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10 Incredible Scenic Photos of Rivers in the Arab World

posted on: Jun 3, 2020

Copyright: Trevor Morris

By: Dani Meyer/Arab America Contributing Writer

Rivers and other bodies of water are the source of life and are vital to establishing important civilizations. Rivers also play an important role in the water cycle and provide a vital ecosystem for many plants and animals. Rivers in the Arab World are particularly important due to a lack of freshwater sources in the region. The Arab world is not well-known for its rivers or bodies of water; however, check out the secrets that are flowing through their lands:

1. The Nile River

Photo by Nour El Refai

Located in Egypt, but flowing through many countries,  the Nile River is the longest river in the world. It was considered the source of life by ancient Egyptians and still plays a vital role in Egyptian commerce and the economy.

2. The Tigris River

Photo by Ed Kashi

The Tigris River is surrounded by four countries – Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria – and is an important part of the Fertile Crescent. The history of the Tigris goes back to the very earliest known civilizations, and today it is vital for hydropower and agriculture.

3. The Orontes River

Photo by Olga Engelhardt

The Orontes River flows from a valley in Lebanon through Syria and ends in Turkey. It is an important source of irrigation, and pictured here is one of the water wheels, known as “noria”, which help to acquire water from the river.

4. The Litani River

Photo by Rabih Jereissaty

The Litani River is the longest river in Lebanon and provides water to one of Lebanon’s largest farming regions.

5. The Diyala River

Copyright: Bulgac

The Diyala River is a tributary of the Tigris that flows through Northern Iraq. Several dams along the river provide hydroelectric power, as well as irrigation for various crops.

6. Al Khabour River

Copyright: Trevor Morris

Al Khabour River is an important tributary of the Euphrates River and flows through Turkey and Syria. It has great importance for crop irrigation in the Khabour Valley, which now is Syria’s leading producer of wheat.

7. The Euphrates River

Photograph by Giovanni Mereghetti

The Euphrates River is one of the most important rivers in the Middle East. It flows through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Combined with the Tigris River, it helps form an area known as Mesopotamia.

8. The Great Zab

Photo by James Dale

The Great Zab, also known as the Upper Zab, is a part of the Tigris-Euphrates River System and flows through Turkey and Iraq. The Battle of Zab, which ended the Umayyad Caliphate, took place on one of the tributaries of the Great Zab and also witnessed frequent Kurdish uprisings during the 19th and 20th centuries.

9. The Jordan River

Copyright: Paolo Pellegrin/National Geographic Creative

The Jordan River has the lowest elevation of any river in the world. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the waters of the Jordan River, and so it is a religious destination for many pilgrims. The Jordan River is also ccrucial for irrigation in the region.

10. The Bou Regreg River

Image Courtesy of Barqu’ade Sustainable Tourism

The Bou Regreg River is located in Western Morocco. The banks of the Bou Regreg River were inhabited by the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians at the ancient site of Chellah, which contains a number of Roman ruins.





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