New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is hosting an exhibition on refugee shelters to kickstart dialogue on the design challenges caused by humanitarian crises. Entitled “Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter”, the show looks at emergency housing in contemporary crisis zones. It is the first time a major museum has explored the plight of the […]
I’m going to thank Donald Trump Jr. for providing a simple way to visualize our decisions regarding human refugees. He said that we should pretend that “those people” are skittles, not someone we could ever imagine being a loved-one– capable of thought, compassion, joy and loss as we believe of ourselves. In junior Trump’s analogy, […]
When there is nothing left to do, you might as well do something. In Syria, where the war is five years and counting, dancing might be the last thing on anyone’s mind. But for Ahmad Joudeh, it is a priority. Dance is his lifeblood, and he is fueling others with it, too. Joudeh teaches dance […]
Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.
Take empathy to a new level by living just like a displaced person. A group of Syrian refugees advertised their camp tent as a rentable destination on Airbnb, offering intrepid travelers “scorpions, dehydration and broken promises”. They describe the Ritsona, Greece refugee camp, about 80 kilometers north of Athens, as “the most unique neighborhood in […]
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last March defined a plan to create a team of refugee athletes to compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics, a scheme first announced at the United Nations (UN) in October, as record numbers of migrants and refugees fled war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. IOC […]
Dams tame wild rivers, they prevent floods, irrigate crops and generate billions of watts of renewable hydroelectric power. But some 25 miles from Raqaa, Syria the Daesh (aka ISIS) don’t see the Tabqa dam as a source of green energy. They see it as a military base, a prison and weapon of war.
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.
United Nations-sponsored World Water Day was celebrated this week in a series of events around the world ranging from races to speeches to demonstrations of how individuals could conserve consumption of this most-critical of natural resources. To mark the occasion, two experts in international water policy have co-authored an Op-Ed exploring the future of water, […]
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 […]
Interior Design & Textiles students from London’s Royal College of Art (RCA) have designed a piece of clothing with three distinct uses: it is a weather-proof coat, a sleeping bag, and a tent. Their prototype aims to meet the immediate needs of migrating people, with pockets specially designed to store passports, personal documents, and phones.
Google did a doodle marking the 151st birthday of the pharmacist who helped us navigate the chili peppers, the tiny veggie with the power to drop diners to their knees. Wilbur Scoville was the first person to measure the heat of peppers. His heat scale is still in use today, scoring the piquancy of peppers. (What […]
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 […]
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 […]
Each day, something terrible happens somewhere in this world. Families and communities are torn apart and thrown together in unfamiliar ways. Strangers who had found one another just barely tolerable become fellow humans, grieving needing and helping one another to survive. “My name is Sidra. I am 12 years old… I have lived here in […]
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 […]
Why blow your wedding bucks on one extravaganza when you can hold two for the same price? Jordanian newlyweds Mutaz Mango and Basma Omar opted to split their celebration, hosting a private party for family and friends and a second for Iraqi and Syrian refugee children living in the old Hashemi al Shemali neighborhood of […]
A special Kickstarter campaign invites you to aid the ballooning Middle Eastern refugee crisis, with all proceeds going directly to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The one-week fundraiser was launched on Tuesday in response to a question posed by President Barack Obama: could crowdfunding incite Americans to get more involved in refugee relief? White House […]
The Svalbard Global seed bank was established in February 2008. It was designed to store seeds for hundreds or even thousands of years in the event of a global disaster. But now, only seven years later, the Syrian civil war made it necessary to withdraw seeds from this doomsday vault.
Quick! What’s the best wedding you ever attended? Youtube archives threaten to break the internet with flash mob proposals, bridal party dance antics, and epic fail toasts. Meet a young Turkish couple that refreshingly flipped their big day on its head, making a naturally narcissistic milestone into something all about others. They invited 4,000 Syrian refugees […]
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.
A team of Syrian scientists at the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) braved the terrors of civil war to protect a critical piece of global heritage, meticulously transporting plant genetic material from a seed bank in Aleppo to the Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway. Their actions to protect the region’s ancient farming […]
The population at Jordan’s Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees has dwindled. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) counts current residents at 83,000, down from over 200,000 in April 2013. People are relocating to communities across Jordan, electing to return to Syria, or simply bailing out of the refugee program. Meanwhile, those that remain – many in […]