Global Award for Sustainable Architecture

Global Award for Sustainable Architecture

Rima Alsammarae report on Middle East Architect of 9 April 2019 that “Jordanian architect and artist Ammar Khammash is a 2019 laureate of the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, along with four other architects including Dr Werner Sobek, Ersen Gursel, Rozana Montiel and Jorge Lobos.” 

Jordanian architect Ammar Khammash wins Global Award for Sustainable Architecture

Jordanian architects, Ammar Khammash, Sustainable architecture, Architecture awards, Architects from the Middle East, Architects from Jordan

Created by architect and scholar Jana Revedin in 2006, the international award recognises five architects each year who have contributed to sustainable development and created innovative and participatory approaches to meet societal needs. 

Royal Academy for Nature Conservation in Jabal Ajloun, Jordan by Khammash Architects

According to the award’s website, Khammash was recognised for his dedication to interdisciplinary scientific research, as well as his artisanal and artistic approaches to architecture.

Khammash’s projects include the Wild Jordan Center, the Royal Academy for Nature Conservation, the Darat Al Funun workspace and the Columbia University Middle East Research Center in Amman, as well as the Church of the Apostles in Madaba. His approach involves the use of locally-sourced, natural materials to achieve context-relevant designs. 

The Middle East Modern Art Space in New Badr, Amman by Khammash Architects

“It appears that there is a growing international trend to put architecture back on the track of social and environmental responsibilities, and away from being a hostage of powerful visual output that publishes well in the media,” he said. “Our philosophy and methodology of approach is entirely based on the role of architecture in solving problems, finding creative ways to co-exist with the larger context, which includes society and nature.”

Currently finalising two ecolodges in Jordan (one in Yarmouk Reserve and the other on the hot spring of Al Himmeh in Mukhaibeh), Khammash and his team are also working on a number of competitions in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He noted that the award will help him further his approach and convince clients who see things differently.

Heedan Visitors Center by Khammash Architects

“The recognition from this prestigious award will help me change the mentality of clients, politicians and students,” he said, “ensuring that architecture retains some degree of modesty and symbiotic relationship to people and nature, instead of overwhelming, overpowering and outsmarting the very reason we need to build for.”

Khammash will be speaking at the award’s symposium, to be held in Paris in May.

Ammar Khammash talks on CNN’s program “Inside the Middle East” about Feynan Eco-Lodge, designed by Khammash Architects, and which is one of the first Eco-Lodges in Jordan and the Middle East.
Watch the interview: Inside the Middle East
Ethnobotany of medicinal plants in Mascara, Algeria

Ethnobotany of medicinal plants in Mascara, Algeria

The Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences JBES on September 26, 2018 posted an enlightening article on herbal medicine as practiced in North-Africa.  This story is about Ethnobotany of medicinal plants as practised in Mascara, a large agricultural region, 400 kilometers west of the capital city Algiers.  An abstract and introduction of the study are proposed as Ethnobotany of medicinal plants in Mascara, Algeria..

Ethnobotany of medicinal plants in the region Béni Chougrane, Mascara, Algeria

By: Marouf Baghdad


This herbal study was conducted in the Mascara region (Beni Chougrane), whose population is closely linked to the various natural resources. our study is to provide a floristic inventory of medicinal plants and to collect information concerning the uses Therapeutic made in said region. The results of our study have identified 72 medicinal species used by local people in traditional medicine, owned 38 families, the most common used: Lamiaceae, Apiaceae and Asteraceae, and we established a herbarium sheets for each plant. Thus, it had been found the modes used in the form of decoction and infusion. The results also showed that medicinal plants are used in the following diseases: hypertension and diabetes.

Author Information:

Marouf Baghdad, Meddah Boumediene, Anteur Djamel, Baghdadi Djilali

  • Search Laboratory Biological Systems and Geomatics. University of Mascara, Algeria
  • Geomatics laboratory and sustainable development (LGEO2D), University of Ibn Khaldoun, Tiaret, Algeria
  • University of Abdelhamid Ben Badis, Mostaganem, Algeria



The use of medicinal plants in therapy knows notable interest, and it is through scientific studies based on analytical methods, and the new experiments, the medical world discovers more, the well-founded empirical prescriptions of medicinal plants. These last constitute an inexhaustible source of drugs for men (Handa et al., 2006).

Algeria, by the richness and diversity of its flora, constitutes a real phylogenetic tank, with about 4000 species and sub-species of vascular plants, which allows it to occupy a privileged square among the Mediterranean countries that have a long medical tradition and traditional know-how in herbal medicine (Righi, 2008).

The importance of medicinal plants in Algeria is so undeniable that is why, high request national and international medicinal plants, the use and lawless harvesting constitute a real danger for the future of medicinal plants if any species plantation policy is not applied.  However, the Algerian medicinal flora remains unknown until today, because of some thousands of plant species, counted medicinal species do not exceed a few tens.

Analysis of the Algerian medicinal bibliography shows that data relating to regional medicinal plants are very partial and dispersed.  Similarly, knowledge making is held currently by few people.  Also, the expedited destruction especially by natural drought and human activities, makes it more difficult to discover, the exploitation and backup of the potentialities of this type.

Indeed, traditional medicine has always occupied an important place in the traditions of medications in Algeria especially in mountainous and Saharan areas. The study conducted in the municipalities of Mascara, responds to this concern by bringing documentation for medicinal plants.

Through a series of surveys in ethnobotany, radiotherapists in the Mascara region were interviewed, the information sought on the used plants focused on their local name, their therapies virtues and all related medical practice.

Thus, a floristic inventory was performed on four protected sites.  It is very important to translate and reflect knowledge in scientific knowledge to revalue it, keep and use rationally our ethnobotanical study as a contribution to the identification of medicinal plants used by the local population in the Mascara region and the identification of ways of use in traditional Algerian pharmacopoeia.

Materiel and methods

The mountains of Beni Chougrane are one of the links of the western Tell oriented South-West/ North-East, bounded as the east valley of Mina separates them from the mountain of Ouarsenis.  West, they are extended by the mountains of Tessala et Ouled Ali.  North, they are bordered by the plain of the Habra-Sig and South, by Ghriss-Mascara.  In most part of the valley of Mina which marks the limit is valley of Mebtouh, which marks the western limit, the Beni Chougrane mountains are crossed by valley El Hammam, which are built 3 large dams-tanks.  The total acreage of the Bneder in 1981 was 2,860 km².  The agricultural acreage represents 35% of this total area, course and forests account for 27% and 20 % (heavy degraded) unproductive lands.

The intervention is to identify plants of a region and to realize an herbarium, also from well know its distribution and ecological conditions of this vegetation.

Our objective is to know the traditional use of plants used by the population of semiarid as a remedy so to traditional knowledge.  It is also to know the traditional use of our inventory mostly at the time of survey, the lack of means of transport.

Read more on the original document: Ethnobotany of medicinal plants in the region Béni chougrane (Mascara, Algeria)

Related post:  Genetic diversity in some euphrates poplar (Populus euphratica O.) ecotypes in Iran using microsatellites (SSRs) markers — JBES

Journal name: Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (JBES)

Published by: International Network for Natural Sciences

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Shale Gas with Petroleum Oil

Shale Gas with Petroleum Oil

Qatar Today posted this article on the man who could possibly be the greatest defender of the Petroleum Oil industry success story in the whole of the GCC region. We have in the recent past reviewed and published Shale Gas vs Petroleum Oil on what was then a first reaction to the drop in oil price of June 2014. Today this is almost a defiant shout in support of the fatality of Petroleum oil as source of energy in the world as prices seem to be edging up again. Would it be the effects of all that Shale oil originating mainly from the US; in which case, could it be the Shale oil that is helping the conventional oil back into business as usual? Or is it Shale Gas with Petroleum Oil vs the world?


April 15, 2018 


The Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development is a non-profit organisation established to preserve and build upon His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah’s 40 years of service in the energy industry. His legacy includes important roles in a variety of senior leadership positions within the government of Qatar and the international community on issues which include climate change and sustainable development. In an interview with Qatar Today, HE Al Attiyah talks about his foundation and its awards ceremony for this year, which will take place on May 7.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your career, and why you started the Al Attiyah Foundation.

I have had a long, fulfilling career in the energy industry, spanning over 40 years, during which I have served my country in a variety of senior leadership positions including Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Qatar, Minister of Energy and Industry, and Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum.

Between 1993-2003 I was President of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), presiding over conference meetings eighteen times.  The mission of OPEC is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its member countries to ensure the stabilisation of oil markets.  I was also privileged to serve as the Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in 2006 and the President of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) during COP 18 in Qatar, in 2012.

Throughout my career I’ve strived to help the energy industry grow in a sustainable way and so it was fitting for me to set up the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development to preserve and to build upon my experience and that of the Board of Trustees, which consists of distinguished past and present figures and influencers from Qatar’s oil and gas industry. Established in 2015, the Al Attiyah Foundation is a non-profit organization that delivers independent insights, research and thought leadership on issues of critical importance to the energy industry and the sustainable development of the global economy.

The foundation provides a rallying call for like-minded organisations to work together to develop policies and strategic thinking that will assist governments and industry to build a sustainable energy future. It welcomes organisations that wish to partner on projects of mutual interest in the area of energy and sustainable development.

HE Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Chairman and Founder of Al Attiyah Foundation.

Tell us a little bit about the awards taking place next month and some of the awards that will be given out this year.

I created The Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Energy Awards to recognise the achievements of distinguished individuals with regard to the services provided by them to the global energy industry.

The awards are given annually to individuals for their lifetime achievement in the advancement of the global energy industry in seven categories. This year the event will take place on May 7 at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar. The nominees are voted by an International Selection Committee, which rewards candidates for an outstanding record of accomplishment in their sector over their entire career – men and women who have made an exceptional impact on the energy industry with distinct personal achievements.

AWARD CATEGORIES: Lifetime Achievement Award for

  • ·         Advancement of the Qatar Energy Industry
  • ·         Advancement of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
  • ·         Advancement of Education for Future Energy Leaders
  • ·         Advancement of Producer-Consumer Dialogue
  • ·         Advancement of International Energy Journalism
  • ·         Advancement of Renewable Energy
  • ·         Advancement of International Energy Policy & Diplomacy
  • What do you think are the greatest challenges Qatar faces in terms of the sustainability of the oil and gas industry today?

Energy, particularly hydrocarbons, has played a crucial role in industrialisation since the beginning of last century. In the Middle East, the energy sector is the backbone of economic development and I see this continuing. However, the energy industry needs to adapt rapidly to a changing business environment whilst addressing climate change and continue to innovate and diversify.

I have often been asked to share my view on what I consider the best way forward for Middle-Eastern countries in a “post oil era”. My response has consistently been that “I do not see the end of the ‘oil era’ for many decades to come”.

But I can understand why people ask me this question, considering the concern for climate change and the steady move towards more renewable energy sources.  However, in the context of climate change and sustainable development, our reference should not be to a ‘post oil era’, but rather a world of collective green growth based on the appropriate energy mix for each country.

As developing countries experience growth, particularly in transportation, power-generation and industrialisation, energy requirements will largely continue to be powered by oil and gas. The very large energy consumers like the USA, China, Japan and others should have a diverse range of energies available to them as part of their sustainable development strategy.

This should be enhanced by technological development and innovative approaches to address challenges such as security of supply, efficient water management, climate change and air pollution.



Present & Future Technological Development

Present & Future Technological Development

Following on Envisaging a Better 2018 or Envisioning any Future  here are excerpts of 2 posts that could easily be merged into one another as they both address amongst many things, the present and future technological development that will undoubtedly imprint our life. Or as put in an MIT Technology Review, these technologies all have staying power. They will affect the economy and our politics, improve medicine, or influence our culture. Some are unfolding now; others will take a decade or more to develop. But you should know about all of them right now.

The picture above is of the

However, below are only a few of the most notable.

Greatest triumphs in tech in 2017

Jan Vermeulen

2017 saw significant triumphs in the technology sector.

There have been major advances in the fields of robotics and machine learning, while cryptocurrencies have seen a meteoric rise in value and usage.

The biggest victories in technology in 2017 are listed below.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence and robotics are rapidly becoming mainstream, Vodacom’s head of innovation Jannie van Zyl told MyBroadband.

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot performed backflips, and an AI passed a medical exam this year.

“Both these events were trigger events,” said van Zyl.

There has also been a rapid deployment and acceptance of self-driving cars, which could change the way people move.


MyBroadband founder Rudolph Muller listed the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as his biggest technology triumph of the year.

“It went from a tech hobbyist’s domain to more mainstream adoption, and is still gaining momentum,” he said.

Bitcoin and Ethereum have dominated headlines in 2017, thanks to their rise in value.

Revenue sharing schemes for OTT players

Van Zyl also selected the European Union’s attempt to force over-the-top players to start sharing revenue with the creators of the content they are monetising as a highlight.

Google may have to compensate news outlets for using their content on Google News, for example.


Van Zyl said the standardisation of 5G was another win in 2017.

Initially it looked as though the soonest 5G standardisation would happen is 2020, but a group of over 40 companies worked together to speed it up.

Qualcomm said the process would be finished in the first half of 2019 and mass adoption of the standard would happen by 2020.

This Super Green Tower Will Feature a Landing Pad for Your Flying Car

Richard’s Architecture + Design (RA+D) have designed the perfect super green building for the future. The Smart Tower will include some of the greenest technology the world has seen.

By Taylor Donovan Barnett

Flying cars are slowly moving their way from the back of the greatest minds in science fiction and are heading towards reality. Even the ride-share company, Uber, announced that they will be using flying cars as early as 2020. There is something about flying cars that lay at the heart of culture. The flying car has been the symbol for the optimist’s vision of the future. Understanding this, Richard Moreta Castillo and his team at Richard’s Architecture + Design (RA+D) have designed a massive tower that will not only be a net-zero tower but will also include areas to land your flying car.

The Dragon Inspired Smart Tower

Dubbed the Smart Power Long Tower, the massive and elegant building will be set in Shanghai, China. The building will feature commercial spaces, but a majority of the building will have some of the most exotic looking condominiums in the world. And, of course, do not forget the landing pads for your back- to-the-future looking flying car.

The ambitious features of the building do not stop there. The super green concept will also include a vertical forest that will have 50,000 trees and shrubs spiral towards the heavens.

The ambitious features of the building do not stop there. The super green concept will also include a vertical forest that will have 50,000 trees and shrubs spiral towards the heavens.

Like a spiralling staircase, docking stations for the drone cars wind up the exterior of the building. What makes this building even more special is that it will be able to clean a lot of the air in the surrounding area.

The building along with trees would be able to extract the carbon dioxide in the air, making a fire exit on the top of the building. Though it is still open to debate, the building will include things like a recycling water plant at the base of the building.

Source: RA+D

More exciting things will be happening at the base of the building. The vision also includes a massive aquarium, convention center. Topping all these impressive off, the $600 million dollars will be able to draw on solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy.

Source: RA+D


Integrating Sustainability into Core Functions is Key

Integrating Sustainability into Core Functions is Key

Mc Kinsey produced Sustainability’s deepening imprint per a global survey on sustainability as it were in the business world. Their findings are that companies are more active than ever in pursuing sustainability to align with values and engage stakeholders, a new survey shows. To see financial returns, though, integrating sustainability into core functions is key.

As environmental, social, and governance issues have become ever more important influencers of customer and employee expectations, organizations have tightened their embrace of the sustainability programs that address those issues. According to the latest McKinsey Global Survey on the topic,1 companies are increasingly formalizing the way they govern sustainability programs, as well as elevating the importance of diversity and inclusion.2 And a larger share of respondents than ever before say the top reason for implementing a sustainability agenda is better alignment between an organization’s practices and its goals, missions, or values.

The results also shed light on how companies are deploying technologies to manage and support their sustainability agendas. For example, companies have greatly increased their use of both familiar tools, such as energy-efficient equipment, and more innovative ones, such as digital platforms. Despite these advances, many organizations still struggle to capture financial value from their sustainability efforts. Integrating sustainability into one or more core business functions, for instance, is a practice that can help. The integration of sustainability into functional work doubles the likelihood that a company will report financial value from these efforts.

Deeper engagement with sustainability as key issues and stakeholders evolve

Nearly six in ten respondents say that their organizations are more engaged with sustainability than they were two years ago—and just 9 percent that engagement has declined. In some industries, the shares reporting greater engagement are even larger: more than 80 percent of respondents in consumer packaged goods and three-quarters of those in infrastructure, for example. Respondents also report that their organizations have increased their formal governance of sustainability: 70 percent say their companies have some form of governance in place, compared with 56 percent in 2014. What’s more, an increasing share of respondents (16 percent, up from 12 percent previously) now report that their companies have a board-level committee dedicated to sustainability issues.

When asked about their companies’ top reasons for addressing sustainability, respondents most often cite alignment with the organization’s own goals, mission, and values. The results also suggest that some stake-holders are becoming more important. Meeting consumer expectations is now among the top five reasons, and the share citing the attraction, motivation, or retention of employees also grew since 2014 (Exhibit 1). The sustainability topics that matter most to businesses vary across industries (Exhibit 2). Respondents cite diversity and inclusion among the top five most important topics, and it is a top three issue in financial services and high tech. Five years ago, when respondents were asked which issues would be most important by now, renewable energy and waste management topped the list. But relative to other topics, renewable energy has fallen in importance over the same period—during which installations of renewable-energy sources also increased.3 Waste management, too, is no longer among the top five topics that matter most to respondents’ organizations.

For more insights into the subject, reading the whole report in the original site would be recommended.


Environmentally Responsible and Resource-efficient

Environmentally Responsible and Resource-efficient

Per Wikipedia, Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.

Environmentally Responsible and Resource-efficient

In fact, in the Middle East, concerns for anything green were second to that fundamentally frantic development of buildings and all related infrastructure to nevertheless greater and greater awareness of their various environmental impact.  As a matter of fact, the brunt of all development was and still is located in the Arabian Gulf where carbon footprints of any urban agglomeration were recently assessed to be at critical levels.  Elsewhere in the Middle East apart from the large conurbation of Cairo, Damascus, Bagdad, Beirut, etc. things were less acutely perceived but still not exactly as clear of any criticism as one would have hoped.  Hence this ecoMENA write-up that elaborates fairly well on the subject.
We republish Ruba’s article with our compliments and thanks to ecoMENA for such an enriching contribution.
We would also like to republish this InHabitat produced back in 2011 survey of 7 Gorgeous Green Buildings in the Middle East undertaken by Tafline Laylin. To our knowledge, nothing

Greener Built Environment in the Middle East

By Ruba Al-Zu’bi | July 24, 2017

The key drivers for greener built environment in the Middle East are economic in nature. Green and energy-efficient buildings are getting traction in the region due to increasing energy prices and the need for energy efficient and affordable energy solutions and practices within the construction sector. Large real estate developers find in this a new marketing and PR tool that contributes to their bottom line and to demonstrating their commitment to sustainable development goals and environmental responsibility. From the supply side, suppliers and service providers find new business opportunities in this market transformation and this has become a driver for new services and materials.

Key Drivers

Transformation in the built environment requires change on the demand side that triggers change on the supply side. Consumer behavior and preferences are the key driver in the market. Understanding what shapes the various consumers’ preferences in various communities and countries would help make the green change more sustainable. The data on buildings performance and the social, economic and environmental impact of such performance is hardly available.

Deploying ICT solutions to enable monitoring and verification is another market enabler and opportunity for local businesses and professionals. Finally, establishing a local green buildings industry is what would sustain the green movement. Leveraging local resources and guiding local innovation towards green building solutions should be the focus of the future.

Vital Ingredients

Awareness raising is usually the long-term investment in behavioral change. When it comes to greening the real estate sector, there are several target groups across the supply chain that require different forms of awareness raising. Starting from architects, designers and developers and passing by electro-mechanical and construction engineers, towards contractors, material suppliers and consultants.

Each of those has a different need and mindset and would require creative messages and tools to join the green movement. The financial implications on short and long terms are usually important to include in addition to other factors like health, comfort, and environmental stewardship. Communicators need to work with green professionals in order to design awareness campaigns that can lead to behavior change.

Situation in Jordan

Jordan is one of the non-oil-producing countries and is striving to achieve ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy targets to overcome its energy challenges. In addition, it is one of the world’s most water-scarce countries. Green buildings are one of the key enablers for green jobs, energy savings and clean tech innovation. Today, Jordan is the home for 19 LEED registered buildings of which 7 are already LEED Certified Buildings (4 Gold, 1 Platinum and 2 Sliver). The sector is attracting many professionals to get certified and penetrate local and regional markets as LEED professionals. To date, 164 LEED Green Associates and 53 LEED APs exist along with a Jordanian USGBC Faculty member; many of which are working on projects in the region.

Communicators need to work with green professionals to facilitate behavioral change.

The government as well as private sector and NGOs have strong appetite to enable this sector through advocating for greener building codes and effective enforcement of codes and regulations as well as building capacity and raising awareness among various target groups. Donors and international agencies are supporting these efforts especially within the energy sector support programmes through technical assistance and pilot projects. While cities like Amman embarked into green buildings as part of their sustainability strategies and adopted some incentive schemes to promote green building practices; the country still needs to move towards greening other cities and anchoring such direction within various municipalities.