Springtime in Paris Means Khamsin Sandstorms in Amman

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Springtime in Jordan brings ferocious sandstorms and a nose-clogging meteorological phenom called “khamsin”. Grab your Michael Jackson face masks and the decongestant of your choice, close the windows tight and stockpile tissues.  The dry, dusty winds of khamsin are blowing across the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa and right into your sinus canals. That image […]

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Refugee architecture earns an exhibit in a NYC museum

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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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Suntan around these badass solar palm trees in… Dubai!

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Following Israel’s smart solar trees, the Dubai Municipality is rolling out a series of “community tech hubs” based on 3D printed palm trees that collect solar power. The stations are also where users can recharge their phones, tablets and laptops, enjoy free WiFi, and check in on local weather and news. The Smart Palm initiative aligns with […]

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Amman Jordan’s approach to pollution is upside-down

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The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) this week announced expansion of its “tidy-roofs” campaign, which kicked off last June to tackle residential buildings deemed unsightly by city officials. Back then, Raed Haddadin, director of GAM’s building control department, told the Jordan Times that the goal was to make the buildings “look more beautiful than before”.  Good news for people […]

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New Rotating, Vertigo-Inducing Dubai Tower Back on Track

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Dubai’s record-breaking skyline is the stuff of imagination bolstered by immense wealth, a powerful combination that mostly results in epic fail architecture. A new rotating skyscraper is in planning stage, an investment in gimmickry over game-changing sustainability, moving this city a step closer to its looming 22nd Century reality as the world’s best bad building […]

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A Dustier Planet, Your Dustier Lungs

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Earth’s dust storms and sand storms are becoming more frequent. How does that affect your health? Here in the Middle East, powerful hot winds sometimes drop fine yellowish sand  down from the sky, coating the skin and lips irritatingly and making it hard to see across the street. It’s the lashing tail of giant storms […]

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