Eritrean Queen

We were born and raised in a beautiful tiny country called Eritrea. I bet you never heard of it. You know Ethiopia? It’s like above there. We were having a happy childhood like any other children. We became profoundly deaf at age 7 at the same time due to unknown causes, we were playing together in the backyard of our parent’s house, our mother was trying to call our names and we did not hear at all. Our mother approached us and tapped on our shoulder. she had noticed that we babbled at a young age but then did not respond our names consistently. My parents were not aware that we couldn’t hear.

My parent discussed seeing a doctor, however, my father was in denial that we were deaf. They took us to see a variety of doctors searching for help in Eritrea, Ethiopia and USA where we had many hearing tests. The doctor put the hearing aid in both of our ears. We started to recognise the sounds and we hated it. It took us a while to accepted that we were deaf. Being deaf doesn’t stop us from what we want to do because we can do anything except hear. We thanked our parent for giving up their life for us when we moved to the UK because of our deafness and opportunity for a better life and education.

Before we became deaf, we remember the sound of church bells, chicken clucking, rain and conversation. Whilst in the civil war in Eritrea, we always heard the sound of gun fires and explosion, it is so loud it sounds like it’s coming from the next room, we had to hide in the bathroom to protect ourselves and it is terrifying. I remember my mother was talking to her neighbour by the gates, we caught gun fires in the sky like a star shooting.

We were invited to our neighbour’s birthday party, it was supper. There were little rolls, things to munch on, sandwiches and most important of all – a cake. Boys were invited as well as girls. We had a game contest. Something is going on over the hill and you can simply feel that something is coming. At that moment my mother and maid managed to run back to neighbour’s and get to us and we didn’t understand what the war was. An explosion went off behind us, Heroda tripped over while our mother was holding her hand, she was sweating with fear and sadness and pulled her hard, came back to our home and checking if we’re all ok but it was terrible.

Okay, let’s talk about the traditional dress called Zuria for special Eritrean occasion. We wanted to be like our mother when we were growing up and looked up to her, having her hair braided and being decorated with henna, gold jewellery and put on the beautiful Zuria dress – Our Eritrean queen. We got the modern dress for our friend’s wedding in July and it was magical.

The colour is bold yet simple and beautiful embroidery, kutisha choker and our mother’s gold earrings with a pair of the £47 Converse high top.

We all know habesha wedding are fun. You have no idea how huge they are – I’m talking about people, yes hundreds of people like wedding crashers. I mean Eritrean community know everybody and everybody. Not just the celebration but reunion and of course Eritrean foods. Yummy. The dance takes hours and hours of Eritrea dance on the dance floor. We all know heels hurts and they’re bad for you right? Think you can’t wear trainer to a wedding and party. Yes, the trainer on its own or can replace the heel because it is always good to have the backup pair of the trainer. We love converse goes with everything from casual to night out – easy and totally cool.

We may travel to Eritrea this year, hopefully, and we can show you our motherland with lots of pictures.


Hermon’s wearing:

Zuria dress | Kutisha choker | Gold earrings | Converse 

Heroda’s wearing:

Zuria dress | Kutisha choker | Gold earrings | Converse 

Photos by Victoria Metaxas 

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