United Nations-sponsored World Water Day was celebrated this week in a series of events around the world ranging from races to speeches to demonstrations of how individuals could conserve consumption of this most-critical of natural resources. To mark the occasion, two experts in international water policy have co-authored an Op-Ed exploring the future of water,[.....]
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 –[.....]
A celestial tryst between the CEO of Roman gods and the Roman goddess of love and beauty? This seems hardly a match made in heaven. You might even say this relationship is star-crossed. But watch the western sky just after sunset on Tuesday, June 30th and you’ll see a rare conjunction between a beautiful bright[.....]
Oil prices have fallen considerably over the past two years. But this isn’t the first time the price of a core society resource has dropped so drastically. The economic history of salt is an interesting lesson for our time. Middle Eastern countries spend millions of dollars and consume more than one hundred million kilowatt-hours of[.....]
Spectacular images of a mosque in Iran have been flying around the internet of stunning Islamic architecture washed in rainbow-bright hues. The forms are familiar – pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, surfaces covered with dazzling tiles. But the magic occurs at daybreak, when sunlight streams through stained glass windows, turning the interiors into a stunning kaleidoscope.[.....]
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[.....]
There’s been a revolution in Iran, and we’re not talking about the one that resulted in overthrowing the Shah in 1979! The latest one involves an Irish environmentalist and surfing champion, and her mission to bring the sport to Iran, and its women. When a young boy stood on the beach in a fishing village[.....]
Project Pressure has created the first open source glacier archive, recording the environmental impact of climate change by documenting the world’s changing glaciers. Danish photographer Klaus Thymann launched this not-for-profit in 2008, garnering impressive street-cred with official links to the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). What’s this got to do[.....]
Are you tired of seeing the same old giant wind turbines in a field or offshore? And do you worry about their impact on migrating birds? Hooman Tahvildar Akbary from Iran has a solution that is both super efficient and beautiful.
The most spectacular Islamic religious architecture and interior design is something few westerners have experienced. Mohammed Reza Domiri changes that, at least a bit, with extraordinary photography. Using an extreme wide-angle lens, the young Iranian unveils a world of color, geometry, and beauty we can only dream of.
Iranian architecture has evolved over the years – like everywhere – and the new generation of designers are producing truly impressive work. Take the extraordinary Sharifi House by next office. In order to maximize space, flexibility and daylight, the design team inserted semi-mobile rooms that rotate with the push of a button.
May Camelopardalis is the name given for a newly discovered meteor shower which may or may not dazzle viewers under clear-dark skies.
Green Prophet’s brought you the story behind this year’s winner of the Jameel Prize – 3, an international award for contemporary design inspired by ancient Islamic tradition. But there are nine other finalists who warrant a closer look. Meet fiber artist Faig Ahmed – guaranteed his amazing rugs will trip you up! The Azerbaijan-based mixed-media[.....]
For some, being a farmer is suicidal. Water and land are scarce, small farmers struggle to compete with the likes of Monsanto, and there are a host of environmental problems to contend with as well. In this context, it’s almost unthinkable that this bright young man dreams of following his father’s footsteps – as a farmer in Iran.
Iranian photographer Hossein Zare captures in photography what we can only see in our dreams – otherworldly land and cityscapes infused with an sense of eternal longing. A longing to reconnect with the land, with the heavens? Step in to see just a small handful of his incredible work.
Iran is most known in global news for its nuclear ambitions. But the country has resources for wind energy, the international renewable energy organization IRENA has announced. The NGO which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi has just released wind maps which show where Iranian winds blow.
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.
Here in the Middle East, the mash-up between religious beliefs and human rights can be breathtakingly surreal. Take, as example, baffling contradictions within modern Iranian culture that rigidly restricts gender co-mingling, yet supports gender transitioning.
Iran offers some of the world’s most epic rock climbing, but only a small handful of hard core international rock climbers have tested their courage and skill on its beautiful rock faces. Meanwhile, the less intrepid among us might settle for this awesome climbing gym designed for the Irianian village of Polur by New Wave[.....]
How relevant will OPEC be 10 years from now? Does the rapid expansion of new technologies like fracking threaten the future of eco-friendly energy alternatives such as wind and solar energy?
It is one of the most important bodies of water in the world, the only one to link the Persian Gulf with the open ocean, and it is frequently at risk of closure due to politics. Here’s your chance to design a new bridge for the Strait of Hormuz.
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[.....]
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.
Smoking the hookah, nargilah or shisha pipe is a truly fun and social way to connect in the Middle East. It’s an oriental fantasy for newcomers and even for women in private circles who want to wind down and let loose. But one session can be like smoking 600 cigarettes!
The Middle East boasts some of the world’s saltiest waterbodies, but none approach the horror of Lake Natron in Tanzania, one of the harshest environments on the planet. It’s hot, chalky waters can turn birds and land animals into calcified statues, spookily captured by photographer Nick Brandt in his new book, Across the Ravaged Land.
It doesn’t take a genius or a position paper to figure out that air pollution in cities and near industrial zones is toxic to human health. But now that it’s got an officially bad status with the United Nations, up there with asbestos and 100 other killer chemicals, maybe governments and cities will listen.
It takes a special man to carry off a skirt. In Iran, a growing group of Kurdish guys are rocking girly frocks to promote a serious message: being a woman is nothing to laugh at. It began when a convicted domestic abuser was sentenced to parade around town dressed in traditional Kurdish women’s clothing.
Simit (also spelled simeat) are well known throughout the eastern Mediterranean countries, especially Turkey. Despite some differences, they are all shaped as rings and are generously encrusted with sesame seeds. These could very well be the start of what is known today as the Jewish bagel.
Iran said it was going to send a monkey into space in 2011, but that didn’t happen. Now a top space official has told the state news agency IRNA that it’s sending a Persian cat instead.
Meat consumption in Iran has soared by 60 percent since 2005, according to the Omega Research Team (ORT), so the group is trying to convince locals to embrace Meatless Mondays. But for many, meat isn’t a choice.
President of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva and the Aga Khan presented this year’s Aga Khan Awards for Architecture at the Castle of São Jorge in Lisbon on Friday.
International media is so obsessed with Iran’s forbidden access to nuclear energy and the possibility of war that a host of other issues far more worrying than war are being ignored. And it starts with water.
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[.....]
For as long as they’ve known each other, Mohsen and Sepideh have dreamed of having an ethical fashion line that conveys how deeply the earth, or Zameeg in ancient Persian, needs our protection. And now the dream is manifesting.
Representatives from six Arab Gulf countries that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) recently expressed concern about the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Southwest Iran after an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale struct the region earlier this year.
An old prison in the heart of Tehran has been converted into an enormously popular tourist attraction. The Qasr prison is one of Iran’s oldest penitentiary institutions that was decommissioned in 2008; soon after, the municipality commissioned Experimental Branch of Architecture (EBA) to give it a surprising facelift.
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.
When the call went out Mars One might have expected a few dozen people would be willing to accept a suicide mission to a dead planet. Instead, they were overwhelmed with more than 80,000 applicants including at least a dozen from the Middle East.
Head to the heart of any Middle Eastern city and find a vibrant commercial hub, usually in the shadow of a major mosque – the bazaar. An Iranian bazaar with incredible history (Marco Polo shopped there!) may now win the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
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.
The nominees for the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture were recently announced: 20 candidates – half hailing from the Middle East – all vying for a million dollar prize.
Refrigeration is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of modern man, but it has come at a price. Not only do they require a great deal of energy to stay cool, but they also rely on ozone-depleting chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs), or freon (though some countries have phased these out.) As an increasing number of people walk[.....]
Every three years, the Aga Khan Architecture Award acknowledges projects relevant to Islam that are culturally, environmentally and socially superior. Accompanied by a generous $1 million prize, it is among the world’s most prestigious architecture awards. Apartment #1 by Tehran’s Architecture by Collective Terrain is one of 20 projects nominated, and though it faces stiff[.....]
An Iranian confectioner packed five tons of ice cream into a a single container to scoop a new world record in desserts. When you’ve just clinched the title as “monster rat” breeding grounds, why not sweeten your international appeal with the world’s biggest tub of ice cream? Last week in Tehran, Iranian dairy company Choopan popped[.....]
Super-sized rats infesting Tehran are so huge that a special team of sharpshooters using night-vision-equipped rifles have been tasked with extermination. It sounds like a sci-fi B movie, but the problem is real. Rats have long plagued Iran, and the problem worsens when springtime arrives: melting mountain snows flood the critters’ nests, and millions are[.....]
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[.....]
Can executions be green? Laurie answers this tongue in cheek. Tardy executioners have prompted Saudi Arabia to re-evaluate their centuries-old practice of public beheadings.The use of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia is based on a hardline interpretation of Sharia (Islamic) law. The practice attracts international scorn because of the wide array of crimes which garner[.....]
Water scarcity has already become a fact of daily life for Egyptians The world’s driest region, the Middle East* and North Africa (MENA), is getting drier at an alarming rate. And yet, despite massive population growth (the Middle East’s population grew 61 percent from 1990 to 2010 to 205 million people) predictions of so-called “water[.....]
A surge of round-the-world cyclists have emerged in the last few years as touring gear has improved and borders have become more fluid (for certain passport holders.) Two South African men cycled to Mecca, and a pair of American women traveled the Silk Road to support trans-boundary conservation efforts. But these adventures are not without[.....]
An old Persian leopard has been captured on camera in Iran, but this is not the first time. The cat was first photographed by a camera trap in 2004, according to wildlife conservationists in the area, and has since been spotted by both game wardens and visitors on numerous occasions. In 2007, the Conservation of[.....]
The bard believed that a “rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” but labeling mid-February fun as a Valentine’s event is controversial in the Middle East. What began as a quiet Western tradition, indulged by the leisure class, got a post-industrial kick-in-the-pants thanks to annual promotion from a growing news industry. Simply scrawl[.....]
Sound the alarms? Where has Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq’s underground freshwater sea gone? NASA’s imaging technology recently brought some bad news about Mideast air pollution. Now NASA brings more bad news about the Mideast water supply. We already knew that the Dead Sea is shrinking. Some people are even trying to do something about[.....]