Friday, March 5, 2010

The Richness of the Western Province

The eastern province of Saudi Arabia is known for its petroleum resources, but the West also has rich treasures beneath the surface of the Red Sea. The western coast of Saudi Arabia is home to some of the most lively reef environments in the world... and I think life is far more valuable than oil.

I went to Jeddah with some friends to catch a diving boat trip on Friday. Every time I dip beneath the surface of the Red Sea, I am amazed by the colors and richness of life in the reefs.

Thanks to my marine scientist friends, I also learn something new every time.

Parrot fish grazing on the coral.

There were lots of these colorful clams in the reef.

So many different types of coral.

And lots of colorful fish too.

For me, snorkeling and diving is a needed release from the familiar routine at KAUST. Quality of life in the compound is good, but we are quite isolated out here in the desert . Breaks like this from study and research keep me sane - the feeling of freedom under the water is exhilarating.