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A Gunrun Project


The Sweet Days Are Gone

Sharafkhaneh port, East Azerbaijan province, Iran
Solmaz Daryani, December 21, 2015

The relationships between places and past events shape human identity and provide memories that are a reservoir of pain and joy; they connect the chain of time between past and future. In addition to other characteristics, my place of birth, beliefs and ethnic roots all constitute a part of my identity.

What California Can Learn From Saudi Arabia’s Water Mystery

Oakland, California, United States
Text by Nathan Halverson - Reveal, Photographs by Balazs Gardi, April 27, 2015

This article originally appeared on Reveal

A decade ago, reports began emerging of a strange occurrence in the Saudi Arabian desert. Ancient desert springs were drying up.

The springs fed the lush oases depicted in the Bible and Quran, and as the water disappeared, these verdant gardens of life were returning to sand.

The Waters Beneath

February 10, 2015
Foreign Policy

In May 2009, a truck rolled through the Sheikh Yasin camp in Mardan, Pakistan’s “city of hospitality,” where thousands of people had fled following one of the country’s military offensives against the Taliban.

If water was a scarce commodity to this refugee community, ice was a luxury. And it was worth fighting for: A single block could refrigerate whatever perishables the displaced had secured for their families.

Will Wadi Fukin Lose Its Water?

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine
Text by Daniel Tepper, Photographs by Andrew Lichtenstein, January 31, 2015

Home to around 1,300 Palestinians, the village of Wadi Fukin sits in a fertile valley close to Bethlehem, right along the border with Israel. Driving along the only road that leads into town, I’m taken by the sheer size of the nearby Israeli settlement, Beitar Illit, built just to the East. White stone residential towers housing over 45,000 Israelis rise above on the hills as my car descends into the valley. The buildings slide down towards the village, ending in a towering wall built into the hillside that looms above groves of olive trees.


Iran & South Asia #3: After US Withdrawal from Afghanistan

December 16, 2013
United States Institute of Peace

The two countries also have specific disputes, notably over water, illicit narcotics trade, and refugees. Water flows to Iran are likely to be reduced when major hydropower dams are completed in Afghanistan, and water sharing is becoming a more acute source of friction between the two states.

Fata Morgana

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Balazs Gardi, October 20, 2013

Due to climatic conditions and high per capita income the United Arab Emirates is already one of the largest water consuming countries in the world. Shopping centers and luxury hotels are built with vast and lavish water features. Sprinklers pump desalinated water on golf courses that evaporates before touching the ground while underground aquifers in the region are pumped dry.

It Takes a Man of Vision to Write on Water

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Balazs Gardi, February 4, 2013

I took off from Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi’s small military airport, to photograph aerobatic airplanes race in front of the newly constructed Sheikh Zayed Mosque. After a few circles around the world’s fifth largest mosque we headed towards the neighboring emirates to see even more ambitious constructions.

The Swiss pilot asked me to take a few photos of the Jebel Ali Palm from above. With further developments in mind, one of his clients back home bought a couple of ‘leafs’.

It Takes 400,000 Liters of Water a Day to Keep a Small Desert Golf Course Green

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Balazs Gardi, January 4, 2013

Looking down from a helicopter parts of Dubai look just as green as pastures in Scotland. Golf courses connect the various housing projects wrapped with artificial lakes and landscaped gardens, the Greens, the Meadows, The Lakes, The Jumeirah Islands.

With an estimated 350 liters, or a little over 92 gallons, per person per day the United Arab Emirates’ water consumption is among the highest in the world. The water used to irrigate the agricultural fields and keep the meticulously maintained golf courses and public gardens green would at least double this amount.