March 25, 2016


Lebanon, a country smaller than the state of Maryland, will have received more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees by 2016.

While leaders of Western European countries are debating on how to deal with the current refugee crisis, Lebanon has been quietly absorbing as many Syrian refugees as Europe has received during past year, with a quarter of the Lebanon's population now made up by refugees.  In fact, the refugee numbers are so staggering, Lebanon and its people are at breaking point.  Lebanon has the distinction of ranking number one worldwide in term of ‘Refugees per 1,000 inhabitants’.

Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood actress and special envoy for the UNHCR, has recently visited a refugee camp in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and gave an impassioned speech on the plight of the refugees.  Let’s hope the world’s nations will coordinate and do more to assist and give hope to these refugees.

March 4, 2016

Transatlantic Trends (4)

In this last installment of Transatlantic Trends visualization, we’ll look into what Americans and Europeans think about Russia’s role in world affair.  More Americans think it’s desirable that Russia exerts strong leadership in global affairs, but even more Greeks think so.  On the other hand, more Spaniards and Polish don’t think that Russia should exert strong power (understandably for Poland because of its proximity and history of conflict with Russia, but Spain...?)

Who has the most favorable opinion of Russia?  The patriotic Russians, of course, as well as the Greeks (why do the Greeks like Russia so much?).  Who disapproves the way their country is managing relations with Russia?  The Spaniards and Polish, who seem not to favor Russia very much.