For gardening in dry areas, you may want to talk to the Israelis - they're cousins after all, and the things that they've learned about agriculture with little or no water is invaluable - they really invented modern xericulture and drip irrigation.
And, quite frankly, most realize that food security helps everybody's security. Lookit - a close reading of the Koran shows the sources, so a web search of Israeli agricultural sources, how to run a kibbutz, etc, translated into Arabic would work nicely. The track record is there, despite the present difficulties. Just sell it as local inspiration ( say the ideas are German - the locals will buy it!)
The socialistic ideas behind communal gardening are really a European import in the Middle East anyway - finding a culturally appropriate way to express them will be a challenge, but do-able. But the locals are going to have to take it in hand and run with it.
A win-win all around, really. I'd reach out to the Israelis directly - so many want peace and their cousins eating good would make them feel good.
Clinton Community Garden
Subj: [cg] community gardening in the middle east
Date: 11/16/03 2:38:34 PM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet
I'm new to the list. My name is Charli, I’m an
American currently living in Amman, Jordan.
I am drafting a concept paper on establishing an
organic community garden in an impoverished
neighborhood in Amman aimed at boosting food security
and nutrition among those most vulnerable to rising
food prices. My research has of course uncovered lots
of information about similar CG projects in Latin
America, Africa, and Asia, but nothing, not a word,
about community gardening in the Muslim/Arab Middle
East (Israel has some innovative CG projects, but
though the environmental challenges are similar, the
sociocultural factors are quite different!). I’d
really appreciate hearing from anyone with knowledge
on the subject, especially as it relates to social,
cultural, and religious considerations, and would
gratefully accept suggestions of resources I might
Also, by chance is there one among you who is
currently involved in CG project aimed at food
security in densely populated, poor urban areas
anywhere in the developing world? I could use some
general advice on a few technical issues.