|Ethiopia - The Land
Ethiopia is strategically located in the horn of Africa bordered by the Sudan on the west, Somalia and Djibouti on the east, Eritrea on the north and Kenya on the south- It covers an area of approximately 1.14 million square kilometres (444,000 square miles). The varied topography of the country generally features rugged mountains, flat-topped plateaux, deep river canyons, rolling plains and low lands. The major river basins include; The Abbay (Blue Nile), Awash, Baro, Omo, Tekeze arid Wabe Shabele, The Great Valley divides the Ethiopian high lands, as it traverses the country from north to south.
With a population of about 60 million. Ethiopia represents a melting pot of ancient Middle Eastern and African cultures evident in the religious, ethnic and language compositions of its Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic and Nilotic peoples, The Ethiopian people comprise about seventy eight nationalities of which the Amhara and the Oromo constitute the majority, with about 60 percent of the total population.
Most Ethiopians are farmers and herdsmen, but there are also many craftsmen, Fishing is another activity prevalent on the lakes and rivers of the Rift Valley. Literate and forward-looking urban residents of Addis Abba and other main centres participate in practically every profession known lo mankind.
Culture of Ethiopia
In the north of the country followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian faith - one of the oldest denominations of Christianity - make up the majority of the population. Their churches and monasteries are highly respected religious sanctuaries and are storehouses of priceless religious and historical treasures. Ethiopian Christians have a deep belief that the Biblical Ark of the Covenant was removed from lerusalem during the reign of King Solomon and is now resting in a chapel in the town of Axum.
Ethiopia's Islamic community is also strong, particularly in the eastern and southern parts of the country. In fact, there were Muslims in Ethiopia during the life of the Prophet Mohammed. This rich religious history is especially brought to life in the romantic walled city of Harar, considered by many Muslims to be a 'holy city' of Islam and an important centre of the Islamic faith on the continent of Africa since the tenth or eleventh century AD.