Big emotions don’t come from big words: The complex language of Eritrean medias

At times, language is a decorative art where you show your skills. At other times, language simply is a tool. A tool to transfer your message.

When the purpose of the writing is  to transfer ideas from your brain to others, Language has to be more of a tool and less of an art (unless its a poem).

I am worried that many articles and statements produced by many Eritrean dissidents are not easy to understand. I have great respect for Eritreans that spend time and effort writing pages and pages of articles. But a lot of times the language is filled with advanced grammar and fancy vocabulary.

Delivery of message, in my opinion, is a serious problem in many Eritrean movements.

It is tempting to use long and difficult words when trying to communicate deeply with audience. This does not help at all. The writer Ernest Hemingway puts it, “Big emotions don’t come from big words.” Big emotions come from clearly communicated idea. Ideas delivered using short and simple text. The same also applies to video and recorded media, such as radio or internet videos.

Lets make it a challenge to express the most using the simplest words.

Mute and without opinion – eritrean Churches

I think decades of Marxist style oppression has left the Eritrean Churches mute and without opinion. Even on some of the most common sense topics. I am especially disappointed about the evangelical and growing churches of Eritrea as they are, in my opinion, the most confused in this regard.

“The church must be the guide and the critic of the state and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

Some social and political issues are somewhat grey. It can be controversial on whether the church should herald its views and opinions or not. But there are other issues that are clearly within the Churches domain. Like openly condemning the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide. Or  the arbitrary arrest and torture of Eritreans.

I’m like the majority of Eritreans in thinking that any Church should not side with any political organization. But that does not mean the Church should not have a stand or an opinion of things. Shouldn’t Eritrean Churches abroad be writing petitions for the release of religious prisoners, at least?

Another important thing, there is a distinct difference between a “Church” as an organization, and a church member- a christian person. No one has to be a bad christian to be a good citizen. And this is I think what a lot of Eritreans evangelicals don’t understand. A christian can be active in social, economic and political aspects of daily life.They can join political and social organizations. Or even better, a good christian can lead a political organization. If a christian has not learned to respect, tolerate and work among people of all religions, he/she is not a good christian at all.

I remember many congregations in Eritrea praying for a converted, God-fearing head of state. I believe in miracles. I also believe there are some things you have to work and earn. We should encourage God-fearing men and women to inspire us and join arms for social and political justice.

I hope to hear most of our churches praying  for those people who  invest their time, money and  talent  fighting for social and political improvement in Eritrea.

We are the 99%

History of the 99%. Eritreans protest in Israel (2009)

It matters very little what evil people ARE doing compared to what the good people ARE NOT doing. As the common quote goes “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”

Eritrea has many good men/women, but most do not actively (or even passively) oppose the current government. One major reason is  the lack of organization. Most Eritreans lack faith in the already existing opposition parties and civic organizations to bring change. People will not invest a anything if they do not believe there is a chance of success. On the other hand people will risk all if they believe what they are doing is going to bring change. In this regard, history is not on the side of Eritrean opposition. So far, history has proven to us that involving with the Eritrean opposition yields no-thing. Nothing at least that the average Eritrean can feel. When it comes to investing in the Eritrean opposition, the risk simply isn’t worth the benefit. Or so it seems for many good Eritreans.

But one thing puzzles me. Most people I met know exactly what they should not do, and with whom they do not want to get involved with. If you have reached to this level of mature thinking, the next step is to decide what you should  do and with whom you should involve. Good luck.

How do they get away with it?

Imagine you are being beaten and kicked and abused -you are begging for mercy. Imagine  your good friend going through that. Or  it’s your favorite son/daughter/father going through that. Eritreans (living in Eritrea) have no need to imagine, they can just remember instead.

The sad fact is, some Eritreans do see some fairness in the way Eritrea is administered. The government has effectively managed to indoctrinate a good portion of the population into “accepting what they don’t see, and denying what they hear and see.”

The Eritrean government has mastered one trick. They infuse the facts slowly and silently that when the people finally  have facts, they have lost the emotion the fact should obviously have triggered. On many instances, the government somehow manages to effectively decouple the peoples ability to recognize  the facts from experiencing the associated emotion.

"Doublethink" means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.(George Orwell)

Eritreans, just like everyone, have emotions of course. They feel anger and sense of injustice if a neighbor abuses them or their families. They feel sad, or even angry, against the U.S.  burning the Holy Koran or killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan for no reason.

Yet the Eritrean people know about the burning of many more Holy books by their government, in their own home country. They know much more than 16 Eritreans killed for no reason. The difference is, they do not feel anger.

In using the words “anger”, “emotion” I don’t mean sudden burst of emotion but contemplated deep feelings. Even disgust at the abuse and injustice. Some thing like how one many feel about the Mengistu Hailemariam’s cruel regime.