Keren High School Reunion

Our Keren High School Reunion website is fostering a spirit of networking where former Keren students could reflect on their childhood. We would like to receive your emails and comments.  If you have old pictures, please send them to us, and we will post them. If you have memories of Keren High School that you want to write about, please do so.  We all know that we missed one-another, and by sharing memories, we will be able to stay close and energized.

OUR MISSION: The Keren Secondary School Reunion mission is to strive in bringing together old friends, and bridge the gap that was created due to circumstances. The re-union aims to build on shared core values. The Keren Secondary School re-union will serve to aid in learning the lessons of the past and looking forward to the future.


toronto 2021


7th Keren High Schools Reunion


Mark your calendar

    Our 7th Keren High Schools Reunion is scheduled for July 2nd to July 4th, 2021.  Our reunion board met and after extensive discussion they set up that date.  As you can all remember, this reunion was supposed to be held this year, but because of corona virus pandemic, it was cancelled.  Doctors and scientists are working tirelessly in finding a vaccine for COVID-19.  We see light at the end of the tunnel.  The good news is that by the end of 2020, our problem will find a solution.

    Our reunion is going to be in Toronto, Canada.  We will have a new contract with Toronto Hotel – Seneca College.   As soon as we reach a deal, we will let you know. 

    We believe that many wedding and other events are moved to next year because of the deadly disease, and we would like to announce our reunion celebration early so that you all put it in your considerations. This reunion is going to be the biggest as it gave us an additional year to refine and perfect our all awaited Kerenite get together.

We hope you are staying safe, taking care of yourselves, you families, your friends and your communities.  To enjoy the fruit of our patience and resilience tomorrow, today, we have to sacrifice by making the right choices that don’t compromise our health.

    See you all who believe the Keren spirit of Unity in Diversity, Tolerance, Respect, and love of our city and its people. 

Miss you WeLaD/DeQi Keren XaDa (white)!!!

In Memory Of Ustaz Osman Omar Omran

By Hassen Fereg

Ustaz Omar Omran, age 85, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Medina,

Saudi Arabia where he was living since 1980’s. He was born in Keren, Eritrea in 1935.

He received his education in Keren Elementary School along with traditional Islamic education.

Later he continued his education in Beit Ghergis, Asmara, Eritrea. He graduated from the

Teacher’s Training Institute (TTI) and worked as a teacher in Barka, Agordat, Sahel, and Keren

as well as in the highlands of Eritrea. He was one of the most beloved teachers, father, mentor

and impromptu counselor, advising the school children on any issue which may have plagued

them. He had a deep-rooted knowledge of Keren and its inhabitants. He will be missed dearly.

Ustaz Omar Omran is survived by his wife, his four sons, Mohamed-Nur, Mustafa,

Abdulrahman, and Abdulkareem, his two daughters, Suad and Nejat. May God grant his paradise.

By Hassen Saleh Baramberas
        About everyone who attended school in Keren in the 60s and 70s has a fond memory of Ustaz Osman Omar Umran, a beloved and respected figure whose steady and avuncular presence on school campus was a source of emotional support for a proud community that endured an endless siege for being at the epicenter of resistance to a brutal occupation. He knew your name, your family, your friends, as if you were part of his extended family. In a calm and soothing way that many found appealing, he mentored us without judging or scolding us. No doubt, he has left an indelible impression on our collective memory. The last time I met him was in Agordat after it was liberated by the ELF. Even in the chaos of a newly liberated town, he took the time to tell me that he saw my younger brother, martyr Kamal, an ELF fighter, near Hagat, and that he had a chance to talk to him. I was surprised that he knew my younger brother. But that was him, genuine, unpretentious and caring. While we grieve his loss, let’s celebrate his caring life and cherish his memory.

By Michael Embaie

    It is very sad to learn about the passing away of Ustaz Osman Omar Umran. He was like a father figure to almost every student. One of the things that I have always talked about Ustaz Umran was during the brutal attack on ONA by the Ethiopian military. As the brutal attacks and killings was going on, I remember that Ustaz Umran rounded as many students as possible to get us to the OLD BUILDING, where the Library was to keep us safe. (I am not sure where it came from, when we were kids we used to call the old building AKAN ABKUL (the place/house of mules, may be it was a Campo police thing). As you know the Old building was built of Rocks (Smooth Strong Rocks, River Rocks) that could withstand incoming bullets. His quick thinking was that, half of the walls of the NEW BUILDING were glass walls and not safe. I think that was his parental or fatherly instinct......Continue Reading

Chairman Speech

Abraha Zerai

Dear friends,

It is an honor and pleasure to stand in front of you and give a speech about my memories and

experiences of Keren High School. My respected brothers, sisters, and the young generation,

WELCOME to 6th Keren High School Reunion. 

Allow me to introduce the board of our reunion who worked hard to organize this weekend’s get together.  Our founding brothers from Toronto Tesfagabir Misgina, Bahlibi Tekle, Hassen Fereg, Yacob Idris, Zienab Warah,  from Calgary Michael Embaye, from Ottawa Yohannes Ferdinado,  from New York Mehari Estifanos, Woldensia, from DC, Yemane Desta, Mohamed Ali Mahmud, Habtimichael Woldesus , Tekleab Birhane, from Nebraska Semira Osman, from Seattle Jowet gual Gemetra and myself (Abraha Zerai), Michael Tikabo, from Bay Area Woldeslassie Tesfai, Dr. Mulugeta Abraha, from LA Dr. Woldermariam, Kibra Gabre, and from St. Louis  Missouri Muktar Saleh, from Texas Ibrahim Yassin, and from Illinois Dr. Fickak Habtes.

In the last few years, we lost some KH community members.  To mention a few, our dear father,  big brother, our role model, our mentor, and beloved principal Mahmud Kanoni who was part of our 3 reunions; ….. Continue Reading

Ustaz Mahmoud Kanoni

Hummed Neberai Scholarship – HNS

The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the late Hajj Hummed Ibrahim Neberai (رحمه الله) of Keren, Eritrea, launched this scholarship fund in July 2016, as a perpetual voluntary charity (صدقة جارية), on

 behalf of their ancestor for the benefit of deserving Eritreans seeking higher education. For more information please visit www.neberai.com















In behalf of the organizing committee, it is my pleasure to say thank you for coming from all around the world to celebrate our 4th Keren High Schools Reunion.  First, allow me to introduce the organizing committee who made this possible. They are Abraha Zerai, Bahlibi Tekle, Hassen Fereg, Tesfagabir Misgina, Yacob Idris, Zeinab Warah, Michael Embaye, Woldeslassie Tesfai, Dr. Wolderamriam Gebreslassie, Kibra Gebre, Yassin Ibrahim, Dr. Fickak Habtes, Habtinkiel Woldesus, Yemane Desta, Yohannes Ferdinado, Mohamed Ali, Hassen Mender, and Dr. Ogbai Tekie. In the last 2 years, through teleconferences, we met at least once a month to prepare this get together. We put a lot of work into it.


We are all gathered here today in the name of Keren High Schools Reunion, which covers from the day it was founded to today’s Keren High Schools. Before I speak about our beloved High Schools, allow me to talk about Keren in general. In our first reunion, Hassen Fereg described it as, and I quote, “Keren is a cosmopolitan town with all the Eritrean ethnic groups and religious traditions living side by side. It is a town were more than eight other nationalities have assimilated into... Continue Reading

Chairman’s 4th Reunion Speech

Honored Mr. Mahmud Kanoni and

Honored Guests,



Words to the people of Keren, Eritrea and surrounding villages.

From Marty and Deacon Hugh Downey.


Times change. Generations pass. Lives become lost. People live for today and hope for tomorrow. But some things never change and some times are never forgotten. Such is the case with our lives.


We lived the most meaningful and important part of our lives with you in the Keren area. We can never forget that, and will carry the memories of those days to our graves – whether they were good or bad. Yes, during those years (1962 onward) we were young and enthusiastic and believed that “we could make a difference”. But regardless of what we accomplished we learned something from you good people which influenced our entire lives. You taught us about the things in life that are ‘truly valuable’... Continue Reading

Mr. & Mrs. Hugh's Letter

to the 4th Reunion

Old Memories

Keren High School Students

Outlook Magazine 


Compiled by Yohannes Ferdinando Drar, Ottawa, Canada February 4, 2010


To all former students of Keren high school (Then called Atzie Dawit Secondary), especially graduates of the 60s and 70s, the school had a magazine run by the students. To preserve the memory of our former students, I am trying to collect copies so that people can remember their classmates and friends. I have the first edition from 1967 with different articles that I have transcribed. The magazine has poems, question and answer sessions, biographies and thought pieces. The articles are mostly written by students and teachers. I would suggest any former students from the high school to forward materials that could be important for our website.

Below is a listing of all former teachers at Keren High School or Atzie Dawit during the 1960’s and 70’s. Some teachers were from India, Peace Corps teachers from the U. S. including local teachers. The first director of the high school was Mr. Mahmoud Adam and then Mr. Mahmoud Kanouni (1960’s & 1970’s). I have collected the information from the Outlook Magazine Newsletter published by students in the 1960’s. I have also redesigned and reprinted it for your enjoyment! I encourage all former students to send any informative memories to the website.






July 13, 2012


In my entire life I have never been affirmed and appreciated as much as you good Keren people were to Marty and me. I have been just overwhelmed with a joyful feeling of goodwill between you native born Eritreans and me, an adopted Eritrean... Continue Reading

Mr. Hugh's Reflection of KHS 3rd Reunion















It was a wonderful treat to have Haben Girma as our motivational speaker of our 4th reunion. She is a real hero of our Eritrean community who become an icon and stood to the rights of our disabled. I am so glad to see our little daughter of Keren descent is doing so great. Her speech made everyone of us to think of how we treat our disabled back home; growing up in our beautiful Keren, we were nice people to one another, but we didn’t know how to take care of our disabled. Her speech will help everyone in attendance to reflect into their lives and make change in the way he/she thinks about our community.

(Abraha Zerai)

Haben Girma was a motivational speaker at the 4th Keren High Schools Reunion in Los Angeles; what an inspirational person she is. Haben is an extra-ordinary person who accomplished so much in her tender age against formidable obstacles. She conquered her disability and rose to prominence to be a genuine motivator and true role model. Every word she uttered was music to the ears of the audience.

(Woldeselassie Omer)

I had the privilege to sit down with WaleT Keren, Haben Girma and exchanged few words during the 4th Keren Highschool Reunion in Los Angeles. Haben Girma overcame the adversity of being blind and deaf to become one of the leading Civil rights Advocate, also teaches families and educators to set high expectations. She is truly inspirational.

(Mukhtar Saleh)


Haben Girma

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Sports History in Keren: Football

By Dr. Salah Jimi

Part I


Like elsewhere in Eritrea and perhaps in the world, sport activities in Keren primarily conducted at two levels- the town's league and as part of the educational system. There were also strong football competitions at suburbs' (Hillet) level. In this first part, the focus is on the town's football league. The second part will shed light on various sport activities at Keren High School and other schools in the town, encompassing football, Basketball, Volleyball and different types of athletics. The purpose of documenting sport history in Keren is to give it its right place in the Eritrean history. The period of interest in this and the follow-up article is 1970 to 1990.


The people of keren are sport-loving in general but have had great affection for football in particular. The town was endowed with talented footballers like Yohannes Weldezion (Joker) and Ismael Mahmoud who were key players of Asmara/Hamassien team; Aragay G/Ezgabeher, another highly-skilled footballer from Keren played for Seraye, the rival team to Asmara team in the 1960s and 1970s. Moreover, Tesfalem G/Meskel, a highly-gifted footballer from Keren represented Ethiopia at the national level to play in the Africa Cup of Nations in Khartoum. A brief history of sport in Keren, narrated by one of the talented footballers of the early 1970s, Tesfagabir Mesgina, spanning over the period late 1960s to early 1970s can be accessed here.... Continue Reading


Selected Keren Team vs Hamasen 1971

Can you remember your former Peace Corps Teachers?

Here is a list of former Peace Corps teachers who served in Keren, Eritrea. The Peace Corps teachers served in Eritrea during the Ethiopian rule and after independence of Eritrea. I have collected this information from the Peace Corps website and it might help former students to reminisce their student life in Keren.
By Yohannes Ferdinando Drar (Ottawa, May 28th, 2010)


ተማሃሮ ካልኣይ ደረጃ ከረን

ቦኽሪ ዳግመ ርክብ

July 4 – 6, 2008

ተስፋጋብር ምስግና

ብተስፋጋብር ምስግና ዝቐረበ ጽሑፍ

ቶሮንቶ ካናዳ - እንቋዕ ብደሓን መጻእኩም ንምባል ኣፍቁዱለይ፡ ካብ ዝተፈላለየ ኩርነዓት ዓለም ኣብዛ ንመጀመሪያ ጊዜ አነብዕላ ዘሎና ምትእኽኻብ ንገለና ናይ ድሕሪ መዋእል እንቋዕ ገጽ ንገጽ ኣረኣኣየና። ናይታ እንፈትዋን ዘዕበየትናን ቤት ትምህርቲ ከረን ካልኣይ ደረጃ ድሒራ ሃጸይ ዳዊት ዝተባህለት እንደገና  ተመሊሳ ናይ ከረን ካልኣይ ደረጃ ቤት ትምህርቲ ምርኻብናን ምትእኽኻብና ዓቢ ጸጋ ኢዩ።

ሎሚ ኣብ ከረን ኣሎና ይመስለኒ፡  ኣብ ከረን ክብል ከሎኹ አታ ካብ ኣርባዕተ መኣዝንን ከባብን ኮነ ካብ ኣስመራ ፡ ዓሊ ግድር፡ ተሰነይ፡

ባረንቱ፡ኣቑርደት፡ኣፍዓበት ኮነ ናቕፋን መአከቢትናን ትምህርቲ እንቐስመላ ዝነበርናን መስራቲት ሓድነትናን ፍቕርና እነሳላስለላ ዝነበርናን ናይ ከረን ካልኣይ ደረጃ ቤት ትምህርቲ ኣሎና።