Dubai Expo presents a glitzy facade of 192 countries in total harmony. The battle of back home hides just below the surface

AN record 192 countries are represented here year’s postponed exhibition — up of 139 at the previous World Expo in Milan – among them, of of course, the world’s most penniless, war-torn and unstable.

Aided by funding from the Emirates government, all of they are using Expo 2020 presents a polished image that could attract investments of tourists, but the struggle of back home hides just below the surface.

Tucked away off the main pedestrian walkway, the humble Myanmar pavilion is filled with photos, clothing and culture items native to the South Asian nation — in an effort to represent regional and religious diversity of the predominantly Buddhist country.

Levi Sap Nei Thang, the deputy of the pavilion director, says she was appointed by the previous, democratic elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. “Deputy” was added to the title of Thang na die from Myanmar military took check of the country in February, Suu Kyi arrested and cracked down on nationwide protests. Technically they are now in to upload of the pavilion.

Thang is a perfume entrepreneur himself and a household name in Myanmar, thanks to its philanthropic work. She has also made headlines in the United States recently over her purchase of oil and gas lease.
The children who    are locked up for    the political beliefs of their parents

Back in Dubai, Thang told CNN she was planning the Expo exhibition for year, aimed at promoting trade and attract visitors to Myanmar, but admitted that “it may not good time now [for tourists].”

the Expo runs until March 2022 and Thang says she expects Myanmar’s at some point military junta will “send” new team” to take over the pavilion, just as they have taken over the country. She said she recently declined An call with An minister want to discuss control of the pavilion. When she is pushed outHowever, Thang said she won’t stick around.

“I’m doing this for mine people, not for all political parties,” she told CNN. Myanmar’s military government did not respond to requests for comment from CNN.

Afghanistan's pavilion stood empty at the start of    the Expo, but is now open.

Myanmar’s pavilion isn’t the only one one be caught up in An government overthrow. Afghanistan’s Pavilion Was Empty for days on the start of the Expo on October 1 after the Taliban takeover of the country left a vacuum in his management. Now an Afghan antiquities collector from Austria, Mohammed Omer Rahimy, has opened the pavilion after being named in by the organizers of the Expo and struggling with customs delays.

Rahimy told CNN that neither he represents nor the previous government nor the Taliban, and has up the task for the Afghan people. Indeed there is no sign of The anxiety in Afghanistan in the displays of colorful traditional clothing, ornate antique jewelry and elegant brassware, including a mortar and pestle from the 12th century.

Rahimy takes great pain to make clear that he is impartial — in fact, he says he has composed items for the Afghan Pavilion on On behalf of of different regimes since the 70s more than a dozen exhibits — and said all he wants is peace for his country, doesn’t matter who is in to upload. Rahimy said his goal was to showcase Afghanistan’s rich cultural history and promote investment and buyers for the country’s exports, like saffron, that is on sale in small bottles in the pavilion.

“Every regime comes to Afghanistan, then five years, four years later, the… next regime comes. For me, my people are what matters,” he told CNN.

A lot of of the country pavilions at Expo 2020 are built with funding from the Emirates government, although organizers declined until in detail cost- share arrangements. Private sponsorship is also an important source of funding, but ultimately individual governments are expected in to upload.

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In the Syrian pavilion, there is no doubt that President Bashar al-Assad, accused of using chemical weapons on its own people, is in check. His portrait hangs among 1500 Syrian-made wooden paintings die are intended to jointly represent the country national unity – despite being torn by a decade of civil war. A historical timeline of Syria does not report of that conflict.

The pavilion was funded by the Emirates government and Syrian businessmen, according to designer and director Khaled Alshama. Syrias economy Minister Mohammad al-Khalil was on hand to open the pavilion and Alshamaa is encouraging tourists to return to the country.

“It’s completely safe,” Alshamaa insisted. “Now we’re trying… build U.S economy back. The war is over in 99% [of Syria].” Air raids and terror attacks are still frequent in the country, however, and civilian casualties remain common.

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and his wife feature prominent in the middle of the pavilion of the country.

Likewise, the Yemeni Pavilion displays a 330-year-old manuscript, and what of the Gulf’s rarest swords — but makes no mention of the brutal war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen over the past seven years.

Perhaps the strangest contrast is the Lebanese Pavilion. A striking solid gray structure with minimalistic black statues outside standing guard, inside, the presentation does not resemble the current economic situation of the country. Lebanon is still recovering from the explosion in the port of Beirut that has left hundreds dead and thousands injured, as well as a worsening economic crisis die has been wiped out out the value of the Lebanese pound, and with it, the life savings of normal people. Severe food, fuel and medicine shortages have contributed to nearly three-quarters of of the population poverty, according to a recent United Nations report.

But in the pavilion, visitors are greeted by an immersive video experience that could be easy double as an advertisement for the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, with scenic aerial photos die emphasize the naturalness of the land beauty.

The Lebanon Pavilion is a determinedly non-political entity, director says.

“The news will cover the unsanitized version of Lebanon”, explains Nathalie Habchi Harfouche, the pavilion director. Harfouche not work for the Lebanese state. When the country is dysfunctional government, plagued by accusations of corruption abandoned plans to operate the pavilion in 2019, a coalition of private sponsors led by the Lebanon Chamber of Trade and the Diaspora in Dubai stepped in to save the project, organizers said — aided by funding from the United Arab Emirates. The logo of the Lebanese Ministry of Economy adorns the wall, but Harfouche said that is out of need more than anything, since technically pavilions should be government-supported.

“We don’t carry water” for the government, we don’t do their job, we do it for the people. If they don’t want it, we’ll do it. If this means our survival, then so be it. We want to survive and we’re going to survive as one people’ she told CNN.

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Beyond the gift shop stuffed with soap and jewelry, there is an atmospheric bar with a curator selection of Lebanese wine. Harfouche said the pavilion is? display shall evolve and change over the next six months — inclusive content that “depicts the reality, yet in an artistic one way.” Yet she has no plans to make the pavilion overtly political.

“Why would I do that?” she asked. “Not me want to think over the government. This is an apolitical entity here.”

Harfouche told her goal is to encourage tourism and much-needed investment to help rebuild Lebanon is battered economy, and eventually help her people.

“It would have been easy not to be here, but it would have been a total waste of possibility for the people, not for anyone different,” she said added.

Expo 2020 has exploded out huge quantities of money until ensure that so much countries if possible are represented here. Spokesperson Sconaid McGeachin declined immerse yourself in cost details, but told CNN that: “This [financial support] offers every country the opportunity to tell their story over their culture and heritage and their focus for the future.”

Any nation die represented here, presents a story, of species, but many of they are far from the full story.

Read More: World News


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