Issue 8 – September 2022

A publication of the METO University Network


by Giada Del Russo*

Welcome back to a brand new issue of The Bright Side, where we aim to bring you positive news from the Middle East to highlight the incredible work being done in the region. After a brief summer break, The Bright Side team is glad to announce that we are adding two new exciting sections to our monthly issues: our new interviews and analysis sections will make an appearance starting from the month of October.  (Read more…)

Disarmament & conflict resolution

Credit: Guilhem Vellut on Flickr

[UAE & Iran] UAE ambassador to return to Iran after six-year absence. The UAE’s Ambassador to Tehran is set to return and resume duties in Iran six years after it scaled back its diplomatic relations with Iran, signaling a positive turn for their bilateral relations. [The Jordan Times]

Credit: IRNA

[Qatar & Iran] Regional cooperation helps upgrade neighborhood policy: Iran deputy FM. The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs hasi met with Qatar’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Regional Affairs and discussed the growing relationship between their countries. [Islamic Republic News Agency]


[Region] Tunisia hosts the 3rd World Women’s Conference: A focus on Grassroot Women. This year, Tunisia has been the host country of the 3rd World Women’s Conference with a focus on “grassroot women”. [Pressenza]

[Iran] Iranian women allowed to watch football match after FIFA pressure. A limited number of Iranian women have been allowed into a stadium in Tehran to watch a league football match for the first time after pressure from international bodies. [Al Jazeera]

Children & Youth

[Palestine] UN gives Gaza children tablets to connect with world. The UN announced that they will be giving tablet computer to children in schools in the Gaza Strip to connect them to the rest of the world.  [Arab News]

Credit: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center on Flickr

[Morocco] Moroccan Health Ministry Signs Agreement to Protect Children from violence. Set to be implemented over three years, the agreement highlights the importance of providing better care and services for children victims of violence. [Morocco World News]

Migration & Refugees

[Region] Fighting for social justice through advocacy and poetry. Profile on Sarah Saleh, human rights activist, who performs poetry to spread the word and advocate for refugee rights in Australia. [University of Sydney]

[Tunisia] Coast guards rescue 326 undocumented migrants. The migrants include 217 of different African nationalities. [TunisAfriquePresse]



[Israel] Israelis to start getting new variant-tailored shots by end of month. Second-generation vaccines being distributed to healthcare providers, as scientific community waits expectantly to see how much they help. [The Times of Israel]


Credit: Oman Times News Service

[Oman] Environment Authority releases eagles after rehabilitation. The Environment Authority has released four eagles in Sireen Nature Reserve after they receiving necessary care. [The Times of Oman]

[Egypt] Climate forum ahead of COP27 kicks off in Egypt. The “Environment and Development Forum 2022 The Road to Sharm El Sheikh #Cop27” opened on Sunday under the auspices of Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [Arab News]

Food & Water Security

Credit: Foottank

[Algeria] Farming Fish for a Food Secure Future in Algeria’s Sahrawi Refugee Camps. In Algeria’s southwestern Tindouf province, refugees from Western Sahara are working to develop a tilapia farm in N’khaila, one of the region’s five camps. [foodtank]

Credit: International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

[Israel] A food security pilot program has been added to Israel’s national budget. With US$ 45 million of annual support, the program aims to feed those in need, while granting struggling families the tools needed to escape food insecurity. [The Jerusalem Post]

Renewable Energy

Credit: Arab News

[Qatar] Qatar announces new solar projects to more than double its energy output from renewable sources within 2 years. South Korean conglomerate Samsung will lead construction of the new solar plants, with an initial investment of more than $600 million. [Arab News]

Credit: General Electricity Company of Libya

[Libya] Libya pushes ahead with 200-MW solar project in Ghadames. Libya is making progress on the implementation of another large-scale solar project. [Renewables Now]


Credit: UNICEF2022/Fouad-Choufany/Lebanon

[Lebanon] The Ministry of Education launches the Transition Resilience Education Fund, to support Lebanon’s Education Sector. The TREF is an innovative aid modality to strengthen governance, transparency, efficiency and learning outcomes for children. [ReliefWeb]


[Arab World] Moon Knight versus Ms Marvel: What lies beyond representation? Ms Marvel tells the story of a teenager who gets superpowers after finding a mysterious family heirloom. [Middle East Eye]

Credit: Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities

[Iraq] Culture ministry receives over 200 antiquity pieces: Ministry. The ministry said it is working with various government offices, including the intelligence and foreign ministry return back the country’s cultural properties. []


[Saudi Arabia] Mysterious Stone Secrets in Saudi Arabia Uncovered. Mysterious stone structures known as ‘Mustatil’ in northwestern Saudi Arabia, are among the oldest archeological ruins in the world. [Asharq Al-Awsat]

Credit: Oren Shmueli, Israel Antiquities Authority

[Israel] Early Islamic Mansion With Unique Subterranean Complex Discovered in Israel. Other complexes had basements, but the exquisitely constructed vaulted chambers beneath the huge house above are at a whole other level, archaeologists say. [Haaretz]

Previous issues

Our Team

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

Giada del Russo (Coordinator)
Tannaz Zafarani (Disarmament and Conflict Resolution)
Soukaina El Anaoui (Women)
Salma Al-Wahaibi (Children)
Julia Chang (Migration & Refugees)
Britt Gronemeyer (Healthcare)

Yutong Zhang (Environment)
Arwa Syed (Food & Water Security)
Abdullah Al-Wandawi (Renewable Energy)
Molly Pimm (Education)
Harshul Singh (Culture)
Hilda Ariastuti (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.


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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