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Al-Diaa: No, It Wasn’t About The Curriculum

Writing for the pro-government website tesfanews.com, a certain Alamin Adam (“Wedi Hajji”) has written an article entitled “Al-Diaa School Incident and the Frenzies[sic] that Ensued” regarding the tension between community school in Asmara and government.  If you were hoping to get an insight  into details of the incident (never mind the events which preceded it) or the “frenzy” that followed it, you will be sorely disappointed.  If, on the other hand, you are looking for the government’s favorite sport–blaming everyone else for its mistakes–this is the right article for you.

The first 10 paragraphs of the article are from the Government’s School of Preamble Writing.  It is the parasite (PFDJ) wrapping itself tightly around the host (the people) by use of the constant refrain of “the people and the government”; it is stating a fact (Eritreans’s harmonious existence) without attributing the important formula for it (their insistence on respecting each other’s value systems, not ridiculing or undermining it); it is describing Eritrea’s armed struggle as a lonesome journey, when many countries and parties provided moral and material support (Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Gulf States, the European Left); it is bragging about a catastrophic failure (in this case, the education sector of Eritrea which the UNDP tells us is ranked 179/188, ie 9th from the bottom beating out only Sierra Leone, Mozambique, South Sudan, Guinea, Burundi, Burkino Faso, Chad, Niger and Central African Republic.)

But that is not our focus, so let’s learn about incidents and “frenzies” from Alamin Adam which goes like this:

It all began with the unfortunate video clip by a clergy admittingly violating and defying laws pertaining to the educational system of the country, immediately followed by antagonizing rhetoric by the Sudanese Sheik Abdul Hay against Eritrea…

1. Clergy. 2. Admittingly [sic] violating and defying laws.

For people like Alamin Adam, the only “unfortunate” thing about the video is that there is a video. Had the Eritrean people (the host) in defiance of the government (the parasite) not videotaped it (illegally) and shared it (illegally) on social media, we would not have known about it and the government and its supporters would have been free to make up any story for making a 93-year old disappear.  Not that the video clip will stop them, but at least now we can rebut them.  Because we have a 3 minute video.

First of all, he is not a “clergy”.  If someone is clergy because he is a “Hajji”, then the author (“Wedi Hajji”) must come from a clerical stock. Hajji Mussa Mohammed Nur is (was) president of a school board.  Secondly, nowhere in the video is he admitting “violating and defying laws.” Quite the opposite: he says that he has repeatedly asked the government to show him the law that forbids the school board from running the school the way it is and, failing that, he will remain loyal to his school charter. Thirdly, notice how Alamin’s narration jumps from the Eritrean “clergy” to a Sudanese clergy with nothing in between. Nothing about the demonstration, nothing about the shots fired, nothing about the arrests that are still going on, now extended beyond Akhria to other Asmara neighborhoods.

And why is the Sudanese clergy, with his wildly inaccurate and offensive narration of Eritrean history, relevant here?  If we are going to quote everybody who is me-tooing us, there are Gulf State clergy who also give sermons that the government and its supporters would love: they say it is the responsibility of every Muslim to follow his Emir (leader) without question because any disobedience is fitnah (sedition.) So, should we include that as part of the frenzy?

The author also blames AP, Martin Plaut, Al Jazeera for propagating a single-sourced (Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization) erroneous report on death and injuries from gun shots.  Well, what was stopping the so-called server of the truth, Eri-TV, from dispelling it?  Where were the come-and-see “reporters”? Blaming others fits the government’s agenda more because there are risks with openly speaking about it in state media.

So what exactly triggered the incident? After weeks of floating fake stories about new head scarves and Wahabi teachers, thanks to the top-down message through the Minister of Education delivered in a by-the-way interview, the troops appear to have settled on one narrative (officially): there is no consistency in curriculum between public schools and religious schools.  This is how the author puts it:

The ministry of education in Eritrea doesn’t interfere in religious teaching of private religious schools, yet educational curriculum isn’t something that is left to any religious educational institute and that must be clearly understood for a good reason.

This is an area where the government has been deliberately vague on and, regretfully, the author sheds no light: what is Al-Diaa school teaching now, and what is it exactly that the government want to change it to? Like Hajji Mussa (the director), another speaker, Mohammed Abrar (now arrested) who didn’t make it to the list of the author’s “frenzies”, actually was sure that the government was on their side and its only some Ministry of Education administrators that are causing problems.  The government is vague for good reason: because the “incident” has nothing to do with curriculum (as I will demonstrate below) but to ensure that the administrators of the school are hand-selected by the government and not elected/appointed by the community.  If there is one thing the government and the ruling party hates, it is an independent, organized body that takes its orders from the people (its constituency) and not the government. This is, after all, a country where the entire civil society, including labor unions, youth and women’s organizations are subservient to the government and the ruling party.

Al-Diaa’s curriculum follows the government’s curriculum in all respects but one.  That is: it teaches the same curriculum–syllabus, course outline, lesson plan, using the same books, trained by teachers who go through the same teacher-training courses, and the students outcomes are measured using the same proficiency exams–as its corresponding grade public schools.  This applies to all private schools: whether it is Al-Diaa, or the Italian School (Scola Tilyan) that PFDJ senior officials send their children to (sorry to those who buy the “egalitarian” claims of the PFDJ elite.)  The only difference is that Al-Diaa adds to the curriculum one subject that justifies its existence, its raison d’etre: quran classes.  Just like an Italian school would teach Italian as a subject.

And so, when the author says, “religious private schools are found on dogmatic principles of teaching that only serve a narrow segment of the population that follow that religion”, his claim doesn’t apply to 95% of what the school does–teach secular, Ministry of Education-approved curriculum–and only to the 5%, which is Quran classes.   Now, I think, even in PFDJ, where the government wants to erase all identities and replace them with one–Eritrean–the Holy Quran would appeal to Muslims and the Holy Bible to Christians.

The rights of religious institutions and religious communities are spelled out in Proclamation 73/1995 and, most recently, the 2015 Civil Code (Articles 354-356.) The government and its supporters  have not made a case that Al Diaa school has violated them (which is why neither Alamin Adam nor Minister Semere Russom have cited a single clause from them) and its board believes rightfully that it is well within its rights to administer the school the way it is.  Since Eritrea is ruled by men and not rule by law, the solution is: fire the board and get compliant men whose favorite two words, like that of the Mufti-in-waiting, are “yes, sir.”  So, no, this has nothing to do with curriculum and everything to do with power grab.

Finally, when you have a sector that is performing as badly as it is–the Eritrean education sector–why would you go after the ones that are showing results when you have your hands full with underperforming schools, massive teacher vacancies due to exile, and anemic primary and secondary enrollment ratios due to militarization?

About Salyounis

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

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  • Nathom Habom

    Selam Hanibal
    OMG you so great

  • blink

    Dear all
    Ethiopia: TPLF demoted three executive members and gave warning to another two.

    Abay Woldu, the chairman, demoted to Central Committee
    * Beyene Mekeru, dep. CEO of EFFORT, demoted to Central Committee
    * Azeb Mesfin, CEO of EFFORT, temporarily suspended.

    • Teodros Alem

      Dear blink
      What metter for non tigraians ethiopians is tplf relation with the other eprdf coalition.

      • blink

        Dear Teodrose
        What coalition is that , there is no coalition all of them are under the control of TPLF , none are coalition. TPLF goes and EPRDF goes with it , simple truth.

        • Teodros Alem

          Selam blink
          Am afraid things changed. The sign is all over ethiopia and eprdf. It is not gonna be the same.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Alex,

    If you feel a little harsh, I apologize. I don’t want to irritate my readers especially the young generation. My message to Ismail was simply to avoid individuals with temper tantrums and who do not respect the forumers they are engaging with.

    Anyone can argue with whatever opinion he/she has and debate to convince their counterparts. And let us make this forum a medium for education where we can learn from each other. Everyone can contribute to the common good of our people, no matter how small it might be. That was my message implicitly.

  • Berhe Y

    Hi Alex,

    How so? Can you give some example please?

    Here is an example for you.

    Do you see thousands of Ethiopians running away from their government / country to Eritrea?


  • Selam All,

    Zimbabwe seems to have turned the theory of coup d’etat in africa on its head. Not only did we see a dictator is deposed peacefully w/o violence, despite the fact that violence, bloodshed and excursions were the norm in africa, RM is given a compensation of $10m and immunity for his family, and finally he is bestowed with a Mugabe National Holiday.

    African dictators should hurry to apply for a similar honor.

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Horizon,

      I think that may be the deal he got in return if he resign instead of going through impeachment process.

      Personally as much as it’s painful for the people of Zimbabwe, I think it’s a positive step in the right direction. Ten Million dollars is nothing compared to the benefit the country and people will get in return in the long term if democratic institutions set hold and the power is returned to the people.


    • iSem

      Hi Horizon:
      Is is good that it ended with no bloodshed, but it is not a coup, it is the change of guard, unlike our G-15 when they knew they wielded no power to affect change they wrote letter to DIA when they saw the rug being pulled from their feet, the guys in Zim when they saw the rug to be pulled from the by Grace, they acted and no blood is a welcome news, but I doubt true change will come, change as in real reforms and genuine elections. If RM did not fire the vp, this would not have happened.
      I think Sudanese are experts in almost bloodless coups, and the Zim does not count as a coup, it is loosely defined coup, example in Canada when pm Chreteine was getting old and he had like 4 terms, his party some members pressured him, of course they did their speeches and praises and accolades and he endorsed his replacement, but the some in the media with tongue in cheek refereed to it as coup. It was a not coup as we know it

      • Hi iSem,

        The cold war is over, at least for the time being, and china is a new type of a world power. She is projecting to the world her economic power rather than politico-military power, and hence the reasons why we do not see armed liberation fronts in africa anymore as in the 60-70-80s. These LFs came to power through violence, killings and mayhem.

        My point is that if the zimbabwe recipe of deposing autocrats and despots is the new trend. Is it possible that the pfdj may have learnt a lesson from what transpired in zim, as long as the army belongs to the party and the party, and everything else belongs to dia, more or less similar to the situation in zim.? Will there come a time when the pfdj deposes dia with honer, amnesty and security, as zanu-pf did with RM, when dia starts to lose his faculties, which unfortunately will be decades from now? Even then, it will be a change of the tyrant and not that of the tyranny (as Peace said). What then are the chances of true change for democracy and freedom in eritrea for the immediate future?

        The last picture of the VP of zimbabwe was that of an emperor loaded with medals, than a modern ruler of a country, which sends a frightening message that the future of zim could be similar if not worse. I wish we all make a mistake in our interpretations for the sake of the people of zimbabwe.

  • Mez

    Dear Alex,

    You seem to invoke a pseudo corellation as a proof. That is not going to hold-up much.

    Remember, the major dynamics for a country is primarily the internal one; the external (be it regional or global) do have a role of boundary condition.


  • Hi Alex,

    Only the eritrean regime and N. Korea shoot to kill their citizens from the back, as they run away from tyranny, it is only the eritrean regime that said some africans immigrants (not eritreans) drowned near lampedusa as they tried to cross to italy and denied their identity, it is only in eritrea that the where about of prisoners is not known after their arrest, it is only in eritrea people are put in prison for their religion, young women are raped in sawa, and generally the young are damped in the trenches at the borders for the rest of their lives, etc, and yet you say that ethiopia is worse than eritrea when she treats her citizens.

    On the contrary, in ethiopia people died because they tried to face the government, they opposed injustice and encroachment on their rights, which is not the case in eritrea, where people have been made to feel that they are defeated by the regime, and they can do nothing to change their condition. The where about of prisoners is known, whenever ethiopian migrants found themselves in difficult situations in foreign lands, it transported them back home, and it did not deny their citizenship, etc.

    27K eritreans are declared unwanted ready to be transported from israel to rwanda at the cost of 5K dollars per immigrant to be paid to the rwandan government, and the eritrean regime does not want to know their existence, and it says nothing about it. One can say much more, and yet you tell us that ethiopia treats her citizens worse than eritrea.

    Generally, one can say that there is no ideal treatment of citizens in both countries, nevertheless, these countries are not at the same level of human abuse, and the eritrean regime has been accused by the UN for the mistreatment of its own citizens, characterized equivalent to “genocide”

    • Alex

      Hi Horizon,
      I did not state Eritrea is heaven in respecting human rights. There’s a lot of issue’s most of us want the Gov to address ASAP. Regarding wayane administered Ethiopia, it is long to state her. Isn’t it Wayne that kill it’s people in day light in hundreds like in Addis in 2005, Gambella,Ogden and currently in oromia. Isn’t it in
      Ethiopia that the more than half million get displaced because ethnic fight instigated and led by wayane leyu police all over Ethiopia. Ethiopia did not transport their people back home. People were forced to to leave Saudi arabia and paid themselves for their transportation. Regarding rape and others we know how much it is exaggerated when it comes from Eritrea. For the UN human rights commission, every body knows it is a political tool used by super powers to intmidate countries that do not follow thier order. If any country is going to be accused by UN for genocide, then we know which country should be.

  • saay7

    Hi Alex:

    I have been asked the same question on Twitter and Facebook so I think I will just copy/paste now:

    This is some kind of a wish list by someone. Usually before you make a list, you invite people, you confirm they have accepted, then you list. These guys at Celebrity Events (sounds like some YPFDJ mekete thing) appear to do things backwards. I wasn’t invited and I didn’t accept—and meetings hosted by people I don’t know, which take place in Ethiopia, are not my scene. Never have been.


    • blink

      Dear saay
      Even if you are invited to the opposition Twin of YPFDJ , can you get a visa ? I am just asking, would not they consider you an enemy of the weyane state ?

      • Selam blink,

        Common, you know very well that eritreans (any eritrean, even regime supporters) can travel to ethiopia much more easily than to eritrea. May be, even you or your friends could have used this opportunity.

        • Alex

          Hi Horizon,
          What you stated above ” Any regime supporters can travel to ethiopia much easily than to Eritrea ” is false. I and everybody I know go to our beloved country with out any problems. Some people might have problems going back home but do not exaggerate it as the majority have problems. For me and my friends, we will go happily once the thuggish wayane is out of power in Ethiopia soon.

          • Selam Alex,

            The difference between your way of looking at what happens in ethiopia and our viewpoint is that we do not see anymore woyane as the power that can decide everything in ethiopia. They are equals among equals, whether they like it or not, and it is going to be like that in the future.

            An eritrean should therefore visit ethiopia irrespective of woyane, unless woyane is the red rug for regime supporters due to political reasons, in which case they will never be able to visit ethiopia. The tplf/woyane as representatives of the state and people of tigray, are going to be participants and not sole decision makers in the future federal governments of ethiopia, unless the people of tigray decide otherwise, and replaces it by another tigrayan political party.

            Therefore, unless federal ethiopia is replaced by a unitary centralized government, the woyane most probably will participate in the future governments, and eritreans should not avoid to visit ethiopia simply because woyane is there.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Horizon,

            As far as who can visit the two countries, I am afraid they both are the same.

            Visit to Eritrea:
            Any Ethiopian can go visit Eritrea today, if he / she is not affiliated with the EPRDF/TPLF regime.
            Any Ethiopian who openly oppose the EPFDF regime is welcome in Eritrea.
            Any Eritrean who is not affiliated with any PFDJ opposition is free to go and visit Eritrea.
            Any Eritrean who was former SAWA and escaped the country illegal, can visit Eritrea provided that he/ she sign a letter of regret at their respective embassy / consulate.

            Visit to Ethiopia:

            Now replace:
            Ethiopia -> Eritrea,
            Ethiopian -> Eritrean
            EPRDF -> PFDJ

            and you get the same results.

            Any Eritrean can go visit Ethiopia today, if he / she is not affiliated with the PFDJ regime.
            Any Eritrean who openly oppose the PFDJ regime is welcome in Ethiopia.
            Any Ethiopian who is not affiliated with any EPRDF opposition is free to go and visit Ethiopia.

            The exception is “signing the regret letter for former Sawa” because Ethiopia does not have military service.


        • blink

          Dear Horizon
          I can travel to Ethiopia at any time to any zone in Ethiopia.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear blink,

            Why not for Saay? If they have invited him and if he agrees to the venue and agenda of the meeting why not attend? It’s not about him and his credibility. Nothing can change that, weather he goes to Ethiopia or not. But if going to Ethiopia and meet with his counter parts produce a result of peace between the two countries, why NOT?


          • blink

            Dear berhe
            You and everyone knows there is nothing these few self serving people can do to the two governments problem, none. This kind of decision was taken by weyane cronies and it will go nowhere. A meeting with some powerless people
            talking to each other about fake existence of love is not going to work. The Eritrean and Ethiopian people are more than this plot of some . Ethiopia under weyane is always about weyane not about the people.

            Why saay , well because his views do matter and he has been free of any announced political party, it is my personal opinion this will not fit his will.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            You are entitled to your opinion, but my suggestion was, we don’t know the out come or the intention for a fact.

            The fact is, Eritrea is independent nation recognized by the UN. As Eritreans, sometime I wonder if we know the fact and how much weight it has.

            The only change that comes to Eritrea as a nation is by the Eritrean people and no body can force us to do something we are not ready to do it ourselves.


          • blink

            Dear berhe
            I agree with your views but I think you misunderstood my point, my point is these people can do nothing because these you see on the list can do nothing as they don’t represent the two people. About Eritrea being independent in the UN emmm , what ? Do you think weyane would have withdrawn from Asseb if they were able to occupy it in the third offense? What did Meles say about Eritrea as a country? He said “ at the end of the day Eritrea will be part of Ethiopia “ this was in the 90th . Now do you think Eritreans trust any thing that comes from north ? I wish we were one people who love each other , I wish these people agree on single thing and announce on their weyane mouth AIGA FORUM , the reality is these people will do nothing to soften the animosity.
            I believe and this is my personal beliefs that Eritreans has nothing in common with Ethiopians albeit one people they are not even relatives. We are more comfortable with Sudanese than with Ethiopian leaders, by the way most Ethiopians know nothing about Eritreans except their sacrifice under Dergi and weyane.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Blink,

            Yes we have to shift from military mentality to diplomacy. Suppose Ethiopia were able to capture Assab, then what.

            Are they going to go away with it? Will Eritreans would have allowed it? Would the world and Africa, the Arab world would have allowed it? I agree no body would send their troops to rescue us but I believe they will not get away with it. EPRDF or TPLF would have buried themselves there. The same way if EPLF would try to take away Aksum for example.

            Can you name one country since the end of the cold war that was occupied and made to disappear by any other country?

            As to if the Ethiopians like us or not, or if they want anything to do with us or not, let’s just leave the people alone and let them do what ever that suits them.

            It’s not this way or that way. For example, it costs 1200 to fly from Toronto to Addiss today. It costs almost 3000 to fly to Asmara. Suppose Ethiopian provides flight for 1500, do you think ERITREAN would think twice to fly. Suppose Massawa is developed and it becomes a vacation place as it should. Do you think Ethiopians would hairstreak to visit and spend quality time?

            We have to free ourselves from the war footing mentality and move with the world ahead. There is more to life than to spend all our energy to think about war and to live in state of war, while our people are going through so much pain.

            Can you name any independent country other than N. Korea who is in state of war for such a long time, almost 20 years.

            It’s madness, at this rate we will be extinct from the face of the earth. It’s unsustainable self destruction. The world owe us nothing.

            Even if we are to claim that they forgot to honour our agreement and federation, we need to blame our selves first, our own parliamentarians who signed with their 10 fingers and accept the dismantling the ERITREAN parilament.

            Ethiopia put a gun to their head is not acceptable in my opinion. That’s is the responsibility they have taken and should have fought, even die for it if they must


      • Teodros Alem

        Selam Blink
        Fact, Tplf is rejected by every self respecting persons, even its allies(opdo andm).

        • blink

          Dear Teodros
          Shish , You are crossing a red line set by some people in this forum. Seb keysemuuna kes elna daa neelil. If Tigriana is hard for you , I am just trying to tell you it is forbidden to say like what you said on the above.

          • Mez

            Hi Blink,

            Teodros can reason out on any important local or regional topic or topics; not a problem.

            But I observed that his reasoning is nonexistent or too weak to respond.


      • Selam blink,

        I agree with you, because marriage by abduction ends up in a bad divorce, as it did, and marriage for the second time by the same couple, will surely fail.

        Therefore, ethiopians and eritreans should stop this nonsense, “we are habeshas and we are the same people”, “we are one people – one heart”, etc. These belong to another people, at another age, that went by for ever, and will never come back again.

        Everyone should work for himself and his self-interest. It is the law of survival of the fittest in today’s and tomorrow’s world.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Selam blink,

        This “we are one and we love each other“ happens to be one of my litmus test to identify those who either don’t understand the problem and/or those who aim for a continuation of the past.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Selam Saay,

      I am glad somebody brought this up.

      You lucky you. You didn’t miss anything except an unbearable embarrassment.

      You would have started a serious argument right from the get go regarding the declaration of the mission itself which says “to bring the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea closer.” You would have insisted that “the people are not parties to a brawl in need of consultation but victims of the brawl” and you would have ended up taking a bus to Nairobi.

      I read somewhat detailed Amharic article about who these “Celebrity Events” are and what the discussion was about.

      First, the fear and hope: wondering whether that was a beginning of another “history repeats itself” or a desperate attempt to bring our leaders to their senses.

      Second, the amazement: about all the participants’ titles: “mihuran (intellectuals)”
      Addis Ababa University Mihuran
      Diaspora Mihuran (“ለረዥም ዓመታት በአውሮፓና በአሜሪካ የሚኖሩ”)
      Refugee Representative Mihuran

      Third, the disappointment: about all those “Mihuran” wasting all that drinking water to solve a problem that does not exist.

      The initial purpose is supposedly to create an atmosphere of trust between the gathering intellectuals and then to discuss ways to somehow convince the two governments to make peace, why, so that they can “solve the people-to-people friction” they don’t seem to know it does not exist.

      I hope I am not sounding discouraging “peace” regardless of how or by whom. I am just saying that either this is going to be another disappointment (to eventually declare Eritreans are Ethiopians) or a wasted effort (looking for a solution where there is no problem).

      I wonder if they attempted to invite SGJ. I am sure some of all those Mihuran heard of a well-known Eritrean website called Awate.com!

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Fanti,
        It’s all about individuals who pretend to seek roles in idle politics when their conscience irks them for failing to engage in real politics and do what they can to resolve existing problems. I agree with you that the peoples of the two neighboring countries have never been in conflict that require the so called people-to-people diplomacy. After all, neither of the two governments sought endorsment of parliaments to engage in the conflict with a slight difference in favour of the EPRDF government when it put the case of reversing the assault on Badme before the then functioning parliament.

        • Teodros Alem

          “The then functioning parliament ” it is funny. I mean what is functioning parliament for u?

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Teodros Alem,
            I can see you are not amuzed by the phrase you quoted. A functioning government is one that sits in sessions for duration of a tenure between two election dates as prescibed by a constitution of a country. There is no difference between two apart from the fact that the present one is dominated by the ruling coalition save a single odd member for the opposition. You could have argued better about whether or not those parliaments represented the general will of the electorate rather than rushing for semantics to make your point.

          • Teodros Alem

            So u want me to argu if the parliament is elected by the people or if the parliament represented the willof the people’s?
            How about if i want to argu if meles zenewe was a saint or angle? For me it is funny.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Teodros Alem,

            You can have as much fun as you need to have. For the sake of respect, however, let me first remind you the point you did not like in my exchange with our dear brother Fanti, which you could not tame your ego to respond. It was the word “function” (used as adjective in the sentence involved) that irritated you. What I stated was that the parliament in question has not been dysfunctional; it has in fact been functioning to discharge the role it was elected to fulfil. I did not write anything to politically configure or define it. The political stands you and me may have about it are as irrelevant as your statement about Meles Zenawi is.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam ismail
            What is the difference b/t talking about if meles was a saint or angle and if the eth parliament is functioning or not? For me both of them r funny and your dear bro fanti is u in same team with different mission .

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Teodros Alem.

            This is a second time you accused me of having some “mission” so I must ask.
            Am I doing anything to give you that vibe?

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam fanti
            I thought i heard u said you r a member of beloved tplf and it is obvious member of a party advocate for the political agenda of the party.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Teodros Alem,

            True, but you have nothing to fear from me. TPLF doesn’t even know I exist let alone to send me in a mission of “love Eritreans to death.”

            I will say this though: if I may generalize, Eritreans are painfully trusting, it is a positive attribute, and I hope it never changes. However, it does not mean they should be too trusting to risk it all if that trust happens to be misplaced. So, this is what I suggest:

            1) Trust as much as your heart can handle, but never lower your guard of protecting your people and country from ill wishers. That should be the case against anyone at all times.

            2) If you suspect someone like you did, do not mention it until you find a solid proof, because if you are wrong you hurt a friend for no reason, and if you are right you end up warning your enemy to change tactics. Either way not too good.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam fanti
            By mission i meant advocating and working the party agenda to be successful.

          • Saleh Johar

            Fanti, the “spy” with white wings.
            Please stay a spy if what you reflect here is the character of a spy–TPLF or CIA or any exotic entity, you are fine. In fact you are the finest of the fine.

          • Ismail AA

            Good morning Saleh,
            Would you please open your nagarit mail. I sent you yesterday a message. Thanks.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Ismael,
            The negarit email has been dead for years. I do not use it anymore. Use the one you received a short while ago

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Saleh,
            Thank you so much. I assume you sent it to my old (shoomd@ziggo.nl) address. I will check it when I go home.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            The parliament passed many statuary laws including declaration of war in 1998, whether we agree with decision or not. Actually except Meles and Seyoum the whole parliament voted for the war. Do they have a functioning parliament? Yes they did. Do we agree with their decision? No as an Eritrean. Are the parliament the voice of their people? Yes indeed as representative body. So Ismailo, you don’t need to debate with rude people who don’t salute properly and communicate with respect.


          • Teodros Alem

            Selam aman
            U wrong as usual, it was meles and kassu(a guy from gorage) who voted against war and it was not in the parliament
            It was on eprdf central committee.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            Your are right. I was just trying to alert Teodros Alem precisely what you have stated. Thank you.

  • Selamat Admiral,

    Check yo self before you wreck yo self!””; “” I am ma brother’s keeper! You ain’t that educated homie! Slide and LEAD! PREAMBLE. IT’S REAL NOW.


  • Brhan

    Hello SAAY,
    I heard from a person that returned from Eritrea recently that business as usual in the school and what the government is telling to the students is that the problem was with the board of the school.

    The PF(JD) is notorious in its manipulation of information and it thinks it can get away with its wrong doing. The Diaa school student uprising was a shock to this repressive regime which taught that everyone and particularly the residents of Asmara won’t dare to challenge it because of fear. It was a tsunami for the regime. What followed later and which rambled the regime is the way how the majority of Eritreans in Diaspora handled the issue: they showed unity and made it clear to the world that freedom of speech and rule of law are absent in Eritrea. The regime could not sell its propaganda by a cheap twitter that it twitted.

    Like SGH said to an international media ,the regime will arrest anyone that it don’t like.

    By making the school continue its business as usual , the regime is buying time. It is a tactic. In the regimes books the school is taken by the gov’t : the regime has a habit of no returning back to correct an act even if the act is wrong.

    The Diaa school awakened our two questions: freedom of speech and rule of law. When we ask about these questions the regime trembles because it knows the latter will take it to the court as Habre of Chad.


  • Berhe Y

    Dear Alex,

    Please name one government of any country, which is collectivly worst to its own citizens that the government of Eritrea in the region.


  • Nathom Habom

    Selam awate
    Why are we guys stock in that even ,there so many think to talk about
    for example how about the slave trade in Libya ,our own brother are maybe between
    Do we care really???? ,why make a big deal of that school ???
    If the others schools submitted,why is the Islamic school refused ??
    Maybe the government wanted to secure the country for long term ,time are bad ,in the name
    Of religion crime are committed around the world ,if those children followed this man
    So easily and throw stone on policemen,what if he told them to suicid ,??? didn’t he said m ready to give in sacrifice my life in that tape ???
    Didn’t some cheick talk about Eritrea in their preach ????
    Did someone condemn their preach from the Islamic opposition or awate team ???
    Is Islam before country or country before religion???
    Against the government of Eritrea is under siege so he will not tolerate any crack that can weaken him
    Mostly sous form of religion. My dear brother religion is private and personal but country is for everyone
    Freedom of speech good ,freedom of religion good but when you use that freedom to upset the other one is conflict proof Ethiopia.
    There is say (meshaf yiqetil we turgwamee yihawi) if you read the Bible or the coran alone it’s violent and destructif
    If you read it with good teacher full of love and compassion real qeshi or hadji it remedy.
    Many twist the coran and the Bible to destroy country and I m sure we don’t want that
    We shouldn’t waist our time on this infortunate even ,they are in their country with their people
    But there are many Eritrean in bad situation around the world that need to be remembered and helped ,let’s all focus on that .

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Nathom,

      Yes we care about our people suffering inside the country and outside. This is important because, had everyone refused to submit to the regime, like this school we wouldn’t be where we are today. We talk about this because it’s the light against the darkness that the PFDJ is. And we talk about it because it give us hope that,, the pfdj will be defeated.

      As to our people suffering in Libya, the PFDJ government which is busy organizing festivals and conferences to the yPFDJ who are citizens of their host countries, who have good jobs and good education, that the last place they need help is from ERITREAN government. Instead the illegal government that it calls itself, they have embassy / consulate in Libya, why don’t they issue press statement to their people and the world. Why don’t they offer the people to return to their country. If they really care about their people, why don’t they change the abuse inside the country so the people can live in peace in their own country instead of running away from them.

      If there is anyone who is more responsible to the suffering of the ERITREAN people anywhere, uts the ERITREAN government because they made life a living hell inside the country.


      • Nathom Habom

        Selam Berhe
        But those people don’t to meet with pfdj people,because not all of them of course are Eritrean
        Why exposing themselves ,but we together we chould try something,
        Finding a good solution will also add some credibility for all opposition.i wish the government do something at the end
        Of the day the are Eritrean you right .

    • Brhan

      Hi Nathom
      If i translate your pen name means give them what is theirs…ok….i will give …..doesn’t SAWA and agelglot to eternity constitute to modern slavery or I can tell you otherwise…charity begins at home…..I condemn what is happening to young people in Libya but the same has happened to my people inside their country for the past 20 years…Natna do hibeka?

      • Nathom Habom

        Selam Brhan
        No Sawa is not slavery, it s military training ,endurance ,self confidence studie,
        But skill training ,electrician,truck and Big machinary training and a meeting place for 9 ethnic of Eritrea to
        Meet up and know each other,building a sence of unity ,
        And it’s a success

        • Mez

          Dear Nathom,

          1) How can you quantitatively measure the policy, performance, and output of Sawa,
          2) can we randomly apply the concept of invariance to any citizen to invite there (be it from within/ from outside of the country) to undergo the curriculum; OR randomly ask and evaluate those who undergo that route,
          4) if you are a graduate from there, what life changing skill, scientific reasoning, and self-value had you acquired while there and after complition you being assigned some task by the government–for less or no payment,
          5) was it worth while, or could you do something better with that time spent there,

          I generally tend to think, when you see closely the Sawa, there are more questions unanswered.


          • Nathom Habom

            Selam Mez
            Well I don’t know what everyone answer bro
            Maybe something better or not it depend what. There was almost nothing before
            The sanction had hurt Eritrea but they kept the country fonctionning ,yes for little pay
            It’s that or the total collapse of the hall country I suppose.they are the backbone of the country
            One day if change needed the deserve the first choice to lead the country ,not those who run away
            And I am sure DIA think about it more .
            Those outside are just a waist of time ,

  • blink

    Dear saay
    I think it is good you reply to the writer in tesfa but this will not be the last . Hopefully you will also not underestimate the Sudanese sheikh infulance , whether you reject him or not , these days facts does not matter for most, what matters is who is making more noises.

  • Selamat Admiral Sa^IIyVII,

    I typed seven points and though I am quite sure it ain’t the YZ h.a. I will go ahead and blame Mr. Y.Z. for my failing to post it before saving it …
    Well as it is the weekend I will utilize my failure above to MMMarket by tellying y’all to look for it here soon: https://amergitsatse.wordpress.com/ (under construction with skeleton light weight content…) but heyyy.. CREAM! Pennut Butter Crunch.

    Look forward to President Isaias Afeworki saying “Etat je suis” comme ça: I & IMMMMMM O! K!
    as in Isaias & Isaias MelesMumarMengistuMugabeMusoveini O!pKagame.

    Lots of “Formage” Mo, it will not disappoint! Gheteb will confirm some… as the Admiral knows,

    “Kab temokrotat dHurr merIHinett Afriqawyan hagerat Sewra Eritran, MeraHrunn Hzbunn temahirna inna!!” I thing went the mantra.. as we hosted all of Rawanda’s Presidential hopefuls at Halls Knox or Baldy at Sunny Buffalo circa 1990. We being the ASU, the GSAU AND AND the ESU with PanAfricanists and BSU. …..


    lots of I&IMMMMM..
    But the M that Matters is Malcolm X! Fanti G.. I see the Al Hajji Malik Al Shabaz Brother Malcolm X Olympian Swim pool with all the ponds and the big pond is almost ready! Per our 3/4:1/4 Binding agreement – Blue Island Badume! Oh you wise Hippo my Tokhrir Brother from the Banks of the Tekeze. Blue Island!

    “In the abundance of water the foooool is thirsty!” BMMMMMMM & the Wailers. Look for IT!


    Blessed Sunday to All. All Praise and Thanks Giving be to the Lord! Amen

    Abbu Asshera Weapon X – Evolution

  • Mez

    Dear Alex,

    An outstanding observation:
    ” …..are other countries in our region that are worst than Eritrea..”.

    The key point is let us deal with our problem.

    Those other countries do have people (citizens) who are going to deal with their issue.

    Don’t mix up things please.


  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Saay,

    When I read the first paragraph of your piece, I stopped and went, to Tesfanews to read the article of Alamin Adam. I don’t understand why Alamin tried to act against his “personal integrity” and go out of his way, to make unforced lies against the historical “Al-Diaa School Incident” and “Abona Hajji Mussa”. However, thank you Saleh, you did a good job to set the record straight and expose the lies of Alamin Adam. In this technological era, where everything is easy to record and disseminate information, and where all the documents, speeches and demonstrations of the incidents are in the public domain, to lie about the realities is simply a self-exposing wickedness. Thank you Saay. For the benefit to your readers, below is the link of the article and how you shredded it.


    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Mez

      Dear Amanuel,

      Coming back to the source of this unfortunate friction,
      I am just wondering why the government is doing such a disservice to itself and it’s people.

      Systematic integration of “scientific reasoning” in the civic (or history, or even geography) class could do best in terms of learning outcome.

      Jailing a 93 years old respected community leader can contribute nothing in terms of educational teaching; too much hot-headed decision makers in the wrong place!


      • blink

        Dear Mez
        I offer this just for Sunday coffee time .


        • Mez

          Dear Blink,

          Thank you for giving me something to listen to.

          The answer for the topic is neither, nor.

          Religion is a social phenomenon of human society, and shall be approached as such.

          Science and religion are two fundamentally different areas of human society activities.
          But they have one common thing: For science to work for you, you have to beleive in it. For religion also the same thing.

          Things you can observe from countless research outputs on subject of religion: 1) in time of peace and prosperity it is mostly a unifying factor, 2) but it can easily/ quickly be exploited and abused for global, regional, or local power players (aparently including by our government), 3) religion is here to stay–it didn’t go away in any forseable future–say in the coming one hundred years. So it is a reality to hug and live with it.


        • Selam blink,

          Thanks a lot for bringing this wonderful discussion to our attention.

          I would have liked to know, if you as an atheist, have voted for the professor wholeheartedly and unequivocally.

          Do you agree with everything he said, like, it is better for a child to be abused by a priest rather than being made a catholic, because the child could overcome the abuse with time and not his catholic belief, or suicide bombers are influenced mainly by their religious beliefs, Islam, (inheriting paradise and virgins waiting for them, etc), and not politics, nationalism, etc, or religion and science could not coexist or complement each other, and science should be the winner of the two by all means possible, or religion has contributed nothing to human society, even morality, which he thinks is the result of civilization, etc.

          What do you think if i say that science has become a religion for the professor, even if there are topics science can never be able to answer fully, e.g. the origin of the universe and if there are multiple universes or not, the origin of life, natural laws, etc?

          • blink

            Dear Horizon
            As you know the terrorist has no specific nationality and they don’t fight for nationalism too. The notion terrorist bomb people for political freedom is not fitting if we open all their political ideology, Second science do got about different univers. According to active school of science, the earth is one of many and too small to be the center of many gods. There must be a difference between who is arguing about that issue based on facts . If one guy argues that “ some one fly on horse wing to space , if that doesn’t move you a bit , there will be very hard for the catholic priest thing.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Mez,

        As you well know dictators want to control everything by instilling fears to their subjects. The Eritrean dictator can not be different. The regime has controlled every aspect of life of the Eritrean people to the extent families are spied by their own family members. The worst evil project the regime has ventured was and is to paralyze the Eritrean youth by deploying them in to endless servitude and answering to the call of the master, that lead to the endless exodus of our youth, never seen in our history, even during the so called colonizers. The regime is tearing down the social fabric of Eritrean societies, leaving no stone unturned to put our nascent nation in to chaotic circumstances when he disappeared out of the scene.

        Amanuel Hidrat

  • Ahmed Idris

    Deep analysing , in disposing the real intention of all totalitarian regime ..by been very sensitive about independent institutions..

  • Ismail AA

    Dear saay7,
    This is pretty handsome win. You got cogent case to defend while poor Wedi Hajji had none, which exposed him to easy-to-cut pie. Beautifully argued and enjoyable piece. Thanks sir.

  • Haile S.

    Dear Sal,
    Great observation, analysis and response to the non-response of the ministry-driven pen. One of the very few things that Minister Russom said in his interview was about the school not following a 1995 directive which he didn’t explain enough about, BTW. This ‘directive’ was just picked up after 22 years from the magical hat of the forgotten or quasi-non-existing directives, institutions etc. There is an Amharic proverb that goes like this ‘ስራ ያጣ መነኩሴ ቆቡን ቀዶ ይሰፋል’ or an unoccupied monks tears down and stitches back his bonnet. It is not that the Eritrean leadership is unoccupied, but it has voluntarly tied its hands by not involving its citizens to govern. It has dissociated itself from the people by becoming a separate entity, a prison guard of a people in its enclosure like a property and not considering them as a deciding part of that parcel and their own administrators. If minister Russom and Wedi-Hajji are reading this post, the only solution to the country’s problems is to return the governance to the people through democratic representation. Nothing can be fully implemented without the involvement and the will of the people.

    • saay7

      Selamat Haile S:

      Ambassador Semere cannot quote chapter and verse of the 1995 proclamation on religious organizations (73/1995), nor can the tesfanews article provide a link to it because it has clauses like “Publications issued by religious entities and religious broadcasting campaign are not regulated by the law of press.” People (thinking people) will be reminded that there was once press proclamation that it was being “studied” after 2001 and it has been 16 years since it was suspended and, if the religious orgs are not bound by the press law, then why were their publications shut down?

      Thinking people may also ask why is the gov referring to a 1995 proclamation when a detailed civil code was passed and is the reason the civil code is not being referred to because it has not entered into force and if not why not.

      Better to be vague and make platitudes the law of the land. The Sawa kids used to say that the government’s pencil comes with a big eraser: they write, they erase, they write again because they are accountable to nobody.


    • saay7

      Selamat Haile:

      To extend your metaphor, the unoccupied monk will not show his bonnet because it has things he doesn’t want you to see. From the 1995 proclamation (73/1995):

      “Publications issued by religious entities and religious broadcasting campaign are not regulated by the law of press.”

      A thinking person will ask “what press law” and will learn that was suspended “temporarily” in 2001. The thinking person may then ask if the law of the press does not apply to religious publications, why were they shut down? Extending the inquiry: if there is a civil code that was finalized in 2015, why are referring to proclamation which was written 20 years earlier? Is it not in effect? If not, why not?

      Sawa kids used to say that PFDJ law-writing pencil comes with a big eraser. Because it’s, as they learned, rule of men and not rule of law. This, more than anything, is what created the push factor: total absence of rule of law. Just the whims of the rulers ebbing and flowing, mostly downhill.



      • Mez

        Dear Saay,

        May it mean that they will be regulated by a special, more restrictive, and to be issued proclamation?

        The law you cited is a sort of


        • saay7

          Selamat Mez:

          I don’t think so. If anything it’s more liberal: authors of religious publications didn’t have to meet the precise definition of a “journalist.” But then I can’t be 100% sure since the Press Proclamation was issued in 1997, ie two years after the proclamation on religious organizations.

          Here’s Eritreas Press Proclamation of 1997, get another document the government pretends doesn’t exist and there is no law that has superseded or voided it:



          • Mez

            Hi Saay,

            The whole approach of the government is perplexing.

            The only thing I missed to do is to go to Jerusalem and yell at the Klagemauer.


      • Abraham H.

        Selam Saay, the new laws were actually supposed to be put in effect from the day of their publication in the Gazette of Eritrean laws, on 11 May 2015. Here is a regime website/shabait article that announced the launching of a number of new laws:

        • saay7

          Selamat Abraham:

          Laws take effect when they are published in the Eritrean Gazette. Are these laws (the civil and penal codes) entered into the Eritrean Gazette? The Commission of Inquiry asked the same question and this is what it reported:

          168. There is conflicting information about the status of four pieces of legislation issued in May 2015: a Penal Code, a Civil Code, a Civil Procedure Code and a Criminal Procedure Code. Only the Penal Code includes a provision regarding its entry into force. Article 3 states that it comes into force when it is published in the Official Gazette. The Civil Code is not available on line. The other three codes are available in English only on the internet, but it is not clear that they have been published in the Official Gazette.

          169. Moreover, witnesses told the Commission that Eritrean judges had not received copies of the new codes and continued to apply the older, transitional legislation. A legal decree issued on 4 November 2015, six months after the date on the new legislation, states that violation of the new decree is punishable under the “Transitional Penal Code” which is the previous penal code. The Government’s December 2015 response to 2011 UNHCR guidelines also refers to the transitional penal code rather than the May 2015 penal code. The Eritrean Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York transmitted the new penal code to the Commission but did not confirm that it is in force despite requests to do so.

          If the gov says that the penal codes are in effect, then it has to explain on what basis it has people arrested and disappeared. Not to mention that civil and penal code make reference to a constitution that doesn’t exist. If it says it doesn’t have penal code, then it can’t show organizations like HRC that it’s making progress with all the international instruments it’s a signatory to including its favorite, Universal Periodic Review (UPR.)

          So the answer is: it is and it’s not , it’s not but it is. What matters is hager tiHimbeb ala.


          • Abraham H.

            Selam Saay, zegerim iyu nay bhaqi: legal codes of the country that refer to a non-existing Constitution. By the way what comes first; isn’t it supposed to be the Constitution that must be in place first, esp. in our case where anyway everything has to be done afresh or revised? What if the new codes do not confirm to the spirit and articles that would be enshrined in the Constitution? Then they would have to be revised again, what about the time, energy and resources spent to prepare them?
            Nay DIA neger sgintir iyu. His regime might not last for ever but he is, unfortunately, inculcating a culture of impunity and silent acceptance by people in the face of endless transgressions by those in power.

  • Thomas

    Hi Saay,
    Great work on bringing all the facts & using them to expose those whose sole purpose runing a website is attacking intimidatimadation by blackmailing/badmouthing. The regime has useless websites such as meshrefetdotnet & tesfa- zeyblomdotcom. Of course, a good for nothing regime hires a bunch of lairs to work for him. They are trained to work as a mafias because they cannot survive without. Finally, The U.N. higher Council Of Human Rights Comission is sick by the intimidation & attack of the useless regime & finally started to talk about. The item is posted & can be read here: http://www.africanews.com/2017/11/24/eritrea-burundi-slammed-for-threatening-un-human-rights-experts/

  • Kokhob Selam

    Thank you Saay,

    Great work and wide explanation..