A Taste of Ethiopia’s Rich History and Culture
By Scott About Ethiopia
Today, the Ark of the Covenant is located in Ethiopia. How did it get there? It was smuggled out of Jerusalem in around 950 BCE by Menelik, the lovechild of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, of course. Or so says the Kebra Negast, or “The Glory of the Kings,” an eminent piece of Ethiopian literature, history, and culture.
Having never been colonized, Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world. One of the most complete and best preserved hominid fossils of an adult Australopithecine (commonly known as “Lucy”), ever uncovered was discovered in Ethiopia. Ethiopia may very well be the “cradle of humankind” in which humankind’s ancestors began to rapidly evolve and migrate out of Africa.
Although a simplification, the dichotomy between radical Islam and the modern world and the discord it creates dominates many media, government, and social platforms. Religious-based terrorist attacks, wars, and (more often) hateful speech between participatory parties in this conflict seem to subdue previously established pillars of peace and real life examples of seemingly “incompatible” religions and cultures living side by side. One of the most visible examples of such a harmonious society is within Ethiopia, where about 44% of citizens are Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, about 33% are Muslim, and about 19% are Protestant. Ethiopians of different backgrounds, religions, and upbringings have been living harmoniously for centuries.
The above facts are but a few components that make Ethiopia the intriguing and beautiful nation it is today. Combine these with the fact that Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and one of the fastest in the world, and the country becomes even more interesting. Yet, Ethiopia has been under the radar when it comes to international attention paid to its development and culture. This presents problems when a country is looking for foreign investment and/or needs support (in the form of money, volunteers, or transfer of knowledge) to deal with the problems development presents.
I hope in further reading about Ethiopia as a country, the organizations that are working to improve the lives of its citizens, and the issues themselves, visitors of this website will share with their friends, families, and colleagues the picture of Ethiopia we sketch in the information we present. I have seen firsthand the work of these organizations, the need for outside help, and the compassionate and captivating society formed by Ethiopia’s history, culture, and people. Not only does Ethiopia need your help – they deserve it.