The world press, the UN, African Union and many international organizations know the achievement and the many good things; with diminutive financial capacity Eritrea has achieved. The truth of the matter is unlike what is written Eritrea is a place where one enjoys life with little effort.
Eritrea is peaceful, progressive, hardworking, people who value service to their country. I was in the sunny beautiful city of Massawa in mid March of this year and I meet some wonderful people while swimming on the warm nice clear sky beach of Gergsum. The people I meet were employees of Azel Pharmaceutical Share Co. who had come to Massawa for a workshop and vacation. The compositions of the staff were all inclusive. My first contact was the secretary, a young lady named Yohana. She introduced me to several staffs; chemists, personnel staff, Mechanical Engineers, Database Administrators and many others. What struck me most was to see this cohesive happy group of people act as if they were from the same family; they swam, eat and partied together. It made me inquisitive and wanted to know more. Azel Pharmaceutical Share Co. is a company that is managed and staffed by Eritreans who are happy with their job, highly productive and serving the general public by providing affordable medications. This is a testimony to “love of your people and service to your country”.
Easter was celebrated with much fun, mothers covered with their white Vaile, fathers with their traditional white cloth, priests and deacons with colorful decorations add to the celebration. Easter holiday is an affair of worship, eating and spending the day under one roof joyously. It is also a restart for weddings as lent is over.
Liberty Avenue has been called the most graceful of all Asmara’s boulevards’. With wide straight lane divided with lushly palm trees and wooded landscape the drive is a favorite to newly wedded enthusiasts navigating with their white limousines and convertible 1968 Pontiac Catalina. I once counted 18 white Mercedes accompanying one newly weeded couple.
This weekend I went to the country side about 52 kilometers out of Asmara to a small city (village) population of two hundred house hold called Mai-Lubus to attend a wedding. The city has electricity and running water. What a surprise the houses neatly built. Mai- Lubous is out of the main paved road that goes to Mendefera the capital city of Southern region. Driving to Mai-Lubous towards the church one follows the paved dirt road that snacks uphill occasional local car appears, inching through and forcing pedestrians to squash themselves against the hill as it passes. Outside in the open space, amid the chaos of arriving people, I stood in the shadow of a tree where I was observing the activity with great interest. As I watched the commotion, I caught myself speaking with amazement. The sanctuary of St Gabriel is a newly built church. The one room house of worship is the only church in the city destination for the devotees. The wedding ceremony was held there and lunch was provided at the brides’ house. The festivity was comparable to the ones I have attended in Asmara good food, live band and a nicely decorated wedding cake.
After lunch and the traditional ceremonies were completed we set out to H&G Family resort located about two kilometers out of Mendefera. As the afternoon sun sparkled off the city we drove South ward following the wedding car, cutting a graceful sweep across the countryside. This enormous resort with its complex network, massive expanse gardens is a busy tourist center. The place is startlingly beautiful massive tropical trees arched gently in on both sides creating a sunshade and spacious quadrangle lawn. H&G Family resort with its exceptional design a brain trust of an Eritrean American talent with a restaurant, bar, cafe, hall and a waterfall on a 30 acre park is a work of genius. As we reached the resort, to my amusement several newly wedded had arrived. Some were just arriving. There were twenty one newly wedded. There were few with the regular white Mercedes for most they were arriving on regular cars. The groom wearing the black, gray or white suit, which fit remarkably well; Bride transformed a natural beauty having changed into a white long bride’s cloth, which complemented her nimble figure with her authoritative walk hand in hand with her future husband. The young newlywed with their entourage pausing for picture, as they walk a decorous, dawdling Laid-back relax walk enjoying the country side effervescent pleasant evenings. This my friend is life at its utmost.
Western writer’s who write outrageous things about Eritrea have never visited Eritrea; know nothing about its people yet appear as experts. NGOs that are the blood line of many individual profiteers’ of Western donation have no place in Eritrea. The few Eritreans’ who are selling themselves for small change, or the once hiding for their criminal activities in no way reflects the true nature of Eritrea and its people. Eritrea is a land of peace, prosperous and developing transforming villages into cities.