Remember Idriss AbArre?
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
I once heard a sermon on using your talents for good… after telling us how everyone has talents, that we are custodians of, from God and how we are charged with making double folds out of our talents and the worst thing we can do is hide it and never let the world benefit from it, he concluded by saying that unfortunately in our world today the most talent rich place is the graveyard where countless people have taken their treasure to grave with them untouched…(remind me to tell you about what I though of the sermon… don’t worry I am in a kind mood today!)
I believe in Eritrea the richest and more resourceful place is pfdj’s prison network. Here we find people like Idriss AbArre whose outspoken stand in voicing of the people’s concerns over an Education policy landed him in a lot of trouble and possibly in prison… no actually it caused him to ‘disappear without trace’! …his crime? Having a voice… his mistake? Using it to outline his people’s concern… his punishment? Disappearance… no considerations given to the fact that he paid his youth and vitality in the quest of realising the Eritrean Dream… the consequence for the rest of us is a country where the blind leads the blinded!
… and then there is people like Qeshi Dr Fitsum Gebrenigus… Eritrea’s only practicing psychiatrist… he disappeared few months later in 2002… his crimes? Wanting to practice his faith in the manner he understood it… his mistake? Being born Eritrean… his punishment? Being made to disappear into the prison network jungle that now contains Eritrea’s treasures untapped… inaccessible and wasting away! The consequences for us?… many… including and infact especially our ‘brother leader’ leading us from the bottom a bottle of A Gold Label where he had sunk to dull the pain of a decaying conscience…
Dr Kiflu Gebremeskel was a renowned mathematician, a university lecturer and a church leader… an inspirational man who never failed to impress those who listened to him then and those of us who were to immature to listen then but have finally grasped what he was saying, with the advent of maturity. Guess where he has been for the last ten years? Yeup pfdj’s dungeons… he refused to stop praying… and he dared to continue to inspire his students to be different to be outstanding and to shine! He paid dearly… we lost immensely.
Does anyone else cringe every time they read shabait? I do… I cringed even more when, once, at a Foreign Office Lobbying Mission… the FCO official told us that they had started offering the Ministry of Information some ‘lessons’ in communication so they can ‘communicate better’ ( and perhaps come across a bit more ‘normal’)… the thing is Eritreans in those notorious dungeons could communicate better and more effectively with their eyes shut and hands tied… they did that all the way from Sahel… Martine Plaut, of the BBC, never tires telling us the story of Erimia Debesay, who he said singlehandedly made him an Eritrea Enthusiast all those years ago… he communicated a vision that was considered a pipe dream by nearly all of the rest of the world… no need for a fancy lesson in communication he is a born communicator and an avid diplomat… who has made the same mistake of many who would never succumb to burying their Eritrean skin and morph into a pfdj goon…. His place along with many good Eritrean men and women has become a prison… leaving Eritrea to be represented by empty headed babblers who keep scoring own goals…last year his daughter asked the world (and especially us) ‘where is my Dad?’ We owe it to ourselves to respond to that question…
Where is Awra’s father? The answer to that question is a measure of how successful we have been in challenging Eritrea’s not so gradual decline to the bottom of every positive list going!
Idriss AbArre is a disabled veteran… where we looked the other way as he disappeared into the dungeons is where we crippled ourselves as a nation! He became disabled in an effort to enable us and we crippled ourselves in a bid to save our skins… shame on us!
Declaring ‘we are all AbArre’ from the comfort of our borrowed homes is cheap… we need to be like AbArre… the irony is pfdj are to worried we will all sooner or later become him and the many like him… that is why they never stop arresting anyone with the good old Eritrean traits of being bold and upright! Eritrea today has only room for spineless cowards…let us challenge this and become like the people that have paid the utmost in the preservation of thes Eritrean traits!… let this September 18, inspire us to become bold and upright true to our heritage….
I am the daughter of many upright and brave people… I refuse to be silenced or compromise on justice! I will remember every last one of those prisoners because I never want to forget (not for a single moment) how much I hate what pfdj have done to them and to us… to Eritrea!
In Eritrea where pfdj imprisons any unjustly, the only place for the just is also a prison…
I salute every one of you just people… may I be considered worthy of your legacy!
What did I think of the sermon? I don’t even remember who it was or where I heard it (a testament to the countless sermons I have head!)… but it stuck with me and became a principle…I am not going to go to the grave with any talent hidden in me! And going one step further I will do it AbArre style…. whatever the cost!