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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Turning the Desert Green in Qatar

The Supreme Qatar Desert Development Council (SQDDC) has released its plans for the development of the desert, according to a report in the Qatar Times today. The SQDDC plans call for a greening of the desert which will, in time, return the desert to a much more hospitable environment. Qatar, like much of the Middle East, was once thought to have been a much greener place than it is now, and recent finds of hunting tools designed to kill animals such as aurochs and elephants have lent weight to this theory.

Qatar Newspaper Clipping
The development of the desert, said Dr Lotfi Al Baloushi, head of the SQDDC, will also involve the building of a new urban area, which will be called Desert City. Virtual images have been released by SQDDC of what the Qatar desert will look like by 2010 - including one where a larger than life Qatari strides across grass with the giant sand dunes at Messaieed (now covered in a verdant green) in the distance. However, one United Nations desert scientist who we contacted, Icelander Dr. S. Keptical, said the plans were over-ambitious.

A Qatari strides through the Qatari Countryside of the future.

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