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May 2011
Celebrating Eritrea's
20th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
Eritrea - May 24 2009 - 18th Independence Day
20th Independence Day
 

 

Asmara Eritrea May 15 2011

 

Today I will visit the families of my Eritrean wife, and watch the 20th anniversary decorations on my way to the center of Asmara. I start the day with an early morning walk to the old Sembel district to visit Mebrats mother Tsehaitu, her brother Fessehaye, Yordanos his wife, and their offspring.

From here I take the number 12 bus to Harnet Avenue, for a visit to Mebrats sister Freweini, her husband Haile, and their children. They have a wide social network, and as always they got me some invitations (entry cards) for the shows at Bathi Meskerem, and Cinema Odeon.

A week before the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Eritrea from Ethiopian colonialism the streets, offices, bars and shops of Asmara are decorated with countless flags in all possible sizes, illuminated banners in Tigrinya, enormous screens displaying images of Eritrea's diverse and colorful culture, and light cords.

Harnet Avenue is decorated with vertical format flags, multicolor light strings that span the road  and a clock counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to Eritrea's 20th Independence Day.

I brought four home made t shirts and 250 business cards with an identical text and image, as a small gift for those who allowed me to picture them. It proves to be a direct hit to join a wonderful 20th anniversary party. Everyone is happy with the small personal gift.

I have lunch in the house of Zewdi and Gebrehiwot. I have been their guest many years, and they are like my family.

In The Netherlands I promised to deliver the the shipping documents for a consignment of relief goods  to the office of the Daughters of Charity.  The Eritrea Hagez Foundation in The Netherlands supports the Waliku clinic in Keren, sending hospital supplies including food and baby cloths.

Jonne and Albert mailed me a small self drawn map with the route to the office. Unfortunately, the map is not correct. When I ask the directions to some men, they start asking, and everyone is doing his best to bring me to the gate of the office.

Sr Gabriela and Sr Mehret welcome me with tea and pizza slices. I ask them if it is okay to visit the clinic in Waliku on May 26 or May 27 when I will be in Keren. No problem at all. They will announce my visit to the hospital, so my visit comes as no surprise.

I spend the rest of the day hopping from district to district, mostly on foot, sometimes by bus, looking for familiar faces, and a drink in attractive bars. observing the Asmarinos decorating their shops.

The girls of the Damera Bar are curious to see last years pictures. They challenge me to make more pictures.

At 17:30 I am one of the first to enter the Bahti Meskerem Square. Students of the National Union of Eritrean Students and Youth make sure that no one enters before this time, or without an entry card. Police is keeping an eye on them as a backup, just in case.

Before one of the bars in the mall under the grandstand, I have a drink with Abubeker Sayk, a journalist of Hadaz Ertra. He is one of the very few who has a program of this evenings performances. I copy the information in my notebook.

When the show starts, we are told to move to the grandstand. The bars will close. I watch the show, a mix of singers & dance, and drama & comedy.

After the show I walk back to the Sembel Housing complex. There is plenty of taxis, but I need the exercise, and the pictures of a beautiful illuminated Asmara.

 

Coffee ceremony with Yordanos - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Coffee ceremony with Yordanos - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Alana (my niece) and me - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Alana (my niece) and me - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Two of my nephews - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Two of my nephews - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

The perverse United Nations / United States role in Eritrean history - Facade of Ministry of Education - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

The perverse United Nations / United States role in Eritrean history
Facade of Ministry of Education - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Detail: Role of the US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles (1952).

Detail: Role of the US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles (1952).

Statement of the US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles (1952).

'From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must
receive consideration. Nevertheless the strategic interests of the United
States in the Red Sea basin and considerations of security and world peace
 make it necessary that the country has to be linked with our ally, Ethiopia.
'

Detail: The camels role in the 30 year march for freedom.

Detail: The camels role in the 30 year march for freedom.

The various Ethiopian rulers during the 30 year struggle for independence.

The various Ethiopian rulers during the 30 year struggle for independence.

Detail: Recent role of Suzan Rice in Eritrean history.

Detail: Recent role of Suzan Rice in Eritrean history.

Eritreans evaluating the wall painting at the Ministry of Education.

Eritreans evaluating the wall painting at the Ministry of Education.
For details read page 9 of the Eritrean Profile of Sat 28-05-2011.

Counting down to Eritrean Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Counting down to Eritrean Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Municipality of Asmara - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Municipality of Asmara - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Municipality of Asmara - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Municipality of Asmara - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Langano Bar - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Langano Bar - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Staff decorating Muller Fashion Shop - Mereb Street Asmara Eritrea.

Staff decorating Muller Fashion Shop - Mereb Street Asmara Eritrea.

Boys and girls of the National Union of Eritrean Students and Youth guaranteeing an orderly entry to the Bahti Meskerem stages.

Boys and girls of the National Union of Eritrean Students and Youth
 guaranteeing an orderly entry to the Bahti Meskerem stages.

Bereket Mengisteab - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Bereket Mengisteab - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Tigrinya singer Senait Amine - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Tigrinya singer Senait Amine - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Saho singer Mohammed Achmed - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Saho singer Mohammed Achmed - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Contemporary Eritrean drama - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Contemporary Eritrean drama - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Ahmed (Wedi Shek) and Bilen dancers - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Ahmed (Wedi Shek) and Bilen dancers - Bathi Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Hagos Suzi Nino - Bahti Meskerem Asmara Eritrea.

Hagos Suzi Nino - Bahti Meskerem Asmara Eritrea.

Hagos Suzi Nino - Bahti Meskerem Asmara Eritrea.

Hagos Suzi Nino - Bahti Meskerem Asmara Eritrea.

Abeba Haile, Fatiynga "9 Songs" - 2011 Eritrea Independence Bahti Meskerem

Iluminated Harnet Avenue - Asmara Eritrea.

Iluminated Harnet Avenue - Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated gate - Warsay Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated gate - Warsay Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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