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Rise And Shine! Dana Nature Reserve On The Cusp Of Spring

By Sami Haven
By Sami Haven


By Sami Haven
By Sami Haven

Asia or Europe? That is the question for thousands of birds winging their way up from Africa on their annual migration each spring. The fork in the aerial highway happens at Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan’s largest of such, which contains four different microclimates–all now thrilling with spring.

Humans reach the reserve by driving down through Jordan’s Desert Highway, passing many warm shades of pastel sandy colours and gigantic power poles that dot the isolated landscape. Then as the road starts to descend through various dry villages, the first signs of vegetation arise as pine trees appear on either side. Finally you reach the starting point of the reserve, which is another world within the surrounding desert. Right there on the edge of the valley, you can see the whole wadi below, as eagles glide majestically below you.

Dana’s 320 square kilometres are home to over 800 plant species, many of which are rare, including three that are found only on the reserve and whose Latin names contain the term “Dana”. It also shelters several endangered types of birds and mammals such as Syrian Serin Serinus syriacus, Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni, Blanford’s Fox Vulpes cana and Nubian Ibex Capra Nubians.

The reserve is run by the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature, which maintains a wonderful equilibrium between the requirements of nature and those of the local community.

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Sami Haven

Sami Haven was born in Amman, Jordan, in 1987. His mother is originally from Yabroud, Syria, and his father is English born in the Caribbean. He grew up in his grandmother's house in Jabal al-wehbdeh, in the heart of Amman. In 2003 Sami moved to Al-Saru, on the outskirts of Amman, where he studied graphic design at Al Ahliyya University, graduating with the highest grades of his class. In 2005 he moved to Rome, Italy, where he did his masters in Photography. Sami worked with the world's most famous photographers like Steven Klein and Oliviero Toscani, along with many others. His works have been included in the Biennale of Venice directed by Kazuyo Sejima, Paris-Photo, and also in Tokio. After working in various editions of X-FACTOR Italia - making video clips for the contestants - in theatre with Fendi, and in the high fashion industry, Sami felt there was something missing, and so he decided to go to Gaza, Palestine, because it is an example of resistance and humanity, and to try and contrast the image constructed by the Western media that serves only the powerful. Today Sami is co-funder and part of an on growing conceptual group called Jasmine. A group united through passion against fear, a smell that's to spread out from the Mediterranean like a virus, to contaminate the world with Love, and heal from indifference. All can be part, and all shall be armed: Culture, Art, Music and Sport shall be our weapons of mass construction.

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