Two Worlds Apart

The Mediterranean Sea separates Europe from Africa, with the closest point being between the two sides of the Straights of Gibraltar. On one side to the north are the very rich, developed nations of the west, with their huge economic and military power. On the other side to the south, separated by only a matter of kilometres lies Africa, with its poverty, underdevelopment, war, famine and disease.

While in other places it is possible to be struck by the culture shock of flying from a modern built up city such as Paris, to the simple depths of despair in a dessert town of Darfur over the course of a few days, here is the place where the difference between worlds is simply a two hour boat ride.

In a world of plenty it would seem to me that the current flow of wealth from rich to poor, whether looked at on the neighbourhood scale, a local regional setting, within nation states, between countries, or across civilisations, is so small as to be completely discountable in the greater transactions of day to day life. It is a sad failure of the natural human trading and capitalist systems that there is no innate pressure which encourages anyone, myself, my friends, my country or fellow westerners, to share the huge excess riches we have with those who have nothing, and so continue to suffer every day.

The two most clearly visible sides of the coin physically separated by only a stretch of water, but culturally and economically separated by the impervious barrier of self interest.

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