Ethiopia: The Land of the Dead

Emergency relief arrives, but the starving continue to pour in

The round hut, made of roughhewn wood posts and a conical thatched roof, is known as zawya. In the Afar language, that means the house of the dead. Although it is not long after dawn, 26 bodies have already been wrapped in filthy burlap shrouds on the earthen floor. The air is sickly sweet with the smell of decay. Inside, in accordance with Muslim custom, Hussein Yussuf is tenderly washing the shriveled body of a three-year-old boy. "This is the first water this child...

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