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21 April, 2005

Desecrating the desert

"Dim in the moonlight the dunes stretched away into infinity, a ridged sea of sand, pale as milk. "When you've seen a storm here you'll understand. Then all the desert seems in motion, like the sea beating against the shore of the oasis, flooding into the date gardens. They're like waves breaking; the whole great desert of the Empty Quarter thundering in, the sand flowing like water.""

Hammond Innes' description of the desert in his 1960 novel The Doomed Oasis.

Even without a storm, the desert is like the sea, it shifts and flows. In the summer, when the prevailing winds are offshore, the dunes are slowly blown towards the ocean. In winter they drift back. The physical ripples and ridges of the dunes change slowly day by day, but to the human eye their shapes change constantly and rapidly as the sun moves over the sky, transforming the shadows and hollows.

Like the oceans, the seas of sand are also being fouled up by human activity, destroying fragile ecosystems. Residents and tourists show minimal respect, and scenic areas are continually littered with garbage.

"A source from the Terrestrial Environment Research Centre at ERWDA said herbivorous lizards such as the spiny-tailed lizard, which usually eat branches and wood, had plastic bags found in their droppings as well as pieces of plastic.

"Man-made materials have also been found in camel droppings."

At Hatta Pools, the litter after a Friday is appalling. Cans, bottles, plastic bags, even unfinished food left unwrapped on the ground, swarming with flies. One can even find used children's nappies strewn around the rocks near the water. How vile, disgusting and peasant-like people can be.



Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Further reflections here,

UAE to introduce robot jockeys in camel races

26 April, 2005 08:41  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Inspired by you, I offer this

No lettering?

and this

Desecrating the desert - Secret Dubai

26 April, 2005 08:48  

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