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Toronto Forms Friends of awate.com

Press release

In an event held on September 24, 2016, “Friends of awate,com” group was formed in Toronto, Canada.

Eritrean-Canadians and Eritreans attended the event that included lectures, entertainments and light dinner.

In an opening speech, Mr. Abdulwasie Suleiman applauded awate.com’s professionalism and dedication, and emphasized that the website deserves public support to continue contributing towards the national efforts to preserve the interest of our country and its people.

Mr. Suleiman said, “awate.com hosts diverse Eritrean writers and others from our neighborhood.” He added, “awate.com is a source of reference where researchers, diplomats, and other entities interested in the region turn to. Over the years its staff has demonstrated their ability to gather and provide accurate and relevant information about Eritrea and the region.”

Two well-known awate,com writers attended the event and made presentations.

Mr. Abdu Habib presented a paper entitled, “Some Reflections on the Role of awate.com,” in which he explained the intellectual output of the website and that of its writers whom he described as “diverse writers with unprecedented political insight.”

In his turn, Burhan Ali recited a motivational poem that gave a boost to the event. Mr. Ali indicated that the Tigrinya poem was written by the late Dr. Safi Imam. Though the poem was written in 1994 it gives the impression that it was a prophecy; it was as if Dr. Safi was predicting what will happen to Eritrea today.

Mr. Saleh Johar, who was also invited to speak to the attendants via Skype, thanked the participants for their gesture and initiative to form friends of awate.com group in Toronto. He also briefed the attendants about the work that the staff and friends of awate.com are doing behind the scenes to develop and upgrade the website.

The attendants of the event were exhilarated when Eid Ismail, the famous Sudanese singer from Toronto, presented two songs amid cheers and applause.

At the end of the show, Eid said, “Eritrea is my second country.”

The event was concluded by fundraising and the formation of friends of awate.com (Toronto branch) who pledged to continue campaigning and leading effort to urge the public support to awate.com.

Friends of awate.com in Toronto

NB: we will provide a report regarding the fundraising once it is finalized.

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  • Amanuel Hidrat

    selam Peace,

    Your weakness is simple to be corrected. First it is not difficult for you to segrigate between the existing political organizations in the opposition camp. Until you know them who is who and which is which, in order to give your specific and targeted criticism, avoid the use of “opposition” the common name to all within the camp of the opposition. Learn them to give your matured evaluation in order to give a legitimate, accurate, and targeted criticism. By doing that you will help yourelf and the struggle as a whole. I think Saleh ‘s advice is within that spirit.


    • Peace!

      Selam Emma,

      Thank you! I am glad you said: “Until you know them who is who and which is which, in order to give your specific and targeted criticism, avoid the use of “opposition” the common name to all within the camp of the opposition.” N’su Endyu shiger Konu zelo. would you mind offering any reference that you think is helpful?

      Last time, I remember Salih brought up that discussion and I noticed you didn’t agree with him on the number of existing groups. See how tough it is!


  • Awet

    Selam All,

    Friends of Awate in Toronto. Right? But you wouldn’t tell that this so called ‘support’ is organized along religious lines and nothing the merits you preach for the unity of the Eritrean people. If anything this awate syndrome is infectious and need to be uprooted. Now, the Eritrean Muslim Association is the umbrella for friends of awate in Toronto. Nothing wrong with having an association of Muslims; as it could also have been ‘Eritrean Christian Association in Winnipeg’. But everyone in Canada knows how Brother Saleh Gadi & co.try to radicalize this ‘Association’ to the point of using Ali Abdu’s (AKA Ali comic) divisive sentiments along religious cleavages. For once, people need to be aware of this danger and embolden the awatistas to come to their senses.

    • Brhan

      Hello Awet,
      Drowing a line between facts and opinion is needed in this discussion, have not you relized that? For facts have to be proved . Secondly, Awet avoid generalization . It is risky. Having said that now let me give you the fact : I have attended the event and saw 5 of my christian friends actively attending in the event …..

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Awet,
      I have no clue about claim regarding who was who in the support group. Regardless, however, the fact that they took the initiative is commendable because the web site they intend to support is an important news and analysis outlet that highlights the voice of the downtrodden in Eritrea. And the syndrome (sic) that you wish to see to see uprooted because it is “infectious” will be there to stay. In one sense, the adjective (infectious) is correct. The web site has indeed been infectious to the regime by tearing every facade the regime tried to wear and exposed it for what it is – despotic and vicious.

    • Berhe Y

      Selam Awet,

      You know very well what you are saying is a lie and you are really frustrated and upset that your little circle of influence is being torn to pieces in part because of Awate.com and Saleh Gadi and company. If it wasn’t for awate.com and other Eritrean website, you god IA would be oppressing the Eritrean people hidden from the world as he has done all this life during the liberation era and his Halewa Sewra apparatus.

      He knows as long as he is in control of the money (he owns the bank of Eritrea) and the security (he is in charge of the entire country) with no body to account (no parliament, no supreme court, no military court, no national assembly, no religious authority) he can outlast any other opponents or opposition. This worked for him all this life, but not since Sept 1, 2000.

      Thanks to Awate.com, Saleh Gadi and company, who vowed their life, their savings, their time and dedication to make sure to expose the dictator and his cronies, people like you, your crimes will be knows to the Eritrean people and the world at large.

      And what a wonderful job they have done. If there is anything positive that come out of this misery our life endured in the last 15 years, it’s the birth of awate.com and the many thousands of people they have positively influenced.

      As to your fear factor about you are trying to spew hate, religion this, religious that…there is nothing of that sort.
      As an Eritrean Christian, I will take Saleh Gadi, Saleh Younis, Ismael, Brhan, or anyone else who strive for justice and peaceful existence of our people over the devils we have at home the likes of Isayas Afeworki, Hagos Kisha, Yemane Ghebreab, Yemane Charile or who ever devil Christians in names happen to be.

      በየናይ ዕድልና እሞ ክንረኽቦ፡፡

      I can’t say they are not supporting it now, but I hope all other Eritrean associations and religious organizations, the Orthodox, the Catholics, the Protestants and others support this noble organization.


      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Berhe,
        I can only say: kbur yekhbereka….
        Thank you for the nice words and shielding me form the twisted nay qaancha arrow 🙂

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Awet,
      I like your earth shattering discovery of how “everyone in Canada knows how brother Saleh Gadi & co. try to radicalize this ‘Association’.”

      Since I am feeling very generous today, I would like to give an opportunity to expose what you called “my radicalization’ attempts. Tell me your evidence, or even what made you pass your judgment on my character–you must have something to make such a serious allegation. So, I ask you to kindly bring t on. If not I challenge you to bring it on. Yet, if that doesn’t work, you can always say, I misspoke, sorry (not to me but to those who read your diatribe).

      Also, please tell me who you mean by “everyone in Canada”. Are the Inuits included? How about Chinese Canadians? Or it’s is you and your two friends who sit at that corner coffee shop? No. I am pulling your legs–I wish I could do that as a punishment 🙂 But I am really worried that I am exposed to “everyone in Canada”, the 35 million of them!! Is the PM included?

      If you do not reply, I would consider your comment an unfortunate blubber, a result of fingers you can’t control. The choice is yours.

      Going forward, please make it civil, you have vomited enough.

      • MS

        Selam Saleh
        You have to feel comfortable that there are many Eritreans who hail from different political vantage, people who may not agree with you on every political position you take, yet they will defend you on this issue. I have seen uglier accusations labelled against you and that is how I saw this comment from Awet. The fact is that there is nothing wrong with Eritrean Muslim community stepping up to form Awate.com supporting network. I call upon Awet to help out from any platform that is convenient for him, individually, coffee friends, church, community…. what matters is wahT Awate.com stands for and not who supports it. I really believe, and this is despite how many see me, I really believe this website is the most Eritrean looking website hosting an array of diverse views, columnists and opinion makers. So, although uncomfortable, don’t give it that much of a weight. Haw Awet, much has been said to you by many. We just need to be careful of what we say.

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Mahmoud,

          Give it weight? Never. You can’t give weight to a feather even by miracle. Thank you for the nice words but you must have missed it when I stated “I am feeling generous today…” It’s charity to respond to that type of comments , and. Was feeling generously charitable.
          Thank you

        • iSem

          Hi MS:

          There is only one way to see Awet’s comment and it is PFDJ inspired bigotry that pooh-poohs any like minded and alike looking and alike sounding and alike worshipping people to gather. I could go furrther, it is the ghedli’s misguided notion ( but given the epoch and communism,tehy are forgiven Saleh Younmis woud say..) problem that made any gathering of people who are from the same region or religion illegal. But trust me when EPLF wants to, it uses the gathering of same people to further its agenda, case in point EPLF chased the Blen by using Ghergis Ghirmay and Wedi Garza ( not the one they killed) but the Soviet educated Blenai in 1988/1989. If we discourage the gathering of like looking, like sounding and like worshipping people then we should also ban the women’s association because it is all women, the student association etc.

          If a gathering one particular group does not meet to kill other races or people, then it should be kosher. It is that simple.

          Your call to Awet to help is strange, where do you see any hint of that in his comment, I mean a hint of trying to help when he categorically accuses awate as radicalizing medium for Muslims. the great writer like Semere, T Habtemariam , Dawit Mesfin, Amanuel Hidrat are not stupid to write for a medium that radicalizes Muslims and Awet knows that. Actually Awate.com in mid 2000s wrote in its Pencil, calling the united opposition umbrella, to purge the Eritrean Jihad group from its umbrella. Awet knows this too.

          The accusing of any gathering of Muslims, or people from one region is like accusing the Eritrean opposition for working in Ethiopia and we need to move on by understanding that there is nothing wrong even if a group of people work for their groups interest.

          Is the National Association for women “genderist”, is the student union elitist, is the youth youth union ageist, is the association for engineers or farmers “professioanlist”.

          • MS

            Selam Semere
            Please don’t beat around the bush. What do you exactly want to say? Have I said different except your bashing of ghedli and EPLF? Regarding ghedli and EPLF, my refernces are not the Pilots, Foros, Amiches….Gual qeshi would say “get your daily dose from them if you will.” Semere Arkey, they are at each other’s throat these days. And believe me, I differentiate between the genuine patriots and those who are hiding behind them. That’s why sometimes I use projectiles that might have caused collateral damages. But what really is the fuss, Abu Noah? Is it wrong to advise Awet that he could use any convenient way to help a cause?

          • iSem

            Beating around the bush is a misnomer:-)
            But I was talking about this paranoia of oh, these people belong to this region and religion and they are gathering in the Tim Hortons, they are from one region and plotting against someone, and so on, the Pilots and Foros ( I do not know how Amiche fits in her/) are giving us info and we must weed it out and verify, the blankest statement that they are to be ignored is as bad as taking everything they say as absolute truth.
            Awet accused the gathering of 90% Tigringa speakers, highlanders to form the friends of awate as an attempt to radicalize the E.I association. He accused Saleh but Saleh had nothing to do with it, so he is accusing me and my friends as memebers of the Islamic association, nothing wrong with it, I was once an honorary member of the women’s association and advocated for the young women to create their own association because they were not women (ansti), they were awalid or agualit;-)
            But Awet was accusing us of radicalizing the Muslims, I have a problem with that and so should you

          • MS

            Selam Isem
            Still I don’t get it. But never mind. Read my comment again if you care.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustaz Mahmoud,

            The notion of discriminating the genuine from phoney opposition seems to be turning into a bit tired cliché. Why would one not simply address each one of them directly instead of hazarding projectiles that cause end up in the ordeal of expressing regret due the damage they cause on their way to the intended target?

          • MS

            Ya Habibna Ustaz IsmaelAA
            Like any independent citizen, I have my own criteria. If you believe everyone who has taken refuge in the “opposition jungle” as genuine, you may be right depending on your definition of the opposition. I may have my own definition. Because, at this point, we do not have an agreed upon definition and understanding of what the “genuine opposition” is. For instance, my views:
            1. I could not be part of an opposition that is folded under the wings of the despicable TPLF;
            2. I could not be part of an opposition of Neo-Andenetites who have passed through Debre zeyti and Mekele indoctrinations who are ravaging the youth movements;
            3. I could not be part of an opposition that defines PFDJ=EPLF=ELF=GHEDLI=ERITREAN CAUSE…
            4. I could not see myself as a part of an opposition which poises to strangulate, starve, bleed to death a nation in order to get PFDJ
            5. I can’t see myself as a member of an opposition that pitches ethnic groups against each other; an opposition that promotes the notion that represents highlanders/Christians; that EPLF=Christian values=Nhnan Elamanan=IA

            6. I could not see myself being a member of any opposition that is based on old grudges; that is bent to thrive at the expense of bashing and burying the heroic role of EPLF and the heroic role of the proud people of Eritrea (with all its ethnic, religious and regional colors); no, I can’t.
            7. I can’t be a member of an opposition which defends the despicable wayane more than it calls for that despicable entity to leave Eritrean sovereign land, lock, stock and barrel.
            I can’t be a member that considers Ethiopian incursions into Eritrean sovereign territory as part of “liberating Eritrea; an opposition that blurs the significance of territorial integrity and national boundaries…an opposition that indoctrinates us that the despicable wayane caresfor Eritrea and Eritreans; an opposition that has become the tip of spear of Wayane’s strategy of cordoning, encircling, and isolating Eritrea; an opposition that does not differentiate between the state of Eritrea and its interests, on one hand, and the ruling PFDJ, on the other.
            Then, and therefore, who do I belong to? I define myself as an active citizen who strides based on informed decisions. I abhor blind following. But if I were to define myself as a political opposition, I would belong to an opposition that does not compromise citizenry and the responsibilities that comes with it, including respecting Eritrea sovereignty and the unity of its people. I belong to a small yet growing streak of activism that differentiates the state of Eritrea from the regime ruling it. I belong to an opposition that believes we could isolate PFDJ and excise it out without prostituting with enemies of Eritrea. I belong to an opposition that believes in its limited capacity by its virtue of living in Diaspora; an opposition that believes Eritreans inside the country will be the final deciders of the fate of the regime; I belong to an opposition that empowers citizens inside the country and help them take the lead. I belong to an opposition that believes the real heroes who are battling cholera and other diseases are inside the country; the real heroes who are challenging the regime in different ways are inside the country; the real heroes who are working to improve their people’s lives under very choking national and international situations are the ones inside the country. I belong to an opposition that believes its role is limited to acting as a catalyst, helper and empowering citizens who live inside the country; citizens whom have no other adages, no country other than Eritrea, citizens who carry only one passport.
            Now, you have every right to define your understanding of the opposition. I believe the current opposition is so malleable and so borderless that every weirdo is taking refuge in it: the religious and regional zealot, the ethnic fanatic, surrogates of the despicable TPLF, and of course, true patriots who want to see a genuine change. I will use languages that I believe fits describing it. You use your language. However, I want to make one point clear. I don’t envy the views of a streak of an opposition that I’m not exited to become part of ; I don’t seek the acceptance of individuals or an opposition that don’t respect my individuality. Therefore, whatever, I say is mine and I’m content with it. I don’t need anyone’s approval; I communicate with those I feel I belong to, for collective activities, and if I may get rejections from some, they are probably entities I would not associate with under any conditions provided that they are not ready to carry conversations and dialogue on a leveled footing. In short, I don’t believe there ever existed folks who could claim they own the opposition and the idea of opposing a tyranny.
            I would ask the forum to register the above as part of Mahmuday’s manifesto, which has been expanding for the last 3 years.
            Please don’t tell me this is an expanded Hateta.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Mahmud Saleh,

            This is manifesto of the mafia in Asmara. You explained you are part and parcel of Nehnan Alamana manifesto. You have said nothing more than what your master makes discourse about repeatedly to the extent even children feel monotonous from it.

            Those who are inside Eritrea are under tight control of the mafia. Anyone who gets chance flees the country at any time. If you are speaking from ignorance you can visit refugee camps or meet personally those who came lately to Europe or America.

            The entity that divided Eritrea into ethnic groups is your master for a reason you know better. The Eritrean passport has become a means of extortion for your master for people he abhors and wants them to live for ever in the Middle East.

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Habibna Ustaz Mahmoud,

            I didn’t intend to burden you so much that you took the time to response to a-55 word with a-889 word “hateta”, as you described it. This is just fine though for the reader can pick along the way useful point or two. But I should be candid with you that I never thought you can be that much prone to vexation as some of your words indicate.

            Of course you have all the rights you can imagine to define your place in the opposition in the way you wish. But it is wise to not forget that others do have also theirs, and wisdom would impel us to enviously guard the limits of our freedom, and care to avoid launching projectiles as you like to call them. Not giving way to anxiety would render exchanges of the sort we do in this forum cool and civil.

            Anyway, thanks for you effort to let me know how you define yourself and standards you apply.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Mahmuday,

            So you are telling us that every one has to have his or her own definition for opposition or for any word or term for that matter. If you say “my definition” for any word or concept for that matter how can you debate for common understanding? Words and concepts have universal meaning as to what they mean and how we apply them for common communications and understanding.

            Second, you do not need this long hateta to define one word or concept. So the simple definition of “opposition” is to oppose or resist against an idea or a government or i stitutional organization. In short it is an act of opposing, resisting, and combating. In the current Eritrean political context it is either with the current government or with the opposition. There is no other way of framing it be it strong or weak. One who will have his own definition for anything has no in common with his surrounding. Very tough to live with that attitude.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            I don’t think Mahmouday is redefining opposition; he is classifying it. I hink Mahmouday is creating his own Nehnan Teqawumonan, and that requires not just affirmation but negation.

            But I see your point, because I was having a similar debate with Nitricc when he said “so-called opposition .” What the PFDJ and TPLF supporters would be horrified to know that both used identical sentiments: faux-sadness at absence of “serious” opposition. “It’s natural to be an opposition…but people who want to ______ (fill in the blank: sleep with the enemy, commit acts of terror, destabilize country, threaten our unity) can’t be called opposition!” I have heard this exact sentence from every ERPRDF spokesperson and every PFDJ spokesperson.

            It’s not just opposition. There is also the permitted way and the non-permitted (not sanctioned) way to be an activist, as an article in Raimoq or madote just reminded us.

            The champ of affirmation and negation is Amanuel Biedemariam who gave us, Letterman style, a Top 10 list of what qualifies someone to be an Eritrean citizen. Nothing as boring as citizenship by birth or naturalization for him: it’s a list of things you must and must not do, sorta like the 10 Commandments.

            All of this, cumulatively, intended or unintended, has one consequence: to give those who are not active a rationale and justification for their inactivity (“they are all bad!”) and to render those who are as helpless and ineffective. That’s why every small victories we have must receive either full frontal assaul or ignored.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            I can’t agree more. That is why I call you “Aya Adi-U”. ሐደ ሰብ ንከርሲ አዲኡ ዘፍቅር ንከርሲ ሃገሩ ከምዘፍቅር ትስሕቶ አይመስለንን:: ከርሲ ሃገርና ከአ ህዝብና ስለዝኾነ: ከምንህዝብኻ ዝብልዎ ቃልሲ ንመንፈስካ ዘዔግብ የለን:: ንከርሲ ሃገርካ ከም ከርሲ አዴኻ ስለትግንዘብ ከአ እየ አያ አዲኡ ክብለካ ዘኽአለኒ:: ቃልሲ ተቃውሞና ፍረ እንዳአርአየ ይኸይድ ስለዘሎ ኸአ ዓቢ ተስፋ ንህዝብናዩ::
            ንለዓት ቃልስና አትሪርካ ጥራይ ምሐዝ እዩ::

            ሰናይ ምሸት
            አማኑኤል ሕድራት

          • MS

            Selam Emma, SAAY, and ustaz IsmaelAA almuHtarem
            This has been the annual reminder reminder of MS manifesto, nothing new to it, but when someone is pushed time and again, I have to say ” hold your horse, I’m not applying to your ideas of opposition, I just don’t buy your views. Period” The ideal way would be a calm conversation as to what separates us and commonalities we have. I can understand the TPLF surrogates may many views jump, but hey the sky has no ceiling that. Could hurt them.And there is the beautiful gravity that will bring them down. Then we all sing weditkul’s “zelilom zelilom zelilom nab merit”; but you guys are my friends whatever you may say now. You have a place in my categories: the genuine patriots.
            PS: I understand SAAY is busy chasing bxaay monkey since he got his bbf Ms. Bruton. TrHaseka.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Mahmoud,
            This is an unsolicited advise:

            ydres nab skheberka Mahmoud,

            Dhri m’wq selamta…..

            If you want to remind people, “hold your horse, I’m not applying to your ideas of opposition, I just don’t buy your views. Period” Then you can say just that. Because the moment you cross that, you have a tendency and urge to insult people in so many ways.

            As I see it, I might be wrong, many Eritreans (in fact I dare say the majority now, thanks to God) are in the opposition.

            Surely you remember I always remind you to target properly and not lambaste us wholesale, and last time you proudly told me that you prefer to use projectiles, regardless of the repeated offense to your readers. If I may ask you, please specify the ‘group you target by name, by organization, and not by the blanket term of opposition.

            I don’t know if you realize it, but many times I (and surely many others) feel insulted by your comments that do not have take considerations. I am saying this, because people come here to debate, not to be abused or insulted. And as long as we keep that in mind, we can have a sane and civil debate.

            For what it is worth, take it for what it is worth, or discard it.

            Hoping for a productive, calm, and respectful debate, I remain your truly, Saleh

          • MS

            Selam Saleh
            I appreciate your brotherly or bxaayawi or RESALAH AHKEWYA….rest assured you and the institution you head and its active contributors (columnists and folks who are related to its ideals and progress) are not targets of my responses. To my understanding, you don’t belong to any organized political opposition organization. Whether you take media, activism, or political organizations, you will find the clusters of ideas or groups I mentioned above. I have a place for you, Saleh. You are, in many ways, an inspiration to many of us. You can check out my response to SAAY, Emma, and IsmaelAA. For instance, Emma and IsmaelAA openly explain the EPLF as something reduceable to IA or the paphlet, Nhnan Elamanan. I strongly disagree with them but the guys exchange their views with mastery and maturity, I benefit from their conversations with me, and I believe I share a lot of values with them. There are many patriots who are doing the right thing; I have no illusion about myself , not even a slight temerity to judge those patriots who believe in the Eritrean potential. Up to this point, I have been responding in kind to individuals who behave as if they have the key to the opposition hall. Honestly, I’m disappointed that you could not see how individuals have been abusing me since I have joined this forum. If someone feels they are hurt because of their association with the despicable Wayane, so be it. If some feel they are asosciated with any of the above categories, therefore, they feel hurt, well, that’s exactly what comment intended to do. Why would an Eritrean patriot, who is sure of himself/herself and of the activities they do, feel he/she might be the indtended target of my “projectiles”?
            As far as the term projectile is concerned, you made it famous. You asked me to shoot straight and I correctly responded to you that sometimes projectiles are more effective considering the political topography of the opposition. That’s because there are many TPLF cadres who are hiding behind the opposition. In many of my past comments, I did not hide my feeling that these individuals, organizations, pal talks…are eroding the credibility of the opposition. I never hid the fact that I would want to see an opposition that changes itself before thinking of regime change; an opposition that would weed out ideas and factions that are eating it from inside before it even think of dismantling PFDJ.
            It’s very interesting that you are now accusing me of abusing, insulting, disrespecting readers. Well, all I can say, is Ustaz Saleh, I don’t want to enter into an argument with you. But the fact remains that some quarters feel as if they have the key of the opposition. Look how this thread deteriorated since yesterday. I came out to support you against Awet’s characterization, someone questioned my sincerity; others openly insulted me. I care less for the insults of individuals known for their vulgarity, shallowness, and acute sense of loyalty to the despicable Wayane. But when you get questioned at every corner, shoved here and there, by people you thought they knew you better, you have limited options. You have to tell these people that they are not in my menu when I think of the opposition. I have to tell them that I don’t need their approval. I’m not jockeying for their attention; I’m just commenting. They should know that if they don’t respect me, they should not expect a meek response or an acquiescence.
            My modest upbringing has taught me that I should not annoy a hosting family. I always felt at home when I stay in this forum. All I look for is civil discourse. But I’m not willing to take undue insults and abuses either. I’m not going to change and no body should expect me to change. I have the right to criticize political ideas or groups. I have bashed PFDJ more than I bashed the opposition. Ironically, the skin is not thicker in the camp of justice seekers either. I think I have to conclude here. I will give myself sometime for reflection. You have every right to weigh in; all I say is thanks for giving us a platform to vent out our frustrations.

          • Peace!

            Selam MS,

            May be I am missing something here I mean you said “I have bashed PFDJ more than I bashed the opposition” does that mean one must bash PFDJ to earn respect regardless he portray himself as anti PFDJ? I mean de we have to go that low to prove ourself? I myself do not see any merit bashing PFDJ in front of TPLF surrogates and EPRDF apologists, does that make me a PFDJ supporter, and in contrary, one may bash PFDJ 24/7 and earn the right to belittle Eritrean history and even suggest replacing PFDJ with TPLF stooges and want people to die for that, as bizarre as it gets.

            It is totally understandable people to have resentment toward the opposition camp given the fact that it is contaminated by the paid agents wearing an opposition uniform like of Tesfazions(eyob), Amiche, Dessale….. No doubt there are genuine opposition members but regrettably they are dominated by bad ones plus TPLF keeps betraying them. Io am sorry.

            It is really sad that many people are being dragged into seeking a political solution when a unified struggle under one umbrella, “justice” can defeat PFDJ in no time given PFDJ was on the verge of collapse a couple of years ago before the Arabs came with life support. We are in 2016 and still we don’t know how many opposition groups there are, let alone their leaders, and nothing embarrassing than to say we have no leaders but those individuals are good enough to testify when an opportunity strikes. With that in mind, spending time labeling, insulting, disrespecting individuals is not only low but also sets a bad example to the young who are trying to get clue and make a difference.


          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Peace,

            I hope you are doing fine.

            The problem you guys are missing is too big to be missed. Let me try to explain:

            1. Since we are talking about this forum, you could perceive a few here as TPLF stooges. But it doesn’t mean you have to lambaste everyone indiscriminately. It’s disrespectful and unproductive.

            2. Those who are in the justice camp (yes, justice camp) expect to see and feel the solidarity of their perceived allies. You have to show that just like you repeat your disdain for the TPLF adnauseam.

            3. If you deem it necessary to bash the TPLF day in and day out, why do you think bashing the PFDJ is less important? Consistency is important and helps our understanding and perception and judgement of commentators.

            4. Bashing the TPLF is not the over-ridding measure. Remember, the main mission of this website is Eritrean issues.

            5. It is distasteful to try to immerse this forum into the never-ending PFDJ-TPLF feud that has been going on from extreme love to extreme hate, for ever like a pendulum. Their rivalries and love stories have nothing to do with Eritreans seeking justice and freedom. It’s a power struggle and status supremacy thing.

            5. The PFDJis responsible for the types of the despicable youtube guy and his likes, the “opposition” has nothing to do with it. It’s unfair to group them with the thousands of opposition members who are suffering of such mentalities for ages and those who are fighting to eradicate such caveman thinking.

            6. It’s honest, and respectful (and mature) to pinpoint the part of the opposition that you are addressing. Trying to define the opposition by a few sick people (and lackeys) who are a product of the PFDJ, as if they were bonafide opposition members, is just too lazy and a demonstration of a comment coming from a misinformed person.

            7. Do you think it is fair (I will make it personal) to group me and my close allies and friends with the political lepers in one camp? Why is he not in your camp? Disown him like the rest of us. But why do you want to append him to the genuine opposition when he is a product of the PFDJ mind-corruption project? That is why some of us think you are required to state here, since you deem it necessary to make less important statements boldly.

            8. We are failing to have a unified umbrella because you seem to prefer using bombs (projectiles rather) to blast the entire opposition while trying to shoot at one or two persons. Just think about that and I hope you arrive at a reasonable conclusion. Hopefully you will see the grave mistake you are making. You insult those who are supposed to be your allies, weaken them day and night, blame them for not creating a united umbrella, and then you add more by crippling them day in and day out! How is tat possible? Think about it.

            9. You have all the right to say anything within the accepted norm of discourse to anyone you do not agree with (even you hate) but you have no right to insult everyone because you feel lazy and can’t draw a separator line and you love to blast away at everything, wholesale.

            10. Honestly, I am personally sick and tired of this opposition bashing while claiming to be part of it. If I am to judge by the comments, they do not prove to me they come from an ally, but from a reckless person trying to destroy the opposition. The problem is greater when they come from people I know are not into that. Why the distorted public posturing? Why can’t one be consistent in public an in private.

            11. Believe me Peace, I have been resisting the urge to respond in kind to the bashing and defaming of the opposition in general when the targeted are a negligible number of persons. God help me, because the disrespect and insult is getting out of hand. Intolerable. That would be a waste of time and energy.

            Dear Peace, I know you do not mean evil and you do not mean to tarnish the majority in the opposition (for God’s sake, I do not think you know a fraction of them, apart from those you know from social media. I have only disdain for the lepers who are on a campaign against everything we stand for, against everything Eritreans hold dear. We are being attacked by a few rascals and I do not think you prefer to fight them by putting them in the same basket as your potential (if not natural) allies. That fight needs everyone of us and please, recognize your allies and your enemies.

            Hoping you would think about the points I made above,

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Saleh,
            Thank you for taking time to explain in brief and clear points how people should set up their attitudes and compartmentalize it in such a way that it delineates what we think is important in partisan sense to defend, and what we think we are obligated to contribute to solidarity in the interest of common cause.
            I think it is crucial for me, and perhaps others, that the Awate Forum is meant for the latter. Admittedly, we do get swayed towards the former whenever someone throws a spark by way of ill-considered generalizations that goad people to respond.


          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Ustaz Mahmoud,

            I do not want to engage you in discussing on a lot what you have mentioned in your latest post. Just adequate for me to borrow the words of SGJ: “….please specify the ‘group you target by name, by organization, and not by the blanket term of opposition”. That is what you are being asked; and please do not imagine that individuals like me are out to target you. Your freedom is as precious as mine, and certainly others’, too.

            As to your contention that “… Emma and IsmaelAA (sic) openly explain the EPLF as something reduce able to IA or the paphlet (sic), Nhnan Elamanan”, sorry, sir, where did you read that?. Neither have I written or said that anywhere, nor have I read or heard that from Emma.

            For your information, I had just very recently mentioned in one of my random comments that I have patriotic former classmates and friends, some of whom are now occupying very high positions, who did their share of struggle in the ranks of the PLF-ELF, and later EPLF. The majority of them had nothing to do with the pamphlet you mentioned. They had not even joined the struggle at the time it
            was written.

            On my part I prefer to consider the conflicts we Eritreans had experienced along the way to liberating our country to left as terrain for historians to plough and sift the facts from propaganda. Otherwise if one really needs to talk about the events of the 70s and 80s, they are still as fresh as current affairs in memories, unless one is afflicted with some syndrome of short memory. In other words, those who boast the audacity to play vanguard for defending sovereignty from the danger of the “despicable Wayane”, had felt glory in shooting from the shared trenches with Woyane fighters to shoot and spill the blood of their own compatriots-in-arms. Of course, one regrets writing these lines at this time in this forum; but it are sometimes appropriate to remind others that there is also another side to the story.



          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ismail,

            Mahmuday knows that Ismail and Amanuel do not beleive that an individual can form a political organization no matter how influential he might be. But groups can. An organization belong to its members. We beleive EPLF belongs to those who were organized in it. The same can be said to PFDJ. Mahmuday has the audacity to lump us with those who might have said EPLF = Issayas. To the contrary he himself is one of the those who argued that Issayas is single handedly running the country without a system. Didn ‘t we argued that it is the PFDJ that is running the country and hence the fight should be against the PFDJ system rather than to an individual despot. Ismail and Amanuel had clearly explained that a despot can not survive without a system and strong organization. Then how did we become the victim of his accusation? It is mind boggling.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Aman,
            It would not have been problem when one would formulate his position in accordance with his persuasions. But it becomes unproductive when particular interests get mixed with the general concerns, and becomes pretext for making gross generalizations that mess together both. Once that happens, then one get prone to irritation and resorts to assaulting critics in an effort to defend the particular at the expense of the general. That is what sometimes happens in this forum and the focus shifts from core to side issues.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Ismael,

            Thank you for making it easier to explain. I like the way you framed the issue: particular and general issue.

            The general issue is getting rid of the PFDJ rule and the particular could be anything from I have Isaias, to I have TPLF, Weyane… it can stretch endlessly provided it doesn’t cloud the struggle against the injustice at home. That is how it should be, I think.

            Thank you Ismael, that how experience dwarfs jingoism, akin ” kab gu’yiy m’owAal, ksad mHaz 🙂

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Mahmud Saleh,

            1- The mouthpiece of the mafia attempts to distract us by claiming he is a genuine (Qubar Balada) opposition, that can’t swindle even the naive.

            2- All those who stand against the regime are considered opposition in one line. They agree on toppling the mafia in Asmara, but they may differ in the means.

            3- You speak about independence of a citizen at the time you describe other citizens as folded under the wings of TPLF without any proof; quote: “I could not be part of an opposition that is folded under the wings of the despicable TPLF”.

            4- You label citizens as sellouts at the time you forgot the main reason to all our present dilemma is the mafia. At the time the TPLF stood for independence of Eritrea they were your intimate friends, and now when they stand for the rights of our people they have become foes. Really you lack integrity and you don’t know what you script.

            5- People raise our revolution to track where the problem began and to take lessons from them.

            6- The very person who introduced ethnic lines for reasons you don’t miss is your master.

            7- Ethiopia or Weyane as you like to call them will not slice Badime and make it a district of Addis Ababa. Badime was/is/ and will remain an Eritrean. Ethiopia can hand Badime to her owners at any time. The only means left for Eritreans inside the country to flee when they get an opportunity to do that, and the exodus of youth is a proof.

            8- The very entity that cordoned Eritrea is your master. He cordoned Eritrea from refugees to return back to their homeland. He cordoned Eritrea from floods of visitors, foreigners and Eritreans to the extent no one dares to visit the country. Your master turned Eritrea to a country of ghosts.

            9- Our people inside Eritrea are under tight control of the mafia to the extent choking, nobody can utter a word.

            10- The Eritrean passport has become a passport of wretchedness for those who hold it. It has become a means of extortion by the mafia for people he abhors to see them in Eritrea, and wishes them to live forever in the Middle East. The despot doesn’t want their children to continue their education; therefore, stopped all scholarships even from countries that were granting scholarships for Eritreans during the revolution. When Isaias gets universities that their medium of education is English, he sends his children. Your master has forgotten when Martyr Dinai insisted upon the ELF leaders to send his son, that is Isaias, to china for education.

            11- The opposition is weirdo for you, because it embraces all spectrum of the Eritrean people. It is not lone color you accustomed to for many years. You are infatuated by one black color only and the other colors don’t attract you that is why you said: “take the Tigre from me”.

            12- Mr. Mahmud says, “I don’t seek the acceptance of individuals or an opposition that don’t respect my individuality.” I think no one is on a business of questing personal respect; they are only telling you respect the people of Eritrea. Respect your mothers and sisters who their tears turned to blood in refugee camps and alien lands (Ematka wa hawatka dem naba’a haleya dib mantiq lajeen wa shatat” from the practices of your master. Who refused refugees to return to their homeland, isn’t that your master?

            13- No one in the opposition claims they monopolize the opposition. I think the only group that thinks in such a way is the mafia that monopolizes Eritrea for more than twenty-five years.

            The guy tried to impress us that he is a real “Qubar Balada” opposition; but when I read him closely I have gotten him mere gangster (Eskunis, Baltaji) without principles and integrity.

            Note: Mahmud Denai and his son picked up by Isaias squads in the early nineties of the twenty century from Aqurdat, and their whereabouts is unknown upto this date. People believe they are dead.

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          Greetings Mahmud Saleh,

          Today your comment confined to one paragraph. Eh poor guy, slipped from his mission appointed to. Awate.com is defended by her stand on the side of her people, by her practical works of masking the mafia to her people and international community. Awate will defend her history and the people of Eritrea at large. History is neutral, will prosecute all without mercy.

    • iSem

      Hi Awet:
      Were you in attendance in the meeting that formed Friends for awate.com? If you were, then you would not honestly say it was Eritrean Muslims association, because I do not belong to Eritrean Muslim Association of Toronto, I am not Muslim and so are the Christians who attended this founding meeting. The founding committee members invited everyone who cares about justice and in Eritrea and for a first meeting it was attended with people from different backgrounds, even very young and freshly arrived Eritreans. Actually it was overwhelmingly attended by the Tigringa Ethic, if you were mad about the Muslim names of the founding committee, get used it because, the Muslims started ELF and EPLF, but PFDJ would not tell you that

  • Ismail AA

    Selam Michael Tesfamariam,

    While supporting your conviction about the qualification of Awate.com to grow and expand, in my view this web site has never been an affiliate of any ” greedy and shallow minded opposition nonsense” if I correctly understood what meant to say. Since I read brilliant observations (reflections) by writers who partook in the Toronto activities, I do not think they share your assessment of the relationship of the web site with opposition. Awate.com is an opposition news and analysis outlet in its own right, and cannot be accused of bondage to any opposition, and as independence and conscientious media outlet, it has been playing praiseworthy role in serving the just cause of the people.
    Your comments seemed to an implicit message that the web site should leave the regime alone (please correct me if I misunderstood you).
    Moreover, your comments reflect an impression to shed itself of the principles that it had cherished and set as guiding lines such informing, inspiring and emboldening without any fear. In other words, you seem to want it turned to toothless host of academician and researcher without bothering about the gross injustices that being perpetrated by the regime in the country. By the way what purpose would served by the knowledge, research and academic productions when the nation is ruined? Furthermore, Awate.com did not set an agenda for itself that committed along with others to produce ” united … opposition”.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Ismail,

      Yes indeed “toothless host of academicians ” who haven’t a clue about the scio-atomic-structure of our society and the natural bond that hold us together. Not only they don ‘t know it, they do not even have an intellectual inquisitive mind to know about it. Above all they do not have a commitment to fight for the common good of their people.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Aman,
        Understanding by elite, the greater chunk of the educated in particular, the bedrock issues of our society and nation as you rightly would have saved us from a lot of structural hurdles that have been bewildering our body politic along the past more than sixty years. The irony is that the founding fathers, despite the conditions of their time, did well to appreciate the elements that mattered to stabilize the harmony and coherence of the fragile polity they inherited from the divisive colonial powers. This was demonstrated in debates at the people’s assembly of 68 in how they envisioned national unity for example in their deliberation of issues like language. Unfortunately their role was cut short by conspiracies to sabotage the federation in favor of irredentist agenda.
        The generations that followed did not really fair better be it during the phase of liberation struggle or post liberation under the current dictatorship. In fact, it is clear the Isayas and group have relentlessly pursued the agenda of negating the way the founding fathers had started to tread, and brought us to where we are now.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear AT,

    I am glad awate.com earned the public support. Yes indeed you deserve public support for becoming the voice of the voiceless for the last 15 years. Going forward: as the website is transforming to an institutional organization, for public education and awarness in the discourse of our nation, the challenge is enormous to carry on that responsibilities. I have no doubt to meet the challenge.

    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Ismail AA

      Hi Aman,
      I second the points you stated on Awate.com and its role and future in transformation. Credit has to go to the resourceful and awareness of its founders and team of managers for relentless commitment. Their ability to attract and keep equally resourceful righters and columnists has been phenomenal. This is not to overlook the myriad adversarial and material challenges they have been facing.
      The other day I read reflections on the issue by outstanding writer on the issue from Canada published at Togoruba.org (haven’t seen it on Awate.com). The author’s name is Abdu Ali Habib whom I know since our college days. His article of reflections covered a lot of ground that deserve to be discussed.
      Incidentally, it is fine that you have mentioned Burhan Ali. Readers missed his brilliant contributions especially on book reviews which exhibit his extensive reading of literature and philosophy. I was graced to meet him briefly last year in Germany. A brief encounter with him could make one feel more wiser than before the commencement of the conversation.