Saturday, 28 June 2014

The environment, recycling and smart cities

I was involved with the smart city conference in which few students came to our office to discuss what makes a smart city as they had to do a project to win amongst the various participants of the conference.  I am actually intrigued with the relentlessness of the organizers of that conference and how they kept the youth occupied and share ideas to make our world a better place to live it.  Of course the consensus in that conference was smart city is synonym to a clean city, the one that cares about the future generation and the world that we live in.  The students were then grouped into many groups to discuss what is next. Top executives including myself were asked to listen to the groups and give them some advice to see if that idea can be put into practice.  

Basically the consensus of what makes a Smart City is to help humanity, its People, its Kids, and the Education system by educating them on Energy Conservation in order to protect the Environment the students agreed that we can create an Application (since everyone holds a smart phone these days) of some sort of a Game to be played by school kids by using Echo currencies. The game will be developed by obtaining CSR Money from various companies especially those that are damaging the environment. 

The people will have the Awareness by having a Public Wifi everywhere including parking places and by attracting the youth to play the game, start from the roads. 
The game will later on be developed into a proper Course and the teachers will be encouraged to use that game in the classroom.  And what starts in the primary schools will go on to become an inter-school and inter-universities competition.

This is a very ambitious plan, obviously the students that where at the conference were all from a high socio economic background which gave them the freedom to think outside the box.

I was thinking about this fact since the conference happened in April, so when I went to Bahrain I was looking to see what is happening there about protecting the environment when one artist invited me to a talk on recycling. 

This talk was an eye opener, the artists is relentless on gathering items that are abandoned like bottles, tires, broken doors, windows, tables, items that has no value but can be used somehow, and she managed to create works of art that is sold for large sums of money.  She also gathered a lot of her materials by asking the kids who are out of school to provide her with the recycled materials and once her art is sold, she would pay those kids a reward.  This reward made those kids bring her more items from many places. So basically she killed few birds with one stone. 

Noof Alrefai is one of the art geniuses in Bahrain, she is a lawyer, born to a father who is an artist and lied all her life in Bahrain, she cares about her community and refuses to believe that things cannot be repaired.  She is working now with th united nations to do a park from recycled materials, as she started one on a smaller scale in the center that she rents her studio in.  Some of the pictures can be seen here from her art and the garden.


Friday, 27 June 2014

The lads who looked like Ronaldo

I was driving towards Nabih Saleh, a stunning little island in Bahrain that can be Portofino- Italy if we wanted it to be, listening to my usual classic music and enjoying the country, when seven giants with muscles stopped me as they were putting the barricades to block the road.  I begged them to open one barricade so I can go to my friend's house to deliver her paintings.  They were all wearing head and face mask, one cannot enjoy their faces, I rolled the window down, called them to come close to me, and asked if they had finished their exams! They all replied at once that all of them had been kicked out of school.

Well of course they will go up to mischief if they cannot go to school, I guess.  So I resigned myself and turned back to go home.  I was so distressed to see that and hear it first-hand.  I think it's their revenge, they must be thinking if we cannot go to school, let's create havoc then.  They poured their anger at the streets and burnt the tires as I can see them from my mirror while waiting at the traffic light; suddenly I see few police cars coming out of nowhere, I was lucky that the lights turned green when the first tear gas was activated.

Let's take a different scenario, since it's World Cup time I suppose, let's imagine that these hefty gorgeous looking lads where at schools, and they are playing football, minding themselves, suddenly they shoot that goal that not even Pele in his time had ever shot. Suddenly our imaginary football scouts notice these lovely boys and decide to offer them football scholarships to attend the best university in the world, where they can study and play their favorite game too.  Imagine the returns to our country if we had allowed these young lads to do what they are best at!  Just imagine?

I think it's our responsibility to make this imaginary scene a real thing, we must stop this madness and change our country to be amongst those that are going to be playing for the World Cup.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Cleanliness, tidyness, environment and smart city

This is not my work, someone had worked hard on the photography and the writing, I am merely sharing it here for many others to see, also the sequel is on what are we doing to save our environment:

If You Think China's Air Is Bad, You Should See This Water, most of these photos were taken from China rivers and beaches.