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Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was an American novelist, journalist. Mitchell wrote only one novel, published during her lifetime, the American Civil War-era novel Gone with the Wind, for which she won the National Book Award for Most Distinguished Novel of 1936 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937. In more recent years, a collection of Mitchell's girlhood writings and a novella she wrote as a teenager, Lost Laysen, have been published. A collection of articles written by Mitchell for The Atlanta Journal was republished in book form. Margaret Mitchell was native of Atlanta, Georgia, she was born in 1900 into a politically prominent family. Her father, Eugene Muse Mitchell, was an attorney, her mother, Mary Isabel "May Belle" Stephens, was a suffragist, she had two brothers, Russell Stephens Mitchell, who died in infancy in 1894, Alexander Stephens Mitchell, born in 1896. Mitchell's family on her father's side were descendants of Thomas Mitchell of Aberdeenshire, who settled in Wilkes County, Georgia in 1777, served in the American Revolutionary War.

Her grandfather, Russell Crawford Mitchell, of Atlanta, enlisted in the Confederate States Army on June 24, 1861, served in Hood's Texas Brigade. He was wounded at the Battle of Sharpsburg, demoted for "inefficiency," and detailed as a nurse in Atlanta. After the Civil War, he made a large fortune supplying lumber for the rapid rebuilding of Atlanta. Russell Mitchell had thirteen children from two wives. Mitchell's maternal great-grandfather, Philip Fitzgerald, emigrated from Ireland and settled on a slaveholding plantation near Jonesboro, where he had one son and seven daughters with his wife, Elenor. Mitchell's grandparents, married in 1863, were John Stephens. John Stephens was a prosperous real estate developer after the Civil War and one of the founders of the Gate City Street Railroad, a mule-drawn Atlanta trolley system. John and Annie Stephens had twelve children together. May Belle Stephens had studied at the Bellevue Convent in Quebec and completed her education at the Atlanta Female Institute.

The Atlanta Constitution reported that May Belle Stephens and Eugene Mitchell were married at the Jackson Street mansion of the bride's parents on November 8, 1892:...the maid of honor, Miss Annie Stephens, was as pretty as a French pastel, in a directoire costume of yellow satin with a long coat of green velvet sleeves, a vest of gold brocade... The bride was a fair vision of youthful loveliness in her robe of exquisite ivory white and satin...her slippers were white satin wrought with pearls...an elegant supper was served. The dining room was decked in white and green, illuminated with numberless candles in silver candlelabras... The bride's gift from her father was an elegant house and lot... At 11 o'clock Mrs. Mitchell donned a pretty going-away gown of green English cloth with its jaunty velvet hat to match and bid goodbye to her friends. Margaret Mitchell spent her early childhood on Jackson Hill, east of downtown Atlanta, her family lived near her maternal grandmother, Annie Stephens, in a Victorian house painted bright red with yellow trim.

Mrs. Stephens had been a widow for several years prior to Margaret's birth. After his death, she inherited property on Jackson Street. Grandmother Annie Stephens was both vulgar and a tyrant. After gaining control of her father Philip Fitzgerald's money after he died, she splurged on her younger daughters, including Margaret's mother, sent them to finishing school in the north. There they learned that Irish Americans were not treated as equal to other immigrants, that it was shameful to be a daughter of an Irishman. Margaret's relationship with her grandmother would become quarrelsome in years as she entered adulthood. However, for Margaret, her grandmother was a great source of "eye-witness information" about the Civil War and Reconstruction in Atlanta prior to her death in 1934. In an accident, traumatic for her mother although she was unharmed, when little Margaret was about three years old, her dress caught fire on an iron grate. Fearing it would happen again, her mother began dressing her in boys' pants, she was nicknamed "Jimmy", the name of a character in the comic strip, Little Jimmy.

Her brother insisted. Having no sisters to play with, Margaret said. Stephens Mitchell said his sister was a tomboy who would play with dolls and she liked to ride her Texas plains pony; as a little girl, Margaret went riding every afternoon with a Confederate veteran and a young lady of "beau-age". Margaret was raised in an era when children were "seen and not heard", she was not allowed to express her personality by running and screaming on Sunday afternoons while her family was visiting relatives. Margaret learned the gritty details of specific battles from these visits with aging Confederate soldiers, but she didn't learn that the South had lost the war until she was 10 years of age: "I heard everything in the world except that the Confederates lost the war. When I was ten years old, it was a violent shock to learn. I didn't believe it when I first heard I was indignant. I still find it hard to believe, so strong are childhood impressions." Her mother would swat her with a hairbrus

Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo was an Indian philosopher, guru and nationalist. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while was one of its influential leaders and became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution. Aurobindo studied for the Indian Civil Service at King's College, England. After returning to India he took up various civil service works under the maharaja of the princely state of Baroda and became involved in nationalist politics in the Indian National Congress and the nascent revolutionary movement in Bengal with the Anushilan Samiti, he was arrested in the aftermath of a number of bomb outrages linked to his organisation, but in a public trial where he faced charges of treason, Aurobindo could only be convicted and imprisoned for writing articles against British rule in India. He was released when no evidence could be provided, following the murder of a prosecution witness, Narendranath Goswami during the trial. During his stay in the jail, he had mystical and spiritual experiences, after which he moved to Pondicherry, leaving politics for spiritual work.

At Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo developed a spiritual practice. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a life divine, he believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated but transformed human nature, enabling a divine life on earth. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa, he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, his main literary works are The Life Divine. Aurobindo Ghose was born in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, India on 15 August 1872 in a Bengali Kayastha family, associated with the village of Konnagar in the Hoogly district, his father, Krishna Dhun Ghose, was assistant surgeon of Rangpur in Bengal and civil surgeon of Khulna, a former member of the Brahmo Samaj religious reform movement who had become enamoured with the then-new idea of evolution while pursuing medical studies in Edinburgh. His mother was Swarnalata Devi, whose father was Shri Rajnarayan Bose, a leading figure in the Samaj, she had been sent to the more salubrious surroundings of Calcutta for Aurobindo's birth.

Aurobindo had two elder siblings and Manmohan, a younger sister, a younger brother, Barindrakumar. Young Aurobindo was used Hindustani to communicate with servants. Although his family were Bengali, his father believed British culture to be superior, he and his two elder siblings were sent to the English-speaking Loreto House boarding school in Darjeeling, in part to improve their language skills and in part to distance them from their mother, who had developed a mental illness soon after the birth of her first child. Darjeeling was a centre of British life in India and the school was run by Irish nuns, through which the boys would have been exposed to Christian religious teachings and symbolism. Krishna Dhun Ghose wanted his sons to enter the Indian Civil Service, an elite organisation comprising around 1000 people. To achieve this it was necessary that they study in England and so it was there that the entire family moved in 1879; the three brothers were placed in the care of the Reverend W. H. Drewett in Manchester.

Drewett was a minister of the Congregational Church whom Krishna Dhun Ghose knew through his British friends at Rangapur. The boys were taught Latin by his wife; this was a prerequisite for admission to good English schools and, after two years, in 1881, the elder two siblings were enrolled at Manchester Grammar School. Aurobindo was considered too young for enrolment and he continued his studies with the Drewetts, learning history, French and arithmetic. Although the Drewetts were told not to teach religion, the boys were exposed to Christian teachings and events, which bored Aurobindo and sometimes repulsed him. There was little contact with his father, who wrote only a few letters to his sons while they were in England, but what communication there was indicated that he was becoming less endeared to the British in India than he had been, on one occasion describing the British Raj as a "heartless government". Drewett emigrated to Australia in 1884, causing the boys to be uprooted as they went to live with Drewett's mother in London.

In September of that year and Manmohan joined St Paul's School there. He learned Greek and spent the last three years reading literature and English poetry, while he acquired some familiarity with the German and Italian languages. Being exposed to the evangelical structures of Drewett's mother developed in him a distaste for religion, he considered himself at one point to be an atheist but determined that he was agnostic. A blue plaque unveiled in 2007 commemorates Aurobindo's residence at 49 St Stephen's Avenue in Shepherd's Bush, from 1884 to 1887; the three brothers began living in spartan circumstances at the Liberal Club in South Kensington during 1887, their father having experienced some financial difficulties. The Club's secretary was James Cotton, brother of their father's friend in the Bengal ICS, Henry Cotton. By

Al Sogara

Al Sogara is a village in Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate, Oman. It is located about 200 kilometers southwest of Muscat and some 40 kilometers from the main mountain city of Seih Qatana; the village is carved into the mountainside of the Jebel Akhdar known as the Green Mountain. Around 195 kilometers southwest of Muscat’s sand-fringed coastline, Oman’s dusty plains rise into the limestone folds of the Jabal al Akhdar, a massif 2,980 meters high; this maze of twisting valleys and deep canyons is one of the country’s most remote corners and as the road loses its asphalt, the only way forward is on foot, by mule, or by all-terrain vehicle. Al Sogara is described as one of the most remote villages in Oman, it is existed for more than 500 years. When the village was in its infancy, the villagers carved houses into the limestone, creating a protective barrier against storms and the winter cold. Presently, the village is a tiny community of 25 residents living on the edge of the Green Mountain; the villagers descend from the Al-Shariqi tribe.

Al Sogara has remained untouched for centuries. The village has since been modernized. Electricity has been installed to help provide power to cable cars aiding villagers with transportation and deliveries to and from the village. Due to the high altitude and rocky terrain, a helicopter helps deliver supplies to Al Sogara. In addition to electricity, the village now has a man-made water canal that provides fresh water to villagers. In 2019, BBC Travel visited Al Sogara and described it as the most remote village in the region