Tweedeldum and Tweedeldee are characters in an old poem by the English poet John Byrom. Over time, the characters were adapted in nursery rhymes and cartoons and became the equivalent of “Dumb & Dumber”. Searching for an Eritrean equivalent of Tweedeldum & Tweedeldee I found a perfect traditional Tigrinya rhyme: Nora Msqora– well, it is very close I presume:
msqor, gondo gondo
kifle, kifle lqqi
sebar Ayni brki
wsa’e wedi Haqqi
nora-msqora and lema-kflema are inseparable pairs; so are lqqi and chfliqqi. In Eritrean politics, you find this pairing frequently—and it always involves oversized egos, cruelty, corruption or utter stupidity.
Years ago some Eritrean students in Libya were having their academic year-end group picture taken when an individual alerted them to be serious for the picture and not to act silly. Thus he proclaimed: ‘one of us may become a president and a silly picture would be very embarrassing.’ These kinds of people, with their oversized egos, are roaming the Internet. Any day now, I expect the following resolution to make it to my computer screen:
When I met Mesfin Hagos a year or so ago, he borrowed a pen from me and never returned it, and that is so serious a matter that the whole world ought to know about it. Humanity would be less informed if not formally notified of my fight with Mesfin Hagos–over a pen. In the spirit of transparency, I want you all to know. The fight is so important to the Eritrean cause that all of you must pay attention and consider this my press release to condemn his deeds which have serious repercussion on the Eritrean struggle against the oppressive regime in Eritrea…. Ra’ayuley semUley! You are supposed to debate the issue of my pen in public and reach a resolution.
Signed: I and my friends.
You might be asking yourself: Whatever happened to humility? Whatever happened to going your way and doing your thing without calling for the attention of the whole world to your irrelevant decisions? Why do people try to give their personal decisions and actions a national magnitude? Whatever happened to just walking home, warming your leftover food from last night and stuffing your stomach while watching TV? Why does the public have to be subjected to individual dramas? There. Some might reach a conclusion that we have more serious problems, national problems centered on lost pens.
I don’t think people have an obligation to issue press-releases whenever they have an internal misunderstanding that when self-righteously explained sounds like: “I nora and my friend msqora object to Mesfin Hagos’ decision to have us eat lunch at 12 noon instead of 2pm. All readers, and those who didn’t read this should condemn him for hindering our struggle by advancing lunch time by two hours.”
Private squabbles and misunderstandings concern only those involved in it. An intra-party conflict concerns the party members only. It is not wise to clutter the public domain with private Qolo-TTqo. ra’ayuley sm’Uley! This unhealthy suffering from inflated egos, bloated egos rather, should be checked. If you don’t like one thing, just move on and do your thing and let others do theirs. Ah, one thing that should not be forgotten: once Diaspora Eritreans get involved in a political party, they automatically suffer from an illusion that they are freely and publicly elected parliamentarians. Right there, we discover that humility is in short supply and subduing egos becomes an undoable enormous task. Will you move on!
Two opposition groups who are supposedly close to each other and who are supposedly holding meetings and meetings, and more meetings, to come closer are having two festivals in the Eritrean liberated cities of Kassel and Frankfurt . This year’s festivals are prepared with much vigor to show the world that Eritreans have not only liberated one city but two great cities from the German occupation. Praise the Lord! In principle (which doesn’t have to be translated in reality), both sides indicated that they want to have a united festival in one city instead of two; and in reality, again, both wanted to have them in two separate cities. At the moment, unknown and undeclared elements, representing the brave and patriotic forces within the two entities, have heroically prevented the folly of having one united festival in one city. “Why hold a festival in one city when we have liberated two cities!”, they seem to have wondered. Loyalists attending the festival are advised to either stay in one city and miss the victory parade in the other or commute between the two cities on the Schnellzug and be part of the vigorous celebration that is being held in on the occasion of defeating the Isaias regime. After all, the Germans are vanquished and the victorious Eritrean opposition forces can issue a proclamation to make the train ride free for the duration of the festivities. Ra’ayuley SemUley. Happy Liberation Day.
The patriotic forces split four years ago. Each made a decision and moved on his own way. Yet, some cadres are making the squabble look like a blood feud by perpetually presenting it as if it is worth our national concern. The opposition is condemned to live under petty feuds of its own creation never leaving the shadows of its crisis for years. When is it going to end? Not unless we try intermarriage between the offsprings of the members of the feuding organizations so that we can bring this feud to an end. Why not! Those people have convinced themselves they are living in a Shakespearean feud and that we are spectators of a never-ending play and similar to Romeo and Juliet, we need intermarriage. Any takers? Any volunteers to prepare a list of hopefuls?
A meek teacher from Jalia School was appointed Mufti over the Muslims and the helpless citizens nodded in approval, as if they had a choice, and are moving on. A Tewahdo priest was part of a coup against a legitimate Patriarch, he was elevated and appointed a patriarch over the Tewahdo Christians, and the flock is moving on. The appointer, the supreme decision maker, is none other but His Holiness Saint Isaias Afwerki assisted by Yeftahe Dimitros, the willing facade. Meanwhile, Eritrean Muslims and Christians are watching their faiths totally controlled by a regime that boasts of its secular credentials! Now the keys to the gates of the heavens are entrusted to the PFDJ that, in competition against the houses of God, requires alms (in fact demands them in percentages of 2 and 3%). Like religious congregation, the regime holds its own North Korean styled colorful festivals choreographed by no other than the regime’s chief social-engineer Zemehret Yohannes. This loyal poor social engineer was recently medicated in Italy for an ailment due to years of hard work, weeks of procuring dancing uniforms and flags, and decorating the Asmara stadium for the May 24th celebrations. Belated happy enslavement day!
The Muslim Mufti is so much despised by Muslims simply because compared to Mufti Ibrahim AlMukhtar, he is automatically dwarfed to a real lqqi-chflqqi. He is a declared coward and a corrupted man who doesn’t utter a word when over eighty-year-old gentlemen are dragged from under his congregation and taken to prison.
The coup-patriarch was strangely crowned by an Abun, a lower-level priest in the church hierarchy. Traditionally, a patriarch is crowned by another patriarch, but since the orthodox patriarchs, especially the Egyptian Coptic patriarch have objected to the coronation of a coup-patriarch, there was no patriarch willing to be part of this government involvement and a forced drama in church affairs. The legitimate patriarch, Abune Antonios, is alive, has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and in fact, he has been under house-arrest for a long time until he was taken from his home to an unknown place by the government’s security officers two weeks ago. This was the latest drama: a coup was executed by the supposedly “secular” regime. God bless!
The oppressive regime has decided that Cadre Alamin (masquerading as a mufti) and Cadre Deskorios (masquerading as a patriarch), the Lqqi-Chfliqqis, should lead the faithful of Eritrea. Tweedeldum & Tweedledee are supposed to care for the moral and spiritual wellbeing of Eritreans- men who lack the basic principles of leadership and sense of justice are put on top of our religious establishments! Though many simply acknowledge that the Isaias regime deserves them and they deserve it, to free Eritreans, the two are just corrupt senior PFDJ cadres and no one would be fooled by their blessing- avoid them, for they are the enablers of a regime who brought Dante’s purgatory hell to the heart of Eritrea.
sebar Ayni brki
Reading an article by the Petros Baatai made me think about how some, though few, intellectuals are being lambasted with the crowd of empty-skirted intellectuals. Indeed, there are a few intellectuals I personally know and admire. I can name quite a few far-sighted and humble friends among the Eritrean intelligentsia. They have never stopped encouraging our struggle, criticizing and commenting on what we write and do, and they are always there to advise. But unfortunately, the few who shine amidst the dull groupings of the Eritreans academics are overwhelmed by the meek and the coward. Regardless of the majority, the minority with integrity, among the intellectuals, should be thanked- and I am sorry I cannot name names. However, I am sure they know themselves and also I hope they understand who the real target is when they are lambasted together with the rest of the dead conscience intellectuals. Apologies is humbly presented to the conscious intellectuals. The meek should be exposed and shamed.
Wsa’e wedi Haqqi:
Military loyalty dictates that soldiers should be obedient to their commanders. However, the main justification for a soldier to disobey his commander is when the commander’s orders are against the interest of the very people whose security and protection is the main objective of any soldier- Hello EDF!
It should be unacceptable to waste the limited Eritrean resources on irresponsible and whimsical political decision of the government. When Eritrea needs all the friends it can win, our country has become a pariah state that can only boast of an alliance with the dictatorship of Libya. That alliance has now led to military involvement in Darfur where the lives of our soldiersare being gambled with carelessly. No legitimate body authorized the deployment of Eritreans in Darfur. There are no benefits that Eritrea will reap from such an involvement in a project even able countries avoid being entangled in. Eritreans have not benefited from picking fights with NGOs and regional countries and beyond, and international organizations. That is damaging Eritrea and there is no benefit to be gained from the meddling on foreign adventures. The only benefit is for Isaias to conduct interviews about far places when he is sitting in a mess he created in Eritrea. Any soldier let alone a COLONEL can understand this. That is why I always murmur: wsa’e wedi Haqqi!