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Negarit 125: The Testimony of Massawa

ባጽዕ ትመስክር – The Testimony of Massawa – فلتشهد مصوع

Colonizers and occupiers of a country influence its people and impose new ideas and languages. The Italian colonization didn’t only introduce Spaghetti to the people but also tomatoes which has now become an integral part of Eritrean cousin in the Eritrean highlands. South of the border, Ethiopians have no infatuated with tomatoes as Eritreans. The Italians also influenced our language. For instance, the gender specific ending of proper nouns–names that end in ‘a’ are feminine, masculine names end in ‘o’. Incidentally, our local languages also make gender distinctions, but I think it is more nuanced in Italian.
When I first heard the name Dina Mufti the Ethiopian official, I thought it was a woman because Dina ended with an A, but I discovered the Ethiopian Dina was a man.

“words of truth meant to serve falsehood.”
كلمة حق يراد بها باطل

This ancient saying is attributed to Ali Bib Abi Talib sensing a trickery by the forces of his foe Maawiya Bin Abu Sufyan who defeated Ali and founded the Umayyad Dynasty. Today the saying is commonly uttered when he heard words of truth intended to serve falsehood.

In our case, is someone emphatically says, “Eritrea is a poor country, and it has a population of only three million.” it is the truth. Eritrea has many problems” It is the truth. But after detailing points that depict Eritrea in a bad way, he switchs to say, “Ethiopia is endowed with ample natural resources and it is a country with a population of 100 million people.”

That is also the truth, but the intention is not. What is the intention of comparing the two in every occasion? And that is a perfect example of “words of truth meant to serve falsehood.” Only mischievous Ethiophiles advance such arguments and they never stopped undermining the will of Eritreans to be free. And it’s their weapon in the psychological warfare they never stopped waging against Eritreans—this time the unelected Eritrean dictator has openly become a proponent of that warfare.

To Me It’s Dino not Dina

Going back to Dina (sorry, I am feeling guilty so I will henceforth call him Dino that my tongue feels comfortable with) His name is Dino Mufti—I am not sure if his father is an actual Mufti or he just carries it as a proper name.

For those who don’t know, Mufti is a religious juror in Muslim communities. The last respectful Mufti Eritrea had was the late Ibrahim Mukhtar (1909-1969), but since then, government appointed Muftis have been dull personalities that few respected.

This week Dino Mufti said that May 24, the Independence Day, is insignificant to most Eritreans except those who live in foreign lands. Well, why would he make such an outrageous claim? Maybe Semere Reesom, the Eritrean ambassador in Addis told him? Maybe the Eritrean ambassador in Kenya whose name I don’t remember—the one who is accused of collaborating with the Eritrean government to have his wife, and mother of his children to go to jail when she is languishing for many years? Is it Osman Saleh, the placeholder Foreign Minister? Or Yemane Gebreab the chaperone of the foreign minister who shadows him wherever he travels? Or is it their ambassador to Japan, Estifanos Bruno, who might have told him “Anata wa-yume o-mite imasu ka? Mewosamasu!” I don’t know what that means but it sounds Japanese, and I bet it must mean something. But someone has convinced Dino of that because he couldn’t have seen it on his own because it is not true. He was so bold he even went further, “even in Degga [the Eritrean lowlands], May 24 is insignificant.”

If Dino’s father is a real Mufti, he should know about Muslim divorce (Telag, FittH). If someone declares a divorce three times, it’s considered final and binding. It’s sort of the opposite of Catholic marriage where you can never divorce, but three in Islam, you cannot get back together. So, assuming he is a son of a Mufti, he must understand that the divorce we had with his country Ethiopia is 3^6. Dino’s country needs to get married to some democratic ideals before considering remarrying Eritrea—which has enough undemocratic values it has to deal with before getting into an abusive second marriage. And what are seeing from Dino and the government for which he speaks is not promising at all.
There are two other PFDJ officials who are likely to be angry at Dino’s statement though angry for insignificant reasons. The two officials, Zemehret Yohannes and Zemede Tekle are the architects of the colorful May 24 celebration. They have perfected the art of gathering school children and parading them in the stadium in impressive formations that shame the parading skills of North Korea. But let them be annoyed a little, they opened the door to what we are suffering from and they have annoyed us enough. They must tolerate a little nuisance. How dare Dino says May 24 is insignificant!

However, the next May 24 is approaching and I am counting on my friend Ghideon Mussa to cover the celebrations nicely as always does. He will post images and reports that will keep tweeter and fakebook busy for a week. And the diaspora pseudo-patriots will be dancing their nights off for a few days while the seasonal patriots will drown in their vomit after binge drinking night—all celebrating the unfinished liberation! Ghideon might also tell us that the PFDJ found Covid19 hiding somewhere and arrested it. Finally the world might be relieved from the pandemic!

It infuriating Dino is bold enough to claim May 24 is insignificant to Eritreans—but we know the dozen or so PFDJ officials he sampled!

Dear Dino, you seem to be the minister of the landmine clearing team (Fenji regach) affairs. And out of pity I will tell you something which I hope you will listen to:

Yes, Eritreans are very afraid of your people who are not afraid of death. We don’t love death but we have always to die to preserve life. Eritreans do not adhere to the tradition of ritual death. We do not appreciate war chants that extols death “Mot ayferam, mot ayferam.” We abhor hordes who kill civilians and chant that same despicable ancient lyric of an ugly chant.

The overwhelming majority of Eritreans do not believe they totally achieved total liberation and that is why they are not into celebrations which is considered truth to serve falsehood.

The Unfinished Liberation of Eritreans

The task of liberation is not yet achieved, what was achieved was stolen for the benefit of a bunch of your new friends. Many refuse to celebrate prematurely—did your relatives ululate when you were still inside your mother’s belly? Of course not. They must have waited until you were delivered, until you let out a sharp scream. Yes, traditionally they wait for the delivery of the baby and then make sure the mother is safe before they get excited. That is how Eritreans do it. That is when they let out a sharp ululation: Elelelelellllll.
So, don’t forget Eritreans are waiting for the mother to recover because she is still suffering from the painful pangs of delivering May 24.

Mr. Dino. your aggressive pronouncements and deeds, are not good signs and do not encourage celebrating. That’s because you are fond of repeating bloody cycles, always sniffing blood, and looking for innocent blood to spill in your next cycle of violence. I hope you understand that. But I will give you a refresher, it will help you remember this which you repeated many times since. They are always at it and must repeat the violence every now and then like they are doing in Tigray.

Dear Dino, here are scenes of what your forces did to Massawa, the port by the Red Sea.

This is what you did to a country you pretended was part of you! Who wants to go back to that? And you have not changed, did you? You need mass Exorcism. All the leaders, including your allies in Eritrea, bloody bastards.

Jawar Mohammed and His Colleagues

I feel sorry I couldn’t do anything for Jawar Mohammed who is languishing in prison with his colleagues. I have not met any of them face to face, but I used to talk to Jawar until he went to Ethiopia to receive a hero’s welcome. I was happy for him then because he deserved the warm reception. But the Jawar wanted to help in building a solid foundation for the change that he played a major role in bringing about. But the fate of Mengistu Hailemariam awaited him in Ethiopia.

Mengistu and his Derg regime liquidate all the potential contenders of the time. Mengistu snatched the leadership from Atnaffu Abate, Tefferi Bante and Aman Andom. He snatched the political platform from the university students and particularly from Hailu Fida. What was your legitimacy, Dino? Betrayal of friends and people who propelled you to power?

I was cautious getting involved in Ethiopian affairs because I believed Ethiopians alone must handle their affairs on their own. However, since they crowned the 7th king, his interference in Eritrea was ‘on your face’, crude with no respect for the Eritrean people. And when Ethiopian politics endangers Eritrea, I focused on the Abiy the dictator alone. But now it’s reciprocation—a tit-for-a-tat, just like Hammurabi legislated.

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam Saleh G.,

    Interesting Negarit.

    By the way, Muawiyah never defeated Ali. But he tricked him (with the help of crafty Amr ibn al Aas) into a draw.

    • Saleh Johar

      You know, I had talked about the background for a few minutes but I edited it out not to bore people. I was sure some would know it and if interested would research it further. Glad you know the story of that decisive trickery that lives to this day to the foolish Sunni-Shia feud.

  • Brhan

    Eritrean troops are pulling out of Tigray.
    Who says?
    Dina who?
    Dina Mufti.
    Dina Mufti! not again!

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Dear Saleh,
    Looks like you forgot to mention the cluster bomb. I think the burnt mark on the little boy body is the fragmentation of the cluster bomb. When are we gone sue the Russians?

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Reclaim,
      No. I didn’t forget anything but I only talked for about a minute about the massacre–one minute is only enough to read the headlines. The clip I presented is only about 32 seconds (out of a 32 mnts clip).

      • Reclaim Abyssinia

        Thanks, Saleh,
        You forgot to answer my 2nd question. When are we gone to sue the Russians?
        I believe they are responsible.
        You brought up a forgotten matter that was unattended by the government. I believe at the time Eritrean were not capable of seeking justice for the unjust, now you guys are the elite. I expect you to do something about it.

    • said

      The innocent kid of six years old victim of crime of humanity you sow in the clip crying with hysteria and lost could have being, like Nobuyuki Tsujii blind pianist in tears ,crying of joy and happiness . Pianist in tears!!! See the link .
      Or he would growing up by Red Sea happily and When he could have being running wild by sea with his friends .his life was cut short .blamed on Ethiopian ?

      Linda Ronstadt – about growing up,.
      This old world may never change
      Not the way it’s been
      And all the ways of war
      Can’t change it back again
      I’ve been searching for the dolphins in the sea
      Sometimes I wonder do you ever think of me
      I’m not the one to tell this world
      How to get along
      I only know that peace will come
      When all hate is gone
      Sometimes I think about
      Saturday’s child
      And all about the times
      When we were running wild

      • Reclaim Abyssinia

        Hi Said, Tell me about it, friend.
        Lots of life was tragically cut short in that horrific war. you can picture it in many ways. The crystal clear beach, the architect of the city, the charming of its residence, the beautiful people, best swimmers, innocent children and its lifestyle was lost tragically.
        The worst part of all is the amount of weaponry used to do inhuman damage to such a historic city of the region and its people. The supplier of such a weapon used our people in order to feed their children, those vampires need to come to justice for feeding on the blood and bone of our brother and sisters.

        The fortunate people like Nobuyuki Tsujii, do not have to know about a terrifying story like this. Imagine how they will react if tis story continue to be told.
        I personally believe the only responsible body of the horrific war is the countries that supply weapon. I am hearing that Turkey is now taking on the role/ business venture of supplying weapon.

        I am listening to the links. 🙏🏾

      • Reclaim Abyssinia
        • said

          Greetings, Reclaim
          Thank you for the rage song by Jr Gong” .Bob Marley

          When the situation is very hard, We seek God help and we seek refuge in him,
          Song “I am in your door my lord( Mawlai) I extend my hand to your door. Who can I seek Refuge in but you, my bond? I do supplication (Dau) in the nights and forgetfulness, who else can see my heart ?! And all creatures hear it, a shadow in the hand of steadfastness .. I pray to you, Lord, so I forgive my humiliation with generosity .. and make the intercessor of my supplication good and I look at my Situation .. in fear and in greed .. Will God have mercy on anyone?
          Listen to song(Mawlay) My lord ,see the link
          sayed al-nakshabandy -the greatest arabic song(mawlay). – YouTube

          • said

            Hi Reclaim
            See the link and Listen to song(mawlay) My lord sayed al-nakshabandy -the greatest arabic song(mawlay). – YouTube with English translation
            sayed al-nakshabandy -the greatest arabic song(mawlay). – YouTube

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Thank you Said,

            Great song, I’m not sure if I am allowed to call it a song.
            I felt the spirit up to my bone. I learnt a little bit of Arabic. Growing up in Ethiopia as a Muslim next to a Church, far far away from the Islamic community, with a busy family, didn’t learn much about religion. I was only taught on the surface. Most of my family grow up and educated in Azhar Cairo, but the teaching of religion was not that important for them at the time, maybe because they were young. They said most of the people that were successful in completing their higher education in Cairo return to Ethiopia/Eritrea. The people who were caught up in politics, and party, wasted their time in a cafe, clubs and a meetings.😇 I believe Cairo was different at that time. Well, the rest is history.

            Cheers, & thanks again for sharing,🙏🏾

  • Haile S.

    ሰላም ሳልሕ

    ዲና ናብ ዲኖ ካብ ለወጥካ
    ንዲና ዲኖ ህበይ ካብከደንካ*
    ንስኻ ዲኖ ሃሪ ክትለብስ ነይሩካ

    * ኣዋርድ ኣቢልካዮ ማለት እዩ (ካብ መዝገበ ቃላት ትግርኛ)

    • Saleh Johar

      ኣንታ ካልእ ዝባሃል ነሩ ግን ኣብ ገዛእ ገዛና ፖሊስ ስለዝበዘሓን እንድዩ:: እዚኣ ቀላል ውን ንገሊኡ ጾግሩ ኣንጽያቶ

  • Brhan

    Merhaba Saleh,

    I saw Dina Mufti recent remarks with different angle and I thought this episode will touch it . The issue of distraction that politicians use to due to their fear to the public opinion. The world , including Ethiopians who are critical to the A. Ahmed Ali government were expecting how Dina is going to save his face in his first appearance in front of journalists after his boss blew what he built for months.

    Here I am not saving Dina from Abiy or the opposite. The two are partners of the crime. They were playing the first task of misinformation : Deny!. Now they are playing the next one which also starts with later “D” Distract. But again, that bad work , poor Dina , will do it.

    He said many things but that remark attracted the attention of many, including non-Eritreans. For example, the US embassy in Asmara

    In about two months, Eritreans will celebrate their 30th anniversary of independence. In my experience, Eritreans are very proud of their hard-won struggle for independence, and May 24 is one of the most celebrated and highly respected of the country’s national holidays. The U.S. Embassy looks forward to the upcoming birthday of Eritrea!

    I agree with you that Eritrean regime’s reps can agitate or show tolerance to the spokesperson’s words that tried to damage reputations of Eritreans. The regime does not care about Eritreans’ reputation, if it serves its interest.

    Both the regimes of Eritrea and Ethiopia are now in crisis due to mess they have created in lying not only to the world but also to their own people. Due to this they have to distract again and again

    With more than 14K views 1K likes and more than 200 comments ( as per YouTube April 02, 2021 9:PM Eastern) , Negarit 125, has been very nice since its edition, just yesterday, to inform, entertain and teach. Yes, to teach the lesson of being respectful while commenting in the forum!

    • Saleh Johar

      I agree we can dissect his statements, the lies, the aggression and many more. I just took one angle: the psychological war against Eritreans. And the gloves are out—what’s the use if you opponent is aggressive no matter what you do?

      Indeed Brhan, the forum has its rules—respect and decency are the main ones.


  • Abi

    Selam Ato Saleh
    As far as I remember, you were ቀንደኛ ተቃዋሚ celebrating May 24. You have been discouraging participants to abstain from celebrating the independence . Glad you changed your mind.

    ደጋ – highland
    ቆላ- lowland

    Ethiopia does not need to remarry Eritrea. No Sir! They will remain friends with benefits.

    Unfortunately, like the previous countless Negarit editions, I could not find anything informative or interesting. It is a hastily assembled በሬ ወለደ ታሪኮች .

    • Saleh Johar

      Indeed, I will never celebrate the day until the job is done. Nothing changed here. But that doesn’t mean the half job is insignificant to me. But you can hear whatever you wish to hear or read–you have become predisposed to do that.

      But there are important issues I would like to tell you about: If you are here to discredit, badmouth and advance your prime minister’s ambition, at the expense of our struggle, it is unbearable and we can’t take it. It will be like inviting a snake to your chicken coop. You are overdoing it a bit and our patience is running thin. Don’t take things for-granted because our intention for having this forum is to encourage civil discourse and respect for each other. You act like a government spokesperson, here to fight the opposition. You know how much I liked you in-spite of your annoying comments. But lately, you think we are here to encourage bar-room behavior and not to advance Eritrean interests as we see it as a pro-justice, pro-democracy, pro-freedom of expression website. But that doesn’t mean we are willing to be a Trojan Horse for your irredentist ambitions. Your reactions are becoming too much and indecent. I beg you for the last time to summon some decency.

      • Abi

        Selam Ato Saleh
        What is wrong if I defend my country, people, government, friends when you made it a full time job jabbing everything my government is standing for?
        To be honest with you, I care less what the opposition does or doesn’t. My purpose is defending my country.
        I love you too despite our opposite stands when it comes to my country.

        I’m not distracting you or any justice seeker here. I’m probably the only one preaching and guiding the forum to focus on the important issues that bring the desired change in your country instead of hammering Abiy and Ethiopia.

        • Saleh Johar

          It’s fine if you defend anything you want to. Just stop your personalizing debates and abusing members because they don’t think like you do. I don’t need to list your abuse of members and recognize the same right you demand for yourself. But personalizing general issues and being disrespectful will not be tolerated. Not even moderators act like thought police to defend their personal views. You think you have that right and you are militant about it. Stop that but realize disrespect and abuse will not be tolerated and all will be fine.

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            I agree with you 100 percent !!!