Ridley Scott’s, The Martian is based on Andy Weir’s best-selling novel. It was filmed in Jordan’s beautiful Wadi-Rum desert. Hollywood loves adventure stories, especially tales of humans struggling to survive in the wilderness. The Martian has something in common with The Life of Pi, 127 Hours, Castaway, Into the Wild and All is Lost. But a[.....]
Israel and Jordan have signed a historic deal to press ahead with a plan to save the Dead Sea. The ‘Red-Dead’ project will build a plant near the Jordanian tourist resort of Aqaba that will desalinate water to be shared by Israelis and Palestinians. The brine left over from the desalination process will be channeled[.....]
It might not have the archaeological marvels of Petra or the adventure of Wadi Rum, but a two-hour drive from Amman’s dusty streets, you’ll find something special that you won’t find elsewhere in Jordan. Nestled in the hills and landscape of north-western Jordan, lies a green oasis with an eco-minded philosophy: Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark (SHE.)[.....]
I had an opportunity to conduct a series of green workshops for Imams, or Muslim clergy throughout Jordan. The workshop was funded by Germany’s Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung based in Jordan. Here are my thoughts from the workshops which focused on sustainability and energy conservation issues. In many instances we blame the “other” for not understanding our discipline[.....]
Halloween landed on a Friday this year, meaning your “I have to work tomorrow” excuse for not dressing up becomes as flimsy as a ghost. So, with a few hours to prep before tonight’s parties begin, how do you devise a spooktacular costume without buying more polyester (most likely shipped over from China) to crap[.....]
Mostly we hear stories of pain and tragedy from Syrian refugee camps. But the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, a place where Green Prophet’s Laurie Balbo is knitting together and flying hope, there are new sprigs of hope. The non-profit organization Save the Children is teaching some of the camp’s 800,000 refugees how to garden.[.....]
We love grandmothers and we love what they do, especially when they know how to cook well using traditional recipes. While we like to support the food and lifestyle of yore, we do not think that not everything fast is bad for you.
Jordan is becoming a heavyweight on the global stage, but this is nothing to puff up about. The kingdom is among the world’s worst countries for obesity according to Oxfam’s World Food Index 2013, with 33% of standing Jordanians unable to see their feet. Over 14% of the population is also diabetic.
If a tree falls in the woods, it will be immortalized as amazingly clever artwork if Fu’ad Khasawneh is anywhere nearby. The Assistant Dean and his colleagues at the University of Jordan transformed the detritus of a powerful winter storm into a remarkable display of public art.
Jordan is cleaning up its act, at least in terms of laundry detergent, with a project entitled Concentrate for the Environment. The voluntary, industry-led initiative aims to reduce the negative environmental impact of powdered laundry soap. Seems the soap industry excels at greenwashing; this looks like corporate cost-shaving spun into environmental (fool’s) gold.
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.
Eid Al Adha, also called Big Eid and the Feast of the Sacrifice, is an important Islamic holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honor the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his first-born son as an act of submission to God’s command. Everyone knows the story: God jumped in with a last-minute substitution and[.....]
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.[.....]
Springtime in Jordan brings ferocious sandstorms and a nose-clogging meteorological phenom called “khamsin”. Grab your Michael Jackson face masks and the decongestant of your choice, close the windows tight and stockpile tissues. The dry, dusty winds of khamsin are blowing across the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa and right into your sinus canals. That image[.....]
If new anti-smoking images slapped on Jordan’s smokes don’t help puffers kick the habit, maybe Jordan should look Down Under for greater motivation: Beginning this year, as part of Jordan’s obligations to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the Ministry of Health asked cigarette companies to feature graphic anti-smoking images on cigarette[.....]
Jordan (where this Green Prophet lives) is not my Xanadu because it lacks an oceanic coastline: but, hey, if climate change keeps raising sea levels my dreams can (catastrophically) come true…Green Prophet’s brought you vivid images of NASA flood maps, and alarming predictions of Mediterranean basin flooding. This winter’s extreme precipitation may have added precious water to regional stocks,[.....]
Tomato and potato soup being cooked on an open fire at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians. Camp officials say they are hoping they will receive the money needed to run electrical systems so that heaters can be used © Jodi Hilton/IRIN Residents of Syrian towns that have run out of heating oil say they are[.....]
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[.....]
Pomelo fruit and the Middle East arak are making one of the year’s hottest and refreshing new cocktails. Here’s the recipe. Baffled Once: Purchased as wacky Christmas gifts, the four bottles of arak inside our New York-bound suitcases were packed more carefully than human transplant organs are, but their bottle caps were as leaky as[.....]
Animal lovers in Jordan are fighting a formidable battle to raise people’s awareness and respect towards strays and animals in general. It’s not easy being an animal in Jordan. One of our pair of mini-dachshunds escaped to the street last November and was killed in a hit and run. Distraught, we called friends asking what[.....]
A small piece of plastic can save lives, preserve local eco-systems, and cut greenhouse gas emissions: finally, positive press for plastics. A Swiss-based company has developed portable water purifiers called LifeStraw that can be deployed at point-of-use to instantly convert water from hazardous to drinkable, without electricity and side-stepping the age-old practice of boiling. Nearly[.....]
Greenpeace Jordan recently launched its first report specific to the Arab World entitled Jordan’s Energy Future (pdf link) to a packed audience of environmentalists, activists and political stakeholders in Amman. The report demonstrates Jordan’s potential to achieve full energy independence through renewable sources whilst campaigning against kingdom ambitions to develop nuclear energy. “This report shows[.....]
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[.....]
As if Saudis don’t have enough banned behaviors, the traffic department now prohibits tinted bus windows preventing fewer women from using public transport. Teachers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can count on costlier work commutes following the recent decision by the Traffic Department to ban tinted windows in school buses. Several bus companies that transport[.....]
Laurie recycles a Jordanian political poster into a handbag. Here’s how she does it. Voting is underway for Jordan’s Parliament. I’m not running, but I have this one in the bag! Hundreds of posters are hanging along Amman roadways; a somber assemblage of Middle Eastern manhood, mostly mustachioed. No wonder there’s tension in the lead-up[.....]