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Harrar, located in the eastern part of Ethiopia, is a city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and unique traditions. Harrar is known for its ancient walled city, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town has 82 mosques, making it one of the holiest cities in Islam. Walk through the narrow alleyways and experience the historical ambiance. Here are some highlights for visitors to explore when visiting Harrar

  • Explore the Jegol, the old town of Harrar, which is famous for its traditional houses with unique Harari architectural styles. Admire the colorful doors and vibrant markets as you wander through the maze-like streets.
  • Visit the Harari Cultural Centre to learn about the history, culture, and traditions of the Harari people. The center often hosts exhibitions, performances, and cultural events.
  • Discover the Rimbaud House, where the French poet Arthur Rimbaud lived in the late 19th century. The house has been turned into a museum showcasing Rimbaud’s life and works.
  • Experience the unique tradition of hyena feeding. Local “hyena men” feed wild hyenas by hand at night outside the city walls. This ancient practice is both thrilling and culturally significant.
  • Pay your respects at the grave of Arthur Rimbaud, located near the old town. The site is a pilgrimage for literature enthusiasts and those interested in the poet’s legacy.
  • Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Harrar market. Explore stalls selling spices, textiles, traditional jewelry, and other local products. It’s a great place to experience daily life and interact with locals.
  • Visit the Grand Jami Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Harrar. Admire its architecture and appreciate its significance as a religious center.
  • Attend cultural performances, including traditional music and dance shows. Check with local venues or the cultural center for scheduled events.

Harrar Hyena Man

In Harrar, there is a practice where people feed hyenas at night just outside the city walls. This tradition has been passed down through generations, and it’s believed to bring good fortune and protect the community from harm. Local individuals, often referred to as “hyena men,” have taken on the role of feeding these wild hyenas, maintaining a unique relationship with the animals.

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