British economist Milton Friedman once warned that if you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years you’d have a shortage of sand. Whether governments or free markets are to blame, it is possible to deplete abundant resources such as Irish rain. Now thanks to global obsessions with concrete icons, fracking […]
Don’t have a garden? You can still own a fruiting olive tree, grown in a container. A sunny balcony and the right climate are the essential things; that, and time.
The Middle East, in spite of unusual indoor places like Ski Dubai is not exactly on the main track of international ski sites and resorts like Cortina in Italy or Aspen. But the Middle East has some stunning and relatively unknown locations worth hitting. Ever think about skiing Iran? Or sliding down slopes in Lebanon?
Looking for some good reads about the environment and the Middle East? Then click yourself into the University of California Press (UCP) e-books collection (link here) offering free access to hundreds of books published by UCP and other academic presses.
When authorities discovered a lab full of marijuana plants in a bomb shelter beneath an all girls Orthodox Jewish school south of Tel Aviv, they proposed that outsiders must be responsible – because Haredim girls would never smoke pot, right?
A Few Brave People by Turkish director Rüya Arzu Köksal won the Golden Deer Award for Best Feature Film at the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Environmental Film Festival (ADIEFF) last Thursday night. Recognized alongside five other nature-themed films at the closing green carpet ceremony, the documentary highlights the challenges faced by people living in Çağlayan, İkizdere and Senoz in the Black […]
A couple of years ago in Dubai we interviewed the Green Sheikh – a beloved figure in the United Arab Emirates who is a devoted father and husband, hyper productive activist, and a faith leader. Plus he is smart- PhD smart. Referencing the many expatriates living (and generating wealth) in the country, he said something […]
Where in the world can you drink as much coffee as you like for less than $50 a month? In Tel Aviv, Israel, it turns out. CupsTelAviv has convinced 40 independent businesses in what is arguably the country’s most caffeinated city to allow members of their program to drink as many cups of coffee as […]
On a man-made Abu Dhabi island, fake wind towers heat homes instead of cooling them. I recently photographed a new housing development on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. You can see it on Google Earth. The wind tower design originates from Persia. The earliest examples of wind towers, used for cooling houses, in the United Arab Emirates can […]
We are accustomed to writing about art and architecture that addresses environmental and social problems in the Middle East, but nothing as interesting as Larissa Sansour’s Nation Estate has crossed our desk before. Conceived in 2011 when Palestinian authorities appealed to the United Nations for nationhood status, the sci-fi short film and photographic series takes […]
Israel has set up a special task force to prepare for the possibility that a locust swarm may migrate from Egypt and destroy precious crops. Already some sources are saying that a small swarm of locusts has been spotted in the southern Gaza strip after millions of locusts descended upon various Cairo neighborhoods over the […]
According to experts, climate change and rising food insecurity are major contributors to the recent destabilization of Mali and southern Algeria Over the last couple of years, there has been a growing link between climate change and political issues in the Middle East. During the Arab Spring there was a real recognition that rising food […]
What a great way to start 2013: the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES) and the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) accredited Qatar University’s BSc and MSc Environmental Sciences programs. This is not only a first for the Arab world, but it is also the first time these leading institutions have accredited any such program […]
It’s nearly 2013 and I am grateful. After three years of traveling with a backpack through 14 countries in Africa and the Middle East, I am finally back home with my family in the United States. The time I spent abroad stretched my mind and broadened my heart, transformed long held stereotypes into a long […]
Egypt’s youth are an inspiring bunch. They have taken down a dictator, and withstood the subsequent uncertainty, but their hardest battle may come in convincing the country that the natural surroundings are worth saving. But they are not being deterred. A few dedicated environmentalists in the country gathered this month to continue to build the […]
There are still a few Iranian Asiatic cheetahs in the wild, but they too are on the brink of disappearing. Global cheetah populations have plummeted over the past century, from an estimated 100,000 cheetahs in 1900 to fewer than 10,000 today. And once upon a time, cheetahs roamed the deserts of Iran. But international scientific surveys recently […]
The Hula Valley Bird Park offers unique bird and nature-watching opportunities. We birdwatchers sat in a covered safari wagon as lines of cranes criss-crossed the evening sky. More and more cranes began to appear, and soon the air was full of powerful-looking birds calling in hoarse, creaking voices. Hundreds landed to roost in a field […]
This time of year marks one of Islam’s most sacred holidays, Eid al-Adha. The four-day holiday corresponds with the height of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which draws two million Muslim pilgrims a year. Eid began Friday and will end Monday, the last day of the Hajj. When traveling in Palestinian […]
Turkey is reforming its property laws according to Reuters. Among other changes, new laws will double the amount of land foreigners are allowed to buy in Turkey. Wealthy investors from Russia and the Middle East are taking a new interest in Istanbul. According to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index, Turkish property prices are […]
Even though Qatar is the world’s second fattest nation, it will host four international sporting events in the next decade, including the 2016 World Road Cycling Championship and the 2022 World Cup. With Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani at the helm, Qatar’s bid committee spent years fighting to host this prestigious cycling event for two […]
Ugandan eco-artist Ruganzu “Bruno” Tusingwire gave up art that is hung on walls in favor of doing work that actually makes a difference. Now that lofty ambition has received a substantial financial boost that will allow the 29-year-old to improve life for hundreds of children who live in the slums of Kampala. The first of […]
Made from fly ash, SmartPaint is a new environmentally-friendly paint that alert owners of building faults. This is one of three space-age eco paints that Laurie explores. Green Prophet’s brought you some of the technical advances that permit paint to act as a solar collector. Now in the news, it seems some super-paints can also […]
Going into the London Olympic games, Green Prophet covered issues affecting Arab athletes who planned to compete in the 26th modern Olympiad since the games were revived in Athens in 1896. These are also religious ones, such as whether Muslim athletes could be exempted from fasting on Ramadan, as well as the perennial one over […]
Egypt’s social protests deeply rooted in issues connected to environmental ones. It’s definitely a hot time in our world this summer: there are massive brush and forest fires in the American states of Colorado and South Dakota, there’s a full fledged civil war going on in Syria that has resulted in indigenous plant seeds being stored […]
An Israeli research team discovers a mechanism whereby even tiny seemingly insignificant chemical changes in a creature can affect the ecology of the earth. Snakes, spiders and creepy-crawly things that go bump in the night are the creatures of children’s nightmares. But who ever thought that the little critters might actually be scared of each […]