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It’s a New Era — Peace in the Horn of Africa

Let me start by saying that I am by no means a politician. 

All views read on the blog are of my own and are not supported or reflective on anyone or any government. They come from a good place full of positive vibes!

Let's talk Peace! Bella in Addis (circa: 2015)

These past couple of weeks have been like a DREAM. One where we are all scared to wake up from because it’s just too perfect. I’ve been glued to all the newsfeeds, social media and I keep calling my family to hear updates. The day the news broke out about a chance of peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia was a day I will always remember. I was sitting at work, and all of a sudden a burst of texts started popping up and as I was reading the news tears of joy began to emerge.

This is what my face looked like as i was reading all the messages and news about the peace talks. Lorenzo in Kiriftu (circa: 2013)

The recent peace talks mean a great deal to every Eritrean and Ethiopian regardless of whether you are mixed like me or not. Although the two nations are different in some ways, their similarities are far greater. We share a similar language, eat the same food, have the same traditions/religion, and at one point considered each other family.

Christmas Break in Eritrea- 2017

Christmas Break in Ethiopia- 2013

Here is a piece of my history:

Picture this- You’re 16 years old and living in Asmara, Eritrea during the war. Your father lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and has no means of communication with you unless he travels abroad.

These are times of war and people are scared. Every day I see more and more deported Eritreans coming from Ethiopia. Often my mother and I would go to the Eritrean border line to accept them, there we meet mothers who had to leave their newborn babies because they are half-Ethiopian, children who are way too young to make the deadly journey, or senior citizens who barely speak Tigrinya and have no family or friends in Eritrea. The same was happening across the border in Ethiopia. Families were torn apart, homes were taken away, and both countries lost lives.

Close your eyes and picture a classroom full of kids on a beautiful sunny day, we were learning Geometry (I remember because I couldn’t stand the teacher or the subject). All of a sudden the windows start shaking and you feel an explosion. You duck for cover and you’re scared for your life. Imagine running home only to find out that your mother rushed out to pick your little sister from school and has not come home yet. There were no cell phones, no lines of communication with either of my parents and our house was 10 minutes from where the bomb dropped.  Imagine seeing all this first hand and having to deal with it on an everyday basis as an American born teenager who took peace for granted. 

War and all it brings was not new to either of these countries. Before this happened, my family like countless other families in the region left Eritrea in the 1970s to flee from a different regime, and that was how they came to live in the United States. Our people (both countries) have seen different regimes come and go; they’ve witnessed bloodshed over and over again. I am sharing my truth with you today, so that you can understand that even after going through that and seeing so much hurt, I still choose peace. Enough is enough!

I firmly believe the Horn of Africa needs peace to prosper, to become an example for all of Africa to raise up and unite. The people have spoken loud and clear that it’s time for change to occur. We are living in a different era and should not hold on to the past any longer. If we want to progress as a continent, we have to look past our differences and help one another, and these peace talks do just that.

Sishu Burger in Addis (circa:2015)

Camel riding in Massawa, Eritrea (circa:2017)

PEACE... I keep saying it in my head over and over again and smiling. It’s all I want to talk about. It’s a new era and hope is beaming everywhere. Together Eritrea and Ethiopia will now become pillars of hope for other African nations. After years of war, if these two countries can put their differences aside and come to peaceful terms, one with mutual respect for one another than the rest of Africa can do the same.

Family Pics with my mother and sister in Asmara. Bini's first trip to Eritrea

Summer in Addis 2015

For those of you that lived in both countries like myself, who spent countless holidays, weekends, vacations going from Asmara to Addis Ababa and vice versa. For those that speak both languages and identify with both sides, this peace treaty is our second chance at living the best of both worlds. It’s a blessing from God and the fact that I am seeing it in my lifetime is beyond all my wildest dreams. My children will get to experience the life I had as a child before the war tore us apart.  As a mother of three children who are half Eritrean and half Ethiopian, this is the greatest gift we can give them. We’ve taught them that love always wins and these peace talks prove that.  I pray this new era stays peaceful and prospers.

YES for PEACE!!!

I'd love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the recent peace talks between Eritrea and Ethiopia? Leave comments in the feedback section below.

Until Next Week.

Yours,