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Fetsum: Should Tigre mediate Arabic and Tigrigna in the current Eritrean Radical Democracy?

Fetsum: Should Tigre mediate Arabic and Tigrigna in the current Eritrean Radical Democracy? This Independence Day celebration went on in DC without Brother Vaccaro’s participation because of a little hiccup that should not bother any Eritrean

Fetsum: Should Tigre mediate Arabic and Tigrigna in the current Eritrean Radical Democracy?
This Independence Day celebration went on in DC without Brother Vaccaro’s participation because of a little hiccup that should not bother any Eritrean in the struggle. Everything is ok with his health but he needed rest understandably because of overwork. The brother will start his activities soon and we are in perfect harmony with this situation. I, however, did not get the chance to privately converse with him for the next move although, he will receive the documents we were working on (transitional formula) through the mail ASAP. I will try my best to meet him in Europe even for one day given the proper arrangement from the resistance to discuss the matter in detail, but I cannot guarantee you that it will happen. Please wish him the best without pressing the panic button because he is doing excellent resting at home in Italy.
I tend to see Radicalism from both sides of its duality, as something either way extreme. Clearly, anything in social science has two extreme sides that represent radicalism, a disaster to the peaceful existence of society. A rational person stands somewhere in the middle balancing things out to accommodate the objective reality and the adamant sticks to one’s subjective opinion believing that that was the absolute truth about a given common subject matter in question. A society sandwiched between two extreme positions on any social agenda or between two contradictory radical opinions is bound to exhaust its elasticity into destruction. In other words, we all have individual or subjective opinions on things but we should meet the objective reality at the middle of the pendulum for we cannot rationally approach it from our subjective positions. You cannot view objective issues from absolutely subjective points of view without the tendency to dictate!
What is obvious is that; no expression even applied science and mathematics can fully explain a phenomenon to the precise point: Formulas, languages or words cannot fully define reality; only can they approximate it. Truth in complete composure is therefore unexplainable by words and speeches; the reason it remains being relative, evident to state that no one owns truth and knowledge exclusively: We have no choice except compromising, sharing them through transparent relationships in order to peacefully coexist. We must understand that Subjective truth is only objective in view of the subject not in that of the objective realityThe way I perceive things remains to be only my truth not everybody’s. People, thus, should be willing to compromise their subject opinions to some extent for the sake of objective reality.
The concept of objectivity cannot exist without that of subjectivity’s, and vise versa. Subjectivity, however, can and should exist in society for there is no life without it. It does not have to completely lose its outlook for the sake of objective reality but must substantially succumb to it for neither can it legitimately dictate global realities nor can it survive in isolation forever. I have to be ready to compromise on a common subject matter through give and take transparency in order to coexist with the parties involved, with full right to exclusively dictate my private life. Anything else is Radicalism, a problem that has never produced everlasting harmony between people in history. It has always been destructive by universal consensus. The Skinheads, the KKK, Radical Feminism (not genuine feminism), Nazism, Fascism, Afwerkism, Communism, Talibanism, etc. are clear examples of radicalism: Thus, an obstinate, egoist and arrogant mind most probably ends up becoming Radical for whatever!
Eritrean Radicalism: Like any society in struggle for freedom and democracy, we are experiencing different types of radicalism in the resistance. Some of us refuse to compromise insisting of spotting the truth or the solution to the common Eritrean dilemma. We think we own KNOWLEDGE exclusively! We think we were 100% correct in this life where the term absolute does not practically exist. We reflect this dictatorial character through chronic intellectual chauvinism. Others may stick with the past trying to stop the course of history from going forward: they ignore the concrete reality instead, starting from many years back in psychological time and entertaining issues totally immaterial to the current Eritrean sociological realities.
What is sad is that our society is surviving extremely the hard way while we are wasting our energy and time on self aggrandizement and immobile philosophical hallucination. We radicalize for image instead of liberalizing the mind for the sake of society, but we are not the only ones. The world is infested with uptight and rigid individuals as much as it is full of flexible and rational people to balance out the mess! You need to remember that our experience is a human experience that will be repaired in the near future by rational Eritreans. Nothing is exceptional about our situation (dictatorship) that has been experienced by every society on this planet to bitterly grieve about as if it is exclusively personal. We should face our dilemma as it comes and strive to improve our situation through participation firmly believing that we are responsible for our condition. Do not believe people who exaggerate our situation and present it is as something exceptional, a unique curse on the society. Yes our situation is a curse that is lingering on for a while but it is not unique looking at it broadly: at the end of the day, it is dictatorship…PERIOD. It looks dim and discouraging, but it will be history like all social curses in the past. One takes Aspirin for a headache; a tranquilizer for depression and a society must accept democracy to exit from dictatorship.
Dictatorship starts at early age and develops making subjective standards for people to either conform or suffer the consequence of rejection. Experience keeps on molding it to full potency proportional to time. A rigid person with “know it all” attitude that rusts at one’s idea refusing to compromise with other ideas would most probably dictate society given political power. We have this at home today. An intellectually dominant person with no room for entertaining other ideas in the flip of the coin would not hesitate to dictate society by force; in fact that is all he/she can do.
Individuals in this category are not transparent and assume of having the full answer for everything without the capacity to provide evidence based on local or external sociological experiences. I was in this state of experimentation when a brother (Abraham) called me from London to teach me something special: He said knowledge stays still between its entertainers (people, intellectuals, educated, etc.) to be taken advantage of for the benefit of society through transparent interaction. It produces harmonic and constructive result when the interaction modifies it to compose the entertained intellectual components in question. It improves in quality becoming highly productive to the common substance (society) because of the collective outcome. Through this, Knowledge transforms from potential energy to kinetic energy changing society for the better. It develops in essence through transparency! This dude rested his case with sarcastic smile and left me there to figure out the rest. Thank you my brother for this wisdom, but I wish I received it in person watching your style of infusing wisdom in my mind while attentively taking my notes! Even better in a cozy environment with good food and wine because I love your extravagance in downloading this into my consciousness in moderately tipsy state of mind!!
New democracy made by our communities: You see, our problem is not unique, though harsher than many similar situations elsewhere. But I admit we sometimes do unique things within ourselves. Something inimitable and interesting is going on in the communities; Democratic Radicalism or Radical Democracy, so to say. As you know, Yemane Monkey invented a unique concept of democracy last year saying in public that “Eritrea practically exercises full democracy except freedom of speech”. This time the Eritrean communities have invented their own unique democracy to be discussed hereunder that well matches the Monkey’s extraordinary creativity. I believe both democratic inventions are made of strange Eritrean minds, thus original treasure of the Eritrean people needless to say that they are patentable for uniqueness although unusable by decent societies, all inclusive.
My experience testifies that the average community meetings in the DC area (I don’t know elsewhere) have been very thinly attended (20-25 people) mostly by people who understand English fairly well (may be 100% with a little exaggeration). But the meetings are traditionally conducted by two languages, Tigrigna and Arabic given that at least about 80% of the audience does not understand Arabic. A panelist tells his thing in Tigrigna and a translator does his damage in Arabic with said 80% of the audience quietly waiting for the next appearance in the Mother Tongue. Tigrigna goes on for a while and the cycle repeats. Another brother in reverse direction Arabically radiates his idea to the house and the translator changes it to Tigrigna for the panelist/s to respond. Back and forth swinging my mind like an electron in a circuit conditioned to move between the negative and positive polarities of a power supply under the pressure of AC signal. This unusual democracy retards the motion of life in at least three specific dimensions: Time; Flow of Communication and Efficiency!
Imagine of having a meeting on an important issue and wasting about 40% of the time on something the majority does not understand. A quiet audience seemingly tranquilized by this sedative hypnosis experiencing it with maximum inhibition in the presence of comfortable ambience for frank, honest and transparent communication because of the inbuilt fear and mistrust caused by our enemies in consecutively oppressive eras and our own exaggerative and pretentious nature. Hypocrisy disallows the real inner-feeling from being freely expressed in this situation where you see individuals writing something on a paper or scratching the body out of impatience and nervousness; probably snoozing a little bit as well; who knows?. I ended up drawing a weird geometric figure I have never imagined before in one of these occasions, God knows what the scratchers end up doing to their bodies!
As you know a speech penetrates deeper in the listeners’ mind when it flows freely without interruption. Eloquence can excite people into creativity when given a chance to effectively transmit an idea through the current. Questions arise from the flow and productivity increases through transparent debate. Here, an idea begins and stops for translation, leaving the panelist day dreaming till it is over. One staggers to start a decent message in the process of recovering from the interruption and loses the microphone again for the translator to tell it to a non-audible audience. The walls end up enjoying the two languages leaving the audience soul searching; and before they know it, the monotonous meeting is over, more significantly impressing the material objects in the environment than the target audience.
In civilized atmosphere, the result of any public meeting is measured based on its productivity, on how it effectively uses time to achieve a goal. We should then talk about efficiency (the ratio between the effect and the cause or the output and the input of an activity). Assuming the translation consuming at least about 40% of it, we are talking about 60% efficiency in this scenario with 40% of the time literally wasted on this radically inconvenient procedure. Considering about at least 15% of the so called efficient time as being sacrificed for the negative psychological effects (fatigue, boredom, tripping out, etc.) of the flow-interruption on the panelist/s and the audience; we now end up with about 45% efficiency in the overall project.
The last Eritrean gathering with Baito members where about 25 people that all looked capable of understanding English showed up was as usual conducted by both languages. I heard a DC activist complaining to the panelists about two old meetings where one of them was conducted with only both languages in the presence of international audience and the other used English with exclusively Eritrean audience. Interesting drama, isn’t it? I saw a translator in one of the events translating one of the languages (I forgot which one) to the same language; he either forgot the procedure or probably confused to lose his concentration: Do you blame him? I probably would have been accused of stuttering at a point in the process in his situation!
The catch: Eritreans are wasting their lives on this nonsense thinking they were practicing democracy while implying the opposite: Democracy in most cases allows people to communicate with the most efficient universal language that most people in the audience understand. It goes with the majority and never entertains about 20% of a common substance to dominate 80% of its component. The tiny minority governs the concept of this weird Community made Democracy where its believers unconsciously practice Communism or Dictatorship instead. This is Radicalism; a contradictory concept to Liberal Democracy! You can hardly see our style of conducting meetings in any democratic environment for me to entertain the notion that this Radical Democracy is a new phenomenon invented by ‘politically correct’ Eritrean democrats with shallow understanding of the concept, meaning that pretention governs the essence of Eritrean democracy into radicalizing its naturally liberal content to this extent of inefficiency. I think this new democracy is as patentable as that of the Monkey’s though equally useless to the society and the universe at large!
Now, knowing that the society cannot catch up with any other society dragging its life as such and that the Ancient and Native Tigre being the closest language to Geez than Tigrigna and Arabic; yet that it is also spoken by half of our society;
Should we respectfully sideline Tigrigna and Arabic in favor of Tigre so that the society can optimize its efficiency saving half of its life after a generation worth of strategic experimentation? Should we normalize the Abnormal, convoluted or Radical Eritrean Democracy through Tigre (about 10-20 years down the road) instead of eternally molesting the society with this nonsense? Is it worth making Tigre our national language instead of suffering the consequence of the feud between Tigrigna and Arabic forever? Does not this pretentious democracy reflect the fear and mistrust of Eritreans between each other? Do we have to sacrifice half the life of the society through this strange way of conducting meetings to prove that we were for social equality in the country? Doesn’t this practice testify the shaky or insecure relationship between the Eritreans?

Review overview
  • Hagherawi May 28, 2014

    “When everyone in the meeting speak and understand a language then what is the point repeating the same thing.”


    Is this the problem that is giving you hard time ?.

    If you have lived in a Middle Eastern country, where there is an Eritrean community, you may have seen that this problem is there too. Tigrigna speakers who have been in the country for decades and speak Arabic with their employers fluently, when they come to the meetings, occasionally chaired by Arabic speaker, want live translation of everything said. Well, it’s their choice, so it must be respected. The meetings may take longer, but this is something that cannot be changed by force, therefore, must be respected.

    Regarding Arab hate and racism, if you want keep your country away from them, you will know with time, that racially motivated foreign policies are very expensive. If Arabs reciprocate such policy with similar hate policy to Eritreans, you must be first ready to receive back hundreds of thousands of Eritreans who live in Arab countries, who will be surely deported or denied renewal of residence permits. You can even declare war on Arabic language and culture, close satellite channels, and see where that leads, and who benefits from such madness.

    An ex-Tegadaly who knew Iseyas in late sixties told me: “He rarely spoke openly his mind in public. But we knew back then, that he was telling people in private ‘uzom Aslam xaredti’. But nobody in his group ever challenged his racist ideas, and now we are all paying the price of that silence”. Racism should never be tolerated.

    Do you know how much Arab support got Eritrea to get its independence? I am sure you have an idea about that but since you hate them, you don’t see it. I am not disclosing a secret if I say, the Eritrean liberation Fronts got millions worth support in the form of military hardware, training, logistics, and support to civilians who escaped from war zones.
    After independence, Iseyas started to say “those Arabs”, in a way similar to what you are saying now. The result of that was seen when the so called border war started with Ethiopia and the latter crossed into Eritrean sovereign land beyond the disputed areas: the Arab governments were silent as if nothing wrong had happened.

    Is that what you want ?, may be.

    • Yohannes Mehari May 29, 2014

      Is that you Saleh Gadi? Still disingenous ! Is the suggestion that we need to have one single language for Eritrea, racist? Tigre will be the largest Ethnic group in Eritrea in the future, so why not make it official? It would get 80% support, instead of 50-60% for Tigrinya+Arabic.

    • abdu June 1, 2014

      Well and an excellent said for those who have ears and want to listen . But for those who who don’t like what what you told the truth must be a headache ; because they have a hidden agenda and want to see in disaster to satisfy for their greedy interest.

  • Geja May 28, 2014

    This is how YG explained on some of the issues related to some fake identities borrowed in Eritrea

    Jebha and its alien components

    Think about how the Eritrean sewra started: a number of Muslim elite congregated in Cairo, the hotbed of pan-Arabism, Islamism and Gamalism at that time, and decided to start a revolution inspired by these alien -isms. Then they assigned the task to a notorious former shifta, who not only had fought hard to reinstate Fascist Italy long after the Italian army surrendered, [5] but also had been assaulting native Eritreans for years after that. What is more, those elites initially provided Awate with a fighting force almost entirely composed of Sudanese police/soldiers with transnational identities. And to make matters worse, the Muslim elite declared that Arabic would be the national language of the country; of course, at the expense of their mother tongues.

    And in its course of its 20-years long mieda life, predictably Jebha’s inspiration came entirely from the Arab world. It starts from the very term, “sewra”, one that was originally created in the Arab world to be applied within the context of Arab nationalism only, where the revolution conducted had to necessarily be against a non-Arab occupier. [6] And when Jebha became socialist-oriented, it had to come in its Arab grab as Baathism; and at its pluralistic best, it had to seek guidance from the “Algerian experience” to flirt with “regional autonomy” of the mieda type when it briefly divided itself into five regional fighting forces. That is, for Jebha, it was impossible to imagine anything outside the Arab world; its world view was entirely informed by Arabism. That is why even the internationalist elements that inspired many third-world revolutions during that era had to be Arabized first before they could be digested by Jebha Arabists.

    If so, why is it that none of the nationalists (hagerawyan) ever added up all this Arab elements and then seriously doubted the “Eritrean identity” of Jebha? This is, indeed, very strange given that Eritrean nationalists have prided themselves with the fact that theirs is a genuine self-reliant revolution conducted by dekebat. What explains this odd phenomenon?

    There is a simple answer to the above raised question: the measure of “Eritrean identity” has always been how much one is willing to renounce (or “sacrifice”) one’s own, both in terms of one’s own heritage and one’s own people, for the sake of the elite’s “Eritrea”. Notice that this is a strange kind of sacrifice, for it asks one to sacrifice nothing less than the real Eritrea for an alien one that the elite wanted to construct. When pushed to its logical end, this would mean that at its sacrificial most, one has to be willing to “sacrifice” one’s identity for the sake of that alien “Eritrea”!

    To grasp the severity of this disowning phenomenon, try to imagine this impossible scenario: a Tigre-speaking Muslim elite loudly entertaining of having Tigre (alongside Tigrigna) as a national language. He would be immediately branded as a traitor to the Eritrean cause, as the Muslim elite saw it then and see it now, for it would derail their colonial aspiration (under its Arab grab). That means that he had to disown his mother tongue if he was to be accepted as a true Eritrean by his fellow elite. Or, if we put it in the language of the culture of martyrdom, he had to be willing to “sacrifice” his mother tongue if he wanted to see the kind of alien “Eritrean identity” that the Muslim elite wanted to construct come into fruition.

    • Geja May 28, 2014


      In fact, there is a vivid example from Jebha’s past that depicts how far the Muslim elite were willing to disown their own in order to embrace the “Arab heritage”: they burned all books written in Tigre at mieda! If this evokes the image of the medieval world where books of “heresy” were burned, it is because the very idea of writing books in Tigre was taken as heretic to the Arab project! The fear was that if Tigre-speaking masses began to read and write in their language, they might not be willing to give it up for an alien language, thus derailing the Arab colonial aspiration of their elite. Even the idea of Tigre as a written language coexisting with Arabic was too threatening to the Arabists; they thought that this coexistence would only come at the expense of the hegemony of Arabic. According to them, talking in their mother tongues won’t take them far enough from the habesha world they wanted to distance themselves from; that is, languages like Tigre (for the Tigre-speaking Muslim elite) and Tigrigna (for the Tigrigna-speaking Muslims) were and still are too close for comfort. That this linguistic disowning also afflicts the Kebessa elite can be seen from asking this question: why is it seeking such blatantly alien language as Arabic is not seen as un-Eritrean, while a Tigrigna spoken with an accent becomes an immediate suspect amongst them?

      Now, to this linguistic distancing, if we include all the Arab elements mentioned above, we can see why Jebha’s authenticity as a genuine Eritrean movement was never put into doubt. To the contrary, the more it sought its colonial “Arab heritage”, the more Eritrean it became, simply because by doing that it was traversing the longest distance possible from the dreaded point of departure.

      Given that the heritage that everyone wanted to distance from – be it the colonial modernists of the Kebessa type or the Arabists – was the habesha one, it is no wonder that the Tigrignas had to work doubly hard to prove their Eritreanism, and hence the Regal Disease becomes by that much pronounced in them. For the Kebessa elite, the Regal Disease started early when they disowned their fathers, and everything those fathers represented; that is, after having branded them as andnet traitors. Ever since, their Eritreanism has been measured by how much they could distance themselves from the legacy of their fathers. Moreover, in the process of claiming the Italian colonial legacy as their own, they had to erase all the suffering and pain their fathers had gone through in that colonial era. Once this disowning becomes the measure of who is genuine Eritrean, nothing was left sacred: language, history, culture, tradition, religion, education, society, family, etc. As they renounced their rich habesha heritage, they felt they were coming closer and closer to the “authentic” Eritrean identity they wanted to build ex nihilo. That is to say, this nationalist quest to identify themselves as “Eritrean”, to intimately identify themselves with the Regal Disease, has made the Tigrignas look inside themselves for enemies of the nation. Thus, not only were they disowning the social riches of the past associated with their fathers, but also actual flesh-and-blood population groups of their own kind: the peasants, the women, the youth, etc.

      • abdu May 30, 2014

        You sound like you have a kind of hate towards the Muslim religion ; when you keep saying Muslims ; a Muslim guy. Do you know Muslim is a religion ? so when you describe for particular things or to particular person or a group you should describe them accordingly not by their belief. Have you ever heard any Muslim people describing an Eritrean a Christian crminal by his or her religion even to Issias Afwerki and so many others they never describe by his religion; cut it out that your Majesty Haile Selasie mentality ; not all Eritrean Muslim burn the tigre book and there were a lot off Christians among Muslim group who also supportive to burn. So; bring people togther don’t be divisive for the sake of peace; do not reapit

        • Geja May 30, 2014

          ayte Abdu,
          I am wondering, why do you hate your ancestors in Tigray-Ethiopia and your Tigrinya language?
          why do you hate the languages you grew up hearing in Edaga Keren — Tigre and Bilen, the very people who gave you refuge?
          why do your elite Arab slaves hate themselves so much they burned their own father’s and mother’s language?
          Why do you hate your own history, identity and land of your refuge so much that you want to burn everything to become the savage and filthy Arab? What is your problem?

          Read this what Salih Gadi said who still has uncles, aunts and cousins in Tigray-Ethiopia. He is the same person who does not want to hear any Tigre or Bilen spoken in Keren:

          The burning of Tigre books – Saleh Ghadi’s account

          If there is one human being that would never be suspected of ignorance in matters big and small regarding Jebha, it would be Ghadi. So the idea that somehow he was not in the know regarding the burning of Tigre books in mieda would be a joke. Only he didn’t claim ignorance, but came up with an utterly benign version of it.

          Here is the strategy the Awate duo employ in their anesthetizing mission: if any damaging evidence surfaces, deny it; but if the chances of counter-evidence seems to be real, trivialize it.

          Here is how Ghadi handled the claim that I made in this article – that Jebha burned all Tigre books:

          “Saay, this is sounding as if a library was burned. The ‘books’ are actually handwritten, a few pages typed, copies for use as a teaching aid–sort of a curriculum of a few pages. Some of those who wrote it didn’t even speak Tigayet and all those who were pushing Tigrayet in place of Arabic were Tigrinya speakers, including Zemehret. I am not sure but I doubt if few pages reached the duplicator stage. But exaggeration has been the hallmark on such issues.”

          His first reaction was: how do I attribute the burning of the Tigre books to Kebessa elite? This is a brilliant move, because if he could do that, the Tigre elites would be absolved of that horrendous sin of burning their language – for that is what the burning of the books symbolized. First, he claimed that it was written by Tigrignas who don’t speak Tigre (or Tigayet, as he calls it)! The idea is to make it seem a preposterous idea from the very beginning. And in doing that, Ghadi found a perfect scapegoat: Zemhret Yohannes! This is a smart move since it would make many of the Kebessa zombies happy, that being part of the ongoing anesthesiology.

          Ghadi’s second strategy is to trivialize the incident to an inconsequential point: that it is a matter of few handwritten pages. Think of Jebha that has been printing countless pamphlets suddenly preferring to do it the medieval way, with hand-writing scribes toiling in the candle light, when it comes to books!

          Enter Amnuel Hidrat, who spoils this damage control by spilling the beans, telling the Awate duo that the burning concerns 1,500 printed books written by none other than Kerenites (which means that Gadi had heard it before over and over one thousand and one times, as a bed-time story).

          Since the spilling of the beans, we have yet to hear from Gadi on this matter.Courtesy of asmarino:


          • abdu May 31, 2014

            anes misseb zezareb zelaku mesiulnimber ; anea daa. mis zebee enda oy gedofo bel…..

          • abdu May 31, 2014

            I kow your hidden agenda; and your wish to Eritrea. But;you are fooling and wasting your time. Eritreans are a head of you you are not going to succced because it’s been tried by foreign colonialist and your Majesty Jonny( Haile Selas)and it didn’t work then and it’s not going to work now. For information Eritreans are now more loved each other than ever regardless of their religion.

        • Hagherawi May 31, 2014


          There are a number of Tigreayans here posing as Eritreans, trying to create a wedge between Muslims and Christians in Eritrea, not because they have love for Christians but because they want turn Eritrea into another Somalia.
          They are two or three rootless guys, but they use about 15 nicknames. They can easily confuse people because they were in Eritrea and are familiar with many issues we discuss here. Although most of the time they insult Eritrean Muslims (a tactical move that aims to implicate non-suspecting Christians in their hate campaign) they hate all Eritreans.
          The moment upgrades the website to include access logging interface, they will be exposed. Even if they avoid coming after that, old web logs can be used to trace who they are and where they are located.

          • abdu May 31, 2014

            Blaaaaa; Blaaaaa: Blaaaaaaa; Blaaaaaa; Htow ketow….

          • abdu May 31, 2014

            I’m very sorry and i apology; i just didn’t look at it your comment closely;But ; for some reason i got serious about your comment;and i have it read it for second time ; and it wasn’t what i had it in my mind as it i thought to be.
            Again i sincerely apology and i’m sorry .

  • ማሊሻ May 28, 2014

    ኣብ ታሪኽ ዓለምን ፣ ኣብ ነዊሕ ዛንታ ሰብን ብጭብጢ እተረጋገጸ ሓቂ እንተሎ እዚ እዩ። ዝኾነ ይኹን ሕብረተሰብ ወይ ህዝቢ ፣ ንሕሉፍ ናይ ዘመናት ታሪኹ ዝጸልእ ፣ ውርሻኡ ዝንዕቕ ፣ መረበቱ ወይ ትውልዲ ዓዱ ዝኽሕድ ፣ ቋንቋታቱ ብባርዕ ዘልምስ ፣ ቅርስታቱ ዘፍርስ ፣ ባህልታቱ ስርዓቱ ዘድፍር ፣ ደቂ ሩባኡን ጎዶቦታቱን ዘየኽብር ፣ ይትረፍ መሪሕነት ክጭብጥን ሃገር ክኣልን ፣ ናይ ገዛእ ርእሱ ሉኣላዊት ሃገርን መሬትን ውን ከቶ ኣይግበኦን እዩ።

    እዚ ከምዚ ዓይነት ነፍሰ ሙት ፣ ሕልና ዕሩብ ፣ ኣእምሮ ዕሱብ ጉጅለ ወይ ጭፍራ ፣ እንትርፎ ከም ጊላ ከዳሚ ወይ ዓብድ ናይ ባዕዲ ፣ ብናይ ገዛእ ርእሱ መንነትን ኣብራኽን ደው ክብል ብፍጹም ዝሕሰብ ኣይኮነን ።

    • Biniam Abraham May 28, 2014

      Very well said brother/sister. It is a shame and embarassing when people devalue their heritage and try mimic others.

  • Keren May 28, 2014

    Who gave some elite Arab wanabes a right to burn Eritrean languages such as Tigre? Who gave the Jebha sheriffs permission to burn Eritrean language – the Tigre – to promote Arabic in the late 1970s?

    There are 22 Arab nations to worry about Arabic language. It is not Eritrea’s responsibility to protect Arabic language by law and to denigrate a truly indigenous Eritrean languages such as Tigre. Eritrea has only a legal responsibility to protect Eritrean languages. If one want to study in alien languages such as Italian, Arabic, Chinese or Amharic, it is not Eritrea’s legal responsibility. It becomes your own personal responsibility.

    The Kunama or Afar shall study in his oe her own language, unless the entire ethnic group decides to burn their own language to commit ‘linguistic suicide’. No other elite Arabist or Arab lover should decide what Eritrean ethnic groups want to decide on what language Eritreans could use. Above all, Eritrea is not an Arab nation. We are Africans and we have our own languages to protect and respect, just like the Turkish, Somalis, Iranian Farsi.
    No one should be allowed to burn Eritrean languages to promote and impose an alien language on Eritrea and Eritreans in order to Arabize Eritrea.

    We are not Arabs and we will never be. Either we Eritreans or we are none.

    What surprises me the most is that when a nobody elite Arabwanab who just arrived from Tigray or came from a school in Gamal Naser’s Cairo or Sadam’s Baghdad trying to order the Bilen and Tigres of Keren or the Kunamas that they speak and learn in Arabic only by abandoning their own proud heritage.

    Burning Eritrean languages is not going to happen in Eritrea again as the Arabists in Jebha did. It will never happen. We will protect our own identity and languages at any cost.

  • Biniam Abraham May 28, 2014

    There are many Eritrean political pundits, with dubious motives, who strongly argue that English or Arabic should be the official or working language in Eritrea. To these opportunists and fantastis, we should just tell them to mind their own business and let us choose from our own Tigrigna, Tigre or any other local language. Period. The Arabic language should be used for the backward people in their evil missions of kidnappings, rapings, abudactions and killing of innocent people, any supporter of this barbaric people’s language & culture should just join their clubs.

    • Geja May 30, 2014

      The great Afro American poet Maya Angelou wrote:

      “The most noble cause known to man is the liberation of the human mind and spirit.”

      How many Eritreans are suffering in mental slavery so much that they hate themselves, history and languages?
      How many Eritreans are suffering in mental slavery that they want to burn their own identity to look like an Arab?

  • Yohannes Mehari May 29, 2014

    he Scramble for Arab Genealogies
    With the weakening of the Christian kingdoms, between the 14th and 16th centuries, new Islamic and Arabized kinglets began appearing and eventually succeeded in replacing the old regime [Yusuf Fadl, 1973; Shibeika, 1991]. The first was the Kunuz (Bani al-Kanz) kingdom around Asuan area in present-day Egyptian Nubia, to be followed a little later by the Rabi?a-Beja Islamic kinglet of Hajar. In the late 15th century the Islamic kinglet of Tegali (Togole) in the Nuba Mountains came into existence. A century later the Ottoman Sultan Selim the Second made a thrust deep in Nubia in the aftermath of which appeared the Northern Nubian Islamic kinglets of the Kushshaf, Mah$as, and Argo. Two centuries later the Fur kingdom of Keira was established upon the fall of the Tunjur kinglet. But the most important was the Funj Sultanate which came into existence in the early 16th century and which succeeded in spreading its influence over most of these kinglets. In fact the unification of such kinglets along with many other tribal shaykhdoms is what has constituted the State in ancient and present-day Sudan.

    The Funj Sultanate came into existence with slavery looming in the background and with the black colour fully stigmatized by being synonymous to ‘slave’. By the turn of the 15th century, Soba, the capital of the last Christian kingdom of Allodia, fell at the hands of the Arabized Nubians (known in Sudan as the Arabs) led by ?Abdu Allah Jamma? al-Girenati (‘Jamma?’, an adjective literally meaning the ‘gatherer’ for unifying the divided Arabs (?Arab al-Gawasma); ‘Girenati’, a diminutive adjective literally meaning ‘of the horns’ in reference to the royal horned headgear as was the case in the Christian Kingdoms). Immediately after the fall of Soba, a black African people called the Funj appeared led by ?Amara Dungus. He achieved a treaty with the Arabs after defeating them following which the Funj Sultanate was established. As the founders were mostly blacks, it was also called “al-Salt,ana al-Zarqa’”, i.e. the ‘Black Sultanate’. As it came in response to the growing influence of the Islamo-Arabized Sudanese it explicitly showed an Arab and Islamic orientation. The new formations of Arabized tribes began claiming Arab descent supported with traditionally authenticated genealogies. The transformation from African identity to Arab identity is reflected in the ideological cliché of dropping the ‘matrilineal system’, where descent through the mother’s lineage is only recognized, and adopting the ‘patrilineal system’, where descent through the father’s lineage is only considered. The small family units compensated for their vulnerability by claiming the noble ‘sharif’ descent, i.e. descendants of Prophet Muhammad. Eventually they would be enabled by this claimed descent to appropriate both wealth and power, something the immediate descendants were not ordained to have while Prophet Muhammad was still alive. To be on an equal footing with these tribes in matters pertaining to power and authority, the black Funj also claimed an Umayyad descent. Scholars in Arabic and Islamic sciences from other parts of the Islamic world were encouraged to settle in the Sudan.
    The Paradox of the Black Arab who is Anti-Black
    Thenceforward the Arabized Africans of middle Sudan will pose as non-black Arabs. Intermarriage with light-skinned people would be consciously sought as a process of cleansing blood from blackness. A long process of identity change has begun; in order to have access to power and to be at least accepted as free humans, African people tended to drop both their identities and languages and replace them with Arabic language and Arab identity. The first step in playing that game is to overtly deplore the blacks and dub them as slaves while being themselves black. A new ideological awareness of race and colour came into being. The shades of the colour of blackness were perceived as authentic racial differentiations [cf. Deng, 1995]. A Sudanese-bound criterion for racial colour was formed by which the light black was seen as an Arab, wad ?Arab and wad balad, i.e. white or at least non-black. The jet-black Sudanese was seen as an African, i.e. slave (?abd). The shades of blackness go as follows, starting from jet-black (aswad), black (azrag, literally blue), brownish-black (akhdar, literally green), light-brownish (gamh%i, i.e. wheat-coloured), then dark-white, which is considered as ‘properly’ white. This last sub-category is paradoxically stigmatized more than the jet-black. Then a host of derogatory terms was generated in the culture and colloquial Arabic of Middle Sudan, which dehumanized the black Africans, such as farikh, gargur, etc. In this context the properly white or light-coloured, as mentioned above, are also discredited. They are given the derogatory name of ‘h%alab’ i.e. gypsy. A Sudanese Arab proverb says that ‘the slaves, i.e. black people, are second class, but the h$alab are third class’.

    Stigma vs. Prestigma
    It is in these folk racial attitudes that the seeds of a Sudanese ideology of Arab-oriented domination over Africans was sown. It works through the mechanism of categorization, using:
    (1) the stigma of slavery, which condemns blackness and people of African identity to the margins or bottom of society and the cultural hierarchy, forcing them to dwell at the periphery of Sudanese national life, and
    (2) the prestigma (coined by the present writer from prestige to serve as a countering term to stigma) of the so-called free, non-black and Arabs, to entrench them in the power, affluence and influence centers of Sudan. This racial ideology, in its drive to achieve self-actualization, underlines a process of alienation and domination, creating a category of black African people who do not recognize themselves as black Africans. While posing to be whites, they do not hold proper white people in high esteem. They tend savagely to dominate the Africans by enslaving and stigmatizing them, and then they largely indulge themselves in the process of arabization to be more like the Arabs with whom they identify.

    This ideology of alienation has prevailed for the last five centuries up to the moment. It has been consolidated by successive political regimes – whether under the Turco-Egyptian or Egyptian-British or national rule. It finds its roots in the vice of slavery. No wonder slavery was once again in full swing by the late 20th century as a result of an extreme intensification of arabization, or the process of prestigmatic Islamo-Arabism, by the State. By sublimating the Arab as their model through this erroneous and confused concept of race, the Arabized people of Sudan have made themselves permanent second-class Arabs. The consequences of this do not only affect them, but also their whole country, now split up between Arabism and Africanism. It has never dawned on them that speaking a language does not necessarily equate becoming of the nationality bearing that language. In fact the so-called Arabs in Sudan comprise different peoples with different cultures but one language: they are Arabophone. The Sudanese people are Arabophone Africans just as there are Francophone and Anglophone Africans.

    A Belated Self-Discovery?
    The weak fabric of this colour concept was torn into tatters when Sudanese prestigma or arabization came in contact with the Arabs Proper in the mid 1970s, when they worked as expatriates in the rich petroleum countries of Arabia. There, at the historical milieu of this racial bigotry, they were regarded as nothing more than black Africans, i.e. slaves. It caused a turmoil that triggered a slow process of self-discovery as a result of which the ideology of domination was eventually weakened. By the mid 1990s the image of the rebel leader of SPLM/SPLA, John Garang, who is a jet-black African from Southern Sudan was much more acceptable to a great number of the Arabized Sudanese as the real leader of the whole movement of the political opposition to the Islamic regime of Khartoum. The military weight of SPLM/SPLA would have never mattered in making that acceptance possible if the ideology of domination was still intact.

    Although roughly situated in the middle of the country if considered in terms of urbanization, the Sudanese economic centre is neither restricted to geography nor to ethnicity. Rather it is a centre with its own culture that comprises both power and wealth. Making Islamo-Arabism its main ideology, the centre poses as representing the interests of the Arabized people of middle Sudan, a notion erroneously believed by many sectors. People from the periphery are continually encouraged and tempted to join the centre by renouncing their African cultures and languages, in order to become Arabized. This complex process is made to look like a natural cultural interaction that takes place out of the necessity of leaving one’s home village and coming to live in a town dominated by Arabs. The cultural relegation of the periphery eventually ends up as developmental relegation. Within the Arabized people of middle Sudan itself there are different circular castes. As the centre is basically made up of Arabized Africans, an Arab proper would not merit any prestige. This is how the purely Arab tribe of Rashayda has become marginalized to the extent of taking to arms against the centre. The Sudanese power centre is very complex. In essence it is not only racial nor cultural nor geographical, not merely about Islamic nor Arabic origins and associations, but really about elitism, existing as an elitist centre of power and wealth, which makes use of all available sectarian clichés to determine and entrench status and privilege among the people of Middle Sudan. Its depiction as Islamo-Arabist is merely a reference to its core ideological bearing or leaning.

    This centre of power and wealth does indeed processes itself through the cultural agenda of Islam and Arabism. This ploy has lured many with power and wealth to identify with Islam and Arabism, and then implicating them in the oppression or subjugation of those who remain black and African.. Usually the spearheads used by the Centre to maintain its hierarchy of privileges and denials are people who originally belong to the margin, but subsequently chose with their own free will to alienate themselves from their people in order to appropriate wealth and power. The Arabized people of Sudan are in fact also victims of the country’s racial processing though they are deluded to believe themselves winners. This is because the basis of their imagined centralization are embedded in the permanent marginalization of the Arabized Sudanese by Arabs proper.

    However, where the process of prestigmatization is cultural, the process of stigmatization is racial. Swung upon this paradoxical axis, the ideology of domination is characterized by high maneuverability. If the charge is that some particular Sudanese people are anti-African or pro-Arab, the case of the Rashayda and other pastoral nomads such as the Baggara can be brought forward. On the other hand the evidence of anti-Arab prejudice in the Sudanese centre can present a sufficiently strong counterweight to the more prevalent accusations of anti African oppression. For five centuries, this confused and confusing game, which is based on deception and alienation, has been played. It has had its indigenous contributory factors as well as its foreign factors, such as the Turco-Egyptian rule and British-Egyptian colonial rule.

    The “Melting Pot” Perspective
    There remains the opportunity for a discourse on unity. As different ethnic groups from the periphery are being culturally reproduced in the centre, the mesh of these is being hailed as the real Sudan. Hence we now have the concept of the “Melting Pot” as the basis of discourses on national unity. The process of a centred assimilation of cultural and racial differences at the periphery seems to be gaining approval, but being based originally on the processes of stigmatization vs. prestigmatization it will always fall short of achieving integral unity right at the moment when the assimilation is deemed complete. The jet-blacks of Sudan who have been completely assimilated in the Islamo-Arab culture and religion are not only being racially discriminated against, but are still stuck with the stigma of slavery and consequently being dehumanized. This is so because the whole process is built on contradiction and paradox. Where the process of prestigma would draw the people toward Islam and a pro-Arab culture, the process of stigmatization continues to dismiss them on racial grounds. One can acquire a new culture in a relatively short time, but one can hardly change skin colour. So, blackness is always taken as a stigmatic clue to slavery. It is very usual to hear a dark-skinned Sudanese assuring others that there are also family members who are light-skinned.

    The Degree of Stigma
    The more black and African you are, then, the more stigmatized you become. Essential African features become part of this process of stigmatization – thick lips, broad nose, and fuzzy short hair. Other factors are blackness of colour, having an African language, and, lastly, being a non-Muslim. The most stigmatized are those who combine the three factors of physical features, cultural traits and a non-Islamic religious faith, like the majority of Southerners. The Africans of Nuba Mountains and Ingassana come immediately after the Southerners. Then come the peoples of Western Sudan regardless of their different tribal affiliations, and of whom the most stigmatized people are those who are originally from either Central or Western Bilad al-Sudan, like the Fulani and Hausa etc. Then comes the Beja people of Eastern Sudan who, although light-skinned, have their own non-Arabic language and are very poorly educated and can hardly speak either standard or colloquial Arabic fluently, and they are Bedouins, leading a life that is – according to the unjust evaluation of the center – very backward at its best. Higher up in the process than the Beja are the Nubians in Northern Sudan who are the least stigmatized for one main reason. These people of Middle Sudan, generally speaking, are nothing but Arabized Nubians, with some survival of Christian customs still manifested in their cultures. Nothing is wrong with the Nubians of the North except their twisted tongue, that is, their language, which clearly betrays their African origin. In fact all the people under the stigma have their non-Arabic languages, or rut$ana, their ‘vernacular’ (an equally infamous, colonial derogatory term). In Arabic the word rut$ana means the language of the birds, and this indicates just how far Arab dehumanization of the Sudanese people has gone. Some people of the Mahas of middle Sudan, who are the last of the Nubians to be completely Arabized, now vehemently deny to have ever been of any rut$ana. They claim to be of Aws and Khazraj, two antagonistically neighbouring tribes in ancient Arabia. The fact is that only 100 years ago Maha elders used to speak an African tongue, a rut$ana.

    Dr. Mohammed Jalal A. Hashim

  • Bus.Zone May 31, 2014

    This from became haps for trolls ,Copy and Paste get your your own thought

  • Emanuel May 31, 2014

    A side story – Sudanese court has sentenced a woman to hang for marrying a Christian man. This story is getting international attention. Sudan is a friend of Eritrea. It is concerning for the neighboring country to impose Sheria law to that extent.

    • Yohannes Mehari June 2, 2014


      “It is concerning for the neighboring country to impose Sheria law to that extent.” There is no half Sharia.

      Sharia law is the law of Islam. Sharia (also spelled ‘Shariah’) is cast from the Quran, the actions and words of Muhammad, and the collective reasoning and deductions of Muslim imams.

      As a legal system, Islam’s Sharia law covers a wide range of subjects. The stipulations of the Sharia law, however, are unlike any other legal system in the world.

      According to the Sharia law:

      • Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand (above).
      • Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
      • Criticizing or denying Muhammad is a prophet is punishable by death.
      • Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death.
      • A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
      • A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
      • A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
      • A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
      • Girls’ clitoris should be cut (per Muhammad’s words in Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
      • A woman can have 1 husband, but a man can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
      • A man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
      • A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
      • Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
      • A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
      • A woman’s testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man’s.
      • A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
      • A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
      • A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
      • Meat to be eaten must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah – i.e., be Halal.
      • Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.
      • The list goes on.

      Shari’a is an Arabic word meaning “path” or “way.” Today the term is used most commonly to mean “Islamic law,” the detailed system of religious law developed by Muslim scholars in the first three centuries of Islam and still in force among fundamentalists today.

      Shari’a tries to describe in detail all possible human acts, dividing them into permitted (halal) and prohibited (haram). It subdivides them into various degrees of good or evil such as obligatory, recommended, neutral, objectionable or forbidden. This vast compendium of rules regulates all matters of devotional life, worship, ritual purity, marriage and inheritance, criminal offenses, commerce and personal conduct. It also regulates the governing of the Islamic state and its relations to non-Muslims within the state as well as to enemies outside the state. Shari’a influences the behavior and worldview of most Muslims, even in secular states where it forms no part of the law of the land.

      Islam teaches that shari’a, as God’s revealed law, perfect and eternal, is binding on individuals, society and state in all its details. By logical extension, any criticism of shari’a is heresy. Muslims who deny the validity of shari’a in any way are labeled as non-Muslims (infidels) or apostates (those who convert to another religion) by traditionalists and Islamists. As such, they face the threat of being prosecuted for apostasy, a crime that carries the death penalty in shari’a.

      The mandates of shari’a are extremely harsh compared to modern Western standards. They infringe on many modern principles of human rights, religious freedom, and equality of all before the law. For example:

      Hudud punishments are the severe penalities prescribed by shari’a for offenses defined as being against God himself. The punishments for these crimes are seen as divinely ordained and cannot be changed by humans. These include 100 lashes or stoning to death as punishment for adultery; 80 lashes for false accusation of adultery; amputation of limbs for theft; 40 or 80 lashes for drinking alcohol; imprisonment, amputation or death (by crucifixion in serious cases) for highway robbery; and the death penalty for apostasy from Islam. Methods of execution for apostasy can include decapitation, crucifixion, burning, strangling, drowning, impaling, and flaying. Apostates are denied a decent burial after their deaths, and the Muslims who participate in killing them are promised an eternal reward in paradise.

      Discrimination on the basis of religion is fundamental to shari’a. By religious edict, Islam must be dominant; only Muslims are considered to be full citizens. Jews and Christians are defined as dhimmis (literally “protected” i.e. permitted to live). However this protection is on condition that they do not bear arms, know their lowly place in society, treat Muslims with respect, and pay a special poll tax (jizya).

      Shari‘a divides the world into two opposing domains: the House of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the House of War (Dar al-Harb). Muslims are supposed to wage jihad to change the House of War (where non-Muslims are dominant) into the House of Islam, dominated by Muslims. While some modern Muslims reject this aggressive understanding of jihad, and see it merely as a strengthening of personal faith, most agree that jihad includes defending Muslim territory and Muslims from any form of aggression; this leaves the door open to interpreting any conflict involving Muslims as a case of defensive jihad. Islamic terror groups justify their atrocities by references to the shari’a rules on jihad.

      Shari’a discriminates on the basis of gender. Men are regarded as superior. Women are treated as deficient in intelligence, morals and religion, and must therefore be protected from their own weaknesses. Shari’a rules enforce modesty in dress and behavior and the segregation of the sexes. These regulations place women under the legal guardianship of their male relatives. Women are inherently of less value than men in many legal rulings. A man is allowed up to four wives, but women can have only one husband. A man can divorce his wife easily; a woman faces great obstacles should she want a divorce from her husband. A daughter inherits half as much as a son, and the testimony of a female witness in court is worth only half that of a male witness. In cases of murder, the compensation for a woman is less than that given for a man.

      Shari’a courts often display a clear gender bias. This is seen in the widespread practice of accusing rape victims of illicit sexual relations (zina), an offense which carries punishments ranging from imprisonment and flogging to death by stoning.

      Female genital mutilation is widespread among some Muslim communities, especially in Egypt, East Africa, Yemen, and Indonesia. Many Muslim leaders see the practice as essential for preserving women’s chastity on which family honor largely depends.

      In shari’a there are differences between the various schools of law as to the extent of what a woman may reveal in public. The Hanafi and Maliki schools of law permit face and hands to be revealed in public, thus there is no need for a veil over the face. Among Hanbalis there are two opinions, some permitting the revealing of face and hands, others forbidding it. The Shafi‘is demand that a woman’s face and hands be covered in public, thus demanding some kind of veil over her face.

      Both Qur’an and hadith urge modesty in women’s dress and command them to cover themselves in public. The problem is a matter of interpretation of the original Arabic words used.

      Most Sunni Muslims believe shari‘a to be completely unchangeable, although Shi’as allow for the possibility of interpreting and adapting it to new circumstances. Since the nineteenth century, there have been efforts at reforming shari’a in a liberal direction in order to accommodate it to the modern world, but in the contemporary Muslim world, the traditionalists and especially the Islamists — upholders of the traditional view of shari’a — are now dominating public opinion.

      Of particular concern for Americans are cases where Muslim litigants seek — sometimes successfully — to have their cases in U.S. courts decided by principles of Sharia law. As of May 2011, the Center for Security Policy (CSP) had identified 50 examples in 23 states “where Muslim-Americans had their cases decided by Sharia Law against their will.” In one case, a Trial Court judge had ruled based on Moroccan Sharia law, even though those involved were not Moroccans or even Muslims. In Tampa, Forida, a judge had ruled that a dispute between two Muslim parties would be solved in accordance with Sharia, overruling the objections of one party. And in a notorious New Jersey case, a judge had exonerated a Muslim man of raping his wife because Sharia allowed him to do so. (The ruling was later overturned.) The 50 instances cited by CSP represented just a fraction of the total number of such cases.

      • Emanuel June 6, 2014


        You really elaborated Sheria law very well. Learned a lot.