Iranian architect Nader Khalili, founder of the California Earth and Architecture Institute and proponent of the- dare we say- revolutionary SuperAdobe building technique, would be proud. In the coming week from the 11th to the 14th of March 2015, l’Iran will inaugurate the first edition of “Regeneration of earthen architecture festival” which aims to promote earth[.....]
Shale gas exploitation in the Sahara is not the same as shale gas exploitation in the US. There are added complications, namely the dependence of fracking activities on a trans-boundary hydraulic system (the North Western Sahara Aquifer System), in a water stressed region, that depends primarily on that very system for its own water needs. As shown[.....]
The quinoa craze turned what was once a cheap, nourishing staple diet for Bolivians and Peruvians into an unaffordable grain for many of the poor locally. Read here about the dirty secret of quinoa. The appetite of western culture, and fanatic vegetarianism has increased demand for quinoa stratospherically: in 2013 the price of quinoa tripled[.....]
Rachel Carson would be shocked: A recent study has found that the concentrations of banned chemicals like PCBs, DDT and organochlorines found in human breast milk of women sampled throughout Tunisia indicate widespread and elevated contamination particularly in older members of rural populations with high dairy and meat intake. Although these concentration levels are relatively low for[.....]
Tunisians are famous the world over for trash selfies. Now simple calculations made by this Green Prophet shows that Tunisia, and many other countries in the MENA region, could spend at least three times as less than they do for collecting municipal solid waste by donkey.
Today Redeyef, Tunisia, is quite a scene: it’s a decrepit French colonial houses are surrounded by mountains of black phosphate sand, radioactive water lakes and its inhabitants, the vast majority unemployed, walk around with yellowish brown toothy smiles.
As I enter Arafet Ben Marzou’s new “office” at the top floor of an apartment building facing the lakes in Tunis, I am met with a very familiar feeling: that silicon valley, young brains, start-up feel. Only this time it is “ à la Tunisienne”, and I have to say, I prefer it.
A Siege of Salt and Sand (trailer), a new documentary film about Tunisia, promises to be an important motivator in redefining the current political agenda towards adapting to climate change and mitigating environmental issues in Tunisia.
Earlier this month several Tunisians in Hammamet, Sphax and Mahdia woke up to their beaches infested with dead fish and jelly fish, a beached whale in Tunis, off the coast of Sidi Bou Saïd was also carried to shore.
For the first time in history we have a real time, comprehensive global map of ecological conflicts thanks to the Atlas of Environmental Justice.
In 2010 Arafet Ben Marzou, like an increasing number of Tunisians, began to reach his personal limits of frustration when he saw his home country digress towards a political, religious and economic system that was draining Tunisians from their liberty, thoughts and creativity.
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil and gas producer and most valuable company estimated at $10 trillion USD, pockets three of the six environmental awards during the 2014 Offshore Arabia Conference & Exhibition, in Dubai. Did we hear right?
The Driba Atelier (or L’atelier Driba) in Tunis is one of those unique places that emanate a natural and humble love for creativity. Their motto “on travail pour le plaisir et avec plaisir” (we work for pleasure and with pleasure), their obsession: to restore objects from the past and preserve the Tunisian handicraft heritage.
Tunisia was the first Arab country to talk about environment policy. Green Prophet attends a local conference on water and pollution and stunningly sees how there is no framework for Tunisia to make environmental change and progress. Read our report.
Although confused with the Saluki, the Persian hound, the Sloughi is an ancient sighthound breed endemic to North Africa. For thousands of years the Sloughi has been the trusted hunting companion of the nomadic tribes of the Maghreb.
The fight against shale gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing continues in Tunisia where governments are lying and the water weary warn of disasters ahead.
The history of handmade tiles in Tunisia is fascinating. Green Prophet digs deep between the tiles of a rundown factory in Roman Neapolis, Nabeul, a historic tile making center in Tunisia, to discover what fragments remain of this disappearing art.
After the success of TEDx Hiriya in Israel which focused on sustainability, its now the turn of TEDx Carthage, which will be held on the 8th of December in Tunisia.
At the heart of Beirut, Zakaria counters corporate cafe culture with art and heritage As larger coffee and restaurant chains take over the streets of Beirut and other Lebanese cities, smaller, local cafes are abandoning their businesses as they are faced with too much competition. Walking away from the scene is not only a coffee shop[.....]
The fig: over 750 varieties and native to the Middle East The strong grey trunk, the wide velvety leaves, the sticky itchy white milk resin that leaks from the cracked leaves, its round crimson fruits with their bellies filled with honeyed goodness. In my opinion, nothing beats a fig tree. The fig (which tastes great[.....]
In the book “Racing Alone”, Nader Khalili pursues his own revolution using fire, earth, air and water. In “Racing Alone”, the late Iranian earth architect Nader Khalili who died in 2008 recounts the years leading to the realization of his dream; building a dwelling that infuses Persian culture, history, art, and ingeniousness, and a structure[.....]
Ahmed Abdel Azim and his team at Suez Canal University advance research in mycology (fungi) Its not the first time that Green Prophet covers stories on how Egyptian scientists are applying science to public policy. In 2011 Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad, winner of the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, found a new way of turning[.....]
Making Ecocide a crime and legally punitive could be one way of getting corporations to respect the environment Unlike humans, nature does not have a voice. It cannot voice its concerns for being mistreated, overused and abused and it cannot stop the harm it often undergoes; however, this may change soon. In April 2010, Polly[.....]
Deep sea mining for minerals is the next frontier for the extractive industry, and the Red Sea risks becoming a victim Sudan and Saudi Arabia are targeting to start deep-water mining of a Red Sea basin, rich in zinc, copper, silver and gold, by 2014. This decision revives from a mutual agreement signed in 1974[.....]
“Sisters” or the the Olive trees of Noah, are the 16 oldest olive trees in the world found in the community of Bechealeh, Lebanon. Some 6,000 years old, folklorists say these have Biblical origins. Tucked away in the sleepy village of Bechealeh, Lebanon, 16 olive trees have witnessed 6000 years of political unrest, plagues, diseases,[.....]
Why and how have migrant domestic worker’s rights been violated in Lebanon? Five decades after the development of the kefala (sponsorship) system, Lebanon’s two-hundred thousand migrant domestic workers continue to be denied central human rights like the right to self-realization which is interlinked with the right to freedom of movement, just conditions of work and[.....]
“The Sea is Mine” is a unique live art piece and interactive theatrical production bringing awareness to Beiruti’s on the tragic history and destiny of its seashore A familiar ongoing struggle along Beirut’s waterfront is that between those who want free access to the sea and the privatization of the Mediterranean seashore. “The Sea is[.....]
Jesuit brothers at the Ksara wine press in 1910: Lebanon’s oldest wine growing domain Following the footsteps of a wine trading tradition started by Phoenicians, modern Lebanese wine-making re-starts in 1857 when French Jesuit missionaries at Ksara (today the site of Château Ksara) introduced new viticulture and viniculture methods as well as new vines, from French-governed Algeria. Sixty years[.....]
The Medicinal Plants Association in Egypt helps preserve biodiversity and is one of the 25 winners of the Equator Prize 2012. Policy making within the realm of “development” is often burdened by an excessively westernized design resulting in unintended consequences on the welfare of local populations. For example, a previous Green Prophet article “Morocco’s Berbers[.....]
Palestinian youth practice “parkour” skills in Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip A budding physical discipline called parkour is attracting several youth in Gaza, aged between 12 and 23 years old to pass their time training in cemeteries, former Israeli settlements and in abandoned or run-down buildings. Parkour originated in the suburbs[.....]
The cedar tree, Lebanon’s national symbol , has been for centuries overused by various civilizations. Reforestation might not bring them back from the brink. The Cedar of Lebanon, Cedrus Libani, is an evergreen coniferous plant native to Lebanon, Syria and southern Turkey. Cedar forests once covered the entire Mount Lebanon chain but the cedar,an emblem[.....]
Lebanese illustartor Maya Zankoul “draws” against issues that range from pollution, electricity cuts, real estate pricing, to politics in Lebanon. She will be one of the guest speakers at SHARE Beirut. In October there will be a free three day conference in Beirut which will look at “digital” rights in the MENA and promote creativity. Similar to the[.....]
Far from being Paris of the Middle East, traditional red tiled roof and sandstone houses suffocate inside the “other” vision of Beirut The Lebanese housing market is a bit of a strange phenomenon. A largely unregulated construction market coupled with grandiose projects from ambitious rich gulf state developers and Lebanese expatriates has created a surplus[.....]
Why grow apples in Lebanon when hashish and cannabis is hundreds of times more lucrative? An overview of Lebanon’s unsustainable drug business in the Bekaa Valley. Escalating clashes between armed tribesmen trying to protect their cannabis fields and the Lebanese armed forces are pushing Lebanon to readdress the long-standing issue of cannabis cultivation in the[.....]
If you think renewable energies will become an increasingly cheaper alternative to petrol – think again now that there’s peak minerals. As the world moves toward greater use of zero- carbon energy sources, the supply of certain key metals needed for such clean-energy technologies may dry up, inflating per unit costs and driving the renewable[.....]
With more than $20 billion worth of renewable energy projects currently being developed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the upcoming Mena Renewable Energy conference in Dubai will look at boosting investment in this sector.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) pave the pay for a new era in nano-technology. Say hello to transistors made of blood, milk and mucus. Blood, milk and mucus proteins could soon replace silicon to produce transistors, which amplify electrical signals and are at the basis of most modern technology. One of the most important[.....]
Lebanon is suffering from a serious crisis of E. Coli and listeria contamination thanks to unhygienic conditions and polluted waterways. Following the national uproar in Lebanon when large amounts of rotten meat and dairy were found at some of Beirut’s top restaurants and supermarkets, researchers at the American University of Beirut (AUB) carried out a study on[.....]
Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad was the winner of the 2011 European Union Contest for Young Scientists for finding a new way of turning plastic into biofuel. A sixteen-year-old Egyptian student, Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad from the Zahran Language School in Alexandria has identified a new low-cost catalyst which can generate biofuel by breaking down plastic waste. The idea of breaking down[.....]
This Marine Drone could clean up our dirty work. Can a wealthy Saudi fund this prototype to clean our seas? Fourteen billion pounds of garbage, 90 percent of which is plastic, is dumped into the ocean every year and there is no sign of plastic waste reducing – in fact plastic waste has been increasing[.....]
Toni Polo, founder of Radio Groovalizacion explains how music and migration are shaping contemporary culture in the Middle East and North Arfica. As an avid “world music” listener – although I don’t like this term but I still haven’t found a better one- it is always an immense pleasure to discover hidden musical gems. One organization[.....]
Green Prophet runs into an interesting event in Pisa, Italy. When tourists visit Pisa, Italy they discover not only that the tower really does lean but also that there is a considerable number of immigrants and refugees speaking perfect Italian waiting for them. The Arab spring has created a considerable influx of refugees seeking stability[.....]
Beirut overtakes Abu Dhabi and Dubai, becoming the most expensive city for expatriates in the Middle East region, after Tel Aviv According to Mercer’s latest Cost of Living survey Tokyo has become the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, pushing Luanda, Angola to second place while Karachi, Pakistan is ranked as the world least expensive[.....]
Racism in Lebanon has rarely been an openly discussed theme in the media. Now racism and migrant abuse are garnering visibility. Racial intolerance in Lebanon and the Middle East, is indeed a pervasive problem which especially affects migrant domestic workers and refugees. In Lebanon, manifestations of racism and human right abuses are unfortunately prevalent and[.....]
Researchers discover the negative link between Palm plantations, nesting birds and manta ray populations. Over meals and sunset chats at a remote research station in Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific, a group of researchers from Stanford University discover one of the longest ecological interactions ever documented. While Douglas McCauley and Paul DeSalles were tracking manta ray movements[.....]
In occasion of World Oceans Day, Green Prophet provides you with some tools for some (much needed) marine activism. What does sea water mean for you? What memories do you have of swimming in the sea? If you were in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea or the Persian Gulf 15 to 20[.....]
In 2009, Lebanon pledged to produce 12% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020- is this target optimistic today? Renewables are becoming an important source of discussion in the Middle East, as it should. Vestas estimates renewables accounts for only 0.2 % of power production in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), an[.....]
Middle Eastern olive oil producers are baring the brunt of falling oil prices Olive oil prices have hit a 10 year low, severely impacting producers in Spain, Italy , Greece and Protugal- which produce more than 60 percent of the world’s olive oil. However, Middle Eastern Farmers in Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Israel and Palestine will[.....]
Lebanese burn rubber tires as protest, meanwhile the public risks greater chances of cancer The Daily Star has released a recent on how tire burning is the preferred manifestation of anger and frustration for Lebanese protesters. After each of the recent incidents in Lebanon tire burning took place, during the civil war burning tires were used[.....]
Edgard Chaya and his family bring back ancient tile making practices and Lebanese “neo-traditional” architecture After being handed over a case filled with 12 brass molds and stumbling upon a jumble of colored tile fragments and exposed patterns in his family’s wrecked cement tile factory, retiree Edgard Chaya was destined towards a new chapter in his[.....]
Installed already in Qatar, reef recovery time can be decreased from 50 to 100 years to 7 to 15 with these ceramic antler-like artificial reefs. One of the great dilemmas for marine protected areas is ensuring marine ecosystems overcome issues related to “shifting baselines”: the extent to which marine areas have been driven from their[.....]
It’s called Deepstaria Enigmatica, but what is it? A very cool video of a mysterious creature filmed during deep-sea drilling 5000 feet below sea level near the United Kingdom on April 25, has created much clamor amongst scientists. Theories about the species of this animal ranged from a jellyfish to an unknown marine version of the Loch[.....]