All-Europe Zone members of the Eritrean People's Democratic Party (EPDP), invited sister organizations and the general public attended on 4 and 5 August eventful Eritrea Festival days in Frankfurt while an only-members assembly was held Sunday afternoon led by the EPDP Chairman Menghesteab Asmerom. Among the inspiring addresses heard on Saturday were the ones presented by two Eritrean pro-democracy activists: Ms. Salwa Nur (Umreetal), who flew in from the Arab Gulf, and Ambassador Andebrhan Weldegiorghis who made a detour flight from a duty sojourn in Barcelona, Spain, in order not to miss the Eritrea Festival in Germany.
Following are excerpts of the colourful festival events. (Full reportage on the events and content of the speeches will follow in major Eritrean languages and in English).
Events of Day-One:
Following an introductory opening statement on Friday, 4 August, by Mr. Tesfamariam Kibreab, chairman of the Eritrean Democratic Association (EDA) that hosted the festival, invited guests were informed on details of the programme for the weekend which included three events held on Day One of the festival.
The first was an invitation to visit a side-display of Eritrean handcrafts/artifacts and home appliances surrounded by slogans expressing the determination of the Eritrean woman to struggle for self-emancipation from double oppression.
The day's second event was an awareness workshop on democracy and the rule of law led by two senior EPDP cadres, Dirar Mantai of the Netherlands, and Goitom Mebrahtu of UK. Their presentations were based on an intensive course they attended earlier this year at programme organized by the Raft Foundation of Norway for the promotion of democracy and human rights.
The workshop, which involved the participation of five-groups from among the audience, was prepared with brief explanations and illustrations prepared in Tigrigna. The third event on Friday was a short but lively folkloric music and dance led by young singers.
Events of Day-Two:
Saturday was the day of the major festival panel event which included the keynote address of the EPDP Chairman and solidarity messages of sister organizations. The speakers included Mr. Abdulaziz Anwar from the Eritrean Nahda Party; Mr. Idris Humed of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF); Mr. Menghesteab Afeworki of the Eritrean
Democratic Party EDP); Mr. Semere Beyane of the Eritrean Democratic Unity Front (Sagem); Mr. Kibreab Misghina of the Eritrean Revolutionary Democratic Front (Sedege'e); Mr. Kahsai Berhane of the Eritrean People's Unity Movement for Justice; Mr. Ghebrehiwet Kfle of the Eritrean Unity for Democratic Change; and Ms Alganesh Isaak of the EPDP office for women's affairs.
The Saturday events continued with folkloric dances and music till Sunday morning.
Third Festival Day:
The major event on Sunday was a members-only meeting led by EPDP Chairman Menghesteab Asmerom at the festival grounds. Party members coming from several European cities in UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, USA and Canada also seized the occasion for a joint dinners, side-chats and exchange of addresses.