Prominent Eritrean scholar Tekie Fissehatsion passed away

Tekie Fissehatsion

(VOA) — Distinguished Eritrean scholar and economist, Dr. Tekie Fissehatsion, died last week of a brain tumor. He was receiving medical treatment at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. A memorial service was held on April 24.

Tekie was an economist and author or several books on Eritrea, regional economics and political conflicts. He also served on the commission that drafted a constitution for Eritrea when the nation declared its independent in 1991.The constitution was never enacted and Tekie became an advocate of its implementation. He became chairman of the department of economics at Morgan State University in 1991. He came to the United States in 1964.

Among books he wrote are “Prospects for Economic Cooperation Between Eritrea and Its Neighbors,” “Economic Cooperation in the Horn of Africa,” and “Shattered Illusion and Broken Promise: Essays on the Ethiopian-Eritrean Conflict,” published in 2003.

Three colleagues of Tekie spoke with Tewlede Tesfagabir abtu his life and career: Dr. Gebrehiwet Tesfagiorgis of the University of Iowa; Alemseged Tesfay, a writer and historian; and Kasshun Chekol, whose Red Sea Publishing Company in New Jersey published his books.

9 thoughts on “Prominent Eritrean scholar Tekie Fissehatsion passed away

  1. Mengistu on

    So sad to see any African scholar pass away so early. His book ” Econonic cooperation in the horn of Africa” is one that is highly scholarly written book.

    There are very few educated Africans as Dr Dekie was.

    May God give his soul rest and peace.

  2. Assta B. Gettu on

    Death is common for every person, but the death of a distinguished scholar like Dr. Tekie Fissehatsion is quite different from the death of an ordinary man.

    When Albert Einstein died in 1955, the whole world grieved; however, when Ato Ayalew, a simple farmer, died in his village at Zebena Mariam, Debark, Gondar, no one mourned about him except his immediate family because the whole world did not know that Ato Ayalew had been living on this earth before he died.

    The distinction between the death of an ordinary man and the death of a famous one is only on this earth though, but in the eyes of the Almighty God, both individuals are equally well recognized and their names accurately recorded in the book of life if both men had indeed pleased their creator while they were on this earth; other wise, their names would not be written down in the book of life as the Book of Revelation warns us: “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (20:15) In the same way, David, the man of God, zealously says: “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” (Psalm 69:28)

    To a tribalistic or nationalistic person who lives in Ethiopia and who has witnessed the bloody conflicts between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the death of an Eritrean man, learned or unlearned, known or unknown may be a blessing, and the same is true with an Eritrean person who lost his property, his friends’ lives by the Woyanne army during the two years war as the hatred between the two countries still exists.

    Nevertheless, in the world of the scholars, the death of an educated man who has contributed to the world so many good things such as writing books, building schools, hospitals, helping the poor, liberating the oppressed from their oppressive government is very disturbing whether he/she is from Eritrea or Ethiopia or from any other developed or developing country.

    The world of the scholars does not recognize the nationality, ethnicity, gender, color, and religion of a person; it simply recognizes what the great and the tangible things a person has contributed to the world. Indeed, when such a person dies, the whole world gets together for a moment of silent prayer to recognize the greatness of that famous person.

    We know we all die one by one, and the world remembers us in a different way: Adolf Hitler is always remembered for his insensate action against the Jews; Mahatama Gandhi is remembered for his non violence advocacy and for liberating his country from the British rule; Gandhi’s disciple, Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered for his civil rights movement; and Mother Teresa is remembered for her humanitarian charities.

    Therefore, Dr. Tekie Fissehatsion will always be remembered by the world of the scholars as an economist and author of several books; certainly, he will be greatly missed by the people of Eritrea, especially by the African scholars and by many other renowned educators.

    May the Almighty God, the Rock of Ages, the Ancient One, bless his soul and comfort those who are lamenting about his untimely death!

  3. wendemu on

    I met him in Asmara this January. What a sad news. May god rest his soul in peace.

  4. Tesfa on

    Professor Tekie contributed immensely to his country.

    May he rest in peace.
    May God give strength to his family.


  5. Lukas on

    A very distinguished Eritrean scholar. We are going to miss him. My condolences to his family, his friends and all well wishers of Eritrea. Rest in peace.

  6. Ayalew on

    i am really sad to lose him not only to his family member but also to the people of the world at large.

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