Category Archives: Geography

Anglo-Ethiopian Society events – King of Kings book launch

If you are learning Amharic in London, you may be interested in Ethiopian-related events too. Learn Amharic UK is proud to be a member of the Anglo-Ethiopian Society (, which organizes excellent networking and events. Here are a few highlights of their upcoming events for the rest of 2015:

book - The Last King of Kings of Africa

2 Nov (Mon) Book Launch “The Last King of Kings of Africa: The Triumph and Tragedy of Haile Selassie I”. Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate in conversation with Anthony Mockler, at SOAS, Russell Square from 19:00-21:00 (7-9pm). Haus Publishing have organised the book launch to coincide with the 85th anniversary of Haile Selassie’s coronation. Emperor Haile Selassie was a descendent of King Solomon and a forerunner of African unity and independence. He fought with the Allies against the fascist Axis powers during the Second World War and was the messiah of the Jamaican Rastafarians. He was a reformer and an autocrat, who was assassinated in a communist coup. He was an equally formidable and iridescent figure, who is brilliantly portrayed by his great-nephew.

Asfa-Wossen Asserate was born in 1948 in Addis Ababa as a member of the Imperial House of Ethiopia. He read history and law at Cambridge University and at the University of Tübingen, and received his PhD at the University of Frankfurt. He now lives in Frankfurt where he works as a consultant on African and Middle-Eastern Affairs, and as a political analyst. He is a bestselling author in Germany and has been awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize and the Jacob Grimm Prize, two of the country’s most prestigious literary prizes.

This event is supported by the Royal African Society, the Anglo-Ethiopian Society and the Global Heritage Fund UK.
The event is free, but places are limited and must be reserved via Eventbrite, go to the link here. The event includes a standing reception and book signing. Copies of the book will be on sale.

17 Nov (Tues) Book Club – The Danakil Diary – Journeys Through Abyssinia, 1930-34, by Wilfred Thesiger. At the National Theatre. This was the earliest and most influential expeditions of one of the great explorers of the 20th century. Thesiger regarded his 2 journeys into the Danakil country in 1930-34 at the age of 24 years as the most dangerous he undertook. It was a remarkable achievement, he travelled in country that had wiped out 2 Italian expeditions and an Egyptian army before him, discovered what happened to the Awash River (one of the area’s last geographical mysteries to be solved) and managed to survive amongst the Danakil, to whom a man’s status depended on the number of men he had killed and castrated. People learning Amharic may enjoy Thesiger’s descriptive genius including the beautiful, savage landscapes and their wildlife as well as youthful evidence of his fierce motivation and uncompromising will. The book club gathers in the Long Bar on the ground floor, but if you to attend, or want further information, please email the Book Club.

Danakil Diary can be found at Amazon here:

25 Nov (Wed) Lecture – Witnessing the birth of an ocean: Rifting in the Afar Depression, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti by James Hammond at The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square. The East-Africa rift is the world’s premium natural laboratory for studying how continents break apart. Here, over the last 30 million years, a new tectonic boundary has been formed giving rise to the volcanoes and earthquakes that make up one of the world’s most dramatic landscapes. The Afar Depression is the northernmost extent of the East Africa Rift, where it meets two other rifts that form the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. This so called triple junction is where the final stages of continental breakup are occurring.

In September 2005 some earthquakes culminated in a small volcanic eruption, which masked much bigger changes deeper in the Earth’s crust. A 60 km long sheet or wall of magma (a “dike”), had been injected into the Earth from depth in just 2 weeks, causing the ground to deform including 8 metres of sideways movement. It was the first time in the era of satellite and modern day geophysics. In response a UK/US/Ethiopian/Eritrean team led an 8-year study to monitor and understand the driving forces behind this region.

In this talk Dr. Hammond will provide an insight in what it is like to work in one of the world’s most inhospitable deserts, a tale of camels, volcanic eruptions and science diplomacy and he will present some of the key results from their work. Hammond is a Research Fellow at the Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College, London. Capacity is limited, so please reserve your place soon at Eventbrite to avoid disappointment.

The AES also organizes supper clubs and other social events. has great Afar desert video has great Afar desert video