Ethiopia: Destination of the Month

Ethiopia: Destination of the Month

Quite simply, Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most unique and spectacular countries.

Considered the cradle of humanity, as the location of the earliest found human remains, Ethiopia’s culture and history is as rich as it is extensive. It is a land of fascinating history and thriving culture, best epitomised through its distinctive and delicious cuisine and versatile and unique music.

These cultural and historical riches are complimented by astounding natural beauty. Ethiopia is a far cry from the arid desert state many believe it to be. The land-locked country is home to jaw-dropping mountain ranges, vast lakes and lush greenery, populated by a vast number of flora and fauna endemic only to Ethiopia.

Destination Guide: Ethiopia

Tough Trucks: Ethiopia

Join Zay Harding as he travels by truck across the equally tough and most spectacular cities and lanscapes of Ethiopia.

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The Ethiopian Diaspora

The Ethiopian diaspora, despite the long and extensive history of the country, is relatively small and confined to certain countries. With a total population of 107 million, less than 1 million live overseas. The largest diaspora community is in the United States (460,000), followed by Israel (130,000), Lebanon (110,000), Saudi Arabia (90,000), Italy (30,000) and the United Kingdom (20,000).

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The Discovery of Coffee

Join coffee roaster and social entrepreneur, Dean Cycon and Judith Jones, as they unravel the secrets behind Coffee: The Drink that Changed America.

Dean and Judith chart the discovery of the bean in Ethiopia more than a thousand years ago, its journey into Arabia where it became a drink favoured among Moslems, and then to the growing number of coffee houses in the Ottoman Empire.

Brought to Europe by the Venetians, coffee houses sprung up in major continental cities throughout the 17th century, around the same time coffee made its way across the Atlantic to America.

After the Boston Tea Party, coffee replaced tea as America’s favorite hot beverage and became an essential ration for soldiers in the civil, first and second world wars. It went on to be established as the national staple drink served at the iconic American eatery, the Diner.

While the Italians invented the culture of drinking espresso, it was an American who invented instant coffee, and when American entrepreneurs brought espresso back from Europe, it was the catalyst for an artisanal coffee revolution exported around the globe.

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Wild Goats and Dancing Dervishes: The Evolution of Coffee from Ethiopia

Ethiopia is Africa’s major coffee exporter, exporting only Arabica coffee, the species that accounts for 70% of the world’s coffee. The country produces 200,000 tons, of which a little less than half is for domestic consumption. The Ethiopian Coffee Export Enterprise is responsible for the livelihood of 12 million people, which controls 50% of Ethiopia’s coffee market. Its processing plants are found in Addis Ababa (where five plants process up to 500 tons a day) and in Dire Dawa. This figurehead company sells to Germany, Japan, the USA, France, and the Middle East – specializing in unblended and organic coffee.

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Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis

Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis

Sebastião Salgado is a Brazilian photographer famous for his extraordinary black and white images of life in some of the most remote and least visited parts of our planet.

Salgado’s latest work is the monumental project called Genesis, a collection of more than 200 images from the far reaches of the Earth, and showcases the results of an eight-year long project

SalgadoMursi Women in Ethiopia with prominent lip plates

This unique body of work is now exhibiting at London’s Natural History Museum through to September this year.

The collection contains startling images of the daily life of Siberian nomads, Papua New Guinea natives and Amazonian tribes photographed over weeks and months on location in some of the world’s most challenging environments.

Salgado’s images of the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia (filmed by Pilot Productions in 1996) and his images of South Georgia in the South Atlantic (filmed by Pilot Productions in 2009) and are among the most memorable images of the exhibition and a testimony to the extraordinary talents of this Globe Trotting photographic genius of our age!

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis is at the Natural History Museum, London, from 11 April to 8 September 2013
Ticket prices £10 adults, £5 child and concession, £27 family

Main image: Sebastião Salgado photo exhibition Genesis at National Museum of Singapore, JNZL’s Photos, Flickr Creative Commons