Yassin Hames :: It caught my attention recently (during my follow-up the debate on the subject of the Arabic language) that one of the media activists who called mr Saltane (on his own behalf and perhaps on behalf of others) was resolutely seeking a convincing answer to his question, so he hosted more than a person within a short period of time to confront them with this question.
Personally, as one of the stakeholders, I was not satisfied with any of the answers, due to uncertainty / accuracy, because Certainty in general means: basing one’s view on clear evidence. So I thought that I bear a portion of the Responsibility to respond to repeated question.
The answer to its questions is as follows
I would like to say to those who asking, ( why lowlanders/ Muslims in Eritrea prefer Arabic rather than other local languages)? Arabic is one of the main languages in Eritrea, it’s an international language, it has been decided by Eritrean assembly during the Eritrean confederation to be an official language beside Tigrinya. It is social contract and lingua franca for the other ethnics.The citizens of the lowlands were using Arabic language in their commercial deals, various types of contracts, resolving disputes and passing correspondence / messages to each other. So it was not supplanted language but it was rather a choice of their volition.It has created harmony and serenity in the society.In other hand, none of them used any other written language rather than Arabic.
So, as Arabic is a language of one of the Eritrean ethnic groups (Rashaida), as the same in the case of Tigrinya, So what prevents the rest of the tribes/ ethnic groups to choose Arabic ?!
On the other hand, what is tempting them to choose Tigrinya instead of Arabic?
Logic is Inconsistent with the use of each of the nine groups their own languages because it is not practical, as it generates cultural divergence and lack of communication among the them, while it’s highly needed- in, addition to the economic cost as a result of preparing and printing curriculum in nine languages and assigning teachers to them. Then comes employment, so you cannot employ nine people in every office in order to provide service to all groups equally.
To avoid this problem, the number of languages officially used must be reduced to the lowest possible number, and here comes the turn of society in choosing the most appropriate one for them.
The eight ethnic groups chose to relegate their own languages in favor of Arabic. There is no valid justification for any regime to impose upon the ethnic groups children to study in their own language, which they voluntarily put them second choice from the perspective of farsightedness.if not excluding them from jobs, so that the Tigrinian group would be victorious.
What confirms this is that the regime refused the eight tribes / ethnics children to study in Tigrinya language, which means keeping them away from competition in jobs for the benefit of the Tigrinya speakers.
Mr Saltane also is repeated the saying: (The most advocates of Arabic are Jaberta) and this is not true, because Jabarti may not mind the presence of Arabic, but they are more adhering to the Tigrinya, they only want to have their own an independent entity of Tigrinya not more, this is what I monitored through my direct follow-up and via social media.
Pushing Arabic language out from the stage is Premeditated / pre-planned strategy of the regime. Because, When the regime came to the issue of naming the ethnic groups, attributed it to their languages, except for the Rashaida ethnic, the regime refrained from mentioning the language, although their language is Arabic. Conversely, when the Jaberta demanded to be called with their own name, their requests had rejected on the pretext that their language is Tigrinya.
Do you see the double standard used by the system to give an advantage to one party over another?!!!
Since the intention is to clarify and contradict the argument with an argument, the response to the existing question is as follows:
Arabic has been the lingua franca and trade language between these ethnic groups for centuries (before the Tigrinya connected to them), so they have Arabic cultural, social, historical, commercial and religious, ties
Also, Arabic is a global language and keeping pace with scientific development, which helps in expanding knowledge and cultural awareness and communicate easily with people from the countries of the region scattered around us.
As for the argument that Arabic is a language of religion, that is why the Muslims choose it.!!! First of all there no language in the world that has defined as a Religious language. secondly, Arabs are considered a minority when we look at the population of Muslims around the world, they are combined less than the population of one non-Arab Muslim country, which is Indonesia, which means it’s not true to say it’s a religious language, because the majority of Islamic countries are not Arabs and do not use Arabic، which means that the reason of choosing Arabic is not dogmatic, but because of the desired benefits, as we mentioned above.
Thirdly, how about a multi millions of Arab Christians in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine who are worshipping in their Arabic and that the Eritrean & Ethiopian Orthodox Church was affiliated with the Coptic Church, Its autocephaly was recognised by Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, in 1994 – a year after Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia. Shenouda III ordained five Eritrean high-ranking clergy as Bishops of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church on 19 June 1994 in Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.
Finally, NonTigrinya ethnics can also claim that the Tigrinya is a (religious) Christian language and does not suit them. So, logically each party should retain their religious language, if this makes sense.
Note: The article is for those who rely on logic in their argument and accept the truth whenever exists, not to those who accept or reject it because of circumstances in their benefits.