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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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Water, Wars and an Uncertain Future

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 […]

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Free training for Levantine green entrepreneurs

Are you a green entrepreneur? Need to grow a business model that creates environmental and social value? Want to launch your new green service or product but don’t  know where to begin? A new entrepreneurship program is seeking participants from Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan for their November training event. It’s free – but you need […]

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Massive sandstorm swallows Amman’s airport!

A massive sandstorm swooped down on Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan today – a small part of an extreme weather pattern descending on the region. Strong winds sent desert sand airborne, darkening skies across the kingdom and causing near blackout conditions in Jordan’s capital city. 

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Crime doesn’t pay! Israeli antiquity thief agrees.

Two 2,000-year-old sling stones were mysteriously dropped in the courtyard of the Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures (MINEC) in Be’er Sheva last week.  Also called “sling bullets”, this ancient ammunition dates back to Neotlithic times, famously used by David in his romp against Goliath. The bag packed with these particular stones included an anonymous note that read, “They […]

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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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Canada and USA sign on to rehabilitate the Jordan River

Mayors from 114 North American cities entered into an agreement to rehabilitate an endangered river halfway across the world.  Launched at the recent Water After Borders (WAB) summit in Chicago, the partnership brings expertise in transboundary water system management to the Jordan River, a waterbody long embroiled in regional politics.

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The surprising economic history of salt

Oil prices have fallen considerably over the past two years. But this isn’t the first time the price of a core society resource has dropped so drastically. The economic history of salt is an interesting lesson for our time. Middle Eastern countries spend millions of dollars and consume more than one hundred million kilowatt-hours of […]

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Students make AMENDS for a better Middle East

The American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at California’s Stanford University (AMENDS) is a student-led initiative that enables young change agents from across the Middle East, North Africa, and United States to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and, through Ted-style talks, broadcast their experiences and learn from each other. This is a story about a platform for […]

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Palestinian rappers tackle MidEast sexism

“I am the dishes, the ironing, I am everything, I am nothing. But remind me: Who are you?” So plays the hook of a new feminist anthem released by the Palestinian rappers, DAM. The video for “Who You Are” plays on sexist attitudes by having men and women switch domestic roles typical in the Middle East, but also familiar […]

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Israel and Jordan sign deal to save the Dead Sea

Israel and Jordan have signed a historic deal to press ahead with a plan to save the Dead Sea. The ‘Red-Dead’ project will build a plant near the Jordanian tourist resort of Aqaba that will desalinate water to be shared by Israelis and Palestinians. The brine left over from the desalination process will be channeled […]

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NASA sees Mideast holiday lights from space

NASA scientists are using the Suomi NPP satellite to photograph the earth at night. They are studying natural phenomenon as well as light pollution. They found that manmade lights shine noticeably brighter during the holidays of Ramadan, Christmas and New Year. Some Middle Eastern cities shone more than 50% brighter during Ramadan. Find out how […]