July 26, 2017

Witness some of themost unique & fabulous festival celebrations, thousands of people celebrate and participate the 16th Annual Eritrea UK Festival!

Witness some of themost unique & fabulous festival celebrations, thousands of people celebrate and participate the 16th Annual Eritrea UK Festival!

The British Eritrean Festival UK 2017, which took place at Harrow Leisure Centre concluded its 16th Annual British Eritrean Festival UK on Sunday 23rd July 2017. 

This year the Eritrean Festival UK 2017 unlike its previous 15 years offestivities had more to offer and did much with extreme zeal. The festival’sthyme for 2017 was “Laying Pillars for Vibrant Growth” and it couldn’t come at the most important juncture of the Eritreans, great historicalcultural significance to Eritreans and friends of Eritrea. This year’s festival was a double celebration with the Inscription of Capital City Asmara to theWorld Heritage List and showcased Eritrea’s Socio – Economic, Cultural & Traditional values.

The British Eritrean Festival UK core values being to promote Harmony, Consolidation of Eritrean Unity, Strengthening Eritrea’s Cultural &Identity, promoting a higher mobilisation and organization development of Eritrea, African capacity & ingenuity in addition to recreational activities.

The Festival opening ceremony was presided by a distinguished Guest of Honour H.E Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea & H.E Estifanos Habtemariam Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to  UK & Ireland, Former British Ambassador to Syria & Bahrain, Mr. Peter Ford, diplomats, representative of various organisation, community elders & religious leaders.

The colourful Festival in London at Harrow Leisure Centre, a magnificent arena,that would house the bus-loads that came from Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham,Liverpool, Sheffield, Nottingham, Coventry and Newcastle. Speaking at the opening ceremony, the chairman of the British Eritrean Community Organisation Network BECON, Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud stressed the paramount importance of holding festivals in bringing Eritrean nationals together. It also has a vital role toplay in reinforcing identity and bequeathing cherished societal values tofuture generations, he added.

Eritrean Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to  UK  H.E. Estifanos Habtemariam also gave a welcoming speech, thanking the participants intaking part on the celebration of the 16th Eritrean Festival UK, there by updating the participants on current state of affairs. The guestspeakers included Ambassador Peter Ford, Abdurahaman Mahdi, Foreign Secretary of ONLF.

Mr. Abdurahman Mahdi said on his speech;-  There is only one independent government in the Horn of Africa that has the vision and leadership quality to help bring such an idea.

Amongst the highs of the opening ceremony were the cultural performances by the traditional artists of Eritrea, from North London, East London and  Sheffield  captivated the audience from each corner of the festival ground. Each and every face was filled with pride whilst thecultural group displayed a performance that was original overpowering the host culture. An exhibition that depicts the Eritrean culture and currentdevelopments in Eritrea was also opened for the public. The exhibition also included paintings, photos and craft works from the diverse Eritrean cultureand rich history, which depicted the exceptional history of the Liberation struggle in Eritrea.   Eritrean festival of 2017 brought communities fromall over the UK to London under one roof. All community organizations had theirown stalls selling including arts and crafts and variety of delicious traditional meals. Traditional drinks and also Asmara favourite Melloti Areki added a twistto the celebration of Asmara’s Inscription as a World Heritage Site.

After the opening ceremony and remarks by distinguished honorary guest, thefestival goers were witnesses to a much anticipated seminars, which broughtEritreans from all walks of life – dedicated individuals such as Mr. EliasAmare enlighten presentation on Media & Public Diplomacy followedby Eng. Medhanie Teklemaryam, Asmara Heritage Project Coordinator,Eng. Michael Sebhatu, Inventor of Quadsaw, Mr. Dawit Gebremichael,author of  “Gratitude in Low Voices”, Eng.TsegayTeklemichael, author “Berlin Operation”. The seminars whereattended by lots of festival goers who also had to many questions to ask duringthe question and answer session at the end of the presentation all thishappening on the back drop of lots of other recreational activities that werehappening such as the Football and Bike racing games that took place, in whichthe Football  Team from Newcastle clinch the Cup to Victory.

In a seminar heconducted with the participants of the festival H.E. Osman Saleh, Ministerof Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea, explained that the Eritrean governmentis making enormous investment with major focus on  the rural area with aview to ensuring social justice and sustainable economic development, andthat increased endeavours would be exerted to give added momentum to thenation’s development process. He further pointed out that the country is in astage where its bright future is becoming progressively evident thanks to thespirit of steadfastness among citizens inside the country and abroad in foilinganti-Eritrean agendas.

The Festival was organizedacross seven programs, which were children’s activities, family & communityactivities, arts & culture program, youth forums & ideas, sportscompetition. Thus, the main thrust of the program was focus on the activitiesof children, youth, families and communities in general. The above effortshave been very instrumental in consolidating national unity, nationalmobilization and organization, cultural transformation and the transfer of thevalues as cultural heritage to the next generation has thus been crucial in theindependence of the nation,

Another unforgettable moment of the event was the music performance that sentthe crowd wild which witnessed the high level of patriotism with a wave of thecolourful Eritrean flag dominating the sight of every participant. Theclosing ceremony was a colourful combination which created a nice view whichprompted any viewer to stay tuned, that left the crowd wowed and askingfor more.
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