“It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. It’s a world of hope and a world of fears. There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all.”
Quick history lesson: the song “It’s a Small World” was written by the Sherman brothers, Richard and Robert, for a Walt Disney ride that debuted at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair and is now a staple at Disney amusement parks around the world. While the song is sometimes cursed as one of the more annoying earworms (songs that get stuck in your head for no reason and are hard to shake), there is a simple truth to the message of the song.
The world is not as big as it once seemed. People everywhere are experiencing the same joys and—more frequently—sorrows, or at least similar emotions brought on by far-reaching events. The tsunami of December 26, 2004 was not just a disaster that affected one part of the world; many nations lost citizens and every country was affected. March 11, 2004, bombs explode on the transit system in Madrid (during rush hour); July 7, 2005, bombs explode in the subway system and on a city bus in London (during rush hour). The September 11 (2001) attacks took place during rush hour. Sort of. In each of these attacks, and every bombing or hostage situation that has occurred, more than just the city inhabitants have been affected; so too have any visitors to the city, as well as family and friends of any person remotely connected to the city.
Disasters—both natural and man-made—can be found on every continent, in every country and it can wreak the same devastating havoc on the lives of those who experience it.
Terrorist bombings of any kind—those launched by religious extremists or local “freedom fighters”—are not new occurrences, but the seeming increase in incidents of recent years are a clear indication that every step society can take to safeguard its citizens and visitors should be planned for, and the sooner, the better.
It’s 38 miles from Stafford, Va. (Window Film magazine headquarters) to Washington D.C., and 5,849 miles (9,412 km ) from here to Cairo, Egypt. Yet the security needs of those who live and work in and around the U.S. capitol are on par with those needed by the citizens (and visitors to) Cairo. At the International Window Film Conference, Expo and Tint-Off™ in March, Walid Bishara, owner and managing director of Armashield Egypt, spoke about the benefits of security window film and the role it plays in his country. What he has seen and what he has done to protect his compatriots rivals that of security window film applicators here in the States. For those of you who may have missed his presentation—and even those of you who may have seen it but want to know more—we bring you his story on page 20.
OK, another geography lesson: between my office and Melborne, Australia, it’s 10,161 miles (16,352 km)and it’s 9,701 miles (15,613 km) from here to Singapore. Yet, the issues facing many members of the international window film community are the same as those facing the industry here in the States: competition, legislation, quality installations, warranties and consumer awareness.
In this issue, Les Shaver and I take a look at the international film market as a whole, as well as on more specific levels, in our article Going Global on page 30.
Finally, I represented Key Communications (parent company to Window Film magazine) at Glass Processing Days in Finland earlier this year. The symposium is geared primarily to the glass industry. While there, I had the opportunity to sit in a seminar track focused on new products and technology. Some of the seminars were excruciatingly technical and I had a hard time following the subject matter—until Jan Willem Holst made his presentation “Nanotech Coatings and UV Inhibitor Adhesives for Solar Window Films.” I was giddy—and I understood everything. When I had the opportunity to introduce myself to Mr. Holst after the session, I found out he’s a Window Film subscriber. I always enjoy meeting Window Film readers and subscribers and to meet one while in Finland made an already wonderful trip even more memorable (see the GPD recap on page 18).
C’mon y’all, sing along! “It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all, it’s a small, small world.”
Editor’s Note: Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States after this issue of Window Film went to press. We will cover Hurricane Katrina, the damage it caused and the effect it will have on the industry in the next issue of Window Film magazine. WF
Brigid O’Leary is the editor of Window Film magazine.