by Robert Abad

"When you look at the images of protests going on in a number of countries, you see young people leading the way."

Full-page color photographs and well-chosen quotations make this collection by the author far more than the usual "coffee table" work. Collaborating with his daughters Sofia and Ariella, photographer Abad has produced what is envisioned as a pathway to inspiration.

The book is divided into global regions: Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. Each section opens with a saying or proverb from the region, focusing on the significance of travel and observation, such as this Arab adage: "Who lives sees much, who travels sees more." The opening of the Asia segment is a panoramic view of the Great Wall of China, giving a perspective of its size and the work that must have been needed to build it. In India and China, readers are struck with the contrasts of the well-maintained monuments and temples, some of them encrusted with precious metals, in contrast to the street life of ordinary folk. Children play, and mothers tend to babies amidst the rubble and litter. A Chinese woman with a heavy shopping bag, a baby strapped to her back, and a toddler beside her walks in heavy rain with no umbrella or head covering.

Meanwhile, in Jaipur, India, a solitary cow wanders among the bicycles and motorbikes on a jumbled city street. In Croatia, a basketball goal has been set up against the wall within what would once have been a seafront fortress. In the Middle East, readers are shown the opulence of giant skyscrapers, ancient but beautifully kept temples, and ordinary people sitting on the pavement conversing in a parking lot. Santiago, Chile, has high-rise apartments outside of which people shop at flea market-style tables. Vistas of country farms match the size and style of Latin American cities, and a little girl is shown tramping through a street filled almost knee-deep in water. One salutary piece of graffiti captured by Abad in Panama City defiantly announces: "No tengo facebook mi vida es real" ("I don't have Facebook my life is real").

Abad's impressive photography is enhanced through the judicious use of appropriate quotations. The sources in the book's sayings range from the literary, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Confucius, and Salman Rushdie, to the popular, such as John Lennon and Yogi Berra. The work also includes such memorable folk wisdom as the African saying, "If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven't spent the night with a mosquito." Abad, an educated financial professional who has traveled extensively in the settings he has captured here, worked closely with his family in producing this large, thought-provoking aggregation. It is targeted especially to young people, with the hope that it can convey to them a sense of motivation to activism by showing them what needs to be changed and what should remain and be honored in the great wide world. The book is dedicated to "young trailblazers, dreamers and problem solvers." Abad's philosophy can perhaps be encapsulated in one of the book's quotations, a Chinese proverb: "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand."

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