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Perspective

Pastoral Letter: A complete and Literal Translation

I was moved and inspired by the courage of the four Eritrean Catholic Bishops and felt obliged to do something, or at least, shout out the proverbial expression of solidarity, “I am an Eritrean Catholic too.” Compelled by an irresistible urge to help and promote their cause, which is Eritrea’s …

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Kiros Yohannes: Poet Extraordinaire

My late brother Dawit had asserted that his favorite singer, Bereket Menghisteab, is irreplaceable. Occasionally and upon the insistence of younger siblings who ganged-up on him, he had conceded grudgingly: if there is anyone who might have succeeded in attaining that same level of vocal talent and excellence, then it …

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We, The People, Own It!

My 13 year old nephew once told me that all democratically elected presidents should convene a plenary session to pass a resolution that will forbid all dictators from calling themselves presidents. Oftentimes, it takes a child to let us know that “the emperor” is naked. Perhaps it is this recognition …

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Hope From Pretoria

In a culture that is not strong on expressing gratitude the word “yeqenyeley” has evolved to mean, “Thank you,” but its initial use seems to be more selfish and self-serving. It is simply used to express a wish of re-using an item again and again. The more accurate, refined and …

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Tesfay W. Degiga’s Eulogy for Ahmed Nasser

Tesfay W. Degiga’s Eulogy for Ahmed Nasser In Memorial Service held in Oakland, California, on April 6, 2014 (Translated from Tigrinya by Semere T Habtemariam) When the news of the martyrdom of Tegadalay Ahmed Nasser was heard, Eritreans, from all the corners of the world, have found the news utterly …

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He Doesn’t Hate you; He despises You

My mother was in her late teens when she came to our village as a young bride. She has an incredible memory and recalls events with great details. Over the years, that has given me the opportunity to develop intimate portraits of all the giants and dwarfs who made our …

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Fight Like A Liberation Front; Think Like An Opposition

Isaias Afwerki’s twenty- two years of misrule reaffirms the old adage that revolutions, quite often, are not caused by vision-inspired or ideology-intoxicated revolutionaries but by the sheer stupidity and brutality of governments. Eritrea’s PFDJ has climbed the Everest of stupidity and brutality and won the envy of North Korea and …

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Removal of DIA Should Be Our Top Priority

Isaias Afwerki: the petty dictator of a once-promising small African country Eritrea. Neither his past eminence nor his present vulgar mediocrity can be denied. In fact if there is a totem that aptly describes the bald-faced gangly dictator, his rabble of gung-ho generals and his slavishly servile subordinates, it is …

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Interview with Dr. Bereket Habteselassie (Part 3)

This is part three of the interview I’ve been conducting with Dr. Bereket Habteselassie. Here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. For convenience and ease of reading, I’ve broken the final part of the interview into two parts. Here is the first installment. Semere: I know you …

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In Support of Ato Kidane Alemayehu’s Initiative

When I first met ato Kidane Alemayehu, I thought we were auditioning for a rendition of the movie, Odd Couple. He was an Ethiopian and an Amara with a propensity of repeating the all-too-familiar “sameness mantra” I’ve heard all my life; but one that was unequivocally rejected by my own …

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Miriam Was Here: A Book Review

As the last glint of hope vanished, they whimpered, fully aware that death was closing on all of them. They have never been so sure of the inevitable. There was neither a sudden surge of fear rippling through them nor a riot of doubts crashing on them; they just were …

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Interview with Dr. Bereket Habteselassie (Part 2)

“In my view, accepting even an imperfect constitution (imperfect both in terms of the process of its making and its content) and using it as a unifying or rallying point would be a wiser way, leaving to another day the task of improving or substituting it by another constitution.” Dr. …

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An Interview With Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie

The idea of interviewing Dr. Bereket was triggered by the feedback I received from the many people who have kindly shared their opinions with me. One of my primary goals in writing is to promote a healthy discourse, serve the truth and the cause of justice and hopefully play a …

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Speak Or Hold Your Peace Forever

If you didn’t speak then, please forever hold your peace. A priest officiating a wedding asks those gathered if there is any just cause why the marrying couple may not be joined together; and exhorts them to speak or forever hold their peace. If no one speaks, the priest then …

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My Fears and Paulos’ Views On Seyoum Haregot

Two of my worst fears are that one day we will wake up and discover we were ruled by a clinically insane person. Two Eritrean medical doctors who have known Isaias for a long time and have closely observed his behavior have already indicated that he suffers from some sort …

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Seyoum Haregot’s New Book: A Critique

The Bureaucratic Empire Serving Emperor Haile Selassie Red Sea Press For over a century, successive regimes in the Horn of Africa, have served their respective populace the Tantalus cup of freedom and prosperity. It has become a vicious cycle; a never-ending season of conflicts which has rendered many much worse …

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Lessons Of January 21

Nothing sours the mood of dictators like the appearance of not being in control. A total loss of control is preferable just as a quick death is to a slow death. According to the logic of dictators the fear of government is the beginning of security. History amply attests that …

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Dying vs. Killing In The Name Of Faith

Where is my anchor? For some inexplicable reasons, I was inspired to go to church last Saturday evening. Glad I did; it was an awesome experience and like to believe that I came back home, at least, a little bit more spiritually and morally uplifted. The few times I had …

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Zenawi’s Mixed Legacy

Unlike his predecessor who was widely condemned for his failure, brutality and poor governance, the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia has a mixed review of his legacy and that is, frankly, an achievement we cannot ignore. Meles Zenawi has been praised for his economic and educational policies by almost everybody …

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