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.
As the world awaits the release of the final draft agreement emerging from the COP21 climate talks – expected this morning – longtime expert in water policy, Dr. Sundeep Waslekar explores one specific aspect of climate change in the following article, providing clear insight into the future of water, not only as a critical resource for all[.....]
American media giant 20th Century Fox has teamed up with United Arab Emirates Al Ahli Holding Group to build a theme park in Dubai, set to open in 2018, that will feature attractions based on blockbuster movies such as “Aliens,” “Titanic,” “Ice Age” and “Planet of the Apes.” So the UAE builds another resource-guzzling folly for audiences[.....]
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[.....]
A massive sandstorm swooped down on Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan today – a small part of an extreme weather pattern descending on the region. Strong winds sent desert sand airborne, darkening skies across the kingdom and causing near blackout conditions in Jordan’s capital city.
Two 2,000-year-old sling stones were mysteriously dropped in the courtyard of the Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures (MINEC) in Be’er Sheva last week. Also called “sling bullets”, this ancient ammunition dates back to Neotlithic times, famously used by David in his romp against Goliath. The bag packed with these particular stones included an anonymous note that read, “They[.....]
The design team of Henkin Irit and Shavit Zohar have converted a centuries-old building in Safed into a thoroughly modern home, strategically introducing new glass windows and doors to the old stone structure, flooding the interior with sunshine that paints the rooms with a changing wash of light and shadows. Construction of the 175 m2 “Reflection House” finished this year. Situated 2,953 feet above sea level, Safed[.....]
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[.....]
A consortium of leading environmental groups released a Regional NGO Master Plan for Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley. They announced the action – the first of its kind – earlier today at a conference held on the Jordan side of the Dead Sea. The strategy is akin to a modern Marshall Plan, it aims[.....]
An inaugural Interfaith Eco Slam is happening in Nachla’ot, Jerusalem tonight, hosted by the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) and Rabbi Yonatan Neril. Get yourself to the rooftop of 49 Rechov Shabazi for a night of spoken-word poetry that bridges religion and ecology. The event is in honor of World Environment Day, which rolls in tomorrow.
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[.....]
Mayors from 114 North American cities entered into an agreement to rehabilitate an endangered river halfway across the world. Launched at the recent Water After Borders (WAB) summit in Chicago, the partnership brings expertise in transboundary water system management to the Jordan River, a waterbody long embroiled in regional politics.
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[.....]
The American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at California’s Stanford University (AMENDS) is a student-led initiative that enables young change agents from across the Middle East, North Africa, and United States to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and, through Ted-style talks, broadcast their experiences and learn from each other. This is a story about a platform for[.....]
“I am the dishes, the ironing, I am everything, I am nothing. But remind me: Who are you?” So plays the hook of a new feminist anthem released by the Palestinian rappers, DAM. The video for “Who You Are” plays on sexist attitudes by having men and women switch domestic roles typical in the Middle East, but also familiar[.....]
Israel and Jordan have signed a historic deal to press ahead with a plan to save the Dead Sea. The ‘Red-Dead’ project will build a plant near the Jordanian tourist resort of Aqaba that will desalinate water to be shared by Israelis and Palestinians. The brine left over from the desalination process will be channeled[.....]
The olive branch as a symbol of peace is rooted in ancient Greek culture, but the link between the fruit tree and conflict resolution continues today; especially clear in a beautiful little project called Olive Oil without Borders (OOWB) just re-launched in its second edition at a conference held last month in Kufr Rai, in the West Bank.
It’s been weeks since a Palestinian vegetable vendor from the West Bank town of Jericho last imported mushrooms, selling instead homegrown organic ‘shrooms grown for the first time in the West Bank. Amoro Mushroom Farm in Jericho – the first farm in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to commercially produce white mushrooms – is emerging as a[.....]
NASA scientists are using the Suomi NPP satellite to photograph the earth at night. They are studying natural phenomenon as well as light pollution. They found that manmade lights shine noticeably brighter during the holidays of Ramadan, Christmas and New Year. Some Middle Eastern cities shone more than 50% brighter during Ramadan. Find out how[.....]
Stroll around the ruins of Gaza on a late afternoon and you may catch sight of airborne young men, jumping off mountains of rubble and rolling from rooftops. Their extraordinarily athletic running and climbing, swinging and vaulting makes for an urban ballet. This is parkour and free running and this is the best crew in the Arab[.....]
Nanoflow technology’s Quant e-Sportlimousine is fast. Its 920 horsepower engine can accelerate this sleekly luxurious car from 0 to 100mph in 2.8 seconds. Its maximum speed is 217.5 mph. Nanoflow claims this electric car has a range of 373 miles with a full tank. And when it does run low on fuel, you’ll need to[.....]
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.
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.
حذرت منظمة الأغذية و الصحة للأمم المتحدة من أن استمرار القتال في غزة أدى إلى شل حركة صيد السمك في سواحل القطاع، و إلى هجر المزارعين و الرعاة لأراضيهم، مما أدى إلى توقف تام في في الصناعات الغذائية المحلية، مضيفا بذلك إلى حجم التحديات الجسيمة التي يواجهها السكان هناك. و في حين توقف العدوان، سيحتاج قطاع[.....]
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.
So much disturbing news from Israel and Palestine in the last two weeks has left me completely exasperated, and I’m sure our readers can relate. Thankfully NPR gives us a brief respite with this great story of a Nader Khalili-styled dome home that a young Palestinian firm recently completed in Jericho.
Mashjar Juthour is a living museum of what little wild fauna and flora still exist in Area C, a portion of Palestinian territory controlled by Israel, but it’s struggling to get by. Aiming to create a sacred green space for the Palestinian people and supporters, a place to heal and regenerate, its founders humbly ask for our help.
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.
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.
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.
Watch your step, kibbutzniks and spa-mavens! Diminishing water levels in the Dead Sea are causing changes to surrounding groundwater flows. Freshwater moves through the aquifer, dissolving subterranean salt deposits and creating underground voids, which cause surface collapse. Dramatic and unpredictable, sinkholes appear at the alarming rate of nearly one a day.
When Israeli soldiers killed her son Bassem in 2009, Sabiha Abu Rahman faced the impossible task of being alive without him. She has since turned her grief into balm with a beautiful garden full of repurposed tear gas grenades.
Israeli activist Ari Leon Fruchter has launched a new Kickstarter campaign, but instead of getting Israelis naked with Spencer Tunic, this time he is raising funds for Naked Sea Salt – a sustainable new brand of salt from the Dead Sea.
Jordan’s Minister of Water and Irrigation and Agriculture, Hazim Al Naser, disclosed that the controversial Red-Dead Water Conveyor project may now be shelved in favor of a series of smaller schemes to provide the kingdom with drinking water. His statements mark the first time that a ranking official questioned the project’s viability. Al Naser spoke[.....]