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Desalination of water: How Middle East revolutionized this technology?

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time.com
time.com
time.com

By Swati Misra

The Middle East nations started practicing the process of desalination in a fight against water scarcity ages ago, and today, they have become the pioneer in this technology. Most of the oil rich countries like Yemen, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia access sanitary water due to the process of desalination. Recently, Dubai launched UAE’s largest desalination plant in Jebel Ali. So, what exactly is this technology and why has it gained this prominence?

In a desalination plant, the process of desalination can be done in three possible ways, namely, thermal, electrical and pressure-based. These methods are usually based on certain factors like cost, available resources, energy consumption and on the type of water they can be applied on, i.e., sea water or brackish water. Middle East nations consist of the largest number of thermal plants. The process of separating pure water from salt water by distillation is used in the thermal process while using membranes to separate them is followed in the process of RO technology, i.e., Reverse Osmosis. The Thermal process involves two major technologies. They are Multi Stage Flash Distillation (MSF) and Multiple Effect Distillation (MED).

In case of a plant using MSF technology, the sea water is first heated and pressurized and then it is introduced in different cells maintained in low pressure and temperature where the feed water converts into steam. The steam is then condensed into pure water. The final product of the heated water is then reheated multiple times while the pressure keeps on reducing in every new cell. The major disadvantage in this process is that it requires more intake of salt water.

www.sidem-desalination.com
www.sidem-desalination.com

In case of Multiple Effect Distillation, the entire process remains similar to MSF desalination, however, here, the plants do not require a large flow of sea water or brine, thereby, reducing the consumption of electricity.

This process of desalination has been badly criticized for over-using energy resources with a heavy carbon footprint. One of the major disadvantages of this process is its impact on the environment, specifically on the ocean ecosystem. In this process, a huge amount of salt is discharged into the ocean which holds a huge risk of completely destroying the underwater ecosystem.

However, with technological advancements, the process of desalination has become cheaper, cleaner and more energy efficient. In fact the environmentalists of the region believe that the process of desalination have emerged as a substitute to the alternative ways of water management that have become the victims of industrial pollution.

  • Swati misra

    AGAIN …This article was written by me…. Extremely shameful case of PLAGIARISM!!! USELESS ORGANISATION … Kindly have some decency and do not steal somebody else’s Intellectual Property…

  • Swati misra

    AGAIN …This article was written by me…. Extremely shameful case of PLAGIARISM!!! USELESS ORGANISATION … Kindly have some decency and do not steal somebody else’s Intellectual Property…

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Coffee Museum: The First of its Kind in Dubai

The Coffee Museum opened its doors to public in October 2014

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coffee beans
coffee beans. Pixabay

Dubai, Sep 20, 2017: A popular beverage in most parts of the world, coffee is much more than just a drink in the Middle East. It is an integral part of the region’s heritage, a celebration of its culture and a dedicated coffee museum in Dubai — the first of its kind in the Middle East — stands as testimony to the region’s longstanding tryst with the drink.

Just like the traditional value that most Indians associate with “chai”, coffee is the customary drink served to visitors in most homes in the Middle East.

“It is a part of our heritage. The way we have been brought up, coffee has always occupied a vital space in our culture. So even the poor, those who cannot afford anything, will serve coffee to their guests and welcome them,” museum owner Khalid Al Mulla, a noted coffee trader and collector, told this visiting IANS correspondent.

But even before Mulla elaborated on the history of coffee and its particular significance in the Middle Eastern context, the museum was already a feast for our eyes. In a city of skyscrapers that revels in pomp and gaiety, this museum comes as some sort of relief to the souls of wanderers. It tells not only the regional but also the global history of coffee.

Also Read: A Pilgrim Smuggled Coffee Beans To India: The Intriguing History of the Development of Coffee Culture 

The museum’s shop is the first thing that catches the eye on entering this villa. Here one finds coffee mugs from several countries, personal hand grinders and other similar stuff to carry home.

Enter the museum and your are spellbound at the sight of a beautiful lady, dressed in traditional Egyptian attire serving traditional coffee and popcorn to visitors. Along with a cup of coffee prepared in authentic African style, she also told us a fable. “Marriages are not made by gods. They are made by coffee,” she proclaimed, before bursting into loud laughter.

She explained that in Turkey, marriages are often decided over coffee. When a proposal comes to the family, the girl approves it by preparing a good cup of coffee. But when she has to reject the proposal, she adds a pinch of salt.

The ground floor includes a room for Western antiques, and another for Orientalism. A dedicated corner is designed to showcase various types of coffee. There is also an Egyptian corner, which shows the history of coffee since the days of the Ottoman Empire. One of the most rare treasures in the basement, which transports you to back into time, is the “Swedish roast” dating to 1840.

Then, there is the German grinder from the World War II era and many mills that were collected from Britain, dating as far back as 1860. The museum also contains ancient toasters and old paintings that tell the history of coffee and its methods of manufacture and preparation. There is also a literature room, which displays texts related to coffee, from the eighteenth century to the present day.

The upper floor lounge includes a small coffee shop, offering coffee and snacks to visitors. What strikes you is that even the sweets offered here have a distinctive coffee flavour.

As we stroll through the museum and its distinctive rooms, Mulla, who is a mobile information bank about the cultivation of coffee and the ways of transporting and making it, elaborated on the history of what is one of the most popular drinks in the world today.

He said that the origin of coffee can be traced to the Ethiopian highlands many centuries ago. As the Legend of Kaldi has it, he said, coffee was discovered accidentally when a goat ate some unknown berries from a tree and remained alert for the rest of the night.

A drink was prepared from these berries by worshippers in the local monasteries and it helped them stay awake during the long hours of prayers. The message spread rapidly until it reached the Arabian peninsula, from where the Arabs took this newly found drink to other parts of the world.

The Coffee Museum opened its doors to public in October 2014.

(Saket Suman’s visit to Dubai was at the invitation of Dubai Tourism. He can be contacted at saket.s@ians.in)

(IANS)

 

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Saudi Arabia’s highest ranking Cleric warns of depravity of Cinemas and Musical concerts in the Country

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Crowd enjoying a concert, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Jan 15, 2017: Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-sheikh, in an interview warned of the depravity of cinemas and musical concerts. Saudi Arabia’s highest ranking cleric, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-sheikh while responding to a question about the plans of the kingdom’s General Authority for Entertainment to license concerts and study opening cinemas, gave a statement saying, “Cinemas and music concerts would corrupt morals if allowed in the ultra-conservative kingdom.”

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The head of the Saudi supreme council of clerics said, “Cinemas might show movies that are libertine, lewd, immoral and atheist, because they rely on films imported to change our culture.”

Al-sheikh gave many statements opposing music concerts saying the concerts don’t really promote good music and are not at all a medium to connect with music. He insisted that music entertainment and opening cinemas represent a call for mixing between sexes. Al-sheikh said, “At the beginning they would assign areas for women, but then both men and women will end up in one area. This corrupts morals and destroys values.”

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Recently a show by American stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps at a university campus in western Saudi Arabia was cancelled last month. However, he also said that entertainment through cultural and scientific media is okay. He urged the authorities, “not to open the doors for the evil.”

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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India pledges 1.25 million USD to UN relief agency for Palestinian Refugees, due to their vulnerable condition and ongoing conflicts in Middle East

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A Palestinian refugee. Wikimedia.

New Delhi, Dec 7, 2016: As India stated its concern for the Palestinian refugees today, it pledged 1.25 million USD to the UN relief agency for the Palestinian refugees for the vulnerable condition and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East which is resulting in the rise in refugees.

According to PTI, a total of 20 contributors aired their donations or their intentions to do the same to the 2017 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East. India pledged an annual contribution of 1.25 million to the agency.

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Mahesh Kumar, the First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said that regrettably a harmonious solution to the Palestine issue has not been figured out yet and in turn, the expectations of the refugees to live a normal life is not achieved.

He also said that “The current fragile situation and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East region have compounded the problem of refugees,” mentioned PTI.

Kumar also stated that while providing the much-needed assistance to Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA is facing unpredicted financial and operational challenges.

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The UNRWA has been supplying health, education, relief and social services and emergency assistance to around 5.3 million Palestinian refugees across its five areas of operations, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza strip for the past 65 years.

In September, UNRWA reported a void in the funding of USD 74 million, which is jeopardising its ability to finance vital operations at the end of 2016 and after an emergency cry, the UN member nations contributed which reduced the funding gap to USD 37 million.

-prepared by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker