E U P H R A T E S
 
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0:00 ~ 0:24
Mount Ararat, biblical resting-place of Noah’s Ark, rises above the elevated pastoral lands of eastern Turkey. Little has changed here over the ages as herdsmen still drift with the seasons, tending to the needs of their flocks.

0:24 ~ 1:38
It is here in this mountainous region of timeless existence where the Euphrates, the longest river in southwestern Asia, begins its deliberate journey southward. Since the beginning of civilization, the Euphrates has been a crucial source of life-giving water to the inhabitants of this turbulent area of the Middle East.

1:38 ~ 2:08
Further downstream lies the ancient region of Mesopotamia. The world’s earliest civilization began its development here in the lush fertile plain created by the floodwaters of the Euphrates and its northern counterpart, the Tigris River. The rich farmland provided by these rivers supported the establishment of communities here as early as 5000 B.C.

2:08 ~ 3:07
At present in southeastern Turkey the Anatolia Project has a foothold on the waters of the Euphrates: a magnificent dam, named after a great leader of the past, Mustafa Kemal, or Ataturk, "Father of the Turks." Not far from here on the Harran Plain, legend has it that Abraham himself was the first to cultivate this land. Yet to the people of Syria and Iraq, who dwell below the confines of this modern day structural siphon, this project is seen as a threat to their future agricultural livelihood.

3:07 ~ 3:36
Indeed, an uninterrupted flow of precious Euphrates water played a vital role in the development of Cuneiform, the world’s first system of writing. The Sumerian civilization, which developed in what is now southeastern Iraq, built great cities with majestic temples and palaces around a highly advanced system of irrigational agriculture. The assurance of a plentiful food supply allowed the Sumerians to focus on more intellectual endeavors such as the creation of a written language.

3:36 ~ 4:35
The abundance of resources provided by the Euphrates river allowed ancient cultures, such as Sumer, to thrive and grow in wealth. Yet the prosperity of this region has led to continual invasion by neighboring peoples and an upheaval of power by one culture after another. Over the ages the Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Arabs, Mongols, and Ottoman Turks have all shared in the affluence of this fertile landscape.

4:35 ~ 5:05
Today, the nations of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey all face the urgency of securing a constant supply of Euphrates water within their respective borders. The instability of this oil-rich region of the world is further clouded by the well-known possibility that the next war in the Middle East may be fought over water, not politics.

5:05 ~ End
Still the waters of this great river continue to run. From its humble beginnings in a desolate mountainous region of Turkey to its ultimate end in the tumultuous Persian Gulf, the Euphrates will always remain a life-giving source to those people who reside within its enduring path.

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