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The Essence of Isaiasism: Forced Labor

First of all, yes, when awate 7.0 is launched (1/1/14), we will have a blog for Haile the Great (and all our contributors) so that they can post their pieces directly and people don’t have to fish for content in the comments section.  This edition of Nahda started out as a response to his announcement–that the Eritrean regime is mobilizing members of the “People’s Army” for terracing campaigns to the outskirts of Asmara and, given the transportation challenges of the country,  many are going on foot to work 10-12 hour days for an entire week.  Upon reflection, it appears to me that the entire essence of Isaiasism–his sole ideology, his religion–is that forced labor is an indispensable ingredient for development and every resistance from Eritreans has been countered with an alternative forced labor campaign.   

1. The whole vision of PFDJ Isaias on how to leapfrog Eritrea from the third world to a developed country is based on one man’s vision: Mao Zedong. 

2. The whole basis of China’s leapfrog policy was based on one thing: FORCED LABOR.

3. Of course, the world is aware of how disastrously wrong one forced labor campaign modeled after China’s went– Cambodia’s pol pot and its decimation of a quarter of its own population.  A quarter.

4. The problem with Isaias’s vision is that the world has changed since Mao’s time: the UN has promulgated a series of conventions– that prohibit getting forced labor from children, political prisoners, and for economic exploitation (including rights for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.)

5. Why doesn’t Isaias just ignore international law, you are asking. After all, he doesn’t seem to have much respect for rule of law.  Answer will be below, somewhere, when profiling the man.

6. Since the installation of Isaias Afwerki as president, there has been a campaign to solicit near-free labor from Eritreans.  These campaigns of terracing hills (by students), sending elderly Eritreans for “maetot” to the villages (busing women from Asmara to the countryside for annual harvests), having prisoners building luxury hotels (that YPFDJ: Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice types would visit and admire and congratulate the prisoners for their patriotic zeal), have been going on since 1995. 

7. The 2001 University of Asmara students movement was a protest against cheap forced labor.  The argument was, essentially, this: you have received X funds, for our labor, for this particular project, from external funding; you are proposing to pay us Y; we demand that we get paid X or we are not going.  For such defiance, they were rounded up in buses and sent to the hell-hole in WiA, some to Nakura,  then asked to write apology letters for cheating the country out of the project (malaria consciousness, literacy) they should have engaged in for no money.  They were told that that they deserve long prison terms, it was only the farsightedness and kindness of their government that is sparing them that. They returned broken, to resume their studies, at a university that would soon close.

8. It is shortly after that that the “Warsay-Yekalo” initiative was launched.  This so-called “Marshall Plan for Eritrea” was supposed to get rid of the giant magnifying glass on forced labor because (a) it is violation of “national sovereignty” to intrude into how a country organizes its armed forces; (b) the world gives a lot of latitude on what countries do (internally) with their armed forces.  It appears all is allowed except having an aggressive posture.

9. The exodus of Eritrean youth is mostly a protest against cheap forced labor.

10.  Everything that has happened in Eritrea since the PFDJ/Isaias came to power is a fight between the PFDJ/Isaias imposing forced labor and the people fighting back or leaving the country. 

11. Even government officials are not spared from forced labor.  They don’t own their labor: they can’t resign, for example.  Consider: There should be no reason why a government official should “defect.”  A government official who disagrees with government policy should resign.  But when was the last time you heard that in Eritrea: a government official resigning?  They are promoted, demoted, frozen, thawed, promoted again.  The point being: they are the property of Isaias Afwerki.

12. Forced labor has its consequences including squeezing out the private sector: a PFDJ conglomerate using cheap forced labor can out-compete a businessperson trying to provide service or product using voluntary labor. The businessman goes to Uganda or Sudan, the laborer goes to Lampedusa.  Every institution is affected: Demand for cheap forced labor empties out religious institutions, compromises the quality of educational institutions, sports, tourism.  Even the institutions that are supposed to benefit from it–agriculture, mining, transportation, infrastructure-building, etc–do not because a forced laborer is not a productive laborer.

13. Speaking of mining, in its quarterly report, Nevsun management reports as a highlight (without any sense of irony), that, (a) for the quarter ended 9/30/13, it recorded 13.5 million hours at Bisha Mining (90% of the employees/contractors are Eritrean) and that its lost time injury frequency rate was 0 (nobody got injured or in an accident, a world record) and (b) it has commissioned a human rights panel to investigate allegations by human rights activists (including Amnesty International) that it is using essentially slave labor and that part of this investigative panel will be the Eritrean government, the party accused of violating human rights.  Lenin was right about capitalist fools.

14. If you look at the “People’s Army”, the militia that Isaias Afwerki assembled last year, it is not exactly an elite combat unit.  It is mostly barely-trained civilians carrying weapons and guarding nothing.  By guarding nothing, I mean there isn’t exactly a crime spree in Eritrea (the demographics aren’t there for crimes which are usually committed by young males) and there are no Fort Knox to guard.  So, given that the world doesn’t care what governments do with their militia, these folks must have been “enlisted” only so that they could be called for the occasional slave labor.  (That and to prevent the idle mind which is the workshop of the devil–plotting and such–which you won’t do if you are kept busy doing nothing.)

 15. Isaias Afwerki finds the whole idea of Britain (founded on forced labor of empire) and the US (founded on slave labor) lecturing him on forced labor annoying as hell, particularly when they have nothing critical to say about rich but abusive countries (Gulf Arab states.)  He is essentially a man who belongs to a different century and finds the “constraints” the modern world imposes on a good-old authoritarian simply offensive. And all the work-around he creates–Warsay/Yekalao, elderly ladies sweeping streets, old men fixing antique trains, elderly men terracing hills–are because he sees himself as a monarch whose intentions are good: to improve the “quality of life” of his people–50 years from now. (The Mao model of kill a million to save a billion.)

16. Eritrea is a signatory to several UN conventions on labor.  Why would Isaias Afwerki care about ILO, Child Labor Laws, etc? Now, this is where Isaias Afwerki’s personality defect is key.  I take you back to wikileaks and the analysis of a psychiatrist who has studied cult leaders: Isaias suffers from “a sense of entitlement” (refer to his interviews where he says: I have no contract with the people, nobody in this country owes anybody anything, etc), a “lack of empathy” (refer to his silence on Lampedusa), “envy of others” (refer to his griping that the US has subcontracted its Africa policy to four African “goblel” states–including archenemy Ethiopia) “or belief that others are envious of him” (refer to his claim: We are number one in Africa…Eritrea is scary to the world because its trailblazing a bad example of a good example, that is why they are plotting to empty the country of our youth…), “self-righteous indignation when others are believed to be breaking rules” (refer to his complaints on how UN/US ignoring EEBC, refer to his call for restructuring the UN and the world order.) Because the funds he receives from the “development partners” expressly demand compliance with conventions on labor, he feels he has to (“we are a civilized people.”)  But he finds this extremely annoying, a double standard from countries which do not respect labor laws and have high concentration of wealth among a tiny percentage of the population.  Thus, the rants on TV about “Washington administration”, “special interest groups”, the “occupy” movement, the Arab Spring: all of that was to overthrow the existing World Order.

17. Credit where credit is due: the person who was way ahead on this and coined “Wefri Barnet” (Slavery campaign) for Warsay-Yeka’alo is Ambassador Adhanom Gebremariam.  He wrote a 36-page series called “The Hybrid Philosophy of PFDJ”) in Tigrinya (it was posted at a website which no longer exists, so no link.) At the time, many of us (me included) thought that that was a bit hyperbolic.  But he was right. 

18. Thus, Isaiasism can be reduced to: “Development Through Cheap Forced Labor” and, in pursuit of that policy, he will enlist the young, when he can, and the old, when the young are not available.  The bet is that Eritreans–particularly the Diaspora Eritreans–will forgive everything if the China model works: from starvation to an economic giant.  But there is nothing tangible to show for this which is why there is the endless talk about Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and how Eritrea is on track–ahead!–of many of them.

19. Isaiasism relies on Eritreanism whose most defining quality is, as articulated (accurately, I think) by former US ambassador to Eritrea “to withstand suffering and deprivation with forbearance and toughness.”  Ironically, Isaias stays in power by flattering our ability to withstand suffering without complaint: here’s more suffering, I knew you could do it, bear it and grin.

20. This ability to withstand suffering with forbearance and toughness will, at some point–and every indication is that this “some point” is getting closer–will snap when people will use the same strength–ability to withstand suffering without complaint–to take a risk on the unknown.  To say that the regime is failing another MDG:  Minimum Decency Goals.

21. As a friend says, “tHuqen ala“.  The momentum is accelerating.


About Salyounis

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

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  • Berhan

    Ahlen Ya Salh,

    “The exodus of Eritrean youth is mostly a protest against cheap forced labor” Is the exodus of Eritrean youth mostly a protest against cheap forced labor? Just recently, I was thinking about why the youth are leaving the country? In a normal situation and when things go wrong in a country, only women, children, and elderly are forced to go to relatively safer place than their country. And the youth protest/carry a Gun against the establishments which are responsible for the suffering of the people. But, in Eritrea, it is the other way around, most the women, children, and the elderly stay and the youth take risk to leave Eritrea, instead fight PFDJ leave the country. Especially the Eritrean youth who are leaving the country are part of the Eritrean armed force, instead they turn their Gun against those who force them to work for free they are running away. Is that strange?

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Sal,

    Lol, dont talk by the fire and mother!

    Thank you

  • saay

    Happy Friday Awatistas:

    This week this forum debated a “lost in translation” piece by Papillon that inflamed passions.

    Here’s my peace present (especially to Yodita and Tzegereda): Suzinino, at the request of a lady, writes a letter in English to her son-in-law. I am starting it at the 3:17 mark because it is over 11 minutes, but if you want to get the full flavor, start at the beginning:


    PS: Suzinino’s English is inspired by our philosopher-poet L.T. Example: “Rabbit, jump jump, to the land, I said.” “Teeth foolish, cold finish”

    • Papillon

      Hey Sal,

      ትማሊ ሳል ኣበይ ኣሎ ተተባህለ ሳል ትመስክር ኮይና ምድረ ሰማይ እንታይ ኢልካዬ ኢኻ ሳልሳይ ውግእ ዓለም ከይላዓል ፈሪሕና ኔርና ክባሃል ይካኣል (As Tegadelti would love to use the phrase–ክባሃል ይካኣል) ሕጂግን ሳላ ዝመጻኻ ኩነታት ተራጋጊኡሎ. The link is pretty funny. I have pretty much watched all his comedies. The guy is talented to say the least.

    • Yodita

      Loved it. Thank yous!

      • Papillon

        ዬዲታ ሓፍተይ

        ኣኺሉና ተባኢስና ማለትድዩ? ህግደፍ መንደፍ መታን ከይሕጎሱ ዕጭለይ አይንባኣስን ኢና.

        • rodab

          [መን ንዓኻ ተዛሪብካ ደኣ ከይትብልኒ እምበር] ኣጆኺ ባእሲ የለን እዚ ባይቶ’ውን ኣይፍቅዶን’ዩ:
          ደሓር ከኣ ከምቲ ኣቦታትና “ብላዕ ስተ ከም ኣሕዋት: ተሓሳሰብ ከም ጓኖት” ዝብልዎ ፍልልይ ሓሳባት ተጸዋዊርካ’ዩ። ሓቀይዶ ዮዲታ?

          • Yodita

            ሚእቲ ካብ ሚእቲ ሓቅኻ ዝሓወይ።

        • Yodita

          ፓፒዮን ሓፍተይ ናተይ

          እንታይ ምብአሱ ! You are the one and only as the other ‘love’ of mine ቨዀርተቲኖ would say!

          On a serious note, I never ever waivered from believing that your contribution is extraordinary and that you are special. This firm belief in your fierce (and much admired by me)fight against ህግደፍ መንደፍ, immortalized by your outstanding posts says it in no uncertain terms. But, this would never preclude from expressing my disagreement when and if it occurs and I expect it to be vice versa. This, among other things, should be what distinguishes us from ህግደፍ መንደፍ.

          I regret you took our argument to be ‘litigious’.

          As a sign of peace, please accept some virtual flowers (of your choice)and a big hug.


          • Papillon

            Dearest Yodita haftey natey,

            I am glad to hear that. And many thanks for those beautiful flowers. ሕጂ መቐነትና ሸጥ ኣቢልና ንቃለሶ ንህግደፍ መንደፍ

    • Saay (kelassay)

      You brought them together at peace. Thank you. I hope to see you doing the same in real world as you are doing in virtual world. what a gift!!

    • SA

      It is probably my second time to watch it. It is still hilarious and I kept laughing. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

  • Horizon

    The life of Ethiopian women in Arab lands is horrendous to say the least. To be poor and work for others is neither a shame nor a crime. Millions do it and it is respectable. That is the main reason Ethiopians, Eritreans and others are going to oil-rich Arab lands.
    Many of our women have been humiliated, raped, killed and forced to commit suicide. Our men and women are dehumanized and seen as slaves. I have heard (I am not sure if it is true) of Arabs being accused for saying “if you see a Habesha and a snake, cut off first the head of the Habesha, because he/she is dirtier”. Think of the killings, organ harvesting, torture and extortions carried out in the Sinai. How many Arab government officials, religious leaders or the community as a whole, came out to condemn these savage actions? Only few individuals that can be counted with the fingers of one hand have dared to speak for these helpless creatures. Very few have condemned the inhuman treatment of Ethiopians, Eritreans, Sudanese, and now that of people from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka etc, that have joined the list of the children of a lesser god, who are dehumanized simply because they happen to be poorer and darker.
    A universal condemnation of all Arabs might not be right. Nevertheless, they have not earned the leniency of their accusers by standing with the helpless African and Asian worker. Many more Ethiopians and Eritreans are in the West than in Arab lands. I could say that none of them has ever undergone such an inhuman treatment.
    Unless Arabs change their backward and barbaric behavior towards black people, high rising buildings, luxury cars and implementation of high tech does not make them people of the 21st century. Oil money might end one day and living in mutual respect and cooperation on all fields with their neighbors might be necessary in the future, much more for their own very survival than anybody else’s. The days of the seven fat cows could end in fifty, hundred years …etc, nobody knows. When the oil under the desert ends, then it will be the days of the seven lean cows, and these could be very difficult days.
    Therefore, it is up to Arab nations to be positive contributors to this 21st century. In this 21st century, they have a choice to make; to either revive their past positive contributions to human history and development in literature, mathematics and architecture or renew their negative past, that of the slave trade, religious wars and subjugation of others. The second is out of the questions in this era of enlightenment. Until that day, their continued provocative and barbaric actions against other human beings will cause anger and abhorrence in the eyes of rational people. Arab nations should understand that no laborer is the slave of his employer, and human labor is a personal property that should be respected.

    Here is a link that shows how they see Ethiopians.

  • Yodita

    Many thanks for the meaning of the word.

    I share your anger and pain with what is happening in Saudi Arabia, not to mention the rage and helplessness I feel for what the Bedouins are doing . However, when I learned what a Bedouin (risking the wrath and reaction of his beastly kinsmen) did to save and shelter some Eritreans and help them reach safety; when I watched a clip of an Egyptian public employee whomade it his mission and went the extra mile to give decent burial to all those whose bodies were abandoned for vultures, I know that I cannot curse all the Bedouins or Egyptians for the horror we are unfortunate enough to witness.

    I am very proud to see the Ethiopian people out in the streets to express their indignation and anger am particularly struck by their choice of the slogan. One placard reads ‘የሳውዲ ካምፓኒዎች ..’ and not የሳውዲ ህዝብ or worse still አረቦች ! Very sophisticated indeed!

    • Yodita

      Dear Moderator,

      The above was addressed to Eyob, As ‘Dear Eyob’, I wonder if you will help me on this one (to kindly insert it) and I promise not to repeat the same mistake again.

      Many thanks in advance.

  • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

    Dear saay,
    today i had I visted china of Mao’s time. what do you think he (Mao) will say if he visited our world today with his red book? what about if he meet DIA? read Jebana page.

    ነት ነት ነት:-

  • Eyob Medhane


    Who you callin’ “Kool Aid Drinker?” Moi? Ere Goraw!!!!!!

    I never said that there is an absolute press freedom in Ethiopia, but to achieve that goal someone has to fight it from there as Eskinder Nega did and what Dawit Kebede of awrambatimes has just done by going back and continuing his work unflinching. I have respect for that. That is my stand, which you including my brother did not understand.

    Speaking of not taking abuse lying down, I was at the protest at the Saudi embassy today and I was very proud of my people. Everybody set aside their political differences and spoke with one voice. Twitter and Facebook played a huge role. We now have #1 twitter hashtag (of course Gash Saleh helped with that by adding his voice;-)
    The protest was amazing, of course with all of it’s a bit off track emotional outbursts. Please watch..–Saudi-Embassy-in-Washington-DC–Stop-Violence-Against-Ethiopians-in-Saudi-Arabia–November-14-2013

    When the crowd chased a Saudi diplomat, you should have seen how scared he was. He surrounded himself with bunch of cops right away. I know that most Saudi diplomat, who are sent to US are royal brats and probably it was the only time he was made scraed “S*itless in his entire life.

    One of the funny moments was, when the crowd was chanting “Saudi Terrorist” DC cops were looking at each other like “Can someone call Saudi a terrorist in their face?” You can see in their face that how political correctness is really deep in America. By the way, there are so many hundreds, if not thousands Eritreans carrying Eritrean flag protesting with us. I was so proud and overwhelmed by that. I took pictures and I will show it to you, as soon as I download it. That is what I wish Eritreans would do against Isayas. Not that they have not been doing that, but with the same number force and vociferously. And with that I conclude my report 🙂

    • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

      Dear Eyob,
      We habesha people should see the problem from all corners. The first question to ask is why we have to go out of our countries? And then why even live illegal? Why are we managing against the law of others? We can’t live in emotion.
      Can you imagine?
      And let Saudi people take care of their people in solving the cruelty they show.

      • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

        so, sure you have seen both and now come with the solution. is it taking side with our people and talking against Arabs the solution or correcting our way? the world is still in stage of nationalism and we can make any rule we want in our countries but we can’t force others. the future world will be differnt and no one will stop the slow growing of oneness. but that will come in it’s proper time when we know to handle our own nations problems. wisdom please.

      • Eyob Medhane


        Migration is not a new phenomena that starts last year. People move around to seek jobs. They are called “Economic migrants”. Only few decades ago these nuckle head Arabs were also economic migrants in my country. Yet you can’t tell me that when, they were asked to leave, we have not dragged them on the street, we did not rape their women and we did not kill their men. They were just left. Read what is written on the Economist today. One of the woman Arab Employers made it very clear what her and her people’s problem with Ethiopians is. Here is her quote,

        “…I have hired maids from different nationalities, but I should say Ethiopians are the most arrogant and stubborn ones,” Arwa al-Hilal, a working Saudi mother, is quoted telling the Arab News, an English-language daily. “I did have two Ethiopian maids previously and both of them were too hard to handle and always spoke back to us, though we paid their wages on time….”

        See what she wanted was a slave. Not a worker. The problem is not us freely wanting to move to other countries and earn a leaving. I do that. I assume you do that also. The difference is you and I live in a society that is civilized, knows human values and live by law. Those who went to Saudi Arabia happen to go to a place were the society that lives there is utterly backward, barbaric, illiterate with a mentality of the 4th century. (Actually, people in 4th century were pretty smart and innovative compared to these good for nothing throwbacks) As you read on the woman’s interview, she was mad that Ethiopian have confidence to talk back to her and have pride to be stubborn not to be her sheepish and slavish. Believe me, no matter how folks like you use so many ways, expressions, and languages to defend their barbaric behavior, we will NEVER EVER forget what these nasty creatures did. In Amharic we say “..ያባቴን ገዳይ ዛሬ ብሰተው: በሰባት ቤቱ አገኘዋለሁ..::”

        I have never seen Ethiopians united like this for a common cause. Mark my word. There will be a way that we’ll get back at these barbarians.

        You said “…let Saudi people take care of their people in solving the cruelty they show…” Since when a devil tells another devil “what you did is wrong and I will punish for it” ? No No No….In due time, we’ll get our pay pack. Let both you and I stay alive and witness it. I understand you may sympathize with them for whatever reason, yet believe me the line between these barbarians and us has been drawn with blood. I don’t give a flying freak if their ‘evil’ is taken care of by themselves or not, we however make sure one day some how will be taking care of their evil..

        • Eyob Medhane
          • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

            now you and me should have a wonderful time watching this.

          • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

            now you and me should have a wonderful time watching this.

            I was agree the same you do when arabs kill the people for money in sinai. here in awate people teach me to be kind as it is wrong to generalize Haile was one of them. we can’t generalize and blame all. i am kind to everybody in this world and I want to see things from all dirrections inluding those who are against me.truth is the way out. love is the only solution with people. some time it may seem more easy to blame the other side but solving problems needs honesty. I have seen how much ignorant are some people in every country but there are great men every where. Lets work for peace brother. the world will be alright.

          • Eyob Medhane

            ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም,

            Koombaia my lord…Koombaia…

            Come on man, sing with me and pass me the bong… 🙂

        • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

          ………እንደ ግዮን………. a simple poem in jebana will let you know what i mean.

        • Yodita

          Dear Ato Eyob Medhane,

          Would you kindly explain the meaning of the word ‘nuckle’ as I am unable to find it in the dictionary? If as I guess it has a derogatory meaning, to depict the entire Arab world with one word reflects very poorly on your understanding of the dual nature of the dynamics of social and/or individual evolution. Both the grandeur and the dark aspects of human activities are embedded in any society or group or even individuals. It is the resolving of these contradictions that allow for advancement or decadence.

          It is with much humbleness that I am pointing out such a rudimental truth, as you are one of my teachers in the Awate forum. To depict, therefore, the whole Arab world with one pejorative term notwithstanding its immense contribution in beauty and literature and yes language (Arabic is in my book one of the most beautiful languages and also very highly documented – it is one of the official five languages in the UN).

          Did the Arab world commit untold atrocities in the world ? YES. We need to separate the wheat from the chaff. Every society and each individual have both the positive and negative aspects, as a base for the ‘struggle’ either to evolve to a higher level or regress and degenerate. Generalizing is illegitimate and against the cosmic law. It is denial.

          It is for some time now I wished to address this issue but then considering the interplay between Saay and yourself which is sort of unique(and adds a dimension to the forum), and reading ‘provocative’ assertions from both sides, I refrained. But, while reading your above comments, I read only the first sentence and felt compelled to comment.

          Concluding, your country, Ethiopia, in my view has immense grandeur but also dark aspects of its history. My country, Eritrea – idem.

          Now I will go back and finish reading your post.

          With respect.

          • Eyob Medhane


            “Nuckle head” is a sort of made up word (not by me) but by largely southern whites in the US (Particularly in Arkansas) to describe someone, who is stupid. Now, about me generalizing, from a string of actions that I have noticed from Arabs, i.e Organ Trafficking, and lack of strong condemnation of such acts by the Arab media and population, distributing hateful and distorted version of extremist Islamic ideology and its breed of terrorism and lack of strong condemnation of such acts by Arab media and population (In fact at times they seem to justify it) Modern slavery, and a mentality of entitlement to enslave other people, as you read on the link of the economist I gave you above, and lack of strong condemnation of such sentiments by Arab media and population all these have led me to believe that The vast, very very vast majority of Arabs have the same kind of mentality and their culture is backward. As far as Arabic language is concerned, is it really beautiful? Well, Sal told me the other day they don’t have a letter “P”, and that is why Gaddafi was forced to declare that he “lobes his beoble” and recommended to every one to drink “bibsi” 🙂 I don’t know how a language could be beautiful without a letter “P”… 🙂

            Our anger at the Arabs is not over, yet. Here is a picture from Addis Ababa protests today, as reported by the Arab media, of course Aljazeera. Do you read Amharic? Read the slogans there, and that is exactly how I feel…


        • There is not need to take it out on Al Amoudi, a Saudi National.

          I will sum it up this way:

          ወይ ዝበሉኻ ግበረሎም ወይድማ ዓዶም ግደፈሎም

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Papillon,
    I agree with Yodita’s comment that phrases that degrade women should not be tolerated and I appeal against the use of this terms in this context. Phrases like” wedi sebeyti, quomishti zitekednu, kem ansti hameyty” are misogynistic and we do have alternative words for cowardice which can be used such as “bojbajat, ferhat” and so on.
    Anyone can have his own judgment and opinion on those who flee the tyrant to save their lives, one can have his own wishes and expectations but beyond that insulting them as “seb quamishti”is unbearable(at least for me). Who would seriously presume to sit in judgment from his comfort zone?I ‘m surprised the same persons (some, and not all) who have been defaming the sacrifices during Ghedli are the ones who are shouting for sacrifices. Tell me please, what your part of sacrifce was rather than giving opinions using pennames.
    By the way, my understanding of is that it’s a forum set up for political and social issues and not for biochemistry and related subjects. As much as these fields are interesting, hijacking the subject to such topics is just irritating.

    • Papillon

      Dear Tzigereda,

      I seriously don’t see any reason to respond anymore to the “scandalous” ቆምሽጢ-gate as in “Watergate” on my part. Am I reading you right? Do you really get irritated when once in a blue moon one discusses issues related to biochemistry? That sure is melodramatic. Well, I will have to re-read the Awate guidelines if in-fact discussing anything outside the realm of politics is not allowed. I must say, I am glad that you are not the editor and if in the future you plan to run your own website, you sure are bad news to say the least. Obviously, you are not cut out for it.

      • haile

        Hi Papillon መቸም ዘይረኽበኪ’የለን 🙂

        ቀሚስ ብኣምሓርኛ፡ ቀሚሽ or misspelled ቆሚሽ ብትግርኛ፡ ኣልባስ ውሽጢ እንተኾይኑ’ውን ብኣህጽሮ ቆሚሽጢ ምስቲ መሸተ ወይ ሚሽቲ ዝተኣሳሰር ግብረ-ፈራህያን ዝገልጽ’ዩ። ባህላዊን፡ ጸኒሕን ድማ እዩ። ቀሚሽ-ኣደይ ሓንኲሉኒ ዝብል ልምዳዊ ብሂል ውን ኣሎ። እዚ ብዊን ዝብለና ዝቕየር ስለዘይኮነ ድማ ንዘገምታዊ ዕብየት ሕብረተሰብና ምሕዳግ የድሊ። ኣብ ብርጣኒያ ካብ ዘሎ ኣስማት ጎደናታት እስኪ ንመልከት፡

        ንምንታይ ክሳብ ሕጂ ክቕየር ዘይከኣለ? ንዓይ ከምዝመስለኒ፡ ታሪኻዊ ኣገዳስነቱ ስለዝተደልየ ክኸውን ይኽእል….

        • Haile,

          I could not help but laugh my head off. I particularly like these streets: A$$ hole road, Dumb woman’s lane, & Slutshole lane. We need to come up with our own in future Eritea to preserve phrases, and words that are otherwise offensive. Phrases like “ጎደና ፈራሕ ነዲኡ ይኣትዋ” is a good reminder to men to have መዓንጣ all the time. 😉

        • Papillon

          Dear Haile,

          That is pretty funny. Your conclusion makes sense as well. I should say, your Tigrinya is impressive. For real. I wonder if there is a politically correct phrase for “ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ…..”


          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Papillon, the Scots are “ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ…..” and they are admired as fine soldiers. Having lived in the West, most of us have become sensitive and we abide by the norms of political correctness. For instance, ask any young person what gay means and you know the answer. Years back it meant carefree and happy. It was a word so much liked by poets when it has a totally different meaning than what it means now. As our perception and values adopt to our new environment, you should expect such objection. The solution is to move on and not dwell on it. The correct phrase is to refrain from using it 🙂

          • Yodita


            You said “a fully equipped, trained and paid firefighter”. But are those in the military in Eritrea fully equipped, trained and paid soldiers? Are they not smoldering under an unbearable reality year in and year out ever since they joined? I heard an interview of one of the pilots who left earlier that they used to work in the fields of their top superiors as simple labourers unlike their peers anywhere else of in the world. We are comparing apples and onions. Be it firefighters or doctors, they have their fat checks to tickle their conscience to do the right things on behalf of a society that compensates them and allows them and their families a decent life.

        • SA

          Hi Haile,
          Just for the record, I want to state that my main beef with the term “ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ ኣሰብኡት” is not because it is demeaning to women (although it is). My complaint is simply about whether someone who is writing from the safety and comfort of a Westernized life using a pen name has earned the right to accuse others of cowardice. Even if she had used the word coward instead of “ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ ኣሰብኡት”, I would still have had a problem with it. I could write more about it, but as Emma, the peacemaker, advised us, let’s all learn from this episode and move on.

          • haile

            Selamat SA

            Thanks for clarifying that point you hold. Let me add my view on the issue (just my view:)

            If a house is on fire, it is natural for me, you or others to run away from the obvious danger. It would however, be very strange for a fully equipped, trained and paid firefighter to join us on this great run! It would be dereliction of the call of duty for him/her to do so. It would even be more strange for him/her to argue that we are hypocrites to scoff at their actions because we are doing the same too!! Obviously, we are neither trained nor equipped nor prepared to deal with such crisis, the firefighter is.

            Cowardice in military sphere is a well defined martially dealt with conduct. Great Britain, during WWI, executed many of its army members for ‘cowardice’. Many civilians use run away from bombings at the time, but weren’t killed. In fact they were helped to do so, it was a safe and right thing to do. It was another matter for the men in uniform, they were blind folded and lined up against the wall and shot dead in front of their platoons.

            So, when a man rapes a neighbor, he is a rapist but when a doctor rapes his patient he is not only a rapist but defaulting in the highest calling of his duty, TRUST. The army’s highest calling of duty is COURAGE and when they default on that they are accused of dereliction of duty by an act of COWARDICE. If a woman and her children are crossing to the Sudan to escape the brutal regime, this does not make a fully equipped, trained and paid person in uniform to do the same thing, to reason such is in travesty of common sense.


          • SA

            Hi Haile,
            Thank you for your response, a response that I cannot help but admire greatly. You are so resourceful and so nimble at making your case. But I would like to make the following points:

            1. I agree that it is right for the public to criticize and demand action against a firefighter who fails to do his duty or against a physician who violates a patient’s trust. Both of these professionals have clearly defined duties for which they have been properly trained, and they should be called out and punished if they fail to do their duties. In relation to this, there are some obvious questions to ask about the Eritrean pilots: Are the pilots guilty of dereliction of duty for fleeing Eritrea? Are the pilots guilty of dereliction of duty for not attempting to assassinate the president or carrying out a coup? Was it their duty to overthrow the dictatorship, and if it was their duty for some reason, had they been trained, taught, or at least conditioned to carry out the duty? You and I may not give the same answers to the above questions, but I hope you and I agree that the pilots were members of a military system that is sick, dysfunctional, and so far from the ideal. In my opinion, after pondering all the above questions and considering the reality on the ground in Eritrea, I would argue that the pilots have not failed in a duty they can be accused of COWARDICE by defecting to Saudi Arabia.
            2. Even if we can justifiably accuse the pilots of cowardice for defecting, then we will have to be consistent and accuse the tens of thousands of Sawa conscripts of cowardice for fleeing Eritrea. Both of them are members of the military, but I am pretty sure you are not going to accuse the Warsays of cowardice for fleeing Eritrea.
            3. Finally, what some of us are asking is some humility and fairness when we criticize the pilots for their defection. Calling them cowards for failing to do what you suggest is their duty is not fair because it is a duty they are neither trained nor conditioned for. Nor is the duty in the psyche of the Eritrean people in general.* In addition, it is a just a bit unsavory and unfair to accuse the pilots of cowardice from a comfortable and safe place.


            *The Founders of America included these revolutionary sentences in the Declaration of Independence:

            Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

            The Founders were, in this instance, making a case for independence from Great Britain, but it must not have escaped them that their rationale gives the people they are about to govern the right to revolt against the government if the government becomes destructive. Obviously, the first Leader of Eritrea would balk at the aforementioned sentences in the Declaration of Independence, and has worked hard to make sure that the Eritrean people are not cued on these precepts.

          • haile

            Selamat SA

            I agree with the position you advocate for and in many cases my preference is not to accuse those who run but those serving. I respect our different opinions on this.

            I wasn’t talking with expert knowledge but just my view. I considered that it was the duty for the pilots (highly trained as compared the conscripts) to defend: the state, the constitution and the people. And simplistically assumed that they must have defaulted on at least one of them in consideration of their own safety. I don’t know have that is interpreted in the military sphere apart cowardice.

            I spoke to some one in the army today and his position was that it is NOT cowardice (in his opinion) because:

            1- the pilots have rights like any other person

            2- Not so if they disagree with the actions of their army (need to analyze that 🙂

            So the jury is out, I would say let’s free them of all charges 🙂


          • SA

            Hi Haile,
            That you spoke to a member of the military and reported his/her view that agrees with my view says a lot about you. And of course I will take your deal to free them of all charges!
            Happy Friday, and keep up the good work.

        • Sabri


          I love your tigringa. Tigringa when it is expressed by those who master is sweet. Very few express it correctly. By the way where did you learn it? I guess you went school before Netsanet.


          • haile

            Selamat Sabri

            Thanks, yours is great too. In my case, I don’t know if it was the books or the schooling that helped me though. There was no Tigrigna schooling in my time, so I read disproportionately high number of tigrigna books, newspapers and other publications growing up. ሮቢንሶን፡ ክሮንሶን – ቶም ሰውየር – ክሓልፍ ዶ’ምበር እዩ – ቢንያም እቲ መከረኛ መንእሰይ – ጥሪ ዕብዲ – ማርቆሳይ ወይኒ ምስ ሕምባሻ – ሰማእታት ካታካምቦ – and more were some of the books I read during elementary and Junior years at school. I heard that if those who have their Tigrigna defaced due to listening to PFDJ and IA Tigrigna read the Tigrigna Bible (old Testament) for a six month period, the damage can be reversed (provided no further contact is made) 🙂


          • Sabri

            Thank you Haile. So, you are self learned like me. I went school during derg time. Best tigringa is expressed either by those who are moulded up by traditional language mostly ab geter. Or by those who went school during federation time or by the elites from the struggle era. I have a chance to meet the giant of tigringa language like Musa Aron, Aboy Weldeab, memhir Asres Tesemma, Amanuel Sahle, Tekie Tesfay during one tigringa seminar in Asmara right after the Eritrean independence. It is sad that we don’t have language institution yet 22 years after our independence.

    • Sis Tzegereda,

      The criticizm was made as it should be. We all have bad days, and I think this could be one on Papi’s side. So let us take and see it as a bygone thing. We learn from our mistakes and thrive not to repeat it. I am sure Papillon will see it as such, for we are always fallible. I hope we all will learn from this episode and see peace between these trio to challenge any lapses among us in this educational website.

    • Selam

      Selam Saleh,
      Trust me- you don’t need a cryptologist to discern my plain message! If it was not for PIA stubbornness, He have created a solid strategic alliance with the Jewish state rather than trying to appease the savage Arabs….that would have helped Eritrea to get those glorified secretaries like Obama and Yamamto in check….entay emo PIA is so stubborn-meshaq sherafat geruna!! That is my beef with the old man!! Locking horn with the United States didn’t advance his cause at all!! PIA will fall not because of the efforts of the disgruntled Eritrean opposition forces but his foolish fist fight with United States! Sometimes, I don’t see the rationale behind his feud with the United States as Eritrea and US have a lot in common fighting fundamentalist in the horn of Africa!!
      BTW, Saleh your article on “forced labor” triggered Asmelash to have an editorial on EriTV, I guess they follow your activities as much as you follow wedi afomlol

  • Ghezae Hagos

    Hi Saay and Awatistas,

    I should have posted this one earlier to dovetail with the topic.

    In April 2009, HRW published a must-read and must-keep document (p. 95) on forced labour and indefinite conscription in Eritrea.

    It is very important to quote international instruments to make our case. Here is my favorite one from page 53 of the document.

    It defines why we call the so-called ‘hagerawi agelgulot’ is forced labour or gross violation of international human rights.

    “Under international law—the Forced Labour Conventions and ILO Convention 29—the key points when considering the definition of forced labor are the extent to which: “(i) the works or services are exacted involuntarily; (ii) the exaction of labor or services takes place under the menace of penalty; and (iii) these are used as a means of political coercion, education or as a method of mobilising and using labor for purposes of economic development, as well as means of labor discipline.”211

    This is most certainly the case in Eritrea, and it would thus
    appear that forced labor on the Eritrean scale and for indefinite periods is a gross human rights violation.”

    I wish we could have a section that keeps records of such important documents for easy access to readers and researchers.

    All the best,

    • rodab

      Nevsun has published a promotional video. Perhaps to counter Amnesty International’s accusations against it. The workplace/condition certainly looks decent, but who is to deny that in a nation where there is no independent voice, there is a diparity between what’s said and what’s on the ground .
      Anway here is the vid, check it out:

      • Ghezae Hagos

        Thanks kubur haw Rodab.

  • Zhaile

    Hi Papillon,
    This is out of context to the title of SAAY’s article. But I like your summary of the modern science even though I had different understanding of things.
    Here is my take:
    1) the conservation of energy is the cornerstone of modern physics. I do not think the equation shows a holistic variable (I may be wrong). I think the Energy conservation principle is the highest expression of reduction (subjective opinion).

    2)..”I believe, Darwin was the greatest mind to have ever walked on planet Earth where Einstein’s theories are a child’s play.” Really!! it’s OK, it is your belief. I thought Darwin’s theory breaks down just below the cell level. As soon as you move down the ladder of integration Darwin’s theory does not apply, or hold true.

    But “we” have to find yet the point where Einstein theory of relativity breaks down. It is said at the boundaries of a black hole. This might be true but then there is no other known theory that survives at that point (as far as I know).

    • Papillon

      Dear Zhaile,

      As you know the the law of conservation of energy states that, energy can not be created or destroyed and it gets conserved over time but of course the phenomena is applicable in a closed system as in the universe. I don’t see any relevance of the stated law or standing contrary to Reductionism. As I have stated it on a different thread, Reductionism was first employed by Rene Descartes as he was trying to synthesize Geometry with Algebra which was later came to be known as Analytical Geometry. As much as he had to employ rather complex mathematical tools, he figured that, for complex mathematical realities to be solved, the parts of the complex ought to be seen individually. As such, breaking down the complexity gives one a sort of a leeway to solve the mathematical challenges in an easy way. As it happened, his contemporary social thinkers including other learned men in the hard and life sciences started to utilize the paradigm which has taken root as a modus operandi for centuries on end.

      Of course, Darwin is the greatest mind to have ever walked on planet Earth. As you know, the very kernel concepts of Evolution are Variance, Selection and Common Ancestor. Variance is the random recombination of genes where they give rise to a myriad types of phenotypic variations. As the variations in phenotypes get subjected to environmental changes, the ones that are well adopted to the environment tend not only survive but are able to pass on their genes to the next generation. The only challenges that the theory of Evolution seem to face is as it seems to be incompatible with the Second Law of Thermodynamics (read: Entropy). Entropy states that, there is a general tendency of things to go into disorder from order where Evolution states that, micro-organisms evolve from less ordered organisms to more complex and ordered organisms. But again, the Law of Thermodynamics is more applicable in a closed system where eventually comes into an equilibrium.

      I am not sure what you’re trying to say about the break down of Einstein’s theory with respect to the Black Hole. My understanding is that, a massive object has two opposing forces that is balanced by its own gravitational force and the dynamic nuclear fusion that takes place say in the core of stars where the energy is emitted as light. But when the balance is disrupted as the fusion gets exhausted, the star collapses under its own gravitational force or weight as it remains unopposed. And it becomes a Black Hole where time slows down on the Event Horizon and completely stops or else gets reversed with in the core of the Black Hole where nothing escapes from.

    • Just to be nosy,

      But “we” have to find yet the point where Einstein theory of relativity breaks down.

      Einstein’s general relativity theory breaks down at the big bang because it is not compatible with quantum theory. Correct me if I am wrong. For Eisenstein, the the idea that time would come to an end in the black hole was unsettling and contrary to general relativity theory. He thought general relativity was the theory of every thing. I don’t think a theory has ever been developed to explain the smallest as well as the largest bodies in the universe.

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        You mean the Torah, the Bible and the Koran didn’t explain it? Man, you are headed to the splash in molten-something, beware 🙂

        • haha

          Dear Saleh,

          Neither the Bible nor the Koran give us a clear explanation for everything as far as I know. If they do, I would love to learn…they are replete with many errors.

          Never come across at Awate land where people raise topics on religion and debate. Let me go check Awate Land’s guide lines on topics related on religion first before I go on and test God’s theory on everything.;-)

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Ho Daw!t, my bad. I was joking; I have to tell you this before this gets tangled
            If it is not in the guidelines we might add it. Let’s stop it here before it goes far:-)

          • Papillon

            Dear Dawit,

            The Holy Books’ primary objective is to help us lead a morally-good life not to understand how the material world intrinsically functions. Galileo’s famous adage comes to mind when he said, “Religion teaches us how to go to the heavens and Science teaches us how the heavens go.”

            Earlier you mentioned that, science has hitherto failed to connect the micro-world and the macro-world with in the same otherwise known as Grand Unified Theory. It is also true that, Einstein spent the last thirty years of this life to that effect but for a naught. Maybe say an Eritrean of the present generation (read: those who were born after independence) or the coming generation would be able to unify the Weak, Strong, Electromagnetic and Gravitational Forces and come up as physicists are fond of saying, an elegant equation.


  • Papillon

    ሳል ሓወይ

    I guess you will have to dose-up your ሽምግልና for the debate about my use of the word doesn’t seem to let up any time soon. Maybe you will have to call SGJ for a back-up and ask him to cut his vacation short before a riot breaks out on Awate-land. ባዕለይ ጠንቀምቀም ክብል ገለ ተዛሪበ.

    • Nitricc

      Dear papillon no riots please
      Dahan: Ezi Wun Kihalif Eyu
      Just chill

      • Papillon


        I am sure you’re craving for a riot to break-out on the Awate-land so that our own private website would be shut down. That sure is a pipe-dream. I sure hope that, the rather differences in opinions that are freely entertained on the Awate-land will impress up on you where as in the other PFDJ’s strait-jacket strapped websites (read: Alenalki, Dehai, Tesfanews, Meadna) one gets terribly suffocated to the extent of turning blue. Incidentally, Brigadier General Sofia Tesfamariam keeps insulting your intelligence including Meron’s, Selam’s et al when she recently blabbered in an incredibly dry and trite article titled, “Ethiopia the North Korea of Africa.” I am sure you’ve read it and sobbed in an orgy of excitement and happiness.

        • Nitricc

          Papillon I don’t know what you believe but entropy is good for life.
          I want Paplion and Yoditta in the ring.
          I will be the judge.
          For real though you too are intelligent yet you are bickering over the wording lol
          It is all good though

          • Papillon


            Entropy is pretty heavy word. Help me understand its usefulness in life.

  • Michael, B.

    Who is going to fight and who to benefit? The question all of us have to answer

    Yodita ብመንጽር ኣደብን ፍትሒን ልክዕ እንተላ፡ Papillon ካብ ሓደ ክቱብ ትጽበዮ ኩልና’’ንዲና ንጽበዮ፡ ርግጽ ከኣ ተዋጋኢ ዕሊ ውግእ ኪሕሉ ንደሊ፡ ሳላ ተሰዋእቲ ኢያ ሃገርና ካብ ጸላኢ-ወራሪ ሓራ ዝወጸት፡ እቶም ዝተሰውኡ ምእንቲ ርእሶምን ወገኖምን ህዝቦምን እንተዘይስውኡ ውርደትና ከም ዝነበሮ ወይ ሕልፊ ምቐጸለ፡ እቲ ሎሚ ንምልከቶ ዓይነት ዕስክርና ግን ምስ ምንታይ ይቑጸር፡ ዝቡሓት ኣባላት ሰራዊት ጥራይ ዲዮም ዘለዉና፡ እሞ እቶም ተራ ዘጋ ዲዮም ብረቶም መንጢሎም ነዚ ገበል ኪዋግኡሎም
    ዝተከተበ፡ ብዲሲፕሊን ኣገልግሎት ዝተከተበ ኪፍጽም ግቡኡ ኢዩ፡ እዚኣቶም ግን ብመበቆሎም ተጋደልቲ፡ መኣስ ከም ዕላዊያን ዕስኩራት ተዓለሙ፡ እቲ ትውፍቶምን ሕድሮምን ናይ በይኖም ኢዩ፡ ባዕላቶም ad hoc ዝደመሩዎ ካልእ ልማዳት ገድሊ ከኣ ጸንሖም፡ ንሱ ከኣ ሕሱም በደሎም፡ “ንሱ በለ” እዝጊ በለ፡ ከም ኣሪስጣጣሊስ ኪርእዩዎ፡ ዘገርም ኢዩ፡ እዚ ሰብ ግን ሮኅራኅ ኢዩ ሥርሒ ናውቱ፡ ክንደይ በላይ-ኮርባርያ-ስኒ-ጸባ ወፋር-ተድዓሊ ኮን ኢዩ ዝለክመልና። እሞ ንሳቶም እቶም ጀጋኑ ወይ ውፉያትና ምስ ከዱ ድሁላቶም በዚሖምናዶ ፍልስፍናኦም ካብ ቅተለት ፕረሲደንት-ባዕሉ-ሥዩም ዓገቶምዶ፡ እንታይስ ንመንስ ይጽበዩ ኣለዉ
    እቲ ድማር መቐየዶም ከኣ ግዲ ይውጽዓና ኣሎ፡ እቲ ዓንተቦ፡ እቶም ገርሂ ካን ዓያሡ፡ ነቲ ብልቢ ትግራይ (ትግራይ ይኁን ኣይኁን) ዘጠፋፍእ ዝነበረ ዓይኖም ዓሚቶም ተማእዘዙዎ፡ ወይቲ ገበኖም እቲ ዕሥነቶም! ገበል ኪግብል ገዲፎሞ ወይ ረዲኦሞ፡ እንሆ ከም ቅዱሶም ዲዩ ነብዮም ኪርእዩዎ ከመይ ተጋገዩ ኣንቱም ሰባት፡ ሕጂዶ ይሓይሥ ኣብ ርእሶም ኪሠነሎም፡ ሕጂ ከቃብጽዎ፡ እንኮ ጥይት ከስቲዩዎ ይጽናሓዮም፡ ሕጂዶ እምቢ ይብሉዎ፡ ነኪር ዲሲፕሊኖም! ቅድም ተኣዘዝ ዳሕራይ ንቐፍ … ዲዮም ዚብሉ እሞ ከም ተራ ዕሊ ተዋጋእቲ እንተተዛረቡ፡ ብሂል ባህለቶም ካልእ ኢዩ፡ ዕልመቶም እውን ደጊምና ከነመልክት ከም ንቡር እቲ ኣብ ምዕራባዊ ክፍላት ዓለም ልሙድ ወተሃደራዊ ኣይኮነን፡ ከይነዋሕ ኣብዚ ከነሕጽሮ እምበር፡ ጣልያን እውን ነቦታትና ብሓደ ጸይቂ ዕልመት ተበሊጹሎም ኢዩ፡ ንብል
    ሕሉፍ ኮሎናዊ ኩነት ዕስክርና ገዲፍና፡ እዚ በጺሕናዮ ዘሎና ኩነት እንታይ ይሓትት፡ ልክዕ ከምቲ Papillon ትጽበዮ ናዕቢን ጎንጺን ዕልዋን ኢዩ ዚሓትት፡ እቲ ክቱብ ዕጡቕ ከኣ በጽዋሩ ኪሰሃሎ ክንደይና ኮን ኢና ንጽበ፡ ደጊም መብዛሕቲና ንብሎ ነገር ይኀውን፡ ተዋጋኢ ውግእ ህዝቢ ኪመርሕ ከኣ ንደሊ፡ ከመይ ግቡኡ ኢዩ፡ ህዝቢ ካብ እቲ ሓላዊኡ ክቱብ ኣጽዋር መንጢሉ ኪዋጋእ ናይ መወዳእታ ውሳነ እሞ ውሳነ ዓቕሊ-ጽበት እንተኆነ፡ ዛጊት ካብቶም ጀነራላት ዚብሉዎም ካልእ ጽኑዕ ሓላፊነትን ጠገለ ክቱባትን ስትራተጂን ታክቲክን ዝሓሎ ወፈራ ቃልሲ ንሓትት፡ ሃየ ሓደራ ንብሎም፡ እንቱም ሰብ ኣጽዋርን ዕልመትን ሓዲኡ ምኀሩ፡ መሰልኩምን ክብረትኩምን ኣክቡ፡ ምስያፍን በጃ ምሕላፍን እውን ኣየድልየኩምን፤ ኣታ ዘይስልጣንካ መልስ ስልጣን ህዝቢ! በሉልና
    መሰል ህዝቢ ዝዘረፈ ከመይ ትምእዘዙ፡ በየናይ ዕሊ አቲክ፡ እስከ ንህዝቢ ኣመልክቱ፡ ኣረድኡ፡ ዓስከር ካብ ዕዮኡ ኪሃድም እቲ ዘይተዓለመ ዘጋ ክትክኦ ምሕሳብ ደጊም ፍላይ ህጹጽ ኩነት ኢዩ፡ እዚ’ውን በጺሕናዮ፡ ከምቲ Yodita ትደልዮ ንሕና ዘጋታት ኢና ዋናታት ሃገር፡ ካብ ተጋደልቲና ኮኑ ተዋጋእቲና ብረት ክንምንጥል፡ እቲ ካብ ካልእ ንደልዮ ካብ ርእሲና እውን ክንጽበዮ ግደታና ኢዩ፡ ነቀላጥፍ ቃልሲ ናጽነትና

  • Horizon

    We in the diaspora wish to start a revolution back home with a remote control from a distance, our responsibility being only to push the button. The whole region goes in motion, and that is it. Although many of us would have liked to start a revolution without our participation, unfortunately, things are not as easy as that.
    The problem is that the machine we want to bring into motion does not yet have the right components to function properly. Much more, it needs a direct push from us to move it forward, rather than push a button from a distance.
    It is easy to send somebody else to bring out a poisonous snake from its hole, while one is at a safe distance. Let us not demand from others what we ourselves would not do. How many in the diaspora would leave their comfort zone and go to the bushes in Sahel. I am sure, very few.
    Nevertheless, there are many ways to fight an inevitable war. Carrying a gun is not the only way. For example, constructing a Firewall to block the hundreds of millions of dollars that flow into the regime’s coffers, incapacitating the regime’s strong arm by desertions and making the regime politically, economically and socially bankrupt and fragile, can make it an easy prey when the time of its demise comes. The irony is that it is said there are Eritreans who run away from the regime, yet they end up helping the regime morally and financially after they reach a safe haven.
    In Eritrea, freedom can come through a universal revolt and not by the revolt of individuals. Of course, individuals are part of the whole, and that is the direction one should move, i.e., to transform the individual to a whole. For the time being, all they can do is to run away and create voids, which in some cases would be painful to the regime.
    David fighting Goliath is only in mythology; and even then, lately, it is said that Goliath was suffering from visual problems due to Acromegally, and he was an easy prey. Therefore, if we want to send somebody to war, we should be comrades in arms; if not, we should at least do things that are in our reach, and not accuse individuals who run away (many to save their life and have a future), for their failure to bring a change from within. As things stand today, this is all they can do.
    Cut the lifeline of the regime; work with neighboring countries in good faith; and try to find out what you can do and what you cannot (be your natural selves), and change will come much earlier.

    • saay

      Selamat Horizon:

      David fighting Goliath is only in mythology; and even then, lately, it is said that Goliath was suffering from visual problems due to Acromegally, and he was an easy prey.

      Hadn’t heard that one, but Malcolm Gladwell has a new book entitled David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, which may be relevant to us. The book is a collection of case studies of underdogs beating the odds and the striking observation Gladwell makes is that David was not an underdog at all. He was just a smart man who chose to fight his opponent on his own terms. Here’s Goliath, a giant, covered head to toe in heavy armor (with only his forehead exposed), and David (a small shepherd) chooses to use a slingshot to knock him down (a direct hit to the forehead) and because he had turned down heavy armor, he uses what their absence gives him–speed and agility– to finish off Goliath after he knocks him down with a sling shot. The book goes to some length to describe that expertise in that kind of slingshot precision was no easy thing at all.


      • Eyob Medhane


        very interesting about starting “revolutions” from afar, and especially, where there are so not do gooders, do gooders want to make you a tool for the their ideological end.

        I remember one time (I think it was on FB) when we were discussing about “Jailed” journalists, I told you that even though I disagree with ideology I want Eskinder Nega to be viewed differently than those, who are imprisoned, because how he chose to make he case. He did not flee. He went right in the “lion’s den” to fight the lion, even though he had the option of living in America, graduated from a prominent school in America and could shoot and wing it from here like many others do. I found another hero in Ethiopia, who at one point decided to flee, got asylem, awarded the mandatory CPJ “courage” award started to live here. Yet, when he realized that he was wanted to be used as a tool and can’t do what he wants to fight for rom afar, he went back right to that lions den.The Awrambatimes of Daniel Kebede. He has relocated his online news paper from US to Ethiopia, and as soon as he got back, do you know what he did? He visited his imprisoned colleagues in jail and somewhat shamed Tom Rhodes of CPJ, who churn out apocalyptic news about press freedom in Ethiopia by interviewing him in Addis. As you see in this clip, Tom Rhodes somewhat admitted that it may be better to ‘engage’ than ranting. (Of course he used some mishmash diplomatic jargon to admit that things are not apocalyptic as he always report them to be in Ethiopia, but regardless, he admitted it) That is what fighting where the fight is can bring. Credibility. Leading a change or fighting a cause through remote control is almost never change anything. Please, take few minutes and watch these two clips, and you know what I am talking about. (Don’t worry. They are short clips 🙂 )

        Now I could have given you a third clip, where he confronted Shimeles Kemal about his imprisoned colleagues, but that is too long 😉 You can find that one on

        • saay

          Selamat Eyob the Fihira*:

          Yes I remember that debate; it was on FB. And what I remember most about it is that Ethiopians (including your brother) said: Eyob, you have drunk the EPRDF Kool Aid. Please visit a detox center:)

          One of the most offensive things African governments do (including that of my country and yours) is communicate to the world that the lives of Europeans/Americans/Australians are worth more than those of their own countries. A European, North American, Australian citizen who runs afoul of their arbitrary laws is “pardoned” and sent home; but their own citizens languish in prisons for months, years, decades.

          Here in the US, police officers have a mission statement: “to serve and protect the people.” When they lose one of their own, they mourn for him/her more than they do for the average mow down of the average citizen: the whole city is shut down as they attend a funeral ceremony. This is because the police are the thin blue line: it is what separates us from law and order and total chaos. The police are the last line of defense to protect us from the criminal element. Similarly, journalists (independent journalists) are the ones who tell us whether the government is abusing its powers or living within the law. The journalists are the last line of defense to protect us from an abusive government. And when governments are hostile to independent journalists, that, to me, is a clear indication that they do not want to be accountable to anyone. And CPJ’s Tom Rhodes is absolutely right: unless there is a journalist guild that advocates for all journalists and absolutely adopts a zealous, rigid position (the way unions in the US do to protect their members), then there will be no change in the government’s behavior.

          Beyond that, I know my Amharic is getting rusty, but I thought I heard that Awramba Times reporte could NOT go to Akaki prison and visit Eskinder Negga. Please correct me if I am wrong.


          *Fihira, in honor of your ability to dig our relevant video. Much appreciated.

          PS: To all ya Emperor Obama fans, CPJ says that Obama is worse than Nixon when it comes to press freedom. The communists from “Democracy Now” think so:) There is an aggressive stance by Obama (I am the commander in chief!) to aggressively prosecute whistle-blowers (twice as many prosecutions as all previous administrations combined!) One of the best libertarian journalists (left libertarian) Glenn Greenwald is now based in Brazil. Ah, never mind. Obama fans are deafer than Isaias fans : But the rest of you can check it out here:

          PPS: Having said all that, Eyob, I am sympathetic to your argument that SOME members of CPJ (particularly one whose name will be unmentioned now but if we get to the YabeTew Yfenda (ያበጠው ይፈንዳ) stage he will) who consider press advocacy not for what it is–protecting human rights–but their ticket to fame and glory.

      • Horizon

        Dear Mr.saay,

        All I wanted to say boils down to “ድር ቢያብር አንበሳ ያስር”.
        David was a brilliant and courageous guy of his time, and he was not an underdog. Nevertheless, there were and there will always be the strong and the weak, the hawks and the doves and the bad rules and their victims. In front of a well-organized and well-armed vicious enemy, ordinary citizens cannot help but are the underdogs. Therefore, it is not an easy matter to send the individual citizen, be it a military personnel or otherwise, to face the regime like David. It takes the whole nation or a group of dedicated officers (military and civilian) who can command trust among the many, to bring down the regime. Individuals have no chance, especially if they do not come from strong and authoritative positions.

        Funny, we are talking of the same writer. Here is the link of the speech he made at TED’s Talks.

    • Abu Saleh,

      When you say “change will come much earlier” are you trying to negate our old slogan “our struggle will take long but our success is inevitable.” Aha, isn’t it easier said than happen (done). The opposition doesn’t have a solid strategy for success and the mass is in its own sphere of mass movement. Just take your last sentence (well put) but ask how that transform into pragmatic move without formidable leadership. cheers!!!!!

  • Papillon

    Dear Belai,

    Not necessarily. As you know, even though the cytoplasm is a sort of a big compound containing the organelles (read: little organs), the nucleus is secluded with in its own membrane. As such you can take out the nucleus leaving the cytoplasm intact. I sure don’t want to bore Awatewian, but for what it is worth, the reason the nucleus is isolated with in its own membrane is primarily because, DNA replication and transcription (transcribing mRNA* from a DNA template) take place with a high level of fidelity with in the nucleus. Where as translation (translating the already transcribed mRNA into the synthesis of the needed amino acids or proteins) takes place outside of the nucleus (read: inside the ribosomes–ribosome is one of the organelles inside the cytoplasm.) As I stated it on a different thread, Replication, Transcription and Translation are the dogma of molecular genetics.

    *mRNA as in messenger-RNA.

  • Yodita

    Dear Saleh “Gadi” Johar,

    To pass judgement about an action or behaviour is natural and I have no qualms with it. You can write volumes to argue why you judge an action or behaviour is right or wrong. It is a human prerogative. Judge the action but do not insult the actor. It is calling them cowards while you are enjoying sort of la dolce vita, while they are in an atmosphere that we are all aware of, that I find hard to swallow. The question I ask is what are we willing to sacrifice for Eritrea apart from opposing through the virtual world using a nick? Lets take a good look at ourselves even on trivial matters before we dish our judgement over persons who live under tremendous strain.

    Mr. Saleh – I have immense respect for all those who do not hide. Those of us who do, should think about our own cowardice first before defaming such persons as the pilots and not just the act. Also, it is because I do not expect this kind of things from Papillon, as I have always enjoyed her equilibrium. We all make mistakes but we are elevated when we own it and express our regrets. I now see both Papillon and Amanuel Hidrat see nothing wrong with it. That is their prerogative and mine is to maintain my stand and end the subject.

    • Yodita

      PS Mr. Saleh – Sorry I left out the following: what I am doing after all is standing in judgement on Papillon’s comments. But would it be right for me to be judgemental about her and say that she is a hypocrite? I think I would be thrown out of the forum for that, the uproar would be so LOUD!

    • Yodita,

      You said “I have immense respect for all those who do not hide. Those of us who do, should think about our own cowardice first before defaming such persons as the pilots and not just the act.

      I had issues with the saying ስረ ዝዓጠqu sebUt but not with the subjects of the offensive language. As I read your message more, it became clear to me that you are defending the criminals in Asmara.

      You sound like you are beating a dead horse. Let me ask you a question. Would you be irritated if Papillon were to call Issayas ሰበይታይ ?

      • Hey Dawit,

        Don’t go that far. Having different take on certain issue doesn’t make her different from us. She is from us – those who are fighting the devil. Papi and Yodita are flowers within the male dominated awate forum. But above all good debaters with noticeable specter of knowledge. Let us say for them “Sensna shihn waltan kuna.”

        • Nitricc

          Aman come on, stop kissing lol
          Papillon and Yodita are two conformist women in awate
          Although papillon is growing new molecules of independency.
          I love it, papillon keep it up. I hope your new cells of independent thinking will multiplay and spread.
          Yodita, is stock in the 60’s. only a stupid man can think he is better than a woman.
          It is 2013 no one is better than anyone. Take it easy Yoditta, chill 🙂

      • Yodita


        You write “I had issues with the saying ስረ ዝዓጠqu sebUt but not with the subjects of the offensive language”. It is not me who said but another person. Please go back and re-read carefully. I will accept ‘I beg your pardon’.

        To answer your question, YES I would be irritated if the respected Papillon called Isaias ሰበይታይ. Not because I give a hoot about him, but ( you may not find this to your liking), because I hold the role and sacrifice of women in the history of mankind to be superior to that of men. If brute force is what defines men as virile, it is a host of other aspects like creativity, altruism, maternal compassion (absent in men), sacrifice and so on and so forth that distinguishes women. Nature, it seems (by virtue of their maternity?) endows them with nurturing selflessly. Now, you don’t mess with that!! I repeat in our journey in the Universe, the woman is an equal if not superior key player. Likening her to a weakling and less than a man is a grave misconception, to say the very least. It is a macho society that inculcates that women are of a lesser value. Papillon appears to entertain this concept and I find it very hard to swallow considering I hold her to be one of the sharpest young minds I have the pleasure to witness. Burka covered women of Afghanistan do more for the survival of that unfortunate country than do men, I dare to say!! I have a prejudice: men tend to fabricate wars. Does this make them the stronger part of humanity when in the last analysis death and destruction is the achievement?

        • Crystal clear. I apologize. We are on the same page kibirty hafti.

          Dear Aman,

          Your point is well taken.

          • Yodita

            Hakuna tabu, Swahili (no problem).

  • haile

    Awatista: Should qomishti be replaced with a politically correct wording?

    “We despise and abhor the bully, the brawler, the oppressor, whether in private or public life, but we despise no less the coward and the voluptuary. No man is worth calling a man who will not fight rather than submit to infamy or see those that are dear to him suffer wrong.”

    ― Theodore Roosevelt

    What does a military person stand for? Does any one who carry a weapon be described as a military person? Some professions require the attribute of TRUST, e.g. Doctor, Lawyer, Police, Teacher… Others require the attribute of CARING, e.g. Social worker, Therapist…What sort of attributes are sought from Military persons?

    Here is the biggest question: can we say IA has built a Military people for Eritrea to speak of? Do we have a military in the normal sense of the word or simply men in arms and have no clue why they ended up like that?


    • Haile Z Gr8

      In a civilized (democratic) society, military personnel are expected to defend and uphold the constitution of their country, and to obey their superiors’ lawful orders. In contrast, Eritrean soldiers (Not all but the majority) have chosen to defend and uphold authoritarian decree, and obey their superiors’ unlawful orders.

    • rodab

      Is this a damage control move in your part? Because you know, as much as I do that it was you, and not Papillon who coined the phrase ” ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ ኣሰብኡት” around here. My sis Yodita and others got problem with it. And I join them.
      I will ask Sal to revise your title to ‘haile the sometimes trobule maker’ 🙂
      Awate forum is so much fun, isn’t it?!

      • Rodab,

        I wonder if it is offensive to say ስረ ዝዓጠቓ ኣንስቲ.

        To Haile the insider (ፈላጥ ዉሻጠ),

        In a civilized (democratic) society, military personnel are expected to defend and uphold the constitutions of their nation, and to obey their superiors’ lawful orders. In contrast , Eritrean soldiers (not all but the majority) have so far chosen to willingly defend and uphold authoritarian decree, and to obey their superiors’ unlawful orders.

        The generals, the ministers, and the Fuhrer, whether they are “komishti ziAteku sebut” or not, are rational actors and make choices (decisions) rationally. They are in comparison with the other Eritreans who are dirt pooor are better. They don’t want to inconvenience theirs and their immediate families’ stability by taking dramatic actions that can put them and their families in danger. That’s why they choose to stay put until opportunity knocks when the benefit of action taking outweighs the cost. A rational person not only preserves life and not lay himself or herself for others (We are told this: ንስኻ ሕለፍ ኣነ ክስዋአ. What we have been told is a myth or the person who sacrificed himself may have acted in an irrational way , against reason. This is my opinion ). Humans behave in a rational manner. If Issayas were insane, he would behave irrationally. He has preserved his life for such many years because he is a rational actor. He is not stupid.

        • Birhan

          I would only add one thing. If we (most of us in this forum) couldn’t even dare use our real names, knowing full well that PFDJ’s arm is not that long, then it is utterly hypocritical to call anyone ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ ኣሰብኡት. I have a big problem with that.

        • haile

          Hi Daw!t

          Rodab is just playing the SEMG on me and trying to get me sanctioned at His next report to awatista SC will include evidences of my destabilization activities here:) entekhone kab enda higdef temahirna ena, my response would be to allow for unfettered access by investigators to ascertain that their claims are not true. This is the one advantage of what meron calls “virtual” because hidef can’t hide real smoking guns (like the illicit drugs plantation that some claim to exist in semienawi keyhbahri regions). In here all Rodab has to do is go through my entries and check if falls under the topic of “Yodita” that she has an issue with a woman making a statement that could be interpreted as sexy or cowardice depending one’s age 🙂

          On the military note however, you need to know that the so called “military” in Eritrea never have independent exposure to military science, never have relationship with other armies (just rag tag rebel groups), all political discourse they get is from hgdef cadre school (yedhinka- mashla lemashla teyayzo qola:) Hgdef even required bonds from national soccer players to go abroad (including that they pay their own expenses for their travel). This so called “military” is nothing more than “wardia” of men with weapons (E’re ztEmo E’re yt’amo ember nsu eyu it haqi Eritrea doesn’t have a modern day “military” just a crumbling and neglected relic from the ghedli EPLF era).

          So, before we consider the things as you mention, i.e. a “military” as it relates to the “state” “legal” “constitutional” “political” and “RTP – Responsibility To Protect” aspects of a professional army, my question is that do we have a military to speak of? It seems Nitricc can tell us in this case if it is a military or potential arsonists (to burn the house down) that we have in this case:)


  • Semere Habtemariam


    Indeed Amb. Adhanom Gebremariam was the first to understand the true nature of the project of Warsay-ykalo and call it by its true name, wefri barnet and for that he deserves our respect and appreciation.

    For the benefit of those who have not read his entire writings in Tigrinya, let me link the site where they can find the document that Sal mentioned and the rest of the articles the Amb. aptly articulated.


    • saay

      Kubur Tegadalai Semere:

      Thanks for the link. But…ummm… I tried to open the link, the PDF file and, to borrow a phrase from Adhanom, the futility of trying to open the file ወፍሪ ባርንት እዩ: you work hard and there is no pay off 🙂


      • rodab

        Semere offered you a glass of champagne and you are complaining the glass doen’t have champagne in? How petty of you Sal 🙂

        • lol


          I was also thinking some what similar thing. Let me dish out my thoughts. Here is what I said to myself “Sal is saying , Thanks but no thanks”. 😉 I think he was trying to be politically correct.

  • Papillon

    Dear Amde,

    As a woman who is making a living out of or in the scientific enterprise, I have long ago parted ways (at heart that is) with the Cartesian-reductionist paradigm and the Newtonian Mechanistic world view as well where I am absolutely convinced that, the whole is greater than the summation of its parts. As such, I am not sure if race is a social construct or a reflection of the amount of melanin where the brilliant idea that was born out of a genius-mind as he set sail to the Galapagos Island is too sensitive and as you have aptly put it precarious to utilize it to see if intelligence intra races is genetically predisposed. That said, I believe, Darwin was the greatest mind to have ever walked on planet Earth where Einstein’s theories are a child’s play.

    The military code of honour of the Eritrean military establishment is not only to celebrate the symbol of martyrdom but to aspire to and materialize the very credo and ideals the martyrs died for. To be more precise, the senior living military personnel lived with and buried the martyrs where they are not a thing of the past. Moreover, the otherwise powerful term ዝባን ስውኣትና is a peace-maker and a rallying cry in a time of serious disagreement with in the Front.

    Instead, not only the ideals of the martyrs are rendered disappear into oblivion, rent-seeking and venal nepotism have replaced the code of honour where the low ranking are marginalized with the rest of the population. That said however, even if we say the establishment and the erstwhile Tegadalai is morphed into a prototype of a modern salaried conscripted soldier, the Platonic Guardian of the “Just City” is expected to take the Philosopher-King out should the latter abuses power.

    You said, I am of the folks who subscribe to the notion that Isaias is 90% responsible for the dire predicament the nation in. The percentage is too modest where I believe that, Isaias is 99.9% responsible to and for everything that has happened to Eritrea. By the same vain, chopping of the head is tantamount to destroying the nerve centre that is eating away the living nation. I am also of the opinion that, the rather apprehensive mood that is buzzing around with a placard “Somalization of Eritrea” inscribed on it is overly inflated and hyperbolic as well for the same reason that, the spirit of the martyrs to bring-forth a unified, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Eritrea still resonate with the people where that is precisely the safety net the people will fall back on right in the aftermath of the death of the tyrant. That is not a mere optimism, rather a fact.


    • Sis Papillon,

      Oops! “the whole is greater than the summation of its parts”. Now you have to come with a case study to prove your thesis otherwise what I have gone through in Analytical Inorganic chemistry is different.You analyse to identify the parts and you synthesize to combine the parts to come into one “whole identity” in a layman language. I don’t want to bore the forum with science while we are dealing with the annoying Eritrean politics. To spare and not deviate our debates just give me references to go to and test your statement.


      • Gebre

        Hi Brother Amanuel,

        We are again at it likely to jump out of our real politics. But we will not do that, this time around. This is what we call self -censurship.

        Here is my old friends website friend ( ). I had some interesting discussions with him on Reductionism vs Holism. My friend is also “absolutely convinced that, the whole is greater than the summation of its parts. ” He is a theoretical physicist.

        I think the way you think, that is we build a system by putting together its components. Specially in digital systems the whole synthesis and analysis of a system is solely reductionist. But he redicules me and calls me a reductionist, guess what I laugh and laugh at the whole thing.

        Amanuel, it is an interesting subject. You can google and read and understand the two views. reductionism vs holism.

        The problem I have is in balancing the two sides of the equation. Some stuff is mising on the left side of the equation; just void. But our friends fill this void with some spiritual (religious?) or ghost like things.

        I leave you here in an unknown teritory.
        Good luck.

        • Gebre,

          Than you brother. I will go through it. I might laugh for now as you did. let me see what my reaction will be. I would like to engage in a rigor intellectual debate in our perspective fields, but you have said it correctly, we will censure ourselves and stick to our politics as time and space demanded us to do just that. Thank you again.,

      • Papillon

        ኣማን ሓወይ

        You got me. As you know, Rene Descartes, the father of Analytical Geometry changed the scientific modus operandi when he in the near end of 16th century introduced the idea of Reductionism where the mathematical model pervaded not only the hard sciences, life sciences but including the social sciences as well. For instance learned men and women started to see social problems and their perceived solutions in terms of reducing a society into its “atomic level” which gave rise to the notion of “Individualism.” The rationale goes, in order social problems to be solved, the society out to be seen with in its own parts where the break-down ends with an individual. As such, if an individual solves his or her own problems, it is perceived that, the problem of the society as a whole would be solved. Of course, the notion underestimated the social nature of human beings.

        More over, Adam Smith as well based his theory of the “Invisible Hand” that became the champion of economic liberalism is based on Reductionism. Later on, when societies were driven in an orgy of maximizing utility (read: profit), they didn’t put in to consideration the kind of damage the maximizing profit caused in the degradation of the environment (read: deforestation, pollution and green house effect).

        The said modus operandi is obiquitous where again it is more pervasive including in Medicine as well. But first let’s see in the atomic model that was further illustrated and corroborated by the Danish physicist Neils Bohr. As you know, the model in a typical reductionist take divides the atom into electrons on the outer shell and protons and neutrons with in the nucleus. That is, if one was to split the atom and separate the particles and brings them back together into the making of the atom, they don’t add up to 100% whole. To be more precise, when the split of the atom gives rise energy (atomic energy), the energy that is produced is not the total sum of the particles of the atom.

        In the life sciences as well, we all grew up learning about the human body that, it is divided into: a group of cells make up a tissue; a group of tissues make up an organ; a group of organs make up the body and the system as a whole. This extreme mode of reductionism of the human body obviously fails to put into account the psychological, environmental among others that make who we are. That is, the whole is not the summation of its parts. This notion is collectively known as Holistic approach. In recent years, the Holistic approach is gaining momentum where it is brilliantly argued by the following scenario.

        The scientific dogma of molecular biology is stacked on the model that, with in the molecular level, we have replication, transcription and translation where the nucleus with in the cell is taken as the basic unit of not only the cell but the main entity where the thing we call life is encoded. But this notion becomes problematic when one removes the nucleus (read: the “place” where the DNA resides) from the cell. As it happens, when the nucleus is removed from the cell, the cell still survives. It doesn’t die out. But if one removes the cell membrane from the cell which is a sort of a conduit to the external world, the cell dies immediately. This illustrates that, it is our relationship with the external world (read: interaction with the environment) that defines our very being not the DNA per se. Hence holistic approach seems to explain as opposed to reductionism*.

        *The notion of cell membrane as the basic unit of life as opposed to DNA is the brain child of Bruce Lipton (A Biochemist) which is brilliantly elaborated in his best seller book “The Biology of Belief.”


        • Ghezae Hagos

          Dearest Papillon,

          You are simply amazing.



          • Papillon

            ምንኣሰይ ሓወይ ገዛኢ,

            Many thanks for those kind words. The feeling is of course mutual. Again, thank you.

          • Araya

            Papillion, “you are amazing” Ezi Ewun Kihalif Eyu

            *I am still cracking up whenever I remember what nitric has to say about Gezae, “mister of ezi ewun kihalif eyu.
            What exactly is your job description Gezae? Do you go to Enda Hazen and tell the Heart ached people and you tell them; Ajokum Ezi Ewin Kihalif eyu?
            It is so funnyyyyyyy

          • Ghezae Hagos


            Yes, abey emo kirekbo! My job description is “to go enda hazen and tell the Heart ached people and you tell them; Ajokum Ezi Ewin Kihalif eyu!”

            That could be funnyyyyyyy to you and to Nitric. I have no doubt of that.

            And if you see me going to enda meQab’r, console the grieving family and bury the dead, and pray for their souls.

            I bet you find it so funnyyyyyyy.

        • belai

          Dear pappilon,
          I a question please, when you take out the neucleus out of its cytoplasm,aren’t you taking the cytoplasm out of the neuleus at the same time?
          or you take the neucleus from home to home,ie some where similar environment?
          By the way,take away PIA’s securiy services etc in Eritrea Isayas will not survive,but take Isayas out of Eritrea,he will still survive.

          • belai

            I mean the cell membrane not cytoplasm.

        • Dearest Papi,

          I am amazed by the versatility of your knowledge – from life science to social science, from literature to arts,you name it, illuminate like transitive process of knowledge in this forum. However going to academic debate will detour us from doing our homework and that is “edey edka ilka nezi seytan milgas.”

          • Papillon

            ኣማን ሓወይ

            You’re so kind. As you well know, at certain level the compartmentalization of knowledge loses its meaning and appears to be deceptively seamless. As you have aptly put it, before we get carried away with the issue at hand, we need to get back to the clear and present danger that is hoovering on Eritrea so that we expedite the fall of the tyrant.