Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiya is faced with a daunting task: he needs to make sure that Qatar can become self-sufficient by 2030, the year Qatar’s “National Vision” would be realized. It’s daunting because his country, one of the world’s richest due to gas revenue, averages only 74mm of precipitation (rain) per year. It is one of the driest spots on Earth. So, they survive by importing 93% of their food and desalinating almost 100% of their water. As chairman of the National Food Security Program, he is tasked with making a garden out of their desert of a country.
Ronny Edry describes himself as a father, a husband, a teacher, and an Israeli. What is he doing in theXtraordinary? Well, he started the Israel Loves Iran initiative by posting a photo of himself carrying his daughter who was holding an Israeli miniature flag. The caption read “Iranians, we will never bomb your country. We [heart] you.” For the first time in his Facebook life, Ronny’s post was shared and liked by many of his friends. Soon, he was talking to Iranians who agreed to post their images to reciprocate the message with “Iran [heart] Israel.”
Daniella Dimitrova Russo was a co-founder of the “Plastic Pollution Coalition,” a global initiative which seeks to raise awareness of how irresponsible use of plastic is ruining the planet and inspire people to take action. While serving as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, Daniella saw the need for change when she realized how plastic has been infiltrating even the most remote areas of the planet. She launched “Think Beyond Plastic,” her own way of doing her share to make sure sure her kids, and the rest of the new generation, will have the privilege of living in a healthy environment.
Fawzia Koofi is the first-ever woman to serve as Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament in the history of Afghanistan. The fact that she survived being left to die under the sun is a true testament to her courage. She would have to prove that courage over and over again as she has dodged threats to her life and insults just for being a woman. At 39 years old in 2014, she hasn’t yet reached the required age to run for the seat, so she sets out to do so four years from now.
As tribe leader, Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui had to do something to save “Paiter Surui,” his niche in the Amazon Forest. Loggers did not give up easily, considering the century-old trees they hoped to bring in. When this Surui Chief began to act against logging, a bounty was put on his head, forcing him to leave his people for seven months. More determined than ever, Chief Almir kept his partnership with Google Earth Outreach and has found a way to liberate his people from loggers through a 50-year development plan.
How much are we willing to do for the oppressed and those whose voices are too faint to hear? That’s what Madeline Janis, a lawyer, has done all her life. As accomplished as she may be, she has opted to work alongside minorities, people whose rights are not recognized often enough and cannot always afford decent housing. She founded the “Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy” (LAANE) along with fellow activists and organizers, Miguel Contreras and Maria Elena Durazo.
Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, formerly known as “Bradley Edward Manning,” is a soldier in the United States Army who became famous worldwide for being accused, and convicted of, leaking the largest-ever set of classified files regarding a U.S. military controversy. With extraordinary passion for truth and justice, Chelsea was willing to give up her military career so the truth about certain war-related injustices could be revealed.
Master Li Hongzhi is a controversial figure in many ways. He is regarded as a dissident in China, his home country, because of his strong influence. Second, his teachings and claims are bizarre, such as that computers and modernization were introduced by aliens to subjugate humans. For what it’s worth, the principles of his “Falun Gong” – truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance – all point toward goodness. Falun Gong has influenced millions of people and changed the lives of those who have lived in abject violence.
Mikhail Gorbachev is a politician, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former statesman of the Soviet Union who is most famous for being the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, as well as the Soviet Union’s last leader before its dissolution and transition into the Russian Federation. A true hero of the Russian people, Mikhail’s efforts have contributed greatly to Russia becoming a democratic country and being saved from the clutches of Communism.
“Life is not what bullets make it.” These are just some of the powerful words which echo throughout the land of Israel from the lips of Bishop Elias Chacour (also known as Father Chacour or Abuna Chacour), the first Palestinian to become a bishop of the Catholic church. Describing himself as a “Palestinian-Jew-Christian,” Elias is one of the leading voices of peace and reconciliation in war-torn Israel.