“My dad is Eritrean-Italian and my mother from Basel-country, I knew Switzerland and Italy well, but my father did not talk much about the country.” My main connection with Eritrea was the celebrations and of course, when I saw friends going back and forth in their countries of origin, I wanted to do the same. I wanted to have this link.
My father had not been back there for 30 years because we did not have much family left there. In 2002, he eventually went, but alone. Despite my insistence to go with him.
On his return, I continued to insist. A few years later, in 2011, I surprised my parents and my son with four air tickets to Asmara. I was very happy to discover everything and to be finally able to judge myself this double discourse that one hears.
During our stay, everything was not a long, quiet river. We have had several strange stories. There was the same person who we recognized at almost every one of our trips. Later, a hotel employee discreetly told us that the person was an intelligence officer.
As we were preparing to spend several weeks in Massawa (at the Red Sea), the authorities limited our stay to 7 days. I discovered a beautiful city, a true pearl that should be part of UNESCO’s heritage. In addition, it is my father’s hometown, it really made me want to stay longer.
Later during the stay, a taxi driver opened up to us. He told us that he survived because of his children abroad and that the amount of gasoline given by the authorities to private fishermen and taxis drivers had been considerably reduced. He told us that it was better not to complain otherwise violence would await him, even imprisonment, if he persists. “
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