A couple of weeks ago a group of journalists from MOI went to Senafe. On the way to Golo they stopped in a place called Bek’ar. The purpose of their journey to the place was to take videos and still pictures of the eye catching landscape, the greenery and listen to the beautiful sound of the birds. Senafe and its surrounding area is known to be one of the few places in which we can still see different indigenous trees of old and rare species. The wildlife of this area makes it more beautiful specially the presence of countless type of birds. The place was metaphorically described by the group of journalists as “hamlay midre genet” which means “the green heavenly earth”.
It was a very long trip that lasted for hours; they finally reached a place called Bek’ar. A very small village with less than forty families living there. It happens to have one of the most Christian sacred water falls even though it is mainly inhabited by the Saho ethnic group, who are followers of Islam. The harmonious Eritrean culture of different religions and ethnic groups living together is vividly witnessed in this area. Moslems and Christians living side by side respecting each other’s cultural and religious practices. Pilgrims from the surroundings visit it and they are always welcome by the locals.
After a busy day of adventures our colleagues had a pleasant lunch with the inhabitants of Bek’ar. They all together celebrated Kudus Yohannes. And it was then, while chatting, that we found out about the caves down the hills which are located only twenty minutes away from the village.
Mysteriously enough these caves covered in white dust have deposited in them mummified bodies and well covered in lather. Our colleagues couldn’t resist the desire of visiting it and discover more about this shadowy information they received from the inhabitants.
What they saw, was definitely an eye capturing view and they started to question the origins of the mummies. Although there aren’t any definite answers or written documents it’s said that those corps are of the first Syrian priests here in Eritrea and specifically in Embasoira.
Emba Soira (also transliterated Sowera) is the highest mountain in Eritrea. Rising 3,018 meters (9,902 ft) above sea level, it is part of the Eritrean Highlands, one side of the Great Rift Valley which cuts through Eritrea and joins the Red Sea. The mountain is situated in the southeast part of the Debub (Southern) administrative region in central Eritrea.
Emba Soira is reached by a paved road that connects the city of Senafe, 135 kilometers south of the capital Asmara and from there on a very difficult and perilous dirt track heading east for almost 20 kilometers. The last part must be trekked and consumes a few hours at least of travel.
The origin of the name comes from the existence of these priests, literally translated “emba” means mountain and “soira” is the name given by the residents to the Syrian priests.
Putting this in mind our collogues guessed that maybe the tales are not that far from real history.
Even though this is the most recent finding we hope to hear more and unfold what has been hidden in the shadows till now.