Awate is majestic and indisputably
one of Eritrean national symbols …
It is incontrovertible that martyr and hero Hamid Idris AWATE undoubtedly is one of our national symbols because he is the “Father of the Eritrean Armed Struggle and Revolution for Freedom and Independence.” The name Awate is intrinsically, historically, emotionally and factually intermingled to our nation called “Eritrea” and he represents one of the cornerstones of modern Eritrea composition.
He is one of our national addresses and national constants … because he represents all Eritrean fighters who fought bravely with self-asceticism and unparalleled devotion and bravery for long and hard 30 years of sacrifices and heroism. However, from time to time some anomalous voices are heard who try to discredit and belittle our giant and hero… but all badly fail, because he is monumental and all his heroic deeds are well documented and lived by many people still alive who were eyewitness to this legendary leader and can tell their part of history unhesitant with graphic details and accuracy.
It was/is customary, for the illegal and illegitimate ruling gangs in Eritrea and their weird and queer “capo” to ignore and avoid deliberately mentioning the name of martyr Awate, even during the 1st of September celebrations each year. Even the so called EPDJ (Eritrean Parasites Death Junkies) do not mention the name “Awate” in their publications and comments… his name is bitter to swallow and they are unable to pronounce it; although, the 1st of September is one of the most important dates in Eritrean history and cannot be detached from its leader who declared the armed struggle. They say that the Eritrean armed struggle lasted for 30 years, but do not say and mention the name of the leader who fired the first shots, declared and lead the Eritrean armed struggle which was ignited at Mount Adal at the first encounter with the enemy occupation forces; isn’t it a paradox?! The EPLF since its inception and split from ELF, in their “political education document” (poilitikawi tmhrti) taught and say: “the Eritrean armed struggle initiated by ex-soldiers (from the Sudanese army) and ex-shifta without any clear objectives” and denigrate the heroic actions of Awate and his brave companions. It is not strange such nonsense to be taught by some coward imbeciles and ignorant “newborn Eritreans” descendants of shame and submission who fought for and chose the unholy union with Ethiopia which caused death and calamity to the Eritrean people for decades because of their irresponsible and opportunistic short sighted choices. The EPLF didn’t celebrate and acknowledge the first of September celebration and its importance in Eritrean history until the late 70’s and did it sheepishly. Moreover, today the ruling gangs created false Eritrean history according to their whims and dreams without mentioning and acknowledging the real Eritrean founding fathers like Awate; however, the true history will be re-written after the dissolution of the tyrant as is the case with all dictatorial regimes.
The archaic and feudalist regime of Haile Sellasie was calling the “Father of the Eritrean armed struggle for Freedom and Independence” (shifta – bandit) and other despicable and cheap titles and were propagating false allegations such us: the ELF will sell Eritrea to Arabs and Muslims and are bandits and Muslim organization etc… but that’s understandable because “Awate” was fighting and challenging their occupation and throne and he was their arch enemy. However, the name calling continued by many proponents of (Andnet party – Nhnan Elamanan naïve followers) who were saturated and grew under the influence of “mother Ethiopia” and were always ignoring and belittling the role and place of martyr and hero Awate in our history. This was due to their intrinsic nature because they are snobbish and sycophants who falsely and unscrupulously believe heroism and nationalism are prerogative to them; although, they know themselves very well for being cheap unprincipled traitors and opportunistic creatures with a long history of pander and submission. So, it is not strange to ignore the heroic deeds of their liberators…simply because they do not belong to their region or religion or because of Islamophobia inherited from Haile Selassie propaganda and perpetuated by “Nhnan Elamanan” ideologue followers to rule the country by employing such dangerous and “divide and rule” methods in order to stay in power as long as possible.
However, recently a “nobody” belonging to the Kunama ethnic group and one of their party leaders, attacked our martyr and hero Hamid Awate during the 51st anniversary of the declaration of the armed struggle for Freedom and Dignity. Upon examining the background of this political prostitute, it became apparent that he always served Ethiopia (during the Derg era he was a member of Esapa) and currently he is servant and spy of the Ethiopian intelligence. He never joined the Eritrean freedom fighters during any period of his lifetime and his life history is full of shame and scandals; therefore, ignoring such cheap rascal is the best option.
We call and appeal to the Eritrean opposition leadership (ENCDC and EDA) to expel this person and his party (if they insist and support him) from the Eritrean opposition immediately. If this action is not taken by the opposition, it will lose credibility, respect and acknowledgment from the Eritrean masses. The martyr and hero Hamid Idris Awate is one of our “national constants” and he is the Father of the Eritrean armed struggle and revolution for Freedom and Independence. Such nuisances by dwarfs and ruffians will not affect his post in Eritrean history and our hearts… because his love is crafted and engraved in our hearts forever. His history is well documented… his sacrifices, his leadership, his vision… is legendary, as eye witnessed by many of his contemporaries still alive among us today…
Simply…Awate is one of our national symbols and founding fathers of Eritrea and he is one of the main cornerstones that make “Eritrea” as our nation and country.
I want to assure to all dwarves and bats that the history of Awate and stature is engraved in our hearts and national consciousness and psychology, and no one can erase it from our spirit and sentiment. He is tall…stands high among our giants and national symbols of our pride and dignity. The more the parasites try to discredit and attack our hero, the more his love growth in our hearts and for sure they badly and timidly will fail.
Who is martyr and hero Hamid Idris Awate?
Full name: Hamid Idris Awate wed Faidom Faid Muhammad wed Idris Abu Aakka.
Date of birth: 1910 – 1962 (28 May 1962) – lived about 52 years.
Place of birth: Garsat village (between Tessenei and Oum Hajer – south west Eritrea)
Awate Offspring: Awate was the father of two daughters and a son, Karrar Awate. Doctor Karrar Hamid Awate (graduated from Syria) is a medical doctor.
Physical characteristics: body: slim, height: 1.65 meters (medium stature), eye and hair color: black, skin color: light wheaten-colored with a visible scar between his index finger and thumb in one of his hands and with three lines of facial scarring (Shiloukh) on each cheek.
Languages spoken: Tigre, Arabic, Nara, Hedarab, Kunama, Tigrinya and Italian. Awate was multilingual and familiar with all Eritrean cultures and most of its languages and dialects.
Personal traits: He was taciturn (man of few words), tactful, visionary (acting with the end in mind), leader, man of integrity, courageous, charismatic (men who met him loved him and often told tales of his greatness), multilingual, “walked his talk” (practiced what he preached), intelligent, simple, nationalist, dignified, honest and magnanimous.
Family background: Awate originates from a dignified and honorable Eritrean family well respected in their village and the whole region around them. They were pious Muslim family who lived in peace a decent life with their people in the village. His father was a peasant and the young Awate learned a lot of things from him and was strongly influenced by him. He became skilful at the use of arms at an early age and learned the oral history of Eritrea as narrated to him by his father. Awate inherited from his father and his environment high moral standards and the culture of chivalry, bravery, honesty and magnanimity which gained him great respect by the people around him. He was a principled man of high morals and acted seriously and responsibly in regards to his people and country, due to his upbringing and education.
Italian era (1890 -1941): The Italian colonization of Eritrea was marked with the highest possible exploitation of Eritrean people and land by the Italians. The Eritrean youth were forcibly conscripted to serve in the Italian army and were used as “fuels” to protect the Italian occupation and to conquer new land for the colonizers. The young Awate in 1935 was conscripted to serve in the Italian colonial army as was customary at that time thousands of Eritreans were forced to join the Italian army. Awate was a sagacious, astute and acumen person, multilingual (commanded most Eritrean languages) and in a very short time learned the Italian language. His excellence and prominence among his peers became apparent, which gained him respect and admiration by his superiors in the army. He was chosen among the best soldieries to go to Italy for training in military intelligence for one year. After Awate return from Italy (Rome) in 1938, he enthusiastically formed a clandestine cell to oppose the Italian occupation of Eritrea. The resistance cell was formed from Eritrean soldiers who returned from Italy after their training there. After his return from Italy he served at several posts (amongst them in Adebara border post near Sudan) and after the end of World War II, he left the Italian army and went back to his village to live a simple and decent life with his people and family.
British era (1941- 1952): After the defeat of the Italians (in World War II) Eritrea became a protectorate under the British Military Administration (BMA) until its future to be decided by the United nations (UN) and the British army started exerting their authority to all regions of Eritrea. It was a well known fact that Awate was local as well as regional “hero” and he was defending his people against attacks by the “Shiftas” coming from the Sudan, Ethiopia or parts of Eritrea who were looting and causing severe damages to the people of his region. His heroic defense and fight against the “shiftas” was pronounced and greatly anticipated and counted upon, because all the people expected his help and his protection. When the British army was searching for arms in the region, they confiscated properties, killed cattle and terrorized the local people in order to exert their authority. The behavior of the British soldiers angered the brave Awate who attacked them and killed one of their soldiers. Since that period, the relationship between Awate and the BMA was tense. They labeled him as criminal and he was living as fugitive who refused and opposed the British presence and occupation of Eritrea.
The British when discovered that Awate can cause severe damage to them, they tried to accommodate and make peace or treaty with him but failed. Awate never acknowledged and accepted the BMA domination and behavior against the Eritrean people and their land. During the BMA period Awate was closely monitoring the political situation in Eritrea and had contacts with several Eritrean key personalities and his opposition and rejection of the British presence in Eritrea was clear.
Ethiopian era: The Ethiopian occupation tried all possible means to stop the armed struggle from its birth and even before its declaration. They sent delegates to ask Awate to give up arms, promised Awate to grant high posts and money and all possible incentives. But it was fruitless because the martyr and hero Awate decided to wage a “revolution” by the use of arms. It became apparent and very clear to him the Ethiopian intentions were to occupy and enslave Eritrean people and Ethiopian policy was to kill “all the Eritrean people” if it was necessary to achieve their goals (they were interested in Eritrean land and sea and not its people). However; the Ethiopian occupation authorities were not hopeless from their attempts to persuade Awate to reverse his opinion and to lay down arms and return to his village. Thus, they sent him a large delegation of dignitaries from the region in this regard. His response was decisive when he told the delegation:
“Tell to those who sent you to modify and alter their opinion regarding the occupation of Eritrea. We will not retreat from the goal that the Eritrean people have chosen and announced by declaring the armed struggle. We are not bandits and war amateurs, but we demand freedom and we will endure all the difficulties for the sake to liberate the homeland.“ Thus, the armed struggle for dignity and freedom was declared on 1st of September 1961 to mark one of the most significant dates in Eritrean history.
Declaration of Eritrean Armed Struggle for Freedom and Independence by the leader Awate and his thirteen brave companions.
The leader and hero Awate with his thirteen brave companions on the 1st of September 1961, at nine o’clock in the morning, led the first battle against the Ethiopian occupation forces in mount Adal. Here the first shots were fired to declare the birth of Eritrean people’s armed struggle for independence and freedom. 01 /09/1961 corresponding to: Friday 20 Raby` al-awal 1381 A.H.
The news of Awate going out to the mountains (his rebellion) was a big surprise to the Ethiopian occupation authorities, who had never imagined for such a challenge to occur. Therefore, they immediately strived to contain the event by luring Awate by temptation with money and prestige by sending him a letter in this regard by one of the members of Eritrean Parliament. Awate replied by writing a letter in Italian language where he said: “My rebellion by going to the mountains and raise up arms against Ethiopia is only for the Liberation of Eritrea and not for personal gains or benefits.“
The Ethiopian occupation forces didn’t stop their pressure to force Awate surrender and retreat from his call and waging of armed struggle. They went to great lengths and imprisoned several of his family members including his pregnant wife who gave birth in Tessenei prison to Karrar Hamid Awate, the son of our hero and martyr.
The Eritrean Minister of Justice (during the Federation period), Omer Hassen Hasano sent a written message to Hamid Awate, who was present at the time in “Algaden” region, asking Hamid Awate to meet him. Hamid replied with a written letter where he clearly rejected the meeting and confirmed his declaration of armed revolution in the following words (and that was on 10 / 9 / 1961):
“If you want to take down the Eritrean flag, I with all those with me, God willing, will raise it up with the force of arms and inform the Eritrean government about that.“
Awate has been honest with the public and was always saying: “The path of revolution is difficult, long and bumpy and it is flanked by risks and dangers from all sides. But it is the path with guaranteed results to approach the hour of salvation (from Ethiopian occupation).“
(In a meeting held by the leader Awate addressing the heroic Eritrean Liberation Army)
“We are all Eritreans and we have to serve our country and people with honesty and sincerity. We are here to achieve a goal, and if there is anybody who has individual ambitions other than the declared objective, then, he must leave now. We all have to show extreme commitment and dedication and carry out the commands and instructions of the leader, no matter how hard they are, for the cause of our country.”
As narrated by the fighter Humed Hassen Idris Dohen, who was one of the first generation of fighters and attended the meeting that evening, where Awate addressed the fighters by saying:
“Today we are here to fight the enemy, not only because they humiliated and usurped our land, but to write a proud and honorable history for Eritrea. We are here to challenge the occupation authorities with all their weapons and armies and tell them that we will not accept after this day the life of humiliation and disgrace. We are determined, supported by all the great Eritrean people, to move forward on the path of struggle and martyrdom until liberation “.
The fighter Dohen continues his narration by saying: Instantly euphoric high sounds were elevated by the fighters who glorified the greatness of Allah and chanted slogans that challenge the invaders. The enthusiasm was intensified and reached its peak and they swore not to never give up or retreat and their motto to be:
“Victory or martyrdom“.
Following the victories achieved by the Eritrean Liberation Army in the battle of Adal and Omaal, the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie issued his strict orders to his armed forces in Eritrea to continue committing violence freely (which in practice means to commit crimes freely) in order to suppress the outlaws ( the label given by of the emperor to the revolutionaries). To achieve their declared goals, the Ethiopian army mobilized more than one thousand and five hundred soldiers and began to plan to hit the whole region ( where the fighters move and are found) from all directions and then gradually narrow the hold and surround the rebels in a narrow area to be able to exterminate them. Awate realized the seriousness of this aggressive plan aimed to quell the flames of revolution is in its infancy and for this reasons called a meeting with his fellow fighters, and addressed them by saying:
“You know that our number is small and we do not possess enough weapons fit for use to face the huge enemy forces creeping and targeting to extinguish the flame of revolution and kill the hope of liberation. We must work hard to keep the flame of revolution burning constantly until the full liberation of Eritrea is accomplished. If the flame is extinguished (God forbid) it will be very difficult to re-ignite it in a short time.”
“If we want to save our country, regain our honor and attain our goals, we have to pursue one way only and it the path of the armed struggle. Without the armed struggle it’s impossible to recover, repossess and regain any of our rights.”
Here is some of the historical “saying” by martyr Awate as narrated by his colleagues:
“Today the azzanit (meaning the rifle) was pronounced and the last link has been cut off between us and the occupier; from today onwards there is no rest or sleep“
In a meeting with the heroic and brave Eritrean Liberation Army (ELA) fighters, Awate addressed them by saying: “My salute to the brave fighters who summoned all the national will and are competing riding the difficulties and sacrifices for the defense of your country, to give life and independence to your people. I am comfortable and fully confident that your enemy, their agents and spies after this day, cannot extinguish the spark of the Eritrean armed struggle.”
“We must fight injustice and oppressors in all possible and various ways?”
“The announcement of armed revolution is not an end in itself, but its continuation is essential to yield the desired result (liberation of Eritrea from Ethiopian occupation).”
In the last moments of his life, martyr Awate took his (abu aashara) riffle with which he sparked the first bullets of revolution and handed it to fighter Kbub Hajjaj and said to:
“Raise this rifle high (continue the armed struggle), until final victory is accomplished, God willing.”
The price of Eritrean independence was very high and we must acknowledge its value. Let us continue on the same spirit of Awate and all our martyrs to build a strong nation based on rule of law, justice and equality to restore and materialize the entrust of our brave martyrs.
AWATE is one of our national symbols and heroes… his place in our history and hearts is supreme…Awate is synonymous with Eritrea as he is one of its founding fathers. He is our hero and “father of our struggle”…and as such in history will remain…for eternity.
Awate: the man some dwarfs strive to discredit…
But they all fail
On this day, we remember our noble martyrs, women and men
Who fought bravely although knowing death was certain!
Today, we remember their supreme sacrifices that created our entity
Their struggle and martyrdom for our independence and identity
They wrote with their blood Eritrean history with magnanimity
To be free and build a nation based on rule of law and equality
Traitors threw themselves at the occupiers’ feet for servility
Kissed their shoes & sold Eritrea to mum Ethiopia with humility
We fought for thirty years because of their egoism & imbecility
Still we are suffering from the inheritors of chauvinism & falsity
Awate, the brave man who declared the path to our liberty
Chose to challenge oppression, fight for freedom and dignity
The martyr was a great man, reflected in his indomitability
The hero was brave, his heroism manifested in his audacity
The father of Eritrean revolution & armed struggle in our history
Embarked into the road of freedom to lead Eritrea to final victory
He was a simple man…his strength demonstrated in his simplicity
He was tactful and wise respected by all because of his intrepidity
Walked his talk and led the battles to victory without ambiguity
He struggled to create Eritrean Independence and sovereignty
He was a leader who led by example with courage and ingenuity
It’s incontrovertible to admire our icon with such noble personality
Trying to discredit and ignore Awate sacrifices are false & vanity
He was visionary who saw “Eritrean Independence” as a certainty
He was charismatic and loved by all, without much ado with sincerity
Truth will prevail when Eritrea will be freed from disgrace & nonentity
Awate loved Eritrea and Eritrea loves this patriot forever for posterity
They are two in one, in unison synchronized and linked for eternity
Striving for the majority rule that fully protects the rights of minority
Justice, equality & rule of law as cornerstone of our national authority
Our spirit of Awatism, Eritreanism and Nationalism will not us fail
United we stand and succeed …divided we fall and live in despair
Let us celebrate our “Golden Jubilee” and free Eritrea without fanfare
Follow the path of Awate to struggle, so our pride & freedom we obtain
No matter how long the night of tyranny, dawn is sure to come again
Let us fight united now, to eradicate oppression without any despair
Awate is our man who led us to pride, freedom, dignity and liberation
It is unjust to be discredited by the inheritors of stigmatic submission
He is our hero and national symbol and as such in history will remain
Chauvinists will disappear and Eritrea soon its freedom will regain
GOLDEN JUBILEE (September 01, 1961 – September 01, 2011)
MARTYR AND HERO “HAMID IDRIS AWATE” THE FATHER
OF THE ERITREAN ARMED STRUGGLE AND REVOLUTION