Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Al-Azraq Oasis

Half a year ago, I visited the Al-Azraq Oasis in eastern Jordan, the site where Lawrence of Arabia rested during his journeys. I have wanted to go back there for a while to see if the great Disi Irrigation project has helped restore the water levels of the oasis.

As I walked along the water reserve, I was somewhat excited because water seemed to be on an increase. However, when I talked with the man at the front desk, he said there has been no positive increase of water levels because the Syrians have dammed up all the springs that cut off the supply to the oasis. This is very sad. I had great hopes.

I wanted to see the migratory birds that were returning from Africa to East Asia, Europe, and Russia. I was able to see some, but it was late morning and they feed early in the morning or at dusk.

However, the Azraq Killfish are in abundant supply in the ponds. Frogs jump around and dragonflies buzz. It is quite nice to see. This could be a natural resource if is simply had a greater expanse of water. Small critters ran through the grass and Water Oxen from the Chechen region were re-introduced to the land a few decades ago.

Large birds roost in the trees behind the pond. I could hear many birds but see few. I know I was there at the wrong hour, but it was still worth visiting. I will return.

Anyways, the areas around Amman are very green and overgrown. Everyone is saying, “It looks so pretty.” The landscape looks soft and inviting. It hides all the trash that litters the landscape, so for a brief moment, it looks beautiful. I do wish we could plant more trees and bushes that would change around the climate to a more temperate one. I’m sure people would like the enjoyment the trees provide. It reminds me of the Dr. Seuss movie, “The Lorax.” For the time being, it is right just to enjoy it. 

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