The sun may be setting on a popular morning brew. According to a new report issued by the Climate Institute, global warming will underpin an estimated 50 percent drop in coffee production by 2050. Bad news for coffee lovers, but catastrophic for the 120 million people in dozens of mostly developing nations who depend on […]
From vertical farming to rooftop gardening, here are 7 of the best agricultural companies and projects put in practice in the Middle East. There’s no getting around it: the world is becoming a much less secure place in which to live. Economies are tanking, geo-political systems are in turmoil, weather events such as wintertime drought are […]
Spectacular images of the Republic of Yemen have captured its vibrant and unique culture, pristine wilderness, and well-preserved antiquities, but don’t get too excited about traveling there soon. International security controls have choked tourist access, so Sanaa joins Damascus, Gaza and Baghdad as another fascinating place I’ll not get to visit despite my relative proximity living here […]
Photographer Beth Moon spent 14 years traveling to almost every continent taking pictures of the world’s oldest trees. Sixty of the resulting photos – printed with luminous results using a labor-intensive platinum/palladium process – form her book Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time (Abbeville Press). It’s a stunning record of nature’s majesty.
May Camelopardalis is the name given for a newly discovered meteor shower which may or may not dazzle viewers under clear-dark skies.
Terrorists probably come to mind long before honey when people think of Yemen, but the raw Yemeni honey Balqees had for sale at the recent Masdar Festival was far and away the yummiest honey I ever put in my mouth.
The world’s first 3D printed guns (like the 3D printed gun that breached Israeli security) have landed in London’s acclaimed Victoria & Albert Museum. Two prototype Liberator guns developed by self described “crypto-anarchist” Cody Wilson are now permanently displayed as – and I type this last word with difficulty – art.
A species of shark, a sand tiger shark, thought to be extinct for over a century has surfaced in a Kuwaiti fish market. Step aside, Team Zissou; looks like local fishmongers are joining the elite biological teams researching the world’s oceans.
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.
There’s a new business afloat that links people to people for the purpose of sharing authentic local dining experiences. I found EatWith.com a month too late for this summer’s vacation, but there’s always next time. I’m fresh back from a few weeks in Europe, a family reunion through Paris and Venice and Rome that doubled […]
A particularly virulent strain of stem rust that first struck Uganda’s wheat crops in1999 before it spread up into Sudan and Yemen, Ug99 might have met its match in a 5,000 year old weed.
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.
To the outside world, Yemen is an obscure distant land where Al Qaeda terrorists hang out and men sit around chewing khat, but to its own residents and others familiar with the Middle East, the land harbors a treasure trove of historic artefacts (and so much more). Not only does Yemen have one of the […]
Middle East city heads want to make their cities more sustainable. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is 60 percent urbanized compared to the global average of 52 percent and is home to one of the world’s most rapidly expanding populations. By 2030, a 45 percent increase of MENA’s urban population will add […]
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 […]
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 […]
Got the Foggiest Notion How to Drive in Desert Fog? Camel caravans and soaring sand dunes demand backdrops of sun-bleached skies (or star-strewn heavens). But what happens when the fog rolls in? Dense fog is a key feature of a desert environment, a natural result of rapid temperature swings. Topography also plays a role in fog […]
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 […]
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 group of Yemeni high school girls have created a suite of solar-powered gadgets to help illuminate their country’s post-revolution darkness. When the first revolutions began to sweep through the Arab world, we were all so hopeful about the changes to follow. So hopeful, we called this time the “Arab Spring.” But for people living […]
Consequences of climate change especially acute in the Arab world, and traditional methods for coping with climate are severely stressed finds new World Bank assessment. All eyes are on Qatar now as the country hosts the UN-sponsored climate change event COP18. We’ve been reporting on COP18 before it began and during, and recently posted about […]
The poorest country in the Arab world is addicted to chewing catha edulis or khat leaves, which gives men, women and children, an amphetamine-like high. Abdulmalik, a 13-year-old boy from Yemen’s capital city Sana’a, started chewing khat leaves at the age of seven. “My father would pass me small handfuls at weddings,” he told The […]
The logistical headaches of keeping daylight savings year-round in Jordan. Last week in Amman, the Jordanian Cabinet reversed a decision to switch to wintertime, sticking with daylight saving time for the entire year. Our extended daylight hours are good for the environment (and coveted by many Israeli neighbors), but the late decision is causing logistical […]
This time of year marks one of Islam’s most sacred holidays, Eid al-Adha. The four-day holiday corresponds with the height of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which draws two million Muslim pilgrims a year. Eid began Friday and will end Monday, the last day of the Hajj. When traveling in Palestinian […]