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Summer in Asmara

Vibrant & Beautiful Asmara, Eritrea (Credit: Paul/

By Berhane Woldu

Asmara welcomed by morning sun fully raised, the air misted with the aromas of morning espresso and freshly baked pastries is the right place for “good times”. Asmara prior to its becoming a city was inhabited by villages; Semble village is known to have existed from 800 to 400 BC its well preserved village has now developed as one of Asmara’s suburb. Archaeologists have stated that Semble’s development indicates as one of the most important civilization discovered in Africa. Formerly one of the most magnificent cities of the Italian colony, enlarged between 1890 and 1940 Asmara is the capital, largest city and the political, cultural, commercial, and industrial center of the nation. Asmara has countless and often spectacular Art Deco buildings. The Cathedral is evidence of the specificity of Roman-African civilization. The Jamei al Kulafa,e el
Rashedin Mosque built in 1938 symbolize loyalty to its Islamic origins. Liberation of Eritrea in 1991 has offered architects rejuvenation in admirable synthesis of style, rooted in the modernity of their age and receptive to local heritage. The palm tree lined wide boulevards, sidewalk cafes and an art deco building with pleasant climate makes Asmara city heaven on earth.

Numerous memorial and cultural events take place in Asmara. The distinctive traditional songs, dances, and costumes are the best way to get in touch with your recent past culture and traditions. The night life in Asmara has its own charm with a cosmopolitan feel Asmara is a city of energetic adventure where the combination of commemoration and celebration ensures that every Diaspora visitor feels that they are having the journey of their dream.

The summer celebrations kick off start in April with Easter followed by Independence Day welcomed by spectacular fireworks that turn night into day. Weeks which ensue Independence Day, are ecstatic, jubilant, and delightful. Carnivals, musical shows, bazaars, and art shows are some of the highlights of the festivities. There are street dance and musical shows for two days. The Independence festivity embraced Concerts by National artists, a German Musical symphony and a musical cultural group from South Africa in the Art Deco cinemas of Cinema Roma, Cinema Asmara and street Carnivals at the World known for its edifice and art deco beauty Liberty Avenue. Asmara stadium was packed by spectators President Isaias Afwerki gave the annual Independence speech later to be swarmed by young adults who came to give him hugs and kisses. It was a scene of its own a panorama never seen elsewhere in the world.

On Friday June 19th Martyrs day was commemorated. Prayer services were conducted at St. Michael’s Church and the Al-Khulafae Al-Rashideen Mosque in honor of Eritrea’s fallen heroines and heroes. The heartfelt and distinguished event candle lights memorial services was underway with a majestic noble sense of honor, gratitude and remembrance felt by all Eritreans. An art exhibition by the renowned artist Gedeye G/ Michel depicting the barbaric massacres of peaceful citizens in Hazemo region was displayed and an outdoor cinema was showing the documentary movies portraying civilian massacres that were committed by Ethiopian army in Adi-Ibrihim, Adi-Kukei, Megoriab, She’ibgedged, Aliet and 62 other villages. Different artistic performances and sport events were held in honor of Martyrs Day. The day is the most profoundly felt day of the year. It’s a day where bitter sweet sensation dominate the soul of every Eritrean and reaffirm our resolve to pay the debt owed to our fallen heroes and vow to build a secure and prosperous nation.

President Isaias Afwerki opened Festival Eritrea 2015 “Hub of Harmony” on 25th of July to close on August 2nd 2015 at the expo ground in the nation’s capital Asmara. The festival manifested the cultural, natural wealth, development and harmonious unison value. It elaborates the endowments of the Country, developmental work, and expansion of social services in education, health, infrastructure and clean water supply, advances made in agro-industry, mining and industrial developments. Villages show casting the nine ethnic groups which reflected their tradition; each ethnic exhibiting its traditional tools, folkloric shows and way of life. Passing the evening hours at the expo ground listing to music, sipping a glass of wine or beer visiting the different traditional villages with sky full off bright stars was thrilling.

Asmara city is full of life and activities that surmount and triumph all challenges; the sport activities that are favored in the nation’s capital are cycling and football (soccer). Cycling is one of the most admired sports and is held every Saturday and Sunday morning. People line up the streets rooting for their teams. Central region soccer league had held tournament for champion ship of the Central region where The Red Sea team was the winner. The national Tournament has now started for “Cup of Eritrea”. August and September were marvelous month where massive crowed was out on the street to welcome our sport heroines and heroes who made the Nation victories.

Eastern, Edi Al-Feter, Kudse-Yohannes, Meskele and Edi Al-Adha fall in the summer celebrated with much fun fair flaunting how tradition and modernity entwine. Mosques loudspeakers across the city echoing; with the pursuing intonation of the call to prayer “Allah Wakeber” the faithful dashed to mosques. Priests shaded by colorful umbrellas convoyed with ceremonial dances of the priests and spiritual song Mothers ululating, fathers raising their hands as if to reach the heavens. The two faith consecutively celebrated Edi Al-Adha and Meskel at the same spot Bahte Meskerem manifesting respect and love. People move in the direction of the markets to shop for the different holidays. The streets of Asmara turn into a market place. Live sheep, goats, and hens sold in the middle of the streets. The holiday fist with its native dishes offering different flavors, aromas, textures and all organic demonstrates the best gourmet of the world.

Seeing Young kids wearing traditional cloth, dancing on the street older people joining with no concern to age everyone having a great time fills your heart with pride, give one the opportunity to re-connect with the recent past of who you are; Full hearted Eritrean. Togetherness, love and respect are things that make summer in Asmara uniquely loveable. Undeniably a feeling that you are having the journey of your dream.
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Summer in Asmara Reviewed by Admin on 12:20 PM Rating: 5

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