Jordan’s magical red dessert is short on plastic bags, throwaway bottles, and paper litter. Begs the question, does raw nature shame us into better environmental behavior? If so, a stay in Wadi Rum nature reserve should be a national obligation.
Archive by category Lifestyle & Culture
Cartoonist Charles Schulz wrote, “Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” A group of women in the mountains of Afghanistan, who likely never read his strip, don’t agree.
A business man in the Gaza Strip has found a lucrative way of satisfying the urge for KFC by smuggling it through underground tunnels. It may be four hours cold, with a side of soggy chips, but for Gazans it is a taste of freedom.
James reviews a film about a very odd group of “environmentalists” in Berlin who use sex as a tool to save the planet.
They can’t read or write but a couple of brave Bedouin women from Jordan travelled far and wide to help their villages become solar powered.
The online ‘zine Foreign Policy posted its “worst countries for journalism” with the Middle East grabbing three of the Top Ten slots. As we scour the media, we already see how this fares for environmental reporting which is practically non-existent in the Middle East.
Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our time, yet most countries in the Middle East and North Africa continue to subsidize energy derived from fossil fuels. Seeking solutions, The Guardian launched a three part Global Public Leaders Series and sent us this recent lecture by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
My last photo blog on Green Prophet featured one of the many sites in the Hajar Mountains from which construction aggregate is extracted. This time I’m showing a different kind of mountain on the outskirts of Dubai. This is a landfill for building rubble.
For the entire month of May, the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) is celebrating Tunisia in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and this weekend it’s souk time – in NYC’s upper east side. From May 8-10, a host of Tunisian crafts and food items will make their big city debut at the Tinker auditorium on [...]
Sporadic street violence, economic distress and political polarization were mostly put on ice this past Sunday as Egyptians of all classes and religions held picnics, took boat rides on the Nile and celebrated Sham el-Nessim, a holiday whose roots most believe date back to this land’s ancient inhabitants. The event features a stinky fish.
A tiny collective of rural women at the southern tip of the Dead Sea in Safi is creating art that’s omni-sustainable. Since 1999, with catalytic infusions from a remarkable Canadian painter, this Jordanian sisterhood has been crafting unusual “eco” fabric items bespoke to their salty seaside village.
Ask yourself: if you lived in the deep desert, where the sand burns your soles at midday, would you run outside and play soccer? No sane person should. But Dick Sweeney has sent us thought-provoking images of soccer posts in extreme environments that reveal just how much Arabs love their football.
A quiet little how-to book has been translated into Hebrew offering basic sex education to Israel’s Orthodox Jews.
A Chinese airline attracted a media mess after announcing plans to dress its cabin crew as maids and butlers. Low-cost carrier Spring Airlines unveiled the uniforms as part of a special promotion posted on its corporate Facebook page, according to Shanghai Daily. The airline posted, “We’re mixing up our flights with some fun on-board themes – [...]
As part of their campaign to make “the walls of slaughter houses transparent,” a guerrila animal rights group in Israel recently scattered the heads of decapitated animals in public places throughout Tel Aviv and surrounding neighborhoods. Last week police arrested ten 269life activists in connection with these rather visual public protests, which included dyeing the [...]
We’ve posted about the Cafe Clock blog here, including the recipe for its famous camel burger. In this delightful cookbook, Stevens includes recipes from the Cafe Clock as well as some traditional Moroccan dishes that she discovered herself. Her warm, frank tone and the stories that introduce many of the recipes almost bring the reader [...]
Working in Qatar has clearly given the academic Mari Luomi access to lots of information about the climate change rhetoric and reality of the Gulf. It also puts her in a rather awkward position in terms of being able to voice her criticism. After interviewing Luomi for Green Prophet around a year ago, however, I [...]
A Few Brave People by Turkish director Rüya Arzu Köksal won the Golden Deer Award for Best Feature Film at the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Environmental Film Festival (ADIEFF) last Thursday night. Recognized alongside five other nature-themed films at the closing green carpet ceremony, the documentary highlights the challenges faced by people living in Çağlayan, İkizdere and Senoz in the Black [...]
Treading the path of righteousness involves the ecology too. It had never occurred to me that if I were to go camping on Mt. Meron for the upcoming Lag B’Omer celebration, that I’d actually be on pilgrimage. I never thought of my visits to the Western Wall in Jerusalem as a pilgrimage. But during the [...]
Random dumping and burning of plastic garbage, which constitutes a fifth of the Kingdom’s solid waste, are negatively affecting the environment and public health, said a Jordanian official. Good morning, Jordan! Glad to see you waking up to your plastic addiction and outrageously dirty dumping disorder. Plastics, widely introduced to world markets in the 1960′s, have [...]
A great collection of short stories inspired by the ecological crisis which are honest, creative and sometimes really funny I don’t know if it’s just me but whenever someone recommends a book that is for charity or even a song that is ‘worthy’ – alarm bells go off. Alarms that tell me to stay away [...]
The barbershop tradition in Turkey is far more vibrant than the Hair Cutteries of America. In Turkey, men gather for their weekly shave and catch up on the politics du jour while drinking strong muddy coffee often laced with cardamom. The barber is naturally a key figure in this street culture, so when he takes [...]
It’s Earth Day, which means you will see at least 100 stories in your Facebook and Twitter feeds that will list the many ways that you can become a better earthly citizen. And most of them are valid. Yet I yearned to find a more meaningful way to honor the day, so this year I [...]
Saudi Arabia and climate change do not mix well as this photo indicates As Earth Day 2013 approaches on April 22, issues of water options in arid countries like Saudi Arabia will be high on the agenda. Countries in the Middle East that face increasing water shortages, especially those situated on the Arabian Peninsula, have to [...]
‘Greedy Lying Bastards’ opens with an image of environmental destruction, and a voiceover announces: “what if I told you all this was preventable?” This is a powerful opening for an in your face movie that is bound to win plaudits for its exposure of those who deny, and actually do their bit to cause, and [...]
Religious organisations are working with conservation groups to help end the consumer demand for products supplied by the illegal wildlife trade A major initiative linking religions and conservation groups in opposing the illegal wildlife trade, which is annihilating the world’s rare and endangered species, has been launched. Leaders of 34 religious traditions presented the Alliance [...]
Today marks the first annual ‘Green Khutbah Day’ which also coincides with Earth Day 2013 Muslims have been asked to encourage their spiritual leaders, imams, to devote this Friday Khutbah or sermon (19th April 2013) to celebrate the blessings, graces and beauty of all of Allah’s creation. Muaz Nasir from Khaleafa who is leading the effort [...]
As America hunts for clues on the Boston Bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Laurie goes on with life and looks to the follies of communication in the Middle East. Communication is key to everything. Every driver knows that intersections are risky, but the crossroad of language and culture is especially prone to accidents. Need proof? I pick [...]
Where in the world can you drink as much coffee as you like for less than $50 a month? In Tel Aviv, Israel, it turns out. CupsTelAviv has convinced 40 independent businesses in what is arguably the country’s most caffeinated city to allow members of their program to drink as many cups of coffee as [...]
Built at the lowest elevation on earth, and less than a year old, this jewel-box of a museum showcases the Dead Sea region’s rich past. After Israel, no nation has as many Biblical sites as Jordan. The Dead Sea gets several mentions in the Bible, and it’s where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Jesus [...]
While the rest of the world is beguiled by Walmarts and Targets, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has given a $39 million handicraft complex in Fez his royal seal of approval. Recognizing the value of authentic handmade crafts sought after by tourists in particular, not to mention the job opportunities that accompany such a vibrant cottage [...]
Corruption is black, brown, grey, devoid of color. And in Egypt, it can be seen in streets piled high with trash and polluted canals, in maddening traffic resulting from outdated infrastructure, and chronic power outages. Corruption is everywhere, yet this silent killer of hopes and dreams is hard to pin down. Not anymore. A band [...]
We haven’t heard from our favorite eco-warrior, David de Rothschild in some time, but that doesn’t mean the youngest heir to the Rothschild banking fortune has fizzled into obscurity. Instead, since he responded to our call to save Israel’s Adullam Valley from his (extended) family’s oil shale ambitions and published his crew’s riveting account of the [...]
Today there are a dizzying variety of wildflowers blossoming across Israel, welcoming the months of spring. Fifty years ago some of these plant species were on the verge of extinction.
We have to admit that this isn’t anything particularly “green” about this see-saw, but it does harvest the movement of people to make music. And that’s just downright cool. A temporary installation designed for last year’s Marrakech Biennale, The Rise and Fall blends architecture and art to question how people occupy spaces and how those spaces [...]
Green Pilgrim Jerusalem hosts a week-long international symposium on greening pilgrimage, with major religious leaders from around the world. Faith and community leaders from around the world will be speaking on ecological, urban and social development as influenced by mass pilgrimage. Our report on the massive urban sprawl that Mecca is becoming illustrates the ecological [...]
How can nakedness used to raise environmental awareness be artful and “good”, yet nakedness in the name of feminism is scandalous porn? Twenty-first century, my foot. Make that my bare foot. Amina Tyler, a 19-year old Tunisian, recently posted topless photos of herself on Facebook. The first image shows Amina kicking back with a book and [...]
Green Prophet’s resident photographer documents “cut” Hajar Mountains in the United Arab Emirates. Huge swaths of the Hajar Mountains in the UAE’s northern emirates appear ghostly white when viewed on Google Earth. Closer examination of the satellite imagery reveals large chunks of missing hillside and some sort of quarrying operations, and my recent physical visit to [...]
This is not just “pretend.” Animal activists in Israel have started a movement where people are branded just like cows destined for slaughterhouse. Animal rights activism has taken a radical turn with a virulent new movement that has roots in Israel. Sasha Bojoor, 27, started 269life in order to create solidarity with a white calf [...]
Two years after the revolution in Egypt, sexual assaults against women are rising and becoming more violent, says several human rights organizations. A recent New York Times piece created a storm of reactions with it’s portrayal of the dangers to women in Egypt since the Arab Spring. According to the story, at least 18 rapes [...]