The stifling heat of the Middle East may be one reason why people prefer to take the car rather than walk or cycle but that doesn’t mean that they don’t support the creation of cheaper and better public transport. Indeed, hundreds of people from across the Arab world joined 350.org’s worldwide ‘Moving Planet’ campaign by getting on their bikes and walking on September 24, 2011. Their actions were amongst an estimated 2,000 events taking place in over 175 countries which were part of an international day of green action.
Bill Mckibben who leads the green organisation 350.org said in a recent interview that he was happily surprised at the level of support the Middle East has shown on environmental issues in the past. And judging by the campaigns carried out in support of 350.org’s latest climate action on green transport- the region has proved itself once more.
In Egypt (above), over 600 people gathered in Cairo to march and cycle in support of ‘Moving Planet’ and to highlight the vulnerability of Egypt’s precious river Nile to climate change. Supporters also held banners demanding the use of clean energy and better transport for all Egyptians.
More than 200 men, women and children rode bicycles, picked up trash from the streets, and informed Iraqi citizens about the importance of environmental protection in the Iraqi city of Sulaimani (above).
In Kuwait, a small group of youths got together to organise a Youth4Change run at Mishref Park to celebrate ‘Moving Planet’ – millions of people are biking, skating, marching and embodying a beautiful array of creative ways to get moving without fossil fuels.
‘Leave Your Car at Home!’ reads this banner above as Lebanese and internationals embark on a bike protest by occupying the road along the Meditarrean-bordering Corniche in Beirut that is ordinarily full of car traffic, mostly with just one person in each car.
Turkey held various events in Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul. These included a bike orchestra, street art performances and hundreds of local citizens also cycling through their cities to highlight the need for greener transport
For more on Green transport in the Arab world see: