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Festival Eritrea Washington DC 2014, Triumphant and Glorious

Legend Wedi Tikul on stage during the 2014 Eritrean East Coast Festival in Washington, D.C. 

Festival Eritrea Washington DC 2014, Triumphant and Glorious

Amanuel Biedemariam

It is ironic when Africans from all around gathered in DC to demonstrate against the African leaders that attended the US Africa Leaders Summit; Eritreans gathered for their annual Eritrean Festival and celebrated Eritrea, each other, they passed-on legacy to their children, exchanged ideas, affirmed their commitments to Martyrs and enjoyed.

What makes Eritrean Festival 2014 successful?  

The image the anti-Eritrea elements try to concoct is that Eritrean communities are disintegrating, divided and at each other. However, the opposite is true and this event proved them wrong in many ways. It was a success because despite hindrances Eritreans managed to plan and execute fun-filled event that checked all the boxes and beyond.

The location was ideal, expansive, accommodating, family friendly, kid friendly and serene. Parents were able to enjoy as their kids played. The organizers did great job by providing a playground that accommodated all the children. These kids were bonding and making new friends while staying connected to their country in the same way that their parents did.

Food and drinks were plentiful, the services were great, everyone was in a good mood, happy and at-peace determined to enjoy the moment. The servers were accommodating and treated everyone with utmost respect. The event had a feel of a family-picnic that drew people from all around. In that regard it was a smashing success.

The three day event was calendar-full of activities, seminars, lectures, guest-speakers and surprise guests. The Festival featured seminar organized by the Organization of Eritrean American (OEA) that dealt with Eritrea-US-Ethiopian relations. OEA hosted hi level presenter that exchanged ideas with Eritrean Americans about Eritrea-US-Ethiopia related topics. After the seminar Ambassador Girma Asmerom officially opened Festival 2014 accompanied by veteran musicians from Eritrea.

The next day the long awaited seminar with Ambassador Girma Asmerom was held on the festival-ground’s main stage. After an opening statement by Mr. Berhane Ghebrehiwet Charge De' Affairs Embassy of Eritrea Washington DC, Ambassador Girma gave the audience opportunity and ample time to ask, comment and express their views after which he gave his answers to subjects such as human trafficking, housing, mining, and his tenure as Ambassador at the AU in Ethiopia.

After the seminar musicians from Eritrea entertained the crowd until the fairground’s closing hours. And the festival continued in a concert-hall in DC where Eritreans danced all night until closing. That was the main event where all the musicians that came from Eritrea and local musicians joined to entertain Eritreans from all over. The mix of the musical talent, the energy on the stage and on the dance ground was historic.

On Sunday August 10, the Festival commenced with few words from Ambassador Girma Asmerom about sports and soccer to the youth that competed in the DC area soccer tournaments after which, trophies were handed to the champions.  The events continued with several meetings and seminars some of which included friends of Eritrea from the Horn of Africa. They too enjoyed the festivities. After a fun filled weekend the festival ended with music and dance.

The Festival this year will go as one of the most successful events Eritreans held in DC. Generally, the festivals are fun-filled meaningful events. This year however was a turning point because for the first time, the festival was able to successfully merge the needs of families, the children and yet managed to make it educational, informative, inspirational and fun for all the participants.  In the process Eritreans sent powerful messages.

For the last 18 years Eritreans faced unrelenting battery from every direction designed to weaken them into submission.  Yet, year after year Eritreans find strength to move-on shrugging-off whatever is throwing at them. Undeterred, unfazed by the blabber Eritreans demonstrated unwavering commitment to their nation and the martyrs that paid with their life to bring Eritrea. They enjoyed purpose filled weekend as one like a single family and demonstrating unity.

This was a turning point because it appears as though Eritreans have switched into a higher gear, in the process quashed the voiceless-dogs, and rendered them lifeless.

Many standout moments resonated. The highlight however was the presentation by Ambassador Girma Asmerom who is no stranger to Metro DC Eritreans in the US. He was once Eritrea’s Ambassador in the US from which he was transferred to serve as Eritrean Ambassador to the African Union headquartered in Ethiopia.

Ambassador Girma received warm welcome-back and tough questions from Eritreans that eagerly waited for authoritative response from their representative. Ambassador Girma delivered wisdom, timely-facts as well as perspectives on issues. He assured Eritreans on issues of concerns, clarified issues that needed clarification, clearly articulated Eritrea’s positions, approach, and challenges, and explained how Eritrea deals with these issues.


  • The constitution is living document that could be amended.

  • Corruption in Eritrea is negligible and ultimately it requires citizens’ cooperation to fight it when it appears.

  • The enemy is looking for ways to continue the sanction based on fabrications. Ethiopian authorities are hard at work to ensure continuation by linking Eritrea to Ethiopian opposition groups. The goal is always to deny Eritrea her independence because the arms embargo is designed to give Ethiopia advantage while denying Eritrea the right to self-defense.

  • It would take all of us to try to stem the flow of youth from Eritrea. We have to understand our role in it. He explained the role the West plays to deny Eritrea the youth with examples and evidences. Again the goal is the same to weaken and destabilize.

  • None of the Eritrean officials has any asset let alone asset that could be frozen with sanctions. We are servers of the people not opportunists that want to take advantage.

Ambassador Girma Asmerom’s presentation is always humble and rooted to his background, the struggle for liberation of Eritrea. In response to questions about the relationship of people with their government Ambssador Girma said something that resonated:

I travel all around and see how diplomats from other countries conduct their businesses, how they live and how they interact with their constituencies or not. None of the diplomats deals with their public let alone addresses them as we do. Eritreans are able to talk with their representatives openly about every conceivable subject, unheard and unseen anywhere. And got personal when he said,

“I have friends, and colleagues all over and I see how they live. I see their homes, cars and their successful lives. But that is not how I measure success. I measure success by the standards of Eritrean martyrs and if I am upholding my commitments to them.”


The statement above tells the whole story. Eritrea does not belong to individuals. It is up to all of us working together to make it a success based on the values that brought the independence and commitment to Eritrea’s heroes and sheroes that gave life and brought life to a nation.

The Eritrean Festival DC was a reflection of that core belief. Praise goes to all the organizers that toiled for the success of the event. Praise to those that stood on the scorching sun to ensure the safety of participants, those who served food, sold tickets, organized meetings and those who contributed. Praise goes to all the participants that came from near and afar and made the event a success.

What is even more amazing is that Eritrean Nationalism and patriotic zeal was displayed in the same fashion in Asmara, US, Canada, Italy, England and all-round the globe in the same fashion.

It is serene experience to witness peaceful-events where all participants are in the same mindset working for the same purpose in joy.  It is a testament to the sophistication and brilliance of the Eritrean population dedicated to ensure the success of their communities and nation as one.

Glory to our Martyrs

Awet N-Hafash  

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Festival Eritrea Washington DC 2014, Triumphant and Glorious Reviewed by Admin on 8:05 PM Rating: 5


  1. Festival Eritrea Washington D.C. 2014

    Opening Ceremony Festival Washington DC 2014

  2. As usual a rubbish article!!! Whatever you wrote may give pleasure to the mafia group called PFDJ. The truth is our people inside the country are begging god to eradicate the killer, hideous, lawless and heinous leadership. What you are supporting is a leadership that has changed our country into hell.
    For me when I looked at the number of attendees, it is clear that the mafia group is getting out of a touch and hated by almost 90 percent of the residents in DC area. Out of tenths of thousands what I observed is May be around one thousand. Years back this wasn't our number and you should be ashamed of yourself to the fact that you were there years back and you are there now and should been asking what's is going on?

    May god have mercy upon our beloved country and people.

  3. What a confused leadership!!! The self appointed President says constitution drafting will begin and the cowardly ambassador says the constitution is a living document that could be amended. Who is to be believed? And sell outs such as Amanuel reports such a confusing information. Amanuel if you were a real journalist or a writer or a citizen, you should had asked the Ambassador why then the president said constitution drafting process will begin? You are a fake Eritrean!!!

  4. Excellent Wedi Ere, but rest assured this guy Amanuel Bidemariam, Hillal, Truth and other fake names will never want to ask himself the question you raised for him; for he knows that he is on the wrong side of Eritrean contemporary history: history that is being made. The best thing is, their days are numbered. I never heard the name Bidemariam in Eritrea while growing up there and I have always wondered if this guy is Tigrayan like Issaias Afewerki, Both Yemanes and Kisha. If he is, then rest assured Wedi Ere hawey, their days are numbered; bdebub zelewu azmadom ketTfiewom eyom very soon. Manm Eritrawi meniesey aykwaagalomn'yu.... Sala information technology Efacebook, email, and stuff) everyone now is waiting for the opportune time to let them down and run away.

  5. Hizbi Tigray anta qomalAugust 25, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    Hhhaaaahaha deki debre zeity
    Their days are numbered ,the years slep with Weyane comes up empty hand. Most Eritreans turn back to their people leaving you in miseary after they saw your virgin federalism eritrea weyane proposed agenda. So you guys are either tegaru or havlf tegaru or basterd Eritrean hahahaha I got here.

  6. ኣንቱም ሰባት እዚ ኹሉ ፌስቲቫልን ፌስታን እምበርከ ናይ ጥዕና ድዩ? ኤርትራዊ ዜጋ መዓልታዊ ኣብ ባሕርን ምድረባዳን ይሞተሉ ኣብዘሎ ህሞት ፅዕፁዕን ውዕዉዕን ጎይላታት ምግባርስ እንታይ ዓይነት መልእኽቲ ንምትሕልላፍ ኮን ይኸውን? ኣምላኽ ናይ መወዳእታኹም ይግበረን ህግደፋውያን!!

  7. sala Efacebook...huh and bdebub zelewu azmadom...what a loose I don't think any Eritrean would wish that for their country but an enemy. sell out!

  8. woyale woyane!! There is no Eritrean citizen that hates National Festivals, expect few traitors and sellouts like you. Why do you lie? The number of participants is increasing every year.
    Go to hell with your rubbish comment! If you can try to save your already failed state Ethiopia!

  9. qondaf woyane! Who are you by the way to tell the truth about Eritrea and People? Hands off from Eritrean website.
    Eritreans don't suffer from identity crises.
    How big is the size of your brain? Is it as the size of a bean?
    You are out casted from the continent already, you better find yourself somewhere.

  10. Why should you care? Why do other countries do National Festivals?

  11. Wow! What about you? Tell me your identity.

  12. Still spreading this kind of propaganda?

    The Weyanes are coming. What makes you happy about, "bdebub zelewu azmadom ketTfiewom eyom?" Then what happens, according to your dream. You will be able to grab the government and lead whom? You would like to believe that the Weyane will put you on the throne. Rest assured that the Weyane tank on which you dream to be riding will burn with you on it after being hit by Warsay even before it reaches our border!

    How can an Eritrean think about his country in the way you do? There are only two possibilities: 1) you are a Weyane. 2) You are the Donkey, one of the sell outs who wishes no grass grows in the country unless you have some kind of power.

    Why do you rely on the Weyane? Simply because, you have not convinced one single Eritrean to side you, which would have been easy if you had legitimate cause. In any case, as far as Eritreans are concerned, you are one and the same!

    Your shortsightedness and your racism jumps out of the page of your response here. You consider an Eritrean who has sacrificed most of his ripe age fighting for Eritrea and serving Eritrea none-Eritrean because of you allege that he is half Tigrayan. You are attempting to instigate hatred towards the individuals you named. Unknowingly, you are justifying hatred on yourself. In other words, you as a Tigrayan are saying you deserve to be hated by Eritreans! If that is not inferiority complex, then what is?

    You may say you are Eritrean. Be afraid of the Tigrayans who will definitely eliminate you after using you for the soon to be debacle of an assault on Eritrea, for they now know that you hate them! It would be wiser for you to just shut up and behave yourself and then ask for asylum or to be an Ethiopian national, instead!

  13. Which one of the following is true?

    Wedi tkul is ….

    a) **Ar-tera** (Har'e Tera).

    b) **Fesie-Tera**.

    c) **Fersie-Tera**.

    d) **Kebdam Fara**.

    e) ** Agame Embera**.

    d) **Shekati nay Sewra**

  14. No need to ask which one is true; all you need to do is compare your resume with that of Wedi Tukul, then you will get a clear answer yourself. There is a Tigrinya saying for Gurenga like yourself ...
    Haqqi Zey'bla MeAkor Si Mai Setia T'teriT

  15. If other countries are doing is only because they want to celebrate their God-Given right which is called freedom to speak, think and choose whoever they like and this is called Democracy. Besides they are also enjoying prosperous life. But what reason has eritrea to engage in a non-stop and crazy festivals every year, every month and almost every week while its people are suffering hell on earth and nearing extinction due large number of exodus by the day.? heh?

  16. Slueman I saw you comment before saying red sea wants freedom have you got it lol go to Ethiopia If you want democracy and be gay or slave of U.S. have fun with the so called democracy you and your agame are calling

  17. guayla, dankera, derfi, ...... to what end?!?!?!?! does anyone care for the people who are perishing everyday at all? how about those who are languishing in the gulags of hgdef???? God have mercy on the people and country.

  18. Fake eritrWi & proudAugust 25, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    As long as you are a "REAL ERITRAWI" it's enogh for us FAKE eritreans to celebrate your real eritrawihood & dance for eternity mr agame!

  19. Petros Solomon once said, Issayas has no respect for Girma Asmeron since he is YES man with no dignity, an opportunistic who will do anything for power. Hence his words has no meaning at all. This a person who promised Aster Yonhannes that nothing will happen to her if she visited her kids in Asmera, but she was arrested at aarival in 200 and has never been seen since then. Girma Asmerom you are a lier and will be put on trial (which your none Eritrean bosses has denied Eritrean heroes). Your boss put you in Ethiopia so that in case of sudden change you won't be able to escape. Good luck with all sleepless nights .

  20. ISNT ISSAYAS AFEWERKI AGAME ?, I am just saying Why is anyone who posted a diffrent opinoin here named "AGAME" by the PRO - ISSYAS....who is by heritage AGAME also?. Just saying...besides I dont believe a name of a village would raise such a hateful atmosphere except if you are not an idiot who call yourself hiper Eritrean. What is next HAMASSEN?, SERRAYE?, AKELE?...the list goes on!...

  21. Waoh looking the video you can just admire the uniqueness of Eritreans and their noble culture..we love you People

  22. Who said Issayas is Agame, it is pure fabrication
    you must be here on a purpose to cause altercation
    Otherwise Issu is a president of a great & mighty nation
    which is called Eritrea, although small in population.
    My friend Wallotat, please correct your allegation
    For what you said is a crime, unforgivable transgression.
    if it was in Eritryaa, you could end up in prison

    But you are lucky to get away with your horrible defamation.

    ኢድ ሰውራ ኤረትራ ነዋሕ ስለዝኾነት ከየረኻኽቡልካ !!

  23. 187 on an Undercover CopAugust 26, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    He's in the USA now.


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