Fetsum: The renaissance of Eritrean Intellectualism in relation to Manifesto 2020
My Mantra of the moment in singularity: ዘይሻራዊ
My ultimate Mantra in complete form: ቴክኖክራታዊ (ዘይሻራዊ) ሃገራዊ ሓድነታዊ
The climax of Justice: “ኩሎም ፖለቲካዊ ሓይልታትን ምእንቲ ፍትሕን
ዲሞክራስያዊ ለውጥን ዝቃለሱ ህዝባዊ ምንቅስቓስን ብዝሳተፍሉ ሃገራዊ
ዋዕላ ቴክኖክራታዊ (ዘይሻራዊ) ሃገራዊ ሓድነታዊ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ የቕውም”
Dedication: Can you imagine all our PhDs working together as a unit? Wasn’t that our dream in this rough struggle for justice? Wasn’t that the dream of the youth, the refugees? Can you imagine what that would do to our society, what it would mean to our confidence and wellbeing? Well, that is what is happening and the rest will be history. I am dignified to dedicate this work to The 2020 Manifesto of Eritrean Scholars and Professionals in the Diaspora, the brain power or cream of our society to say the least.
Dear Eritreans, history persistently says that a depressed society raises up to the moment when oppression and injustice reach the pinnacle. History tells that it takes a disparaged society many years to resurrect from the curse of bondage to the spaciousness of freedom. Although the grassroot mass can finally say enough and induce a lateral political change in society; fundamental change, however, remains impossible without its educated class’s constructive interference. Eritrean scholars were the back bone of the liberation struggle while the mass was its owner. We did a miracle to eventually achieved our people’s dream after incalculable sacrifice and destruction. Yet, the society’s educated class was always considered a threat to EPLF leadership and we know how many talented nationalists perished as a result.
Still, our educated class was one of the reasons for our people’s success during the struggle for independence from within and without. It was one of the reasons for our people’s successful navigation of the referendum, writing the modern constitution and defending the border issues with Ethiopia in the international court that the dictator shamefully lived off without acknowledgement till this point in time. Further, it is the intellectual class of the society that won the fight against the dictator’s crimes to humanity in the universal justice system.
In the flip, it was because of its disappearance from the scene that energized the dictator to rule with absolute power of the fist for close to three decades as of today. It is because we did not put our intellectual resources in the basket that our people suffered humiliation and death under the brutal dictator in the show. Our weakness, lack of unified and organized action, inconsistency and recklessness are responsible for the downfall of our society for the most part. We left our people ignorant of how to transit the society to democracy, the result being arbitrary, shallow and dangerous activists with radical ideas that will only cause more suffering in future Eritrea. We are responsible for the loss of conceptual direction and misunderstanding between the Civic Society and the political parties. We are responsible for the political groups’ tendency to undermine the power of the people, their supremacy in our society, including rejecting the YiAKL movement as less important in this struggle for democratic Eritrea. We were the source of our fighters’ confidence during the struggle but stayed too long without structural and conceptual unity to lead the people with harmony and dedication in this struggle for freedom.
But everything passes, things change as a matter necessity. So does the intellectual stillness, brain drain of society, unjustified quietism, reluctance or clear cut opportunism experienced in our Diaspora! This is no more today! The 2020 Manifesto of Eritrean Scholars and Professionals in the Diaspora came to existence after the Corona virus became reality and currently comprises about 114 PhDs in different academic and professional backgrounds worldwide. The number is expected to increase towards embracing all Eritrean Doctors on planet earth.
It was interesting to listen to the Doctors in BayoYiakl USA: Panel discussion on the 95 Doctors Manifesto, Assenna TV: May 16, 2020. I believe they were 95 at the time of the event. Dr. Angesom Atsbiha was hosting the four young doctors Dr. Teamrat Weldu, Dr. Mebrahtu Kahsay, Dr. Mehari Tekeste and Dr. Desale Habtezghi, and their they were all beautiful.
Constitutions Vs. consciousness: This issue was briefly discussed in the panel. The constitution is only a paper that anybody can nullify without integrity or people’s basic consciousness about; say Dr. Mebrahtu and Dr. Mehari to my recollection. This is true from our direct experience with the dictator. The role of the educated class at priority level of the relationship should then focus on teaching the people about the immediate challenge after the dictatorship. It has to understand and take a clear position on the subject matter first though, before teaching about it. Because the success of everything we plan depends on smooth transition to democracy; on conducive political environment in the country to reduce our thoughts to reality. This is impossible without conceptual unity on the matter between the Doctors.
Intellectual Resource Management: The panel disclosed the formation of multiple professional branches to distribute the intellectual resources accordingly. I think I will end up working with wires as electrical engineer in this situation but the question is if one of them will collect our intellectuals in the field of the society’s democratic transition. Is there anything more important than this? Are we going to have a dedicated group of our social and political scientists working on the subject matter before we enter the transitional stage? In my opinion and once again, nothing will matter without smooth transition to democracy because it decides what we can do in the country with relative freedom and security. Therefore, there should be a group of political and social scientist strictly allotted to tackle this issue and deliver affirmative result as soon as possible.
The out of control media: They also discussed the anarchic social media that transmits hatred, ignorance, emotion and divisive tendencies against the interest of the people and peaceful coexistence with the neighbors. I think this is because of a disorganized elite class needless saying most educated Eritreans are totally absent from the scene creating the information void being filled by countless individuals hustling for attention and a little money in the pocket. I believe this can be solved by having a dedicated media that periodically transmits integrated news and education to the public. Are you going to do this as your responsibility by virtue of your intellectualism?
What is the role of the educated? Dr. Mehari asks and to me the answer is concentrating on or prioritizing the smooth transition of the society to democracy acknowledging nothing can be done without it and taking a clear position on without pretension and political correctness. Anything we plan depends on this subject and ignoring it at this critical political stage and entering the transitional PHASE without clear position will make us dearly pay and the intellectual class will be directly responsible for whatever happens in the country as a result! As Dr. Desale suggests, we should not engage in senseless meetings without specified topics important and momentous to the immediate challenge of the society. We need to work with scientific project management principles that show incremental result for every meeting as much as possible. This is cost effective in terms of time and essence, says the beautiful doctor and sure it does!.
Dr. Asghedom, the host asks, are we ready for smooth transition to democracy after the dictatorship? Can we convert YiAKL to YiKEAL? In my opinion, the answer is negative to the first question and affirmative to the second. We are not taking the most important aspect of our democratic dream seriously because of recklessness, sikifta and loss of vison. We are ignoring the society’s transition to democracy point blank wasting time on secondary aspects of the struggle for different excuses. The priority may be getting rid of the regime but that event automatically makes the Eritrean transition to democracy equally apparent. The two events are inseparable in view of time and essence for they take place concurrently and instantaneously.
Medrek Tetekefitu, this group can accomplish a lot; says one of our decent doctors in the panel but who has the authority to give permission in this regard and on what grounds? Who has the key for it? The stage has always been open for any interested Eritrean to play a positive role in the matter and take it family, like what you are doing right now without any excuse. I don’t need any permission from anyone to contribute to my society because the key is in my pocket, I just have to do it. Yet, I feel like there is something called Triangular Excuse in our diaspora community where some young people demand the older generation to leave the political podium for them as if they stopped them from it. They use it as a cover for their cyclic failure in the resistance. In the flip, the intellectual class expects permission from the mass to play its role in the society. Hey, nobody stopped the youth except itself and incapacity to lead nor can the society give the intellectuals a license to participate. We don’t have a dedicated office to this cause. Just get into it and take care of business family! That is what you got to do. I, therefore decline the dualistic excuse though, I admire the Doctor’s modesty that reflected the opinion.
I wish you the best family and there is no doubt you can play the biggest political role in our society and we are waiting. But how does this truth collectively grab you: BAYTO’s “ኩሎም ፖለቲካዊ ሓይልታትን ምእንቲ ፍትሕን ዲሞክራስያዊ ለውጥን ዝቃለሱ ህዝባዊ ምንቅስቓስን ብዝሳተፍሉ ሃገራዊ ዋዕላ ቴክኖክራታዊ (ዘይሻራዊ) ሃገራዊ ሓድነታዊ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ የቕውም”? As for me, I have academically, morally and universally settled my case on the matter with that decisive article in Bayto’s experience; still with the group’s all other contradictory problems in the plate. That will be discussed in the next article and enjoy!