Extreme winter weather has been causing severe climate changes all over. The includes the Middle East, where a freak December winter storm paralyzed Jerusalem and Amman and brought snow to Cairo for the first time in 100 years. Will the Middle East experience a Polar Vortex?
Sunday was Mawlid an-nabī, the observance of the birth of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed, but unlike Eid al-Fitr (Little Eid) or Eid al-Adha (Big Eid), Mawlid is a low-key celebration marked by a quiet focus on the prophet’s life and an uptick in eating and charitable acts.
When you think of Jordan’s Wadi Rum, Lawrence of Arabia and a hot and dry desert might come to mind. And Petra too. Well when Jordanian teens need to make lemonade from lemons, or snow castles from the freak snowstorm last week, they made a castle relevant to their region! Petra.
Cash is King. An essential ingredient of charitable giving; it greases the wheels when moving goods. A month after 4,000 hats were collected and shipped from Ireland to Jordan, they’re finally keeping some of Syria’s refugees a bit warmer. But in the end, it took money to drop the curtain on this act of giving.
I’ll bet snow-capped pine trees and ice-crusted cars don’t spring to mind when you think of the Middle East, but that’s what we’re seeing in Amman as we tuck into the second straight day of fierce blizzarding. A perfect setting to tuck in with some simple knitting.
Who says you can’t make the desert bloom? The desert regions of Israel and Jordan have for years been the subject of numerous agricultural projects. Some of these projects include creating community gardens by residents of desert towns; and being involved in epic Sahara forest projects. Now let’s look at what’s happening in Wadi Rum.
How relevant will OPEC be 10 years from now? Does the rapid expansion of new technologies like fracking threaten the future of eco-friendly energy alternatives such as wind and solar energy?
Jordan is pushing ahead with the largest commercial scale wind farm in the Middle East region, the Tafila Wind Farm, seemingly without care for the massive bird migration population that passes through Jordan twice a year. Green Prophet called Israel’s Bird King, bird migration specialist Prof. Yossi Leshem.
With no appreciable amounts of oil or natural gas, Jordan, like Syria is a Middle East anomaly when it comes to its fossil fuel rich neighbours like Saudi Arabia and Israel. But new energy is blowing into Jordan.
Our favorite peace-water NGO Friends of the Earth Middle East have just held a conference in Jordan last week and there had faith leaders sign the “Covenant for the Jordan River” to save the Jordan River.
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.
The first day of the Muslim holiday Eid Al Adha is predicted to occur on October 15 in most Islamic countries, according to a statement from the Islamic Crescents’ Observation Project.
With news that Red Sea coral reefs on the coast of Israel may be resistant against the changes of climate change, some more positive “reef” news swings our way out of Israel
Jordan’s Minister of Water and Irrigation and Agriculture, Hazim Al Naser, disclosed that the controversial Red-Dead Water Conveyor project may now be shelved in favor of a series of smaller schemes to provide the kingdom with drinking water. His statements mark the first time that a ranking official questioned the project’s viability. Al Naser spoke […]
Nuclear energy is a low carbon power source, but whether or not it should be considered a renewable energy source is long debated and fought over –- even in the Middle East where the industry is nascent.
Women weary of ogling men can now deflect attention with a pair of hairy stockings. The fuzzy fashion accessory is a runaway hit after pictures were posted on Sina Weibo, the Twitter of the Orient.
At one of the most famous natural spas in the world, the shores of the Dead Sea, Veronica begins her much-anticipated skin care treatment.The 34-year-old Italian tourist rubs the famous black mud on her pale white skin and waits under the hot sun for nature to do its work.
The city of Amman in Jordan where I live is experiencing a deteriorating level of municipal services, most notably in garbage collection and public space cleaning. The hills of the city are heaped with trash, and the problem extends to other towns and across the countryside. Even Jordan’s natural jewels are tarnished.
Jordanian craftswomen near the southern Dead Sea are creating unique market bags, placemats and quilts colored with naturally sourced dyes, then painted and embroidered. The project was built by a Canadian woman and artist living worlds away.
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 Israeli ministries are urging people to give up smoking and a recent government report has found that both the heavy smokers in the Jewish and Muslim populations in Israel are cutting down, if only by a few percentages. But methods for quitting can be fatal for some.
The Lower Jordan River, the baptismal river of Jesus, has been dead at its source for some time. For the first time in ages, Israel is releasing native waters via a pump back to the historic waterway.
They can’t read or write but a couple of brave Bedouin women from Jordan travelled far and wide to help their villages become solar powered.
A tiny collective of rural women at the southern tip of the Dead Sea in Safi is creating art that’s omni-sustainable. Since 1999, with catalytic infusions from a remarkable Canadian painter, this Jordanian sisterhood has been crafting unusual “eco” fabric items bespoke to their salty seaside village.
Health experts have long advocated drinking tea instead of coffee, and the Middle East is awash in both, but modern food technology is heating up health concerns over this ancient brew.
Permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton who is currently based in the Middle East answers all your growing questions Permaculture power couple Nadia and Geoff Lawton, currently based in Jordan, have released a series of great (and free!) Permaculture videos online. The videos are basically a how-to guide of applying Permaculture principles, things to consider before buying […]
Using only upcycled objects, French artist Bernard Pras reinterprets iconic images through the art of anamorphosis. Relying on old trash gathered near his installation sites, Bernard Pras from France assembles clothes and rags, wood, old record albums, dishes, broken toys (and anything else he can grab) to re-interpret pop-culture images. It’s far from ad hoc: […]
As America hunts for clues on the Boston Bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Laurie goes on with life and looks to the follies of communication in the Middle East. Communication is key to everything. Every driver knows that intersections are risky, but the crossroad of language and culture is especially prone to accidents. Need proof? I pick […]
Built at the lowest elevation on earth, and less than a year old, this jewel-box of a museum showcases the Dead Sea region’s rich past. After Israel, no nation has as many Biblical sites as Jordan. The Dead Sea gets several mentions in the Bible, and it’s where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Jesus […]
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. […]