Visiting Palestine through Shanghai

Believe it or not, yesterday I went to Palestine, and the stamp on my passport is the evidence for what I'm saying.
I had been looking for a kefiah for some time, and the best place to buy it was naturally Palestine, so I went straight to the cosy shop at the end of the pavilion and I was lucky enough to meet the lovely lady from Nablus and her daughter Leen only two days before their departure back to Palestine.
The pavilion reflected the class and the elegance of the Palestinians who, despite the hardships they are constantly put through, have not lost their style.
Experiencing Palestine through their costumes, shows, photos, miniatures of their cities, tea rooms and local products was great, as this is one of the hardest countries to visit due to the occupation and blockade they have been forced to since 1948.
Of course my curiosity about their rich civilisation was met only a little, and now I'm even more inspired to travel to Palestine than before.
I wish I can make it soon, but in the meantime, I will share these photos and some of the feelings they brought from the Holy Land to Shanghai Expo 2010.

In Atlantis, in a Giants' Tomb

Sardinia is land of ageless beauty, to the extent that researchers are all busy to prove the island is the lost civilisation of Atlantis. Among these, the most devoted to the cause is journalist Sergio Frau.

Frau, analysing ancient texts and comparing them with the present geography, places the Pillars of Hercules in Sicily so, according to Plato's directions, Atlantis is to be found in Sardinia.

The Greek philosopher, in fact, placed the legendary island, "insula Atlantis," in front of the Pillars of Hercules (Sicily) and on the west of the Strait of Gibraltar. Following all these references, Atlantis can only be Sardinia.

The island fits this explanation also thanks to the presence in its history of a lost civilisation, called nuragica. The whole territory is dotted with Bronze-Age stone towers, called nuraghi, that were used both as stronghold against foreign invasions and as habitation.

Frau, and many geologists, argue that four centuries before Christ a tsunami hit the island, destroying the nuragic civilisation, and maybe the civilisation of Atlantis. Geologists support this argument with the fact that one of the biggest and best kept nuraghi has been found under a thick layer of mud.

Apart from thousands of nuraghi, in the island can be found many other buildings even prior to the nuragic civilisation, such as Fairies' Houses, Dolmen, Menir, sacred wells and Giants' Tombs. Almost all of them are connected to pagan rituals, as they were tombs or worship areas. Among these, the Giants' Tombs have always inspired a great deal of interest, not only among scientists and researchers, but also among the population. Why?

It's widely believed that around a Giants' Tomb there is a magnetic field able to release positive energy. Historical research says they had funerary purposes, however they happen to be a little too big to be a single grave. Maybe more than one corpse were laid there after the burial ceremony? Or maybe they kept some more space on purpose to put other objects to help the dead cross over or to bring with wherever they were going, "Egypt-style"?

Where historical research stops, popular belief comes along. Many people take the Giants' Tomb as a place to restore from daily stress and go there to absorb some of the energies that our ancestors managed to identify in those strategic spots.

A friend of mine told me that when she goes to any of the Giants' Tombs she feels strengthened, so I had to try.

I went to the Giants' Tomb of Dorgali and followed "the expert's instructions". I sat beside the tomb, lied underneath, stepped on top of it (not sure if this was allowed or might have been considered profane some 5,000 years ago) and walked all around.

I can't really say what effect it had on me, maybe because it was also my first approach to such "natural remedies" to modern hustle and bustle.

Truth be said, Sardinia si a place where popular beliefs are as alive as they were thousands of years ago, and the pagan element never disappeared, despite the efforts of the Catholic Church to erase any previous ritual.

Land of mystery and unspoken traditions, Sardinia never fails to charm tourists and locals alike, as behind every single corner there is a secret to be discovered.
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