The Dead Sea is among 14 finalists in a global internet vote next year to choose the 7 wonders of the natural world, organisers said on Tuesday August 25, 2009.The famously salty lake at the lowest point in the world is in the running for a place alongside spectacular natural phenomena such as the Amazon River, the Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef.The Dead Sea is shared by Israel, Jordan and the occupied West Bank. It was almost eliminated from the contest (www.new7wonders.com) earlier this year when Middle East politics blocked their required cooperation.But a last-minute compromise allowed the candidacy to proceed to the next stage. Final results are due in 2011, by which time the organisers expect one billion people will have voted online.Click below for a multi-media ’essay’ on the Dead Sea.
Tisha B’Av is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. The day has been called the “saddest day in Jewish history”. Thousands of Jewish pilgrims gather in Jerusalem’s Western Wall to pray and mourn throughout the night.