As the saying goes, there is power in numbers. So it’s great to see environmental organisations across MENA come together to “create a more sustainable, prosperous, meaningful, just, and fair world”. The the newly launched and ambitious Arab Youth Climate Movement unites campaigners from IndyAct, 350.org, Global Campaign for Climate Action and the Climate Action Network (CAN) in a simple vision: to be able to enjoy the stable climate that our parents and grandparents enjoyed. A five-day workshop was held around two weeks ago in Egypt where new regional alliances were built and plans were made to hold an Arab regional day of climate action on the 3rd of November.
Youth activists from countries such Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates attended the event which helped train them in useful skills such as speaking to the media and organising actions and campaigns. However it wasn’t all plain sailing. Sarah Rifaat from 350.org, who we interviewed recently, said organising such a workshop brought with it lots of logistical challenges due to the political realities of MENA nations:
“One Tunisian applicant was hospitalized after being caught up in intense clashes in her city, while another Palestinian activist couldn’t get his visa on time due to strict security regulations. The Syrian applicant couldn’t make it to the workshop due to heavy fighting on the streets of his city, but despite the turbulent situation he is still in contact with us and is adamant on getting youth in his country involved with the Arab Youth Climate Movement.
“AbdulGader, the Libyan participant, almost didn’t make it to the workshop when his flight was grounded at Tripoli airport after a sudden indefinite flight ban was imposed. He finally arrived in Cairo on the second day of the workshop with such enthusiasm and commitment that it was hard to imagine how the workshop would have been without him.”
Indeed, the movement is a great way to get to know young activist from across the MENA region and I hope to be able to profile a couple of members about their country and the environmental work they hope to do in the future. First on my list is Tariq Al-Olaimy from Bahrain. As well as his eco-campaigning, Tariq is the co-founder of 3BL Associates, a Bahrain based social impact consultancy and Think-do-Tank, which focusses on multi-stakeholder sustainable and regenerative development in the MENA region. Another interesting fact about Al-Olaimy is that he is among the first 100 people in the world to persue deep specialist training in the field of Biomimicry.
So look out for GreenProphet’s interview with him but for now, find out more about the members of the Arab Youth Climate Movement here.
For more co-ordinated climate action across MENA see:
: Images via Arab Youth Climate Movement Facebook page.