Thursday , January 20 2022
Home / Videos / The Story of the #BlueEritrea Flag

The Story of the #BlueEritrea Flag

Today, I hope the restless would stay calm as I narrate a basic history of the Eritrean flag–the significance of our AwlieE, meley, HKhedra. I realize some people may have an opposing view, or to believe a contrary narration; it’s fine provided the counter narration is based on knowledge not on ignorance or bias. Some people adamantly reject views that are contrary to their perception and they argue in a vacuum, with so-much certainly. I will try to present the suppressed narration. And my presentation in Negarit 155 is based, mainly on an article which I wrote about 20 years ago (Linked below).

Between 1892-1941 Eritrea hoisted the Italian flag, and after the defeat of Fascist Italy by the Allies in WWII, Eritrea was taken over by the British military administration. Thus, the Italian flag was replaced by the Union Jack which was hoisted until 1952.

  1. Under the British Military Administration, the Pro-Italia party waved the Italian flag; a few opted for a British mandate and waved the Union Jack; the Unionists waved the Ethiopian flag; and the RabiTa, which was the only party that had an Eritrea centered vision, had a national flag, and lyrics: 

    Hamlay eyyu gonna, qeyH kenafere, Alemey dldl mizan ab maakela! Aslamay Kstanay bHade Temire, hagerey shewitey metset nqebela…English translation of the Tigrinya song:

    Green is its sides, red is its lips
    my symbol of equality and the scale it huddles
    Uniting as one Muslims and Christians

    my lush nation is coming, let’s receive it together. 

    Soon after, the Rabita cofounded the Independence block and included Ibrahim Sultan, Ras Tessema, Abdulkadir Kebire, Weldeab Weldemariam and a few other notable politicians of the time.Meantime, regional and international powers planned to partition Eritrea and annex its parts to Sudan and Ethiopia. Eritreans found themselves at a crossroad: either to be partitioned between Sudan and Ethiopia, or unconditionally united with Ethiopia.

Coat of Arms (fascia and olive branches)

The Italian colonial Eritrean coat of arms 1936 -1941 had olive branches hugging the Fascia (symbol of the fascists) and a symbol of the sea—the olive branches were not new to Eritrea. Later, the British removed the olive branches and fascia, and replaced it with a crown hinting at the plan to put Eritrea under the Ethiopian crown of Haile Selassie.

  1. In the early fifties when a national symbol was needed, several flag designs competed, including one by the late Sheikh Omer Akito and another by Degiat Beyene Zahlay (both are mainly based on oral history and not documented reference is available. But it’s widely believed that the Blue Eritrean flag was designed by Eritrean parliamentarians and was adopted after a heated debate between all the 68 founding members of the Eritrean Council and agreed upon. Here, it’s important to note that the olive branches predate the formation of the UN—the parliamentarians knew about the olive branches before the UN was created—maybe the UN copied the Eritrean Blue flag not the other way around.

Eritrean Nationalism

To this day, the blue flag symbolizes the agreement that Eritreans unanimously reached, It’s the only legitimate symbol of Eritrean nationalism. It was the symbol of the struggle for justice, peace and freedom that still rages on.

  1. The Blue Eritrean Flag was passionately referred to as Khedra,in Tigrayit, and awliEey or Meley in Tigrinya—the national flag, the Blue Flag. Towards the end of the 1950s Emperor Haile Selassie began to openly violate and abolish the federal arrangement: he dissolved the Eritrean parliament, outlawed the Eritrean flag, lowered it and hoisted the Ethiopian flag in its place, and militarily occupied Eritrea. The lowering of the flag, the abolition of the constitution and the abolishing of Arabic-Tigrinya work and teaching languages, and replacing it with Amharic as a national language, sparked the long and arduous armed Eritrean struggle for self-determination. In reaction to that violation, Mohammed Said Naud, Saleh Eyay and their colleagues established the Eritrean Liberation Movement, (Haraka,Mahber shewAte) in port Sudan as a peaceful grassroots movement. In 1960 Eritrean students and professional formed the Eritrean Liberation Front in Cairo.  And on September 1, 1961, Hamid Idris Awate started the Armed Struggle. All national organizations rallied around the blue Eritrean flag. In the sixties, it was very common around old strongholds of the Unionist party to see the Ethiopian flag revered. Though not required by law, the Ethiopian flag was carried in funeral procession and hoisted in venues of weddings and other public ceremonies. Bulls were wrapped in the Ethiopian flag on their way to be killed for a feast or a wedding. In a book he wrote, Shaleqa Dawit stated that Eritreans felt more Ethiopian than proper Ethiopians.

On the other hand, nationalist Eritreans brought the outlawed blue Eritrean flag from its hiding just to look and pay homage to it. Occasionally, in a very secretive ritual, parents showed the flag to their children so that they do not forget it. They told them that the Eritrean flag was their true symbol and not the occupational flag that Haile Selassie forcefully imposed on Eritreans.

The propaganda of the Unionist Party aggressively targeted the blue flag. To them, it was the “flag of the United Nations.” While the Ethiopian flag was elevated to a divine status, the Eritrean flag was portrayed as one belonging to the Bandits and Arab sellouts who betrayed their “Mother Ethiopia,” and want to separate the child (Eritrea) from its mother (Ethiopia). It was difficult for many who grew up feeding on this type of propaganda to come to terms with the fact that the blue Eritrean flag was decided and approved by the Eritrean founding fathers, by the first ever elected body of legislators that Eritrea ever produced.

  1. Furthermore, all Eritrean parties that represented the entire social and political forces of the country, including the pan-Ethiopianist Union party, participated in the negotiations and accepted the flag as a unifying symbol of Eritreans.On September 1, 1961, the national hero Hamid Idris Awate resurrected the blue flag that the unionists tried to bury in collaboration with Haile Selassie. He raised it high and started the long journey to reclaim a hoisting ground for it in all parts of Eritrea. Singers and poets have sung for the blue flag that represented Eritrea and its future; the people rallied behind it and the fire of nationalism was re-kindled representing the dreams of all Eritrean nationalists and patriots. It was the magnet that pulled all Eritreans together. Around 1973, the last remaining unionists were defeated. Almost in unison, Eritreans gave their allegiance to the true Eritrean flag. United under that banner, by 1977, Eritreans had liberated their country except for Asmara, Massawa, Asseb, and a negligible number of other Ethiopian army garrisons.

In its organizational congress in 1977, just a few years after all patriotic forces rallied behind the blue flag, the EPLF perplexed Eritreans by coming up with a new flag inspired by the leftists of the era and claimed it was an organization “banner”. Not many believed the reasoning. The EPLF flag had three triangles: blue, red, and green, and a yellow star in the red triangle. And the residue of that decision is the damage that inflicted the Eritrean psyche and unity; it’s still damaging the Eritrean social fabric. A big chunk of Eritreans believes the EPLF launched what it called its organizational “banner” with an intention to erase the blue flag.

  1. Three years later, the EPLF attacked the ELF in collaboration with the Ethiopian TPLF whose banner resembled that of the EPLF—with a blessing of Saudi Arabia and Jaafer Numeir’s Sudan. The ELF was militarily defeated and pushed out of Eritrea and into Sudan. As a result, the ELF disintegrated into several small splinter groups, one of which was known as SAGEM. In the eighties, a division of SAGEM led by Ibrahim Toteel, (in jail since 2013), Zemehret Yohannes (PFDJ senior official) and Gergis Tesfamichael (PFDJ minister). The branch they led merged with the EPLF and the EPLF grudgingly reinstated the blue flag. Thereafter, until Independence Day in 1991, both the blue flag and the EPLF banner were hoisted side by side.

Starting in 1991, after the independence of Eritrea, both flags were merged to form a shabbily designed combination of a tasteless flag with uneven triangles where the blue flag, now changed into a triangle, was stitched to the bottom of the EPLF “banner.” That combination flag was promoted with a slogan “Free Eritrea”, and printed on T-Shirts, posters, and stickers, and became the de-facto flag of the EPLF government. It was hoisted until 1993, the time the referendum for the self-determination of Eritrea was carried out.

  1. That shabby flag was scrapped after the referendum when the independence of Eritrea was officially declared. However, the PFDJ came up with yet another flag. This time, it came with a yellow olive branch on a red triangle, and two triangles of Blue and Green, a copy of what was deceivingly introduced in 1977 as an “organizational banner”, only this time, the yellow star, like that of china, was not appropriate in a post Berlin-wall world; they replaced the star with the olive branches of the original Eritrean flag. They only changed the natural green olive branches into yellow, the color of dead leaves.

The PFDJ Constitution

Officially, according to the PFDJ’s drafted but unimplemented constitution, the present flag is transitional; it unequivocally states that the National Assembly will make the final approval of the design of the flag. However, in Article 4 of the unimplemented PFDJ constitution, in the part that deals with “National Symbols”, article 1 reads like a fait accompli statement: “1. The Eritrean Flag shall have green, red and blue colors with golden olive leaves. The detailed description of the Flag shall be determined by law.”

As of now, more than three decades after independence, Eritrea doesn’t have an elected Assembly, and the unelected Assembly has not met for almost two decades after it did to condemn the G15 who are languishing in jail for twenty years with many others. Funnily, a member of the PFDJ central committee wondered if he was a member when I asked him about some issues. He has forgotten he was one!

The PFDJ didn’t explain why the flag was detailed for approval while the National Anthem and the designing of the Coat of Arms were left for the future National Assembly to decide upon.

  1. The PFDJ had a well-outlined vision on how to erase the memory of the blue flag from the Eritrean collective memory, to erase the flag that ignited Eritrean nationalism. The haphazard partisan decision to redesign the flag has caused a great deal of moral and psychological damage and a serious political polarization between Eritreans. On October 27 of 2001, when Mesfin Hagos was a guest speaker at a London meeting, the organizers displayed the shabby PFDJ’s flag of 1991 in on the wall behind the panelists’ seats. PFDJ supporters who don’t even know the history of the “Changing symbols of Eritrea” were quick to condemn him for sitting under “the flag that was designed in Mekele.” Dimtsi Hafash, as usual, the official Eritrean government radio roared: “The flag of gthe traitors”. The entire PFDJ operatives considered that a treason. Also, an article in the government Website, org (tired and closed) read: “The flag was a combination of the EPLF flag and the flag of the [Eritrean] groups that work with the Weyane.” In a 2003 demonstration in Washington DC, PFDJ supporters called it the flag of Torabora, after a famous mountains where the USA was waging war against the Taliban and Osama Binladen.Some Eritrean didn’t have the chance to be acquainted with the blue flag properly; but others have followed the evolution of the Eritrean symbols since they were born.

The PFDJ is neither qualified to choose the symbols of Eritrea nor credible enough to lecture Eritreans on the virtues of a flag.

Symbols are of great psychological and moral value through which affinities and allegiances to an idea or an entity are expressed. People need symbols that reflect their identity, their aspirations, and values. And they carry bad memories of the symbols of colonization or occupation. That is why the Ras Teffarian bandanas and headbands irritates many Eritreans. It is the flag that they consider the symbol of Ras Tefferi, whom they consider god. Personally, I always hid my liking of Reggae music, specially of Bob Marley. Many Eritreans do not like to be reminded of the untold sufferings and atrocities committed under “Ras Tefferi (Haile Selassie)” and that flag.

Ref:

Symbols Of Many Colors

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 awate.com. 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 Awate.com 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 awate.com 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.

Check Also

“Goush the Shepherd Did It”

In a village council, when it was on a consultation break, a restless young man …

  • Haile S.

    ሰላም ሰብ ዓወተ

    ዋዛ ምስ ቁምነገር፡ – ገዛ-ከረን ካብ ከረን-ዓባይ ንላዕሊ

    ገዛ-ከረን ካብ ከረን ንላዕሊ
    ተፈሊጣ ብወግዒ ብጠሊ ብዕሊ
    ማህጸን ማለት እንሃለት ዓዲ ወሊዳ ገዛፍ-ተኽሊ

    እዋይ ውርደት ከረን-ዓባይ እስኪ ኣስተማስሊ
    እዋይ ዓለም መታለሊ
    እታ ዘይነበረት ከማኺ ኣብ ካርታ ትማሊ
    ኩድጭ ኢላትልኪ ኣላ ኣብ google earth ስእሊ

    ሓንቲ ጓል ከረን-ዓባይ ተሳኢና ኮሚክ
    ሓደ ተሳኢኑ ዝቐርብ ኣብ መድረ’ክ
    ትዛረቡ ድኣ፡ ሓመድ-ዕደ! ፖሎቲ’ክ!

    ገሌኹም ትውንኑ ክሊኒክ
    ገሌኹም ኣንጠረይና መካኒክ
    ገሌኹም ሞጃታት ትጽሕፉ ቸክ
    ገሌኹም ትውንኑ መድረኽ ንትርክ
    ገሌኹም ትቆጽሩ ገንዘብ ኣብ ባንክ
    ገሌኹም መሪጽኩም ክትኮኑ ፐድሪያቲክ
    ገሌኹም ናይ ሰማይ ኣምባሳደራት ፓትሪያርክ

    ሕፍር ኣይትብሉን ዘይብልኩም ሓንቲ ትብላዕ ኮሚክ
    ከም ቲፋኒ ሓዲሽ ኣዚያ መስሓቕ ብዘይ ሕንትኽቲክ
    ብዛዕባ መንጎ ኣእጋር ትዛረብ ብዘይ ምሕናክ

    ካብ ጀመርቲ ተመሃሮ መምህራን ንሳኻትኩም
    ካብቶም ንኤሮጳ ባሕሪ ሰጊሮም ዝኸድኩም
    ካብቶም ዱግሪ ተሰኪሞም ዝተመለስኩም
    ሓንቲ እንኮ ትብላዕ ኮመዲያን ዘይብልኩም !!!

    ከረን ከረን ከረን ምባል ደጊም ይጽንሓልኩም
    ኩሉ ሓደ ‘ጓል ከረን እያ’ ምትላል ይትረፍኩም😁
    ንዑ ኣስሕቑና ናይ ላዕሊን ናይ ታሕትን እናተዛረብኩም

    • Saleh Johar

      HaileS,
      This is the first time you made a mistake, you overlooked a few important points:
      1-Abubaker AshekeH, who modernized the Ethiopian music scene–he discovered Mahmoud Ahmed and introduced Sudanese tunes to Ethiopia–Tilahun Gessese became famous by singing Abubaker’s tunes.
      2. Tsehatu Berakhi is Keren’s asset!

      I will not add to the list because your health concerns me:-) But as for the second rate entertainers (comedian is relatively a bit high position), we send them to Geza Keren, Kishshne Keren, and lately we sent one to Maibela Keren. As for the village naming itself Keren, it is flattering to the future capital city of Africa. I like Geza Keren, for that matter anything that has Keren in it Keren, like my neighbor’s daughter who is names Karen. I suggested they change the a to e and it will be perfect. He is thinking about it. We will transform the village into a bustling town–you know when 🙂

    • M/Brhan Idris

      Hello Haile S
      What kind of a comedy? Black comedy , for example?.

      • Haile S.

        Selam M/Brhan,

        Yes. Anything biting, demystifying, de-tabooing… & astounding

  • Haile S.

    ሰላም ሰብ ዓወተ

    ኣብ ገጽ-Shabait ርኣኹ ጽሑፍ ወቓሲ
    ካይደንጎየ ኣብ ገጽ-መጽሓፍ ኣማሪካ ኤምባሲ
    ቅልቅል በለ ጽሑፍ ዝመስል ንወቐሳ መልሲ

    እቲ ቀዳማይ ይብል ኣማሪካ ኣማሪካ ኣማሪካ
    ክጥዕመኪ ብኢድኪ ካይጥዕመኪ ብፋርኬታ-ማንካ
    #NoMore! #ይኣክል፡ ምድፋር ልዑላዊነት ኣፍሪቃ

    ‘ቲ ዳሕረዋይ ይብል እሱራተ-ሕሊና ኤርትራ ይፈትሑ
    በእንተ ልደተ-ግዕዝ** PIA ኢዶም ይዘርግሑ

    ዲፕሎማስያዊ ኣዛራርባ ቀደም ተሪፉ ኣብቒዑ
    ዊኪሊኪ ንበለኪ ለኽዓኪ፡ ንኹሉ ኣቃሊዑ
    ስዋ ካይተረፈ ተመዝጊቡ ተደሪዑ

    እሞ ንምንታይ ድኣ የገልግል ዲፕሎማሲ
    ከም ‘ንርኦ፡ ንዕርቂ ኣምሲሉ፡ ይሰርሕ ንክርፍስ ባእሲ

    ** Geez Christmas: One of the neologisms that is more confusing than helping. Why not call it ኤኢተ EEO (Eritreo-Ethiopian Orthodox) christmas, calendar etc.. . If people do not feel represented by ኤኢተ because subtlety in the word ተዋህዶ, it can be replaced by ኤኢኦ፡ ኦ for Orthodox. Just a suggestion!

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Haile S.

      Why should it be limited to Eritrea and Ethiopia? According to Wikipedia, the following countries celebrate Christmas on January 7th.

      Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine

      However, a few countries are absent from the list (such as, Eritrea, Syria, Armenia and other oriental orthodox countries such as India, Turkey).

      Isn’t it true that the Romans changed the date to December 25th, a considerably later date?

      EPLF’s decision to do anything with Lidet, in my opinion, was a mistake; it should have been left alone. It was the others who had to come up with new descriptions, as we used to say ልደት ጥልያን when we use to go visit the Christmas decorations at Cathedral.

      • Haile S.

        Selam Berhe,

        In principle you are right. I was also considering the Calendar and possibly others that has been granted the prefix Geez- after Eritrean independence. My reasoning is that the calendar and feasts are more used and related to the practice of the Orthodox Tewahdo church.

        • Berhe Y

          Selam Hailat,

          You are right and it’s reasonable proposal. I don’t think the Ethiopians have that problem and this is really EPLF created problem.

          This is actually a problem for example Roman Catholic Eritreans as well. They also celebrate (I am not sure about the Lutherans) on the same day as the Orthodox. I don’t know the reason but it could be out of respect and to keep the peace / harmony of the population (such as observing different day for the same holiday can create issues such as school break, day off in school and government offices etc).

          As far as I am concerned this “Christmas, Dec 25” serves no one except those foreigners.

          That’s why I think it should have the “special name” instead of the regular holiday. In this case, I think it’s easy to “unlearn” it.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Berhe,

            Just briefly, because I feel speaking too much at the forum like ጉዐይ ባርጂማ or ዘገንፎ 😁.

            The reason the Eritrean catholic church follows a Geez rite is because of its founder Abba Di Jacobis, aka ኣባ ያዕቆብ. He was a clever priest who learned lessons from the failure of the Portuguese and other missionaries after them to introduce catholicism to Abyssinia. To do this, among others, he decided to use Geez instead of Latin in the new churches activities he succeeded in introducing. He even accepted dejach Wube’s proposal and accompanied the Abyssinian delegation who went to Egypt to bring the orthodox Patriarch whom we know as Aba Salama, later imprisoned by Tewodros II and died. But, aba Di Jacobis didn’t succeed in converting Wube or Tewodros II and convert the whole country. He feared Tewodros a lot. Because of this, he decided to go to Massawa (and perhaps back to Europe) and died on the way. The people of Hebo near Segeneiti decided to bring back his body and bury him in the church he found.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Haile S.

            And thank you for the history lessons as you always do.

            Please keep speaking as we all benefit when you speak. Speaking of ምዝራብ , ክንደይ መዛረቢ ነገር ኣሎ::
            – Feltman is leaving post and being replaced by former Turkey ambassador.
            – China FM is visiting Eritrea
            – Ethiopians returning to Ethiopia including Hermela

            If you’ve had a chance to read the GSTS letters, I’d want to make a comment (Global Society of Tigray Scholars).

            There is one specific statement in the open letter b>Statement on the Vital Interests of Tigray/b> dated December 23 that deals with access to the sea and freedom of transit. The following is the specific article that sparked considerable discussion on the:)ሾሻል መድያ:).

            e) Equally essential and related to the territorial integrity of Tigray is access to international borders, and the right of access to and from the sea and freedom of transit as provided in article 125 of the Law of Sea. These constitutional and international rights are non-negotiable vital interests of Tigray.

            Most Eritreans, including me, assume that “sea access” refers to the Eritrean sea. I don’t see anything wrong with such access [which I recommended in the first place and was mocked by several of my good friends (iSem and SGJ) for not knowing how to measure distance correctly:)].

            The issue, I believe, is that it seems like saying በፍንጫ rather than making it sound like a win-win situation, such as “willingness to accept the border demarcation” rather than “demanding Eritrea to withdraw from all regions by November 4th in the same letter.”

            Dr. Benhur, an Eritrean, responded to their statement by arguing that it is a privilege, not a right, and that it must include Eritrean interests as well.

            Below is the articles for the sea access where they seem to focus on the point number one but ignore the rest.

            Right of access to and from the sea and freedom of transit

            1. Land-locked States shall have the right of access to and from the sea for the purpose of exercising the rights provided for in this Convention including those relating to the freedom of the high seas and the common heritage of mankind. To this end, land-locked States shall enjoy freedom of transit through the territory of transit States by all means of transport.

            2. The terms and modalities for exercising freedom of transit shall be agreed between the land-locked States and transit States concerned through bilateral, sub regional or regional agreements.

            3. Transit States, in the exercise of their full sovereignty over their territory, shall have the right to take all measures necessary to ensure that the rights and facilities provided for in this Part for land-locked States shall in no way infringe their legitimate interests.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Berhe,

            Wow! You put the arrow in the center of the board, of discussion! I am curiously waiting what ERIPS thingy is going to say on the GSTS thingy! Someone has also replied to them on Borkena. The subject is too serious that needs time and deep reflexion. Good to know H&H (Hermela and Haregeweini) arrived safe in addis. I wish they were part of the group who wrote that letter. I believe, they would have added a lot of sense and essence to it.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Haile, Ismail and Reclaim,

            Thank you for the history lessons and it’s relevance with current issue. I would like to stay on topic, and the statement of GSTS is addressed by Eritreans. As we wait to hear from the not been heard and not seen Eritrean Intellectuals named ERIPS (Eritrean Research Institute for Policy and Strategy), I want to bring to your attention a response by an Ethiopian named Wendimu Mekonen from England.

            The old times Eritreans probably remember him but he was an advocate for the release of Professor Asrat and staunch qey bahrachin advocate of his days…

            You can find the entire article on borkena titled “Three Thousand Five Hundred Vacuous Intellectuals Of The TPLF!”.

            Here is relevant with the topic of discussion.

            To the amazement of millions of people across the world, “The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS)”, which claims to have more than 3500 members, recently surprised us on Twitter with “Position Statement on the Vital interest of Tigray”, which includes three statements. Position 3e is the most bizarre statement. It reads:

            “Equally essential and related to the territorial integrity of Tigray is access to international borders, and the right of access to and from the sea and freedom of transit as provided in article 125 of the Law of the Sea. These constitutional and international rights are non-negotiable vital interest of Tigray”

            Doesn’t that sound like putting the cart before the horse? There is an adage in the Ethiopian proverb: “Let the common duiker be meat first” (እስቲ መጀመሪያ ሚዳቋ ሥጋ ትሁን). These guys have no clue that Tigray has been an integral part of Ethiopia for thousands of years and remains a territory of Ethiopia up until this article is written. The border of Tigray is determined by the Ethiopia Government and not by the United Nations or anybody else outside Ethiopia as a matter of fact. This is common sense. These guys act as if Tigray is an independent country. It is not. The TPLF is not in charge of the Government of Ethiopia anymore, if they have forgotten to determine the future of Ethiopia!

            And concludes…

            Let the so-called Tigray Scholars and Professionals understand this! There is no international law that would take land from an independent country to let a province of a country have a sea outlet. Eritrea is an independent country since 28 May 1993, thanks to the TPLF. They lost the chance in 1993. No one has the right to award Assab to Tigray or no legal means to allow them to annex Djibouti. As for the international borders, if Tigray remains an integral part of Ethiopia, they will never ever have the legal power to claim any of those demands because the internal territory is defined by the authorities of Ethiopia and not an international body. There is an international law that prohibits interference in the internal affairs of any country. Ethiopia is not an exception. If they succeed to become independent, then Eritrea and Ethiopia will be their international borders! There they would have the international borders! What is the fuss!

          • Haile S.

            Selam Berhe,

            Wondimu Mekonnen nailed it!

            Three years back, Paul brought an article by a certain Alemayehu I graciously labeled Constitutionocrat😁. We had some exchange with Paul and in my reaction to Paul’s comment I alluded to the Ethiopian constitution as transgressing the Eritrean territory. Now based on the understanding of these Tigray scholars and TPLF, they are in a twisted logic in believing that the 1995 constitution protects their Tigray territory (voiding the boundary commission decision signed by Eritrea & Ethiopia) and will salvage and cement their annexation of the land west of Tekezze (Welkait & +). Indeed as Wondimu Mekonnen said “one who doesn’t know when full spends the night getting sick” (አልጠግብ ባይ ሲተፋ ያድራል). I will also add የቆጡን ኣወድ ብላ የብብትዋን ጣለች. To get land from an internationally accepted and recognized Eritrean territory, they are going to loose the land west of Tekezze, by linking both. International boundary cannot be negociated for or in exchange of internal boundary!

            Since I forgit how to do internal links, I am copying below what I said to Paul 3 years ago:

            Haile S. Paulos
            3 years ago edited
            Selam Paul and Awatewian,

            Paul, yesterday was the ‘night of the long knives’. You didn’t miss it BTW, you added your own ‘dagger’. Thank you for bringing Alemayehu’s article here. Although purely Ethiopian issues, one paragraph of his, related to the Ethiopian constitution attracted my attention. I never read the Ethiopian constitution before. The paragraph is:
            <>
            What attracted me is not the “ethnically based regions” to comfort the ‘illiterates’ in this forum who abuse ethnic federalism and/or call upon Emma to call this climbing Constitutionocrat an illiterate for saying that, but rather by the constitutional basis for delimiting the nine Ethiopian regional states. I quote it again from the Ethiopian constitution, article 46 No 2, “States shall be delimited on the basis of the settlement patterns (በሕዝብ ኣሰፋፈር), language, identity and consent of the people concerned”. Now I have two questions for you and the forumers, because you brought the question for Awate discussion: 1, was the delimitation of State of Tigray incorporating parts of the Gonder/Begemder-Semien province and most importantly for my question, a chunk of Eritrean land (now awarded back, but not yet implemented) largely or purely based on settlement patterns? Mind you, that large chunk of land that was incorporated from Eritrea to Tigray does not have basis on dispute between Italy and Ethiopia when the Italian colony was formed. 2, the dispute with Eritrea having been solved by international legal decision, how does its lien in this constitutional basis affect the claims of the Amara State and how should Ethiopia solve this entangled constitutional maze that seemingly was tailored for Tigray? Is TPLF dragging its feet to implement the delimitation of boundary with Eritrea because of its link with these liens?

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Slemat All,

            What does it mean by ዕንደራ?
            Thanks

          • Berhe Y

            Selam RA,

            Until Haile S. give you the correct translation let me try. In the context of PIA was using, I think it means adventurism .

          • Haile S.

            Selamat Berhe & Reclaim,

            Thank you Berhe. I have no better word.

          • Berhe Y

            Thank you Haile.

            Is everyone New Years resolution at Awate land “Siq MeriSna?” Why is everyone so quite :(.

            What do you think IA and Abiy ዕንደራ on the weekend?

            Berhe

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Dear Berhe Y,

            Let me give it a go.

            Retrospective of the synergy of East Africa is the ዕንደራ.
            Bringing the centre of gravity to the Redsea. It is anticipated to fill the assumed power vacuum. The return of the kings, the resurrection of the kingdom of the Ottomans mischievously, the trade links in Hirghigo? Hmm, Are they gone be medieval or Aristotelian?
            Connecting the nodes with input and output flows of ports, blockchain? Promise with Silkroad? I think I need help.

            Reclaim

          • Haile S.

            ሰላም በርሀ፡

            ተዃቲኹካ ከተናግረኒ 😁

            ብዙሓት’ዮም ስቕታ ዝወሰኑ
            ባዕሎም ይፈጥዋ እንታይ ከምዝኾኑ

            ክስማዕ ዝድለ ግዲ ተሳኢኑ
            ሃዳናይ ግዲ ተሃዲኑ
            ኣብ ሃድን ይብሃል ኣበርዒኑ
            ከምዝውረ’ውን ተሃዳናይ ለዊጡ ውጥኑ

            ሃዳናይ እንተ ዝጭምት ነይሩ ሆባይ-ሰማይ
            ምወረደ ነይሩ ኣብ ዓወተ እዚ ዘይብሃል ጥረምረ እኽለ-ማይ

            ኢሳያስ ማይህሙ ከምቀደሙ ኣርኣየና ኦፔራ
            ኣባል ባይቶ-ዓወተ ይመስል ክዝርዝር ከሎ ጸገማት ኤርትራ
            እዚ ዘይተገብረ እዚ ዘይተሰንጨረ ይደግም ካን ዜጋ ተራ
            ብዛዕባ ኣሸቀልቲ ወያነ ክዛረብ እንከሎ ግና ቁርጺ ቸ-ጉቬራ

            ኣቢይ ኣህመድ ‘ሞላጫ’ ሰብ ኣኽባሪ፡ ሰጊዱ ደኒኑ
            ዓርቢ መሪር-ጉዕ ኣኾለሰ ሰንበት ብጻዕዳ ካሮቲ ሸፋፊኑ

          • Berhe Y

            Selam Hailat, Sara, Reclaim and all,

            I think IA got ዱብ እዳ [surprise] as the Ethiopians say, from the confusing announcement. I think the interview was in reaction to the news of the release of former TPLF insiders.

            His message was focused to Tigrayans, Amhara / Ethiopians and Eritreans.

            To Tigrayans:
            You are suffering the most by TPLF adventure and you should withdraw your support.

            Amhara:
            We are surprised by [Abiy] decision the first time [withdrawal from Mekelle] and we are surprised again [today]. He wants the Amhara to push for constitutional change and remove the ethnic federalism. At the same time to stay united to resist US interference and Abiy adventurism.

            Eritrea:
            We have no choice but continue this adventure, in order to secure our peace.

            Abiy :
            I think Abiy is looking to be TPLF 2.0. He wants ears, eyes, hearts and minds of the US and the west. The US wants face saving returns for TPLF to stop the war with Abiy and for him to stay in power. The US probably have lost hope of TPLF coming to power, and they chose to convince to stay with him. It could be in reaction to the Chinse FM visit to Eritrea that they do not want to lose Ethiopia, if it goes Eritrea’s way.

            I don’t know what the US offered him [financially] to take this poison pill [as it comes with huge cost]. If he had no support from IA [militarily] and Amhara [specially advocacy and financial support from Diaspora], I don’t know how long he will last.

            IA:
            I think sooner or later, the financial strain will hit hard, as sustaining this war is too much of a burden [not to mention human lives]. He may chose to stay in defense position but not for long if TPLF continues the war in the western front [without Abiy involvement]. He may get some shield from China at the UN [diplomatically] but they will not finance his adventure. New መኸተ season will be in full force.

            We all wish a happy new year and blessed 2022 but from the look of it, it looks very bleak 2022 as long as these people are all in power.

            The sad story is, if there is no body in power in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, the people would just get along fine minding their own business.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Berhe,

            Abiy’s surprise Amnesty was copied from Awate Team. There was no more surprise here since AT’s amnesty last fall. But we saw what resulted after. Is same thing going to happen in Ethiopia? We will see. If it holds, then AT should take a lesson from😁. I am saying this because it has a direct relationship with your question as to why the forum is quite. The drummers are not there! I am very well aware Ismail AA & SGJ only asked decency & rightly so.

            IA probably also wanted to do a surprise Amnesty, but I think was prevented by the “prisoners of conscience” qualification by his ጥዕምቶ diplomat days before. You know the tigrigna proverb ኣይትብከ እንድ’ዩ ዘብክየኒ በለ ህልኸኛ ቆልዓ! Prisoners are also instruments in addition to being beings!

            I like the way you framed the rest of the substance. Ethiopian problem is a very complex issue. For Eritrea it is much more complex because of the complexity of its primary partner’s (Ethiopia) problems. For Eritrea, the dilemma is on whether to deal constructively with Ethiopia as a whole, Ethiopia minus Tigraya, Tigraya only, or with Tigraya that dominates Ethiopia. IA says “no option but to “bolster” constructive engagement with Ethiopia” (as a whole). Read an article with the same title on Borkena.

          • Berhe Y

            Thank you Haile.

            I’m not sure if IA will ever be sympathetic. The Ambassador’s request is reasonable, and it has sparked some debate over how bad things are in Eritrea, despite the regime’s recent “strength.”

            In a meeting with Eritreans in New York in 2012, I believe one of them asked him about the detainees, who were revolution heroes. As far as I could see, it wasn’t a straight inquiry asking him to “free them or bring them to justice,” but rather “what should be done.” A couple አቅሽቲ sat in the front row of the audience and he said “ነዞም አቅሽቲ ፍትሓት ክገብሩሎም ምሕታት አዩ፥ ከምዚ ሰብ ምስ ሞተ ፍትሓት ትገብረሉ ከምኡ ጥራህ ምግባር እዩ”. The majority of the audience applauded, but I believe they were unaware of the gravity of what he said. According to my understanding, there is no way they will see the light of day, therefore we should just forget about them.

            In terms of the Ethiopian scenario, you’re probably familiar with the duo at AAN Network Media, ጸሓፊ፣ ማቴዎስ ዘልአለም ኣቅራቢ ፣ሰይድ መሐመድ the other day said the following describing the situation “እዛ ኣብ መሬት ደቂሳ ተንገርግር ዘላ ኢትዮጵያስ፥ ኣብ ምንታይ ከይትወድቅ እያ ትፍራሕ ዘላ?”.

          • M/Brhan Idris

            Hello Berhe Y,
            Happy new year.
            People might be in new year clebration mood…some coming from islands from the ocean where they enjoyed clear sky and calm warm water, the sun, etc
            Let them enjoy their mood for a little time!

          • Berhe Y

            Selam Brhan,
            Happy New Year to you as well.

            I am glad that people are celebrating and enjoying vacation. You know from where you are, it’s just not possible in most cases because of covid and travel restrictions, but all possible in the virtual world of metaverse.

            You are correct, I should not ruin the mood.

          • M/Brhan Idris

            Selam Berhe,
            Yes, you are right. Even if we are not to be able there, and by there I mean the beach, the sun, the water, we can imagine and remember the good times of the best days of the year: new year. The year started with some hope, peace dialouge south of the border and this is good for us as it saves the lives of our brothers and sisters.

          • sara

            selamat ato berhe,-
            indeed there is so much silence this days, may be because of the vacations…but most all what is going on is very confusing and unpredictable situation in the horn of Africa. look at Sudan
            until now no end at site to the political conflict , the same with
            Ethiopia and Somalia, and maybe soon Kenya with upcoming election.
            so , i think our forumers are sick and tiered of the situation as their
            comments and agitation in the forum is not bringing the needed
            result they all aspire.
            good day to you.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Sara,

            I don’t know if anyone who comments here really believe have much influence on the political elite, not even sure they care. I hope it ends well for Sudan in the long run but I think it’s better to go through this pain now and replace the military rule with civilian government in the end.

            No military government will ever guarantee transition to civilian rule willingly. I hope sooner the military forces in the ground sympathize with the people and push the generals to find a peaceful end to their rule. Otherwise it will just be another Egypt where the general leaving post and turn around and claim to be civilian.

            You know, I found Amde on twitter and he has this post pinned on his front page “POTS will invite Abiy Ahmed to Washington before the end of this terms”. His reason was “Abiy will offer much better deal to the US than the TPLF would and after loosing key battle ground states such as Georgia, Virginia the Dems will get it”. I think he was correct about PM Abiy visiting Washington but it will be for totally different reason.

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Thanks Berhe y,

            This is clearly shows luck of experience on the Tigrayan elite side. one, it is very provocative for Eritrean, and this does not help the people in Tigray to get help from Eritrean side at all. የአፍ ወለምታ አይታሽም ብቂቤ
            Some times western education without the experience is something like ውስጡ ሊጥ የሆነ ዳቦ?
            Secondly, Who is going to enforce that? still no lesson learnt from the 30 years Eritrea war? When are they going to realise that in East Africa, if you live with gun, you will die with gun.

            Reclaim

          • Berhe Y

            Selam Reclaim,

            What is interesting and not so interesting is, all 3500 “Tigray scholars” agreed to the statement.

            In another turn of events, Yosief Ghebrehiwet, the father of Tigray-Tigrinya seems to have realized the pickle the TPLF got themselves in and the toll of the war it will have in Tigray. He equated to what happened to Tigray during Yohannes, fighting Egyptians, Eritreans / Italy, Sudan (Durbush), Amhara (South) where it was reduced to insignificance.

            He said, after all said and done (even if Tigray) is to become independent (as the wish seems for most people of Tigray) it will not escape the “Kebeba/ encirclement”. In the North Eritrea, in the South Amhara and in the west Sudan (is not reliable), and Afar (in the east) “created new enemy- his words”.

            His approach and suggestion is:
            1) Remove IA and Shaebia (not specifically by TPLF) but saying ሻዕብያ ክትጠፍእ አለዋ
            2) create federation or co-federation with Eritrea /Tigray

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Selamat Berhe,

            This is terrifying.
            I don’t think these guys have any clue about the damage they are causing to their people. But again, I am also wrong when I refer to their people and my people, etc. I think these (elite) selfish, hungry for success, bolex, who have no moral value continue to expose the people to the edge of disastrous circumstances without being considerate to the need of the people on the ground.
            I think they should be ignored, and I believe Eritrea will do the right thing by allowing for all aid to flow and be facilitated to the people of Tigray, Amhara and Afar through its port.

            Reclaim

          • Haile S.

            Selam Berhe, Reclaim, Ismail et all,

            Just briefly Berhe, what is happening now in the Tigray front looks comparable to what happened to Ras Mikael Sehul and his followers in the 18th century and particularly during and following the battle of Sarbak(x)usa half-way between Gonder and Enfraz. I would have liked Ismail to comment and I to place a hand on his thesis paper at AAU 🙏🏾.

            Reclaim,
            The white honey coming mostly from Tigray is just bee honey, but made from certain types of plants/flowers. መዓር ጭደናይ is a raw mixture of nectar and pollen, not so elaborated like bee honey. Due to its rarety and medicinal ‘prowesses’, it is usually supplied in very small quantities.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile S.,

            It is difficult to shrug off questions posed by inquisitive-minded person like you. So, hoping you would spare me from looking for that paper you mentioned and refresh my memory, I will comment a few things on the issue you have raised.

            As you know, it more easier for politicians to indulge in contrasts and comparisons of past and present events than historians. The former will be interested in finding parallels or divergencies that may serve a political purposes. For the latter, the venture and methodology are more complex, and one that irk them is when it get stated that history repeats itself because it invites them to huge challenge of revisiting discourses.

            Having noted that, thus, the question you raised is related to the end of Mikael Sehul’s career and role. His ascendance to power and influence was a fascinating journey in itself and by itself which the space and time do not allow me to delve into. And, to make the story short, his role purely based on opportunities the decline at the seat of power on the one hand and the strategic Adwa (his seat of power) provided him. Adwa was a transit trade location from the interior to the coast. Wealth enabled Michael Sehul to become an asset in dealing with problems the rulers at Gondar faced, especially with difficulties the ruler in Massawa and Hirgigo had caused in affairs pertaining to relations with Alexandria and the Abuns it sent to Abyssinia. Sehul’s role in the arrangements that made the arrival of Abuna Yohannes in 1745 was crucial for his relation with Gondar. He had marriage arrangements with Empress Mentewab’s daughter.

            From that time on, he was able to become a factor in power relations, especially after the death of Iyasu II. There emerged politics of succession between the Emperor’s son Iyoas I who was crowned but disputed Mentewab and the mother of the hier. The struggle escalated and each invited respective power base: Mentewab from Qwara, and the Iyoas’ mother from Yeju. Sehul benefitted from the division, and eventually had Iyoas killed. This ended the forturnes of Mentewab, and from then on (1769) the empire entered the period of chaos, in which Sehul became real king maker. He appoint Yohannes II and Teklehaymanot II who were simpletons. Sehul tightly controlled Gondar but could not pacify the rural areas.

            This lead and emergence of new alliance between the lords of Begemeder, Gojjam ( Amhara) and Yejju. There were more than one confrontations at Sarbarkusa and Sehul was defeated and submitted to the lord of Begemeder who kept him in jail for one year. Then, Sehul was allowed to return to Adwa and was succeeded by his son, grandson and nephew respectively. Eventually power shifted from Adwa to Enderta under Wolde Selassie.

            NB; This is unedited piece if there are mistakes, they are mine.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Ismail,

            Merci mille fois!

            If I insisted, it is because I knew the result, and you delivered! You have an incredibly wonderful memory! This attests the seriousness with which you had done research for your thesis decades back. You are also giving us a double lesson in history. The history itself and how to use it. You gave the cornerstones of that story allowing us to do the compare and contrast between the two events of two and half centuries apart.

            Only a servile analysis will confuse an invading foreigner (Italy) with the indigenous inhabitants of the land to find a similarity with what is happening today. In contrast, you beautifully put it and gave us several elements of comparison starting with Sehul’s vexation with the north, the weakening of the central power, the opportunism, and the holding of power without feeling part of it. Indeed it is a vast subject that cannot be dealt in this forum. But the squeezed history you gave us here summarizes well all that history for those genuinely interested in learning from the repetitions of history.

            Ismail, you don’t hammer heads. You enlighten them. That is what is called IIER (Inform, Inspire, Embolden & Reconcile).

            Thank you thousand time!

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Haile S.,

            The gratitude is deservedly mutual. I enjoy engaging with you and others who have made this forum a second home. The beauty conversing with you lies in urge your comments stir in me to ask questions. That is the kinetic energy that sets the search for knowledge on motion. One who does not ask questions does not learn much because his quest ends with listening or reading only. The added value interaction between the process of asking and answering brings to both sides gets missed. Perhaps, many of us may not appreciate the volume of information that flows through this forum. The regret is that several who serve us as educators get often missed due one reason or another.

    • M/Brhan Idris

      Hello Haile S
      Happy new year,
      It means now we have two sided story coming from Asmara, which is good, because it reflects the essence of news.

      • Haile S.

        Selam Mebrahtom-Brhan,

        Happy New Year to you too!

        It (is) would have been a great entertainment, had it not been at the expense of Eritrean’s peace and tranquillity!

        • M/Brhan Idris

          Merhaba Haile-Saeed,
          The call for the release of our prisoners of conscience, if implemented, will bring peace to Eritreans.

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Hi Saleh, and Selamat to All,

    Saleh, after reviewing my posts I can see why you are feeling this way. I should have been careful with my word selection. My apology, I was not trying to be sarcastic at all, and I still support Hamid Awate, and it is justifiable, I was just implicating what if…
    I know that you don’t have a PhD in sarcasm, you are kind and supporting to all of us with your engagement on the discussion board and Negarit. I think you can beat Hermela in establishing a successful media center for East Africa considering the way your Negarit (living history book) is going.

    Hermela posted today on her tweeter saying “Fear will make you act out of character” we say የፈሪ በትር ሆድ ይቀስር @HermelaTV

    Hermela, was so scared and terrified when an attempt was made to give her a new identity of Tigrayan, and told she was no longer Ethiopian after the war broke out. She was shocked that she needs to ditch her Ethiopian community, her Ethiopian friends and start a new identity 😱.
    I can associate myself with her more than a quarter of a century ago, when I was told I am Eritrean and the EPLF asked me what do you call us in Addis, and I said with fear but honestly ወንበዴ ? and they all laughed 😂. What a relief. Hermela mother was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study abroad and raise her kids fully funded by Ethiopia and scholarship, not long after they took the central government power. Hermela is now standing by the Ethiopian unitarian side, which she feels is right and all her fear is contained, and she become a good investment for Ethiopia. It is a bit of a concern though when I think of the consequences on the Ethiopian people and its economy as well as arrogantly the refusal of aid food when Hermela continues to promote the hands-off USA in the hashtag nomore slogan. I think the poor Ethiopian will nomore get ፊኖ. That will be devastating, what are they thinking to feed the civilised people of Addis የጠላ ቂጣ 🤮🤮. In Addis, the love of ፉርኖ ድቄት 😘😍❤️ was expressed like below. Please do not take offence, I am Addis Ababa ዕዋላ

    ፓፓፓፓ ይላል ቀሚሷ
    ያስጎመጃል ቂጧ
    እንደ ፉርኖ ድቄት ቂጣ

    Dear Saleh,

    I don’t understand how you could find it funny when I admire Eritrean self-sustained by helping each other to educate the unfortunate youth of Eritrean in Egypt. I think you underestimated this great work that was undertaken during those difficult times either by a form of Zekaat or dedication of the great people of Eritrean. This is a very serious outstanding matter, that needs to be attended to by some kind of judicial system. When the country is fully looted, its land resource is given to someone else and the young are thrown out of the country, abandoned, and the responsibility left in the hand of few fellow citizens, to scrab money from golf states to educate their children and all citizens in need are just unheard of. The work is priceless, I have no word for my admiration, but you said it’s normal and funny? I don’t know which world you are from unless you are from the seventh heaven if there is such a thing, this is not normal, it is extraordinary.
    I made you a season greeting postcard but they keep deleting the link.
    Reclaim

    • Saleh Johar

      Thank you Reclaim,
      Why do you think I should be interested in what that woman and her mothers does? Aren’t there millions of individual with different views? Just curious what’s special about them that should preoccupy me? Thanks again

      • Reclaim Abyssinia

        Thanks, Saleh,
        You got to be kidding me Saleh. no one said that should preoccupy you at all. There are actually billions of individuals with different views. For the question you asked, I don’t think you can handle the truth so leave it at that. However, I would just say… don’t shy away from the truth, I’m sure you would have been showing your 32 teeth 😁 if you have had achieved popularity like her with all your campaigns, besides, why would you pretend as irrelevant, while she is being inclusive of your Eritrea? Not that it matters, but to answer your question with question What makes you think that I am your secretory? The way you asked sounds more like I did something wrong your honour. I don’t have to ensure to what interest you or not when I am engaged with you in a public arena, did you forget about the other people in the venue? Everything should be cattered to your liking?

        • Saleh Johar

          See Reclaim,
          I am not in a popularity contest. I do what I do because I believe it’s my obligation. Now you bring Tom cruise.. who is a quotable philosopher because he is popular! Popularity is not relative. But do I have to be interested in the woman and her mother because you are telling me she is popular? My mentors and idols are not popular at all. I should have followed Mengistu or Isaias because they are certainly popular. There are more important factors than popularity. Jim Jones was popular by the way :-). I am interested in what is relevant to me but I will not try to convince you think like me. Another popular guy said, “ to each according to his something” and the Sudanese say, “kulu zol yaArif kef. [muted for obscenity]. If I quote the popular Abiy, you will stay up all night digesting his wisdom. But I am not going to. Last thing, go to the nearest Library and Tella bet and tell me which one is more popular 🙂

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Lol, I can not believe you made me googled Tella bet ጠላ ቤት, assuming that you are referring something educational.
            Dear Mr Johar,
            Why did you left out the most relevant part then? ohh no, getting all sensitive?
            # hands off USA from Eritrea so we can kill them all.
            # hands off USA from Ethiopia so we can kill them all.
            I am መረቅ individual of the Eritrean and Ethiopian society. I know you don’t meant it, you know no one will believe you if you attempt to describe me as ጠላ ቤት individual, may be Khat bet yea (ጫት).
            Abiy? noooo, i’m too smart for that.
            Cheers,
            Reclaim

          • Saleh Johar

            Sorry Reclaim, never meant that at all. I was just trying to explain that tella bet is more popular than a library but it might not be a place for everybody. It was just the best example I could come up with. Sorry again.

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            ኧረ አይገባም ጋሽ ሳልህ
            Not necessary for ይቅርታ:: አይትሓዘልና

          • Haile S.

            Selam Reclaimicus abyssinicus and Saleh

            I cannot have enough of this comedy. It would have been nice to meet in እንዳ ስዋ like this and listen to the ጭራ ዋጣ all day. Enjoy:

            https://youtu.be/P8XoGKKOXSU

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Selamat Hailecus,
            I hope you had a great newyear, another year, another ___
            That’s funny 🤣
            እንዳ ዘመን ኢኒ ኢኒ (I heard this a lot, but is ኢኒ ኢኒ a word at all)
            ሐምባሻ ከሎ እምኒ፧
            ካብ ብዕራይ ዶ እንታይ ፍሎይ አለዎም 😂

            እንድዒ አብ ዓለትኩም
            አብ ዓለትናስ አይነበረን ( Great response)

          • Haile S.

            Selam Reclaim,

            Happy new year to you too!
            Is ኢኒ ኢኒ a word? You ask tough questions that make me work a lot😁.

            From dictionary. – The tigrigna dictionary simply says እን’እኒ means ጥንቲ፡ ቀደም፡ ሰብ ጌና ካይሰልጠነ.

            My speculations: –
            1) እኒ also means so and so. As an example እዞም ደቁ ባጽዕ፡ እኒ ሪክለይም እኒ መሓመድ ብርሃን… . Therefore, ዘመን እን’እኒ or ኢኒ ኢኒ may mean so and so distant time.

            2) Since the expression is ዘመን ኢኒ ኢኒ, may be there was a King by that name or close to that name where bread was abundant like stone during his reign. SGJ is a specialist in finding a king or stories like that. Saleh?

            Another expression Abraham Antiko (the ዋጣ guy) whose name (Antiko, Antico) also means ጥንቲ or ኢኒ ኢኒ, was “ኣቲ ቀደም መዓር ጭደናይ ከሎ”, so funny! Antiko makes it look like መዓር ጭደናይ no more exists since centuries, which is funny, but not true!

            መዓር ጭደናይ or መዓር ጽጌናይ* is rare but still exists. Only the knowledgeable can find it. It is a type of raw ground honey made by some bee-looking rather wasp-like insects (that don’t sting) in underground hives. It is considered a cure for many diseases thus so precious and sought for. Interesting enough, it is mentioned in one of the traditional Eritrean codes and bylaws. Here is what it says under the chapter theft:
            ሥርዓት ኣድግና ተገለባ ቁጽሪ 176 ፡ መዓር ጭደናይ ዝረኸበ ሰብ፡ መጋበሪ (instruments) ከምጽእ ቢሉ ትእምርቲ (mark, sign) ገቢሩ ገዲፍዎ ምስ ከደ፡ ካልእ ሰብ በርቢሩ እንተ ወሰደ፡ እቱ ትእምርቲ ገዲፉሉ ዝኸደ ሰብ እንተ ረትዖ 12 ቅርሺ ይክሓስ። እቲ ዝበርበሮ መዓር እውን ምሒሉ ዘየትርፈ ይሃብ።

            * ኣነ ካብ ስድራይ ዝፈልጣ ቃል ጭደናይ እያ፡ ከምታ ኣንቲኮ ዝበላ። ደሓር ግና፡ እታ ቃል ግዲ ሻዕቢያ፡ ሎሚ ጽጌናይ እዮም ዝብልዋ፡ ከምታ ኣጸዋውዓ ጋዜጣ ጽጌናይ።

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile S.,

            Interesting as usual. This casual folk expression (saying) “ዘመን ኢኒ ኢኒ ሕምባሻ ከሎ እምኒ” reminds me of neighborhood children chatter. The context of its use related to nature endowed innocence (ግርህና) as opposed to shrewdness (ጉርሒ). We understood it in its figurative sense rather than literary implication because people knew a stone cannot turn to bread. As to “ጪደናት” and “ጽደናይ”, I think it regional variation of words. I most parts of Akkele-Guzai, especially the regions like Cheallo, Hazemo and parts of Tsenadegle , they use they pronounce the letter ጸ (urban settlements) as ጨ. Of course, what I am saying can be wrong because as you know Tigrinya is a second language for me and people who were raised in households know better.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Ismail,

            Always great chatting with you. On the ሕምባሻ ከሎ እምኒ, me too! I really believed it was the case, ልቢ ከይገበርኩ ከለኹ። በቲ ሽዑ ጊዜ እሞ፡ “ምጽኣት ምስ ኮነ፡ ጻድቃን ካብ ጸሓይ ሸውዓተ ጊዜ በሪሆም ክትስኡ እዮም” ክሰምዕ ከለኹ፡ ገና ካይርኣኹዎም ከለኹ፡ ዓይነይ ናይ ብሓቂ የቐንዝዋኒ ነይረን!😁

            On regional variation, yes, you are right, people in those regions tend to ጨ the ጸ. I remember well ጨሓይ ወጫ. But my ‘ነታ ቃል ኣሻዕብዮማ’ was because of the ‘ገ’ in ጽገናይ. My caution and difficulty accepting the groung ‘bee’ be called ጽገናይ from ጽገ (flower) more than the Honey from the common Bee seen collecting nectar and pollen in the open air was because the ground ‘bee’ is so discrete that I am not sure people see it collecting nectar and pollen and would be the first thing that comes to their mind to call it that way. At any rate, interestingly enough, you brought a 3rd variant, ጽደናይ, which prompted me to search again further by checking the Amharic, Tigrigna and Geez dictionaries. Luckily, I found an answer from Dillmann’s Geez dictionary 1863. Here is it in its original Latin and its english translation, thanks to google.

            ጸደና = apis quoddam genus in aethiopia, paulo majus musca, aculeo carens, alvearia sua in terra habens, ubi mel jucundissimum pariter ac saluberrimum idque album gignit.

            ጸደና = a kind of bee in Ethiopia, a little larger than a fly, lacking a sting having their own hives on the ground, where honey produces both the most enjoyable and the healthiest.

            Therefore, ጸደና became ጭደናይ or ጽደናይ, meaning ጽገናይ could be a wrong derivative.
            BTW, flower in Geez is ጽጌ.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ustaz Ismail,
            You and Haile must have had a reinvigoration new year day. Thanks you both for enriching our knowledge. You see, ignorance is very bad… there was a man I know from ChaAalo who used Che not Tse. Someone called him Agame. I was enraged an asked why he said that pejoratively? He could only say “Cha endabeles?” He ignorantly believed that could not come from an Eritrean. I explained that the people I met from ChaAalo and Irob pronounce cha in place of Tsa. But he was a hypocrite and we parted unpleasantly. We were a few minutes away from a fist fight. Thank you both.

          • Saleh Johar

            Thanks HaileS. Beautiful. Don’t count on me on the eni-eni thing but I was thinking of Enni Haile zbahalu, myself. Unless there is another source for it–which is unlikely–let’s settle on your explanation 🙂

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Thanks Haileና,

            “2) Since the expression is ዘመን ኢኒ ኢኒ, may be there was a King” , I like the idea of the king, I think there was a lot of kings of in our area, may be there was a time truly ዘመን ኢኒ ኢኒ Like the islands of Dahlak and Qalʿat Massawa; Qalʿat Harkova ( Arkiko…

            How about ኢኒ , ኢና, ኢኒና == (ኡሚ)mother , mother, my grandmother

            Another expression Abraham Antiko (the ዋጣ guy) whose name (Antiko, Antico) also means ጥንቲ or ኢኒ ኢኒ,
            “How rude of them these Asmerix boys. They call him Antique” 😂😂

            mentioned was “ኣቲ ቀደም መዓር ጭደናይ ከሎ”, so funny! Antiko makes it look like መዓር ጭደናይ no more exists since centuries, which is funny, but not true!”

            “Is this the White honey?, it only used to come from Eritrea.. to Addiss”
            Cheers,
            Reclaim

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Saleh G.,

            What do you think of this wise African saying?

            “It’s better to sit in a bar thinking about God than to sit in a church thinking about beer.”

          • Saleh Johar

            Simon, I always start in a unbiased, positive way. I wish I was a wise African to answer that, but I will give it a try.

            1. let’s start in a positive way and assume, as a goodwill investment, someone gave them 100 bonus points each.

            2. Thinking of Beer -50 point loss, in a church +50 point gain.
            Net score 100 points i.e. Even.

            3. Thinking of God +50 point gain, in a bar, -50 point loss
            Net score 100 points i.e. Even.

            4. Now the person who invested on the bonus points can reclaim his goodwill investment.

            5. Thereafter, everyone leaves happily 🙂

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Happy new year to all.

    https://ibb.co/QJ814Vp

  • M/Brhan Idris

    ካብ እምብልታስ እምቢ….

    ተካል ዓመት ወጸ
    ጥዕና ዘይብለይ ብቫይረስ ድማ ክንጸ
    ናብራይ ዝመጸጸ
    ባኒ ብሪጋ ድማ ዝነቐጸ
    መብራህቲ የለ ክፍሊቱ ግን መላጸ!

    ተካል መዓልታት ወጹ
    እቶም ምስ ገዛኢ-ነበር ዝተሓናፈጹ
    ዘመቱ ኣፍረሱ ዓመጹ
    ኣብ እንዳማናቶም ውግእ ተቓጸጹ
    ሃለቑ ገሊኦም ከኣ ኣካላቶም ተቖራሪጹ!

    ተካል ኣዋርሕ ወጹ
    መናእሰይ ቀጸሉ ንስደት ነፈጹ
    ተጨውዩ ተሸጡ ስብኣውነት ተጓዕጺጹ
    ገሊኦም ድማ ኣብ ባሕሪ ጥሒሎም ተቐበጹ

    ተካል ዓመት ወጸ
    ጣጥኡ ኣሽንኳይ ንሃገር ንዓለም ዝረበጸ

    ሓድሽ ዓመት ከኣ መጸ
    እንታይ ይባሃል ኣሎ እንታይ ከ ተደምጸ?

    ሰባት እምብልታ ዶ እምቢ ይመርጹ
    ሕልና ዘለዎ ሻቕሎት ኣብዛ ገጹ!

  • Brhan

    Hello Awatistas
    She was in Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet as war broke out. Now she wants to set the record straight.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/12/30/ethiopia-abiy-tigray-war/

  • aklilu zere

    Dear Awate Nation:

    Happy new Year to all of you.

    Thank you Brother Saleh Johar.

    I am a living witness to the introduction of the flag [ARMA] that eventually was modified to the current flag ( and of course replaced our beloved Blue flag). It was in the first congress of the secretive party that eventually changed name to the current party (PFDJ). The year was 1976, the month September 29 [Wednesday] – October 01 [Friday] and the place was Fishey Mrara.

    The only story I omitted from the article I wrote in 2003 [The birth of despotism] was about this event. The total number of attendees was supposed to be 30 but two were absent. Romadan M. Nur [his soul rest in peace] was away in Somalia [that was what Isaias told us at the congress] and Said Ali who was leading the battle of Nakfa.

    The congress was concluded on Friday 12:00 [Noon] on October 01 after electing the executive committee and after swearing oath of secrecy. But before we said good bye to one another, Isaias shouted and said he wanted to show us something. Then he pulled the flag from his backpack and said this flag will be the “Arma” of the party.

    All of us were surprised but none of us said anything!!!

    • Ismail AA

      Dear aklilu zere,

      Happy new Year to you, too.
      Thank you for this hard and precious fact of history and the culprit of cause of unnecessary division. You know why he acted the way did. He was dead sure those present at the time would not have accepted. One of our problems as Eritreans is not saying the right thing on time when things that lead to calamitous disaster in retrospect happen. This has become almost a characteristic of us as Eritreans.

      • Haile S.

        Selam Ismail,

        Allow me to ask you a question on a very interesting aspect of Eritrean’s behaviour you mentioned. You said:

        “One of our problems Eritreans is not saying the right thing on time when things that lead to calamitous disaster in retrospect happen. This has become almost a characteristic of us”

        Don’t you think that this can be explained by a short sited, one-objective fight & leadership be it within EPLF, ELF and the very many “opposition” groupies existing today?

        At that time, it was focus on beating Ethiopia out (Ethiopia was in the same mood too) at all costs. Any other discussion was considered as a rod between the spokes of the wheel of the revolution. IA considered the educated as a rod between the spokes of the wheel of the revolution. Sadly enough, the same thought persists in many minds of the revolutionaries of every color now.

        Yesterday and today, it is not different. The objective was/is eliminating first and foremost IA & PFDJ, who himself is chasing another external force, who itself wants to efface PFDJ at all costs. Hearing getting repeated at every corner, IA is the No 1 enemy of Eritrea, is deafening the possible other voices. The intolerance to the other voices is still rampant and everyone appears to still see rods getting placed between the spokes of its wheel. Instead of widening objectives and looking on how to build the country and citizenry, everyone appears to stand at the garrison waiting at the lurking enemy. Enemy has become the food of existence.

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Haile S.,
          Happy new year to you and Awate community.
          Were I to contest what you have indicated about power centered animosities that have been reducing national priorities to trivialities, I would be insensitive partisan. The point I tried to state relates to over all propensities that pervade our way of separating what is fatefully decisive from tolerably passable issues. I was trying to state the effect of “meinti mogogo tehlef anchewa-ism” that has become a culture of niceties at the expense of the truth and lofty interests.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Ismail & Awate people,

            First, Ismail thank you for your brief to the point response. It is a live subject that is not going to leave us in peace until we grab the tail of peace.

            Second and most importantly, let me also express my best wishes to you and all. May year 2022 be a year where peace, friendship, health and prosperity rain and reign over Eritrean people in the country, outside and over you. I also wish the same for the brotherly people of Ethiopia from south to north & east to west.

            On this occasion, as a postcard, let me share with you this video from 1941 showing the defeat of Italy by the allied forces where the Free French Forces (FFF) also had an important role in the battles of Massawa and Keren. In Massawa, the participation of the FFF is honored with a statue of their symbol, la Croix Lorraine (the Lorraine Cross), erected in the French cemetery located near the Massawa Hospital. The later is not included in the video, but can visualized if you google “Massawa french cemetry”. https://enseignants.lumni.fr/fiche-media/00000003439/les-francais-libres-participent-a-la-campagne-d-erythree-aux-cotes-des-britanniques.html

            Eritrea need to honor all its citizens who fought for its survive as a nation as it allowed and honored foreigners who left their marks in its history. It is an issue that is part of what we talking about.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile S,
            Thank you. The video is a worthy gift.

      • aklilu zere

        Dear Ismael AA & Amanuel Hdrat:

        Happy new year and may God furnish you and your families and Awate citizens with abundance of Peace, Joy and Success in all your endeavours.

        I was not supposed to participate in the congress simply because I was new to the organization but my recruiter to the party who knew me at HSU unfortunately died at the battle of Gua on September 20, 1976. So I accompanied Mesfin Hagos; Ibrahim Afa and Beraki G/Selasie. That made me accidental witness to inner working of the organization and the power that IA wielded over many great people who never hesitated to die for their country and people but succumbed to the charm and brutality of the tyrant.

        In the three days of the congress IA was the ONLY speaker. There was only one opposing voice when IA declared that Sabe was a traitor (zeihagerawi) and that voice was from Osman Redo.

        The scariest moment for me in the congress was the oath of secrecy and the consequences for those who violated the secrecy. It said ” any one caught violating the oath shall not be punished in halewa sewra but be summarily executed in secret”

        I violated the oath when I joined ELF and the consequences over me will be told in an article that I am contemplation. It is very scary. But I still am alive ONLY and ONLY by the grace of God.

        • Ismail AA

          Dear aklilu zere,

          May you stay safe and free from anxieties of being exposed to vengeful brutes. I wonder what might have happened to Osman Redo because no one survived the vindictiveness of Isayas once he felt someone had the audacity to counter his views. What you had gotten was a fateful chance to be a witness and tell the Eritrean people the genesis, cultivation and maturation of the ruthless dictatorship. The kind of oath you had a chance to know had perhaps already had scores of victims. It was, and still is, an unsparing death warrant in the hand of Isayas. A lot had happened during the journey from the plains of Aala to Fishey Mrara to establish him as a person with uncontested say in the organization through liquidation and intimidation in the name of security of a revolution (!!).

          • aklilu zere

            Dear Ismael AA:

            Osman Redo was from Denkel. At that time there were ONLY three [3] from Dankel.

            EPL[Forces] [that was what it was called before it became EPL[Front], or in Tigrinia [Hizbawi Hailital later Gnbar] was 90% composed of highlanders. IA was HYPER aware of this implication [I call it a reverse dilemma] because he was accusing ELF as Islamic organization. So the treatment towards the Denakil and Deki Semhar was relatively “relaxed” compared towards the highlander “troublemakers” i.e., the educated.

            So i think Osman Redo was “forgiven” by IA solely based on the above facts [opportunistic] but since I left the organization in 1977, I don’t know how he was “treated”.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Merhaba Aklilu (our Brana),

          Wish you and Awate community a happy and a healthy New Year.

          First I am glad you are freed yourself from the trap of the devil and his secret organization. I am also glad you didn’t become part of this devilish organization.

          The oath: “any one caught violating the oath shall not be punished in halewa sewra but be summarily executed in secret”, it in itself is a terrorizing code of discipline that members of the organization were and are going through. I look forward to read your piece. Thank you brother.

          Regard

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Aklilu,

      Thank you for educating us that the “birth of the despot” and the “replacement of our flag” happened in the same Congress of the secretive party (EPRP), in 1976. You watched the history that evolved from that historical significance that changed the life of Eritreans negatively and turned our nation backward to a prison house of its citizen,

      Regard

    • Saleh Johar

      Thank you Aklilu,
      As usual. You load your comments with juicy added value. Indeed, that was a decisive day that could have passed casually as any other day. But hindsight clears the suspicions of the time. It all came true. Thank you.

  • iSem

    Hi All:

    The passing of Romadan M.Nur marks the passing of all founding members of the Political bureau of EPLF:
    In the first congress the office comprised 13 members: Isaias Afwerki, Sibhat Ephrrem, Haile Derue, Petros Solomon, Ogbe Abraha, Berhane G. Mesfin Hagos, Romadan M. Nur, Alamin Mohammed Saed, Ibrahim Affa, Mohmud Sherifo, Saeed Bareh and Abdella Said. Almost 50 percent composition from the two sides that formed EPLF
    After the second congress and the death of Affa the office was reduced to 9 members: Berhane, Mesfin, and Ogbe were out.
    Now: Petros, Haile, Sherifo, Ogbe, Berhane are dead in Ela Ero or have not been heard of since Sep 18, 2001. Abdella, Alamin. Romadan, are dead now. Saeed Bareh died after he was frozen.Affa died or was assassinated in 1985, the jury is still out on that but he is dead.
    Sibhat is walking dead, was never heard from since his murder attempt. So only Isaias Afwerki remains. And if you go back to the founding of Selfi Natsent no one is alive: from Beraki Fenqil to Abraham Tewelde to Tewelde Eyob to Habtessilasee, no survivor. No one to narrate the stories in Alla and Tekli and Kangew conspiracies. IA’s version will be told and the Wodi Sewura and Aregai Hagoses and MS will amplify the falsehood.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Sem,

      Now the despot is done with the first generational leadership of EPLF/PFDJ, except Mesfun Hagos who is in exile. They are eliminated either directly or indirectly by the whim of the despot. He will continue to do so undeterred with second generational leaderships, especially in the context of the current war in Ethiopia. Unfortunately, the usual talk in the household of Eritrean families is, who is next?

      Regard

    • Selam Semere Andom,
      I am eager to know the history of founder of Selfi Natsnet, from Beraki to Habteslasee.
      In advance thank you and happy new year

  • Haile S.

    ሰላም ሰብ ዓወተ

    ትማሊ ኣልኣሚ’ን
    ሎሚ እንሆ ሮሞዳ’ን
    ጽባሕ ተራ መ’ን ?

    ኣንታ ኣነስ ፈሪሐ !
    ቁልዕጽ ‘ተበለ ‘ቲ ዘለና ዝጎርሐ
    እቲ ጉልቡት ካብ ኩሎም ዝነውሐ
    ተራእዩ ዘይፈልጥ መፈንጠራ ዝዘርግሐ
    ተጠራጢረ ምህላዉ ከምኡ ዝኸርፍሐ
    ካበይ ከነምጽእ፡ ዝርአ ዘይጸንሐ !
    እንድዒ ብተኣምር –
    ቦሎኽ ግዲ ይብል ይኸውን ኣዝዩ ዝበልሐ

    ‘ቶም ተቓወምቲ ለሚዶም ምውጥዋጥ ኣጻብዕቲ
    “ባዕልና” ዘይኮነ፡ ኮይኖም ጀግንነት ዓደልቲ
    ንዓርሶም ገዲፎም ንጎረቤት ውሃብቲ
    ነሕዋቶም ገዲፎም ንጓና ጠመትቲ
    ንሶም’ውን ብተኣምር –
    ይግበሮም ጨበጥቲ፡ ኣብ ክንዲ ስልጣን ኣረከብቲ

    • Brhan

      ሰላም ሃይለ

      እቲ ጉዳይ
      እከለ ኢሉ ፍልይ
      አይኮነን ! ጥራይ
      ትካላት ከ አበይ አለው አበይ?

      ሃገር ብዘይ ትካል
      ውጽኢቱ እናሃልካ ተካል
      ሃምና ካብ ንሰብ ንደሊ
      እንተዝኾውን ትካል መደልደሊ

      ሰብ ደአ ከያዲ
      ትካል ግን አካያዲ

      • Haile S.

        ሰላም ብርሃን

        ሓቅኻ ዘድሊ ትካል
        መሰረተ ሃገር፡ ከምኡ’ውን ኣኽሊል

        ግና ንትካል የድልዮ ሓንጻጺ ተኻሊ
        ንሱ ንክትግበር’ውን ካብ ጸላኢ ተኸላኻሊ

        ኣዘራርባይ ተረዲኡካ ክኸውን እጽበ ብተስፋ
        ማለተይ ኣይኮነን ንሱ እዩ ጥራይ ዘለዎ ሓለፋ

  • Dongolo

    Selam all. Misplaced priorities? it is absolutely absurd to enter into unnecessary and very divisive discussions regarding Eritrea’s flag when we have much larger and important issues to tackle such as need for regime change.

    • Brhan

      Hello Dongolo,
      The article is about one of our priorities: if freedom of speech in Eritrea is not a priority, what else can it be?
      The article is about citizens having freedom of speech to decide what symbolizes their nation.

      • Saleh Johar

        Brhan,
        Imagine your oppressors’ whims and policies deciding your priorities should be? Such is the logic we have to deal with.

      • Dongolo

        Selam Brhan. Yes indeed ‘citizens having freedom of speech’. Will you for example be willing to give up your western citizenship and move back to Eritrea to be an active participant in political processes such as voting? If so great, but if not, why unnecessarily enter into sensitive discussions?

        • Brhan

          Selam Dongolo,
          Voting? I hardly find that word in your dictionary. You also forgot the conditionl clause.

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Dongolo,
      Who decides what the priorities should be? The unjust and unelected regime? You think it’s divisive I think it’s a must if we are to dive the unresolved issues. You have to tolerate such difference of opinions

      • Dongolo

        Selam Saleh Johar. Any possible future changes to Eritrea’s flag should come from Eritrean citizens. Should dual nationalities/passports NOT be allowed, as is the case with most African nations, views of diaspora ethnic Eritreans will be irrelevant.

        • Saleh Johar

          Dongolo,
          What is your objection then? Didn’t I say any national decisions must be taken by representatives dully elected by citizens?

          The nationality issue is also a matter of a legitimate government, not one that stays on our backs unelected forever. By the way, the PFDJ uses the dual citizenship in two ways: 1( as a threat to the opposition, and 2) as an incentive to its foreign born supporters. Dishonest if you ask me. Also, there are international laws and social traditions on how to deal with it. I know it’s also used to deny the refugees the right of return to their home which they have been leaving for the last 55 years. In some cases, there are many ways and measures that such wronged people take–like in Rwanda. I hope Eritreans are wise enough to save the nation such risks and eventualities. Anyone who loves his people and country should not overlook that kind of unjust, inhuman, and ignored matter. I hope you will think about that more seriously.

  • iSem

    Hi Saleh:

    Oh, the piece of garment that one dies for, the flag is one of humanity’s stupid creation.

    As far as I can tell, there is no fixed agreed upon origin of the notion of flag, but it is a symbol that distinguish one country and as you said the colours are given themes, blue is sea and red is blood. But since you liked Wedi Tukabo’s Scent of Lemmon song, where does the Shitta lemine come from? Why not shitta sendeli 🙂

    As far as I am concerned, I think in the future all countries should abolish all their flags as they did with slavery and replace it with a white piece of cloth and with a darker colour write the name of their country. There is nothing sacred about a flag. it is just a symbol, even enda Suwa hoist flags

    And the current flag that was designed by one man, is an insult, but am not surprised given how PFDJ insults people starting with Pushkin monument in the capital while there are heroes.

    I am sure am in the minority who believe flags should be abolished and failing that the Eritrean flag should be decided by the people and that is my first project as your future president:-)

    • Saleh Johar

      iSem,
      Don’t abolish flags, at least not until #Eritreablue gets its due time, even for a short time until a legal process decides. Then you abolish all the flags–make sure to leave the PFDJ flag alone 🙂

      • iSem

        Hi Saleh:
        good point. But the PFDJ flag my project to abolish, the abolishing of all flags is not my project, it humanity’s
        And you know my other abolishing projects: they start with 2:-)

        • Saleh Johar

          iSem, don’t take the task of others, sraH endmatka eyyu nsu. Leave humanity issues to the pfdj.

          • iSem

            Hi Saleh:
            what a story about Temahirkum Alekum, beautiful story, told well አንቛዕ አንዳማትካ ኣይኮንኩ:-)
            Although the story gave me a background, I always understood it as you explained it, “we are spared from your “halewlo” as you put it
            Now for sparing Araya jasus you deserve t be punished by 10 ኣዝሓፍ.
            But since you mocked joggers before I have declared you jog 5k before the end of 2021. Your choice 🙂

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Saleh,

    Thank you for this video and well thought out lessons of history. I do sense that you do not like the current flag all together, beyond the illegal matter it replaced the blue flag with the way you describe it (e.g. ሊቃብ ምቃብ or in your reference to Mesfin Hagos event).

    I asked the other day to Ismail what do we do in the mean time, when we are faced with practical Dilemma. I gave the example in school where children of Eritreans heritage to explain or discuss their origin and flag? What do you suggest they do? I am asking for your opinion.

    Like most Eritreans I am passionate about Eritrean cycling, and I follow most of the young riders.

    Binian Ghirmay posted the following in his tweeter how DMT cycling made a cycling shoes for him and n honour of his win at the world championship. I guess to match his outfit, where someone joked about “watermelon anyone”, which I agree they do look.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/GrmayeBiniam/status/1445484491892396035

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Ustaz Berhe,

      The question you have asked is crucial as it is controversial because it involves innocent minds of the young in a schools and homes that are supposed to shape up attitudes of future citizens. Educators and parent have enormously grave responsibility of either cultivating free thinkers or the indoctrinated. Thus, in order to nourish and shape up the former, we should put before young children in schools and homes the facts as they are without contaminating them with our own perceptions and persuasions. I am arguing here with civic education in mind, the social and religious impact aside.

      Hence, dear Berhe, tell them pure and true facts as they are about who they are, where they came from and why they are there. All of us should conduct ourselves as genuine educators, and not politician and ideologues on behalf of some social or political interest formations, and provide them as much as possible unadulterated facts about the flags or anything else. The goal should be producing free and capably discriminating minds that would enable the young to decide and find out the truth for themselves and their society rather than acting irresponsibly as deciders and selectors for them. That is the true mission of conscious educators and parents.

    • Saleh Johar

      Ahlan Berhe,
      I once had a fierce argument with someone who has passed awy since. Arguing for adopting English as an official language in Eritrea, he reasoned ‘how will our Diaspora born children live in Eritrea without English?’ I withdrew from the debate because I didn’t see it going anywhere.

      This morning I was talking to a diehard #Eritreablue lover. Here is the story he told me:

      once his daughter came back home carrying the PFDJ flag. He was enraged. “I have the flag in every room in the house so that you know your flag and you come home carrying the flag that denied me visiting my home?”

      The poor daughter replied, ‘the embassy people came and distributed it ti us!’

      Immediately he found an answer, ‘didn’t you tell me people mock you for not having visited Eritrea which you clam is your original country?’

      She said yes.

      Smilingly he told her, ‘tell them it’s the flag of those who denied hundreds of thousands like me from going back home… next time keep this in your bag and wave it to anyone who mocks you.’ He gave her an #Eritreablue paper flag.

      I hope the above gives you some ideas on how to handle the cycling/flag situation. If not, here is another try 🙂

      Tell the children to carry it with a caveat. Tell them it is like the American confederate flag but if we do not pretend we love it, our relatives back home will be jailed. If the children are old enough, you can share with them articles and news that articulate our sorry situation–like people jailed for attending an opposition meeting 🙂

      • TesfaYesus

        Selam Johar, what issue do you have with English being an official language in eritrea?

        • Saleh Johar

          Selam Tesfa Yesus,
          I have no problem, I can live with any language. I think the question should be rephrased: ‘what issue will Eritreans have with English as an official language?’ Or a field survey of Eritreans in all parts of Eritrea will yield more answers. Language is not a simple tool of communication, it is a storage of culture and memory–and life. But if we can teach all farmers and nomads to learn English and deal in it in ten years, with a guarantee, maybe. That is all.

  • Dongolo

    Selam all. Had not ‘part’ of the Eritrean opposition met, supported/received support from the TPLF over the past 20+ years, would PIA/PFDJ still exist today? Most likely not !!! You have done your fair share of damage, please let the younger generation now sort out the mess you have left behind!

  • Dongolo

    Selam all. it s absolutely ludicrous that many of those (mostly in their 70s & 80s) that do not respect Eritrea’s current flag would have absolutely no qualms with the TPLF hoisting their red & yellow flag in Eritrea should it avail them the opportunity to settle old scores from 40 some years ago. Absolutely crazy! Yet they will argue to the hilt in regards to what is ‘rightful’ interpretation of Eritrea’s flag.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Saleh,

    It is a well argued piece. Your entire argument is centered and highlighted on the following statement:

    “To this day, the blue flag symbolizes the agreement that Eritreans unanimously reached, It’s the only legitimate symbol of Eritrean nationalism. It was the symbol of the struggle for justice, peace and freedom that still rages on.”

    The current flag is an organizational flag imposed by a “political organization” without any politico-legalese due process, where the Eritrean people could be heard their voices through their legitimate representatives. The flag isn’t a legitimate flag for two reasons (a) It is not a unifying symbol (b) it is not brought by democratic process of the “public will” but by decree of a dictating political organization. Any flag can be retained or changed through politico-legalese process, in order to have a unifying significance to fight and defend for it, as symbol who we are.

    Eritreans are divided not only on the flag, but on numerous national issues. Because we don’t have a legitimate process we can debate on them and pass laws that governs us collectively. Until we have a “representative government” we will remain divided. Saleh good reading, and thank you.

    Regard

    • Saleh Johar

      Ahlan Emma,
      If they felt an iota of responsibility, they wouldn’t have done what they did. But arrogance wins. They believed it can easily be forgotten in a few years. Time is proving them wrong. Since most political difference are emotional, I believe the flag would have healed most of the mistrust. Had they wanted a solution, it was under their nose. But they wasted the opportunity like many other opportunities they squandered. Thank you.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Saleh,

        Arrogance has been the hallmark of the Christian dominated Eritrean regime. Unfortunately, it will continue to be so as the source of our “divisions” and “mistrust” among each other. There is no “ideological merits” that could divide us except the sociopolitical attitudes that eats our social fabrics and our cohesion as a united people in “purpose” and “vision.” The intervention in the Ethiopian civil war is an expression of arrogance and vengeful mindset. The war of adventurism that is driven by the regime throughout the last three decades are the product of arrogance behavior. War in Eritrea is conducted to satiate the arrogance of the regime. The Eritrean people are trapped with such attitudes that requires a process of deculturalization to heal from such mind sickness after the demise of the current regime.

        Regard

        • Saleh Johar

          Emma, be gentle 🙂
          I wouldn’t characterize it as such. I think all agrarian societies have that. But worse, in Eritrea arrogance comes in many ways: urban “Lumpenproletariat” culture, and rural tribal/religious bias. The arrogant in both places suffer from primordial prejudices, lack of refined culture, hight illiteracy rate, oblivious of the world, and low economy that invites jealousy and bloody rivalry that is made worse by nepotism.

          Now the problem has become more of a ultra conservative right wing, against liberal democratic values. Add to that, religious conservatism and theology slipping into the secular world, and segmentation of society going to the lowest denominator such as region, religions–of course language in an unhealthy political environment, becoming a hegemonic tool.

          Sorry, I went further than your comment warrants, blame the “stream of conscience.” 🙂

    • Solomon Seyum

      Selamat Aya Amanuel Hidrat,

      “- a negation of the good symbol and its concept – ….”

      I would say this is your biased opinion, for there exists numerous, and quit significant in numbers, narratives that would say the golden olive leafs are multiplications “of the hood symbol and its concept.” Resurrections of the green leaves and eternally glowing … of the Martyrs 1961/71/81/91/01/11/21…

      Temahirka Allokha,

      GitSAtSE

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Haw Solomon,

        It is not only the “green olive leaves” that are replaced by the “dead yellow olive leaves” as a purposeful sign of negative development, but the entire livelihood of our people is in a reverse mode of uncivilized socioeconomic development. Eritrean lives have become disposable lives to the power of death – the despotic regime. They are in a bare life of a walking dead. So our country is projected intentionally by the “power of the day” in to negative development in every metric of socioeconomic and socio-behavioral measurements.

        Actually, the issue of the flag is the least from my worries, seeing and watching my people in a bare life of a walking death. It is to that extent our people are going through, let alone to see a positive development in Eritrea. Solomon, if you don’t feel the painful life of our people, even if you are not at the receiving end of this misery, then you have a problem.

        Regard

        • Solomon Seyum

          Selamat Ayya Amanuel Hidrat,

          Let us take personal responsibility for contributing to the negative developments of all of the above, through our fanatical support of the TPLF narratives.

          GitSAtSE

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Thank you for the narrative, ኡስታዝ Saleh. ተማሂሬ for real!!

    Let’s go back to the unfolding story of Eritreans in Egypt for a moment.
    There was ማህበር አንድነት, and ELF in Egypt. As far as the narrative goes, I was told that many Eritrean left the establishment of ELF and accepted the personalised invitation from Haile Selassie for reasons that they were frustrated with the member of ELF association and some other reasons. Do you have more details about what went wrong among Eritreans in Egypt during that time?

    Do you think Haile Selassie needed the educated Eritrean people to help him grow Ethiopia? I somehow believe the answer to this question might be yes. There are many evidence shows that many Eritrean were powerful people in Ethiopia. During the Haileselassie era, and continues during Derg for a bit. Eritrean were holding significant power in Ethiopia in all sectors such as business, politics, military and many government managerial roles. What’s your opinion on that?

    Just to clarify the reasons for my curiosity, you know that we all have family members that share their side of the stories, I was one of those fortunate people more than my other siblings. I have somehow been told a lot about the Eritrean movement including Cairo, it is unfortunate that I don’t remember most of it. Having said that I clearly remember the frustration expressed when they mention ELF and Cairo. What is that all about?

    Another question, Why do Eritreans always refer to the people that believed and advanced the unitarians ideology in a peaceful political manner as banda, and dismissive about it? Now, on this Negarit 155, you have shown a picture that says a million words, the pictures from Egypt.
    I never thought I will ever be able to witness Eritrean lining up in a rat-racing manner to raise the Ethiopian flag so soon ሲሞቅ በማንኪያ: ሲቀዘቅዝ በጅ hmmm raising my eyebrows

    I hope you will take the time to unfold the failure side of the Eritrean people that left them no choice but to raise arms. Do you know the story about the fallout among the Eritrean parliament and Haile Sellasie over the court of appeal to be in Asmara or Addis?

    Last but not least, does anyone have the Emoji flag symbols for the blue flag?
    If not, flags can be added to the Unicode Standard. That will give you the impact you seek.

    የቀንየልና,
    Reclaim the 🇪🇷
    ISO-3166-1 country codes and their codepoint pairs (Emoji flag symbols)
    ER 🇪🇷 U+1F1EA U+1F1F7 Eritrea

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Reclaim,
      Thank you. I am sorry for the belated reply…it is rather lengthy– I wanted to have ample time to reply to all of it.

      1. It’s ተማሒርኩም (pardoned) not ተማሂርኩም (taught) and here is the story behind it, here: https://youtu.be/kKm1-Cg4O9Y

      2. There was ማህበር አንድነት, and ELF in Egypt. As far as the narrative goes, I was told that many Eritreans left the establishment of ELF and accepted the personalized invitation from Haile Selassie for reasons that they were frustrated with the member of ELF association and some other reasons. Do you have more details about what went wrong among Eritreans in Egypt during that time?

      I am hearing this for the first time from you. Surrenders and abandonment happen in all tough struggle and the ELF had its share but to the level of the narration you heard. It is not true at all.

      3. The secret of Eritrean economic and other prominence is due to the colonization. The Italians needed all sorts of professions—carpenters, mechanics, railway engineers, machine operators and…. You name it. They found a bigger market in Ethiopia when the economic boom in Eritrea slowed down. But Eritrea benefited from that greatly. Even the military trained so many officers.

      4. If your story is relatively new, then the scholarship distribution politics was not admirable at all—not only ELF, but all. But so was the admittance to the Haile Selassie university and other colleges, it is corrupt and operated on nepotism. But Abdulnassir’s Egypt was a safe-haven for all revolutionaries, even Mandella, Museveni, Nukrumah, Lumomba had supports from Gemal Abdelnasser. All p-an Africanists has radion stations, including our own Weldeab Weldemariam. Of course, all of that changed starting in Sadat’s time. But for many Eritreans, Cairo remained the destination for acquiring education, it still is. Even Ras Wedemichale of Eritrea sent his son to be educated in Cairo

      5. First, those who Unitarians were never peaceful. There was a chap, Colonel Negga who made sure they remained violent. He recruited and funded shifta activities, and several priests who excommunicated Christian Eritreans who were against the Unitarians. Imagine you excommunicate a poor farmer? Would he believe the worldly politics and lose the right of final rites or baptism? Andenet were not peaceful at all.

      6. Banda is an insult to Eritreans (now it is being applied to Tigrayans). But Banda is like militia, only an Italian word. Italians had battalions of Banda recruited from Eritrea, Tigrai and so many in the short period they occupied Ethiopia. I hope no one challenges me on this one as some are likely to do 

      7. The picture on Negarit 155 is the first group who established A cooperative association—hosting new arrivals, mostly seeking education, providing basic exam entry preparation, or admittance to high school and colleges, or finding a job, a place to stay until they are self-reliant, etc. It did a marvelous job in that. Out of these association came out the founders of the ELF (1960) and among them were lawyers, teachers, writers, etc. One year later they rallied behind Hamid Idris Awate when he ignited the armed struggle.

      8. ሲሞቅ በማንኪያ: ሲቀዘቅዝ በጅ . You said it. It is human. Nature, the weak unprincipled human side. You raised your eyebrow, many of us have our blood pressure raise daily.

      9. C’mon! I explained all of that in 155. Abolishing the federal agreement, banning the flag, dissolving the constitution and the parliament. Occupying the country militarily and forcing the parliamentarians to sign under duress and agree with the kings wish to swallow Eritrea. Abolishing the independent courts and shifting the high court or superior court to his “Chilot” where simple case will take years until his majesty gets the time between playing with his dog Lulu. And then changing the school policies and imposing Amharic in place of Tigrinya and Arabic…intimidation, jailing, banning demonstrations and free speech that Eritrea enjoyed until the—just imagine we had over a dozen newspapers and magazines, in several languages. All of that, and armed struggle become the least Eritreans could do.

      10. Your last point is brilliant. I have already commissioned someone to do the job.

      See! This is at least two Negarit episodes worth of materials 🙂

      • Haile S.

        Selam Saleh,

        ወይ ጉድ፡ ነገር ድልይልይ በትሪ ሃሰውስው። ነግራማት ምባልና ዘይተረፈና፡ ክንዛረብ ኢና😁

        The use of Banda by Ethiopians during and after the Italian occupation of Ethiopia is related to the indigenous italian troups (Eritrean & Ethiopians) at the service of Italy. It is used as an insult as you stated and I agree with you except Banda in italian benignly means band or group, like group of soldiers, but Banda also means gang or mob. To give an example as used by italians themselves, after the defeat of Italy, there were attacks and reprisals on italians in Eritrea. Some of these Banda or Shifta were likely organised by Colonel Nega Haile-sellassie you mentioned in your response to Reclaim. An Italian Eros Chiasserini documented the suffereing of his compatriots in his book entitled “Gli Anni Difficili”. In this book, the “bandits” are refered to as simply banda or as banda di shifta (group of shiftas) throughout the book.
        ሸማጢጥካ ኣይተዛርበና 😁

        • Saleh Johar

          HaileS,
          Where is the fight? Tahdeed nus’alAmel say the Arabs—a threat is half the job. Banda in the context is similar to militia sernay. Wrong? But Banda is also Band in English as you know—a band of men is a nice movie by the way. Now I have to go to be without a fight— you had wetted my appetite. I was expecting someone to challenge me on my Ethiopian Banda statement. What do you know? I found you wearing the same Football shirt as me. Never played it if you are wondering.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Saleh,

            You know I don’t come for a fight ከም ዓዲ ገሊኦም😁። At most mine is a nag at the shoulder. On Ethiopian bandas, you can read ኣንደወጣች ቀረች. I read it as a school amharic text when I was in high school. Too far to remember anything. There are some research articles on the Eritrean ones and there can be information there. Will add tomorrow if I stumble upon anything like that.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Saleh,

            Some addendum to our yesterday’s talk. If we are talking about Ethiopian Banda as a in indigenous soldier, they are mostly from Tigray for examples like those who accompanied Dejazmatch Hailesellassie Gugsa and submitted voluntarily to Italy and served Italy. If we are talking about collaborators of different kind and capacity, suffice to refer to the Book by Alberto Sbacchi “Ethiopia under Mussoini” that is on your shelf, and all other interested on the sibject ti acquire the book full of original references. As shown in the book, if the negociation between Italy and king Haile Sellassie and his heir son AsfaWossen for the king to abdict and submit to Italy between 1936 through 1938/9 had succeeded, imagine who would be the biggest collabo? Italy did everything to bring the king under her control in order to quell the revolt, and the king seriously considered it, but fortunately for Ethiopia, the Ethiopian patriots especially in the Amhara region stood on their ground.

      • Reclaim Abyssinia

        Dear Ustaz Saleh,

        Season’s Greetings to you, your family, and Team Awate and very best wishes for the New Year!
        Thank you very much for committing such a great deal of time to reply to me/us.
        FYI only, not to make a great deal of substance out of it but as an አፈ ታሪክ….

        Some of our family members such as many uncles, and great uncles have studied in Cairo, some are from Cairo university, they are doctors, teachers, shipping, Engineers, etc. They first studied in Azhar before attending University. If there was something I was not told is that how they were able to fund their study. I believe it is probably something to do with the Azhar. I think Egypt has done a great deal of contribution to Eritrean education. Correct me if I am wrong but has Egypt ever taken a caretaker role of Eritrea somewhere along the Eritrea Cost?

        Some of our family members moved to Ethiopia from Cairo by Haile Sellasie invitation to Ethiopia. There were many black&white pictures in back home of the exhibition organised by the emperor son that was prepared by Eritrean students by impersonating to be Ethiopian students.

        Many of them repatriated to Ethiopia to produce the born & bred of the cream society of Amici. 👌

        Some of the uncles were in leadership with Jebeha and Islamia something, others were EPLF, they all are elegant, elite and respectful. Except for one of their cousins who migrated to Saudi and lived there until recently, he has migrated to where I’m at. I really don’t like him, he bad mouth about the time in Egypt in regards to the Eritreans who run the exhibition under the Ethiopian flag. He doesn’t know most of his uncles in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and how respectful people they are in their community. Unfortunately, he lives ~50km from where I am and I am still obliged to visit him, mainly because of the other half. I guess you know why. I think that just remind me to suggest it is not really surprising to see Eritreans divided on politics, I used to think of myself as civil and accepting, and blame other Eritrean for not uniting, forgetting about my own backyard, hahah..😂

        Back to the point, without disclosing too much information, many of the Eritrean Engineers were responsible for building the Ethiopian many/all hydroelectric power dam except Koka. The reason I’m bringing this up is that Egypt was the main producer of the Eritrean elite that build Ethiopia and I guess you 😜 (I mean ELF ). 🔥🔥

        it was one of our family members that moved to Ethiopia from Cairo and were in charge of all the Dam projects in Ethiopia. He used to work in the Aswan dam project as an Engineer during the Abdul Naser era and moved to Ethiopia by the invitation that I was referring to. He speak like you, and he highly utilise Arabic metaphorical expressions.

        ታሪክን ታሪክ ያመጣዋል እና, I may as well add some more info for your political analysis from the Amici’s side. I knew about the now GERAD hydroelectric dam plan as a kid. The story GERAD is not true as claimed by Meles’s fan as Meles’s initiative work. The majority of the Engineers were Eritrean in all the hydroelectric power dam projects that were undertaken in Ethiopia. The projects were funded by a world bank loan, and it was required to have a sponsored country in a form of tender in order to have access to the loan (not to be used for war). Meles made up a story in order to hand over the contract to his newly created organisation which the world bank refused to fund, then he turn to Ethiopian vulnerable emotional side to collect funds in a form of a bond. I think the last time when I was watching Timnit Gebru(The AI geru) interview, she just remind me of how many Eritrean Engineers were building Ethiopia, she mentioned her father Electrical Engineering background influenced her in her career aspiration during her interview. To spice up the story, many more can be said about Eritrean power and responsibility given to the Eritrean elite to custodian Ethiopia and Eritrea by Haile Selassie, I may as well add Lorenzo Taezaz (30 June 1900 – 23 June 1947) which have a full reference(important for academia).

        Referring to your comment “One year later they rallied behind Hamid Idris Awate when he ignited the armed struggle.” That first bullet that was ignited by Awate, is still blowing through the air of East Africa, “The first trumpet of devastation”. I try not to be spiritual since I was brought up in the socialist era, but I invite you to Marley Natural Mystic song.

        ” Bob Marley’s “Natural Mystic” Lyrics Meaning

        In this classic reggae tune, Bob Marley seems to dealing with two different topics. One is Judgment Day as prophesied in the Bible, with Ras Bob, a known spiritualist, specifically referencing the “first trumpet”, an item found in the Book of Revelations. In this regard, there are actually seven trumpets in total, with Marley stating that the first one “might as well be the last”. The sounding of these horns signifies catastrophic events which are supposed to devastate the planet. As such, Marley points out that, “Many more will have to suffer” and “Many more will have to die.” But he does not actually know why such things are happening, suggesting somewhat of a pessimistic perception of the present instead of just looking towards a future event.”

        Can I post a link for a e-season greeting card? or Do I have to wait until weekend?
        Regards,
        RA

        • Saleh Johar

          Reclaim,
          I replied to you at length with honesty and seriousness. If you had a perception that you didn’t intend to look at critically, you should have gone into preaching instead of asking as if you want to consider new information.

          So, our struggle was the start of devastation! My dear, it was a reaction to the devastation that visited us. It’s an instinctive human reaction.

          Please understand that I would not listen to bob marley even if they assured me it’s a cure for every ailment… not even in a death bed. Just in case…

          I don’t know of an Eritrean who was so famous in the Aswan building project. He must have a name if that famine. Do care to drop a name here?

          On the Ethiopian flag: we were occupied by the monster Haile Selassie. Do you think Eritreans had a state hat provided them with passports?

          Cooperative associations are as old as our society existed. There were two association that I know of, formed in the fifties, to support students get education. Almost every Eritrean working abroad, particularly in the Gulf states, contributed a monthly amount in the funds. Many depended on it mainly. Others were working in Europe during summers to finance their living costs while they were in school in Egypt. Their struggle to better themselves when they were denied school by haile Selassie is commendable not invite derision.

          Thank you.

          • Reclaim Abyssinia
          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Happy 2022 to all,

            Saleh, Yes indeed, you replied to me in detail. I am satisfied with your answer.
            To answer some of your questions, I did not say a famous Eritrean in the Aswan project. I said Eritrean working on the Aswan dam project. I don’t think it will be appropriate to name. The reason I raised this is that probably Eritreans have contributed a lot to the Ethiopian economy, political and social impacts and they will continue to do so. Awareness is good. What you do with the information is up to you. Many Ethiopians say that’s Meles’s great work, but it’s not. It was already on the plan.

            I hope we will know one day the details of those people who has been contributing for Cooperative association in order for others to study. Many Eritrean were able to live in Cairo with the support from Eritrean in the middle east, it’s really amazing.

            I hope I gave you information as well. Since Ethiopian–Eritrean Federation was between 1952–1962, that is the time in Cairo that I was referring to. The young and the students Eritrean in Egypt had no financial means or military access to combat the decision made for them. We agreed on one thing:- there was a great deal number of Eritreans in Cairo studying and getting organised. Of course, as human nature, there were differences.

            I learnt from you that the Eritreans in Egypt only had access to a daily income to get by in a day to day life. Some raised funds, others established an organisation, others moved on with life, with no future prosperity or a country to go back to.
            Some get married and settle in Cairo, others moved to a country that was awarded the entire wealth and resource of our ancestors, such as the ports, the Amici factory that move to Addiss, its elite people, and some to Kenya, Eritrea becomes ቅርጫ. EPLF become ያደረ አፋሽ.
            You were left limbo far far away from home, let us say in the middle of the Arizona desert.
            I feel your feeling, share your burden and I wish I could help to change that.
            My parents were lucky, they lived in Addis, had access to their country, to their villages, town, and their relatives, family and lived with their heads up their entire life, with their values.
            When Eritreans starts to deprive other Eritrean rights to life then we rescue them. Our upbringing made us strong enough to facilitate that, but we were not strong enough to keep them safe where they were at. In the process, we left some of our loved ones behind in the hand of savages. There was not much we can do.

            Now what’s left for me is to help the other family that we left behind to make their home safe heaven. We won’t be able to rescue everyone from Eritrea, but I want to make it better for the people that I left behind.

            So my curiosity was that I was looking for transparency and honesty. An answer that will teach us to learn from our past, and make a better future. Not heroism, uprising or an eye for an eye. So, I found your site long ago. You are the organisation that once upon a time was established by my other families, and ditched by the other half. So I was kind of trying to find out why ELF was ditched. The good thing is that you are still here. SO, I don’t know what I am asking of you but it looks like that I either need help from you guys or you need help from me…. Anyhow, just yell out if there is anything I can do.

            The responsible body for the unrest in East Africa is the UN, USA and the UK. And that’s something we need to accept that they are the power in the world. I think the only way out of this mess is a strategy, that can be crafted carefully. You will not be able to raise billions of dollars by fundraising. Ethiopia is using a 16 Billion dollar economy. Maybe since we are in a mess because Italy lost the war, need to look 👀 there for a solution or help. The UK left Eritrea maybe because they found it boring.

            I just heard the news that China deploys “Robot Soldiers” along the border with India. Now we are in the era of robot soldiers, no drone, no airpower, BM or ak47 can bring peace by war. So what’s next?
            Reclaim

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Reclaim
            Happy new year to you too

            Let me cut the chase. I really do not understand what the gist of your sotto-vocce is. What i understood from your latest comments is (a trend) aloofness in discussing issues. As for sarcasm, I have a PhD in that field:-)

            1- if your parents or ancestors were Eritrean who chose to become Ethiopians, it’s a choice that people make.
            If others decided to stay in Eritrea and challenge anything thrown at them, it’s also a choice. One doesn’t have to ditch one choice to extol another.

            2- I don’t know your age or knowledge is popular struggles but if someone holds you by the neck you react because you do not have the luxury of planning a reaction when you are choking. That’s what Eritreans did and I wouldn’t expect any human being to react otherwise.

            3- China will have robots for soldiers as you said. Good for them. If I live 50 years more I might be able to have lunch in a restaurant in the moon and return to earth in the afternoon. I think they call that technological and other development. But hail Selassie didn’t have robots but brute army that adhered to the ritual of massacres. So, if Eritreans had robots then, there was no need for the u told sacrifices they had to go through. Time is linear and you cannot use today’s scale to weigh last century’s load.

            4- I see you were surprised Eritreans had the tradition of cooperation ! Some call it Zekaat others call it Gebre-sennay it’s a tradition as old as human history. It’s funny you consider Eritreans funding education of the young as a novel idea. I have relative from both sides: the finders and the beneficiaries.

            Please do me a favor: when I discuss with you seriously and honestly , I expect you to do the same. But if you like to do your insinuations and sarcasm, then I can choose to reply in kind or simply ignore it.

            Thank you

    • Brhan

      Hello, Reclaim Abyssinia (RA),
      RA has the wrong picture of King Haile S, Ethiopia and Eritreans above. Firstly, RA was good at reading numbers but failed to analyze or give a meaning, which is the most important in statics: do the Eritreans who helped the king for ” Ethiopia’s growths” reflect the diversity of Eritreans?
      Secondly, the comment above speaks about “Ethiopia growth” which one? The growth of Ethiopia dominated by the Amhara, the king’s favourite ethnic group? Remember, the Oromos’, Tigrayans, Somalis has fought against the Amhara domination, and their fight had been one of the main political issues during his reign.

      • Reclaim Abyssinia

        Dear Brhan,
        Thank you for your comment.
        1) You sound like a new enthusiastic HDR student. Keep it up. I was very much into Integration, Matrix, vector, binary, encrypt/decrypt etc. Statistic is not my cup of tea, even though I used SPSS and R. I know it is essential tool for research but who reads academic publication?🤫
        2) With all do respect, there are 3 kind of citizens in Ethiopia and Eritrea, which one are you
        የሚኖር
        የሚያኗንር
        የሚያጨበጭብ
        Cheers,
        RA

        • Brhan

          Dear RA,
          Let me answer your question:
          There are two kinds of Ethiopians:
          1) Those who dream of the era ጸሃዩ ንጉሱ
          2)Those living in the belief of the equality of ethnic groups. Eritreans are with the solidarity of the second group. I am one of them.
          If you are from the former, daydreaming is not suitable for you..

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Thanks Brhan, for your good wishes and support for Ethiopia and its lovely people.
            Your “belief” in the equality of all ethnic groups is great. But to be honest I think I heard that slogan before several times
            ሊበሏት የፈለጏትን አሞራ…… Ppl have the right to believe or dream in anything they want including “dream of the era ጸሃዩ ንጉሱ”, ohhps I forgot that I was engaged to the preacher of equality but who doesn’t practice… I better take that back. Anyhow,
            I think I kind of grasp that you might be under the category of የሚያጨበጭብ maybe with nothing to lose? Honestly, it is not an offence to be የሚያጨበጭብ, there are many like-minded. 2)…. “I am one of them” no you are not.
            Cheers,
            Reclaim

          • Brhan

            Hi RA,
            Yes you can dream, you are living in a free country. But you will be irrelevant.

  • Solomon Seyum

    Selamat Saleh,

    Okay I get it you are in production. I read nearly two thirds, and listened even less. So I searched for a conversation between Ayya Ismail AA and BerheY, regarding the recently deceased 53 year old writer. The two gentlemen’s frequency I do highly respect.

    My first disagreement with your latest production, is that I don’t believe any Eritrean lost, relatively speaking and focusing within the context of the subject matter which is AwwliEy. The songs never stopped and the AwliEyy … Meley and will forever continue. It is sad that you feel that way.

    You see SaliH, as a RR/RF, I remember our scarfs were red, our shirts were blue with AWliAEy emblazoned on our shirts…and of course our shoes were Shida….
    And what you failed to realize is that the Official Eritrean flag you have a golden AWliEy is emblazoned where the center of momentum balancing a perfect equilibrium of all the colors span and vibrate the perfect Eritrean tune. Of course what Eritrean would disown AwliAeyy.

    I am sorry for your blindness or blind spots as I should try to be generous considering Reconsiliation…

    In the first major demonstration ANTi PFDJ demonstration, 2001, where you and I both marched, It was the, boohhooo AWliAEy is gone..,. that though delighted to bring both flags with budget, when asked where the Official Eritrean flags, they smirked and said the PFDJ stole them. I suppose we should have asked for a receipt. Do me a favor just look at the Eritrean flag and point to where you think is the center of momentum and see AWliEy…

    more like a game show host, perhaps you can take Alex Trebek Jeopardy… And a gracious host you are Saleh. Thank you.

    GitSAtSE

    • Haile S.

      Selam Solo, Saleh, Reclaimix and all Awatewian

      ኣውሊዔየ from the heart
      https://youtu.be/q-mt4jupf5o

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Haile S.,

        One of the hardest (read: impossible) struggles some politicians undertake is trying to suppress established facts of history. It is an act of fighting against history. Sale of political expediency driven interests to citizens of a society who exist with living facts is really an impossible endeavors. The issue of the flag is an instance of such cases. The flag exist not only in memories but in corners of living rooms.

        • Haile S.

          Selam Ismail,

          Well said! The problem we have with the regime in Eritrea is its passing by force on everything. The story of the flag is not different.

          I was going to provoke Saleh about the making of the flag. So let me turn it on you. As I mentioned the other day, saying “the blue flag was given to Eritrea by the UN” is not well taken. I am not sure which part is irritating? The giving or the flag being a copy of the UN’s. I don’t think the UN gave that flag to Eritrea. But what is wrong if the Eritrean flag is a copy of the UN flag? It is said that the Somalia flag is partly a copy of the UN flag and the Bosnia Herzegovina flag took the blue of UN.

          On Eritrea, here is what Duncan Cameron Cummey Chief Administrator of Eritrea till 1952 who handled Eritrea to the federal admonistration says in his 1953 article “the disposal of Eritrea, Middle east journal”:

          “….“The Federal flag shall be respected in Eritrea,” it goes on to add that: “There shall be a flag, seal, and arms of Eritrea, details of which shall be decided by law.” The necessary law was passed and the morning after the British Administration transferred power to its successors, the new Eritrean flag was raised. In every respect it is the United Nations flag except that the globe inside the olive wreath in the United Nations flag is replaced in the Eritrean flag by a further olive branch. ….

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile S.,

            In my humble opinion, associating the flag with a grant from the UN to Eritrea should not in its own right annoy anybody. The UN (General Assembly) was a trustee authority of the former Italian colony. It could have fallen with in its prerogative to advice and help Eritreans to select their national symbols and insignias. Many former colonial powers such Britain and France did the same when they left their former possessions. No one among the successor independent nations had problem, as far as I know, except what I read recently in regard to the crisis in Syria when the opposition raised the post French rule flag in place of the current pan-Arab flag. Many Syrians did not like the restoration of the flag that reminded them of the French colonialism.

            So, to be brief, the problem in our case is not really whether the UN had role or not. The root of the disagreement is about the politics behind the aim that strives to dissociate it from the Eritrean people by degrading its historical and legal status through linkage to the UN, the British or even to part of the Eritrean people by way of citing the Eritrean Moslem League. There had been persistent assault on the flag right from the time of Unionist Party and its imperial Ethiopian sponsors. What we are hearing and listening at the present is continuation that the leadership of the EPLF had pursued. They try to sell that the national flag is an emblem of the ELF and the politics of this is to suggest that the ELF represented the Eritrean Moslim community. It is the same talk of yesteryears.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Hailat,
            It’s good you didn’t provoke me. You should focus on what makes what I said complete, like you did with your rejoinder:-). Thank you.

            As you know, cramming all that in 20 or so mnts is a challenge. Add to that the audience is not at the same level like you. Therefore, I go an extra mile to make it as simple as possible. I don’t think that needs challenges or provocations. You rejoinder is a whole episode, so is Ismael’s, Reclaim’ and Amanuel’s. That makes the story closer to complete. Please keep them coming and give me a hand. Thank you.

        • Saleh Johar

          Ismael,
          It’s like stealing a camel and hiding it behind a rock. But we all see it except those no see, no hear, no listen lots. Such issues never die out and survive for generation. We can see that happening all over the world. We are no different. Thank you

      • Saleh Johar

        Thanks HaileS,
        This guy s one of the evidence that there was no need for the exclusionist policy the PFDJ pursued. What a waste of a effective medicine Imagine ! These kids didn’t know they were to be subjected to brainwashing and indoctrination.

      • Solomon Seyum

        Selamat Haile,

        There is no disagreement there. I do too. This guy’s reading comprehension is severely limited by blindness.

        Temahirka allokha!

        GitSAtSE

        • Haile S.

          Selam Solomon and all

          Temahirka allokha!
          ሰሌ የቐንየልና
          2022 ዓመተ-ምሕረት ይግበረልና
          ካብ ላዕሊ ዘይኮነ፡ ነንሕድሕድና
          እዝንን ኣፍን ተደማምጸና
          ዓይንን ኣጻብዕትን ተቕንዓልና
          COVID ዝሒሉ፡ ኢድ ንኢድ ተወሃህበና

          ኣብ መወዳእታ እት ሓጻር video እቶም ዲያቆናት፡ ደባትርን ኣቕሽሽትን ዝዘመርዎ ኣስተባሂልካሉ’ዶ፡ ኣስተባሂልኩም’ዶ? ቀደም ብቆልዓይ ኣብ ዕዳጋ ሓሙስ እንዳሥላሴን፡ እንዳማርያምን ንዝምንሮ ዝነበርና መዝሙር ኣዘኪሮምኒ። ከምዚ ይብል፡ “በደሙ ክቡር፡ ክቡር ቤዘወነ፡ ኣኮ በወርቅ ኃላፊ ዘተሳየጠን፡ ኣኮ በወርቅ ኃላፊ ዘተሳየጠን”። እቲ ዋና ትርጉሙ ንሊቃውንቲ ግዕዝ ሃይማኖትን ገዲፈ፡ ብዝመስለኒ ግና፡ “ብሓላፊ ዝኾነ ወርቂ ዘይኮነስ፡ ብደሙ ኣድሒኑና (የሱስ)” ዝብል ይመስለኒ። እሞ፡ ነጻነት ኤርትራ ምስ ባንዴርኣ (ዓላማኣ) ብኸምኡ እያ ተረኺባ ማለቶም ይመስለኒ።