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 […]
Crunchy, tasty popcorn, made on your stove top, with nothing but goodness in it. My friend was amused that I have no microwave oven. How can I deal with food all day long and not own one? And how were we going to pop the popcorn she’d brought over? The health risks associated with microwave […]
According to the latest findings by global risk-analyser Maplecroft, Arab Spring countries are at greater risk of rising food prices in the coming year It’s no secret that the high price of basic food staples were a contributing factor to the revolts which began in Tunisia and Egypt and sparked the ‘Arab Spring’. The protesters […]
Find out how Middle Eastern and North African nations fared in the recent global Ocean Health Index (I’ll give you a clue – not very well) With a recent Greenpeace report urging action to tackle the toxicity of Lebanon’s waters due to trash, now seems the perfect time to look into the health of the […]
Yemen isn’t as hot as Saudi, but the temperatures this Ramadan have been high enough to make waiting out the long daylight hours without food and drink very, very hard. But that’s not the worst of the country’s troubles. Such spirutally-motivated hunger and thirst would be bearable if families had some nice dates and juice […]
Khat addiction in Yemen has reached epic proportions and not only among adults. A recent report released by the World Health Organization shows that up to 20% of the nation’s children under twelve are also addicted to chewing the bitter stems of the Catha edulis plant, which produces a mild high akin to the effects […]
On Tuesday thousands of Turkish women and activists sent government ministries a petition protesting the bill proposed by the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) that would ban abortions not taking place between the fourth and sixth week of pregnancy. Turkish law currently allows abortion until the tenth week. With dwindling environmental resources and rampant […]
An illuminating article in Haaretz describes how certain industrious Israelis realized the marketing potential of khat juice – an exhilarating stimulant made from extracts of Catha edulis and other ingredients – and turned the potent drink into one of the most highly sought after drugs in all of Tel Aviv. Dafna Arad goes into significant detail […]
Green Prophet’s reports on happenings in the Gulf region have increasingly been using the acronym GCC, which stands for Gulf Cooperation Council. Perhaps a bit of an explanation is in order. GCC is a political and economic alliance between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia (KSA). It was formed in 1981 following […]
Who was Hassan Fathy, the earth based architect who inspired the Middle East? Exactly forty years ago, Hassan Fathy published his groundbreaking book on community-inspired mud architecture in Egypt. To mark his book’s 40th anniversary and commemorate his green legacy, we spoke to Salma Samar Damluji who worked with Fathy in Cairo in 1975 and […]
Award-winning architect Salma Samar Damluji speaks to GreenProphet about her mud architecture work in Yemen and why Dubai’s property development mentality is ruining the Middle East The Middle East may be a fascinating place politically but architecturally, it’s on its last legs. Years of corruption and poor governance mean it’s slowly becoming one of the […]
Iraqi architect Salma Samar Damluji has won the ‘Global Award for Sustainable Architecture’ for her mud-brick renovation work in Yemen Mud. Muck. Dirt. Clay. Earth. Call it what you like – it’s the stuff of life and also of sustainable architecture. From the stunning mud mosque of Djenne in Mali to the clay tower homes […]
Following violent protests in February, Cairo police stacked 10-feet-tall masonry walls around the Ministry of the Interior to cut access to that hated symbol of Egypt’s ousted regime. New barriers appeared after subsequent riots, turning nearby communities into a labyrinth of roadblocks and checkpoints. Recently, artists “removed” them, overpainting concrete with images of the streetscapes they blocked. In a few days, […]