Asmara Eritrea - September 17th 2004
One of the most important
things to do on day one is to discuss your plans in Eritrea with the
Ministry of Tourism, the hotel and friends. I do not want to miss any special events
during my stay in Eritrea. For special trips I visit Travel House International.
Tedros and Solomon have insight in the local agenda and know when the
train is running. And when there is no agenda, there is time to visit the
I know that there are two special
events during my stay. World Day of Tourism and the celebration of Meskel
on September 27th. I just missed September 1st (beginning of the armed
struggle) and September 11th (Orthodox New Year, Keddus Yohannes), but I
have to respect the agenda of LogicaCMG, my employer as well.
Tedros e-mailed me a detailed
description of the activities related to the World Day of Tourism 2004.
This year it will be a one week program with workshops, exhibitions,
parties and cultural shows. Peter Patt of GlobeSteam
Travel in Berlin chartered various trains early October, and Tedros will
arrange my participation on October 2nd for a fair share of the price.
Meaza, of the Ministry of
Tourism arranges my travel permit up to Tessenei in the west and up to
Senafe to the south. Before I visit her office I buy some donuts at BBRSSY
donut shop, just behind the Ambassador Hotel to surprise her and her colleague.
After all these years she is someone special to me.
When I want to visit Kibreab
at the Housing and Commerce Bank, he is out. But I am lucky. When I visit
the Damera bar, two blocks from the bank, I find Kibreab as well. We drink
coffee and we talk about Saba, his sister in Holland, politics and
Mr. Solomon, manager of the
Embassoira hotel, is the chairman of the Eritrean Tourism Service
Association, and therefore responsible for the organization of the events
related to World Tourism Day. So I visit him at his office in the hotel to
discuss the program and the actual agenda. The rest of the day I will
spend to visit the family of my wife and friends, and prepare the trip to
Massawa, that will fill the gap between today and the ETSA agenda.
The news on ERI-TV is
basically the same as in May 2004. Shifta Woyane (the Eritrean pet
name for Ethiopia) is still unwilling to implement the EEBC rulings of the
International Court of Justice in The Hague of April 2002. The signature
of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia under the OAU peace plan was
"a mistake, not supported by the majority of the Ethiopian
people", and therefore worthless.
I personally think it is a
shame that political conceptions of a backward country like Ethiopia can
frustrate the economic and social progress of an entire African region.
But I guess that as long as world politics is guided by US dollars instead
of justice, US economic interests will be more important than the lives of
millions of suffering people in Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Meaza of the Ministry of Tourism in Asmara preparing my travel permit.
Young woman, Damera bar and
pastry - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Housing and Commerce Bank - Harnet
Avenue, Asmara Eritrea.
Kibreab in his office of the
Housing and Commerce Bank - Asmara.
The children of Haile and Freweini
- Asmara Eritrea.
Haile and Freweini - Asmara
175 - 11 Street - Asmara Eritrea.
Recently opened Chrystal Hotel - Asmara
Photo Studio and Gift Shop -
Beleza Street - Asmara Eritrea.
Yordanos, my sister in law, Alana
and Daniel - Sembel Asmara.