A publication of the METO University Network
by Britt Gronemeyer
Environmental progress has defined this last month in good news from the Middle East. Countries across the Middle East and North Africa have been making efforts towards combating climate change and investing in renewable energy, specifically the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Per usual, we are delighted to welcome you back to the fourth issue of The Bright Side as we delve into some positive news about developments in MENA. (continued…)
Disarmament and conflict resolution
[Iran] Iran’s nuclear negotiator says deal “closer than ever”. Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said Wednesday that Iran and relevant countries are “closer than ever” to reaching an agreement to revive the 2015 nuclear deal at the ongoing Vienna talks. (Xinhua Net)
[Saudi Arabia] Women apply in their thousands to drive trains in Saudi Arabia. Rail company advertised 30 positions and received 28,000 applications in kingdom where women couldn’t drive cars until 2018. (The Guardian)
[Region] UNRWA and UNICEF renew agreement to further support Palestine refugee children in the region. The two UN agencies renewed an agreement to extend support to Palestine refugee children, adolescents, and women in the State of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. (ReliefWeb)
Migration & Refugees
[Jordan] Jordan Issued Record Number of Work Permits for Syrian Refugees in 2021. Jordan issued 62,000 work permits to Syrian refugees in 2021, the highest annual number since it started to hand out the permits five years ago, the UNHCR said. (The New Arab)
[Region] Africa transitioning out of pandemic phase of COVID: WHO. The head of WHO Africa says the continent is transitioning to a phase of managing the virus in the long term. (Al Jazeera)
[Iraq] Olive farmers look to solar power for green energy. In Iraq, a number of farmers are turning from conventional fuels to the green energy produced by the sun, using solar panels to power their agricultural operations. (i24News)
Food and Water Security
[Egypt] Egypt studying seawater-desalination projects using renewable energy. Companies, nonprofits, universities and youth cross borders to initiate collaborative projects in water, energy and natural resource management. (Arab News)
[Saudi Arabia & Tunisia] Saudi Arabia and Tunisia sign deal to develop renewable energy. The agreement includes cooperation in the fields of demand management for renewable energy, reliable and sustainable operating of energy systems, and standard indicators of energy consumption in the industrial sector. (Arab News)
[Sudan] Powering local Sudanese hospital with solar energy to boost maternal health care. UNFPA piloted a renewable energy project in Abu Jebiha, South Kordofan by partnering with Global Aid Hand to install a solar power system in Abu Jebiha Hospital. (Reliefweb)
[Morocco] Women students break their silence on ‘sex for grades’ scandal. Almost five years after lawmakers in Morocco first introduced a measure to prohibit violence against women, the policy is coming into effect. (Middle East Eye)
[Israel] Arabic digital resources of National Library of Israel find audience regionwide. The library, founded in Jerusalem in 1892, has digitized its collection of rare Islamic books and manuscripts. (Arab News)
[Lebanon] Netflix film Perfect Strangers challenges Middle East taboos. Netflix’s first Arabic movie has quickly become the most watched on the streaming company’s website in the region after it was released on January 20. (Al Jazeera)
This bulletin is bought to you by the following members of the METO University Network:
Giada del Russo (Coordinator)
Soukaina El anaoui (Women & Children)
Lara Rendl (Disarmament and Conflict Resolution)
Aayushi Sharma (Migrations)
Britt Gronemeyer (Healthcare)
Yutong Zhang (Environment)
Arwa Syed (Food & Water Security)
Tamyra Selvarajan (Energy)
Molly Pimm (Education)
Harshul Singh (Culture)
Hilda Ariastuti (Archaeology)
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 to highlight the good work done every day across the region to improve the quality of life for citizens. It also highlights the advances in culture and the new archaelogical discoveries made, 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.
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