In the heart of the largest Mediterranean island, the Sicily, volcanic land, rich in minerals, there are some of the biggest salt mines in Europe. Between miles of tunnels and huge excavators, in a mysterious world that swings between the darkness and the white of the salt. Every day thousands of tons of salt from the quarries of Realmonte, Petralia and Racalmuto leave the port of Porto Empedocle direct to North Italy and northern Europe, where are used for food, chemical industry and for road safety during the the winter.
Singapore is one of the most expensive places in the world, as well as the intersection of three major Asian cultures - Chinese, Malay and Indian - and therefore also of three great religions, such as Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism, the city-state of Singapore is the fourth largest financial center in the world and is one of the most cosmopolitan cities, with 42% of the foreign population in the territory. In the "Lion City", whose nickname derives from an ancient Malay legend, modernity and tradition live together in an ever evolving mix.
In the southern Malaysia there is the world capital of condoms production, a small town called Pontian. The man behind the condom revolution is a 35 yo malaysian entrepeneur who's building an empire on safe sex. Goh Miah Kiat is the king of the condom, third generation of rubber gloves company, now he ows the largest condom factory in the world. It's named Karex (care - X) and recently went public on Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, where sharia law identifies good or bad shares. Global demand for condoms is expected to remain resilient at 7.5 per cent growth a year. Karex plans to double its capacity to 6bn pieces by the end of 2015. But the condom revolution is played in new materials (nanotechnology), new funny packagingand a new role of condoms in the couple 's life (more as a game than just a medical stuff)
Tokyo is an urban area and not a city, made up of 23 municipalities inhabited by more than 26 million people. A megacity, the largest in the world according to the UN, held together by an endless network of subways and elevated railways. A "non-city" where the urban space seems endless, in stark contrast to that reduced and limited individual. Here the individual is to oscillate between the approval prison and the desperate need for identity, within a system in which work is the first reason for living.
Every year during Ramadan, young pilgrims from all over the world come to Egypt to participate in the singing and memorization contest of the Holy Quran, one of the most important contest of the Muslim world.
An all female paramilitary organization aims to protect Estonia. Weapons in theirs arms, training in the forest every weekend, the Naiskodukaitse women, all volunteer, 1300 members, still live in their personal “cold war”. They are part of the last european paramilitary organization, Kaitseliit, controlled by the Estonian army, but free to possesses weapons, with the intent to guarantee the preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state.
In the north of Jordan, along the "hot" border with Syria, a project of the NGO, Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), has the goal to clean up the land from thousands of landmines and clusters dating back to several decades of tension. Within this project the NPA has created a special team, all-female, made p of young volunteers women, from most critical social strates of the surrounding villages. The courageous stories of Waad, Asthma, Iman, Hinda, Reema, Tamara.
While the city explodes, the life of "the invisibles of the roofs of Cairo," continues. Entire families live in the maze of shanties erected on the terraces of the decrepit buildings, belle époque style, designed in the 20s and 30s by French and Italian architects on the model of the great Parisian "immeubles". Thousands have been installed here, like in reals micro villages, through word of mouth, in the 60s and 70s. They came from the Delta region, or more often from the region of Upper Egypt, they improvised porters, shoe shining, street vendors and day by day they have welcomed their fleeing families from the countryside. The middle class families, which now occupy the vast apartments of the noble floors and for which their fathers worked, regard them with intolerance. The building plans of the old government wanted to move them, but they have taken root there and maybe the revolution will change their lives.
At the foot of Fuji Mount, there is the "Konohana Family", the largest and most famous eco-communities across Japan. About 50 people escaped from the pressures and failures of modern life, from all over Japan, live together as one family, sharing everything, from work to the childcare. Vegetarians, eat only what they produce on large farms, sell products on-line and prepare tens of packages daily meal for the employees and workers of the area. The community has an important social role because accept, even for short periods, people with depression and mental illness, which thanks to the culture of sharing and teamwork, find serenity and human contact. Konohana strongly collaborates with the institutions, especially holding meetings on new methods of agriculture or alternative social systems, with visitors from all over the world.
In southern Lebanon, near the border with Israel, the Islamist party, Hezbollah, the "God's Party", has built a museum dedicated to the Jihad and resistance, with an investiment about $ 4 million. On the hill / fortress of Mleeta, Inside the tunnels of guerrilla warfare, among mortars and cannons or a stroll along the wooded paths, accompanied by armored vehicles and armed gadgets. Hezbollah wants to invest in war tourism with it's Jihadic Park, the first in the world.
Songdo International Business District (SIBD) is a new Smart City or Ubiquitous City built from scratch on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land along Incheon's waterfront, 40 miles southwest of Seoul, South Korea and connected to Incheon International Airport by a 7.4 mile reinforced concrete highway bridge, called Incheon Bridge. Along with Yeongjong and Cheongna, it is part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone. This 10-year development project is estimated to cost in excess of $40 billion, making it one of the most expensive development projects ever undertaken and it is the largest private real estate development in history. By its completion date in 2015, the district is planned to contain 80,000 apartments, 50,000,000 square feet of office space and 10,000,000 square feet of retail space. The 65-floor Northeast Asia Trade Tower became South Korea's tallest building. The plan was designed by the New York office of Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF).
Recently Armenia and Turkey have signed the historical agreement will lead to the opening of frontiers between two countries and to a progressive relaxation of disputes Armenian-Azerbaijani regarding Nagorno-Karabakh. It is the portrait of unknown lands crushed between Russia and Occident, between nostalgia and globalization, between new and old conflicts. Contrasts that take shape in lands full of History, tradition, between old monasteries as well destroyed factories, green mountains and desert lands, unknown and ancient ethnic minorities like Yezidi and Molokan.
Ewha Womans University is one of the prestigious universities in South Korea, founded in 1886 by the american Methodist Episcopal, It is the world's largest female educational institute. The project of the university campus has been designed by French architect Dominique Perrault.