I remember that when I visited Byblos, in the Jbeil district of Lebanon, in the summer of 2011, I felt like a true beholder of history. Historians agree that it’s the second oldest continuously-inhabited city on earth, runner-up only to the Palestinian city of Jericho. I sat at Feniqia restaurant in the heart of the[.....]
When there is nothing left to do, you might as well do something. In Syria, where the war is five years and counting, dancing might be the last thing on anyone’s mind. But for Ahmad Joudeh, it is a priority. Dance is his lifeblood, and he is fueling others with it, too. Joudeh teaches dance[.....]
In a region where the renewable energy market is still small, despite a natural and seemingly perpetual gas shortage, one startup is making big strides. KarmSolar is an Egyptian company dedicated to bolstering solar energy use. It is now the first company in Egypt with official permission to sell solar power off-grid. The Egyptian Electricity[.....]
According to a recent report, Sharjah – a city named after its state, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates criteria set forth by the Arab Council of Tourism Ministers. It must be actively attempting to: increase tourism exchange with other Arab countries, promote the region’s appeal on the international market, sustain natural[.....]
A few years ago, Jordan launched an initiative called BADIR to support budding young entrepreneurs, eager to contribute to positive change in their communities. Now Kuwait is following suit: the “n-mu” program endows participants with the skills and resources necessary to create real social change. N-mu? That’s a funny name, you might be thinking. But[.....]
Green is sort of a buzzword nowadays. People will say they are going green (like Zaha Hadid), but are they as good as their word? Usually not. In the world of Middle Eastern architecture and engineering, rest assured that there are several who are fighting for green choices. Clients often see lots of green –[.....]
For Syrian refugees, seeing light at the end of the tunnel is a whole lot to ask. The Syrian civil war is reaching its five-year anniversary, and that’s not quite a call to celebration. What can humans cling to in such desolation? The things that make us human. We have the ability to feel and[.....]
There’s a movie called 27 Dresses about a woman who finds love and finally gets to wear a wedding dress after serving as a bridesmaid, 27 times. You might think that “24 shirts” refers to a similar movie about a 24-time groomsman – but not so. It actually describes a recent fashion innovation by Israeli[.....]
Sea garbage’s days may be numbered, thanks to a new invention by a pair of Australians, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski. The Seabin Project is one being funded by Indiegogo and revolves around a floating trash receptacle. Able to suck everything floating in its vicinity into its natural fiber bag, from paper to plastic to[.....]
They’re healthy. They’re sweet. They’re pretty. They’re dense and filling, so one bite will satisfy you but never make you feel guilty about eating it. And you shouldn’t hold back from making them, either, since they’re done in a matter of minutes. Alright, enough with the fanfare (cause I’m their #1 fan): what are they?[.....]
You might have been introduced to the seemingly odd combination of watermelon and feta cheese through my Green Prophet recipe article here. Now, there’s a new food pairing in town: avocado and grapefruit as a salad. The bright citrus of the grapefruit perfectly complements the warm creaminess of the avocado. This colorful salad works well with seafood, and[.....]
In this day and age, with the superpower of Google, you can locate any recipe, and find infinite recipe ideas, online. So what’s the point of owning a cookbook? Aren’t cookbooks a little outdated? The answer, in my opinion, is no. An analogy could be made comparing “real books” to “E-books,” such as those purchased[.....]
If you’re familiar with Google Street View, you might have used it to see the Burj Khalifa up close and personal or spanned the sweeping expanse of the Liwa desert (mapped by a camel!) from your home computer or smart device. But have you seen the treasures of ancient Egypt through the eyes of one of Google’s[.....]
We loved the feedback from the latest gadget for coffee lovers: a hybrid alarm clock that tells you to rise and shine by brewing a fresh cup of joe on your bedside table. I’d like to present you with a spin on that old cup of joe, in the form of a nutrient-rich, energy-boosting coffee smoothie.[.....]
The annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj has officially begun.
Elementary and middle school students from schools across Qatar recently tested their robotics know-how.
With outstanding infrastructural improvement due in large part to projects launched by the cutting-edge real estate development company, Empire World, Erbil in Iraq is making a name for itself. Now is a chance to meet this ancient/new city, thought to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
Opposites attract; just ask salted caramel, chocolate-covered pretzels, or kettle corn. These treats are all sweet-and-salty food combinations and here’s a new one to add to summer – just before the season ends.
Following the wild success of our article on Persian sugar wax (and how to do it briefly), Green Prophet follows up with a step by step how-to: Now imagine that you didn’t need to call your local salon or spa to schedule a wax appointment – you could do the deed yourself. Well, the idea[.....]
Wouldn’t it be great if recipes for high-energy, healthy snacks required no cooking or baking? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: date squares are made with neither a stove nor an oven. The lesson I’ve learned after watching this video demo: Never underestimate the power of a food processor.
As an avid tea drinker, I was intrigued when I stumbled upon a variety of sources that promoted the eco-friendly use of tea bags, outside the teacup. Arthur W. Pinero, an Englishman, of course, said, “Where there’s tea, there’s hope.” That’s definitely true. Brewed tea bags can provide a pick-me-up in ways you’d least expect. [.....]
Not even zaatar gurus can spot a fake that easily. Although it pains me to say it, I might have to think twice about buying zaatar items at the next Middle Eastern bakery I pass: It could be the case that there are harmful additives in the spice mixture. Zaatar, the unique combination of such[.....]
The first thing I did after arriving home yesterday evening was, naturally, to open the door of my fridge and peer inside. I got nothing, I thought to myself. But then I spotted a tub of Fage Greek yogurt in the corner of the bottom shelf. I was able to locate a bottle of honey[.....]
If you’re looking for some light reading from the Middle East, something peppered with the region’s wit and satire, then look no farther than Abu Dhabi and Sultan Saeed al Darmaki, presently a businessman running the construction-based Al Darmaki group. He has published his first official book, entitled Leave the Birds Alone. It was a[.....]
Loggers get $5 a tree in Syria now that the heat of conflict is on, and the cold winter has set it in. In Darkush, Syria, civilians must turn to their environment for the basic need of warmth. Day after day, freezing temperatures prevail, and tree after tree is cut down. The national park to[.....]
A 90-minute yoga class in the great outdoors? Piece of cake, some yogis will say. But with Bikram yoga, a form created by Calcutta-born Bikram Choudhury, there’s a catch: class is conducted in a studio that’s heated to 105°F or approximately 40.6°C. When you are doing yoga like this in the Arabian Desert there is[.....]
Of my most prized possessions is a new blender I recently purchased, the Vitamix. Mine is a model called the TurboBlend VS. The Vitamix is advertised as “more than a blender,” as its high performance quality enables the user to blend the toughest of ingredients to produce the widest variety of food creations. It’s the[.....]
Sugar wax, sugaring or Persian waxing, whatever you want to call it there is an old, tried and true way to wax, naturally. Many beauty regimens do more harm than good as many products contain harsh chemicals including toxins, hormone disruptors and even pesticides! That’s why we have scouted out an ancient Arabic beauty regimen that does[.....]
The Sahara. It’s the world’s hottest desert and almost as large as China or the United States, so travelers have good reason to be wary of wandering into it alone. But adventurer Tom Thumb has organized another retreat in 2013 for those who want to experience the Sahara. The Road Junky Sahara Retreat will be held[.....]
Dubai learns some new moves with the Flying Steps. Red Bull has made the promotional move of contracting the four-time world breakdancing champions, the Flying Steps. We can’t recommend Red Bull as a wise choice for a drink, as it has proven to do more harm than good, health-wise, but I certainly can vouch for[.....]
Not like Istanbul’s historic Grand Bazaar, the famous Emirati souk hosted by the Artisans of the Emirates, or ARTE, is a baby – only seven years old. But it has quickly grown from its humble beginnings of about 30 “artisans” or craft exhibitors from the United Arab Emirates in the network to over 3,000. ARTE “markets”[.....]
People usually associate a flea market with old, dusty clothes and other “junk,” consider it a sort of yard sale collision. In Amman, however, Souk Jara is deemed a flea market and is a far better cry than that notion. A sort of upscale summer flea market, Souk Jara lets guests feast their eyes on[.....]
Developing a new ecosystem for multi-disciplinary design? Will this need high-end design hub earmark space for sustainable design? If you think Ikea has got the top modern décor, you should check out some of Dror Benshetrit’s designs for products, interiors, architecture, art installations. The studio named after the innovator will be relocated to SoHo this[.....]
Learn about Arab greetings, the evil eye, funeral traditions and the habit of pigeon-keeping in these colorful books from Jordan. On my first free Friday in Amman, I walked to the downtown end of Rainbow Street and turned left to find the merchants of Souk Jara just beginning to set up shop. Souk Jara is[.....]
Release some inner and outer light at Jordan’s lantern festival in the desert. The Cosmic Love Sky Lantern Festival is sure to be a feast for the eyes this fall in Wadi Rum. As if the dramatic mountain scenery weren’t breathtaking enough, sky lanterns will rise like one thousand moons over the vast expanses of[.....]
I considered myself an entrepreneur at the age of 15, when I set up shop on the cobblestone streets across my dad’s apartment on the island of Lefkada, Greece, to sell stones I collected from local beaches and then decorated. Although it was a great idea, and surprisingly lucrative, it probably wasn’t groundbreaking enough to[.....]
Try something a little different than plain-old tomato sauce on your pasta. Try tahini! On my first night CouchSurfing in Haifa, Israel, in the cozy apartment of a young married couple, the three of us sat down, along with a local friend, at the table on the balcony to eat dinner – which, surprisingly, the[.....]
A quick tutorial on how to make your own low-impact light graffiti, in the desert or anywhere it’s dark. Although I can appreciate the artistry of good graffiti, I don’t necessarily support it because of graffiti’s potentially harmful effects on Earth’s atmosphere and because of its borderline vandalistic properties (see our post on Sheikh graffiti[.....]
Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature didn’t name its eco-tourism division Wild Jordan for no reason; there is plenty of adventure to be had in the country’s great outdoors. But now yoga has merged onto the scene, offering a softer and more meditative alternative to the action-packed fun. The Yoga in Jordan project[.....]
Kelly learns to cook like a local (vegetarian) Jordanian at Beit Sitti in Amman. For all those tourists in Amman who want to gain authentic Arabic cooking experience to bring back home and impress their dinner guests, or for the local Jordanian who wants to throw a unique rooftop party in the area, Beit Sitti,[.....]
Swedish NGO uses Hayatuna – creative arts to provide new perspectives to kids in the Middle East As a Dance and Anthropology double major and an Arabic minor at Montclair State University, my interests slip right into the mission of Spiritus Mundi, a Swedish NGO that sees the arts as forces in social change and[.....]