Photographer's Note

Bicycle travel on the Silk Road:
this is one of a number of water wheels, a Noria (in arab: ناعورة‎,) in Hamah. When turning, its huge oak axle squeaks on its oak bearing in ear-splitting fashion, you can hear it from far away. The wheel shoves water 20 meters up into an aquaeduct (to the right) that used to serve the city; today only public fountains are provided with its water, the water of the Orontes river is no longer of drinking quality. The wheel, entirely made of wood except for some bolts, is driven by the river current.
The Noria technique is old (thanks, Wikipedia): the colonizing Greeks introduced it around 250 BC in the area, Arab engineers improved the asymmetric construction later to maximize the quantity of water lifted.
It breaks my heart to think of the civil war raging now, of the hatred that broke out. I had a good feeling in Hamas, I remember the many friendly people. Some of them told me that they were not against the government but they had no jobs, that was (at the time) their reason for demonstrating peacefully in the streets.

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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