In the wake of the 2016 American presidential election, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) observed an unusual and muscular increase in online political action by people concerned about conservation and the environment. Especially noteworthy is an uptick in financial support to environmental NGOs by citizens willing to back their beliefs with cash.
Clothing swap and resale businesses allow you to shed formerly favorite clothes and accessories and – in exchange – refill your wardrobe with affordable “new” treasures. They offer an environmentally responsible alternative to dumping old duds into a charity box or trash can. Want to change up your wardrobe without damaging your wallet and the world? Check […]
I’m fresh back from a week in Iceland. Hard to enter a room these days and not have at least one other person claim the same; it’s the touristic destination du jour. A tiny nation where sheep outnumber people is bound to be an environmental nirvana. Go there for the Northern lights, active volcanoes and […]
A major Jordanian artwork showcased at the 2016 Amman Design Week was recently repurposed to provide basic human shelter for people in need. This afterlife was intentionally designed into the piece, an artistic application of “cradle-to-cradle” practices. The project raises awareness about conscious design and the positive impact of handcrafts within local communities.
I just met a pair of young Swedes, newcomers to Amman who were quickly appalled by the piles of plastics lining our city streets. They stitched up simple bags from mesh netting that they take to local markets, insisting on using their lightweight, reusable alternative in place of plastic produce sacks. Until the rest of […]
In two weeks, a team of international athletes will attempt a world first by swimming across the Dead Sea, one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth, at the planet’s lowest point. The sea, which is technically a lake, resonates with deep historical and spiritual significance that partners perfectly with environmental activism. This risky swim […]
New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is hosting an exhibition on refugee shelters to kickstart dialogue on the design challenges caused by humanitarian crises. Entitled “Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter”, the show looks at emergency housing in contemporary crisis zones. It is the first time a major museum has explored the plight of the […]
Tomatoes are full of lycopene, the cancer-busting carotenoid responsible for the reddish colorations in vegetables and fruits. Red peppers are packed with phytochemicals and beta-carotene, which flood your system with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Meet a delicious concoction that combines both in an ancient Middle Eastern recipe with decidedly modern health benefits. Science says the sense […]
France has passed a new law that bans cups, cutlery, plates, and takeaway containers made from plastic. It’s The part of the nation’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, which will also carry out a ban on plastic bags in grocery shops and markets beginning in July. The law comes into effect in 2020. French President […]
Three public spaces in downtown Amman have been temporarily re-purposed as platforms to promote contemporary design from Jordan and the wider region. This is Amman Design Week, a first-time consolidation of the kingdom’s artistic capabilities, established and emerging, and the excellent choreography of its exhibits rivals that in any world-class city. Supported by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al […]
Dip a dowdy dress into one of the world’s saltiest lakes and see what happens. Artist Sigalit Landau did, and ended up growing a crystalline gown straight out of Frozen. Take a look at these images. It’s unlikely you can “Let it go”.
Legalization of recreational marijuana in American states is on the upswing, spurring entrepreneurs to devise new ways to use the flowering psychoactive herb as an ingredient in retail food products. California-based chef Christopher Sayegh is taking Arab haute cuisine even higher, cooking up traditional Middle Eastern fare infused with cannabis.
People are often defensive when it comes to headscarves, which have strong links to specific religious and cultural beliefs. Now a Beirut-based architect has designed a headwrap that uses defense as the justification for wearing it: this updated version of the classic Arab keffiyeh (allegedly) deflects bullets! Functional fashion takes a remarkable turn in the hands of […]
Growing crops without soil, otherwise known as hydroponic agriculture, is not a recent innovation. In fact, it can be traced back to ancient times and kingdoms like Babylonia, whose Hanging Gardens were said to have been created and nurtured by use of hydroponics. The modern day Middle East, especially water-deprived countries like Jordan and Syria, has […]
For five years a set of unfinished twin towers have stood watch over Amman, Jordan, construction halted – allegedly crippled by lawsuits. The filthy glass facades soar above a street-level footprint ringed by old hoarding, abandoned building material and trash. The empty skyscrapers stand in silent testimony to both the 2008 world financial crisis and […]
A recent study released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) concludes that the current drought that began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant – which includes Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey – is the region’s worst dry spell since 1100 C.E.
The weeks that girdled Christmas and New Year’s had me living like a fois gras goose, endlessly stuffed with food and drink as my family raced from Jordan to England to the US for clan-centric rituals ranging from a funeral to a birthday, with the usual winter holidays in between. I recently scanned the snapshots, […]
Earth Hour is upon us. It comes every year on Saturday 19 March, as the clock strikes 8:30 PM around the globe. It’s a worldwide movement that aims to unite the global community on a broad range of environmental issues, working on a grassroots level to enact mass behavioral change. Join the fun by turning off […]
Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day, scientists from Dublin and Belfast have evidence that stone age Irish settlers had genetic origins in the Middle East. Thank the Vikings for the DNA that gave rise to red hair and freckles, introduced when they invaded the island nation at the end of the eighth century. But […]
Green is sort of a buzzword nowadays. People will say they are going green (like Zaha Hadid), but are they as good as their word? Usually not. In the world of Middle Eastern architecture and engineering, rest assured that there are several who are fighting for green choices. Clients often see lots of green – […]
As the world awaits the release of the final draft agreement emerging from the COP21 climate talks – expected this morning – longtime expert in water policy, Dr. Sundeep Waslekar explores one specific aspect of climate change in the following article, providing clear insight into the future of water, not only as a critical resource for all […]
Each day, something terrible happens somewhere in this world. Families and communities are torn apart and thrown together in unfamiliar ways. Strangers who had found one another just barely tolerable become fellow humans, grieving needing and helping one another to survive. “My name is Sidra. I am 12 years old… I have lived here in […]
American media giant 20th Century Fox has teamed up with United Arab Emirates Al Ahli Holding Group to build a theme park in Dubai, set to open in 2018, that will feature attractions based on blockbuster movies such as “Aliens,” “Titanic,” “Ice Age” and “Planet of the Apes.” So the UAE builds another resource-guzzling folly for audiences […]
Imagine that you are a castaway on a dead planet. You only have provisions for a few days and you are absolutely alone. How would you survive? Andy Weir turned this question into his best-selling novel, The Martian. It is a tale of man versus Mars.
It’s raining cats and dogs in Amman, Jordan now, closing roads (flooded underpasses), some schools, and many offices. It’s the usual drill for a city ill-equipped for atypical weather. Now online transportation giant Uber is helping to “rain down more dogs” for a limited time today in what could be the world’s most adorable fundraiser.