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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Friends of Soqotra 2014 meeting – XIII Annual General FoS Meeting

For your information, the next FoS Annual meeting will take place in Rome, go check here for all details!
The "theme" of this year is:

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Qat trade banned in Socotra's capital

SANA’A, June 10—On Sunday local Socotran authorities banned the qat trade in Hadibo, the capital city of Arkhabeel Socotra governorate, and ordered qat shops to be moved out of the city...

The complete article can be found,
here in the Yemen Times.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Socotran Speleothems and their storey:

Maïté Van Rampelbergh, Dominik Fleitmann, Sophie Verheyden, Hai Cheng, Lawrence Edwards, Peter De Geest, David De Vleeschouwer, Stephen J. Burns, Albert Matter, Philippe Claeys, Eddy Keppens
Mid- to late Holocene Indian Ocean Monsoon variability recorded in four speleothems from Socotra Island, Yemen
Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 65, 1 April 2013, Pages 129–142
Four stalagmites covering the last 7.0 ka were sampled on Socotra, an island in the northern Indian Ocean to investigate the evolution of the northeast Indian Ocean Monsoon (IOM) since the mid Holocene. On Socotra, rain is delivered at the start of the southwest IOM in May–June and at the start of the northeast IOM from September to December. The Haggeher Mountains act as a barrier forcing precipitation brought by the northeast winds to fall preferentially on the eastern side of the island, where the studied caves are located. δ18O and δ13C and Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca signals in the stalagmites reflect precipitation amounts brought by the northeast winds. For stalagmite STM6, this amount effect is amplified by kinetic effects during calcite deposition. Combined interpretation of the stalagmites' signals suggest a weakening of the northeast precipitation between 6.0 and 3.8 ka. After 3.8 ka precipitation intensities remain constant with two superimposed drier periods, between 0 and 0.6 ka and from 2.2 to 3.8 ka. No link can be established with Greenland ice cores and with the summer IOM variability.
In contrast to the stable northeast rainy season suggested by the records in this study, speleothem records from western Socotra indicate a wettening of the southwest rainy season on Socotra after 4.4 ka. The local wettening of western Socotra could relate to a more southerly path (more over the Indian Ocean) taken by the southwest winds. Stalagmite STM5, sampled at the fringe between both rain areas displays intermediate δ18O values. After 6.2 ka, similar precipitation changes are seen between eastern Socotra and northern Oman indicating that both regions are affected similarly by the monsoon. Different palaeoclimatologic records from the Arabian Peninsula currently located outside the ITCZ migration pathway display an abrupt drying around 6 ka due to their disconnection from the southwest rain influence. Records that are nowadays still receiving rain by the southwest winds, suggest a more gradual drying reflecting the weakening of the southwest monsoon.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Foreign Sailors on Socotra

A brand NEW hardback, expected by the end of this year!  

Several years ago a group of Belgian speleologists of the Socotra Karst Project made a spectacular discovery. Deep inside a huge cave on the island Socotra they came across a large number of inscriptions, drawings and archaeological objects. As further investigation showed, they were left by sailors who visited the island between the 1st c. BC and the 6th c. AD. The majority of the texts are written in the Indian Brahmi script, but there are also inscriptions in South-Arabian, Ethiopian, Greek, Palmyrene and Bactrian scripts and languages. This corpus of nearly 250 texts and drawings thus constitutes one of the main sources for the investigation of Indian Ocean trade networks in the first centuries of our era. The present book is the first comprehensive edition and study of this material. It comprises contributions by an international group of scholars who have been working on these new discoveries for a couple of years (in alphabetical order): Mikhail D. Bukharin (Moscow), Peter De Geest (Brussels), Hédi Dridi (Neuchâtel), Maria Gorea (Paris), Julian Jansen Van Rensburg (Brussels), Christian Julien Robin (Paris), Bharati Shelat (Ahmedabad), Nicholas Sims-Williams (London, Oxford) and Ingo Strauch (Berlin).

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Friends Of Socotra Annual Meeting 2012

Friends Of Socotra Annual Meeting

September 21-23 at the BiK-F, Senckenberg Institute, Frankfurt a.M., Germany. More than sixty participants attended the meeting, including members from Soqotra. Here you can find the final Programme Book and the Press Information (21.09.2012)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fire on wadi Dibnhe Oasis

From Ahmed Saeed:

After the rain last month, we have fire on wadi DIBNHE the fire so big start yesterday June 18, 2011 at 7am morning to 5pm afternoon.

Many people from Hadibo and the Army helped to assuage the fire, they use water pumps some people buy new pumps just for take down the fire, but because of the wind the work was so difficult.

The fire start from one garden of palm trees, when a woman was cleaned her palm trees garden from the dead leaves, collect them and make fire of the waste (bush) dead leaves. The wind spread the fire to her palm trees and to the others palm tree on other gardens. The density of palms in the area and the strong monsoon help the fire to spread very fast.

There are many damages, first of all hundred of palm trees which is full of date, 3 fishermen boats which where kept under the palm trees because of windy season and hundreds of fences. On the other side the environmental problem from dying of many insects, reptiles, palm trees crabs and destroying of habitats for birds and many other organisms.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Female guides welcome visitors to Socotra

The quiet life of the fishermen’s village of Terbak got new stimulus when tourists started coming to visit a cave located on its tribal land. Overlooking the northern coast of Soqotra island, Hoq Cave is a more than 3 km long karst formation with beautiful stalagmites, stalactite curtains and a lake at the very end. Hundreds of tourists don’t hesitate to hike for over an hour across difficult terrain to enjoy the cave’s charm.

After the Socotra Eco-tourism Society, founded by the UNDP Socotra Conservation and Development Programme in 2003, included Hoq Cave in their tourist itinerary, local guides were needed. For the last three years, guiding services in Terbak have been organized in a way that allows all the local inhabitants to share in the profits. Guides take regular turns, and from the YR 4,000 earned for each journey to the cave and back, YR 1,000 goes to the community and the rest to the guide’s family. Similar benefit-sharing works run in many other areas on the island, and together with community-run eco-campsites, create an economic system directing income from tourism to poor local communities.

But what you will not see anywhere else but in Terbak is that local women also guide the tourists.