Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oman's Salalah Greenery Under Assault

The southern reaches of Oman, known as the Dhofar region, are well known for the summer monsoon season, or khareef, which brings rain, relatively cool temperatures, and lush greenery to the Arabian Peninsula. This happens during the peak of summer, drawing tourists from all over the Arab world to enjoy the respite from the scorching heat elsewhere. It is also bringing teens in 4x4s that are evidently tearing up the beautiful natural areas around the city of Salalah.

Anyone who has been to Salalah has been awed by the rich history and amazing beauty of the area. Once prosperous for its role in the frankincense trade, Salalah and the surrounding area is rich in archaeological treasures. The famed Queen of Sheba had a summer palace here and frankincense from the trees of Dhofar was shipped off by camel caravan and by sea from Salalah's ports to all the great powers of the time. The natural beauty is amazing as well, as the mountains are green with vegetation and stunning waterfalls captivate all who visit. This natural beauty, especially around Wadi Darbat, is being ruined by thoughtless visitors who tear up the greenery with their cars, prompting the local authorities to erect fences and impose other controls on an area that was until recently open to be enjoyed by all, with no fences to be seen. I took the picture above two years ago, standing on a rock right next to the falls. No fences to be seen. Kids with too much time and money and too little respect for anything or anyone are to blame.

Read the story here, from eTurboNews.

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