[Video and text done/written by Elias Amare, twitter: @eliasamare]

On December 23, 2009 (Resolution 1907) and later on December 5, 2011 (Resolution 2023), the US engineered and imposed unjust and illegitimate sanctions on Eritrea at the UN Security Council. At that time, there was no evidence presented to justify these sanctions.

Seven years later, despite the lack of evidence and any legitimate justifications, these unjust sanctions on Eritrea still remain in place and continue to hurt the Eritrean people. Punishing innocent Eritrea based on false premises has neither brought peace to Somalia nor security to the Horn of Africa. It’s time to end and lift the unjust sanctions on Eritrea.

For more background information on these unjust sanctions on Eritrea go to: http://eritrean-smart.org/…/eritrea-unsubstantiated-allegat…


Image  —  Posted: December 24, 2016 in Anti-stereotyping/racism/xenophobia


Via Solidarity: a socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization and the Repeal Hyde Art Project

Image  —  Posted: May 9, 2016 in Active youth citizenship, Anti-stereotyping/racism/xenophobia, Social Justice
Tags: , , ,

[From the description given with the YouTube video]

Coverage of Eritrean migration has been highly politicized leading to
much confusion on the issue. Journalists usually quote suspected
traffickers and/or activists with declared “regime change” agenda for
their perspectives on conditions inside Eritrea and these accounts are
then used to present a “human rights” case against the country.

The explanation then for “harsh” conditions inside Eritrea misses the
point by a mile. No reference is made to the no-war-no-peace situation
inside the country caused by Ethiopia’s calculated hostility, its
maneuvering inside regional bodies, and its refusal to abide by a
final and binding decision. Furthermore, preferential treatment of
Eritrean asylum seekers designed to drain Eritrea of its most
important resource, along with sanctions based on cooked evidence of
support for terrorism, and an intrusive and biased UNHCR stand
against the country’s government and people has greatly tainted the
debate on migration.

This documentary by African Strategies, in collaboration with the Red
Sea Institute, raises key questions that mainstream media deliberately
ignores and is a continuation of a series of documentaries that try to
present THE OTHER NARRATIVE on Eritrea.


Coming across this video, I had to include it in a blog post (below this paragraph). Hollywood, especially through movies and sitcoms, is THE leading perpetrator of stereotypes against people of color (POC) on Earth, reducing Latinos to people with funny accents; Black people as the most dispensable characters in the story line (only person in the movie, first one to die); Black women in particular to angry women, prostitutes and/or ‘Mammies’; and Asians as asexual, feminine, and socially ‘awkward’. There are a few exceptions to this phenomenon but that has a lot to do with the fact that POCs are in the writing rooms of those shows, they are the directors of those movies. Check out the below video created by slate.com…it explains it all. Also, check out this article written by Aisha Harris, an excellent commentary on the issue.


Personally, I rarely watch sitcoms and find it difficult to allocate the time and energy to watch whole movies these days. Over the years, I’ve become disheartened and straight out bored with what Hollywood has to produce. As much as the discourse on stereotypes, racism, Orientalism, bigotry, representation and cultural imperialism has increased to include POCs in the discursive struggle, we still see the same racist ass shit on our television screens. I never watched an episode of Homeland; as soon as I read criticisms for the show’s absurdly sweeping stereotypes of the Middle East, I immediately boycotted it. I was absolutely tickled at the news of artists who took the opportunity to demonstrate to the world the stage crews’ sheer orientalist ignorance. After being asked to build a set of an ‘authentic’ refugee camp, they did this:


Awareness on what it takes to to bring more diversity into Hollywood is painfully lacking for those who have benefited the most by the current status quo. Matt Damon, the guy Hollywood LOVES to spend so much damn money saving, simply has no clue.

Saving Matt Damon

The cringe heard around the world, Matt Damon tried to give a lesson on diversity to producer Effie Brown. It was truly painful to watch him ‘equate diversity to compromising on ability, talent and creativity… that White Male Hollywood exists purely on “merit”‘.


There already exists a way to bring more diversity and better representation of POCs onto movie screens and into our living rooms, and that is to bring more POCs into the writing rooms of TV series and sitcoms, to bring more POCs onto the production teams of films. So until Hollywood gets with the program, I think I’ll read a book or two.

Dear readers, especially the followers of my blog,

I know this particular blog post comes late, and I apologize. I apologize for not blogging as much as I use to; I’ve been a bit busy with graduate school and trying to improve my academic writing skills, both of which has made it difficult for me to go back to just good old blogging. I believe I have found a way to get around this, as well as way to develop more interesting blog posts, so please stay tuned!

My last blog post, written on 16 June 2015, titled “Context is Everything in the Case of Eritrea“, was a compilation of what I thought would be discussed and/or relevant information for those seeking to inquire more on the discourse on Eritrea, during and after the running of The Stream episode that I was part of later that evening. The episode titled “UN Accuses Eritrea of possible ‘Crimes Against Humanity‘” did a good job at displaying how passionate Eritreans can be about challenging the hegemonic discourse surrounding their country, but more importantly calls for a more nuanced understanding about the production of this discourse as well as knowledge production on Eritrea. I will not go too much into this in this particular blog post but I will do so in future ones.


The above video might cause one to generalize and think that Eritreans only argue with each other, and therefore are not able to reconcile among themselves. What might not be easily understood by s/he who does not have a nuanced understanding of the hegemonic discourse surrounding Eritrea is that the above episode of The Stream is one of the very few occasions where Eritreans who do not chose to make a career out of demonizing the Eritrean government have had a chance to speak about the reality in Eritrea. Saleh Johar, who is also in the above episode, has made a career out of demonizing the Eritrean government, especially because it was established after the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) liberated Eritrea in 1991. What many people might not know is that he has not even set foot in Eritrea in decades. In the episode, he says that he fought for his country; his animosity towards the current front (the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice – PFDJ) has roots in the fact that he was a member of the other front (the Eritrean Liberation Front – ELF) that was driven out of Eritrea in the early 1980s.

Another thing that might not become apparent to those not familiar with the details of this discourse production is that there are a lot of Ethiopians, especially those from the northern Ethiopian province of Tigray, who participate in this discourse production with the sole intention of trying to make Eritrea seem as isolated as possible. Just check out the article written about The Stream Episode; all three tweets that are posted there because they back the COI report on Eritrea (i.e. posted under the phrase “But others backed the UN position”) are most obviously from Ethiopian-promoting Twitter accounts. Tigray Legend? ThatEthioBoy? Does it need to be more obvious? This is a very sad phenomena; there are plenty of Eritreans out there who do not support the current government, and yet they are not given a voice on such platforms. I do imagine that there could be Ethiopians who are genuinely concerned for Eritreans, but I can confidently say that the below Twitter accounts are NOT, especially after experiencing their banal Twitter trolling.

Ethiopians dominating discourse on Eritrea

In the article, there is also mention of the so-called “Freedom Friday” movement. When reports and articles started to emerge about this movement doing things within Eritrea, I had written THIS BLOG POST while I was in Eritrea, living in Eritrea. This phantom movement and the attention it has received illustrates the tragedy of the Eritrean situation where all agency is being stripped away from the Eritrean people by western media AGAIN! Only this time, instead of just completely denying agency, certain actors are now imagining scenarios of how the neo-imperial west would like people to demonstrate their agency, presenting pure fantasy as real, and major media channels are taking the bait. This fake revolution not only undermines the agency of Eritrean people inside the country, but also the intelligence of a people who brought about their own liberation (i.e. with no major backing from any other country, and where both world powers at the time – the USA and the Soviet Union – had both supported Ethiopia’s federalization of Eritrea to Ethiopia) with so much sacrifice.

Saleh Johar admiting being coached by Selam Kidane and Feruz KaisseyThere is a part in The Stream episode that, as I’ve observed on several forums and tweets, has confused many. Between the 18:34th minute and the 18:44th minute, Saleh Johar flashes his iPhone and says he has his Jordan sneakers, therefore he is not a refugee who has just arrived in the United States. To his own confession, he made that statement after being coached to do so by Selam Kidane and Feruz Kaissey. The background behind that comment is the first time I was on The Stream (which actually inspired me to create this blog) and how a comment I made about how Eritrean youth are like other youth around the world (i.e. exposed to the products of globalization), was taken out of context. In that episode I said that something along the line of ‘we (here I would like to emphasize the ‘we’) in Eritrea enjoy Hollywood movies, iPods, iPads, and Air Jordans’ (although I didn’t have an iPad at the time and have never worn a pair of Air Jordans in my life). My statement was misinterpreted as saying that people become refugees for such commodities, and I was accused of being insensitive. This is what happens when there is a single narrative, a narrative that purports that all Eritreans leaving Eritrea are only refugees. It does not say anything about the hundreds of thousands of youth (NB. Eritrea’s population is roughly 5 to 6 million) who are still in Eritrea, nor does it say anything about the thousands of youth who were exempted/released from national service but had to put their lives in the hands of human traffickers simply because there were no legal ways for them to travel to the west, nor does it say anything about the hundreds (if not thousands) who left Eritrea within the last decade and now travel back-and-forth to Eritrea, nor does it say anything about the many that dream of the day they do go back to their country after finding out that the life of a migrant in the west is very difficult. That single narrative also denies the fact that there are thousands of Eritrean people who are still refugees in the Sudan since before Eritrea’s independence, a single narrative that has kept such people hostage to subaltern status. You never hear the voices of such people in the mainstream media… unless of course their situation is presented in a way that further perpetuates this single narrative for the benefit of political actors working very hard to make Eritrea look justifiably isolated.

The last point I would like to make about this particular episode of Al Jazeera’s The Stream is to point out some nuance in the only other ‘Supporting-COI-report’ tweet mentioned in the AJ Stream article written right after the show, a tweet from Selam Kidane’s Twitter account.

Selam Kidane tweet on AJ Stream article

The irony of the above tweet is that it purports that the COI report says what every Eritrean already knew. Saleh Johar says the same thing during the AJStream episode. It is true that such actors already knew the report’s contents because they played a very active role in writing the report. Since this particular issue deserves a proper analysis, I will get into more detail about this in another blog post. For now, I would just like to point out that Selam Kidane has been active in threatening Eritreans, who have applied for asylum in Europe, from participating in any Eritrean events that are not organized by the opposition. This includes non-political events like festivals and music concerts. The irony behind this scenario is that Selam Kidane herself had sought asylum in the UK some time in the late 1980s saying that she was fleeing Ethiopian forced conscription, when indeed the Ethiopian government did not conscript females at all. To summarize what the below screen shot says, in the Tigrinya language, Selam Kidane is warning Eritrean asylum seekers in Europe to not participate in a peaceful demonstration that took place on the 22nd of June this year in Geneva, protesting against the COI report. The whole message is not included in the below screen shot but warnings like this were disseminated throughout Eritrean-related Facebook groups by those who support (and even helped to write the report WITHOUT having ever lived in Eritrea post-independence, never serving a day in the Eritrean national service program), claiming that if asylum seekers are identified in pictures of the demonstration, action would be taken to get them deported out of Europe. This fear-mongering is all but a small example of what many in the opposition are doing to further deny agency to those that do not support their single narrative.

So, I’ve touched on a lot of issues in this blog post, but in the future I promise to get into more detail about the current discursive struggle taking place among Eritrean communities around the world. Stay tuned!


As usual, the situation in Eritrea was completely taken out of context by the recent Commission of Inquiry (COI) report on the human rights situation in Eritrea. I’m expecting quite a lot of viewers of this blog this evening, so to make your search a bit easier, here are some important links you should consider.
Here is a tumblr dedicated to posting the various lies made about Eritrea… check it out!
Here is an interesting documentary “Eritrea: The Other Narrative”


Eritrea did call on the United Nations to take on an independent and transparent investigation against the human trafficking of Eritreans. CLICK HERE!
Here is a detailed article about human trafficking that explains the ‘history’ of migration of Eritreans:
Here is a blog post I’ve written in the past, basically calling the Freedom Friday movement/robot call campaign on its bluff.
Here is a blog post I’ve written in response to some media channels accusing concerned Eritrean citizens of being spies.
About ‘opposition’ members in the Diaspora threatening newcomers…
…here is one that you can read clearly as it is in English.
This is a picture of 11209398_10205546612999014_8365680649054353995_na flyer that was distributed among people, threatening them that if they attend the annual Eritrean festival there, that they will be in trouble. This flyer is written in Tigrinya, one of the major languages in Eritrea.
Here is the video of Eritreans in Israel celebrating the 24th anniversary of independence, 24 May 2015… This video basically goes against the narrative that all Eritreans in Israel hate their country.