After around two months of international phone calls, this Sunday and Monday Green Prophet hosted a whirlwind two-day (20-hour) seminar on environmental blogging in Madaba, Jordan.
Thanks to the good efforts of Volunteers for Peace and the Masar Center, nearly 20 Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli writers and activists met for the first time and learned about each others’ projects and goals at home.
Hiba Hamzeh, 25, from Hebron, told the group about her hopes to start urban recycling in Palestine.
Murad Alkhufash, 39, aka the Green Thumb of Palestine, is planning a permaculture course in the village of Marda, near Salfit in the central West Bank.
Jordanians Sawsan Issa (left) and Osama Suliman are working on a “thin-film” solar cell that can be sewn onto the roofs of greenhouses, where they will let the sunlight into the plants while providing energy for the farm.
And Zohar Yarom (right) is working on her own blog on Green Change to raise environmental awareness among Israelis at home, while GreenProphet writer Rachel Bergstein is researching Israeli water policy at Friends of the Earth Middle East.
After we learned about each others’ projects, we worked on our own blog posts and did some group editing.
It was difficult to cram into the short amount of time, but we learned a great deal from each other and even managed to fit in a night of spirited dancing to live Arabic music at the Bawabit Madaba restaurant. The Israelis took full advantage of lax Jordanian smoking laws to puff away in stairwells and restaurants. We also each began our own blog posts about each other and ourselves as green activists in the Middle East. Look for posts in the coming days in this section of the GreenProphet.com.
Thank you very much to our sponsors, the United Religions Initiative – Middle East North Africa, who gave us a generous enough grant to cover all the participants’ transport and hotel. The Arava Institute of Environmental Studies sponsored our much-needed coffee breaks.
We hope to continue hosting this meeting of minds over the summer. If you would like to participate in the next GreenProphet Green Blogging conference, please be in touch. If you would like to help sponsor the next one, be in even more touch!
Karin Kloosterman and Daniella Cheslow
Read more on our green workshop:
Multifaith Writers and Activists Unite in Jordan
Green Bloggers Page (with all updates)
Meet the green bloggers and activists from Jordan
Part I: Learn About Jordan
Instigating Environmental Awareness in Palestine