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The Arabian Storm


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I saw this video on a late Friday night, after I couldn’t make up my mind what to watch. Another *crikey* documentary or something which is going around these days so intense, it can’t be overseen, it can’t be overheard:

Refugees. Or worse: ISIS.

It’s a touching, very personal documentary in which Sinan Can visits the Middle East, to find out where the chaos started after the Arabian Spring.
I can’t just stop thinking how hard and brave it is to trace and track those sources.


The Arabian Storm – Sinan Can – via vara.nl

What an incredible eyeopener this documentary was. After the whole flood of Pegida and all what was “bad” about refugees (did I hear you mention ‘Köln’?), I saw this more or less reliable source researching the source of the “Arabian Spring”.

It’s about kids having no hope in Tunesia after they finish their University. There is no work, they can’t get jobs. What can they do?

Some tend to go to Europe. Holland, Norway, anything where they could find a better life than the ones they’re having right now; wasting their time in the coffee shop. The group in the coffeeshop say it’s either that or become criminals. Which kind of makes sense if you can’t earn money. But there’s another option: Some group is offering “A good job where you can earn a lot of money”.

Syrie The Arabian Storm - Ma Loula - via vara.nl
Syrian Village Ma Loula – via vara.nl

The kids have got the choice between “bad” and “evil”. Some of them chose to follow their “Jihad”; and end up somewhere in Libya, Syria where things went from bad to worse. They lose contact with home, leaving desperate parents behind.

Others just take the boat to Italy in an effort to make their lives better. I can only hope that the spoilt European people will understand one day what they’re fighting against. Yes, their countries are throwing bombs in those “bad” countries, to fight the ISIS. But do they even realise what “their own people” are doing against those refugees that try to find a safe home, to avoid that conflict? Those people either have to stay where they are; starve or get bombed, or seek refuge in that country that bombs their homes and even then, they’re not welcome in that new country.

I also do hope that one day, the people that have found a safe heaven here, will be capable to return to their home countries to rebuild what has been left, with hope, knowledge, liberty and love. Those were the things they missed, those were the things that made the fly their homes.

Tunesia, Sidi Bouzid via vara.nl
Tunesia – Sidi Bouzid – via vara.nl
Thank you Dutch broadcaster VARA – to show this beautiful-but-so-scary documentary.

My wish is that the people who have their doubts will gain insight in the “roots” of these refugees.
And if you’re still in doubt: If you are a parent: Imagine your kid would just disappear, into the nothingness of Libya, to fight for something he doesn’t even understand.

My wish is that the people that fled their homes will have a chance to recover, so they can back to where they came from. To repair what they’ve seen demolished. To make it their home again.

Drone footage over Homs

After years of war, parts of Homs, Syria, are crumbling and deserted. New drone footage shows the extent of the devastation.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Walking around in the Odenwald/Bergstraße: Between Jugenheim and Balkhausen

Let’s start the new year with a first blog with pictures about our walks around the Odenwald and Bergstraße, Germany.

Gallery can be found here

Our first reported trip went from Jugenheim over the slopes just over Alsbach, and from there on we crossed the hill towards the morning sun, direction Balkhausen. Just before we got back we turned towards Schloss Heiligenberg; where the roads appeared to be blocked due to works in the forests.


Our guest? A young Australian Shepherd dog.

The local house cat wasn’t that happy about it


Getting out of the village, into the green. It isn’t far away from where we live. And we love it :)


We went on our trip towards the hills, the fog was still around but it was at least dry.


Even the sun was peeking through the fog, but it was still on the other side of the hills


..which resulted in fabulous light around us and in the forest, through the fog.


Climbing uphill to get above the fog and into the warmer layers.


The higher we got the less fog. But we did almost lost the dog.


Once above the fog the sun was shining bright, and it was really warm.


Not much later we reached the “Darsberghütte“; from here it goes right up towards the top of the Melibokus, or down to the east, towards the little village Balkhausen.


Once on the east side, the temperature raised about 5-7 degrees, to a maximum of 13 degrees, the fog disappeared


And the roads were visible again


We were still wondering where this well was needed for


From here the white antenna over Jugenheim is pretty clearly visible above the fog. Jugenheim itself is around 125m above sealevel, here we were around 175m above sealevel. The difference it makes ;)


We were slowing approaching the fog again


Another snapshot of our lovely visitor


And off further into the woods.


The view towards the sun was again breathtaking and I was not the only one noticing this


The light playing with us, as well as the dog


Lots of other creatures around us in all kinds of colours. You just need to see what’s around us.


Going up towards Schloss Heiligenberg , the Golden Cross and the Mausoleum.


We had a very itchy dog; but due to the humidity and fog it didn’t feel comfortable too. Especially when one came from above the layer of fog, where the temperature was around 7 degrees warmer than in the fog (+12C vs +5C)


The golden cross and the Mausoleum, view from the fields in the west.


View onto the Mausoleum and the Golden Cross near Schloss Heiligenberg; visible in colour over the grey fog


Happy dog and happy Jr.
We’ve walked around 3.5 hours and no matter what, that’s always good!


One of the things learned: “Männchen”. Teaching the dog to stand on his/her hind legs without using its front legs on the person. Well done :)

The whole walk was well over 3 hours, and all of the participants were more than tired after coming home. But how lucky we were with the weather and the temperatures!

Red Nose Horse and the cat.

Can we talk with horses?
No, not in the way we’re used to, like with other people. But we can actually talk with them, non verbal, with only our bodies and posture.
But do you know horses do understand body language very well? As they can’t scream or cry or laugh, they’ve become experts in this silent talk.
This means they can immediately ‘read’ if you’re happy or not, if you’re healthy, and over all; if you say “yes” but actually mean “no”.

Which wondered me, can other species talk with horses? Dogs and horses are often seen together, in the ‘human’ world.

But cats and horses?

When I found my nosy Arabian back, after apparently a short ‘conversation’ with one of the stable cats, he had 4 red stripes over his white nose.
I guess the cat mentioned him (again) to mind his own business ;)

Let the horse be with you.

Although this might have a high StarWars value, it’s a quote I always use when explaining the bond between horses and “their” people.
Once you’ve shown the horse you’re with him, they’ll never let go. That’s where the horse gives his soul to you and it’s up to you to use it and him vulnerable, or let him become a star and fight like a jedi for you. The force. The horse. It’s all within you.

Not sure if my horse would have a green, blue or red lightsaber though. I’ve learned they fight at the same side you’re on.