I remember that when I visited Byblos, in the Jbeil district of Lebanon, in the summer of 2011, I felt like a true beholder of history. Historians agree that it’s the second oldest continuously-inhabited city on earth, runner-up only to the Palestinian city of Jericho. I sat at Feniqia restaurant in the heart of the[.....]
Taking a cue from its neighbor city Tel Aviv Lebanon’s regional “landmark”, Sidon’s notorious garbage mountain, will now become a city park. Sidon’s stench was once so bad that locals used to say that “you smell it before you can see it.” This hideous site, the result of garbage trucks dumping straight into the sea[.....]
There is no fighting chance for migratory birds when they fly over Lebanon: Hunting laws may be in place in the Middle East, but who’s enforcing them? From storks and pelicans to hoopoes to eagles to migratory songbirds… see the images of the bloodbath in Lebanon during this year’s hunting season. And these images are[.....]
On the occasion of World Food Day, Beirut will play host to the funkiest food salvage event in history: Disco Soup! While it’s not the first Disco Soup to hit the Middle East (Tel Aviv had its version Disco Shuk last April where droves came out for free food), this event in Lebanon only goes[.....]
Lebanon is bracing for severe summer drought. As in nearby Jordan, longstanding water management problems are stressed to the breaking point following the driest year on record and a winter exacerbated by a massive influx of Syrian refugees.
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.
I did the best part of my growing up in Toronto, a cold and somewhat bike-crazed city. It’s there where I met a champion bike courier from Berlin and had my first long-distance love affair when he moved back to Germany. Joern, god bless his heart, used to deliver love letters by international courier!
Lebanon has had its share of pollution and garbage issues laundered out on Green Prophet. There have been stories of garbage trucks dumping their loads straight into the sea, or those on Sidon’s notorious garbage mound, where local residents used to say: “It’s horrible isn’t it? You smell it before you can see it.”
Lebanese renewable energy have fallen short of its ambitious goal of reaching 12 percent of Lebanon’s energy needs by the year 2020. But now it is in the middle of building its first wind farm at about 60 MW in the country’s north.
Not that long ago, the city of Sidon (or Saida) in Lebanon moved its trash to the local Sidon dump, where the toxic landfill and trash site washed into the sea every winter. Sometimes dump trucks didn’t wait for the rains and dumped directly into the sea.
The London Design Festival is well underway with some exciting new projects on display – including an intriguing new installation from Beirut’s Najila El Zein: The Wind Portal.
Lebanon and Pakistan have each announced new biogas projects, tapping into a sustainable energy source that, unlike other renewable energy streams, solves two municipal problems – energy creation and waste processing. Biogas, primarily a mixture of carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen, is produced by decomposing organic matter. Add oxygen and create a high-efficiency fuel for[.....]
It’s hard to monitor vessels that pollute out at sea, so five aircrafts from Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco and Spain got together to keep an eye on the Mediterranean Sea in a recent coordinated aerial surveillance program organized by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Center for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).
As part of a larger master plan to rejuvenate the downtown Beirut area, Swiss Architects Herzog & De Meuron have designed “The Terraces,” a green waterfront apartment tower in Beirut lush with vegetation and hanging gardens.
A new “invasive species” of marine life may be on its way to the Mediterranean – one that is both attractive as well as unpleasant – and even poisonous. Known as the Lionfish or Pterois Miles, this colorful and exotic looking fish has already invaded both the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
In a Middle Eastern city with paltry green space, residents gather to object to new development that will destroy one of their few public parks. Sound familiar? Spin the globe, but this time stop at Beirut in Lebanon.
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 date palm is an important part of the religious, cultural, and economic heritage of the Arabian Peninsula and the rest of the Middle East. But now it is being decimated by a tiny invasive beetle.
Campaigners in Lebanon are asking for support to protect an ancient Phoenician coastline which is under threat due to a port project Lebanese environment campaigners are calling on nature lovers far and wide to help them protect an important piece of their natural heritage along the Mediterranean Sea. It seems that a beautiful part of the[.....]
Is the Red Sea shark spotted at Eilat beach, Israel escaping illegal hunters in Egypt? While it’s rare to find sharks in the Mediterranean Sea (they are almost extinct), they are not so uncommon in the Red Sea. Its warm waters and ample food source bait sharks who sometimes get personal with bathers and divers.[.....]
At the heart of Beirut, Zakaria counters corporate cafe culture with art and heritage As larger coffee and restaurant chains take over the streets of Beirut and other Lebanese cities, smaller, local cafes are abandoning their businesses as they are faced with too much competition. Walking away from the scene is not only a coffee shop[.....]
The fig: over 750 varieties and native to the Middle East The strong grey trunk, the wide velvety leaves, the sticky itchy white milk resin that leaks from the cracked leaves, its round crimson fruits with their bellies filled with honeyed goodness. In my opinion, nothing beats a fig tree. The fig (which tastes great[.....]
Mediterranean sharks risk extinction while “serious implications” feared for marine ecosystems and beyond. Accidental catches and sharks for fin soup are to blame Shark populations in the Mediterranean and Black Sea have dropped dramatically over the last two centuries and now risk extinction, with serious implications for the region’s entire marine ecosystem and food chains,[.....]
Only 177 countries behind the times, Lebanon has finally joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), The Daily Star reports. One of the last Middle Eastern countries to get on board, Lebanon has not done well to protect the 100 or so species in the country that are[.....]
Not even zaatar gurus can spot a fake that easily. Although it pains me to say it, I might have to think twice about buying zaatar items at the next Middle Eastern bakery I pass: It could be the case that there are harmful additives in the spice mixture. Zaatar, the unique combination of such[.....]
Humans have been plucking the fruit off olive trees for over 10,000 years, so it’s no surprise we’ve found creative ways to use olives and their oils. They’re native to the Mediterranean-basin, and probably first domesticated in Crete, but who first hatched the recipe for extracting olives’ oils remains an mystery. We know the stuff is tasty, and[.....]
Israel, like other rich countries in the Middle East, has had to rely a lot on desalination plants to supply much of its drinking water. Desalination now supplies Mideast countries like Saudi Arabia, which is said to have the world’s largest desalination plant. The country receives almost all its fresh water supplies from this energy-intensive process.[.....]
“Sisters” or the the Olive trees of Noah, are the 16 oldest olive trees in the world found in the community of Bechealeh, Lebanon. Some 6,000 years old, folklorists say these have Biblical origins. Tucked away in the sleepy village of Bechealeh, Lebanon, 16 olive trees have witnessed 6000 years of political unrest, plagues, diseases,[.....]
“The Sea is Mine” is a unique live art piece and interactive theatrical production bringing awareness to Beiruti’s on the tragic history and destiny of its seashore A familiar ongoing struggle along Beirut’s waterfront is that between those who want free access to the sea and the privatization of the Mediterranean seashore. “The Sea is[.....]
Jesuit brothers at the Ksara wine press in 1910: Lebanon’s oldest wine growing domain Following the footsteps of a wine trading tradition started by Phoenicians, modern Lebanese wine-making re-starts in 1857 when French Jesuit missionaries at Ksara (today the site of Château Ksara) introduced new viticulture and viniculture methods as well as new vines, from French-governed Algeria. Sixty years[.....]
Students from the American University of Beirut have worked with the Forum for Environment and Development to create a documentary on the environmental challenges facing the Arab world The youth of the Arab world have had a particularly inspiring – if turbulent – last couple of years. Protests, revolutions and taste of real empowerment has[.....]
Lebanon celebrated its Arbor Day on December 7. Activists, students and environmentalists gathered in open spaces to plant trees. Recent years have seen growing grassroots and government efforts to preserve Lebanon’s famed cedar forests, but there has been scant attention paid to rare juniper trees. There is currently no law to protect the vanishing Lebanese[.....]
Young Arabs in Doha are telling the Arab world it’s time to take a lead on climate change during the first climate change talks to be held in the Middle East. With more than a billion Muslims in the world, Arab activists claim that Muslim leaders are pretty much silent about global warming and environmental[.....]
Movie stars shone on Abu Dhabi red carpets, where the curtain rose on a pair of green films connected to the Middle East. This year’s Abu Dhabi film festival featured two green-themed films aimed at raising awareness of a decidedly un-Hollywood subject: global waste management. Both movies, Trashed and Polluting Paradise, were sponsored by sustainable[.....]
Skiing in Israel or Iran might not be what you think of if you’ve ever skied the Rocky Mountains in Canada or the Alps in Switzerland, but as people look ahead to the winter, Green Prophet can show Middle East readers that skiers can stay close to home. While you be looking around for cheap ski[.....]
Live long enough and we all know heartbreak, but what happens when a well-loved sustainable project walks away? Looking for day trips to explore modern Middle East architecture, I stumbled across Jordan’s The Aqaba House (TAH). This ambitious little house was the first modern home fully based on green building principles specific to its Aqaba location. Oriented[.....]
Tunisian buildings are the most energy intense in the Arab world. Carboun has released a powerful infographic which details how energy is consumed in the Middle East. Using data received from personal contributions, the World Bank and the International Energy Agency, founder Karim Elgendy has mapped out energy use by country in each of the[.....]
Laurie escaped from the Trade Towers 11 years ago and as a building expert looks critically at standards in the Middle East. Building codes ensure that a properly constructed building will safely stand up to predictable wear and tear. Codes specify fire-resistant performance for materials and prescribe safe exiting requirements for occupants. But what guides[.....]
The cedar tree, Lebanon’s national symbol , has been for centuries overused by various civilizations. Reforestation might not bring them back from the brink. The Cedar of Lebanon, Cedrus Libani, is an evergreen coniferous plant native to Lebanon, Syria and southern Turkey. Cedar forests once covered the entire Mount Lebanon chain but the cedar,an emblem[.....]
Lebanese illustartor Maya Zankoul “draws” against issues that range from pollution, electricity cuts, real estate pricing, to politics in Lebanon. She will be one of the guest speakers at SHARE Beirut. In October there will be a free three day conference in Beirut which will look at “digital” rights in the MENA and promote creativity. Similar to the[.....]
A nuclear bomb wipes out all of Tel Aviv and central Israel, using the Ground Zero app. There was much disagreement around the dinner table the other night about whether or not Israel will be obliterated if Iran drops a nuclear bomb. Will there be something to spare? Should Israelis expect a bomb to melt[.....]
With a bit of creativity and green spirit, old washing machine drums have been transformed into stunning seating by Xavier Baghdadi and Lea Kradokian From beautifully adorned tyres to trash theatres, Lebanon is really getting creative with its rubbish. Now, two green Lebanese designers have used old washing machine drums to make intricately decorated seats[.....]
Aid groups accused of profiting from Syrian crisis. Jordan hosts 150,000 displaced Syrians. These are documented figures; other estimates number refugees closer to 500,000. Syrians are also pouring into Lebanon and the GCC states. Critics assert that while hosting refugees is pressurizing Jordan’s economics, the government is also looking to benefit from the situation by overestimating[.....]
Far from being Paris of the Middle East, traditional red tiled roof and sandstone houses suffocate inside the “other” vision of Beirut The Lebanese housing market is a bit of a strange phenomenon. A largely unregulated construction market coupled with grandiose projects from ambitious rich gulf state developers and Lebanese expatriates has created a surplus[.....]
Rosé wine is gaining global popularity. Did you know that the Middle East with its long history of wine-making is producing some great rosés of its own? The summer heat is upon us and if you’ve been smart you’re perfecting those non-cook recipes to beat the heat. If you like a glass of wine here[.....]
Do pregnant women who are fasting during the Holy Islamic month of Ramadan have a greater chance of experiencing a pre-term birth? A new study by Lebanese researchers rules out the half-day fast as cause for an earlier than expected birth. With Ramadan continuing until Friday, pregnant Muslim everywhere want to know if it’s safe[.....]
Why grow apples in Lebanon when hashish and cannabis is hundreds of times more lucrative? An overview of Lebanon’s unsustainable drug business in the Bekaa Valley. Escalating clashes between armed tribesmen trying to protect their cannabis fields and the Lebanese armed forces are pushing Lebanon to readdress the long-standing issue of cannabis cultivation in the[.....]
Lebanon is suffering from a serious crisis of E. Coli and listeria contamination thanks to unhygienic conditions and polluted waterways. Following the national uproar in Lebanon when large amounts of rotten meat and dairy were found at some of Beirut’s top restaurants and supermarkets, researchers at the American University of Beirut (AUB) carried out a study on[.....]
Israelis might have to cool off with just fans this summer. Summer heat waves in Israel and other parts of the Middle East are putting extraordinary strains on electricity power grids. These strains are so intense, that recently, Israel’s environment minister, Gilad Erdan, even proposed that his country cut back electric power to Gaza, which[.....]
Toni Polo, founder of Radio Groovalizacion explains how music and migration are shaping contemporary culture in the Middle East and North Arfica. As an avid “world music” listener – although I don’t like this term but I still haven’t found a better one- it is always an immense pleasure to discover hidden musical gems. One organization[.....]
Gulf states urge citizens not to visit Lebanon, cancelations abound Despite appeals from Lebanese leaders, Gulf states are advising their citizens not to travel to Lebanon and those already there to leave, thus boding ill for this summer’s tourism industry. Beirut, once known as the Riviera of the Levant, has thrived through turmoil as a[.....]
Beirut overtakes Abu Dhabi and Dubai, becoming the most expensive city for expatriates in the Middle East region, after Tel Aviv According to Mercer’s latest Cost of Living survey Tokyo has become the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, pushing Luanda, Angola to second place while Karachi, Pakistan is ranked as the world least expensive[.....]