Awra Amba

An important and amazing site is missing from your Ethiopia guidebook! I visited the village of Awra Amba last year (directions are roughly provided below). It is open to visitors (cost = 3 Birr, or for students 1 Birr) and was an utterly unique experience for any traveler to Ethiopia.

Awra Amba (http://www.awraamba.com/) is an Ethiopian community of about 400 people, located 73 kilometres east of Bahir Dar in the Fogera woreda of Debub Gondar Zone. It was founded in 1980 with the goal of solving socio-economic problems through helping one another in an environment of egalitarianism—in marked contrast to the traditional norms of Amhara society.

Founded by Zumra Nuru, who currently serves as co-chairman of the community, with 19 other people who shared his vision, as of 2007 Awra Amba has some 400 members, and is lauded as a model to alleviate poverty and promote gender equality in a country where women are generally subservient to men.[1]

You can visit the village at any time and someone who works on tourism initiatives in the village will talk with you and show you around. It is also possible to meet Zumra, the founder. This is an EXTREMELY special place, off the beaten track but lovely.

Directions: It is possible to take a bus or taxi from Bahir Dar to Woreda. From there, you must transfer to another bus that passes by the village. Where the bus drops you off, it is a 20 minute walk along a dirt path to reach the village. Amazing!

Ayala Wineman

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One thought on “Awra Amba

  1. Brian Blatt says:

    Hi Ayala!

    I agree. This is a special place, unlike any place else in Ethiopia.

    Awra Amba is actually included in the guidebook, but is listed as “Awramba.”

    In any case, it probably deserves a more prominent mention. Thanks for bringing attention to this, and also for providing their website address.

    Best wishes,

    Brian

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