Reconstructing Beirut by Demolishing its Identity

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Far from being Paris of the Middle East, traditional red tiled roof and sandstone houses suffocate inside the “other” vision of Beirut The Lebanese housing market is a bit of a strange phenomenon. A largely unregulated construction market coupled with grandiose projects from ambitious rich gulf state developers and Lebanese expatriates has created a surplus […]

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World’s First All-Women City Coming to Saudi Arabia

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The patriarchal kingdom of Saudi Arabia creates an all-female city where (the arguably better half) of humanity can work freely, within Islamic guidelines. Saudi Arabia has an increasingly educated female population, but its ultraconservative interpretation of Wahabi sharia law and rigid tribal customs forbid women from interacting with men. The upshot is chronic female unemployment. An […]

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Arab Towns Get Sewerage Upgrade in Israel

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A relief to the environment as Israel allots money to upgrade poorly services sewers in Arab towns. Last Wednesday, Israeli Energy and Water Resources Minister Uzi Landau announced the government is allocating NIS 355 million to improve the sewerage systems in Arab neighborhoods across Israel. In recent years, the neglected and dilapidated sewer infrastructures in […]

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Blatt Chaya Revives Traditional Floor Tile Making in Lebanon

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Edgard Chaya and his family bring back ancient tile making practices and Lebanese “neo-traditional” architecture After being handed over a case filled with 12 brass molds and stumbling upon a jumble of colored tile fragments and exposed patterns in his family’s wrecked cement tile factory, retiree Edgard Chaya was destined towards a new chapter in his […]

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Masdar’s Sustainability Begins with Design, But Where Are the Humans?

Take a new tour through the Masdar Institute with this video. Modeling traditional Arabic cities and using old innovation like windcatchers, Masdar has become an expensive showcase for sustainable living in the Middle East. The above video gives a tour of some of the renewable energy initiatives there, like heliostats, and its pod cars. I […]

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Egyptian Organic Farm Declared Sustainability World Leader

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SEKEM, an Egyptian organic farming community has been chosen as one of 16 ‘Sustainability Champions’ in the developing world which are tackling environmental and social problems A recent report by the World Economic Forum has identified 16 successful companies from as far afield as Costa Rica and China which have shown great environmental awareness and […]

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Preserving Acre's History, Heritage and People

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A living conservation laboratory (above): a new partnership with Rome will boost Acre’s efforts to protect its ancient history, making it more sustainable architecturally and for its residents and visitors. Declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations (UNESCO), for more than 20 years the Israeli city of Acre (pronounced “Akko” by the locals) […]

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