Omani duo set for tryst with Antartica


Bader Al Lawati and Ameer Abdulhussain. Pic: Ismail Al Farsi

Muscat: Two young Omanis, Bader Al Lawati (26) and Ameer Abdulhussain (23) are set to embark on scientific expedition to the Antarctica. The duo will leave will leave on February 28, 2013 and return sometime mid March.

The pair who call themselves the "Freezing Omanis" have been selected by '2041' which is an organisation dedicated to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.

The 2041 organisation brings youth from different nations to Antarctica to be educated on the environment, leadership and sustainability. Not worried about braving the extreme temperatures in the Antarctica, the two are all eager to get on with this adventure.

Bader Al Lawati, an independent marketing consultant, says, "The reason I am getting involved is because I have seen the environmental impact on a personal level on the marine life here, if sea temperatures were to cool down due to Antarctic ice sheet melting, then our fish supplies and their health will be greatly affected. Many scientists and field experts will be present at the expedition which will give me a chance to learn more about what can be done."

Ameer Abdulhussain who works with Oman Power & Water Procurement Co says, "having worked in the solar project in my company I came to realise that there is an immense opportunity for the Sultanate to capitalise on the development of solar energy projects in the country. By being a part of this expedition, I hope to learn and bring back as much knowledge and awareness to Oman." Bader has been a keen environmentalist and even volunteered for organisations like Green Peace and World Wildlife Fund.

Awareness
The '2041' organisation focuses its efforts on raising awareness about the Antarctic Protection Treaty, which as it stands, does not allow any corporation or country to mine or drill in Antarctica for resources.  However, in 2041, the agreement will be up for renegotiation and the decision to protect Antarctica could be overturned.

Bader and Ameer are now gearing up for temperatures that reach as low as -30°C with specialised equipment that is not readily available. The pair financed the expedition cost by seeking sponsorships for the fees, training, emergency evacuation, and specialised insurance along with many other unique costs.

"We thank the Cake Gallery, The University of Wollongong Dubai, Enhance Oman, Velosi and Oman Power & Water Procurement for making this journey possible," said the two young men with dreams in their eyes while briefing the media.

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