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What foreign country inspires you most?

CHINA INSPIRES me most. I am CEO of HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, a company listed in the United States. Our main product is a fish called tilapia, produced by cooperative aquaculture farmers in China.

The oceans are largely over-fished and receive large quantities of pollutants, which concentrate in the fish. We promote aquaculture as an alternative, using the latest technology. Because people are prepared to pay more for organic and environmentally friendly products, we can pay more to those farmers who are prepared to learn newer, healthier technologies.

My love of China comes from working with these wonderful, hard-working people in rural settings, providing them with the opportunity and dignity they deserve.

We view our support for minorities and the rural poor in China as a way of bringing prosperity to a people, who will be a force for good in the world. Their voice must be heard.

Norbert Sporns, Quebec,

Canada

Albania, land of my ancestor De Renzy, land of beautiful lakes and mountains, land of the longest prisoners.

The country is 70 per cent Muslim, 20 per cent Orthodox, ten per cent Catholic. In 1967 Enver Hoxha outlawed religion, destroyed mosques and churches, locked up all imams, shot 50 Catholic priests. The communist system collapsed in 1991.

But what great people! Mufti Sabri Koci spent 22 years in prison camps. At an IofC conference in Caux, Switzerland, he was asked, 'What was the core thing that kept you going over 22 years?' He replied, 'Loving God.'

Sokol Mirakaj was two when taken with his father to the prison camps--for 42 years. Meeting him, I blurted out, 'Sokol, 42 years! I can only cry.' He said, 'It's water under the bridge. Now we must live for the glory of God.'

Since 1994 I've made 14 visits. Not one prisoner spoke with bitterness. They simply said, 'We're glad it's over. We've got our freedom!' The land of the longest prisoners is a land of great forgivers.

Richard De Renzy Channer,

London, UK

AT 15, the country which inspires me most is Afghanistan. To me, it is a book within itself. Every person has a story to tell, yet no one listens.

As I started to talk to English people of different ages about Afghanistan, they all seemed to reply with, 'They bomb our country, so why should we help theirs?' This attitude may be down to the lack of media attention, which makes the public unaware of the aid Afghanistan needs. People don't even realize that there are people suffering.

It is the people in Afghanistan who inspire me, because of their courage and endurance.

Arabella Edwards, UK

IN 1988, when I was 35, I had had enough of California's 38 million people and epidemic traffic jams. I convinced my nine-year-old daughter that Australia would be our 'promised land'.

Australia's cost of living is about 20 per cent less and its homicide crime about 60 per cent less than the USA's. One of my Australian friends recently visited the USA and remarked: 'I left Australia's 340 days of sunshine a year for America's fickle weather, stifling pollution and 12 times bigger population: I must be as mad as a cut snake.'

Two years ago I returned to the US and married. We will soon return to Australia, to live in a town of 21 people. Even though I am an Australian permanent resident, I would die for what America stands for. But I will always opt to live in Australia.

Joanne Galliher,

Washington, USA
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Title Annotation:since you ask
Publication:For A Change
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Dec 1, 2005
Words:584
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