By Amanuel Biedemariam
For twenty years, Eritreans in the diaspora have been forced to focus on the situation in Eritrea. Every day that went-by was a struggle as the situation in Eritrea was tough to say the least. Eritreans were inundated with news that made them feel uneasy.
As a result, Eritrean community was focusing on helping their country anyway they can. In the process, overlooked were the lives, the stories, achievements and businesses of Eritreans all over.
Eritreans are industrious, technical and brilliant entrepreneurs that have been able to adopt and strive everywhere they went. That story is yet to be told.
One such story is Abraham Melles’s who came to the US in 1998 from Eritrea and quickly established as one of the promising entrepreneurs that achieved many successes in relatively short period of time.
Abraham opened Enjera restaurant as Eritrean cuisine against the advice of many who wanted him to promote it as Ethiopian but insisted to promote Enjera restaurant as Eritrean cuisine and did very well until he sold it for profit and moved on to other ventures.
Abraham has a good eye for business. A year after he came to the US and settled in Virginia he founded Crystal Parking, a Virginia-based parking services company. Crystal Parking has been operating for 18 years as parking management for businesses, special events, valet parking, transportation and temporary staffing company successfully. Abraham Melles has employed thousands, many of whom are Eritreans. These are Eritreans with little or no experience being acclimated to life in the US.
His latest ventures caught my attention because, this time Abraham is hoping to create opportunities in Eritrea and in the US simultaneously.
Abraham recently opened Star Hotel, a 28-room boutique hotel in Asmara, Eritrea and, in August of 2018, Abraham opened Delina Eritrean Urban Kitchen, 50-seat tapas-style restaurant that serves Eritrean cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland, 20 minutes outside DC, that he named after his 10-year-old daughter.
Abraham is always thinking about growing his business ventures while embracing his community, providing employment and business opportunity for all. In fact, in the very near future, Delina Kitchen will open a restaurant in Arlington, Virginia.
Delina Kitchen is very appealing because it is modern, hip and designed to expand beyond the Metro DC area and all over the country if not the world. Abraham Melles is one such person that could accomplish that.
Delina Restaurant is serving an area that is home to Marriott Headquarters, National Institute of Health (NIH) and other major multi-national organizations. Delina creatively engages the community by providing healthy fun positive environment. They also have Jazz music on Thursdays.
Abraham Melles is an inspiration, he is part of the Eritrean Diaspora story that we must all tell from now on.