In celebration of Water Day, I am happy to announce that the long-awaited book about the Kuwait Dive Team is now available for purchase in the United States.
You may remember that, a year and a half ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to the Gulf for the first time as a guest of the Kuwait Dive Team, a volunteer organisation working to preserve and protect the marine environment of the Gulf. I participated in their activities for a week in order to learn more about their operations and, at their request, wrote a book in English sharing their incredible story with the world.
The best way to learn more about the Team (other, of course, than buying a book!) is to watch my interview on Kuwait National TV, my reflective episode of "Ramblings with Rebecca", and Dari AlHuwail's AMENDS Talk on the Team.
Today, I serve as the Team's International Cultural Consultant. Their 'diving diplomacy' activities are the basis of one of my three ethnographic case studies on environmental peacebuilding in the Middle East for my PhD. I had the privilege of spending January and February this year in Kuwait, where I worked with the printer to finish up the book, among other things. In 2015, I had fun representing the Dive Team at the London International Dive Show in February and launching their international Global Environmental Guardians Network in Baltimore, Maryland, in August.
"Defending the Deep: Guardians of the Sea" is now available for order on Amazon. The book is intended as a fun, easy read about an amazing group of people. The focus is on the beautiful world that resides under the sea, and the many ways we as humans can help - or hurt - that world.
On Christmas Day in 1991, the Government of Kuwait formally accepted an offer from a group of young scuba divers to help remove underwater debris left by the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait. What began as a patriotic act of post-conflict rebuilding grew into a national movement for marine conservation and environmental volunteering. This is the strory of those volunteers, young Kuwaitis dedicated to preserving and protecting the rich resources and natural beauty offered by our planet's water. Today, the organisation holds hundreds of beach clean-ups each year, salvages thousands of tons of boats and fishing nets from Kuwait Bay, and creates a safe haven for millions of animals in the Gulf. This book invites you to take a journey with the Environmental Voluntary Foundation. It is a story of life and death, capture and rescue, wreck and restoration. It is a story meant to show you a different Middle East than you know. It is the story of the Kuwait Dive Team.The book is currently available for order from Amazon in the US and Canada. Do feel free to order that way, however - if you are based around Michigan or likely to see my mother Kendall, the cheapest and easiest way to buy a book for all of us is in person! That saves shipping costs for everyone, including the Earth as we reduce packaging and transport emissions.
For those of you in the UK, I will be selling books in person. For those based elsewhere in the world, please just be in touch - we are happy to send books wherever they are wanted! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy or with any questions.
For more details about the book, see the Amazon listing: http://www.amazon.com/Defending-Deep-Guardians-Rebecca-Farnum/dp/9990669600/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458638938&sr=8-1&keywords=kuwait+dive+team
All proceeds from book sales will go to the work of the Kuwait Dive Team. However, it is not necessary to buy a book to read the story. If you prefer a soft copy (PDF), you can download a free copy here. The PDF is a large file, so you can see the full colour photos in all their glory! https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/defending-the-deep%28d4bbbc55-435e-4e63-8e33-97ff74f33ec4%29.html
Thanks to everyone who has supported me in this project...it was quite the grand adventure! I hope you enjoy the story as much as I do. My best to the Dive Team and all of their volunteers. It is a pleasure to be a part of such a cool endeavour.
In honour of today's World Water Day and yesterday's World Poetry Day, a piece written by Brenda Meier-Hans. It's titled "Niagara Falls" and may thus seem inappropriate to close out a piece about the Gulf, but as the Team says...our oceans are one. Cleaning up the beach in Kuwait makes the water in Michigan better. The waterfalls, the lakes, the tides, the oceanbeds...all are one magical, mystical world worthy of delight, of terror, and of joy. Here's to water, my friends, and here's to you.
loudly inside my head,
roaring thunder rushing through my veins.
chaining me mesmerized,
hypnotizing with a mighty force.
thoughts are racing blindly
spilling into open nothingness.
only to rise again
as an eternal magical mist.