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 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.
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.
Salima Naji has been recognized by the Aga Khan Development Network for her efforts to revive a series of earth buildings in the lesser Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
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) [...]
You might not be able to strut around in a thong or sun tan topless in the Middle East (unless you are at the Naked Dead Sea), but there are many beautiful beaches in the region that just don’t get enough fanfare. That’s why we have rounded up ten of the most sublime sandy destinations.
We’ve posted about the Cafe Clock blog here, including the recipe for its famous camel burger. In this delightful cookbook, Stevens includes recipes from the Cafe Clock as well as some traditional Moroccan dishes that she discovered herself. Her warm, frank tone and the stories that introduce many of the recipes almost bring the reader [...]
It’s Earth Day, which means you will see at least 100 stories in your Facebook and Twitter feeds that will list the many ways that you can become a better earthly citizen. And most of them are valid. Yet I yearned to find a more meaningful way to honor the day, so this year I [...]
The world’s largest solar-powered ship has been out of commission for a while, but she’s back in business for her first 2013 Port of Call in Morocco. After leaving La Ciotat in France on 8 April, 2013, Planet Solar bobbed on the high seas for nine days. It was a challenging trip, according to Captain Gérard d’Aboville, [...]
While the rest of the world is beguiled by Walmarts and Targets, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has given a $39 million handicraft complex in Fez his royal seal of approval. Recognizing the value of authentic handmade crafts sought after by tourists in particular, not to mention the job opportunities that accompany such a vibrant cottage [...]
We have to admit that this isn’t anything particularly “green” about this see-saw, but it does harvest the movement of people to make music. And that’s just downright cool. A temporary installation designed for last year’s Marrakech Biennale, The Rise and Fall blends architecture and art to question how people occupy spaces and how those spaces [...]
Mars is red and so is the Sahara desert, but the similarities between the two run deeper than that. Which is why the Austrian Space Forum (OEWF) dispatched a crew to Morocco, where they tested a series of communication, vehicular, wearable and other technologies that may eventually be deployed on the red planet, Gizmag reports. [...]
A former sailor, Alain Thibault knows what it means to pine after fresh water, so he designed a portable desalination device that uses the sun’s power to make fresh drinking water. What’s more, he and the rest of his team have introduced the technology to Sahara nomads, who frequently struggle to find water that isn’t [...]
Farming is risky business in Morocco, where a 30 percent drop in precipitation since 1970 makes steady, predictable annual crop yields virtually impossible. So the World Bank was called in to help implement Plan Maroc Vert – an ambitious initiative designed to boost the country’s cereal production and create a more sustainable agricultural sector by 2020. [...]
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 [...]
Tasty, high-protein and low-cholesterol, camel meat even has the approval of the Australian Heart Association. Sustainability in the kitchen is our creed, and camel is a far more sustainable meat than beef (which the world was horrified to discover may be contaminated with horse meat). We have posted about camel milk and its health benefits. [...]
Have you been watching the gradual unfolding of a hot new solar power market in the Middle East and North Africa without really understanding how to get involved? If so, you might want to read on. PV Insider is hosting a free webinar tomorrow, Tuesday 5th March at 08.00am GMT / 09.00 CET / 12.00 GST [...]
Sixty percent of Morocco’s fuel reserves consists of petroleum and 23 percent of the country’s energy is derived from coal, according to the DESERTEC Knowledge Platform. Yet Morocco has to import roughly 96 percent of its fossil fuel, which is both costly and politically destabilizing. So it comes as no surprise that learning institutions around the North African [...]
Morocco Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, Mayor of Fez and Secretary General of Istiqlal Party Hamid Chabat, and security official at the inauguration of a restored synagogue in Fez. AFP Islamist Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane represented King Mohammed VI in an inauguration ceremony marking the completion of a 17th century synagogue restoration project in Fez yesterday. In 2011, [...]
By the end of the decade, Morocco hopes to generate a full 2,000 megawatts of wind energy, but for now, the North African country needs all the help it can get from foreign investors. No stranger to wind, GDF Suez from France inked a 20 year deal with to build and operate a 300 MW [...]
33 exotic Moroccan recipes from the women who make and cook with argan oil. The argan tree is a Berber identity icon, and production of its oil is traditionally a woman’s job. But as with many folkways, interest in argan began to dwindle. It’s a finicky process with low yield. Unless marketed wisely, it’s hardly [...]
The commercial capital of Morocco is catching up to the western world through a series of dedicated governmental initiatives, putting old institutions like ABC Cinema on Boulevard Mohamed V at risk. Made famous by the romance starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca is a bustling metropolis with a brand new tram line that connects [...]
Moroccan flavors blend deliciously in a hearty chickpea soup. Our previous posts on sustainable eating in the Middle East/North Africa region featured rice and chicken kabsa from Saudi Arabia, Jordan’s traditional mansaf, and wheat berry pudding from Iran. All very delicious – but what about North Africa? Regional, seasonal, fresh and harvested under fair conditions. [...]
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are expected to bring 3.5GW of solar capacity online by 2015: Saudi Arabia and Turkey lead the way. A new report published by Green Tech Media (GTM) Research pins the surge from today’s near-negligible production on rapidly rising energy demand spurred by MENA economic expansion, population growth, and [...]
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 [...]
They took their pilot run from Europe to Morocco, now the Swiss solar plane will fly across America. Sometime next summer, an airplane with the wingspan of an Airbus A340 but weighing not much more than a Toyota will fly from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., and on to New York. The history-making cross-country trip [...]
The Sahara. It’s the world’s hottest desert and almost as large as China or the United States, so travelers have good reason to be wary of wandering into it alone. But adventurer Tom Thumb has organized another retreat in 2013 for those who want to experience the Sahara. The Road Junky Sahara Retreat will be held [...]
The Medicinal Plants Association in Egypt helps preserve biodiversity and is one of the 25 winners of the Equator Prize 2012. Policy making within the realm of “development” is often burdened by an excessively westernized design resulting in unintended consequences on the welfare of local populations. For example, a previous Green Prophet article “Morocco’s Berbers [...]
When Spain failed to show up for a recent Desertec meeting that would have signaled government support for the 150 MW concentrated solar plant (CSP) in Ourzazate, Morocco, energy bloggers rushed to dub the program designed to supply Europe with renewable energy produced in North African countries a failure. Both Bosch and Siemens pulled out as [...]
For Green Prophet, I often write about (let’s face it) depressing issues such as climate refugees and environmental conflicts in which everyone pays the price but I do sometimes get to write about some fun stuff too. That’s basically what is going into my top 5 Green Prophet blog stories of the year. These are the odd [...]
King Mohammed VI rode with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and head of Moroccan government Abdelilah Benkirane on Casablanca’s spiffy new tramway during its debut run, which traversed the distance between United Nations Square and Mohammed Square on 12 December, 2012. Designed to reduce air pollution, ease vehicular congestion and increase economic development in what [...]
Whether your sandy reminiscences are wet or dry, two artists have devised ways to make your memories tangible. My brain inextricably links sand to sea thanks to 25 summers spent on a New Jersey barrier island. Middle East experiences have me now connecting the grainy stuff to locations and memories largely devoid of water, such [...]
Nobody wants to see rubbish littering the magical Sahara desert, unless of course it belongs to WE MAKE CARPETS. The Dutch collective has been arranging ordinary household objects into dazzling carpets for a few years now, but their most recent installation commissioned by the Taragalte Festival in southern Morocco is among their finest. Made entirely out [...]
With Christmas just around the corner, hordes of European and English visitors will skip across the Mediterranean for a fast, cheap holiday in beautiful Morocco. Many will fly into Fez to explore one of the oldest medinas in the Arab world, others will ride camels into the desert sunset, while more intrepid travelers will head [...]
Consequences of climate change especially acute in the Arab world, and traditional methods for coping with climate are severely stressed finds new World Bank assessment. All eyes are on Qatar now as the country hosts the UN-sponsored climate change event COP18. We’ve been reporting on COP18 before it began and during, and recently posted about [...]
In a bid to highlight our water use and waste, photographer Peter Holmes has created a series of memorable portraits of water use in different countries. “Statistics about water consumption are difficult to comprehend and are un-relatable to everyday life – this project attempts to make water consumption visible in a meaningful way.” Well, that’s [...]
A new marketplace for Casablanca – complete with rainwater harvesting and a clever trash chute? While the souq or market is integral to Moroccan culture, they are frequently crowded and polluted as population density expands throughout the North African country. TomDavid Architecten from The Netherlands submitted a proposal as part of an international design competition [...]
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 [...]
When western women catch wind of a new “miracle oil,” the next super lotion that promises eternal youth and exquisite beauty, be sure that demand for the thing will soar. This is what has happened with argan oil, that illustrious “liquid gold” derived from a nut in Morocco, which is used in both culinary and [...]
Over the past week, there has been much fanfare and reporting on Spain’s surprising absence from the signing of the first Desertec project, leaving many to question if Spain was pulling out altogether from the project. Certainly, it was not the right move by Spain to simply not show up at the signing event, but [...]