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In Angola everything is interwoven: life and death, war and peace. Ostensibly, this book is in two voices: Tamar Golan, Israel’s first Ambassador to Angola, deals with the political/diplomatic aspects, while the stories on gorillas, the Black giant sable and Nature are by zoologist/ecologist, Tamar Ron. But in reality, the book has one voice, one of love for Angola, its long-suffering people, vast landscapes and wild animals, and their ongoing struggle for survival. Africa is associated with war, disease, oil, diamonds, hunger, corruption, destruction, death—a lost and forlorn world. In Angola all these are manifest, yet the authors fell in love with the country, with the wonderful people, the children and the women, whose daily struggle for survival arouses both sympathy and admiration, with Angola’s enchanting natural beauty, mysterious cultures, rare biodiversity and fiery sunsets over an endless ocean.

For many years a bloody war of independence raged and, as soon at it ended, the country was thrown into a terrible civil war, during the height of the Cold War. Millions were killed, maimed, or lost their homes. The war is now over but the minefields still claim their gruesome harvest. Everything is interwoven: life and death, war and peace; children who know no childhood and adults who dream of a long-lost innocence; men and women, tough warriors who suddenly find softness and warmth in their souls; betrayal of and return to tradition; man and Nature, their fates irrevocably intertwined. “Calma, calma!” is the answer for every problem—your visa has expired, you are wracked with malaria, there’s a power cut and you’re stuck in the elevator between the 15th and 16th floors ... yet things have a way of working themselves out in Angola. But there is something pleasant in the air, something calming, warm, comforting. Something that can only be described as calma, calma!

Paperback, 272 pages.