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Reversal Of Fortune

“Courage in a vilified enemy is a despicable discovery.” By David Mitchel

Events are happening so fast for those who choose stagnation. But change is governed by its own dynamic laws and no human force can stop it. In reverse chronological order the following events unfolded recently:

  1. PDFJ thugs were found guilty by a jury
  2. The Jack-of-all-trades (& of course the master-of-none) made himself fool for all to see and hear in his new year interview (refer to Sal Younis’ recent brilliant article)
  3. Isaias reached the zenith of notoriety by becoming the number one dictator in the world.
  4. The UN sanction
  5. The congress in Awassa  and
  6. The New York fiasco [my article dwells on this event].

It was not long ago that we in the Diaspora lived consumed by fear as our haters are consumed by hatred now. Not only did we reside shrouded in fear but we were also dictated by it. We had to adjust our normal God-given way of free living and interaction with others to obey its whims. We even had to change the unchangeable: our names, beautiful names chosen and given to us by our mothers and fathers so that what we thought, wrote and disseminate will not be used against us. Call it cowardice; call it survival instinct but I believe we were subconsciously waiting for history to unveil itself thus absolve and liberate us from the grip of fear. For me the redemption and courage came from the creators of Awate.com.

How does it feel to hide or change your name because of fear? Well, you change your name; you change your identity. Alias might have advantages but it also has disastrous disadvantages, because to hide your name is unnatural or aptly to say, a taboo. Alias creates cognitive dissonance, an unbearable psychological condition. Embarrassment becomes your garb. Your true and natural behavior and personality falls into disequilibrium. You feel alienated and disoriented. Rather than real living thing you become an apparition. And worse you become susceptible to psychosis.

The perceived but true reason was the threat of the “long arm” of our enemy. We translated the “long arm” to mean instant and vicious punishment with no reprieve even if our thoughts and actions against them were peaceful and minuscule thus inconsequential by any standard human interpretation.

Our enemies would not tolerate an iota of deviation even if it was to their advantage. They were gods, and gods do not need advice. They were cult, and cults do not need interference. They were “immortals” who did not want any bothering by “mortals”. They are suspicious of any outsider or more aptly, an outside idea. To them, us those who opposed them, irrespective of our origin, intention and love of our country and people, were foreign, foreigners. We were cockroaches, undeserving to live or breathe [PFDJ’s savage dictum].

We experienced, knew or heard how brutal they were. We also experienced or knew how cowards they were. We knew how parasitic they were. But we also knew how dangerous parasitic cowards could be. Otherwise do you believe assassinating an innocent and unsuspecting person riding in a motorbike is the work of a warrior? Or do you think assassinating a kind person on his way to a child’s birthday party is the trademark of a hero? What about imprisoning helpless old people and pensioners? How about intimidating and enslaving innocent kids…I can go on and on to infinity? No. A thousand times No! But most of us believed it to be otherwise and we almost succumbed to our demise.

Nothing stays the same forever. Because nature and its most distinctive and creative assets, humans are dynamic. Change begets change. Young becomes old and wise; coward becomes daring; daring becomes coward and hidden becomes exposed.

Once you regain your true self, it is not only redemptive but is also addictive. To live in freedom means to discover what was hidden. To live in freedom means to regain what was lost. To live in freedom means to become an agent of change. To live in freedom means to desire change. To live in freedom means to discard obsolescence. And to live in freedom means never to live as an apparition.

To say what you want to say is sweeter than honey and it is addictive. To see what you want to see is more beautiful than a butterfly in a flower, and it is addictive. To hear what you want to hear is more melodious than music, and it is addictive. To do what you want to do is smoother than butter, and it is addictive. To choose what you want to choose is softer than silk, and it is addictive. There cannot be looking back once you tested freedom. You become more solid than granite (against the enemy) and softer than butter (with your people).

And the first victim to fall and vanish is fear itself.

What we are witnessing nowadays is freedom in action and reversal of fortune. You don’t have to look further than those who use aliases to besmirch out opinions and ideas whenever they get opportunity to reply. What goes around comes around. Let them test the bitter and unbearable life of an apparition.

Those who believed they were omnipresent and immortal never seem to grasp their folly. They would have been perfect recipe to Erasmus’ poetry. Those who blindly accepted the cult never seem willing to see light but how true it is when they said, “those who planted beliefs dominate the believers”. These believers will serve the implanters with blindness, hardness, shamelessness and stubbornness.

So what did we witness in New York?

Isaias, the implanter of rogue beliefs, was faced with a wall of reality: in it was written that he is not what he believed himself to be but an aging and soon to be forgotten tyrant. Isaias tried to outwit and overgrow power. But power is governed by its own rules: as it consumes the courageous dead it will not spare its bearer as well. He gave his speech at the UN to an audience in a a semi empty hall: no clapping; no shouting of support. To a megalomaniac that was a shock and death knell. This was followed by no interest or invitation from the big apple newspapers and TV networks.

The believers [followers] came in droves. Their coming to New York was not spontaneous. They were the select few [or maybe they are the only ones left supporting him]. Since cult does not approve unplanned events, the event was well planned ahead of time. Selection was made and the criteria were white blindness; rock hardness; disgusting stubbornness and utter shamelessness. One could easily detect it from the banners, T-shirts and slogans. They had numbers but at this age numbers alone do not count. Their numbers and empty bravado was also a sign of fear as a wild animal making guttural sound when most afraid. It is quality that mattered. Compare that to the demonstration by democrats and Freedom fighters in New York.

These democrats and freedom fighters came on their own volition because they are Truly Free. They were not selected. They were guided by their morale beliefs and pure conscience. Humanity and human dignity were their message. Truth was their emblem. They came to expose lies. They came to proclaim justice. They came to confront evil. And they did it for everyone to see; for everyone to hear.

For these democrats, it was also a chance to prove beyond doubt, to show who they are and what they stand for. To tell the enemy that they are Alive and Existing! To tell the enemy, contrary to what the enemy preaches and spouts, they are not cowards [ferahat/hademti].

And indeed they stood their ground and proved their stance beyond any doubt.

Nature, always loughs at miscreants: it creates embarrassing situations. Did you see the movie or theater poster high up in the building where the believers were lined in the ground level to receive their implanter? The title in the poster says “Straw Dogs”. The believers were standing, shouting impatiently waiting under that poster. The title said it eloquently better than any explanation, so, I do not have to elaborate.

What about Yemane, our Saif-Al-Islam and heir apparent to Isaias? The prince-in-waiting? Well, he was chased by our youth and was really afraid. Chased like a jackal and run like chased jackal: with his tail between his legs. The good thing is he tasted the bitter taste of Real fear. He smelled the Real smell of change. Once change is in the air, to some it comes too fast and he is one of them. When you deny freedom to others you are not free. So what was he doing in a bar? Enjoying himself and his guests with 2% stolen taxes? Numbing his tortured soul with alcohol paid for with money amassed from slave labor?

What was he thinking while being chased?

Of course like a condemned man walking to the gallows or more aptly, like the Eritrean children who run away from slavery. His memory cassette was rewinding at high velocity and he might have been thinking of his beloved wife. Mind you: not the beloved wives of the downtrodden. Not the beloved wives of the Warsay/Yikealo. He also for sure might have been thinking about his dear children. Mind you: not other Eritrean children. Not the downtrodden children. Not the children in slavery. Not the children he constantly tramples.

We learn as our enemy learns. They learnt that we are not afraid. We also learnt that we are no more afraid. Now we are on a level playing-field but with momentum on our side and inertia on their side.

How true it is when David Mitchel wrote in the Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet: “courage in a vilified enemy is a distasteful discovery”. We are the vilified enemy and they never believed that we also possess courage. So the mob of the select few; the tyrant; the heir apparent and all their entourage left New York with bitter and killer taste.

On passing (without dwelling) I want to say something to the “Opposition To The opposition.” Their mantra sounds like saying, “let’s inherit the power with all its institutions and then we will turn it around.” For me this is nothing but alchemy akin to writing with inkless pen; plough with feathers; drawing water from a dry well or producing milk from a stone. It is time to stop being “prodigal sons” [in Tigrina we call it mhikal] because Time is running fast. You have roles, duties and responsibilities awaiting you, NOW! Alchemy never worked before and never will work in the future.

About Aklilu Zere

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  • Gual b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


    We all have our “Groundhog Day” moments in life where we feel like reliving the same day ad infinitum. I read your brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant……………… and brilliant article ad infinitum. As much as it is powerful, it sure has a poetic touch in it as well. Your article sure enough is a metal taste in PFDJ’s buds if you will for they are used to using vulgar and uncivilized lingua as they roam around like rabid dogs to devour as you’ve aptly put it, the downtrodden wives and children. If it is not too much to ask, I would implore Awate editors to put up what you’ve boldly said……. “Once you regain your true self, it is not only redemptive but is also addictive. To live in freedom means to discover what was hidden. To live in freedom means to regain what was lost. To live in freedom means to become an agent of change. To live in freedom means to desire change. To live in freedom means to discard obsolescence. And to live in freedom means never to live as an apparition”….. as the website’s added motto or drive. Again, well said.

    • awatestaff

      You implored us, we obeyed, banner is done. Now… awate.com wants to send you an e-mail. Please contact us.

      • Gual b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


        I am grateful.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Consider and imagine I am your boss for today only. Can you do it for me? And let me give you an instruction. First go to read what you wrote in the past under BRANNA as ordinary Eritrean. I bet you, I am sure you will wonder what enrgetic mind you own. Simply, you are the source of light.
    Who could convince me that Ali Salim should learn more and use his mind for the advantage of his people? The narrow minded? The opportunist who are after the winner only? NOT AT ALL. Only the great men like you have managed it Aklilu.
    HOW ABOUT NOW? cornering the coward once and encoureging the great men.
    After explaining what we are really, you told us what really we want and how to-do it.
    Even today more light on our struggle against the dictator. I wish you successful revolutionary year.

    • Zegeremo

      The furies expressed by Ali Salem on his several articles, in which he denounced the land grabbers, are legitimate and totally understandable.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Yes, but we need the complete picture. reading things from one view will give wrong information. Semere,Salm..fail becouse they see things from one corner. Aklilu and the men like him are leading us becouse they can see far and near and from all directions.

        • Zegeremo

          Complete picture?? ^_^ The land grabbing is taking place in a broad daylight.

          • Kokhob Selam

            No question about it. Yet, the grabber doesn’t represent any part of our society and that is PFDJ. We are all victims of PFDJ. No ethnic group or is responsible for all crimes and we all have reached to conclusion that we should unite and fight.
            Here is the difference, knowing the real cause and tackling the problem.


    ሕሱም “ነጻነትን” ፣”ምቁር ባርነትን” ለካ ኣሎ እዩ !!! ”

    ኣብቲ ማዕዶ ዘላ ኣእጋራ ´ኮርምያ
    ሓሙኹሽቲ ትመስል ኣየለለኹዋን መን´ያ ?
    ኣደይ ስዓዳ ድያ ምዓሮይ ምንያ ?
    ኣዒንታ ሓቢጡ,ማይን ደምን በኽያ
    ብኸንቱ ንዝጠፍኡ ንብላሽ ኣዕብያ
    ኣዕሩኽ ደቃ ዘይከርተቱ ኣብ ሽፍትነት ሻዕብያ
    ዕባያት ጀርመን ኢታሊ ስዑዲ ዓረብያ
    ኣሜሪካ ስዊድን እንግሊዝ ኣውስትራልያ
    ምስ ደቆም ኣንስቶም ክፍስሁ ርእያ
    ንሳስ እምበር ኣይ ውላድ ኣይገንዘብ ደኽያ
    “በጊዕ ክሕረደኪ ያኢ”ተባሂላ፣ ብጭርቃን ህግደፍ በልያ
    ብኻ ከይወለደት ፣ ብመኻና ቀርያ
    ነጻነት ኤርትራ ንዕኣስ መርገም´ያ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    ” ወዲ ተፈሪ መኮንን፣ኤርትራ ዝተላእከ መራሕ ሸፋቱ ክኸውን ”

    ብ”ጸሎት”ን ጾምን ቆልዓ ተወሊዱ
    ወዲ ቀኛዝማቻት ስግር መሰረቱ
    ብርፍራፍ ጃንሆይ ዝተዓንገለ ከብዱ
    ብገንዘቦም፣ ኣብ ወሎ ምስ ወድኤ ትምህርቱ
    ኣዲስ ኣበባ ኣተወ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ክኣቱ
    ሜድ ድኣ ተላእከ ብንጉሠ ነገሥቱ
    ሞንጎ ኣስላምን ክስታንን ንፋስ ከእቱ
    እንደራሴ ክሽየም ቃልሲ ኣጽኒቱ
    ደርጊ እንደሞ ነገር ኣካላቢቱ
    ወንበዴን ኣላናግራም በለ ከይመርመረ ኩነታቱ
    ኣያይ ቀንዲ ኢትዮጵያዊ ምዃኑ ስሒቱ
    በዚ እዩ ዝማዕበለ፣ ማሕበር ናይ ሸፋቱ
    ዝተረፈ ሓተላ ታሪኽና ባዕልኹም ስለ ትፈልጡ
    ጽንዓት ይሃበና፣ዕሽነትና ቀንጢጡ !!!!!!!

  • wed. garza

    well done Zere, you said it brilliantly. Freedom, in addition to what you said, I would add one meaning. The flow of thought when you’re silent, within youself, is the real freedom to say what you deem/ think is right. This freedom can never be stopped by any dictator or/and… . It’s the God given freedom beyond anyone else’s power. Even the coward supporter has this freedom!
    thank you again Zere

  • Gual b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    I am not sure if it is OCD or a daily ritual but everyday right after work I pull in my car in the parking lot reserved only for Awate.com visitors and head on to the grand edifice of Awate.com. As I walk in through the hallway, I would be indifferent to the walls on both sides and stride right to the room where new articles and Gedab News are displayed for a curious mind to read. Today however, something caught my peripheral vision and I saw something hanging on the wall. A survey. The survey asks: Will PFDJ be in power in 2013?

    My usual curiosity to read the awaiting articles subsided a bit as I was sort of bemused by the intent of the survey where I had to pull out my iPhone to check my calendar to see if we are already at the end of 2012. Hardly. What was the reason then the editors of Awate.com opted to give Isaias a full year hiatus or a grace period ’till he exits the political scene? If I have to respond to my own question, I would say, I don’t know.

    Could it be because they are being realistic given the hard core reality on the ground or could it be because they are trying to curb their emotionally charged nostalgia to see a free and democratic Eritrea? I would say, it could probably be the editors have understood that, the majority of the Eritrean people are trembling and terrified of the unknown. It sounds a rather compelling reason. As Eritrea is the prime candidate for a change, for a strange reason however, Isaias seems to pull himself off the Event Horizon of sorts let alone to be sucked by the Black Hole for good. It sure is safe to conclude that, there is something creepy lurking in the minds of the majority of the Eritrean people. The unknown.

    The unknown is the brain-child of the young Isaias who set out to find his insecure self circa forty years ago. As he was in a quest to find his rather convoluted mind set, historical accidents lined up for him and he hit the JackPot. If a set of JackPots were historical accidents, Isaias must have pulled the right knobs. When the true believers set out to bring about an independent Eritrea, he relied on lies and conspiracy theories where he perfected them as his political modus operandi. When he felt jilted in the early years of his political life, he penned a political manifesto otherwise known us “N’hnan Elamanan” where he accused the Front of religious schism and alienating adherents of the other religion. The manifesto created an enduring impact on the psyche of the Eritrean people where it would need a myriad sessions to rectify it. It created the fear of the unknown. Eritrea without Isaias is the unknown.

    The unknown is the genius of Isaias where it adds an increment into his political life as opposed to his chronological years. The Eritrean people do not want to entertain the idea of the unknown for it is so frightening, they rather live under his cruel arms. Sure enough, Isaias can not evade the inevitability of mortality but he is believed to have said that, he is in a great health and he expects to live another thirty or forty years. Rather, the survey should ask: Will Isaias ever leave the political scene before he expires due to the law of nature?

    • Malick

      Responses to Reversal Of Fortune, how so ? i wish you stay relevant ms tattoo.

      • Gual b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

        The temptation to comment on the Survey was irresistible at least on my part. And of course, there is no a reply space for it. I hope Aklilu forgives me for taking up too much space, a space allocated for his otherwise engaging and courageous article.

        • kaddis

          Lady dragon –
          I feel you need to write more given your critical and to the point approach. I have seen you have lot to say regarding others – and my advise – this approach is very consuming and addictive. So try to pass your message without relying or waiting until someone says it or say it wrong. You are very original not to write your own piece. I prefer more of ‘the horn’ focused:)
          Cheers – kaddis

          • Gual b’Alti dragon w’qatto (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


            Will take the advice to heart. Thanks.

    • that, he is in a great htaelh and he expects to live another thirty or forty years. Rather, the survey should ask: Will Isaias ever leave the political scene before he expires due to the law of nature?