MSc Water, Health and Sanitation
BSc Civil Engineering with Project Management
2018 (BSc), 2019 (MSc)
Director, Greenish Foundation (Egypt)
How are you helping to tackle the climate crisis?
I currently manage an Egyptian non-profit NGO that works on environmental education, advocacy and climate engagement. We work to engage and support local communities in Egypt to fast-track climate action, empower youth through environmental education and we engage with MEAs and the UNFCCC COP processes to represent vulnerable communities at the negotiations. I also am a freelance consultant in areas associated with waste management, plastic pollution, climate adaptation and environmental management.
How did you get to where you are now?
A significant part, if not the main reason, of why I am a director at such a young age for an organization with 12 staff and one of the key national civil society players is egypt is because of my Masters Degree at Leeds University. That year provided me a skill (massively improved my ability to research) and connections across Africa due to how unique the program structure was. Further to that, I came back to Egypt and engaged myself in various consulting opportunities and built my expertise as a waste management specialist, which allowed me to have significant career jumps just over 3 years. Working in the civil society space here takes a lot of risk but in return you feel the direct impact of your work whether from the communities you support or through the text you change in the negotiations and decisions.
What do you do as part of your role?
My role is distributed into 3 parts. One, I manage the team and we have 4 different teams in the foundation. Two, I am the head of delegation for our foundation to the UNEP Major Group and Stakeholders, and by that I am also the primary person that engages in MEAs and Negotiations on behalf of the organization. Third, I work to support other civil society organizations as part of my role in Greenish given that we are one of the more established names in Egypt.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Impact. The ability to experience and see the impact of your work directly is an immense privilege that not many people get to experience due to the type of work they are involved in. However, working on climate you are often working with communities or on projects where you are able to see the tangible impact of your work.
What advice would you give to University of Leeds students wanting to pursue a similar career?
I would highly and strongly recommend it, we need more people working on climate action and mainstreaming it across different sectors. There are growing opportunities and a stronger need for young people now more than before.
Are there any resources that you would recommend to individuals interested in pursuing a climate-related career?
I think all of us working on climate need to be truly up to date with the COP process, whether we believe in multilateralism or not, because it has significant implications on our work. By that, meaning we actively seek the reports published by the UNFCCC regarding the various working groups and negotiation tracks. I recommend following platforms like the IISD Environmental Negotiation Bulletin on twitter and Climate Action Network.