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Jameel Prize finalists coming to London in June

The Jameel Prize 5 will be on exhibit from 28 June through 25 November, 2018 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. It’s the international award for contemporary design inspired by Islamic tradition. As befits artworks that are out of this world, let’s quote American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who recently tweeted, “Bears repeating: Creativity that satisfies & […]

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Hundreds register to run in Lebanese Interior Ministry race!

As of midnight on Tuesday, nearly 1,000 candidates had registered with the Interior Ministry to run in the upcoming  and long-delayed parliamentary elections scheduled for May 6. The estimated 1,000 candidates represent the highest in the history of Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, and provides the cash-strapped state treasury an unexpected windfall of  USD$5.28 million from fees […]

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6 great reads for Arab American Heritage Month

April is Arab American Heritage Month, and here are six publications from a half dozen Arab American authors whose work is influencing the literary landscape of the USA, and beyond. I’ve chosen one for each of the six Muslim-majority nations whose citizens are currently banned from entering the America. Crack one open and learn some […]

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Syrian refugees list their tent on Airbnb

Take empathy to a new level by living just like a displaced person. A group of Syrian refugees advertised their camp tent as a rentable destination on Airbnb, offering intrepid travelers “scorpions, dehydration and broken promises”. They describe the Ritsona, Greece refugee camp, about 80 kilometers north of Athens, as “the most unique neighborhood in […]

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Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid dead at 65

Zaha Hadid, the first female architect (and first Muslim) to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize, died yesterday in a Miami hospital after suffering a heart attack while being treated for bronchitis. The Iraqi-born mathematician and architect whose designs were both celebrated and divisive, was 65 years old.

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When it comes to water cooperation, where is the Middle East?

United Nations-sponsored World Water Day was celebrated this week in a series of events around the world ranging from races to speeches to demonstrations of how individuals could conserve consumption of this most-critical of natural resources. To mark the occasion, two experts in international water policy have co-authored an Op-Ed exploring the future of water, […]

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If Jordan waives visa fees, will tourists come?

Jordan will waive its 40 dinar ($57) visa fee for incoming tourists to make visits to Jordan “more convenient and affordable for people of all nationalities,” according to a government press release. The action aims to boost tourism to kingdom attractions such as Petra, Pella, and the protected area of Wadi Rum. It’s just one of several new initiatives to reinvigorate Jordan’s […]

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Ikea rolls out 10,000 flat-pack refugee shelters

IKEA and UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) emerged from two years of research with a prototype shelter suitable for refugee families anywhere.  It features an innovative roof that reflects 70% of the sun’s rays during the day yet retains heat during the night, and it’s fitted with solar panels that power an […]

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Today is a once-in-a-century Pi Day!

Today is Pi Day.  Celebrated around the world every March 14th (3/14), the day focuses on the mathematical symbol that represents the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, approximated as 3.14159. This year’s Pi Day is a once-in-a-lifetime event; it will be 100 years until we experience 3/14/15 9:26:53 again – that’s pi to […]

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Jordan’s special refugees: giving back to others

Collateral Repair Project (CRP) is a scrappy nonprofit in Amman, Jordan that brings critical help to people commonly referred to as “collateral damage” – urban refugees, victims of war and conflict, and those on the lowest rung of the local economic ladder. Read on to learn how a group of Amman’s most marginalized women are giving back to […]

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Jonah’s tomb in Iraq blown up by ISIS

Every year Jewish people read the Book of Jonah from the Old Testament during the Yom Kippur holiday – that was this past Saturday, and Jonah came to my mind when I was writing about the holiest day of the year for the Jews. Jonah is my favorite biblical story, I was saddened to learn that […]

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Be a humanitarian superhero: park politics

Israel and Hamas agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire in Gaza yesterday, a brief respite from the escalating violence that is testing the capabilities of relief agencies already strained by four years of Syrian war and renewed battles in Iraq.  It’s a half day opportunity to park politics and take humanitarian action. Want to make a difference? Jump into […]

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Dubai launches new Space Agency: Muslims on Mars!

The Middle East joins the race to space with a new program which will launch a research probe to MARS in the next seven years. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai) announced establishment of a UAE Space Agency.