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At the far end of a long, narrow commercial street in the Mattancherry section of Kochi (formerly known as Cochin), in the southern Indian state of Kerala, is <a href="/project/paradesi-synagogue">Paradesi Synagogue</a>. This remarkable building is the oldest synagogue in India and the British Commonwealth. It's also the only remaining active synagogue in Kochi, which for over a thousand years had a thriving Jewish population and seven houses of worship.
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Blog post | February 24, 2010

Mission to Port-au-Prince

Following the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, WMF Program Director for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, Norma Barbacci traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and reports that scores of monumental public buildings, including the Government Palace, as well as many of the most important churches, lay in ruins.
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Blog post | February 18, 2010

Mission to Santo Domingo and Jacmel

The aftershocks of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12 were still being felt three weeks later when, from February 3 to 6, 2010, WMF Program Director for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, Norma Barbacci, joined an international mission to Santo Domingo and Jacmel.
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Blog post | February 12, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

As the people of Haiti recover from this catastrophe, WMF is committed to helping in recovery efforts, bringing our expertise in disaster response to this devastated country. We will be coordinating our work in Haiti with HELP (Haitian Education & Leadership Program), the group that nominated the Gingerbread Houses of Port-au-Prince to the 2010 Watch.
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Blog post | February 03, 2010

A Nice Day For A Ride Along The Merritt Parkway

I lucked out when I scheduled my ride on the <a href="/project/bridges-merritt-parkway">Merritt Parkway</a> on a perfectly sunny, clear, cold day in early January. Jill Smyth, the Director of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy (MPC), picked me up at the Stamford train station and we began our visit with a drive to the southern gateway.
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Blog post | December 21, 2009

Climbing the Blue Mosque’s Minaret

Have you ever climbed a minaret? Admittedly, it can be scary to perch on a small balcony, over 100 feet above the ground. Next question: have you ever climbed a minaret FROM THE OUTSIDE?
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Blog post | December 18, 2009

Illuminating St. George’s Bloomsbury

The installation of a 17th-century Dutch chandelier this November marked the completion of WMF Britain’s seven-year, nine-million-pound restoration project at St. George’s Bloomsbury, master architect Nicholas Hawksmoor’s sixth and last London church.
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Blog post | December 16, 2009

Santiago: Heroic City

After <a href="/journal/old-havana-no-receipt-you">Havana,</a> I flew to Santiago, the second city of Cuba, located in the Oriente region at the eastern end of the island. It is called &ldquo;heroic city&rdquo; for its role as the cradle of all the revolutionary wars of Cuba. It was founded in 1515 and its first mayor was Hern&aacute;n Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico. Its wealth came from the production of coffee, copper, sugar, and, more recently, rum.
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Blog post | December 15, 2009

In Old Havana: No Receipt for You

Going to Cuba is always an adventure. On this, my fourth trip to the island, I stood out at the Miami airport while waiting in line with an all-male church group and several Cuban American families bringing multiple plastic-wrapped bundles.
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Blog post | December 14, 2009

Shaking Up Shaker Village

How easy is it to get a 4-wheel-drive 135-foot articulated man lift weighing 40,000 pounds stuck in the mud? Quite easy, as it turns out. That, at least, was our experience&mdash;Robert Silman, Mike Auren, Jenna Cellini, and me&mdash;who spent three days evaluating the condition of the wall masonry of the North Family Great Stone Barn at the Mt. Lebanon Shaker Village, in New Lebanon, NY.
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