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Don’t Challenge Me: Lessons From The Virtual World

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there. Certainly, it is a real challenge to pass on knowledge. You not only ought to know the subject, but must also have the special talent to transfer the knowledge. When I am talking about “knowledge” it is not the knowledge that is measured by the formal standardized “praxis test.” I am talking about the “informal knowledge” we get from informal exchange. If you may, call it knowledge gained from mutual learning in a format of discussion.

Surprise! Surprise! It could be daintily odd, but there are some of our citizen, by virtue of their formal academic achievement, believe that they are the only knowledge carriers, and by extension also are the only teachers in their mind. I am sure many of us have encountered these naked foolish emperors revealed in all their foolish glory. Notwithstanding, their attitudes could be summed up as: “if I am a teacher you can’t challenge me.” They will never stop from bragging of their achievement and making ostentatious arguments.  This small-outfit group, in their arrogant chauvinistic behavior, indirectly claim that they are the oracle of nature and truth. No affinity of peripatetic allegiance to diverse knowledge that comes from others. Not at all! For them, it is usually easy to appreciate their own traits but hard to appreciate those of others. In fact they are stubborn and even downright pigheaded. We know them very well; their success didn’t contribute to the wellbeing of the Eritrean people except to themselves. In a nutshell, they don’t own the common touch of our people.

In the physics of politics, actions generate reactions. Ah… this is a real encounter that rigged you to explode and feel like the skin is rotting off your foot. Too often we allow ourselves to be tyrannized by our elites in a manner that Fraud called “the narcissism of small differences.” They are transplanted within us like a circular firing squad. You will occasionally see them in full swing and floating with casual innuendo – and of course they are a whack-mole quality. In such circumstances, therefore, the first instinct is, to shot them with knowledge alien to them, a bold stroke, when they come running up to you with that attitude. This is not a “recency bias” or subconscious bias as psychologists call it. Here we challenge them with bromide worthy – “face the multiplicity of knowledge.”

Apparently, it is not a sarcastic humor for consumption, nor is it a drama for entertainment. It is a true encounter thrown out to discussion to challenge them to find their strengths in our diversity of knowledge. I want them to struggle and improve the downside of their strength similar to the rest of us. I want to remind them that we vary in the traits—we all posses the strength we exhibit. I want them to learn how to flex, how to be the best of themselves, but still work around their weak side, and sometimes borrowing insight from those who are not like them. At least my encounters know whom I am referring to.

Really, for them, it is a tempting, almost irresistible, to gravitate to the nearest example at hand to calculate their achievement. But for sure, they do not embody the most meaningful representation of our abilities. Not at all! They are involved in magnifying an accomplishment, out of proportion to its importance, as the evolutionary psychologist Robert Wright characterized such self-aggrandizement behavior.

In the knowledge of give and take, the recourse is a two way street. Hence at any moment the mind must be open on both sides. John Cotton Dana once said, “One who dares to teach must never cease to learn.”. Dana was referring to the “reciprocal implicit nature” of knowledge. Invariably knowledge is infinitive and addictive, and lives in every one of us at a varying degree depending on the areas of influence. Knowledge is not acquired by regular schooling only. It is also acquired by avid reading, cultivating and nurturing your talent. I for one want this message to fly right to the faces of those in the fringes who dare to say “we know all for you.

For a moment, let us observe the insight of a simple isomorphic experiment, something done by some experts. I will not give you the entire experimental procedure of the case study; instead I will use the result of the study for my argument. In a “blind tasting”, experts and consumers alike are, for the most part, unable to distinguish expensive wines from the cheap ones. I love this study, don’t you? I love it, because it elucidates or throws light on something, especially if we use it as metaphor in our politics. In real politics the public sometimes faces difficulty in differentiating between elites with moral ambiguity and elites with moral clarity. The former subscribe to the British conservative statesman Stanley Baldwin. Baldwin is assumed to have quipped, “I would rather be an opportunist and float than go to the bottom with my principles around my neck.” Yes, indeed we have elites with opportunist stances as legitimate choice. With their corrosive political irresponsibility, they never stop from trying to wax indignantly on the middle-road, keeping an eye on the direction of the momentum. Nevertheless, when it is said and done, they will not shy away from telling us, that they were part of the democratic change. The later however, are viewed as verdant Utopia by their adversaries. But in reality they are intellectual beavers with big ideas and who understand the nature of our social contradictions and try to look for a practical solution.

Rollo May defined evil in a system of ethics as something, “which tears you apart, shuts out the other person, raises barriers, and sets people against each other.” It is not surprising that our elite, in a virtual world of pen names, are playing the same game, to set our diversity against each other, to build barriers between cultures, and tear apart all the web of our social fabric. We know communities breed character. Eritrea is a fabric of social relationships. It is not an agglomeration of individuals. Don’t listen to some of the elite who use individual right against group rights. Individual and group rights are two inseparable human values. Those who oppose group rights are those who oppose the right of diverse groups as a strategy that would pave the way for the tyranny of the majority. Watch them carefully.

In conclusion: Cutting is not enough to build a harmonious society. To avert societal breakdown, we have to restore our values… the values of respecting the rights of our social diversities. It is a social and political agenda to foster equilibrium between the stakeholders. If we believe in social trust as a precondition for a healthy society, we have to recognize the grievances to inspire trust and avoid degradation. I believe that firm attachment and stable relationships build “human capital.” Let us strive to achieve it.

About Amanuel Hidrat

Amanuel Hidrat, is a political activist and a passionate writer in the current struggle against the Eritrean regime. His extensive writings are focused on constitution and constitutionalism, constitutional process, nature of governments, and grievances of the social groups. His articles can be found “Tebeges”, a rich column at that archives over 150 articles. He has been writing at Ntsebraq in Tigrinya since 1998, and in English since 2000. Through his writings, , he promotes "multicultural liberalism" and "multicultural constitutionalism" that provides a fair share to social groups in the decision making process of governance. Amanuel believes it’s not individuals, but ”our social groups”, that should be the building blocks of the Eritrean nation state. Amanuel studied “Industrial chemistry" at the Poly-technical Institute in Ethiopia, and "Clinical Pharmacy" at St John's University in the US.

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  • Hameed

    Dear Sara,

    The owners of the independence and sovereignty of Eritrea are the people of Eritrea; they have fought for it thirty hard years and paid dear to attain their freedom. Our martyrs didn’t die to rule it Isaias without mandate from the people of Eritrea. Isaias has confiscated the rights of the Eritrean people and is ruling it without law. Is it justice to lock people without crime into containers? If you are a true nationalist why are you defending Isaias only; aren’t the other citizens Eritreans? It is your right to defend Isaias, but to drop the rights of others and attempt to hide his crimes is inhumane.

    Isaias fragmented the people of Eritrea into sects and tribes and he is working hard to see a civil war in Eritrea. Ruling Eritrea without mandate from its people is a clear indication that Iasias is guiding Eritrea to the wrong direction. If he is a true nationalist and the people of Eritrea love him, he wouldn’t be frightened from taking a mandate from the people of Eritrea.

    Ruling the country without the consent of its people is enough to call Isaias a tyrant.


  • Hameed

    Dear Sara,

    You too invite you to read so as to broaden the horizon of your thinking. The mind is like the stomach requires food and its food is reading. If the mind didn’t get the required food from real men and women of letters becomes sick. If it gets its food from half-baked minds becomes sick, the same as an eating of an expired food. Dear Sara take education from its real sources and activate your mind to be a critical mind.

    Our problem is not on what we talk about, but on what we practice on real life. Debates enriches our minds, therefore, let us debate depending on reason to reach a common ground and get solutions to our problems.

    Dear Sara, to attend a debate with well-read men and women is a golden opportunity that all of us should benefit from. Despising such debates indicates we are not ready to seize the opportunity. In is going on a matured and an advanced model of debate which I hope the other opposition websites should follow.

    Dear Sara, we have to be a good example to our young generation, we have to depart the legacy of Isaias that is full of insults to his colleagues and the people of Eritrea.

    • sara

      Mr hameed
      with all my respect to you, as Mr hidrat has mentioned the “if i am a teacher you can’t challenge me” attitude looms wide here in this website by most of those posting, why you want us to toy the same line, isn’t this forum for debate of different views as you stated above.
      by the way the legacy of Mr afeweki is not what you mentioned, it is unity, independence , sovereignty……

  • Daniel Teclegiorgis

    ወዲሕድራት ሕጂ’ውን ከም ቀደም ጽቡቕ ትምህርቲ ዘለዎ መዓር ወለላ ዝጥዕም ጽሑፍ ኣቕሪብካ። ዋእ እንተ’ዛ በዓልቲ ድራጎን ውቃጦ’የ እና’በለት ጸጸኒሓ ትቀላቐል ዘላ ጸሓፊትን ወሃቢትን ርኢቶን ግን ከመይ ዝበለት’ያ፡ …. ኣቤት መጽሓፍ! ኣቤት ኣጸሓሓፍ! ይበል’ዩ። ….. በዓልቲ ድራጎን ውቃጦ ዝብል ስማ ግን ነተን ናይ ቀደም ኣብ ጎቦታት ኣብ ጽምዋ ወይ ድማ ኣብ ጸልማት ኣለዋ ዝበሃላ ዝነበራ፡ ሎሚ’ኳ ጠፊአን’የን’መስለኒ ….. “ጽቡቓት ንፉዓት”…. ደቂ ሕድርትና ኣዘኻኺራትኒ። በዓልቲ ድራጎን ውቃጦ ሃየ በሊ ደሃይኪ ኣይተሓባእ። ከማኺ ዝበላ የብዝሓልና።

    • Daniel,

      Yes! “Alewuna, Alewana” if I could borrow from the late Dr. Russom’s poetry.

      • Faniel Ghebrehiwet

        Amanuel ,the article titled don’t challenge me is very educational. It is well thought and its message is great. Our intellectuals could contribute by being very vocal exposing the rogue regime back home. An active participation of our intellectuals is needed more than any other time as we are progressing to build a democratic nation.

        Good luck Amanuel

  • Kokhob Selam

    This article at the beginning was very tough to understand and I paid attention and read and re-read till I completely understand. I gave my comment as usual openly that Amanuel should know the level of his article readers. But I notice and learn there are people among readers who are able to understand and discuses with him. In this case then he was right to write such tough article and let people challenge and give their suggestion. It was so interesting desiccation even our lion Aklilu has come across the line to write his comment. Wow, I am lucky to learn from those great men and women. They let me read other connected subjects.
    But what will I do with all the knowledge I got from those great men at this edge. One is sure of advanced Eritrea when he leaves this world after long disastrous life I said to myself yesterday night very sick lying on my bed. Pray for me. By the way I want to see the beginning of democratic Eritrea but I am old and sick man.
    My advice to all young once is …. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from such type of great writers and all others even the enemy. Read read read read and use your mind. “Elder than you one day is elder than you a year” is the saying from Arabs. Don’t ignore my advice.

  • sara

    i am impressed with the knowledge if English language and number of books read by all those writing here….but are we here because of that. ….to show us your writing skills…etc
    com-on guys… there other forums you could do it on….

    • Hameed


      I think there is no problem in mentioning books. The books mentioned like that of Dante, Charles Dickens, etc. are important to read and benefit from I also supply you with works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the famous philosopher, writer and composer of the 18th century. If you don’t mind it I humbly furnish you with some of Rousseau maxims:

      “Those who think themselves the masters of others are indeed greater slaves than they.”

      “I had brought with me from Paris the prejudice of that city against Italian music; but I had also received from nature a sensibility and niceness of distinction which prejudice cannot withstand. I soon contracted that passion for Italian music with which it inspires all those who are capable of feeling its excellence. In listening to barcaroles, I found I had not yet known what singing was… —Confessions

      “we should not seek to be noble savages in the literal sense, with no language, no social ties, and an underdeveloped faculty of reason.”

      “The noblest work in education is to make a reasoning man, and we expect to train a young child by making him reason! This is beginning at the end; this is making an instrument of a result. If children understood how to reason they would not need to be educated.” –Rousseau, Emile.

      Don’t you think, Sara, we in Eritrea suffer from being alien to reason and rationalization. We need all our conduct and behavior to give in to reason, then and only then there will be peace in Eritrea for all of us.

      We want our forums to be forums for dialogue, education and building of bridges among Eritreans; we don’t want it to be forums for insulting each other. We want all of us to surrender to reason and logic, and curb the animal instinct emotion.

      “Never exceed your rights, and they will soon become unlimited” Rousseau

      • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


        I couldn’t agree more. Well put.

        • sara

          of-course you do and should agree with Mr hameed , he actually admitted that you are all here to tell us how many, what book/ books you read in order to write this comments …essays etc.
          ya jemaa…. this is the problem you quite often accuse our politicos of…i know better…and a all stuff, want help us reach/ get what we want/

  • b’Alti dragon w’qatto,

    Writers are opinion makers and always create the market of ideas. You have the intellectual acumen except, you have to accompany it with innate can do spirit. You acquire the knack and eloquence which already proved it. The stamina comes from the recognition and push of your peers. You have it and it is up to you to utilize it. The ladder is ready to climb as far as your dream is to be the servant of your people, building further from the fruits you harvest year after year. There is nothing rewarding than to work on the plight of your people to alleviate and improve their living both politically, socially, and economically. Eze wo’dehanka.

    • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


      I have religiously read your otherwise at times tense but brilliant articles ever since you graced the websites with your powerful pen. What seems to stand out in your style is, your incredible ability to hybrid or synthesize the hard sciences into or with the subjective world of the social sciences where the art of politics comes to mind. And of course today, as you resuscitate the man who reconciled Greek philosophy with the teachings of Christianity, it would be uncalled for or a far fetched tag of names if one drapes you with a “religious person”.

      Sure enough, the Hawassa conference marked a watershed in the struggle against tyranny where the erstwhile seemingly formidable edifice of PFDJ is trembling. Having said that however, it is rather astounding to witness the withdrawal of certain political parties or personalities from the historic conference where they seem to have the luxury to put pre-conditions on the host country for the latter still have an issue with the tyrant in Eritrea.

      That is, as I see it, the border issue is not the Eritrean people’s issue, it is Isaias’ Pink Elephant in the living room. But for some convoluted reasons, the said people opted to defend Isaias by proxy when their priority is pathologically misplaced. The issue is rather no brainer: If Isaias had started the war, why would anyone have any qualms to exonerate Isaias by pressing the “enemy” to abide by the verdict? If that is not losing sight of the sense of urgency, I wonder what is?

      The rationale goes, the reason the said people are pressing Ethiopia to abide by the border verdict is a political move in a bid to win the hearts and minds of the apologists of the tyrant so that they would appear to them as patriots as opposed to “sell outs”. If there is a true sense of commitment, it is rather a historical responsibility to win the hearts and minds of the Eritrean people by finding a common denominator with other opposition forces.

      The solution is deceptively simple. If you’re an attending physician and a patient comes to you with a terminal illness, you wouldn’t try to contain his auxiliary symptoms, rather you would cut right to the main core of his/her illness.

      If one is to state the obvious, the terminal signs are there. The productive segment of the society are leaving the country in droves. The economy is in shambles. A given household sustains its day with one bread per day per person ration. When these are the clear and present danger in Eritrea and calling for a sense of urgency, it is a historic fallacy to entertain rosy political philosophies or dwelling on issues that could be addressed once Eritrea lands on the green pastures.

    • It is my feeling that things are getting a little bit out of control. One cannot cajole a smart and as such an intelectual person like our tatooted sister (thanks for following in the footsteps of our maternal ancesstors). If our new “Fana Geza” wants to write (I mean present articles) she will do it.

      We have to leave people be who they are. We should not invade their comfort zone. Maybe our sister excels in auditing. To have such a skill does not come to every one. One must be endowed with critical mind to be an excellent critic.

      As for not having world renown writers the simple answer is we Eritreans were not lucky to have a history of literature. A Greek writer have Homer behind him or her; A Spanish writer have Miguel De Cervantes; an English writer have Dickens; an American writer have Mark Twain; a Russian writer have Gogol; an Italian writer have Dante….

      What do we have?

      What we have is us: Awate website and all its writers (contributers) who do their best to express and share their ideas.

      It is a new Era and let’s be the reformists and renaissance thinkers for today that for sure will give birth to critical thinkers and writers in the not distant future.

      • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


        There is nothing exciting and flattering than when a celebrity knows your name or gives you a glimpse as he walks on the red carpet. That is exactly how I feel today simply because I made you comment on my comments. I sure’ve won the day. And I say, ……..Eritrea has Aklilu Zere.

        While you’re in the neighborhood and before you finish signing your autograph to your funs and haul you into your Limo, I like to ask you a question. As much as you know so much about the tyrant in Eritrea, do you ever consider writing his biography? The question has always crossed my mind for the reclusive tyrant is in the habit of leaving the rest of us to speculate about his personal life as he is a classic case of a psychopath. And of course, many thanks for those kind words.

        • Dear sister (habtey mearey):

          I shall leave that privilege to Wedeyesus Amar and Mesfin Hagos. I might even add to say that these two gentlemen’s historical absolution will come only and only if they both collaborated and write a book (preferably biography) of our reclusive and elusive anti-hope and anti-life entity.

          Your plight is right. I sensed the urgency in your message because those who knew him are passing away like apparitions without telling us what was our rights to know.

          Do you sister know the punishment he incurs towards his comrades is proportional to how close they were to him? The closer gets the stiffer penalty (almost all the time – death after horrific treatment). And this shows us how obsessed he is to hide his identity from others- just like all other psychopath.

          In passing, if the two gentlemen ask me to assist them then I shall be willing to accept.

          • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

            Aklilu hawey,

            If my hippocampus serves me right, you mentioned something in passing in one of your articles where you said, “Isaias always sat three feet away from the people who would be sitting beside him.” That keen sense of observation on your part tells the audience that, you’ve a considerable knowledge about Isaias’ persona. I wouldn’t pretend to be a psychologist but that sure is under-diagnosed paranoia.

            If one was to profile him, one wouldn’t have so much difficulty to avoid overlapped diagnosis where Isaias is a classic psychopath. He is good looking, intelligent and he is a man who is inflicted with an abject apathy. The rude awakening on our part was however, we had to wait for about a decade after independence to see the dark side of the tyrant when he callously hauled his peers and close friends in a rat infected holes.

            The question then remains: Did they (the erstwhile high ranking government officials) know him well? If they had lived with him and shaped up their formative years in the same crucible with him, why did they fail to see what was in store for them? Thirty years is a long time to know someone well.

            But Isaias the ever elusive who hates the Sun for creating his shadow has managed to dodge any assessment on him where he remains precarious to this day. That is, unless someone with a keen sense of following traits (He sits three feet away…..), it would be difficult to rely on the people who just happened to live with him as the clock ticked away as the years went by.

            My understanding is that, Weldeyesus Amar parted ways with Isaias when the latter left for Eritrea after he flunked his Christmas exam. And it would be difficult to call him an authority on Isaias’ formative years.

      • sister b’Alti dragon W’qatto,

        “Fana Geza” is a nice attribute given by our own “Aklilu” to you, our sister, who otherwise elevate our debate to a new height and new insight. Thank you Aklilu for that creative and reflective name. If she comes forward to write articles, we will baptize her with that logo. How befitting will be!!!

      • Saleh AA Younis

        Selamat Aklilu:

        To continue your list, the Nigerians have Chinua Achebe, the French have Camus, the Irish have James Joyce…

        Like you, we recognized the special gift of b’Alti dragon w’qatto when she first started posting and invited her (via email) to write in the front page.

        However, as asmarinos used to say, “ketitatna”:-)

        Somebody will have to translate that to our amce compatriots.

        No harm, no foul. Everybody has his/her favorite style so as long as she keeps gracing the comments section, it’s all good.

        All the best.


        PS: Thanks for dropping the Gual before the b’Alti.

        • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


          Let me throw a hypothetical spin onto the “Ketitat’na N’ ShendiHatna” Asmarino lingua (I am still laughing). First of though, let’s personify is a guy with a rare combination. He is a six pack and a brainy as well.

          In a lazy Sunday afternoon, as he was taking a stroll, he walks in to Bar Diana (Right across Cathedrale) and skims around to see if there is an empty chair around. And he spots a girl sitting by herself right at the corner. Defar that he is, he walks on to her and he asks her if he could share a table with her. She goes, “Sure you can, but my friends will be here in a minute.” And he goes, “I won’t be long, I am sure I will be gone before they get here”.

          As he sat, he kept thinking out loud saying to him self that, this chick is a knock out way of the chart and he felt like the stars were lining up for him. Meanwhile however, he said to her that, “For some reason, you look familiar.” And he went on to say that, “I am sure I know a girl who looks exactly like you.” It didn’t take her much to know that, he was about to hit on her. It is the line where most Asmarinos use when they are in a hitting frenzy. And she knew that, it was a made up story.

          In the middle however, her phone rung and it was one of her friends. They said, they will be a bit late. In no time, they were on a roll. They hit it on movies, literature, popular science and current events. felt like he has known her since Kindergarten. Before they knew it, they had been there for two hours and as her friends were about to walk in, he asks her for her number and an email. He went, “Add me”. (Sal, do you know if anybody has come up with the Tigrigna version of “Add me”? Is it, Dem’rni or Dem’reni?).

          She added him and he gave her his e-mail. As he left the Bar, she kept saying to herself that, “He is not bad at all, and I sure will call him or email him.” But in the mean time, the Eleventh Commandment popped up in her head where it says, “A girl shall not call a guy the next day” for it would look like that she is desperate.

          On a serious note though, I sure will contact you (Editors).

  • b’Al Ambessa W’qatto

    Dragoon Girl

    I think the invitation by Amanual to b’Alti dragon w’qatto to contribute ‘original’ Ideas on shouldn’t be dismissed right away. You never knew the next Virginia Woolf or Jane Austen is in the making. I only suspect academic writing could taken the best part of her- “Her “- in a real space-time continuum”. These are some lines I enjoyed .
    – “eject oneself from the patriarchal world”- oh, that is about male chauvinism and stereotyping
    – “I am not a BeraH, Haxir, and Terbab sebAy”- Oh dear, this must be traits of ‘cerebral’ chick. lol
    – “one could … navigate through the Eritrean psyche with out leaving home at” could replace the old “inform, inspire, embolden’ awate line. Mr Salih J. pls consider it as a slogan.

    Myself an amateur writer who finds joy and hope at the alter of literature (bewildered by big men who write their literature review to their knowledge from power and guns with little wit) is disappointed why we as a society failed to produce writers with wit, humor and irony. [if there are some I stand to be corrected- and will surely have a look to their works- don’t refer me to Nigeria pls or even don’t show me it is not the responsibility of society- any theory on that Dragoon girl? ] I devour on almost every thing with those qualities. I don’t know how my life would have been If I didn’t come to know the works of Martin Amis, Harold Bloom, Christopher Hitchens (save his atheism), W. Buckley, Elveyn Waguh, PG. woodhouse, Saul Bellow and many others. I doubt a generation after me ( I am in 30’s by the way) would have a privilege of claiming to have changed their life because of regional writers view on life and nature.

    Pls awate arrange an email correspondence for me with Dragon girl though I have my doubts if I am her intellectual match. Never mind, I am here to learn standing on the “shoulders” b’Alti dragon w’qatto

    • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

      b’Al Ambessa W’qatoo,

      If I have to add to the pantheon of literary luminaries you just mentioned, it would be Jose Saramago and of course the second to none Gabriel Garcia Marquez as well. Of course, they all have their own unique way of sailing through the otherwise zero sum angst of life where the former carries an abject cynicism with a touch of atheism and the latter is a champion of an abstract surrealism. As you’ve aptly put it, as much as they are the product of the Occident, we still have yet to produce a home grown of their version where we could tap on the wealth of social and political upheaval we invariably experience not only in Eritrea but in the entire continent as well.

      At a peril of sounding a pro-bono publicist of, I would say, the website has introduced us to great scribes in their own right where given the space and the freedom to gush out profound ideas they would have been a tremendous pride to the rest of us in a free and democratic Eritrea. Again many thanks for those kind words.

  • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    In Search of Camilla Vallejo in Eritrea.

    A mini-biography of Camilla Vallejo should be in order. She is a young Chilean social and political activist who has garnered a world wide reputation as the coming of age of “Che” in her own right as she challenges the status quo and galvanizes the youth to fight for social justice and equal representation in the political discourse of the nation. Barely twenty four years old and undergrad Geography major, she is nominated as one of the most influential people not only in her own country but in the far reaches of the globe as well.

    Every generation they say has its own heroes and heroins. And she is not an exception either. Social scientists could help us to understand if it is genetically predisposed or something people pick up later in life as the colourful personalities in history commit themselves for a cause and leave a lasting impact on the rest of us as we watch on the periphery when things or events unfold in the streams of history. The owners of history they are, they are as well driven by a sense of idealism to change the world for better so that posterity could live better than the previous generation. They say, if you’re not a communist (idealist) at the age of twenty, you don’t have a heart and if you’re not a capitalist at the age of forty, you don’t have the brains. That is the paradox of history. Nonetheless, if young idealists didn’t exist, it would’ve been imperative to invent them.

    The question remains: Is Eritrea in a menopause? A practically twenty years old nation can not possibly be in a menopause. The vital signs are there. The hormones are there. Why is she not able to give birth to Camilla Vallejo then? Some say, Eritrea refuses to bear more children for she is disappointed with her own grown up children as they opt to leave the land as opposed to standing up to a tyrant who is determined to incarcerate and destroy her promising and vanguard children.

    And some say, Eritrea is in a hiatus as she is at the cross roads to decide if the road less-travelled is more viable and feasible. As she contemplates on which way to take on, and as she listens to her children debate between violence and non-violence; relying on foreign nations or not; the right for self-determination or not, the tyrant is taking advantage of her “indecisiveness” and he buys more time to stay in power and in the meantime he throws more of her promising children into the dungeons where high tech compasses fail to locate.

    The elderly are however perplexed and furious. As they reflect back on the glorious past of Eritrea, the glorious struggle for independence, they convince themselves that, the ever fertile womb can not be barren. They say, simply because, Eritrea was born out of a political turmoil where the odds were high for her to remain barren. The odds were high for her to remain under colony. The odds were high for her to live in obscurity. They refuse to believe that, the glorious legacy is a legend. They refuse to believe that, Eritrea snatched independence out of the jaws of the weakness of the enemy. They refuse to believe that, it was all for naught. They say, Eritrea could still rise against the odds. They say, Eritrea could still rise from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix. They say, Eritrea was born with infinite eggs in her ova where she beats menopause ad infinitum.

    • b’Alti dragon W’qatto,

      I am from those who believe firmly that Eritrea’s womb is still fertile. We have passed all kinds of odds.The “we can do” spirit still does exist. But sometimes not only we are indecisive at what we should do, but also weak at mobilizing the general public. In short while the objective reality is matured the subjective matter isn’t there…. we are in a medium where “causal factors” and “deviating variables” are in perpetual collisions.

      The Camilla Vallejo is a befitting story to emulate in our reality,especially in the struggle of social justice and equal representation. You have used her story to probe, if the Eritrean womb have fertilized her kind, thriving and evolving within the pool of our young generation. Though you are only pondering, if you would have done a little research and a little effort to elasticize your input into an article form, the public would have appreciated it. I am strongly exerting pressure…….you know what I mean.

      • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


        I didn’t mean to sound a downer but of course, in our lowest moments as we ponder on the dire predicaments of Eritrea, we sort of drift onto melancholy and the blues would surface either in a blog or in melody as well. I am not sure if I could pull Zeno’s paradox to illustrate the mirage we see ahead of us where we feel like we’re almost there but in the meantime the horizon seems very distant as well. The more we feel the era of tyranny is on a verge of collapse, we sort of feel void as we witness our weaknesses where lose ends appear almost everywhere.

        I wouldn’t equate it with a schizoid reality where the Opposition seems to be scattered with in political lines when we are supposed to find a bare minimum common denominator in our struggle to fight against tyranny in Eritrea. But instead we seem to have a luxury to define or platforms where the sense of urgency loses its meaning.

        Ostensibly, the reason I tended to bring Camilla’s rather exciting life onto the fore was to draw the need for a charismatic leader to mobilize the Eritrean Opposition where those we could think of seem to be losing either the luster or the magnetic personality where history throws at you when we as a people own the torques of history. Please forgive me if I rumbled. And many thanks for those encouraging words.

        • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

          Please read: define our platforms instead.

          • Wedi Adem

            Dragon girl I am impressed with your writing with intellect to connect with your brothers and sisters. Eritrean women with courage and intelligence are very important on playing as a a role model to our sisters in general as mentors and leaders to influence them to participate on our issues independently with courage for their own right. I
            beleive we had on the past carmilla Vallego’s type of Eritrean women. The truth is we refuse to follow or support them for a reason of fear from the government. We betray them , sold them out to prey on those criminals in Asmera. Imagine all those brave ex-tegadelti women who are in HGDF prisons had a freedom to pursue the dream they believe in. I guess
            we might seen one of the distinguished of them by now. Honestly speaking I wish you keep informing others to wake up for their right anf freedom.

          • b’Alti dragon w’qatto,

            To answer to your question I always rely on what science offers us to manipulate the thinking mind. But this time I will try a theological approach. Let us see what Apostle Paul advised us about diversity before I try to define our platforms.

            Paul had said the following to the church at the corinth: “though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible.” Thus Paul addressed in his work the importance of accepting those who are different to us, to emphasize the importance of unity in diversity. Wonderful, it shows power in “unity in diversity” and leadership that understand this concept. Someone will not take time to tag me a religious man. It is okay for me. Realistically, for me what it matters is the message along those lines. When differences are ignored it can cripple the work of any mission….and that is what happening in Eritrean politics.

            Now back to your question, at least I will talk only about the recent big umbrella “the national council for democratic change.” The uniting common denominator as a platform they agreed upon, is to remove “the tyranny” that crippled the nation and its people, to build trust within our diversity, and to install a “decentralized unitary governance” that address grievances of our diversity…. and other few none immediate issues. Other basic issues that we raised and debated on, are a matter of educating our people as “civic education.” In the future I will try to write about this subject as an edition of “tebeges” in article form.

  • Fellow citzens, breaking news from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    As a person who lived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for 15 yrs. allow me to congratulate the courageous, mostly genuine ex-Tegadelti of Jebha, who withstood extreme harsh harassment from TRAITORS, CHILDREN OF TRAITORS, EX Mahber Andnet puppets, believing that Isaias was a continuation of Janhoy & Anti TOR`AA/islam, this narrow minded “people”, social prostitutes, only opposed Isaias, when he started to kill from their area…….etc.
    This corageous fellow Edmontonians, I salute them for disrupting, PFDJ`s meeting…this ISAYASAYTS who are slightly better in their regionalism & narrow mindedness will be humilaated forever.
    Triumph to Eritrean people, down with regionalists (pro or anti Isaias)!!!

  • “65.000 ንሕልቕቲ ደርሆስ እናበልኩ ከቢሩ
    20.000 ደገምኩ ዋጋ ደመይ ሓሲሩ ”

    ስብሕቲ ላም ናይ እንዳማተይ ጸሊኤ
    ብ65.000 ሕልቕቲ ደርሆ ገዚኤ
    ኣህጠርኩዋ,ጣፍን ሽኮርን ቡንን ጎረቤተይ ኣብሊዔ
    የቐንየለይ ከይብል,ክሰርቆም ጀመርኩ ተሓቢኤ
    ደቆም ተቓወሙ daylight robbery ብጋህዲ ዝርኤ
    ሽዑ ርእሰይ ክኽእል ተነግረኒ,ብቑጠባ ዘወጽዔ
    ኣብ ሰማንያታት ዝሃብኩዎም ግራት ተጠሊዔ
    እናኸኣልኩ ክስዕር ብሕጊ ዓለም ተኻቲዔ
    ገዝኦም ግሃስኩዎ ብዶብ ኣማኻንየ ተጻሊኤ
    20.000 ከፊለ “ጭራ ደርሆይ”ኣምጺኤ!!!!!
    ወዮ ተካሊት ደርሆ,ካበይ ኣምጺኤ ክቕልባ ?
    ፍርቂ ጎና ብጥሜት,ወሪድዎ ዓጸባ
    ግራት ኣይትሓርስ,ኣይትሕለብ ጸባ
    ጻሕቲራ,ጻሕቲራ…ወርቂ ረኸበት ኣብ ሓደ ኩርባ
    ብላሽ ትሸጦ ኣላ ስለ ዘይግድሳ ናይ ህዝባ
    2013 ተቓውሞ መንእሰያት ምስ ኣጥፍኡላ ቀልባ
    ንኢሳያስን ,ማንኪን, እኒ ዓሊ ዓብዱን ኣኻኺባ
    ክትከይድያ, ሃብቲ ኩሉ ጠርኒፋ ሰባሲባ
    ጥርሑ ገዛ ,ሰርወ-ጥሜት , ንዓና ገዲፋ !!!!!

  • A man with a lion tatoo

    b’Alti Dragon,

    While as you put it , ‘no patronizing is intended’, I’v never seen such an amazing summary of long essay in few words. oh, b’Alti Dragon, if you are not a seasoned professor at some ivy league colleges then you must apply as soon as possible for such skills are required. Or else approach the guys at NYtimes book review ASAP. Amanuel could write a recommendation letter as well. lol

    • Man with Lion tatoo,

      I am sure, b’ Alti dragon is somewhere in a “distingushed area of profession” doing what he/she loves it. He/she does not need my recommendation for that matter. What I love from B’Alti dragon is not the veracity of his/her knowledge but also his/her style of debating, which is very inviting and magnetic to keep you in the debate. Though I would like him to be a contributer in this wonderful website, to enrich and be additional vector of knowledge, I still enjoy him/her commentary and challenging questions to awate writers. I salute him for that.

      • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


        The feeling is of course mutual. And many thanks for those kind words. It is rather interesting to see that, your preconceived judgment is getting the best out of you as you seem to think that I am a “he” when I am in fact a she in a real space-time continuum as well. Of course, I don’t have any intention to intellectualize or psychoanalyze your line of thinking if you still have to eject yourself from the patriarchal world. I say this for a lack of a better word and I hope you won’t take any offence.

        Sure enough, the cyber world could be deceiving where the rest of us are mere characters on the screen but if anything, I am not a BeraH, Haxir, and Terbab sebAy who pretends to be a “cerebral” chick with a rather juicy or an urban legend pen-name.

        One finds not only a warm adobe in but one also finds a diversity in backgrounds where the colours of Eritrea in religion or political persuasions are reflected. To be more precise, one could dissect or navigate through the Eritrean psyche with out leaving home as is a prototype of the diversities in Eritrea. If I had it (the knack for writing eloquently and the stamina) in me, I would have joined in a heartbeat.

        If it remains to be said, Isaias’ Eritrea would have been more wealthy in ideas if the scribes in Awate were to grace Eritrean-Profile or Haddas-Ertra but Isaias the man who is a classic case of a psychopath is not capable of tapping on the rare traits of people as he finds a comfort zone in the quasi lame adage, “Ignorance is a Bliss”.

        • b’Alti dragon w’qatto,

          No offence at all. I stand corrected. I will use the pronoun “she” if you are “she”in the real space-time continuum.

    • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

      b’Al Ambessa W’qatto (As in a man with a lion tattoo),

      Many thanks for those kind words. I sure don’t want to bog you down into the vagaries of ideas or theories whether the knack for writing is innate or acquired later in life. One could always regurgitate or summarize ideas when the real deal scribes come up with original ideas as I happen to belong to the former. I say this however with a humbling heart as I find myself learning and standing on the shadows of giants in their own right where Amanuel Hiddrat is one of them.

      • Wedi Adem

        If there is not the will to agree not disagree the debate stop there. Expressing
        your ideas and criticising is part of civilized discussions, do not make a big deal
        out of it guys.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Mr. Amare
    Don’t try to use and exploit this chance. What we are telling Amanuel is to come a bit down and lift us only as we are not reaching his great mind to understand him. And this is just a normal request from the student to a teacher not more and not are a teacher and you know this very well.

    Amanuel remain hero as far as he stands against all negative thinkers who want us to live in chaos. As for me I spend more time but I have got the idea fully. the is massage timely. in fact you will get a massage that is very important for you than any ordinary man like me.

  • “በዓል ንምክልኻል “ሃገር” $1000 ዶላር ሂበ´ለኹ
    ህግደፍ ኣጠንኪርኩሞ፣ኣነ ግን መይተ፣ዕድመ ንዓኹም”

    ጓል 16 ንእሽተይ ቆልዓ እያ ኔራ
    ሰውነታ ብጹሕ ፣ እኽልቲ ዘምሰላ
    caravel ሓሊፍካ፣ ጥቓ እንዳ ኖራ
    ሸፋቱ ክኣትዉ ኣይተጠነሰትን ብሱራ
    ኣገዲዶም ወሲዶማ፣ ድፋዕ ዶብ ተተኺላ
    ካብ ሓደ ኮሮኔል፣ ካልእ ክጻወተላ
    ዘይትፈልጦ ሕማም AIDS፣እናሓደረ ዘዕብራ
    ብቐሊሉ ትደሚ ክየቋረጸ ዘስዕላ
    ከም ከልቢ ሞተት ማንም ከየልዓላ
    ንጽህንኣን ሂወታን ጠፊኡ ኣዲኣ ትደፍኣላ !!!!!!!!!
    ምዕማጻ ይሰማዕኩም፣ ኣቋሲሎማ ሓኒኻ
    እኒ ተረፍ ድሙ-ድሙ፣ ኣእዱግ በረኻ
    ንሬሳ ኣሕዋቶም ዘጅምዑሉ፣”ነዛ ዓማ ኣዳግማ ኢኻ”
    ኣየ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፣ካብዚኦም ርህራሄ ተጸቢኻ ???
    ሓሙሽተ ዓመት ተጸበዮም፣ ፈጺሞም ከጽኑትኻ !!!!!!!

  • Hameed

    An excellent job Mr. Amanuel Hidrat. It is scholastic ; I hope our elites to benefit from and strive for the good of the Eritrean people. Thanks.

  • Teweldeberhan Weldedawit

    You are the best example of the teachers who don’t have the talent to transfer it and like amanuel in the above comment I am lost. I can’t make head or tail of what you are talking about. It is much ado about nothing. Besides I would like to bring to your knowledge that too many unnecesaary qouting is just a show off.

  • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


    I wonder if I am the only one losing you. You will have to forgive my obtuseness for I am not able to follow you through. You seem to have left us hanging on a limbo where we have to speculate if you’re referring to specific individuals who are high up on the Ivory Tower with academic accolades and appellations as you come down hard on them for flashing their “I-know-it-all” badge. Then you got us excited about an experiment on wine where the said experiment seems to have fallen through before it substantiates its intended purpose. Finally, you jumped onto the moral imperatives of values where you advice us to respect the rights of “our” diversities. Moreover, as you’re passionate to quote certain personalities as their dictum or motto is relevant to your theme, it would be prudent if you could give us a sort of a glimpse about who the personalities are. Hope you ain’t going to say Google them.

    • b’Alti dragon,

      You didn’t lose me. In fact you are from the few “Sew-ablo Kob-keblo” kind of people. You get the gist of the essay and you flash it in one paragraph. Wonderful! The message is to my encounters in particular and to the “negative culture” of our intellectuals in general. I rather fight against their culture than against specific personalities. I respect your push to know them, but I could go only that far. I regret not to quench your eagerness to know the personalities.

      • b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


        If I could use a literal jargon, I would say, your style is esoteric where it could be understood by the few where most of us get thrown off ’till we have to re-read it to get the gist of it. Having said that however, I have learned a great deal from your other articles over the years where among other things, your fight for the right cause and standing up to tyranny should be applauded and emulated. No patronizing intended.

        • wedi adem

          Dragon girl well said. Sometimes we may misunderstood each other but our capability to resolve the difference in civility is the reflection of our
          personality. Well done guys , no hard feelings we are all in this mess. Thanks.