Eritrea 1968: An Article By The Late Melake Tecle

Long before Microsoft copyrighted “Outlook” there was a high school magazine by that name. I am not sure if former students of the Atzie Dawit Secondary School in Keren can sue for compensation from Microsoft, but I wouldn’t. I am satisfied with the 1968 copy of the school magazine that I have and as it gets older, it becomes more invaluable.

The copy that I have was kept in a store thanks to my late aunt, Dahab Adem Mismar, who kept many papers after my immediate family left town–the last of them were chased out from Keren after it was liberated from the Derg in 1977. But that is another story, now I will just express my gratitude to my late aunt for keeping a copy of the magazine and a few valuable pictures.

The Outlook magazine staff was composed of the following:

English Staff:
Teclay Zerom (11B)
Sub Editor: Tesfamichael Fessahaie (10C)
Reporters: Ibrahim Ukud (10A); Ahmed Hamid (10A); and Kifle Weldesellasie (10C)

Amharic Staff:
Editor: Tereza Tesfamariam (11A)
Sub Editor: Decan Ucbalidet (10B)
Reporters: Kebra Tewelde (10A), Girmai Michael (11A); Abraham Kidane (10A)

Artists: Mohammed Nur Said (11B); and Idris Mohammed Ali (9A)

Of course, it was the golden age of the Keren Secondary School; under the leadership of Ustaz Mohammed Ali, the iconic director of the school, and an array of Eritrean, Ethiopian, Indian, Pakistani, Sri-Lankan and American Peace Corps teachers, the school was involved in so many extra-curricular activities including poultry, boxing, drama, after school lecture including on weird topics like hypnotism and time travel, science shows, gardening, and many other activities. The magazine was a product of that age.

I will present all the articles that appeared in the copy I have in installments. It features articles by Ahmed Haj Ali (the now imprisoned Eritrean minister of mining), Misghinna Yassin, Hassen Ferej, Weldesus Gebrezghi, Decan Uqbalidet, Awate, Elias Mehreteab, Bahlebi Weldense, Hussen Abubaker (my older brother), Abdulhamid Osman, Abdulkarim Mohammed, Kaleab Negusse, Mathewos Hagos, Mohammed Adem.

Until then, today I am featuring a short article by the late martyr Melake Tecle.

Outlook School Magazine
Atzie Dawit Secondary S
chool, Keren, 1968

How Can We Reform Our Minds
(by Melake Tecle, 10B)

Ignorance being darkness, what we need is intellectual light.

This can be, if we avoid waste of time and waste of energy.

“Time and tide wait for no one.” This proverb expresses all that we are expected to do to satisfy the hunger of our minds. By working hard, we can develop our mind. And by developing our mind we can over-come the obstruction that puts its shadow on our lives.

Let us be the masters of ourselves, and rule only ourselves. This can be done simply through study, thought, and efforts to strive to reach only the first stairs of improvement in our mind.

I know some boys who spend their nights praying without working, hoping that the supernatural will help them. This is an absolute ignorance that cannot be lit even by the powerful sunlight.

Worship does not create knowledge nor wealth. Prosperity and intelligence are the children of working.

Let us turn our attention to our working and studies so as to reform our mind. The only way we can reform our mind is through intellectual labor.

Actually it seems Melake was a blogger long before blogging was invented—his short article proves that. But what do you notice from his thinking as a tenth grader in an Eritrean school? Does his writing give a hint that he was destined to join the Eritrean liberation struggle shortly after he wrote the above? How do you think a typical Eritrean tenth grader of today compares to Melake in the way he thinks?

NB: it would be nice if all those who are mentioned sent me their facebook page or contact address so that we can link it to their name…wouldn’t you like to be connected? Currently only Ibrahim Ukud’ and Hussein Abubaker have a link to their facebook pages.


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