Association for Environmental and Developmental Studies in the Arab World
- AEDSAW ACTIVITIES AT MESA 2002 in Washington D.C.
AEDSAW: Focusing on Predicaments and Highlights
in Arab Environment and Development
At this year's MESA conference AEDSAW's session will include an
open discussion where participants are invited to comment on
and debate environmental and developmental problems and
solutions in the area. Opening the session will be a short
introduction to AEDSAW and its activities with a short talk by
Prof. Barre Ludvigsen of AUB highlighting emerging
environmental concerns and the role of the Internet in
preserving historical information on the environment. Of
particular note will be the pioneering work of Adrienne
Bonfils, Antoine Poidebard and George Post.
The Bonfils family of photographers are among the famous visual
recorders of the Levant prior to the popularization of
picture-taking with roll film and box cameras. Their large
negatives and Adrienne's vow to record the famous views of the
area before the changes of modern industrialization set in
incidentally also produced excellent records of the
Antoine Poidebard pioneered the use of both aerial and
underwater photography in archaeological exploration and
surveying during the first half of the 20th century. He thus
incidentaly also recorded quite acurately the state of the
natural environment on high resolution film.
George Post who was one of the founders of AUB was also
responsible for building an impressive collection of plants
from Syria and Lebanon into what is now the Post Herbarium. The
collection was the basis for his "Flora of Syria, Palestine and
The works of all three pioneers of the Middle East
environment have been hidden in limited publications and
generally inaccessible archives. Bearing in mind that
environmental and developmental concerns have a
historical dimension that underpins many of today's ills
and tomorrows solutions, their works and discoveries are
inspirational and valuable knowledge.
Thus the scope of these three personalities' work, both
intentional and incidental, might be used as a framework
for an ensuing discussion at this years AEDSAW session.
Contributors to the session are invited to submit a short
note of their subject of interest to the session chair at
the start of the meeting to facilitate the organization
of the discussion.