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Athens: a Metropolis by mistake?
Athens: a Metropolis by mistake? | babelmed | travel - mediterraneanWhat makes a city a metropolis? Can Athens, described to me as the New York of the Balkans by an Albanian actor, really be considered as such city? One thing is for sure: Athens is changing. The frenetic building which took place for the Olympic Games this summer were aimed at transforming the city into something new and better. The many clogged arteries of the city were to become free-flowing modern transport links with a new train line, metro, tram and pedestrian areas. But despite their enormous budgets and successful individual projects, these changes, along with the new sports facilities built to host the Games, are perhaps only part of the transformation the city is undergoing.
 
A Myth Rebuilt in Alexandria
A Myth Rebuilt in Alexandria | babelmed | travel - mediterraneanOn Alexandria’s Corniche a myth rebuilt from stones and pools: a new library a few metres away from the site of the greatest and most mythic library in the world: the great library of Alexandria. A myth so instilled in the imagination of the world and the country that it has not been easy to recreate and the criticisms provoked by the great UNESCO project have been numerous. It’s true that this superb architectural jewel has yet nothing of the mythic about it: few books, a doubtful public, an elitist and unclear cultural policy. On the other hand, were the criticisms of the building of the great François Mitterrand library as impassioned or severe ? No.. The concern in Alexandria is reconstructing from the past the greatest of all libraries.
 
Balkan Dream Theatre
Balkan Dream Theatre | babelmed | travel - mediterraneanAlfred Bouloti, a successful actor and stage manager at the Tirana National Theatre set up in 1998 a festival based in the ancient theatre of Butrinti, in the south of the country, just an hour from Corfu by ferry. He wanted to call it "a Balkan dream", That is the dream of living together without borders, like neighbours in the rest of Europe.
 
Tangiers – an Eventful History
Tangiers – an Eventful History | babelmed | travel - mediterraneanTangiers is unexplainably magical. This maybe is due to its special location, its rich and turbulent history, its unique status in the 20th century or to what it is now, a centre of trade both legal and illegal, the transit point of tourists and passengers: clandestine or not.
 
Towards today’s Tirana
Towards today’s Tirana | babelmed | travel - mediterraneanTowards today's Tirana opens a cycle of features carried out by Babelmed correspondants around the Mediterranean. First stop, Tirana, a city and its inhabitants who are trying to break isolation and overcome a very heavy political past. This cycle of features have been sustained by the European Cultural Foundation. Next stops: Alexandria, Paris-Algiers, Tangiers, Beirut, Tunis..
 
Cyprus: Small Mediterranean Library
Cyprus: Small Mediterranean Library | babelmed | travel - mediterraneanIn literary matters, Cyprus acts to a large extent as a satellite to the larger Greek or Turkish space. Although it has a fairly vigorous poetry tradition to contribute, it largely depends on the mainland when it comes to novels and prose. Visitors looking to discover the island's cultural face might have to look elsewhere, such as in art and history books.
 

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