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Young people are cleaning up Jeddah
FOUZIA KHAN
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 10 - 2010

JEDDAH: A total of 150 industrious and committed young people of various nationalities, calling themselves the Young Initiative Group (YIG), have embarked on a campaign to clean up Jeddah. Under the umbrella of the Saudi Environmental Society they started off with a successful cleanup operation at the Corniche on Monday.
Jamal Abdullah Mundari, the general supervisor of an awareness and education program at the society, said the youth were committed to working hard to clean up the city for the sake of the environment and the public's health.
“We plan to organize several cleanup programs in the city with the help of the youth. We are not only cleaning the Corniche but also the beach, gardens, streets and other places.”
He said they are also going to launch an awareness campaign with the municipality to encourage residents not to litter. He said that at the moment people throw litter from their cars, in front of their homes and shops, and in front of shopping malls.
He said the society has so far completed 1,500 hours of community work related to awareness around the importance of the environment.
Maha Tahir, a member of the YIG and leader of the female group, said they started the campaign with a few volunteers but the number is growing. She said this is encouraging and has convinced her that all their efforts will not go to waste.
Tahir told Saudi Gazette they started the campaign a few weeks ago by visiting various places in the city. Small groups of volunteers are still involved in cleaning certain areas, she added. After they started out they were joined by the Saudi Environmental Society. She said that everyone is welcome to join, regardless of age, gender or nationality. She also encouraged people to embark on their own cleanup operations in their own neighborhoods.
Tahir said they work in groups of five to 10 people, and that they plan to keep up their operations all year long.
She said they are not only cleaning up, but also helping victims of last year's floods. The group also helps sick people by taking them to hospitals. Aasia Khan, a 27-year-old former teacher, said that one day is not enough to clean the city, but she hoped a message would be sent to the community that it is everyone's “moral duty” to keep their city clean.
Ma'ai Fakheih, a 20-year-old university student, said that she loves her community and hopes other people will also come forward to help.
Noor Sarfai, another 20-year-old university student, echoed this view, and called on people to stop littering.
Mohammed Bakri, the leader of the male group, said that they have made a good start with many volunteers and will soon move to other areas to clean up.
The group can be contacted at www.YIG.org and also on Facebook, the social networking site.


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