Dehai News

Poem: Asmara – Africa’s Modernist City

Posted by: Seble Ephrem

Date: Friday, 14 July 2017

Asmara – Africa’s Modernist City

Turning a historical page
A charming quiet city comes of age
Asmara is listed as a World Heritage
Come, visit, and discover a cultural stage.

Asmara outlived extended unjust subjugation
Colonisation, federation, annexation, occupation
Balancing integrity with measured integration
Valiant and dignified, without hesitation.

Arba’te’s women seeking friendship and peace
Met four feuding Chiefs each with her piece
Cemented ties with her eloquent pleas
Asmara, named to honour Arba’te women’s potency.

Cutting edge design in futuristic architecture
Experimental and pioneering infrastructure
Built to suit Italian love for life, style and nurture
Alas, the Campo Cintato is their exclusive enclosure.

Ambitious colonial utopia was shortly crushed
Asmara emerged tall, free, not embittered 
From long years of hurt unbridled
To own, live in, and to restore the fractured.

Asmara evolves to embrace her iconic facade
To merge and to manage the human complexity inside
To include, not exclude or leave anyone aside
Nor to forget memories when elders were dehumanised.

World Heritage inscription is not in tribute, nor to venerate
It is for Asmara to lead, educate and celebrate
A positive message that heritage can regenerate
And be the bridge joining local and global in aggregate.

Asmara, the African city of culture and stature
Clean, artistic, pretty as a picture
Leaving bygones to stand in upright posture
A milestone reached; now on the next phase to a bright future.

Seble Ephrem

ERi-TV Tigrinya news, November 21, 2017

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