Ustaz/Memhir Al-Amin Abdul Latif Mahmoud Gash Legendary artist of Love, Culture and Patriotism

SELAM BLESI in Gira Fiori (Tahrir Square)

Ustaz Al-Amin Abdul Latif Mahmoud Gash (Gash family)


Ustaz Al-Amin Abdul Latif Mahmoud Gash (Gash family)

By Amer Muhammad.

Al-Amin was born in Ghinda’ (circa 1938) and at the age of two or less, the young child Al-Amin moved to Asmara with his family. His father was a public nurse and was transferred to Asmara from Ghinda’. He belongs to the tribe of Aad Dirqi (this tribe belongs to Muslim Sheiks whose main task was to teach and spread Islam in many regions of Eritrea), his ancestors moved from Zula to Ghinda’ where they lived and Al-Amin was born.

At a very early age, when Al-Amin was only three years old, his father died leaving his orphan son in the new city and location. The loss of father (in any family) is disastrous, resulting in harsh and difficult life and consequences to his family… which the young        Al-Amin had to face and challenge. He lived in an area known as “Aad Qadhat” (an area between Abba Shawl and Cherhi), a highly populated area where Eritreans lived and still live (while the Italians lived in other modern quarters like Campo Citato and Geza banda Tilian).

Al-Amin first went to Khalwa (Islamic teaching school), then to primary school in Madabar in the morning and at night went to Asmara religious institute (attached to Asmara’s main Masjid- al-khulafaa al-rashidoun) and later went to Jaliya al-Islamiya to study for secondary school, where later became teacher on the same school.

His musical talents started from an early age and he was influenced by cultural songs and Sudanese songs (listening to songs of e.g. Ahmed Al-Mustafa) which were broadcast by radio Omdurman. Also, he was influenced by famous Tigrait language singers like Wad Amir and others. He was also composing songs (chants/anthems) for school children at school… which all summed up together made his artistic instincts to grow and mature with time until his talents exploded.

At the beginning of his career as a singer, he faced big challenges because most of his family member (and relatives) were religious and completely rejected his wishes to be a singer and they condemned and strongly disapproved his actions. Nonetheless, he continued to pursue his path towards arts as a singer, composer and song writer because he was born to be an artist… and followed his instincts.

Generally, singers in our society were regarded with low esteem and called Hamien (singing for money and glorifying whoever pays more) and were regarded as pariah and singing was regarded as a taboo. Even non-religious people didn’t accept their offspring to be singers because they brought stigma to their families. Under these circumstances, Al-Amin (and all Eritrean singers) embarked on their “art” mission challenging all hurdles and difficulties as singing was not considered a respected art or career.

Al-Amin, after completing secondary worked in Addis Ababa for two years with an Italian company. Upon his return to Asmara, he was admitted to work as primary school teacher in Arab Community School (Jaliya al-Arabiya school) until 1970.

Al-Amin joined Ma-T-Aa (Mahber Theater Amara) in 1962

The first song Al-Amin sang was in Tigrait and was titled: “Khatim Hitze Zabeko” (Bought engagement ring and I do not know to whom to give). This song was written, composed its lyrics and had been sung by Al-Amin.

He was imprisoned several times by Ethiopian occupation authorities (during Haile Selassie regime) because of his songs which contained overt and covert political messages to raise political consciousness of Eritrean people in order to fight and defend their “revolution” for freedom and independence from Ethiopian occupation yoke.

The artist Jaber Mahmoud (drummer and singer) was fluent in Tigrait language and was of great help to Al-Amin in helping, guiding and directing him in Tigrait poems and songs and his contribution to the success and development of Al-Amin is acknowledged and appreciated by Al-Amin himself, where in several occasions he cited and acknowledged his gratitude towards Jaber’s contributions and assistance. This is because due to his upbringing in Asmara, Al-Amin’s capabilities and abilities to command the Tigrait language were not ideal.

Starting from 1963, Al-Amin begun to sing in both Tigrait and Tigrinya languages that resulted in producing memorable and historical songs in both languages which will remain as part of Eritrean cultural heritage and struggle history to be told for generations to come, due to their nationalistic message during a very difficult time of Ethiopian occupation of our beloved country. His songs, along with the songs of many other Eritrean artists like Osman AbduRahim, Tewelde Redda, Ato Atewe Brhan Segid etc… can be considered to be great catalysts to raise political consciousness of Eritreans and part and parcel of Eritrean struggle instrumental and effective to mobilize people in the long struggle for freedom and independence during the 60s and the 70s of last century.

The story behind the famous song “Fatna Zahra” what is it?

In 1964, Al-Amin, Jaber Mahmoud and Abdul Wahid Ali Saleh were invited to sing in Aqordat and the next day before going back to Amara, Al-Amin was asked to remain for one day more by some government officials who were able to get permission from his school to stay for one day more. So, Al-Amin remained alone (after his colleagues departed) to sing to the applauding Aqordat fans who loved and enjoyed his songs and performance.

During the performance of one of the songs, Al-Amin saw a girl enter the ceremony and sat in the middle of the girls. However, her beauty was so striking that she had stolen the attention of the public from the him (singer), and when he came near to her, the cover of her hair fell on her shoulders, (“Lbeis”), cover your hair, FATNA ZAHRA… said a girl sitting next to her )to warn her about her hair being uncovered), and these words formed the beginning of the song “Fatna Zahra”. When Al-Amin heard this word (her name: Fatna Zahra)… immediately composed  in the middle of the song that he was singing the following passages:

أنا إت كرن تلهيكو وإت أسمرا — وديب باطع تهليكو ومندفرا

إت أغردات تلهيكو وأباررا — إت سني تلهيكو وكسلا

تماثلكي إر إيكو فاطمة زهرة

تماثلا إر إيكو فاطمة زهرة…… إنجح مثل أنيابا إندى كاترا

محاوتا ملؤتُ لبيى سطر .. ”

I sang in Keren and Asmara  –  I sang in Massawa and Mendefera

I sang in Aqordat and Abarara – I sang in Tessenei and Kassala

But never saw your parity Fatna Zahra


Suddenly the girl (Fatna Zahra) left the party… and few minutes after the concert was over, Al-Amin found himself writing the first words of the song “Fatna Zahra”.

سما فاطمة زهرة…….  بعل شامكي حوانيتى كرا

حكوكي موتا وإن قبرا……. مالي مسي إت عينت أشاشرا

أدامي ديب شيخ أبا سرا….. وشيخي تشبحتيت كرا

وبيلا أمر إستر……… شاماتا عاجمت صابرا

فتيها ديب لبو صورا

بيلا شيخي أب جعفرا…. سمان يوم تحطب من دقلا

حمس يوم أدور من جفرا……. ثلث يوم تهاجك إت جفرا

إليت لدوي لاقلو ذكرا………. الامين حقو ديبكي كرا

حكو إلا توبا وأستغفرا

Although, originally the song “Fatna Zahra”did not contain any political implications; however, later on, “Fatna Zahra 2” and “Fatna Zahra 3” which followed  were more political in nature, directly and indirectly sending national messages and signals to encourage and support Eritrean nationalistic movements for freedom and independence (ELM /ELF – Eritrean Liberation Movement followed by Eritrean Liberation Front).

Most of Ma-T-Aa members (including Al-Amin) were members of ELM (Eritrean Liberation Movement) in 1963.

During the years of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the situation was extremely difficult for artists. Al-Amin was arrested and imprisoned several times from 1963 until the moment he left Eritrea. He was persecuted by the occupation authority and imprisoned seven times in a row. After every new song Al-Amin was arrested and imprisoned and many songs were interpreted to contain national and political messages and signs. His last imprisonment was in the prison of Massawa. After that, he decided to leave Eritrea and join the revolution in early 1974. When he was free from the prison, Al-Amin traveled to Addis Ababa and from there left to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

In Saudi Arabia, Al-Amin pursued and continued to sing… he was singing in Jeddah during Eritrean national occasions along with other famous singers like Ba-Essa and others. He further travelled to live in the U.S.A and after Eritrean land independence returned to Eritrea where he sang for some time. During the EPLF/TPLF (Shaebia Woyane) wars he was singing with many Eritrean singers to mobilize the Eritrean youth and sang many nationalistic songs tailored to suit such occasions … i.e. courage, bravery, heroism, nationalism etc…

Undoubtedly, Al-Amin role in the development of Tigrait language songs is undeniable… he along with Ustaz Jaber Mahmoud played the greatest role to transform Tigrait songs from cultural one (using drums only) to modern songs using modern musical instruments. The Tigrait language is a very rich and poetic language and one can express his poetry in excellent and beautiful ways… as the legendary Wad Amir did.

Al-Amin, was fluent in Tigrinya language… and produced timeless and historic songs that will remain for very long time as monuments.


To mention some of Al-Amin songs:

  • Khatm Hitze Zabeko ኻትም ሕጸ ዛበኮ
  • Aqbilini Siray Aqbilini                                    ኣቕብሊኒ ስራይ ኣቕብሊኒ
  • Ana Libiye Bgoha                                           ኣና ልብየ ብጎሃ
  • Ekitki Yihazze (Tigrait). Poem by: Jaber Mahmoud እኪትኪ ይሓዘ
  • Ellama Tahalfanitu Gabie                               እልላማ ትሓልፋኒቱ ጋብእ
  • Fatna Zahra                                             ፋጥና ዛህራ (ቀዳመይቲ)
  • Sefelal                                                             ሰፈላል
  • Migabaaki Bola Kassaola                                ሚ ጋባእኪ ቦላ ከሰኦላ
  • Yetimat Ftit (Alalaye lalaye Sebr Wdey)

የቲመት ፍቲት (ሰብር ውደይ ብዓል ሰብር ዕዉቱ)

  • Selam Welad Aajje                            ሰላም ውላድ ዓጀ
  • Keren tu Aajje (Tigrait). Poem by: Poet and journalist Mahmoud Ahmed Lobinet ከረንቱ ዓጅጀ
  • Dehan Kuni AbbaShawl . Poem by: Girmai Kidane (weddi Filippo)

ደሓን ኩኒ ኣባሻውል

  • Kewakhibti Nay Semay Selamtay Abtzahala (Tigrinya). Poem by: Girmai Kidane (weddi Filippo)  ከዋኽብቲ ናይ ሰማይ ሰላምታይ ኣብጽሓላ
  • Seb Nkhebdu Tray Aikonen Znebr (Tigrinya). Poem by: Memhr Asres Tesemma  ሰብ ንኸብዱ ጥራይ ኣይኮነን ዝነብር
  • Nay Akkal Vitamin (Tigrinya) poem by: Nguse Haile Mensaay

ናይ ኣካል ቪታሚን (ተፈታዊት ቆጽሊ)

  • Kurbaj Titlewale Kem Halenge                     ኩርባጅ ትትላዋለ
  • Selam Blesi ሰላም ብለሲ
  • Fiqrey Fiqri Beyney (Tigrinya) ፍቕሪ ፍቕሪ በይነይ
  • Poem by: Ramadan Gebre             ይማ
  • Guahi Lbbey (Tigrinya) ጓሂ ልበይ
  • Yehzineni (Tigrinya) የሕዝነኒ
  • Gersay Weley Ingerne                                   ገርሳይ ወለይ እንገርነ
  • Gil Ella Youm                                     ግል እላ ዮም
  • Afki Misay Libbikhi Ms Debesay (Tigrinya)

ኣፍኪ ምሳይ ልብኺ ምስ ደበሳይ

  • Kab Lomi Ksab Tzibah Nizelalem (Tigrinya)

ካብ ሎሚ ክሳብ ጽባሕ ንዘልኣለም

  • Kuree Teberteti (Tigrinya) ኩርዒ ተበርጠጢ
  • Dehan Kuni (Tigrinya) ደሓን ኩኒ
  • Aamset Hillet Belwni                         ዓምሳት ህለት በሎውኒ
  • Rumana                                                  ሩማና
  • Muatamar Nai Khartoum Men Abayou (Tigrait)

ሙእታማር ናይ ኻርቱም መን ኣበዩ

  • Selam Kiblekki Selam Mlesley (Tigrinya) – ሰላም ክብለኪ ሰላም ምለስለይ
  • Welet keren                                                  ወለት ከረን
  • Elal Wudei                                                  ዕላል ውደይ
  • Serdayit                                                  ሰርዳይት
  • Tzibora Kems Toub Umkum Tzibora ጽቦራ ከም ጥብ ኣምኩም ጽቦራ
  • Attensini                                                        ኣተንሲኒ
  • Abishay Keshew Beli                                     ኣብሻይ ከሸው በሊ
  • Halima (Ana egil halima Selam egil eballa) ሓሊማ (ሰላም እግል ኢበላ)
  • Lomi Kem Tmali (Tigrinya)    ሎሚ ከም ትማሊ ሃገር ሰብ ኣለዋ
  • Saeeko Yaareko asera      ሳዔኮ

Reminiscence of Al-Amin

During my childhood, I was fond of music… and I was a fanatic fan of Al-Amin songs and I used to rehearse all of his melodies both in Tigrinya and Tigrait… but my favourite song was “Fatna Zara”. Music is directly linked to emotions to the subjective part of humans and can have strong bond and influence on most people. It is also there…. lingering in the subconscious part of the mind… ready to be accessible when triggered.

When I was a kid Al-Amin was my unchallenged artist… I sang his songs daily… YES daily… although my voice was not good… I liked to sing… my favorite ones were:

Fatna Zahra                                                               – ፋጥና ዛህራ

Seb Nikhebdu Tray Aikonen Zneber                      – ሰብ ንኸብዱ ጥራይ ኣይኮነን ዝነብር

Sefelal                                                                         – ሰፈላል

Selam Blesi (before leaving Eritrea)                        – ሰላም ብለሲ

I was fond of the song “Fatna Zahra” and sang it daily… sometimes while beating the cupboard to produce music (drum-like beats). During our childhood, radio was the only outlet we had (no TV or Mobile or Internet)… so we waited patiently to the radio time to broadcast. Daily after the news “songs” were broadcast… songs of A-Alamin, Osman, Atewebrhan Segid, Tekle Tesfazgi and Bereket Mengsteab… were there.

Sometimes I sang with words… other times I produce music without words… all the family members knew that I loved to sing… especially Al-Amin songs, and some even made jokes about my voice, tone and drumming by imitating me.

After the death of Alamin, I had a chat with beloved and elder sister… she said immediately: “I remembered you when I heard about Alamin’s death… I remembered you singing his songs when you a kid etc… Really I was upset and had difficult times after hearing the news of his death, because I knew him well in Jeddah and we had close ties and due to my childhood memories, I had mixed feelings of my childhood memories, the songs with which I associated… love, longing, patriotism, freedom… A song can be a very strong memories… whether good or bad or whatever. It can remind you of a person, a place, a situation, a story… it can tell a lot of things, if you are emotionally and subconsciously tied and related it to some specific events.

Songs are interpreted differently by different people… sometimes giving them explanations which are not there and meant to be.

There are three main components for a song to see light:

  1. Poem or song-writer… is the one who writes the song… the words… the inspiration… the message. He is the first and main source of any song.
  2. Composer of lyrics… he is the one who translates the “words” into “rhythm and music”.
  3. The singer or performer… is the one that relates and sells the product to the public.  The talent, ability and enthusiasm of the singer… can make a great success to the song. The voice, the performance (movement), the music, the words (meaningful and strong) etc… all combined together creates a beautiful song.
  4. Musicians… of course we have the “musicians” who accompany the singer during the performance, which can have a great impact on the success and quality of the song. The more talented and qualified the musicians… the better the output and performance will be.

The success of a “song” is a team effort… starting from poet, lyrics composer, singer, musicians etc… environment (situation) and the message and content of the song. Sometimes it involves three people or more… sometimes two… and in rare case one person, who does the “three” things alone.

The first time I saw Al-Amin performing was in Asmara in 1967/1968… in a wedding ceremony of my cousin in a hall near Inda Mariam. The Ma-T-Aa band was invited and I saw for the first time a performing band and saw Al-Amin, Osman, Atewe Brhan Segid and many others. It was a wonderful day and experience to see face to face my favorite singers… specially Al-Amin, a memorable day that is engraved in my mind until now. After returning to Keren… I had to tell everything I saw and heard that night with graphic details… and my friends were listening captivated by my detailed explanations and asking a lot of questions.

I studied in Asmara (after 5 years of elementary schooling in keren) until February of 1975  for 3 years and few months… there I saw Al-Amin from time to time and I was very happy to say “hello” to him… but above all he knew me personally and had short chats with me for few minutes every time we met… and was calling me my uncle’s son, because my father (Allah Yarhamu) was a very close friend of his uncle (Alamin Gash – Allah Yarhamou) and he was always very respectful, friendly and saying nice and good words to my father.

One of my friends was a fan of Osman Abderrahim… while I was a fanatic fan of Al-Amin and always we had discussions and arguments… each trying to prove his point that his “artist” is the best. I always was saying that Alamin can sing in Tigrait and Tigrinya and have more fans and is a teacher etc… to prove my points… to tell the truth I also admired and liked Osman songs like “Fiqri Ewur Amine, Tsellam Brot etc… but never admitted to my friend in order to be considered as a defeat.

I had the chance to know better and sit with him for hours with Al-Amin in Jeddah and I had a lot of opportunities to discuss with him, ask him questions….. listen to his jokes and lot of his life history directly from him.

Just to mention one example… we were sitting in a cafeteria in a place called “Al-Amoudi” in Medina Road (Jeddah)… where many political cadres (ex and present) artists like Mahmoud Dabrom, Osman Abderrahim etc… sat during the evening for chatting. I had the chance and opportunity to sit with great Eritreans and learnt a lot from them.

There are a lot of stories that I can retell (if the memory is still efficient and effective). Just to mention few examples from Al-Amin jokes and stories:

One night Al-Amin was going home late after Ma-T-Aa rehearsal… the Abba Shawl district was dangerous at night, as there were thieves (called wali’e) that can stop you, rob you, bit you and can harm you. They fetched his pockets and couldn’t find any valuables… suddenly one of the thieves said: “we cannot let him go… we have to get something from him… then said: “take out your jacket”. Al-Amin was wearing the Ma-T-Aa colored uniform… and the thieves wanted to take away that jacket.

Alamin started reaching them and asking for mercy by saying: “Please do not take my jacket… it is not mine… it belongs to Ma-T-Aa… and all started laughing. Among us was one bulky person and asked Al-Amin… do you remember who saved you that night? Yes.. one of the shifta saved me and my jacket. Thanks to him my jacket was spared. This person was one of them and persuaded them not to take his jacket etc… his friends were not happy but reluctantly gave up. However, they asked him… “Are you a singer?”… Al-Amin replied “yes, I am”. Then if you sing for us few songs, we will let you go. Al-Amin said… “In the middle of the night… in an alley…in a very cold and dark night, I started singing to save my life and my jacket for a long time.

The story was very funny, especially when told by Al-Amin with all his expressions and tone changes to play the different roles. After singing for long time Al-Amin was released and allowed to go home. Our “shifta/wali’e” friend added few things which Alamin denied that he said that etc… and started attacking each other… one saying “I saved you” and Al-Amin saying “you made me sing the whole night”.

Al-Amin was elegant (always chic) and always funny and saying jokes and did not like politics and especially to take sides… and we had a lot of conflicts… (while respecting each other’s choices and stands) but he was still an eloquent and charming person to listen to his adventures with songs, song writing, loves, imprisonment etc…

Another joke which is attributed to Al-Amin goes as follows:

The Hgdef cadres like Al-Amin Mohamed Said and others were sent to London to learn and improve their skills after Eritrean land independence in order to learn some skills in order to run the country. Al-Amin said: “I called London to find out about my friends and how they were doing”

Hello, please can I talk with Al-Amin Mohamed Said? I said to the receptionist.

She replied: From where are talking?

Al-Amin said: from Asmara (Eritrea)

To this the operator said: “Al-Amin azze yahalani hare lithagekka

The operator replied in Tigrait… which left Al-Amin bewildered and confused and said: “People like Al-Amin M. Saeed, instead of learning English… taught the operator Tigrait.

There are a lot of funny and jovial jokes narrated by Al-Amin which cannot be narrated in public domains.



SELAM BLESI in Gira Fiori (Tahrir Square)



I believe this song “Selam Blesi” was released before the advent of “Derge”, last year of the notorious Medieval king Haile Selassie … in fact few months before I left to the unknown and uncertain road of exile. This song touches me deeply and reminds me of my dear town “CHEREN” and “GIRA FIORI’ the centre of Keren  (Liberation Square). Whenever I listen to this song my emotions runs high and I become nostalgic… home sick.

In “Gira Fiori” (the famous Kerenite roundabout and city centre) there were external loud speakers hang on posts which broadcast “radio Asmara” every evening. The same place was the bus station of buses coming from Asmara and a lot of people gather there in the afternoon until early evening. The porters (carriers), the homeless, the youngsters… a lot people before going home pass through this place to listen to news and songs. This is because a lot of people did not own radio at home, so it was a wise idea to broadcast directly to the open air to reach the radio to the broad masses.

I enjoyed to go there and sit with the crowd eating my foul (nuts) bought from Hajiya Merero… until the best part comes, which was the songs after the news. I enjoyed the dancing part… a lot of people dance happily to the beats of the songs… I remember my friend Bakhit dancing and singing and saying (zaw… zaw… zaw… kish… kish… kish… may tigbai addina).

To be happy you don’t need to be rich…. Yes, it is very true and I attest to that. Simple, normal, decent life in harmony with oneself… is the secret. When you think… talk… and do are the same… without contradiction and hypocrisy then you can be happy… money is not the main key or reason for happiness.

The song “Selam Blesi” was the favorite of the crowd… when it was broadcast most (if not all the people) join the crowd to dance joyfully, which made me love this song because it conveyed (to us) clear message of hope… independence… freedom… because Al-Amin was saying clearly that “this year is the year… it is time for FATNA ZAHRA to be with us, to join us… the message was very clear… all were happy and excited to see FATNA ZAHRA.

ላለይ ወላለና…  ላለይ ላለይ… ላለይ ወለል

ሰላም ብለሲ

ላለይ ላለና እላ ሳነት

ትሓልፍ ይመስለኒ ኣላ ሰናት

ትሓልፍ ይመስለኒ እምበር ብሻራት

ረባ ጃምዓኒ ምስል ባርሀት

እዳግማ ኣና ኩላ ልሓልፋት

ጋሃየ  ወሓዘንየ ጋብእ ፋርሓት






What is MUSIC?

It is incontrovertible that ”music” is an international language understood, felt and admired by most humans and it sends thrills and refreshes the minds and souls of many who recalls music…it is food to the soul to many music lovers. It is quite difficult to forget completely old music from the past (memories) especially if it is linked to certain events and had puissant attachment with our soul. Songs (and music in general) deals with emotions… so when we hear unforgettable melodies, it brings (flashes back) and triggers back to the mind certain reminiscence atmosphere, remember and live again mentally the old good days, friends, school, places, classmates, events etc…

The subconscious mind or the preconscious mind consists of accessible information. You can become aware of this information once your direct your attention to it. Think of this as memory recall. You can easily bring to consciousness the subconscious information about the event you remember. It is possible that some of what might be perceived to be unconscious becomes subconscious, and then conscious (e.g. a long-forgotten childhood memory suddenly emerges after decades). We can assume that some unconscious memories need a strong, specific trigger to bring them to consciousness; whereas, a subconscious memory can be brought to consciousness more easily.

Certainly, music does affect our daily lives (most people) because it affects our emotions. When we listen to sad songs, we tend to feel a decline in our mood; however, when we listen to jolly songs, we feel happier etc… Upbeat songs with energetic riffs and fast-paced rhythms (such as those we hear at sporting events) tend to make us excited and pumped up. There is music for funerals, war drums, sentimental music etc… Music can be presented in many different forms; nonetheless… the result is the same…. It affects directly or indirectly our emotions and sends very clear signals to be received by the audience (receiver).

“Without music, life would be a mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche

As we all know… MUSIC is an international language… it is a wonderful and beautiful form of art… which can be understood by any person (regardless of age or level of education or nationality or color or gender)… music directly addresses the feelings, emotions and sensations… it touches the conscious, subconscious and unconscious levels of the mind (cognition).  It can pleasurable and joyous, or it can create sadness and negative emotions. Also, it can be a source of hope and revivalist…as the case with national anthem or patriotism related chants during war times.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines music as “the art of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion” (Concise Oxford Dictionary 1992).

Modern History of Music in Eritrea

There is an interesting book titled: ዓሞት

ካብ ታሪኽ መድረኻዊ ስነ ጥበብ ኤርትር  1940 – 1980

ብ መምህር ኣስረስ ተሰማ

Published in 2006

This book is a very useful book that talks about the Modern History of Music in Eritrea by Memhr Asres Tesemma who was an active and talented artist who witnessed and participated to the development of Music in Eritrea.

Here are the main musical and theatrical bands in modern Eritrean History.

  1. 1. ማሕበር ታምሲል ኣውላድ ከረን – 1954 (ግርማይ)
  2. 2. ማሕበር ተዋስኦ ደቀባት –ማ.ት.ደ. ብ1947 ምስ 18 ብጾቱ መምህር ኣለማዮ ካሕሳይ መስሪቱ ናይ መድረኽ ድራማታት ድማ የርኢ ነይሩ።

3.ማሕበር ምምሕያሽ ሃገራዊ ልምዲ – ... ብ1957 መምህር ኣለማዮ ካሕሳይ መስሪቱ – ኣስረስ ተሰማ ድማ ኣባል ቁጽሪ ኣባላት ናይዙ ማሕበር 28 ይኸውን ነይሩ።

4.ማሕበር ትያትር ኣስመራ – ማ.ት.ኣ ብ 18/08/1961 ተመስሪቱ

ሕቶ፣- ሕራይ ናብ ኣመሰራርታ ማ... ክመልሰኩም፣ እዚ ማሕበር ክትምስረት ናይ ፈለማ ሓሳብ ዘንቀሉ መነመንዮም?


  • ስነ-ጥበባውያን ተወልደ ረዳን ትካቦ ወልደማርያምን እዮም። ሓሳቦም ፈለማ ንኣይን ንኣለማዮን ምስ ኣካፈሉና ሕራይ ኢልና ተቐቢልናዮም። በዚ ኸኣ ብ 18 ዝንባለ ዝነበሮም ሰባት ብነሓሰ 1961 ማሕበር ትያትር ኣስመራ (ማ.ት.ኣ) ተመስሪታ።


The Ma-T-Aa (Mahber Theater Asmara) was established in 18/08/1961

The founding members were: Tewelde Redda, Tikabo Weldemariam, Alemayo Kahsai and Asres Tesemma… at the beginning were 18 members who formed the Ma-T-Aa.


I wrote my personal experience with Al-Amin and music in general. Also, I read what others wrote about him and his interviews, especially the one conducted in Arabic by Eritrean journalist Abubaker Abdella Saiq. My thanks and gratitude goes to all who wrote to commemorate Al-Amin and his artistic life… as this is a beautiful Eritrean which we should keep and improve, that’s to acknowledge and present gratitude and appreciation to the person while alive.

Also I wrote in English plus some Arabic and Tigrinya as dictated by the topic. I embarked in writing although it was difficult… I was agitated by the departure of our great and beloved artist Al-Amin… may his soul rest in peace in shaa Allah.


O Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate… forgive him (Al-Amin) and have mercy on his soul and shower him with your blessings.

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