About a month ago, an email dropped into my inbox by the Al Jazeera Doha correspondent Dan Nolan who wanted to cover the story on the water park in UAE. This was the park name ‘Ice Land’ we reported on which was built around the global warming theme despite the huge amount of water it uses through desalination and its location in a water-scarce region. I was glad to help and Dan asked if I would be able to do a short TV interview talking about the project.
People often have this misconception that as journalists are happy to ask people difficult questions and poke cameras in their faces, that they are also happy to speak in front of a camera too. Well, I am not. Print and web journalism affords you a certain amount of anonymity which I like and so I was a little nervous about saying yes, especially as I would be representing Green Prophet. I eventually agreed comforted by the fact that a) it was not going to be a live TV interview and b) if it all went horrible wrong they would just use none of it.
I arranged for a day and time with the Al Jazeera team and got the train down from Manchester (where I live- it’s in North England and seems to famous for nothing but football) to London. The news team who explained the questions they would be asking and what kind of things I need to avoid doing- talking to fast/slow, fidgeting or panicking.
They sit me down in front of a computer screen with the Green Prophet site on it and then when I least expect it they switch on the studio lights and I was temporarily blinded. Really! It was so bright I couldn’t think straight for a minute.
One of the presenters starts speaking to me and I’m still a little blinded so I start swivelling my chair to move eyes away from the light. The camera man looks up- I need to stop moving on the chair as it’s changing the angle. Okay. They start again and by now my eyes seem to have adjusted and I try to calmly answer their questions.
Representing The Green Prophet Team
It all went very fast, I can’t really remember the questions or what I said and after around 15 minutes we’re done! I was so relieved I wanted to run out. The presenter seemed happy with the interview too and said it had all gone really well. Happy with that I leave the office and forget all about until I got an email yesterday saying that’s the news piece is on TV and also online. I sat down to watch it and there I was talking on telly. It was surreal but also really, really embarrassing.
Even so, it was great to be able to represent a new generation of people from the Middle East who have a deeper understanding of climate change and are not fooled by green washing tactics. Whilst we are probably still in the minority, awareness and concern about environmental issues is rising in the region and I’d like to think that the work of Green Prophet has played a part in that!
Well done to everyone at Green Prophet for making the site such a great resource for green issues in the Middle East and also a big thanks to Karin for her hard work and support!
For more on Greenwashing in the Middle East see: