Take empathy to a new level by living just like a displaced person. A group of Syrian refugees advertised their camp tent as a rentable destination on Airbnb, offering intrepid travelers “scorpions, dehydration and broken promises”. They describe the Ritsona, Greece refugee camp, about 80 kilometers north of Athens, as “the most unique neighborhood in[.....]
Zaha Hadid, the first female architect (and first Muslim) to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize, died yesterday in a Miami hospital after suffering a heart attack while being treated for bronchitis. The Iraqi-born mathematician and architect whose designs were both celebrated and divisive, was 65 years old.
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,[.....]
A new report from the Climate Council of Australia revealed that last year’s global average temperature was the highest since global records began in 1880, with 2015 experiencing its hottest year on record – again – besting the 2014 stats by a jaw-dropping 0.16°C. To paraphrase Paris Hilton, that’s hot.
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 –[.....]
Why blow your wedding bucks on one extravaganza when you can hold two for the same price? Jordanian newlyweds Mutaz Mango and Basma Omar opted to split their celebration, hosting a private party for family and friends and a second for Iraqi and Syrian refugee children living in the old Hashemi al Shemali neighborhood of[.....]
Jordan will waive its 40 dinar ($57) visa fee for incoming tourists to make visits to Jordan “more convenient and affordable for people of all nationalities,” according to a government press release. The action aims to boost tourism to kingdom attractions such as Petra, Pella, and the protected area of Wadi Rum. It’s just one of several new initiatives to reinvigorate Jordan’s[.....]
IKEA and UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) emerged from two years of research with a prototype shelter suitable for refugee families anywhere. It features an innovative roof that reflects 70% of the sun’s rays during the day yet retains heat during the night, and it’s fitted with solar panels that power an[.....]
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[.....]
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[.....]
Growing crops by hydroponic farming, or on water, has been practiced since the ancient Babylonians planted their legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon. These were the world’s first vertical farms concept. Hydroponic water gardens also include roof top gardens in Middle East cities like Beirut and Cairo. In fact, the practice of hydroponic, water based farming for smart[.....]
A fascinating report published by Mumbai-based think tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG), asserts that trans-boundary water cooperation directly correlates with regional stability and peace. The inverse also holds true: failure to collaborate when managing shared water resources raises the risk of war.
Every year Jewish people read the Book of Jonah from the Old Testament during the Yom Kippur holiday – that was this past Saturday, and Jonah came to my mind when I was writing about the holiest day of the year for the Jews. Jonah is my favorite biblical story, I was saddened to learn that[.....]
How best to stay on track living productive, happy lives in the midst of communal fear and sadness? Tap into the healing power of nature, but make it more potent by pairing it with paint.
Are grandma’s heirloom tomatoes Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)? What about Lebanese cucumbers or the maize that Native Americans transformed from a meager ankle-high grass into long-eared mazes of golden corn? What is so scary about GMO?
HONY caption: “There were dozens of them and only four of us. They took all my sheep.” (Dohuk, Iraq)
Sunni fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took over Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam last Sunday, along with three towns and an oilfield according to the commander of the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters who had been defending the facility. Facing minimal opposition, ISIS seized control of Mosul Dam after a 24-hour battle. Workers remain[.....]
Why should affordable Dream Homes be limited to Barbie dolls? Design your own fantasy shack from the comfort of your keyboard with California-based Blu Homes – makers of fully customizable, prefab, green housing.
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 Middle East joins the race to space with a new program which will launch a research probe to MARS in the next seven years. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai) announced establishment of a UAE Space Agency.
May Camelopardalis is the name given for a newly discovered meteor shower which may or may not dazzle viewers under clear-dark skies.
Artist Hikaru Cho transforms ordinary foods into completely different foods, not by culinary skill, but with acrylic paint. She painstakingly camouflages veggies, fruits and even eggs into similarly-shaped but totally different foods. Viewers report they can experience the “surprise” in their mouths!
Scientists exploring a cold, polluted, and murky river mouth in southeastern Iraq were shocked to discover what is thought to be the country’s first coral reef.
Wait a minute, there, Pisa, you’re not the only contortionist building on the block! A beloved old minaret in a Mosul mosque that leans 8 feet off its perpendicular axis may soon topple; an unusual casualty of ongoing unrest in one of Iraq’s most dangerous cities.
“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.
The world’s first 3D printed guns (like the 3D printed gun that breached Israeli security) have landed in London’s acclaimed Victoria & Albert Museum. Two prototype Liberator guns developed by self described “crypto-anarchist” Cody Wilson are now permanently displayed as – and I type this last word with difficulty – art.
With outstanding infrastructural improvement due in large part to projects launched by the cutting-edge real estate development company, Empire World, Erbil in Iraq is making a name for itself. Now is a chance to meet this ancient/new city, thought to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
Want to get close to Iraqi food traditions and culture? This cook book is for you. Lyrical memoirs of Nawal Nasrallah’s childhood in Iraq, and the place that food had in that culture, drift through the pages, pausing for sidebars that offer tidbits like four paragraphs on ancient wives in ancient kitchens. Or samples from a[.....]
On Sunday, September 15, a fleet of traditional and modern Mesopotamian boats will sail down the Tigris River on an historic voyage of celebration and learning.
The day that the month long fast called Ramadan ends is normally a joyous occasion for Muslims across the globe, but this year, with nearly two million of their Syrian brothers and sisters stranded, and strife roaring through North Africa and the Levant, a deep shadow has grabbed hold of this year’s Eid al-Fitr holidays.
We first learned about Nature Iraq’s conservation in a combat zone in 2010. Back then Iraq’s only conservation NGO seemed to receive little ministerial support; three years later and the Council of Ministries has approved the group’s push to protect the Mesopotamian Marshlands as the country’s first national park.
Zaha Hadid’s flowing architecture instantly sprung to mind when we came across Zaid Bin Talib’s design proposal for an Iraqi embassy in Oslo. Daring, futuristic, and swooping, the design appears to be influenced by Iraq’s most famous architect’s style, except the Oslo School of Architecture and Design student’s work is so much greener.
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.
Upstream hydroelectric dams have already inhibited the recovery of Iraq’s legendary Mesopotamian Marshes. A massive dam currently under construction in Turkey may wipe them out completely. For the next two months, I’ll be taking a break from my usual Green Prophet posts to report on a transnational environmental issue: the Ilısu Dam currently under construction[.....]
From Iraq with love, a great jam with a surprising ingredient. Nawal Nasrallah, a food historian and author, writes about Iraqui cuisine in a warm, rich style that beautifully highlights each recipe’s historical and cultural background. Her newly revised cookbook, Delights From The Garden Of Eden, is about to be released in a new edition,[.....]
Middle East city heads want to make their cities more sustainable. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is 60 percent urbanized compared to the global average of 52 percent and is home to one of the world’s most rapidly expanding populations. By 2030, a 45 percent increase of MENA’s urban population will add[.....]
Gabriele Galimberti’s“Toy Stories” documents the world’s children posed with their favorite toys. Everyone remembers their most prized possessions. Mine were an Etch-a-Sketch, some wads of Silly Putty, and an endless supply of Crayola crayons: surely you can rattle off yours? Galimberti, an Italian photographer who specializes in serials, all variations on a single theme, said[.....]
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[.....]
Pomelo fruit and the Middle East arak are making one of the year’s hottest and refreshing new cocktails. Here’s the recipe. Baffled Once: Purchased as wacky Christmas gifts, the four bottles of arak inside our New York-bound suitcases were packed more carefully than human transplant organs are, but their bottle caps were as leaky as[.....]
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[.....]
Are you at risk? Get swine flu updates for the PA, Israel, Yemen, Iraq, Tunisia and Jordan. Health officials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) are calling on residents to get vaccinated against the H1N1 virus (“swine flu”) after 25 deaths in recent weeks.Over 700 infections of H1N1 have been reported in the West Bank[.....]
Of my most prized possessions is a new blender I recently purchased, the Vitamix. Mine is a model called the TurboBlend VS. The Vitamix is advertised as “more than a blender,” as its high performance quality enables the user to blend the toughest of ingredients to produce the widest variety of food creations. It’s the[.....]
Are Jordan’s snow and Israel’s floods signs of climate change or are they simply flukes of weather? People might argue this for decades there is strong evidence that Mideastern climate has changed dramatically over thousands of years and there is evidence that humans can negatively impact their environment over a much shorter time period. The[.....]
Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Myanmar and Yemen are still using leaded gasoline and many others have lead contaminated plumbing, soil, paint and household products. How can we reduce the world’s crime rate, particularly the rate of violent crime? When the crime rate rises or a horrific crime takes place, people are quick to find blame[.....]
Three thousand years ago four stone lions guarded a temple in Iraq, but their work was short lived. The Assyrians invaded the city Nuzi and annihilated everything in sight, including the lions and other artifacts. One lion that remained almost intact now lives at University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, while fragments of[.....]
Two to three thousand refugees flee Syria every day. Exhausted from traveling with what little they own and devastated by the many losses they have incurred along the way – their home, their country, every shred of security they ever knew and a shocking number of family members – they pour into bordering countries. The[.....]
Turn to the ancients for a green building technique that lets you play like a child. Mesopotamian mud bricks still do the job, for free. Mesopotamia was the ancient collective of settlements tracing the Tigris–Euphrates river basin. It spanned modern Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and smaller parts of Iran. Modern school kids learn this[.....]
In the Middle East, recipes for stuffed vegetables and leaves evolved from a simple, thrifty way with meat to a culinary passion. Careful housewives have long known that a little ground meat goes a long way when artfully seasoned and combined with rice. But it took imagination and care to develop the recipes of stuffed[.....]
Who’s got the wind in the Middle East? Morocco and Egypt have the biggest wind power plants, but don’t discount Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wind power has taken a backseat to solar power across the Middle East and North Africa, but there are still some ambitious projects in wind power[.....]
Iraq meets Israel in Tel Aviv at this new sabich restaurant. Givatayim’s legendary eggplant-maker Oved Daniel, whom they call the “professor of sabich [Iraqi eggplant dish] science,” is opening up a new restaurant in Tel Aviv. Previously a gifted soccer player, today Daniel is a local food celebrity whose specialty sabich is one of Israel’s[.....]