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Combining International, Political, Religious and Engineering Issues

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Straying a little bit from our personal domestic agendas, there is a report
from the Associated Press today regarding the Al Aqsa Mosque compound/Temple
Mount with respect to fears of a potential collapse from crowd overloading
following weakening of the site from a recent earthquake. See
http://worldnews.orb6.com/stories/ap/20040926/israel_shaky_holy_site.php

Perhaps the engineering community could compile a multi-denominational (and
international?) team of eminent engineers and geologists to investigate the
current condition of the structure. The United States engineering community
already has a track record in this arena, as this was done for the WTC and
other domestic engineering crises. Regarding the claims made in the article,
what are the recent seismic events in that region? What are the primary rock
formations and could these have been affected? There are many claims in the
article but an utter absence of factual engineering information. Clearly
there will be a perception by most of the readership, which is worldwide,
that each side represented in the article is pursuing its own
non-engineering agenda at the expense of the facts (which may or may not be
true).

Is there an organization that would be viewed as unbiased that could review
the various claims being made? Perhaps ASCE could take the lead as they have
done in the past.

James Cohen, PE
James Cohen Consulting, PC
http://expertpages.com/jccpc


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