We’ve already heard the news from NASA that the Middle East will probably be uninhabitable in the next 50 years, thanks to climate change. At a recent conference in Tehran, Iran, participants were warned of an onslaught of Middle East sandstorms, expected to worsen as our world warms. “In the Middle East there has been a significant increase in the frequency and the intensity of sand and dust storms in the past 15 years or so,” said Enric Terradellas, an analyst at the World Meteorology Organisation.
Human-induced factors as well as natural causes create the sandstorms which pile tons of dust into cities, covering people’s lungs with particulate matter. Dams and diversion of water sources is one of the causes for the increase, say experts, reporting in this fantastic essay on the matter.
The next essay on traveling solo in the sandy desert, post-divorce caught my heart: Our Marriage Was Built on Traveling Together… and shows how a woman transforms from being a sidekick, to a mom, to being a solo traveller in charge of her own adventures – in Morocco.
She writes: “Our itinerary, rather than love, kept us moving together. But our marriage’s end was signaled by solo travel: He went to Greece for two months, while I left for a yoga ashram in the Bahamas. I no longer wanted an intermediary. No husband driving the rental car around mountains. No husband bargaining in the souk. No husband translating menus. No husband. Only me.”
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A third essay on sand and rocks in America, at Salt Lake City, offers a charming look at nature in in its rawest form, as a family goes to visit the most desolate place in America: “On the highway, mountains surrounded us. The crows had never witnessed a landscape like this; save once when tiny, they had never been west of the East. I urged them to look out the car windows rather than at their phones, and confirm that they were totally undone by the awesomeness. I demanded their indecent staring. But the crows are predominantly city creatures. Nature didn’t interest them as much as civilization and its inhabitants did.