Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Obituary: Dr. Hashim Gamal A-Din A-Shami

Obituary: Dr. Hashim Gamal A-Din A-Shami

Dr. Hashim Gamal A-Din A-Shami passed away in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was taking medical treatment on Monday, August 1, 2022. Dr. Hashim was born in the Red Sea coastal city of Tio, Eritrea, in 1948, to his father, Sheikh Gamal A-Din Ibrahim Khalil, and mother, Handia Humo Motala.

A veteran UN official and a writer, Dr. Hashim was a well-versed intellectual interested in peoples' causes in the region and beyond. He was interested in the history and studies of East Africa and the Southern Arabian Peninsula. Dr. A-Shami was a man of high integrity, social, kind, and generous. Though born in Eritrea, he felt he belonged to all Afar in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. His most significant contribution to the Afar was his book, 'Al Manhal: The Source in the History and Narratives of the Afar (Danakil),' which was issued in 1991 in Arabic with a second edition in 1996. The book is about 750 pages. The book was translated to Amharic, with additions to the Arabic version in 2007 with the title ዓፋር (ደንከልታሪክና መረጃ አርክ ምንጭ. The book was translated to English in 2018.

The book presents analytical and documentary accounts of Afar (Danakil/Adal) in relations with neighboring peoples around the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. It includes over 30 colored maps and copies of 19 fundamental conventions, protocols, treaties, and pacts between Afar (Danakil, Adal) Sultanates and Sheikhdoms with colonial powers (Italy and France).

​Moreover, it covers various dimensions: Afar political history; structure of the Afar Sultanates; degree of decentralization; religious aspects from pre-Christianity and pre-Islamic ages up to date (2017); social systems; the pedigree of Afar tribes; Afar social and economic life according to the categories for the period 1800-1960; Afar socio-civilizational manifestations from 600 BC to 10 AD which includes Afar ports, cities and ways of living, particularly in Afar coastal belt from the north of Dahlak Archipelago to Zeila; the presence of the Ottoman empire over very few points of the Afar coast during 1647-1866; and the Egyptian existence in some of the Afar mentioned ports up to 1885.

​Dr. Hashim descended from an Islamic religious family, and his grandfather was an Islamic scholar who made Tio a spiritual center. After completing elementary and secondary school, Dr. Hashim traveled to Egypt, where he got his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and agronomy from Cairo High Polytechnic Institute in 1970 with outstanding results and was the first in his batch. After returning from Cairo, managed the Awsa informal cooperative, a semi-mechanized farm of 25,000 hectares in the lower Awash Valley. He got his MSc degree at Arizona State University with honors in Agricultural Economics in 1974 and completed his Ph.D. studies in Economics at Wisconsin University in 1979. 

From 1980 to 1985, he worked as an Economist for the oil, gas, water, agriculture, and desalination sectors in the Ministry of Planning in Saudi Arabia, where he contributed substantially to the 5-year development plan in the kingdom. He joined United Nations (UN) 's FAO as an economist based in Rome and was a Regional officer for Near East and North Africa, 1985-1989.

Dr. Hashim was appointed Chief Technical Advisor, Senior Planning Economist, and Team Leader at the United Nations Department of Social Affairs from 1989 to 1996. He was FAO representative in Nigeria and Yemen 1996-2008. During his term in Nigeria, he also engaged and contributed to the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS). During his tenure in the United Nations, he met many leaders in the countries he worked and visited which gave him an in-depth knowledge of Horn of Africa, in particular and Africa and the Middle East. He retired in 2008. Dr. Hashim served as Development Adviser to the Government of Djibouti from 2009-2014.

While studying at the university in Egypt, Dr. Hashim accompanied Sultan Ali Mirah Hanafi in his meetings with Egyptian officials in 1967. He witnessed an undeclared agreement between Egypt (represented in the person of Mr. Mohammed Fayek, Head of the Department of African Affairs in the Egyptian Presidency) and Afar leader Ali Arif Burhan and Sultan Ali Mirah Hanfari. Egypt agreed to the independence of Djibouti for the first time. Egypt also convinced other Arab countries to follow suit. Previously Egypt supported the accession of Djibouti to Somalia. As it is well known that both Somalia and Ethiopia claimed Djibouti. The opinion of the Sultan was if Djibouti was not independent, there might be a war between Ethiopia and Somalia on the issue. Just before the independence of Djibouti, the Government of the Republic of Somalia, particularly the President, Mr. Mohamed Siad Barre, approved it. Thus, Djibouti obtained its independence without obstacles. Sultan Ali Mirah Hanfari got scholarships to Afar students from Egypt in 1967. Egypt also provided a radio broadcast in the Afar language, where Dr. Hashim worked for a short while.

As a personal note, Dr. Akrem Ali Altom, introduced to Dr. Hashim in Egypt, and we became close friends from the first day. He was a mentor, and I have learned many issues from him pertaining to the Afar people and the region's political dynamics. He not only encouraged me to author a book about Eritrea but kept pushing me till I finished it, "The Dynamics of the unfinished African Dream: Ancient Times to 1968". He introduced me to many valuable references. He also contributed substantially to the chapter about the ancient history of Eritrea but did not permit me to acknowledge that in the book. I spoke to him regularly. Almost at least once a week, we exchanged views on regional developments. He will be deeply missed.

Dr. Hashim is survived by two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren.


Mohamed Kheir Omer


Saturday, 18 June 2022




A 2019 PhD Thesis   DANIEL T. HABTEMICHAEL Submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

Two political economy models are used to critically evaluate the energetics data from the built-forms combined to another set of data of essential artifacts from the site. The traditional political economy perspective holds that Adulis is a periphery, a port in an Aksum dominated world economy. An alternative theoretical position proposed in this dissertation is that Adulis was an independent state and a center of its own. 

The dissertation research shows the archaeological data supports that Adulis was a center of its own. Moreover, the dissertation successfully establishes the basis of Adulis' political economy by distinctly illustrating its role in interregional trades in aromatics, readiness to train and export war elephants, and its perceived upper-tier rank in governance locally and among other Red Sea ports. Early involvement of Adulis in the aromatics trades of the Red Sea instituted tangible and intangible political economy capital. However, it was a combination of Adulis’ capability to export war elephants in wars of local and general interest, its strategic location connecting the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean worlds, responsible governance, and its favorable climatic conditions all were factors in Adulis’ significant position in antiquity.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Islamic Brotherhoods in Ethiopia and Eritrea by Jonathan Miran

Islamic Brotherhoods in Ethiopia and Eritrea by Jonathan Miran 

Rab'att: A traditional Youth Association Among Tigrait Speaking Communities in Eritrea


Rab'att: A traditional Youth Association Among Tigrait Speaking Communities in Eritrea

The "Rab'at Dsllālat". A presentation of the Tigre text Author(s): Glanfrancesco Lusini and Mohammed-Ali Ibrahim Mohammed Source: Rassegna di Studi Etiopici , 2012, Nuova Serie, Vol. 4 (47) (2012), pp. 205-213 Published by: Istituto per l'Oriente C. A. Nallino S

Monday, 7 February 2022

Do sanctions work ? The case of Eritrea


Do sanctions work ? The case of Eritrea says “no”

Eritrea has lived under United Nations economic sanctions for more than ten years without any notable impact on its politics or economy. Due to its covert economic operations and owing to weak and ineffective enforcement, Eritrea evaded the objective of the sanctions. A new unilateral sanction regime was recently re-imposed by the United States on the belligerent Horn of Africa nation – will the impact be different this time around? 

Sunday, 16 January 2022

القرن الإفريقي عمقًا استراتيجيًّا خليجيًّا The Horn of Africa: A Gulf Strategic Depth, Dec 2021 book


القرن الإفريقي عمقًا استراتيجيًّا خليجيًّا

Al Jazeera Centre for Studies released a new book on 27 December 2021 entitled The Horn of Africa: A Gulf Strategic Depth by Madwakh Ajmi Al-Otaibi, professor of international relations at Joaan Bin Jassim Joint Command and Staff College in Qatar.

The book, which is originally a PhD thesis, aims to present geo-strategic, geo-economic and geo-cultural facts about the Horn of Africa as a Gulf strategic depth and attempts to answer a bundle of questions, such as: to which extent does the Horn of Africa make up one of the components of the strategic depth of the Arab Gulf? What is the nature of the fixed data that characterise the Gulf and Horn of Africa regions and render each of them a strategic depth to the other? What is the best means of building a Gulf strategic depth in the Horn of Africa according to the logic of strategic partnerships?

The Horn of Africa: A Gulf Strategic Depth is centred around the premise that the strategic depth of international politics in the new world order is based on an integrative relationship that reflects mutual interests between the parties concerned with defining strategic relations in aims of confronting mutual political, economic and security challenges. Thus, it attempts to tie the security and stability of the Horn of Africa and those of the Gulf region.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Arabic on the Dahlak Islands (Eritrea)


Arabic on the Dahlak Islands (Eritrea)

Arabic in Contact. Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Perspectives, a 2014 article by Marie-Claude Simeone-Senelle

A Study on the Sources of the History of Arabic Curved Letters Dahlak Island in Eritrea: Inscriptions as a Model


أطروحة دكتوراه عن المصادر المؤرخة للخطوط اللينة (النسخ والثلث) نقوش جزيرة دهلك نموذجا بقلم الباحث: تاج الدين نور الدائم

A 2012 PhD Thesis on "A Study on the Sources of the History of Arabic Curved Letters Dahlak Island in Eritrea Inscriptions as a Model"

Tuesday, 23 November 2021


BIO NOTES ON #ERITREA/N PRESIDENT ISAIAS AFWERKI: A detailed description of the personality of Isaias, a leaked cable written by US Embassy Asmara in 2008, his relations to #Tigray, conflict with Meles and he was called 'Wancha'-'Beer pot' in childhood




2008 November 12, 10:55 (Wednesday)

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ER - Eritrea | PINR - Political Affairs--Intelligence


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TE - Telegram (cable)

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Eritrea Asmara


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CJTF-HOA J2X CAMP LEMONIER DJ Central Intelligence Agency DJ QJQBOUTI Defense Intelligence Agency Ethiopia Addis Ababa | JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL Kenya Nairobi | National Security Council Secretary of Defense Secretary of State Sudan Khartoum | United States Africa Command United States Central Command United States Naval Forces Central


1. (C) Summary: Isaias is an austere and narcissistic dictator whose political ballast derives from Maoist ideology fine-tuned during Eritrea's 30-year war for independence. He is paranoid and believes Ethiopian PM Meles tried to kill him and that the United States will attempt to assassinate him. He is not notably nepotistic and has not favored his ancestral village or immediate family. This message includes some biographic tidbits offered as an addendum to USG bio information on foreign government leaders. End Summary.

2. (C) Aiming for 112: Isaias, 62, told a visiting German parliamentarian in late 2008 that he is healthy and expects to live another 40 or 50 years. He said he hopes to serve his country as long as he is able. In a May 2008 television interview, Isaias said Eritrea might hold elections "in three or four decades."

3. (S/NF) An Alleged Ethiopian Assassination Attempt: Isaias and Meles, brothers in arms during the 1980s, are now blood enemies. Why? In 1996, while returning from a vacation in Kenya, Isaias, his family, and his inner entourage stopped in Addis, where Meles offered to fly them back to Asmara in one of his aircraft. Isaias accepted the offer; en route the aircraft caught fire, but managed to turn back and land safely in Addis. According to someone who was on the aircraft, an infuriated Isaias accuse Meles to his face of trying to kill him and his family. Isaias has not trusted Meles since, according to this source.

4. (S) Fears of an American Assassination Attempt: Isaias thinks the United States will attempt to kill him by missile strike on his residence in the city of Massawa, according to late 2007 information from the Force Commander of UNMEE.

5. (C) Holier Than Thou: Isaias has berated the Chinese ambassador in Asmara for China's embrace of market capitalism. Isaias was sent to China by the Eritrean Liberation Front for political commissar training in the 1960s, where, according to the Chinese ambassador, "he learned all the wrong things." Isaias was turned off by the cult of personality surrounding Mao, but apparently internalized Maoist ideology.

6. (C) Fluent in Arabic: Asmara-based Arab ambassadors are impressed by Isaias' fluency in Arabic. There is some debate about where he learned it, but all agree he is a comfortable and capable Arabic speaker.

7. (C) Talented Speechwriter: In mid-2008, after Isaias delivered an impressive address in English to a gathering of ministerial-level representatives on the subject of Darfur, Yemane Ghebremeskel, the director of the office of the president, said Isaias had written the speech himself.

8. (C) Hot Temper: At a January 2008 dinner he hosted for a codel and embassy officials, Isaias became involved in a heated discussion with his Amcit legal advisor about some tomato seedlings the legal advisor provided to Isaias' wife. Isaias complained that despite tender care by his wife, the plants produced only tiny tomatoes. When the legal advisor explained that they were cherry tomatoes and were supposed to be small, Isaias lost his temper and stormed out of the venue, much to the surprise of everyone, including his security detail.

9. (C) Holds a Grudge: A senior party official said Isaias and Djibouti President Guelleh had (g(eed during a 'u'e 2008 telephone conversation to try to resolve at the presidential level issues related to the June border clash. According this senior Eritrean official, Isaias was livid when Guelleh supposedly shortly thereafter lambasted Eritrean aggression in a media interview. Isaias reportedly felt personally betrayed by President Guelleh, and has been obstinate about resolving the Djibouti-Eritrea border dispute ever since.

10. (C) Thin Skinned: Isaias asked to be named the patron of the World Bank-funded Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project (CARP). When individuals involved with CARP published the book "Asmara: Africa's Secret Modernist City," it failed to include a note of thanks to CARP's patron. Isaias was miffed and shut down CARP.

11. (C) Good Op-Sec: Isaias has an aversion to talking on the telephone and frequently sleeps in different locations to foil a coup or assassination attempt. During the winter months he spends most of his time in Massawa rather than in Asmara. When dining in restaurants, Isaias will often switch plates with a subordinate, apparently to avoid being poisoned, according to the Qatari ambassador.

12. (C) The Early Years of Little Beer Pot: Isaias' father, Afwerki, comes from the village of Tselot, which is perched on the lip of a 7,000' escarpment four miles southeast of Asmara. When Isaias was a boy Afwerki reportedly spent much of his time in Tigray, where he owned a coffee farm that was later nationalized by the Derg. With Afwerki largely absent, Isaias lived with his mother (rumored to have family roots in Tigray) in a working class neighborhood in eastern Asmara near the train depot and the Lutheran church. Isaias' mother made and sold a traditional beer called sewa. By some accounts, Isaias was nicknamed the Tigrinya equivalent of "Beer Pot," after the ceramic jug from which sewa is dispensed.Q Qoday he is a QeQvy whisky drinker, but perhaps as a youth his nickname referred as much to his habits as to his mother's business.


BIOgraphy NOTES ON #ERITREA/N PRESIDENT ISAIAS AFWERKI: A detailed description of the personality of Isaias, a leaked cable written by US Embassy Asmara in 2008, his relations to #Tigray, conflict with Meles and he was called 'Wancha'-'Beer pot' in childhood







13. (C) No Pork for His Ancestral Village: In November 2008 emboffs visited Tselot and saw no indication that the village has received any special favor from Isaias. Like most Eritrean villages, it has electricity but no running water or sewer system. Gaunt cattle and untended donkeys roam the village. Their droppings are quickly gathered and formed into oval patties, which are then stuck on rock walls, dried, and used as fuel for cooking. Afwerki is said to be buried in the village cemetery, but emboffs could not locate his grave. Isaias' immediate family is rarely featured in the state-run media and keeps a low profile. Although his portrait adorns many shops in Asmara, there is no cult of personality in Eritrea. Isaias often appears in the media clad casually in slacks, jacket, open-necked shirt, and sandals or loafers. He rarely travels in a motorcade.

14. (C) Hard-hearted: When a visiting U.S. movie star in early 2008 raised the plight of two Embassy Asmara FSNs who have been imprisoned without charge since 2001, Isaias glared stonily at her and replied, "Would you like me to hold a trial and then hang them?" MCMULLEN

Friday, 12 November 2021

Ethiopia & Eritrea Peace Treaty of 2018 and End of UN-Sanctions Documentation

Ethiopia ; Eritrea Peace Treaty of 2018 and End of UN-Sanctions Documentation Compiled by Hans-Ulrich Stauffe

Sunday, 31 October 2021




Scenarios for Post-Isaias Eritrea International Crisis Group

Eritrea: Report Subtitle: Scenarios for Future Transition ICG 2013

Eritrea:Report Subtitle: Scenarios for Future Transition International Crisis Group Published by: International Crisis Group (2013)

Eritrea: Ending the Exodus? 2014

Eritrea: Ending the Exodus? Author(s): International Crisis Group International Crisis Group (2014) href="

Saturday, 2 October 2021

ሐጺር ታሪኽ መቦቀል ትውልዲ ኤርትራ Origin of the Eritrean people by compiled by Conti Rossini

 ሐጺር ታሪኽ መቦቀል ትውልዲ ኤርትራ

Translated from "Proverbi tradizioni e canzoni tigrine by Conti Rossini"

Proverbs, traditions and Tigrinya songsሓጺር+ታሪኽ+መበቆል+ትውልዲ+አብ+ኤርትራ++ዘዘንቱ+መጽሓፍ+(2).pdf/file


Thanks to Abba Kibrom Tseggai for sharing

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission FINDINGS April 2002


Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission FINDINGS April 2002

English Version:  Cases | PCA-CPA

 Republic of Ethiopia and the State of Eritrea. On 12 December 2000, the Governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea concluded the Algiers Agreement which terminated military hostilities and provided, inter alia, for the establishment of the Boundary Commission. The Boundary Commission was mandated to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law.

The Boundary Commission was seated in The Hague with the Permanent Court of Arbitration serving as registry and the UN Cartographic Section providing technical support. The Chief of the UN Cartographic Section was appointed as the Boundary Commission's Secretary. As provided in the Algiers Agreement, the Secretary reviewed the claims and evidence of the Parties and identified the portions of the border which were not in dispute.

In Article 4(1) of the Algiers Agreement, the Parties reaffirm the principle of respect for the borders existing at independence as espoused by the OAU Summit in Cairo in 1964 (principle of uti possidetis). In its delimitation decision, the Boundary Commission had regard to this principle and also to the role of subsequent conduct of the Parties, including inter alia activities on the ground tending to show the exercise of sovereign authority (effectivités). The colonial treaties of 1900, 1902 and 1908 related, respectively, to the central, western, and eastern sectors of the boundary. In each of these sectors, the Boundary Commission determined the boundary by reference to the pertinent colonial treaty as modified, where relevant, by the subsequent conduct of the Parties. The Boundary Commission set out its description of the boundary as so determined in a unanimous decision dated April 13, 2002. 

The second part of the Boundary Commission's mandate was to demarcate the boundary. Upon the issuance of the delimitation decision, the Parties announced their full acceptance of the decision and called upon the Boundary Commission to conduct an expeditious demarcation. The Boundary Commission issued Demarcation Directions on July 8, 2002 and established field offices in Asmara, Addis Ababa and Adigrat. Between March and August 2003 the Boundary Commission completed part of the demarcation in the eastern sector. When the Boundary Commission attempted to commence demarcation in the central and western sectors, an impasse arose between the Parties after Ethopia called into question certain parts of the delimitation decision.

Having been unable to continue with the demarcation, the Boundary Commission held a meeting with the Parties in March 2006, with a view to enabling the resumption of demarcation activities, but without success. The UN Security Council was seized of the situation and requested that the Parties comply with their obligations under the Algiers Agreement. Following further unsuccessful attempts to meet with the Parties, the Boundary Commission met in private session at The Hague on November 20, 2006. On November 27, 2006 the Boundary Commission issued a Statement on an alternative approach of identifying the location of points for the emplacement of pillars by the use of image processing and terrain modeling techniques. The Statement provided inter alia that if by the end of November 2007 the Parties had not reached agreement on the emplacement of pillars,  the boundary would automatically stand as demarcated by the boundary points listed in the annex to the Statement. Following a meeting with the Parties held on September 6 and 7, 2007 which did not yield any agreement, the Boundary Commission determined, on November 30, 2007, that the pillar locations identified in the annex to the Statement became binding on the Parties.