Tania with her husband and son.
Here, a personal story from Tania Pons-Allon, who works for the Central Arava Regional Council. The council's jurisdiction covers more than 370,000 acres -- approximately 6 percent of Israel’s total land mass -- but is inhabited by just 3,300 people scattered throughout seven communities.
By Tania Pons-Allon
It was summer, and we packed our small Tel Aviv apartment into a moving van and drove south. I was caressing a nine-month-pregnant belly as my husband drove fast in atypical speed for route No. 6, while sirens went off on the radio every couple of songs. The decision was clear to us both. After 10 years in the center of Israel, we were returning home. We are both Arava natives, and we always knew we wanted our children to grow up like we did: with a sense of freedom, tranquility, and simplicity.