Ethiopia situated between the Red Sea and the Great African Rift Valley, on the eastern flank of Africa, facing Arabia, lies in Africa’s Cradle of Humanity bordering, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, and Sudan. Regarded by many as a historical and scenic wonderland, Ethiopia, which is today almost as large as France and Spain combined, is a country of great antiquity, beauty, and complexity. Possessed of a unique culture, or cultures, it has been regarded with fascination by outsiders, for several millennia at least, and looked upon as a land of mystery. The country is also home of Coffee and the place where the oldest human being in the world was found.

To the Jews of antiquity, Ethiopia was kindred, though distant territory, referred to frequently in the Bible: the land from which Moses had taken a wife, a country of prophecy, which, psalms 67 proclaimed, would “soon stretch forth her hands to God”.

Ethiopia, from the beginning of the Christian era, was the site of the Aksumite Empire, located in what is now the north of the country. The Aksumite kingdom was likewise the only state in Africa to have its own alphabet. It was used to express the country’s then principal language, Ge’ez. A member of the Semitic family languages, it was the only one to be written from left to right.

As the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia, it was the sole of African country south of the Sahara to mint its own currency, and its trade extended from Egypt in the north to India, and even Ceylon, in the east. Ethiopia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity.Ethiopia, the only state to survive the European Scramble for Africa, had in fact become a beacon of freedom for the Black World.

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