Rana Sweis


New Life-Forms Found at Bottom of Dead Sea

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In 2010 the first diving expedition to the springs revealed "a fantastic hot spot for life" in the lake, which lies on the border of Israel and Jordan (see map), said team member Danny Ionescu, a marine microbiologist for the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

The team found several craters—each about 33 feet (10 meters) wide and 43 feet (13 meters) deep—at 100-foot (30-meter) depths on the lake's bottom. The craters were covered with films and sometimes surprisingly thick mats of new bacterial species, Ionescu said.

These tiny communities live near thin plumes of fresh water that shoot from undersea springs, whose presence has long been suspected based on peculiar ripples on the Dead Sea's surface.

To reach the springs, divers searched for abrupt drops along the seafloor while contending with very low visibility.

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Mideast Blog

Job creation and education: Proud to be Jordanian

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The World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab Worldcomes at a crucial time not just for the region, but also for the world at large. The programme is filled with many topics of interest, specifically job creation and its related sub-components of entrepreneurship and poverty alleviation. Those subjects should be addressed collaboratively if we want stability in the region and beyond. I believe these issues should no longer be treated as “unique” or as the “topic of the day”, but rather as a constant factor to be considered and institutionalized within the systems of all countries.

I look forward to hearing from the list of participants made up of experts, renowned thought leaders and decision makers, all of whom will hopefully engage in fruitful discussions to come up with relevant, realistic and effective solutions.

In addition to job creation, the Forum provides an opportunity to present and discuss other important issues facing the region, such as addressing the region’s scarce resources of water, energy and food; improving education; and regional collaboration. Improving education should be a main focus, as it is the basis of everything, and as my parents taught me, it is the one thing that no one can ever take away from you.

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