Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Eyen Al Asad

This morning I had the opportunity to visit an oasis on the base known as "Abraham's Well." Actually, it's not a well, and clearly not the famous one in Beersheba that Abraham dug. A more accurate name would be "Abraham's Oasis." Actually, the local name is Eyen Al Asad which translates to "Spring of the Lion."

Located near the Euphrates, about halfway between the ancient cities of Ur and Haran, the oasis is mentioned by name in Islamic writings, although no specific stops on Abram's journey are referenced in the Bible or Quran. Still, it's one of the few stops for fresh water in an otherwise barren land, and it's reasonable to believe that Abraham stopped here to drink, bathe, and water his flocks.

There were no permanent settlements here until about 1920, although the site has been frequented by Bedoins for the last 4000 years. The local residents were "evicted" by Saddam in 1985 when he built the air base that the US now uses. Up until early this year, the area was littered with trash from visitors, but local soldiers, sailors, and marines conducted a cleanup of the area.

Standing down by the water, with the wind blowing the rushes, hearing the croaking of frogs and the chirping of birds, it was a brief moment of escape from the reality of the air base surrounding it. Too brief a moment, as choppers flew overhead. Still, it was an awesome feeling standing in an area that once may have been visited by the great patriarch.


Hugh Harper said...

It is good that you could visit such a famous and histoical site. By all means find a way to visit Bablyon as it has such a significant role in both world history and Bible prophecy.

obgirl042 said...

Thanks for sharing this Dan. What an awesome opportunity for you!

reddog said...

What a beautiful and historic site. Isn't it ironic that we are in the cradle of the most ancient civilization on earth, home of Zarathustra, Hammurabi, all those guys, teaching the current residents to be "civilized".

One can only wonder why they refuse to accept the obvious moral, intellectual and philosophical accendency of George W. Bush.

Glad they didn't wreck your laptop and that you have access. Your own putting green, pretty good. Perfect SoCal weather here, 78 and sunny. Hope the mesopotamian heat breaks for you soon.

SeabeeEQCM said...

I am a Master Chief Patty Officer with the Naval Construction Forces. I not only had the oportuity to visit Abraham's Oasis during this last tour to Iraq, but I had the opportunity to visit Babylon during my first tour in '03. The biblical and historical significance of both sites is overwhelming.

Thanks for your posting. It brought back some interesting memories.