© 2016 Raul M. / Javier Z.
The history of Ethiopia conceals a great number of legends and core myths stemming from both Christianity and Judaism. The land of the fabled Queen of Sheba, Ethiopia’s emperors claim to have descended directly from King Solomon, and inside of its churches—as many Ethiopians believe—remain hidden some of the most sought-after relics in the world: the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant.
Whether these legends are true or not, the reality is that Ethiopia has indeed been a major player in the history of the world, and no other place embodies this better than the north portion of the country, specifically, the land of Tigray. Formerly known as “Region 1” of Ethiopia, Tigray is a hidden treasure for international tourists, particularly for those interested in the rich medieval and religious locations scattered across its landscape—making it one of the most “biblical” places on Earth.
One of the most distinctive features of Tigray is its abundance of rock-hewn Christian churches, an anomaly in a region usually dominated by the islamic faith. Similar in design to those of Lalibela in the Amhara Region, these churches are found in four or five clusters: Gheralta, Teka-Tesfay, Atsbi and Tembien. Some of them are even considered to be from as early as the eighth century, built mostly using monolithic designs often located at the top of cliffs or in steep hills for security reasons. For example, Tigray's ancient Debre Damo monastery, one of the most famous, is accessible only by climbing a rope 25 meters up a sheer cliff.
The area is also famous for a fallen obelisk carved from a single rock, 23 meters long, in Axum, as well as for other fallen obelisks. The Axum treasure site of ancient Tigrayan history is a major landmark, and has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site for its cultural significance. Yeha is another important local landmark that is little-known outside the region.
But traveling into this historic location is not an easy feat. Ethiopia has a particular set of regulations to preserve its heritage, and the complexities inherent to the region make any trip a challenge that only a few companies can tackle.
The Cradle of Civilization
© 2016 Raul M. / Javier Z.
One of those successful companies is the Ethiopia based Tigrai Tourism, which provides comprehensive and exciting tours in one of the most intense historical locations of Ethiopia. The areas in which it leads guided tours cover the Aksum Cluster, Wukro Cluster, Gherata Cluster, Mekelle Cluster, and the Maichew Cluster.
Among all of these historical locations, perhaps the most spectacular is the Aksum ruins. Aksum was, at its prime, the brightest and most advanced human civilization in the entire world. Aksumites knew how to tame animals, grow crops, mint coin, and produce advanced pottery and iron works far ahead of the rest of humanity. The Aksum Obelisk stands even today as one of the most incredible examples of ancient engineering.
But Tigrai does not limit its touristic offer to only the well known archeological sites and monuments. On the contrary, the company is pushing forward to promote newly discovered sites, such as Adi Akawuh. Located in the southwestern outskirts of the town of Wukro, Adi Akawuh is a recently discovered archaeological site that has created much excitement and interest among the international archaeological community. German and Ethiopian teams have discovered a number of objects, including a statue of a seated woman and an altar with a Sabaean inscription on it, as well as a partially inscribed podium. A translation of the inscription has already been made by professor Norbert Nebes of Jena University, Germany. To the surprise of archaeologists, the inscription mentions the pre-Aksumite Di’amat kingdom and the temple of Yeha. From the evidence assembled, the site is tentatively dated to the 8th or 7th century BC, making it one of the oldest places of human habitation on the Earth.
For promoting Ethiopian tourism with a non-traditional approach, for offering high quality archeological and historical touristic destinations, for providing a service in accordance with the Kano model for filling customer expectations, and for committing itself to achieving the maximum satisfaction of its customers, Business Initiative Directions wishes to grant the 2016 BID International Quality Award to Tigrai Tourism in recognition of its commitment to the economic development of the touristic industry in Ethiopia as well as its dedication to the relentless pursuit of excellence.
ABOUT BID AND THE WORLD QUALITY COMMITMENT AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.