A weekly Green Prophet series that looks at the Arabic “green” blogosphere and online communities.
After looking at “The Forum of the Ornithological Society of Kuwait and at the Saudi Green Blog, we are continuing our trip through the Gulf Countries and arrive this week at the Oman Eco Group Blog. This blog has been active since July 2008 and is administered by the Environmental Co-Op Group (ECO-Group). This group, as written in the blog, “has been the first environmental group founded in Oman consisting of teachers and students.” Its aims are to “make people aware of the environment” and to “share ideas and experience with people around the world in the field of environment & discuss environmental issues.”
Campaign for the environment
The contributors to the blog are Salim Al-Busaidi, Hamed al-Rawahi, and someone nicknamed Asmaa Oman and all are committed to sharing its involvement in environmental campaigns, conferences and projects with its readers. We have listed some of those here:
ECO-Group participated in the Second Wahiba Cleaning Campaign in Bidya. They also joined the No To Plastic Bags For Oman Campaign organized by the Environment Society of Oman, in which students educated the people about the importance of using eco-friendly bags. Finally, ECO-Group members visited the Sultan Qaboos University in order to participate in the Agricultural Festival organized by the College of Agriculture.
Oman ECO-Group has not only been involved in environmental campaigns, but has also organized some of its own. For instance on January 24, 2004, the teachers Salim Al-Busaidi and Hamed al-Mahrooqi as well as ten pupils from Adam School for Basic Education went out to clean the Valley of Halfeen. In 2008, the group initiated the longest environmental petition in the world, which “aim[ed] to collect signatures and comments about conserving the environment and spread awareness among people,” especially among students, teachers, and society individuals.
In November 2008, Oman ECO-Group launched a campaign for the reduction use of plastic bags and for the use of bags which are made of environment-friendly materials instead. The campaign was launched in Osama Bin Zaid School, and then included other schools and some big shops in Adam. Rawabi Al-Jamae super market promised to provide these bags to its customers with some monthly prizes.
In December 2008, Oman ECO-Group launched an active campaign in order to raise environmental awareness among the people in Adam. As part of this campaign, the group members went to markets, government institutions, and schools to distribute some important environmental materials detailing ways to save the environment, protect wildlife and conserve water.
Environmental awareness through art
Oman ECO-Group has also used performances, movies, and songs in order to raise environmental awareness among children. For example, a post published on October 7, 2008, describes how members of the Oman ECO-Group celebrated Idd Al-Fitr by participating in Al-Bashaer club annual celebration. During the celebration, the group members performed the first environmental play in Adam & Manah towns, called “Environment Friends.”
This play was written by T. Salim Al-Busaidi, directed by T. Mahmoud Al-Kusaibi, and performed by Hamed Al-Mahrooqi, Majdi Al-Mahrooqi, Muktar Al-Mahrooq, Majid Al-Asmi and Mohammed Al-Busaidi. Two songs about the environment and a movie about ECO Group were presented in the celebration.
It also organized, together with al-Bashaer Club, an environmental fine arts competition between pupils from 8 schools from Adam & Manah. The pupils used materials such as plastic, CDs, batteries, and bottles in order to create their pieces of art. This competition resulted in the environmental fine arts exhibition, which was opened on September 26, 2008 by Mr. Hilal Al-Shaqsi, Director General of Al-Dakillia Directorate of Sport Affairs, and Sheikh Sultan Al-Mahrooqi, president of Al-Bashaer Club. The exhibition was designed by Teacher Ayman Khalil Ibrahim from Osama Bin Zaid School.
Although this blog has not been active since March 2009, Salim Al-Busaidi created a new website for the Oman ECO-Group, which is called the Oman ECO-Group. This website includes a blog, which was opened in December 2008 and has been active ever since. This blog is written mainly in Arabic and has the same goals as its predecessor.
More On Environment in Oman