Tuesday, October 22, 2019

They Call it Happyland

In many countries, particularly in the developed world, climate change as a result of man-made pollution exists as little more than a frightening prospect, even while widely acknowledged as an accepted fact, empirically proven by modern science. But in Tondo, northwest of the city of Manila in the Philippines, climate change and rampant pollution are realities that residents live with every day.

Removing the Curse of Division

Famagusta, once a flourishing port has since come to pieces – schools and businesses share the space of medieval churches, some intact, others derelict. Turkish soldiers seal the coastline to intruders. The tourists have long gone and even the locals look abroad for opportunities.

Namasté

The Hindu devotee’s hands are pressed together. His palms touch, close to his chest, and his fingers point upwards. His brightly-coloured turban is in stark contrast to his thick white beard. “Namaste,” he says with a slight bow. Literally translated, the word means “I bow to the divine in you.” A respectful greeting, namaste, or namaskar, combined with the wordless hand gesture, conveys the same meaning of acknowledgement for a loved one, a guest or a stranger, regardless of the speaker’s language, culture or religion.

A Paranoid Nation

It was quite a strange position to be in, to have a streak of nervousness coursing through me when really I had no idea what I was nervous about. I found myself on a plane, and seated beside me was the Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Sir Richard J. Roberts – or Rich as I later know him – and we were headed into the dark zone.

Women of Gaza

As with all Palestinians in what is often described as the world’s largest open-air prison, life for the women of the Gaza Strip is choked with adversity. Fenced by land and bound by sea, the enclave grates under the humanitarian impact of military conflict, embargo and political isolation. But for journalist and photographer Lara Abu Ramadan, this life of adversity is mostly met with a high spirit and dignity.

Light for a Nation

In a country like Nepal that has endured long-term political hardships, there’s nothing more devastating than for the 2015 earthquakes to rock the nation. As the country continues to struggle with the effects of the natural disasters, climate change and political instability, renewable energy is providing both light and hope for a nation of people renowned for their resilience.

The Philippine Archipelago

The Philippine Archipelago offers its visitors numerous extreme sports in the air, sea and on land: hang-gliding and skydiving, scuba diving and sail boating, sandboarding and dirt bike rides. But the most popular activity in the country is hiking on various levels, promising spectacular scenery and exciting meetings with the local culture.

The Fabulous Fifties

In the early years, there was much work to be done in this fledgling democracy. One diminutive lady was at the centre of the much-needed social reform, ensuring that the welfare of the island’s women and children was thrust to the very top of the agenda – her name was Che Zahara binte Noor Mohamed.

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Namasté

The Hindu devotee’s hands are pressed together. His palms touch, close to his chest, and his fingers point upwards. His brightly-coloured turban is in stark contrast to his thick white beard. “Namaste,” he says with a slight bow. Literally translated, the word means “I bow to the divine in you.” A respectful greeting, namaste, or namaskar, combined with the wordless hand gesture, conveys the same meaning of acknowledgement for a loved one, a guest or a stranger, regardless of the speaker’s language, culture or religion.