World

"Young people taking lead for
sustainable future."

World Map Half
Germany

Total area

357.021 km2

Population

more than 80 million

Life expectancy

80.44

Bosnia And Herzegovina

Total area

51.129 km2

Population

more than 3.5 million

Life expectancy

76.33

Malawi

Total area

118.480 km2

Population

more than 16 million

Life expectancy

52.31

Ukraine

Total area

603.700 km2

Population

more than 44 million

Life expectancy

69.14

Brasil

Total area

8.511.965 km2

Population

more than 205 million

Life expectancy

72.79

Uganda

Total area

236.040 km2

Population

more than 35 million

Life expectancy

54.46

Israel

Total area

20.770 km2

Population

more than 7.8 million

Life expectancy

81.28

Tunisia

Total area

163.610 km2

Population

more than 10.9 million

Life expectancy

75.68

South Africa

Total area

1.219.912 km2

Population

more than 46 million

Life expectancy

49.56

Germany

Total area

357.012 km2

Population

more than 80 million

Life expectancy

80.44

Capital city

Berlin

Monetary unit

Euro

Germany

Interesting

about Germany

  • Germany is a major economic and political power of the European continent and a historic leader in many cultural, theoretical and technical fields.
  • After the United States, Germany is the second most popular migration destination in the world.
  • Germany has the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth-largest by purchasing power parity. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world’s third-largest exporter and third-largest importer of goods. It is a developed country with a very high standard of living, featuring comprehensive social security that includes the world’s oldest universal health care system.
  • Germany has nearly 700 zoological gardens, wildlife parks, aquariums, bird parks, animal reserves, or safari parks, including 414 registered zoos (more than the USA)! Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten is the largest zoo in the world, both in terms of number of species (1,500) and animal population (14,000).
  • The Fairy Grottoes (Feengrotten) in Saalfeld, Thuringia, are the world’s most colorful caves, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
  • The ultimate fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein is situated on a rugged hill near Füssen in southwest Bavaria. It was the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castles in the Disneyland parks.

Cool and fun

about Germany

  • The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) tradition came from Germany.
  • German people are the second biggest consumers of beer in the world (after the Czechs), with an average of 107 liters per person per year in 2010 (or 0.30 l per day).
  • Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight saving time (DST, a.k.a. summer time) in 1916, in the midst of WWI.
  • In 2006, the world’s youngest billionaire is the German Prince Albert II von Thurn und Taxis, with net worth is estimated at around $1.9 billion (USD).
  • 2% of Germans do not own cell phones.
  • Gummy bears were invented by a German.
  • 79 letter word: The longest word published in the German language is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft. Try saying that five times fast.
  • To ask for a beer in a pub, you would use your thumb to indicate “one” rather than your index finger.
  • Most taxis in Germany are Mercedes.
  • The most popular German surname (Nachname) is Müller.
  • Adidas was founded by the Bavarian, Adolf “Adi”. His other brother, Rudolf Dassler founded Puma.

Historical and cultural

about Germany

  • The Celts are believed to have been the first inhabitants of Germany. They were followed by German tribes at the end of the 2nd century B.C. German invasions destroyed the declining Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.
  • Construction of the Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, more than 600 years to complete. It is dedicated to the saints Peter and Mary and is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne.
  • Germany’s predilection for world dominance has not come without a price. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles held the country accountable for 132 billion gold marks. This amount was later dropped to 50 billion. Some of this was paid with loans from New York banks, and the rest was paid off with goods like coal and lumber. Germany made the last interest payment on its World War I reparation debt on October 3, 2010. Many historians contend that this crushing debt destroyed the German economy with inflation and contributed indirectly to the rise of the Third Reich.
  • The Oktoberfest in Munich is the largest Volksfest in the world with over 6 million visitors annually. Despite the name, the Oktoberfest starts at the end of September until the first weekend in October. An important part of Bavarian culture, the festival has been held since 1810. Visitors enjoy a wide variety of traditional fare such as Hendl, Schweinebraten, Würstl, Knödel and large quantities of German beer.
  • The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier that existed between 1961 and 1990,constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until it was opened in 1989.
  • Greetings are formal. A quick, firm handshake is the traditional greeting. Titles are very important and denote respect. Use a person’s title and their surname until invited to use their first name. You should say Herr or Frau and the person’s title and their surname.
  • Germans love their meat – and sauerbraten (meaning ‘sour’ or ‘pickled’ roast) is a pot roast that’s regarded as one of the country’s national dishes.
  • Germany boasts some of world's most famous inventions – you can thank the Germans for the light bulb, the automated calculator, and the automobile. That's not all – the Germans are also credited for the discovery of insulin, the invention of the clarinet, the pocket watch, television (partly), paraffin, petrol/gasoline & Diesel engines, the automobile engine, differential gear and other important devices, the motorcycle, the jet engine, the LCD screen and the Walkman.

South Africa

Total area

1.219.912 km2

Population

more than 46 million

Life expectancy

49.56

Capital cities

Pretoria (Administrative), Cape Town (Legislative), Bloemfontein (Judicial)

Monetary unit

Rand

South Africa

Interesting

about South Africa

  • South Africa has three capital cities - Cape Town, Bloemfontein, and Pretoria.
  • The deepest mine is a gold mine in South Africa. in 1977 the Western Deep Levels Mine reached a depth of 11,749 feet. Most mines descend to about 3,300 feet.
  • South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.
  • South Africa has 19,004 miles of railway track – 80% of Africa’s rail infrastructure.
  • The Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 2,789 feet.
  • South Africa is home to the world’s smallest succulent plants (less than 0.39 inches) and the world’s largest tree: The Baobab tree.
  • South Africa is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts.
  • South Africa is one of the most generously endowed geographic solar hotspots in the world, soaking up just over half of the world’s highest category of solar wattage per square yard of land.
  • The Karoo region is home to some of the best fossils of early dinosaurs.
  • Pietermaritzburg’s city hall is the largest red brick building in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • South Africa has the largest economy of any African country.
  • Some countries have deserts; some have subtropical forests, right? South Africa has: deserts, wetlands, grasslands, bush, subtropical forests, mountains and escarpments.
  • What about beer? South African brewery SABMiller ranks – by volume – as the largest brewing company in the world. Saffers love their beer…but the real reason the brewery is so big? SABMiller also supplies up to 50% of China’s beer.

Cool and fun

about South Africa

  • Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world. Table Mountain alone has over 1,500 species of plants, more than the entire United Kingdom.
  • South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world.
  • South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.
  • South Africa has a penguin colony, which thrives thanks to the cold Antarctic currents on the west coast near the Cape.
  • South Africa is rated 3rd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water.
  • South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.
  • South Africa generates two-thirds of Africa’s electricity.
  • Three of the five fastest land animals live in South Africa – the cheetah (63 miles per hour), the wildebeest, and the lion.
  • In eastern South Africa, scientists have found traces of blue-green algae dating back 3,500 million years. This is some of the earliest evidence of life on Earth.
  • South Africa has the most luxurious train in the world, The Rovos Rail.
  • Can you think of any other place in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners lived on the same street? Both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu had houses on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
  • There are more than 2000 shipwrecks off the South African coast, most dating back at least 500 years.

Historical and cultural

about South Africa

  • When the British abolished slavery in 1834, the pattern of white legal dominance was entrenched. In the interior, after nearly annihilating the San and Khoi, Bantu-speaking peoples and European colonists opposed one another in a series of ethnic and racial wars that continued until the democratic transformation of 1994.
  • Modern South Africa emerged from these conflicts. The original Cape Colony was established though conquest of the Khoi by the Dutch in the seventeenth century and of the Xhosa by the British in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
  • Natal, the second colony, emerged from the destruction of the Zulu kingdom by Afrikaners and the British between 1838 and 1879.
  • The ultimate unification of the country resulted from the South African War (1899–1902) between the British and the two Afrikaner republics, which reduced the country to ruin at the beginning of the twentieth century.
  • Afrikaners historically considered themselves the only true South Africans and, while granting full citizenship to all residents of European descent, denied that status to people of color until the democratic transition of 1994.
  • The Bantu-speaking black peoples have long regarded themselves as South African despite the attempts of the white authorities to classify them as less than full citizens or as citizens of ethnic homelands (“Bantustans”) between 1959 and 1991.
  • A specialized cuisine exists only in the Cape, with its blend of Dutch, English, and Southeast Asian cooking. Food plays a central role in the family and community life of all groups except perhaps the British.
  • The gift and provision of food, centering on the ritual slaughtering of livestock, are central to all rites of passage and notable occasions in black communities.
  • Pre-Christian marriage in black communities was based on polygyny and bride wealth, which involved the transfer of wealth in the form of livestock to the family of the bride in return for her productive and reproductive services in the husband’s homestead.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Total area

51.129 km2

Population

more than 3.5 million

Life expectancy

76.33

Capital city

Sarajevo

Monetary unit

Konvertibilna Marka

Bosnia-herzegovina

Interesting

about Bosnia-herzegovina

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is nicknamed the “Heart Shaped Land” due to the country’s slight heart shape.
  • Tuzla city in Bosnia derives its name from the word “tuz”, the Turkish work for salt. Tuzla’s salt comes from its salt water springs.
  • Sarajevo, the largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, hosted the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.
  • The highest peak is Maglic Mountain at 2,386 meters.
  • There are over 700,000 people that are visitors are travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina every year. According to the World Tourism Organization, it will have the third highest tourism growth rate worldwide from 1995 to 2020. Attractions include the city of Sarajevo, historical sites, national parks, or the different landscapes, lakes, and waterfalls.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is a fertile country and can support growth of wheat, corn, fruits, and vegetables. To the Northeast they use more than 50% of the land for agriculture.
  • One of the longest rivers of the Balkans is river Tara in Bosnia. Canyon of river Tara is a unique phenomenon in its depth of 1000 and 1300 meters in some places. It ranks just behind the Grand Canyon of Colorado River in the United States. River Tara has its average fall of 3.6m/km, and it makes whole bunch of waterfalls, very good for rafting and kajaking.

Cool and fun

about Bosnia-herzegovina

  • It has a currency that can’t be exchanged anywhere else in the world. The Bosnian Convertible Mark (BAM) can’t be bought outside the country. So when you arrive you exchange your existing currency or withdraw from the ATM. On leaving, it’s exchanged back again.
  • There are three official languages, by the constitution of BiH, which are almost the same.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina has the last remaining jungle in Europe at Perućica. It may not be huge being some 6 kilometers long and 1–3 kilometers wide, but with an area of 1,400 hectares, the Perućica forest has many trees that are 300 years old, and the forest’s vintage is stated to be 20,000 years. In some places the forest growth is almost impregnable.
  • Births and Weddings are still celebrated with “celebratory gunfire”. Huge convoys of cars with flags everywhere, blocking routes to the church and afterwards to the reception. Sometimes in excess of 500 people attend these.
  • The country still has some 200,000 mines to clear. Having said that the country is safe to travel around as long as common sense prevails and local rules obeyed.
  • When traveling around BiH, you may ask yourself, whose part is this one. The easiest way to find out whether the place belongs to Muslim, Serbs or Croats is to look at the church and its bell-tower, but there a lot of places which are mixed.
  • Danis Tanovićwon in 2002 the Oscar award for the best foreign film, No Man’s Land.

Historical and cultural

about Bosnia-herzegovina

  • Bosnia is believed to have been in inhabitation at least since the Neolithic age.
  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the distinction between a Bosnian and a Herzegovinian is maintained as a regional, not an ethnic, distinction.
  • The region of Hum (today’s Herzegovina), on the other hand, was settled by Serbs in the interior, was mixed Orthodox and Catholic in the coastal area and mostly ruled by princes of the Serbian dynasty (Nemanja) until 1326.
  • Sarajevo hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984. This was the first Winter Olympics in a communist country. There were 1272 athletes from 49 countries. Most medals were won by athletes of the USSR, and the most gold medals by German competitors. A total of about 250,000 tickets were sold.
  • Stecak, a medieval tombstone is a religious monument that can be seen throughout the countryside of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • People drink hard liquor (Rakija) to start the day. Although this is a rather large generalization, the culture, particularly the rural areas, is still one of “Rakija (plum brandy) delivers health benefits”. Rakija is also offered, with no consideration for time of day, to guests and visitors etc.
  • They have a very popular meat dish called Cevapi, that everybody should try on visiting. They are different types depending where in the country you are. Most famous one are from Banja Luka, Sarajevo and Travnik.
  • Sheep-farming is basic activity for the people who live in the mountain regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For many of them it is the only income they can have here. Since the pasture is of excellent quality, no pollution at all, the sheep meat from Bosnia is delicious.
  • The Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar is a place of memory to its multicultural background. The (Old) Bridge is its major landmark, and the town even was named after the bridge keepers (mostari). The Bridge was built in 1566 upon design of the great Ottoman architect Kodja Mimar Sinan and constructed by his pupil architect Hayruddin.

Malawi

Total area

118.480 km2

Population

more than 16 million

Life expectancy

52.31

Capital city

Blantyre

Monetary unit

Kwacha

Malawi

Interesting

about Malawi

  • Likoma Island in Lake Malawi is a smallish island located toward the eastern side of Lake Malawi. Its most notable feature is its cathedral, which was built in 1903.
  • Tobacco and tea are the chief exports of Malawi. Malawi also has the highest production of burley leaf tobacco, a low grade, high nicotine tobacco.
  • Safer than you think: Per the World Economic Forum (WEF) Malawi is one of the safest countries in Africa. Surprisingly to some – not to those who live in the country – Malawi ranks safer than many African countries including popular tourist destinations such as, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia.
  • Malawi is home to the third largest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi. It is also the eighth largest lake in the world, and the second deepest lake in Africa. It is home to many species of fish, as well as hippos, crocodiles and fish eagles. It is also known as Lake Nyasa stemming from the days when Malawi was known as Nyasaland.
  • The beautiful old stone building in Blantyre built in 1891 is St. Michael and All Angels Church. It was designed by the Rev. David Scott who had no architectural background whatsoever. It was built by local labour that had very little experience in construction. Considering this, it is an absolutely magnificent building.
  • In Malawi people are very friendly and happy. The name Malawi comes from the “Maravi” an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’.
  • Liwonde National Parkis Malawi’s premier national park with lodges on the Shire River providing a lovely backdrop to a huge variety of birds, hippos, elephants and many more species of wildlife.
  • Mulanje Mountain – One of Africa’s top trekking destinations, Mulanje Mountain offers wonderful hiking opportunities to reach its 3,000m summit, and other craggy peaks, with many trails in pristine landscapes with waterfalls and streams.
  • If you are fond of fish? You must try Chambo when visiting Malawi – it is only found here. You will not struggle to find chambo; most restaurants and lodges serve this delicious fish.

Cool and fun

about Malawi

  • Lake Malawi was once called “The Lake of Stars” by the famed Scottish explorer David Livingstone, because lantern lights he saw from the fishermen’s boats resembled the stars at night. Its nickname is “the calendar lake”, because, at its longest point it’s 365 miles long and at its widest point, it’s 52 miles wide.
  • In 2006, Malawi was brought into international spotlight when David Banda Mwale, a Malawian boy in an orphanage, was adopted by pop icon Madonna.
  • Malawian men generally prefer wearing slacks rather than walking shorts, as the latter are regarded as a piece of clothing worn only by school children.
  • It is not unusual in Malawi to see a 12-seater bus transporting 25 people, plus goats, chicken, and baskets of vegetables.
  • Malawi’s Lake Nyasa contains more fish species than any other lake on earth.
  • Malawi boasts the world’s fifth-best netball team. The Queens are officially the most successful sporting team the nation has ever produced.
  • Inmates and guards of Zomba prison were nominated for a Grammy in 2016. This was the countries first Grammy nomination. They have not won it, but however it put Malawi music on the map of the world.

Historical and cultural

about Malawi

  • The traditional dress worn by women on Malawi is called Chitenje. It is a rectangular piece of fabric which comes in a variety of patterns, colors and designs. It is tied in much the same way as you would tie a sarong. It is sometimes used to cover up slightly shabbier clothing and can also be used as a baby sling or as a pot holder.
  • Malawi is rightly known as “The Warm Heart of Africa”. The locals you meet are friendly, courteous and hospitable.
  • It was the Portuguese introduced maize to the region. Today, maize is still the staple grain of Malawi.
  • The earliest human settlements in Malawi date back to 50,000 to 60,000 years ago. They were Bushmen people, whose rock paintings can still be seen outside the capital of Lilongwe.
  • In July 1957, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother spent a night at Ku Chawe Inn in Zomba. The occasion she also inaugurated the Queens Hospital in Blantyre.
  • In July 1979, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip spent few nights at Ku-Chawe Inn, Zomba. Take note of the month of July.
  • Human remains dating all the way back to 8000 BC have also been found in Malawi.
  • There is a long tradition of oral artistry. Before the spread of literacy in the twentieth century, texts were preserved in memory and performed or recited. Those traditional texts provided entertainment, instruction, and commemoration.

UKRAINE

Total area

603.700 km2

Population

more than 44 million

Life expectancy

69.14

Capital city

Kyiv

Monetary unit

Hryvna

Ukraine

Interesting

about Ukraine

  • Ukraine is largest country within Europe, by the square kilometers.
  • Ukraine borders Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively.
  • Ukraine has long been a global breadbasket because of its extensive, fertile farmlands. In 2011, it was the world’s third-largest grain exporter with that year’s harvest being much larger than average.
  • Significant natural resources in Ukraine include iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulphur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber and an abundance of arable land. Despite this, the country faces a number of major environmental issues such as inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution and deforestation, as well as radiation contamination in the north-east from the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Kamyanets-Podilskyy and Hotyn fortresses - These fortresses are no doubt on the first place of 7 wonders of Ukraine. Kamyanets-Podilskyy town has the frotification system that is unique all over the Europe and Hotyn fortrees was the center of numerous wars and fights.
  • Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is a unique monastic complex, included by the UNESCO into the list of the monuments of the world-wide significance. The complex consists of two parts: the above-ground (religious constructions complex) and underground (caves).
  • Adventurous trip to Hoverla Mountain will not live leave any tourist indifferent as this is the highest mountain in Ukraine. An additional excursion can be made to the Prut River waterfall, one of the Danube tributaries, situated to the south of the main trail.

Cool and fun

about Ukraine

  • Most words in the Ukrainian language starts with the letter “п”. The most frequently used letter of the Ukrainian alphabet – “о”. The letters “ф” and “г” are used least often.
  • George Gershwin wrote one of the world’s most famous songs, “Summertime”, after being inspired by an old Ukrainian lullaby called “Sleep Is Tiptoeing About” performed by the Ukrainian National Chorus.
  • The third most visited McDonald’s in the world is located in Kiev, near the train station. This restaurant has always been in the top five most crowded McDonald’s in the world. Last year, it served 2.283.399 visitors.
  • Arsenalnaya Metro Station located in Kiev is the deepest in the world (105 meters). The station was built in 1960, very close to the House of Parliament. According to some reports, the tunnels near Arsenalnaya house secret shelters built specially for the political elite.
  • The Ukrainian national anthem consists of only six lines (four in a verse and two in a chorus).
  • In Europe, the police solve 30-40% of crimes, in Ukraine – 90%. This unnaturally good statistics is the result of the reluctance of the Ukrainian policemen to record “hopeless” cases (like thefts of mobile phones) and knock confessions out of suspects.
  • One of the most famous Christmas songs “Schedrik” (a folk song written by a Ukrainian composer, Mykola Leontovich) is known to the rest of the world as “Carol of the Bells” or “Ring Christmas Bells”.
  • The monuments to a famous Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko, are set in 1200 places around the world. However, most of them are located in western Ukraine.

Historical and cultural

about Ukraine

  • After the Russian Revolution, Ukraine declared its independence from Russia on Jan. 28, 1918, and several years of warfare ensued with several groups. The Red Army finally was victorious over Kiev, and in 1920 Ukraine became a Soviet republic. In 1922, Ukraine became one of the founders of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
  • In the 1930s, the Soviet government’s enforcement of collectivization met with peasant resistance, which in turn prompted the confiscation of grain from Ukrainian farmers by Soviet authorities; the resulting famine took an estimated 5 million lives. Ukraine was one of the most devastated Soviet republics after World War II.
  • On April 26, 1986, the nation’s nuclear power plant at Chernobyl was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident. Ukrainians are extremely generous and hospitable. All social occasions include food. Visitors are always offered something to eat as well as a beverage. It is considered the height of rudeness to eat in front of another person and not offer them something.
  • The typical greeting is a warm, firm handshake, maintaining direct eye contact, and repeating your name.
  • When female friends meet, they kiss on the cheek three times, starting with the left and then alternating, while close male friends may pat each other on the back and hug.
  • Vyshyvanka is the Ukrainian traditional clothing which contains elements of Ukrainian ethnic embroidery. Many variations of its design were created. Usually, it was made of homemade linen which was produced by loom. Local features are usually represented in the shirt’s ornamental pattern.

BRASIL

Total area

8.511.965 km2

Population

more than 205 million

Life expectancy

72.79

Capital city

São Paulo

Monetary unit

Real

Brasil

Interesting

about Brasil

  • Brazil is the largest country in South America.
  • Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world by both land area and population.
  • The name Brazil comes from an Amerindian word Brasil, which describes a dark rosewood type common in the country. At a time, the wood was Brazil’s main export and thus gave the country its name. Since 1968 however, the export of Brazilian rosewood has been banned.
  • Brazil’s most common agricultural exports today are coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus and beef.
  • One of the most famous mountains in the world is the Corcovado located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro weighs 635 tons, is 38 meters high including its pedestal and was named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” in 2007.
  • Brazil is considered one of the most bio diverse places in the world because its rainforests are home to more than 1,000 bird species, 3,000 fish species and many mammals and reptiles such as alligators, freshwater dolphins and manatees.
  • The Amazon River flows through Brazil; it is the 2nd longest river in the world (after the Nile).
  • Tours of Brazil’s shanty towns, or “favelas”, have become popular in recent years. Among the most famous is colorful Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro which has been visited by the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna and Beyonce.
  • Brazil has 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Among the best known is the Iguacu National Park, home to one of the world’s largest and most impressive waterfalls at 1.7 miles wide and with a total of 275 drops. It is also occupied by several rare and endangered species, among them the giant otter and the giant anteater.

Cool and fun

about Brasil

  • Brasilia looks like an airplane from above.
  • The most popular surname in Brazil is Silva.
  • Brazil has more than 4,000 airports – more than any other country other than the US.
  • Fishermen in Laguna, in the southeast of Brazil, are able to use dolphins to help them catch dinner. The animals will herd fish towards waiting nets, even flicking their head to indicate that the trap has been set. The practice has been going on for generations, the fishermen say, but has only recently been reported by Western media.
  • The first major Brazilian movie star in Hollywood, Carmen Miranda, was discovered by a Hollywood producer while singing in the Urca casino in Rio de Janeiro.
  • It was the 9th highest number of billionaires in the world.
  • Every city in Brazil has at least one soccer stadium.
  • Considered to have the largest collection of beautiful and unusual flowers in the world.
  • The world’s leading source of precious and semi-precious stones.
  • They will host the 2016 Olympics.
  • Jardim Gramacho in Brazil, the world’s biggest landfill, is the size of about 247 football fields.

Historical and cultural

about Brasil

  • Brazil was given to Portugal as part of the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 and the first person to officially claim Brazil for Portugal was Pedro Álvares Cabral.
  • Brasilia, the country’s capital, took just 41 months to build, from 1956 to 1960 (Rio had been the capital for the previous 197 years). The World Cup was awarded to Brazil nearly seven years ago, but doubts remain about whether it will be ready in time.
  • Brazil has been the world’s largest exporter of coffee for 150 years. It supplied around 80 per cent of the world’s coffee in the 1920s; that figure has fallen to around a third.
  • Brazil’s official birthday as a country occurred on September 7, 1822, when Prince Pedro refused to return to Portugal. He announced the Grito de Ipiranga by throwing down his sword and shouting, “Independence or death!” Although free of Portugal’s hold, Brazil remained a monarchy until its declaration of independence as a republic in 1889.
  • On Brazil’s modern flag, the green represents the forests of Brazil, the yellow rhombus reflects its mineral wealth, and the blue circle and stars depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of November 15, 1889, when Brazil declared itself a republic.
  • The first official tourists arrived in Brazil on January 1, 1502, as a part of a Portuguese exploratory voyage led by André Gonçalves, who named the bay where they landed Ria de Janeiro (Bay of January). The Bay itself was later renamed Guanabara, and Rio de Janeiro became the main city on the bay.
  • The Rio Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro is one of the most famous attractions in Brazil. It attracts thousands of tourists yearly, but it is also a tradition for Brazilians who often spend the year prior to the Carnaval preparing for it.
  • Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Brazil with the national team consistently among the best in the world, winning the World Cup a record 5 times.

Uganda

Total area

236.040 km2

Population

more than 35 million

Life expectancy

54.46

Capital city

Kampala

Monetary unit

Ugandan new shilling

Uganda

Interesting

about Uganda

  • Uganda is the world’s second most populous landlocked country after Ethiopia.
  • Uganda’s struggle to achieve their economic status was primarily due to decades of wars and corruption resulting in the nation being considered one of the poorest countries in the world.
  • Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizeable mineral deposits of copper and cobalt. The country has largely untapped reserves of both crude oil and natural gas.
  • Uganda has gained a popular reputation as an exceptional worldwide destination for “bird watching” activities. Although the size of Uganda is not particularly big, it hosts over 1000 species of birds (whereas in Europe there are 700 species) owing to the diversity of its territory (from the Lake Victoria, to Rwenzori mountains, to the desert land of Karamoja.
  • The legendary source of the river Nile from Lake Victoria is located in Uganda, close to Jinja town. This is the starting point for the white water rafting route, which is widely regarded to be as exhilarating as the more famous Zambesi Gorge below Victoria Falls.
  • Rwenzori is the biggest mountain range in Africa, running for over 120 km along the border of Uganda with Congo.
  • Sport fishing is done on Lake Victoria and Murchison Falls National Park. The main catch of the Lake is the Nile Perch, which is the largest fresh water game fish in the whole world; the method of fishing is by use of trolling lures. The most common fish of the lake is tilapia. At Murchison Falls, fish are often caught using live bait. Fishing is generally done over a few days, requiring some level of fitness and experience.
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park an incredible preserve home to some of Africa’s most endangered animals. It is a haven for gorilla tracking. It is known for its exceptional biodiversity, with more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns.

Cool and fun

about Uganda

  • A Ugandan president is called Museveni, no matter the outcome of the elections.
  • It is “illegal” to have electricity 7 days in a row.
  • Around 50% of Uganda’s population survives on less than one dollar a day.
  • Ugandans love meat stews, but the “meat” is not just the meat – it’s also the animal’s liver, stomach, intestines, tongue, etc. The Ugandan cook wastes nothing.
  • In Uganda, “skimpy” is defined as “not reaching your ankles.”
  • Uganda is the Youngest Country in the World with half of its population under the age of 14 year. The life expectancy for the average Ugandan is only early 50s.
  • When you ask where the toilet is they ask you if it is for a long-call or short-call, basically do you need to go #1 or #2
  • Uganda has the world’s best bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and avocados.
  • Uganda is home to the endangered mountain gorillas, which are almost extinct.
  • Uganda has one of the World's Smallest Churches with measuring in at 8 ft tall and 250 centimeters wide, a chapel on Biku hill has just enough room inside for 3 churchgoers – including the pastor.

Historical and cultural

about Uganda

  • Paleolithic evidence of human activity in Uganda goes back to at least 50,000 years, and perhaps as far as 100,000 years, as shown by the Acheulean stone tools recovered from the former environs of Lake Victoria, which were exposed along the Kagera River valley, chiefly around Nsonezi.
  • About 500 B.C. Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to the area now called Uganda. By the 14th century, three kingdoms dominated, Buganda (meaning “state of the Gandas”), Bunyoro, and Ankole.
  • Uganda was first explored by Europeans as well as Arab traders in 1844.
  • Uganda became independent on Oct. 9, 1962. Sir Edward Mutesa, the king of Buganda (Mutesa II), was elected the first president, and Milton Obote the first prime minister, of the newly independent country.
  • Cooking usually is done on an open wood fire. Popular dishes include matoke (a staple made from bananas), millet bread, cassava (tapioca or manioc), sweet potatoes, chicken and beef stews, and freshwater fish. Other foods include white potatoes, yams, corn, cabbage, pumpkin, tomatoes, millet, peas, sorghum, beans, groundnuts (peanuts), goat meat, and milk. Oranges, papayas, lemons, and pineapples also are grown and consumed. The national drink is waragi , a banana gin. Restaurants in large population centers, such as Kampala (the capital), serve local foods.
  • Uganda exports various foodstuffs, including fish and fish products, corn, coffee, and tea. The environment provides good grazing land for cattle, sheep, and goats. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80 percent of the workforce.
  • Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting. Casual dress is considered appropriate in the daytime and evening. It is customary to give waiters and taxi drivers a 10 percent tip.

Israel

Total area

20.770 km2

Population

more than 7.8 million

Life expectancy

81.28

Capital city

Jerusalem

Monetary unit

Shekel

Israel

Interesting

about Israel

  • Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world. It has the highest rate of entrepreneurship among women and people over 55 in the world.
  • Israel was the first country to ban underweight models. A new Israeli law is trying to fight the spread of eating disorders by banning underweight models from local advertising and requiring publications to disclose when they use altered images to make women and men appear thinner.
  • Tel Aviv is a Unesco heritage site in recognition of the 4,000 Bauhaus buildings that were built in the city in the 1930s and ’40s.
  • In response to serious water shortages, Israeli engineers and agriculturalists developed a revolutionary drip irrigation system to minimize the amount of water used to grow crops.
  • The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth, at 1,315 feet below sea level at its lowest point.
  • The largest known dog cemetery in the ancient world was discovered in the coastal city of Ashkelon.
  • There’s a rollerblading party that happens every Tuesday night in Tel Aviv.
  • The country has the most Bauhaus buildings in the world.
  • Palwin wine, Israel’s oldest brand, was first produced by the Palestine Wine and Trading Company, established in 1898. One explanation for why the different variations are identified by numbers is that they refer to different Israeli bus routes.
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
  • Israel has the eighth longest life expectancy in the world: around 82 years, which is more than the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Germany.

Cool and fun

about Israel

  • Israeli cows produce more milk per cow than almost any country in the world, vying only with South Korea.
  • There are over 100 sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv making it the city with the most sushi restaurants per capita after Tokyo and NYC.
  • Out Magazine names Israel the gay capital of the Middle East.
  • With peanuts introduced to their diets earlier (mostly in the form of the snack, Bamba), babies in Israel are 10 times less likely to suffer from a peanut allergy than Jewish children in the UK.
  • The opening scene of the Al Pacino film The Insider was shot in Israel.
  • Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv is the most expensive site on the official Israeli Monopoly board.
  • There are more than 40 kosher McDonald’s in Israel. The only one outside the Jewish state is in Buenos Aires.
  • With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world.
  • People can easily float in the Dead Sea due to its unusually high salt concentration. It’s almost impossible to dive into it.
  • In 1991, during the Gulf War, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra played a concert wearing gas masks as scud missiles fired by Saddam Hussein fell on Tel Aviv.
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel.

Historical and cultural

about Israel

  • March 19, 2012, Israel Passes Law Requiring Models to Show Health Records and Meet Weight Standards.
  • In January 2011, Israeli embassy was attacked by about 3,000 Egyptian protesters stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo to protest against poverty, unemployment, government corruption and the rule of president Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for three decades.
  • In September 6, 2007, Operation Orchard is an Israeli airstrike on a suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria which was built with the assistance of North Korea.
  • On 8 July 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge which is an IDF military reaction following the escalation of major rocket attacks fired by Hamas from the Gaza strip targeting major Israeli cities including: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beer Sheva, Sderot, Ashkelon, Dimona, Zichron Yaakov and more.
  • In 1947, The United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab.
  • In 1948, the national day of Israel, commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. It is celebrated either on the 5th of Iyar, according to the Hebrew calendar, or on one of the preceding or following days, depending on which day of the week this date falls on. Yom.
  • As part of the Israeli’s culture, Visitors should observe normal courtesies when visiting someone’s home and should not be afraid to ask questions about the country as most Israelis are happy to talk about their homeland, religion and politics.
  • In 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made a historic trip to Israel, marking the first time any Arab leader had negotiated with the Jewish state.
  • In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel.
  • In 1969, Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel and she was only thethird woman elected to lead a country in the modern world.

Tunisia

Total area

163.610 km2

Population

more than 10.9 million

Life expectancy

75.68

Capital city

Tunis

Monetary unit

Tunisian dinar

Tunisia

Interesting

about Tunisia

  • Though it is relatively small in size, Tunisia has great environmental diversity due to its north-south extent. Its east-west extent is limited.
  • As the most northern country in the continent of Africa. It calls both Algeria and Libya neighbors, along with the gorgeous coastline of the Mediterranean Sea where the city Hammamet embodies beautiful resorts that tourists have flocked to since the 1960’s.
  • The Sahel, a broadening coastal plain along Tunisia’s eastern Mediterranean coast, is among the world’s premier areas of olive cultivation.
  • Carthage was the capital of Phoenician government, and later also became the capital of the Roman government in the South of the Mediterranean Sea when mastering Tunisia.. Its location is very strategic, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea with beautiful scenery. In this area, we can see the ruins of the ancient wake of Roman architecture, the former palace (capitol) Roman.
  • Travelers are typically surprised to see a heavy influence of Roman archeology in Tunisia. These World Heritage Sites and museums are must-see’s, including the Carthage-related landmarks that are surely at the top of every itinerary.
  • Acropolium-This old church located in Carthage. His real name is Saint Louis Cathedral, the largest church in North Africa. Now this church functioned as a tourist attraction as well as the Conser Hall primarily on Carthage Acropulium summer.
  • There are two languages spoken in Tunisia: Arabic and French.
  • The majority of the population are Muslims with 99.1% being Sunni Muslims and 1% of Shia Muslims, Christians, Jewish and Baha’i.
  • Traveling throughout Tunisia requires a hired driver, especially if you’d like to visit cities outside of Tunis.

Cool and fun

about Tunisia

  • The country has only ever had two presidents.
  • Tunis is currently the only town in Tunisia to be equipped with a metro (“tube”) service, which is more like a tramway.
  • Tunisia has served as a popular location for some of Hollywood’s biggest films, among which include Star wars, Jesus of Nazareth, The English Patient and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Tunisia’ most famous Olympian is Mohammed Gammoudi who won four Olympic medals over the three games. In the 1964 Tokyo games he won a Silver medal in the 10,000m race, four years later in the 1968 Mexico games he won a Gold medal in the 5,000m and Bronze in the 10,000m and in 1972 he won a silver medal in the Munich games.
  • In the Matmata area, people still live in underground houses.
  • Camel is eaten, mainly in the south-west, but it can be really tough and chewy
  • The city Kairouan is the fourth most important city in the Islamic world after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
  • When the film Raiders of the Lost Ark was shot in Tunisia crew members had to remove 300 televisions antennas from homes in Kairouan, Tunisia for one scene to make a rooftop shot look like 1936.
  • Scorpions are all over the place in the south. Only things worse than the scorpions are the snakes. Woo! Also, the most venomous spider in the world can be found in Tunisia
  • Polygamy and repudiation (when a man divorces his wife by simply declaring it is so) are outlawed.
  • Women can pass on their names and nationalities to their children.

Historical and cultural

about Tunisia

  • Traditional Tunisian cuisine reflects local agriculture. It stresses wheat, in the form of bread or couscous, olives and olive oil, meat (above all, mutton), fruit, and vegetables. Couscous (semolina wheat prepared with a stew of meat and vegetables) is the national dish, and most people eat it daily in simple forms, and in more complex forms for celebrations.
  • Tunisian mourners wear traditional bright red costumes at funerals. Corpses are laid on the left side, facing Mecca.
  • Independent Tunisia under Bourguiba made a major effort to improve women’s status by encouraging education and employment, improving the conditions of marriage, and encouraging family planning. This has reduced rather than eliminated the gap between the status of women and men.
  • Tunisians are relatively egalitarian in their interpersonal relations, but there is a strong sense of etiquette. People should be addressed respectfully. A man should not show too much curiosity towards the women in his friend’s family, and may not even know their names. In some cases, men do not visit each other’s homes because the women would inevitably be present. Some people with a sense of their own status do not visit those they consider lower in rank. These rules are relaxed in the urbanized upper classes.
  • As Muslims, Tunisians accept the oneness of God and the power of his word as expressed in the Koran. For many purposes, people refer to the texts of the Koran and of certain related texts such as the Hadith (authentic traditions). The Shari’ah, or Islamic law, is central to people’s understanding of what is proper.
  • Tunisia has produced some fine writers, more in Arabic than in French.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

John Quincy Adams If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

Warren Bennis Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.”

Ken Kesey ou don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.

“To lead people, walk behind them.”

Lao Tzu To lead people, walk behind them.

"The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”

Jim Rohn The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.

"Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”

Henry Ford Don’t find fault, find a remedy.

“Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty, rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.”

Reed Markham Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty, rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.

„I think leadership is service and there is power in that giving: to help people, to inspire and motivate them to reach their fullest potential.“

Denise Morrison I think leadership is service and there is power in that giving: to help people, to inspire and motivate them to reach their fullest potential.

“You just can't beat the person who never gives up.“

Babe Ruth You just can't beat the person who never gives up.

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

Bill Gates As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.

“Anyone, anywhere, can make a positive difference.”

Mark Sanborn Anyone, anywhere, can make a positive difference.

World