By Sushilkumar Jadhav (G.11)
When was the last time you picked up a piece of trash and disposed it or even planted a tree in your backyard? Did you feel a sense of pride in these minor acts of gratitude? I say gratitude because acts like these, might not seem worthy at first, but they surely do come with a lot of deference for planet Earth.
Our Earth has been bombarded with a lot of abasement, as a result of all the blithe acts of us humans. Throwing trash in our surroundings which takes years to degrade, deforestation which consequently powers the greenhouse gas effect and even water and air pollution all blemishes the Earth. There was a 190% increase in Amazon deforestation as of 2014 (1) and 6,673 million metric tons of CO2 produced in the US as of 2013 (2). All this perpetuates into prolonged planet humiliation with long-lasting reverberating effects.
So what is Earth Day? Earth Day is a collective opportunity for all to take an initiative, a step towards reducing the carbon footprint and thus providing a better conditioned Earth for future generations. It is also a way in which to acknowledge founder Gaylord Nelson’s ideas in the 1970’s for a better Earth, after he witnessed the deleterious effects of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
There are many ways to perform acts of gratitude. For example, trash collection, tree plantation, use of recyclable containers or even just limiting car or electricity usage for just that one day, can make a difference. Remember, unity is the verity to success. Speaking of large scale initiatives, Earth Day Network is an organization spanning 193 countries. Their Canopy Project, encompasses the pinnacle of tree plantation, with the goal of planting about 2 billion trees (3). Furthermore, numerous events are also taking place in other countries. Many states in the US, such as Washington have planned various activities such as exhibits at Union Station. China has planned a massive cleanup at the Great Wall and The Hague, at Netherlands has a plethora of sustainable information to surround your senses. As for the UAE’s contribution, Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, a gigantic complex that runs on renewable energy and features some exciting projects like the Solar Impulse 2 and the Shams 1 solar project.
As for Raha, Student Council kept its steps in accordance through the diversity of fun and educational activities planned through April 19-23. Tuesday was reserved for an earthy, staff/student blue and green basketball game while Wednesday was a bake sale with Earth theme colored food, along with a BBC documentary, for further inspiration. According to Ms. Alex, the Student Council head and supervisor, her take home message would be for the “staff and students to take conscious choices to limit their carbon footprint whether it is through limiting energy or electronics use.” The drama team also has geared voices, as expressed by Carlos Páez from Grade 11, that they have planned “songs to address the issue.” Songs with the harmony to delight, but with a message of the Earth's plight. So, we all look forward to the 45th Earth Day, which we hope will surely bring expedient yet innovative changes. The world, the country and the commune participates. Will you participate?
By Ahmed Al Mansoori (G.12)
On the 28th of February 2015, the school community gathered to celebrate International Day, a long standing Raha tradition. From the front gates all the way to PYP Pitch, parents and students from all around the world gathered to showcase our community’s unique cultural diversity.
Like past International Days, the event began with a school-wide assembly, where Principal Wayne McInnis addressed us, highlighting what it is to be a “true citizen of the 21st century.” This was followed by speeches and musical performances by Raha’s students.
At the end of the assembly, the greatly anticipated Global Village opened, where parents and students had set up stalls for their home countries showcasing traditional food, costumes, and even games!
Among the many goodies on offer, the food sold out the quickest.Where else would people be able to have a plate of 'koshari', eat some 'mansaf', and enjoy 'tacos' at the same time?
With approximately 82 different nationalities represented in our school, International Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate each other’s cultures and Raha's diversity. It is days like these that remind us how culture enriches our daily experiences and enhances Raha’s learning environment.
Photos By Sohail Bagheri (G.11) and Rohit Menon (G.11)
Video by Lisa Zimmermann (G11)
Photos by Rohit Menon (G11), George Batra (G11), Nour Saleh (G12), and Sohail Bagheri (G11)