QBG’s Ghars Campaign is concerned with preserving the environment by encouraging all members of society to plant and care for trees. The campaign seeks to raise environmental awareness and help people become more knowledgeable about vegetation-related issues; to promote the optimal methods for planting and caring for trees; and provide insights on how to face contemporary environmental challenges, such as the issues of climate change and desertification.
QBG chose ‘Ghars’ as the title of its campaign, as the name is inspired by one of the Prophet’s hadiths: “When a Muslim plants a tree, whatever is eaten from it is charity from him and whatever is stolen is a charity and whatever is subtracted from it is charity.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). The campaign encourages all members of society to plant trees and take care of them as Islamic Sharia urges us to, and strive to increase them so that we are rewarded for our efforts. QBG launched the “Ghars” campaign in 2011, in conjunction with its participation in the celebration of the United Nations Billion Tree Planting Campaign Organization, where a group of trees was planted in front of Multaqa in Education City, with the active participation of senior Qatar Foundation employees and students.
- To raise levels of awareness among society members to appreciate the importance of trees.
- To emphasize the benefits of planting trees, given their great importance to the environment.
- To introduce participants to trees, and how to plant and care for them.
Ghars Campaign Publications
QBG published its first book, entitled: ‘The Tree…its Importance and Care from an Environmental and Ethical Perspective’ in both Arabic and English. The book clarifies the definition of the tree in both linguistic and scientific terms. It also provides brief explanations of the benefits of trees, their relationship to the ecosystem and how they contribute to it. In addition, the book explains the scientific steps that enable individuals to plant trees and take care of them. To obtain a free copy of the book, please contact QBG’s management.
The ‘Ghars’ campaign seeks to reach all segments of society, with the aim of enhancing levels of responsibility towards environmental issues in general, and green issues in particular. Therefore, the campaign organizes two celebrations annually. The first is hosted in Education City, with the aim of attracting male and female students from Qatar Foundation schools and universities. The second celebration is held in one of the institutions that shares common interests with QBG. Qur’anic Botanic Garden is keen to invite officials, decision-makers and those interested in the environment to plant trees, with the aim of spreading environmental awareness to all members of society inside and outside Qatar.
The ‘Ghars’ celebrations include an exhibition of traditionally-produced heritage items such as date palm, as these products are given special importance in Arab societies in particular. QBG also invites all those interested in the environment and greening to attend this event, with the aim of participating in tree-planting, and learning more about the organization’s activities.
‘Ghars’ campaign in previous years
- ‘Ghars’ campaign with Qatar National Library QBG marked Qatar Environment Day 2019 by organizing an event to plant trees in the outdoor square of Qatar National Library in Education City. The event was attended by more than 150 people, including dozens of students, library visitors and families, and included active participation from the society of Filipino Design Engineers and their families. The Qatar Youth Movement for Climate and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum staff were also included in a community tree planting banner.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, a spokesperson for Qatar National Library said: “The campaign gives library visitors the opportunity to learn about environmentally-friendly practices, and how to increase green spaces in Qatar by planting one tree per person. Activities like this offer a new experience for our visitors, and we are glad that they have achieved great success. We encourage everyone to visit the library, and to use the electronic resources, books and references available in it to learn more about environmental sustainability.”
Experts in attendance also provided educational advice to participants on tree conservation, care and ways to preserve them, especially in areas with arid climates in which trees represent an important line in defending the environment, especially in mitigating climate change and combating desertification.
- ‘Planting’ Campaign on Qatar Environment Day 2019 On this day (February 26, 2019), QBG planted an Acacia tortilis tree (Samra) in the Garden of the Education City Mosque in comemmoration of the late Mr. Muhanna bin Rashid Al-Asiri, one of the most prominent researchers of Qatari wildlife, who added to the Qatari and Arab Library qualitative books on birds, insects and plants in Qatar. The administration of Qatar Foundation, the family of the deceased, and QBG management planted this tree as a way of recognizing his contributions to science, in the external garden of the College of Islamic Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Education City.
- The ‘Ghars’ campaign with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum: Within the framework of the ‘Ghars 2019’ campaign, QBG held an event with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum on March 12, 2019 to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the intergovernmental organization. Representatives of the forum’s member states, members of the diplomatic corps, and the forum’s staff planted 20 Sidra trees, in reference to all of the forum’s member states, which includes 12 countries, seven observing member states and the forum’s general secretariat. The event was organized in Oxygen Park in Education City. After the ceremony, a falconry show was held by the Falconers Association at the Cultural Village Foundation ‘Katara’. There was also a show of indigenous Arabian horses in cooperation with Al Shaqab Stud, which reflected the uniqueness of Qatari culture.
During his speech to the guests, the Secretary-General of the Forum, Dr. Yuri Centurin, highlighted the recognition of the Forum in December 2018 as an international observer organization of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Ms. Fatima Saleh Al-Khulaifi, Director of QBG, commented: “The ‘Ghars’ campaign has started to reap fruit, as awareness of trees and their importance in society, especially in light of current environmental developments such as climate change, desertification issues and water scarcity, has become clear to members of society of all ages. This prompts us to support this pioneering community campaign and assume a leading role in supporting the efforts of Qatar Foundation to achieve environmental sustainability and the Qatar National Vision 2030.”
- QBG celebrated Qatar Environment Day through the ‘Ghars’ campaign. Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, Minister of State; Ms. Fatima bint Saleh Al-Khulaifi, Director of QBG; and Mr. Abdullah bin Khalid Al Khater, President of the Al-Shabana Environmental Association, planted the Qatari tree known as Acacia tortilis (samar in Arabic) in Education City, on behalf of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation. In addition, many school students planted local Qatari trees in the same area in celebration of the Qatari environment.
- ‘Ghars’ campaign with the Qatar Financial Centre Authority: QBG started its activities of the ‘Ghars’ campaign in cooperation with the Qatar Financial Centre Authority on November 29, 2018, in the vicinity of the Education City Stadium of. Participants, including students and QFCA staff, planted more than 50 trees of Sidr, Samar, Ghaf and Talh.
- ‘Ghars’ campaign for the Qatari-Russian Cultural Year 2018: In cooperation with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Qatar and Qatar Museums, QBG held a celebratory tree planting ceremony in the Oxygen Garden, in the presence of various foreign ambassadors to the State and leaders of Qatar foundation. Acacia tortilis, a type of fungal tree that grows naturally in Qatar, was planted during the ceremony.
- The ‘Ghars’ campaign with the Philippine Civil Engineers Group in Qatar: QBG hosted the Filipino Civil Engineers Group on Friday, December 12, 2018 in the Education City Stadium Park – one of the host venues of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar – where more than 250 engineers planted more than 55 trees. On the sidelines of that event, Ms. Allen Piafleur, President of the Filipino Civil Engineers Association in Qatar, said: “This activity comes within the framework of our effective efforts in caring for our environment, and as a partner in disseminating measures to address sustainability and promoting them for future generations. Since we are here on the land of Qatar where a large number of our citizens work to support their families back home, and in return, we believe that we have a mission to return the favor through this noble call to plant trees and establish green partnerships in support of the noble vision of the State of Qatar.”
- QBG celebrated Qatar Environment Day 2017 by planting Sidr and Ghaf trees within Education City, as part of its ‘Ghars’ educational campaign that continues throughout the year, based on its mission to raise awareness of the need to preserve and protect the environment. Students of all ages participated in the event, including pupils from Qatar Academy Doha, Qatar Academy Al Wakra, Qatar Sidra Academy, Awsaj Academy, Qatar Msheireb Academy and Qatar Leadership Academy.
- QBG was keen to invite public high school students to attend this important environmental event. Students from Hassan bin Thabit Independent Secondary School for Boys, Ali bin Jassim bin Muhammad Independent Secondary School for Boys, Ibn Khaldun Independent Primary School for Boys and the Nomas Center participated in planting Ghaf and Sidr trees. The students were overjoyed by the experience, as they expressed their love for nature and demonstrated their commitment to preserving and protecting the environment in Qatar.
- QBG launched a photography competition for university students in Qatar, as part of its annual ‘Ghars’ campaign activities for 2017. The competition aimed to inspire students to cherish the Qatari plant environment, and to motivate them to discover and protect its natural beauty. This event was the fruit of cooperation between QBG, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, the Youth Hobbies Center at the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and Hamad Bin Khalifa University. The competition themes were consistent with the stated objectives of the ‘Ghars’ campaign. They included the category of the most beautiful tree and landscape of trees and plants in Education City and the Qatari mainland, in addition to the category of the largest trees in size and age in Qatar, the category of tree components and parts and the tree planting category and its initiatives, whether in homes, the street or other public places.
- On Friday, January 22, 2016, QBG held its annual ‘Ghars’ campaign event at Education City, with the participation of students from Qatar Foundation schools and Hamad Bin Khalifa University, along with their family members. About 200 students participated in planting 15 trees at a special site that was prepared for the campaign in cooperation with other Qatar Foundation entities.
- The Turkish Embassy in Doha held a ceremony to express its support of the ‘Ghars’ campaign, which was attended by a group of leaders of Qatar Foundation, members of the diplomatic corps, businessmen, and representatives of the Turkish community in Qatar. His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Demirok, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Qatar, and Ms. Fatima bint Saleh Al-Khulaifi, Director of QBG, planted a number of olive, fig, sidra and citron trees in the embassy yard, with the aim of sending an awareness message to community members and urging them to preserve trees and protect the environment.
- The Campaign’s awareness-raising activities continued in schools, including Al-Muntazah Kindergarten for Boys and Ali bin Jassim bin Muhammad Al Thani Secondary School for Boys. The campaign also participated in the Rio Olympics events in Brazil as part of Qatar’s participation in the Games.
- QBG continued its awareness and agricultural drive and celebrated a “planting” campaign inside Education City, where employees of the Procurement Department and Qatar Career Fair planted toothpicks and henna bushes in the garden of the procurement building. QBG also cooperated with the British Embassy in Doha to plant a group of trees cited in the Holy Qur’an such as olive, fig and pomegranate, with the aim of strengthening cooperation to preserve natural resources, and to complement the joint cooperation program with the British embassy.
- QBG celebrated with students of Hamad bin Jassim bin Mohammed Independent Secondary School for Boys, and students planted sidr and arak trees and costus plants in the school yard.
- QBG celebrated the ‘Ghars’ campaign following the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP18, which was held in Doha, where a group of Hamad Bin Khalifa University students planted henna, sidra and arak trees inside Education City with the participation of a group of families.
- QBG celebrated with the students of Umm Ayman Independent Secondary School for Girls who planted arak and sidra trees, in the schoolyard, after they were given a presentation on the importance of trees in the community.