Green Prophet loves eL Seed, the French-Tunisian artist is the Arab world’s Banksy. He specializes in what he calls ‘calligraffiti’, a brilliant mashup of spray paint techniques and traditional Arabic calligraphy on an outsize scale. eL Seed painted Tunisia’s tallest minaret and covered hoarding that wrapped Paris’s Pont des Arts “love lock” Bridge. He’s collaborated with Louis Vuitton on[.....]
A global consortium of engineering and renewables industry giants kicked off a project to build a suite of solar power generating plants in Egypt to produce 2 gigawatts (GW) of electricity and valued at USD $3.5 billion. Terra Solar announced their plan on Friday, adding that they will also build a 200 MW PV module and inverter manufacturing[.....]
Earth Hour is upon us. It comes every year on Saturday 19 March, as the clock strikes 8:30 PM around the globe. It’s a worldwide movement that aims to unite the global community on a broad range of environmental issues, working on a grassroots level to enact mass behavioral change. Join the fun by turning off[.....]
Things have gone terribly wrong in an Egyptian zoo where a group of baboons turned on one of their cage-mates, tearing at its legs and biting off its feet, according to eye-witness reports. Images of the African baboon, whose feet were cannibalized by his cage mates, have gone viral on Egyptian social media. “Due to extreme hunger,[.....]
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[.....]
American media giant 20th Century Fox has teamed up with United Arab Emirates Al Ahli Holding Group to build a theme park in Dubai, set to open in 2018, that will feature attractions based on blockbuster movies such as “Aliens,” “Titanic,” “Ice Age” and “Planet of the Apes.” So the UAE builds another resource-guzzling folly for audiences[.....]
It’s raining cats and dogs in Amman, Jordan now, closing roads (flooded underpasses), some schools, and many offices. It’s the usual drill for a city ill-equipped for atypical weather. Now online transportation giant Uber is helping to “rain down more dogs” for a limited time today in what could be the world’s most adorable fundraiser.
Some of the mysteries surrounding Egypt’s great pyramids will be explored using space-age technology according to a statement released by the country’s Minister of Antiquities. The “Scan Pyramids” project will use cosmic rays to solve the enigma of the ancient pyramids at Dahshur and Giza, aiming to provide better understanding of their architecture and interior design.
“My God, it’s full of stars!” Fans of Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science fiction novel 2001 A Space Odyssey might recognize these as the words of astronaut David Bowman, awestruck by revelations of the deep mysteries of space. A team of astronomers from Tel Aviv University and UCLA discovered more than a million newborn stars[.....]
Scandinavian saunas are so yesterday. UAE trendsetters can now literally chillax in indoor “snow rooms” that create real snow using a snow-making system like that used for the interior ski slopes in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. It’s costly to be cool, prices start at $109,000. But our planet pays the real bill.
A barge carrying 500 tons of phosphate capsized in Upper Egypt last week after a run-in with a bridge foundation. According to Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, the ship flipped after colliding with the Dandara Bridge in Qena, about 40 miles north of Luxor, dumping 1 million pounds of phosphate into the Nile River. Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation (MOI) Hossam Moghazi[.....]
Seven designers teamed up on a project to transform an ancient Egyptian pyramid into a green skyscraper that works to reverse desertification. Their Bio-Pyramid concept won an honorable mention in the 2015 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, an award that recognizes outstanding ideas that challenge the way architecture relates to both natural and built environments. Could up-cycling the Great[.....]
Travel to the Middle East has never been a better deal than now – in terms of economics (deep-discounted hotels and holiday packages), weather (blizzards have all blown by and crushing heat is still months away), and – in most of the region’s top touristic venues – political stability. All my view based on four[.....]
Today is Pi Day. Celebrated around the world every March 14th (3/14), the day focuses on the mathematical symbol that represents the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, approximated as 3.14159. This year’s Pi Day is a once-in-a-lifetime event; it will be 100 years until we experience 3/14/15 9:26:53 again – that’s pi to[.....]
Egypt’s tourist hotspot of Sharm el-Sheikh has plenty of sun, sea and sand. Now the popular resort city is set to get a solar power boost too, with plans for all lighting to come from solar energy. Sharm el-Sheikh already relies on solar power for 70 percent of its lighting, but the Egyptian government wants to[.....]
Collateral Repair Project (CRP) is a scrappy nonprofit in Amman, Jordan that brings critical help to people commonly referred to as “collateral damage” – urban refugees, victims of war and conflict, and those on the lowest rung of the local economic ladder. Read on to learn how a group of Amman’s most marginalized women are giving back to[.....]
Luxury usually comes at a high price, not only financially but environmentally too. But plans for a new building in the heart of Cairo hope to change this high cost to the environment, combining luxury living with eco-friendly technology. Real estate company, Abraj Misr, has just announced plans to invest 4.5 billion Egyptian pounds (US$589.7[.....]
Egypt isn’t exactly renowned for its vast green spaces and pioneering environmental policies. Its capital is the biggest city in the Middle East and it’s also one of the most densely populated in the world. Cairo is famous for being full of people, buildings and traffic – not plants or trees. But recently projects aiming[.....]
Two Egyptian banks are moving into green lending with an initiative to finance rooftop solar power systems for residential consumers. National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr are offering loans within specific areas of Cairo, with plans to expand into Egypt’s other governorates. How will that work in a mostly Muslim country, where interest payments are forbidden[.....]
Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities reported a new discovery of several Greco-Roman era mummies near Minya in northeastern Egypt, 250 kilometers south of Cairo. The new discoveries occurred when police found two wooden sarcophagi floating along a village waterway in a pool of raw sewage.
A winter storm is banging around much of the Middle East. Precip’s teamed up with gale force winds, causing first-world headaches like clogged transport, school closures, power outages and the promise of steep heating bills. But mostly people are rocking a few days respite from the usual grind, and – judging from the flood of[.....]
Photographer Beth Moon spent 14 years traveling to almost every continent taking pictures of the world’s oldest trees. Sixty of the resulting photos – printed with luminous results using a labor-intensive platinum/palladium process – form her book Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time (Abbeville Press). It’s a stunning record of nature’s majesty.
Last May, Lebanese lawmaker Walid Jumblatt called for marijuana to be legalized in Lebanon. While he never touched the weed himself, he said, “I support growing cannabis for medical use and to improve the living conditions of farmers in north Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley,” according to the Daily Star. Now he’s back in the[.....]
NASA scientists are using the Suomi NPP satellite to photograph the earth at night. They are studying natural phenomenon as well as light pollution. They found that manmade lights shine noticeably brighter during the holidays of Ramadan, Christmas and New Year. Some Middle Eastern cities shone more than 50% brighter during Ramadan. Find out how[.....]
Maybe you’ve heard of the Million Man March? Or the Million Mom March? Or last year’s Million Muslim March? Brace yourself for a macabre riff on that theme. A team of archaeologists from Utah’s Brigham Young University (BYU) discovered an ancient Egyptian cemetery that has more than 1 million mummies. Presumably, they don’t march.
British economist Milton Friedman once warned that if you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years you’d have a shortage of sand. Whether governments or free markets are to blame, it is possible to deplete abundant resources such as Irish rain. Now thanks to global obsessions with concrete icons, fracking[.....]
Almost exactly one year ago Green Prophet revealed that King Tut’s jewelry contains ancient comet dust. Now the ancient Egyptians will leave their mark on a passing comet as a spacecraft named after an Egyptian obelisk takes a selfie before attempting a soft landing on a comet.
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[.....]
The creation of the man-made Suez Canal that links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean has made it easier to ship goods from Asia and Africa to Europe, but it has caused a number of environmental problems. One is invasive species like jellyfish multiplying with no end in sight in the Mediterranean Sea.
Constant and daily power blackouts in Cairo not only make it difficult for people to go on with day-to-day routines, it can be deadly for people undergoing surgery. Egypt, while rich in natural gas and sunlight is a poor energy manager and for this its people experience hours of blackouts each and every day. This photo[.....]
As we witness another super-moon and other celestial wonders, we might be reminded of folk tales of werewolves and beliefs that moon phases and astrological birth signs have influence over our lives.
This year’s lineup of five “supermoons” may put a sky-watcher to sleep. There were the new moons of January and February, followed by one on July 13th. So if you glimpsed one of those, did you catch another on August 10th (and the final act that happens on September 8th)? Because last night’s moon was the closest[.....]
Personal grooming can be murderous! That’s the takeaway message of a two-century-old crime and modern women are taking note, inciting others to join their cause on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
Israel and Hamas agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire in Gaza yesterday, a brief respite from the escalating violence that is testing the capabilities of relief agencies already strained by four years of Syrian war and renewed battles in Iraq. It’s a half day opportunity to park politics and take humanitarian action. Want to make a difference? Jump into[.....]
The people of Siwa Oasis have been growing dates for 3,000 years. And while they cultivate many varieties, three that are native to the desert community are close to extinction. Don’t worry too much, though, because the Siwa Community Development Environmental Conservation (SCDEC) group is working to save them.
Holoscenes is a public art and performance installation that is a visual response to climate change. It’s centered around three people-sized aquariums that flood and drain and re-flood using powerful hydraulics that move 12 tons of water per minute.
May Camelopardalis is the name given for a newly discovered meteor shower which may or may not dazzle viewers under clear-dark skies.
Egypt plans to lease 25,000 hectares of agricultural land to Arab investors. Agriculture minister Ayman Abu Hadid made the announcement in Tunis recently. Egypt is hoping that sustainable farmers will apply.
A panel of judges at the NanoIsrael 2014 conference voted Volta’s carbon nanotube (CNT) battery as Nano product of the year. Read more for an explanation of what this means and why nanotechnology may soon be a household word.
A new one-day contest has attracted birding experts from around the world to southern Israel where they compete to record the highest number of species migrating through the Great Rift Valley along the Africa Eurasia Flyway.
It’s Earth Hour this weekend, which means you have the chance to join millions of people around the globe in a united effort to consume less energy.
A new golf course is being built in the shadow of the Egyptian pyramids, the plans for its fairways and greens were recently unveiled by Thomson Perrett & Lobb, an architectural firm specializing in course design.
On the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, tucked in the dusty foothills of an Egyptian mountain range, sit hundreds of seats in an abandoned outdoor movie theater. The arrangement is eerie, like a long-ago movie set awaiting Fellini to shout, “Azion!”
When all else fails, run to wealthy Saudi Arabia. That seems to be the prevailing thought among Egyptian officials at a loss to resolve the ongoing dispute with Ethiopia over Nile water rights.
To many Egyptians, the desert is a hostile place: water is scarce, terror cells hide in its vast expanse, or land mines make crossing them a death trap. But the Desert Breath land art project near Hurghada on the Red Sea coast reminds us that Egypt, despite its many troubles, is a place of extraordinary beauty.
El Gouna, a resort city on Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera, is set to become the first carbon-neutral city in that nation, in Africa, and likely the entire Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Masdar City, in continuing development in Abu Dhabi, initially targeted zero-carbon status, but has yet to hit that goal.
“I’m alive.” I’ve made that call, maybe you have too. That surreal statement instantly erases panic in whomever’s on the other end of the line. It reconstructs a momentarily unglued world.
Colombia and Egypt share at least one unfortunate plague: land mines. Nearly 20 percent of the world’s land mines are strewn throughout Egypt’s western desert and the Sinai peninsula, while in Colombia, they have killed 2,000 people over the last two decades. Lemur Studio designed a life-saving solution – SaveOneLife.
Looking for some good reads about the environment and the Middle East? Then click yourself into the University of California Press (UCP) e-books collection (link here) offering free access to hundreds of books published by UCP and other academic presses.
Jordan is cleaning up its act, at least in terms of laundry detergent, with a project entitled Concentrate for the Environment. The voluntary, industry-led initiative aims to reduce the negative environmental impact of powdered laundry soap. Seems the soap industry excels at greenwashing; this looks like corporate cost-shaving spun into environmental (fool’s) gold.
Egypt can offer more to desert tourists than camels: In the ancient land of the Pharaohs, desert-dwelling invertebrates have often been part of Egyptian folklore, including scarab or dung beetles which are known to navigate by the stars. Now spiders join the story.
At last, Dayma is offering the kind of eco-tour we’ve long dreamed of. The same people who showed students what scorpions and camels can teach us about sustainable design have now developed two new, affordable tours that put nature at the heart of the Egyptian experience.