Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Freezing Cafe

It felt nice to be back in the freezer this weekend, this time we had a slightly different reason!
We were invited to 'Hand in Hand's CSR Day' at the Shangri-la hotel, The two day event aimed to assist CSR initiatives in raising awareness and funds!  
What really makes these initiatives really amazing is the talent that is uncovered in them; we saw some amazingly talented and inspiring entrepreneurs and initiatives. Some of the really inspiring things that we have seen are portable grills, a mishkak speed-loader, a guy that turns discarded items like CD's into things like clocks and of course initiatives like the I-Care initiative.

Seeing all the aspiring young people trying to do something is a really uplifting thing, and we all shared a look of respect; that look that says: "I know how hard it is to start an imitative and keep at it". It really makes you happy when you are doing something like that to realize that you aren't alone! and that there are many people that you can help and that can help you open heartedly!! well.....not just them, we had quite a few volunteers that really were amazing! (Abdullah al Ismaili, Nasser Al Khanjari, Maha Al Balushi, Tariq Al Balushi , Rumaitha Al Busaidi and Aziz Al Jahdhami)

Now, back to why we were there.......Well, the next Freezing Omanis are almost ready to be announced, they just need to finalize their deposit funding to 2041 and they are confirmed to go! But for now, they need some initial funds as well as some exposure and moral support.  So we did the one thing we know best; getting cold!
Enhance Oman has provided us with their freezer and we thought....hey, why don't we get some tea (has to be karak tea) and coffee (the hot chocolate was very high in demand!) and a few jackets and get people to see what it felt like, at the same time they would be escaping the summer heat for a short while :)
We would tell them the story of the Freezing Omanis, show them photos of the expedition and some goofy photos of Ameer and myself :p


People were amazing......they donated to help, they purchased some photos that we shot and the amazing bookmarks designed by Marwa Al Bahrani!

If you missed our cafe don't worry! Well be back at Shangri-la on the 25th from 7:30 onward :)
Don't forget to bring a jacket!!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Its NOT a holiday!!

I've often spoken about the most difficult part of the journey, the hunt for sponsorship....however I haven't spoken about the second most difficult; people's reactions

I do the monitoring for Freezing Omanis, so I read every comment and every word that I can find......not all are nice ones. There are many people who say that Antarctica is a holiday spot, and that why are we getting sponsored for a holiday?

First of all, its can't just take a flight there, you get there through the roughest waterway in the world. its not a holiday.....we are there to learn and bring back things, iv spent months preparing and training for it and iv gone and come back, yet i am still finding myself lacking time!

Besides working a full time job, im working on my campaign......trying to collect data about plastic bags and having talks and meetings with different companies takes time as well! and don't forget training, sending proposals and contacting people yet again.

Ask anyone who has looked for sponsorship in Oman, you feel demeaned.........people who are responsible for the sponsorship treat you like you are begging them, while in reality....they get benefit as well.
Anyone who has done that will never want to do that again, yet my team knows that they will have to do this again...and again....and again.......the next team will be supported by us and will support the team after them.

Antarctica is a dream place for any environmentalist. Its difficult to get to, expensive and requires training and effort......

I know the new team will get the same objections, they will get the same 'glory hound' label....but before you tag us with that label, just find out what we are actually doing and why.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Keeping up with the time

When we were hunting for the next Freezing Omanis we had so many people ask us what it takes.
It wasn't an easy explanation....

The main thing that I got from the last expedition is time.....its not really that easy to keep a balance between your normal life and what you have to do to get to Antarctica, its one amazing journey but it takes a lot of work to get there!

You have your normal life where you study, work, socialize...but then you need to work on getting there and raising the funds, which is the hardest part. The expedition costs 11,000 OMR per person which means that you need to start talking to countless companies to try and get them to help you out.

Corporate sponsorship for such expeditions in Oman is relatively new so many people hesitate to even think about being involved, and other companies have policies that restrict them from sponsoring individuals (they can only sponsor established and registered organizations)

For me.....Antarctica was a priority, so I had to sacrifice any free time I had, which meant less time with family and friends, less time to relax and on something or the other 24/7
I thought that it was just me being a perfectionist, but now that im spending more time with the new Freezing Omanis I see that this is what it takes!

'Glacier' comes to our meetings looking like a zombie that hasn't slept in days!
'Seal' hasn't been able to spend as much time with his kids and he even stopped writing his book! (yes he is writing a book)
Even our energetic 'Blizzard' is caught between studies and the Freezing Omanis and missing enough family time :(

And me.....well, it feels like im back to logistics and planning just like last year! I remember just how it was stressing out about getting sponsors and not knowing where and what gear to get!

But I also remember how it is to read and watch everything about Antarctica just like these girls (and guy) are doing now! and I see how excited they are and how they tend to always start a sentence with "when were in Antarctica we will...."

But till they get there, its the hard we look for they right people to partner up with! and I have high hopes that this time, people already know and support what these brilliant Freezing Omanis want to do!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The New Freezing Ones

So when the Freezing Omanis started, it was never going to be just about our expedition.....we wanted to raise awareness about what we are doing, but also, we wanted to create a brand which if we had done it right would make it easier for other Omanis to live their Antarctic expedition.

It wasn't an easy journey, fundraising such a large amount was difficult....but it taught me a lot, which is why the Freezing Omanis is evolving. I have a vision....a group of young Omani environmentalists creating major campaigns and getting others to do so.

The Freezing Omanis have been selected, and what an amazing bunch! ill be there every step in their Antarctic dream.....

Who are they? shuuu that's the secret! they will remain a secret for a short while, what I can tell you though is that there are three of them, there is a father among the team and our very first female Freezing Omani, actually.....two of them!

Oh ok,'s a photo of the four of us!

So, here they are;Seal, Blizzard and Glacier (the fourth one would be me), dedicated and very fast learning!

They need help though, raising all that amount needs some seriously nice companies *hint hint* who believe in our cause, and we promise we will give anything we can in return! nice people are welcome too!! any amount helps or even a contact!

One thing I found equally just as important though is the kind words I got my way, so please do go on our page, comment on our blog and tell these next amazing people who are going to bring back so much to our country how amazing they are for just getting selected!