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መልሲ ነቲ “ሓውኻ ኣበይ ኣሎ” ዝብል ሕቶ። – ናይ ደገፍ መልእኽቲ ካብ ኤርትራውያን ንምጥጣዕ ሃገራዊ ዘተ (ኤምሃዘ)

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Review overview
  • habteab tekle June 26, 2014

    i will support

  • Negash Berhe June 26, 2014

    I support 100% the message the Eritreans Bishops sent to the Eritrean people. It is about time some body stands up that the current situation the people of Eritrea are going through is intolerable.

  • Hazhaz June 27, 2014

    Superb article again by the one and only Yosief Ghebrehiwet, one of the best minds of the Horn of Africa who had warned emphatically long ago Eritrea’s current predicament as an “existential issue” and the probable “extinction” ጻንታ of the kebesa people if they don’t want to tackle the issue head on sooner.
    Both of these prophetic issues raised by YG has been repeated recently by the Catholic Bishops of Eritrea in their Pastoral Letter.

    The most authoritative and recent Advanced Modern English-Tigrinya Dictionary of Tekie Tesfay, published in 2012, translates the word “extinction” as ጻንታ ; ጽንታ ::

    Taken from: Catholic Bishops Sounding the “Extinction” Alarm in Eritrea

    In one of its most poignant moments, the Pastoral Letter says, “We are vividly witnessing as the nation gets denuded of its people in all social aspects, as the presence of not only the youth generation but also of the middle-aged generation in the land reaches a disappearing point (darga yelon). What are the chances of a nation without the youth generation and its vitality making it as a nation? …” Then, in the next paragraph, they go directly to the crux of the matter, “We are forced to say this because it is taking place right in front of our eyes; for it is not just the continuous outflow, and hence the depletion, of the people on its own that is worrying us, but the fact that we are heading towards extinction (tsanta) as a result …” [2] (emphasis mine)

    It probably says it all that in the two excellent translations of the Pastoral Letter that have surfaced so far [3], the word “extinction” inexplicably disappears, even though there is no other word in English that would accurately describe the Tigrigna word “tsanta” than “extinction”; in fact, there is an exact correlation between the two. Here is how Semere Habtemariam, who claims that his is a better literal translation, translates that important statement in section 18 quoted above, “We are obliged to say this because it is happening right in front of our eyes; and we are duly concerned by the far-reaching ramifications of the continual exodus of refugees and the depletion of human capital will incur on the future of the country,” even though the Bishops make it crystal clear what that “far-reaching ramification” is: extinction as a people. Put conditionally, if there is a way of sustaining that mass exodus without the threat of extinction, their existential worry would have been curbed. In fact, they do provide us with such a hypothetical corrective mechanism in that same paragraph: the hope that those leaving the country would return in the future. But they are pessimistic on this ever happening, and hence their existential anxiety. Even though the sense of urgency in the letter is better captured by the AMECEA’s (Association of Member Episcopal Conference of East Africa) cryptic translation, “We are terrorized by the prospect of a drastic depopulation of the country”, it still remains critically wanting without that potent term “extinction”.

    What makes the deletion of the term “extinction” in both translations puzzling is that the whole message of the Pastoral Letter gravitates around that particular state of the nation, as the Bishops foresee it: a people heading towards extinction. Their “awyat” (as Abba Mekonnen Amanuel puts it [4]) is meant to prevent that disaster from ever happening; the rest happen to be details of that biblical lamentation meant to wake us up from our slumber. So why this omission of the translators when it comes to the most potent conceptual term of the entire letter, and hence the dilution of the message? It is as if the translators, consciously or not, have found it hard to break away from the Eritrean elite’s state of mind in its denial that such existential threat does exist. The worry is that if the Eritrean elite admit that such a threat does exist, it would derail all the epiphenomenal projects that have preoccupied them for years, projects that have to do either with the legacy of the past (the struggle) or with the “Eritrea” of the future, always bypassing the existential threat of the present.

    Full article, read at asmarino: