By: Zainab

Yerbol - Lebanon : A Syrian conservationist safeguards seeds that may be crucial in the future.

Ali Shehadeh, a seed hunter, opened the folders with the greatest of care. Inside each was a carefully dried and pressed seed pod :

A sweet clover from Egypt, a wild wheat found only in northern Syria, an ancient variety of bread wheat; He had thousands of these folders stacked in a windowless office-

A precious herbarium, containing seeds foraged across the hot, arid and increasingly inhospitable region known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of farming.

Mr. Shehadeh, is a plant conservationist from Syria. He hunts for the genes contained in the seeds we plant today and what he calls their ''wild relatives'' from long ago.

His goal is to safeguard those seeds that may be hardy enough to feed us in the future, when many parts of the world could become as hot, arid and inhospitable as it is here.

But searching for seeds can endure the perils of a hotter planet has not been easy.

It has thrown Mr. Shehadeh and his organization, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the dry areas, or Icarda, squarely at a messy intersection of food, weather and war.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!