Page 3 - index
P. 3

Ethiopia is greatly misunderstood.                   However, the most significant impact to the
           Thanks to the modern mass media, the      Ethiopian culture by the Kingdom is perhaps its
           country is tied to the images of the      transformation by King Ezana in the fourth cen-
           famine in the 1980s spread and ampli-     tury into one of the first Christian State in the
fied on TV and internet around the globe. They       world. From then on, Christianity has stayed,
touched the viewers' hearts, and stayed in peo-      and deeply entrenched in many Ethiopians’ dai-
ple's minds. Since then, a name called Ethiopia      ly life.
remains forever as a synonym of poverty, mal-
nutrition, drought, famine and war.                  With the rise of Islam in seventh century, the
                                                     centre of Christian spirit was forced to Roha to
It is true that even with the end of the famine      the south. But it was not until the twelfth centu-
decades ago, Ethiopia remains as one of the          ry during the reign of King Lalibela, Roha trans-
poorest in the world, with a few hundred dollars     formed itself into a world-renowned architec-
GDP per capita. We are not told, however, that       tural marvel. Being impressed by the buildings
Ethiopia is a country with extraordinary rich-       in Jerusalem, King Lalibela was determined to
ness - in terms of history, culture and natural      create a new Jerusalem on African soil, accessi-
resources. Being the cradle of humanity, it is the   ble to all Ethiopians. He realised his dream, with
home of the earliest known human ancestor, Lu-       the help of angels. A large cluster of churches
cy. Three million plus years later, the land has     with exceptional architectural intricacy and
developed to a country inhabited by a popula-        craftsmanship was finally chiselled out from the
tion more than that of Great Britain or France,      rock in Roha. To commemorate his achieve-
along with great ethnic and cultural diversity.      ment, Roha was renamed Lalibela ever since.

According to legends, the biblical Queen of She-     Today, Ethiopia is a country accessible to all
ba began to rule ancient Ethiopia in her capital     types of travellers. Not only are they able to
near Axum in tenth century BC. In quest of           walk through the time line of the Ethiopian his-
knowledge and wisdom, the inquiring Queen            tory by visiting relics in Axum and Lalibela, but
travelled overland to Jerusalem to visit King Sol-   also experience the modern-day diversity of cul-
omon of Israel, gave birth a child of his, who lat-  ture in areas such as Omo River Valley and Ha-
er became the first king of Ethiopia. Since then,    rar. Nature lovers would find a paradise of wild-
the Solomonic line of generations of rulers has      life and landscape in this country, where the Si-
become the foundation of Ethiopia history.           mien Mountains offer a breathtaking scenery of
                                                     the Ethiopian Highland, and the Lake Tana
A thousand years later, a powerful kingdom           sources the legendary Blue Nile and provides
comparable to Rome, Persia and China began to        homes for numerous seclusive orthodox Chris-
thrive here. In its heyday, the Kingdom of Axum      tian monasteries.
stretched from the southern Arabia to the Nile
Valley in Sudan, and grew richer by trading with     For those who have not had an opportunity to
not only countries nearby but also as far as         visit the country, it is my wish that this docu-
Rome and Gaul. Today, the towering stelae            ment would lead you into the land of wonder, as
serve as testimony of the glorious past.             well as refresh your perception of this country.
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