Issue 7 – May 2022

A publication of the METO University Network


by Lara Rendl*

This issue’s editorial is dedicated to the truce between the Houthis and government forces in Yemen’s civil war which came into effect in early April 2022. To put it into the words of UN General Secretary Guterres it ‘must be the start of a better future for the people of Yemen.’ The truce follows years of fighting and therefore marks the first step against the humanitarian catastrophe and towards conflict resolution. (Read more…)

Disarmament & conflict resolution

Handout via SABA

[Oman] Oman revs up regional mediation with Houthi prisoner release, Iran-Saudi talks. An Omani diplomatic delegation visiting Yemen’s capital Sana’a has secured the release of 14 detainees held by the Ansarullah movement—better known as the Houthis. []

[Iraq] Buoyed by progress in Baghdad, Iran-Saudi Arabia talks set to accelerate. High-ranking Iranian and Saudi officials have met in Baghdad for a fifth round of talks. []


Photo: UN Women/Mediating

[Region] Why positive change in Middle East starts with bringing women into the work force. In Dubai, they’re starting to bring women into the workforce. Despite being highly educated, Arab women’s participation in the labour force is the lowest in the world. [Arab News]

Photo: Safaa Sallal for The New Humanitarian

[Syria] How one small Syrian NGO is tackling period poverty, one pad at a time. “a small NGO has been hand-sewing reusable pads in its small workshop in the southwestern city of as-Suwayda since the start of the year” [The New Humanitarian]

Children & Youth

[Oman] Humanity and mental health awards launched. The Diana Awards for innovation, humanity and mental health launch in Oman. The awards honours young people (9-25), who have helped change the lives of others. [Times of Oman]

Photo: WFP/Annabel Symington

[Yemen] Yemen: New Houthi commitment ‘encouraging step’ to protecting children. The UN is commended for coming to an agreement with Houthi rebels to safeguard children from the armed conflict in the country. [UN News]

Migration & Refugees

Photo: Mouneb Taim for Al-Monitor

[Syria] The storyteller of Ramadan tours Syria’s displaced camps. During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a storyteller is touring displaced camps across northwest Syria’s Idlib . [Al-Monitor]

Photo: EU NEAR

[Region] The EU announces €246 million 3-year contribution in support of UNRWA and Palestine Refugees. The UN relief and works agency for Palestinian Refugees will use the money in countries such as Syria, and Lebanon. [UNRWA]


[Iran] 1st field health course in accidents, disasters held in Iran. The course brought together students and graduates from across the country in order to improve crisis management capacity. [Iran Press News Agency]

[Morocco] Morocco Launches Breastfeeding Campaign. The Initiative for Human Development brings attention to the health benefits of breastfeeding during the first six months of a child’s life. [Morocco World News]


Photo: Bahrain News Agency

[Bahrain] Forever Green campaign objectives in Muharraq achieved. The National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD) has planted 240 Neem and Hibiscus Tiliaceus trees. [Bahrain News Agency]

[United Arab Emirates] New project aims to make concert tours more environment-friendly in Abu Dhabi. 82% of live music-goers strive to maintain an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. [Gulf News]

Food & Water Security

[Iran] 70 hectares to be added to greenhouses of Hamedan province each year. The project will improve the country’s agricultural sector, which has been severely affected by drought. [Tehran Times]

[Jordan] Water conservation project underway for King Talal Dam. The project aims to improve the dam’s capacity which has been curtailed by sedimentation and land erosion. [The Jordan Times]

Renewable Energy

[Saudi Arabia] How solar power is aiding energy transition in Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states. These projects will enable Saudi Arabia to expand its total solar energy capacity by almost 40 gigawatts by 2025 from the current 455 megawatts. [Arab News]


Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90

[Israel] Education minister launches USD 720 million plan for periphery schools.  Funds will prioritise students of lower socio-economic status by allowing school principals to make purchases to cater for the specific needs of their school. [The Jerusalem Post]

Photo: Jpbowen on wikimedia commons

[Bahrain] Applied Science University (ASU) gains global accreditation. ASU has now joined a group of only 11 higher education institutions in the world to achieve the accreditation.  [News of Bahrain]


Photo: Hamed Saber on wikimedia Commons

[Iran] A visit to conservative Kashan unveils Iran’s gradual social change. Not long ago, most women in the desert city would have worn full Islamic covering. Not any more. [Financial Times]

Photo: Faris knight on wikimedia commons

[Egypt] Egypt to restore historic synagogue. The move is part of efforts to revive Jewish heritage and attract more tourists to the country. [Al-Monitor]


Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

[Egypt] New archaeological discoveries at Gabal El Haridi. Archaeologists from an Egyptian archaeological mission have discovered 85 tombs, a watch tower and a temple site at Gabal El Haridi in the Sohag region of Egypt. [Heritage Daily]

Photo: Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry

[Egypt] Remains of temple to god Zeus Kasios uncovered in Sinai. A merger of ancient religious traditions, Zeus Kasios is an example of the legacy of religious multiculturalism in antiquity. [The Jerusalem Post]

Previous issues

Our Team

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

Giada del Russo (Coordinator)
Lara Rendl (Disarmament and Conflict Resolution)
Soukaina El Anaoui (Women)
Salma Wahaibi (Children)
Julia Chang (Migration & Refugees)
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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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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