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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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Springtime in Paris Means Khamsin Sandstorms in Amman

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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Blaming Iraq for Sandstorms that Cripple Iran

Sandstorms, like any kind of air pollution, know no borders. Last Wednesday a viscous sandstorm in Iran forced schools and government offices to close. The more extreme than usual storm grounded some flights, and sent a number of people to hospital as well. According to the AFP, the Iranian media is blaming countries west of […]

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Photo: Sandstorm Strikes Israel

I remember the day when it rolled in early in May, or hit us rather, like a wall. Sandstorms are common in Israel and the Middle East. This awesome force of nature is best witnessed by this aerial photo taken by Yonatan Zur. We wonder if these kind of events will increase with climate change? […]

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Essays on sand and rocks to inspire you

We’ve already heard the news from NASA that the Middle East will probably be uninhabitable in the next 50 years, thanks to climate change. At a recent conference in Tehran, Iran, participants were warned of an onslaught of Middle East sandstorms, expected to worsen as our world warms. “In the Middle East there has been a […]

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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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Amman Jordan’s approach to pollution is upside-down

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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Eole’s double-duty turbines wick water from wind

Pull free, safe drinking water straight from the sky! The earth’s atmosphere is a huge freshwater reserve, packed with 13,000 cubic kilometers of moisture, yet over 150 million of people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. Green Prophet has reported on billboards that harvest clean water from air. A company called Eole Water has taken the same concept and “built […]

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New Rotating, Vertigo-Inducing Dubai Tower Back on Track

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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Egypt’s Pyramid Builders Succumbed to Climate Change

Pollen and ash in Nile river delta sediment provides evidence of ancient climactic events including mega-droughts and wildfires which wiped out pyramid-building civilizations, says a study published in the recent July 2012 edition of Geology. They waited seventy days for her to reappear. Finally she came. For a moment just before sunrise, the bright star […]

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Jordan Struggles To Provide Water For Syrian Refugees

The 19-month conflict in Syria goes from bad to worse – and there are environmental impacts for the region too “The situation is bad and getting worse,” U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said today, lamenting the collapse of the truce he helped broker over the Eid al-Adha holiday. A car bomb which exploded near […]

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A Dustier Planet, Your Dustier Lungs

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 […]