(EritreaAt24 Series: May 17th) May 24 a Day of Veneration, Inspiration, and Exception
The story of Eritrea leading up to May 24th is one of veneration, inspiration, and exception. A 30 year struggle taking the lives of 65,000, finally coming to end. Independence finally achieved. The only African nation to liberate itself from another African state. Unfortunately, we cannot personally thank our martyrs for their glorious efforts towards independence, but we can continue to preserve the Eritrean legacy that they have granted upon us. We celebrate each independence day with our vibrant flag, traditional food, cultural clothing, and patriotic music in order to remind each other of our heroic endeavours.
We are extremely passionate about Eritrea’s successes from independence to education, healthcare, industry, and technology; each accomplished by the country itself with no outside aid. Most African nations were simply handed independence without suffering or adversity. As stated by Time Magazine, “By logic, the nation of Eritrea (pop. 3 million) should not exist. The secessionist province’s independence fighters ought never to have defeated Ethiopia in their 30-year-long struggle. They were outmanned, outgunned, abandoned or betrayed by every ally; their cause was hopeless. They won by force of character, a unity and determination so steely not all the modern armaments, superpower support or economic superiority of Ethiopia could withstand it. The spirit that saw the Eritreans through 10 years in the trenches of their mountain redoubt at Nakfa has built them a nation from scratch, since independence was finally consummated in 1993.” The strategy, persistence, agility, and courage lead Eritrea to independence.
Since independence, Eritrea has continued to develop through resilience. It is flourishing socially, economically, and politically. The country is known for its political stability, low crime rate, and responsibility. Unlike most nations, the president of Eritrea freely interacts with children, adults and elderly without an entourage of bodyguards. There is a tight knit community and the citizens peacefully coincide with one another making sure everyone is healthy. One Eritrea’s most prized accomplishments has been free education and healthcare for all ages, a rarity in most countries.
Eritrea is famous for being a haven for religious harmony. Christians and Muslims peacefully coexist as one people and It is not uncommon to find a priest and sheikh praying together. With multiple religions and nine ethnolinguistic groups-- Tigrinya, Tigre, Bilen, Saho, Kunama, Nara, Rashaida, Hidareb, and Afar-- the country of Eritrea is still one people with one heart celebrating independence each year on May 24th.