Al-Rekabi However, recent surveys in Abu Zarag have found low molecular weights of PAHs in Abu Zarag soils, probably as a result of the severe burnings in the region (DouAbul et al. Simply put, a river, flowed through o… 3. Moreover, many of the former Marsh Arabs are now successfully farming on the edge of the marshes. The city of Basrah is located at number 4. L Can the Marsh Arab culture ever be reestablished in any significant way in the restored marshes? Another proposed location for... Eden in the Indus Valley:. MA Thanks to Ali DouAbul of the Iraq Foundation and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for providing salinity data on Abu Zarag. Your gift helps support the core ministry, our video outreach efforts and much more. Young Given this limitation, we chose metrics best representing the five ecosystem functional categories to give an overall qualitative assessment of marsh functioning. Brasington and beetles (Coleoptera). NA High ion concentrations have prevented the establishment of native marsh vegetation. Mayer RW "Marines in the Garden of Eden" describes the battle for An Nasiriyah, the action where Jessica Lynch was captured. Maulood Iraq must also use water more efficiently and cut waste if the country is to have enough water to meet its future needs. Nunnery CJ Abaychi 2005). A survey of the fishermen of the villages (DAI 2004) also indicated that fishing is extremely poor because of the small size of the fish and because Silurus triostegus, a carnivorous catfish species (40 to 55 cm in length) not eaten by the local Shi'a population for religious reasons, can comprise up to 60% (by weight) of the catch. A more detailed survey of fish species composition and size, assessed in conjunction with local fish market data, indicates that bunni (Barbus sharpeyi)—the most important historic endemic fish species with the highest commercial value—is present in all the marshes, but in greatly reduced numbers and size (Richardson et al. A series of major trans-boundary water issues include the completion of the massive Southeastern Anatolia Irrigation Project (GAP) in Turkey, with 22 dams supplying irrigation water to 1.7 million hectares (ha) of agricultural land, and the Tabqa Dam project in Syria, supplying water to 345,000 ha of irrigated land (Lorenz and Erickson 1999). Biblical scholars have identified places such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Turkey. 21 October 2003. The similarity between Al-Hawizeh and Al-Hammar was 0. . L It is said that the garden was planted in “the east”. We had sufficient data to complete an EFA on only two of the restored marshes. When asked if they want the marshes back for fishing and hunting, they answer yes, but not if their farms and homes are flooded (DAI 2004). EJ Since March 2003, when US forces and 29 allies invaded Iraq to topple the regime of dictator Saddam Hussein, both secular and Christian media outlets have frequently declared that Iraq is the location of the biblical Garden of Eden. Surprisingly, the Central marsh still retained the highest soil organic matter after more than 10 years of drainage and extensive fires. The first assessment of the status of the marshes was done almost immediately after the fall of Baghdad in June 2003 by a team of US scientists, who found that massive but uncoordinated reflooding of the marshes was occurring (Richardson et al. is often engaged in dispelling widely held myths that run contrary to the teachings Noah built the ark in Iraq ... 4. 2005). SS (b) A Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper mosaic taken in 2000. After sinning, Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden … What is clear is that water supply alone will not be sufficient to fully restore all the marshes, and thus a goal of management should be to establish a series of marshes with connected habitats (Theobald and Hobbs 2001) of sufficient size to maintain a functioning wetland landscape. Also, one of the four rivers, Importantly, selenium concentrations were extremely low in all the restored marshes and were within the Environmental Protection Agency—recommended water quality criterion of 5 micrograms per liter (Lemly 1985, 1993, 1999, Richardson et al. Those who do return will need to receive a long-term commitment to sufficient water to sustain the restored marshes and access to life's basic amenities. Thirty-five miles north of Mosul, Iraq, about an hour’s drive from Islamic State territory, was the Garden of Eden. It was especially employed by colonizing countries (For a detailed analysis of the field and laboratory chemistry methods and statistical analyses used in this article, see DAI 2004, Richardson et al. Of course, a better selection of indicators for some functions (e.g., decomposition rate studies that are now under way) may provide a better assessment of restoration success in the future. . . Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq .. 7. In 1991, at the end of the first Gulf War, a populist uprising by the Shi'a (the largest Muslim sect in Iraq) was crushed with brutal force by the Sunni-controlled Baghdad regime. By 2000, 85% of the 8926 square kilometers (km2) of permanent marsh in 1973 marshlands had been destroyed. P An ecosystem functional assessment (EFA) utilizing selected indicators of five wetland functions: (1) production (Phragmites australis aboveground production, in grams per square meter), (2) decomposition/redox status (milligrams of oxygen per liter), (3) hydrologic function (water transparency, or depth of clear water in centimeters), (4) biogeochemistry (salinity, measured as conductivity in millisiemens per centimeter), and community/habitat (bird species number). 2005). The result is a highly detailed blow-by-blow account. Photographs: Curtis J. Richardson. Over 100 species of macroinvertebrates were found in the three marshes, and surveys indicate the presence of the main species of arthropods (including crustacea) and mollusks reported in the past (Hussain 1992, Scott 1995), with numbers of individuals per unit area 1.5 times greater at the open-water Suq Al-Shuyukh sites than at the densely vegetated Al-Hawizeh (Richardson et al. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq… Paper presented at the 9th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America, special session 9: Restoration ofMesopotamian Marshes of Iraq, Changes in Soil and Water Characteristics of Some Natural, Drained and Reflooded Soils in the Mesopotamian Marshlands: Implications for Land Management Planning.CSIRO Land and Water Client Report, Toxicology of selenium in a freshwater reservoir: Implications for environmental hazard evaluation and safety, Guidelines for evaluating selenium data from aquatic monitoring and assessment studies, Selenium impacts on fish: An insidious time bomb, Lectures on Mathematics in the Life Sciences, vol. Even one relatively Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. (d) Al-Sanaf, a seasonal marsh area (N 31°92.491, E 47°12.674) that is used to take overflow water from the Crown of Battles River. miles from Iraq (and across water: the Red Sea). Analyses of surface water and soils for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) showed no detectable concentrations of any of these xenobiotics (Richardson et al. In Iraq, the Center for Restoration of Iraqi Marshes will need to work closely with all the ministries, especially the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture, to maintain future water supplies for the marshes. By Sean Martin PUBLISHED: 13:05, Sat, Jun 10, 2017 We do not know whether these salinity and clarity trends will continue, but if they do, they may affect overall restoration. Erickson Suq Al-Shuyukh has the highest number of species (more than 60) and Al-Hammar the lowest (42). 2. .ed. Legendre NA Jacob met Rachel in Iraq. Al-Ghandban We compared their structure and functions with the remaining natural Al-Hawizeh as well as with recorded historical values for Iraqi marshes (Nunnery 1997, Richardson and Nunnery 1998, 2001, Richardson et al. Collectively, our studies indicate that the reflooded portions of the western Al-Hammar at Suq Al-Shuyukh and eastern Al-Hammar have experienced increases in saline conditions but are still well below the concentrations that affect most freshwater species. 1981, Banat et al. The area was reflooded in April 2003 when local tribes broke the earthen dam holding out the water for this section of the marsh. The area has seen a rapid recovery of marsh vegetation and algae. Hinton NA . More than 75,000 Marsh Arabs fled to southern Iran and lived there in refugee camps for over 10 years until Saddam's regime fell (Nicholson and Clark 2002). Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. The exact location of the Eden of scripture is and will probably always remain an elusive mystery which is the subject of countless theories. Barry Warner and the CIDA program provided support for the Iraqi scientists to meet and discuss these findings at the Montreal meeting of the Ecological Society of America. FM Most scholars put it somewhere in the Middle East, most commonly somewhere by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers where they flow into the Persian Gulf - in other words, Iraq. the region of Ararat to the plain of Shinar (the area known as Sumeria/Babylonia), This will result in further destruction of soil structure and overall loss of biota. The highest Jaccard similarity was found between Al-Hawizeh and Suq Al-Shuyukh (CJ = 0.41). Bochart places the Garden of Eden at the confluence of Euphrates and Tigris. Al-Mutair Such a naming pattern (f) A Marsh Arab woman collecting reeds for fodder near her island village in Suq Al-Shuyukh in February 2004 (N 30°51.491, E 46°40.398). Theobald Dissolved organic carbon was highest in the drained and highly oxidized marsh outflows, while the natural site and river waters demonstrated much lower values. DA 2005). A working example of this approach is the minimum water allocation designated for the marshes in the Everglades to maintain ecosystem functions under the recent Everglades restoration plan (Sklar et al. By February 2004, nearly 20% of the 15,000 km2 of the former drained marshes had been reflooded. A monthly comparison of salinity patterns in the natural Al-Hawizeh marsh and in three reflooded marshes (Al-Hammar, Suq Al-Shuyukh, and Abu Zarag) after 12 to 18 months of water additions. press release. H 1999) and probably reflect the lack of pesticide use in the drained marshes, reduced chemical releases into water bodies during the war, or our limited sampling regime. B Alwash Fortunately, a year-long survey of the salinity of the three restored marshes, when compared with the natural Al-Hawizeh, indicates that these restored areas are maintaining very low salinities after nearly two years of reflooding (figure 4). KM Work is currently under way through USAID to provide fish stocks for the marshes through an aquaculture program (DAI 2004). Also, landscape connectivity between marshes is greatly reduced, causing concern about local species extinctions and lower diversity in isolated wetlands. Saeed During the past two years, high snowmelt from the mountains of Turkey and Iran has resulted in near record flows on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, resulting in vast amounts of excess water being available for re-flooding of the marshes (Partow 2001, Richardson et al. As a Christianity-defending ministry, Answers in Genesis 7. J Al-Hawizeh (called Hawr Al-Azim in Iran) is the best remaining natural marsh in the region. (b) The totally drained Central marsh near Chibayish (N 30°58.102, E 47°09.033) in June 2003. Neither river could have possibly survived such of erosion and tremendous thicknesses of sediment laid down. 2005). 2, the Tigris River is called “Hiddekel” in the King James Version of the The Garden of Eden (Hebrew: גַּן־עֵדֶן ‎ – gan-ʿḖḏen), also called the Terrestrial Paradise, or simply Paradise, is the biblical "Garden of God" described in the Book of Genesis and the Book of Ezekiel. (6 April 2006), Landscape connectivity: A graph-theoretic perspective, Wildlife in patchy environments: Metapopulations, mosaics, and management, Metapopulations and Wildlife Conservation, Return to the Marshes: Life with the Marsh Arabs of Iraq. . These marshes were once the largest wetlands in southwest Asia and covered more than 15,000 square kilometers (km2), an area nearly twice the size of the original Everglades. A number of soil properties, including salinity, sulfate (SO4), and exchangeable calcium (Ca), had strong positive loadings on axis 2 and showed distinct differences among marsh sites, especially between the Al-Sanaf and the natural Al-Hawizeh. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. . GCF Porter The Iraqi scientists and graduate students at the University of Basrah contributed data for aquatic plants, fisheries, macroinvertebrates, and mollusks. Indices of production functions (plant production), decomposition/redox status (oxygen status), and bio-geochemistry functions (salinity) in all current marshes were close to historic values, except that salinity was higher in Al-Hammar as a result of recent tidal influences. As a Christianity-defending ministry, Creation Ministries International is often engaged in dispelling widely held myths that run contrary to the teachings of Scripture, as well as good research. The Mesopotamian marshes of southern Iraq had been all but destroyed by Saddam Hussein's regime by the year 2000. In the EFA method, indicators of wetland structure and functions are measured in five ecosystem-level categories: hydro-logic flux and storage, biological productivity, biogeochemical cycling and storage, decomposition, and community/wildlife habitat. Modern drip irrigation approaches used throughout other parts of the Middle East need to be employed to preserve Iraq's dwindling water supply. Pool Abdullah This locality is east of Palestine, which may be the meaning of Genesis 2:8. Hussain When Marsh Arabs have specific preferences for the areas they want to resettle, these preferences should be among the criteria for selecting marsh areas to be restored; however, these areas must also meet the ecological conditions conducive for reestablishing wetland functions if both ecosystem restoration and cultural reestablishment are to be successful. Data are from researchers from the University of Basrah and the Eden Again Project. This indicates that this marsh has always been more saline than other marsh areas because of tidal influences. This original work was done in conjunction with Iraqi scientists to assess the ecological and environmental conditions present where the dominant flora and fauna in the natural Al-Hawizeh still existed and to compare these conditions with those of three marshes reflooded in 2003. An Iraqi engineer from the Ministry of Water Resources is viewing the cracked and desiccated marsh soil adjacent to a dried-out streambed. Bullen 2005), but it is unknown how long this pattern of increased water release will last. The remainder are scattered in villages throughout the desert or are refugees in the larger cities. JC . 2005). Search for other works by this author on: Studies on the plant ecology of the Ahwar region in southern Iraq, Influence of environmental factors on algae in rice-field soil from the Iraqi marshes, Mineralology and hydrochemical characteristics of the late marshes and swamps of Hor Al-Hammar, southern Iraq, Monitoring marshland degradation using multispectral remote sensed imagery, The Iraqi Marshlands: A Human and Environmental Study, Ministry of Agriculture-Directorate General of Agricultural Research and Projects, The Iraqi Marshlands:A Human and Environmental Study, Iraq Marshlands Restoration Program Action Plan, Tigris-Euphrates Delta: A major source of pesticides to the Shatt Al-Arab River (Iraq), Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Restoration processes in Abu Zarag-Central marsh: A case study.Paper presented at the 9th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America, special session 9: Restoration ofMesopotamian Marshes of Iraq, [EA ITAP] Eden Again International Technical Advisory Panel, Building a Scientific Basis for Restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshlands, Determinants of local population size in patchy habitats, The origin and mechanisms of salinization of the lower Jordan River, The role of hydrology in marsh restoration in southern Iraq. J 2005). Photographs courtesy of the Canadian International Development Agency and Mudhafar A. Salim ( ik/334-unep/142. Abbreviations: MBC, microbial biomass carbon; Mg, magnesium; NH4, ammonium; NO3, nitrate. Because of the difficulty of data collection, we were limited in our ability to use long-term indicators. However, the future availability of water for restoration is in question, which suggests that only a portion of the former marshes may be restored. Could marsh health be assessed accurately after only two years of reflooding? It should be noted that the historic values we used in our scaling were the weighted averages of the highest rates from a number of marsh studies done before drainage, but we have no way of assessing the exact locations of earlier studies in the marshes. Only 3% of the Central marsh and 14.5% of the Al-Hammar remained. Najah A. Hussain is an aquatic ecologist on the faculty of the College of Science, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq. However, even a small local flood can change the course of a river, and the Flood of Noah’s day was more than a localized flood. J Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq ... 6. . Al-Hashash But he says climate change and water politics are putting the region on edge. However, our current water chemistry values, when compared with historical surveys completed before drainage in the Al-Hammar marsh (Maulood et al. The exact location for Gihon and Pison is unknown. The restricted water outflows in the Al-Sanaf, coupled with high regional evapotranspiration rates, have resulted in extremely high ion concentrations, pH, and TDS (table 1), values similar to those measured in highly salinized portions of the Jordan River (Farber et al. Further measurements of salinity in the lower Al-Hammar indicated that current values there were close to the historic averages of 1.7 ppt that were measured when the tides were still allowed to flow, before the destruction of the marsh under Saddam Hussein's regime (Hussain 1992). 2005). Paloheimo are not the same ones that are in Iraq today?2. 2005). . (See figure 1c for reflooded areas; ground views of the natural, reflooded, diked, and drained sites are shown in figure 3.) 2005). RESEARCHERS believe that they have found the Garden of Eden – and it could lie beneath a world heritage site in Iraq. The idea that only 15% to 20% of the drained wetland could be restored because of excessive salinity, environmental pollution, a lack of available high-quality water, or a loss of native species (Partow 2001, EA ITAP 2003) was quickly dispelled by our 2003 and 2004 field surveys (Richardson et al. BK Curtis J. Richardson (e-mail: is an ecologist at the Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708. Richardson A recent survey done by USAID indicates that not all of the Marsh Arabs want to return to live full-time in the marshes (DAI 2004). The Savior Of Iraq’s Garden Of Eden Says He Knows How To Stop The Next Big War Azzam Alwash helped bring the country's ancient marshlands back from the brink. Scott 2005). Iraq's Biblical Garden of Eden Destroyed By Saddam Hussein, Now World Heritage Site. Al-Rekabi The total international funding to date for marsh restoration is slightly in excess of $30 million, a minuscule amount compared with the billions being spent in Iraq for other purposes. Now, dams, dikes, and canals prevent the overflow of water at the marsh edges, thus reducing the historical inundation pattern of the marshes. Try downloading another browser like Chrome or Firefox. P Collectively, the restored sites had 15 species, a number close to historic values; however, a number of nondominant species found by Al-Hilli (1977) in his extensive survey of the marshes have not been recorded in recent studies (figure 6). AZ Two globally vulnerable species, marbled teal ( Marmaronetta angustirostris , left) and Basrah reed warbler ( Acrocephalus griseldis , right), photographed in 2005 in the Iraq marshes by Iraqi nature photographer Al Salim. matter, the original Garden could have been on the other side of the world! This will be especially true in drought years. in what is called Iraq today, some Christians—many who may have A While the presence of adequate water is critical to marsh restoration, the restoration of wetland functions requires also the proper water hydroperiod (period of time water is at or near the surface), hydropattern (distribution of water over the landscape), and good water quality. This is not unexpected, given the recent reflooding of wetlands that had been drained for over a decade. The question that is always asked is whether the Marsh Arabs are returning to the marshes that have now been reflooded (figures 1c, 3e, 3f). H . Noah built the ark in Iraq. For many generations, researchers have been looking for the Garden of Eden. Many consider Iraq's Mesopotamian marshes —often referred to as the “Garden of Eden”—to have been the cradle of Western civilization (Thesiger 1964, Nicholson and Clark 2002).The word Mesopotamia means “between rivers,” referring to the location between the Tigris and the Euphrates. well-known apologetics group in the eastern part of the US (but which will Minefields exist throughout the marshes along the border of Iran, and a number of villages were flooded by the destruction of dikes and dams (C. J. R., personal observation). Lemly Iraq to topple the regime of dictator Saddam Hussein, both secular and Christian The highest Jaccard similarity for fish was found between Al-Hawizeh and Suq Al-Shuyukh (CJ = 0.73). The military raided settlements, killed at least tens of thousands of Marsh Arabs—the actual number may be much higher—burned settlements, killed livestock, and destroyed the core of the local economy. The wild card in this plan is the Ministry of Oil, which has not actively participated in the marsh restoration program; vast quantities of oil are reported to exist under former marsh areas in southern Iraq. Moreover, Fitzpatrick's X-ray scanning electron microscopy work (2004) suggests that the burned soils where iron sulfide (FeS2) has been converted to iron oxide maghermite (Fe2O3) now have a texture like ceramic, meaning that the soil will not rewet and cannot support plant life. al-Saad If Christians would accept the straightforward historical Hobbs Other sites need to be chosen after completion of an ecological survey and soils assessment to prevent the release of precious water into areas with lower restoration potential. The word Mesopotamia means “between rivers,” referring to the location between the Tigris and the Euphrates. However, the long-term future of the former Garden of Eden really depends on the willingness of Iraq's government to commit sufficient water for marsh restoration and to designate specific areas as national wetland reserves. The result is an imbalanced fish pyramid, which may have serious impacts on any attempts to restore normal fish population structure in the marshes. The Bible says that God created man and woman and that he placed them in an ideal location for them: the Garden of Eden. . These conditions are complex in nature. (a) A composite view of the Mesopotamian marshlands from a mosaic of four Landsat 1 images and two false-color, near-infrared images, 1973–1976. Macroinvertebrate abundances at all marsh sites were dominated by snails (Lymnaea spp.) In addition, the dike being built by Iran to cut off the Iranian water supply to the Iraqi portion of the Al-Hawizeh is nearing completion (Richardson et al. The reflooded Al-Hammar's greater deviation from the natural site was due mainly to higher salinity values (> 187%) from tidal influence, and the community/habitat was apparently not as conducive to bird recolonization, since this marsh had the lowest number of bird species (figures 6, 7). 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