Let Us Rise.

by Nada Zidan

Statement given during Earth in Brackets Press Conference Wednesday November 28. 

"The Arab world has been through a lot of change lately, but the region is often eerily quiet on climate change.” Wael Hmaidan, CAN international.

It is the Arab youth that has ignited the Arab spring. They have inspired the world once, and They are doing it again. I am an Egyptian with Earth in Brackets, who knew about the Arab Youth Climate Movement only when I came to Qatar but once I did, it became hard to ignore this vitally passionate movement.

Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain are big emitters of greenhouse gas emissions per capita. And it is now the time for the power to not rest with the regimes but with the power of the people in the countries. That is what the Arab youth climate movement is giving us hope for in relation to the biggest environmental problem in the world: equity on the national level to inspire the powershift on the international scene. Arab emitting countries are the bad guys on the national level but are definitely not the bad guys on the international level. I ask the media to be integral with hierarchy of responsibility in relation to scales. It is quite easy for media, for big emitters: the U.S., China, Russia…but above all the U.S., to manipulate our genuine compassion as youth when criticizing local arab governments without pointing fingers back at themselves.

The Arab Youth Climate Movement has every right to call on their governments, to call on our governments, to pledge on emission cuts because being in Doha, is being in our element. And how can we advocate for the all maldeveloped countries without advocating for ours? Just think of what could happen now that the Arab Youth Climate movement, one symbol of many of the sweeping changes in the arab region, is to be united with this international platform, even if it is one of a slow pace.

So once again I ask the media to make the distinction between what we as Arab youth are trying to do for our region when holding our governments accountable of 4.2% GHG emissions, in an international scene, and between the pressing threat caused by developed countries the biggest blockers of global action. 

Manipulation to the ACYM efforts and message will waste what the Arab youth has gone through not to only save their futures but also that of all vulnerable people around our globe. Keep in mind what youth like me have gone through to come here so do not hinder our actions and compassion for your own interest. A Tunisian applicant was hospitalised after getting caught up in clashes in her city, a Palestinian applicant could not get his visa due to strict security measures, and a Syrian applicant was unable to attend because of fighting in his home city.

Awaken conscious, genuine understanding of different responsibilities and scales, space and support is what we, is what AYCM needs.

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