Sunday, July 21, 2013

Stepping into World War One

 While snorkeling around Farazan Island in the Red Sea, we came upon an old Ottoman fort abandoned to ruin.
 During World War 1, the Ottoman’s (Turkey) controlled most of the Arabian peninsula but were eventually defeated and kicked out by British and Arab forces.
 The British, understanding the importance of this land as a route through Suez to their Indian colony, struck treaties with Arabian tribesman to fight the Ottoman for control of lands.
 Of course, one of these war lording tribesman, was Abdul Aziz who would later come to control all of the Arab peninsula through savage murder and warfare.
 With the help of the British, Addul Aziz of the Bin Saud Family, would proclaim himself Sultan and rename the country for himself and his descendants.   From here, his family began the slow stealing of every natural resource this barren land had to offer, an unbelievable fortune raped and stolen from the people.
 So what do you do when you come upon a hundred year old fort sitting in the dust under the burning sun on an abandoned island?  Well, you swim out to it and take a look, of course.
 Maybe I was just dizzy from the heat, but standing on the shore, I could almost feel the Turkish soldiers cleaning their weapons, wiping the sweat from their necks, and staring out to sea for vessels passing like dreams.
Certainly, this old fort is a place time has forgot, but stepping on the stones and kicking around the sand, I couldn’t help but wonder what these men must have thought.  So far away from home, stationed under this blazing sun.   They must have felt that the world and all its wonder had slowly passed them by.

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