After winning independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea established itself as a country in the Horn of Africa bordered by Sudan and Ethiopia. It has several ethnic groups with the Tigrinyas making up a majority of the population, and the Tigre the next highest. There are three official languages, namely Tigrinya, Arabic, and English, and its capital is Asmara.
As a highly militarized society, Eritrea requires mandatory military service with long conscriptions of undefined duration. Its modern history was as a colony of the Kingdom of Italy where it merged with Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia under the rule of Benito Mussolini in the early 20th century.
Its climate includes hot, coastal plains as well as sub-tropical rainforests. Its wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants and crocodiles. One of its most recognized cultural attractions is the coffee ceremony where the beverage is offered in three brews or phases: the first brew is called awel, or ‘first’; the second is called kalaay or ‘second’; and the third is called bereka, which means ‘to be blessed’.