Harar girls (Ethiopia)
What strikes you most when traveling in a place like Harar Ethiopia, is the remarkable social-emotional vitality you find all around you.
(In our countries we're such mere shadows of our forgotten hapiness.)
I found a painting after this photo here.
Harar (Ethiopia) is a magical place! See my Harar photo series.
If you have only 12 days to finally visit Africa, you should perhaps focus on one place: let it be Harar, Ethiopia (July 2006).
For centuries, until about 1860, it was an independent city at the borders of two different worlds: the Abbysinian mountains and the deserts stretching to the Red Sea coast. Trade and religious affairs (Muslim) must have alternated primacy during its history. As a holy city to Islam it feels as a surprisingly relaxed place. Tom Waits can not imagine the kind of dark yet exalted bars you find here at night. The size of the walled old city is at least half that of Jerusalem's old city. Most important the people are really open and the city is one of the world's few cities that within a few days demonstrate their very own distinct living atmosphere you'll never forget.