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Muslim wedge situated in the very Christian country that is Ethiopia, the Harar city has closed itself from the outside world for a thousand years. Trade exchanges with the Arabic Peninsula are over, and Harar is no longer well known as a dynamic Muslim teaching centre. The « jewel of the horn of Africa » keeps its treasures secret. Those who will want to explore the Harar region will need boldness, tenacity and patience.

Harar, The revealed citadel. Photos by © Pascal Meunier/LightMediation Texte by ®Eve Gandossi Contact - Thierry Tinacci - LightMediation Photo Agency +33 (0)6 61 80 57 21 thierry@lightmediation.com


2237-06: Ethiopia. Harar. Zars ceremony. The priestess Ouma Acha and her followers drive away the "zars", the bad spirits. Around a geie, Ethiopian chicha, and the qat, with their magic incantations they chase away negative spirits. Clementines saleswoman during the day, Ouma Acha is a well respected person in Harar.


2237-01: Ethiopia. Harar. Gay Humberti. Epicentre. Lost amongst Indian houses, is the "belly button of Harar", the epicentre, called Gay Humberti.

2237-02: Ethiopia. Harar. Feres Magala square. Crossroad of the main arteries, the Feres Magala square is always busy. The Oromo country women

2237-03: Ethiopia. Harar. Night fall. Young girls whispering secrets at night fall.

2237-04: Ethiopia. Harar. House of a painter. Ali a painter decorates also the inside of his house: the mecca, men praying, flowers...


2237-05: Ethiopia. Harar. Kadir Aboine mosque. In Harar, Christians and Muslims live together in perfect peace. Here a taxi infront of the mosque Kadir Aboine, also called Mosque nยก8.

2237-06: Ethiopia. Harar. Zars ceremony. The priestess Ouma Acha and her followers drive away the "zars", the bad spirits. Around a geie,

2237-07: Ethiopia. Harar. Rest at Ansar's tombs. After school, pupils come to rest at Aw Ansar's tombs. But at nightfall the hyenas replace them.

2237-08: Ethiopia. Harar. Dressmakers street. The dressmakers street, known as Makina Guirguir is without question the noisiest street of Harar


2237-21: Ethiopia. Harar. View of the jugol. Panorama of the jugol, the old city, from the Rimbaud house. More and more houses are built quickly with corrugated sheets to deal with the massive arrival of the peasants.


2237-09: Ethiopia. Harar. Mausoleum Ouma Tahir. Badri ceremony. Every thursday night and during muslim festvities like here the Badri, men and women meet in the mausoleum Ouma Tahir to worship

2237-10: Ethiopia. Harar. Palace and corrugated iron. With the massive arrival from the country side of the Oromos, the town is faced with constructions arising chaotically. In the past, only made of stone, Harar

2237-11: Ethiopia. Harar. Traditional house. In the main part of the houses, the "gidir gar", dishes are fixed on the walls and various tea sets or coffee

2237-12: Ethiopia. Harar. Abdallah Sherif. Collector. Abdallah Sherif is "the" collector of Harar: old coins, tapes of harari songs which he converts into numerical format, old corans, weapons from tribes... His


2237-13: Ethiopia. Harar. Coffee house. Coffee house Karambola Beit where during the day the elder meet to play board games and the youth

2237-14: Ethiopia. Harar. Cafeteria. The cafeteria Tawfik Sherif usually reserved for Muslims welcomes Christians. Here, three friends, Muslims and Christians. On the wall a women wearing traditional harari

2237-15: Ethiopia. Harar. Sheik Mohamed Gatour. Mausoleum. Mohamed Gatour, sheik of a mausoleum, preciously preserves the goods of his ancestors. Here, a box made out of carved wood containing a coran

2237-16: Ethiopia. Harar. Mosque. Women entrance. The mosques in Harar which welcome women are rare, they pray in their own homes. In the mosque Jami, the oldest of Harar, they have their own entrance.


2237-53: Ethiopia. Harar. Jami mosque. It is the oldest mosque of Harar, dating from 12th century but restored last century, and dedicated to the Imam Ahmed ibn Ibrahim Al Ghazi, conqueror of Abyssinie in 16th century. It is the busiest on a friday.


2237-17: Ethiopia. Harar. Rimbaud house. The Rimbaud house an indian building is today a museum dedicated to the poet who lived 10 years in

2237-18: Ethiopia. Harar. Qat break. Before each Ramadan, harari families restore their homes. Some date back to the 12th century. Here a man having a qat break.

2237-19: Ethiopia. Harar. Jugol. Old town. The jugol, the old city, has several faces: busy streets with small stalls and markets, lanes with the large

2237-20: Ethiopia. Harar. Traditional house. If the old women prefer to stay in the freshness of their house, the young people talk outside. The houses


HARAR, a Muslim city in the Christian Ethiopia / 2237-21: Ethiopia. Harar. View of the jugol. Panorama of the jugol, the old city, from the Rimbaud house. More and more houses are built quickly with

HARAR, a Muslim city in the Christian Ethiopia / 2237-22: Ethiopia. Harar. Dancing Drivers Hotel. In the main street of the jugol, going towards the new city, many dance halls with alcohol and prostitutes have

HARAR, a Muslim city in the Christian Ethiopia / 2237-23: Ethiopia. Harar. Oromo woman. To go to sell their goods, the oromo women walk for hours on the country roads then in the tortuous lanes

HARAR, a Muslim city in the Christian Ethiopia / 2237-24: Ethiopia. Harar. Guardian. For 15 years, Dabale Habte Yemer has guarded the district 3 of the jugol. Here, are stored the death, marriage, birth certificates,


2237-25: Ethiopia. Harar. Dressmaker. A dressmaker having a qat break.


2237-25: Ethiopia. Harar. Dressmaker. A dressmaker having a qat break.

2237-26: Ethiopia. Harar. Hyenas. Each night, with the call of former city guard, the hyenas descend from the valley to be fed by the hand of the man. Around midnight, they enter the jugol (the old city) and clean

2237-27: Ethiopia. Harar. Life in pink. A life in pink for this little girl from a wealthy family, a life in green for these tramps who live only for the khat. Two worlds which often attend the same places.

2237-28: Ethiopia. Harar. Koranic school. Formerly a great center of Islamic teaching, Harar, which lost its notoriety, still has some Koranic schools. Here, Moase, 8 years old, learns how to read Arabic with the


2237-29: Ethiopia. Harar. Christian girl. Surrounded of Christian icons, Betty dreams of reaching the western world to become a model. Her cases

2237-30: Ethiopia. Harar. Traditional clothes. The traditional harari dress is composed of a silver sihassa (kind of collar for the head), of a Ge ganafi

2237-31: Ethiopia. Harar. Church Medhani Alem. Feres Magala square. In Feres Magala square, the centre of Harar, you can meet the oromo country-women who come downtown to sell their goods, the taxi

2237-32: Ethiopia. Harar. Takets carved. Niches. In the harari houses, the walls are ornamented with takets, carved niches. Formerly used to put the water of ablutions, they are useful today above all for


2237-45: Ethiopia. Harar. Christian woman. Massai a young Christian in traditional dress in front of sculptured walls of a muslim house.


2237-33: Ethiopia. Harar. Qat party. Formerly held at the weekends, the "qat parties" are now daily. The qat is the new green gold of the area.

2237-34: Ethiopia. Harar. Mosque of the Egyptians. Fourth Holy City of Islam, the old town of Harar shelters nearly 100 mosques. The mosque of the Egyptians is one of the most famous. To enter, the

2237-35: Ethiopia. Harar. Palace of Ras Tafari. The old palace of Ras Tafari, which is slowly falling to ruins, is inhabited today by several disadvantaged,

2237-36: Ethiopia. Harar. Tomb Aw Abadir. Harar is the fourth Holy City of Islam for the number of its tombs... approximately 300 in the old city.In the


2237-37: Ethiopia. Harar. Ceremony. Tomb Aw Qurabi Limai. The Harari adolescents go to the awash (tombs) to worship Allah. Here, the sons of the sheik of the mausoleum Aw Qurabi Limai sing the sourates

2237-38: Ethiopia. Harar. Opposite worlds. On one side, the local oromo country-women and their African dresses. On the other side a girl dressed

2237-39: Ethiopia. Harar. Coffee shop Ouassan Seget. Christians. On the central square Feres Magala, Christians and Moslems meet at the coffee shop Ouassan Seget. If the Moslem women still drape

2237-40: Ethiopia. Harar. Shop. It is not leather, ivory or the spices which transit in Harar anymore, but the preserves, oil cans and the biscuits with the artificial flavours.


2237-54: Ethiopia. Harar. Priest. During nearly 9 centuries, the Christians tried to conquer this Moslem enclave. Today, the two communities live in peace. Here, a priest looks at this city which does not cease to expand.


2237-41: Ethiopia. Harar. Butchers market. Today transformed into the butchers market, the largest of all the city, the arcades of Magala Guddo are

2237-42: Ethiopia. Harar. Ceremony of the coffee. "The ceremony of the coffee" is a family tradition. After having blackened the grains, they grind them while the water heats in the jebena (coffee machine). Each

2237-43: Ethiopia. Harar. Tomb Aw Ansar. Play-ground in the afternoon for the children, the tomb Aw Ansar is transformed at night into a meeting

2237-44: Ethiopia. Harar. Christian in a muslim cafeteria. Massai, a young Christian in traditional clothing comes to have a drink in the Muslim cafeteria Tawfik Sherif. Behind her, a painting representing a Muslim


2237-45: Ethiopia. Harar. Christian woman. Massai a young Christian in traditional dress in front of sculptured walls of a muslim house.

2237-46: Ethiopia. Harar. Sigaratara souk. Before, in this arab influenced souk, cigarettes were sold, which explains its name Sigaratara. Today, you

2237-67: La maison Rimbaud, restaurée il y a 7 ans, grace à une coopération franco-éthiopienne, accueille un musée dédié au poète qui vécut 10 ans à Harar. Pourtant, "l'homme aux semelles de vent"

2237-48: Ethiopia. Harar. Healer. Sheik Turun Badu Hadji Bouchra. Sheik Turun Badu Hadji Bouchra, healer of Harar, claims to cure cancers,asthma and madness, practises in the old room of the palace Ras


2237-04: Ethiopia. Harar. House of a painter. Ali a painter decorates also the inside of his house: the mecca, men praying, flowers...


2237-49: Ethiopia. Harar. Tomb. The lanes of the old city hold approximately 300 awash (tombs) of which a significant number of qubbi, tombs which do not contain coffins, like this one. A taket (niche) is carved

2237-50: Ethiopia. Harar. Ras Tafari palace. With the massive arrival from the country side of the Oromos, the town is faced with constructions arising

2237-51: Ethiopia. Harar. Kadir Aboine. Rain mosque. In front of the mosque Kadir Aboine, known as mosque n째8, the shops of the main street are used as shelters for the passers by, a little before the arrival

2237-52: Ethiopia. Harar. Market. Mosque of the Italians. Near the market Magala Guddo, one of the 99 mosques of Harar: the mosque of the Italians. For the past few years, a little everywhere in the city,


2237-65: Ethiopia. Harar. Women faces. Harar is in the image of these three women: traditional and wonted, colourful and African, and very attracted by modernity.

2237-66: Ethiopia. Harar. Oromo woman. Oromo Country-woman come downtown to seek drinking water. This tribe, which was used before as

2237-55: Ethiopia. Harar. Christian market. The Christian market of the Choa gate is located outside the ramparts, in the new city. The evening, the

2237-56: Ethiopia. Harar. Tomb Sheik Hashim. Next to the coffin of the late saint, the faithful come to worship Allah all night, once a week. These tombs


2237-09: Ethiopia. Harar. Mausoleum Ouma Tahir. Badri ceremony. Every thursday night and during muslim festvities like here the Badri, men and women meet in the mausoleum Ouma Tahir to worship Allah. A ceremony specific to Harar where the faithful in a transe to the sound of the karabouts (drums) eat qat to remain awake and recite verses of the Koran.


2237-57: Ethiopia. Harar. Market Magala Guddo. At the heart of Harar the market Magala Guddo, the market of the butchers. Encircled by the Rimbaud house, the mosque of the Italians and some houses

2237-58: Ethiopia. Harar. Qat party. At Ahmed's, during the Ramadan, the qat is consumed in a small room of the house. The gidir gar, the main part, is reserved for the reading of the Koran.

2237-59: Ethiopia. Harar. Oromo saleswoman. No need for stalls in Harar. Here, a saleswoman of the tribe oromo settles in front of the shop of

2237-60: Ethiopia. Harar. Christian woman. Betty, 19 years old, proud to be Ethiopian but who also dreams of leaving to make career as a model.


2237-61: Ethiopia. Harar. Christians in Rose coffee shop. Dressed in her bast clothes, Betty often comes to the Rose coffee, meeting place of the Christians.

2237-62: Ethiopia. Harar. Priestess Ouma Acha. Fruits saleswoman during the day, Ouma Acha is also a priestess. After having smoked the geie, the

2237-63: Ethiopia. Harar. Shop in jugol. Old town. While mothers are shopping children run around in the lanes of the jugol.

2237-64: Ethiopia. Harar. Reading of the Koran. During the Ramadan, after the rupture of the fast, Sadah and Amah, both students, come to their uncle


2237-05: Ethiopia. Harar. Kadir Aboine mosque. In Harar, Christians and Muslims live together in perfect peace. Here a taxi infront of the mosque Kadir Aboine, also called Mosque nยก8.


2237-08: Ethiopia. Harar. Dressmakers street. The dressmakers street, known as Makina Guirguir is without question the noisiest street of Harar because of the sewing machines. Here, all the ethnic groups of the area meet. Increasingly dominated by the Oromos, it used to be mainly Indian merchants here. You can still see their houses.


2237-47: Ethiopia. Harar. Dini Gabana mosque. Fourth Holy City of Islam, Harar holds nearly 100 mosques inside its ramparts. Hidden in labyrinthian lanes, the mosque Dini Gabana.


Harar, The revealed citadel. For two days they have been waiting. Two endless days during which the faces, usually so impassive, begin to look concerned, questioning; when the ways marked out since long ago give way to a drifting human flood. Then, the awaited hour comes. The shrill staccato "yooyoos" from the women hitch themselves to the honking of the worn out horns of the old heaps. Finally, Ramadan has started. Never mind the Christian neighbors, used to the juggling between the inflamed sermons from the priest and the calls to prayer by the muezzin*. Each, of course, coming out of the crackling loudspeakers. Here it's sort of who can make the most noise... And yet, Harar, fourth holy city of Islam, with its charms of a girl who has only just lost her virginity, remains shy, introverted, mysterious. Open to foreigners since just a little more than a century ago, following Richard Burton's disguised incursion, it still tenaciously guards its secrets. Confidences surreptitiously shared, she whispers her secrets only to the patient traveler. With the help of the evening, the belle drops her guard. Protected by the rundown 16th century city walls of which the gates are no longer closed at nightfall, she subtly disrobes. Then the nocturnal ballet begins. A curious battalion with the gait of pregnant women appears in the strange alleyways. Left, right, left. The Harari grandmothers hurry cautiously down the slippery

cobblestone streets of the jugol, the old city. Nothing disturbs this peculiar troupe's trot. Not even the hyenas. It is nevertheless said that when those nighttime refuse collectors are sick, sometimes you will find the fingernails of the djinns, the famous spirits who haunt the medinas. Armed with flashlights and rigged-out in traditional dress - a full, sequined or flowering gown hiding ultra-tight pants in buffoonish motifs - they move along without a sound through this tortuous labyrinth. No street lamps nor maps nor street names in this somber den of Harar. It's quite rare that one of them stops. Because if time passes slowly during the day, it becomes precious at night, yet they do not break with tradition. Another woman is encountered? So begins the endless local hand kissing: no less than three kisses on the palm and on the backside of the hand? A cousin? A friend? And the customary bowing and scraping continues. And then, there is always someone to invite to chew the khat, the new green gold of the region. Starting at one in the afternoon, not a man goes out without his box of leaves, carefully attached to his wrist. One box, two boxes, sometimes more... The "khat parties", at one time just on the weekends, are now daily. "It's not a drug, it's the flower of paradise", smiles Abdul, eyes gazing upwards, already savoring his next feast. Like in Yemen, this aphrodisiac plant has conquered mouths, and above all the plantation fields. Around Harar, gone are the coffee trees, banana plants and mandarin trees. The mouthwatering garden of the Thousand and One Nights is being little by little transformed into an immense bitter green field. And the city also. On the steps of the main square Feres Magala, that of the Choa

gate or the Fellana gate, impossible to escape the khat sellers. Day and night, squatting, sitting or even sprawling under their parasols, they nonchalantly await their customers. Across from them, the resistors: orange, peanut, garlic and salt vendors, impassive before those wads of bills that stink of khat, butter and chilies. Urbanized merchant, Harar has been able to preserve this market tradition. Once an essential stopover on the trade routes from the Horn of Africa, it has lost its influence with the construction of the Addis Ababa/Djibouti railway, which passes through the "city below", Dire Dawa. In the last century, skins, ivory, spices, slaves and of course coffee still changed hands. Today, the khat has replaced all that. Thursdays, it goes so far that passengers are refused onto the plane from Djibouti... Forgotten are the sounds of the pestle grinding the coffee and the suave scent of roasted beans. Only the gurgling of the geie, the Ethiopian hookah, still drifts from the houses' thick, thousand year old walls. What amazing buildings, those of the Hararis, unique in all of Ethiopia. Squeezed one next to the other, with few windows and, more particularly, repainted each year in the colors in fashion, they comprise, in the gidir gar - the main room a platform with different levels. Each guest has his level, based on his social rank. About 9,000 of them, the houses all have something in common: the floor, painted red in remembrance of the blood shed during the battle of Chelenko in 1887. For the first time, Harar was incorporated into the Christian Empire. Richard Burton wrote that the city had a completely Arab countenance; a century later, nothing has changed. Flowering dishes and multi-colored wickerwork line themselves up on the houses' walls... Not a bit of space left on the surfaces nor in

the takets, the sculpted niches. Night passing, the floor also disappears, covered by a thick blanket of khat. Or the "plant of the saints", as they say, because it helps them to stay up late to praise Allah. In the awash, the tombs of Harar often off-limits to farendji (foreigners), the fĂŞte begins once the night is black. In the mausoleum of Aw Abadir, the saint who, in the 10th century, unified the tribes and spread Islam through the region, pale neon has replaced the candles and oil lamps; bottles of mineral water, the communal tea. With the faithful in a trance, to the furious sounds of the karabouts (tambours) and the kabales (pieces of wood), Harar finally appears. Hard work, that of laying her bare. In the early morning, the debauch subsides. The African city puts its veil back on. The Oromo women with brooms, barrows and Mappa gloves clean up the last traces. Former slaves of the Hararis, this tribe is taking over more and more of the old city. But, the beautiful Sheherazade costumes remain in the closet. In Makina Guirguir, the street of the couturiers invaded by Chinese sewing machines "Sincer", Corona, Los Angeles and David Beckham T-shirts flood the streets. Suspicious, resisting possible outside threats, Harar has not completely been able to slip away from the grasp of modernity. Yet there is still no question of forgetting certain painful memories: Christian domination in the time of Menelik, amhara* under Haile Selassie or communism with Mengistu. "This city, survivor of so many wars and revolutions", wrote Arthur Rimbaud, has nevertheless kept its teeming, untamable character. "Walabel! Walabel!" (out of the way!), cry the Oromo women with their athletic gait, followed by their donkeys struggling under the weight of their loads.


Š Eve Gandossi

And watch out, those who don't step aside! Despite its Arab imprint, Harar remains above all African. Neighboring tribes, Hararis and even foreigners come to consult Sheikh Turun Badu Hadji Bouchra. Surrounded by his magic herbs, the healer, capable of curing cancers as he does madness, has set up practice in the reception hall of Haile Selassie's old palace. One of the most chic consulting rooms? As to Ouma Acha, grand priestess on Sundays, clementine vendor during the week, she works furiously at chasing away the zars, the evil spirits. Her face streaked, her eyes opaque and her hands bony, fleshless, Dame Acha, specter of a bygone age, seems unreal. A sublime moment, lost in the wreaths of incense smoke and the incantatory humming. Outside, the buzzing turns to bubbling, a daily effervescence in the heart of a multitude of riches. Recently listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, Harar houses 99 mosques, some 300 tombs, Rimbaud's house, a splendid Indian building turned into a museum, and Abdallah Sherif, "the" collector of the city. In his house, hundreds of magnetic tapes of Harari chants, 9th century manuscripts, spears, Koranic tablets pile up. A treasure chest counting approximately 30,000 objects; a preciously preserved past. All, visitors for a day, explorers of long date, have seen in Harar a city where time has stopped. Each person lives his life, governed by the rhythm of the prayers, of khat and who knows what else. Nothing changes, or very little. Harar, mysterious city, out of time, out of this world.

* Muezzin: a man who calls Muslims to prayer * Amhara: Christian people of Ethiopia


Captions. 01. Ethiopia. Harar. Gay Humberti. Epicentre. Lost amongst Indian houses, is the "belly button of Harar", the epicentre, called Gay Humberti. 02. Ethiopia. Harar. Feres Magala square. Crossroad of the main arteries, the Feres Magala square is always busy. The Oromo country women come to town to sell their goods. 03. Ethiopia. Harar. Night fall. Young girls whispering secrets at night fall. 04. Ethiopia. Harar. House of a painter. Ali a painter decorates also the inside of his house: the mecca, men praying, flowers... 05. Ethiopia. Harar. Kadir Aboine mosque. In Harar, Christians and Muslims live together in perfect peace. Here a taxi infront of the mosque Kadir Aboine, also called Mosque n째8. 06. Ethiopia. Harar. Zars ceremony. The priestess Ouma Acha and her followers drive away the "zars", the bad spirits. Around a geie, Ethiopian chicha, and the qat, with their magic incantations they chase away negative spirits. Clementines saleswoman during the day, Ouma Acha is a well respected person in Harar. 07. Ethiopia. Harar. Rest at Ansar's tombs. After school, pupils come to rest at Aw Ansar's tombs. But at nightfall the hyenas replace them.

08. Ethiopia. Harar. Dressmakers street. The dressmakers street, known as Makina Guirguir is without question the noisiest street of Harar because of the sewing machines. Here, all the ethnic groups of the area meet. Increasingly dominated by the Oromos, it used to be mainly Indian merchants here. You can still see their houses. 09. Ethiopia. Harar. Mausoleum Ouma Tahir. Badri ceremony. Every thursday night and during muslim festvities like here the Badri, men and women meet in the mausoleum Ouma Tahir to worship Allah. A ceremony specific to Harar where the faithful in a transe to the sound of the karabouts (drums) eat qat to remain awake and recite verses of the Koran. 10. Ethiopia. Harar. Palace and corrugated iron. With the massive arrival from the country side of the Oromos, the town is faced with constructions arising chaotically. In the past, only made of stone, Harar is covered with corrugated iron. In front of this, Ras Tafari palace.

11. Ethiopia. Harar. Traditional house. In the main part of the houses, the "gidir gar", dishes are fixed on the walls and various tea sets or coffee are carefully piled up in the "takets", the niches. The guests must place themselves according to their social rank. 12. Ethiopia. Harar. Abdallah Sherif. Collector. Abdallah Sherif is "the" collector of Harar: old coins, tapes of harari songs which he converts into numerical format, old corans,

weapons from tribes...His collector's items will soon be transferred in a new museum, built with the support of UNESCO. 13. Ethiopia. Harar. Coffee house. Coffee house Karambola Beit where during the day the elder meet to play board games and the youth meet at night to play pool. 14. Ethiopia. Harar. Cafeteria. The cafeteria Tawfik Sherif usually reserved for Muslims welcomes Christians. Here, three friends, Muslims and Christians. On the wall a women wearing traditional harari clothing worn at weddings or when receiving diplomas. 15. Ethiopia. Harar. Sheik Mohamed Gatour. Mausoleum. Mohamed Gatour, sheik of a mausoleum, preciously preserves the goods of his ancestors. Here, a box made out of carved wood containing a coran of the 16th century. Today, the role of a sheik consists mainly of settling quarels. 16. Ethiopia. Harar. Mosque. Women entrance. The mosques in Harar which welcome women are rare, they pray in their own homes. In the mosque Jami, the oldest of Harar, they have their own entrance. 17. Ethiopia. Harar. Rimbaud house. The Rimbaud house an indian building is today a museum dedicated to the poet who lived 10 years in Harar. Although Rimbaud didn't live in this house which was build 10 years after in death. 18. Ethiopia. Harar. Qat break. Before each Ramadan, harari families restore their homes. Some date back to the 12th century. Here a man having a qat

break. 19. Ethiopia. Harar. Jugol. Old town. The jugol, the old city, has several faces: busy streets with small stalls and markets, lanes with the large coloured walls and, like here, of small squares with African huts. 20. Ethiopia. Harar. Traditional house. If the old women prefer to stay in the freshness of their house, the young people talk outside. The houses of Harar are unique in all Ethiopia. Every year, the inhabitants repaint them for the Ramadan. 21. Ethiopia. Harar. View of the jugol. Panorama of the jugol, the old city, from the Rimbaud house. More and more houses are built quickly with corrugated sheets to deal with the massive arrival of the peasants. 22. Ethiopia. Harar. Dancing Drivers Hotel. In the main street of the jugol, going towards the new city, many dance halls with alcohol and prostitutes have settled. 23. Ethiopia. Harar. Oromo woman. To go to sell their goods, the oromo women walk for hours on the country roads then in the tortuous lanes of the jugol, the old city. When they are too poor and dont have the means of buying a donkey, they carry their goods on their head. 24. Ethiopia. Harar. Guardian. For 15 years, Dabale Habte Yemer has guarded the district 3 of the jugol. Here, are stored the death, marriage, birth certificates, preciously protected by some kalachnikovs. 25. Ethiopia. Harar. Dressmaker. A dressmaker having a qat break.


26. Ethiopia. Harar. Hyenas. Each night, with the call of former city guard, the hyenas descend from the valley to be fed by the hand of the man. Around midnight, they enter the jugol (the old city) and clean the city of its rubbish. 27. Ethiopia. Harar. Life in pink. A life in pink for this little girl from a wealthy family, a life in green for these tramps who live only for the khat. Two worlds which often attend the same places. 28. Ethiopia. Harar. Koranic school. Formerly a great center of Islamic teaching, Harar, which lost its notoriety, still has some Koranic schools. Here, Moase, 8 years old, learns how to read Arabic with the madrassa Kebir. 29. Ethiopia. Harar. Christian girl. Surrounded of Christian icons, Betty dreams of reaching the western world to become a model. Her cases are always ready as she awaits the one who will take her far from Ethiopia. 30. Ethiopia. Harar. Traditional clothes. The traditional harari dress is composed of a silver sihassa (kind of collar for the head), of a Ge ganafi (trousers), coloured and very tight, to dissuade the possible rapists, and of a large atlas (dress) embroidered, red or fushia for weddings, black for funerals. 31. Ethiopia. Harar. Church Medhani Alem. Feres Magala square. In Feres Magala square, the centre of Harar, you can meet the oromo country-women who come downtown to

sell their goods, the taxi drivers and the purchasers of qat. Permanent noise in front of Medhani Alem, old mosque transformed into church by Menelik II when he seized the city in 1887. 32. Ethiopia. Harar. Takets carved. Niches. In the harari houses, the walls are ornamented with takets, carved niches. Formerly used to put the water of ablutions, they are useful today above all for decoration.The portraits of the ancestors are always hung beside. 33. Ethiopia. Harar. Qat party. Formerly held at the weekends, the "qat parties" are now daily. The qat is the new green gold of the area. 34. Ethiopia. Harar. Mosque of the Egyptians. Fourth Holy City of Islam, the old town of Harar shelters nearly 100 mosques. The mosque of the Egyptians is one of the most famous. To enter, the faithful one must be curved, as in all the old mosques. 35. Ethiopia. Harar. Palace of Ras Tafari. The old palace of Ras Tafari, which is slowly falling to ruins, is inhabited today by several disadvantaged, Christian and Muslim families.

(tombs) to worship Allah. Here, the sons of the sheik of the mausoleum Aw Qurabi Limai sing the sourates of Koran to the sound of the karabouts (drums). 38. Ethiopia. Harar. Opposite worlds. On one side, the local oromo country-women and their African dresses. On the other side a girl dressed Western fashion. 39. Ethiopia. Harar. Coffee shop Ouassan Seget. Christians. On the central square Feres Magala, Christians and Moslems meet at the coffee shop Ouassan Seget. If the Moslem women still drape themselves in long coloured stoles, the Christian women often follow the Western fashion. 40. Ethiopia. Harar. Shop. It is not leather, ivory or the spices which transit in Harar anymore, but the preserves, oil cans and the biscuits with the artificial flavours. 41. Ethiopia. Harar. Butchers market. Today transformed into the butchers market, the largest of all the city, the arcades of Magala Guddo are used as a refuge by the inhabitants, in rainy weather.

36. Ethiopia. Harar. Tomb Aw Abadir. Harar is the fourth Holy City of Islam for the number of its tombs... approximately 300 in the old city.In the tomb of Sheik Abadir, saint who unified the tribes in the 10th century and Islamized the area, rare are the farendji (foreigners) who are allowed in.

42. Ethiopia. Harar. Ceremony of the coffee. "The ceremony of the coffee" is a family tradition. After having blackened the grains, they grind them while the water heats in the jebena (coffee machine). Each one must drink, with the continuation, 3 coffee cups: 1st for peace, the 2e for the love, the 3e for health.

37. Ethiopia. Harar. Ceremony. Tomb Aw Qurabi Limai. The Harari adolescents go to the awash

43. Ethiopia. Harar. Tomb Aw Ansar. Play-ground in the afternoon for the children, the tomb Aw Ansar is

transformed at night into a meeting place for the hyenas. 44. Ethiopia. Harar. Christian in a muslim cafeteria. Massai, a young Christian in traditional clothing comes to have a drink in the Muslim cafeteria Tawfik Sherif. Behind her, a painting representing a Muslim in Harari dress. In Harar, the two communities live in perfect harmony. 45. Ethiopia. Harar. Christian woman. Massai a young Christian in traditional dress in front of sculptured walls of a muslim house. 46. Ethiopia. Harar. Sigaratara souk. Before, in this arab influenced souk, cigarettes were sold, which explains its name Sigaratara. Today, you can find many counterfeits and especially odds and ends made in China, causing the disappearance of traditional harari activities. 47. Ethiopia. Harar. Dini Gabana mosque. Fourth Holy City of Islam, Harar holds nearly 100 mosques inside its ramparts. Hidden in labyrinthian lanes, the mosque Dini Gabana. 48. Ethiopia. Harar. Healer. Sheik Turun Badu Hadji Bouchra. Sheik Turun Badu Hadji Bouchra, healer of Harar, claims to cure cancers,asthma and madness, practises in the old room of the palace Ras Tafari. His patients, Ethiopian but also foreign, travel kilometers to come to see. 49. Ethiopia. Harar. Tomb. The lanes of the old city hold approximately 300 awash (tombs) of which a significant number of qubbi, tombs which do not contain coffins, like this one.


A taket (niche) is carved for the offerings. 50. Ethiopia. Harar. Ras Tafari palace. With the massive arrival from the country side of the Oromos, the town is faced with constructions arising chaotically. In the past, only made of stone, Harar is covered with corrugated iron. A contrast with the palace Ras Tafari. 51. Ethiopia. Harar. Kadir Aboine. Rain mosque. In front of the mosque Kadir Aboine, known as mosque n째8, the shops of the main street are used as shelters for the passers by, a little before the arrival of the rain. 52. Ethiopia. Harar. Market. Mosque of the Italians. Near the market Magala Guddo, one of the 99 mosques of Harar: the mosque of the Italians. For the past few years, a little everywhere in the city, drinking water cisterns have been installed and offered by Iran in order to prevent illnesses. 53. Ethiopia. Harar. Jami mosque. It is the oldest mosque of Harar, dating from 12th century but restored last century, and dedicated to the Imam Ahmed ibn Ibrahim Al Ghazi, conqueror of Abyssinie in 16th century. It is the busiest on a friday.

54. Ethiopia. Harar. Priest. During nearly 9 centuries, the Christians tried to conquer this Moslem enclave. Today, the two communities live in peace. Here, a priest looks at this city which does not cease to expand.

55. Ethiopia. Harar. Christian market. The Christian market of the Choa gate is located outside the ramparts, in the new city. The evening, the two communities meet there to buy fruit and vegetables, butter, chickens and qat. 56. Ethiopia. Harar. Tomb Sheik Hashim. Next to the coffin of the late saint, the faithful come to worship Allah all night, once a week. These tombs are very often prohibited to the foreigners. 57. Ethiopia. Harar. Market Magala Guddo. At the heart of Harar the market Magala Guddo, the market of the butchers. Encircled by the Rimbaud house, the mosque of the Italians and some houses which fall in ruin, it is, with Feres Magala, one of themain centres of Harar. 58. Ethiopia. Harar. Qat party. At Ahmed's, during the Ramadan, the qat is consumed in a small room of the house. The gidir gar, the main part, is reserved for the reading of the Koran. 59. Ethiopia. Harar. Oromo saleswoman. No need for stalls in Harar. Here, a saleswoman of the tribe oromo settles in front of the shop of photographs of the old city. 60. Ethiopia. Harar. Christian woman. Betty, 19 years old, proud to be Ethiopian but who also dreams of leaving to make career as a model. 61. Ethiopia. Harar. Christians in Rose coffee shop. Dressed in her bast clothes, Betty often comes to the Rose coffee, meeting place of the Christians.

62. Ethiopia. Harar. Priestess Ouma Acha. Fruits saleswoman during the day, Ouma Acha is also a priestess. After having smoked the geie, the Ethiopian chicha, having drunk coffee and having grazed qat, she can finally drive out the zars, the bad spirits. 63. Ethiopia. Harar. Shop in jugol. Old town. While mothers are shopping children run around in the lanes of the jugol. 64. Ethiopia. Harar. Reading of the Koran. During the Ramadan, after the rupture of the fast, Sadah and Amah, both students, come to their uncle Ahmed's house to read Koran together. 65. Ethiopia. Harar. Women faces. Harar is in the image of these three women: traditional and wonted, colourful and African, and very attracted by modernity. 66. Ethiopia. Harar. Oromo woman. Oromo Country-woman come downtown to seek drinking water. This tribe, which was used before as slaves in Harar, settles in the jugol, thus causing an overpopulation which the authorities do not manage to contain.

Harar, The revealed citadel.  

Muslim wedge situated in the very Christian country that is Ethiopia, the Harar city has closed itself from the outside world for a thousand...

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