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The Happy Times Before the Misery – By Samson Solomon

This picture has been taken in 1994; a couple of years after Eritrean independence, and shortly after referendum. Although I was very young, I remember the day vividly. It was the first big wedding in

This picture has been taken in 1994; a couple of years after Eritrean independence, and shortly after referendum. Although I was very young, I remember the day vividly. It was the first big wedding in our extended family, following those national events. The bride and bridegroom came from Germany after many years in exile and got married that day. Not only for the couple, the wedding ceremony was a rare family occasion for many of the relatives and friends too.

These two cousins hugging each other happily are Ogbe Abraha Engda and Solomon Habtom Engda, both veterans of the liberation struggle. One doesn’t even need to examine the photograph deeply to see the vivid happiness in their eyes.  For me, the mixture of endurance and joy, the “Yes we made it!” attitude is clear in their glowing smile. Indeed, it was a celebration for making it together through the good and the tough times.

That day was probably the happiest in their life. The pain they endured, the brothers and sisters they buried, their fathers who passed away before the independence was achieved were all forgotten just for that moment. Yes, a moment worth spending life in hell.

They were surrounded by all family members and love was flying everywhere. People were dancing, laughing; hugging each other … it was an exceptionally glorious day.

It didn’t take that long for the honeymoon like atmosphere to get disrupted though.  A couple of years after the’ border war’, in September 18th 2001,  Ogbe Abraha has been arrested and two years later his cousin (my father) Solomon Habtom followed him to prison. That sweet day of joy was never to be repeated again. The happiness was replaced by sorrow, the smiley faces covered with tears; family members forced to scatter all over the world. There are no words to express the excruciating pain deep in our hearts.

Beyond the nostalgia and pain however, I have learned something interesting from my dear father and cousin. They thought me that there is light after darkness and hope after such challenging times. They showed me how to love my people, my family and myself. Nobody can take that lesson away from me.

I have a dream; one day, all their sons, daughters and grandchildren… all family members who are left behind will have even bigger get together in Eritrea, in the land they are buried at. Yes, one day, I will hug my cousin ( Ogbe’s son), Mehari Ogbe; and we will both have broader smiles than what you see on this very picture of my cousin and my dear father who just passed away in prison last month.

Review overview
  • AHMED SALEH !!! September 24, 2017

    We the people were partners of GHEDLI Eritrea. Eritrean TEGADELTI had sacrificed their life to bring
    back the country for its owners but cowards like
    Tsehaye has a nerve to defend real criminals who betrayed the principles we fought dearly .
    Nowadays nobody give a damn about sold out commentators in online media outlets . But we
    know HGDF authority lifespan will last at any time
    like others around the world . It is only a matter of
    time because a house with weak foundation has not
    guarantee to sustain for too long .

  • Danilo September 24, 2017

    ኣይተ tsehaye,you are labelling tegadelti as criminals as well as their parents. forget who we are, who are you first ? By the way, you seem to forget every eritrean family has and it is fought the dirty game. For heaven sake shut up please. Your comment is exposing you! You better cross the border

  • AHMED SALEH !!! September 24, 2017

    Tsehaye or who ever you are . I see true patriots
    start to come back to defend assenna forum from
    outside intruders .
    You find the response of genuine Eritreans to your
    offensive comments . We already knew where this
    religious and regional rhetorics to divide Eritrean
    social fabrics had been initiated . They never succeed
    in the past and they never will at present or in near
    future . Give it up MAHBER ANDNET TIRIFRAFAT or
    else you will end up history .
    Soon the talk will be ” yizkerekum do xere-hadnet
    zikhonu baEtatat afom meliom keshkaElulu kelewu ” .
    Our people observed the work of conspirators since
    the time Eritrean political movements in 1950’s .

    • andom September 28, 2017

      Tsehaye atleast did not try to hide his origin and his pride in ethiopia. He will not be as proud as should be due to the situation that is evolving now but needs to blame the narrow tribal polotics weyane employed to come to power. That was the time his brothers planted the seed of hatred that they are harvesting now. I kind of smell same thing in our eritrea too. Many akele giezey and hamasien hatellatat are engaged in it which is benefiting iseyas shifta now but will also have very negative consequences in future too if not cut short.

      • Simon G September 29, 2017

        Really? Wow!
        Aren’t you sounding like Trump now? How can you blame both sides. If someone is keep blaming you for no reason but to appease the fools, you have to stand up to that. This has been from ’73 till now.
        Who does isayas blame as excuse from his crimes? It is either the Muslims or Akele Guzay or both.

  • Lingo September 24, 2017

    In the savage barbaric Islamic countries where poor girls and women are simply considered as sexual properties,
    a six year old girl (a poor and an innocent child) in Afghanistan was sold by her father to a 55 year old savage Islam’s cleric “Imam” for a goat and some food. It is very sad story but it is commonly in the context of a worship leader of a mosque and muslim community by Sunni Muslims.
    I was not surprised but I was saddened that the six year old girl/child was sold for a sexual pleasure to the religious savage muslim leader. The girl/child didn’t even know why she was sold — she is too young to know about it until the horrific abuse starts. It is indeed sad! Who in their right mind, thinks marrying a six year old baby girl is the right thing or acceptable? It boggles the mind, indeed.
    The strange thing is that no savage muslim Imam or savage moslem sheikh who lives in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Algeria or Europe/America condemns this kind of barbaric Islam shit act. There is some inherent problem with the savage Islamic world. Yes, it is all called savage Islam. You only need to see the life of its savage founder to know what savage Islam is, the shit Imam was after all just following the foot steps of their beloved leader. Too bad we treat the so called Eritrean muslims like humans and normal people like our selves.