Ask Ali: Sustainability in the region began with the Quran

Dear Ali: How does your culture reflect ideas of sustainability or appreciating natural resources? HT, United States Dear HT: We support and develop a sustainable lifestyle, even though there’s still a lot to be done educating our society on the importance of sustainability. There are many initiatives in our country and the region dedicated to […]

Dear Ali: How does your culture reflect ideas of sustainability or appreciating natural resources? HT, United States

Dear HT: We support and develop a sustainable lifestyle, even though there’s still a lot to be done educating our society on the importance of sustainability.

There are many initiatives in our country and the region dedicated to this matter, but initially we learnt about the importance of nature from the Quran. For example, preserving water: “And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the Earth after its lifelessness. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who listen.” Planting a garden: “And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest.” Protecting the atmosphere: “And We made the sky a protected ceiling [canopy], but they, from its signs, are turning away.”

There are many other things mentioned in the Quran that teach us to live a balanced, healthy life. We try not to disrupt this balance, but appreciate and preserve it. Often, environmental disasters occur when this balance is destroyed.

We have also learnt about this through our beloved leaders, such as the late Sheikh Zayed. He was one of the first to introduce sustainability to the Federal Constitution, and even to the region. For example, it became forbidden to hunt with a gun; hunters had to use a falcon instead. The law prevented unwanted destruction of already rare species in this region.

With the availability of new technology, sustainability became an easier task to achieve. With today’s government leaders, sustainability has become more tangible. The next generation also understands and appreciates it.

This week is Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, and we have welcomed the world to celebrate our dedication towards this important subject and discuss important future matters. We have also awarded those who have contributed to sustainability. Our dedication is proven via many projects and initiatives, one of which is Masdar – a whole city being built in Abu Dhabi that promotes the importance and effectiveness of clean energy. Masdar is also home to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Dear Ali: Looking at photos of Dubai, I’m amazed by how everyone and everything looks rich. I don’t know anyone from the UAE, but it seems like every Emirati has a luxury sports car. JL, Romania

Dear JL: This is a stereotype. Most Emiratis prefer big cars to small ones, simply because we have big families. Also, having a four-wheel-drive vehicle is ideal for desert safaris, especially in this beautiful winter weather.

But if the income of the person allows him to own a Ferrari, then it’s absolutely fine, considering our road system is modern.

Where were the pictures that you saw taken? I expect on Sheikh Zayed Road, the Downtown Boulevard or JBR, where people love to come from all over the region, not just the UAE, to enjoy the atmosphere and show off their beautiful vehicles. There are many Emiratis, however, such as myself, who would not buy an expensive car. This is a matter of priorities and personal needs.

Did you know that Abu Dhabi and Dubai Police were among the first in the world to use expensive sport cars, such Bugattis, to patrol the cities?

Ali Al Saloom is a cultural adviser and public speaker from the UAE. Follow @AskAli on Twitter, and visit www.ask-ali.com to ask him a question.

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Source: art & life

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