raji

            Ahlan Abu Salah,
            Not at all. I love to dance my a** off to EDM. It’s rather about context.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            ሓው ሳልሕ

            ወይ ጉድ ዘይትመጸኦ መዘናጊዒ የብልካን ክሳዕ መዓስ ኢናኸ

            አማኑኤል ሕድራት

      • Yoty Topy

        Hi SGJ,
        You have my undivided attention on that sanction 🙂
        The sad part about Kebero is that it’s not only the soul of the music but it is also aesthetically arresting when you see a couple of big guys hitting the Kebero inside the dance circle which is rarely seen these days.

        • selam

          Dear Yoty Topy
          Koboro is our cultural , musical instrument and it is here to stay , what ever you and me as well as some others think is not necessarily important. Just trying to disconnect it by some disillusioned and short sighted people isn’t to do it harm.

          • Yoty Topy

            selamye:

            This is all about the post Ayssayas constitution amendment SGJ floated right? Are you sure you don’t have Gondere blood in you? It is believed that Gonderes are masters of indirect conversation or A.K.A ashmure. Anyway, no one was suggesting that Kebero ought to be phased out.