Energy Diet

Going Beyond Earth Hour

“My family and I will go on the walk at the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, closing the lights, all electricity at home.” That was the action I committed to for Earth Hour on March 26, when people around the world turn off the lights for one hour.

The city of Abu Dhabi held an Earth Hour event organized by Emirates Wildlife Society, the World Wildlife fund and the municipality of Abu Dhabi City. I was honored to accept an invitation from the organizers in Abu Dhabi to say a word onstage with my family, even though I was willing to participate in this event before they knew anything about us. Thanks to the media, who played a major role in spreading our role in the diet challenge, we have become “the green family” here. I talked about our participation in the diet and how we had made changes in our lives that we would try to maintain.

At the start of the event, we embarked on a walk down the Abu Dhabi Corniche using our solar lanterns, which happened to be big news that day. On the stage, my son Ali and I introduced our solar lanterns to the public and they loved it.

Later on, I was asked where I got them and even whether I could provide them for people, because they saw me handing them to the supporting family and friends who shared with me that lovely event.

Afterward, there was a big gathering around a drumming performance by Dubai Drums, who shared drums with the public.
Part of the mission for EWS and the WWF was to promote “beyond the hour,” getting people to think about their lives after the event. They had information on choosing sustainable seafood, invited the public to exchange their old light bulbs (which would be recycled) for energy-efficient CFL light bulbs, and gave more tips on how to save water and energy. We all paid a silent tribute to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The lights were switched off on the 26th of March at the registration centers from 8:30PM to 9:30PM. Darkness crept around the world, an unusual darkness that was full of love from millions of people who cares for their planet Earth. For one hour, in almost every time zone, people all over the world gathered together under one theme: the 60+ Earth Hour.

It’s not a matter of only one hour, it’s beyond that. That’s what we are all doing on the 360º Energy Diet. I believe that this is our celebration for us, the families who contributed to the energy challenge and make it our daily habit, not only for one hour but in our daily lifestyle. Now we have to ask ourselves what we do next. What do we do beyond this hour?

“A single hand doesn’t clap,” as the Arabic proverb goes, i.e. single and isolated actions always remain functionless. On the contrary, unity of action makes a lot of difference.

“, my family and others as great as they could be, taking a challenge that will last for the rest of our life.” That was the last message I sent for Earth Hour.


  1. Dave Chameides
    April 4, 2011, 6:59 pm

    A single hand doesn’t clap. How wonderful. I was so excited to read your post and see how you have become a beacon unto others. Continue shedding the light and soon the darkness shall pass. Congratulations to you and your family!

  2. boudour
    Abu Dhabi,UAE
    April 6, 2011, 3:58 am

    Thank you very much coach Dave for this wonderful complement, all what we have become on that day, was because of the help and guidance from expert coaches, what it really matter is that I enjoyed every single minute specially when I shared it with my beloved family. After all we learned from the best.