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Towards a Mature and Meaningful Exchange!

Open exchange of ideas and perspectives is the foundation of a healthy, vibrant and tolerant society. Societies that promote open exchange are more likely to foster common understanding, a better appreciation of other perspectives and welcome creative and critical thinking. The effectiveness of any exchange in a society will depend, among other things, on how it is navigated and how it is construed. Society’s level of maturity and civility can be measured, not only by the extent and openness of its exchange but also by the civility and soundness of the exchange. The social media has provided unprecedented avenues for open exchange. As it stands, there is no shortage of exchange at our time, but, certainly, there is a lot to be desired when it comes to quality and content.

Within the Eritrean global community, there are multiple avenues for exchange such as websites, YouTube, chat groups, Whatsapp and many others. Surely, the exchanges that take place within these mediums provide useful insights and a better understanding of issues of common concern and interest. However, there are some observable pitfalls within much of the exchanges that take place that deserve to be noted and rectified. The following four are among some of the most observable pitfalls:

  • Failure to see issues within their relevant social and historical context.
  • Addressing complex issues superficially, without taking the time to investigate and analyze.
  • Making sweeping generalizations and failing to consider the divergent group dynamics.
  • Cherry-picking facts to advance certain narratives and positions.

To illustrate the point, the following two events occurring within the last 12 month will be deciphered and discussed further.

The “Sharia” scare:

In the speech delivered by Hajj Mussa Mohamed Nour in the Al-Diya school in Asmara in October 2017, he made reference to the Islamic term “Sharia”. The term was, reportedly, used in the context where he said we want to follow our “sharia”. In the discussions following the widespread circulation of his recorded speech, his use of the term “Sharia” created some uneasy discussions within the social media. Some saw it as an “outlandish” term with worrying connotations, others tried to associate it with “Wahabism” and “radical fundamentalism”. Fortunately, the discussion was of a limited scope, but the fact that the usage of the term sounded “outlandish” and fearful is troubling at two levels:

  1. a) Contextual level: If the usage of the term “Sharia” was to generate fearful discussions in the Western context it wouldn’t be surprising. Given its mostly Judeo-Christian tradition, the term is alien to the West and is generally viewed within the post-September 11 negative sentiments about Islam and Muslims. However, Eritrea has a different historical and social context. With its deeply rooted mostly Christian-Islamic tradition, Eritrea’s experience with “Sharia” is entirely different. One of the oldest and most sophisticated courts in Eritrea was the court of Massawa. This court had far-reaching jurisdictions and it was a “sharia” based court. Similarly, the local customs and arbitration norms among Eritrean Muslim tribes were based on “Sharia”. Some of these “Sharia” based local customs were formally codified in the 1940s and 1950s. Included among them we find, the “Customary law for Muslims of ‘Akeleguzai’”, which included 191 articles; the “Customary law for Muslims of ‘Seray’’, which included 218 articles; and the “Customary law for the Muslims of ‘Sahel’”, which included 198 articles[i]. Even today, the “Sharia” based courts are part of the legal system in Eritrea. Accordingly, “Sharia” within the Eritrean historical context has a different place and connotation. It was part and parcel, not only of the legal traditions of Eritrea but also part of its multifaceted social fabric. Failing to take into account the Eritrean historical context and seeing things through the Western context or through the disgraced models of ISIS or Taliban would be a grave contextual error. Perhaps this is another manifestation of what I have referred to in my earlier article as the “Intellectual gap”[ii]. Eritrean issues need to be seen and understood within the broader Eritrean context, particularly its distinctive historical and social experiences.
  2. b) Factual level: The term “Sharia” is an Arabic term which literally means “path to the water hole” and it is a term derived from the Quran (45:18). In Islamic scholarship, it has two usages: a broader and a specific usage. Broadly speaking it is synonymous with Islam. So, if one was to say I follow Islam or I follow “Sharia” that would mean the same. Specifically, it is used to refer to the Islamic transactional law; which is the most common usage. As noted by Khaled Abou El Fadl (The Great Theft, 2005) “Sharia” with its extensive legal delineations, is one of the most elaborate and sophisticated legal systems in the world. Muslims are not monolithic in their interpretation of the “Sharia”. There are those who interpret the “Sharia” text literally (Zahiri), others who go beyond the text to the objectives (Maqasidi); in addition to conservatives and reform-minded. Ibn Al-Qayyim, a jurist of the 13th century, summarizes the essence of what “sharia” is in four foundational concepts: compassion (Rahma), justice (Adl), Social welfare (Masllah) and Wisdom (Hikma). He further notes that any injunction that contradicts any of these four wouldn’t be part of “Sharia”[iii].

Obviously, the purpose of my discussion here isn’t to analyze the intricacies of “Sharia” and its applications, rather it is to highlight the complexity of the subject matter and the error committed by making some superficial assertions. Reducing the “Sharia” to the malpractices of some extremists or the insinuations of some Islamophobics is far from any objective discourse. Issues need to be discussed first and foremost within their context, but also within the required level of sophistication and proficiency.

Pastor’s perceived threat:

Last April, in a conference held in Oslo by an Evangelical Eritrean and Ethiopian Church, a pastor made certain controversial remarks and prayers. The pastor reportedly said, “our forefathers chose to unite with Ethiopia so as not to be dominated by Muslims”. He went further to name the Muslim majority countries surrounding Ethiopia and calling on God to protect Christians. The video clip of his remarks and prayers was widely shared in the social media. Some of its content was translated from Tigrinya and Amharic to the Arabic language. There was widespread condemnation to the pastor’s remarks and prayers.

Certainly, the words of the pastor were unwise and perhaps they are a reflection of what author, Semere Habtemariam, called in his recent publication “Siege mentality” (Reflections on the History of the Abyssinian Orthodox Church, 2017). The pastor is entitled to his opinions, his critics are also within their full right to respond and condemn. However, some of the responses, particularly within the Eritrean Arabic social media, were failing in two ways:

  1. a) Generalizations: The words of the pastor were given by some a much bigger meaning and were portrayed as a broadly shared Christian sentiment. There were some suggestions that these comments were a sign of new creeping “Andinet” movement. Further, the pastor’s remarks were seen in conjunction with the diatribes of another Eritrean “Muslim basher” residing in the UK, as evidence of a wider Christian assault.

Naturally, within every segment of society, there will always be individuals or smaller groups that carry narrow exclusivist views. However, projecting the views and actions of marginal groups to the whole faith group is stereotypical and deadly wrong. Deciphering what is being said and who said it is critical. The fact that a “pastor” or a “sheikh” has a certain religious authority or some followers, doesn’t justify taking their words and projecting them to the whole faith. These kinds of generalization are not only wrong, but they undermine healthy and meaningful exchanges. The pastor’s remarks should have been taken for what they are, his opinions and the opinion of those who follow him.

  1. b) Selectivity: The pastor’s remarks were condemned by many Eritrean Christians. Ironically, those condemnation weren’t as widely shared, nor were they translated into Arabic. This selectivity in fully sharing what transpired creates a skewed and biased stereotypical view. The social media has a tendency to pick quickly on sensational controversies and ignoring balanced counter-responses. This is becoming an increasingly challenging reality.

In 2010, Terry Jones, an American pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, made a bizarre announcement of his plan to publically burn the Quran. His announcement was widely reported and created huge upheavals across the world, leading to riots and loss of life. He was seen, by some, as a new Christian crusader representing Christian America. But what wasn’t widely reported is the fact that the pastor represented an obscure small fringe group, the fact that he was roundly condemned by major Christian and Jewish denominations, the mayor of his own town and president Obama who described his planned actions as “completely contrary to our values as Americans”.

The pastor’s remarks in the Oslo conference were loud but marginal; they shouldn’t have received the kind of attention they did. But to be fair, the responses of his critic should have also been widely spread as well. Selective sharing of information is and will be a major challenge and every effort need to be made to ensure we are not victims of one-sided views of what truly transpires in our surrounding.

Eritreans have a long shared history, with common values and deeply rooted traditions. These values should continue to serve as anchors to all of their exchanges and collective endeavours. When shared history and common values are forgotten, the peripheral voices of sectarianism, narrow tribalism and prejudiced factionalism take center stage.

In conclusion, the wise words of Dr. John Esposito are worth noting, he said: “All of us are challenged to move beyond stereotypes, historical grievances, and religious differences, to recognize our shared values as well as interests, and move collectively to build our common future” (Unholy War, 2002).

[i] See: mukhtar.ca ((مقالات: العرف في الإسلام

[ii] http://awate.com/bridging-the-intellectual-gap/

[iii] إعلام الموقعين عن رب العالمين، ابن قيم الجوزية

 

 

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The PENCIL is awate.com's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • David Samson

    Hi Abi,

    The glorious days of Catnona are truly over for this season; there is no way Man U can close the gap. Who is going to blink first? – Pogba or Mourinho. Some tabloids are betting Mourinho will be out by the end of next week. Premier football will be dull and boring without Jossie.

    We are now witnessing the return of the good old days of 80s to Anfield. Chelsea visvis Liverpool was a cracking game, and I did not feel I sat on my sofa for an hour and half.

    • Abi

      Hi David Samson
      I have to agree with you that Man U is done and out for the season. I hope they make it to the champions league.
      EPL without Jose is like Awate dot com without Gheteb . They brighten up a boring atmosphere.
      How about that goal by Daniel . Goal of the year!
      Reminds me of John Barnes from the greatest Liverpool team.
      Long Live Soccer!

  • Kbrom

    Hi Abi

    After recording their worst ever start since the Premier League, and more so following the chastening defeat at West Ham፥ Mourinho ( በጃ Sir Alex Ferguson ደኣ ስጥሕ የብሎ) seems on the verge of changing Manchester United to a team that is united set up to fail. It’s hard to see a way back, short of a change of management. Are Jose Mourinho’s days at Man United counting down?

    • David Samson

      Selam Kbrom,

      It is good to know you are into Footie. It is the best weekend’s therapy for cleansing the soul from daily Horn’s politics. All Ethiopians and Eritreans break from politics and passionately support their teams. The sign in a pub says, ‘No more politics while Football is on.’

  • said

    Greetings,
    Mahmudia is being true to himself and he is not advocating a true revolution and real change.
    ‘patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.’ Indeed, it is.
    Dr. Samuel Johnson’s famous bon mot
    ‘Patriotism is the first platform of fools.
    British professor, A.P. Thornton
    “We are what we pretend to be. So we must be very careful about what we pretend.”
    As Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Mother Night.
    Eritrean love their country and they have deep connection one’s homeland.
    First wave Some populations of Eritrea are acted like sheep and sheep mentality. With this come assumed mandate that IA government thinks it can do anything and everything, to anybody. But now they’re bold and active predators. first ask ourselves: What’s the nature of government? What’s its purpose? IA nature of government is pure coercion, pure power and row force. Dictatorship, Force and coercion are enemies of civilization. The use of Eritrean police, army, and courts against poor soul Eritrean. Those three things and more are used to salient the people
    the evil system in Eritrea is perpetrated by PFDJ. the worst type of people. At best they’re tags, power hungry, altruists, , and parasites, they’re actual criminals. Look, you’ve got two types of people in Eritrea PFDJ are interested in controlling physical reality, and hardcore supporters and the minion’s people that are interested in controlling Eritrean people.
    Second wave Some scrapped everything they might ever have believed in their scramble to be where the wind is blowing.
    MS is not advocating a true revolution and real change.
    I do not know MS his moral principle foundation.
    MS may be is the same self but , the issue and core problem arises with the average former EPLF person. It’s a very dark side of human nature, nearly impossible to change. few will see transformation of the self. No change will come, the same wolves who are part and percale of Asmara regime when in fact it’s just a criminal fantasy given reality on a grand scale, where PFDJ everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. the worst kind of regime, if any change comes from within PFDJ . They are in it get together, make themselves the new power elite, with a lot of power and a lot of prestige and very well-paid group. I expect nothing will come. for now at least giving the situation. I don’t see how the situation’s going to get better and have been growing hugely. I don’t know where it’s going to end. It’s very scary. You can run, but you can’t hide. It’s a very serious problem for any Eritrean that truly values rule of law, justice and personal freedom.

    MS claim to be himself and For being yourself is amendable and admirable Self, but insufferably smug and self-congratulatory, that assumption is demonstrably and totally false. If we step back and take an unsentimental, warts-and-all look at ourselves or yourself in this case, regime supporter are a narcissistic people. They pretend they aren’t, but they are you will defiantly realize that for long time your support of DIA/EPLF/PFDJ is not only worthy of being president, it was well known way back and he was the choose with no contender seems the obvious choice for EPLF/PFDJ it, the loath some destination of an inevitable long journey. for some still gush and idolizing IA. But because that realization seems vaguely “un-Eritrean un-Christian un-Muslim,” we pretend we don’t. We tell our children that “power isn’t everything,” but we don’t even believe that ourselves. Unlike much of the advanced world, EPLF/PFDJ Eritreans have always despised intellectuals and educated and business class and hated religious people. EPLF/PFDJ pretend they don’t, but they do. EPLF/PFDJ resent divers cultrate are snobs, know-it-alls, smarty-pants types, and EPLF/PFDJ deep thinkers,
    That’s partly because of EPLF/PFDJ commonest preacher of egalitarianism, and partly because EPLF/PFDJ they don’t wish to be reminded of backward and ignorance in running the nation to the ground. EPLF/PFDJ prefer brevity and plain talk to complexity of many issues affecting the nation.
    And yet, for all this and many other issue, hard core regime supporters some still pretend the don’t deserve DIA? They still pretend to be surprised that DIA oppressor, arrogant, ignorant shallow, wondering how he become to be the president?
    Wrongly addressed Patriotism is poison. DIA use Patriotism to enflame popular passions to enhance his absolute power. There are thousands of examples such as these.
    DIA did everything is wrong with unleashing toxic nationalist emotions to promote himself as vanguard of the nation

    • David Samson

      Hi Said,

      Thanks for reminder of professor Thornton’s quote!
      Tony Benn was a charismatic and one of my favourites UK’s politicians.
      He said: “I am NOT a nationalist. I am a democrat”
      Perhaps many Africans are listening to Benn’s advice and are voting with their feet.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Firstly, I encourage you to follow Mahmuday on youtube. He has an interesting perspectives on issues that are useful to help the current struggle. An advice to Muhmuday and others who wish to use that medium of delivery, given the state of political maturity in our region, please disable the leave comment option. Allow people to send you messages directly so you can respond at the start of your next show. When you allow comments, know that you are lending out your audience to others to speak to them with their hateful messages. Let them get their own audience. Just my two cents worth.

  • Kbrom

    ክቡራት ተጋባእቲ ዳዕሮ መድረኽ ዘተ ዓዋተ
    أعزاء المناقشين
    ሓይሳም ወሓይሳት ሙናቒሽን
    Dear Awate Forum discussants
    Chers panélistes
    የተከበራችሁ የውይይት ተሳታፊዎች

    Good morning to you all,

    Long time no hear. Hope everyone is doing well; I know my fellow Eritreans will say how do you expect us ክንዱ ዌል (to do well) when you know what is happening in/to our country.

    Ok, I can share some info/opinion/hot tip/tit·tle-tat·tle/ተባለንዴ/changement de paradigme etc.

    Where shall we start

    Lemma Megersa and PIA?
    What happened to IGAD and PIA?
    Formajo and PIA?
    What is happening between G7 and Oromo?
    Abraham IA with PIA himself?
    Bashir and PIA?
    PIA and the new top advisors?
    PIA and Mohamed bin Salman and Mohamed bin Zayid?
    PIA and Djibouti?
    PIA and Eritrea’s embassy in Addis?
    PIA and Game Over?
    and other topics depending where our civilised discussion takes us?

    • Mitiku Melesse

      Hei Kibrom
      In Ethiopia the wave of the evil has reached its amplitude. I thought it was only the evils woyane last fight to hold on power or destroy Ethiopia for good but i was wrong. It was not only them. People who hate the ‘last’ regime were not well organized and that together with evils woyanes many lives lost and people have been terrorized. Now most of the oppositions work hand in hand to bring peace and at the same time to watch carefully what tplf is doing.

      G7 and Oromo are ko but Olf and G7 are 180 degree different.
      Eritreans in Ethiopia are the winners of the new change in Ethiopia.

      Lemma Megersa will celebrate Irecha (oromo’s thanks giving) without woyane pointing guns to Qeros or woyanes terror.

      All in all Eritrea and Ethiopia in better place than a year ago.

      • Kbrom

        Hello Mitiku

        Good to hear from you.

        i think, against all the assumptions and megaphone campaign, Tigray is in a better position. Here is why, and I want you to note that I am talking about the future of KILIL Tigray and TPLF that led by Tigray and not vise versa.

        For the people of Tigray the change that came in Ethiopia was because it was the people of Tigray neither a surprise nor un welcomed change, They wanted it and they have been calling for TPLF to change.

        Though the TPLF was a bit confused in the first stage of change, after consulting with their people and going back to the drawing room now they have reoriented their roadmap, which is to be led by totally overhauled new blood TPLF.

        The hatred and ‘external’ threat made them more united. Remember TPLF have the strength of putting aside their difference to fight common threat. Look how they are putting Dr Debretsion in front of the stage though he is only deputy Governor, and the governor is there alive and in office. Abdi Zemo the governor knows he is unpopular among the Tigray people hence gives priority to the peoples survival.

        The despise and negative attitude against them makes them always more resilient and tenacious. Look what they did to the PIA and his game over bluffing. When PIA is confined in his cage of arrogance, the TPLF played the game with Eritrean people and get all the sympathy. It started in Addis when PIA was visiting there, Dr Debretsion requested a one to one meeting with PIA to which PIA replied ምስ ዌዲ ካሳ ተራከብ። PIA’s strategy was to keep the enemity with Tigray and start a new relation with ‘Ethiopia’ r

        Dr Debretsion met with Genrela Abraha Kassa in Sheraton and told him, lets forget about TPLF and EPLF, and lets leave the people do what they want to do in the borders and then we see where things go.

        Assuming that the propaganda of hatred will work, PIA agreed to the people to people relation hoping that Eritreans will never have any interaction with the people of Tigray. He told wedi kassa to tell them that there will not be any formal TPLF visit to Asmera and that no press releases of the meeting outcome. Later what happened happened the event in Zalembessa and what followed and being following is history, as they say.

        Dr Debretsion said in a private talk that PMAA respects and fears the TPLF and the people of Tigray more that any other Kilil because he knows the power of defence forces and article 39 is in the hands of Tigray.

        G7 and Oromo are not in OK terms, will come back to it once we discuss the new reality of Tigray.

        • Mitiku Melesse

          Hei Kibrom
          ”For the people of Tigray the change that came in Ethiopia was because it was the people of Tigray,,,”

          We mean the change came by all Ethiopians struggle and Tplf hijacked the change only for its advantage to extent of controlling the economy thus controlling Ethiopia. And you know this kind of madness couldnt be done without corruption and putting the majority in a terror state in Ethiopian case. And you have witnessed how the rest of Ethiopian reacted towards the new change. –

          • Kbrom

            Heya Mitiku

            If we are talking the change that brought down Mengistu in 1991, lets be fair, the TPLF and the people of Tigray have played a crucial role.

            On what follows, I could not agree more, instead of building a new, inclusive, citizens Ethiopia, the TPLF hijacked the change to rule by fear, consolidating its roots on security and defence forces. Corruption was in a kleptomaniac manner but note that it was all EPRDF. Abadula Gemeda is as corrupted, if not worse as Abay Tsehaye.

            However leaving in the past is letting yourself be the hostage of history. What I was trying to talk about is the new political, socio – economic and cultural landscape in Ethiopia. You said ‘Eritreans in Ethiopia are the winners of the new change in Ethiopia’. If you think things are better now for good I would like to politely remind you the dangers of early celebrating. Ethiopia is at a crossroad with three paths 1) come united and build a new inclusive Ethiopia 2) be Bosnia 3) Be Rwanda. As sad as it is all three paths are possible.

            In regards to Eritrea nothing has changed; as you can see it the exodus tells that. Eritreans are saying I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery

            Tomas Jefferson

          • Mitiku Melesse

            Hei Kibrom,

            The past/ sacrifice Ethiopians made was brought by you. Fighting tplf is not the past. It is on going process. We are not fighting the ghost eprdf. You think tplf control all the institutes by the wish of all Ethiopians. If it was like that why tplf bother to wipe our so many innocent people. We are fighting against the organized criminals of tplf.

            The first step has been if everybody is agreed on the change. Second is to control the sabotages. Third the ‘lets forgive’ will be held in the states and national levels. Fourth with independent investigators hte economical crime will be published for all to see. The big fishes like Debretsion, Bereket will be called to the federal court. Then we try to build our nations or states based on trust and anti-corrupt ideals.

            In a week time Bereket Simon and the like will be summon to court.

            NB.. Terrorizing the journalists helped tplf a lot. Soon you hear how a tplf man can take out 100 millions birr from the so called development bank. Tplf crime is worse because it is organized on one race. Many try to ignore this fact. When you organize yourself ethnically your responsibility is a heavy one.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Kbromay,

          Welcome back. We had missed your “investigative report” for sometime of the Ethio-Eritrean politics, the movers and shakers of internal dynamics of both countries, and the role of the Arab countries in to the mixing, shaping the geopolitics of the Horn. Continue with your valuable inside report from the belly of the beast. The biting dog in the house of Awate is not harmful for he has given a Vaccination for canine parvovirus and Rabies to protect the forumers.

          • Mitiku Melesse

            Hei Amanuel.
            What can I expect from a woyane disguising as an Eritrean?
            After the NPNW collapsed there is no much to brag about here for woyane. The Ethiopian front is disastrous right now for woyanes. Or shall I put it this way? Ethiopia can borrow billion dollars from China and do and make better infrastructure and development without paying extra for making Tigray to control the economy. This is not because we are racist but we found out that this way is extremely cheaper and humanly. The 27 years journey for woyane to control the Ethiopian economy is a success story in Tigray but for the rest is a disastrous affair. After 27 years for you also it is good to get some brake from enjoying so many non tigrians killed for resisting woyanes from taking what is theirs. Now no more Aboyes sucking mamma Ethiopia in the name of opening 10 sugar factories while Tigray development is the only one allowed to import sugar for hundred million people forever. We call this corruption while you call this double digit growth. You see our difference. It is huge. No more extra dollar by making havoc in the neighboring countries. (Do you enjoy the peace, ha ha)

            NB.. The fool woyanes are worried how the coming investigation will spoil the name of their beloved org. tplf. The smart ones worried how can they sustain the growth of Tigray without tplf pouring the looted money. The fascist ones have had planed how to explode millions of people together with the PM of their nightmare. (Tplf missed opportunity to take power again!)

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Mitiku,

            It’s ok to have differences but please do not make it personal, just challenge the idea.

            Berhe

          • Kbrom

            Hi Mitiku

            I am not sure if I explained myself well, what I was trying to say is that Ethiopia’s problem can not and will not disappear overnight, yes there is change but the change of leaders at the helm would not address by default the complicated Ethiopian federal and Kilil structure as well as the complexity related to ethnicity and nation nationalities.

            Let me give you two examples.

            1. The reason that the Ethiopian socio – economic and security situation rapidly deteriorated after PMMZ’s death was not because Ethiopia lost an intelligent, democratic leader. He was not so, in fact he was a brutal dictator. The reason for the deterioration was because after PMMZ’s death the balance of power shifted and Kilils became powerful and disobedient hence weak central government and security.

            2. You were talking about how amicable is the relation between Amhara Gnbot 7, and Oromo PMAA. I do not know where you get your information, but for your information there is big confrontation that lead to threats due to irreconcilable conditions put by PMAA and Berhanu Nega to each other. Berhanu Nega is saying Amhara will never consider that the new change is different from that the TPLF led governance until EPRDF immediately and without any condition dismantles the Kilils, put back the structure into 13 Kflate Hager ( God knows he might ask later for 14 Kfle Hager including Eritrea as per ESATs map), have direct elections; simply put, Nega is asking for reinstating the Janhoy style Ethiopia. PMAA told him that as he represents EPRDF, and PRDF’s policy is federal structure, not a single of what he said would be implemented.

            My point is, brother Mitiku, if you are thinking that the problem was ONLY TPLF’s domination and that being solved Ethiopia’s future is only bright, you are wrong, you can have more problems and more dangers even without TPLF being at the helm. As for TPLF it looks like it will be in a better position having the upper hand to make and break coalitions and manipulate the difference between Amhara and Oromo. .

            Just one tip from Eritrean experience, do not underestimate the people of Tigray. We Eritreans have showed deep repugnance against them and have lived in a dream of superiority despising them for so long, only to find out that they have made a lot of progress in all terms. It is we Eritreans who are seeking refugees in their land. Look at their discussions, transparency, the way they handle issues, the way they regroup when the common interest is affected.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Kbromay,

            The hate to each other of the Ethiopian social groups is deepening from time to time. With the kind of attitude they have to each other, there is no other form of government other than the current Federal system, that could hold them together as a nation. Observe the hate of the Oromo against the Amaras, the hate of the Amaras against the Tigrians, the hate of Ethiopian Somalis against the Oromo is flaring from time to time. Reinstating the old provinces and form of governments will lead them to endless ethnic strife. The best solution to them is to maintain the current government system, correct any abnormalities within the structure and draft new electoral laws to allow an open democratic competitive elections. It demands decades to build trust to each other, and I believe the current Federal system will help them to build trust.

            Second, EPRDF is quintessential to the unity and stabilities of their nation. The other parties outside EPRDF actually should form similar front to challenge EPRDF. If you recall the 2005 election, it was by forming similar front that challenged EPRDF and won over 200 seats. Unfortunately, it was a mistake for the opposition to forfeit their seats and left the parliament to be run by the EPRDF only. Imagine if they would have kept their seats, by now perhaps might be the majority and win the premiership. To walkout for any irregularities in an election is helpful to them nor to the stabilities of their nation.

          • Kbrom

            ኣማን ዓይቢ ሰብ

            ደጊም እቲ ኤርትራ ናይ ልዕለ ሓያላን ኣገልጋሊትዶ ከዳሚት ኣይትኸውንን ኢያ ዝብል ዝነበረ፡ ናይቶም ሓያላት ኣገልጋሊ ሙኻን ዘቕረቦ ክምስምስ ተነጺጉስ፡ ነቶም ዘገልግሉና ኣገልጋሊ ሙኻን ኢኻ ትበቅዕ ተባሂሉን ኮይኑን ኣሎ። ሓደ እዋን ኣስፊሕና ክንጸውየሉ ኢና እምበር፡ ቃል ብቓሉ ተስእ! ኮፍበል! ቤት ንጽህና (ዓይኒ ምድሪ) እቶ ውጻእ፡ ፍሽኽ በል ገጽካ እሰር! ዝብልዎ የዕራብ ጎይቶት መዓልታዊ ጥራይ ዘይኮነ በብሰዓቱ ቀጢን ትእዛዝ ይህብዎን ሓድር ያ ሓድረቱል ኣምር ኢሉ ጥልዕ ጉንብስ ክብልን ይውዕል ኣሎ። ሸነባትን ቁመናን ጃጀውቲ ኣብ ትሕቲ ቢንቶን ጎዳጉዲን ክኣቱ ከሎ ኣብ ሰብነት ቃዛፊን ሳዳምን ርኢናዮ ስለዝኾናስ ዝገርም ኣይኮነን። ዋይ ሕስረት!

        • Natom Habom

          selam kbrom
          nice I dont know if its a jock or reality ,it was a good one ,we enjoy when you people twist history and brag about success where other
          worked hard day and night to bring what we hoped ,
          put it the book of your history of Agazian ,you people well known for plagiarism in song ,movie ,fighter picture everything some times we ask ourselves ,its this people have a brain ?,we all know that the fear of tigray future is uncertain in ethiopia with the 1000 you killed ,the empty bravado mean nothing ,time will come for the bill to pay my friend ,
          so that why still dreaming people to people in Eritrea ,please stay away from use ,we didnt heal yet for what you have done ,we still allergic ,we are already witnessing our beautiful city and clean the spread of fly ,who know what disease they carry ,I think we regret the isolation

  • MS

    Selam Awataistas
    1991: A deja vu?
    In the initial stages of governing Eritrea, IA placed blames of top leaders of the EPLF and insulted them that they were “inept” and “old” signaling that he was going to pick people who would not challenge him in the coming years. And so, the process of slowly purging the would-be-contestants started in earnest. That purging process culminated in the 2001 mass arrest of top EPLF leaders, the private press and everyone who voiced his/her conscience, religious leaders, veterans, elders, etc.
    What followed will be a case study for social science students. A brilliant and promising nation has been subjected to untold stories of misery. Eritreans have been subjected to the whims of predatory “Generals” and a vast spy network, terrorizing every aspect of life.
    The present signals coming from Asmara consolidate our fear that IA may be planning a repeat of the 1990s. Some of the tactics he will deploy to keep his sit will be: blame-shifting/scapegoating, delaying tactics with empty promises; purging would-be a threat; outsourcing his security to the new alliance of the Gulf-Horn countries, and so on.
    In short, I sense he will use the peace rapprochement in the region to consolidate his grip on power rather than using the peaceful climate to let loose the nation, liberalize its political and economic life.
    We need to make concerted efforts to make sure we don’t repeat 1991 which let IA be the sole decider of the fate of our nation.
    God Bless Eritrea.

    • Paulos

      Muhamuday,

      Never thought I would read your ሓተታ without you using the “W” word but of course as they say, there is first time for everything. I suggest, you listen to a sobering plea read out by an Eritrean lady–from Asmara posted on “Eritrea Digest.” The gravity of the situation is frightening to say the least. As you said, may God bless Eritrea.

      • Alex

        Hi Paulos,
        Is that the lady who stated 100K people already left Eritrea since the border open with Ethiopia. It is sad to see people peddle some thing that is not collaborated by UNHCR as fact. We were told by UNHCR 180 people are leaving the country a day since the border opened which is three times than last month and the person who wrote the letter is telling us 6000 people are leaving per day. It is sad to see people leaving the country after the peace agreement with Ethiopia because they do not have trust on the Gov to deliver on the changes they want to see in the country when it comes to unlimited national service and rule of law.

        • saay7

          Selamat Alex:

          I agree with you that any number of Eritreans who leaves the country after the “Peace & Friendship Agreement” was signed with Ethiopia is sad.

          This is where the emphasis should be. If Eritreans are leaving, then one of the government’s three claims for why they are leaving (state of war with Ethiopia), goes away. The government is still left with two it will revert to: (1) it is more of a pull factor than a push and (2) it is all orchestrated by CIA in collaboration with human traffickers.

          The lady who wrote the letter said “100,000 have left.” Now, as anyone who has done crowd estimates knows, that is a very controversial field: the PFDJ will say 10,000 people demonstrated in support of its position and someone will say, no, it was more like 1,200. In this case, the takeaway from the lady (at least to me) was unacceptably large number of Eritreans are leaving the country and we need to do something about it:

          This includes families who have sold their property and locked up their homes; soldiers who have thrown their guns; students from elementary, secondary schools and colleges…it includes the underaged who are taking taxis and buses and moving to Tigray.

          The Tigrayan towns of Zelambesa, Adigrat, Mekele are now flooded with Eritreans…Similarly, with all Ethiopian towns on the Asmara-Addis Abeba road.

          Underage Eritreans are sleeping in the streets of Mekele…

          And our girls are leading lives that are too shameful to describe.

          Brothers! These are the worst of times. Within a brief period, Eritrea is transforming into a country without Eritreans.

          My Eritrean brothers! We are losing Eritrea forever.

          Our Eritrea is going on exile. Our Eritrea moving. Our Eritrea is being settled by outsiders.

          Let’s do something, please!

          One more thing: UNHCR only records people who came seeking assistance. If Eritreans drove past Tigray and made it all the way to the heartland of Ethiopia (including places Eritreans have barely been to) and stayed on their own, there is no way for UNHCR to know. Same thing happened in Sudan for about a decade.

          saay

    • haileTG

      Merhaba Mahmuday,

      I agree with this and your video message yesterday was excellently presented and engaging. Given the stage we are at however, from your view above and the video yesterday, do you consider a political movement has enough time and opportunity to effect change or the armed force must bear its historic responsibility to open a way for the people to express their concern. I believe that the EDF save the top in cahoot once, are at a historic junction to be or not to be.

      Thanks Mahmuday…keep it coming.

      • MS

        Ahlan haileTG
        I really don’t know if the EDF is left with “cells” or “pockets” with the capability of mounting an organized move. That’s something out of our control. People you would think might do that are either decommissioned, or far from sensitive posts to undertake such an organized feat. But we should not rule out any possibility.
        On the positive side, I think the situation has brought the nation closer to each other. Today, since the “Wayane/war” factor is out of the calculus, it is about if someone supports/ believes whatever IA does (support the status quo) or stands for the nation’s interest- demand for change, ask for transparency about the agreements being made in our names and which could affect our fate for years to come, call for “Eritrean Medemer”, i.e., start immediately a new beginning that is based on the spirit of unity. And of course, release all prisoners of conscience.

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Mahmoud,

          I just want to say thank you for picking up the fight against the dictator in our country.

          What ever I thought about you and what I said to you, I want to say I am sorry.

          Keep up the fight.

          Berhe

        • haileTG

          Hey Mahmuday,

          You are right that the nation is now coming closer in the face of the unfolding disappointments being doled out by the regime of IA. I also agree that it is by no means an easy thing to ask of the much abused and neglected EDF to take the lead. At least to take IA into custody and call for popular uprising. Although, the opposition against the regime is by far expanded at home and abroad at this time, a unifying political course is still proving illusive. Including few who entertain immature and dangerous concepts. The objective reality doesn’t seem to give time to catch breath. Things are moving rapidly and putting the country at grave risk. With this background and knowing the the path fraught with dangers, it would be a call against hope, yet difficult to see who else can do this other than the EDF. If the worst comes to the worst however, as hopefully the events of Akria where shots were fired at civilians would not be repeated should the people take matters into their hands (even that is not easy to imagine).

      • Selam haileTG,

        I cannot comment on what MS said, because i am not in the position to understand the things he said, nevertheless, for discussion sake, as an outsider, what i understand is that the pressure within eritrea never grows to such level that there is an explosion of one sort or other that may put the regime in a precarious situation so that it gives in. There is this release valve, the exodus, that keeps the pressure always low.

        The last report by the european commission, if i remember right, is that since the border opened, about 15K eritreans have crossed the border in to ethiopia with no aim to return. The trend is that people have chosen to flee instead of remain and fight for their freedom, and this has become an easy solution for many.

        Who can read the mind of the dictator and his inept supporters, remains a million dollars question. Why even today after half a century in power he is still obsessed with absolute power that he continues to believe IA is eritrea and eritrea is IA, his personal estate over which he is the lord. More mind boggling is the fact that he has succeeded to make all the pfdjists to believe that their fate is tied to his and they should make sure he survives. It shows that still they are not in a position to think an eritrea without IA, a dangerous viewpoint that might bring IA II to the throne.

        If he really has the people in his mind, some respect and fear, he would have given them a constitution and a parliament a long time ago when it is the norm, he may be forced to respect somehow. Tplf abdicated power because it came to understand that it could not continue to rule the same way. Is there such a possibility in eritrea? Is there a chance that he will be brought to a dead-end that he should give over power to the people? Do we see any sign for that? If he comes out and says a crazy thing like he is forming a confederation with ethiopia, other than condemning his move, will eritreans rise up and oppose him with force? The fate of the country and the people was given to him on a platter half a century ago before independent eritrea even existed. Let’s hope miracles do happen.

        • haileTG

          Hi Horizon,

          I agree with many of the points you made (although the half century timeline is more like 17 years for me:). The removal of the no war no peace situation has brought a new reality (even those least interesting things like mtg of Cabinet of Ministers are being watched!). Don’t forget that there are also plenty of pent up anger inside the populace. Once things are ignited, they take a life of their own. Who predicted when any revolution would occur? It is a sudden kind of thing that gets set off for some unlikely of reasons and suddenly you have a long sitting dictator scrambling for exit. I believe that moment is a when and not an if as far as Eritrea is concerned. IA is heavily dependent on external forces (has always been so). His risky ways had nearly brought the country to the verge of being bombed by the US in 2008/9. At the moment, he has entered another gamble which could have the country rendered in name only. But there are dynamic internal and external factors that counter his movements. In a matter of time, these opposing forces will have clash and the outcome is to be seen. In any case, a people lead uprising, supported by the army would be the best case scenario for the country as I discussed with Mahmuday.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Horizon,

          People never rise when they are atomized. That’s is one they are by themselves and for themselves. The only way people rise up is when they see others do and follow. It’s herd mentality at play.

          There needs to be core people of leaders who will use the tactics to provoke the regime and help rise the young to act.

          There is no accident revolt that has a chance to succeeded, if is its short lived.

          Ethiopia is a perfect example with the qerro movement. I believe there were core people from behind leading the young to act in coordinated manner. Jawar talked about in detail in the interview with BBC Amharic.

          What makes such act very difficult in Eritrea, Isayas is taking the young at a very young age (grade 11 / 16-17 years old) to Sawa and installing military doctrine (Fear) that they will get killed if they dare. That’s why he closed the university in 2001, and blocked any organized function to exist. Given the stark choice the young have, they are choosing to exile.

          Berhe

        • Kokhob Selam

          Yes Dear Horizon,

          You may have enough knowledge about Eritrea..by now.. I am certain that you are equal to me in your level about my nation ..Eritrea the same I have the same to you level of knowledge about Ethiopia…This what we all need and in solving problems of Horn in particular in Africa in general..Thank you brother for being in awate continuously..I am sure we will manage our nations after sometime,,

          KS,,

        • Alex

          Hi Horizon,
          Don’t exaggerate like usual when it comes to Eritrea. The people who left Eritrea reported by UNHCR in the first 10 days after the border open is 1800 not 15k.

      • Mitiku Melesse

        Hei haile TG.
        Those who take power with guns never leave office without guns. That is a vicious circle. Select elderly groups of all sorts and have a talk with the president focusing on the future of Eritrea and appreciating whatever positive things have been done in the past and avoiding a thorough discussion on the negative ones. That is what a society has to pay as a group.

        I would never expect if hundred elderly Eritreans representing all possible groups land in Eritrea that they will be sent to prison on arrival. No it wont happen.

        So your task will be organizing this group and devise what message and guideline they will bring to the Eritrean government. ”Oppositions” focus mostly on the government but you have to consider the majority of the population in Eritrea is influenced by the circumstances now at home. I have seen this in Ethiopia what the average people meant change in Ethiopia and what kind of change the opposition abroad planing.

        • Aligaz G

          Mitiku,

          If a hundred elders (bearing ketema) land in Asmera what would happen? The same thing that would happen to an Ethiopian Norwegian named Miteku the minute he lands in Asmera espousing notions of democracy and free speech. We would then say sadly for 5 minutes, “Miteku is not the first Awatista MIA in the dragon’s lair but it was a brave of him to singlehandedly take democracy behind enemy lines”. So you go first if you think it’s all so easy. Btw PIA wouldn’t care whether or not the Norwegian PM called on your behalf – he is famous that way.

          • Mitiku Melesse

            Hei Aligaz.
            You forgot the depth and influence of our elders. And you have no idea what the elders have in their priority list. But just to rich your human nature i advise you to watch a father who mate his daughter after 27 years separation.

          • Aligaz G

            Miteku hoya hoye,

            Thanks for the advice. You are really helpful. I did forget about the elders who are influential. And I have no idea about their priority list. And I should enrich my human nature. But do I really have to watch a father mate with his daughter? Is this really legal in Norway?

          • Mitiku Melesse

            Aligaz.

            Oh sorry i did not know the past tense of ‘meet’. And I must have been very careful when i write comment cause you never know who is reading. But what was in my mind was that many Eritrean and Ethiopian families got reunited after so many years.

            Tusen takk at du vet at jeg bor i Norge. Det lønner seg å bruke ekte profil altid.

          • Aligaz G

            Miteku,

            All’s good that ends well. Ikke skriv så fort hvis engelsken din ikke er så bra. Bedre å skrive mindre, men mer nøye.

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          Salam MM,

          In the nineties of the last century a group of elders went to Asmara to speak with Isaias about the Jeberti Ethnic. Sadly, all were imprisoned to be released only after the intervention of Saudi Arabia. My friend, anything you consider logic doesn’t work with Isaias. The only thing that frightens Isaias is power. The moment he feels that he is in danger he succumbs quickly. He is very coward. Once a coward sits on you nothing removes him except force. He is ready to smash every voice that he thinks directed towards him. It is a curse to be hold tightly by a coward.

          Do you know why did martyr Saeed Ali Hijjai came with his tanks at ten oc’lock morning to the Ministry of Information? It was a golden opportunity that Isaias will come out from his hide places at this point of time, and will hold a meeting. Unfortunately, coup timing was leaked by some betrayers to Isaias.

          • Natom Habom

            selam hameed
            why bothering about one particular group without historic root in Eritrea , tell me which of their village has been burn to the ground by successive ethiopian regime , they have none ,as your cousin (same patern)by the way ,no one know better how to twist the past and history they should went to meles their cousin in case they wanted to know about their past
            no offend bro we dont have people with identity complex in eritrea
            and we dont want it at all ,
            they carry with them the disease of division among our dignify people

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam Natom Habom,

            Let true Eritreans speak about the issue. It is none of the phony (ቅዳሕ/ምስሊ) issue.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Mitiku,

          I think your suggestion is noble, and it does work in most places. But I don’t think it works with Isayas because he has no respect for anyone, including the elders.

          I will give you few examples from the past:

          1) when the political differences appeared in 2000 between IA and top government and party officials, known as the G15, Eritrea notable elders, I don’t know their numbers but at least a handful got together and went to mediate them. These are elders who fed them, supported them through out their life the front and the leader, during Armed struggle and beyond. He detained all of them and told them “why you are interfering” on subjects that doesn’t concern you. Some of them were in their 70s, 80s and some even died in prison.

          2) He removed the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church and out him in house arrest, when he went to his office to beg him to release (2 priests, who happen to be doctors) for teaching the young bible and moral value. Then few years later, a foreigner priest who lived in Eritrea for many years, who knew IA, and he was friends with the patriarch runs to IA while having dinner at Massawa restaurants. He talks to him and ask him to pardon and release the patriarch because he is old and doesn’t have good health. He said ok but the next day, he was asked to leave within 24 hours.

          3) the was a villa in massawa build by the Melloti family (the beer factory). It was a beautiful place, created like the African continent when looked from a top. It was still the family vacation home. Isayas wanted to take the house and make it his own. So they told the family the government t wants to but and offered them some amount. The family said, they are not interested in selling and said that’s final. The family informs the Italian Consulate and he comes to Massawa to mediate and beg. He expelled the diplomat to leave within 24 hours. He sends his people to destroy the villa with heavy machine and destroy the house. In was build in the 50s, and it was a national treasure.

          IA knows only power and that’s how he settle any conflict, never negotiate and is willing to give others the benefit. It’s akways his way or death / prison. I think those who escape, they must write letter of regret and apologize to him(even that is not enough).

          Not to mention how he elliminated all his political opponents through out.

          Berhe

          • Mitiku Melesse

            Hei Berhe.
            I am not preaching what Abiy is doing must be done to Eritrea. Tplf had done the same about the EThiopian patriarch and you have seen what Abiy has done concerning the patriarch.

            What I am emphasizing is that Eritreans use the ‘new’ era in East Africa and use the power of the wisdom of Eritrean elders to break the deadlock.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Merhaba Mahmuday,

      Thanks Mahmuday..What a change..Great Mahmuday..

      KS,,

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Mahmuday,

      I hope this time will be the “inflection point” in your political life, where you could see all the “evils” of the despot; an inflection point where you could move from “congratulating” him to “condemning” him, from calling him “bitsay Issayas” to calling him “dictator Issayas”; from leaving aside the “cause of your comrade” to fighting for the cause of their imprisonment; from prioritizing the land to prioritizing the lives of your people (because without securing the lives of our people we can’t defend our land); from ambivalent position to unequivocal strong position; from praising “minor developments” to focusing the “central human values” of our people, and many more. As Dr Paulos had said “there is first time for everything”, I hope this will be your first time to call the man by the real who he is, the “DIA”.

      Dear brother, when we are not resolute and principled against our despot, he dismiss us as unprincipled vacillators and bluffers. If we don’t fight valiantly what ever it takes against DIA, we are going to lose our young and eventually our dear country. We need to “man up” or get our “courage up” to save our people and our country from the conspiracy of the evil man. I salute you for the significant change you show in your comment.

      regards

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Emma,

        I think you should watch his YouTube videos. I believe he said all that and more may not be in exact ways.

        Berhe

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Berhe,

          If you are talking about the video titled “Kelewlaw” I have already listened it. That video doesn’t show any change of his old position.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Aman I don’t what video they are talking about but Mahmuday’s position is there never changed. His position has been; protect the nation, deal your own problems with your own will, hold accountable the leaders at the RIGHT TIME!!! I can understand why his positions are not understood by many. they are too simple to understand.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Emma,

            I don’t think I saw kelewla but you can find the video in the link below.

            https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCpnbw3MjOSAf-Z6J6kzxh6g

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            Thank you for the link. I found his message “advising to a tyrant” who is responsible of taking the lives of many Eritreans and suffocating our nation for so long, to change his behavior. Tyrants do not listen advices. Tyrants do not change their political path, rather they keep or strengthen their strongholds to continue their ruthless act on their subjects. We became his laughing stock when we demand sheepishly to change his behavior. Tyrants admire challenges even when they are ruthless to secure their power. But I like his call for the Eritrean people (young and old) to come together to fight the regime.

      • MS

        Selam Emmaand Hameed Al-Arabi
        Some people will never get it, no matter how often I repeat it. I’m still myself. Just so you guys know it.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Mahmuday,

          I have been in the politics of Eritrea for too long, and I know the game of the political practitioners, including yours, brother. Your positions are well established whether I support it or not. So don’t ever think that I don’t know your positions. Just keep your current position. Your past positions are history now, as far as you continue boldly against the despot.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

            Sometimes I butt in where I have no business butting in. That is the case here.
            However, I have to say a simple and obvious truth I gathered from the historical records of Awate Forum . The two of you (AH and MS) have had a lot of miscommunication over the years. I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that when it comes to Eritrea and Eritreans the two of you are practically the same or say 99% the same.
            Both of you, for some inexplicable reason, magnify that 1% to engage in all the interactions and debates.

            (I hope I never have to listen to ELF and EPLF comparing and contrasting. That is 1/2 a century ago, come on.
            Would anyone like it for me to bring in Menelik and Haile Selassie in a stealth way for all my debates? I bet you don’t.)

            For the record, I get along better with A.H than M.S, when it comes to matters of Ethiopia. That is another story.

            M.S always wants to defend Eritrea and its history, even when he has to cringe in his own way, that PIA was a major part of that history.
            What he is sensitive to and what he abhors is when people rampage indiscriminately with the attempt to demolish PIA, not to trample on and inflict a permanent collateral damage to Eritrea.

            In the tradition of all butting in, let me suggest this. Next time you meet, acknowledge that very narrow emotional alley way and pass it carefully, perhaps sideways. Ha Ha in other words I am saying “tedemru” everything else was tried and failed.

            Mr. K.H

          • MS

            Hey KH
            This comment is the fairest you wrote about me, and you are right 100%, at least judging it from my angle. Emma is a nice guy, a bit stubborn, though. What is amazing is that he continues to be my best friend and best wisher. That’s outside the forum. I cherish that quality. I’m moving away from the revolutionary zeal and what it entails of passion and emotions. I invested heavily in the current peace deal, and I hope it holds up for the good of the two peoples. It also liberates me not to be caught in the moral dilemma. I tried to balance the threat the country was facing from outside with the threat it was facing from within, and that made me to go under tremendous pressure. I tried to articulate it by saying that we could stand up against TPLF-controlled belligerence against Eritrea and at the same time fight for change in Eritrea. It was a delicate balance, and I must say, I was not a good diplomat. I may have hurt some compatriots in the process. But the calculus has dramatically changed now, and there is no constraints to advocating for a comprehensive change.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Kim,

            True to his word, Mahmuday is a true friend of mine outside of politics. We have regular communication. We fight in politics in this forum, and all for the best of our people and our nation. He is doing what his conscience dictates him, and am doing the same. Despite our objective are the same, we always differ how to get the goal of our objective. I feel the urgency of the removal of the despot. He expect the good will and change of behavior of the despot. That is all.

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Salam MS,

      It is narrated in the seventies of the past century in the highlands of Eritrea, a shabia guy was telling an old woman that teghadelti Jebha like to beautify themselves, they request for butter, gogo, hinbash, ect. After he completed his story about teghadelti Jebha, he quested from the old woman “ኣደይ ዓባይ ቁሩብ እንጣጥዕ እንዶ ግበራለይ”, she replied to him ” ወይለኣ ኣደኻ ንሶምውን ካብዚ ሓሊፎም እንታዮሞ ዝብሉ”

      I hope MS to leave aside what Isaias was doing during the thirty years back, and tell us why was he defending him? You and your likes have caused a great harm to the Eritrean people. To return back late is better than not coming back at all, but you have to tell us the reason behind defending him. I hope your mission now should be to influence the rest of the diehard bigots.

    • Hayat Adem

      Hi Mahmuday,
      Is it spring already? I am happy this came early and we can always blame it on groundhog for the early season.
      I am so happy for the change. But I would be happier if it could be explained.
      MaElesh though,
      You look so cooler here and now than when and where you were irresponsively pressing buttons to cause so much collateral and friendly damage and you were justifying them on the lack of smart and surgical technology.

      • MS

        Ahlan Hayat
        Glad to see you back, or it is me who is coming back? Anyway, the early spring inspired by our Wayanay 13th Congress. You know that sometimes living organisms get stimulated to undergo seasonal cycles before the season with artificial stimuli or when the climate changes.

  • Hawaz Tesfom

    Mr. Saleh,

    You said: Have you heard the saying “little knowledge is dangerous” or the Amharic “Trraz betel”? Really? I do admit that you are a street-smart guy. You are a good speaker as well.
    As I challenged you last time, you can’t prove any academic credentials. All your knowledge you gathered from the street which is good. But you are not in the position to educate us. You need first to go back and learn the basics. I know you are 65 plus of age, but it is never late for education. On top of that you are lucky since many Eritrean academics are around you.

    Hawaz

    • Abrehet Yosief

      Selam Hawaz Tesfom,
      You write this gem of a comment under an article titled “Towards A Mature And Meaningful Exchange”. A fine example of your scholarly prowess.

    • Saleh Johar

      Okay Hawaz,
      You are on a crusade and I will accept whatever you say about me so that you feel vindicated. In fact, I never went to school– straight from Quraan school to America. Now tell the forum about yourself because people might have a wrong idea about your genius status…judging from what you post here, your character, your integrity, and whatever makes you an honourable person. Quick, try to change that perception.

      • Acria

        Selam Brother Saleh,

        One of the worst forms of harassment in today’s supposedly nanotech era is cyberbullying. Our guest here thinks that it is okay to belittle, harass, or exclude individuals and groups of a generation and culture. These kinds of individuals feel so little inside that they feed their empty egos by belittling others. Educated, maybe; nevertheless, they are uninformed citizens that can cause havoc in our attempt to build a democratic and peaceful Eritrea.

        Let’s not forget that we live in a society where laws are respected and upheld. Cyberbullying, in its multifaceted form, is a crime in every state of the United Sates of America. So, I advise people to thread carefully before crossing the redline.

        • Saleh Johar

          Acria,
          Don’t worry my dear. Probably I have the highest experience with people like him. But I feel fine giving him the pleasure to puke his hate and throw up his tormented ego. I have been their victim for too long and one more sick attitude is nothing. I have an alligators skin though it is tunnin this these days. I consider tolerating him a charity 🙂

      • Amanuel

        Hi Saleh
        You are very generous man for bringing your self to his level and entertain his eggo.

  • Saleh Johar

    Sam
    Yes. Trraz Neteq. Did I misspell it or something?

    • Sam

      Hi Saleh,

      I thought so. I know you are multilingual and I considered the possibility that you might know something I didn’t know.

      Sam

  • said

    Greetings Hawaz and Simon Kaleab
    Tesfom your remark about (Sharia.)
    Sharia means war Muslims against non-Muslims Eritreans, period.

    Monotheism is the demands that it places upon society and individual to do justice and accord dignity to the humble in this life.

    Quotation. By Removing Trump from office without confronting the ruleless-ness and anomie that define the lives of tens of millions of Americans would do nothing to restore democracy. In fact, it would probably consolidate the power of a Christianized fascism that cloaks itself in a cloying piety and false morality. Vice President Mike Pence, because he is a creature of the Christian right and has ingested its protofascist ideology, would probably be worse than Trump if he gained the presidency.The left, like most critics of Trump, personalizes our decay,
    Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 12 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012),.

    Christians read Moses’ Bible along with the New Testament added by the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. It is hard to absorb

    The ancient text without proper scholarly guidance. you can not explain at end it is a “faith” is it part of monotheistic religions.
    Quotation In a 1967 column entitled “In Peace Is My Bitterness Most Bitter” Dorothy Day’s wrote about Cardinal Spellman and his support for the war in Vietnam: “But what words are those he spoke — going against even the Pope, calling for victory, total victory? Words are as strong and powerful as bombs, as napalm.” “I can sit in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and wrestle for that peace in the bitterness of my soul, a bitterness which many Catholics throughout the world feel, and I can find many things in Scripture to console me, to change my heart from hatred to love of enemy.”
    In 2002, Dorothy Day’s death, the priest/activist Father John Dear decried the scandal of the Church’s support of the war in Afghanistan. nearly all the U.S. Catholic Bishops voted to bless and support the bombing and mass murder of the people of Afghanistan. We know that some 4000 civilians were killed during the first two months of that U.S. war. Hundreds of children were killed by the United States, and the Catholic bishops condoned their murder.” John Dear stated what should be obvious: they bless the government’s murder of children in its wars.
    Long time peacemaker and resister, Father Daniel Berrigan once said “I don’t know a more irreligious attitude, one more utterly bankrupt of any human content, than one which permits children to be destroyed.”

    To Start with you will find radical and immoral fringe tiny Muslim group who are “a very bloodthirsty, sadistic killer. ” for some without excusing them their horrible action, it comes from the west getting involved in a lot of conflict overseas.

    With all respect Hawaz and SK both you really not all that familiar with Islam ,But can any one of you answer the Quotation from Hebrew Bible at least.

    The God of the Hebrew Bible and Christian Book of Revelation for holy war, genocide, and savage ethnic cleansing from the killing of the firstborns in Egypt to the wholesale annihilation of the Canaanites.
    God repeatedly demands the Israelites wage wars of annihilation against unbelievers in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and the Book of Revelation. Everyone, including women, children, and the elderly, along with their livestock, are to be killed. Moses ordered the Israelites to carry out the “complete destruction” of all cities in the Promised Land and slaughter all the inhabitants, making sure to show “no mercy.” From Joshua’s capture of the city of Ai to King Saul’s decimation of the Amalekites—Saul methodically dismembers the Amalekite king—God sanctifies bloodbath after bloodbath. “You shall not leave alive anything that breathes,” God thunders in the Book of Joshua, “But you shall utterly destroy them.” Joshua “struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel had commanded” (Joshua 10:40, 11:15). And while the Koran urges believers to fight, it is also emphatic about showing mercy to captured enemies, something almost always scorned in the Bible, where, according to Psalm 137, those who smash the heads of Babylonian infants on the rocks are blessed. Whole books of the Bible celebrate divinely sanctioned genocide. The Koran doesn’t come close. The willful blindness by these self‐proclaimed Christian warriors about their own holy book is breathtaking.

    • Blink

      Dear Said
      What ever religious people say about their the so called holy books they have under their belt has been the case of cruelty and ugliness of human being in a dark. The Christians as well as the Muslims have everything in common.

      From your comments “nearly all the U.S. Catholic Bishops voted to bless and support the bombing and mass murder of the people of Afghanistan” that may be a true story but remember almost the same can be said about the sheiks all around the globe. You can just click about the immams and sheiks calling for death of the other . There are videos that shows sheiks openly calling for deaths of people they never know or met and there are lunatics Christians who thinks they can raise a dead person from the cemetery and all these are people who contribute zero to humanity.The Christians ,the Muslims and the Jews are bombing the consistency of their respective beliefs as if their religion will save the children dying from killers . You are one of these apologists of this so called religion which full of lies . people like these apologists are simply heartless and blood hungry individuals who look little victims.

      The priests have been raping children, and the sheiks have been doing just that with no less . These are the mantle of these abrahamic religion that suck this world to its knees .

      • said

        Greetings Blink,
        I’m reluctantly writing and responding to you because you succeeded in making yourself impossible to be ignored, I do not know what you represent any longer. I do wish I knew what you believe and give us your ideal world for once, your idolatry and your pagan practice and your Atheists faith what they represent means to you. before you jump to do next which hate you know well and your empty slogan as an atheists’ you criticisms of religion all ring true as criticisms of idolatry, but not of Abrahamic monotheism, which you foolishly always ready to misrepresent . your false Idolatry has always been, and today continues to be, the most divisive and dangerous ideology in the world. It promotes lies about power and relationships in society
        Today it is all about materialism which is ubiquitous. If you are still strong believer in the cult of murderer of tens of million of Stalin or killer of millions atheist Chairman Mao Zedong. The tragic cycle of imperial overreach and decline that characterizes most of recorded history has totally buried most past civilizations of the garbage.
        You have nothing to contribute expect hate and you are good professional insulter and you are fully ditched both revelation and reason, you get away with it. you are degrader of people of faith and believer of reason and in God revelation. You always generalize people faith and you name it . I give quotation and example Your statement simply baffling…incoherent. Give source of your information as an example and make quotation without insulating. It is inexcusable for you rush to make all kind of judgement with no profound elementary knowledge. I do want to write about you because you troubling atheist of extremist side. I don’t want to write about you because you are manipulative and monomaniac. I don’t know how to explain who you are and without using terms like distressful and hater of kind supremacist. I do believe that you do manufacturing staff to suite your narrative and you like controversies to make your point. is all a great bid for seeking attention you do not dissever. I don’t know why this well-worn game plan still works for when you strive controversies and you blow it up . you are quite unsavoury ugly insulting characters who’ve tried to squeeze into the spotlight of self-importance and self-promotion at awate site. That’s an old trick of sukinnees of Asmarino. willfully you are promoting hate against the good God fearing Christian and Muslim and Jewish people.
        You found 24/7 plat forum to propagate your hate What’s different, of course, is the era, someone like in which self-importance and self-promotion is cheap and very easy to promote your disinformation and your hate have no boundary .you joying Mao Party last week China’s ruling Communist Party, which is tightening its grip on ‘the faithful’ under President Xi Jinping. A revised set of regulations were rolled out by the CCP’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, warning nearly 90 million Party members to toe the line. Religion of the Party is more important than religious beliefs. It could be a line from George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four along with “Big Brother is watching you. What do you to say about the death of perhaps 30 million Chinese during the Great Leap Forward of the 1950s is a living memory.
        True Christianity and Islam meant to reflect mercy, justice and compassion and gives a yearning for justice, for the dignity of every individual. monotheism faith the like prophet Moses’ message, refracted through many versions of Christianity and Islam, resonates improbably but powerfully among mankind. To all humankind stand equal before a single God who is the God of all peoples,
        Philosopher Hobbes finds man to be “spontaneously self-seeking, acquisitive and aggressive.” Although man is not only these things, it is on these things that Hobbes builds his philosophy. Based on this, Hobbes offers that there is no such thing as right and wrong, no such thing as civic virtue, no such thing as justice or injustice. No room for natural law here.
        For a lot of people Mankind without God is this little more than an animal in the wild. Subtracting God, you have Hitler and alike
        The human heart is seeking to know who he or she is, where they came from and where they are going. from man No room for religion there; no man created in God’s image; no possibility of an afterlife; no reason to think beyond the immediacy of the moment; no reason to consider the means to an end; no reason to consider any ends other than he who dies with the most material big toys wins.

        • Blink

          Dear said
          I really don’t know about chines communism propaganda machine saying at this time but I do know, they are not democratic and have bad Human rights records .I didn’t agree with your definition of many things and one of them is the notion Stalin’s , Mao’s and hitlers killings were nto advance Atheism’s influence, that is not true .On the opposite many killings are daily on our screen and the primary reason is religious propaganda. I agree there are many good verses in Quran, Bible and Tora but as many as these good verses you will find many bad once , outrageous lies and all these supported by affirmative stand made by apologizists . It is like the Republican Party of America or like the Vatican , like the Taliban , Saudis and the Turkey Ottoman leader . The truth is all are bombarding their followers with lies .

          You don’t need to describe me as the defense of lies is extremely overwhelming to hold you down.

          What’s the important thing in this world for you ?

  • Hawaz Tesfom

    Hi Acria (Sharia/Islam professor)

    My friend, you don’t need to have a PhD in sharia like you do to understand it.
    It is even nonsense to waste time talking about it. If you believe in sharia just keep it for yourself. There are more interesting topics to talk about than your sharia. I don’t think that there is anyone who wants to discuss about it. Sharia/ Jihad has no please in modern Eritrea. Just keep it for yourself.
    I think, I do have enough knowledge about Islam but at the same time I don’t need to have deep understanding of Islam. Please don’t try to take us back to stone age and ignorance. To remind you:We are leaving in a Nano technology era.
    Thank you

    • Aligaz G

      Hawaz,

      Yes you might be living in the “Nano Age” whatever ever that means but a large number of Eritreans prefer to be adjudicated under Sharia without infringing upon your rights. Who are you to infringe on their rights? And why do you deliberately confuse Sharia with Jihad in such a provocative manner? It all goes back to the question of building a viable democracy that respects the rights of all.

      • Saleh Johar

        Alugaz,
        Why are you promoting him? Nano age is now, he is living in an age when people didn’t know how to count with their fingers.

        • Aligaz G

          Saleh,

          Maybe. But it is is complex undertaking balancing free speech while honoring rights. If he wants to be nano man who I am to infringe?

          • Saleh Johar

            Aligaz,
            It is a difficult balancing feat; even a rope walker can’t handle. 20 years and we still frustrated they don’t get it. But vulgarity and bigotry know no balance or decency. I am afraid we need Nano tolerance with such elements. And we might be forced to do it, free speech yes but they should not come here to throw up 🙂

      • Natom Habom

        selan aligaz
        we dont want your sharia law that cut head and hand ,we dont want your law that dont tolerate other to live peacefully ,this why you guys are good for nothing ,in 21 century you dwelling at same spot ,you people are freeze on time despite living in the western world ,no other knowledge or any common vision ,look at syria look at every countries you destroy instead of building ,
        those peoples dont want to lives in this world ,why would they when they can have a better live with their 70 virgin gift from god ,they have just to kill an inocent to get the ticket so leave the living go play with your dead none of you will step one feet in our homeland ,we promess

        • Aligaz G

          Natom,

          You do realize there is Sharia in Eritrea as we speak? Please read carefully the exchanges in order to understand what we were saying first. Or are you saying Sharia in it’s current form should stop existing in present day Eritrea?

          • Natom Habom

            selam aligaz
            I know sharia law exist as the church law but they are under state law
            they are there to manage family think like wedding or divorce and role as mediatore same for the church ,let me ask you if sharia law exist in
            eritrea ,why you guys complain ?or you want the hole law to be added so you can play segregation between eritrean society in the street of asmara and bring intolerance in the same way ,this what you people policy for the futur of Eritrea ,nothing else ,just bringing back to medieval era ,we saw their brutality in syria and other

          • Aligaz G

            Natom,

            Glad to see you calm and writing in complete sentences. First of all I am not Eritrean. Second now you know there is already Sharia in Eritrea. Third you will have to bend your mind towards accommodating the 50% of Eritrea who are Muslim. Welcome to reality.

          • Natom Habom

            selam aligaz G
            if you are not Eritrean ,how is that make your business ,and what do you know about our people ?did they asked to ask for them ?do you the woman in my country fought along side men and shed their blood equally ,why do you want in your fake concern to bring back our woman in stone age just to accommodate same for sure extremist that see woman segregated ,do you woman that saw fire and thunder will accept that just to please who ever they are

          • Aligaz G

            Hi Natom,

            I am Ethiopian and what happens in Eritrea is my concern. At minimum we are friendly peaceful neighbors at the national level (thanks to Abiy). At maximum we are in a medemer process. This process is a people to people process and so I must welcome you to join us in a democratic change for the entire horn. Ethiopia has begun the process of coming out out of a dictatorship now it is your turn. But let me warn you this process takes courage and honesty and to succeed must be inclusive. No second class citizens. Are you ready?

          • Natom Habom

            selam aligaz G
            well no other ethiopian than the low IQ Tigrayan can think like that no one else ,
            no other from THE dignify ethiopian people have a desire of chaos in eritrea than our long enemy from the south ‘
            how are you doing by the way ? how is life now from top level Washington chihuahua to all the way down to your grave ? keep your desperate attempt looser ,we dont
            tdeal with the dead anymore but with the living ,you are already irrelevant and deleted from the page of history

          • Natom Habom

            selam aligaz
            who is the second class citizen ?
            dont tell me you are inviting yourself already ,why you guys ashame of who you are ? why not coming as yourself instead of masquerading as other ,
            what happen to you guys pride ? or is your evil stratagem of deceive as usual ,never change ,I give you 9 instead of 10 ,
            ክሕደት ሱራ ጥልመት መበቆላ፣
            ንራስ ወልደኪኤል ጎሚዳ ኣታሊላ
            ዝከድኣቶ ጢሂላ ሚሂላ
            ዳግማይ ተመሊሳ ኣብኣ ንከላ
            ከተዘንግኣና ከም ኣመላ
            ሕጅስ ተከሺሃ ተበሊላ
            ፈሊጥናዮ ሚስጥር ናይ ቶንኮላ
            that was real

          • Aligaz G

            Natom,

            What should be the appropriate response to drivel? Or kezen in public? I am sorry but your handler is going to have to change your diaper for you. You are stinking up the joint.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hawaz,
      Have you heard the saying “little knowledge is dangerous” or the Amharic “Trraz betel”? Ask and I will explain it to you.

  • Berhe Y

    Hi Paulo and all,

    An ERITREAN high profile lawyer named Saron Ghebreslassie is ruining for mayor of Toronto. Here is some taking on the mayor on policing during their debate.

    https://globalnews.ca/video/4486214/saron-gebresellassi-rails-against-high-police-budgets-salaries

    The current Mayer has done good job over all I think and he is very popular and gets along with everyone. I don’t think he has a chance but she has been making waves in the city.

    Another Eritrean lawyer and teacher who is for school trustee is Senai Iman.

    https://www.vote4senai.ca

    Good luck to both. And vote those that can.

    Berhe

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Berhe,

      Good luck to this brilliant lawyer challenging the incumbent mayor of Toronto. One hopes such young educated Eritreans would love to see them shaping future modern democratic Eritrea.

    • Paulos

      Selam Berhe,

      That is one heck of impressive feat. All the power to her! God bless!

  • said

    Greeting,
    Blinks and alike atheist,
    Blink you are well known to seamer Christianity and you are openly hostile Islam .I have debated you about faith many times ,you relentless , your staunch atheist, not rationalist and not progressive and not intellectual person there is no logical and rational explanations that I can make you understand .please do not make yourself foolish bout what is going in some Muslim counters ,like Christian are not responsible for American war in Vietnam or any were else for that matter .
    Of course, the act of fanatic and ignorant Muslim one can criticizes some muslin who have wrongly interpreted their faith, however, this criticism is based on the fact that they have strayed from the original teachings of their religion. And this can be said about any religions.
    You are certified faith basher an empty atheist, a lost soul , a stanch believer in by gone era Maoism and Stalinism and your godless Communism have killed combined over Hundred Millions of their fellow citizen 100 million good Christian and poor chines people for no wrong of their doing. No ‘ism’, ideology or religion matches Islam in its world-affirmative stance. In regard material world and progress. Muslims should be worked hard earn their living in honest clean way and try to wealthy and affluent and give charity to the poor is a must. It is Satan who promises poverty, not God. In fact, the Qur’an criticizes those who were lazy and who failed to migrate, who could not pull themselves up by their bootstraps; they deserved what they got. To be a Muslim is to live in and to be loyal to this world in peace and harmonies and respect in country law you live in. but not above and beyond our loyalty to Allah. However, every Muslim must correct INJUSTICES evil. It is his duty, just as much as it is his duty to pray five times a day. All citizens of a giving nation must work and establishes justice and an ordered society, regulated by law. From it is inception Islam guarantees justice for all; Madinah was that class of model society. In those days’ justice had no price. For several centuries under Islamic rule, any citizen who voiced a complaint could be sure that justice would be done. No theory of society can give as much as the Islamic theory of society has given. Society, based on race, ethnicity, nation, class language or history are prototypes of the animal world where dog eats dog. The social order of Islam ends this and brings justice to all. Does Islam deny the value of national, ethnic or linguistic identity and culture? Not at all,it is capital No! Islam recognizes the worth of these national and ethnic groups. Islam does not only tolerate but encourages the development of different ethnic groups. The group has a special perspective on the values affecting people’s lives. Insofar as it exists, national culture is encouraged by Islam.
    Islam is built on the basis of values which are not only for the group which adheres to them but for the whole of mankind to live in peace and harmonies.
    In regards your usual question have never have ends you jump and how about this countries or that group ,I am NOT qualified to answer you ,no one represent Islam , some ME countries are run by absolute dictatorship ,some government are very much against Christian and Jewish find out for yourselves and I know mostly they are against Islamic religion and they are intolerant , they take their orders from white house .for lost soul. Islam is simple and easy to understand. Islam does not present stumbling blocks to the mind. It does not make claims which overwhelm the mind. Islam does not present to a person that which the human intellect cannot grasp. Anyone can understand Islam as it is a universal religion.
    Within Islam, it is both legitimate and right to ask the question: “Why Islam?” Every tenet in Islam is subject to analysis and contention. No other religion is willing to subject its fundamentals of faith to such questioning. the most rational of some religious theologians, stopped the use of reason when it came to the basic fundamentals of their faiths. He then tried to justify faith. So to ask “why Judaism or Christianity?” is an illegitimate question. However, Allah invites the question as to “why Islam?”. only for those sincerely wanted to know with good intention. Islam takes the world of life and existence seriously, declaring it to be full of meaning and purpose. Life is not a sport or any kind easy go entertainment or entitlements, or empty and shallow of value and morality, nor is it purposeless. From the Islamic perspective, everything has meaning because the concept of God’s purpose in creation gives meaning to human life. The Muslim is never bored with life; there is no existential anxiety in Islam. The Muslim can see the working of the good purposes of the divine Creator in everything. The Muslim lives in a world where life is full of meaning and purpose and this means the Muslim never loses his spiritual and physical and mental balance
    Everything in Islam is subject to rational pursuit. Islam is also a rational system which not only allows questions but raises knowledge to a new level of dignity and respect. No other religion has exalted knowledge and its pursuit, as has Islam. In fact, for the first time in human history, a religious book invited people to question the creation of the universe and stated that in it (the universe) were signs for people of knowledge.
    Islam encourages its followers to ask why Islam. Islam is an intellectual and historical religion. There are no secrets and no mysteries which cannot be understood by an ordinary person.
    Hinduism legitimize upper-caste domination and legitimizes idolatry for the less educated, as it says, not all people can understand the higher religion of the Brahmans. However, for the Hindu, if he has not been born in India, he is unclean; for the Jews, the sacred law only applied to them and for the Christian, there is no salvation outside the Church.
    Islam does not force a person to choose between various religions as it has included the essential teachings of all religions in its universal message. The Islamic concept is that, to every people, Allah sends a Messenger and that in their present religion or ideology they must have retained some kernel of truth from the original teachings of that religion which was, of course, the teachings of the primordial religion
    Islam views inter-religious dialogue as an internal discussion, not as a discussion with outsiders because, from its perspective, all mankind are members of a universal religious brotherhood. So the differences Islam has with other religions are regarded as internal differences. Islam, therefore, was the first religion in the world to call for the critical examination of religious texts. The Muslim says, in effect, to other religions: “Let us together examine the Holy Books of our religions and compare the contents
    faith the original teachings of our respective religions and examine how far we have adhered to, or gone astray from these original teachings.” Muslims, therefore, never attack other religions. Islam, in particle term however, accepts the personal morality and values of Jesus, the concept of liberating a human being from materialism found in Hinduism in India, as well as the practical ethics for harmony in human society as found in Confucianism in china .Islam declares a person to be born sinless with a clean slate. The human being was not born evil but rather he was created good and equipped by nature to fulfill his duties. From the Islamic point of view, the drama of a person’s life is something that takes place after birth and not before. Islam does not record a human being as a degradation of the divine as it regards a human being as having instincts which are pure and good. The fact remain Islam does not divide the soul and life of a person into two compartments, i.e. religious or ethical and verbal or material. Islam regards the human being as an integral whole. All of his actions and instincts are part and parcel of his being together with his hopes, fears, certitude, faith, and conviction.
    Islam is world-affirmative. For the Muslim the world is good. It is a blessing, it has been created good, to be enjoyed. Islam does not view the world as a demon, it is not valued as being satanic or evil. It is not a degraded kingdom. The world is the only kingdom; the hereafter is not a kingdom but merely a place of Judgment for a human person’s actions during his life. For Muslims, the world is a beautiful place. What is wrong, is its misuse under moral law. Islam is affirmative action in a social setting; it is neither abstract nor isolationist.
    But it is subject to the universal law of Allah. The interests of the nation or group must be subject to the moral law, the Shariah, which encompasses the whole of mankind. Islam created a world society and it was Islam, over 1400 years ago, that first established a working system of international law.
    It was only in the 20th century that the West started to develop international law. Grotius contributed only wishful thinking. In the West, international law existed only in the imagination until after World War I when the League of Nations was established. The present system of international law is far is mostly applied to poor nation just a single court in the Hague. If we want to solve international problems we must make justice under international law possible for everyone

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Salam Abi,

    ዘራፍ ዘራፍ ዘራፍ!!! Hang the man upside down, and stone him to death. ዘራፍ ዘራፍ ዘራፍ!!! የሰው ልጅ ካንተ ኣይደመርም

  • Berhe Y

    Hi Abi,

    እረ ምን ነካህ these days. I think you should watch the VOA video talking to Ethiopian and Eritrean business man after the boarder opened and how business is. Also you should listen to the interview of the Ethopian maritime authority and how they are predicting they will generate 850K plus servicing Eritrea’s export.

    .. Why you need ዘራፍ when you are getting everything for free…didn’t you see the Ethiopian Embassy IA handed over to the PM…it’s the kind of service you are used to do…washed, cleaned and polished..

    Can you please be nice…while our people are going through hell right now.

    Berhe

    • Saleh Johar

      Berhe,
      I have tried with Abi, he doesn’t need our friendship, he aspires to be our master like in the old times and they have a name for that: irredentism. He doesn’t want to establish mutual respect but promoting an insulting competition. He is well equipped with so much gold and so much wax you could make candles to light up all the streets in the world. Give up like I did.

    • Abraham H.

      Dear Berhe, I think Abi’s mood changed drastically after the recent successful people-to-people relations between Tigrayans and Eritreans. Some folks, like Abi, are just evil, they don’t aspire for normal relations between peoples; esp. these Amhara elites do not have any well-wishes towards the peoples of Eritrea and Tigray, esp. the people they refer to as Tigrewoch. What did Ethiopia achieve during their protracted rule except backwardness and millions of dead Ethiopians from wars, and famine? They would rather live poor crying ‘Keybahrachin’ for ever, instead of finding ways and means of how to make the best out of the status quo, that has been in place almost three decades ago.

      • Teodros Alem

        Selam abraham
        Am from amhric speaking family and i have well-wishes towards the people of eritrea!
        How do u know abi is amara? He is amara the same way u r eritrean.

        • Abraham H.

          Selam Tedros A, I’m not talking about the ordinary people of Amhara in whose name some of the elites are used to boast ‘zeraf’. There are some Amhara elites who believe that they have God given right to the Eritrean Red Sea as well as to lord over the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia. About Abi being from Amara, I’m just connecting the dots, but I’ve also the feeling that he said it in one way or another.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam abraham
            I don’t care what u think! It is not just some “amara elites” but some other ethiopians and some eritreans too say what u siad they say.
            Me too connecting the dots and am sure u two and some other people here in awate r tigraians, how do i know?
            Simply ur line of thinking with that of tplf r one and same, spreading hatred among people of horn region.
            Anyways i don’t care what u think.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Tedros A, it is ok if you don’t care what I think, but because you asked me and somewhat challenged me about my cliam about some Amahara elites, I had to give you a reply. Spreading hatred among the people of horn? When did I do that, could you give any evidence how I did that? About me from Tigray, you can have your own fantasies, but it will not make any differnece as it is only me who knows who I’m.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam abraham
            Reread ur comment and u will know how hateful u r.
            And it is easy to know who u r and everyone knows it, but u can have ur own online fantasies.
            And i didn’t ask u anything, am just responding to ur hateful comment, the question mark was my way of making my point.

  • halafi mengedi

    Awate Team,

    Very mature and nuanced article.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

    Hm

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Salam Abi,

    You are doing a good job, add fuel to the fools to burn to ashes. Those who don’t recognize what you are doing are really fools.

    Eh! Abi, the Zeraf and Gdai primitive man.

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam all.

    What is the basis of Sharia?

    How many Sharias are there?

    In what way does ‘the’ Sharia as practised by Eritrean Muslims differ from the Sharia practised in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, as it relates to issues such as:

    1) Women’s right to choose who to marry or divorce their husbands

    2) Adultery

    3)The proportion of Women’s share in family inheritance

    4) Theft

    5) Attitude towards non-Muslims

    6) The primacy of a secular constitution?

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Salam Kaleab,

      Today, you have cropped up to trade and deviate the topic from aim it was written for. The issues you mushroom on have become known to all Eritreans. I guess you have space in today Eritrea to spread your crooked division. Your intention is spotted before it goes far. I think it is enough that it works for you for many years, but what did you benefit, can you tell us, professor of questions?

      • Abi

        Hi Al-Arabi
        I see you are sniper on duty for today.
        Is it ok to ask questions without you shooting them down?

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Abi,

          He is not even a good sniper. He is cross-eyed. his gun is bent downwards and he is shooting his own feet. Relax and enjoy the tantrum of a child throwing his toys out of the pram.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam Kaleab,

            I guess you feel a VIP with your inquisitive kid questions. You are a way back bathing in the Medieval Ages. You have to go a long way to embrace a humanitarian principles. It is very sad you are still in the jungles with your friend the Zeraf mindset.

          • Aligaz G

            Hameed,

            Funny you don’t like being questioned on basic questions. Simon is asking what kind of Eritrea you envision. A secular state or a sharia state? I asked you if you believe in free speech and democracy but no answer. What seems to be the problem?

          • Amanuel

            Hi Aligaz
            No one is discussing about sharia or secular state here. The discussion is about ‘sharia” as a word and its application.

            Currently sharia law is practiced in Eritrea as much as HiGi EnDaba (in family matters, like marriage, divorce and inheritance matters). There fore, it is possible to be secular state and tolerate customary laws in specific matters.

            BTW, non secular states are not all bad, for example the UK is not a secular state but they have one of the most liberal laws in the world.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Aman (Mekusi),

            These guys don’t know the Eritrean culture. Like what have said, Sheria laws had been exercised and is still being exercised in matters of divorce, marriage, and inheritance in our nation. It has nothing to do with governance.

          • Aligaz G

            Amanuel,

            Which guys did you have in mind? It’s the same like telling EOC followers they don’t understand the Eritrean Orthodox Church. How silly. We all have illusions of being special but they are not necessarily true.

          • Aligaz G

            Amanuel,

            So technically a Muslim in Eritrea can choose Sharia and this is similar to Ethiopian law but as a nation Eritrea is secular. Now the question for Hameed was what kind of Eritrea he envisions the understanding being he supports change. Btw I am quite familiar with Sharia.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Amanuel,

            You said: “the UK is not a secular state”.

            You are mistaken, because you do not understand the system in the UK.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Simon Kaleab,

            Would like to tell this forum who the head of Angelican Church is; And whether or not Britain has a written constitution?

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Ismail AA,

            I do not know the answers to your questions. But, I know that the UK is not ruled based on religious fairy stories.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Simon Kaleab,
            Fair enough. Thank you.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Simon,

            When you told Amanuel that he doesn’t “understand the system in the UK”, it also implies that you understand the system in UK. If that is the case, why is it difficult to answer to the question posed to you by Ismail? Answering correctly to it will show how knowledgeable you are to the system. Otherwise, one who himself doesn’t know can tell others they don’t know.

          • Aligaz G

            Amanuel,

            While understanding political system of the UK doesn’t take special intellect, the political system in the UK is tricky to understand in the sense that historical accretions have not been erased. In France and the US a clean break from the political past was attempted and new contracts were written. Therefore in order to get a sense of British politics you must understand that symbolic vestiges of monarchy and state church remain and as mentioned there is no written constitution but there is a constitution and a powerful parliment. So what confuses the casual observer is while the pomp and ceremony of monarchy and church are trotted out for tourists on certain commercialized occasions, the UK is in fact much a more secularized system than the US. Take the following quick but concrete examples Benjamin Disreali (who someone quoted a while back) and Sadiq Kahn – we can say with complete confidence the mayor of NYC will not be a Sunni Pakistani in our lifetimes and the chances of a Jew being President are remote. So how should this apply to Eritrea? Maybe to continue the current Sharia can be a viable path forward. It is not necessary to discard everything and start from scratch reinventing the wheel. Now as the topic of discussion was leading towards examining topics with an open mind in a rational manner within their proper historical and societal context I have attempted to write this post in that spirit sorry for the extra length.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Aligaz,

            As far as “Sheria” is limited to observe religious cultures within the believers or religious community, and as far as it doesn’t interfere with the governing of the state, the state shouldn’t interfere in their religious customs and traditions. It is all under the concept of “religious freedom”. It was within the historical and societal norm of our society that kept us at peace, and will remain so, for the current and future generations.

          • Aligaz G

            Amanuel,

            I agree. What you say fits well within the historical and societal context of Eritrea.

          • Saleh Johar

            Amanuel,
            Aligaz understands that. I am amazed at some of those whose comment is totally uninformed and laughable. Sharia courts existed even under Haile Sellasie–does it mean the country was ruled by Sharia Law under an emperor whose official religion was Orthodox Christianity? It existed and still exists and it is limited to family laws. However, like anything else in countries like ours, we can not deny that reform is badly needed in many aspects of our lives, in our thinking, and in our rigid uninformed beliefs.

          • Kaddis

            Selam Gash Saleh

            To add a point on your advice, rather than discuss and negotiate while on a position of strength, our society wait until beaten and cry living a bad deal.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Amanuel H.,

            I did not want to answer the questions because they are irrelevant to the issue of the UK being a secular State or not. They are a distraction, a diversion to superficialities.

            What do you think, is the UK not a Secular State?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Simon,

            Initially, your answer to Ismail was you “don’t know the answer” and now you are telling me that you “don’t want to answer” it. Have you notice it?

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Aman,

            Well, I respected Simon for his courage and confidence. For that I was very glad to sincerely thank him. But, I was surprised when he changed his mind and dubed my questions as irrelevant and an attempt to superficialize the discussion by way of distraction and diverssion.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            I don’t see his sincerity by giving two contradictory answers. You can’t answer “yes” and “no” at the same time for one question.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Ismail AA.,

            I still do not know in detail the answers to your questions other than giving a cut-and-paste response. But, I also think the questions have nothing to do with the UK being secular.

            The Monarch is the head of the Anglican Church, which is a historical legacy of past incidents. The country also uses Common Law which is based on past rulings or precedents.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Amanuel H.,

            Any news on Berhane Abrehe?

            He was a good fellow, but he made a miscalculation.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Simon,

            You were not following the story? Ah! He is thrown to the dungeon of the despot and his enablers. He did what his conscience dictate him and stood for rule of law. Unfortunately, we have a docile society that are overwhelmed by fears and submissively forfeited their fate. A population who opted to leave the country in droves than fighting tooth and nail to determine their collective fate. Heroes take bold steps to inspire their population, but when you have a society that could not be inspire by anything, including the sacrifice of heroes for the common good, it is what we are witnessing.

            Simon, look to your excuses, that all the failed attempts so far will be relegated to “miscalculation”. No brother, it is our failure (the failure of the Eritrean people) who lost their courage and could not stand with him for the “rule of law”and fight whatever it takes. Success could not come without courage and sacrifice for their rights.

          • haileTG

            Yes Emma, caurage is not a miscalculation! Betreyal is.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat (H-TG),

            The result of losing courage is “Betrayal”. Throughout our history we betrayed our heroes.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Emma,

            መኣስ ኢኻ ካብዛ ርእስኻ ትወርድ
            ጠጠው ተብል፡ ኣብ ርእስኻ ትፈርድ

            ካብ ርእስና ካይብለካ፡ ካይፈልየካ
            ድሓር ክኣ’ሲ ስለ ዝሃረምካ ርእስኻ ደሚርካ
            ከም ዛር፡ ጩግራፍካ ኣንዊሕካ፡ ኣበርቲዕካ

            ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ደኺሙ ብቃልሲ
            ንኤርትራ ስግኡን ደሙን ኣኾላሲ
            ን30+ ዓመታት ኮይኑ ናይ ውግእ ፈላሲ
            ቁስሉ የተዓራሪ ስለዝወድአ ዝውጋእ ፈውሲ
            ደቁ ዝልእኩሉ ንኸብዱ እምበር፡ ተረፍ የለ መቃለሲ

            ጾም በዚሕዎ፡ ርእሱ ሰኒፍዎ፡ ጽምኣት ከቢድዎ
            ካብ ዘይፈልጦ ጻድቕ ዝፈልጦ ሓጢእ ቀሊልዎ
            ይጽሊ ከምኣመሉ ሓጢእ እንተጸደቐ ሕሽዎ።

          • Paulos

            Selam HaileTG,

            Come September 18, we all say, ኣይረሳዕናኩምን where with in the rest of the days of the given year, they recede into the backburner. I wonder and cringe if Birhane Abrehe is going to be an added statistics into the ኣይረሳዕናኩምን።

          • David Samson

            Selam Amanuel,
            You claim to live in the UK, yet you do not know the UK is a secular state.
            I am God smacked!

          • Amanuel

            Hi David Samson
            I am not surprised with your reply however just googling it would have saved the day.
            Let me spell out to you. The queen is head of state and head of the Church of England as the same as Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. In a secular government the head of state will not be the head of the dominant religion of that country as the same time.

          • David Samson

            Selam Amanuel,

            You also forget to add ‘Head of parliament’ to lists of her roles’.
            She has the power to make our laws.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam David S, I’m just reading an article in BBC website titled “Perspectives: Should Britain become a secular state?”. I think if you search that title, you might read about the issue.

          • David Samson

            Hi Abe,

            Since the word ‘Secular’ is loaded, there is no universally accepted definition of it. If you ask two people, one from USA, and the other from Europe, to define Socialism, you might get two contrasting answers. Many Europeans follow the USA’s elections very closely, and they are baffled by why Obama and Bernie were labelled as ‘Socialists’ because they argued for some kind of state role in provision of health.

            Does the state play any role in the followings: public, political and social? I see many people, particularly Americans perplexed by the fact that there is no UK’s written constitution. The UK is governed by Civil, Criminal and Common laws.

            Those campaigning for the UK’s to be recognised as ‘Secular state’ are mainly ‘Atheist’. They probably had attended religious school, but later in their lives discovered the idea that this awful God must be wiped out from people’s mind. They are always looking for some cracks on the Royals, particularly scandals, and would exploit it to make a point: the UK should be changed in to ‘Republican’.

            Parliament have the power to get rid of the monarchy and replace it with ‘President’. Recency,the Aussies had a referendum but have decided to keep it.
            Due to historical reasons, British people have strong bonds with the Royals. They see the Royals as a part of British’s heritage and culture. If you get rid of them, there is nothing left of being Britishness.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam David and Simon, thank you both for your better informed replies. What I gather form your feedbacks is that the role of the monarch and Church in state affairs in the UK has more to do with historical practices and the need for keeping these legacies as part of the traditions and identity of the UK. This means the role of these institutions in the state is more of symbolism than real power with meanigful impact on people’s lives. To me personally, what is important is the rule of law, fair justice, freedom of expression, etc, issues, which the UK is exemplary in practicing.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham H.,

            The BBC is not necessarily a fountain of wisdom.

            In the present day, neither the Church or the Monarch has a role in making UK laws. Their symbolic titles are simply leftovers from the middle ages and the 16th century [Henry VIII’s rule]. The power to make laws is vested in the House of Commons.

            Both the Monarch and the Church can be criticised and ridiculed. The Church does not receive money from the State The Monarch can be forced to abdicate [Edward VIII] by Parliament. Sunday trading is on.

            Finally, Christianity does not have a basis for religion to mix with politics or Statecraft. If anyone claims otherwise, they are lying.

          • Amanuel

            Hi Simon Kaleab
            Do you accept that the House of Lords has a role in making the UK laws and currently 26 bishops have a seat in it representing the Church of England. Claiming the Church has no role in making uk laws lacks credibility.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Amanuel,

            Some clergy being in the House of Lords is just a historical legacy. The Upper House may scrutinise or amend proposed Laws by the House of Commons.

            However, the power of the Lords to reject a bill passed by the House of Commons is severely restricted by the Parliament Acts.

            The House of Commons can change the composition and structure of the Lords, or even abolish it.

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Hameed,

        The title of the article is: ‘ Towards a Mature and Meaningful Exchange!’

        So, would you like to answer my questions in the spirit of the title?

        May be you are not knowledgeable enough to answer these questions. In that case, a better option for you could be not to say anything.

    • Mitiku Melesse

      Simon, good questions.

      But answering all your questions needs a lot of time. You do google them, try your best to understand and then ask what you dont understand.

      In Ethiopia the Muslims and Christians are adding new values to their old ones. Yesterday the Muslim communities clean the Demera places to show their brotherhood. The Christians have done last month the same a day before ID.

      Remember this sprite when you look for your answer from google.

    • Blink

      Dear Kaleab
      In General religious rules are idiotic and they must be eradicated by making in them a condition for any state involvement to root them out from our society. All these questions about sharia . I call Sheria the law of a caveman house . Sheria is inhuman towards justice. Sheria knows no justice but alpha male craziness. The way inheritance done in Sheria is day light theft using crazy statements made by Stone Age men. The apostasy is simply not available in Eritrea but it can pop up if these grown in ME are given power in our society. In the religious society Woman is a slave to man given by old ideas as the day goes Muslims will challenge them one by one.

      Remember awate forum apologists for Sheria will not answer your questions.

  • Acria

    Selam Awate Team,

    An interesting and well written essay on one of the most challenging issues we have in Eritrea, religious freedom. Basically, we have to analyze the whole picture of a situation before we conclude one way or another. This needs education, understanding, and patience on the receiver end of any message that may sound controversial. Not an easy task for the lay person to undertake. Nevertheless, an enduring attempt for the peaceful survival of our society.

  • Hawaz Tesfom

    Hi Mr. Saleh,

    Why you bring this topic “Sharia” into discussion now?
    You are trying to whitewash the issue. But you now it and I know it that Sharia law is not good for Eritrea. Let the Arabs or the Muslim countries use it. But it has no please in Eritrea whatsoever. You don’t need to give us a lesson about it. Every one of us knows it.
    You criticized the pastor in Oslo about his controversial remarks. My brother, why you forgot to mention the thousands Eritrea Imams around the globe preaching openly hatred against the Eritrean Christians. By the way, the pastor in Oslo is an individual. He is entitled to give any comment he wants.
    Please don’t try to educate us about Sharia. You can’t convince any Eritrean Christian. Sharia means war Muslims against non-Muslims Eritreans, period!

    Thank you
    Hawaz

    • Saleh Johar

      HI Hawaz,
      Since I do not know any other Saleh Younis, I volunteered to respond to you. Articles carry a byline, and if you didn’t see that, I doubt if you understood the content of the article that is written by someone whose name is not Saleh.

      • Acria

        Selam Brother Saleh,
        As I have mentioned it earlier, this article is not written for the lay person.

    • Acria

      Selam Hawaz Tesfom,
      You seem to have a narrow understanding of Islam and to some extent an Islamophobic point of view. The best thing you can do is to go to Eritrea and learn how Muslims and Christians live peacefully without interfering with each others’ belief system.

      • Hawaz Tesfom

        Hi Acria (Sharia/Islam professor)

        My friend you don’t need to have a PhD in sharia like you do to understand it.
        It is even nonsense to waste time talking about it. If you believe in sharia just keep it for yourself. There are more interesting topics to talk about than your sharia. I don’t think that there is anyone who wants to discuss about it. Sharia/ Jihad has no please in modern Eritrea. Just keep it for yourself.
        I think, I do have enough knowledge about Islam but at the same time I don’t need to have deep understanding of Islam. Please don’t try to take us back to stone age and ignorance. To remind you:We are leaving in a Nano technology era.

        Thank you

    • Abrehet Yosief

      Selam Hawaz Tesfom,
      The last sentence of the eleventh paragraph of the article confirms what you said, the Pastor who spoke in Oslo gave his personal opinion. You are also entitled to your opinion when you say Sharia has no place in Eritrea. But do not try to stop those who try to “educate us” as you put it. I don’t think there are thousands of Eritrean Imams around the globe preaching openly hatred against the Eritrean Christians. I know there are a small determined number of people who have that view (and vice versa). But they can only be confronted by such discussion.

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Hawaz Tesfom,

      If you had to read this article with liberated mindset and already set opinion, you would have gained more than doing a crash course and bearing the cost and time that would have needed. You see how you mistook yourself due to prejudice. You can find nothing in the article about the authors demanding Sharia law in Eritrea. What they did was briefing the reader about the background of Sharia laws in Eritrea.

      I claim to have very modest knowledge of some matters discussed in this article, but to deny that I learned a couple of important things would be mean and ungrateful. My gratitude is, thus, due to those who invested time and energy to educate me.

    • Blink

      Dear Hawaz
      You are putting Saleh in a wrong category. I don’t believe the man is the way you describe him. I have been in this site long enough to know who is who and I just wanted to tell you the man is not like that . You know I criticize religion and religious people in this site but Saleh has never been in that category because I don’t believe the man look things from that angle. Just my personal observation.