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.
The Lower Jordan River, the baptismal river of Jesus, has been dead at its source for some time. For the first time in ages, Israel is releasing native waters via a pump back to the historic waterway.
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 Middle East and North Africa have faced a number of hurdles in getting what experts believe could be the greatest solar power grid in the world off the ground. From Morocco to Egypt to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), obstacles have continued to stand in the way of creating a grand solar project. Until now.
Hotter than heck and bone dry, the Middle East and North Africa have an abundance of sun, and leaders across the region are striving to make the most of it. Five North African countries and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will receive a total of $660 million from the $7.6 billion Climate Investment Fund (CIF) [...]
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.
Health experts have long advocated drinking tea instead of coffee, and the Middle East is awash in both, but modern food technology is heating up health concerns over this ancient brew.
Energy storage company Enstorage Inc. connected a 50 kW Hydrogen Bromine flow battery to the grid at their test site in southern Israel. This began the world’s first large-scale deployment of this promising new energy grid technology.
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 – [...]
Permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton who is currently based in the Middle East answers all your growing questions Permaculture power couple Nadia and Geoff Lawton, currently based in Jordan, have released a series of great (and free!) Permaculture videos online. The videos are basically a how-to guide of applying Permaculture principles, things to consider before buying [...]
Using only upcycled objects, French artist Bernard Pras reinterprets iconic images through the art of anamorphosis. Relying on old trash gathered near his installation sites, Bernard Pras from France assembles clothes and rags, wood, old record albums, dishes, broken toys (and anything else he can grab) to re-interpret pop-culture images. It’s far from ad hoc: [...]
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 [...]
Campaigners step up their lobbying for a nuclear-free Jordan as the final decision with regards to the chosen firm approaches. The Jordanian government will pick the firm which will build Jordan’s first nuclear station in May. Greenpeace campaigners in Jordan have urged the government to consider “the dire risks” the proposed nuclear project will have [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
We are not alone in our awe of the Sahara Forest Project (SFP), which has already built a pilot project in Qatar that produces energy, clean water and food in the middle of the desert – all without a single drop of fossil fuel. Owned by biomimicry architect Michael Pawlyn, structural engineer Bill Watts, and the Norwegian [...]
Eating too fast leads to poor digestion and poor weight control. No brainer. But do we need a digital fork to help adhere to that maxim? Goofing around online, I spot a cool-looking kitchen gadget: a fork that could be a love-child of IKEA and Apple. I click on the video and nearly spit out [...]
Is the Red Sea shark spotted at Eilat beach, Israel escaping illegal hunters in Egypt? While it’s rare to find sharks in the Mediterranean Sea (they are almost extinct), they are not so uncommon in the Red Sea. Its warm waters and ample food source bait sharks who sometimes get personal with bathers and divers. [...]
Young Syrian refugees are being forced into sex and child labor in Jordan Abdul Rahman, an eight-year-old refugee from Syria, rummages through a trash container along the side road of north Amman’s bustling Sweileh neighborhood. His sparkling green eyes stare out from his dirty, emaciated face. His bony legs appear from under torn blue trousers. [...]
A couple of years ago we questioned the “greenliness” of Foster + Partner’s new airport terminal at the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, and now the futuristic building has finally opened. Located just south of Amman, the domed structure is designed to mimic the black folds of traditional Bedouin tents out of deference, according [...]
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 [...]
Springtime in Jordan brings ferocious sandstorms and a nose-clogging meteorological phenom called “khamsin”. Grab your Michael Jackson face masks and the decongestant of your choice, close the windows tight and stockpile tissues. The dry, dusty winds of khamsin are blowing across the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa and right into your sinus canals. That image [...]
A new Amman clothing retailer is hitting all the green lights on the fashion runway: Yours & Mine makes sustainability chic, selling locally sourced, recycled garments in a virtual store. I’ve been stylin’ used clothes for decades: it’s old hat in New York City to personalize your wardrobe with key finds from an Army & [...]
If new anti-smoking images slapped on Jordan’s smokes don’t help puffers kick the habit, maybe Jordan should look Down Under for greater motivation: Beginning this year, as part of Jordan’s obligations to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the Ministry of Health asked cigarette companies to feature graphic anti-smoking images on cigarette [...]
Coffee has a secret life beyond your kitchen filter. Give new life to the mountains of used grinds we toss out every week. I built a fertilizer-maker in my garden with the help of foodie friends, then we tucked into some coffee for their lecture on Composting 101. I’m a clueless composter, but I make such [...]
The European Commission (EC) approved a pork-based feedstock for farm-raised fish. Next year, your mullet and trout might contain chicken and pork. Horsemeat in burgers, meatballs and frozen lasagna is startling, but while these products include a “secret ingredient”, they remain as advertised: meat-based foods. But what happens when the fish on your dish also [...]
With the region getting drier ‘at an alarming rate’, what is there to celebrate this World Water Day? In the lead up to World Water Day which will take place next Friday, I have gathered some interesting water-based facts on the issue. The Middle East and North Africa region is famously one of the driest [...]
We all had so much hope for Jordan’s Solar Mamas – two women who traveled from a dusty village to India in order to become “solar engineers.” During their six month training, they learned to install and maintain small-scale solar systems back home and proceeded, upon their return, to implement 80 of them back home. [...]
I interview Professor Al Jayoussi about Islamic notions of sustainability and whether they could ever be seen as universally applicable In a previous post, I raised concerns over what an Islamic worldview can realistically offer those looking for a new sustainability model. After reading Odeh Al Jayoussi’s book on the topic, I felt that there [...]
Jordan (where this Green Prophet lives) is not my Xanadu because it lacks an oceanic coastline: but, hey, if climate change keeps raising sea levels my dreams can (catastrophically) come true…Green Prophet’s brought you vivid images of NASA flood maps, and alarming predictions of Mediterranean basin flooding. This winter’s extreme precipitation may have added precious water to regional stocks, [...]
Tomato and potato soup being cooked on an open fire at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians. Camp officials say they are hoping they will receive the money needed to run electrical systems so that heaters can be used © Jodi Hilton/IRIN Residents of Syrian towns that have run out of heating oil say they are [...]
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 [...]
Israel has set up a special task force to prepare for the possibility that a locust swarm may migrate from Egypt and destroy precious crops. Already some sources are saying that a small swarm of locusts has been spotted in the southern Gaza strip after millions of locusts descended upon various Cairo neighborhoods over the [...]
Odeh Al-Jayoussi creates a great guidebook on Islam and sustainable development, although it’s a little overambitious in its reach at times Odeh Al-Jayoussi, the current vice president of Jordan’s Royal Scientific Society, has certainly had an interesting career. As well as working for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, he’s spent time at the City [...]
Animal lovers in Jordan are fighting a formidable battle to raise people’s awareness and respect towards strays and animals in general. It’s not easy being an animal in Jordan. One of our pair of mini-dachshunds escaped to the street last November and was killed in a hit and run. Distraught, we called friends asking what [...]
Plastic bottle cap picture by Mary Ellen Croteau The caps are synthetic artifacts, plastic products that usually aren’t (and more often, can’t be) recycled. Self-described political artist Mary Ellen Croteau explores absurdities of social norms, exposing the “underlying bias and sexist assumptions on which culture is constructed. So says her website, but her amazing artworks also [...]
A new research paper traces the roots of the wild olive to one location. Olives, staple of Mediterranean cuisine, have dubious origins. Called the “tree of life” for the sustenance it provides and its myriad non-food uses (read our list of 10 weird and wonderful ways to use olive oil), the domesticated olive tree is central [...]
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 [...]
Got the Foggiest Notion How to Drive in Desert Fog? Camel caravans and soaring sand dunes demand backdrops of sun-bleached skies (or star-strewn heavens). But what happens when the fog rolls in? Dense fog is a key feature of a desert environment, a natural result of rapid temperature swings. Topography also plays a role in fog [...]