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Samir Amin has argued that the challenges which Africa is facing today should be put in the longer time frame of the continuous construction by the imperialist centres of an asymmetric dominating and dominated relationship with the peripheries of the three continents. In that respect, the contemporary new stage of imperialist monopoly capital sees Africa almost exclusively as a source of natural resources to be plundered.
The Ghor, also Ghawr (‘depression’), in the southern Levant refers to the region of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, part of the Great Rift Valley. Ghor al-Safi is located on a fertile alluvial plain at the mouth of Wadi al-Hasa near the lower end of the Dead Sea. It is one of several communities along the eastern Dead Sea shore which are collectively referred to as the southern Ghor(s). Historically, the year-round residents of the hot and malaria-infested Ghor were considered a distinct group by both pastoral nomads and farmers of the higher grounds. They were, and still are, commonly referred to as Ghorani (also Ghawarneh), a term which invokes strong derogatory connotations related to their darker skin tone and underprivileged economic status.
Since the 1960’s, the Syrian state built large scale irrigation schemes on the Euphrates river. The Al-Assad Establishment is one of the most important of these large scale projects. From 1980 onward, it was operated as a state farm. Its creation profundly transformed the pattern of agricultural production but also the social structures and everyday life of farmers.