Ahmed Nasser's Eulogy

By Sousan Ibrahim

It couldn't have been more shocking to hear of the passing of our beloved Ahmed Nasser. it was only Monday that I heard him and my father laughing endlessly on the phone and on Wednesday he joined our martyrs and passed away. Not only was he an inspiration to the community, he was a family friend who I often encountered over the telephone and was fortunate enough to have met at the annual Kassel festival. I found that Ahmed Nasser was always very pleasant, attentive and gave sound advice   and I send my deepest condolences to his family.

Many of you know Ahmed Nasser as a comrade, a fighter and a leader; some of you have even fought alongside him. It is needless to speak of all his accomplishments and contributions to the ELF, as I am sure most of you knew him very well. I wish to speak as someone from a generation that was raised listening to stories of sacrifice, not just for the independence of Eritrea, but for freedom and dignity. More than anything we were taught to fight for what is right even if the consequences are death, imprisonment or exile. He was an embodiment of this principle; he sacrificed his life for the future of Eritrea, but ultimately was unable to see this dream realised.

With the passing of such an iconic leader many have looked over the history of the Eritrean struggle and questioned how much has been accomplished and whether life in Eritrea is any better now than it was before independence. Before measuring the success of the revolution we should look at the success of the revolutionaries. After the world was shocked to hear of the death of Ahmed Nasser, letters and commemorations were held far and near to celebrate his life and his accomplishments. Those who knew him and those who did not were touched by his life, most people dream of having an impact on only a handful of people. However, the loss of our martyr has sent shock waves across the globe, for even those that did not know him knew his dream and his principle.

Eritrea may not yet be 'free', but the road to freedom is never short or easy. Eritrea’s independence could not have been won without Ahmed Nasser and his comrades. But after independence new challenges arose and perhaps the passing of Ahmed Nasser and many other great leaders mark the new fight that belongs to another generation. Eritrea, the land drenched with the blood of those who craved freedom, will rise again like the phoenix, and a new era will dawn. Ahmed Nasser and many others have given the Eritrean struggle a legacy of courage, selflessness and humility. The coming generations will forever aspire to continue this road to freedom with the same determination, persistence and dedication that Ahmed Nasser has shown us.

The passing of Ahmed Nasser does not only represent the fall of an iconic figure it represents the continuation of the struggle for Eritrea. His life represents a window to the ELF and provides an alternative narrative for the recent years of Eritrea’s history and the struggle for Eritrea's independence. This alternative story is the reality of our nation. It is this story that my generation carries the burden of telling because it is the truth. It is our responsibility to revive the consciousness of our nation that Ahmed Nasser fought his whole life to keep intact. This was a battle that Ahmed Nasser did not lead alone and we are all privileged to have had fathers and mothers who have continuously fought and sacrificed so much for our liberation and we hope to continue in their footsteps.

Although Ahmed Nasser’s life has passed, his history lives on. And with the valour and hope that will endlessly beat in our hearts, we are forever indebted to those great leaders like Ahmed Nasser for beginning this battle for our rights as Eritreans and we hope that one day we can live this dream and return to the Eritrea that we fought for.