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Eritrea: Eritrean Markets

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Eritrean Markets | Eritrea | Africa

[Visited: January 2004]

As in many other countries both in Africa and elsewhere, markets are a great place to go to in Eritrea. Of course, there are the areas where you can buy fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, grains and lentils, and there are other areas where you can get household goods and souvenirs. All these goods are on offer by women in colourful dresses, and walking around in these areas is a must and a lust for the eye.

Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Traditional Eritrean coffeepots, Asmara market

But the most special market I saw in Eritrea was undoubtedly the Medebar market in Asmara. Here, literally everything is being recycled in one way or another, and put for sale. It is an enormous open-air workshop, where the rhythmic banging fills the air, where men with masks solder pieces of metal together, where women paint newly fabricated furniture, where small boys sort out what, to the ignorant visitor, appears to be rubble.

Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Medebar market in Asmara: recycling champions

It is especially instructive for westerners, who are so used to their throw-away society, in which almost everything that does not work anymore, is just disposed of, to see how everything can be given a new life, be it in the form of a simple repair, or be it in a completely different form. People at the Medebar market take recycling seriously, are dedicated to their work, and take pride in it. I must say that I felt strong admiration for these people who are bravely working every day in circumstances which are not at all easy!

Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Working on metal drum at Medebar Market
Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Workshop in Medebar market, Asmara
Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Recycled materials in new products, Keren market
Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Oil-lamps from used material, Keren market
Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Open-air bicycle shop, Asmara market
Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Grain market in Asmara
Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Preparing peppers at Asmara market
Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Medebar market: goods to be recycled
Picture of Eritrean Markets (Eritrea): Selling Christmas trees in Eritrea - Asmara

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