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Viola is out there... Somewhere nce upon a time, in a land not so far away, existed a violist who loved languages and wanted to travel. A lot. When I say a lot it REALLY means a LOT. So, she left the country a couple of times. Her last stopover is Dubai and soon she will fly away... ag

East Coast Tour

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Monday, 16 June 2008 | Views [1162]

The mountains towards the East Coast remind me of desolate landscape of Cape Verde isle of Sao Vicente. The colored hues of red, ocre, and black covered miles of stone and rock on dramatic heights.

A silent witness of the fury of Nature, capable of bringing to surface minerals from the deepest recesses of Earth.

The Arabic peninsula was formed some millions of years ago with a volcanic eruption which changed the landscape brutally, burying under several kilometers of rock plankton and other marine life which would later create the biggest oil reserve of the whole world. At the same time, it broad to surface mineral intrusions and granite, mica, iron oxide which are easily recognizable from the colors and stones you find on your way.

Before our bus hike up the mountain toward the Indian Ocean, we are presented with a sea of sand which slowly changes of color of light yellow to deeper red orange hues.

We see domesticated camels herds slowly walking by the hot sand along the road, which is protected by fences which in turn protect the cars from camels and vice versa. They do tend to wander to the road to take a nap in the asphalt.

Sorry, if forgot, they do not have camels here in UAE. They have dromedaries. One hump, not two.  

You may ask why they still have camels here, while most of Emiratis (and foreigners who live here) are pretty happy with the 4x4 Prado cars…

Camels have basically three uses here in the Arabic Pensinsula:

They have racing camels, of a specific breed which are trained for the special purpose of use in camel racing. Camel racing is one very expensive sport, and most Arab nobility invest on this. The Sheik himself, HH Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has only, what, five thousand racing camels. And has two 747 Jumbo jets to transport them. 

The second use are milking camels. Yep, Arabic people drink camel milk. They even sell it in Carrefour, and believe it or not, it is cheaper than cow milk. On early age, they did not have milk cattle here in the Arabic countries. Up until now the only milk cows they have here are imported from Netherlands and Germany. Even though the poor cows have their own refrigerated stalls with their own fans, they are producing currently circa of 80 % of the internal consumption of milk in the region. The poor things don’t have time of even mowing as they are producing several litters of milk per day.

The third use is for meat. Yep, camel meat is a delicacy specially appreciated in festivities. It is a sign of power and prestige to slaughter camels for wedding festivities and up until 20 beasts may be slaughtered for a great Arabic party.

If you need a camel for that lovely barbecue on the weekend, all you have to do is drive to Al Ain city and visit the camel market. There you will find several fine specimens for sale at a friendly price of several thousand Dirhams. But – that’s for the ladies – don’t ever go alone. Let your hunky significant other go, otherwise you will find out that the delicacy which will be in the menu will be you, not the camel.

Today I’ve learnt why, even though they have an almost infinite supply of sun, they do not use solar energy.

The whole country of UAE and (most of the surrounding countries as well) produce oil.

Duh, I’m sure you knew that already.

However, during production of said oil there are what we call gas pockets which are pumped out with the oil, and one of the sub products of oil extraction is what they call dirty gas or also named associated gas. You can’t have one without the other. This product is highly volatile, highly toxic and cannot be released in the atmosphere. It must be burnt.

Instead of burning it away, they created a very clever way of using this byproduct of oil production as source of energy.

They produce oil, they collect the dirty gas and burn it in the desalination plants, which turn the Gulf water in steam. The produced steam is used to generate electricity in steam engines and once the electricity is generated, they turn the steam in clean pure water.

Perfect system and they produce two essential elements – water and electricity – in the same industrial complex. As they have oil enough to last for at least a century, there is no need for them to try to adapt to solar energy as they have already come up with a great energy system.

Only after you are given so little you start realizing how fortunate you were on other circumstances.

It is a shame how Brazil is such a rich country with so much wealth and vast prosperous cultured lands for agriculture, and yet people hunger.

Here every centimeter of land that may have an agricultural use is exploited to its maximum potential, and no loss is accepted.

Water is so precious that even waste water is recycled and utilized for watering gardens and grass in the cities.

Even the poorest village in the most isolated corner of the mountains has a mosque, and the mosque is the cultural, religious and political center of their existence.

How shallow we Christians can be, being comfortable on our homes and being lazy on our attendance to church services.

On Fridays all mosques are overflowing with people waiting to hear the Coran, and the call of the Minarets resound through the city, radios and even TV.

Muslins are not ashamed of their faith, they follow strictly the codes given by their Prophet and created an incredible society which astonishes the Western countries up until now.

I’m not saying they do not have problems. They do. But they still can overcome them, and are willing to try.

Great for them, shame on us.

Tags: oman, ras al kaima, sharjah



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