Breastfeeding baby in Hijab

Breastfeeding a baby is not only good for the baby, but can go a long way to “greening” Islam. If you are breastfeeding a baby, some Muslim American bloggers recommend buying a special coverup. Here in the Middle East, modesty among religious Christians, Moslems, and Jews is often associated with inhibitions about nursing in public. […]

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RECIPE: Soothing, Sensual Rosewater

The fragrance of roses is a Middle Eastern favorite for pastries and delights. This old-fashioned recipe shows how to make it yourself. Photo by Marlis1 via Flickr. In the Middle East, rose water scents pastries like Ma’amoul cookies, puddings, and clothes. It comes in tiny glass bottles if it’s concentrated, and in larger plastic bottles […]

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BBC Series Celebrates UNESCO "Heritage Heroes"

Finally environmental and cultural preservers, not destroyers, receive recognition [image by Brood_wich via flickr] UNESCO has ordained 890 world heritage sites around the world, one-third of which belong in the Middle East.  While admiring Seville, Spain during a trip roughly two years ago, HRH Sultan Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, from the country that is […]

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Tafline Laylin: From Tour Guide To Green Prophet

Loving wild places gives us the impetus to protect them Before I started writing about green building and eco-tourism in Israel and the Middle East, I was a tour guide in North America.  For three years I taught foreigners about camping, ecology, geography, and history in National Parks throughout the lower 48, Alaska, and Canada.  […]

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Jordan Society for Renewable Energy's Eco-House Education

JRES plans to make learning about renewable energy a reality for all citizens Though not everyone in Jordan has an eco-conscience, such as the local thieves who are scheming ways to divert water, the country’s conferences and other initiatives suggest that the environmental movement is finally gaining ground.  And the Jordanian Society for Renewable Energy […]

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Dumping by Construction Crews Killing Bahrain Coral

A death trap for corals: Is Abu Dhabi’s Bu Tinah island atoll next in line for dumping? We have heard this issue before: corals are being killed from human caused environmental damage. We’ve heard this in a lot of places, especially in the areas like the Persian Gulf; where large scale construction projects in Dubai, […]

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Linum Systems Makes Cool from the Heat of the Sun

Air conditioning powered by the sun, which bypasses the electricity grid? Perfect for the Middle East. It’s perfectly logical: When the thermostat rises on scorching hot days, the air conditioners kick in, causing a massive electricity surge that strains the grid. Summer blackouts and brownouts are already occurring in the US and in the Middle […]

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Honey Is Bittersweet In The Middle East

The Honey Council, Hive Thievery and Bee Ecology education in Arabic:  In Israel and Lebanon, honey is both a problem and a solution. Image via orinrobertjohn Archeologists have uncovered beehives in northern Israel that date back 3 000 years.  A courtyard in the  ancient city of Rehov was home to bees producing honey in at least […]

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Pumping $30 Million Into Cycling Tourist's Pedals

In 2008, the Israeli government announced a 20 million shekel (around $6 million US) plan to revamp cycling tourism. Upping the ante, the government wants to put about $30 million into making Israel a cycling destination hotspot. Cycling tourism is worth billions of dollars in Europe, where lodges and facilities are set up for the […]

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Gas Line Excavation Unearths 3,500 Year Old Cultic Vessels

Archeology is green: The Israel Antiquities Authority and archaeologists celebrate rare find of more than 100 intact vessels While conducting a standard excavation to prepare for Israel National Gas Lines Company’s northern gas line installation, the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered a “bottomless pit” of intact cultic vessels.  Layers of vessels that have been preserved for […]

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Mr. Robert Upton's Philosophy of Planning and How It Applies to the Middle East

“How Do We Want to Live?” asks England’s Former Secretary-General of the Royal Town Planning Institute Robert Upton at an urban planning conference in Israel. Whereas Colombian planner Oscar Diaz (who we interviewed) was practical and sited specific planning examples at the recent anniversary conference at the Technion-Israel’s Institute of Technology,  England’s planner Mr. Robert Upton’s […]

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Do You WANA Green The Middle East? A Forum Report from Jordan

WANA, a North Africa and West Asia forum recently convened in Jordan to discuss the environment, a green economy, sustainable development and the revival of Hima, an Islamic environmental conservation practice. The West Asia – North Africa WANA Forum is a long-term initiative that brings together decision-makers, civil society orgs, religious leaders, researchers, business owners, […]

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Planning the Sustainable City: Lessons from Bogota, Colombia

Mr. Oscar Diaz Inspires Israeli Planners to Build For People, Not Cars. We promised to bring more news from the Technion-Israel’s Institute of Technology, where the Center for Urban and Regional Studies’ 40th anniversary conference was held yesterday, 3rd June 2010.  After brief greetings from representatives of The Center for Urban & Regional Studies, the […]

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The Center For Urban & Regional Studies 40th Anniversary Conference

Oscar Edmundo Diaz and Robert Upton Are Expected to Share Urban Planning Pearls With Israel [image via Technion-Israel Institute of Technology] Before globalization,  ideas and technology ambled across the oceans and progress piddled along.  Now cooperation happens in seconds.  Microseconds even.  And though not all ideas are equally useful,  there’s no question that when great […]

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Take Your Team To Lebanon's Ecovillage

Get Your Green On in The Dmit Valley Ecovillages are slowly sprouting in the Middle East.  There’s Kramim in Israel’s Negev Desert, as well as the well-known Kibbutz Lotan, and now the first of its kind in Lebanon.  Called simply EcoVillage, this project was grown from the ground by Karim al Khatib and a group […]

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Gat, The Middle-East’s Bad Habit

Miriam interviews store owners who sell legally addictive substances: soft drinks, cigarettes, junk snacks  – and Gat. Some folks chew gum. A lot of Israelis chew seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, watermelon seeds. Some people put a plug of tobacco into their cheek and chew away, only pausing to spit once in a while. But for maximum chewing […]

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Ginger Dosier: When Architecture and Chemistry Mix

Dosier’s fearlessness of the science of construction sets her apart from her peers [image courtesy of flickr] We were so intrigued by Professor Ginger Dosier, the Architect at Sharjah University who grows bricks by combining sand, common bacteria, calcium chloride and urea, that we decided to dig deeper.  Some architects, like those at Geotectura, develop mindbending […]

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UAE Prof. Ginger Dosier Grows Sand Bricks, Naturally

The Better Brick? Although kinks need to be worked out, applying microbiological principles to design could revolutionize building materials. This researcher says she’s found a way to “grow” bricks from sand and urine. Finally! Suzanne LaBarre of Metropolitanmag.com brings us a design worth writing home about. In the same tradition as Hassan Fathy and architects […]