One of the biggest civilian development project that Libya’s ex-president Muammar Gaddafi undertook during his forty-two-year rule was the Great Man-Made River. Gaddafi’s dream was to provide fresh water for everyone, and to turn the desert green, making Libya self-sufficient in food production. To make this dream a reality, Gaddafi commissioned a massive engineering project consisting of a network of underground pipes that would bring fresh water from ancient underground aquifers deep in the Sahara to the drought suffering Libyan cities. Gaddafi called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. The western media rarely mentioned it, and whenever it did, it was dismissed as a “vanity project” calling it “Gaddafi’s Pet Project” and “the pipe dream of a mad dog”. But truth is, the Great Man-Made River Project is a fantastic water delivery system that has changed lives of Libyans all across the country.
Photo credit Nenad Markovic
Libya is one of the sunniest and driest countries in the world. There are places where decades may pass without seeing any rainfall at all, and even in the highlands rainfall seldom happens, like once every 5 to 10 years. Less than 5% of the country receives enough rainfall for settled agriculture. Much of Libya’s water supply used to come from desalination plants on the coast, which were expensive and therefore used only for domestic purposes. Little was left for irrigating the land. Continue reading
By Georg Franz-Willing
first published: 1986-04-01
I. Historical Development from the Nineteenth Century to the First World War
In 1955, the Indian diplomat and historian K. M. Panikkar, a longtime friend and collaborator of Pandit Nehru, the Indian prime minister, published a book entitled Asia and Western Dominance 1498-1945. He shows Western dominance of Asia as beginning with the Portuguese Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the maritime route to India, and ending with the Second World War. The two world wars off the first half of the 20th century he justly describes as a European civil war. By this self-mutilation, Europe lost its position in the world, its hegemony, and caused itself to be divided into two spheres of influence: one American, and one Russian. Continue reading
Από την Ασίζη στη Ρώμη – τη θυγατέρα της Λύκαινας
Περίμενα ανυπόμονα στο Παλάτι Κίτζι να δω τον δυνατόν αυτόν άνθρωπο. Σε λίγο θα με δέχουνταν. Άντρες ωχροί περίμεναν στον αντιθάλαμο· γυναίκες βάφουνταν, να παρουσιαστούν στον ισχυρόν άντρα. Δυό νέοι λιγνοί, αψηλοί, με μαύρα πουκάμισα, στάθηκαν στη θύρα ορθοί, αδιάφοροι, άγριοι κι ήσυχοι· κι ένιωσα το σύμβολο που τόσο συχνά έχουν οι θυρεοί: δυό λιοντάρια που στέκονται ορθά και φυλάγουν. Continue reading
Einstein letter to Roosevelt, August 2nd, 1939
Roosevelt’s reply, October 19, 1939
Japan had ruled the Korean peninsula for 35 years, until the end of World War II. At that time, Allied leaders decided to temporarily occupy the country until elections could be held and a government established. Soviet forces occupied the north, while U.S. forces occupied the south. The planned elections did not take place, as the Soviet Union established a communist state in North Korea, and the U.S. set up a pro-western state in South Korea – each state claiming to be sovereign over the entire peninsula. This standoff led to the Korean War in 1950, which ended in 1953 with the signing of an armistice – but, to this day, the two countries are still technically at war with each other.