Eritrean Quotes

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Eritrean people are strong and caring. And despite all that we had been through we were brimming with optimism. Our country was on the verge of huge change.
Abeba Habtu (Become Courageous Abeba: A Story of Love, Loss, War and Hope)
To understand how that astounding moral blindness was possible, it is helpful to think of the workers of an armament plant who rejoice in the 'stay of execution' of their factory thanks to big new orders, while at the same time honestly bewailing the massacres visited upon each other by Ethiopians and Eritreans; or to think how it is possible that the 'fall in commodity prices' may be universally welcomed as good news while 'starvation of African children' is equally universally, and sincerely, lamented.
Zygmunt Bauman (Modernity and the Holocaust)
in June 2016, when the UN accused the Ertrean government of committing crimes against humanity, thousands of Eritrean protested outside the UN building in Geneva. The Swiss people had been told, like everyone else in Europe, that here were poeple who had come to Switzerland because they were fleeing a government they could not live under Yet, thousands of them turned out to support that same government when someone in Europe criticized them.
Douglas Murray (The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam)
Tiffany Haddish (The Last Black Unicorn)
Do you accept Jesus Christ?” He says it in English, so he definitely knows I’m not Eritrean; the jig is up. “Do you accept Jesus Christ?” he says again, like Jesus is a credit card and I’m an unhelpful waiter. The conditions of the inquiry do not suggest that there is time for me to go into my honest answer: “Yes, but there are caveats.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God, sent to earth to redeem us all. Jesus Christ, the Jewish nationalist radical. Jesus Christ, the metaphor for the divine within the corporeal. Jesus Christ, the human being superimposed, literally, placed on the cross: the pagan geometric emblem that represents on the vertical plane the relationship between the earthly and the divine and on the other, horizontal plane the lateral relationships between individual humans. Christ as the end of paganism, the beginning of individualism, of idolatry. Of the acceptance that some humans are more equal than others. Christ as a reminder that we must all constantly die and be born again, moment to moment, to live forever in the now, if as Wittgenstein says, “eternity is taken not to be an infinite temporal duration but the quality of timelessness, then are we not all eternal if we live in the present.” Christ as the symbol that the flesh is human, that the carnal human ape has expired, and that we can achieve no more until we transcend, until we ascend, into new conscious realms and manifest the divine. “On earth as it is in heaven”? “Do you accept Jesus Christ?” he says again, and this time gives me a bit of a prod, which he tries to pass off as shamanic but I think is actually frustration. The answer, as I have outlined above, is conditionally “yes,” but the most expedient answer is a totally unconditional “yes,” so that is the answer I give. “Yes.
Russell Brand (Revolution)
Migration statistics offer a hint of the shift. More than 170,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Italy by sea last year; Syrians and Eritreans were the two largest groups among them, accounting for more than 76,000 people, according to Italy’s Interior Ministry. Gambians ranked a distant fifth. Yet during the first quarter of 2015, a relatively slow period with just 10,165 arrivals — Gambia was the leading country of origin, accounting for 1,413 of the migrants. The authorities have not published figures for April yet, but humanitarian and migration groups confirm that a majority of the arriving migrants came originally from sub-Saharan African countries — some directly, with Italy as a destination, but many end up here less deliberately.
the Times ran an article titled “The Jihadist Next Door.” The article noted with alarm that “[i]n the last year, at least two dozen men in the United States have been charged with terrorism-related offenses,” leaving intelligence operatives “scurrying for answers.”55 The “Americans” who left government officials “scurrying for answers,” were:           Najibullah Zazi, Afghan           Daood Sayed Gilani, Pakistani           Umer Farooq, Pakistani           Waqar Khan, Pakistani           Ramy Zamzam, Egyptian           Ahmed Abdullah Minni, Eritrean           Aman Hassan Yemer, Ethiopian It makes no sense—it’s the freckle-faced boy next door!
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
In September 2001, after an unnecessary international war with Ethiopia, half the Eritrean cabinet wrote to the president, Isaias Afwerki, asking him to think again about his autocratic style of government. He thought about it and imprisoned them all.
Paul Collier (The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (Grove Art))
Lisa Jewell (Then She Was Gone)
Through the use of identity cards, the Ethiopian authorities were able to identify people with Eritrean affiliation during the mass expulsion of 1998, while the Vietnamese government was able to locate ethnic Chinese more easily during their 1978–79 expulsion. The USSR used identity cards to force the relocation of ethnic Koreans (1937), Volga Germans (1941), Kamyks and Karachai (1943), Crimean Tartars, Meshkhetian Turks, Chechens, Ingush, and Balkars (1944), and ethnic Greeks (1949). Ethnic Vietnamese were identified for group denationalization through identity cards in Cambodia in 1993, as were the Kurds in Syria in 1962.
John W. Whitehead (The Change Manifesto: Join the Block by Block Movement to Remake America)
My dear Marwan, in the long summers of childhood, when I was a boy the age you are now, your uncles and I spread our mattress on the roof of your grandfathers’ farmhouse outside of Hom. We woke in the mornings to the stirring of olive trees in the breeze, to the bleating of your grandmother's goat, the clanking of her cooking pots, the air cool and the sun a pale rim of persimmon to the east. We took you there when you were a toddler. I have a sharply etched memory of your mother from that trip. I wish you hadn’t been so young. You wouldn't have forgotten the farmhouse, the soot of its stone walls, the creek where your uncles and I built a thousand boyhood dams. I wish you remembered Homs as I do, Marwan. In its bustling Old City, a mosque for us Muslims, a church for our Christian neighbours, and a grand souk for us all to haggle over gold pendants and fresh produce and bridal dresses. I wish you remembered the crowded lanes smelling of fried kibbeh and the evening walks we took with your mother around Clock Tower Square. But that life, that time, seems like a dream now, even to me, like some long-dissolved rumour. First came the protests. Then the siege. The skies spitting bombs. Starvation. Burials. These are the things you know You know a bomb crater can be made into a swimming hole. You have learned dark blood is better news than bright. You have learned that mothers and sisters and classmates can be found in narrow gaps between concrete, bricks and exposed beams, little patches of sunlit skin shining in the dark. Your mother is here tonight, Marwan, with us, on this cold and moonlit beach, among the crying babies and the women worrying in tongues we don’t speak. Afghans and Somalis and Iraqis and Eritreans and Syrians. All of us impatient for sunrise, all of us in dread of it. All of us in search of home. I have heard it said we are the uninvited. We are the unwelcome. We should take our misfortune elsewhere. But I hear your mother's voice, over the tide, and she whispers in my ear, ‘Oh, but if they saw, my darling. Even half of what you have. If only they saw. They would say kinder things, surely.' In the glow of this three-quarter moon, my boy, your eyelashes like calligraphy, closed in guileless sleep. I said to you, ‘Hold my hand. Nothing bad will happen.' These are only words. A father's tricks. It slays your father, your faith in him. Because all I can think tonight is how deep the sea, and how powerless I am to protect you from it. Pray God steers the vessel true, when the shores slip out of eyeshot and we are in the heaving waters, pitching and tilting, easily swallowed. Because you, you are precious cargo, Marwan, the most precious there ever was. I pray the sea knows this. Inshallah. How I pray the sea knows this.
Khaled Hosseini (Sea Prayer)
I was very close to the age where I would have been sent to train, but was saved from that fate when we were forced out of Pinyudo, all forty thousand of us, by the Ethiopian forces that overthrew President Mengistu. ... The area near the river was marshy and the group was soaked, wading through the heavy water. The river, when we arrived, was high and moving quickly. Trees and debris flew with the current. The first shots seemed small and distant. I turned to follow the sound. I saw nothing, but the gunfire continued and grew louder. The attackers were nearby. The sounds multiplied, and I heard the first screams. A woman up the river spat a stream of blood from her mouth before falling, lifeless, into the water. She had been shot by an unseen assailant, and the current soon took “her toward my group. Now the panic began. Tens of thousands of us splashed through the shallows of the river, too many unable to swim. To stay on the bank meant certain death, but to jump into that river, swollen and rushing, was madness. “The Ethiopians were attacking, their Eritrean cohorts with them, the Anyuak doing their part. They wanted us out of their country, they were avenging a thousand crimes and slights. I paddled and kicked. I looked again for the spot on the riverbank where I had last seen the crocodiles. They were gone. —The crocodiles! —Yes. We must swim fast. Come. There are so many of us. We’re at a mathematical advantage. Swim, Achak, just keep paddling. A scream came from very close. I turned to see a boy in the jaws of a crocodile. The river bloomed red and the boy’s face disappeared. —Keep going. Now he’s too busy to eat you. We were halfway across the river now, and my ears heard the hiss under the water and the bullets and mortars cracking the air. Each time my ears fell below the surface, a hiss overtook my head, and it felt like the sound of the crocodiles coming for me. I tried to keep my ears above the surface, but when my head was too high, I pictured a bullet entering the back of my skull. ... I pushed my face into the dirt, but secretly I watched the slaughter below. Thousands of boys and men and women and babies were crossing the river, and soldiers were killing them randomly and sometimes with great care. There were a few SPLA troops fighting from our side of the river, but for the most part they had already escaped, leaving the Sudanese civilians alone and unprotected. The Ethiopians, then, had their choice of targets, most of them unarmed. “they chased the Sudanese from their land with machetes and the few rifles they possessed. They hacked and shot those running to the river, and they shot those flailing across the water. Shells exploded, sending plumes of white twenty feet into the air. Women dropped babies in the river. Boys who could not swim simply drowned... Some of the dead were then eaten by crocodiles. The river ran in many colors that day, green and white, black and brown and red. “—Come here!" a woman said. I looked to find the source of the voice, and turned to see an Ethiopian woman in a soldier’s uniform. —Come here and I will help you find Pochalla! she said. The other boys began walking toward her. —No! I said. —See how she’s dressed! —Don’t fear me, she said. I am just a woman! I am a mother trying to help you boys. Come to me, children! I am your mother! Come to me! The unknown boys ran toward her. Achor stayed with me. When they were twenty feet from her, the woman turned, lifted a gun from the grass, and with her eyes full of white, she shot the taller boy through the heart. I could see the bullet leaving his back. His body kneeled and then fell on its side, his head landing before his shoulder. “Run! he said, grabbing my shirt from behind. We ran from her, diving into the grass and then crawling and hurtling away fom the woman, who was still shouting at us. "Come back!" she said. "I am your mother, come back, my children!
Dave Eggers (What Is the What)
I knew that the first Europeans to arrive in Ethiopia had addressed the monarchs of that country as ‘Prester John.’ This use of the sacred relic as a war palladium – and as an effective one at that – was not, according to Archpriest Solomon [Gabre Selassie, Head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Britain], just something that had happened in Ethiopia’s distant past. On the contrary: ‘As recently as 1896 when the King of Kings Menelik the Second fought against the Italian aggressors at the battle of Adowa in Tigray region, the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant into the field to confront the invaders. As a result of this, Menelik was very victorious and returned to Addis Abada in great honour.’ I re-read this part of the reply with considerable interest because I knew that Menelik II had indeed been ‘very victorious’ in 1896. In that year, under the command of General Baratieri, 17,700 Italian troops equipped with heavy artillery and the latest weapons had marched up into the Abyssinian highlands from the Eritrean coastal strip intent on colonizing the whole country. Menelik’s forces, though ill prepared and less well armed, had met them at Adowa on the morning of 1 March, winning in less than six hours what one historian had subsequently described as ‘the most notable victory of an African over a European army since the time of Hannibal.’ In a similar tone, the London Spectator of 7 March 1896 commented: ‘The Italians have suffered a great disaster… greater than has ever occurred to white men in Africa.
Graham Hancock (The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant)
Not only do westerners travel to some hot country within a given distance to the equator, we rarely even show the locals any respect with regards to their customs and cultures, not to mention speak to them. And usually we travel in groups, without feeling any shame. Then again, when hordes of Japanese tourists, Germans with caravans or Eritrean asylum seekers arrive n an area near our homes, we look at them hatefully and tend to freeze them out.
Gunnar Garfors (198: How I Ran Out of Countries*)