Action? Most of us get no closer to the Arabian Peninsula than King Solomon’s medjool dates, and why not? If you had a choice between your home town and anywhere in the Arabian Peninsula, which would you choose?
In between my infrequent blog entries, which always focus on humans and landscape, I am writing adventure novels, not surprisingly on humans and landscape.
As you can see from the menu bar above, I have been working on four novels over the past six years.
In preparation for updating them on my blog this fall, I have had some fun doing themed graphic design, one composite image for each of the four novels.
Yes—unique to each novel—humans interacting with the exotic geography and inspirational landscape around them, with the lightest sprinkling of ethnobotany.
I have interpreted each of the four novels below and I hope you find them enjoyable.
If so, recommend them to your like-minded friends, please.
Lived lots of years in foreign countries–foreign cultures.
Cross-cultural are experiences in which I have been face-to-face with people and behaviours I did not understand and often did not agree.
…as opposed to multi-cultural which is theory only.
In my work as a landscape architect in those foreign countries and foreign cultures, I had to build major projects. Had to reach workable agreements in difficult cross-cultural conditions. Learned so very much from so many different people.
The links below track some of my cross-cultural journeys.
They are all HD, all less than one minute long, and they are all growing from the Empty Quarter, the Rub al Khali.
Rub al Khali Enigma: the Empty Quarter in the Arabian Peninsula, what it is.
Dreams: how to get from dreams to fiction to reality, Atlantis Dubai 2008.
Empty Quarter: transforming cross-cultural realties, harsh environments into restful shelter, Qasr al Sarab 2010.
A Golf Academy in the Empty Quarter?
Remember the landscape context–this is the Empty Quarter–coastal edge, coastal zone.
Blue or green is rare and highly sought after, difficult to access. The coast line of the Gulf. City parks. The above two images are what I think the planners call ‘pent up demand’. But you’ve got to drive to get to these nodes. Tell me these green and blue major recreation nodes should not be 10 minutes or less walking from every front door.
Dense apartment life everywhere–that is Dubai.
So I said what might that locally accessible (ten minute walk max) neighbourhood park look like?
I wanted to understand a little more about the larger landscape into which the Dubai Municipality sits. Dubai Municipality is just a narrow, but intensely built, strip along the edge of the Gulf. From the above satellite image–it is hardly visible.
The landscape transect distance from Dubai, at the Gulf coastal edge, above on the left, across to the right to the Gulf of Oman is 100km.
Many times, I drove that transect through the Dubai Emirate on a main road, identifying essentially three distinct landscape eco-zones:
- Mountain Zone, the 2000meter high Hajar mountains (humans quarry stone);
- Desert Zone, the Rub al Khali sand desert (no water, no humans); and,
- Coastal Zone, the Gulf coast Dubai urbanification (megalopolis hoards of humans hiding from the climate or mangroves).
A Dutch doctor, a General Practitioner, Marijcke Jongbloed, lived in the United Arab Emirates for twenty years. She surveyed, 1983-2003, the landscape of the UAE. She compiled her findings in a book entitled, The Comprehensive Guide to the Wild Flowers of the United Arab Emirates. She photographed each plant in its natural habitat, annotated a location map and commented on how the plant was used by humans (ethnobotany). Best reference I found for plants in the UAE.
Mirage…dream, dream, dream…when I want you in my arms, when I want you and all your charms…whenever I want you, all I have to do is dream…the Empty Quarter…dream.
(dream, courtesy of The Everly Brothers)
I visited Dubai in the early 90s for business. Then in 2006, I moved to Dubai for business–four years living and doing business in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Liwa Oasis.
My landscape challenge was a simple question: what is the Dubai landscape? Never found the answer. But in 2007 I put together a short series of seven figures that addressed some important landscape issues in the region.
This one addresses the population dynamic of the humans in a hemisphere that is measured by a six hour or less jet flight from Dubai. This is a Dubai-centric world hemisphere.