A Week in a Suit

It was an honor to meet Ghunaim S. Alghunaim and Thani S. Al Anizi from Saudi Arabia during meetings and presentations this week to demonstrate more about project SunGlacier. I realized that if you actually live in a country covered with deserts, it is even harder to believe in making a glacier in that landscape – to believe in the impossible –  especially if you experience the world’s most extreme conditions around you on a daily basis. They know how it feels when the wind is blowing with temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius. (122F)  

(L to R) Mr. Alghunaim, Ap Verheggen, Mr. Al Anizi, in attendance of Mr. Alharbi (Aramco Overseas)
photo by Jerzy Frigge

A couple of years ago I travaled through some deserts in the United Arab Emirates and noticed that there was a sort of similarity with my expeditions through the Arctic: A hostile environment for humans, so quiet that you hear your own heart beat above the song of the wind. It’s nearly impossible for me to imagine how cultures adapted and survived in these conditions in ancient times. Fascinating!   

Water-related issues and training people how to manage water is the main subject of UNESCO-IHE. This week I also met with András Szöllösi-Nagy, rector of the institute and Governor of the World Water Council. A meeting between an artist and somebody with the position of András often results in a hurricane of energy and new ideas how to stretch borders on a creative way. It means a lot to me to get support from a good friend.

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