My first impression was disbelief when I read that Cyprus asked that the British not to conduct operations against Libya from its bases. I thought how could they, being such close neighbours to Libya and with the whole world understanding what Gadaffi was about and planning to do. Since then I have had a change of mind and I believe that it was a good and wise statement. There is no need to get involved in any other disputes in the region and especially when you have your own problems to deal with. Looking out in every direction Cyprus finds itself in the heart of all the the trouble going on in the Middle East. However, all the trouble that is going on will and can be good for the whole region if all the dictators are ousted and newly formed democratic government's emerge.
The Middle East is plaqued with blind patriotism. I remember when I moved to the US, I was so patriotic towards my birthplace of Jordan that if any one said anything negative about Jordan (even if it was true) I was ready to attack them. Of course as I grew older the elementary school brainwashing faded. However, I still see this form of blind patriotism from my family and friends today! They readily believe the propaganda. In Eygypt and Tunisia the population has evolved and although there are those who are now saying that this revolution is not as much a social networking revolution as originally portrayed and was not driven through Facebook and Twitter. It is a social revolution, how else can you explain the similarities of what's going on in so many Arab countries one after the other.
I think what happened in Egypt is a great thing and I am keeping a close eye on the whole region's events. Egypt was the catalyst for the whole Middle East. Thanks to the army backing the people we did not see the bloodshed that the region is known for. Hopefully now with Mubarak gone it can become the great country that it should be and set an example for the rest of its neighbours. I think that slowly everything will work out there and sooner or later things will be right.
Unfortunately this is not the case in Libya. Qaadafi is refusing to depart. His egotistical ways and military regime is holding on for now. However, he is a man who is out of touch with reality and is not willing to accept that his ways and days are numbered. I hope that he bows out now and relinquishes to his people's desires for a fair and just life and in this he may save himself. I can say the same thing about Syria but because of its ties to Iran and proximity to Isreal, the US administration will not be as agressive as with Libya. Unless, there are signs of massive killing by Assad against his people, then because of the power of technology, the world will be witness and a coalition will be together just as fast as the one against Libya.
The real hot spot is still the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in my opinion the cancer that is at the core of all turmoil in the region. The troubled and chaotic lives of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and those who witness it causes many of them to become extremists. The problem with the methods the Palestinians have been taken have not been effective and a new tactic is needed. The peaceful demonstrations in Hareeri square in Cairo showed what can be accomplished and this is method should be used by the Palestinians. If you are fighting against a force that you can not fight - there are other options besides suicide bombers. The Egyptians people stood together peacefully and it worked. The Palestinians need to stand like the Egyptians and refuse to work or fight, just go on strike.
I have an idea which is if every Palestinian had an I-phone or a video camera and have it available to film every time there was an injustice, humiliation or evil done against them, then the world will see and demand action and a resolution to the problem. For example, the woman who was held, raped and beaten by Gaddafi's militia. Her brave act of letting the world know what happened have made her plight and what is going the spotlight of the nightly news. Many people are now following her story. There are many, many more atrocities like this that world needs to see. People do not have to be silenced in this day and age. So maybe the next time an oil rich Arab country wants to send help to the Palestinians, send them some smart phones and don't wait untill after they've been bombed for days!
The right will prevail. If you do what is right then you must step a side, no matter who you are. Everyone is on a world stage and judged by their actions. Lets hope when President Obama said that when we saw there was going to be a masacre, we could not just stand by and let it happen, is the way things are. With technology comes information and any one persons life can be a Youtube video with millions of views in hours. This is a new age where people are connected all over the world in real time which changes things like never before. How can any one accepts a life of nothing when right in front of you is everything you can imagine, yet you can't have it.
Maybe I can't have it. But I want my freedom. Its my right.
This is the kind of Story that we at iheartcyprus like to write about. It is a positive advancement for Cyprus, its infrastructure and for the earth as a whole.
President Demetris Christofias along with hundreds joined Orites, Cyprus for the ceremonial opening of Cyprus's first Wind Farm which broke ground in October of 2009. The project was completed right on schedule and on budget, both rare in these days.
The over all cost is reported to be 170 million Euro and is to be able to provide 8% of the island electricity. The project is located in Orites which is in the Paphos district in the Kouklia area and about 30 minutes from Paphos town. The farm covers an area of 16 square kilometers. The developer on this project is Akis Ellinas.
The Orites wind farm project was managed by DK Wind Supply Ltd. funds were secured by Platina Partners LLP and 50% provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Renewable Energy Fund and through the Cyprus government's 20 year fixed rate subsidy.
Cyprus is a young country and has a lot of room for development and this is a great move in building the infrastructure for the future.
The Cyprus government spokesman Christos Christofides announced a draft of a bill banning online gambling calling it a "Social wound." If this bill passes the fines can be up to 170,000 euro and five years in prison or both. Although I agree that gambling is a problem that needs to be addressed the bill proposed seems to be going a little to far and by this it jeoprodizes it's validity. It also effects people's privacy in their own homes. There are ways to fight gambling, but I believe that if a person has a problem, if you take away one way they will just find another. So dealing with this issue must be the way you deal with any addiction. Through knowledge, intervention and step by step with the right support, not through the threat of prison and fines. Although, the reason for the gambling ban is not because the Cyprus government cares so much about it's gambling addicts and vulnerable population in my opinion, but because it does not make any tax revenue from online gambling like it does from the legalized gambling!
Gamblers could still easily lose their money at race tracks, football matches, illegal gambling clubs and by going to the North.
According to CasinoAdvisor.com there is and annual turnover of 2.5 billion Euros generated from online gambling in Cyprus! It is a real problem.
When I first visited Cyprus I quickly realized that there were more betting shops in a small area than anywhere I have been before (except Las Vegas and Atlantic City). In the U.S. gambling is seen as destructive a disease as alcoholism and drug abuse. I know someone that operated one of the many gambling shops in Paphos and it was clear that it was very profitable. The fines imposed when they were caught for illegal activities hardly made any impact on the business since they made so much. It also became very clear to me that some of his patrons were truly having problems with gambling addiction. I heard of how one man who sold his family land and lost all the money almost immediately. Others were there on a daily basis and were a fixture in the shop until the money ran out, which it usually did.
The idea of this being a disease or even a real problem was never discussed even though families were being destroyed because of it. Now that people are starting to realize it is a real problem the government seems to be taking control, but I think they need to take care of what is right outside their window rather than the more evasive and harder to track online gamblers.
Canada's womans soccer team beat the Netherlands 2-1 to win the Cyprus Cup. This was Canada's third victory in four years. They won in 2008 and 2010. In 2009 they finished in second place.
This was the Netherland highest place at the Cyprus Cup. France finished third with a victory over 4th place Scotland and England finished 5th.
This is one of the many Cyprus events that bring international attention to Cyprus and as always the venue and everything else associated with it was a success.
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