Monday, April 6, 2009


"Tawasul means reach out in Arabic. It aims to engage young people and students in grassroots conservation and restoration ecology."

Find more videos like this on Tawasul

Dubai has been getting a lot of attention recently ... A number of faultfinding articles written by architectural critics have popped up in the wake of it's recent financial decline ... While others have sought to give off the impression that the race is still on for it to be the number one economic & tourist destination in the MENA.

In a previous post I too shared my thoughts on this Emirate, with a specific focus on migrant labor exploitation in lieu of what I described as a "rapid, inorganic, contextless design" - something that many countries in the region have their fair share of.

At the same time I made a conscious effort to distance myself from the typical doomsayers by bringing up the fact that it has a unique ability to draw from cultures all over the world and create spaces where they can engage one another in fresh and exciting ways. One shining example of this is the extraordinary new initiative known as Tawasul - started by some very passionate diving instructors, environmentalists, & even a family member of mine.

As Ernst van der Poll explains in the video I've embedded above, it gives the young people of this ancient port city the opportunity to reengage the underwater world they are surrounded by in a more humble and inspiring way. Since pearl divers were some of the very first people to settle and make a living in Al-Wasl, this project literally brings Dubai back to its roots.

Tawasul‘s mission:
  • To cultivate environmental awareness and interest within the youth of the U.A.E in preserving the marine environment and its resources.
  • To deliver environmental education, sustainable lifestyle and responsible consumption workshops mobilising the diving community youth to participate in environmental conservation locally and internationally.
  • To promote corporate support for local schools thereby strengthening corporate commitment to the conservation of the marine environment.
  • To foster a collaborative spirit across cultures in raising awareness on the fragile nature of marine life and to set common conservation goals.
  • To apply techniques that preserve underwater life and cultural heritage.
  • To support research on environmentally sound approaches to interactions with the marine life on a recreational or commercial level.

3iiish Seas!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"We are honored to partner with mokugift as part of the UNEP Billion Tree Campaign. Mokugift is taking creative approaches with its online gifting service and iPhone application to help the Billion Tree Campaign achieve a target of seven billion trees."

- Satinder Bindra, Director, UNEP

moku: district, island, islet, section, forest, grove

Omar Offendum Loves Trees - Plant One Please!

I was recently asked to participate in the Mokugift Artists & Athletes program. This unique initiative allows my friends/fans to join me, Mokugift, & UNEP in the fight againts global warming by planting trees in areas of our planet that need them the most.

Academic research by Dr Bala of Lawrence Livermore National Labratory shows that trees planted in tropical zones are the most beneficial to the fight against global warming. His study covered the effects of carbon dioxide absorption, reflection of solar radiation, and reflection of solar ration from increased cloudiness. He also accounted for the warming effect of heat held by absorbed sunlight. Therefore, Mokugift trees are planted in the following 12 tropical countries: Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Burundi, Senegal, Zambia, India, Philippines, and Haiti

Mokugift is proud to partner with two award-winning, tree-planting organizations to plant trees in twelve countries fighting deforestation and poverty: Trees For The Future (TFTF) and Sustainable Harvest International(SHI). TFTF and SHI educate local communities about planting techniques that enrich the land and empower them to overcome poverty. As each participating family proudly graduates from these programs with healthy farming knowledge and enriched lifestyles, they inspire other families to adopt the same techniques.

No one is hired to plant the trees. Farmers apply to be part of the programs. Mokugift partners educate local communities on farming techniques while also providing resources such as seeds, materials for nurseries and irrigation equipment. Local communities and farmers plant the trees because they want to enrich their land and community in a way that they will be proud to pass on to future generations.

Fore more information, visit >>

3iiish Trees !