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Good Governance and The Challenges of Eritrean Cultural Diversity

“This essay was originally submitted to Awate as a contribution to a journal planned to be issued after the establishment of a foundation under the working name of Awate2020. It’s being posted here with permission of the publisher to add to the recent debates on the Awate Forum in regard to the topic of ‘individual right vs. group rights’. I believe it is an important addition to the discourse and I hope it will stimulate the intellectual understanding of the concept of ‘good governance’ and the ‘Eritrean cultural diversity.” Amanuel Hidrat

Diversity enshrines certain kinds of factionalism as a universal good, just like liberty and equality.” [Peter Wood]


The goal and the theme of this essay, “good governance and cultural diversity” is to distinguish experts and non-experts from all walks of Eritrean social groups, in order to engage members on comparative conversations and debates, to address the Eritrean “multiculturalism”, and the possible “good governance” that holds diversity together. Certainly, there is a Paucity of accessible literature and information on how to handle diversity and a dearth of intellectual capital available for investment in research and teaching about the subject in the Eritrean academic intellectual pool. The topic, of course, includes multicultural constitutionalism, super-structures, and mode of governance in an attempt to search a solution to the Eritrean reality.

Diversity is one of the most contested issues in domestic and international politics. Academicians, practitioners of comparative politics, conflict resolution studies, political sociologist, and political theorists are proactively in discussions about ethnic, linguistic, religion, economic diversity, political diversity, and their accommodations in the viable legitimate featured polities. Admittedly though, the scope and the magnitude of the topic deserve a more incisive and well-researched treatment. As such, this writer concedes that this study remains to be a work in progress. Invariably, the issue of multiculturalism in our diversity has the complexities of historical experience as well as the vicissitudes and demands of our social groups.

Therefore, in this essay, I will try to probe and make a cursory look at (a) the Eritrean nation-state and the problem with its cultural diversity, (b) The institutional contours and constitutional arrangement to resolve the cultural conflicts, (c) Some history lessons on how to settle the conflicts of ethnonational movements, and (d) how the Weberian concepts of meritocracy – the dystopian vision of class structure, and civil service work, against the interest of minorities in multi-cultural Africa in general, and in Eritrea in particular.

Historical Background

Politically, cultural diversity represents various cultural communities with a distinct way of life, beliefs, practices, and their views of the world around them. A culture of communities or social groups is generally embodied in “arts, music, oral and written literature, moral life, ideals of excellence, exemplary individuals, and the vision of the good life” [Parekh 2000, pp 143-144]. The cultural heritage of a nation is, therefore, the composite of the heterogeneous culture of the diverse social groups. Cultural diversity comprises three main components, namely cultural freedom, cultural rights, and multiculturalism. While “cultural freedom” is a collective freedom that “refers to the right of group of people (or social group for that matter) to follow or adopt a way of life of their choice” [UNESCO, 1995 pp 25], cultural rights “refers to the rights of individuals or community (social group) requiring to express, maintain, and transmit their cultural identity” [Parekh, 2000, pp 211]. When properly interpreted, “collective freedom” implies even to organize politically and socially within the context of “cultural right” to express their political view. The cultural right also implies “individual rights” as well as “group rights” within the nexus of cultural diversity.

Cultural freedom and cultural rights, if constitutionally guaranteed, affirms the equality status of all citizens (as individuals) and the equality of different communities as social groups. Equality of social groups refers to equitable power sharing and fair economic distribution.

The third component of cultural diversity which is “multiculturalism” represents the cultural difference derived from and among the social groups (ethnics) within a country, where cultural diversity is cherished, and where each social group also feels as a constituent of the national identity.  Henceforth, multiculturalism as a policy is, when a government recognizes cultural diversity as a basic character of a nation and ensures the rights and freedom of all social groups fully protected without coercion.

Conceptual Framing and The Aversion of Risks

The choice of language, of course, is very important. It is vital because language evokes frames, namely moral and conceptual frames. Frames shape the way of our thinking, our linguistic cognition, delineate the borders of a contextual issue and avert risks of misunderstanding and optical illusions. In social science, framing is “an art of schema and interpretation to social construction”, on which individuals rely on to understand and respond to events. In order to understand the subject on the issue, this writer chose an ideal case inscribed in the title of the essay and have framed his argument to the concept of multiculturalism and multicultural constitutionalism. With that in mind, I will tackle the challenges of state-building in a multi-cultural society of Eritrea.

The acutest challenges for state building in the third world countries today is the conflict between collective identity and the demand of cultural diversity for equitable sharing and equal respect in the common public sphere. Actually, many “cross-national comparative studies in social science have shown that the accelerated globalization and the end of the cold war have indeed brought the intensification of ethnic or national movement” [Gurr, 1993]. Equally though, “the growing robustness of international human right regime, in which the individual and collective rights of minorities are increasingly recognized, has strengthened the legitimacy of ethnic minorities’ claim for social movement” [Tsutsiu, 2004].

In an attempt to address the grievances, state governments are responding to the claims of minorities “in a variety of ways, ranging from utmost repression to pluralistic policies, such as communal representation, federalism or cultural autonomy” [Ghia, 2002]. The impact of various government policies and constitutional arrangement for the minorities, with a rational choice theory of social constructivism, have, therefore, reduced the conflict of cultural diversity. Comparative evidence also suggests that non-indiscriminative policies and responsive policies to the grievances of minorities contribute to the declining levels of conflict and decrease the support of secessionism [Gurr, 1996].

In non-democratic ethnic state “the state serves the national goals of one ethnic group only to the exclusion of the other ethnonational groups within the state, regardless of their citizenship status” [Nadim & Asad, 1998]. Nadin and Asad further elaborated “thus, it is not the citizenship or membership in the state system that determines the extent of service and privileges of the individual and group (social group); the determining factor is the membership in the dominant group.” That is why the minorities of the Eritrean social groups are registering their grievances and still warns the risk of tyranny of the majority even after the fall PFDJ regime. Yes indeed, Nadin and Asad are right, that in an ethnic state, the state is not neutral in the competition of the resources (provided to citizens) with the individual and the groups, such as political power and wealth, especially when the “state” and the “governing body” are the same, and when the governing party is anchored in the constitution to own property and run businesses. The current state of Eritrea is one of the prototypes that Nadin and Asad are alluding to.

Researchers identified two dimensions of social group diversity (a) social group distribution and (b) social group pluralism. Distribution refers to the configuration of social groups with a particular society. Pluralism refers to a multiplicity of social groups in a society. Geertz presented the well know typology of five social groups based on the relative size of the groups [Geertz, 1963]. And they are:

  • A large group which dominates the minority groups (eg. Cyprus)
  • One central group juxtaposed against a number of periphery groups (eg. Indonesia).
  • Two more or less evenly balanced groups (eg. Lebanon).
  • An even gradation progressing in size from several small through several medium sizes to several large groups (eg. Ethiopia and India)
  • A multiplicity of small groups (eg. Zaire).

Eritrea might be arguably represented in the first category – one social group dominating the other social groups, where the minorities are marginalized in every aspect of their lives, and hence the minorities are making their struggle against tyranny of majority in order to assure equitable sharing in running the state affairs of our nation and fair distribution in the economics of the nation.

The Eritrean social groups reflect the conditions and existence of cultural diversities that demand pluralism. The concept of pluralism reflects the social reality determined by languages, religions, ethnic memberships, and cultural traditions, and implies control of institutions by members of the constituent group (social groups) [Bentley 1971:337]. Therefore, the concept of pluralism is not the condition of existence only but also signify the vision and perspective of maintaining the social groups on the basis of equality and equal rights. According Berge’s, pluralism refers to “property or set of properties of societies wherein several distinct social and cultural groups coexist within boundaries of  single polity and shares a common economic system that makes them interdependent, yet maintain a greater or lesser degree of autonomy and a set of discrete institutional structure in other spheres of social life” [Berge’s 1973:961]. Henceforth, Eritrea requires “structural pluralism” that reflect the representation of our social groups in the state-structure that runs the business of the nation.

Democracy And Its Operational Conundrum

Contemporary researches in social science and political sciences are designed to generate empirical evidence to support the hypothesis of decentralization, inclusiveness, and institutionalized democratic process to counter and end the breed of autocratic and tyrannical parties. In the third world, particularly the African countries, political parties are characterized by top-down organizational structures, where power and decision making are highly centralized with no room for a deliberative decision-making process. As a result, political parties tend to be autocratic, preferring conformity rather than critical debates on issues. This organizational structure is inherited by the current regime in Eritrea and is enforced through covert and overt pressures, illegal sanctions, and the outlawing of any possible opposition.

Political parties are the institutional transmission belt that conveys the will of the people or voter to a government and back to the people. They are the vehicles through which popular sovereignty is expressed and transformed into public policy and actions [Chege, 2007]. In a democratic polity, Political parties play the central role as pillars of democracy in the wider society. Henceforth, it is unthinkable to conceive democracy without parties. Scarrow in his research alluded to the importance of intra-party democracy, and he saw it as a “desirable ideal” for political parties themselves. His assumptions are based on the premises that the increase of intra-party democracy leads to more party effectiveness; and subsequently electoral success on the one hand and strengthening of democratic culture in the wider society on the other [Scarrow, 2005]. Political parties are very important actors in bringing diverse interest. They reflect the social and economic milieu in which they are grounded [Cheng, 2007].

In non-democratic societies, state power extended over large parts of civil societies and the public sphere, where the borderline between the state and society is blurred and vanished altogether [Linz, 2000]. Thus, political parties and party activities are often severely limited, their rights abrogated, and in some cases outlawed by archaic public legislation during election campaign periods.

Most of the democratization literature has focused on the initial emergence of a democratic regime or the transition from an authoritarian to a democratic one [see Huntington 1991, Karl 1990]. To measure the progress of institutions, scholars study the period following a transition from authoritarian rule to the newly adopted democratic rule and practices that have become institutionalized. Indeed, post-Communist countries have focused mainly on establishments on the procedural, formal aspects of democracy, institutional choice, the effectiveness of political elites, and the technical competence of fragile state institutions [Lijphart and Waiseman, 1996]. The current Eritrean regime has a prototype of a communist institutional structure. The Eritrean intellectual, therefore, must debate on what will be the transitional procedural process, on the institutional choices that are appropriate to our cultural diversity, and on the formal aspects of democracy and its institutions.

Diversity and Constitutional Transformation

Donna Lee Van Cott has contributed a new literature on comparative constitutionalism based on the constitutional movement that swept the Latin American countries in 1990. Van Cott observed Latin American entering a new era of constitutionalism by developing multicultural constitutions. Her goal was to create a model to explain when the states decided to create multicultural constitutions – a model applied to the most recent Colombian and Bolivian constitutions.

In 1991 and 1994, Colombia and Bolivia respectively undertook constitutional reforms. According to Van Cott, these two countries had a problem of exclusion generated crises that triggered the decision to reform their constitutions. Both countries had three similar crises that came together (a) a representation crises – generated by non-representative political parties that monopolized access to the state (b) a participation crises – owing to the absence of means for most citizen to participate in decision making (c) legitimization crises – arising from discriminatory access to the protection of the law and equal membership in the nation, and to the absence of effective bases of legitimization to unite and guide the political community. The three crises were rooted on extreme social inequality that underlay an exclusionary state [Van Cott, 1999, Ch-2].

Van Cott actually argues that the convergence of crises of representation, participation, and legitimization prompts political elites to perceive constitutional revision as essential [Van Cott 1999, pp 8]. Van Cott’s argument is indeed instructive to Eritrean political elites to elevate their debate and engage in a constitutional transformation that split from liberal tradition to produce a multicultural constitution as has been seen in Bolivia and Colombia. Political organizations andcivicl organizations in the opposition camp are clamoring for constitutional reform. If we are unable to bring a multicultural constitutional transformation in the current struggle, then “a dictatorship in different guise and shape will likely to reemerge once the current regime is collapsed” [Ahmedi, 2012].

The legitimacy of states is measured in the international fora against their constitutions as well as international norms, particularly with respect on how they treat their most vulnerable (social groups) groups [Chamber, 1997, pp 426-27]. Henceforth, the decision to provide unprecedented recognition for the rights of minorities is part of the larger effort to bring the state legitimacy at home and abroad.

In the Eritrean political landscape, one has to examine the relationship between ethnic diversity and political stability/or instability, and probe beneath the surface to examine the basic assumptions about diversity and the politics that dictate them. In order to do that, some framing questions are imperative, such as do our social groups have comparative relevance in Eritrean politics? Are our social groups adequate for conveying the meaning of group identities in contemporary Eritrea? Will Cultural diversity leads us to strife? Are the prevailing mistrust will lead us to instability? – In order to address the social conflict properly to come to plausible solutions. So far our dyspeptic refusal to answer them is a stunning indifference to the hypocritical oath for justice. Fair treatment of minorities is one of a nation’s most fundamental and vexing responsibilities.

Eritrea: The Un-Exclusionary State

As had become the pattern, the parties that become victorious in a battle to marginalize the losers [Angarita, 1994, pp 40] creating subcultures and mutual antagonism. Interparty violence engendered sufficient hatred and resentment to solidify loyalties based on inherited identifications [Hartlyn, 1988, 25-27, 45] a threat that could mount to a social unrest.

The current Eritrean state and the pending constitutional document of 1997 are exclusionary state and exclusionary document respectively. The nature and pattern of victorious parties are to marginalize the losers as observed by Angarita. EPLF as the “victorious party” banned all the parties that existed before and after liberation and legitimize a single party ruling state with centralized unitary governance.

Eritrea is a multi-national country. Needless to say, the issue of minorities and their concern cannot be addressed under the current authoritarian regime of Asmara. The regime with its institutional structure and repressive surveillance respond with violence for all legitimate public and private formal claim, and national and social restructuring questions. Under such circumstances, we need a frank debate and dialogue, in order to administer the grievances in a rational and equitable manner, should we recognize the importance of justice and stability of our nation without a delay. This writer believes the following issues should be the subject of discussion, debate, and dialogue. Should Eritrea have a centralized unitary government or decentralized unitary government? Should the current administrative structure be preserved or reversed back to the former administrative units? If a decentralized unitary government is viewed as the alternative, should we reorganize in Federalist structure or other types of decentralized unitary government, knowing the variation of power distribution in federalism and other decentralization structures? How will the minorities be represented in the state and government structures? Does the 1997 constitutional document, that depicts a hybrid of centralized unitary governments, address the grievances of our minorities or our social groups? What structure avoids the tyranny of the majority of our social groups? These are some of the critical unresolved issues that inhibited cooperation between our social groups and deepened the mistrust that goes for decades. We need a rational dialogue to bring a multicultural constitutional document, to reform the very exclusionary and discriminatory constitutional structure waiting in the shelf.

Unfortunately, those yet unresolved issues are the very fact and reasons that made the oppositions unwilling to form a “united front” and chart a common roadmap to challenge the totalitarian regime of Asmara. Working with the opposition to facilitate a democratic transition, more so to consolidate the unity of purpose and avoid the historical experience, though limited in nature, this writer believes the demands of our social groups are instructive and must be dealt head-on without a delay. “Intellectuals and the growing sector of the political elites are increasingly viewed comprehensive political reorganization as a vital” [Gonzalez Casanova, 1996, 32] for ending the current power relations and social structures in the nation of Eritrea. Radical constitutional reform guided by normative criteria and normative considerations has become now a new phenomenon for the transformation of unconsolidated democratic regimes, into a distinctly different model of democracy and decision-making process to increase the legitimacy of democratic institutions.  The commitment to normative transformation requires that the constitutional makers should embrace their capacity to embody the political aspiration of the people and serve as a means to integrating a fragmented society into a political community [Elster, Preuss, 1998: 82].

Moral legitimacy is then the principal value to any political system. According to Nino’s observation on the Argentine and Bolivian constitutional reform, he noted that “the central value of a political system is its moral legitimacy – that is, its capacity for producing decisions that are morally justified and binding on those who are subject to them. Thus, assuming that the system whose value is at stake is a democratic one, the value cannot be specified without articulating a normative conception of democracy [Nino, 1996: 162-63].

The argument in this essay “situates the practices and production of cultural producers in their social context.” The cultural product – our social groups and the socio-political process – their representation and participation in the nation’s institutional building should be examined, as to how the ways in which individuals and groups negotiate the constraints of the particular material conditions, discursive frameworks, and ideological assumptions in which they will work collectively. Jon Elster in his series of scholarly inquiries into the process of constitution making, he made few remedies for positive and explanatory perspectives for the constitutional process. He invoked his influential “plea for mechanisms” defining as “frequently occurring and easily recognizable causal patterns that are triggered under general unknown conditions or with indeterminate consequences” [Elster 1998:45].  That is why this writer argues consistently that the makers of the 1997 constitutional document failed to foresee the unknown conditions and their indeterminate consequences of the multiculturalism of Eritrean society and their grievances, and the exclusion of the political organizations that contribute to the liberation of the country under the pretext the winner dictates the norm and the polity of the nation.

Actually, the problem of the document can be described as the conflict between the creature and the creators on the one hand, and the conflict between the diversity and the document on the other. The Eritrean people are demanding a transformative constitution, a constitution that doesn’t seek to preserve the status quo, but instead, that overhaul the existing political order. Deciding how to decide is crucial in a constitutional process, in order the process and the outcome of the process to get legitimacy by the actors of the Eritrean political community and the Eritrean people at large. The dilemma of deciding how to decide really cast a long shadow over the constitutional document and its subsequent possible political ramifications. When some members of one political organization are also members of the constitution-making body, they always seek to embed their interests within the constitution as we have seen in the 1997 constitutional making process. In such a scenario, the constitution makers cannot reduce the role of the executive body and promote the role of the legislative body. We have to bear in mind that, the integrity of the constitution makers in themselves and mitigating the conflict of interest is one of the most challenging political processes – A text strongly against the interest of the political community and the public at large stood no chance being adopted and find legitimacy without dictation.

Cultural Accommodation: The Group Right Model

Group right model involves public measure and aimed at protecting and promoting the existing social groups, and the measure includes language rights, regional autonomy, land claim, and guaranteed representations in the national business [Galzer 1995 cited in Kymlicka 1995]. Galzer’s group right model demands the state and the government should devise institutions that guarantee representation of all social groups in a multi-cultural society.

This writer, taking this conceptual approach as means to resolve the current multi-cultural dissatisfaction, attempted to suggest a multi-cultural constitutionalism to guarantee the representation of our social groups, in running the state affairs of our nation, based on the analysis of dynamic cultural pluralism and differentiating the strands of a plural society. Ethnic articulation (especially in Eritrea) has neither of secession nor of an urge to replace the dominance of state power by a particular ethnic group, but the demand of sharing of state power equitably with distributive justice in multiethnic society [Kumar 2013]. By that, it means the state must be adequate adjudicator and regulator of cultural power in any multi-cultural society. The question is then what kind of state should we build in order for the state to be adequate adjudicator? And what kind of governance is suitable to meet the distributive justice that is on demand by our social groups and maintain the equilibriums of its parts?

Since Centralized unitary governments and authoritarian governments are the same except the former defines the nature of the system and the later defines the governing body [Hidrat 2014], this kind of structure of government is incapable by its non-accommodative nature and monopolizing behavior to address the demand of autonomy, fair representation, preserving the cultural values, to tackle the marginalization of our social groups.  The minorities’ risks model as depicted by Jonathan Fox explains the cause and effect of marginalization, grievance, and rebellion for any given conflict of diversity [Fox 2001].

Searching for new paradigms to this writer, it means to frame a new design and structure of governance and a new multi-cultural constitution that maintain the equilibrium of our social groups, the building blocks of our nation. To accommodate our diverse groups then, I had proposed a solution – “decentralized unitary governance with a bicameral legislative body, one with proportional representation and the other with equal representation to give a space to our minorities” [Ibid Hidrat 2014] and to avoid a hybrid regime and hybrid state, a political system that contains elements of democratic and autocratic system [Hidrat, 2015].


The cultural mosaic of Eritrea is unique of a multi-ethnic society. The growing sense of political, cultural, and economic marginalization of our social groups are clearly demonstrated if we don’t want to dismiss it. The managing of diversity and their differences for the purpose of nation-building is indeed a big challenge in front of us. A plural nation like ours should promote unity and diversity, only if we don’t confuse unity with conformity and demand a comprehensive cultural uniformity among our diverse social groups.

Equally though, we can demand justice and democracy, only if we don’t confuse democracy with a government by the majority group that ultimately marginalize the minorities. Democracy also means fair sharing in the affairs of the nation. In other words, democracy is not only the rule of the majority, but democracy also means a fair distribution of power among the diverse social groups. Always diversity demands a symbol of references acceptable by the entire population which plays as the foundation for the development of national identity.

*Note: The term “ethnicity” always conjures up images of instability and conflicts. That is why I preferred to use either diversity or social groups throughout my discussions and my argument.


  • Ahmedi, L., Dec 2012, “democratic and unified opposition in strategic imperative,”
  • Bentley, R.J., 1971 “the challenge of pluralism”, a journal of Negro Education Vol. 40(4) 337-341.
  • Clifford, G. “Old societies, and new states: the quest for modernity in Africa and Asia”, New York: The free press, 1963.
  • Chege, M., 2007, “Political parties in East Africa: Diversity in a political system”, International IDEA, Stockholm, IDEA.
  • Donna, Lee Van Cott, 1999, “The friendly liquidation of the past: The politics of diversity in Latin America
  • Eisenberg, A., 2000 “Cultural pluralism Today”, In Browning, G.; Halice & F. Webster (eds) “understanding contemporary society: Theories of the present”, London: Sage publicity.
  • Elster, J. 1998 “A plea for mechanisms: An analytical approach to social theory, (Hedstrom & Swedberg, Eds), New York, NY: Cambridge university press.
  • Gurr, Ted R., 1996, “Minorities at risks: A global view of Ethno-political conflicts”, Washington DC: United States Institute for peace press.
  • Gurr, Ted R. 1993, “Why Minorities rebel: Global analysis of communal mobilization and conflict since 1945”, International political science review.
  • Huntington, S. 1996 “The clash of civilization and remaking of world order” New York, Simon & Shuster.
  • Hidrat, A. “The contours of change and the Equilibrium of the parts”, Awate.com, Jan. 17, 2014.
  • Hidrat, A. “Eritrea’s prospect: joining the league of a hybrid regime”, awate.com, June 13, 2015.
  • Jonathan Fox, 2001, “Patterns of discrimination, grievances, and political activity among Europe’s Roma: A cross-sectional analysis” Bar Ilan University, Israel.
  • Kumar, N. 2013, “Social justice beyond distributive Justice”
  • Kymlicka, W. 1995, “The rights of minority cultures”, Oxford university press”.
  • Lintz, L., 2000, “Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes”, London, Lynne Rienner.
  • Nadim R. And AS’ad G., 1998 “The crises of minorities in an ethnic state: The case of Palestinian citizens in Israel”, International Journal of Middle East studies, Cambridge University Press.
  • Nino, C.S. 1996, “The constitution of deliberative democracy, New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Parekh, B. 2000, “Rethinking of multi-culturalism: Cultural diversity and political theory”, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University.
  • Scarrow, S. 2005, “Political parties and democracy in theoretical and practical perspective: implementing intra-party to democracy and National democratic institute.”
  • Tsutsui, K. 2004, “Global civil society and ethnic social movement in the contemporary world” Sociological Forum 19, pp 63-87.
  • UNESCO, 1995 “Our creative diversity, report on the world commission on cultural and development” Paris, World Commission on cultural and development.

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 awae.com that archives over 150 articles. He has been writing at Ntsebraq in Tigrinya since 1998, and in English awate.com 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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  • FishMilk

    Hi All. Some of the very founders of Eritrea as a nation, the G15, remain in jail after 17 years without being afforded due process. In addition to whomever is still alive from the G15, how many other political or religious prisoners do we have in how many prisons in Eritrea? Maybe 10,000 in 33 prisons? Now that a Peace Agreement has been signed with Ethiopia, there is absolutely no reason for PIA/PFDJ not to:

    1) Release all political and religious prisoners except for bona fide criminal charges
    2) Afford all prisoners who have bona fide criminal charges due process
    3) Inform the families of all prisoners currently held in Eritrean prisons of the location and status of their loved ones

    Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of was signed in Geneva, August 12, 1949 only has applicability during a war time situation. With the Peace Agreement signed there is no longer a war time situation.

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Greeting to all,
    I’m just curious about what it means for Eritrean with the recent development that took place in “The Tripartite Declaration”?

    Is this a Historic moment for the HOA, as the birth of the Triplet? 
    Is this means we are heading to the possibility of a confederation?  
    Since Ethiopia is welcoming all party is there a room for a Nonpartisan party for the Triplet? 
    I really don’t understand well about the Nonpartisan party but if I may request a quick briefing on that.
    Thanks in advance,

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Greeting to all,
    I’m just curious about what it means for Eritrean with the recent development that took place in “The Tripartite Declaration”?

    Is this a Historic moment for the HOA, as the birth of the Triplet?
    Is this means we are heading to the possibility of a confederation?  
    Since Ethiopia is welcoming all party is there a room for a Nonpartisan party for the Triplet?
    I really don’t understand well about the Nonpartisan party but if I may request a quick briefing on that.
    Thanks in advance,

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    “ኤርትራዊ መንእሰይ ክስሃሎ’ዩ። ናይ ኢሳያስ ስርዓት እውን እንተኾነ ነዚ መስርሕ ለውጢ’ዚ ክዕንቅፎ እኽእል’የ ኢሉ ከቶ ኣይሕሰብ። ምኽንያቱ፡ ዋና ናይቲ መስርሕ ኣቶ ኢሳያስ ኣይኮነን። ዋንኡሲ ባዕልኻ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ጥራይ ኢኻ።”
    Isayas and Abiy are chilling out in Massawa, what ለውጢ is he talking about?

  • said

    Thank you AH for thoughtful article.

    Jean-Jacque Rousseau, nearly three centuries ago, set the grounds for the frameworks for Civil Society, the New World Order of the time, in anticipation of boding revolutionary disruptions at different corners of the Western Universe, foremost the French Revolution that followed nearly half a century later.

    The intellectual framework that Rousseau edified in his historic doctrine, The Social Contract, permitted the ultimate orderly transformation and streamlining of the ensuing disruptions caused by the impending myriad revolutionary convulsions that followed in different spots of the Western World. The publication of the social contract coincided with the advent of the Industrial Revolution that ushered in technological breakthroughs that dramatically altered the factors of production and industrial relations that in turn had significant bearing on socio-economic relations within a society. The West was catapulted, as a result of these combined developments, into to unprecedented new realms of relative socio-economic prosperity.

    The Social Contract, as the name suggests, was a form of a universal constitution that aimed through the genius insight of Rousseau to the intricacies of Socio-economic relations within a society, and the emerging realities by the force of impending social, economic and political profound changes, to set the precepts for a framework that would harmonize and organize the competing interests of individuals and interest groups with the ultimate purpose of ensuring orderly evolution of the society towards constructive development and capturing of collective latent potentials. Consensual assent between the constituencies making up the social and economic order of a society was aimed at safeguarding social harmony through equitable and just considerations of the rights of the individual and the groups; the very essence and central theme and genius of visionary Jean Jacque Rousseau.

    A Constitution (A Charter in the case of relations between nations) is the closest concept of an all-encompassing social contract. The purpose and
    spirit of the laws that emanate from this broad governing framework are to govern the socio-economic and political relations and harmonize equitably the vying interests of all the constituencies of a society, ideally, on the basis of justice and equity. The purpose of Laws is to reconcile competing interests equitably to serve the intended purpose of sustaining social peace and the unleashing of the collective creative capabilities of a society.

    Same goes, with an ever fast converging universe – thanks to instant communication and speed of transport – with International Laws that are promulgated and whose ultimate purpose are the organization of relations between nations and societies of a converging world.

    Constitutions and laws change – the primordial laws of evolution – to keep pace with a changing world. The introduced and adopted changes, in the ideal setting, would tend to sustain the social harmony by maintaining the equitable treatment of individuals and groups, and by not causing contingent dispossessions or inequities to the individual and constituencies that are at variance with what originally were consented to preceding changes to the laws. Laws Changes Projects undergo a rigorous due process of reviews and debates by representative elected institutions, and their ultimate confirmation and adoption goes through plebiscite voting – a general public referendum.

    A modified law, a new law, is a new constitution. It is ultimate objective and purpose stems from the spirit of law: to sustain social and political harmony; social peace; to safeguard the equitable interests of individuals and broader constituencies.

    International Law is no exception. Both social peace and international peace predicate on the precepts of equity and justice for the individuals, groups and nations to which the laws and frameworks of assented conventions obligate adherence.

    In their totality, international laws and international conventions constitute what’s conveniently referred to as The World Order. Violations of the precepts, equity and justice, wreck the chances for social peace and international peace. Violations of these precepts violate the whole concept and spirit of the LAWS, local, regional, national or international. Violations of the Laws absolve adherents, volunteered or coerced, from submission and abidance by the Laws; Violations of the spirit and precepts
    of the laws, the bases upon which laws should formulate, are open invitation to anarchy and incessant strife.

    Guardians of International Laws, The World Order, are the more powerful and more economically and militarily endowed of nations. Post 9/11, George W. Bush American Administration set itself the sole guardian of the International laws. Since the events of 9/11, George W. Bush American Administration dominates the promulgation and interpretation of international laws. They are dictated and freely interpreted on narrow doctrinarian and ideologically motivated considerations that conform to the renowned Political Expediency style of American’s foreign policy.

    The World Order that George W. Bush American Administration cowboys the less prepared and less endowed of nations and constituencies to submit to, is a World Order that’s fragile and unsustainable. It is an imbalanced World Order that’s imposed by coercion, arm-twisting and blackmail. It is a World Order that can not sustain international harmony or world peace.

    The World Order that American Administration dominates, twists the laws and abuses the institutions that meant to safeguard their impartial applications and enforcement. Foremost are the UN Organization and the Security Council, forums best rendered de facto extension organs of a sprawled American Administration rather than neutral world bodies entrusted with the impartial applications of International laws and international conventions.

    The World Order whose proponents and imposers, imposter claimants of democracy and justice, the George W. Bush American Administration, are dishonest manipulators, narrow doctrinaires and simple-minded ideologues incapable of subscribing to the wider vision of reality. These imposters posing as the guardian of world peace and democracy are incapable, intrinsically or naively, of incorporating unbiased views of what defines the legitimate sensitivities and aspirations of the aggressed and less powerful of constituencies in the mosaic of the World’s Socio-political tapestry.

    The World Order dominated and dictated by anomalous American Administration, is unjust, discriminatory and ideology constrained Order. It Is Not an Order To Be Subscribed to by a complex World, a World made up of a complex web of communities, varied social values and
    varied indigenous political systems. It is a monolithic World, simplistic and unicolored.

    The American Administration World Order Is Not a World to adhere to; absent are the spirit and essence of consensual assent, and the core of enduring laws: Equity and Justice.

    • Aligaz G

      Dear Said

      Rousseau is very important in the development of western political theory. And your emphasis on a flexible or amendable contract is critical. However as currently analysed, Eritrea’s current problems stem from a dictatorship superimposed on a fragmented sociopolitical landscape. Therefore future constitutions will have to deal more with group rights and privileges. In any case, while Rousseau’s Social Contract dealt with socioeconomic disparities, the notion of a just contract is valuable nonetheless.

      The latest new new world order (from Washington naturally) is quite intrusive(and arbitrary) in the Horn but this is nothing new :). PIA has been given a new lease on life but conditional. What terms and conditions have been dictated by the latest iteration of the new world order is not yet clear. For example sanctions have not yet been lifted.


      • said

        Greeting, Aligaz
        Thank you for comment I agree with your statement. There is long way to go in regard Eritrean legal situation ,it should be about equal political Plainfield , social and economic rights. , civil rights and an equal rights in every sphere of life .The outcome will potentially a stable balance of power between all Eritrean communities underpinned by a legal system, and a means to enforce it, and to address and redress grievances by legal means , prevent any discrimination and provide equal justice for all and to guarantee of equal citizenship under the law for all. The Role of future Eritrean courts will be the ultimate decision makers in equality and human rights . such liberties is and was never available to a very large segment of our people.

        • Aligaz G


          Do you see a role for a vanguard party in Eritrea?

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Dear Amanuel,

    I only lived in Eri for 2+ years, and I can confidently say I know Eritrea and Eritrean very well. Not only that but my admiration to the people of Eritrea, specially the EPLF is enormous “Tegadelety”. While I was in Eritrea, I lived with almost all ethnic background, and with people from different sort of life and level of education i.e. Doctors, Engineers, Nurses, peasants(“gebar”), malnutritious people, etc.

    I just cannot see myself being in a position of opposition to those mothers, children, lovely and caring people that I have meet, who were forced to live in a cave by day and outdoor by night, looking up on the clear sky, and were waiting for the stars to announce their freedom. In short, I got a bit of history there.

    I had to read your article couple of times to ensure I understood it well (My profession is technical, my apology if I’m wrong).

    From a standard citizen point of view, my first impression was wowww, it’s well articulated, referenced, and reflects the level of your higher education, and in second thought, I said it belongs in academia database, for reference and abstracts. Other researchers are having difficulties getting readers for their publication, and all university want more and more publication.

    You guys are very lucky, you even got me to read it.
    I must admit, it’s a great article, it can work (like you said it’s work in progress) but the issue with ethnicity in Eri, is not really a big deal (bold and simple). I will say it boldly “ethnicity” instead multiculturalism, because we are the same culture, our ethnicity difference is mostly based on linguistic. Generally, I don’t believe the western term multiculturalism is applicable in the HOA. I like everything Hayat stated on her post but this part might be relevant “…. Reintegration in the HoA would also help the economy and market but would mostly reduce and remove diversity..”

    There are bigger problem to be concern about, that’s the stability of the future. To ensure a sustainable stability in the HOA , you guys need to play a big role, for stability. People like you can change the world let alone Eri or HOA, specially people like Hayat!!

    If I may ask a question to all of you…., Why would Eritrean people suffer while you have people like you guys? It doesn’t really make sense…. It doesn’t really matter if IA or the General SE or any other person have the power, maybe they are looking for unconditional help, may be they don’t know how to ask, and may be no one is offering either. I know how much you all love your country, I think what you all need is reconciliation. With the current technology, you don’t even need to be relocated. I think this is it from me…
    Cheers to all

    • said

      Greeting Aligas
      we have to be very careful of not falling into Vanguard trap of any group till they proof
      themselves. Eritrean agenda has to be positive and pro-active, not just reactive in terms of simply opposing Asmara regime . We need to build a progressive vision. But I don’t hear much nuance like that, which seems happy to deal in simplistic rhetoric and in unnecessary and a log way to go.

  • abdulworld

    Hello Amanuel,
    I don’t if you send this article for review before submission to this forum.

    I have something I call Wolahim Scale which I use when reading any kind of material.

    I have to give this article ranking of Wolahim Score is 1.3
    Lowest score is 0 and highest is 4

    The ranking scale named after Woldeab Woldemarim and Ibrahim Sultan. The first three letters of Woldeab plus last letters of Ibrahim.

    The numerical values behind it is based on the view
    you start with information and once you connect and organize information you have knowledge and next stage of knowledge is applied knowledge and the effective usage of applied knowledge for benefits of yourself and others leads to Wisdom.
    Informational(0-1) to Knowledge(1-2) to Applied knowledge (2-3) and Wisdom(3-4)..

    Here is reason for Wolahim Score of 1.3:
    I can share the score per subsection:

    Introduction (Wolahim Score 0.5)
    Quote: “Diversity enshrines certain kinds of factionalism as a universal good, just like liberty and equality.”
    You open essay with quote from Peter Wood- and based on my reading of his material he is against Diversity. With quotes like “Diversity in its new form tends to elevate many-ness for its own sake”.

    “In the more extended flights of the diversiphile’s imagination, diversity creates good will and social betterment in every direction. The African-American manager, the gay white secretary and the Latino consultant learn from each other’s distinctive cultural experience and become better workers, better citizens, better persons.”

    Also, his usage and concept of “Diversity” is applicable to American and Western treatment of their minorities or ethnic groups. I don’t think we can say there is anything comparable to relation between African-America and White American in Eritrea. I am all for acquire useful tools from West but not mimicking and copying and pasting western concepts… Also, you are beginning your essay with quote from someone against your Thesis.

    So, introduction is more informational no knowledge or anything applicable to Eritrea or its people.

    Historical Background (Wolahim Score 0.2)

    It seems you are defining concepts nothing historical here…
    Cultural Diversity has three components: Cultural Freedom, Cultural Rights, and Multiculturalism.
    Again this informational- no attempt is made explain or compare this with human rights or connect with anything concrete.

    Conceptual Framing and The Aversion of Risks(Wolahim Score 0.4)

    “The acutest challenges for state building in the third world countries today is the conflict between collective identity and the demand of cultural diversity for equitable sharing and equal respect in the common public sphere.”

    Is statement an accurate assessment of situations in African countries? Are the reason African countries are not developing or building strong institutions like Singapore or Malaysia because of the “conflict between collective identity and the demand of cultural diversity…”?

    Tanzania has 125 ethnic groups, Botswana as least three ethnic groups, Mozambique has many, Ghana has many ethnic groups, etc…
    On the other hand, Somalia most people can agree is fairly monoculture… it has fallen out the nation-building scale since 1990s…

    You point out via Gurr that collapse of Soviet Union and globalization have increased ethnic or national movements and increase of human rights had given minority power to be vocal. (this is good)
    You might also consider the thesis of Amy Chua in her book “World on Fire”

    Using Gurr again you discuss different mechanism used by societies to address Ethnic-based grievances or conflict and make the claim.
    “The impact of various government policies and constitutional arrangement for the minorities, with a rational choice theory of social constructivism, have, therefore, reduced the conflict of cultural diversity.”
    How many countries have you seen implement this “Constitutional Arrangement”? How do you know that was the factor and not “various government policies?”

    Then you talk about non-democratic society and quotes two authors named Nadim Rouhana and As’ad Ghanem “the state serves the national goals of one ethnic group only to the exclusion of the other ethnonational groups within the state, regardless of their citizenship status”

    Both of these authors are Arab Israeli whose writing and academic work seems to be deals with experience of Arabs in an Israeli society- Israel was founded as Jewish and democratic state. Its Arab population were an afterthought.

    I don’t know how this can be applicable to Eritrea. I don’t see any correlation. This danger of copying and pasting. I wouldn’t call this applied knowledge or even knowledge.

    Our founding fathers were Ibrahim Sultan and Woldeab Woldemarim… I believe it was Woldeab who said there would be no Eritrean nationality without Ibrahim Sultan. That is foundation of Eritrean Nationalism.

    Anyway- there are other areas where touch on some useful stuff. For example that fact that EPLF excluded many from participating in constitution or society was one worst detriments to nation-building. Wold and Ibra spent their 20-25 years of their lives telling the uneducated and reckless leaders of EPLF/ELF to work together for the nation.

    Eritrea has a lot of challenges and it is important to talk about them. I just don’t know the Wisdom of wholesale copying or proposing concepts or theories from places and nation whose experience or origin doesn’t resemble or is close to anything Eritrean.

    For example, you discuss Bolivia and Columbia as countries with Multi-Cultural constitution- Why did those countries do that? Could it because the native population in those countries were completely subjected, minimized and excluded from society for last 400 years. If you didn’t speak Spanish or look European or were mix in Bolivia you were basically second class citizens.. for more 300 years…

    Anyway thanks for discussion- my recommendation for the essay to improve on the Wolahim Score-
    move the conversation from “informational” stage to applied knowledge. More than ever we Eritrean need scholars with Applied Knowledge and the Wisdom to use it to bring effective change to benefit everyone in our society.

    • Paulos

      Selam World,

      The “Wolahim Scale” is interesting. Can you please tell us more about it. Or is it something you improvised? Just curious.

      I remember reading Amy Chua’s “World On Fire” close to 10 or so years ago. Her scholarship or talking point is rather ingenious in the sense that she upended Marxist classic reading of history when he said, the driving force behind history is the clash between the haves and the have-nots. Chua on the other hand says, it is the clash between the minority ethnic group who control the economic infrastructure of a nation and the indigenous majority.

      In fact, her thesis hits home where she said her wealthy Chinese aunty got killed in the Philippines where she owned multiple business centers. In fact, interestingly enough, I think she mentions wealthy Eritreans in Ethiopia to make a point. In light of the article under discussion, however, I don’t see why you suggested for the author of the article to check the book.

  • Mez

    Dear Amanuel H,
    An outstanding discussion paper with a pivotal core content on: ” ….multicultural constitutionalism, super-structures, and mode of governance in an attempt to search a solution to the Eritrean reality.” Admittedly, the title can cover vast swaths of social dynamics.

    The concept: ““Diversity enshrines certain kinds of factionalism as a universal good, just like liberty and equality.” [Peter Wood]” is very interesting to ponder on, applied in Eritrean context.

    1) I assume, to get a clear idea of the discussion, it would have been imperative–if the author clearly benchmarked (primarily from Eritrean perspectives as the title aludes) specific vital common understandings of “social group”, “culture”, “diversity in unity”, “multiculturalism”, “ethnonational”, “autocratic and tyrannical parties”, “political parties are the institutional transmission belt”.
    2) Further, what to take home when we group-discuss and analize religion as a practiced belief, religion as a culture, religion as a personal choice and guiding lifestyle, limits and seamless transition of influence-sphere (hence starting/end point of) religious authority and contemporary national or autonomous governments in Eritrean context.

    3) The concept, deliniation, and dynamics of social group in relation to i) religious belongingness, or practices is quite different than the ii) ethnocity/clan belongingness expressed in: a) language, b) dressing and custom, c) celebration and greef, d) support of each other in bad days, and sharing of good days etc..

    4) Now and then writers complain about the severity, intensity, and deformative-impact of the “being colonized” legacy on the sociopolitical dynamics of African countries–while completely disregarding the even more existential zeitgenosse (respective ongoing contemporary) factors.

    5) In the initial condition for the formation of contemporary Eritrea, there was no recorded (or known) national dimension intra-“Social group” based civil war before italian colonial era. In the time of the Italian colonialism the constitution was imported from, and specifically deviced by the will of the italian colonizer regime. In the time of the un- mandated British administration, it was more a mix of un-declarations and general British laws which came into application as the basic law of eritrea.

    6) The trajectory the African nations lived through (after European imposed colonialism formally ended) is shaped-reshaped-deformed-reformed in all combinations of possibilities depending on the prevailing superimposition of local (eritrean country specific), subregional (Ethiopia–the need for port access, the Sudan–partial colonial heritage, & cultural link, Egypt–the existential nile water use challenge), regional (Syria/Iraq more due to common ideological philosophy, the KSA oil interest by the america-& related vested interest of the global powers, factored-in with the existential conflict of the nations across the region) power dynamics.

    7) Regarding the historic rivalry between the ELF domain history of the country vs. the EPLF one, the culprit of the problem is to be found in 1) their historical formation process, 2) the way the two fronts created link to the outer world, and the activities thereafter. a) Both movements behaved in their struggle time ( and in some way still now) as left leaning organizations; b) ELF has a historical imprint more with the Baa’th (meaning resurrection/ renaissance) movement, and Nasirist socialism–which is primarily the Arabic interpretation/implimentation of socialism,
    c) EPLF was, for all practical purposes, further linked to the USSR & to some extent China socialist ideologies–and western power intelligence agencies. d) Hence it can be safely postulated, both fronts to be products and relics/relicts of the cold war time leftist movement–which were hatched in the suffocating heat of the cold war dynamics. e) on the top of that, Eplf and tplf (in Ethiopia) do further (uniquely) show a quantifiable mix of ethnic (language centered) nationalism with an extensive use of SS created StaSi enhanced (self sustaining) social repressing/engineering mechanisms; these tools almost always go against basic individual human rights. f) To somehow counter balance the item (e), the elf leadership stayed “gorilla-super-glue”-attached to the policy line of installing Arabic language as a working language of the country, and a foggy/flawed proposition that moslem religion is not practiced the way it should have been in contemporary Eritrea.

    8) I wish the author would have addressed the interaction of “social groups” with the commonly known universal (individual) human right—since the threshold between the two matters a lot. The Eritrean challenge of “good governance” have to do more with the suffocation of the “Universal (Individual) Human Right” than any thing else.

    9) In conclusion, I would argue respect of the “Universal Individual Human Right” (with all its privilages and duties) is the necessary condition to sufficiently tackle and solve the contemporary eritrean sociopolitical problems including the drafting and implementation of an eritrean constitution. Once the UIHR is implemented in the basic law, any missed cultural and social group related specific privilage items can either be automatically solved on the go, or specifically raised once the UIHR start to unfold across the nation.

    Even though they are in no direct way related to the content of the discussion at hand, I have to make a note on two perspectives the way the author crafted this essay: a) the essay at times incorporates ideas and narrations which were developed and discussed on issues not necessarily relevant to the social processes in eritrea, a sort of mix of “potato and sweet potato”. See for example the citation of: [ Jonathan Fox, 2001], or [Nadim & Asad, 1998]. b) the age of the cited litratures; in contemporary research it is commonly understood that citation shall never be referring to older research works–preferrably they shall be no older than five years (from the date of their publication) unless it is for obvious critical factors.
    c) The reason?: The dynamics of the social process in Eritrea today can in no way be fully theorized and described with the framing of the books and journals cited in research work, they are simply inconsistent with the prevailing socioeconomic reality of contemporary time.


  • Aligaz G


    What I am really worried about is your humanity. Oh dear too cryptic. Anyway keep trying. You will get it sooner or later.


  • Ezedin Osman

    I enjoyed reading this thesis. I hope those who dream of the rebirth of the 1997 consitution. once the one man ,one ethenic group Asmara regime comes to an end, Eritrea will be in need of a constituion that represent the whole Eritrean population.

  • Ismail AA

    Good morning fellow Awatistas,

    Guys, any idea about the absence of Amanuel Hidrat the past days since posting his essay. He is usually active and defends his posts with vigor and enthusiasm. But this time, I felt missing him when he is most needed. I hope he is alright, and is not logging for good reason(s). I also asked our SJ by way of kind of PS to one of my brief comments, yesterday I believe.

    • Beyan

      Good wee hours of the morning to you, Ismail AA.,

      Aman is probably enjoying the fruits of his labor. Meanwhile, letting the chips fall where they may. You know, where he lives,the other day, they had a stifling heat. So, he may just be cruising along the Atlantic Ocean shorelines, whistling away to the songs like ወደባት ዓደይ ይረአየኒ’ሎ:: Weekdays is tough to interact. Somebody needs to mind that Pharmacy store, eh.


      • Ismail AA

        Dear Dr. Beyan,
        Thanks. I hope the reason is the points you mentioned. Have peaceful night. I am rushing out to attend the daily routine.

        • Haile S.

          Selam Ismail, Beyan & All,
          I hope Emma is well and we hope to see him ASAP. Yes, like Beyan, I think he is “enjoying the fruits of his labor”, especially this article. Like an astute political-arsonist, reading us from the corner of his eyes while sipping his ice-cold bear 🙂 🙂 🙂 .

          • Beyan

            Hey Haile S.,
            Driving and sipping cold bee may not go hand-in-hand. However, he can still whistle away while sipping whatever drink he fancies. መቸም ምፍጻይ ዘይክእል ኤርትራዊ ዘሎ ኣይመስለንን: እታ ፋጽኡ ዜማ ክትቀያይር from one song to another. I hear it now changing its tune to “…እቲ ዝደልዮ ተዝኾነለይ … እወ ምኸድኩ ገዛውትና…”.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Beyan,
            By mentioning እቲ ዝደልዮ ተዝኾነለይ you reminded of ዑቕባይ መስፍን song ካብ ገዛእ መሬተይ ተሰዲደ…. Incidentally I have it with me and I am listening. Enjoy! No tears please.

          • Beyan

            merHaba Haile S.,

            The guayla approach to the song doesn’t allow you to shed tears. It, however, got my shoulders moving to the tune. It is fascinating. If he had chosen a different melody, you know, the kinds of those that make you shed tears, it would’ve been a different story. Thanks for mentioning it, I am doing Bees, Bees on YouTube on it without the need for fiska. I just now listened to another of his that leaves you in the mood for contemplation: “ኣብ ቦታ ናይ ሓቂ ሓሶት ኣሽካዕሊላ”

      • Dear Beyan and ኣያ ኢስማዒል ዓ ዓ፣

        ዓንተር ዕተር ቀጠልያ

        ቃታ ጠበኝጃኻ ንሙቱካስ ኣቋሪጹ
        ቁራስ ቃተኛ ‘ደ ፍትፍት ሎሚ
        ከተስተማቕር አንድዩ ዘሎ
        ዝለሎ ቅንያቱ ዝለሎ ቅንያቱ።

        ቃንየ ብ መቐነ
        ጠውየ ጠዋውየ ሙሉአ ቅነ
        ቃንየ ቀናንየ

        ክሰም ዕ ከ ስም ዖ ቃና ሙዚቃኻ
        አወ ንቲ ቀንዲ ቃና።

        ቀ በለለይ ቀ ‘ንቲ ቢግ ጭሩ
        ጭሩ ግደና ስምስም አስክትሽም ኢዚም
        ጠ በልለይ ጠ ‘ንቲ ወርቃዊት
        መ ምስ ን አንድዩ መን።

        ዝመርሕ ብዓቐኑ ጥዋፍ ኣብሪሁ ብ መጠኑ
        ሓደ ነጥቢ ሹዱሽተ ሓደ ሸምንተ ባዶ ሰለስተ ባዶ ትሽዓተ ትሽዓተ
        (አላላይ ላላይ አላላይ ባዶ ሓደ ክልተ ሰለተ ሚዒደኪ
        አላላይ ላላይ ሎሚ ስ ኪዲ ጸሊኤኪ ቀቢጸኪ አላላይ.)

        ውርሻኻ ዘበት ኣይ ከውንን ኢዩ እይኮነን

        ኣብ ምንጎ ኽራማት ለጋስ ፈልፋሊ ክነስኻ
        ዝናም ኣቋሪጹ መሬት ዘንቐጸ ክብሉኻ ደጊሞም
        ቃወዘ ከም ዓተር ‘ዚ ዓንተር ይምሰሎም
        ንዚ አዋንካ ቀኑ ቅንያትካ ነቓሊ ሃልሃልታ
        ኻ ተናድያኻ አታ ቀንዲ ቓተኛ።

        (ሓደ ነጥቢ ሽዱሽተ ሓደ ሸሞንተ ባዶ ሰለስተ ኣርባዕተ ባዶ ትሽዓተ ትሽዓተ፠፠. አላላይ ክምዕደኪ እይትቕበጺ አላላይ ላላይ አ ዋ ዋ ዋ ፨ ዋዋየይይይይይየየየ።)


        • Ismail AA

          Selam ጻጸ ሰለሙን ወዲ ሓወይ።
          كنت في الحج ولا اي يا راجل. ما هذا الاختفاء.

          ብሓቂ ወዲ ኣዲኡ፥ ቃተኛ ምስ ቅሙም በርበረ ብዘይካ ክለሳ ጠስምን ምስንካት ውዑይ ጣይታን ጎድኒ ንጎድኒ ክስራሕ እንከሎ ኣብ ቕድሚ ኣደካ እንዳ ኣቀባጥርካ እንተ ጸኒሕካ ኢካ ተረኽቦ። ኣሉ እንተልካ ኣያካ ሃይለ S ሕተት.اسءل المجرب.

          ንምኳኑ ጻጸ ሰሚዕካዶ saay7 ኣያነት your truly ሻሪኩካ ኣሎ። እንተ ዘይ እፍቂድካሉ
          ክሰሶ፥ መዓት ካሕሳ ትረክብ ትከውን።
          Wel komen ብቛንቛ Dutch.

  • Abi

    Hi Hope Nefse
    You got caught Hip Hoping!

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear Amanuel,
    Thank you for showing the interest and, frankly, the courage to raise such a weighty (and apparently contentious) national issue, share your thoughts on it and open it up to discussion and debate. Judging from the comments posted thus far, one cannot fail to see that your essay is indeed serving its intended function rather well. I too would like to present few facts that, I believe, will indicate both the relevance and importance of the theme of your essay to post-PFDJ Eritrea.

    It is logical to think that an external threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a country, be it real or perceived, would unavoidably force a re-ordering of national priorities. In the case of Eritrea, the successive military conflicts that the country was made to enter into with its neighbors had provided the “rationale” for subordinating the domestic agenda — diversity issues included — to national security considerations. This was true both of the regime and of the population. Lacking the ability and willingness to minimize losses to the country by quickly resolving the stalemated conflicts through politico-diplomatic efforts, the regime let these problems drag on seemingly indefinitely for its own selfish reasons: (i) to muzzle public demand for democratic change and (ii) to prolong its unique brand of dictatorship over the country and its people. As camouflage for its true intentions, the regme deceptively declared that domestic reforms cannot be undertaken while the very survival of the nation is in serious danger!

    The population, on its part, seemed to have reached at essentially the same conclusion although, of course, for completely different reasons. Out of genuine concern for protecting their hard-won national independence and in defence of the country from (real or imagined) external enemies, most citizens felt they should defer their demands for reform until such time as the country’s safety and national security are assured.

    As HaileTG has put succinctly in his comments on the present thread, diversity issues had been a key element of Eritrea’s social and political life at least since the British rule of the country. They are known to have been a major factor in Eritrea’s politics, in the alignment of its political forces and even in its long struggle for liberation. Presently, one may erroneously get the impression that those diversity issues are no longer in existence in Eritrea. But, in actual fact, they do continue to exist although they have been suppressed by the country’s current realities as outline above.

    Social diversity (and the political, social and economic demands they engender) are neither “good” nor “bad” and, hence, not something to be overly sensitive about. They are just unavoidable and, really, normal phenomena common to all societies. What makes them (or the situation) bad is when these issues are neglected and society FAILS to address them in a systematic and effective manner that guarantees fairness, justice and equality to all diverse elements of that society. It is obvious that in posting this essay, the author is trying to help ensure that such will not be the case in post-PFDJ Eritrea!

    People with foresight think ahead and try to contribute to building a future democratic, peaceful, stable and prosperous Eritrea by raising, in advance, critical national issues for public discussion/debate so that consensus can be built around the question of how best to address these issues when the time for it comes. Amanuel is trying to do just that and must therefore be applauded for his efforts.

    Thank you.

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Salam Haile TG,

    You are making an excellent analogies to assist solve our ailments.
    I hope to drag it back to the period before Italy occupation and the name “ERITREA”.

    Who was ruling the lowlands of Eritrea? Who was ruling the Highland of Eritrea? Do they live under one ruler in the past two centuries? I think these question will help to understand more of our problems for those who want to understand and co-exist according to historical facts on the ground.

    • Dis Donc

      Dear Al Arabi,
      More than that, to date the people are made to be absent from any kind of discussion, save the referendum. More to the point is that the people will make or break the country. At some point in the future!

      Please cut-out the habit of calling people who oppose you “kedahat.” Because there is nothing wrong in being Ethiopian or kedah!

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Salam Dis Donc,

        A single Eritrean is absent, there is a serious problem, the nation is at a cross-road, we are in an impasse. The reason we have some Eritreans, due to false propaganda for decades, have failed to conceive or say swallow that Eritrea, the map that is drawn by Italians, is composed of two main cultures: 1- Islamic Arabic Culture and 2- Christian Axumite Culture.

        Eritrea as a nation to be stable and prosper her two components should respect each other and innovate a system that makes them live side by side. We have to acknowledge there are two peoples in Eritrea because of the a new map framed by Italians. It is a grave mistake to implement in a Eritrea a system no different than my way or the highway.

        Look brother Dis Donc, I don’t have any problem with an Ethiopian or any other nationality as far as they respect all, I say all the people of Eritrea and Eritrea as a sovereign country. I say fake Eritreans (ቅዳሓት) for those who are sadists, haters, greedy, intolerants, lack empathy and always work hard to create gaps among Eritreans. You can easily spot them, they always raise issues of language, religion and confiscate the rights of others openly. Precisely, they intervene in the rights of others and prescribe for them what to eat, drink, wear, believe, study, speak, live and so on.

  • Nitricc

    Hi all, reading the article by Aman and reading the comments, I feel you guys are thinking from the past experience and with current situation while ignoring the future. It is true that once must think and analyze from the past and the present but that can only useful for a country and people that has/had normal existence. I don’t know may be I lack the knowledge and the culture but Eritrea never had a normal and peaceful existence. It is very difficult and erroneous to predict, compline and critic. I believe the future is bright. I was talking to this young Eritrean in Jerusalem and I asked him if he ever being approach by Eritrean opposition in Ethiopia while he was in Ethiopian refugee comp. And his answer was
    “every week”
    What do they tell you?
    “They just went recruit me to their organization and they tell me every wrong of the government of Eritrea. And my answer always was NO”
    Why would say no, isn’t better to fix whatever is wrong in Eritrea so, your little brothers and sisters won’t do the same thing. Living in a refugee comp like yourself?
    “”You are right, but the problem is “ Nab men Eye mo Kitikus? Nab wedi Ahaduyey? Nab deqi Brigadey nab Hawey? Zeyhiseb eyu”
    (Whom am I to shot at? At my company? at my Brigade? At my brothers? Unthinkable)
    We talk like for an hour and this young man gave me tremendous inside the mind of the
    Eritrean youth. My take is if this is the mentality of the young people and the reality in the ground; it is not very difficult to predict the future because they are the future. The unity and the feel for equality of the young Eritreans is refreshing. So, when it comes to Eritrea, the nation building hasn’t started let alone to assign it to one way the other. For those who you think there is dominating ethic in Eritrea, I have a feeling it is not only in your head but you carrying you old baggage, the 50’s and 60’s politics. If not before accusing the Eritrean highland for anything, go check the names of the people who tragically drowned in the Mediterranean Sea and who lost their lives in the deserts of Sahara. Go ahead check it. One thing I am sure is that the nation building in Eritrea hasn’t even begun let
    alone to define its political heartbeat. The other day, Haile TG asked which first must come, stability or Equality. This generation understands that without Equality there is nothing can be done let alone to achieve stability. In this regard, Sawa has helped in laying the ground for unity, Equality and cultural diversity. Even in chemistry Equilibrium is the mother of stability. Equality is the order of the day.

    • ሰላማት ናይትሪክ ኣሲድ፣
      ካብ ዓቕሚ ደርጃይ ስለ ዝኾነ ዝኾነ መልሲ ክህቦ ነ ‘ያና ኣቶ ኣሞኑኤል ሕድራት፡ (አንተ ሃብኩ ዎላ ብኸምዚ ናትካ መንፈስ ኣምሲለ ቃሬናዊ ተበግሶ ከምዚ ‘ል ምጀመርኩ: “to provide one’s honest assesmemnt on the lack of diversity in Eritrea may very well be percieved as divisive by an obvious biased towards the regime at the helm writer. Your listing of the oddosey trecked by Eritreans and some positive takeaways from the SAWA experiment should raise questions such as “who benefited, visa-vis diversity in Eritrea, in the past couple of decades. As indicators that a shift must have occurred.
      You may need to ask Mahmuday “The Best” SaliH for a translation to my opening sentence in order to gage my leanings better. Here is a hint, I do not lean nor should you.

      I totally disagree with your statement of Eritrea has never been stable or at peace and your claim that Eritrea never attained the stage of nation building ever in it’s history. You are negating of the Existance of Eritrea’s bright future who have toiled of the past twenty seven plus years to rebuild their nation and make it as the enduring inspite of numerous obstacle. To negate all the advances of the Eritrean youth as you have done, I am quite sure Ayya Amanuel may find it agreable but I dout MS would. Your futile escape goating and pleaing the further supression of reforms on the basis of there has been no calm yet forcasting calm is contradictory on many levels. BUT you do have pertinent points, unintentionally, so participate you must I suppose.

      Any how, ብ መጠኑ ( አላላይ ላላይ ሓደ ነጥቢ ሽዱሽተ ሓደ ሸሞንተ ባዶ ሰለስተ ኣርባዕተ ትሽዓተ ትሽዓተ፨ አላላይ ላላይ አዋይይይይይይይይይየየየየ።)


      • Nitricc

        Hi TsaTse; How do you define nation building? For me, nation building means building human capacity, especially the youth and the Eritrean youth were in Sahil for previous 30 years and 20 plus years are in trenches and the rest left the country. This time around Eritrea’s problems are over. the new beginning with new generation is upon us.

        • Selamat Nitric,

          That could be precisly it. Nevermind the uncetinity for it has been and is just that. Let me explain: I am saying total of fifty years in the trenches is in of itself the nation building. Are you saying there is not in existence a rebuild nation Eritrea? It is one thing and an honorable trait to show empathy for Eritreans in Eritrea of the past five plus decade but it is another to claim absolutly no gains have been achieved by Eritreans for over a half century. It is wrong to claim that Eritreans did not manuver skillfully to achieve a level of calm and peace, at least since 2001, to bring forth a durable hardened State.
          The only reason you are preaching such is to suppress legitimate and accelarated reforms as a well deserved reward to the Eritreans who managed to sustain an even assured strengthened Eritrea through their sacrifices.
          At times one need not be contrarian simply because the author he is reading is as biased. Hence “I do not lean.”
          wuff where is the Admiral to provide us with logical fallacies of our stagnant argumentations towards one another. Ehhh I am droping the the name Admiral because I simply do not have anything to address him directly.,… but but maybe through the next article regarding “Individual Vs Group Rights” I too can also resurect to prove for him his own theory as well as its pitfalls… maybe ካብ ምድስካል ኣብ ደርጃ መዓርግ ኣድማይራል፣ ካብ ኣድማይራል ናብ ሓላፍነት ካብቴን ኣውሪደ፡ ብዓቐን ኣፍርያት ኣበርክተኡ ከነላልዮ። ንምንታይ አንተ በልካ?

          ካብ ዓቐን ን መጠን ስለ ዝ ኣረመኒ። ‘ው ‘ኹሪ።
          ኒትሪካይ ን ማሕሙዳይ “ብሉጽ” ሳልሕ ቱቶር (tutor) ኩነኒ ኢልካ ተመሓጸኖ።

          ሓደ ነጥቢ ሹዱሽተ ሓደ ሸሞንተ ባዶ ሰልስተ ፠ አላልልልላልላላይይይይ


          • Nitricc

            Hi TsaTse; You are confusing two facts. For the last 50 years Eritreans fought to create Eritrea, NOT build Eritrea. And the great problem I see is the clashing point between those who fought to created Eritrea and those want to build Eritrea. To expand to the meaning of nation building, for me. it has three pillars.
            Building human capacity.
            The rule of law
            Social justice

          • Nitricay,

            And so you are right. Question: What Eritrea have the creators created? lets expand the conversation.


          • Nitricc

            Hey Tsatse; well the creators created Eritrea out of the impossible. There is no word to explain their tenacity and steadfastness the way they did it. Their main object is to create the land, no more no less and they did achieve that and mission accomplished. Then, the new generation and the land creator generation faced with another challenge, to defend the created land and they did that with absolute resolve and doggedness, again they achieved their objectives, mission accomplish. Now, here is this generation to make or break what kind of Eritrea is? The challenge is not only nation building but you have the land creators with their take; you have the land defenders with their ideas, you have the spectators with their toxic and poisoned imported perception and you have this generation who wants to finish the job and to make worthy of every blood shaded for. I have no doubt this generation will make Eritrea to the Promised Land but but but do you think the land creators, the land defenders and the polluted bystanders will them do what they needed to do? I can understand the land creators and the land defenders, what I am tariffed is the venomous Diaspora spectators. So, to answer your question; the creators created the land, the defenders defended the land and allow us to show you the kind of Eritrea. Trust me!

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Nit,
            “So, to answer your question; the creators created the land, the defenders defended the land and allow us to show you the kind of Eritrea…”
            To do that you first have to ask the people via ballot box because there are many Eritreans who have the same plan/idea as you do. This will have to be preceded by DIALOG BY ALL CONCERNED as to how to go about it. As history shows, the people sacrificed everything they had and, before their own eyes, EPLF morphed into PFDJ the monster. People were left with no choice but to vacate it drip drip drip…. Anything that does not include the people is bound to fail.

          • Selamat Nitricay,

            Our difference is minimal and is due to the difference in the modes of our respective ways of expression. I am hoping not to induce a heavy heart in you or any reader as I approach the stab at a resolution through my personal story. It is regarding my nonagenerian father, i.e. over ninety years old my father is. According to your definitions of “Eritrea’s creators, Eritrea’s Defenders, and Eritrea’s builders” you would put him in the catagory of Eritrea’s creators. Myself would find a best fit may perhaps be “Diaspora Spectators.” “Allowing us (you) to show you (us) the kind of Eritrea,” and to build trust I assure you is my sincere intent. You see Nitricay, the last time I saw my father was immediatly before the Sixth Offensive of the Eritrean war for liberation, in 1981. He some how managed to take leave of his post with the EPLF’s EPLA and travel to Khartum inorder to assure my well being. My elder brother joined him in 1978 after the strategic withdrawal. His intention was to take me back to Sahel and join nearly five and growing to eight younger siblings and three older brothers who were amongst “Eritrea’s creators” per your definition, yet not necessarily under my father’s humble roof or control. He surmised quickly that my circumstance is quite contrary the destitution and lonesomeness he immagined me being alone in Kharum. Infact unbeknownst to me, he was informed of the plans to send me of to the USA as the process was already underway. Three weeks of nearly twenty four hours presense with my father ended with his return to rejoin the pivotal battle that was Derg’s Sixth Offensive. I will mention briefly of my attempt to follow him and do the same briefly for now…. My father and Nine siblings less one lost in battle and one captured later exiled ascended to the highlands in 1991. Eight of my younger siblings became the unavoidable “Eritrea’s Defenders” per your definitions above. Three trecked the sahara, libya and are scattered in Europe anywhere from Italy to Germany. (now as they are currently diaspora after being Eritrea’s defenders, would you count them amongst you to show us “what kind of Eritrea” or amongst “diaspora spectators”?)

            About two month a go I received a call from my first cousin ቆመና ወዲ ሓው ኣቦይ። The only kin I have held in person in decades not so long ago, about two years earlier. After inquiring the brotherly love he stutered these words: “ድሕሪ ኣቦኻ ሞት ግደኻ። This he said over the telephone. Nitricay, what do you suppose my cousin meant with those words. My father one amongst “Eritrea’s creators” according to your definitions is a nongenerian.

            Now ask me again if I or any Eritrean should relegate themselves “diaspora spectators” and trust you to show us what kind of Eritrea you will build and for whome?

            Today, I am escorting an octagenerian Eritrean to his interview to be naturalized as a USA citizen. Fait would have it, on the day I was told the death of my mother, I was obligated to drive to the airport four Eritrean ages ranging from septuagenerian to octagenerian; A couple of husband and wife coupes. I drove silently to the airport and assured they got on the plane heading towards their son’s wedding. And received them as scheduled on their return. No mention of mom. And I am afraid and fairly certain the old man “Eritrea’s creator” has moved on and joined her. No mention to anyone about dad — until now.

            Well, should you remain engaged, I will break it down to you how it is imposible to sit this one out based on a request of “trust me” because brother whether you like it or not builder I certainly am.

            to continue…

            Best Regards,

          • Nitricc

            Tsatse; before I respond and before you continue let me make one clarification. When I say spectators, bystanders, clearly I am saying for the Disappearance who flee the country when the creators and defenders answering the call of duty. I have the outmost respect for anyone who spends a day for the greater good. My beef is with a spectator who has done nothing but have no shame criticizing the creators and defenders; they have the biggest mouth. My references of spectators are those weakest links.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Nit,
            Now that you’ve won over getsatse, let me remind you why the Ethiopian annexation failed. In addition it being un-consulted to the stake holders, the relentless attacks that followed were nothing but tantamount to declaring that Ethiopia was only interested in the land and not the people. Aren’t you declaring the same thing when you say “you have a beef with those who didn’t participate in anything that is Eritrean?” Mind you that Getsatse is singing happily at his inclusion but never crossed his mind that there many others out there that had espoused and continue to espouse other ideas.

            Please keep in mind that I am not Eritrean and I don’t want to be!!!

          • Nitricc

            Hey DIS-DONC; Correction: I didn’t say all absconders are toxic. I am
            saying there people in Diaspora who escape the country by avoiding the call ofduty but are busy degrading, humiliating and dishonoring the honorable peoplewho create and defend. There are many
            people who never contributed but supportive and appreciative what the creatorsand defenders have achieved. There is a difference. And for you being not anEritrean, well it must be a curse to talk about Eritrea but you are actuallyare not one. What a waste of time.

          • Saleh Johar

            Allow me to suggest a shift in your thought process:

            You always talk about obligations of citizens, always on the side of the regime. Can you also include RIGHTS in your thinking?

            Then there are many who were forced to leave their villages when their homes were torched. Do you think they have rights? In short, when are you going to side with the wronged citizen? Doesn’t a citizen have the right to move out if life is not as comfortable as you have it? I don’t want you to think deeper than that, but at least you can be fair every once in a while. Try it

          • Nitricc

            Hey SJ; how can I mention about individual rights when there is no system or the rule of law? In the case of Eritrea; Although, I believe there was a good reason for not implementing the constitution and for not carry on the election. The creators didn’t ask for their rights so the next generation could. The defenders didn’t ask for their rights, so the country can survive. Now we are secured the country and we are entering in nation building period, then, it is time to for individual rights, the rule of law and time to implement the constitution. Because themain ingredients of nation building is the rule of law!!! It is time.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear SGJ,
            For what it is worth thanks for showing up in defending the ideals of freedom and right. I will step aside now….Plus I have to go.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Nit
            What is eluding you is that these people that you denigrate so much never remember signing up, participating or even being told about it, in the things that you are so much enamored about. Wouldn’t it have been better to have given them a chance to vote on it and denigrate them later on. At least that way you have the right to!

          • Selamat Dis Donc,

            I am quite certain you are mis reading me. I don’t know how you can miss that I am the most excluded person in this forum, I consistently give the counter arguement to every line of the individual commentators opinions as well as to the groupings or bipartisan singlular or narrow views that are strewn in these pages. I abhor being to be included and conforming to with us or against us group thinking.
            My inclusion with whome to you suppose has me happily singing. Quite the contrary, if I am at all singing happily it is because I love that I am so far out and different in thought and action from everyone here in the forum. I relish my uniqueness and absurd farout inventions to strive and be as much excluded as I can possibly be.
            I am perplexed by your comment and something about it is discomforting and I shall take liberty to rant and ramble on until I get some traction on your rational and side poking. One hint is your “I am not even Eritrean” statement to Nitric. Is it then because you sense the true genuine heartbeat of an Eritrean and the glimpse to the true psyche that discomforts you that you have felt to render me as if I am some feather light weight to be won over or be swayed by the slightest blow of the winds. My life circumstances, for nearly all of my five decades of life, has shaped me to STAND ALONE…. …. again I can’t put my fingers on it why it is I am finding your comment to be so irritating. … To let you know I am experiencing extreem opposite emotions of utter sadness and joyous optimism simultaneously. I will skip the reason for utter sadness but I will tell you that I am elated because I am free of any desires to belong to absolutley everything arround me. I am my own person and I love it. This is not to say that I have an aversion in being won over by Nitric or anyone or you for that matter. If I am won over it is because I wanted to be. There is nothing to be won over or lost over. We are all experiencing our respecitve individual autonomous lives without any presures or duress to tote the other’s line of thinking or commands… again can’t put my finger on it… what in the hell is a non Eritrean making judgements and poking arround at the dialogue two Eritreans are having amongst themselves? What the hell does a non Eritrean know about the IDEA that is Eritrea? What the hell other ideas to be spoused are out there to an Eritrean other than the IDEA that is ERITREA? Why in the hell would I care whether there are other ideas being esposoused by others particularly by non Eritreans regarding Eritrea.
            Do me a favor Disc Donc, mind your own business and worry not whether I am lossing, winning, being included or excluded. Your sinister simple mindedness can not possibly begin to comprehend this very highly developed and experienced mind. A MIND THAT WILL HAVE A VERY POWERFUL IMPACT AT THAT! THE NERVE.


  • Lamek

    Selam Mr. Amanuel Hidrat,

    You say “Eritrea might be arguably represented in the first category – one social group dominating the other social groups, where the minorities are marginalized in every aspect of their lives, and hence the minorities are making their struggle against tyranny of majority in order to assure equitable sharing in running the state affairs of our nation and fair distribution in the economics of the nation.”

    If you think that is the problem in Eritrea, I don’t know what world you live in. Haven’t you noticed how many of your Tigrinya brothers and sisters have left their homes and dispersed all over the world including in countries where the situation is not better if not worse than Eritrea? What do you think is the cause of this exodus and what is the proportion of this exodus of the Tigrinya nation relative to other social groups in Eritrea? Either you are not being honest with yourself or you live in a bubble. If you in any way think the Tigrinya nation are faring better than any other social group in Eritrea, I can only feel sorry for you for your utter naivety. You always say equitable power and resource sharing, election, democracy, all these nice sounding western terms. Your personal priorities are completely misaligned with the priorities of the vast majority of the Eritrean people.

    If you talk to anyone in Eritrea proper, you will quickly learn how very optimistic they are now that the peace process has resumed and there is hope that peace will eventually triumph. Peace may naturally lead to justice and prosperity. Equitable power sharing and who is dominating the Eritrean politics is not in the minds of any Eritrean. It is a one-man show all around. If you think of IA as a representative of all the Tigrinya people, you are flat out wrong. He represents himself and his contempt and hate of the Tigrinya people is written everywhere.



    • Beyan

      Selam Lamek,

      It’s rather a difficult conversation to have once a certain segment of a society is singled out either as a perpetrator or as a victim. Suppose the Eritrean refugees who are still languishing in Eastern Sudan refugee-camps since 1967 were from the highland region; do you think EPLF turned EPFDJ would’ve made a path for them to return to their highland dwellings?

      Flip the scenario. Let us turn everything on its head. Suppose it was ELF with its Lowland leadership that brought forth independence of Eritrea. Do you think it would’ve let the Eritreans who continue to live in a refugee camp to remain there? Or they would’ve made it their number one priority to work on the rights of these refugees to return to their homeland? Along the same lines, were these refugees in question to be from the highland region, would the hypothetical ELF Turned, say, EFDJ had kept these hypothetical highlanders to stay in the refugee camp? Obviously, we don’t know the answer to these hypotheticals, but one thing is clear: By our complacency, we, by we, I mean majority of us Eritreans never spoke on these Eritreans’ behalf right of return. By omission, we normalized, made a path toward creating a new norm. That Eritreans, who flee for one reason or another, essentially, the new normal, if you will. The close to a half-million Eritreans who have been leaving Eritrea are from the highlands. So, irrespective of who is in power our acceptance of Eritrean refugees to remain in Sudan created a precedence for something that we are seeing the unfortunate displacement of our young Eritreans today. Unless, and until, we see all Eritreans as stakeholders, we will continue to suffer from this my-group-your-group malady.

      Finally, to a side note here to lighten up the mood a little. Two friends casually told me after listening to Mesfin Hagos interview and now to Abdella Adem on SBS each in their own way; what’s up with these former leaders who seem to have now found a confession box to air their misgivings about Isaias. Where have they been all these years? The former told us that IA had interest bigger than Eritrea and the latter is now saying something about Abbay Tigray. Is Eritrea destined to be a courtesan of one entity or another? Can’t Eritrea function as a nation-state independently? Eritrea’s history is replete with NOT so affable suitors who turned life upside-down for Eritreans. Why must the conversation veer to medemmer? Okay, lest one smart aleck accuse me of using medemmer when it suits me but unwilling to give the same courtesy to PM Abiy Ahmed –

      This is getting too comfortable, gotta split, y’all!

      • Blink

        Dear Beyan
        Are you suggesting EPLF was looking for the betterment of highlanders while forgetting the lowlanders and ELF was looking after the interest of lowlanders while forgetting the highlanders? Do you really think EPLF would be operational without the backbone of lowlanders? Have you ever travelled to nakfa way up to qarura because I did and i think you need to travel from highland to low land way up to quarura and know the people than filling your anthropology understanding from ELF old hawks. Knowing the people is quite different than reading because I believe some writers are not being honest for the sake of heinous political agenda.

        • Beyan

          Selam Gheteb. Oops, sorry, meant to say selam Blink,

          Sal Y.’s poignant reasoning for opting out from the topic at hand is the right call. I will use his reasoning to abstain. Here is Sal: “One of the benefits of aging is experience from which we hope to get wisdom. And one of the few I have is that an Internet forum where masked people can say whatever they want is the least suited for weighty and sensitive issues like the one being attempted here. Some of it is demagoguery…” I will, however, say the follwoing:

          It is for similar reason to Sal’s that I chose to stay on the periphery and I found Hayat’s input as something I could comfortably explicate my thoughts. Sal is absolutely right, what peters out is incongruous conversation between the reality on the ground and the expectation of the future that we are all trying to find an amicable path for Eritrean people. Thus, how does one underline the collective suffering of Eritreans today without risking of sentimentalizing it or even stereotyping it? So, what will invariably muddy the conversation are those who come with pennames like Lamek who is huffing and puffing without any discernible reasoning. It is not constructive. So, the situations above make it ripe for miscommunications, hence misunderstandings are the likely corollaries as far as I am concerned. I will leave it at that. Unless, of course, Blink and Gheteb come out of the wood work with his real name. Now, that will be something to cherish for the rest of the year.


      • Haile S.

        Selam Beyan
        SBS radio = the confessional. I like it! ዘላፋልፍ ታቦት እዩ ዝለዎም 🙂 .

      • Selamat Beyan,

        You raise some interesting hypothetical questions based on the physical. I would very much like to expand by way of responding in detail. I am afraid I will have to choose my time when Beyan will have ample time to give it the attention it deserves. Though yours I believe is definatley not the case, quid pro quo via fliping the script can veer to peligroso tracks and may not draw the vivid entire picture. That is to say, in ELF over EPLF triumphing in 91 could be neglectful of the fact that ELF was predominantly Kebesa and it may have handled the 1967 – 1980s Eritrean refugee delima exactly the way EPLF has handled it.
        later (Elalay lalay lalay Had neTbi shudushte Hade Shemonte bado seleste arbaEte tShAAte tSHAAte..)
        “TsheAATe biherat TebaE iyu Hzba….”


  • Abraham H.

    Selam Awatista, it is very delighting to witness the Eritreans and Ethiopians at the border taking the peace process in their own hands by taking a courageous spontaneous initiatives of extending the olive branch towards each other. While the despot in Asmara is preoocupuied with “reconciling” the various opposition armed groups he had nurtured over the years with the Ethiopian federal government, at the same time ignoring the much needed reconciliation within Eritrea itself, people to people relations that are developing at the border are very welcome. The Eritrean despot and his regime must understand that our direct and closest neighbors are the Tigrayans and the Afars of Ethiopia, and hence, any rapproachment with Ethiopia cannot ignore these Killils of Ethiopia, with whom Eritreans have the closest relationship even extending to blood relations. So the message to the Eritrean despot is that he cannot hide from the peace that has started and this peace is eventually going to lead to his long awaited downfall, beacuse oppressors cannot survive under normal peaceful conditions.

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi all,
    While aknowledging that the article above has just described our contemprary social setting and argued well on some better ways of redressing the gaps, I want to reflect on other additional points for further discourse.
    1) In our case, the ususue if social groups may have ither dimensiobs as well broader and deeper than right-granted/right-supressed affair. Most issues arise from the essence of self-identification complexities rather than from limitations or excesses of self derermination of rights and exercing them.
    2) Minorities as in social group are not about numericals only. In fact, they have more to do with their access/inaccess to positions of domination rather than to becoming inferior or superior numerically. In this sense, it is possible a numerically larger but marginalized group can be more of a minority than a majority. For example, it was funny when some folks try to describe Tplf as a minority regime. If it is in power, it never is a minority.
    3) My theory is cultural diversities are not competitive and conflicting as they are non-physical manifests unlike economic interests. Cultural frontiers start with much mutual purpose of convergence and fade away from each other (or independent of one another). Cultural clashes come only when cultures assume political purpose (either hegemonic assimulation or separation).
    4) In the Horn of Africa (HoA), there are many unique historical particularities. These are ideally assets for regional integration but have always remained a recipe for conflict because of the elite leadership fragmentation of the region.
    a) Almost all the countries in the HoA are by their own too small and too big at the same time. The HoA appears meant to be a single ecosystem integrity to be nitched by a single organismic entity. We have seen one country withering away (Som) and another one birthing in (Eri) at the same time. Both didn’t fair well from the result. It must mean, the ecosystem integrity must be maintained or its orgajism is doomed.
    b) To my knowledge, It is the most gerrymandered region where groups have been slashed and shreded into two or three ir nore countries. That is a resource and a reason for reconfiguration and reintegration. Integration in Europe was advanced to bring in diversity for market maximization. Reintegration in the HoA would also help the economy and market but would mostly reduce and remove diversity..
    b) Pastoralism is practiced almost in all HoA countries. The sector is fluid and mobile and has been a source of triggering incidents of conflicts in the region. If border lines were lifted off for the pastorial communities, if there were one region-wide institution to govern pastorialism in the entire HoA, imagine how the many problems would be addressed right there while advancing regional reintegration.
    c) Some countries are without ports when they need them badly, whike others are with long coasts and many ports that are underutilized at best or in fallow at worst. Why can’t these countries combine their resources and needs with well thought out commonly designed regionwide institutions for a mutual benefit?!
    …and more…

    • Beyan

      Dear Hayat,

      This is an absolute must conversation to be had before any policies of political and economic kind are instituted. What you’ve done is tap into the cultural and economic narrative of our region. Better yet, highlighting the social systems, their structures, and how groups from different cultural background manage the tensions that may inevitably arise when they have common resources that they, by necessity, must share. Allow me to focus only on one aspect of your entry. You state, “b) Pastoralism is practiced almost in all HoA countries. The sector is fluid and mobile and has been a source of triggering incidents of conflicts in the region. If border lines were lifted off for the pastorial communities, if there were one region-wide institution to govern pastorialism in the entire HoA, imagine how the many problems would be addressed right there while advancing regional reintegration.”

      Now, if you add one substantial layer of stakeholders in the region, namely farmers and their agricultural outputs that requires them to be sedentary, unlike the pastoralists, as you alluded to it, who have to move from one grazing area to another. Thee nomadic lifestyle and the sedentary agricultural lifestyle are two diametrically opposed notions that see the land from two distinctly different prisms. Therefore, with these distinctly different lifestyles will invariably come tensions and contestations about resources. Jared Diamond (1987) argues that the advent of agriculture came at enormous cost. Based on archaeological findings, he argues against the notion of the “…sacred belief… that human history over the past million years has been a long tale of progress. In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence” (p. 1).

      But, this blanket generalization, in my estimate, does not provide an accurate picture, and that it is far more complex than just looking at it from patriarchal and/or feminist perspective. Seen holistically, agriculture has also proffered many advantages. Consider Strayer’s (2013) “Ways of the world: A brief global history with sources” (This is, by the way, what my 10th grader is reading for her world history class that I am finding fascinating. What I am sharing is a reflection I kept in mind until, thanks to you, Hayat for helping me squeeze it out to the open). At any rate, Strayer states that “…the age of agriculture was far shorter than the immense Paleolithic era that preceded it, farming and raising animals allowed for a substantial increase in human numbers” (p. 5). Such an increase in population Strayer informs us that the “breakthroughs to agriculture occurred only after gathering and hunting people had already grown substantially in numbers and had established a sedentary way of life” (p. 30).

      Two other information that Strayer provides can be used an example that show the inevitability of agricultural revolution. First one is that, “In the Afro-Eurasian world, conflicts between settled agricultural peoples and more mobile pastoral people represented an enduring pattern of interaction across the region” (p. 6). The second one of which is more of a hypothesis than factual coming by way of an archeologist, Klaus Schmidt that Strayer cites, who “argues that the need for food to supply those who built and maintained this massive religious complex may well have stimulated the development of agriculture in the area…[Therefore,] human impulse to worship collectively in a village-based setting played significant role in generating the epic transformation of the Agricultural Revolution” (p. 30).

      There is more than sufficient argument to be made that evolutionarily trajectory would’ve made next to impossible for there not to have been agricultural revolution. Agricultural Revolution was a foregone conclusion. Agriculture may have played a role in the inequities of genders as Diamond forcefully argues, but without the sedentary life there could have been no Industrial Revolution. In fact, Strayer (2013) sees the Agricultural and Industrial Revolution as a “single phase of the human story” (p. 5). Therefore, even though the sedentary life may have contributed to the gender inequity at the beginning, but it began to correct itself during the Industrial Revolution, where women began to join the workforce in industries in massive numbers.

      The way Diamond (1987) attempts to see this one phase as the worst for women is because he is only seeing the Agricultural Revolution as an isolated age. If he were to see it as a continuum, from its previous ages, such as the Stone Age, the Ice Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Middle Ages, he could see the sometimes gradual and other times not so gradual phases of human history in a big picture. So, the modern-day existence with its technological, medical, social advances would not have been possible if human beings did not begin to stay sedentary. In other words, what Diamond considers the hunters and gatherers lifestyle as one that treated women equitably misses the major point of civilization’s evolutionary process where it went through the ebbs and flows. The overall picture I argue is far better today than were we to stay as hunters and gatherers.

      I went through this long winded entry only because I’ve never understood, at least, in the US, where I live, when the US goes into the adventures of war, seldom does it consult cultural or social anthropologists who may know a thing or two about, say, Afghanistan’s culture or Iraqi culture that would inform the politicians before making such drastic decisions as in getting to war, what have you. My hope is that the Horn of Africa will be wise to consult culturally informed professionals before they make political decisions. I think some such approach could help averting disastrous decisions that would otherwise take decades to ameliorate. When politics is the only consideration that one has in mind colossally costly mistakes are inevitable.


      • Amde

        Selam Dr. Beyan,

        I am a big Jared Diamond fan. Thank you for introducing me to Strayer.

        • Beyan

          Selam Kbur Amde,
          And, in all sincerity, I am a big fan of your inputs and several other Ethiopians who wholesomely enrich the dialogue in this medium. The first thing I read of Jared Diamond was through his notable work entitled “Guns, Germs, and Steel”. The article I cited is a four page fast, yet compelling argument he makes in favor of hunters and gatherers using various data indexes contrasting it to the small time farmers.


          • Amde

            Hi Dr. Beyan

            Funnily enough I got into a debate about agriculture with a friend of mine who must have read this piece or something similar. Up to that point I had assumed agriculture was an unmitigated success for human evolution – the kind that in hindsight we say is an obvious mark of human advancement. He came at it from the point of view of diet – his position was basically that we were much better off as hunter gatherers, which with an omnivore diet provided a lot if options fir sustenance. And that was the model that brought homo sapiens into where we are. Agriculture severely cut our dietary options and range. But as a tool of social control it was a great innovation. I never actually thought of it that way. But now I do. And paradoxically enough, I think we are starting to eat like the hunter gatherers used to – more nutritional variety is available at all seasons. It is a very interesting idea.

            In “Guns, Germs and Steel” Jared Diamond thinks of the Ethiopian highlands as a unique geographic/ecological zone ecologically separated from the hot grasslands around it. It explains so many things about our demographics, culture, history and politics for me, that sometimes I think any Ethiopian politician has to at least be aware of some Diamond’s thoughts.

            Thank you sir.


          • Paulos

            Selam Amde,

            I can actually relate to what you just said when you run into something related to Ethiopia or Eritrea for that matter in a book you would expect it to talk about something else instead.

            As it happened, I had plenty of time this summer and did some reading and catching up on my to-read-books list. And one of the books is, “Serengeti Rules.” It is just a brilliant book where incidentally, the author mentions Ethiopia in one of the chapters when he talks about the “Rinderpest Virus” otherwise known as “Cattle Plague” which had killed close to 95% cattle and buffalos in Serengeti in 1891. The virus is more often fatal which is equivalent to human measeles virus. The author says, the virus was first introduced to East Africa when Italian soldiers first set foot in Ethiopia in 1889 and brought with them virus infected cattle from India. I thought, it was an interesting piece of information about our collective history. And it sure got me excited as I read on.

          • Abi

            Very interesting!
            Now your assignment is to relate the year with the Battle of Adwa. That will give you an insight into how that disease depleted Menelik’s army.

          • Paulos


            As they say, the plot is getting thicker. Kinda lazy to did into that though. You’re younger than I am and you have more energy under your sleeve. Please tell us more about it. I ain’t kidding. I really wanna know.

          • saay7

            Good Night Sir Amde:

            I thought the takeaway from Jareds “Guns Germs ምናምን..” was that in any society that has an agrarian and pastoral population, the agrarian society is always the dominant one.

            It’s been forever since I read the book. Like Malcolm Gladwell, Jared makes a lot of clean generalities (which must frustrate anthropologists everywhere) but is able to popularize complex subjects, make a bundle of money and then franchise it. That is too say, I am a lot less impressed by both since I first read them. This, I believe, is part of the natural journey towards our final designation as grumpy old people. Or, as Clint Eastwood says in “Unforgiven”, I don’t know nothing. Not one damn thing.

            Also, did you see “Amhara Tv” in Eritrea whitewashing the dictatorship and oooohing and aaaahing? I demand that awatista Ethiopians send a letter of protest or the registrar here will not acknowledge your college credits.


          • Eyob Medhane

            I saw the Amhara TV program. I am furious. Don’t get me started. If Asmara is the utopian heaven that they are talking about, what are we all doing here? They were so smitten with their guides ፋገራ (Guides that Eri Information and foreign ministers provided them) their fanboying is so embarrassing. No wonder they were “asked” to open a bureau there. On the bright side, if they take up the offer and open an office there, they will be the first foreign news outlet to have presence in Asmara….

          • saay7


            Here’s the next president of Amhara State Mr Andargachew Tsige explaining what TPLFs problem was with PFDJ:

            እንደምናየው ከሆነ ደሞ እነኝህ ሰዎች ሌላ ችግር ቢኖርባቸው የቀን ተቀን ኑሮአቸው ሌብነት የማያውቁ ከ ባሕታዊ ልዩነት በሌለው መንገድ የሚኖሩ ሰዎች ናቸው እና አላማውን ሌብነት አርጎ የመጣው ወያኔ የነዚህ ሰዎች እቦታው መገኘት ያስፈራው ይመስለኛል::

            So it was a clash between monks and thieves. Also, more Eritreans fought for Ethiopia against foreign aggression than Tigrayans.

            It’s Cool Aid season.


          • Abi

            Hey Saay
            ሆዳም Abi is reading the current article by Awate’s Paris Dennard. It is more interesting than the TV thing you guys are talking about.

      • Ismail AA

        Hayak Allah Beyan,

        Very significant elaborative input as usual. I do not regret, and I will not in future, too, about the declaration I made in this forum early on after reading quite a few of Hayat’s contributions that this lady (please correct me if I mistook social status title) is indeed amazingly competent person. I have disagreed with her on a number of issues, yet I got excited when she responded with power, prowess and of course grace if her opponent guards limits and refrains from crossing her red lines.

        Having testified thusly, I commend you for extensively enlightening me, perhaps others as well, on an important item among the points she had raised, each of which can qualify as a topic for full fledged discourse or study. I noticed you had noticed the relevance dimension those points signified, and quickly picked the bait and used your store of information from your readings such as Diamond. It is great addition, sir.

        • Beyan

          Allah YiHayyik Haw Ismail AA,

          No doubt, as Hamde stipulated, you have now reaffirmed, and I third the motion HA’s contributions are unique, the PM Abiy discourse notwithstanding. But, that’s what forums like this are and should be for. One has a menu of options from an individual(s) he or she gets enriched from. There are issues we will all have differences with. But, those we disagree in should never overwhelm the previous issues we agreed upon. Simply acknowledging differences and moving on is the best option that will guarantee an enrichments on various subject matters that we engage in.

          I have been following, for example, the conversation you were having in another thread under this article. It is phenomenally educational for me personally. The framing of issues to offer countervailing views is par for the course. Unfortunately, there are risks where quotes can be decontextualized when they are used out of their contexts. It is, for example, why I tried to make sure when I took a part I didn’t mischaracterize Hayat’s input from its whole. She made it easy for me because she enumerated her points. As you rightly stated, each category of her points can be made to an independent elaboration point.

          Many thanks, again, Ustaaz Ismail AA for the vote of confidence.


          • Selamat Beyan,

            I respectfully disagree. And Sire Hamdan HAnede is worng. He merely influence of the unbearable catastrophe of the center folding and boogie man chaos and anarchy reinging absent the Queen. I admit she sounds good or better this time. Just so that you do not forget what the issue at hand is, simpli ask her to annunciate the word ERITREA. but then again all are in agreement, including nsu issu, of maximum import is that all hands on deck to stabilize teetering Tplf and for the sake of Ethiopia’s stability— and the Queen and her following are not proportionally over grown brats who are intent on milking it to the fullest. News flash, the center shifts. Not long ago the earth was the center of the universe, right?


          • Beyan

            merHaba GitSAtSE,

            Good to see you back, bro. Indeed, when the center shifts, trouble at the peripheries is inevitable, which reminded of Yeats’s first stanza:

            “Turning and turning in the widening gyre
            The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
            Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
            Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
            The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
            The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
            The best lack all conviction, while the worst
            Are full of passionate intensity.”

            By the way I read the Tigrinya piece you wrote, the Tigrinya dictionary seems to be doing its intended purpose. Keep it up, bud.


      • Paulos

        Selam Dr. Beyan,

        This is really good stuff. I say it again, as Amde would put it, this is Gold.

        I would like to touch upon or add three factors which are in a way not only interrelated but why Agricultural Revolution was necessary as opposed to be taken for a culprit [Certainly, Awatista can cite Epicurean need for a Community where Karl Marx got his fundamental idea of Communism and Rousseau’s nostalgia for Romanticism as in a stable life in an agricultural world but again these are beyond the scope of the thing or two I would like to mention here in this thread.]

        What I have in mind is:-

        I. Energy
        II.Human Population Growth
        III.Green Revolution

        Please bear with me, I will try to make it as brief as possible.

        If I have to state the obvious, energy is every thing and it takes a center stage in our lives including in every living creature.

        For an adult human to stay alive, he or she needs to consume 2000 calories a day and that is equivalent to 90 Watts of a light bulb. For any curious Awatista, this can as well be translated as the real energy-currency of human body—ATP [170 lb of ATP a day but the fact that the turn over is so fast, we don’t feel the weight.] Here is where the rub of living in an advanced society is felt: An average adult person, in addition to the equivalence of 90 Watts, he or she uses smart phone, household electricity [cooking gas, air conditioner or heater, hot water], gas for car and these all add up to 11, 000 Watts per day per person. In short, an adult person consumes 11, 000 Watts per day! And if we apply the number to half of the world population, you can see how high the energy consumption in total per day would turn out to be. The worrying scenario doesn’t end there, it is projected that by 2050 world population will reach 12 Billion. And the question is do we have enough energy to maintain a sustainable life?

        Certainly, the good old elixir if you will is, family planning and decrease birth or fertility rate but again the salient and sensitive issue is that when family planning is seriously considered by certain nations with specific race group, it tends to encourage political populism when the demography in a long run changes. Alternative energy source is taken for a panacea as well but again, it created a mistrust not only with in and among nations of divergent political persuasion but the scientific data is taken with a grain of salt as well.

        It is said that more than half of the world population feeds on rice on a day today bases and it is clear that any decline in rice productivity affects huge chunk of world population not only acutely but with a serious long term sure effects as well.

        In the early 1960s, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation opened the International Rice Institute [IRRI] in the Philippines. What is remarkable about the timing of the foundation of the Center is that, most Asian countries were fighting colonialism where Communism was making its presence strongly felt as well. More over, the Asian countries were going through shortage of rice production due to poor yield which was mainly caused by merciless insects. In an otherwise known as “Manhatan Project For Food”, the US government through the IRRI found an opportunity to show that Capitalism is the best alternative to Communism. And through the intensive research which heralded “The Green Revolution”, insect resistant and high yield rice varieties saved millions of people. Green Revolution is not only a high tech version of the Agricultural Revolution but it’s alleged liability is dwarfed by its stunning success in saving humanity.

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Dr. Paulos,

          Most often, you come in at the right time. I appreciated Hayat’s once in lucky days contribution that counter associated politics (national frontiers) people (sedentary peasants and mobile herdsmen) and land in the context of the Horn region.

          Beyan answered the challenge and gave us quite a treat on just one among several weighty topics. You expanded the latter in the framework of energy as applied to human needs that could be imagined in its rudimentary form and elaborate use crucial to life in modern urban dwellers. It is really an enlightening combination that left me trying to put my thoughts together as a learner. This has to do with rice and the main source of human physical energy. Any natural or man-made mishap would impact human beings in many places substantially.

          Here is the question: Does it make sense to ask that since cultivation of rice needs enormous amount of water, to what extend can it be related to energy, aside being source of thermal energy? Put in another way: which one, water or energy, is more crucial to human needs?

          • Paulos

            Selam Kbur Haw Ismail AA,

            Glad you like it. Thank you. It is an excellent question. Right now, I am in a middle of something and will try to shed light on it later on. With apologies. Thank you again.

          • Paulos

            Selam Kbur Haw Ismail AA,

            It is a great but difficult question. Not sure to be honest. I would say water but maybe other Awatistas are better informed and if they could educate us more on it.

          • Denmarikino,

            Water has memory, though you may retort back essentially everything has memory. Don’t know where I am going with this, but I will be brave and go with energy over water as being more crucial to human needs or better yet to living organisms.
            As you are aware in the deep ocean floors there are silicon based living orgnisms as opposed to carbon based like us. The energy crystaline objects exude and the inevitable evolution of living things from carbon based to silicon based or crystaline beings is the reason why I choose energy over water. Think consciousness and geometric order of all things as the fundemental basic then it would be easier to see future crystaline silicon based beings as opposed to the carbon humans will attain peak an bottom simultaneously at 12 Billlion.

            Heck, our very act of putting down our thoughts on a silicon based machine to imprint the primitive dna of the future silicon based beings should serv as a hint.

            but every water flow has memory of where it has been and the path it took to flow infront of you now… is perhaps an argument as it being the ultimate import.

            Hade neTbi shudushte Hade shomente bado seleste… elallalllayyyy


          • Haile S.

            Wecome back, tSAtSE,

            tSAtSE ሓወይ, be careful of this water has memory thing, it costed the scientific-life of a renowned immunologist. Jean Beneveniste the discoverer of structure and some functions of PAF (platelet activating factor) published a paper in Nature on water memory that could not be replicated resulting in the retraction of the paper and damaging severely his reputation. He could have been a Nobel lauriate for his other works. BTW, now another Nobel-prized scientist Luc Montagnier (co-discoverer of the AIDS virus) is into it trying to prove it through homeopathy and the likes. If our tSAtSE succeeds in proving it, I would be elllllllated, otherwise this subject has been going on and on for the last 30 years.

          • መርሓባ ንቕድሚት ሃይለ ሰ፣

            ማይ ካብ ቀላይ በዓልቴት ጉዕዞኡ ከመይ ይዝክሮ? አስከ ብ ናይ ማተማቲክስ ኮንሰፕት ኮምዩታቲቭ ፕሮፐርቲ አንተበልኩኻ ኣነ ሰ. ሃይለ ይበሃል። ከም መስትያት ኣነ ንስኻ፣ ንስኻ ኣነ አንተበልኩኻ፣ ሕራይ ንሱስ ቅሊል ኢዩ መሊስካ ከምዝስዕብ ብልካ ሕቶ ኣቕረብካ።

            “ሰ. ሃይለ፡ ናይ ጊላዊ አንከም ኣነ ሃይለ ሰ. ገዲፍና ናይ ግሩፕስ ወይ ክላስተርስ ምልላይና ዓቕሚ ነተኩር። ከም ናይ ወዲ ‘ያ ሕድራት ኣር አስቲ ጽሕፍቱ ኣገዳስነቱ ን ኣብነት።
            ልክዕ ከም ብ ክሉስተርስ ስትራክቸርስ ዋሕዚ ናይ ሓባር ጉዕዞና ዘይረስዕ ወይ ዝዝክር ንኹሉ ናይ ሎም ኩነታትና፡ ካበይ ናበይ ውሒዙ፡ ኣን ጣባታት ተዓቚቡ፡ ሰንፈለል ኢሉ፡ ዓፊሩ፡ አምኒ ጨዲዱ፡ ጎንፊሉ፡ ኣሕምልቲ ኣግራብ ኣርውዩ፡ ምስ ሓመድ ጨቅዩ፡ ብክላስተርስ ስትራክቸርስ አንዳ ወሓዝ ካብ ናብ፡ ምሉአ ጉዕዞኡ ዝዝክር ኢዩ ማይ።

            ን ፉዩቸሪስቲክ ኮምፑቲን ፕራሶርሶርስ ዝጽንዖ ዘሎ ችቡት ጉዳይ ኢዩ አዚ ዝብለካ ዘለኹ ዛዕባ ኣኸሎታት ተዝክሮታት ማይ።

            ግን ጭብጥነት ካብ መስትይት ስምክ ሰ. ሃይለ ካብ ጠለብካ፡ ኢንቱኡኢቲቭ ኣፕሮች አዝ ትሰዕብ ከቕርበልካ። ውድ ሰብ ኣስታት ቴስዓ ካብ ሜአቲ ማይ ኢዩ ቁቡል ኣፍልጦ ኩላትና ኢዩ። ካርቦን ኣብ ማይ ሓቓቒ ከኣ፡ ኣስታት ዓሰርተ ሜታዊ ምስ ገለ ጎደሎ ሓደ ምቅሊታት ሜአታዊ ሚነራልስ ይኸውን። ተዘክሮታት ውድ ሰብ ንይ ቴስዓ ክሳዕ ም አቲ ዓመት ዳታ ተዘክሮታት ዝሓዝል ዓቅሚ ኣለዎ። ለዕሊ ልዕለዋይ ቴስዓታት መንነት ወድ ሰብ ተዘክሮታቱ ኢዩ። ኢዚ ተዝከረታቱ ኣብት ጸግዒ ቲስዓ ካን ሚ አቲ ሰውናቱ ማይ ተዓቂቡ ይነብር። ኢቲ ዝሰትዩ ን ደግ ዘፋንዎ ቀጻሊ ምይ ከኣ፡ ኢቲ ተዘክሮታት ኣመሓልሊፉን ተቕቢሉን ዋሕዙ ይቕጽል።

            ኣልኮሆል ብብዝሒ ሰትዮም ማይ ሰውነቶም ኣውሒዶም ዝዕንድሩ ዓንደርቲ፡ ንጽባሒቱ ዋሕዲ ውይ ጭርሽ ዘይምዝካር ዓቕሞም ንመዝገብ ከም ን ኣብነት።

            አንተ ቅሩብ ግስጋሰ ዓውት ብዛዕባ ጭብጥነት ዓቕሚ ማይ ተዘክሮታት ኣር አየካ፡ ከምታ ዘይቲዓብር ቃል ወዲ ሓላል ሰ. ሃይለ ሓውይ ዓልለልይ ድኣ። Be elated.


          • Haile S.

            Selam tSAtSE,
            I like your explanation. You presented compelling circumstancial evidences. We needed to see the gross function of water instead of zooming deep to its simple H2O structure that doesn’t water at all. ምስ ወዲ ቀላይ በዓልቴት ደገዝማቲ፡ መን ተማጓቲ! እልልልልልል.

          • Paulos

            Selam Tsatse Arkey,

            Great to “see” you back. In fact, thought about you the other day for you haven’t been around for a while. Hope all is well with you.

            Well, what you presented is in fact a very smart argument but I would say, water is more essential to us than energy, comparatively speaking that is.

            I am sure you do remember the 60-40-20 where our body is 60% water and 40% is intracellular or is found inside the cell and 20% is extracellular or is found outside the cell as in around the tissues.

            But if we step back and see the nature of water, what we learn is nothing short of a miracle. Not only water can exist in three phases as in solid, liquid and gas, its constituents are rather odd if you will. As you know, water molecule is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. What’s more, they are bound together through hydrogen bond where the polarity is mainly dispersed toward the oxygen for it has more electrons around it. This polar characterstics makes water unique and a universal solvent.

            Hope this may not sound a dry lecture in a classroom but to be more precise, the fact that hydrogen has a positive charge and oxygen has a negative charge, their bond is not based on friendship so to speak but they attract each other for they are opposite and one can even say, they are enemies. To push the idea further, they are both reactive and that is the reason they need each other, paradoxically that is. But the fact that, the bond between them is based on “cold calculated” necessity as opposed to friendship, they betray each other the moment they find a better partner, when salt or NaCl dissolves in water, for instance. In that critical moment where survival is at stake, oxygen leaves the “marriage” with a single hydrogen with it and becomes NaOH and the remaining and stubborn sole hydrogen sticks with Chlorine and becomes unhappy and bitter about the whole situation when it starts a new life as HCl–Hydrochloric Acid–highly acidic [Kinda feels like a vengence.]

            The question still remains though, why would two unstable and reactive atoms give us the very essence of life where we can not live without? Just to touch briefly and to highlight the importance of water in our body, when a protein is synthesized in our body, it is done in such a way by connecting different amino acids and the amino acids get glued when water is removed from them. For instance, if you remove OH from one end of an amino acid and if you remove “H” from a nearby amino acid, you can glue the amino acids and if you keep doing the same process on a number of amino acids, you essentially make a protein for a protein is a collection of amino acids. If you reverse the process and add water into a protein instead, you break the protein into different amino acids–you essentially dissolve the protein.

            Now, if we go back and see them separately, we see how the life giver is the source of our demise as well. Oxygen gives us life and it kills us a slow and cruel death as well. Slow because aging is slow and the ultimate price of life is death. The fundamental law of life says, there is no free lunch!

            Starting from the moment of conception until roughly the age of 25, every single thing in our body is geared up toward growth and preparing the body for reproduction. And this kind of ambitious undertaking demands tremendous not only energy but precision as well. Here the key words are energy and precision.

            Let me start with the precision: As the person grows, cells divide and multiply and the division of cells happens in millions and with this kind of magnitude, mistakes in division happen. Over the years, these mistakes accumulate and they become the image of aging and that is precisely the reason, the body spends the second half of our lives correcting the mistakes in order to slow down the aging process. Later on we will see how the mistake is related to oxygen.

            We breath in oxygen. The reason we do is, we want the stuff we eat to be burned and turn into energy as in ATP. As much as a dry wood burns only when oxygen is present, the same thing applies to the food we eat. The idea is in fact pretty straight forward. Suppose you eat say, chocolate and the chocolate has sugar in it. This means the sugar is composed of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen in a 6:12:6 ratio which is 1:2:1 ratio. Mind you, this sugar is stable but when the oxygen molecule that we breath in comes around, it destabilizes the sugar molecule when the atmospheric oxygen starts to attack the hydrogen in the sugar. When this tense confrontation takes place, energy gets released and ATP [The energy-currency is formed in a process called Oxidative Phosphorylation–sounds fancy and intimidating but it is not] is produced. And the reaction between oxygen and hydrogen forms the good old water and the remaining carbon and oxygen of the sugar become carbon dioxide and that is the reason we breath out moist carbon dioxide.

            Over a longer span of time as in as we live longer, incremental accumulation of rebel oxygen radicals create a dire effect. As we said, oxygen is very reactive and to make itself mildly stable, it exists in bond with itself as in diatomic or O2. But over the years during the burning of food that we it, during the intense war against hydrogen in the process of burning the food, the atmospheric oxygen becomes disabled [call it collateral damage of war] and splits into two as in the O2 becomes two single oxygen atoms and in a sense they become radical or highly reactive for oxygen can not exist as a single entity. And in a bid to stay alive, they try to hold on to anything including to the cell that is going through division in the growing process. When the cell gets damaged, it becomes day one in the journey of aging. Ultimately, when the body reaches to the point of unable to clean all the damage that has been accumulated over a life time, it gives up and we call it death. Oxygen gives life with an ultimate price of death and it makes us pay the ultimate price as well. Next time, will talk about the other half of water—Hydrogen.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Paul,
            I like your deep but vulgarized scientific lectures. ዋላ ምንያ ኾለል ይኹን :-). You should have been nominated inter-college lecturer stationed in Mai-NefHi close to Adi-Halo and IA. Let alone the students, you would have relaxed and stimulated IA. ንዓኻ ክስርምዕ ሓለዋ ቤት ማእሰርቲ ምስ ረሰዖ ነይሩ።

          • Paulos

            Selam Hailat,

            ኣታ ሃይላት ሓወይ ኣይትብከዩ እንድዩ ዘብክየና ዘሎ። ኮለጅ ዘየኮነ ዋላ ማእከላይ ደረጃ ትምህርቲ በታ ዘላትና ዓቕሚ መበርከትና ኔርና። እቲ ዘለና ዓቕሚ ንህዝብና ዘይኮነ ንመን ክኸውን ኢልካዮ።

            Yes I remember ምንያ ኾለል፣ The route was from ኣኽርያ all the way to ጎዳይፍ but didn’t know it passed through ማይጨሆት፣

            As you put it, “vulgarized” method to make the idea much simpler is effective as opposed to shoving the material as is which makes it not only dry but unappealing as well.

          • David Samson

            Selam Paulos,
            That was Bus no 4, drove by other than wedi Arbate(RIP).
            Do you remember the fierce competition between Buses Harogot and Setayo?

          • Paulos

            Selam David,

            Yea I remember. The buses I remember most are ቁጽሪ 1 and ቁጽሪ 7. I remember being a kid and trying to get closer to the driver to see how the driver steers the huge wheel and the huge stick shift as well. Good times!

          • David Samson

            Selam Paulos,
            No1 route was: From Bet Gergish to Airport through Lageto and Via Vittorio Emanuel.
            No 7: was from MaiTemenay, cut through your neighborhood (Papilon) to Maychihot.
            Yes, the good old times of Asmara.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Dr. Paulos, GitSAtSe and Haile S,

            I missed class when the trio-tribunal gathered to answer my rather curiosity-driven and difficult question over tag of war between water and energy. Coming in late, this restless and ever-asking student could follow (for the sake being candid) the discussion.

            Opinions varied. The mind soaked by mathematics and physics argued water cannot match energy for reasons ranging from silicon beneath ocean waters to DNA. The other mind over powered by organic sciences and philosophy as hobby as this student imagines (correction requested in advance here) asserted by stating the obvious: after all our bodies as humans comprise 60% water. This being the secret of life, how can energy, which procures energy external sources by processing food through medium of water, win over water. Then Haile S, the diligent listener, interjects and follow his admiration of the former too but warns about the risk of messing up with contention that water has memory. He provided an example to underscore seriousness of his unsolicited call of attention which the mathematician-physicist could ignore at his peril.

            But after was said and done, this student of yours ended up wondering why the learned honorable members of the tribunal forgot to quote the grade to the inquisitive student for his question that costed them so much energy and time.The grade could have been used to distinguish whether the question was after all it was stupid to pose the question. Hoping this would be taken as idle and lousy joke, the student should express gratitude for the time each has spared.

          • Paulos

            Selam Kbur Haw Ismail AA,

            Your sense of humility is boundless. I really mean it. The student with a sharp and inquisitive mind always go home with a solid A+. No doubt! And many thanks to you for making the forum engaging and interesting. At least for me, it is a fascinating question. Again, thank you Kbur Haw.

        • Nitricc

          Hey P; Not to gross you out but there is a new discovery: Human waste transplant; aka as “Flora therapy” It turns out, the transplantation of a human waste from healthy person to the sick one is yielding to great health of the sick. Whenever a person goes to bathroom, the human waste is 90% contains the good bacteria. very interesting discovery.

          • Paulos

            Hey Nitrikay,

            Very true. In fact, it is 60% not 90% that the human waste is bacteria. Mind you, the total bacteria population in the large intestine is 100 trillion and a number of well respected experts in that area are proposing for the bacteria population to be considered as an organ like liver or the heart, for instance.

            Here is something fun stuff: Essentially, there is a general sense of great feeling after we ate and not only that, we feel like chillin and relaxing afterwards. There is an emerging theory that indicates that, it is actually the bacteria that creates the good feeling in us simply because we gave the bacteria something to eat and the bacteria rewards us with a feel good kind of thing.

            Here is how the theory illustrates the scenario: Certainly the “feel good” is sent from the brain and the question is if the bacteria lives in the large intestine, how does it stimulate the brain to send the feeling? More over, the brain is incredibly tight and sealed with something called “Blood-Brain-Barrier” where only glucose, oxygen and carbon dioxide can pass through including very very small molecules. Here is the ingenuity of the bacteria and how it overcomes the BBB. Before we go into that though, let’s do a bit of Biochemistry. The two main neurotransmitters known for a reward and good feeling are Dopamine and Serotonin respectively. There is plenty of the latter in the intestine but the former is mainly in the brain. Thing is, these two neurotransmitters pass through bio-chemical path way till they are finalized as in for instance, if you want to make a t-shirt, you would first need a cotton. Basically, you need a raw material. And the raw material for serotonin is an amino acid called Tryptophan. And this molecule is so small that it can sneak in to the brain and once it gets there, it gets converted to serotonin and that is the reason we feel good after we ate. The same thing with Dopamine [a reward molecule] where the raw material is an amino acid called Tyrosine and it is sent to the brian by the bacteria to be converted to Dopamine so that the bacteria reward us for feeding them. It is really cool stuff.

          • Aligaz G


            Common morning greeting in India – did you have a good bowel movement?


        • Selamat Denmarkino AArkey Professor Paulos,

          Well that is why soon humans, (evolved humans through experimentation) will be landing on Saturn’s moon the Titant.

          Well according to Time Series Models of Heteroskedasticity (wouln’t you love to see that word on a spelling Bee contest..)

          The optimal linear forcast y(t) for an AR(p) process is:

          E(y(t)|y(t-1). y(t-2),….) = c + Phi1*y(t-1) + Phi2*y(t-2) + …+ Phi(p) y(t-p)

          it goes on to say that “sometimes we might be interested in forecasting not only the level of the series y(t) but also its variance.

          I enjoy your very well put toghether comments. This one regarding consumption of energy conjured images of the Matrix’s human immages as supliers of energy as the batteries…. get ready for the discoveries of different dimensions greater than three
          Don’t think because therefore you are better without…

          Hade neTbi Shudushte Hade shomonte bad seleste … elalalalyyyy


          • Paulos

            Selam Tsatse Arkey,

            Very true “The Matrix” used humans as energy source to have the software going. Not sure if you remember, back in 87 or 89 there was a huge excitement with in the Scientific Community when two Physicists announced the invention of a nuclear fusion at room temperature. It was huge simply because the implication of the discovery or invention was a game changer but it turned out, they couldn’t reproduce the result and failed the rather stringent scientific scrutiny afterward. It was tantamount to having the nuclear fusion that takes place inside the sun or others stars at room temperature.

            Why was it almost impossible and remains to be not only a pipe dream but also limited to imaginative science fiction themes as in “The Matrix”? Well, that takes us to yesterday’s thread where the otherwise jilted partner of Oxygen steals the show—Hydrogen.

            Hydrogen sports a simple life. And it travels light with no heavy or loaded lagagges what so ever. And the fact that, it is so slim and thin, it can fit in everywhere and any where. And in a very strange way, molecules use it as a weapon and that that is reason every one wants to be its friend. More often than not, the more hydrogen any molecule has, the more powerful the molecule is. What’s more, in a swell and hot party of the who-is-who celebrity molecules, those who show off with bling-bling hydrogen in cars or necklaces, the more respected and feared they are.

            An Awatista who was passing by the party wonders and says, what’s the big deal with that hydrogen dude? Well, hydrogen has only one proton and one electron under its sleeve. And when it loses the only electron that it owns, it introduces itself to other molecules in the party as “hydrogen ion” not “hydrogen atom” and the change of the status sends a message to the other molecules that it is off the market as in it is already taken.

            In a funny way, if it has lost its electron and if it is left with a single proton, then it is essentially becomes a proton and that is the reason, it becomes a lethal weapon. A proton and a hydrogen ion are one and the same.

            When the paparazzi hunt him down to take pictures, if it is in a good mood, it would tell them stories as well. In fact, it’s fav story is how he is lucky to live on Earth as opposed to its identical siblings who live in the sun or other massive stars. In fact, it dreads the idea of living on stars 300 times bigger than the sun.

            This is how it narrates the difference between living on Earth and the unfortunate life on the sun or massive stars. Life on Earth is chill, it says. The fact that, Earth’s gravitational force or attraction is so weak, it can escape to space and chill in there. It is cool 😎 and dandy to be naturally thin and so light, it brags. On the other hand, life on the massive stars, not only that it gets grounded because of the strong gravitational force but also the strong force makes it collide with its identical siblings as well. Hydrogen rights are violated up there it says with a resigned look in its face. It goes on to say that, not only all its identical siblings collide against each other but they get converted into Helium and as a result of the collusion, energy comes out as light and it says that is the reason stars emit light including the sun. It’s story doesn’t end there. The newly produced Helium collide against each other as well and as a result they turn into Oxygen. And the process goes on until Iron is produced. How about the rest of the elements in the periodic table, one of the Paparazzis asks, well they get produced in a situation called “Super-Nova”, essentially when all the elements thus far produced take matters upon themselves and the star explodes. As the exploded star spins around with tremendous energy, the other remaining elements get produced along the way and they scatter around the universe and most of them fall on Earth. The interview was so engaging that, another Paparazzi asks, what happens if the Star doesn’t explode? Hydrogen went on to say that, well, first we have to step back and see the other stuff that happens on the star. One of the Paparazzi was a Habesha dude and he goes, ጥዑም ዕላል ሃየ በልስከ ሓክየና።

            The massive star is such a cruel dictator and totalitarian that, it would keep us in check from leaving the forceful collusion, Hydrogen went on saying. It does that by using its gravitational force. In a sense the star is balanced by two opposing forces, one is the nuclear fusion that is taking place in its furnace and the other is the gravitational force which is pushing inward and preventing the fusion from getting loose. To be more precise, the life and death of the star teeters on the critical balance. That is, when the fusion is exhausted and eventually depleted, the gravitational force becomes the only force as in an off-balance force and it pushes the star inward and the star collapses under its immense gravity or weight—the star turns into a Black-Hole. There are less massive stars who don’t turn into a Black-Hole but join the space grave-yard instead with a mark on the tomb that reads, “Neutron Star” or “Dwarf Star.” A French Paparazzi says to Hydrogen, Sir, did you know that the French word for a “Black-Hole” is euphemism for the female private part and French scientists objected or suggested the name to be changed? Hydrogen responded when it said, yea I am aware of that but as they say, Black-Holes got no hair.* It went on to say, “We are legends of the fall” not like the title of the movie but in a true sense we defeat powerful stars and make them fall as well. And we conspire with Oxygen to give life to humans as well, it ended the interview.

            *When John Wheeler, the Physicist who coined the term “Black-Hole” was asked by a French reporter, he actually said, “Black-Holes do not have hair.”

          • Selamat Denmarkino AArkey Professor Paulos,

            አዘን ጨራሩ፡ ክልተ ሰለስተ ደርዘን ቁጽረን፡ ካን ብሓንቲ ዶንጎላ ማሕታኻ ዘግ ካን ኣበልካየን።
            Truly a masterpiece, I kinda gravitated towards the Hydrogen ion or single proton living life on the chil blue beauty earth where the far far away from the dictator star that causes the grounding and clashing with one another the protons producing the airhead floating brainless helium…. the production of the rest of the elements, past Fe, after taking matters into their own hands in the super nova explosion to finaly destroy or explode the star and free to roam the universe is rather ominus– analogus to our dwarf …
            Well I am sure I am scrolling back up to read it again and again just because..

            “P.S. Next time ዕላል ምስ ኣይተ Black-Hole ክህልወና እዩ። መጀመርታ ምስነብሱ ከላልየና እዩ ቀጺሉ ብዛዕብኡ ዝግበር ዘሎ ጸለመ ብፍለይ ብፍላይ ብHydrogen ዝግበር ዘሎ ዘለፋ ሓቅነት እነተ’ሃልይዎ ክገለጸልና እዩ፣ ኣብ መወዳእታ መልእኽቲ ነንበብቲ እንተሃልይዎ ዕድል ክህቦ’የ።”

            በል ሓክየና አስከ!!!!!!!!!!!!
            Well ‘ama be dat habesh dude ጥዑም ሕካያ ምስ (ዋጋ ዘይውጾ – ፕራይስለስ ኣርት) ቁምነገር!

            ኣከደምያዊ ሕቶታት ሒዝና በል ክንቅርበካ ደንማርኪኖ ዓርከይ ፕሮፈሶር ጎይታ ማሕታ ሓንቲ አምኒ ፨

            Regarding the black hole not having hairs, is there a celestial force something like a pulsating star that closley resembles a razor? 🙂 Lol

            በል ሓክየና አስከ።

          • Paulos

            Selam Tsatse Arkey,

            Glad you like it. Thank you. I knew that Habesha dude was you and will make sure ኣየተ* Black-Hole ጽባሕ ኬፍ ዘለዋ ሕክያ ከምዘሐክየና ክገብር’የ።

            *ኣይተ ዝብሎ ዘለኹ ወያነ እዩ ዝባሀል ወረ ብባዓል Hydrogen ዝነፈሰ ወረ ኣሎ፣

            P.S. You’re ahead of the epic interview Tsatse Arkey. Yea them Pulsars are at the heart of Black-Holes’ discovery. ጽባሕ ባዕሉ ኣይተ Black-Hole ብዛዕባ Pulsarsን በዛዕባ ህልው ኩነታትን ስፍሕ ዝበለ መብርሂ ክህበና እዩ።

          • Selamat Denmarkino AArkey Professor Paulos,

            In the next several month I am shopping for an RV, i.e. a small mobile home and then hit the road heading east from California to NY. I will be meandering north and south in order to find very secluded sites, where only the sky and the heavens are the only lights that can be seen. Totaly dark, absent of any synthetic or man made lights. I am calculating the length of time I should allocate for the adventure.

            The essentials, a lap top, a powerful zoom camera and of most import a telescope is what I intend to pack for the journey.
            Allow me to introduce, as additional characters to your hydrogen and Ayte Black-Hole, a couple of comets as well as upwards to hundreds per hour meteor showers that are hovering above and falling on earth during these months of the fall season and early winter.
            Commet 21P/ Giacobini – Zinner evey 6.5 years. It is a preiodic commet with a p=6.5yrs. Only a day or two ago, with a telescope or binoculars on the north eastern sky, it can be seen a finger’s width to the upper right of the very bright star Capella in Auriga (the Charioteer). The more interesting commet of the two will be the brightest and the clossest approach to earth predicted for the next twenty years. As you know the goldern ratio Phi 1.618 and on December 16, ’18, Commet 46P/Writaner will be zooming by earth at a distance of only one fifth of that from here to Mars. 7.26 Million Miles from earth this periodic commet of p=5.4yrs will pass us at a very safe distance we shouldn’t worry.

            Denmarkino AArkey, I will merely give the reportage of the meteor showerings of Geneva, Switzerland on August 31, 2018 as observed from stategically place satelites for now and will hold on the formal introduction, roles these showering meteors will play and how they are weaved into the story of creation until your Ayte Black Hole sets the grand stage for all.

            As you are the creator ፈጣሪ ቦኽሪ ፍጡርካ ሃይድሮጂን። ወዲ አዝጊሄር ኣዳም ኣብ ገነት ክኸውን ኮሎ፡ ኣብ “ጣውላ-በብሰዓቱ (ፒርዮዲክ ቲብለ) ሃይድሮጂን ተሰቒሉ ከም ፍጡር ደንማርኪኖ ዓርከይ ፕሮፈሶር ጳውሎስ። And now for the first of hundreds of academic questions to you professor:
            1. It is evident why we say for commets Periodic Commet with pd=76 for example. Why is the table consisting of all the elements in the known physical world and dimensions called “Periodic Table”? What is “Periodic” about the table?

            The greater than 300 suns tyranical stars regime produces the colliding of identical hydrogen atoms converting them into helium as well as the mass incarceraions thru the use of the strong chain of gravity and numerous horrible contiditions of living. The worst beign the devide and rule ploy. On August 31 2018 A) Hydrogen Slim narcists, b) Hydrogen of the ion old testament faith, c) Hydrogen who lost their one and only electron of the new testament faith Protons protonstants, d) products of the collision of identical hydrogen atoms who call themselves Latter Day Beles Saints Helium, e) Collided Helium now Oh O O my Air Oxygen Church of G O D etc… held a massive demonstration agains the soon to explode regim Supper Stars. What in unison these elements, meteors and commets have resolved as well as a listing of their sloagans and plackards readings we will give full reportage soon. Stay tuned.

            Hade neTbi Shudushte Hade Shomente bado seleste arbaEte tShiAAte tShiAAte


          • Paulos

            Selam Tsatse Arkey,

            That sure sounds an adventure of a life time. I have plans to venture out as you put it to where heaven and earth meet and the night bright stars adorn the space in between. Would like to do that with family of four in Eritrea instead.

            What you said about the Periodic Table is simply ingenious. Never thought about it before as to why it is called “Periodic.” My guess is as good as yours but maybe Chemists-Awatistas can tell us more why that is the case. It is arranged in rows and columns according to the increase in the number of electrons in each element particularly as you go to the right and I suspect that could be the reason it is called “Periodic.”

            The comet thing is fascinating to say the least and you taught me something I didn’t know about them. And thank you for that.

            I was actually waiting for any Awatista [If any body cares at all that is] to point out the fallacy about “Interviewing Ayte Black-Hole” where how that is even possible for anyone to get close to it for it swallows-in anything and everything that gets closer to it. Including “Phone interview” where the sound-wave that would be transmitted gets sucked-in as well. As such, one could say that, Ayte Black-Hole is a mystery. Or is it?

            Here is the cool 😎 stuff: The basics are of course, Black-Hole is the result of a massive star as it collapses under its heavy weight. In essence, it is the ultimate curvature of the space-time that had been acting as a gravity around the star before it lost all the nuclear fusion that had been going on inside the massive star. How far does the force of the Black-Hole stretches out before it loses its effect on the things around it? Well, it has a limit and the limit or boundary where things are safe from getting sucked in is called “Event Horizon.”

            Suppose Berhino who is from Toronto wants to go and spend some downtime in Niagra-Falls in this Labor Day weekend. And he rents a small rowing boat ⛵ and ventures out toward the water-fall. As he gets close to the cliff of the water-fall, however, he starts to feel its force and Berhino would try to row back before the stream of water overcomes the force Behino* is applying on his boat and he needs to accelerate fast in order not fall over the cliff. The key word here is acceleration. The cliff is the same as the “Event Horizon” of the Black-Hole.

            The similarity however ends there. The deal is, if anything falls over the cliff of Niagra, people or observers can see and call for help but in the Black-Hole on the other hand, people or observers can not see and witness anything falling in for there is no light coming from it–not even light can escape from it. More over, if say, cars or buildings for that matter fall in the Black-Hole, it doesn’t distinguish between the car and the building, all it feels going in is, three fundamental things: Mass, Angular Momentum [Rotation] and Electric Charge of the stuff that is falling in regardless the nature or shape of the thing.

            Here is something interesting. As more stuff fall in the Black-Hole, the area of its surface gets bigger. Get this, but no body knows what exactly happens to all the stuff that falls in. And as much as it’s area increases as things fall in, our ignorance about what happens to them increases as well. In other words, the missing information increases! And if you remember, in other thread, the other day, we said that, the missing information or to be precise, we said that, the measure of the missing information is Entropy!

            In the 1970s, a very smart Ph.D student recognized the link between the increase in area of the Black-Hole and Entropy but the link stumped many where if it is in fact Entropy, it must have heat associated with it. The contradiction is obvious where nothing can escape from the Black-Hole including heat. Stephen Hawking, however, in the 70s figured out [at least mathematically] something that could link heat with the Black-Hole.

            First though, let’s get back to something else. As you know a vacuum, in principle is “something” devoid of anything. But according to “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle”, the more we are certain about the “nothingness” of the vacuum, the more uncertain we become about “something” of its nature. In short, vacuum has energy in it and this “nervous and unsettling energy” continuously creates virtual particles where the created virtual particles annihilate each other so that not only to pay back the energy they borrowed but so that the nature of the vacuum remains “uncertain” as well.

            The reason they are called virtual is because, they exist for only for billionth of a second before they annihilate each other. They are of course, particle and anti-particle where they have the same mass but opposite charges.

            Hawking assumed or imagined about the creation and annihilation of the virtual particles when it takes place near the or very close to the “Event Horizon” and he says, suppose the anti-particle which is the negative charge gets sucked by the Black-Hole and its partner escapes to the rest of the Universe instead. And he theorized that, the sucked anti-particle which is a negative charge not only appears as heat to an observer who is accelerating to escape from getting sucked in [As Berhino did] but also decreases the mass of the Black-Hole as well—because it is a negative charge, it is antithesis to Abiy’s መደመር so to speak. The hypothetical heat coming out of the Black-Hole is named Hawking Radiation in his honor. The hypothesis strengthened the link between the missing information of the Black-Hole and Entropy. What exactly happens to the missing information? Is there any way we can retrieve them back? That will take us to the very heart of or question of Reality as in if all what we see around us is in a true sense real or a Platonian-Form or as the new scientific jargon has it, if we are in fact living in a Holographic Reality. Next time on that.

            Viva Geneva!

          • Selamat Denmarkino AArkey Professor Paulos,

            I wonder if you can help and explain what the surface area of “Ayte” Blackhole is? Though “Ayte” Blackhole is massive of the order of 4.3 million solar masses, (= 8.6 * 10^30 Kg), he has zero volume due to infinite density. The zero volume, rationalized by infinite density, implies “Ayte” Blackhole’s surface area is the infinitesimal point of the order of 10^-9 centimeters. No, I have not answered my own question so I will rephrase: What is the (roughly) the magnitude of the surface area of the sphere boundary of the event horizon? After Hawkin measured Hawkins temperature T = [1/2Pi times (planks constant h x g) (constant K(subscript B) times the speed of light, the physicists go on and provide the formula for the surface area of the event horizon with parameters including, Newton’s constant, Planck’s constant, speed of light and Mass of “Ayte” Blackhole. How and what is the mass calculated in the first place is where tSAtSE is perplexed? Hoping you will explain.

            Regarding your “I was actually waiting for any Awatista [If any body cares at all that is] to point out the fallacy about “Interviewing Ayte Black-Hole” where how that is even possible for anyone to get close to it for it swallows-in anything and everything that gets closer to it. Including “Phone interview” where the sound-wave that would be transmitted gets sucked-in as well. As such, one could say that, Ayte Black-Hole is a mystery. Or is it?”

            You already know that according to Maximal Information conjectured by brilliant counterparts of Denmarkino AArkey, the maximal information inside a given region can not exceed the area of its boundary. And you should go ahead and expand or elaborate on, Entropy, the amount of information we can count based on the surface area for which I asked you for more መረዳአታ በቲ ጥዑም ለሳን ኬፍ ዘለዎ ሕካያኻ። ነዞም ቆልዑ ቅድም ቀዳድም ከም ትግንዛብ ኣይዝንገዓንን ኢዩ፡ ይግዳስ ከዘኻኽረካ ኢለ ኢየ። Besides the “Habesha Dude” insists and is repeating “በል ቀጺል የሐክየና። There is a lot more in cosmology, such as dark matter, dark energy that is nineteen times that of ordinary matter, young Eritrean students should study along with your coupling must pay attention to the analogous current circumstances. For instance, consider the closed clock phenomena that is problematic which the singularity due to the infinite density blackhole. The closed clock, in this case, is the Grandfather Paradox.

            Just think of September 1st, Hamid Idris Awate at mount Adal, as the grandfather of Eritrean youth. Despite the title, you know the grandfather’s paradox does not exclusively regard contradiction of killing one’s own grandfather to prevent one’s birth. “Any action that alters the past, since there is contradiction whenever the past becomes different from the way it was.” I am only a pseudo mathematician or a mathematics enthusiast until I commence the adventure I mentioned earlier. And counting the amount of information, entropy, based on the surface area of the event horizon as a first vital step matters a lot because it will reveal maybe we can view all those who were sucked by the “Ayte” Blackhole beyond the event horizon are not necessarily crushed by the infinite density, rather they come out unscathed through a warm hole onto a better or worse parallel universes on the basis of each individual’s deeds before and after the star’s tyrannical reign over all the elements on the periodic table starting with the first Hydrogen and after star was doomed to “Ayte” Blackhole.
            Do the interview with Ayte Blackhole… we don’t care about the fallacy if any. The amount of information you have counted and can disclose academically is of great import. Take our former Minister of Finance and Berhane Abrehe and the book and start counting by saying Hade… ሓደ ብለለይ፠

            ሓደ ነጥቢ ሽዱሽተ ሓደ ሸሞንተ ባዶ ሰለስተ ኣርባዕተ ትሽዓተ ትሽዓተ


          • Paulos

            Selam Tsatse Arkey,

            You’re da pro! But will try to get to your level and scribble some about the surface-area including if it is even possible to find out. That said, was going to ask—how do we say “Black-Hole” in Tigrinya? Hailat. S might know.

            Well, as you have aptly put it, you would expect the surface area to be pretty wide in a magnitude of 10 to the power of double digit for the area is equivalent to Entropy. That is to say, as the Black-Hole swallows anything and everything around it, you would expect its area to increase and by extension its Entropy as well. But here is the contradiction with in the above hypothesis if you will.

            If you remember, Hawking’s conjecture stipulates that, when the negatively charged anti-particles gets sucked into the Black-Hole, not only that an accelerating observer sees the anti-particle as a radiation but the anti-particle actually reduces the mass of the Black-Hole by virtue of its negative charge. As such, if the mass decreases and you would expect its area to decrease as well. This means, if one wants to work out the area, one has to know how much Entropy is decreasing. But again, a smart fella like yourself [do I hear you saying, ትሕሾ’ዳኣ ትሕሾ?] would spot the contradiction and says that, that is contrary to what the Second Law Of Thermodynamics states where Entropy increases not decreases. Very true, the decrease of the entropy is compensated by the increase of Entropy in the entire Universe—out side of the Black Hole that is.

            The question boils down to the following: Hawking said that, if the radiation is causing the Black-Hole to decrease in mass and as he put it, eventually evaporates, what happens to all the missing information that had been stored inside the Black-Hole? As you have rightly pointed it out when the Black-Hole gets reduced into intensely dense but zero volume otherwise known as “Singularity.” Well, there is a whole book dedicated to answer the question where the Physicist Leonard Susskind and Hawking debated about it for almost 25 years where the former won the debate in the end when he said that, the information doesn’t get lost but remains encoded with in the “Event Horizon.” That profound insight later on gave rise to the idea of “Holographic” reality. Will say more about it next time as you said, to encourage young Eritreans to have more interest in this particular area.

            N.B. If the Singularity is zero volume with an “infinite” density, according to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the certainty of its density will make its angular momentum uncertain and the Singularity becomes extremely “nervous” or ቀጨውጨው ክብሎ ይጅምር and bounces back in an immense energy in the thing called “Big Bang.” As you have guessed, if our Universe is believed to have started in a Big Bang, it must have come in an eternal cycle where it must have been a Singularity before that and that before that….ad infinitum!

          • ትሕሾ ‘ወ ደንማርኪኖ ዓርከይ ፕሮፈሶር ጳውሎስ፡

            ብትግርኛ “ብላክ ሆል’ ብሓንቲ ቃል “ኣይተ” ምመረጽኩ ኣነ። [ዩ ውድ ቴክ ክረዲት ፎር ኮይንን ኢት።] ከም ኢቶም “ፍሉይ ረብሓ” ቃል ብ ቃል ምስ ነቶርጉማ፡ “ጸላም ኖኻል” ምበልዋ። ግን ልክዕ መልክዓ አትህብ ትርጎማ፡ “ጸላም ጉድጓድ” ምበልኩ ኣነ።
            አስካ ብዓል ሓይላት ኤስ. ሃዲ’አና ንጽበ።

            ሓደ ካብ ዕላማታተይ ሓንጺጸየን ዘለኹ፡ ልክዕ ከም ኣል ሓጅ ምሊክ ኢል ሸባዝ፡ ካብ ጫፍ ናብ ናይ ኢንግሊዘኛ ዲክሺኖሪ ኣንቢቢ፡ ነቲ ቁዋንቃ ጥቅሙን ሰዓቤናቱን ን ህዝቡን ሕብረትሰብን ዝመልኸ፡ ኣነ ንመዝገብ ቃላት ትግርኛ ከማኡ ክገብር መዲብ ‘ለኹ። ኣዚሎ ክፍሊ ኣብ አንዳ ፓድረ ሕለት ሱዳን ተሰነይ ባርካ አንዳ ተማሃርኩ፡ ተጋድሎ ሓርነት ኤርትራ ን ተሰነይ ሓራ ምስ ኣውጻታ ኢየ ኣነ ኣብ ግዛት ካሎ’ኦት ቋንቋታት ኣብ ስደት ኣትየ (1977)። [ኣዝ ላክ ውድ ሃቭ ኢት፦) ዕድል ከም ዝውስዶ፦] ከም ኣጋጣሚ ፈልምታ አዛ ዘለናያ ዓመት፡ ህያብ ወይ ሃዲያ ካብ ፕሮፈሶር በያንን መርበብ ዓዋተን ናይ ትግርኛ መዝገብ ቃላት ተዋሂበ።
            [ኣይ ብሊቭ፦)] አምነተይ አዚ ምስ ዝገብር፥ ካብ ጥንቲ ኣትሒዞም ዘጽንዑ ፈልስፋታት ከምዝነበሩ ኣብ ባህልናን ቋንቋናን ብዛዕባ ኮስሞሎጂ ናይ ሰማያት፡ ናይ ጠፈር፥ ዓለማት ምስ ኣውርሐን፡ ከዋኽብቲ፡ ኮመትስ፡ ቶኮስቲ ኮኾባት [ሹቲን ስታርስ፦)] ጭብጥነት ብርግጽ መቕረብኩ። ከም ሞያ ውን ብዙሓት ጽሑፋትን ኣካደምያዊ ኣር’አስትታት ካብ መዝገብ ቃላት ትግርኛ ጎንጺ መጽናዕቲ [ክራሽ ኮርስ፦)] ምግባር ኣወንታዊ ጥቕምታት ምተርኽቦ።( ናት ቱ መንሽን ዘ ኦቨር ፎር ዴከይድስ ኦፍ ዲያስፖራ ስቶሪስ ኣኩሙለትድ። ንዊሓ ኢዚኣስ ኣይትርጉማን ኢየ፥-)]

            በል ይቕሬታ ነዚ ኣዚሎ ክፍሊ ደረጃ ትግርኛ ጽሑፈይ ን ከተንብብ ዝጽዓንኩኻ ደንማርኪኖ ዓርከይ ፕሮፈሶር ጳውሎስ። “ጸላም ጉድጓድ” ኮይነ ዶ ጸኒሔካ? ጣልያን {ሚ ዲስፒያቸ ፕሮፈሶረ ደንማርኪኖ ኣሚኮ ፓውሎ፥-)}

            ሓደ ነጥቢ ሽዱሽተ ሓደ ሸሞንተ ባዶ ሰለስተ ኣርባዕተ ትሽዓተ ትሽዓተ፨


          • Haile S.

            ሰላማት ጻጸን ጳውሎስን፡
            እዚ black hole ዝብሃል ብትግርኛ ትርጉሙ ሓሲበሉ ኣይፈልጥን።
            ጻጸ፡ ከምቲ ዝበልካዮ ጸሊም ነዃል ወይ ከኣ ጸሊም ጉድጓድ ክበሃል ይከኣል። Abyssinica online dictionary ብኣምሓርኛ፡ ፀሊም ጉድጓድ፡ ኢሉ ይትርጉሞ። እቲ ቓል ትግርኛ እውን እዩ። ብተወሳኺ ግና እቲ black hole ዝብል ቃል ምንም ነገር ከምዘይብሉ ወይ ከኣ ኣልቦነቱ ሓባሪ ስለዝኾነ፡ ኣልቦ ዝብል ቃል እንተዝህልዎ ምበልኩ፡ ከም ጸልማት-ኣልቦ ወይ ከኣ ጸሊም-ኣልቦ። ግና ብብዝሒ ምምርማር ዘደናግር ስለዝመሰለኒ፡ ንዓኻትኩም ነዞ ናይ ሃዋሁ ተመራመርቲ ክገድፎ።

          • Paulos

            Selam Hailat,

            Thank you. It would be curious to know what Tigrinya word Physics teachers use for it in Eritrea. But if there is none for it so far, I would go with ጸሊም-ኣልቦ።

      • Aligaz G

        Dear Beyan

        Who do you think chooses curricula in the US? Your local school board? The new left? And pop science best selling authors and setting the agenda? Random phenomena? It is common knowledge several of the most prominent social scientists and even entire institutions (SOAS) are on the payroll and the war machinery uses their input “appropriately”. It is extremely naive to underestimate superpowers in depth regional analysis down to the “woreda” level and their intrusive ways. Especially under administrations where oversight is minimal and the appetite for assertive action is high.

        • @george

          Dear aligaz

          You make a very good point. But, for sake of clarity please stop writing cryptic sentences. Your sentence are highly condensed and difficult read. Some of us barely passed ESL. Again without repeating myself you made an excellent point I’m afraid very few people would agree with you. Because the obsession of the 4 mm is PIA in the process they forget the bigger picture the human cost of our inability to comprehend the impact that the Western world have on our life.

          • Aligaz G


            OK since you give me permission i will respond with clarity.

            Keep the false humility but work on your critical skills. Your comprehension of English is excellent. You passed TOEFL with flying colors. The same is true of most Awatistas.

            Maybe I have my own style because I am not a bot?

        • Beyan

          Dear Aligaz,

          Don’t get me started on this. The Pearson and other commercial entities, like test prepping corporation have gotten the public schools in their pocketbooks. The NCLB Act (Bush’s mantra). The Race to the Top (Obama’s mantra) have a lot to be desired for. It is why my wife and I divide up our chores to keep up with what our kids are learning. It is a difficult endeavor to balance. I hear my wife in the study room talking about quadratic equation, f(x), function, domain, what have you. She the smart aleck of the house. I do the fluffy stuff, you know, social studies, literature, what have you.

          I just got done checking with my son’s work and when we parted company, I didn’t want to give high-five, I gave him the knuckle instead. His retort was are germophobe? My retort was you stayed home because you are under the weather today and I don’t want to catch what you have, son. He always has the last words, with his cute attempt at an English accent, he said, “actually you are extremely logical, which makes you sound like extremely intelligent”. The Harry Potter influence. He has been devouring the books and now he is watching it on the screen.

          At any rate, Aligaz, I hear you loud and clear. The EPLF era of Halengi sewra neweh’yu eti khurmaju pales in comparison to the “superpower in depth regional analysis down to the ‘word’ level” that you mention. It is an uphill battle for leaders in the developing world to stay on straight and narrow. Many were assassinated in the past when it was a norm. Today, all that they have to do is slap a country like Turkey with a tariff, its currency goes on a free fall instantly.

          • Aligaz G


            The next generation Beyans will be geniuses. The mother’s role is critical. You are lucky.


          • Beyan

            Selam Aligaz,

            Indeed, when you have for a partner one who enjoys statistics, physics, anything maths in addition to biology, I really do count my blessings. I have married up as they say on this say on this side of the Atlantic.

            Let us hope they take advantage on what’s in their menu of options that this great country has to offer. But, you know how it is. They may look like us, but they are not us. So, hopefully, they will chart their own path. The hope is that path will be one that will make them productively happy. The rebelling stage hasn’t begun yet. If there is such a thing as a constructive rebelling stage, we hope it to be something beneficial to their future.

            Many thanks for your kind words, bro.


          • Selamat Beyan,

            This is what I have done with my three sons. I told them very loudly “that they are on thier own. If I made it on my own. laging seven grade levels, with out papa or mama and without a single sibling by my side, surely the three of them can and will do a hell of a lot better. And failure is just not an option for them as it wasn’t and isin’t for me. Hands off so that I do not ruin them was the apporoach. Well, the net results pending, two of the three are at a reputable institue of technology with a full ride of 80K a year— they got full scholarships the third who is realy a second well he is very athletic but in a sport with a lot less commercial appeal – Lacross.
            As for going forward, the intention is to refocus their lenses on the quadratic equations as well as the pair platonic solids dodeca hedron and icasohedrons as being the perfect engineering designs for the landing humans on Saturn’s moon the Titant…. TitSAtSE

            Hade neTbi shudushte Hade Shomente bado Seleste ArbaEte tShiAte tShiAte … elallayyyy


    • Amde

      Hi Hayat,

      Such posts are why you earned the title of Queen. Great post.

      Is the HoA really the most gerrymandered region? We do seem to be a map-maker’s delight, and also keeping vexillologists (flag makers) in business. I agree that state fragmentation appears to occur at a higher rate in this region than anywhere else in the world. But I am not sure why precisely our region is worse than anywhere else in the world.


      • Selamat Sir Amde,

        It is not in accordance with the protocol of the peasant that I am to address the Queen directly while refusing to curtsy,…. but It does seem the Queen has gotten her bearings possibly due to a compass replacement.

        Indicators from her above alpha numberic listing excerpts are such words as “withering nation of HoA ” i.e Somalia and seeing the birth of a nation Eritrea (Hayat the queen shying away to swallow the bitter pill in cuttting short of full recognition in annunciating “Eri”… Betrays her pleading through the assurance the TPLF is not in the minority since TPLF is in power could very well be a legitimate position of strength via new hopes and channels that are progressing)

        The Queens skills are noted as they are evident in her rigid maleability… The fact of the matter is, there is not an iota of political or intellectual or anlytical maturity, other than her maleable reframing of the farsical positions in the past present and future.

        Major awate website proponents were warned of the duplicity and psuedo political manouverings and manipulation of the TPLF. This warning immediatly following the shift from Sudanese Base to TPLF Ethiopia’s one basket, at the mercy of, which the Eritrean opposition gambled.

        Dividing Ethiopia and Eritreans to imerge as a formidable contentder (majorty) on the scale of HoA through the, possibly intended, further division of the HoA states hmmm maybe TPLF is the badass mama jama of the horn… if only the Queen would swallow the bitter pill that is Eritrea and not her half dose Eri….

        I do not undersand why such Kights as yourself and the Admiral are dupped by the teenage princes like Queen as if her holes prone pronouncements make her as formidable as Mary the Bloody… nahhhhhhh

        As you were Sire,


        • Hayat Adem

          Hi TsaTse,
          That is very unTsatsesque and very uncool from a friend I’ve always trusted with my life. TsaTses are very loyal to their queen. Their job is to defend her to the very last.
          Anyways you are all the way wrong in your above feed. But I have always wanted you to stay around and we are better of tolerating your errors and errants than having a day without you.

          • Selamat Queen Hayat Adem,

            “But I have always wanted you to stay around and I think we are better of tolerating your errors and errants than having a day without you.” Only a queen would consider her wants and needs above all else and errs further by tolerating nonexistent “errors and errants”

            I can suggest we go back and read your submission that was the cause for not being myself or unTsatsesqe as you put it. And we can peel it layer by layer ግን አንታይ ገበርኪ ኣውደኣመት ሸቃሎ ኣብ ኣሜርካ መዓልቲ ትክሽሒ ካላኣይ ግዜ። You are no Sophia due to the absence of your wisdom of the vital dependency a queen has on workers. We worker tSAtSE are well learned and experienced with our own queen gitSAtSE in the EPLF and can extrapolate Tplf’s disregard of the masses… Perhaps the Sophia wannabe can be convinced by The Mustopha and respond to this tSAtSuesqe wish to all below by spelling out the ERITREA ten times (yes Hayat spell it out and see how difficult it is for you…)

            And Happy Labor Day to Queen Hayat Adem and ALL. Keep working Hayat, you will get there if you keep the pace. [if you can’t spell out E r i t r e a, ten times as a response simply forward this message to Ayya Ismail AA until you are able to do the task…]

            Then a plowman said, Speak to us of Work.

            And he answered, saying:
            You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

            For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards he infinite.

            When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

            Which of you would reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
            Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
            But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born.
            And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
            And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.
            But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
            You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness, you echo what was said by the weary.
            And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
            And all the urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
            And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
            And all work is empty save when there is love;
            And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
            And what is it to work with love?
            It is to weave the cloth with the threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear the cloth.
            It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
            It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
            It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit.
            And to knw that all the blessed dead are standing about you watching.
            Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the sol.
            And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”
            But I say, not in sleep but in over-wake-fulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the gitSAtSE oaks that the least of all the blades of grass;
            And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
            Work is love made visible.
            And if you cannot work with love but only distase, it is betterthat you should leave you work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
            For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
            And if you grudge the crussing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poinson in the wine.
            And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

            ሓደ ነጥቢ ሹዱሽተ ሓደ ሾሞንተ ባዶ ሰለስተ ኣርባዕተ ትሽዓተ ትሽዓተ፨

            Happy Labor Day.


          • Selamat Queen Hayat Adem,

            ቆጸራ ኣል ጄርስ አትብል ዜማ (ሪሚክስ ኦር ረንዲሽን — አንደገና አተብጽበጸ) ከጋብዘኪ ተቀሪበ ግን ሰዓት ናይ ፈሓም ፋርኔሎ ምጥባስ ስጋ ኣኺሉ ወይ ኣርኪቡ። ክት’ኣምንኒ ነዛ ቪድዮ ምስክር ኢነሄትልኪ።

            …of noon tide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the gitSAtSE oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass; And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.” completes the text of the minute video.

            The Queen shall be serenaded another time. ቆጸራ ንግበር። ግን ቆጸራ ኣል ጄርስ ህውሓት ኣይትግበርያ፡ ሓደራ።
            ሓደራ ሓደራ ሓደራ ኤርትራ ኤርትራ ኤርትራ *10
            ትነብረ ኔራ ቆጸራ ጣሊማ፡ ጠሊማ ወድ ጽልማ ጠሊማ
            ፨ just a taste of lyrics and the hook… Perhaps I can be booked on the next Asheda in Mekele 😉


            Hade neTbi Shudushte Hade Shemonte bado seleste arbaEte tShiAAte tShiAATe…
            Awate!!! Awate Awate x10 Eritrea


    • Reclaim Abyssinia

      Queen Sheba II ( Hayat!),

      I thought I’d just throw in my five cents’ worth.

      sometimes we just need to go back to basics; embrace simplicity, allow citizens without borders!
      It’s hard to believe people with a long coastline, living of a camel milk as their main source of foods.

      Those who deny all the problem that HOA is encountering because of the colonial map, then they need to get their head out of the sand.

      “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.”

      ሆዴ በጀርባዬ ቢሆን, ገፍቶ ገደል በጣለኝ!
      Somebody need to translate to QueenShe.

      QueenShe, You really hit the spot perfectly!

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam All,

    According to the article, in Eritrea, one social group, namely that of the Tigrinya speaking highlanders, is dominating the other social groups, where the minorities are marginalized in every aspect of their lives, and hence the minorities are making their struggle against tyranny of majority in order to assure equitable sharing in running the state affairs of our nation and fair distribution in the economics of the nation.

    The first question that arises is: is this article a well researched endeavour that is rooted in reality or is it an empty voodoo chant sprinkled with loony-leftist terminology? Is the author trying to latch on to the cause of some Eritrean elites that suffer from a perpetual sense of persecution complex?

    To test the veracity of the author’s outrageous claim, I present myself, an Eritrean highlander, supposedly represented by the current government, giving me not only all the available economic opportunities, but also a sense of superiority over all the other
    ethnic groups.

    But, the reality is that I am one among numerous second-time exiled persons longing to visit my homeland in vain. To top that up, some of my relatives, who have escaped Eritrea, have been tortured and raped in the Sinai desert by Egyptians, while others have drowned in the Mediterranean sea, trying to reach Europe. So much for being from a dominant ethnic group!

    Since the author’s claim could not survive its first contact with reality, I pronounce it to be fraudulent.

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Simon Kaleab,

      A good critique or review of an essay is educative in so far it passes through the necessary rigor of at least standard appraisal of merits and shortcomings of the author’s contentions, arguments and conclusions because the reader would be served by the reviewer with evidence supported alternative ideas. Passing comments that end up in conclusive judgement is deficient and lack adequacy.

      In this case, thus, making judgement on the premise of you and your relationship with the regime is rudimentary to put it as mildly as possible. The essay deals with a governance regime in proper manner academic research methodology requires. I believe the author would not shy away from critical review of his thoughts and conclusions on condition proper procedures are followed (I stand to be corrected if he thinks otherwise). He might not rule out there could be others with different views on issues he had discussed. In any case, this author deserves well earned commendation for tackling crucial issues whose handling in one way or another will inform how the Eritrean polity is going to fare in future.

      The one-man regime is not an eternal burden. Its existence in current form and political-governance prerogatives may not pass the point of demise of the omnipotent despot. None of the regimes in similar conditions did. The content and erudition this essay provides constitute timely warning to all concerned in the Eritrean political and social milieu.

    • Blink

      Dear Simon
      The author has no data nor does he have the intellect to know a country he willingly avoided for 50 years . He has no knowledge of the people he is accusing more nor does he know the people he is trying to guard on behave of the other . This article is a dressing for being an apologetic to some fallacies of many years of stories narrated falsely to hit certain part of the society. Such article with the attitude of the author are against the valide concern as well as real problem of the people. PFDJ has been roping the highlanders land , human capital , economic capital , social justice just as the others . The lies I find in this article is beyond any limitations. I have traveled Eritrea across the mountains, villages and hills with different social statues as well as different beliefs, what I found is simply a horrible policy of PFDJ that doesn’t know any ethic or religion.

      I think the saay group pushing for pan- Eritrean thing need to challenge such obscure and false claims in order to garner a sizeable amount of support from every one . There are some people who invested their whole life skill in finding cracks of the social eye based on religion and ethnic and their only reason is to make sure divide the people so they can spew their venom to the young generation in order to dismantle anything that connects the people. Imagine this guy has been a regionalist and an ethnic heritage sick for almost his best years .

      I wanted the Tigrinya and Tirgre to feel at ease when they read such articles because the other society doesn’t hold such sick attitudes over them . Go to Barentu and come back to adi Guaedad you will find the hate for PFDJ to be equal. I need a prove to see if the highlanders ever benefited from PFDJ in any form, pls show us beyond your lies ?

      • haileTG

        Selamat Simon and Blink,

        I think that you are both of somewhat similar view in as far as the the issues of equity are concerned, i.e IA/PFDJ is an equal opportunity oppressor. In my view that is true but doesn’t answer the question. For example, Ethiopians could say the same thing during Mengistu era, or Yugoslavians could have said the same during Milosovic era, or Iraqi could have said the same during Saddam’s era.

        The problem is however these issues predate and outlive regimes. Would you say for example the highland vs lowland issue is:

        1 – non-existant

        2 – it exists but it is irrelevant

        3 – it existed but has now been resolved successfully

        4 – it existed but due to IA/ PFDJ rule of equal opportunity oppression it has been resolved

        The issue may not be a headline issue right now but it has divided PFDJ, opposition, Ghedli, federation, British ruled Eritrea…. What is the chances that it would not divide post-PFDJ Eritrea?

        It appears that you are looking at this issue from current and narrow perspective of individual experiences. But the reality is out there and if it didn’t go anywhere in the last 60+ years, it won’t go away in the near future. Thus the real question to ask is whether it is getting better, worse or the same.

        What do you think?

        • Alex

          Hi haileTG,
          I believe PIA/PFDJ is an equal opportunity oppressor to all ethnicity. There may still be some imbalances when it comes to education and infrastructure between the highland and lowland of the country but that is to do with less opportunity in lowland area before the independence of the country. Based on what happen after independence we can see more schools, hospital, water and other infrastructures are build more in remote area of the country than the urban area. That does not mean all the issues are resolved and hopefully we can narrow the difference even more once we have a real democracy in the country.

          • haileTG

            Merhaba Alex,

            I understand you have a socio-economic perspective on this. But if you see the problem as a whole, you’ll find that it has many facets. I am assuming here that when you say “does not mean all issues are resolved”, you are specifically looking at infrastructural shortages. There is the land issue, the refugee issue, power sharing issue, language issue and other evolving and dynamic issues that would come into play with changing regional and global influences. One school of thought, such as that of Semere T, insists on denying the existence of the problem by breaking it down by centering ethnic identity as a chief identifier. However, this problem is in the very making of Eritrea itself. Therefore, honesty and good faith (not for you but the whole country) is must. Otherwise, attempting to cut shoddy deals and play one side for a fool in a big No No. Our grand parents from both sides have understood this and entered into a covenant. We need to be careful that we deal with this generational and ongoing challenge as per that spirit of covenant.

          • Lamek

            haileTG, all of this is a matter of allegiance. The Tigrinya have no allegiance to anyone or anything other than their motherland. Some other groups in Eritrea have allegiance that is far far away an allegiance to Eritrea. Their religion is their way of life and they have expansionism in their mind. Their motto is they hate the other side and they will never rest until that other side is exterminated. The only way for them to do that is to wage hate, animosity, and war between Tigrinyas across each side of the Mereb. I don’t know how you very intelligent people fail to see this. As a Tigrinya, if anyone wants to make, say, Nara the national language, I will be up for it. But why Arabic? Because the Qoran is written in Arabic? Well, the bible was originally written in Hebrew and later translated into Greek, Geez etc. Should we then demand our national language to be Hebrew, or Greek, or Geez? I don’t see any difference.

        • Paulos

          Selam HaileTG,

          Excellent points! Without further ado, we need to look at the leaked list of names. Statistically speaking, we see zero diversity and Isaias’ support base is from specific ethnic group. And it is not a coincidence but there is something that gravitates them towards Isaias. It all started with ንሕናን ዕላማናን……

          • haileTG

            Merhaba Paulos,

            Yes, the issue hadn’t progressed from where it left off due to the political stagnation we suffered as the result of the undemocratic regime. However, surely the problem predates ንሕናን ዕላማናን because that manifesto wouldn’t have come had there not been a problem to begin with. I am sure you agree:)

          • Paulos

            Selam HaileTG,


        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam hailetg,

          How do these issues predate the current regime in Eritrea?

          What is the highand issue?

          The current regime is spawned by you people, don’t be lazy, try to study it well to find a cure. Instead, you copy mechanically off the shelf mubo jumbo leftist catchwords from the West, that cannot even pass the first hurdle.

          An act of desperation?

          • haileTG

            Selamat Simon,

            I think you have stumbled into the biggest and central question of this whole problem: What is the highland issue?

            Keep that question in mind all the time, I guarantee you that you’ll come to see the answers raining down in all forms as your grow and mature into it.

            Here is a clue:

            Hameed laments the fact that his children don’t have the right to learn in a language that would stimulate and develop them better.

            Semere T tells him they should learn in English.

            You may not grasp the undercurrent of the above exchange as yet, but keep your focus on your question “What is the highland issue?” It shall all become clear to you.

            The rest of things you said such like: “the regime is spawned by you people”, “Don’t be lazy”, “leftist mumbo jumbo”, “desperation” are all correct, so long as you come to understand that big question you asked. Then they’ll all fall into the right place.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam hailetg,

            Always prevaricating with a non-answer. Keep it up, the fake ones will praise you.

        • Blink

          Dear Haile TG
          I believe you are a sensible person and reasonable too. If I was from Tigrinya and saw the horrible situation of the people inside and outside Eritrea then read this article as well as the continued attack on them , the least for me is ,I will be offended and some can take hardline to accuse the lowlanders too . First such attack on any ethnic is not helpful for the opposition to created a united front against PFDJ and even after PFDJ this will create a bad experience.

          I personally believe these who accuse the Highlanders are simply making lies just to garner support from some fringe groups of lowlands but this author is way way out of his mind. He is simply making lies over lies . I believe such people need to be confronted by the highlanders who are in the justice seeker and more importantly by the lowlanders too. There is no religious, economic and social pressure exerted by PFDJ specifically to lowlanders while giving more advantag to highlanders. These who say otherwise are simply making lies for hidden motives.

          • David Samson

            Hi Blink,

            Emma knows very well that IA does represent all but himself. Because I share the same Christian name as IA, does it make guilty by association? Confronting Emma will only legitimise the already skewed perception of Highlanders. He has not been careful with his words. Instead of ‘Most’, or ‘Majority’, he uses the word ‘All’. He has held the same views for years; he used to post them on Asmarino. F. Nair and Wedi Amar had held similar views in the past, but since then tone down their languages.

            Welcome to the world of ‘Totalitarian regimes’. Most, if not, every citizen feels victimised by a totalitarian regime. How does putting all the same ethnic group in one basket help fight tyranny? You end with up with catch 22, or “Prisoner’s dilemma”.
            History is my great guide. You could count on fingers the number of regimes removed by popular revolt; most dictators either die naturally or removed by external force.

          • Blink

            Dear David
            I still don’t understand why would someone paint PFDJ with one ethnic group because if someone said the exact word of Mr.Amanuel on YouTube and Facebook, he will be talking to really really dangerous results. I hope Mr. Amanuel do this on Facebook and YouTube or on the next Geneva saay pan-Eritrean thing and look at the crowds face . Let’s see if these who are accusing the highlanders do it on their face openly in Tigrinya ? I think it will be horrible for the opposition in the west and we will lose all. I hope the young highlanders do take people like mr. Amanuel idea as dead one . The highlanders do make up the largest opposition group in the west and I think it will be better these people know the truth about these people.

          • Hope

            Selam David:
            I am aware that the so called “Federalist Movement” headed by the narrow—minded Nesbit “ Ishak” et al have had that kind of narrow mentality.

            Uncle Fiseha Nair calmed down and has made a Legal U-turn to some extent.

            To my best knowledge,Ustaz Weldeyesus Ammar has never been in that Club,rather persuaded that group to give up on that fake Federslist Movement.

            It was Wedi Ammar that convinced Ustaz Abdel-Rahman Said,aka Bohashim,about the impracticality of Federalism in Eritrea and thereby convinced and persuaded Boashim to drop it at all after hrs and days of constructive and brotherly debate!
            Moreover,it was literally Wedi Ammar that made and “built the impossible”,possible by bringing both the ELF and EPLF Groups together!

            If he had that kind of old-styled and “rotten” mentality,Ustaz Welde-Yesus,would not have “wasted” his time to unite old “ enemies”!

          • David Samson

            Selam Hope,

            It was very long time ago when Meskerem was the only opposition site. Do you know Wedi Ammar had written articles on ‘Awate’ under the pen name of ‘Himnot, or ‘Himanot?’. When challenged or confronted by SJG if the writer was Wedi Ammar, he came clean and admitted.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi David,
            Here is a correction for you :
            1. It was “Menhot”.
            2. He disclosed that himself and he used a nick because of his type of work.
            3. Saleh Johar has nothing to do with all of that except protect his idntity

          • David Samson

            Selam Saleh,
            Thanks for correction!
            I understand why some people use pen names, but I was under the impression that you did not know “Menhot” was indeed Wedi Ammar.

          • Saleh Johar

            We do not host anyone we do not know. But we follow strict work ethics, a sort of Omertà, we do not disclose any name until the person does it himself. And that work ethic ha Coates is dearly, because in most cases, I was the fall guy like in Ali Salim

          • Paulos

            Selam Ayay,

            I loved his [Menhot] articles. I never missed a single of his articles where his writing style and English is smooth like silk. And I learned great deal of history from his essays. Hope he is well.

          • Hope

            Selam David:
            Good that you are “ as old as “ that Era as I thought you are a newcomer here!

            You got the correction from the Horses’ Mouth.

            Let me add this:
            I followed Menhot Weldemariam’s Articles from A to Z and I enjoyed them.

            I might disagree with some of them and their content but at that time,his narration was a kind of Live Experience that some of us Lowlanders have had lived /experienced but decided to be reserved for the sake of Reconciliation and to avoid injuring the healing or the Unhealed wounds ,which /where we didn’t want to add oil to the fire.
            Granted,there is a difference between telling the truth/the history as it is,for the sake disclosing it so that this kind of history shall not be repeated by learning a lesson from the past mistakes

            that of repeating and regurgitating,EXAGGERATING and BLANKET ACCUSATION/generalization for a political gain in a way or to the extent of creating confusion and polarization -the Ali Salim,the Hammad Al Al Arabi and to some extent,the Ustaz Amanuel Hidrat style..

          • Blink

            Dear Hope
            I like the way you put it . The wedi Amar has a book he wrote while in Iraq . I read it many times to at least why he has the mountains of lines about EPLF while doing everything to cover ELF and thanks to him he pushed many to digg about ELF and EPLF but I think these guys are simply entertaining an out dated joke about this current article not easy .

          • haileTG

            Selamat Blink,

            Thank you for your kind words. I would say one thing for sure, no matter how we decide to dissect this issue at hand, expect a lot of emotional charges flying around. The solution is only to be found in dispassionate approach to the issue, i.e as much as we can humanly muster.

            In as far as the regime’s treatment of the highland population, I would go further than yours and state that it is nothing less than an atrocity. Does that mean the lowlanders didn’t suffer no it doesn’t. Therefore, unless we firstly agree on context, to tell the highlander an oppressor or the lowlander a simmering threat, would only expand the nature and scope of the problem. Tempers must cool off.

            A year or so ago, I argued pretty much on the opposite side from a different context. Remember, there are two competing contexts in to the problem at hand, namely, the the historical context and current context. Whenever these two wires crossover, they tend to explode into mutual recrimination and withdrawal from the subject altogether.

            So, on my argument a year or so ago (mostly argued with saay), I had the current context in mind. The center of my argument was that IA, at the time, was being undermined by predominantly highland opposition in the west that have disrupted his diplomatic offensives and brought damning condemnation of his regime (careful here: I am saying predominantly not all). At the same time he was being supported by middle eastern regimes economically and diplomatically, while the predominantly lowland diaspora there did very limited Opposition (save the Sudan) to disrupt him on that front. My premise on that argument was purely pragmatic and strictly within the current context. The pressing issue for me as I saw it was the mass depopulation of highland Eritrea (again current context). However, I failed to prevent the argument from drifting into the historical context and being viewed with suspicious lenses. My good friend saay protested by appointing himself Haji Salih Al Asmaria:-) My intent was never to contextualize the problem from its historical dimension. For that the grievances, covenants and current political stalemate are enough in themselves.

            Therefore, you are right when you say we need a united front. We need to understand that this problem can either:

            1 – be ignored at our own risk


            2 – be recognized for its contextual variants and dealt with in good faith

            I am from highland Eritrea. My interests are both in highland Eritrea and greater Eritrea, the same applies to a fellow citizen from lowland Eritrea, in exact the same order. It is true that the issue can easily devolve into mutual recriminations and accusations. But that has been the status quo. The final solution is to make up our minds and be clear with what the bottom line is for each side and negotiate from that point. If the forefathers managed it, may be we could too.

          • saay7

            Haile TG:

            One of the benefits of aging is experience from which we hope to get wisdom. And one of the few I have is that an Internet forum where masked people can say whatever they want is the least suited for weighty and sensitive issues like the one being attempted here. Some of it, as I came to learn after Ahmed Rajis posting, is inability or unwillingness to tell the difference between these two statements:

            61% of The Colbert Report viewers are men
            61% of men view The Colbert Report


          • David Samson

            Selamat SAAY,
            In a completely different topic:

            I know you are back tracking on the thingy, but will keep my bit.
            I know Sabrina, the LA girl, but I have not come across Zebiba Shekhia. When I googled it, I have found some interesting: she is Eritrean American too, and has written a book titled “Building the Impossible”’. Abeba Baitay was promoting the book while she was in London.

            I have also watched few Sabrina’s videos. Some of them are very short(Less than 3 minutes), while others over 154 minutes long. However, none of them have given me any clue on how to unravel this mysterious song.

            As I do not want you to break the linking rules, I shall wait until the weekend. Before I call ‘Scotland Yard’ for help, It is nice to have some evidence before hand (videos link of the mysterious song).

          • saay7

            Selamat David:

            Zebiba is a friend and when I am done reading her book, I have promised to interview her: which is a review/promo combo. I used to finish a book in a day now it takes me two weeks:(( in addition to her book, Zebibas team also had a documentary called “The forgotten”, about Eritrean refugees in Sudan, several years ago.

            Saw Sabrina’s “The forgotten” documentary a couple of weeks ago when it was screened in Northern Cal and I have very mixed feelings about it. This, too, I will remain quiet about. (It’s the season of quietness.)

            Can’t wait for the link to the song though! That’s step one in your long and arduous process towards knighthood.


          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay,

            The sooner the better although it’s going to be an uphill task because the choice will be balancing quality and quantity or settling for either one of them.

          • haileTG

            Hey saay,

            I get the dilemma:) But allow me to ask you one question, just a general one and anyone is most welcome to venture in:

            If today was to be awate.com’s last day online. If it was to be decided that it will never restart again, what would you say its greatest legacy would be?

            We can’t force ripen a fruit but only tend it. Otherwise, it will be a meal for birds before we get there to pick it 🙂

          • saay7

            Hey Haile The Great:

            That’s a great question. Lucky for me, the great philosopher Chad Kroeger* has suggested the answer:

            My best friend gave me the best advice
            He said, “Each day’s a gift and not a given right.
            Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
            And try to take the path less traveled by.
            That first step you take is the longest stride.”

            Against the grain should be a way of life
            What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight
            Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try
            So live it like you’ll never live it twice
            Don’t take the free ride in your own life

            And would you call old friends you never see?
            Reminisce old memories
            Would you forgive your enemies?
            And would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
            Swear up and down to God above
            That you finally fall in love
            If today was your last day

            If today was your last day
            Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
            You know it’s never too late to shoot for the stars
            Regardless of who you are
            So do whatever it takes
            ‘Cause you can’t rewind a moment in this life
            Let nothin’ stand in your way
            ‘Cause the hands of time are never on your side

            If today was your last day
            And tomorrow was too late
            Could you say “goodbye” to yesterday?

            Would you live each moment like your last?
            Leave old pictures in the past
            Donate every dime you had?
            (Would you? Would you?)

            And would you call old friends you never see?
            Reminisce old memories
            Would you forgive your enemies?
            And would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
            Swear up and down to God above
            That you finally fall in love
            If today was your last day

            Seriously, HaileTG, wouldn’t this question be posed to the readers of awate and not the contributors?


            *The lead singer guitarist for Nickelback, one of the few Canadian exports worth importing:) Just kidding Berhe.

          • Welcome back HaileTG,

            awate.com’s greatest legacy would be its contributions in reforming and shaping the transitional Eritrean government into shape with brute force at times. But one is not only the greatest legacy. With equal weight things such as literature and academics are only two of numerous greatest legacies. And it ain’t done yet. Not when those of us who have been pitching soft balls to date amp up the presures and it may even come down to wrestling it away from even the founders themselves. We have been arround long enough and know quite well what it is worth. It ain’t only Saleh’s and Saleh’s persay… It is OURS!

            Hade neTbi shudushte Hade shomente bado seleste arbaEte tShiAte tShiAte….


          • Saleh Johar

            The place feels empty without you. You are grounded, go to your room:-)
            Dow that you are punished, don’t disappear again.

            6X 4=zqr #6. 2-3?

          • haileTG

            Merhaba Saay and GitSAtSE,

            Sorry for the delay guys and thanks saay, that lyric has such a richness and depth! Back to my question, I think I should have worded it as “what if awate.com closed yesterday…” to remove potential misunderstanding. Because similar questions are asked traditionally to motivate, but my intention was Tsebtsab…hisab mawerared in Amharic. Not what we should do today or tomorrow but has already been done?

            Now to Tsatse, does a window exist by its absence or presence? Sure, what we call a window is a missing wall, yet we also say a missing window. Or a missing missing wall in its empirical formula. But is a missing window just a missing view? Although the view couldn’t have gone anywhere because it is there with window or no window?

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile TG,

            “Being clear with the bottom lie” is a powerful precursor to either of two fateful choices: coexistence through mutual accommodation or endless conflict with open doors to foreign meddlers that could end up in solution defying stalemate. Then, the sides will remain with no option but walk away and embark on journey of searching space for new destinies.

            By way of exchanges and conversation, you and I have agreed that we learned from recent history. This was the riddle the founding fathers had sorted out – settling for the bottom line, meant coexistence though mutual accommodation and compromise in a polity called Eritrea. They understood wisdom guided them to avoid conflict and mutual destruction. There is no reason the current generation should not do the same when they are better off in terms of knowledge and tools of its application.

        • Blink

          Dear Haile TG
          Well let’s hope this will not be emotionally irrational thing because if that happens it will be at the cost of who ? I believe if we divide the people across ethnic lines and accuse them of contempt or even aiding the dictator and by distance making them criminals, it will run to a very very horrible things. I believe the lowlanders are the savers of Eritrea and equally the creators of Eritrea but they can’t be represented by people who are not honest just as the highlanders do not represent by PFDJ . I believe on the honesty of all Eritreans to know who is who and walk away from heinously cooked ideas .

          Let’s see them talk openly about what is the back burner cooking . Honesty matters to face a free speech mind because hiding behind a rule that you made for yourself to protect yourself is as equal as dictator issias policy . The reason why I oppose such painting of the highlanders because I believe Eritreans in the opposition can not spend another century waiting for these heinous visions to die . Eritrea is different from 1940 and even
          More different from 2001 . We need people with fresh mind away from the food chain of venomous menu.

        • Lamek

          haileTG, Hidrat, and the rest of you, please please please wake up and smell the coffee. Your people and heritage are being attacked in this website everyday and you guys are being used as tools. Your master has flatly said that since there are not enough books in Tigrinya, your language should be obsolete and replaced by Arabic. If this is not a wake up call for you guys, I don’t know if you will ever wake up. I am out. I can’t bear reading the attack on my great and ancient language and people. You guys may as well wear your jelebias and declare you are a wahabis.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Lamek,
            I am interested to know who said what you claim: “ has flatly said that since there are not enough books in Tigrinya, your language should be obsolete and replaced by Arabic. ”

            2. While you are at it, please mention a few Tigrinya books that stimulate the mind. Hint: alemseghed Tesfai alone contributed to a big chunk of the history books. Can you mention 50 Tigrinya books that amount to anything close to books written in other languages?

            3. Do you know that znegese ngusna is a Wahabi slogan par excellence? Can you educate us about the differences between the Wahabi school and the tens of other schools in Islam, and the tell us the schools of thought that the overwhelming majority, historically, that Eritreans follow?

            4. Why do you want to intimidate Eritreans from discussing Eritrean issues even if you consider the issues not your issues but alien, because you get to set the agenda, you think?

            5. Talking about roots: it might be too much for you but did it cross your mind those you deride could have been if a different faith before they concentrated and that a few generations ago, your ancestors might have been following the “wrong” faith? I say that because faith is not proof of roots though many wrongly or purposely believe so. Can you produce the birth certificate of your great grandfather—for that matter, I doubt any Eritrean can. Folktales are not needed because people modify history before applying them to the present.

            I could go on for the rest of the day, but I would like to stop here and ask you to please look at Eritreans as citizens with the same rights as you and remember no one is piggybacking on your original citizenship. It’s 2018 my dear.


          • Nowinc

            It’s that time of the year again. Seasonal Lamek comes in swinging and leaves cursing and kicking everything on his path. There is no substance, just hit and run outburst.
            This particular time has been rough for the Agazian group with IA’s relation with the Amharas passing over their head like ICB missile to Addis. Many of us are upset over the lack of information on the recent developments, the Tigrayans are unhappy they are not being included, the Agazians are fuming at the whole situation – this wasn’t the plan:)

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Niwinc,
            It’s amazing how the nihna nsu crowd always use the “Tigrinya testserifka” agitational veil to pass their bigotry. Weriduwo tigrinya speaker that is being stained by them. They effectively used that clarion Call effectively for decades and they should not be allowed to hide behind that veil unexposed. All Tigrinya speakers, including me, wegiznayom inna. Game over is appropriate here.

        • Hope

          Selam Hailat:

          Very smart argument.

          I picked # 4!

          4 -“… it existed but due to IA/ PFDJ rule of equal opportunity oppression it has been “resolved”, in a sarcastic way, not that the Social Injustice is resolved, since I understood you that the Injustice has become ‘Equal” for all…,hence, the issue of one Dominant Social Group Oppressing the other Minority Social Group is “resolved” since both social groups are equally oppressed by the Equal Opportunity Oppressor.
          It makes sense to me, hence, our struggle should be then against the Equal Opportunity Oppressor jointly with both the Oppressed Minority Groups and their X-Dominant Oppressor”,rather than against the X-Dominant Social Group, which has become a victim of Oppression by the same Equal Opportunity Oppressor.

          • haileTG

            Selamat Hope,

            That is a very good position, but we need to be very clear on what your position means. Struggling together means finding solutions for each party’s grievance. Beyan had mentioned some of those problems, as many others did too. They involve representative power sharing, resolving both the land and refugee issue, language issue and other social, cultural and religious customs issues. In view of your proposed “struggle together” position, what type of transitional govt do you envision post IA, and what actions do you expect the transitional govt to take to secure common interests?

          • Hope

            Selam Hailat:
            At least in my naive opinion,I do believe sincerely and honestly that the solutions to our problems are so simple and straight forward!

            1)A Genuine National Reconciliation( so easy approach for Eritreans minus those,who live in 70s and early 80s)

            2)An Inclusive Constitution

            3)A Constitutionally elected Assembly to take care of the pending and unfinished business!

            The most difficult part/situation of the equation is how to create a conducive environment to reach to/execute the above seemingly simple solutions!

          • Hope

            Selam Hailat:
            To be specific to your question:
            A Transitional Gov should set up different committres with subcommittees that :

            -involve and represent each and every member of the Social Groups involved in a way that will not apply Ethnic Politics but that genuinely represents the Social Groups and their Grievances-with serious and genuine transparency,responsibility and accountability!

            -Refugee Affairs Committee

            -Land Affairs Committee

            -National Reconciliation and Dialogue Committee

            -Constitution Drafting /Implementation Committee

            -Foreign Affairs Committee

            -Trade,Finances and Economic Policy Committees

            -Education,Defense,Natural Resources Mgt, etc.Committees

            BTW,I like the USA Style of addressing the Natiomal issues through the” Expert Committees”!

            All the above will be addressed and to be dealt with and through and by Experts in the respective fields as we have plenty of Human Resources for all of them .

            This way,we can invite every Eri and Expatriate Expert available and affordable.

            The Awate Univetsity Experts,Professionals and Intellectuals that I partially listed alone can effectively and effeciently handle and address these issues!

    • Abraham H.

      Dear Simon K., I would say it would be very unfair to the majority of Tigrinya speakers in Eritrea, to claim that they are the beneficiaries of the regime, when we know that they are also going through the evils of the regime just like the rest of the minority groups. But there are certain issues that give them certain advantages in terms of economic competitiveness, such as the domination of the Tigrinya language throughout the Eritrean society. I would also safely say the core base of the ruling regime is within the Tigrinya group, and the main actors of the regime also being from this group. I’m also convinced that most of the supporters of the regime, in particular in the West, are from the Tigrinya group. Some of these could be beneficiaries of the regime, but most of them are just foolish followers who falsely beilieve the regime as protector of their interests. The conclusion is, though the regime is largely a subset of the Tigrinya group, it doesn’t serve the interest of that group, hence the need for all Eritreans to unite against this narrow interest clique.

  • Paulos

    Selam My Good People,

    Mirjam van Reisen put out a statement about her recent experience when she crossed the Mereb River to Eritrea. Her entries feel like “Dr. Livingston, I presume” where it took her 20 years to set foot on Eritrea.

    Sadly enough, she said, Eritreans including minors as young as 5 and 6 years olds still are crossing to Tigrai even after “Game Over” is declared and the መኸተ herd go “ቢስ ቢስ!” She went on to say that, life for Eritreans has not changed when again “Game Over” is announced and the herd again go ቢስ ቢስ*

    *Those of you who are the 70s Asmarinos’ fad challenged, ቢስ ቢስ means ይደገም ይደገም!

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi Emma,
    Nice read. Hard and thoughtful stuff over there

  • haileTG

    Merhaba Aman H and awatista,

    Firstly, whenever an article is presented by Amanuel Hidrat, we have come to expect that astute and scholarly treatment. He is a learning institution unto himself, sharp, organized and authoritative. You’re amazing Emma!

    Now to substantive issues. We are at a critical juncture as a nation. The current regime in Eritrea no longer possess the war mantra to cover up. Slowly, questions of constitutionalism, human rights and opening up to the outside world are gaining momentum. As the gathering wind starts to pick up speed, restive issues will begin to chart the direction of the eventual change.

    Diversity is part and parcel of the making of Eritrea. Dictatorial regimes tend to subdue the inherent conflict drivers therein for their tenure but it doesn’t go away. It has to be dealt with in one way or the other.

    Although, there exist an ethnic and religious diversity in Eritrea, the latter is indeed the most potent one in terms of the country’s stability. Ethnicity may not be a hugely determining factor purely on the numbers. However, Haw Emma’s quest is surely positive and worth paying attention to.

    On the religious diversity, especially that of the Muslim lowland and Christian highland, however the challenges and accomplishments span well over half a century. It is a diversity that is pron to external influences and historical grievances. Sadly, we just wasted 20 years of political stagnation where things have frozen or reversed course in some cases. The inherently pertinent concerns are being postponed, while many destructive ideas are being floated around.

    We can’t deny the existence and gravity of the matter and hope for the better. If you haven’t done already, take SGJ’s your phone contacts list test. This is an area where greater focus should be applied (without taking anything away from the validity of Aman’s analysis above).

    The religious diversity is not an easy one by any stretch of the imagination and not for the faint heart. PFDJ will not and can’t do anything about it, it lacks the basic qualifications to even begin to entertain it. Like wise, hot headed individuals would do more damage than good in this respect. Only those cool headed, rational minds would do.

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Haile TG,

      “… there exist an ethnic and religious diversity in Eritrea; the latter is indeed the most potent one in terms of the country’s stability”. “It is a diversity that is PRONE TO EXTERNAL INFLUENCES (emphasis added) and historical grievances”. These are facts that only an astute and fully aware Eritrean recognizes. Unfortunately, many of Eritrea’s highland elites advertently or inadvertently overlook this factor whose resolution or failure can determine in one way or another Eritrea’s future fate in the form it was bequeathed by its colonial masters.

      As you have rightly stated, compared to the confessional divide (potentially), ethnic issues become tangential. Actually, ethnicity had never been serious divisive factor outside power ambition related tactical and opportunistic mobilizations. Many Eritrean ethnic communities share abodes and land for centuries with their counterparts; and families and clans live spread across borders of their own original cluster centers. History has not recorded any serious conflict in that regard save perhaps the Tarua’a – Tzenadeghle land dispute.

      Seen within the requirements of national unity, hence, ethnic related problems can easily metastasize to religious issues if neglected and left to deteriorate to acuteness and transform to primary contradiction. It at that stage doors open to allow external influence, as you have pertinently stated. The irony worth noting in passing here is that the founding fathers in the 1950s understood the problem better later generation politicians – the point I tried to make yesterday in my comments to Amanuel’s essay. They deliberated and reached consensus that it was more practical and advantageous to Eritrea’s unity to formulate policies that simplified polarization. They understood it was easier to unite the ethno-linguistic groups on basis of a factor common to all of them and then negotiate with the predominantly Tigrigna speaking and Orthodox faith following Kebessa inhabitants. This is a point that does not get the attention it deserves. The formula had succeeded and was working through parliamentary deliberations until it was interrupted in 1962 by annexation and subsequent launching the long and protracted liberation struggle.

      • haileTG

        Merhaba Ismail,

        Isn’t it a wonder how our forefathers (I am in my mid 40s), managed to hammer out such an amicable consensus and my generation is grappling with it as if it is a problem from another planet! I.e. unable to even describe the problem in a coherent argument.

        In all honesty and in no uncertain terms religion is the central diversity characteristic of Eritrea. Our lowlands being predominantly Muslim and the highland a predominantly Christian. The way we identify each other is by that affiliation, so is our pattern of congregating in social groups.

        Our forefathers deliberated around pertinent issues of such diversity in all places and at all times since the conception of our political autonomy. They debated it in villages, on mountain tops, under Da’Eros, in halls, in state palaces and international platforms. The conversation continues with this generation in opposition meetings, social media and discussion forums.

        As you mentioned, the greatest progress was made over half a century ago, but it has been backsliding since then. I think all of our good people need to understand that this is a major issue that will dominate much of the conversations in post IA transition period. Denying the very essence and nature of the grievance is less than honest. There are some who foolishly believe on an unwritten Article 39 (to borrow from our Ethiopian brothers) as we hear them toying with dangerous concepts.

        We need to have clear position (especially from the current power center), from which we can negotiate and compromise as required. Shape shifting the problem to mask it as regional/ethnic will only delay and complicate an already volatile situation.

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Haile TG,

          1.”In all honesty and in no uncertain terms religion is the central diversity characteristic of Eritrea. Our lowlands being predominantly Muslim and the highland a predominantly Christian.

          2. “… Our grand parents from both sides have understood this and entered into a covenant. We need to be careful that we deal with this generational and ongoing challenge as per that spirit of covenant.”

          The golden words that make up these two statements can only be from a person who has deepened in Eritrea’s affairs from inception to the present. In nutshel, you have provided both diagnosis and perscription of the problem. The difficulty is that not very many Eritreans counted in the elites category burden themselves to study Eritrea and its problems from grass roots levels, which mean social, cultural, religious and subsistence peasant economic levels. It’s only through this path that one can come with the conclusions your thoughts have articulated in the statements I quoted above.

          The problem is that the elites, specially the educated lucky among them, tend to appraise and try to resolve Eritrea’s problems from the point of view of elaborate political, social and economic theories which cannot fare much beyond academic values and merits. I say this because those expertises become deficient if the concrete facts of lives of ordinary people who identify themselves through notions in their faiths, languages, cultures, customs and tradition perscribe are ignored as backward (feudal and reactionary) relics of the past.

          As you have explained, our founding fathers were not lucky as the later generations to equip themselves with awareness through graduate and post-graduate credentials on theories and practices of state craft. Their source of foresight and wisdom were their cultures and faiths that provided them with guidance on what coexistence and social harmony had needed. They understood the value of mutual concern and care for one another on personal and communal levels. They appreciated that creation of Eritrea by forces of history had destined them to live side by side, which required them to rely on one cheap but powerful weapon called consultation. This had guided them to yet another gemt gem that coexistence had called for called compromise rooted in the traditional dictum: “qdmi nay ngorebetey”.

          Thus, in the interest of common good and socical harmony and positive coexistence, they never hesitated to break taboos such as food. That was why our wise fathers had arrived at the formula which I mentioned intemittently in past few days. Here, perhaps some in this forum may take me as naive conservative. I am not calling for return to that era and do the same. I know cicumstances have changed. But, the point is that history and precedents are there to be consulted for emulation and learning lessons. Consultation, dialogue and compromise are golden lessons this generation should learn from the pre-armed struggle generations.

          The elites have should dare persuade themselves or learn that our society has not changed much from the conditions it was in the 50s. Religion and culture still matter, and could be assets for harmonization and coexistence if recognized and managed in the way our founding father did.

          A society and the belief systems which its various members uphold do not transform by declarations or set of rules drawn in the light of modern concepts and theories that organize nations and states. Social set up cannot be dismantled and convert its members to individuals who pledge loyalty to the state in exchange of fulfilment of rights and duties. They need to path through elaborate and difficult nation building processes and material advancement which integrative economics make possible.

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam Amanuel Hidrat

    1. – “Eritrea might be arguably represented in the first category (a large group which dominates the minority groups) – one social group dominating the other social groups, where the minorities are marginalized in every aspect of their lives, and hence the minorities are making their struggle against tyranny of majority in order to assure equitable sharing in running the state affairs of our nation and fair distribution in the economics of the nation.”

    Amanuel: No one wants tyranny of any shape or form – ethnic, class, religion, region, family dynasty…….. Yes, there is a feeling of ethnic Tigrigna domination (in culture, linguistic, political power……) by other Eritrean ethnic minorities. And it doesn’t matter, whether ethnic Tigrigna domination is real or hoax. The perception is there and perception is everything. And because of that perception the damage is done. Again, since the perception is there, we’ve a serious problem at our hand that needs serious intelligent discussion, that leads into fundamental solution. And I don’t have any qualm with that!

    By beef is, with the Woyane style (imported) ethnic, religious, and regional prescription that further divide our nation and our community – which make our problems worse than they ever been. The point:

    There are a million + 1 ways to curb ethnic Tigrigna domination in Eritrean life – all without framing our politics into regional, religious and ethnic politics. Just ask how!

    Semere Tesfai

    • Saleh Johar

      Ahlen Semere,
      I think I am a.lowed to grab the opportunity and ask: How?

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Saleh Johar

        “I think I am a.lowed to grab the opportunity and ask: How?”

        Hold that thought! It is getting late on my time zone. I promise I’ll explain later.

        Semere Tesfai

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Saleh Johar

        1. – “I think I am alowed to grab the opportunity and ask: How (do you curb ethnic Tigrigna domination in Eritrean life)?”

        Before I try to give you the solution, as how to curb ethnic Tigrigna domination in Eritrean life, first let me explain to you what the problem has been all along – the PROBLEM that has been prescribed as a SOLUTION for three quarter of a century (1940s until now) that is. And here, our Ismail AA of Awate has summed it (the problem) above for all to see. He said:

        “The founding fathers in the 1950s understood the problem (Tigrigna domination) better than later generation politicians. They deliberated and reached consensus that it was more practical and advantageous to Eritrea’s unity to formulate policies that simplified polarization. They understood it was easier to unite the ethno-linguistic groups on basis of a factor common to all of them (Islam and Arabic language) and then negotiate with the predominantly Tigrigna speaking and Orthodox faith following Kebessa inhabitants. Today, this is a point that is not getting the attention it deserves.”

        Now imagine: For almost eight decades, the prescribed solution, to fight Tigrigna domination has been
        (a) To form unity of all nine/ten ethnics AGAINST one ethnic Tigrigna
        (b) To form a strong MUSLIM LEAGUE to balance the POWER of a strong CHRISTIAN ethnic Tigrigna
        (c) To domesticate and institute the Arabic language and Arabic culture as a unifying language and as a unifying culture to balance the Christian Tigrigna language and culture – all sacrificing their own nine ethnic languages and cultures. And the sad part:


        2. – Now, the solution:

        Like I said before, without resorting to ethnic regional and religious politics, without sacrificing one’s language and culture, without embracing an alien language and culture to Eritrean Muslims…….. there is a million + 1 ways to curb ethnic Tigrigna domination. But make no mistake:
        A. – Curbing ethnic Tigrigna domination doesn’t mean oppressing ethnic Tigrignas. It only means making ethnic Tigrignas equal in all shapes and forms to their compatriots from other ethnics and faiths

        B. – Curbing ethnic Tigrigna domination doesn’t mean standing in the way of the vibrant Tigrigna language. Because, like all other languages, Tigrigna is indigenous National Language that is spoken by the great majority of Eritreans. And like all other languages, Tigrigna is free from color, ethnicity, gender, race, faith, region…… Like all other languages Tigrigna is a tool. Tigrigna is a tool used as means of communication between Eritrean nationals. Nothing more nothing less. That being the case, there is no rational reason to create an impediment in the USE and ADVANCEMENT of the Tigrigna language in Eritrean life – or to any other Eritrean language for that matter.

        C. – One could have Tigrigna language as his/her mother tongue and still be a Muslim a Christian or an atheist from any region or ethnic. One could have Bilen language as his/her mother tongue and still be a Muslim a Christian or an atheist. One could have Kunam or Nara language as his/her mother tongue and still be a Muslim a Christian or an atheist. One could have Tigrait language as his/her mother tongue and still be a Muslim a Christian or an atheist.

        3. – The proper way to insure equality in Eritrean life – from the individual citizen to group rights, from group rights to the rights of faiths, regions, ethnics…… is to shrine it on our constitution and legislate it in our laws. The proper way to insure equality in Eritrean life is when we rigorously educate our constitution and our laws in all our schools and in all our communities. The proper way to curb ethnic Tigrigna domination is to custom tailor our party formation and our election laws in a way that doesn’t allow the domination of a single ethnic, faith, region…….

        Just to mention few out of many, our constitution could say:

        A. – Eritrea could only have three national political parties that could govern the nation at any given time

        B. – Any political party that aspires to govern the nation should have diverse party members that reflect the ETHNIC PERCENTAGE of the nation itself. And that will FORCE political parties to diversify their members and modify their political positions in order to govern the nation

        C. – All members of the parliament will be elected directly from each region and subregions of the nation. And the elected members of parliament would elect a president/prime minister and his/her vice president/prime minister – all with the intent to avoid the election dramas, divisions and killings we’re witnessing today

        D. – All cabinet members of the president/prime minister and all higher court judges must be conformed by parliament with 2/3 or higher vote of confidence

        E. – All national parliament members of ETHNIC MINORITIES must have their own caucus with a veto power – to give them the power to block any bill that affect them negatively from becoming a law.

        F. – A single political party can govern the nation if and only if it wins 2/3 of the Eritrean administrative regions and earned 2/3 of the national public vote. Otherwise it has to create a coalition to govern the nation.

        G. – To insure ethnic, faith, gender, age, disability…… equality in opportunities, resources, services…… congress will be mandated to form and fund an independent body that study, research, and recommend task objectives with a clear timetable and benchmarks.

        These and many other similar ideas could serve us better than ethnic region and faith based politics.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Haile S.

          Selam Semere,
          I am sure Saleh, Ismail and/or Emma will reply you. Just to say what I felt.
          Well it is impossible to back pedal on what have been achieved. I liked most of what you have said. I would have liked it more if you were, lets say Samira Tesfaikerim. Unfortunately we are far from hearing one pronouncing the expectation of the other. Hopefully that time will come soon and we talk of other businesses.

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Semere,
          It’s my turn to say “I am busy right now, will come back to you later.”
          In the meantime, please take your shoes off and put your feet on someone else’s shoes and think like them. Only then you can arrive at a fair conclusion. In the meantime, please study the points that HaileTG has posted. Mine will be loaded, I promise you. Stay good.

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Semere Tesfai,

          You know, I never thought you are also a spin doctor staying in an ambush. I took you as a committed Tigringa speaking ethnic component’s intellectually competent advocate.

          Well, you proved me wrong. Sir, what you have quoted from my comments to suit your purpose and spinned were not intended in the way you used them. I did not, and will not, frame the issue to suggest , even by way of insinuation, ganging up of the involved communities against the their fellow Tigrigna speaking partner. What I suggested was indicating pragmatism those founding politicians had used to resolve national unity defying matters. They were wise to settle differences on basis of one divide intead of tackling them by engaging in intricate puzzle of dealing with eight divides.

          As none other than the most respected Rasi Tessemma Asmerom and his party had witnessed, no one at the time save extremist unionists such Qeshi Demetros had ever considerated mobilization and uniting the Moslems under common formula as anti-Tigrigna community in the way you tried to put it and to inform readers in this forum. Such an attempt is unfortunate and dubious.

          Moreover, where did you get the news that the ethnic Eritreans who accepted to be represented as one stakeholder and wanted to deliberate on special interests within that arrangement were giving up their cultures and languages? The issue involved state and government.

          Unless you want to deny with premediation, you know these communities have been using Arabic in their religious and temporal affairs for ages until the Italians showed up. For instance, the Saho wrote their customary codes and laws in Arabic as their Tigrigna speaking neighbours did in Geez. These two languages were never taken as alien impositions. It was Ethiopian expansionists and their surrogates who introduced as tactical expedient to mobilize ordinary inhabitants by combining religion and the Arabic language plus pan-Arab expansionist intentions to serve as bogeyman to create fear among the Christian faithful. You know why they enlisted the role of the religious establishment under direct guidance of the Patriarch that wielded the lethal weapon of excommunication. Dear Semere, it disappoints me you became one of the later educated generations who adopted ranks disrupting tactical notions of that era despite exposure to skills and competencies that qualify the to grasp the reality in the interest of unity of this and following g generations. Isayas’ regime and organization before had viciously used Arabic and surreptitiously religion to bring us to the sad state we find ourselves today. Didn’t we hear the despot telling us hand on heart that there is no two people in two countries but one people in two countries?

        • Saleh Johar

          Dear Semere,
          Before I begin, I hope anyone who doesn’t have a stomach for frank discussion stops here. I say this because I had gone through enough misrepresentation and outright prejudice.

          You see Semere, your types have cleverly framed any meaningful discussion as “anti-Tigrinya” and with that, managed to gag so many people instead of encouraging them to discuss critical national issues. You repeat anti-Tigrinya just to kill debates.

          Let’s start with the way the PFDJ classified Eritrea based on languages. Now, let’s not beat around the bush, the major divide we suffer from, even though it comes in different garbs, boils down to a religious divide. This was the case since the forties and fifties and the culprit was mainly Haile Sellassie who declared Orthodox Christianity the state religion, a decree that relegated half the nation to second-class status. That there came nepotism (as you know, that is benefitting your kind) which disadvantaged many people who rejected the Ethiopian interferences, thus being Unionists.

          It’s no secret that the clergy went as far as denying baptism and burial writes (FtHat) to those who were not Unionists, and what do you expect a farmer who knows nothing but his farm and his church to do? They proliferated the Unionist ranks. That increased the effect of nepotism and made half the nation feel more disenfranchised.

          People had to rebel and there you had Mahber Shewate (Muslims) and ELF (predominantly Muslims) who declared war to regain their rights.

          Then came the Commandos episode, predominantly Christians, who were misoriented about the true nature of the revolution.

          Then came Isais and his Nehnan Elamanan, a divisive document that ignited the current sufferings. His true intentions were spelled there but not many believed it, I was a skeptic until a few years ago as I gathered more information.

          Now, I am not Tigrinya (its subtle meaning that any foolish person discerns because I have an identity that is supposed to be erased. And I am not an Arab, I am Eritrean. But my advocacy is not about me, it is rather about half the population that feels alienated. For how long do you plan to keep sweeping their grievances under the rug, always? Instead of facing it head on in order to resolve it? But how would you contribute to the solution if you do not even recognize the problem?

          Semere, times have changed, and if people will listen to your advice and take the challenge to form a Muslim group, as you suggest, believe me it will not be similar to the much-maligned Ibrahim Sultan type, it will be different and I, as a Muslim am more afraid of it than any Christian. I know there are equally crazy Muslims around as there are Christians, it is just the individual choice of where one decides to join: one of the crazy lots or the sane and anxious Eritreans?

          Please stop trying to convince your readers you have a bleeding heart for Tigrayet—have you thought why you and a few Tigrinya speakers advocate for it when its speakers know what the impediments are? Will your stop your condescending attitude, “Hey, you better speak your language”. That is shallow because: what makes you feel that people want to be classified based on languages? Why not geography? Why not religion, if you must divide the nation? Have you heard of Gerrymandering? The classification is Isaiasmandering my dear, and no one is buying it.

          For starters, please consider that Muslims may want to be grouped as one to defend their rights, not to aggress against others–simply because that also applies to the opposite: are you denying them the right to unite so that they can be easy prey? Let’s not think along this fearmongering lines. Justice solves everything; let’s vote for that.

          Language is not a mechanical device used for communications only. Language is the storage of values and culture and intellect.

          As I told you, I am a Tigrinya speaker and if I were to depend on the few Tigrinya books available, I would miss a lot on the human knowledge pool. For every Tigrinya book, there are ten thousand Arabic books, in Egypt alone. Why do you want to sever this source of knowledge? Forget what they tell you about Arabic having religious significance only, it is more than that. Semere, you are communicating with the level you do, not because of Tigrinya literature, face it, it’s the foreign language that helped you to be where you are. As for me, for every English book I read, I probably read two in Arabic. I choose among hundreds of television and radio stations and newspapers and magazines. I am doing a research on a topic for which I have been working for many years. Recently I acquired 137 electronic books on a CD, a few are over 1000 years old books? Do you want to erase all that from the Eritrean mind simply because you do not like the language? Why do you want to deny the Tigrayet speakers the source of rich knowledge?

          And my friend, that is the reason (besides the grouping politics) that why many stick to Arabic—not to convert anyone to anything as is widely believed. And certainly not because they have “inferiority complex” as some ignoramus lots repeat, or because they do not love their language. If you ask me, there are 1.5 billion Muslims, they are dd more 😊

          Now Semere, do not be a victim of your prejudice, fears, or other things, think of what is better for the country. Do not fight against the wishes of the people when that choice doesn’t hurt you in any way except if you plan to reinforce primordial beliefs.

          Let me close by telling you this: Personally, I will lose nothing or gain anything if the official language of Eritrea was Tigrayet only, Arabic only, Tigrinya only, English only, or a few languages under my sleeve. This is about the Eritrean people I know, about the problems that I invested so much to learn and research.

          Dear Semere, our boat has been rocked enough, please don’t rock it anymore.

          NB: I will not be able to debate this topic anymore, apologies

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah SJ,

            Just a few points, if I may, in the context of this informative input. Emperor Haile Sellasie had enherited the Orthodox Monophysite faiths as official state religion. This was based on unwritten convenat between the religious establishment and the crown from 1270 – restoration of the so called Solomonic line based on the narration of the mythology in the “Kbre-Negest”.

            After the fall of Axum and the rise of the Zagwe’s, whose power base was the Agewland that stretched from Lalibella to Soqotta, was considered as usurpation of the Solomonic throne. The rise of Yukuno Amlak and his crowning as successor had required source of ligitimacy, which only the religious establishment could provide. Just think about the Wahabi-Bin Saud agreement in 1923. In Ethiopia, from that point on, the monarchs had to abide by that that precedent and share power and resources (land) with the church.

            Thus, when Eritrea was Federated to Ethiopia in 1952, for the unionists the prepondrance of the Orthodox church became self-evident by extension because the guidane of Orthodox Church was centered in Debre Bizen in Eritrea, Debre Damo in Tigrai and Debre Libanos in Shewa.

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          Salam Semere Tesfai,

          At the time we feel sorry about ignorance exercised on Tigrinia language speakers, it is impossible to accept knowledge and media blackout. It is very sad to confine our people to hear the voice of one TV and one Newspaper.

          Thanks to modern Technology that has surpassed old mindsets. No one will be able to block others from languages they aspire to learn. Anyone within a click can choose from thousands of TV channels, radio stations, magazines, newspapers, lectures, youtubes, and many more.

          Really, it is a crime to confine our people to dead languages that require a lot of work and time to be an academic medium. I feel very sad when I see our children in elementary level, the decisive age of their personality formation, pass their time learning almost dead languages.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Al-Arabi

            “It is a crime to confine our people to dead languages that require a lot of work and time to be an academic medium. I feel very sad when I see our children in elementary level, the decisive age of their personality formation, pass their time learning almost dead languages”

            I agree 100%. One day, I would love to see them spending their time learning English instead.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam Semere Tesfai,

            I agree, it will be very very good to come out of your ignorance and acknowledge to something beneficial to our children.

          • Natom Habom

            selam hameed
            we are disturb to hear a tigrigna speaking finger pointing to another
            tigrigna speaking ,we call it that self hate ,
            in the arab country christian dont tell they are different from arab because they are christian they use arabic in their church ceremony
            they never betray their country ,what is the problem with our minority who doesnt have even any historic root to the country ??
            you know even if muslim ruler come,he would not give you what you desire because he know also who you are and where you come from I am not here to attack anyone just to understand ,what is the benefit to bring into conflict Eritrean society ? why bringing to the front religion and ethnicity ?? is that what a nation building need ?? what did you contribute to Eritrea in the past for you to complain at present time ??
            do you get payed without working ?? do you think you are better from who build this nation with their blood while you where enjoying good life in the west ??
            do you understand you guys are despised in Eritrea ???
            i wish there is a debate face to face ??

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam Amanuel Hidrat and All

    1. – “In non-democratic ethnic state (PFDJ Regime) “the state serves the national goals of one ethnic group only to the exclusion of the other ethnonational groups within the state, regardless of their citizenship status.”

    This has been the modus operandi of the Eritrean opposition and the claim of the likes of Amanuel Hidrat for decades. But this claim, not only it is a big fat lie intended to denigrate the ethnic Tigrignas, it is a dangerous and an Eritrean politics of division and hate. And this is the fact:
    85% of Eritreans are from ethnic Tigres and ethnic Tigrignas. And statistically speaking, (until recent years – don’t know this day), the poorest and the least educated Eritreans (by ratio to the whole) are ethnic Tigrignas,Tigres, Kunama, Nara, Hidareb – probably in that order. The richest and the most educated being Bilin (2%) and the Jebertis (1%?). And from ethnic Tigrignas, Tewahdos (the Christian majority) being the poorest and the least educated, comparing to their Catholics and Protestant compatriots. Case in point: the denigration of ethnic Tigrignas you hear each day here at Awate – CheguAr Dangas, Zambees, Koboro Junkees, ZerE Shefatu, Deqi-Alula, ethnic Nazis………. is all directed to ethnic Tigrignas.

    2. – “Nadin and Asad further elaborated “thus, it is not the citizenship or membership in the state system (in Eritrea) that determines the extent of service and privileges of the individual and group (social group); the determining factor is the membership in the dominant group (ethnic Tigrigna). That is why the minorities of the Eritrean social groups are registering their grievances and still warns the risk of tyranny of the majority (tyranny of ethnic Tigrignas) even after the fall PFDJ regime”.

    The PFDJ government is not perfect. I get that. And I’m with you in the struggle to make our government better – to make it a government that has the trust and respect of all its citizens. But to imply/accuse the PFDJ government as an ethnic Tigrigna regime that mistreats other Eritrean ethnic minorities is a COMPLETE LIE and UN-ERITREAN. The PFDJ regime is not an ethnic Tigrigna regime, and there is no, none whatsoever, mistreatment of an Eritreans because of that individual’s ethnic origin. That is a lie.

    3. – “Yes indeed, Nadin and Asad are right, that in an ethnic state (Eritrea ruled by PFDJ), the state is not neutral in the competition of the resources (provided to citizens) with the individual and the groups, such as political power and wealth, especially when the “state” and the “governing body” are the same, and when the governing party is anchored in the constitution to own property and run businesses. The current state of Eritrea is one of the prototypes that Nadin and Asad are alluding to.”

    Again, that is a fat lie. Prove to your readers – in today’s Eritrea, ethnic Tigrignas are better off economically than other ethnics. Prove to your readers – resources, education and job opportunities, employment opportunities, the prison system, land distribution, housing, lending and business opportunities FAVOR ethnic Tigrignas over other ethnics and faiths.


    Let me stop her for now, to make the discussion magable.

    Semere Tesfai

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Semere Tesfai,

      1. “since the perception is there, we’ve a serious problem at our hand that needs serious intelligent discussion, that leads into fundamental solution. And I don’t have any qualm with that”. You are on your way home, dear. But, please do not forget to come with agenda on the “perception”, and then we can proceed to look at solving real problems.

      2. “85% are from ethnic Tigres and ethnic Tigrignas”. Why do you want to mix these two? You know, as every Eritrean does, they have been victims of oppression in the hand of the despot and his regime. You need to candidly state the reason at least for those who do have not understood your reasoning. Trying to play convenience politics is dubious and self exposing.

      3. ” … the poorest and the least educated Eritreans (by ratio to the whole) are ethnic Tigrignas,Tigres, Kunama, Nara, Hidareb”. For you the Saho and Afar do not exist or in your “perception” are probably in the category of the richest and most educated. Sorry to the readers, but for you me you are authentic and vicious ethno-centric, which I think could be an only reason for dropping those two components – one of them being in fact a third component of the nation.

  • Blink

    Dear All
    I am just asking if in the old times , the kunama, bilen , saho and others signed for Arabic and Tigrinya? Is there any one in this forum who can direct me the consultation done with these ethic groups? What I read in this thread says so but I need more concrete work done on this because I don’t believe the these groups agreed to abolish their mother language. If we can see in popularity we can all agree Tigre is not less than Arabic . I am not saying Arabic don’t deserve to be national language but I do believe the old agreement was filled with many things rather than the actual reality on the ground.
    How many years are there from 1940th to 1961 ? And how many years are there from 1991-2018 ? The reality on the ground is way way different than the attitude someone has with him for 50 years in western cities. There shall not be a power sharing just for the sake of your ethnic group. Eritrea must be lead by people who has the skill rather than with people who has vengeance on their head for 50 years because if we allowed such people to decide for the next generation, it will be just as the past Habesha circumstances. Even if you gave power to the old administration zones still Tigrinya will end up ruling and if you even gave power across land inhabitants Eritrea will be ruled by two majority groups and it will end up just as of now. What difference does it make for a kunama to be ruled by Tigre and for saho to be ruled by Tigrinya? It will not solve the problem but squarely put all minority groups again to the same old politics. That is why Eritrea has to be ruled away from grouping or Federal government based on Ethnic sympathy of one to the other . Farmacist should always read the doctor prescribed for the patients because this is global world way away from old tribal medical care. Robots are becoming well aware of the warehouse diameter as well as all corners inside the circle.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Blink,
      This issue was debated and discussed more than any other topic I can remember. It is kind of lazy for you not to do due diligence before you attempt to immerse the forum in another circular debate. Research, read what was argued, and then form your views, not just based on your inherited prejudice. I have no intention of being goaded to get into the crazy arene you are trying to open, instead, I will share with you a short story that I repeated so many time, over and over again. Please read it with an open mind, and I hope it shows you how silly your argument is:

      A drunken violinist, a Wata, had an excellent day in Asmara and was returning to his village in the outskirts. On his way, he arrived at a roaring river, which he could not cross. Since the main job description of a Wata is showering everyone with songs of praise, he pleaded to the river to slow down and enable him to cross to the opposite bank. He sang: Oh dear mighty river, my honorable river, please be gracious, slow down for a while and allow me to cross! The river didn’t yield. Another stranded man noticed the Wata singing to the river and told him: “the portion that you praised moves on and a new portion follows it; you have to focus on one portion and run alongside it, singing, until it stops for you to cross!”

      Now, do you think it is fair (or sane) to expect people to tell you the same thing over and over? Do your research and recognize what the stake is.

      • Blink

        Dear SG
        Instead of writing few words with concert answers to my question you spent more than enough time constructing a drank wata guy . First I don’t like wata because I am too late to like such music ( I don’t consider him as entertaining ) . Now you know I don’t like wata and shambuko , second I asked because someone below is telling that it was agreed long time agonnand I didn’t accept his views, third I am just asking if there was any agreement that done by all the small ethnic groups to be ruled by larger group small land people language and with that settled for Arabic and Tigrinya . My understanding is let’s ask the bilen and kunama to weigh in this so called Arabic and Tigrinya?

        Why would you choose a watejna…, pls I have good ears and really would like to keep my ears from wata and shambuqo noises . Sorry SG , that wata thing was a lame joke.
        But I will search for answers just for the sake of saving you from telling me wata joke.

        • Saleh Johar

          You proved to me you are lazy/-)
          Instead of reading the argument in the link I provide, you are stuck to your prejudice. For your information, parables are meant to explain things, they are not the topic. Besides, you need to educate yourself on representation, and if you think the arrangement reached with the consensus of Eritreans is not valid, I have nothing to say to you. Then, an agreement (a covenant at that) is not a shirt that you discard because it is not fashionable anymore. It stays until something Annika it. Any national agreement is reached among representatives not between every individual. That is chaos and anarchy. Learn how political issues are resolved. Then, don’t bring minirities as if you safeguard their interests more than anyone else. One upmanship is a folly. Finally, how can one reach into mutual understanding when you puck fallen leaves and try to divert the debate whe it is about the tree? Wats, shambugo, halewlew, is not the topic, it was language not your musical preference. Hope you are open minded as you pretend you are. Adios

          • haileTG

            Selamat Blink and SJ,

            You two made me laugh when I followed your exchange. Bless both of you 🙂

            Let me try another parable from Asmara for brother Blink (in Tigrinya of course:)

            ሓደ ለማኒ’ዩ እብለካ ንግሆ ኮለል መለል እንዳበለ ክልምን ከሎ፡ ኣብ ሓደ አንዳ ሕብስቲ ይበጽሕ። ቅልቅል ኢሉ “ስለ ማርያም፣ ስለ መድሃንየኣለም እዞም ደቀይ” ይብል። እቲ ዋና እንዳ ሕብስቲ ድማ ዝሓደረ ዶልሺ ኣኻኺቡ፡ ኣብ ሳንጣ ጠቅሊሉ ይተኽቦሉ። እዚ ለማኒ፡ እንታይ’ድኣሉ እዚ ኢሉ ክፍት ኣቢሉ ምስ ረኣዮ፡ ዶልሺ ምዃኑ ተረዲኡ “ኣይፋልካን እዚ’ወደይ ሎም ጾም’ዩ፡ ዶልሺ ድኣ ከመይለ ክበልዖ” ይብሎ። ቅጭ ዝመጾ በዓል ድኳን ብድድ ኢሉ “ወይለከይ እሞ ንዓይ እንታይ ግበር ትብለኒ፡ ሕልበት ክወቅዓልካ ደ’ሞ” በሎ ይብሉኻ።

            You are lucky SJ didn’t say “what do you want me to do? Play you an orchestra?”

          • Saleh Johar

            That is hilarious. Now wait for Blink, first he will ask you what Hilbet is, then why was the beggar fasting, then the palpable will be lost in the process. But I think an orchestra is a good iidea. Can you assemble one from the nearest church choir, but tell Blink it is from the scout club. He wants to demolish all houses of worship if he gets the power. .

          • Blink

            Dear SG and Haile TG
            SG , you are Very ,Very true about the orchestra and fasting but not Hilbet because I know Hilbet , I actually ate once . Damn you are too good.
            Haile TG , I am being a decent beggar on this with SG. I just couldn’t open the link he gave it to me. Second if cake are overstayed , it will probably be a bad one and can take the poor guy to hospital. Why did not the owner of the cake house made according the order he got from his customers , that guy is not a good business man and the beggar can’t be a chooser , right ? What’s wrong with your Gods , first this man should have food if his good ever existed second he should be allowed to eat what ever he get , why fasting for a hungry man ? Weirdest things happen with religion.

          • Saleh Johar

            Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Now, why is your God not fair, the sky should rain bread 🙂

          • Blink

            Dear SG
            I am sorry sir , I didn’t see any link . Where is it ? It is not visible for me . I clicked the =><= dots but may be it is not properly attached sir .

          • Saleh Johar

            Again lazy:-(
            Cut and paste and search it. I cannot padre a link though linking to awate content is allowed anytime. Just google and you should get it. Ah, if you just read attentive before you race to reply 🙂

          • Blink

            Dear SG
            I finally arrived at my laptop hard disks store and I just find your article and after that I find it on google but in google it took time and I have no clue why google gave me so many choices with Negarit nearly at the bottom. Thanks for the offer . Why do you disregard UNESCO ? I thought UN agencies employees are good because they get payed more and more . I have a friend in Lebanon who get paid heavily just for being a satellite technician to UN , How match ?

            This you said ..“No. I am not an Arab. But Arabic is part of the social bond that the founding fathers of Eritrea made a covenant on; and to reject or marginalize it is akin to forfeiting a bonding contract.” (yours saying ) .

            SG ,in Arabic I have a bragging rights. I am good at it and I can actually fancy most of you in this forum . May be you guys can only trick me by your so “ Habesha “ proverbs and jokes just like the Two Haile do often but not in Arabic . My understanding is just really not to be guardian of anything of minority but wanted to know and learn more and more .
            By the way that wata was yours hahahah . I laughed when I find it in the middle with special word shapes . Is the wata a habehsa thing too? Eritrea is changed and I don’t know how it will match your understanding because the gab is simply too big to narrow. I have traveled most densely populated Eritrean places and sometimes small villages . what I can tell is simply beyond anyone guess . The reality on the ground is simply beyond repair and if there is any one out there with hope that it has to be back to 1940th , I don’t believe in miracles. I am grown as realist by design not my failure though. Let’s hope we can find a middle ground but first thing first, PFDJ . Again apologize for not being able to see the your link. Next I will improve and avoid being lazy student.

        • Haile S.

          Selam Blink,
          This is for you to make you like waTa. ኣይተስተዋሕዶ፡

          ብሊንኪ ብሊንኪ
          ብሊንካይ ብሊንኪ
          ንዓ ንደጋገፍ ብርከይ ብርኪ
          ገዛኢና ደቚስዋ ኣዴና ትበኪ
          ስጉም ከተብል የእትወላ ሕልዂ
          መራሒኣ ገሚቱና ጥራይ በትኪ
          ዓጢኑና ሎም’ቅነ ትኪ ብትኪ
          ጓህሪ ዘይብሉ ዋላ እኳ ሓንቲ በርቂ

          ብሊንኪ ብሊንኪ
          ብሊንካየ ብሊንኪ
          እንታይ ኣለዎ ኣሕዋትና እንተመረጹ ቋንቊ
          ምስ ስማይ ዘራኸቦም ብድምጺ ብስልኪ
          ዘተሓቛቑፎም ደው መበሊ ብርኪ
          ክንተሮም ከለና ረጊጽና ኣብ ናትና ሓቂ
          ናይ ኣሕዋት ኣሓት ነገር፡ ዝመልኦ ሃልኪ

          ብሊንኪ ብሊንኪ
          ብሊንከይ ብሊንኪ
          Atheist ከምዛ ከማይ ዘይደሊ ጽድቂ
          ዘየድልዮ ጸሎት ኮነ ምስ ላዕለዋይ ዕርቂ
          መንገዲ ባቡር ዝድቅስ ተዛሪቡ እትመስሎ ሓቂ
          ንዓ ድኣ ንኹን ንሃገርና ላኻ ምስ ድርቂ
          እዛ ቅጭን መሶብ ክንሰፍያ ኣብ ላዕሊ ዘላ ዲንቂ

          ብሊንኪ ብሊንኪ ብሊንካይ ናይና
          ምስ እዞም እሕዋት ዘለዉ ኣብ ሃገርና
          ኣብ ጎንና ጠጠው፡ ኣብ ሕቕፎ ኣዴና
          ውዒሉ ሓዲሩ ንሶም እዮም ዘዋጽኡና
          መልሓሶም ኣይንጠምት ንመሃር ካብ ጌጋና
          ዋላ ይጫሕግሩ ካብ የማን ናብ ጸጋምና
          ሓባርና ሃገርና ንሶም እዮም ዋና ሃብትና
          ንዕኦም ምርሓቕ ዘስግእ’ዩ ሓድነት ሃለዋትና።

  • Paulos

    Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

    I just finished reading your otherwise great article [Yes, I read it in its entirety with utmost interest]. And I must say, this is clearly a tour de force in its own right. I admire your courage for taking on a rather complex issue and present it in such a way that puts you on the pedestal of intellects Eritrea has thus far produced. Again, well done!

    If I have to say a thing or two, you have lost me on the “Multi-Cultural Constitution” when you alluded to Latin American countries when they employed the frame work to address the social and political realities. I would appreciate if you could expound on that. Much obliged.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam dear Amanuel Hidrat,

    First, I should write my testimony that this worthy study firmly establishes your intellectual and political unshaking consistency about the foundational problems modern Eritrean polity suffers from. This must settle the skepticisms (deliberate to detract or innocent) some individuals rose in this forum from time to time. I should, moreover, add that rather than shying from the contents and erudite comprehensiveness, the scope of this paper would be sufficient to equip with concretized awareness an Eritrean policy maker would need to deal with Eritrea’s illusive structural problems. The coverage in terms of concepts, experiences in other places and comparing and contrasting them to the Eritrea’s case is broad enough to spare the readers from going deeper into general issues raised. So, I will try to make some observations regarding the Eritrean case.

    To begin with, I think for us Eritreans interested in proper discourse that could lead to consolidation of the still fragile nation-state the departure point (at least for me) is recognizing the fact that the polity was not product of natural political and socio-economic evolution. It was rather a geographic and demographic entity patched together arbitrarily through conquest by exogenous force (colonialism) if I may use this term. This means that the diversity Eritrea contains should be studied and understood in the framework of colonial legacy and its legacy of problems. This means that the question of diversity in USA or Latin America, and countries in Western Europe such as Britain and some of the Benelux countries is different from post-colonial entities in Africa. It’s those imperial-colonial problems that add up to constitute structural and challenging impediments to nation and state-building process.

    Thus, in the context of Eritrea in particular, and other similar case in Africa or elsewhere, Berge’s state structure you have mentioned ought to be broadened. This is to say that considering diversity within cultural (broad sense) only does not make our understanding thorough of complete. In Eritrea’s case for example looking at the ethnic or social setups within the parameters of aesthetic, linguistic, traditions and customs or wat if life alone does not the picture complete. Such an approach would render the issue abstract and good for intellectual exercise before it outstretches to the realm of state governance system and contingent legal and political frameworks. An objective thinking and discourse would serve its purpose if the Eritrean diversity would be imagined in concrete space which means that the Eritrean components that comprise the nation and the geographic polity covers socio-cultural setups and space (land) in which those cultural and social entities began and thrived until colonialist showed up and patched them together. If this basic fact is not appreciated, any endeavor to craft state institutions supposed to cater for distribution of power and resource within fair governance system would not do away with structural or foundational problem.

    Now, to cap up these cursory lines, critical consideration of the diversity in Eritrea reveals that cultural-ethnic diversity may not be a difficult matter to deal with in exclusion of space and resources that space contain. In fact, there would be easy consensus on the matter because no sane Eritrean would dispute the aesthetic value of diversity in its cultural and social frame. If were to be candid, the core of our problems the issue of space and resources those components brought with them when they were patched together by the Italians. Some came with fewer inhabitants but more space and resource beneath and above their original abodes. Others came with more people but less space and resources. So, any governance system in Eritrea should appreciate this dichotomy and craft a system that turns it to harmony. The core of the problem is that the elites are yet to recognize this salient but crucial issue that won’t go away whatever force and capabilities one side or another may muster at particular space of time.

    Up to this time from the time Eritreans got chance to own their polity, the elites had tried to deal with the problem of space in several ways. Other things remaining considered, the unionist wanted to solve the problem of space and land by association with Ethiopia, which eventually failed for reasons this space cannot allow. Others who saw the future in unity and national independence within territorial integrity and wanted to solve the issue of space in the framework of governance system that would institutionally (constitution) solve the state structural challenges through equitable sharing of power. The platform for this was simplification of eight linguistic socio-cultural components to two convenient setups. While the social set up that brought more citizens and less space was recognized as one political and legal component, the other were satisfied to form the second component on the basis that united them, namely, Arabic as one of the two official languages. This had formed objective and harmonizing threshold in nation and state building. Had that process been not thwarted by annexation, the country under liberal constitutions would have process on track towards stable state in which the cultural enclaves would through economic expansion have dispersed themselves as citizens with duties and obligations under constitutionally guaranteed rule of law.

    The self-determination focused movements that emerged after annexation had their intent and purpose geared to continuation of the nation and state building process that annexation had stopped. The adoption of the flag and everything that signified the Eritrean polity were meticulously respected because otherwise legitimacy of their efforts would not have been possible. However, there was one odd exception among them.
    Isayas’Selfi Netzanet and his manifesto became an expression of negation of everything that distinguished pre-annexation Eritrea as legal political state. They saw resolution of the question of space not through fair sharing under democratically representative system but through self-mobilization and domination. To accomplish this they needed to de-legitimize every relic of the past as colonial imposition such as the flag, Arabic, administrative provinces etc. The irony in all this was that to dismantle the pre-annexation state, they used diversity in the form of ethnic components in disfigured form without burdening themselves with the requirements such contention entailed.

    Using opportunities that geopolitical interests in the region (Ethiopia included), Isayas and clique succeeded to prevail on political formations that adopted as matter of loyalty to pre-annexation internal and external status of the country. One system we see today in Eritrea is a one-person authoritarian system anchored on preponderance of one component that has nationalized the space (land) and redesigned the parceling of the country convenient to citizens connected to the ruling group.

    Thus, the essential Eritrean discourse as your superb study paper has analyzed would serve the purpose if the ethno-cultural setup in Eritrea would be appraised with the framework of the most contentious element which I have cited as space or land issue as prelude to tackling the structural state building impediment you have enumerated in the background of relevant theoretical discourses and experiences.

    With many thanks and apology for digressing broadly.

    • Haile S.

      Selam Ismail,
      Let me join you in congratulating Emma for bringing this heavy weight ligamented-skeleton of sociopolitical analysis more adapted to the professional than to the mundane Awate populace like me. The congratulation also extends to you in filling the skeleton with some heavy muscles giving us the omnivores to get excited on the fleshy or rosy smell, depending on our taste. Let me add some digestive tube that grinds and hopefully throws out my roughage almost as is, save few elements. The reason I am presenting my thought in such graphic picture is to touch upon what you said at the entry of your comment, “This must settle the skepticisms (deliberate to detract or innocent) some individuals rose in this forum from time to time.” From ‘innocence’ point of view, the innocent views innocently the ‘innocent’ degression to finger-pointing as a negative contributor that pulls back the debate than advancing it. The deliberate, perhaps exists, but I would say the interrogative, rises when it is felt that the finger-pointing comes from different angles and points at one target. Having said that, I for myself have no doubt on the objectives of Emma, though I prefer when he sits than when he reacts. You cannot ignore a roaring lion!

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Haile S,

        It’s only your humility that makes you think your extremely valuable contributions flow from mundane mind. You do not know much people like me await your inputs to have better grasp of important but harder to digest issues sharp-minded participants grace us in this forum. Your insightful comments and contributions in literature and poetry are unmissable as those of Kokhob and others are. Now, let me join you to appreciate our luck to Aman as an example of an allround Eritrean who has awareness about what Eritrea and its society really mean, and courage to advocate and popularize his convictions.