'I wish I could say that I have arrived and will never have to stare into the darkness again, but I know that isn't so. I do know, though, that I have to embrace the present moment and celebrate life whatever that may involve today. My Creator is alive within and throughout this amazing world, and has never failed, through thick and thin, to wrap me in wings of protection and comfort. There are many layers of negativity to be peeled back so that a glimpse of God's image can show through. Just as one layer is lifting, another appears to take its place. That's where grace comes in. In desperate times, God dishes it out lavishly, like my grandma's generous servings of homemade strawberry shortcake...' This is the story of an unfinished journey - a journey that finds a path through pain leading to healing and celebration. It is the story of one woman choosing to seek wholeness despite heartache, serenity in the midst of struggling to adapt to a very different life, and discovering how in the driest of desert places God can reveal fresh water springs for the soul. It is a story shared through lyrical reflections and poems sparked by the ups and downs of life in a teeming Middle Eastern metropolis. Endorsements for this title come from Philip Yancey and Eugene Peterson
The six stories of "A Brief Theory of Travel and the Desert" contemplate the full range of human experience. They take us on a journey around the world, from the arid landscapes of the Mediterranean coast to the work of the brilliant Serbian writer, Milorad Pavic. All of the characters are waiting for, searching for, or exploring the possibility of a revelation which never appears in their numbed here-and-now. However, fate or mere chance (an irrelevant incident, someone fainting on a nudist beach, a plane crash that never actually happened) can reveal in a flash the true face of a character's isolation.
This book focuses on two basic concepts: security and desertification in the Mediterranean Region and their linkages. It emerged from a single meeting of the "Workshop on Desertification in the Mediterranean Region. A Security Issue" held in Valencia, Spain on 2-5 December 2003, which was sponsored by the NATO Science Committee and NATO Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society. Desertification is recognized as a process of land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas of the world that is the result of natural phenomena (e.g. climate variation) and anthropogenic factors. The outcome of this type of degradation has typically been considered to be either a reduction or a loss of both biological and economic productivity. The scope of the book includes the identification of the physical processes of desertification specific to both the north and south Mediterranean Region. Additionally, it specifically questions how changing environmental conditions may potentially reduce stability and peace in the world and thus affect "environmental security." During the workshop an array of government diplomats, security specialists, and social and physical scientists from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and North America reviewed the actions of past and current Mediterranean land use practices, especially in regard to environmental security, environmental consequences, and challenges for the future. The book is divided into six special topical areas dealing with Linking Environmental Condition to Security; Assessing Regional Conditions; Assessing Land Use Change Relative to Human-induced and Natural Cause; Opportunities for Regional Cooperation and Information Sharing; Soil and Vegetation Monitoring; and Development of Regional Desertification Indicators and Forecasting Techniques. This book provides a multi-lateral forum for cooperation, information exchange, and dialogue among the environmental, development, foreign and security policy communities within the Mediterranean Region and thus may provide a precedent for further cooperation and partnership, including other more advanced conferences and publications, on assessing the condition of the entire region and the subsequent impacts and linkages to environmental security.
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