Dr. Awet Weldemichael




Dr. Awet T. Weldemichael is Professor of History and Queen's National Scholar at Queen's University in Kingston, ON. He has a PhD in comparative modern history of Africa and Southeast Asia. He specializes in Northeast Africa and island Southeast Asia. He also has the LL.M. in public international law. He is an award winning author/editor of several books and articles. He has featured in international media outlets and he is a regular speaker at conferences and public engagement events. He was recently elected to the Royal Society of Canada, one of the highest Canadian academic honours.

Who is your favourite artist?

I have many favorite artists. One of them is a giant rendered obscure by time in the context of Eritreans' unenviable predicament: Idris Amir, commonly known as Wed-Amir (lit. son of Amir) who is originally from the Eritrean coastal area. He is known for his beautiful poems and songs: lived experiences of love and vivid romantic imagination.


Some of Wed-Amir's songs and poems are brought to life by an equally amazing artist of our time, the iconic Idris Mohamed Ali. I am also inspired by the living legend Mohamed Osman from the Eritrean revolutionary cultural troupe. 


Lately, I find Yirgalem Fisseha as our times' poet extraordinaire. Her person and her poetry are embodiments of arts and the artist as death-defying and timeless survivors and healers.