Lecturers and researchers from the University of Szeged made a three-part educational film series titled “Magic Ethiopia – Magyars in the Land of Burnt Faces”, filmed in memory of the Szeged researchers who were murdered nine years ago.
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The film about Ethiopia’s unique natural and cultural treasures was produced by researchers from Szeged, Péter Szilassi and László Gruber, who took part in a private tour of Ethiopia with a tragic end nine years ago. Their film was made in memory of their murdered colleagues and fellow travelers.
In their film, they presented four World Heritage sites in Ethiopia, visited the hottest desert on Earth, and also visited Erta Ale volcano, where a plaque was erected in memory of Tamás Fábián and Gábor Szabad, who also approached the volcano in 2012 when they were attacked one night .
Tragedy 9 years ago
In January 2012, it was reported that a group of tourists was attacked by an armed group, two Hungarian victims also fell. It soon became clear that these were lecturers and researchers from the University of Szeged who were on a private experiment tour. A total of seven people took part in the trip, Laszlo Gruber and Peter Selassie, associate professors in the Department of Physical Geography and Geoinformatics at Szeged University (SZTE), left home earlier on Jan. 16, while the other team members left. Tamas Fabian, Ksapa Weisler, Eren Puskas, Gabor Zabad and Zoltan Winter went on a four-day tour, one of which was the Erta Ale volcano stop.
“The group received information from a number of sources that visiting the area is completely safe. There is a constant and regular tourist movement in the volcano area, where an international tourist group of about 20-30 people camp every night. The Hungarian group arrived at the upper camp of Erta Ale, which consists of Wooden and stone huts, covered and uncovered, about 16:00 on January 16, accompanied by three other groups, two armed guards per group, with a road permit from the Afar. District.” – stands in a 2012 article in southern Hungary.
They reportedly prepared the tour carefully, accompanied by an armed guard. They arrived at the site on the evening of January 16, and then woke up at night to shoot and scream.
“We woke up with gunfire. Shortly thereafter, two armed men broke into each hut. They lined up and fired on the spot. Tamas Faban died instantly, Gabor Zabad was wounded. After the first shots, Kasaba Weisler and I threw ourselves into a chasm, while my husband hid in an empty hut. – Erin Puskas explained at a press conference in Szeged after they returned home.
It is assumed that the attack was the result of a clash between Ethiopian soldiers and a movement called the Ethiopian Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF).
According to them, the life of Gabor Zabad could have been saved, but the rescue helicopter did not arrive until a day and a half later, and a doctor who would find him succumbed by that time died.
The deceased researchers from the university, colleagues and students mourned. In 2018, another expedition was organized to Ethiopia, where a plaque in memory of the Hungarian victims was placed.
Peter Selassie later wrote a book about the events The rest of the tabloid news…Ethiopia from a geographer’s point of view with the address.
The documentary, which has just been produced, will be shown in several venues during the summer.