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  • “Eritrean values are my passion” - Stefano Pettini

    By Billion Temesgen

    Eritrean Profile

    When did you first come to know about Eritrea?

    In 2001 I served as a technician for the UN and was stationed at the Asmara airport when peacekeeping forces were stationed along the Eritrea and Ethiopia border. Immediately after the Algiers Agreement, an international mission was established to ensure that the two countries would abide by the agreements reached in Algiers during the transitory period. This was the period in which the two were to withdraw to their respective borders prior to the conflict and wait for the final and binding decision of the Border Commission.

    So when did your fondness for or “pact of friendship” with Eritrea start?

    After the EEBC passed its final and binding verdict we moved out of Eritrea. I went back home to Italy. At that point, I began reading the distorted stories that were being published in the mainstream media. Things like how Eritrea started the war by invading Ethiopia, untruthful news of how Eritrea was defeated, fabricated famine reports, and many other things that totally contradicted what was really going on in the newly-liberated African nation. For the very same reason that I was here during the peacekeeping mission, I felt responsible to tell what I saw. I am not a journalist by profession, I am a military man, but I started my battle against fake news about Eritrea. I developed a website to counter the stories and journalists that were spreading baseless information. Every time there was something negative out there, I would write a piece or simply put up a photograph to contradict it and somewhat put a slice of truth out there.

    Any examples?
    For example, say if something was circulating under the heading of “University Shut Down; Dispersed Students”, I would post pictures and share brief articles about the opening of colleges around the country. If the header was of drought, I would post photographs of dams which, by the way, were much fewer compared to the extensive chain of dams dotted throughout the country and activities carried out nationwide towards water conservation. I was collecting my material, studying about Eritrea and its people, integrating with the extremely humble society, and fighting fake news as much as I could.

    You are passionate about the unique traits of the Eritrean railway. Did you, perhaps, notice the Eritrean railway from above during your mission in 2001?

    I grew up in Rome with a big passion for trains, especially the Eritrean type. I like the old, classic railways. When I first came to Asmara, I sensed the scent of the trains in the outskirts of Asmara. I went to see and it was just so beautiful! I met the director of the railway who was assigned to the post soon after independence. The rehabilitation project for the railway was highly organized and planned. The first step was inspection. A thorough assessment of what was left after decades of war was conducted. The second phase consisted of restoration, followed by attaining whatever was needed to completely restore and expand the railway to eventually integrate it into the country’s overall developmental drive. For the overall project, three commissions were established. One was assigned to track the railway, the second commission was to assess the dispersed materials, and the third was to locate and organize the senior employees of the railway. At that time, they were old, and over the years most of them have passed away. Slowly, one kilometer after another, bolt after bolt, the Asmara-Massawa railway was finally completed.

    What was your impression? 

    It was great. Like I said, I had the great fortune of meeting the former director of the railway. Unfortunately, he has since passed away. I knew his office was being encouraged to fully engage in the restoration of the railway. The Eritrean landscape is amazing. And the uniqueness of the Eritrean railway with the beautiful landscape in the highland will surely promote tourism in the country, especially now that the “no war, no peace” situation is finally over. I know there are national plans to extend the railway nationwide to boost the national development drive. Moreover, wait until the train starts running through the capital. It will be great!

    Why is Eritrea so special to you?

    Eritrea is a place of great values. The people are nice and humble. The history is wonderful and only a few people in the world know the true image of the country. The young people offer help to the elderly, and in buses they give up their seat for someone older than they are. The values here are incredible and what fascinates me most is that the whole identity of the nation revolves around such values. Eritrean values are my passion.

    Thank you!
    (Note: Stefano Pettini has been, and is still, highly involved in the national railway rehabilitation project)

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  • የኑረነቢ ማህደር

    1. "The Nurenebi File is a story of a people and a country. The history of Eritrea and its people is told through the ups and downs of Nurenebi (Nur Al-Nebi) and his wife Zahra and their offspring. The author weaves history with personal narrative using historical references and original eye-witness documents of the Nurenebi family over the span of four generations. Nurenebi’s "file” is the family's set of documents that was handed over from one generation to another and was finally given to the author by one of Nurenebi’s grand-children (fourth generation downstream). The author then wrote the book using Nurenebi’s "file”.

    The book tells it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly side of history and the author made sure that we experienced the pains and celebrations of the Nurenebis using extensive dialogues, poetry and imagery. Through the lives of Nurenebi and his offspring, the author has provided a great picture of the sufferings Eritreans went through and the fierce resistance the people waged against their successive colonizers.

    The Nurenebi File is a great read and I highly recommend the book to anyone with good understanding of the Amharic language and an interest in a human story and the history of the Eastern part of Africa."  L.T.

    2. "Tesfaye Gebreab's latest offering is a gripping historical narrative on Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Italian colonial venture in the Horn of Africa and much much more. "የኑረነቢ ማህደር" ["The Nur Al-Nabi File"] is the story of four generations of Eritreans from late 19th century up to present, who were forced by historical circumstances to engage in fierce anti-colonial struggle in the aforementioned Horn of African countries. This is without doubt one of Tesfaye's greatest works in Amharic and a must read." Elias Amare

    3. "Based on true story, a must read book. Once you start you don't want to stop reading it. You will learn history, and what courage is. A book written by a great writer." P.G.

    4. 'Wow Wow Wow! Thank you so much Mr. Geda.
    This is a wonderful book that I feel everyone should read.
    " Micheal

    5. 'Very informative. It was hard to stop reading once you start reading it. A lot of information however, there is a lot of information missing in regard to the history. Regardless, it is going to be a good source for the upcoming Eritrean/Ethiopian authors." Ezra


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  • Eritrean Festival 2018

    Asmara, 10 August 2018

    Eritrean Festival 2018 will be held from 31 August to 8 September at the Expo Grounds in Asmara under the theme “Peace for Sustainable Development”.

    According to Ambassador Zemede Tecle, Commissioner of Culture and Sports, the festival will feature the objective situation in the homeland and especially the prevailing prospect of peace and cooperation in the region.

    Indicating that the national festivals in which unity and cultural identity are reflected, Ambassador Zemede said that the festival will include traditional villages, cultural performances and traditional music instruments as well as exhibitions.

    Ambassador Zemede went on to say that with the new era of peace and cooperation in the region, Ethiopian artists and visitors are expected to participate.

    The nine days festival will be highlighted by educational and children’s exhibitions, children’s village, photo exhibition, bazaars, seminars, talent show among others, Ambassador Zemede added.


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  • የኑረነቢ ማህደር” Published in Tigrigna

    "የኑረነቢ ማህደር” Published in Tigrigna 
    It is my great pleasure to announce that the book, by the title of “የኑረነቢ ማህደር” written by Tesfaye Gebreab and translated to Tigrigna by Daniel Habtemariam has been published. In the month of May, 2018 the book will be officially inaugurated in Asmara and Massawa.

    The book will be made available in North America, Europe including more than 100 countries through Amazon. More locations where the they are going to be available will be announced via the social media.

     In Eritrea the books will be made available in Asmara through all the book stores. Also the book will be similarly distributed to the book stores in Assab, Massawa, Keren, Mendefra and Tessene.

    I have also the pleasure to announce that “The Nurenebi File” has been translated into English by the famous Eritrean author and historian, Alemseged Tesfay and is ready for publication. It is expect that the English version will be ready for marketing in the month of July and August 2018.

    Debessay Gebriel
    Gebriel and Son Publishing LLC.
    Alexanderia, Verginia.

    For more books from Tesfaye Gebreab, click below to order!

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  • Eritrea bid to poach Mebrahtu as club switch looms | The World Game

    BY DAVE LEWIS  August 20 2018 

    The Sudan-born attacker, who arrived in Brisbane as a refugee at the age of nine, has been granted a release by his Czech club Mlada Boleslav, having notched 19 goals in all competitions over the last two seasons.
    The release comes just days after Eritrean officials flew to the Czech Republic in an attempt to entice Mebrahtu - who spent four years in the once war-turn nation as a youngster - into pledging his allegiance.
    Capped once by the Olyroos, the former Gold Coast, Melbourne Heart and Western Sydney Wanderers striker is uncapped at senior level by Australia.But he was on the radar of Bert van Marwijk when he took charge back in March, without ultimately receiving a call-up.
    Gol-Gol Mebrahtu
    Zdroj: Profimedia
    Gol-Gol Mebrahtu
    The 27-year-old still hankers for a green and gold chance but is not ruling out accepting the Eritrea offer.
    “They sent two people (to Prague) four or five days back to persuade me to play for them,” he said.
    “My priority and my goal is to play for the Socceroos. I grew up in Brisbane, all my friends and my immediate family are there. 
    “It would be a dream to represent the Socceroos but if that doesn’t work out then in the near future I might decide to represent Eritrea. It is enticing.
    “I know the language, I still have relatives there - it’s a strong link for sure.
    “It’s a matter of weighing things up now. But, of course, Australia is my main goal and once my club future is decided, and hopefully I’m playing regularly, I’ll be looking towards (January’s) Asian Cup.
    “If not, then I’d definitely consider Eritrea.”
    The sub-Saharan nation of five million people are currently ranked 206th in the world.
    With Australia hunting a proven goalscorer under new coach Graham Arnold - Mebrahtu added: “My name was thrown around a bit in March (before the friendlies against Norway and Colombia).
    “The FFA made contact saying I would be in a pool of players under consideration.
    “I think they sent some scouts to watch some games, and we’ll see what happens now.”
    Mebrahtu came to Prague hoping it would act as a gateway to bigger things, and it is likely he will be confirmed as a Turkish Super Lig player, or a new 2.Bundesliga arrival within the next week.
    “I came off an injury-plagued time with the Wanderers to play in Europe, where I got to play in the Europa League and score goals in a strong European competition,” he added.
    “It’s now about taking the next step to a higher level and try and achieve there as well.”


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