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The spread of Amharic has been strongly linked to Ethiopian nationalism.

Today, many Oromo write their language, Oromoic, using the Roman alphabet as a political protest against their history of domination by the Amhara, who account for significantly less of the population.

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Unfortunately, however, the country's international standing has declined since the reign of Emperor Selassie, when it was the only African member of the League of Nations and its capital, Addis Ababa, was home to a substantial international community.

War, drought, and health problems have left the nation one of the poorest African countries economically, but the people's fierce independence and historical pride account for a people rich in self-determination. Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa, covering 439,580 square miles (1,138,512 square kilometers) and is the major constituent of the landmass known as the Horn of Africa.

The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) defeated the Derge, established democratic rule, and currently governs Ethiopia.

The last twenty-five years of the twentieth century have been a time of revolt and political unrest but represent only a small portion of the time during which Ethiopia has been a politically active entity.

The nomadic peoples seasonally graze livestock, while the seminomadic peoples are subsistence farmers.

The rural highlands economy is based on agriculture and livestock raising. There are eighty-six known indigenous languages in Ethiopia: eighty-two spoken and four extinct.

Cushitic-language speakers live in the highlands and lowlands of the south-central region as well as in the north-central area. The Nilo-Saharan super language family accounts for about 2 percent of the population, and these languages are spoken near the Sudanese border.

Amharic has been the dominant and official language for the last 150 years as a result of the political power of the Amhara ethnic group.

Some peaks in the Simyen Mountains receive periodic snowfall, while the average temperature of the Danakil is 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the day time.

The high central plateau is mild, with a mean average temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the highlands is Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, which supplies the great majority of water to the Nile River Valley in Egypt.

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