Food Geo-politics Hits Middle East Streets

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 […]

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Why Finnish Tap Water Is Shipped to Saudi Arabia

Rola asks why the Middle East is consuming so much bottled water. Time to fix the tap? In his recently released book, The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, Charles Fishman explains that while the US has among the safest, most monitored water system in the world, consumers are still choosing […]

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Legislation Banning Public Smoking Lingers On In Lebanon

Smoking has become the norm in downtown Beirut. Last month, a group of women activists posing as pregnant women with faces covered with masks, staged a protest in Downtown Beirut against the delay by a parliamentary committee to finalize a long awaited law to ban smoking in closed public spaces and end unregulated cigarette advertisements, […]

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Arab World Revolutions Make Space for Green and Social Activism

Middle East NGOs must cross social, political and religious barriers to achieve long-term solutions to solve their regional complex environmental problems. While changes in political landscape across the Middle East and North Africa continue to pose immediate security and economic challenges for the region, can the environmental movement find a voice through wider political participation […]

Water Desalination in the Gulf is Necessary, But Not at Any Cost

IBM builds a solar power desalination pilot plant in Saudi Arabia. News that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest market for desalination plants, is planning future solar-powered reverse and osmosis projects has been met with general enthusiasm by environmentalists and non-environmentalists alike. However, while politicians in the region play up the significant advantages of modern desalination, […]

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Grid Parity in the Arab World: Still Far Away

Petrol and electricity are considered birth-rights, even God-sent in the Arab world. How can this reality compete with the use of renewables? Grid parity, the point when the cost of power generated from renewable energy resources become equal or cheaper than conventional power costs, is around the corner for many countries. In the Arab world […]

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How Genuine Is the Arab World About the Environment?

Arab world “green” announcements seem to fade in the sands. Can we believe new renewable energy goals? Over the past three years, we have read about many ambitious renewable energy plans or projects coming from the Arab world. Most notably, Qatar’s announcement in Feb 2008 to launch 3,500 MW of solar capacity or the Saudi […]

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How Food Insecurity Fuels Anger in the Middle East

The Ahmad Family in Egypt shows us what they eat. As popular uprisings continue to spread in Middle East, rising food costs for stable crops like rice and wheat cannot be ignored as underlying factors in the political unrest. In a region where Islam and anti-Westernism are usually blamed for driving populist politics, the impact […]