Regional Updates

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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…

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Icebergs to be towed from Antarctica to UAE for drinking water

The United Arab Emirates is planning to tow icebergs from Antarctica to its coast to solve its issues with drinking water. The National Advisor Bureau Limited company plans to provide a new source of freshwater for the region by towing the iceberg from Antarctica to the coast of the eastern emirate of Fujairah. The Masdar More…

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Saudi artists seen pushing boundaries

Conservative Islamic traditions run deep in the country which critics say lacks both an infrastructure for the arts, and the freedom of expression to allow art to flourish. Under wide-ranging economic and social reforms that began last year, Saudi Arabia said it would develop a Royal Arts Complex, as well as a Media City. A More…

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Green police to battle Tunisia trash scourge

Tunisia launched a special “green police” unit aimed at dealing with the proliferation of waste, a scourge that has worsened dramatically since the 2011 revolution. The North African country’s rubbish woes have worsened because municipalities are not dealing with the problem in advance of local elections slated for December. There is also a lack of More…

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Saudi women can fix your phone

Fixing electronic devices such as phones and laptops is a field dominated by men, especially in the Arab world. However, a group of young Saudi women have been able to penetrate this domain. When Aljawharah Alqahtani was studying at the Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh she noticed that women would rather throw More…