Business is booming.

Asmara: The Ever Thriving City ( Part II)

In Asmara, there is a vibrant movement of people through out the day and public transport services of the central region daily transports people from and to different parts of the region at a very fair price. This service is now by far enhanced with the importing of new buses which are rendering good services. This would have ripple effects in facilitating rapid interactions from and to different areas of the city as well as from the city to the villages and semi-urban areas around Asmara.

While traveling through public buses or by taxi, one could see palm trees straightly queening by two sides of the asphalted roads. These trees indeed seem as if making strenuous efforts to grow as fast as they could so as to not let the buildings of Asmara compete in height with them. In fact, it is difficult for one who wants to capture images of the highly embellished buildings of the late 19th century singling out from the palm trees. The species of the palm trees in Asmara are believed to be originated from Canari islands that are located off the northwestern coast of Africa. At maximum height, these species of palm trees are 45 meters tall and at minimum 30 centimeters width. The average life span of such palm trees is approximately 80 years. So, once they are planted, the palm trees in Asmara have been embellishing its streets for about 4 generations. These palm trees were introduced to Asmara since 1920s.

Walking on the main streets of Asmara one stays amazed and is prompted to make tours from the city’s center to the outskirts and to all directions. In the course of making tours one could not miss to visit to Caravel Seraglio (Medeber) that was engineered by an Italian architect Cavanari Edwardo. Situated at the northeastern of Asmara, Medeber was constructed to become a market place for used items. At this time, Medeber has become a center of invention and innovation where youths show their creative talent in modifying goods for a better use and making varied utensils and other household items as well as varied types of furniture.

Jingling and rattling sounds fill ones ears while steeping to the inner workshops of Medeber. The hammering of irons and the noise it makes is just like music to the ears. In this center of excellence, people from all walks of life are daily engaged in crafting activities. Each and every activity just amazes one and satisfied with what is showcased; people are obliged to capture such a thrilling activity through their cameras. One could see a lightening of camera flashes being shot to all directions as if trying to capture the entire scene at once.

Seeing senior citizens engage in heavy works makes one not only wonder but also admire the work ethics these people are bequeathing to the youths. Mr. Hassen Ahmed started to work in Medeber since the British colonial era. Even though aging, Mr. Hassen is still robust. He has sustained the making of brooms since the British period to date; but there were some interruptions for he used to travel to Sudan and to Saudi Arabia.

Employers in Medeber hire experienced wood and metal workers and they also train apprentice in varied fields of works. This time, there are about 450 small scale firms that embrace skilled human power and a number of apprentices. All in all, Medeber is a center of excellence in which people from all walks of life engage themselves into intensive working hours.

Edaga-Laka is also another area in which varied household items and highly decorated traditional ornaments and other essential goods are available for sale. Located just in about a distance of 500 meters around Al-Qulafa Al Rashideen mosque and Saint Marry Church, Edaga-Laka is also a center where one could notice traditions of healing varied healthcare issues using herbal medicines. Any one interested in herbal medication needs to visit this place and make researches on the curing potential of the varied types of vegetation.

Eritrea’s tradition is highly represented in Edaga-Laka. Tourists from overseas and Eritreans form diaspora regularly visit this place during their stay in the country. In this place one could observe varied items displayed for sale such as: necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings and other jewels in varied designs that suit with the coloring of any piece of cloth and to the way the clothes are fashioned. Utensils made up of clay like coffee pot, cooking dish, decorated flower vases are also available in great variety of shapes and sizes. On top of this, all sorts of spices are also available in this place. There are a number of things that grab ones attention and at any single glance one may be tempted to purchase a piece items from the displays.

Souvenirs from Edaga-laka
Workers in Edaga-Laka are also busy in decorating flower vases, painting varied gift items  and also painting and decorating cups made of clay that are utilized for burning incenses(fragrant gums or woods). People could purchase these items as souvenir and most of the time reminds them the very exciting moment during their stay in Asmara and brings about nostalgic feelings. All these things coupled with the beautiful buildings and the very favorable climatic conditions of the city, more importantly the hospitable nature of its people, any visitor is incited not only to stay but to permanently dwell in it.

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