- Photo Essay May 1, 2006

Arba Minch

Let's say that the city of Arba Minch holds a special place for MediaETHIOPIA folks. At least two of us can recount endless hours of memories of childhood life in this city by the two lakes in Southern Ethiopia.

As our readers realize these are difficult times in Ethiopia where the most dangerous profession in town is journalism. It is safer - we may add - to go around town with guns than a camera.

We hope that may explain why our beloved column: Photo Essay has been missing in our pages for the past year. But then, life goes on and in the long run, we hope, no amount of intimidation stops us and others from telling stories of Ethiopian life. Back to our story on Arba Minch. This growing and beautiful town is barely 50 years old and assumed regional importance only when the then governor dumped the town of Chencha 50 kilometers away in the north and 2000 meters higher in the Guge mountains. But in these 50 years or so, Arba Minch has come to symbolize the untouched beauty and potential of the great Southern Ethiopia land. This city serves as the gateway to mountain ranges that are dominated by the Konso people and the town of Gidole. Further south is the land of the Hammer and the Gelebs who live in the plains of what many believe to be the cradle of human origins.

Pictures on left column, top to bottom: The Great Abaya lake in dusk, the entrance to the Arba Minch university, the crocodile farm (where these 2 guys act as if they have extra pairs of legs), a market scene in Sikela - lower Arba Minch, Tourists headed to Kono and Hammer land.

Pictures on center column, top to bottom: The innocence of kids in Arba Minch and scenes from a banana plantation.

Pictures on right column, top to bottom: Why we think Arba Minch can feed the whole of Ethiopia, students strolling near the Arba Minch University (hand-holding between the same sex people may crack our readers; but everywhere in the world except Europe and the Americas, this is just a form of bonding among friends), more scenes from the city, Abaya lake and a 'kitfo' shack.

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