Towards a Green Hajj

Despite the spiritual perfection of the rites of the Hajj pilgrimage, there are some deep issues with its practical implementation. In a journey where one is meant to recalibrate one’s consciousness of the one true Creator, it seems paradoxical that such an excursion should lead to environmental harm (or destruction). Why is it then that I walk the street of the Haram (sacred land) and find them littered with boxes of chicken and rice, strewn on the curb in front of beggars who offer to pray for you in exchange of spare change? A Deluge of Waste In 7:31, the … Continue reading

Sustainable Development in Jordan: Perspectives

During the last few decades, sustainable development emerged as a hot topic in many reform agendas and strategic management plans in Jordan. The picture is not always optimistic where poverty, climate change and wars to name but a few of the continuous burdens, yet, some results have been successfully reaped. In this article, I will provide a reflection on the sustainable development journey in Jordan. Firstly, what the country achieved from the year 2000 to 2015 and secondly, what challenges the country has to counter from the year 2015 to 2030. Millennium Development Goals – Year 2000 to 2015 Jordan … Continue reading

Are Green Roofs a Viable Option for the Middle East?

Urban green roofs have long been promoted as an easy and effective strategy for beautifying the built environment and increasing investment opportunity. The building roof is very important because it has a direct impact on thermal comfort and energy conservation in and around buildings. Urban green roofs can help to address the lack of green space in many urban areas. Urban green roofs provides the city with open spaces that helps reduce urban heat island effect and provides the human population on the site with a connection to the outdoors. However, we must differentiate between two types of urban green … 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

The Pandemic is Shifting Public Attention Towards Sustainable Living

Since the COVID-19 disease outbreak, it hasn’t been particularly easy to track down good news, especially on a global level. Due to huge decreases in travel, however, emissions dropped drastically and gave Mother Nature a long overdue chance to catch her breath. For the most part, globally speaking, the pandemic has also been a catalyst for people and communities working together in the fight against COVID-19. Parts of this increase in working together involve more sustainable practices in a world full of factory shutdowns and increased difficulties in getting food. This sustainability silver lining is widespread, and here are some … Continue reading

Progress of Green Building Sector in Qatar

There has been rapid progress in green building sector in Qatar with the emergence of many world-class sustainable constructions in recent years. With the fifth-highest number of LEED-registered and certified buildings outside the U.S., Qatar has valuable experience and inputs to offer on the system’s local relevancy and application. Various countries in the Middle East have been accredited with regards to the LEED system. Of these buildings, 65 per cent (802) are located in the UAE. Qatar is ranked second on the list, with 173 green buildings, followed by Saudi Arabia (145), Lebanon (25) and Egypt (22). Qatar’s Green Building Rating … 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 Adviser for Science Policy and Programme Development to HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, the President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS). Prior to that, Ruba led the Scientific Research Department at Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation. In the past, she had been 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 … Continue reading

Trends in Sustainable Housing

There has been large-scale proliferation in construction of buildings worldwide due to population growth, economic development, urbanization and migration. According to UN Habitat, there has been a migration of the world’s population from rural areas to cities or smaller urban areas. In fact, this trend is expected to continue and cities within the developed as well as developing nations are expected to grow in terms of population. As a result all forms of construction activities are expected to become more intense than ever in the years to come. Usually the development of urban areas suffers from weak process of planning … Continue reading

Rethinking Sustainability: Islamic Perspectives

The 21st century is characterized by a number of global environmental challenges that shaped and defined the discourse and agenda of the West with respect to the developing world, specifically the Islamic world. Islam provides new sustainability perspectives for discovering and explaining the root causes for the current environmental, economic and social crises as manifested in climate change, HIV, poverty and human security. For example, the Islamic perspective on climate change is that the root cause of this global issue is the absence or lack of human stewardship and is an indication of market failures. Pitfalls of the Western Model … Continue reading

Sustainable Development and the Arab World

Sustainable development is a pattern of growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. Arab world is facing major sustainability challenges in achieving social, economic and environmental goals. Extremely arid climate, acute water scarcity, high energy consumption and polluting oil and gas industry present a unique challenge in Arab countries. There are four major dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic, environmental and institutional. Social Availability of energy has a direct impact on poverty, employment opportunities, education, demographic transition, indoor pollution and … Continue reading

Earth Hour – Making of a Movement

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. The event is held worldwide and held towards the end of March annually, encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet Making of a Movement Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia and was conceived by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). On the occasion, 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off … Continue reading

How Minimalism and Sustainability Go Hand in Hand

A topic that has been gathering momentum as of late. The idea of sustainability is rapidly becoming a popular trend and the reduction in fossil fuel usage is testament to that fact. However, sustainability is not just found in the energy sector. Sustainability has become a trend in all aspects of life. So much so that it has become a lifestyle for some. Minimalism has rapidly become a popular way of life as well, providing great benefits to those living according to it. To start, it is important to define these terms and how they can relate to one another. … Continue reading