My Enjoyable Vacation Time in Asmara

 My Enjoyable Vacation Time in Asmara

Dawit Andebrhan, Aug 29, 2008

Coming across all that happiness and beauty; entertainment and unity; hard work and creativity; peace and safety… during the National Festival 2008 in which more than 600,000 people from inside and outside the country participated, you bear more responsible for the next festival time and for all your time. As a visitor or participant, you feel proud by the remarkable job many have displayed.There are those who visit every corner at the Expo grounds to discover the activities. Many spend a lot of time asking questions to better understand things displayed: the cultural activities, creative works, competition, art works, sculpture, different shows and all that describes Eritrea and Eritreans.

I met an Eritrean, who came from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in one of the traditional entertainment places of the Gash Barka Region taking coffee. I asked him about what he felt visiting Eritrea.

“Anyone who decides not to come to Eritrea is a loser,” he told me and he went on narrating his impressions:

“There is much hearsay about Eritrea in the outside world. There are people who speak about insecurity in Eritrea, but I see people safely walking at anytime and everywhere. I have visited different countries, always worrying about returning back safe. But what you hear about Eritrea being in the Diaspora and the reality here is quite different. At any time, during the day or at night, among the hundreds of thousands of visitors at Expo, you see people feeling safe and confident.

I don’t take a taxi for fear of safety in Asmara, the capital city; I can walk wherever I want. During the closing time of each festival day, at night, buses to different directions of the city are available. But many people prefer walking.

It is not strange to see many young girls taking a walk too. The issue of women abuse is common even in the most developed countries of the West, and many girls are being victims regardless the technological advancement in security controlling mechanisms these countries have. But, in Eritrea I met many young women walking as free as the men, either individually or in group all over the city. You don’t see many security men even at that late time. Only a few policemen are there. “Every one of us is a police,” told me a young boy from Asmara. In many capital cities in the continent and the world crime is a major threat. In Asmara, however, there are no worries of that kind.

What I learned about the mystery behind is that the culture is the main power of safety and controlling mechanisms. The people respect and trust each other; they know what values they have; and they know what responsibility they bear to correct wrong doings. The public is the police and everyone is a police in the country!

The successful festivals being carried out are good indicators of what the reality looks like in Eritrea. You don’t need a police to organize that big number of people during that big festival time; I see that it is being done by young NUEYS members along with a few policemen.

Many of my friends who visited other cities in the country also told me that it is the same everywhere! You feel free and safe where and whenever you are.

It is better for people to come and witness the reality by themselves. It is right I think to recommend people not to talk about things that they do not know about Eritrea! I also learned that it is a hard time there but they have a strong belief that they could overcome all kinds of challenges through hard work. They believe that a bright future could be reached soon.”

The Eritrean unique characteristic is that everyone feels responsible in all national issues. Indeed, it is the power that everyone understands and feels proud of! Because Eritreans know what cost they paid for independence!