06.07.2017 : Aleppo/ Halab

Aleppo (or in Arabic tongue : Halab) was first mentioned already 1900 BCE - it had relations to Babylon at the time of Hammurabi I ; later it was part of the Hethiter Empire - Alexander the Great occupied Aleppo in 333 BCE - and in the younger history among others from 1517 onwards it belonged to the Osman Empire and finally was part of Syria after World War II. In 1986 the historic Medina became UNESCO Worldheritage

In 1619 the merchant Niclas de Respaigne was painted by Peter Paul Rubens after his six years in Aleppo - returning to Antwerpen/today Belgium. He had started his business at Venice going from there to the Middle East and being interested in the textile industry of Aleppo. The Herat-Carpet and the Oriental Fashion show the rich and exotic ambiente of the quite wealthy business at that time. The melancholy of the face of the merchant could be taken in 2017 as an impression of frustration about the situation nowadays.

03.06.2017 : Samarkand

Samarkand is listed as a "Crossroad of Cultures". Human activities can be traced back to the late paleolithic era. Its first name 750 BCE was Afrasiab. In 329 BCE Alexander the Great conquered the place - calling it Maracanda. Destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1220 it became the capital of the Empire of Timur in 1369. Due to those many wars over the centuries Samarkand became the home of a number of religions: Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Manichaeism, Judaism, Nestorian Christianity, Islam. In 2001 Samarkand became member of the UNESCO-List World Heritage.

The cultural Center is the Registan-Place formed by three Madrasas built in 1417-1420, 1619-1636 and 1646-1660. The word Madrasa is derived from the Arabic language and means "place for study". In Islamic Sciences this equalled religious as well as secular studies. Furtheron the Madrasas had been not only the places to study for the students but also the place to live during that period.

05.05.2017: Baku

Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. The InnerCity of Baku, along with the Shirvansha's Palace and Maiden Tower were inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The ethmology describes Baku as the "City of Winds" or "God's town". Its traces of human settlement go back to the Stone age.

The biggest shopping centers are according to Dr.Cebrayil Valiyev Ganclik Mall with 32.000 sqm built in 2016 ranking first in size in front of 28 Mall (24.000/2012), Park Bulvar (17.000/2010), Metro Park (13.500/2011), Buki Mall (10.000/2013), Port Baku Mall (10.000/2014), Aura Park/Ganca (9.000/2013) and Ayguen City (8.300/2012). Next one to open will be Baku City Mall.

03.04.2017: Al-Farabi

Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad Al Farabi (872 in Syr Darya/Kazakhstan - 951 in Damascus/Syria) was of Persian descent. Al-Farabi spent almost his entire life in Baghdad/Iraq where he studied logic, medicine and sociology; but he also visited Aleppo/Syria and Egypt. In the Arabic philosophical tradition he is known as "the second master" - after the Greek philosopher Aristotle.

Al-Farabi broke with the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle and moved from metaphysics to methodology: he united theory and practice! Among others he wrote a book about music and discussed the therapeutic effects of music on the soul; in a book about dreams he distinguished between dream interpretations and the nature and causes of dreams. The "ideal society" he claimed is directed towards the realization of "true happiness" - and cities are determined by the moral habits of its people.

02.03.2017: EURASIAN Catalyst

After the Soviet Union had been dissolved the former city of Akmola was named Astana in 1997 to become the new capital of Kazakhstan built by a master plan developed by the Japanese architect Kisho Kusokawa. Meanwhile Astana is a catalyst for all EURASIA due to its Astana Economic Forum, the Astana Club of Nobel Laureates, the international platform G-Global Development Community, the Eurasian Club of Economics Scientists and last but not least the EXPO 2017.

The biggest five shopping centers in Astana are according to Trade Help the famous Khan Shatyr (designed by Norman Foster as a typical regional Jurte) with 127.000 square meters built in 2010, Keruen (64.000/2008), Astana Mall (50.000/2009), Asia Park (46.000/2009) and Sary Arka (41.000/2008). The biggest centers under construction are Mega Silk Way (139.000/2017) and Republika Plaza (98.000/2018). More about general investment planning and partnering see: GUIDE TO INVESTMENT ASTANA.

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