Acquaintance, Ambassador Mohammed Drir

 

“I sometimes watch Ethiopian Idol” Ambassador Mohammed Drir, Minister of Culture and Tourism, is known for his wise sayings and easy talking. As our ancestors say, age is a sign of wisdom, and over the years his speech has become close to people.

Many people seem to appreciate him for being the first government official to involve God’s name in his public speeches, He says “God bless Ethiopia” at the end and others have began to emulate him.

As minister of culture and tourism, it is common to see him at many events such as book launchings, film premiers, exhibitions and different holidays. And sometimes he does unexpected things, like reading children’s story for children.

In the entire routine and busy schedule, the Ambassador still tries to save Saturdays for his family. If how ever there is something he has to do, he will do it.  Usually Saturday is a day for him to sit down with his children and spend some quality time with them. He calls it the ‘blessed day’.

Despite his heavy  work loads, he always tries to wake up early in the morning but what makes Saturdays different from other days is that he makes omelets early in the morning and his special, ‘Arab kita’ with egg, breakfast for  his three daughters and his wife.

Saturday morning is also the days the family tries to clean and change the appearance of the house and also rearranges the furniture.

“We don’t like the same scenery as we (Somalis) are pastoralists, we don’t like limitation in space. So we try to change the things with a limited space we have,” Ambassador Mohammed says.

Once breakfast is over he goes to his reading and the children go to their study, but usually watches TV with his wife.

“I watch TV, it could be documentary films and we sometimes watch Ethiopian Idol. It’s kind of refreshing judging the singers but the judges do it better than us,” says with a smile

At lunch time, if there are guests they eat lunch together. He says the different meals throughout the day are a time for all the family to come together.

After lunch he takes a rest and does to some reading. He usually reads history books about the different ancient civilizations written in Arabic, French, English and Amharic.

Ethiopians have close kinship with their relatives, and Ambassador Mohammed is no exception. On this day people from his home town come to visit him and they talk about the past. They always make the time for ‘solat’ (prayer), to praise God for the good things in life.

During the evenings he goes out with his children but does not stay long so as to have an early dinner. He says dinner is served early in their house to make the night special.

“I have four children, three daughters and a boy, who he is only three months old. But my wife says she has five children, considering me as one of her children,” says Ambassador Mohammod Drir, laughing.

The coming of the new baby, Guled (winner in Somali) has changed the family’s lifestyle, and now they are going through new experiences with the new baby every day.

Ambassador Mohammed sometimes paints and tries to put nature and his ideas on canvass. He paints on Saturdays and his paintings have become the token of the family.

After dinner he reads some more and then he calls it a day.

Source:  Reporter the Ethiopian weekend papers