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15 Facts on Cuba and its Education System

January 8th, 2015

Cuban_Flag

On December 17, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease economic restrictions on the nation. The President also said the U.S. will move towards re-opening its embassy in the communist nation and allow some travel, education and cultural exchange and trade that had been banned under a decades-long embargo instated during the Kennedy administration.

With recent developments in the renewal of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, we thought it would be good to start the new year by sharing a few facts on Cuba and its education system.

Country Facts

cuba

Here are 15 facts on Cuba:

1. The official name of Cuba is the Republic of Cuba.

2. Cuba is the largest of all islands in the Caribbean. The country also includes more than 4000 other much smaller islands and cays.

3. The capital and largest city of Cuba is Havana or “La Habana” in Spanish.

4. Cuba has a population of 11,047,251 (July 2014 est.)

5. Original indigenous inhabitants of Cuba were the Guanajatabey people followed by the Ciboney and Taíno tribes. In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived on the island and claimed it as a Spanish territory.

6. Cuba remained a Spanish colony until the Spanish-American War of 1898 when the country became part of the United States. The country was given independence in 1902.

7. The United States had a strong influence over the island until 1959, when communist revolutionaries, led by Fidel Castro, overthrew the Government of Batista. Castro himself stepped aside in 2008 due to health complications succeeded by his brother Raul Castro as President.

8. The United States pays Cuba approximately $4,085 a year to lease the 45 square miles that the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station occupies. Cuba has not accepted the payment since 1959.

9. Cuba is renown for its music, bands play everywhere in the capital Havana. The main musical form is called son, which is a combination of upbeat rhythms with classical guitar.

10. Sugar from sugar cane is the main crop grown in Cuba, followed by tobacco which is used in the making of hand-crafted cigars that are famous for being the finest cigars in the world.

11. Nickel is Cuba’s most important mineral resource at 21% of total exports in 2011 nearly 4% of the world’s production.

12. In a traditional Cuban meal the food is not served in courses, instead all the food is served at the same time.

13. Baseball is the most popular sport in Cuba by far. The country is also dominant in boxing and has produced a number of Olympic boxing champions. Other sports of interest include basketball, volleyball, cricket, football (soccer) and athletics.

14. The game of dominoes is extremely popular in Cuba.

15. As of 2013 Cuba has 9 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list, 7 of these cultural sites and 2 of them natural.

Education Facts

University_Havana
University of Havana

Here are 15 facts on Cuba’s education system:

1. Since 1961, the educational system in Cuba has been run by the state nationalizing private institutions at all levels of education

2, The education system is 100% subsidized by the government, meaning that Cuban students at all levels can attend school for free. The Cuban government has been investing a substantial part of its budget into education for many years.

3. According to a 2014 report by The World Bank, Cuba has the best education system in Latin American and the Caribbean and the only country on the continent to have a high-level teaching faculty. The World Bank Report also praises Cuba for its success in the fields of education and health, with social services that exceeds those of most developing countries and, in certain sectors, are comparable to those of the developed nations. The country’s social system that ensures state-sponsored universal access to education and health services has helped Cuba to achieve universal literacy, eradicate certain diseases and provide universal access to safe drinking water and basic public sanitation. Cuba now has one of the region’s lowest infant mortality rates and longest life expectancies.

5. Cuba is also the nation in the world that allocates the highest share of its national budget, 13 percent, to education.*

6. Education is compulsory for children from the ages of 6 to 16.

7. Students attend primary school for six years, after which they proceed to basic secondary or high school for a period of 3–4 years.

8. On completion of the basic secondary level, education splits into two categories: pre-university education and technical or professional training. A pre-university education leads to a Bachillerato diploma; completion of technical or professional training enables students to attend one of the country’s many technological institutes.

9. From an early age, children are indoctrinated in their schools with the government’s political beliefs of communism. Parents who violate this code by teaching their children contrary doctrine face the prospect of prison.

10. All universities and technical schools are run by the Ministry of Higher Education (Ministerio de Education Superior – MES). The MES is responsibilities include managing the schools, regulating teaching methodology and courses, establishing educational policies and ensuring all the schools comply with government standards.

11. Cuba has over 47 universities with a total enrolment of over 400,000 students. The older and more well known universities in Cuba include:
• The University of Havana
• Universidad de Oriente
• Universidad Central de Las Villas
• Universidad Catolica de Santo Tomas de Villanueva
• Universidad Masonica
• Universidad de La Salle en Nuevo Vedado

12. The requirements for entering a university or technical institute of higher education in Cuba are as follow:
• Students must show proof of completing a secondary education
• Students must pass college entrance exams
• Men must show proof of having completed compulsory military service or proof of non-compliance due to medical reasons or family obligations

13. Political Clearance: Students must be cleared by the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution before they are allowed to take the university entrance examinations. Students demonstrating good political standing in relation to their Communist beliefs receive a letter of approval allowing them to take college entrance exams. Students with a “poor” political standing may be “blacklisted” from furthering their education.

14. Distance education is available for students in Cuba to study for a professional career. There are approximately 15 centers for distance education throughout Cuba providing degrees in the following career choices: History, Law, Finance and Accounting, Economics and Science and Technology. Requirements for distance education include completion of secondary education, one year work experience and being between 25 and 35 years of age. Male students must also show proof having completed mandatory military service.

15. There are three stages in the university system which include the following:

Stage 1– The Licenciatura (Bachelor’s degree equivalent) or professional degree (Titulo) is the first stage of university studies requiring completion of 4-5 years of study. A degree in medicine may require 5 to 6 years to complete.

Stage 2 – The second stage of higher education consists of three levels: Diplomado, Maestria and Especialista. Within each of these levels, students must complete a minimum of 200 hours in theory, practicum and internship. Upon completion of this stage, which generally lasts for two years, students are awarded the degree of Diplomado, Maestria or Especialista (equivalent to the Mater’s degree).

Stage 3 – The third stage of higher education is to obtain a Doctoral Degree. Students must study for 3 to 4 years before they are considered for candidacy in a Doctoral program. Once they are approved for candidacy, students are admitted into the Doctoral Program where they will conduct their scientific research, defend the findings of their work and finally be awarded their Doctoral Degree.

*Salim Lamrani, Cuba : les médias face au défi de l’impartrialité, Paris, Estrella, 2013, p. 40.

Alan
Alan Saidi
Senior Vice President & COO

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit http://www.acei-global.org.

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10 Scary Facts on Education in the U.S.A.

October 30th, 2014

Halloween_1

Since its Halloween, we thought of scaring up some spooky facts about education in the U.S.

1. Thirty years ago, America was the leader in quantity and quality of high school diplomas. Today, it is ranked 18th out of 23 industrialized countries

Halloween_2

2. Since 1971, educational spending in the U.S. has grown from $4,300 to $9,000 per student. But, reading and math scores have gone downhill.

3. Among 30 developed countries, the U.S. is ranked 25th in math and 21st in sciences.

4. Every year, only 69% of American high school seniors earn their diploma.

Halloween_3

5. High school dropouts are 8 times more likely to go to prison.

6. 1.3 million U.S. high school students don’t graduate on time yearly. The States with highest rates (80-89%) are Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The States with lowest (less than 60%) are Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia and S. Carolina.

Halloween_4

7. Approximately 6 million students, grade 7 through 12, are struggling to read at grade-level. Among the highest, 70% of 8th graders read below the standard.

8. Teacher quality is one of the most significant factors related to student achievement. In the U.S., 14% of new teachers resign by the end of their first year, 33% leave within their first 3 years, and almost 50% leave by their 5th year.

9. Only 1 in 4 high school students graduate college-ready in the 4 core subjects of English, reading, math and science.

Halloween_5

10. Roughly half of the students who enter a 4-year school will receive a bachelor’s degree within 6 years.

Bonus Fact:

11. In the workplace, 85% of current jobs and 90% of new jobs require some or more college or post-secondary education.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Halloween_6

ACEI

http://www.acei-global.org

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10 Fast Facts on Mauritania

August 7th, 2014

mauritania

Recently, I saw a performance by the Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali, who plays the 9-string harp, the ardin (reserved only for women), and her talented musicians at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The Skirball hosts free summer concerts bringing in international artists and performers to give us Angelenos a taste of the musical flavors from around the world. Noura’s melodic voice and music, a blend of Berber, Afro-pop, and desert blues had everyone on their feet dancing; transporting us to a desert oasis thousands of miles away.

YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HLfWoZhC7s

Influenced by its Moorish past, Mauritania has a rich and thriving music culture (as evidenced by the performers I saw at the Skirball).

In terms of geography, Mauritania (three times the size of Arizona) is situated in northwest Africa with about 350 mi (592 km) of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. In the north, it is bordered by Morocco and on the east by Algeria and Mali, and Senegal on the south. The country is 70% desert and growing because of ongoing droughts, with the exception of the fertile Senegal River valley in the south and grazing land in the north.

maur_house
Image source: Steve McCurry’s Blog

The history of Mauritania dates back to the 3rd century AD. The original settlers of Mauritania were the Bafours people. Berber tribes began migrating to the region between the 3rd and 7th century AD removing all traces of the Bafours people. The Mauritanian Thirty-Year War occurred between 1644 and 1647 when the Beber fought against the Beni Hassan tribes and Maqil Arab invaders.

Mauritania was first explored by the Portuguese in the 15th century, but by the 19th century the French had gained control and became one of the colonies that constituted French West Africa. In 1946, it was named a French overseas territory.

Now, here are some fast facts on Mauritania:

1. Mauritania gained its independence from France on Nov. 28, 1960, and was admitted to the United Nations in 1961. (Having once been a French colony, Mauritannia’s education system has been heavily influenced by the francophone system which is still prevalent today even after its independence.)

2. The capital of Mauritania is Nouakchott, which means “place of the winds.” It was designated as the country’s capital only in 1960 and is therefore one of the world’s newest capitals.

Nouakchott,
Nouakchott, capital of Mauritannia

3. Mauritania is one of the last countries to abolish slavery. It passed a law in 1981 to abolish slavery. Yet, according to 2003 estimates, despite the legislation against slavery, there still exists around 90,000 slaves in Mauritania.

slavery
Image source: http://borgenproject.org/modern-day-slavery-mauritania/

4. Majority of Mauritanians are devout Moslems and belong to the Sunni sect.

5. Arabic is the official and national language. Other languages spoken include: Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French, Hassaniya (a variety of Arabic).

moslem_men

6. If you look at Mauritania from space, you can see a clear bull’s-eye-like image called “The Eye of Africa.” It is a Richat structure with a diameter of about 30 miles and believed to be the result of the simultaneous lifting of the underlying geology. It is, nevertheless, quite striking.

Richat

7. With about 40% of its population still below the poverty line, Mauritania depends heavily on iron ore exports, fishing and off shore oil wells for its economic progress. In addition to ion ore, Mauritania’s other natural resources include gold, gypsum, phosphate, diamonds, copper and oil.

8. Mauritania’s extensive coastline offers excellent opportunities for those who wish to explore the beach, surf, swim or fish in the sea.

maur_beach

9. France’s colonial influence is apparent in Mauritania’s education system that follows the francophone system. Primary school covers 6 years and begins at age six, followed by 7 years of secondary education which leads to the Secondary Education Diploma “Diplome du Baccalauréat de l’Enseignement du Secondaire” (BAC),

10. Mauritania’s University of Nouakchott offers two-year Diploma programs (“Diplome d’Etudes Universitaires Géneralés” also called “DEUG”) followed by two additional years for the “Maitrise.” There are also seven specialized institutions of higher education

Bonus fact:
11. Mauritania’s Bay of Nouadhibou, hides one of the biggest ships cemeteries in the world. There are more than 300 wrecks from all nations beached permanently on its shores. (For more images of shipwrecks on Mauritania’s shores click here: http://www.fogonazos.es/2006/11/shipwrecks-on-coast-of-mauritania.html)

maur_shipwreck

Sources:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13881985
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mr.html
http://www.wfp.org/countries/mauritania

Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert
Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert
acei@acei-global.org

ACEI
http://www.acei-global.org

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25 Interesting Facts About Hungary

May 15th, 2014

Several years ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Budapest to attend the EAIE Conference. The Soviet Union had recently collapsed and its satellite states and neighboring countries, such as Hungary, had abandoned their socialist regimes and embracing democracy and western European trends. Hungary was one of the first communist-era countries to oppose the Soviet regime during the Cold War, notably with the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In 1989, Hungary was the first communist-block country to open its borders with Western Europe.

Budapest, from what I’ve been told by relatives living in Vienna, was always a fun destination to visit for a weekend even during its communist period. Many Austrians would travel to Budapest for day trips to visit its farmer’s markets, shop, and dine at its restaurants and cafes where prices were low and quality exceptional. I was staying, along with several other EAIE conference attendees, at the famous Hotel Gellért across the Danube, known for its spa and hot springs.

Here are a few interesting facts about this old country with a very rich history:

1. Hungary is a land-locked country in Central Europe sharing its borders with Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. The population of Hungary is 9,919,128.

2. Its capital city is Budapest with a population of 1.709 million (2011).
hungary

3. Hungary was once part of the Celtic world, then the Roman Empire. Following the fall of Rome, the Huns settled in the plains of Pannonia and gave their name to Hungary.

4. Founded in 897, Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe (before France and Germany became separate entities, and before the unification of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms.)

5. Around 1000 CE, the Kingdom of Hungary was one of the largest states in Europe, bigger than France. Later, it became one of the two “eagle heads” of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

6. Hungarian language is known as Magyar and is the direct descendent of the language spoken by the Huns. It is not an Indo-European language and has only two related languages in Europe (Finnish and Estonian).

7. Around two-thirds of the Hungarian people are Roman Catholic, about a quarter are Calvinist. The rest of the population is either belongs to the Lutheran, Jewish, Greek Orthodox.

8. The country fell under communist rule following World War II.

9. The 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix was the first Formula One race to take place behind the Iron Curtain.

10. Communism in Hungary ended 1989 and the country became a parliamentary republic. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU five years later.

11. Inventions by Hungarians in Hungary include the noiseless match (by János Irinyi), Rubik’s cube (by Erno Rubik), and the krypton electric bulb (Imre Bródy).
rubikscube
Erno Rubik

12. Remember, earlier I’d mentioned the spa and the hot springs at the Hotel Gellért? Hungary has one of the most important thermal spring cultures in Europe. The country boasts no less than 1,500 spas, typically featuring Roman, Greek and Turkish architecture.
Gellert
Gellért Hotel

Gellertspa
Spa at the Hotel Gellért

13. Hungary has a long tradition of classical music with famous composers like Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály and Franz Liszt.

14. As of 2007, 13 Hungarians had received a Nobel Prize (this is more than Japan, China, India, Australia or Spain) in every category except peace.

15. Spends 4.9% of GDP (2010) on Education.

16. Literacy of total population is 99%.

17. Hungarians won gold medals at every summer Olympics except Antwerp 1920 and Los Angeles 1984 when they did not compete.

18. According to 2013 OECD figures: “As in other Eastern European countries, upper secondary attainment in Hungary is traditionally high (82% for 25-64-year-olds, compared with an OECD average of 75%). This applies across all age groups: 87% of 25-34 year-olds and 75% of 55-64 year-olds hold an upper secondary qualification against an OECD average of 82% and 64%, respectively.

19. Hungary has, together with Sweden and the US, the lowest completion rate at tertiary level among OECD countries: in 2011, only 53% of students graduated from the program they entered, in comparison with the OECD average of 68%.

20. Basic education lasts for eight years divided into two stages of four years each. Secondary education is provided in academic secondary schools (gimnázium) or vocational secondary schools (szakközépiskola).

21. Hungarian higher education has a dual system with colleges and universities. Some colleges are associated with universities and operate as college faculties within universities. A university can also offer college level courses. The duration of training at college level is minimum 3 years, maximum 4 years; the duration of education at university level is minimum 4 years, maximum 5 years (with the exception of medical universities where it is 6 years). According to the binary pattern, colleges and universities grant Főiskolai Oklevél (College-level Degree) and universities grant Egyetemi Oklevél (University-level Degree). Universities organize three-year PhD courses, specialized further education courses (with a normal duration of one to three years) and various continuous education courses.

22. The University of Pécs, the oldest university of Hungary, was founded in 1367.
PecsUniversity
University of Pécs

23. Hungary is also reputed to host cultural events like Sziget Festival or Budapest Spring Festival. The Sziget Festival is the Hungarian for “Island” and is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe. It is held every August in northern Budapest, Hungary, on Óbudai-sziget (“Old Buda Island”), a leafy 108-hectare (266-acre) island on the Danube. The Budapest Spring Festival is one of the country’s oldest festivals and takes place each year in March and attract artists and musicians from around the world.
Sziget
Sziget Festival, Budapest

Budapest Spring Festival
Budapest Spring Festival

24. Did you know there are cowboys in Hungary? I was happily surprised to be taken to a ranch where cowboys, or csikos as they are called in the region showed off their prowess on horseback. Horsemanship in Hungary has a long history, going back to the Magyars, the first Hungarians. They rode from central Asia to settle in present day Hungary. The tradition is best seen on the Great Plain (Puszta), a vast flat plain reminiscent of the American Old West. 
Hungarian_horse

25. And no post on Hungary is complete, without mention of its famously delicious and flavorful Gulyásleves (gulyás is herdsman, leves is soup in Hungarian); a Hungarian soup, made of beef, vegetables, ground paprika and other spices. It originates from a dish cooked by the cattlemen (gulyás also means herdsman) who tended their herds in the Great Hungarian Plain, known as the Alföld or Puszta in Hungarian. Egészségedre (enjoy)!
soup

Sources:
http://www.ymtvacations.com/travel-blog/hungarian-cowboys-a-rich-cultural-traditions
http://eugo.gov.hu/key-facts-about-hungary/history

Click to access Hungary_EAG2013%20Country%20Note.pdf


Click to access education_in_hungary_080805.pdf


http://www.euroeducation.net/prof/hungarco.htm

Jasmin S. Kuehnert
President & CEO ACEI
www.acei1.com

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20 Facts about the Philippines

November 14th, 2013

philippines

The devastating Typhoon Haiyan that has battered central Philippines has left tens of thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands without shelter, food and basic amenities. In light of this tragic disaster here are some facts we would like to share about Philippines along with a list of organizations you may wish to contact to offer your help and support:

1. The full name of the country is Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng Pilipinas). The country was named by Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos. It was named “Philippines” in honor of King Philip II of Spain.

2. The Philippines is in Southeastern Asia; an archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam. Its size is 300,000 square kilometers or 115,831 square miles; slightly larger than Arizona.

3. 7,107 islands make up the Philippine archipelago. There are three main geographic groups of islands: Luzon, Visayas, Mindano. The Philippines is divided into three island groups, 17 regions, 80 provinces, 138 cities, and 1,496 municipalities.

4. The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the U.S. in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935, the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. On July 4, 1946, the Republic of the Philippine attained its independence.

5. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and U.S. forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control.

6. The city of Tacloban, the hardest hit by the Typhoon, is well-known for its role in World War II, being a major base for the US forces and the first town liberated by General Douglas MacArthur’s forces from the Japanese Imperial Forces. For a time, it served as the capital of the Philippines while Manila was under Japanese control.

7. Tacloban is also the hometown for the former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos.

8. It is a democracy with an elected president and a Congress comprising a House of Representatives and a Senate.

9. The capital is Manila with a population of 11.449 million; considered one of the world’s most densely populated cities with 43,079 people per square meter. The next largest cities in the Philippines are: Davao with 1.48 million; Cebu City with 845,000; and Zamboanga with 827,000.

10. The population of Philippines is around 100,000,000.

11. The Philippine flag is the only flag in the whole world that is displayed differently in times of peace and war. In peace time, the blue side is put on top; in war time, the red.
philippine flag

12. The country’s expenditure in education: 2.7% of GDP (2009)

13. 95.4% of the total population (age 15 and over) are literate. 95% male and 95.8% female (2008 est.)

14. There are 2 official languages in the Philippines: Filipino and English. There are 175 languages and dialects in the Philippines, and 171 of these are actively used in the country. Colloquially, the language spoken in the Philippines is referred to as Tagalog. Filipino and Tagalog are mutually intelligible and share grammar. Filipino was meant to be the standardized version of Tagalog, and is the national language of the Philippines. Calling the language “Filipino” was intended to disassociate the language with the Tagalog ethnic group. Filipino was also supposed to incorporate other indigenous language in the Philippines, but currently does not.

15. More than 80 percent are Catholic, and 5 percent are Muslim

16. The Philippines has the largest diaspora network in the world, with 11 million Filipinos living and working overseas.

17. The country is the world’s largest supplier of expat nurses.

18. The country is the “texting capital of the world,” as 350 to 400 million text messages (SMS) are sent daily by 35 million cellular phone users – more than that of the United States and Europe combined.

19. The University of Santo Tomas, which is located in the city of Manila, Philippines, was established in 1611 – twenty-five years before Harvard, the oldest university in the United States.

20. In 2012, the Philippine economy grew 6.8 percent placing it second to China among major Asian economies. Its GDP per person was about $4,500. The economy benefits from money sent home by 4 million to 5 million Filipinos working overseas.

Sources: CIA World Factbook, U.S. State Department, U.S. Census Bureau, International Monetary Fund, Transparency International, World Bank, The Washington Post.

Below is a list of some of the organizations involved in the relief effort to help the people in the regions affected by the Typhoon Haiyan:

World Food Programme USA
https://secure2.convio.net/fwfp/site/Donation2;jsessionid=6567FE8838700712A5C7325B5C0F13DA.app261a?idb=1237175804&df_id=2141&2141.donation=form1&2141_donation=form1

AmeriCares
http://www.americares.org/who-we-are/newsroom/news/monster-cylone-typhoon-haiyan-yolanda-strikes-philippines.html

Red Cross
http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations

The Philippine Red Cross
http://www.redcross.org.ph/donate

World Vision
http://donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/xxwv2ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?funnel=dn&item=2639566&go=item%C2%A7=10339&

Shelter Box
https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/ShelterBoxUSAInc/OnlineGiving.html

UNICEF
https://secure.unicefusa.org/site/Donation2?df_id=16500&16500.donation=form1

The Salvation Army
https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/TyphoonHaiyan

Doctors Without Borders
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7140&cat=field-news

Operation USA
https://donate.opusa.org/?

Save The Children
https://secure.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.8855857/k.E53D/Donate_to_the_Typhoon_Haiyan_Childrens_Relief_Fund/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
http://www.jdc.org/

Lutheran World Relief
http://lwr.org/

Catholic Relief Services
http://emergencies.crs.org/typhoon-haiyan-help-philippines-survive-and-recover/

Team Rubicon
http://teamrubiconusa.org/blog/

International Medical Corps
https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/how-you-can-help/philippines

International Rescue Committee
https://www.rescue.org/donate/typhoon-haiyan

Action Against Hunger
http://www.actionagainsthunger.org/about

ACEI

Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.
www.acei1.com

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20 Facts About Turkey

June 07, 2013

Flag_of_Turkey

In light of the protests that have erupted in Turkey against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we wanted to share a few facts about this country situated at the northeast end of the Mediterranean Sea in southeast Europe and southwest Asia. North of Turkey is the Black Sea and on its west is the Aegean Sea. Its neighbors are Greece and Bulgaria to the west, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania to the north and northwest (through the Black Sea), Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east, and Syria and Iraq to the south. The Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus divide the country.

The history and culture of Turkey is such that coming up with 20 facts out of thousands was an incredibly difficult task. We know that so much has been omitted for the sake of brevity. The list below is a primer to this country’s rich heritage.

1. Turkey is officially known as the ‘Republic of Turkey’.

2. The Republic of Turkey was founded on October 29, 1923, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

3. Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary and constitutional republic.

4. Ankara is Turkey’s capital while Istanbul is its largest city.

5. It has a population of 71.1 million.

6. Of the 87% of the population that is literate 95% are male and 80% female.

7. The major religion of Turkey is Islam, while its official language is Turkish. Kurdish, Dimli, Zaza, Arabic, Armenian, Greek and Azeri are also spoken in the country.

8. Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents and has been the capital of three great empires, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman for more than 2000 years.

9. The part of Turkey in Europe is called ‘Thrace’ (an area about equal to the state of Massachusetts), while the part in Asia is called ‘Anatolia’ (an area about the size of the state of Texas).

10. Anatolia is the birthplace of historic legends, such as Omar (the poet), King Midas, Herodotus (the father of history) and St. Paul the Apostle.

11. Julius Ceasar proclaimed his celebrated words, “Veni, Vidi, Vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered) in Turkey when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.

12. The oldest known human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey (7500 BC).

13. Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the two of the seven wonders of the ancient world, are in Turkey.

14. Turks introduced coffee to Europe.

15. Turks gave the Dutch their famous tulips.

16. Turkey has 94 State universities and 45 Foundation (Private) universities

17. Approximately 55,000 Turkish students go abroad annually for educational purposes.

18. Turkey has been sending more than 10,000 students a year to the U.S. since 2000 exceeding other European countries such as Britain and Germany.

19. Istanbul’s Robert College (established in 1863), is the oldest American school outside the United States.

20. Turkey provides 70% of the world’s hazelnuts; the nut in your chocolate bar was most probably grown in Turkey.

Alan
Alan Saidi
Senior Vice President & COO

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit http://www.acei-global.org.

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