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The two Bolognas in one

When independence dawned me and my colleagues arrived three months after and found the euphoria had subsided.  Our friends of the armature soccer club, Mitchell Cots, would claim we had missed a lot of fun;

When independence dawned me and my colleagues arrived three months after and found the euphoria had subsided.  Our friends of the armature soccer club, Mitchell Cots, would claim we had missed a lot of fun; this can only happen once in lifetime and it was long awaited non-stop music, and street dance.  In the morning hours of the 24th of May 1991 Dawit goes down town Asmara and saw the tanks rolling in the street of Asmara.  At the sight of Tegadelti Dawit was so overwhelmed by his emotions and could not help but shade his tears, tells me another chap.    Loving and sentimental person that he was, running tears down was an expression of his a happy surprise, atypical of an Eritrean. And so Dawit’s joy brought by the territorial independence lasted longer.

Teasing was very much part of the culture of that association but none was bitter or with intent to harm. This one was about Dawit’s   one year old daughter requesting Tesfaldent Briged’s song ‘Sembel’ a popular hit in those days.   We would jokingly say ‘How can Dina, a one year old send a post to Dimtsi Hafash requesting a song dedicated to her father?’ Dawit joined in the loud laugher.

Sembel is what Dawit called home.  In the Deki Bolis community Sembel means human warmth and care if afforded.   It was the heydays of the following 1991 and when the funds of love among Eritreans were full.

Yes, Dina at that age could love and be loved,  and had voice of her own. But where is Dina now? I will come back to this later on in my writing.

Last weekend Bologna was a contested public space representing two contradictory but by no means equal forces in the diaspora Eritrean community. One can say they represented polarities within the Eritrean political and social landscape. Viewing Eritreans contesting to make their voices hear in the two parallel events,  brings to mind lots of questions around?  We may raise fundamental questions at the stark contrast of the intent of the kind of participants and whether they really belong to one society.  What about the morality of the Eritrean society?   Morality?  There is nothing to add after the Eritrean Catholic Bishops letter under ‘Where is your Brother’.

For all the claims that  the opposition  is deeply divided and fragmented  in the two day long of resistance, justice loving  Eritrean were brought under one unified voice articulated in their  resounding of ‘no to dictatorship’. Whereas  the force of status qua invoked the empty ‘Bologna’ narrative that served Eritrean people as an icon in their quest for freedom.  This was greedily hijacked to serve a selfish goal.  In their feast of fools, the participants showed us their right place in humanity society.  Indeed, they proved to us they made the bottom of humanity as embodiments of humankind’s callousness to fellow humankind.  Closed behind heavily insulated camp they flirtingly danced to fascists’ tone.  To add colour were present the architect of the transnational control, the despot’s right-hand man Yemane Ghebreab and his entourage on their sponsored holiday.

The good news is that this occasion helped us measure HiGdef’s energy and calibrate its remaining supporters’ intelligence. Not any more priding in their numerical superiority, they can only give comfort to each other in their showy, unnatural, and boring rituals.

As opposed to the forces of gloom, in the quarters of the justice loving and their solidarity partners it was easy to note the spontaneous and human element that was driving the whole event. The Italian solidarity added a special effect through the creative enactment of the Lampeduza tragedy. The sombreness set the participant to join in deep though honouring the dead. Then there was the poetic representation of the episodes in two trans-Mediterranean languages, Italian and Arabic in remembrance of the victims of Lampeduza tragedy, a tribute well performed.




Now I will come back to the story of my friend Dawit, his first born daughter Dina, and mother Senait.  Senait happened to be my childhood neighbour. She is an example of Eritrean family woman. Both Dawit and Senait had hoped that independence was going to usher to a brighter future for their daughter. Overjoyed, Dawit had shed tears on that eventful morning of May 24th 1991.

Now to his utter disillusionment Dawit lost his first born beautiful daughter. Dina was devoured by the cruel sea in the Lampeduza tragedy and that very tender-hearted man was devastated as a consequence.

I must say I am not writing to incite hate nor remind my friend of his grief. I don’t want to add to emotional damage these insensitive fellow country people inflicted on Dina’s parents. But, we will not ignore the wound these selfish people with dead conscience caused by bringing their guaila closer to Dina and disturb her in her deep sleep and calm.   I want to say to Dawit, my friend   ‘Don’t let your heart be consumed by what has befallen you’.    Dina and all victims of the human crisis in Eritrea will never be forgotten;   for they have been immortalized by the united forces of justice at Bologna.

Justice will prevail!

Chefena Hailemariam







Review overview
  • selamawit2 July 10, 2014

    Dears Eritreans or Eritrean-rooted brothers and sisters!

    Once a friend of his son said to Bill Cosby: “You have great kids ’cause they were educted by great parents.”
    Bill Cosby answered: “We educated our kids but they also educated us, if not we would not be great.” (I don’t remember the dialogue literally)

    In this sense, dear brothers and sisters, don’t be quite while our family members and frieds are supporting a dictatorship which is destroying our people and our culture. Otherwise we are guilty for murderer also. It doesn’t matter why they support the destruction directly or indirectly . It can be for finacial reasons or for any kind of pressure. It doesn’t matter anymore now.
    Simply stop them or quit the relationship!!!

  • Semhar July 10, 2014

    As long as the mad dog ድያብሎስ! Isayas and HIGDEF are in Eritrea misery and death will continue.
    The only solution is to get rid of crazy mad dog Isayas wedi Medhin Berad, his son, and his blind followers HIGDEF just like the Libyans did to Gadafi, his sons and his followers. Eritreans should unite and get rid the tyrant mad dog Isayas, his son, his blind followers the HIGDEF and their burned flag.

  • aus 17 July 10, 2014

    The higdef leaders came to see the dance, and to measure the temperature of their foolish followers to mark how deep in their bones stupid they are! they don’t even feel ashamed to sit like hostages of Isayas nexst to the unburried coffins in Italy. When these hostages were most needed to say words of consolance to comfort the burning hearts, they dare not, but were hidden in Asmara with alcohol in hands; today they dare to dance, they have the audacity to stirr the eyes of the victim. Sarcastic enough to mark these hostage leaders who travelled so long to amass public support for their imprisonment, torture, custody and not least loss of respect.
    What about the zombie who travelled the whole way to bow down and kiss the murderers and applaud for their rhetoric lecture and crocodile tears; we want more years, more money, more death, and whole destruction of this land– the zombies applaud with huge voice, we bow, kneel down and pray for you because you are ..yeka’alo (God)