Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

To My Dear Father

It has been about forty years since I saw you last. I am writing this open letter because instead of the usual intent of letters, which tend to be private and intimate; why this open letter, well, because you are Eritrea’s father. Eritrea’s grandfather. Eritrea’s big brother. Open letter because there is 93 years-worth of story to tell that’s embodied in you our Eritrea’s Father. Our beloved father, I’ve heard some unthinkable happenings to your person from your own Eritrean sons and daughters. To those whom you helped toward the culmination of our Eritrea’s independence. I know you are going to be taken aback by my letter today, because I now have a more complete picture about you papa more than I ever did before I left home to fight for my people. Barely fifteen when I joined ghedli, I used to hear in whispers from our neighbors and from when you sometimes took me to our Cotton factory in Gejeret. I could see the neighboring residents of Gejeret had a great deal of reverence for you. Do you remember Aboy Tesfay who used to come to have a tea with you. During your conversations, I used to eavesdrop, and your talks always seemed to gravitate toward the occupying force of Haile Selassie of our country Eritrea. You and aboy Tesfay used to devise a plan in how you were going to line up supply for the Fedayeen when they were to do some operations. I understood neither of the underlined terms then, but when I left for ghedli things became clearer what it was you went to jail for.

One time when you left me to tend after your office, Abboy Tesfay came looking for you but you had stepped out for some business venture of sorts. So, the story he told me about you left me speechless – your bravery and courage was boundlessly beyond compare. The story went something like this. You were caught red-handed helping the Fedayeen, consequently imprisoned. And during the court proceedings, as it turned out the prosecutor did such a lousy job and was so no match to your defense lawyer, consequently you were able to gain your freedom on legal grounds. What I am hearing now, your own Eritrean sons and daughters putting you in jail without the due process of law is astounding to say the least. The enemy Eritreans fought against gave you your day in court while our own is doing the complete opposite. Over here with my friends, you surely remember Saleh, weddi abboy Osman who lived around the corner from enda Mohamed Berhan beAl shahi, few houses down from enda aboy Hali. Saleh, like his older brother Abruaheem, continues to be a star in playing soccer. He is here with me treating me like his younger brother and are, by the way, best friends with my brother Hussein. I am always the spectator type, so I watch him and many other of his friends play soccer. You may not know Tedros, from May Anbesa, about a block from tmhirti enda Shweden, right there near enda ustaaz Beshir (aka, Madrast al Dia’a), the latter of which I hear is the reason why you are being imprisoned, to which I will come back to momentarily. Let me first, however, tell you about my friends here. I have some friends who knew you in Gejeret. Nura gual aboy Abdu. Solomon weddi aboy Kahsay, all speak highly of you…of your character…of your relentless determination to see the freedom of our people.

DeQQi Gejeret remember you fondly, some of whom, you literally saved their lives from the Dergue’s Affans who would come in their vans to hunt young Eritreans and you would hide them in our factory. These stories of bravery that I used to hear during my formative years shaped my character. Word has it that Yousuf weddi Hali received a wrath of the Derg of Ethiopia’s soldiers when they came looking for you and they heard you had hidden some of the Fedayeen weapons in our house. I didn’t understand it then, but I know now, Yousuf paid for it with his left eye permanently damaged from the hit he received by the butt of the Torserawit’s gun. These incidents and the stories that I heard growing up left me maturing way too early than some of my good friends in Akhriya who were preoccupied with playing Jettoni (Calcho Pallina) and playing Raminos and venti uno or soccer; none of which I found appealing, save the last one that I loved being a spectator and continue to be so now.

Papa, I was so mesmerized by the stories I used to hear about you and by extension about the aspirations of Eritreans for territorial integrity and freedom to be free from occupation, I was compelled to leave for ghedli to do my share and when need be to pay the ultimate price. You’ve survived it all, I have no reason to believe you wouldn’t now, because you are Eritrea’s father. Change for the better is afoot. I am compelled to tell your story because you cannot be defined by Madrasat al Dia’a. The latter was just the vehicle to larger social and political ailments that our Eritrea and its people are suffering from. I left Akhriya for good when it was endearingly known by enda ustaz Beshir. I see that now the legacy of ustaaz beshir is being passed on to the proceeding generations because it was made into an institution, hence, I suppose for the change of its name to Madrasat al Dia’a. I gather it is now run by board of directors, many of whom are now in jail, including you, as its chair.

When I heard you stood your grounds as a board leader of the school in question, telling the authority that this school was not going to be nationalized because it is a school built by the community here in Akhriya and made to flourish over the last five decades…I turned on my grave gleefully, saying to myself, that’s my papa. My papa, never squeamish, always steadfastly standing on the side of truth wherever that truth might lead, even if it took you to the dungeon. You’ve done it during Haile Selassie era, you’ve done it during the Derg era, by golly, why not now even when your own Eritrean sons and daughters are the ones who are doing this unbecoming act upon one of their own Eritrean father who fought the good fight and along the way faced so many run ins and faced countless subsequent wraths of occupiers of our land.

My friends and I are puzzled by what has become of our country. The country for which we paid the ultimate price for. We are happy that you stood for freedom of Eritreans to choose to attend schools of their choices. This is about choice and choice is fundamentally about freedom to choose. Though me and betsotay are deeply disturbed and saddened that you are facing such harsh treatment when you are now in your nineties, but nobody is surprised about your position, because you are the champion of truth who doesn’t flinch to speak truth to power. Nevertheless, the least we expected from our compatriots is to respect our elders in general and individuals like you in particular. In fact, we are so puzzled by the predicament you find yourself in that this is the time when political scientists, historians, anthropologists should come flocking to your home to learn our history from you – The lived history where political events shaped you and how you shaped it in return as you continue to shape it now. You are a living primary source from whom they can learn a great deal. You should be the cherished jewel from whom they can unearth the trough of the diamonds, the best part, so our younger generation can learn what their forefathers did, how much they sacrificed to bring Eritrea into the family of nations. Papa, let me tell you about recent events on this side of the world and Amm Taha, the ever story teller left us teary eyes, tears of pride, tears of joy that made us proud you have lived this for good measure, but first, I must tell you about the occasion for the gathering for contex.

It was September 1st National Holiday. Yes, we have holidays here, too, papa. The day in which the first bullet of freedom was fired is the day in which every Eritrean shows up. I saw all of the dignitaries like abboy Ibrahim Sultan and abboy Woldeab Woldemariam; I saw ayya AbdulQadir Kebire. I saw Ibrahim Affa. I saw Jemal Abdunnasir. I saw Haile; I saw Petros; I saw Naizghi… I saw and saw and saw. I saw Eritreans from all corners…from Afar to Sahel to Barka; from the highland to semhar to Akeleguzai to Hamassien; from Seraye to Log Chuwa – from all corners of Eritrea; I saw our Eritrean sisters who paid the ultimate price dignifying the occasion by their gravitas, proud of the dignified life they lived, swore to live by, and were ultimately martyred for. Here is what Amm Taha told the crowd: In one of the official policy related gatherings in which you were in attendance, the official told the attendees about the health risks that were becoming public safety matter in SAWA camps, where the young men and women were facing of some serious sexually transmitted diseases. The Official’s panacea for this potential public health crisis was for parents to give condoms – I guess like tooth brush and tooth paste. After listening carefully, you asked for permission to speak and you obliterated the man’s argument by saying something like this: “You (meaning the officials) made the policy of SAWA where you take our children at the ages of 16 and 17 to the camp for their national service, where there is no parental control. You (meaning the officials) allow loads of beer to be consumed at the SAWA camp because we see trucks leaving Asmara with these supplies. Wouldn’t that be a perfect recipe for what you are describing Mr. Official. እንታይ ግበሩ ኢኹም ትብሉና ዘለኹም? Your loved ones and your friends who were at the gathering later told you that you know questioning and embarrassing the official is going to put you in jail. Your retort, classic Aboy Musayesk was: አነስ ክእሰርየ ደሐን፡ ንስኻትኩምካብ እሕሕ ምባል አይትቆጠቡ ኢልካዮም.

So many anecdotal stories, so logically thought through when it comes out of your mouth, it hits the nerve center of whatever issue being raised. I miss you papa as I miss so many things about Eritrea, but your country needs you now more than ever as we will see each other sooner or later.

I’ve seen the valleys. I’ve seen the molehills and the mountains. I’ve seen the rivers. I’ve seen the trails. I’ve seen the deserts and the seas. Every part of Eritrea I set my foot on. My flesh and my bones, my sweat and my tears have been spread throughout the land. Eritrea is my land. You cannot separate the landscape from those of us who have been buried in its entire proper. Marked graves and unmarked cemeteries. Unceremoniously our bodies were buried out of respect for human dignity, our remains were never left behind to be exposed to wild beasts or to the elements. It was always in that one meter Aleba. We respond to the kind of mishap and missteps that we see at home in a visceral way. There is no place where we the martyrs have not been buried in. Every part of Eritrea we can be found. You may not see us but we are always present. You may not feel our presence but we feel every move you make, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. The latter is the space you always occupy papa, of which we are all proud of you the Father of Eritrea. We shake our heads at their errant ways. When one Eritrean is hurt all of us the martyrs feel the pain. We are eternally, call it condemned, but we call it our lucky ticket, for which we are eternally grateful and eternally blissful. We are watching! I am so lucky to have had your gene papa. What you have started is going to change Eritrea for the better. The following communal prayer we the martyred Eritreans dedicate to you the living to do good by your people.

Your martyred son,
Selahaddin Musa Mohammed Nur

P.S. Papa, while you are in confinement, the following poem by Audre Lorde that we are dedicating to you and the living brothers and sisters of ours there in Eritrea. Here, we use it as our collective and communal prayer vigil; this we thought would give you some solace and comfort. Believe it or not papa, this communal prayer, all of us Eritreans here love beyond compare. We have Anmists, Muslims, Christians, agnostics, and Atheists – amidst it all, we get along mighty fine. Here it is, enjoy!

a litany for survival: by audre lorde

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours;

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph

We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive

Audre Lorde

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  • Beyan

    Selam Awatawyan,

    Until I come back to you Berhe Y, ahmed saleh, Paulos, Amanuel H., Ismail AA, allow me to share with you what goes on in the FB world. Once in a while I share some interesting conversations that happen her and vice versa. Here is one such exchange that I believe you will find of interest:

    Habtom Yohannes
    November 6 at 11:45am ·

    Aboy Haji Mussa Mohamed Nur is “proud & and not-proud” about the article of our brother Beyan Negash. A wonderful article … an open letter actually, addressed to Aboy Haji Mussa Muhamed Nur (93), who was imprisoned last week in Asmara after he resisted the further encroachment of the Eritrean regime to nationalize the private / community “Al Diaa School” {Inda Ustaz Bashir) in Akria, Asmara (Asmara Akria Maianbesa) … Aboy Haji Mussa must be proud … about the article except for one thing that is very characteristic of Aboy Haji Mussa Muhamed Nur and Aboy Tesfay, our parents: “the fear of God”. Fear not in the sense of “being afraid of” but fear in the sense of acknowledging the higher authority above everything else.

    Why Beyan Negash omitted this aspect of Aboy Haji Mussa Muhamed Nur, is for him to explain. I don’t want to blame Beyan Negash for that but the intellectual disdain about anything that is religious, anything that has anything to do with God has brought our people and nation to where we are now. ELF and EPLF, the revolution, has contributed to this mentality and we have been watching it’s fruit: total disregard for God, Church, Mosque, Monastry, women and the elders.

    “Here is what Amm Taha told the crowd: In one of the official policy related gatherings in which you were in attendance, the official told the attendees about the health risks that were becoming public safety matter in SAWA camps, where the young men and women were facing of some serious sexually transmitted diseases. The Official’s panacea for this potential public health crisis was for parents to give condoms – I guess like tooth brush and tooth paste. After listening carefully, you asked for permission to speak and you obliterated the man’s argument by saying something like this: “You (meaning the officials) made the policy of SAWA where you take our children at the ages of 16 and 17 to the camp for their national service, where there is no parental control. You (meaning the officials) allow loads of beer to be consumed at the SAWA camp because we see trucks leaving Asmara with these supplies. Wouldn’t that be a perfect recipe for what you are describing Mr. Official. እንታይ ግበሩ ኢኹም ትብሉና ዘለኹም? Your loved ones and your friends who were at the gathering later told you that you know questioning and embarrassing the official is going to put you in jail. Your retort, classic Aboy Musayesk was: አነስ ክእሰርየ ደሐን፡ ንስኻትኩምካብ እሕሕ ምባል አይትቆጠቡ ኢልካዮም.” Beyan Negash

    Selam Haw Habtom Yohannes

    Your specific challenge about omission of God from the narrative is a valid one. However, I contend God is everywhere in that piece. One needs not spell it out for something to be there. Sometimes, stating the obvious wouldn’t make for a good story. Here is what I mean. God is in the symbolic Emamat that Abboy Musa wears. God is in the title Hajji.Hajji as you know is a title given to a person when one goes on pilgrimage to Mecca to perform Hajj. God is there when Salaheddin sheepishly tells his dad how in the hereafter we are all here living together: The believers, the non-believers, the animists, and the agnostics. The God that Habtom hawway, you may have been expecting to read about might have been one that is referred to either by Amlakh or by Rebbi. But, the God that Eritrea needs now is one that is accepting of all the believers and non-believers alike.
    Habtom, one of my all-time favorite work of literature is Milton’s Paradis Lost. I still find it difficult work, but I love it because it is not easily penetrable. Milton was able to write this epic narrative based on bible, God, Satan, Adam, and Eve – the entire biblical narrative. He was able to deliver the goods because he understood rather deeply about the complex polity of his era. Milton was well aware, hence for being able to intricately and in sophisticatedly woven narrative, to write the epic Paradise Lost.

    The notion of an “all-embracing view of God, the world, society, and man” is being challenged in our time. It is in this light that one can not only appreciate Milton’s complex epic but also in his ability to historically contextualize humankind and to that end giving Adam the longest soliloquy of despair is, perhaps, an affirmation of Milton’s own trepidations, tumult, and triumphs of life, where a blind poet can shake the earth through the power of the mind that reverberates in the contemporary world – some 400 years later as some of those mentioned have done for Milton years before.

    So, Habtom, if I didn’t invoke God by name, it wasn’t for malicious intent, but because Hajji Musa already embodies it in every sense that one can conceive a benevolent believer should behave and act. Hajji Musa’s defiance to authority was an act of faith, a leap of faith at that.

    Therefore, my aim was the opposite in that I knew the issue will be so politicized and so polarized because of some buzz terms as “sharia, Allahu Akbar, etc. were invoked in that video clip. It is because I wanted to do my part in bringing us back to the basic human decency that we seem to have lost our way and we are now struggling to find our way back. By having the martyred son of Hajji Musa narrating the story from the fields of Eritrea somewhere in his grave, I thought I could bring all Eritreans into one fold without needing to chant and out chant each other whose God is more benevolent than another. Alas, we continue to squabble one another over something we have no control over – the idea of God.

    Hawka,
    Beyan Negash

    Habtom Yohannes

    Selam Beyan Negash hawey!

    Thank you so much! What a jewel of a response. Your response in itself is a summary of Paradise Lost. I am glad I have criticized your piece: otherwise, I would have missed this wisdom which I totally embrace.

    Your piece is difficult to quote from, but allow me to conclude with the following one:

    “So, Habtom, if I didn’t invoke God by name, it wasn’t for malicious intent, but because Hajji Musa already embodies it in every sense that one can conceive a benevolent believer should behave and act. Hajji Musa’s defiance to authority was an act of faith, a leap of faith at that.

    “Therefore, my aim was the opposite in that I knew the issue will be so politicized and so polarized because of some buzz terms as “sharia, Allahu Akbar, etc. were invoked in that video clip. It is because I wanted to do my part in bringing us back to the basic human decency that we seem to have lost our way and we are now struggling to find our way back. By having the martyred son of Hajji Musa narrating the story from the fields of Eritrea somewhere in his grave, I thought I could bring all Eritreans into one fold without needing to chant and out chant each other whose God is more benevolent than another. Alas, we continue to squabble one another over something we have no control over – the idea of God. “ (Beyan Negash)

    Thank you and May the God of our parents Aboy Haji Mussa and Aboy Tesfay, Adey Zahra and Adey Abrehet continue to bless you with more wisdom.

    Habtom

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Beyan,

      I am not fun of Facebook, but I visited it randomly, as curiosity of “entay yblu alewu”. However, your exchange with Habtom Yohannes is commendable and it is of adult matured who knows very well they are talking. Since the regime in Asmara is in to a kind of “cultural revolution” akin to that of China of the 60s, it is incumbent upon us to frame our struggle against the cultural revolution perpetuating upon religious institutions, rather to the encroachment of the regime on individual religion. Not only be the right strategy, but also, it unite the whole Eritrean people of all faiths. Thank you Beyan.

      Regard
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Beyan,

    I wanted to write to you in detail when I read your article but couldn’t get around to it. First I think it’s beautifully told and thank you. What I wanted to say was, now that the spark has started in Akria your neighborhood how to expand to the rest of the country and eventually to the removal of the regime so instead of just telling the crimes committed by the regime, how to move the struggle to an action.

    You know the spontaneous uprising are important but for this to work it requires a lot of careful meticulous planning to keep the momentum. The advantage is we have a lot of resources that we can learn from, adapt and wage the struggle.

    I don’t want to say this, but when people were making argument last week, like my good friend iSem or that different times my friend AH that, the PFDJ can not be defeated from inside the country with the help of outside, because (and it’s true) that the PFDJ is unlike any other dictator ship. It’s true but, PFDJ is not 100% in power to control everyone man and women thinking, or pull the trigger when it’s told to shoot. Akria is a perfect example, either those who come to close the school are defeated and over powered or those who were suppose to control them have decided to shoot in the sky so they don’t want to kill them. And that I think is the blessing as Arbi Harnet have stated in their statements. So this is what we need to focus and coordinate with.

    It’s really encouraging the momentum that the uprising in Akria have created around the world and the support that’s coming. If anything this proved that, we the people are not really divided after all and that those who want to exploit our differences are telling us we are divided, but the fact is otherwise.

    I think we need to focus on this opportunity and we should not lose the focus. IA is really good at taking his time and he knows with time, people get tired, lack focus, lack resources and he will eventually win. He did it with Menkae, the Yemen, the G13, G15, journalist etc..that is people get outraged but with long time of silence the momentum subsides and people tend to forget.

    We just have to try that Akria will not be one such moment in our history….Because if he survives this incident, he will make it a lot more hell for the people inside as he has done so far.

    Berhe

  • ahmed saleh

    Dear Beyan,
    I want to thank you for sharing this nice and inspiring article about this courageous man (Abona Hajji Musa). I also want to ask you if the Fedayeen who were also captured when Abona Hajji Musa went to jail; were martyr Said Hussien and martyr Mahmoud Haron during their mission to attack Asmara airport in 1962.
    Thanks.
    AS.

    • Beyan

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0010eac99c857caca3f7a5b63e886dcdcee730142375864a0a64639eca45cd0.jpg

      Selam Ahmed Saleh,

      I was trying to get solid info on what you had asked, lawn be hold, without me asking, reliable source sent me the following. Hope you will be able to read it as it is a screenshot from a phone that I am sharing here with you. I appreciate your patience.

      Beyan

      • Haile S.

        Beyan,
        A great document and reminder for those who tend to quickly erase the bravery of those who suddenly find themselves against the wall of the deaf authority.

      • ahmed saleh

        Selam Beyan,
        Indeed it is readable and I really appreciate the effort that you made to answer my question, misganay wesen yebelun. Once again I admire the way you wrote the article and keep it up.
        Haweka,
        A.S

      • Ismail AA

        Hayak Allah Beyan,
        Timely piece of information that might enlighten the young who more than often get confused by deliberate distortions some try to sell to them. Thank you for the diligence and resourcefulness you demonstrated to respond to an important question Ahmed asked who deserves commendation for his interest. And, the same goes to the person who had preserved it and share it with you.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Beyan,

        No matter what PFDJ goons want to erase the history of our heroes, their true history, their contribution, and their sacrifices will be accounted slowly to the young generation. I hope, the nitrics, the blinks, the lemaks…etc will take note that the names in the clips were not fighting for Sheri’s but to liberate the land we call Eritrea. There are many untold heroism and when Eritrean historians meticulously do their jobs to compile our history, it will be different than the history told by PFDJ. The story in the clip is one of the untold story the bravery of our people. Thank you Beyan.

        Regards

      • Beyan

        Selam Awatawyan:

        This one is the continuation of the above clip, I think. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e64a07cbf4b01e353fa213890b96e2a2ccfcc10ecb90a855bedad549b72209f6.jpg

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Beyan,

          Yes, it is true that victors write history about their exploits regardless. But what they or their chroniclers record remain ephemeral, the highest value of them being services as source material awaiting sifting and verification by historians as soon as movement of history turns the victors to losers and their arrogance of power and aggrandizement would be swept away to let do their work. Then, the tid-bits as the ones you have shared will be priceless jewels for Eritrea’s future historiography. When they will be collected and recorded they will tell the true history of the people.

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam dear Beyan et al,
    Such an inspired beauty! Thanks for sharing with us. God bless you brother.
    Hawka,
    Ghezae

    • Beyan

      merHaba Ghezae,

      Many thanks for your encouraging words.

      Abi Hawka,
      Beyan

  • Mohammed Ahmed

    Ahlan Beyan –
    This is a beautiful piece and a poignant reminder that beneath the surface of misery, there lies the story of a people. The story of immense courage and sacrifice, but even more so, the story of human dignity. In telling Haji Mussa’s story the way you did, you have done a great job humanizing our people’s plight.

    One of the reasons for HGDEF’s ability to survive this long despite being half-dead for quite a while could be attributed to its ability to a degree, to kill the sense of community in the hearts and minds of our people. How else could people go about their daily lives when school children on peaceful protests are shot dead in front of their eyes? Scores of people herded to the dungeons never to see the light of day again let alone a day in court – and yet the nation goes to bed as though all is good.

    Haji Mussa’s courageous stand speaks to this glaring deficiency in our efforts to claim our basic human dignity where we fail to stand up together as a community. Unless we figure out a way to reclaim this lost sense of community, we will be easy prey for HGDEF.

    On a side note, your piece brings up a lot of memories of good old Akhria. Enda ustaz Beshir, from its humble beginnings on a narrow street to what it is today, all due to the perseverance of the late ustaz Mohammed Beshir and those who never waivered to carry the baton. You mention the benevolent Ahmed Hali family, enda Mohammed Berhan, mai Ambessa and the rest.
    You may remember how the school children from Akhria-Aslam, Muslims and Christians alike, lined up both sides of the streets all the way from their school to ferma Autobus (bus stop) to pay their respects when the janaza of Haji Osman, the elderly community leader and father the last Mufti (Sheikh Alamin) was being carried to the cemetery in Edaga Hamus. This was at a time when Eritrea was a colony, and today in independent Eritrea, armed thugs calling themselves police have no qualms beating up and bludgeoning seniors and kids alike in broad day light. What a cruel irony.

    • Beyan

      Merhaba Mohammed,

      In a tyranny run amok, courage and bravery become in short supply. And when it shows up in a guise of a 93-year-old man, the tyrant and his cohort attempt to turn it into a sacrilegious act. In the eyes of a tyrant, it is even profane when children as young as 15-17 years of age come out in droves to challenge, the likes of which they never saw before. These were kids, many of whom probably being groomed to go to SAWA next year.

      Indeed, killing the fabric of our society one community and one enclave at a time had served the regime well. But, when a community such as Akhriya that has had strong bond with its people, you know they will fend off their way of life at any cost. In that one defiant act of bravery from Abboy Musa, everything turned topsy-turvy on the regime. This below the belt bruising to the menace who is used to have matters his way will be hard pressed to recover from such damage to his ego.

      The 25 years of emasculation of our people was flipped on its head in a flash by an elderly brave man and by teens – Humiliation of the highest order.
      I do remember the beginning of enda Ustaz Behsir in taHti Akhriya near enda gemed – gegay da’a ykhlallay ember. There was hardly any humble beginning for the regime at the helm of power whose ending is in sight. The time appears to be near when we will all say in unison: Good riddance!!!

      Many thanks for your lucid note
      Sincerely,
      BN

  • Selamat Beyan Negash,

    Think for a moment of Dirty Harry and the City. The Mayor in the Good the Bad and the Ugly. There were Two on either the same or consecutive separate trips to the Highlands of Eritrea, of my earliest recollection. One in Emba Derho and the other in Gejeret Abi. Are Abi and Neishto adjacent to one another?

    And the third, in retrospect left BbAHri with either his Trafic Whistle or TugTug, or none. The alarm clock on my hand set rang at 9:18 just now, reminding me of my visit to Akria in 1975 and 1976. The fourth BbaHri zwerede wedi Aboy Haji Musa MoHamed Nur. AAdia SHig Temaharo iyya.

    tSAtSE

  • ghirmay

    hello
    I remember Aboy Hajji Musa was one of the most influential. genereous and courageous in our gejeret,

  • Peace!

    Selam all,

    A brief update from Radio Erena

    https://shekortet.com/content/erena-updated-news-03112017

    Peace!

  • MS

    Dear Beyan
    True to the expectation- you are one of the best writers of our time. Thank you sir for this censere tribute. I think our martyrs would have been proud of our father, haji Musa. That’s what they would have expected from us, to right what went wrong. I always feel their presence. They would have been enraged at the state of the nation they had given their life to liberate.
    Thanks for this brilliant article. It speaks from the aspect of human condition. Responsible citizens should note that the government’s handling of this issue is very dangerous. The government is pushing citizens to the edge. Some have already resorted to Agazian myth, others may resort to an equally destructive counternarative. We have to be very careful. There is a breaking point to any tension; there is a boiling point for any thing, including social issues. Here below I invite you to the Nobel prize Winner, Bob Dylan’s great song and its lyrics.
    “Blowin’ In The Wind”

    How many roads must a man walk down
    Before you call him a man?
    How many seas must a white dove sail
    Before she sleeps in the sand?
    Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
    Before they’re forever banned?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist
    Before it’s washed to the sea?
    Yes, and how many years can some people exist
    Before they’re allowed to be free?
    Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
    And pretend that he just doesn’t see?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    Yes, and how many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky?
    Yes, and how many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry?
    Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’til he knows
    That too many people have died?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWwgrjjIMXA

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam kbur MS,

      It is a sign of the times*, where a measure of desperation seems to have no bounds. A bedrock of any given community is its peoples. Akhriya, over the generations, has become so intensely tight knit, anyone coming to disrupt that cohesive unit is bound to receive resistance of equal magnitude, if not more. It is to these tensions that you are alluding to in your note, MS. And it was my sincere efforts to show the public, a pillar of a community is more than the sum total of its components. The regime is determined to destroy every fiber of our society, taking it dangerously close to a boiling point. But Eritreans made us proud by seeing the regime’s sinister motives.

      When Aboy Hajji Musa said, “This Aldia school was built with our money; we built it–you built it. Nobody else has built it: nobody is owed a brick or quintal of cement for its construction (applause from audience and God Is Great). Thus, it is our money, our labor and our supplies, and even before [the recent meeting] we have been called to a meeting an expressed our views. We have sacrificed plenty in the past to leave this legacy for our children. We have spoken with judges, we have even spoken with the ministry.” [Thanks to the AT for translating the speech]. This two-pronged message is brilliant. He wasn’t only speaking to the community but also to the regime that has had shrewd methods of destroying institutions by leveling accusation for receiving foreign donors. By framing it this way, he was basically saying to the regime, we are not going to allow you to make a pawn for your foreign policy games. You’ve destroyed so many lives in some concocted and made up allegations for the last 25 years, and this community wasn’t going to allow that to happen under the 93-year old man.

      By the way, Dylan’s song is an apt one, one of my favorite songs at that. I have a vague memory of it, but I had written an article based on that song a long time ago, at awate.com, of course. I wasn’t smart enough to have my own column from the get go. So, I don’t have ready access to the pieces I write. I am ill organized to simply have a thumb drive to save my past articles. And I don’t have photographic memory like Sal to recall what the article was about. Thank you for sharing though.

      Peace,
      BN
      P.S. Hey, it Saturday night, why not enjoy our freedom to choose the songs that we enjoy. Here is a song Harry Styles with the lyrics if you wish to sing along:

      Lyrics
      Just stop your crying
      It’s a sign of the times
      Welcome to the final show
      Hope you’re wearing your best clothes
      You can’t bribe the door on your way to the sky
      You look pretty good down here
      But you ain’t really good
      If we never learn, we been here before
      Why are we always stuck and running from
      The bullets?
      The bullets
      We never learn, we been here before
      Why are we always stuck and running from
      The bullets?
      The bullets
      Just stop your crying
      It’s a sign of the times
      We gotta get away from here
      We gotta get away from here
      Just stop your crying
      It’ll be alright
      They told me that the end is near
      We gotta get away from here
      Just stop your crying
      Have the time of your life
      Breaking through the atmosphere
      And things are pretty good from here
      Remember everything will be alright
      We can meet again somewhere
      Somewhere far away from here
      We never learn, we been here before
      Why are we always stuck and running from
      The bullets?
      The bullets
      We never learn, we been here before
      Why are we always stuck and running from
      The bullets?
      The bullets
      Just stop your crying
      It’s a sign of the times
      We gotta get away from here
      We gotta get away from here
      Stop your crying
      Baby, it will be alright
      They told me that the end is near
      We gotta get away from here
      We never learn, we been here before
      Why are we always stuck and running from
      The bullets?
      The bullets
      We never learn, we been here before
      Why are we always stuck and running from
      The bullets?
      The bullets
      We don’t talk enough
      We should open up
      Before it’s all too much
      Will we ever learn?
      We’ve been here before
      It’s just what we know
      Stop your crying, baby
      It’s a sign of the times
      We gotta get away
      We got to get away
      We got to get away
      We got to get away
      We got to get away
      We got to, we got to (away)
      We got to, we got to (away)
      We got to, we got to (away)
      *https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0GKGpObgPY

  • Ismail AA

    Selam Alex,

    Very nice that we are agreed that the regime does not allow space to any opposition; not only that but it had never admitted existence of any opposition to its monopolistic rule, which warrants its earlier than later removal to make place for a democratic alternative. Moreover, the exiled opposition has to do better in crafting common national task program that that serve the purpose in close partnership of with vital forces of change inside the country. Now, the challenge before you and me is how as free citizens find our place in the opposition equation and do out bit.

  • said

    Greetings,
    Thank you Bayan for your letter and being specific, speaking from your hear and personal pain, with admirable care, competence, and grace, these letter is useful and in fact historical reminder, your comment on Hajji Musa precious life, cherished legacy, and revolutionary ideals, and far more, a gloss on the calamity that has befallen on Eritrea who no longer recognize their heroes. Hajji Musa, a principled revolutionary activist committed to the cause of Eritrean for the entire of his life and for education, social and economic justice in his beloved homeland. he continued with his principled commitments to the education and cause of the poor working-class throughout his life, till he was to put jail. The life and legacy of Hajji Musa, lived by virtue of the exemplary life he led and in which he transcended the pathetic politics, a such compromising identities and rising to the revolutionary responsibilities of his people and an enduring testimony to Eritrean. and gave it meaning and purpose and rich and fulfilling life.
    Many Eritreans like Hajji Musa have contributed enormously by their action, their contribution monumental by it self and their achievement in principled become critical judgment against the Asmara regime and status quo – Hajji Musa worked with a moral clarity and impossible to ignore .sorry I could not finch your letter, it is over whelming and hard to deal with, but got the heart of the issue and what sad end and my jaws dropping in admiration of hajji Musa courage, his diction, his tenacity. He pulls no punches.
    Eritrean in diasporas are denouncing the brutal crackdown of the student, In the absence of the mass rallies and no media to reflect their evolving aspirations. Much is happening in Eritrea these days, all under the radar of Eritrea of making Spring and its cataclysmic consequences. That Eritrean were kept from revolting only by vicious and brutal military suppression and intimidation. Eritrean dared the ageing tyranny exposes itself. president to cease his dictatorship rule and see what will happen. IA get rid of all his internal critics of every kind.
    in fact some Eritrean, perpetuate the cult of heroes and heroism of IA , reducing collective political actions at a mass societal level to one man. IA brutal tyrant whose regime of terror horrified the Eritrean.
    The old man will be dead soon and forgotten in trash of history and that earth has swallowed so many tyrants and, yet it is still insatiable and will devour even more. regime supporters would they will learn the lesson of history.
    I believe some Eritrean forces have become increasing isolated, suffering in silence and isolation for what has happened to their country independence. There are honest, polite and dignified people. But that these good ones are tiny minority and are not in position of power and authority. and their own quite way may plead with regime tugs to stop destroying Eritrea for which they have all fought. Having made these exceptions, my punctilious in accusing the PFDJ military establishment of tugs have stolen the dignity and our humanity, they intimidate and denigrate our people, non political and political prisoners who had suffered in the dungeons of the regime, a horrors to unprecedented dimensions . and by extension to all other old and young Eritrean suffering the calamity called Eritrea. In many ways, the PFDJ administration is the old face of a politics of disposability that thrives on the energies of the vulnerable and subjugation and powerless of Eritreans. Under such conditions, power is defined by the degree to which it is abstracted of discourse of humiliation, and the growing embrace of violence and objectification from any sense of responsibility. This culture of fear threatens to make more and more individuals and groups inconsequential and expendable.

    under the IA regime, there has been an acceleration of the mechanisms by which weak, poor and vulnerable Eritrean populations are rendered unknowable, unwanted, undesirable, considered an excess cost and stripped of their dignity and humanity and religiosity. Relegated to zones of social abandonment and economic and political exclusion, targeted for a specific population become incomprehensible, respect and civil rights. Law and order disappear, hardship and suffering are normalized, and human lives are targeted and negated by diverse machineries of violence as dangerous, pathological and redundant. For those poor soul, marginalized Eritrean populations rendered disposable, ethical questions go unasked as the mechanisms of dispossession,

    beside small group. The entire regime is corrupt and incurable. Eritrean opposition to the Asmara needs more substance, organisation, leadership and purpose than mere manifestos or words. But democratic discourse is not made out of the thin air in the occulted dormitories of the website and blogosphere – it will have to be made of the substance of public discourse, and thus not just in what Eritrean opposition prominent people write, but in how Eritrean people read and react to them in time and get involved and participate. the regime Reformists for recycling their discourse and posing to come back to power. Reformist agenda is recycling itself is defeatist. and as such entirely out of tune with reality. Without the destruction of that Eritrean website form of thought some liberating hermeneutics and thought, all these wise and worthy words will have been in vain, a courageous exercise in futility. The democratic movement in diaspora is alive and well.

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam Said,
      Your analysis and synthesis tend to be deep. Someone previously suggested that why do you not consider writing articles. If our paths don’t cross in terms of having a dialogue here, it is because your writings tend to be complete ideas that have article like resonation to them. Wish you entertain the idea. I read and reread to find an entry point to disagree with some of your points, but I simply don’t have anything to add other than to say, thank you for such thoughtful commentary that you always present in this space.

      BN

  • saay7

    Selamat Bayan:

    You have written a captivating piece that sheds more light on this remarkable man. And, it has a plot twist: the author shifts from a generic son, to a literal son somewhere where you tell us the author is addressing his father from the afterworld. It’s a moving piece.

    Writing is birthing and everyone has an opinion about your child so here’s mine: I think the piece should have ended with “Your martyred son, Salahadin….” Audre Lorde is a fine poem, but she needs her own space somewhere else.

    saay

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selamat Sal,

      Thank you for the vote of confidence. This is new territory for me and coming such an accolade from a prolific writer like you is encouraging, indeed. Your observation is right on the mark. Initially, I was going to intersperse Audre Lorde’s poem throughout the piece, but the structure of the narrative just wouldn’t hold together. I was also running out of time, because I felt Abboy Musa’s character was going to be destroyed by the confused messages that were coming waves and waves in the social media that they were going to label the man as another Osama bin Ladin resurrected at 93. I know this is absurd, but you know our world is replete with illiterate minds but ones who relish conspiracy theories are plenty. By the way, I’ve seen you and other awatawyan, such as iSem, Haile S, and the like doing a wonderful job putting the record straight vis-à-vis sharia and some similar issues that popped up, which is why I disappeared into the FB world to do my part.

      So, the communal prayer of Audre Lorde I felt was important because I wanted to counter the narrative that was gaining ground to that religious divide. So, I thought what better way to put it as an afterthought in which the martyred son is telling his dad, guess what father, on this part of the world, whatever your belief is matters not, we are all here having a wonderful time the believer and the non-believer. You know at one point, Aboy Musa says without religion what is man but an animal. Of course, any Eritrean worth his salt would know what’s meant by that, but the propagandist will try to capitalize on some such statements. As I constructed the story, I wanted to dispel these kinds of arguments that others might try to advance. That was the reason I included. But your point is well taken, bro.

      Cheers,
      BN

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Bejan,
        Though from a literary writings point of acumen and critical reading saay7’s appraisal is valid as you have also recognized, your work has come at the right time whose pertinent analogy would be that in the thick of a raging battle the antagonists would hurry up to take control of strategic point around the terrain. You did take the commanding point in our battle of shielding Hajji Musa from deliberate assault from regime apologists who pretended to pull out their own cloak of bigotry and throw it on the shoulder of this honorable fighter.

        • Bayan Nagash

          Dear Ismail AA.,

          Writing in an ongoing battle of ideas, indeed, the protagonists and antagonists follow completely different rules. My son and my daughter were explaining to me last night about a video game that is played communally called “Mafia.” And, so one has to be quick on one’s feet to think critically to outmaneuver one’s opponents. Fighting a nation-state with endless coffers in the battle of ideas is a tough one. There is no time to think through myriad of components to a story. One has to deliver the needed blow as fast and as deliberately as one possibly can to get that TKO.

          The regime is bruised, embarrassed, and it knows its days are numbered. Word has it the man at the helm of power went running in his helicopter, because he knows if they got their hands on him, who knows what would’ve happened. To save face, the propaganda now is that he went there to Akhriya in person and opened the school back again when the school was never closed… and not a single person from the locals saw that. But dictators are cowards. They know how to run to save their butt. You surely remember Mengistu’s fekhera in how he was going to fight to the end even if he were to be the last man standing. Well, we know what happened then and the likely predicament is highly likely his fate will be one and the same. If one community had the man running into hiding, what would’ve happened if the entire population of Asmara were to rise up, it would end in a flash.

          BN

          • Selamat Beyan,

            sounds like burtukan GhindaE jaradin “second Zura ba nhagerka” Hushukhta

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXhl6TOyq3k

            the antagonist protagonist thing magigy ma niaai DA Wu C thang.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXhl6TOyq3k

            tSAtSE

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Bejan,

            Yes indeed, we have followed the propaganda subterfuge playing out again. It is just an old and worn card played again. We saw it with the Menkae victims and many other episodes when grievances had been expressed in one way or the other. It is akin to an inherent conduct that plays out with any one who is thought to endanger his position (even remotely) or even single persons who have been deemed by him to had stepped on his ego and passion for extreme personal safety. For him the word “trust” does not exist. Everyone is a threat until proven otherwise. So, the man is dangerously vindictive by demeanor and nature.

            But he is excellent in bidding his time to eliminate real or imagined enemies, which can in some cases take decades. This time around also in the case of Al Diaa school he might just played his old game, and the propaganda stunt could turn right. But I do not think the people would read this malice as show of benevolence and warm heartedness of a dictator. Everyone knows the action against the school and its counterparts in Asmara was taken without briefing him and watching a do-it wink on his face.

            However, this around it seems people have learned from recent events such as the attempt soldiers under Wedi Ali had staged. They must be watchful about what could follow after the dust settles. Many could end up in the way others did, and they should stay alerted lest they won’t be bitten from the same hole and by the same snake, as the Arabs say.

      • iSem

        Hi B. Neggash: First let me say, it is gripping piece, and cannot tell it was not the time that made you write so beautifully but the heart. Sal wrote a captivating story 15 years ago about a fried and it was told in the second person, a tall order point of views, yet first rate
        the double GG is deliberate, I prounce your name like Sudanese and I happen to know a few Negashs in my childhood and highs school and I miss all of them, Baria’s song comes to mind. Since you are from Asmara, nay from Akriya, you at not know the meaning of Neggash in Sudanse Arabic:-)
        I complement you cus the reason we got that defiance, no matter how short lived it was is precisely because Akriya is not Asmara.

        • Bayan Nagash

          Hey iSem,

          Indeed, this kind of piece needed to come from some place deep, from the recess of one’s heart laced with emotion and to stay there until the reader goes in too deep with it. I knew it might be difficult for some of the readers, Tes, is one. The pain has gone for far too long. I am waiting Tes haway, for you to say all is well. What is this today, first the American in me was captured by MS with Dylan and the Eritrean in me is now invoked by you – Yemane’s songs were a fixture in my car and in my Walkman (yes, they had those in the eighties). The Neggash (the double gg is duly noted). How about this for a good measure. I have a nephew whom my oldest brother named Negash. Little did he realize they were going to end in the U.S., where his first name and his last name are one and the same: Negash Negash. The subversive kid that he is, he now calls himself Nargash Negash, though his official name is Negash Negash. I wised up for not using middle names. If I did, I would’ve been Beyan Beyan. (nai abbaHaggoy eye weside). iSem, you got me on this track, bro…I can go on and on. By the way, if memory serves me right, Sal’s piece that you have referenced I think was about bidding farewell to a mutual friend who died in a car accident. I remember – vaguely – the title was I believe good by friend.

          The many Negashes you knew in Sudan, may they be in good health and spirit wherever they maybe, some of whom might even be in Akhriya now becoming part and parcel of that peaceful bedroom community…I doubt it. Once one checks out from Eritrea, there seems to no checking back in (the exact opposite of Hotel California*) where “it could be hell or heaven” …the former seems to be the predicament of Eritreans throughout Eritrea in general, but today Akhriya in particular. Notice, I have yet to invoke the city of Asmara, because we deqqi Akhria seldom say we are Asmarinos…and Asmarinos get that and they make jokes about it…the one, the old and tired one: That we deqqi Akhriya say that nab asmera ywarred allekhu as though the city is not part of us or us part of it. So, there. I know that’s clannish, but that might be something that the regime didn’t consider…when people care too much about each other they will die for one another. Enough of this tribal talk.

          Later bud,
          BN

    • King Ezana

      Selamat Salih, you save your skin by responding to Beyan.

      • saay7

        Your majesty:

        What does that mean?

        Saay

        • King Ezana

          Selamat Salih, last time you ignored Bryan’s article and opted to chat with Nitric, you know what happened, don’t you?

          • Nitricc

            King Ezana; i think you are trouble maker lol. Now, why do you have to bring that up? anyway you must be awate forum closly follower to know what you have said to SAAY. well come King Ezana and what say you?

          • saay7

            Selamat King Ezana:

            Here’s another possibility. I know it’s a remote one but consider it: I didn’t like the first one (and didn’t comment on it) and I really like this one (and commented on it.) Look up Occams Razor: it will spare you from a life of conspiracies. 🙄

            saay

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Folks,
    I am sorry for being late (for never being available) but I am terribly busy. I admit I don’t know Eritrea or this person, for specifics. In fact the more I read the more I find myself that I find no commonalities between me and most Eritreans. The song was by Salvatore Adamo; originally was in French but I lost my book. Hence, in Castellano (Castilian in English). It narrates about the father that were made disappear for a reason the narrator does not know. In the end the narrator was left with a strand of his fathers hair…. forever waiting to his father and his fatherly love. ….

    A mi viejo desván porqué fue no lo sé
    que impaciente subí y sin saber para qué

    Algo me hizo pensar que podría encontrar
    el recuerdo fugaz de una noche de amor

    Lo guardaba en un papel en que yo lo envolví
    su color carmesí se borró con los años

    Y pensé cuán loco fui al perder este amor
    que tal vez no merecí, que ahora es una reliquia

    Un mechón de su cabello aún conservo para mí
    un mechón de su cabello que por fin encontré

    Un mechón de su cabello que desde hoy veneraré
    Para dejar mi corazón y vivir en paz con la ilusión
    de que su amor recobraré

    Y sentir la emoción de sufrir y querer
    recordando el ayer que no puede volver

    y en un hada creer y el milagro esperar
    de volver a nacer y volverla a encontrar

    Un mechón de su cabello aún conservo para mí
    un mechón de su cabello que por fin encontré

    Un mechón de su cabello que desde hoy veneraré
    para dejar mi corazón y vivir en paz con la ilusión
    de que su amor recobraré.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jOk476Edchw

  • Paulos

    Selam Beyan,

    Very touching and moving to say the least. A 90 plus legend should be revered and venerated not only because he is inspiring a generation but also he is one of the rare living souls with an extraordinary mental acuity and iron-clad character who stood his ground and dared see death eye to eye. He is telling the Eritrean people that the corageous Eritrea that had belonged to his peers is not dead for he is an extraordinary testament to that effect. Thank you Dr. Beyan Negash.

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam Paulos,

      Some Eritreans miss this point handily when they make the issue at hand about the school – perhaps, the other private schools were nationalized recently without any fanfare, somehow, this one makes it one that a standout as a rogue school, in many people’s minds. Of course, the point of it having an Islamic name is not lost on many of us. It is about freedom of choice, isn’t it? I have to run for now, but will be back later. This is an important angle to the subject at hand.

  • tes

    Dear Bayan,

    …did I finish it? No.. my eyes could not let me reach mid-way. My eyes are full of tears and my heart is overwhelmed with joy.

    Let me be back after I finish this heart breaking story.

    Hawka
    tes

    • Bayan Nagash

      Dear Tes,
      I am tearing as I am writing you, Tes. The page is blurred, but so has been our reasoning, our lack of focus, our confusion too painful to enumerate here. Of course, Higdef has endless coffers to mangle, muddy, and destroy a person’s character. Those of us in diaspora, all we have at our disposal is the pen. As Peace aptly captured what we in the opposition must do is become that (“1 ሓምባሳይ”) in the Higdef muddied water. And a marksman who can shoot through his/her mouth ( “2 ቶካሳይ “) and be able to disarm Higdef as ayaa Musa has been able to do without shooting a single bullet, only bullet of words, if you will. And, without (“4 ጻሓፍይ”), it is seldom accomplishable to have (“3 ደራፍይ”), speaking of which here is one timely – fresh – song, courtesy of hawwuna Kiros Asfaha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kay9ucw7QHQ

      • Alex

        Hi Bayan, Good personal story. I do not think we have capable opposition, if we have one the current Gov with all its flaws could not have last this long. What we have are opposition that mushroom every month and break into groups. Our hope is peaceful change from within the country.

        • Paulos

          Alex,

          That is a complete BS. Please spare us your crap and dump it somewhere else. What does it even mean “if we had effective Opposition” as if the regime you bend backward to vouch for encourages for Opposition to flourish.

          • Alex

            Hi Paulos, It is your response that is BS. I am talking about the opposition in diaspora that does not have support from silent majority like myself. The reason is simple. Most opposition rather bring the people to a common goal they splinter with out any result. It is my damn right to state we do not have hope from people like you to bring change. I belief change will come from within. Not from Wayane supported puppets.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Alex,
            Two things–please pay attention.
            1. How are you silent (leave the majority thing aside for now)?

            You are not silent at all. Yet, you want to use that as a kind of wisdom. It’s tewelawali position watching from the sidelines to jump on whatever wagon is moving fast at any given time. It is called opportunism. Sorry for breaking it out to you.

            2. Change must come from the inside wildcard tool?

            Change is change in Eritrea. No one is struggling to change things in Argentina, for example. But people who repeat “change must come from inside” make it sound as if the change will benefit them alone. Of course, change comes from and inside Eritrea, no where else. The diaspora wouldn’t have engaged in resistance activities if the country (under the PFDJ) had a little room for dissent. We are all doing whatever we can to add any thing (as Adhanom Gebremariam said, let’s all throw out tiny pebbles). The so-called, self-baptized “silent majority” speak of the army as if it is their militia, their own private militia. They speak that the rest of the resistance forces will not benefit from a change that comes from internal actors–they think we are Siberians, not Eritreans. Why do you think you alone are related to the people in Eritrea?

            Wake up. change is change and it will come from inside Eritrea whether initiated from inside or from any unpredictable direction. And the real sun will shine once it takes away the PFDJ along with it when it sets one fine evening.

          • tes

            Dear Saleh Johar,

            I strongly agree with you on those who claim that “change must come from the inside wildcard tool”. In fact, by doing so they are empowering PFDJ conspiracy theory of what they call “External Agents”. To my surprise I am finding these people to have no problem with PFDJ policies and ruling system except some bad officers for their mismanagement.

            It is an irony but not unique by the EPLF/PFDJ affiliated thinkers

            tes

          • blink

            Dear Tes
            How can change come from out side ? just educate us from the 17 years history .

          • Paulos

            Alex,

            Diaspora? Here goes it. Can you mention a single incident where either the man at helm himself or his pathetic surrogates ever mention the word “Opposition” except labeling anyone with a slight differing opinion as a “Weyane stooge.” Every community in every city is controlled by PFDJ where the modus operandi is divide, divide and divide laced with fear let alone to encourage Opposition to flourish.

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Alex,

          Though I could, and any conscientiously aware Eritrean as well for that matter, Hajji Musa’s story is very much bigger than a mere “personal story”, thank you for admitting the regime couldn’t have long gone with “all its flaws”. I agree with you about the fractious opposition. It is indeed a bitter reality that does not excuse them for not mending their way and shouldering responsibility. But objectivity also dictates the imperative of not glossing over the reasons that played and still playing role to made to become what they are.

          On peaceful change, you bet. Who in his/her right mind would advocate bloody change if we would all join hands and move together to attain the goal? Anyway, things do turn corners in political and social phenomena. The bad thing is when some refuse to appreciate the arrival of the moment and resist to follow the movement of history.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Beyan Negash

    Thank you Dr.BN,,

    I was so emotional reading the above..I want to expose my self when I read the cotton “Factory” thing,

    It is in 70s, when first time I knew this grand father since he was coming to Bahir Dar to collect the cotton from our parents. He also brought me a watch which is from Jeddah ,at that time the watch was with me… up to 1980 when we fought against the two fronts joined.

    This man was so kind and humble, he us to provide money to the needy— where there were a lot in Bahir Dar streets..I am sure if someone will show him this message he will remember me immediately and call my name I am 100% sure..

    His brother TAHA -RIP was known in ELF (Taha M.Nur ) ,,,I was not in knowledge …I din’t know he is his brother when me and Taha Went in 1988 from Jeddah to Riyadh in one plane,,,

    KS..

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam Kokhob Selam,

      Telling these, seemingly, small anecdotal stories, we are giving the counter narrative that Higdef wants us to forget. Erasing history and emasculating is Higdef’s job. Ours is embi mbal eyuu’mmo. Through this short narrative, you are saying embi, a million embi to character assassination. They chose a wrong person to destroy a character of. He is not to go without giving a good fight, a good fight, indeed, he is doing and along the way mobilizing, and hopefully, unifying Eritreans the world over.

      Cheers,
      BN

  • Peace!

    Selam Beyan,

    I was going to say a lot, but our Ismail ግፍፍ ኣቢሉ ወሲዱዎ, well said Ismail.

    ከምቲ ኣቦና ወልዳኣብ ወልደማርያም ዝበልዎ ሓንቲ ዓዲ ሰለስተ ነገር የድልያ

    1 ሓምባሳይ
    2 ቶካሳይ
    3 ደራፍይ
    4 ጻሓፍይ እንተወስኽናላ እንታይ ይመስለኩም? Brilliant Beyanom!

    Peace!

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam Peace,

      I kid you not, the first three I do not know how to do. So, I wouldn’t have made it to ኣቦና ወልደማርያም’s narrative. But, with you inserting number 4, I can at least have one chance and hope to meet that description.

      Many thanks
      BN

      • Peace!

        Selam BN,

        Great! It is time for everyone B’Bz’kAlo Habo Kibel. I am making calls to members of my community and suggesting to include reaching out other communities with common causes in the agenda for the next meetings. We should not wait for another protest to remind ourselves unless we are united we will remain helpless and nothing will change.

        Peace!

        • Bayan Nagash

          Selam Peace,

          The protestors around Europe and in the US are showing promising defiance against dividing lines. Seeing pictures of Papas carried by a woman in Hijab and that of Hajji Musa by a woman without Hijab was powerful and unwavering message of solidarity. But, you’re absolutely right, that these kinds of events must propel us to reach out to another Eritrean communities nearby so we may begin and continue the dialogue. These need to be done, at political oriented meeting, but equally so, if not more so, at community gatherings. That is a wonderful idea. It is time we build bridges between and among our respective communities.

          Thanks P. for taking such an initiative.
          Cheers,
          BN

    • Paulos

      Selam Peace Abi Seb,

      That is original! Never knew Wel-Wel said that. Thank you.

      • Peace!

        Hi Paulosay,

        Yap! It was short but powerful speech he gave to handful of musicians at bologna, Italy.

        Peace!

        • Paulos

          Thank you Peace!

        • Kebessa

          Peace,
          Powerful message by Ato Weldeab and interesting collection of participants including music legends Barya, AlAmin, Haile Gebru and war heroes Petros, Ali Said, Bitewded…

          • Peace!

            Hi Kebessa,

            Interesting! That’s exactly how I came across the video, searching Yemane Barya in YouTube, and ever since, the noble speech never left my mind.

            Peace!

  • Ismail AA

    Dear Bejan,

    This is a well-deserved brief resume of Hajji Musa’s otherwise voluminous story. Thank you for taking the initiative and representing individuals like my self who owe him much more for his being an accomplished in the first place, but also for his the service he did for us along with many of his generation in upholding the bright torch of freedom and independence, and more importantly, moreover, showing their the way of why they were destined to pay in blood and sweat the ultimate price for keeping that flame of hope and freedom burn for eternity. It is mind boggling paradox that a society that had been blessed by guidance of men and women of Hajji Musa’s greatness and wisdom could also be capable of producing sons and daughters as the one who had ordered their police and spies to commit the outrages we had witnessed against Hajji and school children.

    I wonder whether addressing him with “your own Eritrean sons and daughters” in reference to the authorities who had disrespected and humiliated him deserve the honor those six words purport. As their behavior and action very eloquently demonstrated, they have abandoned the norms and values of humility the society cherish and preserves. They have gone far and adopted some crass and vulgar culture copied from here and there in the name of negating of what they conveniently call reactionary customs and traditions.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Beyan,

      Thank you for this short story in memory of Aboy Hajji Mussa, depicting a story told from a son to his father. This shows how close you are to the families. The gentleman is “a symbol of defiance” against the brute government, who is turning upside down the Eritrean cultures that are the basis of our harmony and peaceful coexistence. As you aptly said it, A boy Hajji Mussa “own Eritrean sons and daughters” and thus we should be an example of his courage and his history. He showed us there is no history making without sacrifice and there is no respect of humanity without defiance to the evil acts of the regime. Let us respects our heroes and heroines by respecting their history and emulating their courage and their sacrifice for the greater good of our people. Again thank you Began.

      Regards
      A manuel Hidrat

      • Bayan Nagash

        Selam Aman,

        Aboy Musa, at 93, knows – he will be going one way or another – and was ready to face the wrath of the regime. He’s had enough experience with withstanding atrocities that occur in dungeons. He just didn’t want to leave without a good fight…this might just be the one fighter we all needed to draw our inspirations from. I know the family very well. He has been, one among many, pillars in the community where I hail from. His son, was my age, when I decided to leave home at 15 for Sudan, he opted to go to ghedli. Abo Swu’e eyyu. Exactly right you are, I wanted to write a story about aboy Musa through the lens of the son and in the process, I wanted a frame of the pillar to emerge.
        From the positive responses so far, I may have been successful in conveying the nationalist that aboy Musa is and has always been.

        By the way, the last word is, the regime has not only imprisoned those influential individuals when they took Aboy Musa, they have now rounded up all of the board of directors and are imprisoned. And they have taken many, many more. በብ ሐደ ሰብ ወሐደ

        Sincerely,
        BN

    • Bayan Nagash

      Sleam Ismail AA.,
      Peace is right, you have a way of penetrating to the nerve center of the narrative that the writer is attempting to capture. It was frustrating for me personally when I saw how the narrative was being framed to the usual Eritrea’s Muslim and Christian religious divide. As Aman perceptively mentioned, not only did I know the family, but I asked permission from two of his siblings if I may invoke hawwom swu’u (Selahaddin Musa) in hopes of capturing the totality of the man.

      Plethora of stories that have yet to be told remain beneath the surface for now. Jail was a revolving door for the man, but he refused to quit. Check this out. He was jailed in 1960, 1969, 1970, and 1971 – there were other compatriots of his, such as Abboy Abdusselam, Sheikh Saleh, and there is a third one whose name is skiping me for now, but you get the point. The son whom I talked with yesterday told me that these were not just jailhouses but torture houses in which Abboy Musa, each time he left it, he came out physically in disrepair. But, a principled man, never quits, even at 93 years of age, he is still fighting the good fight.

      Now, were these courageous men fighting to institute Sharia in Eritrea? Of course not, but the beastliness of politics is such that destroying people who sacrificed so much we cannot allow to happen under our watch. We must fight with all our might to keep the honor and the dignity of our heroes and heroines. I firmly believe, as an Eritrean father, I would trust Abboy Musa wouldn’t hesitate to refer to them as his own sons and daughters – metaphorically speaking, of course – because there always are the black sheep in any family that go rogue and parents would try every conceivable mechanism to bring them back to their senses, to the straight and narrow. If we extend the metaphor of family to its logical conclusion, those who are now in a position of power, most of whom were tegadelti at some point in their personal history, but that privilege I doubt will ever leave them. People are now having difficulty to put that honorable title on these rogue individuals without apprehension, that’s putting it mildly. I am one of those who would try as I might to separate the wheat from the chaff. Hopefully, in the end, the title tegadalay/tegadalit will be restored and to its once gloriously revered place in our future Eritrea.

      Sincerely,
      Beyan

      • Paulos

        Selam Beyan,

        Some people for a reason which evades the cutting age research in science, own an amazing physical courage. In a country where the average life span revolves around 50 and on top of that a person who has gone through physical and mental anguish including five times landing in prison, still standing and kicking to fight one more fight is superhuman. I make a living in the life sciences and this for me is a unique outlier with in the bell-curve. Extraordinary!

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Bejan,

        Your right Hajji Musa would still consider his brand new abusers as “sons and daughters” simply because his fatherly goodness would still gracefully impel him not to taint his virtues as responsible and considerate elder. The point I tried to state was the fact that his jailers had committed long ago social heresy and denied themselves of the blessing of being honored as sons and daughters. Have not they proven this when the preached that addressing elder mothers and fathers as “ኣንቲ ሰበይቲ፡ ኣንታ ሰብኣይ” is mark of liberation from social and cultural backwardness?

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