A book and a yellow flower to my friend Ararat Eyob.

18/01/2018 13:29 PM

A book and a yellow flower

to my friend Ararat Eyob.

by Kiki Tzeggai

to my friend Ararat Eyob

A book and a yellow flower to my friend Ararat Eyob.

When we were young and I called you “best friend” you were also (to me) my dream future-sister-in-law. And when we were teen age girls in Asmara, we laughed, exchanged fashion ideas and damaged my brother’s bike trying to learn how to ride it. Those days at your house with your beloved Mom smiling at us with the twist music screaming and flying out of the windows; your sister Mehret listening to our writings….you and I loved writing, remember that Ararat? But you mastered that skill better than me; you gathered writings on paper and words poured like rain drops. Your soul always belonged to books and reading was your home. Later on in our lives, our turn came to walk to the movie the young ones. We took that responsibility seriously and the pocket money Dr. Eyob or my older brothers gave us was spent wisely. Do you also remember that Ararat?

At once your family moved to Addis Abeba/Ethiopia. I asked my mother to let me go to Addis for the summer and visit my aunt. But my main purpose was to find you. I did. Two decades later this is what you wrote to me {“With much respect and remembrance of all our teen age lives, including the one where you came to visit us in Addis and found the house all by yourself!!! A great feat at the time with no internet and Addis being what it was.” {Ararat Eyob}

I remember that day clearly. As you said it right, no internet, and no cell. Phones…but with the help of a cousin, I made it to find your family’s house in a foreign country. That day you and I cooked the “Bolognese” sauce my mother taught you the secrets about and shared our family’s recipe with you. And this what you wrote to me in your last letter: {“I thought the women in my family were great cooks but then I had an additional teacher, your mother! To date I actually cook Bolognese sauce learnt from her and a couple of other recipes for spaghetti. I never started on baking but I remember the cake with jam that she usually made.” {Ararat Eyob}

Down the road we both migrated to different countries and it was your turn to look for me and find me through a common friend. These words will be forever marked in my heart. For, you were arrested by the enemy too at the same time my husband was and you had the courage to tell me when others pretended not to know me anymore. As straight forward as you have always been, this is what you wrote to me: {“You may not know but I was in Asmara as your husband was taken away from you. A former Ethiopian prisoner - of all people - came to our office and told us everything…his name is…and you can reach him at"…. {Ararat Eyob}.

And your last advise to me {" I know you like writing…keep writing, never let this skill go.. "{Ararat Eyob}

Ararat dear, the last time you and I talked over the phone, you asked me to be strong. We both cried. Now that you must leave us, know that the world would have loved to keep you a bit longer. The memory of our days in Edaga Hamus, the laughter, the Eritrean sun we owned…all a scrapbook of our memories I will forever cherish.Your loss teaches me that we can all go in a blink of an eye and only heaven knows when it is time to say goodbye. You are a friend to many, to me my best one. I will hold you dear, but just one more time – Ararat Eyob – I want to say how much I love you. In this new journey of yours - please - take along a book and a yellow flower. I promise that I will keep writing to all of you.

Give a hug to my Berhane and another one to Mehret. I know they were at the gates of Heaven waiting for you.

Your friend

Kiki Tzeggai
January 18, 2018

"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything."

" Peace is a wall we will all create by building it brick-by-brick together". (Trade mark)

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In Loving Memory: Ararat Iyob

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