Issue 5 – March 2022

A publication of the METO University Network


by Harshul Singh

Of MENA and the Bright Side – The externalities of war are far-reaching but the two cases of Mosul and Gaza have a reverberating and inspiring story to offer, one of emerging from war stronger and bolder than ever. (More…)

Disarmament and conflict resolution

Photo: Republic of Korea Armed Forces on wikimedia commons

[Iraq] Iraq-UNMAS cooperate to remove mines. The Iraqi Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) have agreed to cooperate and facilitate the work of companies and organisations wishing to carry out clearance and removal work of mines and remnants of war. [Middle East Monitor]

Photo: Egypt Daily News

[Egypt] supports efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zone in Middle East: FM. In a recorded speech during the high-level segment of the conference, the minister called on states with nuclear weapons to fulfill their obligations and commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. [Daily News Egypt]


Photo: Arab News

[Saudi Arabia] Saudi female baristas break taboos and gain respect. Passionate coffee makers have found full support from the coffee companies, their male coworkers and customers. [Arab News]

Photo: Arab News

[Saudi Arabia] Saudi women begin taxi business as living costs. Following the rise in living costs of Saudi Arabians, more women have forayed into ride-hailing businesses to make extra cash across the kingdom. [Punch]


Photo: Free to Run on Facebook

[Iraq] ‘I feel free when I run’: the young women enjoying a sense of freedom in Iraq. Displaced Iraqi girls stuck in camps are getting a taste of independence by running, hiking and kickboxing, thanks to a programme teaching them about sport and confidence. [The Guardian]

Migration & Refugees

Photo: Kuwaiti News Agency

[Kuwait] Ukrainian envoy discusses aiding refugees with Kuwaiti Red Crescent. The talks dealt with means of offering humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian refugees in countries neighboring Ukraine. [Kuwait Times]


Photo: Arab Times

[Kuwait] Health, national security tied – Step taken to make local medicines. Health Minister Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed said that health security is an integral part of national security, underlining that countries’ reliance on their local capabilities and resources in case of emergency is extremely vital. [Arab Times]

[Iran] Iran unveils new health information management system. The sixth generation of intelligent health information management (HIM) system was unveiled by Shahid Beheshti University in order to promote community health. [Iran Press News Agency]



[Jordan] NGO celebrates Int’l Women’s Day with climate change discussion. The non-governmental organisation “NAGAT – Towards a Better Tomorrow for Development and Empowerment” on Tuesday evening held an online seminar under the title “Gender Equality, Climate Change, Peace and Security” in aid of International Women’s Day. [The Jordan Times]

Photo: Gulf News

[United Arab Emirates] Emirati volunteer collects 5 million bottle caps for recycling. Ali Darwish Al Zaabi says he wants to help preserve the environment and save animals. [Gulf News]

Food and Water Security

Photo: Levi Clancy on wikimedia commons

[Iraq] Olive farmers look to the sun to power their production. Among olive groves that were once a front line between Daesh militants and Iraqi forces, Yunis Salman and a few fellow farmers are harnessing what they believe should be the future of Middle East agriculture: the power of the sun. [Middle East Monitor]


Photo: Blaine Brownell for Architect Magazine

[Middle East] The Coming Renewable Energy Revolution in the Middle East. Renewable energy has found a receptive audience in an unexpected place. In recent years, the Middle East has been investing heavily in solar power and other renewable energy technologies. Electricity generation from renewables doubled in the region between 2010 and 2020 to 40GW and it is anticipated to double again by 2024. [Architect Magazine]

Photo: Waleed Alzuhair on Flickr

[Egypt] Egypt studying seawater-desalination projects using renewable energy. Country is implementing several new projects for water desalination, sewage treatment, and agricultural drainage treatment and recycling. [Arab News]


Photo: Gulf Times

[Qatar] marks 15 years of education excellence. 72 students honoured in the 15th edition of the ‘Education Excellence Day Award’. [Gulf Times]


Photo: Mohammed Salem/Al Jazeera

[Palestine] Books across borders. Rebuilding the Gaza bookshop destroyed by Israel. [Al Jazeera]

Photo: @AliBaroodi on twitter

[Iraq] ‘A symbol of new beginning’: Mosul’s university library reopens. The institution suffered a devastating attack by Islamic State in 2014. Eight years on, an international effort has seen it reopen as ‘a lighthouse of knowledge’. [The Guardian]


Photo: DCT Abu Dhabi

[United Arab Emirates] Archaeologists uncover UAE’s earliest known buildings. The discovery was made on the small island of Ghagha, where researchers found several structures dated using a carbon-14 analysis on pieces of charcoal found in situ, that places the settlement to almost 6500 BC. [Heritage Daily]

Previous issues

Our Team

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)

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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.

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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.

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