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Spice up your summer the ancient Yemeni way!

Pardon me, but you you pass the green s’chüg? I’m fresh from brunch with friends newly returned from Jaffa,  a feast formed from foods not easily found in my Brooklyn neighborhood. Hidden among the Challah bread french toast, steaming shakshuka (egg and pepper delection that’s my go-to Jerusalem breakfast), imported tahini, and home-cured olives, was […]

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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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Climate change could make coffee extinct by 2080

The sun may be setting on a popular morning brew. According to a new report issued by the Climate Institute, global warming will underpin an estimated 50 percent drop in coffee production by 2050. Bad news for coffee lovers, but catastrophic for the 120 million people in dozens of mostly developing nations who depend on […]

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Yemen: More Than Its Current Events (PHOTOS)

Spectacular images of the Republic of Yemen have captured its vibrant and unique culture, pristine wilderness, and well-preserved antiquities, but don’t get too excited about traveling there soon. International security controls have choked tourist access, so Sanaa joins Damascus, Gaza and Baghdad as another fascinating place I’ll not get to visit despite my relative proximity living here […]

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Monumental portraits of the world’s oldest trees (PHOTOS)

Photographer Beth Moon spent 14 years traveling to almost every continent taking pictures of the world’s oldest trees. Sixty of the resulting photos – printed with luminous results using a labor-intensive platinum/palladium process  – form her book Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time (Abbeville Press).  It’s a stunning record of nature’s majesty.

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Eatwith, The Airbnb for Foodies

There’s a new business afloat that links people to people for the purpose of sharing authentic local dining experiences.  I found EatWith.com a month too late for this summer’s vacation, but there’s always next time. I’m fresh back from a few weeks in Europe, a family reunion through Paris and Venice and Rome that doubled […]

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MENA Mayors Put Heads Together to Build Stronger Cities

Middle East city heads want to make their cities more sustainable. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is 60 percent urbanized compared to the global average of 52 percent and is home to one of the world’s most rapidly expanding populations. By 2030, a 45 percent increase of MENA’s urban population will add […]

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With Swordsmen in Short Supply, Saudi Considers A Greener Execution Solution

Can executions be green? Laurie answers this tongue in cheek. Tardy executioners have prompted Saudi Arabia to re-evaluate their centuries-old practice of public beheadings.The use of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia is based on a hardline interpretation of Sharia (Islamic) law. The practice attracts international scorn because of the wide array of crimes which garner […]

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Export Oil, Import Water = Risky Economics for Middle East

Water scarcity has already become a fact of daily life for Egyptians The world’s driest region, the Middle East* and North Africa (MENA), is getting drier at an alarming rate. And yet, despite massive population growth (the Middle East’s population grew 61 percent from 1990 to 2010 to 205 million people) predictions of so-called “water […]

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Driving in Desert Fog – A Survival Guide

Got the Foggiest Notion How to Drive in Desert Fog?  Camel caravans and soaring sand dunes demand backdrops of sun-bleached skies (or star-strewn heavens).  But what happens when the fog rolls in? Dense fog is a key feature of a desert environment, a natural result of rapid temperature swings.  Topography also plays a role in fog […]

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Swine Flu Death Toll in Middle East Region

Are you at risk? Get swine flu updates for the PA, Israel, Yemen, Iraq, Tunisia and Jordan. Health officials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) are calling on residents to get vaccinated against the H1N1 virus (“swine flu”) after 25 deaths in recent weeks.Over 700 infections of H1N1 have been reported in the West Bank […]

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Fight Crime By Getting the Lead Out

Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Myanmar and Yemen are still using leaded gasoline and many others have lead contaminated plumbing, soil, paint and household products. How can we reduce the world’s crime rate, particularly the rate of violent crime?  When the crime rate rises or a horrific crime takes place, people are quick to find blame […]