On Sunday February 10, 2013 the RIS Eco Club planted a Gaff Tree on the school premises, a culturally symbolic tree for the UAE. The Gaff Tree is symbolic to the Emirati culture because, where it is found in the Emirates, there is normally water which is a scarce resource in the desert. The tree was donated by the Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency to Raha International School.
This beautiful tree was planted outside the back door of the Diploma Building and it is surrounded by rocks to protect it and emphasize its significance to the RIS community.
Sadly, not even after 24 hours after the ceremony of plantation, the tree had already been the victim of an incident: one of its main branches was torn off. The Eco Club members would like to extend an invitation to all the members of the school community to watch out for this tree, and all of the ones present at our school. They are symbol of pride and we would like them to last and become a time marker for the history of RIS.
Special thanks to the RIS Eco Club 2012-2013 for their efforts (Zapaer Alip, Juan Pablo Alvarez, Susanne Malik, Jorge Cortes, Charlotte de Bekker, Maxine de La Rey, Lydia Ait ) and to Dr. Michele Bertholf for her support of this project. We would like to show our gratefulness, as well, to the Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency, for donating this valuable symbol of national pride to our school.
Students, parents and teachers are invited to take some time to go and see the Gaff Tree, named “The Zapling,” as it rests at its new home at Raha International School.