The_Bahamas by zzzmarcus


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The Bahamas

The Bahamas
Commonwealth of The Bahamas 2007 estimate 1990 census Density 330,549[2] (177th) 254,685 23.27/km2 (181st) 60/sq mi 2008 estimate $9.228 billion[3] (145th) $27,394[3] (38th) 2008 estimate $7.463 billion[3] $22,156[3] ▲ 0.845 (high) (49th) Dollar (BSD) EST (UTC−5) EDT (UTC−4) left .bs +1-242

GDP (PPP) Total Per capita GDP (nominal) Total Per capita HDI (2007) Currency Time zone Summer (DST) Drives on the Internet TLD Calling code


Motto: "Forward, Upward, Onward Together" Anthem: "March On, Bahamaland" Royal anthem: "God Save the Queen"


25°4′N 77°20′W / 25.067°N 77.333°W / 25.067; -77.333

Official languages Ethnic groups

English 85% Black (esp. West African), 12% European, 3% Other Bahamian Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy Queen Elizabeth II Arthur Dion Hanna Hubert A. Ingraham from the United Kingdom 1967 July 10, 1973[1]

Demonym Government


Monarch GovernorGeneral Prime Minister

Independence Self-governing Full independence Area Total Water (%)

The Bahamas from space. NASA Aqua satellite image, 2009 The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an independent, English-speaking country consisting of 2,387 rocks, 661 cays and 29 islands. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the United States; northeast to east of Cuba, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic & Haiti) and north to east of the Caribbean Sea; and west to

13,878 km2 (160th) 5,358 sq mi 28%



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Its size is almost 14,000 km2 with an estimated population of 330,000. Its capital is Nassau. It remains a Commonwealth realm.

The Bahamas
crown colony in 1718 under the royal governorship of Woodes Rogers, who, after a difficult struggle, succeeded in suppressing piracy.[7] During the American Revolutionary War, the islands were a target for American naval forces under the command of Commodore Ezekial Hopkins. The capital of Nassau on island of New Providence was occupied by US Marines for a fortnight. In 1782, after the British defeat at Yorktown, a Spanish fleet appeared off the coast of Nassau, which surrendered without fight. But the 1783 Treaty of Versailles — which ended the global conflict between Britain, France and Spain — returned the Bahamas to British sovereignty. After the American Revolution, some 7,300 loyalists and their slaves moved to the Bahamas from New York, Florida and the Carolinas. These Americans established plantations on several islands and became a political force in the capital. The small population became mostly African from this point on. The British abolished the slave trade in 1807, which led to the forced settlement on Bahamian islands of thousands of Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy. Slavery itself was finally abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834. Modern political development began after the Second World War. The first political parties were formed in the 1950s and the British made the islands internally self-governing in 1964, with Roland Symonette of the United Bahamian Party as the first premier. In 1967, Lynden Pindling of the Progressive Liberal Party became the first black premier of the colony, and in 1968 the title was changed to prime minister. In 1973, the Bahamas became fully independent, but retained membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Sir Milo Butler was appointed the first black governor-general (the representative of Queen Elizabeth II) shortly after independence. Based on the twin pillars of tourism and offshore finance, the Bahamian economy has prospered since the 1950s. However, there remain significant challenges in areas such as education, health care, international narcotics trafficking and illegal immigration from Haiti. The origin of the name "Bahamas" is unclear. It may derive from the Spanish baja

The seafaring Taino people moved into the uninhabited southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba around the 7th century AD. These people came to be known as the Lucayans. There were an estimated 30,000+ Lucayans at the time of Columbus’ arrival in 1492. Christopher Columbus’ first landfall in the New World was on an island named San Salvador (known to the Lucayans as Guanahani), which is generally accepted to be present-day San Salvador Island, (also known as Watling’s Island) in the southeastern Bahamas. Here, Columbus made first contact with the Lucayans and exchanged goods with them. The Spaniards who followed Columbus depopulated the islands, carrying most of the indigenous people off into slavery. The Lucayans throughout the Bahamas were wiped out by exposure to diseases for which they had no immunity.[4] The smallpox that ravaged the Taino Indians after Columbus’s arrival wiped out half of the population on what is now the Bahamas.[5] It is generally assumed that the islands were uninhabited until the mid-17th century. However, recent research suggests that there may have been attempts to settle the islands by groups from Spain, France, and Britain, as well as by other Amerindians. In 1648, the Eleutherian Adventurers migrated from Bermuda. These English puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named Eleuthera — the name derives from the Greek word for freedom. They later settled New Providence, naming it Sayle’s Island after one of their leaders. To survive, the settlers resorted to salvaged goods from wrecks. In 1670 King Charles II granted the islands to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas, who rented the islands from the king with rights of trading, tax, appointing governors, and administering the country.[6] During proprietary rule, the Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard. To restore orderly government, the Bahamas was made a British


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mar, meaning "shallow seas"; or the Lucayan word for Grand Bahama Island, ba-ha-ma "large upper middle land". Precipitation Rank (mm) 1 (in) Storm

The Bahamas
Location Long Island[8]

Geography and Climate

747.5 29.43 Noel 2007 508.0 20.00 Donna 1960 436.6 17.19 Flora 1963 390.1 15.36 Inez 1966

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Duncan Town[10] Nassau Airport[10]

321.1 12.64 Michelle Nassau[11] 2001 309.4 12.18 Erin 1995 260.0 9.88 236.7 9.32 216.4 8.52 207.0 8.15 Fay 2008 Floyd 1999 Cleo 1964 Betsy 1965 Church Grove[12] Freeport[13] Little Harbor Abacos[14] West End[10] Green Turtle Cay[10]

Map of the Bahamas The closest island to the United States is Bimini, which is also known as the gateway to the Bahamas. The island of Abaco is to the east of Grand Bahama, also known as the "Big Island". The southeasternmost island is Great Inagua. Other notable islands include the Bahamas’ largest island, Andros Island, and Eleuthera, Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Exuma and Mayaguana. Nassau, the Bahamas capital city, lies on the island of New Providence. All the islands are low and flat, with ridges that usually rise no more than 15 to 20 m (49 to 66 ft). The highest point in the country is Mount Alvernia, formerly called Como Hill, which has an altitude of 63 metres (210 ft) on Cat Island. To the southeast, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and three more extensive submarine features called Mouchoir Bank, Silver Bank, and Navidad Bank, are geographically a continuation of the Bahamas, but not part of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Wettest tropical cyclones in the Bahamas

The climate of the Bahamas is subtropical to tropical, and is moderated significantly by the waters of the Gulf Stream, particularly in winter.[15] Conversely, this often proves very dangerous in the summer and autumn, when hurricanes pass near or through the islands. Hurricane Andrew hit the northern islands during the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season, and Hurricane Floyd hit most of the islands during the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Frances hit in 2004; the Atlantic hurricane season of 2004 was expected to be the worst ever for the islands. Also in 2004, the northern Bahamas were hit by a less potent Hurricane Jeanne. In 2005 the northern islands were once again struck, this time by Hurricane Wilma. In Grand Bahama, tidal surges and high winds destroyed homes and schools, floated graves and made roughly 1,000 people homeless, most of whom lived on the west coast of the island. While there has never been a freeze reported in the Bahamas, the temperature can fall as low as 2-3°C during Arctic outbreaks that affect nearby Florida. Snow has been reported to have mixed with rain in Freeport in January, 1977, the same time that it snowed in the Miami, FL area. The temperature was about 5°C at the time.


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The Bahamas

The districts of the Bahamas provide a system of local government everywhere in The Bahamas except New Providence, whose affairs are handled directly by the central government. The districts other than New Providence are: 1. Acklins 18. Mangrove 2. Berry Islands Cay, Andros Dis3. Bimini 19. Mayaguana tricts of 4. Black Point, 20. Moore’s the Exuma Island, Abaco Ba5. Cat Island 21. North Abaco hamas 6. Central Abaco 22. North Andros 7. Central Andros 23. 8. Central Eleuthera 9. City of Freeport, 24. Grand Bahama 10. Crooked Island 25. 11. East Grand 26. Bahama 27. 12. Exuma 28. 13. Grand Cay, Abaco 29. 14. Harbour Island, Eleuthera 30. 15. Hope Town, Abaco 16. Inagua 31. 17. Long Island North Eleuthera Ragged Island Rum Cay San Salvador South Abaco South Andros South Eleuthera Spanish Wells, Eleuthera West Grand Bahama

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham members appointed by the governor-general, including nine on the advice of the prime minister, four on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and three on the advice of the prime minister after consultation with the leader of the opposition. The House of Assembly carries out all major legislative functions. As under the Westminster system, the prime minister may dissolve parliament and call a general election at any time within a five-year term. The prime minister is the head of government and is the leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Assembly. Executive power is exercised by the cabinet, selected by the prime minister and drawn his supporters in the House of Assembly. The current governor-general is Arthur Dion Hanna and the current prime minister is Hubert Ingraham. The Bahamas has a largely two-party system dominated by the centre-left Progressive Liberal Party and the centre-right Free National Movement. A handful of splinter parties have been unable to win election to parliament. These parties have included the Bahamas Democratic Movement, the Coalition for Democratic Reform and the Bahamian Nationalist Party. Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Although the Bahamas is not geographically located in the Caribbean, it is a member of the Caribbean Community. The

Government and politics

Bahamian Parliament, located in downtown Nassau The Bahamas is a sovereign independent nation. Political and legal traditions closely follow those of the United Kingdom and the Westminster system. The Bahamas is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state (represented by a governorgeneral). Legislative power is vested in a bicameral parliament, which consists of a 41-member House of Assembly (the lower house), with members elected from single-member districts, and a 16-member Senate, with


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Jurisprudence is based on English law.

The Bahamas
such dolls are the result of the American imagination and not based on historic fact.[20]

Population: 307,541 (July 2008 est.) Age structure: 0–14 years: 29% (male 43,964; female 43,250) 15–64 years: 64.7% (male 95,508; female 98,859) 65 years and over: 6.3% (male 7,948; female 11,000) (2002 est.) Population growth rate: 0.86% (2002 est.) Birth rate: 18.69 births/1,000 population (2002 est.) Death rate: 7.49 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.) Net migration rate: -2.63 migrant(s)/ 1,000 population (2002 est.) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15–64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2002 est.) Infant mortality rate: 17.08 deaths/ 1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.87 years. Female: 73.49 years (2002 est.) Male: 66.32 years Total fertility rate: 2.28 children born/ woman (2002 est.) Nationality: noun: Bahamian(s) Adjective: Bahamian Ethnic groups: black 85%, white 12%, Asian 3% Religions: Baptist 32%, Anglican 20%, Roman Catholic 19%, Methodist 6%, Church of God 6%, other Protestant 12%, none or unknown 3%, other 2%[16] The ’other’ category includes Jews, Muslims, Baha’is, Hindus, Rastafarians, and practitioners of Obeah.[17] Languages: English (official), Bahamian Dialect, [18] Literacy (age 15+): total population: 98.2% male: 98.5% female: 98% (1995 est.)[19]

Junkanoo celebration in Nassau Obeah, a religion of folk magic, sorcery, and religious practices derived from Central African and West African origins, is practiced in some of the Family Islands (out-islands) of the Bahamas. Junkanoo is a street parade with music, which occurs in many towns across The Bahamas every Boxing Day (December 26), New Year’s Day and, more recently, in the summer on the island of Grand Bahama. The largest Junkanoo parade happens in Nassau, the capital. Junkanoo is a Bahamian cultural expression, which has been derived from Bahamians’ ancestry. In theses parades, the locals showcase a wonderful part of their culture in three forms: Music, Art and Dance. There is a huge controversy about the origin of Junkanoo, as many historians have offered explanations for the origins and beginning of this festival. The most accepted one is that the word “Junkanoo” comes from the name John Canoe, who was an African prince and slave trader operating on the Gold Coast in the seventeenth (17th) century. He was said to have outwitted the English and subsequently gained control of Fort Brandenbury. Therefore, the Dutch and English alike feared him. However, to the slaves, he was a hero and was worshipped and idolized by them. Those slaves who were brought here to the Bahamas kept up this distinct form of worship. In the pre-Emancipation era, the slaves were allowed three (3) days off during the year: 1st January, 25th December and 26th December. On the 1st January and the 26th December, they were allowed to perform their Junkanoo festival. The 26th December

In the less developed outer islands, handicrafts include basketry made from palm fronds. This material, commonly called "straw", is plaited into hats and bags that are popular tourist items. Another use is for socalled "Voodoo dolls," despite the fact that


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was the day for exchanging gifts and visiting friends. After Emancipation however, the festival continued, and individual characters such as Neptune and Amphitrite portrayed John Canoe. On the entertainment and arts side, the Bahamas is well known for having talented songwriters, vocalists, actors and had its’ first movie produced and released in 1996. Regattas are important social events in many family island settlements. They usually feature one or more days of sailing by oldfashioned work boats, as well as an onshore festival. Some settlements have festivals associated with the traditional crop or food of that area, such as the "Pineapple Fest" in Gregory Town, Eleuthera or the "Crab Fest" on Andros. Other significant traditions include story telling.

The Bahamas
Lewis, Chandra Sturrup, Sevatheda Fynes & Pauline Davis-Thompson. In the 2000 Sydney Olympics the "Golden Girls" were born, Pauline Davis-Thompson, Debbie Ferguson, Sevatheda Fynes, Chandra Sturrup & Eldece Clark-Lewis by winning gold in the women’s 4 x 100m relay. Pauline Davis-Thompson also won silver in the women’s 200m in Sydney. In 2004 Athens Tonique Williams-Darling won gold in the 400m finishing in 49.41(s) & Debbie Ferguson placed third in women’s 200m 22.30(s). At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Andretti Bain, Michael Mathieu, Andrae Williams and Christopher Brown won the Silver medal in the 4 x 400m men’s relay team. Leevan Sands aka "Superman" also won an Olympic medal for the Bahamas in the men’s triple jump after placing third with 17.59/+0.9 (Distance (m)/ Wind (m/s) setting a national record.

Sailing and Cricket are the national sports of The Bahamas even though Cricket is not as popular compared to its Caribbean counterparts. Track and field athletics, football (soccer) and basketball are the most popular sports in the country. Other popular sports such as softball, swimming (sport), baseball, American football, rugby boxing,golf and tennis also have strong followings. Bahamians are also very active in the world of judo and karate the current Bahamian champion is Genevieve Siddons. Squash and bowling are slowly gaining popularity. The National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas is named The Thomas A. Robinson Stadium. Other Large facilities include the Grand Bahama Sports Complex located in Freeport, Bahamas the nation’s second largest city. The Bahamas competed in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. In 1956, Sloan Farrington & Durward Knowles won a bronze medal in sailing. The first Olympic gold medal for the Bahamas was won in sailing (Sir Durwood Knowles and Cecile Cooke in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan). After a losing streak of 28 years at the Olympics the Bahamas won bronze the men’s triple jump through Frank Rutherford. As for track & field the Bahamas placed second in the women’s 4 x 100m in 1996 with Eldece Clark-


Logo of the Bahamas

Atlantis Paradise Island: Tourism plays an important part in the economy of the Bahamas. The Bahamian dollar is pegged to the US dollar, and US notes and coins are used interchangeably with Bahamian currency for most


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bahamas
duplicating facilities and services throughout the archipelago. There are no income, corporate or capital gains taxes. Government revenues are derived from import tariffs, excise taxes, property taxes, stamp taxes, business licenses and fees.

See also
Coco Cay, a privately leased island by the cruise company Royal Caribbean International practical purposes. However, government exchange controls still apply for the purchase of foreign currency. The Bahamas is classified as an upper middle-income developing country and has the third highest per capita income in the western hemisphere (after the United States and Canada). Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting for about two thirds of the gross domestic product (GDP). Offshore finance is the second largest industry, accounting for about 15 per cent of GDP. The government continues to promote tourism and financial services while aiming for greater diversification through agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and ecommerce. In the 1960s, the country enjoyed robust growth averaging 9 per cent annually as direct foreign investment spurred the development of tourism. A global economic downturn after the 1973 oil price shock coincided with Bahamian independence and led to a drop in foreign investment. Toward the end of that decade economic performance improved, led by growth in tourism. Real GDP growth in the 1980-84 period averaged 3 per cent, but declined in the late 1980s. GDP growth was 0.3 per cent in 1995 and accelerated to 6 per cent in 1999. After 9/11 the economy slumped temporarily due to travel fears, but began growing again in 2002. Historically, most development has occurred on New Providence and Grand Bahama, causing significant migration from the Family Islands to these two urban centers and straining their infrastructure. The government is also faced with the burden of • • • • • • • • Commonwealth of Nations List of Bahamas-related articles List of Bahamas-related topics List of international rankings Outline of the Bahamas Outline of geography Outline of North America United Nations


[1] "1973: Bahamas’ sun sets on British Empire" (HTML). BBC News. July 9, 1973. dates/stories/july/9/newsid_2498000/ 2498835.stm. Retrieved on 2009-05-01. [2] Population estimates for the Bahamas take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected. [3] ^ "The Bahamas". International Monetary Fund. external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/01/weodata/ weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1& Retrieved on 2009-04-22. [4] "Looking for Columbus". Joanne E. Dumene. Five Hundred Magazine. April 1990, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 11-15 [5] Schools Grapple With Columbus’s Legacy: Intrepid Explorer or Ruthless Conqueror?. Education Week. October 9, 1991. [6] "Diocesan History" (HTML). © Copyright 2009 Anglican Communications Department. 2009. Retrieved on 2009-05-07. [7] [|Woodard, Colin] (2007). The Republic of Pirates. Harcourt, Inc. pp. 166-168, 262-314. ISBN 978-0-15-603462-3.


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[8] Brown, Daniel (2007-12-17). "Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Noel (28 October - 2 November 2007)". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved on 2007-12-25. [9] Turks and Caicos Islands Red Cross (2007). Turks and Caicos Islands 2007 Hurricane Guide. Retrieved on 2008-06-15. [10] ^ David Roth (2009). Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Maxima. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved on 2007-03-15. [11] Beven, Jack (2002-01-23). "Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Michelle (29 October - 5 November 2001)". National Hurricane Center. 2001michelle.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-25. [12] Rappaport, Edward (1995-11-26). "Preliminary Report: Hurricane Erin (31 July - 6 August 1995)". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved on 2007-12-25. [13] Stacey R. Stewart and John L. Beven III (2009). Tropical Cyclone Report: Tropical Storm Fay 15-26 August 2008. National Hurricane Center. Retrieved on 2009-02-09. [14] Pasch, Richard (1999-11-18). "Preliminary Report: Hurricane Floyd (7 - 17 September 1999)". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved on 2007-12-25. [15] Location and General Description Bahamian dry forests, The Encyclopedia of Earth [16] Religion, Faith and God in the Bahamas accessed 8 August 2008 [17] Bahamas - International Religious Freedom Report 2005 - accessed 8 August 2008 [18] Bahamas Languages - accessed August 8, 2008 [19] The Bahamas guide [20] Hurbon, Laennec. "American Fantasy and Haitian Vodou.” Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. Ed. Donald J. Cosentino. Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1995. 181–97.

The Bahamas

Further reading
General history
• Cash Philip et al. (Don Maples, Alison Packer). The Making of the Bahamas: A History for Schools. London: Collins, 1978. • Albury, Paul. The Story of The Bahamas. London: MacMillan Caribbean, 1975. • Miller, Hubert W. The Colonization of the Bahamas, 1647–1670, The William and Mary Quarterly 2 no.1 (January 1945): 33–46. • Craton, Michael. A History of the Bahamas. London: Collins, 1962. • Craton, Michael and Saunders, Gail. Islanders in the Stream: A History of the Bahamian People. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992 • McCartney, Donald M., "Bahamian Culture And Factors Which Impact Upon It". Pittsburgh, PA: Dorrance Publishing,:) 2004

Economic history
• Johnson, Howard. The Bahamas in Slavery and Freedom. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishing, 1991. • Johnson, Howard. The Bahamas from Slavery to Servitude, 1783–1933. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1996. • Alan A. Block. Masters of Paradise, New Brunswick and London, Transaction Publishers, 1998. • Storr, Virgil H. Enterprising Slaves and Master Pirates: Understanding Economic Life in the Bahamaz. New York: Peter Lang, 2004.

Social history
• Johnson, Wittington B. Race Relations in the Bahamas, 1784–1834: The Nonviolent Transformation from a Slave to a Free Society. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas, 2000. • Shirley, Paul. "Tek Force Wid Force", History Today 54, no. 41 (April 2004): 30–35. • Saunders, Gail. The Social Life in the Bahamas 1880s–1920s. Nassau: Media Publishing, 1996. • Saunders, Gail. Bahamas Society After Emancipation. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishing, 1990.


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• Curry, Jimmy. Filthy Rich Gangster/First Bahamian Movie. Movie Mogul Pictures: 1996. • Curry, Jimmy. To The Rescue/First Bahamian Rap/Hip Hop Song. Royal Crown Records, 1985.

The Bahamas
• The Official Tourism Website of The Islands Of The Bahamas • Official website for Bahamas government • Bahamas travel guide from Wikitravel • Bahamas Financial Services Board • The Bahamas Constitution • Bahamas entry at The World Factbook • The Bahamas at UCB Libraries GovPubs • The Bahamas at the Open Directory Project

External links
• Wikimedia Atlas of Bahamas

Retrieved from "" Categories: Bahamas, Current monarchies, Members of the Commonwealth of Nations, Island countries, CARICOM members, Settlements established in 1647, English-speaking countries and territories, Constitutional monarchies, Liberal democracies, States and territories established in 1973 This page was last modified on 19 May 2009, at 05:07 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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