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Dragon trees from Yemen bleed when cut

Dragon trees in the background, Yemen The Latin name of the endangered Socotra dragon tree or dragon blood tree is Dracaena cinnabari and it is native to the Socotra archipelago of islands in Yemen in the Indian Ocean. It is called a dragon tree due to the red sap that the trees produce.

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MENA Mayors Put Heads Together to Build Stronger Cities

Middle East city heads want to make their cities more sustainable. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is 60 percent urbanized compared to the global average of 52 percent and is home to one of the world’s most rapidly expanding populations. By 2030, a 45 percent increase of MENA’s urban population will add […]

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Export Oil, Import Water = Risky Economics for Middle East

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 […]

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Swine Flu Death Toll in Middle East Region

Are you at risk? Get swine flu updates for the PA, Israel, Yemen, Iraq, Tunisia and Jordan. Health officials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) are calling on residents to get vaccinated against the H1N1 virus (“swine flu”) after 25 deaths in recent weeks.Over 700 infections of H1N1 have been reported in the West Bank […]

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Khat Addiction Threatens Yemen’s Future

The poorest country in the Arab world is addicted to chewing catha edulis or khat leaves, which gives men, women and children, an amphetamine-like high. Abdulmalik, a 13-year-old boy from Yemen’s capital city Sana’a, started chewing khat leaves at the age of seven. “My father would pass me small handfuls at weddings,” he told The […]

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Pop Your Own Chemical-Free Popcorn

Crunchy, tasty popcorn, made on your stove top, with nothing but goodness in it. My friend was amused that I have no microwave oven. How can I deal with food all day long and not own one? And how were we going to pop the popcorn she’d brought over? The health risks associated with microwave […]

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Iraqi Mud Architect Wins Prestigious Sustainability Award

Iraqi architect Salma Samar Damluji has won the ‘Global Award for Sustainable Architecture’ for her mud-brick renovation work in Yemen Mud. Muck. Dirt. Clay. Earth. Call it what you like – it’s the stuff of life and also of sustainable architecture. From the stunning mud mosque of Djenne in Mali to the clay tower homes […]

Middle East Illusions Change Reality

Following violent protests in February, Cairo police stacked 10-feet-tall masonry walls around the Ministry of the Interior to cut access to that hated symbol of Egypt’s ousted regime. New barriers appeared after subsequent riots, turning nearby communities into a labyrinth of roadblocks and checkpoints. Recently, artists “removed” them, overpainting concrete with images of the streetscapes they blocked. In a few days, […]

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Canada Cuts UNESCO Funds Based on US Law

Voluntary funding to support nature and ancient cities is thinned even more as Canada cuts its funding to UNESCO. If existing members don’t cough up about $70 million USD, trees like this one in Yemen could be under threat. Palestine is neither a country nor a state, but Palestinian people living in the West Bank […]

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Arab Spring Female Activist Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Yemeni activist Tawakul Karman has become the first Arab woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Today, Yemeni activist Tawakul Karman was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her role in the Arab Spring along with two other Liberian women who mobilized a women’s ‘sex strike’ which ended a 14-year civil war in their […]

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Middle East Destination Tops Ethical Tourism Sales

ResponsibleTravel.com customers on holiday in Egypt. Feluccas and Pharoahs, a popular trip. British ethical tourism pioneers ResponsibleTravel.com has celebrated its tenth birthday by announcing its biggest ten sellers over the last decade – and Middle Eastern destinations top the list. Responsible Travel offers hundreds of holidays across the world and its birthday announcement also included […]

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UNESCO Biosphere Reserves Declared in Syria and Lebanon

Jabal Moussa, Jordan So we all know that the Middle East is biospherically fascinating, but at the ongoing meeting of the UN International Coordinating Council of the Man and Biosphere last Tuesday, UNESCO took notice as well, adding more Middle Eastern sites to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves. In fact, for the first time, […]