The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced yesterday the formation of a new, nation-less team of athletes cleared to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer. According to a statement released on the IOC website, the all-refugee team will be treated the same as the other teams representing the 206 National[.....]
Whenever I read the news about Syria’s refugee and environmental crisis I wonder how Syria’s dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s wife Asma al-Assad, once so vocal about the natural environment (even biking to the West Bank in the past), can let her husband keep this madness up. A little sanity in the craziness that is and has[.....]
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.[.....]
Nearly 7 million people have fled their homes to escape the violence in Syria, and 2 million refugees in Jordan and Lebanon face a wet, cold winter with nothing – not even a safe lamp to light their way. Which is why WakaWaka launched the Solar for Syria campaign.
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.
Polio,or Poliomyelitis has not been a serious medical issue ever since the first wide scale vaccines were developed by Dr. Jonas Salk in the early 1950s. Within the past few years, however, the often debilitating virus has began to return to epidemic proportions in many parts of the world. This includes the Middle East.
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.
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.
Amid the snipers, the rubble and the misery on many Syrian streets is another ugly phenomenon: garbage. In Adel’s* hometown of Janoub al Malaab, a district of Hama city, piles of waste give off an odour that is nearly unbearable.
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 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.
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.[.....]
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.[.....]
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[.....]
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[.....]
Sound the alarms? Where has Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq’s underground freshwater sea gone? NASA’s imaging technology recently brought some bad news about Mideast air pollution. Now NASA brings more bad news about the Mideast water supply. We already knew that the Dead Sea is shrinking. Some people are even trying to do something about[.....]
Loggers get $5 a tree in Syria now that the heat of conflict is on, and the cold winter has set it in. In Darkush, Syria, civilians must turn to their environment for the basic need of warmth. Day after day, freezing temperatures prevail, and tree after tree is cut down. The national park to[.....]
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.[.....]
Egyptian model for the Zabaleen could help heat Syrian refugees. Green Prophet’s Joseph reports from Jordan. Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan: Walking through the vast expanse of white tents, dirt “roads” and masses of families huddled closely together for warmth, if you ask what they most need, the answer, without pause, is simple: blankets. In[.....]
Hurricane Sandy bulldozed my home coastline with a ferocity rarely seen outside the big screen. It ploughed through lives of friends and family, shredding homes, floating cars, and drowning pets. We can debate the causes of climate change, but the increasingly damaging effect of extreme weather upon basic civil services is indisputable. In a crisis,[.....]
Three years of sustainable lighting for fifteen bucks? United Nations Relief Agency, you hearing this? The LuminAID inflatable solar light was created by a pair of architecture students focused on disaster-relief solutions to the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Their light offers a safe, inexpensive and sustainable alternative to kerosene and oil lamps that’s ideally suited to[.....]
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[.....]
Groundbreaking “Concrete Cloth” allows ancient building material to be used in a totally new way. Concrete Cloth is a pioneering “building-in-a-bag” that requires only water and air for construction: it was named material of the year in the 2011 Material ConneXions MEDIUM Awards. Concrete is one of the world’s most popular building materials. It follows[.....]
Cash cows in a time of conflict smuggled between Syria and Jordan As Syria continues to be swept up in violence, Syrian farmers are smuggling their livestock (and themselves) into Jordan to sell the cattle before they can be killed in bombing raids. Traders near Jordan’s border with Syria estimate that tens of thousands of[.....]
Years of drought and mass displacement in Syria may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back and led to the ongoing uprising Following the eruption of revolts and riots in 2011 which later became the Arab Spring, the link between food prices and rising political opposition was a difficult one to ignore. The[.....]
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[.....]
Called polo in Syria, try this refreshing Middle East mint lemonade to beat the heat. Like our cooling vegan cold almond milk and Turkish aryan yogurt drink, this herbal lemonade cools the body and soothes heated spirits.And it’s not only good, it’s good for you. Mint is packed with vitamin C, which helps you withstand[.....]
Egypt’s social protests deeply rooted in issues connected to environmental ones. It’s definitely a hot time in our world this summer: there are massive brush and forest fires in the American states of Colorado and South Dakota, there’s a full fledged civil war going on in Syria that has resulted in indigenous plant seeds being stored[.....]
Middle Eastern olive oil producers are baring the brunt of falling oil prices Olive oil prices have hit a 10 year low, severely impacting producers in Spain, Italy , Greece and Protugal- which produce more than 60 percent of the world’s olive oil. However, Middle Eastern Farmers in Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Israel and Palestine will[.....]
Jordan’s hosting of forced migrants is overburdening already stressed water resources. Humanitarianism has an unanticipated knock-on to fresh water supplies, as Jordan is starting to realize. Syrian refugees harbored in kingdom are draining the desert nation’s scarce water resources, reports Lebanon’s Daily Star. This presents a new setback for Jordan, one of the world’s most[.....]
Green Prophet’s Karin meeting Jordan’s prince in 2010 in Switzerland. Way back in 2010 a group of high profile water researchers and dignitaries from the Middle East met in Switzerland to find ways of making liquid peace. Diplomacy works through slow channels, but a new group of ministers and VIPs from around the region have agreed[.....]
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault locked safe away in Norway has once again opened its steel doors welcoming 25,000 new seed samples including varieties of chickpeas, fava beans and other seeds from Syria. Around 110,000 Syrian duplicate seed samples out of 750,000 samples stored in Syria have been safely consigned, should the conflict in Syria[.....]
Full of adventures, and matching the rhythm of the place, Does recounts his long hitchhiking journey from Belgium all the way to Egypt. First, stay with your feet to the ground: Moving from Europe to the Middle East isn’t something you do overnight. Especially if you’re not willing to take an aeroplane, whether because entering[.....]
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a special alert on the food security situation in Syria this past week, voicing serious concern over the state of food security, especially for vulnerable groups, because of continued civil unrest since March 2011. According to the Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics, inflation increased between June[.....]
Country data reveals that Syria, Lebanon and Iraq are potentially the only virtual water exporting countries in the Middle East. Get in the know about blue, green and grey water footprints. Following the previous article on measuring your Ecological Footprint, here we will focus on the Water Footprint. Let’s start with understanding the Virtual Water[.....]
As the political conflict rages on, drought-hit farmers in Syria struggle on and the aid trickling in to help is severely inadequate In March 2011, the political situation in Syria began to unravel. Syrians took to the streets in places like Homs and Hama in an uprising against president Bashar al-Assad, who responded with mortar[.....]
With farming traditions that are already “organic”, embattled Syria can easily become an important organic food producer, based on climate, practices and location to Europe. This past January President Bashar Assad issued Legislative Decree No. 12 for 2012 related to organic farming in Syria. The decree aims at laying the foundation for developing organic production[.....]
The world’s most innovative rebel was the son of a Syrian man who gave him up for adoption. But neither this, nor cancer, nor a series of public failures ever deterred his strength of vision. This is our tribute to Steve Jobs. “No one wants to die,” Steve Jobs said in a speech to Stanford’s[.....]
Eco-tourism holidays in Lebanon offer picturesque fishing villages and ancient remains British walking holidays specialist Ramblers Worldwide has added Lebanon to its list of destinations, according to a recent announcement. Ramblers Worldwide have long included Jordan, Morocco, Oman and other Middle East and North African destinations on their itineraries, although some scheduled trips to Egypt[.....]
Journalists are waiting on the Jordan border to get news by donkey, as Syrian activists smuggle out video. When I traveled to Syria more than 10 years ago, there was no Internet. The young people I met, who talked in whispers, had asked me to send them books from the outside world. Books on anything,[.....]
The international aid and development organization Oxfam recently revealed some alarming facts and future predictions on world hunger, warning that the world faces a real crisis in agricultural production and nutrition, with climate change exacerbating the crisis. The Middle East is cited as a “taste of what may be to come” as rising food costs[.....]
ResponsibleTravel.com customers on holiday in Egypt. Feluccas and Pharoahs, a popular trip. British ethical tourism pioneers ResponsibleTravel.com has celebrated its tenth birthday by announcing its biggest ten sellers over the last decade – and Middle Eastern destinations top the list. Responsible Travel offers hundreds of holidays across the world and its birthday announcement also included[.....]
Istanbul – a major hub for train travel across the Middle East Survey results published this week reveal that the majority of international travelers would prefer to take trains instead of aeroplanes, if they had the opportunity. The poll of 300 consumers, conducted for train technology company Silverrail, showed that 79% would choose trains over[.....]
Bolster your New Year’s food resolutions with seven recycled titles: largely published before 2011 but still relevant. Eating sustainably can make a huge impact on our planet. Dig in. 1. Eating Animals (Penguin, 2011) Part memoir, part science: novelist Jonathan Safran Foer’s takes a philosophical look at how we justify what we eat . Prepare[.....]
Will it smell? Can I save money? And will it create fertilizer? Flushing our waste down the toilet is not the ideal way of utilising our precious and very limited water sources here in the Middle East. Moreover, the pollution that we are causing to our rivers and seas is becoming an increasing concern. Like[.....]
A new park in drought-hit Syria showcases water-saving techniques Following five years of drought which has driven nearly half a million people away from drought-hit areas and put the country at risk of increasing desertification, Syria has inaugurated a water scarcity park to highlight the need to conserve dwindling water supplies.
Use the heel-toe express to wander through Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. The Middle East is a pretty amazing place (just ask any of the locals), and there is a lot to see. A LOT to see. So it would be a shame to miss anything by sticking to conventional modern (and polluting) forms of[.....]
A new “crop” of 70 turbines is slated to be planted in the contested Golan Heights. Earlier this year, we reported here about a partnership between the Israeli company Multimatrix and the U.S. energy company AES to build a wind farm on the Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the state’s blessing to[.....]
Syrian celebrities took to the streets of Damascus to promote green living. Releasing balloons, were they drawing attention to the environment or to themselves? A group of Syrian celebrities gathered in Damascus to try to promote environmentally friendly lifestyles recently, personally urging individuals to change their habits. Unfortunately, however, it looks like this was a case[.....]
God “Thoth” or the northern bald bis negotiates its way back from extinction in the Middle East [image via isawnyu] Syria is toiling to improve its environmental record. An internet service provider there is educating the public, and they have created a Master Plan for Renewable Energy. However, conservationists are unable to resuscitate the critically endangered[.....]
Moshe continues his weekly look at the Middle East eco-blogging community, in Arabic. This week he flies to Syria and looks at how an Internet Service Provider is educating the public. Last week, we looked at Mazen Abboud’s environmental blog from Lebanon. This week, we are flying to Lebanon’s next-door neighbor, Syria, and to a[.....]