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Sufis Are Islam’s Eco Guardians

“Defenders of the environment,” Shireen Qudosi explores the “green” beliefs of Islam’s Sufis. Sufism is the undiscovered sect within Islam known only through its most famous disciple, the 13th century philosopher poet Rumi whose work reflected strong themes pairing nature and spirituality.  Sufis, “heirs of a mystical ancient tradition”, helped propagate the faith to the height of […]

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Bustan's Mud Huts With Plasma Screens

Israeli Bedouin go back to the green roots they’ve always had. Sometimes, when an irresistible force meets an immovable object – like when the government decides to go through with a development plan in a certain area, despite the objections of local residents – you get a “big bang.” But in Israel’s Negev desert, an […]

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Kuwait Marine Life Degrading to Alarming Levels

(Bechtel International, Persian Gulf (Arabian Gulf), Oil Drill-head; about 1950. Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.) They say the world is a global village. If so, and if the environment is a global concern, more emphasis needs to be put on helping countries like Kuwait where their marine life, its atmosphere and soil levels, according to the […]

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Vegan Pesto Recipe Makes Use of Basil Bonanza

Basil grows like a weed. That’s my conclusion after planting a sprig of it 4 months ago. It’s late summer, early fall now here in Jaffa, Israel, and the basil (or basilicum as locals call it) is ripe for the picking. But how many leaves of basil can you garnish your salad with? Or eat […]

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Cell Phone Towers and the NIMBY Syndrome

We’ve all seen them – those tall, ugly masts holding any number of cellular transmitter/receivers. Without them we wouldn’t have the modern convenience of the cell, or mobile, phone in Israel or the rest of the Middle East. Are these cell phone towers simply eye-sores, or cause for real concern? Are the NIMBY’S – Not […]

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Turkey Rivals Iran as Pomegranate Powerhouse

Although Iran holds the world title for pomegranates, runner-up Turkey is expecting a bumper crop this year that could propel it into the top spot. The Hurriyet Daily News reports that as world demand for pomegranates rises, Turkey has converted field after field of relatively unprofitable cotton over to the crowned red fruit that features […]

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Father of "Green Revolution" Leaves Behind Big Questions

Plant pathologist Norman Borlaug, 95, died this Saturday, raising questions about the legacy of industrial food in the Third World. In 1970, Borlaug received a Nobel Peace Prize for averting famine through bringing fertilizers, pesticides and new plant strains to countries like India, Mexico and Pakistan. But environmentalists argue that his plant engineering only delayed […]

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A Miserable Walk Through Amman

According to the blog 360East, Amman is about to adopt a Bus Rapit Transit system and make plans for installing light rail, two important steps to break Amman’s 30-year love affair with the private car. Having lived in Amman in summer 2006, I can attest that buses are a mess. They are very cheap but […]