“To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's...” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
(15 & 25 April 2013)
Ethiopia is one of the oldest African States. It is the land of the world’s earliest civilizations. The current population goes beyond 80 million, making it the 2nd most populous country in Africa. Ethiopia is a multilingual and multiethnic society of around 80 ethnic groups. Bilal ibn Rabah or Bilal al-Habashi (AD 580-640) was an Ethiopian of Habesha origin companion of prophet Muhammad. He was the first muezzin chosen by the prophet himself was known for his beautiful voice with which he called people to their prayers.
The modern capital Addis Ababa is situated on the foothills of Mount Entoto at an elevation of around 2,400 m, and experiences a healthy and pleasant climate year round. Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. It is where the African Union and its predecessor the OAU are based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and numerous other continental and international organizations. The attractions of Addis Ababa are from the small shops to the large outdoor market, and small cafes to posh hotels.
The National Museum of Ethiopia is located in Addis Ababa. It was established in 1944 and exhibits a few archeological collections as well as some ceremonial costumes and ethnographic objects. Lucy, 3.2 million years old is the oldest hominid remains found along the Awash river valley and is being exhibited in this museum.
The Ethiopian Heritage Trust, a non-profit, non-governmental organization is working actively to change part of the mountain to its old state, a natural park. Entoto Natural Park is the northeastern rim of Addis Ababa on the southeastern slopes of Mt. Entoto covering an area of 1,300 hectors. It is situated at an altitude of 2,600 and 3,100 meters.
Mount Entoto is the highest peak overlooking the city of Addis Ababa. Mount Entoto is part of the Entoto mountain chain, reaching 3,200 meters above sea level. It is considered a sacred mountain and holds many monasteries. It is also notable as the location of a number of celebrated churches, including Saint Raguel and Saint Mary.
The mountain is densely covered by eucalyptus trees which were imported from Australia thus it is sometimes referred to as the "lung of Addis Ababa". The forest on the mountain is an important source of firewood to the city. It was also a source of building material in earlier times.
Ethiopia is also a land of natural contrasts, from the tops of the rugged Simien mountains to the depths of the Danakil Depression, one of the lowest dry land points on earth. Ethiopia offers an astonishing variety of landscapes. Its many national parks enable the visitor to enjoy the country's scenery and its wildlife conserved in natural habitats, and offer opportunities for travel adventure.