…to some countries you travel with the worst fears. It was just in November 2022, after two years of fighting in Tigray, that a ceasefire was arranged by the African Union. It is estimated that half a million people have been killed in the conflict and two million people have fled. According to UN human rights experts, executions, rape, sexual violence and starvation of civilians have been a method of warfare from the beginning. But the public does not perceive the war, especially not in Europe.
According to World Hunger Aid (WHH), around 22 million people are not getting enough to eat. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Nevertheless the Ethiopia I saw also had a very different side: heartiness, love of life, openness and gratitude. There was laughter in every greeting, passion in every action to show the best of Ethiopia. And there was this pleasant pride. Pride in Ethiopia’s 3000 years of cultural history, its independence, its central importance to the heritage of modern man. Anyone who studies religion in the world will find a unique kind of Christian faith here. An open and intensely lived religion that is nevertheless highly traditional. I have rarely seen people follow their call of the soul so impressively, with devotion and depth. Ethiopia is one of the first Christian kingdoms in the world.
The north of Ethiopia impresses with its highlands, all over 2000 m above sea level. The Jelada herds in the mountainous grasslands (Simien Mountains) are spectacular and unique in the world. Ethiopia’s highlands is also the source of the Nile and, with Lake Tana, an enormous source of fertility and diversity. Ethiopia is one of the eight genetic centres of the world, especially for cereals and vegetables.
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