One Boy Inspires Iraqi School for Earth Day

A few years ago, Hocar Hamdamin Hassan was playing with his younger brother, Hauri, at a relative's home. Like so many war-torn regions of Iraq, this particular neighborhood was still plagued by hidden land mines. As the brothers were playing, they accidentally triggered a mine that critically injured them both.

The tragic incident led to the loss of Hocar’s hands and one of Hauri’s eyes. But even with his disability, Hocar, now a sixth-grader at Nesetman Primary School for Boys, is dedicated to helping the environment.

The school is part of Together, an Iraqi organization dedicated to motivating schools throughout the country to go green for Earth Day by planting trees, saving energy and collecting plastic materials. Along with their classmates, Hocar and fifth-grader Hauri helped to clean the school’s grounds, plant trees and encourage others to go green as part of Earth Day Network’s A Billion Acts of Green campaign.

Hocar is particularly enthusiastic about participating in Earth Day to show the world that everybody, no matter what their obstacles, should support the environmental movement to save our planet. “I learned over the past few years that life is constantly changing, there is no way for me to give up in this life,” Hocar said.

Even now, Hocar continues to live the life of normal 13-year-old boy. Not only does he spend time greening his school, he’s also the star athlete on both the school’s soccer and basketball teams. Earth Day Network is proud to work with Together and Hocar, as he is a true Earth Day hero.


Are you looking for ways to get involved Earth Day 2011 and Billion Acts of Green? Visit for local events and inspiration!