Libya is an Important Country in International Affairs Due to Location – Book Review

Libya is a very important country in North Africa, and what happens there does affect the region, much more than you might believe. If you’ve watched the UN meetings on TV you can immediately see there is a bit of animosity between the Western World and Libya. And at one time, not in the long ago distant past, Libya was practically considered a terrorist state, actually and officially – it was by the US State Department.

In fact, not much credit has been given to the President Bush for his handling of Libya, but they came clean, after they saw President Bush meant business when he went into Iraq. But before you consider all the modern day issues, perhaps you might like to read a little history on this nation-state. Yes, that would be wise. Well, then there is a very good book that I believe you should read, and it is a book I own myself. You can read this in one-day, between your other duties or employment. The name of the book is;

“Libya” (Modern Nations of the World Series) by Debra A. Miller, Lucent Book Publishers, New York, NY, (2005), 112 pages, ISBN: 1-59018-443-2.

The author of this book is a writer and a personal historian, she is also a lawyer. Interestingly enough she has a passion for current political events. This book is very well footnoted, and very much up to date as of its publishing. In the introduction Debra Miller explains that Libya was a former terrorist state, and she also goes into the challenges and hardships of living in desert land. There are many different cultures and Libya, and things have really changed since Qaddafi came into power.

In one chapter she explains the traditional land, and how society and lifestyle has changed over many years. She also explains where Libya is going into the future, and in hindsight she was exactly correct. It is interesting to read this book written in 2005, in 2011, to see how accurate Debra was, therefore much kudos goes to her observations, and knowledge at the time.

The reference section is full of excellent articles, and recommended future reading for the reader. There is also a timeline of chronological events, which puts everything into perspective for you. The book also has lots of great pictures to give you a sense and a feel of what it’s like to live amongst the Libyans. And yes there is a section on the 1988 Lockerbie bombing of the 747, one of the worst terrorist aircraft bombings in history. Indeed I hope you will please consider this.

The 12 Chinese Animals: Create Harmony In Your Daily Life Through Ancient Chinese Wisdom

How many times have you gone to a Chinese restaurant and figured out what animal from the Chinese zodiac represented you? You also probably read the description of those of that animal’s characteristics and nodded in agreement or shook your head thinking, “that’s not me.” But have you ever wanted to know more about the Chinese zodiac and the twelve animals? Have you ever wondered how these twelve animals came to represent different years? Well, wonder no longer. “The 12 Chinese Animals: Create Harmony In Your Daily Life Through Ancient Chinese Wisdom” by Master Zhongxian Wu presents what can be a complex Eastern topic in a very easy to understand and accessible manner for the Western reader.

The first part of the book explains the wisdom behind the twelve animals. The numerological meanings are explained, and a short primer on Chinese zodiac or Chinese astrology is presented in a few pages. There are also short explanations of the eight trigrams, twelve tidal hexagrams, and the cycle of nature. This obviously isn’t as in depth as you could go, but for most people, these simple explanations will suffice to gain a better understanding.

The next section instructs on how to find your Chinese animal symbol. The little charts on menus are incomplete, and this section provides a more accurate and complete way to determine your Chinese zodiac symbol, but it is still done so in a easy to understand manner. The section covers yearly, monthly, and hourly animal symbols.

Next come chapters on each of the twelve animals and related tidal hexagram: Rat and Fu (Rebirth), Ox and Lin (Deliver), Tiger and Tai (Balance), Rabbit and DaZhuang (Prosper), Dragon and Guai (Transform), Snake and Quan (Strengthen), Horse and Gou (Copulate), Goat and Dun (Retreat), Monkey and Pi (Break), Rooster and Guan (Observe), Dog and Bo (Peel), and Pig and Kun (Flow). Each of these chapters have a general description, a page with a picture and poem or saying, and general features for that animal such as personality, health, relationships, career, finance, color, and food. So if you like reading this short descriptions on menus, you will like this additional information.

The book concludes with a short afterword on living in harmony. Overall, this is a good little book for anyone who wants to know more about this topic. It’s clear and easy to read, and provides the basics regarding Chinese astrology and zodiac. It contains attractive photographs and wisdom to meditate on if you desire to pursue that path.

Book Review for “Three Cups of Tea”

Did you ever set out on a journey and the outcome was a direction you hadn’t planned on? In the book “Three Cups of Tea” written by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, the story of a mountain climbing trip turned into humanitarian mission unfolds after Greg took a wrong turn into unfamiliar territory. The results were life changing for him and the people he met.

Greg Mortenson had begun a mountain climbing trip in a foreign country. He took a wrong turn and was separated from his guide. After surviving the elements, he made his way to a small village that he didn’t recall seeing on any map. It was in Islamic territory. The people there took him in and nursed him back to health. As they got to know him they stated that they were in desperate need of schools for their children. They did not have buildings, teachers or supplies.

As Greg grew to love the people, he committed himself to finding a way to help them. When he returned home, he set out to try to raise money. He sent out hundreds of letters with what seemed like no response at all. The first ones to respond with financial support were other mountain climbers. Perhaps they are determined people who believe that anything is possible.

Much of the story has intense moments but there was one humorous incident that broke the ice and allows us to laugh at ourselves. Greg had received a message from an elderly widow who stated that she wished to make a sizable donation but that he would have to come to her to receive it. He thought with her age it would be harmless so he went. When he arrived, she had three days of activities planned for the two of them. It started to look suspicious when one of the activities was a massage for both of them. He woke the next morning with the woman standing in front of the couch wearing a transparent night gown. It turned out that she was just a lonely old lady wanting companionship. There was no donation. He learned his lesson and used better judgement after that.

The intensity heightened on September 11, 2001 with the bombing in New York. That morning he was to have a dedication ceremony for his newly constructed school. The people woke him up stating what happened in his country. They expressed their sympathy and asked him not to judge them by the acts of horror done by others. When he went to the hotel, chaos had broken out and reporters wanted their story. Greg was thrust into political issues that he was not there for. Because he was helping the village people, he was questioned by authorities as to why he was there.

When Greg was seeking help, no one gave him the time of day. Now, he was talking with politicians and the military. He decided to keeping all funding in the private sector.

The schools were built and the people are a permanent part of his life. We can learn from his experiences not to judge others and that good things happen even through times of struggle.