Monthly Archives: March 2013

Did you know? Latin America has had 8 presidents of Arab origin

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According to Al-Ahram, over 17 million people in Latin America are thought to be of Arab origin. Other estimations calculate that Latin Americans of Arab descent could represent up to 5% of the region, or 25-30 million people. Most of them are descendants of immigrants who came from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan, during the first decades of the 20th century.

One thing is certain: Latin America hosts the largest Arab diaspora in the world. By comparison, the Arab minority in Europe (including Arab immigrants and Europeans of Arab origin) was estimated at about 6 million in 2010.

Latin Americans of Arab descent have been disproportionately successful. Nowhere in the world more than in Latin America have the Arab migrants been able to thrive and be so successful. The names of Carlos Slim in Mexico, Miguel Facussé in Honduras or José Said in Chile are synonyms of economic power and political influence. Continue reading

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Climate Change in the Arab World (2) – A Call for Action

Terrace farming in Yemen dating back to the 3rd Millennium BC

Terrace farming in Yemen dating back to the 3rd Millennium BC

Part 2 of our article on Climate Change in the Arab World highlights solutions and urgent actions needed to start adapting to climate change in the region.

WATERSTOP WASTING!

Arab countries are located in a very arid region with the lowest freshwater resource endowment in the world. Fast demographic growth and climate change will dramatically increase the already severe water gap of the MENA region. Continue reading

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Syria – Update from the Front

Hafez falling

Hafez falling in Raqaa

In the North and the East

Roughly speaking, the North is starting to get closer to a liberated zone and signs of a new Syria are emerging, especially in Aleppo. Most of the border with Turkey is controlled by the rebels (mainly al Farouk brigade) who have recently focused on more strategic targets (bigger cities, airports, military bases…). But that does not mean that these are stable and safe areas. Continue reading

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Climate Change in the Arab world: How much worse can it get?

aridI remember witnessing a surreal scene during an international Forum in Northern Europe, in 2011. A group of young Arab pro-democracy actors, heroes of the day, had been gathered for lunch break to meet with one of the Forum leaders. They were duly reminded of the importance of protecting the environment and asked to start promoting ASAP a “green agenda” for their countries. The Arab heroes, slightly taken by surprise, promised politely to do so.

How can you be so disconnected from the realities and preoccupations of the Arab peoples and be so right at the same time? Continue reading

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