Regional Updates

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Humanizing e-learning as a response to crises in the MENA

The fact that the budget appealed for in the 2016 Regional Refugee and Resilience plan reached almost $5.8 billion, a 10 percent increase from the previous year, is enough proof of the high demand for humanitarian assistance. This increase has automatically led to a higher demand for professionals in the humanitarian field. This is where More…

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Sofar Beirut gives music and refugees a home

By the end of 2016, 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence and human rights violations. In terms of refugee numbers, Lebanon holds a record of its own. The country continues to host the largest number of refugees relative to its national population. According to a UNHCR statistics, More…

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Three Powerhouse Arab Women Shaking Things Up in the UN

Despite having nearly 200 member nations, only 19% are represented by women. Among that 19%, are 6 incredibly accomplished and influential UN Ambassadors who are representing Muslim-majority countries. Some of these women are the first woman to be representing their nation in the UN, others not only represent their nation at the General Assembly but hold leadership positions More…

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Syrian White Helmets

Twenty-one-year-old Khaled Khatib is a cinematographer and press officer for the Syrian White Helmets. The group, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, works tirelessly to rescue civilians affected by the country’s devastating civil war. In 2015, Khatib met British director Orlando von Einsiedel and was recruited to document the group’s rescue missions for the More…

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Know your rights – Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia have always been a contentious issue. The World Economic Forum in its 2016 report on the global gender gap ranked Saudi Arabia 141 out of 144 countries for gender parity. However, laws and regulations are changing, as a review of the kingdom’s strict guardianship provisions gets underway. As it turns More…

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Seawater farming in Abu Dhabi

What if you could grow biofuels on land nobody wants, using just seawater and sunlight, and produce food at the same time? That’s precisely what a new project in Abu Dhabi is seeking to do. The Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System, or ISEAS, will grow sustainable food and aviation fuel in the desert, using More…

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“Ice Princess” of the United Arab Emirates

Zahra Lari, the first Emirati figure skater, dubbed as the “Ice Princess” of the United Arab Emirates, has gracefully glided and jumped over obstacles put forward by her own community. “People thought it’s dancing. In front of men, that is not acceptable. I am covered, I am Muslim, I am from a desert country, but More…

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Sahara Forest Project

Jordan, a water-poor country that is 90-percent desert, launched a project to turn its sand dunes into farming land to produce food using sun and sea water. King Abdullah II and Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon attended a ceremony to mark the official opening of the “Sahara Forest Project” near the southern port city of Aqaba. More…

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Saudi Arabian ‘honesty’ app takes internet by storm

Tawfiq catapulted to fame when he took time out of his day job as a business analyst last year to develop an anonymous messaging tool called Sarahah — honesty in Arabic — that subsequently topped the charts for app downloads. Initially conceived as a tool for soliciting bluntly frank workplace feedback, Sarahah has found its More…

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Introducing the Arab world’s first sustainable clothing brand

Second to oil and gas, fashion and textiles are the most polluting industries in the world. From the pesticides used in cotton farming to the discarded clothing filling up landfills, fashion’s impact on the planet is vast. And as one of the biggest players in the global economy, the industry has a responsibility to protect More…