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June 2004

Welcome to Moldova - Everything you wished to know about Moldova “Our Mission is to Help the Most Vulnerable Segments of the Moldovan Society”
Welcome Magazine Interview with Mr. Richard Maranta, Humanitarian Aid Attaché, Head of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova

Mr. Maranta, could you, please, present to our readers the main lines of activities of your organization in Moldova?

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which is part of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is due to render Humanitarian Aid and provide Technical Assistance to a beneficiary country. We are active in different areas. The most important one is Water and Sanitation, followed by the Social and Health sectors. We give additionally a significant support to the Civil Society (Non-Governmental Organizations). The fight against Human Trafficking and Corruption remains for SDC and for the Government of Moldova, as President Voronin mentioned it several times, an area of real concern. We are involved in this area too. Continued >>>

The People and the Landscape Look Much the Same…
Three armed guards motion our bus to the side of the road and another steps on board to check documents. On seeing my British passport he orders me to a portakabin at the roadside, where two military officials fire questions at me in Russian. Once satisfied, they direct me to a building where another soldier copies details from my passport and charges me money for a stamped slip of paper. I return to the bus where the other passengers grumble about the delay and we continue on our journey.
So far, so typical of any border control. Except that if you look at the map, you will see no border here: we have passed from one part of Moldova into another. This, of course, is the “border” with the self-declared republic of Transdniestria: Moldova may be among the smallest independent states in the world, but like a Russian doll, look inside and you’ll find another. Continued >>>
The Defender of the Christian Cause
This year is the year of the 500 th anniversary of the death of Stefan cel Mare, one of the greatest Moldovan ruler and military leader. In early May Vladimir Voronin, the president of the Republic of Moldova visited Greece, the holy Mount Athos and monasteries, which were constructed and supported by Stefan cel Mare. What drew the Moldovan ruler to that place almost 500 years ago? Why did the place attract his interest?
The Athos monasteries have been defending the Orthodox spirit for centuries. In outward appearance they differ from the usual monasteries that exist in our country, Russia or Ukraine. Each of them is a fortress, often risen in an inaccessible place, with battle towers and walls going deep into a precipice. The Athos monastic community has always been and is now the stronghold of the Orthodox Church where the medieval customs remain and old statutes continue to act. The monastic existence is now as abstracted from the secular one as 500 and one thousand years ago. Continued >>>
Shakesperean Ballets over the Years
Today Shakespeare is enjoying greater popularity in the world of ballet than ever before; it would take dozens of pages simply to list all the productions based on his plays. Of Shakespeare's 37 plays, more than a dozen have already been staged. They include his tragedies and romantic dramas. Yet the undisputed leader is Romeo and Juliet.
The most famous musical score for a ballet version of Romeo and Juliet was composed by the Soviet composer Serghei Prokofiev in the 1930s. It was staged by Leonid Lavrovsky in 1940 and first performed in the West in 1956, where it led to a flood of imitations. Almost all subsequent European versions of Romeo and Juliet were based on it.
At the end of the 20 th century ballet preferred Shakespeare's bloody tragedies to his comedies. The latter gave rise to few masterpieces in Russia and in the West. One of them was John Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew (Stuttgart, 1969), whose success was largely due to the great actors Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun. Continued >>>

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