Thousands of people from many parts of Ethiopia flock twice a year to “Anajina” to pray to God and be part of religious rituals seeking blessings and spiritual renewal. “Anajina”, as known in the Oromo language, or “Dire Sheikh Hussein”, is a sacred site in Bale, southeastern Ethiopia. Dating back to the 12th century, it is named after an influential Muslim scholar called Sheikh Nur Hussein, reputed for his religious teachings and miraculous deeds.
The site is a place of pilgrimage, a symbol of Sufism, and of aesthetic architectural and social values representing cultural diversity in Ethiopia. However, it is facing a great threat from those who espouse a more puritan version of Islam, amid growing Wahhabism influence in the region. Shot on August 2017, long shots & portraiture, this series documented Anajina’s unique religious and cultural heritage as it has existed for centuries in this part of Ethiopia.
All images and text © Nader Adem
By Nader Adem
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