The land of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is positioned in the twenty-first century in the Great Leap Forward. Today's Great March is the fast-forward movement of the globe's largest buoyant economy and the largest global population. One of the world's earliest and most brilliant of civilisations casts its long shadow over the land and its people. Home to Chairman Mao's communism, China has embraced capitalism and consumerism with vigour. Home (Beijing) to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City from its distant past, Shanghai in the twenty-first century offers an architectural playground with its surrealistic soaring skyline. Ancient calligraphic scrolls offer inscrutable writings, so too do Harry Potter posters in Chinese. The land that created chow mein, chop suey, chopsticks, dim sum dumplings and ramen noodles is the same land that today hosts innumerable KFCs, McDonald's and Starbucks. New elite trailblazers China's Me Generation have replaced China's Mao Generation. The ancient Middle Kingdom credo with China as the globe's centre-stage is revived as China hosts Olympic 2008 and World Expo 2010. Symbolic of China's past, future and present are the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming. Weaving her travels within these metropolises, Raana Haider in a tale of three cities explores China: Contrasting Contours the past glories and the present vibrancy of a country in the midst of multi-metamorphoses.
Raana Haider has an MA in Sociology from, the American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon. The author's last book A Perspective in Development: Gender Focus was published by the University Press Limited, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1995. A second reprint of the book appeared in 2000. An edition of the book was also published by the American University of Cairo Press, Cairo, Egypt in 1996. A life-long indefatigable traveler, Raana Haide's first sojourn to a foreign land was to Syria in 1950. As the daughter and wife of diplomats, travel and discovery are passionate occupations. Raana Haider is also a sociologist with research on her mind and there are places that have touched her heart. Her interests have come together in