Easter in Eritrea
Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 3rd April, 2010
It’s been strange this past week being away from all means of electronic communication in some of the more obscure parts of Eritrea, researching some lectures and looking at how a country whose population is split more or less 50:50 between Christians and Muslims — spread amongst numerous tribes — manages its own brand of multiculturalism successfully. I spent time in Keren, Massawa and Adi Keih before coming up to Asmara, the highland capital, where at least there is Internet, even if international mobile phones don’t work. It’s been fascinating seeing the preparations and now celebrations for Easter among both the Coptic Orthodox community and the Roman Catholics, including the marketing and transportation of hundreds of thousands of chickens and sheep ready for the fast-breaking tomorrow. This afternoon I stopped at a convent, outside which local boys were wearing simplified crowns of thorns, while their mothers prayed, their heads pressed against the outside walls of the church. There will be a huge amount for me to write up over the next few days, but tomorrow I return to London via Cairo and hit the election trail full-time.