A Young Climate Advocate's Experience at MENA Climate Week

Rand speaking to camera at MENA Climate Week

When I was 14, I developed an interest in environmental issues in general. I was a part of a recycling project that raised awareness among individuals in my community about the importance of recycling skills. Following that, I just decided that I wanted to pursue a career in the environmental field and went on to get my bachelor’s degree in Water & Environmental Engineering. 

I did a lot of volunteer work relevant to my subjects of interest, which include youth, climate change, and women's empowerment, during my bachelor’s journey. In addition, I represented my faculty at several conferences relating to my field of study and interests. This adventure is still ongoing for me, as I am working with a team on research about the behaviours of households that increase solid waste and what impact this has on the Jordanian climate, with LAZORD foundation in Jordan.

Moreover, I am working with ActionAid Arab Region (AAAR), as a youth activist in the Climate Justice program, and now I am a founder of a social initiative: Green for Jordan. The goal of our Initiative is to reach a green and clean environment in Jordan, and we encourage people to reduce plastic use and raise awareness about recycling through online and offline sessions and training. We also make campaigns on our social media pages to keep in touch with our followers and we get a lot of support from them, reminding people always about the importance of taking care of our environment because it will cause a negative impact on our future climate here in Jordan.

Rand speaking during MENA Climate Week

What I did at MENA Climate Week

At the MENA Climate Week, my role was to speak more precisely about my initiative and what we are doing as young people in our community to raise awareness about the detrimental impact of plastic and how much it is negatively harming our climate. I discussed our awareness campaign's goals, activities, and future plans. One of my learnings is that when conducting sessions with the community, it is critical that we utilize the simplest language possible, especially when discussing climate change issues, because this is a relatively new issue that people should be able to understand in the simplest way possible.

 I also mentioned that youth work must be prioritized by all INGOs, NGOs, and government units. To reach our objectives, we will need all your support. We are young, brave, and eager to preserve our planet from the effects of global warming.

Attending the event's sessions helped me to learn more about the effects of climate change, and there were many sessions with new topics for me, such as digital transformation for climate action, digitalization, and Blockchain Technologies.

It allowed me to expand my network with young people who have similar interests, improve my intercultural competencies, and strengthen my role as a young person. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the consequences of climate change in our MENA region, as well as to broaden my knowledge of what I might do in my community to raise awareness about the current major topic, climate change.

This experience has deepened my commitment to making a real difference in my community. It taught me was that I can make a difference even when the adults around me don't believe in me. I am excited to continue carrying these lessons with me as I grow up and pursue my passions for climate change, adaptation, and mitigation.

What’s next?

I’ve started already planning for a huge campaign in Jordan to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and what we can do as young people about this issue. I am planning for COP27 to be well prepared for this event, I am learning a lot, working hard, and putting a lot of effort in because I am a believer on this issue. Our environment, climate, and the planet needs us, we as young people are going to make this change, each of us in their field but in the end, our goal is clear: we want to have a safe, green, and best environment to live in!

And always I am reminding myself and others: the less we do to address climate change now, the more regulation we will have in the future.