The city of Harar is an ancient (1520) and holy city. Harar was an important trading center. The city is famous for its ancient buildings, its great city walls and as a center of Islamic learning (the city has 99 mosques). It is believed to be the fourth holiest city for Islam after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
The city is well known for its superb handicrafts that include woven textiles, basket ware, silverware and handsomely bound books. Harar has been a place of pilgrimage from all over the world for many years. Harar’s attractions are : Harari homes are unique and reminiscent of coastal Arab architecture. Bowls, dishes, and basketry are hung in stylized fashion on the wall, but all are functional.
As evening falls, local men attract wild hyenas to the city in a bizarre spectacle as they bravely feed these dangerous scavengers.