The Bright Side – issue 2

Editorial

by Tamyra Selvarajan

The Middle East is jumping on the bandwagon of a renewable energy revolution. This is definitely a big turn for the region as most of the region relies heavily on fossil fuels for both income and energy. (Continued…)

Disarmament and conflict resolution

[Middle East] “One step closer” to eliminating WMD from the Middle East. The second session of the conference to eliminate WMD from the Middle East took place in the first week of December with some encouraging results. (Pressenza)

[UAE] Turkey’s Erdogan to visit the UAE in February for first time in 10 years. Following a visit by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Ankara last month, opening up the door to bilateral investments and reductions in regional tensions. (Middle East Eye)

Women

[Jordan] National campaign for 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence. The Jordanian National Commission for Women developed 10 awareness-raising workshops in 10 governorates across the Kingdom on GBV. (Jordan News)

Human Rights

[Jordan] Maaitah inaugurates National Conference on Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Jordan “Protecting the rights of young people through access to quality education, training, mental health support, decent jobs and social protection, is critical,” (The Jordan Times)

[Bahrain] Bahrain celebrates International Day of Disabled Persons. “Bahrain marks the International Day of Disabled Persons, which is celebrated every year on December 3 and approved by the United Nations General Assembly since 1992.” (Bahrain News Agency)

Migration & Refugees

[Egypt] Egypt proposes solutions to mitigate impact of COVID-19 on migrants at IOM meeting. At a UN meeting, Egypt highlights the economic problems that COVID-19 lockdowns creates for migrants and their families back home. (Egypt Today)

[Bahrain] Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority launches first Regional Center of Excellence for Capacity Building of Combatting Trafficking in Persons. “As part of its key priorities, LMRA attaches prime attention to combat trafficking in persons, especially forced labor” (Bahrain News Agency)

Health

[Morocco] UNHCR, EU, Hail Morocco’s Commitment to Protecting Refugees’ Rights “Morocco has provided medical, social, and financial assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers amidst the ongoing healthcare crisis.” (Morocco World News)

Environment

[Bahrain] Forever Green campaign succeeds in greening 12 sites across Bahrain. Efforts to turn parts of Bahrain green fall within the country’s goals in tackling climate change. (Bahrain News Agency)

[Kuwait] Environmentally friendly heat insulating products lowers temp by 10 degrees. Experimental Japanese technology will help to reduce temperatures on public walkways. (The Times Kuwait)

Food and Water Security

[Israel, Jordan] Israel, Jordan sign huge UAE-brokered deal to swap solar energy and water In exchange for 600 MW of solar electricity, Israel will supply Jordan with up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water. (The Times of Israel)

[Yemen] KSRelief carries out Yemen health, water projects. In one month, more than 4.4 million liters of drinking water and 12 million liters of non-potable water was pumped into tanks across the two regions. (Arab News)

Renewable Energy

[Algeria] Energy transition: Algeria goes green. Plans are underfoot to not only end the use of fossil fuels domestically, but also to sell hydrogen to Italy and Spain using the existing methane gas infrastructure. (Arab News)

[Muslim World] Eco-friendly worship: The ways some Muslims are protecting the environment. One hadith or narration attributed to the Prophet Muhammad says: “The earth is green and beautiful and Allah has appointed you his stewards over it” and Mosques across the region are taking this literally. (Middle East Eye)

Education

[Somalia] Finland grants $8.6m to improve Somali children’s educational opportunities. “The program sets ambitious targets to double primary school enrolment, improve the quality of education and strengthen the capacity of government partners to deliver a more equitable education for all children” (Middle East Monitor)

Culture

[Palestine] How the olive tree came to symbolize Palestinian national identity The trees feature prominently in Palestinian art and literature as symbols of steadfastness amid a life of displacement. (Arab News)

[Iran] “Hit the Road” wins Best Film award at Ljubljana Int’l Film Festival. This Iranian film depicting a family’s attempt to leave life behind in Tehran and migrate to Turkey. (Iran Students’ News Agency)

Archaeology

[Saudi Arabia] Historic Red Sea shipwreck to attract 7 million dive tourists. No fewer than 1,600 archeological sites have been identified in the region, of which 20 have been narrowed down as potential touristic attractions. (Arab News)

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)
(Culture)
(Archaeology)

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.

Disclaimer

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 TheBrightSide@wmd-free.me.

Subscribe to receive The Bright Side via e-mail

To receive The Bright Side in your e-mail inbox, please use the form below to subscribe.