The objective of this article is a political opinion which is aimed for liberating Eritrean family tree from any religious dogmas. I am doing this because Eritreans are trying to associate their family line based on religious affiliations. There could be a number of reasons for this. No matter what justifications can be provided, human being existed before religion. This implies family tree should have existed since the creation of human being. Religions may change from time to time but family tree of human being will not. No matter what new religion one has, there is one thing that remains unchanged – all human beings are equal. It is within this reasoning that I am trying to see the family tree of Eritreans.
So far, I have come to realize that the family tree most Eritreans are trying to build is based on our religious beliefs. Some of us are claiming to be descendands of the Israelites(Jews), while others Arabs. The reason is that the Israelites claim themselves to be direct descendants of King Solomon. And King Solomon considered as the chosen man of God to conquer the world throughout his generations to come then after. Equally, the Arabs claim that Prophet Mohammed is their direct family member hence hey call themselves as Mohammedians. Mohammedians believe that Mohammed is the last prophet and the whole world will follow Islam. Accordingly, everyone is trying to find a line which can help to claim he/she belongs to Mohammedian family.
The truth is, since the last 1600 years, Eritreans are in general followers of the Abrahamic religion, Christiansim(since 4thC) and Islam(since 7thC). If this is the case, then their family tree belongs to the Abrahamic family – the Christians belong to Isaac(Ishāq) and the Muslims belong to Ishmael (Ismāʿīl). The rest(less than 5%) are from the Nilotic family. But, is this true?
The religious demography of Eritrea has been changing since the beginning. Before the introduction of these Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Islam), it is believed that the indigeneous people of today’s Eritrea were either followers of Kushitic religion or Animism which was and still is practiced by the Nilotic people. Though both the Abrahamic religions are closely related with ancient Kushitic religion, Kushitic is more closer to Animism and Judaism. This close relationship between Kushitic, Judaism, Christianism and Islam, which can be put as “religion of Noah’s descendants”, it is not a surprise if the Kushites and Semites of Eritrea claim to have common ancestoral family tree. The only exception to these are the Nilotes.
As we know, Eritreans claim their ancestoral family origin belongs to Semitic, Nilotic, and Kushitic family. The Kushitic and Semitic try to Associate themselves with the Biblical or Quranic version of family Genealogy. Kushites believe their father is Ham and their Grandfather is Noah.
Semites believe that they are from Noah and Ham was their Uncle but he was cursed by their Grandfather(Noah) for doing wrong to his father. In fact, Ethiopian politics is dominated by this dogma since the 13thC when the Abyssinian kings declared Solomonic Kingdom in Showa by over throwing the Kushitic Zagwe Dynasty. The Solomonic kings of Ethiopia believe that Kush were cursed people to be slaves. That is why the Abyssinian kings treated the Kushites of the horn as slaves.
The Nilotes do not have direct claim for their family genealogy as the Kushites and Semites do. In fact, they have been victims of the Kushites and Semites. They were treated as slaves and they have being the main target of human Slavery trade by the Kushites and Semites. And this perception is not yet changed.
Though the Kushites have lost their reference books in which they can claim their supermacy, they are not different from the those who consider themselves as descendants of Sem/Shem. The Semites are still referring their holy books to justify their supermacy over the Nilotes and other families of human being.
Eritreans are not free from this confused perception of humanity. Hence, we need to work together for the liberation of human being so that we can be treated all equal.
Join me in Eritrean Liberal Democratic Ideology which has a sole mission to liberate Eritreans from all kinds of oppression and build a nation which treats its citizens equally.
We are all equal no matter what family tree we may have. All family trees merge at one point.