For those of you who have read this title and assumed that it meant there is a party running in opposition (against) Eritrea’s single-party enforced government, then I am truly sorry to disappoint you. That would be false.
Now, what the title meant was that on Sunday the 9th August, (where I said ‘party’, I literally meant) – a party was thrown in Kassel (Germany). It was thrown by people who oppose Isaias’ dictatorship. The dictatorship that implemented the indefinite, military service.
Migrants who have escaped this human rights abusive regime, (check previous blogs for more information) attended this celebration of togetherness hosted by ENSF (Eritrean National Salvation Front), bringing Eritreans from all across Germany, Sweden, Canada and even London together to celebrate unity whilst learning more about their roots political health. ENSF was developed from the initial Eritrea’s Liberation Front (ELF) opposition party.
The moment I walked in, the first thing I saw was the massive message stating the purpose the two-day (overnight camping) event which is ‘Democracy Yes, Dictatorship No’.
United 4 Eritrea and ENSF worked in partnership to organise a pro-democracy celebration party for Eritrea in Kassel (Germany).
United 4 Eritrea is a anti-dictatorship movement in opposition to Isaias’ government that endeavour to educate apolitical, apathetic youths on the political issue and struggle for freedom in Eritrea, e.g. the freedom to not participate in national service, the freedom to have a choice in governments actions, to articulate their grievances without fearing or risking imprisonment. United 4 Eritrea are based in Frankfurt (Germany), but consist of members from all over Germany.
After a day of presentations from members United 4 Eritrea, day two consisted of a morning of lectures. Where I said ‘party’ I meant literally a party, from 6pm to – 6am morning party – a celebration for being united again from across the globe, youths in particular for not neglecting their roots. Youths who’ve come from privileged backgrounds, who grew up in MEDC countries with advantages, interacted with teen migrants from Eritrea, who’ve arrived at Europe through the risky Mediterranean route. They danced together and traded experiences and overall had a great time.
Special guests included Osman Abderahim (an Eritrean singing legend), to which everyone in the building got up and danced to.
Other guests included Hussein Muhammed Ali (an iconic Tigre musician) who performed one of his classics, which brought mothers to tears as they recall serving in the military at a younger age before leaving Eritrea. A mother in Arabic tells me “when we were younger, on a rest day from working in the army we would come together and listen to his music and just cry as he would sing what we were living”. Not really understanding what she meant by that, I decided to ask my mum what she felt when listening to Hussein Ali “his lyrics in Tigre mean ‘I don’t see, I don’t hear, I don’t talk’ about what army women and men saw in the war period” she tells me she remembers hearing the song when she was leaving Eritrea during the Ethiopia and Eritrea conflict.
A memorable evening, full of fun, music, humour without loosing sight of the serious, sensitive topics and truths within Eritrea today.
There will be another event taking place in October, for those of you who’ve missed this one: