Q&A is here to deliver messages of congratulations from people we talked to during the official ceremony held in Asmara Stadium, Cicero, on the 24th of May. The Independence of Eritrea means something to each Eritrean and friends of Eritrea. And whether it is by participating in the celebration or contributing to make the season animated, everyone gets busy to be part of May 24th. We talk to people of different walks gathered, somehow, to celebrate the day.
Mrs. Elsa Ghebre caught the eyes of our cameraman with her beautiful Tigre outfit. She took her time in styling her hair to the original Tigre ladies hairstyle delicacy. For the note, during this special season, Eritreans tend to look for a dressing code that resonates most the Eritrean identity –be it flag inspired dresses or ethic traditional garments.
- Hello! What a choice of style! Thank you.
I wanted to represent Tigre’s beautiful tradition. I am so excited to be and I am sure you can tell. I used to live in Italy, but it has been almost five years since I moved back to my country and I can assure you that I was born again ever since.
- How are you enjoying the independence celebrations?
It is grand. The whole Independence week has been very lively. The streets and avenues of our cities were filled by people of all age and it was a massive family gathering! The Eritrean people have been through harsh times where we were tortured and butchered. Precious lives were paid to get this peaceful country. We are all here today, thanks to our unity and because we cherish each other as people. Also worth the praise is our strong leadership and administration. We are fortunate to have a leader who strongly unites his people to whatever challenges may appear. He is of his people. May our martyrs rest in peace, we have carried their promises and we still will carry it forever.
I also want to remind our beautiful and glorious youth that now is their time; to be educated and contribute to the advancement of our country. I love our youth! Praise is to you!
Ruby Sandhu is the Founder and Principal Consultant at RS Collaboration. Ruby’s work is focused on Business and Human rights, She retired as a partner to focus on her work as Non Practicing Solicitor, Consultant and Accredited Mediator. In relation to Eritrea, her work has focused on Business Ethics, Responsible Corporate Citizenship and Stakeholder Engagement.
- Hello and welcome
Hello, good to be here. I am here from London. This is the first Independence Celebration in Eritrea that I am taking part of. It is just overwhelming to see this much of community and the well-organized performances.
- How did you know about Eritrea?
It was in 2011, that, I first came to the country. And I can honestly say that, it was a real journey from living in the west with a narrative which was so distorted and manipulated.
Coming to Eritrean and experiencing the ground reality and meeting good people made me fall in love with the country.
- You are a great supporter of the Eritrean narrative and we see you are very active on social media, what urges you to do so?
It is the same passion for justice. The legacy that we are going to be leaving future generations; a peaceful world, sustainability, the protection of human rights in most genuine of ways. To me Eritrea, its journey, its context and history really bodies that passion of justice.
- It’s another year of celebrating the independence for the Eritrean people, do you have any messages?
Eritrean people are an inspiration, it is a privilege to be working with this amazing extraordinary country. And thank you. Happy Independence Day to you all!
Nahom Yohanes, young singer/ song writer prepared a song that he performed during the event. The cheers were laud as he held his microphone. As soon as the ceremony was over youngsters present at the celebration rushed to him looking for a slight chance possible of a photo!
- Nahom, it is good to see you here. I am sure you went through abundant preparations for your performance here.
Yes it is been a busy couple of months. But it is just not me, all of my colleagues have been busily engaged in coming up with various artistic works to celebrate the occasion and most importantly highlight the importance of our independence day. We all worked hard and it was challenging, at times, but then, again, it is all worth it when we get to present our works at the big day.
- As a young Eritrean, how is the independence atmosphere for the youth? Have you been enjoying the celebration with your peers?
Of course and I can assure you it is extremely exciting. This is an event that we all rejoice in and so we share the joy. However, it is also the day in which we remember and honor the ones who sacrificed their precious lives for us to breathe the very air we breathe and live this wonderful peaceful life we have in our country. And as a young Eritrean am not just celebrating the laud music and the festive atmosphere in the streets of Asmara but I also realize that I carry their legacy. Me, and I am most sure every young Eritrean promises to be responsible for the freedom they left us paying their lives. I hope this consciousness succeeds to next generations. As an artist I have devoted this time of the year to dedicate my art to our big day.
- Okay, Nahom, do you have any messages?
Congratulations to all Eritreans. May our 27th independence anniversary be a harbor of millions more to come. Also, I would like to remind my fellow Eritrean young brothers and sisters, to look back at the price previous generations sacrificed to get us all to a free and sovereign Eritrea. We should all work hard to maintain our precious gift we got from our heroes, our freedom. Because, for me, freedom means Life. Happy Independence Day!
Mr. Tesfai berhe is the head of the office of the national holiday coordinating committee. Every effort invested in the preparations of the overall festivities has been on his desk. Also included in group was the blueprint of the official ceremony. Thank you for your time, tell us about the preparations please.
Thank you and, mostly, congratulations! The official ceremony just like the rest of the events, nationwide, arranged to add color to the vibrancy of our independence day took tremendous amount of energy. Every person involved: students, artists, sportsmen and office personals all invested great deal of enthusiasm and dedication. For example, the artists and students –for the cultural shows prepared by the students, who are preforming here today have been preparing for over three months.
- How many people are participating on this occasion?
There are over 5,000 artists and students who are participating in the shows arranged for the official ceremony. Over all, including the audience and the artists the official ceremony will glow in the presence of around 15,000 people! It is fantastic.
- Would you please share with us how do you feel celebrating this day?
It’s just like every other Eritrean. I rejoice alongside my people each time reminiscing every step we took to get here. Moreover, I feel strength in knowing the Eritrean people is ever ready to make Eritrea prosperous. Today the world knows us for who we are. The world knows and it has learned to accept our history and the kind of people we are. Not long ago, it turned blind eyes on us. And henceforth to realize that we’ve achieved so much despite foreign hostiles makes me glad. Therefore, similarly to all nationals I am in the midst of feelings that I cannot express with words. Happy Independence Day to you all!