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Covering The Multicultural Asian American Community in Georgia

www.gasiantimes.com November 1-15, 2017

President Trump visits China


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November 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times


Georgia Asian Times November 1-15, 2017

Publisher: Li Wong Account Manager: Adrian West Contributors: Andrian Putra, May Lee, Mark Ho Photographer: Ben Hioe Tel: 678-971-9388 Advertising: gat@gasiantimes. com Editorial: info@gasiantimes.com URL: www.gasiantimes.com Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4502 Suwanee GA 30024

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GAT Calendar of Events GAT welcome submission of announcement pertaining to community related events. Please email event, date, venue, and time to gat@gasiantimes.com. GAT does not guarantee insertion of event announcement and has the right to deny any posting.

Community Champions Gala Organized by Asian American Advancing Justice Atlanta Date: Thursday, Nov 9, 2017 Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Venue: Westin Atlanta Perimeter North For more info: www.eventbrite.com/ community-champions-gala Small Business Expo 2017 Date: Thursday, Nov 9, 2017 Time: 9:00 am-5:00 pm Venue: Cobb Galleria Centre-Hall A For more info: TheSmallBusinessExpo. com

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November 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

METRO ASIAN NEWS

Mary Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottom are in runoff for Mayor of Atlanta job

Asian American candidates in the running in local metro elections Atlanta, Nov 8, 2017 — Several Asian American candidates are still in the runoff elections based on the results from local metro elections on Tuesday. Most notably is Alex Wan, who is running for President of Atlanta City Council, will face a run off with Felicia Moore on December 5, 2017. Wan garnered 4437 (60.4%) of votes and Moore gained 1845 (24.83%) of the total votes on Tuesday election. Bee Nguyen earned 4215 votes (39.71%) and Sachin Vargehese collected 3604 (33.95%) votes for the Georgia’s House District 89 seat. Both are heading to a run-off on Dec 5, 2017. In a race for a Duluth City Council Post 2 seat in Gwinnett County, Asian American candidate Louis Tseng collected 221 votes. His challengers, Kirkland Carden earned (55%) 881 votes, and Jim Dugan gained 486 votes.

Summary of Nov 7 election involving Asian American candidates: Duluth: City Council Post 2 – Kirkland Carden – (55%) 881 votes Jim Dugan – 486 votes Louis Tseng – 221 votes Georgia House District 89 Bee Nguyen (39.71%) 4215 Sachin Vargehese (33.95%) 3604 Atlanta City Council – President Alex Wan (60.4%) 4437 Felicia Moore (24.83%) 1845 Courtesy: Georgia’s Secretary of State

Atlanta, Nov 8, 2017 -- With nearly all the votes counted in the city of Atlanta, the mayor’s race will be heading into a runoff between the top two candidates. Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood garnered just under 48 percent of the total vote, each well under the 50 percent plus one vote needed to secure an outright win Tuesday night, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. Despite months of campaigning and heated debate, there was no clear winner Tuesday night among the extremely crowded field of candidates. Nine candidates were vying to replace the current Mayor Kasim Reed, who is term-limited after serving eight years. Polls heading into the election had Bottoms and Norwood leading the pack, so it did not come as too much of a surprise the two would be finding themselves face-to-face in a runoff election. Bottoms got a big endorsement from Mayor Reed, even going so far as to speak publically at her rally on Tuesday night. Norwood received endorsements from the Georgia Police Benevolent Association, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, and International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 134 Atlanta chapter.

One attribute for the city’s next mayor was decided Tuesday. That was that a woman will be sworn in next year for only the second time in the city’s history. Former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard, former Chief Operating Officer Peter Aman, Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort, current Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall, former Fulton County Chairman John Eaves, Rohit Ammanamanchi, Glenn Wrightson, and co-founder of the real estate investment firm Millennial Global Investments Laban King each received 20 percent or under. Michael Sterling, who is on the ballot, announced last month he would suspend his campaign and throw his support behind Mitchell, who was in a very public feud with Mayor Reed. Bottoms and Norwood are expected to face off in a runoff on Dec. 5.


Georgia Asian Times November 1-15, 2017

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FEATURE In Beijing, Trump presses China on North Korea and trade Beijing, November 8, 2017 — President Donald Trump pressed China to do more to rein in North Korea on Thursday and said bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States, but praised President Xi Jinping’s pledge that China would be more open to foreign firms. On North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, Trump said “China can fix this problem quickly and easily”, urging Beijing to cut financial links with North Korea and also calling on Russia to help. Trump was speaking alongside Xi in the Chinese capital to announce the signing of about $250 billion in commercial deals between U.S. and Chinese firms, a display that some in the U.S. business community worry detracts from tackling deep-seated complaints about market access in China. Xi said the Chinese economy would become increasingly open and transparent to foreign firms, including those from the United States, and welcomed U.S. companies to participate in his ambitious “Belt and Road” infrastructure-led initiative. Trump made clear that he blamed his predecessors, not China, for the trade imbalance, and repeatedly praised Xi, calling him “a very special man”. “But we will make it fair and it will be tremendous for both of us,” Trump said. Xi smiled widely when Trump said he does not blame China for the deficit and also when Trump said Xi gets things done. “Of course there are some frictions, but on the basis of win-win cooperation and fair competition, we hope we can solve all these issues in a frank and consultative way,” Xi said. “Keeping opening up is our long-term strategy. We will never narrow or close our doors. We will further widen them,” he said. China would also offer a more fair and transparent environment for foreign firms, including U.S. ones, Xi said. MODEST PROGRESS Trump is pressing China to tighten the screws further on North Korea and its de-

velopment of nuclear weapons in defiance of U.N. sanctions. At least modest progress is hoped for, although there are no immediate signs of a major breakthrough, a U.S. official said earlier. Referring to Xi, Trump said: “I do believe there’s a solution to that, as do you.” Xi reiterated that China would strive for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but offered no hint that China would change tack on North Korea, with which it fought side-by-side in the 1950-53 Korean war against U.S.-led forces. “We are devoted to reaching a resolution to the Korean peninsula issue through dialogue and consultations,” Xi said. Briefing reporters after the talks, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump told Xi: “You’re a strong man, I’m sure you can solve this for me.” Tillerson said both leaders agreed they could not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea but he acknowledged they had some differences over tactics and timing. Tillerson pointed out that Trump, in a speech in Seoul, had “invited the North Koreans to come to the table,” in line with the Chinese desire for a negotiated solution. He added, however, that Trump was prepared for a “military response” if he deemed the threat serious enough, but “that’s not his first choice”. “We are going to work hard on diplomatic efforts as well,” he said, but did not elaborate. In a show of the importance China puts on Trump’s first official visit, Thursday’s welcoming ceremony outside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People overlooking Tiananmen Square was broadcast live on state television - unprecedented treatment for a visiting leader. Earlier on Thursday, Xi said he had a deep exchange of views with Trump and reached consensus on numerous issues of mutual concern. “For China, cooperation is the only real choice, only win-win can lead to an even better future,” he said.

Xi said China and the United States strengthened high-level dialogue on all fronts over the past year and boosted coordination on major international issues, such as the Korean peninsula and Afghanistan. “Relations between China and the United States are now on a new historical starting point,” Xi said. Trump and Xi hit it off at their first meeting in April at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and continued their “bromance” on Wednesday with an afternoon of sightseeing together with their wives. However, divisions persist over trade and North Korea. And while Xi is riding high after consolidating power at a twice-a-decade Communist Party Congress last month, Trump comes to China saddled with low public approval ratings and dogged by investigations into Russian links to his election campaign. ‘HORRIBLE’ TRADE SURPLUS Trump has ratcheted up his criticism of China’s massive trade surplus with the United States - calling it “embarrassing” and “horrible” last week - and has accused Beijing of unfair trade practices. For its part, China says U.S. restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States and on high-tech exports need to be addressed. Several corporate chief executives were in Beijing as part of a delegation led by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, with General Electric and semiconductor maker Qualcomm Inc among those announcing billions of dollars in sales to China.

But Qualcomm’s agreement to sell $12 billion worth of components to three Chinese mobile phone makers over three years is non-binding, and critics say such public announcements are sometimes more show than substance. “This shows that we have a strong, vibrant bilateral economic relationship, and yet we still need to focus on leveling the playing field because U.S. companies continue to be disadvantaged doing business in China,” said William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Trump railed against China’s trade practices during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and threatened to take action once in office. But he has since held back on any major trade penalties, making clear he was doing so to give Beijing time to make progress reining in North Korea. A U.S. official said both sides were “in sync” about wanting to minimize friction during the visit and recreate the positive tone of the April summit. Trump was not expected to put much emphasis in his talks with Xi on thorny issues such as the disputed South China Sea and self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as its own, although the leaders’ aides may deal with those matters privately, the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. China has repeatedly pushed back at suggestions it should be doing more to rein in North Korea, which does about 90 percent of its trade with China, saying it is fully enforcing U.N. sanctions and that everyone has a responsibility to lower tension and get talks back on track. - Reuters


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Movember 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

LIFESTYLE

New study reveals what makes Americans ‘feel the love’ New York, Nov 8, 2017 — A new US study has revealed what makes Americans feel loved in a relationship, showing that for the majority of us, it’s the small things that count the most.

it was the small, non-romantic gestures that were top of the list of what makes people feel loved, such as someone showing compassion or snuggling with a child.

Carried out by researchers from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, the team recruited 495 American adults and asked them to answer a questionnaire about whether or not they thought most people would feel loved in 60 different scenarios.

People also mainly agreed on which actions didn’t make them feel loved, with controlling behaviors such as someone wanting to know where they were at all times ranked among the least loving actions.

The situations included positive scenarios, such as being greeted by a pet; neutral scenarios, like feeling close to nature; and negative situations, like someone acting possessive. After gathering all of the responses, the team then analyzed it with a cultural consensus model, which is a framework for measuring the beliefs of a culture. The team found that for Americans,

“We found that behavioral actions — rather than purely verbal expressions — triggered more consensus as indicators of love. For example, more people agreed that a child snuggling with them was more loving than someone simply saying, ‘I love you’,” commented one of the study’s authors Saeideh Heshmati, “You might think they would score on the same level, but people were more in agreement about loving actions, where there’s more authenticity perhaps, instead of a person just saying something.”

However despite a cultural consensus on some actions, the research also found that some may not agree about what actions are considered loving. The results suggested that men tend to know less than women about what the majority of the American culture deems to be loving behavior, which Heshmati explained could be because previous research has shown that men tend to think about the concept of love differently than women. While men are more likely to think about sexual commitment and relationships when thinking about love, women think more about emotional commitment and security. As the study’s scenarios were more focused on non-sexual situations which included supportive behavior from others, this could explain why the team found that an everyday approach to love could be more in line with women’s beliefs on love than men’s. The team now believe that their

findings could be used to understand better how love affects people’s overall well-being. “Whether we feel loved or not plays an important role in how we feel from day to day,” explained Heshmati, “We were curious about whether the majority of Americans could agree about what makes people feel loved on a daily basis, or if it was a more personal thing. Our results show that people do agree, and the top scenarios that came back weren’t necessarily romantic. So it is possible for people to feel loved in simple, everyday scenarios. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top gestures.” The results can be found published online in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.


Georgia Asian Times November 1-15, 2017 

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ENTERTAINMENT

Photo: Filipino Star News

Reputable Filipino singer making connections in Georgia Atlanta, Nov 4, 2017 - In his third visit to Georgia, Jon Joven is falling in love with the Peach state’s greenery, its people, and Southern hospitality. Joven has made a name for himself in the Philippines where he had performed in concerts and top television shows. Joven is in town to perform at several upcoming shows in metro Atlanta and neighboring states. He started his endeavor in the entertainment world at the tender age of eleven years old. Joven was discovered by a television personality and producer while he was performing at a karaoke talent show.

Jon graduated high school at San Sebastian College in Manila in 1986. He was later a music scholar at the Wichita State University in Kansas City from 1986-1990. When he was 19 years old, he won first place at an All-State Music Competition. He was the representative of Wichita, Kansas.

concerts and theater performances in Asia, U.S. and Europe. He has been a seasoned singer-theater actor, who was one of the key performers in the Broadway-produced Miss Saigon and performing regularly alongside Lea Solenga.

Jon was later introduced to the local famous entertainment producer Herman Moreno, who guided his rise in the show business in the Philippines.

“I always enjoy my stay in Georgia and feels very welcome by the people here. I am exploring new opportunities in this state and the region including Canada and the Caribbean,” said Joven in a recent interview with Georgia Asian Times.

He has since established a name for himself especially in

Joven recently made a special appearance at the screening of a

Filipino film at the Atlanta Asian Film Festival. He sang a couple of songs including his recent release at the appearance in Lawrenceville. For more information, visit Joven’s Facebook: http://facebook/jovenjon


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November 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

BUSINESS IMF chief Lagarde warns protectionism may come to hurt Asia Tokyo, Nov 8, 2017 ― Protectionist sentiment has not yet gone beyond mere words, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said today, but would hurt Asian economies with open and free markets if it did.

Lagarde said trade deals must be “rules based” and make use of existing dispute-settlement mechanisms such as the World Trade Organization, though she declined to say whether Trump’s trade policies complied with these rules. The IMF head said there had been no massive capital outflows from Asia thanks to central bankers’ cautious approach and clear communication around their policy shifts.

US, Chinese firms sign US$9b in deals during Trump visit Beijing, Nov 8, 2017 ― US and Chinese companies signed nearly 20 deals worth a total US$9 billion today at the start of President Donald Trump’s state visit to Beijing. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang oversaw a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People but they did not immediately give details about the 19 deals. Wang said the agreements were merely a “warmup” before Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping oversee their own ceremony tomorrow involving bigger deals, including in exports of natural gas and soybeans. Trump plans to use the three-day trip to press Xi on China’s massive trade surplus with the United States, which slightly fell in October to US$26.6 billion, according to official Chinese data released today.

“Addressing the imbalance in China trade has been the central focus of collaborative discussions between President Trump and President Xi,” Ross said. “Achieving fair and reciprocal treatment for the companies is a shared objective,” he said. For his part, Wang said: Economic deals are “an important ballast for the overall bilateral relationship”, adding he believed they would contribute to its “stabilisation”.

Lagarde brushed off the concerns of some investors that the divergent monetary paths of major central banks could disrupt Asian capital flows, stressing that policymakers had the tools and means of communication needed to prevent market upheaval. Global policymakers have raised concerns over US President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda that aims to slash US trade deficits, via which Washington appears to be walking away from or extensively renegotiating multilateral trade arrangements in favor of country-by-country deals. Lagarde said that while protectionism had not so far been seen “other than in words”, trade deals must be improved in a way that included people who felt left behind by globalization. “If there was protectionism, it would hurt economies that are very open, and based on free and fair movement of goods and services,” Lagarde told Reuters during a visit for the 20th anniversary of the IMF’s Asia-Pacific regional office in Tokyo. “To continue to have trade as a global engine for growth, trade deals need to be improved,” she said, adding trade pacts had to include rules on labour practices and intellectual property.

“We believe these conditions can help to ensure that monetary policy changes do not provoke unnecessary capital flow movements,” she said. Lagarde said she would draw a “slight distinction” between the pace of policy shifts to be adopted by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. She noted that the Fed was expected to raise interest rates steadily in coming months, while the European Central Bank had stressed that its quantitative easing would continue and interest rates would remain low for a long period of time. “You can’t put the two ― the Fed and the ECB ― in the same basket,” she said. Lagarde said Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda was acting appropriately by pledging to maintain the BOJ’s massive stimulus program until inflation accelerates. “One of the strengths of central bankers is to be very clear in their communication and determined in their resolve, which clearly Governor Kuroda has demonstrated,” she said. “One thing that is unanimously recognized is his resolve and clear determination to stay the course and to adjust when the circumstances would so require.” ― Reuters


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BUSINESS

balance its economy from a reliance on investment and exports toward domestic consumption. Trump has railed against China’s massive trade surplus with the US, criticising Beijing for not playing by the rules. The latest data showed shipments to the United States rose 8.3 per cent on-year in October, while imports increased 4.3 per cent. That resulted in US$26.62 billion trade surplus with the US last month, based on Reuters calculations of official data, down from a record US$28.08 billion in September. But the surplus was still above recent trends and could keep trade tensions high, analysts say.

China October exports, imports growth slow BEIJING, Nov 8 — China’s exports and import growth eased in October in a sign the world’s second-largest economy is starting to cool after a strong first half, with momentum seen slackening further as Beijing’s crackdown on pollution hits factory output. The trade data also showed China’s goods surplus with the United States, historically a sore spot in relations between the two nations, narrowed last month as investors awaited US President Donald Trump’s arrival in Beijing later in the day. Trade and North Korea are expected to feature prominently in discussions between Trump and President Xi Jinping, who is driving broad economic reforms by opening up China’s capital markets, targeting corruption and reducing high levels of debt in an effort to foster sustainable growth. “Continued solid exports to the US may add to US-China trade tensions,”

Louis Kuijs, head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong, wrote after the data was released. October exports rose 6.9 per cent from a year earlier in dollar terms, slightly lagging analysts’ forecast of a 7.2 per cent increase, compared to 8.1 per cent growth in September, official data showed today. Imports grew 17.2 per cent year-onyear in October, beating forecast of 16.0 per cent growth but slightly slower than the 18.7 per cent rise in September. Taken together, analysts say, the numbers reinforced recent signs of a cooling in economic momentum as the war on smog and tighter rules to reduce China’s years-long addiction to debt drags on overall activity. Trump’s visit and the potential for further trade tension come as China also faces a long-term challenge to re-

After Trump returns from Asia, “the US administration will remain eager to show results of some kind on the trade deficit. This could include more protectionist measures against Chinese exports,” said Kuijs, who estimates China’s surplus with the US will rise to US$370 billion this year from US$347 billion in 2016. Industrial commodities hit The nation’s overall trade surplus for October was US$39.17 billion, according to a Reuters calculation of data from the Administration of Customs. Expectations centred on a surplus of US$39.5 billion versus September’s US$28.61 billion. China’s economy has recorded better-than-expected growth of nearly 6.9 per cent through the first nine months of this year, thanks to strong government infrastructure spending, a resilient property market and unexpected strength in exports. But momentum has started to fade and analysts say the weaker trade partly reflect moderating external demand.

The data comes amid expectations of a renewed effort by policy makers to reduce debt risks and tighten rules to bring polluting factories to heel. The numbers mirror cooling growth in China’s manufacturing sector, pointing to slackening demand at home and abroad. China’s iron ore imports fell nearly 23 per cent in October from record levels the previous month, with steel mills cutting output as part of a government drive against pollution. Steel exports fell 3 per cent onmonth to 4.98 million tonnes last month, hitting their lowest since February, 2014, data showed. The data could have been impacted by a longer holiday in October this year, which resulted in fewer working days, though the overall trend is of cooling foreign trade. “The big picture is that both outbound and inbound shipments have softened recently, a trend that continued last month,” Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note. “We suspect that this reflects a slight easing of growth in other emerging markets along with weaker domestic demand as a result of slower infrastructure spending.” At the recently-concluded Communist Party Congress Xi emphasised quality over speed in fostering sustainable growth, while reinforcing a pledge to win the war on pollution and clamp down on riskier types of lending. Even with some loss of momentum in the fourth quarter, the country’s economic growth is still expected to easily meet or beat the government’s full-year target of around 6.5 per cent. — Reuters


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November 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

LIFESTYLE

‘Pokémon Go’ company announces ‘Harry Potter’ AR game Players will be able to “learn spells, explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover and fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies,” mobile studio Niantic explained in an official announcement. The official Harry Potter franchise portal, Pottermore, offered further confirmation that fans of the “Pokémon Go” approach and the Potter setting will be pleased. The game will use Augmented Reality smartphone technology so that “a player can view the real world through a wizarding world lens.” Players will be able to “cast spells, discover mysterious artefacts, and build up your very own, illustrious wizarding career,” the Pottermore post continued, while the game “encourages you to step outside with your phone, explore your local surroundings, and take part in a series of adventures.”

Over 150 Pokémon from the series’ first few games, 1996’s “Pokémon Red” and “Pokémon Green,” were included with the game at launch, and Harry Potter has a broad bestiary of beings to source from too. Though neither Pottermore, Niantic, nor publisher Warner Bros. went into specifics, Harry Potter’s in-fiction textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” contained 85 creatures in its 1998 first edition, rising to 91 in a 2017 reprint. Other more supernaturally derived life forms have remained prominent throughout the books and their movie interpretations, and could be expected to form part of the “Wizards Unite” experience. An August 2017 spin-off movie was based on “Fantastic Beasts…,” with a sequel set for release in November 2018.

Disney announces new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy Players will be able to “learn spells, explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover and fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies,” mobile studio Niantic explained in an official announcement. The official Harry Potter franchise portal, Pottermore, offered further confirmation that fans of the “Pokémon Go” approach and the Potter setting will be pleased. The game will use Augmented Reality smartphone technology so that “a player can view the real world through a wizarding world lens.” Players will be able to “cast spells, discover mysterious artefacts, and build up your very own, illustrious wizarding career,” the Pottermore post continued, while the game “encourages you to step outside with your phone, explore your local surroundings, and take part in a series of adventures.”

“Who knows what you’ll spot in your local park?” it teased.

“Who knows what you’ll spot in your local park?” it teased.

“Pokémon Go” has had players congregating in public spaces to pursue, obtain, and train the crossmedia franchise’s fictional creatures.

“Pokémon Go” has had players congregating in public spaces to pursue, obtain, and train the crossmedia franchise’s fictional creatures.

Over 150 Pokémon from the series’ first few games, 1996’s “Pokémon Red” and “Pokémon Green,” were included with the game at launch, and Harry Potter has a broad bestiary of beings to source from too. Though neither Pottermore, Niantic, nor publisher Warner Bros. went into specifics, Harry Potter’s in-fiction textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” contained 85 creatures in its 1998 first edition, rising to 91 in a 2017 reprint. Other more supernaturally derived life forms have remained prominent throughout the books and their movie interpretations, and could be expected to form part of the “Wizards Unite” experience. An August 2017 spin-off movie was based on “Fantastic Beasts…,” with a sequel set for release in November 2018.


Georgia Asian Times November 1-15, 2017 

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FASHION

Luxury brand Burberry not luxury enough for new CEO London, Nov 10, 2017 — A US$190 polo shirt might seem expensive to most shoppers, but for Burberry’s new Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti it is too close to the fashion industry’s endangered mid-market for comfort. So his strategy to revitalise the 161-year-old British brand is to distance it from the likes of Polo Ralph Lauren and move it firmly onto the ground staked out by Louis Vuitton and Gucci, which he says charge 50 per cent more for the same type of shirt. Gobbetti, who was previously at French house Celine, says fashion is polarising between the mass market, home to Spain’s Inditex and Sweden’s H&M, and top-end luxury brands. “Consumers prefer either luxury items or mass-market brands, mixing them together to create a look,” he said yesterday.

“The mid-market offering no longer has a place with these consumers.” Burberry, one of the fashion industry’s most successful turnaround stories in the early 2000s, needs a new creative overhaul to help fire up growth again. But it’s a tough makeover to get right, bringing in change without alienating the fans of its classic trenchcoats and trademark check, and Gobbetti is searching for a new designer to replace long-time creative chief Christopher Bailey. At Gucci, part of France’s Kering, a complete shift from the label’s sleek, sexy style to a rococo, colourful aesthetic under a new CEO-designer pairing over the past two years has helped the brand outperform all peers. “You want someone crazy to come in and break the mould,” said Michel

Phan, professor of luxury marketing at the Emlyon Business School in France. “Young people in the fashion world don’t want to buy the same trenchcoat that their parents had.” Gucci resuscitated logos and some of its buckles and clasps, pairing them with sequins and embroidered insects on new bag lines to produce novelty items Burberry could learn from as it reimagines how to use its red, black and camel check, he said. Millennials, born between the early 1980s and mid-90s, already make up a third of the worldwide luxury goods market. Gobbetti promises Burberry will not ditch the coats and check prints that are part of its DNA, but also says it will strive to meet buyers’ craving for the eye-catching and new. Fun fashion “Today’s customers are... looking for casual, fun fashion,” he said. “Their wardrobes are already full of iconic staples.”

Recent sales trends back up efforts in this direction. Burberry’s DK88 handbag — at around US$1,450 for the smaller version — is selling well this year, executives have said. Polishing the brand’s appeal will not rest solely on design, and Gobbetti has already made other changes. The label hired a new merchandising chief, Judy Collinson, from Christian Dior in May. The new artistic director, however, will set the tone, and some analysts say Burberry should look outside obvious choices such as Phoebe Philo, who worked with Gobbetti at Celine and whose understated designs have attracted a following. Young French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, who has an eponymous label, or Alexandre Mattiussi of French house Ami, are designers who could bring lightness or humour to the brand, said Mathias Ohrel of Paris-based luxury recruiters m-O Conseil. — Reuters


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November 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

TECH

Surf’s up for startups at Web Summit 2017 Lisbon, Nov 7, 2017 ― The next generation of Internet giants gather this week in Portugal for four days of tech-fuelled networking, nights out and ― for the first time this year ― surfing of the offline variety. Web Summit, which likes to promote itself as “the Davos for geeks” and provides a platform for startups to hook up with venture capitalists and hear about new trends from industry leaders such as Facebook, will see around 60,000 tech experts convene in Lisbon, where participants will look to catch a break either in or out of the water. “Lisbon is kind of the surf capital of Europe, so not going surfing would be a very significant missed opportunity,” said Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave. Around 250 participants arrived in the Portuguese capital ahead of today’s official start to enjoy some of Europe’s best waves. Mircea Baldean, founder and CEO of

Canada-based startup MeetVibe, said he was looking forward to the networking opportunities at the event. “It’s my first time in Lisbon, my first time surfing and my first time at Web Summit... as an entrepreneur you have to be ready to do new things every day.” But the event isn’t all beach shorts and wipeouts: there’s serious money up for grabs with some of the world’s largest tech firms scouting for the next big app or technology in which to invest. Organisers claim that around a third of startups who display their products at the Web Summit find a donor within 12 months. “We’ve got 1,500 of the most active investors from around the world and a sample of 2,000 really high potential startups,” said Cosgrave. Speakers at this year’s event include former US President Al Gore, UN Sec-

retary General Antonio Guterres and former olympian and campaigner Caitlyn Jenner ― as well as representatives from Internet giants such as Amazon and app-based behemoths Uber and Tinder. Work hard, play hard The stakes are high: organisers say one fifth of all venture capital invested in the last three years went to firms that participated in Web Summit ― accounting for tens of billions of euros. But they are also open about its outof-hours approach to networking, and hope relationships forged in the bars and restaurants of Lisbon can go on to power the next waves of online innovation. “The truth is a lot of the best relationships are built over dinner, over long walks in the city and other social activities. So we put a huge emphasis on what happens after 5pm,” said Cosgrave.

For Michael Memeteau, a founder of an energy startup who will be acting as an unofficial guide for one of the after-hours “pub crawls”, it’s the social aspect that makes Web Summit so popular. “The thing is to keep some energy for the night, as the quality of exchanges is better,” he said. “In fact I’m only going to go to three of the actual talks.” Tommy Otzen, CEO of Danish start up Kubo Robot and winner of last year’s Web Summit “Pitch” competition to find the best new firm, said his company received a one-million-euro investment off the back of the conference. “Our success at last year’s Web Summit was what triggered that relationship, because we got a lot of media attention,” he said.


Georgia Asian Times November 1-15 2017

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SPORTS

Is the Premier League title race over already? Not so fast London, Nov 7, 2017 — Manchester City’s eight point advantage after 11 games is leading to talk of the Premier League title race being over in November, but as Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho noted – English football has a habit of throwing up surprises. It is undeniable that City are currently playing with such a verve, fluency and effectiveness that it is hard to imagine them losing three games and allowing their rivals, whether it be United, Spurs or Chelsea, into the race. But while the form of Pep Guardiola’s team and – second-placed United’s recent losses to Huddersfield and Chelsea – point towards a runaway title win, there is indeed lot of football left to be played. “Eight points in the Premier League is not the same in Portugal, La Liga or the Bundesliga. Yes, it is eight points but there is still a lot of play (to come),” Mourinho said after the loss at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, which followed City’s comfortable 3-1 win over Arsenal.

While Mourinho was not explicit in his explanation, the fact is that suspensions and injuries to key players happen and, over the course of a long season, can radically impact a team’s form. And while City certainly have plenty of quality, their strength in depth has not yet been truly tested. Guardiola was already taking about his team being tired after their midweek trip to Naples in the Champions League. How will they be holding up physically after a fixture-congested festive season? How will they cope in February when they will be in knockout action in the Champions League?  City made a strong start last season but then suffered successive defeats – to Chelsea and Leicester City – at the start of December before ending that month with a loss at Anfield on New Year’s Eve.

Key figures United host City at Old Trafford on Dec. 10 – a game which Mourinho surely has his eye on already as a

chance to reign in the leaders and he suggested that his team will be stronger with some key figures set to return.

pions Real Madrid last week, a long winning run from Mauricio Pochettino’s team cannot be ruled out.

“I hope, feel, think and wish that in the busy period at the end of November, December and January, we’re going to be at maximum strength with (Paul) Pogba, (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic and (Marcus) Rojo back (from injury),” he said.

But while Guardiola is right to play down talk of an inevitable title win, he couldn’t help highlighting one key difference from last season – his team’s performances against top six clubs. “Last season against title contenders, we were able to win just twice. Coming into November, we have already beaten Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal,” he said.

Certainly United’s stumble in form after their excellent start of six wins from seven games, has coincided with the absence of French midfielder Pogba, whose partnership in central midfield with Nemanja Matic was developing so well. Romelu Lukaku’s goal drought has had a bigger impact given the absence of an alternative central striker and the return of Ibrahimovic, who had scored 17 goals in 28 Premier League games before his knee ligament injury, would give Mourinho another option. While the focus is on United’s challenge, it is worth noting that Tottenham are level on points with them and after their crushing of European cham-

Six days after December’s clash with United, Guardiola’s side face Tottenham at the Etihad and then on Jan. 14 they are at Anfield, where their title bid unravelled last year. If City can triumph in those games then perhaps talk of a one-horse race can be justified. But as Mourinho says, there is a lot of football left to be played.


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November 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

SPORTS

Alli shines as Tottenham stun champions Real London, Nov 2, 2017 — Dele Alli condemned Champions League holders Real Madrid to a horrendous Wembley debut with two goals as Tottenham Hotspur reached the last 16 with a stunning 3-1 victory on Wednesday. The 21-year-old England midfielder, making his first appearance in this year’s competition after serving a three-game ban, scored either side of halftime on a memorable night for Mauricio Pochettino’s team. Christian Eriksen was also on target for Tottenham as they proved far superior to end Madrid’s 30-match unbeaten run in Champions League group play. Cristiano Ronaldo replied for Zinedine Zidane’s side but it was in vain as Tottenham sealed a first win in six attempts against the Spanish champions who will face more criticism after falling eight points behind Barcelona in La Liga. Tottenham lead Group H with 10 points with Real on seven, followed by Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia who have two each after a draw in Germany.

“We are starting to believe in our potential and quality,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, whose side failed to negotiate the group phase last year, told reporters. “This win makes us more visible and is something that everyone around Europe will have noticed.” Twelve-times champions Real should still qualify but manager Zidane admitted his side were in a rut after the weekend’s defeat at Girona and now a chastening night at Wembley. “It’s a hard defeat to take but it was against a team who played very well and deserved to win,” he said. “We were not able to come up with a response and we are not happy about it.” Buoyed by their impressive 1-1 draw in the Bernabeu two weeks ago Tottenham began at a high tempo and dominated the opening 20 minutes against a pensive Madrid. Harry Kane, declared fit after missing his side’s weekend loss at Manchester United with a hamstring strain, should have done better with an attempted chip over Real keeper Kiko

Casilla who was deputising for injured Keylor Navas. Tottenham right back Kieran Trippier was a constant menace down the right and his first-time volleyed cross caused panic in the Real defence – a portent of things to come for Real. FORAY FORWARD The hosts suffered a blow when central defender Toby Alderweireld’s evening was cut short as he pulled up with a hamstring injury after a foray forward. Moussa Sissoko replaced him with Eric Dier dropping into defense but it did not slow Tottenham’s momentum as they deservedly went ahead five minutes later. Harry Winks picked out Trippier racing down the right and his volleyed cross found Alli to prod home. Real responded with Casemiro and Ronaldo testing Hugo Lloris but Tottenham should have increased their lead before halftime when Sissoko mis-kicked in front of goal from

another Trippier cut back and Kane’s goal bound shot was blocked by Sergio Ramos. A single-goal lead looked vulnerable against the defending champions but Tottenham doubled it nine minutes after the break with Alli sending the Wembley crowd into raptures. The England midfielder was allowed to advance goalwards and his shot deflected off Ramos’s back to completely wrong-foot Casilla. Real, who had lost only one of their last 22 European fixtures, swarmed forward trying to salvage something but their night took a turn for the worse when Tottenham counter-attacked in devastating fashion in the 65th minute, Alli finding Kane who picked out Eriksen to calmly slot home. Ronaldo fired home his sixth goal in this year’s competition to set up a frantic last 10 minutes but Tottenham held firm to avenge their quarter-final defeat by Real in 2011.


Georgia Asian Times November 1-15, 2017

Page 15

HEALTH Last season’s flu shot protected only 1 in 5 people The reason just 20 to 30 percent of people were protected by the 20162017 flu shot was a mutation in the H3N2 strain of the virus, which did not show up in the mass-produced vaccine that is grown using eggs, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Both fish and fish oil supplements can prevent childhood asthma, says review Carried out by researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa, the scientific review looked at two studies before concluding that children whose mothers consumed high-dose omega-3 fatty acids daily during the 3rd trimester, whether from fish or supplements, were less likely to develop breathing problems. The first study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at 346 pregnant women in their 3rd trimester who took omega-3 fatty acids daily and 349 women who took a placebo. It found that women with the lowest blood levels benefited the most from fish oil supplementation. The second study randomized pregnant women in their 3rd trimester into fish oil, placebo and “no oil” groups. The fish oil group took omega-3 fatty acids supplements daily, whilst the placebo group was given olive oil daily. The “no oil” group was informed about the aims of the study, and were told that if they wanted, they could consume either fish oil supplements or fish during the 3rd trimester. The results showed that children of women in the fish oil and the “no oil”

groups took less asthma medication as they aged to 24 years old, suggesting that both groups, whether consuming supplements or fish, developed less asthma. Co-authors of the review, Richard Lockey, MD, and Chen Hsing Lin, MD, also suggest that pregnant women receive the same benefit as supplements if they follow the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendation to consume 8-12 ounces (2-3 servings) of low mercury fish per week. “Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesized by humans and therefore are essential nutrients which are derived exclusively from marine sources,” said Lin. “It may be premature to recommend daily high dose fish oil supplementation during the 3rd trimester.” “With almost equal to slightly higher cost, consuming 8-12 ounces (2-3 servings) of fish a week not only may attain the same asthma protection, but strengthens the nutritional benefits to infant growth and development,” said Lockey. The findings can be found published online in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Flu vaccines work by delivering purified proteins from the outer layer of dead flu viruses, which primes the immune system to fight off a new invasion. But if a virus mutates, and the vaccine doesn’t change to match it, effectiveness is lost, said lead author Scott Hensley, associate professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania. “The 2017 vaccine that people are getting now has the same H3N2 strain as the 2016 vaccine, so this could be another difficult year if this season is dominated by H3N2 viruses again.”

Researchers found that antibodies elicited by the 2016-2017 vaccine in ferrets and humans “did a poor job of neutralizing H3N2 viruses that circulated last year,” said the report. However, when a version of the 2016-2017 vaccine produced without eggs was delivered to ferrets and people, antibodies “were able to effectively recognize and neutralize the new H3N2 virus.” Hensley said the findings show that a new method needs to be developed for widespread use. “Current H3N2 viruses do not grow well in chicken eggs, and it is impossible to grow these viruses in eggs without adaptive mutations,” he said. “Our data suggest that we should invest in new technologies that allow us to ramp up production of influenza vaccines that are not reliant on eggs,” Hensley said. Nevertheless, he urged people to go ahead and get the flu vaccine this year. “Some protection against H3N2 viruses is better than nothing and other components of the vaccine, like H1N1 and influenza B, will likely provide excellent protection this year,” he said.

The majority of flu vaccine proteins are purified from a virus grown in chicken eggs. According to the study, a strain of the H3N2 virus with a different outer layer protein emerged during the 20142015 flu season, and this version of H3N2 remains prevalent today. The flu vaccine delivered last season was updated to include the new version of this protein, but Hensley and colleagues found the egg-grown version of this protein acquired a new mutation.

A seasonal flu vaccine is recommended once a year for everyone over six months of age to lower the risk of pneumonia and other life-threatening complications, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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November 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

Misc Asia Heartache for sale at Vietnam’s ex-lovers market HANOI, Nov 5 — At Vietnam’s Old Flames market, curious customers peruse love letters and pick through perfumes, candles and clothes—relics from failed relationships put on sale by forlorn lovers.

Japan’s quirky, quake-resistant dome houses prove a big draw ASO (Japan), Nov 6 — Nestled near a volcano in southern Japan, 450 quake-resistant dome houses put up by a health resort and decorated with flowers and dinosaurs are drawing visitors from across Asia. A dozen polystyrene foam pieces, each so light that two adults can pick it up, are glued together to make the houses. Despite the light materials, the domes withstood last year’s deadly earthquakes in Kumamoto prefecture, where Aso is located, said Masaya Konishi, manager of the Aso Farm Land resort. “These dome rooms were completely unharmed,” Konishi told Reuters. “Not a single pane of glass broke.” Wind and earthquakes do not easily damage the dome houses because they have no beams that can be broken, Konishi said. Japan Dome House, the company that makes the polystyrene pieces used in the structures, says that after the 2016 earthquakes, sales spiked two to three-fold.

The head of Aso Farm Land resort, Katsuyuki Kitagawa, designed the dome-shaped cabins after being inspired by his work in the Japanese sweets industry, Konishi said. One day, Kitagawa thought it would be interesting to put people inside “manju” — traditional Japanese sweets that are round and filled with red bean paste — and decided to make rooms shaped like the confection. The colourful result has proven alluring for tourists looking for a quirky family holiday, especially the domes adorned inside and out with images of Japan’s popular “Kumamon” bear character, mascot of the Kumamoto region. “We were looking for something very Japan and different that would just be fun,” said Singaporean tourist Tsalina Phang, who was staying in a dome house with her two daughters and husband. “This, with all the decorations of Kumamon, just sounded perfect for us”, Phang said, as one of her daughters bounced happily on a bed in front of an image of a red-cheeked bear. — Reuters

Entrepreneurial exes meet once a month, bringing their baggage—emotional and literal—to a converted cottage on a leafy Hanoi street to find a new home for items they can no longer bear to look at. It’s also a means of moving on. “(After a breakup) I’m very sad, I can’t drink or eat... but after a while I pick myself up. The past is in the past,” said Phuc Thuy, 29, who was selling clothes, purses and even a tube of toothpaste she acquired during a former romance. The market has steadily grown since it opened in February, especially among Vietnam’s social-media obsessed youth, unabashed about sharing intimate details of their everyday lives. “Young people are more open-minded and they want to share deeply and widely to overcome pain, without suffering alone,” said founder Dinh Thang, as a visitor strummed love songs on a guitar nearby. He started the market after a few bitter breakups left him with unwanted paraphernalia from a now extinguished passion. He proudly displays love letters, heart-strewn birthday cards and sentimental scrapbooks from his ex as a reminder that such memorabilia need not be painful forever. He’s also opened the doors to vendors selling new items, and is planning

to duplicate the concept in Vietnam’s commercial capital Ho Chi Minh City next year. For those who haven’t quite reached Thang’s stage of emotional post-breakup enlightenment, he’s set up a message board to pen notes to exes. “To all my ex-lovers, I’m sorry because I feel like we never really knew each other,” read one remorse-tinged message. Another was more succinct: “I’M FINE!!!” Thang hopes the market will make the topic of breakups less taboo in Vietnam, a conservative communist nation of 93 million where just a generation ago arranged marriages were more common. Social attitudes have changed as the country has become increasingly globalised and as its vast young population—more than 50 percent of the country is under age 30 -- embrace western dating norms. That includes internet dating. “Many young people meet online, date online and break up online,” said Bui Manh Tien, Youth Programme Officer. Today, men and women are waiting longer to get married and divorce rates are also ticking up, according to official figures. “We don’t want to give up our freedom too early and get tied to family responsibility when we’re young, we want to enjoy life before getting married,” Tien, 25, added. For some, the Old Flames market is simply a place to make new connections, romantic or otherwise. “I came here to meet people and to see the goods, explore why they used to be a very beautiful memory,” said Tieu Khuy, before picking up a used copy of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”


Georgia Asian Times November 1-15, 2017

Page 17

Misc Asia

Indonesia threatens to block WhatsApp messaging over obscene content JAKARTA, Nov 6 — Indonesia today vowed to block Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp Messenger within 48 hours if the service did not ensure that obscene Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) images were removed.

Trump passes tricky protocol test with Japanese emperor TOKYO, Nov 6, 2017 — To bow or not to bow: That was the question when US President Donald Trump held a closely watched meet-and-greet with the Japanese emperor laden with potential protocol pitfalls. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama sparked a firestorm of criticism during one trip to Japan when he was photographed in an almost 90-degree bow to the diminutive Emperor Akihito. US conservatives chided Obama for the act of deference towards Akihito, the son of wartime emperor Hirohito, in whose name Japanese troops fought in World War II. So all eyes were on the meeting between the two heads of state in famously polite Japan where bowing is a way of life. But the gaffe-prone Trump appeared to plot a respectable middle ground, slightly inclining his head upon meeting the 83-year-old despite towering over him.

The two couples were then led to a room where they engaged in deep conversation with the aid of interpreters. Trump aides have been nervous about keeping the notorious ad-lib president on message during his gruelling Asia tour — the longest by a US leader since 1991.

WhatsApp, which is widely used in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, said message encryption prevented it from monitoring the third-party providers Indonesians use to search for GIFs. It asked the government to work with the providers instead. Semuel Pangerapan, a director general at Indonesia’s communications and informatics ministry, said WhatsApp would be blocked within 48 hours unless the images supplied by third parties were taken off the service. “Yes, true. They have to follow the rules of the host,” Pangerapan said of the proposed block.

And Trump is the second unorthodox world leader to meet the emperor in the space of a week.

The ministry had sent three letters to WhatsApp over the issue, he said.

Last Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, not generally known for his respect of formal protocols, also received an audience at the imperial palace.

“They have responded, but asked us to speak directly to the third party. The GIFs appeared in their apps. Why do we have to be the one speaking to the third party? They are supposed to be the ones managing it,” said Pangerapan.

The occasionally foul-mouthed Duterte pledged to “limit my mouth” before his trip to Tokyo and Japanese media reported that he was on his best behaviour. Japanese tabloid Yukan Fuji said the meeting was peaceful and Duterte bowed repeatedly towards the emperor and the empress afterwards.

Tenor, a third-party provider of GIFs to WhatsApp, had been blocked, Pangerapan said. Tenor did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “In Indonesia, WhatsApp lets people search for GIFs using third-party

providers,” a Whatsapp representative said in a statement. “We are not able to monitor GIFs on WhatsApp since content is end-to-end encrypted. We’ve directed the Indonesia government to work with these third-party providers to review their content.” Indonesia had 69 million monthly active Facebook users as of the first quarter of 2014, ranking the country fourth globally after the United States, India and Brazil, company data showed. Some reaction on Indonesian social media to the threatened block was sceptical. “While you’re at it, why don’t you block Twitter too, (and) if necessary all browsers in the Playstore, because it’s way easier to search for porn there than on WhatsApp,” wrote one Twitter user, with the handle @jnessy. Another, using the handle @yogirswnt, said “Does the government want to block WhatsApp? In the case of Telegram it was only a bluff, but if true, it is so unfortunate.” Indonesia briefly blocked access this year to some channels of the Telegram messaging app, saying its forums were “full of radicals and terrorist propaganda”, before reaching a pact with the messaging service on how to rein in propaganda. The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) had urged the communications ministry to block pornographic GIF images accessible via emoticons, complaining that children could easily reach them, according to news website kompas.com. — Reuters


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November 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

TRAVEL Now, 70 years later, around 100 are thought to remain, many of them extremely elderly. Jewish-owned homes inside the mellah were sold to Muslim families of modest means, and the walls of the district were eroded by time. “Sometimes we can’t get even 10 men together for prayers,” says one woman worshipper at the old synagogue, preferring to remain anonymous.

Historic Jewish quarter of Marrakesh sees revival Marrakesh, Oct 31, 2017 — The once teeming Jewish area of Moroccan tourist gem Marrakesh is seeing its fortunes revived as visitors including many from Israel flock to experience its unique culture and history. “You’re now entering the last synagogue in the mellah,” the walled Jewish quarter in the heart of the ochre city, Isaac Ohayon says as he enthusiastically guides tourists in the courtyard of the Lazama synagogue. “Many visitors come from Israel — you wouldn’t believe the demand!” adds the jovial 63-year-old hardware shop owner. This place of worship and study was built originally in 1492 during the Inquisition when the Jews were driven out of Spain. Known as the “synagogue of the exiles”, it hosted generations of young Berbers who converted to Judaism and were sent from villages in the region to learn the Torah, before finally being deserted in the 1960s. In classrooms now transformed into a museum, fading colour photographs tell the story of a now-dispersed community, with many having left for France, North America and especially Israel.

The caption on one sepia shot of an old man sitting by a pile of trunks says it all: “They are travelling towards a dream they have prayed for for more than 2,000 years.” Rebecca is now in her fifties and grew up in Paris, but she has “great nostalgia” for Morocco and returns as often as she can. “The Jewish Agency began recruiting the poorest in the 1950s and then everyone left after independence (from France), at the time of King Hassan II’s policy of Arabisation,” she says. The Jewish Agency of Israel is a semi-official organisation that oversees immigration to the country. ‘The last young Jew’ Before the wave of departures, Morocco hosted North Africa’s largest Jewish community, estimated at between 250,000 and 300,000 people. There are fewer than 3,000 left, according to unofficial figures. Marrakesh at the foot of the Atlas mountain range was home to more than 50,000 Jews, according to a 1947 census.

But at celebrations marking the end of the festival of Sukkot, which commemorates the Jewish journey through the Sinai after their exodus from Egypt, and the Simchat Torah holiday, the place is buzzing with song, dance and traditional dishes. The worshipper says she has “never seen so many people” there. Jacob Assayag, 26, proudly calls himself “the last young Jew in Marrakesh”. “Since the quarter was restored, there have been more and more tourists,” says the restaurateur and singer. A restoration project begun just over two years ago has already seen €17.5 million spent. Ferblantiers Square, a large pedestrian area near the spice souk lined with benches and palm trees where tourist buses gather, also benefited from the revamp. Twenty years ago, the quarter was renamed “Salaam (‘peace’ in Arabic)”, but this year saw its original “El Mellah” name restored on the orders of King Mohamed VI “to preserve its historic memory” and develop tourism. A sensitive topic The streets with their ochre facades once more bear their names on plaques in Hebrew: The synagogue, for example, is on Talmud Torah Street.

There is much to see inside the mellah. Camera-toting tourists snap vigorously at shopfronts and the carved wooden doorways of houses in the quarter. “Many people come every year from Israel for the (Jewish) holidays, and this year has seen even more, maybe 50,000,” says Israeli tourist guide David, leading a group from Tel Aviv via Malaga in Spain on an eight-day trip. “I feel at home in Morocco because I was born here,” adds the 56-year-old from the port of Ashdod just north of the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip. His parents left Marrakesh in the 1960s, when David was just four years old, “because they were Zionists”. Ohayon says visitors from the Jewish state are often bowled over by Marrakesh. “Moroccan Jews can’t forget their homeland and Israelis who come here for the first time find the spirit of tolerance here almost unbelievable when they themselves live under constant tension,” he says. Officially, Morocco has neither diplomatic nor economic ties with Israel, as this is a sensitive topic. Just two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, have signed peace treaties with the Jewish state. But in reality, there are few obstacles to both business and tourism. Moroccan media reports say commercial exchanges between the two countries this year have amounted to more than four million dollars a month. The kingdom, seen as a safe destination, recorded a more than 10 percent rise in tourist arrivals between January and August this year over 2016, with eight million visitors.

Georgia Asian Times Nov 1-15, 2017  

Georgia Asian Times cover the multicultural Asian American community in metro Atlanta and Georgia.