A Global Movement Towards a Better Future

350.org is a website that is trying to make a change towards the best. It is trying to create a solution for the entire world for having a better environment! It is creating a global movement to solve the climate crisis. The fuel that the world is burning is causing huge climate problems, and people around the globe are living with what their own hands have done. As development club members we’re also trying our best to spread awareness among people about the unhealthy environment that we’re all living in.

So, 350.org created a global awareness day on the 5th of May. The idea was that each country should take pictures demonstrating how the world has changed over the years, and the pictures should contain a dot, so on May 5th all of the dots can be connected. The idea was splendid, and our Development club was part of that action.

A week before May 5th, our club had a meeting in Mr. Kevin’s classroom. We were brainstorming through the whole session. We were divided into several groups so we could get as many ideas as possible. Each group had more than five ideas for the pictures. Some of them were rather impossible to make, still the ideas themselves were really creative. We thought of every change that is happening to Kurdistan because of the climate change, and we were trying to reflect them through the pictures. We actually discovered that the environmental effects that we witnessed over our life time are rather tremendous! Sandstorms, less rain, lower water levels, winter is much shorter, and many many more! We wanted to demonstrate most of our ideas into meaningful pictures, so people around the world would understand that a simple change can affect the entire globe.

On May 5th our club members gathered at our university, and even students who were not members in the club joined us. We started to take many great pictures, and the whole thing was a blast; we had more fun than we could have ever imagined. When we saw our picture on the 350.org website, we were all proud of what we did.

The Green Music and Arts Festival in Sulaimani, Iraq

Although the Green Music and Arts Festival was on the 20th of April, our work in the Development Club started weeks before that. We began by sharing what each of us had in mind for the games that we needed to build for the festival. Our ideas had to be simple but at the same time they had to be creative.

We all had amazing ideas. The games had to be made from recycled materials to fit with the environmental theme, so we looked around campus for spare wood, cardboard, and plastic. We built the games, painted them and the results were perfect. Mr. Kevin practiced some songs with his Guitar Club students and they translated some verses of the song “Imagine” by John Lennon into Kurdish.

On the festival’s day, we started the preparations early in the morning, and it was lots of fun to prepare for it. We even played some games during the preparations. Azadi Park, where the festival was held, was a really beautiful place, and it was an ideal spot for students and teachers alike to gather and enjoy their time.

There were three hosts for the festival including myself, and the performances were presented by the hosts in English, Kurdish, and Arabic to enhance the ability of the audience to culturally relate to the performances and make a sense of cultural unity among the people. During the festival there was an elocution contest among the students of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. They each presented the same environmentally themed Kurdish poem that was translated into English. It was a really creative event overall, and it showed the students’ talents from different aspects.

One of the things I really enjoyed was drawing the American, Kurdish, and Iraqi flags on children’s faces and on adult’s faces too. It highlighted the cultural unity that brought us all together for one cause: helping our environment.

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