Hala Alhaffar, 23, is a young environmental activist from Damascus, Syria who believes that young people are major stakeholders in climate crisis. Through her work with the Arab Youth Climate Movement, Hala is taking action to create a clean and safe environment that promotes sustainable development.
Hala’s home city – Damascus suffers from serious pollution issues. For a long time, Hala volunteered with the Syrian Environment Association along with other young Syrians. Later, she was accepted to the Environmental Science program at Damascus University.
However, this was not enough for incredibly active Hala: she soon started as the co-coordinator of the national edition of the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM). She is currently AYCM’s voice in Syrian social media and raising awareness about climate change issues and the negative effects of pollution in her home region. She believes that a clean and safe environment is a key to sustainable development and that every person has the inherited right to live in such an environment.
Hala is not scared of the challenges that climate change can bring. On the contrary, she sees an opportunity in bringing young people together and mobilizing their potential in order to fight severe climate change. Hala constantly engages youth in environmental issues to create change at the national, regional, and international level. She wants to engage youth in the Middle East and North Africa in The Paris Climate Conference and International Climate policy sessions as well as in their home communities. In other words, she is trying to build a generation-wide
movement among young climate activists all over the world through education and empowerment.
Despite tragic recent events in Syria, Hala keeps pursuing her goals. Thanks to Hala, after only 3 years since its founding, AYCM has become the leading youth organization in MENA region dedicated to solving environmental issues. It partnered with 350.org Global Campaign for Climate Action and the Climate Action Network (CAN). AYCM has more than 5,000 followers and hundreds of members.
We truly admire Hala’s strong spirit and desire to make a difference.
Experts 1Katie Zach Goldman, Lead Evaluator Katie Reusch, Partnerships Expert
Experts 2Carla Friedman, Youth Expert