It’s time again for our summer issue, which we traditionally devote to in-depth reports and travel writing. Our cover image is a lead-in to several reports on India, a nation trapped between hyper- modern urges and enduring rural traditions. After years of growth, India’s economy has witnessed a major slowdown. We take time out to examine its present and future. Italian Carlo Pizzati, a longtime Indian resident, supplies a longtime “Open Letter” to the country, in which he sings its praises but also issues cautions. As always, we pay close attention to Europe, with our “Western Shore” and “Eastern Shore” columns probing trends throughout the continent. Giuseppe Scognamiglio offers a sharp analysis of the strategies being adopted by European Union leaders as they attempt to guide the EU through crisis. Constanze Reuscher examines the role of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces both European and domestic challenges. On a different note, Alessandra Garusi writes about the Berlin branch of Reporters Sans Frontières, which has helped oppressed reporters flee turmoil in the Middle East and Iran. We also look at Nova Gorica and its Italian counterpart Gorizia, which have gone in different directions since the end of communism. Our “Inner Voices” column, which always has a personal touch, sees a young Greek archeologist weigh in on the trials and tribulations of a country that seems to furnish only bad news. On the Russian front, Astrit Dakli and Laura Betti visit the maternity ward in the town of Pushkino, coming away with more questions than answers, while Lucia Sgueglia, whom we publish for the first time, reports on the transformation of Grozny. Accompanying her report are wonderful images from acclaimed photographer Davide Monteleone, whose work we treasure. Another photographer, a young Russian named Igor Starkov, profiles the Siberian wilds of Tuva, where shamanism is alive and well. Linda Dorigo and Andrea Miluzzi take a look at the life of Christians in Iran, while another photographer, Luigi Baldelli, returns to troubled Kabul nearly 20 years after his first visit. Elsewhere, Giuliana Sgrena reports from Algeria, Antonio Picasso from Lebanon, and Farian Sabahi from Azerbaijan. We also offer articles on Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Taiwan. In addition to our usual columns, we welcome a new addition, “Obstacle Course,” by “Corriere della Sera” essayist Antonio Ferrari, which this time focuses on Saudi Arabia and will address the many challenges faced by democracy.
Happy reading and happy summer to all. Emanuele Bevilacqua