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Mediterranean oil spill cleaned by EU ambassadors

EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret was joined Friday morning by more than two dozen envoys from EU member states, including 10 ambassadors, at a large-scale beach clean-up operation at the Beit Yanai National Park near Netanya, Israel.  A suspicious and deadly bitumen oil spill appeared washing up on the Israeli and Lebanese coast a […]

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Iran’s devastated Lake Urmia wins recognition

Like Israel and Jordan’s Dead Sea, Iran has it’s own inland salty lake called Lake Urmia. Climate change and dam construction has caused its demise to about 10% of its of former glory. Local protestors who have dared called on the government to fix it have been tied up, beaten and tortured. One trusted source I […]

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Two decades of his life to the Oaks

Bust all stereotypes you might have of Iranians: A retired teacher in Kohgiluyeh and the Boyer Ahmad Province has planted over 10,000 oak tree saplings over a two-decade period. Mohammad Hossein Aria has devoted several years of his life to the protection and revival of forests, and believes that there is no room for famine or […]

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Un-Islamic critics want to veil “shameless” private parts of buildings in Iran

Islamic versus non-Islamic or simply Western style architecture is an issue in many parts of the Middle East where locals, kingdoms and sheikdoms refuse or steadfastly hold onto their identity. Look at the Arab Gulf States like Dubai where giant, glass fronted skyscrapers dominate the skyline. These futuristic structures are being called cheap and anonymous by prominent architects […]

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Iran dominates drug headlines in the Middle East

There is a growing concern that the free trade agreement between Iran and Turkey has encouraged an increase in the production and transit of drugs in the Middle East. Following the 2009 agreement to enhance co-operation efforts of land, air, and sea transportation, politicians and economic analysts have grown ever more concerned about the rising […]

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Hookah Pipe Dangers Exposed Yet Again

Smoking the hookah, nargilah or shisha pipe is a truly fun and social way to connect in the Middle East. It’s an oriental fantasy for newcomers and even for women in private circles who want to wind down and let loose. But one session can be like smoking 600 cigarettes! 

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Deadly Lake Natron Turns Animals into Ghostly Statues

The Middle East boasts some of the world’s saltiest waterbodies, but none approach the horror of Lake Natron in Tanzania, one of the harshest environments on the planet.  It’s hot, chalky waters can turn birds and land animals into calcified statues, spookily captured by photographer Nick Brandt in his new book, Across the Ravaged Land.

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4 Ways to Green Your Gold

Middle Easterners blessed with oil wealth love to flaunt their gold. Don’t be surprised to find gold bars sold at dispensing machine in Dubai or driving around Abu Dhabi as white gold Mercedes.  But there are ways to green your gold. Gold is not just a stable element on the periodic table, it is also used […]

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Iranian Snipers Take Aim at Tehran’s Giant Mutant Rats

It sounds like a sci-fi B movie, but the problem is real. Super-sized rats infesting Tehran are so huge that a special team of sharpshooters using night-vision-equipped rifles have been tasked with extermination. Rats have long plagued Iran, and the problem worsens when springtime arrives: melting mountain snows flood the critters’ nests, and millions are […]