Do you know my grandson? *

Grandpa (history):              What is your knowledge of history my grandson?

Son (People):                    I do not care too much about the past, it is over, and it is dead. Moreover, there are no serious,    well researched worth reading books about Eritrean history. What’s important is today and tomorrow, the future and not yesterday. Why do I have to live in the past? Why do I have to pay for the mistakes done by others or dwell in their successes and achievements? I have to make my own history… What is history anyway?

Grandpa (history):              There are continuous and immature attempts to “change” the true Eritrean history today, by the current regime.  Fortunately, still today, there are a lot of people (who actively and practically participated in shaping our modern history) still alive, who can give you the real history of your country. Take care of them, approach them, learn from them and document your history in an objective and scientific way.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow… is a continuum of time and space. We cannot understand the Present without the Past. We can plan and prepare for the Future today. This doesn’t mean we have to dwell in the past, or live in the achievements done in the past by others. No… we have to acknowledge, respect and honor the great and good deeds and learn, take lessons from the failures, bad deeds, mistakes etc… that occurred in the past.

“Do not do the same mistakes twice”

The wise person is the one who learns from his mistakes as well from the mistakes of others. Now Eritrea once again is in crossroads in its history. You have to make difficult choices, and once again you will be tested, whether to overcome your obstacles or succumb to the unknown.

If you do not learn from history you are destined to repeat at least some mistakes from the past!

Son (People):                    Oh! it seems it is serious and frightening! Can you elaborate on that please? What is to be done? What are the challenges?

Grandpa (history):              Eritrea is being ruled by a ruthless dictator and a bunch of worthless sycophants, who didn’t learn from history. They forgot the recommendations and entrust of our martyrs and all they care about is “how to stay in power as long as possible”, by using any means. But the main problem is their die-hard supporters, those people who stand at the wrong side of history. They are naïve, authoritarian and justice blind people. It is common that some people are subjective, irrational, value loaded, conventional…stand with the oppressor, tyrant etc…because he is from their region, religion or tribe.

It simply means: if injustice, oppression is done by one of us, against others it is OK, we can defend “our” leader. It is a serious sign of decadency, hypocrisy and mediocre minds. That’s way the problems and civil wars in the 3rd world never end. We had similar people in the past; it seems history is repeating itself in a different way.

Son (People):                    Please clarify; I am unable to follow properly?

Grandpa (history):              It is the a – b – c of colonizers and dictators to employ the “divide and rule” method, and that’s at its peak in today’s Eritrea. DIA is slowly but gradually destroying the social values of our society. He is destroying the social fabrics that hold and contain our country united. Moreover, he is aggravating the situation by sowing seeds of discord and enmity for the future in Eritrea. He is doing all that just to stay in power. The consequences will be serious and needs hard work, understanding and maturity by the future leaders of Eritrea. They will inherit a country in shambles, in coma and dysfunctional in all of its aspects. Change will be possible but very demanding and difficult. That’s what Siad Barre of Somalia exactly did, and after his departure the Somali people are unable to form a country, they are unable and incapable to reach consensus. Mutual respect, social harmony, partnership etc…disappeared and were replaces by fear, mistrust, refusal of the other, suspicion, selfishness etc…people are afraid to submit or accept “authority” because of the satanical deeds of the late S. Barre. He succeeded in destroying the unity of Somalia, albeit same religion and language.

Son (People):                    How DIA is sowing seeds of discord in Eritrea?

Grandpa (history):              The Eritrean refugees are victims of wars, their villages were burnt and many of their loved ones burnt into ashes. They became refugees to save their lives. They left their villages to save their lives, destitute and they were the backbone of the Eritrean revolution. The first refugees arrived in the Sudan in 1967 and the crimes committed by the TorSerawit and Commandis are well known and documented. It is a shame and inhuman/inhumane not to respect their immediate rights to return to Eritrea after independence. The first thing to be done after Eritrean independence was the “repatriation of the refugees to their ancestral land”, instead of creating obstacles to their return to their sacred homeland. That’s their right, because they were the first victims of the war of independence. Instead the illegal DIA regime confiscated their land and other people are settling in their land. This is an insult, a challenge to all people who lost their land. There is no choice left to them either to get their land back peacefully or by any other means, now or in the future. If the new settlers refuse to return the grabbed land to its owners, then use of force will be the only option left, or live in the Sudan as refugees forever.

Lately, some unscrupulous, lurid people, even from those who claim to be from the opposition camp, estimated the number of refugees in the Sudan to be around 100,000 people. But when I knew the person who claimed that was an ex-Dergue servant, I was not surprised. The objective is to minimize the number of refugees in the Sudan as much as possible and Sudanize them as much as possible, then they will not claim their land back. In the so called opposition camp, there are some people, groups and organizations whose only objective is to change only DIA to replace him and want the status quo in Eritrea to remain as is, as it serves their narrow interests.

Yes, I agree every Eritrean can live in any part of Eritrea, but first and foremost the following conditions must be met:

  1. There must be one and only one law, regarding the land ownership, investment etc…in all parts of Eritrea.
  2. Any projects made by the current illegal DIA government on other people’s land, is illegal and unlawful and it must be annulled.
  3. We must acknowledge that “Land belongs to the People”.
  4. The return of refugees to their ancestral land has to be a priority, and any settlers in their land have to move immediately, peacefully or by force of law.
  5. Next, any Eritrean can live in any part of Eritrea, peacefully and by agreement e.g. buy, sell, rent etc…and the government can make projects in any part of Eritrea, with the local people consent and agreement.
  6. There should a decentralized system of government, and each region of Eritrea to be governed by its people, at the local government level at least.
  7. We have to acknowledge that our “Unity is based on Diversity” and we completely reject the false slogan of “Hade hizbi hade libbi”. This is done to confuse and steal the right of innocent and humble people, and cannot continue forever.

Son (People):                   Is the situation serious? What has to be said and done?

Grandpa (history):              So, let us not be blind to our differences and ignore, reject, neglect the rights and concerns of those people claiming, complaining or fighting or asking for their  rights… for the sake of “national unity”  do not usurp our rights and continue neglecting our national rights and demands.  Just by oversimplifying things by slogans such as “hade hizbi hade libbi” will not change anything and will not fool nobody except some mentally ill or retarded people.  We should discuss on how to live in “partnership” protecting all Eritrean citizens’ rights including the minorities, nationalities, land and religious rights.

But also let us direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. The feeling of superiority or first class citizenship, exclusion, feeling strong and in control, chauvinism, dogmatism, negation of the other, opportunism, negation of “partnership”, domination, settlement on other peoples’ lands, negation of religious rights, imposing one language or “Tigrinization” of Eritrea under the pretext of teaching “mother language” etc….will lead to nothing except chaos, unrest, rebellion, civil war or even more serious consequences if not dealt with properly.

Son (People): Can you explain to me the “puzzle” how on earth can people dare and proclaim openly their support for dictatorship, oppression, and injustice!!!

Granpa (history): If you want to understand a certain people, look at their proverbs, because it reflects the mentality of some of them, and it tells a lot about them. In Eritrea we have a famous proverb, which describes such people clearly and it says:

“zbereqe tsahaina, znegese ngusna”

Some people used this proverb in practice and cooperated with mother Ethiopia and had slogans such as “Ethiopia wei mot” and had “shifta” terrorist groups killing nationalist Eritreans. Do you know what happened in “Beit Giorgis meeting?” I will talk about that on another occasion. When UN in the 50’s supported Ethiopia, there were a lot of Eritreans “Andnetists” supporting and killing for the sake of Ethiopia and unity with mother Ethiopia. Today, when the just UN sanctions are imposed against the illegal tyrant, once again some people are supporting the dictator, but this time against UN sanctions. These people, like to submit to the ruler and are afraid to defy authority, they are authoritarian.

Son (People): What is “Authoritarianism”?

Grandpa (History):AUTHORITARIANISM happens when the followers submit too much to the leader , trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want—which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal.” 1

Who are the Authoritarian followers?

Someone because, who of his personality, submits by leaps and bows to his authorities. Authoritarian followers usually support the established authority in their society, such as government officials and religious leaders.  Psychologically these followers have personalities featuring:

a)    a high degree of submission to the established, legitimate authority in their society e.g. king, tyrant, local chief etc… during Haile Sellasie era, some people were even fasting 7 days for the king’s prosperity and well being (God sent king), known as “tsom ngus” and the king was made a “saint’ by the Orthodox church, who regarded him as a holy man, and many people believed that. That can be understandable, if we consider the level of education and enlightenment at that period. However, what justifications can be given today, by those people who are willingly supporting oppressive and criminal regime!!!

b)    high levels of aggression in the name of their authorities, e.g. during the Haile Sellasie era, the “shifta” killed hundreds of people who rejected the unconditional union with Ethiopia and many people were killed among them the father of martyrs Abdul Kader Kebire and may others.

c)    a high level of conventionalism

To follow and submit blindly to authority as long as you benefit, at the expense of your country, countrymen etc…

Virtually submit to authority under all circumstances.

But some people go beyond the norm and submit to authority even when it is dishonest, corrupt, unfair and evil. We would expect authoritarian followers to  especially submit to corrupt authorities in their lives: to believe them when there is little reason to do so, to trust them when huge grounds for suspicion exist, and to hold them blameless  when they do something wrong. Hitler APOLOGISTS said. “The concentration camps were built were run by subordinates without his knowing it.

Authoritarian followers blissfully tolerated many illegal and unjust government actions that occurred in day light.

Authoritarian followers have “Daddy and mommy know best: attitude toward the government. They do not see laws as social standards that apply to all. Instead, they appear to think that authorities are above the law, and can decide which law applies to them and which do not – just as parents can when one is young. Everybody should have to follow the norms and customs that your authorities have decreed. If you oppose, then you are “not nationalist” “enemy of the people” “traitor”  “weyane” etc…

Son (People): Can education and experience have an effect on Authoritarians?

Granpa (History): Education and experience are meant to change, enrich and enlighten people. But that is not necessarily the case always, because some people never learn and change. In the 70’s within the ELF emerged an organization known as “falul” (means people not abiding by the law, anarchists, as called by ELF leadership). These people were vocal and had clear and numerous demands such as: call for Democracy, the 3rd ELF congress to be held on time, transparency etc…I remember the famous radio programs of ELF and the “ha hu bel Falulai” poems. Can you imagine an ex-falul, to stand and support DIA? Is DIA regime democratic? Are any elections held in Eritrea? Then why “falulai” you were demanding democracy in ELF and today you are supporting dictatorship??? This year’s Australian festival was attended by an ex-ambassador, ex-falulai, and active member of the DIA regime. “Le lu bel Falulai” how on earth can you support and stand at the side of dictatorship today, while you rejected and fought against it yesterday?

Is it region, religion, interest, hypocrisy or what? How can a learned and experienced man, stands at the side of oppression against his people? Did you learn from the past “falulai”? It seems you did not.

Son (People): How to justify people living in the west to demonstrate in support of oppression and dictatorship”!?!

Grandpa (history):    How could this be justified to a sane person in a logical way? Well educated people in the western universities i.e. USA and Europe, grew up in liberal and democratic societies enjoying the welfare and advantage of such political systems and societies and at the same time supporting one of the most ruthless dictatorial ethnic regimes on earth?? Are they mentally sick and retarded or just they are unscrupulous opportunists and they will jump from the DIA ship when it will start to sink? The answer is “yes”, they certainly will do that, because in the past the “andnetist” the ones who were chanting, bragging and killing people in the name of Ethiopia, deserted Ethiopia, when they received “ethiopia and mot” and when the Ethiopian ship started to sink, they were the first to abandon it. Similarly today, they will do the same, and they will desert the ship of DIA as soon as it will start to sink. Nothing new my son, opportunism, hypocrisy and authoritarianism run in their blood, my son.

They are really Amazing creatures!!!

If they are true believers on the PFDJ social and political system, why did not go and live in Eritrea. I personally know a DIA supporter who paid money to get out of Eritrea his sister, and then sponsored her as his wife to bring her to a western country. Also, I know a die-hard DIA supported, who participated in the demonstration against the just UN sanctions, who paid $3,000 USD, to get his brother out of Eritrea.

They are amazing creatures…they know the reality, the facts…and still support the regime, it is authoritarianism in action.

Son (People): “Mother Tongue” education is a cover up for Tigrinization, and a covert way to exclude Arabic language from Eritrea. Isn’t that stupid and dangerous?

Grandpa (history):              In Eritrea Arabic and Tigrinya languages should be made the two Official language of Eritrea. No more, no less, no discussion is needed at least at this stage and to do otherwise is tantamount playing with fire. If any change is proposed that should be done with the consent and approval of the Eritrean people. A mentally retarded person like the DIA, cannot impose his wishes and dreams on the Eritrean people. If people insist on Tigrinya to be the only and functional language in Eritrea, then they should consider the option of Tigrai Tigrinya as was proposed in the past. If Eritrea is to stand as one and united country, then the wishes, aspirations and choices of the “partners” must be respected.

Son (People): Is the Arabic language issue, so serious?

Grandpa (history):              Yes, it is real and serious and it was one of the main reasons why the Eritrean Muslims rejected the unconditional union with Ethiopia. Now after more than 60 years of struggle and sacrifices, the same grave crimes are being committed against the wishes of the Eritrean people. Again, you have to get your rights, either peacefully or otherwise, and make your claims very clear and no one should choose in your behalf. In Eritrea, our Unity is based in Diversity. Eritrea is one country but the Eritreans are different people with different, culture, language, religion etc…So, the choices, differences, wishes and aspirations of all Eritrean should be respected.

Son (People): In the final analysis, what do you want to say, Grandpa?

Grandpa (history):    In the final analysis, our most basic common link (all Eritreans) is that we all inhabit this small country called Eritrea. We all fought together and paid our dearest martyrs as dowry to liberate Eritrea. The price of the war of liberation was huge, in terms of time, human loss and destruction. Yes, we paid dearly with huge damages of handicaps, orphans, widows and became refugees scattered all around the world. All this was because we fought and challenged oppression, injustice and in order to be free from oppression of “others”. We have to be careful not to replace foreign oppression by local oppression. Oppression, dominion whether local or foreign is fundamentally the same and it is rejected. To live in our own country as “second class” citizens is completely rejected. We are ready to fight to get our rights, either peacefully (if given the chance) or by any other means (if no choices are available).

Son (People): Grandpa, I am not happy about my father (opposition) progress. What is his situation?

Grandpa (history):    It’s your responsibility to bring change my son! Don’t wait for others  to act on your behave. It is your responsibility to bring change by showing, saying and by factual negation by all means, dictatorship and oppression. The main force of change has to come from inside, from you. Father can help and his help is required, but also you have to play your role. The future is yours and you have to create it by your tireless efforts, hard work and perseverance. Currently father is in crisis, and he is crippled with opposing emotions. He wants to bring change, but unable to act due of being: dreamer (not pragmatic), reserved (not adventurer), tired (not active and young), disorganized (not united), selfish (not self-ascetic) etc… He uses your name and talk in your behalf but is not acting in your benefit. So, it is up to you to Fight and get your Rights, with the help or without the help of your father. Get up, Wake up, Stand for your Rights, Fight for your rights. You are the future; you are the expected change for better future for better tomorrow in Eritrea.

Son (People): Grandpa, is DIA regime a secular one as it claims?

Grandpa (history):    Well, that’s the declared policy, but in reality it is not. The DIA regime declares that the Eritrean people in terms of religious profession are equally divided, that’s 50% Muslims and 50% Christians. In reality the 50% are more equal than the other 50%; there is no Justice or Equality in DIA Eritrea.

Son (People): Give me examples, give me evidence, Grandpa?

Grandpa (history):    The 50% Christians as a whole, are more privileged are first class citizens. I will give you two examples to illustrate that.

Example #1. The Orthodox church of Eritrea became officially a member and joined the international Christian community, while the “50%” Muslims did not join the International OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference). Countries such as: Uganda, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Togo, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Gambia, Cameroon etc… are OIC members, whereas, Eritrea with 50% Muslim population is not a member state.  Read the following which was posted in Shabait, the official Eritrean ministry of Disinformation website.

The Orthodox church of Eritrea joins the International Christian Community

Posted by Shabait Staff on Sep 16, 2003, 19:57

The office of the Eritrean Orthodox Church disclosed that the Eritrean Orthodox Church has joined the international Christian community on the 29th of August 2003.
The reports further added that the orthodox church of Eritrea joined the Christian community that encompasses over 342 church members of the world with a unanimous vote.
The Special envoy of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Ambassador Yuftahe Dimetros, briefed the International Christian community on the origins and current state of the Eritrean churches.
It has now been six years since the Orthodox church of Eritrea nominated its own patriarch.

Example #2. The construction and building of “churches” in Eritrea is allowed and you find new churches in any corner of Eritrea e.g. remote areas, steep of mountains, places where there are no Christian inhabitants available etc…at the same time many Islamic schools are closed and hundreds of teachers are imprisoned and disappeared etc…and no new Masjids (mosques) are allowed to be built. On the contrary some Muslim Masjids were demolished.

Statement from Eritrean Muslims in the Sudan

Since E.P.L.F came to power in 1991, it continued to develop discrimination among the Eritrean Nationals and also E.P.L.F disregarded the role of all other Eritrean factions who contributed to the independence of Eritrea and played a major role during the liberation period. The E.P.L.F government consistently created a chauvinistic attitude with the vicious purpose to destroy the cultural heritage of the different ethnic groups. Not only that but also the E.P.L.F government is trying to change the history and the beliefs of Eritrean people.

In series of events the government of E.P.L.F committed serious religious persecutions, high among these persecutions the late incident in Seraye region that took place on 28th March, 2004 where a big armed force with fully equipped graders, loaders and tankers surrounded (Hadish-Adi) inside Mendefera city, and demolished completely four (4) Mosques in the town. Thereby depriving the people from practicing their religious beliefs. This took place regardless of the holiness of the Mosques and the religious emotions of the people in the city.

With this criminal action the E.P.L.F government meant to silence the voice of the Moslems in this particular city and in Eritrea as a whole.

We all know that according to the International laws any building that went around a century should be left as a heritage, but the government of Eritrea is insisting to erase any heritage related to the Moslems in Eritrea.

We as Eritrean Moslems call upon the International Community, all the Regional Organizations and all the free world to condemn this criminal act and press the E.P.L.F government to cease from persecuting the Eirtrean Muslims.

The Executive Committee of the Jeberti Group

Khartoum, 19th March 2004

Son (People): What are the lessons to be learned from the above, Grandpa?

Grandpa (history):     “As long as there is oppression and disparity in a country, sooner or later there will be instability, chaos and no progress. If there Oppression, sooner or later Resistance is created”

Son (People): How can we live in peace under such a circumstances in Eritrea, Grandpa?

Grandpa (history):              We all cherish our children’s future and we want our children and grand children to live in peace, stability and progress. That’s why we were fighting for, in order to create a JUST society, free from exploitation, domination, crowned by RULE of LAW, constitution and establish strong institutions to enjoy freedom of creed, speech and enjoy the basic rights of humanity. You all have to fight, work hard, compete and target to achieve these goals. You have to be positive and aim for  win/win situation and be patient to achieve your goals

Son my final advice to you is:

“Rights are not given, but taken”.

Also there are no rights lost, if people are actually demanding and fighting to get them.


You have to work hard for your rights, be conscious, struggle, sweat, and if necessary scarify, pay the price to get your rights. It is dearly, it is precious, valueless and it is the cornerstone to build any nation.


In a country where there is no justice, there is no or there will not be stability. Also acknowledgement and acceptance of the other (all citizens) are equal, will bring stability in any country. If there is justice, then rule of law, democracy etc… are possible to flow and emanate from it.

But if you believe that: “some citizens are more equal than others” then, no nation can be built, to prosper and progress.

Good luck, my beloved one, it seems you have a lot of challenge to face after the departure of the moribund regime. Sooner than later, the regime’s burial ceremony will be announced. Be tuned on the Al-Jazeera English channel. I will guarantee you, that you will enjoy the show.

1 – The Authoritarians   By: Bob Altemeyer   p. 2 (free online book)

*A dialogue between: Son (Eritrean people) and Grandpa (grandparents) the

symbol of knowledge, history, experience and wisdom.

Prepared by: Ahmed S. Salem

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Posted by on Apr 22 2010 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Do you know my grandson? *”

  1. abu mohamed

    هذه الارض لا تصلح للاحلام اسياس و اعوانه سوف تكون لهم مقبرة كبيرة انشالله . وارترية لنا فقط للمسلمين لا نريد لغتهم ولامدينتهم , مدينة الصليبة باجراسها صليبى ولانتشرف بها . ويذهبو بعيدين عنا . المسحيون غالبيتهم باسياس او بدنه يردون انفراد بالوطن , هى مسالة نكون او لانكون فى وطنن . ولاكن هيهات ونقول اعيرونا مدافعكم لا مدامعكم لكى نقدى لهذه شرازمة التى ضلت طريقها فترة طويلة و ضاق صبرنا عليهما انا لاوان لكى نستئلسهم من جزرهم
    اشكرالكاتب لهذه التوضيحات و اتمنا له التوفيق

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