Home / Videos / Negarit 40: ከም ባቢሎንዶ ኴንና! – !هل اصبحنا كالبابليين – The Babylonians’ fate!

Negarit 40: ከም ባቢሎንዶ ኴንና! – !هل اصبحنا كالبابليين – The Babylonians’ fate!

Negarit 40:
ከም ባቢሎንዶ ኴንና!

!هل اصبحنا كالبابليين
The Babylonians’ fate!


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  • Ismail AA

    Ahlen Saleh,

    Thanks for this a language class room quality video talk. You are perfectly right knowledge of languages multiplies the worth of a person. One who speaks or knows two languages is considered as two persons as the conventional wisdom has it. It means the person who knows two languages among many in a stranger’s world counts two because those in need would be asking just one person for information instead of looking for a second at the same spot.

    Moreover, you are spot on in relating speaking a language to ability to listen what being said. It takes the tongue and the ears for a language and communicating through it as it takes two for a tango dance. And, let me make it a bit hilarious and say that there are lots of Eritreans who are born with sharp tongues but ears inserted with a filter that is designed to let only what we want to hear instead and blocks what we do not want to hear. We experiences this in some of our interactions in this forum, don’t we?

    • Haile S.

      Salut Ismail, Fanti, SGJ, Hashela…

      Well said. As you guys said, language is one of the sharpest brain-sharpeners. Our brain is one of the most intelligent pets we have in our body. It can lear anything like a puppy and remains a puppy for most of our life. We can teach it any trick and it will catch it. The only door against this ability are ourselves. As you Ismail said, if we keep a filter around its senses, it doesn’t learn from what we are preventing it to lear from.

      Now, what Fanti said about the swedish person reminded me of what I encountered at least twice. One time was when I was defending a mini-thesis (a Pre-PhD, a french thing). There was an invited guest (white european) among the exam-committee who at the end of his questioning suddenly spoke in Amharic. I was almost going to faint. He worked at the Pasteur Institute in Addis for many years. Another time was at a conference here in N-America where I got interested in the Poster of a completely blonde Nordic guy. I asked him if he could explain this and that. To my speechless surprise, he answers me saying ለምን ባማርኛ ኣንነጋገርም in more perfect amharic than mine. This guy told me, when his family (all Nordic) gets together, they speak in Amharic. Both these persons were tearfully nostalgic of being able to speak in Amharic and talk about Ethiopia.
      Hashela, welcomen. Speaking allemand (german) is easy. You just add …sch and …men to every english word. If you want ‘ice creme’ you just ask for ‘isch cremen’ 🙂 🙂 :-), am I wrong?

      • Hashela

        Selam Haile
        ደረዲኤካ ኣለኹ! ተዃቲካ ገለ ከተዛርበኒ ንዲኻ ደሊኻ።
        ‘isch cremen’ can easily bring you in trouble as it can be (mis)understood as wanting to put lotion on somebody’s back!!

        • Haile S.

          Selam Hashela,
          ተውሳኸይ! I really said it during one of my silly moments to a niece who came to visit us from there. My children took her to an ice cream shop and they called me. Then I asked ‘are you having ich cremen’. We laughed about it for sometime. She told me it has no real meaning. ኤርትራዊ ካብ ዘይከዶ ዉሑድ ቦታ፡ Kyrgyzstan ሓንቲ እያ ነይራ። ንሳ ኸኣ እንሆ ንስኻ ኬድካያ። የማነን ዖስማን ሳልሕን ቀዲሞምኻ ድኣ ከይኮኑ እምበረይ።

          • Hashela

            Selam Haile

            Yes, my profession that I love so much takes me to so many exotic places.
            Allow me to briefly narrate my education pathway as I believe it has a pedagogical component for some parents who frequent this forum.

            I was conditioned by my parent and close relatives to study medicine and become a medical doctor. With that expectation on my shoulder, I managed to finish Gynasium with an 1 (A) and passed the grueling entry exam for human medicine study and got a spot in the historic and prestigious University of Marburg.
            I decide to visit my parent in Eritrea before I start my medical study. Arriving in Eritrea I was made aware I need a Yellow Fever vaccine. I visited several hospitals before I found the right place to get a vaccine.

            While spending my time with my parent and relatives in Eritrea, there was something that made me unhappy and maybe a bit sad. I couldn’t figure out what it was but has nothing to do with my parent. In the plane back to Germany, a big boulder fell from my shoulder: I don’t want to study human medicine!! I called my mother and the medical school to let them know about my decision. Both my mother and the school administrator advised me to take time and think about my decision. I was 100% sure.

            So I studied something else for which I have deep passion. From there things went very fast: PhD -> post-doc -> tenured professorship in a prestigious university at a relatively young age. Most importantly, a happy and fulfilled life with exciting adventures and discoveries.

            So parents, push your kids very hard to study but don;t precondition them to study something YOU consider prestigious and well paying. Let them decide!

          • Nitricc

            Hi Hashela:

            So parents, push your kids very hard to study but don’t precondition them to study something YOU consider prestigious and well paying. Let them decide!

            I salute you for taking your own path. However; I think family structure is everything. The reason you exercise your own path decisively is due to your family structure and the way you raised. how ever for the diaspora children is very different. Family structure, push and encouragement is vital. it is very easy to go the wrong way especially when one is born and raised in USA. although there is very fine line between pushing and guiding. So, in opinion systematically pushing and bold guiding is essential for success. Me thinks.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Hashela,

            I absolutely agree with what you said. I try to adhere to that principle. Early on at an age when my children reached the age where they can watch this type of film, I made them watch “the dead poet society”. Now, they are joining the faculties of their own choices. This is the problem in our Eritrea. The way highschool education is guided is wrong. Thinking about going to Sawa with all that comes after following failure or success at the school leaving certificate doesn’t leave any thought for planning and living your dream.

          • Hope

            Selam Hailat:
            I FEEL your pain and the pain of those brilliant kids,who lost the opportunities to be or of being what they should have been and/or should have achieved.

            I highlighted this unchecked Policy of 24 yrs or more, one of the top a Conspiracies to destroy the Eri Youth and its FUTURE…

            Ahlen Ya Hashela:

            “From there things went very fast: PhD -> post-doc -> tenured professorship at a prestigious university at a relatively young age. Most importantly, a happy and fulfilled life with exciting adventures and discoveries.”

            Auguri/Congrats for that rare and unique Achievement, which does NOT surprise me being an Eritreans, since, Eritreans can achieve the unachievable and make miracles if they get the opportunity….

            Out of curiosity::

            The Origin of your nick,if u don’t mind and if not offensive to ask:?

            Are you from Hashela Keren or just picked up a nick.?

            I have a friend in Chicago with a real name of Hashela and I put myself in trouble by talking to him in Blin.

            He backed off. telling me:

            “Wed Ad. MenseAtay ana, Le Blenayitka bizuh iyyikedirani” beleni ebleka.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Selam Memhir Saleh and All,

    I have had this quote “the more you know, the more you know” I like to think that I invented. It applies to all things which we are willing to learn and it has been a very useful silliness as far as I am concerned. Advantages of being multilingual are significant. From being able to “drink water with” to accomplishing other significant tasks of social life, language is the first door to the human heart.

    As you beautifully summarized, uttering even a few words of someone’s language signifies closeness, friendship, respect, familiarity, and it adds a positive energy to the meaning of life. I can’t tell you how small the world felt when I first met a Swedish guy who spoke fluent Amharic long ago.

    As you well know, the reasons for our resistance to anything Arabic are multilayered in centuries of boogeyman-ship and backwardness, but for those enlightened pioneers, I strongly concur that they should attempt to learn it. It does not necessarily have to be an all out march to be an Arabic scholar, but just enough to be able to relate with few words and phrases and remove the initial, and usually the hardest, hurdle from connecting with others.

    Arabic is significantly related to many of our regional languages. That alone should be reason enough but there are additional social, commercial, and historical significance why I recommend learning Arabic. The good news to those who maybe tempted is that thousands of words, such as al-kuhl (alcohol), maqābir (macabre), laimun (lemon), in the English language are Arabic words. Think about it that is a strong head start you didn’t know you had!

    • Saleh Johar

      I am slapping my hand for not reading your comment. Did I see it?

      Your observation that some is show towards Arabic is spot on. Some think being racist against Arabs (and a specific Tigrayan group) is fine. But that is due to some historical indoctrination that we need to re evaluate.

  • Saleh Johar

    Selam HaileS and all,
    For your attention,

    • Millennium

      Hi Saleh:
      Your passion for life is evident in the many skills you have developed over the time. One such skill that you have and one that is very obvious for all of us to see is your writing skill. I have been reading you and Saleh Younis since the turn of this century when I was in university of Asmara, I was always impressed with your proficiency.

      Every time I see your video or read your article, I take some thing away. I do not agree with a lot of what you write, yet your zeal for life is contagious and I am proud of you. Thank you big brother!


      • Saleh Johar

        Hello Millenium,
        Aytsessnu ‘mber, qurub aytefalaleyus ay mergemin 🙂

        Thank you for the nice words, but do not put me alongside Saleh Younis when it comes to English proficiency–he is in a different league.

        If you take away a word, an idea form what I write and say, and if I provoke you think about something, that is my goal and I thank you for that sir.

    • Hashela

      Selam Saleh

      Ja, die deutsche Spache ist eine schwierig Spache. Komplement, Dein Deutsch ist verhältnismässig gut.

      I agree, Keren and Barentu are the places in Eritrea to learn several
      Eritrean languages with ease at their natural environments. My family is Tewado
      and my brother’s name is Mohamed and he speaks fluently four Eritrean
      languages, including Bilen which for Tigrigna speaking people is very
      challenging. The midwife who was assisting my mother during the difficult birth
      of my brother was a Muslim and she said: “if you come out without killing
      your mother, I will call you Mohamed or Fatima”. He did and his name is

      I just came back from Osh in Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia) where people speak Kyrgyz and Russian. While there, one evening I had a terrible head ache. I went out to the street looking for a pharmacy. In my desperation, I asked a couple in English and after a brief pause, they responded to me in German because German was the foreign language they speak. So they led me to pharmacy and invited me for a hike (4850 m elevation!) for the next day. I happily accepted the invitation and it was one of the most enriching hikes I had so far.

      This is to confirm and reinforce your statement that in most cases your ability to speak more than one language breaks cultural, religious, political, and racial barriers and prejudices

      • Saleh Johar

        Werkama Hashela,

        Thank you sir,
        I lived around the Senhit region from Ashera to Ayeg, Fledareb, Ajerbeb, Qun’E, wesbensurikh, Hashela, and Moshe, for a long time and the few words I gained from childhood were immensely improved. I spoke a fairly good Blina. But languages slowly die in us if we do not maintain interaction. That seems to have happened to my Blina.

        Danke shon

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Hashela,

        The story of the “midwife and your mother” and the keeping of the promise in naming your brother Mohamed is a fascinating story, that reflect the closeness of the two religion at least with in the context of our society. I am glad you brought it up b/c there is a lesson in it for some of us. Good to see you back.

    • Haile S.

      Salut (ሳ’ልዩ) Saleh,

      On your french: Tu te débrouilles pas mal en francais (ቱ ተ ደብሩይ ፓ ማል ኣን ፍራንሰ) = You are doing good job in french. Just avoid pronouncing the ‘s’ at the end of words as you see in the 3 words above or as in Parois (ፓርዋ = Wall) or Paris (ፓሪ). ‘S’ is pronounced only when there is a vowel after it as in Paroisse (ፓርዋስ = Parish). I don’t want to pass without correcting you the prononciation of my second favorite french city Montpellier (ሞንፐልየ, you don’t pronounce the t or r); we are not speaking of Vermont-Montpelier (ሞንትፐልየር, t & r pronounced by habit) though also derived from the former.
      I agree with you assez (ኣሰ) means ይኣክል in french, but is best translated by ça-suffit (ሳ ሱፊ).
      Your encouragement to everybody to learn languages is very welcome. ንኽእሎ ይግበሮ, እንሻላህ! The Babylon disaster was a blessing in disguise to humanity. It created variety of languages out of every brick that smashed down. The debate between Eritreans as we see it here at Awate forum for example, is becoming a reverse Babylon, i.e building a very high rhetorical verbal Babylon by bidding to outdo and outsmart the other. The “I am the righteous” attitude appear to have erased the nice gracious expressions like “I hear you, you are right, but…”. It is not only the vulgarity that hurts, the honey covered sludge is slippery and dangerous too. No one is going to bite at a Hamburger wrapped in a barbed-wire. Like you, I am not for censorship in moderation of debates. At the age and time we are in, everyone need to self-censor to avoid the parole that doesn’t send a somewhat constructive message to the other. Every comment doesn’t need to be a catapult.