Children’s photography club aims to clean up Oman’s beaches
April 8, 2018 | 7:27 PM
by Salim Al Afifi
The members of Sawarah Photography Club are determined to take photographs in the beautiful and clean land that Mother Nature has blessed Oman with.

Most people would agree that the Sultanate has some of the most picturesque beaches stretched across the coast of Oman, but some of these places are dirtied and polluted with garbage and food leftovers that take away their clean, natural beauty. Sawarah Photography Club has started a new initiative to take it upon themselves and clean such places.

Sawarah, which is a children’s photography club, began its mission to clean up beautiful beaches in Oman, starting with Ras Al Ruwais, an exotic gem of a place located in Mahout in Al Wusta governorate, where the desert meets the beach in a scenic landscape.

The initiative began as a result of voluntary work done by the young photographers who love to not only give back to their communities, but to ensure that their photographs are dirt-free. “We as photographers are always taking pictures of beautiful areas, and at the same time, we protect our city from pollution and give it a beautiful view, as well as leave a great impression on the visitors of Oman,” said one of the members, Warda Bait Abdullah, who is a young and dedicated photographer and a lover of nature.

The club teamed up with Oman LNG Company, the Municipality of Mahout and the people of the region in Ras Al Ruwais to clean the beach. Some of the activities that were undertaken included designing signboards in several languages, including Arabic, English, and Bengali.

There were 60 children from the Child Care Centre and from the village itself, eager to volunteer and be a part of something bigger.

“Volunteering plays a significant role in helping the individual before the community,” said

Abdullah, adding, “It also develops the spirit of cooperation and works as an example for the young generation.”

After creating dedicated hashtags, members of the society got a glimpse into what these kids are capable of, and the support and interaction on Twitter was beyond expectation. The Arabic hashtags translate to “50 hours for the environment” and “we are not just photographers”.

As with any initiative, challenges arise. For this particular volunteering adventure, the excruciatingly hot weather was one of the greatest challenges, followed by difficulties in accessing the area, and its distance from Muscat. It truly is a huge accomplishment for the children.

“There were dead organisms scattered on the shore, such as fish and green turtles,” said Abdullah, listing out the challenges faced during their mission.

“Honestly, I consider the completion of this initiative our greatest achievement; we have done our duty towards our country and ourselves, and at the same time, we got to know more about the lovely people of Ras Al Ruwais,” added Abdullah. This marks the beginning of more adventurous initiatives for the members of Sawarah Photography Club, who are determined to take photographs in the beautiful and clean land that Mother Nature has blessed Oman with.

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