I remember that when I visited Byblos, in the Jbeil district of Lebanon, in the summer of 2011, I felt like a true beholder of history. Historians agree that it’s the second oldest continuously-inhabited city on earth, runner-up only to the Palestinian city of Jericho. I sat at Feniqia restaurant in the heart of the[.....]
Beirut art collective Dictaphone Group is combining activism with show-biz in a fight to preserve Lebanon’s public spaces. Their series of interactive performance pieces is inciting hipsters and historians to join up in protest of Beirut’s unbridled development plans. Tension is never far below the surface of the capital’s staunchly secular social scene. Tagged as the[.....]
People are often defensive when it comes to headscarves, which have strong links to specific religious and cultural beliefs. Now a Beirut-based architect has designed a headwrap that uses defense as the justification for wearing it: this updated version of the classic Arab keffiyeh (allegedly) deflects bullets! Functional fashion takes a remarkable turn in the hands of[.....]
A recent study released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) concludes that the current drought that began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant – which includes Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey – is the region’s worst dry spell since 1100 C.E.
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[.....]
Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day, scientists from Dublin and Belfast have evidence that stone age Irish settlers had genetic origins in the Middle East. Thank the Vikings for the DNA that gave rise to red hair and freckles, introduced when they invaded the island nation at the end of the eighth century. But[.....]
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 –[.....]
Soup for Syria is a beautiful new cookbook of delicious and easy-to-make recipes guaranteed to fill your belly and feed your mind with heightened humanitarian awareness. But at its heart it is a cookbook, a perfect primer for any cook seeking healthy and flavorful food made with no-fuss ingredients (mostly vegetarian) found in supermarkets everywhere.
For Syrian refugees, seeing light at the end of the tunnel is a whole lot to ask. The Syrian civil war is reaching its five-year anniversary, and that’s not quite a call to celebration. What can humans cling to in such desolation? The things that make us human. We have the ability to feel and[.....]
Sea garbage’s days may be numbered, thanks to a new invention by a pair of Australians, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski. The Seabin Project is one being funded by Indiegogo and revolves around a floating trash receptacle. Able to suck everything floating in its vicinity into its natural fiber bag, from paper to plastic to[.....]
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.
Are you a green entrepreneur? Need to grow a business model that creates environmental and social value? Want to launch your new green service or product but don’t know where to begin? A new entrepreneurship program is seeking participants from Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan for their November training event. It’s free – but you need[.....]
Want a peek into a dystopian future? This is an update on the garbage crisis in Lebanon, which is largely attributed to a corrupted political system, but it’s also a cautionary tale about uncontrolled consumerism and environmental arrogance that could happen in nearly every free market zip code.
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[.....]
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[.....]
From San Francisco, to Amsterdam to Tel Aviv to Cairo, and now Beirut. Rooftop gardens are growing everywhere. Fueled by a desire to suck greenhouse gases, create heat sinks, beautify the city and even grow food, rooftop gardens may be the only way to feed our planet’s 7 billion mouths. While today many of the gardens are[.....]
In this day and age, with the superpower of Google, you can locate any recipe, and find infinite recipe ideas, online. So what’s the point of owning a cookbook? Aren’t cookbooks a little outdated? The answer, in my opinion, is no. An analogy could be made comparing “real books” to “E-books,” such as those purchased[.....]
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.
تخاطر الطيور المهاجرة بحياتها حين عبورها سماء لبنان في رحلاتها الموسمية بين أوروبا و افريقيا، إذ أن هنالك قوانين موضوعة تنظم الصيد فعلا، و لكن ليس هنالك من ينفذ أو يحاسب الصور المرفقة في الرابط هي من غنائم موسم الصيد في لبنان هذا الصيف: ضحايا من كافة أنواع الطيور البرية – لقالق، بجع، هداهد، نسور، طيور[.....]
There is no fighting chance for migratory birds when they fly over Lebanon: Hunting laws may be in place in the Middle East, but who’s enforcing them? From storks and pelicans to hoopoes to eagles to migratory songbirds… see the images of the bloodbath in Lebanon during this year’s hunting season. And these images are[.....]
On the occasion of World Food Day, Beirut will play host to the funkiest food salvage event in history: Disco Soup! While it’s not the first Disco Soup to hit the Middle East (Tel Aviv had its version Disco Shuk last April where droves came out for free food), this event in Lebanon only goes[.....]
While many Muslims don’t drink alcohol, the people of Batroun, Lebanon love their beer. At least according to Jamil al-Haddad, the visionary behind Colonel beer and a new microbrewery built out of recycled materials.
Bernard Khoury is one of Lebanon’s most sought after architects, and now he has built his own home – a rooftop penthouse bam smack in the middle of Beirut.
Green walls and rooftop gardens are great, but keeping them healthy in the Middle East and North Africa can be challenging. Green Studios, whose work in Lebanon we’ve featured once before, has an answer with their patented technology that ensures plants can flourish despite the extraordinary heat in our region. “We wanted to develop something that is[.....]
Planking’s passé, horsemaning is history, and while selfies are thriving in Tunisia, a new photo trend has emerged with the winning combination of mashing the beauty of nature and people. “The Topless Tour” invites people everywhere to shed their shirts to “feel the freedom and share their beauty with the world”.
Lebanon is bracing for severe summer drought. As in nearby Jordan, longstanding water management problems are stressed to the breaking point following the driest year on record and a winter exacerbated by a massive influx of Syrian refugees.
Remember the old days in Beirut when you could actually see the Mediterranean Sea? The crew over at Najjar & Najjar Architects remember, and they want it back! Their Kinematic IRIS sea pods are designed to not only provide refuge for residents living in the shadow of urban regurgitation, but to generate energy as well.
A new project in a Bethlehem-area refugee camp seeks to help reverse a history of forced urbanization and revitalize connections to agriculture, simultaneously increasing Palestinians’ control over their food sources, especially organic vegetables. It’s not the first time we reported on Refutrees, but they project has been blooming over the past year.
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.
The nearly 10,000 Palestinian refugees packed into southern Beirut’s Shatila camp live in makeshift homes of corrugated tin, and many long to return to their homeland. In order to depict life in the camp, artist Abdulrahman Katanani used the only materials he had available to him – scraps.
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!
A former flight attendant has grounded himself in Thailand in a masonry dome-home he built in just six weeks. The 500 square foot structure is simply constructed much like a tropical igloo, with cement blocks stepping in for ice bricks. The best part? It cost under $10,000!
We love grandmothers and we love what they do, especially when they know how to cook well using traditional recipes. While we like to support the food and lifestyle of yore, we do not think that not everything fast is bad for you.
“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.
Lebanon has had its share of pollution and garbage issues laundered out on Green Prophet. There have been stories of garbage trucks dumping their loads straight into the sea, or those on Sidon’s notorious garbage mound, where local residents used to say: “It’s horrible isn’t it? You smell it before you can see it.”
Nearly 7 million people have fled their homes to escape the violence in Syria, and 2 million refugees in Jordan and Lebanon face a wet, cold winter with nothing – not even a safe lamp to light their way. Which is why WakaWaka launched the Solar for Syria campaign.
A provocative installation by Lebanese graphic designer Wael Kodeih aims to challenge cyber censorship. Part of the fifth annual Exposure exhibition now at the Beirut Art Center (BAC), is it art or gimmick?
Lebanon’s government has finally agreed to a trial run of IKEA’s prefabricated flatpack homes designed for refugees, but they’re not excited about it.
Birds have a terrible time in the Middle East and North Africa. We’ve seen men posing with a bonnet full of dead ones, one million migrating songbirds killed for a pickled dish, and other horror stories.
Lebanese renewable energy have fallen short of its ambitious goal of reaching 12 percent of Lebanon’s energy needs by the year 2020. But now it is in the middle of building its first wind farm at about 60 MW in the country’s north.
Beirut residents are fed up: everywhere they look there are cranes and bulldozers turning their city into a giant concrete mess and even the smallest efforts to beautify the city are destroyed. This time they are saying no to a municipal plan to demolish the iconic Massad stairs.
Cyprus has one of the worst fresh water shortage than other regional countries, including Lebanon, Israel and Syria. The problem is so bad that reservoirs have gone dry and trees are dying.
Creativity, like nature, knows no borders, and we’re all about putting politics aside for the greater good, but a pair of naive American women behind the Israeli startup ArtSetters pulled a stunt that could have put Beirut artists in serious danger.
A group of activists in Beirut have teamed up with a local design agency to create the city’s first map of green spaces. Beirut Green Project and Wonder 8 launched the Beirut Green Guide at Tawlet earlier this week, but a few kinks still need to be worked out.
Not that long ago, the city of Sidon (or Saida) in Lebanon moved its trash to the local Sidon dump, where the toxic landfill and trash site washed into the sea every winter. Sometimes dump trucks didn’t wait for the rains and dumped directly into the sea.
Volkswagen’s “hippie van” was the preferred mode of transportation for peace lovers during the 1960s, but Brazil is shutting down the last production line this year to meet rigorous new safety requirements. See our nostalgic photo tour of VW vans in the Middle East.
A young Dubai designer wants to install the world’s largest perpetual public art installation to send a message around the planet using the power of the sun.
The London Design Festival is well underway with some exciting new projects on display – including an intriguing new installation from Beirut’s Najila El Zein: The Wind Portal.
Opposites attract; just ask salted caramel, chocolate-covered pretzels, or kettle corn. These treats are all sweet-and-salty food combinations and here’s a new one to add to summer – just before the season ends.
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.
Whereas most people would scarcely give a pile of old keys a second glance, the Vanina girls from Lebanon see in these disused materials new life as glittering jewelry.
It is a little known fact outside of conservation and hunting circles, Sherif Baha el Din from Nature Conservation Egypt told The Guardian, but Egyptian hunters will destroy thousands of migratory birds in the coming weeks as they make their way from Europe back to Africa for the winter.