Wednesday , October 20 2021
Home / Negarit / Untie The Knot In Your Life

Untie The Knot In Your Life

Today’s edition is very personal. I am celebrating my 87th cigarette-free day. Three-months of detoxification and I am treating myself to a cup of tea, not in the usual open air, but inside the shop. Over the years I got used to sitting outside, come rain or shine, because I liked what I thought was my freedom to light up a cigarette, puff and make smoke circles in the air, if a nosy old lady didn’t come to chastise me for smoking. I am not being sexist here, because for every man who complained about my smoking, nine old women did so. Most of the time I acted dumb, or pretended not to understand English. They got tired and left me alone. And every smoker knows that once you go over such an annoyance, your mood is spoiled for the rest of the day. Surprisingly, as if you can remedy your spoiled mood, and thinking you can, you smoke four sticks in less than an hour, a sort of a revenge.

I knew it when people from a distance walked towards me; I knew they were going to berate me for allegedly being disturbed by my cigarette whiff, even in an open air, an open space as big as a football stadium. But they have to complain, it makes them feel good, it is their hobby. They never miss an opportunity to lecture smokers about the evils of smoking; in fact, they are so annoying their lectures make one smoke even more.

Incidentally, there is someone I spurned for many years because he wouldn’t stop his monotonous lectures—he somehow appears in front of me seconds after I light up. Then he throws his hands in the air, just like a disappointed parent, wondering why I was still smoking, and exclaim: “Hjji kha’a shigara, still smoking!” I can’t remember how many times he did that to me. I would be surprised if annoying me was not on top of his To-do List. In frustration I would light up another one and ignore him, but still he would start part two and three of his unsolicited lectures. Surely, in the process, he spoils my mood and I have to light up once more.

Eventually I decided to bring the issue to an end; I told him that I befriended the cigarette well before I knew he existed, decades before I was introduced to him one unfortunate afternoon in a social gathering. I snapped, “Get off my back? Don’t talk to me if you don’t have any other subject except lecturing me about cigarette smoking.”

But it was even worse at home.

The moment I get home, my family, particularly my wife, would make faces, block her nose and open the windows. Every morning she would open my closet in a visibly reactive way to aerate the clothes. My coats and jackets would always be exposed to the sun, outside, because they stink. And I never believed her, I thought she was exaggerating. But now that my smelling sense is revived, and my nostrils are unclogged, I know better: when I meet smokers and hug them, the odor suffocates me.

Almost two years ago I befriended a Chinese man whom I met at the Starbucks “joint” that I frequent. Whenever we met we used to sip coffee, smoke, and chat—of course, loudly, I have to follow suit. The last time I met him I couldn’t stand him—he was engulfed by a fetid odor, even his handshake left my hands smelling foul.

A few weeks ago we were invited for lunch at a relative’s house, and later on the host went out to smoke. When he returned, he brought an invisible cloud of stink into the room. It was worse than the nasty smell on my hands after the handshake. Did I smell that bad all those years? Were non-smokers suffering of that and subdued their disgust just to be nice to me? I am sure they were.

You see, all those who lecture smokers about quitting are doing it the wrong way. Instead of talking about the heart and the lungs (pretending to be doctors), they should just spell it out: YOU STINK! I have a feeling that would be very effective.

Many years ago when I lived in the Middle East, the company I worked for sponsored a traffic police educational campaign against speeding. I met the managers of the campaign; the slogans and messages of the campaign sounded boring to me. The usual, “Speed Kills”, “Your children are waiting for you”, “Speeding saves minutes, but is a risk to your life.” The officer in charge asked my suggested alternative messages. I floated four slogans: “speeding drivers are undiscovered murderers!” “If you are stupid, break the legal speed limit!” “Do your children know you are a reckless driver?” “The horsepower belongs to the car, not you!” “If you speed, you’re a weakling!” Only the creative director of the ad agency was attentive, the rest looked at me in a strange way.

The officer in charge of the campaign just laughed at me and said, “we can’t insult drivers!” I tried to convince him that my suggestions were unorthodox and they have a shock value. The creative director supported my views, but backed down, fearing he might get fired. Of course I failed and the usual run of the mill slogans were adopted for the expensive campaign. As you can imagine, the campaign didn’t decrease road accidents, but my suggestions haunted me as jokes. Officers would smile and mockingly ask me, “Saleh, how many horsepower do you have?”

Try to be blunt…

If you want to help someone stop smoking, tell them as it is. Tell them you can’t stay closer to them because: “I don’t want my clothes to be contaminated with your cigarette odor.” That would be more effective than an empty lecture.

Yet, I apologize for being the typical convert, I am just being true to the spirit of a new convert and loyal to the thumb rule: I have to be an annoying anti-smoking zealot though I will try to ameliorate that by listing the benefits that I gained by quitting smoking:

  1. I am saving a few hundred dollars a month—I smoked almost two-packets a day.
  2. Climbing the stairs have never been this easy.
  3. Did I boast that now I can walk for four miles in one-go, without complaining? I didn’t. So, take note. In fact, I never walked that long in one-go since WWII. Now it has become my daily ritual.
  4. An increased appetite (generally not a very good thing), but it’s fine because I also learned to be selective in what I eat—next project, a cookbook for people who quit smoking after a heart-attack. Do you think that is a brilliant idea or a brilliant idea?
  5. Finally (actually, not finally, but that is what I can list for now) I am calmer, generally, and nicer.

It’s worth mentioning that there are always challenges ahead, unexpected challenges. About two weeks ago I went out for a stroll. On the way I passed a man sitting on the side of the walking trail in an ultimate indulgence with a cigarette—I had a strong urge and felt like asking him for a cigarette. At that point I was so weak and almost broke my vows never to smoke again. I got closer and greeted him. He smiled and said, “I saw you walking a few times, I tried walking but I can’t unless I stop smoking.” I nodded, “I have been there…” and I told him everything that you have read so far—I felt successful when he threw the butt and started to walk with me. Yeah, I am glad I didn’t lecture him, I just told him a story!

For those of you who smoke, though I have taken lectures from people I know and people I don’t know, and though I was bored, and though an old man riding in the passenger seat once opened his window and made wild gestures at me while I stopped at a traffic light, and when I didn’t hear him, he threw a paper cup at my window to get my attention, and then to convince me to stop smoking he pointed to the pipes that were inserted in his throat, and waved the microphone he uses to talk through, obviously warning me of emphysema and spoiling the rest of my day, I will not lecture you at all. Never!

As I have disclosed a few paragraphs earlier, I am a Convert, and to see the proof to that, please read my views which are in an article entitled Smoking At Airport Colonies, from September 2013. It’s almost three years ago! Here, I should repeat the Tigrinya wisdom; melebemi aygberka melebemi ay ‘yekhlaaka: May you learn from a bad example, and not be one.

It’s now the time for the real “finally.”

Finally, I have to admit one thing: I wholeheartedly encourage you to smoke even more, waste more of your money, burn them, literally. Make sure your clothes and breath always stink. Cough hard and loud every now and then, don’t swallow the heavy greenish-brownish stuff that looks like engine oil, spit it out. Pretend you are not feeling like crying when you have to climb three floors of a building, instead, pretend your leg is hurting (of course you can’t say you are out of breath, it’s embarrassing) when children ask you to play with them in the park. Live your life outdoors because you can’t smoke indoors, almost anywhere now—except in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Please do befriend smokers in coffee shops, middle easterners, Africans, and Asians, specially Chinese who would make you feel ashamed when you discover you don’t smoke half as much as they do, though you thought you were a heavy smoker. Light up every time you hear a sad, outrageous news from home. Light up whenever you remember you cannot visit your home because a brute is ruling the country. Light up whenever you remember a loved one who is jailed or disappeared. Light up whenever a young person is forced to leave his country. Light up whenever you remember Isaias, the monstrous, the cruelest, the meanest, the most brutal person who ever breathed an Eritrean air. And you think you can quit smoking? I guess you are enjoying all of that, why should you give up smoking? Why would you “Untie The Knot In Your Life*”?

*Over twenty years ago, I saw an anti-smoking poster with a caption, “The Knot In Your Life” in a creative campaign presentation. I remember it was designed by an Australian ad agency—though I am sure I have the magazine clip of the ad, I couldn’t locate it.  The image above is a similar purchased image reproduced in a collage.

Related Reading:

1. Smoking At Airport Colonies
2. The Prayers Of Good People

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

Check Also

Please Come and Invade Us!

A fringe racist, bigoted, and servile group has been trying hard to undo Eritrea and …

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Sir L,T,
    don’t forget to say Hi, dear, etc. how this can be difficult when you are able to write such good and long views!

    you can stop smoking brother, you can read the massages under this article even you can find a lot. don’t ever wait for a moment, there is no such thing as “afterwards” to stop smoking. the earlier the better. you deserve to live longer and healthier. inhale healthy air – fresh oxygen that is free of charge from our almighty. all those free things we get are the most important once. our heart beat non stop through our life for free of charge, all our organs work for free just to serve us. why then pay for something that kills our organs? it is against life, against nature etc. there are human beings who couldn’t eat their lunch and when someone smoks to kill himself while someone else couldn’t afford to pay for his meal is some type of crime – I mean when you see it in the level of humanity. And your children need you, the nations needs you,,we all love you and want you to be alive happy enjoying the God given organs.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Saleh
    Congratulations, and good to see you getting stronger. Thanks also for sharing your private life. I know you wanted your readers to take lessons. Many good people showered you with advises and happy wishes, so I don’t want to pile another round of repetitions. All I can say is don’t lower your guard; never believe you are stronger than the addiction; do not let the feeling that you have reached a stage where you could control your urges take control of you. For some time to come, think as if you are followed by that terrible villain.
    I believe I smoked for about 23 years. When Semere talked about ghedli tobacco/addiction handling, I was grinning. Well, ghedli did not make me smoke, but around the end of the liberation war, the situation made me toy with chewing tobacco. There were many good nights where radios fell completely silent, and there were nights where you would not get a minute to catch a catnap. There was this nice guy we called wedi Hajji who would stay up changing chunks of chewing tobacco. He used to put it under his upper lip (the way bxaay Issayas did..haha…); well, the first day I put it in my mouth, I was all in fire, and then felt woozy and tipsy. I puked. After a month, I tried once more; I still felt dizzy but better than the first one. Anyway, finally I got hooked to it and it felt good. After 6 moths, I graduated to cigarettes. When I came to the States I tried genuinely to quit but it was failure after failure. The last trial, I made it for 6 months (That’s why I caution you), then the family flew to Egypt for a vacation (2008). Egypt is a haven for smokers; people smoke everywhere, including in public offices. And then you have the shisha. I relapsed. It started with one incident when I was really broken with urges. I thought I was strong enough to give it one cigarette. Twenty four hours later another one. Soon, I started lying to my wife and kids. I would tell them I would go out for errands and head to the shisha place. I did not like shashia, but sure I enjoyed the smoking and the chitchat. It all ended when I was discovered by my kids. They were coming out of a KFC restaurant, a plan I did not know, and there I was enjoying my cigarette with my Egyptian friend outside the cafe in the spreading shade of the building. My beautiful evening ended not so beautifully. My wife was shocked. My sons confronted me right there. I could not lie. I said I failed them. I said sorry for the lies. I told them that I had relapsed. But I made a promise; I kept that promise to myself. I stayed inside the apartment we were renting for three days. And that was it. I have never smoked for the last 8 years.

  • Olana

    Dear Saleh
    Congratulations. You also freed your family and friends around you who too have been passive smokers.
    I do not remember where I got it but I remember someone wrote or said that if you want to be sure of your vow of quitting smoking forever, be brave and keep a packet of cigarettes in your pocket for some time and be free at last! You don’t have to wait for six month. I also wish that we all become free from old addictions of hate, free from lies, free from worshiping dictators etc.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Olana,
      In the glove compartment of my car, I have two cigarette coups worth $1.00 each and a full untouched packet. They have been there since the end of December 2015. I have a day when to destroy them.


      • Hope

        Mebruk ya Halo(Halu):
        You made things sound easy as Addiction is the toughest thing patients have to deal with.
        But then if it is that “easy”,it has to do with being Ustaz SGJ,who hailed against all Odds.
        It is said that the relapse rate for all types of Addiction is more than 98%.
        As far as lecturing on CAD/Coronary Artery Disease/ and Tobacco addiction related issues,no one should claim to be more Catholic than the Pope.
        The weight gain,the risk of Type II Diabetes,etc,are there and you already are ahead of things by losing 17 pounds in 2 months????
        Oh man,I am struggling to lose 20 Pounds over a year now but keep gaining more.!!!
        My suggestion:
        Since you are an Expert Author and Writer,write a Book on this and the above Title is a perfect fit and very attractive and a persuasive one,indeed.
        Please,be so kind to expand this Article to a book in English and Arabic and your way of narrating things will make things more attractive.
        I mean it, as you will save lives besides making something out of it, as Tobacco is a Universal and International Health Risk,in fact,a Top Killer(more than 400,000 deaths per annum from Heart Attack and Lung Cancer combined) in the USA, directly or indirectly,due to heart attack,Lung Cancer and COPD/Emphysema(Chronic Bronchitis),not to mention the cost in money to deal with the tobacco related effects and their treatment(more than $300 Billion per annum).
        For these staggering figures of money and death,check or google at NIH.Com or CDC.Com for details.
        It is a Major Pubic Health issue.
        Congrats,indeed,deservedly,to you,to Adal,Luam and the Love of your Life(Simeta Iyyi’aselkana lakin,-kidding).
        The issue and collateral damages of Passive Smoking should not be undermined,as the victims of Passive Smoking could be victims of the same COPD(Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,aka chronic bronchitis at its advanced stage/Emphysema),CAD and Lung Cancer as well.
        “It stinks”.
        Oh yeah,it is a major cause of ” Halitosis”(bad mouth odor/breath) and a serious Allergen as well!
        Wo lali senet yibba!.
        Huka,welka wo wed adka!
        Dima kudan.
        My apology for being part of the problem by being a PFDJ “supporter”.
        There is a reason why I picked up “Hope” as my nick.

        • Dear Hope,

          This is a very important confession to make, “My apology for being part of the problem by being a PFDJ supporter”, as if it is beyond your power, although deep down in the heart of your hearts you would like to be part of the Eritrean solution. A consciously made mistake can easily be solved if there is the wish.

          As much as our dear friend SGJ is concerned, although all the things you said are important, I would like to prescribe an unconventional shock therapy; i.e. “dear SJ, if you want to feel an elephant standing on your chest for a second time, go on and repeat your mistake of smoking. I am not here to congratulate you for your 90 cigarette-free days, but to remind you that there is no middle way; you have to choose between your heart and your cigarettes”. I have never heard of a person contemplating of smoking after a heart attack. Sorry to say that.

          • Lamek

            Hi Horizon. If you have read what SGJ has been saying, he much rather prefers for you to say something like this: now that you don’t stink any more, let’s go play billiards (the kind you use your hands, not damn sticks) as you have been begging me for years and I refused because I couldn’t stand your odor but I always lied to you by saying that ‘my nagging wife wouldn’t let me out.’

          • tes

            Dear Horizon,

            If I had a 30 minutes face to face talk with Hope, He could have all discharged himself from the ambiguity he has for being skeptical about justice. And then I could have saved him from falling into further sin by baptizing him through the showers of justice.

            I hope to meet him in Switzerland this summer. I will make him free of previous sins and convert him into a justice lover. These days he is almost reaching into a state of No return but I believe I still have the power to heal him.

            Stay tuned!


          • Hope

            hey tes:
            That Swiss thing is exclusively non-BOLETICA Zone/topic.
            Prepare some good stuff about Good Food and Nutrition.
            My stand is crystal clear and Unambigiuos.
            Stand for Eritrea as need and at the same fight for Justice.–in a way that will not compromise eritrea.

          • tes

            Selam Hope,

            Even declaring a non political zone is by itself politics. In fact it exactly what PFDJ wants us to do. In my perspective, if the program is as such (already it is) it is nothing but an extension of PFDJ’s program of non-politicized zone.

            I strongly therefore reject such approaches.

            Saying that if I will be there it is for my political objective and one of my target is probably you if you will come.


  • Haile WM

    Dear Saleh,

    Congratulations on your battle, I know exactly what kind of struggle is to smokers to free themselves.
    My personal battle has being lost a month or so ago, after two months of advancement, i made strategicawi mzlaq, and for now the battle i raging and i am loosing ground, but the propaganda machine is claming both the fornts are making a lot of progress, on one hand me boasting from two months that i quite made it, and on the other hand the people telling me how weak i have being in getting back to smoking… I hope one day i will win the war 😉

    Again congrats
    with admiration

  • Amde

    Selam yetekeberu SGJ,

    Congratulations…I am happy for you and wish you the best to hit that six month target.

    I wouldn’t have the guts to tell you “You stink” to your face, haha…

    I know someone who related to me the story of how, when he was young / a teenager, a relative of his bought him cartons of cigarettes and forced him to smoke them all over a weekend. And that was that for him.

    All the best

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Amde,
      In high school we had a few students who smoked and they contaminated quite a few of us.

      You can “substitute, the “You stink” with something that will have equal shock value. It is just a suggestion, I wish more people said that to me. You see Amde, I was a militant smoker that when people said to me, “do you know smoking decreases your life expectancy by 4%? ” I will say to them, “If I was going to die at 90, then I die at 87 because of smoking, big deal.” I just didn’t give people a chance to advise me and everyone close to me knew that.

      I understand that it takes more than preaching, but I am not boasting at all, just trying to encourage people to think more seriously, an awareness….

  • Eyob

    Please correct my introductory greetings in earlier joinder from ” Selam Salem” to Selam Saleh
    My apology for the typo!

  • Abi

    Selam Ato Saleh
    Congrats! I’m going to light up a Cuban cigar in celebrating your achievement.
    Now that you have gained back your sense of taste, I suggest you try Tire Siga. I will take you to Hailesilassie Siga Bet.
    Please extend my heart felt congratulations to your good wife for getting her non-stinky husband back.
    Adal and Luam? must be happy as well.
    Congrats again!!

    • Saleh Johar

      Dear Abi and Fanti,

      Thanks for celebrating on my behalf, but I would rather join you with a Cuban tobacco hot-dog-cigar instead of Tre sga. In fact you should worry about that before smoking. I am not sure what percentage of stomach and intestinal illness is caused by raw meat in Ethiopia 🙂
      Maybe Fanti can give us a hint.

  • Ted

    Hi SJ,
    How is it humanly possible to smoke 2 packs a day. I thought it is urban legend;-) On the bright side, it convincing reason not to renew your castco membership card, another hundred dollar saving;-) If there is a clear connection between heart attack and tobacco, are you consider “self hating” if you resume smoking. Something to think about. Tobacco served purpose in smokers life, do they know what it is. Do you SJ?
    Good job and keep fighting, it is a fight you can’t afford to lose.

    • Saleh Johar

      It’s not a legend. You better believe it. Do not have catsco membership–another foolishness, not to have that when you consume that much. I do not know of the connection, but I know I suffered when I walked and climber the stairs– not only the lungs, but the heart would have a Congo drum part inside the chest. If I resume, Nitricc will find a good reason to use his favorite word properly. Please tell me what is served me apart from (don’t laugh) digestion?

      • Ted

        Hi SJ, digestion, good one;-) Alcohol have that claim to fame too. The symptom of withdrawal is irritability and mild depression something to do with imbalance of “feel good” neurotransmitters. The good thing is you get to learn how to deal with withdrawal as time goes by specially when you know the triggers. The question for you is, would you stop if it were not related to heart attack. I ask because people believe tobacco give them calmness and good sense of mental well being.

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Ted,
          Would I have quit if not for the attack? Probably not. But before the attack I went through hours of nausea, vomiting non-stop. By then I hated the smell of it, and it was not difficult to continue. Actually I am not feeling any serious withdrawal symptoms, or depression. True I am calmer but that could be the medication 🙂 However, I am happy because I rid myself of the odor that I didn’t realize it was that bad.

          • Yoty Topy

            Dear Saleh Johar,

            Congratulations on giving up Smoking . As someone who has given up smoking this subject is dear to my heart.So, the 70 to 90 days is a very trying phase and that probably explains why you decided to write this article. I am of the believe that it takes 9 months ( I guess the same time it takes for the human embryo to fully form) to build a routine with a solid foundation , whether it’s giving up smoking or even picking up fitness regiment.

            Again, birtatun yestih wodaje as you pass the 90 days milestone and just a third into forever ditching the habit.

            Very glad to hear you are doing well.

            P.S , you didn’t mention what you would replace this habit with ? May be go invite yourself to every gorebet of yours for Bunna.?

  • tes

    Dear Saleh Johar,

    If I say “Congratulations”, you won’t be that much happy. But one thing that I might have for you is, “let your inner energy be resurrected again and again to free you from external aid”. Cigarette works when the inner energy hibernates.

    Inner energy normally are not regenerated from their dormancy stage through selective food/diets or some kind of staying away from smoking friends/areas. It is done so by rebuilding the pros and cons of life spirits, a spirit that connects the soul and the body.

    Today, a new but ancient science is again revitalized to build human thoughts. You miight not be unfamiliar with it but in case, it is “Spirit Science” or as some gurus call it “Spirit Engineering”. And sometimes, it is good to read on Yoga materials and practice breath meditation.

    For the rest, Bon Courage mon frère!!!


    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear tes,
      The best congratulation post ever. New way of thinking and deep fine world knowledge opened here. congrats to you too.

  • Saleh Johar

    Hi Eyob,
    Thanks for the excellent analysis, very insightful, never published speculations. Thanks again. And thanks for telling me the reason for my attack, I never knew that 🙂

    Now that I have freed myself from addiction to cigarettes, I will pray to see Eritreans addicted to the PFDJ are liberated 🙂

    I am not implying you are already addicted, sheTan ay’yesmaA.

    But you are half right about my malady: Isaias is half of it, the PFDJ is the other half.


    • dawit

      Dear Saleh Johar,

      I think my good friend Saleh, you should take Eyob’s advice seriously. Those who were obsessed hate of PIA end up dead prematurely, pwople like PMMZ who drop dead young, and he is buried at Sellasie church cemetery in Addis.
      I speculate the last time you appeared on live TV with Ms. Sheila B. Keetharuth, might have triggered the last episode. Now you got rid of one malady the knot, the other two PIA and PFDJ can be also knocked out with one stone. Simply join me and sing ‘Znegese Ngusna’! Leave the ‘Weeding’ crew and join the ‘Planting’ crew.
      I heard through the grapevine that there is vacancy opened for some time now with PIA administration for ‘Advisor to the Advisor’. I believe you could be a good candidate to fill that post. Although kubur PIA never make a mistake, but incase it is always good to have a good sound advice from a trusted old Ghedli mate especially at the planting department.

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi dawit,
        Do you know that you share the “znegese negusna” belief with some fundamentalists, of several religions?

        Okay, I never belonged there and never will.

        Now that you have offered your unsolicited advise, let reciprocate: sometimes it is honorable to die fighting. So many brave people died rejecting your past emperors and kings, they were not wrong. Learn about freedom, it might liberate you 🙂

      • Semere Andom

        with every comment you reveal some intimate thing about you. In this one you revealed your celebrations when SGJ was sick, how many bottles of JW, the fav drink of DIA did you open when you heard the news, and how long did you grieve when SGJ made it as Sem H said, death blinked
        You are older,maybe the same age as SGJ so do not be cocky about it, you may drop dead before both DIA and SGJ

        • Saleh Johar


          dawit’s philosophy is adirable, it’s similar to that of the Satan worshipping cult. The entire Eritrea population can persish provided “znegese ngusna” stays alive. Like robots, you do not expect compassion from these lots–how could they have compassion? If they did they wouldn’t throw thousand in unknown prisons and pretend everything is all right. They would usher tens of thousands of youth and still pretend it is fine. Who cares how much the humble population is silently suffering as long as their one or two room houses, or their enda Tehanit investments are safe. And you think he cares if I live r die? He wouldn’t mind killing me for appearing in that television show with some of his students, a year or so ago. I almost forgot about it but he is still bitter. Hey, that is what I do!

          • Semere Andom

            Hi SGJ:
            Yea, the memorable line from that show was when you told them, this is not “Wohayo” meeting.
            But speaking about compassion, it is an Eritrean sensibility to put aside differences during time of sickness and death, I found that trait in the Tigre, in the Tigringa, in the Blen and in the Baria, and in the Jeberti and I am sure it is same on the rest of ethnic groups. So why is that this Eritrean sensibility is lacking in these guys? Why?
            Dawit the other day said that I was the son of Torserawit from Tigray who lived in Keren, the sons of Torserawit who I came accross spoke perfect Amharic you know my Amharic and if I was from Tigray, even if I had tiny fraction I would claim it and move there in Mekele, or Adigrat, where my kids would go to the university of Adigrat and I would fund the creation of of the university of Dedebit instead of sharing a country with dawit and Gheteb and Eyob and the gangsters.

          • dawit


            Take it easy. You wrote “And you think he cares if I live r die? He wouldn’t mind killing me for appearing in that television show with some of his students, a year or so ago.”. Yes you are right, what would I gain if you die. Nothing. On the flip side I may gain something if PIA dies. I will have 1/6,000,000 of a chance to be the next Ngus!
            I would rather die than to sit near that old lady be in a room or in the cyber space. She is not my type, I hate liars.
            Now you made another mistake, I think you are losing you memory, may be you need to start smoking to stimulate your memory. I don’t have ‘enda Tehanit’ in Eritrea, remember I have ‘Wofcho bet’ in Ethiopia. But you could have one or two bedroom house or enda Tehanit investment if you are ‘born again’ and accept the old religion of ‘Znegese-Ngusna’.

        • Abraham H.

          Selam Semere,
          Dawit supports all regimes that have wreaked havoc on the Eritrean people: HS, Mengie, and now Isayas. The guy has a deep rooted hatred against Eritreans. I could certainly claim also those who’re supporting the current regime share the same character as him. I’m not making up this, he has shamelessly announced his support to all these regimes here in this forum.

    • Eyob

      Selam Salem,
      Politics aside:)
      Congratulations on your decision to quit smoking… even intelligent people do self-destructing things..
      But admission is the first step toward recovery and using your misfortune with that evil leaf to teach others is Nobel! Like Amharas say ” Enien Aytachu TeqeTu”
      Of course the Saudi thing has nothing to do with it:)
      I am sure after I threw the Saudi connection, you may have resorted to Tina Turner’s lyric “what love(politics) hot to do…got to do with it”

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Eyob,
    another jock of the day..what you don’t know is SGL decided to live longer and healthier as he has news the fighters are pushing ahead toward Asmara and he want to be there during election.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear wedi Andom,
    man, you are not really good even made a bridge that connects cigarette and politics. no don’t do that… the other day I was told my friend living in Asmara has stopped smoking..but the reason is different, it is because there is no more Naqfa and his friends are not able to send him HAWALA..Lol. this the only advantage found in changing Naqfa currency forgetting about food and necessities.. Lol.

  • Hayat Adem

    Dearest SGS,
    It feels good to see you rediscovering your grip back fully. Kim’s post is not that challenging as you will not only pass that, but pass many bunches of six-months all the way to the end. Also, smoking is to the body as PFDJ is to the nation. No chance for PFDJ, no chance for a cigarette.

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Folks,

    After reading the article I decided to kill 5 minutes in writing this. When I was a kid in Holeta, I started in the money making profession by selling cigarrets to the army folks around there. Nyala, Gisela (whatever happened to it anyway?), and other western tobaccos up untill they stop coming. I hope I didn’t contribute to the demise of tobacco addicts.

    Since I am not in speaking terms with SGJ, folks please tell him that I will not sell cigarret for him again!! The rest, I am sure that he has had enough advise from you all…

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Dis Donc,
      Not on speaking terms? Why?

      At any rate, the Addis kids I saw in the early nineties selling cigarettes were selling books in the late nineties. Now most of them own high-rise buildings or at least a boutique with a dozen mannequins standing guard. How did you end up? I hope you are not selling cigarettes still since you say threaten not to sell me again? 🙂

      Take care

  • Lamek

    Dear SGJ. I am very happy for you and your family on your lifestyle change, all around it seems like. There is no question in my mind how hard this adjustment must be. But hang in there. Just think of it this way. Just imagine your life is cut short because of some unwise habit like smoking. How dearly do you think you would be missed by your lovely wife, your children, your family, and everyone else who knows you? You would be missed a lot. So don’t punish your loved ones. Keep up the great work and again hang in there. You are doing at least one thing right in ridding yourself off of addiction and that is that you are telling everybody you know about it that you are working on it. Now, people will recognize that and they will not offer your cigarettes or ask you for it. No more advice from me. What is wrong with Saay? He has been lecturing your monotonously all along too? So this is how you met saay: “Eventually I decided to bring the issue to an end; I told him that I befriended the cigarette well before I knew he existed, decades before I was introduced to him one unfortunate afternoon in a social gathering. ” Okay, I am just joking, just picking on Saay. He is an easy scapegoat.

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam SGJ,
    Congratulations is in order.
    I am a non-smoker of 26 years. Therefore, I am entitled to preach on 3 points:
    A) Be kind to smokers.
    B) Be careful, liking the art of cooking and eating all the time.
    C) You are not out of the woods yet, until you pass the 6 months mark.
    And another thing, while I am at it. Psychologists tell us to be aware that you would not substitute one addiction with another.
    After reading all of this from non other than me and you are not tempted to pick up a cigarette, you are a good candidate for success.
    Mr. K.H

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Kim Hanna,
      that is very nice advice. and I have an idea here, who is really hero..and sure SGL will take the title.

      መን እዩ እቲ ተባዕ –
      ……..ምስ ተጻይ ዝተራባዕ –
      ……..ተቃሊሱ ዝቀጽዕ –
      ……..ኢድ ካልእ ዝመንዕ-
      እልኩም ከይትምልሱ –
      ……..ተባዕ’ሲ ዝስዕራ ንነብሱ-
      ……..ምስ ውሽጡ ተቃሊሱ –
      ……..ድኽመታቱ ኣፍሪሱ –
      ……..ዝወጽእ ሓምቢሱ::

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Kim,
      If I were Nitricc, I would have called you toothless 🙂

      You moved the goalpost for me. A doctor told me if I can make it to a smoke free month, I am liberated. I was happy. Then another came and made it two months. Your stretch is worse, six-months!

      On cooking, rest assured. I eat only when I am hungry and never over eat …. and I never subscribe that cooking is an art. That is over indulgence.

      I wish people were more bold with me instead of accommodating my addiction. And I have practice my convert rights 🙂


      • Nitricc

        Hey SJ and KH; I really don’t believe in addiction to anything. It is all in mental toughness. Say you smoked 10 years and you stopped all of a sudden; what is going to happen to you? Nothing! After a few days; the body will adjust to the change. I.e. addiction is self imposed by weakness! Besides” Addiction isn’t about substance – you aren’t addicted to the substance, you are addicted to the alteration of mood that the substance brings.”
        Anyway; SJ watch out for the body weight; you are going to get fat because the food tests better i.e. you are going to eat more of it.

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Nitricc,
          I agree with you about the weakness but still, it is called addiction. Humanity has long called it addiction and there is intellectual consensus there.

          Regarding weight, in fact I have lost about 17 pounds since January. After all, how can I gain weight when the PFDJ is still around? It is Buda, and it sucks the blood out of you even from ten thousand miles away. 🙂

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Nitricc,
          who can challenge you on this one – none.

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Dear Nitrickay
          Easier said than done…haha…I haven’t read the article, but I know it is going to be too delicious to sacrifice it in between my schedule. I will save it for my afternoon hours, with a fresh cup of coffee.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Memhir,

        Congratulations! A nice story to wake up to.

        Your doctor’s 30 day claim is correct (even three weeks), but KH’s 6 month warning is also valid. Nicotine addiction will keep getting weaker and weaker by the day, but dealing with all behaviors associated with smoking can get tricky.

        Familiar places and occasions, false medication (makes me relax), false sense of self-control (I am in control now, I can smoke one and then stop at will), hanging out with friends who stink, and many more like these are pitfalls for a relapse.

        It looks like you are doing great. More exercise will lead to more water consumption which helps our body remove toxins. Funny, but the healthier you get the healthier you will be.
        Keep up the good work!

        How is Saay dealing with his ego after finding out that he is not the Tarzan he thought he was by climbing stairs ahead of you all that time?

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Fanti,
          It is worse. You see, I never liked any sports at all (except billiards, the way we play it, naked without sticks). Sal got into running and walking some years ago and when he tells me “I was running.” I would snap, “a dog was chasing you?”

          He subdued his anger but I can tell it annoyed him a lot to the extent he mentioned it in one of his articles and I acknowledged the message. Now when I tell him I walked this much and that much, he tries to make feel guilty by being extremely encouraging. Well, he won, didn’t he!


          • saay7

            SGJ and Fanti:

            Belash Fedayeh y’abu Selah. To be dismissive of people who try to take care of their health is a Habesha AND a preordained approach to life (But I repeat myself.) Since you are telling stories…when running a marathon, you are already doubting your ability to finish it and you are asking yourself why would you do such a thing when you are clearly untrained for it, too old, too….and you will see complete strangers lining the streets to cheer you on, to play you music, to hand you water to drink, to lie to you by saying you are half-way done (when you are 1/10 of 1/10 done…)

            Then you know that State university? The one that has a lot of our Habesha people. You will see them wearing their brown sweater and leather jacket and jeans and dress shoes and they will look at you like you are a maniac and shake their head at your imbecility…

            So, you see, you haven’t just quit smoking. You have jumped camps from Frowny Brown Sweater Dress Shoes to Insane Chicken Legs*.



            * A guy who calls himself a member of “the running community” once told me, “we don’t have chicken legs! We have runners legs!” Ha!

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear awate friends, can I come with my 3 years old poem? I am sure you will enjoy it.

    …………ሽጋራ ሽጋር !!!………………..

    እዛ ሽጋራ ሽጋር – ደፋር ከኣ ዘይትሓፍር:-
    ድኻ ኣይገደፈት ሃብታም መሃይም ምሁር;-
    ሓዊ ሒዛ ኣብ ‘ተን ኣጻብዕቲ ቅርቅር:-
    ተላዒላስ ናብ ኣፍ- ኣብ መንጎ ከነፍር:-
    ስሕብ ተብላ ‘ ሞ ኣብ ኣፍካ ትኪ ኣንብር:-
    መልሓስ ሓይሊ ጣዕማ ድኽም ቅምርር:-
    ኣስናን ብዕክኽ እርግ ስብር:-
    ግሮሮ ጭንቅ እናንጸርጸረ- ናብ ታሕቲ ኣስግር:-
    ወዮ ሳንቡእ ትኪ ምልእ ከይፈተወት ሕቁፍ ዕትር;-
    ዒቅ ኢልካስ ዑሕ!!! ዝተርፋ ምስ ደም ኣሕብር:-
    ልቢ – ‘ታ ሞተር ‘ውን መትንታታ ግትርግተር::

    ማእከላይ ክፍሊ ሓንጎል ትመልኽ;-
    ንጥዑም ጠባይ ኣየር ትዕብልኽ:-
    ኣብ ደም ሰራውርና ትሶልኽ:
    ‘ምበር ሽጋራ- ሽጋር ትኪ ትኽኽ::

    ወይ ጉድ!!
    ኣብ ኢድ ሊቃውንቲ ተዓቲራ :
    ክትረኣ ተሕፍር ተቀርቂራ:-
    ነቲ ምሃይምሲ መዓስ ምሒራ:-
    ኣቦ ህጻነኣት ኣቦ ስድራ:-
    ተውሳኺታ ንሳ እንታይ ገይራ:-
    ………….ዝሕተት‘ ሲ እቲ ዝዓተራ:-
    …………………ልዕሊ ኣፍቃሪቱ ስዒሙ ዘኽበራ:-
    ……………………….ከም ፒሮ ከም ብርዒ ኣብ ጁባ ዘንበራ::

    ንሱ እወ እቲ ኣትካኺ መሲልዎ ዘምሕረሉ:-
    እቲ ተመላኺ ነብሱ ዘይመሓረ- ቁጠባ ቀቲሉ::

    ነብሰ ቅትለት-

    ኣብ ክንዲ ገመድ ሰቂልካ ሕንቕ:-
    ህድእ ኢልካ ምቅታል ዶ ጽብቕ?
    ‘ምበር እንትይ ፍልልዩ ኩሉ ኣየጽድቕ:-
    ነብሰ ቅትለት ዶ ኣይኮነ ንብሰ ጽንቅቕ::


    ነብሰ ቅትለት ድኣ ሓንሳብ እንድ ኣሉ:-
    ዕርብ ኢልካ ድቅስ ኣዕርፍ ትብለሉ:-
    እንተ ምትካኽ ሕማም ትዕድመሉ:-
    ኣብ ስቃይ ነቢርካ ሰብ ትልክመሉ:-
    ብከላ ዶ ኣይኮነን ኣየር ተርስሓሉ:-
    ገበን ዘይትቆጽረ ስለምንታይ:- ከመይ ኢሉ?

    ከንፈር ሲ:-
    …ቆንጂት ትስዕመሉ ተሃዋሲ ክንሱ:-
    ………‘ቲ ምልኩዕ ቅርጹ ተደቂሱ:-
    …………..‘ቲ ተፈታዊ ሕብሩ ሃሲሱ:-
    …………………ተዋሪዱ ብፊልተር ተረሚሱ::

    ናይ ‘ቲ ሓያል ሊቅ መምህር:-
    ናይ እቲ ክኢላ ሓሳቡ ዝዝርዝር :-
    ከመይ ገይሩ የፍቅድ ክሓርር :-
    ‘ቲ ከንፈሩ መዛረቢ ክቡር:-

    ኣጻብዕት ስ እንጀራ ድኣ ይዕሞኻ:-
    ርእሲ ወዲ ዘኽታም ይዳብሳ ይሕከኻ:-
    ክብረት ወዲ ኣዳም ኣመልኪተን ይበርኻ:-
    ‘ምበር ብሽጋራ ዶ ምጠውለጋ ምስ ተኸኻ?

    ነብሳ እንዳነደደት ተንድ ደካ:-
    መርዚ ዓዲላ ተብርስ ሳንቡእካ :-
    ጥዓዑም ጨናኻ በትኪ ትቅይረካ:-
    ኔው በላ!!! ወገነይ ነይቀዳዊትካ::

    it was only Semere Habtemariam who love it at that time I think. today we have all learned we should not wait Eritrean Ethiopian issue to be solved till we fight our egos. Lol. CONGRA OUR GREATE SALEH JOHAR

    • Hope

      Selam Kokhobay:
      I asked you repeatedly to compile those unique Poems in a book,the sooner the better, as some might steal it by plagiarizing your hard work.
      The follwoing is classic!
      “መን እዩ እቲ ተባዕ “-
      ……..ተባዕ’ሲ ዝስዕራ ንነብሱ-
      ……..ምስ ውሽጡ ተቃሊሱ –
      ……..ድኽመታቱ ኣፍሪሱ –
      ……..ዝወጽእ ሓምቢሱ::”
      Courtesy of Kokhob Selam.
      There is nothing like “self Control” and it is the most difficult positive human behaviour / nature to achieve.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Hope,
        Thank you. I noted you asked earlier too and yes there are people who are still asking me. in fact I am not posting poems as I use to do here the reason is because I was putting them in my book,,really I have been told a lot of ideas were stolen already, But my poems are lot almost more than 1300 and I have no problem. besides, I even encourage people to copy it use it in different ways including songs and if you notice you will find a lot used from awate Merhaba poems by others. that is okay as far as it will be serving the people.

        Hope, I have already prepared part of the work in Digital form and I have segregated the once which are not political ( connected with our situation ) but those only takes far to the fine world – so to spread love. as I promised I will hand over to you ( My friends through this wonderful site )soon,

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam SGJ,

    congrat and stick with it. Are you kidding people to tell you ” You stink “. That is offensive, and I am sure you can ‘t take it. Anyway keep unting the knot. enjoy your life without cigar.


  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Brother,

    congratulations! the best lesson learnt here is on how to control self. this is part of finding self I had a poem for you years back. Now, who can teach more than the man who went through – thank you and keep it up!

    • sara

      Dear KOKOB
      up vote! for the niceties to Mr sgj.