Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 24th Events in the Middle East (and Central Asia)

October 24th Events in the Middle East (and Central Asia):

Selected Highlights

Introduction:

On October 24, millions of people across the globe will participate in the most widespread day of environmental action in history, attending over 3,500 events in more than 160 countries. Organized by the grassroots campaign 350.org, participants are mobilizing to urge world leaders to support a clear solution to the climate crisis: reducing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million.

From capitol cities to the melting slopes of Mount Everest, even underwater on dying coral reefs—people are holding rallies and visual demonstrations aimed at focusing attention on the 350 target.

Global highlights include over 300 events across China; major rallies at iconic landmarks like the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, the Great Barrier Reef; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; and 350 Masaii children hosting a traditional dance on their parched fields in Kenya.

This document highlights some of the 200 plus 350.org events planned across the Middle East and Central Asia for the October 24 International Day of Climate Action.

Key Contacts:

For events in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia:

Will Bates, 350.org Coordinator

will@350.org

For other events in the region:

Phil Aroneanu, 350.org Coordinator

Phil@350.org

For Arabic quotes and information on Middle East Actions:

Hiba Farhat

email: comms@indyact.org

phone: 009613320318

350.org Spokesperson for the Middle East:

Wael Hmaidan, 350.org Middle East and co-founder of IndyACT.

Email: whmaidan@indyact.org

phone: 009613506313

Actions and Events

Afghanistan:

In some of the first grassroots mobilizing on climate change in Afghanistan ever the Afghan Youth for Social Development and Tolerance will create a 300 square meter message, on the slopes of Paghman Mountain, “mother of the Kabul River,” that reads "SAVE OUR WORLD -- AFGHAN YOUTH FOR 350" using chalk. The youth organizers also anticipate participation from the Minister of Education and officials from the Afghan National Environment Protection Agency all joining in the call for 350.

- Action URL: http://www.350.org/node/8134

- Contact: Sayed Masood, masood_ahmed83@hotmail.com, +93776213066

Algeria:

Algiers, Algeria - More than 900 students at a government school in the country's capital will create aerial art by spelling '350' with their bodies. The students and teachers will spend the day discussing the effects of climate change on Algeria, and how ordinary citizens and the government can help solve it.

Contact:
Tarik Haoues
haouestarik@hotmail.com
+213697534688

Egypt:

Cairo, Egypt - A group of youth activists and their friends and families are gathering with a 350 banner at the Pyramids in mid October. On October 24th the same youth activists are organizing a festival with music, film screenings, and performances to spread awareness on climate change and its effects on Egypt's resources.

Contact:

Sarah Rifaat

sarah.rifaat@gmail.com

+2 (0) 122560492

Iran:

Groups are coordinating across all of Iran in unprecedented ways on climate change to spread the 350 campaign to all corners of the country. In the West Mohammad and his friends will have lectures at least in 10 high schools which can inform hundreds of high school students and their families about climate change and 350. In the East, a group of postgraduate students from environment and natural resources faculties are preparing to have an educational event in Mashhad, the second biggest city of country, which can notify thousands of Iranians about climate change and 350. Also, another group has announced that they are going to spread the word by cycling in Torghabeh, one of the main tourist attractions in North East of Iran.

Action URLs: http://www.350.org/node/7551, http://www.350.org/node/7712, and more.

Contact: Will Bates, will@350.org, 1-203-940-0102

Lebanon:

Beirut, Lebanon - 350.org partner IndyACT and other groups will come together for a green-carpet screening of Age of Stupid, a climate change documentary, in the presence of celebrities, politicians and media. Earlier in the day, youth climate organizers will walk through the ruins of Roman Baths in the center of Beirut with goggles and 350 materials to highlight the danger of sea level rise in the coastal city.

Contact:

Hiba Farhat comms@indyact.org
+961 3320318

Pakistan:

Islamabad, Pakistan: There will be seminar on the importance of climate change and 350 in two schools at Islamabad. The environment secretary of Pakistan would be coming for the event, there is also a possibility that the environment minister would be coming for this event.

- Contact: Marina Ahmed,92-331-5201776, ahmad.marina@gmail.com

Karachi, Pakistan: The Pakistan Youth Climate Network, Karachi will host a “flash-mob” event in their home city, a spontaneous gathering to draw attention to the crisis of global warming and the need to return to 350 ppm. At 2 pm sharp, students and citizens will gather with face-masks, banners and placards to call for increased air quality and climate action.

- Action URL:http://www.350.org/node/6807

- Contact:Farrukh, 0092321-9222027, pycnkarachi@gmail.com

Chitral, Pakistan: In response the rapid changes already being experienced in the Hindu Kush region of northern Pakistan, the citizens of the Chitral and Kalash valleys will be doing a number of activities for the 24th including speech contests on climate change amongst the students, speeches from environmental experts highlighting the importance of a healthy globe for humanity, structuring environment protection groups at schools in Chitral town and the Kalash valleys of Chitral, and a free-style polo match to gather the community and discuss issues of climate change and 350.

- Action URL: http://www.350.org/node/6744

- Contact: Shams Uddin, camatchitral@yahoo.com

Syria:

Aleppo, Syria: A group of concerned citizens will march from the Saadallah Jabry Square to the City Council builiding, collecting signatures along the way, and educating the citizens of Aleppo about 350 and climate change. They will present the petition to the Mayor of Aleppo, asking that he take steps to reduce CO2 emissions by reducing the number of cars on the road and asking students to bike or walk to school instead of taking the bus every day. The same group will run a series of workshops at schools in the weeks leading up to October 24, educating students about climate change.

- Action URL: http://www.350.org/node/5039

- Contact: Wael Hallaj: waelhallaj@gmail.com

+963933466273

Iraq:

350 at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon: Students of Babel will be holding an October 24 event in front of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the old world seven wonders, to call on all government leaders to take action on climate change. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are one of the most important historical witness about how much our ancestors cared about their environment. But as a result of years of neglect, now all what we can see of it is ruins.

- Action URL: http://www.350.org/node/8556

- Contact: Ali Fakhry, campaigner@indyact.org

Israel / Jordan / Palestine:

Uniting across Borders: Israel/Palestine/Jordan for 350: On October 24, concerned citizens from the three countries surrounding the rapidly shrinking Dead Sea will put aside their political differences to rally together in support of the 350 parts per million CO2 target and a strong deal in Copenhagen. In Israel, Palestine and Jordan, crowds will form a 3, 5, and 0 respectively, with their bodies to show that climate change is an issue that requires cooperation above and beyond stale political rhetoric.

Contacts:

Jordan: Abdel Sultan asultan@foeme.org +962 777280823
Palestine: Iyad Aburdeieneh iyad@foeme
.org +972 522553966 or +972 599606542

350 Middle East Spokespeople

Wael Hmaidan, 350.org Middle East and Co-founder of IndyAct

Wael Hmaidan is a co-founder of IndyAct, the League of Independent Activists, and the head of the ‘Arab Climate Campaign’ in the organization. The campaign aims at achieving a strong post-2012 climate policy in the region. After successfully organizing events in six Arab countries during a 2007 day of action on climate change (including a climate walkathon in Beirut), IndyAct helped establish the Arab Climate Alliance to push strong climate policy through the Arab League. Mr. Hmaidan has more than 10 years experience in climate change campaigning in the Arab World. His work on this issue started in his capacity as the Greenpeace campaigner for the Arab World, where he helped established the energy and climate change campaign in the region. He participated as a policy expert and speaker in several regional and international climate events. He is also a regional advisor to the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of Germany (BGR) and UN-ESCWA, as well as a steering committee member of the Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives (GAIA), a global NGO network working on waste management and climate change.

Wael Hmaidan

email: whmaidan@indyact.org

phone: 009613506313

General Press Inquiries for the Middle East:

For assistance contacting event organizers, Arabic quote requests or other press inquiries please contact:

Hiba Farhat, Communications Director, IndyACT:

email: comms@indyact.org

phone: +961 3320318

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