Y Magazine

Why are we hopelessly hooked to the seemingly infinite heap of sands and rocks?

Why are we hopelessly hooked to the seemingly infinite heap of sands and rocks? Sonia Ambrosio deliberates on the desert charms

One can always find a reason to take a trip to the desert. There is a thrilling emotion to be out there where the eye and the heart can rest.

The desert with its mysterious landscape is not as empty as it looks. It is filled with many wonders: trees grow out of rocks, mountains can give eerie feelings; small delicate flowers cover patches of desert sands and rocky terrain. Despite the harsh conditions, the flora is graceful, fragile and exquisite.

The few animals and plants adapted to the dry desert show that life in a merciless clime has its own attractions. And we love to venture, knowing that despite the perils, we are safe. Surely, human exploitation and perhaps climate change can have an impact on plants and animals.

But despite the awareness of the human effect, I am still attracted by the mystical sense of silence, unlimited freedom and how minuscule we are in the natural world.

Every time I need a familiar environment, a little non-sense chat or just be looked after, I go home — in Sharqia. In the afternoon chats, I learned that some 10 desert camps are providing jobs to drivers around the region.

Any particular camp can hire between 18 to 40 drivers and their cars on a single weekend during the high season. These drivers can make up to RO800 on top of their regular monthly salaries. The bliss for the locals can last up to a few months until camps close during the summer time. It’s inspiring to learn about the local people’s life and culture.

The starry or moonlit nights are an open invitation to always return. But what really makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well or a stream of crystalline water.