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How a Seed Bank, Almost Lost in Syria’s War, Could Help Feed a Warming Planet

Ali Shehadeh, a plant conservationist from Syria who fled the war in his country, at work in Terbol, Lebanon. Credit Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times

Image: Ali Shehadeh, a plant conservationist from Syria who fled the war in his country, at work in Terbol, Lebanon. Credit Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times

nytimes.com - Somini Sengupta - October 13th 2017

Ali Shehadeh, a seed hunter, opened the folders with the greatest of care. Inside each was a carefully dried and pressed seed pod: a sweet clover from Egypt, a wild wheat found only in northern Syria, an ancient variety of bread wheat. He had thousands of these folders stacked neatly in a windowless office, a precious herbarium, containing seeds foraged from across the hot, arid and increasingly inhospitable region known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of farming.

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