Desert Heat: Matching Headings
You are going to read a newspaper article about a desert in Israel. Choose the most suitable heading from the list (A-l) for each part (1-7) of the article. There is one extra heading which you do not need to use. There is an example at the beginning (0).
A Viewing the desert as a threat.
B Illusions and marvels.
C Travelling into the wilderness.
D Dangers beneath the desert.
E The many faces of the desert.
F A changing way of life.
G Land of the Bible.
H Bringing life to the desert.
I An undiscovered land.
Only 80 kilometres to the south of Jerusalem, the Negev desert begins. It covers nearly half of Israel, yet it is largely ignored by the country’s visitors, who see it as nothing but endless dust and rock. Traditionally, tourism has only affected the outskirts of the desert: the Red Sea in the south and the Dead Sea in the north.
With temperatures reaching 45°C, this dried-up landscape of dwarfed bushes and threatening mountains will always terrify some travellers. In the total silence it is common for people to believe they hear dogs barking, phones ringing and buses stopping. But these hallucinations soon wear off, and many people who visit the desert discover its wonders.
The Negev is a predominantly rocky desert, with an amazing variety of landscapes: flat, stony plains, canyons, plant-less mountains and salt marshes. Steep cliffs rise above dry riverbeds. Here and there are deep holes, the remains of copper mines made by the Egyptians 6,000 years ago. The overall impression is of a prehistoric landscape.
Nowadays, camels, the traditional desert transport, are being replaced by the less stubborn four-wheel — drive vehicle. Desert safaris, whether by car or camel, are now a growing industry. Treks range from an hour on a camel to seven-night journeys on foot or by jeep, with a mattress at night under the stars. How far you travel into the Negev and away from civilisation is your decision.
Despite its potential for tourist development, Israel has always been a little worried by the desert. David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, said, “If the State does not put an end to the desert, the desert may put an end to the State.”
Ben-Gurion’s dream was to turn the desert into agricultural land, using a system of underground water points. Kilometre by kilometre, the green squares of land, worked by Kibbutzim (co-operative farms) are turning dry rock into plantations of fruit. But the survival of the project is heavily dependent on the annual rainfall. Water has always been the most important survival factor for all life in the Negev.
A large proportion of the desert is also used by the Israeli army for training purposes, and it is rumoured that somewhere below the desert, Israel’s nuclear arms station is hidden. The Negev is a fragile area which can be damaged easily. Rubbish left behind by the army is a common sight.
The tents of the Bedouins - the Arab people of the desert - can still be seen in some places. Increasingly, however, they are giving up their wandering lifestyle to live in permanent housing. But the herds of sheep and goats that provide the Bedouins with a source of income are still to be seen amongst the rocks of the desert.
1.B; 2.E; 3.C; 4.A; 5.H; 6.D; 7.F