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Thread: The Heart of Africa: A Visitor's Guide to Modern Ethiopia

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    Nice. For such a populous Empire you industrial score seems rather low. Is there no industry outside of the Ethiopia proper? Is Ethiopia proper only lightly industrialised?
    My industrial score was recently much, much higher. However, I had an acute budget crisis brought on by industrial subsidies. When I backed off subsidies a majority of my factories went bankrupt. Mass unemployment ensued, and I eventually put a few of the subsidies back. Although, for some reason, my factories are producing nothing, even when I subsidize them and I have plenty of their inputs in stockpile. This is a new phenomenon in the 20th century for me: up until the 1900s I was a major industrial power. Industrialization was confined to Ethiopia proper along with the Sudan (which were states) as opposed to the new territories.

    Quote Originally Posted by J. Passeportout
    Interesting set of political opinion I see displayed among your populace.
    That's just Asmara. The Empire as a whole is actually rather more diverse. Since the previously mentioned economic crisis, the dominant parties have been the conservative Royal Faction (which has never lost control of the lower house) and the Socialists (which once had more than 70% of the (appointed) upper house). The Liberals were once a power but have been replaced by the Socialists, and the Fascists have come on strong in the 1930s.

    We'll get more into the political history once we reach the Capitol.

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    I'm following this! Loving the format

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    Its almost obligatory to say that I'm enjoying the format and style of writing, which I am immensely, but I am interested in how you'll progress the narrative in this way

    Not just that of course, surviving the European powers (never mind building a pan-African empire) is a fascinating story in its own right
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  7. #47
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    I'm loving this format. Very unique! Keep it going!
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    As one of those sick and twisted types who really enjoy reading Travel Guides, i have to say this format really speaks to me. I'm curious to see how Ethiopia was able to westernise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    As one of those sick and twisted types who really enjoy reading Travel Guides, i have to say this format really speaks to me. I'm curious to see how Ethiopia was able to westernise.
    As am I... This is great!
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  11. #51
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    Axum: Soul of the Empire



    The rail journey from Asmara to Axum is not to be missed. The trains are among the most comfortable, reliable and well maintained in the Empire, and the journey provides ample time to admire the stunning scenery of Ethiopia's dramatic heartland. You'll be passing through the heart of the Old Empire's cattle country. Exotic wildlife and traditional herdsmen share the scene with small modern towns dotting the tracks.

    We should pause here and note a circumstance that some western travelers might find puzzling. In parts of Ethiopia, it is not uncommon to see white men performing menial work under black supervision. Generally these European immigrants and their descendants are treated no worse than black peasants. This phenomena is most common in rural areas in the highlands. As the Empire industrialized and peasants migrated to emerging industrial centers, enterprising landowners aggressively recruited cheap labor from Europe to fill the void. Small pockets of Russian, English, Germans and other European cultures can be found scattered throughout the Empire.

    Whatever offense a traveler may or may not take at this state of affairs should not be enough to ruin the majesty of Axum. One of the great tourist destinations not only of Africa but indeed of the entire civilized world, Axum is the hub for spiritual and artistic life in the Empire, and one of the most historic cities on earth.

    There is some disagreement among historians and archeologists over just how old the city of Axum is. Some claim the settlement was founded as early as 2000 bc. Certainly the region has seen a series of empires rise and fall, dating back to the time of the Pharoahs. In the 1st century AD a powerful empire based in Axum was the first to convert to Christianity, and in the early days of Islam followers of Mohammed took refuge there.

    Axum's role in Ethiopian history is closely tied to issues of religion. According to the local Coptic Christian tradition, the ancient Emperor Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, secretly brought the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia. The faithful believe it now resides in the Chapel of the Tablet in the historic Church of Our Lady of Zion. This church is a hugely important religious site. Imperial coronations are traditionally held here, and there are massive pilgrimages in January and November. Though these pilgrimages are spectacular to see, travel and accommodation can be extremely difficult to obtain during pilgrimage season.

    Travelers who brave the crowds, or avoid pilgrimage season, are rewarded with spectacular examples of African artwork, modern and ancient, endowed by pious Ethiopian elites over the centuries.

    The ancient history of Axum has left a legacy of magnificent ruins and monuments. The signature feature of ancient Axum are its many Stelae. These are pillars and obelisks engraved with the achievements of the kings who erected them, often marking the location of their tombs. The two most well known are King Ezana's Stele and the Obelisk of Axum. These two are among the last stelae erected, as the practice fell out of favor as Christianity spread. They are over 24 meters tall and dominate the cities north Stelae Garden.

    Other popular local sights are the Queen of Sheba's Bath (actually a reservoir for the ancient city), the ruins of the Ta'aka Muryam and Dugur palaces, and the enigmatic Lioness of Gobedira rock carving.

    As Ethiopia has modernized, scholars from within and without the Empire have been engaged in modern, scientific study of the Empire's past. Nowhere is this more evident than in Axum, the cradle of Africology. Using methodology pioneered in Egypt by French explorers, Africologists have made huge advances in understanding the civilizations of the ancient Nile, and their impact on world civilization as a whole.

    There is no greater place to explore and appreciate the glory of ancient Africa than the Imperial Museum of History.


    A cutting-edge facility endowed by Menelik II, the Museum is dedicated to preserving, studying and exhibiting the Empire's ancient past. Ironically, it's most spectacular and famous exhibit is a discovery Imperial Africologists made beyond the Empire's borders. In 1922 an expedition by Professor Kassa Mercha discovered the intact tomb of Egypt's Pharaoh Tutankhamun. The treasures within were carefully cataloged and removed to Axum, where they could be studied without the threat of theft by tomb raiders.

    Axum's treasures, both ancient and modern, are too vast to be adequately described in this brief guidebook. Interested travelers should seek out a specialized guide, such as The Foreigner's Guide to Axum, available from the publishers of this book. Reputable tour guides can be found through the Royal Axumite Tourist Bureau, conveniently located near Menelik Central Station.

  13. #53
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    So yeah. I never entirely forgot about this one, and still had the screenshots, so I figured I'd finally finish it. I'll probably have updates on Gonder, Imperial Sudan & Khartoum, the Safari hub of Nairobi, and a journey through the western New Empire via the Trans-African Railroad. These will have info on Imperial politics and government, the history of the Ethiopian-Egyptian wars, a brief but ugly war with a colonial power and the last phase of the Scramble for Africa.

  14. #54
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  15. #55
    Train rides are great, and I am glad to hear the Empire has a well-functioning system of them. Especially with the fine things on display when they kick me off the platform.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    Nice. For such a populous Empire you industrial score seems rather low. Is there no industry outside of the Ethiopia proper? Is Ethiopia proper only lightly industrialised?
    Tommy!

    Thought you were gone!

    Oh, and nice AAR, although it is a bit frustrating not to know what happened, that's what keeps us readers reading!
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  17. #57
    I like this, the whole recap of past glories as well as giving us a touristy feel for your kingdom very refreshing!
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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by WelshDude View Post
    Tommy!

    Thought you were gone!

    Oh, and nice AAR, although it is a bit frustrating not to know what happened, that's what keeps us readers reading!
    Sorry to get your hopes up but that post was from like a year ago, when this was new. I'm trying to weave the game history into the entries, but if you still are wondering at the end of it I'll try to fill in gaps.

    While I still have the saved game it dosen't seem to be compatible with modern patches so I can't go for new screenshots or other info, I'm mostly going off memory.

  20. #60
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    Gonder: Crown of Africa


    Another swift and scenic train ride links Axum to Ethiopia's other great center of history and tradition, the majestic gilded capitol city of Gonder. Founded by Emperor Falisides in 1635, who tradition says was guided to the site by a buffalo. The buffalo brought the Emperor to the hut of a venerable hermit, who instructed the Emperor to settle there.

    The Emperor followed the hermits instruction, building Faliside's Castle, one of several palaces which still stand in the city's Fasil Ghebbi, or Royal Enclosure. The Fasil Ghebbi is now a city park, open to all free of charge. It's a welcome enclave of tranquility and tradition in the heart of the modern city, and one of the premier attractions in the entire Empire.



    Modern Gonder is divided into two parts, the historic Old City of winding streets, traditional markets and ancient monuments, and the modern New City of broad tree-lined boulevards, modern government buildings, parks, stadiums and modern office and apartment blocks.


    An aerial view of the Palace of Menelik, centerpiece of Gonder's modern New City

    The hub of the New City is the Palace of Menelik, built under the great Emperor Menelik II to underline the Empire's growth from feudal kingdom to modern state. In addition to being a formal residence of the Imperial Family, the Palace is home to the upper house of Ethiopia's government, the Mekwanint, roughly translated as House of Lords. The grounds of the 1911 World's Fair abut the palace grounds. The Fairgrounds are also home to the Pan-African Exposition, held every five years. These exhibitions are showcases for the empire's cultural, scientific and economic achievements, as well as the human and natural wonders of Africa.


    Postcard from the 1911 World's Fair


    Pillars in the fairground are dedicated to great Ethiopians past and present, including polar explorer Asfa Wossen, first man to the South Pole, and Nobel Prize winning physicist Negasso Gidada. Dr Lij Iyassu, the Nobel Prize winning doctor who's breakthroughs in malaria prevention deserve special appreciation from foreign travelers, who are invited to visit the pillar dedicated to his memory. Many choose to purchase mosquito pins, which depict the malaria-spreading pest in either copper, brass, silver or gold. Proceeds go to the Imperial Health Service's efforts to curb the mosquito population. These efforts have saved countless lives, and made visiting the Empire a much more pleasant experience for foreigners as well.

    The World's Fair grounds were also host to the opening ceremonies of the 1928 Summer Olympics, the first and only Olympiad to be hosted in Africa. The dominating performance of Ethiopian athletes led to assumptions about racial superiority to be challenged in many countries. Others have attributed the 10 Gold Medals won by Ethiopians to the high altitude and unfamiliar climate faced by white athletes.

    Less monumental, but perhaps more pleasant, are the New City's shady parks and promenades, gracious dining and stately hotels. Nightlife is varied and lively, from the majestic Imperial Opera House to the smoky jazz clubs and bohemian cafes of Maqdala street. The artistic community attracts talent from across the world, and Gonder has become a favorite of elite negro artists, poets and musicians from the United States.


    Casino Renaissance, a Maqdala Street venue particularly popular with visiting Americans and expat artists


    Streets are generally well lit and safe, but travelers are advised to use the same sort of common sense and judgment one would employ in any large American or European city. In the event one does meet with misfortune, local police are competent and professional, and local hospitals are on par with their western equivalents. For serious issues, contact your home country's embassy or consulate.

    <OOC: Part two of Gonder to come, along with a primer on the basics of politics and government in Ethiopia>

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