- People with irrational hate towards president Issays Afeworki or PFDJ
|Tigrigna people in Eritrea and Ethiopia are one people||He says too much negative things about Muslims of Eritrea|
|Concerned about the exodus of Eritrean youths||He tends to belittles other Eritrean intellectuals who do not prescribe to his views of the world|
|promotes Tigrigna identity and pride||he has a visceral hatred towards the amhara ethnic group|
|he belittles and ridicules Eritrean artists if he disagrees with their social or political views|
|he sympathizes way too much with TPLF ( though he criticizes some of their policies)|
|he opposes multi-cultural society|
While respecting his intellect, I so wish that he could find a way to see the positives of aspiring to live in harmony with other groups of people who do not look like us or have different religion than ours. It is the right thing to do.
There is a petition going around to sign for Eritreans living in many European countries and the US that condemns a recent UN committee report on Eritrea. This petition is being distributed by Eritrean embassies and consulates to fellow Eritreans.
I have signed this petition not because I have made an objective analysis of the report and proved that the Eritrean government is innocent of these alleged crimes in the report. It’s because I feel that the intent of the report is not to bring justice to Eritreans but to single out a small nation which, despite all the injustices it’s being subjected to by the international community for more than 15 years, is trying to survive on its own. I have signed this petition as a show of defiance to the UN for having double standards when it comes to human rights issues. I have signed the petition because the president of the UN human rights is none other than the number one human rights abuser Saudi Arabia. It’s interesting that the UK has backed the election of Saudi Arabia to the chair of the human rights council. Human right issues according to UN is based and guided through petrol-dollar currency; and anything that this organization produces has no credibility as far as I am concerned.
For your information, the Committee has written a scathing report on Eritrea regarding numerous gross human right violations. The 500 page report claims that the Eritrean government systematically “use of extrajudicial killing, torture, rape, indefinite national service and forced labor may amount to crimes against humanity”.
If the alleged crimes in the report are true, we have to pressure the Eritrean government to bring the perpetrators to justice. I am sure in a country where there is a desperate economic situation, where the country is in a state of war with its neighbor, where religious fundamentalists have always been a threat to its survival, the condition is ripe for some officials within the government to commit those alleged crimes. In these desperate times, corruption, bureaucracy abuse of power is a natural and expected evil among people who are given responsibility and power. We have to encourage the government to weed out these practices by being bold and criticizing them responsibly. It doesn’t help to shout and insult from outside and incite hatred with one another. We need to work within and show support and try in our own way influence change progressively [and responsibly]. Through no revolution or violence have we witnessed justice or democracy brought to the masses in the history of mankind.
As we bid farewell to 2014 I would like to pause and meditate for a second and thank Him for what he has given me. I count my blessings and be grateful for His generosity. For the gift that keeps on giving.
I became a father to this wonderful son Heyabel — a gift of God. It’s an experience that sure is going to change the course of my life. I pray that God makes me a better person — a decent human being. A person who will make his son proud.
I pray that God makes me be someone that my son will look up to and be proud of. A person who will make sacrifices to give all the opportunity and sound education and upbringing to his son. I pray that God makes me a better husband to my wife Feven.
I pray that God gives me the wisdom to raise a decent human being, some one who will be proud of his heritage, a God fearing individual and someone who respects and accepts all human beings as equal. I pray that he will be fearless to speak his mind without fear of social or peer pressure and able to assert his place on this earth. May God gives me the wisdom to be a decent father and a good role model for his son.
I also pray for my brothers Henok and Heber and my sister Makda. I pray that God helps them in their future endeavors and find success and happiness in whatever they do in their life. I pray that the coming year will bring us a lot more closer physically and spiritually. This Christmas, the four of us Kokobe family with our spouses and kids, was a very special one. It was the first time every one of us spent Christmas together after a very long time and it was simple and yet very special. I pray to have many of those in the future.
I pray to my beloved mother and father, who are no longer with us on this earth but continue to be part of my life spiritually, that they are in a better place.
I also pray for our family back home in Asmara starting from our grand father Abahagoy who is, thank God, still going strong. He is being taken care of by the non tiring Semaynesh ( the wife of my uncle Mekonen). I pray that God gives this family the strength and blessing to deal with some of the difficulties that are normal consequences of caring for the elderly.
I also pray to all those uncles and aunts who passed away — may you all rest in peace.
May God also bless my in-laws and bring happiness and joy to the family of Tewelde.
I also pray to all Eritreans and Eritrea in general that the day will come when the misery and economic difficulties of its people is over and its people find peace and tranquility. I hope that the people who are leading this nation find wisdom and strength to guide its people out of its current plight.
I pray that 2015 brings contentment in our life. May we have the wisdom to seek what is important in our life instead of fall prey to the consumerism and instant gratification driven life that is bound to ruin and make us miserable in the end. I pray for peace and love to humanity.
Heyabel ( ‘hi:’jɑ:’bel / In tigrigna or amharic : ህያቤል ). There is a small detail as to how we came to chose the name Heyabel for our son. In fact the credit for this wonderful and beautiful name is none other than a very young cousin of Feven — he is only four.
Time was of the essence and we were running out of a names that really clicked as they say or a name that would make us say “that’s the one!”. But all the names that we had in our list of names couldn’t evoke that kind of visceral response. Then one day haphazardly it was brought to our attention that a barely four year old cousin of Feven has asked his uncles that Feven calls our would-be-new born son Heyabel. It’s not a name that you would expect any four year old would come up with. I was impressed but at the time I didn’t think it would be a name I would choose for my son, but I just added this name to the long list of names that we would choose from for our son.
Just one day before the birth date, after going through all the list and a bit of contemplation, I turned to Feven. She was at that point in between her incessant pain from the contractions that comes practically every 10 to 15 minutes; and told her that we call our son Tobias (which means the goodness of God). Seeing her pain and what she was going through I thought this name would be uplifting, appropriate and most of all fitting. I liked the sound of it and hopped that she would like it too. But she gave me this look — you know the kind that one would give when offered something disagreeable. She told me that she wouldn’t like to call her son that because she said she didn’t like the sound of it. Well, the name kind of sounds very German even though it is also a biblical name. Therefore, I grudgingly scrapped it. That day we went to bed — a sleepless night due to her non stop contractions — without deciding on the name of the baby.
The next morning, the day our son would later be born, the contraction got a litle bit closer and more stronger so we called the hospital and they advised us to come directly through the emergency entry. It was around 10 a.m when we got there and after a brief monitoring and a check of her cervix opening which was at 6 cm; she was at an advanced stage of labor. So the waiting game for the opening to hit 10 cm started in earnest. Painful and with very little respite in between contractions. Since Feven made a choice to not receive an epidural the pain was so unbearable and even at one point there was a moment of hesitation to get one but she bravely decided to go through the labor without any anesthetics. It really takes some courage and a very high threshold of pain to do this.
It was during this period while Feven was in painful labor that I told her that I would actually like to call my son Heyabel –gift of God. I knew she would like it and so it was decided that we call our son Heyabel.
At 3PM in the afternoon Tuesday September 2014 Heyabel Bineyam Kokobe Araya was born after making his mom suffer a bit. That day I saw the wonderful work of God. The gift that He gives us through these beautiful creatures and the joy they bring to us. The beauty of life and God’s work is indeed so mysterious, and wonderful at the same time.
I also thought about my mother and father and about what they must have gone through when my mom gave birth to me. At least I am able to say that I experience what they must have experienced then. I wish they were here with me to witness this, to see their son be a father for the first time. How beautiful it would have been to see their face in this special moment.
A rather brief reflection on the current plight of the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea:
It was with great sadness that I learned of the tragedy that have unfolded on the thousands of Ethiopians living in Saudi Arabia. A month ago hundreds of Eritreans perished trying to cross to the European shores of Lampedusa, Italy.
All these tragedies and the lack of empathy to human plight is something that has become the norm in our times.
The great imbalance of wealth between the world’s richest countries and the developing world is ever so widening that people from these poor nations are taking greater and greater risks to get to the doors of the rich nations. The European Union has long closed the door on legal migration that people are now coming to Europe not by demanding Visa for entry but through the so called human smugglers risking their life savings and on most cases their own lives.
The explanation to this human plight is a lot complicated than it appears. There are a lot of stakeholders. The lack of low skill, low wage workers in the West that encourage the people from the poorest nations to come in search of those unwanted jobs. The thugs that see this as a business opportunity and take advantage and exploit these poor and desperate people. The diaspora community in the West that directly or indirectly encourages their compatriot to leave their country by promising a better life. The despotic governments propped up by their western sponsors that look only after the interest of their masters and make the plight of the poor mass worse and worse by the day.
What is at the core of this very disturbing problem?
The West’s policy on the developing world has consistently appears to encourage, support and sustain these despotic, puppet and corrupt governments which only protect the interests of the very few and indifferent to the impoverished majority. In Eritrea’s case by stifling the life out of the country not because the government is worse than the other but because it defiantly wanted to be independent and not a puppet ( what a travesty, but that’s a whole other subject). Almost all the West’s so called humanitarian interventions only worsen the condition that it initially sets out to resolve; making these countries dependent on their yearly strings-attached welfare-checks that only seem to benefit the very few.
I am not trying to put all the blame squarely on the West for the continuing tragedy that is unraveling Africa, but the biggest share of the blame should be put on those with biggest wealth, power and influence — the West in this case.
What is wrong with having geopolitical policy that makes Africa stable and it’s people richer which is also beneficial for the West? Wouldn’t this be more sustainable, ethical and in the long run even enriching to the West? The current policy that systematically disrupts, creates chaos and later give the appearance of trying to manage the crisis and in the process make a beggar out of the African people. Make people risk their lives to migrate to the West and in the process forgo their human dignity? Frankly, who really profits from this human indignation?