Asmara Eritrea - November 24th 2005
When I visit the Semaetat
Secondary School, it appears that the most interesting part of the school
(from architectural point of view) is its inner courtyard, just like
Asmara's Theological School. So I enter the school and knock on the
manager's door immediately on the right of the entrance hall of the school.
The manager accompanies me
through the school to the inner court yard, telling me some of its history. It was founded by
Italian priests and used to be a Catholic school during the Italian
Colonial rule. Some angels, carved in the schools inner entrance hall are
witnesses of its Catholic past. The Dergue confiscated the school. It is a
government secondary school since.
The sun is making it
impossible to make a good picture of the inner courtyard. The manager
kindly invites me to return around or after 12:00 "You are always
welcome in our school". Impressed by typical Eritrean hospitality, I
promise to return later today.
The rest of the morning I visit
Gheza Banda, a typical Italian suburb in the South-eastern edge of Asmara,
well planned and executed, specially build and designed as additional
housing and villas for the Italian immigrants in Eritrea in the 1930's and
In the afternoon I visit
Medeber, one of my favorite areas in Asmara. The word Medeber is an Arabic word meaning 'caravan enclosure', a
place for repairs, stocks and trade. The complex now houses many
manufacturing workshops, stalls and chili-pepper mills.
Local craftsmen produce
all kinds of kitchen utensils, shoes, beds, iron gates, and grave ornaments,
recycling automobile scrap, tires, and oil drums. The energy and activity within the area
is amazing, and a perfect example of self-reliance, import substitution
Or as the EPLF fighters used
to say: "Everything has its use, and then another use". Captured and repaired enemy armaments turned against their original possessors,
and supplied the military hardware for Eritrea’s victory in its war for independence.
Some of the girls
in the chili-pepper mills recognize me
from my last visits. I am invited in their workshop to make more pictures, and bring them
next time. It's a promise!
Tonight there will be an
interesting program in a place called 'Hidmona' in the Expo area. Both the
pilot of the Eritrean Airlines plane and my brother in law strongly
advised me to visit the place. So a I have my shoes polished and go home
to take a shower, have diner and some rest.
Just after 8 o' clock, I enter
the pleasantly traditionally decorated Hidmona Bar and Restaurant in the
Expo compound. We are welcomed by ladies in traditional white Eritrean
dresses, trimmed with red decorations called 'Zuria'. Starting from 9 o'
clock there is traditional Eritrean live music and dance until midnight.
Semaetat Secondary School -
Bada Street Asmara Eritrea.
Eritrean national anthem -
Semaetat Secondary School.
World Bank office - Saro
Street Asmara Eritrea.
Villa - 173-4 Street Asmara Eritrea.
Mai Jah Jah - Gheza Banda
Just married couple - Gheza
Banda Asmara Eritrea.
Mosque - Gheza Banda Asmara
Sculpture at the cultural
center - Gheza Banda Asmara Eritrea.
Workshop for kitchen
utensils and grave ornaments
Medeber markets Asmara Eritrea.
Three young women in a
chili-pepper mill - Medeber markets Asmara Eritrea.
Artist playing a traditional
Hidmona Bar & Restaurant - Expo, Asmara Eritrea.
This Night Club in the Expo
area presents traditional
Eritrean live musicians and dancers every Wednesday,
Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 until 02:00