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Bahru Zewde

Ethiopian intellectual and reformer, was born in Adwa (northern Ethiopia) on 30 July 1886 Some three years later he lost his father at the battle Metemma between Ethiopia and Mahdist Sudan that claimed the life of Emperor Yohannes IV That fateful event created a political vacuum in northern Ethiopia into which the Italians who were hovering around the port of Massawa stepped with alacrity At the same time the emperor s core province Tegray fell into disarray At the tender age of seven Gebre Heywet joined the exodus of Tegrayans into the adjoining and relatively peaceful Italian colony of Eritrea He spent some years at the Swedish Mission in Menkullu on the mainland off the port of Massawa It was while visiting Massawa that he boarded one of the ships which took him to Austria where he was adopted by a family and acquired a medical degree as well ...