In one of the world's poorest countries, where many women still wear head-to-toe burqas, lavish spending and competition among brides is fueling a boom in shops selling pricey and glamorous dresses.
Afghans live in one of the world's poorest countries — but you wouldn't know that from their lavish wedding ceremonies. Families sell possessions and borrow money . This wedding culture is part of the reason there's been a boom in women's dress shops in my neighborhood in Kabul, the Afghan capital.
It's still one of the most jarring contradictions in Afghanistan: watching women wearing headscarves, or full, head-to-toe blue burkas, walking down the street past store windows full of glamorous, low-cut gowns.
INDIA’S general election will take place before May. The front-runner to be the next prime minister is Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, currently chief minister of Gujarat. A former tea-seller, he has previously attacked leaders of the ruling Congress party as elitist, corrupt and out of touch. Now he is emphasising his humble caste origins. In a speech in January he said 'high caste' Congress leaders were scared of taking on a rival from 'a backward caste'. If Mr Modi does win, he would be the first prime minister drawn from the 'other backward classes', or OBC, group. He is not the only politician to see electoral advantage in bringing up the subject: caste still matters enormously to most Indians."
Belgium’s gaffe-happy former Prime Minister Yves Leterme once famously said that the only things all Belgians have in common are “the King, the football team, some beers.” Say what you will about the pressure on Team USA heading into Tuesday’s showdown against Belgium—at least nobody’s expecting them to keep the...
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil has seen host-nation stars such as Hulk and Fred roam the pitch. In 2006, Nick Schulz addressed why so many Brazilians are known by single names. The article is reprinted below: The World Cup kicked off on Friday, and defending champ Brazil will take...
California is an earthly paradise. Yet there is something badly broken about the Golden State. At its best, California is America’s America, where the young and adventurous go for a fresh start. The trouble is that housing in much of California has become so expensive that the young and adventurous...
A Nicaraguan committee approved a proposed route on Monday for a $40 billion shipping channel across the Central American country that would compete with the Panama Canal. The committee of government officials, businessmen, and academics approved a 172-mile route from the mouth of the Brito river on the Pacific side to the Punto Gorda river on the Caribbean that was proposed by executives from the HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group). The Hong Kong-based HKND group, which is funding the project, is headed by Chinese lawyer Wang Jing, who also heads Chinese company Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group. The idea is ridiculously ambitious. The waterway would be more than three times as long as the 48-mile Panama Canal, and one of the largest infrastructure projects ever.
The importance ISIS places on the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement about the Middle East may seem puzzling. But jihadist groups have long drawn on a fertile historical imagination, and on old grievances about the West in particular.
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