• Issayas Tesfamariam

An Eritrean in the US in ?! Part II


In 2016, I interviewed an older member of the Elefe family in Asmara. He told me that Mr. Abraha first returned to Asmara to visit his family in the early 1940s. He recalled that when he asked Mr. Abraha about his life, Mr. Abraha replied that he decided to remain in New York instead of returning to the ship, at the behest of two Eritreans who were already residing in New York in 1924. I am doing a research on the other two people that were mentioned.


Standing: second from the left, Aboi Elefe Newatu and

third from the left: Abraha Elefe, Asmara, Eritrea, 1943.

Mr. Abraha married an African American woman and had four children (the only surviving child/now 72 years old is named Toldemedhin Abraha Elefe: more on this later).


Mr. Abraha with his two daughters: Gloria and Millie.

Mr. Abraha joined the US Army in the early 1940s. In the family circle, it is believed that Mr. Abraha fought in Italy during World War II and also in Korea. So far, I have not found any documentation of the aforementioned, but have the following picture dated: August 8, 1943 (on the back). Also notice that it states: Da tuo fratello/from your brother, Abraha.



Of course, there is more to the story than what I have written so far, but I am still working on it, which I found out will also lead me to the history of the early migrants of the Eritrean community in New York.


Mr. Abraha Elife in the early 1970s.

If you have any information or want to share on the early Eritrean community in New York, please send me through the contact section of this website.

Next, part III.


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