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Owls unite Middle Eastern farmers

by Pat Coate | August 15, 2007
"For me, it was a real pleasure to find a man like that on the other side of the border."
- Shauli Aviel, Israeli kibbutz farmer

Sheik Hussein Village, Jordan - For years, Ibrahim Alayyan watched in frustration as rats devoured the date palms at his lush family farm.

To the world, the symbol of peace may be a dove, but to farmers on either side of the Jordan, it's Tyto alba, the common barn owl ... Alayyan is one of dozens of Jordanians working in cooperation with Israeli colleagues, targeting rodents with a natural predator instead of with chemicals.

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