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The Struggling State

The Struggling State: Nationalism, Militarism, and the Education of Eritrea OPEN ACCESS

Jennifer Riggan
Copyright Date: 2016
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 254
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  • Book Info
    The Struggling State
    Book Description:

    This book examines the rise and collapse of Mongol rule in Iran and Iraq, and its revival by a family of sultans who claimed to be the rightful heirs to the Mongol khans. The Jalayirids offers a glimpse at a long overlooked but critical period in the history of the Middle East in the late medieval period.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-1272-0
    Subjects: Anthropology
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Table of Contents

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  1. Teacher Ezekiel woke up and found that his head was resting on a pile of Kalashnikovs. He could feel the rocking motion of the boat and the sun beating down on him, his body soaked in sweat. Squinting, he opened his eyes and scanned his belongings; everything he owned of any worth was in a pile around him. Next to his head, two feet, wearingshida,the black plastic sandals emblematic of Eritrean fighters, were anchored on top of his radio. Opening his eyes a little wider in the bright sunlight, he looked up at the fighter who was scanning...

  2. In the middle of Sema’atat Square in Asmara is an unusual sculpture. The size of a small car, surrounded by flowering hedges, made of metal, is theshida—a tribute to the commonly worn plastic sandals. Bicycles, taxis, cars, buses, even the occasional donkey cart pass by this heavily trafficked circle at a major intersection in Asmara. Pedestrians walk past hurrying on their way to somewhere else, many of them wearingshida. Theshida—an object common to every household and everyday life—is at once a symbol of the Eritrean everyman and everywoman and a glorification of Eritrea’stegadelti,...

  3. In July 2002, my husband and I were staying in central Asmara. Much of my husband’s time that summer was devoted to finding a rental house for his family, who had been living in one room in a “suburb” of Asmara that lacked running water and latrines. One morning, my husband had gone off to pursue this task, and, as I sat peacefully trying to write, the phone rang. A voice that I did not recognize on the other end told me in a combination of broken English and Italian that my husband was “incarcele” and that he would...

  4. A couple of days after I arrived in Eritrea in August 2003, I ran into two friends who were elementary school teachers. With a grin they asked me, “Jenni, have you heard? They are going to give us horses and cowboy hats when we teach!” We shared a hearty laugh about that. They were referencing the workshop they were attending on what teachers dubbed the “new curriculum.” Teachers who were in Asmara to attend end-of-summer teacher training sessions were under the impression that they were being trained to implement a curriculum based on Texas’s standardsbased curriculum, 1 although no one...

  5. It was October 2003 in the Senior Secondary School in Assab at 7:20 in the morning, ten minutesafterthe flag ceremony was scheduled to begin. A teacher stood on the podium next to the flagpole, lecturing the hundred or so students who stood in scraggly rows in front of him. He complained that only 30 percent of the student body was regularly attending the flag ceremony. The students applauded in the middle of his speech, and a teacher standing beside me laughed and told me that meant they wanted him to stop talking. No one was in uniform.


  6. The Junior Secondary School compound was surrounded on three sides by a wall topped with broken glass and by the Red Sea on the other. This was a relatively small compound, and most of the school and students were within eyesight of a teacher, guard, or administrator at all times. Yet the wall had not been doing a particularly good job of keeping students in place. Large numbers of students had been drifting in late or fleeing from the school compound during the day. Students in the Junior Secondary School were supposed to not only remain in the school during...

  7. September 12, 2005, was the day after New Year’s in the Ge’ez (Orthodox) calendar. It had been a tense two months as we tried to get an exit visa for my husband. My fieldwork was finished, my funding was ending, and our nerves were growing frayed by the constant uncertainties of the coercive state—would my husband be sent to the desert, transferred to Asmara, or left indefinitely in Assab? Would we have enough money to live on with my funding ending? Would a war break out again, drawing everyone into the military? Would he be detained in another round...

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International
This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International.
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