There were many choices to celebrate the 39th UAE National Day on 2 December – most had to do with lights, spray cans, using immense amount of energy and electricity.
One man celebrated it in a whole new way – a man called Haidar Taleb.
Haidar was diagnosed with polio at the age of 4 and has been wheelchair bound ever since. He’s now 47, and stands head and shoulders above the rest when you look at what he has achieved.
In November 2010, Haidar became the first person in the world to cross 88 miles in a motorised wheelchair – non-stop. He created a Guinness World Record. With sheer determination.
He didn’t stop there.
For UAE’s National Day Haidar embarked on an 200 mile journey across the nation, from one corner of the UAE to another in his solar powered wheelchair to raise awareness of the need and importance of renewable energy across the UAE.
Haidar’s 11-day wheelchair journey was completed in Abu Dhabi on 2 December – UAE’s National Day.
His trip was sponsored by Masdar – Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative for the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions.
It’s a very smart move by the brand to support Haidar and I’ve blogged about why I think Haidar is the ideal brand ambassador on my CopywriterJournalist.com blog – although Masdar has not called him an ‘ambassador’. You’ll also find details of the communication campaign that tracked Haidar’s journey on social media. Good stuff!
Coming back to this post, on the early morning of 2 December, when most of the people were enjoying the National Day holiday at home, I invited my friend Emirati director and filmmaker Hassan Kiyany and his crew Leo James and Sebi to welcome Haidar to our the UAE capital.
To celebrate the UAE National Day, we decided to Be with Haidar and capture the inspiring moments in the last lap of his unique journey. It was a story I wanted to blog about and an effort I wished to be a part of.
We also made a short film on this, our humble tribute to Haidar and his mission…
We look forward to seeing his invention – the solar powered wheelchair that he travels on – to change people’s lives and encourage companies to find green solutions to our never ending needs for energy consumption. Haidar – we are with you!