Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, is close to the heart of every Eritrean, whether inside or outside the country. Decades of Eritrean love songs and freedom songs have honoured Asmara - now the jewel in the crown of Eritrea's hard won independence, following a thirty-year long liberation struggle that ended victoriously in 1991. For the rest of the world this is still largely an unknown city, far removed from the tourist trails of Africa. But those who do arrive here rarely leave unaffected. Many return time and again, enchanted by the blend of African, Arabic and European influences that shape the identity of the city. Asmara has a style and charm that delight the senses.
| After decades of international isolation
Asmara is also becoming recognised as a treasure trove of modernist architecture
from the 1930s, still pre-served in the original, human scale of the city.
Asmara Beloved is a celebration of the city and its people; of its cultural,
economic and spiritual vitality. Including an historical introduction
to the city and original poetry by Haile Bizen, this is at once a book
of memories for those who already know Asmara, and an inspiration for
others yet to discover Eritrea and its unique capital.
|About the authors:
Sami Sallinen was born in Finland in 1965. He has lived in Asmara since 1996, working as a photographer and a video producer/cameraman.
Haile Bizen, one of Eritrea's best young poets, was born in Asmara in 1966. Alongside poetry, he also writes short stories and journalism.