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National Council of Eritrean Americans Conference Held in Seattle concluded with Vibrant Zeal

By Samuel Igbu

The annual Eritrean community leadership conference held from August 8th to 10th in Seattle, Washington. The conference was organized by several organizations including, the People's Front for Justice and Democracy (PFDJ), the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) and the Young People’s Front for Democracy (YPFDJ), and HIDRI. The two-day conference was attended by several hundred participants of HIDRI, YPFDJ, PFDJ-II, NUEW and PFDJ members from across the USA, Canada, Europe, and Eritrea. The colors of this conference’s T-shirts were orange as an expression of solidarity with the Euro YPFDJ Conference in Holland. The conference was an opportunity to synergize and strengthen the organizations. The different organizations held seminars and workshops that were focused on strengthening the Eri-diaspora and collectively cooperate to increase the professional contribution in Eritrea.

The conference aimed to bring together the like-minded individuals who share common interests towards becoming positive citizens as Eritreans living in the North America. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to obtain the tools necessary to become strong leaders in our communities and to contribute towards Eritrea’s equitable development strategies. The strategies towards developing these tools were discussed during break-out sessions in the conference.

Overall this year's conference was one of the best in terms of content, line-up and group discussion. We had a very dynamic group of speakers and this year’s theme was “Engagement of Generations for developmental partnership”.

Among the speakers was, Ms. Hanna Simon, Eritrea’s Ambassador to France and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Mr. Berhane Ghebrehiwet, Charge de’ Affairs at the Embassy of Eritrea Washington DC, as well as heads of the NEUWs/PFDJ II/YPFDJ organizations, friends of Eritrea and distinguished guests.

Ms. Hanna Simon gave a detailed briefing on Asmara’s induction into the UNESCO world heritage site, the current political and socio-economic situation in the Homeland as well as on the significance of organizing the youth and its contribution to the success of the national development endeavors.

Mr. Berhane Ghebrehiwet, charge de’ Affairs at the Embassy of Eritrea Washington DC gave an extensive briefing on the current political and economic situation in the Homeland. He also explained the significance of the economic and professional contribution of the Eritrean youth residing in the Diaspora in general and the youth in particular. Mr. Berhane further said that preparation is underway to enable the youth to participate in the national development programs by strengthening their organizational capacity.

Briefings regarding the activities conducted by the youth to portray the real image of Eritrea and the achievements registered, the challenges encountered and opportunities were presented by different professional citizens.

Some of the key highlights speakers and topics at conference were,

1. Mr. Todd Romaine, Nevsun Resources Ltd., presented on the investment opportunities in Eritrea, including the mining environment in Eritrea, and its challenges as well as CSR issues in Eritrea.
2. Panel discussion on the professional contribution moderated by Dr. Ghideon, Dr. Tesfa Aradom, and Rediet Taddesse.
The panelists shared their experience teaching and contributing in Eritrea.
3. Panel discussion on public diplomacy & Media was moderated by Mr. Glen Ford, Ms. Sophia Tesfamariam, and Mr. Elias Amare.
4. Mr. Fessehaye Abrahaley, a NASA Engineer gave an extensive briefing about the story of his life from a farmer In Eritrea to becoming a NASA Engineer.
5. The representative of EHVI (Eritrean Hearing & Visually Impaired) informed the participants on the objective of their organization since its inception two years ago. EHVI is a non-profit organization of Eritreans from USA, Canada, and Europe. Their objective is to raise awareness, of hearing and visually impaired Eritreans with the purpose of advancing the economic, educational, employment, social equality, and just rights privileges of these individuals.
6. Dr. Ghidewon Abay Asmerom professor Discrete Mathematics, VCU held a discussion forum on sub-nationalism

2017 YPFDJ and PFDJ-II North America Conference concluded with a resolution that was presented and adopted on Thursday, August 10, 2017, by the aforementioned organizations at the 2017 North America Conference for YPFDJ, PFDJ-II, and Hidri.

The members of the conference attended the Eritrean Festival in Seattle following its conclusion. The festival itself was attended by thousands of Eritreans from different regions in the USA. Hence, the festival offered a taste of Eritrean culture, informative presentations about economic, social, cultural and political developments in Eritrea. Likewise, there were also several musicals performances, such as Wedi Tukul, Abeba Haile, Senait Amine, Jamal Romodan, Elsa Kidane, Wedi Druf, Bereket Mengstab, Abrehet Berhane and Selina Band etc.

Glory to our martyrs!
Awet N'hafash!

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National Council of Eritrean Americans Conference Held in Seattle concluded with Vibrant Zeal Reviewed by Admin on 1:08 PM Rating: 5

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