Discovering our world and its people

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Discovering our world and its people

Around the World in 60 Seconds: The Nas Daily Journey―1,000 Days. 64 Countries. 1 Beautiful Planet by Nuseir Yassin, Bruce Kluger, HarperOne, US $29.99, Pp 262, November 2019, ISBN 978-0062932679

In 2016, Nuseir (“Nas”) Yassin left his job and travel around the world for 1,000 days. He was not planning to go on usual tourist travels like sight-seeing and going to beaches. He wanted to set out to meet real people and see the places they call home and how they live. Nuseir Yassin, an Arab born in Israel, wanted to find out what is common between people living in villages in Africa and high-rises in Singapore. Most importantly, he decided to upload a single 60-second video every day for his Nas Daily Facebook followers “to highlight the amazing, terrifying, inspiring, and downright surprising sh*t happening all over the world” – 64 counties. In Around the World in 60 Seconds, Nuseir Yassin shares his experience of how different the world was than what he thought.

Many people will find Nuseir Yassin’s findings surprising if not shocking. He says that money, religion and politics are the three most sensitive subjects from North Pole to South Pole. Nuseir Yassin says that the people spend all their lives to make money but are not ready to discuss their worth. He says that if we all know how much the other person makes, the pay gap between men and women might not be as wide as it is today. Indeed, one of the reasons women get paid less than men is because they don’t know that their male colleagues are getting more. This is a worldwide phenomenon. We all make better financial decisions with the help of friends, family, and advisers who cannot help us if they don’t know our financial status. Everybody is secretive and worried about money, and that worry is usually bottled up. So the more we talk freely about our financial concerns, the more air we let out of our anxiety.

The second most sensitive subject is religion. Nuseir Yassin says that everyone thinks their religion is right. And if their religion is right, it only makes sense that everyone else’s is wrong — including mine and yours. This is one of the causes people of different faiths hate one another. Politics is the most sensitive of the three subjects. Nuseir Yassin says that we — no matter where we live — are beholden to politics every day. He writes, “As someone who spent his child his childhood in the hottest of global hot spots, I understand this in the most personal way. But I also believe that we complicate the problem by making discussions about politics, religion, or money verboten. As long as we learn to express our opinions civilly, why not share them with others? The worst thing that can happen is someone might change your mind.” It can also be the other way round – we change someone else’s political opinions.

Around the World in 60 Seconds is a hypnotic story of 1,000-day world tour of Nuseir Yassin. He goes to the counties most of us will never imagine going to. It is packed with knowledge about our world and how common people live in countries which are thousands of miles apart and have different civilizational histories. Nuseir Yassin has a unique way of looking at things and always tries to pierce the surface and see what most people usually miss. Nuseir Yassin’s findings can be surprising and shocking at times, depending on your knowledge of the world. It is equally packed with interesting and breath-taking stories. It is likely to change the way you look at your world and fellow human beings. It is based on his Nas Daily video series with more than 13 million followers.

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