Eritrea: Nostalgia….


The Nine Ethnic groups in Eritrea.

I was at Safeway picking up some groceries when a middle-aged Caucasian man greeted me “Dena Nesh” and bowed his head. Obviously he assumed I was Ethiopian. I live in an area where there is a large Eritrean and Ethiopian population so I wasn’t too surprised by this.  But this made me think a lot because it happened on May 25th, a day after the 26th anniversary of Eritrea’s National Independence day. It is understandable why a lot of people here in the US don’t know or haven’t heard of Eritrea, after all it wasn’t on the world map before 1993.

Writing this post is difficult but gratifying, if that makes sense, because it brings out so many memories and emotions.

Eritrea (Ertra) is a country in East Africa, bordered by Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibuti. It’s capital city (where I was born and grew up) is Asmara. Asmara is said to be one of the safest and cleanest cities in Africa. Located at 2400 meters (1.49 Miles) above sea level, Asmara is cool, nice and sunny for most of the year. The modern architectural look given by the Italian community between 1935-1941 makes the city exceptional. The Art Deco style cinemas such as Cinema Impero still stand to show the splendor of Asmara.

What do I miss when I think of Asmara? Family, friends and neighbors of course  but also the nice crisp air , coffee shops( Moderna, Modka, Asmara sweet Café..) Pizzerias,(Napoli, Golden Fork..) I could go on and on ….

What do you miss most?



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