When Pope Francis arrived in Bahrain, he sent messages of “peace” to humanity “inspired” in his speech, from a Bahraini tree that dates back to centuries.
The Pope, who is visiting the small Gulf country for the first time, reviewed in his first speech, Thursday, the name “The Tree of Life” 6 times during the speech.
“I refer to the so-called ‘tree of life’, which I have been inspired by to share some ideas with you,” Pope Francis said. “It is a wonderful acacia tree that has survived for centuries in a desert region, where rains foretell, and where it seems impossible for this perennial tree to resist and thrive. In such circumstances,” according to the word I published Agency Bahrain News (BNA).
After a visit that lasted 4 days, which also witnessed the holding of a mass at the Bahrain National Stadium, the Pope left Bahrain on Sunday noon.
What is the “tree of life”?
About 40 kilometers south of the capital, Manama, there is a tree that has puzzled scientists; Because it has survived for more than 400 years in an arid region where the average rainfall does not exceed 150 mm annually.
There is no source of water to irrigate this tree, which has become described as “one of the natural wonders of Bahrain”.
The tree, which appears completely alone in the middle of the hot, dry desert of Bahrain, was called the “tree of life” because of what some believed to be its extraordinary ability to survive in such a harsh arid climate.
“According to many, the secret lies in the roots that extend tens of meters underground and are irrigated by aquifers,” the Pope said in his speech.
This perennial tree has become one of the tourist attractions in Bahrain, the Gulf country of 1.4 million people.
According to the site “Lonely PlanetThe tree was planted around 1583 AD.
Extensive studies were conducted on this wondrous tree without a definitive explanation as to why it survived centuries ago without obtaining sources of irrigation.
in a report agency Reuters on the Tree of Life In 2008, a professor specializing in botany and hydroponics, Ghazi al-Karaky, said that there is a scientific explanation for the tree’s survival for such a long time.
He said at the time that one simple explanation was that trees could evolve a mechanism in which the fungi in their roots act as a sponge that absorbs water from deep in the ground, allowing the trees to survive in harsh conditions.
Al Karaki added, “After examining, we put our hand on, or perhaps we thought, that the secret was in the soil of this tree. We took samples from the tree’s soil and the roots of some plants very close to the tree, which were completely dry.”
He continued, “This proved to us that these plants coexist as well, especially that the fungus of roots found in the soil of this tree works a very huge network of threads that extend deep and wide horizontally as well as vertically. It may extend from the roots about a meter or more. These threads help absorb water and nutrients from the roots. distant depths.
The tree has a main trunk and several branches, some of which are tilted, and it comes to a height of 9.75 meters. The Bahraini authorities have also established a visitor center next to it that contains information about this tree, which has become a tourist attraction visited by nearly 50,000 people annually.
Since October 2010, archaeologists have discovered pottery and other artifacts near the tree, some of which may date back to the ancient Dilmun civilization in Bahrain.Charismatic Planet“.
Al Karaki described the tree as “one of Bahrain’s natural wonders,” calling for its preservation and survival.
What did the Pope say about her?
In his speech, Pope Francis pointed out that the “tree of life” that lives in arid deserts indicates the possibility of “human coexistence”.
And he said: “Let us distribute the water of brotherhood: We do not let the possibility of meeting between civilizations, religions and cultures evaporate, and we do not allow the roots of humanity to dry out, let us work together and work for everyone together, and for the sake of hope I am here in the land of the Tree of Life, sowing peace to live the days of meeting and to participate in a forum Dialogue between East and West for people to live together in peace.
Pope Francis also referred to foreign expats in Bahrain who are “clearly working to develop a country in which they feel at home.”
Describing the wondrous tree, the Pope said: “Many branches of different sizes and its distinctiveness have led over time to the appearance of a thick interlacing of leaves, which increased its height and breadth. In this country it was the contribution of many people from different peoples that allowed a remarkable development of productivity. This was possible thanks to Expatriates to the country The Kingdom of Bahrain boasts one of the highest rates in the world “about half of the resident population are foreigners”.
The Pope also used this tree to talk about climate issues and the COP27 conference, which opens in Egypt on Sunday, in addition to wars.
He said: “The tree of life, which stands alone in the desert landscape, still reminds me of two crucial areas for all, and addresses especially those who rule and bear the responsibility of serving the common good. In the first place, the issue of the environment: how many trees have been cut down, how many ecosystems have been destroyed, and how many seas It is polluted by human insatiable greed, which in turn is counterproductive
He stressed the importance of making decisions “for the sake of the younger generations before it is too late and before their future is at risk.” He continued, “The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) should be a step forward in this direction.”
He continued: “In the second place is the tree of life, with its roots that transport vital water from the earth’s interior to the trunk, and from the trunk to the branches, and thus to the leaves, which give oxygen to creation, makes me think of man’s call, in every man on earth: to make life It is flourishing. But today, every day we are witnessing more actions and death threats.”
“In particular, I think of the senseless, brutal reality of war, which is sowing destruction everywhere … showing the worst aspects of man: selfishness, violence and lies,” he explained.