Our guest today, Engineer Tedros Mehari, has an engineering consulting firm abroad. He was born and raised abroad and visits his home country every year to share his knowledge with his compatriots.
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Welcome home. Please introduce yourself.
I was born in 1974 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and grew up there. When I turned 17, I went to Sweden. I studied the Swedish language for three years before joining the university where I studied embedded software programming. After graduation I worked at various institutions to have experience until I opened up my own engineering consulting firm in 2013. The firm deals with challenges in computer engineering, giving consultation services and preparing formats. It has 13 permanent and eight part-time engineers.
You were born and raised abroad, but you have strong ties with your motherland, and I attended your seminar at the hall of the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students which was amazing. What’s the secret behind this?
The main one starts at home. My family played a big role in inspiring me to have a good connection with my country. I grew up learning to love my country and people, which helped me to have a strong bond. Secondly, when I was leaving Ethiopia for Sweden, Eritrea had been independent for a year and that had its own impact. I’ve never missed any national occasion and community gathering in Sweden. And since 2000, I have been coming to Eritrea every year. Another reason is the distorted view of the western world about our country due to their geopolitical interests. I think it’s the combination of all these reasons that has made me have a strong connection with my homeland.
You’ve worked for more than 18 years. What kinds of challenges do you face and how do you deal with them?
We are immigrants in a country whose values and ours don’t match. That’s a major challenge. But the most crucial thing is our attitude. We should never allow our challenges to control our minds. We need to have positive attitude in order to overcome our problems. It doesn’t matter how big the challenges are; just set out to win and move forward.
I grew up with my grandmother watching how she was overcoming her challenges. So I convinced myself that I could gain from challenges instead of getting hurt. We can face everything calmly. In any case, it’s better to focus on your resources than complain about your challenges.
How would you define technology?
Right now, technology has become one of the most important things in human life. Technology makes our daily lives easier and it’s a field that includes a variety of innovations. So, we should look at how we can use it instead of framing it as a problem.
Many argue that technology is making people be ruled by individuals. What’s your opinion?
That’s right. Most technology companies are owned by individuals, and the individuals can surely manipulate the technology and get people to be ruled by their will and for their benefit. To say the least, the challenge is not easy. Some companies try to get into your emotions and tune you out. But we can counter that by doing research to expose what they are really doing behind the screen.
I’ve heard that you also work Shida Media. Tell us a little bit about the media and your duty there.
I’m an interim Editor-in-Chief of Shida Media. Shida Media is part of Shida Network and is a source of information. Shida Network is a large network that includes Shida Media Network, Shida Animation, Shida Commerce and Shida Printing. But most people know only Shida Media because we’ve been using it more than the others.
Many well-known Eritreans and others write articles that are posted on Shida Media. Generally, we post publications that focus on the image of Eritrea and current affairs. Renowned people who write articles on the media include Eritreans such as Alemseged Tesfay, Zemheret Yohannes, and Professor Gideon Abay, and from other countries authors such as Abiy Birle, Omar Benamin (Ethiopian political analyst), Professor Omer Hassan (Advisor to the President of the Somali Region in Ethiopia), and Mr. Yannis, the former Finance Minister of Greece.
People’s characteristics you admire and hate?
A person who sees challenges as opportunities is my best one. And a person who gives up easily and always says “I can’t” is my least favorite. If you are a good person you can be productive wherever you go. And my grandma is one of my favorite persons I admire. She was my guide, she had played a big role in my life. It’s because of her that I have reached where I am now.
What are the most unforgettable days in your professional life, happy and sad days?
My happiest day is the day I set up my own company. That is a very special day for me. It is great for me because I stepped up from one level to another level of my life, and I don’t forget that day. There are also so many annoying occasions in our daily work, but it’s difficult for me to pick one.
Any other message …
We need to understand that technology is our asset. If we use it properly we will win because it is one of the most important things in the world today. And it’s important to know what it is and how it works, and how the companies are working behind the screen.
Thank you so much!!