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New English-Arabic Dictionary of Environmental Terms

A useful new resource for eco-writers in the Middle East, now online. Eco-English vocabulary is hard enough to work with. And for the narrow niche of writers working with Arabic, English, and ecological issues, the search for that appropriate word can get  frustrating. But relief is in sight. Researcher Moshe Terdamana has published the dictionary […]

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Protect your heart With bananas

What’s sweet, good for you, and comes in completely biodegradable packaging? Bananas, of course. Don’t let June’s seasonal fruit distract you from picking up a bunch of firm yellow bananas when you’re out shopping. Bananas are in season too, and considering all the easy, no-cook ways to eat them, it’s a pity to pass them […]

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Saudi Arabian Bukhari Rice (Vegewarian RECIPE)

What’s vegewarian? It means reducing the amount of meat you eat every week, celebrating delicious food and sustainability with vegetable-based dishes. This week we bring you Ruz Bukhari, a traditional and well-loved Arabic dish. Pilgrims from Uzbekistan brought Ruz Bukhari with them long ago, as they traveled to Mecca and Medina. We’re sure they traveled […]

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Ancient Music Therapy Revived in Turkish Hospital

Doctors at the Memorial Hospital, Istanbul, help patients’ recovery with soulful music. In the Intensive Care unit, Dr. Erol Can puts a flute to his lips.  He is wearing blue hospital scrubs and his stethoscope still hangs around his neck.  Propped up in bed and connected to an oxygen tank, a patient listens as the […]

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A Dustier Planet, Your Dustier Lungs

Earth’s dust storms and sand storms are becoming more frequent. How does that affect your health? Here in the Middle East, powerful hot winds sometimes drop fine yellowish sand  down from the sky, coating the skin and lips irritatingly and making it hard to see across the street. It’s the lashing tail of giant storms […]

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Potato Salad With Middle Eastern Flavors (RECIPE)

This olive oil and lemon-based potato salad brings bright flavors to your mezze. Traditional mezze appetizers tend to based on vegetables. In our hot, dry climate, it makes sense to put many small dishes of piquant salads on the table at the start of a meal. You can count on them to waken a languishing […]

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Asbestos Exposure Raises Cancer Rates in Lebanon

Asbestos, linked directly to mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer, is still present in many products used daily in Lebanon. But there’s no protection for workers or the population at large. In 1998, Lebanon submitted to popular pressure and banned asbestos imports. In 2000, Eternit, the country’s major importer of asbestos closed down. But […]

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Dye Your Hair Naturally With Henna

If you want naturally beautiful hair (or temporary tattoos), turn to henna. Anyone living in the Middle East has often seen little old ladies with kerchiefs tied under their chins and long, orange-colored braids falling down their backs. They dye their hair with henna, the dried and powdered leaves of Lawsonia lythraceae. But modern women […]

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Easy Trifle Recipe for Shavuot

Enjoy a delicious dairy dessert on Shavuot (but don’t count the calories). Shavuot, the Jewish festival that celebrates receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai, has always been associated with having a dairy meal. The origins of the custom go back to antiquity, and there are several explanations for it. Some hold that milk symbolizes the […]

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Vegewarian Herbel, Moroccan Wheat Soup RECIPE

Eat breakfast the way a Moroccan grandmother might make it with this milky, slow-cooked wheat soup. Vegewarian (vegetarian- aware recipes like these) offer you an alternative to meat-based food. Here’s one for this week which brings Morocco into the kitchen. Home cooks in Morocco make a variety of  cereal-based soups and porridge from millet, barley […]

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Wild Grains And Our Daily Bread Threatened by Global Warming

Sturdy wild wheat and barley are essential for humanity’s survival. New study shows we are losing  genetic diversity Israel’s wild wheat and barley are known to be the ancestors of our modern grains.  When Man  cultivated them, their genetic resistance to drought and disease carried over to cultivated varieties. This aided mankind’s struggle to grow […]

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Make your own toxin-free herbal moisturizer

DIY, make your own chemical-free hand and body lotion. At the end of our post on 5 natural ways to keep your skin beautiful, we note how important it is to moisturize. Now, take a good squint at the ingredients on your moisturizer’s label. There’s petroleum in one form or another. Alcohol. One or more […]

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Northern Israel Monitors Sewage Trucks By GPS

Is Big Brother watching your sewage? Israeli polluters can no longer dump raw sewage, lest they get caught. Drivers often dump collected waste into open areas to save on fuel and avoid paying authorized landfills. One incident occurred in 2009 in which drivers dumped the contents of 50 trucks worth of sewage food waste near the […]

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Consumerism, Ecology, and the Sabbath

Ben-Gurion researchers claim that Israel’s urge to shop will eventually force Shabbat laws to change.   This is a typical side street in the Yaffa flea market, Israel. From left to right, notice a charming second-hand shop that sells amusing things like the full-sized statue of a Roman gladiator. Blond tourists with cameras hanging from their […]

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Syrian Stuffed Artichoke Hearts (Recipe)

Celebrate springtime in the Middle East with these aromatic stuffed artichokes. Fresh artichokes are all over Middle Eastern markets now. Lovers of the edible thistle enjoy scraping the steamed, seasoned leaves with their teeth and never mind getting melted butter or vinaigrette all over their fingers. But there are many refined ways of filling artichokes, […]

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Haroset, The Passover Seder’s Sweet Treat RECIPE

Enslaved Jews in Egypt built storehouses in  Pithom and Ramses, according to tradition. But did they cement the bricks with dates and honey? “Seder” means “order.” The first Passover night’s meal follows a specific  order, and the first thing we see on the seder table is a plate of symbolic foods. In the center of […]

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RECIPE: Sliced Sweet Potatoes Roasted in Date Honey

Looking for a quick, delicious and healthy side dish? Grab some sweet potatoes. There’s lots of cooking going on at this time of year. Passover, Easter, vacation time – guests coming over, family at home, and festive meals to prepare. A busy cook needs easy, reliable recipes to fill out her or his menus. Sweet […]

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What’s in season in March?

Ever wonder what to do with eggplants? Read on for some Middle Eastern eggplant ideas. At the start of the month, markets didn’t have much new. Everything in February’s post still applied.  Newcomers like strawberries were still expensive and not sweet yet. Now, seasonal produce is on the upward swing towards summer’s abundance and those […]