Issue 1 – November 2021

A publication of the METO University Network


by Lara Rendl

The announcement to resume talks on Iran’s nuclear weapons programme and the economic sanctions resulting from it certainly marks a proper start for the first edition of The Bright Side, which we dedicate to sharing good news from the Middle East. Continued…

Disarmament and conflict resolution

[Libya] UN Special Envoy Ján Kubiš statement on the first anniversary of Libyan ceasefire agreement As this month also marks an agreement for the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters, and foreign forces from Libya. (Africanews)

[Iran] Nuclear negotiations to resume before end of November Talks to bring all parties back to full compliance with the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) will resume in Vienna at the end of November. (Iran Press)


[Palestine] To fight unemployment, these Gaza women are returning to the land The inspiring story of three young women in Gaza striving to make a living by setting up an agricultural business called Green Girls. (+972 Magazine)


[Jordan] ‘Hope Canvas’ week seeks to realise child’s dream
Children in Jordan get the chance to paint their dreams for World Children Day. (The Jordan Times)

Human Rights

[Yemen, UK] Lawyers to submit Yemen war crimes dossier to UK police UK Lawyers go to court to force the police to arrest 20 citizens from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates should they enter the country because of Human Rights abuses in Yemen. (The Guardian)

[UAE] Activists host alternative expo to highlight human rights abuses Two dozen human rights hold an online “expo” in support of human rights activists from the country that have been detained or persecuted. (Middle East Eye)

Migration & Refugees

[Syria] Kuwaiti medical team conducts 30 cardiac catheterizations in Jordan In addition to the operations, the aid included 1000 food parcels for Syrian refugees. (Kuwait Daily News)

[Kuwait] Youtuber in Kuwait raises $1M for refugees in 24 hours To celebrate 20 million followers on YouTube, AbuFlah did a fundraiser to support refugees and displaced families this winter. (Arab Times)


[Bahrain] The pink warriors To mark “Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month”, 70 women, all dressed in pink, marched in Bahrain. (Gulf Weekly)

[Iran] Iran unveils Covid-19 vaccine “Noora” An Iranian Covid-19 vaccine, “Noora”, produced by Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences has just been unveiled. (Iranian Students News Agency)


[Saudi Arabia] Riyadh’s ambitious plans to reduce effects of climate change 7.5 million trees to be planted as part of a 10 billion tree planting programme with a new irrigation network to also be built. (Arab News)

[Israel, UAE] Joint UAE-Israel research to study Asian houbara populations in Israel’s Negev desert Efforts by the the International Fund for Houbara Conservation in Abu Dhabi have resulted in the breeding of more than 636,000 houbara and used 486,000-plus birds for conservation actions. (Gulf News)

Food and Water Security

[UAE] Middle East’s growing role in global food security Sara Al-Mulla talks about the growing problems of food insecurity and efforts in the UAE to invest in food security programmes. (Arab News)

[Egypt] Egypt plans desalination plants worth $2.5bn over next five years “By 2050, the plan is to build 67 more plants in the governorates of Matrouh, Red Sea, North and South Sinai, Ismailiyah and Suez.” (Global Construction Review)


[UAE] UAE, Germany to expand green hydrogen cooperation The two countries will work to promote cooperation for green hydrogen production and support projects in the area. (Renewables Now)

[Egypt, Saudi Arabia] Egypt and Saudi Arabia to connect grid networks for reliability Saudi and Egyptian energy companies will develop a power line to connect the Middle East and North Africa. (Smart Energy International)


[Morocco] Morocco Signs Declaration to Eradicate Cyber Bullying, Bullying in Schools In cooperation with France, Mexico and UNESCO, Morocco signed a declaration for the prevention of violence and bullying at school. (Morocco World News)


[Iran] 15th Mariwan Int’l Street Theater Festival underway in Western Iran 40 works in the categories: free, ritual-traditional, self-sacrifice, and martyrdom and child have been welcomed by artists, art enthusiasts, and the people of Mariwan. (Iran Press)

[Algeria] Silence speaks volumes as Algerian artists explore cultural heritage The exhibition in Paris, France “seeks to make heard the voices and the silence that characterize Algeria so well.” (Arab News)


[Saudi Arabia] Experts excavating forgotten kingdoms “Al Ula’s development is part of a move to preserve pre-Islamic heritage sites in order to attract non-Muslim tourists and strengthen national identity.” (

Our Team

This bulletin is bought to you by the following members of the METO University Network:

Giada Del Russo (Coordinator & Environment)
Soukaina El anaoui (Human Rights)
Lara Rendl (Disarmament and Conflict Resolution)
Aayushi Sharma (Migrations)
Tony Robinson (Healthcare)

Arwa Syed (Food & Water Security)
Tamyra Selvarajan (Energy)
Paternus Niyegira (Education)

Get involved

If you are a student or recent graduate who is interested in supporting The Bright Side, or other METO projects, please consider volunteering with the METO University Network.

We unite young people from around the world who make a real difference by supporting METO in many of our key operational areas. To find out more, click here.


The articles selected for publication in this bulletin have been specially chosen in order to highlight the good work done every day across the region in order to improve the quality of life for citizens. It also highlights the advances in culture and the new archaelogical discoveries in the region, underlining that this region really has been a cradle of civilization for millenia.

The views expressed in the linked articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Middle East Treaty Organization and their inclusion in our bulletin should not be interpreted in any way other than we think they’re interesting stories that should be more widely known. We will never intentionally include articles that promote or condone violence and discrimination in any form.

For any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact

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