While Harar is a very interesting town in its own right, it is frequently visited, and it is easy to feel that people are used to visitors. Not far from Harar, though, you can find the village of Koremi, high in the mountains. Theoretically, it is possible to reach on foot, but we took our own transportation instead. A rough road takes you up through the delightful landscape of the area, and past the village of Hajifaj, and when you reach a small plateau with a collection of stone houses on top, you know you have reached Koremi.
As soon as we came to a standstill, villagers stormed the car, and we were happy to have taken a guide from Harar to be able to communicate with the locals. We realized that all people we saw were women, and a crowd of the most beautiful, young women with brightly coloured clothes followed us on our way up into the village. We were invited into the house of the chief of Koremi, who turned out to be a wise old lady, and as she talked about her village, it seemed that this was a feminine society.
The Argobba people, as they are called (meaning something like Arrivals), ended up in this area in the 12th century, and still now inhabit much of the area to the southwest of Harar. The village as it is now, might have seen only marginal changes over the last centuries, and the strategical location of Koremi is still perfect. Not just for defensive reasons, it gives great views over the surrounding landscape. After some more contact with the mostly female villagers, during which I could fully agree with their fame of being beautiful, we took a look at the local school where the young students have to learn not just their own language and Amharic, but also English.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Koremi (Ethiopia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Koremi. Read more about this site.