19

Sep

Eritrea, a time of helplessness

Land of constraints, land of againsts.

Eritrea against Sudan, Eritrea against Djibouti, Eritrea against Ethiopia.

Massawa against the Red Sea, coral against the Dahlak Islands.

The regime against the people. An anomaly. The regime is the people, which is the army, which is the fight, which is the suffering

The regime against time, modern time, against politics, the law of the market, the law of the strongest.

A security-minded regime. An aphorism.

The people against the regime. Hence the exodus. This exodus to the north, to Europe, which challenges us.

Resources against few means. Paralysis.

Land of mysteries

Mystery of zinc, gold. The yellow trucks circulating. Who’s buying, who’s selling? The Bollorés of this world. How much is one nakfa?

The Capuchins roll up their sleeves, plant trees, one tree per pupil. The Nation’s Award. A greening contribution.

Demographic mystery. Between 2 and 5 million inhabitants.

Asmara. 2,500 m (over 75 km) of altitude drop to the sea. What if the English had not dismantled the cable car?

Mysteries of nature: desert towards Keren, vegetation towards Addi Kaye.

Biblical mystery: Abyssinia. The kingdom of the Queen of Sheba, who travelled to meet King Solomon because nothing is more beautiful than Wisdom. A son, Menelik I, King of Ethiopia.

Enemy brothers, the Tigrayans. Guerrillas, closed or open borders. Exodus.

Religious mystery. Many churches, many mosques. Demagogy of the communist regime or proof of a living faith?

Kefla who, at only eight years of age, recites the Ten Commandments to us in English. Wide smile on the way to the beach.

Nonchalant camels, watermelons by the roadside. The Capuchins roll up their sleeves.

Mystery of Afwerki, father and destroyer of the nation. So much determination to stay the course, without words, without speech, without any engagement with his own apart from the military one. Retiring with cows. Where is he taking his own?

Eritrea, you touched my heart, you seduced me, you are beautiful, dignified, upright, honest. You fought and you won. Unfailing resilience.

The time has finally come to let go, to cast off the moorings of the "against", to move freely to a new time, the one that happens infinitely.

Eritrea, a time of hope

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