The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Lecture - Wednesday 15th June 2005

Tourists in Ethiopia

Given by - Laurence & Marianne Ben-Nathan

Reviewed by - Geoffrey Ben-Nathan

Marianne and Laurence Ben-Nathan visited Ethiopia as tourists in early 2005. One fine summer's evening in June, members congregated at SOAS to see the holiday snaps. This was no ordinary slide show. We were treated to a riot of photographical colour with glorious musical backing.

Their computer power-point presentation was the result of hard background effort. 500 photographs were selected from the two thousand or so taken. Each selected photograph was captioned and put onto CD. Each photograph was given an 'airing' of precisely seven seconds after which automatically its successor came up. The CD program was conceived to last a strict hour.

For sound backing, Laurence chose music from Bach, Mozart and Handel and of more modern composers: McCartney (Celebrations), Barry (Bond Theme, You Only Live Twice), Jenkins (Adiemus and Agnus Dei).

With the CD, you have Ethiopia on a disc! Marianne and Laurence's tour comprised ten days of the Northern Historic Route with a final week in the Rift valley.

Husband and wife make a formidable photographic team: what they failed to capture of Ethiopia wasn't worth capturing: we saw the human side; relics of Ethiopia's history and marvels from its present; and, to top it all, a fine selection of birdlife - an area of interest often overlooked.

The Ben-Nathans have presented the Society with a copy of their CD. The Society is very grateful and thanks them very much.

Marianne and Laurence Ben-Nathan have elevated touring into an art. Their standards represent a new benchmark. If and when they ever get to lead a conventional retired life of house and garden, their holiday CDs will always be around for them and their family (which includes me) to access. Since visiting Ethiopia CDs of Syria, Cuba and Iran have appeared!

First Published in News File Winter 2005

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