December 10

Glen Abbey Golf Course: A Local Gem in Need of Protection

When we were looking for a house closest to my husband’s work, Oakville was one of the options, but being used to city life most of my life I was really hesitant to make the move to a town.
We chose Oakville for many reasons, but the one thing that took my breath away was the iconic Glen Abbey Golf Course (GAGC); this beautiful open landscape, loaded with vibrant colors and fresh air all year round. Every time I’d miss the city’s hustle and bustle, I’d pass this beautiful piece of art, like a rare painting, and think to myself: wow! this beauty is definitely worth the move.

And then I learned that ClubLink has a redevelopment plan in mind. And to make a long story short, this “redevelopment” plan will result in less greenery, more buildings, transit, and… you guessed it: more waste, carbon footprint, pollution and ugliness.

We’ve been living in Oakville for around 3 years now, and I’m already angry at the amount of unnecessary construction taking place almost all around my neighborhood. The uprooting of old healthy trees and the removal of beautiful fertile soil to be replaced with extra stupid housing is just ridiculous, but it generates money, lots of it, unfortunately, and that’s why all the attempts of residents to stop these developments have so far failed horribly.
But to ruin a historic site of such a great cultural, national and environmental significance like the GAGC, one of Canada’s most famous golf courses, and home to the Golf Canada and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, now that’s beyond greed, that’s just a shameful crime.

Many Oakville residents are OK with ClubLink’s new plan, but many others are against it and are trying to stop the destruction of the GAGC and are showing their opposition to the development that will ruin the heart of te area. There are groups of people who have dedicated themselves to this cause, such as: the Save Glen Abbey Coalition, you can follow them on Facebook, and on Twitter, and the Rescue Glen Abbey group. Save Glen Abbey have begun an online petition calling on municipal, regional and provincial officials to oppose the proposed  plan.

So if you’re living in Glen Abbey or are a resident of Oakville, or simply against further damaging nature and harming the environment, I ask you to please join hundreds of other disapproving residents and say no by:

No one is sure we can save the Glen Abbey Golf Course, but we’re all sure we must do our part and never lose hope.

 

July 25

The Bleeding Middle East…

I’ve been trying to reach some friends in Palestine and Lebanon, and I must say that those who were able to reply to my emails, got me in the real picture, a horrible one, I may add.

In Lebanon, and besides the thousands that left the country, thousands are fleeing the capital elsewhere, leaving behind their homes and careers. Many are left homeless with no shelter, waiting for other people’s kindness and sympathy to get their hands on something to eat or a place to sleep.
Not to mention the latest environmental catastrophe caused by this war. (Pics of the catastrophe)
Life is being stopped by force, an evil force…

In Palestine, where citizens have been struggling to get a normal life for years and got used to Israel’s mood-shifts, the situation is no better. Electricity is not available most of the time, employees and workers cannot go to work, more and more killings and bloodshed, less and less medical care available. In short, occupation is at its peak of aggression.

Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon… One can’t but be really saddened when looking at the Middle East nowadays. The Middle East that was once such a fascinating region with its culture, religious diversity and breathtaking nature, is now nothing but a fight ring, a “war-friendly” environment, where one can see nothing but destruction, suffering, disasters, bloodshed and pain.
All because we’re believed to be the terrorists, we’re believed to be the blood-thirsty, we’re believed to be the provokers.
Or maybe this is part of the plan “towards a greater Middle East”? a “terrorism-free” Middle East?
I can’t help but wonder, if Israel provoked an Arab country to wage war on it (which happens all the time but is ignored out of fear) would the world’s decision-makers have the same shameful stand it’s having in the war on Lebanon and Palestine?
Would Israel be left to bleed and suffer while being asked to “cooperate” and “stop terrorism” and “negotiate” its safety?
Hell NO, so until when are we, Arabs, going to be asked to shut up, accept injustice and swallow our humiliation with a big fat smile!

January 25

LifeStraw, a life-saver

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About half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne diseases, of which over 6,000 – mainly children – die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water.
Today, more than one billion people of the world’s population are without access to safe water.
Knowing all this, one can’t but bee thrilled to hear about LifeStraw®, a personal, low-cost water purification tool developed by Vestergaard Frandsen Group, an international company specializing in complex emergency response and disease control textiles.
LifeStraw® is designed to turn surface water into drinking water, providing access to safe water wherever the user is. Positive test results have been achieved on tap, turbid and saline water against common waterborne bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, Enterococcus and Staphylococcus; offering relief from the waterborne diseases of major public concerns such as Typhoid, Cholera, Dysentery and Diarrhoea. It has a life time of 700 litres or up to 1 year and is considered one of the biggest life-savers in the century!

September 4

Monster Hurricane…Katrina!

Every morning, before heading to work, I turn on TV to news channels to know what’s the situation like now in the regions being hit by Hurricane Katrina… or the Monster Hurricane as it’s called.
Whenever I try to write something about it I find myself left with no words strong enough to express my feelings while I watch those people left homeless without shelters, food, or water, with chaos and violence surrounding them!

I don’t really believe the relief efforts are sufficient! Many people are still left behind, and some are insisting on staying where they are, preferring the roofs of their destroyed homes rather than turning to a shelter with nothing to support them!

My company started collecting donations from all its branches around the world, it also gave its employees who reside in the US 4 paid days off to go help the victims of the hurricane.

I think the situation is worsening with every passing day, and help is urgently needed to save the survivors of the hurricane.

Whoever can help, please do!

Storm In Pictures

May 25

Redback Spiders in UAE

Residents in Dubai have been reporting the presence of the redback spiders in their homes and gardens.
According to AME Info, residents are concerned that a lack of availability of antivenom for the poisonous redback spider is endangering lives.

The redback spider -scientifically known as “latrodectus hasselti“– is native to Australia and it is thought they arrived in the UAE about 10 years ago.
Up till now no injuries caused by this spider have been reported by any resident in Dubai, but people are advised to keep away from it and be careful because its byte could be a deadly one.
This is how a redback spider looks like:

The bite is highly venomous and characterized by intense localized pain and around the bite site. The normal sequence of events after a bite is as follows: a sharp pin-pricking pain, usually the bite site becomes hot, erythematic and edema develop rapidly. Localized sweating often occurs. The swelling is generally limited to an area of several cm in radius from the bite site. Around 5 minutes after the bite, intense local pain commences and increases in severity and distribution. Movement of the affected limb often significantly increases the pain. About 30 minutes after the bite, pain and swelling are often experienced in the regional lymph nodes. Other symptoms may include muscular weakness, loss of co-ordination and, in severe cases nausea, vomiting, convulsions, etc.
What to do if you or someone you know got bitten by a redback spider?
Apply an ice pack to the bitten area to relieve pain. Do not apply a pressure bandage (venom movement is slow and pressure worsens pain). Collect the spider for positive identification. Seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY!
Anyway, I didn’t blog about this topic to freak you out, it’s just to spread information because I assume that there are many like me who had no idea about the deadly poison of the redback spiders. So that in case you see one, you make sure to keep away from it, and keep your kids safe.

Via: Environment News (AR)
Source: Albayan (AR)

May 9

WED 05 Photo Gallery

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The Syrian Red Crescent Organization, Homs Branch invites photographers from all around the world, amateur or professional, to participate in its 2005 World Environment Day Photo Gallery which will be exhibited in the Museum of Azzehrawi Palace, Homs 5-9 June 2005.
Closure date is May 20, 2005 and there is no participation fee.
For more details and information on how you can apply and participate in this great event, visit: WED 05 Photo Gallery

For Arabic Click Here

This is simply beautiful, I urge all of you who are interested in photography to take part in this event, it’s one great chance for you to share your passion, show your talent and play a positive role in protecting our environment.

May 5

Environment-Friendly Jordan :)

A waste-paper recycling campaign that seeks to raise the community’s awareness on the importance of collecting waste paper, launched a month ago may be extended throughout the Kingdom due to its success, according to the organisers.
The campaign, carried out by the Friends of the Environment Society (FOE), with financing from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, will cover the entire Kingdom in the near future as soon as the necessary funds are available.
People have responded positively to the project by depositing wastepaper in three recycle bins the FOE has placed around Amman. The bins are located at C-Town supermarkets in the 7th circle, the Amman Mall in Tlaa Al Ali and Shmeisani.
A promotional campaign is being run in Arabic newspapers to spread awareness and encourage people and institutions to recycle wastepaper.
The FOE has created a character named “Abu Tadweer,” to deliver important environmental messages to the public and to advocate wastepaper recycling, and will be painted on wastepaper collection vehicles.
The recycled paper, is turned into calendars, postcards and other products to be sold by FOE.
The society is currently touring the capital’s schools to spread awareness among schoolchildren on the importance of recycling waste- paper. A similar workshop will be held soon for representatives of government agencies and departments, a sector that consumes large amounts of paper.
Source: Jordan Times

Isn’t this just GREAT! BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO!
I’m so happy!
And I think that environmental characters always work, specially for kids. I mean here in Tunisia they have “Labeeb”. In almost every city, there’s a street called: Environment Street. In that street they have the statues of “Labeeb” implanted in the ground. They paint “Labeeb” on products, brochures and show him on TV 🙂 In Tunis’ Environment Street they even have little “Labeebs” now…
Anyway, I really hope all Arab countries keep spreading environmental awareness and encourage activities that will help preserve the natural resources on our planet.

I really urge you all to take a look at the FOE website: English, and Arabic.

April 15

Draw A Smile With “Garbage”

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I’m one of the people who hate throwing away things that can still be used. I suck at selling them, although some are really in good shape and can get me good money. So I end up giving them to those who are in need. Which is, in my opinion, better than all the money in the world. Helping poor people with things you don’t need anymore brings such a joy and happiness that can’t be brought with money. It’s such a bless!

But many people have difficulties finding people -whether poor or not- who might need their used stuff, and for this reason the Internet has provided a great way to get rid of old stuff in form of help for others.
Instead of simply throwing away stuff you don’t need, you might change the world by giving your stuff to FreeCycle, as long as your stuff is legal and put there for free and not for financial interest.
According to FreeCycle, sometimes people give away valuable things such as fridges and TV’s. And when there is more than one person who needs your stuff, it’s up to you to decide who should get it.

I think this is really great, you get rid of stuff you don’t need, give it to someone who needs it, at the same time you help reduce waste, which is better for the environment, so everybody’s happy. It’s just like you’re giving them gifts, I really love the idea 🙂

Via: Environment News(AR)

April 5

Green Roofs

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With the rapid expanding of population, suburbs have become densely populated where all the available land has been used up for construction, which forced governments to build on fertile soil, losing this soil forever.
The consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is low since no garden space is left available, people have to buy products from the market, and most of the families have limited financial resources and unemployment is rising.
The roofs of homes are used for storing trash and old stuff which creates a suitable environment for insects, rats and reptiles growth.
How could this problem be solved? Answer is: Green Food from Green Roofs(GFGR).
GFGR is an amazingly impressive project suggested in Egypt and is being discussed by Amr Khaled’s “Life-Makers” program, a program that aims at improving life through practicing real Islam in its moderate and tolerant sense.

GFGR is specifically targeted at the poorer families living in the densely populated suburbs where it will not only facilitate the availability of fresh vegetables for home consumption but it will also create a source of income.

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The project will benefit from the empty spaces on the building and houses roofs and fill them with plants and trees, which will help fight pollution with minimum expenses, basic available material and without the need for extra space or soil. Other than that, it’ll add a beautiful touch to the sight and improve the outlook of the place and the whole city in general.
Not to forget the fact that planting will provide a constructive way to fill a person’s free time and grow the sense of beautifying in the individual.

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If you have any questions, or seek professional assistance, instructions of any kind related to planting your roof, you can send an email to: gfgr[at]lac.claes.sci.eg

Also read this excellent article in Arabic about the project where you can find breathtaking pictures of planted roofs.

I hope all Arab countries will apply this project to help reduce pollution, provide a living for poor families, beautify cities, increase productivities, and produce bio-vegetables and fruits.

Via: Serdal(AR).

March 30

Collecting Plastic Waste



This is an ad I found on Tunisia’s Daily Newspaper: “La Presse”. For those who can’t read Arabic, it says: now I can collect plastic bottles and win with “Net of Environment Friends”.
“Net of Environment Friends” was first created in 2005 by the Ministry of Environment & Development to help minimize and prevent pollution caused by plastic waste in Tunisia. And this ad is a part of its campaign in collecting plastic bottles and containers from stores, buildings and homes.

Studies showed that in Tunisia alone, the number of plastic containers used for milk, water and Coke, is around 700 million, which is about 21000 tons of plastic. The studies also showed that the usage of glass bottles dropped from 30% in the nineties into 10% currently. On the other hand shopping stores prefer using plastic bags rather than replacing them with environment-friendly bags.

In efforts to minimize the fatal damages of pollution caused by plastic waste, local Tunisian associations and private organizations are doubling their efforts to launch more awareness campaigns and to come up with ideas that will urge citizens to help in collecting plastic waste for recycling purposes.
Other than TV spots, recycling locations spread all over the country, and the huge recyclable-waste containers implanted in many locations in Tunisia, municipalities were given financial aid that should support collecting campaigns. As a result, some cities announced that they would be giving certain amounts of money in exchange for plastic waste and others decided to make some kind of competition for kids & adults, where winners get interesting prizes.

I find this very impressive. This will sure help keep plastic waste under control, and later on, people will be prepared for reducing this kind of waste.

Sources: pollution of plastic waste(AR), and campaigns to control plastic waste(AR).