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,[.....]
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[.....]
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[.....]
It’s raining cats and dogs in Amman, Jordan now, closing roads (flooded underpasses), some schools, and many offices. It’s the usual drill for a city ill-equipped for atypical weather. Now online transportation giant Uber is helping to “rain down more dogs” for a limited time today in what could be the world’s most adorable fundraiser.
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[.....]
Feral dogs are commonplace in Istanbul, but a sharp-eyed American noticed a particular surge in the number of pedigreed golden retrievers on the streets. She observed that the breed was increasingly popping up in shelters too. Thanks to her networking with a US-based rescue center, three dozen of the dogs have now been saved and are now[.....]
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[.....]
Travel to the Middle East has never been a better deal than now – in terms of economics (deep-discounted hotels and holiday packages), weather (blizzards have all blown by and crushing heat is still months away), and – in most of the region’s top touristic venues – political stability. All my view based on four[.....]
A team of archaeologists discovered an ancient underground city in Cappadocia, Turkey, with tunnels and escape routes spanning over 3.5 miles. Estimated to be 5,000 years old, the massive metropolis was found in the areas around and beneath Nevşehir fortress during an urban development project carried out by Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKİ). Hurriyet Daily News[.....]
Last May, Lebanese lawmaker Walid Jumblatt called for marijuana to be legalized in Lebanon. While he never touched the weed himself, he said, “I support growing cannabis for medical use and to improve the living conditions of farmers in north Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley,” according to the Daily Star. Now he’s back in the[.....]
As olive groves across Turkey are falling victim to energy projects, one construction company decided to buck the trend, turning a coal mine into an award-winning olive plantation. Protests erupted in the disaster-struck coal capital Soma last month after a construction company felled 6,000 olive trees to make way for a power plant. The case[.....]
Open a newspaper in the Middle East and expect to be whacked with some bad news. Still, I wasn’t prepared to read that – according to the World Misery Index (the name was a tip-off to what was coming) – Jordan (where I live) is the fourth most miserable country in the Arab world. Regionally, only[.....]
While visionaries like Elon Musk are trying to make electric cars like Tesla mainstream in America, electric cars have yet to become commonplace, largely due to their cost and low driving range. A number of countries are now involved in developing electric car technology that will give these vehicles a sufficient cruising range, while being[.....]
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.
Happen to be in Istanbul? Then hop aboard Botobus, a new eco-friendly public transport option that features an organic rooftop garden. Introduced last week by the Istanbul Transportation Authority (IETT), the “botanical bus” embarked on its first journey between Edirnekapi and Taksim. The project aims to draw attention to global warming and the environment.
Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) was recently approved for a $33 billion expansion making it the largest airport project on the planet – another world record for the booming emirate.
One hundred years ago on the first of September 1914, a bird named Martha died at the Cincinnati Zoo. She was the last of what had once been the most numerous bird in the world – the passenger pigeon. How did this happen? Read more as we attempt to solve this extinction mystery.
Not everyone who visits Antalya wants to go scuba diving to see the extraordinary Mediterranean marine life, but now they can still catch a glimpse of what lives under the sea’s surface thanks to a beautiful new aquarium on the Turkish Riviera.
An Istanbul-based design firm has teamed up with one of the fathers of vertical gardens to liven up a bespoke restaurant in the city. Autoban and Patrick Blanc from France lined an wall with lush greenery, giving the space something of a jungle aesthetic that stands in direct contrast with some of the cold hard materials inside.
Here’s something you don’t see every day – a double-headed dolphin! This week the two-headed immature dolphin washed ashore in Turkey, where a sports coach alerted authorities.
With so much conflict erupting around us, it’s hard to imagine a peaceful future, but Erdem Architects does a good job of it. The Turkish firm recently won an international design competition with their proposal to turn an area of the Italian city La Spezia, historically used to host the city’s war arsenal, into a series of serene peace islands.
There are roughly 150,000 stray cats and dogs in Istanbul alone, and with so many other problems to deal with, city officials aren’t likely to make them priority. One Turksih company came up with a brilliant solution to feed some animals and recycle plastic at the same time.
If you live in the Middle East, surely you are accustomed to seeing plastic bottles lining city streets and even far-flung desert areas. While a tiny fraction of these might be recycled in some countries, most of them will languish for years in informal and formal landfills.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a story pops up about donkeys in Turkey that carry solar panels so that shepherds, who are often out in the field alone for days at a time, have enough energy to power their laptops.
At least 124,000 people were killed in the bloody eight month Gallipoli Campaign. Also called the Dardanelles Campaign, it was considered to be the Ottomans’ final push against the Allied forces. ONZ Architects and friends commemorate this collective wound with a breathtaking series of sunken trails on the Gallipoli peninsula.
There’s something so compelling about this minimalistic villa shanghaied on the edge of a rocky Mediterranean landscape. One of five small villas conceptualized for varying landscapes by Italian design studio LAD, Villa Minima #3 is a distorted parallelepiped structure envisioned for a private residence in Turkey.
Turkish archaeologists have unearthed what Discovery News calls the ‘Byzantine iPad.” Dated to the 9th century A.D., the wooden tool was found among a shipyard of roughly 37 ancient ships in Istanbul.
Green Prophet’s brought you the story behind this year’s winner of the Jameel Prize – 3, an international award for contemporary design inspired by ancient Islamic tradition. But there are nine other finalists who warrant a closer look. Meet fiber artist Faig Ahmed – guaranteed his amazing rugs will trip you up! The Azerbaijan-based mixed-media[.....]
Protests broke out across Turkey after an explosion at a coal mine on Tuesday afternoon has killed at least 270 people. Opposition politician Ozgur Ozel recently proposed to investigate mine safety following earlier deaths, but the government shut him down. Now outraged citizens are urging Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign.
GAD Architects stacked a series of recycled shipping containers on top of a fancy shopping mall in Istanbul to create this remarkable modern day bazaar. Officially it’s a food court, but in practice, it is so much more.
Turkey is floating plans to build a new “eco-city” in the southeastern corner of the country, near the border of Syria, and green building experts from Gaziantep want to use energy from burning pistachio shells to keep it running.
It’s Earth Hour this weekend, which means you have the chance to join millions of people around the globe in a united effort to consume less energy.
Looking for some good reads about the environment and the Middle East? Then click yourself into the University of California Press (UCP) e-books collection (link here) offering free access to hundreds of books published by UCP and other academic presses.
Pomegranates and their ruby-like seeds are one of the fruits that define the Middle East, or at least the Levante side of the Middle East. Even though suspect pomegranate seeds were traced to an outbreak of hepatitis this past summer in the United States (organic fruit at that!), we have to let bygones by bygones.
A central hub of innovation is great for incubating clean tech breakthroughs. Abu Dhabi has Masdar City, Saudi Arabia has KAUST, and Turkey will soon have the Ostim Eco Park. ONZ Architects strike the perfect balance between nature and development with their incredibly efficient green-roofed design proposal for the park, slated for construction in Ankara.
Turkey has started constructing what will be the world’s longest undersea water pipeline. The 107 kilometer pipe will draw water from the Dragon River and unite the Turkish mainland with northern Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. Proponents are hoping it will unify the island, divided for the past 39 years.
Polygamous Arab men who buy property in Turkey must choose just one of their brides to carry over the threshold; polygamy isn’t legal in this country which grants residency permits to just one wife.
We love olive oil and hummus, but there is more to the Mediterranean diet than just food. UNESCO has recently added the rituals, knowledge, and skills associated with the food common to residents of Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco, and Portugal to its list of heritage “intangibles” that are worthy of protection.
Elon Musk is known as the founder of SpaceX, a pioneer in the commercialization of space travel and Tesla, a company named after a brilliantly mad high-voltage inventor of the nineteenth century and known for its electric cars. So what happens when this visionary sets his eyes on America’s decaying public transportation infrastructure?
Now that the turkey and its trimmings have digested in your belly, time to start planning a spring eco holiday!
Turkey is better known for these five unsustainable development projects and a new undersea rail tunnel near a major fault zone than green building. But Konya has just become home to one of the world’s first LEED-certified ice cream factories.
Turkey inaugurated the Marmaray undersea railway tunnel on Tuesday, linking Europe and Asia. It is the Marmaray, the world’s deepest immersed tube tunnel at 60.46 metres (198.4 ft).
Meb Rure’s latest line of furniture is so bright, stylish and unique that it’s hard to believe they are made with almost all recycled materials.
A man who belongs to Ethiopia’s chapter of the Global Power Shift youth environmental activism network biked nearly 500 miles in just two months in order to draw attention to the nation’s shrinking forests.
Move over Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas because something more earth-friendly is about to be sold at IKEA. This Swedish-owned big box company is finally making some common sense for the planet: the company’s UK chain of otherwise throwaway furniture, will begin selling flat pack solar panel kits to its UK customers.
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.
Retired forestry engineer Huseyin Cetinel decided to brighten up a few Istanbul neighborhoods, slapping $800 bucks’ worth of rainbow-colored paint on public walkways over the course of four days. His guerrilla artworks (which were probably inspired by the guerrilla painters in Beirut last year) were an instant hit with the local community.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Tokyo as host city for the XXXII summer Olympiad, knocking out Istanbul as the venue for the largest sporting event in the world. Perhaps the judges were swayed by a Japanese scheme to include an elite version of “Hide and Go Seek” on the sports roster?
On Sunday, September 15, a fleet of traditional and modern Mesopotamian boats will sail down the Tigris River on an historic voyage of celebration and learning.
India’s rupee is dropping fast against the American dollar, but the world’s biggest market crash may happen in Turkey if the management of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is to be believed.