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“Cultures that are more than deserving to be put in historical pieces…”

Asst. Professor Issa’s commitments to an East African primogenital ethnic group.
Eritrea’s rich cultural heritage is waiting to be explored and preserved in literary works, other than oral traditions, for generations to come. Asst. Professor Issa is a young Eritrean aspiring to preserve these and more.
Born in Kasala, Sudan, and raised in Tessenei, Eritrea, Assistant Professor Isaa Adim is one of the young Eritrean scholars making contributions in higher education. After the death of his father, Issa’s family and friends joined hands to pay his tuition in a private school. His uncle, an educated Sheik, assisted young Issa to learn languages other than his mother tongue. In 1999 Issa joined Asmara University and studied English. He was then recruited by the university as a graduate assistant. His graduate studies in literature led him to a path that made him an Assistant Professor at the College of Arts and Social Sciences at Adi keih. Issa Adim has published several articles in international magazines and has put out books on local literature. He grabbed Eritrea Profile’s attention as one of the few young academicians devoted to the study of local literature.


  • Thank you for your time. Why literature?

I fell in love with classic literature at the university. After my graduation I was working at the University of Asmara as a graduate assistant (GA). What we, GAs, mainly did back then was provide assistance to the senior staff. I can say that I was able to spare a lot of time for reading. My curiosity led me to classic literary books which I enjoyed ecstatically. Therefore, for my second degree I opted for literature.

  • You have published a number of research articles and pieces regarding the Nara language and more. Almost 28 pieces in international journals in few years. And, of course, your books and booklets have captivated great attention. Tell us about what you have authored so far and how it all started.

The beginning of it was my research paper for my second degree: the Nara Culture, Continuity & Change. It was a case study on rituals and means of livelihood. Back then I took on the mission not because I was an expert in the language but simply because that happens to be my mother tongue.
I am from the Nara ethnic group, so I am confident in my mother tongue. It was as simple as that. But the outcome was greater than what the project looked like at the beginning. People were extremely encouraging and supportive of the idea. They gave me hints and data which was more than I expected. So, I put a big part of it aside for my upcoming projects.

  • How has your journey as an author been so far?

I stared researching and putting my findings in to writing not earlier than in 2014. But once I started, I never stopped. I am still engaged in conducting case studies of local linguistics and traditions.
Being an author is obviously not easy. I did face a lot of challenges. I had problems in terms of channeling my writing. Luckily, thanks to my friends and the guidance of other authors, I found the right tools to present palatable writings. I am surrounded by academicians and professionals who have been greatly supporting my cause. Since 2014, I have presented more than a few case studies in the form of compiled booklets, books as well as articles that have been published in international journals and other periodicals.

  • Who are your sponsors?

It depends. For example, for my book on the culture and linguistics of Nara Ethic group I had the sponsorship of the Eritrean Research Fund. The making of that book, especially, demanded great efforts so I had to seek sponsors. As for the remaining three books, I was able to get by on my own.

  • Your schedule must be tight working as an Assistant Professor; do you have plans to keep on conducting more studies on culture and languages?

I will put to good use every second I can spare while working as an Assistant Professor. I plan on putting out more articles and writings on the Nara ethic group as well as other Eritrean communities. I will focus on local languages and customs. We have cultures that are more than deserving to be put in historical pieces.

  • Last but not least, do have any special ingredients that contributed to the success you have registered so far that you’d like to share with our young readers?

There is no secret ingredient responsible for professional growth. I am an academician and I am devoted to my profession. If you invest your time in your own personal growth then no one can take success away from you. Success is not a guarantee if you do not choose to make some sacrifices.

  • Good luck with everything and, once again, thank you!


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