Knowing Your Neighbor’s Culture Avoids Problems

30 11 2011

Integrating all religions in the European Society is a big deal for the European Union. The European Union has association trades with some Muslim countries as Morocco. Despite many efforts done for the European Government and the states members leaders religious conflicts have not been solved yet.

European governments still have to face complicated situations related with religion.

The controversial caricatures of Prophet Mahoma published in Danish newspaper “Jyllands Postema” are a good example.  The Prophet was drawn with a bomb as a turban. In the following days other European media joined to “Jyllands Postema” and they also published cartoons which were qualified for the Muslim Community as offensive and it sparked their wrath.

These kinds of conflicts reflect lack of knowledge of the religion of our neighbors. The solution is not so far as seems. Acting with respect and learning a bit more about other cultures must help us to build a healthier society.

In this case the European Government might take as example the city of Sofia. I was there last weekend and I checked for myself they have a lot of different religious places. I entered in some of them and I saw Muslims, orthodox Christian and Jewish praying in different churches, cathedral, mosques and synagogues. Furthermore nobody from other religions was bothering around at least as far as I stayed there.

Nevertheless as I know thanks to a comment in this post, I could have experienced a fake illusion of tolerance. I have to apologize for my ignorance of these facts and thank to milva113 for her corrections.  There is a political party in Bulgaria called “ATAKA“. Their supporters are racist and nationalist and they have starred some violent incidents against Muslim Community in Bulgaria.

However according to my own experience, I keep thinking that if Sofia is able to avoid fights between different religions, followers will be a great example how different religions could coexist in the same place. I promise to keep working in this topic hereafter.

In the map below you can see the huge variety of religious places that Sofia holds:

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Involving Roma People in Bulgarian Society

22 11 2011

Roma people could be the reason why Bulgaria is not still in the Schengen Zone. At least that’s the opinion of a large number of people from Blagoevgrad whom I have talked.

Some members of the European Union have had problems with Roma people before. France with his Prime Minister Nicolás Sarkozy ahead struggled for kick the gypsies from Romania out of his country. Roma people of Blagoevgrad have built a neighborhood in the outsiders of the city. You can even see it from the AUBG library. It’s paradoxical to have people living in cabanas without toilet, heating or running water one kilometer away from the dorms of a private university. The line between those who have nothing and those who live in comfort is often imperceptible. However still exists.

The solution for involving Roma people in Blagoevgrad community and in the EU could be in little initiatives as the one directed by Radoslav Asenov. They have started a new project for educating Roma kids.

I was covering a normal day in Asenov’s project with my colleges Micky Bumbar and Paulina Guerguieva. We were also in the Roma neighborhood where we had the chance to speak with the parents of the kids whom are attending Asenov’s education project.

You can see in the video below the news story we made.





Bulgaria Needs Better Roads

10 11 2011

When you met Nadia Reza and she told you she is Mexican and she is only 21 years old, you cannot even imagine how well she knows the European roads.

Nadia is so lively that in few months she has crossed almost whole Europe. She uses to take flight from one country to another but then she often travel inside the country by bus and seldom by train or by taxi. Even once she crossed the border between Macedonia and Bulgaria by walk under the watchful eye of a Border Policeman, who was pretty freaked out. Obviously, he is more accustomed to see people crossing by bus or car so it was more shocking for him than for Nadia, who remember this story with a big smile in her face.

She thinks that Bulgarian roads are too old and the Government needs to improve it for make the country more accessible, and for give Bulgarians and foreigners the chance to travel faster and in a more comfortable way along the country.

Spain, Germany or France are some countries she has visited in Western Europe. She is studying in the AUBG as exchange student and during the fall break she has been travelling around the Balkans so she knows pretty well the situation of the European roads.

You can listen below an Interview with Nadia Rezar: