Where there’s smoke, there’s fire; but you can still get burned with smokeless, say critics of electronic cigarettes. They look just like a teensy personal sheesha pipe. You’d guess it’s safe, right? Think again.
A species of shark, a sand tiger shark, thought to be extinct for over a century has surfaced in a Kuwaiti fish market. Step aside, Team Zissou; looks like local fishmongers are joining the elite biological teams researching the world’s oceans.
Sunday was Mawlid an-nabī, the observance of the birth of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed, but unlike Eid al-Fitr (Little Eid) or Eid al-Adha (Big Eid), Mawlid is a low-key celebration marked by a quiet focus on the prophet’s life and an uptick in eating and charitable acts.
Alchemist Lauren Bowker has created an ink that changes color based on the environment around it. She impregnates her dye into fabric and feathers, then constructs clothing (and sculpture) that reacts to chemicals in the surrounding atmosphere. Now you can wear climate change and pollution on your sleeve!
The Society for the Protection of Animals in Cairo is suing the Veterinary Universities of Egypt for animal brutality, while circulating an online petition at Change.org (link here) to pressure the school to cease and desist. The petition was originally created after horrific videos were posted on YouTube showing a baby donkey being electrocuted and […]
The United Nations now classifies the illegal trafficking of exotic wildlife as second only in scale to the illegal drug trade, with Dubai emerging as a major smuggling center for the world’s most rarefied creatures.
Listen up. Several Syrian children froze to death this past week because they lacked adequate clothing. The UN predicts that more Syrians will die this winter from exposure to the elements than from the violence of the last three years. There needs to be more sustainable ways of treating refugees. But let’s start with the […]
A provocative installation by Lebanese graphic designer Wael Kodeih aims to challenge cyber censorship. Part of the fifth annual Exposure exhibition now at the Beirut Art Center (BAC), is it art or gimmick?
Polygamous Arab men who buy property in Turkey must choose just one of their brides to carry over the threshold; polygamy isn’t legal in this country which grants residency permits to just one wife.
Pressured to knock off your Christmas shopping? Need a uniquely sustainable gift? Online marketplaces Etsy and Dawanda let you browse quirky, handmade items without burning any petrol, and offer a decent alternative to glitzy energy-guzzling “lifestyle centers.”
Cash is King. An essential ingredient of charitable giving; it greases the wheels when moving goods. A month after 4,000 hats were collected and shipped from Ireland to Jordan, they’re finally keeping some of Syria’s refugees a bit warmer. But in the end, it took money to drop the curtain on this act of giving.
I’ll bet snow-capped pine trees and ice-crusted cars don’t spring to mind when you think of the Middle East, but that’s what we’re seeing in Amman as we tuck into the second straight day of fierce blizzarding. A perfect setting to tuck in with some simple knitting.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; that festive time when travelers’ thoughts turn to beating airline baggage charges. Park your complaints about cramped seats.The growing gripe in the flying experience lies in luggage fees as costs for checked bags rise (and weight allowances reduce).
Guess who might be the culprit carrying a new SARS-like virus to people in the Middle East?
A day late and an undergarment short! The morning after Thanksgiving, I read about a new stress-busting bra that could’ve kept me from, once again, approaching turkey-day as a competitive eating event.
Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates have all ranked among the world’s top 10 fattest nations with ballooning obesity rates and an explosion of associated diseases. But there’s an upside to oversize:
Amman’s old Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) terminal will live on in a new artwork commissioned by airport operator Airport International Group (AIG). The permanent installation near the majestic new passenger terminal will be a symbolic nod to the proud history of Amman’s premier aeronautical gateway.
Green Prophets burn lots of calories trying to make the planet a better place, but you can’t do much do-gooding if you’re dead. I’ll share a day in my week as a cautionary tale (and offer a peek into Amman’s excellent, and sometimes culturally surreal, medical system).
Tunisian female footballer Fatima Maleh announced on national radio that she is now a man, legally registered in civil records as Mohammad Ali. One not-small step for this man; and a giant leap for Tunisia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
Kneecaps darkened by repetitive prayer in a kneeling position just ain’t pretty. Even if your gams aren’t publicly paraded, it’s not a look most of us want to achieve. You can slather on harsh chemical bleaching creams, but how about trying an eco-remedy instead?
The number of people left homeless by the devastating Philippines typhoon Haiyan has topped 800,000 according to the latest United Nations estimate. Haiyan was the biggest storm ever recorded to reach landfall, wiping out entire villages and killing over 4,000 people (numbers continue to rise). Feeling the inevitable urge to assist?
A photographic series entitled Pacific Light captures a spellbinding dance that begins when ink, paint and soap collide. Watch stunning color combinations puddle and swirl. Visual artist Ruslan Khasanov snapped gorgeous photos, but his video and GIFs (short for Graphic Interchange Format, a form of computer image that moves as soundless animation) are spectacular.
The European Space Agency (ESA) publishes satellite photos of Earth (and photos of space taken from Earth) in an incredible archive that’s updated weekly. Each image is paired with a brief explanation about what you’re looking at. Check out this selection – if the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could take “selfies”, these would […]
Bicycle riding in the Middle East is thwarted by challenging climate and terrain, and to lesser extent by culture. A new invisible helmet, akin to an airbag, and pictured above, could incite more Middle Eastern cycling.
How best to provide adequate housing when disaster strikes? Weather-related calamity can be sudden – think earthquakes and tsunamis. It can be forewarned – as in hurricanes, floods, and droughts. And it can creep up slowly through rising sea levels and civil unrest.
In the race towards old age, our “girls” cross the finish line first! Maybe not a prize you want to win, but breast tissue ages faster than the rest of our body according to a study published in the journal Genome Biology.
Hand-holding, smooches and inter-gender chitchat between strangers are prohibited in Saudi Arabia, as are all public demonstrations of amor. So passionate Saudis stymied by morality laws are turning to their cars to show some love.
What started as a few throwaway balls of yarn to a tiny knitter in Jordan’s Zaatari Syrian refugee camp inspired a goofball idea: I asked crafty folks everywhere to toss a few hats in the ring. The reaction has been jaw-dropping. So far we have collected some 4,000 handmade hats for Syrian refugees.
The world’s biggest street art exhibition was demolished this week in Paris just one month after opening to the public. Destruction of the wildly popular Tour Paris 13 was staged as carefully as its creation. This wall-to-wall-to-ceiling-to-floor painting project was performance art every step of the way.
As we’ve learned from this great No Woman, No Cry video by Hisham Fageeh, Saudi Arabian rules ban women from driving. This must drive them and their love interests crazy because provocative eye contact and inter-gender chat between strangers is also taboo. The religious police will arrest anyone caught violating these laws: flirters be warned.