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Fetsum: My Experience in Denver Festival (Part IV)

Some people talk to God through prayers and others silently listen to him through meditation. Some want to boss following the mind and others neutrally visualize the planet through the heart. In this temporary Eritrean

Some people talk to God through prayers and others silently listen to him through meditation. Some want to boss following the mind and others neutrally visualize the planet through the heart. In this temporary Eritrean experience, I refuse to identify with my father’s sperm cell and my mother’s ovary that initiated my existence because they only represent the fragile body, not the essence that defines me beyond this life. I know my Eritrean identity will not last more than the remaining few years of my life; everything will end when I die. I, thus cannot complicate justice attached to my parents’ ethnicity and religion. This consciousness does not give me a better choice than looking at our matters from absolutely neutral point of view. How ever we see things in whatever perspective, there is only one justified objective reality that brings us to common understanding and that is what matters to me most.

I don’t know what the Conceptual or Research Committee is doing now and have no idea if it will deliver a research based analysis about the concept of TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT, at minimum (as it promised to the people in the festival and the Paltak Rooms to do “within 4 to 6 months” after the festival, which took place on July 6, 2018). We will see what happens in January 6, 2019; the deadline for the delivery but the least we should expect next month from it should then be some sort of communication (progress report) about this issue.

Although I cannot write about everything we did for humanly reasons I can tell you that it is all on the record (audio recording). In any case, we seem to have rested the Terms of Reference’s OPUTPUT 1 by producing the principles of the DENVER FESTIVAL COMMUNITY as discussed in the last article. In my situation, the correction I suggested on the mistake in OUTPUT 1 (rephrasing “the people’s struggle has no owner” to “the people own their struggle”) remained unanswered and I still had to struggle for it despite the strong resistance I was facing from Sengal. The brother had several times promised us to come back to it for correction and I was eagerly waiting for this to take place. Instead, he broke his promise telling me we have no more time for it and that the entire OUTPUT 1 in the Reference had been replaced by the PRINCIPLES we worked hard for during the last few meetings. He told me that the committee had already decided to erase it from the project. I had not heard anything like that from anyone of us in the meetings. This was inconsistent and deviation from the truth but I had no other choice other than swimming the tide flowing with the wind learning that he can be short fused and dictatorial in situations as such!

Clearly, there was no restriction as to how many people we could involve drafting our respective comprehensive proposals. We also had the freedom to work in teams. Therefore, Sengal was teaming up with Dr. Gebre and Dr. Mohammed, Dr. Saleh and brother Abdulla were similarly working together. I think Dr. Tseggai was working alone though absent in most of the meetings, but I did. As it went, we submitted our proposals to Chairman Sengal between June 5 and June 15 and he responded with the following text messages on June 17, 2018, 11:57 AM:

“Draft Proposal for Out Put II: Hi Guys; I acknowledge the receipt of your proposals regarding the above subject matter. Thank you all for your active participation.” END

There were four proposals in all and I will present them, at least one at a time depending on content and space. I will also include my comments for the record.

“Dr. Mohammed: Eritrean Sinit Festival: Principals of the Diaspora Eritreans Struggle for Justice “fetaw FitHi” to be disused in the Denver National Dialog:

(The Denver Festival declares that the “fetaw fiHi” shall be guided by the following “principles”:)

  1. Support for a revamped Bayto (ENCDC):Work to improve and strengthen our united front for a democratic change in Eritrea under Bayto; develop unwavering framework for creation of a strong national congress, constitution, and transition government. These essential Bayto improvements include: (a) dispute resolution mechanism, (b) accountability of leadership, (c) unity of purpose by all participants, (d) strengthening diplomatic activities, and (e) governance reforms within the participant political parties.
  2. Demand Implementation of a new written constitution in Eritrea:Advocate for the implementation of a new constitution for Eritrean to: (a) institutionalize its system of government with liberal democracy, (b) safeguard its cultural, religious, and language diversities, (c) preserve its two national languages of Tigrigna and Arabic, (d) protect the rights of all of its ethnic groups, include the rights of the Jebertis, (e) guarantees the repatriation of its refugees from wherever they are; and (f) provide for land proclamation returning land and property to its rightful owners.
  3. Demand the cessation of all unjust government controls and regulations in Eritrea:Campaign for the elimination of all unjust government controls, and restore the cultural, religious, educational, and social norms and rights that existed in Eritrea prior to 1991. These norms and rights include: (a) families’ rights on their children’s wellbeing and education, (b) public, private, and religious k-university education, (d) citizen’s religious, language, and economic freedoms, and (e) freedoms of press, association, and movement.
  4. Demand the cessation of the current inhumane Eritrean “National Service”:Campaign for the elimination of the current indefinite “National Service,” starting by letting all that are in the service more than a year to return to their homes with full compensation and opportunities for education, vocational training, and jobs with pay.
  5. Support the establishment an Eritrean “Justice Group” to compile records of injustices in Eritrea:Establish a group made us of Eritreans and non-Eritrean expertise to compile files and keep record of the injustices and crimes that have been perpetrated to Eritreans wherever they are and on those that are perpetuating these injustices and crimes on Eritrea and Eritreans.

Mohammed Beshir 6/9/18”

Comment: I believe the material represented his team’s outcome with brother Salihadin and most likely with brother Abdulla as well. Doctor Mohammed’s proposal certainly raised important points that we fully discussed in the meetings with the Chairman’s reasonable initiative. The statement “The Denver Festival declares that the “fetaw fiHi” shall be guided by the following “principles” is, of course confusing and probably an honest mistake because nothing was declared either by the festival organizers or by the committee to this effect at that point in the journey.

            I shared my views as follows. As for (1), I said that Bayto was a product of Eritrean peace seekers and is thus a property of the Eritrean people in general. Everything seemed good at first exciting many citizens about the possibility of a well structured Temporary Government coming out of it. But it ended up being a disappointment because it could not neutrally serve our people as demonstrated by its undemocratic, biased and unfair action in the feud between Kidan and Chairman Korneleos’ (Kunama Democratic Movement) on his opinion about Idris Awate’s relationship with the people of Kunama. Kidan fired Chairman Korneleos from the union violating his freedom of speech and Bayto illegally approved it succumbing to the pressure of few biased political parties within, and without the support of any case law in its own constitution. It failed to represent our freedom of expression in this regard.

BAYTO’s inclusion of the political parties in its structure was a fundamental contradiction with the universal concept of TRANTIOTIONAL GOVERNMENT which is globally understood to be the people’s property free of political parties and ambitious politicians aiming at political power in any applicable society. Unfortunately, BAYTO compromised its power as the people’s representative by composing itself with about “40% of the political parties in Kidan” ending up being their servant instead of the master it legitimately should have been.

 Doctor Mohammed et al.’s admission of Bayto’s mistakes and the need for it to work in the areas of “(a) to (e)” was, thus highly appreciated because it had problems everywhere. I, however, can only give it another chance if it publicly admits its mistakes and rectifies them by taking proper actions such as reversing its decision against Chairman Korneleos with apology to him, the Kunama community and the Eritrean people at large. Also in the condition it explains its long absence from the public, and purifies itself from the political parties to signify the people’s supreme power in our society, at minimum.  Although I represented myself as an independent individual and hardly mentioned GI at any portion of our meetings, I believe we were conditioned to explore other means of solution after very long waiting without result, when we came with a UNIFYING IDEA called GI as a portion of the people in grassroots classification and never as a political group. I, therefore, found proposal (1) very important for the Conceptual Committee to register as one of the topics for open discussion ahead with any interested Eritrean scholar in the league.

As for proposal 2, the subject is not something we can decide for the Eritrean people at this stage of the fight and we should leave it for a democratic system to decide in the future. But I believe we have a constitution that we invested time, money, public and intellectual resources for. Therefore, we don’t need a new one but amending it if necessary. I feel we need to have convincing reasons to start drafting a new constitution and I think Dr. Mohammad et al owe the society more explanation on this request. What’s wrong with the existing constitution? Which specific case laws appear improper and why? How can we improve them and on what grounds? Where in the case laws does the shelved constitution violate the rights of our minorities and that of the Jeberties? We need answers to these questions and see if we can amend the constitution based on the merit before requesting a new constitution because it squeezes a lot of resources probably beyond the society’s capacity to make one from the scratch.

As for the significance of Arabic in the society more than our native languages, the reasons taught in the forum to my best recollection were ‘because too many Eritreans since the struggle for independence have been taught by Arabic. They have been conditioned to adapt it as their primary language even beyond their own native languages during their long refugee experience. Therefore, Arabic has become inseparable to our people by incontrollable circumstances on the ground. It, should thus continue to be the nation’s national language with Tigrigna as it had constitutionally been for decades’. I stand willing for correction but this is how I briefly summarize the notion off the record. Whatever justification we may have about this issue, I believe in settling the matter from academic and universal points of view and I think the first question we should ask ourselves would be: Are we Arabs and what is wrong with our rich languages to sacrifice them for Arabic?

In my opinion, we should continue teaching Arabic in our schools for people interested to learn it.

We can also have translators to help our Arabic speaking people (those who were conditioned to be in this situation) to effectively communicate with the system without a problem. We certainly have to preserve it until we amend the constitution. We have to embrace it as a half Moslem society for understanding our holly books and practicing our religious rituals. We can only use Arabic for religious purposes like almost all non Arabic Moslem societies in the world. They use Arabic for religious purposes and don’t mix it with their national languages. I, therefore think Eritreans should respect their native languages and replace it with TIGRE (another majority spoken language) at equal level of significance to Tigrigna. This may take one generation to effectuate but would be more beneficial for the society in the long run rather than remaining stuck with this controversy forever.

            Apparently, there is no doubt the role of the Research Committee was to pick important points and creating the environment for open discussion without any form of fear and inhibition, once again defending the Eritrean people’s interest beyond anything else in the society. Arabic Vs. the native languages should then fall into this category by default logic. What it should do then is carrying its responsibility researching on this matter and academically settling the irregular and unique thought entertainment down once and for all. But there has to be more satisfying reasons for why the religiously diverse Eritrea with its own rich native languages should use a foreign language for a national language! Why it should be the only non-Arab country to glorify Arabic as a national language undermining its own native languages in its own exceptional way!

I am not an active member of the committee now, thus exclusively representing myself on the matter in front of the public. But I feel I am still telepathically connected with the Committee through my articles and, of course until I conclude this series for the record and sake of transparency. Therefore, I hereby submit my petit research on this matter releasing my individual burden vis-à-vis the Denver experience whether the Committee considers it or not.

Arabic and the world’s Moslem community Vs. National language: There are about 22 Arabic countries and over 40 Muslim majority countries overall. Those countries have Moslems that equally relate to the Koran. The question is how they relate to Arabic, the language of the Holy Book! Arabic is the mother tongue of the Arabs overall and they appropriately use it as their national language irrespective of the Koran’s linguistic format. Although many countries with colonial history adapt colonial languages for their national languages, the truth remains that the majority Moslem societies only religiously relate to Arabic through the Koran, nothing for otherwise; and here are most of them.

Rank Country Moslem Population In% Official language
1 Indonesia 227,226,404 87 Malay
2 Pakistan 204,194,370 97 Urdu/English
3 India 189,000,000 14 Hindi
4 Bangladesh 148,607,000 89 Bangali
5 Nigeria 95,316,131 49 English
7 Iran 81,529,435 98 Persian
8 Turkey 80,683,525 99 Turkish
9 Afghanistan 34,022,437 99 Pashto/Dari
10 Ethiopia 28,680,000 34 Amharic
11 Uzbekistan 26,550,000 98 Uzbec
12 Niger 19,502,214 50 French
13 Tanzania 19,426,814 62 English/Swahili
14 Malaysia 19,237,161 61 Malay
15 Mali 15,667,704 90 French
16 Senegal 14,584,931 94 Wolof/French
17 Kazakhstan 13,026,802 57 Kazakh/Russian
18 Mozambique 5,340,000 18 Portuguese
19 Philipines 5,000,000 11 English/Philipino
20 Eritrea 2,400,000 48 Tigrigna/Arabic
21 Niger 19,502,214 90 French
22 Burkinafaso 11,270,000 52 French
23 Djibouti 899,566 94 French/Arabic
24 Seraleon 4,171,000 60 English
25 Gambia 1,900,00 90 English
26 Ivory Coast 10,375,283 43 French
27 Azerbaijan 9,872,765 98 Azeberjani
28 Somalia 9,231,000 99 Somali/Arabic
29 Guinea 8,693,000 89 French
30 Congo 8,330,115 12 French/Congolese
31 Chad 7,827,653 54 French/Arabic
32 Tajikistan 7,621,700 98 Tajic/Pershian/Ruassian
33 Mozambique 5,340,000 18 Portugese
34 Uganda 5,030,000 14 Swahili/English
35 Cameroon 4,940,000 32 French/English
36 Kyrgyzstan 4,927,000 13 Kyrgyz
37 Ghana 4,914,000 23 English
38 Turkmenistan 4,830,000 90 Turkmen/Russian
39 Mauritania 4,171,633 100 Hasanya/Arabic
40 Sierra Leone 4,171,000 10 English
41 Thailand 3,952,000 4 Thai

Excluding Chad, a majority Moslem country with its version of Arabic from the list, one cannot help noticing that all of them use their native and/or colonial languages for national language with the exception of our neighbors Djibouti and Somalia. Why then Arabic in Djibouti and Somalia and how may their application of it differ from Eritrea’s? While the people of Djibouti use a colonial language (French) consistent with other societies, they sideline their native languages for the sake of Arabic in so far as the national language is concerned. This is unique compared to the rest of the Moslem world. For the benefit of the doubt, though; this country is, at least 94% Moslem and the people may not mind using Arabic, despite how I still consider this situation as exceptional (accepting a foreign language more than the native languages). For a reason beyond my interest and capacity, Djibouti respects a colonial language like many other colonized Moslems in the world but also accepts Arabic more than its indigenous Somali and Afar languages opposite to the norm. Let them figure it out, it is none of my business but I believe its society may be in harmony with the setup probably because it is religiously homogeneous (94% Moslems).

In contrast, Somalia (99% Moslems) uses Arabic and Somali for its national languages. This society speaks only one language and it is almost fully Moslem in religion. Their choice of Arabic for a national language along their native Somali appears okay to me because they use them at equal level of the relationship. They chose to go with Arabic instead of Italian or English (colonial languages) and I kind of justify the choice as something logically defendable. I don’t think this society has a problem with this dilemma as it seems to be because it did not consider its colonial languages as important as either the native Somali or Arabic. They did not undermine their native Somali in favor of any other language. Adding Arabic in the list of their national languages does not, thus contradict the dignity of the religiously homogeneous society (all Moslems). There is no conflict of interest here in my opinion and we can not accuse the society for choosing Arabic over the colonial languages (Italian and English) for whatever reason it may have been as long as they madeSomali the supreme language of the society.

Eritrea’s experience with Arabic is, however, unique in classification. It rejects its own available languages and the colonial languages Amharic and Italian in favor of Arabic. It considers Arabic as important as Tigrigna but more important than the rest of our languages including the equally popular Tigre. Our country, therefore stands alone with Djibouti for undermining its native languages in favor of Arabic but with about 50% or less Moslem population. We are the only country that accepted Arabic for no justifiable reason. We are also the only people that complicate our relationship and kill the society’s life by alternating between Tigrigna and Arabic in meetings. No other society practices this unique approach! We may, thus  do something democratic to get out of this self-imposed entrapment! Let us just be decent enough to give power to the people on anything concerning our society. In the absence of rationality, I believe we should agree to resolve this issue by allowing our people (all inclusive), as the supreme power of the society to voice their choice in fair referendumThis is the fairest we can do about this matter should the elite group of the society fail to reconcile on. Otherwise, our society will continue to be undermined and dictated forever.

Going back to Dr. Mohammad’s proposal, 2(a) is very good for us because it can provoke serious discussions on what type of democracy we want in Eritrea. Dialogue on this subject can produce remarkable result in my opinion because there are quiet a few forms of democracy in the world today, needless to say our immediate political future after the dictator is expected to be some form of democracy that needs solid preparation at this stage of the struggle. I think the Conceptual Committee should research this area as one of its major assignments but I substantially support the rest of the points in proposal (2) and proposals (3-5). I will disclose the second comprehensive proposal next. To be continued!

Review overview
  • keshi mars December 27, 2018

    Hello Assenna

    and with due respect Brother Fitsum,

    Well first I didn’t read your article in its entirety. Sorry, I got bored in the first few sentences as it was talking about your belief system, which is irrelevant. In fact, you should excuse yourself from participating in a leadership capacity (level) in any public interest as you tried to justify your mere existence as an Eritrean is short and does not matter. Well people whom I know and respect themselves and their belief they don’t mess up with politics. That is right. The Jehovah witness when they said “We wont vote for referendum.” They meant, “We follow God’s rules not worldly rules and please excuse us from whatever you do.” Their choice should had been respected and left to themselves. But Isaias always wants to control and he did not respect their choice. He messed up with not only the lives of the Jehovah but everybody.

    • Asmara Eritrea December 27, 2018

      Some people like I have of course given up on God. Tell me, if there was a God why would he allow the people of Eritrea to suffer in perpetuity? Are the Eritreans more sinners than others? And please do not say there are other countries such as Yemen suffering even more. If they are why doesn’t this God wherever he is stop suffering altogether? Teach them a lesson? I as a human being wouldn’t burn my children just to teach them a lesson.

      We Eritreans are the only ones who can bring a change in our country. Forget waiting on anyone else, including God.

      Eritrea forever, death to dictatorship.

  • Tsehaye December 28, 2018

    Dear Fetaum,

    This is one of the best articles you ever wrote. I can clearly see you are gradually becoming an independent thinker. Your stand on the language issue raised by Dr. Mohammed in part 2 is remarkable. I deeply despise the cancerous fanatical islamists, but I cannot hide my admiration to Dr. Mohammed for advocating on behalf of his constituency. Everything he wrote in in party 1 and 2 has been said by every moslem elite in the diaspora. Their mission is not to establish a nation that respects and treats its people with dignity but to dominate Eritrea using their archaic religious rules. Once bitten twice shy. We. will not get fooled again.

    • Tsehaye December 28, 2018

      Dear Fetsum,

      My apology for misspelling your name in my earlier comment.


    • fetsum December 30, 2018

      Dear Tsehaye;
      “I deeply despise the cancerous fanatical islamists” can change to ‘we have a religiously affiliated difference that can be rectified through honest democracy”. I am sure there are elite moslems that think otherwise as well. we cannot generalize and conclude. Nor can we ignore an idea based on our individual commonsense. we just have to work sticking with universal and democratic values and get rid of our differences. remember the cancerous Agazians on the other side of the fence. agreement on how to democratically resolve the issues will eventually resolve it but only if we surrender power to the people.

  • k.tewolde December 28, 2018

    The one language the Eritrean people are speaking today is the language of plea for freedom from the yoke of tyranny,destitution,poverty and a lawful society which respects the basic right of the human species in the 21st century,not a menu of languages to convey it.If we cannot address this issue head on and device a weapon to decapitate it once and for all, either are we beating around the bushes or there is no intent.Please post! it is just a view.

  • Kidane December 30, 2018

    Dear Fitsum, First, once more, thank you for being candid and transparent in the name of democracy, which most of us do not know it’s true meaning. I really appreciate you for being consistent on the issue of the language that we discussed some years back on this very forum vis-a-vis ‘Our Voice.” All of us pretend to be experts on democracy when in reality we do not acknowledge the fact that power belongs to the general public, “majority rule”, through voting rights. If this was not the case, the dormant bayto would have saved so many Eritrean lives by galvanizing us all. Instead,fighting over issues like official languages that could be solved after we saved our people by eliminating the evil dictator, these so called political leaders are happy that our youth continue to perish. Many of us know which ones are pushing the divisive issues like languages to weaken the opposition camp. These individuals want the Eritreans exterminated just like the dictator. The evil dictator and these crooked leaders do not want to see a peaceful and prosperous Eritrea because we will remember the past and their non=ending divisive agendas. It is high time we Eritreans openly call their names and expose their divisive agendas. The self appointed leaders should never be allowed to sabotage the opposition camp. They do not legally represent any Eritrean tribe. Till the Eritrean people get rid of the evil dictator and speak through their elected reps, we should not allow any national agenda of the magnitude of languages, flags, Awate, etc.
    If and when that happens, just like in the past, I agree with you 100% that Tigre should be the second official national language. Every Eritrean should learn both Tigrigna and Tigre.
    Let’s be honest, the reason the crooked leaders insist on the Arabic language is a) their hatred to everything Tigrigna b)PARANOIA- the language, religion, and culture they despise should not influence theirs c) In their paranoid mind they would feel inferior to assimilate with everything tigrigna. This backward mentality is being practiced by the Oromos of Ethiopia, using latin alphabets over geez. Ergo, it is no surprise that we Africann are at the bottom on everything on ths planet. Just like the few crooked leaders of the opposition camp, we glorify what outsiders invent and trush ours. Let me point out to these leaders that Arabic is spoken by Christians as well and geez plus Tigrigna will always remain among the oldest civilization. Look at the hatred driven twisted logic, it is acceptable for these opposition leaders to live comfortablly in the western world by learning their language and abiding by their rules but can NOT entertain the idea of living side by side with their own brothers. In our adapted countries, we all live and work with people from different back grounds. Some of us have close non-Eritreans friends while some open minded people have married outside their tribe. But some shameful educated Eritreans are hell bent to see the Eritrean people exterminated by the evil dictator and his allies. Just like him they are aware that they will never set foot in Eritrea let alone lead the very same people they are exposing to unprecedented injustice. Their message, IF WE DO NOT GET WHAT WE WANT, LET THE ERITREAN PEOPLE SUFFER MORE, has been loud and clear for some time. How else can someone justify the death and suffering of thousands of innocent Eritreans while living comfortably in the western countries watching his children grow? How can someone forget the humanitarian assistance he/she received from others and become heartless when innocent children die day in day out?
    Dear Fetsum, please keep informing us and expose these paranoid individuals. . .

    • Tsehaye December 30, 2018

      Dear Kidane,

      Thank you for the prolific comment. The proponents of Arabic and Tigrigna official language have always been the same people. There is none other than the Jeberti elites. No one advocates and defends the Arabic language more than this dangerous entity. According to the book of ኣይንፋላለ, there were only two people who spoke Arabic perfectly out of the whole Al-Rabita Al-Islamya members of the Eritrean parliament in the 1950. One of them was Akito and the other one whose name I forgot was a Jeberti from Asmara. If that was the case then, why did the Al-Rabita Al-Islamya party demanded Arabic as an official language instead of Tigre? The reason is obvious and it is detailed in your comment as well as in the book of ኣይንፋላለ. When the Social Affairs Department of the ELF (ሕብረተ-ሰብኣዊ ቤት ጽሕፈት) prepared several books in Tigre for schools and other teaching materials, the Moslem elites who had the upper hand in the ELF order all the books to be burned. Years of work to prepare the books went down the drain. I think identifying the culprit is 50% of the solution to a problem. We should know the background of the people who are talking on behalf of Arabic. The Jeberti elites are at the forefront. Saleh Gadi and Saleh Younis are a couple of examples who have written numerous articles over the years to make us believe that Arabic has always been part and parcel of Moslem Eritreans. Let us tell them that the game is over. We cannot play ሓሸውየ anymore.

    • fetsum December 30, 2018

      Dear Kidane;
      “These individuals want the Eritreans exterminated just like the dictator.” I don’t think so brother and I am sure we all love our country equally but with different levels of passion and consciousness. “IF WE DO NOT GET WHAT WE WANT, LET THE ERITREAN PEOPLE SUFFER MORE” attitude cannot work because it is not democratic in flavor. We should be independent and neutral and there is a feeing as such in our communities that we can only resolve by depending on universal values and democracy. never be emotional here my brother but love everyone of us through assertive communication based on universal reason and justice.

    • fetsum December 31, 2018

      dear Kidane;
      “It is high time we Eritreans openly call their names and expose their divisive agendas. The self appointed leaders should never be allowed to sabotage the opposition camp. They do not legally represent any Eritrean tribe. ” My brother, I don’t think the so said EXPOSE THEM well applies in the situation. we are all openly doing our respective activities believing of serving the people in our respective one is doing things in disguise except the regime. don’t personify it my brother because this is not the only challenge of our society. we also have over 30 groups that claim to bring the best democracy in Eritrea. the foundation of the problem is the elite class’s failure to create all inclusive environment through open dialogue and brotherhood. The politicians and elites from the majority ethnic groups could not work under global leadership to minimize their conceptual differences through honest dialogue. We just need to work hard peacefully watching the drama till it fixes itself as a matter of necessity!

  • fetsum December 30, 2018

    Dear Kidane;
    you said “Dear Fetsum, please keep informing us and expose these paranoid individuals.” Of course I will exchange ideas with the people and certainly will inform everything we did for transparency. But there is nothing here to expose my dear brother. everything we did there was on the agreement that it would be open to every one in the society. My brothers showed up with their beliefs as open as they could have made it and we worked together to help our society in whatever way we could. we cannot classify the integrity of an idea based on subjective views and interpretations. we used our rights to exchange ideas on the open and left with harmonic relationship. therefore, I am not here to expose anyone for there is nothing to expose but certainly to exchange information with people. Please respect all views in order to make a difference once again based on reason, universal approach and democratic values but assertively communicate believing in the people as the most powerful and important elements of our society.

  • Kidane December 31, 2018

    Dear Fetsum; I read both your comments but before I state some facts, I would like to take my hat off to Tsehaye. and encourage him to keep his head high. Simply put, for years we tried to be diplomatic or played damn on this issue. At this juncture of our journey, the very existence of Eritreanism in question, there is no room for political correctness.
    Back to Fetsum, Like I told you back then you have liberated yourself to the point of isolating the “spermcell” and the egg in your mind. The self-appointed advocates of the Arabic language live in a different planet and will never understand your logic no matter how much you try to be diplomatic. Incase you forgot, unable to persuade the demagogues, you went as far as mentioning the “clitoris” and I challenged if you would argue about the constitutionality of driving with a veil in a court of law. They have not changed and will never change in the future. I have no doubt in my mind that these goons want the Eritrean people they hate so much exterminated. It is no secret anymore. Many of us know why and it is time we call their names and expose them everyday.
    BTW, you may have misunderstood my point, just keep writing and that in itself is enough expose.

  • Asmara Eritrea December 31, 2018

    Do languages matter as long as people are able to communicate with each other? One has to remember the people of Tigray gave us the Tigrinya language in much the same way the English gave the Americans their langue. That’s why we do not speak Eritrean in Eritrea and the Americans do not speak American in the US.

    To dwell too much in our differences is a very dangerous if we wish to build a country that is at peace with itself and indeed it can destroy it before it is born. Let’s stop playing Isaias’s tactics and work on those issues that unite rather than divide us.

    Eritrea forever, death to dictatorship.

  • bn'adm December 31, 2018

    the one thing that I don’t understand about the diaspora politics is. why all the obsession & fixation with official languages and I am talking about the two sides of the arguments – those pros and against, it is definitely is a question of democracy, therefore, we should leave to the public to decide, for now, our efforts should be to restore sovereignty & rule of law.

    Fistum I like to read your writings here, sometimes you surprise me with your very open and liberal views that i admire a lot and other time you confuse me and I am afraid today was the latter and for the reason above I can’t go in details.
    wish you a happy n healthy 2019.

  • Kidane January 1, 2019

    Dear Fetsum, I intend to send you some points in to your inbox regarding the issue at hand. Till then however, here is some more info I verified with my Frends from Somalia and Djibouti. Less than one percent of the Somalis speak Arabic. These are those who learned it for the sake of the Holly Koran and business travel. The Somalis are exessively proud/arrogant people to use a foreign language. We argue quite often about being a different race. In the US official documents the Somalis do not check the box for black-African race. Instead the check the “other” box and write Somali. Unfortunately, the majority being illiterate like the rest of us, have uncontroollable contemp on the “habesh.” In my usual discussion with my friends, I just inform them that they are victims of their own society that poisoned them all. No Arabic language in Somalia anywhere in any form.

    In Djibouti about 20% of the people speak Arabic out of which half of them are Yemenis. Nothing more anywhere.
    The official language of Djibouti, government, school, hospitals etc is French but on daily bases on the streets and at home the people speak their language, Somali on conversation with each other.
    Let’e clear the smoke even more with our case; Growing up I know the Yemeni shop owners spoke Arabic but learned Tigrigna to serve their native customers, the tigrigna. The few Tigre and Saho business people learned Tigrigna too but spoke their own language with each other. I vividly remember my father speaking with the Tigre and Saho including the Yemenis in their own languages to inspire me. I do not know your experience in Mekele, but for every Eritrean child, nothing mattered in the classes, school grounds and streets. We were all friends and respected each. When my father’s best friend aboy Ahmado came home, he was like everyone else. In short, the civilized society never poisoned us like the Elite Jebertis are trying today. I wish I can find my childhood jeberti friends Jaefer and Imana, to learn if they support the elites. I would support them had they suffered any injustice but trying to create animosity and division based on religion by the very few paranoid should never be tolerated. We know that they are trying very hard to implant non-existing fear in the Eritrean tribes to create a united moslem block that can fight the imaginary tigrigna “CRUSADERS” enemy. I know they including their spineless tigrigna mercenaries will not create any animosity between me and my Saho and Tigre neighbors. The “CRUSADERS” should support the likes of Mohamed Berhan Blata who has been victimized repeatedly by these paranoids.