Scientists in Dubai are growing a new kind of food crop in salt marshes along the Persian Gulf coast. A variety of salt-resistant succulent, Salicornia are typically sold in gourmet shops in Europe, but they have other uses as well.
As we’ve learned from this great No Woman, No Cry video by Hisham Fageeh, Saudi Arabian rules ban women from driving. This must drive them and their love interests crazy because provocative eye contact and inter-gender chat between strangers is also taboo. The religious police will arrest anyone caught violating these laws: flirters be warned.
Twenty-eight Greenpeacers, mostly foreigners, and two journalists are held for six weeks now in a Russian prison: In a surprising but not unheard of move, Russia has jailed the Greenpeace activists or “pirates” aboard a Greenpeace International ship for scaling a Russian-owned Gazprom oil platform. One of them is a young woman from Turkey.
A group of activists in Beirut have teamed up with a local design agency to create the city’s first map of green spaces. Beirut Green Project and Wonder 8 launched the Beirut Green Guide at Tawlet earlier this week, but a few kinks still need to be worked out.
While the Middle East is not a usual haunt for Halloween there are some parents here and there who bring the custom from their native America or Canada. If you are looking for a last-minute costume, now for the fun – a DIY stick figure costume made from LED lights.
Today is D-Day for electric car drivers in condos and apartments in Israel and who use the Better Place charging systems. The Israel Electric Company announced last week that yesterday was the cutoff date.
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).
Israeli designers are working hard to curb bicycle theft. One group came up with the “fashionable” Foldylock and the Spine Bike breaks when stolen. But the Cricket uses bluetooth technology to keep sticky hands off urban wheels.
With space labs, astronaut gloves and even a toothbrush floating in space, is there no limits to where we’ve flung our junk?
A consortium of Japanese architects got together to protest Zaha Hadid’s winning design for the main stadium of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and despite all her fame and glory, the Japanese government listened.
The Shard architect Renzo Piano has partnered with Italy’s Enel Green Power to design a new ultra lightweight wind turbine that has a smaller visual impact on the landscape than conventional wind turbines.
My hometown of Amman, Jordan has just been slammed as one of the least attractive cities on the planet. Online travel adviser U.CityGuide posted their 10 Ugliest Cities of the World, with Amman nabbing third place.
This is the best pro-women’s rights stuff we’ve seen out of Saudi Arabia, ever. Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh has posted his excellent No Woman, No Drive video to bring attention to the plight of women in the Middle Eastern country.
Smoking the hookah, nargilah or shisha pipe is a truly fun and social way to connect in the Middle East. It’s an oriental fantasy for newcomers and even for women in private circles who want to wind down and let loose. But one session can be like smoking 600 cigarettes!
Jerusalem’s Festigalgal bicycle riding festival winds up next week with emphasis on using bicycles more for in-city transportation.
The forlorn photo of empty EV car charging posts says it all. Better Place, the electric car infrastructure company founded by entrepreneur Shai Agassi has still not found a buyer willing to come up with the actual money needed to purchase it.
It’s hard to imagine the concept of a “power pimp” in Africa unless you have lived there. But it makes sense and cents on a continent that lacks a unified power system.
As Qatar prepares for the 2022 World Cup amid bribery allegations and gross human rights violations, the world is watching every move. Which may explain why the Emir controls every major and minor decision – including the new Doha metro design.
Most westerners imagine that Saudi women are completely deprived of opportunity, and in some cases that may be true, but the world’s largest women-only university in Riyadh, Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University (PNU), may steer the kingdom in a more egalitarian direction.
It ain’t Chicago, but Israel does have a little bit of wind potential on the Golan Heights. A local company called Enlight, which has been active in solar energy, has just received a conditional license to build 34 more wind turbines in the Golan Heights totalling some 58 MW of renewable energy.
In an attempt to diversify its energy balance, Dubai has just turned on a 13 MW solar energy plant. The oil wealthy nation is an OPEC member, and one of the first to make a bold statement away from oil. This makes it the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Middle East North Africa.
In a strange and surprising twist, Egypt says it will consider participating with its neighbour Ethiopia in the construction of the Renaissance Dam, a project which it had staunchly opposed (and even suggested sabotaging).
Since the Sixties “green revolution,” when Norman Borlaug introduced the concept of cross-breeding and hybridization of plants to boost output, not much has changed, according to Doron Gal, CEO of the Israeli seed technology company Kaiima Agro-Biotech. Kaiima, which means “sustainability” in Hebrew, hopes to be that change.
It will be the fifth largest solar plant in the world when done. The earth revolves around the sun, and so does the green-tech industry. Some of the earliest pioneers of solar energy started in Israel 30 years ago with the company Luz.
Itchin’ to best Betty Crocker by baking up new awareness to the plight of our home planet? Take a page from an Aussie zoologist who’s created an astounding series of planetary cakes with scientific accuracy that goes deeper than sugary frosting.
Continuing the theme of mysterious abandoned developments, the identity of this one is better known than the desert lakes I featured in my previous two posts.
With Masdar City, Foster & Partners was the first international architecture firm to design buildings in Abu Dhabi that borrow from the region’s desert-savvy vernacular. Now they are continuing that tradition with the Zayed National Museum on Al Saadiyat Island, which will sport five wing-shaped solar thermal towers when completed.
We have to laugh at this research, given the latest news that there is a gay test being developed by Kuwait to weed out homosexuals from Gulf regions: scientists from Israel and Switzerland find that while many kinds of insects and spiders “act” gay, they probably are gay by accident.
Smart phone developers aren’t just devising novel ways to deliver information about composting and how to save energy (like 5 green apps that can save the planet). They are helping us run our homes.
The Middle East boasts some of the world’s saltiest waterbodies, but none approach the horror of Lake Natron in Tanzania, one of the harshest environments on the planet. It’s hot, chalky waters can turn birds and land animals into calcified statues, spookily captured by photographer Nick Brandt in his new book, Across the Ravaged Land.