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More of our Heritage

Eng. Dawit Abraha, is a member of the team that helped realize many Eritreans’ dream for Asmara to be registered in the world heritage list. Eng. Dawit was assigned to work as the assistant coordinator for the Asmara Heritage project after graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering.
Today, Q&A presets to you Eng. Dawit.



  • Your educational journey

I was actually one of the good students. But, it is when I joined high school that I really started to understand the value of education. Specifically, when I got into Asmara Technical School, it really did change my life. The school only accepted students with high marks; I worked really hard to get high marks.

  • Why did you decide to join the technical school?

I was naturally drown to it since a young age. I had a friend of mine who had the same interest as well. He was trying to renovate a plane that is powered by a dynamo. I was trying to do the same. I was also helping my father and brother who were working in a carpenter shop. I would say that these all had a little something to do with sparkling my interest.
I found the school more determining, personally and mentally. I was one of the best student of the school.

  • After graduating…

We had to go for our national service before getting our degree, so I joined the 16th round in Sawa. I was then assigned to work at Rodab General Construction Company. I had been working on the road project of Filfil Selemuna as a project surveyor for four years now. It is one of the biggest projects in the country.It is also a project that was a success in every way.

  • The efforts you made to upgrade?

I have always known that the education that has earned me a diploma was just the beginning. It was not that challenging for me since I had the work experience in my field. Honestly, I had the doubt that I wouldn’t be as good as those who hadn’t been away from their studies. But I proved myself wrong when I got the full mark of 4 at the first semester exam. That moment encouraged me to join the field I have always been interested in, Civil Engineering. I graduated in 2012 after five years of study and was assigned at the Central Region Administration in the construction development department.

It is a department where a civil engineer can actually work and learn. After the establishment of the Asmara World Heritage Project, I was happy to work as the assistant project coordinator. Besides the great love I have for this city, I believed that this project would make me deeply understand the knowledge I had in construction.

  • The Project’s purpose?

The main goal was to prepare the nomination dossier for Asmara to get it registered in the World Heritage. The project also included the activities, planning Norms and Technical Regulations.

  • What was your role?

Coordinating various departments. I was in charge of selecting and managing skilled individuals on the studies. I was also involved in preparing the nomination dossier besides the Conservation Master Plan.
There wasn’t any work that can be done at the project. It wasn’t as challenging as it was supposed to be since we had the help from people who deeply knew the history and establishment of the city.

  • How do you see Asmara?

Even though it is a much broader topic, Asmara is unique. Its 20 century historical buildings and master plan make it one of the most beautiful and interesting cities. It’s for that reason we call it Africa’s modernist city. It is also one of the best in passing down culture.

  • How did you feel when it was declared that Asmara is now on the UNESCO list?

Honestly, I cried with joy. We all worked really hard for it; it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I followed the process live through the internet, it was 8th of July, 2017, which was incidentally also the day I turned 34.

  • What should the role of the youth be in preserving the historical city?

It is because of the love and respect this city has that it has made it this far. We should all continue to do the same for Asmara. We should protect and pass it down to the next generation as good as we had it from our forefathers. Also, we are the ones to benefit from the success that the city has acquired. We all should work to gain more from this. In addition, one of the best things about this city is its cleanness. The youth should work hard to keep it clean in every way they could. Heritage is a wide subject and I would like to advise those who are in colleges to broaden their knowledge.

  • How do you think Asmara will benefit by being In the UNESCO list?

It is certainly going to help in upgrading the tourism and financial sectors of the country. Also, UNESCO will extend a helping hand in repairing the buildings when needed.

  • Thank you, any last words?

I want to remind the youth that the best thing is to keep upgrading yourself. Twenty four hours isn’t enough. So let’s all work hard to raise our standards.

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