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Aron Kibreab: Transcending Eritrean culture through music & books

Aron Kibreab

Aron Kibreab: Transcending Eritrean culture through music & books.

By Michael Seium

In 1984 Aron Kibreab made his way to the United States. He settled in the west coast near the San Francisco Bay area. Aron quickly became immersed in education and attended San Jose State University where he graduated with a degree in Accounting. Aron’s love for music and his Eritrean culture drove him to play with a group known as KANA ERITREA which was encouraged to perform by the late Saleh Meky former Minster of Health of the State of Eritrea. As most of you may be well aware Minister Meky was a long-standing community member of the Bay area Eritrean community. Along with a couple of friends Aron formed the group and started to play for audiences throughout the west coast.

Aron whose passion for the old traditional Tigrinia culture became his specialty improved his skills in the Traditional Krar. He was able to combine his strong ability to master words with the many traditional beats that attracted his listeners. With simply his voice and Krar, musicians like him are the unplugged artists who tell our collective stories through their songs. Their music conveys many great messages of love, happiness, moments of inspiration and can also often be a call to action in the form of protest songs. They can even rally audiences around historic causes such as movements like the Eritrean struggle before and after independence.

I first met Aron at an annual soccer tournament held in California in the early 1990’s. As a part of the host team at the time, Santa Clara’s Worira, who also happen to be the current defending champions of the ERSFNA (Eritrean Sports Federation in North America) in 1994, I heard a rap song in Tigrinia that was titled simply “Sport” and I was blown out of my mind. As a matter of fact I played Aron’s song in the booth in between games to get the crowd involved. The song was produced for the annual sports event. However, Aron’s first love was to make sure that children of the diaspora were not losing sight of their culture and language. It was with that in mind he also produced one of the very earliest video tutorials for the Tigrinya language that was ever produced. The video was a hit and to this day its remnants can be seen lurking the “YOUTUBE” circles. Aron then moved to Las Vegas Nevada where he lived for many years. He was able to put together children of the community and had them perform on many occasions including a festival in DC where I had the pleasure of seeing it along with a huge audience. His canny ability to work with kids allowed Aron to go on an instant to any city and work with children on developing a strategy for a show dealing with culture.

While some of you may take time to look at his past work, Aron has also come up with a new CD, which will make you proud. The album titled “Keebdana Elen” loosely translated “To drive us crazy” in a musical sense is one of the best works of the year in my opinion. It’s better for the audience to judge and I can almost assure you that you will not be disappointed. Ten songs including the very famous “Awlo” “Meseley”, “Sini Tseba”, “Mesikaley do” and other great wedding songs which was a collaboration effort with other song writers, musicians and traditional folk story tellers are on the album and it is sure to be a collectors item. It is a nice CD to have at home for any occasion.

Meanwhile, Aron has also produced a new book titled “Tigrinia & English in 10 days” which can come in handy for children of the diaspora as well as for anyone willing to learn Tigrinia in a short time. It is also a great gift set for anyone especially those traveling to Eritrea. Aron took his time and worked on it by consulting many different people. The book is a great start for anyone wishing to understand new words but also veteran’s speakers who may want a quick glance to make sure that they are communicating the right words. Aron has also been open for suggestions and would love to get feed back from his audience.

Both for his book & CD Aron Thanks the support of all Eritreans and wishes his community throughout the world and within Eritrea nothing but the best as he embarks on more educational projects that have been his passion for a long time. He has invited everyone to join him on his celebration this coming weekend on Saturday Fe. 27th, 2016 at the ECCC (Eritrean Cultural & Civic Center) on 6th an L streets in Washington D.C starting at 7pm. Along with the Eritrean music association of North America this will be an event that celebrates the work of Aron Kibreab who has been a great advocate for maintaining our culture and allowing future bright generations to understand and learn their culture and the BAHLI of their forefathers. Congratulations to Aron Kibreab on a Job well done and every Eritrean should encourage this type of work as it only benefits our people collectively.

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Aron Kibreab: Transcending Eritrean culture through music & books Reviewed by Admin on 1:03 AM Rating: 5

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