By Tadias Staff
Published: Monday, October 15th, 2012
New York (TADIAS) – If you live in the East Coast, you may have noticed a new book for sale at various Ethiopian stores and restaurants called Ethiopia: Inspiring Journey by Esubalew Meaza – a 180-page collection of photographs and descriptions of historical places, people, rare animals, cultural and religious ceremonies from different parts of the country.
Esubalew, the book’s author and photographer, is based in Alexandria, Virginia, and says he was motivated because of the shortage of similar books written from an Ethiopian perspective.
“I did the book because of my desire to promote Ethiopia’s tourist attractions, but during my research I found that most such books are produced by outsiders who lack the subtle understanding of Ethiopian culture and language,” Esubalew (also known as Esu) said in an interview. “I will give you an example, I was once reading a post by a blogger who had visited Ethiopia, specifically Nech Sar National Park near Arba Minch. I was amused by his description of a “Crocodile Market.” He was correct in a sense that he was literally translating Azo gebeya, which for Ethiopians means where the crocodiles gather. But for the readers of the blog-post, however, it sounded like a place where people buy crocodile meat, which was completely wrong.” He added, laughing, “I have never seen an Ethiopian eat Azo. So I thought it was my duty to correct this kind of misunderstanding.”
Esu, who is currently an IT project manager for the U.S. Department of Defense and a father of two, said he took the photos between 2005 and 2011. “I traveled back to Ethiopia in 2002 for the first time in 17 years but did not start the project until 2005,” Esu said. “I was a high school student when I moved to the United States so it was an incredible feeling for me to reconnect with the country, and I still keep going back.”
The publication is endorsed, among others, by Mr. Habte Selassie Tafesse, one of the pioneers of the Ethiopian tourism industry, who wrote: “the book is a perceptive, lively and a faithful photographic rendering of Ethiopia’s cultural, historical and physical features.”
Esu noted that some of his favorite sections of the book highlight Ethiopia’s hidden wildlife treasures including red jackal or Simien fox and the mountain nyala, as well as the Addis Ababa lions, which DNA tests recently confirmed to be genetically unique.
Esubalew Meaza at Sof Omar Cave in Bale. (Courtesy photo)
You can learn more and back order the book on Amazon. You may reach the author at Ethiopia@infoaddis.com.