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Prophet Mata Nature Reserve: A Religious, Tourist and un spoilt Nature Destination

The Prophet Mata Mountain natural reserve is one of the most important nature reserves in Syria, where the mountain forest was declared a natural forest reserve pursuant to resolution No. 211 dated 29/9/2009

The nature reserve is located at the coastal mountains of Tartous  province. Thanks to its ecological and biological diversity and charming nature, the reserve enjoys a stunning view and a wonderful climate since its ground is rich with fresh springs, which are the purest in the world.

The forest is about 1100 m above sea level. It is estimated at 650 hectares, of which 450 are artificially afforested since 1976 with a number of forest species including 200 hectares of chestnuts.

The climate is mild in summer and cold in winter with an average annual rainfall of about 1800 mm. It features a number of permanent flux springs while its soil is a homogeneous lime-free sedimentary basaltic.

As a unique artificial forest site, Prophet Mata forest  has been afforested since 1976 with various plant species such as:

Chestnut trees, Conifers of all kinds, Lebanese cedar trees and vertical and horizontal cypress trees.

As for the natural species in this reserve are:  Oaks, Hawthorn, willow, blackberry, fern, in addition to a number of annual and perennial herbs.


The forest is home to a variety of wild animals including :

Pigs, Hyenas, the wolf, Jackals, Squirrels, the Hedgehog, the mole and Badger.


There are several types of beautiful birds, most notably:

Partridge, Blackbird, Quail, Hoopoe, Sparrow, hawk, eagle, the crow, Abu Han, Goldfinch and Abu Zureik.

In addition to all kinds of turtles and reptiles.

Within the reserve at the top of the mountain there is a small building with a six-meter tomb inside.  It is believed to be the tomb of the Prophet Mata, visited by local people to be blessed.

Amal Farhat- Homs

Damascus Petrochemical Refinery, the company project helps keeping clean and healthy environment.

Damascus Petrochemical Refinery is interested in the recycling of used oil. It is considered the only producer of base oil in the region .The production capacity is /30.000 / tons yearly , including the production of base oil with all its kinds light, medium and heavy as well as the production of final oils like engine oils, hydraulic oils, dentate oils and greases. Syria Times met Dr. Ahmad Al Ansari, chairman of Damascus Petrochemical Refinery who said

Syria imports about 150.000 / tons of base oil yearly to fulfill the needs of its citizens in operating the different vehicles and there are no plants that recycle those used oils , so most of those oils are either poured in the  ground or deflation drains or get recycled in small un licensed workshops that harm both environment and consumer. The company project - recycling of used oil - is the only licensed project in the region.

The factory operates according to the European Union Standards, Where all the company products are industrialized on the highest mechanisms in the world. He added

Barada: Damascus vital water source, sabotaged by terrorists!

Barada River is the main river crossing Damascus and watering its ancient Orchids. It flows out of Barada Lake, which is situated in the Zabadani Valley 30km north west of Damascus. The River is propped up by Al-Fijeh Water Spring as it enters Damascus, where it branches out into seven streams.

Lovely gardens in the city, green trees, charming colorful flowers, and a rich varity of fruits,all distinguish Damascus and its countryside, all due to Barada River.

Chimpanzees' working memory similar to ours

Working memory is central to our mental lives; we use it to add up the cost of our shopping or to remember the beginning of this sentence at its end. Some scientists argue it is particularly developed in humans, but how do chimpanzees, one of our closest relatives, compare? Researchers set out to answer this question.

Previous studies showed that chimpanzees have excellent long-term memory abilities. However, little is known so far about their working memory abilities. To shed light on these abilities researchers presented chimpanzees with a task, in which they could search for food in a number of small, opaque boxes. The chimpanzees first watched how pieces of food were hidden in these boxes. Then the apes could start to search for the food items by pointing at these boxes one by one. If a chosen box contained food, the chimpanzees received this food reward. After each choice, the boxes were covered for 15 seconds, according to Science Daily.

Climate change: Current warming 'unparalleled' in 2,000 years

The speed and extent of current global warming exceeds any similar event in the past 2,000 years, researchers say.

They show that famous historic events like the "Little Ice Age" don't compare with the scale of warming seen over the last century.

The research suggests that the current warming rate is higher than any observed previously.

The scientists say it shows many of the arguments used by climate sceptics are no longer valid.