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Travelogue
30 Dec 2019

Mt. Everest to Dead Sea: A marvel ties

Arun Ranjit
Arun Ranjit
1018

September 4 would be second day to be remembered after June 1st in the history of Nepal and Israel. On 4 of September, weeks before, two of the world’s most famous geographical wonders — one in Nepal and the other in Israel celebrated together.

Nepal and Israel released a joint stamp depicting a picture of snow covered Mount Everest and the mineral-rich Dead Sea at the same time in Kathmandu and Jerusalem.

One is 8,848 meters above sea level while the other is 422 meters below it– the highest and the lowest places on earth, both attract scores of visitors from across the globe juxtapose the Israeli and Nepalese flags and has Hebrew, Nepali, Arabic and English writing on it.

The two countries have collaborated on a stamp celebrating their natural wonders marked “Fifty-two years of diplomacy” and is a way of expressing the fruitful cooperation between the two countries in many fields.

Nepal was among the first Asian countries to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel on 1 June 1960.  The Prime Ministers at the time were David Ben Gurion of Israel and B. P. Koirala of Nepal.

As this event was a milestone in the history of Nepal-Israel ties, ceremonies were held at the same time in Nepal and Israel to mark the issuing of the stamp where the then Nepal’s Information and Communication Minister Raj Kishore Yadav and the then Israel’s Ambassador to Nepal Hanan Goder Goldberger represented function held in Nepal where as the then Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and the then Nepalese envoy to Israel Pralhad Kumar Prasai stand at the forum organized in Israel.

The joint stamp issued between the two countries is the first one and also the first time that Nepal has issued a stamp simultaneously with another country. 

Although the two countries are thousands miles apart, Nepal and the Himalayas feature heavily on the tourist trail for Israelis backpacking after completing their army service.

The lowest point on earth — the Dead Sea is a salt lake located in eastern Israel is known worldwide as a largest spa in the world, drawing tourists and extreme sports fans.

During the academic session

This scribe also got an opportunity to float on the Dead Sea while he was in Israel from mid-July to mid-August of 2012 to attend the International Media People’s Meeting organized jointly by Israel’s Agency’s for International Development Cooperation-MASHAV under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and UNESCO.

All the 28 participants mostly from South America and Africa including one each from Nepal, China, Vietnam and Myanmar respectively no doubt recorded historical and joyful aspects of the Holy Land– where Jesus was born and nailed to death– Israel’s varied landscape and active cultural where East meets West, past and presents touch, and ideologies mold lifestyle with four thousand years of Jewish heritage over than a century of Zionism.

From culturally important various Gates at Jerusalem which is a holy to Judaism, Christianity and Islam to religiously important Church of Holy Sepulchre, Tomb of Jesus, Western Wall, Dome of Rock mosques, modern taste of Tel-Aviv to Haifa where the city’s landscape is dominated by the gold plated Dome of the Bahai Temple set in formal Persian Gardens were also the places where the international media people magnetized fully without blinking their eyes to be remembered, besides the Dead Sea. 

The Dead Sea’s hyper salinity provides a unique floating experience and the health benefits of the minerals found in its water and muds are immense. It is a breathtakingly beautiful area which includes wadis, cliffs and an extraordinary zoological and botanical population.

Field trip……….

The Dead Sea and the surrounding area have great religious and historic significance and represent a turbulent chapter in the history of Israel.

The quantity of water that evaporates from it is greater than that which flows into it, such that this body of water has the highest concentration of salt in the world (340 grams per liter of water).

It is called the Dead Sea because its salinity prevents the existence of any life forms in the lake. That same salt, on the other hand, provides tremendous relief to the many ailing visitors who come here on a regular basis to benefit from its healing properties. All these and more make the Dead Sea so fascinating, so different and so interesting.

The Dead Sea can also be called “the lowest health spa in the world.” Sea salts are produced from the southern section for industry, and in the northern section promote tourism and good health. The composition of the salts and minerals in the water are what make it so unique and beneficial for the body.

Dipping on the Dead Sea

The sea bed also has deposits of black mud that is easy to spread on the body and provides the skin with nourishing minerals. As if that were not enough, the bromide in the air is also beneficial to the body’s systems, thus making the Dead Sea a provider for good health and healing for vacationers from all over the world.

Despite its gloomy moniker, however, the salty body of water  is known for its ability to bolster the mind, body and soul. 

“The Dead Sea is different from all other bodies of water on earth because it’s incredibly salty, with a saline level between 28 and 35 percent. By comparison, the world’s saltiest oceans are only 3 to 6 percent,” Sales Manager at the Crown Plaza Hotel near the Dead Sea.  

Another field trip…….

“At least 35 different kinds of mineral salts (like those found in oceans) are present in massive quantities. Some of the minerals present include potassium, bromine, calcium, magnesium and iodine,” he informed.

These are the salts that give the Dead Sea its name. Any living creature or plant (even seaweed) that dares enter these saline-charged waters dies pretty much instantly. Here, animal or plant life is impossible. Nothing grows in the immediate area. Hence, its name Dead Sea. Only simple organisms like microbes can survive the harsh conditions.

The Black mud found in vast quantities has sufficiently recognized curative qualities. Bathing in the natural sulphur pools, or just floating on the oily water are both helpful to people suffering from skin diseases or muscular problems. The Dead Sea is simply too salty for anything else to exist.

Nepal and Israel are enjoying a warm and cordial ties based on deep friendship, generous commitment, goodwill and mutual understanding.

As Nepal is a beautiful country endowed with unparallel natural beauty and an opulent cultural heritage, the Land of Bible -Israel is also very rich to that regard mostly the archeology of secular Jews, Christians of different sects and creeds, Moslems and Bedouin who still live as in the time of Bible with thousands of years of history unearthed.

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