History of Bulgaria

Autumn in the Rhodope mountains, Southern Bulgaria

Autumn in the Rhodope mountains, Southern Bulgaria

Originally posted on History of Bulgaria

Introduction

The historical development of the Bulgarian lands and the people that inhabited them in the antiquity has been determined by one major factor – their crossroads situation between Europe and Asia. The waves of settlers that swept from both continents into the south or into the north at different times, quite often turned the plains of Thrace, Moesia, Macedonia and the Balkan mountains into an arena of fierce clashes. Prior to the settlement of the Bulgarians about fifteen hundred years ago, this most contended land of the European civilization had seen other people’s cultures, with markedly impressive presence in the history of humankind on the planet Earth come, evolve and then, tragically go.

The earliest traces of human life on the Bulgarian lands date back to Paleolithic and Mesolithic times. The brilliant drawings in some Bulgarian caves and the flint labor tools are the only remnants of the primitive man, the Homo sapiens forebear.

The emergence of Homo sapiens in the lands of present-day Bulgaria seems to have taken place only about two thousand years after his initial appearance in the lands between Mesopotamia and Palestine. As to their nature and geographic situation, the Bulgarian lands are close to the so-called ‘optimal natural environment’ which is a prerequisite for man to come out of the caves and for the formation of the first agricultural and cattle-breeding communities that subsisted no longer on hunting and on wild fruit-collecting, but on a premeditated production of food and goods. Groups of people started settling down all over the lands of present-day Bulgaria, mainly in river valleys and in coastal regions. It was there that the people of the Neolithic were able to benefit from the magnificent natural wealth: rivers, rivulets and streams, fertile and easily cultivated lands, rock and clay deposits, vast forests and pastures. The one-thousand-year-long life of those settlements in the same place has brought about enormous piles of debris and other household waste, known as ‘settlement mounds’.

The introduction of metals gave further impetus to the development of human civilization in the lands between the Danube and the Aegean Sea in the IV-II millennia BC. As evident from the archeological excavations, copper production and, subsequently, that of bronze and precious metals were rather impressive for the scale of that remote epoch. These were concentrated in the Bulgarian lands rich in copper-containing ores. The analysis of the metal tools and the unprocessed pieces of metal found in various regions of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe has come to show…

via History of Bulgaria.

Historic Photo: Handley Page H.P.42 biplane airliner, Palestine, 1931. | www.seanmunger.com

Originally posted on www.seanmunger.com

This beautiful color photo depicts a very unusual airplane: a Handley Page H.P.42, which was a biplane airliner that briefly saw service for Britain’s short-lived Imperial Airways airline during the 1920s and 1930s. This particular plane, named Hanno, was photographed in 1931 at a refueling stop at Samakh, a settlement on Lake Tiberias, in what was then Palestine (now Israel). This is the refueling crew. There’s no way to be sure, but this plane may have been on its way to India.

The H.P.42 was an interesting plane that came along at a peculiar time in aviation history, the point between the wars when biplanes were phasing out in favor of monoplanes. The change occurred in smaller planes, like…

via Historic Photo: Handley Page H.P.42 biplane airliner, Palestine, 1931. | www.seanmunger.com.

ISIL and Sykes-Picot

toritto

Fat Chance

Several months ago, ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, announced it’s intention to do away with the borders of the modern Middle-East. It already controls territory spanning the “border” between Iraq and Syria. “Levant”, a more accurate translation of the Arabic “Al Sham” also includes Lebanon, Jordan and the old “Trans Jordan”, now Israel and the Palestinian territory. ISIL considers these lands as Sunni patrimony.

The murderous tactics of ISIL are reprehensible but do they have a legitimate grievance against the colonial borders originally drawn by Britain and France with blatant disregard for the sectarian loyalties of the local populace?

The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement is a flash-point for Arab resentment. It divided Ottoman Asia into British and French zones of influence. Britain was assigned the Baghdad and Basra districts — Iraq, Transjordan, and Palestine. Modern day Syria and Lebanon were given to France.

Britain wished…

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Palestine Conflict: Gandhi 1938

01/00/1998. File pictures of Mahatma Gandhi

“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French…What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct…If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs… As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unacceptable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.”

Mahatma Gandhi 1938

Then what?

So you say the land is yours.
Then what?
So you put hundreds of thousands to flight.
Then what?
So you take over land.
Then what?
So you round up thousands.
Then what?
So you build a wall.
Then what?
So you bulldoze homes.
Then what?
So you drop bombs.
Then what?
So you invade.
Then what?
So you kill children.
Then what?
So you shell hospitals.
Then what?
So you say you won’t talk to terrorists.
Then what?
So you say the land is yours.
Then what?
 by Michael Rosen

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