Asmara (meaning "The four made them unite" in Tigrinya), is the capital city and largest settlement in Eritrea. With a population of around 650,000 inhabitants, it sits at an elevation of 2,325 metres. The city is located at the tip of an escarpment that is both the northwestern edge of the Eritrean highlands and the Great Rift Valley in neighbouring Ethiopia.
Asmara is famous for its well-preserved colonial Italian Art Deco modernist architecture, its lively downtown markets, and the combination of its Christian and Islamic cultures.
At the Medebar market in Asmara, literally everything is being recycled in one way or another, and put out for sale. Medebar is an huge 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 could appear to be rubble.
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 in a completely different form. People at the Medebar market take recycling seriously, are dedicated to their work and take pride in it. One can only strongly admire those people who are bravely working every day in circumstances which are not easy at all.
A boy wearing an Eritrea tracksuit stands proudly in front of the family's workshop.