RIYADH – Anyone who visits Riyadh these days will see hundreds of vehicles driving on the roads leading out of the city. During this time of the year, Riyadh residents, especially families, love to spend their time in the cold weather of the desert and enjoy lush meadows in the wilderness away from the city. People also enjoy the view of stars in the night which twinkle brilliantly during this time of the year.
In Riyadh, there are over a hundred meadows with plants that can endure intense heat or cold and the smallest quantity of rain. Some of these plants have been used as food, spears and for fire since the time of our ancestors.
Since the beginning of time, the desert has been a unique sanctuary for man. The meadows make people feel comfortable, tranquil, creative and even inspired. The deserts represent simplicity and nature where one can forget about the burdens of life and breathe natural air.
Visitors set up tents and use wood for cooking, which they say gives a special taste to food. They talk about enjoying the long winter nights and pondering over the greatness of Allah Almighty and His creation like the meteors and twinkling stars in the night.
Visitors enjoy the beautiful view of rain-filled skies and once the rains stop they rest in the tranquility of the desert.
When the sun shines, visitors embark on a new journey in the wilderness while others prefer to drink a cup of coffee and admire the scenery of lush meadows.
However, sadly due to the destructive behavior of some visitors, this serene environment is being polluted and a large number of meadows have already died out.
Undersecretary of Agricultural Affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture, Muhammad Abdullah Al-Sheeha said: “Some visitors leave their trash and also drive inside the meadow. Such behavior may cause different plants to become extinct. It increases desertification and sand-storms.”
He said many natural meadows face great challenges because of dryness and human behavior, especially that of shepherds who graze their sheep and camels on the meadow grass.
The Ministry of Agriculture and other government agencies are taking action to protect natural plants and meadows by fencing them up and not allowing vehicles in. The ministry also rehabilitates 50 meadows every year and is conducting studies in cooperation with King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology.
Members of the public can learn more about this wonderful environment and the importance of the desert plants at a number of workshops currently being held by the Ministry of Agriculture. — SG/SPA