Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Weekend Adventures

The first week at the conference was absolutely incredible and very exhausting. On Sunday, all of the delegates were given a day off from the conference which gave our group the opportunity to venture out on the free shuttle buses and see some more of Doha!

A panorama shot of The Pearl.
Our first stop was at The Pearl. The Pearl is a completely man made, two million square foot island located off of Doha's West Bay Lagoon. It was named the Pearl because it was built on a previous pearl diving site. It contains a variety of shops and restaurants which feature a fusion of Arabic, Italian, French, and Spanish culture. It also has apartments, town homes, penthouses, hotels and a marina which makes it a very unique environment for both permanent residents, and visitors to Doha. It's astonishing to be standing on solid ground there and realize that less than 10 years ago, it was just an idea. Now, where blank ocean space used to be, there is a developing futuristic community on the rise.
Michael, Georgia, Cale and I at The Pearl
Our next stop was the Museum of Islamic Art. It is located on a man made island at the waterfront in Doha and contains Islamic artifacts from Spain, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, India, and Central Asia which date back 1400 years. The museum's exterior design is a beautiful piece of art all its own. It was designed to look like a woman wearing a niqab. It symbolizes Islamic culture and what the museum is all about. Seeing the large quantity of artifacts in this museum was eye opening and allowed me to gain a greater perspective of Islamic culture.

The Islamic Museum of Art.
After seeing the city, we went to the Sustainability Expo for a few hours. This Expo is running concurrently with the Conference and is open to the public. The exhibits there are presented in a very interesting way and have a different dynamic than what I have seen at the Conference. There were many groups which presented about more spiritual or moral ways to prevent climate change. One of the groups was meditation-based and had the goal of making people more open minded so that they could  accept climate change, adapt their lifestyle to be more eco-friendy, and become better people overall. Another interesting group was at an exhibit called "The Loving Hut". Their name drew us in and after talking to two of their representatives, we found out they are a Vegan food chain. Their belief was that 50% of all CO2 emissions came from the livestock industry and that if we all stopped eating meat, the climate issue would be mostly solved. Although the climate change issue does go deeper than that, their points presented a view on CO2 emissions that was different from others. It made me think more about how the individual can make a difference in climate change by making simple changes in their diets, commute. lifestyle, etc. It really emphasized that we do not need a revolution to help the planet. We can all do little things and make a big difference.

I am looking forward to going back to the Conference to see what goals are accomplished by the end of the week. If everyone comes together this week, wonderful things can happen and produce change in a positive direction.

The Loving Hut booth at the Sustainability Expo.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting contrast between the UN meeting and the Sustainability Expo. Who organized the Expo? I'd like to get to that museum some day. If you've never been there, visit the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. It's quite remarkable and really gives you a new appreciation for our neighbor down south! If you meet any representatives from Mexico, ask them about it.