Green Career Tips by Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar, Founder of EcoMENA, talks to Bhavani Prakash of Green Collar Asia about cleantech industry trends, and offers tips for professionals trying to enter renewable energy and waste management sectors.   Green Collar Asia: How did you become so interested in renewable energy and waste management technologies? Salman Zafar: I am a chemical engineer by education. After completing my Master’s degree program in 2004, I got the opportunity to work as a Research Fellow on large-scale biogas power projects which initiated me into waste management/bioenergy sector. During the course of my fellowship, I was involved in the design, operation and troubleshooting of waste-to-energy plants and biomass energy … Continue reading

Arab Program for Sustainable Energy Youth: Call for Applications

The Arab Program for Sustainable Energy Youth™ (APSEY) is a regional sustainable energy internship program which targets young professionals and post graduate students of engineering, economy, and law fields from the Arab region. The program aims to boost technical and operational capacities of the region’s young talents interested in renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. The program recruits 12 interns every year on two rounds for a hands-on experience in the center’s research and analysis, policy briefs, technical assistance, and other related activities. The opportunity covers full travel and accommodation expenses in Cairo in addition to a monthly salary. Intern … Continue reading

#InspireMENA Story 3: Carta: Creating Art-from-Trash in Jordan

Carta, a novel paper recycling initiative in Jordan, was launched when Najwan Al Masri noticed the increasing amount of paper wastes being generated at her home (especially when her son started to write and draw) and she thought “Why not to upcycle waste papers into beautiful Art and Crafts”. The thought developed to an idea which then grew into a project with careful research and study about how to make something unique and useful. Carta is trying to give paper recycling a new dimension of creativity, innovation and passion. EcoMENA talks to Najwan Al Masri, the Founder of Carta, to know … Continue reading

The Paper Bag Boy of Abu Dhabi

Abdul Muqeet, also known as the Paper Bag Boy, has risen from being just another ordinary student to an extra-ordinary environmentalist, eco-hero and eco-warrior. At just ten years old, Abdul Muqeet has demonstrated his commitment to saving the environment in United Arab Emirates and elsewhere. Inspired by the 2010 campaign “UAE Free of Plastic Bags”, Abdul Muqeet, a student of Standard V at Abu Dhabi Indian School, applied his own initiative and imagination to create 100% recycled carry bags using paper waste. He then set out to distribute these bags in Abu Dhabi, replacing single-use plastic bags that take hundreds … Continue reading

Eco-building a Plastic Bottle Village From Rubbish Removal

This is an inspiring true story that demonstrates a solution to the rubbish removal problem, especially discarded plastic bottles, plaguing our planet! We hope it will encourage and inspire other visionaries to take similar actions around the world! Robert Bezeau moved to the tropical paradise of Bocas del Toro, Panama, after he grew tired of the cold weather in his home country of Canada. He loved Panama, but at the same time, he was dismayed by the rubbish removal left behind by more than 100,000 tourists visiting the area every year. While he walked the beaches, he began collecting discarded … Continue reading

Finance for Green Entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and SMEs: Perspectives for Jordan

Jordan is one of the most water scarce countries in the world where resources are far below the water poverty line which is 1000 m3 per capita per year. Adding to water scarcity, energy availability is another challenge where 96% of the demand is imported from outside.  Due to climate change, both water and energy sectors are expected to be negatively impacted. Lack of water and high prices of energy will both hinder the economic growth and employment rates adding further stress on the current high unemployment percentage specially among youth. Need for Green Economy To get out of this … Continue reading

Waste Management Perspectives for Egypt

Egypt occupies 7th position in the list of countries with the most mismanaged plastic waste, according to a recent report published in Science magazine. The report was based on data collected in 2010 and one must wonder whether the results of the report would have been different if the zabbaleen had been allowed to continue their work unhindered. A History of Zabbaleen The zabbaleen, or garbage collectors, are the descendants of farmers from Upper Egypt who moved to Cairo in the 1940s. Together with another migrant group, they have made a living in Cairo collecting, sorting, salvaging, and recycling the … Continue reading

نصائح سلمان ظَفَر في العمل البيئي

سلمان ظَفَر ؛ مؤسس مبادرة EcoMENA يتحدث لِباڤاني براكاش من المبادرة التطوعية ( طوق آسيا الأخضر -Green Collar Asia  ) عن توجهات الصناعة النظيفة , ويعرض نصائحاً للمحترفين الذين يحاولون دخول مجال الطاقة المتجددة و إدارة المخلفات . هذه المقابلة تم نشرها بالأصل على موقع www.greencollarasia.com  وتم إعادة نشرها بإذن من باڤاني براكاش . طوق آسيا الأخضر : كيف أصبحت مهتماً بشدّة بتقنيات الطاقة المتجددة و إدارة المخلفات ؟ سلمان ظَفَر : إنني حاصل على شهادة الهندسة الكيميائية . وبعد إنهائي لبرنامج الماجستير في عام 2004 , حصلت على فرصة العمل كزميل بحث في مشاريع طاقة الغاز الحيوي واسعة النطاق … Continue reading

Green SMEs in Middle East: Obstacles and Challenges

With ‘green’ being the buzzword across all industries, greening of the business sector and development of green skills has assumed greater importance all over the world, and Middle East is no exception. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in eco-design, green architecture, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability are spearheading the transition to green economy across a wide range of industries. Green SME sector in the Middle East has been growing steadily, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated.  Regulations One of the major obstacles in the progress of green SMEs in the Middle East the has been poorly-designed regulation. According … Continue reading

#InspireMENA Story 2: Ruba Al-Zu’bi – Inspiring Green Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

Ruba Al-Zu’bi is a very well-known sustainable development policy and planning expert, and a true inspiration for youngsters in Jordan and beyond. Currently she is the CEO of EDAMA, a Jordanian business association that seeks innovative solutions to advance the energy, water and environment sectors. Ruba Al-Zu’bi is Global Resolutions’ Jordan Ambassador and a Plus Social Good Connector promoting SDGs and success stories around sustainability in the MENA region. She is also a founding member of the Jordan Green Building Council, and has facilitated its organizational establishment and strategic planning process. Ruba led the Clean Technology Sector Development at USAID Jordan … Continue reading

جامعات خضراء في فلسطين

بدأت الجامعات الفلسطينية بربط النظربات العلمية التي تدرس في مساقاتها وبرامجها الاكاديمية  بالواقع العملي وحيث بدأت الجانعات الفلسطينية وبتميل من مؤسسات مجلية ودولية باستغلال اللطاقة البديلة من الشمس لتوليد الكهرباء باستخدام تقنية اللوحات الكهروضوئية لانتاج الطاقة الكهربائية والتي تساعد في  توفير استهلاك الكهرباء الذي يشغل جميع أبنية وقاعات ومراكز الجامعات بالطاقة لتوفير وذلك لتوفير الجو التعليمي المناسب لطلبتها  . وتأتي هذه الخطوة الريادية من قبل الجامعات الفلسطينية لتوفير استهلاك الكهرباء بحيث تكون مبان الجامعات أكثر صداقة للبيئة وتقلل ميزانية المدفوعات التي يتم دفعها ثمناً لاستهلاك الكهرباء والوقود واستغلالها بدعم برامج وأبحاث جديدة تساعد في تنمية مهارات طلبتها . كما أن … Continue reading

Women Entrepreneurship in MENA: An Analysis

Women entrepreneurship is an important unexploited source of economic growth in almost all parts of the world. Unfortunately women in MENA have the lowest rates of Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) at merely 4% of the population. The highest rates, globally, are in sub-Saharan Africa, at 27%. Latin American and Caribbean economies also show high levels (15 percent). In just seven economies (Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico, and Uganda), women had equal or slightly higher levels of entrepreneurship than men. For the rest, women represented a smaller share of the entrepreneur population. Current Situation The recent interest in women entrepreneurship in the Middle … Continue reading