Harar: The City of Beer And Mosques (BBC)

Ethiopia's historic city of Harar is one of Islam's holiest centres - but in recent times it has built up another tradition and is now also known for its brewery. (Photograph credit: ALAMY via BBC News )

BBC New

By Aidan O’Donnell

As holy cities go, Harar is a colourful one. Inside the walls of the old town I find buildings in greens, purples and yellows – its women seem to take this as a challenge, dressing in veils and robes of shocking pink and the brightest orange.

Harar lies far in the east of Ethiopia, with a road that rises out of the town in the direction of Somaliland.

The mighty Muslim leader Ahmed The Left-Handed led some fierce campaigns from here in the 16th Century.

On its narrow streets I meet goats, old men collapsed from chewing the narcotic khat and a young boy who stops to knock a football back and forth with me for a few minutes.

Off the main square, tailors sit in front of fabric shops ready to run up alterations.

Binyam, slotted behind his sewing machine, does a small tailoring job for me, recounting his Greek ancestry and the provenance of his sewing machine – a gift, he says proudly, which would cost you thousands in the local currency.

Read more.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.


Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.