posted on 09/05/2012: 738 views
Ahead of the next Gulf for Good challenge, the ‘Transylvanian Trek', Emirati environmentalists are urging fellow Emiratis to take up environmental challenges.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi, known as the Green Sheikh of the UAE, has encouraged Emiratis to participate in such causes. The green ambassador from the ruling family of Ajman told Gulf News, "This encouragement is needed due to the future challenges of resources. We live on the same planet; we should act towards a similar cause."
Habiba Al Marashi, chairperson of Emirates Environment Group (EEG), spoke to Gulf News on the same lines, urging more participation among Emiratis in local as well as international environmental challenges. She said, "When Emiratis take up challenges abroad, they are more convinced of the [environmental] reality, helping them become catalysts for change when they return to the UAE. Further, this kind of exposure will help them communicate their learning, giving impetus to action programmes on the ground that will have a direct, positive impact on the environment of the UAE."
She explained that the learning can be in any form. "It doesn't matter whether it is to do with food security, energy conservation or protection of biodiversity; these issues are global issues," she said.
Several residents have participated in Gulf for Good challenges. Three previous Emirati participants spoke to Gulf News about their experience.
Hassan Al Saeed Al Hashemi, a banker in Dubai, said, "My first was Kilimanjaro and second Cuba. The reason for both trips was mainly to give back. I also wanted to challenge myself — both physically and mentally like I had never done before — while doing something good for others."
Hussam Al Saeed, 55, said that his annual resolution for the past three years has been to participate in at least one challenge a year. His primary reason for taking up such challenges is to make a difference. "We are part of a big family, separated by distance, nationality, creed and colour — with a common destiny. I also like to challenge myself and get out of life's routine by going to places and experiencing new things that normally I wouldn't [be able to]. Further, through Gulf for Good, I get to be with a group of like-minded individuals who share the same ideals."
Buthainia Hamed Kazim, a Fulbright Scholar at New York University, said that challenges force her to push herself physically and test her ability to commit.
The next Gulf for Good challenge in August is a five-day hike through stunning gorges, plateaus, forests, valleys and mountain villages via the infamous Dracula's Bran castle, with a final stop in Bucharest. – Gulf News
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