Eritrean culture weekend in London


Lee Valley in London is expected to light up this weekend as Eritreans in the UK hold their annual cultural festival.

“For one weekend in every summer, it has become customary to British Eritreans in the UK to transform Lee Valley into mini Eritrea. The Festival is an important occasion for harmony, consolidation of Eritrean African unity, strengthen the culture, identity, promoting higher mobilisation,  developing capacity and ingenuity” said Yared Tesfay, the event’s coordinator.

The two-day bonanza, themed Development through Resilence, begins on Saturday at 12:30 at the Lee Valley Sports Leisure Complex Center and will include the inauguration of photographic exhibition, children and family program, an essay and poetry competition and a reception for diplomats and other invited guests.

A seminar by a high-level Eritrean government delegation Eritrea and an African Youth Symposium will be two central parts of the event. 
Eritrea’s ambassador to France Hanna Simon will give a seminar on Intergenerational Dialogue for Upholding Legacy of Eritrean Women’s Movement Before and Post- Independence.

Simon Tesfamariam, who is the founder and director of the Red Sea Institute, a think tank based in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, will make a presentation on the UN Commission of Inquiry report.

A number of African speakers are expected to make presentations during the youth symposium.
Vincent Gasana of Rwanda will speak on why the Western media focuses on negative coverage of Africa while Zimbabwean Conrad Mwanza will deliver a paper on indigenization projects for land reform.

Xolani Xana of South Africa will speak on economic freedom. Eritrean Rahel Woldeab will deliver a talk on academic research, intelligence gathering and foreign intervention and Aala Aburanat of Sudan will talk about brain drain.

Juweriya Bixi Ali of Ogaden will speak about the systematic destruction of Oganden youth while Nikaw Ochalla of Gambella will deliver a presentation of ethic genocide.

Also a Saturday a group of cyclists from ten countries who have driven through eight German and three Swiss cities will bring their message of truth, peace and justice to the festival.

There will be plenty of entertainment in the tents of the various Eritrean communities in the UK. Helen Meles, Aklilu Tefeno, Alamin Hasebella, Fetsum Yohannes, Federico Umberto, South African & Ogaden Cultural Troupes will perform live.