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Friday, 9 January 2015



The word "Ethiopia" is from the Greek word Αἰθιοπία meaning sun light burned face.

Some of the oldest evidence for modern humans is found in Ethiopia, which is widely considered the region from which Homo sapiens first set out for the Middle East and points beyond.

Homer (c. 8th century BC) was the first to mention "Aethiopians" He mentioned that they were to be found at the southern extremities of the world, divided by the sea into "eastern" (at the sunrise) and "western" (at the sunset). He also refers to the "Aethiopians" as a "blameless race" and "amongst the noblest of men."

The Kingdom of Aksum, the first known kingdom of great power to rise in Ethiopia, rose during the first century AD. The Persian religious figure Mani listed Axum with China, Rome and Persia as one of the four great powers of his time.

The first Hijra in Islamic history occurred in 615 when a group of Muslims was counseled by Muhammad to escape persecution in Mecca and travel to Ethiopia, which was ruled by a Christian king, the Negus.

One time King Lalibela of Ethiopia  (reign early 13th century) fell ill and whilst in a coma, he was visited by God in a vision. When he awoke he begun at once to carry out the order he received: to build a spectacular group of churches, hewn out of the rock of this mountainous region. It is speculated that the lost Ark of the Covenant can be found here.

Around 1270, the Solomonid dynasty came to control Ethiopia, claiming that they were related to the kings of Axum. They called themselves Neguse Negest ("King of Kings," or Emperor), basing their claims on their direct relation to Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

Unlike most African nations, Ethiopia has been never a European colony.

In the 18th and 19th century, blocks of salt were used as currency in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia).

Ethiopia derived prestige for its uniquely successful military resistance during the late 19th-century Scramble for Africa, and subsequently many African nations adopted the colors of Ethiopia's flag following their independence.

The Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, signed the nation's first constitution on July 16, 1931. It was intended to officially replace the Fetha Nagast, which had been the supreme law since the Middle Ages. The constitution represented the first time in history that an absolute ruler had voluntarily shared sovereignty with his subjects.

Haile Selassie in 1942

Haile Selassie was Ethiopia's Emperor for 44 years from 1930. He was deposed by a military coup on September 12, 1974. The Rastafari movement considers him to be the Biblical messiah, the incarnation of God who will lead followers into a new golden age, hence his importance to Jamaican reggae musicians.

Virtually unknown, and running in bare feet, the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila (1932-73), won the marathon at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, setting a new world record and becoming the first black African to win a gold medal.

In 1974, at the end of Haile Selassie's reign, power fell to a communist military junta known as the Derg, backed by the Soviet Union, .

Ethiopia underwent a series of famines in the 1980s, exacerbated by civil wars and adverse geopolitics.

In 1985 Bob Geldof, the ex lead singer of an Irish punk band known as the Boomtown Rats was prompted by the devastating famine in Ethiopia to organize Live Aid, a 16-hour concert held at Wembley Stadium then continued at the JFK stadium in Philadelphia. Many of the world’s biggest acts participated, raising more than £80 million.

A substantial population of Ethiopian Jews, known as Beta Israel, resided in Ethiopia until the 1980s. It was claimed Ethiopian Jews were descendants of the tribe of Dan.

In 1985 Israel admitted that it had been secretly resettling Ethiopian Jews in Israel since 1977. More than 10,000 Ethiopians had been escaping the country’s communist regime and the recent famine by being secretly airlifted to Israel.

The Derg communist regime was defeated by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in 1991. A Transitional Government of Ethiopia, composed of an 87-member Council of Representatives and guided by a national charter that functioned as a transitional constitution, was set up. The EPRDF has ruled ever since.

The current flag of Ethiopia was adopted on  October 31, 1996. The three traditional colors of green, yellow and red date back to Emperor Menelik (r. 1889–1913) and were first used in a flag in 1897.

Passenger services were inaugurated on January 10, 2017 on the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway, a fast electric railway connecting the Ethiopian capital to the the port of Djibouti, providing landlocked Ethiopia with railroad access to the Red Sea.


With about 87.9 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world.

Though Ethiopia is landlocked, the state-owned shipping company has 17 ships

The Ethiopians are the only people in Africa with their own indigenous written alphabet. The alphabet, Ethiopic, is one of the world’s oldest and — with 345 letters — longest.

The coffee bean originated in Ethiopia,

With approximately 52 million heads of cattle, Ethiopia has the largest livestock population in Africa.

Dallol, a settlement in the Dallol woreda of northern Ethiopia., currently holds the official record for record high average temperature for an inhabited location on Earth, where an average annual temperature of 35°C (96°F) was recorded between the years 1960 and 1966.

England shares its patron saint - St George - with Ethiopia. A cathedral in Addis Ababa is named after him and so is the main football club, as well as Ethiopia's oldest brand of beer, which was first brewed in 1922.

Ethiopia has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa with nine sites.

Source Wikipedia

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