Cities in Iran are some of the most polluted in the world. It’s estimated that 27 people a day die in Tehran from the low quality of air. Mohammad Bakhtiari, 25, from Arak decided he couldn’t take it anymore, and started car-free Tuesdays –- a day when he’s encouraging Iranians to find alternative ways to […]
Today on the streets of Jaffa, where I live, I saw for the first time in my life a woman in hijab (helmet on top) driving her motorbike in full throttle along Jerusalem Boulevard. She was too quick for me (on my peddle bike!) to take a photo. I was pretty proud of her, because […]
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 […]
Hey, it says ‘no man’, not ‘no alligator’ says this crocodilian creature caught on film by security at an Iranian gas production facility this month. It climbed onto a gas rig in Southern Iran, in search of food, say local personnel. It was led back to the swamp. Unlike in Canada, where police went crazy over […]
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 […]
Iranian architect Nader Khalili, founder of the California Earth and Architecture Institute and proponent of the- dare we say- revolutionary SuperAdobe building technique, would be proud. In the coming week from the 11th to the 14th of March 2015, l’Iran will inaugurate the first edition of “Regeneration of earthen architecture festival” which aims to promote earth […]
There’s been a revolution in Iran, and we’re not talking about the one that resulted in overthrowing the Shah in 1979! The latest one involves an Irish environmentalist and surfing champion, and her mission to bring the sport to Iran, and its women. When a young boy stood on the beach in a fishing village […]
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 […]
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 […]
Iran is most known in global news for its nuclear ambitions. But the country has resources for wind energy, the international renewable energy organization IRENA has announced. The NGO which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi has just released wind maps which show where Iranian winds blow.
Here in the Middle East, the mash-up between religious beliefs and human rights can be breathtakingly surreal. Take, as example, baffling contradictions within modern Iranian culture that rigidly restricts gender co-mingling, yet supports gender transitioning.
How relevant will OPEC be 10 years from now? Does the rapid expansion of new technologies like fracking threaten the future of eco-friendly energy alternatives such as wind and solar energy?
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!
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.
It doesn’t take a genius or a position paper to figure out that air pollution in cities and near industrial zones is toxic to human health. But now that it’s got an officially bad status with the United Nations, up there with asbestos and 100 other killer chemicals, maybe governments and cities will listen.
Eating vegan only has become so popular in Tel Aviv that a new NGO called Vegan Friendly are handing out certificates to restaurants who offer a vegan main course. Look for the sticker on the door.
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 […]
Head to the heart of any Middle Eastern city and find a vibrant commercial hub, usually in the shadow of a major mosque – the bazaar. An Iranian bazaar with incredible history (Marco Polo shopped there!) may now win the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
The online ‘zine Foreign Policy posted its “worst countries for journalism” with the Middle East grabbing three of the Top Ten slots. As we scour the media, we already see how this fares for environmental reporting which is practically non-existent in the Middle East.
Super-sized rats infesting Tehran are so huge that a special team of sharpshooters using night-vision-equipped rifles have been tasked with extermination. It sounds like a sci-fi B movie, but the problem is real. Rats have long plagued Iran, and the problem worsens when springtime arrives: melting mountain snows flood the critters’ nests, and millions are […]
In the book “Racing Alone”, Nader Khalili pursues his own revolution using fire, earth, air and water. In “Racing Alone”, the late Iranian earth architect Nader Khalili who died in 2008 recounts the years leading to the realization of his dream; building a dwelling that infuses Persian culture, history, art, and ingeniousness, and a structure […]
Available for only a short season, green favas are considered a delicacy in the Middle East. Springtime in the market (shuk), and lots of prime greens have made their once-yearly appearance. Fresh green peas and artichokes, which I love to eat stuffed. Fresh green garlic to hang up and dry for the year. And fresh […]
Sound the alarms? Where has Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq’s underground freshwater sea gone? NASA’s imaging technology recently brought some bad news about Mideast air pollution. Now NASA brings more bad news about the Mideast water supply. We already knew that the Dead Sea is shrinking. Some people are even trying to do something about […]
This traditional Persian pudding makes a great winter breakfast or a satisfying dessert. Eating sustainably connotes regional foods that are available locally and in season. Fair conditions for workers and careful use of natural resources are part of what makes foodways sustainable. To draw attention to what is sustainable in the Middle East, we’ve embarked […]
Sugar wax, sugaring or Persian waxing, whatever you want to call it there is an old, tried and true way to wax, naturally. Many beauty regimens do more harm than good as many products contain harsh chemicals including toxins, hormone disruptors and even pesticides! That’s why we have scouted out an ancient Arabic beauty regimen that does […]