They come from all over, walking for days, often barefoot, to this holy place of ancient ritual and devotion. But this isnâ€™t Jerusalem, or Mecca, itâ€™s Lalibela in Ethiopia, site of 13 intricate monolithic churches, handchiselled out of the townâ€™s red volcanic rock nearly 900 years ago. Tariq Zaidi travelled to Lalibela, an otherwise nondescript village in the mountains of northern Ethiopia, to document these extraordinary churches and the pilgrims who flock to them. In Ethiopia, where nearly two-thirds of the population is Christian, Lalibela is almost as important as Jerusalem. One of the first places in the world to become a UNESCO heritage site, and indeed one of the wonders of the world.
In Jan 2014, Tariq Zaidi gave up a senior corporate position to pursue his passion of documenting social issues, inequality, endangered communities and traditions from around the world. His work has been published over 700 times including: BBC, CNN, The Guardian, National Geographic, LATimes, Washington Post, Spiegel, Marie Claire, GQ, Times of London and many more. He has won many major international photography awards and shown his work in over 50 international exhibitions. Tariq works as a freelance photographer based out of London, UK.