Abu Dhabi’s New Market “The Souq” Harkens Us Back to Disco Days

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Everything old is new again in Abu Dhabi’s Central Market “The Souk” where developers are inspired by the emirate’s  not-so-distant past. Kinda crazy that the 1970’s can be viewed as olden times, but in the rapidly developing United Arab Emirates, thirty years represent radical transformation. Nestled in the base of the Emirate’s new World Trade Center […]

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How Richard III Helps Green Burials

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Remains of Richard III as found under Leicester parking lot.  Multi-level burial may have prevented this from occurring Photo: Washington Post As human populations increase, finding greener ways to bury the dead are ranging from sea burials to more simple land burials such as those practiced by Jews and Muslims. Even more bizarre ways of disposing […]

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The Greenest Libraries Have No Walls

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Pity the paper book. Libraries everywhere are closing due to lack of funding and tepid public support, and e-readers are luring people away from bookstores. Big-box bookstores tried, but they couldn’t replicate town libraries: vital public spaces where inter-generational interaction can freely occur between all economic strata. There are occasional glimmers of change. Last October, […]

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Hydropolis Aims to Restore the Nile Valley’s Natural Agricultural Rhythm

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Just about everyone learned in their early geography classes that the Nile Valley was once a fertile haven. Crops proliferated on the green banks due to natural flooding that deposited rich nutrients, although occasionally these floods inundated and destroyed crops as well, and the land of the Pharaohs was a mecca for agriculture. But when […]

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A Forest of Umbrellas Keeps Medina Pilgrims Cool

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Today’s pilgrims to Medina are way cooler than their predecessors thanks to sun shelters surrounding Islam’s second-holiest mosque. Al-Masjid al-Nabawī,  the second mosque built by the Prophet Mohammed, is one of the world’s largest. But continual expansion over the centuries hasn’t kept pace with the increasing swell of Hajj pilgrims who congregate each year in its courtyards. […]

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Guilhem Eustache’s Magical Home is Made With Traditional Moroccan Materials

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While many architects look to concrete as a cheap building material, Guilhem Eustache chose natural materials used by local Berbers for hundreds of years. Looks good, don’t you think? Morocco is a magical country full of exotic scents, argan oil, eco-Kasbahs, and challenging mountain trails, but capturing this essence in a building is no easy […]

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Jenin Playground to Get Green Makeover

German-Palestinian society NIJMAH is working on renovating a kid’s playground using natural materials and setting up a permaculture garden Permaculture may be new to the Middle East but with Jordan hosting the recent permaculture world conference and various organic farms sprouting up, the region is slowly catching up. In Palestine, there is already a permaculture […]

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Greening The Refugee Camps of Lebanon

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Nina Rahal-Lott, is a trained architect who wants to transform the Badawi refugee camp in Lebanon from an ‘environmental catastrophe’ into a green haven Born and raised in Beirut and trained as an architect, Nina Rahal-Lott is a women with a vision. After witnessing the dire conditions that Palestinian refugees live in across Lebanon, she […]

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Egypt Starts Over With Two New Cairos

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Two city extensions East and West of Cairo are each expected to accommodate 2.5 million people  within the next 10 years. Cairo feels and looks like an apocalypse zone. When I last traveled through the city, small children huddled in dirty doorways, a bloody-faced man groveled on the ground looking for money, and trash piled […]

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Saudi Adds A Splash Of Green To Royal Weddings

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Green is the new gold: Saudi solicits sustainable designs for its Royal Wedding Hall. Known worldwide for their obscene oil wealth, Saudi Arabia has invited international architects to submit sustainable designs for Riyadh’s new royal wedding celebration hall. The brief calls for a regal building that props up the country’s historic legacy without creating a […]

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Egypt May Survive Climate Change Thanks to AUC Students

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This beautiful solar-powered home could usher in Egypt’s period of healing, sustainably. Last year when I visited Egypt, it felt heavy. For three decades, Mubarak’s forces succeeded to subdue the once innovative Egyptian people. But in his absence, a palpable sense of hopefulness has returned. While many challenges remain, including rising temperatures, pollution, and insufficient energy […]

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