My first #EritreanProfiles thread. This one will be about Weldeab Weldemariam, the father of #Eritrea He had 7 assassination attempts and diplomatically fought for Eritrea’s independence since the 1940s. All sources are at the end as well as videos/images. Enjoy :) #WelWel
Born in 1905 in Adi Zarna, Zoba Debub. Went to SENM school and went on to become its director in 1941, the same year Italians 🇮🇹 were defeated by the British 🇬🇧 and removed from #Eritrea 🇪🇷 and #Ethiopia 🇪🇹
In 1942, he started the first Tigrigna newspaper under the British government. He collaborated with Muslim countrymen to launch the newspaper Hanti Ertrtra (One Eritrea) 🇪🇷✝️☪️. An independence movement with the motto 'Ertra n Ertrawyan' ( #EritreaForEritreans) sprang soon after.
I will cover the political debate of the 1940s in another post. But Woldeab woldemariam was in the Blocco Indipendenza (Independence bloc). There were 4 main political parties. His party was called the Liberal Progressive Party.
The Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea (similar to the UK) formed in 1952 and was dissolved by Emp. Haileselassie in less than a decade. Ato Weldeab was a member of the Eritrean Parliament and Tedla Bairu was the President of Eritrea. I'll cover Federation in a future post.
B/n 1947 & 1953, Ato Weldeab had 7 assassination attempts. The 1950 attempt caught international attention and was covered by outlets like the @nytimes & @Reuters
He covers each one of the assassination attempts here.
While in the hospital he was elected to the National Assembly of Eritrea 🇺🇳 (under Federation), however, his election was annulled by President Tedla Bairu. Weldeab then went into exile.
In 1971 He was interviewed by the @nytimes about the diplomatic fight for independence at the @UN and said “We deny we are secessionists. We only want our independence”
In 1987, after 40 years of exile, he returned to the liberated parts of Eritrea. He gave his famous “who dares touch this throne?!” speech at the 2nd #EPLF conference.
In 1993, he proudly voted YES in the Eritrean Referendum which made independence official and made Eritrea part of the @UN as an independent state. He fought for 60 years to see this moment. 99.83% of Eritreans voted YES in this referendum which was run by the UN 🇺🇳
He passed away in May 1995 at the age of 90. Hope to see institutions like Asmara Airport named for him in the future. The Weldeab WeldeMariam Asmara International Airport or Weldeab Weldemariam University 🙏🏾
“A person doesn’t only belong to his family, the family that gave him his name. He has another bigger household...he has more parents and siblings in addition to the parents and siblings who raised him with love and care. Those would be his fellow countrymen.” #WelWel
British Pathe: 

Eri TV documentary:
Copy of 'Hanati Ertra' newspaper at US Library of Congress: 

UN Archintes on Eth-Eri Federation:

The book #ኣይንፈላለ by historian Alemsegen Tesfay
Sorry, Twitter is breaking the UN link above. Add ) the end of the link and it will work.

Academic research from 1987 on the Federation: 
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