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Senafe is a market town in southern Eritrea, on the edge of the Ethiopian highlands. The surrounding area is inhabited by the Saho people.

Senafe is known for the ruins of Metera, the archeological site at Balaw Kalaw, the monolithic church of Enda-Tradqan, the monastery of Debre Libanos (built in the sixth century and known for its mummies) and for the local stone outcrops.

[edit] History

The original name for Saanafè was Hakir. Local tradition states that the name was changed by a man named Abdullah from Sanaa in Yemen; he settled in the Awdie district of Hakir, and upon marrying a local women he was quoted as saying "Sana-fen" which means in Arabic "where is Sanaa" he was relating to his hometown; thus the town was named Sanafe; his descendants form a tribe and are also known as Saanafè.

Senafe is mentioned in a grant (dated 1794-95) from the Ethiopian Emperor Tekle Giyorgis to Ras Wolde Selassie.<ref>Richard R.K. Pankhurst, History of Ethiopian Towns: From the Middle Ages to the Early Nineteenth Century (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1982), p. 231.</ref> The modern town suffered extensive destruction during the Eritrean War of Independence and the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, although people are gradually returning from its surrounding refugee camps.

[edit] Notes


Coordinates: 14°41′N 39°24′E


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