The development of cultural awareness is a critical component of nation-building. It helps to create a more cohesive society by acting as a binding agent, acting against the stresses from without. In Eritrea this is a particularly important component to nation-building as the memory of the brutality of colonial subjugation is waning as the current generation has little memory of it.
To this end it is similarly important, if not a symbiotic result, to delve deeper into our history and document it. As research into the Eritrean history and its interaction with its neighbors develops we are bound to find surprising relationships. To this end, the evidence seems to point to the famed Russian author Alexander Pushkin, to be part Eritrean.
His great grandfather was General Abraham Petrovich Hannibal and he was kidnapped from his village as a young boy from his village just south of the Eritrean capital, Asmara (Lagwen is shown below). Through a circuitous journey Abraham was eventually brought to the Russian Empire and became a General. In recognition of his lineage, the Government of the Russian Federation as decided to cement the connections between Eritrea and Russia.
Near the current Asmara Public Library a monument of bronze will be erected to Alexander Pushkin while near the Milano restaurant a Pushkin Center will be constructed.1 This is a tremendous coup for the people of Eritrea as it brings recognition of our history to the global stage. Further it will help young Eritreans recognize the importance of developing our cultural heritage while safeguarding our country’s youth.
Further the Pushkin Center, which will function as a library will be an impetus to young readers to consume more books. The apetite of Eritreans for knowledge is voracious and hopefully the young, the future of the State, will embrace this new library as the have the existing library.