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Archive for January, 2008

As urban development picks up pace, familiar landmarks are disappearing all too fast, along with structures of priceless historical value. Addis Ababa lacking an official list of its historically significant buildings, developers alone can not be blamed. This week’s Pankhurst’s corner sheds light on this significant heritage loss.

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For hundreds of years up to its rapid decline in the early 7th century, Aksum had reigned as one of the most powerful empires of antiquity. This week’s Pankhurst’s Corner explores the rise and eventual decline of this mighty civilization.

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The 18th century Scottish “explorer” James Bruce, who lived in Ethiopia from 1769 to 1774, was one of the great European travellers to Ethiopia. His famous five-volume work Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile – in which he explains his greatness and proudly quotes his allegedly important conversations with Ethiopian kings, queens and other historic figures – was first published in 1790. It created much controversy – with many readers taking it as Gospel truth, while others believed it to be very largely fictitious. The book was nevertheless almost immediately translated into French and German, and was subsequently reprinted, both in complete and abridged versions.
But how, dear reader, did Ethiopians evaluate their Scottish visitor?

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