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Negarit 25: Let’s Buy Trust – ምትእምማን ንሸምት

Negarit 25: Let’s Buy Trust – ምትእምማን ንሸምት

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  • chefena

    Selam Saleh
    While your anthropological argument is very interesting, there are other equally important issues arising in this debate. I would go further into parsing the thrust of your argument for a rather broader understanding of the problem, and I would add others perspectives to help us tackle this serious debate. I offer some suggestions for adopting a broader perspective.
    1. I refer to your own view ( I can’t recall in which posting you make this statement), apparently, you made a distinction need to be made, to the Diaspora vs home country, with which I agree. Let us take into consideration the socio-political dynamics in the last four or so decades, such as migration, the influences of globalization, the modern communication technology etc.
    2. A factor linked to the No 1. Is Inter-generational difference.
    3. Recognizing how closed cultural borders are, not to mention the significance of religion and the extent to which it is linked to the daily life of the individual member. But, I disagree with the claim that the two communities, i.e. the Christian and the Muslim had always been in conflict. It is not particular to Eritrea, where resources are scare, one would imagine the phenomena of both contact and conflict. But these communities had forged some semblance of stability and there always room for negotiations. This claim is advanced by those who emphasize on difference, and that communities have couldn’t peacefully co-exist in my opining, is a view of the aspiring elite with personal ambitions. Unless the proponents of this thesis come up with rigorously tested objective historical facts, the burden will still remain on them to show us the case was otherwise. A related issue would to show how the historical relates to the contemporary.
    4. An equally powerful is, if not more powerful, the construction f Awraja identity. I call this more a socially constructed, (discursive) but still as powerful as the sociological (real) identity. The word ‘awrajawi’ or ‘regionalist’ has gained some currency in the post- 2001 political crisis. It was made to refer to only one ‘ Awraja’, as if there is only one awraja in Eritrea instead of three, six or seven. The Highland elite, the pro-PFDJ, those at the margins of the silent majority, including the ones who call themselves ‘opposition’, would mimic such identity positioning. Despite its crippling effect in the fight against tyranny, the awraja discourse didn’t receive the level of scrutiny and reflection for it to be dealt with frankly. The Highland elite is simply too reluctant to admit it is a slow-motion killer. They prefer to mentioned within the monotonous, ‘Bzey filly haymanotn, wegen’n’. Bizarrely, they are even too embarrassed to utter the word ‘ Awraja’. Regards

    • Saleh Johar

      Selma chefebs,
      Thank you for the feedback. I agree with all your points though I would like to make a brief clarification to #3:

      There was no serious religious strife in Eritrea since the 19th century though I hold that all social disharmony has an element of religion magically attached to it. Even as we speak the underlying reasons and fuel of our differences develope to religious differences or are framed as such. Yet, it is wrong to consider them religious but cultural. Of course religion is the major aspect of our culture but the majority of Eritreans do not take the belief aspect of religion but its political, identity based distinction. What makes it worse is our poor cultural development as a nation. We are no where close to be considered enlightened and we cannot claim to have cross-cultural awareness

      I still claim there is no religious animosity among Eritreans though we tend to think that way because religion is the easiest excuse and the easiest ideology. Everything can stick to it: our hate, mistrust, political difference, etc, are explained in religious terms when they are not.

      At any rate, as you said, this is a serious and long process—I wish I could say everything in a 15 month clip but that is not possible Therefore, I plan to take slowly is small portions trying to provoke people to join in while at the same time I try to take baby steps, slowly.

      Thank you for the input and I have taken note of your points which I will try to incorporate in my handling of the topic. Pls stay connected and we have to walk this road together.


  • Senay Zer

    Dear All, Earlier today I saw an interesting back and forth between @natberh and @saayounis about the role of PIA in ousting TPLF from power in Ethiopia. Here is one of the twits by @natberh which captures the essence of the debate:
    @natberh: “Sal. In Ethiopia, President Isayas is perceived to be a principled man, who sacrificed so many lives & treasure of his country to tear down TPLF. That perception has not come about by only anger against TPLF. It’s also by observation of his long time consistent opinion of TPLF.”
    Like @natberh, other Ethiopians on twitter are pushing the same narrative. Interestingly, most, if not all, appear to be Amharas. Is it a stretch to say that they are attributing TPLF’s fall-down to PIA, at least in part, because they don’t want to give full credit for the removal of TPLF from power in Ethiopia to Querro and Oromos?
    Additionally, PFDJ members are coming out in bold claiming full credit for toppling TPLF, and ‘without firing a single bullet!’ according to chairwoman of NUEW. I wonder how Querros and Oromos feel about this in comparison the sacrifices they paid. Not only are PFDJ not giving credit to Querro but also diminishing their sacrifices (bullets were fired and they landed on Oromo bodies). If you remember, one of the things that put EPLF/PDFJ and TPLF at each other’s neck was the resentment around their failure to give credit to each other, and their belief that one could not have won without the other. Would the competition to claim credit for removal of TPLF from power put Oromo and PFDJ at odds?

    • Blink

      Dear Senay
      Interesting , if Issias played his card according to saay explanation of 18 years Qero and Fano would slice each other’s throats but that’s not the case , which means saay is off the grid line by miles .Issias knows he didn’t crush TPLF alone and PFDJ can say whatever they like but to suggest TPLF lost it to Issias is simply not visible to the reality. By the way Issias is like super cute guy in all Oromo land , , the Oromo youth especially these close to OLF and ONLF are simply mad by the love of Issias. Don’t try to say bad about issias in front of Ogaden opposition youths , don’t even try in front of 7 gunbot members because it can be fatal too. I tried to reason out with one Oromo guy and the way he bulldozed my views seems far away from the Abiy doctrine. I think if TOLF has to wage a milisha war with Eritrea at this hour , Issias can get hundreds of thousands Amhara and Oromo volunteers to fight off weyane to hills . I believe that to be true , and our dictator can actually get TPLF name erased from any political discussion about the border or anything.

      It is true Issias is loved by Amhara , Oromo, Somali and others but what is there for me ? Nothing. What is simply horrible is to see TPLF cadre hung on to the TPLF thieves at the expense of the Whole Tigrians. Sad that they are simply irresponsible.

  • Senay Zer

    Dear Saleh, Knowledge and understanding of each other and one’s self are priorities in order for heterogeneous society such as ours to stand behind a common purpose – get rid off the current regime (short term) and live in a peaceful and prosperous Eritrea (long term). Keep pushing it!

  • Brhan

    Hi Saleh,

    Important message and said on time.

    Introducing about ourselves, which can include where we came from , in our meetings with justice seekers and/or opposition group members, is rare. Some organizers of the meetings as well as participants can not tell the correct name of their fellow participant specially when the partipants are from different region. I heard Mohamed Saeed being called Mohamed Saleh and Gebre Mariam as Halie Mariam.

    When you call a person’s name correctly , it shows respect and it is the first step to build trust.

  • Haile S.

    ሰላም ሳልሕ፡

    እቲ ብዙሕ ህዝብና ሻላ ዝርእዮ፡ ዘየስተውዕለሉን፡ ብናይ ገድሊ ባህሊ ዝተሸፈነ፡ ኣብ ሓደ ልቢ ዘድሃበ፡ ንድሕሪት ዝጓትተና ጸረ-ፍልጠትን ዕብየትን ዝኾነ ኣተሓሳስባ ብጣዕሚ ጽቡቕ ጌርካ ተንቲንካዮ። ኣብ ሓንጎልና የሕድሮ። ልብናስ ‘ሓንቲ’ ስለዝኾነት፡ ትጸሮ ኣይመስለንን።

    በል ብኣጋጣሚ ኮይኑ፡ ትማሊ ቢራይ እንዳጨረምኩ ብዛዕባ እንጽሕፎን እንዛረቦን መልእኽቱ ዝምልከት ገለ ግጥሚ ዝጫሕገርክዎ፡ ምስዚ ናትካ ምኽሪ ዝኸይድ እንሆ ጽቡቕ ኣጋጣሚ ረኺበ እልእኮ ኣለኹ።

    እንጽሕፎ እንዛረቦ
    ዝጽውዕ’ዶ ናይ ኣንባቢ/ሰማዒ ኣቃልቦ
    ወይስ ክሰብር ዝተላእከ ናይ ብጻይና ሞራልኒ ሓቦ?

    እንልፍልፎ እንጭሕግሮ
    ተነቢቡ ተሰሚዑ ዘብርህ ናይ ሓንጎል ስንጭሮ
    ወይስ ነዲዱ ኣንዲዱ ዘይገድፍ ትኹን ሓንቲ ሓረሮ?

    እንጽሕፎ እንዛረቦ ተወርዋሪ
    ኣብ ካልእ ከይዱ በቚሉ ቁምነገር ዘፍሪ
    ወይስ ንዓና ዝመስል ደጊፉ ብዑረት ንኻልእ ዝዘሪ?

    እንዛረቦ እንጽሕፎ ተወንጫፊ
    ዝሕብር ናይ ኣረኣእያና ኣተሓሳስባና ኣንፊ
    ወይስ ኣእዳውን ኣእጋርን ዝሰብር ወሲኹ ዘየለ ክንፊ?

    እንዛረቦ እንጽሕፎ በትረ-ዱላ
    ተሰሚዑ ተነቢቡ ዘውጽእ ወለላ
    ወይስ እንተጸሞቕካዮ ጥራይ ሓተላ ድሕሪ ሓተላ

    እንዛረቦ እንጽሕፎ ደብዳበ
    መቐረት ዝመልኦ ደጋጊሙ እንተተነበ
    ወይስ ሃሪሙ ቀጥቂጡ ዝጽውዕ ንሓመድ ድበ

    እንዛረቦም እንጽሕፎም ሓሳባት
    ንቕድሚት ዝደፍኡና፡ ዘቀራርቡና ምስ ሰባት
    ወይስ ዝበታትንኑና ዝገብሩና ናይ ንቕጽነት ዕሱባት

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Haile S,
      That is the curse of growing up in a diverse town that is surrounded by tolerant Blin and Mesaa people and the humble tribes and ethnic groups who intermingles with each other. Of course, (as if you don’t already know) I am proudly talking about Keren 🙂

      I am offended when people say the bickering of today as “living in traditions”. I lived in that tradition and it was more tolerant and accommodating than the primitive-modernists who claim to be better, yet, they are the are despicable social rejects? I never imagined witnessing what we are witnessing today. Weren’t we better off in our traditionally anchored to our social life, at least as far as respecting each other was concerned?

      I grew up with people who had no taboo in mentioning identities, cracking jokes about each other’s cultures, with no malice, or arrogance, or disrespect. Identities were mentioned as, well, simply identifications.

      First, the PFDJ criminalized the mention of our identities and that led us to where we are now. They foolishly thought they can erase identities in all aspects of our life except in the fake cultural shows they bombard the people with–limited to folklore songs and dances that are mediocre with no content, no education. They wanted to limit tradition and culture to songs and dances. I bet you most of the youth they bring to sway to what they call folkloric songs do not know much about each other’s cultures or languages. How ould you learn about culture in a military camp, in a military uniform, and in a rigid military culture that doesn’t encourage scholarship–always watching for topics perceived as taboo due to extensive indoctrination.

      The PFDJ lots have qualms in identifying Ethiopians as Amharai, Tigrawai, Oromo, etc, but they will never dare mention any Eritrean identity except in association with the PFDJ sponsored folklores–the stuff considered kosher by the PFDJ. That has resulted in our current discourse when we talk about our own identities in a derogatory, arrogant, and disrespectful manner.

      Many years ago I tried to break this taboo but it was not popular (the PFDJ indoctrination was not as washed off from the minds of many as it is today). But even friends were uneasy because they thought this is “primitive” topic! I stopped because many people were too uncomfortable. So, we left it to the lots who wreaked havoc in our social cohesion as evident in any social media platform. Now I have decided to restart my long pending project because I believe without introducing our upbringing, culture, and difference, we cannot appreciate each other… and the cry for unity will remain elusive.

      Thank you for the beautiful poem.

      • Haile S.

        Selam Saleh,
        Again you illustrated beautifully the conscience on our diversity and our wealth that we need to develop and entertain without complicating it. I was luck to be brought up in my early childhood in aKria which is a great town of diversity. The ሉሕ was like a pen and an excercise book that occupied my friends every day, cleaning it and preparing it for the next lesson. I use to repeat with them alif, ba’e ta’e…, unfortunately didn’t follow to understand more of arabic. My other chance was to live in Massawa when derg was consolidating power, but still the city was as vibrant as before with the tea shops full of people, many chewing tobacco and speaking the typical massawa tigrayt (I was sad when I saw a video presentation by an ethiopian journalist following the peace accord. I saw a dead city). I am one of the least travelled in Eritrea, but those times, I think, contributed to the openness of my mind. When I was going with my parents to their villages, every time we encounter an Ali or Mussa, I was introduced as እዚ ከኣ ኣያኻ ሙሳ እዩ፡ ኣዝማድ ኢና። እዚ ከኣ ኣቦኻ ንኡስ ዓሊ እዩ። እቲኣ ሳንዳኻ ናስራ እያ። All these count. I am not saying these are the only that contribute to our openness and respect of others, but mentioning some examples and remembering events that influenced me.

        Thank you Saleh for elaborating more. It is not easy to free ourselves from the snare we are caught in

        • Blink

          Dear Haile .S
          Is Haile Your real name or a nickname just like blink?whu I am asking such question? Ans. Curiosity.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Blink,
            I never used nicknames.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Blink,
            First, please note that I have dealt with the issue of nicknames for two decades. I fully understand why people prefer to hide their names. I brief, some have a valid reason because of the police state in Eritrea while ithers, including non Eritreans, have different but understandable reasons. As a principle awate respects that and in many case s we kept the information until the concerned people disclosed their identity by themselves. Otherwise it remains in a safe place. I remember you chastised me in one instance and that was regrettable though it was nothing entrusted.

            Others choose to use nucknames to comment without restriction and say stuff they will not say if not for the veil. You can easily discern who is likely using a nickname and who is not. Nicknames allow us to break all hinges and people abuse that veil.

            So, there are people who use nicknames but censor themselves. Others feel free to make unpalatable comments. And there are people who use their real names but lack respect to others. In short, it’s character driven.

            Regardless of what name one is using, it would be very pleasing if people maintain a level of civility . In that case, it wouldn’t matter what name they are using.

            I just thought of saying that in good faith to all and I hope you take it at face value.

            Thank you

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saleh,

            Other than those who are in security risk area inside Eritrea, there is no any excuse, whatsoever to use nicknames, except for purposes to insult people behind their veils. But, Awate excuse them to use nickname, and as a result some of us we become the punching bag of their insult. So, for those who are victims of their insult, we took it as, it is what it is.

      • Hope

        Selam SGJ:
        A great TOPIC!.
        I hope these series of golden speeches are being saved to be distributed through out he world in a CD or so…..beyond the YouTube.

        “A GENUINE Reconciliation” should be the next topic

        You said:”That is the curse of growing up in a diverse town that is surrounded by tolerant Blin and Mesaa(MensaA) people and the humble tribes and ethnic groups who intermingle with each other. Of course, (as if you don’t already know) I am proudly talking about Keren 🙂
        Well,you would be shocked as to how much the PFDJ and its Toxic Agenda and Culture turned UPSIDE DOWN that CULTURE we used to ENJOY.(“Silent Social Genocide as Prof Tesfabirhan RediE would call it).

        Your second to NONE steel-hard Resilience and neg-fereg zeyibil FIRM Principle is BEYOND any one’s imagination and comprehension.
        Well,God bless you and keep you healthier than ever so that you will LIVE LONGER so as to make your plans and ream come true.and finally to declare proudly: “Mission Accomplished”.
        I know and you know that this is coming from Hope but remember that HOPE is the son of the Original Resilient and Tolerant Blin and the DNA is still intact..

  • David Samson

    Selam Saleh,
    Here is the error message when I tried and clicked to view it
    “Video unavailable
    This video contains content from Muyap. It is not available in your country.”

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dave,

      Yep, it is also the same message on my end. Thank you for making him aware about it,

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Dave,

      I was just resolved. Sorry for the inconvenience.

      There was a 12-second copyright claim.