It doesn’t take a genius or a position paper to figure out that air pollution in cities and near industrial zones is toxic to human health. But now that it’s got an officially bad status with the United Nations, up there with asbestos and 100 other killer chemicals, maybe governments and cities will listen.
World Food Day, commemorated on October 16 is an annual event whose purpose is to find ways to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in various parts of the world. Green Prophet was there.
Dubai is getting another enormous development, except this time, Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding are pitching The Lagoons as an entrepreneurial and cultural hub for tomorrow’s youth.
Historically, graffiti has been used to subvert authority or spread anti-social messages, but in Morocco, one municipality has turned the art form on its head by getting kids to “tag” pro-society slogans instead.
Circling around the news is something that may violate human rights in the Middle East, pointing out just how bad it might be for gays living in these countries: some Arab states are looking to develop a “gay” test to bar gay travellers from entry.
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.
Women studying in the city of Beersheva in Israel get a tool similar to Egypt’s Harassmap. Local media is reporting that the college campus girls at Ben Gurion University have created an online map of where sexual harassments are taking place, helping the police better patrol risk areas.
Inspired by the “love lock” phenomenon that covers the Parisian bridge Pont des Arts, three Algerian journalists have kicked off conversion of a bridge in Algiers popular with suicides into a “bridge of love”.
International media is streaming updates on Syria, Big Brother antics by USA and UK intelligence services, and British buildings that can melt cars, but hardly a word on continuing protests in Turkey. And they are continuing despite chronic under-reporting by Turkish press.
Just when the weather was cooling down in the Middle East a little, we get woke up again with the usual alarm and this time from a United Nations panel: humankind is to blame for global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns in a new report just out.
En route to aid thousands of people injured and displaced by a devastating earthquake in Pakistan that killed at least 350 people on Tuesday, a military helicopter dodged two rockets fired from the ground.
Almost as soon as Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup with a suite of swanky solar-powered stadiums, activists started clambering about the emirate’s terrible working conditions. Turn’s out, their warnings were dead on.
Retired forestry engineer Huseyin Cetinel decided to brighten up a few Istanbul neighborhoods, slapping $800 bucks’ worth of rainbow-colored paint on public walkways over the course of four days. His guerrilla artworks (which were probably inspired by the guerrilla painters in Beirut last year) were an instant hit with the local community.
It’s an amazing way to democratize access to information and it means less headaches for tourists who don’t opt in to expensive data plans: the City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa has announced free WiFi hotspots throughout the city. On top of that and its rental bike program Tel-O-Fun, Tel Aviv is becoming a pretty cool city.
In London last week, a parabolic “death ray” of sunshine reflected off the city’s newest skyscraper burning cars and singing carpets in adjacent street level shops. It’s a cautionary tale for glass-clad towers in sun-intense Middle East, where robust assessment of a building’s impact on its environment is largely optional.
A leading property developer in Dubai executed one of the world’s largest coral relocation projects in 2008, and now – five years later – the mammoth $9.8 million undertaking has shown itself to be a remarkable success.
In the new Portal 9, the first Arabic-English journal about the city, the founder of Abu Dhabi’s urban planning department talks with editor Todd Reisz about planning crowded Cairo, working with Sheikh Zayed and practicing in mid-century Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Genetically-modified food has a bad reputation mostly because many food giants are mixing non-plant DNA to create drought and pest-resilient crops that we’ll eventually eat; manipulating plant DNA with plant components, however, is normal practice.
India’s rupee is dropping fast against the American dollar, but the world’s biggest market crash may happen in Turkey if the management of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is to be believed.
Albeit huge advocates of urban cycling, we have been sensitive to the fact that – mostly because of culture – the practice hasn’t taken off in the Middle East. But a You Tube video from Saudi Arabia challenges all the naysayers.
While many companies in the Middle East are grabbing land throughout Africa to buffer resource scarcity, Abu Dhabi-based firm Nahtam has plans to plant an organic farm in Ghana to offset carbon and create jobs.
Tel Aviv will be the first city to install a magnetic levitating transit system (maglev) designed by NASA and SkyTran, and the electric train in the sky will be almost entirely solar-powered.
International media is so obsessed with Iran’s forbidden access to nuclear energy and the possibility of war that a host of other issues far more worrying than war are being ignored. And it starts with water.
Red tides are toxic to both coral reefs and desalination plants in the Arabian/Persian Gulf, according to The National, so Masdar Institute has teamed up with government-backed Bayanat for Mapping and Surveying Services to predict and protect against harmful algae blooms.
It has been more than three years since France’s Pritzker prize winning architect Jean Nouvel won the bid to design a sparkling new art museum for Abu Dhabi, and now construction on the new Louvre has finally broken ground.