Sunni fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took over Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam last Sunday, along with three towns and an oilfield according to the commander of the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters who had been defending the facility. Facing minimal opposition, ISIS seized control of Mosul Dam after a 24-hour battle. Workers remain […]
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.
Is there anything that communicates more effectively than music? It transcends language, with a power unmatched among the Fine Arts to cross boundaries, express and evoke emotion, and unite disparate people.
Syria’s war has killed 150,000 people and forced more than three million from their homes. About a million of these refugees live in Jordan and as many as 200,000 have lived in the Zaatari refugee camp near Jordan’s Syrian border. This Green Prophet visited nearby Zaatari village where another 500 refugees live.
Anyone who hasn’t been to Syria in the last few years can’t possibly grasp the full extent of the horrors Syrians have endured, but we do know it has been unspeakably hard. To take the edge off, a handful of artists in Damascus built what the Guinness Book of Records recently confirmed is the world’s […]
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.
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!
“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.
A Facebook campaign called “She Wants a Bicycle Now” led by Syrian college students is getting young people on bikes in impressive numbers.
Listen up. Several Syrian children froze to death this past week because they lacked adequate clothing. The UN predicts that more Syrians will die this winter from exposure to the elements than from the violence of the last three years. There needs to be more sustainable ways of treating refugees. But let’s start with the […]
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.
The good news is that 800 tons of Syria’s chemical weapons are scheduled to be destroyed before the end of December. The bad news is, the byproducts of this chemical weapon destruction will be dumped into the Mediterranean Sea where they could damage fragile ecosystems.
In Ireland we know about cold bones. This is a story about how we started collecting hats in Ireland for cold kids in a Syrian refugee camp.
What started as a few throwaway balls of yarn to a tiny knitter in Jordan’s Zaatari Syrian refugee camp inspired a goofball idea: I asked crafty folks everywhere to toss a few hats in the ring. The reaction has been jaw-dropping. So far we have collected some 4,000 handmade hats for Syrian refugees.
International media is streaming updates on Syria, Big Brother antics by USA and UK intelligence services, and British buildings that can melt cars, but hardly a word on continuing protests in Turkey. And they are continuing despite chronic under-reporting by Turkish press.
A glowing profile of the wife of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad written two years ago for a major fashion publication is back online: read it while you can.
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.
The ongoing Syrian conflict has put refugees at their highest number since 1994 – a terrible year for the people of Rwanda and Yugoslavia; this year – in time for World Refugee Day – IKEA and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) have unveiled a solar-powered home.
During the last six years, the words energy security, water security, and food security could be found a lot in the Arab media. Since most of the Arab media is controlled by the Arab regimes, the appearance of these items shows that the environmental awareness of the Arab regimes has been on the rise.
When aid workers with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) speak to women inside Syria – many of them displaced from their homes and living in cramped collective shelters – they say they would rather do anything than get pregnant.
The online ‘zine Foreign Policy posted its “worst countries for journalism” with the Middle East grabbing three of the Top Ten slots. As we scour the media, we already see how this fares for environmental reporting which is practically non-existent in the Middle East.
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.
Young Syrian refugees are being forced into sex and child labor in Jordan Abdul Rahman, an eight-year-old refugee from Syria, rummages through a trash container along the side road of north Amman’s bustling Sweileh neighborhood. His sparkling green eyes stare out from his dirty, emaciated face. His bony legs appear from under torn blue trousers. […]
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 […]
The fig: over 750 varieties and native to the Middle East The strong grey trunk, the wide velvety leaves, the sticky itchy white milk resin that leaks from the cracked leaves, its round crimson fruits with their bellies filled with honeyed goodness. In my opinion, nothing beats a fig tree. The fig (which tastes great […]
Can executions be green? Laurie answers this tongue in cheek. Tardy executioners have prompted Saudi Arabia to re-evaluate their centuries-old practice of public beheadings.The use of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia is based on a hardline interpretation of Sharia (Islamic) law. The practice attracts international scorn because of the wide array of crimes which garner […]
Tomato and potato soup being cooked on an open fire at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians. Camp officials say they are hoping they will receive the money needed to run electrical systems so that heaters can be used © Jodi Hilton/IRIN Residents of Syrian towns that have run out of heating oil say they are […]
Water scarcity has already become a fact of daily life for Egyptians The world’s driest region, the Middle East* and North Africa (MENA), is getting drier at an alarming rate. And yet, despite massive population growth (the Middle East’s population grew 61 percent from 1990 to 2010 to 205 million people) predictions of so-called “water […]