Waking the Red-Dead

by Lizabeth Zack
published in MER254

“Look at that!” said Muhammad ‘Asfour, an environmentalist and avid nature photographer, pointing to a picture of a boat and wooden staircase perched well above the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea. “Do you see how far they are from the waterline?”

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From the Editors

by Jeannie Sowers , Chris Toensing
published in MER254

The Middle East is running out of water.

Mining for Fish

Privatization of the "Commons" Along Egypt's Northern Coastline

by Ray Bush , Amal Sabri
published in MER216

Around 10,000 of the estimated million people employed 
in Egypt’s fishing sector are based in ‘Izbat al-Burg, situated at the northernmost tip of the Nile’s Damietta Branch and bordered on the east by the vast Lake Manzala. As recently as nine years ago, Lake Manzala was a major fishing area and a collective asset for this community. Small-scale fishers used simple, cheap fishing boats and equipment, faring well alongside larger operators working in both lake and sea fishing. But at the turn of the century, the lake is no longer regarded as rizq (a source of livelihood). Increasingly, local fishers have been prevented from fishing in Manzala by state-licensed private enclosures that have virtually sealed off access to the lake’s northwestern shorelines.

From the Editor

published in MER216

As the western and southern United States sizzled in record heat this summer, a broad swath of the Middle East was suffering through the worst drought in memory. Through June and July, Middle Easterners sweltered in unusually high temperatures. In Morocco, where half the population works in agriculture, lack of rainfall has forced thousands of peasants into the overcrowded shantytowns around large cities. In Iran, precipitation has dropped by 25 percent in the last two years.