ethiopia pavilion expo 2020
Based in the Opportunity District, the 400-metre-square Ethiopian pavilion offers a multi-media tour Image Credit: Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai: One of our oldest human ancestors lies in the National Museum of Ethiopia, preserved in a specially constructed safe. Lucy’s fragile nature prevents her from leaving her homeland, but the visitors of Expo 2020 Dubai can meet her replica at the Ethiopian pavilion.

Based in the Opportunity District, the 400-metre-square pavilion is participating under the theme of ‘The land of origins and opportunity’, relaying to visitors about its untapped potential in the sectors of tourism and trade.

Cave of origins

To meet Lucy’s twin, palaeoanthropology enthusiasts can head over to the cave called the ‘Origin of Now’, where she will offer a rundown on Ethiopia’s history through a timeline of events.

Excavated from the Hadar site in Ethiopia, the original Lucy remains in the National Museum of Ethiopia while her replica will be showcased at the pavilion. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The enclosed dark space is filled with nuggets of information on Ethiopian ancient tribes, crafts, jewellery, books and architecture through images, mirror panels and screens fixed to the walls.

Origin of opportunity

The following visitor zone resembles the inner workings of a modern-day factory with its steel-grey industrial floor and an overhead conveyor belt, which supports a revolving exhibition.

Ethiopia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai-1622014459106
At the Ethiopian pavilion, visitors will pass through three zones: 'Origin of Now', 'Origin of Opportunity' and 'Origin of Us' (pictured). Image Credit: Supplied

Coffee that is indigenous to the Ethiopian plateau will be given a platform on interactive screens, from presenting its history to displaying the agro-process from bean to coffee. Ethiopia’s super-grain teff will also receive spotlight for its gluten-free properties.

Ethiopian coffee ceremony

Concluding the journey in the ‘Origin of Us’ zone is a garden of calla lilies, the Ethiopian national flower, where a classical coffee ceremony will enthral visitors.

jebena pot
Jebena (pictured), a clay pot, will be used to brew freshly ground coffee beans as part of the traditional coffee-serving ritual at the pavilion. Image Credit: Ammar Hreib from Pixabay

The coffee ritual, or ‘jebena buna’ in Amharic, is a coffee-making tradition led by women who roast, grind and boil the beans over open flame in a clay pot called the jebena, then serve the freshly brewed coffee. At the pavilion, visitors will get to appreciate the Ethiopian landscape through audio-visual projections on the walls during the ceremony.

- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.