The Ogaden Community Cultural Group participated the Grand 15 Eritrean Festival in the UK that took place on 25 -26 July 2015 at Lee Valley Leisure Complex Centre Edmonton, London United Kingdom.IMGA0015
The Ogaden National Liberation Front high officials were among the guests of honour at the Opening Ceremony. Abdirahman Mahdi the ONLF Foreign Secretary who was among the many international guest speakers at the Eritrean festival has praised the Eritrean people’s spirit and their hard fought freedom for their independence.
Abdirahaman Mahdi said “Since the early 18th and 19th Century the History of Somali people and that of Eritrean people in the horn of Africa were in the same page. For centuries now we had common pains, common oppressions and we had common themes”.
Abdirahman Mahdi said in his speech that the Ogaden people stands with the Eritrean people with whatever the circumstances. “We are and we will be with the Eritrean people” he said.
He continued his speech to much-admired the Eritrean leadership who fought and stood for their people. He said “the Eritrean leaders are common people like ordinary Eritrean people you would be very pleased when you see a country made of 9 nations and two religions (Islam and Christianity) living peacefully and holding their hands, praying together, working together and sharing their resources equitably. Eritrea is an example to the whole of Africa and particularly to the Ogaden people who are fighting for their freedom and justice.
IMGA0008The grand 15the Eritrean Festival this year opened with the welcoming speech by Festival task force speeches by Mr Ahmed Mohamed followed by the Ambassador Estifanos Habtemariam and many guest Speakers from Africa and Europe including UK MPs, Local Councillors, activists and Politicians.
A two day colourful cultural event and seminars attracted thousands of crowds of Eritrean community from all over the UK. The Ogaden Community Cultural group, South African Cultural Troupe and famous Artist and Bands from Eritrea including Halen Males the Famous Eritrean singer were entertaining the crowds at the lee Valley.
The Festival is an important occasion for harmony, consolidation of Eritrean unity, strengthen the Eritrean culture and identity, promoting higher mobilization and organization, developing Eritrean capacity and ingenuity and finally for recreation and entertainment of Eritreans.

African Youth Symposium
The Festival Program was unique this year. It brought together African youth to offer the chance to debate and create a forum for the African youth. A Panellists from Ogaden, South Africa, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Gambella and Rwanda presented a short report followed by question and answers from different topics at the African youth Symposium.
IMGA0020Ms Juweriya Bixi a young out spoken activist from the Ogaden Youth and Student Union (OYSU) presented a report entitled “How to Unveil the rape and atrocities against young people in the Ogaden” at the African Youth Symposium. The Questions of hidden genocide in Africa led to the debate how to high light in to the mainstream media.
Thousands of people including families with their children were able to enjoy the festival which took place at a time of great historical cultural significant to Eritreans. It will depict the socio-economic and traditional values of the people of Eritrea.


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