Day 8: At the Doha Exhibition Center

Today I explored the Qatar Sustainability EXPO at the Doha Exhibition Center (DEC).

The most striking exhibit was the “Suicide Penguin” by Taiwanese eco-artist Vincent J.F Huang. He represents the voice of the animal in the climate change negotiations who can not defend themselves. And, ironically, one of the smallest countries and the world and the least CO2 emitters, will be one of the first ‘victims’ of climate change.

There were also Qatari grown vegetables on display. I frequently buy my winter vegetables direct at the Arabic Qatari Agricultural Production Company for years and can confirm that Qatari grown food tastes great.

There was a also small booth chuck full of bold innovations. Dr. Isam Sidiq, of The Forgotten Food, turned traditional knowledge into food innovations that are more complicated to understand but with a massive potential. Sap, sustainable harvested from two special types of the Acacia tree family, is turned into a prebiotic drinking powder, similar to cool-aide, that supplies food for the good bacteria to maintain a healthy body. His motto is “Prevention with PreBiotic is better than Cure with Anti Biotic”. In the same booth, Ibrahim Alalim told me about his invention of Polykem, a polymer based soil amendment that will retain water and boost growth by an incredible rate. A third inventor, Khaled Al Dhyaei presented his ideas about replacing plastic seating (ie in stadiums) with 100% natural materials. All worth checking into.

Noor Al-Thani and Khalid with Doha Oasis were on hand to answer any inquiries about local civil society and environmental engagement and education.

The most contradicting of the day was the Saudi stand: “Managing emissions for all the right reasons” displayed the longest SUV I have seen to date. But I did my part to peddle away some emissions while creating artwork instead at the EcoQ booth.

The Hybrid Eco-car and some electric cars were also on display. The Qatari cultural performance was a welcome closing to a busy and bustling day day at the Qatar Sustainability Expo.