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May 2016
Celebrating Eritrea's
25th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
Eritrea - May 24 2016 - 25th Independence Day
25th Independence Day
 

 

Asmara Eritrea May 23 2016 - Eve of Independence Day

 

As I still do not have an entry card for the main event in Bahti Meskerem tomorrow afternoon. I will visit Haile, my brother in law, who has a wide network. It is a direct hit. Haile goes out to check at 'the office'. Half an hour later he returns. With an entry card for tomorrows spectacular event. "Yes!" How many handshakes should I give to this man. He did it again. We drink coffee prepared by his daughter Yodith.

I have lunch in the City Center Snackbar. Ful with oil: A mix of beans, tomatoes, onion, chili and berbere, served with two fresh breads.

In the afternoon I return to the Expo exhibition to check my custom made souvenir. I ask Nghisti the price of the teddy bear make over. She insists it is a gift.

For a second time I visit the exhibition where various divisions / brigades (Tegadelti) involved in the 30 years struggle for independence show photo presentations and examples of war time production, communication devices, and captured Ethiopian military hardware. The exhibition includes support groups providing technical and medical assistance to the fighters and civilians, as well as the EPLF cultural troupes. One of the former freedom fighters shows me a pair of shoes, manufactured behind the EPLF front. The sole has been turned 180 degrees to confuse the enemy about the directions the EPLF freedom fighters were advancing.

I will continue my networking tour to ensure a nice program for the days after the Independence Day celebrations. Visiting hotels and meeting people, sharing my experiences in Eritrea. In the Albergo Ttalia I meet Demoz. He invites me to have an Asmara beer. Demoz works in the Presidents Office, a few blocks north. I am curious about his position. He tells me he is the junior adviser of the president. Demoz is interested in my motives to be a friend of Eritrea.

Motive #1 of course is my Eritrean wife. Motive #2 is the people of Eritrea, being so kind, honest and hospitable, making me feel so safe and 'at home' in Eritrea. Of course there are many examples to quote. Motive #3 is the fact that the Ethiopians locked me in, bombing Asmara International Airport in May 2000 during one of my first visits to Eritrea, and Lufthansa cancelled its flights to Asmara for a while.

I mention the day I visited Debre Bizen. Unprepared in 2002 when I stranded one kilometer from the top, completely exhausted. Two Eritrean soldiers took me in between, and literally dragged me up 500 meters to a point from where I was able to continue my walk to the well of the monastery. During the war of liberation this was the practice to rescue their wounded companions. Still it is the Eritrean spirit to help. Even a tourist in trouble. It is just one of the examples why my heart is with the Eritrean People. And I am so happy to celebrate the 25th Independence Day with them.

We share some Independence Day Asmara beers and exchange telephone numbers.

At 9 PM I join the pilgrimage of Asmarinos on Harnet Avenue. There are so many people that I find it hard to move from stage to stage, and to get close to the stages for the pictures. And around the stages one can literally walk over the heads. Quick thinking makes me decide to join the dancing crowd and move slowly forward, make my pictures, and resume enjoying myself, dancing with the local Eritreans, young and old, and the many Eritreans who came from all continents to their homeland to join this happy event. Even I was rewarded with a 50 Nakfa note for my enthusiast dance moves on Harnet Avenue. We make pictures, like we are one big family.

 The Asmara police and the military keep an eye on the public, giving directions for an orderly event. I get some help from the Asmara police who show the directions for an easy exit from the stages.  They hit the street with a stick to warn the youth if they forget not to cross the virtual line in front of the stages. But the general atmosphere is friendly and very joyful.

Of course I did not leave until the midnight fireworks started, moving from stage to stage and having Asmara jubilee beers in Bar Gurgussum. I have to visit the brewery one of these days to collect some of the labels as a souvenir.

 

Coffee ceremony with Yodith and Freweini - Central Zone Asmara Eritrea.

Coffee ceremony with Yodith and Freweini - Asmara Eritrea.

Harat Intercity Bus - Beleza Street Asmara Eritrea.

Harat Intercity Bus - Beleza Street Asmara Eritrea.

1961-1991 exhibition - Asmara Expo Asmara Eritrea.

1961-1991 exhibition - Asmara Expo Asmara Eritrea.

1961-1991 exhibition - Asmara Expo Asmara Eritrea.

1961-1991 exhibition - Asmara Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Cheating Shida - Asmara Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Cheating Shida - Asmara Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Demoz and Hans - Albergo Italia Asmara Eritrea.

Demoz and Hans - Albergo Italia Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day live stage - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day live stage - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Bar Gurgussum - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Bar Gurgussum - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Rita - Bar Gurgussum - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Rita - Bar Gurgussum - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Jubilee Asmara beers Bar Gurgussum - Asmara Eritrea.

Jubilee Asmara beers Bar Gurgussum - Asmara Eritrea.

Eve of Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Eve of Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Iluminated Keckia Office - Semetat Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Iluminated Keckia Office - Semetat Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Photo: Young Pioneer Tours - The Eritrea National Day Tour.

One Man Band stage - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

One Man Band stage - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Eve of Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Eve of Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day fireworks - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day fireworks - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

 


 

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence - 23-05-2016 Frankfurt Germany.

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence
23-05-2016 Frankfurt Germany.

 

 
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