“The passion I have for my country comes from the way I was nurtured”

……………the following is a continuation of the interview posted the previous week.

Does Hidri Group have any cherished initiative with specific target on Eritrean youths? 

Since the world is increasingly inclined towards technology, we want to train youths so that they can avail themselves of being beneficiaries of technological opportunities. One of the potential areas could be coding. Instead of using someone else’s technology, we are passionate about encouraging technological innovation i.e. attributable to Eritrea. After all, the Youth should make use of technology in a constructive way. Gradual implementation of this plan is another goal of Hidri Group. Ultimate this can enable us to ensure that everything is obtained from within Eritrea, by Eritreans and for the benefit of Eritrea. And this is a lesson that we learned from President Isaias Afewerki in an inspiring way.

You are one of the people Ahlem mentions as sources of nationalistic influence in his life: What made you to work together?

We have been motivated by the policy of self-reliance as we opt to inspire the Youth more by trying to bridge our personal opportunities with the national interest. I feel that those of us in the Diaspora should look for ways and means we can do more than representing our people in crucial foreign affairs. I am not undermining what the nationals abroad are doing: Their financial responsibilities for fellow nationals and families of the fallen heroes; protesting in unison the perpetual hostile acts against Eritrea; and more. However, some of us have knowledge and other resources that we can bring here. We can at least do mentorships for youths. There could be a possibility of commuting between Eritrea and our country of residence in a bid to making a contribution of any type here. So, I feel that we should focus on contributions that can be made in the homeland with an immediate impact on the cherished national development schemes.

Any final words?

My dad used to tell the entire family members: You are not in America to be an American. But you are here take the educational and other advantages you can have, go back home and help your country. This is how we grew up and I never forget that. The passion I have for my country comes from the way such sense of nationalism was nurtured in me. My parents came to America and they didn’t have education but they had a vigorous spirit of devotion in respect of involvement in nationalistic affairs. They did what they can for Eritrea by representing it there, while I went to school. Now, I have been educated and acquired the knowledge I need to do something in life. Then, what I am expected to do for my home country should not be limited to my parents’ duties. I should make sure that my country has something from what I have acquired so that the coming generation of youths can do better than the current one. Otherwise, we can’t keep the flow of nationalistic accomplishments to the forthcoming generation of youths by adhering to what our parents abroad have been doing only. I see that more youth members of the Eritrean community in the US are becoming confused by their socio-political system and thus get Americanized easily. They don’t readily get the meaning of the Eritrean community activities their parents are engaged in. I strongly believe that the impact of what our parents have been doing cannot be kept intact without bridging the generational gap of inclination by doing new things which demonstrate Eritrean identity in a salient manner.

Written by Medhanie Tsegai

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