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Asmara (Asmera)
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Guestbook of Mebrat Tzehaie (2003)


Als ik later groot ben zet ik mijn tanden in Meles Zenawi!


Date: Monday December 29 2003 11:05
From:ir. Albert J. Roebert (Bennebroek The Netherlands)

Thank you for this opportunity. Recently I visited Asmara to assist the Water Department on critical issues of the supply. I was their on behalf of Netherlands Management Cooperation Programme ( in The Hague.

I gave a presentation at the and of my fortnight stay and was received by the Mayor/Governor H.E. Semere Russom and I presented him my mayor findings.

Bert Roebert

Date:Monday December 29 2003 13:43
From:Ruta Mekonen (Kassel Germany)

It is so nice that you make this page for your wife and that you are interested in our country. It is nice to see that a relationship between Eritrean and foreigners is possible. I hope your relationship will be stand a long long and wonderful time.


Date:Thursday December 11 2003 22:19
From:Brian Bell (London England)

What a fantastic web site, one of the best I have found for any country. I have just returned from a holiday in Eritrea to ride on the newly reconstructed railway all the way from Massawa Port through to Asmara (an organized trip for steam enthusiasts). The very fact that the railway has been reconstructed from dereliction is unbelievable, and it must rank as one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world. The employees of the railway (almost all over 75, with one gentleman still working in the workshops at 93) show such devotion to 'their railway'. The manager says the line will be open through to Keren within a year, and as unbelievable as it may seem, I think this will happen !! As if I needed an excuse to return to such a friendly country, this extension will almost certainly prompt a return visit.

Date:Tuesday December 09 2003 13:58
From:Eric Roberts (Newtown, PA, USA)

I lived in Asmara with my family (CPT E. Winn Roberts - Signal Research Unit #9) at the US military base during Dec 1958 to June 1961, and we often visited the rest centers at Keren and Massawa. Also did a lot of hunting in the plains outside Asmara, and at the city dump down Massawa Road. I was 8-9-10 years old, and they were the most magical years of my youth.

You have the most complete site on Eritrea I have seen anywhere - good job. I just met an Italian couple on a dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef who are planning to open a dive center in Massawa, so it rekindled my interest in the country, as I may visit them after next summer when they are operational. Thanks for providing such a great web site.


Date:Wednesday December 03 2003 4:14
From:Jule Potter (Colorado Springs, USA)

Thank you for your excellent research and writing about Eritrea. I enjoy your website.

Eritrea is visually stunning. I left Asmara in 1964 but I have vivid and warm memories of the beautiful land and hospitable people of Eritrea. The road from Asmara to either Keren or Massawa are spectacular events themselves. There is such contrast in the geography, from the sands of the Danakil lowlands to the plateau of Asmara.

Truly a gorgeous piece of our planet.


Date:Monday December 01 2003 12:59
From:Wolbert Smidt (Hamburg Germany)

Hi Mebrat,

I am fascinated by the wall painting of deggiyat Haylu. In which church can it be found? Is it in Tseazzega? I am very interested in the old history of Eritrea, that's why I would be most happy to get a response from you.
Thank you very much for your well-done and colorful website!


Date:Monday November 24 2003 18:31
From:Simon (London, UK)

Very impressive!!

Informative, educational, entertaining and to the point.

Keep up the good work.

Date:Sunday November 16 2003 16:54
From:David Atak (Stockholm Sweden)

I am very interested to learn more about Eritrea because I was born in Asmara and now I plan to work as Business man in Eritrea so pls thank you very much for that information you gave us, that was quite clear to some one looking for information about Eritrea.

Date:Sunday November 09 2003 19:32
From:Abul Kashem (Dhaka Bangladesh)

Really I am happy to learn the industrious people are working for the development of the war-devastated country and every body is taking share voluntarily-this is real sacrifice for the betterment of the humanity and country development. I salute the noble mentality people of Eritrea. This is a model picture for the third world country. sacrifice will bring the success. I fervently feel to visit the country. The website is very well done bring me the unknown information. Good wishes for the sponsors giving the learning facility regarding Eritrea.

Date:Thursday November 06 2003 22:25
From:Richard Russ (Ocala, Florida, United States)

I was in Eritrea in 1997. I was a United States Marine at the time and was on the USS Ogden. I have a few photos from my Marine Corps career which includes a couple from Massawa Eritrea. You can view these at

I enjoyed my stay in Eritrea. Our welcome from the Eritrean people was terrific!

I worked on the library as part of a humanitarian effort while we visited. We did not finish the project entirely but by looking at the picture, it turned out very nice.

Take care everyone,


Date:Thursday November 06 2003 2:42
From:Keren Weir (Battle, England)

WOW! I never knew I was a city! this is so cool! Keren is a great place!

Date:Monday November 03 2003 16:33
From:Wieslaw Dabrowski (Szczecin Poland)

I haven't seen before the better site about Eritrea. I want to go there for a holiday and, probably, try to improve the re-development of this country. I'm manager in geomatics company in Poland so we may made every geoinformatics tasks (for example maps from aerial photos) for Eritrea at very affordable prices - not such high as in West Europe. I'm fascinating of Eritrea...

Date:Saturday October 18 2003 1:15
From:Matthew Lundin (San Antonio United States)

What a fascinating place Eritrea is. When I think as an American, of the most remote, removed place I could ever find myself in, it would have to be Eritrea. Maybe one day I will get to come stroll down the streets of Asmara. :)

Date:Monday October 13 2003 12:30
From:Phuti (Cape Town South Africa) 

Thanks for the wonderdful site.

Could you direct me to where I can find more info about NUEW and the president's contact details, for a research, please?

Date: Friday October 10 2003 12:31
From:Joe Baxter (Australia)

We are very impressed with your website.

Nice colours, good descriptions, plenty illustrations, wide scope.

We stumbled across your website via Eritrean Airlines.

Pity it was so hard to find, we have searched for months to find info on Eritrea.

Strange that it must come from Netherland, do you live there and are you Eritrean ?

It will take a long time to download and read it all.

Should we discover obvious improvements, we will write again.



Date:Friday October 10 2003 9:12
From:Raimondo Bussi (Brussels Belgium)

Me and my family will soon move to Eritrea to live and work there for the next 4 years.

This website is great! All the info one can think of, loads of pictures, great attention to details. Please accept our compliments and thanks.


Date: Thursday October 9 2003 5:50 PM
From:Octavia (Chicago USA)

My name is Octavia. I am Dominican (the commonwealth, not the republic) and my fiancé is Eritrean. Although there some are hesitant to except me seeing that to them I look African-American, I am grateful that his family welcomes me with open arms.

I am very interested in learning more about the Eritrean culture as well as the language. (My fiancé never has time to teach me, but I do pick up a few things here and there).

I have experienced a wedding, as well as a funeral and I must say that they were the most wonderful cultural experiences in my lifetime.

I am proud of my island of Dominica, but I love the Eritrean culture and would love more websites to few and wonderful as this one. Thank you!

Date:Thursday October 02, 2003 6:54 AM
From:Octavius Clark (Winter Springs, America)

I am an African American with great interest in the country of Eritrea. I hope to visit Eritrea someday and learn about the rich culture of the people. I also have a friend in Asmara named Rahel Eyob Berhe that I hope to see one day. My travel plans are for the month of June 2004.

Octavius Clark

Date:Wednesday October 01, 2003 10:38 PM
From:John Cosbie-Ross (UK)

Dear Mebrat,

I spent some time in Massawa with my parents living on the naval base in Massawa, I notice that you have had visitors to your site from people who served at Kagnew one I will send a E-mail to . Keep up the good work.

Regards Jcr

Date:Thursday September 25, 2003 11:26 AM
From:Christopher King (UK)

This is an excellent site with all the links and information that I could wish. I spent much longer than I had intended in going through it! Keep up the good work.

Best regards,

Chris King

Date:Friday September 19, 2003 4:47 PM
From:mengesteab haile (san José, California, U.S.A.)

Thank you for your website, Mebrat. I find it similarity. In your Eritreanhood, I am to visit you again.


Date:Thursday September 11, 2003 0:01 AM
From:Peg Grzelkowski (Portland, Oregon, USA)

Thank you for your website. I lived in Asmara as a child and my memories of Eritrea are vivid. I have always dreamed of returning to the country, that in many ways, nurtured me.

Peg Grzelkowski

Date:Monday September 08, 2003 5:09 PM
From:Mulle (Giessen, Germany)

I will be traveling to Eritrea soon and I found your website the most informative about the country. ThanX a lot for taking the effort to put it up!!!


Date:Tuesday, September 02, 2003 5:38 AM
From:Asmera (Düsseldorf Germany)

thx a lot 4 this great page.

awet na hafash !

Date:Tuesday, August 19, 2003 16:12 PM
From:Joke Hill (Rotterdam Holland)

Hallo Mebrat en Hans,

Ik vind het erg leuk dat jullie je eigen site hebben.

Mebrat werkt bij mij, ik vind haar een hele lieve vrouw en fijne collega.

Ik hoop nog lang met haar te kunnen blijven werken. Ik wens jullie heel veel geluk, liefde en gezondheid samen.

 Joke Hill

Date:Monday, August 11, 2003 10:01 PM
From:Bonnie Peckinpaugh (Gulfport, Mississippi, USA)

We were stationed in Asmara June 1955- August 1957 and again in  September 1960-March 1963. The best duty station ever.

We celebrated Kagnew Stations 50th anniversary in June in Las Vegas. Had a wonderful time and was reunited with some old friends.

I have only looked at your photo section. I will visit the other parts later. I have seen photos of Kagnew Station as it looks now. What a heartbreak.

Glad I have my photos taken during our tours. Even Massawa. The palace made me so sad. It was so beautiful. I have my memories and photos. Your photo section is very good. Brought back some old memories.


Date:Saturday, August 09, 2003 6:54 PM
From:Dennis (The Netherlands)

I will be visiting Asmara next week, for business purpose.

I found this website very informative. It confirms my expectations; Eritrean people are very friendly and the country is beautiful!

Date:Thursday, August 07, 2003 2:12 PM
From:Mike (Stockholm Sweden)

Hello!!! Mebrat and Hans

I just want to say u people have done good job!!!

and wish u good luck in every-day life.


Date:Wednesday, August 06, 2003 12:19 AM
From:Kim/Kerri (Pittsburgh USA)

We used to live in Eritrea when we were little kids, our father was in the military. Really enjoyed the pictures and info.

Kerri and Kim

Date:Tuesday, August 05, 2003 10:34 PM
From:Trym Skarra (Lillehammer Norway)


Thank you for your effort to make this pages. It was very nice to see the pictures from Asmara and find so much information about the country.

I hope to go there one day. Best of luck to you from


Date:Wednesday, July 23, 2003 5:17 AM
From:Mou Yichao (Lanzhou China)

Asmara is a beautiful city in Africa. In 2000 and 2002 I went to Asmara twice. Eritrea is a new found country and there are many friendly and pure people. I hope I can go to Eritrea again. I knew more information of Eritrea from your website and thanks.


Date:Tuesday, June 24, 2003 8:35 PM
From:Victor Rivera (Grovetown, Georgia, USA)

I was stationed at Kagnew during the early 70's and I enjoyed very much the city with its charm, both old and new.

looking thru the web site stirred many memories.....

thanks for a great site:)

Date:Monday, June 23, 2003 7:50 PM
From:Mehary Bahta (El Paso Texas, USA)

While looking for some valuable information on Eritrea, I accidentally discovered your website. I think that you have put together a good introductory website with very good information.

Good job and congratulations.

Mehary Bahta.

Date:Saturday, June 14, 2003 5:51 PM
From:Richard Challis (Adelaide Australia)

Thank you for all your work in supplying all this information about Eritrea. I may be visiting Eritrea on business in August or September this year and it has been invaluable for me to read about the country before I set off.

Best Regards,

Richard Challis

Date:Tuesday, June 03, 2003 9:43 PM
From:Stuart Bruce (Edinburgh Scotland)

Your website has been invaluable for my daughter's school project on Eritrea. Very informative with some great pictures.

Date:Tuesday, May 27, 2003 1:03 PM
From:Yohannes Araya (Stockholm Sweden)

I was awaiting a long time to see a huge information of Eritrea, Now I get it.

I am proud of you and your family to spend much time to make this wonderful home page not only for Eritreans, but also for others.

Keep on and thanks.

Date:Saturday, May 24, 2003 2:06 AM
From:John Trueb (Portland, Oregon USA)

My daughter is visiting in Eritrea.

Your Website is extremely informative and helpful.

Thank you.

Date:Friday, May 23, 2003 6:06 PM
From:Werner Lange (Kleinmachnow Germany)

I have to thank you for your really comprehensive site. Being a former captain of the merchant marine, I have a lot of good remembrances of Massawa - as many sailors have.

To be earnest: It was a relief to hear from the recreation of the town after fate and war hit it.

May this country be a land of short shadows as it has always been, and as these very special, very warm-hearted and proud people should earn.

Date:Thursday, May 22, 2003 3:23 PM
From:Massimo Corea (Rome Italy)

I hope to visit your country.

I like your people and your sea.

Date:Tuesday, May 13, 2003 3:46 AM
From:Kurt (USA)

I spent 3 of the most exciting and happy times of my life in Eritrea while I was stationed with the Army at Kagnew station.

I was welcomed wherever I went, town or village by some of the friendliest and most beautiful people in the world.

Date:Wednesday, April 09, 2003 9:59 AM
From:Jarmo Kivinen (Finland)

Hi !

Thank You for your site. My son is going to join UNMEE-peace keeping troops in summer, so I interested in Eritrea. I got a lot of good information of Eritrea and Asmara on your page.

I hope there will be a real peace in Eritrea soon!


Jarmo K.

Date:Saturday, April 05, 2003 2:34 AM
From:Frank Spencer (Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
I was stationed At Kagnew, Asmara 63/65. One of the most magical, and beautiful places on earth.

Yours and the Kagnew home page are the two best and most comprehensive sites on Asmara on the net. The site that you have put together is possibly the finest on Asmara, you a great deal of time and it certainly looks like a labor of love for both the country and its people. You were very correct when you spoke of there warmth and kindness. They are truly a special people.

Thanks for the good work and the memories.

Date:Tuesday, April 01, 2003 2:05 AM
From:George (Seattle, U.S.A.)
I wanted to let you know just how much I gained from your website. After meeting two sisters from Asmara on my local bus last December, I went home to learn as much as I could about what they call "back home".
Early in my time online I chanced upon your website and I have to admit that I couldn't top it anywhere for wonderful pictures and links that brought Eritrea to life. 
When the women simply replied "East Africa" when I asked where they were from, it was probably the best initial answer given that so few here probably know any more detail. I think I surprised them later by bringing a map to assist in further learning and it was then when they offered more specifics.
Once I was armed with enough understanding to then attempt to educate myself I went right to work using your site and others. Upon discovering the pictures of Asmara you posted, I printed a number of them just to give the women on the bus. I could see the home-sickness in their eyes as they studied the magnificent photos you supplied. I was happy to give them the web link to this site so that they might view all of the pictures. This was before 2003 and now your website has expanded wonderfully, much to the delight of many.
Personally, my favorite discovery about Eritrea is how it dispelled my beliefs about climate conditions in equatorial Africa. To find that Asmara sits more than 7000 feet above the sea, and has a climate that reflects the altitude, was entirely comforting to me. Somehow I felt more near to Asmara for that reason (that I could survive the local climate).
Anyone who reads your website might be interested to know that the largest town in the United States which sits at or above Asmara's altitude has a mere 5700 people. Asmara is said to have about 400,000 depending on who you listen to.
I do hope that you will continue to be reminded by people such as myself who have gained immeasurably from your efforts that Eritrea and its people will enjoy a better life simply because you have helped the world to learn of such an intriguing place!
Even the Eritrean National Anthem is an upbeat, exciting song!
Greetings from the United States.

Date:Tuesday, March 18, 2003 8:02 AM
From:Barry W. "Butch" Kio (Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA)

My father was stationed at Kagnew Station, in Asmara, from 1957 to December of 1960. I was just a young boy at the time, but have many good memories of things both good and bad. Even as a youngster I was affected by the poverty suffered by the Eritreans, as well as their enormous hospitality.

For years I have searched for a true recipe for zigney (zignie) as well as a search of real Eritrean Zigney spices so that I could again enjoy that wonderful dish. I also loved the figadentes (cactus apples that the street merchants sold (lots of stickers/briars), I now use the fruit from the Prickly Pear cactus as a substitute; Makes a great jelly.

I could go on for hours about my roaming around Asmara and visiting with the residents, going to the markets with my mom, and hunting down the old Massawa road with my dad and his friends. Memories of old women carrying loads of firewood on their heads; old men with their collections of tin cans; gherry carts pulled by emaciated horses (ponies); neat little villages off the beaten trails going down the escarpment towards the flats; lots of dangerous wild animals and exotic birds of every color and size; locusts the size of a hot dog; baboons; beautiful native people in their colorful celebration clothes.

I sometimes feel like those far away times were only an illusion, but I know they were real and wish only that I had a time machine to take me back to stay forever. I envy those who will be able to go back and only hope the someday Eritera will again become the great place that it has historically been.

Thanks for your considerable efforts with this web site and much success to you and yours in the future.

Date:Sunday, March 02, 2003 10:34 PM
From:Ron Tasket (Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

As a young boy I resided with my family at Kagnew Station, Asmara from 1969 - 1971. My mother seriously considered staying on in Asmara with my sister and myself while my father took a second tour of duty in Vietnam, but did not. My earliest memories are from Eritrea and surrounding countries. Some time I would like to take my own family back to tour.

Date:Monday, February 24, 2003 5:53 PM
From:Thomas Rauss (Stuttgart Germany)

Hi Hans,

Thanks for the wonderful pages of Eritrea!

I've been in Eritrea 7 times last year, fell in love with the country.

We started a web page, offering diving in Eritrea.

Greetings from

Date:February 23, 2003 4:37 AM
From:Mrs. Roxie Lynn Howard (Moorhead, MN, USA)

I enjoyed your web page, all of the web page.  I stumbled upon it trying to find some of baskets made in Asmara that are so colorful.  While I did not find any baskets yet, I did find this wonderful web site. 

Date:Thursday, February 20, 2003 4:52 PM
From:Sophia Richter (Stuttgart Germany)

Hello Hans & Mebrat,

Your web sites are wonderful.

I am planning to visit Eritrea for the first time next summer. Therefore, I am reading your travel description with big interest. My Eritrean boyfriend, who has lived in Germany for over 20 years now, is going with me. He speaks Tigrinya. Still, I am planning to learn a little more than 20 words by then. I hope I can get along with English and Italian as well.


Date:Saturday, February 08, 2003 3:07 PM
From:James Sennett (Warrington England)

I spent 3 wonderful years working in Eritrea with an Eritrean architect. My main project being the pharmaceutical plant in Keren. This entailed remaining throughout the conflict to ensure its completion.

I have now just returned to UK after being in South Africa and find myself based in Warrington. I desperately need to locate an Eritrean cultural center and Eritrean restaurants to relive the experiences of the past.

Can any one advise me please?

Date:January 29, 2003 3:14 PM
From:Bent Knudsen (Haderslev Denmark)

In 1993-95 I served as port officer for the W.F.P. in Assab. It was a wonderful experience, my work yes, but especially getting to know the people there. I made so many good friends.

Unfortunately I was forced to retire for health reasons. Now I wonder if time - and money will allow me to return. Has Assab been connected through the internet?

I was known as captain Bent.

My best regard.

Date:January 27, 2003 2:50 AM
From:Grady Olmstead (Nashville, Tennessee U.S.A.)

I was stationed there at Kagnew Station from January '69 til July '70 with my twin brother. We knew quite a few of the Itialians that lived there at that time. The city (Asmara) sure has changed a lot since 69/70.

Date:Thursday, January 23, 2003 1:37 AM

Dear Mebrat and Hans

My family lived in Eritrea since 1865 in Massawa, Keren, Akordat and finally in Asmara. My children including myself and my father are born in Eritrea. After the liberation of Eritrea I left the country because of heart deceases and live in in USA with my children.

I saw your website, sent by my brother and watching the photos of the city literally I was there, remembering my old good days spent in that beautiful, lovely friendly country. I have a dream to visit my old native place, if God wish and my health permits me.

My heartiest congratulation and best wishes to the people of ERITREA.


Date:Tuesday, January 07, 2003 5:53 PM
From:Frank Morrow (Arab Alabama USA)

Good Information.  I was US military stationed at Kagnew Station in the early 1970s.  Best duty station I ever had.  Some of your pictures bring back good memories.


Date:Saturday, January 04, 2003 12:40 AM
From:Patricia Norman (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Hi, I have been researching Asmara for the past couple of weeks, and fell upon your website. I am volunteering for an organization previously called Olympic Aid, now known as Right to Play, and I will be stationed in Asmara by early March. Your website has been extremely helpful for my own personal research since I found it difficult to find pictures of the city and its people. I have taken a few notes of important things to bring with me from the tips you have revealed in your notes. If you have any other information that you feel would be beneficial for my travels please email me, Thank you for putting your story on the web.

Sincerely, Patricia Norman


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