Eritrea is located on the Horn of Africa (North East Africa), and borders with Ethiopia on the south, Djibouti on the southeast, Sudan on the northwest, and Red Sea on the east. Eritrea, with a land area of about 125.000 km2, is roughly the size of England. The coastline measures around 1.200 km and off it there are over 350 islands, of which 210 comprise the area of the Dahlak Archipelago. The population of Eritrea is about 6 million and the capital is Asmara.
WEATHER & CLIMATE
‘Three seasons in two hours’. There is no time of year that is particularly unsuitable for visiting Eritrea. Eritrea is located at the highest landmass of the African continent. Eritrea has a variety of climatic conditions. The country has three major zones the central highlands, the coastal region, and western lowlands. Each zone has a different climatic condition.
Eritrean history is home to some of the oldest civilizations on the continent. It came under the control of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, and later of the Egyptians. The Italians captured the coastal areas in 1885, and the Treaty of Uccialli (May 2, 1889) gave Italy sovereignty over part of Eritrea.
In the discussions for the disposal of Italian colonies, the winners of the war failed to agree on what to do with Eritrea and subsequently the issue was brought to the newly formed organization, the United Nations, which decided to federally link Eritrea with Ethiopia. Nonetheless, Ethiopia started to violate the terms of the federation from the outset, totally annexing Eritrea in 1962. As repeated appeals to the international community about Ethiopia’s violations did not bear fruit, an armed struggle became the only option left for Eritreans. After the abolition of the federation, the armed struggle was launched in 1961.
On April 1993, after 30 years of war with Ethiopian regime, Eritrean people have voted unanimously in favor of their independence. However, Eritrea might have been a new nation on map but it’s the oldest civilization in Africa. Adulis was an ancient port of Red Sea coast and it was important in staging post in the trade between Mediterranean, southern Arabia, East Africa, and Indian Ocean before. Today, many archaeologists are investigating to find an answer to ‘the buried civilization’.
Eritrea has a roughly population of 6 million inhabitants. Although Eritrea has nine heterogeneous tribes but the fabric of the society is homogeneous by any standard. All nine tribes have lived in harmonious environments and have an utmost respect for each other since the cradle of civilization. There are nine ethnic groups in Eritrea, which are: Afar, Bilen, Hedareb, Kunama, Nara, Rashaida, Saho, Tigre and Tigrinya.
RELIGION & LANGUAGE
Eritrean society is roughly divided among Christians and Muslims. A small number of Eritreans practice traditional African religions. The main working languages are Tigrigna and Arabic. Also, there are other languages are spoken in Eritrea: Afar, Bilen, Hedarb, Kunama, Nara, Tigre and Saho. English is the medium of instruction from middle school level upwards.
Eritrea’s economy is based primarily on agriculture, minerals sector, light industry, fisheries and services, including tourism. Investment in exploration activities for reserves of oil, natural gas, and other minerals provide a potential source for the expansion of export receipts. Eritrea’s natural mineral resources include gold, copper, potash, zinc, oil, natural gas, cement, gypsum, granite, marble, ceramics, limestone and iron ore.
FRED HOLLOWS IOL LAB - ERITREA
The Fred Hollows IOL Laboratory Asmara, Eritrea was established in 1994 with the financial and technical support provided by the Fred Hollows Foundation in Australia with the express intention of providing high quality affordable IOLs for use in extra-capsular cataract extraction and lens replacement surgery (ECCE+IOL)