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Kibbutz Samar – קיבוץ סמר

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Samar (Hebrew: סָמָר) is a kibbutz founded in 1976 in the Aravah valley in the far south of Israel located near Eilat. Samar is one of the few kibbutzim that continues to maintain a lifestyle consistent with the original socialist ideals of the kibbutz movement. Kibbutz Samar is primarily engaged in growing and exporting organic dates. Most of Samar’s electricity is set to be provided by a 30 m solar power tower that provided 100 kilowatts of energy, as well as the kibbutz’s heating needs.

Save Samar sand dunes


Desert Kites

Desert kites were first identified in the 1920s by Royal Air Force pilots flying over the eastern desert of Jordan; the pilots named them “kites” because their outlines as seen from the air reminded them of the children’s toy kites. Extant remnants of kites number in the thousands, and are distributed throughout the Arabian and Sinai peninsulas and as far northward as southeastern Turkey. Over a thousand have been documented in Jordan alone.

Photo: Courtesy אסף הולצר

The earliest desert kites are dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period of 9th-11th millennia BP, but the technology was used as recently as the 1940s to hunt the Persian goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa). Ethnographic and historic reports of these activities state that typically 40-60 gazelles could be trapped and killed in a single event; on occasion, up to 500-600 animals could be killed at once.

All 11 Negev kites are located in carefully chosen, advantageous and strategic settings. The kites can be divided into two major groups according to their environmental locations. Some were built at the opening of rich pasture areas while others were constructed along ancient local migration routes of ungulates. The latter kites are isolated and located at topographic ‘bottlenecks’ or cliff edges in hilly environments . Among the kites near large pasture areas three are adjacent (e.g. the Samar Kites).

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