Rain in the desert | Flooding in Muscat, Oman

In a winter characterized by dramatic examples of the huge shifts in weather patterns to be expected as global warming increases, even tranquil Oman has not been spared. Following two months of unseasonably low temperatures, Muscat has been flooded by torrential rains lasting more than 12 hours.

This report by Mark Abouzeid highlights the current crisis as well as the impact to worldwide events, such as the Muscat Festival which was canceled until further notice.

copyright Mark Abouzeid 2014. All rights reserved.

BHP Video: The camel races at Wadi Rum, Jordan

Modern meets tradition at the camel races in wadi rum, jordan. A Bedouin rides a camel in a camel race in the desert of Wadi Rum on July 16th, 2009 in South Jordan. Spectators from Jordan and Saudi Arabia follow in their truck the popular traditional bedouin sport. (Photo by Mark Abouzeid/Bedouin Heritage Project)

Is there a choice for Wadi Rum’s Unesco bid?

Over the past few weeks, much has been said about the latest bid by archaeologists, government officials and tourism experts to have Wadi Rum  admitted to a prestigious group of natural heritage sites named UNESCO.

 

There can be little question that the protected zone’s unique landscapes, natural rock formations, flora and fauna justify warrant inclusion on the list.

That it remains in question whether the bid should be a single site application or mixed site, including cultural and environmental importance, is surprising.

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Safeguarding the World’s Intangible Cultures at Risk.

“When a child is born, the father goes into the desert in search of the largest scorpion he can find.  The eldest woman slowly cooks the animal in a pan over an open fire until it melts like butter.  This salve is massaged into the skin of the baby.  The baby gets sick as a consequence of the scorpion venom but not enough to do it harm.  I was bitten by a scorpion a few years ago and nothing happened.  This is one of the traditional medicines of our people that is being lost.”  Attayak

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