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Sonia Phalnikar | ClimateChamps

Climate champ – ‘Climate change fight will dictate the future’

Mourad Farahat is just 16. But he’s already involved in a recycling project in Cairo

Do you feel responsible for our future? Are you tired of waiting for a breakthrough at climate conferences? If you are already taking action yourself, you are our ClimateChamp and we want to get to know you! Answer our questionnaire to become a part of our new blog series, take your chance to be nominated as a Climate Champ.  This time we feature Mourad Farahat from Cairo.

What is your name? How old are you? And where do you live?

My name is Mourad Farahat, I am 16 and I live in the Cairo suburb of El Tagamoa El Khames.

How does climate change affect your everyday life in your community?  

Climate change has had several adverse effects on the Egyptian community, and could lead to damage beyond repair. For example, it has caused an ever-increasing amount of problems in the food sector, as food production is not able to keep up with the increase in the Egyptian population. The effects are amplified by the incessant erosion of the Nile Delta. As seawater levels rise, the once fertile Nile Delta begins to absorb saltwater instead of freshwater, making it infertile. This has led to rising food and water prices, which widens the gap between rich and the poor.

What prompted you to get involved in fighting climate change? 

There was no specific trigger which encouraged me to start fighting climate change. Rather,  it was the fact that the fight against climate change has given me the opportunity of a lifetime – to be part of a cause which will dictate the future.

How exactly do you fight climate change? 

I fight climate change in any legal way I can. I have joined an organization called youthinkgreen, which has given me a perspective on the fight against climate change on a global scale. And I am a  part of a local grassroots division of youthinkgreen in Egypt which promotes green action, most notably a recycling project which we have successfully initiated in our school and are hoping to expand. It may not seem like much, but it is a start nonetheless.

What do you have to say to climate change deniers? 

There is ample evidence which proves beyond reasonable doubt that climate change is not only real, but that it has already started taking a toll on our planet. Now is not the time for petty squabbles about the existence of climate change; it is time for us to ask ourselves how we, as the human race, can overcome this global epidemic.

Worst case scenario: What do you think your city will look like 10 years from now if no action is taken to fight climate change? 

The city of Cairo will be dirtier, louder, more polluted and consequently its inhabitants will be more prone to pollution-induced illnesses, gridlocks and as a result will consume more energy.  The number of slums will continue to grow in correlation with the population and the living standards of each Egyptian. People will be less happy with their quality of life, as food and utility prices will continue to rise. It is a very bleak outlook, and a slightly frightening one for that matter.

Best case scenario: What do you think your city will look like 10 years from now, if more and more action is taken to fight climate change? 

People will have a completely different outlook on life. Many people will have found a cause worthy of their support, which would completely alter their outlook on life. In other words, the city and its inhabitants will respond to the actions taken against climate change. This could translate into more job opportunities in the field of sustainable technologies, a greener Cairo and an increase in foreign investment in the Egyptian “green” market, which would bolster the economy.

Briefly, what do you want your government  to do as far as climate change is concerned? 

I am of the opinion that the government should re-evaluate its expenditures and prioritize investment in green technology which offers a sustainable solution to Egypt’s pressing problems. Also, the government should begin taking action against rising sea levels in the Nile Delta, which threatens to displace seven million people and cause massive food shortages.

How can interested people take part in your project? 

Our project’s aim is to encourage people around the world to live sustainably. Therefore, I believe that anyone who is interested in my project should independently develop a sustainable framework suitable for his/her local community, and seek support for its application. By doing so he/she would be advocating a sustainable lifestyle and making it available to the people who require it, which is what we aim to do at youthinkgreen (


August 30, 2013



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