We don’t often hear good news coming from Palestine, but solar energy advances for Palestinian households are something to celebrate. The Dead Sea Photovoltaic Generating Plant offers drastically reduced prices for Palestinians struggling to pay their energy bills and its first phase is now open and underway. Traditionally Palestinians have had to rely on Israel[.....]
A group of Palestinian guys from Beit Jalla in the West Bank, Palestine have decided to take a chance on peace – by swing dancing with Israelis. Watch the heart-warming video below. With some encouragement from an ex-Berliner named Bibi who moved to Tel Aviv the Palestinians have started to swing dance together with the Israelis[.....]
An ancient bronze casting of Greek god Apollo, hooked from the sea by a young Gaza fisherman, was seized by police and vanished from public view. Tug-of-war over a valuable artifact – or – coyness over risqué rendering of his frontal assets? Authorities are as silent as a statue as to when it will reappear.
If Jesus had a Facebook account, this could be his profile picture.
Israel’s do-it-yourself (and environmentally friendly) soft drink maker SodaStream may go down in the record books as having created the most provocative Super Bowl commercial that never aired on TV, but it’s having a hell of an afterlife on YouTube, racking up over 11 million views since its Monday release.
Women in this densely populated area of Gaza have a surprising new hobby — karate. Women of different ages, heights, social classes and backgrounds can be found at Gaza’s Karate Sports Club dressed in the classic white karate uniforms (known as Karategi in Japanese). They stand tall and barefoot. Some wear headscarves, some don’t.
Some good news out of the Middle East region for a change: It was announced at the Israel Business Forum that Israel has signed an historic water-sharing agreement with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. But not all parties are happy with political manoeuvrings around the announcement.
Last week, the Gaza Strip and its zoo witnessed the unprecedented birth of two African lion cubs at the Beesan Zoo, a facility in the northern part of the densely populated Strip that was built and opened by the Islamist Hamas movement. But just three days later, the cubs died, from unknown causes.
Biking enthusiasts in Palestine have welcomed the construction of the first cycle lane in the Palestinian territories on the main road leading from Jericho to Jerusalem. The 1,200-metre two-way cycle lane on the west side of Jerusalem Street in Jericho was completed in July at a cost of 179,000 euros and will be formally opened[.....]
Imagine trash and sewage filling six Olympic-size pools. Can you smell it? Now drain them into Kidron Valley which separates East and West Jerusalem, abutting their holiest sites. It’s a revolting image and annual reality: those pools are fantasy, but the waste is not.
Today is World Refugee Day. Some good news for a change: Refutrees is a new non-profit that’s turning the traditional aid-centric model of development on its head. These self-described “creativity agents” place particular focus on people displaced over the long-term. They’re currently working on projects for Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Lebanon.
Now “Abraham” in Jerusalem will take those interested to meet Palestinians in the West Bank.
An “actress” performing at the Arab Cultural Center in Brussels ran up against the law for her odd public antics between shows. Belgian police demanded she be forcibly removed from the theater’s street-facing balcony where she’d been unwinding with a bucket of water and stack of fresh hay.
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.
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.
Why should a Palestinian man care if an Israeli woman is taking birth control pills? A new Israeli peace project focusing on shared water resources answers this question.
We are accustomed to writing about art and architecture that addresses environmental and social problems in the Middle East, but nothing as interesting as Larissa Sansour’s Nation Estate has crossed our desk before. Conceived in 2011 when Palestinian authorities appealed to the United Nations for nationhood status, the sci-fi short film and photographic series takes[.....]
While tunnel smugglers in Gaza get blown out by sewage flushed into the tunnels from Egypt, Palestinian prisoners have found a new commodity to smuggle: their sperm! Six-month-old Muhannad Al-Zaben is already a celebrity among Palestinians, the so-called “Freedom Ambassador”. He is the result of smuggled sperm his father Ammar transferred to his mother Dalal[.....]
Besides the really terrible ew factor, the consequences for the environment are as equally yuck: the Egyptian army is looking to stall and stop Gazan smugglers from digging tunnels from the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai have found a new and dirty way to flush out smugglers: they are pouring raw sewage into the underground tunnels. Leaders[.....]
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[.....]
It was about a decade in the making: without much fanfare the World Bank has released a report stating that the Dead Sea – Red Sea Canal project (also called the Red Dead Conduit) will work. The basic idea is to take salty water from the Red Sea, pump it up to a channel, desalinate it[.....]
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[.....]
A back-to-the-land movement is blossoming in the Palestinian Authority, the United Nation’s newest nonmember observer state. “The Palestinian future is in the land.” Farmer Khader Khader said, standing in his organic olive grove in the northern West Bank village of Nus Jubail. Many Palestinian farmers are switching to organic farming methods, and selling their oil to[.....]
Tires, plastics, and other types of solid waste will soon be converted into energy and other products at a new Israel mega recycling plant. Photo: Haaretz/Michal Fattal Israel’s garbage dumps and landfills are often referred to as large, unsightly “garbage mountains” such as the Hiriya garbage mound near Tel Aviv. With the Hiriya site now[.....]
Amateur slaughterers are often injured on the job. Should slaughtering be left to the professionals? The annual Hajj pilgrimage, on which we wrote about efforts to make it more green, has also become an event in which animals are being slaughtered inhumanely for the accompanying Ein al-Adha or the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice holiday. [.....]
Stock image of trash dump, Shutterstock. Gaza produces roughly 1,000 pounds of waste every day and until now most of it has gone untreated. But a new recycling plant situated very close to the border with Egypt has recently opened to manage some of this waste, which is otherwise scattered throughout farmlands or in the[.....]
Picking olives the traditional way is less damaging to the fruit The annual olive harvest is here in the Middle East again. For people living in Mediterranean and Middle East olive producing countries, they can enjoy pickling their own olives due to the proliferation of olive trees in these locations. Here in Israel where I[.....]
Scholarships included to this new 2-year high school study abroad program in Israel. Its founders are looking to fill a high quota of Arab students from the region starting 2014. It will be the first of its kind in Israel: An international two-year boarding school focusing on what Israel knows best – water management, environment[.....]
New opportunity opens for the hearing-disabled in Gaza. About 1 percent of Gaza’s 1.6 million people suffer from total or near-total deafness. Their education is limited to the 9th grade. They must contend with a popular notion that deafness equals mental disability. The new Atfaluna restaurant near Gaza port provides income for a 12 deaf[.....]
A West Bank hospital gets wind powered with 700 kw. Few things are as deadly as a hospital without power, but a new wind turbine is about to blow away one hospital’s fear of losing theirs. The largest of its kind in the Palestinian territories, Al Ahli Hospital provides care to 600,000 Palestinians living in[.....]
PLUG-In Hebron is a dynamic new urban renewal project for the conflict-shorn West Bank city. Following years of what the designers call “reciprocal violence,” the Israeli military split Hebron into two separate zones. The latter, H2, which is under Israeli jurisdiction, contains the old city. Which means that the Palestinians have been isolated from an[.....]
Water from natural springs burbles in the ancient Roman stone aqueduct as it carries water downward to this village’s ancient terraces. Palestinian families grow olives, cabbage and eggplant today the same way they did more than 2,000 years ago. “Each family here gets water one day a week, but the week lasts eight days since[.....]
Palestinian youth practice “parkour” skills in Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip A budding physical discipline called parkour is attracting several youth in Gaza, aged between 12 and 23 years old to pass their time training in cemeteries, former Israeli settlements and in abandoned or run-down buildings. Parkour originated in the suburbs[.....]
Gaza’s population is increasing, and the water supply is not keeping pace according to Oxfam, the British human rights organization. In a new report, the group asserts that Gazans are spending as much as one-third of their household income on drinking water, and are facing growing health risks. “The infrastructure has been deteriorating rapidly because[.....]
Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Turkey were among the representatives at the SafeMed course on the environmental risk of ballast water last month. The course was offered in Malta and is designed to emphasize the effective implementation of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water[.....]
Ramallah is leading the way as the heart of Palestine’s environmental awakening. City-dwellers are planting trees, creating and restoring open, natural community spaces and reviving bygone environmental protections. But there is still much work to be done. There will need to be a complete shift in culture. A recent history of crumbling infrastructure and inadequate public[.....]
Tomatoes are staple to the Israeli diet; Israel looks to Jordan to augment its tomato supply. Last year a spike in cottage cheese prices helped spark the tent protests in Tel Aviv and inspired the worldwide Occupy movement. Cottage is a staple of the Israeli diet, so much so that it became a national symbol[.....]
Israel works to create a buffer zone around Egypt and Gaza fearing rare strain of foot and mouth disease will spread. With vaccines in short supply the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations warn that animals should not be moved around Gaza to stop the spread of a new strain of foot and[.....]
From urbanisation in Morocco to lake shrinkage in Iran, these shocking NASA photos prove how this region is in dramatic ecological flux. Unless you have been living in a consumer-induced coma, it will not have escaped your attention that the world is under serious environmental stress. And a large chunk of that stress has been human-induced.[.....]
Green Prophet goes on another water trip with Friends of the Earth and guests from Sri Lanka. “Even sewage has a national flag,” said Gidon Bromberg, co-director and co-founder of Eco-Peace/Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME). Israel Director of the organization for 18 years, Bromberg says he’s seen how natural resources, like water, and even[.....]
The environment is politics and in the Middle East this is ever so stark, ravaged by internal socio-religio-political conflicts and international wars. Wars internally and externally are based on oppression, division, exclusion, land theft, and expropriation of the Middle East’s oil reserves. The Middle East is the globe’s oil capital. Those who want to own it[.....]
Low impact farming starts new cycle of plant life in the Palestinian Authority. Age-old agricultural techniques in the West Bank help conserve rare plants that might otherwise have perished, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. A new survey shows that farmers following traditional practices in the south Hebron Hills have sustained a large[.....]
You can get naked at the Dead Sea year round at the “Qedem” hot springs along the Dead Sea highway in Israel and the West Bank. If you missed your chance to get naked at the Dead Sea with 1000 other people and the US photographer Spencer Tunick, don’t fear: Green Prophet spotters have found[.....]
As West Bank settlers develop water sources, Palestinians say they are excluded. Which narrative is right? Ein Ariq, WEST BANK — A convoy of white United Nations jeeps pulls into the olive-tree laden valley below the Jewish community of Eli. They are greeted by Jamal Deragmeh, the mayor of the nearby Palestinian town of Lubban[.....]
Eighteen months ago, Itzhak Ben-David, the Israeli Environment Ministry’s deputy director for enforcement, visited several Israeli army bases in the West Bank. What he saw was shocking. Fuel and oil were leaking unabated into the ground on several sites. In response, Ben-David asked the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to conduct water quality sampling and monitoring. [.....]
A proposed cross-border ecological park on the banks of the troubled Kishon River shared by Palestinians and Israelis could repair more than the polluted water. If you are paddling a canoe down one of rivers that flows through Israel to the Mediterranean Sea, you might want to hold onto your oars. Some of these rivers[.....]
Marda Permaculture Farm shows that traditional and modern sustainable farming practices can go hand in hand. Amidst the conflict and destruction that plagues Palestine, the Marda Permaculture Farm stands out as a model of sustainability and greenery. Founded in 2006 by permaculturist Murad Alkhufash (pictured above) who is a tenth generation farmer, the working farm[.....]
Folks seeking new taste sensations are going wild over the flavor of freekah, frikeh (Arabic: فريكة) or farik, an Arabic smoked green wheat – a staple in the Middle East for thousands of years. Where wheat grows in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, people set aside part of the harvest to make freekeh. Its young[.....]
In Israel, kibbutzim (once-socialist agricultural collectives) have risen as a hotbed of environmental activity. Green Prophet has covered Kibbutz Ein Shemer, which holds environmental education seminars in their state-of-the-art greenhouse, and Kibbutz Lotan, which hosts the Center for Creative Ecology, just as a few of many examples. Although not physically based on a kibbutz, the[.....]
The prospects of solar energy are heating up in Palestine. Rachel reports on a new solar thermal plant at Beit Jala school. The Talitha Kumi school in Beit Jala, Palestine just became home to Palestine’s first solar thermal plant for warm water supply and central heating, Green Prophet learns. The 200 square-meter plant, which went[.....]