The funeral service of the late veteran EPLF fighters Brg. General Mebrahtu Tekleab, Brg. General Amanuel Haile and Mr. Desu Tesfatsion has been conducted today at Asmara Patriots Cemetery with patriotic zeal in the presence of President Isaias Afwerki, Ministers, Senior Government and PFDJ officials, Army Commanders, religious leaders, family members and thousands of nationals.
While worth mentioning is the significance of oral traditions in revitalizing cultural legacies and bequeathing them to coming generations; the role of such poetic traditions as agents of conflict resolution is also noteworthy.As mentioned earlier [in the first part], these poets are often quoted and relied upon for their wisdom. Through their recitations, these poets have settled disputes, consoled the bereaved, and commended good people or good deeds… among many other things of course.
It is to be recalled that President Isaias Afwerki gave extensive briefings pertaining to domestic, regional and international issues in an interview he conducted from the 6th to 8th of September 2013 with local media outlets. Excerpts of the first part of the interview follow:
Your Excellency, according to the Geez Calendar we are shifting from the rainy season to the harvest season, so our first question will be in relation to food security. As it is common in this region, this year’s rainy season was not satisfactory. What is the government’s national plan to utilize the many dams and wells it has been constructing so as to yield a concrete result in agriculture and agro-industry? How far have we gone in this respect?Rain is not dependable. If we take for instance the record of the amount of rain in the past, we would ultimately come to the conclusion that there is no other option than freeing ourselves from depending solely from rain. If we could be able to collect the rain and use it in the places we want and in amount we control, we would be able to manage well even in seasons where there is no enough rain. However, we cannot altogether be free from rain-fed agriculture. That is why we need to ask what we need in order to make the transition towards an agricultural practice where irrigation plays predominant role and where our yield goes beyond consumption to become export oriented.
Last week, as my friend and I were taking an evening stroll (to my utter reluctance) after a rainy afternoon, we came across a foreigner (presumably a tourist, judging by her backpack and outdoor attire) who was apparently having difficulties obtaining the address of a certain public place from an elderly passerby. We intervened, and offered to show her the way as we were headed on the same direction.
On the way, Ingrid (as her name was) told us that she was a linguist and that has travelled all over the world through her work as a researcher on oral traditions. And even though she was on a vacation to Eritrea with a group, Ingrid said she also wanted to (at least) take a sneak peek at the oral traditions practiced in this “multiethnic country.”