Why I did the #ALSIceBucket challenge

I received the ALS Ice Bucket challenge yesterday morning (video can be found on my facebook timeline) from Aaleeya Spence at NU-Q. First thought -- YEAH, LET'S DO IT.

As I watched more challenge videos, the negatives dawned upon me, and the haters, and obviously, the trolls. Second though -- just donate the money. 

Slate, The Guardian, USA Today all have stories against or in favor of the challenge -- some critical analyses of the of the real impact of the viralness, and others about the amount of money spent on ice and the wasting of water. I thought I could find a way to find some use of the water I would waste, especially that I live in the desert, and hence decided to take the challenge in my parents' garden. (I did spend QAR 3 on the ice -- about USD 1, and let's just say I helped the local economy a little)

What really got to me were the stories  of Anthony Carbajal , who himself was recently diagnosed with ALS in addition to the deadly disease running in his family, and Pete Frates, a former Baseball player. Having played sports for the major part of my life, I can (probably) imagine how devastating it can be.


Going back to my thought process behind accepting the challenge, considerable thought was put into:

  1. Motivations - explained above
  2. Wasting water - I decided to take the challenge in a garden that had not been watered since the morning.
  3. Sending out the challenges - 
    1. Mark Stehlik, Associate Dean of Education at Carnegie Mellon Qatar: Mark is a great educator and gets students going. I really hope he takes the challenge and get more faculty and staff involved. The students, after all do love some fun and will emulate who they love.
    2. Sanjith Rajan, a friend from high school currently in Norway. I'd like Sanjith to spread the word locally and get people there going on the challenge. Also, dumping ice water in Norway MUST BE a lot of fun :)
    3. Sana, my 15 year old sister. Getting the young ones involved would go a long way in such kind of activism (I do use the word loosely) and any impact this might have on any of their lives would render this challenge worth it.


Finally, no matter how silly it comes out, if a simple action makes somebody smile, just DO IT!