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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

When Community Engagement Restored Trust and Raised Public Index of Suspicion for COVID-19

Kampala, 4 September 2020:- When the World Health Organization (WHO), declared the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic, on 11th March 2020, many Ugandans didn’t take it seriously with many saying it was a disease for the affluent, the very high class or for developed countries. As the disease ravaged the entire world, Ugandans…
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    Jewish-Muslim teamwork uncovers owl nests in mosque

    An Arab-Israel notified a Jewish veterinarian about an injured owl, which led to an even bigger discovery.

    By BEN BARUCH
     

    JULY 21, 2021 19:18

    The mosque in which the injured owl was found. (photo credit: Courtesy)

    The mosque in which the injured owl was found.

    (photo credit: Courtesy)

    Follow the owl and you will reach coexistence.

    Owls, which are normally bad omens in Muslim culture, brought Jews and Muslims together on Saturday. Ahmad Zu’aba, who lives near a mosque in the Arab village of Taiba in central Israel, reported a fledgling owl with broken wings to Israeli animal ambulance Chaibulance.

    Tzukit Raviv, who responded to the situation, notified Rami Haviv and Kobi Merom of the situation. They are involved with the national initiative to use owls and falcons instead of pesticides in farmland.

    Zu’aba took the two researchers to the mosque near where he found the injured owl, and they discovered two nests of owls inside the mosque.

    These owls are an important part of Israeli agriculture. There are currently 5,000 owl nests on farmland in Emek HaMa’ayanot and the Jezreel Valley. They act as natural pest killers, as a family of owls hunts between 2,000 and 6,000 rodents each year, according to the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.

    Haviv and Merom are currently searching the mosque for more nests.

    “This nesting was unrecognized, and thanks to Ahmad Zu’aba’s exemplary citizenship, we learned about another pair [of owl nests in addition to the] 5,000 bird boxes in agricultural fields,” said Prof. Yossi Leshem, an SPNI member, ornithologist and professor at the Tel Aviv University School of Zoology.

    With the breeding season on the horizon, the owls need a suitable place to reproduce. However, there is no intention to bring them to the farmland. The researchers attached transmitters to the owls they found, healed the injured owl and returned it to the nest.

    Despite living in a region of geopolitical complexity, there are no borders for these owls. They hunt and live freely on Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian farmland.

    “In my opinion, the peace dove has failed in its role in the Middle East – and the owl has replaced it with great success in connecting Muslims with Jews and connecting neighbors,” Leshem said.

    There’s a saying in Muslim culture that one who follows the owl will be led to doom. But in this case, it led to an important discovery about a bird that helps keep Israeli and Palestinian produce healthy to eat.

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