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Eritrea: 30 years of solitude (Documentary)

Eritrean patriot Woldeab Woldemariam with his wife of 52 years in Asmara. Woldeab, who is affectionately known as "the father of Eritrea",  was a staunch supporter of Eritrean independence. Because of his views, 7 assassination attempts on his life were made by gunmen paid by the Ethiopian government. Photo credit: Issayas Tesfamariam

"Eritrea: 30 years of Solitude" details the turbulent history of Eritrea during the 20th century. Originally airing in 1993, the film features a number of  rare interviews with veteran fighters of the struggle and common citizens. Although the documentary does have a few minor historical inaccuracies, it nevertheless provides viewers with a comprehensive Eritrean perspective of Italian colonialism, British administration, Ethiopian occupation, war and the birth of Eritrean nationalism.

Memorable quotes from the documentary:
We have to fight together and show wisdom so that Eritrea will conserve her hopes in the future. She will not survive if we are divided. - Woldeab Woldemariam

The Eritreans aim is independence. If we don't achieve independence the country will remain under international protection. But Eritrea will not be a slave to anyone. - Ibrahim Sultan

Narrator: Tell us about the first battle.

Omar Damer, one of the first ELF fighters: There were 28 of us divided into 3 groups. We were told that the enemy was about to attack. We had old rifles loaded with 5 or 6 bullets. Only Hamid's ( Hamid Idris Awate) had a magazine with 10. Since many of our bullets were faulty, we made detonators with the phosphorous from matches. Suddenly the sentry warned us that the enemy was getting closer. As I was in command, I ordered the men to take up firing positions. I fired a shot and the rifle jammed. I cleared it with a piece of wire.

Abou Tayara, one of the first ELF fighters: In the beginning, around 1961/62, people were afraid. But from 1963 on they supported the revolution. They gave us food, transport, information about the enemy...At night, we would get together to make them aware of the situation. During the day we would hide in the mountains. Subsequently, the people fought at our side against the Ethiopian government.

Omar Damer: People welcomed Hamid's presence. He defended the oppressed. People took us for scholars who had come to help them. Hamid said: "We are not bandits, we haven't rebelled in order to cut off people's heads. We're here for Eritrea. Those who do not welcome our new comrades, can give back their arms and go home." He excluded some old folk because they complained: "You've entrusted duties to others, but we were here first." And Hamid's response was: "Quiet, you don't even know how to use binoculars!"

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Eritrea: 30 years of solitude (Documentary) Reviewed by Admin on 10:13 AM Rating: 5


  1. Amazing, Madote Keep it up . I though I Knew a lot but everyday I learn something new from you guys , .Love & Respect . Teddy From Toronto

  2. Great documentary! Very informative.


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