You may have been directed here for information about the floods in Jeddah of 2011. I have stopped actively researching how to help the flood victims, but you can find all the information I did find here.

Sep 7, 2010

Ramaḍān G-uh-REEN part 3: "Peace" of "Peace, Love, and Food"

(*snickers* See What I Did There? KAREEM? G-uh-REEN?)

Before I start I'd just like to say that those using Blogium for the iPhone should be super careful because it doesn't save what you've written if there's no Internet connection. This could result in forcing you to put off finishing your post for 4 days. It may also result in regular intervals of sighing and attempting to remember perfectly shaped paragraphs while finishing said post. Moving on:

I wanted to put a lot more into this Ramaḍān arc, but covering the basics and actually completing it is satisfying for an erratic and flakey blogger.
Peace in relation to Ramaḍān when it's celebrated in the Middle East. Hmm. Possibly more than I can chew, but the blogsphere is a safe-haven for opinionated and barely qualified individuals.

I enjoy how much I've been finding out about the subtly-spreading deep ecology movement. The gist of this philosophy is the equality of contribution and importance humans have in regard to... Everything. It's usually confined to "nature" or "the environment" when explained, but I feel those terms only bring up images of forests. The concept is that all that exists, living or not, has equal importance in the universe.

Photographed by Michael Bou-Nacklie

It isn't too far-out a concept. Taking up a more humble view of oneself in regards to the universe is pretty standard in becoming more spiritual, but (and let me know if you don't agree) I don't regularly find it so bluntly stated in Abrahamic religions. Needless to say (but I will anyway because I'm cool like that), spirituality nowadays seems to be even more of a sensitive issue that can only lead to fear, then anger, hate, and doubt in humanity. Hence the unrest around here, I believe. Hah! Hit the nail right on the head!

Generally, with or without a label, the act of expressing gratitude for the universe is standard for any culture throughout history. It either manifests itself as organized ritualistic spirituality or organized ritualistic responsible living. This is where my point comes in; Throughout our being, beloved innovations like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sporks, garlic mayo, and iPhones have proven the importance of melding things together to produce magnificence to be cherished by future generations.

I think it's obvious that I'm going to mention Islamic environmentalism. However, that'll be the only time it's mentioned. I was listening to NPR and heard Dr. Russel Moore speaking about an evangelical green movement. Up till that moment I didn't really think about what other religious communities had to go through to remind people to respect God's gifts. It triggered memories of organizations I wanted to mention so long ago. All of which are trying to (not always in a direct way, though) spread peace in the region through coming together for very urgent environmental crises.

Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME)
The most literal embodiment of the topic. Originally founded under the very appropriate name of EcoPeace in 1994, FoEME was made solely to bring together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists to protect shared land and encourage harmony. They're one of the more active organizations and send monthly newsletters upon subscription. They lose a star for having broken links on their site. I have some superficial methods of rating.

Green Prophet
Omg, where do I start? THIS IS IT! I love love loves me my Green Prophet, the environment news site that you see a lot of in my posts. It's super active, and what makes it truly amazing is how much it actually has to do with the Middle East. All the environmental news sites I find based in the region have the tendency to just mention general international stories. These writers are on the ground reporters that give the most recent and helpful unbiased articles. The site itself has been endorsed by the UNEP and named, rightly so, one of the top 100 green blogs on Technorati.

After browsing a little, I found so many more organizations that are heading in the same direction: The Arava Institute for Environmental StudiesJoint Environmental Mediation Service (JEMS)Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Promoting dialogue and cultural Understanding of our Shared Heritage (PUSH), and quite a few Dead Sea conservation initiatives. However, many of them skimp out on the updates or have died out after a year. Also, they're websites aren't as pretty. Again, my very superficial criticism of websites. I appreciate good design.

So there it is. Possible peace in the Middle East as brought to you by yours truly, Khayra Bundakji.

Here's to peace, love, and food.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

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