13 September, 2006

From a Barren Land to Charming Oasis


Last friday, Al Khaleej had an article about Delma Island. Fortunately, WAM translated it into english & posted it on its website here.
The island, which is located at about 160 kilometres west of the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, is about 10 kilometre long from north to south and 5 kilometre long from east to west.

Being a volcanic island, Delma's terrain is a combination of mountains hills, valleys and plains. It is home to about 6000 people.

The island has been inhabited for the past thousands of years, thanks to the numerous water wells and springs which provide fresh water for the inhabitants and enabled them to lead stable life.

Like pearl diving and fishing in the Gulf waters, selling of fresh water also provided a source of income for the people who used to transport fresh water from the island to other parts of the emirate to earn a living.
I searched google & found this interesting site by one of the residents of the island. It was a pleasant surprise for me to read this:
Delma Island does not look like a desert strip. Rather, it is as if a giant farm has been torn out of a fertile European country and transferred to Abu Dhabi. Visitors to the island are surprised to see cabbage, cauliflower, onion, cucumber, tomato, melon, pepper, parsley, banana and mango growing here. They are even more surprised to see such trees that are alien to the area as apple, pear, strawberry, fig, almond, grape, orange, lemon, olive, kiwi and cedar.
Archaeological discoveries made on the island, showed its civilisation dated back to seven thousand years. People with interest in archaelogy will be interested to read this information about the island.

Moral of the Story: UAE is not just "Sandland" :-)

17 comments:

oink oink said...

Totally amazing and great to read about. Has this high level of fertility been evident for some time, or has it something to do with the late Sheikh Zayed's love for greenery, which has transformed so much of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi? What I find absolutely fascinating--indeed difficult to imagine--is that a small 10x5 kilometre volcanic landmass in the middle of the ocean (so to speak)--in this part of the world--can actually meet the fresh water needs of 6000 inhabitants, it has enough to export as well. Isn't God great?

I'd love to go there sometime. Thanks DG for the post, and highlighting some really nice things about this country.

(P.S. But don't be afraid to criticise where it is due. I am looking forward to a situation when, through the increased openness, frankness and boldness of bloogers and others, this country becomes a place where truth reigns supreme. It's even better than greenery ;-) )

oink oink said...

er...*bloggers*....that was a blooper...

Harsha said...

very nice info! a Must visit!

Thanx DG

ahmed said...

Seer Bani Yas is another island that deserves praise. Too bad the trips are stopped now.

Great work DG

Harsha said...

why'd the trips stop?

Heard about that place too.. and wanted to visit it eventually

MadMax said...

After reading the blog entry, for a nano-second I thought this is the lost garden of Eden!

Hmmm this is it: View Delma Island on Wikimapia

DG is right, UAE is not just a sandland. You go to Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and some other parts, a lot of effort has been put in to make the land green. I thought everyone knew it :-)

I like the title, DG, "From a Barren Land to Charming Oasis"

And that exactly is the moral of the story. If you want to make a change to this world, you can.

Furthermore, the Island has many of these trees and has just launched a project to introduce more plants as part of an ongoing expansion programme financed by President His Highness Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan to achieve agricultural self-sufficiency on the island and other parts of the UAE and export the surplus.

Sheikh Zayed was a great man with a great vision and his deeds were great too.


As for the 7000 years:

Ubaid-related settlement inside the compound of the former Abu Dhabi Women's Federation compound in Dalma town. This site dates to the late 6th-early 5th millennium BC.


Notes:
In the period 5500–4000 B.C., much of Mesopotamia shared a common culture, called Ubaid after the site where evidence for it was first found. Characterized by a distinctive type of pottery, this culture originated on the flat alluvial plains of southern Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) around 6200 B.C.

How far is Dalma from Ubaid in Mesopotomia (Iraq)? There is a good chance that some people migrated from the fertile Mesopotomian banks to this island where they found fresh water.

Interesting stuff, DG. Thanks.


cabbage, cauliflower, onion, cucumber, tomato, melon, pepper, parsley, banana and mango -- apple, pear, strawberry, fig, almond, grape, orange, lemon, olive, kiwi and cedar.


That's an entire range of fruits and vegetables that grow in different parts of the world - tropic to temperate.

I will be shocked, if it rains for three months in the small island of Delma, and not a drop in the entire region for 363 days in a year.

Lirun said...

i love how informative this blog is..

in israel we often get a sense that between our boundaries and europe africa the US and the far and south east there is nothing but water..

u tend to block out the rest of the world.. becaus eu know u dont have access..

i enjoy the virtual/cyber visitations i get to have through this forum..

hoping one day they will be real..

peace
lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

Balushi said...

by copying and pasting WE donot prove to people that this is NOT a Sandland!!!!


But rather with our deeds and actions!

BuJ said...

i went there 10 yrs ago.. such a lovely place.. and u go by seer bani yaas.. which is environmentally protected (by order of Sheikh Zayed).. it's all so beautiful except the 2 hr ferry ride which made me sick.
once u got to the island it's so tranquil and peaceful no other words can describe it!

lirun.. lovely to see an alternative israeli presence here.. you're very welcome :) shalom.

Dubai-Informer said...

...of course Dubai is not just sandland. I love Dubai for various reasons, i admit it is different from other places like Europe or Asia, but it has its own lovely charme ;-).
http://www.dubaiinformer.com

samuraisam said...

The UAE's charm for me is the fact that it is a desert; there is a lot to see which many other people won't bother seeing.

If you've been to the wadi's, oman, the date farms around the place, and various other locations, you'd be able to appreciate the unique environment the middle east holds.

DG said...

Sorry friends, the WAM link with the english translation of Al Khaleej article was blocked. I have fixed that now. You can check it here :-)

DG said...

Sorry, the link was not blocked but broken. I am getting old, so excuse me for that error ;-)

DG said...

Oink Oink, your comment "What I find absolutely fascinating--indeed difficult to imagine--is that a small 10x5 kilometre volcanic landmass in the middle of the ocean (so to speak)--in this part of the world--can actually meet the fresh water needs of 6000 inhabitants, it has enough to export as well. Isn't God great?" reminds me of a verse in Quran, chapter 25, verse 53:

And it is He Who has let free the two seas (kinds of water), one palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter, and He has set a barrier and a complete partition between them.

Another verse is number 21 from chapter 39:

See you not, that Allah sends down water (rain) from the sky, and causes it to penetrate the earth, (and then makes it to spring up) as water-springs and afterward thereby produces crops of different colours, and afterward they wither and you see them turn yellow, then He makes them dry and broken pieces. Verily, in this, is a Reminder for men of understanding.

DG said...

Harsha, you are welcome brother.

Ahmed, I will repeat Harsha's question, why the trips to Sir Baniyas island have been stopped? Any inside information? ;-)

Madmax, thanks for the analysis & valuable comments brother. I will definitely read more about Ubaid in Mesopotamiamaybe this might be a subject of one of my posts in the future. Will appreciate if you can pass more info on the subject :-)

Lirun, happy to see you here again. Internet is such a great blessing from God that it has enabled people to know each other from the comforts of their homes. Maybe knowing each other will reduce conflicts in the future :-)

Buj, thanks brother for sharing your experience :-)

Dubai-informer, thanks for supporting my point of view. By the way, you have nice blog, keep it up :-)

Samurasam, I am so happy to see positive comments about UAE. Thank you brother :-)

DG said...

Balushi, my friend not all people are good story tellers like you :-)

I am not an expert in any field. The reason I started blogging was to share some positive stories about UAE & Islam with the fellow bloggers. The reason I "copy paste" is so that people don't say I am making up these stories myself. By the way, I spent a couple of hours in research before posting this post.

As for your comment "by copying and pasting WE donot prove to people that this is NOT a Sandland!!!!

But rather with our deeds and actions!"

Can you please explain what deeds & actions you meant?

Sorry brother if you felt offended by anything I said, I just wanted to clarify my position :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi! Anyone knows how to get to Dalma Island? There is a ferry service from Jebel Dhanna I think. Any idea what's the schedule like? I'm thinking of making a day tour and was wondering whether it's worth the effot!

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