National Geographic : 2006 Jan
Forum Africa Special Issue I'm devouring the September issue like a man at an oasis. The depiction of our continent is the most truthful publication about Africa that I have ever read. ALEX TIBWITTA Nairobi,Kenya The cover proclaims, "Africa: Whatever you thought, think again." So what's to rethink? A review of the articles in the magazine reveals that the oil riches are still filling the pockets of the elite, the masses are still living in abject poverty, disease -especially AIDS-is still run ning rampant,and Pygmies would cease to exist if removed from the forest. Really, nothing has changed. LEE BELNAP Sandy, Utah Breathtaking. That is the word that describes the September FOR MORE INFORMATION Toget NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC please call 1-800-NGS-LINE (1-800-647-5463). Hearing-impaired TDD users may call 1-800 -548-9797. The magazine's website: ngm.com. For an online index of all National Geographic publications, goto: nationalgeographic.com/publications. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Africa- issue. I was shocked at the facts I learned compared with what I thought I knew. Africa has always been in my heart, and I always wanted to visit, so the pictures made me feel as if I were there. DIONA GECI San Diego, California Africa is a continent full of wonders and, may I add, places yet to discover. I was, however, disappointed when I saw little mention of North Africa in the September issue. The Libyan Sahara and its prehistoric cave drawings and endangered wildlife deserve a chance to be brought to light. I am an African, and I am speaking on behalf of the forgotten north. HALA GHERIANI St. Louis, Missouri FROM OUR ONLINE FORUM ngm.com/0509 The September issue is sobering in its overall tenor (as it has to be). Unfortunately the situation is much worse than you portray. Unless we recognize the true ills that beset our continent, we will never do anything serious to cor rect them. Our problems derive from "isms"-colonialism, com munism, capitalism, socialism, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * JANUARY 2006 September 2005 vvnaever Most letters this month addressed the you thought, special issue as a whole instead of think again. individual stories-some expressed , gratitude for the words andpictures, while others responded to the cover line, "Whatever you thought, think again." Jared Diamond's "The Shape ofAfrica" also sparked comments. One reader wrote, "All my 'hows' and 'whys' on the continent'spresent state have been answered." NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "Forthe increaseand diffusion of geographicknowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 8,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. 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