Engineer Tedros Mehari
Q: Before we start, tell what topic you would like to speak on.
A: In this day and age the thing that has become most vital to the humanity is technology. Now with this being my area of expertise, I fell that this is knowledge that I should share with the people of my nation.
Q: Why don’t we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, so that we may get a general idea on who you are?
A: My name is Tedros Mehari Embaye. I was born in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1974 and I was raised there for almost all of my childhood. When I was 17, I migrated to Sweden. Before going to Sweden, I had already completed my Secondary education, so I was technically supposed to enter university, but because I needed to get accustomed to the Swedish language it took me around three years before I finally mastered the language and entered university. I then completed my university education in Software Programming. After I had completed my education, I worked at various companies in order to gain experience. Finally in 2013 I founded a Engineering Consulting company which I am still working at to this day. The main focus of this company is in computer development and it specifically works in solving, and consulting on computer development issues, and also creating designs for this field. At this moment the company has 13 permanent employees and 8 employees that work on a contractual basis.
Q: So, you were born in Ethiopia and went on to migrate to Sweden. You have never lived in Eritrea, yet we have seen you do a lot of good for your nation, such as your educational seminars at NUEYS. Tell us where, for someone who has lived in the diaspora for all of their lives, where does such dedication to your nation come from.
A: Well, the main influence began from right in my own home. The way I was raised was a very important factor. First, from when I was young my parents raised me and taught me to love my nation. Secondly, when I moved to Sweden it was around the time when Eritrea achieved its independence, so being around that kind of environment also had its own influence. Also, I’ve never been absent from any Eritrean gathering in the diaspora. Another fact is that since the year 2000 I’ve been coming to Eritrea every year. When you add all of these facts up I think you can get the basic reasoning for why I dedicate myself so much towards my nation. Though also, another reason might be the fact that western policies toward Eritrea have pushed me closer to my nation.
Q: As you have said you have been in field of computer engineering for around 18 years. Looking back at all those years, tell us some of the obstacles you faced.
A: Well, the obstacles are many. One is that the nation and system that you are in is not of your own. The principles we carry as a people have little to no relation to theirs. In fact if we go into listing the obstacles they are too numerous, but the main thing is how strong you are mentally and what Point of View you use to look at them. No matter how hard things get if you look at the bright side of things you can use that to beat the obstacles that are in your way. I grew up with my grandmother watching her and how she would surpass the obstacles in her life, and so I live my life now always looking at the bright side of things. But there are always huge problems, for example racism is a huge issue in today’s society. Though, at the end of the day we should always look at things with a calm mindset. Wherever we go we will always be faced with obstacles in our lives, but instead of counting obstacles we should count our blessings.
Q: What is Technology?
A: Technology is a field of inventions and innovations we use in our daily lives to simplify the jobs we do. A lot of times I hear a lot of negative talk from people who don’t see technology in a positive light. But technology has never been the problem; the problem has always been how we use the technology. On the contrary, technology has helped Human-kind reach the highest levels of development and continues to do so. Now if we are going off of this thought, then the next question we have to ask ourselves is how we should be using technology.
Q: In this time that we live in we hear a lot of analysis on technology on a daily basis. The idea that we should not be taking the strength of technology so lightly, because of the possible dangers it can elude too, especially the fear of technology one day has the capacity to overtake humanity is a very big fear for a lot of people. What do you think about this?
A: Yes, this is exactly the type of heavily exaggerated talk we hear on a daily basis. Most companies are owned by a singular entity. Now since these singular entities want the most profit, they’ll obviously want to have the most control over the people who are the source of their profit. Truthfully this is a very big concern. These big companies work hard to get into your deepest emotions and control you through them. But if we can understand how these industries work behind the curtains, we can find a way to fight it. If we try and reduce the amount of time, we use technology in a way where we take what we need and stay away from the rest, this is a big first step.
Q: Before we get into our next topic is there anything else you would like to say.
A: First, technology is a field we can profit from and not the direct source of our problems. If we can use technology properly in the right context, there is not another field we will profit from more. And if we are to use it to its full potential, we must first understand what it is specifically and how it works behind the scenes.
Q: I’ve heard of your connections to Sheda media. Could you elaborate on this and also specifically elaborate on Sheda media itself.
A: Well, right now I am the Chief Editor of Sheda Media. That is probably my main connection to Sheda Media. Sheda Media is a part of a bigger platform called Sheda Network. Sheda Network has various platforms which are: Sheda Media, Sheda Animation, Sheda Commerece, and Sheda Magazine. But people are mostly familiar with Sheda Media, and rightly so because that is the one, we are putting most of our effort into. In Sheda Media there are a lot of big-names that write for it. Sheda Media writes detailed analysis and research pieces on the platform. In all we write pieces that put a spotlight on the true image of Eritrea. There have been many known people who have written for our page such as, historian and writer Mr.Alemseged Tesfai, writer Zemhiret Yohannes. There have also been foreign nationals such as writer Mr.Abiy Berle, Political analyst from Ethiopia Mr.Omar Benamin, the adviser to the president of the Somali region of Ethiopia Professor Omer Hassen, Professor Ghidweon Abay, the former Finance Minister of Greece Mr.Yasin and others have written on the platform.
Q: Now I will ask you some out of topic questions. What are characteristics you like and dislike within people?
A: The main characteristic I like with in a person is one of a person who when is faced with a difficult problem looks at the advantages of the situation instead of the disadvantages. On the other side a characteristic I don’t like in a person is of a person that says “I can’t do it” or “It’s too hard”, in other words someone who has a negative mindset. In the end the truly successful person can go anywhere and be successful. The question is a mental one not of a physical variable. So, in all, the main characteristic I don’t like is a person who instead of looking at all the positives in his life counts all the negatives.
Q: Tell us specifically in your work life the day that made you the happiest and the one that made you the angriest.
A: My happiest day was the day I started my own company and had employees who worked for me, because it reflected on how far I had come. It was one of the most significant moments of my life, a day I’ll never forget. My angriest day is hard to come by, because I face moments in my everyday life that make me unhappy.
Q: Who is your favorite person and why?
A: My favorite person is my grandmother, because I would not have been able to get where I am today if it wasn’t for her. She was my life mentor. Sadly, she is not with us anymore, but if she was, I would let her know how grateful I am for all the things she ever did for me. The second person who has had the biggest influence on me is President Isaias Afwerki. Although we don’t know each other personally, we have met and spoken on a few occasions. His principle of complete dedication and perseverance to a single cause no matter the hardships have been a huge lesson in my life. In total I am the product of all the moments of my life that I have passed and the people I have met along the way. So, because of this I would like to thank those moments and those people for making me the person I am today.
Well Engineer Tedros that is all. On behalf of this organization and the youth magazine I would like to give you, our gratitude.
You beat me to it, but it is you all who have my gratitude.
Written By: Michael Berhe
Translated By: Raey Berhane