If you look to what was brewing before the Syrian civil war, it was clear that people there were suffering from the effects of climate change. Environmentalists warned that extended droughts there would cause hunger, poverty and unrest. The conditions were right about a decade ago for the poor conditions to foment to a very unfavourable civil war with millions of Syrians displaced to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Europe and even Canada.
We told the story to readers of Ahmad Joudeh over two years ago. We shared how, in the middle of the Syrian crisis, despite danger and dire straits, he continued to dance and teach dance to his young students. With a special interest in the Middle East, after studying Arabic and also teaching dance to […]
When there is nothing left to do, you might as well do something. In Syria, where the war is five years and counting, dancing might be the last thing on anyone’s mind. But for Ahmad Joudeh, it is a priority. Dance is his lifeblood, and he is fueling others with it, too. Joudeh teaches dance […]
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced yesterday the formation of a new, nation-less team of athletes cleared to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer. According to a statement released on the IOC website, the all-refugee team will be treated the same as the other teams representing the 206 National […]
Whenever I read the news about Syria’s refugee and environmental crisis I wonder how Syria’s dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s wife Asma al-Assad, once so vocal about the natural environment (even biking to the West Bank in the past), can let her husband keep this madness up. A little sanity in the craziness that is and has […]
Mostly we hear stories of pain and tragedy from Syrian refugee camps. But the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, a place where Green Prophet’s Laurie Balbo is knitting together and flying hope, there are new sprigs of hope. The non-profit organization Save the Children is teaching some of the camp’s 800,000 refugees how to garden. […]
Nearly 7 million people have fled their homes to escape the violence in Syria, and 2 million refugees in Jordan and Lebanon face a wet, cold winter with nothing – not even a safe lamp to light their way. Which is why WakaWaka launched the Solar for Syria campaign.
Cash is King. An essential ingredient of charitable giving; it greases the wheels when moving goods. A month after 4,000 hats were collected and shipped from Ireland to Jordan, they’re finally keeping some of Syria’s refugees a bit warmer. But in the end, it took money to drop the curtain on this act of giving.
Polio,or Poliomyelitis has not been a serious medical issue ever since the first wide scale vaccines were developed by Dr. Jonas Salk in the early 1950s. Within the past few years, however, the often debilitating virus has began to return to epidemic proportions in many parts of the world. This includes the Middle East.
What started as a few throwaway balls of yarn to a tiny knitter in Jordan’s Zaatari Syrian refugee camp inspired a goofball idea: I asked crafty folks everywhere to toss a few hats in the ring. The reaction has been jaw-dropping. So far we have collected some 4,000 handmade hats for Syrian refugees.
Nuclear energy is a low carbon power source, but whether or not it should be considered a renewable energy source is long debated and fought over –- even in the Middle East where the industry is nascent.
Amid the snipers, the rubble and the misery on many Syrian streets is another ugly phenomenon: garbage. In Adel’s* hometown of Janoub al Malaab, a district of Hama city, piles of waste give off an odour that is nearly unbearable.
When aid workers with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) speak to women inside Syria – many of them displaced from their homes and living in cramped collective shelters – they say they would rather do anything than get pregnant.
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.
Is the Red Sea shark spotted at Eilat beach, Israel escaping illegal hunters in Egypt? While it’s rare to find sharks in the Mediterranean Sea (they are almost extinct), they are not so uncommon in the Red Sea. Its warm waters and ample food source bait sharks who sometimes get personal with bathers and divers. […]
Young Syrian refugees are being forced into sex and child labor in Jordan Abdul Rahman, an eight-year-old refugee from Syria, rummages through a trash container along the side road of north Amman’s bustling Sweileh neighborhood. His sparkling green eyes stare out from his dirty, emaciated face. His bony legs appear from under torn blue trousers. […]
The fig: over 750 varieties and native to the Middle East The strong grey trunk, the wide velvety leaves, the sticky itchy white milk resin that leaks from the cracked leaves, its round crimson fruits with their bellies filled with honeyed goodness. In my opinion, nothing beats a fig tree. The fig (which tastes great […]
Tomato and potato soup being cooked on an open fire at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians. Camp officials say they are hoping they will receive the money needed to run electrical systems so that heaters can be used © Jodi Hilton/IRIN Residents of Syrian towns that have run out of heating oil say they are […]
Water scarcity has already become a fact of daily life for Egyptians The world’s driest region, the Middle East* and North Africa (MENA), is getting drier at an alarming rate. And yet, despite massive population growth (the Middle East’s population grew 61 percent from 1990 to 2010 to 205 million people) predictions of so-called “water […]
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 […]
Loggers get $5 a tree in Syria now that the heat of conflict is on, and the cold winter has set it in. In Darkush, Syria, civilians must turn to their environment for the basic need of warmth. Day after day, freezing temperatures prevail, and tree after tree is cut down. The national park to […]
Israel, like other rich countries in the Middle East, has had to rely a lot on desalination plants to supply much of its drinking water. Desalination now supplies Mideast countries like Saudi Arabia, which is said to have the world’s largest desalination plant. The country receives almost all its fresh water supplies from this energy-intensive process. […]
Egyptian model for the Zabaleen could help heat Syrian refugees. Green Prophet’s Joseph reports from Jordan. Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan: Walking through the vast expanse of white tents, dirt “roads” and masses of families huddled closely together for warmth, if you ask what they most need, the answer, without pause, is simple: blankets. In […]
Hurricane Sandy bulldozed my home coastline with a ferocity rarely seen outside the big screen. It ploughed through lives of friends and family, shredding homes, floating cars, and drowning pets. We can debate the causes of climate change, but the increasingly damaging effect of extreme weather upon basic civil services is indisputable. In a crisis, […]
Three years of sustainable lighting for fifteen bucks? United Nations Relief Agency, you hearing this? The LuminAID inflatable solar light was created by a pair of architecture students focused on disaster-relief solutions to the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Their light offers a safe, inexpensive and sustainable alternative to kerosene and oil lamps that’s ideally suited to […]