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Home / Negarit / Negarit 63: “ደቂ-ሰበይትዮ” ተዋሪደን – Misogyny – الجبناء والشتائم

Negarit 63: “ደቂ-ሰበይትዮ” ተዋሪደን – Misogyny – الجبناء والشتائم

[Negarit #63 published today, Dec 3, 2019//Saleh “Gadi” Johar

1. Women are still having a hard time since ages ago.
2. To the young: please do not listen to those who tell you, that you lack wisdom. Do not listen to that.
3. Since I will speak about the young, I also have to talk about the older generation.

The Younger Generation

Since childhood, young Eritreans are ordered by their parents to stay outside the room because they should not listen to the conversations of the elders. They stay outside the room sometimes facing harsh weather. Okay, in some cases that could be appropriate. But that should not be the way we treat children forever. Certainly there are youngsters with bad behavior, but defining the entire younger generation by the bad apples among them, generalization, is not productive.

The energy of our youth is amazing—sometimes it makes you wish you could travel a few decades back in time. And that energy makes me feel we are getting closer towards achieving our goals. It gives me hope. The young should be encouraged, but selectively. Do not coach rascals. Target those who are behaved, decent, respectful and have a sense of belonging to their nation, to the ideals of justice and freedom,  and respect the rights of citizens.

Of course, sometimes we make bad judgements. We mentor youngsters hoping they will be a good addition to the struggle for justice. But some of them surprise us with behaviors we didn’t expect. I have such experience with two persons, but mentioning names is not needed. I mentored two young men and then they turned back to bite me. It’s like the snake that we call ‘Mendelay’. A small black snake that seems to move in two opposite directions. You could be running after it with a stick and suddenly it turns its direction towards you and bites you. It’s like the “Lottorina”, a tram that moves in both directions. I wasted so much time mentoring them, encouraging them and explaining the intricacies and other things they did’t know because of their age and experience. Their prejudices and bigotry they came with was so heavy and they couldn’t rid themselves of it.

However, we have to be careful of stereotyping. It is not fair because many of them, those I consider my friends and allies, are very conscious, aware, bright, dedicated, and they give me hope. But I think they need to have more clarity, clarity, and clarity. I am saying it three times and I can’t emphasize it enough.

Now to my younger friends: Strive to be the best at what you do. Aim for excellence in your life and never forget your less fortunate compatriots at home. Work hard to bring their sufferings to an end. But here, you need wisdom… and don’t believe anyone who tells you wisdom comes with age. Not necessarily. On the contrary, we have many examples of people who lose wisdom with age—look at the PFDJ!

Wisdom is something you learn and you can learn it quicker if you are humble enough to learn while maintaining your integrity. Even if we assume you are not wise, it’s like… Alcoholics Anonymous, you can rehabilitate yourself, shed off the bad habits and voila, be wise. Most importantly, stay clean of archaic, medieval thinking. Stay very far from that. You have better eyeglasses to see the different perspectives of the times, and how the world is advancing and living while the foolish among us are busy building narrow, suffocating fences. You can do way better than that. Armed with clarity and espousing natural progressive, modernist views, makes those views part of your character and attitude. Just pursue clear goals with tenacity, with integrity, with care for yourself, your people, and humanity at large. And you can hasten the time of the relief for all our people.

Women and Their Never-ending Plight

Most of the insults I get is in fact an exhibit that our culture hold Women in low esteem: Wedi Sbeyti (Son of a woman—a very degrading insult in our culture), Wedi….. (fill the gaps, it is vulgar to say, again the target are women) etc. Habitually, women are the nucleus of our insults even when the insulted are men. Our culture does not insult fathers, but heap their insults on the mother. Why is that?

Sometimes one wonders if such people have mothers and sisters at all. Maybe they don’t, maybe they were born in test tubes, inside a “Brlle”, the traditional wine flask–since we do not have test tube technology. Why so much misogynist insults?

Abyssinian are just like the Arabs who hold their women in a very low esteem. Didn’t I tell you “Habesha” have the same cultural traits as the Saudis in the way they despise women! Check this: the extremists of the Arabs and our Habesha (Abyssinian) extremists have a symbiotic connection though they deny it. They have the same attitude towards women and towards freedom, and in their love of dictators. Ufffffff

To The Veteran Activists

My friends, you have seen a lot, went through a lot, faced distractions, defamations, and attacks on many occasions, but you stayed the course, patiently. You were betrayed by your colleagues, the PFDJ clique. However, you are still treading the bumpy road in quest of freedom and justice for your people and country. All respect to you. Now I appeal to you to help the young because the challenges they are facing are tougher—even when they are free from the PFDJ control, they are facing never-ending emotional and confusing propaganda. They are being targeted to make them lose their self-confidence and give up on their people and country. But most of them have the tenacity, if not they can easily acquire it, but they need our genuine support and honest encouragement.

And for the woman, you know the status of women in societies like ours! It is time to fight it face on, away from emotions and tired rhetoric. It’s time women who achieved something are portrayed and promoted with honor to be an inspiration and an example for the younger girls to emulate. It’s time we all face and fight sexist pronouncements in unison. We have to make sure that the despicable belittling and disrespecting of women stops. People who don’t respect theirs mothers and sisters are not part of us—but an outgrowth. A person who doesn’t love his people and country has no place among us. A person who lives in a narrow regional and racist enclave, and belittles women, disrespects our struggle for justice and freedom, is not one of us.

We should keep dreaming and struggling to have a proud Eritrean citizen who can live in his country with dignity—our people do not have to risk crossing deserts and seas in search of freedom which they should naturally enjoy in their country. We must strive for that goal with determination, and anyone who doesn’t ascribe to that is a plague. It’s a plague that has to be either fumigated or distanced.

Bless you!

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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  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ሰላማት ዓዋተ:

    ከም ኩሉ ባህልታት ዓለም
    ናትና ውን ብብዙሕ ሕብሪ’ዩ ዝስለም

    ጽቡቕና ‘ዶ ይበዝሕ ሕማቕ
    ምክብባር ‘ዶ ይበዝሕ ምንዕዓቕ
    ብ ኣፍና ‘ዶ ንጅምር ዋላ ወስ ምባል ስላዕ
    ንጌጋ ንዓብጦ ‘ዶ ዋላ ነተባብዕ ንኽቕላዕ
    ንነገር ነህደኦ ‘ዶ ዋላ ሶቮያ ንብሎ ንኽባራዕ

    እስከ ንምዘኖ
    ነቲ ሕማቕ ኣሊና ነቲ ጽቡቕ ክንክዝኖ
    ክንመሃር: ንነገራት-ከንዝሕሎ ኣብ ክንዲ-ነርስኖ
    ንእከይ ግብሪ እከይ ‘ዩ ክንብሎ ኣብ ክንዲ ንደፍኖ
    ዘይተገብረ ኣጋኒንካ ብትኪ ባዶ-ሰለስተ ንዓጥኖ
    ንነገራት ከምዘለዎ ርኢና ነቲ ሓቂ ንእመኖ

    ባህልና ክንደይ ገስረጥ ኣለዎ ኣብ ውሽጡ
    ካልእ ሰብ ከይሪአልና ተዓቢጡ
    ብግዳም ደሓን ክመስል ብውሽጥ ግን ነቒዙ

    ጸቓጢ ዓብላሊ
    ትንፋስ ዘለዎ ክመስል ብላዕሊ
    ርኣዩለይ ዝብል ዘሎ መሳሊ
    ንዝበዝሕ ኣካል ወገንና ገላሊ

    ንህጻናት ኣብ ቅድሚት ዘይሰርዕ
    ካብ ደቂንስትዮ መንዚዑ ዝበልዕ
    ከም ብጹእ-ባህሊ ዝሓዘ ብደገ ይኾርዕ

    እወ ብዛዕባና ‘የ ዝገልጽ ዘለኹ

    ኣፍልቡ ብትምክሕቲ ዝተነፍሐ
    መን ከማይ ይብል ከይሓፈረ ከይፈረሐ
    ንዝምዕብላ-ሃገራት ነጢሩ ጠፈር ዝበጸሐ
    ኣረቂ ዓቲሩ ቢልያርዶ ክጻወት ከይሰረሐ
    ኣነ ርእሰ-ሃገር ዝብል ወረዳ ከይመረሐ
    ምሩቕ ብተፈጥሮ ካብ [ኣንሽታይን] ዝበለሐ
    [ሪኣክተር] ዝሰረሐ መስሎ ‘ዝ መሃዚ [ሚሐ]
    ንሕና ፍሉያት ኢና ይብል ወገሐ-ጸበሐ

    ኩላትኩም በሉ መን ኣሎ ከማና
    መንዶ ክሪአና’ዩ ከም ዝነደና
    ጽቡቕ ክዳን ጥራይ ነዘውትር ከይሪኡና
    ባቃ! ከምዚኣ’ያ ናብራና

  • Teodros Alem

    Selam Saleh Johar
    when we talk about “habesha” women, i think we need to differentiate the rural and the city women.
    those who wear broken skinny jeans as 3A called them, the city womens, comparing to “habesha” man, they have very high self esteem than most man , in most cases they r even the one ruling the man .

    • Saleh Johar

      What I present is thought provoking points, very brief for what I want to express. But I know the patient and honest will get the gist of the message. If one believes any information, comparison, or anything else, is missing, I trust the listener would complete it for the benefit of all of us.

  • Selam SGJ,

    It is true that habesha women are among the most oppressed in the world. In actual fact there is no country or place in the world where women are free and truly equal to men, even in the west.
    If i am not mistaken there is a rise in femicide in france, a civilized western society in all the other measures. If one takes india into consideration, in my opinion, there may not be a worse place on the planet for misogyny.
    While saudi women started to drive a car, dare come out of their homes unaccompanied by a male member of the family, go to the cinema, …,just to mention few situations, only a year or so ago, on the contrary, habesha women have been doing these all the time. A habesha woman can become a president and a minister that couldn’t be imagined in places like saudi arabia. A saudi woman and girl are considered inferior to her male child or brother, right from the day of his birth. Habesha women or sister, on the other hand, could smack them if their sons or brother misbehave, just to bring an example.
    Therefore, habesha women are more free compared to saudi women, in my opinion. A habesha women’s economic situation happens to be an important factor in her place in the habesha society. I think that her economic freedom will bring her freedom in the habesha society. It is not mainly about culture.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Saleh,

    This presentation is a good one, for you challenged some of our bad cultures that should be negated long time ago. Is there any region from our country use “ደቂ ሰበይትዮ” instead “ደቂ አንስትዮ”?


    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Emma,

      I don’t know, and I do not think, there is anyone. But the singular Sebeity becoming plural anesti, and the term deqi anestyo, could confuse those who do not speak the language. I remembered the funny anecdote of A. Ramadan and thought it would be a good opening. That is all

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ሰላማት ሳልሕ:
    ደቂ ሰበይትዮ? ሰሓቕ ሞይተ 🙂
    ሰለስተ ዓመት ይገብር: ሓደ ቆልዓ ንዓባይኡ የተርጉመላ ኔሩ። ዓባየይ ሎሚ [መዓልቲ ደቂ-ሰበይቲ ‘ዩ ] ምስበላ: ሰበይቲ ብሰሓቕ ሸይና። እንታይ ዘይገበረ ኢልካዮ።
    ቀጽል ጥራይ ‘ንዳመሃርካ ኣስሕቐና።

  • iSem

    Hi Saleh:
    You are in your elements as Saleh AA Younis would say:-)
    The subjects you are tackling are very important and I commend you for your courage
    You are correct despite our claim we are very similar to the Arabs in our bigotry
    But both are informed by the following:
    men are superior to woman, the Quran
    “Woman is a clone of a man: the Bible. This implies it is like Dolly, the sheep.
    One thing to be fair is also some women perpetuate the misgyn. And the PFDJ’s women organization comes to mind, the zuria donning kobboro junkies come to mind

    • Saleh Johar

      I use the argument who call me Arab this or that and tell them, ነዓኹም ይቀርቡኹም 🙂
      It’s a fact that many do not want to admit. What we can do except hammer it in ..until it penetrates the thick skulls

    • Ismail AA

      Selam iS, em,
      You are correct. Saleh has been dealing with big social issues, and it needs guts and skill to do that. This man is making revolution single handed. By the way, the place of a woman in religious contexts reflect the social set up under which those religions were revealed. Hope no one will accuse me of heresy.

      • Haile S.

        Selamat Ismail,
        I hope you are well. Glad to see you here. Don’t worry about heresy and excommunication. You have comrades who will defend you against all these religious ironclad shields & scare-crows going up to hell. What you and iSem said is right on our rib-clones and on Saleh.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Ismailo,
        Good to see you back. I hope everything is well and good with you. We missed your input (collective and sober thoughts) for sometime. I hope the other heavy weight debaters (Haile-TG, Hayat, Yohannes, Dr Paulos, Kibrom, Mahmuday, Amde, Tzegereda……etc) to see them back when the floor is clear from the abusive trollers.