Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Incredible Journey in a Solar Powered Wheelchair

Haidar Taleb set off  on 22 November on a journey that will take him across all seven emirates in a solar-powered wheel chair. Haidar, who built and designed the wheelchair himself, will travel more than 350km to promote innovation and renewable energy across the UAE in the run up to the National Day.

Starting in Fujairah, his 11-day journey will take him to schools, universities, police stations, and social centers for people with disabilities, before he finishes in Abu Dhabi's Corniche on 2 December.

Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy initiative, is sponsoring Haidar on his journey. "Masdar is very proud to sponsor Haidar and his mission to inspire millions of people across the UAE. We share passion and commitment for renewable energy and the sustainable use of resources," said Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Director of Sustainability at Masdar."  Masdar will be following him all the way to Abu Dhabi, and we wish him the best of luck."

Haidar, a 47-year-old Emirati, recently rose to national fame after setting a Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled in a motorized solar-powered wheelchair, when he travelled 14 hours non-stop from Masdar City to Sharjah on 11 November. His many supporters are now following him on his website www.bewithHaidar.com and on Twitter http://twitter.com/bewithHaidar.

"With this journey I hope to raise awareness of disability and sustainability, as well as what we can achieve as individuals if we have the courage and determination to try. When we have this determination, there are no limits to our creativity. That is the message I want to spread," said Haidar. "I set off in the hope of inspiring people across the UAE, but it is the overwhelming support I have already received that will be my inspiration until I reach Abu Dhabi."

Haidar has already travelled part of the UAE with his first prototype of the solar-powered wheelchair, which he presented to the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL), a Masdar Institute initiative - part of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in 2010. Haidar will also participate as a speaker in next year's YFEL in January 2011.

"With my upgraded solar-powered wheelchair, developed with MasdarMasdarLoading...'s support, I want to visit the seven emirates to demonstrate the value of renewable energy and sustainability," Haidar said. "Investing time and effort to develop green technologies is very rewarding on different fronts. I believe there is a lot of talent in the UAE and one of the best ways to celebrate the National Day is by demonstrating what we are capable of achieving."


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