Inhabiting the Spaceship: The Connected Isolation of Masdar City

By: Gokce Gunel

The Avery Review, 2016.

Günel analyzes Masdar City, an eco-city project in Abu Dhabi, through the model of an isolated spaceship in the desert. She critiques the way the project envisions a sustainable future for an elite few, promoting environmental awareness while preserving social hierarchies.


Global Aspirations and Local Realities of Solar Energy in Morocco

By: Atman Aoui, Moulay Ahmed el Amrani, and Karen Rignall

MERIP, 2020.

This piece describes how green development–in this case, a solar plant near Ouarzazate, Morocco–can reproduce the problems of extractive industries (inequality and environmental damages). Instead of a stereotypical view of green development making an empty desert landscape productive, this piece demonstrates how the development of the solar plant has ignored the rights and needs of the local population, putting further stress on their water systems and building wealth for foreign investors instead of local residents.


Men in the Sun

By: Ghassan Kanafani


This short novel follows the journey of three Palestinian men from a refugee camp in Iraq to find work in Kuwait in the 1950s. The men agree to travel through the desert in a water tank and die on the way. The novel offers a view of an unforgiving desert landscape from the perspective of Eastern Mediterraneans, highlighting the diversity of the environmental and political landscapes in the Middle East.