Eritrea: Man On Fire With a Lot of Dreams

24 February 2021
interview

Engineer Michael Adam thinks having one job or specializing in just one field of study is not enough. He is a firm believer in constant change and proved it. He started off as a mechanical engineer, then worked as a freelance writer for a Hadas Eritrea and Shebab magazine, translated books, teaches at a college, designs websites and android applications, produces motivational videos, and is often a panelist on Eri-TV's show to discuss current issues. People who work with him admire his virtuous intentions, devotion and relentless efforts to change himself and others around him.

Thank you for your time, so tell us who you are?

My name is Michael Adam. I studied auto mechanics for three years at Asmara Technical School and then went on to work for different governmental organizations for almost five years. In 2005, in an urge to upgrade my knowledge I joined the Institute of Technology at Mai Nefhi. I studied mechanical engineering and graduated in 2012. Now I am working for the government. I love teaching, so I am a part time lecturer at the College of Engineering at Mai Nefhi. I am also a freelance writer for columns on Hadas Eritrea, a daily newpaper in Tigrigna, and Shebab, a magazine of the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students.

What motivated you to study auto mechanics?

One of my inspirations is my grandfather. He had a farm and as a kid I used to visit him and watch him operate all the equipment, especially the water pump. I saw my interest changing with time. When I was in the sixth grade we were asked to fill in a questionnaire by the Ministry of Education asking us what we wanted to be. I wrote I wanted to be a lawyer, politician and teacher. But when I went to high school my focus completely shifted to aviation, and that's the main reason for my choosing auto mechanics.

Let's move on to your other interests. How many books have you translated and how do you select them?

I have translated two books from English to Tigrigna. The first, Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy, was published in 2014 and the other one, called Tefetawit, was published in 2018. Tefetawit is a compilation of eleven short stories. Before I began translating Anna Karenina, I had a plan to translate philosophical thoughts of great minds, and then I changed my mind and stopped after writing some fifty pages. But when after a while I started reading stories by Russian authors, I noticed that their stories have some similarity with our culture. Right then I decided to translate the books. At that time, I was also contributing articles to Hadas Eritrea in a column about the youth, technology and science.

You are also interested in developing mobile application and website design; how did you get into that?

Some of the applications I created are English for beginners and mechanical engineering software I specially made for my students. I also wanted to digitalize our history, and so I compiled the most important events and their descriptions in an application. I will be creating other applications soon, especially if I find a suitable market. But these days I am concentrating on making tutorial and motivational videos.

Tell us more about those tutorial and motivational videos?

I believe the English tutorial video is the first one to be made in our country. It is intended to enhance the English language competence of any one who is able to speak Tigrigna. Also, with the help of a journalist and a poet, Ahmed Omer Shek, I am preparing Arabic learning tutorial. If this turns out to be a success I have plans to produce English language tutorials for speakers of the languages of the seven other ethnic groups. The motivational videos are a self-reflection of my curiosity in philosophy. I want to share what I was reading with others. I share them for free. Also, they are constantly aired on the national radio station.

You do a lot of work and still find time to teach and present political analyisis. How do you do it and what attracted you to teaching?

I told you those two are my childhood dreams, and I will try my best to attain them, particularly teaching. Since the fourth grade I was a prize winner and teachers in every class I attended were fond of me. I think that is how I came to like teachers and teaching.

Thanks for your time again. Is there anything else you would like to say?

I want to remind people, especially the youth, that dreams do come true. So, let's read and develop. Let's work hard and be productive to get better and make our country better.

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