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Celebrating 10 years liberation
 
 

Asmara May 22nd 2001

 

A long trip from Amsterdam, via Frankfurt and Jeddah to Asmara Eritrea. At Frankfurt/Main Airport, Johannes of the Eritrean Consulate in Frankfurt was present to wave good-bye the passengers of flight LH594. I forgot to ask him if this was a standard procedure or if it was because of specific passengers of the flight to Asmara. It was a friendly gesture anyway.

There were a lot more passengers with Asmara as their final destination than one year earlier, when I was one of the few, and most of the visitors were journalists to give an account of the 2000 Ethiopian invasion of Eritrea. One of the passengers was a 10 days old baby, which made me wonder how these people planned their trip.

Jeddah, seen from above and at night, looks like a fairy-tale, with straight, highly illuminated streets and impressive mosques. At the airport of Jeddah there is an accurate check of the airplane for alcoholic beverages and pornography, which are strictly forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Any passengers in possession of such items (on the passenger deck) risk high penalties. Celebrating 10 years liberated Eritrea

A Lufthansa air hostess asked me what would be the best way to leave the clothes she had collected for the Eritrean orphans. It is really fantastic to see so many non-Eritrean people and organizations willing to help this country.

Apart from the Eritrean visitors there were a lot of Danish UNMEE soldiers arriving on Asmara Airport. The result was a temporary shortage of luggage cars. The procedures at the Eritrean customs desks are strict and efficient. In the plane we had to fill an entry form with essentially the same questions as on the visa application form. I have to fill forms to declare any electronic devices (these forms must be kept carefully to this equipment).

The luggage is checked for any other electronics, but my suitcase only contains a lot of self made t-shirts, referring to the celebration of the tenth anniversary of liberation, both in English and in Tigrinya, and small gifts (business give-a-ways like pencils, balls and balloons) for the many children I will meet in Eritrea, who are desperate to give directions or help you in any other way.

Outside both the family of Mebrat, and Jacob of TV Erena Rotterdam were there to welcome us. During the 15 minute ride from the airport to the apartment of Berhe and Bisrat in Harnet Avenue, we enjoyed the decorated and illuminated streets of Asmara.

 

Illuminated decorations of the High Court building - celebration of 10 years liberation at Harnet Avenue Asmara.

Illuminated decorations of the High Court building - celebration
of 10 years liberation at Harnet Avenue Asmara.

Illuminated Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea. 10th anniversary of liberation

Illuminated Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea. 10th anniversary of liberation.

Illuminated streets of Asmara.

Illuminated streets of Asmara.

Illuminated Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea. 10th anniversary of liberation.

Illuminated Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea. 10th anniversary of liberation.

Mebrat, Berhe and Bisrat - Damera bar - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Waitress - Damera bar - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Waitress - Damera bar - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea

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Waitress - Damera bar - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Brewery label on the occasion of 10th Liberation Day.

Stamps issued by the Eritrean Postal Services om the occasion of Eritrea's 10th Independence Day, May 24th 2001.

Working  hard  on  a  strong  and  peaceful  Eritrea.
May 24th 10th anniversary of Eritrean Independence,
Issued by Eritrean Postal Services, May 24th 2001.

 

 
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