By F. Russom
“Everyone says it’s been 10 years since we’ve been apart, but in my heart we were never apart, not even for 2 seconds” ~ H.E President Issias Afwerki
Every once in a while life presents us with chains of events that lights up some dark corner or even some wide vista of history. An event that unfolds the mystery behind the uniqueness of certain type of people, the Eritrean people. Eritreans by nature are inimitable, born of a miracle that reaches beyond laboratory science. Any discovery that touches upon Eritrean creation is not simply a matter of scientific inquiry, it is a matter of morality and unity. September 25, 2011 marked another historical event that symbolized yet again the uniqueness of the Eritrean people and their government.
A great man once said “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts & in the soul of its people.” On September 25th, as I grabbed my camera to capture the historical moment, I realized the meaning behind his words. To the attentive eye, each moment of that day had its own beauty. To me this was an event which entered political historical consciousness. You see, a man’s country is not just a certain area of land, mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle. It is imperative that we recognize the chief characteristic of the modern era. H.E President Issias Afwerki voiced during the seminar, “Eritrea has entered a new form of War.” What is absurd and monstrous about this type of war is that, it is directly aimed at dividing the Eritrean people, through religion, falsified information and much more. In addition, it is designed to separate the people from their government through extensive propaganda that has skewed the public’s perception on Eritrean people and their government.
The tools of defense for this war do not necessarily come with bombs, and explosions, and fallout. There is a weapon that is far more stronger which is UNITY, found only in the minds set of the true Hagerawi. September 25th served as a weapon that abolished the falsified perception of Eritrea portrayed by the media. The image of over 4,000 people waiting in line, proudly elevating the Eritrean Flag waiting to reunite with their leader was a testament to the saying “We are our government and our government is us.”
What was more fascinating to see was the shocking looks and astonishments of the bystanders and journalists that were walking by and taking picture. I had the pleasure to talk to a Swedish journalist by the name of Henrik Eh. Henrik who was taken aback by the amount of supporters in attendance. As he stood gazing at the crowd, lost for words he looked at me and said “I expected this many people to be on the other side of the street protesting, and the amount of people protesting to be supporting”. Like many others, Henrik underestimated the bond between the Eritrean people and their government. Once again this day has proved Henrik and other critics of the Eritrean government wrong.
Our unity is the corner stone of our society. More than any other force, it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of our future. When we lose sight of its importance is when our strength as whole weakens. Eritrea will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedom, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. I did not think it was possible but when I left NYC, I was even more proud of the Eritrean people & government than before. There are no people fiercely proud or with a more indomitable spirit then Eritreans. Eritrea’s strength is in us, let’s be Eritrean not only in name but in Spirit and in Action!
Wetru Awet NHafash !!!
Zelealemawi ZeKri meinti helawiena beja zeHalefu !!!