Syria’s Master Plan for Renewable Energy

Wind farms, like this one in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, may soon be common in Syria. About 90 percent of Syria’s electric power comes from thermal power plants fueled by heavy fuel oil and natural gas; and the country is now looking into using forms of renewable energy to provide its increasing need for energy. […]

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Cambridge to Build Europe’s First Eco-Mosque

Architect Marks Barfield is to design a £13 million “eco” mosque on a 0.4 hectare brownfield site in Cambridge. England’s historic city of Cambridge, with its world-famous university and idyllic countryside, will soon count a mosque amidst its stunning skyline of spires. But this isn’t just any old mosque. In fact it is the first-purpose […]

More Whale Fossils in The Egyptian Desert

Wait, what?  Whales in the desert? Fossils of earliest suborder of now extinct whale sheds new light on evolution. Even though human population expansion and over-exploitation of natural resources has accelerated the rate at which climatic change wreaks havoc, nature has always been in flux. Few things drive this concept home more concretely than a […]

Political Geographers Discuss Borders and Conflict

“Borders, Territory and Conflict in a Globalizing World” was the theme at a conference held in Israel.  Experts deliberated on ethnicity, power relations and technology. Dr. Gotlieb emphasizes that such issues  must be linked to the environment. The conference engaged specialists from Europe, the US, India, Canada, Russia, Israel and elsewhere on a variety of […]

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What Tagged Hawksbill Turtles From Qatar Tell Us

When you’re stuck in the middle of a crowded, noisy city like Cairo, where waste piles up on the side of the street, and you can’t manage to peel back what you hope is a mirage of decrepit buildings to reveal the  earth below, let the hawksbill turtle inspire you. Undisturbed by light pollution from […]

Sharing Eco-Friendly Construction Techniques is So’Eco

Social housing can be eco-friendly too, in Syria, Lebanon, and Tunisia [image courtesy of seir+seir] Syria says no to plastic bags, Lebanon is pushing for more sustainable transportation, and Tunisia makes good shakshuka. But what do these three countries have in common? They are all participating in the So’Eco program under the auspices of the […]

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From Cairo to Alexandria – tourists trample the White Desert

Prior to the installation of an asphalt highway connecting the once peaceful region of Bahariya to Cairo, the oasis was mostly hidden from the greater world. Then archaeologists re-discovered the Valley of the Golden Mummies and tourism in Egypt soared, generating valuable income for the local community. However, the influx also comes with a considerable environmental cost.

The Best Baba Ghanoush Recipe in the World

Baba ganoush, baba ghannouj or baba ghannoug (Arabic بابا غنوج ) is an Arab dish of eggplant (aubergine) mashed and mixed with various seasonings. It’s one of the best flavors the Middle East has to offer. Scientists say after seven or so years your body’s bones and organs regenerate, meaning most of us are a […]

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Making Innovation Matter in Water's Terms

Ambika, a research analyst who specializes on Middle East environment issues including conflict and water, reports on her trip to Sweden, where she finds grassroots solutions like the Peepoo Bag –  ones that could impact the developing world. Along the banks of the beautiful Lake Siljan, in the idyllic town of Leksand, Sweden, over 1600 […]

Smokers Decompose Slower Than Non-Smokers

“Smoked pigs” decompose slower than those that don’t smoke. (They were actually injected with nicotine). With smoking rampant in the Middle East, and rates in children increasing all the time, a new CSI study, using pigs of all creatures has found that those injected with nicotine decompose slower than those pigs which weren’t injected, reports […]

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Dubai Properties Faces $7.3 Million Lawsuit

Who to believe? That Dubai properties hasn’t paid or that Hopkins Architects reneged on their agreement? There are different species of architectural firms operating in the feeding frenzy that is Dubai. Some, such as Foster&Partners, are contributing to the country’s environmental malaise, while others, such as Studied Impact, are trying a bit harder to reduce […]

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GE Ecomagination Centre in Masdar City

Abu Dhabi’s oil wealth funds energy infrastructure transformation with General Electric at the helm. In 2005, a light bulb went off for GE, which pledged to spend $1.5 billion on alternative technology by 2010.  Their Ecomagination department eclipsed that goal in 2009 and has recently committed a further $10billion to the cause. Masdar City in […]

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Can a Male Birth Control Pill Save the Environment?

A birth control for men is in the works. It complies with strict religious traditions in Judaism, and it could control population growth in the Middle East and developing nations. Most western environmentalists would agree that population control is one of the most important measures humanity can take to stop the over-consumption of Earth’s limited […]

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Bahrain Fishermen Plea for Help With Their Catch

A Bahraini dhow in drydock. No fish. Maybe it’s time to go back to racing camels? It’s not just dumping construction wastes in the Persian Gulf that’s killing delicate coral formations these days. Now, the Sheikdom’s fishermen are complaining that their catches are much lower than expected. Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News says the fishing industry has collapsed. And […]

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Studied Impact's Power Plant Fit For Living

Sun, wind and solar updraft, could this skyscraper be the world’s first dual power plant and residential building? It’s not easy to shine in Dubai, where architecture and design have captured all the world’s firsts:  the tallest skyscraper, the largest collection of artificial islands – so large they are said to be seen from space. […]

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Mercer’s Oman Eco-City Ranking Suspect

Can a city relying on oil revenue and desalination really be labeled “eco”? (Image by dislona via flickr) At first, we felt a surge of pride to learn that Muscat, Oman, is the only Middle Eastern city on Mercer’s top 50 eco-city ranking. It ranks 48, just behind Glasgow, but ahead of Frankfurt. We were […]

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Sheikha Mai Saves Bahrain's Architectural Heritage

After her grandfather’s house was demolished, Sheikha Mai committed to preserving Bahrain’s venerable places Image by dunsky via flickr Though most of our architectural news depicts ongoing developments (like in Bahrain), the BBC series giving prominence to “heritage heroes” preserving more venerable developments, marinated in history, has steered our green news reel in a different […]

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Mining Afghanistan’s Mineral Discoveries Similar to Avatar

Afghanistan is not Pandora, but the tribal exploitation concept is similar Maurice argues. Now that American forces in Afghanistan are commemorating the longest period of any war that America has been involved in, including the 1965-73 Vietnam War, the recent discoveries of large and extremely valuable mineral and metal deposits may finally bring to light […]