Besarabsky Market in Kiev

2 July 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Tiia Monto/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Tiia Monto/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Besarabsky Market, also referred to as the Besarabka, is an indoor market located in the center of Kiev on the Bessarabska Square at the southwest end of the city’s main thoroughfare, the Khreshchatyk.   read more…

Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

6 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 20 September 2019) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund, timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 97 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.   read more…

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Khreshchatyk Boulevard in Kyiv

5 April 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Tiia Monto/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Tiia Monto/cc-by-sa-3.0

Khreshchatyk (Ukrainian: Хрещатик) is the main street of Kyiv, Ukraine. The street has a length of 1.3 km (0.81 mi). It stretches from the European Square (northeast) through the Maidan and to Bessarabska Square (southwest) where the Besarabsky Market is located. Along the street are the offices of the Kiev City Council which contains both the city’s council and the state administration, the Main Post Office, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, the State Committee of Television and Radio Broadcasting, the Central Department Store (TsUM), the Besarabka Market, the Ukrainian House, and others. Among prominent buildings that did not survive were the Kiev City Duma, the Kiev Stock Exchange, Hotel Natsional, and the Ginzburg House. The street has been significantly renovated during the modern period of Ukraine’s independence. Today, the street is still significant to administrative and business city organizations. As of 2010, Khreshchatyk is included in the Top 20 of most expensive shopping streets in Europe. Khreshchatyk is a popular attraction for tourists. During weekends and public holidays, the street is closed to road traffic and reserved for pedestrians. Khreshchatyk contains many up-market stores, cafés, and restaurants. Khreshchatyk is a traditional setting for outdoor concerts and festivals, and is frequented by street musicians. Major parades and celebrations are held on Kiev Day (the last Sunday of May), Victory Day (May 9) and Independence Day of Ukraine (August 24).   read more…

Theme Week Ukraine

20 June 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Kiev © flickr.com - Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

Kiev © flickr.com – Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

Ukraine, somtimes called the Ukraine, is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast; Belarus to the northwest; Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia to the west; Romania and Moldova to the southwest; and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014 and now administers as two federal subjects of the Russian federation, but which Ukraine and most of the international community continue to recognise as Ukrainian. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world.   read more…

Theme Week Ukraine – Mariupol on the shore of the Azov Sea

19 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Mariupol Drama Theatre © Olegzima

Mariupol Drama Theatre © Olegzima

Mariupol is a city of oblast significance in southeastern Ukraine, situated on the north coast of the Sea of Azov at the mouth of the Kalmius river. It is the tenth-largest city in Ukraine and the second largest in the Donetsk Oblast. The population is at 462,000.   read more…

Kiev on river Dnepr

25 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Ministry of Foreign Affair of Ukraine © Dmytro Sergiyenko/cc-by-sa-1.0

Ministry of Foreign Affair of Ukraine © Dmytro Sergiyenko/cc-by-sa-1.0

Kiev is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of July 2013 was 2,847,200, making Kiev the 8th largest city in Europe. Kiev’s most famous historical architecture complexes are the St. Sophia Cathedral and the Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), which are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Noteworthy historical architectural landmarks also include the Mariyinsky Palace (designed and constructed from 1745 to 1752, then reconstructed in 1870), several Orthodox churches such as St. Michael’s Cathedral, St. Andrew’s, St. Vladimir’s, the reconstructed Golden Gate and others.   read more…

Theme Week Crimea – Simferopol

2 May 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Chirakhov House © A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Chirakhov House © A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Simferopol is a city on the Crimean peninsula. It is the administrative centre of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. As the capital of Crimea, Simferopol is an important political, economic, and transport hub of the peninsula. Simferopol serves as the administrative center of Simferopol municipality, one of the regions Crimea is divided into, and of Simferopol Raion, although it does not belong to the raion (district).   read more…

Bakhchisaray in Crimea

7 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Bakhchisaray Palace © A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bakhchisaray Palace © A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bakhchysarai, which means the Garden Palace, is a city in central Crimea, a territory recognized by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Bakhchysarai Raion (district), as well as the former capital of the Crimean Khanate. Its main landmark is Hansaray, the only extant palace of the Crimean Khans, currently opened to tourists as a museum.   read more…

The Carpathians

4 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General

Bear in Sinaia - Romania © Metastabil01

Bear in Sinaia – Romania © Metastabil01

The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly 1,500 km (932 mi) long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe. They provide the habitat for the largest European populations of brown bears, wolves, chamois and lynxes, with the highest concentration in Romania, as well as over one third of all European plant species. The Carpathians and their piedmont also concentrate many thermal and mineral waters, with Romania home to over one-third of the European total.   read more…

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