Monday, April 21, 2014

A conversation with Emmanuel Benoit


Issayas: Would you briefly tell us about yourself?

Emmanuel  Benoit: I was born in France in 1972. I am an aeronautical engineer by profession and I am currently based in London. Besides my work, I develop photography concepts through pasting installations in the streets and portraits that question our multiple identities. I make human beings the focus of my artistic commitment. I went to photography in 2001 with my first project “Extimidenty”, where I created a poster (a naked self-portrait) out of one of my photographs and pasted it in several places in Toulouse (France) but also in New York. I carefully chose playful and interesting locations, to which I would later return at regular intervals and take photographs of the evolution the posters went through. I shot this series with B&W rolls and decided to print them out  myself.

Issayas:  Would you tell us how you came to know about Eritrea?

Emmanuel:I have always been fascinated by the Horn of Africa reading writers like Arthur Rimbaud, Henry de Monfreid or Joseph Kessel. In 2008, I went to Ethiopia for one month. Then the following year, I went with my wife to Yemen. Some friends suggested to me that I visit Eritrea. Before I got there in 2010, I knew almost nothing about the country.

Issayas: When your friends suggested to you to visit Eritrea, what were the kind of things that they were telling you that made you decide to visit?

Emmanuel: We were talking about the Afars in Ethiopia, Djibouti and also Eritrea. I don't exactly remember what she told me but the story of the Italian colonization and the independence war made me think that I had to visit Eritrea.

Issayas: What do you think of Eritrea? Its people, culture etc.

Emmanuel: Eritrea is unique in Africa for many reasons; the Italian colonization, Eritrea's war of liberation from Ethiopia, the Eritrean government... I am more and more captivated by Eritrean people.





 

 


 




Issayas: Am I right to assume that you like to take pictures in Massawa. What is it about Massawa? Am I totally off the mark? Also, when we met in Massawa in March 2014, you mentioned that you were taking black and white photographs? Could you show us some of the pictures that you took then? And also do you prefer black and white over color?

Emmanuel: I love Massawa and the people who live there, its strange atmosphere of lost city attracted me in 2010.


For the time being, I can’t show you any B&W pictures. I received the contact sheets last week from my laboratory in France (I continue working with them for my B&W pictures) but the prints out have still to be done. However, you can find  my website plenty of B&W pictures from 2010. Going from medium format camera to 24X36mm camera or a Polaroid, I could also use color films depending on the subject but I don’t work with digital cameras. I like B&W because it requires the viewer to use their imagination.   

Issayas:  I like your personal card. Would you tell us about the picture on your card?

Emmanuel : I took this photograph by the old city of Massawa in 2010. In the beginning of a bright afternoon when almost everybody is having a nap outside their house, some children were playing in a sea water swimming pool. They saw me but they continued diving into the water with a lot of fun. I had my Leica M6 with me and I started to shoot them.

On this picture, one of them is diving in front of me while another one is running around the swimming pool in the background just under the diver. It was a pure coincidence as I definitely couldn’t anticipate this moment. It was simply magic when I discovered this image while I was screening my films.

Issayas:  You were featured in a some magazines in France. Would you tell us about them?

http://www.emmanuelbenoit.fr/en/presse.html

Emmanuel: In October 2011, I was living in London. Apparently, a lot of people were talking about the large scale images I pasted on windows of shops in Toulouse just before I left France. Toulouse Mag contacted me for a Portfolio of four pages and we did the interview on Skype…  In July 2011,
“Le Monde Magazine” published four portraits from my series “The national cycling team of Eritrea”. Some of the others publications are more related  to special events like solo exhibitions or photographic competitions.

Issayas: Could you tell us about “Le Monde's Magazine” four portraits from your photo series “The national cycling team of Eritrea”. Where were the pictures taken? Your interest in cycling? Eritrea's cyclists emergence in the world stage, etc?

Emmanuel: It was a beautiful encounter. Early in the morning at the Hotel Luna of Massawa in 2010, cyclists were having breakfast with their colorful clothes. They were accompanied by their coach Solomon Samson, as well as their technical assistant Hadi Barhi. We exchanged glances and I asked them if they would allow me to take their portraits before they start their training (to be able to share the images there and then with these sportsmen, I found it necessary to use my Polaroid camera). These 9 particular cyclists from the national cycling team of Eritrea were following an intensive training program around Massawa. I took their pictures in a relaxed atmosphere in the dining room of the restaurant, and everyone took the photographic session very seriously. Then, they left the hotel. When the time came for me to catch my bus to Asmara,I realized that I didn't ask for their permission to use the images. Back in the hotel, I prepared the documents they needed to sign for me, and we all had lunch together when they came back from their training. I grabbed a cup of tea with Solomon and caught my bus back to Asmara.

I am not specifically a fan of cycling, but again I like photography because it gives me the chance to meet and see lots of people.

The work was exhibited at "look mum no hands" in London (2011).

 

Issayas: Emmanuel, thank you for this interview and for letting me use the pictures .
Emmanuel: Thanks.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A conversation with fashion designer: Admas Mahdere

  
 Admas Mahdere: Fashion designer
Photographer: David Goddard 

Issayas : Would you tell us about yourself?

Admas: “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”  ― Coco Chanel

Issayas: When did you move to the Cayman Islands?

Admas: I moved to Cayman in late 2009.  It’s probably the best decision I have ever made!

 Issayas: When and how did your interest in fashion/design start?

Admas: I have had a passion for designing from a young age and to my recollection the first custom dress I designed was for my middle school graduation when I was 14 years old….it was a bit out there.

Issayas: You are creating a modern cut from traditional design.  It is brilliant! Would you tell us more about it.

Admas: I really want to use beautiful traditional fabrics in new and interesting ways.  When I was growing up, my mom would bring me back fabric because she knew I wouldn’t want to wear the very traditional styles. For people within Eritrean & Ethiopian culture, I want them to look at the garments
and think “wow”, I have never seen it done like that before.

Issayas: That's what I said when I saw your designs.

Admas:  I also want them to want to wear my pieces to events outside of traditional gatherings.  For others, I want them to be intrigued by both the fabric and it’s origin, as well as, my designs.


                                           Photographer of the above pictures: Bernardo Neri

                                                       Photographer: Patrick Broderick

Issayas: What are your short and long term plans?

Admas: I would like to continue to expand the line and start selling online, as well as, in boutiques all over the world.  Now to get there, tons of work lies ahead. In the short term, I plan to continue working on production, new designs, and exploring the how of getting to where I want to be.

                                          Look out for this logo in the near future.

To follow fashion designer, Admas Mahdere, check out the following links:

www. admasm.com

on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/admasm1

on Instagram:
@admasm

on Twitter:
@admasm

Issayas: Admas, thank you for taking the time out from your busy schedule and answer my questions. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

Admas: Thank you.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A follow up conversation with Zekaryas Solomon, an award winning designer.


                                                           Zekaryas Solomon. An award winning designer.

 Issayas: Zekaryas, thank you for you time, again. This is a follow up from our last conversation. Last time when we had a chat you had won awards. One of them was from FAFA. I saw the pictures from FAFA’s Fashion for Peace Gala Night. It must have been wonderful. I like where the designers put African cultural items on their respective designs.

http://www.africafashionguide.com/2012/01/fafa-festival-for-african-fashion-and-arts-back-for-2012-event-2/

Do you plan to do similar things? That is, putting Eritrean cultural elements into your design.

Zekaryas: FAFA ”Festival for Fashion and Arts, organizes 'Fashion for Peace' which is focused on bringing together established and emerging African fashion designers from across the continent”. The Gala night was just amazing. It was my first visit to Africa as an international Fashion Designer.
I did not expect much and wasn’t really 100% sure as to how things would work for me there. I went by myself, as none of my team members could accompany me. I was quite nervous, not knowing what to expect. The biggest surprise for me was when I arrived. Everything was so well organized for me. I did not need anything. The Catwalk Show at the Gala Night was just the best thing that could have happened to me. The stage was 40m long, the choreography was done very professionally and the models looked amazing. Adding cultural elements would be an interesting integration, though I do always love to keep things simple. Not wanting to limit my garments to being purely traditionally based, as everything I design has to be sold internationally. As you can see in some of the images, I specifically used "netzela/ gabi", a traditional fabric, manipulating it into a modern style and cut without adding embroidery as "'idiyat". There is a lot still to come from the House of Zekaryas Solomon in the future.











Issayas: When will your "Men’s Wear Spring/Summer Limited Edition" be out?


Zekaryas: The Collection is already out. We had our fabulous look book shoot in December; we have been showcased on the catwalk; and been filmed for a TV show, Pilot. We have been pushing our online marketing through social media platforms such as Twitter; Facebook; Pinterest; and Linked-In,
as well as having the collection ready for the launch of our website. We have already started taking orders, to be ready for immediate shipment to our customers all over the world. They were out before the Spring/Summer collections are out in the shops.






Issayas:  You have mentioned that you have added bags? Are you planning to add other items such as
shoes, tees, scarfs, etc.?

Zekaryas: That's true Issayas, finally "I am sharing things, after being selfish". Since I love bags, I have been creating bags for myself in different fabrics and styles. Whenever I carry one of my bags around with me I get asked where I get them. Once I explain that I design and make them myself people get very excited and usually want to own one of their own. In addition to this, my friends encouraged me to create and add them to my garment collections. So yes, I have created two bag collections now. The first was made last year using sportswear fabrics, which I adapted from my previous profession as an architect. I used to use these fabrics for interiors so I found them very suited for my bags firstly because of the lightness of the material and secondly because of the
strength. Another reason was the ease with which the fabric could be manipulated and how simple it is to clean. I do also have tie designs too, which were created for the special occasion of the World HIV day @ the Global Catwalk in London. The ideas and designs for shoes are there as well, but making shoes is another big project in itself. My idea for Zekaryas Solomon's shoes would ideally be to collaborate with a professional.




Issayas:  I looked through your website. It's beautiful. Your architectural expertise are written
all over it. Let's start with the logo. I love the logo, the color. What can you tell us about the logo? Would you put it in the context of logo as brand? I could see this brand everywhere.



Zekaryas: It took me a long time to decide if I should change my logo or not and if I did what would it be? There were suggestions to shorten my name but as I have been told from almost everyone, who reads, hears or knows my name, how unique and special it is. My decision was then to keep the full
name as it was but to create something visually special by manipulating my initials. I did a lot of playing until I eventually came up with the Z and S. The Idea was to use the Z mirrored as an S to make everyone stop and think about it for a second. The orange brackets are a design element added
by my graphic designer Jonatan. After asking him to help me with the Logo we were able to give it a 3D look and the perfect finishing. The orange is my signature color, which I use in most aspects of my work. I wanted the overall feeling of the logo to be timeless and modern, yet still simple enough to be used on a variety of media.

Issayas: Are your products mass-produced yet or they are made on order?

Zekaryas: Our garments are bespoke so they are made to measure. We try to work around our clients wishes, believing that every client we approach will appreciate the full package we offer. Our aim is to fit the garments to our clients’ bodies and not the other way around. The idea is to offer our clients
options that allow them to create their own look by choosing different colors and fabrics for different sections of the outfits. We will be soon cooperating with another company called Emblzn which is a new platform for designing and buying custom made products.

Issayas: What is your next plan? Are you thinking of accessories? Belts, wallets, etc.?

Zekaryas: Our future plan is to expand the business. 2014 has started greatly for us, we have gotten an extension of our incubation program @ Ravensbourne: one of London's greatest College of Design and Communication which allows us to use all the high quality facilities of the fashion department, with space to network, to cooperate and expand. In terms of designing, we are working on orders parallel to our Men / Women A/W 2014 Limited Collection. Our belt designs will be appearing soon, with whatever we design as accessories being part of our garment collections each season.






Check out Zekaryas' beautiful new website.


http://zekaryassolomon.me.uk/

Issayas: Thank you, Zekaryas. I wish you all the best.

Zekaryas: Thank you.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Conversation with Solomon Tsehaye

PART III (FINAL)













Solomon at the official launch of his book.

Issayas: You once mentioned in your article “Aspects of Traditional Wisdom: As Agents of Conflict Resolution” that “any meaningful development cannot take place in the presence of conflict”. That statement makes me think of Eritrea’s written customary laws. Once I asked Prof. Asmerom Legesse his take on Eritrea’s customary laws. Because it’s important, I would like to quote him in length. This is what he had to say: “The most fascinating aspect of the Eritrean Customary Laws is its dynamism. In the Eritrean context, laws are not written in order to be administered by law enforcement agencies. Laws exist as a background to intervention, to mediation, to conflict resolution. Conflict resolution is the most important aspect of Eritrean Customary Law. In other words, Eritrea’s Customary Laws have conflict resolution mechanism incorporated in them”. From your research, how did masségnatat (people who practice massé) addressed social issues in the context of customary laws. Can you give us an example of a masségna who resolved a conflict through massé?   
 
Solomon: Conflict resolution is one of the functions of massé and melqes. But massé and melqes do not necessarily refer to customary laws when playing such roles. Drawing from the traditional values and wisdom of the society, masségnatat create massé or melqes in a way that appeals to the conscience of the parties engaged in dispute. Out of the many oral poets who resolved conflicts through massé or melqes I will mention two as examples.

In Sagla, the home village of the renowned oral poet Negash Bairau, a family man beat his elder brother hard and consequently the victim died a few days later. Then it was feared that his sons would kill their uncle in revenge. A sage from the neighboring village of Embabdehan, who was also a very respectable village chief, named Bashay Weldu Abbadi pre-empted the suspected revenge by making a melqes at the funeral of the deceased. He wisely warned the sons of the victim to refrain, because, he said, they will only lose and not gain anything by having both brothers killed. Almost everyone of the hundreds of people who attended the funeral pleaded with the sons to show restraint quoting the melqes of Bashay Weldu. The public pressure aroused by the melqes was overwhelming that the sons were finally convinced not to avenge, and the extended family lived peacefully.
   
Please allow me to digress a little bit to give some information on certain Tigrinya terms which I am using in this interview. Ra’esi, Degiat, Bahregas / Bahre Negasi, Blatta, Aite and Bashay are traditional Tigrinya titles. The highest of these titles is Ra’esi and is just below the king. The title Degiat comes after Ra’esi. Etcetera.
   
The other example I have selected is Bahregas Tombosa Weldemichael of Addew’ala, a village to the west of Arreza. Around the turn of the 20th century, when two strong chiefs Degiat Tesfamarriam of Addi Quala and Ra’esi Kidanemariam of Arreza were engaged in rivalry, a group of men from Arreza accompanied a groom on a trip to Addi Quala where his wedding ceremony was taking place. On their arrival the groom’s company entered the pavilion prepared for the wedding party at the bride’s household. Food and drinks were served after the essential marriage rituals had been enacted. Compliments on the quality of the feast poured from the men of Arreza. The celebration was continuing in a very happy mood when one among the Arreza men came to the middle of the pavilion with his spear and shield and boasted about the superiority of Arreza in the very presence of Degiat Tesfamariam. The chief felt insulted by the boastful man of Arreza and ordered his immediate arrest by his armed guards. Several men of Arreza objected the chief’s order and stood in the way of the guards to prevent his arrest. Angered by their audacity the chief also ordered the arrest of the men, too. Almost half of the men of Arreza were put under arrest. The wedding bliss turned to sadness and confrontation. Tension was building up between the two sides and the fear that it may spark into a physical fight was growing. If a fight started then the Arreza people would be annihilated. Wisdom had, therefore, to intervene on their behalf.
   
The distinguished oral poet Bahragas Tombosa requested Degiat Tesfamariam’s permission to perform massé. Keen to know what he was going to say in his massé the chief permitted him.
   
Bahregas Tombosa praised him to be a weighty man of full measure, while all others, including Arreza’s chief, were only a quarter. The chief’s heart was softened by the nice words the poet said about him. The “fullness” and grandeur bestowed on him by the poet in comparison to those chiefs whom the poet considered were only one fourth of him made Degiat Tesfamariam feel that it would be degrading to vie with a handful of men from Arreza who by no means were a match to him. As the massé appealed to his conscience he calmed down. His anger and eagerness to take punitive action was replaced by rationality and mercifulness. He, therefore, declared the release of those arrested, and the men apologized for their misconduct. The resolving of the conflict brought the occasion back to its festive mood. At the closing of the ceremony, the Arreza group left safely escorting their bride and groom.













A long line to buy Solomon's book at the official book launching ceremony.
  
Issayas: Eritrean poetry in English is becoming popular in the U.S. thanks to the efforts of many people in Eritrea and outside including Dr. Charles Cantalupo and Dr. Ghirmay Negash. Dr. Cantalupo has written a brilliant essay entitled “The Story on Who Needs a Story?”. I also think you need to write an essay on the story behind the collection, identification, publication and etc. of your work. Do you have plans to do so?

Solomon: I absolutely agree that an essay or essays should be written at least in Tigrinya and in English on the overall massé and melqes research experience. There is a great deal to be shared. I would also like to take this opportunity to suggest to Prof. Charles Cantalupo to write the English essay because I know he has a lot of interest on the subject.

Issayas: You have concluded the first of the three volumes to be published as the result of your extensive research on Eritrean massé and melqes. What is the status of the remaining two volumes? When are they going to be available to the public? I think this is very important aspect of Eritrean culture, therefore, it should be available to the rest of the world, too. Do you have any plans to translate it into English? I know, for example, artist Yigzaw Michael wants to raise funds to help you fund for the translation.

Solomon: I am being asked the first two questions frequently by many of my readers. They are eager to see the remaining volumes published very soon. Appreciating the enthusiasm and good wishes, I have to be honest to inform my readers that it will be quite a while before the second volume can be available to the public. I still have substantial research work to do. Research never ends. But lets hope to see it come out towards the end of 2015, God willing. Then follows the third volume some time later.

 Regarding translating massé and melqes, or oral poetry in the broad sense, into English, Elias Amare and myself have already embarked on carrying out the task. We firmly believe that Eritrean arts and culture should be exposed to the outside world and translation into major international languages like English is one of the means of doing so. So far, very little of the nation’s arts and culture is known to the world. Extremely few Eritrean literary works have been translated into widely read international languages. Yet, the amount of literary material, particularly oral literature, composed in Eritrean languages over the centuries is enormous. There is a lot Eritrean literature has to offer in terms of ideas, values and human experience to readers from other cultures. This sharing of knowledge and experience across cultures is, therefore, the motive for this translation project.
       
We want to make it clear, however, that our plan is not to translate the entire book or books as such. What we have intended to do is to translate selected masterpieces of massé, melqes and oral song poetry, as well as a summarized version of the long introduction of the volumes. We are very grateful to artist Yigzaw Michael for his efforts to generate support towards achieving our goal.
   
Speaking in line with the issue of translation, I would also like to add that I have written an essay entitled “Weldedingl: the Master Poet” which features some of Aite Weldedingl’s massé and melqes translated into English. The essay was written on request by the editor of the book “Great Minds of Africa”. The book is hoped to be produced in 2014 by a German publisher. Incidentally, I am pleased to inform the reader that my present interviewer, Mr. Issayas Tesfamariam has also contributed to the book by writing an essay on Abraham Hannibal.

Issayas: Do you have anything to add?

Solomon: I hope what has been said in three parts gives an overview of the topic in discussion. For the benefit of those who don’t read Tigrinya, I also recommend that pages 540-544, the English part of my book “Massén Melqesn Qeddamot”, be read for further information.
       
Issayas, I thank you very much for your keen interest in my research and for organizing this conversation. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my deeply felt gratitude to all institutions and individuals who supported the massé and melqes research and its publication in one way or the other. Finally, my best wishes for a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2014 to everyone.              

Issayas: Thank you.

Solomon: Thank you.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Conversation with Solomon Tsehaye


PART II













Solomon Tsehaye at the official launch of his book.

Issayas: What unique experience did you get in researching and collecting massé and melqes?

Solomon: The study of massé and melqes is the most enlightening experience I have had in my life. It is through this research that I have come to learn a great deal about the Eritrean society. I was exposed to the sea of wisdom accumulated by our ancestors which proved right, time and again, the Tigrinya saying “kab mehros a’emro” meaning intellect is more powerful than education/schooling. The authors of massé and melqes did not go to school, hence were not educated in the conventional sense of the word. They were non-literate people and yet they created marvelous pieces of oral poetic art through the power of imagination and critical thinking. I must, however, state that the aforementioned Tigrinya saying does not mean to undervalue the importance of education or going to school. All it intends to express is that formal education is not the only means to knowledge, intellectual development and creativity.

Issayas: Did you encounter any challenges during the research process?

Solomon: Yes, I did. The greatest challenge I faced was the project itself - the task of researching and collecting massé and melqes throughout the Tigrinya speaking regions of Eritrea. It is a daunting task. Think of traveling all over the villages and towns to interview the oral poets and depository tellers where at times I have to travel for hours on foot in places that can not be reached by vehicles. The geographical area covered by the study is very wide particularly taking into account the nature of the research. Since each poetic piece of massé or melqes is unique in its own way, portraying any specific event, situation or personality in history, I search for every single massé or melqes as long as it exists in memory. The research calls for rigorous cross-checking efforts to verify the authenticity (originality) of the piece as composed by its author. This exhaustive research method naturally increases the risk of losing informants at the other end, because many of them are already in their very old age. Regrettably, several of those who were in my list of potential informants passed away without me interviewing them even once. Some also died or lost memory completely while I was planning to meet them again for further consultation.
   
Currently, I have another challenge. The fact that I have been reassigned to my administrative duties at the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Education since mid-2009 deprives me of sufficient time to finalize the remaining part of the research.
   
 Although, I also encountered obstacles like shortage of funding, the main challenges I face in the research process are the ones stated above.
   
Issayas: Knowing that you are a poet, what are the advantages of oral poetry being studied by a poet?

Solomon: To start with, doing this research is a huge learning opportunity for me. I am having great pleasure not only as a researcher but also as the student of oral poetry. It gave me the very rare chance of studying under some of the most natural professors of the discipline who are no more now.
   
Regarding the advantages of oral poetry being studied by a poet, I think, it is obvious that someone who practices the art and knows more about the subject matter is in a better position to study it well. In my case, my background in poetry was very helpful in the overall conduct of the research. Among other things, I could easily identify missing part of a certain massé or melqes, or unnatural additions as told by some informants. I am sure, I couldn’t have performed the way I did, if I hadn’t had that background.














Audience at the official launch of Solomon's book in Asmara, Eritrea.
   

Issayas: Why was it hard to find any massé or melqes before Feleskinos?

Solomon: There is no doubt that massé and melqes had been practiced long before Feleskinos. In fact, the first massé retrieved from memory as composed by Feleskinos in circa 1765 is said to have been made upon request by Bahregas Turquay Gebryes of Loggo Sarda. He asked Feleskinos to compose and perform massé for him right on the spot. Bahregas Turquay’s request for the massé is indicative of the fact that the tradition of massé and melqes was being practiced before that time.
   
The reason why I couldn’t find any massé/melqes or any names of oral poets (masségnatat) before Feleskinos is simply because it was not available in the memory of contemporary depository tellers whom I interviewed. The further we go back in time the rarer the memory becomes and we reach at a point beyond which there is nothing remembered. Had this research been done in the middle of the 20th century for example, I believe, the chances of finding massé/melqes and names of oral poets before Feleskinos would have been high.
   
Issayas: In your book, page 540, you mentioned that what makes massé and melqes enduring oral literary works is the depth and philosophical approach with which they look at social issues. Would you expand on it?

Solomon: Massé and melqes are mostly known to discuss the cores of issues with very wise and thoughtful approaches employing beautiful language. This quality of being profound in terms of content and aesthetic in terms of structure renders massé and melqes highly memorable. Though composed and performed on particular occasions these oral poetic works often have universal character being relevant at all times, thus  making them enduring.
   
Lets take two examples, as translated from Tigrinya into English:
   
Blatta Sbhatu Tesfu from the village of Addi Chomay is said to have made a massé on the duality of human nature while feasting with his fellow villagers. Spiritually it is claimed that the soul and the flesh are in a continuous struggle against each other for supremacy. The oral poet then had to say the following about this human predicament in the religious sense.

        It would have been good
        Had God created the soul leaving out the flesh
        Or the flesh leaving out the soul,
        Poor humans
        Caught in a dilemma of difficult choices
        We just fatten ourselves
        To feed the bloody termites.

In the Tigrinya tradition the human dead body is believed to be eaten by termites after burial.

Ra’esi Kidanemariam Gebremeskel, the well known chief of the Arreza area in southern Eritrea, used to occasionally invite his notables and ask them to tell stories and recite oral poetry. In one of such events he asked an oral poet by the name of Amr Fkak from the village of Dabbu to compose a massé for him. Though a bit reluctant at the beginning, the oral poet spontaneously made this massé for the chief who was evidently getting old.

        Son of Geremeskel looter of gold
        Son of Haileab looter of gold
        Son of Geretsadiq  looter of gold
        (…)
        In life, you enjoyed all the sweet things
        But you are left now with two bitter ones,
        One is ageing
        And the other is dying.

Upon listening to this very realistic massé, the chief touched by the poetic piece is said to have declared the end of that day’s gathering and entered into contemplating human destiny - the inevitability of old age and death.

Next, part three (final)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Executive Director of the National Board of Education of Eritrea's 2013 report

Above and below: National Board for Higher Education building at the University of Asmara campus


Above and below: construction of Campus Facilities at the Eritrean Institute of Technology (EIT) Mai Nefhi


Above and below: the future Eritrean Institute of Technology campus, Mai Nefhi
Above and below: construction of campus facilities at Hamelmalo Agricultural College
The future Hamelmalo Agricultural College (HAC) campus, Hamelmalo.
Halhale College of Business and Economics campus, Halhale
College of Marine Science and Technology campus, Massawa.
College of Arts and Social Sciences campus, Adi Keyeh.





The  pictures above are from June 2013 report of the Office of the Executive Director of the National Board of Higher Education of Eritrea. See the entire report below.
National Board