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Halloween Uprising


Eritreans as you know are unique especially in their courtesy towards one another and towards others. For example, if a Muslim is taken to jail by a Christian, another Muslim cannot state the fact without digging some Christian name from jail books and reassuring the jailer that it is OK because these things happen at random. In a cross-eyed move, people protesting the jailing of Hajji Musa end up carrying pictures of Abune Antonios from the archives. You are thinking maybe no one told them which is which and how would you tell a cross-eyed which is which when he will always pick the wrong picture if you tell him the way you are supposed to tell. That is why I try to tell in a little different manner so that they may straighten and look to see. The challenge the organizers are having is that unless everyone demonstrating signs a release of responsibility for the crimes of bigots and supremacists by clearly stating that the PFDJ is an equal opportunity oppressor, the Tigrigna will simply stay home and the drama is lost.

I try to make a quick survey of the opinions of various stakeholders before starting to write. I am very fair. The way I do it is to first split the planet into faith groups (in this case Muslims and Christians); and then dice them into ethnic regions. For some reason I do not believe that individuals are any different from robots in the way they form their “personal” opinions. There is nothing personal about an opinion as it is a culturally guided judgment on facts. The judgment itself may be personal. You own your judgment. However, for a judgment to qualify as opinion (a repackaging of personal judgment for sale to others), it must reflect a literature review (where you are coming from), a methodology (formula used to determine what is true) and a loaded verdict based on self-interest (direction in the form of true or false).

For instance, try to write your opinion on the Halloween Uprising of October 31st, 2017 in Asmara and then analyze it to see if you were able to skip any of the three pillars of ‘opinion’, i.e. literature, methodology and bias. The word “loaded” is important because contrary to what you might think is the purpose of literature and methodology, the end game is to produce a loaded conclusion. The point of referencing and methods is that instead of loading your own bias, you attribute it to some professor in a blunder for credibility. All social sciences are junk sciences as you can imagine.

Make it simple: did Hajji Musa have any right to invoke the “Sharia” as a necessary part of the way Muslims are entitled to live in Eritrea? That is the part SAAY tried to treat by reducing the debate to the root cause and calling us to agree on the definition of the word that Hajji Musa had in mind. For SAAY the Eritrean Muslim conception of ‘Sharia’ is identical to the Eritrean Christian conception of Higi-Inda’ba (a micro level cultural organization). His literature included personal experiences such as when growing up ‘aboy mohammed’ loved ‘adey tibereh’. His methodology was simple logic: the Sharia in today’s political Islam is not fit for mutual coexistence, therefore ‘aboy mohammed’ must have had a limited interpretation of the concept. Otherwise, how could he do this to someone he loved? His conclusion: since the ritualistic community courts dealing with “Muslim affairs” (marriage, divorce & inheritance) under the PFDJ (implicitly Christian atheist dictatorship) are called Sharia courts, Haji Musa must have been referring to what they do (Higi-Inda’ba). It is clear that SAAY did not ‘load’ his argument. In fact, he ‘unloaded’ some facts (negative loading): the PFDJ’s Sharia courts do not deal with whether girls should wear the Hijab or children should learn the Quran, which were at the center of Hajji Musa’s speech.

For others (including Semere Tesfai), Sharia is a macro level subjugation of non-Muslims (including bad Muslims) by good Muslims. In the latter case, it makes sense to argue that you first need to deviate from Islam for Sharia laws to apply to you as a delinquent unless you are already one by definition. The question here is to all the Red-Bull chemists in here (who have the spices to energize the table): does reinterpreting Sharia to mean Higi-Inda’ba blunt Haji-Musa’s message or strengthen it? What if Haji-Musa were a hidden ISIS operative and actually meant Semere Tesfai’s version of Sharia? Should he go to jail or should he be excused for old age and freedom of speech? What if some good Muslims decide to subjugate non-Muslims and bad Muslims through a democratic process the way good Christians have already done – do we have a deal?

The following is an attempt to understand why religious freedom is such an explosive subject for Muslims while Christians do not seem to care and Tewahdo actually cheer for more restrictions. The conscription of girls into the army was the trigger of a whole generation of Jihadi groups in the 1980s. The jailing of teachers of Islamic schools in the 1990s triggered an expansion of Jihadism to dangerous levels. Haji-Musa and what will follow of the interpretation of his arrest, is another story. So far, we have seen the Bejastan connection with hysteric trans-boundary clerics in Sudan and the rush to establish the Khilafa in Wilayet Al-Habesha. The Eritrean Christian side is desensitized. Patriarchs jailed draws zero reaction. Priest in medeber-taElim is the national anthem. Religious schools closed deserves more cheering. Dead or playing dead?

I will try the following somewhat offensive paragraphs to test the level of tolerance. Some Eritrean Tewahdo website (randomly googled) was the ref for my literature. The first article on the homepage of the website was a spooky one on Halloween. “As October 31st draws near” predicts Bishop Youssef, “I want to make all uninformed … aware … [that] ‘Halloween’ celebration pays tribute to Satan. Every act revolving around Halloween is in honor of false gods. False gods are spirits in the satanic realm.” Quoting the Bible he adds “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them ….”

In another post, “Whom Are You Seeking?” Eritrean Tewahdo are challenged with the difficult question: “You have been serving the house of the Lord for a long time. But have you been serving the Lord of the house?” The clue is derived from the Bible, “He who built the house has more honour than the house” and “everything we do, should be ‘in Him, through Him, with Him and for Him ….” The writer concludes by “… the best way to serve the Lord of the House is to know Him and to be fixed with Him.” I was surprised at the striking similarity of Tewahdo literature with the PFDJ’s playbook. You remember the old EPLF song “kul’ntnay niAkhi”? It is actually a bible song “kul’ntnay niAkha.”

In the efforts to transform the Eritrean Tewahdo church into a cult, Aboy Qeshi in his Tupac Bandana has enormous powers in determining public opinion among the Tigrigna. There is no God (in the perfect sense of the word) in the Christian faith in general and more so in the Ethio-Eritrean Tewahdo cult-ure in particular. “The Lord” in the above quotes is far different from what a Muslim thinks “Allah” is. The latter is an Almighty whose word goes as He wishes. His followers have no option other than submission (or Islam as we call it in Arabic) because there is no other intermediary who can save them if He gets mad or block the flow His grace when he is in a good mood. The former is a King whose powers are limited by what the armies of intermediaries decide to do or not to do. If all Aboy Qeshis decide to quit tomorrow and close down the churches, the Christian God is dead and Tewahdo ceases to exist.

Take this simple example to see the Devine authority delegated to the lowest of these intermediaries, Aboy Qeshi. Of course, you know the only way to become a Christian in the first place is if you manage to get a priest who is willing to Baptize you. If there are too many people in queue this Sunday for his holiness to perform the ritual, you have to wait for one more week before you are a Christian and hope that you do not die in between. The “Mystery of Baptism” (in the same website) describes the magic worth waiting for: “when the priest recites the prayer of baptism over the water and blesses it, it changes and becomes the water that flowed from the right side of our Lord Jesus Christ and one receives the invisible grace of the adopted son-hood of God.”

I am not making fun of the believers themselves and I have utmost respect for their absolute right to believe or not to believe that they can fly. I am also willing to mingle everything up, intermarry, and just be one – “khasrana-khasrana” as my friend used to say – only if you can convince them. Of course: “God not only forbade believers [Tewahdo] to marry unbelievers [such as Muslims], but asked His people to destroy all the inhabitants of the land … instructing ‘you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods.’ ‘Ezra torn his garment [all his garments so that you may see] and fasted and prayed when he heard that the people of Israel [equivalent to Eritrean Tewahdo in the implicit claim of the website] took for themselves wives from the peoples of the lands. Nehemiah made the people go into covenant saying, ‘We would not give our daughters as wives to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons.’” Fine … but can you at least move out of their land first?

Tewahdo priests assume they are playing simple minds and that is probably how one can say silly things with a straight face. In one post the website has an example: “Fr. Daoud Lamei in one of his sermons jokingly suggested that the Samaritan woman could easily have been a Coptic woman.” How come? “She asked Him silly questions.” Such as? ‘Should we worship on this mountain or over there?’ Have today’s Tewahdo smartened up? Not at all! “The same with us, ‘Are these biscuits fasting or not? If I can’t fast until 2 pm can I fast until 12 pm’?”

If the above quotes have different interpretations that make sense, be my guest. If you can convince me Tewahdo is not becoming more of a cult than a church, I am all ears and by all means. Having said that, the argument I am trying to make is for Muslim Eritreans to understand why their Tewahdo brothers and sisters will never understand the sensitivity of religious freedom as conceived by Muslims. For the Tewahdo, whatever the Patriarch decides sets the limits of what they are entitled to. For Muslims, their government may fire the idiot that we have and hire a real saint for a Mufti and he will never have an impact on the space of freedom that a Muslim thinks he/she is entitled to. If the government fires the Patriarch and hires an idiot to run the show; and the latter decides Sawa is the church and Barka is the promised land all they have to do is stampede. If the government decides to appoint an extremist Tewahdo as Patriarch, the best he can do is to guarantee that every believer shows up in church once a week on Sundays. Of course, there has to be a church to go to first for any religious obligation to be executable. Where there is no priest, there is no church; and where there is no church, there is no God.

That was the case during the armed struggle. Being atheist for a Tewahdo is a pure mental exercise, it costs zero, and there are no consequences to becoming one. You may remember the long-bearded Taliban style communists of the armed struggle. You ask them a one-minute question and they have a three-hour response on the non-existence of God. We thought they were making up stuff but they were genuine. There was no church therefore there was no God. Two weeks into independence, church and priest were spotted. Tigrigna communists were reunited with the Lord. They went back to being Tewahdo crushing every ‘nigdet’ in ‘sre’waTa’. Atheism for a Muslim is a life sentence. The men who tried to wrap their heads around what happened after independence lost their minds and ended up alcoholics and suicides. The women turned qorchachat and misfits – with ‘Awet-n’Hafash’ for Mewlid Al-Nabbi. The good news is that Muslims usually know that atheism is a one-way street to hell and they do not attempt. During the armed struggle when every Tewahdo communist demanded that Adey-Mariam be brought to Sahel for a pregnancy test, there was never a single Muslim including those who met the devil in person that ever produced Mohammed cartoons or mocked the Lord.

The argument above is clear and simple: religious freedom in Eritrea is an exclusive Muslim affair. I am not saying they deserve to be denied the right but religious freedom has two very different meanings for either side. Do not be deluded by “a patriarch has been arrested” or “a Tewahdo school has been banned.” These things may sound religious stuff to a Muslim. For a Tewahdo, the patriarch is simply a guy the government hired to do a job. His arrest is no more moving than the arrest of a Sawa kid for ‘mkhublal’. The Tewahdo school is just a school where parents send their kids for socializing with other Tewahdo. There is nothing special, that the child will learn at the school that the parents are not able to teach at home. No Christian is expected to memorize the bible. Muslims have to memorize at least some of the Quran in order to perform simple prayers.

Editor’s note: the author of the article is Younis Omer (picture) whose “trademark” name has always been Ali Salim 

About Ali Salim

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  • Beyan

    Selam Yonis/Ali,

    I saved this from a day or so ago, in your response to Aklilu about your article, you stated that “it all depends on what the reader wants the reading to mean… It means different things to different people.” On this spirit here is what your article meant to me, I will say more in a piece I have submitted to Awate in the wee hours of the morning yesterday that I gather will be posted sometime today.

    Therefore, I will confine myself to the title and to the blanket statement you made about social science. It is safe to guesstimate that deqqi Akriya, by extension, deqqi Asmara know very little about Halloween. So, there could have been no grand scheme was for the uprising to take place on the given date, sheer coincidence will be the accepted explanation – hope that much you agree with here. Thus, the 31st October of Akhriyans’ bravery in confronting the evil regime to be characterized as a “Halloween Uprising”, a show of make believe, at the outset misses its mark. At any rate, to your credit credit, you have a scheme by which you measure other writers as the article is prefaced by that. For the article in question, you use this benchmark: “…for a judgment to qualify as opinion (a repackaging of personal judgment for sale to others), it must reflect a literature review (where you are coming from), a methodology (formula used to determine what is true) and a loaded verdict based on self-interest (direction in the form of true or false)”. Based on this premise, you go on to analyze Sal’s piece and I believe Smere Tesfay’s entry from somewhere, etc.

    However, when writing your piece you fail to apply the very benchmark that you used to critique others. For example, you use google at random as a method of inquiry, which can hardly qualify as social science of qualitative, quantitative, or mixed paradigms. To add insult to injury, you handily dismiss the very approach that you shabbily attempt to emulate by summarily giving it a verdict without giving any due diligence of the three criteria you lay out for your inquiry by calling it thus: “All social sciences are junk sciences as you can imagine.” Where is the lit review, where is the methodology that led Ali Salim to dismiss an established method of scientific inquiry that goes over a century now?

    Using the same thesis, one can easily arrive at the article in question of nothing more than a make believe of the Halloween type, one that adds no value to the momentum garnered other than casting aspersion at best and/or potentiating a wedge amongst the mass who refused to be divided along any lines of isms or chasms as was evident by the world over demonstrations of rejecting religious divide among Eritreans of all stripes. But, I am afraid, your attempt at denigrating Tewahdo religion will go in the annals of Eritrean contemporary dialogue akin to that of the regime and its supporters who attempted to make the Akhriya uprising about religion. So, I say, nice try, but there is no there there in this one.


    • chefena

      Selam Haw Bayan

      Thank you for spotting the ‘blanket statement’ made about social sciences. The write has an excuse to engage in deliberate ambiguity as a technique to help him formulate a piece of bigotry. The least I would demand from an individual with a caliber such as writer’s is clarity and value-free statements. This essential element lacking, it would be futile form me to engage in any fruitful political discourse and build consensus. His scepticism at the solidarity shown by Christian compatriots in post-Akria speaks to how consistent he in his subjectivity and this is mind-boggling, to say the least,

      • Beyan

        Selam Dr. Chefena and blink,

        I was about to respond to blink’s concerns in the other thread, but it is just as good to combine the two here. As you succinctly captured it, “…the solidarity shown by Eritrean Christian compatriots in post-Akria speaks” volumes to anyone who had followed the demonstrations. If I try to analyze – frame by frame – starting from the Northwest of the U.S. all the way to Europe, Israel and Egypt, it will take two articles to flesh out. It will suffice to mention Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland where Eritreans were – Christians and Muslims alike – made a huge wave of solidarity. Moving onward to the Western frontier, Northern California, where I know firsthand of the people who organized the demo were my Eritrean Christian brothers and sisters. That alone would’ve sufficed for anyone to refrain from characterizing Tewahdo as “a cult”. But, Younis/Ali chose “subjectivity” over objectively evaluating matters as I tried to point out above. At any rate, let me just end this with Southern California where I consider my home away from home. The demonstration was organized by the community in which I am a part of, but it was made to flourish by other brothers and sisters from San Diego, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, etc.


  • blink

    Dear Berhe , Thomas and Horizon
    This is how I think I understand the habesha love fever thing. There was / is no love lost between the artificial habesha love fever .

    What I am saying is Tigrinya speaking is only part of Eritrea not all Eritrea and when I said habesha I am relating to past historical facts and the facts speak themselves, elite from both sides has been the cause for many thousands of innocent deaths and that should be a lesson. I am not speaking ill of Tigrinya like our brother Ali salim , what I am saying is the relationship is based on killing each other and there is nothing we got from many times of trials of this we are one habesha thing .

    Thomas when I said Ethiopian leader it’s not about the whole Ethiopian people after all let’s look who is Ethiopian leaders until now , the Amhara and the Tigrians and we are not speaking about the 36% of the population, at this time we are speaking about 6% of them and there was no history that we lived in mutually exclusive relationship. Culture doesn’t need religion to survive and it doesn’t depend on it for it’s survival. What I am saying is the Habesha love fever is a lie , pure lies based on looks. The we love you thing has a very dark carpet beneath the ground. I am not saying we should change our society but we need to twist most of the harmful things we have and all are attached to religion.

    When you guys you calculate the 1000 youths in Ethiopia until now it was a transit line not a safe heaven to work or feel free. Eritreans has never ever made any dime at the past 20 years in Ethiopia except few rich who made their money by sending consumer goods . On the opposite Eritreans who live abroad wired millions of money to help their brothers and sisters who are hooked to the 15kg wheat camp , so who benefits most from this ? Ethiopia benefited in billions of dollars in cash from Eritreans and from UNCR , don’t tell me that Ethiopian leaders were in love to help the youths , no the main reason was filling few Ethiopian coffers rather than the lies we are told.

    So what I am saying is show us your brotherhood relationship with your so Called habesha love fever. Show us please ?

    The notion Ethiopian leaders care about Eritreans , we already tried it from 1950th and in this 70 plus years nothing to show except the weapons rained over the people. Do you guys wanted to repeat that or you choose the peace loving , caring Sudanese . It is a choice the Eritreans can not miss . Berhe my personal view about Religion is the same even if I am suddenly in Saudi or Vatican, I just do not feel save near a religion cooked state but that is not hate , you have to understand me that my
    wish for religion is to decay at its peak time and it has nothing to do with Christianity or Islam specifically, I believe religion has no value for human being to contribute good things to our society except corrupting innocent mind

    • Berhe Y

      Hi blink,

      Your whole notion of agrument is NOT the benefit (how ever small it is) Eritreans getting but rather DENY what ever benefits Ethiopians get.

      It’s simple, we don’t have to go and erase our identity to solve your precipices problems.

      Kednayom ember atmeSunan.

      Our people can stay home live in peace and your problem is solved.

      No ERITREAN, habesha or not is willing and want to sell our hard fought and sacrificed independence. The habesha paid like everyone else and they don’t know you to tell them what to do, where to go, who to love, and how to live their lives.

      Give me any country, any society, in any part if the works who didn’t go through war and killing between their neighbours. It was the way of life in the 18th century and our people are no different. Compared to the rest of the world, ours really, really pale in comparison.

      Most of these neighbouring countries have made up, kissed each other and living side by side in peace.

      Why is ut so hard for you to accept this fact and leave the people, alone.

      What is your ethnicity group anyway? If you are Kunama, I understand. All I can say is, I am sorry my ancestors caused your ancestors and the present so much pain and suffering.


      • blink

        Dear berhe
        Here is the most messy reply I got from people who see the habesha us being human being in Eritrea or Tigrai , look berhe I have one question to all of you habesha myth lovers ? Where do you guys think the largest number of Eritreans are ? In tigrai or in Sudan ? I understand you guys always looked to north to meditate all in all about the word habesha with out looking to it’s real result. I have a news for you all , what is the relationship you have from far of mereb , tell me what history do have all neighboring villages. They have been harassing each other , taking beards cattle and other things from each other for 1000 years . The relationship way way back menelikk or yohanes or any one was all about taking and killing. The fact that many elite people in this site fall to the old tested failed narrative of habesha has been an amusing cracking for me. My Ethnic doesn’t make any difference for my views, I am not hold to that kind , if you are for all Eritreans benefits I am willing to die with your cause but I don’t not believe habesha love fever is one of them . Again if habesha is all over the other choices for you or people like you , why don’t you show us your love for each other in order for me to join your journey. What I am calling is all Eritreans be it lowland or highland must push for a common good to our people as our founding fathers did and that is to reject anything that has to do based on religion or looks of our neighbors but for Eritrean as a country to be a successful country with out attaching to any sides based on religion or any kind of that but based of mutual respect and benefits. Just we can refer to the 1855-68 of Tewodros and come to the European scramble of 1882 , come to alula 1887 and menelik the successor of Yohannes 1889 and we can come to 1949 UN establishment of commission right to 1950 , all these times passed by brutality and killing at the hands of the so called habesha dogmatists , what followed was horrific and very hard to explain in such thread right to 1967 , after that Eritreans rejected this false habesha or bla bla lies , come to 1998 despite TPLF knowing yet they inflicted a painful experience to 100,000 Eritreans who were blinded by the same song you are singing now “habesha” the cost of this fantasy by few irrelevant people from both sides cost Eritreans and Ethiopians their live and this all fantasy costed more to Eritreans as the south hizboch were manipulated to die for few. Make or guess the number of deaths it is all over a 1/4 million people . Habesha the word by itself is full of lies and must be always explained as a synonym to GENOCIDE .

        • Berhe Y

          Hi blink,

          What myth are you talking about? Are you telling me I don’t exist. If I am not habesha then who am I?

          I am not denying any of the killing and war that happened. It’s our history and we learn from it and move and we vow never to repeat it again. What else there to do…

          Have you heard the war between China and Japan. Have you heard the war between Russia and Germany, Have you heard the war between France and Russia, France and England. etc…etc.

          Have any of this country decided to erase their identity based on the war and destruction.

          Mihret yewrdelka. I don’t think there is any point in discussing with you further. All I can say to you is, please come and try to take away my being habesha from me.

          You need to set your priorities straight. Do not try to find a solution for problem that does not exist.

          “Habesha the word by itself is full of lies and must be always explained as a synonym to GENOCIDE .”

          Just remember when you accuse others of violating the rules, you should look at your self.


          • blink

            Dear Berhe
            I am defining the word Habesha based on its historical results and facts , it has nothing to do with being Tigrina , Amhara or any other Ethnic groups . what i am saying is the word has no meaning at its core origins . You can call yourself habesha and you can choose more habesha than Eritrean and i am ok with it but it must remain as individual not take Eritrea all at once. Eritreans has been lectured at thir own house by people who benefited form it rather than the public. i am describing on its merit (wether it has real love meaning between the people you are dying to connect. unless i heard it was first used in by Queen Hatshepsut c. in the 1460 BC, rather than that i do not see my red line crossing the posting guidlines of this forum. It is just a word ,i do not saw it as a trade mark for two or three or four ethnic groups who happens to speak a language of orginally from geez. There is no point in trying to connect Tigre Eritreans to Amhara than to their cousines of Tigrina in Eritrea. I mean let’s see it this way arabic is spoken all over ME while the ME inhabitants are killing each other and yet you are claiming to give them a trade mark of it to create a fanatsy relationships that did not exist.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            What ever hate you have for the habesha people is clouding your judgement. No body said, Eritrea is Habesha, at least I have never said that. I know of you only in this forum so, can you give me one example or one person who said, Eritrea is only habesha. I also believe non of the Ethiopians in this forum said the anything like in about Ethiopia.

            This is what I mean you are trying to solve problems that do not exist.

            In my particular case, I am saying habesha not because I want to connect with my Ethiopian habesha and erase my country Eritrea. I am saying I am habesha because I am. I am also Orthodox tewahdo Christian, and I am Eritrean.

            Are we asking for the Kunama, Afar, Bilen or any other ethinic group in Eritrea to forget their identity and call themselve something else?

            You said: “”Habesha the word by itself is full of lies and must be always explained as a synonym to GENOCIDE .”

            and you added “I am defining the word Habesha based on its historical results and facts , it has nothing to do with being Tigrina , Amhara or any other Ethnic groups .”

            A word of advice, if you are not habesha, then stop defining what habesha for those who are.

            It would be nice if you tell me what your ethinic group is, so I can understand where you are coming from. But you are a hypocrite, who like to insult others without being truthful about who you are.

            Let me give you an example. Let’s change the word with Bilen and let’s see what you are saying is not insulting the whole ethinic group of people.

            “Bilen the word by itself is full of lies and must be always explained as a synonym to GENOCIDE”.

            Mind you I am not denying or defending any crimes any wrong the Habesha leaders have caused to their people and others.


          • blink

            Dear Berhe
            you are twisting my views , i first told you there is no love lost between the two people from both countries but only some few elite people wanted to use the myth of habesha in order to get their own dream not for both people. I know no population that set habesha as a recognition of their own trade mark because as i said i have challenged you to show me if there is any love based on historical facts. So my all round definition of this word is just the 14th or 13 century thing and from all these times there is no history that shows habesha as a uniting or even as a common reference for the different people (amhara, Tigrina in Eritrea as well as Tigria and Tigre in Eritrea) no historical reference of their love of the orgin to the word habesha , i see the word more political than a kinship of any thing in between. oh here you go again you also jumped to bilen , i am not one of them either but i would look at te orgin of agew people and their safe me runing to Eritrea from deep ethiopia , i really can not say much about that.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            I am not twisting your views, I was just coping them as you wrote them and understood them. The Bilen I used it as an example, and I am not suggesting you are one. I am not going to define you who are you, you need to do it yourself. I don’t think “TeHabiEka mSraf” is right, stand up for what you believe and give real and concrete examples for the wrong they have caused you.

            You are making a simple issue very complex….Again no body is denying there was war between the habesha war lords. And no body is saying that the habesha need to be united. Who ever the elite who said that, you should pick a fight with them…TsaEda ySnaHka..

            Let’s agree there was war and destruction between those groups, but what is that have to do, you want to force me to abandon my heritage.

            enkilil eko koyun natka neger..


          • blink

            Dear berhe
            Let’s call this off with out going all over again because my views are not going to change and your too . there is nothing wrong with that as far as we both work to a democratic Eritrea after the dictator . Now how do I arrive here , well I have every reason too but let’s wait for another day because I could not keep up with you. After all Beyan has given us a great article and a revoke to the known guy around.

          • Berhe Y

            hi blink,

            I have no intention of changing your views. I only bothered to respond to you because what you are saying about me my ethnicity, my ancestors are offensive and by your views you want to subjugate me and if it’s up to you, you would not hesitate to eliminate my kind into extinction or assimilate.

            You remind me of The Borg from Star Trek. “We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”

            Live and let live my friend.


          • blink

            Dear berhe
            that ancestors thing come on. You wanted to defend your ancestors do it against the known derogatory religious insult you got frI’m the author. I said nothing about your ancestors and I have always thought Habesha has nothing to do with ethnicity unless you educate me. Happy weekends brother.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            I am habesha, or Wedi Kebede. If I want to slice it more, serewetay, Hamasenay, akeleguzetay, it gets sliced further.

            At the international lever, I am ERITREAN.


          • Abraham H.

            Selam blink, the Eritrean Muslims use the word ‘Habesha’ to mean the Christian Kebessa people. Nothing, more, but someone here might be tempted to give it other meaning for some other ulterior motive.

          • blink

            Dear Abraham
            If they define it that way is great and I will have no problem with it , by the way we are talking about a big chunk of the Eritreans population and they can be habesha , kebesa or Tigrinya but I hope you understand me sir I mean no harm to Tigrinya or Tigre . I am just trying to explain that Eritreans need only to love and care for their brothers at home than going to connect Old myth to north of Eritrea. I mean these people do not have good motive and I apologize if you or any one took to a wrong way . Kebesa , habesha , Tigrinya it any thing that has to do for the benefit of Eritreans is my wish and hope. No animosity against It.

          • Selam blink,

            It is difficult to understand why you worry so much about an habesha love affair that does not exist, or religion that is a personal matter, and the problem of eritrea is dictatorship, more than anything else.
            Do you really believe that ethiopians and eritreans would sacrifice their national interest for the sake of habesha myth. Those who did so for the sake of ethnic affiliation lived to regret it bitterly.
            The habesha issue comes into our discussion in connection to peace and cooperation for economic prosperity of both people and nothing else. Otherwise, who cares about such things, when what matters most in the present world is personal and national interest?
            Therefore, one should not dwell on religion and the habesha concept, unless there is a reason to divert the discussion away from the biggest problem in eritrea which is dictatorship

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Horizon and Berhe,
            It has been an ongoing campIgn to deny people their living identity, living as opposed to defunct identity. I short, I am Habesha—to the chagrin of those who want to erase that identity or those replace it.

            Saleh the Habesha or Habeshi

          • Selam SJG,

            I do not know if this is blink’s way of putting a wedge between habeshas themselves and between habeshas and non-habeshas in eritrea and ethiopia.

            Nothing is gained or lost by having a historic identity of one sort or other. An italian does not go around with the “roman identity” and many others too, and there is no reason to demean the habesha identity, or make it the culprit for the inter habesha feud, or the conflicts with their surroundings. In my opinion, it is the greedy and aggressive human nature that shaped the history of mankind and that of our region and not their identity.

            Habesha is a loose identity most of us like to use, and most of us are not even sure what it really means, and unfortunately, it has become the main problem for some people.

            As if the two countries do not have enough problems to divide them, it is my opinion that the habesha identity and the two ancient religions should not be used as the main problems of the region. It is wrong that religion and the habesha identity are demeaned, and people are told to forsake their historic identity and ancient religions, and adapt a vogue religion, “atheism”, as if this new religion will bring peace and harmony to the world and to our region, forgetful of human nature.

            Blink is trying to severe the last link between the two people, and I was trying to show that the habesha identity is no different from all the identities in the world, and there is no reason to celebrate or be ashamed of, and it should be left alone.

            In a video i watched recently, a jamaican woman who returned from a visit to ethiopia was speaking to the congregation, and she said that whenever ethiopians heard her speak english, they would tell her that until that time, they believed that she was a “habesha”, which she interpreted as meaning ethiopian. This is how i see the whole issue myself. Every ethiopian and eritrean can be a “habesha”, provided he/she wants it. It cannot be the identity of one or two ethnic groups in this inter-married and inter-connected people over centuries.

            Finally, I too am a habesha, nevertheless, my ethiopian identity, which helps me internationally comes first, and i use my habesha identity among ethiopians and eritreans. Therefore, what i was trying to show blink was not to bring it as the main issue, because it is not the only or the main factor that shaped the present situation

          • Aron

            Hi SJG
            Thank you for standing up for your ID. I am also aron the Habesha and I love my tewahdo religion and respect all other religions and people with no religion.

    • Aron

      Dear blink
      First of all your complement to Sudan as peaceful is so wrong proving your bias. Its leader is the only one as far as i know in africa charged with crime against you know who currently. May be your Arab id doesn’t consider other people as humans explaining your description of Sudan that genocidal country as peaceful.
      Second, Sudan is not done tearing at it seams as we speak yet. Peaceful my behind.
      If you want to promote Sudan that is fine. Come out of the closet and promote your bejastan in the open like your mentor the subhuman ali. You don’t have to like it but a good majority of us Eritreans are tewahdo and Muslim habeshas. The sooner you and your mentor join the sharia ruled Sudan the better secular Eritrea will be. As far as i know our problem is bad leadership.
      All the things you claim about Ethiopia because we share common heritage is unnecessary and doesn’t help to achieve and advance common goals in the economy and other sectors with our neighbors. The region working together getting rich. We are the odd man out.
      Your obsession with religion is also unhealthy. So long as religion stays where it belongs and it doesn’t become an ideology a means to rule the people leave it alone. Heed Berhes advice and stop solving problems that doesn’t exist.

      • blink

        Dear Aron
        No , I am not one of the beja thing , very far from it and I am not claiming Sudan is like heaven but I am saying if you compare the two the result will surprise you sir. Second I am not a student to the chief of beja guy very far from it. What I am saying is sir , the relationship Eritreans have with the north side is messy bloody and no value at all while the relationship with Sudan is always healthy despite who the leader of Sudan. About the leader of Sudan crime, well we know well who is and isn’t and it is not the the point about. If we could choose between Ethiopian leaders and Sudanese, I mean the Ethiopian leadership will lose on land slowly de at the heart of Eritreans.

  • Kaddis

    Gash Ali –
    I see your points – you would have been more annoyed seeing the Ethiopian orthodox church has currently is turned into a corrupted business venture of Billions of birr. It owns massive buildings, shopping centers, schools ( not religious at all ) ..apart from collecting ‘asrat, selet, donations etc… Totally a bad example for a state lead country prone to corruption in the first place. No sense of social responsibility.

    It should have been the biggest NGO in Ethiopia; letting no beggars seen at least in the city; had the rich church intervened. It’s a long corrupted story ….which is leading the middle class to leave either en mass to Protestant church ( same fraud awaits you there ) or remain Orthodox Christian practicing more of the cultural and religious values only ( me at the moment ).

    However; your article would have been balanced if you recognised/ mentioned the church’s contribution to tolerance, legitimacy of the state ( ?), against invasion forces, primary education, culture, conservation ( local habitat ) etc….
    Good read though and happy Mowlid . work was closed here in Addis 😉

    • Mez

      Hi Kadisaba,

      You seem to be the other Zeitgenosse of Ato Ali.

      You both are the accuser, the police, and the judge all in one–this is not good.

      No one with a healthy outlook would entertain corruption and nepotism as acceptable social norms. Every one have to fight them in all their forms–both are toxic social by products.

      See the Eritrean/ Ethiopian tegadali generation; few are upto their words, probably equally other few are deep in the corruption chain–monetary wise and not relinquishing power to the next dynamic generation.

      Religious institutions are not exceptions, they have to go through the same seemingly messy social process.


    • Peace!

      Hi Kaddis,

      I am not sure if it is true but Ethiopians, Tigreans in particular, in social media are saying there has been a coup d’etat within TPLF that TPLF has now become “APLF: Adwa People Liberation Front,” leaving the rest of Tigreans with no choice but to join the Agazian myth. Hope it is not true.


      • Thomas

        Hi brother Peace,
        I was looking for some joke to try to smile today, here you have me laughing when you wrote the above comment. You seem to know the inside and out of the tplf people:) Now, normally I refuse to talk about Ethiopia and tplf politics. Here you have me I wanted to ask you questions about the split of TPLF into APLF and the rest/Agazian joiners. Here are my questions:
        a) What might have caused for creation the new front, the APLF? When did the split happen and why?
        b) Do you think the tigreans have some awraja/provinces/region issues to? If yes, which region is controlling the power? Which group are disappointed or dissatisfied and have decided to fight back?
        c) When it comes to the tigreans politics, I am very naïve so teach me like you would teach a white guy about insiders conflict:)

        • Peace!

          Hi Thomas,

          I am glad you found something to laugh, specially on Friday. Back to your unbelievable comment, I only shared what I found on social media regarding TPLF Congress. እንታይ ኢኻ ግበር ትብለኒ ዘለኻ am I not even allowed to share anything that criticizes TPLF for its blurred transparency?? Take a look at:

          • Thomas

            Hi Peace,
            Thank you for taking the extra work and answer my questions. “zei halfela Africa”, but I was thinking we could learn something from across the border. I hope all people of tigray choose their qualified leaders based on what is good for their state and get out of the network based administrations. I believe we need to see people progressing so that we can learn something and to follow the exact path to change our way of living instead of wishing the very neighbors of us to fall so that we can equal them. We need to try to compete with the westerners by working together as Africans.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Peace, this is an eye-opener into the internal power structure of the TPLF if true, and it is nothing but an Adwa hegemony, lol. Erimedrek has reported something similar taking place within the power hierarchy of the DIA regime.
            BTW, I would say “nezi kitgeeta do trihtsa” about the month long meeting of the TPLF central; one whole month to purge out few individuals and bring in new ones into the warmth doesn’t look like time well spent.

    • AliSalim

      Selam Kaddis,

      I share your frustration. Believe me, you should be glad that your side of the church specializes in Economics and is in the opposition. Our side majors in politics with a minor in communications and works for the government.

      On a serious note: thank you for the input and let us pray for them.

      • Peace!

        Selam Ali,

        I don’t think it is fair to include others who have refused to sell their soul to PFDJ in defense of their religion and languishing in jail. I mean where the fault lies: is it on the Leader or followers. The leader is in jail although his followers pretty much abandoned him for years, and that, however, doesn’t mean the religion is failing, I think.


        • AliSalim

          Hey Peace,

          Thank you for sharing your concerns and for sharing the video of the priest sounding his frustrations. I always read and follow your brilliant inputs and respect your responsible precautions.

          The way I see it, if we think what we are doing here is to “get them” I think we have it wrong. If we get the impression that what the church (or mosque or any private institution) does or does not do has an impact on our lives, then we have all right to treat that institution as an intruder into public spaces that are shared by all.

          These are institutions that emit negative externalities into into public spaces. You may say they are polluters of the shared environment. You as a citizen have a civic responsibility to protect the environment with all means possible. Others may come up with the argument that the church also does many good things. No one is saying they don’t. Pollution happens by institutions who do a lot of good things.

          I am sure you can present many examples of horrible Islamic institutions in other countries where they have polluted their countries with terror and horror. Unfortunately we are speaking about Eritrea and so far I don’t have information of a mosque emitting negatives.

          • Peace!

            Ahlen Ali,

            You are an exceptional writer, and thank you for the nice words. I would just say hopefully the sacrifice and collective effort of our people will achieve a future Eritrea that accommodates all its citizens regardless of political affiliation, religion, ethnicity, and for our future generations to live in peace and harmony.


  • Kaddis

    Gash Ali –
    I see your points – you would have been more annoyed seeing the Ethiopian orthodox church has currently is turned into a corrupted business venture of Billions of birr. It owns massive buildings, shopping centers, schools ( not religious at all ) ..apart from collecting ‘asrat, selet, donations etc… Totally a bad example for a state led country prone to corruption in the first place. No sense of social responsibility.

    It should have been the biggest NGO in Ethiopia; letting no beggars seen at least in the city; had the rich church intervened. It’s a long corrupted story ….which is leading the middle class to leave either en mass to Protestant church ( same fraud awaits you there ) or remain Orthodox Christian practicing more of the cultural and religious values only ( me at the moment ).

    However; your article would have been balanced if you recognised/ mentioned the church’s contribution to tolerance, legitimacy of the state ( ?), against invasion forces, primary education, culture, conservation ( local habitat ) etc….
    Good read though and happy Mowlid . work is closed here in Addis 😉

    • Selam Kaddis,

      Business oriented religion, devoid of ethics and social consciousness, has destroyed religion in the west. Churches have closed in europe, and the number of believers are decreasing every year, and in the usa it is infested with scandals, and bolsters the far right and supremacists.

      The vatican bank is known for its secretive businesses and financial scandals.

      It seems that the ethiopian tewahdo church leaders have learnt their lessons, and they are for a business orientated religion, which would alienate ethiopian orthodoxt ewahdo christians from their churches.

      I hope that true believers will help the tewahido religion from gravitating away from the teachings of the lord, and the wealth of the church goes to the benefit of the poor, and not for individual enrichment.

  • Aron

    Hi awate forum,
    I wish mr. Salim didn’t post his twisted hateful face. I always imagined him differently. He looks like the devil under arch angel Michael’s foot. That is besides the point anyway.
    If you let a man insult half of Eritrea collectivley, don’t you think you are opening the Pandoras box. How do you stop the slippery slope.
    Happy maulid and happy st mary tsion.

    • blink

      Dear Aron
      I think this is a game playing with meshrefet .

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam Simon KaleAb

    Thank you for the detailed response and thank you for the valuable lesson. I learned a lot. Thanks again.

    Semere Tesfai

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Semere T.,

      I hope you are not being sarcastic.

      Learning is a multi-way process, and from each other. And we learn by Osmosis, the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.

  • Mez

    Good Day all,

    I just red a news piece on ” Ethiopia embarks on ambitious roadmap to further the protection of refugees”.

    Especially the registration of refugees shows a fundamental shift (and is very detailed, OLE-database based).

    Is it probably (albite implicitly) part of the European refugee crisis mitigation policy?

  • Samson Redeab
    • Berhe Y

      Dear Mez,

      Thank you for sharing. But you know I found the most interesting, the inauguration speech of Kenyatta.

      It’s the best speech I think since Mandela become president of Africa.

      I hope Ethiopia and other African countries follow suit.

      Visa at the entry for all Africans and permanent resident for all people of East Africa.


      • blink

        Dear Berhe
        did not his government try or even deport somalians from their refugee camps though? I mean leaders normally say good things at their inagurations but very hard to come to real policy. It is like Obama and trump saying , i will do this and that .

        • Berhe Y

          Dear blink,

          Listen to the speech if you haven’t and make your own judgement. I don’t know what he did to the Somali refugee but I find his speech uplifting.

          As what leaders say and what they do when they come to power I understand what you mean.

          Speaking from living in Parilamentary democracy (which Kenya is one u believe), there is nothing one stops from delivering on his / her promise if they have the majority and the willingness to do what they say they will do.

          As to the US, I think this whole election has become public stunt and a drama show. The fact that they allow interest groups and rich people finiance their agenda to who is elected, they are dismantling the whole democratic process. Until a third fringe party that controls 20% of the house and the congress nothing the president can do about.


          • blink

            Dear berhe
            Did you see trump tweets, the guy changed the game of precidency or the office in to a laughing stoke . To come to your point, yes his speech was uplifting not bad to say good things . Let’s hope this goes as you wish. Very hard to see such things n Eritrea even at the watch of Ali salim though.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Blink,

            Not possible in Eritrea as well. Eritreans already enjoy the membership IGAD offers in most of the eastern countries. They have special treatment in Ethiopia, which I think EPRDF was making constant change and it’s good.

            They do not need visa to fly to Kenya, Uganda as far as I know. I don’t know about Sudan, but I don’t think they are that reliable.

            What Kenya doing is already in place for the east African countries, I am sure people from Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda have more integration compared to Eritrea. But now they are expanding that to the rest of the African countries but going further for the eastern African countries to offer them permanent residency to live, work, farm, marry and live like the citizens.

            That’s is basically what EU offers for their member states. It shows that Kenya is confident and the leaders are visionary that they have nothing to fear. Off course how the people react and how they get it implemented is another matter but leaders do is set the stage for others to refine and get it done.

            I think there is no reason why is not able to to do what Kenya is doing.

            Now compare the state of Eritreans live in their own countries……..her we are talking about chaining our youth to the endless national service of abuse where as Kenya is freeing our people from the chain of – Menqesaqesi…

            I think Kenya call is for the rest of Africa …and may be in response to the human rights situation in Libya.

            The only way the African continent and it’s people get the respect they deserve is, if they are able to live in peace in their own countries and continent.


        • Nathom Habom

          Selam blink
          I think the program target only Eritrean , the refugees camp has been created to promote the youth to flee
          By promising them a better life to Europe with the youth living the backbone of the country defense
          They expecting to weaken Eritrea and for long term preparing the ground to invade Eritrea .
          Cause the will never give up for the AGAZIAN dream and they have the support of the west for that project
          This is why the keep the sanction ,waiting for Ethiopia to stabilize its internal problems.
          Then what choice to Eritrea ?????
          We are alone .

          • blink

            Dear nathom
            There is nothing Ethiopia can offer to Eritreans, it is full of lies and the flow of youth to Europe is going to steam out soon .Ethiopian youths are flying like never before and Ethiopian economy can’t help to employ Eritreans. One day BBC reported 30% of new jobs will be given to Eritreans that is the scale of lies.Eritreans access to work is more in Sudan from any country. Sudan is the only place for Eritreans. The lies about school and university access is exaggerated by 1000ds.

          • Nathom Habom

            Selam blink
            I totally agree with you brother

          • Selam blink,

            You deny everything and yet eritreans are fleeing to ethiopia in their thousands every month, not to find jobs, but mainly to find the freedom they miss in eritrea, and to get the education they have been denied in their country by closing the only university in asmara.

            30% of the newly formed jobs with the help of the eu, international donors and the UN are going to refugees in general, about 800K of them, eritreans, somalis and s. sudanese, and not to eritreans only. Of course, ethiopia cannot afford to give 30% of the jobs to eritreans, and she has no obligation to do that, especially when you are never going to acknowledge any sort of help given by ethiopia.

            Now, how are you going to convince eritreans not to flee to ethiopia, their killers, organ harvesters, and their traffickers, and to go to sudan where they are much more loved, accepted and protected?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            I really don’t know what your real problems are. You go after the Religieion (Islam and Christians) which represent 99% of the population (either by believe or birth). I could have said 100% but I know you are one of either (as you said) even though it’s hard to believe.

            Now you are going after the Kebesha (Habesha) people, according to the 1952 census count, they represent 50% of the population.

            Do you really have any idea what the Eritrean independence was all about?

            Was it to erase our identity and religion? Just wondering.

            You can have all the hate you have against Ethiopia, Tigray or what have you. But I personally am Habesha first than anything else. For me Habesha is not only a map drawn by Europeans, but it’s geography, it’s food, it’s language, it’s culture, it’s religion, it’s history.

            Listen the best way to live your life is, live and let live. No body is going to force their identity to you and you should do the same.

            All I have to say is, pick a fight that you have a good chance of winning.

            Ali Salim didn’t say anything worst than you just did. Actually his arguments are much better compared to yours. In fact he is telling the truth that everyone knows. You want to eradicate the entire culture and identity until they submit to your believe.

            YedHinena… IA is a dictator like Mao but someone like is like Pol Pot.


          • blink

            Dear berhe
            What I am saying is Tigrinya speaking is only part of Eritrea not all Eritrea and when I said habesha I am relating to past historical facts and the facts speak themselves, elite from both sides has been the cause for many thousands of innocent deaths and that should be a lesson. I am not speaking ill of Tigrinya like our brother Ali salim , what I am saying is the relationship is based on killing each other and there is nothing we got from many times of trials of this we are one habesha thing .

            Thomas when I said Ethiopian leader it’s not about the whole Ethiopian people after all let’s look who is Ethiopian leaders until now , the Amhara and the Tigrians and we are not speaking about the 36% of the population, at this time we are speaking about 6% of them and there was no history that we lived in mutually exclusive relationship.

            When you guys you calculate the 1000 youths in Ethiopia until now it was a transit line not a safe heaven to work or feel free. Eritreans has never ever made any dime at the past 20 years in Ethiopia except few rich who made their money by sending consumer goods .

            So what I am saying is show us your brotherhood relationship with your so Called habesha love fever. Show us please ?

            The notion Ethiopian leaders care about Eritreans , we already tried it from 1950th and in this 70 plus years nothing to show except the weapons rained over the people. Do you guys wanted to repeat that or you choose the peace loving , caring Sudanese . It is a choice the Eritreans can not miss . Berhe my personal view about Religion is the same even if I am suddenly in Saudi or Vatican, I just do not feel save near a religion cooked state but that is not hate , you have to understand me that my wish for religion is to decay at its peak time and it has nothing to do with Christianity or Islam.

          • Selam blink,

            Look at what you say lies, people who have nothing in common, eritreans in the land of your killers. The regime in asmara is becoming irrelevant to eritreans, my friend.


          • Berhe Y

            Dear blink,

            Thank you for sharing. I hope one day these guys they represent Eritrea (their home country) or Ethiopia (they second country) and compute internationally.

            When we grew up in the 80s, as usual cycling was one of the best sports. I think foot ball was equally popular but that’s for another time.

            Usually the annual champoinship was held in Addis but one year I think one year it was held in Eritrea. And cyclist from all over Ethiopia come. Some of the best that I remember were, Yetnayet Kebede, Jemal Rogora (Harer) and there was another young guy of Eritrean decent but grew born / grew up in Addis (he was the best I think). His grand parents lived in Asmara (blata gebru garage they owned). I particularly liked Jemal Rogera because he knew my father and he come to visit our house. What happened was, when my father was in Addis for business he stayed at a hotel (his regular hotel). And Jemal parents come to Addis and they stayed in the same hotel. And my father got to know them and Jemal come to visit his parents and he got to meet my father. I guess they exchanged number or something but when he come to Eritrea they got in touch and he brought him home for dinner.

            It was one of the best moments of my childhood, may be second to the day my father bought us TV and so we can watch the premier league football.


          • Thomas

            Hi Blink,

            The work “lies” had a life of its own and can talk, she would be very disappointed with you. I can understand you have been abusing and misusing her a lot. As for me, everytime I read your comments I use the negation or reverse what you say is true. The negation of lies is telling the truth. ~ (Ethiopia is the enemy) = Ethiopia is not the enemy of the Eritrea people. No Eritrea would have migrated or fleeying to Ethiopia had the DIA regime was the keeper (was NOT oppressor) of Eritreans. I see Ethiopia, I see hundreds of thousands of Eritrean refuge there and they feel saffer in their neighbor country than in their own. To the Ethiopians, I say think for supporting my people in their worst times. We will pay you back when you need our support.

      • Selam Berhe Y.,

        Permanent residence for all the peoples of east africa in any country of their choice, seems to be a nice idea, but its implication is difficult to know.

        Most probably the refugee registration in ethiopia is part of the european refugee crisis mitigation policy, as Mez said. We remember that sometime ago the eu had put forward a plan to invest about $500m on two or three industrial parks in ethiopia, where refugees could be hired, work and make a living, instead of making the hazardous journey to europe. These refugees were to be given permanent residence permit as well.

        Visa at the point of entry and permanent residence in a country, looks fine, but difficult to foresee the outcome. There seems something odd here, why countries in east africa are ready to accept refugees. Earlier rwanda agreed with israel to accept more than 27K eritrean refugees for $5k per person, and now comes the kenyan initiative. May be countries of the horn see that they can benefit by doing the same thing ethiopia did.

        How is this going to affect countries like eritrea, if for e.g, eritreans cross the border and they can get permanent residence and a job as refugees. Some days ago, Ismail, I think, said that he is amazed the streets of asmara are so deserted.

        My point is, is this going to worsen or not the emptying of eritrea, which has already lost a large number of its citizens, especially the young, which will be detrimental to the economy of the country?

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Horizon,

          As an Eritrean, may be it’s better to live in Ethiopia, Kenaya and Uganda rather than die in the Mediterranean or be hostage and slave in Libya or in prison camp in Israel or in destitute in Europe.

          Until the change comes inside Eritrea, it certainly better to live in those countries than be in slave labor indefinably.

          I know that’s not the best solution for Eritrea long term, but as long as PFDJ is in power, there is no hope for the Eritrean people to do anything inside their country.

          This Eritreans will be an asset to Eritrea sooner or later and they will have influence to the future of the country and our people. And I think it will be very positive change.


          • Alex

            Hi Berhe,
            I disagree with your point that the Young have to leave Eritrea until change happen. Who will bring change, if every body leaves who will bring change. From my point of view, the young are the ones that will bring the change that all of us want to see happen in Eritrea.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Alex,

            If that happens I will have no problem with it. But in the mean time, I think this alternative is better.


          • Alex

            HI Berhe,
            If the alternative is better then the Gov will stay in power for foreseeable future with out any push from the population inside the country. I think if all the people did not have left the country the last 10 years the Gov will been in a weaker position to make change on the indefinite service and others. Why do you think the gov is not trying hard to stop the people from leaving. I know for fact they are not trying hard to stop people fleeing the country to Ethiopia. How come more than 15,000 young people flee to Ethiopia every year.

      • Teodros Alem

        Selam berhe
        When he say east africa he meant Uganda. Rwanda. Burundi and Tanzania. They have organization that called east Africa something.

        • Berhe Y

          Thank you Tedros. It’s good to know and I was hoping he meant IGAD. But it’s a good start and I am sure countries like Ethiopia who have the muscle that can push through such agenda if they have the willingness and desire to do so.

          In this whole Libyan crisis, it’s shame non of the countries who their citizens affected the most (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan) governments have nothing to say, unless it’s something that I missed.

          They should at least issue a statement, offer to repatriate or recall their embassy to show they care.

          And the African members of the SC to speak up and bring to the attention.


          • Teodros Alem

            Selam berhe
            U said countries like ethiopia who have the muscle and u also said it’s shame non of the countries ( including ethiopia)who thier citizen affected the most gov. Have nothing to say. Don’t u think what u said is contradictory? I know u but those countries have no muscle . if they have any muscle thier citizen wouldn’t be in this station in the first place.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Tedros,

            They have the muscle no doubt about it.

            I also said if they have the willingness and the desire to do so.

            It’s the latter not the first is the problem.


          • Teodros Alem

            Selam berhe
            U mean muscle by economically .military or diplomacy?
            If they have economy thier citizen wouldn’t be there in the first place. Do u think they can force Libya by miltary . Diplomacy is the combination of miltary and economy in this world.but like i said u r what u r.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Teodros,

            I mean all. Ethiopia has the population (economy and military) and they inherited and harbored diplomacy (HSI). Ethiopians where ever they go, Africa, Asia, America, Europe (may be even Arab), they are always treated with respect.

            In case of Lybia, they can offer their people (like the young girls, who you hear their plight), to repatriate back to their country by sending a plane.

            I understand the reason why the people are leaving the country for better future but the government must always try it’s best.


          • Teodros Alem

            Selam berhe
            I don’t understand what kind of logic is this? I think u r assuming diplomacy as manipulating. The time of hsi and now is completely different. At the time of hsi most of african countries were colonies or a new fragile gov. So eth can played a bigger role then comparing from other african countries.
            Tell me why they don’t have the willingness or the desire to solve the problem of Libya?
            And what can they do to solve it?
            For me i don’t see they will solve it as individual country. May be AU can slove the what happened in just Libya.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Teodros,

            Let’s focus on real issue. There is a major problem, and they can’t solve all the problem but they can most.

            Fist they start their advacocy with the other African countries as you said at the AU. They they can offer to take away their citizens who are able and willing to do so. Now it may be possible they can’t find any but not if they haven’t tried.

            For example, the current Lybian government has nothing to do with it but they don’t have the means or the force to do so.

            Haven’t they send peacekeeping all over Africa? May be that’s what needs to happen. That’s why I said if they have the desire.


          • Teodros Alem

            Selam berhe
            U.s can’t solve all the problems.
            The question was the muscle of those affected countries in Libya can solve the problem?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Teodros,

            You can have muscle and not use it. I wasn’t saying Ethiopia has to send force to rescue the people, I think that would be the very last resort if ever.

            What I mean is, it has the ability to assemble and agree the countries in Africa that all can do something about it.

            Even the government of Libya is a partner in this whole thing,


          • Teodros Alem

            Selam berhe
            Yes may be AU can stop the slavery (whatever u call it) in Libya. Ethiopia or those affected countries can’t do nothing about it .b/c they don’t have the muscle( economy, diplomacy and military) to solve the problem. Ethiopia gov. And other affected countries what they can do is humanitarian beggaring other countries which have a muscle to stop the slavery in Libya.

          • Alex

            Hi Berhe,
            I agree with you Ethiopia inherited good diplomacy from Haile selassie era, so always it help the current Gov when it comes with Diplomacy. In regards to respect, I don’t think that is translated to any Ethiopia that lives in any country of the world.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam Alex
            U mean good name or diplomacy? I never see what hsi era looks like but as far as i know If there is good name 98% of it is gone by 1977_78 ec.

      • Mez

        Dear Berhe, Horizon, Blink, Teodros;

        1) Kenyatta’s speech is ground shattering from policy perspective. This speech does have a Continental Africa dimension. The Kenan court annulment of August 8 election was the first Constitutional Court Earthquake in the continent. Now this unparalleled speech setting the tone for the coming 50+ years!

        2) If Kenyan follow this route, probably 5-7 years from now, we will start to see significant positive impact on their economy.

        3) Kenya will also be a melting pot of Lakes Region and Horn of Africa all together.

        4) The residency permit (he depicted) covers
        the East African Community (EAC) of six countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

        5) Coming back to the refugee registration in Ethiopia, it is very detailed and profound; this had never seen before in such details; Not even in the imigration processing of major industrial countries. That is my point.

        6) The new framework on the refugee handling technically means a semi permanent resident permit at the UN-Registered entry points in Ethiopia. This and the innaugral speech are both new regional political frameworks, which the Eritrean government cannot ignore.


        • Berhe Y

          Dear Mez,

          I do not know what Kenya motivation and Mr. Kenyatta plans are. But it seems to me that it a vision of pan African to help and elevate the sorry state of Africans by opening doors and opportunities to build themselves and that of their countries and the continent.

          And it seems to me the policy / vision is not related to any donner or partner commitment. In other words, what ever they are doing, they are not looking anything back in return.

          As the Ethiopian plan, I think it seems a policy driven by the need / demand of EU countries. In other words, they will allow the refugees to come to Ethiopia and settle there instead of heading to Europe. If you say the details of information they are collecting, one wonders if it will not be shared / passed to the EU countries so they can deport the refugees back where they come from.

          May be it’s better in the long term, but I don’t think the intention is the same as that of Kenya.


          • Mez

            Good Day Berhe,

            Your observation is correct. Kenyan policy will probably be driven by FDI, T-Bond sale, Capital investment by private local and regional enterpreneurs….The Kenyan policy is much comprehensive.

            The news piece from Ethiopia is specific to “refugee administration” and related stuff with an immediate impact for refugee and their families. And obviously the money source is financial aid from UN, EU and other interested third party countries.


  • Hayat Adem

    Hi All,
    … and something that deserves your attention:
    Tplf is has undergone leadership reform. This is the 7th or 8th time in its short history the Front has changed its top leadership peacefully following tense forums.

    • Selam Hayat Adem,

      Change (i hope for the better), is a good sign of positive growth and development, and i wish this is what has happened. Tplf may be cleverly renovating itself by pushing aside the heavy weights that are sitting on its shoulders, may be to the delight of most ethiopians, if it is truly about positive change.

      I hope that the other parties follow the same trend by getting rid of those who feel that they have a lifetime entitlement, simply because they were liberation front fighters

    • Paulos

      Selam Hayatina,

      Glad you brought up something interesting cuz I was kind of bored to read dry and tasteless issue as in Halloween this or Halloween that.

      The funny thing is as usaual the PFDJ mouthpieces Tesfanews and Meskerem depicted the intense overhaul with in TPLF as a crisis when PFDJ is rotten to its core with a stinky stagnation where stagnation is the high road to a decay of political order. The PFDJ may claim to have had a serious assessment in 2001 when the G-15 were made disappeared into the unknown. Democracy they say has a life of its own like a living entity. It comes to life, it grows, adopts and responds to prevailing circumstances. And TPLF seems to have internalized that and one hopes the other organs with in EPRDF follow suit.

      • Hayat Adem

        “The funny thing is as usaual the PFDJ mouthpieces…depicted the intense overhaul with in TPLF as a crisis.”
        Hi Paul,
        Crisis my…! If this is a crisis, then I want that crisis for us as well. Someone recently alerted to a piece of a video. The narrator there is an Eritrean refugee in Ethiopia and was voicing in Tigrigna like, “they told us Tigrayans were our enemies. But when we came crossing the border, they hosted us like we were their family members. Then I said, ‘if an enemy hosts me with such a warmth, then I want to have more enemies’.”

        • Fanti Ghana

          Selam Hayata,

          … and with that note:

          253 Eritrean refugees have been accepted to attend for higher education in Ethiopian universities. The government will continue to support and encourage those students until their graduation.

          These 253 students increase the total to over 2000 students in the last seven years who were granted similar chances for higher education.

          A total of 10, 300 refugees are in attendance of elementary and higher schools. This report covered refugee camps in Mai Ayni, Adi Harush, hiTsats, and shimelba.

          (from ENA).

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Hayat and Paulos,

        Well, to PFDJ zealots and loyalists changes as those that take place in Zimbabwe or Ethiopia fall on their minds as bad omens. They wish words that suggest notions as change to disappear from all languages. They have sold their consciences and souls to devil’s propaganda. Let us hope the changes in TPLF would be contagious to other partner political formations to constitute smooth beginning of a robust phase in the process of building democracy and open society.

  • MS

    Selam Awatistas
    “Nitrickay…Nitrickay abey aleka nitrickay// nafiqeka nitrickay” I hear the club playing. Well nitrickay never runs away with his tail tucked between his legs like Semere Andom. He will be back improving his swagger. Then pile up on him, send him off to his brand new girl friend. Having done so, once again shade some fake tears. And I just wonder, wouldn’t it be better to tolerate those guys now that we are told to tolerate Ali Salim, the genius spoiler? I read similar expressions of lost love on talaQu abi’s untimely disappearance. Just a runaway thought.

    • Haile S.

      Selam Mahmud,
      Lately, you yourself have been here intermittently. Writing the right-to-reply to meskerem took you so much time. I thought writing such beautiful smooth flowing tigrigna was a piece of cake for you. I admit, Nitricc was a piece of glue in the variety of ideas expressed here. And you, by your escapade out of campus, you are playing another type of glue between the Eritrean websites. Where is next? TesfaN or HadasE? Well done! Some sort of un-confirmed ambassadorship who plays an unpronounced diplomacy of contact was necessary between the eritrean websites.
      Now, talking of meskerem, your praise is welcome, it is at least a great gesture of courtoisie. On your critic, I agree 100%. Meskerem website says and spreads things without evaluating the consequence. It is exactly as the Great Abrehet Yosief put it this morning about eritrea ministry of justice linking a prisoner and a border issue. “The SOP for regim supporters whenever a question on humanrights is raised is to respond “What about Ethiopia’s illegal occupation of Erirean land?” It has become such a reflexive response that Fozia said it without realising the full impact of her words”. Like Her excellency Fozia Hashim said, meskerem also writes recklessly. Now jumping from meskerem to our leadership, don’t you think the problem with our leadership is just an all round incompetency? Don’t you think that governance and leadership of a country (Eritrea) has been brought to rudimentary level in order to fit the exact competency of the meriting group? I am not saying there are no competent people among them (excluded and/or eliminated). Just saying responsibilities are being distributed and practiced to fit the incompetencies of those chosen. Is there any chance the leadership realizes competency primes over complacency?

  • blink

    Dear Robel and isem

    I wanted to get something that you would normally like to give .

    In the guidelines of this forum you can read this .
    25.6 It is okay to criticize a political ideology but it is not okay to attack a collective identity (race, ethnicity, tribe, region, religion, nationality, gender, etc). Doing so will result in immediate suspension/ban.

    Yet Ali Salim wrote this ,

    The Tigrinya orthodox are “ orthodox Tigrinya are cult who work for the dictator “

    • iSem

      Hi Blink:
      I disagree with that awate rule, hate speech is free speech and it is a good thing. It gives us an opportunity to tell the truth
      Ali Salim said PFDJ is a Tewahdo grouping, that is FALSE and worse yet Ali Salim as a former cult member, the Towahdo in PFDJ and EPLF are mere cannon fodders and many of them think PFDJ and EPLF belonged to them because nhnan elamanan told them so. They were the serfs, they are serfs now too.
      When bigots applying their freedoms of speech tell us what they think, we can react, we can reply. The eggshell mentality is more dangerous than the words of bigots

      • King Ezana

        Selam Isem; eza neger tembedbuduwa Alekum. As an observer, nothing good comes from such hate and bigotry.
        It didn’t take much for what happened in Ruwanda. It took a bigot with a microphone on a local radio station.

        • blink

          Dear king Ezana
          No, I am just asking his view and it was not my intention to go the way you are saying. But sure if people like Ali salim and Tesfatsion got weapons they would have started killing people. The only differences is Ali salim and Tesfatsion already killed thousands of innocent Eritreans at their dream .
          Ali salim wanted to put his humanistic religious views on display as tesfatsion wanted to do the same .The difference is tesfatsion is doing it on open YouTube space while Ali salim is using an icon of Eritreans institution that is fighting for justice. The good thing about Eritreans is that they are not going to fall for people like Ali salim mind game. You not be so sensitive for our views telling them this is too far and to heinous to tolerate. Ali salim has his equals in asmarino forum , he could have used that .

        • iSem

          Hi King E:
          No, I am not fanning it.
          You make a good point about Rawanda and you make my point, when the beliefs ppl harbored was not brought to the fore, for decades and even centuries, not addressed, not rebutted people believed them. I am saying bring them to the fore and do not allow it to kill u. This is simple. You made my point for me

          • Lebam

            Selam isem,

            I disagree, because there is an unwritten rule of engagement that we have to abide by to not provoke each other. The authors message was delivered in an extremely provocative fashion and that’s why it failed tremendously. There is more than one way to get a conversation going.

          • iSem

            Hi Lebam:

            I agree with “There is more than one way to get a conversation going.” but you cannot force them to follow the noble way and u should not infringe upon them because it bodes well to know what they say so u can do whatever to stop that in its tracks If Ali Salim things this way, u can be sure there many who are doing it, thinking it so as society we have a window and we can do something about it.
            Yes is dangerous, but I think not allowing it is more dangerous yes it is hurtful but otherwise is more dangerous. Awate should fearlessly continue to host such bigots to give us an opportunity. At the minimum it will test our ingenuity to fight it with truth and tolerance not to choose violence. My thinking. I can be very wrong.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear iSem,

            I agree with Lebam and not sure it’s good idea to give platform that has no value but to create division among our people.

            iSem, most western democracy have instituted free speech and also limit on hate speech. Do you disagree on the hate speech legislation they have put in place then?

            What exactly is Ali Salim having problem with?
            He has problem because people come out to demonstrate the arrest of Hajji Musa and at the same time they carried (hitchhiked) the pictures of the patriarch?
            He has a problem because some opposition have participated in the demonstrations?
            He has a problem that the Tewahdo needed this incident to demonstrate the arrest of the patriarch.

            Then he goes and on his attack of the Tewahdo and their religion….

            The best thing that happened is, all those lunitics like Ali Salem, Tesfasion or Semere T. proved to to be totally wrong in their analysis and in the hate and bigotry they preach.

            That the people are united and they love and respect each other.

            And we shouldn’t be spending our time and efforts to these attention seeking people who have nothing better to offer other than their selfish ego.


          • iSem

            Hi BY:
            If it was up to me, I would prefer they do not think about hate let alone speak it, even they do not speak their hate in their own groups, but people do and if we do not have control over their thinking, then it is better for society if they speak it and we allow it, allow it does not mean endorse it, or fund it, support it though. Better we know, rather than not. The KKK still openly say that the white race is better, they have tempered their violence because wrath of the law, but they say it that everyone is inferior, that is hate speech, CNN and other broadcast it, and they even come there once in a while and tell it like it is in documentaries etc. That is what I am saying
            yes, it is waste of time, yes it is not worth it and our time must be discussing some other noble issues, but if we want to thrive by curbing hate, we must hear it, not muzzle it
            Ali Salim did two big favors to us; we know what he thinks and we know many others think like him and we can name and shame him for that.
            Ali Salim could have kept quit about and whisper it to his illk, elom tewahdo (ezome tewahdo) and one day it will simmer and lead to bombing enda Michael. Now that he vented, it is less likely he will do that. You see my point. I do hate hate speech and hate thought too

          • Berhe Y

            Hi iSem,

            I understand what you are saying, I just am not sure by allowing hate speech that we are better of. If for example this Tsfatsion guy had no means to spread his hate, do you think anyone would know about him and his messages.

            Yes there will always be sick people who will not sleep unless they want the people to live in misery and destruction (like our current president) but if they had no room then no body would know about them in the first place.

            Are we all the sudden (our society) that we have the highest level of education and knowledge as in academic space to have to allow this kind of debate.

            My biggest problem is not the damage they can cause directly but the energy they waste consuming and distracting us.


    • Abraham H.

      Dear blink, I totally agree with you on this one. We must stand against all forms of bigotry which puts entire section of our population in one basket and criminalises or mockes them. There is abolutely nothing positve that could come out of such abrasive articles in this website from this writer.

      • blink

        Dear Abraham
        If this was one comment , it would normally pass as a flare up but this is a declaration from the top to purposely decide to divide the opposition across ethnic and religious lines . I don’t understand how could this benefit and help us come together. If Ali salim wanted to go his way he could have used other way but to put the orthodox in Satan sign and accusing one ethnic group openly in awatecom is beyond any explanation.

        You can see the silence from the heavyweight of this forum and you can watch the support from some . I find this disturbing. I am not afraid about Eritrea being divided but I truly believe we can in long the dictator life by cutting our legs.

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam Semere T.,

    I have already replied to you, but it is not showing up.

  • blink

    Dear Adam
    You are cruel and your idea is idiotic .

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Ali Salim,
    You are fun to read, but serious as well. You are intrusively meddlesome (positive) and a disciplined provocateur. I can stop doing anything read you. Do you often convince me? But that will not be I would be looking for. I look for something that leaves me thinking more. And I always get that from your write ups. Thanks.
    Is it true Fozia tied up the issue of Dawit’s freedom to the border issue? And she is in charge of justice!

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Hayat,
      Didn’t get you. Do you mean Dawit, the Swedish-Eritrean? If that is the case, nothing would be unexpected from the despot. He could use people like Fozia when ever it serves his plans. The government in Sweden could be approached for a kind of queer quid pro quo mediation role with the Ethiopians.

      • Abrehet Yosief

        Selam Hayat Adem and Ismail AA,
        I dont think Fozia Hashim’s response was a calculated one. The SOP for regim supporters whenever a question on humanrights is raised is to respond “What about Ethiopia’s illegal occupation of Erirean land?” It has become such a reflexive response that Fozia said it without realising the full impact of her words. In any case it will be interesting to read the journalists complete report. What has been released is a short article. I continue to be amazed how empty the city looks in most of the photos.

  • said

    Hi Simon Kaleab,
    As a person who is committed to social justice, I was surprise about your quotation: There are many explanations as to why Muslim communities have a Shorter Fuse, while Christians, in particular the Orthodox, have a Higher Shreshold of sensitivity. And you stated .1. Islam is overtly political, while Christianity’s main concern is not the HERE but the AFTERLIFE following the examples set by Jesus 2. Islam is a supremacist and triumphalist ideology which demands total submission of non-Muslims [as well as Muslims]

    Definitely not the message conveyed on the stone tablets Moses brought down from Mount Sinai, according to the Book of Exodus. The Ten Commandments.
    When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed that 11 o’clock on a Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America, he was acknowledging the special power that ritual and community have to stoke or weaken both love and hatred. There is no substitute for sharing the bread and wine — the climax of the Christian liturgy — with people unlike yourself.

    You can insist on the innocence of Christianity and Orthodox, have a Higher Shreshold of sensitivity.
    I am not talking about Catherine the Great in 1783 and Russian Czars, Czar Nicholas I—whose brutal 30-year reign brought the Russian Empire to its historical zenith, or let us not forget. as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. a 77-year global war, incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations which germinated in the Great War. The toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the ashes of the Great War and Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam.

    It’s about having a sensitivity to context. The Truth (with capitals words), you never state The Whole Truth, it’s always ‘Which aspects of the truth are we going to talk about and why?’ We have to be honest that we’re always being selective in order to raise awareness and just remind you of the recent of ethnic cleansing and genocide of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian Christian. As reported, They did perpetrate several massacres throughout the Bosnia .The recent sentence is reminder good to life in prison for Serb general Ratko Mladic by the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing . Gen. Mladic was convicted of engineering the massacre of over 7,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, Mladic and Karadzic are in prison; Milosevic died of a heart attack during his trial. The bloody siege of Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo. Srebrenica was the worst war crime in Europe since World War II Slobodan Milosevic, and Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, formulated a strategy to create an ethnically pure Greater Serbia, purged of Catholics and Muslims, that would recreate the glory of the medieval Serb kingdom. They rose to power on calls to ‘send the Turks (i.e. Muslims) back to Turkey.’ Ironically, Bosnia’s Muslims were mainly descendants of medieval Christian Bogomil heretics who had been savagely persecuted by Orthodox Christians and converted to Islam for protection. As reported the Modern-day power-thirsty demagogues and the Orthodox Church played the key role. In truth, the orgy of killing and ethnic uprooting was even quietly welcomed by certain governments, like Greece, France (traditional ally of Serbia), Britain’s Conservatives, Russia, Hungary and Romania. Britain and France managed to thwart, then delay, multi-national efforts to end the massacres while shedding crocodile tears and secretly aiding Serbia.
    The widely reported by many Eye witness reporters, the genocide committed by Serb Orthodox against Bosnian Muslims U.N. “safe area” of Srebrenica, 41,000 Muslims living in the protected enclaves protected by some 400 Dutch troops acting as U.N. peacekeepers
    The Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladić. ordered his soldiers to round up thousands of boys and men for execution or hunted them down as they tried to escape to territory under the control of Bosnian Muslims. When the slaughter was complete, more than 7,000 had been slain, the worst war crime in Europe since World War II. They mounted a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing to drive Bosniak and Croat civilians out of Bosnia in the hope of forming an ethnically cleansed Serb state. The Serbs carried out numerous mass executions of civilians and razed whole villages, often by dynamiting or burning. The war ended in the fall of 1995 with a NATO bombing campaign that crippled the Serbs militarily and forced them to negotiate a peace agreement. An estimated 100,000 people died and 2 million were displaced in the Bosnian conflict. Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo, along with five other Muslim-held enclaves, was surrounded by Serb forces. Sarajevo was pounded daily with heavy artillery, mortar rounds, Katyusha rockets and 90 mm tank rounds. Serbian snipers, hidden in buildings in the city’s Serb-held suburbs on the front lines, routinely gunned down civilians emerging from basements to find food or water. The Serbs set up concentration camps where Muslims were tortured, starved and sometimes shot. They commandeered old tourist hotels where they imprisoned Muslim and Croat girls and women and carried out daily rapes, often executing the girls and women after a few weeks.
    Mladić, who in three years of war had overseen numerous massacres in the Serb campaign of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, had announced before the Srebrenica attack that he would make the Bosniak Muslim population of the region “vanish completely.” There was little doubt, given what he had done in the past, about his intentions or his willingness to murder on a large scale.
    The Serb Army then turned its murderous rage to the former Yugoslav region of Kosovo that was 95-98% ethnic Albanian. The world learned the term, ‘ethnic cleansing.

  • Saleh Johar

    Hi all, I honestly miss Nitricc!

    • iSem

      hi Saleh:
      It was not that long he was here, Just 20 days ago. He was right and left and center after the Al-Diaa incident

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi iSem,

        A lot happened in the last three weeks and I lost a sense of time. I miss him nonetheless.

        • Desbele

          ሰላም ሳልሕ
          የዕሪፍና እንዳበልናስ ናፊቐ ትብለና ?!
          ሽም ቀይሩ ጥራይ ኣይምጸኣና . ሞኽ ከየብለና ደጊም

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Memhir,

      I am devastated by the reason he left and by his absence too! I have been feeling a sense of guilt for not paying enough attention for the way many of us made him feel. Whenever I look beyond his word usage, I always saw a very honest young man.

      • King Ezana

        Selam Fanti; for sure, every time I read Nitric’s post, I used to get extremely mad at him. Then I sit back and analyze what he had posted and I find myself agreeing with the things I was mad and disgusted with. he had that kind of effect on me personally. Not to mention the energy he used to bring to this site. I used to check multiple times on this forum, not anymore, I miss Nitric.

      • Thomas

        Hi Fanti,
        That guy Nitricc is cruel. He is so manipulative and happens to know the attention of commenters here. He has time and again told us that he supports the dictator until he dies of natural cause. Witnessing all the miseries happening to my Eritrean people and noticing people like nitricc celebrate the unfortunately causes of the tragedy is something I cannot stand. I can never stand people like Nitricc. That guy hates the Eritrean people and pretends to love the country of the Eritrea people. Is n’t this ironic? He has time again told us that he is in love with PIA and his leadership. He can fall in love with the devil himself if he wanted to, but what is there to love?

        It is because of PIA that I cannot visit the country I love most. People like nitricc are celebrating my suffering. I am sorry I am not forgiving because I am not God or I’m NOT a believer.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Thomas,

          What I think SG meant by I miss Nitricc is, how he is fade up with the likes of Ali Salim and Semer T. Nitricc is considered an asset compared to these guys. I tend to agree at least he fights clean, how ever misguided on his blind love of IS, I think he hopes that one day Eritrea will live free, unlike these guys they do not see a future until the country is ruled by IA / Christians as in Semere T., or Eritrea disintegrated and divided as in Ali Salim.

          I think he is recovering from his heart attack he suffered when Mugabe is forced to resign, because he knows that’s what awaits IA.


          • MS

            Ahlan BerheY
            Through u I want to apologize to the great Fanti Ghana, SGJ and Kokhebaay. My earlier comment might be misunderstood. I was just having one of those rare sarcastic moments. I think these are the gentlemen who expressed their longing to see nitrikay back. And I have no doubt they meant it. To me they are among the most genuine ones. So I edited my comment. On Semere Andom, the naked liberalist, he knows my jokes. If not I will bring back to him the nightmares of Hishkeb…

        • Fanti Ghana

          Selam Brother Thomas,

          Nitricc, cruel? It is understandable why you think so, but trust me, you are seriously mistaken.

          What many of us misunderstand about Nitricc is how he expresses and tries to suppress emotions such as pain, disappointment, pride, joy, love, and etc.

          What EPLF/ELF represent to many Eritreans, especially to those who did not grow up in Eritrea, is some sort of a connecting tunnel to their ancestral land by which they express their longing for and attachment to as well as serving as their ultimate expression of pride and dignity.

          There is so much I would like to add here specifically about Nitricc, his tough early life in the ghetto, and his ultimate victory to become a well adjusted professional, but it would take lots of background hateta and intrusion to present the full picture.

          Thomas, by all means, disagree with Nitricc as much as you have to. That is natural. However, if you do that disagreement with respect, compassion, and understanding the gain is priceless: you automatically become teachers to the rest of society. I know it is not always easy, but it can be done!

          Thank you for the second paragraph!

          • Selam Fanti Ghana,

            Personally, i wish Nitricc all the good health and the happiness in life, nevertheless, please do not try to create a halo around his head, for he never was a saint.

            He did not respect the pain and sufferings of refugees, those drowned at lampadusa, etc. Of course, he wished all types of misfortune for ethiopia, (e.g. egyptians bombing the dam, the beggar nation, etc).

            He is one of the archpriests of the dictator. He is a grown up, he knows what he is doing, and he has made his choice, whether we like it or not.

          • blink

            Dear Fanti
            Is this some thing a make shift work to make as if Nitricc or abi are not banned or a true love , I don’t understand you guys . It doesn’t look honest love of Nitricc. Abi accused of double standard, he said he could not comment any more due to his account problem but I always meet him in asmarino with Addis and sahay .is it ok to suspect that Nitricc the legend and one of the longest of awate forum is banned or he does not like the way double standards ? Two things are certainly not fitting to the where is Nitricc.
            One this forum is becoming an attacking field for the Christians and especially to the orthodox
            Second he can simply say enough with the northerners .

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam blink,

            Nitricc was not banned this time. It was personal decision for him and I hope it will be temporary.

            I went looking for Abi last month when Mr. Kim Hanna gave me a direction to where to find him, but there was no way I could talk to him. The room was too noisy and smokey!

            Abisha, if you are somehow reading this:

            በተልባ እበላለሁ ቅቤ እየተመኘሁ
            በሽታ ሆንሽቢኝ ጤናም አላገኘሁ

            That was plagiarized, but if you come back, I will write you two full pages of it.

            You are dearly missed.

          • Saleh Johar

            You are just irresponsible and a gossip monger. It’s interesting to know your view on this website

          • blink

            Dear SG
            I said what I feel ,there is nothing to gossip about this in here, I am telling openly . My views to this site is not about Nitricc or abi , but to tell you the real thing, I find such articles to be not fitting to this site. Gossip is saying something about someone behind his back and for no reason, what I said to Fanti is open and what I said about Ali salim article is open for everyone to see . Gossiping is accusing some one me behind him or spread rumours, spread gossip, circulate rumours, spread stories that are not true . Is there any way that you can deny this site is hosting a very decisive racist guy ?

            About abi , yes he did said he could not post and if you are saying he was not banned you can go with my second point .

          • Thomas

            Hi Brother,

            Hahaha, “It is understandable why you think so, but trust me, you are seriously mistaken”. I can go on and on to prove myself right, but I don’t want to bore the highly respected commentaries here and gentle men like yourself.

          • iSem

            Hi Fanti and Thomas:
            Fanit, the ever positive awatista. I can agree with you about nitricc, but the issue is he has not shown growth at least in this forum and at times he even regressed. If he had shown some growth in the face of the facts presented to him, I can understand. He has refused it, just like PFDJ and IA. Nitricc is the very embodiment of PFDJ, if someone is supporting PFDJ with good face, he can grow when facts speak to him, that is the measure of a man and human being.
            For failing to grow, for willingly becoming ignorant, for his devoid of compassion and sensitivity comments, I agree with Thomas
            One thing I remember is when Saleh ‘s cousin was killed by PFDJ by denying him medication, Nitricc told Saleh to live with it, it is life. As if this is new revelation. And Nitricc has never shown remorse, never apologized.
            I will be scared to death if nitricc and his ilk become my soldiers and policemen, they will be the types and 20 years and the history of our violent past taught me that there are many of them in Eritrea and they won and that is the problem. We have to cage such ppl not prop them
            some of my friends here miss him, but I think of Nitricc a buddying pshycopath. harsh words but my words pale to his harsh comments about the sea victims

          • Thomas

            Hi iSem,
            I have been struggling to explain what you wrote above to your brother, Fanti. Thank you very much for elaborating this perfectly. I cannot add a thing to it. We are on the very same page when it comes with spoiled and never matured insane sick man.

          • Fanti Ghana

            iSem, Thomas, & Horizon,

            I see that guys. I totally do.

            However, concentrating only on words uttered denies us the chance to examine the person critically as a whole. We all have deferent backgrounds, experiences, goals, and different ways of expressing them.

            Assume the following scenario for example:
            A disaster strikes and we observe three different reactions:

            Some eat chocolate and laugh it off
            Some go on a drinking binge while pulling their hairs out
            Some freeze, show no emotion, and stare at nothing for hours, days, and even forever.

            On the surface, our observation would be of a happy person, an angry person, and a stoic one. Which means we respond in three different ways: We congratulate the first, stir away from the second, and do nothing with the third.

            We have one event, three different expressions, and three different responses. However, if we look deeper into these “three” expressions, we find only one cause and one emotion being expressed in three different ways.

            What this shows us is that had we been equipped with the necessary skill of observation, our
            response would have been one and the same to all three persons. My point then, is that people’s action or reaction is not necessarily as binary as many of us may think. Someone said something terrible, therefore, they must be evil misses the mark.

            I hope I am not sounding critical of your past responses to Nitricc or anyone under similar situations. My intent is to remind us, all of us, that we can do better. Let’s help one another do better.

            “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind” Gandhi.

        • Alex

          Hi Thomas,
          If Nitricc supports PIA then it is his prerogative. We can disagree respectfully, but to call some body cruel because of that is not right. We have this forum, so we can try to convince each other with our point not call name each other.

      • iSem

        Hi Fanti:
        what do you mean by the reason he left: I assumed that he just was absent, was he kicked out. I missed that?

        • Fanti Ghana

          Selam iSem,

          His last set of exchanges did not go well. He received a series of unpleasant replies coincidentally all at once including from those he likes, and he felt it was too much.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Hi SGL.

      He was the most kind man,,, from all other PFDJ– supporters I knew all my entire life. I miss him too..


  • Aklilu Zere

    Good day Brother Ali Salim.

    Thank you for writing what you feel and what you believe. You are very courageous and I admire you.I also admit you are a gifted writer.

    Dear Awate nation:

    Whether we like it or not, Ali Salim writings are very important. He is our 10th man.His ideas and opinions sound assymetric but if you patiently [and without emotion] read and reread his writing you will gain very valuable perspective and for free!

    • AliSalim

      Selam Aklilu,

      Thanks for the motivation. Like you said it all depends on what the reader wants the reading to mean. As you may agree, nothing that we say is absolute. It means different things to different people.

  • iSem

    Hi Younis
    First, it is ironic that my good and long time friend Semere TH was offended by your article. I remember the time when he knew by heart how many pages and words you have expended in your equality offensive articles about land grabbing before you made your infamously famous U-Turn.
    I have to read your article deeply, I have only skimmed thru it for now and I may reply after re-reading your Bejastan engineering. But do not hold your breath
    About PFDJ being Orthodox through and through, you are mistaken because, they are not Orthodox and you know it. EPLF and now PFDJ, like you did in this article, both ridiculed the Orthodox church, and the rank and file, those who were used a cannon fodder and died, the Orthodox joined the ridiculing of their own
    There is no any other church in Eritrea that was badly hurt by EPLF more than the Orthox, no bride or groom was rounded in their honey moon and kidnaped in the name of hagerwi tsawiet, not the kenisha, not the Catholic, not the Muslims. None. And no EPLF was never an equal opportunity oppressor, PFJD is.

    I also admire the kids and women who stood up to PFDJ when their sacred school was to be closed and their board president was arrested, but it is akin to the Palestinian Intifada, when all those middle aged, mature men who exclaimed God is great did not join the demonstration, after 93-year-old man and under-age kids and women took the risk. Like the Intifada, those who’s encouraged the kids from behind were negligent. You do not let your kids die for you, you die for them. So while the courage of the kids was admirable, the cowardice of those who were gathered and listened to the speech by Hajj Mussa of Akria was noted. After all, Mussa looked them in the eye and addressed them. He said, let us protect our honor and faith, our boys and our girls. There kids were not present, but they heard his call, the men were present and they clapped and chanted God is greater but did not hear his call.

    And finally I cannot help it but notice the change in your writing style, is this a special style when one gets to pinnacle of bigotry

  • Da Yo

    Hi all,
    Aye, you people are useless. The hell with both religions.

    • Acria

      Hello Da Yo,

      Well, don’t get frustrated that easily! We should all accept our shortcomings and unite together to defeat this dictatorial regime. The Eritrean regime is hated by almost everyone now. Everyone is talking out of frustration. If yours brother are in pain, raise your voice to support them and don’t keep quiet because of cultural differences. Let’s learn from our past and present mistakes, leave religion to those who are experts in the field, and come
      together and increase the momentum of failure for our common enemy.

      Mr. Salim’s writing could be offensive to our brothers of the Tewahdo followers as he is not an expert in the religion but merely stating his experiences and opinions. It is okay to accept or refute his opinion; nevertheless, it is never okay by Mr. Salim or anyone else to bash another religion. Let’s respect each other and enjoy the freedom that we are afforded to write like this by living in democratic nations. Let’s envision a democratic Eritrea and work to that end.

      • Robel Cali

        Hello Acria,

        Just stop making excuses for this site’s hypocrisy and bigoted attitudes towards Eritrean Christians and Tigrinya people. I was just warned five days ago for stating “if Islam wasn’t considered a religion we’d be calling it a fascist ideology”. Now Awate publishes an article calling the Eritrean Orthodox faith a cult. Why is his opinion allowed while mines is not? Why does this site practice selective freedom of speech?

        Look around the web, there is no website as bigoted as Awate. Name me one government website that bashes Eritrean Muslims and Jeberti people the same way Awate bashes Eritrean Christians and Tigrinya people?

        Awate hides behind freedom of speech to bash Tigrinya people and Eritrean Christians but when Jeberti people or Islam are bashed, they censor you and call you a bigot.

        • Da Yo

          Hello Cali,

          Don’t sweat the arab wannabes. At the end of the day there is going to be a religious war in that god forsaken country. Not because the christians want it but because the islamists have an inferiority complex.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hello Da Yo (and Blink)
            I delegate Blink to reply t your comment because your comment is so deep, I hope he accepts this offer.

            Blink, are you up to it buddy? Even a fraction of the energy you put on other topics will do:-)

          • Da Yo

            Hello Dear Saleh,

            Please, really there is no need to instigate. I’m just calling it like I see it. Why are we bothered so much with religion? If you’re worried about what your imaginary friend up in the sky will do to you once you’re dead, then by all means. Just leave the rest of us alone because we are tired of this ridiculousness.
            And lastly dear Saleh, forget about the deep stuff because you can barely manage what’s on the surface.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi SGJ,

            I am going to make wild allegation but it’s not with out reason.

            You see, blink is 100% Tigrinya but he want to appear to be done else he is not. If he is not Tigrinya, if he is not Tigre, if he is not Bilen, if he is not jeberti, and he didn’t confirm or deny to be Kumana and for sure he is none of the other ethnic group. He wouldn’t reveal so he dismiss my inquiry.

            He is smart and he is here at AT with a purpose. Like we say, nwedi Edaga Arbis Wedi Shuq yfelTo. He didn’t want to say because he will be asked and challenged and he will be forced to explain and make room to get exposed.

            What he is after is, this website. He is after this website, for what it stands, for what it does and for what it provides, and the discussion forum it holds. In other words, it enough in the people and exposes the PFDJ.

            He does no care about Tigrinya or Orthodox, he does not care about Muslims, he does not care about Eritreans suffering inside the country.

            He has one and only object, to drail the discussion, to confuse, to waste time and to demean and implicate anyone who remotely threaten or expose his darling PFDJ.

            What he wants is basically for the ERITREAN people to fight each other, to lose focus, to discourage / implicate those who do something, so his PFDJ to continue to rule unchallenged.


        • Hayat Adem

          Dear Robel,
          You said this five days ago: “Name me one government website that bashes Eritrean Muslims and Jeberti people the same way Awate bashes Eritrean Christians and Tigrinya people?”
          You said you said this ten days ago: “if Islam wasn’t considered a religion we’d be calling it a fascist ideology”
          Both were posted at awate. You called Islam a “fascistic religion”, and have it posted; you said you were warned about it by the moderator but you re-posted it as a quotable.
          The website, Awate never posted in its name, none that I know of, something that belittles a religion, any religion.
          You defended the government websites as a moral standard for respecting Islam while hinting that it is a christian government.

          Now my comments:
          The government is bigger than its websites. And we all know what the government is doing to all religions. Do you need to be reminded of what happened at Akriya? Do you know where Hajji Musa , 94, is right now? Do you think jailing a 94 religious elder is milder than a comment on a website?
          You are doing three things here: 1) saying stuff that are not true, deliberately; 2) accusing others falsely of insulting a religion while you are doing it yourself; and 3) trying to defend the government as an entity observing respectability and equality of religions while we all know that it is the worst disrespectful and violent intruder on religious matters.

          A question:
          How do you say “you have a bad standard and twisted attitude” in English?

      • Da Yo

        Hello Acria,

        I applaud you effort for trying, but me on the other hand, not being a dreamer, have given up on the idea of Eritreans ever being capable of building a country that is free and democratic. All you have to do is just check the history and you will clearly see why it is not possible. Most believe once this Issayas guy is gone all the problems will disappear, but I’m here to tell you that’s when your real problems will start. That’s when all the tribal and religious conflicts that are simmering underneath come out to the full front. You will see.

      • MS

        Selam Acria
        Thanks Sir, Talking about its diverse voices, nothing peculiar about Eritrea. That’s what diversity would sound like. What is missing is the dispersion of realistic voices like you. The like of Da yo change nicknames but they are the same folks who had never had the idea of Eritrea in the first place. An entity that did not have the idea itself could not give up on an absent idea. It is OK for them to see an outlier idea or person in other countries but not OK to see the same pattern in Eritrea. They could be living next to racial supremacist in the USA or Europe, it is OK for them to hear extreme views in Ethiopia, Kenya, etc., but when it comes to Eritrea, those same normal manifestations of diversity become a determinant factor!! for the existence of Eritrea!! So, Nah, he never gave up on the idea of Eritrea, he did not have that idea in the first place. So, ignore, circumvent, and work towards building peace and mutual respect. Europe was built of tribal coalitions, all African countries are built of diverse tribes and religious leanings. Actually, it is the unity and mutually respective co-existence of Eritreans that has held up the country against internal and external pressures. The fact that Eritrea is standing today attests to the fact that it has in fact been tested and withstood the worst of pressures. Keep the conversation. And ignore…ignore and ignore anti-social harmony and anti Eritrea spoilers who come out disguised as pessimists. They get sick to the stomach to see and read positive voices.

        • Da Yo

          Hello MS,

          Whether I had the idea of Eritrea or not is not the issue here. My problem is with people who refuse to be real and face reality as it is. I’m sure Acria means well, but I’m afraid he’s living in La La Land because the Eritrea that exists in his mind only exists in there. Once this dictatorial regime is gone, do you think your problems will disappear? I’m here to tell you that, that will be when your real problems start.
          You can call me what you want (anti-social harmony, anti Eritrea spoilers,..), but my friend one thing I will do is call a spade a spade. You need to sit down and have a heart to heart talk with whomever because sweeping the dirt under the carpet and playing pretend isn’t going to make your problems disappear. Yes I know, just ignore, ignore, ignore….until they get tired, right??

  • Peace!

    Hi all,

    What an interesting and challenging article for people who wish to get real and tackle the problems. Obviously the article is not about religion as the fake atheists and PFDJistas trying to paint it rather it emphasizes how the two religions have responded to the ongoing oppression against them. The author also gave good examples to support his claim.

    Yes, there is a weakness on all sides when it comes to defending freedom of worshiping, but the orthodox Towahdo followers are giving a pass to PFDJ at the expense of their religion and that’s true. There a video in YouTube a periest expressing his rage why Christians didn’t react the same way muslims reacted when Abune taken to jail.

    On the other hand, muslims have also been passive to extent they are stripped to elect their own Mufti rather they let PFDJ elect for them.

    It is a bit embarrassing to see Muslims in this forum overreacting for something even a priests have acknowledged the lack of commitment to the orthodox faith when PFDJ gets free pass to interfere in church’s and divide good Christians, and arrest Abune for over a decade.


    • Simon Kaleab


      The litmus tests are:

      1) Will you go back to Eritrea and join the demonstrators?

      2) Will you phone your remaining relatives back in Eritrea, if there are any, and tell them to go out support the protesters?

      I doubt it. My intuition tells me that you are fake, and the type who is highly likely to support both the opposition and the government at the same time.

      • Peace!


        I understand that the only way a PFDJ supporter can win an argument is by turning a good discussion into personal attacks. My position is non of your business, and has nothing to do with life after death, in case you are wondering.


        • Simon Kaleab


          You failed the test.

  • Semere T Habtemariam

    Selam haw Younis,

    “Since love covers a multitude of sins,” the Tewahdo church, or cult according to you, teaches me to love you earnestly, for you and I are both equally the children of God–no more and no less. And make no mistake, there is only ONE GOD and according to the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) He is the Creator of Heaven and Earth: FaTari in Tigrinya or Al-FaTr in Arabic (a word that the Arabs borrowed from us).

    The Church baptized me, “not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” And it is with this “good conscience” that the Church teaches me to proclaim my love to you, brother. Loving thy neighbor as yourself is only second to loving God with all your heart and soul. When the Jews were attacking Him, Christ said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” The Tewahdo Church will and should pray for you, for you don’t know what you are saying. To err is human and you’re only expressing your humanity and you should only receive our love and forgiveness and not our condemnation.

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Semere TH,

      “When the Jews were attacking Him”???

      Your statement lacks accuracy. Wasn’t Jesus a Jew himself?

      During the Roman occupation of Judea, there were many groups that were at verbal and physical war with each other.

      – The Sicarii, the urban guerilla group who specialised in killing Roman soldiers

      – The Essenes, who abandoned worldly matters to roam and preach in the Judean desert [John the Baptist is an example]

      – Jesus’ group, who are friendly with the Essenes and were influenced by them

      – The Torah/Talmud analysts, the Pharisees, present day Rabbis

      – The establishment priests, called the Levites [Kohens] sometimes called

      First, the conflict was intra-Jewish. Second, the Romans were the rulers. Third, according to the reports it was the Romans who sentenced Jesus to death and implemented the sentence.

    • AliSalim

      Selam SH,

      Thank you for your classic good manners and nice words. I do need your prayers please go ahead and make it official church prayer.

      I thought you quit politics but I think SJG knew that unlike previous posts this time I would be offending people close home. I had to fight and use every trick to get this one published on strict conditions including my picture so that those who might decide to pray for me would put a face to the prayers. If I had any idea that this would make you out of all people mad, I would have done without it. Apology for any unintended offense!

      Having said that, allow me to forget I am responding to the great SH for a moment and pretend I am talking to some X. First allow me sir to give you a 15 minute break to watch the video linked by Peace above and listen to what an Orthodox priest has to say about the state of the church and believers.

      The crux of the matter is in this question: how is it possible that a regime that is ethnically Tewahdo from head to toe jails the highest religious authority and gets away with it without anyone raising eye brows? How is it that people who own the president and his men down to the cleaner wait for Muslims to take action on an unrelated matter so that they may hitchhike the pictures of Abune Antonios in the demonstrations?

      I would be ashamed if I were a Tewahdo. The one that really needs our prayers is the Tewahdo church for the Lord to save it from its own believers. You are mad at a couple of paragraphs that I wrote but you would better listen to what I am saying and find out why the Tigrigna are acting more like gangsters in a cult than believers in a church.

  • Nathom Habom

    Selam awate
    The Author seem he live in the darkness yet ,also this is an open invitation to all fundamentalists to attack
    Eritrean Orthoxe but we are not surprise awate never condemn the preach of those fundamentalist as saleh johar also write
    The same divisionism acts very bad ,why all this frustration?????
    I don’t understand why they want to bring Eritrea to the middle age look what those people have done in Syria.
    Killing ,beheading,burning,you will not bring this monstrous acts for our peoples ,
    Our people have the old scare of {gragne} you can see the burn in some old churches and I am sure it will never happen again

    • AliSalim

      Hey Nathom,

      You are also one of the atheists who just found God after reading the article. Congratulations! As you described, it is scary believe me. If you have a phone number of the land grabbers and jailers, please immediately and without delay, declare an evacuation order. Thank you

      • Alex

        Hi Ali,
        Your article is offensive to any sensible Eritrean. Why do you want to divide people and write provocative articles always. I do not want to comment on your article, since others like MS did it effectively.

      • Nathom Habom

        Salem Alisalim
        Why don’t you call me cafir as your Brother terrorist do ,we don’t fear you bro
        Terrorist is coward only attack from the back or kill himself to runaway from this world hard work challenge
        The moron believe 70 virgins waiting for him don’t worry we will let joins your 70 virgin the sooner you ask
        Scary you said ????? Very funny
        Eritrean are free to stay wherever they want this their land ,they shade their blood for it ,there is no land grabe from no one
        Maybe in your twisted brain my friend .

  • Mez

    Dear Ali,
    Thank you for your essay. It seems you raised a fundamental religious philosophical question–a sort of comparative narration of the two religions in Eritrea from certain (tolerance–intolerance towards the heavy handed government) perspective.

    You conveyed your thought by supporting with your own personal observation/experience over the years, and selective references of faith serving websites.

    You also (surprisingly) depicted social sciences as not convincingly scientific.

    It is understandable that there are doctrines and dogmas in both religions; those school of thoughts are challenged by a new persistent contemporary reality than never before. Example: rapid population growth, economic sustainability, workplace, the challenge of religions being twicked and used for geostrategic purposes. …

    Anyhow, what is the home take, please.


  • MS

    Selam Ali
    Since you like to do it bluntly, let me try your way:
    1. I find this piece offensive, arrogant and reckless.
    2. I find it to be part of your continued effort to see bejestan up and running before the sun sets in the horizon; you have given up on the idea of Eritrea itself…[consider me from the naïve ones]
    3. Faith precedes religion. And faith is as good as the faithful feels it. You are not Tewahdo ORTHODOX, you can’t have the same intimacy as the faithful even if you claim to be an authority on the subject. Ya Habibi, the intimacy I feel with my mom is not the same as the one I could have with any motherly figure [dig it?]; you have intimate sentiments with your faith and its religious rituals and the people you are accusing of following the blind sheep have intimate relations with their religious symbols. There is a verse in the quran that MAY reflect on this, which goes like this: ” I don’t worship what you worship; nor do you worship what I worship; you have your religion and so do I” [translation errors mine]. this is a good example to not cross-compare faiths.
    4. Although the basic tenet of Islam is for each and every Muslim to take the responsibility of his action; to do extra diligence to make sure what scholars and Imams (sheiks) say is in fact congruent with his/her religious fundamentals, what reality and history tell us is that Muslims are as easily excited by fiery speech as every other human beings. The practice is different from the picture you are depicting for us here. Please, sir, ISIS has turned into monster because it found thousands of Muslims who could be misguided through fiery speeches. Is that the independent thinker you want us to believe?
    5. All religions are fertile with materials people could use for war and peace. I’m afraid your unwarranted provocation has nothing to do with peace-building.
    Take care.

    • AliSalim

      Hello MS, Simon and Ismael,

      Let me start with MS the great. I also find the article as you described and agree with your statement that all faiths are equal. I did not say Islam is superior to Tewahdo. I just said they are different and because they are different we need different levels of religious freedom to be equal citizens. Muslims need a minimum amount of freedom that is always greater than zero just to perform basic prayers. Tewahdo can do with zero. This is a fact by the way. Boycotting prayers can take you out of Islam. Once baptized a Christian who has never prayed is still a Christian.

      Bitsay Simon – I also agree with your characterization but it is not relevant to the subject and I think you are just retaliating. You got it right, religious freedom is a Muslim affair exclusively. Let us assume that both Muslims and Christians are equal Eritreans in all their personal characteristics. How would you explain that one side raised hell because the principal of a tiny school was jailed. The other side is numb when the biggest religious authority is taken to jail. One way to explain that is to claim that Muslims are more courageous and care about their faith more than the Tewahdo do. But I did not say this because I think they are both equally brave. I am telling you that the difference is not on courage and personal integrity. The difference is i their respective religions. So when given a choice, Tewahdo tend to choose the President over the Lord. Muslims do the opposite.

      Ismail – Thanks for the compliments. I am surprised why any Tewahdo would be mad at someone telling them go stand up for Abune Antonios and prove to us that you respect his religious authority.

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Ali Salim,

        There are many explanations as to why Muslim communities have a shorter fuse, while Christians, in particular the Orthodox, have a higher threshold of sensitivity.

        1) Islam is overtly political, while Christianity’s main concern is not the HERE but the AFTERLIFE following the examples set by Jesus

        2) Islam is a supremacist and triumphalist ideology which demands total submission of non-Muslims [as well as Muslims]

        3) Muslims have a propensity to suffer from persecution complex

        4) Islam has not evolved as much as Christianity with its followers not only literally believing the fairy stories in the religious books but also thinking they are actionable till eternity.

        etc., etc.

        But, as someone has said, this is similar to discussing the arrangements of the deck chairs on the TITANIC, while the ship is sinking.

        • blink

          Dear Simon
          What can the world miss from a fantasy history? Religion and religious people are not disputing the reality of the myth but they do not wanted to give up easily,it is like what you said about the chair and the ship . How can the fire reach the chair fast enough to show the people to run for their life.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam blink,

            Religion is the biggest scam ever. Then come political movements and ideologies.

            The elites start them, but they cannot do them alone, they need the fuel for the fire, the humble ordinary folk, the rank and file, the cannon fodder, one may also call the sheep, to use as a stepping stone towards power and glory, leaving corpses in their paths.

            Stalin is reported to have said: “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic”

          • blink

            Dear Robel
            My question is why is this guy getting access to this site to divide the opposition across religious beliefs? What can awatecom inform and inspire from a guy who lost his compas to Islamic political ideology?

            These who praise Ali salim can not be credible to insult the agazian lunatics,

            Look at peace , he is smiling by Ali salim calling the orthodox leaders as a cult.
            Look at Ismael, he is impressed by the skill of Ali salim insulting half of his colleagues.

            Look at acria the guy who cry full for his religious identities.

            You see where is the inspire and inform and reconcile ?
            Where is the bed rock of a United face of Eritreans who wish justified by calling others zealots???
            Inform , insult and dismiss is the new motto

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam blink,

            It is good to debate in the open, rather than push problems under the rug.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear blink,
            “Ismael (sic), … is impressed by the skill of Ali salim insulting half of his colleagues.” This just reckless and wild. Please be careful when you quote others. I have not been impressed by Ali Salim “insulting half of [my] colleagues”. I am indeed impressed by his skill of writing and power of arguing. I do regularly express praise of writers in this forum irrespective of whether I agree or disagree with their views. I usually disagree with my brother Semere Tesfai. But I do enjoy his skill and erudition in presenting his views. But what you have alleged is your own fabrication and good haven knows how you came to know the identities and number of my “colleagues”. I think your problem is that you are too emotional, and get vulnerably offended when some one expresses an opinion that does not satiate your passion about you think is right. Please, desist from unnecessary transgressions if you do not have the patience and sober mind for debating appropriately.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Ismael,
            The smart sounding Blink is in a serious fight between his inner self and atheist facade. Atheism is mostly used to cover the inner bias and prejudice and it shows. What he cannot separate is the spiritual faith one believes in and the identity one is born with. That cannot be stripped out even if we try to do so because the world of Blink, everyone is known by his identity even if he doesn’t subscribe to the values of the faith that describes him.

          • blink

            Dear SJ
            You make yourself free from the accusers who were labeling you as “ Ali salim” by posting his picture yet you are not out of the woods because let’s see it this way , you are hosting a guy who preach hate based on ethnic and churche.

            You can’t just run away from this “the Tigrigna are acting more like gangsters in a cult than believers in a church.”

            If you don’t want to twitch freedom of speech, you should have seen the deleted comments for insulting specific people.
            In the guidelines of this forum Ali Salim comments should have been deleted and even banned yet here he is . Sounding smart is one thing but acting statesmanship in this helium air cover of opposition is another thing.

            I am who I am , I don’t run from my roots but I am bound to my own understanding not to my father views.

          • iSem

            Hi Blink:
            Does freedom of speech mean anything to you?
            Alis Salim is a bigot that much we know, but his bigotry is good for us, if we can wisely rebut it. If we do not host him, we cannot fight him. SGJ is doing a good service by hosting him

          • blink

            Dear isem
            You know for sure if he (SG) host him , what will he do with the same bigot from your brothers? Can this site handle the same bigot from Tigrinya? What do the public get from such people for dividing us ? I was happy to see the Tigrinya coming out in the protest yet this guy comes and put a dividing narrative. How do we go forward and who benefit from this ?

          • iSem

            I am sure SG will host a bigot from Tigirinya, has has done so before, I will not name names
            Also I agree with you about Ali’s narrative, but my point is, it is good to know about, we do not allow freedom of speech only from the goodness of our hearts for the speaker, it is also self serving, it helps us,—society to know what is going on when member boil inside and this attempt at dividing us strengthens us, if we do not allow ti kill us. That is what I mean.

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Blink,
            Please come out of the atheist closet and be yourself 😊

            I am in this confusion consciously, if I set myself from some wacko accusers, there will be new ones filling up for them—that is just what you are doing. Good luck penetrating my alligator skin.

            Let me whisper this to you:

            1. That awate is run by Eritreans doesn’t give you the right to shove your nose in its editorial decisions. If it was not Eritrean, you wouldn’t feel you have the right to be callous and try to centralize its operation to your whims—the “k’m’ekel allewo” mantra doesn’t have any currency here.

            2. Have some respect and do not address me personally when you want to address You can give your views, and feedback but that is all. Do not expect me or anyone else to discuss with you editorial decisions whenever you read something you do not like.

            3. You have your share of biased comments—bring your picture and have your say.

            4. You blasted your first sentence when you warned me, “you can’t run away…” Why do I need to run away, and from whom? From you? Why is a sentence in an article being attributed to me? I am very comfortable in my skin my dear. Be a little humble.

            5. The record of this website as far as standing for its principles are its pride. The records speak for themselves (forgetting the hysteric attack and labeling by bigots, some open some in Zorro masks) Your selective outbursts does not change anything.

            6. What to delete and what not to delete in the posting guidelines is the responsibility of the editors—your feedback is welcome provided they are respectful, and provided you don’t pretend you have the right to impose your will on this website. Communicate with the website the way you would communicate with a foreign website—but some people do not respect their own, they take them for granted. Change that attitude for the good of us all.

            7. Your sentence “Sounding smart is one thing but acting statesmanship in this helium air cover of opposition is another thing.” Doesn’t warrant neither a response or a respect. You are just exposing what is underneath the cover.

            8. Now we all know you are the only one who broke off from your father’s views, the rest of the cattle here refer to their ancestors in the grave before they air their views! Very progressive though they say, aboy feqadu baalom yenaado yewaredu.

            Cool down and take it easy… and know your limits

            I hate to say all of that but your provocations are annoying, please have mercy and do not poke me unnecessarily

          • Lebam

            Hello Ismail,

            It is not about being too emotional. It is about showing the Tewahdo Orthodox Eritreans the same respect we demand for Islam in our country and among our fellow Eritreans. I am embarrassed by my few fellow Muslim Eritreans on this forum who don’t see the problems it can cause politically, but also emotionally posting rubbish articles like this one.

            The article should be removed pronto!

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Lebam,

            I believe Tewahdo Orthodox compatriots in Eritrea are respected in their own right without awaiting respect from anybody and anywhere. It’s their natural right as citizens and inhabitants of the nation which they share with their Moslem compatriots. Our history tells us that the respect between two communities was reciprocal. Even during times of duress caused by political polarizations cordial coexistence on ordinary folks levels remained consistently positive except in random outrages such the activities of the Israëli trained commandoes 60s which were designed and orchestrated by political actors.

            The only time the divide took frightening direction has been during the reign of PFDJ. The danger this bodes should be our common concern as citizens. In my view, writings such as Ali Salim’s, and may be counterparts from the opposite end of the equations should alert us rather than alarm us about the responsibilities ahead to redeem our nation and its people from the dangers the regime’s policies have been causing.

          • Peace!

            Hi Blink,

            “Look at peace , he is smiling by Ali salim calling the orthodox leaders as a cult.” really? where? Thank God this is not coming from someone who is credible and respectful. Dud/Girl! this is not a joke. Be careful!


          • blink

            Dear Peace
            credible enough more than the 28 and the helicopter thing , so you know , I expected you to oppose people like ali salim and yet i find you criticizing MS article and here praising Ali salim , credibility is a very dangerous place, if you are smart enough . Instead of distancing yourself from ali salim you tried very hard to make it all about religious people as if they have power and want hunting for obvious preseasons. Respected kkk that is a joke , what is a big deal about being respected in a place where Eritreans are being boxed to be cult and submissive to the dictator , i do not really see the need for respect in this . This is not Joke ., you are killing me , what is not a joke about this .

          • Peace!

            Dear Blink,

            When I said it is not a joke, I was referring to putting words and smiles into people’s mouth. Plus I didn’t criticize MS for the beautiful article he wrote rather I criticized him for focusing on random Sudanese cleric while PFDJ was arresting elders and for using PFDJ platform regardless who he was trying to reach out. It was the best PR PFDJ can hope for at desperate times. In fact it might still be posted on front page at meshrefet, tesfa, togoruba for purpose.


          • blink

            Dear peace
            It’s not a secret I see you one of the fair people in this forum and also as a nationalist person but here you did not live up to my expectations and that was my frustration with you unless there is no much that I disagree with your almost long time standing, on this author I wished you rejected his views in a strong way. That is all,

          • Peace!

            Hi Blink,

            What view? I have respect for all religions. If you read my comments and the video I linked, it is all about the gross interference of PFDJ in religions and the lack of willing to resist and defend the faith.


        • AliSalim

          Hi Simon,

          That is exactly my point. The two religions are different: one is crazy and wacky as you described and the other peaceful and submissive. One has an idea for this world and the other leaves this world to dictators and looks up in the sky for the next life.

          Well the jail we are talking about is in this life. What do you think was wrong with the article then.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Ali Salim,

            The implication of the article is that it gives a nod to religious based opposition. This is counterproductive, and in fact, might even enable the government to gain more support from the other faith groups. Furthermore, religious based opposition will bring future damage to social cohesion.

            Other shortcomings include, statements to the effect that OUR fairy god does not require a clerics while YOUR fairy god is entirely dependent on them. This misses the point, as the crux of the issue is both fairy gods being unreal, rather than the presence or absence of clerics.

            US and THEM politics, which in our context is similar to discussing the arrangements of the deck chairs on the TITANIC, while the ship is sinking.

          • Hi Ali Salim,

            What is the nature of the idea islam has for this world, contrary to christianity? Does the idea for this world consist of the 305 muslims murdered few days ago in a mosque in the sinai, or cutting the throat of muslims and christians in the so called caliphates, and the destruction of countries of the middle east and turning respectable muslim families in to refugees in their millions, etc?
            It takes us nowhere if we say that we are talking only in the eritrean context, for religion, especially political and violent islam is the same everywhere. Moderate muslims are equally victims of this crazy and wacky islam you approve.

          • blink

            Dear Ali salim
            What about the beheading of an honest person for the sake of satisfaying a god who live I have no clue? How about living by awarding the lunatics?

            Religion has no business in this earth but by the grace of religious dictators it is costing lives.

            If you read any Middle East news , they must have some one beheaded or bombed for the sake of the unknowns.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Ali Salim

            “The two religions are different: one is crazy and wacky as you described and the other peaceful and submissive. One has an idea for this world and the other leaves this world to dictators and looks up in the sky for the next life.”


            Instead of trying to explain a complex social issue in a simplistic way, why don’t you try to see things from different angle. From an angle………. say:

            Why Republicans/Democrats show selective outrage on sexual misconduct of president Bill Clinton vs president Donald Trump, and Minnesota senator Al Franken vs Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore……. when in fact the sexual impropriety is the same

            I think that might help a lot to answer the burning question(s) that you’ve, without trying to analyze the cultures values and beliefs of Islam and Christianity – which is a losing argument.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Semere T.,


            Would you care to give supporting evidence for this assertion?

      • Semere Tesfai

        Ahlen Ali Salim

        1.- “Religious freedom is a Muslim affair exclusively. Let us assume that both Muslims and Christians are equal Eritreans in all their personal characteristics. How would you explain that one side raised hell because the principal of a tiny school was jailed. The other side is numb when the biggest religious authority is taken to jail. One way to explain that is to claim that Muslims are more courageous and care about their faith more than the Tewahdo do. But I did not say this because I think they are both equally brave. I am telling you that the difference is not on courage and personal integrity. The difference is their respective religions. So when given a choice, Tewahdo tend to choose the President over the Lord. Muslims do the opposite.”

        Again as usual you got it wrong – all to justify political Islam and Sheria Law for a mixed society.

        Anyway, let me repeat what I told you seven/eight years ago when you and I were going at it during our heated debate:


        The proof: Just imagine – Eritrean independence been achieved by ELF, and just imagine ELF choosing a CAMEL to be Eritrea’s national symbol, and just imagine ELF leaders allowing Sheria Law “for half” of the Eritrean society to accommodate the “need” of Eritrean Muslims……..

        Now imagine your argument…………..


        Semere Tesfai

        • AliSalim

          Selam ST,

          As always you make very good points. Your arguments are hard to ignore because you challenge the underlying assumptions. I agree with you that in Abdalla Idris’ case, they would definitely have chosen the Lord.

          I will be transparent because your input is very appreciated. Stop being lazy and write full length articles and get the action going.

          Normally as you know I am not a big fun of Aslamay-Kstanay politics because I genuinely believe it is a very explosive and dangerous game that has no feasible solutions. I am always and consistently for the lowlander-highlander split simply because then the contention reduces to what you suggested: conflicts over tangible matters that can be negotiated.

          This as you know is hard to achieve: Muslim highlanders who are a formidable block tend to fight it very hard (mainly for fear of being left behind). Tigrigna’s understandably fight it to death (you do the explanation so that people don’t think I am a bigot).

          You may be wondering as to why I would leave my ideal solution (negotiable regional politics with feasible solutions) and jump into the mess of irrational Aslamay-Kstanay politics. But it is actually the same subject. We are just approaching it from a different entrance. People do not listen when told that religious politics is a dangerous territory. Sometimes they need some simulation exercises to show them what they would be dealing with. One of these people that will find out for themselves how crazy this game can be is the PFDJ and I am giving them a little push to save them time.

          Of course the steam gained from these simulation exercises will eventually feed into the polarization that is necessary for negotiating solutions as equal partners or foes.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Ali Salim

            Good conversing with you again. Now to you comment……

            1.- “I agree with you that in Abdalla Idris’ case, they (ethnic Tigrignas) would definitely have chosen the Lord (ኣምላኾም ልዕሊ ፕረዚደንት ዓብደላ ምምረጹ). Although I have no doubt Abdalla Idris would have let the Lord rule over them anyway.”

            I couldn’t have said it any better Abu Ulwa. Hey, if Saay could “call us to agree on the definition of the words that Hajji Musa had in mind” why not you? And who am I to doubt your psychic ability. Anyway, thank you for the comfort. Now we all will sleep better 🙂

            2. – “I will be transparent because your input is very appreciated. Stop being lazy and write full length articles and get the action going.”

            Thank you for the complement. Complements, even if not true, they sure put a smile on your face. Perfect timing, I really needed one, It means a lot to me.

            I agree I should “stop being lazy and start writing full length articles.” Believe it or not, I’ve 7-8 partially completed articles in my computer (different topics). But nowadays the atmosphere at Awate is not very inviting to write articles. The comments are so addictive, the vicious bloody fights in the lion’s den are extremly attractive…….. you just don’t want miss a single uppercut, a jaw breaking punch, a bloody nose, a sterilizing hit below the belt…………. Well you got the Idea.

            3. – ” You may be wondering as to why I would leave my ideal solution (negotiable regional politics with feasible solutions) and jump into the mess of irrational Aslamay-Kstanay politics……….. But, sometimes people need some simulation exercises to show them what they would be dealing with. One of these people that will find out for themselves how crazy this game (ethnic domination) can be is the PFDJ and I am giving them a little push to save them time.”

            Ali: Now I’m very serious: The first day I read you, I saw myself in you – of course not for the intellect. I saw myself in you because I was Ali Salim before you knew this harrish world. Let me explain:

            When I joined ELF in 1973, in my Team (Fessila/Ganta) there were two of us from ethnic Tigrigna – one in each MejmuA/MesrE. And we both were identified as Habeshi/Habeshtay. And there was never a single day that I didn’t hear Habeshtay in my first few years in Ghedli. And mind you: I was not a hardheaded Hagereseb guy. For brief time (until Ghedli stopped the railroad business), my father worked for the Asmara – Massawa railroad authority. While my father’s job required him to travel from place to place, we the family lived at TaHtay Ematkala, which 90% of its residents were Muslims then.

            I walked to my elementary school in LaElay Embatkale mingling with my Muslim schoolmates, we rode trains east and west for fun, I played with them, I picked their language, I knew the stories of Ayam Harayg, in fact some of the children who survived that ordeal were my classmates, be at school or at the playground I never felt any different from them…….. And that was the reason I was introduced to Ghedli at a young age, and that was the reason I joined GHedli at a young age. Because many GindaE and Embatkala kids that I knew were joining Ghedli at a young age.

            But, but, but…… after I joined Ghedli, that didn’t stop me from feeling the way you’re feeling now. In Ghedli, that didn’t stop me from demanding change that makes us all feel at home. That’s why, rightly or wrongly, I see myself in you. That’s why, again, rightly or wrongly, I feel like I’ve been in shoes

            The point: I’m not asking you to stop demanding fairness, equality, justice……. for all. What I’m saying is, if the problem is ethnic Tigrigna domination – which I’m sure it is, there are million ways to curb ethnic Tigrigna domination without signing Muslim – Christian – ሰብ ደብር ዎ ሰብ ቀላቅል contracts. And I’m all for it. We don’t have to frame our politics into Muslim Christian politics. We don’t have to have Muslim Christian Laws for people that are neighbors, coworkers, employers and employees, for soulmates, parents and offsprings…… Or simply: let’s be rational people and seek pragmatic solutions that serve us all.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Semere T and Ali S.

            Shall I write that these last mellowed engagements between the two of you indicate two poles losing force of repulsion to let the attraction ends approaching towards one another to meet at the center – demonstrating in a way that in life and death stride dialogue is an unavoidable fate when protagonists realize the chances of winning and survival are even? Dialogues have most of the time good chance of success when opponents come to the table with seemingly irreconcilable positions.

            I do not remember who from the two Salehs (Younis or Gadi) who once wrote he preferred Semere Tesfai and Ali Salim pitting heads against one another in a dialogue rather than people who cannot express their views and feeling in the way Ali and Semere do. These last exchanges between the two vindicates this view.

            But one point I should note in regard to Semere Tesfai is that in order the “ሰብ ደብር ዎ ሰብ ቀላቅል” to be in position to negotiate on level fields and emerge with historic “contracts”, I believe it is absolutely necessary for all who see redemptive value in dialogue to adopt uncompromising position on the policies of the current regime because the level field for dialogue has been eroding and giving way to the “Muslim – Christian” option that both (in fact all worthy Eritreans who cherish peace and coexistence) Ali and Semere rightly loathe.

          • AliSalim

            Hello Ismail the Great,

            I envy you and many others in the form who are able to bet on a dream armed only with good-will (Bless your hearts!).

            It is my conviction that unless all of us (Muslim or Christian and anything in between) stand up and describe the monster as is, we would only prolong the time when wolves will be hiding among the sheep.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ali,

            The point I was trying to make after reading your and Semere’s conversation under the current thread was that I thought I detected a trend towards settling on the identity of the monster – regime and the order it has erected – and the need for negotiated an alternative to mutually destructive confrontation down the road to make coexistence of “(Muslim or Christian and anything in between)” possible. Once this threshold will have been passed good-will would be precious commodity to motivate negotiation in good faith. Having said this, moreover, I consider myself alien to betting on dream simply because doing so would mean succumbing to idle fatalism.

          • AliSalim

            Hey Semere BeAl Debr,

            I must tell you, your experience is horrible (Halloween come true!) but is typical of any Tigrigna in the ELF in that time-frame and afterwards. At a personal level, I must be honest with you, I also grew up among Tewahdo and Tigrigna. Unlike your experience though, there was never a day that I felt alien or was referred to as Aslamay or its synonyms. They all loved me genuinely and I loved them back like family. You may dig my old friends and interview them to check for yourself. I am saying this just to assure you that what we are doing here is nothing personal. But let me add the following for clarity.

            As you know a lot better than I do, the situation of Tigrignas in the ELF was even worse before you came in as first-hand witnesses would confirm. Isaias and his peers were squeezed into coming up with the alternative and succeeded because their concerns of persecution by lowlanders (or call them Muslims although that is not accurate) were genuine and well founded.

            I will make many people mad by saying this but it is the truth in spite of what the ideologues will tell you (I know what I am talking about). At its inception, the warrior spirit of the ELF (including the initial warriors) was never initiated in response to “Ethiopian occupation.” Ordinary, lowlanders
            of the time had no idea that the Tigrignas of Eritrea were a different breed that could be distinguished from the so-called “Ethiopian occupation”. The ELF started as a rebellion against the Tigrigna shiftas and grabbers of the time who were terrorizing the lowlands. Coincidentally it
            happened that an organized bunch of Muslim intellectuals (opportunists) with a “nationalist” agenda were looking for a ride and hijacked the original cause. Their process was not different from the Weyane’s where at some point Tigraian opportunists expanded the dream of the initial “provincial” rebellion and rallied around a “nationalist” agenda for a takeover of the Ethiopian throne. The Tigrignas of the 1960s (Isaias & his bunch) were caught up in an internal power struggle between “Lowlanders” and “Muslims.” Isaias and his men (the Tigrignas) were never persecuted by Muslims for who they were (i.e. Christians or Tigrignas) although that is what it might look like on the surface.

            The paragraph above explains why someone whose agenda was “niHnan Elamanan” would find allies among his presumably “sworn enemies” who knew that this guy’s goal is “niHnan Elamanan.” It doesn’t make sense to run from Muslim X to Muslim Y. Lowlanders (and I mean those who subscribe to the original cause) always stayed focused on the original target – eliminating actual and potential hazards related to Tigrigna supremacy. Muslims in both organizations (and I mean those who subscribe to the idea that Muslims and Christians can live as equal citizens in a democratic state without the need to negotiate the terms of mutual coexistence) never doubted that they had and will forever have the Tigrignas (Tewahdo you may call them for precision) on leash. You be the judge which party had a more realistic understanding and more pragmatic approach from what you think of the outcome of the struggle.

            Ironically non-Tigrignas (or Muslims) in the EPLF from start to fish had a totally different experience than Tigrignas (you can’t say “or Christians” in this case as only one sect is included in the definition). Other Christian sects themselves were in trouble as you know. I have never met a Muslim supporter or fighter of the EPLF (Mahmuday may tell us more) who ever felt segregated, persecuted or treated unfairly until 1991. Even at the height of the EPLF honeymoon, the Tigrignas never attained the luxury to practice “niHnan Elamanan” in the open and may be it was abandoned (I don’t know).

            However, what came out after independence clearly demonstrates that political Tigrignas (I mean strictly those who subscribe to ethnic supremacy) within the EPLF had transformed themselves into an underground gang rallying around the Shifta ideology of the 1940s. I met and talked to many people (Muslims as well as Christians) who spent their lives in the EPLF and not a single person had any idea that a monster would be born out of an angel.

            In spite of what people say or think about what I write, that is exactly why I believe that only those who are part of this monstrous conspiracy will end up misunderstanding what I say. Do not be worried, we are not calling for lowlanders to take over and subjugate the Tigrigna. There has never been a lowlander who ever thought that was ever feasible or desirable even with a miracle.
            It has always been about “yekfina sherom”.

            Please ignore any made up stuff in the above. That is how people rewrite history.

        • Shabbash Kerenite

          Hi Semere:

          What is the difference for the people who believes on “ዝበረቐ ጽሓይና፥ ዝነገስ ኑጉስና፥፥”

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam All,

    All religions are cults, there is no exception. Religious books are full of arithmetic, chronological, factual, logical and scientific mistakes. In the Horn of Africa context, all the major religions are foreign cults. If we come to Islam, it is a cult designed for the glory of the Arab. Islam is Arab domination and supremacy ideology.

    The Qura’n must be read in Arabic. The cult followers must face Arabia when they pray in Arabic. They must also copy the mannerisms, eating habits and dress sense of the Arabs. Besides, the non-Arab Muslims [who I call clones] are recommended to visit Arabia, at least once in their lifetime, to pay their utmost respect.

    The Arabs invaded and occupied foreign lands left and right. But that was not enough. With Islam, they devised a mind control mechanism.

    The Author said: “religious freedom in Eritrea is an exclusive Muslim affair.”

    This is the case not just in Eritrea, it happens all over the world where Muslims are a minority [not a majority]. Muslims use slogans that, on the surface are universal, such as Equality, diversity, religious freedom, human rights with the sole aim of advancing Islam in steps to the detriment of the secular system.

    In Eritrea, the government should never, ever allow any religion to play a legal, political or any other public role thereby creating a parallel system. This will safeguard social cohesion.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam Ali and all,

    Reading Ali Salim is (for me) both joy and burden fiercely competing in the mind. Joy because his skill in writing and potency of ideas he handles are challenges to an inquisitive mind; burden because one is aware of the need for the time, power of intiuition and patience minimally equivalent to what his products (articles) project. This piece is no different from his previous postings – purposefully set to trigger controversies and agruments. In my view, Ali’s writings could be more appealing to ideologues who value principles and dogmas and less inviting to politicians who cherish pragmatism and compromises to attain their goals.

    In this article, Ali appears to have looked at the events triggered by Al-Dia School and the responses it had generated from the two perspectives I just rather crudely mentioned. The politicians who saw in the events and typical reaction of the regime opportunity to unite and rally the dispersed anti-regime forces resorting to tactics pragmaticism can rationalize – the pictures of Abune Antonios being case in point. The principle and conviction side of the argument takes center stage by delving in relating the Tewahdo and Islamic faiths in Eritrean environment to one another. For Ali unless the Islamic sense of right for example jurisprudents is taken note of by the other party in the equation, things (future solidarity and coexistence) would not be possible. The question that imposes itself is which option is practical and expedient under the circumstances that govern the relationship of the Eritrean people and the regime in the light of the divides that separate opinions in the country?

  • Selam All,

    From what i have understood, the takeaway message of this article is that unfortunately he sees the tewahdo religion as a corrupted and revisionist religious ideology, as opposed to islam (the extreme form for that, opposed to moderate islam), which he tried to tell us is dogmatic to its smallest details.

    If the christian religion has abandoned some of the polemic and socially unaccepted teachings of the old testament, which was written at different times for different people in a different condition, and many of the laws of the old testament are not implemented, this does not make christians inferior in being the children of God.

    The mosaic laws which continue to be implemented in radical islam are not going to help those muslims who implement them to inherit paradise as they believe. After all, religion is not a dead ideology, but grows with the society it serves, for it was made for human beings and not against them. The christian dogma does not change, what if some of the cannons change to serve human beings and not the religious leaders, or those who trade with religion.

    In a nutshell what the author did was to point a finger at the tewahdo church, while the rest of his fingers are pointing at him and at extremist islam.

    The religious, ethnic and regional divide he is fanning with his writings is a pandora’s box that could one day open with very detrimental consequences for the whole region

    • blink

      Dear Horizon
      My question is , who is letting this lunatic attitude to foster again and again , at what price , why is he doing this ? as you can see saay tried every thing to lecture the christians about sheria and now this guy is pointing the finger to the christians , The only solution for this is for the cool heads to reject such attitude to be shown in awatecom , this is not healthy at all. I was able to see the christains in a great number rooting for the Hajis Musa and i do not know if Younis the fundamentalists of islamic scholar knows Eritreans or not but from where i grow up , i have never ever saw Eritreans of this religion in a manner of this guy expression. This is a orthodex phobia by a guy who will certainly die dreamning about a beja state in his head , The only partner for this guy is the sheikh in sudan , he does not speak for the Eritreans muslims .

      • AliSalim

        Selam Blink,

        I like your hysteria but try to cool down bro. It is not good for your health.

        I thought you were an atheist or something to that effect at least when the Sheikh was jailed going as far as turning him into a terrorist for what he said. To be fair you had a similar attitude towards the priest in jail. I didn’t also sense you cared about religion and my reading was right that you would probably have cared more for the arrest of koblelti than priests.

        Can you share your experience in the journey to suddenly finding God and start caring about what others say about religion?

  • blink

    Dear Acria
    That is a pure defense of one of your own , if i tried to explain islam to other Eritreans according to the way I rejected it , the whole website will be accusing me of islamophobia, this is an attach on the Orthodox Church but let’s see how the Christians explains this . Ali salim is coming from a narrow side and if this is not an attempt to attack purposely, I don’t know what is the attack.
    Muslims wielding knifes is a good product of Islam and we shall celebrate it is the new order of the day.

    This an open cracks by this person using this site by the grace of its editors. The Christians should demand an apology from its owners. If everyone was able to describe the way Muslims behave daily, we would not be here posting because every comment you made would have been deleted and may be banned, that is the truth. We Eritreans have one single chance and that is united front to oppose the dictator. I don’t know how can we do it by being divided.

  • Lebam

    Good morning everybody,

    This article isn’t easy to read let alone understand what the authors message is. I didn’t like it at all, not one bit!

    In any case, from the little I took from it the author belittles the Tewahdo church. Why?! Why would anyone try to divide us instead of uniting our people? The author is playing right into IA’s hands.

  • Abrehet Yosief

    Selam Ali Selim,
    You have chosen to have a very narrow interpretation of the Orthodox Tewahdo church. Perhaps religious freedom also means, the freedom to interprete it or leave it without fear of consequence from a fellow humanbeing.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Abrehet Yosief,

      I hope you are not getting caught up in Ali Salim’s seemingly lack of diplomacy as I once did and wished him moved to Mongolia and never come back.

      As usual, his targeted audiences are those on the extreme side of Eritrean politics regardless of the collateral damage. If it is any conciliation, he has stated his argument clearly with the following sentence and that is how I understood him too.

      “…the argument I am trying to make is for Muslim Eritreans to understand why their Tewahdo brothers and sisters will never understand the sensitivity of religious freedom as conceived by Muslims.”

      • AliSalim

        Selam Fanti,

        Thanks for the cool head. That in a nutshell is my point.

        Some readers for obvious reasons do find the substance and format of the articles offensive. These tend to be either naive good willing people who don’t count in the fight or elitists who think they can overthrow the regime by writing articles.

        There are others who are very happy that some of us can still be blunt. This group (including myself) take the PFDJ much more seriously and we are convinced that defeating the PFDJ will depend on two options:

        (1) the first choice is for the Tigrigna to see that this is not a joke and people are hurt and to realize that it is more rational to dump the PFDJ before they get dumped with it

        (2) the second option is for the non-Tigrigna group to go ahead, identify the Tigrigna as complicit in the conspiracy and dump the whole thing

        I don’t usually heed to the “naive good willing people” from both sides and any smart reader understands that the terms “Tigrigna” and “non-Tigrigna” do not count them. If you are like me, you would probably be more attracted by two people moving a tank in Asmara than by 10,000 “naive good willing people” demonstrating in London.

        I think you get my point: I am trying to find those two guys while the “reconciliation camp” is trying to increase the count from 10 to 20 thousand.

        • blink

          Dear Ali salim
          I was in the protest and I can tell you the people you are accusing were making their voice heard and I see them the main ingredient to remove the dictator. Your views about them is not going to serve you well, the Tank is Fair enough but once we try to dump the Tigrinya , it means we are done . No force can remove the dictator, if you remove Tigrinya from the opposition equation, You will have easy time in to the possibility of flying a horse on the sky than removing the dictator . One thing is for sure the Tigrinya are larger in numbers on every occasion of the opposition and they are larger in the people with Tanks . , I don’t see your number 2 choice to work.The noise level of few Islamists shouldn’t give you hope , you should root for all Eritreans to believe that PFDJ is not for them. Once you anger the Tigrinya and dismiss their efforts by insulting their religion,I don’t see any possible way to victory. The kunama leader tried many times and the Afar tried many times yet how old are they now ? Most of them are already going to hospital visits.If your beja violence based state will get decayed and done with you ,who cares? , the man in Afaabet doesn’t care at all ,I sincerely apologize for your key- board and Ismael’s love of your work makes me question his true wisdom. Your intelligence is a disappointment to good cause.

          By the way you are right , I don’t care about any religious leader being arrested , I give less value to him than a 18 years old young man to rotten in prison. The young man is more important to me than an old man full of lies , unproductive and a dictator in his own way. There is no reason for me. Infact I told to guys that these two old men are not the reason I come out here protesting but I am happy to use their worthless life in opposing the dictator that is it.

  • Brhan

    Hello Ali,

    I believe the reason of why the photo of Abuna was carried during the demonstrations, the first demonstrators who were from London, UK. taught that photo of the Abuna will counter Islamophobia among Londoners.


    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Brhan,

      As you know, when patriots and activists do something, it is not an intellectual exercise. There was a message in the whole thing and that is a determination to show unity in spite of all the hurdles being thrown at the Eritrean entity.

      Honestly, in all my years in this saga, I never felt this proud of our people who defied all odds and went out of their way (in fact the natural thing to do) to show their unity. That should be celebrated not belittled. The rest of the comparison of the traditional behavior of this or that sect is so out of place. It’s so detached intellectual exercise. All those who tried to drive a wedge by using the Al Dia incident (mainly the PFDJ goons) failed miserably. That is what Younis Omer missed and didn’t pay tribute to.

      Long live the peoples’ unity, even if it is symbolized by simple pictures of Abune Antonios and Hajji Mussa.

      • AliSalim

        Hello SGJ,

        Readers do not know that there was almost no article that I wrote where you were happy with the format/style and substance of what I write. Thank you and the team for giving me the space to write things that you never liked.

        Thanks Brhan for giving one reason why we had Abune Antonios picture. I think that is reasonable and pragmatic. Of course I support the demonstrations but I do not give the contribution towards the fight on the ground much importance.

        I would walk on a demonstration to release Abune Antonios the same way that I would walk to get Haji Musa released. The reason I hate lumping them together is that “opposition” opportunists end up stealing the cause. A demonstration to release a political prisoners loses the cause and becomes a demonstration to overthrow the PFDJ.

      • Alex

        Hi Saleh,
        Amen to that. Thanks you for your wise advise.

  • blink

    Dear all
    As always the only man who got a vast field to attack a 50% of Eritreans who happens to be Christians by a guy who is well melted in to Islamic fundamentalist. A guy who is losing his hair in demonizing Half of Eritreans. Where can possibly such revival of hate found ? I told you long time ago Ali salim has been using this site to push Eritrean Muslims to the Sudanese sheikh who called for the eradication of our Christian brothers in Eritrea. Ali salim has been saying many things but this one is simply at the edge of insulting the Christians as
    A. Orthodox Eritreans do not have God
    B. Eritrean Christians are praising the Satan because their priest is not pure like his sheikh
    C. Religious freedom is only acceptable to Muslims as the Christians have no god.
    D. Ali salim is calling for his precious Muslim fighters to slaughter Christians

    The lists are many.