By Bereket Kidane,
The year 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the State of Eritrea. Officially and totally liberated with the fall of Asmara and Assab on May 24, 1991, Eritrean communities around the world are planning a series of events to commemorate the silver jubilee anniversary beginning on the First Night of the New Year January 1, 2016 and culminating on May 24, 2016.
Later on in the spring and summer, there will be a series of events to celebrate the birth and accomplishments of the State of Eritrea.
On its silver jubilee year, Eritrea has much to commemorate and celebrate, most notably the fact that it has established in a short time and in the face of continued hostilities, an independent and stable nation.
Eritrea continues to be the most stable nation in its turbulent and volatile region. An oasis of peace and tranquility indeed.
On May 24, 1991, tegadeltis liberating Asmara and Assab made the dream Eritreans held for generations a reality. As the realization of that dream, Eritrea inspires awe and celebration in all of its children at home and in the diaspora. We sure remember that glorious day like it was yesterday.
At 25 Eritrea is young! It has not even reached middle age yet. There is an old saying that goes something like this, “You spend your twenties making mistakes. You spend your thirties trying to fix those mistakes. And then you start living in your forties.” Eritrea has many years left before it turns forty so it is doing just fine as a young nation. It is well ahead of the curve.
So go ahead and start those celebrations beginning the First Night when you ring in the New Year. They are sure to continue with massive festivities into the Spring culminating on May 24th, 2016.
To get the partying and nostalgia started, post your favorite photos of Eritrea on facebook and social media from the 90s, 00s and tens.
The following would be my favorite photos of Eritrea from each decade:
90s – Woldeab Woldemariam kissing the ground at Asmara International Airport after returning from many years in exile; Boutros Ghali raising Eritrea’s flag at the United Nations as a member state; PIA voting in the referendum; any pictures of aging parents repeatedly kissing their victorious returning tegadalay or tegadalit son or daughter after not seeing them for 10, 15 or 20 years; any picture of Warsay generation soldiers heading to the Zalambessa or Alitena front to defend the nation against Weyane’s invasion. They sure stepped-up in a big way.
00s – Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, the Chairman of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC), delivering the International Boundary Commission’s decision of the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia at the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s Peace Palace in Hague. The decision affirmed that the town of Badme belongs to Eritrea; The Queen Bee’s maiden voyage touchdown at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport, Nevsun’s discovery of large VMS deposits of precious and base metals in Western Eritrea.
10s – Cliff Davis, Nevsun’s CEO, handing President Issaias Afewerki the first gold dore bar of the Bisha Mine’s production; Eritrean-Americans and Eritrean-Canadians welcoming President Isaias Afewerki at a sold-out thunderous Manhattan Center in New York City after not seeing him for 10 plus years; Daniel Teklehaymanot raising the Eritrean flag at the Tour de France’s podium during one of his stage victories as the King of the Mountains; Girmay Gebreselassie receiving the gold medal in Beijing while Eritrea’s national anthem played on stage.
These are some of my favorite photos from each decade. So go ahead and party like it’s 1991 on the First Night of Eritrea’s Silver Jubilee Year this New Year’s Eve. Happy 2016 to all Eritreans around the world!