Archive | November 14, 2013

The Bahir Zaf

Bahir Zaf is the Amharic word for the eucalyptus tree. A direct translation of the word in English would be “tree of the sea”. I often have wondered how it came to be. The Eucalyptus tree has a story similar to that of an immigrant. Ethiopians grew up around these trees whose origins are from Australia. Legend has it that Emperor Menelik, in the year 1895 or so, approved the tree for plantation due to the deforestation that was taking place around the hills of Addis Ababa. Many have argued against this decision and many have praised it. Either way, there are not too many Ethiopians alive today who have not known this tree.