ERITREJA – ERITREA – ሃገረ ኤርትራ – دولة إرتريا

Zgrada opstine-Municipality of Asmara

Zgrada opstine-Municipality of Asmara

Bioskop Impero u centru grada-Cinema Impero in the city centre

Bioskop Impero u centru grada-Cinema Impero in the city centre

Butik ne radi-Boutique out of work

Butik ne radi-Boutique out of work

Glavna posta-Central Post Office

Glavna posta-Central Post Office

Italijanski ukus na ulicama Asmare-Italian flavour on the streets of Asmara

Italijanski ukus na ulicama Asmare-Italian flavour on the streets of Asmara

Katedrala Svetog Josifa-Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Joseph

Katedrala Svetog Josifa-Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Joseph

Molitva-Prayer

Molitva-Prayer

Najstariji hotel u Asmari-The oldest hotel in Asmara Albergo Italia

Najstariji hotel u Asmari-The oldest hotel in Asmara Albergo Italia

Stara arhitektura Masave-Old architecture of Massawa

Stara arhitektura Masave-Old architecture of Massawa

Ulice starog grada Masave-Streets of old Massawa

Ulice starog grada Masave-Streets of old Massawa

Voznja se vezba na fici-Driving practice of Fiat 500

Voznja se vezba na fici-Driving practice of Fiat 500

Vesela prodavacica suvenira-A joyful souvenirs vendor

Vesela prodavacica suvenira-A joyful souvenirs vendor

Crkva Enda Mariam je centar hriscanstva u Asmari-The Enda Mariam Church is Christianity centre in Asmara

Crkva Enda Mariam je centar hriscanstva u Asmari-The Enda Mariam Church is Christianity centre in Asmara

Dekorativno kozmeticka radnja-Decoration and cosmetics shop

Dekorativno kozmeticka radnja-Decoration and cosmetics shop

Dzamija-Mosque Al Khulafa al Rashidin

Dzamija-Mosque Al Khulafa al Rashidin

Krdo na putu-A herd on the road

Krdo na putu-A herd on the road

Pijaca pod kolonadom kao centar trgovacke aktivnosti-A market colonnade as a centre of commercial activity

Pijaca pod kolonadom kao centar trgovacke aktivnosti-A market colonnade as a centre of commercial activity

Pravoslavna crkva-Orthodox Church Enda Mariam

Pravoslavna crkva-Orthodox Church Enda Mariam

Prijateljska ulicna desavanja-Friendly street activities

Prijateljska ulicna desavanja-Friendly street activities

Prijateljsko caskanje-A friendly talk

Prijateljsko caskanje-A friendly talk

Romanticna zgrada pozorista-The romantic building of Teatro Asmara

Romanticna zgrada pozorista-The romantic building of Teatro Asmara

Skola u Masavi-A school in Massawa

Skola u Masavi-A school in Massawa

Stara arhitektura Masave-Old architecture of Massawa

Stara arhitektura Masave-Old architecture of Massawa

Ulice starog grada Masave - Streets of old Massawa (2)

Ulice starog grada Masave – Streets of old Massawa (2)

Ulice starog grada Masave - Streets of old Massawa

Ulice starog grada Masave – Streets of old Massawa

Ulice starog grada Masave -Streets of old Massawa

Ulice starog grada Masave -Streets of old Massawa

Vesela berbernica-A happy barber shop

Vesela berbernica-A happy barber shop

S prvim zracima sunca odlazim na službu u najveću pravoslavnu crkvu Enda Mariam, u glavnom gradu Eritreje, Asmari. Žene su sa desne, muškarci sa leve strane; u belim odorama, još od ponoći pevaju, klanjaju se do zemlje ili se, bar oni stariji, pridržavaju za duge štapove jer tako dugo stajanje teško se može izdržati. Takve službe traju po celu noć, a ovoj službi prisustvovao je i sam patrijarh. Polovina Eritrejaca su pravoslavni hrišćani, a od druge polovine najviše je muslimana i nešto malo katolika. Svi žive u slozi i zajedno slave sve praznike.

Iako je trideset godina trajao građanski rat koji je zemlji doneo nezavisnost, a potom i rat sa Etiopijom od koje se odvojila, Eritreja je jedna od najbezbednijih zemalja u kojima sam bio. U najstarijem hotelu u gradu, “Albergo Italia” iz 1899. godine, koji su Italijani potpuno renovirali, jedini sam gost. Žale se na to da je ovoj vojnoj vladi mnogo važnija sigurnost zemlje nego turizam.

Asmaru su gradili najbolji Musolinijevi arhitekti, ostvarujući njegov kolonijalni san, zvani Africa Orientale Italiana. San mu je kratko trajao i već 1941. godine odavde su ga isterali Englezi. Ostala je mešavina građevinskih stilova tog vremena – neoklasičnog, modernog i novecento, pa grad pomalo podseća na Mediteran, dok je art déco svuda prisutan. Ljudi su mirni, nema gužve na ulicama i tipičnog afričkog meteža, ili ga ima bar toliko da se ipak zna gde se nalazite. Italijanski i dalje svi govore, ali nema ni italijanskih turista, što deluje tužno. Slobodna šetnja, posmatranje fasada, kao što su: Cinema Imperio, Teatro Asmara, Mercato Coperto,Villa Roma, Palazzo Falletta, ili uživanje u pravom makijatu i kroasanu, u kafeu u glavnoj ulici, nekada Via Mussolini,potom ulica Haile Selasija, danas Avenija oslobođenja, jeste najlepši doživljaj u ovom gradu.

U prošlosti je ova zemlja, u zajednici sa Etiopijom, činila Abisiniju. Potom je došlo dugo i mukotrpno razdvajanje najvećim delom istog naroda i, na kraju, zasluženi mir za ovu napaćenu zemlju.

Putujem u Masavu, luku na Crvenom moru, dok mi šofer priča kako je i on, kao mali, ovde mahao zastavicama Titu i caru Haile Selasiju. I ja sam to isto radio, mahao istim ljudima, ali u mojoj zemlji.

U ovoj luci nema brodova, nema turista, skoro da nema ni života. Samo postoje priče o tome kako je nekada bilo, kao i želja ovih dobrih ljudi da im se sve to ponovo vrati. Socijalizam afričkog tipa ovde je u punoj snazi. Ipak, stari, islamski deo grada, iako dosta razrušen za vreme bombardovanja, krije u sebi čar otomanskih vremena, u oronulim fasadama, starim džamijama i zemljanim sokacima, kao i drvenim kapidžicima, iza kojih se stidljivo pomaljaju crne, razbarušene, dečje glave.

Februar 2009.

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With the first rays of sunshine I go to the liturgy at the largest Christian Orthodox church, Enda Mariam, in the capital of Eritrea, Asmara. The women are on the right side and the men are on the left, clad in white robes, they bow to the ground, singing since midnight, while the older folks lean on long sticks, as hours and hours of standing is hard to bear. Liturgies like this last the whole night, and at this one the Patriarch himself was present. Half the Eritreans are Orthodox, while the other half are mainly Muslims and some Catholics. They all live in harmony and celebrate all the holy days together.

Despite the 30 years of civil war which brought Eritrea its independence, and then the war with Ethiopia from which it seceded, Eritrea is one of the safest countries I have visited. I am the only guest in the oldest hotel in town, dating back to 1899, ‘Albergo Italia’ which was completely renovated by the Italians. They complain at the hotel that security is much more important to the current government than tourism.

Asmara was built by Mussolini’s best architects whose job was to make his dream of Africa Orientale Italiana a reality. The dream was short-lived, however, beacause he was expelled by the British as early as 1941. What remains is the mixture of styles, neoclassical, modern and novecento, so the city reminds of a Mediterranean place; art déco is present everywhere. The people are calm, and the typical African bustle is missing, or if it is there, it still allows you to keep your bearings. Everyone still speaks Italian, but Italian tourists are nowhere to be seen, which is sad. I enjoy strolling around, gazing at the facades of places like: Cinema Imperio, Teatro Asmara, Mercato Coperto, Villa Roma, Palazzo Falletta, but the height of pleasure is a genuine machiatto with a croissant on the High Street, which used to be called Via Mussolini, then the street of Haile Selassie, today the Avenue of Liberation.

In the past this country, together with Ethiopia, used to form Abyssinia. Then a long drawn and painful separation of mostly the same people, ensued. Finally the deserved peace arrived.

I am on my way to Massawa, a port on the Red Sea, while the driver tells me how, when he was little, he also greeted Tito and Haile Selassie, waving a flag. There are no boats in this port, no tourists, almost no life at all. There are only stories about how everything used to be, and a wish of these good people to get it all back again. African type socialsim rules here in full force. However, the old, islamic part of the city, even though rather damaged during the bombing, hides the charm of the Ottoman times, in decrepit facades, old mosques and clay alleyways, as well as shuttered windows behind which small black heads of the children, with disheveled hair, shyly appear.

February 2009

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