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  • Issayas Tesfamariam


Eritrea’s rich history starting as the birth of human civilization to its long arduous struggle for Independence and the many acts of bravery and heroism have yet to be fully told. Eritrea’s struggle for independence against Ethiopia that was supported first by the United States, and later by the Soviet Union and its satellites required extraordinary determination, discipline and coordination. The many battles that were waged, the underground hospitals and schools that were built, the participation of the Eritrean public inside and outside the country, the personal and community relationships that existed have yet to be fully written.

The number of books that have been written is a drop in a bucket. There are however many wonderful books in print. In the past, those of us in the

diaspora had limited options to get a hold of these books. We had to overload books when we visited Eritrea. We asked family and friends to get us a copy of a book when they visited or we borrowed books when we can. When books were on sale, they were on first come first serve basis and quickly run out. Alas, thanks to Hdri Media (, those with android based mobile phones and tablets can now have an opportunity to full access of some wonderful books in digital form. is a website that provides access to books published by HDRI PUBLISHERS, the largest publishing house in Eritrea. As of this writing of this article, Hdri Media has made 22 electronic books and a wonderful dictionary available on the Andriod Marketplace (

Recently, Hdri Media has started to sell books on Amazon’s marketplace worldwide. Currently, there are four books on sale on

1. ግፍዒ (Gfei)

2. ኤርትራ፡ ካብ ፈደረሽን ናብ ጐበጣን ሰውራን (Eritrea: From Federation..)

3. መፈጸምታ (Mefetsemta)

4. ተደጎል (Tedegol)

As more books come online, we must do our part to purchase the once available. This is an extraordinary opportunity to read the many facets of Eritrea’s struggle for independence and learn from those who gone through fire and have lived to tell about it. This is also our opportunity to support those who have spent their precious time living the painful past to record history. We must do our part to encourage these great authors by purchasing their books, reading them and giving valuable feedback so many more wonderful books can be written.

Hdri Publishers had published an amazing collection of books written by established authors like Alamin Mohammed Said, Alem Seghed Tesfai, Zemhret Yohannes, Tekeste Fekadu, Tekie Tesfai, Musa Aron, Tekie Beyene, ....

One of the first books published by Hdri Publishers were Alamin’s Sewra

Eritrea and Solomon Dirar’s qiya commando. Notable among its publications however are its series on “zantat tezekrotat ghedli” “The Stories of the Ghedli Memory” Hdri Media (

There are now 8 volumes in the series including:

1. “ዝኽርታት ሓመድ-ድበ ናደው” (Memories of Nadew’s funeral), published in March 2013, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary (Silver jubilee) of the demolition of Ethiopia’s Nadew command resulting in the liberation of the town of Afabet..

2. “መቐይሮ” (Turning point), published in March 2014, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the annihilation of Wuqaw division dislodging the Ethiopian army from North-Eastern Sahel, near the Red Sea coast.

3. “ፈንቅል” (Dislodge), published in February 2015, in commemoration of the heroic mission to liberate the port city of Massawa in February 1990.

4. “መፈጸምታ” (Conclusion), published in May 2016 in commemoration of Eritrea’s 25th independence anniversary (Silver jubilee) of May 24, 1991.

5. “ደጀን” (Base), published in May 2016 contains the revolutionary life in the strategic bases, the practical application of the principle of self-reliance that sprouted in the liberated areas, a map of the various liberated area locations the creativity and ingenuity of the revolutionaries in the areas of small industry, healthcare, social welfare, child development and public services, agricultural development, education, political and military training, news and public information (voice of the masses), etc.

6. “ገድሊ ደቀንስትዮ” (Women’s struggle), published in May 2016 contains stories of Eritrean women’s struggle against societal and social challenges and their heroic contributions in the revolution.

7. “ናቕፋ” (Nakfa), published in April 2017 in commemoration of Nakfa’s 40th anniversary of its liberation, contains heroic revolutionary stories of the battles that took place in the vicinity of the indomitable Nakfa, the town that was never recaptured by the Ethiopian army once it was liberated in March 23, 1977.

8. “ግፍዒ” (Atrocity), published in June 2017 in commemoration of Martyrs’ day of June 20, details horrific stories of the atrocities and massacres committed by the Ethiopian army of occupation on Eritrea civilians.

9. "ሓምድ እድሪስ ዓዋተ" (Hamid Idris Awate), published in June 2018 is the biography of Eritrean patriot, Hamid Idris Awate, who fired the first shot on September 1, 1961, which announced the beginning of the armed struggle for Eritrea's independence.

10. "Eritrean Journey", published in July 2018 is a coffee table photo-journal essay picturebook by Robert Papestein and a preface by Professor Asmarom Legesse.

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