The 21st Eritrean Independence Day was colorfully celebrated nation wide. The celebrations commenced on the 17th of May and went through until 24th of May. The celebrations included open music shows, carnivals, exhibitions, community gatherings and other variety of entertainment programs. All the programs had huge crowds either directly participating or as spectators. The night of 23rd of May was unique to my observation. Hundreds of thousands of Asmara residents flocked to Harenet Avenue to take part in the open music performances and enjoy dancing, strolling on the streets of Asmara or have fun with family, friends or otherwise.
The streets of Asmara were decorated with twinkling lights that were very much attractive for the eyes. Every shop and government buildings were also decorated with what seemed appropriate for their nature and size. All in all Asmara bella was beautiful and attractive not only for visitors but also for the residents.
In to days contemporary world we are witnessing what is happening in many cities around the world when people come together in such a big number. We hear a bomb blast here and there, looting or damage of property, some one killing some one in cold blood. A lot of stories.
The streets of Asmara, especially at evening hours, were very crowded with people of different age and sex throughout the week. Some one in a hurry could hardly penetrate the crowd and reach his destination. He has to slow done because the streets are full of people there is no free way to sneak around. And among all the hundreds of thousands of people one hardly finds security forces patrolling the streets. This one is very unique and that demonstrates the true nature of the Eritrean people. How come such number of people coming together in one street for a week long and no news of crime, burglary, rape, you name it. It is a big story for itself for those who try to stereotype the region with violence, crime or corruption. I think it is high time for them to distinguish who with whom.
We always talk about the prevailing peace and harmony in Eritrea. For some people who are not ready to swallow the reality might thing as if cosmeticizing our situation. We also hear that nothing is secret in this open world with the lots of modern technology of detecting events. So by deduction I could say they have the full information on what was going on the streets of Asmara for a week long. Isn’t that a hard pill to swallow and wake up to understand the reality?
President Isaias Afwerki along with President Omar Al-Bashir of the Republic of Sudan was in the middle of the crowd on the evening of 23rd of May. People, especially the youth, were jumping and singing to warmly greet the presidents. This is a new experience to many African leaders who are used to hide themselves from public appearance leave alone coming out on foot and mix with crowd. I know some quarters would hate to see that. They want to live with their dreams and spreading falls rumors of their dream. What a pity! When are they to wake up and understand that things are that way in Eritrea?
Eritreans love their country and that love, from the many others, has been practically demonstrated in the week long Independence Day celebrations. Every citizen knows and understands how the country became a reality. Every citizen knows or has the history, the young ones, on how Eritreans had to go through during the hard time of colonialism. In May 24, 1991, the chains of colonialism fastened from every Eritreans hands setting us free to handle our affairs by ourselves. Isn’t that sweet! Living a century or more under the yoke of colonialism and being free at last paying huge human and material sacrifices. Who would not enjoy and celebrate the occasion?
May 24 is and will remain cherished in every Eritrean mind. With that historic day there also comes a big pledge, never give up our harmony and unity and open a crack to enemy conspiracies that hate to see Eritrea prosper and its people live in peace and stability.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS!