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Around the Globe: Ethiopia

Shira Yehudit Djlilmand

Today, we’re headed for a country full of mountains, rivers — and coffee. All strapped up and ready to visit Ethiopia?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

boy at Ethiopian festivalFrom Emperors to Aid

While we’re on our way, I’ll give you a quick run-down on Ethiopia. Ethiopiais Africa’s oldest independent country (apart from a five year occupation by Mussolini’s Italy), and has never been colonized (settled in by other countries). The Ancient Kingdom of Axum was one of the great powers of the 3rd century, and one of the longest monarchies in the world, only ending in 1974 when the emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown.

But despite its glorious past,Ethiopiatoday is one ofAfrica’s poorest countries. Most Ethiopians are farmers — especially coffee farmers — or herders (they take care of animals.) Constant droughts have caused great famine; in fact, seven million Ethiopians face starvation, relying on food aid from abroad to survive.

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