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  #1  
Old February 19th, 2018, 05:38 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Default A Trip through the Balkans..

All images and commentary in this thread is by Ayesha..( with a little help from her husband..now and then )

I traveled through 5 countries in the Balkans...

Bosnia/Herzegovina
Croatia
Montenegro
Serbia
Albania

Let me say straight out that I was met with friendliness and hospitality in all the countries that I visited..without exception.
I am grateful for having had the privilege to have visited these countries and made many friends across the Balkans...

However, I shall begin this post with some thoughts that might be controversial. It is history.

Genocide..

There are certain genocides that have taken place across our planet during different time periods.
Some of them are not talked about.
While others..we are told never to forget. At every single opportunity.

Genocide is evil.Killing of innocents is evil.
How many does it take to constitute a genocide?

1 life, 10, 100, ten thousand, a million, 6 million?

And does the slain life have to have a certain ethnicity, color, cast, creed, religion, faith, and/or standing in society to be considered as having been murdered and a part of a group subjected to the evil of murder?

Bosnia/Herzegovina..

Majority Muslims.Raped.Killed.Buried to hide in mass graves. Genocide.
At least in one instance a contingent of UN troops of a Western country, assigned to protect the lives of weak Muslim men, youth and women abandoned their post and handed the enclave to the murdering hordes. Fact. History.

How many memorials are erected across the world to remind us of this genocide? We would rather forget
it. But certainly we are never allowed to forget certain other genocides.
But I shall not. And I know who committed this evil. As does the world. And who were and are their ' friends'.

Like the Rohingyas in Myanmar. Raped, burned, murdered, driven out of their homes, sold into slavery.
Healthy body organs of the deceased being exported to those that can pay the price.
Driven from their lands. Graves being uncovered.
Anyone shouting about it?

Murdered by the followers of the Dalai Lama.
The ' Dalai Lama' that the owner of this forum asserted to be the ' real ' one and not the one whose image I posted on this forum.

Not a word from the peaceful and the ' real ' ' Buddhist ' leaders about these atrocities. As a matter of fact, the Nobel prize committee seems to be recently awarding the peace prize to those that kill the largest number of muslims. History. Fact. Check it out.

In honor of some of those that were the victims of the Genocide in Bosnia/Herzegovina..


There are those who shall not forget this genocide either. Ever.

Killing of one innocent life is the equivalent of killing of all of humanity.
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  #2  
Old February 19th, 2018, 12:41 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Along the streets of Sarajevo...

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Old February 19th, 2018, 12:49 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Ayesha and Fahim,

You are so right. This one of the good things Bob Dole did. He insisted that President Bill Clinton intervene to prevent further atrocities against the undefended Muslims of Kosovo. Remarkably, a Christian US President defied the Serbia Orthodox and other churches and decided he had to thrash the Serbian Army and allied militia's and their cruel premediated evil and murderous ethnic cleansing program.

My brother, (a private Kissinger-type diplomat negotiator), met the key Serbians and warned the Serbs, then, that they wouldn't get away with any ethnic cleansing in this modern period in the 20th Century as there would be millions of protestors filling and paralyzing the streets in London, Berlin, Brussels, Capetown, Paris, Rome, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to support the Kosovans. But he wrote to me privately, in despair, that he didn't take into account that Kosovans, were not known or favored "victims" on the anyone's liberal agendas. So no one protested!

If someone in a Paris school was insulted wearing a headscarf, there would be a National Debate. If a Muslim candidate for member of the U.K. Parliament was pelted with rocks, those arrested would be charged with sedition and attempted murder. It would be discussed in Parliament and the liberals would mass outside.

But for the Kosovans, there were no tears or shame. The Dutch peacekeepers had withdrawn and simply allowed the Serbs to routinely execute the men and boys in mass graves.

Today, in Kosova, Bill Clinton is still considered a hero, more important than any other living statesman!

Interestingly, Clinton got very little praise from anywhere else, including most of the Muslim world, wherever it was known. There, it was often explained as done for an undefined commercial advantage for "US Imperialism"!

I take Bob Dole and Bill Clinton at their word, we intervened very late, but at least we prevented the rest of the Kosovans from being murdered or driven out of their lands!

As to the Buddhists, there is now only shame. They no longer can claim a "Mantle of love and peace" that the Dalai Lama espouses publicly. I tolerated their Buddha idols only as a residual artifact, some "toy" of the past and allowed the assertions of "nobility of the human spirit". Now such talk is utter nonsense! Why? Because the true martial roots of Buddhism is openly revealed. Brazenly, Buddhist leaders are relatively silent on the crimes against the Rohinga peoples of Myanamar, (formerly Burma). This ethnic cleansing must now be confronted as an evil as aweful as Hitler's Third Reich.

The Noble peace prize to their Premier should be rescinded and we should send 200,000 troops to reclaim the Rohinga's lands and create an independant state. No Buddhist leader should be allowed to enter, do business, meet with US officials, use our banking systems, fly our airplanes or preach in the USA unless they first sign a declaration of unequivocal support for the Emancipation of the persecuted Muslims they have made stateless.

However, matters are far more complex and even the 13,000 Rohingya brought to the USA to be given home in Chicago, are in trouble because the children become choice targets for gang recruitment. Once the fabric of a society is torn up, it's so difficult to rebuild anywhere else. A good account of the complexity of this ongoing human disaster is to be found here.

The bottom line is that to be rescued the victims have to be in fashion. Note that hundreds of Syrian amuslims can drown from the smugglers boats in the Mediterranean Sea and it's no more than a blip, like a note about a soccer match in a small town, stakes up a few lines for a day or so and is gone. Well, they are not the darlings of the civilized liberal left either!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; February 23rd, 2018 at 10:55 PM.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 09:47 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Thanks Asher.

Now we move on to some images I made. Nothing artistic. This was my first visit. So just getting my bearings.

Next visit, Fahim shall be joining me for a more prolonged journey for photography.
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  #5  
Old February 23rd, 2018, 09:49 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Sarejavo. From atop a high vantage point ( near the Olympic Village ). A dull, cold, overcast day.


Cemeteries abound here.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 04:30 PM
Peter Dexter Peter Dexter is offline
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AsherI thought it was Libyans et al who were dying while crossing the Mediterranean and to be honest I am frequently made aware of their plight via international news organizations so I think "blip" isn't really fair.

Ayesha,
Thank you for joining our forum via your husband's account and for your incisive account of the Bosnia Herzegovina conflict and tragedy. As you mention many of these go unheard of except locally. I think I wrote up a photo account of the years long massacre that occurred near me in the Colombian village of Trujillo. While technologies are strikingly, even astonishingly advanced inter human relationships remain (equally astonishingly) violent.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 11:03 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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[QUOTE=Peter Dexter;183554]AsherI thought it was Libyans et al who were dying while crossing the Mediterranean and to be honest I am frequently made aware of their plight via international news organizations so I think "blip" isn't really fair.



Peter,

Your friends may be more politically aware.

The staging area is Libya, but the actual boat refugees are from all over and currently mostly Syrians. Once they have paid the Libyans, many are still sold as slaves or raped or held for ransom.

The Europeans, by not intervening in Syria, has allowed the unfetted exit of millions to Turkey, Jordan and over to Libya and drowning in the sea if their packed boat capsizes before it reaches a Greek Island or Italy.

This is a moral and human disaster. Generally it is indeed only a blip on the news. Go into any supermarket or gas station and ask folk a few questions about current events. They will know the latest sports games and episodes on TV as well as the winter olympic events. Then ask them who are the Rohingya or the Yazidi or what happened in Kosovo. Likely as not they will not have the faintest idea what you are talking about. At least that is in Los Angeles.

Asher
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Old February 24th, 2018, 01:49 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Thank you Peter. And Asher.

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Old February 24th, 2018, 02:05 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Thank you Peter. And Asher.

You just need a heart to take this picture....any kind of camera will do!

It's stark beauty tells of almost isolation, neglect and past stress and far better times when there was somehow wealth to build multistoried houses, but now not enough to make a modern access road.

Asher
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Old February 24th, 2018, 02:36 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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What I felt throughout my stay there, Asher.

A roadside cafe, lunch time, main shopping center....

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Old February 24th, 2018, 01:06 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Old February 26th, 2018, 10:29 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Old February 27th, 2018, 09:48 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Ever wanted to step back into the Medevial era...even times before that?

You have come to the right place. History, culture, influences from the east and west.
Cobblestone streets, bridges that have defied time, alleys and pathways that will surprise and astound you. And the architecture...just wow!


Mostar, Southern Bosnia/Herzegovina.

Get packing. Go back in time.
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Old February 28th, 2018, 08:08 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Old February 28th, 2018, 11:48 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Ayesha and Fahim,

So what about the food? Is it unique or related more to Turk tradition and the Ottomans?

Also, the Serbians claim a great Christian Orthodox presence in this area. Did you come across grand churches and Cathedrals, or is this from 400 years back in their "memories"?

Asher
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Old February 28th, 2018, 11:51 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Ever wanted to step back into the Medevial era...even times before that?

You have come to the right place. History, culture, influences from the east and west.
Cobblestone streets, bridges that have defied time, alleys and pathways that will surprise and astound you. And the architecture...just wow!


Mostar, Southern Bosnia/Herzegovina.

Get packing. Go back in time.
If the tower for call to prayers was tiles and in a cone, this would look like any Christian village nestled amongst hills in the Balkans. The layout and the colors are enchanting. The folk all seem to be dressed well and the women appear Westernized. Is that generally the case?

Asher
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Old March 1st, 2018, 01:33 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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For the most part, I found no difference in the outward appearance of the people in the Balkan region.

After all most are from the same region unlike some other countries where most inhabitants originated from somewhere else.

In Bosnia, Crotia, Serbia et all..the obvious differences are the religious affiliations and the economic disparity between them. And the language, of course. Though most speak the others language.

Thank you for your visit to my post.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
If the tower for call to prayers was tiles and in a cone, this would look like any Christian village nestled amongst hills in the Balkans. The layout and the colors are enchanting. The folk all seem to be dressed well and the women appear Westernized. Is that generally the case?

Asher
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Old March 1st, 2018, 01:43 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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The assassination of the Archduke in 1914, consequences of which precipitated the First World War.

The man eats his lunch where it happened. Sarajevo....

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Old March 1st, 2018, 08:21 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
For the most part, I found no difference in the outward appearance of the people in the Balkan region.

After all most are from the same region unlike some other countries where most inhabitants originated from somewhere else.

In Bosnia, Crotia, Serbia et all..the obvious differences are the religious affiliations and the economic disparity between them. And the language, of course. Though most speak the others language.

Thank you for your visit to my post.
Ayesha's next picture, (the Duke's assassination site), shows the folly of ignoring "other people's problem's" until they tragically consume millions of lives for no purpose!

We have done the same in Syria. That devastation now requires that we face the far worse solution than intervention, everyone armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons!

We had a Serbia boy stay with us during the war and have his schooling here. He was so happy, skilled, confidant, full of ethnic pride

......yet dismissive mocking and such intense hatred of all others around him! He thought Serbian Christian Orthodoxy was inherently part of the dirt, soul, rocks and grass of all of Bosnia and Kosovo, as Holy land rightfully his!

Reminds me of the Pete Seger's song sung by Joan Baez and best, poignantly, by Marlene Dietrich, with the Refrain, "When will the ever learn, When will the ever learn?".

Asher
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 11:03 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Asher, accounting for human actions is a field of study I stay away from.
Thanks for your visit.

Various armies have marched through these cobbled streets. Each have left the imprint of their culture and settlements behind...

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Old March 3rd, 2018, 11:08 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Time to move on..


To Croatia and the port city of Dubrovnik...a superbly picturesque walled city....


You only live once. Or is twice?
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 05:19 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Asher, accounting for human actions is a field of study I stay away from.
The singers in the song, (that I hope you listened to and enjoyed very, very much), do not touch on reasons and nor do I, just the cycles of flowers! Tell me you did listen!


Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Various armies have marched through these cobbled streets. Each have left the imprint of their culture and settlements behind...
Decades and centuries later, it all becomes quaint, as city sections with interesting architecture and remnants left in favored recipes in local restaurants.



This is beautiful. Any idea if this river had a name? Where did it lead to?

I have always thought of taking a river cruise on a barge to visit villages on the way!

Asher
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 06:54 PM
Peter Dexter Peter Dexter is offline
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I love all the pictures (and additional ones you've added to this thread) with the exception of the black & white which I am no fan of. They are all wonderfull compositions, beautifully sharp and with lovely color rendition. They present to me a very gloomy place with nary a blue sky. It is not so difficult imagining the atrocities you or your wife describe having occurred in a place like this.
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Old March 4th, 2018, 11:26 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Thank you Asher.

The river is called Nervita.

The song by Joan Baez ' where have all the flowers gone '...Of course, I have listened to it.
We were in London during that period..in university.

Thank you for visiting the image...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
The singers in the song, (that I hope you listened to and enjoyed very, very much), do not touch on reasons and nor do I, just the cycles of flowers! Tell me you did listen!

Decades and centuries later, it all becomes quaint, as city sections with interesting architecture and remnants left in favored recipes in local restaurants.

.....

This is beautiful. Any idea if this river had a name? Where did it lead to?

I have always thought of taking a river cruise on a barge to visit villages on the way!

Asher
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Old March 4th, 2018, 11:43 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Time to move on..

To Croatia and the port city of Dubrovnik...a superbly picturesque walled city....

Precious!

Best regards,

Doug
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Old March 4th, 2018, 12:11 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Thank you Asher.

The river is called Nervita.

The song by Joan Baez ' where have all the flowers gone '...Of course, I have listened to it.
We were in London during that period..in university.

Thank you for visiting the image...
I gave you the version by Marlene Dietrich, (as by being German), the quality of her rendering makes the song so much more poignant and so much more sense as one wanders through the villages, led by Ayesha's pictures, where so many young men lost their way and now the photographs, show us, in a way, the flowers and beauty that remain. Marlene's dramatic presentation, (instead of the famous Baez beautiful "vibrato" voice), left me in awe of these pictures that had already captured my heart!

I hope you listened once more to the striking song, but also now through the dramatics of this great German lady!

BTW, I cannot fathom how you manage to energize yourself in these strenuous meandering journeys. I guess you just want to keep up with your dynamo young wife, as I strive to do daily!

I would need a radio satellite phone to my cardiologist and a team on standby, LOL

In admiration!

Asher
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Old March 4th, 2018, 12:16 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Time to move on..


To Croatia and the port city of Dubrovnik...a superbly picturesque walled city....


You only live once. Or is twice?
A beautiful picture:

1. In itself

2. The lady in the road

3. The decayed building with a tartan of foliage over its righ shoulder!

Asher
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Old March 5th, 2018, 12:55 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Hi Peter.
Thank you for stopping by. Much appreciated.

BW AND/or color is as much a personal preference as it is an emotional one. I miss my Tri-X days!

In all fairness, I might have given an impression of gloom in the content of this thread.
Far from it. The place is indeed undergoing a rejuvenation. And tourism is being encouraged at all levels.

While it does have economic merits, much needed, I feel unbridled tourism ( I am one of them ) has an adverse effect on the very fabric of that which makes a place a must see.

But I am not an expert on effects of mass tourism, but one of them.

Take care.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dexter View Post
I love all the pictures (and additional ones you've added to this thread) with the exception of the black & white which I am no fan of. They are all wonderfull compositions, beautifully sharp and with lovely color rendition. They present to me a very gloomy place with nary a blue sky. It is not so difficult imagining the atrocities you or your wife describe having occurred in a place like this.
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Old March 5th, 2018, 02:24 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Doug, Asher.

Thanks for stopping by. And yes Asher, I did Marlene's rendition of the song. Wow!

Where there is the exuberance of youth, smile, vigor..there is spring that portends a bright future.
I am very optimistic.


We shall return to the Balkans at a later date.

Thank you for being with us.
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Old March 5th, 2018, 02:29 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Hi Peter.
Thank you for stopping by. Much appreciated.

BW AND/or color is as much a personal preference as it is an emotional one. I miss my Tri-X days!

In all fairness, I might have given an impression of gloom in the content of this thread.
Far from it. The place is indeed undergoing a rejuvenation. And tourism is being encouraged at all levels.

While it does have economic merits, much needed, I feel unbridled tourism ( I am one of them ) has an adverse effect on the very fabric of that which makes a place a must see.

But I am not an expert on effects of mass tourism, but one of them.

Take care.
Ayesha and Fahim. Your journeys are well thought out and although challenging, seem tranquil and beneficial to the local communities in not only providing economic support, but also brotherhood to therwise fairly isolated folk. You stopping, smiling and chatting, however brief, can inspire the future success of a child hardly noticed behind her mother!

I enjoy meeting other cultures and visiting the sights. Your pictures here really give me joy that I am so grateful for. Still, you bring up a point about the common assumption that Tourism is good for the locals! Sadly, it's far more complex a proposition!

Let me expand on this as you prepare Ayesha's next wonderful batch of eye openers!

There's a movement, Fahim, to become more sensitive to the adverse effect of hordes of eager tourists threatening ecosystems or degrading the carefree tourist experience itself.

1. Nicolas Claris cautioned and implored me not to organize an OPF tour of Antarctica as unbridled tourism has already started to do real damage to wildlife and pristine habitat.

2. Italian cities such as Rome and Venice are already "polluted" by streams of sheep-tourists crowding out narrow streets, Cathedrals and Galleries.

The Vatican Art Gallery, (itself a greedy abomination with homoerotic sculptures, shamefacedly, renamed, by avowed homophobes, "holy titles", such "love", "trust", "humility" and "charity"), has tens of thousands of tourists breathing out carbon dioxide, which with air moisture becomes corrosive acid, damaging billions of dollars of art, (our heritage), that no church, anyway, has the moral right to even own! Talk about greed, neglect and "graven images" to the nth! Surely "Religion", any belief system of worth, has to about man's spirituality and healing the planet, not hoarding wealth!

....Meanwhile Venice canals are open sewers and the precious irreplaceable buildings continue to sink, (that, in a country with the some of the finest engineers on the planet). Stores sell gold bracelets, $5,000 each on the ground floor in marble splendor, while on the second floor above, wooden window frames are dried out and decaying and much of the stone work has fallen away, revealing a crumbling inner structure and neglect! So tourism brings money, but doesn't preserve the riches folk think they are coming to celebrate and take in!

3. Israel is choking with tourists with insufficient parking spaces for tour buses to handle 3.6 million visitors, that folk are let off on highways to walk the last several blocks on foot! Not enough hotel rooms nor public toilets ..... and like Venice and Czech Republic streets are too narrow for the deluge of tourists! States should have to report over crowding warnings and limit tourist flow! There are so many places that have empty streets, perfect beaches and the folk really need the income!

Somehow travel agents should be rewarded for sending folk to underserved areas in the Balkans, western Coastal Portugal, (no better fish), or Southern Turkey, like Bodrum, (no better seafood and all night dancing), and villages in Cyprus, where the local Greeks or Turks would so appreciate the chance to be our hosts!

So Tourism seems to be, at times good and at times an ecological pestilence!

4. Saudis entrepaneurs could, perhaps, export knowledge of how they already provide for tourists, as they seem to handle millions of pilgrims, (hotel rooms, transport, tourism etc), without seeming to degrade their country! To just disgorge massive planes, one after the other, in the same familiar capital cities, just crowds the places!!

Asher
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