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Wise Barber, Ravens And Machiato…

Usually, I report to my readers immediately after I return from a travel or an event. This edition of Negarit was delayed a lot, first due to the pressures of making up for lost time, then attending to stuff as result of the server breakdown that had to be fixed (archives still in the process).  I also preferred to give room to the discussion on Forto 2013.  Here follows a belated reportage (and recognitions) about my tour in Australia which ended over a month ago…

Of course I didn’t see any living kangaroos but three dead ones, on the way to the airport from the outskirts of Canberra, a city that disappointed me: the capital city of Australia is composed of about seven hamlets scattered all over the place. Maybe I was disappointed because I visited Canberra after visiting Perth (the most beautiful city I visited so far) and Melbourne, which I believe is the most pleasant free city. It is possible that I set the bar too high for Canberra; it doesn’t meet the lowest point of any bar, a ghost town, no life, just big embassy buildings. But it also has its share of kind and hospitable Eritreans.

Our world is wonderful, its people beautiful; Jimmy Cliff is right. But there is a snag: sometimes beautiful people have warts, ugly dictators they can’t weed out. If this world didn’t have tyrants, there would be neither terrorism nor hunger nor bloodshed; it would be too accommodating and too prosperous. Then I would have gone to Australia (maybe never) as a tourist and not on a speaking tour to wail about the situation back home.

Is Cricket A Game?

All former British colonies (and commonwealth countries) carry the curse of cricket, including the Indian sub-continent, Australia and outlying islands, and a few others. Canada and the USA were miraculously saved from the cricket torment. Of course I watched enough cricket games (a total of one hour) and it is enough to last me a lifetime. I am not into sports, but even if I was, cricket wouldn’t be it: I can’t even stand basketball or football. But cricket?

I once found my cousins playing cricket; I think they started the match when they were 15 and 17, two years ago…I heard they haven’t finished the game yet. They resume playing every morning and stop, only to resume the game after lunch. If I was a judge, I would have all the cameras that China could produce installed on every corner and I would sentence traffic law violators to watch a cricket game for an hour; serious offenders would have to watch an entire match which might last for a month or so. That would eradicate traffic law violations.

Australia: The Best Place To Be

Migrants who were looking for an alternative home are lucky to have ended up down under. The culturally diverse Australia is the best home for anyone who is transplanted in a foreign land carrying a luggage of different culture and history. Australia is a wonderful place with wonderful people, an amazing country. Any individual who suffered under a dictatorship in a poor country cannot get a better deal than Australia. It is truly tolerant and multi-cultural…and there, the English language is easier. They only have 25 alphabets, no “R” in Australia, it has been exiled. With only twenty five alphabets, all you need to do is misspell a few vowels, for example replace “A” with “O” or “E” with “A”…something like that, and you speak “Ostraillian in aighty-aight daays.”

Throughout history, human beings moved around in search of food, security and escaping wars and natural disasters; don’t believe historians who tell you people move from the elements: the most desolate regions are still populated. No people left Alaska, for example, or the tsunami-prone sea shores. Ok, sometimes people leave their countries to avoid paying their debts.

Generally, movements of people are made over so many years and in short distances that the transition is smooth. But for a group of people to leave their natural habitat en-masse and abruptly be transplanted thousands of miles away is neither smooth nor natural but a psychological and emotional disaster, though ending up in a place like Australia makes it pleasantly bearable. That is because immigrants in Australia don’t suffer due to lack of jobs, education or health, or even from discrimination; and transition to a new life is smooth due to the efficient and generous infrastructure that helps newcomers adopt quickly. Migrants are not dehumanized for lack of basic necessities. They enjoy all the amenities that a civilized country can offer. If there is a hindrance, like shortage of shiro, don’t blame Australia.

Our people in Australia are better off than many other parts of the world though, like everywhere else, there are some hindrances to community cohesion and development: peculiar social and political problems that most Horn of Africa immigrants carried along from their ancestral homes. The faster that crippling luggage is unloaded, the better for the health of the community. And I am sure the young generation of Australians from the Horn of Africa will prosper by leaps and bounds; Australia is like a lush farm waiting to be harvested, a ripe fruit waiting to be reaped.

I can certify that the social problems in Australia are typical… and identical to what ails our immigrant communities in all parts of the world: distinct social and political hindrances and regional, religious and sectarian issues that are leaving an ugly dent on the otherwise comfortable setting. Psychological and emotional torment that all hyphenated immigrants suffer from will certainly be cured once the era of the totalitarian rule ends in our respective ancestral lands, and once we find (hopefully in the near future) our countries of origin have become members of the free world where the dignity and humanity of a citizen is respected and safeguarded.

Throughout my travels, I have noticed that there is a sectarian divide among Eritreans, but I have yet to meet anyone who condones it, individually. And I find myself asking: then, who is feeding this divide? Still, eradicating the religious, tribal and sectarian sensitivities (a legacy of the Middle East and the Horn of Africa) that is crippling Eritreans all over the world needs courage, honesty, and wisdom to eradicate.

Of course, the Eritrean regime’s tentacles are everywhere wreaking havoc inside Eritrea and among Diaspora Eritreans. But on top of that, there is a lack of resolve in facing the chaos and its effects that is crippling Eritrean Diaspora: fanaticism and empty regional and tribal prides. I believe Australian-Eritreans are more than equipped to make their community a model by coming to the fore and setting an example.

Well, this was meant to be a travelogue, a light reading. My apologies, now let me tell you about…

The Barber Shop

When I sat on a barber’s chair in North Melbourne, it had been five years since I last had my hair cut by a professional barber; I did my hair on my own, sometimes my wife helped. I couldn’t find a cutting machine so I went to the barber, a very serious lady; she asked me: “Numba 2 or numba 3?”

I remembered the banyan barber of my childhood and Gilay, my barber in later years. I responded, “short on the sides, but leave the middle part alone.”

“How you comb you haia?”  She asked me; I combed my hair to show her how I do it.

She spoke like a policeman, “Going bald on the side; do you wash your haia?”

“Uhm…Yes, getting bald fast. And yes I wash my hair, of course I do.”

“How many time?”

I was afraid I might have come to a clinic, “everyday, when I take a shower.”

“You use hot or cold watah?”

Well, “both…I mean, depending on the weather, cold or hot weather.”

“You eat food?”

“What? Of course I do… ma’am.”

“You eat chicken?”

Now, I suspected I was in a cooking school. “Yes, it’s my favorite after mutton.”

“How you cook you chicken?”

Ummm…I thought of explaining to her how we cook zigni, but changed my mind, “We do cook it, like… like a stew… That is how I do it.”

“How you take out chicken haia?”

“Chicken hair? You mean the feathers? Well, I never did that myself.”

She smiled, “you pour boiled watah on chicken to take out haia?”

Of course she is right. “Right, I believe that is how it is done.”

“Can you put haia, you call feathah, back on chicken skin after that?”

“What? No.” I know barbers like to talk, but she was asking me so many questions. I snapped and told her, “of course not. You can’t put back plucked feathers on a dead chicken!”

Her smile grew bigger and she nodded her head, “when you wash your haia with hot watah, they go like chicken haia.”

“They do?” I never thought about that.

“Yes. Cannot put haia back again on you head. Don’t wash you haia with hot watah.”

Genius I thought. “All right ma’am, I won’t.” Why didn’t the late Gilay the barber tell me about that a long time time ago instead of rubbing a ton of belentina cream on my hair before he pushed me out of his shop?

The lesson for all you balding men is: Don’t wash your hair with hot water, use freezing cold water and get pneumonia instead. That was what my serious-looking Chinese-Australian barber said. Obey her instructions just like you followed you parents’ orders.

Endless Fun

See, Australia is fun: people finish work, go home for a shower and then spend the evening socializing by loitering in coffee shops and restaurants. When was the last time you living elsewhere didn’t go home after work and hit the bed? Life is kinder in Australia, a modern country with less modern day pressures!

Here is where those who don’t want us to express our love to Asmera are rolling their eyes,  but Melbourne feels like Asmera: evening promenades, a lot of fun and all, even if Asmera is a bit poorer. OK. That was compromise, stop rolling your eyes…please!

I also went to Perth, a four-hours flight from Melbourne. Until then, my most favorite city had been Agadir in Morocco. Surprisingly I found Perth to be the best city I have seen so far. On top of the nice people I met, the city has a strange feeling to it; invisible people with invisible brooms were sweeping the streets, all the time. It is immaculately clean and all the well-maintained buildings seemed as if they were built yesterday. Unfortunately, even beautiful cities have something annoying.

“Craven Ravens”

With all due respect to nature and ecology, birds and all, though I know that humanity encroached to their wild territories, I couldn’t stand the annoying shrieks that fills the air surrounding Perth. Thousands of noisy ravens crow from dawn to dusk. Their annoying and persistent crow is so piercing one thinks a baby is crying somewhere on top of the roof; and then one discovers it’s an army of ravens. They go to cafeterias and finish any leftover food from the table. Worse, they have a scary stare and a tendency to look you in the eye, no blink. My friend Fauzi tried hard to change my perception of ravens and told me many noble stuff about them, that they are very protective of their young and all. I don’t like them… and they are not magpies as I thought…I looked them up on the Internet and listened to their shrieks on youtube. They are the noisy ravens.


Last time I mentioned that my hosts fattened me like a cow; I gained 12 pounds during my stay in Australia and it took me almost two months to shed them off. The culprit? I  haven’t had a decent macchiato for years and I think I created a shortage with the quantity I consumed, I almost gave up tea. The good thing is they used to take me to a coffee shop by Laygon street, I swear its owner is Ajak from Keren pretending to be an Italian from Sicily. I just felt I was back home in Keren, innocent conversation and warm hosts who injected in me enough doses of confidence. Do I want to name them here? No. Of course not because they are so many and if I did, this edition will look like telephone book. The least I can do is to mention my mother, who is so proud of her community and large circle of friends, God bless them all. Engdot, invitations for coffee, rich meals… and those who came with so much food and fruits to visit me… I apologize for those I couldn’t visit for lack of time…I promise I will visit them when I travel to Australia on a private trip.

Of the elders, I would like to thank all those who were full of encouraging words, wise advice and valid criticisms. I would like to appreciate the time I spent with all the veterans of the independence struggle, some from the forties, who educated me on many things—I wish I had more time.

On the final event on February 2nd. I would like to thank all those who gave me hope and were generous with their time… and those who have been instrumental in assisting my compatriots and are now carrying for them as Australian citizens: the graceful Australian government officials, the multicultural commission, and the police and security authorities, and parliamentarians and political party officials… and…

I thank the patriotic websites stationed in Australia, especially Abdulwahab of Awna1 for documenting all the events that happen in Australia. And Mo Noray for spending so much time in documenting, editing and producing the final clip. I thank the Africa Think Tank, the Victoria Islamic Council, ENCDC-Australia, CBS, CRC radios, Eritrean community members in Perth, Canberra and Melbourne–mainly to EJAP that made everything possible. To all those who spoiled me. To all those who paid for my coffee, I paid only twice for coffee–some even going as far as bringing me cigarettes (you might be surprised to know that a pack of 20 costs almost $20 in Australia, an incentive to give up the stinky stuff). I thank all those who drove me around everywhere that I never had to use a public transport or even walk a short distance.

To my sister and brothers, their children and spouses, to my relatives, friends and their families, and particularly to my mother, I apologize: the life of an activist is not his own. I hope to get more time with you some time soon, I know you will pray for me and I will never stop praying for you.

I really had a swell time in Australia, forty days, just like a woman who stays at home for forty days after delivery… a sort of Geleb.

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

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  • Abou Yara

    Dear Saleh G.

    Please keep writting and you got yourself a reader. I am sure many others also enjoying it because of your writting style . Stories of old time in Eritrea in general would be so exciting to hear and hoping someday the good old days will return. However this hope vanished thanks to the tyrant in Asmara.

  • abou Yara

    If all oposation web sites would be on the level profation of Awate team then may be all the Eritians would have a common ground , unity and a solution to the tayrant in Asamara.


    Dear Ghazae Hagos
    I am happy to inform you that the city council of Keren has decided to give you the key to the city. From now on you are an honorary citizen of Keren. Your complimentary words and wise observations has entitled you for this honor.

  • semere Andom

    You want our inside joke to go public? You are the MBA guy so how much are you floating it for 🙂
    Here is the joke, a true story
    A young Eritrean decided that he want to go into business for himself and bought a minivan and named it “ Al Mujahda”. Business was booming until the PFDJ decided that the name is not appropriate, they detained the owner of “Al Mujahda “ for a couple of days interrogated him profusely and told him to change the name to something more ፖሎቲካዊ ሓቕነት ዘለዎ.

    Saleh Gadi and Sal Younis:
    I was thinking both of you “shellel Azizkumley” as for some reason I was not able to see the replies regarding the undergoing discussions for the future capital of Eritrea, Keren. Sal will definitely create a front called “Towards Asmara “ if that happens but that can be solved by giving Sal a syndicated radio show located in Asmara, when he interviews musicians and the air waves is dominated with invigorating political discours, he will forget about his movement. And you can sweeten that with an exclusive distribution rights in Keren of his magazine called “Wegihula”, with the first editorial saying “ Keren ktHafif eYa’ 😉


  • Alhagiga

    Dear Saleh
    I see now you are preparing to travel to Italy,perhaps you may need a crash course on Italian from Hayat, I hope your trip to be as exciting and enjoyable as your Australian one. I am also grateful for the kind words that you wrote about Australia and it’s people; the ministry of tourism are happy for the beautiful image you gave to our country, and your kind complements. It has been decided here,that your next trip will be sponsored by the ministry of tourism for the excellent promotion you have made,also your friend SAAY can join you if he stops denigrating our beloved Keren. On one of his comments few months ago he said,that we used to sit on TANKOBET in our classes in Keren secondary school. We never had proper disks, what an insult! Many Kerenite have taken the comment to heart. When he arrives there will be demonstration at the airport. He will need more than Police men on horses, as we have militant old women from Keren here in Melbourne, who take no rubbish when itcomes to Keren. And remind him not of birds but of fruits we used to send them, MANGO, ORANGE, GUAVA, MANDARINS. What we were getting back? BELES from Asmara or grounded chickpeas called Shiro, that is all. Anyways, what we ask here in Australia is a simple apology and acknowledgement from our brother SAAY, that is all that is needed.

    Peace be upon you all.

    • Salyounis

      Ahlen Alhagiga:

      This is a true story. A typical “Keren Boy” was talking to me about the possibility of my addressing the Keren high school (Atse Dawit) reunion thing. But I really don’t want to go*. He is pushing, I am pushing back. Finally, I ask, “why do you want to invite someone who never attended a day of schooling in Keren?” He is shocked: he had always assumed I did. He says, “well, then, you are not even qualified to be invited. Forget everything I said!” Then he rains on me classic Keren insults: MuAfin, Bedan, negnag… So, the tenkobet school had its revenge on me: we are even:))

      I was born in Asmara with a Keren accent. I love its shemshemet, where kids play soccer barefoot while biting on their Jelabiya so they don’t trip. I love its Quranic school, where kids entertain themselves by inserting an acacia thorn on the butt of a fly and watch it fly. I love its one paved road, which is often melting under the hot Keren sun. I love its gigantic mountains chocking the valley. I love its ill-mannered camels**, the only animals in the world which have to be hit on the knee just to sit down. I love the smell of Keren in the morning: cow dung, incense, rotting fruit and chewing tobacco. But I love the smell of Keren in the evening even more: cow dung, incense, rotting fruit and chewing tobacco. I love the disproportionately high crazy population. I love its veneration of its mystics. I love (and this will come very handy to me in Australia) that it is very forgiving of its wayward sons, cousins, and nephews. But, mostly, I love that Keren is only 90 km away from Asmara. That is: I love Keren the way San Franciscans love Alcatraz Island.


      * no offense against Keren. I am just not into the speech-giving thing.
      ** In this article, a certain Tewodros Ashenafi says, “anywhere there are camels, there is oil.” So, when Keren has an oil boom, please be kind and include it in your list of exports to us.

      • ALHAGIGA

        Dear Saleh
        Thank you for the information regarding the Camels and Oil relation,Camel is not only the pride of Keren,is also the pride of the state of Eritrea,the Camel was on the flag now on the currency,do you know after the decision was made to put camel on the currency,enraged by the idea same self a pointed Asmarnos met the honorable his excellence the President of the state of Eritrea to complain about the choice which was made,they wanted Asmarino icon instead,as you know, the sarcastic wedi Afom said to them,[ INTAY TIDELIU ALUKHUM,ADGY WAY BEQLI ZEY GHBERNA,MES’HAQ ALEM KHITIGHEBRUN DELIKHUM ]imagine,just imagine to carry a currency with a donkey’s picture on it.
        My dear Saleh ,I was also born in Asmara,not far from the grand Mosque,one blessed day my father visited Keren.and he loved the town and it’s people,we left Asmara,while Zahayeto Berakhi was singing lailaye bola,lailay bola walat Keren Sada salam bola,and Ato Abraha was singing Islamaye Chistanaye,wedi kula Dega,nimichri zelae ayetahabo waga,and the brilliant Tewelde Reda was singing shigay habuni,it was a time of tremendous feeling of nationalism and hope and great expectation,Keren was good to me and my family,I had the opportunity to come in contact with many different ethnic groups,and I learned their language and customs,and that enriched my knowledge and my appreciations to what is different than mine,for this and many other things,I feel blessed that I grew up in Keren,and of course we will take the advice of Ato Tewodros Ashenafi,of Ethiopia,who said where there is Camel,there is Oil he said,and we will start bumping oil,and the first export will be to you Asmarinos,but we have to make a deal with your industrious area of Medeber,were you have to supply us with household appliances like Menkshkesh,Fornelo,Mogogo,Sahli and many other things that you are good at.

      • Ghezae Hagos

        That is a beautiful paen to one of Eritrea’s most beloved cities; it is qutie hard to say Keren in Tigrigna without its epithet, ‘Muchuwiti’. In SGJ’s book, he once describes the daily trip Jemal takes across the hoods of Keren encountering varied daily life of Kerenites. Reading the pages, it reminded me my junior high school walk to my school from Edgahamus, my ‘hood, through Ab-Shawel, Geza-Birhanu, Hadish-Adi, Medeber to Arba’ete Asmara my school then. Of course, Keren High School reunion is becoming a piligrimage for especially older Kerenites.

        I have been to a couple of Canadian cities. Ask anyone if he knows ‘kusto’, not only they know each other ‘they just called each other last evening!” The bond of relationship between Kerenites unflinchingly strong.

      • Abou Yara

        Your discussion of Karen I mean the old time Karen made me eager to hear more story about it . I really find it very intersting. I feel there is more story needed to be told about old time Karen. It will be helpfull if you can direct me of a book which has such kind of stories. Lately , I visited Karen and sensed that the city is sad and gloomy occupied by strangers wonderning whereabout of its missing children …

        • Salyounis

          Ahlen Abou Yara:

          That’s easy. My friend Saleh Gadi Johar published a book entitled “Of Kings And Bandits,” a historical novel about Eritrea in the 1960s and it is set in Keren.

          You can buy the kindle edition here:

          If kindle is not your thing, you can contact Saleh Gadi Johar here and buy a copy:


          • Abou Yara

            Thank you Salyounis for the valueble information however Amazon does not offer service in middeleast particularly in Saudi Arabia. Is there any other method that I can get the book here in Riyadh? Appricate your help.

    • semere Andom

      Al Hagiga:
      One veteran fighter, who fought along Awate reportedly said about the camel being on the currency:” jela Jelalka rebi, le gemel juwa wo baelu bera”
      PFDJ should not get a credit for putting the camel on the currency, and the owners of the camel should not be appeased by this condescending gesture. And there is nothing wrong in putting the donkey on the currency either. Donkey is the symbol for the democratic party of the Unites State. Although we speak of donkey as a put down word, we also say the donkey is hard working and PFDJ could have easily made the case for donkey by saying “ kem Adgi serihna zemtsanayo genzebn nTsanetn ” 
      In 1987 when Sagem led by Toteel and Zemhret Yohaness merged with the ELF, they retained the EPLF name, but they said they will rename their “ftsametat” magazine to “Sagem” in deference to the swallowed front. Now only Zemhret remains and as a subservient to the dictator. The analogy is to shed light on the fact that people should not be intoxicated seeing the camel on the Nacfa as it may disappear when its sevices expires, if DIA stays long enough, maybe our next currency will have the Aksum hawelti on it or the Pushkin picture who knows


      • ALHAGIGA

        Dear Semere Andom
        I read what the veteran fighter said,in our society,the elders they have a way of expressing their views and feeling that make you think beyond the obvious,they were always the source of our wisdom and guidance,unlike today when the young says [SINAH ABO ANE KHIZAREB]time has changed,it is the era of Wedeni rule.
        My dear Semere,I remember when Sagem merged with EPLF,the organization split in to two,Ibrahim Toteel even when he was in Jabha,he always admired the EPLF leadership, I believe he hasn’t heard the saying that says [all that glitters are not gold]and today he is a victim of his own poor judgement and folly,Zemhret is still serving and who to know what tomorrow brings,and Tewelde G/Sellaisse and his comrades are still in struggle to get rid of the Dictator,as for my comment about the honorable president,it was just to tease Saleh Younis,I wouldn’t admire a person who lives on the principle of “the end justifies the means”Isias has done big damage to our country,which will take years to recover.
        And I a sure you,I have no quarrel with donkeys,nor do I despise them,in the contrary they provide excellent transport service to our society,with out needing Petrol,change of oil,oil filter,tyre,registration or even insurance ,and in top of that,it is free from pollution,how could you go wrong.

  • T..T.

    To Abyot and in furtherance to Saay clarification:
    (Source: President of the students union (Santa Familia 1974), who joined the ELF in 1975)

    Allow me to jump in,

    Tigrina – Arabic and English

    Ghedli = Nidal = struggle (Has an end, It ends when your goal is achieved)

    Sewra = Sewra = Revolution (It is endless, boundless and continuous)

    Semantics and origin of the word Sewra in Tigrina, examples:
    1. Asawir Iti Hawi (Keep the fire glowing),
    2. AiteSawir Negher (Don’t Keep a conflict going).
    3. Asawir Dileit Hizbi (Keep the revolution on)

    I see people mixing up the two words (Ghedli and Sewra). Since the two words represent different meaning, I say they not interchangeable. Isayasists are scared of the word Sewra because they want to give an end to the people’s involvement.

    • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

      > Gedli Meaning In Tigryna and Geez.
      Gedli Geez – when a man takes high and difficult rocky mountain dense forest and infected with wild animals to build Gedam/monastery. No good life, no relationship no women around devout of God work for God. The Gedam man OR BaHtaWi live there die there and bury there then write book GedLe Aba Tekleyes or anyname abageremeskel, aba …

      > Gedli in tigryna – hardship no water, no food, walk all the time to trick enemy and become martyr if necessary.
      It is borrowed from the Geez since the fighter life and BaHtaWi is similar but the mission is different – bloodshed and God message.

      therefore you may not right – your description.

      • haile


        On a serious note, I learned something new from your Geez definition. And on a lighter note, have you read GedLe Aba Yosief Gebrihet 🙂

        • Saleh Gadi

          Haile, you are wicked and bad! You just coined my new favorite term. Of course, copyright is protected:-)

      • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

        Saleh Gadi:
        MeN Eyu copyright violator – Ane WeYs haile? N’Ay EnteKoyNu AyWaAlkuWoN.

        • Saleh Gadi

          weriduka. aynssekhan. No one violated a copyright law; someone created product and its copyright is protected.

    • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

      MeAs Eyu Aba Yosef GedLi GeMiRu. EzGn NeyesMaAni.

      • haile


        Thank you for choosing to use one of our lovingly coined phrases. Here is the standard issue user manual for our phrases:-)

        American tourist is chatting with boat tour guide in Zanzibar:

        American Tourist: “do you know any Biology, Psychology, Geology, Criminology?”

        Boat guy:”No, I don’t any of these.”

        American Tourist: “What the hell do you know on this earth then? You will die of illiteracy.”

        Boat guy said nothing. After a while the boat starts to develop problems and starts to sink. Then the boat guy asks:

        Boat guy: “Do you know Swimology and Escapology from Crocodiology?”

        American Tourist: “NO!”

        Boat guy: “Well, today you will Drownology and Crocodiology will eat your Assology and I will not Helpology because of your Badmouthology!”

        So, you can have the phrase, but consider you are warned.


    • semere Andom

      Hi Deki Awate;
      Think of Gedli in Geeze as Jihad in Arabic. Gedli against everthing: life, temptation etc. There is Gedli Hawarayat in Christianity, the Jihad the apostoles had to endure.
      In islam you submit (Istslam) to God and you fight the evil (Jihad)

      • Salyounis

        Selamat Semere:

        I think in your example, you mean to put the word “Jihad” next to the word “fight” and not next to the word “evil.” Otherwise, some slow-witted people might think Jihad means evil.

        What I was really hoping was that you would tell the story of the guy who started a transportation company in Eritrea right after independence and what he named his transportation company. It is Arabic for “hustler”, “fighter” 🙂 Don’t make me steal your joke again.


      • semere Andom

        Dear Sal, thaks so much.
        You a re correct when you said “I think in your example, you mean to put the word “Jihad” next to the word “fight” and not next to the word “evil.” Otherwise, some slow-witted people might think Jihad means evil”

        I meant to say that “you fighting the evil is Jihad and I did not meant it to be construed that Jihad is evil. My applogies to those who may have taken it that way.

        P.S Also sorry for the redundant message, for some reason I could not see updates on my browser and so I was unaware that the meaning of “Jihad” was clarified by Sal and others and my example did not provide a deeper insight or added value.


  • hayet

    hi, even though the narration of australia was good, i ask what does that have to do with the strugle? i think after ali kebdu “defection“ awate are writting halewlow just to add to the one who said tseweseway. LA LOTTA CONTINUA.

    • Cybercure

      [Moderator: we love you, but we need to have some discipline here. Stick to one nick and don’t give us the work, do it yourself. I will be Cybercure. If you have statements, it doesn’t need to be in the nick]

      Respected Hayet,

      All our life does not to consist of ኣብ ሃዋሻይት ክንድዚ ጦር ቀቲልና___ኣብ ሳሕል ክንድዚ ዘማች ማሪኽና።I am envious (in a good way )about Saleh having the time of his life..connecting with his roots & struggle comrades. We learn that the Bull c**p they told us, nauseating & diahrria inducing ¨ቅድሚ ኩሉ ሃገር¨ garbage could be in the more realistic ¨family & people are more important¨.
      I have to be honest with my feelings ..when I saw the pictures I said to myself… ¨ ሰብ መዓመምያ ዶ በዚሖም ሓቀይ ???____ሓደ ካብቶኣም እኳ መዝሙር ሰላም ሒዙ ፣ከም ከንሻ ¨ተሓጕሸ የሱስ ዘፍቀረኒ¨ ኢሉ ዘይዘመረ,ኢለ ቀርሒነ ኔረ።ድሓር ግን ሰብ ብስምዒቱ ዘይኮነስ ብመምርሒ ስለ ዝምራሕ፣ናብ ልበይ ተመሊሰ__ዋላ መዝሙር መንእሰይ ሒዞም ´ውን ¨የሱስ ካብ ሰማይ መጸ¨እንተዘመሩ ይቕረ ክብለሎም ምክዃነይ መዲበ።
      መስተውዓልን ወዲ ሃብታምን ምዃን ጥዑም እንድዩ, ኣነ 20 ዝኾና ሃገራት ርእየ ኣለኹ. ብኡ ምኽንያት ኣብ ኣስመራ ክልተ ቪላ ኣብ ገሽናሽምን ዓደቆቶዅላን ድማ ሓሓንቲ ፓላሶታት ጥራይ ኣስሪሔ፣ከም ማንም ድኻ ተሪፈ።
      But, If I were to do it again ,I would do it..Actually ,I live in Mexico Lindo.
      That is my way telling Eritrea nation…you stole my youth life..but, I am still alive..I did not waste mylife killing others..unlike many of my relatives did….I am 55 wyrs young gentleman ..who has made big mistakes in life..but, I live the way I want I want to live myself…I love my people ..but I RESENT YOUR BLOOD SUCKING NATIONHOOD, ERITREA !!!!

      hawka cyber cure

      • Cybercure

        [Moderator: seriously, this is the last time we say this dear, “Cybercure” it is. Not M. Habte aka cyber cure.]

        Respected Awate Staff ,

        Point well taken ,I just like the title because Yugoslavo Eritrean gives the unintended meanning. I will not abuse my “most loved Awate website” status ,I love my parents gave good name …just on the side I like my titles.

        Hawkum M.Habte aka cyber cure

    • Saleh Gadi

      Dear Hanneta,

      Two things:
      1) I am thinking of leaving the struggle for Hayetat like you.
      2) What is LA LOTTA CONTINUA? Do you mean to say “A luta continua!”

      • hayet

        about the strugle ,havent you already?
        about la lotta, dear saleh i am surprized that you dindt unerstand it was in italian,ezi kulu endafeletkas nezia?

      • Saleh Gadi

        Oh, it is Italian then!
        As of yesterday I gave up the struggle, now I am planning a vacation in Italy. Maybe I will meet you at the bioparco, Hayet. So long.


    Respected Saleh Gadi,

    I forwarded your article to the new EPLFs ie. PFDJs in Eritrea…. And the following is their condensed reply
    እቲ ብዛዕባ ኣውስትራልያ ዝጽሓፍካዮ ዕሸላውን ዘሕንኽን ኣብ ርእሲ ምዃኑ___ ብናይ መን ፍቓድ ኣውስትራልያ ከም ዝኸድካ ደንጽዩና እዩ ዘሎ _____ሳዋ ከየገልገልካ ካብ ሃገር ናብ ሃገር ምኻድ ናይ ወያነ መምርሒ እምበር ናይ ሃገሩን መንግስቱን ዝፈቱ ሰብ ኣይኮነን።
    ድሓር ሓደ ብሓደ ነቲ ናይ ኣውስትራልያ ዝገለጽካዮ ሽሻይ ብዝበለጸ ኣብ ኤርትራ ከም ዘሎ ብመርገጽ ክንምክተካ ንፈቱ ____ኣንታ ፈታው ደርሁን እንቋቝሖን ዓማ __ንሕና ህዝቢ እምበር ደርሁ ኣይንሓርድን ኢና ከም መድሓርሓሪት ጀብሃ። ኣብ ግብሪ melbourne ብቐትሪ !!!
    ከምቶም ካልኦት ሃገራውያን 2% ከፊሎም ረሲት (ቅብሊት) ዘይሓቱ እንተትኸውን ኔርካ እሞ… ኩሉ ቀረጻት ድሕሪ ምኽፋል.. ሃገርካ መጺእካ እንተትርኢ እቲ ኣብ ኣውስትራልያ ዘድነቕካዮ ነገራት ብዝበለጸ መድነቕካዮ ኔርካ።
    1) ንኣብነት እቲ ኣብ ኣውስትራልያ ዝረኸብካዮ ዘደንቕ ኣቃባብላ ጋሻ ኣብ ኤርትራ ብግብሪ ኣሎ።ናይ ሰብዓን ክልተን ድሕንነት ሃገር ኣብ ዘይተጸበኻዮ ጊዜ መጺኦም ካብ ገዛኻ ብገዛእ መኪን ኦም ወሲዶም ፣መታን ከይትቖርር ሓዚኖም (ኣብ ትሕቲ መሬት)፣ ኣብ ዊዓ ወይ ዒራ ዒሮ ዝብሃል መቐበል ኣጋይሽ ም አስተናገዱኻ። ኣብ ኣውስትራልያ ግን ብታክሲ ከፊልካ ኢኻ ናብ መዕረፊ ቦታኻ ትኸይድ። ስለዚ ናይ ሰብ ኣይተድንቕ ___ከሰው ለስላሳ የራስ ከርካሳ እብሎ __እቶም ባላዕቲ ጣፍን ስጋን ውሒጣታት ኣምሓሩ !!
    2) እቲ ቁም ነገር ተረኺቡ ደቂ ሓውተይ ዶ ሓወይ CRICKET ___ዝብሃል ጸወታ ይጻወቱ ዝበልካዮ ኣብ ኤርትራ ´ውን CRICKET ___ኣሎ።ኣብ ክንዲ እቲ ዕንጨይቲ ግን ካላሽን ንጥቀም። ብሕልፊ ዶብ ሰጊሩ ክሃድም ንዝፈተነ !!! ኣብ ናትና ጸወታ እቲ ዝተሳዕረ እንደገና ኣይtsእን ወይ ውን ኣይርኤን እዩ።
    3)CRAVEN & RAVENS ዝበልካዮ ድማ ሺላታትን ኣሞራታትን ምዃኑ ድዩ ፧ ኣብዚ እውን ኣለዉና__ከምቲ ናይ ኣውስትራልያ ድማ ተረፍ መረፍ ምግቢ ሰብ ኣይበልዑን እዮም__ወይ ቆለውዕ ይበልዑ ወይ ሓምሳ ሽሕ ናቕፋ ንወለዲ የኽፍሉ__ ህግደፍ እዩ ሽሞም ___ስለዚ ሓንካስ ርኢኻ ኣካይዳ ተድንቕ ሳልሔየ ናይ ሃገርካ ጸጋ ገዲፍካስ ናይ ሰብ ኣይተድንቕ።
    4)ኣብዚ ኤርትራና ኩሉ ሰብ ካላሽን ሒዙ ስለ ዝቕምቀም ፣ ቀምቃሚት ጸጕሪ ከምቲ ንኣኻ ዝደፈረትካ ኣ ይትደፍሮን እያ።ኣብ ግብሪ እንዳ ባርቤሪ ብቐትሪ !!!
    5) ዘረባ እንተበዝሔ፣ የማነ ማንኪ እንተስሓቐ __ መሊሶም ስለ ዝኸፍኡ___ስቕ ምባል መሪጽና ኣለና። ንሕና ካብ ____ጀሚርና ኣብ ስራሕ እምበር ኣብ ዘረባ የለናን። ክትርስዖ ዘይብልካ ህዝቢ ኣውስትራልያ ምንም ለቢሙ እንተለበመ ከም ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣይኣክልን እዩ። ህዝቢ ኣውስትራልያ ንመንግስቱ ይእዘዞ እምበር ብዙሕ ኣይ ኣምኖን እዩ ። ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ግን ኣንኳይ ኣብ ሃገር ዘሎስ ኣብ ወጻ ኢ ዘሎ ህዝቢ እውን ንክልተ ዓመት መመላእታ ወያነ ዘምሓድርዎ ዝነበሩ ባድመ ብሰራዊትና ተወሪሮም ዝገደፍዎ፣ ንሕና ኢና ተወሪርና እንተበልናዮ ዝኣምን ፣ እሙንን ለባምን ህዝቢ እዩ ዘለና ግራት ዝኾነ ዝዘራእካዮ ዘብቍል ህዝቢ እዩ ዘለና.ስለዚ ኣውስትራልያ ኣውስትራልያ ኢልካ ኣይተጽምመና!!

    ዝጸልኡኻ ግን ድማ ዝቐንኡልካ፣ኢሳያስ ፣ማንኪ፣ማንጁስኒ ኤፍረምኒ

    nb.. ኢሳያስ ድማ____ ኣንታ ዓማ ፣ተለካዪ ዘይቲ___ እታ ቀምቃሚት ንምንታይ ዘይቲ ኣብ ርእስኻ ኣብዚሕካ___ ኣየለትካኒ ፧__ ድሓር ክኣ ኣውስትራልያ ክትኣቱ ከለኻ ኣብቲ መዕረፍ ነፈርቲ ፣ ደረውህ ኣውስትራልያ ምስ እንቋቝሖኤን ኮይነን ሰላማዊ ሰልፊ ጌረን ኢሎመን _ ውሃ ጀብሃ ዕደ__ ኢሉካ.
    I mean talk about brilliant Eritrean. .how do I do it ??? I mean , I admire lots of people.. but..I really do admire me the best.


    • Anti Ghedli

      Thanks to our Arab brothers in Libya and Egypt:

      Human Rights Concern – Eritrea has received several disturbing reports from Libya concerning the abusive treatment of Eritrean refugees in that country:

      1) 76 Eritrean refugees in Libya are being used to clear land mines in Sirte, the home town of the late Gaddafi. The refugees are forced all day to clear land mines. These are not trained professionals. This is not humanitarian de-mining. This is a callous, inhuman treatment of humans as if they were disposable pieces of equipment. It amounts to nothing less than murder.

      These refugees are not given access to UNHCR. It is inhuman that these refugees, who fled persecution in Eritrea, should suffer further harassment and risk being blown up while clearing the mines. The Libyans do not want to do it themselves, so they use refugees. This is barbaric and should be condemned.
      2) Over 400 Eritrean refugees have been trafficked from Sudan to Libya and involuntarily held in Ajdabiya, near Banqazi. Over 120 refugees had paid a $1,700 ransom per person before their release; the remaining 400 are held inhumanly, and those who were released report that they were starving and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. This could not happen in such large numbers if the Libyan government took action against it, so it can only be assumed that they are complicit.
      3) Eritrean refugees are also detained incommunicado and under harsh conditions at the following prisons:

      Salma prison (near Tripoli) – 81refugees

      Al-Khums (near Tripoli) – no numbers available

      Al-Kufra – Over 300 refugees

      Sabha – around 1,200 refugees

      Zuwara – no numbers available
      It is very sad to see what the so-called revolutionaries in Libya are doing to the refugees from Africa. We had hoped that they would empathise with the situation in Eritrea, and the plight of Eritrean refugees, as they themselves have suffered at the hands of Gaddafi. Instead, the Eritrean refugees are detained like criminals under harsh conditions. The UNHCR office in Tripoli is not notified of the presence of those refugees in Libya. Why not?
      Libya is one of the signatories to the African Charter on Refugees and a member of the United Nations. And yet it flouts the most basic human rights requirements in its maltreatment of Eritreans.
      We appeal to the international community to condemn these horrendous developments in Libya.

    • awatestaff

      Dear M.H. (We prefer that name to “Yugoslav etc”)

      I mean talk about brilliant do I do it ??? I mean ,I admire lots of people..but..I really do admire me the best.

      Just a short note to tell you that you are not the only one who thinks you are brilliant. Also, you are not the only one who admires you. We think you are brilliant, and we admire you.

      Take care


        Awate staff ,

        I love you from the heart..Eventhough still ,bipolar & ADD and proud of it ..because of Awate posting my unorthodox opinions ..well as the result my articulation (if you can call that)has improved a great deal .
        Thank you for admitting the obvious I am brilliant & do I do it ???

        Love U all my Eritrean people
        Thanks Awate for letting out of box and at times outrageous comments like mine be posted.

        • awatestaff

          Selamat M.H.

          We are thinking of giving you a “Dear _____ ” column where people write you their questions and you share your brilliance. Our own Paulos Nyonyo or Dear Abby. What do you think? Consider that our first “Dear ____ ” letter, and give us your reply.

          For example:
          Dear M.H.

          I ate lasagna today but, for whatever reason, my burp smells like shiro. What is the problem?

          Signed, Concerned Asmarino.

          Dear Concerned Asmarino:

          You answered your problem with your own signature. When you eat lasagna and you burp shiro, you are an Asmarino: this is because you actually ate shiro but you hallucinate and tell the world you ate lasagna.

          See, your brilliance is already rubbing off on us. Except that the above we learned from one of your poems.


        I love it.I am not sure I can do it alone maybe in accordance with kokhob or Pappilon..but ,Yes I would like to .


  • Anti Ghedli

    Salah Gadi,
    What a waste of time, all your life that you had spent chasing a mirage called Ghedli or is that also called Sewra, in the language of our neighbor’s across the sea in Arabia?
    You could have been Africa’s best writer in the land of your mother and father, the land of the real Habeshas – Ethiopia.
    I can not believe that such a gifted writer will take this talent six feet under. You still have ample years left to write a worthy book which will help you to exorcise the demon inside you, also known as Ghedli.
    Know that you still have got some time left to reclaim your real past and make history, instead of living in a futile invented dream that is devouring young Eritreans everywhere.
    your admirer,
    Anti Ghedli

    • abyot

      I think the writer wasted his time to look, walk and talk like the Arab, only to finally abandon them all to the blessed America. His life was messed up by the dream of some idiots who thought they were Arabs before they found that them and his comrades were called Abeed/slaves among the Arabs. Only in his Ethiopia and the West can the writer be considered a man.

    • saay

      Anti Ghedli*:

      “Ghedli” is our word for “struggle.” You know what is the Arabic (or Arabian as you might call it) word for struggle? It is “jihad.” Oooooooo, scary. That’s why we used another word for it “Nidal.” See how considerate we are? “Ghedli” also meant revolution (“Sewra” in Arabic) which means “fundamental change in power and organizational structure.” The thing that makes revolutions scary is that this “fundamental change in power and organizational structure” usually occurs in a very, very short time (think Mengistu, think Napoleon, think Gaddaffi.) Ours was 50 years in the making (1941-1991). It had a long, long chance to fail (and, believe us, you guys and all your friends tried everything to make it fail) but it succeeded.

      Stop! You (and all the graduates of the YG Academy of Revisionism) are asking, “succeeded? how?” Succeeded in its mission which is to make sure that Eritreans could decide their own fate without having to check with Addis Abeba. That was ALL the “Ghedli” was for. Think of it as the right to choose. The fact that we have chosen badly–by allowing a tyrant to rule over us mercilessly–does not negate the value of our right to choose. Think of it this way: a woman has a right to choose to work or be a stay-at-home mom. If she struggles for her right to choose, and then, by choosing wrongly becomes destitute, it doesn’t speak badly of her fundamental right to choose.

      One of the things many of us have chosen is to enshrine Arabic (over the “real Habesha” language of Amharic.) There are many, many reasons for it, but just to bring it to pop culture level, go to our Jebena page, we have placed a video, the Arabic lyrics to a song, its English translation, and then tell us if there is a single Amharic song with lyrics that magnificent. You can ask Eyob Medhane for help: he is pretty good, at least with Oromo songs who may or may not be “real Habesha.” 🙂

      Everybody gets rejected one time or another; you just have to find a way to deal with it. Haven’t you gotten any of the breakup lines “It’s not you, its me.” Wait, wait, in this case it was entirely your fault. It was all you. By the way, Eritrea, proportionally, IS more the land of the “real Habeshas” (whatever that means) than Ethiopia. So, Saleh Gadi does not have to go to Ethiopia to embrace his “real Habeshaness”–and I presume that is Habesha with capital H.


      * only at awate forum would a guy named “abyot” (who wants to bask in the glory of the West, as if Ethiopia has anything in common with the West except a church) agree with a dude named “anti gedli”. Lost on the former, apparently, is that “abyot” means “gedli.”

      • Kim Hanna

        Dear Sirs,

        I finally heard the truth from the horse’s mouth. “Ghedli” is the Eritrean word/version for Jihad.
        By george, Haile Selassie was right all along, may God bless his soul. Now we are just like India and Pakistan, are’t we?



      Anti Ghedli ,

      I am Eritrean,my parents fought for Eritrean unity with the motherland ,Ethiopia.And we ended up with repressive regime that flocked us with relative freedom ,we were able to basically control all of Ethiopias private education ..with special treatment for Eritreans…not to mention affordable Taff,cofee and freedom to travel…And you want to subject us to such Ethiopian humulation..??? were kids belonged to their parents as opposed to the state property we see it now in the ¨new & free¨ Eritrea???
      Brother Anti Ghedli,
      I love my Eritrean people..but you are not going to spoil Ethiopia ,the land & people my parents fought for by bringing hate filled ,trouble maker Eritrea… not wish Ethiopia to be subjected to ERITREA.
      I WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. I WILL BE THE FIRST TO DECLARE the ENEMY OF THE ETHIOPIAN STATE & PEOPLE..if anybody declares us Eritreans ,as Ethiopians.
      As for me ,nobody can take my abissynian identity from me & I do not believe the govt. & people of Ethiopia mind ..if I visited as a YUGOSLAVO ERITREAN.
      ETHIOPIA GOT IT´s REAL INDEPENDENCE IN MAY 1993..thank god to TPLF & EPLF,..true Ethiopians


  • Mickielle


    What would the opposition look like without you and your web site. I dare not contemplate. You just gave us such a level of understanding of a remote place that seemed like it was in another planet. You brought the Eritreans who live there much closer to us in this part of the world.

    Thank you and Allah Bless you. Keep up the good work.

    • Abou Yara

      YOu are right Mickielle. really I have visited many Eritrean web sites but I never find most enjoyable site than Awate that is because of ppl like 2 Salehs and many other brelyant writers. I consider it a social , historical, politicaly and mostly intelctual gathering .

  • Tewolde Gebre has no more news to provide since the departure of Ali Abdu. So now Saleh Gadi has to write about his vacation spent in Australia with the eritrean (islamic) community….what’s next? Saleh Younis’s trip to disneyland with his family?

    • B Ali

      I wonder at people like you. Very small but full of grudges and malevolence. Now, you drop the name ‘Ali Abdu’ in the old spirit of BETRAY HABUNI ZEHMQO ALLENI, you are mistaken here, you can’t and you will never beat any of the two Salehs nor even Ali Abdu, you are too weak and small to intimidate any of them and you have nothing of value to show, the way those three have shown .
      No one in his right mind would take your assessment of seriously, if you don’t remember, is the school which taught all Eritrean websites what journalism is, capici? Or should I come physically and teach you Ha HU all over again!.

    • Abou Yara

      Dear Tewolde Gebre
      Next trip in Debre Bizen to meet abuna Gere Tewolde.

  • Salyounis

    Saleh and Salah Ejail:

    In light of how Saleh G was traumatized by the “no blink” eyes of his tormentor, the raven, here’s a stanza from Edgar Allen Poe’s 19th century poem “The Raven” that is fitting here:

    “And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
    On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming.
    And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
    And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted—nevermore!”

    The only thing I know about Australia is that it is a 19-hour flight from where I live. Nineteen. One Nine. Just thinking about the flight I get claustrophobic:)


    * Unlike SG’s raven Edgar Allen Poe’s raven talks and his name is “nevermore.” Of course, Edgar Allen Poe was certifiably insane, which is a prerequisite for all great poets:)

  • L.T

    Selam wedi Kadi wedi tsaada Keren.
    I like your writing style since old dehai day and I miss also your sharpe poems and I beg you to leave politics in side becouse it is not your culuture type.
    To come to my point line why you were at barberi home when you have no much hear in you head?And it is better for you to wright Tigringa than to speak.I watched and lesson you both on TV Adal Sweden and vioce of Americ in Tigringa section,but your jocking are welcome always.

    • Saleh Gadi

      Thanks L. T.
      I hear you; I will never again go to a Berberi, don’t be angry:-)

  • AI Gime

    Lest it slips from our consciousness, death and destruction as has been visited upon the First Australians also is part of the equation making for Australia’s modern history. Behind the veneer of today’s more or less tolerant multicultural Australia lies a tragic past, a historical encounter characterised by naked racist settler violence towards the indigenous population. One need only ask a “black fella” to grasp the magnitude of the infamy that is the aggression and rapacity of this settler colonialism. In the words of Robbie Thorpe, an indigenous and social justice activist, Australia is “a crime scene…it is unfinished business this crime… it was a military exercise in the first place….”.

    judged by universal human standards, the physical and cultural decimation of Australia’s Aboriginal peoples in the past, if not their present mistreatment at the hands of an oppressive state, qualifies as genocide and crimes against humanity.

    But having said that, one must also take note of and acknowledge the actions of those who always – in Australia and elsewhere – defy the dominant trend and march of history.

    If the reader has time, you might want to watch this video clip which is only a trail from the documentary series: The First Australians.

    Thank you

    • Saleh Gadi

      Ahlan Al Gime,
      It is the context, a light report should not be burdened with heavy historical stuff. And that doesn’t mean in anyway, that history will “slip from our consciousness.”
      Thank you for reminding us though.

      • AI Gime

        Hello the tireless patriot, Saleh Gadi

        My previous comment is a generic statement, a point of wider interest designed to just help perhaps inform the reader – as I thought the case might be. Probably you are right, the comment does not apparently sit well with the purposes of your article, which is written in the spirit and style of a (lighthearted) travelogue.

        Hope to talk to you at some stage,
        Take care

  • Menghes

    Dear Brother Saleh Gadi
    Indeed Australia is the Best Place to be, but Brother Berhan Ahemed was ungrateful.

    Please read this article
    Fleeing Eritrea’s bombs to fight racism in Australia

    by Davi Rajaram in Melbourne

    About 2,000 Eritreans live in Australia, many of them granted asylum after being tortured by President Isaias Afewerki’s regime. Despite the emotional and sometimes physical scars they bear, some have become prominent figures in Australian society. Berhan Ahmed is one of them. He is the first person of African descent to run for a seat in parliament.

    The relaxed scene in the back garden of Ahmed’s family home in a quiet suburb of Melbourne, couldn’t be further from the conflict he fled to come to Australia.

    He remembers “big fighter planes from Russia” bombing his home town.

    “I left at the age of about 15,” Ahmed recalls. “I did my Grade 11 and 12 in Sudan at the refugee camp. UN was offering scholarships for refugees and I was given scholarship to study in Alexandria University, to study agricultural science.

    He applied to work on trams. ” I lied to them, to be honest. I said I was working as a tram conductor in Sudan. So, from then, I started to study and I did my masters at La Trobe University in animal science, got myself to Melbourne University, did my PhD and then I got a job at Melbourne university and that’s where I am, still.”

    Ahmed’s early days in Melbourne were a struggle.

    It was this period that motivated him to stand up for his community, as well as other minority groups in Australia, against what he sees as racial discrimination.

    It didn’t take long before he began to be noticed within Australian society and in state politics.

    In 2004 he was the first African-born Australian to run for parliamentary office.

    And in 2009 he was awarded the Victorian Australian of the Year Award in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.

    “I keep putting myself at the national debate of all issues, as a Muslim, as an African, as a migrant, as a black man,” Ahmed says. “I would like to stand as an independent. Issues that affect my background, my community, broader society including the Aborigines, which is injustice. It’s always seen within the prism of white man. Now, we need to see it different.”

    Customers at a bakery specialising in bread from the Horn of Africa have warm words for Berhan Ahmed.

    “He is a uniting figure,” says one. “A uniting figure symbol of Africa, a voice for the voiceless.

    “He’s a passionate person that would like to work or give his time for African issue,” says another.

    Ahmed plans to reach out to his people in Eritrea, too.

    “Looking into the challenge facing Eritreans, particularly, the refugees being a market for body organs everywhere, I’m proposing by end of 2013 or early 2014, to organise an international conference addressing an Eritrean solution and international solution,” he says.

    • Saleh Gadi

      Selam Menghes,
      What you attached doesn’t say (or imply) that Berhan is ungrateful. How did you arrive at that conclusion? Would you care to explain?

  • Tzigereda

    what a gifted narrator you are! I bless the day you and your team established this Forum.
    Thank you Saleh Gadi!

    • Bushea

      Yes Tsigereda( Ali-Abdu)

    • Saleh Gadi

      Some people consider it Tsewtseway:-)
      Thank you for the nice words.

  • Salyounis

    Abu Selah:

    My favorite joke about losing hair. Guy goes to his friend and says, “I am losing hair. Any suggestions? Do you know of anything that stops hair from falling?” His friend answers, “sure. There is one thing that stops a falling hair. Its the ground.”

    You could go for the completely shaved look, if you can pull it off (no “ova” or tough terrain head.) If you can’t pull it off (you are not a Yul Brynner, Kevin Garnnet* or Pitbull**), you will have to deal with that, “oh, poor guy, he is going through chemo” sympathetic look.


    * Celtics basketball player
    ** rapper

    • Yemane Johar

      If any bold man is considering for a radical hair transplant, the two body parts that he must stay away are the armpit and the pupic areas. If he disregard that and goes on with the former he will feel the tikle and gigle eachtime his hair is felt and caressed and if he uses the latter, his hair will stand up instantly every time he is lost in the moment of lust.

  • berhe gomida

    This is a trajectory naration which took me idealy to Australia for a while. I love your way of naration and expression. But, don’t offend me If I ask you about the whereabout of the notorious Ali Abdu. Did you meet him? How is he?

    • Bushea


    • Saleh Gadi

      This is a promise: next time it will be a trajectory that will take you to a place to meet Ali Abdu… I think you are missing him:-)


    Can i just start my comments with a big laugher ….i cann’t stop laughing as i always do when i read most of Salih Gadis’ stories.i would prefer to be tickled than going through this story.As old kerenites are known for their sense of humour , Gadi seems to know the ingredients more than any one else.Abu salah i guess the barber had ripped you off if you paid in full.Afreind of mine is bald and he always pays a half price. Mine is costing me a fortune,every time, i get charged a price of head and half since mine is xxL .With the ravens,the only solution is habituation.oopsi,with the scary stare, neutralize it with a smile to show you are tolerant mate!actually i was checking awate every minute to see this story which i enjoyed thoroughly.we cannot forget those days we spent with you in Perth ,it was interesting .

  • Armagedon1

    It has been rumored he is living somewhere in Australia.

  • Armagedon1

    So, how is Ali Abdu?

    • Saleh Gadi

      He is fine. Very fine!


        Gadi,I LIKE THE WAY YOU HANDLE THOSE rock-headed riffraff kind of staff.what is the relevance of asking such questions? so pathetic!

  • Hayat Adem

    Nice sounds and sights from that part of the world. Even being a woman and with less risk of going bold, I could use the advice from the barber. And applying cold shower is not as hard to the hair part as it is, say to the upper-central part of your back. I don’t know if that particular spot is made of a different body fabric, if your experience is like mine, a single drop of cold water to that part of my body would surely send me screaming out loud.
    And as I would expect a good number of Eritreans in Aus would be reading this travel reflection note, let me present my selamta to all country wo/men over there.
    Even if some facts about the Ethio-Eritrea conflict are told and retold with crushing evidences, it puzzles me some folks are still in the darkness.
    As far as good neighborliness is concerned, Ethiopia and Eritrea could follow the example of Australia and New-Zealand or the example of US and Canada or even Djibouti and Ethiopia, or better than all the above for that matter. Some brothers in this forum don’t get it right even today as to why we ended up like Pak and India, instead. It is not becoming expansionist if you fight back to remove an army who came shooting and destructing his way into your territory. That was what PFDJ did to Ethiopians on Badime. Their reaction was full of anger, warning and threatening. Isn’t that what you would when you are a victim? It cannot be evil to declare an ultimatum in a parliament against an invader “to leave places occupied immediately and restore the status-quo ante” or else face the consequences of meeting force with force. That was what the Ethiopians did and if I want to be fair, I don’t see any excesses from their side. The only excesses I see and to their credit and admitted and even went farther to redress the damage themselves under no external pressure, was the issue of deportation. And compare that to worse treatments PFDJ did from deporting, to imprisoning and even recruiting Ethiopians to fight against their country. On our side, we rolled down our tanks to Badime crushing everything on their way and we expected to be appeased by the Ethiopians for fear of our sheer superiority of force. Is that the fairest way we can think of becoming good neighbors with them like Aus and NZ? I hear some Eritreans arguing the fact that Ethiopians make a mistake going public about the Badime crisis in their Parliament. That cannot be fair either especially when you see from the victim’s perspective. And, as you may remember, once the cat was out of the bag, others, 3rd parties, had to bat in to help. And the only sensible way to help the two sides calm down the rhetoric was by trying to reestablish the pre-Badime status which required the pulling of Eritrean forces some single-digit Kms back into the hinterland. Not even as big as a 1/3rd Eritrea which Ethiopia briefly occupied as the result of the offensives; not even as big as the territory Unmee was sitting on for years. That was what trio-nations- Djibouti (later pulled off itself b/c PIA suspected them of partiality), Rwanda and US tried to do. As impossible as expecting the sun to die next day, was the kind of response they received from PIA as some of you may remember. All other similar efforts were shrugged off with a cold shoulder by PIA. Even a humbly written suggestion about the advantage of considering the the US-Rda proposal from smartest member of his own cabinet, Barakhi, was dismissed in the same manner- ኢድካ ዘውህብን ዘህውኽን ምኽንያት የብልናን- the exact words he was given in reply by PIA in a hand written memo. All you see here is an ignorantly arrogant man determinedly and eagerly dragging the two nations to a blazing fire hoping to see more harm on the other side and prevail. If you want to be part of a future and better Eritrea, which no question is around a corner, try to know the facts and analyze them objectively and fairly.

    • sara

      in view of the few articles we read the past few weeks these article by saleh is refreshing, and here the “she” is trying to spoil it..
      sis.. yours is unbelievably ignorant comment, from start to finish.
      then again, from your anti eritrea comments always , i am not at all surprised , its a huge recurring theme with you, isn’t it? you are drawn to it like, a moth to a flame. get help!

      • Hayat Adem

        Why do I deserve this angry tone? PIA (PFDJ) is not equal to that we call our Eritrea.

        • Abou Yara

          Hayat I really command your open mind and your analysis. However, Sara need to relize everyone is intitled to his/her opinion. You don’t just support aggrasor just because he is an Eritrean.

  • Dear Ghadi
    Your impression on Perth,as you wrote it brought memories the two weeks I stayed in 1997 on the assignment for procurement of fishing boats for Petros Solomon, the ex Minister of Fisheries now in EraEiro. I was hosted by an Australian friend,Charles and his wife Sandra, whom I hosted in Massawa du8ring the good old days when Massawa was full of guests from different NGO’s including volunteer from Australia.
    The Italian Cafes and the Sicilians,some of whom were born in Eritrea were as good friends as their nice Aster Mario,an Eritrean married to an Australian Medical Professor,from Perth. A nurse by profession who brought me to the Port of Fremantle near Perth.The sea food we ate in the harbor restaurants and all the Italian & Australian wine I never forget for her sisterly attitude. My friends in Perth which until recently had contacted were living for a year in Spain and lost contact.Some other Australian friends were still there and I call them at times.My experience in the Red sea and the Western Australia is more than winning a million Dollar lottery simply because I gained a lot of knowledge on Tropical fish. Like your experience mine is also a lot of good things of Australia and its people including Eritrean & Ethiopian Australians.Good report Ustaz Salih.

    • ABDU

      hi am interested in tropical fish, would like to know about Eritrean fish. I would appreciate it if i can get in touch with you

    • Saleh Gadi

      Selam Tesfai,
      Weren’t the Australians building fiberglass boats somewhere on the Red Sea coast south of Tio? Were you involved in that? I know that some people were in Australia on that purpose and to procure engines, etc. What happened to the boat factory?

      On Fremantle, I also had dinner there, I never ate seafood as I did in that place. For some reason when I saw the city sign of Fremantle, I read it Halib-Mentel. It is a beautiful place.

  • Semre Andom

    Hi Saleh:
    I was wondering about the report Better late never as they say.
    We used to joke that you have to be from keren to immigrate to Australia as many of the first Eritreans who immigrated were from Keren. I hope you have enjoyed a subset of your beloved Keren. NOw we have to change our friend Sal’s favorite sight “towards Asmara” to “towards Australia ” 🙂
    I will be remise if I do not inject some politics to this trip, there is no wonder why Eritreans in Austrial are strong supporters of democracy and justice, they are Saleh J Gadi’s brotheren.

    • Saleh Gadi

      If you know Saleh as I do, he is a fanatic when it comes to loving Asmara. He doesn’t know yet that arrangements are underway to shift the capital city to Keren…; he will form a liberation fron to prevent that.

      But seriously Semere, all Eritreans love justice though most do not understand what it really means and how it effects their daily lives. Honestly, I don’t understand it either. Maybe it is the nature of the social foundation on which it stands that makes Keren what it is.

    • Salyounis


      Yeah, my favorite thing about Keren is still the sign that says, “To Asmara.” 🙂

      I don’t know why Saleh is picking on ravens; it is probably a childhood trauma because he used to collect birds and those things can’t be domesticated.

      Saleh, if we accept Keren to be the new capital city of Eritrea, it means Eritrea’s militarization has become complete because Keren was designed to be a fortress. As you know this better than me, Keren made even the Italians look like brave warriors because they gave England a good fight to win it in World War II. It wasn’t the Italians (it is never the Italians when it comes to military victory) but the topography.* And the fact that almost every Eritrean and Somali fighting for the Italians deserted them**

      Speaking of Keren… Semere, you know what they call the Yellow Bird in Keren? Kicha Ateray. I don’t know why that’s funny but it is, to me.


      * random provocation of Eyob Medhane. Gideon Force to be mentioned in 5..4…3…2..1..
      ** ibid.

  • Alash Abelnayom

    Dear Saleh:

    You should visit New Zealand next time. There is a vibrant, small but growing Eritrean community now in cities like Auckland and Christchurch.

    You may have noticed that New Zealand is Australia’s little brother. And there is always sheep jokes going back and forth between the two. Here is a joke for you.

    An Aussie goes to New Zealand and while taking a walk he sees this Kiwi (New Zealander) going at it with a sheep. The Aussie goes up to the Kiwi and says, “You know… where I come from, these sheep are for shearing.” The Kiwi goes, “No way! I am not sharing this with nobody!”

    Of course, it has to do with the way Kiwis pronounce the word shearing (shaving a sheep’s hair for wool).

    Anyway, like I said, there is a little brother big brother element to the relationship between Australia and New Zealand. And they get along quite well. The two nations are very different. Australia is more like Texas (cowboy mentality) while New Zealand is more of a pacificst nation. But they cooperate in economic and security spheres. That is how the relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia could have been were it not for Weyane’s evil and greedy, expansionist behavior.

    And the two nations play each other pretty hard in rugby. New Zealand (All blacks) beat Australia (Wallabies) all the time in spite of being a much smaller nation. Here is a youtube clip of the Maori War dance that Kiwis do before their rugby games. It’s called the “Haka.”

    P.S. Did you learn how to sing “Waltzing Matilda” while you were there? How about, “Tie Me Kangaroo down.”

    • Kaddis

      Alan – you genuinely made me laugh when I read this

      “That is how the relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia could have been were it not for Weyane’s evil and greedy, expansionist behavior.”

      The way you write is great and knowledgeable and nobody would expect you will end your rather nice comment this way. So funny …..
      Are you implying Eth should have act like Aussi – big brother? And Eitrea like Kiwi?

    • Saleh Gadi

      Selam Alash,
      Before I travelled I researched basic information about Australia and Waltzing Matilda was one of the things I learned….I liken it to Wedi Gebru’s Oooo’nehele Ruba Anseba. I also watched Walkabout, an excellent movie about the indigenous aboriginal culture.

      On who is a big brother and small brother between Eritrea and Ethiopia, I really do not care if we are left alone to live in peace… with a clear fence that will prevent transgression. Then I do not mind if they introduced cricket to the people to bore them to death.