Ethiopia is one of the oldest independent nations in the world. It has long been an intersection between the civilizations of North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ethiopia (Amharic: ኢትዮጵያ ʾĪtyōp yā) is the second-most populous country in Africa (after Nigeria) and is the only African country never to be colonized, save for a short Italian occupation in the 1930s and 1940s. Located in the Horn of Africa region, it is bordered by Eritrea to the north (which seceded from Ethiopia in 1991 after a long and bloody war of independence), Djibouti to the northeast, Somaliland and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, and Sudan and South Sudan to the west. Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the second-oldest official Christian nation in the world after Armenia. Ethiopia is also the place of the first Hijra (615 CE) in Islamic history where the Christian king of Ethiopia offered refuge to those fleeing from Mecca and sent by the prophet Mohamed.
The Berhan Ethiopia Cultural Center is dedicated to informing, educating, and inspiring visitors through a unique experience of Ethiopian history and culture. Founder and Executive Director of TOFOE and the Berhan Ethiopia Cultural Center Sabella Belaynesh Abay has the following message.
Ethiopia is one of the oldest independent nations in the world. It has long been an intersection between the civilizations of North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Uniquely among African countries, Ethiopia was never colonized, maintaining its independence throughout the Scramble for Africa onward, except for five years (1936–41) when it was under Italian military occupation. During this period, the Italians occupied only a few key cities and major routes, and faced continuing native resistance until they were finally defeated during the Second World War by a joint Ethiopian-British alliance. Ethiopia has long been a member of international organizations: it became a member of the League of Nations, signed the Declaration by United Nations in 1942, founded the UN headquarters in Africa, was one of the 51 original members of the UN, and is the headquarters for, and one of the founding members of, the former Organisation of African Unity and the current African Union.
Ethiopia was historically called Abyssinia, a word related to Habesha, the native name for the inhabitants. In some countries, Ethiopia is still called by names cognate with "Abyssinia", eg, Turkish Habesistan, meaning land of the Habesha people. The English name "Ethiopia" is thought to be derived from the Greek word Αἰθιοπία (Aithiopia), from Αἰθίοψ (Aithiops) "an Ethiopian", derived from Greek terms meaning "of burnt (αιθ-) visage (ὄψ)". However, this etymology is disputed, since the Book of Aksum, a Ge'ez chronicle first composed in the 15th century, states that the name is derived from 'Ityopp'is, a son (unmentioned in the Bible) of Cush, son of Ham, who according to legend founded the city of Axum.
Ethiopia's population is highly diverse, consisting of more than 80 ethnic groups. The largest ethnic groups are the Oromo (34% of the population) and the Amhara (27%). The largest religious affiliations are Christian (63% of the population – comprising 44% Ethiopian Orthodox and 19% other denominations) and Muslim (34%).
The predominant climate type is tropical monsoon, with wide topographic-induced variation. As a highland country, Ethiopia has a climate that is generally considerably cooler than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator. Most of the country's major cities are located at elevations of around 2,000-2,500m (6,600-8,200 ft) above sea level, including historic capitals such as Gondar and Axum.
Ethiopia uses the Ethiopian calendar, which dates back to the Coptic calendar 25 BC, and never adopted either the Julian or Gregorian calendar reforms. One Ethiopian year consists of twelve months, each lasting thirty days, plus a thirteenth month of five or six days (hence the "Thirteen Months of Sunshine" tourism slogan). The Ethiopian new year begins on 10 or 11 September (in the Gregorian calendar), and has accumulated 7–8 years lag behind the Gregorian calendar: thus, for the first nine months of 2007, the year was 1999 according to the Ethiopian calendar. On 11 Sep 2007, Ethiopia celebrated New Year's Day (Enkutatesh) for the Julian year of 2000.
Amharic is the first official language of Ethiopia. The language is a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic, and if you know either one you'll recognize some cognates. In all parts of the country everyone speaks Amharic to some extent, no matter what their first language may be. The language is written in the Ge'ez script.
At berhan we offer an oppertunityt o take yo across Ethiopia.