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Dress made from a refugee tent steals London fashion show

British designer and humanitarian Helen Storey believes that fashion is an excellent vehicle to connect people to ­difficult subject matters. Last week, she sent a dress crafted from a former refugee tent down the runway at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in Knightsbridge. It captured everyone’s attention, and put a spotlight on climate change and its human impact.

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Oldest Known Bread Discovered In Jordan

Fancy some fresh bread, right out of the fire pit? It was fresh…14,400 years ago. Until recently, it was thought that the earliest bread, discovered in the 9,500-year-old settlement of Çatalhöyük, Turkey, was the product of Neolithic grain farming. But charred crumbs discovered in northeast Jordan reveal that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in this region ate bread […]

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The weird backstory to Daylight Savings Time

Set a reminder to set back your clocks this weekend, as we welcome back (for the hundredth time) Daylight Savings Time. This biannual tradition, established in 1918 America, sees much of the world get robbed of an hour sleep as clocks spring forward at 1 AM on Sunday, all to give us an extra hour […]

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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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Israeli and Jordanian startups shine at Mobile World Congress 2018

The Middle East was in the house at  this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), one of the largest startup gatherings on the planet, showcasing intelligent technologies and human ingenuity that are transforming every business and every process. Sponsored by PC Magazine, and held February 26 through March 1 in Barcelona, MWC pop-up pavilions housed innovations from around the […]

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Swap Society offers treasures, diverts trash

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 […]

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Purposely destroyed artwork keeps dozens of refugees warm

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.

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6 simple, pain-free ways to ditch plastics

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 […]

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Swimmers risk death to save the Dead Sea

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 […]

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Refugee architecture earns an exhibit in a NYC museum

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 […]

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Is this staple salad Moroccan or Turkish or Sephardic? Any way you chop it, it’s divine.

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 […]

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Amman Design Week spotlights Jordanian creativity

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 […]

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Jordanian-born chef cooks with pot. Yup, THAT pot.

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. 

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Beirut architect designs bulletproof Kevlar keffiyeh

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 […]

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Jordan hydroponics supported by USAID

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 […]