Thursday, September 29, 2011

CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - የአውሮፓ ህብረት የስደተኞች አቀባበል መርህ

እንዲህ ጥሩ አሳቢም መኖሩ አንድ ተስፋ ነው:: እስከ መቼ ስደተኛ አውሮፓ ውስጥ ከሚኖሩ የቤት እንስሳት በታች እየተቆጠረ ይኖራል? እስኪ ደሞ 2012 ይምጣና ውጤቱ ይታያል? hmm, with this current economic crisis-i don't think there's much hope leave alone for refugees even for the natives. my fear is we'll be the scapegoat for all this mess which has nothing to do with us but created and excaserbated by greed.    CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - የአውሮፓ ህብረት የስደተኞች አቀባበል መርህ

CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - Ethiopia uses anti-terror laws to silence critical journalists

The paranoia at Arat Kilo palace is getting out of control day by day. It's just a one man show where anybody anytime can be accused of tererrosim, then charged, impriosned and then forced to confess so as to be pardoned. This kind old fashioned drama hopefully will end sometime soon. CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - Ethiopia uses anti-terror laws to silence critical journalists

CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - “ልጄ እንደ አባቱ የነፃነት ታጋይ እንደሚሆን አምናለሁ” ጋዜጠኛ ሰርካለም ፋሲል

79ኛችን ስንሰደድ አገር ቤት የቀሩት እጣ ፋንታቸው ወይ እንድ እስክንድር፣ውብሸት፣ርዕዮት ወዘተ በሽብርተኝነት ስም እስር ቤት መወርወር አለበለዚያም እንድእንትና ከገዥው ፓርቲ ጋር መሞዳሞድ ኢቺ ናት የመጻፍና የመናገር መብት የተረጋገጠባት አገር። ኧረ ባካችሁ ትንሽ ቆም ብላችሁ በግብጽ፡ሊቢያ፡ቱኒዚያ ጔደኞቻችሁ ከደረሰባቸው ቅሌት ተማሩ!!! አይነጋ መስሏት CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - “ልጄ እንደ አባቱ የነፃነት ታጋይ እንደሚሆን አምናለሁ” ጋዜጠኛ ሰርካለም ፋሲል

CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - Ethiopian Christians celebrate discovery of Jesus crucifix

Enkuan Abesanem/Happy Mesqel to all Ethiopian Christians. My family & our cousins used to gather to eat delicious various types gurage kitfos and had a lot of fun at our lovely grand-mom's (RIP) place in Gola sefer back then.

I miss the smell of fresh baked qocho (traditional bread of Gurage and other tribes of Southern Ethiopia, which is made of the roots of false banana), mitmita (very hot chilli), spiced up butter, aybe (gottage cheese) and gommen (cabbage). This's one of the days which make me feel like flying back home. Exile sucks!!!
CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - Ethiopian Christians celebrate discovery of Jesus crucifix

CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - Ethiopia suspends Saudi recruitment agencies

STOP SENDING OUR SISTERS & DAUGHTERS to DEATHROW and modern day slavery. When you guys realized that the Filipinos & Indonesians won't let you get away whatever abuse you were committing against them you found another easy prey-the despeate, helpess, voiceless Ethiopian girls & women. Our sisters and daughters were/have been victims of your hideous crimes for many years which among other includes rape, killing, body muitulation, food, water & salary deprivation, imprisonments etc; and yet many of your kins who comitted and still comiting such barberic crimes got/get away because of money and connection. A very good reminder of this horrifc tragedy was comitted on our sister Shewgaye Mulu at Gadhaffi's palace which shows the tip of the iceberg about the miseries of our sisters and daughters in middle-eastern countries. Nobody knows the whereabouts of thousands of our sisters and daughters: and yet you want to import desperate others to torture, kill, rape, imprison, starve??? CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - Ethiopia suspends Saudi recruitment agencies

CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - UNHCR Official Describes Ethiopia's Efforts To Help Refugees As Inspiring

hmm Charity begins at home first!!! How come the country is not making any efforts to stop its hunderds of thousands ''citizenz'' who're risking their lives everyday on red and mediterranean seas? CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - UNHCR Official Describes Ethiopia's Efforts To Help Refugees As Inspiring

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Öppna Kanal, does it really live-up its Name?


Silence won't solve the problems with a multicultural society


I couldn't agree with you more. I saw some people who has immigrant background with hidden agenda abusing political correctness of this country, especially when it comes to freedom of expression. I heard one Pastor sometime ago preaching his followers on Öppna Kanal (gov't funded TV channel which broadcasts religious, cultural, political programs in various languages in Stockholm area) not to send their kids to public schools which teach sex education and sexuality, evolutionary theories, humanity etc and he strongly recommended them to send their kids to private schools where they will be taught Christian values and morality. This channel is provided with good intention of allowing minorities of this country to send programs in their own respective languages but nobody knows/cares/follows up whether all these programs are being aired everyday are against the values of human rights, science, the rights of women/children/LGBT groups etc or not; because for a starter the programs are being produced and followed by immigrants themselves and most Swedes either don't watch (I wonder if they even know these channel exists) or watch but don't want to comment because they're often too scared to be called racist, Islamphobe, etc if they saw some transgression on those programs. This article is a wake-up call for the management of Öppna Kanal to sit down and discuss with the producers about their programs as well as look in to every details of the broadcast. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - Press freedom in Ethiopia

79 of us fled into exile and those who remained are...hmm see no evil, hear no evil, no evil. oCyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - Press freedom in Ethiopia

gulfnews : Maid absconds, alleging abuse by employers

There're thosuands of Hawas who're being abused, humilated, degraded, raped, starved and disfigured every single day at the hands of rich middle-east countries. Unfortunately, the culprits go away with these hideous crimes and the victims will be left to fend for themselves. This episode is not the first and the end unless tough measures/lobbying are made all of us. How many of our sisters, daughters should die, raped, starved, imprisoned, robbed etc before we say ENOUGH is ENOUGH? Sadly, these girls/women would keep on going to those dangerous even if they know life is harsh since the situtation back home is worsening day by day. This's what happens when there's no hope, future, jobs, decent living:(((gulfnews : Maid absconds, alleging abuse by employers

Nine tips for journalists shooting video interviews | IJNet

Thanks a lot for these very nice tips which I seem to underestimate. Now, I know why our camera crew made such a fuss whenver we went to do interviews back then at home:) Nine tips for journalists shooting video interviews | IJNet

Monday, September 26, 2011

I am Eskider Nega, too « Ethiopia: A voice for the voiceless

Yes we're all Ekinder Nega. He has nothing but empathy to his fellow citizens who've been brutalized, dehumanized, starved, killed, imprisoned, forced to exile, raped for the last 20yrs by one of the worst tyrants in the world. He could have been co-opted like many of his counterparts and lead a comfortable life with his wife and son who was born in the prison but he chose to speak out and say a spade is a spade and that's the only crime he committed. TPLFities & its blind supporters go on with the non-stop fabricationed charges against people like Eskender and other opposition members/leaders but remember what goes around, will come around. The era of tyranny is crumbling infront of your eyes and all these charges are just terrorise Ethiopians. It may work for a while but it doesn't save you from the fate of your partners in crimes aka Mubarak, Ghadaffi, Ben Ali, Ali Abdela Salah etc etc. I am Eskider Nega, too « Ethiopia: A voice for the voiceless

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Yemen

What??? So, these poor people are gonna die just because IOM doesn't have money to send them back? SHAME!!! It's another tragedy in the making, after all the misries they had been through they would be left to fend themselves in the middle a civil war. These people are fleeing to escape famine, extrajudicial imprsionments & killing, economic hardship etc etc and yet another huge nightmare is awaiting them. LIFE is such a b@#ch. Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Yemen

I wish I could FLY!

I wish I could FLY because, yesterday (Sept. 18/2011) was my best friend's (Endale Melaku)
wedding and his daughter's birthday as well. He has been through thick & thin for me for about 15years ever since we started our friendship in mid 90s. I will never forget all his generosity, jokes and naughtiness. Now they became history and we're almost family members. No more booze, no more drama, no more hanging out at the bars and cinema Ambassador/Impire every sundays. Thanks a lot for being a part of my life and sharing me all those wild experiences. Now we're different, you're married with a kid and I'm still single and wandering in Europe for almost 8yrs. I wish you all the best in your marriage and I hope to see your daughter grow and make you proud. I will see you one day. You have no idea how much I miss you guys. Thanks Kin for texting me otherwise I wouldn't have known he was getting married or making that small announcements. I was happy for him but at the same time I was sad that I couldn't be there to any of such functions be it for the good and bad. So far, three of my best friends (Eyob Getahun, Belay and now Endale) were married after I left Ethiopia which creates a void in my heart everytime I get such news.
These two pictures depict the wedding ceremonies which I took them for granted and resented them while I was there. Now I relaized how I ungrateful/stupid I was and understood their extraordinary cultural/social significance in my past life for being part of them. I have never been to any kind of wedding ceremonies or any kind ever since I came to Sweden, well I will never take anything for granted-this the lesson I learnt after looking at those pictures. Thanks a lot dear buddies, if it wasn't for you; I wouldn't have those beautiful memories for life. Soon, somebody very special will get married and I won't be there either...what a shame:(. It's too much, I am missing home like I have never been before. I just don't know what I'm gonna do...life is too short and not being able to attend such ocassions is one of the worst part of being a REFUGEE. Exile sucks!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Märklig debatt om journalistiken

This shows a desperate move to silence the only person who dares to say a spade is a spade. Millions of Eskinders, Alanas, Mulualems will flourish and thereby speed up the demise of one the remenants of Africa's dictators. Märklig debatt om journalistiken

Friday, September 16, 2011

CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - የአቶ አንዱዓለም አራጌ፣ የአቶ እስክንድር ነጋና የሌሎች ተከሳሾች የዛሬ የፍርድ ቤት ውሎ

Keep on jailing all desents in the name of Anti-terrorist law but the thing is, Yes thousands of Eskinders and Andualems will bloom. Soon or later, you'll realize how big your mistakes are!!! You better clean up your backyard before embarking on such paranoid activities. CyberEthiopia - Ethiopian News from the Internet - የአቶ አንዱዓለም አራጌ፣ የአቶ እስክንድር ነጋና የሌሎች ተከሳሾች የዛሬ የፍርድ ቤት ውሎ

http://www.thelocal.se/36170/20110916/

Isn't 10years of incarcernation enough for Dawit and other prisoners of conscious in Eritrea's worst prisons? These guys have comitted no crime but spoke out loud about the crimes committed by the very people who claimed fought 30yrs to 'liberate' the country. Nobody even knows their whereabouts and the dictator & his cohorts are enjoying life at large and the world is just acting like nothing happened. It's unfair and inhimane to be silent and do nothing to stop these criminals to get away like this. Isn't time the world in general and Eritreans in particular to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH to Issayas & Co.?http://www.thelocal.se/36170/20110916/

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Running out of luck - Surprising Europe - Al Jazeera English

This's so true and heartbreaking to fellow Africans who emigrated searching for better life ended up in solitary confinment here Europe for more than 10 years. What's even more than sad is that thousands of Africans back home risk their lives on the Sahara desert and meditrinean sea every day to get here-some knowning the dangers and some dazzeled either by holywood movies or pix sent from their loved ones/friends from Europe and elsewhere in the world. Life is not easy even for those with papers and sadly the economic crisis makes things worse. Everyday is a struggle, unless you have good reason to seek asylum don't even think of trekking such a dangerous and long journey. If you're seeking for a fortune, it's a dream which may never realize easily until you failed over and over. Sadly, the situation back home for most of us, isn't good either unless we connected to some corrupt officials/businespeople. It's a hard choice between two evils:((( Running out of luck - Surprising Europe - Al Jazeera English

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

የአገር ቤት ጋዜጦች ምን ጻፉ? (ከነሐሴ 22-29፣ 2003) | Addis Neger

Corruption is getting worse and becomes like a national sport, that's one of the titles of a story on an Amharic newsweekly Ethiopian Reporter. It's scary for average Ethiopians from the street, if things continue like this in the years to come. የአገር ቤት ጋዜጦች ምን ጻፉ? (ከነሐሴ 22-29፣ 2003) | Addis Neger

Happy 2004 Ethiopian New Year!

Selam all,
I wish you and your loved ones a happy, prosperous, joyful, and successful Ethiopian New Year which is 2004 and begun just yesterday. For all of you non-Ethiopians who wonder why we are 7yrs behind your calendar, there's a bit of history. According to legend Ethiopians follow the oldest calendar which dates back thousands of centuries old based on the book of Enuch. The earliest known date is 4236 B.C.E., the founding of the Egyptian calendar. The ancient Egyptian calendar was lunar. The solar Coptic (ግብጽ) calendar, oldest in history, originated three millennia before the birth of Christ. Obviously, our calendar depicts the strong and centuries old geographical, historical and religious ties with Egypt. The Roman Ceasar Juilis however asked an Egyptian astronomer (Sosigenes) to reform the calendar after conquering that country. However, later the Roman papal chancellor, Bonifacius, asked a monk by the name of Dionysius Exiguus (ዲዮናሲዮስ ኤክሲጅዮስ) to implement the rules from the Nicaean Council (የኒቅያ ጉባዔ) for general use and to prepare calculations of the dates of Easter, Dionysius fixed Jesus' birth in such a manner that it falls on 25 December 753 A.U.C., thus making the current era start with A.D. 1 on 1 January 754 A.U.C. It was about 525 A.D. that Dionysius Exiguus, started his count (instead of the Diocletian / ዲዮቅልጥያኖስ of 284 A.D.) with the year 1 A.D., considered to be the year of the birth of Christ. It is likely that Jesus was actually born around 7 B.C. or before King Herod's death in 750 A.U.C. I got this story from the internet and if want to learn more about the history of Ethiopian vs Gregorian calendars please click here It's been 7yrs since I spent Ethiopian New Year back home and I'm missing (I wouldn't expect that when I moved here) it more and more each years pass bye. I can't help but thinking about the nostalgia of the smell of
Addey Abebea (daisy flowers), fresh home baked bread, Dorro wot, Enjera, the smell of the mud, the odor of home-brewed Beer (Tela) the chanting of small girls on our door-steps the list goes on and on. There's nothing like home, on top of that I'm also missing the moments where friends and family members are sharing without my presence. I just don't know when I am gonna back and enjoy everything as I used to be...hmmm well things have changed and I think I might not enjoy stuffs as I used to be. To comepensate that I spent the new year eve with my European and Ethiopian born Yemeni friends. (from left to right Anette, me, Afrah, Jonas)
with improvised Ethiopian foods (vegetarian food) which is way different than the traditional meaty food being prepared and served back home. One of the reasons why I prepared vegetarian food on such special day is that all of my friends with the exception of me and my friend from Yemen are all vegetarian and the other reason is that vegi is cool, tasty, healthy and above all cheap:-) It was quite a simple dish Enjera (flat spongy Ethiopian bread) which I baked on Saturday, Qey Miser wot (Hot Lentil stew) Alcha dinch enna Karrot (potato & carrot curry) which I prepared minutes before they were served on the table on the eve of Ethiopian New year. My friends told me the food was good but I am not sure if they were trying be nice or not:-) Now, I know Ethiopian Berbere (spiced chili) is the best chili in the world which immediately changes the flavor and color of the food as soon as one sprinkle some of it on the food you prepared-thanks to our mothers, grandmothers and great great great great grand mothers' devotion. I just don't understand why there's no Ethiopian fast food/restaurant chains provided such a rich food culture.
I guess, many Ethiopians are forced to be vegi back home even on holidays due to the price hyke of meat. It's beyond my imagination how the others who're less fortunate to spend this special day or should I say even survive on daily basis under such a huge inflation in the country's history. I wish I could do something to help and I hope things would get better before they get worse for everyone of us all over the world in the Ethiopian year 2004. Let's make the world a better place to live by being nice to each other. Melkam Addis Amet once again. MakeoutNOTwars

Friday, September 9, 2011

Interpol adds Gaddafi to most wanted list - Africa - Al Jazeera English

watch out dictators!!! it's time to give up your indefinite power before you end up like the Ghadafi clan. There's no turning bac:)) who would think Africa's 42yrs old dictator would be disappear like this?Interpol adds Gaddafi to most wanted list - Africa - Al Jazeera English

'The worst crisis I have ever seen' - Features - Al Jazeera English

it's a shame that millions of people in Africa are dying of starvation on 21st century, while their counterparts in other continents are dying complications related to obesity. 'The worst crisis I have ever seen' - Features - Al Jazeera English

Thursday, September 1, 2011

After 20yrs of Independence, Why The Exodus of Eritrean Refugees?Part II


After 20yrs of Independence, Why The Exodus of Eritrean Refugees?Part II

Mr. Heavy


No Stress!

My other Eritrean mate is called Mr. Heavy (the heaviest guy amongst us for that matter). He's in his 30s, generous, easy going, down to earth, out-spoken and left Eritrea several years ago because he didn't like the government from the very beginning. He spent most of his life in Sudan and Arabian countries before he came to Europe. He has never seen or met his parents and siblings ever since he left Eritrea in 1997. Mr. Heavy is a well-read, knowledgeable guy, who seems to have a very different socio-poletical perspectives about his country as opposed to his average fellow compatriots. He hates the recent regime to death sometimes he even said he would rather be identified as Sudanese. He follows up the current affairs of his country every hour and looking forward for the demise of Afeworki's regime. He criticizes the government outspokenly unlike other Eritreans who're aloof or avoid speaking their minds about the problems and solutions to their country. Mr. Heavy said Eritreans were treated much more better than by the Dergue regime (Ethiopian Marxist dictator which ruled the country from 1974-1991) than their own and his solution is that Eritrea should follow footsteps of Ethiopia (ethnic federalism) to stop the oppression of minorities by highlander Tigrigna speakers. He believes that most Eritreans (mainly the highlanders) are in denial and always make excuses about the stalemate of the border conflict between Ethiopia & his country for the failings of their government. He blames highlander Eritreans as the main obstacle against the struggle to overthrow the regime by pointing out the withdrawal of two Eritrean opposition groups (he believes these groups represent the highlanders) from meeting which geared to set-up coalition of Eritrean oppositions groups in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in September 2010. Mr Heavy wonders why couldn't Eritrean people rise up against the current regime, if they revolted to free themselves from the oppression of two successive Ethiopian governments. Mr. Sawa and Mr. Heavy always argue about this subject but they never come to an agreement because the former thinks that every Eritrean family has lost one or more family member/s already during the 30year struggle for independence and/or the 1998-2000 Ethio-Eritrean war so it's too costly to involve themselves in any form of struggle be it non-violent &/or armed.

I believe Mr. Heavy's opinion is shared by many:most of them are in denial, some are confused, some are doing fine with the status qua (they and their loved ones are in safe-heavens elsewhere around the world), and the remaining like Ms Naqfa thinks that such struggle is showing humility and defeat to arch foe enemy-Ethiopia.

Mr. Smokey

Mr. Smokey is the youngest and the skinniest of the crowd who likes movies (stays up until 4-5 o'clock in the morning watching TV) and cigarettes. He speaks good English otherwise we wouldn't have communicated since neither of us speak each others language fluently.

He vividly remembered how people of his town tactfully being starved by the government-3 or 4 breads were/are rationed per family per day so that the people have to eat once in a day. Mr. Smokey himself used to order a tea and extra tea (which he didn't intend to drink) so that to take the accompanying breads home because the cafeterias were ordered not to sale breads separately. What broke his heart was that very clean and nicely clothed people were begging him for alms discreetly (begging is forbidden in Eritrea) on the streets of his native town. Mr. Smokey, told me he went to national service to northern part where he couldn't stay at that place, because a row was created over him between department heads of the two offices-which each wanted him to be their subservient assistant after graduating from Asmara University (which looks like a high school when I saw it on TV). He was happy because first and for most his monthly 'wage'-150 Naqfa (around 6 Euros) wasn't even enough for public transport, secondly most of the people working there didn't welcome him and were threatened since he was the only university graduate in their circle. Then he was transferred to a nearby village to serve at a small public library which was much better than the previous one because he was working with an Oxford graduate who was very critical of the government, independent and open-minded guy. However, after a while Mr. Smokey got fed up with the situation and lack of futurity so he went to Sudan and then came to Europe in 2010. One day we were having a chit-chat about the problems in our respective countries and he surprised me with this question, “Does America hates Eritrea?” I told him no but it doesn't love it either. He asked me then “why doesn't America help to topple Eritrean regime so that Eritrean people can live freely” and I told him the Americans have already two wars and they don't want another destabilization besides they wouldn't care less as long as their national interest is not affected. He then asked me “isn't Eritrea important to America?” I told him his country may not have much to offer. Mr. Smokey was surprised because he thought America & other western nations outraged by the defiance of Issayas Aferwerqi for not allowing them to have a base on the red sea. It is no surprise to hear such overrated, unrealistic, irrational feelings/perspectives of Eritreans about the importance of their country in the world sphere-because the elites, (at home & abroad) cadres and propaganda machinery of the ruling party have been effortlessly indoctrinating such notions among Eritreans for more than four decades. Innocent Eritreans like Mr. Smokey think that the world betrayed their country at least three times in modern day history (the 1953 unification of Eritrea with Ethiopia, the stalemate of UN resolution on Bademe, and UN 2009 sanction) just because of his country's small size and for having a 1000sqkm coastline along the red sea which is curse in disguise. Most of them think that such tiny but the most civilized, invincible, beautiful country with its genius people are being punished to safeguard the national interests of the western world including the backward, uncivilized, beggar nation Ethiopia. This doesn't necessarily mean that some of these view hold some water, the bottom-line is that they were used/justified often times out of context to shun off from the real issue-the dictatorship and its subsequent vices like corruption, nepotism, malgovernance, torture, widespread extrajudicial killings and imprisonments, forced labor and indefinite military recruitment, suppression of religious and expression of freedom etc etc. What really intrigued Mr. Heavy and me was that the flock of these newly arrived Eritrean asylum seekers-who had been through the worst inhumane conditions-to this annual Eritrean independence day festival which is orchestrated by sympathizers and cadres of the ruling party all of the world. Homesickness, years of deprivation and captivity in military camps could be the reasons to justify such phenomena but me and my friend still couldn't comprehend why they went to the streets in hundreds of thousands to protest against the 2009 UN sanction against Eritrean officials the very people who tortured, enslaved, abused and forced them to live in exile. Those self-serving Eritrean vacationers and their children who live most of their lives in safe-heavens of the western world have good reasons to go every year to the annual festival organized by the junta-because most of them are either retirees who want to enjoy their remaining days in sunshine or have the privilege to own properties and enjoy first class treatment reserved only for them. Mr. Smokey has also left the camp for the same reason as Mr. Sawa and I lost track of him. 
Yeah Embasha (Eritrean/Ethiopian delicious Traditional Bread)

Ms Naqfa
She is a bubbly, generous lady in her early 40s, who was born & raised in Ethiopia (such Eritreans have a unique name called Amiche - its literal meaning derived from an Italian car assembly in Addis), speaks perfect Tigrigna & Amharic, went back to Eritrea after N'astnet, got married there came with her three teenage children to Sweden in 2009. What makes Ms. Naqfa different from the rest of her fellow countrymen/women is that she is the biggest fan of President Issayas Afewerqi's ingenious policies (self-reliance) and associates all existing 'small' problems of her country either with the stalemate of the Ethio-Eritrean border conflict or the long standing international conspiracies/injustices targeted against her country by the USA & its allies, UN, AU and above all Ethiopia. Her 'Eritrea' is in perfect condition with a few minor problems here & there; otherwise malaria, polio & and other diseases are wiped out, thanks to the free national service every small villages have access to schools, roads & clinics (unlike their uncivilized counterparts elsewhere in Africa specially Ethiopia which are dependent on foreign aid). Ms. Naqfa thought that the free national service (admitting that though a bit longer), it's the right measure to keep away the youth from truanting on the streets and most amazingly she claimed it makes Eritrean youth brave and stronger without which otherwise they wouldn't have the courage to cross the Sahara desert and international waters. She said western countries are giving speedy residential permits to Eritrean refugees so as to upset Issayas- since he's the only African statesman who defies them unlike other beggar and coward African leaders. These countries hate him because of his very intelligent/rational/logical replies he made to questions of international press in relation to democracy, human rights, freedom of expressions, the defection of Eritrean footballers in Kenya, the extrajudicial killings, imprisonments of his citizens, according to Ms. Naqfa. I wasn't surprised when I saw her 10years old son who was downloading and printing them out over a dozen of Eritrean flags from the internet at the library. She complained about everything and anything saying that she wouldn't be a refugee (claimed she had a good job in one of the ministries) if it wasn't for the future of her children. The last time I met her was at the immigration office where she went to receive 'their paper' meaning the residence permit for her and her children that was given. I read 'les refugees jamais dit merci' (the refugees never say thank you) on cover-page of some french magazine last year, maybe that's true. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if I see huge demonstrations of Eritreans descent to protest against the UN embargo against their government or hundreds of thousands of them flocking from all over the world to their motherland for the annual Nastent festival. Well, we're all different regardless of refugee or whatever status we've in the society. I have a question though for these demonstrators, why are Eritreans fleeing in all corners if the government you're supporting is the best by waging a 30yrs old war to liberate the country?








After 20yrs of Independence, Why The Exodus of Eritrean Refugees? Part I


After 20yrs of Independence, Why The Exodus of Eritrean Refugees? Part I


The Gang watching World Cup Football 2010

First of all I would like to say that I am neither a political analyst nor sociologist, I'm just a private citizen who likes to scribble whatever comes to mind based on past and recent observations, different sources like books & internet as well as the chit-chats that I have had with fellow Eritreans. I'm solely responsible for all the views, opinions, comments etc and they are not intended to make generalization nor attack certain groups; they're rather meant just to depict a very tiny fraction of the sufferings of Eritrean people for almost two decades perpetrated by the very same people who claimed had fought for 30yrs to bring freedom. It's a shame that the world in general and exiled Eritreans in particular allow the present Eritrean regime to commit such hideous gross human rights abuses with impunity. But how many youngsters should die/tortured/starved/thrust/raped in the Sahara desert or eaten by sharks of Mediterranean & Red sea, before the world say enough is enough to the dictatorship? Other Eritreans who don't have relatives/connections/money etc are still living in a 'prison nation', deprived of all the necessities we usually take them for granted. The silence is so deafening and frightening It sounds like Eritrea is less important than Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo, Libya etc.. Let's go to the refugee camp where I had one-to-one/group talks with the newly arrived Eritrean asylum seekers who saw and experienced firsthand the sufferings in their home-country.

Arrival at the refugee camp

Time flies, it was a year ago in 2010 and I used to live at a refugee camp which is located in a small village of Northern Sweden. We were more than 100 but the majority (nearly 95%) are from Eritrea-mainly young boys & men (as young as a few months old), women (majority are single parents) old (over 50). Norway has a special reception center only for Eritreans in Oslo due to the exodus of Eritrean refugees from their country as well as elsewhere in the world. They were the nicest people I ever met ever since I came to this country, most of them treated me no different than from their fellow country people-they welcomed me to their homes with open-arms whether just for a small coffee ceremony or a big get-together on public holidays. Some of them opened up their hearts and told me the terrible situations they went through back home in Eritrea or en-route to Sudan-Libya-Europe-of course with the exception of the only woman whom I suspect was a die-hard supporter of the regime in power. She is a typical hater and blind supporter (I pity her and her likes) of the current regime, who is brain-washed/programmed by the delusional tyrant leader, to live in a her small fantasy world (self reliant, invincible country). I will get back to you about her at the end, let me talk first about my other Eritrean friends who suffered, jailed, harassed, enslaved and condemned to live in exile by one of the worst brutal and sadistic regime in the world.

Mr. Oldie


Mr. Oldie (all names are nicknames for confidential reasons) was the first Eritrean guy that I met while I was waiting outside our house for the orientation by employees of immigration board who transported us (a group of more than 50 asylum seekers) from a nearby town at the beginning of June 2010. I was tired (traveled almost 12hrs by bus from a transit camp around the capital), hungry, sleepy, and grumpy (our camp is located in one of the smallest villages we came across). Mr. Oldie said kemey (meaning hi in Tigrigna) with a big smile while passing by to the clinic-I told him that I don't speak Tigrigna (honestly, I found that a bit awkward but I understood later why he spoke to me in Tigringa) then he said sorry and introduced himself in a broken Amharic and told me he will come later after finishing his check up at the clinic but I didn't take him seriously. I met two other Eritrean young men later on, they did the same thing like their roommate but I wasn't still convinced that they really meant it. Mr. Oldie however kept his word and came to our house in the afternoon. He told me he came to this place a few months ago and he lives with other 4 of his countrymen and one Somali and insisted me to come and watch TV at their place. A few days passed but we didn't have much except a few salutations when we see each other on the street or at the only shop in the village. Then the world cup started so I got a good excuse to mingle with them-it wasn't as I feared it-everybody welcomed me with open heart & generosity. Thanks buddies, if it wasn't for your hospitality, I wouldn't have enjoyed the match for the first time in my life. I felt guilty for being such a skeptics
(I had a really bad experience with Ethiopians/Eritreans in the past and I was avoiding them at any cost but it shouldn't be an excuse).
Mingle on Sunday Afternoon!
Mr. Oldie is around 50, tall, with gray hair and beer belly who spent almost more than half of his age in Sudan (with exceptional few short stays with his wife and children in Asmara). One thing really stricken me most though was that he liked and tried to speak Amharic notwithstanding his long absence from Ethiopia/Eritrea-this was his favorite Amharic proverb Sira Yataw Melekuse leqobu qedo yesfatal (its literal meaning is- an idle monk who doesn't have much to do, tears down his hat and then resew it) and I couldn't help myself laughing out loud when he said that for the first time. He is spiritual, always happy, helpful, comforting, ambitious, and very energetic for his age-I saw him several times playing football with kids almost who could be his grand children even though he has different ailments including rheumatic. He speaks perfect Tigrigna, Tigre, Aarabic, a bit of Amharic and English. What's sad is time is against him to start a new life afresh, to learn a new language and adapt to a totally different climate (two extremes) but interestingly there are many fellow Eritreans of his age who were/are fleeing their country to all over the world (they deserve to enjoy their remaining lives at home) everyday to scape starvation, imprisonments and other human rights abuses in their home country. UNHCR's January 2010 report shows that a total of nearly a quarter of million Eritrean were under concern that year of whom 209, 168 refugees, 14,394 asylum seekers and 8 refugees were returned. Given these figures, one shouldn't be surprised to see the exodus of Eritreans of all age and sex at four corners of the world. These numbers might be underrated, since UNHCR doesn't have access to Eritrean public records. Mr. Oldie left Eritrea during Emperor Haileselassie's era-the last Ethiopian monarch- and went back home after N'aastnet (Eritrea's independence) but he returned back to Sudan as he couldn't stand the present regime and he has no intention of going back-for fear of execution, imprisonment etc. He would rather go to Ethiopia or Sudan or some East-Asian countries for vacation -I heard such comments from many of the Eritreans which sounds really strange but it's a harsh reality for many of Eritrean refugees around the world. He was eagerly awaiting for his children to join him but he was still uncertain if they could make it to neighboring countries or not since it's not only difficult for the youth to leave the country but also to have a passport to begin with. I haven't heard from him since I left the camp and I hope his kids have joined him after being separated for such a long.

Mr. Sawa

He is in his 30s, a bit short & restless (I saw him walking aimlessly more than 5times/day back and forth, when I first arrived there) , hard-working (he used to pick up blue-berries from dawn to dusk) humble and very kind man who likes to mingle with other people around in the village. Sometimes, he is too much- like a stalker which sounds a bit harsh-but he wanted to be surrounded by people (it didn't matter if the other person was busy or not). Sometimes we didn't have much to talk and he hums monotonously that really used to annoy me. This strange behavior of his might be a result of his horrific long experiences at the slave farm & one of the worst jails in the world. He told me his bosses at the military camp sentenced him to two years labor punishment after capturing him while he was trying to defect from the national service (he served more than 6yrs for pittance). For some slavery was abolished 100years ago, but that's not the case in present day Eritrea, according to Mr. Sawa. He was imprisoned for some time before he was given the pardon to serve at the slave farm which was by far better than the former-because at least at the farm they were able to see sunlight & breath fresh air albeit of the harsh treatment by their capos. The 'jail' is a small windowless dark underground 3x3m cubicle with one pit-latrine packed with more than 50 prisoners at a time. They eat a watery lentil soup with a piece of bread and allowed to use toilet only once in a day. Some of them faint as a result of suffocation and extreme heat so they've to be taken to the under-staffed/resourced prison clinic. They sleep and sit on rotation to prevent their body from getting numb. Most of the inmates were disoriented about the time as the prison is deliberately constructed windowless below the ground. No visitors, no books, no newspaper, no radio no nothing is allowed. These people are/were imprisoned the just because-thy were trying to defect to neighboring countries/traveling without permit/defying national service/for having a child or children defecting etc. It gets worse if they were caught trying to go to Ethiopia-the nemesis-the boarder 
The Kitchen in Full Swing!
guards were given the right to kill at gun point. My friend served his time (he didn't tell me for how long) and then got a 'promotion' to the slave farm.
It sounds a fairytale but it was/is real and still happening in Eritrea. Here, Mr. Sawa and his fellow inmates worked more than 14hrs under the blistering sun on vegetable and fruit farms owned by high ranking army officers of the ruling party in the name of nation building and Eritrean 'self-reliance' scheme. They had few minutes of lunch break to eat the wild cabbages they collected and cooked with a thin bread which they baked themselves on stones on the open fields. The merciless capo orders the person to roll down on the dust and lashes his subject at the same time if he caught someone slowing down, resting, or eating fruits from the farm, or drinking water/washing his/her face from a nearby river to cool down. They are paraded to the stream to bath every Sunday (it will be skipped, if there's a job) that's the only opportunity to shave each others hairs while waiting on the line for their turn-without being watched;otherwise the punishment would be grave for such crimes.

The shack is a ramshackle (worst nightmare when it rains) with no toilet, so they relieve themselves outside on the field in front of each other. He has managed to escape to the Sudan bribing one of the officers after suffering 2yrs like this, and he was only 45kgs when he arrived there and from the photo he showed me he was only skin & bones.

He said he never forget that day, because he ate real food -meat stew- for the first time in years and it felt like he was re-born. Life wasn't bad in Sudan, he stayed there for a while and then went to Libya where life was hell on earth for most refugees. He said, a small Libyan boy with knife can stop and ask anybody with different looks than the average Libyan for money at any time and if that person doesn't budge s/he will either end up in jail or beaten/stabbed on broad day-light. His relatives from Europe paid a fortune to human-traffickers for him to come to Europe by an overloaded small boat (more than 40 people) which was almost capsized on Mediterranean sea and it took them 2weeks to make it to Europe. He was really grateful for escaping alive, that's why he doesn't take anything for granted and wishes to tell his story on camera to expose the crimes committed by those people whom he hated to death. The only thing he complained about was his little paunch-he gained extra kilos and weighs 68kgs after he came to Europe. He is not only worried about the fate of his younger sister and his parents who were still back home but also anxious how to bring them here so that they can reunite with him to have a better and safe life which is the dream of many of his fellow compatriots. What's the worst thing for him is that he can't go back home to see his aging parents unless the present government is gone; though he is very homesick and would like to go: the situation which hundreds of thousands of Eritrean refugees all over the world are put in at this moment. Or else, he's to make a 'confession' at the Eritrean embassy that he made a 'mistake' of leaving his country and then agreed to wire 2% of his monthly income to the government in Asmara so as to go back which millions of fellow citizens compelled to do (willingly or out of lack of option) after their host country gives them residence permit/citizenship. Eritrean government which is isolated from the rest of the world has no other option but engaged blackmailing its own citizens to earn foreign direct investment. He just disappeared, a few weeks before I left the camp, after he was told by the immigration authorities that they found his fingerprints from Italy on EUROCODE and I don't know where he's right now. Due to lack of job and financial support from Italian authorities, it's not unusual to see many Eritreans who seek asylum again elsewhere in Europe even though they got the permit to stay at the first country they sought asylum. See you in Part II with Mr. Heavy & Smokey and Ms. Naqfa