Mandela: 15 Pearls of Wisdom

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Mr. Mandela is one of the most politically gifted individuals of all time and one of the most admired men in history. Together with other brave South Africans, he helped engineer the first peaceful, non-violent revolution in the history of the world.

“In Africa there is a concept known as ‘ubuntu’ – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others.” -— Nelson Mandela, 2008. Continue reading “Mandela: 15 Pearls of Wisdom”

Neil Armstrong Standing On The Moon

neil-armstrong-standing-on-the-moon

Astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930 — 2012) died on Saturday at the age of 82. He will be remembered as the first human to set foot on the moon, landing on July 20 1969.

The Apollo 11 mission came at the height of America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union. While the bloody Vietnam war was in full swing the moonwalk lifted Americans with a sense of euphoric achievement and a surge of patriotism. It is said that Armstrong managed to obtain his pilot’s license even before he got a car license. He had his first joyride in a plane at the tender age of 6. Just 32 years later he was standing on the moon. Continue reading “Neil Armstrong Standing On The Moon”

Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 2

ethiopian-black-jews-making-aliyah

In Part 1 we tell the little known story, with roots that reach back to the time of Abraham, of the union of the great King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

In Part 2 a promise is fulfilled. They are welcomed by the Jewish state, like prodigal sons returning to the land of Israel.

The first modern contact with the Ethiopian Jews was by Scottish explorer James Bruce, who was searching for the source of the Nile River. Continue reading “Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 2”

Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 1

solomon-sheba

The modern history of the Jews in Ethiopia begins with the reunification of Ethiopia in the mid-19th century during the reign of Theodore II.

At that time the Jewish community, known as Beta Israel, numbered between 200,000 to 350,000 people. The name Beta Israel originated in the 4th century AD when the community refused to convert to Christianity during the rule of Abraha and Atsbeha Continue reading “Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 1”

Gold In South Africa And The Ancient Indian Connection

dravidian-seafarers

Like most South Africans of my generation, as a schoolboy I learnt that the recorded history of Southern Africa started in the mid 17th century with the arrival of the European explorers.

Did ancient Dravidian Seafarers establish the first gold mines in Southern Africa? We studied detailed accounts of these early settlers and their exploits as well as the references to the Portuguese explorers, such as Bartolameu Dias, who preceded them by about 100 years. Continue reading “Gold In South Africa And The Ancient Indian Connection”

Marilyn Monroe American Icon

Without any acting experience, Marilyn became a Hollywood media star and a legend in a career that spanned 16 years and 29 movies.

Born Norma Jean Baker (1926 – 1962), Marilyn Monroe began her career as a model and landed her first film contract in 1946. She made her first appearance on the cover of Life magazine in April 1952, where she was described as “The Talk of Hollywood”. Marilyn was catapulted to fame after her picture appeared on the cover of the first Playboy magazine in 1953. Continue reading “Marilyn Monroe American Icon”

American Icon 1950s Cadillac

Cadillac

This great American icon of American success and the American dream, the 1950s Cadillac, is beautifully drawn here by renowned artist John Harding. See a portfolio of John Harding’s work here.

When this famous automobile first appeared on the streets the classic lines of the 1950s Cadillac defined an era. The style embodied the optimism of post-war America and heralded a glorious industrial renaissance led by Detroit, the home of the American automobile industry. On 25 November 1949, Cadillac produced its one millionth car, a 1950 Coupe de Ville. Continue reading “American Icon 1950s Cadillac”

Mr Gene Sharp: Why Dictators and Despots Fear His Name Everywhere

eugène-delacroix

Gene Sharp is relatively unknown to the American public. Around the world he is held in high esteem by activists and is regarded with fear and animosity by many authoritarian leaders.

This humble, shy 83-year-old intellectual, through his practical writings on non-violent revolution, has had a broad influence on international events for two decades. Though he is quick to dismiss his role, his ideas are credited with helping to advance a global democratic awakening. Continue reading “Mr Gene Sharp: Why Dictators and Despots Fear His Name Everywhere”

Revolution Comes to Egypt and Sweeps Across The Arab World

revolution

Tonight as I write this a revolution of change is sweeping the Arab countries of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen.

The revolution was started in Tunisia by Mohamed Bouazizi (26), a humble vegetable vendor. He set himself alight in December as a sign of protest. Mohamed had endured police bullying that resulted in the “last straw” confiscation of his vegetable cart. He died of his wounds in early January and instantly became a martyr to students and the unemployed. A wave of protests against poor living conditions began. Three weeks ago the country’s dictatorship fell sending a spark to ignite the unrest that is now burning out of control in this region of autocratic rulers. Continue reading “Revolution Comes to Egypt and Sweeps Across The Arab World”

The Grande Hotel in Beira Mozambique is Squatter Heaven

On the North-Eastern border of South Africa lies the country of Mozambique. Here, in the port city of Beira, the magnificent Grande Hotel was built in the mid 1950’s when the country was still under Portuguese colonial control.

It was by far the most luxurious Hotel in Africa. In the mid 1970s I visited Mozambique with my first wife on honeymoon. The civil war had just started and we saw evidence of the military wherever we traveled. Even at this time it was still a popular and thriving tourist destination for travelers from Rhodesia and South Africa. Continue reading “The Grande Hotel in Beira Mozambique is Squatter Heaven”