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Sharaan Nature Reserve

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You could never get tired of visiting the desertscapes of Al Ula. The stunning landscape - magnificent arches and towers of sandstone mountain against a backdrop of glittering stars - makes it a delight for camping. Despite this, the area was not very popular until about five years ago. Only a handful of explorers used to visit it during the winter. It was only recently that the government finally took notice of how tourist-worthy the small town of Al-Ula is. It has loads of potential attractions: the Nabataean tombs at Hegra, the Lion Tombs of the ancient Kingdom of Dadan, the inscriptions at Jabal Ikma, the old town of Al Ula itself, and the photogenic Elephant Rock. So they formed the Royal Commission of Al-Ula (RCU) to help promote tourism and sustainable development. Aerial view of the Nabataean tombs The Elephant Rock  The RCU has created a Sharaan Nature Reserve to protect the area and bring it back to its former glory - yes, as unbelievable as it is, Al-Ula used to be even more

The Masai Giraffe

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Last summer, I was lucky enough to visit Kenya and see many majestic animals in the wild. One of the most memorable was the Masai giraffe.  Masai giraffe is one of the nine subspecies of giraffe (according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature) or one of the four species of giraffe (according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation). Scientists are still not sure about the classification of giraffe, since the GCF, through new DNA testing, found that there are four species of giraffe and five subspecies, but the IUCN still officially recognizes one giraffe species and nine subspecies. Regardless, Masai giraffe is the largest species (or subspecies) of giraffe. They can be distinguished by their irregular shaped spots which extend down their legs all the way to their hooves. We got to see many Masai giraffe in the game reserve of Masai Mara. Most of them were in small groups, although we did see a few lone giraffes. It was truly fascinating to watch them in

An Evening at Ambesoli National Park

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A while ago, my family and I took a trip to Kenya. We visited many places and had an amazing time. We made loads of great memories, but one that stands out the most is simply watching the sunset on our first day in Amboseli National Park. We were staying in a small, pretty lodge just outside the park when we decided it was a good idea to go out for a while to look at the sunset and take pictures. Our sweet and friendly guide, Muya, drove us out and we stopped when the lodge was out of sight. Even during the very short drive we could see many pretty birds flying about and playing with each other.  He cut the engine and we got out of the car. It was silent except for the sound of birds and insects. Yellow - green grass grew on the sandy ground. Small bushes and the occasional tree dotted the landscape. In the distance, we could see the shadow of Mount. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa. The sun hung low in the sky and cast an orange glow over the landscape. The beautiful s

Wadi Lajab

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Wadi Lajab is a stunning valley 130 KM North-East of Jizan. The drive there from Jizan is equally amazing. Mountains surround you and the road snakes through them, steep and treacherous. You can’t see what’s coming after those hairpin bends, and that adds to the thrill. If both the car and the driver are good and know what they are doing, you will enjoy it. You will notice the green mountains and the small picturesque houses and villages. They make this drive one of the most beautiful I know. You exit the road and enter the valley through a small opening that is very easy to miss.  High mountain walls surround you as you drive on a narrow gravel trail through what looks like another world.  Flowing seawater appears under your wheels as you go further, and keeps increasing. The gravel eventually turns to big stones, and you have to stop and continue on foot. You follow a stream, walking in what is one of the most beautiful places in Saudi Arabia.  The hig

Wadi Tayyib al-Ism

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Last weekend my family and some of our friends went on a three-day trip to see some places in Saudi Arabia, one of which was Wadi Tayyib al-Ism. Wadi Tayyib al-Ism might be the 'Valley of Lemuel' where Lehi's family stopped for a while after they left Jerusalem.  We went in and after a while, there was a small bridge with a kind of barricade that cars couldn't cross so we continued on foot. It was cold and a very small stream stayed with us as we went inside, disappearing at intervals but always joining us again. From inside the valley, you could see the tops of the mountains and it made you feel a bit small, but it was a good feeling. You were in this space surrounded by the tall mountains and it was so peaceful and quiet. It was very relaxing to be in the Valley and it was sad when we had to leave. I hope we go there again and you definitely should if you ever get the chance.

Something

" Stop!" I kicked and punched as the thing masquerading as my mother seized me.  My brother watched silently from the doorway as she started dragging me towards it. I screamed again as tears started flowing from my eyes. "Help me!" He just looked at me and frowned. "We have to do this, Claire. It's for your own good." My eyes widened. They had gotten to him too. I sobbed and screamed, struggling harder. It was of no use. She was too strong for me to get away. In desperation, I screamed one last time and tried to kick her away. She gripped me harder.  "Oh my god Claire just do your homework."

Pride and Prejudice

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Most of you have heard of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and if you are anything like me, have probably dismissed it as 'one of those boring old classics'. However, when you read it, you will find that it is an amazing book. You will probably have to look some words up in the dictionary, but that is a small price for a good book. Pride and Prejudice is a story told through the eyes of the second eldest daughter of a middle-class family in 19 th century England -  Elizabeth Bennet (Lizzy). Young and spirited, she makes a great heroine that you will want to stick by for the rest of the book. The story starts when the charming and rich young gentleman called Mr. Bingley (along with his friend Mr. Darcy and sisters Mrs. Hurst and Miss. Bingley) takes up residence nearby. Nearly all the girls in the neighborhood want him as their husband. Mr. Bingley favors Jane, Lizzy's eldest sister, and a proposal is expected soon. On their very first