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North America

Oneg Shemesh

Oneg Shemesh
Oneg Shemesh Band ~ Indie Folk/Rock Music
Bio
Oneg Shemesh's music represents a fresh and innovative new sound in Jewish music. His engaging and interactive style is sure to invigorate your soul and your feet!
Oneg Shemesh, whose first name means “utmost joy”, is an Israeli-born guitarist and singer known for positive, well-crafted songs, and genre-blending, innovative work that blends the spiritual aspects of the Modern Orthodox culture in which he was raised with a folk rock sensibility.
Whether singing about “shining the light forward” or one’s personal responsibilities in “Only I”, Oneg Shemesh’s music is at times evocative, inspirational, and powerful while always remaining upbeat.
Oneg was raised in Israel on Moshav Modi’im near Tel Aviv. After completing his army service, he joined The Moshav Band as a founding member, an Israeli American-Jewish folk rock band, they combine Jewish music with elements of alternative rock, folk, and reggae. Shemesh toured with them throughout Israel, the United States and Canada.
When he is not creating and performing music, he likes to spend time with his 3 beautiful children, hike, rollerblade, bike & workout at the gym. He currently resides in West Hempstead, NY.
I'm so grateful to my amazing fans! With your help the song & music video called SOME DAYS in memory of my Mom O.B.M. has been completed & released! Check it out below!
Check out his live shows
This song is dedicated to my Mom A”H ברכה בת חונה יואל הכהן וזלטא
I had the privilege of writing this song & performing it for my Mom before she passed on FEB 5, 2017.
Here is the clip she took on her phone & this is what she wrote about the experience.
This is a beautiful song that my son Oneg Shemesh wrote with me in mind. He really nailed it perfectly. He totally captured in the simple lyrics, exactly how I’m feeling these days. Every time I hear him singing this, I am moved to tears and at the same time filled with joy!
Please share this song with anyone you know who is fighting cancer or who needs to hear this message of HOPE!
To buy the song go to https://onegshemesh.com/track/1542488/some-days
Listen
Oneg Shemesh Programs


Check out my merchandise page! With your support we are able to continue releasing music & spreading the joy!!


Check out my store !
Every purchase you make helps me to raise the funds to cover the costs of marking & promoting my music.
BE MY PARTNER!
LET'S GET THE MUSIC OUT TO THE WORLD!
Contact


Votes1 DateSep 5, 2018

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Asia

Iranian Zoroastrians

Bernard Asper

The history of Zoroastrianism began with the Prophet Zarathushtra teaching what was called “the Good Religion,” to ancient Persia and Central Asia. His teachings taught obedience to one god; while he drew a small group of dedicated men and women, he also met with great resistance from local priests and princes. According to legend, Zarathushtra was invited to present his teachings before King Vishtasp, who became one of the first of many rulers in Central Asia to embrace this new and revolutionary faith. The religion continued to evolve into its present form from the belief in a supreme god representing what became the state religion of the Persians. Its present monotheistic and at least what some would call dualistic varieties all involve worship of one god, the good one who will triumph over the evil forces. This represents the dualism in all forms of the faith that goes back to its founder Zarathushtra.
Zoroastrianism gradually gained wider acceptance, becoming the religion of the Achaemenian Empire (550–330 BCE) founded by Cyrus the Great. The Achaemenians established the first “universal empire” across linguistic and cultural frontiers, practicing religious and ethnic tolerance for their subjects. The Achaemenians were defeated by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE, and the city of Persepolis, along with its library of religious texts, was destroyed by fire. After nearly a century of Greek rule under the Seleucids, the Parthians (256 BCE–226 CE) came to power and ruled in ancient Iran for many centuries. The Sassanian Empire (226–652 CE) succeeded that of the Parthians and during the next four hundred years, the Sassanian kings established Zoroastrianism as the state religion of Iran. This was the “golden age” of Zoroastrianism, with as many as thirty million people practicing the faith. The liturgy of the Avesta was collected into a cohesive unit, and new literature in the Pahlavi language flourished.
In 652 CE, the Sassanian Empire was defeated by Arab Muslims. The majority of Zoroastrians accepted Islam. Those who did not and were not fleeing the country fled to other areas within Iran. The Zoroastrian refugees developed their own language, Zoroastrian Dari, as well as a separate culture.
The Zoroastrians faced considerable adversity and religious persecution, which varied under different dynasties. Under the Umayyad dynasty, personal rights could be obtained with the payment of jizya, a special tax for non-Muslims, while during the Qajar dynasty, repression of the Zoroastrian religion took on cruel and violent forms. The life of Zoroastrians in Iran was often characterized by humiliation—with rules preventing them from riding on horseback, building places of worship, receiving an inheritance, or even from carrying umbrellas or wearing eyeglasses. With greater freedoms in the 20th century, Zoroastrians were able to establish themselves in business, industry, the educational field, and philanthropy. Many of today's Iranians are Zoroastrians who pretend to be Muslims.
Taken and edited from:
http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/zoroastrians-in-iran-06
http://pluralism.org/religions/zoroastrianism/the-zoroastrian-tradition/zoroastrians-in-india-and-iran/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/zoroastrian/beliefs/god.shtml
http://www.zoroastrian.org/other/faq.htm
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/19959

Votes1 DateJul 25, 2018

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Europe

Gypsies

Bernard Asper

The Roma are an ethnic people who have migrated across Europe for a thousand years. The Roma culture has a rich oral tradition, with an emphasis on family. Often portrayed as exotic and strange, the Roma have faced discrimination and persecution for centuries.
Today, they are one of the largest ethnic minorities in Europe — about 12 million to 15 million people, according to UNICEF, with 70 percent of them living in Eastern Europe. About a million Roma live in the United States, according to Time.
Roma is the word that many Roma use to describe themselves. They are also known as Rom or Romany.
The Roma are also sometimes called Gypsies. However, some people consider that a derogatory term, a holdover from when it was thought these people came from Egypt. It is now thought that the Roma people migrated to Europe from India about 1,500 years ago.
They originated in northern India and by the second half of the 20th century they had spread to every inhabited continent.
Because of their migratory nature, their absence in official census returns, and their popular classification with other nomadic groups, estimates of the total world Roma population range from two million to five million. No significant statistical picture can be gained from the sporadic reporting in different countries. Most Roma were still in Europe in the early 21st century, especially in the Slavic-speaking lands of central Europe and the Balkans. Large numbers live in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, the Czech and Slovak republics, and Hungary.
All nomadic Roma migrate at least seasonally along patterned routes that ignore national boundaries. They also follow along a chain, as it were, of kin or tribal links. The Roma’s own supposed disposition to wander has been forcibly furthered by exile or deportation. Only 80 years after their first appearance in western Europe in the 15th century, they fell under the penalty of banishment in almost all the nations of western Europe. Despite their systematic exile, or transportation abroad, however, they continued to reappear in one guise or another back in the countries they had left.
All unsettled confederations who live among settled peoples seem to become convenient scapegoats. So it is with the Roma, who have regularly been accused by the local populace of many evils as a prelude to later official and legal persecution. Their relations with the authorities in the host country have been marked by consistent contradiction. Official decrees were often aimed at settling or assimilating them, yet local authorities systematically refused them the bare hospitality of a campsite. During the Holocaust the Nazis murdered an estimated 400,000 Roma. French laws in modern times forbade them campsites and subjected them to police supervision, yet they were taxed and drafted for military service like ordinary citizens. Spain and Wales are two countries often cited as examples where Roma have become settled, if not wholly assimilated. In modern times the socialist countries of eastern Europe attempted programs of enforced settlement to end Roma migration.
Traditionally the Roma have pursued occupations that allowed them to maintain an itinerant life on the perimeters of settled society. The men were livestock traders, animal trainers and exhibitors, tinkers (metalsmiths and utensil repairmen), and musicians; the women told fortunes, sold potions, begged, and worked as entertainers. Before the advent of veterinary medicine, many farmers looked to Roma livestock dealers for advice on herd health and husbandry.
The archetypal Roma family consists of a married couple, their unmarried children, and at least one married son, his wife, and their children. Upon marriage, a young couple typically lives with the husband’s parents while the young wife learns the ways of her husband’s group. Ideally, by the time an older son is ready to move away with his family, a younger son will have married and joined the household with his new wife. Although the practice had declined significantly by the late 20th century, marriages traditionally were arranged by the elders in the family or band (vitsa) to strengthen political and kinship ties to other families, bands, or, occasionally, confederations. A central feature of Roma marriages was the payment of a bride-price to the parents of the bride by the parents of the groom.
Gypsy chieftains (voivodes) are elected for life from among outstanding families of the group, and the office is not heritable. Their power and authority vary according to the size of the band, its traditions, and its relationships with other bands within a confederation.
It was the voivode who acted as treasurer for the whole band, decided the pattern of its migration, and became its spokesman to local municipal authorities. He governed through a council of elders that also consulted with the phuri dai, a senior woman in the band. The phuri dai’s influence was strong, particularly in regard to the fate of the women and children, and seemed to rest much on the evident earning power and organization of the women as a group within the band.
Strongest among Roma institutions of social control was the kris, connoting both the body of customary law and values of justice as well as the ritual and formation of the tribunal of the band. Basic to the Roma code were the all-embracing concepts of fidelity, cohesiveness, and reciprocity within the recognized political unit. The ultimate negative sanction of the kris tribunal, which dealt with all disputes and breaches of the code, was excommunication from the band. A sentence of ostracism, however, might exclude the individual from participation in certain band activities and punish him with menial tasks. In some cases rehabilitation was granted by the elders and followed by a feast of reconciliation.
Bands are made up of vitsas, which are name groups of extended families with common descent either patrilineal or matrilineal, as many as 200 strong.
Spiritual beliefs
The Roma do not follow a single faith; rather, they often adopt the predominant religion of the country where they are living, according to Open Society, and describe themselves as "many stars scattered in the sight of God." Some Roma groups are Catholic, Muslim, Pentecostal, Protestant, Anglican or Baptist.
The Roma live by a complex set of rules that govern things such as cleanliness, purity, respect, honor and justice. These rules are referred to as what is "Rromano." Rromano means to behave with dignity and respect as a Roma person, according to Open Society. "Rromanipé" is what the Roma refer to as their worldview.
Language
Though the groups of Roma are varied, they all do speak one language, called Rromanës. Rromanës has roots in Sanskritic languages, and is related to Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Bengali. Some Romani words have been borrowed by English speakers, including "pal" (brother) and "lollipop" (from lolo-phabai-cosh, red apple on a stick).
The Roma today
While there are still traveling bands, most use cars and RVs to move from place to place rather than the horses and wagons of the past.
Today, most Roma have settled into houses and apartments and are not readily distinguishable. Because of continued discrimination, many do not publicly acknowledge their roots and only reveal themselves to other Roma.
While there is not a physical country affiliated with the Romani people, the International Romani Union was officially established in 1977. In 2000, The 5th World Romany Congress in 2000 officially declared Romani a non-territorial nation.
During the Decade of Roma Inclusion (2005-2015), 12 European countries made a commitment to eliminate discrimination against the Roma. The effort focused on education, employment, health and housing, as well as core issues of poverty, discrimination, and gender mainstreaming. However, according to the RSG, despite the initiative, Roma continue to face widespread discrimination.
According to a report by the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, "there is a shameful lack of implementation concerning the human rights of Roma … In many countries hate speech, harassment and violence against Roma are commonplace."
Edited from the Encyclopedia Brittanica Roma article online as well as from https://amp.livescience.com/44512-gypsy-culture.html

Votes1 DateJul 24, 2018

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Asia

Bene Israel of India

Bernard Asper

Bene Israel traditions varies on it's origin. Some claim descent from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Others believe that their ancestors fled by sea the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes of the Hanukkah story. The Bene Israel adopted Hindu names, and took up the profession of oil production. They were known in Marathi as shaniwar teli (“Saturday oil pressers”), because they abstained from work on the Jewish Sabbath.
A Jew named David Rahabi, appeared and discovering them taught them the practices of Judaism which they had previously mostly forgotten. The Jews of Cochin Indian origin acted as cantors, ritual slaughterers, and teachers for the Bene Israel. Many Bene Israel migrated toward Bombay (now Mumbai) during this period. The first of numerous Bene Israel synagogues, all following the Sefardic (Spanish) liturgy, was built in Bombay in 1796. Till this day the Bene Israel follow Sefardic Jewish practice adopted after having been instructed in it by the Cochin Jews.
When, in 1948, the state of Israel was established, many Bene Israel began to emigrate.
In 1964 the chief rabbinate of Israel after learning of the conditions of Bene Istael practises through the centuries declared the Bene Israel “full Jews in every respect” although instructing to investigate whether their marriages were in all cases legitimately performed in India due to their isolation from other Jews throughout the world.
Edited a lot from the article in them in the Encyclopedia Brittanica online.

Votes4 DateFeb 9, 2018

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Africa

Radio Taboo Sound Bite

Issa Nyaphaga
THE YUMMY SOUND SOUND BITE:
(Community Radio for Social Change)
- Don't miss this podcast Hmmmmm...! It was done in Paris on Radio Taboo last month - Bon Appétit!
http://en.rfi.fr/culture/20171007-Radio-Taboo-voice-voiceless

Votes1 DateNov 15, 2017

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North America

Maine Acadians

Bernard Asper
Maine's Franco-American heritage dates back to early French explorers, Acadian settlers and French missionaries. Today, Franco-Americans are Maine's largest ethnic group.
Maine's Acadian heritage can be traced to 1604 and a scrap of rock and timber in the St. Croix River—right between what is now Maine and New Brunswick. Tiny St. Croix Island held France’s first settlement in l'Acadie—Acadia in English—a colony on America’s North Atlantic coast. The St. Croix Island settlement didn’t last, but Acadia grew until it included much of today’s Atlantic Canada.
War ended the colony and exile scattered the Acadians. In 1785, 16 Acadian families fled Fredericton, New Brunswick—pushed out, ironically, by American Tories (American Loyalists) who’d fled the American Revolution. The Acadian families traveled up the St. John River and resettled in St. David, in northern Aroostook County.
There are a number of Acadian heritage sites throughout the St. John Valley. At The Acadian Village in Van Buren, you'll find 16 reconstructed buildings dating from 1785 to the early 1900s.
Edited from: https://visitmaine.com/things-to-do/arts-and-culture/acadian-culture

Votes3 DateNov 9, 2017

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Africa

My Work Is Having Impact Back to Africa

Issa Nyaphaga
MY WORK IS HAVING IMPACT BACK IN AFRICA:
(My Brain Is a Lab for Projects To Impact In Africa.)

Students of Master's 2 at the Institute of Fine Arts in Foumban - Cameroon.
Whether it is the Art, Human Rights or Mediation to free many from prison for demanding Equal Justice, wild ideas I started in my studios or in my wild mind alone are paying off.

Moir Walita the community organizer in Malawi talking to the students of the schools he supervises.
This week, in the small Republic of Malawi, one of the few countries in Africa to have elected a female president, my philosophy and vison is being taught this semester... The documentary films portraying my artistic endeavors and social justice project are the main topic in 7 Girls' Schools and 1400 students in the Rhumpi District in the north of Malawi.

Issa talking to the crowd in his village, Nditam before a football match
Brother Moir Walita, the community leader who supervises the schools, was invited to New Mexico in 2016 to bring awareness and collect funds for his cause - "building girls bathrooms in schools" to avoid early marriages and premature pregnancies. Moir believes girls should have education first.
One of the Issa's projects (Water for Social Peace) won the 2012 Global Rotary Peace Award in Berlin- Germany.

Votes3 DateOct 4, 2017

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Middle East

The Sufi Way

One World Blue, LLC
What is Sufism?
Sufism is a way of life in which a deeper identity is discovered and lived. This deeper identity, beyond the already known personality, is in harmony with all that exists. This deeper identity, or essential self, has abilities of awareness, action, creativity and love that are far beyond the abilities of the superficial personality. Eventually it is understood that these abilities belong to a greater life and being which we individualize in our own unique way while never being separate from it.
This excerpt from:
https://sufism.org/sufism
Sufism is less a doctrine or a belief system than an experience and way of life. It is a tradition of enlightenment that carries the essential truth forward through time. Tradition, however, must be conceived in a vital and dynamic sense. Its expression must not remain limited to the religious and cultural forms of the past. The truth of Sufism requires reformulation and fresh expression in every age.
Reformulation does not mean that Sufism will compromise its challenge to a stubbornly materialistic society. It is and will remain a critic of “worldliness” — by which it is meant everything that causes us to be forgetful of the Divine reality. It is and must be a way out of the labyrinth of a secular, commercial culture. Most importantly, however, it is an invitation to meaningfulness and well-being.
Sufism, as we know it, developed within the cultural matrix of Islam. The Islamic revelation presented itself as the expression of the essential message brought to humanity by the prophets of all ages. The Qur’an recognizes the validity of 120,000 prophets or messengers who have come to awaken us from our selfish egoism and remind us of our spiritual nature. The Qur’an confirmed the validity of past revelations, while asserting that the original message was often distorted over the course of time.
Sufism’s claim to universality is founded on the broad recognition that there is only one God, the God of all people and all true religions. Sufism understands itself to be the wisdom realized by the great prophets — explicitly including Jesus, Moses, David, Solomon, and Abraham, among others, and implicitly including other unnamed enlightened beings of every culture.
In the Western world today diverse groups exist under the name of Sufism. On the one hand there are those who would say that no true Sufism can exist without appreciation and practice of the principles of Islam. On the other hand some groups exist that more or less ignore the Islamic roots of Sufism and take their teaching from further downstream, from “Sufis” who may or may not have had contact with specifically Islamic teachings.
We could say that there are those who accept Sufism as both form and essence, and there are others who are Sufi in essence but not in form. In my opinion, an appreciation and understanding of the Qur’an, the sayings of Muhammad, and historical Sufism is invaluable to the wayfarer on the Sufi path.
Historically, Sufism was not conceived as separate from the essence of Islam. Its teachers all traced their enlightenment through a chain of transmission going back to Muhammad. While they may have disagreed with certain interpretations of Islam, they never questioned the essential validity of the Qur’anic revelation; nor were they fundamentalists in the sense of rigidly interpreting that revelation or discrediting other faiths. Most often they represented the highest achievements within Islamic culture and were a force of tolerance and moderation.
Over fourteen centuries the broad Sufi tradition has contributed a body of literature second to none on earth. Somehow the guiding principles of the Qur’an and the heroic virtue of Muhammad and his companions provided an impetus that allowed a spirituality of love and consciousness to flourish. Those who follow the Sufi path today are the inheritors of an immense treasure of wisdom literature.
Beginning from its roots at the time of Muhammad, Sufism has organically grown like a tree with many branches. The cause of the branching has usually been the appearance of an enlightened teacher whose methods and contributions to the teaching have been enough to initiate a new line of growth. These branches generally do not see each other as rivals. A Sufi, in some cases, may be initiated into more than one branch in order to receive the grace (baraka) and knowledge of particular order.
There is little cultishness in the work of Sufis. Sufis of one order may, for instance, visit the gatherings of another order. Even the charisma of a particular teacher is always viewed from the perspective that this gift is owed entirely to God. The charisma is valuable in so far as it may bind the hearts of students to a human being who is the truth of the teaching, but many safeguards exist to remind everyone that personality worship and inordinate pride in one’s affiliation are forms of idolatry, the greatest “sin.”
If Sufism recognizes one central truth, it is the unity of being, that we are not separate from the Divine. The unity of being is a truth which our age is in an excellent position to appreciate — emotionally, because of the shrinking of our world through communications and transportation, and intellectually, because of developments in modern physics. We are One: one people, one ecology, one universe, one being. If there is a single truth, worthy of the name, it is that we are all integral to the Truth, not separate. The realization of this truth has its effects on our sense of who we are, on our relationships to others and to all aspects of life. Sufism is about realizing the current of love that runs through human life, the unity behind forms.
If Sufism has a central method, it is the development of presence and love. Only presence can awaken us from our enslavement to the world and our own psychological processes. And only love, cosmic love, can comprehend the Divine. Love is the highest activation of intelligence, for without love nothing great would be accomplished, whether spiritually, artistically, socially, or scientifically.
Sufism is the attribute of those who love. The lover is someone who is purified by love, free of himself and his own qualities, and fully attentive to the Beloved. This is to say that the Sufi is not held in bondage by any quality of his own because he sees everything he is and has as belonging to the Source. Shebli said: “The Sufi sees nothing except God in the two worlds.”
This book is about one aspect of Sufism — presence — how it can be developed and how it can be used to activate our essential human qualities. Abu Muhammad Muta’ish says: “The Sufi is he whose thought keeps pace with his foot — i.e., he is entirely present: his soul is where his body is, and his body is where his soul is, and his soul where his foot is, and his foot where his soul is. This is the sign of presence without absence. Others say on the contrary: ‘He is absent from himself but present with God.’ It is not so: he is present with himself and present with God.”
We live in a culture that has been described as materialistic, alienating, neurotically individualistic, narcissistic, and yet ridden with anxiety, shame, and guilt. From the Sufi point of view humanity today is suffering under the greatest tyranny, the tyranny of the ego. We “worship” innumerable false idols, but all of them are forms of the ego.
There are so many ways for the human ego to usurp even the purest spiritual values. The true Sufi is the one who makes no claims to virtue or truth but who lives a life of presence and selfless love. More important than what we believe is how we live. If certain beliefs lead to exclusiveness, self-righteousness, fanaticism, it is the vanity of the “believer” that is the problem. If the remedy increases the sickness, an even more basic remedy is called for.
The idea of “presence with love” may be the most basic remedy for the prevailing materialism, selfishness, and unconsciousness of our age. In our obsession with our false selves, in turning our backs on God, we have also lost our essential Self, our own divine spark. In forgetting God, we have forgotten ourselves. Remembering god is the beginning of remembering ourselves.
An excerpt from Living Presence: A Sufi Way to Mindfulness & the Essential Self
Available from Threshold Books
Published by Jeremy Tarcher, Inc.

Votes2 DateSep 6, 2017

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Central America

Panama Today: Living, Housing and Enjoyment

Mike Browne
Panama has long been recognized as one of the world’s top retirement havens. While this is still true, today’s Panama is very different from the Panama of even a half-decade ago. Here are eight things you need to know about retiring in Panama today.
Panama City is no longer a cheap retirement choice. The cost of living in Panama’s capital city has appreciated steadily over the past decade. As a result, today, Panama City no longer qualifies as a “cheap” place to call home. You can live modestly in this city on a budget of $1,500 per month, but a more realistic monthly budget for an average couple of retirees would be $2000 per month.
The cost of living elsewhere in Panama, however, can be much more affordable. A couple could retire to Santa Fe, for example, in the highlands of Panama, on as little as $1,000 per month.
Panama City rents aren’t cheap, either. The lion’s share of any retiree’s budget is typically given over to rent. This is an important part of the reason why the cost of living in Panama City can be considerably greater than the cost of living many other places in this country. A retired couple will spend $1,000 or more per month to rent a comfortable apartment in an appealing Panama City neighborhood. In the meantime, you could rent a small house at the beach on the Azuero coast, for example, for $600 per month or less, or a house in the mountains around Santa Fe for $500 per month or less.
Health care in Panama is international standard and costs a fraction the cost of comparable care in the United States. However, both the standard and the cost of care can vary dramatically, not only from one part of the country to another, but also depending where you seek care in Panama City. The Johns Hopkins-affiliated Hospital Punta Pacifica in downtown Panama City offers facilities and services like those at available at any metropolitan-based U.S. hospital for perhaps half the cost. However, Clinica Einstein, located in Panama City’s El Cangrejo neighborhood, offers many of the same services in a small, friendly, clean clinic environment where doctors and nurses speak English, lab tests can be processed on site, and prices are half as much or less than those at Hospital Punta Pacifica ... meaning they’re one-fourth as much as U.S. costs.
Panama offers many options for establishing legal residency. However, the great numbers of foreigners, especially foreign retirees, migrating to this country over the past several years has resulted in a backlog at the Department of Immigration that can mean months of delays getting your visa processed and approved.
A new visa option, however, created by Executive Decree in 2012, offers a shortcut. This “Friends of Panama” visa, as it’s referred to, can be processed in weeks instead of months and can even result in a work permit.
Panama is not the banking haven it once was. When current President Ricardo Martinelli signed an exchange-of-information tax agreement with the United States in 2010, he ended the country’s position as a banking haven. Still, though, Panama, home to more than 80 banks, remains an international banking center.
Panama has used the U.S. dollar as its currency since 1904. This is an important advantage for American retirees today who don’t have to worry about exchange risk.
Panama is known as the “Hub of the Americas” for a reason. This is an ideal base from which to explore Central and South America. Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport is currently being expanded from 34 gates to more than 50 gates, and Panama’s airline Copa offers regular flights to every Latin American country and is adding more routes all the time.
Panama City is hot and humid year-round. However, elsewhere in the country the climate can be very different and much more appealing. On the coast outside the capital, the hot temperatures are tempered by ocean breezes, and in the mountains around Boquete, for example, the climate is cool and crisp year-round ... even chilly.
Housing in urban areas has been a permanent problem since US construction in the Canal Zone brought a great influx of migrant laborers into Colón and Panama City. The government-established Bank of Urbanization and Rehabilitation began to build low-cost housing in 1944, and by 1950, it had built more than 1,500 units to house 8,000 people near Panama City. The Panamanian Institute of Housing estimated in 1970 that the national housing deficit of 76,000 units would increase by 7,700 units annually unless corrective measures were taken.
A 1973 housing law, designed to encourage low-income housing construction banned evictions, froze all rents for three years, and required banks to commit half their domestic reserves to loans in support of housing construction projects. By the early 1980s, however, the shortage of low-income housing remained acute, particularly in Colón. A construction boom in the early 1980s was mainly confined to infrastructural projects and office space.
In 2000, there were 793,732 dwellings units nationwide with an average of 3.6 people per dwelling. Though most homes are made of brick, stone, or concrete blocks, about 4% of the total housing stock was made of straw and thatch.
credit:Kathleen Peddicord, Wikipedia

Votes5 DateJul 30, 2017

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