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Eritrea, Extinguished in Asmara the Medeber fire

Marilena Dolce

Eritrea, extinguished in Asmara the Medeber fire


Medeber is safe.

In Eritrea, in Asmara, the fire which flare up last Sunday in Medeber has been extinguished.

Medeber is safe.

Not the whole area of ​​Medeber, famous for being an outdoor “forge”, is burnt.

A place with many small workshops, where you work above all metal and where anything returns as new.

In fact, the art of recycling is the norm in Medeber.

Since always when something breaks, you do not throw it. You go to Medeber.

The streets, as you leave the center towards Medeber, become unpaved, bright red. Of the same color of the iron in the earth. The same iron that many craftsmen work in their workshops at the former Caravanserai.

Once in the Casa delle Carovane, in fact, the convoys stopped before reaching the coast and the port of Massawa.

Medeber, today, is a place much loved by tourists and indicated in travel guides. It is a unique place where sounds, smells and colours are mixed. The colour red, earth, fire, berberè often prevailing.

For this reason it was alarming to read that it no longer existed.

That Medeber was destroyed.

Fortunately, it is not so.

Those who live nearby say that, unfortunately, small fires like last Sunday can happen. Working with fire is risky and safety conditions, while being outdoors, may be insufficient.

But it was not a “huge fire” that “destroyed one of the most beautiful historical monuments in Asmara”. The news was given by the “Eritrean Press”.

The post reports a long work to try and extinguish the fire. Adding that the fire has destroyed “450 small businesses” and that Medeber was burned.

The image accompanying these words is from March 2009. A little old-dated to be news.

To be fair, it must be said that immediately after the release of this article that denies the devastating fire, Eritrean Press corrected the news. Adding that its source was Voice of America Tigrigna. It remains to be asked, why a partial fire has become a total fire for VoA.

However, there is some good news.

Medeber is fine. You can still work in it, as this morning’s pictures show. The fire did not destroy it by taking away the crafts that excels there.

For sure Sunday’s fire can be a wake-up call, for Medeber should more stringent security measures. It is one of Asmara’s many jewels and must not be lost.

Fortunately, this has not happened for now. With great happiness of those who love Asmara.

Marilena Dolce

Marilena Dolce, giornalista. Da circa dieci anni viaggio verso il Corno d'Africa e da altrettanti scrivo ciò che vedo. Soprattutto per Eritrea ed Etiopia ma non solo. Dal 2012 scrivo per EritreaLive, notizie e racconti in diretta dall'Eritrea. Perchè per capire il mondo bisogna uscire dal proprio quartiere, anche solo leggendo.

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