December 03, 2007
by findingDulcinea Staff
Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent nation. Legend suggests that the powerful and beautiful Queen Cleopatra was Ethiopian. Apart from a five-year occupation by Italy during Mussolini’s time, it has never been colonized. Although more recently it has suffered civil strife, famine, and drought, Ethiopia clings to its cultural traditions and rich history.


In the 12th century, King Lalibela ordered eleven churches to be hewed from the red stone of the Lasta Mountains. View images of the famous rock churches of Lalibela and discover more about the structure’s ancient swastika designs.
Read an article about Ethiopia's walled city of Harar written by veteran traveler, John Graham. Learn about the town’s Moorish-inspired architecture and find out what John has to say about chewing khat, a mild narcotic popular in Northern Africa.
In the 1970s the author of this article fell in love with Ethiopia’s Blue Nile falls. When he returned 30 years later, however, the effects of a hydropower project reduced the falls to a trickle. Read this MSNBC article about why the thundering flow of water has ceased. You can also view a Today Show video clip as a  group of travelers discuss their goal to navigate the entire length of the Blue Nile River.


A Web site entitled Selamta, which means “be at peace” in the Amharic dialect, provides a complete listing of Ethiopian festivals as well as the history behind the celebrations. View photos of burning torches that are characteristic of the September holiday Maskal, or “Finding of the True Cross.”
Ethiopia is known for its distance runners. An international 10k race is held every year in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Read up on the Ethiopian Run’s course, which starts and finishes in the city center.
Learn how to make traditional recipes, view ingredient shopping lists, and host your own Ethiopian traditional dinner by using the tips provided by this online Ethiopian cookbook.


For insights on hidden gems and local knowledge, don’t miss John Graham’s travel book: Ethiopia: Off the Beaten Trail.
CyberEthiopia gathers information about Ethiopia from news and media sources around the world. A recent top story chronicled the opening of a Starbucks-sponsored, Ethiopian farmer’s support center.
Ethiopia has its own calendar that follows the cycle of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Read up on Ethiopia’s ancient biblical role and the many calendars that have been used throughout the country’s history.
Watch a 1977 documentary, “Ethiopia: The Hidden Empire.” This film will remind you of something you might have seen in a high school social studies class. The nostalgia alone is worth a click.

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